Monday, June 30, 2008

A Focused Day..

There is something wonderful about a focused day.  My Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays start pretty early and end fairly late but today, I finally got it together.

1. Boot Camp: We started a new class today.  July is a very slow month for us but with the 4th falling on a Friday ALOT of people have taken this week off.  August should be nuts. I hit all the locations and checked on all my children (also known as my trainers).

2. Workouts: Ok...pity party is over.  The Baldwin Park Tri SUCKED for me.  Build a bridge and get over it.  I did 1.5 hours on the bike and a 30 minute run today.  I got it all in and , damn it, Im determined.

3. Nutrition:  Finally! No junk food.  No snacking.  No garbage in my face.  Good nutrition before and after the workouts plus, my friend Karen made us dinner of Tilapia, brown rice and green beans.  Doesn't get any better than that.  I cut the diet coke consumption down to 3 (for my friends that know me, they might fall over dead at this news).  By the way, I should put that on my Ironman form.  If they find me on the side of the road, administer Diet Coke by IV and Ill be fine.

4. House Clean Up: Got the 14,000 bike bottles clean that have been in my sink for WAY TOO LONG. 

This was a focused day.  Now, If I can put together 17 weeks of these, Im going to be an Ironman!!!  It takes screwing up for me to see the light.  God has a plan.  He threw down a road block so I could see where the work needs to be done.  Far be it from me to not accomplish that work.  

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Baldwin Park Tri...It just wasn't my day

So a great weekend but proof that if you don't listen to your coach, you will suffer...and suffer I did.

Saturday was suppose to be a rest day but since I had been sick during the week, I decided to make up my bike workout by going for a 30 miler with Beth.  Did I mention Beth learns FAST.  Correction...Beth IS Fast.  She's getting to be a monster on the bike so out...she'll be speeding by you on a course near you soon.  Annnnyway...we did our 30 miler and I was a good girl.  Good nutrition.  Good rest afterwards.  Oh!! Did I mention?? Im doing a race on Sunday.  That would be less than 24 hours from this workout.

Bad idea.

I woke up Sunday morning with a headache from hell.  I am still getting over a wicked chest cold and sat on the edge of my bed trying to decide "Am I REALLY going to go do this today?".  I got my fannie out of bed and decided that racing was the only option.  I racked the bike, packed my gear and was on my way to Baldwin Park.

And YES..I got there early.  I always do.  Im a worrier.  I gotta set up my gear and stand around waiting because Im always worry about being late for a race.  I got to the transition area and there was Hector doing body marking.  Its not often that you get your coach to do your body marking.  I tried my hardest to sound upbeat but I was feeling terrible.  I set up my gear and headed out to the swim.

God love my friend Sandi.  She came out to cheer us on and she was absolutely awesome.  It was so nice to come around on the bike and have someone screaming your name!!  Hector then came to me a gave me a package.  Inside? My brand new Central Florida Triathlon Club Jersey.  I was almost afraid to try it on because, as some of you know, triathlon clothing is not exactly "big person friendly".  The jersey was a XXL and it fit like it was made for me.  Its the first time I have had a jersey on for a team other than Team in Training since I raced on the Danskin Mentor Team 7 years ago.  I was very excited and it felt great to be a part of such a great group.

We headed to the swim and Beth and I jumped in for a practice.  UGH! The lake was gross.  Dark in color, smelled of sulfur and the weeds were everywhere.  Ive lived on a lake some of my life here in Florida and I gotta tell ya, this was the worst Ive seen in awhile.  I did a few strokes and got out.  Yuck!!

Before I knew it, I was in the water, the gun went off and we were on our way.  This was the WEIRDEST swim course that I had seen.  You had to curve around a dock and then go diagonally to get to the first buoy.  This translated into me swimming god knows how much extra to get to that first turn.  The second leg wasn't bad, but I never was able to get my breath.  The chest cold was killing me as I exited the water.  Hector was there SCREAMING which always gets me moving.

T1.  Im not use to putting on a jersey in T1 but I wanted to wear the new one so I took a little extra time to put on the jersey and the rest of my gear.  Transition time wasn't bad and bike mount was fast.  I LOVED this course. Very technical with lots of turns.  Right up my alley.  I may  not be fast but I can handle a bike and I just love taking the turns hard and fast.  I think several of the fast guys were a little shocked at my bike handling but .. as usually ... I was passed..alot!!!

Coming around the 3rd lap, I see Beth on the side of the road.  Damn it!! Another flat!! I felt horrible.  She was walking it in.  Major bummer for her.  Lap 4, I kicked it up a notch.  Lap 5, I was doing everything I could.  Average bike speed  18.1.  Not bad for the big girl.  For most people thats an average ride.  For me..thats fast.

T2.. I have a new pair of shoes and I have not put speed laces in them yet so my transition time was slower than necessary.  I went out on the run and BAM...I felt like there was a weight on my chest.  Getting air was getting harder and harder.  I walked and coughed but I continued.  At the 2 mile mark I hear my name and looked up.  Hector was waiting for me and pushing me.  He really didn't want to hear excuses.  What he did want to see is me moving my butt and not walking.

I made it to the finish line but it definitely wasn't pretty.  Im very proud that I finished the race but my overall feeling today just wasn't good.  It is days like this that makes you appreciate when your body is feeling strong and fast.  Today also reminded me of how much work I need to do to get ready for November.  I gotta get better...and fast!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Whether you think you can or you think you can't..You're Right..

"In her recent book about Ironman, Cherie Gruenfeld wrote, "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're probably right."  I used to think that was a somewhat treacly sentiment but now I look as it as one of the truest things I've ever heard.  What gets people up Everest or through an Ironman or past the speed of sound or running a sub four minute mile is the unshakable belief that its possible and the willingness to put your life, your ego and check your attitude at the door to prove it."

I have 18 weeks left to check my attitude and ego at the door.  What I have found in the last few months is that I am a procrastinator.  I like to wait til the alarm bells are sounding before I try to avert the emergency.  As my dear friend and training partner, Beth, so eloquently put it : "You can pull a 1/2 marathon out of your hat (ok .. she didn't say hat but you get the idea).. but you can't pull an Ironman out the same way.  This journey requires work, dedication, focus and a belief system that is only developed over time.  Im starting to GET that.  Im starting to understand that this journey is changing me in alot of positive ways.  Most of them are mental.

Alot of people know that I have battled compulsive overeating since childhood.  I mean, hey, you don't get to 380lbs by eating carrots and lettuce.  You DO get there using food as comfort .  It has taken me alot of years to get where this behavior is under some control and training for this Ironman has helped me realize that this hurdle of weight and eating will finally be overcome if I want to complete this Ironman in 17 hours.  It will require me getting my nutrition in a good place in the next 18 weeks, dropping a safe amount of weight and being consistent with my training.  Anything less could spell disaster for my health and my dream of becoming an Ironman.

I had a hard swim workout with Hector today.  I also had a heart to heart "tough love" talk that a caring and brave coach doesn't really like to have but knows it is necessary.  There is no more time to waste.   If this goal is really in my heart and soul, now is the time to cut the crap and get it done.  No more whining, no more excuses, no more "well Ill just have one more "bad meal".  The time is now.

I do believe I will complete this race.  Its the first time I have really said that and meant it.  I also understand that I am going to have to stay focused for 18 more weeks of my life to achieve this life goal.  

Thursday, June 26, 2008

OH *&#@...Hector's Back

There is a special ringtone on my phone for that special man in my life.  When I hear it, my legs get weak, my breathing gets faster and my heart skips a beat....

Relax folks...Im not having an affair.  If my legs are weak and my breathing is faster and my heart rates up...its all HECTOR'S FAULT.  Sir Ironman has returned and I knew I was in deep when my ringtone announced his arrival back on the right coast.  His ringtone?? "Bad to the Bone"

Since this slow fat triathlete (and I am proud of every one of those descriptions) needs some serious help with her running, all of my workouts with Sir Hector Ironman have been at a track but tomorrow I get a swim workout with the Iron One.

Pray for me in my hour of need....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Life's Realities vs. Life's Dreams and Goals

Wednesdays are always the hardest and longest day of my week.  They consist of a 4am wakeup call followed by boot camp assessments, classes, paperwork and customer interaction until 9am. After that, I switch gears from a business owner to a Disney Cast Member and work at The Living Seas at Epcot as one of 45 divemasters that conduct scuba and snorkeling tours of the 6 million gallon aquarium.  From 1130am to 830pm, I live the Disney magic and then return home to reality.

Tonight's reality came crashing in and made my Ironman goal seem so insignificant.

My husband's dream of being an airline pilot was a multi year goal that required going back to school in his late 30's, surviving 9/11 and working his way up from small turbo prop aircraft to being a first officer in a jet to being a jet captain.  The last few months have been scary ones for him.  He has fended off layoffs, math calculation errors made by his first officer in the cockpit that could have cost him his job if he had not had caught it, and ground personnel at some airports with the personality of a raging pit bull.  Tonight, he found out that his airline had been fired by American Airlines and will no longer carry passengers for American at the end of 2008.  This is a large blow to a regional carrier and it isn't because of bad service but because American simply can not afford the fuel and has to cut back on flights.  It means this small airline loses 10% of its flying and this could mean the end of a career for my husband at Trans States Airlines.

At this point, the chances of him totally losing his job are very slim but the chance of him losing the captain's chair and returning to a first officer position is very possible.  This means a drop in pay and a more difficult commuting life.  More work, less pay and less time at home.  None of this is good news.

We spent some time brainstorming what we could do next.  What would be the best move?  We have six months before these changes occur so we can fend off a disaster if necessary but where does a pilot go when there are so many pilots looking for work? The answer I found was not very good...they usually go overseas for work and that means moving or weeks without seeing you family.  Thats a tough choice.

So, for now, we are just weighing our options and getting the information we need to make the right choices.  It makes 140.6 miles look pretty easy.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Congrats to the Ironmen

I believe that we find strength and courage in so much that we see around us.  The simple gesture of watching a race unfold can bring such inspiration.  So was the case last night as I watched over 1000 athletes compete and complete Ironman Coeur d'Alene.  

First, one of my favorite people who use to work for Team in Training here in Orlando finished her FIRST Ironman .  My sincerest high fives to COLLEEN WILSON who I watched on video as she completed the course in 13 hours 14 minutes and 23 seconds!!  Fantastic job girl!!

Believe it or not, my former travel agency boss lives in Coeur d'Alene.  Mary Larsen called me on Friday and wanted to know if any of my friends were going to be out her way and running in this incredible race.  I was thrilled that she took down my coach's name-Hector Torres- and promised that she would look for him on the course.  I didn't think much of it until she called Sunday night to let me know she had seen Hector.  She had made a large sign that said:

Hector Torres...Melissa D sends you Orlando Magic!!!

From what Mary told me, Hector was a little stunned to see a sign for him in a place where he didn't know anyone.  I haven't spoken to Hector yet, but Mary said he really enjoyed the support and it just made her night.  After several years of living in Coeur d'Alene, it was nice for her to have someone to cheer for in the endurance event.

Hector amazing Ironman Coach completed Ironman Coeur d'Alene in 13 hours 29 minutes and 2 seconds.  He had a huge smile as he crossed the finished line and I know that he inspired alot of people with his performance.

It made me start thinking about my shot at Ironman and made me realize that 18 weeks is just around the corner.  Nothing like a little nudge to get your out the door and onto your bike or into the pool!!! are an Ironman.  Congrats!!!

It was all about helping a friend..

This weekend, I took a break from Ironman training (shhhh...don't tell Hector or Im in deep you know what) to help a friend achieve a very special goal.  My good friend, Rick Stafford, completed the Swim Around Key West..a 12.5 mile endurance swim around the entire island in 5 hours and 41 minutes.  This was his first attempt at this distance and skill and was the first male to complete the event.  You'll notice that I didn't say he WON the event. lies the story.

Rick swims with a specially fitted snorkel because of facial and sinus reconstructive surgery he had as a child.  He has documentation to this fact, but the Race Director just would not approve of Rick using the snorkel and qualifying for any awards except for a finisher's medal.  Rick's attitude was wonderful...all he really wanted to do was just complete the event!

And in fine form...he did!  How do I know??  I kayaked 12.5 miles along with my friend Beth as Rick's support boat around the southernmost island.  It was an absolutely beautiful day with calm winds and flat calm waters as we departed in the first wave of the race.  Rick took an early lead and never looked back.  The swim course included paddling/swimming through the very active Key West Harbor complete with cruise ship traffic but between the Coast Guard vessels and Key West Marine Patrol, all the swimmers made it through without incident.

One of the unique things about being in the water for 5 hours and 41 minutes is the need for sun protection.  Rick literally COVERED his body from head to toe in Zinc Oxide.  Although it is waterproof, we had to apply  additional zinc at about mile 6 to make sure he didn't end up with a major burn.  Meanwhile, Beth and I had to be careful as well.  I decided to have fun with the oxide and put on a clown face..much to Beth's disbelief and amusement.  

In pure Rick Stafford fashion, aside from a little fatigue, the swim did not affect Rick physically.  He got up the next day and explored the island right along with us and was the perfect tacky tourist.  As soon as I get some pictures, Ill will add them to this post.

Hmmmmm...maybe I need to work on a few more miles of Lucky's Lake Swim for next year's event!!!

Disney 70.3..Have I mentioned Im not a fan of this race

Ok..I know its not cool to be negative about a race but! Ironman Florida 70.3 was my FIRST half ironman and last year, I was very proud to say that I was the one of the final official finishers of this race.  I am almost certain I WAS the final finisher.  My goal was simple: to finish.

I achieved that goal but this year that was just not enough. I wanted to finish with people behind me.  

I have the most amazing friends.  They attend my races and make a party atmosphere that would be the envy of any competitor.  You know you have true friends that will stand around for 8 + hours and wait for you to complete a race, cheer you on, make t shirts celebrating your attempt at 70.3 miles and all the while in 100+ degree heat.  So to Joy, Karen, Mike, Vi, Sandi and Debbie, I tip my sweat soaked hat in your general direction.  You are the reason I am even writing this blog.  It is because of your support that I swear I survived this event.

I was up always.  I make my training partner, Beth, absolutely nuts with my early wake up calls and desire to be at the transition area WAY IN ADVANCE.  Im up, I make coffee and oatmeal and go through the same routine before each race.  But God love Beth.  She was very patient with me and got ready and headed down to our transition area to set up.

Now Beth was nervous.  This was her FIRST Half Ironman.  I had no doubt that she would kick ass...and she did!!!  She set up her transition with great I did and we headed down to the beach for the start.  My wave went off almost 20 minutes (or maybe more) before hers so she had some time to think (maybe too much time).  

I hate the wait before the start.  Its that mixture between panic and the desire to upchuck that really gets me going but as I entered the water, I had one thing on my mind: cut down the damn swim time.

The horn went off and we were in the water.  Unlike last year where it took me a good 10 minutes to catch my breathe at the beginning of the swim, this time I was focused.  Compared to the waves and water of Panama City, the lake behind Fort Wilderness looked like heaven.  I counted markers...and then the turn.  I was in the zone and feeling great...and then the next turn...I finally look down at my watch and realize I am 10 minutes ahead of last year's time and 5 minutes ahead of Gulf Coast.  I kept moving.  The last leg of the swim seemed to take forever but, at last, I was out of the water 11 minutes faster than last year!!  Fantastic!!  Goal number one achieved.

Second goal: Run to transition.  At Disney, the distance between the water and the transition area is significant including pine bark trail, cement and numerous little twists and turns.  I ran out of the sand and around the corner only to slow down and walk.   I still don't know why I did this.  I heard everyone yelling for me but didn't see them until i got to the bike. At the bike, I rushed and didn't think straight.  Debbie was taking pictures and screaming her heart out at the fence which really helps to get me pumped.  Helmet snapped, glasses on, and shoes on the right feet...I was on my way...well...sorta.

Third goal: Kick but on the bike time.  Last year, I really let the bike course scare me.  For most triathletes, the hills on this course are minor.  For me, they are a big deal.  I threw on my gear and booked out of transition.  I was just about to mount my bike when I realized, in my haste, I had neglected to remove my swim skin.  I wear a swim skin over my tri suit when a swim is not wetsuit legal to help with speed. (well..they say it helps).  Great in the water...not so great on a 56 mile bike ride.  I put my bike down on the sidewalk, remove my race belt, strip out of the skin and left it on the side of the road.  No kidding.  My $200.00 swim skin left behind.  I tried not to think about it as I started to pedal out of the campground. See...sometimes you can be too focus on getting on the road.

Lets get back to that goal of kicking butt on the bike.  Hector had given me a goal to keep my rpms between 85 and 95.  I set my bike computer to the cadence mode and focused on keep my form and rpms between those numbers.  The miles clicked by and I felt amazing.  Other people pasted me (ok...ALOT of people pasted me) but I kept to the plan.  Suddenly, around mile 25, I started passing people.  Slow, steady and consistent can sometimes win the race.  Around mile 30,the rain hit.  Its that kinda rain that isn't so hard that you have to pull over but hard enough to make you nervous.  I rounded a corner in the rain and hit two small OPEN manhole covers (about the size of a dinner plate).  I felt my back wheel slide and my aerobars came untightened and lunged forward.  After collecting myself, I realized that my computer was literally said "tilt" on the screen.  DAMN!! Now how am I going to keep that cadence.  I rode the last 26 miles just listening to my legs and my body and made it into transition 30 minutes faster than last year - rain and all!!

Coming off the bike, I felt like superwoman. I looked at my watch and couldn't believe my time. Could I really be 30 minutes ahead of last year's time?  I made a speedy transition and off to the run.  Reality quickly set in.  The rain had cleared to produce bright sun and over 95 degree temps.  The run course at Disney has to be one of the most disheartening courses in the world.  Here we are in the land of the Mickey with beautiful theme parks and gleaming roadways and where do we run??  On a dirt path next to retention canals full of algae and alligators.  As I made it through mile 4 on what soon became the "death march", I got very dizzy and lightheaded.  I decided to walk.  It wasn't worth dropping out because of heat exhaustion.  I was going to finish but not the way I had envisioned.  I walked the next two laps of the course and for once totally enjoyed the people, the volunteers and the experience.

The run course did have a positive note.  I got to see my friends coming and going on the path and this made the run fun.  I knew if I just kept going, I would get to see them again and hear their cheers.  Just hearing them cheer made a world of difference for me.

From the swim with a personal record to the bike with yet another personal record, my finish time was not what I had hoped but I learned a valuable lession: train hard, race easy.  I think if I had run more in the heat of the day, I would have achieved so much more during this race.

I entered the finishing chute to cheers and screams.  Another half ironman!! This time last year, I had to go to the medical tent.  This year, I felt amazing.  I can only hope to feel this good after 140.6 miles.

My husband had been flying during the race and following my progress at every break he got.  His shift ended and he returned to Orlando to give me big hugs that evening.  There is nothing better than the arms of your hubby after a long hard race :) I am so blessed.

I know this blog is behind but I am determined to get back on track with my writing.  I am thrilled to know that several people do read these words.  If you do, please leave me a comment so I know you were here.  Just like those cheers on the road at a race, your comments here help me so much in the quest to become an Ironman :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Gulf Coast Triathlon- May 10th 2008

Another 6 hour drive to paradise and to a challenge that had me a little worried.  Welcome to Panama City and the Gulf Coast Triathlon.  This race is a non "M Dot" event...but I gotta tell ya...its a race that I will continue to do for many years to come.

Rick Stafford and I left for Panama City on Thursday morning at 7am and pulled up in front of the Boardwalk Beach Condo at 1pm.  The first thing I notice when I got out of my car was the wind...holey moley.  The flags were STRAIGHT out and the sea looked pretty damn choppy.  We checked in with the very nice people at the condo (they are getting to know us now between Ironman races and training rides) and up to the 19th floor and a killer view of the beach.  This unit is smaller than the one we grabbed for Ironman but just as comfy and beautiful.  Rick and I immediately headed to expo where we checked, got our packets and started shopping! What a FANTASTIC expo full of good deals and great gear.  

Rick headed out to meet some friends for dinner and I decide to explore the new Pier Park shopping area about 5 minutes from the condo.  This is a gorgeous outdoor mall with shops and restaurants and a huge movie theatre.  I ended up buying shoes and shopping at all the little stores before returning to the condo in the early evening.

It was at about 5pm that I got a great phone husband had gotten someone to cover his flights and he was coming to Panama City for the weekend and was bringing his motorcycle!!  He would arrive around 10pm.  He arrived that evening and it was wonderful to have my hubby in this beautiful place for this great race.

We awoke Saturday morning to a very scary sight.  High winds and a rough seas made our practice swim look a little daunting.  Rick and I donned our swim skins and headed to the beach.  I stood on the beach for awhile and realized that I had never done an open water ocean swim race before.  Seven years of triathlon and the closest thing to swimming in the ocean that I had done under race conditions was St. Anthony's.  This did not help my nerves as I braved the breakers and swam next to Rick.  About 20 strokes out, a wave hit me hard and planted my face into the sand.  It shook me up but I was determined.  Several more strokes and another big wave hit me broadside and threw me backwards.  I turned around and headed to shore...but not to regroup.

I looked up towards the condos and saw Steve on the balcony.  I had a feeling he was concerned watching his wife going backwards instead of forwards.  Rick and I talked a little bit , I calmed my nerves and headed in for a second attempt at the waves.

The second attempt over the breakers was not as bad and once I was past those waves, the water was rough but not unmanageable.  Since the swim course had not been set, we used some orange markers that the watersports company had set for the jet skiers and swam to the farthest one and returned.  Definitely not any distance to this practice swim but it got us acclimated to the water temp and the conditions.  If these conditions continued, I had a feeling there would be no quick times out of the water.

After exiting the water, we grabbed a shower and headed off for a short bike workout. The purpose of this ride was to get the legs moving and checking out the bikes for any issues.  Once again the wind played a role as the gusts hit 25 mph.  This was going to be an interesting race.

That evening, we enjoyed a pasta dinner included in the cost of the race on the beach at the race site.  During the dinner the race director told us there was a chance that the swim could be cancelled but to prepare to do the ENTIRE race.  This possiblity brought up some questions.  This race would be a very unique experience as I was planning on DNF'ing.  Yes.  You read that right.  My goal was to complete the swim and the bike and DNF the run.  The reason? My trainer, Hector, wanted me to race at Disney in the Ironman Florida 70.3 just two weeks later and didn't want me doing too much prior to Disney.  If there were to be no swim, do I do the rest of the race events?  This required a phone call to Hector.

Up at 400am Race Morning and I bolted for the balcony.  I looked out into the blackness of the morning to find the wind blowing steady but the waves not as severe.  Don't get me wrong, it was still rough but not like the day before.  I grabbed me gear and headed for the beach.

I hate waiting.  The waiting prior to race start makes me batty!!!  Even though my wave was an early one, I was still ready to get started.  I walked into the corral and there stood Sister Madonna Butter.  Two races in one year I have had the honor of racing with Sister Madonna.  We shared some kind words and then we were off.  I hit the water with determination..and a little bit of panic.  I was determined not to get knocked backwards today...and I didn't.  My stroke was strong and steady as I started counting markers to the turn.

The only problem on the swim was the outbound markers were GREEN.  Yes.  You read that green sea water.  Like they looked the same as the water so between the waves and the markers being hard to see, I simply followed the crowd.  I made the turn and looked  at my watch.  I was 5 minutes ahead of my last 1/2 ironman swim...even in these rough conditions.  I kept moving!!  I exited the water with a swim time 5:20 faster than last year and accomplished my first open water ocean swim in a race.  It was a great feeling.

I saw my husband complete with video camera as I headed off through transition.  I made a swift transition and off I went.  25 miles into the ride, I felt pretty good...until the turnaround.  We headed back towards home with the wind square in the face.  I watched my speed drop to as low as 12 mph as the wind just kept blowing.  Time check: 20 minutes faster than last year's time on the bike.  Could this really be possible with this wind??  It wasn't until 10 miles prior to the finish we finally got relief and the wind at our back.  I was headed for home. I completed the bike 21:20 faster than last year's 1/2 ironman bike course.

At this point, part of me was ready to run but Hector (my amazing coach) had warned me.  If I ran the full race, he would fire me as a client.  I pushed my bike to my transition area, and I started to cry.  It is so foreign for me to quit during a race.  It seemed so odd going to an official and telling them I was done.  My body was actually feeling pretty mind was ready for the challenge.  As I handed over my chip, my eyes filled with tears.  I gotta listen to my coach..but I don't have to like it.  I know Hector had my best interests at heart in this decision, but I was pissed.  I wanted that finish line.  I wanted that medal.

I headed upstairs to a shower and some food and put my feet up.  Rick was now about two hours from finishing and I wanted to be the best cheering squad ever.  I grabbed a cat nap and headed to the finish line.

It hit 1pm and still no Rick. I was very concerned.  Steve walked up the course to spread out the cheering and a 115pm he appear.  His legs were cramped from the heat but he was going to finish.  I screamed and cheered as he hit the finish line.  Rick's 4th 1/2 Ironman was in the books.  We escorted him upstairs for an ice bath and a nap.

I learned alot about myself during this race.  I faced my fear of a powerful ocean and powered thorough the wind on the bike.  I realized that listening to your coach can be hard but in the end, their advice is the best medicine.  Not finishing this race made me appreciate the finish line experience even more and made me realize that breaking the tape is a special gift for the hard work of the day.

There is NO doubt that I will do this race again.  The people were organized and kind. The volunteers were fantastic and the course is fun.  Next year, I will come home with a medal.

Back to Blogging and Keeping Track Of The Journey

Ok...its been a month since I blogged.  Thank you to my loving friends who reminded me during training this weekend that my fingers have not hit the keyboard to continue to chronicle this amazing journey.  I don't know why I haven't written.  I guess I figured no one was reading my blogs since I didn't have any comments to any of my posts.  I know I should do this for my own mental health and for my next blockbuster selling book but its nice to know that people actually read this garbage and keep track of your insanity. goal today is to post two race reports and one training report (I guarantee the training report will leave you giggling).....

So...Enjoy the rantings of a 45 year old fluffy triathlete....