5:17 PM

I am an IronMan

13:56

I'm still all smiles about the race. More to come... and I will post pictures soon.

11:29 AM

I'm Ready...

We leave today for Florida. My bag is packed; my transition bags are packed and labeled. I'm still amazed at how much stuff is necessary for this weekend. I think (hope) that I've planned for every contingency; however, I'm hoping that my planning is not necessary. The weather looks perfect for Saturday and the Gulf continues to be calm. Things will be good.


I'm thankful to have incredibly supportive friends and family. I know that I've neglected many people during the past few months and I'm sorry. I've been told that doing an IronMan is one of the most selfish things that a person can do. I now realize how true that is. Unfortunately, I think that James realized that much sooner than I did. That said, all will be over after Saturday. I just hope that me crossing the finish line makes this journey worth it for everyone. I've missed birthdays, dinners, nights with my hubby, and haven't cleaned much in ages. Instead, I've spent my mornings, nights, and weekends running/biking/swimming in circles. I've pushed my body to new limits, found new meanings of exhaustion and surprised myself at how quickly I can recover. I will stand on the beach in the best shape of my life and completely injury-free.


Saturday will be a good day. I know that I'll be in tears when I see James and hear my name being called. Just thinking about it makes my eyes water.


Oh, and yes... I am a "sponsored" athlete. Look for me wearing "official" Archer Solutions race gear...

9:02 PM

Perspective

I'm no longer in high school and we are all near (or have passed) the age of 30 (and adulthood). It does not offend me to be "unfriended" on Facebook. In fact, I didn't even notice until it was pointed out to me. I'll admit, I had to figure out how to search to confirm that it was true. That said, I think that I'll survive and will likely prosper.

What is even more important is that once again I realized exactly how lucky I am. While at happy hour with friends and family, my darling husband stops by twice for a "drive-by kiss" as my sister-in-law termed it. While he was in the area for work and running errands, he stopped in to see me. I'm still amazed. We are out of the so-called Honeymoon period of marriage - if that ever really ends. In considering James, our life and the past few weeks, I realize how much he truly loves me and sees me for the person that I am (as opposed to the person that I want to be or think that I am).
Without fail, he has the confidence in me that I sometimes (perhaps, often) lack. Quite possibly, he knows my true limitations better than I do. He truly knows me... and still loves me. There as a time (maybe yesterday - well, more like 3 years ago) that I did not think that was possible. I've never thought that I was incapable of being loved; but, it does surprise me that I did meet my match. And, honestly, James is my match. My equal. And, in some ways, my conscience. Inexplicably, since we've been together I've lost some of my punch - or whatever it is called. I don't know if it is him or just life. I don't have that same bitchiness that I once had. I'm nicer and will put up with a bit more crap than before (oddly, I termed this bitchiness... hmm...)
Last weekend, I was sharing my fears with James. Yes, it was an end of the weekend, I don't want to return to real life and leave our mini-vacation cry-fest. I was nervous about work and also asked him, who I as fooling by signing up for an ironman. He looked at me with surprise and expressed so much confidence in my ability to finish and do well. But, he wants me to be done because there are other things that we are hoping for the in near future (or at least within 9-10 months following Floida). In my mind, I will only do one IM - mainly, to prove to myself that I can do it (and to get the tattoo) but, James already has planned for me to do another one. Specifically, in about 5 years, he plans to be standing at the finish line with our child to see me finish... This makes me smile. I truly think that he knows me and gets me... And loves me.

Ahh... I'm all smiles (and happy tears)....

And there are people who think that facebook friendship is important or relevant...

10:58 AM

What a week!

1) Only about 130 community fund slots remain for IM Florida. I've gotta make a decision pretty quick.
2) I discovered that the top tube on my new (to me) bike has a crack near the seat post. I'm not pleased and do not know exactly how Cervelo will handle this issue. I'm expecting the worst and am peeved... I KNOW that I did not do anything to cause this (i.e., no crashes, etc. - yeah, I've fallen, but that couldn't have caused this...) and, after having to pay to resolve the issue, I might as well have bought the bike new in the first place.
3) Very busy at work... lots of things coming up in the next week.
4) We received a favorable ruling from the First Court of Appeals today! WOOHOO!!

9:53 AM

Memorial Hermann Sprint Tri

Improvement is a wonderful thing... I decided to race simply to determine whether I've improved since last year. Granted, I realize that its kinda hard to see improvement on such a short course; however, it was good so see a faster time.

The Swim - 300m
NEVER again will I do a pool swim. Granted, I didn't flip out this year but I didn't feel like I swam well and was not at all comfortable in the water. The woman in front of me was swimming breast stroke and was only a hair slower than me. When I passed her, she was on my heels and did pass me, then she slowed down and I couldn't pass her (or else she'd sped up again). The entire swim is just disorganized and makes me nervous.

2009: 7:50.5
2008: 9:21.2

T1 2009: 2:04
T1 2008: 2:16.9
I must practice transitions! There is no reason that it should take me 2 minutes to put on bike shoes and a helmet...

The Bike - 10mi
The 10 mile course was relatively uneventful. However, I could definitely tell that I did a long run on Saturday morning and home improvement projects all Saturday afternoon. Seriously, nothing exciting on the bike. The only frustrating part was not having anyone in my age group around. Not that I'm trying to place in my AG but its nice to be able to pass people.

2009: 30:25.5
2008: 31:09.6

T2 2009: 1:42.3
T2 2008: 2:05.5

The Run - 3mi
Again, those 11 miles from Saturday came back to haunt me and the heat was miserable. During this stretch, I only saw one person in my age group and was pleased to pass her. Just hot and uneventful. In retrospect, I wonder if I was pushing myself enough on the run; however, I was done for the rest of the day. Also, I was surprised to see just that many people walking on the run course.

2009: 27:51.9
2008: 28:39.2

Overall
2009: 1:09.54 (11/38)
2008: 1.13.32.4 (15/23)

8:54 AM

I will not live vicariously

This week I've been watching quite a few of my friends get ready for Ironman Cour d'alene. (I know that I spelled that one wrong.) Its pretty exciting to see everything that they've done to get to this point. This all makes me want to do this even more...
BUT -
That means that I need to get in all my workouts. For some reason, I can get up early to run; however, I cannot do the morning bikes. My plan for next week is to start going to the Thursday morning bricks with Houston Racing. That way, I'll be meeting people. I think that might be my problem: no accountability but to myself. Anyone up for 515am bike rides on Tuesday?
As an alternative, I think that there is a way to link an online training log to my blog... maybe I need to do that.

8:34 AM

To Race or Not? (or Why You Cannot Be Cheap and Do Triathlons)

I'm "supposed" to do the Memorial Hermann sprint tri in Sugarland on June 28 but I'm now debating. Sure, I'd like to race - the only way to improve your racing is to race, right? I'd like to return to my first tri to measure my improvement. (Last year, this was my first ever tri and I flipped out 25m into the swim.) But, I haven't registered. I don't REALLY want to spend the money. These races get expensive and with IMFL a possibility, I don't want to spend a lot of money on the smaller races. (See, I really am being considerate to my wonderful husband.) Oh, and its a pool swim and I loathe pool swims - granted, I've only done the one but I'm not too jazzed about doing another one. I'm not too sure what my time would be for the 300m and I'd have to do a time trial in the next day or so... hmm... decisions...

9:37 AM

PSA

1) Go see The Hangover. Be prepared to laugh and laugh a bit more. If you see it at Edwards Greenway you will likely be the oldest person there (yes, this is me saying this...). The audience was full of college kids and a TON of frat boys that were out in mommy's mercedes.

2) When using spray-on sunblock, be sure to evening apply.

3) Don't wear cheap flip-flops and try to walk down hard wood stairs. Nasty bruising will likely occur.

10:57 AM

Zonked

Its just Thursday and I could barely get out of bed this morning. This week hasn't been that strenuous but I do think that my body is still adjusting to the "new" training schedule and the extra (or more quality) workouts. My proposed schedule has me hitting each sport twice during the week and once during the weekends and as my runs and swims are coached, they have been of a higher quality. That said, I missed by bike ride this morning. I just couldn't get out of bed to do it. ARGH!! Hopefully next week will be easier. Now, I'm contemplating skipping my off day scheduled for tomorrow for an easy bike ride. Since the ride is simply to get some time in the saddle, I think that I'll go for it.

2:27 PM

A Balancing Act

We all have our list of things that we want to do before "x" age. As I get closer to my 30 mark, I've eliminated the unimportant markers (like owning a Jag - why I wanted this, who knows) and only two major markers remain - an ironman and having a baby. Obviously, the two don't really go well together and it will be far easier to do the former before doing the latter. That said, I've been thinking about IM Florida in November. As of last week, the work conflict was removed and the only thing holding me back was the training (and the related time commitment).
This past weekend, I pulled out the Beginner Triathlete full IM training plan and started making my own. Depending upon what happens over the next six weeks will determine what we (James and I) decide for the race. I cannot do this without his full support and understanding of the time commitment. In discussing my initial schedule (which has me doing 4 weekday pm workouts and long bikes and runs on the weekends), he was a bit concerned about losing every weeknight and chunks of the weekend. I'm going to have to adjust and get as many workouts in during the early morning hours (even though I loathe pre-dawn biking).
How do people with spouses, children, and full-time jobs do this? I'm having problems just balancing my work and my wonderful husband. I suppose you learn to embrace the AM even more and learn how to push yourself (rather than always training with a group). I think that I will have to learn how to ride by myself and find some safe routes that are not 60 miles from my house. This is all possible, right? I can do this...

6:53 AM

Denmark

Finally... we leave for Denmark today! This is the trip that we've talked about since before we were married. For two years we've tried to find a time to go and finally its here. Funny thing, we have nothing really planned - well, other than the marathon at this point. My father-in-law, who is coming along as well, was to have made arrangements with his family (who are all in Denmark), but we aren't really quite sure. Supposedly, we have a place to stay - not sure of the details or whose apartment we are sharing or using; we might have someone meeting us at the airport. Do not think that I'm complaining or expressing concern; I am just excited to be going and to have so many days where I have no commitments. I'm looking forward to the break.

Then, as the finale to the trip, the marathon. I'm apprehensive because I'm not trained; however, I'm doing it just to do it. That said, I honestly believe that I'm in better physical condition than when I ran my last decent marathon. I don't really know what that says about my training in the past (because it doesn't say much about my current level of training). I just feel like I've been doing so much other training (biking and swimming) and I feel like my run has improved dramatically. Also, I feel as if I'm mentally stronger than I was before. I'm curious to see what will happen.

9:52 AM

Freedom

Our lives are filled with various gadgets and devices that are supposed to make us more productive - email, internet databases, blackberries, and even the garmin with a heart rate monitor. Do these things actually make us more productive and happier. Note, I'm writing this entry while researching an issue on Westlaw. My search terms produced over 100 results and, likely, I'll look at most of them even though the first document likely gave me all the information that I need.
Every day we use various devices and, at times they just seem to weigh us down. As I've bumped up my running regime in 'preparation' for the Copenhagen Marathon (mainly to see if its even an option), I've found it sometimes harder to run with the garmin. For the past two nights, I've ran without a watch. I've really enjoyed my runs without the constant distraction of knowing my pace, mile times, and heart rate. I catch myself still looking at my wrist throughout the run - in fact, I let myself look knowing that there is nothing there. Just me and my ipod (I can't give up all devices) making the loops through my neighborhood. Just a pleasant evening... Oh, it would even be nicer if I didn't have the blackberry stuffed down my sports bra (ahh... the joys of being on call...)

5:25 PM

Its My Birthday

My birthday cake at the office...

8:53 AM

Nothing like a headwind...

... to remind you how much you love a tailwind. After a marvelous 22ish mile ride and a nearly miserable 22ish mile ride on Sunday, I felt great - except for my bum. I've given this saddle nearly 3 weeks, as requested, and its gone/done/finished. I cannot take it anymore. My new Selle SMP should be here on Wednesday. But, after a little internet research, there are tons of Selle SMP models and I now wonder if I got the right one... we shall see.

2:31 PM

Ahh...

I love this woman...

I feel amazing now.

3:47 PM

Changes...

So, I finally updated this sucker and need to start posting again.
I've also added my race schedule and yes, there is a marathon for May 24th! And no, i'm not adequately trained. Guess I have a month to get there, right??

10:18 PM

Brick in the 'Hood

I absolutely love my neighborhood. Where else in Houston do you get rolling hills (well, small ones - but definitely hills) and just a great sense of community. (And yes, this is all inside the loop). With daylight savings time in effect, there are many more people outside at night. Tonight, there were casual adult bikers, parents with their little kids biking, people at the park, dog walkers, a man with his infant, and a few runners. While making my loop through the neighborhood, it was great to see all the people out and about. It was a great ego boost to see the kids who were just learning to bike watch me pass with looks of amazement. I'm out there on the aero bars with the fancy shoes and those funny looking shorts having the time of my life (seriously - fun ride tonight). Then, put the bike in the garage, chatted with the hubster while I put on running shoes, and I was out the door again. On the run, I got a few strange looks from people that had seen me biking. One of my neighbors (who was biking) asked, "Didn't you just get off the bike?" Ahh... what a lovely night.

Then, I came inside, fixed dinner and settled into watch my DVRed Biggest Loser. This week's challenge was running the half marathon. Can I tell you, I'm just glad that none of the contestents beat my time for Sunday. Is it weird that I'm that person - the one that would be concerned by that?

11:37 AM

Slippery Slopes

I realized yesterday when I hopped on the scale that I had officially entered my own slippery slope. Whenever I get to a certain point, I kinda freak out and get scared that I'm becoming the fat middle schooler that I used to be. The heaviest that I've ever been was 174 (and that was at the beginning of 7th grade). As I get closer to that number, I really get scared and feel even more out of control. Oddly enough, I know that I'm doing this to myself and cannot figure out why. I told a friend the other night that I think that I should see a nutritionist; however, I don't know if that is really what I need - Maybe I just need a psychologist.

Why is it that I have such an emotional connection to food? My grew up with a family that used food as the center of every family gathering (celebration, bereavement, etc.). Notably, every conversation with my mother or grandmother involves a discussion of what I've eaten that day or what I plan to eat that evening. In comparison, with my husband's family, food is an after thought to any family gathering. Meaning, the event is the important aspect and, it can only be assumed that there will be some sort of food. Admitedly, I kinda like that. Its less pressure for me. (if that makes any sense).

Why have I been eating so many sweets and junk food? It doesn't make me feel better and only leaves me feeling bloated and dehydrated in the morning. And, whenever I turn off the alarm rather than going to the gym or running, it only compounds the issue.

I recently bet my husband that he couldn't go two weeks without fast food. He did it and, I'll admit, I was a bit surprised. I'm even more impressed that since the end of the two weeks, he hasn't reverted to his old drive-thru ways. If I'm not actually cooking a meal (which, sadly is most nights), he will go to Subway or ask me to go by Barnabys (or the like).

Now, I'm betting myself: two weeks no sugar/sweets. As I've been eating something sweet everyday for the past few weeks (a hershey kiss or two, a cookie, etc.), two weeks without sweets actually seems a bit daunting. How sad is that? But, I WILL complete my own personal challenge. I just need to decide my reward... I'm thinking money for the bike fund.

8:52 AM

Decisions

I had a fabulous half marathon in Austin - 2:11! This completely surprised me. I ran by heart rate the entire time and averaged 175 for the entire race. I had no idea how I would finish. Best of all, I beat my time from the Houston have by a minute and a half! And, this was a much harder course (you know, Austin has hills).
After that great race, I want to start training again. My first impulse was to do the half (or quarter) at Lone Star; however, I later found out that I had a conflict with the race date. Well, my all or nothing mentality then said, "hey, why not do a full this year. You can still get a community fund spot for IM Florida." Now, a review of my work calendar reveals docket call on the Friday before the race. Maybe that will change in the next month or so (or at least before the community fund spots are gone). It is doubtful that we will know in advance (but maybe!). Well, since IMFL was coming on the books, I started gearing up for a half at Gulf Coast. Then, we realized that ticket prices to Denmark are about $300 cheaper if we go before before the end of May (we'd have to be gone the weekend of the half). ARGH!! are the triathlon gods telling me not to race?

11:41 AM

Warning -- Whining Alert...

I apologize in advance, this post is me being whiny and complaining (but hey, I can do that, right?).

I'm debating Austin. I was incredibly excited about it; then, I got whatever bug has been going around and did absolutely nothing for a week. My longest run has been nine miles. I keep telling myself that I should be fine for the half. I can do this and I'll be glad that I did.

Here lately, I just don't know what my problem is. I cannot explain my lack of motivation. I should be excited about the new opportunities that I have...but, sadly, not so much. I just couldn't get moving this morning and missed Wills Hills. I haven't been to the gym in almost two weeks. I'm signed up for Take a Hike Ike tri in two weeks but I haven't been near a pool since October.

I know that I've been busy at work and had quite a few family obligations. But, I just don't feel like myself. Normally, I'm not a woe is me type person and I feel like that is all that this post is... "woe is me..." I just feel bit disorganized in life right now. I'm not working out as much as I should and my house is a mess with many unfinished projects. Oh, and I'm pretty busy at work (yes, I know that is a good thing). I just want to take a breath and cross some things off the to-do list. I need that feeling of accomplishment.

3:08 PM

Wills Hills

I finally made it out to Will's Hills. Boy, I was in for a real treat. Let's just say, I need to keep going back.
Oh, and yes, the hills in Austin are gonna kill me this weekend.

8:07 AM

I'm An Aunt!


Elaine Abigail Rosendahl
February 3, 2009
3:49 pm
6 lbs 9 oz (i think)
19 inches

2:11 PM

Sunday Bricks

I have now officially done more bricks than training for Longhorn last fall. That's right folks, I have done one brick workout and have exceeded my brick training for a half ironman. (I wasn't lying when I said that I wasn't well trained.)
Yesterday's workout was supposed be a 60 minute bike followed by a 30 minute run. Not so much... I almost died on the run. Whenever I run off the bike, I have a tendency to run faster than normal. I made it to almost a mile before I had to walk. Then, I just kept running back and forth around this one section of Terry Hershey. Kids were sliding down the hill on pieces of cardboard while the parents took pictures - and looked at me like I was crazy.
It was a successful workout. Until I met the hubster and sister-in-law for dinner at Cafe Adobe. Oh well...

10:55 AM

Please, Pretty Please...


My birthday is coming up (in a few months). Can I have this, puh-leese...

9:37 AM

No Quick Fix

Gee, I'm not surprised by this amazing piece of research. Although it does get an award for stating the obvious, it is nevertheless interesting.

2:39 PM

I'm excited...


I'm in for the half.

10:43 AM

Reliving My Days as a Cheerleader

Prior to Sunday, I was bummed about not running the marathon. BUT - little did I know how much fun I would have cheering. For a full recount of the weekend, see Heather's blog. Plus, she has all the great pictures...

I'll just add a few additional thoughts. I had a lot of fun going out there and it was wonderful to see how many people seemed excited to see me. It was also quite interesting for me to be on the other side of the curb. Specifically, I was able to see ALL of the participants and really did notice a difference in people. With a few exceptions, those runners who finished in 4:15 or less looked much better than those with slower times. I was amazed at how fresh the 3:40 pace group looked whenever they pasted through mile 24. Makes me want to train harder and get into better shape. I know that being well trained is part of it; however, the more time that one is on the course, the harder it gets. That said, this weekend renewed my quest for the four hour marathon. Suddenly, with a little work, it doesn't seem like its that far off.

1:43 PM

December 19, 2008

Its been a while since I've posted and I need to bring things up to date.

November and December were a strange months for me. After having great runs, things began to quickly go downhill. I just couldn't run very well. On several occasions, my heart rate would inexplicably go up to around 180-190, I'd get dizzy and would experience what I thought was an asthma attack. On December 3, I went to my doctor (a fine GP at the Baylor clinic) and was suddenly in the midst of a full-scale cardio workup. Within two days, I had an EKG, chest x-ray, echocardiogram and started a 48 hour holter monitor. By the way, if you have sensitive skin, a holter monitor is no fun... I looked like I'd been attacked by leeches for the week after the test. Next, on December 15, I had a "fun" test where they do an ultrasound through the esophogus.



The tests showed that I had a 1 cm hole between the left and right side of my heart (artrial septal defect). The picture shows where the hole was and the difference between the normal heart and one with the defect.

On December 19, I had the procedure done to correct it. Rather than being a 1 cm hole, my cardiologists (another great Baylor doctor and his fellows) determined that the hole was actually 2.2 cm. (which completely explained why i was so symptomatic). I now have a nickel-titanium mesh patch in my heart that closed the hole.

I marvel at modern medicine. My options to fix this were this patch and open heart surgery. One requires weeks (maybe months of recovery) and the other was less than a week. I was able to be released from the hospital in just over 30 hours and was back at work on Monday. It is amazing.

On the afternoon of the procedure, I was already able to breathe better! At first, I thought that it was simply in my mind. However, my cardiologist explained that the right side of my heart and my right lung had been processing 180% of the blood that they should have been - my heart and lung were doing almost twice as much work. I feel so much better now; I am still amazed at the difference.

Running has been phenominal. I have rediscovered my love. Plus, its just a lot easier now. Running by heart rate, my pace is about 30 seconds per mile faster! Who would have thought!