Friday, May 29, 2009

And the winner is...


Grand Hotel Imperiale

44 more days until the day after Ironman!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Potential Scene of Es’ Future

But first, a training/injury update. I am...

... after taking it easy since the Kinetic race. IMS training is now on recovery week so everything is at an easy Z2 pace.
Mon – Plan Off - I hiked the Billy Goat Trail in Great Falls on Monday (minimal pain)
Tue – Plan Swim AM / Bike Off – I Swam and did 30 min on trainer (minimal pain)
Wed – Plan Run 40 min – I did Strength in AM, then did the run at the track (first run since 5/16 and no pain)
Thur – Plan Swim AM / Bike 30 min – Swam and skipped the ride (did 20 minute warm up at PT today and there’s a storm brewing tonight. I’m bagging the final 10 minutes). Besides it’s an Es tradition to skip some of recovery week training for some beer and wing time with the boys.

I do plan on making the team run on Sat then heading to W&OD on Sunday for the two hour ride. And I will do an open water swim on Sunday.

So, I’ve decided on Lake Como for post Ironman. The train trip is 2 hours shorter, straight shot, found a nicer hotel for the money, and it’s just as pretty as Portofino and the other beach-side choices. Also, while this didn’t play into the decision-making process, well, there’s a certain dreamy actor that has a house there.

Now on to the Scene from Es’ Future (Ok, I guess we can call it a fantasy - but a G-Rated one)

Dude and I are at a fancy dinner enjoying a romantic evening. Of course I look fabulous - duh, I’ll be an Ironman so I’ll be glowing, radiant, and I’m with Dude so I’ll have that in-love goofy perma-smile. We hear musicians playing outside and Dude goes out to see if they will come in and serenade us (ok, in my fantasy Dude is obscenely romantic and I got this idea from a friend who’s husband actually did this). While he’s gone, George comes over and starts hitting on me. Not in the pervy-meat-market way with horrible lines, roaming eyes, and intentional pawing. No, he comes over with stars in his eyes ready to offer me the world. So he’s there trying to woo me when Dude returns (with the musicians who couldn’t turn down such a romantic gesture).

Dude: Can I help you?
George: I couldn’t help but notice your beautiful wife. I had to…
Dude: She’s not my wife.
George: Perfect. I hate to do this to you, but I’m going to have to steal her away.
Dude: I’d like to see you try.
George: Come on, I can offer her fame, fortune, a life of leisure…
Dude: How bout you pay us a million dollars to sleep with her (oops – somehow real Dude snuck into this fantasy)
George: I couldn’t do that, once I have her once I know I’d want to keep her forever (which I have to admit is true)
--Lots of banter back and forth as they are fighting over me – voices are raised, there’s even a little bit of pushing and shoving. Finally…

Dude: Well, she’s an adult, it’s her decision.
Es (Takes a LARGE drink of wine- with tears in her eyes): Sorry George – you should have paid the million dollars. While you’re hot, rich, famous, and the most eligible bachelor in the world, you’re still no Dude.

George wanders away, crushed. And wondering what the hell Dude has that he doesn’t.

Besides me, that is.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Post Ironman Plans

Since I can’t train, I’ve been planning our Post-Ironman vacation – the three days we have before heading back to Zurich to fly home. My first plans are in line with this:

Charlie Brown: Well Snoopy, what are your plans for today?
Snoopy: Plans? I hadn't even thought about it. But I suppose I'll sleep a little this morning. Then this afternoon I'll take a short nap and later on I'll try to get some more sleep. Those are good plans!

I’ve decided on Italy, but every time I narrow it down to somewhere, I find something else that looks interesting. First three places are all close together on the Italian Riviera. Last one is in the Italian Alps.

Portofino


Cinque Terre


Rapolla


Lake Como – funny thing – I looked up the distance from Zurich to Como – 112 miles. My first thought was I could bike there. HA!


I wish my decisions were always this tough!!

I’ve also decided I’m splurging for these 3 nights. I made a comment about wanting luxury, pampering, and high thread-count sheets. Dude said, “Why don’t you just bring your own sheets”? Typical male logic!

I'll keep you posted on my decision...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Killin' Me

So, I’m officially injured – pulled tendons behind my left knee.

It started here, destroyed my Half Ironman here, and since then I’ve done basically nothing!

I took all of last week off (other then swimming) because I was hoping it would be enough rest so I could do the weekend events: 18 mile run (my plan was 10) the 100 mile bike ride. Well, my 10 mile run turned into 4.5 mile run/walk. I then went to get my bike adjusted and the 10 minutes of spinning for the fit left me laid up for the rest of the day knowing full well I could not ride the next day. I did sag the ride for the team and I think I picked a good week to miss! There were crazy winds, a detour of hills, and confusion with the cue sheet – a true test of will for my Team Z peeps!

I had an appointment on Monday with Kerri at FastTrack Physical Therapy and Sports Performance and sure enough I woke up and the knee didn’t hurt that bad. Well, I had to give her something to work with so I jumped on the trainer for 20 minutes, then went for a 10 minute run – just enough to inflame the injury. I’m now under strict rules – icing, stretching, a couple of other exercises, a little bit of flat-footed shuffle running and FLAT rides (Hain’s Point or the trainer – no hills). Oh, and I can swim and lift weights. Minimum of two weeks of this and then hopefully I will be able to actually compete at Mooseman 70.3 and still be healthy for the big 20/120 weekend the 13/14 June.

I’m fully on-board with this plan because I know I have to get healthy but it is KILLING ME!

Mainly because when it comes to IMS...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Final Kinetic Thoughts and Happy News


I had to add a pic of Jason & I after our 1st Half Iron Distance race.

Thoughts from the race:
How is that possible that transition was at the top of the hill after the swim but the bottom of the hill for the bike/run?

I got kicked in the goggles for the first time. It didn't hurt, just startling.

Volunteers ROCK! Always with encouraging words and cheers. Love them! On that note - Racers, remember to thank the volunteers for their time!

Horses, traffic, and cyclists do not mix!

I actually like the multi loops in the run. With each one, I just told myself, "Just do this one and see how you feel". It kept me going.

Somehow the race photographer got a picture of me smiling while I was running - I didn't think that ever happened during this race.

I really do cuss A LOT during races.

I'm glad my mom and sister were there, I just wish I wasn't injured!

Team Z ROCKS! Seeing/cheering for all of the green jerseys is a lot of fun and motivating. Note to those of you without team gear - GET SOME! It always feels good to hear "Go Z".

Notice the race belt holding the ice in place!

HAPPY NEWS:
I moved up a lane at swimming today. Tuesday, Ed pointed out something in my stroke and I implemented the change today. What a difference in power! I love it when something just clicks!! I'm now in lane 7 - woo hoo!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kinetic Half Race Report

This was a training race - meaning Zone 2 - so my ultra-stretchy goal was 6:30, real goal 7:00, and worst case 8:00:01 (after cut-off).

Friday - Reviewed Checklist, Packed, Unpacked, Reviewed Checklist, Packed, Unpacked (x's 4). Went to packet pick up and decided to do a quick brick. The water was comfortable and the bike/run gave me a taste of the hills.

Swim - 37:50 (3/13 AG)
Very happy with my swim - easily got in my groove - swam straight (except for the final leg into the finish). Realized I can probably push myself harder at practice because my heart rate was on track and I was quite comfortable coming out of the water.

T1 - 3:07 (4/13 AG)
Usually I'm Speedy Gonzalez in Transition. Had some difficulty getting out of my wetsuit. I had also decided before the race to completely change so I stripped down to the boyshorts (Lindsay smacked me on the ass as she raced out of transition), put on my cycling shorts and Team Z cycling jersey and headed out.

Bike - 3:40:27 (12/13 AG)
Started the bike with my heart rate at 167 so I used the exit out of the park to get it down. Once on the main road my goal was to keep it below 150. Got comfy and pedaled along. My knee was bothering me from the get-go so around mile 12 I stopped and dropped the seat a little bit. Was more comfortable but the pulling on the tendons continued throughout the ride. I also dropped my chain THREE times (and cursed like a sailor a bit louder each time).

I wonder what my time would have been if things had gone well.

T2 - 3:47 (12/13 AG)
Got off the bike and YOWZA! The pain in my knee was horrible. Hobbled into Transition using Penny as a crutch. Coach Ed came over and told me if it didn't loosen up to stop and go grab a beer. He stood talking to me and the whole time I was thinking I have to take off these cycling shorts and get into my compression. So I dropped shorts and changed while talking to him.

Run - 3:12:35 (12/13 AG)
Barely made it out of transition and was not able to run until I got to the hill. By mile one the knee loosened up and I was able to implement the 10/2 run/walk and maintained that for the first loop UNTIL the downhill on the path heading back to the beach. I was running down the hill (and it hurt...bad) when my leg just about gave out. Another Z'er almost caught me and offered to let me lean on her but I told her to go on. I knew (thought) I'd be ok on the flats. Hobbled past the team tent and headed out for lap 2. Again, able to run the 10/2 but this time the knee failed at the downhill at the turn-around point. Pretty much walked the rest of the loop, occasionally running with Heidi until she pulled away. Again, hobbled past the team tent (and the look on Priscella's face just said STOP) but I had already decided I was finishing this fricking race. 3rd lap was pure walking. And in my head I just kept telling myself, "walk with a purpose, no lolly-gagging, this is still a race". My pace was ok but I could no longer bend my knee.

I wonder what my time would have been if things had gone well.

Made it to the finish line and saw the team come down the hill for high-fives and I almost broke down in tears - just seeing the support, hearing the cheers, and finishing my first Half. In the end, I'm so glad I pushed myself to finish even with the pain. Mentally I needed that for Ironman.

Overall - 7:37:44 (11/13 AG) - 1H 7M after my ultra stretchy goal; 37M after my goal; 23M before my worst case goal.

But I finished - that's all that matters!

Nutrition:
Pre: Pancake w/PB and a bottle of water
Bike: 2 bottles PowerBar Endurance, 1 bottle Water, 2 Hammer Gels, 2 Luna Moons, and 2 Shot Blocks - ~350 calories an hour. I could have drank more and there were suppose to be more nutrition but I dropped my Uncrustable BEFORE I even got a bite. Noooooooooo!
Run: 4 Fuel Belt bottles of PowerBar Endurance, 5 Fuel Belt bottles of water, 2 cups of ice, 1 cup of cola, 1 Hammer Gel, and 1 PowerBar Gel Shots (Cola). It was hot so I should have had more liquids. Wasn't sure about the food since I wasn't running.
Post: 2 beers, 3 bottles water, Coke Zero, chicken sandwich, 7-11 turkey/cheese sandwich, 1/2 bag Doritos, 1 medium Slurpee (cola), 1/3 cheese pizza, 3 plain chicken wings.

Lessons Learned:
Changing clothes didn't eat into my transition time that bad.
Still need to perfect nutrition.
I should have gotten my bike fit way back when I bought the bike versus the week before an important race.
Run/Walk method works quite well. When I could run I felt more refreshed after the walk and knowing it was my plan made it easier to start/stop running.
Sometimes uphill is better then downhill.

And finally, I found this quote and thought it was perfect:
"Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic." - Tim Noakes

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My brain needs an on/off switch

Too much is going on: Tomorrow (Thursday) my mom and sister come into town. I’m taking Friday off (it’s the beginning of the month – my busiest time at work). My 1st Half-Ironman is Saturday. IMS is in 66 days.


Here is a sampling of this morning's thoughts while driving to work (I added punctuation, in my head this was a run-on sentence...for 40 minutes):
I have to finish cleaning the spare bedroom tonight. I have to leave early for my massage tonight. I wonder how I can add more calories to my nutrition plan without getting tummy trouble. I need to get my oil changed. When am I going to get my wetsuit back from Jason. Is it ok to strip down to boyshorts in transition? Should I cook mom/sis dinner Thursday night or go out. I still have to pack. Are they (mom/sis) going to like Dude? I need to get maps/all other race stuff printed out today. I owe Julia my new business slides and I still owe Eric that other report. I should stop and get coffee this morning. My legs were cramping during swim last night, I need to eat a banana everyday till race day. I wonder where the nearest Goodwill is…. You get the picture.

It’s to the point I hit a tree this morning. I pulled into a parking spot at 7-11 to get coffee and forgot to put the car in park while I rummaged for money then BAM. OK, it was just a little bump (no damage) but still.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my head is about to explode.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

All things being equal...

...I had a great weekend!

but first, my perseverance quote for the week:
You must have long term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures. ~Charles C. Noble

Saturday was a jam-packed day. The plan was to get my bike fit (check), go on a long run with Jason (check), open water swim at Jason's lake (nope), run home to shower/change (check), see Dude for a little bit (check), then head to Alexandria for the Team Z Ironman party (check). Also had to add a trip to Conte's, a stem install, and a trip back to the bike fit.

The Bike Fit - HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Steve at 90 Revolutions for the Medical Bike Fit. It started with a strength and flexibility assessment. Then the static bike fit where the bulk of the adjustments were made. Once that was done, he video taped my pedaling and made the final adjustments. All in all it took about 3 1/2 hours and was worth every minute. He raised the seat almost 2 inches (more on that later), I had to get inserts for my shoes, wedges, and a new stem (go figure since the seat was raised so much)!

The Run: The route Jason came up was through his hilly, hilly neighborhood. I tested the run/walk after the first 20 minutes and overall we were about 30 seconds slower per mile which I think that was a mix of the run/walk and all of the hills. Legs felt great at the end and I enjoyed the run for the first time in a long time.

No time to swim (but time for a beer) then rushed home to shower, see Dude, then rush back to get my bike looked at with the new stem.

The Party: Showed up 2 hours late (2nd trip to the fitter), missed the group photo but really enjoyed seeing everyone, meeting new people, hearing tales of Ironman past, training ideas, and Pete's funny stories.

Headed home for some much needed sleep. Whew - what a Saturday!

Sunday - Headed out at 0615 for Riley's Lock - it was overcast and drizzling but 60 degrees. Started the ride with Jason (!) and Joanna (!) so yes, I was a little faster with the new fitting and tire not rubbing. Before the first hill I told Jason I was going to have to adjust the seat after the ride because I could feel the pull behind my knee. Stuck with them until I got caught in traffic. Rode with Matt Wolfe (!) and KC (new guy I met at the party) to the first rest stop.

By now the rain was coming down hard and the temperature had dropped. Headed out again and the knee was progressively getting worse.
Mile 19-25: "hmm, this is starting to really ache"
Mile 25-39: "ow, ow, ow" New plan: Go to the mile 71 rest stop and get a ride
Mile 39-44 "holy hell, this fricking hurts" - ignored the detour signs and soon found out the bridge was out. Had to head back up the hill to follow the detour. New new plan = go 60 miles and stop/catch a ride
Mile 44-50 (rest stop) "Expletive, expletive, expletive" - Jason and Matt saw the pain in my face and declared my cycling day DONE! Bought a hot coffee, warmed up in Susan's car, caught a ride back with Ed (and 4 others).

Lessons learned:
Nutrition was spot on - drank even when I wasn't thirsty and even took in extra calories because of the cold.
When you need to make an adjustment - make it! My day would have been completely different had I done that.
There's a thin line between training for mental toughness and stupidity. Thank goodness Matt and Jason stopped me because I'm an idiot and I would have kept going (all the while saying to myself "It's IRONman not SISSYman") and would have ended up injured.
Know thy body and listen to it!

I was disappointed that I didn't complete the ride but looking back it was the best decision. Concentrating on the positive - I did do 50 miles on an extremely hilly course, in the cold and rain. Other then the other crazy Team Z peeps how many other people would do that?!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Poor Penny

I'll start by saying my knowledge of bicycle mechanics is limited to cleaning (hate doing it though), changing flats and putting a chain back on. Other then that I know to get on, pedal, and if something gets in my way...swerve.

I mentioned Penny's yelping in Rumpass Relay Report. I lubed up the chain and only heard it a few times during the sprint. None at all during the Virginia Beach ride. Then Tuesday night was the hill workout. First hill, she was yelping like a hurt puppy so I did a quick lube on the chain. Next hill, more yelping and Matt and Ray yelled at me to lube my chain so I did (again). By the end of the third hill I was ready to disown Penny.

A couple of weeks ago Lindsay offered to clean Penny for me so I took her up on the offer. About 1030 PM I get a pop-up message on Facebook. Here's the shortened transcript (filed conveniently named F-in Bonzai):

10:20pmLindsay
So you're going to be pissed at Bonzai...
10:20pmEsther
why
10:21pmLindsay
and, I'm pretty sure the yelp was not from penny's chain...
10:21pmEsther
ur scaring me
10:21pmLindsay
They didn't adjust back of the bottom bracket correctly... soooooo
your tires been rubbing the wheel cutout
10:23pmEsther
how bad is the cutout?
10:24pmLindsay
You've lost paint about halfway up. at the very bottom, it feels a little warn into the carbon..
... you okay?

---end of transcript---

NO! I'm not ok!

So I took Penny in to Bonzai. They removed the back wheel and I saw her injury for the first time. I had to turn away. Seriously, I couldn't look at it. It goes from a little bit of wear down to worn into the carbon by a couple layers.

Long story short (too late), they wanted to send it to Cervelo and I'd be out a bike for 10 days - something I can't afford right now. Bonzai called Cervelo, sent a picture and they determined she's safe for riding through IMS. After IMS I'll take her back and then she'll be sent to Cervelo.

But here's my thing...
Because the damage is not structural or a frame defect fixing/replacing does not fall under the warranty (Cervelo).
The damage is due to the drop outs not being adjusted properly. Since BONZAI assembled her shouldn't they replace the frame?
Will they once they get the rejection from Cervelo?

Positive thought - I have been training with the equivalent of driving with the emergency brake on.
Maybe...
Perhaps...
There could be chance...

I'll be a little faster now that she's not rubbing.