Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday Thirteen - Post IRONMAN Plans


1. Cook! I'm thinking of buying a Kitchen Aid with a pasta maker because after the week in Italy I want fresh pasta EVERYDAY!

2. Blog and Post more pictures - I still haven't blogged about my FABULOUS trip to Italy.

3. Work out without a mission. Oh wait, I have Marine Corp Marathon coming up in October, I guess that's a mission.

4. Sleep in on the weekends. But not last weekend. Or the weekend before that. And certainly not this weekend.

5. Re-engage my OCD when it comes to cleaning my house (and maybe even Dude's house). The dust bunnies are taking over.

6. Home Improvement! I have pictures to be framed/hung, a garage door opener that needs replacing, a back garden that is overrun with weeds, and carpet that needs replacing.

7. Find a new "physical" hobby. Climbing? Kayaking? Different classes at the gym?

8. Get involved with a charity. I'm thinking Girls on the Run or seeing if Holly needs runners for her Cancer to 5K program.

9. Seriously look into getting a dog. Seriously!

10. Spend more quality time with Dude. He deserves it after putting up with my IMS obsession for a year!

11. Get back in touch with my non-triathlete friends that I sadly have not had time for in the past year. (Not that I'll ever abandon my triathlete friends -- love you guys!)

12. Plan/take a couple trips that don't require workout clothes!

13. Remind myself DAILY that I AM AN IRONMAN and that I had the perfect day so there is NO NEED to do another!

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Random Thoughts...


I know I want a tattoo commemorating that I AM AN IRONMAN but I can’t figure out what design I want. Not sure I want a trademarked logo.

I am looking forward to heading to Lake Placid this weekend to watch Ironman USA. Lots of friends/training partners racing. I can’t wait until they can repeat after me: I AM AN IRONMAN!

I’m NOT signing up for Ironman USA 2010 – why should I? I already AM AN IRONMAN!

They didn’t have the greatest MDot stuff in Switzerland so I’m going to go a little crazy at the Expo tent in Placid. I want to bolster the economy while letting everyone know I AM AN IRONMAN!

I didn’t lose any weight while training for IMS (I AM AN IRONMAN). Since then I spent a week eating pasta, Gelato, wine, and cappuccinos. Since returning to the States I’m all about the wine and anything I can stuff in my face. I haven’t exercised since the race. I’ve LOST three pounds.

Tomorrow is Casual Friday but I usually still dress nice. Tomorrow I’m wearing my Finisher shirt (and possibly my medal). I want everyone to know I AM AN IRONMAN!

I watched my Finisher video today (#1220, Jason's with me, Robin is #303) and I can’t understand why it was going so fast – I remember the Finish in sssslllllooooowwwww motion. But still, I AM AN IRONMAN!

I feel sorry for my cubicle mates – they have to hear my “I AM AN IRONMAN” stories every time someone stops by or calls. Yep, I’m THAT annoying person!

Even though I didn’t hear them say it, my new favorite quote is “Esther L – YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

I’ve read my race report probably 100 times just to relive it. When I’m done, I say I AM AN IRONMAN (sometimes out loud).

Of the 2,444 people who registered, only 2,136 people started. Of them, only 1,981 people can say I AM AN IRONMAN!

I wonder if my company would mind if I had I AM AN IRONMAN put on my business card.

OK, so I overdid it here, but seriously, every once in awhile during the course of my day I’ll remember that I AM AN IRONMAN! Whoulda thunk it?!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ironman Switzerland Race Report

It took me over 14 hours to finish the race, hopefully it will take far less time for you to read this. But warning – this is long and I babble…quite a bit.

Before getting into the race report let me briefly run down how IMS differs from “regular” Ironman events:
- 16 Hour Time Limit - No Changing Tents - No Wetsuit Strippers - No Personal Needs Hand-Off - No Bike Retrievers/Catchers - No Body Markings

Basically we are on our own - set up at the bike, at the special needs section on the bike and run you had to find your own stuff. On the plus side, you could have your family/friends hand you food/drinks within 50 meters of certain aid stations.

Week of the Race:
Jason, Robin, and I arrived on Wed and got a run in that evening. Jason and I rode what we thought was part of the race course on Thurs(oops, missed a turn). Friday was registration, far too much walking around, and a great dinner. Saturday was a brick workout, again, too much walking/rushing around, then it was race day. Did final packing on Saturday night (should have done this on Thursday/Friday). It's amazing that my 1,000 lists boiled down to this:

Needless to say I didn’t sleep the night before. I was aware of every muscle in my body and was kicking myself for not relaxing more pre-race. While going through all of my mental angst I kept my eyes closed and focused on long, slow, deep breaths. When the first of three alarms went off at 0330 I kind of felt rested.

Meal Plan / Actual
Oatmeal / Nope
Bagel / ½ Sunflower pretzel (Switzerland’s answer to the bagel) & slice of multi-grain bread
Banana / Check
Clif Bar / Ate half
Coffee / Cappuccino
Bottle Water / Check

Bus left at 0505 arrived at transition at 0530. In memory of spectating in the rain in Lake Placid I had all of my race gear in dry bags (1 each for bike/run), shoes in gallon Ziplocs, and misc gear in another gallon bad. The race had provided us with bike covers so I used that as my base layer on the ground. As an added bonus I was right next to the Elites so I had Astroturf close by to avoid standing/sitting in dirt.

Around 0615 – 0620, I finally started to head to the swim start and ran into Robin’s friends. Two of them had yet to make it back to the hotel (reeking of booze) and had a huge picture of Catherine Deneuve that they had taken (stolen) from a bar. So, after many photo ops (which completely took my mind off of this silly little thing called Ironman) we finally went to the swim start.

Swim: Estimated 1:30, Felt Like 1:30, Real Time: 1:28:24

Cool thing about IMS is there is a separate swim start area for the women. On the down side it is WAAAAYYYY outside of the men so we had a longer swim to get near the buoys. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Ok, so we were a little late getting to the swim start (damn Catherine Deneuve). We headed into the water to get some practice strokes in and I turned around and saw everyone getting into the water. We were about 5 rows back from the front and in the center. Not where I wanted to be. I asked Robin if she wanted to head a little further back and more outside but we didn't have the time. In the end, we were front and center. I don’t recall hearing a start noise but I looked over to the right (men’s section) and they were swimming. Then I heard people on the dock yelling GO, GO, GO. So I Went, Went, Went.

I mentioned in my short and sweet race report that I didn’t get pummeled, or hit, or anything. It was the most pleasant swim experience. Every time I looked up to sight I had a clear area all around and I had managed to get close to the buoys. Basically, we did three sides of a square, went under a bridge, got hauled out of the water, went across an island, then swam diagonal across the square, did those final two legs, back under the bridge to the opposite shore from the island and out of the water.

It got congested getting to the island but I still managed to avoid contact. As I walked across the island I looked around and thought, “wow, I’m doing Ironman”.

Back into the crystal clear Lake Zurich.

The second loop was longer and my arms were getting a bit tired. I told myself I wasn’t allowed to complain until the last stretch to the bridge. By the time I was there I was comfortable again so no complaints. Made the final turn, swam to the finish, volunteers hauled me up the incline and I walked into transition thinking "one down, two to go". Whew!

T1: Estimated 00:10, Felt Like 00:15, Real Time: 00:6:24
I get into transition and the guys on either side of me were gone so I had plenty of room. I had the astro turf there so I dumped all of my cycling gear out and started to dry off. Did I mention no changing tents? No room for shyness at this race. That’s when I noticed Dude on the other side of the fence taking pictures. Umm, I have to drop trou (sp?) – you know, expose my girl parts to the world, otherwise known as the Full Monty here - please put down the camera. So, I went about putting on my cycling shirt, arm warmers, etc., kind of taking my time so he would get bored and stop documenting. Ahh, finally! I dropped my bathing suit bottoms, shimmied into my undies, lubed up with Chamois cream, into the cycling shorts, shoes, helmet, glasses, and I’m ready. I walked Penny out of transition – no need for the heart rate to sky rocket to save a minute – and started the bike ride.

Bike: Estimated 7:30 – 8:00, Felt Like 7:45, Real Time: 7:14:03 (!!)
Here is the elevation map that I’ve been staring at for a year thinking this won’t be so bad. WRONG! I apparently didn't comprehend the over 4,000 ft of elevation change. My bike computer stops working if I go less then 5mph (steep parts of the hills). When I checked my computer after the race it said I rode 102 miles – that means 10 miles were STEEP hills.

Loop 1 – My heart rate was slightly above Zone 2 so I took the first mile to relax. This area was flat with dazzling views of Lake Zurich. At mile 5 it started to drizzle. Oh, I haven’t described the weather – in a word – PERFECT. Overcast and in the 60’s. The sun would come out for a bit but then it would drizzle to cool us off. *Sigh*

Anyhow, I got into aero and kept my speed between 18-20 mph on the flat. Every once in a awhile I’d look to my right (the lake) and I’d have to sit up to marvel in the view. Around 30km we turned and entered the rolling hills. This section has a lot of farm land so the cows (with their Swiss (Team Z) cowbells) were out in force.

TMI: I had to pee since the 2nd loop of the swim and none of the rest stops had toi toi’s (Swiss word for porta potty). I tried to go on the bike - wasn’t happening. I don't know how you people do this!!! Finally, just past 40km there was a toi toi. Ahhhhh.

More rolling hills and I knew The Beast was coming. I had just passed Robert from FL and we were chatting as we started up the hill. He looked at me and said, I guess this is The Beast. OMG!!!! It was four miles of steep climbing – no flats, no rests, but a spectacular view. See:

Short, fast descent then another 5-ish miles of climbing – not quite as steep but again, this was pure climbing – no rest for the wicked. Another SWEET downhill (looked once and I was at 43mph) including a bit through a tunnel of trees then it flattened out for about 8 miles then Heartbreak Hill.

Team Z peeps – take both Tuesday night ride location’s hills. Double them both, put them together and do them without stopping. That begins to describe this hill. After passing the first band (I swear they were playing the funeral march) I dropped my chain. Yep, now I had to go up this hill from a dead stop. At each switchback I could hear the crowd getting louder so I thought "Oh thank God, I’m almost done with this". NOPE. Another switchback, and another, and another. Finally, there it is, THE hill. Imagine Tour de France – two rows of spectators so the cyclists could only go up single file. The crowd is yelling HOP, HOP, HOP (I assume this means Go, Go, Go). There was a band playing polka music. The announcer called your name. This was the most incredible moment of the race –all these people yelling – for little ole' me! As I reached the crest of the hill one of the spectators gave me a shove up over the crest and I finally was able to catch my breath, take the descent and head back out towards transition and the second loop.

When I got near the transition area the first place male was heading out to Heartbreak to finish his 2nd loop. I'm 99% positive he finished the race before I finished my second loop.

Second loop was much the same. A little more wind on the first area of flats. I kept waiting for the Beast – just to get it over with. My knee was starting to hurt and I started getting worried about the run. Then I told myself to just keep pedaling and worry about the run during the run. Hills were tough (and seemingly never ending) but the descents were still sweet. By the time I got back to Heartbreak Hills the crowds were gone except for Dude (Boyfriend of the Universe), Charles, John, and Yan (Robin’s boyfriend and other friends). Headed back into transition thinking that wasn’t so bad. Two down, one to go.

Nutrition Plan:
Drink ¼ bottle of PowerBar Endurance on the 10, 30, and 50 minute marks (I was wearing a timer). Alternate between 1 Luna Moon, 1 Shot Bloc (Margarita), and 1 Hammer Gel (all with water) at the 20, 40, 60 minute marks. At around mile 40 eat ½ an Uncrustable. I had put a baggie with a picture of my dad on one side and some quotes and a note from Dude on the other. I would flip back and forth to keep track of what I should be eating/drinking. I stuck with the plan except I eliminated the Shot Blocs after two and switched to 2 cheddar flavored Combos. I also ate the whole Uncrustable at mile 40 but that was a bit much.

T2: Estimated 00:10, Felt Like 00:15, Real Time: 00:7:41 – Shocked to see Jason there – I expected him to be about an hour ahead of me between the swim and bike. He waited for me to change and we ran out of T2 together.

Run: Estimated 5:30 – 6:00, Felt Like 5:20, Real Time: 5:22:24
We started running and it was awkward, my legs didn’t quite know what to make of this new movement. I had to go potty again and didn’t want to hold Jason up so I told him to keep going. (I also knew we wouldn’t stay together because I was going to do the 10/2 method and he was going to run the whole thing). Here’s the course (double click for details) – yes, lots of turns, but also lots of opportunity to see people. Robin’s friends were just ahead of Hot Station and Dude and Lori were at Crazy Station so we got to see “friendly faces” four times in each loop.

First lap (Blue bracelet) - Once the shock wore off of my legs I was able to keep a decent pace with the run/walk. About every other aid station I took water since I was carrying my own PowerBar Endurance. No issues on this lap but I was incredibly jealous of anyone with Yellow or Red bracelets. Saw Jason a couple of times but no sign of Robin – I was getting worried. (Not that you can tell in this pic).

Second lap (Green bracelet) – Still no issues. I kept waiting for the pain, the stomach rebellion, something. But I kept chugging along. During this lap I started walking the three small inclines – why not?! I also started eating either 2 chips or 2 pretzel sticks at the aid stations when I got water. At each stop I also grabbed two sponges – cleaned my face, soaked my head, and doused water down my chest. Robin’s friends told me they saw her and finally at the end of my loop I saw her and she was running strong.

Third lap (Yellow bracelet) – Still no issues – what?! This is really when I expected issues. I thought "great, 4th lap is going to suck" - but no time to worry about that now. When I got to Crazy Station Dude told me Jason was just ahead of me and I could catch him and pass him. I remember thinking, "why would I pass him?!" So just after the 3rd turn around (before Water Station) I caught up to him and he said his stomach was “unsettled”. I told him to stick with me, we’d do the 10/2, walk the aid stations, and get this thing done. So he did - grunting and groaning the entire way. Started drinking chicken broth and cola during this loop and kept at it through the rest of the race.

Forth Lap (Red bracelet) – I don’t get it - I remember the marathon in February really, really hurting. Why do I still feel ok? Jason and I kept chugging along – him grunting and having me count down to the next walk cycle. We were keeping to the 10/2 and walking the aid stations and we were quite disappointed when the aid stations coincided with our scheduled walk time. We were heading in for the final stretch and ran into Robin. Big hugs all around – there was no doubt there would be three new Team Z Ironman finishers this day! Jason and I took an early walk break because we didn’t want to be seen walking anywhere near the finish. When we made the final turn and were allowed to enter the finish area I just wanted to sprint. Thankfully, Jason reeled me in, saying “easy, easy, take it all in”…

Nutrition Plan:
Drink PowerBar Endurance every other 10 minutes, eat 1 Luna Moon, 1 PowerBar Burst, and 1 Hammer Gel per hour. But all that got thrown out the window. I drank the PowerBar but depended on the course to feed me. Everyone says don’t try anything new on Race Day, well, my entire eating during the run was brand spanking new. I got lucky that it worked.

Final: 14:18:56

Finish line: The crowd, while dwindling, was cheering loudly. I saw the blur of faces. Jason was on the side with more people so he had more hands to slap but I got a few in. I looked at him in those final moments and said “we really did this”. Then, just like that, we crossed the finish line. I didn’t hear my name, or Jason’s. I was just so happy, so excited, so exhilarated, and so overjoyed. Big hug from Jason, got wrapped in my finisher towel, arms stripped of bands, then I made my way to Dude and got a big kiss. More pictures taken, ate some food, then headed over to watch Robin finish. I turned to put on a long sleeve shirt and completely missed her – cartwheel and all.

Made it back to the hotel, put on my recover pants, and fell into a deep, deep sleep. Woke up the next day and felt surprisingly great. Went and packed the bike box (wearing heels no less), then headed to Lake Como (where you have to climb stairs to get anywhere). Throughout the vacation I waited for the aching, the pain, the soreness but it never came.

I should also note, since then, every time I think about that day I smile and think I Am An Ironman!

And I'm wondering, is it odd that I want to tell everyone that I deal with, from coworkers to store clerks, that I AM AN IRONMAN!

People have asked if I’ll do another one. Right now I can’t figure out why I would. I had the perfect day, a great race, no issues, recovered quickly (if that’s the right word since I didn’t hurt so I didn’t have anything to recover from). Why jinx it. Not that I’m giving up triathlons, I just think 70.3’s and Oly’s will be my thing in the tri world. I'll do more marathons and maybe start doing some distance cycling.

Finally, a boatload of Thank you's need to go out to many people and I’m sure I will miss a few:
Coach Ed for the guidance and for telling me many, many times that I could do this.
Team Z for the support.
Ironman Alumni for the wisdom that you have passed along.
The Lake Placid Ladies who I rode with for the past six months – I can’t wait to see each of you finish your race!
Jason – I told you a year ago we’d either hate each other or be best friends. Well, You are a Great Friend!
Robin – your energy is infectious. Thank you for always staying positive!
Robin’s friends (too many to name) – you brought the Team Z spirit across the pond!
Lori George - for loaning me your husband for the past year, for feeding me Sprungli, for allowing us to use your hotel as a staging area, and for your tireless cheering at the race!
Kat & Kai –for the bike box!
Ken – for saving the day and helping Jason and I get the bike box where it needed to be.
Kerry Kramer for healing me!
And finally, to Dude. I like to say your words got me to sign up for Ironman but it was your continuous support that got me to the finish line. You put up with my moodiness, tiredness, unavailability, boring “vacations” to races. Yet you remained by my side with encouraging words. I am a lucky, lucky woman to have you in my life.

Best of luck to my Team Z peeps doing Ironman USA, Moo (Wisconsin), Louisville, FL, Cancun, Canada, and Beach to Battleship. I said it before - trust in the training! I don't excel in any of the three parts of triathlon. I didn't "deserve" a perfect race day. I don't know how I had such a perfect day but it must have been the training and ZONE 2!

To my blogging friends - never underestimate your abilities. Until I signed up for Ironman Switzerland I had never (and had no desire to) run over 10 miles, cycled over 50 miles, or swam more then a mile. I found an incredible training group and some wonderful friends to train with and just believed in myself.

From Harry Ford: If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Short and Sweet Race Report

This is the short and sweet race report. A more detailed one will be done soon.

I think I had the BEST race experience EVER! I’m not sure, but it may because about two weeks before the race I resolved myself that I was going to continue forward progress until I finished or someone tackled me and took my chip from me. Or it could be because I had a hell of a day getting to Switzerland so all my bad luck was used on Tuesday leaving me with smooth sailing on Sunday.

Swim: 1:28:24
I got touched maybe five times, including the three pats to my ass that I think was someone wishing me luck. No punches, hits, swim-overs, nothing. Best swim in a long time. Just need to work on my sighting. In my defense – HEY Mr Race Director, if you’re going to make your buoys yellow, how ‘bout different color caps!!!

T1: 00:6:24

Bike: 7:14:03
This is a relatively flat course but the hills are TOUGH!!! The Beast was about 4 miles of constant steep climbing. The hill up to Forch was worse. And other then the Tour de France atmosphere Heartbreak Hill sucked the life out of me. Then I had to go around again. In Jason’s words, Lake Placid is nothing compared to this course. I have NO idea how I managed to do the course in this time.

T2: 00:7:41 – Shocked to see Jason there so we ran out of T2 together. But he dropped me when I stopped to use the potty.

Run: 5:22:24
My plan was the 10/2, walk the aid stations when I was getting food/drinks, and walk any incline. And that is exactly what I did. Caught up to Jason in our 3rd lap and we ran/walked the rest of the race.

Final: 14:18:56

No nutrition issues. No feeling of “I can’t go on”. No mental roadblocks. No real pain. No major chafing. No blisters. No stomach issues. No gear failure. Just an all-around PERFECT race.

And just a further testament to my experience, the next day, I was walking around in heels climbing about 1,000 steps in Lake Como.

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's the Day After


So happy with my results.

Race Report...someday

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Today's the day

I'm up, sunscreened, dressed and ready to rock and roll! Ironman Switzerland here I come!

T -11 hours

We have had a great time this week. We've ran, biked, and swam and all agree we couldn't have chosen a better location for our first Iro
nman. I need to catch some Zzzz's so here's a bunch of pics to tell the story.

A pretty church:

Pretty views from the bike course:

View from somewhere just off the bike course (we were lost)

Final sign in, YIKES!!!

It's official, I'm registered:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Travel Day (Tuesday 7 Jul) -- long day = long post

Travel day was suppose to be the easy part of this journey. Get up, finish packing, check in at Reagan, fly to JFK, sit around, then off to Zurich. Easy Peasy, right?!

Not so much!

Really this story starts well before Tuesday so let me give you the rundown.

(Remember this paragraph) Friday - We knew the box was big and would get heavy so I called American Airlines on Friday and spoke with reservations. They told me as long as I only check one other bag, the bike box up to 70 pounds would be free. Up to 100 pounds would be $150. 100 pounds was the limit. They gave me some additional restrictions on size but that was on the Zurich side which did not apply since we're not flying the bikes back.

Sunday evening, Jason came over and we packed the bike box. Our goal was to get as much of our race gear in the box. So, after a couple attempts, one phone call to Kat & Kai, and looking at some pictures that they sent us, the bike box was jam packed.

Here's just the bikes:

Now with all of the gear:

Monday - Dude and I headed to Dulles to weigh the bike box. Oops, it was 130 pounds. We unpacked some stuff and got it down to 99 pounds.

Tuesday morning - I only got 2 1/2 hours sleep last night. Went to swim practice to give Jason some of the stuff we unpacked then headed home to finalize my packing. Zipped my bag for the last time and OFF comes the zipper. DAMMIT! Off to Walmart to get a new bag.

11 am - At the airport (flight is at 1:35 but I want a time cushion) and am told to get in the Special Services line because of the bike box. I get to the counter and the guy immediately charges me $150 for the bike box then he asks how much it weighs. I said 99 pounds and said he thought it would be an additional $100. He makes some phone calls, hangs up and says sorry, it can't weigh more then 70 pounds. So I unpack EVERYTHING from the bike box, including the seats and pedals - all that is left is the two bikes, handlebars and tires and it is still 79 pounds. I am told they can't take the bike box. I ask to speak to a manager and go through the whole spiel and still no go. I tried tears - nope. I am now F-ING PISSED. LET IT BE KNOWN FAR AND WIDE: AMERICAN AIRLINES SUCKS ASS!!!!

I called Jason to try to figure out what to do. He calls his airline and explains the situation and they say no problem - up to 100 lbs. Cool won't fit in his car and he's flying out of a different airport. So I call Ken and yep, he can get the bike box and drive Jason to the airport later in the day. KEN ROCKS!!!! Finally, around 12:55 I make it through security and hear them calling my name for final boarding.

You'd think that would be the end to my horrible, terrible, rotton, no good, lousy day right? Nope.

To summarize the rest 1 hour delay leaving Reagan (in a plane with no AC), 45 minutes on the ground in JFK trying to get to the terminal and a two hour delay leaving JFK. All in all, it was over 8 hours from the time I walked into Reagan and the time I was officially in the air heading to Switzerland.

With all this, Sunday should be a piece of cake, right??

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Two hours later I'm still on the runway at JFK. Good times!
After an exceptionally shitty day (details soon) I am now on the airplane to Zurich. No turning back! In 4 days and many hours I WILL BE AN IRONMAN!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

testing blogging from phone while I drive.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Motivational quotes for Ironman (9 more days!!!)

1. “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

2. "Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside you that yells 'CAN'T", but you don't listen. You just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper 'can'. And you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are". - Unknown

3. "The body can only do so much, after that, mind and soul takes over.”
Karen Bliss Livingston – Elite road racer, captain of the Saturn cycling team

4. "A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey where she will become strong". – Unknown

5. "Pain. Love it, hate it, get angry at it. Breathe it with every breath, feel it with every step and use it. It lets you know you are still alive, more alive than most people will be in their whole lives". – Strauss

6. “Yes, it will hurt! So get over it!” – Unknown

7. "Win or lose you will never regret working hard, making sacrifices, being disciplined or focusing too much. Success is measured by what we have done to prepare for competition". - John Smith

8. “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another”. - Walter Elliott, The Spiritual Life

9. “Never discourage anyone... who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” - Plato

10. “It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.” - Babe Ruth

11. "Courage means being afraid to do something, but still doing it." - Knute Rockne

12. “To tri is to risk failure, not to tri is to guarantee it!” - Adapted from unknown author

13. “The race isn't over until you cross the finish line. You'll be surprised at how much can change in the last twenty strides." ---Jackie Dugall

Plus two bonus quotes:

"It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit."
- George Sheehan

"A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame and money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well."
- G. K. Chesterton

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Brought to you by the Number 10

10 days till race day

10 days to obsess

10 days...

Can I lose 10 pounds in 10 days? Not if today's intake is any indication. In honour of 4th of July people have brought in All-American Apple Pie and United States shaped cookies. It would have been rude to not partake! And the Finance and Accouting team gave me Toblerone chocolate. I think they expect me to wait to open it...

What 10 items am I going to forget when packing? The good part about this question is every time I think about it, I put the item in one of my "to be packed" piles and/or add it to my checklist. I am the Queen of checklists!

What 10 things do I need to do before I leave the States? Get German to English phrase book, Get Italian to English phrase book, Get Euros, Get Swiss Francs, Pack, Buy more nutrition, Fix Wetsuit, Pick up/test ride Penny, Print out Bike Measurements, Print all travel/race information...

I could go on and on but I'll spare you my OCD.

The good news - Still, no panic!