Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Finish Line

(I would like to apologize in advance for the horrible formatting on this post.  I have no idea why I can't do what I used to be able to but I'm tired of fighting with it. LOL)

Well, the day finally came and went....and what a day it was!

I left for New Zealand Sunday February 23rd and arrived there one accidentally free Sky Couch seat and $350 in extra baggage fees later on Tuesday morning February 25th.  My Mom and friend Carol were on the flight with me.  We had rented a van for the first 10 days or so of our trip as we figured it was cheaper for my bike box once we were in the country and it would also allow us to sight-see the country on the 3+ hour drive from Auckland to Lake Taupo.

At the Avis line waiting to get our van.
Let's just face it, our van was badass:

We survived the drive on the wrong side of the road to Tui House in Taupo.  It was old but 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, private courtyard, and about a stone's throw from the lake.  It was awesome!
Tui House
We had 3 full days and four sleeps before the race and that turned out to be a perfect amount to acclimate to the time change, the fact that it was now the end of summer instead of mid-winter, and that I had a huge race on that Saturday.

Practice swim in the Lake a few days before the race.  The water was completely clear and perfect temp for wetsuit swimming!!
The day before the race I got to go to the tiny little Taupo airport and pick up Chris.  It was soooo good to see him, he always calms me down.

My one complaint, besides not enough aid stations on the run course, was the fact that athlete check-in occurred one day and one day only.  This makes for long lines.  Not fun!  Ok, so it was still fun and exciting and I got these awesome dorky pics while doing it!:
Sign your life away

The asian bracelet lady got right in on the fun pics:)
Bracelet is officially on!

All athletes sign the flag

Nope, no stuff required for an Ironman

Maybe I need help now....

After waking up every single hour, my alarm finally goes off around 0430.  I feel sick to my stomach, am already crying from nerves, and am trying to figure out how I'm going to eat a bagel with peanut butter when all I want to do is throw up.  It's just another long training day...with aid stations  I tell myself, but it's a big deal still because of all the things that can go wrong to keep you from getting to that finish line.  I know, you're not suppose to think about these things but you really can't help it. 18 months of blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifice, plus thousands of miles and dollars spent and I am sure as hell not going home without hearing Mike Reilly at the finish!
I was ready to puke
I had checked everything in with me the day before so all I had to bring down to the race that morning were all my special needs bags, water bottles to fill my bike up, and my swim bag that I could put my dry clothes in to get back at the finish line.  It was chilly out and shaking but I think most of that was nerves.  We walked the ten minutes to the town center and transition and I dropped everything for the bike and headed down to the water.
Chris and I walking to the swim start.

The native people of New Zealand, the Maori's, did a pre-race/swim ceremony to bless the water for safe passage.  It is a sacred place to them and they allow the Ironman race every year to use it.  It was very cool and took my mind off of what was coming in next next 30 minutes.  I said goodbye to everyone and went down the chute to get in the water and acclimate myself to it so the cold on my face wouldn't be such a shock when the race started.
One last good luck hug!
Now, placing yourself in a good position at the swim start is honestly the hardest part of the race, bar keeping yourself from puking before it begins.  New Zealand and the other international Ironman races have not yet adopted the seeded swim start like it's North American counterparts so it is still a "washing machine" when the gun (in this case, cannon) goes off at 7am.  It was a simple one-loop swim course but the buoys were super tiny and not the giant large inflatable triangles we are used to seeing in the states as lane and course markers.  Most people seemed to be staying towards the beach and shallow area where they could stand so I made my way out to the farther spot from the beach that put you in line with the buoys.  Surpisingly, this was the most direct route and the route that had the fewest people too.  Score!  I just swam around with my face in the water for about 20 minutes, mentally telling myself over and over that it's just a big group swim....cause those are so much fun. Ha!  One of the huge perks to this course is that Lake Taupo is so incredibly clear that you can see the bottom and everything on it. This helped as I just looked for things and kept my mind busy.  The loud speaker was not easily heard from my position so I only heard "One Minute!" and then the cannon went off and we were off!

Getting myself into the water before the start was the best thing I could've done for myself.  I started swimming straight for the first buoy and just told myself This is YOUR race.  Don't race anyone else.  Just keep swimming! (I seriously don't know how Disney and "Dorrie" haven't made a deal with Ironman yet:))
I'm about as far to the front of the line on the right as you could get.
I didn't really have any issues on the swim.  The buoys were so small and the splashing so great that I literally just followed splashing (not always the best idea if the person in front of you doesn't sight very often) but mainly the line of SUP'ers and kayak swim support people that were making a line to keep the two directions of swimming from crashing into each other.  They even made lots of noise and informed me when the turn buoy was coming up.  So helpful those volunteers:)  I got my goggles kicked off once so I had to stop to fix those.  Then that fix leaked so I had to stop again, but after that it was stroke, stroke, breathe, repeat.  I found old tires and golf balls and swim caps all over the bottom of the lake.  The swim caps were so freaking small mine barely stayed on my head, as evidenced by my "swim exit" picture.  LOL.  Either way, I made the swim in 1:25:00 and was super excited!
I told you it was a small swim cap
 Now T1 was about a 400+m run (thankfully they carpeted it all) from the marina and beach where we exited the swim up a hill and two flights of steps to the changing tents.  This being my first Ironman, it was also my first experience with a mass changing area and volunteers that do everything for you.  They take wetsuits off, dry you off, put sunscreen on you, unwrap nutrition items, dump your bag out so you can find stuff you need and then repack it when you are ready to go.  I actually hesitated when I got up because I was so out of my element I though I was forgetting something.  It really was too easy.

At this point, I run to find my bike third row from the end, directly down from the port-a-pottys, find my bike, everything is in place, and take off running for the bike exit.  At this point I'm starting to get chilly because the air is still cold even though the sun is warm and I'm soaking wet.  

Time to ride!

The bike course was a 2 loop ride that took you inland away from the lake, past a bunch of cows who looked at you like WTF? and then back into town again to then start over.  It was an awesome course in that it had just enough hills and downhill to not feel like you were doing too much of either.  The hills were the first 4-6 miles and then again the last 8-10 miles of the loop back before you hit the downhill into town again.  I was averaging about 18 mph on the first outward and felt awesome.  The apparent headwind and downhill were a great combo to make my confidence go up.  As SOON as we hit the turn-around out in Reporoa there was a WALL of wind that just hit you and made you go Uh Oh.  The sun was shining and it was a stunning day so I didn't mind, although the roads in New Zealand are just gravel with a thin seal so they are extremely rough and there was a 1.1km section of road that was not sealed and going over that FOUR times was a bit brutal.  I never actually got hot on the ride as, again, the air was cool even though the sun was warm.  At the end of the first loop I as starting to doubt myself.  The headwind was really strong and I knew what time I wanted to be off the bike by to give myself the best chance on the run course.  I was very happy to see bike special needs about 8 miles into the second loop as my legs were dead from that headwind and uphill.  I got off my bike for about 5 minutes, ate something, refilled my nutrition, hit the port-a-potty, and then took off again feeling refreshed.  Little did I know that even though I reapplied sunscreen twice it wouldn't be enough.  The second loop wasn't bad and the headwind had died down a little bit, but, like always, everyone and their mother passed me on the bike so I was surprised when I was on the return that there were still a few people behind me.
Chris and my Mom
Start of the second loop out of town

Shading each other while stalking me on the bike course

Someone's a fan!
On the second loop out of town.
I gotta hand it to my support crew, the bike was probably the hardest part to spectate as it was middle of the day so they were getting scalded by the sun, it took the longest amount of time, and they only got to see me a couple times.  Although they did pop up in way more places than most people's support crews!  Talk about an effort!

By the time I came back into town on the second lap, my butt and neck were extremely ready to get off the bike.  If I didn't have such a bad neck I would be much more tolerable of the pain from the ride.  I would much rather my legs hurt than my neck.  No amount of Biofreeze was helping me that day.

My butt was so happy to be off my bike!  I was so happy to be off my bike!  112 miles is a long way, but it honestly didn't feel any longer than some of my training rides and I never did 112!  This is where the silver lining to training inside ALL winter for an IRONMAN comes in handy....ANYTHING is better in comparison.

Now T2 at an Ironman is awesome because you get off your bike, hand it to a wonderful volunteer, and don't see it again until you pick it up.  Or in this case, your boyfriend picks it up for you with the freinds/family pick-up ticket and has it already back at the house before you are half-way done your marathon.  I grabbed my T2 bag from the volunteer in the line with my number in it (after 2/3's of the sports being done, it's much harder to discern your number from the categories and therefore find the correct aisle to run down to grab your T2 bag).  Turns out my blistering sunburn could be part of the reason I was having a hard time.

I sat down, went through the same routine as T1 (sans the wetsuit and being soaked), put on more sunscreen, hat, running shoes, body butter, grabbed my small water bottle and took off out of the tent to the port-a-potty (use it when you can and there's no line during an Ironman, I say) and then onto the run course.

Now what I failed to mention about the bike course is that they gave you these really brightly colored, thick hair elastics at the two turn around points as an indicator that you in fact went the entire distance, as well as reading off your numbers and having the timing mats placed accordingly.  This was not as difficult as you would imagine as you would have a volunteer standing in the roadway with the elastic as wide as they could get it and you would stick your arm through it as you went through.

They had these for the run as well but it was 3 loops instead of 2 and as I was starting out it was a little deflating to see so many people with one and two and three bands already on their arms.  They were way more done than I was.

The sun was still shining bright and my left knee hurt getting off the bike so my plan was to run 5 minutes and walk 1 so that I wouldn't go too much too fast, nor would I take advantage of walking.  When I left T2 I had 7 hours and 40 minutes to complete the 26.2 mile run I had ahead of me.  It was enough time that I could mentally relax because I knew I could do it even if I had to walk the entire way.

Julia, Chris, and Carol out on the run course

The first lap I did in a really decent time, I think averaging about 11 minute miles and then at around mile 10 or so I started to feel sick.  There was no way I was going to let myself throw up and have any officials or med staff see me for fear they might pull me off the course.  NO.FUCKING.WAY.
The run goes right long Lake Taupo and you wind up into a neighborhood, around to the three chutes that are labeled "1st lap" "2nd lap" and "3rd lap" respectively (as you also curse those ahead of you) and then back again.  I got to see my AMAZING support crew of my Mom, Chris, Carol, and Julia so many times it was awesome!!!!!
Running 5 and walking 1 turned into walking until I felt the nausea pass and then running again only to have it return.
Blurry but the "I hate you" look is clearly visible.  This was during the nausea lap.
 I finally figured out that I drank too much water.  I stopped drinking water, threw away my Gu's (one more of those things touching my lips and I would've been heaving) and I started to feel better.  Second lap sucked (especially watching those people a lap ahead of me going through the "lap 3" chute and getting the coveted orange bracelet), but the third lap was actually almost enjoyable.  The pain was there but honestly, it wasn't as hard as a regular marathon.  Seriously.  It got dark on my third lap and they gave out glow sticks we had to have on us.  I was also pretty cold at this point but refused to wear a poncho and have that in my photos.  Call me vain.  Whatever.  LOL
I got about 3.5 miles into the third lap and went by a guy who was on his first lap.  I wanted to cry for him.  I still don't know if he made it across the finish line but I don't think he did.
I got my ass in gear and it could've been the adrenaline, knowing that looking at my watch I would absolutely finish in plenty of time to be called an Ironman, or the fact that I was cold and ready to be done moving, who knows.  I made it to the wrist band station and did a little happy dance and proclaimed that orange was my new favorite color!  The volunteers cheered and laughed and sent me on my way.  Less than 5 miles to go and I never had to run that way again!

This guy was #666...LOL
The last 5 miles were a blur of cheers from my support crew who had by then gotten the van and were EVERYWHERE on the course and cheers from strangers saying things like "Heading home! Thatta girl! and Go get that finish line!"  They had all figured out the wrist band colors, too.  I could've cried with excitement every time they mentioned the finish line.
We ran along this lakeside walking path for a couple miles before we hit the last 2 mile stretch to town and it was very dark and hard to see in places.  Coming out onto the main street with people and music and lights was awesome.  About a quarter mile from the finish line was a big stage with a DJ/MC who was just standing there in the middle of the path waving and smiling at me.  I can't even describe how elated I was at that point.  I turned the corner and ran parallel to the finish line as it was a giant, almost complete circle to get to it around the grassy field and into the chute with the red carpets laid out.  I had already decided ahead of time that if time permitted and there was anyone near me when I was ready to finish I would back off because gosh darnit! I wanted that finish line to myself!  I have been waiting for FOREVER to hear Mike Reilly say my name.
I'm almost done!!!!!
I would love to say that I remember seeing the crowds and hearing the music but it was almost an out of body experience in that finishers chute.  I had it completely to myself, no one in front, and no one close enough behind to even see.  The crowd was cheering so loudly, the red carpet was laid out, the lights were so bright I couldn't even see the crowd or any of my friends and family, but as I got almost to the finish line Mike Reilly came on the loudspeaker and said "She's 30 years old, Kelly Maloney, from Portsmouth, USA, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!!!"
This is the moment just as Mike Reilly said
"YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!"  They captured it perfectly:)
The Aftermath

I was happy, I was tired, I was sore, I WASN'T hungry but coke tasted amazing.  I got a post-race massage and was shivering so badly they called the medics over and wouldn't let me leave the tent until I stopped.  About 45 minutes later, I was out and my favorite people were there to greet me.  What a day it had been and what a day THEY put in.  The following is that night and the following day in pictures:

Yay I'm done!

Me and my Mom

Why hello chafing and sunburn

New number system.  Doesn't come off

Oh, yes, my age group category as well so I don't forget

Don't even know how I got a garter belt burn on my
 leg but it is still there 3 weeks later

Our super sweet free Ironman sunglasses.  

My puppy learned how to write in Maine
while I was in New Zealand!

Oh, and I was awake about 5 hours after I went to bed that night bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and not nearly as sore as I thought I'd be.  When it was twice as bad the NEXT day I realized that when I woke up it was only like 8 hours after I finished the race and it hadn't even set in yet, LOL.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wildflower 70.3 should really be named "Wild Mother F****er"

That was probably the hardest thing I've ever done!  That was an absolutely brutal course, and then add in heat, headwinds both ways on the bike, a run that was more like a hike up a mountain, and then a bad swim.  I'm just happy to have finished!  They ran out of water with 20 miles left on the bike for the slower people.  That was awesome.  My feet were also in excruciating pain during bike and run because of the rough gravel that we had to run up from swim.  I didn't mind an uphill run from swim but the fact that there were no rugs or anything made it very painful. 

Here's the breakdown:
The swim didn't even go well and that's usually where I can do decently.  10 minutes slower than my normal time.  I couldn't breathe right off the bat and my right shoulder seized up immediately and stayed that way (even as I type it hurts to move my neck).  I don't know if it was my wetsuit but it may have been.  I need to figure that out before Rev3 OOB August 25th!  It wasn't a panic attack or anything as I am very comfortable in the water.  So not a great start.

The bike, again, was brutal.  B-R-U-T-A-L.  There was a headwind the entire time and I really didn't think it was possible to go up that much without going down...but alas, it was.  The two big downhills were nice, but with the wind I had to brake a bit so I didn't get blown over.  I made it all the way up Big Nasty so that was a small accomplishment.  I think finding a 56 mile hill and riding it as much as possible would be good training for this course. I'm still a little baffled that they ran out of water with at least 20 miles to go for the slower people (A.K.A. ME!)sucked, but I had enough in my Speedfill to get me through, thank goodness I got water at each aid station just to top off before they ran out.  A triathlon that has been going for 31 years that has that difficult of a course absolutely needs to make sure that they have enough water, especially for those at the back of the pack who are struggling!

The run.  Oh the run.  I got to transition and was limping off the bike, happy to have made the cutoff but unsure how my feet and knees would handle a half marathon.  I was in pain with every step, but eventually that went away.  Honestly, I walked about 60% of it and ran when I could.  I just kept looking at my watch saying "I am going to finish this course if its the last thing I do!"  It was a race against the clock, a first for me, and hopefully a last as well, but considering it was an uphill hike the first few miles, my time isn't all that bad. LOL.  There was a girl named Ashley I met maybe near mile 7 or 8(?) who I ran with the rest of the way and she helped me finish in time. 
I don't know if I drank too much water but I felt sick almost the entire run.  I think I just got back to a "normal" color pee today (Monday) so I'm not sure too much water was the case.  The last 2 miles was sheer determination.  I wasn't even in that much pain I was so focused on finishing in time.  Thankfully that downhill helped my last mile to the finish, although I think if I hadn't of been so determined my quads would not have held up.

Never been happier to see a finish line!!!!! One perk to finishing at the back is that I got the finish line to myself:)  My friends were there to cheer me on and I got my medal and I got to stop moving forward with a time part of the day.

There was a girl we were with this weekend who is a Mom and she said that the course was harder than childbirth.  I think that says something.  There were also a lot of seasoned Ironman athletes saying that with the course profile, and the conditions Saturday, that it was as physically challenging as doing a full Ironman.  At least I now know that I will finish IMNZ:)  HAHA.

I definitely had to remind myself how lucky I was to be able to feel pain and how many people would give anything to even be that miserable just to have feeling in their limbs and body again.  
I got to see some great friends this weekend and meet some awesome new ones.  Totally worth the 7.5 hour drive:)

Overall, I think a Mark Twain quote sums it up perfectly.   
"I'm glad that I did it.  Partly because it was well worth it and chiefly because I shall never have to do it again." 

I'll go cheer, but unless I get good at hills and start enjoying them, I don't think Wildflower will be in the cards for me again.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

One and Done: Things I've Learned/Remembered About Endurance Training in the First Month

Well, the first month is done.  Amazing how fast a month goes when you are training and working and working and training.  It's like a day, maybe.

This will be short, but the things I have learned and/or remembered about endurance training are as follows:

1.  Always pre-map your routes, especially when you move to an unknown area, so you don't bike/run twice the distance.

2. Buy more food/Bring more food

3. Alarm clocks suck anytime before 9am.  This is 7 days a week when training

4. You chance of hitting/being attacked by wildlife greatly increases the earlier in the day or later in the evening you train

5. Always carry TP

6.  Buy more food/Bring more food

7. You will be tired/hungry/awake/crazy from now until after the race is over.  Then you will be even more tired/hungry/awake/crazy.

8. Race registrations cost a lot.

9. Handlebar tape will come undone when you are farthest from your car and/or a bike shop

10. Circle swimming=Thumbs down

11. Buy more food/Bring more food

12. People will wonder why you seem so awake and you will wonder how you are faking it so well

13.  Find good running tunes and change them up often....Van Halen's "Why Can't This Be Love" is an awesome one....for now.

14. Sunscreen.

15. Buy more food/Bring more food.

Happy Training!!!

T-minus 17 months!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Well-Intentioned 4 Day Weekend Away....

Intentions.  Good ones.  I had them.  I really did.  Intentions to get my running in while I went to Montreal and Vermont last weekend for a friend's wedding.  Guess how long that lasted?

Now I know I am not the only one who has done this....I hope, or I'm going to feel like a HUGE slacker.  I even made room in my tiny carry-on (cause let's face it, I'm not paying $25 for a checked bag) for my running gear including hat, GPS (very useful in foreign country!), some gu's and my hand held water bottle!  First morning there, even after drinking two bottles of wine the previous night (I'm on vacation and I shared so :P) I got my butt up and went running....Didn't set an alarm cause who cares when you're on vacation and the weather doesn't hit 100 by noon.  It was a beautiful run in my most favorite kind of weather and it reminded me why I love to run.  I love to run to burn off the drinking calories but I also actually love to run for that freedom in the cool weather....No, this feeling does not hit when it's 100 out and I actually despise anything in 100 degree weather besides sitting in a pool or the ocean.

Now we drove to the wedding site in Vermont 4 hours away and had a great mini road trip there.  Hit the store, the hot tub, and then the family and friends pre-wedding gathering at the bonfire with S'mores.  Oh, you must remember diet rules go out the window when on vacation.  Even with the best of intentions I succumbed.

Wedding morning was suppose to be a 10 miler.  Hurt my knee to the point where I couldn't actually bend it without pain and it wasn't form the IT band side.  That was all the excuse I needed to not run the next morning...That and the other bottle of wine and some beer we had.

Wedding reception was a blast and included lots of beer.

Mini-road trip back to Montreal was a blast and when we got to Montreal it included lots of wine.

Next day in Montreal was amazing and included lots of wine and vodka.  I did walk like 5-10 miles in the city so that has to count for something.

Now it's leaving day.  Getting on a plane across the country for a 6-7 hour ride into the jet stream so I thought maybe, just maybe I should get my ass out of bed and do a little run.  Managed to do two miles with sprint intervals.  Not bad for a slacker who's done nothing but eat and drink her way around the Northeast the last 3 days.

I love mini vacations.  Not only for the piece of mind and rejuvenation you get from being away from "the grind" but in seeing good friends, not being on any kind of schedule, and doing whatever you damn well please.

My travel bug came back full force and I almost cried when I had to get on the plane back to SoCal again.  I have two parts of me and I still don't know which one will make me happiest.  One wants to find a place to settle down and have a great house and the other, more likely the slightly louder one, wants to forget everything and just go travel and see that big bright world.  There is a lot in it and my spirit is called to see it more times than I'm prepared for.

Back to the, working, but keeping my wandering soul free to allow me to see any new opportunities that come my way....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How Do You Kill a Hard Earned Downhill? Let Me Count the Ways....

So about a week ago, George and I did a 25 mile Camp Pendleton loop in the middle of the day in 95+ degree weather.  Not so smart.  I am not a creature of the heat and I ran out of water about 8 miles from the car.  It also took us a ridiculous 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete.  Yes, that is a whopping 10mph.  I could feel my brain expanded as far as it could against my skull and was just waiting for it to self-combust.  Like this:

So Tuesday I got my ass out of bed at 445am and drove to Oceanside and was on my bike by 6am...5:55 if you will.  It was dark and I really couldn't see what was in front of me the first 3 miles or so until dawn so the fact that I was not, in fact, thrown from my bike into the abyss that is the sideline of the San Luis Rey River Trail, eaten by a pack of coyotes, sprayed by a skunk, or attacked by a hungry homeless person who sleeps out there (I wouldn't blame them since my new fav bike food, the Honey Stinger Waffles, are delicious, although I would put up a fight), I consider the first 3-5 miles a huge success.

Now I got off of the San Luis Rey Trail (Let's just call it SLRT from now on) about 6 miles in onto College Ave and then take a right on to Vandegrift that is the main road that loops through Camp Pendleton.  This being morning rush hour for those sexy men in uniform, there was a TON of traffic and I took my turn going up to the gate and showing my ID (no warrants out for my arrest yet!!).  Continued on that course in the cool, misty, overcast morning and was stoked to do that same 25 mile loop in an hour and 40 minutes!!!!  WAHOO!!!  That's like 15 mph so literally 150% faster than last time.  I told you my body doesn't like heat.

My gripe:  There are two decent uphills on this loop, which are, as to be expected, followed by some decent downhills made all the better because you EARNED them.  HOWEVER, nothing kills a hard earned downhill better than a red light either half way down or right at the bottom (especially when the bottom then dips right back up a hill that you were hoping to have some go-juice on)
OR a pedestrian in a freaking crosswalk.  Coming up to the road with that smug look on their face like "HAHA you have stop for me."  Fuckers. I'll go through you!!!
What I wish the signs said at every crossing at the bottom of a nice downhill...with bikes in place of the cars

I finished the loop and did an extra 5 miles out again onto the SLRT and then back to get my 35 miles in prescribed by my coach.  It is an awesome feeling to have done a rockin' workout and look at your watch and it only be 830am.  

Mixed up my protein shake and drank that as I drove to my friend's house to shower before work.  I now know why people always carry those travel mugs with a beverage in them while driving.  There is something amazingly calming about holding a travel mug with a beverage in your hand while driving that calms you down and makes your little world seem right, to the point where you don't even care about traffic or red lights or idiot drivers.  Or maybe that's just the endorphins...

Monday, September 10, 2012

First week comes to a close....

Well, week one is done and not without a little soreness.  I decided 5 weeks ago that it would be a good idea to sign up for the Heart Break Ridge 13.1 on Camp Pendleton despite the fact that there were no finishers medals and I hadn't really been running.  At all.  The most I wound up running at any one point in time was about 4.5 miles.  Yep.  Awesome training plan right?

Anyways, race day arrives and its about 90 degrees, really humid, and there is no breeze OR shade on this course whatsoever.  The hill itself, one of the more family friendly named ridges on Camp P., wasn't really that bad.  Yeah, it was steep, but it wasn't that long and the rest of the course was fairly flat...just hot.  They had water stops at just about every mile or two which was perfect.  I doused myself every time just to stay cool.  This New England girl cannot heat regulate very well!

Now, to get to the good part of this race....Marines:)  Ok, Ok, most of them are probably married but they were all running the opposite direction on their way back while I was on my way out and they were shirtless and glistening.  I guess that beats a finishers medal even though I don't get to take them home with me.

No IT band issues during the race, surprisingly since I didn't train much at all, but just sore the last two days since.  Luckily working at a running store allows me to foam roll during my downtime:)

Other than that I got a few short runs in before the race, my first swim back which felt amazing seeing as swimming is my strength and just feels good, and even a recovery ride yesterday morning after the race of 20 miles with George.

It definitely feels awesome to be back on a workout schedule and working towards a huge bucket list check!

Monday, September 3, 2012

And so it begins....

Workout #1: Worst run I've had probably since January when I did the Carlsbad half marathon two days after having food poisoning.

I guess the plus side is that my Ironman is 18 months away.  The other plus is that my view was along the cliffs of southern California overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  Other than that, I felt like I was taking 2 miles of steps forwards while really actually not going anywhere training wise.  There are SO many people out on weekend mornings here in SoCal so there is no end of inspiration and "get your fat ass off the couch-ness."  Will most likely be needed during those days and weeks that I know are coming that will be just like today.  The days where workouts are terrible and the road seems too long and you start to question whether or not it's worth it.  Obviously it is, it's just a matter of finding that thought or feeling or thing that can get you back to your focus and make you keep on trucking.

Again, I know it's the VERY beginning, but it just stinks to start out with a workout that just BLOWS. Just reminds me how very far I have to go before crossing that finish line in New Zealand.