Thursday, November 28, 2013


This has been a long trip! And it's not over yet…

I am sitting on the floor in the LA airport, for the third time this trip, (on a very long layover) listening to Christmas music and waiting for my overnight flight to Miami, which will eventually connect to my flight to Cozumel tomorrow. I'm thinking if I just close my eyes and ignore it all, eventually I'll just be there. And since it's Thanksgiving and all, can I just say how thankful I am for TriBike Transport?!? I don't know how I would have done this if I had to lug a bike box around. Also, since I've been on the mainland for so long, I'm thankful for big warm hats that cover my ears.

I was thinking today about how I have split this trip into 4 parts in my head. 1st part, Arizona, which was awesome and fun… where I lost my voice but got all inspired watching so many athletes crushing that Ironman- and enjoying doing so. Then I had a few days to kill while waiting for part #2, so I spent my time either training or generally trying to relax.

2nd part, California with Scott's family. This only lasted ~3 days but was good to catch up with them all and I got to reunite with Scott and Moana. A week is a really long time to be away from your 5 year old. I think it's harder now than it was when she was younger. I don't go away without her that often but now that she is old enough to understand me being away, it's harder because she tells me how much she misses me and that tends to break my heart.

3rd part, Lake Tahoe where we got to see my brother and his family as well as my mom. It's been years since I've seen my brother and my nephews, Moana didn't remember much about her cousins at all, and my mom had never really had us all together in one house before, so this was really good family bonding time! (Read: my mom cried a couple times and took a ton of pictures) We did Thanksgiving a day early since I had this Cozumel trip… I might have been a bit overly concerned with my food intake given that I have an ironman in a couple of days… Would have been nice if I could have raced first and THEN gone to see them so I would have felt okay about letting loose a little more, but in the end I think it was fine. My biggest concerns this past week were 1) keeping a handle on my diet and 2) making sure I was getting enough sleep, and I think I did okay on both fronts so that was good! It was freezing up there but I finally figured out how much warmer one can stay if wearing a big warm hat that covers ones ears. (#thankful) Also, going in I was pretty sure my race week training sessions would suck due to lack of oxygen in the air at 6300ft but I was pleasantly surprised that I did not actually suffocate after all, even while flip turning! That said, having seen a bit of the IM Lake Tahoe bike course, I'm more convinced than ever that I should never (read: not ever) attempt to do that race. Ever.

Also, we went sledding! YES! That is me! IN SNOW. I was freezing, but will admit that sledding down that little hill was fun. :)
Moana liked throwing snowballs a lot better than being hit by them.
So now here we are… onto part 4! This week has not been your typical 'race week' and I have not had any typical 'race week' feelings. But like I said, I have compartmentalized each part of this trip so I have not been in 'Ironman' mode at all until now. And even now, I'd say I'm not quite there yet. Part of me thinks I should hurry up and start to get anxious, after all I am doing an ironman in what, 3 days? Or is it 2 now?? Depends on how you count I guess. Either way, it seems this is going to be more of a whirlwind type trip where I won't have much time to sit around and think… which might be good! Don't Think, Just Do. Right?

Part 5 will be when I go home and move into our new house! I bet a few years from now I will look back at these 3 weeks and shake my head and laugh. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013


So all you crazies who live on the mainland and think 30 degrees is not cold or whatever, congrats to you… but shit if I'm not freezing to death here in California! I was out running this morning, officially it was 39* degrees but felt like 29* to me and I swear I just never warmed up at all. I had a decent run and all but on my way home I was thinking I didn't care if this pace was faster with less effort, it's so freakin' uncomfortable to be numb like that and I would not be a runner if I lived here. OK, not a morning runner anyway. Then I read on FB and Twitter about people running in 5-10* or whatever and I try to imagine but just simply can't so I have to stop thinking about it.

If I lived here my hot water bill would bankrupt me. I just want to take hot showers until I parboil myself.

Yesterday I got up early early and made my way over to the Stanford pool for masters at 6AM. Again it was 39* degrees and if my in-laws didn't already think I'm a complete nut job, they sure did after that. She's what?? She's swimming? At 6AM on a Saturday? It's 39*!?! But I wasn't the only one… there must have been 70+ swimmers there! I was shocked. Super cool it was set up long course so I appreciated that for sure, but 7-8 people/lane (x12 lanes) was def new for me considering I typically swim with just one or two other people. Got to swim with Hailey and Jess though and we had coffee afterward too so it was all good.

When Moana is not crying about the skin under her nose feeling all chapped, she is having a blast here with her cousins. Right now her cousin is teaching her how to play the piano and it's super cute! My in-laws also have a new Maltese puppy that keeps passing out from all the chasing. It's a win-win situation when a 5 year old meets a puppy.

Tomorrow we head up to Lake Tahoe to hang with my brother and his wife/family for the Thanksgiving week. My mom will be there too and she is beside herself as this is the first time she will get to be with all 3 of her grandchildren at the same time! So I'm mentally prepping to be even colder than I am now (I went to Target and bought a snuggie- true story- that thing is awesome I absolutely love it). I also find myself wondering how race week prep will go up there at 6500ft? I'll try to not let it affect me mentally anyway, but after freezing to death and not being able to breathe all week, I think I'll be pretty stoked to land in Cozumel when I finally get there!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Some of you may not know this about me, but I used to live in AZ. Graduated from ASU in 1997 and then lived here off/on until I moved to Hawaii in 2004. Arizona is where I lived when I got my first bike and started into this sport of triathlon! Being back here has been nostalgic and surreal in many ways, as I find myself out riding roads and having memories of all the group rides I used to do out here… As a college student then as a young adult you know you move like all the time so I lived all over this valley and consequently have ridden many of the roads here and it's all just really fun to be back and pedaling! I cut my teeth riding on these roads so being back now with the experience I currently have is pretty cool.

My athletes here have been so awesome and welcoming too. HUGE thanks has to go out to Monica, who doesn't even live here, but who drove out from CA with her bike and left it here for me to ride for the week. It's a 51cm Cervelo P3 which is exactly what I ride at home. All I did was jack the saddle up some and called it good to go. Monica you are a gem and I will pay you back soon with a thorough ass whooping! Ask my other athletes, that's how I show love. xoxo

Things have finally calmed down a bit after the crazy jam packed race weekend! (More on that in a bit) I'm staying at Krista and Shane's house this week as they are happily recovering at a beach in Mexico. What's been fun is that I've got a bunch of old friends and athletes here to train with and it's been super fun catching up. Funny though, I have to say I appreciate some alone time for a few days right now. While I love being all social, when I'm surrounded by people all the time I realize how much I also enjoy my alone time. As I get older I'm becoming more and more of a hermit.

Can I just say how awesome the food choices are here in AZ?! I am super impressed with the availability of really awesome fresh whole foods everywhere. I've had some of the best salads ever in the last few days. It feels like a really healthy environment/atmosphere. It's no secret I would have moved here in a heartbeat… but that won't be happening anytime soon as we closed on our new house on Oahu and Scott/Moana moved in over the weekend without me! Scott says there are plenty of boxes waiting for me in the garage so I'll have lots to keep my busy when I return home in a few weeks. :) We had a little scare when my favorite cat ran away during the move process… he is afraid of pretty much everything/everyone but me so I suspected the move would cause some anxiety in him but it never occurred to me he'd completely disappear! In good news, Scott found him in the middle of the night and was able to get him over to the new house… I can't even imagine how I would have felt had he not come back. :(

I can see this post turning quite random and simply highlighting some of my experiences here the last 5 days… Sorry but I'm living out of a suitcase for 2+ weeks and feeling a bit scattered and all over the place!

~Race was fast on Sunday! They had great conditions and I think the fast times really motivated athletes during the race to keep pushing because they knew they were crushing their goals. Lots of smiles and happy faces on course and it was fun to watch! TeamBSC had some super performances that made me so proud… Lynsey led the age group women out of the water and I was beside myself cheering her on as I watched her ride off. I wasn't surprised she was first- I told her to mentally prep for this b/c I knew it could happen- but you never know what other fishes show up on race day…
Lynsey went on to PR by 25', cracking 11 hours for the first time finishing in 10:50! Shane also had a super day, with a PR of over an hour… in 10:25! How do you think we felt about that??
Krista also had an amazing day, with a 32' PR finishing in 10:31 and ON the podium! Her face at the finish line was so awesome (check her FB page for that shot). The thing that was most apparent to me about Krista's race was the JOY she was feeling… every time we saw her she had a HUGE smile on her face. She believed it was going to be her day and she delivered and loved it the whole time. Good lessons there!
Tracy had a similar day! All smiles every time we saw her. And what's not to smile about when you're on your way to an hour+ PR?!
Ryan had a more challenging day. He got sick before the race. Lesson there… racing with a virus sucks. :( That said, he persevered and got himself to the finish line which is always awesome!

I have to say, having watched 2 Ironmans in the last 4 weeks, I am super excited that it's finally almost my turn! Physically, my build up training has gone pretty much perfectly. But that's not new. My training almost always goes well! I do the work. All of it. Every day. And I love it. The trick for me is to figure out how to translate that into the race performance I want. I am pretty sure this time around that it's all in my head, so I've been putting a big focus into rewriting the script in my brain. In a couple weeks when I get back from Mexico I'll let you know how that worked out. :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cats In Boxes

OK so not sure what happened there, but my old domain name just went away and I don't understand the workings of the inter-webs well enough to figure out how to get it back... but I did figure out how to get this to post via blogspot so there you go! I suppose I've prob lost a lot of readers by switching the domain but that's fine. Maybe for the best! :)

So the big news at the moment is that all that paperwork for the bank is about to pay off in the form of a new house for us! Sign here, sign there. Sign this, sign that... and Ta-dah! We move on Friday! (I fly out on Thursday night but never mind that for now.) I've been spending some of my free hours packing boxes and at the moment our house is a disaster zone with boxes and crap everywhere, but at some point, probably mid-December, we'll be all unpacked and settled into a sweet house. With a yard! And storage! For now, the cats just think this condo has become the ultimate playground and it feels like my life is a disaster area.
So as I'm packing I'm trying to figure out what I need for my week in Scottsdale (a cowbell and lots of training gear), what I need for Lake Tahoe (lots of cold weather clothes), and what I'll need for Cozumel (lots of race gear!). All that crap goes in the suitcase (how it will all fit I have no idea) and the rest of it gets packed into boxes that I will unpack as part of my Ironman Recovery Plan.

3 weeks til Ironman #14! How did that happen? Turns out, if you just put your head down and train, all of a sudden it's time to race! It's winter now here in Hawaii... and while winter for us doesn't mean snow, it does mean rain. I was thinking today and trying to remember the last ride I did where I did not get rained on? It's been a few weeks anyway... Today was about as wet as I've ridden in all year, and my bike finally just revolted. Admittedly I have not been taking good care of it... and now I have a bike that won't shift gears. Today I had 3 options for gears. 53x14, 15, or 16. Good thing my route was pretty flat! I called in an SOS to my friend who is a BMWMHC (bike mechanic who makes house calls) and he's on his way to help resolve the situation for me. Phew.

Tomorrow I will go tackle the track set that has been my nemesis all year. I have yet to (ever) nail this one (21x800's) but I think maybe tomorrow will be my day. #IThinkICanIThinkICanIThinkICan It took me like 8 tries before I could finally say I owned that 60x50's set in the pool, so given that this is only my third attempt at these 800's, I won't be too hard on myself if they don't go perfectly. At least I expect  that I'll be able to do them better than I have in the past. Progress is the goal... Honestly I think it's more of a mental hurdle than anything else... just like the 60x50's... Once I got over my dislike fear of the set and just shut my brain off, I was absolutely physically capable. So that's what tomorrow is about. Brain Training! And ok, maybe some leg training too. :)

Moana just said, "I know that if you don't win, you just have to keep trying because maybe you'll win next time!" Smart little girl, that one. I'll follow her advice!

In the meantime, if I can get the cats out of the boxes, I'll keep packing...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Moving, Man-o-War & PMS...

I think blogging is easier when you do it often... when too much time passes between blogs it's like so much has happened I don't even know where to start??

It's November! I find myself having all these thoughts about how This is the last time I'll do this or that from our current home... 10 days left of owning this condo that I've lived in for nearly 9 years and while it's exciting to move, there's more than a bit of nostalgia attached to this place for me. I mean, I know the distances and mile markers of every run in every direction of this place... Our new house is only ~2 miles away, so the reality is that I'll still only be a mile from the pool, and I'll still run and bike the same roads... but the mile markers will be different. And the last mile of every run will be even more uphill than it currently is.

Anyway, our appointment to sign all the papers at the escrow office is this afternoon and I'm just going to try to close my eyes when they get to the part about how much we're actually going to be paying over the course of the 30 year loan la la la I can't hear you!! Just send us the new mortgage bill every month and give us the keys and we'll figure it out from there...

I should be packing right now. We are master procrastinators though so we have not packed a thing. But hey, at least I'm not buying any new food. We are trying to eat our way to the back of the cabinets... which means lots of rice and canned beans for dinner. Mmmmmm. Yum. Or not.

Yesterday Nalani and I swam out to the Mokes. It was a postcard beautiful day (because in postcards you can't feel how strong the wind is blowing)... Really nice warm water though and while it was crazy choppy, the pretty blue color of everything (almost) overruled my feelings of being a rag doll. The monk seal is still there hanging out on the sand, rolling over once in a while.
(picture stolen from a FB friend who posted it weeks ago)
Half way home on the swim Nalani stopped b/c she'd been stung by man-o-war... Argh! Not too bad she said just keep swimming to get away from it... so I kept swimming and was thinking with a smile that it's really been a long time since I've been stung by a man-o-war... Prob shouldn't have been so smug about that because next thing I know I'm all caught and tangled in the biggest man-o-war ever and it feels like electric shock all over my face, neck, arms, back, shoulders... my whole upper body was just tangled in this massive man-o-war tentacle and I couldn't even get it off me. Nalani saw it clinging to my back.

I pretty much just swore out loud and thrashed around a bunch trying to get it off me and finally I was able to swim free but the electric shock feeling lasted for at least another 30' or so, or until the Benedryl kicked in. We made a b-line to Safeway as soon as we were done swimming b/c the welts had already shown up and I really wanted to reduce my reaction as much as possible. We decided that we should keep Benadryl on hand for all ocean swims just in case... this kind of thing happens rarely (well, minor stings are common- a really bad one is rare) but Benadryl helps a lot when it does.

In related news, Benadryl completely knocks me out. I slept from 4-6PM yesterday then again from 7PM until almost 6 this morning. You can see the welts across my cheek, the bridge of my nose, and above my eyebrow... as well as on my arm, torso, chest, and back. They don't hurt anymore but they do itch. I would guess they'll go away in another day or two. So not really a huge deal but annoying for sure! Just a risk we take I guess for swimming in the ocean around here...

In other swimming news, we entered a swim meet!! How funny is that?! I saw an email come through the other day about a masters meet and my first thought was that this is like the opposite of what I am good at but then I thought that's *exactly* why I should do it! It's next Monday (Veteran's day) so why not?? Nalani and Mark and Steve (my normal swim partners) are going to do it too and we think we might make a decent medley relay (one that might not get disqualified anyway). In reality, the relay would would really kick ass at would be the 4x1K but they don't offer that as an option. We thought we might start a petition... B/c wouldn't a 4x1K relay be like super exciting?? Honestly, if any of us manage to dive off a block without our goggles filling with water, we'll call it a win. At the end of our swim this morning we asked the guard if we could practice a couple times off the blocks and he said no. So I guess we'll try to re-learn that skill at the meet next week. :)

What else? My hip doesn't hurt. Hasn't hurt at all since I figured out how my brain could fix it last week. So back to running as normal. Phew!

And a little update on my no wheat thing... I know people like to poo-poo this idea of eliminating wheat like it wouldn't really make a difference or its not sustainable or whatever, but I will tell you, the choice for me is now a no-brainer. Mostly b/c a benefit I have had for the last 2 months is complete elimination of my PMS symptoms. I don't talk about it all that much here on my blog (though I've mentioned it before)... but the 2-4 days prior to my period every month I tend to cry about stupid little things, my workouts go bad, I'm all negative in my thinking, etc. It has affected my training and racing every 4 weeks like clockwork for years and I've thought there wasn't a lot I could do about it other than simply accepting it for what it is and knowing it will pass.... BUT, 2 months in a row I have not felt the need to cry, my workouts have been solid/stable, and I haven't been pissy at all! Honestly last month I was surprised when I got my period because I had been having great training sessions and wasn't a bitch so just figured it was late or whatever (b/c hello I am *always* a whiny bitch for at least 2-3 days... that's how I know I'm about to start) but then it came and I swear it was the first time ever since I'd started paying attention that I could remember not having all those symptoms... so I guessed it was likely the diet change that was the positive thing there but figured I'd try one more month to see if indeed it was something that stuck? So here we are month 2 and again, no PMS symptoms at all! That my friends, is motivation enough for me to pass on the bread and pasta. Goodbye, emotional roller coaster! :) What a relief. So laugh at people who eliminate wheat if you want, but this little experiment of one is enough evidence for me to stick with my choice...