Friday, September 30, 2005



Here's what I have:

Swim/Start/Finish Bag:
What I'll wear to the race and need afterwards (sweats over swimsuit, socks, sandals, hairbrush)
Race Swim cap
Goggles (already cleaned with anti-fog stuff)
Extra goggles
PayDay bar (in case start is delayed b/c of fog)
Pam spray
Vaseline (to protect exposed skin from sea nettle stings)
(I rubbed a little of this on the ankle edge of my wetsuit last night and as of this morning there was no harm noted to the material.)

T-1/bike stuff:
Meat tenderizer (for any stings)
Race belt and number
Bike shorts
Bike shoes
Helmet (will be checked in tonight with my bike)
In jersey pockets:
Small sunscreen
Tube of Neosporin (lube and if I get road rash)
Succeed capsules (salt)
Camelback of Gatorade
On bike:
2 water bottles
Little tube of Vaseline wedged under seat between seat-rails
Bento Box with:
Peanut M&M's
Lip balm
Spare contacts
Gel flask full of my (Nancy's) homebrew
2 tubes
3 CO2 cannisters & nozzle thingie
2 tire irons
Disinfectant wipes
Eyeglass wipes for glasses
Mini Kleenex pack in case I have to make an unscheduled pit stop
Special Needs Bag
2nd flask of gel
PayDay Bar
Beef Jerkey
Spare tube
Spare CO2 cannister

T-2/Run stuff
Penguin t-shirt for running (reflective tape on back)
Change of shorts (just in case)
Change of socks (just in case)
Running shoes
Waist pack with:
Little tube of Vaseline
Tylenol, Imodium, Pepto-Bismol
Anti-nausea pills (you never know)
Gum to get the taste out of my mouth in case I throw up
Long-sleeved shirt (yeah, it fits in my waist pack)
Light-weight flashlight ($.84 at Wal-Mart)
Extra AA batteries for flashlight
Bug repellent wipes
Spare contacts (like I'm going to go through 3 pairs of contacts)
They're supposed to have gels at aid stations so I'm throwing caution to the wind and counting on this.

Believe it or not, this is still a small, lightweight waist pack, even full of all this stuff.

Steve watched me pack and was mindboggled. He said, "I thought all you needed was a bike, a bathing suit, and running shoes."

Have I forgotten anything?


Packet pickup and pasta dinner were last night. I'm #768 (although I don't think there is online tracking... this is a small event. But my husband will call a contact person who can post to my friends when I'm out of the water, off the bike, etc.) We got an awesome bag -- heavy nylon canvas, mesh back, ChesapeakeMan Ultra-Distance Triathlon and a sailboat embroidered on a full-width zipper pocket. 5 gear bags: Swim/Finish; Bike; Bike Special Needs; Run; Run Special Needs. Reflective tape to put on our run shirts. I bought Abbie a little t-shirt that says "Triathlete in Training," with silhouettes of a toddler in the water with arm floaties, then riding a tricycle, then crawling on all fours. Come to think of it, that's about how I did my first tri 5 years ago.
I only ate a few bites of dinner. I've been feeling sick, as I've complained before, the last few days, not nerves-sick but sick-all-over sick. Headache, scratchy throat, stomach pains and nausea, muscle aches. No fever, just all-over ick. It's gone on long enough that it will have to be gone by tomorrow. If not... well, I've run marathons when sick; I don't see why I can't do an Ironman sick, if I've trained, which I have. I feel like I could cure myself if I could soak in a hot bath for an hour, but living in an RV in a campground there's no hot bath to be had. I'll go over to the "bath"house and take a long hot shower. We have a little shower stall in the RV but it doesn't stay hot for long.
I walked out onto the dock in the Choptank River at the starting place and.... sea nettles galore. We got an e-mail bulletin about it a couple days ago. Unusually hot weather and drought (higher-than-usual water salinity) have kept them here past when they would ordinarily be gone. At my table at the dinner it was a main topic of conversation. They were almost panicking. And I, who have worried about the darn things since I registered, having grown up swimming in Chesapeake Bay, told them calmly, "Oh, it's nothing, I swam with them all the time I was growing up... they're not Men 'o War or anything. We got stung all the time, or else smeared Vaseline all over ourselves so we wouldn't. It's no big deal." I did put a little gob of Vaseline on the ankle of my wetsuit last night to see if it dissolves or something. But I don't plan to put it on my wetsuit, just on my arms (sleeveless) and face, and feet (for some reason the venom or whatever it is does not sting the palms of the hands, you can hold the jellyfish right in your hand without harm.) However, I did put a bottle of meat tenderizer (the remedy) in my T-1 bag.
Pre-race meeting and bike-inspection and racking tonight, and then nothing to do but try to sleep. Race start is 7a.m., the we will be swimming WITH the outflowing tide, winds are supposed to be calm. High temp mid-70's, mostly sunny, with winds 7mph during the day... couldn't ask for much more. Except maybe sudden mass migration of the jellyfish.
So by midnight tomorrow, I'll no longer be a "IronVirgin"... I'll be an IronWoman!!

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Maybe I'm suffering endorphin withdrawal. Maybe I should break my training-taboo taper and go for a run, like 20 minutes. Maybe after I clean my bike all up (haven't done that yet) I should carry it over the sandy campground road here (to keep sand out of the chain) and take it for a spin on the road to make sure it runs smooth. Maybe I should lie in the sun and read a book. Maybe I should take some Tylenol for the headache I still have (endorphin withdrawal),and take Journey for a swim. Maybe I should just stop ruminating.... pasta dinner is tonight and my spirits and energy should pick up after seeing fellow athletes.
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORTIVE COMMENTS!!! I can weather this thing with a little help from my friends... :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Maybe it's taperitis... or early-arriving post-race letdown... but I feel blue and bummed and unmotivated. Quite a contrast to the bouncing-around-the-RV excitement I felt earlier in the week.

I've packed all my transition and special-needs bags, and one for the swim start and one for the finish line. They will give us "official" bags but all my stuff is ready, sorted, and ready to go into the "real" bags. That was fun but took about 15 minutes.

I don't feel well. I've had symptoms for a couple days. A headache, scratchy throat, off and on; icky stomach off and on; feeling tired and cold off and on. Probably my imagination. Nerves (although I do not feel nervous about the race.) But I feel dejected. Like, it doesn't matter, I didn't really want to do it anyway. Why am I feeling like this???

I just want to go to bed... guess I will.

Son Jon called this morning to report he has pneumonia. I had talked w/ my mom on Monday about a fiddle contest in which both she and Jon had played Sunday. She reported that both were off their game and neither won anything. She said Jon was coughing and not feeling well, and while waiting for his turn to play he went to a drugstore and got some cold medicine. Today he told me that by evening that day he had a fever and really bad cough, and went to the dr. on Monday, getting the diagnosis of right-lower-lobe pneumonia. He didn't even have a cold to start it off, just got pneumonia out of a clear blue sky, husky healthy young guy who's never sick.

Yes, for you who have been following... I took down my last post, the one about getting organized. After I posted it, my sidebar disappeared (I found it at the bottom of all my posts.) I thought the really long link in it might be the reason, so I edited that and put in a different link. It didn't fix the problem. Plus, the new link led to a different site (imagine that) which didn't show the system Nancy had commented on, so when people read her comment they'd wonder why they couldn't find what she was talking about. Since the change didn't fix the problem, and with the changes the post wasn't totally coherent (cohesive, whatever), I tried deleting the whole post, which still didn't fix the problem. So now the post is gone, my sidebar is still gone unless you scroll down to the very bottom, including my pre-race-week and weekend plans, *jeanne* wonders where my post went since inside it I asked her a question, and I'm frustrated. I didn't post anywhere yesterday. I needed a break from computers.

As for getting organized (the topic of my now-deleted post), I haven't. Yesterday I felt like I was getting sick (lightheaded, scratchy throat, chest burned) and lazed around watching TV movies, and taking vitamin C, thinking, great, I'm getting sick, there goes my race. So I didn't do any of the "daily" or "weekly" tasks I'd organized for myself. Last night I did organize all my race-day paraphernalia. I'm amazed I don't feel nervous (excited, yes, nervous, no) and haven't had any dreams about it. Well, wait, I did have one, my goggles strap broke, but in time for me to get more before the race. Pretty inocuous dream, probably gave the message, "If something goes wrong, I've got it covered."

*jeanne* -- so DO you still have the Age-Induced-Attention-Deficit-Disorder thing? If you do I'll post it. Or you can, if you want to take a picture of it :-)

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Seeing if I set it right to e-mail my blog...

Hey, it worked

Abbie is all healed up and apparently none the worse for wear. She still has a scab on the bridge of her nose but all her other punctures, lacerations, stitches, etc., are completely healed.

The irony is.... just a week after she was bitten, our other granddaughter, 7-year-old Gracie, was bitten by a dog, another Lab, in the face, and had to get 4 sutures in her nose.

Both granddaughters in one week, 250 miles apart, same kind of notoriously-gentle dog.

Gracie did not take well to her emergency care. Daughter Valerie, her mom, said it took 3 people to hold her while she screamed, "Please don't kill me, please don't kill me! I'm only 7 years old!!!" Even under that kind of duress, she is such a card.

However, all sewed up, she was OK. Insisted on going to school next day, bruises, swelling, stitches and all (she was probably some kind of celebrity among her schoolmates...."Wow, did you see Gracie? She got bitten by a dog.... woooowwwww.... ) Valerie reports she is not showing any fear of her boxer dog or her stepmother's Lab. The owners of the offending Lab have shipped it off to Grandma's to live. They haven't seen how Gracie reacts to dogs outside her own family. I think she is more at risk for dog-fear than Abbie.

Some might find it odd that my big concerns, along with possible facial scars and emotional trauma, still include, "Will they still be able to enjoy dogs?" It might seem that after having 2 grandkids bitten in the face in one week I'd want all kids, especially mine, kept away from dogs. But I am a carved-in-granite dog-lover. I feel they add so much richness to our lives, giving us companionship, unrivaled response to our every approach, maybe a fulfilling hobby, and, one of my own primary dog-owning purposes, protection. I don't want my grandchildren, or their parents (who are, of course, my own children) turned off of dogs.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

FEAR NOTHING (Since I haven't yet been able to get the picture itself to upload)

This is me, with the "Big Dogs" -- the triathletes who have been there, done that, and know what they're doing.... especially any who raise an eyebrow at this 53-year-old grandma taking on an Ironman in her own low-tech, homemade way.... spoke wheels among the discs, no heart-rate monitor, energy gel mixed from honey and corn syrup, extra body fat among sinews, questions like "What if there are jellyfish? What if there are waves in the river? What if I throw up???"

I'm stepping right over the puddles, folks.

I almost never feel this satisfied.

What a great ride.

My bike computer said 45.6 miles but hers said 47. If hers is right, then I have done 109.7 miles in the last 4 days....more than that if my computer is reading low.

Hallelujah! The Iron-distance bike mileage in 4 days the week before the event! I FEEL READY!!!

A couple weeks ago Nancy asked me when we'd be able, while I'm staying in her neck of the woods, to go for a bike ride. And I'll tell you, not only do I rarely get to ride with a friend, but I can't remember when, if ever, someone has contacted me to ask when they might go for a ride with me! I love it!

Flat roads and a tailwind on the trip out made for a nice head start (for whatever race we were doing, if any...) Of course, as soon as we turned around, the tailwind (predictably) became a headwind which made it not quite so effortless.... except, I'm used to battling a headwind no matter which direction I turn, and hills to boot, so I had sort of an unfair advantage. I don't know when I ever have a tailwind in Garrett County. Not even upon turning around after riding into a headwind. Nope. Every Garrett County, MD biker and runner will attest to the verity of the omnipresent omnidirectional headwind. You have a headwind the whole time on a loop course. You have a headwind the whole time on an out-and-back course. Don't ask me to explain. It's the way God made it. Anyway, that plus hills made it easy for me to ride on the flat, long, non-winding roads of the Eastern Shore with a tailwind half the trip. Nancy said it was easier for me because I'm fitter. Hmph. I rode behind her a lot and you should see her calf muscles undulate when she pedals.

That said, I'm fit enough to feel pretty confident about my Iron-distance triathlon next week ( Of course, pride goeth before a fall (oooh, them's words to make me knock on wood) but I'm not proud exactly... just very, very satisfied and contented.

Plus, Nancy's daughters Catherine and Elisabeth are adorable and worth making a special trip to see. So is Nancy.

I have been too busy with my life to keep up with my life story. What does that say? Surely it means something.

Quick sketch of the past couple weeks:

The last week in Garrett County, MD: "Fall cleaning" of our camper. Unloading stuff we accumulated during the summer, and the past year, that aren't going to be used in the coming one. Seeing friends and relatives one last time before taking off for who knows how long. Coughing, hacking and sniffeling with a bad cold. Worrying because I wasn't finding time or strength for a last week of Ironman training.

The next week: Traveling to the Hagerstown, MD area (not that far, a couple hours.) Setting up in a campground, a "Yogi Bear Jellystone Park" campground, which offered, among its amenities, electricity -- the state park that was our original plan had none, meaning we would be dependent on our battery for 3 days, which meant no computers, no TV, no air conditioning, and nothing that plugged in (fans.) I cast an enthusiastic vote for Yogi Bear. Steve did not set up the computer satellite receiver for just 3 days, since the campground had wireless internet service. Which my computer, being older, could not access. I did a little e-mail touch-base stuff via his computer, but was generally out of commission internet-wise and looked forward to arriving in Delmar on the Eastern Shore.

Delmar: Bad campground. No sewer hookup. No "clear view of the southern sky" or any sky for that matter... total tree cover. Nice and cool and shady but we wanted to be connected. And to dump our holding tank. We stayed two nights and one day.

But, with no computer to occupy me, and my cold all gone except for some coughing, I drug out my bike and got back on the road. It was heaven.... FLAT ROADS!!! I boogied 35 miles in 2 hours my first day, then took Journey for a 45-minute walk/run. Next day, after we moved to a much nicer place in Quantico, MD, I put in another 27 miles on the bike (27.7, but who's counting?) followed by about half an hour run/walking with Journey.

And on the third day, I rested. I was feeling great and getting in a wonderful cram session of training, but thought I'd better not push myself right into a ditch or something. Plus, Nancy and I made plans to ride the next day (which is now today, and in the cherished and not-yet-dusty files of my memory already.) I will post separately about that. In the meantime, you can visit Nancy's blog for her version (and my comment.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I have not dropped off the earth since my last entry.

I've just been bogged down.

Granddaughter Abbie got bitten by a dog, their own dog as a matter of fact, and has stitches and bruises in various parts of her face. Fortunately, the plastic surgeon who was consulted does not anticipate serious scarring.

We're preparing to pack up our lives into our 31-foot RV to move onto the next stage of our journey. Practically everyone we either haven't seen this summer or need to see one more time wants to see us and every night we either have company, or are company.

I took photos of all my mother's musical instruments for insurance and estate purposes (oh, I may have forgotten to mention to those who don't know, I'm a photographer) a couple days ago (should have done weeks ago) and it took many hours today to download, sort, edit, package and print them. And I haven't even transferred them to CD yet.

Yesterday we borrowed a car from our son so that early today we could take our truck for service and have a way home. Later we went back for the truck, and I picked up Abbie from daycare, and went to pick up our son who was stranded at their house since we had his car, and we all went out to dinner. Then we had to go back up to his house to get the big trailer hitch thing we need in the truck to hook up the RV for travel. Then I dropped my husband off to play a last poker game with the guys and I came home and finished my mom's pictures up. Except for the CD.

I think I'm catching a cold. Must be the obligatory pre-IM cold... I'm very familiar with the obligatory pre-marathon cold, but didn't know the same law applied to IM. Anyway, I'm snorting Zicam every 3 hours and taking Vitamin C.

I haven't done any training since my long run on... what day was it, Saturday? So that means I haven't swam or biked or run for 3 days. Oh, well. Invariably such a break has helped me rather than hindered.

I need to mat, sign, frame and package some photos to go to the local artisans' gallery for hopeful sale during the next months while we're gone. This is not strictly a wait-till-the-last minute procrastination. There are only certain dates 3 times a year when work can be submitted, and it's rare that I'm in the area on the right date. It's not something I could have done last month (although I suppose I could have gotten them ready anyway and then had it out of the way.) I am really gratified that nearly everything I have submitted there has been accepted and sold. Not for much, I'm not big-time, but it's a little pin money here and there. And an ego boost... every now and then someone likes my work well enough to buy a piece.

I'm glad my training is essentially over. I don't know when I'd have had time to continue it. After all the preparations are over and we're actually on the road, things will ease up. We'll be at Fort Frederick, MD for a few days (there's a nice paved bike/hike path there, don't know how long it is), and then on MD's Eastern Shore for the next couple weeks will after ChesapeakeMan.

I am really tired. The last couple days have sapped me.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Until next time, anyway.

My feet hurt. I do not like these new shoes. They're OK for 7 or 8 miles but I just do not have enough toe room for a long run, even though I cut slits in front of my toes. Now I don't know what to do. I can get new shoes but I don't have time before ChesapeakeMan to try them out on a long run.... today was my long run, 3 hours (probably 16-17 miles) 3 weeks before the race.
My hips hurt. My lower pelvic bones hurt. My skin hurts in a couple spots where it was chafing.
Note to self: Do the run in my bike shorts. My thighs won't chafe and the chamois absorbs sweat :-)
Note to self: Put lube on the inside of my arm where it touches my Camelback tube. Or skip the Camelback and just get water at the aid tables. Yeah, that's a good idea.

But I feel satisfied.... I kept telling myself the last hour, "Push through the pain, push through the pain," kind of like having a baby only the run didn't hurt that much.... and I pushed through the pain and the pain actually backed off a bit. I'm proud of that. I know I will have to push through pain at ChesapeakeMan.

I took 2 gel flasks, one with my own homebrew, one with Nancy's. I liked hers better :-)

Note to self: Don't forget to take Tylenol before it's needed. I forgot to take any with me today and I would have been much better off if I'd taken it at halftime, as I do during marathons, even though I don't usually hurt at that point. If I take it then, I don't hurt later. I took some as soon as I got home but I wish it had been already working.

Anyway, that's done. I'll go measure it tomorrow. Now I just need to do another bike ride of, I don't know, maybe 80 miles, and I'll have that down. I did my long swim Tuesday. I think it was Tuesday. I think it was this past Tuesday but it might have been the Tuesday before that... I have so lost track of time. Anyway, my longest swim, longest run, and longest bike (Reston Century, 107 miles) are out of the way.

I think I am actually ready to taper. Wow. Can't believe it's time already.... and that I feel I have actually trained enough!!! I can't believe I'm saying that.... but I don't think I'm undertrained anymore. I think it's coming out just about right, at the right time. Totally amazing.

Friday, September 09, 2005


I'm planning a long run. I'm thinking 3 hours. I found a great article on training for a first Ironman, "Ironman For Mere Mortals" that is right down my minimalist alley. Wish I'd found it in June! Anyway, I am vindicated now for all the rest days I take. I'm hoping for this long run tomorrow, rest day Sunday, final long bike on Monday, and then taper. TAPER??? Already??? Wait, I haven't trained enough....

My homemade gel is in the fridge waiting. Maybe I better take my accustomed PowerGel too, in case the homebrew makes me sick or something.

I also can't believe that we are in our last week here in Garrett County, MD. A week from tomorrow we pull out for Cambridge (with a stop for a few days halfway).... and my debut as an Ironwoman. I'm looking forward to biking on flats again, and a chance to sample swimming in the Choptank River, before race day.

Like my friend Nancy I'm working on developing my own sports energy gel. And drinks, too... I'm rebelling against commercial products.

Anyway, here's my first version. I haven't tried it on a long run or ride yet, but I will tomorrow. (Today is a rest day.) It's a little tart for my taste, so I may make another batch with less lemon powder.

1-1/3 Tbs. powdered lemonade drink mix (64 calories, 16g carbohydrate)
12 Tbs. sugar (yes, 12) (576 calories, 144g carbohydrate)
1 Tbs. cornstarch (30 calories, 7.5g carbohydrate)

Mix together well and stir in 1/2 cup (4 oz, 120mL) water. Microwave on high 1 minute, stir, microwave 45 seconds more.

Add a few drops vanilla extract, stir, cool enough to pour into gel flask.

Yield: 6 fl. oz. (3/4 cup, 180mL) -- a little more than a full gel flask
Per serving (2 tablespoons) -- 110 calories (actually 111.5), 27.5g carbohydrate.

Nancy says hers is easier. Reading it, I have to agree :-) I was thinking of making mine with a base of black or green tea, rather than water, for a little boost of caffeine and antioxidants. Also messing with other flavors (using Kool-Aid powder or Crystal Lite, or just vanilla.)

Like Nancy's, it's less gel-like and more liquid than commercial gels. It's pretty sweet -- you need a good drink of water with it, like commercial gels.

Next time I'm at the store I'll get honey and Karo and try Nancy's mix as well!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Well. My 2hour-10minute swim yesterday turned into 15 minutes more. 2:25, 3.2 miles!! WhooEEEE!!!


After my turnaround at 1.6 miles (1:05, I had set my watch timer for half the time I wanted to total), I found I was facing into the wind and resultant chop. I concentrated on keeping my form clean, cutting through the chop, powering through the current, felt fast and as sleek as a seal, but found at the end I'd swam the second half 15 minutes slower than the first. This could mean that, in a 2.4-mile point-to-point swim, if the wind is against me, I could be in a shoot-out with that 2:10 cutoff time. My tme at 2.4 miles yesterday was 1:43, 3 minutes faster than my previous open-water 2.4. But that's... oh, 27 minutes under the cutoff!! My previous math was off, I had counted 17 minutes and thought, uh-oh, that's cutting it close... but no, 27, whew, I should be able to do that. Whew, I'm on again!!

Linae advises me to "Be an ironman." I have the feeling she means not just in the physical sense. And even if she was referring just to my athletic hopes.... I saw immediately that it doesn't match up for me to tough it out through 3+ mile swims, 100+ mile bike rides, and be a wimp when it comes to asserting myself in life. (Carlene, are you reading? Maybe I better go back and turn 50 again....)

Monday, September 05, 2005


This is, I believe, my last week of hard training. Saturday will be the 3-weeks-to-go mark and I'll start tapering some, and then the next weekend taper for real for the next 2 weeks. Yikes. Is it that close?

So I planned this ambitious training week, thought I was screwed yesterday when I didn't run in the morning, but found a chunk of time in the afternoon unoccupied by family, and ran longer than I'd planned. But today, family seems to have become the priority. Avery and her contingent of friends are still in the area and we've been meeting up with them at various times. I haven't gotten in a bike ride, and it doesn't look like I will. The little bit of time I did get... I took a nap. Oh, well.... I have found I do better if I recover w/o training every other day. Tomorrow is Final Long Swim day... with Steve following in the kayak, I hope to swim continuously in open water for 2 hours and 10 minutes, the length of time allowed for my IM swim. I hope I don't need that much time, but am doing this tomorrow so that if I do need that much time, I'll have done it before, and also to see how far I do swim in that time, and to check my open-water one-mile time.

We are keeping Abbie starting tonight until Wednesday morning, but tomorrow morning after we take her to day care we will have the day free. She goes to day care two days a week whether she needs day care or not, for the social experience and to stimulate her language development. Probably I will be the one who gets up to take her there, and I'm having fantasies of going biking after that until Steve is ambulatory enough to go kayaking while I swim, which may be late in the morning. So I could very well get in two workouts tomorrow before we pick Abbie up at 4. Then a rest day on Wednesday will be deserved.

I can't believe next weekend will herald taper time.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Already I'm a little off-schedule, and it's only 9am Sunday. I got up in time to go running before church but I'm also trying to get off sleeping pills and it's going to take me a little while to perk up. So I've been waking up, but now I don't have time before church. Maybe afterward, before daughter Avery, who is camping in the area w/ her husband and friends, makes her appearance. She and I are going to see the new baby of a friend of hers from high school, who is like another daughter to us. I'd skip church, but it's the last time I'll get to go before we leave here, as next week our other daughter will be camping here with her family, and they won't go to church, I'm sure, and it will be the last time I see them for a long time as well.

Promise to self: I will find an hour to run today. No, rephrase that: I will MAKE an hour to run today.

Last night Steve and I made arrangements to have a couple other really good friends for dinner on Thursday evening. Then this morning I recalculated and, aw, crap, I have an appointment with my psych doctor that evening, and it will be the last time I see him for probably a year (have to do it by phone while traveling.) So I'll try to change the appt., but I can't do that till Tues. on account of the holiday, and by then if I can't change the appt. with him we'll have to try to change our date w/ our friends, which will bug my husband. ~Sigh~ It's always something....

Saturday, September 03, 2005


Took today off of working out. I feel better now. And with a little help from my friends (Nancy!) I succeeded in publishing a sidebar list of my training and racing wish lists, which I will augment with reality checks as each day goes by. Right, can't you just picture me keeping up with something every day? I better go to right now and put in what I did yesterday before it vanishes forever in the dusty archives of my memory's attic.... (or belfrey, maybe, more besides forgotten memories in there, little flying mammals...)

Friday, September 02, 2005


After I ran I felt so good I decided to go for a bike ride. After all, it's been 4 days since I biked. I wanted to practice riding w/o stopping at all and prepared for a long ride and told my husband I'd be gone a few hours.

Not. I turned for home after an hour. I was way more tired than I expected. Even some of the downhills were a struggle :-) Really, it was quite windy and in the headwind I had to fight it even on a down slope. Plus I hit a bee which stung me, and a bee sting always makes me feel icky to a minor or major degree, depending on the bee. This one was minor but it hurt and itched and I didn't need it.

I just felt exhausted from the getgo. I guess I need a little more time of gentle training before going all-out again. I made it for 32+ miles total, averaging a little over 13mph. I was ready to cry by the time I was on the way home. Partly because I felt so crappy, and partly because I was doing my "I'll never be able to do this Ironman" number again. One thing is sure, I won't be able to if I don't give myself enough recovery time after a major effort like Sunday's. I shouldn't have tried a double-workout day this whole week. With the bike ride and the preceding run, I put in over 3 hours today.

I always have a slump after finishing a planned, anticipated athletic event. The race is over, I'm done, I'm tired, and it's hard to return to training. After 3 days off following the Reston Century Ride, I got my feet wet again with my swim yesterday, which got me back in the groove. Today I was charged up for a run. I put my running clothes on as soon as I got out of bed, to decrease the chances that I'd get distracted by something and back out. Journey recognizes running clothes and there was no way I could disappoint her, as she hasn't been running for a week. She would happily run every day, even twice a day. I should think like a dog: she never whines that she needs a day off, or that she'll get "overtrained" -- she lives in the moment and she loves to go running.

But I did swim yesterday, and ran for an hour today, and hope to go biking later. It would normally be campground-cleaning day before the weekend influx but there were not many campers here during the week and there is little to do. Steve is chugging around in the 4WD Mule with branch-trimming equipment, but it doesn't look as though he needs my help. I hate to look like a slacker but I need to train. I'm sure Steve will be glad when my Ironman is over.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Asking for help from my friends

Can any of my blogging friends help me out here....
How can I put lists on my page, e.g. training plans, where we're going in the RV, etc.?
And is there a way to remove spam comments that I have received?
I don't know how to do this stuff...
Another Perspective

My triathlete friend Nancy posted this today on her blog:

"Hearing the details of disasters like this does add a little grounding to the importance of physical training, though. Would I have the strength to hold onto a tree all night, battered by waves and hurricane-force winds, the way some survivors did? Would I be able to swim to safety from a flooded building? Would I be fit enough to walk down 75 flights of stairs to get out of the World Trade Center in time? Would I have the stamina to carry my children to safety? Physical fitness is NOT trivial in those situations. There were times in my life, not so long ago, when I was heading in the direction of NOT being able to do those things. Hopefully I'm headed in a more positive direction now."

I feel better. It makes what I am doing seem not quite so trivial. So today as I was swimming, I thought continuously, "Suppose my survival depended on this? Suppose the survival of others did? Suppose I were in the wreckage of a shoaled ship or flooded building and they needed a swimmer to carry a line to dry land to rig a rescue cable? I could do that!"

We're having a yard sale this weekend. I was looking forward to some extra pocket money until our neighbor (who's putting some stuff in our sale) came over to say whatever she makes on the yard sale she's sending to hurricane relief activity, and were we in? My first thought was, crap, I want the money. But what could we say? Of course we were in immediately, and now I am glad. It's money we wouldn't have had anyway if we kept our stuff, which isn't doing us or anyone else any good. I might have been able to buy more bike gear and running shoes, but it's better that someone else be able to buy diapers and milk for their baby. I think of the lack of water down there, and lack of shelter, and the sun, and the heat, and how fast babies dehydrate.
Good morning, world. What a world of irony it is. As fellow humans in New Orleans who have had nothing to eat or drink for 3 days cling to rooftops to stay out of filthy flood water, hanging onto life by a thread waiting for a rope of rescue to be dropped to them, here in my safe corner of Western Maryland I have chosen a light, nutritious breakfast and hot coffee prior to driving over dry roads to immerse myself in a pool of clean, chlorinated water. As fellow humans plod and trudge for miles over bridges above the city looking for any kind of safe haven, some with bleeding feet, I make preparations to participate in an athletic event that will have me swimming for miles, bicycling for miles, running or walking for miles, just to see how long I can hold out. For fun.

At least I will be wearing shoes. And I will have had advance warning that I am about to do this, and will have food and fluids with me, and aid tables every few miles in case I need more, or want something different from what I brought.

Nevertheless, I'm about to pack up my swimsuit and head to the pool to become a better amateur recreational athlete. In Western Maryland, life goes on.