Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Extra legs

The pool where my swim class is held is closed because they didn't pass a suprise inspection. Who knows what chemicals or slop I've been swimming in, maybe I'll grow an extra set of legs. Fortunately there are 3 pools on campus so we're moving our class to the main pool for the rest of the week which is bad because there is an extra large hot tub there that I would prefer to sit in rather than swim.

I'm a little worried about my husband. He called me yesterday afternoon and said, "This isn't good, I was walking across campus and realized I was talking to myself." Last night he was up until 6am working on the financials for a business plan competition and up again at 7am (yep 1 hour of sleep) to get back to campus. The day before he was up until 1:30am and up again at 6am. So when I tell people Bill is busy right now, this is how busy he is, he barely sleeps and he talks to himself.

The good news is the business plan is due today so I might see him a little more now. His group is working on a business plan that would allow small farmers to cost effectively create their own biofuel. It's cool stuff and I am very proud of him for working so hard on such a substantial project.

Our local sporting goods store is having a sale this weekend and I encouraged Bill to use the gift certificate we got for our wedding to go buy himself some skate skis. I hope he does it, he would be an awesome skate skier and would look great in the tights. :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Exercising Your Demons

There is an excellent article in Men's Health magazine titled "Exercising Your Demons" about how some people self treat depression with endurance exercise. The problem with that approach isn't necessarily the exercise but that the people doing it don't realize they are depressed and so they push themselves constantly but never feel satisifed.

I am going to keep a copy of this article because it's something that Bill and I both need to be aware of since we pursue endurance sports and have friends with similair interests. I haven't quite figured out "why" I pursue triathlons so this is another topic to keep in mind, especially when suffering at the end of a 100 mile bike ride.

Since I quit training hard to get pregnant, I have found that I have more energy for life, basically I am not constantly exhausted and I actually feel better in general. I miss my fitter looking body but some nice people have said I look better now so I'm going to try to believe them. I don't miss the pressure I put on myself to improve although I do still find myself battling my swim demons.

I miss the purpose and structure triathlon training gave to my life and the challenges I set for myself in training. I am still trying to decide how happy that really made me. I think my fondest memories of training and racing are from times when I had an open mind and allowed myself to try something difficult without prejudging that I couldn't do it. I like that about myself, and that might be where I need to put my mind for future.

Another thing I miss is the time Bill and I spent training together and pushing eachother. I used to like to suprise him with a surge on the bike or a strong pace while running. We like showing off for eachother I think and our fondness for eachother doesn't get to show as much now that he is in school and I'm on the baby track. I think it's another challenge for us to work on and another reason I will be happy when he's done with school in June!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Winter blahs

First the positive: Bridgette (from girl's weekend at the coast) had her baby yesterday and he is healthy and the family is good! Yeah! Other good news: some friends are remodeling their kitchen and gave us their old cabinets which Bill installed in our garage and so that should help with his mess out there (our cars can't fit with Bill's Sporting Goods and Supplies). Also, we got caught up with the hippies this weekend and played dominos and ate homemade pizza so we weren't total antisocial hermits.

Otherwise, it rained all weekend and was too windy and cold to even brave the rain so I had very little outdoor fun. My digital camera broke (grrrr). The little cat fell from 2nd story ledge (I think she's fine but she napped for the rest of the day) and Bill is gearing up for the end of the school term so I won't see him for the next 4 weeks. BLAH!

I think I will HAVE to get out next weekend for some skiing or an epic hike because I am feeling a winter funk. Hopefully I will be in a better mood after swimming today, I think lack of exercise makes me cranky.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Freaky Friday

I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone. Last night I met a former coworker after work at my favorite bar for happy hour and swallowed two martinis quickly before my husband came to retreive me. It felt good to be out, I've been such a home body lately and I had my favorite drink (Pink Sink-- cheers Liisa, Mom and Boo, I know you would have enjoyed it with me too) so I was pretty pleased with myself to be holding a martini glass. When I woke up this morning I felt a bit off (total lightweight) but got out the door to work and then entered the twilight zone as I neared town and found myself in a snow storm. It was snowing big flakes and hard too and I thought about breaking out my camera as I walked toward my building and then I noticed fire trucks and police cars are blocking off the streets and some of the firefighters have on gas masks. People are evacuating my building and I hear talk that there is a gas leak. Apparently they delivered a lot of gas and it overwhelmed the system so the building had a foul smell (not the normal moldy smell we love so much). So I got to go out for coffee instead of working on the flow chart I was hot to get finished this morning.

After a suprisingly short amount of time they let us back into the building so I'm hoping I don't get blown to smitherenes today. Is it Saturday yet? I did enjoy asking my coworker if she had gas today (haha!) My head hurts and I don't know if its the gas or the martinis. Maybe I'll pass out from the gas smell and will miss master's swim here at noon.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Beach Bubba

Check out my poor dog. I hate to impose on my friends to be models for my web site so the dog, the only one in the house who will sit on command, gets stuck in situations like this. I just added this towel design to my web site last night, I've had these sitting on my shelf for several months (bad) and finally got them online. I'm considering some other new products for the summer but I'm having a hard time deciding. I might have to ask for some help, if you are interested in testing new products for me, send me an email at

One of my customers has been testing fleece gaitors (a tube that you wear around your neck and face) while running in the cold Michigan weather. So far he likes 100 and 200 wt Polartec so as soon as we make a final decision on the length and width I will add them to the store for a very reasonable price. I don't think I can get the dog to model a neck gaitor so I'm not sure what I will resort to then. The kitten was jealous of the dog's modeling so she started acting up and got some attention for herself...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hell on Wheels

I love Netflix! We've gotten lucky with good movie recommendations lately and recently enjoyed "Hell on Wheels" a documentary about team Tmobile (mostly Eric Zabel) through the 2004 Tour de France. I learned a lot from watching him mentally defeat himself towards the end of the Tour. There was also a bit of historical perspective on the Tour which draws you in even more to this amazing event. Now I'm excited for the tour to start this year! We also enjoyed "Murderball" a documentary about the US olympic quadrapalegic rugby team. We've got a series of Navy Seals documentaries in our que as well as "Curb Your Enthusiasm" which Bill loves because of the Seinfeld connection. Of course I slip in a chick flick occassionally but I do try to keep Bill entertained with sporting movies.

I have a feed set up to send me articles about triathlons and this one came through today about Willie Stewart, a very competitive triathlete who has one arm:

Bill met him at Wildflower a few years ago and was very impressed by his personality and athletic achievements. Good story, I hope you read it.

And one more, this one a real heart breaker about Danelle Ballangee, a professional multisport athlete who fell while trail running and shattered her pelvis and almost died:

I can't help but see how something like this could happen to Bill or myself but on the plus side we always keep eachother informed about where we are going and I take a cell phone with me. Bill is talking about running a 50k trail run in May so I will be on his case about keeping informed on his whereabouts while he's training for that. Although he did say he wasn't planning to train much for it. I think that plan is open for further discussion if you know what I mean!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Consumerism and NASCAR

Two years of "discussions" with Bill about a new couch and what it came down to was some weakness on Valentine's Day and a President's Day sale (0% financing for 12 months) and we have new furniture! Our first purchase as a married couple, and it wasn't even that painful although Bill did try to talk me into some clearance stuff at the last minute and I think he cried a little after signing the papers. Just kidding! We ordered a sofa and love seat in chocolate colored microsuede and it should be delivered in 4-6 weeks. I can't wait!

My sister is going to take our old furniture so I think we'll be driving a Uhaul to Spokane next month to deliver it to her. Maybe we'll get in some cross country skiing in on that trip, I love the trails at Mt. Spokane.

Sunday was a typical Feb. day here with a mix of overcast skies, wind, and rain so I stayed inside and cleaned the house and worked on orders but Bill got out to play disc golf with some friends in the morning. Oh, I almost forgot... I was vaccuming in the afternoon while Bill "studied" and watched NASCAR and he said, "Honey could you quit vacumming, this race is almost over and I can't hear it." I had to bite my tongue because the sarcasm was boiling inside of me... "Well sure sugar, why don't I rub your feet after I bring you some chicken wings and cold beer. Then I'll go scrub the toilet." I didn't say anything though, I just sprayed window cleaner all around him until he couldn't breath. Oh the joys of marriage! I get furniture and he gets NASCAR, what happened to us!?!

I think I need summer to get here soon, we used to wear eachother out exercising and I think this reserved energy needs an outlet. That sunny weather just gave me a case of cabin fever, or maybe it's the tick leg squirming around in my back right now. EWWW!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

EWWWW there's a tick leg in my back

We had a beautiful day filled with sunshine and warm temps so I hurried out of the house this morning to meet a friend for a hike in the local forest. We decided to jump a newly erected fence to see why they closed off access to an old fire road we like to hike up but we didn't see much so we think they will start logging the area soon. Always a bummer, the forest here is so pretty.

Got back to the house and opened all the windows, poured myself a cold one and got busy doing some yard work. This is Cassie's first spring and she has really taken to our back yard. Everytime I tried to trim down dead plants she thought I was playing and attacked me which made for an interesting afternoon. Bill finally got home from meetings and we finished up the yard work together and as I got ready to take a shower and Bill said, "Hold still, there's a tick on your back!" Ahhhh!!!! YUCK!

He was able to dig it out (yuck) but there is still a tick leg stuck in back. I think it is still moving around right now. Yuck yuck yuck yuck yuck.

Going to forget my troubles by over indulging on pizza and Dr. Pepper. Some more sun worshipping pics from this afternoon...

Friday, February 16, 2007

My poor ego

We've got a "swim meet" coming up in a few weeks and our swim coach asked me if I was going to participate and in what events and I said, "What about 200 IM and 200 Free?" and he said, "I don't know, your breast stroke kick might lose you some points. You're pigeon-toed." Ouch! Our coach is old school and apparently doesn't believe in ribbons for 4th place. After I picked my ego up off the swim deck I got into the pool and got to lag behind everyone in class for the rest of the work out. We were doing 4x75, 4x75, 2x50 then 200 hard so the sets weren't long enough for me to use my endurance skills. It was brutal. I am one of the slower swimmers in this class and I could go down to the slower swim class and be one of the fastest swimmer but I won't do it. It's hard on my ego sometimes but I'm going to stick with it as long as I can.

I don't know what I am going to do when I get pregnant. I guess I'll put on a bikini and do lots of fly. :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Soooo romantic

Man. Our insurance agent tried to work us over last night. He would have us paying $600+/mo. for life insurance. I was slightly irritated that I took time off from work to go in for a sales pitch with this guy, but we wanted to talk to him about insurance changes for when we start a family. We're still working on what we want to do but I can tell you for sure that we won't be giving that guy $600/month for life insurance. Reach for the stars buddy!

Anyway, my sweetheart took me out for dinner (quickly) afterwards and he said the most romantic thing I've ever heard, "I think we should go to the furniture store" Oh honey! Do you mean it!?! Maybe we can get rid of the cardboard box in the living room! I mean, we're only in our mid 30s now so do you really think we're ready for furniture?

Just teasing folks! Just teasing. Now if we could just find some time to workout together again then I would really be happy. I think the dog thinks he's my husband now and he looks at Bill like, "Hey, what are you doing kissing my woman!"

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

My true love and I have a date with the insurance agent on this Valentine's Day. We need to update our policy now that we are married and this was the the date Bill made for us. Plus my hubby has a class tonight so no time for a date with me. Do you feel sorry for me yet? That's good, if I play my cards right I might be able to get him to the furniture store this weekend. ha ha! Kidding folks!

Bill is all messed up on cough syrup right now so I can't pick on him too much. Hmmmmmm. Maybe we can skip the insurance agent and go straight to the furniture store! ha ha!

The truth: I was out walking the dog at 9:30 last night (Bill was meeting with his group and I was behind of course) and I was musing about how difficult it is to have a husband in school, one income, and no time. I miss my buddy (Bill) and long for the days when we had time to eat dinner together. I realize that he will be done with school in June and we just have to get through this but dammit, this is not easy!

Do you think that little speech will get me to the furniture store? :) Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Run crazy lady!

Last night on my way home from work I felt a headache coming on so instead of walking the dog I got on my bike and made him run after me to the park. He seemed happy to chase along after the bike and by the time we got home my headache was at the curl-up-on-the-couch-with-a-blanket-over-your-head stage so Bill got me some pain reliever and I suffered for the next hour until nausea overwhelmed me and I had to change locations to the bathroom. First time I've ever had a true migraine before! Finally about 9pm last night I was able to get up and eat an apple and garlic toast for dinner.

I woke up this morning with a queezy stomach (yes I'm sure I'm not pregnant) and had to finish orders before I went to work. I had a hat order to ship overnight to a customer who is having a training camp and needed the hats by tomorrow so I walk to the local post office on my lunch break only to find that I missed the deadline by 15 minutes, but if I can make it downtown in the next 15 minutes then it would go out on time. GREAT! My car is 8 blocks away and downtown is about 11 blocks away and parking could be a problem so I start running. I ran 11 blocks in my work clothes hoping my stomach would hold on. I made it there in time but of course there are 20 people in line!

I spot a worker guy pushing a cart full of packages and ask if it's too late to ship Express and he says "Let me help you" and basically opened a window to help me ahead of all the other people. THANK YOU! When does that kind of thing happen? I wanted to hug him but I was sweaty so I just thanked him and left smiling.

I think this was all bad karma I had for swimming hard yesterday to mess with the swim fin guy. I'm going to put some good energy into the universe now and just be happy relaxed lady, not running down the main road in town trying not to lose your lunch on your break crazy lady.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cell phone art

I was out walking on a foggy Saturday morning in the woods without my camera so I took some photos with my cell phone that turned out kind of cool. Maybe I'm just easily entertained. I'm actually pretty sure of that. Bill is sick so we spent some time on the couch this weekend (I had sympathy sickness) with the dog watching old movies. We watched Jerry McGuire, My Best Friend's Wedding and As Good As it Gets. I feel emotionally wrought now. My favorite line from Jack Nicholson, "If you can make her laugh, she'll make your life." I think that sums up Bill and I, we make eachother laugh and somehow that makes a life. We're simple people. Here's my dog running. Mmmm. Life is pretty good.

We are 0 for 2 in trying to conceive which means that I am not going to get pregnant my first month trying. Or on my honeymoon. So there goes those stories. It looks like my body is coming around from being low weight and I am seeing a more normal schedule. TMI! (but we're BFF!) I had fun swimming hard in class today. The guy a lane over finally took off his Zoomers (swim fins) so I swam extra hard to mess with his head. Isn't that nice of me!?! I think I will enjoy a Mirror Pond Pale Ale and a martini this week before we're back to the waiting game.

Friday, February 09, 2007

My little man

I'm going to have to make a cape for Marshall, doesn't he look like a wonder dog? He has gotten to be a very good runner and he makes Bill look like a slacker when they run together which I love! Hey, you can only spend so many hours looking at someone's back while they run ahead of you before you start wishing things on them. I call Marshall "Little Man" or "Bubba" or "Honey" because he listens to his mommie and cuddles her and cares about her feelings. As least that's what I tell myself, so don't ruin it for me. Bill has been busy with school and staying up past 1 am to study and the dog has stepped up for Bill big time. Marshall gives Bill the look like, "Don't worry Daddy, I've got you covered. I'll lay here on the couch with her while she watches this chick flick."

It's gotten a little out of control lately because when Bill sits by me the dog tries to get in the middle of us. It's a little wierd in our house, at least we know it.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Fartleking in the pool

Yesterday's swim session was fun, we swam easy for one minute then then hard for one minute and repeated. Guess which minute lasted longer? Someone said "we're fartleking" which would have been amusing if we were getting to rest in between intervals. Afterward we were to pull ten 50s on the :45 which was basically more continuos swimming. My lower back started talking to me so I left early before I had to be airlifted out of there. Monday was even better, we got to do six 200 IMs on 3 minutes (we were the slow group) and I think the fast group was on 2:30 and they got to do more. I love a 200 IM, 50 of each stroke is quite nice, I just don't want to repeat it six times.

Anyhoo! I have been busy with orders this week (yeah cold weather!) and had a realization Tuesday night while standing in the check-out line with a frozen pizza in my hand at 9pm at night: I am a few steps behind! And there is no time to catch up! My local source for fabric hasn't been restocking fabric so I've had to start buying fleece in bulk from the warehouse. Ouch sticker shock! I really hope the weather stays cold because I have enough black powerdry to make about 300 hats. Powerdry hats anyone?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

And the most obsessive is...

I've found a group of people more obsessive than triathletes: women trying to conceive! I was doing some online research and found a web site called that specifically addresses the two weeks after a woman ovulates and before she can take a pregnancy test. Women list their symptoms (for each day of the two weeks) such as

day 1: metal taste in mouth
day 2: hot flash in the evening
day 3: nothing special
day 4: waves of nausea, sore boobs

I think triathletes need a web site like this for the two weeks leading up to their "A" race. Entries would read:

day 1: tapering is hell, I want to work out so badly
day 2: I think I'm getting fat from not working out
day 3: I can officially be classified as morbidly obese
day 3.5: there was a twinge in my calf, I think I need surgery
day 3.75: my nose is running, it must be pneumia!!!!
day 4: I've dropped out of my race, I didn't want to do it anyway

That web site made me feel like a reasonable person (for once) so I think I'll keep checking in on it. Although today I feel like I swallowed a balloon and there's a metal taste in my mouth. Just kidding!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Girl's weekend at the Oregon Coast

We had a really great weekend at the beach house in Pacific City on the Oregon coast and I think we have helped our friend Bridgette to get ready for this next phase in her life. We spent a lot of time talking and making a book for Bridgette's baby that it due in March, at one point she said this might be the last time I see you before the baby comes and the look in her eyes told me exactly how she felt (really excited). Conversation amongst the girls was easy and the topics were smart so I was loving every minute! I relish a good conversation and to be able to talk about women's issues with informed women (!!!) it was fabulous. Details I will not spill but I will say that I learned a lot about what women my age go through with pregnancy and beyond. Truly, it was more informative than 10 Dr. appts combined. I love girl's weekend!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Full moon, sunshine and a dog

What more does a person need? Last night we put some lasagna in the oven and made it over to the park with the dog in time to see the sunset. Is there anything better than a clear evening and a full moon on a winter's night? Beautiful! We came home to hot lasagna, I even treated myself to an extra serving. I thought some milk would go nicely with my extra lasagna so I got the milk out and without thinking poured it right on top of my lasagna like I was putting milk on cereal. I don't freaking know! I decided I must be tired so I basically called it a night after that.

Full moon over the Willamette River last night...

Good dog walking weather, good people walking weather...

Sunrise this morning...

Who says it always rains in Oregon? We appreciate a week of sun mid-winter very much! I'm off for a girl's weekend at a beach house in Pacific City on the Oregon Coast tomorrow so I should have some more pics on Monday. I really hope I don't pour milk all over something in front of the girls. Have a great Super Bowl weekend!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Retro race report: Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2004

I can't find my original race report so I will write what I remember which will be the extremes of the good and bad. First, I am lucky to know 5 local men who regularly qualify for Ironman Hawaii (one of those guys is now my husband). When I registered for IM CDA I decided not to ask them for advice with a training plan because I knew I couldn't keep up with them. Who knows if I would have done better had I become a protege, but I did what I thought was best for me (they are kind of crazy about these things and I'm crazy enough as it is).

Even though I wrote my own training plan, Bill helped me through many of my workouts. He would go on long bike rides with me and carry extra water bottles, food and clothes. Typically I would ride with the Hawaii 5 on Saturdays, and by ride with, I mean we would leave at the same time but they would ride ahead at their pace and would turnaround at major turns and ride back to me. It was very nice of them and I found myself motivated to keep a strong pace so they wouldn't have to double back too far to get me, but basically I spent a lot of long miles by myself on the road. I did receive quite a ribbing from the guys about Bill being my sherpa but it made us happy and I will fondly remember how Bill helped me through those months of training.

The bike training was the hardest for me and I think it contributed the most to the bulging disc I have now. My neck and back would get really tired from holding my head up while biking and by the time race day came I had numbness in my right hand that I tried to ignore. One of the most powerful things I remember about training was waking up each day and feeling so fatigued and overwhelmed by whatever difficult workout I had to accomplish that day. I hated that feeling and I will recall that before I sign up for my next Ironman.

One last story before I get to race day: Bill and I traveled to Maui in December 2003 to visit his parents and I talked Bill into making a side trip to Kona so I could do my first 100 mile ride on the Ironman Hawaii course. I figured that would be a difficult course and that if I could get through that then all future rides would be easy. So instead of snorkeling or hanging out with family, we used Bill's frequent flier miles to fly over to Kona where we rented triathlon bikes and hit the Queen K. I felt good during the first 10 miles, then a wall of wind hit and I found I couldn't reach down for my water bottle while riding because the wind would cause me to swerve. Eventually I stopped so I could eat and drink and Bill said, "Do you want to call it a day? It's really windy out here." It actually hadn't occured to me that I could quit so I said, "No! Let's do this thing," and off we went. Bill rode ahead while I held onto the bike with a death grip to keep myself on the road. This went on for longer than it should and finally, about 12 miles out from Hawi (the 1/2 way point), I found myself riding in the rumble strip to keep myself from losing traction when a wind gust pushed me into the road where a car was coming. That was it. I quit. It was too much. I found a big rock to shelter myself and pulled over to wait for Bill to come back from Hawi. I was disappointed but I found out early that if you are going to attempt these endurance events then you aren't always going to meet your goals. (Let's sing: You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need!)

Now in case you thought Bill was a *perfect* boyfriend who did everything for me... he decided to sign up for Pacific Crest 1/2 Ironman the day before my race. I didn't protest that decision but it ended up that I really did need his help before the Ironman. So he went off to Bend, OR and I put my triathlon bike on top of my car and drove myself through the Columbia Gorge (very windy) to my parent's house in Spokane, WA which is about 30 miles from CDA. I drove out to CDA the next day to ride my bike on the course and found a creaking noise coming from the front end of my bike. It was kind of loud so I mentioned it to a friend who advised me to get it looked at ASAP. There was a long line for bike maintenance at the expo so I decided to take it to a bike shop in Spokane. I didn't make it back to Spokane until after the pre race dinner and the next thing I know it's the day before the race and bike check in is at noon and my bike is still creaking. Yikes!

Long story short: I made it to a bike shop 2 hours before bike check-in and found out my fork was cracked, and they could not replace it but I could ride the bike but if I hit a pot hole then the fork could completely break and I would go down. So now you see the dumb part of my Ironman story. I think driving through the Gorge with my bike on top of the car did my fork in along with the person who put my bike together originally installed a star nut that caused problems with the expensive carbon fiber fork (thanks dude!) Bill made it to Spokane sometime after 9:30 pm the day before my race, he had a bad race at Pacific Crest and had to drive 6+ hours to get to Spokane. I was freaking out about the next day (frantically packing and repacking my special needs bags) so I can't say my mind was on his trials. I think I was like, "Oh you're here? Go to bed and be quiet!" I was keeping it real people. Quiet! Shhh!

(check out this pic, I am totally beating that guy) Race day: I slept relatively well and was up at 3:30 am to drive to Coeur d'Alene for the race. I don't remember much except standing on the beach, looking out at the lake and the far away buoys and trying not to pee myself. I was breathing shallow, my heart was racing, and before I knew it BAM! The race had started. I am not a strong swimmer so I decided to take it really easy and just get through the swim without wasting too much energy. My goal time was 1 hour 20 minutes for the 2.4 mile swim. Swimming with 2,000 other people sucks, I was jabbed, kicked, hit, and swam over. It was overwhelming for the first mile and then things settled down and I found myself approaching the end and thinking: ah! Now I have to do this thing! My swim time: 1:21:02 (rank 1181)

Not much to say about the bike portion, I tried to maintain a steady pace and ignore what other racers were doing. I recall thinking that I was in the back of the pack and that was a little hard for my ego but I got through the first loop and saw my mom, aunt, best friend Liisa (from high school) and Bill looking for me. "Here I am!" I said and that was it. I didn't get to see them again for another few hours. I think I did fine on the bike portion but it really did seem to take a long time to get it done. The closer I got to town the more scared I got to run the marathon. It just didn't seem feasable that I would run 26.2 miles after biking 112 miles. My bike time: 6:20:51 (rank 959)

As soon as I got out on the run I found that I had what runnners call GI distress which is basically a nice way to say that you are having a hard time controlling your bowels. Luckily, there are porta poddies at every aid station at almost every mile of the run course. So I walked/jogged/stopped/started from one aid station to the next where I stopped at every bathroom. It really didn't seem possible that I could go that much, but I did. It was terrible! Finally after about 10 miles of this I decided I was just going to sit in a bathroom until there was nothing left. So I sat in there for a good long while and emerged a new woman. I started to run slowly, still stopping at aid stations but less often for the bathroom. I saw my mom, Bill and crew cheering for me and they looked really hot and tired so I decided I better get this damn race done so they could all relax. I found a nice older gentleman running a steady pace ahead of me. We hit the 20 mile mark and I struck up a conversation with him and we stayed together until almost the end.

He said I was doing very well for my first Ironman and he kept me from walking. The closer we got to town, the higher on adreneline I got(maybe it was all the Coke I had been drinking at aid stations) and I started to let myself think that I just might finish this race. My pace quickened and my friend said, "You run ahead now and I'll see you at the finish." I felt like I couldn't control my legs anymore, they were running ahead without my brain which was experiencing a powerful euphoria that I have never felt before. I think I was saying "Yes! Yes! I did this! I did this thing!" I started crying while I was running but I couldn't breath so I tried to stop crying and just live in the moment of the amazing rush. The crowds were getting thicker and people were cheering for me by name (its on your race #). My mom was near the finish chute with a pink feather boa and I wrapped it around my neck and threw my arms in the air while I made my way, finally, to the finish line. run time: 4:52:43 (rank 745)

I think I told Bill that it was the most amazing feeling I ever had, that I was high as a kite and my adrenaline was pumping. He said, "Honey you better sit down because you are going to crash off of that in a few minutes." I didn't believe him but sure enough, an overwhelming feeling of fatigue hit me and my legs started burning and seizing up and I sat down only to find I couldn't get back up without Bill helping me. Full circle. Honestly, I have never been so tired in my entire life. I was done. Total time: 12:49:07 (rank 807 overall)

The thing that I took away from this experience is a feeling of confidence that I can get through some really tough times and that I can rely on other people and that I can rely on myself to be reasonable but inspired to go beyond what I think is possible. It has also given me a good perspective on life so that when tough times come my way I think, "Ha! I completed an Ironman, I'm pretty sure I can get through this." It also brought me closer to the people I love, here is a photo of me at the finish with my mom, she's crying (because it took me so long). Just kidding mom! Love you!

In case you are wondering, yes, it was worth every minute of training and every minute of the 12 hours and 49 minutes I raced. And yes, I will do it again, but there are a few other amazing things I need to do before I come back to this.