Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hills are my friend

What did Jenna entitle her blog entry the other day? "Meh..." Oh man,I am so tired, but I am motivated beyond belief. Running hill repeats yesterday after my major swim-strengthening workout just about had me curled up in the fetus position afterwards. I was so ready to sleep! LOL! But, holy crap, I feel strong! Like my Mom would say, "Strong like bull!!" Hahahahaha!!

Only two more days of hills --- I can do this! Today is biking, and tomorrow, my two week hill stint ends with a bang: Weights with Charmaine, then a swim immediately afterwards, followed my running hill repeats while she bikes alongside. WHOOOO DOGGGY! Then, I'm off to stay with Susi for the weekend!!!!!! Can't wait to ride the "Road to Nepal" and her special "Lochend Loop!" It's going to be a great change getting some long rides in now. :):):)

I am so happy!!! Exhausted, but happy! :):) :) :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ironman Calgary 70.3!!!!!

I was just over on Alan's blog and found his post about Ironman Calgary 70.3!!!

FINALLY!! A race that is close to home!!! :) :):) :) :)


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Duct Tape - My New Secret Weapon

These are a couple of random pics of Charmaine during our mountain bike on Saturday. We were only about 800m into the continuous climb when she noticed she had somehow ripped open her leg. She never fell off her bike, and had no idea what happened. We joked that the cougars and grizzlies would be frothing at the mouth now. :) :) :)

Our adventure continued without further injury, apart from some major blisters on my left heel from pushing my bike up a long, STEEP road. Those suckers didn't pop until Sunday when I was in the middle of my long trail run (and doing some hills for the fun of it!)

I have found the perfect solution to blisters, however -- duct tape. I'd read about using duct tape whilst perusing some trail running sites. When I got home, I unfolded the flap of the blister, put Polysporin on it, refolded the flap, and then put a bandaid on it. When I went swimming the next morning, I put a piece of duct tape over the whole thing and it did the trick. I'm sure my fellow swimmers thought to themselves, "What in the world is a big, honking piece of duct tape doing on that girl's foot?" But it stayed put the entire swim session. No flapping bandaids in the bottom of the pool from this chickie. LOL!

I applied new duct tape afterwards and did a brick workout and had no problems at all -- I LOVE DUCT TAPE! Hee-hee!

So with silicon in my ears and duct tape on my feet, I'm ready for IMC!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008


You know how when someone tells you repeatedly to do something and you ignore them -- only to have circumstances play out that proved that person right? Well, this is exactly what happened to me yesterday. I've hiked for years by myself in the bush and have had my share of encounters with black bears, grizzlies, moose, cougars,and the like. I have never carried bear spray and to be completely honest, I have never been afraid of bear encounters. I mean, if I see one, I see one, big deal right?

I know a lot of people can't go anywhere near the bush without bear spray and bells and worry -- I have never felt the least bit worried about wildlife. I am excited to see wild animals out and about, but I am not scared, worried, or terrified. When people explain how cautious and scared they are of bears, they might as well be speaking a foreign language: I just don't understand!

Mike's mother has told me for years to carry bear spray while out on my solo rambles. Now, she is a qualified expert -- she had lived all her summers in the middle of the bush and has had MANY bear encounters. Still -- I know better! LOL!

I was just up at the horse camp a week ago and was told by Leslie (Mike's Mom) that they have had a Momma Griz and two younger grizzlies skirting around their camp this year. She suggested (for the umpteenth time) that I carry some bear spray with me or run with a bell. I refuse to wear a dangling, jingling bell whilst out on a trail run. The whole point is to get away from noise and traffic and into the solitude of nature. Besides, I periodically yell "WHOOP!" to scare away any lurking animals. And carrying bear spray? Do you know how close the bear would have to be before you deploy it?

5.5 meters or 18 feet. And the can empties in 8 seconds flat. So you better be on the windy side if you run into an angry bear, and you better shoot right the first time.

ANYWAYS -- in keeping with Charmaine's training schedule this week, I have been running hills, hills, and more hills. The kind of hills that are on mountains and nestled in the woods. Steep, rocky, gravelly hills -- that make me pant and gasp and swear. Great fun!!!

Yesterday, I headed out in the heat of the afternoon for my hill repeats. Susi -- you remember the lake we swam at? Well, it was on that same road to the lake that I parked my car, and then headed off into the bush. It's a trail frequently used by dirt bikes and ATVs - and it is an amazing mish-mash of steep downhill and steeper uphills. My plan was to run to the end of this particular trail and then start my hill repeats.

I had just rounded a corner coming downhill -- so I had some speed, when I noticed a cow sitting in a big puddle in the middle of the trail. My first thought was, "That ATV I saw back there is going to have a fun time trying to drive around that thing!" LOL!! I kept running, and the cow looked at me and I looked at it. Suddenly the "cow" jumped up and barreled into the bush -- errrrr... that's not a cow --- that's a grizzly!! LOL!!!

Yes, I had my contacts in; and no, I hadn't let out a "WHOOP!" in a while. It's just my poor little brain was not expecting to see a bear -- but I run into cows all the time. Heh-heh-heh!!

It was funny, for a brief moment, I thought, "Now that he's gone, I can continue to my hill." Fortunately, common sense prevailed, and I turned around and headed back to another monster hill. I made sure to tell the ATVers that a grizzly was up ahead and then proceeded to huff and puff up and down the hill.

Moral of the story? Ummm, I promise to yell more when I am out alone in the bush. As to carrying bear spray --- Well...I do have Charmaine's extra bottle that I forgot to return to her after our 4.5 hour mountain bike ride today (YAY! AWESOME RIDE!!). So, I have no excuse to not carry it with me tomorrow!

By the way -- I have FINALLY melded with my mountain bike. I had no problems with my clipless pedals, and had a great ride today. I think Susi must have blessed the pedals when she rode it, and taken away all the bad mojo. Heh-heh-heh.

I eat WAY more when I mountain bike, and my right armpit really stinks too. Only my right one, and only when I mountain bike. I call it, "The Smell of Fear." Hahahahaha! I gotta go have a shower...

:) :) :) :) :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Die Hornets, DIE!!


It's so strange...I don't know when this family of hornets built their new home right above my front doorstep, but I found out about it soon enough when one of them flew out of its hole and stung me on the back of my neck. I was leaving for work and said "Ow! SHIT! Owie, owie, owie!!!" I'm sure my neighbours thought that I had completely lost it this time. I ran back in the house (through the back door of course), and grabbed a frozen bottle of water and held it to the back of my neck.

Very quickly, the pain faded and I didn't feel anything at all. I think I have some sort of pain resistance to bee stings, wasp stings, and the like -- I was stung by wasps about a dozen times last year while riding my bike. The little suckers would ping off my left shoulder while I was in aero, leaving my arm dotted withe various sizes of stings. They would burn like hell for about 5 minutes, then would be fine. I only wish that this resistance worked for mosquito and spider bites -- MAN!!! I am still shaking my head at the spider bite that turned into a big blister and then popped on its own... ECCCHHHH. That bite was so itchy, I thought I would go crazy. But I digress...

I am so grossed out by killing bugs, that I decided to call in the big guns: My Dad. Mike had just left for work, and my Dad is the next male kin on my panic call out list. LOL!! My Dad couldn't come over right away, however, so I was forced to use the back patio door for the next couple of days. But, my dogs and cats refused to adjust to this new system. When they want in the front door, they make all sorts of bally-hoo to get in. No amount of treats or sweet-talk could prevail so I was extra careful when opening and closing the front door.

I immediately noticed that when I let any of the babies out, the hornets remained in their nest. I have to mention that the nest was positioned right smack dab in the middle of the porch, so if you were to look up when you stepped out of the front, you would be looking right into the hole of the nest -- or as I liked to call it: THE HEART OF DARKNESS.

So, being the way I am, I decided to conduct a little experiment. I wondered if the hornets darted out of their hole only when humans came out the door, or if they would dart out of the darkness because an object was in close proximity to their nest. I swung the door open, so that the door passed beneath the hole, but no hornets emerged. The next time Diva wanted outside, I pulled my shirt up to cover my head, and crouched down and ran out with her. I looked back and sure enough this big hornet had shot down through the hole. Thus, my empirical evidence indicates that hornets like man-flesh and are not concerned about swinging doors close to their nest.

Yes, a riveting few days I had, I know. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

As my friend Jason would say -- To make a long story longer...I made my Mom dinner later that evening (my Dad was working late) and she decided to leave by the front door. Well, a hornet came shooting out of the hole -- it dropped like a freaking bomb!! It buzzed around my Mom's hair and then stung her on her wrist as she tried to swat it away. That was it for my Dad -- NOBODY messes with "his lady!!"

The next day, he proudly showed me this huge can of hornet spray he had purchased from the hardware store. In typical Dad-fashion, he explained that this particular can of spray ended up costing him over $65.00! I peered closely at the $8.99 price tag and then my Dad laughingly explained that because he was in the hardware store, he HAD to buy some new-fangled tool...hence the expenditure. LOL!! He told me he would come by later that evening when all the hornets were tucked away for the night...Muahahahahahahaha!

It was about 9:30pm when my Dad showed up, armed with the can of spray. I watched from the closed screen door as he unleashed a stream of poison into their abode. He saturated their nest and then decided to do it again. "TAKE THAT, YOU FILTHY BUGGERS!" he said as he gleefully sprayed the hell out of that nest. It was like a fire hose.

I felt a strange mix of sadness at how this beautiful creation of nature was being decimated by man, and satisfaction that those suckers were going to be gone for good. I know, I'm weird!! LOL!!

The next morning, I looked up when I opened the front door and saw a number of hornet corpses poking through the nest hole. I think all their little bodies collapsed one on top of the other and congested the hole so that either their head or bums were protruding. Either way, I was feeling sickened by the sight, and of course I HAD to keep looking at it. UGH. My Dad was really busy again, and so I had to suffer the death trap hanging above my door for the next two days.

FINALLY, my Mom came by this morning with a bread bag and a knife. She cleaned up the remnants -- THANK GOD!!

The Hornets of Frank
Summer of 2008
A brief life in a brief season.
We will remember...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Swim until my face falls off

I have been so fortunate this year in meeting my buddy, Charmaine. Not only has she improved my swimming (exponentially), but she has been an amazing mentor and friend. I credit her with breaking me out of my same-pace swimming and jolting me to see that I am capable of much more...Because my same-pace mentality translated to my running and biking as well. To put it in her own words, "Julie, we know that you can run for hours on end, and that you can bike all day if you want to. You have to do something different to bring you up to the next level."

I LOVE working out with her!! It is so much fun, but challenging at the same time. There is just so much positivity that emanates from her -- she inspires me to become a better athlete AND a better person. :) :)

For the rest of this week and next week, she has me in the pool just strengthening my legs and arms. TONS of kicking and TONS of swimming with those webbed neoprene gloves. And sprinting with the kick board and gloves. And sets of butterfly kicking to strengthen my legs. I swear I sprouted another lung! HAHAHAHAHA!! I am not to actually "swim" for another week -- just concentrate on really kicking, and stretching my arms way out in front of me.

And lo and behold -- I think I am actually turning into a swimmer!! Hahahahaha! And having the time of my life. :) :) :) :) :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Susi's Abs

Need I say more? HOLY CRAPOLA! I bugged her during the weekend to show everyone her abs because you just don't see abs that rock hard anywhere. I didn't want to make her feel terribly self-conscious...but I wanted everyone to SEE!! My wish was granted on Sunday when Charmaine's hubby and I went out for a run. Susi hopped on my mountain bike, "Crash", and did a hell of a job biking in clipless shoes 2 sizes too big for her. AND she wore a sports bra and shorts. When she came out of the bedroom, I swear time just stopped and you could hear one big THUD! as everyone's jaws fell to the floor! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Susi -- you are so frigging ripped, it's awesome!

We had to cross the highway to get to the road I was taking them on -- actually this is the same "Road Kill Road" I wrote about in the spring. Heh-heh. Sorry Susi - had to let everyone in on it! Susi was like a turbo engine, blasting here and there, pedaling on grass and hills and then coming back to keep us company. Unlike me and my whining and complaining about clipless pedals on mountain bikes, Susi had NO problem whatsoever. She even gave me some tips about riding. I am still unsure about clipless, but I am stubborn too!

Later that afternoon, Susi, Charmaine and I went down to the lake for a quick swim. It was getting on in the afternoon and Susi still had to pack up, drive home, and get ready for her work week -- but I wanted her to stay! We swam a few times back and forth across the lake. The temperature of the water was perfect for wetsuit swimming, but Susi just about strangled herself in her wetsuit. The neck part was pushing right against her jugular so she felt like she was strangling herself every time she swam. She gamely tried getting out of the water to readjust her wetsuit -- but you know how impossible it is to adjust an already wet wetsuit!

Charmaine did indeed jump in the lake and swam WITHOUT a wetsuit, WITHOUT a cap, WITHOUT ear plugs, and WITHOUT goggles. God that woman is a monster. NOBODY swims this lake --- EVER. People only dawdle around by the shore line. There was even a kid who almost drowned about 4 years ago because the water was just too cold for him and essentially overwhelmed him. Not Charmaine! Mind you, her core was freezing after just one swim across the lake. The temperature of the middle of the lake is substantially cooler than the shore --- cold enough to even bother Charmaine.

After Susi left, we went up to Mike's Mom's horse camp and hung out for a while. Even fully dressed and sitting in the sun, Charmaine's core was still cold -- that gives you an idea about the lake. I decided to just change at the camp so sat on my towel in Mike's truck until we arrived. There were a few clients there and I made jokes to everyone as I emerged from the truck wearing nothing but my swimsuit: "I thought there was an outdoor pool here?"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Susi Met the Nut!!!

Susi came to stay with me for the weekend and we had a GRRREEAAATTT time! It turned out that it only took her 2.5 hours to get to the Pass -- she made it to my house before Mike, Jake, and I headed out to the Sole Survivor 5 km race.

I was so happy to see Susi, I'm sure I talked her face off! When we arrived at the race site I was bragging her up to everyone I knew -- "She just did IMCDA, she took an HOUR off her time!" Poor Susi suffered my wild enthusiasm with a gracious smile - heh-heh! Little did she know that I had plans to tell everyone about her unfricking-beleivable abs too...I jump ahead of myself! :) :)

So, the big plan for the race was that we would run together as a family, and cross the finish line together holding hands. Jake and I have been after Mike to quit smoking for good and I have caught him perusing through my running mags -- so the whole point was to inspire Mike to have a great experience and encourage healthy lifestyle changes. Susi took a pic of us before the race started and then we were off. We ran a bit and walked a bit -- Mike joked with other runners. I think we had ran about 1km when he asked a man with a megaphone directing runners, "Where's the 1km turn around?" The guy yelled through the megaphone: "1KM TURN AROUND HERE!" He had a huge grin on his face which prompted us to laugh and laugh. :) :) :)

Mike was doing really well -- he couldn't take in any fluids at the aid stations because as he said to the volunteers, "I think I'll cramp up!" but he made a point of shouting "Thanks so much for volunteering!" to every volunteer he could see. Mike was really pushing himself - his face was red and dripping sweat and Jake and I kept telling him how great he was doing. Then Mike asked, "Do I look bad? My face isn't really red is it?" Hhahahahahahaahah!! OMG!! Jake and I looked at each other and didn't say anything!! LOL!!! It was at this point that Mike tried to hitch a ride from the on-course ambulance. They didn't take the bait though -- just laughed and waved at him.

The finish line was approaching when two ladies also participating in the 5km caught up to us and passed us. One was an older lady, the other was a shorter, rounder lady with big boobs bouncing all over the place. Mike cast a glance at me and mouthed, "There's NO WAY!" He then ran up to the ladies and said, "Sorry ladies, but there is no way..." And then the sprint to the finish began!! Mike and the older lady were neck and neck and some spectators were shouting out "GO LADIES!!" I kept looking at Jake thinking how completely ridiculous we looked. The finish line was getting closer and closer and Jake and I kept waiting for Mike to clasp our hands like our original plan -- but he was in the midst of a testosterone-driven, ego-saving, life-or-death race. The turkey ran across the finish line first and THEN put both arms behind him indicating to Jake and I that we could hold hands now -- NOT BLOODY LIKELY!

I couldn't believe it!! I asked him, "What the hell was that about?" He then had the nerve to say that as Jake and I couldn't keep up to his finishing sprint, he just went ahead!!!! Like me and Jake didn't have energy after a 40 bloody minute 5km!!!!! OK, at least I'm very proud of my Mikey that he went through with the run! LOL!!!

The positive thing about this, is that his little escapade has provided me with ample ammunition -- poor Susi heard me repeat the story about 50 times this weekend! Hahahahahaha!!

Well, I have to end this for now, but I will leave you with some pics of how Nut welcomed Susi...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tired in a Good Way!

This last week has been an awesome chunk of training. I had been itching to get back out there after the Osoyoos 1/2, but knew from experience that I had to take a couple of easy days and just do recovery type workouts. I started things off with another hike up Turtle Mountain with Jake on Saturday. Then, for my long run on Sunday, I drove my mountain bike up to this path, and then ran up and down steep hills for about 75 minutes. Ummm -- I should say these were mountain sides I ran up. The great thing about this, is that when I came back onto the road the "hills" there looked so puny!!! I had just ran up these steep dirt paths and the undulating road hills were nothing in comparison -- It's all mental isn't it?

Plus, I am learning to run on tired legs -- really tired and sore legs!! And you know what -- it's not such a big deal anymore!! My legs are so much stronger and I've noticed they don't take as long to recover.

I did two major bike rides this week -- Tuesday was 150 km in 5 hours, yesterday was 158km in 6 hours and then a 20 minute run. I incorporated Tuesday's tempo workout into my overall ride, then hustled down to the lake for a 30 minute swim. Wednesday was a 40 minute run in the hilly trails, then a killer strength workout with Charmaine followed by a grueling swimming session with her. So, I was excited to see what I had left in the tank for Thursday. I was pretty pooped when I got home and conked out in the middle of doing laundry. :) :) :)

Even though I was tired I felt sooooooooo good!! I remember last year, and how riding that much was such a big deal -- now it's not such a big deal anymore!! I love seeing how my fitness improves and I love feeling my strength increase!!! More than ever, I am learning just how much mental training is involved -- so often I place limitations on myself -- sometimes without realizing it, only to discover that they are holding me back physically -- WOW!

That's what I love about this sport -- I keep learning something new just about everyday!! :) :):)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bikini Barrel Racing

Now that my dear friend Charmaine is back, we have gone on a couple of more mountain bike adventures. I am a total mountain bike newbie and am terrified most of the time. I have to add that the fear stems from my clipless pedals -- they are NOTHING like my tri bike pedals. In fact, mountain biking has nothing in common with road biking!

On the road, you can see far ahead of you and have plenty of time to unclip. On a mountain bike, my pedals haven't been broken in yet and I have a hell of a time trying to unclip. It's gotten so bad I just keep one foot unclipped all the time just in case. I've fallen way too many times and it hasn't been pretty. ALL of the times I've fallen it's because I couldn't unclip my F*^%#@# pedals!!

I am seriously thinking about getting normal pedals put on my mountain bike - The last ride I went on with Char was awesome but I kept dismounting when there was anything sketchy like a huge puddle or thick gravel. I do not want to break my ankle or screw up my body in some way before IMC just because I couldn't get my damn foot out of the pedal!! However, I still had a great time!

We forded a river three times -- the third crossing was just up to my crotch and I couldn't hold my bike high enough above the water! AAAHHHHH- I was afraid I was going to float away and Charmaine came trooping back into the water, grabbed my bike just in time and carried it across for me. She also did the same thing for another gal, Trudy who was out with us. Man, thank God for Char!!! LOL!! I must say that I am the only one that had clipless pedals and my experience has pretty much put off anyone else from getting them!!!

Another reason I am thinking about getting normal pedals is for river crossings such as this -- Have you ever tried walking through a river in frigging clipless shoes-- Oh my God --- It was a freaking nightmare. It's slippery enough in sneakers let alone shoes with a raised metal bump in the middle of them. And then the clips get mud packed around them which makes clipping and unclipping out of my pedals exponentially more difficult.

One thing I've noticed about mountain biking is that I have to stop comparing it to road biking. They really have no similarities except two wheels that spin around. When you go down a hill, you don't coast up the other side -- you have to be in an easier gear right away. The easy gears are so easy that sometimes my tires just spin in the dirt and I feel like I'm going nowhere. You always have to be on the alert for a big rock or root or tree or whatever that you might run over and try to maintain your balance. It's not at ALL like road biking!! Charmaine told me to think of it as a completely different sport.

So -- on the way to our next excursion I was thinking to myself what kind of sport I should think of mountain biking as. I just happened to have the radio on and heard an announcement -- BINGO!! I have it - When I go mountain biking, I'm going to think of it as bikini barrel racing! LOL!!!!

I've been very busy, so I won't be updating for a while. Jake is down and we hiked Turtle Mountain on Saturday. He just blazed right on up like a pro!! I managed to carry 4 liters of water and maintained a great pace. Next week, I am going to add some more weight. Char was telling me she used to run up (run!) mountains with 20lbs of rocks on her back -- so I'm working my way up. I figure I'll start carrying extra water first, to get used to carrying weight, that way I can drink away the extra weight making for a lighter return trip. Hee-hee! The running part will come later. Hee-hee!!!!

:) :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Year of the Phenomenal Bug Bites

I think the first time I noticed the monstrous quality of bug bites this year was when I saw Darryl's wasp mishap on his leg. That little sting turned out to be a huge swollen mess. Well, now it's my turn...

About two weeks ago I was mobbed by mosquitos on my way from my car to the lake. I had already put on my wetsuit so they feasted on my feet and hands. Of course, I didn't notice until later that night when they started to itch and itch and itch. Unlike the relatively innocuous skeeter bites of my childhood, these suckers swelled and looked quite alarming. They have finally just about faded away but two days ago some freaking thing bit my neck and my left ankle and middle toe.

It is SOOOOOO itchy and the bites on my foot have swollen up like Darryl's leg --- well not that bad yet (LOL!) -- but huge nonetheless. When I woke up this morning, the redness from the bites had spread and there is a freaking blister (WTF??##$$) on my toe! I've never had a blister from a freaking bug bite before!!!

What is up with the bugs this year? Have they mutated? AAARRRRGGGHHH!!!!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Party in the Crowsnest Pass

No -- my long lost goal of trying to do a chin up has not yet been achieved (because I haven't been to the gym in AGES), but I am extending an open invitation to my fellow tri bloggers...

July 18-20 is Rum Runner Days in the Pass. Our town of 6000 swells to over 41 000 -- people come primarily for the fireworks known as "Thunder in the Valley" on Saturday night. This is a MASSIVE event!!

There is a 5km and 10km road race (Sole Survivor) that occurs Friday night -- the one Jake and I always run together, and all sorts of stuff going on. Rides and shows and a general circus/party atmosphere pervade Blairmore throughout the weekend. The parade happens on Saturday morning and there is a really, really cool underground mine tour that you can take in Bellevue to see the way miners used to mine. You don jackets (because the temperature is quite cold deep inside the mine shaft) and helmets with headlights. Everyone follows the tour guide deeper and deeper into the mine -- it is amazing just how miners worked in the crooked and cramped shafts. My favourite part of the tour is when the tour guide asks everyone to turn off their headlamps -- the darkness is absolute. I couldn't even sense the people standing right next to me -- it was incredible how the total blackness seemed to cut off most of my senses. all are cordially invited to either crash at my place (bring a sleeping bag because our house is only 950 sq. ft. and Susi has dibs on the spare bed! Hahahaah!) or bring a tent and camp in my yard. I already have one set of friends who will tenting in the front. We could do a hike, go for a bike ride, do a wetsuit swim at the lake, and just hang out.

Mi casa es su casa dudes and dudettes!!

:) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

For Shannon: How to Repair a Wetsuit

Here is the link I used as a guide to fix my wetsuit:

Here are a couple of things I either did differently or just observed.

1. Hang your wetsuit off your shower rod so you can really inspect it and then fix it without worrying about getting glue all over the place.

2. Use crazy glue or super glue -- I used the stuff I sell at the dollar store and I didn't have to let it soak in and dry for 1-3 minutes, I just applied it like the pictures show and then held the suit together for about 45 seconds to a minute. I like to do things as quickly as possible and didn't want to dink around with waiting for glue to dry before squeezing the suit together. **BUT make sure when you are gluing it that the other side of the wetsuit doesn't get caught up in the glue. When I first squeezed a gash together I just about sealed my hand opening shut! LOL! Just something I noticed! :)

3. For the small gouges, I just put a daub of glue on them just to seal them.

4. Once I got into the groove, I was dabbing glue all over the place as my wetsuit dangled from the rod.

5. I let the wetsuit dry overnight just in case.

It worked! I raced in it on Sunday and no problems!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Desert Half Ironman aka The Race I Took Back and Made My Own

Oh yeah folks -- I came into this race with some serious inner demons to face down. Two years ago I had a nightmare of a time -- the heat was 36 degrees Celsius plus, and sucked the life right out of me. During the run I actually started to cry, I felt so terrible. I remember talking to myself: "JULIE! If you have enough energy to cry, you have enough energy to run. Now run!"

When things got worse, the self-talk changed to: "Even if you run very slowly, do NOT waste any energy crying -- use it to move forward." As the heat became more and more intense, I hunched over and felt like total crap.

Thus, Sunday, July 6 2008 I had a bone to pick with myself -- No more excuses, no more whining, no more. Time to do the best I could do.

To save those pressed for time -- I scorched a new PB for the Osoyoos course by 35 minutes and 30 seconds. This year, the tears across the finish line were of an altogether different variety!!!!!!!!!!

Old Osoyoos time: 7:04:17
New one: 6:28:47


Swim: 38:32
Bike: 3:35:54
Run: 2:09:58

But, oh my GOD is that ever a hard course!!!!!! Doing Richter twice in a race -- I kept thinking to myself, this is awesome training for IMC!! OK -- below is the race report:


Was busy talking to friends when I realized I had to poop! I got into the long porta-potty line noticing how everyone else had their wetsuits, caps, and goggles in hand. EEKK! I left everything in transition and kept nervously checking my watch. I finally did my business and jogged back into transition and squirmed as quickly as I could into my wetsuit. I didn't have much time, but headed straight down to the beach where the first wave started at 7:00am. Women and guys 50-55 started in the second wave at 7:05am. It was a terrible start -- lots of jostling - no one was rude except this one person. He actually yelled "GET OUT!!" HAHAHAHAHA!!! The second lap was MUCH better and I actually got into a groove -- could this be??? I can actually swim!!!! YAY!!

To be honest, I even thought of Jenna and Kelly swimming at GWN!! I was channeling you guys and it worked!! YAHOO!! 7:53 off my swim time!!! FINALLY!!!!

The bike course at Osoyoos is VERY challenging, to put it mildly. There is no grace period, no flats, just Richter right as soon as you emerge from transition. The wind was blasting against us the whole way, which was a treat for the return trip. However, like all winds, it grew fickle and didn't remain a tail wind for the entire time. I kept up on my electrolyte tabs but did make one MAJOR error -- I ate a Nutri-Grain bar during the latter stages of the bike and it didn't have time to digest. This was to cause me no end of trouble on the run.

Since my first Osoyoos race, I have made it a point of running out in the heat when I can. I knew that I would have to hold myself back for the first half -- because of overheating issues. At each aid station, I grabbed a Gatorade and water and three sponges. I would tuck two sponges down my front, and one would go on the back of my neck. I repeated this the entire race and my core was AWESOME. In fact, my legs felt great too -- I wanted to RUN, but my guts started to revolt. It was a terrible feeling. I was in the retaste zone and it was not a good feeling.

Running in Osoyoos is like running in an oven -- a dead heat -- remorseless. Even running in the Crowsnest Pass on the hottest day imaginable doesn't come close to what Osoyoos can dish out. There was a couple who sat outside their home and sprayed runners as we went by. It was the most wonderful temporary relief!! To whoever you are out there -- THANK YOU!!!

My guts became so bad I had to stop, pound my chest, and then burp. Then I could run again. I tried burping myself as I ran, but my belly would have none of it. I had to slow down too -- if I went any faster, mt guts started to clench up. I started to think thoughts that would relax my mind and hopefully my belly -- I thought primarily about Peanut sleeping on my head!! LOL!!!! There was a brief stretch where my belly felt good, and I thought to myself, "Take advantage of this now!"

Because I had run this race before - I knew the hills to expect too -- they can suck the last vestiges of positivity out of anyone -- especially coupled with the heat. But, on Sunday, I knew what to expect and plodded along -- dripping water from my sponges the whole way. :) :)

Coming down the last bit to the finish line was really emotional for me. I knew I had beat my time, but more importantly, I knew I had decided to keep a positive outlook instead of giving in to fear -- Jenna, that book is so wonderful!! One of the basic premises of this book is that your brain can physically only deal with either fear or love at one time. It cannot experience both at once. We have the choice to decide what our brain focuses on. If you recognize you are slipping into a stream of thoughts prompted by fear, you can CHOOSE to catch it out and instead think of something you really appreciate. Hence, my race-day imaginings of my Little Nut!! Hahahahahaahahahahaah!!!

I met a couple of friends at the finish line: Iona (her first 1/2!) and Jamie (his first too!) and I kept hugging them and crying and blubbering!! It was after the third or fourth time I hugged Iona, that she pointed out I had a chunk of silicon ear wax still dangling off my ear. Hahahahahaahah!! Perfect -- a class act right to the end!!!! LOL!!

Iona and I went into the lake afterwards, She paused to take her shoes and socks off, whereas I walked right in -- race number, medal, shoes and socks and all. There is something so delicious about abandoning what you are "supposed" to do -- like taking off your shoes before you go into the water. I dunked my head underwater and just floated on my back and felt so freaking happy!!!

Next stop...IMC!


By the way -- Hi Leslie!! You looked awesome in pink out there on the run course!! You saw me before I saw you, but I was cheering for you!!! :) :) :) :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Osoyoos Bound

I'll be packing everything up today and leaving tomorrow for Osoyoos. I went for a lake swim yesterday and noticed (to my alarm) that I had two significant tears in my wetsuit. They were deep too -- only luck prevented them from becoming a genuine hole. I have no idea how I nicked my suit -- fingernails, rocks, etc. Mind you, I've put four years of wear into that suit so I suppose some wear and tear is normal. I was nervous going into the lake with it -- what if it becomes a hole? How am I going to fix it? Why does this have to happen days before my race?

After my swim and after my wetsuit dried, I went over the suit inch-by-inch. Armed with super glue, I fixed every nick and tear I could find. I was quite pleased with my handiwork! I kept thinking that the worst case scenario would be to crack out a roll of duct tape -- I remember Trevor telling us (in Penticton) how moments before a race, he pulled his wetsuit zipper too aggressively and ripped it right out! He had a couple of people literally wrap duct tape around him like a mummy!! LOL!!!

Have a great weekend of racing everyone!!!!!

Good luck Kelly -- you are going to have an awesome time!!

Jenna -- Rock on, girl! Let'er rip!! LOL!!

Kelsey -- "The Naked Triathlete" -- Hehe-hehe-heheh-- Sorry, I can't help it ever since you told me about the skinny-dipping lake where your race is going to be held! Good luck on your race and think "turtle." :) :) :)

Darryl - Have a great race and don't hold anything back -- you are going to have a GREAT swim this time!!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I Dorked Out!

My Mom and I deeked down to the US yesterday to do some shopping and to pick up my NEW tri suit!!! SIGH -- it is awesome and full of pink and black wonderfulness. I tried it on as soon as I got home and it fits like a dream -- even more comfortable than my reliable old sugoi suit.

This is my secret tactic for the Osoyoos 1/2 on Sunday...When I start feeling the pain and the burn on the run, I'm going to unzip my suit a little to reveal the pink bra --- PINK POWER!!!!!!! Hahahahahahahahahaha!!

It had been raining all day in the Pass and nothing had changed when we got home. I had a bike workout to do -- so I decided to run instead. And because I felt like totally dorking out -- I tucked two mini Canadian flags in the back of my hat and ran down the highway in the rain -- Hahahaahahahah! LOVE IT!!!