Monday, June 28, 2010

God, I LOVE this sport!!! IMCDA 2010 - Race Report

This is how I feel about Ironman distance races!! I LOVE'EM!!!!!

Here is a down and dirty (read: quickie race report) Total time was 12:19:06. I'm feeling so awesome -- thrilled with my run considering I missed so many weeks of run training due to my corpse-foot injury -- and am ready to frigging rock the course hard at IMC. MUAHAHAHAHA!!

Swim: If you ever want to do IMCDA -- start WAY THE HELL AWAY FROM THE BUOYS. I cannot emphasize this enough. You know you practice all year swimming in a pool, swimming in a lake, drafting, but what do you do when people all around you (and I mean literally all around) STOP swimming and doggie paddle?

You have to stop swimming too. There was a
little chop, and those who stopped to sight above the waves created a domino effect, instead of people getting knocked down however; people doggie-paddled...and bobbed. Try swimming and coming into a wall of people dog-paddling. Good times.

I trained all those 100's for this??? AAARRGGHHHH!

Turning around the buoys was a joke. A very bad joke. I put it on facebook ...there were 50 people, maybe more, all standing upright in the water not moving at all. Wall to wall people....and I was in the middle. LOL!!! Back to back, belly to belly, it was a triathlete jamboree. There was no forward momentum - so very weird and frustrating.

What was hilarious was how we were all bobbing up and down in the water complaining to each other about it -- in the middle of a race!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Want to bob? Swim along the buoy line at IMCDA!
Green apple: C'mon!! Let's go people!
Red apple: Why? This is fun!

Bike: Beautiful course, but way too many people (and too much testosterone) for the first lap. The course is curvaceous but not what I would call "technical" by any stretch of the imagination. What IS technical about it, is negotiating these turns with other people who are gung-ho on the first lap to pass on the inside/outside/anyside. (I had one guy swear at me as he tried to pass me on a turn -- of course it's MY fault he couldn't ride his bike right? Couldn't possibly be his fault!! DORK!!!) Ahh well...things calmed down considerably after the first lap, and all the boys and girls played nicely together -- what a difference 90km makes. LMAO!!!!

During the second lap, when a sharp turn was imminent, we all lined up nicely in single file and took turns. And then if people wanted to pass, they did when it was safe to do so. :) :) :)

One tip I have to share -- my coach had me take my car and drive the course a couple of days before and take my bike along with me, to ride certain parts to get a feel for things. This was such an awesome idea. My Mom (Greatest mother and triathlon-sherpa ever) took notes while I drove. I'd say things like, "steep, steady rise here" and "rip-snort down hill there."

The places I chose to ride were a number of curvy downhill sections -- There were a couple of sections that were pretty tight (especially the one marked SLOW in bright orange tape all over the road -- LOL!) that I took it easy on, but there were a number of curvy downhill sections that LOOKED like they were tight but weren't. I took it sort of easy on this one section, then realized that I could really let 'er loose after the one steep part. So, I got the Momma to drive me back to the beginning of the section and I re-did it. :) :)

This was so good for race day -- on one section, I knew right after you turn onto Lancaster the road appears to turn at a right angle and then goes downhill fast. A lot of dudes had passed me going up the little incline, but as soon as I turned, I went into the harder gears, quickly changed into my hardest gear and then hammered down, down, and away. :) :) :) And up a heck of a long way up the other side. Free speed!!! :) :) :)

Bike nutrition was BANG ON!!! Thank you Coach Sara!!!! Couldn't believe it -- I did exactly what she told me to do and lo and behold it worked! :) :)

Run: Felt great! I like to count down the miles but sort of zone out for the first few miles just so I don't have to start at 26. Because counting down from 15 is better than 26. LOL!!!!

Run nutrition was bang on as well -- I started burping a bit and had to slow down (from my blistering run pace LMAO!!!) but burps subsided. The last mile was the longest, but the crowds made it very enjoyable. I was smiling so wide I thought my face was going to crack. :) :) :)

If you ever do IMCDA you have to eat at Tomato Street -- this has the best frigging spaghetti I have ever eaten in my life. I ordered a simple spaghetti, meat sauce and mozza cheese baked on top --- who knew heaven could be contained in a massive bowl of spaghetti? Oh yeah, and as we waited in line, a waitress brought out free pizza for everyone to snack on. AND if you are a kid (or maybe act like one!) they bring out little packets of penne and other noodles and craft wire and you can make your very own pasta necklace while you await your dinner!! How cool is that?

Seriously, I would go to CDA just for this restaurant.

So, this morning after the race (I feel so much better than I've ever felt after doing an Ironman) -- I asked Coach Sara if I should pencil in the Silverman Iron-distance tri in November. MUAHAHAHAHAHA!! I am to concentrate on IMC now -- there is no hurry to register, so my eagerness must be channeled to the next task at hand.

All in all I am so excited about my next race! My training is chugging along and the ole bod is responding well, so here we go IMC!! YEE-HAW!!!

Oh yes!!! One thing I wanted to share -- I did have two negative bouts during the race. Both attacked me on the bike as I thought of my slower swim time (compared to IMC). Each time I said to myself, "Julie, does it really matter? Why are you doing this?" My answer with all my heart...."Because I love it!!" I really, really love it.

Every race is different -- the weather, the course, your health, etc -- what matters in Ironman is to keep on going. Emotions have no place during race day -- they serve no purpose. That's what the finish line is for, is to let them come crashing out. :) :)

I am fitter and I am getting faster and I am soooooo excited about IMC. Like I tell anyone who listens, EVERY RACE IS A PB. (I'm sure I was quite the equivocator during the Spanish Inquisition in a past life. LOL!) But seriously, why the heck look at the glass half empty? It serves no other purpose than to bring you down. So, buck up and look up. :) :) :) :)

Recovery time....I have many pool drills planned. Perfect time to spend a week learning how to swim don't ya think? Hee-hee!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Holy Metablosim Hotball!

I swear in the last three days my metabolism has kicked into serious overdrive. Is it part of the taper thing? I don't know, but I suspect it has something to do with it. I've been sweating at night -- I can feel my body ramping up, and this morning after swimming (30 minutes -- WHOA what a workout hahahaha!) I was so freaking hot and hungry. I had to come home right away and eat a second breakfast. First brekkie was a big bowl of oatmeal, hemphearts, cottage cheese and an apple; second brekkie was two eggs on toast plus toast with almond butter.

And that makes me feel satiated -- not even full...

With the majorly reduced training I feel so funny when I need a nap after a 30 minute swim. Hahahahahahahaha!!!

Here is some info for my friends and family who creep and don't comment.....

On June 27 go to

In the middle of the screen there will be a pink box with the info for the two races occurring that day: Ironman Coeur D'Alene, and Ironman France. Under the Ironman Coeur D'Alene (IMCDA) header will be a link to click....Athlete Tracker (or something along those lines.)

Click on that and it will take you to a page where you can enter my name or bib # to track me. My bib # is 2290.

And there you have it!!

I am retreating into into my pre-Ironman bubble now. I won't be checking emails, etc (except from my coach) -- I am one of those people who really pick up on nervous energy so I switch on hermit-mode.

See ya after IMCDA!!!!

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

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ironman -- The Wal-Mart of Iron Distance Triathlon

In 10 days I'll be racing (yes, racing in terms of pushing myself to a new PR) my sixth Ironman. All of these races have been the M-Dot race. When I first got into triathlon, I wasn't even aware that Ironman/M-Dot was a brand. I thought that was what those races were called. And that there weren't other options.

So how is Wal-Mart like Ironman?

1. It's a big and powerful brand -- everyone has heard of it...

2. Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races are everywhere...

3. Ironman participants come in all shapes and sizes, like shoppers...

4. Spending obscene amounts of money to enter a race, and then purchase ridiculously over-priced clothing feels like a deal, but you can't help but feel a little dirty about yourself afterward...

5. All the feel good marketing aside, make no mistake Ironman is about making money. The more, the merrier.

6. Bike courses are clogged like the aisles of a Wally World on a Saturday afternoon.


I'm also racing Ironman Canada this year, and then perhaps a non M-Dot race later on. Next year, I'm thinking of going completely renegade and race independent Iron Distance races...They cost half or less than half the price of M-Dot races, and have WAY FEWER people.

For me, I really have a problem with the packs of men that draft during Ironman. Last year at Ironman Canada, this one pack of 10-12 guys would break up on the hills -- both uphill and downhill. I would pass many of these guys, only to have them regroup on the flatter portions and roll by me again...and again...and again.

There is nothing more aggravating than hearing the click-click-click of some a$$hole that has stopped pedaling right behind you and sucking on your draft. I wasn't mentally prepared to deal with this - and I know it was emotionally draining. On a day as physically and mentally taxing as Ironman, any emotional instability is a waste of energy.

One solution I've thought of is to train more, get faster, get away from these situations. But, I can't help but wonder how much more wonderful it would be to have only 200 competitors instead of 2600....

Kona isn't my BIG goal. I'd like to qualify (as proof that I am getting faster), but I wouldn't take the slot, because my ultimate goal is to get faster. I'd rather save my money and go to a training camp for a month than do Kona. It just doesn't hold the thrall for me. Although I TOTALLY support my buds and anyone who has that as their goal. It just isn't my goal.

So, removing Kona from the equation liberates me to participate in different races....

Sunday, June 13, 2010 were CHICKED in the Crowsnest Pass

So I'm out riding yesterday in the HOT SUN (WHEEEEE!!) and my main set was 5x5 min HARD Oly pace followed by 3 min easy. I was on my fourth set and noticed a cyclist up ahead.

Now this is a remarkable thing because very rarely do I see any local person cycling. Very rarely. Like I've said before, the guys you see on a bike usually have a cigarette hanging out of their mouths and two Safeway shopping bags draped over the handlebars to pick up empty cans and bottles out of the ditch.

Back to my story...I was rapidly approaching said cyclist during my hard set. The clock ticked over and it was time for 3 min easy. I could see that my easy pace was his pace -- the distance between us remained the same, so I knew that when I started my final 5 min HARD, I would blow by him.

Well, it turns out the dude was one of those "Mr. I-will-not-be-passed-by-a-chick" guys. Sigh.

Yeah, I'm cute AND faster than you suckah!!!

I started my final set and went to pass him yelling, "Coming by on your left!" The dude actually stood up on his pedals and tried to accelerate. I was like WTF?!?!?! We are on the fricking shoulder of a highway and he's trying to *race* me? Oh PLEASE!

I blew by him and then forgot about him...

Finished my 3 min easy and then had 10 min cool down -- I went past my house, and decided to go 5 minutes up the highway, then turn around and come back. Little did I know that Mr. Dude was working himself into a lather...

I was taking it really easy, cooling down, and saw that there was an opening in traffic and thought now would be a good time to turn around. I looked behind me to make sure there was no other traffic and BUDDY was on my a$$. I had to swerve closer on the shoulder and WAIT for him to go. As he goes by, he says uncertainly, "On your left."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! He must have hammered himself to try and *catch* me --- and he passes me when I am barely moving and trying to turn around --- Oh man, I couldn't believe the testosterone plume coming from his rivaled the volcano in Iceland I swear. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Onto other news....

My nasty cold has just about left the building -- fortunately I was able to train through it, literally under the watchful eye if my coach. (Made it easy when I stayed with her for a week and a half! Hee-hee!) I didn't realize how depleted my body was from fighting off that infection until the day of my 6 hour HILLY ride....

6 hours of Victoria hills.

Not the little road bumps called the Road to Nepal. Oh no, these are real hills, my friends.

This ride has gone down in the history books as the ride of the 7 Snickers and two bags of chips.

Because that is how much I ate during those 6 hours. Plus gatorade. Oh. My. God. And I ran 30 min afterward too!

I was so alarmed with my intake of food that I immediatey told my coach how much I had eaten -- she was the one who explained my body must be so depleted. Because I never eat like that. Oh man -- and I had Snickers belly for a couple of days afterward too. Fortunately, a half bag of cherries on the loooooong drive back from Victoria expedited their departure from my body...

Let's see....

I made up a song for my man on the way home too. For those of you who don't know already, my Mike is also known as The Bun. I made up three verses to the tune of "King of the Road" and *my* song is entitled "Bun's on the Road!" (He works in the oil industry so he's always driving a lot. Hee-hee!)

I was so excited to sing it to him -- and he was so impressed; I have to leave a message on his cell phone and sing it so he can have it. Hahahahahahaah!!!

I also got The Bunler this for his birthday...

SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

New Wetsuit Tip

Seriously, I thought I knew everything there was about putting on a wetsuit....

But yesterday I learned the COOLEST trick of all!!!!

My wetsuit was still damp from the race, and I was having a hard time putting it on. A woman offered to help me get it on by blowing through my wetsuit at my ankle. She told me to lie down on this bench and she would blow.....

I swear my eyes boggled out incredulously and declined. She said, never mind, I'll help you get your arms in when you come outside. (We were in the women's change room.)

I sort of forgot about it, but when I emerged from the change room she was right there eager to help. Now here is the totally crazy part...

She pulled back my wetsuit from my wrist a little bit, like she was going to blow up a balloon. And then she blew. And holy crap, that little puff inflated my wetsuit with a big air pocket and I could easily pull up my wetsuit!!

I'm a convert!! I was so excited about this new discovery I quickly started babbling to everyone in my immediate vicinity. Hee-hee!!!

So awesome!! :) :)