Thursday, December 18, 2008

Keeping busy!

Its been busy around here. It is such a fun time around the holidays and the weekends have been spent getting ready for Christmas and enjoying some of the mild days that we have had. I have got a few good fun mountain bike days in and I have been getting on the road which is great. Training has been very low lately. Swimming is right on target though. I am swimming 5 - 6 days and feel myself getting stronger again. Everything has been at a low intensity which is always good although I find myself itching to go hard.
Biking has been sparse and running even less due to an ankle issue that is finally calming down. I'm now in my 4th week of yoga and still enjoying it.
In the winter I like to try rebuild a little strength and I have been in Physical Therapy three days a week trying to fix the nagging issues from the end of the season and trying to balance and rebuild muscles. Very important!

On the homefront my son Tanner is now a candidate for his back belt in karate after passing his test. I am very proud of him. He has been doing Karate for 4 years and has wanted to quit on a few occasions. I have not allowed him too and for this he is thankful as he is now 1 year away from being a black belt. This shall be a hard year for him but as I have told him with commitment and hard work he will get there.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chlorine!

I went to pick up my daughter from a playdate today and her little friend ran up to me and gave me a BIG hug only to exclaim." You smell like a swimming pool!"
Yes...its back!!! The dreaded chlorine smell is now a permanent fixture on my body and the worse part is that I've got used to it! Swimming has been lots of fun lately. DRILLS, DRILLS and more DRILLS!!!

I dreamed of Africa!





Well every now and then I get home sick. My family all lives in South Africa and it has been three years since I have seen them. So today when I got home from training I put on the TV as I ate lunch and what was on but "I dreamed of Africa" The scenery in this movie is amazing and it made me even more homesick. I had never seen this movie before. It was so SAD I cried my eyes out.
My motivation this winter in training will be knowing the reward at the end of alot of hard training will be to get to race in my home country with a well needed family visit after. So every time I head out into the cold or I get on the trainer I shall train with purpose.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gentle Yoga!


My friend Maggie has been asking me for months to go to yoga with her. So I decided while the schedule is light maybe not a bad idea. So we rush into the class after swim to find of course that we are the youngest two there. The instructor asks if we are aware that it is gentle yoga! Maggie assures her that's just what I need! I am always on the go...never a chance to just relax...hence we started what was too be an hour of super relaxation and a little meditation. At first I found myself thinking that this was going to be the longest hour and contemplated the best escape route. Maggie refusing to acknowledge my pain. I kept thinking I could do this stretch in 5 seconds and be on to the next. Sadly I found myself competing with others in the class who were twice my age. The instructor told me not to worry about what my neighbors were doing and to focus on my own body....mmmm heard those words before. By the last stretch we were lying on our back, arms at our sides letting go all of our worries and pains. Body part by body part we had to focus on total relaxation. Until yes, I fell into a deep sleep. Out cold...possibly a little drool. A cell phone rang in the distance and I quickly came back to reality as everyone was sitting and uuuuhhhhmmming. Maybe this yoga is for me...I felt like a new person after :-)

I love the holidays!!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was spent at my brother in laws. I was happy about this as it meant no cooking ,cleaning or leftover turkey(which I don't like) But as we were leaving he insisted I take all these desserts home with me. Now my decision is, do I eat them slowly a little slice of each every day or do I just eat the whole cake in one day and then feel so sick that I don't want to see carrot cake again for a year. I could have friends over to share in the eating frenzy but they all have their own left overs. I hate to throw it out!!! What to do what to do??? Breakfast this morning was a slice of blueberry pie. It is blueberries... so how bad can it be? I like to use the excuse that the extra weight gained during this holiday period will be good for my winter training. A little extra fat may even keep me warmer! In a week I'll be crying that I can't fit into any of my clothes and then I'll throw the remainder out!




Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Ironman Sunday..a very easy day!

Today was a good day to chill and I was excited to watch IM Louisville on TV and follow my friends racing in IM Arizona. We had had a busy weekend celebrating Tanner's 9th birthday. My son insisted my husband and I play laser tag and we were thrilled. So it was us against 16 nine year old boys. I had never played before...what fun! The party was a success and last night we went out with some friends. With these friends it always ends in the girls going out to dance! So after a late night and an early ride and a mountain bike it was good to take the rest of the day easy.
It was great reliving IMLV and it was fun to watch IM Arizona. With quite a big pro field it definitely made things interesting. It seemed like a very fast day out there all round. Well done to Jordan who made things very exciting with a 3rd place finish. Danny, Miranda,Marky V,Chris,Danielle and Kim also had great days out there!

Freeezzziinng!

This was a cold week in NJ and today I had the pleasure of riding in 24 degrees.With a light 5 to ten mile wind, it felt like in the teens. The good news was that it was sunny and did not feel too bad. The ice on the water was a reminder of how chilly it was! There are never too many takers on days like this. But Laura ,John and I headed up the coast for a good 40 mile ride. After doing two of the same workouts once on a mountain bike and once on the road....the road is much harder! I love mountain biking but need to get my hard workouts in.

I have decided in order to not feel like I am totally missing out on being in the woods. I have been going in with my son. This is a slow ride but very rewarding to see my son in action. Today after I had thawed out from my road ride I got warmly dressed again and headed into the woods with him. Our hour loop we have been doing took us 50 minutes today. He is getting faster and trying to get over logs and taking some risks. He did take a good wipe out on a downhill section. But I was thrilled when he took the next downhill like a champ. There is no greater feeling than turning your kids onto something you love!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Running High!


Tonight I met up with my old running group. I used to do all their runs...every Tuesday/Thursday evenings on the boards no matter what the weather was...we'd be running! These days I try get my workouts in while the kids are at school so I have taken a break from meeting these guys. But tonight I headed down there and it was perfect...33 degree's feeling like 25 by the water with a gentle north wind. It was brisk and very energizing. The group was tapering for Turkey Trot this weekend ,so my buddy Tommy and I picked up the pace and ran a solid 7 miles at a slightly faster pace than I've been running. It felt good to open up the stride and push a little!
Conversation was good and it reminded me why running has always been my passion.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It is good to be back on a schedule!

Blogging has been a little slow as I am getting back into a schedule of training and balancing/organizing life! I am preparing myself for 2009 and I am feeling like it is going to be a very exciting year filled with lots of good new relationships,great training and racing, and a visit back to my family and home town planned. I shall not race a triathlon until March/April which will give me plenty of time to rebuild myself and be fully prepared for Ironman South Africa. I have not raced there in 3 years. If training goes as planned I shall go there alot more prepared and with alot more confidence than in 2006. In the mean time I have a long winter ahead. This week is meant to be a cold one in NJ so time to bundle up. My Cervelo is a fixture in my living room now.

Today, after a few rainy days,I loaded my mountain bike up and went into the woods. It was a little muddy but alot of FUN! Due to an overnight trip to Atlantic City to see Brian Reagon,(a very funny comedian) I got a late start and headed into the woods in the early afternoon, happily missing the crowds. For some reason mountain biking has become so popular this year especially on the weekends. I enjoy it alot more when it is quiet in the woods. Today I zipped around there by myself just enjoying the fresh air and tried to get a good solid workout in while staying safe too.

I then rushed home to attend a fundraiser for a boy on my road who has Leukemia. Matt Brand has been in the Children Hospital of Philadelphia since February fighting a bone marrow transplant complication. It was so inspiring to see the community come together to help him and his family. Matt has always been a great kid and I wish him well and hope he gets out of the hospital soon.

Around seven I realised I had forgotten all about IMLP on TV today. I have set reminders everywhere for Mondays 5pm showing on Versus tomorrow!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Today I got my hands on the P4!


Finally after 4 days of rain the sun came out and it was a gorgeous day! I met up with some friends,the cool girls from Team EPS/CSS and the guys from Brielle Cyclery and we did a really nice ride! John and Jared from Cervelo joined us too. After the ride I got to chat too them and they had alot of good information about the new bikes. They were probably a little worried that I was going to steal their P4 as I couldn't stop touching it! For those that have not seen it up close I think it IS a good looking bike! Sure it is black but the details are amazing!
After a few days of feeling really lousy with a head cold this really brightened up my day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween Pictures

In the spirit of Halloween,we all dressed up for "trick or treating" and a party! I was chosen as class mom for my sons class this year so I was very busy last week trying to get organized to throw the coolest party ever! The kids loved it and I had a blast...very cute! As I never got to have Halloween in South Africa growing up this is a fun holiday for me!

Times almost up...get your vote in!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I miss Kona so much that yesterday I made my own lava!

Yes this was my lame attempt at making candy apples! Way too much time on my hands! Time to start training again before I burn the house down!






The vog even came down

Saw the guy in the orange shirt on IM Arizona today!

That's right I saw Coach Paulo yelling at Jordan Rapp to move it on IM Arizona today! Classic! I always love to see him on the course as I know he's going to make me dig deeper or feel guilty when I have nothing!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ironman Arizona on TV this weekend!

Ford Ironman Arizona on Versus this Sunday
Don't miss the first of five straight weekends of Ironman coverage on Versus


2008 Versus Schedule
Sunday, 11/2 – 3PM – Ford Ironman Arizona
Sunday, 11/9 – 3PM – Ford Ironman Couer d'Alene
Sunday, 11/16 – 3PM – Ford Ironman Lake Placid
Sunday, 11/23 – 3PM – Ford Ironman Louisville
Sunday, 11/30 – 3PM – Ford Ironman Wisconsin

All shows re-air the following day (Monday) at 5PM (ET).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kicked out of the gym today!

The trainers at the gym that know me told me to go home today. They strongly suggested me going to get hot chocolate with loads of whipped cream or icecream and NOT working out! Instead I was going from one cardio machine to the next as it was raining outside and cold.
I have been mountain biking, doing a little trail running and swimming. Does sound a little like triathlon...no schedule though and very short! Last year,after Ironman I went on a tennis kick and played about three hours of tennis a day. Paulo suggested I do something a little more related to triathlon. So my swim today was all about fun! The main goal was to do the least amount of actual swimming as possible.We never counted the yards and before anything got to boring we moved on.I did an easy 800. Then came 4x150's (50 LA 50 RA 50 swim) 4x100 (50 kick 50 swim) then 4x100 (25 underwater 25 swim 25 sprint 25 swim) next 4x125 IM and lastly 2x300 pull( breathing 7,5,3)with a 200 cool down. We chatted between each set and had FUN. We even had time for a steam and sauna after as we swam in the indoor pool that has all the cushy ammenities. The outdoor bubble pool is high school like but I like to use it when training as it is less crowded, longer, and slighty cooler with no water aerobics classes going on...strictly swimming!.
I couldn't forget the icecream suggestion so I did treat myself to a little pumpkin icecream this evening as I figured I deserve it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Triathlete guys referred to as "Adrenaline junkies! Good on paper but not good for dating?"

This is an article that a friend forwarded to me..."Four Guys You Think You Should Date... but Shouldn't!"

Saturday Night Live's hilarious Will Forte brings to life good-on-paper dudes who are really just chumps in disguise. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Chump #1: The Workaholic Hotshot
This guy is always dressed to the nines, because he's loaded. Simmer down -- the cash flow comes at a price. He toils until the wee hours, then loosens his tie and parties like there's no tomorrow. Unfortunately, there is a tomorrow, and it starts in like three hours. What little time he has for you will be shared with his BlackBerry. The ugly truth: Money is the love of his life, and you come in second -- or third, since he's probably crunching more than numbers with his secretary.

Chump #2: The Adrenaline Junkie
This dude skydives, surfs, runs with the bulls -- anything for that rush. And he has the sick abs and chiseled arms to prove it. But to keep him happy, you need to be in perpetual motion too. This guy does not like to sit around, and he doesn't like for you to sit around either. And it isn't just a phase. In his late 30s, he'll get into marathons, and they'll lead to triathlons and eventually to the Ironman competition. Yeah, that means a trip to Hawaii, but instead of chilling on the beach you'll be cheering him on from the sidelines. Having fun yet?

Chump #3: The Nice Guy With a Chip on His Shoulder
He'll ridicule the "tools who are trying too hard" with bold clothing choices to seem down-to-earth, but here's his dirty little secret: He spends just as much time picking out his outfit as his more fashion-conscious counterparts do. Under the casual exterior is a calculating killjoy with mom issues. He'll stand at the bar thinking, "Why is that girl going for that dude over there? One day, she'll come to her senses and get with a nice guy like me!" The truth is, he's so preoccupied with being overlooked that he'd be totally oblivious to your attention.

Chump #4: The Smooth Operator
He's the type that rolls up to the club in an Escalade and holds court in the VIP section, ordering bottle service all night. He scores women with entertaining small talk and name-dropping. Yeah, he's a Casanova in a skull cap (it replaced his trucker hat about a year ago). But this guy spells trouble. It takes confidence to pull it off with a straight face -- too much confidence. (There is such a thing.) He'll shower you with attention, but beware: You may not be the only chick in that shower!

My response as some of these chumps are my friends...a little harsh on chump #2 Admire them, love them , enjoy their physique, and go to Kona and cheer real loud! Maybe you'll even get inspired to do your own triathlon or just stay in shape! Definitely Date able.

I have so many great shots from Kona I wanted to share a few more!

CUTE COUPLE



KONA TREEHOUSE



BROTHER AND SISTER




THIS CAUGHT MY EYE...WOW!

MOODY



TANNER AND I FOLLOWED THIS CAT AROUND. HIS EYES WERE GEMS!



SWEET



WATER REFLECTION



I KISSED A DOLPHIN

As you can see I love Photography!

BEACH RUN



BUDDHA

Saturday, October 25, 2008

New Wound


It hurts so good!

Yes, it is mountain biking season again and I apparantly SUCK! I LOVE it but I have such a bitter sweet relationship with this sport. I look forward to this time of year as I love being in the woods but I only bike as long as the weather stays relatively calm, which means above 20 degrees, not too icy, not too muddy, not too snowy. The terrain changes so much day to day with the different weather days. It really does keep it fun but challenging. Well the last two days have been extremely sandy and I of course due to my dare devil side are perhaps riding a little too aggresively and am making stupid mistakes.I have been trying a new Cannondale bike with bigger wheels which for some reason seems to make me more of a clutz in the woods than I have ever been. If anyone knows anything about mountain biking I would like to know what kind of bike I should be riding. I have a Cannondale Prophet...lefty which I know is too heavy for me. It is 35 pounds and full suspension. I weigh around 115/120 pounds and am always working to stay with a fast group. I don't mind it as I feel it makes me stronger but it may just beat me up! The full suspension is probably not neccesary as I am not really doing any major downhill riding.
The new bike I am trying weighs around 28 pounds and is a hard tail. It has 29 inch wheels and is the caffeine model. I still battle to lift the front wheel for bigger logs and I have fallen twice and for some reason the crank seems to be coming down and shredding my legs. I have never had this happen before and I am thinking it has something to do with those big wheels? Hence the beautiful shark bite pictures.
Any suggestions????

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jacqui Gordon changes her name!





Jacqui would like to be known as "Wanda B. Fasta"

10/23/2008 1:00 PM, Triathlon Magazine


Just like the "Seinfeld" episode where George wanted everyone to call him "T-Bone," Jacqui Gordon would like to be known by a bold new name.

The Pro triathlete has christened herself "Wanda B. Fasta" for her new double ironman stunt, "New Zealand then South Africa," due to take place in March and April 2009. She has released a lengthy justification for the comical moniker.

"I have someone else that takes over when it's time for me to work and when I'm racing, this alter ego that I've created that kind of protects me and who I really am," the triathlete said in a statement

"Wanda B. Fasta is the fun, more sensual, more aggressive, more outspoken side and more glamorous side that comes out when I'm working and when I'm racing."
Additionally, she has set up a cryptic MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/jacqui gordon) that gives a "lucky person" the opportunity to receive a personal message and a gift bag valued at $5.

As George found out, nicknames usually do not work when they are self-bestowed. His colleagues thought he should be called Koko the monkey. In real life, rapper Eminem had better luck with his alter ego "Slim Shady," which he said came to him while he was on the toilet.

Jacqui Gordon just raced in the Hawaii World Championships where she was 26th pro!

"I Am ... Wanda B. Fasta"

This was one cranky shark that bit me today!

Thank You

A BIG thank you goes to Brielle Cyclery for their support this year! Kathy, Clarence and Patrick...you guys have been awesome and always quick to help me. This store has been around for over 35 years and their success has been greatly due to their awesome staff and service that they offer. They have had a great year as one of Cervelo's top retailers. They even got to open a new store up in Asbury Park this year. They too have been successful with the start of the Jersey Shore Triathlon club and we have seen the membership grow every month.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Some pics from Bree and Jodi



Kona Report!

Well I am back from Hawaii and finally have turned my computer on, checked results and have got some photos from the race. It was a wonderful 2 weeks in Hawaii.
I wanted to write a quick race report from last week.
Leading up to Kona I was unsure how I was going to feel race day. My body had some nagging issues and I was not feeling very confident due to the lack of long training since before Louisville. Paulo had assured me that rest was the way to go and he was right. The week before Kona my body started to feel much better and I got some great workouts in. Riding out in the Lava Fields always pumps me up and I was fortunate to be there long enough to ride in some conditions alot like we had race day. Thus I was quite prepared for those gusts that came close to blowing me off my bike.
I had some good pool workouts and my swimming was really feeling solid. Everything seemed to be coming around and I was looking forward to racing!
I had picked up my family up at the airport the day before and they were all excited to be on the island. We had moved in to a hotel right on Palani at the race start which although very noisy proved very good for race morning and post race!

Race morning went very smoothly and I was not nervous at all but more excited to get it going! Once treading water I tried to find a good group to start with but I was getting so squished and could barely tread that I moved to the outside. I thus got a lousy start to the day. I was left way behind where I wanted to be after an all out effort. I was trapped in a slower group and fought my way out to where I could actually swim freely without getting hit. I swam hard to catch up to the group in front of me. I started to draft behind the last girl but could feel the effort was too easy. Paulo had suggested I just stay with the group and conserve energy as we were all going to be minutes apart but I knew I had to go on my own. So I pulled ahead of the group and swam a good effort. I could see two girls about 200 m ahead so I swam hard to catch them. All the while I was getting stung by something on my face and arms.Its really hard to keep focus when you are getting freaked out by something stinging you. At one point I took such a big gulp of salty water that I fought the urge to throw up. By the turn around I was 100 m away and then a few mintes later I had caught the girls. I rested for a few minutes then decided I needed to swim harder again. So I pulled ahead. It was right there that I lost site of the buoys. The current that had been in our face on the way out was now pushing us towards the wrong set of buoys and I sighted the wrong set and swam way off course. I was dissapointed that I wasted so much time. I was so far off course and I could not believe that it took the kayakers so long to point us in the right direction. I made the mistake which I will never do again of not using a land guide to direct me. By the time I had reached the pier three age groupers had caught me and I knew my time was going to be slow.
Once out of the water I regrouped and ran to the change tent. The first thing that happened was my timing chip came off as I peeled off my speedsuit. That was going to be a real pain. I pinned it back on with my safety pin as they were taking so long to get me a new one.I had come out the water with Natasha and she had already taken off.
It felt good to be on the bike. The first 20 miles I took very comfortably. Maybe too easy as a bunch of the girls that were behind me on the swim passed me. I tried to really ride within myself as I was worried about the last 20 miles of the bike. Normally I would have taken this out alot harder. The result was I felt great throughout the bike and never felt fatigued. The wind was mello until just after Mauna Lani about 35 miles in and then the head and cross winds started. It was like a light switch had been flicked and it became quite a slow and a little scary ride up to Hawi and back. I saw my friend Sergio who had been blown sideways and had hit a cateye while taking a drink. He was all scraped up and sitting on a curve.I felt awful for him. I knew I had to be really careful while drinking and descending. All the time I was wasting an incredible amount of time stopping at the timing mats as I was told to get a new chip. Mine fell off ten minutes into the ride as the pin did not hold. At each mat nobody new where to get a new chip and by the turn around I was quite frustrated as I knew I was losing to much time each stop. I decided to try pick up the effort on the way back. The wind was now just a crosswind and we were going fast but all over the road. I passed a few girls. I was sad to see Tara Norton on the side of the road crying. I learned today that she had hit a volunteer at an aid station and had gone over her bars and landed on her back breaking her wrist and a rib. She was in 4th place and having an awesome race. I hope she makes a quick recovery.
At mile 98 I got a very unjustly red card. A group of age groupers had passed me and an age group girl was biking with them. This blatant drafting is very annoying and I was thinking about this as they pulled right in front of me. I was just starting to brake as they were not biking any faster than me when a bike official pulled up and said I was drafting. I argued that they had not given me 20 seconds to drop back. He argued that they did not see the group just pass me they just pulled up and saw me there. I was so frustrated from arguing that I started to get asthma and really had to focus to regain my composure. I wish I could get out of the water earlier so I could bike without getting caught up with the groups. I find myself having to brake way to much in a race where you should not be braking at all!
Well I ran into transition,did my first penalty box ever. I made the best of it and I got to rest, use the potty, make some jokes, and it really got me fired up to run! My first two miles were 6.32 and 6.38 and my legs felt super. Running along Alii is always good and fast. The people cheering are so much fun and the miles went by really fast and I was enjoying seeing all the pros go by. My 5 mile split was 7.09 pace, I felt good and by mile 13 I was still on 3.10 marathon pace. Tracy Robertson, pro, friend and Kona training partner had gone by me and I tried to stay with her up Palani. This hill always gets to me and I wanted to walk, but today I felt great. It took another mile before Tracy started to pull away and my splits started to slow. I lost my focus and definitely started to bonk. By the energy lab my miles were extremely slow and the lab seemed very long. The thermometer that some evil person with a sick sense of humour had put there read 108 and that was just cruel! I was baking and very thirsty and dehydrated. I started to drink large amounts of coke and I started to feel more energized. My mind set changed and I wandered to myself why I was running so slow. I had no tummy troubles for once, my legs were not cramping, so I decided to push again. I was angry at myself for falling into a slow stride. I pushed hard for the next 6 miles back into town. Down Palani my legs did remind me that I had gone 138 miles and decided to do some minor cramping but I finished strong with a big smile on my face and a 4 minute run pr. That was my 11th ironman and 4th Kona. I am happy to say it was probably the best I have ever felt in an Ironman! I was so happy to high five my kids and come running down Alii Drive one more time. I cherish that feeling and hope to be there again!
I thank Paulo for once again understanding that racing in Kona was more than me just wanting a vacation in Hawaii and for getting me ready. I love this race more than any other. I thank my family too for coming out to watch me and being my number one fans! Congrads goes to my friends that always inspire me.Congrads goes to Danny, Sergio(who finished with all his skin left on the Queen K), my friend Linsey who finished 5th pro overall and just keeps getting better. Tracy who had a pr run and a great overall race. Will who just keeps getting better and better! Tom and Laura who finished her first Kona. Thanks to all those that cheered hard for us out there all day...it really helped alot!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Don't try this! 3 Ironman and 1 70.3 in 10 weeks!

Well I am thrilled to say I had a respectable day out there yesterday with a very solid time! I felt surprisingly good and thanks to coach Paulo he really nailed my transition between the IM Louisville and IM Hawaii so that I actually felt good race week and had no physical complaints at all race day.
My race was full of excitement,drama and alot of fun.I even managed to get a 4 minute run PR and felt amazing for the first 13 miles. Pity it wasn't a half! I was so inspired by all the great talent out there, the crowds, the HTFU posse and my family and friends of course! I am so happy to have been a part of this race again and shall post a race report soon. For now i am off to spend a week with my family on the island and shall enjoy a much needed and deserved break.Thanks for all the support !

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day 4 Kona



Here's a few photos that Paulo took from yesterday's run at the Energy Lab. Tracy is the perfect training partner for me....pity she lives in Seattle! I look forward to some good training camps next year. The lab was actually quite enjoyable and the run along the Queen K not too hot! The zone 4 interval did hurt a little though!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Biking on Queen K ...scenic overlook!

Coming down Hawi!

Reflections of the last four days in Kona!

I have been very slack with updating my blog. So here goes!
The trip in was good. I wish I could say uneventful but this is my life we are talking about and there is always something crazy happening. Firstly,I left my house at 4am Friday morning. This is never a good idea as I don't sleep at all the night before. But I was so excited to get on the plane and get things going I survived. Hank decided the night before he could not bare to get the kids up and out so early so he got me a car service. All I wanted to do was fall back asleep but I had a very talkative driver who had obviously overdosed on caffeine and kept me entertained the whole way. He too almost took me to JFK instead of Philadelphia which might of been a problem. Baggage check went smoothly but 1 bike 1 bag now costs $125. They were trying to charge me $140 for 2 bags but I refused that. It is getting out of CONTROL on these airlines!
My second surprise was that I realized that I was flying through Phoenix instead of San Francisco like I previously wrote. My daughter was telling my husband that she wanted to look for the Golden Gate Bridge when she lands and he was a little confused!
The next flight to Kona did not go so well. We were all ready to take off when they announced we had to all get off the plane and switch planes. That became a 2 hour delay. I did get to meet some nice triathletes though. Nina Kraft was sitting next to me and we chatted for awhile. Finally after a few cups of tea and lunch we got to board and begin our 6 hour flight to Kona. All went smoothly until an elderly lady in front of me decided to get up to use the rest rooms and her legs gave way under her. I rushed to grab her under her arms. The problem was that she was pushing 250 pounds and no matter how strong I think I am I was going down with her. I had both arms underneath her arms and I was in a squat and my legs were buckling too. Finally some guy came to help. When I sat down I felt like I had just done an all out effort sprint. My legs were jelly and my back tightened up. I immedietly popped two Advil and hoped for the best!
It was great arriving in Kona. Tom and Christine were there to pick me up with big smiles on there faces and beautiful tans. It felt so good to be in Hawaii again.
This will be my fourth time racing here and I feel luckier each time to be here as the competition get more fierce each year!

It was dusk when I arrived at my house and and I immeadietly put my gear on to go for an hour run. It was perfect running conditions and I set out down Alii Drive. It is always so motivating running there. I got to see Desiree, Nina and a few other studly looking triathletes running too.

Day 2
Tom and Christine were doing an ocean swim race which sounded so beautiful but I had a pool swim to do and a three hour bike. So I arranged that I would meet them at Hapuna Beach ( one of my favorites!) and ride with them up to Hawi. The ride out to Hapuna was amazing. It is such a good feeling being back here again. The surroundings are beautiful and it is always fun reading the stone writings that stand out on the black bava fields. Tom told me it should take me about an hour to get to Hapuna. He underestimated it by almost an hour. So I kept riding thinking I could have missed it. The winds were pretty friendly until I reached the 28 mile mark on the Queen K. The winds had switched and they were blowing hard off the mountains. I smiled as this is the Kona winds that I always expect here. Strong gusts and slow speeds. I stopped at Hapuna to get some very much needed gatorade and met up with Tom and Christine. We then headed out. They said this was the worse wind they had experienced all week. It was good to be riding and seeing alot of friendly faces out there. I saw Norman and Hillary out there and caught a glimpse of my friend Linsey Corbin. I turned about half way up Hawi. Tom and Christine continued but said the wind got so bad that a girl got blown off the road on her bike, Tom had to help her up off the gravel!
I was thrilled to finish my ride as I was feeling quite hungry and very HOT.I am a little nervous about 112 miles if its blowing hard here...it seems very far!
The ride back into Kona we were all wiped.
After a little break I headed down to the pool. Paulo, Jonnyo, Khai and Danny had arrived and were all hanging out at Lava Java(big shock!)
The pool was closing so I had to head down for a 4000 yard workout. The Kona Aquatics Pool is perfect! Swimming felt so good too! Paulo stopped by with Khai and Will who they had just picked up at the airport. It is great to see everybody looking SO fit and ready to race!
Sunday morning the gang met early at the pool for a swim. I am dying to get in the ocean...I may have to go play down there later. We did a nice 3500 yard workout with a descending 400 300 200 100 set twice through. This kind of swimming reminded me of our training camps in Las Cruces. Later I met Jodi, Danny and Will for a mello ride down the Queen K. My legs felt really good. I think my body is finally coming around! YaY!
Today is Monday and we met for another really solid pool swim. Kona is getting really busy now and for the first time the pool was packed. We met up with Sergio and the whole Portugese group and Tracy had come into town last night so it was good to see her too. Our main set today was a 1500 descend, which is always fun! I got to see my friend Tara Norton who was heading into the pool looking fit and fast! Faris and Peter were there too being filmed the whole time! Today is a relaxing day with a 4pm run at the Energy Lab. It should be HOT as usual! I shall try put some pics up soon, although I have not taken too many! I think I shall head down to the beach for an hour now to relax!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Leaving for Kona In AM...YAY!

I have done my last ride here, packed my bike...and am almost finished packing my gear/clothes for the next couple weeks. I can't wait to get on the plane and head out to Kona. I fly from Philadelphia to San Francisco and the whole journey should take me 15 hours. I leave here at 4am tomorrow morning and it shall be a long day! On the bright side I do arrive in Kona at 2.30 pm and shall have plenty of time to get a nice run in. My friends Tom and Christine shall be there to pick me up at the airport. Lucky guys have been there a week already!
I gave my kiddies lots of hugs and kisses tonight as I shall miss them this week. They shall meet me out there next Friday and then lucky us, we get to stay another week out there to really enjoy the island, do a little surfing and relax! Can't wait!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Its getting hot in here! So take off all your clothes or in my case put some more clothes on!

Preparation for Hawaii.....Sweating!

Yes, thats what I've been doing alot of. My husband tells a story to friends over dinner last night. How he and my son came home to a weird sound. The whole second floor was vibrating. They walked upstairs to find that it was like a sauna up there. I had turned the heat up to 92 degrees. He then opened up the bedroom door and my daughter was lying on our bed watching TV sweating. My son then opened the bathroom door to find a room full of steam and a lot of noise. There I was cycling away on my trainer..yes in my bathroom, heat ramped up, music on full blast, in a pool full of sweat! I was at an hour and was so happy to see them. I was DONE, baked, cooked...and asked them to turn the heat off! This kind of training is highly overrated and not so much fun!
I have opted rather, to run on the treadmill with a few extra layers on. Thanks to Jon Stewart and a few other comedians I tolerate the treadmill and I feel like I am adapting well and I shall be much more prepared mentally and physically for the Kona heat now! I hope!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

GIVE ME A CALL!

Well my gluten free diet and enzyme taking ended tonight...or more like at 7 am this morning when my dear coach, Paulo read my blog! I guess sometimes you feel like you are in a rut and you need change. Timing is everything though and Paulo reminded me that two weeks before Kona is just not right timing. The pharmacist was telling me everything I wanted to hear, and that was take these supplements, make some changes in your diet and you will feel like a new person. Well, right now I am meant to be feeling tired and cranky as I have raced alot and am in the process of recovering. But in two weeks I shall be ready to go and it won't be because I changed my diet or started taking some pills. It will be because I have trained hard all year long, done the work and because I happen to love to race!(especially in Kona) I have one more week before I leave and I shall continue to get my workouts in and try sleep alot. I know I am ansi to leave as it is getting cold here and they are predicting rain for the next few days. But soon enough I will arrive at the Kona airport, feel the warm air, and put a big smile on my face! Thanks Paulo for being you....the snake oil cracked my husband up big time!

Day 1 of enzyme taking!

I am not a big pill taker and have never been able to stick to a routine of taking supplememts as my stomach just does not handle them well. So today I started off my day with 10 pills on an empty stomach. I broke up the first 5 and put them in a drink. My drink immedietly turned green..nice! I chugged that down. This was a combination of a multi vitamin, Coenzyme Q10,Xcellformula for a healthy circulatory system and some more enzymes for digestion. Next was the 5 others which I chose to sip and swallow. I got them all down and I have to say I felt a little queesy for about half hour. But after a little Quinou (oatmeal not allowed :-( ) with blueberries,honey and almonds for brekkie I am feeling much better.(I think) I may have to wait to after Kona to start this whole process. I will see how the pills effect my stomach.
The wind is howling outside(30mph) today and it is 58 degrees. I am contemplating
riding on my trainer with the heat turned up but I know the wind will probably be a good reality test for me for Kona. So enough procrastinating and let me get to work!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gluten Free!

Well I have officially jumped on the gluten free band wagon. I have touched on this before and will try keep things relatively gluten free until race day and after. I finally had a long awaited appointment at the Natural Pharmacy. It was very informative like I knew it would be. After filling in a bunch of routine questions about my diet, body complaints...which I was amazed at how few I had. (or so I thought!) I then met Erik and we discussed the endocrine system which consists of your adrenals,hormones and thyroid. My immune system and what effects it We touched on my kidneys,liver,gallbladder,hips and the chinese beliefs associated with them. He explained to me about antioxidants and the belief that a slightly elevated cholestrol is neccessary for optimal health. We spoke about the concern of me being on wheat and how much better my body would respond to gluten free. I was interested to hear about which supplements I should be taking and at what times and Erik was very informative. He explained that based on my body shape,muscle type, food cravings, health symptoms and a few other factors that I was considered to be a PARA body type and given a list of foods that best suit this body type. The changes are not huge as I already tend to stay away from white flour, caffeine, sugar, desserts,fried foods and heavy oils. The new diet is perfect for me and i am excited to see how my body responds to the small changes.
Lastly I was pricked and a blood sample was looked at under the microscope. I was horrified to see what my blood looked like. Instead of the free healthy looking red and white blood cells. I had very small white blood cells, red blood cells that were all stuck together and a whole bunch of parasites...yes I said parasites. The most awful looking scary wormy like things in my blood. That right there was enough for me to say give me whatever I need. He too showed me how my kidneys were not functioning perfectly either. So it was fascinating and enlightening and I left with a goodie bag full of enzymes to get things to start running optimally. He assured me that nothing will effect me for race day and should only help me have more energy.
I shall start tonight with a whole assortment of enzymes and see how I feel in a few days. I have been feeling pretty tired and he promises me that I shall have a lot more energy in a few days!
I shall keep you all posted!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Swimming Stories!

Life has been busier than I thought! I have been going to Physical Therapy three times a week to fix some very tight muscles in my glute/hip area! This is always a three hour ordeal. Add another three hours of workouts in and a few kids activities and my day is full! Tuesdays and Thursdays I try squeeze a little nap in though which has been great! Did not get it today though :-(
Swimming has been good. They have just changed all our pools over to saline and I am loving it. No more smelling like chlorine all day long! My hair/body feels better too! Thank you Atlantic Club for making us swimmers very happy...now if you can just get the water temps right and get the ol ladies out of the pool we'll be very happy!
The classic story is my friend Maggie and I arriving for a swim workout. Maggie states," ah now for the best part of my day!" I respond..."I wouldn't say that yet!"
We go to the pool deck to find the usual water aerobics class going on and us having two lanes left. Paulo has given me a workout with alot of fast stuff and I really want to focus. So we are in the pool hammering out 100's next minute this "sweet"old lady jumps into our lane and starts swimming doggie paddle. I thought M was going to have a collision. I stop her and kindly ask her if she can doggie paddle by the aerobics ladies as she may get hurt! Her response is that we need to circle as she wants to swim too! AHHHH! That is not called swimming ....so M starts swimming some mean fly and our pace picks up as we are both a little aggravated! Hence we got our lane back...sorry ladies...we will be out of your way tomorrow as we get out quiet outdoor pool back. Yay I am so excited! Just a few of us and our precious lanes! Time to train hard with no interruptions!

I have been trying to do more of this lately!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

10 days after Ironman

Timing is everything and I was thrilled to have a few days after IM to get things organized as my kids were heading back to school. Summer went by so fast this year and I was sad to have the care free days end. Summer is by far my favorite season and I love getting up at sunrise to go train and having my kids still lying in bed by the time I get home. I love the beach days, the warm ocean water, the busy boardwalk, summer parties, our pool, kayaking in the bay, bodyboarding and the long days. I am painfully aware of the days getting shorter as I took my kids for a bike ride on Sunday at 4. Due to the lack of training and feeling more recovered I just did not want the bike ride to end. We went on an adventure, biking to the beach, then to a friends, I enticed them with a burger king stop, a blockbuster stop and then when we came out it was dark...It was 7.40 and pitch black and we speeded through all the back roads back to my house by 8.15 and in time to get ready for bed. I miss the late sunsets alot!
I have been itching to get back to a regular training schedule as I know I have the biggest race of all in 1 month and I want to feel fit and fast...I keep hearing about all the great long workouts eveyone are doing in preperation for Hawaii. The PS posse are also meeting in Las Cruces for a training camp that I would love to be at. I know this is the position I put myself in by racing two Ironman within a short period of time and I know I need to recover well as I have a few nagging pains. So for now I just have to be patient and enjoy the short workouts.
Due to my kids being back at school I have decided to use the extra time to go to Physical Therapy. Jimmy Smith from Crest PT is the best and I will see him for the next few weeks to get my body in top shape again.
So I shall try enjoy these easier days and focus on eating well, stretching and getting organized.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

T2

Feeling the heat!

The Battle of Louisville!

Going into this race 5 weeks after Lake Placid and 2 weeks after Timberman I knew this was not going to be easy! My body was not feeling fully recovered and I had a few issues with my achilles and my hip that were bothering me. I remained optimistic and determined that I would succeed and be mentally strong no matter what the race threw at me.
Race morning went smoothly. I headed down to the swim start which was a 15 minute walk and had a good chat with a few guys on the way. I was very calm and not nervous at all which was weird as I was up all night with a very high heart rate and the jitters. I was pleasantly surprised to have ony a few minute wait for the porto-johns....its amazing the small things that can make you sooooo happy.
At 6.45 the pro's were allowed into the water for a very quick warm up. I had tinted goggles on which was quite funny as it was still dark out and I was really battling to see. The gun went off promptly at 6.50 and I felt I had a really good start putting me up in the middle of the pack behind the fast guys. After about ten minutes I was swimming alone and I swam until the turn around by myself and then I hung wide to try get a bit of the current coming back. I caught up to two girls ahead of me and decided to swim closer to shore and stay behind them and not work as hard...I was happy with the decision when I came out of the water around 1.02....my best non wetsuit swim and in 7th place.(timing mat was a minute up making the swim 1.03)
On the bike I felt a little fatigue in my hamstrings but I knew it would work itself out. The first 25 miles are flat and fast although the east wind slowed things up a bit. The wind definitely made things a little more challenging later in the bike. I hit the out and back section, a ten mile very fun loop with a few big ups and downs. This was a slower section but you got to see how far ahead your competition was. At this stage I was still in seventh place and watched Hillary, Elizabeth, Heather and Bree Wee pass. Marie and Mariska were not too far ahead so I was excited and probably pushed the hills a little hard to make up a few minutes. Once starting the two thirty mile loops I saw Marie Danais and pushed to pass her. What was wierd about this race was due to the time trial start only a few amateur guys passed me on the bike. I kept waiting for the groups but they never came. The second loop would be a little more difficult as we were now spread amoungst alot of age groupers on hills riding side by side. It became a yellow line ride, and around the 75 mile mark I passed Mariska. We went back and forth a bit, where things got a little hairy as we were trying to pass legally, follow the drafting rules yet were jammed in between some slower riders. All the time I was trying to pay very close attention to my nutrition. One or two sips concentrate followed by water. I carried all my calories with me and picked up water at most of the water stops. Some of it I would drink but as the ride went on I would dump alot of it on my head and legs. With the wind at my back I could really feel how hot it was and my head was baking in the LG aero helmut I was using. I was happy to see the second loop turn which would mean some welcomed solo riding for the last 25 miles. As I approached the turn, it was jammed and I had to come to a complete stop as the referees almost took me out by turning right in front of me while I was heading straight. I pushed the last section back but could really feel the heat and it was hard to hold the watts. I rode conservatively the last few miles back into town. I could not wait to get my aero helmut off andmyback and shoulders ached!
A very quick T2 and I was off on the run. The only problem was my running legs were left in T2 somewhere. My legs felt very stale and I noticed instantly that I had made a bad decision to race in my training shoes. I had felt prior that they would give me more cushion. The shoes felt heavy and after a few dunks of water over my head my shoes were squelching and holding onto ALOT of water. I felt like I had weights on my feet. I think each shoe eventually held about two pounds. What was I thinking! On the out and back which are the first 2 miles on the bridge( which was actually pretty cool) once again I got to see where some of the girls were. Mariska was only maybe 2 minutes and Marie maybe 10 minutes behind. Somebody shouted that I looked great better than any of the girls up ahead. That was motivating and I instantly got lighter on my feet for a few miles. But the miles were slower than usual from the start and as much as I tried to convince myself that my legs would kick in they wanted no part of it. I would end up running whatever I could. I watched my miles progressively get slower and my heart rate increase. I tried to grab alot of fluid at each aid station but it was not enough. Mariska had passed me by mile 4 and she was moving. At the 10 mile mark the leader was 13 minutes ahead but I could not move any faster. I watched Elizabeth stop and throw up, Heather running but not moving at her usual speed. Hillary was going slow and Bree Wee had pulled over and had stopped briefly. I continued on accepting that it was going to be slow run but hoping that somehow I would have a miraculous turn around. Marie would pass me by mile fifteen and I still could not respond. I just knew that I had slipped from 6th to 8th place and I had to hang on and keep running.I saw Bree Wee at sixteen and she was walking fast and talking away. She kindly cheered me on as I passed her and I moved back into 7th. I thought boy I would love to walk too but I pressed on all the way back and managed to pick up the pace the last few miles. It was incredible all the guys walking out there. It really looked like everyone had come from a battle and they were just doing everything they could to get home. It was HOT and dehydration was everywhere. It was a great feeling to see town up ahead , the turn around and the streets filled with spectators bringing you home. I was thrilled to finish my tenth Ironman. It was once again such a test of my tolerance to discomfort and my will to succeed. I came across the finish in 10 hours 26 minutes placing 7th pro women and actually 45th overall which was by far my highest overall placing.
I am amazed at the conditions I have had to race in this year. Just when I thought things couldn't get tougher than Lake Placid and Arizona......I am so glad its over! next up KONA! YaY!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Kona Bound!

I am very happy to say that I got the Kona spot! After all the hard work this year and the three tough IM races I have done, it shall be nice to end the year off with Kona. I really love that race and being a part of it! I could not sleep last night as I was so sore but also excited to hear whether I would get the spot. So now I can finally go to sleep and relax and enjoy my next week of recovery! I shall post a race report later! I look forward to being out in Hawaii with you guys Laura, Tom, Tracy and Shawn, Sergio, Jonnyo, Danny, Will, Linsey and Paulo of course.(Jodi and Khai too!)
Thanks goes to my coach Paulo too for going with my crazy plan even though he did not like it of racing Louisville after IMLP with the possibility of Kona 6 weeks later. The day after a rainy Lake Placid while sitting in Starbucks with the crew I sprang the whole Louisville idea on him and he said no but he would think about about it. I really wanted to go and a few days later he told me he'd support my decision. So thanks Paulo!
Thanks goes to my family who I miss when they are not with me at races but are always so proud and supportive of me.
Great job to the NJ crew yesterday. Don, Jason Micheal and Mike who did back to back Lake Placid and IM Louisville races and were also part of the reason for me racing here. To Kate and Rich too great job! Way to hang tough on a HOT day!

Ironman Louisville!

The only way to describe the scene here in downtown Louisville yesterday was a suffer fest. I have never seen so many people hurting out there on the run. It was a lesson in once again respecting the magnitude of Ironman especially when backed up with a 92+ degree day and some wind. I am happy to say I battled it out and finished in 10.26 good enough for a 7th place pro finish and a spot on the podium. I am on my way down to the awards banquet and then roll down.....There is a slim chance of me getting a slot so we'll see. There are 3 girls ahead of me and only two slots so hold thumbs for me! I will post some more later!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The famous words of my coach! HTFU!

That's what I need to do this race....I need to FOCUS! I need to race the whole race hard and not think so much! I love racing, I love Ironman , I respect the distance, and I really want to have a solid race! So I shall NOT let up tomorrow if my mind and body start to say NO. I shall race with passion and intent and I shall race my OWN race.There may be girls out there that have had better results but I shall put it all out there tomorrow. If it does not happen it will not be for lack of trying!
Thanks for the good wishes guys!

Friday, August 29, 2008

2 Days to go!

I have not been getting very good internet connections thus the lack of posting. I am back from a great dinner with friends and I happen to see the hotel lobby computer. So I shall sneak a quick blog in. I can't believe race day is around the corner. Two more sleeps!!!! I always start to get a little nervous starting around pro meeting time as this is a good time to check out the competition. There are always a few late signups that aren't on the list like Bree Wee and Hillary Biscay. As there are only 2 spots allocated for this race and 16 women racing this shall be another tough race to try qualify for Hawaii! Well every Ironman is tough, and every pro girl is talented and so I shall race my race and give it my best effort as usual! It seems like it is going to be a HOT day. After a cold rainy Lake Placid I will not allow myself to complain about this!
I have managed to drive most of the bike course...it is quite hilly, more so than I was expecting and the run couse seems very flat and should be fun. The swim today was very calm and the water very warm. I am actually glad wetsuits are not allowed! I have had one great massage and a little ART since being here and my legs seem to be feeling alot better.
I shall go now and get a good nights sleep as tomorrow shall be a little hectic.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ironman Louisville Day 1

I am happy to report that my bike and I both made it too Kentucky in one piece, at the same time! The kind lady at US Airways chose to ignore that my bike case that was loaded with my Cervelo, wheels, nutrition, and everything else I need was 75 pounds and thus way over weight. I was also slightly concerned that my ear drum was going to pop but I survived thanks to a few Advil and antibiotics.
Once in Kentucky it was quite a sight me trying to squeeze this huge bike case into this tiny PT Cruiser....but I made it work and headed to down town Louisville to my hotel. I just realized that my new phone has a GPS navigation system...big bonus as I had not printed the directions to my new home for the week.

By three o clock I had put my bike together and headed out to find a bike store to pick up some water bottles. I drove down to the waterfront to see where transition will be and then headed out along the bike course to find a good spot to ride. First thing I noticed was that there was no shoulder and it was heading into rush hour traffic. I parked and headed out along side the Ohio River. The water where we shall be swimming was very choppy and the wind was blowing. The route I biked was the bike course from River road and then 42. This scenic route while on the water was not a very scenic ride for me as all I could do was focus on staying on the white line as an inch to the left and I was going to get run over and an inch to the right and I was riding off road....so an intersting ride! My power meter was not working and in my attempt to fix it I hope I did not break it. Another thing on the list of things to do. After a few drops of rain I decided it was time to turn around and called it a day after 1.20 minutes. By the time I got back it was 7pm and time to head out for a 45 minute run. This was alot more enjoyable and besides some achy achilles from racing the hills of Timberman last week. I ran along the river and enjoyed the evening sunset. I drove back along part of the run course which seems to be a route that takes you through town along the streets of downtown Louisville and through the campus of the University.
I am yet to see a grocery store therefore dinner was a choice of a few different fast food stores. McDonalds snack wraps was the way I went!
Tomorrow I shall drive the course and try find a pool to swim in as the swim course is not open until Friday.