Monday, August 24, 2009


13th place overall in Women's Athena 39 & under .....OUT OF A FIELD OF 33!!!!!!!

CLOCK TIME: 2:30:40 (2008: 2:33:57)
GARMIN TIME: 2:29:52

Overall: Between 3-4 minutes off last years time.


SWIM: (1100 yd): 29:44 (2008: 28:53)

I went into this race thinking a 2:20 overall was completely possible (based on training and racing paces) and it would have been if my swim had not been so crappy. I don't know where my form was yesterday but it was not with me, at all. And I spent a lot of time trying desperately to get "away" from other women who were either on my feet (literally) or using me as a navigation beacon and practically swimming on top of me. It was truly my worst swim performance without a wet suit ever. My goal for the swim was under 25:00 so I'll try again next summer and "just keep swimming" and working on my form.

The best thing I ever did was NOT LOOK AT MY WATCH once I got out of the water because I know myself well and if I had, I would have lost all momentum & motivation right then and there.

T1: 4:00 seems to be my magic number for SPRINT and OLY distance- odd since there was no wet suit but I was in the back of transition so that might have been a longer T1 with a wetsuit to struggle with...

BIKE: (17.5m): 1:12:18 - 14.6 mph pace (2008: 1:14:49)

This is a hilly and challenging SPRINT course on the bike and follows most of the Columbia Triathlon (OLY course) with the exception of a "shortcut" UP Mt Albert Rd. Knowing the course and knowing that there were alot of nice easy descents where I could gain overall pace and place on the bike - I was confident that I could manage this course in 1:10 or less. And I would have - if I hadn't made a rookie move and dropped my chain (ARG!) on a relatively easy climb because I just wasn't paying attention to what gear I was in. That cost my 2 minutes. I spent most of the run hopscotching with another Athena - age 40 - who was a better climber than I was but not as good a confident in her descents. Every time she passed me on a climb she would say "We have to stop meeting like this!" LOL Since she wasn't really my competition, I just used her to keep me motivated and passed her in T2, giving her a pat on the back as I went by - saying "Good Work on the Bike!"

T2: 1:53 - better but I want to get this under 1:00 for SPRINT and OLY distance races

RUN: (3.4m) 41:47:58 (43.47)

Another hilly leg but not nearly as bad as Columbia Tri OLY race. Just once big climb as you head to the back of the park to go over twice which also means a two nice downhills to make up time. My goal on the run was just that - RUN with as few walk breaks (at water stops only) as possible. My mile splits tell the story best but I came away from this race knowing that I REALLY NEED TO WORK ON MY MENTAL GAME on the run because I consistently have a problem running when others around me start walking. My motivation this time was to repeat - "Remember why you are FIGHTING!" and "Ali, Ali, Ali" and remind myself that my friend Ali, who was at this race last year to cheer us on, had talked about racing this year after she recovered from her latest rounds of cancer surgery. I told myself "You better run because Ali would give ANYTHING to be out here racing today instead of currently taking 20 pills a day and struggling to get enough oxygen to breath."

Mile 1: 11:59 - included a moment to stop and fix my shoe
Mile 2: 12:50 - I was struggling with the "Gatoraid Wall" and walked the steepest part of the climb
Mile 3: 12:18 - Brief walk up the other side of the "Wall" and then ran the rest of the course
Mile 3.4: 5:30 (average pace of 11:03) - Just goes to show me that when I just RUN - I do just fine once I have a few miles under my belt...

OVERALL THOUGHTS: I STILL REALLY REALLY have to work HARDER on both the physical and mental parts of running off the bike since that is where I tend to get complacent during the race and keep up the work in the pool to improve my swim technique. The rest is just "time on the bike and time on the run" and really focusing on taking off the extra weight (although most of the "weight loss" will have to wait until post B2B.) While I still think that 2:20-2:25 should have happened - even with a lousy swim, I was on the RUN course at 1:48 so it was the *walking* that took away time - I am happy to have taken nearly 4 minutes off my 2008 time and THRILLED to see myself place in the top 13 and just 2 minutes off of 12th place. (14th place was 8 minutes behind).

It definite PROGRESS made this season!

Life is GOOD! LiveSTRONG!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Found it!

Priscilla and me (and the Aflec Duck - ALFAC!) Post-Race

2009 IronGirl Columbia Finishers Medal...

I found my RACE MOJO today at 2:29:52!! It took me about 9 minutes and 52 seconds longer than I had hoped but it was 4 minutes faster than last year's race in 2008 so that is definite progress...Race Report to follow.

Life is GOOD! LiveSTRONG!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Have you seen my MOJO?

I made the comment to Jim the other day that I feel like I have lost my "race mojo" and all I really want is to get it back.

So this weekend is IronGirl Columbia with Team FIGHT and I have got some aggressive goals for this event. Last season I finished this race in 2:33:57 and it was my *first TRI* in nearly 8 months due to rotator cuff issues.

This year, I have a year's worth of Ironman Distance training under my belt and based on my training times and other race times, there is no reason I can't PR this event in a BIG BIG WAY!

I'm going 2:20 or BUST!

(Not BUST as in DNF - I AM FINISHING come h*ll or high water but I want to push myself - that is the definition of BUST in this scenario)

That's all I have time to BLOG about for this week. Race Report to follow - I'll let you know where I found my MOJO on Sunday night.

Life is GOOD! LiveSTRONG!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Condition my CONDITION is in...

So this week I "officially" started my training focus for Beach2Battleship FULL (140.6) Triathlon training.  So how did the week go?

Let just say "Thank gosh for Recovery Week volumes" or I would be in trouble already. It's not that I lost any fitness, I just lost quite a bit of time because "life" got in the way. 

• Saturday was GREAT!  Got in a nice 4 mile run on my own before CANCER to 5K Practice and then ran 2.5 with the group at a nice relaxed pace. (for me)

• Jim was sick all of last weekend and I was "fighting off symptoms" (turned out to be SWINE FLU - Yikes!)  I got lucky because I didn't get sick and Jim is just starting to feel normal after a full week of flu but his fever is still present and accounted for so I have been doing what little I can to keep him comfortable.

• Sunday: was a HEAT WAVE in VA (99+) and I was "fighting off symptoms" (see above) so I stayed close to home and did NOTHING!

• Monday: I played "Nurse" - got no workouts in.

• Tuesday: I managed to make my AM Swim with Team Z (1800 yds) and CANCER to 5K Track Practice (about 2.5 miles including warm-up)

• Wednesday - Home later from work - chose to take a REST DAY and be with my husband and the bengal-babies

• Thursday AM: forgot to set my alarm to get up on time for the Team Z Swim but I made up for it by running 5K from home last night (got stung by a bee!!  ARG!)

•  Friday: (Today) To make up for all the missed biking this week, I commuted into work on my road bike.  13 miles this morning and I'll probably go a little long this afternoon and get another 20 miles in.  That should put me in a good place to get the weekend started.

This weekends plan?

Since I am not racing the Lurray TRIs (OLY or SPRINT) with Team Z this weekend but racing the Columbia IronGirl next weekend with both Team Z Ladies and Team FIGHT.  I plan to go LONG this weekend (even though it is always more fun to train with my Team Z IMFL peeps!)

Saturday: 12 mile run (not including CANCER to 5K practice)
Sunday: 70-80 mile bike (or 5-hours) which ever come first.

I wondered if I was ready to get back into gear and today's morning bike commute reaffirmed it - I am ready and my body is definitely ready.  I miss going LONG more than I thought and I definitely miss time on my bike! ( I love you SUNSHINE!)

Onward with Unfinished IRONMAN Business! 

Life is Good!  Keep Living STRONG!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Dear Coach Garmin...


I am so happy to have you back in my life keeping track of my every mile, pace and heart beat. I missed you and I have to confess that I did break down and "upgrade" from the 305 series to 310XT because I want to be able to take you on a few swim/bike BRICKS and races with me!

I'm really enjoying the cool "orange and gray" look and totally digging the "vibration" function as opposed to the BEEP but I wanted to know, why would I ever need to use BOTH at the same time? I really don't see the logic just yet so for the time being, the BEEP is off and my fellow training buddies don't seem to mind that at all.

RIP Garmin Forerunner 305 - You did a great job until your untimely death in the car accident. I am sorry for your shattered "face."

WELCOME Garmin Forerunner 310XT ...I have a feeling we are going to be the BEST OF FRIENDS over the next months! Wanna RACE with me?

Life is GOOD! Toys are GOOD!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


What's a vacation without pictures! 

(photo credits go to my sister Heather!)

We are here....

Whiteface Mountain, on Rte 86 towards Lake Placid

Reason d'Etre

Rowen and Kain on a "walk-about"

The Moose at Red Spruce Lodge was a popular fellow...

The other popular thing....DOMINOES!

Big Boys Chill on the Porch!

Rowen on the shore of Mirror Lake, Lake Placid, NY
(Aunt Holly is on a swim in the lake somewhere...)

Later that morning after checking in - The bracelet is on!

The coolest thing I bought all week...

Rowen has got his number and is ready to race!

IRONKID RACE- Ready, Set...

Go Rowen GO!

Not a big BLING fan yet....

Ah Gatorade post-race!!

Rowen earns his "first" M-DOT medal!

Aunt Holly and Keri and "Transition Bags!"

A peak at Transition on Race Morning...

The SWIM Start...

Grandpa G. (Dad) and Rowen at the IM USA Swim Start...

Heather, Kain and Grandpa G. (aka Dad!)

My IronFANS!
(design by Heather!)

Kain, IRONMAN SuperFan, has got his COWBELL!

Rowen getting a good look at the Cyclists

Chillin' on Race Day with Grandpa and Grandma G!

Going to visit High Falls Gorge - AuSable River
Uncle Jim, Aunt Holly & Rowen

High Falls Gorge - AuSable River

Uncle Jim and Rowen at High Falls Gorge

Kain, warming his toes at the High Falls Gorge

Aunt Holly and Rowen trying to catch Grasshopper!
(We did get one which we brought to Uncle Jim...)

Monday, August 03, 2009

How did I get so lucky?

So the last week has been spent "processing my feelings", thinking about the future and making some plans.  My husband has been part of the talks the whole week long, of course.  Because what I do in terms of training and racing has a profound effect on his life and schedule too.  

He has made lots of sacrifices already to my demanding TRIATHLON dreams and goals over the last 9 years.  I think one of the "saving graces" is that when we first met, I was training for my first triathlon (Columbia OLY Triathlon 2001) so "training and racing" has always been part of the "being with Holly" package.  Even so, he has moved his schedule around to accommodate my races, sometimes coming with me, sometimes doing his own thing on race weekends for smaller events.  He's my Bike Mechanic/Consultant, my Race Day Sherpa, my Cheerleader, my Reality Check, my Family Coordinator, my Driver - whatever I need on any give day.

So I treaded lightly - and was half-heartedly joking when he came to the medical tent at IM USA last Sunday - to check on me and heard other people around me saying "Just sign up for next year."  Because NEXT YEAR (2010) is HIS YEAR...I have taken up enough of the focus this year and it is time to sit back and support his dreams and desires.  But knowing that there were 2 kind-of local IM distance (140.6) races in November that were still open, I half-jokingly asked him while I was still sitting in the MED tent: 

"What would you think if I tried for the IM distance (140.6) one more time this year - while I still have the fitness?"

His response: "Well it would be a shame to waste all this hard-earned fitness, we'll look at the calendar and talk more when we get home..."

So that is what we did this week - we looked at the calendar, we googled the driving distances, I sent emails back and forth to Coach Ed (Team Z) to get some sense of "possibility", we talked about our honeymoon plans and came to a decision which I waited 2-days on and then asked him about "one more time" - because I have already taken so much this year....

Last night, I registered for the Beach2Battleship FULL distance Triathlon (140.6) on Saturday, November 7, 2009.  There are advantages to doing this race.

• Fellow TRI friends racing the course (Nancy, Shawn and Linae!!)
• 6-hour drive from home (IM USA was a 10-hour drive)
• Saturday race means only 1 day of leave from work pre-race
• It's the same weekend as IMFL so I can train for the next 12 weeks with my many of my favorite Team Z peeps! And I can track them on Sunday at IMFL! (They race Nov 8th)
Coach Ed thinks that the flatter course will compliment my cycling abilities much better...
• While it is not a WTC event (M-Dot) - it's "140.6" and that is what IRONMAN means to me...
• My sister Heather may be on the course as the RELAY runner on the Marathon for another team!  FAMILY ON THE RACE COURSE! (Totally Motivating....)

So why am I lucky?  Because my husband believes in me and my dreams and wants to see me reach my goals too!  Without that love and support, I'm not sure I'd be willing to jump back into "Ironman training" again this soon but I have unfinished business out there...

I have another 82.2 miles that I didn't get to on Sunday, July 26...

Life is Good!  LiveSTRONG!