Monday, September 28, 2009

Some more SAVAGEMAN Photos...

My husband looking fierce and strong on the bike course... and he's all mine!

Life is GOOD!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

RR: ChesepeakeMan Ultra AquaVelo

ChesepeakeMan Ultra AquaVelo - Cambridge, MD
2.4 mile SWIM / 112 mile BIKE

10:04:16 (9:56:16 - personal Garmin 310XT time)

Overall 10:04:16 - which I admit kind of frustrates me because my Garmin time on the bike was faster AND I thought I came in at 4:56PM so if the race clock started at 7AM how the heck is that possible? Under 10 hours would make me very happy, I was hoping for more like 9-9:30 but the swim took away any chance of that.

I am now wondering if I forgot to turn off "auto pause" on the BIKE leg of the Garmin because that 10 minute discrepancy would account for port-o-potty stops on the bike. (Yes Debi B., I am a woosey city girl still! LOL!). I guess in this case, I just need to remember that I finished and well under the 5:30PM cut off (5:15 for B2B is kinda close) and had a solid day, solid nutrition, great day for doing the "mental work" that needs to get done for an long day at Beach2Battleship.

SWIM: 2:10:23 - chip (same as Garmin)

That was the worst swim conditions I have EVER been in and even after 2.4 miles of that, I still know that I'm not allowed to ever bitch about a rough swim because I watched IM Florida in 2006 and *those were real waves" compared to what I as in on Saturday. With that disclaimer, swimming in chop and against the tide will quickly show you how weak you stroke is. I got stung by one jelly fish, on my left foot - my pinkie toe went tingly then numb for a while but other than that I managed to make my way through both laps. On the second lap I was getting a lot of encouragement from a volunteer on a paddle board. I assume as I was in the back of the swim pack, they were keeping a close eye on the last few swimmers. When I would stop to sight, which was more often on the second lap (and was more effective at helping me stay on line) he would yell out "Nice work, keep it strong."

One Question: Does ingesting briny water count as electrolyte loading? LOL

T1: 8:40:55 (same as Garmin)

I really improved on my T1 from IM USA (10:59) and I am sure that had to do with paring down my Bike Bag because that transition time included stopping at the Port-O-Potty and reading a quick note on my bike from Nancy saying she only did one lap of the swim and was heading out on the bike. I was bummed to hear her swim went badly, thought "Well "Joe gets his scrapple now..." and thought that since she was over an hour ahead of me, I wouldn't see her on the bike at all.

BIKE: 7:45:14 - 14.4 mph average (7:36:49 Garmin - 14.6 mph)

The first 6 miles of the bike were a wonderful strong taiwind which I think really benefited me because it allowed me to settle into the ride and get calm and centered. I took a GU in the first 10 minutes with some water and then waited 10 minutes to start drinking my Infinit. Then about every 45-60 minutes, I would have a GU or some banana for the first 64 miles. Conditions from Mile 5-68 were pretty much 80% headwinds/crosswinds with some 20 mph gusts and 20% tailwinds with over cast skies. I hop scotched back and forth with several women who were having a rough day. One of whom talked about stopping at the high school and not doing the second lap. I told her not to decide until she was at the school, that things could get better but later I saw her at the finish and she said she stopped as the High School after the first lap, she just didn't have it in her to deal with more wind.

Around Mile 50-60, I found myself really getting angry and frustrated by the windy conditions and the seemingly endless first bike loop. I knew I needed to change my attitude and I tried to tell myself "This is a BAD PATCH, you have these in Ironman" but that logic wasn't helping much. So I thought back to the night before and I took a cue from Nancy's 6-year-old daughter, Catherine, who the night before was working on an art project and singing "Sing a Song" by the Carpenters. That was one of my favorite songs as a little girl so I figured "What the h*ll, I might as well sing..." And so I sang all the lyrics I could remember of that song, out loud, as I rolled on down the road in my aero bars.

IT WORKED! Totally redirected my mind and from that point on, I would sing whenever I felt the inner bitching begin.

At special needs, mile 68, I chugged down a Red Bull, grabbed 2 quarters of my PB&Fluff sandwich and a baggie of Pringles. The PB&Fluff just didn't taste good so I tossed them (some raccoon is very happy now!) but the pringles were a nice change of texture and the Red Bull was the perfect pick me up. I was pretty disappointed in my first loop time of over 4:45 and knew that it would be possible to slow down even more in the coming head winds if I didn't do something. I took the 2 miles to snack and then I decided that there was absolutely NO REASON that I couldn't hold my pace at around 15MPH for the next 42 miles if I just stayed relaxed and consistent. So I set about setting specific hour goals - by 3PM I wanted to be at the 85 mile mark, MET IT. By 4PM the goal was 100 miles and the last Porto-Potty/Get water at the last Rest Stop. MET IT...From then on the goal was "IN BY 5PM" According the the watch on my bike, I met that goal at 4:56PM but my finish time says I was over it by 5 minutes - so that last 12 miles took me longer than I had hoped but I was really happy with how I was able to take control of my emotions and pick small goals to focus on.

The following was my song list: "Sing a Song"; "20,20,24 hours to go, I wanna be sedated"; "Burning Down the House"; "Fly like an Eagle" (Inspired by the fact that parts of the course are part of the Eagleman Half bike course), "I wanna be a Rock Star" and "Good Vibrations"...I realized I didn't know very many lyrics but the chorus would work just fine until I got bored and started a new song. LOL

I'm thinking that "20,20,24 hours to go, I wanna be sedated" will be perfect at Beach2Battleship on the run - just insert "26.2 miles to go...I wanna be sedated."

:) Life is Good!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

AquaVelo in 9:56:14 - in before 5PM! HARD SWIM - WINDY BIKE -Awsome nutrition & good mental practice!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Getting SAVAGE with Team SHOEMAKER and Team Z!

(Authors Note: I wanted to wait until the race had released all of the photos to see if I could get some shots of Jim and I on the course but they only have a few and I can't wait any longer...I have other posts I want to make and I have got more races coming up...More photos will follow from this race as soon as they are released!)

Team SHOMAKER makes their Triathlon Relay Debut at Savageman Half Ironman 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009
RELAY - Half Ironman Distance

Team SHOEMAKER: 8:08:57

24 Coed Relay Teams:
21 out of 22 Official COED Relay Finishes

Last year I raced the International Distance of this event and after finishing told my husband that I wanted to do the HALF but only if it was a RELAY because after doing just 2 of the hills on the International (oly) bike course in 2008, I had no desire to experience the "sufferfest" on the bike that is the HALF. So my husband took on the challenge willingly and newlywed (5-months now!) Team SHOEMAKER made it's RELAY debut at Savageman Half.

1.2 mile SWIM (Holly) : 55:03

We swam right into the sun for the first 400 yards or so and that made sighting rather difficult and I had some early issues with my goggles leaking. I was hoping for something around 45 minutes but for the most part it was a beautiful swim around giant inflatable turtles and the SWAN boat. (literally the boat is a giant swan!) There seem to be some chop as we neared the Swan Boat and talking to some other swimmers later confirmed it, that eased my mind a little but I am definitely ready to get this swim time down even lower before the season ends.

T1: 1:57

56 mile BIKE (Jim) : 4:06:22

Jim's overall observation of the 56-mile SAVAGEMAN bike course, "This was worse than Mountains of Misery" a course that Jim has completed twice in the last few years. Mountains of Misery is a course that is a 104 mile hilly century with a final climb of finish with the 5 kilometer, Category 1 climb with an average grade of 11.9%, and sections up to 16%.

For comparison, SAVAGEMAN boasts a bike course of only 56 miles but in that 56 miles include over 5,700 feet of climbing with both long gradual climbs and short, steep pitches. The first 18 and final 10 miles are mostly down hill but the middle 30 miles include 8 climbs with maximum grades of 7-23% and average grades of 4-12%. This is NOT your AVERAGE Half Ironman Bike Course!

Jim did a fantastic time on this challenging course! I am super proud of his effort and was very excited to be heading onto a half Ironman run in the MIDDLE OF THE PACK for a change!


13.1 mile RUN (Holly): 3:04:21

First of all, folks in the Middle of the Pack are just as encouraging and supportive as the Back of the Pack! Something about "suffering together" makes most triathletes pretty friendly. I think its one of the reason I love the sport. On a hard course, it sucks for everybody so you might as well cheer each other on and make jokes when you can.

I did my part to cheer folks up by wearing the COOLEST RUNNING SKIRT ever! I found the skirt at the IronGirl Columbia Race Expo in August and I instantly knew that I had to have it! It is Black and Neon Green ZEBRA Stripes and just screamed TEAM Z to me! I got more compliments and smiles for wearing that skirt at Savageman from both male and female racers than I could even count and believe me on that race course, we were all looking for any reason to smile.

Do I look SAVAGE enough for you?
(pre-run - photo by Priscilla)

The first loop was pretty good considering the hilly course. I decided since I was on fresh legs after 4 hours since my swim effort, I would run until I needed a walk break and then start my Ironman plan of 5/1 intervals (run/walk). I ran through to the first big climb a little past Mile 1 and took my first 1 minute walk break and then settled into 5/1 pace for the most part. I did make an effort to skip the walk break if I was on a downhill and that worked well for the first lap. I was right on pace for a 2:40 half marathon at the end of the first loop and got some GREAT CHEER from Team Z and Jim as I passed though to start my second loop.

On the first loop, looking STYLISH and STRONG!

I spent the second loop trying really hard to hold onto my 5/1 pace but unfortunately, my legs had other plans and regardless of the WONDERFUL support from Team Z mates on and off the course, I slowed down considerably and only averaged about 1:44 on the second loop.

I did have a MOMENT in the last mile that should have gotten me an "Honorable Mention" for "Best Fall in the Woods on your last Mile" because I took a nice "tuck and role" at Mile 12.5 of the course on a short 10th of mile cut through some woods back to the park. I don't know what I was doing - probably daydreaming about the finish line because one minute I was UP and the next minute I was watching the ground quickly approach.

Thankfully a nice pile of leaves cushioned my fall and I was back UP almost as quickly.

I did manage to answer the elusive question: "If a runner falls in the woods and nobody sees her, does she make a sound?"

The answer is "YES, she says "I'm OK" to nobody...LOL

All in all, it was another great race day and with the proceeds of this amazingly challenging triathlon going to the Nicolay Melanoma Foundation, you can imagine how much this race means to me as a Melanoma cancer survivor.

As long as it is possible, I plan to keep racing Savageman for years to come. Maybe someday I'll even tackle the "HALF" on my own, but for now, I am content to stick to the International distance or a RELAY. I think I will need to be about "lean 150 and nothing but muscle" before I have any business attempting that HALF bike course...and that is still a LONG WAYS away...LOL.

But for now....That's year two of SAVAGEMAN in the books! Team SHOEMAKER is SAVAGE!


I challenge you to come out in 2010 and see how SAVAGE you really are!

Life is GOOD! LiveSTRONG!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Another LiveSTRONG Hero...


Denny finishing STRONG at the Capitol Crescent 5K - June 1, 2008

Thomas and Denny after the finish of their first 5K!

Denny gets a big hug after the Survivor Harbor 7-Miler in June 2009

As you know the Cancer to 5K program has been a blessing for me. After
dealing with cancer it has been great to have the support of a group
that does not sit around. I was not a runner when I joined the cancer
to 5K program and never thought I could run a 5k. Thanks to you Holly,
Arnetta, the support of the rest of the group and of course how patient
Coach Bob has been with me, I was able to finish a couple of 5Ks and
even a 7 mile race. But being able to finish the races is not the only
benefit. Running has also improved my tennis game. Therefore, for all
your support I am dedicating all my matches at my next tennis tournament
to the Cancer to 5K program. I will be playing singles and doubles at
the Capital Classic XVII, scheduled for the weekend of Sept 12.

I will be doing my best to win it for the Cancer to 5K. As with cancer,
"Let's Fight and Win".

Take care,

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU DENNY, for taking a chance and joining the CANCER to 5K know where I will be Saturday afternoon! Tennis Anyone?


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

On a day when I could choose to be really grumpy....

I'll focus on things that make me HAPPY....

(in no particular order)

Sisters then...1986...

Sisters now (kinda)...2005...

My darling nephews...

My husband...

Peanut Butter and Jelly, even on your wedding day...

funny pictures of cats with captions

Team CANCER to 5K...

Ms. Grommette... (Silver Spotted Bengal)

Mr. Wallace Silvertail... (Brown Spotted Bengal)

My darling Bengal Babies!!!

REMEMBER - Life IS Good.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

All about Mr. May 2010

One of my friends and teammates on CANCER TO 5K, Mr. Shawn Felty (read his great BLOG here: All It Takes Is Guts!), just happens to be the featured model/colon cancer survivor for May in the NEW
2010 Colondar!

The 2010 Colondar is another stunning take on fourteen colorectal cancer survivors all diagnosed under the stereotypical age of 50. As with every Colondar, the featured survivors proudly show off their surgical scars and share a snippet of their extraordinary personal stories, proving that this is a disease that can happen to anyone, at any age.

Along with the photos and inspirational stories of hope and survivorship, the 2010 Colondar features U.S. holidays, facts about colorectal cancer and a resource page. It is especially encouraging for people recently diagnosed, or for friends or family to be used as a reminder of why they should get screened.

All the proceeds from this Colondar go toward The Colon Club. The Colon Club is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of colorectal cancer in out-of-the-box ways. Our goals are to educate as many people as possible, as early as possible, about the risk factors and symptoms of colorectal cancer, and for people to get screened when it's appropriate for them.

Just another amazing group of Cancer Survivors finding amazing ways to get the word out and LiveSTRONG!

Now what are you waiting for? GO BUY YOUR COLONDAR!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

And the miles roll on...

And the training goes on...106 miles in 7:09 this weekend with Team Z followed by a swim and a short (8-mile run...)

Never, Never, NEVER GIVE UP!

(lyrics by Rascal Flats - thanks Shawn!)

Everytime you get up
And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause its all you can take

On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off

Then you Stand, Then you stand.