Monday, December 29, 2008


Personal- Our family life has changed drastically this year.

-Hubby was diagnosed with RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) in his rt. ankle. Because of this disease and multiple surgeries he has been at home since July. He has founded Team RSD drag racing team to raise awareness. When I see him walking with his cane, He reminds me of "House". He recently contacted Rich Christensen of the TV show "Pinks to do a charity race. Any support is appreciated.
-Hooch finished high school early this month and is preparing for college next month. She turned 18 and voted in her first election.She has a boyfriend. Also she experienced her first auto accident which kept her from school for several weeks. We are blessed that she is OK.
-Bino turned 16 and got his driver's liscence. This lead to his driving the firebird drag racing in July.He played varsity football and is on the bowling team.
-Dad is 86 and doing awesome. He is still so busy it is hard to find him at home.
- My MIL and her dog Scooter are doing OK also. She is still making adjustments to living without her husband but I think that she has come a long way.

As for me:

  • I did my first triathlon and loved it.
  • I set a PR for my 5k (30:34) and half marathon (2:39:56)
  • I did 5 triathlons.
  • I did my first half half ironman although the swim was changed to a run.
  • I signed up for an Iron distance in 2009.
  • Every year you can look back and see how your life has changed. Some years there is more change than others. This one has had more than ususal. It was like being on a roller coaster at times.I do feel like the changes have brought me closer to my Hubby.

    Waddling into 2009..............

      Sunday, December 28, 2008


      This morning was a day that I had been looking forward to and dreading at the same time. My swim homework was due by Jan. 1 and I had been procrastinating. I needed to swim a 3,000m time trial. Wow- I had never swam 2000 non-stop. Coach emailed me last night to break it apart in my mind into pieces of 3 x 1000 or 6 x 500. That made a huge difference to me.

      I still was awake alot during the night. I felt like this would be a turning point in my confidence. The other side was if I did not make it - I would have serious doubts about my goal. I knew it was time to find out.

      I got to Master's swim early and got started. There were 60 laps ahead of me. I broke it down to 6 x 500. I finished had 2 sets as others began to arrive. I continued. I could see the clock as I turned. I just kept going. The longer that I swam the more my confidence increased. When there was one set to go, I felt great. I counted-1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, and last lap ! I made it! I looked at the clock 1:41:00. A very slow time for most but I was elated. Coach gave me a high 5.

      I did it!!!! Huge, huge boost to my confidence!!

      Waddling with more confidence..............

      Saturday, December 27, 2008

      DID WE MOVE?

      Last Sunday at our house, the temperature was -4 and the snow was blowing. At times when we were driving, there was no visibility due to the blowing snow. The wind chill made the temperature feel like -25. Our final day of Christmas shopping was challenging. It felt like we lived at the North Pole.

      Today, I was awakened to lightening and thunder. The rain was pounding on the window. I opened the slider and let the dogs out. It was warm outside. I could not believe it was over 50. I knew it was still December but did someone move my house???Next weather monitor went off and we were under a tornado watch.

      Even though temperature was unusually high, I headed for the gym because of the pouring rain. Last year, I was part of Team Weight Loss at the gym. I pulled one of my workouts out of the books. I did get a new Polar HR monitor for Xmas and gave it a test run. I only did 35 minutes because I have decided to do my swim homework tomorrow. (3,000m timed swim).

      Waddling in any kind of weather............

      Thursday, December 25, 2008


      Our black and white guarding the tree and his present.

      Bino ready to open gifts--

      Hubby watching the gift exchanging.

      Hooch and her boyfriend by the tree.

      Bino helping Grandma in the kitchen.

      Enjoying a family dinner.

      Waddling after a wonderful Christmas.................

      Wednesday, December 24, 2008

      Waddling and wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

      Monday, December 22, 2008

      IT'S UP!

      On the advice of Coach Steve, I bought a large 2009 dry erase calendar. It is hung in a place that I will look at everyday. Over the next few weeks, I will begin filling it in with training and race dates. I am feeling that my training is beginning to change to a more serious mode. For the past 6 weeks, it has been pretty willy-nilly. On January 1, it needs to gain alot more structure.

      Coach also gave me a homework project that needs to be completed by January 1st- a 3,000m baseline swim. That distance to me currently is mind boggling. I have no idea how long that will take. I am not sure that I can keep track of that many laps.

      The reality of what is to come is beginning to grab me. The emotions that go with that are very mixed. I am excited to do the distance. I am concerned about the hours of training. But mostly ready to begin and give it a shot.

      Waddling with my markers.......

      Sunday, December 21, 2008

      The plan was for a normal day of Christmas shopping. It became a series of strange events. I went shopping with a close friend in the sub-zero weather. The stores were suprisingly empty for the weekend before Christmas. Was it the weather or the economy?

      At our stop at Office Max, they had a stress detector. How fun! My friend went first and had an extremely high and agitated stress level. I tried next. There was no reading. I handed it back- it worked for my friend. We tried another one. Same thing again and again. It was like I was not there.

      Our next stop was Home Run Inn for pizza. After a delicious meal, I made a trip to the ladies room. The soap dispenser was motion activated. It would not work. It worked for the next 2 ladies but not for me. The waitress was next and waved her hand and I stuck mine under quickly.

      We continued shopping and after a few more stores, I made another trip to the ladies room. The motion detector on the toilet did not work no matter what I tried. (Skip the visual). I now doubted my existance.

      When I got home and the kids found me to make dinner, I knew that I was not a ghost.

      Waddling like a ghost........

      Saturday, December 20, 2008

      With everything being so crazy this week, I have not had much time to write. I also had not had much time to train. I am not getting that worked up about that currently as there will come a time and place for that panic.

      My hubby although having a tough time with the RSD pain has been a huge support. He is so supportive of my goal.

      Today, I did make it to the gym. I vowed to try to spend my time in zone 2 . I also made a conscious decision not to expect too much out of myself. Relax and enjoy the workout. My heart rate immediately jumped to to 130 and I was still walking. I increased the incline and it jumped some. I began to run after about 10 minutes and my heart rate quickly went to 165. Although I have not had a MAP test recently to check my zones I knew that I was close to my AT (top of zone 3). I went back to walking quickly and dropped it. The extra weight has really taken a toll on my fitness. I finished 45 minutes on the treamill alternating between walking and running to keep my HR down. I felt like it was a successful workout and I felt good about it. I knew the challenges ahead.

      Weather is dropping sub-zero tonight so another day inside the gym tomorrow. After that, Xmas shopping is on the agenda. Nothing like waiting until the last minute?

      Waddling on a winter evening.............

      Thursday, December 18, 2008


      Very, very, busy at work...
      Not much training getting done....
      Too,too tired at night.....
      More snow on the way....
      Happy ,Happy Holidays....

      Still waddling.....

      Sunday, December 14, 2008

      This weekend was the TV showing of the Ironman World Championships in Kona. I recorded it yesterday because I wanted to sit down and watch it uninterrupted as possible. This is always my favorite show of the year. I rewind this and count how many times that I rewatch it.

      I asked Hubby to watch it with me and Bino also sat in. As usual, I was blown away by the race and the athletes in it. I shed my ususal tears. This year especially it touched me as I am signed up for my first Iron distance in 2009. It met alot to me for my family to watch it with me and share what is ahead for me. I know they knew what was ahead for me but it seemed to touch them also.

      My weekend training was good. Saturday, I did not make it to spin but got a 45 min ride in on my trainer. I stayed in zone2 the entire time except when I toppled over into the wall.(Long Story). Today with the near 50 degree weather, I ran 4 miles outside. It felt great to be off the dreadmill even with the high winds.

      Not qite sure how training will go this week since work is extremely busy. After watching IM Kona, my motivation is up.

      Waddling into another week.............

      Friday, December 12, 2008


      With all the political hoopla going on with our ******* Governor, this seemed to be a fitting thought. I have seen the Senate seat up for grabs on Ebay!

      Waddling in the state of Illinois..............

      Thursday, December 11, 2008

      I have never known a Christmas season that has not been hectic for me. What is amazing is that this year has been as busy as ever and I have nothing done for the holidays. I have no tree, decorations, cookies, or even presents.

      Every aspect of my life has been crazy busy. Work is out of control. We have started doing several new treatment procedures in our radiaton oncology department. One is stereotactic radiosurgery to the brain and the other is a new mammosite treatment to the breast. It is awesome that the number of these procedures that we do is increasing but it seems like my stress level has increased proportionally.

      Hooch is doing better after being in an Auto accident las month. We are so glad that she was safe but she is still having lots of pain and having difficulty making it through a day at school. She started physical therapy today. I hope this will releive some of her stiffness.

      Hubby is hanging in there. His RSD has been very painful and I am concerned that it has traveled more up his leg. He had another nerve block this week and did get several days of relief from the continuous pain and burning. The plan is to put a neurostimulator in his spine to help control the pain. We are due to have the temporary one put in soon hopefully.

      Training has been on the low side this week. Lack of motivation was not a problem but time and energy were. I hope to get some good workouts in this weekend.

      Waddling toward the weeks end.........................

      Monday, December 08, 2008


      Tonight after work, it was a meeting of the minds to discuss Ironman training. Tri-Sharkie, Coach Steve ,and I got together at Panera. I felt like we covered alot of topics in a short time and gained alot of information about the journey ahead.

      First and most importantly, Coach said a discussion is very important with spouse/boyfriend. This discussion should cover the time involved and the commitment ahead. Most weekends through the summer and fall will involve long runs and long rides-so both mornings will be shot. Even when going early this will have a huge affect on your life.

      We talked about different plans and training thoughts. Tri-Sharkie is looking at a training plan by Endurance Nation. I am looking at a plan by Don Fink-"Be Iron-Fit". It seems like they are alot different but I think we will still get alot of training together.

      Another concern is nutrition. I think I lucked out and did well in my half-iron. I know that this is an area that will have to be solid going into the full. At Beach2BAttleship, they have Hammer products on the course. So my plan is to see how they agree with me. I also want to try their Perpetuem.

      I feel like there will be many discussions ahead of us and it will be an enjoyable journey. On parting, I asked coach if the morning swim workout was going to be easy and he just chuckled as he walked to his car.

      Waddling to rest up for training...............

      Sunday, December 07, 2008

      The weather forecast on Saturday was calling for sub 10 degree temps on Sunday morning. My plan was to meet Snips for a 6 miler. I was aliitle nervous about the distance because I hadn't been running much. The temperature made my decision for me. It would be a Master's Swim day.

      When I woke, the chill in the house made me want to pull up the covers and go back to sleep. I had already cancelled my run so I knew I had to go to swim. The thought of jumping in the cool water in the pool was flipping my stomach. I did get up and go and had a great workout.

      Today is my mom's birthday. Pearl Harbor happened on her 21st birthday. She passed away 17 years ago. She loved Hooch so much. I will never forget the 2 of them on Hooch's first birthday. She never knew about Bino. He would have given her a run for the money. Dad still misses her alot also.

      Waddling on a winter day..........................

      Saturday, December 06, 2008


      No this is not "TWISTER" !

      Today at spin class, I had one goal which was to stay in zone 2 with my heart rate. This is extremely hard for me to do. I start listening to the music, competing with my neighbor, or just get caught up with the instructors enthusiasm. For my winter training, I want base build and stay in zone 2.

      The 15 minutes went well. A friend was in front of me who has just done IMAZ and she was working really hard. Next the music began to rock out. Then the instructor walked around the room to pump us up. Before I knew it, I was in the suck zone. I was sucked right into zone 3 and 4. I pulled myself back several times. It is a challenge to stay in zone 2!

      Waddling out of the suck zone................

      Friday, December 05, 2008

      What a story....

      Check out Iron Snoopy and her story of IMAZ. I don't want to give it away.

      I haven't set the world on fire with my training this week. I was reading a training book today and realized what my problem and frustration is. It is hard to explain though. I have been skipping workouts because I feel if I can only to a short one why bother. Not making any sense ---but I understand I need to drop my expectation of myself and accept where I am at.
      Waddling into the weekend.............

      Wednesday, December 03, 2008


      December 1 is when the journey began. I got up early with an anxious feeling in my stomach. Today was the day that I intended to sign up for an Iron-Distance Race. The registration opened at 7am (my time). I was logged in to the event website by 6:15am. At 6:24 am, I checked the site and saw that registration had opened. I immediately grabbed my phone and called Tri-Sharkie. She was up also. I grabbed my credit card and within minutes I was signed up.

      I called Tri-Sharkie back and she was also signed up for her first Iron. Her words to me were-"What did we just do?". We both were silent with a nervousness about the training ahead.

      This month, I have several goals and groundwork to lay before official Iron training begins.

      1. Start taking off several some weight to get to a loss of 15-20 lbs.
      2. Weekly begin averaging 5-6 hours of training
      3. Improve nutrition starting with drinking alot more water daily.
      4. Keep training in heart rate zone 2

      Tonight, I was at the gym and the dreadmill and realized how much work was ahead of me. I felt like I weighed one ton. My heart rate went up into zone 3 quickly and several time I had to walk to drop it down. I was glad when my 30 min. were completed.

      Here we go---I am on my way!

      Waddling to the start at the Beach.............

      Monday, December 01, 2008

      IT'S OFFICIAL ---2009

      My Year For the Iron Distance!

      I am so scared, excited, and ready to go for 2009! Here is the schedule:

      Waddling to plan training (woohoo!)........................

      Friday, November 28, 2008

      This weekend was unforgettable. After Hooch's accident and with Hubby's pain, I knew it would be easier to bring my dad to us from Ohio rather than to go there. So I drove to Ohio on Tuesday and return home on Wednesday with Dad.

      Having dad here with us took off alot of pressure. I felt better that everyone did not need to travel. The other concern was leaving my MIL here alone over Thanksgiving. This would be the second anniversary of my FIL's passing.

      Thanksgiving Day started off with my alarm going off at 430am to put the bird in the oven. That was quickly accomplished. Next was Master's swim. I actually was excited to go work out. Coach had a great workout planned that was even fun. After our warm up there were Thanksgiving drills to do. First was the corkscrew drill ( 4 x 50). Second was the gravy boat drill (4 x 50). Next cam the turkey leg ( 4 x 50 ). Lastly it was the turkey leg ( 4 x 50). All were lots of fun and hard work.

      After I came back home, it was time to do all the final prep for dinner. Bino was a huge help in the kitchen although he snacked down just as much as he cooked. It was the text book Turkey day meal. At noon, all the food was done right on time. It was Hubby, Hooch, Bino, Dad, MIL, Hooch's boyfriend and I. Our first Thanksgiving not in Ohio. The day was spent enjoying our time together and passed too quickly.

      The day on Friday flew by also. Shopping, eating, and just being together filled the day. As I am sitting here ready to close my eyes, I was sad that I would be taking Dad back to Ohio tomorrow. I would love for him to stay longer but even though he is 86, he is still so involved in things that he feels like he needs to get back. I am glad he is so busy and involved.

      I know that although the time went quickly, it was filled with memories that will last forever.

      Waddling to get some shut-eye................

      Wednesday, November 26, 2008


      I am so thankful this year for my family, my friends, and my health. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and cherishes every minute with those close to you.

      Waddling to eat ALOT of food..............

      Tuesday, November 25, 2008


      For the past 10 days, I have been able to use one excuse or another not to go to the gym. I know my personal life has been hectic. I also know that work has been very intense. If I really wanted too , I could have made time to get to the gym but I have been extremely tired and unmotivated.

      I am motivated by goal setting and planning. On December 1, I will know if I will have the opportunity to give an Iron distance race a shot in 2009. I hate to get my hopes up until I actually know that I am in the race. Does this sound like one more excuse??

      I have the 2009 season set in my mind and have spent time laying out some of the training but in 6 days I will know for sure.

      Waddling and waiting...................

      Sunday, November 23, 2008

      TEAM RSD

      My hubby, who is trying to raise awarenss of what he is going through facing RSD, now has a blog. It will follow him and Team RSD Racing. He journey continues against this evil disease. All prayers and support are deeply appreciated.

      Waddling with love for my hubby.................


      Good Luck to my Friends
      Iron Snoopy #2249
      Moose # 974
      Kara # 2184
      SW TriGal # 2611
      H # 2005
      Sweet Baboo # 1230

      Waddling to watch IronmanLive.............

      Thursday, November 20, 2008

      Tuesday began like any other Tuesday. Master's swim followed by work. Both went well and the day was proceeding normally.

      I left work early to take Hubby to an appointment with the RSD specialist. The burning in his foot and ankle had increased since starting physical therapy. After examination, Hubby had a spinal nerve block for some pain relief. As we were waiting to be released, the nightmare began.

      My cell phone went off with my daughter Hooch's ringtone. I answered to hear her hysterical voice telling me that she had been in a car accident. She needed us. I ran and got the RN and had Hubby unhooked from all the monitors and IVs. We were about 30 minutes from Hooch and it was 5pm rush hour. She called several times while we drove and we tried to figure out what was going on. I finally was able to talk to one of the paramedics at the scene who was examining her. She had hit another car head on while driving to work.

      When we arrived at the accident, Hooch's car was just loaded on a tow truck. We immediately found Hooch. She had declined the ambulance to the hospital. She was very shaken up but walking around fine. I was so relieved to give her a hug and tell her that I loved her. Just to play it safe we took her to the ER to be checked out. All the tests came back fine.

      It's Only a piece of metal. Thank God Hooch is Ok.

      While at the ER, Hubby(who was supposed to be laying flat on his back for 3 hours) asked to speak to me in the hallway. He informed me he had just spoken to his Mom. While she was walking her dog, 2 bulldogs charged her dog. She tried to kick at them but ended up laying on top of Scooter to protect him. Luckily Scooter and her were shaken but uninjured. Bino and Hubby left the ER and headed to check on my MIL and call the police.

      Could all of this be happening to us? Were we going to wake up and find out that this was all a dream? Had we entered the twilight zone? Unfortunately we were awake and reality had slapped us in the face.

      Our Hooch and Mom are fine. Hubby hung in there and endured until able to lay down. My head was spinning in circles and I lacked an ability to focus. Bino was a blessing and helpful in every way.

      Waddling to find a way out of the zone we are in............

      Saturday, November 15, 2008


      This week has gone by so fast that it feels like everything is on fast-forward.Everyday things have fallen into place and everything has gotten done but there has not been much time to spare.

      Hubby has started physical therapy this week. I think this is great for him to start getting some movement back in his foot. The pain from the RSD limits what he can do but you have to start somewhere. The bonus for me is that I have been having some low back pain and I get a massage and stretching while Hubby gets his PT.

      Master's swim is now back on my schedule at least 2 days per week. It feels so good to be back in the pool. After a short period of lighter workout, Coach really kicked it up with intervals on Thursday. I was exhausted when I got out of the pool but satisfied with a hard workout.

      Hooch , my daughter, is doing early graduation from high school in December. That has thrown us into a world of registering and getting ready for classes at a junior college in January,an exciting time for her.

      Bino has finished football. With one season over, he is on the Varsity bowling team and our matches have begun every Tuesday and Thursday evening. I can't make it to all the matches but I love to watch him when I can.

      Now to hit the pause button---

      I did get time to catch up with Iron Snoopy and Moose. They are heading to IMAZ next week. We did a spin class together and got a chance to chat afterword. They are so motivating for me to talk to. When they get back from IMAZ, I will have a thousand questions for them about their expeience.

      I intend to keep the pause button on this weekend to have some quality time with Hubby, my kids, Snips, and TriSharkie.

      Waddling on pause until Monday then will hit the replay button......................

      Tuesday, November 11, 2008


      This is what I should have worn for master's swim class this morning. I was having a great swim and cruising through the workout on the board. About half way through class, this guy jumps in my lane at the other end of the pool. His arms were all over the place and he was doing flip turns at the ends. While I was on a 60 sec. rest between sets, He did a flip turn and almost kicked me in the face. I looked to Coach for help and his words of advice were that this was good practice for an Ironman Swim because you feel like you are in combat. I felt like I needed a helmet everytime I swam past this guy.

      I survived and managed to get my entire workout done. I did get hit a few times and sicked in some extras water. Maybe it was good practice.
      Waddling to calmer water..........

      Sunday, November 09, 2008


      Tomorrow is the beginning of my off season training. Time to lay the framework for 2009. One of my favorite parts of training is the planning. As always, it is done in pencil for good reason.

      The basice layout of my week will be:

      • Monday - spin or trainer
      • Tuesday - Master's swim(am) & Run (pm)
      • Wednesday - Spin /Trainer followed by short run
      • Thursday - Master's Swim
      • Friday - Day off or Swim
      • Saturday- Spin
      • Sunday - Long run

      Somewhere in there I need to do some strength work with no excuses. I am excited to start my framework for 2009 season.

      Waddling with a plan..............

      Friday, November 07, 2008

      365 DAYS

      TriSharkie and Waddler give Beach2Battleship a thumbs up and plan to be here 365 days from today heading to cross the finish line.

      Waddling to plan my training..............

      Thursday, November 06, 2008


      Please visit my training partner and friend- Trisharkie!

      Waddling to visit a new blogger.......

      Wednesday, November 05, 2008


      There was not much sleep for me on Monday night. I had leftover excitement from the weekend plus anticipation of master's swim beginning again for the winter. I never realized how much that I had missed it.

      I jumped out of bed at 4:45am with no problem. I got there 15 minutes early. There were others feeling the same way as me. I chatted with my friend Dan who had just signed up for IMFL and it will be his first.

      I was thrilled to see coach again! It was hard to believe that last year at this time I walked in not being able to swim. What a motivation he has been to me. I also know he will play a large part of the year ahead of me.

      Waddling to get some sleep before an early swim..........

      Sunday, November 02, 2008

      B2B FINISH

      After an afternoon of taking it easy, Sharkie and I headed downtown Wilmington with our cowbells. The run course goes right through downtown Wilmington by the docks. We treated ourselves to ice cream and a caramel apple while we cheered the runners on.

      All the runners looked great, most with big smiles. It is a 2 loop run course. We sat near the 3 & 16 mile marker. We sat for over an hour cheering and clanging our bells.

      We were also sitting near the water taxi loading area for the finish. There was no car traffic to the finish area only the water taxi back and forth. As people unloaded from the taxi, we heard some stories of waiting in line for close to 2 hours to come back. It looked challenging trying to bring your bike and gear on the water taxi. We knew the sun would be going dow soon so we went back to the hotel and changed into warmer clothes to go to the finish on the other side of the Cape Fear Waterway.

      We waited about 15 minutes in line to take the water taxi to the battleship. The finish area looked awesome lit up at night. We were just watching the finish of IMFL on the computer and were ready to make a comparison and final thoughts.

      We were watching the finishers in the 12-13 hour range and they looked great. Next we walked down to the turn around for runners to head out onto loop 2. There were many special needs backs still waiting for their owners and I knew if I did this race that mine would be one of them.

      We went back to the finsh line and continued to cheer. The temperature dropped to the low 50's . The music was blaring and the announcer shouted out every finishers name as they came in. Each finisher received a Beach2Battleship finisher shirt and a totally awesome medal. Although it was a much smaller race than IMFL, there was the same atmosphere and excitement.

      We were so chilled that we soon headed back to the hotel. They had opened the finish to car traffic so the line for the water taxi was only a 30 minute wait. We ran into Bill from NC. He had completed IMCDA in June and now this race. We began to pick his brain about the race. He had nothing but positive things to say about the race. Big kudos to all the support on the course.His 2 negative comments which were small was that the changing tent in T1 was too little and the road to run on from the swim finish to T1 hurt your feet especially out of the cold water. Another comment from the finisher next to us was that the carpet they put on the medal grates on the bridges felt like biking through sand. Absolutely everything else was positive!

      The one thing that all the athletes did mention was the swim. Everyone had record times for the distance. They said the current made them feel like they had a rocket pack on your back. Being a weaker swimmer --this is my kind of swim!

      For an inaugural race with a huge logistic challenge, Beach2Battleship did a phenomenal job. The few problems that they did have, I am sure they will address before next year. Sign up for next year will be on December 1st and they hope to increase the size to 750 athletes in the full and 750 in the half. The race date has not been announced yet and I am hoping they move it up a few weeks to get away from the chilly weather.

      Waddling with hopes to be running through this next year...............

      Saturday, November 01, 2008


      Sharkie and I got to the expo early. The packet pick-up seemed well organized. The athletes received a shirt, socks, and a very cool canvas bag. There were several vendors there and I got a new pair of goggles.

      After the expo , we attended the noon athlete meeting. It lasted about and hour. It completely covered the logistics of the race. The race officials admitted that since this was a point to point race with 2 transitions that it was a huge logistical challenge. It seemed to be well thought out though. Each runner in the Full-distance received 6 bags to use for before, during and after the race:

      1. Pre-swim -(Spectators were not allowed to drive to the start of the race, therefore, the majority of spectators stayed at T1 to cheer on the racers. Racers were given a bag before the swim to place any items such as warm clothes and shoes that they needed to "dump" before getting in the water).
      2. Special needs (bike)
      3. Special needs (run)
      4. Transition 1 (swim gear)
      5. Transition 2 (run bag)
      6. Post Race (needs after finish)

      All bags are to be returned to the racer at the finish line (Battleship). So in other words, all your belongings would be available for pick up after completing the need to return to T1 for any reason and no need to worry about giving up any items (e.g. special needs-bike bag at mile 60: take whatever items you need out of bag for 2nd half of course, place unwanted items in bag like arm warmers, give back to volunteer, receive bag back at the end of the race with arm warmers).

      We were very impressed with the thought put into this first running of this race.

      Race Morning

      Sharkie and I arrived at the start at 4:45am and checked in to do body marking which was at T1. The temperature was 40. It was hard to mark on some of the athletes because they were shaking so hard. They announced the water temp was 67. All the athletes for the full were loaded on buses and taken to the end of the waterway at Wrightsville Beach.

      The highlight of body marking was meeting challenged athlete Trish Downing. I was honored to do her body marking.

      Sharkie and I were then re-assigned to direct the swimmers coming out of the water to T1. The run from where the runners climbed out of the water using ladders to T1 was around 300 yds. As they went by us , there was alot of shivering and teeth chattering. The other problem was trying to run with numb feet on the black topped road. Many athletes were complaining that they could not feel their feet. Ouch! Even though it was discouraged, there were some athletes who strategically placed shoes by the swim finish.

      Some athletes experienced hypothermia due to the cold temps....medical professionals were on hand to provide help as well as hot water showers for those needing to warm up. From what we heard, every athlete who started the swim, continued on to the bike.

      All the swim times were fast because of the incoming tide and current. Also the salty ocean water was a bonus. The first man out of the water completed the swim in approximately 40 minutes and had an incredible lead over the rest of the pack....he was part of a relay team.

      On one more note, the spectators were also not allowed by the dock area (private yacht club) to see their athlete come out of the water. They were only able to see the athletes running in and out of the T1 area.

      We stayed until the final athlete came out of the water. He was a Challenged Athlete in a wheelchair and an inspiration. At this point we were worn out and headed back to the hotel to take a break until we go to the finish.

      Waddling to the Battleship..........

      Friday, October 31, 2008


      Intercostal Waterway Swim Route

      Sharkie and I flew into Wilmington, NC this weekend to volunteer and watch the inaugural Beach2Battleship Iron distance race. The weather is extremely cold.

      Our trip down yesterday was full of talk about different training plans for Ironman. We almost missed our connecting flight in Atlanta while reading things.

      Alot questions have come to mind so far with the logistics of this race. The start is 8 miles from the finish. T1 is 6 miles away. T2 is on the other side of a waterway. I am so glad that we came to take a look before actually doing this race. It can be done but will require more pre-planning than most races.
      We are heading to the expo today and have lots of questions.

      Waddling along the beach.......................

      Monday, October 27, 2008

      On this cold, rainy fall evening going to the gym was my best option. I was very undecided what to do once I arrived. The options were yoga, spin, or kickbox jam. I hate yoga, disliked the spin teacher, and that left me with something that I have never done before.

      I really enjoyed the class. I was amazed at the workout that it gives your core. I stayed in the back row not to cause too much laughter. The moves were hard to keep up with so I just made it up as needed. Honestly - I did get a good workout.

      Waddling with a few sore muscles............

      Sunday, October 26, 2008

      Today it feel like I am turning the corner to things going better.

      I met Snips for a 6 mile run. I felt great. We kept a nice easy pace. The miles flew by and we were finished before we knew it. We had more catching up to do but will save it for another day.

      Hubby is feeling better and recovering well from the surgery. The week ahead is full of appointments but we are very positive with how things are going.

      Thursday, Sharkie and I are catching a plane to North Carolina. We are volunteering at Beach2Battleship rather than IMFL. I am anxious to see the course. Also we will be talking about the training that is ahead of us. November 2 will begin winter base training. So now begins my favorite part- the planning.(in pencil of course)

      Waddling around the bend to better days.............

      Saturday, October 25, 2008


      Day after day, I have been putting my swim gear out and planning to go to the pool early the following morning. Day after day, I have pulled the covers up and not gone. It has been 5weeks since I last swam. I worked so hard last year to learn how to swim but I was procrastinating going back to the pool.

      The other day I received an email from Coach Steve--Master's Swim on Tues Nov 4 @ 530am. The time to get back in the water was here. Best to do it now befor class begins.

      As I drove to the gym, the reasons for staying away came back to me:

      1. I had put back on some of my weight and the thought of a swimsuit wasn't good.
      2. The cold water and that feeling when you first jump in.
      3. Swimming is very unnatural to me.

      When I got to the gym, I experienced all of the above. I did survive and completed 1,000 of drills.

      Tomorrow , I am meeting Snips for a 6 miler. It will be the first time to chat since her marathon. I am so anxious to talk to her. Hopefully we can fit it all in.

      Waddling to make dinner............

      Monday, October 20, 2008

      It was time for me tonight to get off my lazy butt and head to the gym. I have not done anything to speak of since the marathon. I looked at the schedule for group classes and found the options of spin or yoga. Easy choice! I hate yoga.

      It had been months since my last spin class. Tonight's class had an instructor that I had never had before. I love taking the class from someone who actually is a biker and rides outside. She was not one of those instructors. Very soft voice and unmotivating. Maybe I had been spoiled with Mary who is one of a kind.

      Tomorrow, I am going to attempt to get up and head to the pool before work. I was hoping that Master's swim would be starting soon but no news yet.

      It feels good to be back to be doing more than just running. I have missed the cross-training.

      Waddling back to training...............

      Saturday, October 18, 2008

      After last week's Chicago Marathon, it was time to take a step back. This year I had several goals that I hoped to reach. Also included was looking at my half-iron and marathon to decide my plan for 2009.

      Snips and I decided after the marathon to put the Indy 500 MiniMarathon on our 2009 calendar for May and the USAF half-Marathon on for September. Those will probably be the only running races. The rest of my races will be tri's.

      As far as my "A" race for next year, here it is: Beach2Battleship . With that said, I have 2 options for that race. It is either a half or full iron distance. Sharkie and I are planning to go volunteer at this year's race to look at the course.

      On the homefront, hubby is home from the hospital. The surgeon felt the surgery to repair the aneurysm was very successful. He still has alot of pain from his RSD but we're still working on that. Thanks for all the prayer and postive thoughts.

      Waddling to work on my 2009 game plan............

      Thursday, October 16, 2008

      BIG DAY

      Today is hubby's day for surgery to repair the aneurysm in his ankle. They have just taken him into the OR. They are unable to fix the aneurysm by doing an angiogram. So we are headed into a 3 hour surgery. They will need to see if they are able to repair the artery and if they can get a vein from his leg to do this repair.

      I brought my laptopto pass the time. I am trying to plan 2009 races. It will keep my mind ahead to the future which I know will be good.

      Waddling and praying..............

      UPDATE : 1:00PM
      Surgery is done. Things went well. They found a 0.6 cm hole in his artery. They were able to take a vein from his foot and repair the hole. He will be going to Step-down ICU and may get to go home Saturday. The aneurysm itself was over 5 cm round.

      Waddling to Recovery...........

      Monday, October 13, 2008

      And now the rest of the story..........

      Going into Sunday's marathon, I knew that I had my work cut out for me. I knew the course from doing it twice before and knew the demons that awaited me out there.

      Marathon morning brought us a picture perfect day except for the temperature. Being with Snips reminded me of my first time being at the starting line. Her enthusiasm and excitement was contagious. It was exciting to share the experience with her.

      Snips had ironed on our names to our shirts. It was great to have people along the course cheering us on.

      The first 5-6 miles flew by. Around mile 2-3, I saw Iron Snoopy, Moose and some tri-friends. That pumped us up.Our pace felt comfortable to both of us. We had a plan to walk through all the water stations and run the rest. We were right on track. This looked like this would be the day that I broke 6 hours.

      Just before the water station at mile 8 , I needed to walk because of a pain in my right foot and ankle. I knew that my day was changing. I told Snips to go on without me. I knew she was strong and that I would her hold her back. Reluctantly she gave me a hug and headed off. I began walking and talking to myself. I had $20 in my fuel belt and could catch a cab back to the hotel. I called my hubby and told him that I was quitting.

      I kept walking. Between 11 and 12, I saw Running Jayhawk ahead of me and caught up to say hello. She was also walking. She had spasms in her calf. We chatted some then both headed on our way. My goal became to make it to the half marathon point. As I looked around, about 2/3 of those around me were walking.

      I passed the half marathon point and looked at my watch to see exactly 3:00. If I kept going possibly I could break 6:30. I had no idea where I was in the city and there were no cabs to be seen so I kept going. My leg felt no worse and I tried to run but that wasn't happening. I glanced around to see almost everyone was walking around me. I began noticing that the aid stations were full with runners and ambulances. I continued walking.

      At mile 15, the loud speaker announced the course was now under a "Red Alert". Heat conditions were worse,slow down and take extra fluids. Also be prepared to leave the course and have a plan. I continued walking.

      After mile 16, I could see the Sears tower and knew that we were heading back to the city before heading to the south part of the course. Someone was walking toward me and it was Sharkie, my tri-training buddy. She found me and knew that I was having a tough day. She had a map and I decided that I was done for the day. She walked with me back to the hotel. We talked the entire way about triathlon training and next year. She dropped me off and went to catch her train.

      At the hotel I changed clothes and went to the finish to wait for Snips. She finished and looked great hear time was 5:38. Her smile was ear to ear. Although I did not finish, I basked in her excitement.

      I could give you a thousand reasons for what happened and a zillion excuses but I won't because none of them are important. I know that I did the best that I could and gave everything that I had. I did get to the starting line, I did make it 16+ miles, and I did she a good friend complete her first marathon.

      My 2008 season is in the books.

      Waddling to plan 2009.............

      Sunday, October 12, 2008


      Waddling with no excuses.............

      Saturday, October 11, 2008

      WE'RE READY??

      Waddler and Snips
      It is Chicago Marathon Eve and we are doing the final race prep. One issue has been the fact that we are both of the age that we need glasses and we only have one pair. This has lead to alot of laughs. We have just returned from our pre-race dinner at Houlihan's and currently Snips is diligently trying to iron our names on our shirts while I am trying to organize my stuff.

      We had a great time at the expo this afternoon at McCormick Place. Snips bought and awesome ensemble which included a jacket,hat,and shirt.

      My goal for tomorrow is simple. It is to finish and to enjoy the day. Time goals are totally out the window. I am relaxed and as ready as I can be. I am so excited for Snips since it is her first one and will enjoy being part of her journey.

      Waddling through Chicago................