Wednesday, August 06, 2008


I have decided not to do another HIM this year. My focus is now the Chicago Marathon. I have been trying to crack that 6 hour mark but have not been able to in 3 tries. This year since I am training with a group, I feel I have a good chance to achieve that.

Tonight I went for my first run since Steelhead. The 3 miles were not bad at all. I plan to take it easy through Sunday then game on for part 2 of the season.

Waddling on a summer evening............

July Numbers:
Bike: 16h 51m - 246.8 Mi
Run: 16h 22m - 74.91 Mi
Swim: 9h 10m - 15450 M

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Steelhead being changed has made me take a look at the rest of the year and my race plan. My goal this year was to do a Half Ironman and a full marathon then make a decision of my "A" race for next year. Did I achieve the first part of that goal? Do I take a look at changing my training plan for Chicago Marathon and doing a HIM early in September?

My friend DeeDee ran the Chicago marathon last year. She was stopped and not allowed to finish. I felt bad because she had trained hard and deligently for this race. She also knows she would have finished if permitted to go on. I now truly understand how she felt. She did not sign up for another marathon to replace it.

I have done 3 marathons but never have felt like I conquered the distance. This year I am training with a club following a specific plan. I would love to focus and crack the 6 hour mark while feeling great.

This week is rest and recovery. I have this week to decide the direction that I will head.

Waddling and pondering my plan..................

Sunday, August 03, 2008

In all my thoughts and dreams, I never imagined a day like Steelhead.

I forgot there was a time change in Michigan so getting up for the race was 3am Chicago time. I went out on the balcony hoping to find cooler temps. but it was still warm and 77 with a breeze blowing. The cool front that was expected should have moved through. I packed things and Bino took me to the shuttle bus stop to the race.

As I was waiting to get on the shuttle, my mind was running through the things that I needed and could have forgotten. I looked across the street to see a huge American flag. Even though it was still dark, it caught my attention. The reason for that was that it was straight out from the wind from the North.

After getting on the bus , everyone was talking weather and wind. There were many different perspectives on what lay ahead of us. None of us had any idea.

After I organized everything in the transition area, I put on my wetsuit up to my waist then grabbed my goggles and cap. I began the walk up the beach. As I walked the 1.2 miles North through the soft sand, I kept looking out at the water. There were huge whitecaps. The waves were 4-5 feet. One of the green buoys broke loose and took off. Panic and fear were taking over. I was not sure that I had any chance to swim in this water. As I was walking I was joined by a friend from Master's swim. He was very positive and reassuring. He gave me a few pointers and I felt a little bit better. As we got closer to the start, all the other athletes had turned around and started walking back. The swim was cancelled. Too dangerous with rip currents.

The emotions were overwhelming. My head was spinning. I was relieved not to have to decide whether to swim or not. I was disappointed that I had worked toward this swim since Nov. 1 and I was not able to do it. I was panicking what the distance for the first run would be. My legs were tired from walking through the sand. I headed to transition for information and rethinking the race with 2700 others.

RUN #1
At transition, I poured water on my feet to clean them up to put on my running shoes. The announcer informed us that there would be a 2.1 mile run. We had to walk almost another mile to get to the start. I looked around to see some athletes packing up to leave but the majority stayed.

I ran into Vickie at this point and we walked together to the start. Because of the large crowd they still started us in waves. At 8am, an hour after we were due to start, the race began. I took it very easy on the run because of what layed ahead. The was a big hill near the .5 mile and I walked up it. The course came back down and across the beach and soft sand to the transition.

I drank some water, gel, and grabbed my helment. I saw Nancy nearby heading out also. It felt good to be getting on the bike.

I love my Sugar and I love to ride. Quickly I noticed the rolling hills as we headed north into the wind. I heard at points it was 15-20 mph. I reminded myself it would be at my back on the last 20ish miles. I had salt tablets and gels taped to my bike, my aero bottle was full of water, and I had 3 bottles with G2.

As I rode the main thing I remember is hearing the woosh-woosh-woosh as the quick bikes passed by. It didn't bother me to be passed. I know how fast that I ride and there were a lot of awesome bikers. Iron Snoopy went zipping by on Dory and you could see that it was all clicking today for her. Next Moose,Snoopy's hubby, flew by. He was really cranking along. I think he was trying to catch her.

The way back with the wind behind me was great. I continued my nutrition and hydration and felt good. I loved the course and the scenery. My time was 3:13 hich is 16.7 ave. mph.

There were many cheering spectators as you came back in to T2. I took my time anh headed out on the run.

It felt like things were extremely hot all of a sudden. The first 3 miles clicked off quickly. The heat began to bother me and I focused on finishing. The demons began to speak to me but I was not about to listen to them. I would walk or do what it takes to get to the finish.

I loved the run course. It was 2 loops. I was able to see many of the people that I know out there. I saw Iron Snoopy at one of the water stops. She looked fantastic. I saw Moose heading in for his final 3 miles also.

I do have to say that I walked quite a bit. But I wanted to continue to pace myself. When I hit mile 12, I ran and tried to get my friend from swim to run in with me but her stomach wasn't up to it. At 12.5 miles, I looked down at my watch and knew that there was 8 minutes left to break 7 hours.I turned on the final stretch on the beach and could see the finish and hear the announcer. I do have one complaint running through sand in the final stretch -SUCKS. As I finished there was Iron Snoopy and Moose, both my kids, and several friends from swim. As I grab a bottle of water, there was Vickie coming across the finish line. She looked great!

I looked down at my watch to see 6:58!!!!!!!!!! As Snoopy would say, "HAPPY DANCE"

I was disappointed not to swim but was glad that the decision was made for me. I also know that I could have done it. I got a great feel for the distance and know how much I have to learn including weakness and strengths in my training. It also answer one questions for me about possibilities for 2009 races.

I owe many friends thanks for their sharing of their knowledge and support especially Iron Snoopy(you're my hero)

Waddling on top of the world................
(photos to come)