July 26, 2012

Steelhead training underway

Steelhead:  noun - The anadromous variety of the rainbow trout, having silvery, unstriped sides.

Ironman:  noun -  A male athlete of remarkable endurance or durability.

Triathlon: noun - An athletic contest consisting of three different events, typically swimming, cycling, and long-distance running.

Steelhead Ironman 70.3 Triathlon:  noun - August 19, 2012 - Begin with a 1.2 mile swim in beautiful Lake Michigan, and transition to the run at Jean Klock Park. Next is a 56 mile bike course through parts of Berrien and Van Buren counties. This area is known as Michigan’s fruit belt, and is home to berry farms, orchards, and vineyards. The 13.1 mile run winds through a Harbor Shores golf course and the Whirlpool Corporate campus.

Yes, it is official - and has been for weeks, but my intense training schedule has not allowed me to post much here.  After Muncie 70.3 was cut back to a 37.2 Olympicish distance, I really had no choice.  Ironman made it right by offering discounts for the Steelhead race in Benton Harbor Michigan on August 19.

There are some significant differences between the races:
The swim - I hear Lake Michigan is just a little bigger than Prairie Creek - and seriously waves up to 3 feet in the open water!  They don't even determine which direction we swim until the day before based on the currents.
The bike - Instead of fast and flat, it's hill work!  Muncie Gain = 528 feet vs Steelhead Gain = 732 feet;  And instead of closed highway, it's through the country including county roads
The run - Instead of a hilly out and back, it's a double loop with even more hills!  Muncie Gain = 161 feet vs Steelhead Gain = 203 feet

All of this has significantly impacted my training and with the help of pro triathlete Joanna Lawn and her coach (and husband) Armando Galarraga, I have a day by day plan that I've been following to a tee since they left town!  It's exhausting, and very time consuming, but also very worthwhile.  I know I am stronger (and smarter) than I was before Muncie. 

I have 2 more hard training days, and then Molly and I are off to Kona on vacation.  How fitting that we chose to vacation in Kona, the home of the Ironman World Championships, at this time!  I am hoping to find a way to swim on the swim course, and get plenty of runs in, but still unsure how I will get the bike time in. 

Stay tuned for an update upon my return! 

July 8, 2012

What if...

We won't call this an official announcement, but yeah, I wrote it on the calendar!  Aug 19 is just 6 weeks away!

July 7, 2012

Ironman 70.3/37.2 Race Report!

Due to an Excessive Heat Warning issued by The National Weather Service, IRONMAN 70.3 Muncie was shortened for safety reasons.

Yep!  That's what it says at the top of my results - but we'll get to that...

Pretty girl next to me got out of bed at 2:59 a.m. to prevent the alarm from going off at it's 3 a.m. set time, which means she was watching for several minutes already, and also means she got less than 5 hours of sleep!  She was out of the house by 3:30 and of course I'm wide awake at this point!  Good thing because she didn't reset the alarm!  So I reset it for 4:15 just to be safe, but simply lay there counting the minutes going by until 4:14 when I execute the same "save the alarm" strategy that she did!

Nothing unusual, trisuit on, socks and shoes, some light stretching, check facebook (addiction), only ate a granola bar and a large glass of Gatorade and I'm tip toeing out the door in time to meet the pros at Molly's mom's at 5!  They are running a little behind, and scurry to load everything and we're off by ten after.  No traffic at all until we are on the main drive in, which was nice because Armando and I rode together, and like any good coach, he is pumping me full of good mental health!  The sport psychology is the racer's edge that I need, and Armando is very good at this!  He's telling me to focus on myself in the moment that I am in during every minute of the race.  How is my breathing, heart rate, position, posture, line, etc.  and not to think too far down the road - No point in worrying about what's coming, only focus on what's happening NOW!  Replace every negative thought with a positive thought!  Instead of how hot it is, it's how quickly can I get to that shade up ahead!  You get the idea!  It helped A TON!  I'm already confident, now I'm ready to race!

We VIP our way to a close parking pass, by me yelling in a very authoritative way "I've got a pro and two more behind me" - Before the volunteer could think about protocol, I was already by him and headed to a closer spot!  We unloaded quickly and they rode their bikes into transition.  I got there soon enough, and the first order of business was to find a bike pump!  I didn't want to carry mine up so I'm asking around to borrow one!  No problem, and I'm aired up and set up by 6:10 - Head to the port a pot and take care of business #2 (if you know what I mean) - thankful to have that out of the way, I'm off to the beach to see the pros off - men go at 6:30 with women 4 minutes later, and I'm there in time to yell a final GOOD LUCK to Jo, and get a thumbs up.  Pros are off, and I take a dip in the 88 degree water!!!  I've taken colder baths than this!  Unreal!  Run into some friends, make a few new ones, and move over to watch the pros out - Men's leader is out in under 20 minutes and has almost a minute lead on the field - I linger long enough to see Jo come out as well - she looks strong and I'm inspired! 

Over in the staging area, they line us up in waves based on age, so Men 35-39 with last name A-L is a late wave, so I don't start until almost 7:30!  Find another port a pot and squeeze out some more business (TMI?) and head to my area - FINALLY Molly and company find me, and we get a Team Day photo at the start line!  I seriously can not explain how or why I am so confident, but I assume it's mostly because I have done a similar distance on this similar course before and I'm motivated by the what if's of the weekend!  Armando and I are in the same wave and as we enter the water, I see him already jockeying for position up front - He will be competitive today for sure, so I think why not me - I go right to the front of my wave and take a starting position like I'm going to win this wave!  The horn sounds and I'm off!

The swim start was unlike ANYTHING I have ever been a part of!  I've heard stories from the vets before about mass starts and the kicking and punching that goes on, but had never experienced it!  IT IS REAL!  It took me a good 100 yards or more to even get one REAL swim stroke in!  And it didn't end there - seems there was always someone clipping at my heals, are burying their fists into my sides!  Thankfully I never got kicked square in the face, but I know many did!  Made the turns in good time, and dealt with the sun in the eyes coming in.  I breathe on my left, so this was especially tough as the buoys are always on my right with the clockwise swim!  I have to spot more often, but that's not all bad.  My official swim split was 40:19 which is about what I expected given the first time without a wetsuit in the open water!

I promised myself I would jog to transition, and so I did passing several on the charge up the hill - it's nearly .2 of a mile from beach to bike, but the jog helped to wake the legs up for the bike.  Was pleased to see Molly waiting for me at the top of the hill, and barely time for a wink as I grabbed a cup of water offered to me, and am focused on finding my bike!  I went with the bright orange towel today which was smart for ease in finding the bike!  I chose to sit to the ground to put the socks and shoes on - fuelbelt full of gel, helmet, glasses and I'm off!  My T1 time was 3:29 which was great considering I spent nearly 2 minutes of that jogging to the bike!

Mounted the bike, and charged past a handful of folks struggling to get clipped in!  Flying down the first hill and really opening up I was excited to get to the Mile 1 marker where my YRC friends were stationed - not to be disappointed, I let out a big YYYYYRRRRRRCCCCCCCCCCC as I cranked past them and got a crescendo of yells in return (goosebumps) - The race course congestion is heavy as runners are on my left and bike traffic is all around me - Female leaders are just coming out on the run, and I even see Chuck escorting the lead female (what a job) - Once we clear run traffic, I reach for my first gel and really suck down quite a bit of Gatorade.  Better to slow the bike down a bit and get hydrated than blow up on the run again today!

As we get to the highway, I am fired up by the sheer number of people and the speed at which they are zipping by!  We turn North and merge with bike traffic that is working mile 18, while I'm barely at mile 2!  The congestion is maddening and yet, you feed off of the energy!  I am turning the crank like never before!  Garmin shows I ran 6 straight miles over 20 mph heading out.  I can hear some bells ringing near the Greenway, and as the trees clear, I can see Benji Koontz running with 5 support bikes around him.  Benji is running from Losantville to WesDel today as part of the Berry Long Run fundraiser to assist the family of Tony Rolli today!  Hot day to run a marathon!  Hope he's well!  At mile 5 I drink pretty heavy again and at once more at the turn around.  Now we're headed South and the traffic is still buzzing in both directions, but I don't seem to be going as fast - Garmin confirms it, but I'm still clicking off high 18s, low 19s on most miles!  At mile 10 I grab half of my payday and choke it down with drink, as we hit the bike aid station, I'm looking for Clay and when I find him he is assisting a down athlete, so I just grab a water keep my head down.  At mile 15, I take my second gel.  We hit the turnaround again near the merge zone, and are now headed back north.  Head down still working hard, but feel like I'm getting killed on the hills.  The traffic is thinning out primarily because very few are coming South - Being in one of the last waves means, not too many behind me, but we're all racing the clock today!  A familiar voice yells out behind me and Gary Thomas is drafting off me for 2 seconds before passing me!  I can't let him get away, so I'm working hard to keep him nearby, but at mile 20 I let him go as I eat the other half of my payday!  Grabbed another water from the bike aid and yell out CLAY ARNETT FOR PRESIDENT which gets more laughs than cheers!  Debating when to take the third gel, I decide to wait for mile 25, but never saw the marker, so once we're on the Northside of the lake, I take it and finish off my second bottle of Gatorade.   I stand to stretch the quads out a bit - I can feel them tightening up, but try to keep the cadence up.  Over the last hill and I can see transition - unclip and coast right to the dismount line and again I'm trying to jog in, but there's too much congestion to jog through with the bike in hand.  Good news - THERE'S MOLLY!  Loving her so much right now!  Bike split was a 1:28:53 which they break down as being 20.25 mph average!  YES!!!

Bike racked quickly and this time I don't sit - shoes slip off, shoes slip on, down on one knee to tie, helmet off, change knees, double knot, grab the visor and I'm gone in 2:09!

Coming out of T2 the legs feel good, but I'm notorious for coming out fast on the run and crashing so I've got to find a rhythm I can maintain!  Chuck was standing by and captured this great pic of me, and I was excited to get to those aid stations which were spaced roughly every half mile!   The first aid station at mile 0.5 was run by Rebecca Swander and I also recognized Jason Roberson there!  They were loud and yelling my name enthusiastically!  But they could not compare to the energy I felt when I got to the YRC station at mile marker 1 - I heard Pete first - "GET UP HERE", (there's a hill to climb to their station, figures) and then the whole crew just SCREAMED my name!  The cheers were incredible (goosebumps) and Garmin says my first mile was 9:39!  While I don't think I can maintain that, it's not as blazing fast as some I've opened up with!  I push on dumping ice in my shirt, shorts, and every crack I can get it to (and repeated this at every aid station) - and sipping the water so as not to chug it!  And continue running to the top of the hill (amen corner I call it because there is a church there), and decide I need to walk this aid station (again, repeated this at every aid station thereafter) - but the other great thing about the frequent stations is that after walking through each one, you could see the next and knew that you could run to it!  This really helped in my ability to run more than usual.  I was feeling good but grabbed another gel anyway.  It had been about 35 minutes, and I was hoping to get one more in me.  Mile 2 showed 10:31 and Mile 3 at 11:04.  Race timing captured my 3 mile split at 32:14 (10:44 pace) - I grabbed some cola for the first time ever at the turnaround (Armando said it would help) and felt strong running back - in fact I ran a 10:32 pace coming in!  Very pleased to be able to run that well.  Again, coming back was all about keeping the rhythm and walking the aid stations, but as I came into view of that YRC station, repeat previous goosebumps!  I was all smiles!  Grabbed 2 waters and a sponge, and unzipped my shirt to let Melanie shove two handfuls of ice in!  As I pushed through the last half mile stretch I heard Chuck's voice again!  He was relentless with his comments - YOU LOOK GREAT - CHARGE UP THAT HILL - YOU KNOW EVERY MINUTE MATTERS - YOU GOT THIS - I turned over the legs as hard as I could and really enjoyed the winding finish chute that dumped me out right into the waiting arms of my wife!  Pumping my fists!  Both hands in the air!  I felt like I was on top of the world!  High fives from every stranger I could reach, and Karen Siefert slowly poured an entire bottle of ice cold water on my head while I smiled ear to ear!

From R to L:  Top 4: Kelly Williamson, Jodie Swallow, Rinny and Jo
Molly walked with me to recover and got me some bananas and pretzels.  I rested for a few and then kept moving - found several friends to share stories with, and finally found Jo and Armando (TEAM YOMANDO) - Jo was pleased with her 4th place overall female pro finish at 2:18:33 - And Armando was only a minute slower than she grabbing him 4th place among men 35-39!  (I was 183rd in the same AG- no prize for that) It was fun to hang out at awards with them!  They all know each other so well and are very respectful and chatty with each other.  I find this to be one of the most common threads in this sport, and perhaps one of the things I love most about it!

This continued tonight as we gathered at Gary Thomas' home with many athletes from today's race.  We shared our war stories as well as our well wishes on future races!  Such great local support for such a great activity!

Here are my official stats!  If you would've made me guess coming into today, I would tell you to expect a 3:26 - so needless to say very happy!  Highlights are certainly the bike pace and the steady run in.  Not disappointed with the swim at all.  Pleased to see the consistency in placing within each discipline also!

Many more pics to come - especially when the professional ones are up - you know me - I had to pose for the finish photo!  Should be a good one!

July 6, 2012

Race Week - Friday

Woke up early again today - Didn't sleep as well as I would like - Layed there as long as I could but was still up by 7:15.  Molly was up and gone shortly thereafter with heavy responsibilities at the expo all day.  I debated going out for a little walk, but Molly talked me out of it.  It was 88 degrees by 9 a.m. and reached 100 by noon!

I spent the morning resting, watching Ironman videos, and focusing on hydrating!  Only left twice, once to get Morgan to swim club, and once to pick her up!  Sara hand delivered me some YOU ROCK balloons at that point, and I updated my facebook status to the following:

About this time tomorrow I will enter the water for my first Ironman 70.3 - For those still unsure what that means, here is some perspective: I will swim 1.2 miles (distance from Muncie Meijer to Muncie Walmart), bike 56 miles (distance from Yorktown High School to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis) and run 13.1 miles (distance from Daleville High School to the Muncie Mall). While I've done all 3 distances many times, I've never attempted to put them all together at once! Thanks so much for all the calls, texts, messages and well wishes! It's going to be a great day!

It garnered even more posts of good luck, and I am now feeling as confident as ever!  I had a great lunch with pulled pork (protein) on a big fat bun (carbs) and some potato chips (salt) - Gatorade all morning and no reason to doubt my abilities at this point!

Picking up Jo, Armando and another pro Julia who is now staying with Jill Brand.  We met up at 1:30 and heading to the expo.  We're already sharing stories of what might happen when I get "THE TEXT"

Knowing full well, that this was not something my wife would joke about, I read it in disbelief and all I could utter were the words "NO, No, no...."  With Jo asking what's wrong, I could barely speak what I was reading from my wife..."Bad news baby...We are Olympic"

I can't tell you what anyone said next, but let's just say it was not G rated!  In total disbelief I maintained anger for less than 60 seconds, and then it really began to sink in - EVERYTHING that I have worked SO hard for to be able to FINISH this distance and call my self an IRONMAN 70.3 FINISHER was just ripped away from me less than 24 hours from the moment I would cross the finish line!  With a lump in my throat, I sit in silence.  That was when the true character of the athletes in my vehicle really showed through.  They get it.  They understand.  They become overly  compassionate with me knowing that this was my A race for the year, and this reality/destination/goal just got postponed indefinitely.

As we enter the expo, we maintain ignorance as we go through the expo and registration.  This has not yet been made public and we can say nothing until the 2:00 athlete meeting starts.  Armando and I get registered, and Jo and Julia head to the Pro checkin - We get thru pretty quick (those volunteers are amazing), and I enter the meeting literally just in time to hear race director, Brian Myrick, make the official announcement.  Our official distance will be a 1 mile swim, 30 mile bike, and 10k run.  And thus the Muncie 37.2 race is born!  It still doesn't seem fair or right, but I'm starting to understand it more.  As Medical Director, Dwayne Adrian gets up and explains the conditions and rationale, it sinks in a little more.  There are spectators and volunteers that are not "trained" to be out in this heat and humidity, AND this heat is truly unprecedented!  In all the years of this race, the water temp has rarely been in the 80s, and it's already 85+ degrees.  The air temp is half the story, but heat index is projected to be over 110 tomorrow!  I continue to believe that I'm strong enough, and smart enough to finish the full distance, but what's the point in beating myself up over it now.  It's done.

As the meeting concludes, I'm moping around, reading everyone's thoughts on facebook, when I run into some of my biggest local supporters.  Lucas and Lisa Smelser are standing with Gary Thomas, and as I approach them I can see their disappointment for me in their eyes.  No one had to say anything, and I could feel myself about to cry.  We hug it out, and the rationalizing begins.  Some are still in the anger stage, others have moved on to the understanding stage, and a few have reached a stage of looking up the next closes 70.3 on the calendar (With Ironman, it's Steelhead on Aug 19 in Michigan - I know because it was my plan B race all along)

It's 2:30 now and time for the pro panel.  I've been looking forward to this for days.  Our homestay, Jo Lawn along with top pros Mirinda Carfrae, and Kelly Williamson are joined by last years winner Ben Hoffman, and Greg Bennett!  I was the first nerd to walk right up and take their pic as soon as they were seated!  And afterwards, Molly and I finally got a great pic with Jo!  It was refreshing to hear them speak, and yet you could also hear the disappointment in their voices.  We are triathletes!  This is what we do!  We love to race!  Pro Basketball players don't play half court.  Pro Baseball players don't play with 1 out per inning.  Pro Football players don't play on a shortened field.  Pro Triathletes shouldn't have to race on a shortened course! 

Jo had a pro meeting at 3, and by 3:30 we were ready to get out of there.  As soon as we hit the car, Armando continued with his supportive ways.  We talked about how this changes the nutrition plan, as well as how our bodies will feel at certain points.  I asked Jo if this favored her, and sadly it does not.  I had them home by 4, and back to the house to get the kids and relieve the sitter.

The kids and I headed to the expo to pick up Molly and some pizzas to take out to PCR for the bike checkin volunteers.  I went ahead and left my bike there for the night.  Transition is impressive and the race site is buzzing already.  Tomorrow is going to be hot and it's still a long race, and you know Ironman is going to do it up right, so I've got to get my head straight!

We dropped Molly off at the expo and headed out to Fazolis!  Might as well carb load like any other race.  Extra Breadsticks, Extra Salt.  The kids were good and we were home by 7.  For the last hour I've been reading all the facebook posts I missed today and reflecting on my notes from the last Olympic distance race I did last month.  I've got this distance down with no worry of finishing, but how hard do I push myself?  With another 70.3 to come now, I don't want to hurt myself so it's virtually a long training day for an unknown race on an unknown date at an unknown location! 

I'll be fine.  Today, Tomorrow and always.  I'm not an Ironman yet, but someday I will be.
Time for bed...

July 5, 2012

Race week - Thursday

I'm pleased so many of you have chose to read my story this week - thank you! 

I did not set the alarm, but woke up on my own at 6, and laced them up and headed out for a solid 30 minute run!  Was very pleased with it!  Felt great, and didn't push hard at all!  However, I did have some gas discomfort, so obviously ate something yesterday that didn't settle as well as usual.

Lots of drinking and opted for a bigger breakfast to replace the fluids and calories fast!  Then off to the office EXCEPT - - A DEAD BATTERY - - ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!?  I guess I'm glad it happened today and not Saturday morning!

Had a great morning at work, and was home by 1.  Molly was busy with volunteers and such, but made time to bring home lunch for me from Arby's when she dropped off the kids to me.  She went back to her responsibilities and the kids and I relaxed for a bit before we headed to THE MOVIES!

I had read that going to see a movie was a great way to rest and relax in the A/C while munching on some popcorn (carbs) and sipping a drink (hydration) and allowing your mind to get lost in the movie instead of worrying about the race -- IT WORKED!  Was a great decision, and am wishing I could go again tomorrow!

After the movie I popped into MC sports to grab a couple powerbars that I like before the race and then we headed to the convention center.  Molly was there setting up for the Captain's meeting and I was meeting Abby there to hand off the kids to her.  From the second I walked in it was GO GO GO, but I didn't mind - again, whatever I can do to keep my mind busy is a good thing.  The dinner was catered by Scotty's and so I opted for the pulled pork (protein) and macaroni (carbs) with just a little bit of salad and a brownie.

As the meeting got started, the staff went around and gave their two cents about Saturday and there was one common theme - IT'S GOING TO BE HOT - Additionally, many commented on how hard the athletes will push themselves regardless of the weather (they're right) - captains were told to encourage athletes to slow, stop, and rest, or offer SAG out of the race.  While I appreciate the message, I didn't come out here to slow, stop or rest!  I am committed to running a safe race by being smart first!  I have learned what my body can handle, and I know my limits, AND I WILL BE PUSHING THOSE LIMITS!  I will be leaving it all on the course, I do not have another race on the calendar at this time, and for all I know, may never have the chance to do this again! 

I'm going to try to get some rest now - In bed before 10 is the plan!  I am so ready for this!  Yes, it's all I can think about, and I'm okay with that!  Thanks again for sharing in this journey with me!

July 4, 2012

Race Week - Wednesday

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!  Woke up early, but forced myself to roll over and fall back asleep - I know I need rest this week!  I finally got up around 7, long before anyone else, and had my normal Wednesday morning granola bar even though I wasn't going to run.  There was a chance that Jo and Armando would call and want to go for a ride this morning in which case I would escort them to the Greenway Depot and let them roll from there, but even to ride 12 miles with them would have been a treat.  By 9:00 I gave up that hope as they knew we were leaving at 11 for Greenfield for the Campbell family reunion.  So at 9:30 I fixed myself a turkeybacon and cheese sandwich.  They finally called around 10 and I gave them directions how to head out, and found out later that they rode over 3 hours, most of the way to Richmond and back! 
We left town at 11:15, and had lunch with the family - I really focused on the water all day and chose lots of fruits and vegetables - passed on the sweets and didn't crave anything.  Stayed inside most of the day in the A/C and we left there around 4.  Home and resting, and not very hungry for dinner, but opted for Papa John's to increase the carbs once more.  By the time it got here after 6:30, I wasn't very hungry, but managed a couple pieces of pizza and a couple breadsticks.  I only sat around about 30 mins before I decided I had to get a little spin in.  Just a quick 45 minutes felt great!  Had some strawberries when I returned and am ready for bed!  No firework shows for me - All I want to do is sleep!  Working a half day tomorrow, and the then it's 100% focus time!  Check out this forecast!  Drinky, Drinky!

July 3, 2012

Race Week - Tuesday

I got up this morning at 6 and headed out for an easy 35 minute jog - really focused on taking it easy and keeping the heart rate down.  It went well, felt labored, but nothing concerning.  The back felt better this morning and nearly 100% tonight.
Worked a half day this morning and opted for Subway again for lunch.  Was home by 1, but honestly lounged around all afternoon.  We were waiting on professional triathlete Joanna Lawn and her husband Armando to arrive.  They left New Zealand Sunday night and have been traveling nonstop to arrive in Indy at midnight last night.  Grabbed a hotel and a car this morning and were expected to be here around 2.  I fell asleep on the couch for a good hour (wonderful) and they finally got here around 4 after a few detours.
They will stay at Molly's mom's house for the week while she is in Florida, so we took them over and got them settled in.  Fascinated and almost star struck I'm hanging on every word that comes out of their mouth and yet trying to play it cool all at the same time.
They agreed that grabbing a casual swim was in the plan for them tonight, so we changed clothes and met up at Nassau a little after 6.  Since I swam last night I really didn't need to do much, but opted for 1000 yards easy while stopping to stare at them every 250.  They're swimming laps around me (literally) with little effort and under severe jet lag.  As we wound down the workout we just hung out in the pool for a while splashing around, playing with the kids and chatting about race experiences...priceless!
Armando has qualified for Vegas and Kona Championships and is the real deal.  Joanna is so laid back and easy going, and they're both so kind with the kids.  We started talking about nutrition, and I could see both of their faces light up with concern when I told them how little I took in on the bike.  Pretty sure the look on their face alone just talked me into doubling the amount of gels I will be taking!  I can't argue with the science of it as they explained the math to me, and since I know how I struggle with the run after the bike, I would have to guess they're on to something.
We sent them on their way back and returned for a bite of dinner - some rotisserie chicken and peas with some bread were on the menu.  Rested for a few, and we were off to meet them again to have them join us for a meet up with area triathletes and the official Muncie Area Fun Squad (MAFS) at Berry Winkle!  When we got there, Jo was asleep, but said they really did want to go, and I think they really enjoyed it!  Plus I think everyone there enjoyed getting to meet them and chat for a few.  Just being around all of these successful and seasoned triathletes gives me such confidence.  It would be easy to look around and see that I'm still the "heavy" of the group, and the least fit, but instead, everyone is so excited for me and encouraging of my adventure.  The support is very uplifting and meaningful.
We left them at the grocery store on the way home, and I'm sure we're all headed to bed shortly.  Tomorrow we will play it all by ear, but there is a possible plan to ride tomorrow early or late - Either way, I don't think I will race tomorrow just to remain defensive with the plan.
Forecast remains hot all week, and rumor is PCR water temp is 85!  I'm ready no matter what the water or air temperature is!

July 2, 2012

Race week - Monday

Slept in until 6:30 and opted for the usual egg mcmuffin breakfast. Was very still at work all day and fought some lingering back pain. Had Subway buffalo chicken for lunch and wasn't hungry again until 4:30. Had a 90 calorie granola bar and headed to Nassau to knock out 1250 (250x5). Felt pretty good but times seemed slower than usual. Maybe I just knew I didn't want to push too hard. More splashing around is a good thing this week. Tried to keep my mind off of it but at one it is all around me. Brian stopped by and I expressed my vote (which doesn't count) to keep the full 70.3 distance no matter what the weather does. I would be in tears if they shortened this race as the entire reason for all this training is to complete the distance! He believes by increasing the frequency of run aid stations and starting earlier we can get the full distance in. These sound like likely possibilities at this point but he has until Friday to decide for sure. For dinner we had ground turkey tacos and I ate more than my share but I am not too worried about quantity just yet. Protein will be a good thing the next couple days before I turn to carbs and hydration! 10 pm and I am in bed with lights out! Planning a morning run and maybe a late ride! 5 days!

July 1, 2012

Race week - Sunday

I am going to post every detail of every day that I can remember this week so that I can look back and relive this week often. Check back daily to follow along with me. Yesterday was the Four for the Fourth race here in Yorktown so the race team and I were busy from 5 am on with much stress and on our feet all day. This caused me to miss my workout yesterday and feel tired today, but I did have to get some time in today so I set out around 9:30 for a 10k run. It was already in the 80s with high humidity and I was a hot mess by mile 4 so opted to walk/run every quarter the last 2.2. My back gave me some fits after pulling a muscle yesterday. After lunch it appeared the storms were firing up on the IL state line so I headed out on the bike. I decided I wanted to hit PCR one more time but needed to ride in the opposite direction to simulate the race. It is a different sensation since I go counter clockwise 90% of the time, but glad I did it. Got over 34 miles in and pushed harder than I planned to at the end with storms on me. Note to self: brakes don't work so good in the rain! Had Mancinos for dinner and am trying to rest this evening. Tomorrow is still undecided as the weather will remain hot all week, and tomorrow is still a work day! Hoping to get some run time in after work. Still hard to believe its almost go time!