got back from Denver and still had to knock out a swim and a run on my way home from the airport. then i went and got a much needed massage at Pho Siam. all this had me not getting to bed 'til about midnight, so i had two choices for my 70 miler the next morning.
1) beat the heat and ride on very little sleep
2) get my 8 hours sleep and ride through the forecasted high of 92.
i went for option #2. it sucked. it sucked balls. in training, do you ever get the feeling that you've set yourself up for disaster? yeah, that was pretty much the theme this ENTIRE WEEKEND. when i did finally get my sleep and woke up to eat breakfast and mix all my food, i discovered that i had no Carbo Pro and very little Gatorade Endurance. so i mixed what i had and brought cash with me to buy more Gatorade on the road. i quickly discovered just how much i rely on the calories in the Carbo Pro as i felt hungry the entire way. on top of that, it was hot as balls which made me repulsed to consume any Perpetuem. i mixed 3 gel flasks full of it and barely got through 1 by the time the ride was over. but i rode anyway. left from my house, rode 24 miles to the base of Mt. Baldy, then climbed the 11 miles up to get to my 70 mile turnaround point. there were quite a few cyclists coming down who'd probably started at a more civilized hour. they all looked at me like i was insane for heading up so late. as i came back down, the heat really became intense, and i really started to feel the lack of calories. i stopped at a 7-11, bought a Snickers and a Mountain Dew and stayed inside to suck up the a/c while i scarfed and gulped down my purchases. the Mountain Dew was a suggestion from COACH for my run special needs bag. this was a great opportunity to test it out what with my TOTAL NUTRITIONAL DEPLETION!! it tasted great and helped me surge through the last 13 miles!!! made it home and quickly gulped down some choco soy milk to feed the muscles and bring me back up to speed. then, since i'll be out of town on a shoot again 'til wednesday, i decided it would be a perfect opportunity to drop THE FUCKER off for his COMPLETE PRE-IRONMAN OVERHAUL. he's gonna get completely pulled apart, bottom bracket all cleaned and lubed, new cables, new headset bearings (they're pitted already), complete adjustment of the derailleurs, wheels trued, and a wash. YESSS!!!! after that it was home to have a nice dinner and get plenty of sleep for the next day's insane schedule.
i thought i'd get some relief from the heatwave by heading out west to the beach for sunday's workouts, but i knew it was gonna be a scorcher when i headed out for my 2 mile ocean swim and started to sweat balls in my wetsuit on the short walk to the water. i swam from Venice Pier south to the MDR Jetty and back. now that i've g-mapped it, it looks like it was a little short, more like 1.8 miles. conditions were pretty glassy, barely any surf, probably more calm than the lake swim at Rage the previous weekend. all that to say that there were no surfers out and no lifeguard on duty yet. not what i prefer for going out alone, but i couldn't stall, too much to still get done today. still, i didn't feel alone. there were so many people already out on the beach and walking the pier, looking at me like i was insane for going in after friday's shark attack. PULEEEZ. the water was so shallow for so far out that a great white would suffocate first before getting to take a bite outta me. i swam just outside the surf line, and could still see the sand just below me about 10 feet tops. did my 1.8 miles in about 53 minutes. NICE!!! that has me on track to do a 1:10 for 2.4 miles, but i don't expect the same glassy conditions at Ironman. throw in some more surf, some more current, and 11,199 other people stuffed in neoprene all jockeying for position, and i'm looking at more like a 1:15 to 1:20 performance. i ain't mad at that.
got out and walked a block up to Iron Maiden of Honor, Lesley's crib to change and head out for my 17 mile run. once again, i'd set myself up for disaster. i quickly discovered that i forgot my jogbra AND my hrm strap. DOH!!! Les let me borrow the biggest jogbra she had, and it was still a pretty tight squeeze, but i managed. she joined me for about the first 6 or so miles, slowing down to my pace (she's super speedy in those Newtons of hers) and a 6:1 run/walk ratio. without my hrm, i had to go by perceived rate of excursion, so it was nice having Les along. if i could keep a good conversation going with her, i figured i was in a good zone for a long, sustained run. less than a mile in, we ran into fellow LA Tri clubber and all around insane athlete, Amy Berkin. she mumbled something about having to do a build run and it being so hot, she was only keeping a 7:00 pace, and did we wanna join her. um, yeah, not so much, thanks!! i had set some Gatorade out under a bush to refill when we passed again after the first loop, but realized when we approached that i'd barely drank any of my first bottle of it!!! then off for the second loop, the longer section. Les had to get back and go to church, so i was now on my own. the heat seemed to dissipate with periodic bursts of breeze coming off the water, but it was still hot as balls and no shade to hide under. i cranked up the ipod and surged along, until i started running into everyone and their grandma out there. first, it was Yanti and Faeron, two of my Aids Marathoners that i've coached, Yanti having just completed Oceanside 70.3 a few weeks prior, and Faeron doing a 20 miler in prep for the San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon in june. Faeron's just gettin' started in Triathlon and has done really well at her first few races, so i'm gonna lend her one of my wetsuits for her to test out. kept on going a few more miles and then i ran into fellow Aids Marathon coach, Kathy Freud. it was great to see her too as she recently announced she wouldn't be coming back to coach this season. she's 2nd to me in seniority by only a year, so i know what a hard decision it was for her to eave, and i was glad i got to see her. turns out she's got frozen shoulder as well!! so we commiserated on that a bit, and then i remembered that not only did i have about 8 more miles to knock out, but i had to be at a wedding by 2pm!!! hug hug, kiss kiss, love ya mean it, gotta go!!!! alright, if i keep up my pace and not stop to talk to ANYONE ELSE, i think i can make it on time, but nope. sure enough, just about a mile down the way, i ran into dear old friend and stylist extraordinaire, Scott Free!! luckily, he was riding his cruiser, so i told him to ride along side of me so we could catch up. Scott began his styling career around the time i was finishing up art school and had to take a fashion class. he'd show up to the class and help style our models, secretly picking from the bunch the shooters he thought had potential and trying to test with them more. i really wasn't feeling fashion, but he used to pester me that he liked the way i shot and we should collaborate more. when i got out of school, i hired Scott to style my biggest paying job ever. we had a blast. i haven't seen him in maybe 5 years, and sure enough, first question outta his mouth was "you still shooting?? you wanna test??" now for Scott to offer that now at this stage in his career, i was flattered. i told him i'd like to switch up the focus to shoot more athletes and he flipped. " i love sports shit!! i just did a huge Adidas campaign. girl, we need to work together!!!' that felt like a great sign as lately i've put the career on hold for this Iron dream. i'm definitely brewing up some ideas to change up the photo work when i'm back from Brasil, and i've been getting little signs everywhere on how i'll pull it off.
the last 3 miles or so, i was running on a pretty empty tank and also realized i had no cash with me to even buy a Snickers or Mountain Dew or a peanut. soon i started noticing everyone on the boardwalk passing me with food and drink. one guy actually pedaled past me on a recumbent rental bike, steering it with one hand as he held a slice of pizza on a paper plate in the other. everyone, EVERYONE, had drinks in hand. i was getting so ravenous, i had half a mind to steal one right outta some kid's hands. would it be inappropriate to ask someone for a sip?? ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ENOUGH ALREADY. FINISH.THIS.BITCH.
powered through the last 2 miles basically on fumes and came in at just over 11:00 miles. right about where i hope to be for Ironman. luckily i'd thought ahead and had a big sports bottle o choco soy milk waiting in Les' fridge for me. grabbed it along with my transition bag and my now bone dry wetsuit and made a mad dash for my car.
shit. i was cutting it really close, so i texted Simko.
"happy wedding day!!! u guys walking down the aisle right at 2pm?? i'm RACING home to shower and make it on time!!!"
simko: "yes maaaaam."
shit. shit. shit. come on mom volvo, get me home!!!! ok, i can shower in 5 minutes, oh wait, shit, my dress needs to be ironed, ok, 3 minutes to shower, wait be sure to plug in the iron to preheat before you shower, then shower, iron dress, quick makeup but not a ton, enough to cover the cycling racoon eyes, grab camera, battery, flash cards, and wedding is 10 minutes away.....
mom volvo starts to sputter...
outta gas. i can't remember when i last ran outta gas, and then next exit is blocked off by some highway workers. i can't even coast off the freeway. suddenly this has become the scene outta the movie, The Graduate, when Dustin Hoffman is trying to make it to Santa Barbara to stop his girlfriend form marrying that other guy. only i'm not hearing Simon and Garfunkel singing their catchy diddy.
i park the car, hazard lights on, call AAA for roadside assistance as i also get out of the car all in my post-17 mile, STANKY get up, and SPRINT down the offramp to look for a gas station.
YESS, there's a gas station!! thanks AAA lady, i'm good, no need to send someone out. "do you have a gas can i can borrow? of course not!! a gas can is 10 bucks? and gas is 4 bucks a gallon?? this holds 2 gallons?? GOOD THING I BROUGHT A 20 spot!!!"
back up to the freeway. HAWTIE highway patrolman is now parked behind me and sessing out mom volvo. "here i am!! here i am! sorry, had to go get gas." then hawtie patrolman says he'll stay with me to make sure it starts ok, and do i need some handy wipes..
slide through the front door to discover that the housekeeper, who i haven't seen in months because i'm gone to train before she gets there, is there. YAY!!! she can iron while i shower and i think that'll make up for the gas crisis. i decided against THE LUCKY DRESS as it really wasn't appropriate for an afternoon garden wedding. went with a flowery number i last wore last summer. shit. too big in all the wrong places. no time to fix it now, nothing else clean and ready to wear. MAKE.IT.WORK.
racing, racing, bobbing and weaving through traffic to get there. i come around the corner and see maybe 15 people still walking up to the house. cool, at least if i'm late, i'm not the only one. walk in the back yard filled with empty chairs and hardly anyone had arrived yet. PHEW!!! found Yeofi who i haven't seen in about a year (listen to his angelic voice here!!! in particular, "Africa Displaced"). he'd just got back from Ghana so we shared malaria stories. i gotta take the pills with me to Brasil, but Yeof warns me that they're psychotropic and i'll have ganrly nightmares. um, yeah, no thanks!!! heart rate is now coming down and I.CAN.RELAX. here's a shot of me and the boys and the dress that wasn't quite right...
i did it. another crazy weekend closer to Ironman. i pulled it all off, and still had time to capture this moment....
off to Nashville for another shoot. full YMCA and spin class report for sure...