37 years old
Sunny Southern Cali, US of A
NO AUTOGRAPHS, PLEASE.
JUST TAKE THE BUTTON...
HAVEN'T HAD CABLE SINCE THE MOVE SIX MONTHS AGO. NOW I HAVE THAT DIGITAL BOX THAT I GOT FREE WITH THE GOVERNMENT VOUCHER. I'M HOOKED ON THE FREE USN CHANNEL (NBC) THAT PLAYS OLD KONA SPECIALS FROM YEARS PAST!!!
THEN OF COURSE FOR THE HOURS I SPEND ON THE TRAINER...
MY O.G. IPOD SHUFFLE
i'm gonna keep this short. i have a celebration party to go to.
I AM AN IRONMAN
Oli raced his first sub 10:00
9:52 got him 3rd place in his age group
AND A SLOT TO KONA
13:47:37 gets you all a shit ton of t-shirts!!!
i though about ALL OF YOU out there.
race report soon.
hey y'all. hotmail hasn't worked since my first day here, so i haven't been able to receive any of your emails or comments, but i'm feelin' you all out there for sure!!! oh, and i think i got an extra day on the countdown sice it didn't compute leap year. YAY FOR LEAP YEAR!!!!
i'm having the time of my life so far. i'm keeping a journal and will hopefully post my "day to day" sometime after i'm back if anyone even cares, but i'm trying to keep the internet time down to a minimum. it's just criminal to be sitting in front of the computer with all this beauty that surrounds me.
yesterday, Oli and i hit up the expo the first day it opened for packet pick up. funny, i expected to be more anxious once i received all those friggin' bags and wristbands, but i'm staying quite calm so far. and i thought rooming with a Kona contender would require me to keep quiet and to myself and that we'd have very separate agendas. turns out, Oli's quite the card, and he continues to crack me up on a minute by minute basis!!! i think that has everything to do with me keeping my cool. plus, i think he likes having his own personal interpreter as he has managed to obliterate the Portuguese language at every opportunity!!
after packet pick up, we hit up the expo. luckily it wasn't too overwhelming with shit i wanted to buy. the official race gear is actually quite sparse. of course all the women's sized stuff is fucking pink (sorry MoMo!!!), so i passed on that, and the one cool men's long-sleeved tech tee in size small was still a tent on me. so i got outta there with one bike jersey, a hat and some stickers. after the spend fest, we headed to the swim area for race day and went for our respective dips. unlike other races where there's a bag valet in if you want to go for a swim and leave all your crap, there wasn't a hint of such a thing on the beach. just locals sun bathing and walking the shore. so we went in separately to keep an eye on our stuff. oh, and because i forgot my goggles, swim cap, and earplugs, so i had to borrow Oliver's stuff. DOH!!! as i headed in first, i realzed that this was my first swim in the Atlantic!!! i don't think i swam in Miami when i was there at fall time many many years ago. it was beautiful. its warm, super clean, a little more salty than i'm used to, and very calm in this particular bay. it's kind of like Hawaii here on the island of Santa Catarina. this side, the west shore, has virtually no surf, and the east shore is where all the legendary surf and the Brazilian pros like Niko Paderatz all come from, just like the North Shore of Oahu. so no surf on race day, but we can expect some possible chop and a good current. when we went out the other day just for a dip in front of the hotel, we got pulled down pretty far in just the few minutes we were in. so on race day, i'll have to go in early, be sure to float for a few, see where it's pulling and then compensate with where i start and what i aim fr and sight off of.
tonight i'll pack all the bags and drop them off with my bike tomorrow afternoon to the transition area. i think this is where i'll start to lose it. but to help, i wrote up a plan, THE PLAN, THE SCREENPLAY if you will. i've been kinda meditating in it every night before i go to bed. thouht i'd share it with you to help y'all start thinking your plans out. there's just so many bags and variables ya know!!! and the broser i'm using doesn't show all the blogger editing features, so i hope it's not too crazy to read. even formatted, it's pretty gnarls. but hey, it's ironman. oh, and this isn't open to comments on how you would change it up. you go do what you wanna do, i'm stickin' to my plan!!! so ok, so here goes. after this probably no more posting.....
LOVE YOU GUYS.
IM BRASIL RACE PLAN
mix up various perpetuem flavors and pre-freeze in fridge
BRING IN SWIM BAG FOR BIKE
__ bento box
__ salt sticks (tape)
__ perpetuem flasks (1) goes in flask holder, (2) get taped to frame and put in jersey pocket at bike start
__ 2 carbo pro/gatorade baggies go in bento box
__ 2 luna moons go in bento box
__ large bottle of plain water
__ small bottle mixed with FRS for 20 minutes before start
__ bottles (3+ aero drink w/ straw and scrubber stopper)
__ bring 3 bottles pre mixed with carbo pro/gatorade. bring extra baggy of drink mix. poor pre-mixed into aero bottle once it's mounted. then use water to mix up empty bottle with drink mix
DROP OFF BAGS - put dry race morning clothes in "GENERAL" bag, "SWIM" bag empty, and "RUN" bag
__ sunscreen to face
__ bodyglide neck
__ sportshield neck
__ HRM - watch & chest strap
__ under armour bottoms
__ champion cycle bra
__ tri top
__ goggles (2 pair)
__ ear plugs
__ swim cap
__ full wetsuit
__ 1 hammer gel for swim exit and re-entry
__ start outside especially if current is pulling as strong as it was in front of hotel. compensate sighting for current
__ stay calm after mass start. get in groove and let heart rate come down
__ continue to check in on key form points
__ hip rotation
__ long dps
__ wider arm entry
__ hand entry steep & deep
__ shoulder above elbow, elbow above wrist, wrist above hand
__ watch left hand i particular that it doesn't drop or go across body on the breathing strokes
__ breaths straight to the side. just one eye out of the water. don't let breaths turn you on your back. BE THE ALLIGATOR!!!
__ continue to look for the draft opportunity but DON'T GET PULLED!!!
__ ONLY SWIM AS FAST AS YOUR FORM STAYS GOOD!!!!
T1 - IN BIKE BAG
__ POOR EVERYTHING OUT OF BAG INSTEAD OF DIGGING FOR THINGS. HAVE IT ALL IN FRONT OF YOU TO SEE
__ DON'T LET VOLUNTEERS APPLY SUNSCREEN!!!! NAO OBRIGADA!!!
__ small absorbent towel
__ body glide inner thighs & toes
__ sunscreen (bullfrog on body, faces for face)
__ switch to bike shorts
__ chammy butter
__ no socks
__ no gloves
__ keep tri top
__ cycling shoes
__ race belt with number (to back for bike)
__ 1 cheez it grips, 1 sports beans in back tri top pocket
BIKE SPECIAL NEEDS
__ 2 extra tubes
__ 2 extra co2
__ 2 more perpetuem flasks (pre frozen the night before)
__ extra salt tabs in baggy
__ chammy butter sample packs
__ 3 more drink mix baggies
__ 1 luna moons
__ 2 sports beans
__ 1 potato chips (eat right then)
__ 3 mini snickers (eat right then)
__ FAVORITE PART IS DONE. PUT THE SWIM BEHIND YOU. RIDE THAT FUCKER!!!!
__ NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK EXCEPT WATER FOR FIRST 15-20 MINUTES UNTIL HEART RATE COMES DOWN
__ STAY IN THE MOMENT
__ maintain between 85-90 RPM, heart rate in easy zone 2 on flats with higher zone 2 for hills(142-163)
__ eat on the 15's
__ drink on the 15's (1 to 2 bottles per hour depending on heat)
__ salt on the 30's
__ nice circles with pedals
__ stay aero 99% of the course
__ watch out for road conditions at all times. watch for reflectors in road, dips, chip seal on highway, ESPECIALLY THE DESCENT INTO DOWNTOWN!!!!
__ watch for other riders. watch for launching water bottles
__ check often that water bottles are secure
__ ***keep soundtrack in head***
T2 - IN RUN BAG
__ POOR EVERYTHING OUT OF BAG INSTEAD OF DIGGING FOR THINGS. HAVE IT ALL IN FRONT OF YOU TO SEE
__ DON'T LET VOLUNTEERS APPLY SUNSCREEN!!!! NAO OBRIGADA!!!
__ more sunscreen
__ keep tri top
__ dry jogbra if it's feelin' gnarls up in there
__ switch to tri bottoms
__ body glide
__ put helmet and glasses back
__ running shoes
__ hand bottle and carrier with luna moons
__ 1 extra cheez it grips for back of jersey
__ salt tabs in yellow rubber coin purse
__ 1 extra luna moons for back of jersey or up in visor
__ 1 sports beans to eat right away
__ switch race belt and number to front
RUN SPECIAL NEEDS
__ 1 bottle of mountain dew (de-fizzed)
__ potato chips
__ mini snickers
__ more gripz
__ more luna moons
__ more salt tabs
__ 1 dose of tylenol 8 hour
__ baby body glide
__ dry socks
__ long sleeved shirt
__ HARDEST PART IS DONE. PUT IT BEHIND YOU. YOU KNOW HOW TO RUN A SMART MARATHON. PACE YOURSELF TO THE MOTHER SHITTER OF A HILL AND BACK AND THEN GET.IT.DONE.BEYOTCH!!!
__ start out with 4:1 run/walk ratio for first 2-3 miles to get legs back
__ nice 10:30 to 11:30 pace at 6:1 all the way to last 10k.
__ stay in lower zone 3 (163-173)
__ no freaking out allowed if pace is slower. shit happens. KEEP MOVING!!!
__ eat 1/2 pack of luna moons on the 30's
__ salt on the 30's
__ drink when thirsty
__ take the chicken soup after 5pm!!!
__ STAY IN THE MOMENT. SHIT HAPPENS AND THIS TOO SHALL PASS!!!
__ ***keep soundtrack in head***
__ in the last 10k, if you're feelin' it, if there's anything left, this is when the race begins. YOU ARE A FUCKING ROCK STAR. RUN LIKE YOU STOLE IT!!!!
__ PLAN B, if you're not feelin' it, wait 'til lst 5k, then RUN LIKE YOU BORROWED IT!!!
__ PLAN C, if you're not feelin' anything from the waist down but massive darts of pain, walk the shit outta that last 5k. YOU'RE STILL A ROCK STAR!!!
*** the soundtrack is a list of my favorite songs that keep me movin'. since i can't and would never consider wearing an ipod on race day, i keep a list of songs in my head that i sing the choruses and lyrics from over and over on race day. sometimes i'm at a loss for what's on the ipod, so i make a list and listen to it just before the race to help me think of the choruses easily. y'all will have to wait 'til my race report for the playlist.
I MADE IT THROUGH THE WILDERNESS
SOMEHOW I MADE IT THROUGH....
here's the math so far:
32 hours since i left L.A.
1 lost FUCKER before i got to Miami
8 mile run knocked out while running back and forth through the Sao Paolo airport trying to avoid...
1 more lost bag and...
1 missed flight
6 more hours of layover in Sao Paolo in which time
1 lost FUCKER was found and reunited on the rescheduled flight which cost me...
0 money (shout out to Luigi at TAM airways who is super fond of his year he spent abroad in Chicago)
1 happy iron virgin, who somehow through it all did not freak out or utter one curse word to anybody (maybe it's just because i don't know how to say FUCK in Portuguese)
turns out Oli brought his laptop, so i'm able to get online and write while he watches "The Magnificent 7" up in the room. and if it hadn't already set in that i'm here and about to do an Ironman, let me just be a star fucker for a second and let you in on who else is sitting with me in the lobby soakin' up the free wireless. to my left on the couch next to me sits HILLARY BISCAY. um, yeah, kind of a big deal. we've been swapping lost bike stories while she's online trying to coordiate her peeps back in the states to put another bike together and ship it to her. wow, doesn't suck to be her!!! now across from me sits perhaps the biggest deal going here this week. yep, two-time IM Brasil winner, cancer survivor and recent winner of IM China JUST TWO WEEKS AGO, OLAF SABATSCHUS. he's calm cool and collected, smiling and joining in with the banter around the lobby. so while we're not staying at the super posh hotel, we're clearly staying where the pros like to kick it, and that's cool by me.
and just one last story from before i left home. you might wanna take a second and go get the box of kleenex for this doozy:
for as long as i've been training for this thing, my moms has been non-stop with the questions. how long is it? how long will it take you?? what if you have to pee?? how do you eat?? but a few weeks ago when they aired Kona again on tv, my mom and i were driving in the car somewhere and she asks me why i chose Brasil over going to do the one in Hawaii that they show on tv. naturally i pissed myself laughing and then explained the minor little detail of qualifying that goes along with Kona. then she asks if i have a chance to qualify at Brasil. piss down the pants again, and i told her "nope. let's just say i'm not bringing my 500 bucks to Brasil." i explained that that's the code phrase when you're asking someone if they're trying to qualify for Kona, "you bringin' your 500 bucks in cash??" so cut to 3 nights ago. i'm cranky, rushed, pms'ing, and trying to just get my work done and get to sleep. she walks up to me as i'm sitting in the living room with my laptop and hands me this beautiful little envelope made out of gorgeous, deep purple, hand-made parchment. you see, my mom still has a love for the written word, hand-written letters, and collects fine stationary. she hands it to me and says "here. i want you to take this with you to Brasil because i think you owe it to yourself to be ready." i look up, still kinda agitated and confused as she puts the small envelope in my hand. i look at the writing, her perfect all caps printed writing that i've always tried to emulate since i was a kid, and there was one simple little word written on the front:
i cried, and cried, AND CRIED (coulda been the PMS a little bit too). i couldn't take it from her. i mean unless every other woman in my age group out there pretty much DIES on the course, y'all know as well as i do that i don't have a chance at qualifying. so my mom says "well then buy a bunch of t-shirts. i want you to have it." and there you have it. so now i'm pretty much as big of a deal as Hillary and Olaf sitting here with me. yep, i'm sponsored now. and that's the feeling i get from all of you with your kind words of encouragement and inspiration, like a sponsored pro with people rooting for them all the way, yet most of you don't really know me from adam. i hope not to let you all down out there. and if i don't qualify, no worries, YOU'RE ALL GETTIN' T-SHIRTS!!!!!
hope to check in again if i can.
DOWN TO THE WIRE
well, peeps. here it is, my last night before i leave, and still so much to do. i envisioned this epic lat post i would write, photos, new song, the whole enchilada. and there's so much to tell you, but just not enough time left. i pretty much won't sleep before i leave for the airport at 5am. here's the basic itinerary:
monday - L.A to Miami> 6hr. layover> Miami to Sao Paulo
tuesday - arrive in Sao Paulo at 6:30am> less than 2 hours to make it to my connecting flight to Florianopolis> rest of day getting my bearings, putting THE FUCKER together, wandering near hotel, trying not to take a nap and go to sleep by early evening
wednesday - saturday - get on Brasil time> survey course> expo shop fest> last 40 miler > swim at race start> light run here and there > see some sights too
sunday - um, DUH!!! btw, i'm #805 if you have nothing to do at 3am. Brasil is 4 hours past L.A.
monday - find my legs> awards at 9am> >see some more sights> after party Brasilian Style!!
tuesday - find my head, maybe even my clothes!!!. soak up some rays> pack it up
wednesday - flight from Florianopolis to Brasilia> hope i can see some of the renowned architecture from the plane or the airport> connect to flight for Manuas, capital of Amizonas> meet up with Pepper, my host, translator, driver> check into hotel> see the famous opera house and marketplace> evening in Manaus with Pepper> eat at local churrascaria and hopefully check out something going on at Sambadromo.
thursday - see the "meeting of the waters" that form the Amazon> wait for Florida guests to arrive at airport> pick up guests> drive to Presidente Figueira national park> check into hotel> evening with Pepper and Florida guests
friday - trek at least 4 of the 7 waterfall/rapids at Pres. Figueira> lunch at rapids> depart for Itacoatiara> arrive in Ita at Pepper & Joanna's B&B right on the Amazon
saturday - all day excursion on the Amazon in hammock boat> lunch on river> paranha fishing> maybe see pink dolphins> meet local river tribes people> dinner at Pep & Joe's> evening cd release party for local band "Mureru."
sunday - what Pepper calls a "free day." hmmmmm. sounds like a big hangover fest to me!!!> BBQ at Pep & Joe's with locals, friends, and family.
monday - back to airport> Manuas to Miami> Miami to L.A.
tuesday - arrive in L.A.
and there you have it. don't know how much internet access i'll have or want, but i'll at least try to let y'all know i survived THE FULL MONTY.
lastly, there's an African proverb that goes something like this:
IF YOU WANT TO GO FAST, GO ALONE
BUT IF YOU WANT TO GO FAR, GO WITH FRIENDS
thank you, friends. to the ones who've followed along from day 1 as i set out on this crazy-ass adventure. to those i've had the fortune to meet in person. to those who faithfully comment, know that i also read what you're up to, even if i can't comment back because you don't input your email address and i'm too lazy to look it up on your blog. and even if your blog isn't linked in the list on the left yet. i read so many more than those listed, but again, just too friggin' crazed with training to update it!!! and to those who lurk, hey do me a solid why don'tcha and give a shout. i'm gonna need all the help out there i can get.
it's been real, peeps. IT'S.BEEN.SO.FIRGGIN'.REAL.
HUMP DAY HAIKU CANCELED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
we here at I JUST WANT THE TATTOO regret to report that the wednesday series, HUMP DAY HAIKU, has been canceled until further notice. with IM Brasil looming, our fearless leader is a bit frazzled. one second she's excited, the next she's indifferent, and the next she's FREAKING THE FUCK OUT, and so goes the taper phase. with that said, it's just not within her brain capacity to function in the 5-7-5 haiku format.
rest assured that there will be more posts before she departs for south of the equator, but the haiku will not be among them. in the meantime, please take a look at other features on the blog. for instance, click on the "word of the day" and learn another piece of valuable Portuguese vocabulary. and be sure to get your vote in soon on where she'll get her tattoo. as this goes to press, it's a close race between the calf and the butt cheek!!
I BLAME MIKE REILLY FOR ALL OF THIS!!!
i was recently asked "WHY BRASIL FOR YOUR FIRST IRONMAN?" and this wasn't the first time this question has come up, so i thought i'd take a second or two or million to tell you how this whole stupid idea came about in the first place. a "Declaration of Intent" if you will, or better yet, a "Declaration of Blame." i know i know. usually people write these up at the BEGINNING of training. hey, if it wasn't already clear that i do things outside the box and ass backwards, well here's your proof. so sue me...
let's go back to 2005 was it? yeah 2005. after competing in tris on my own for a few seasons, at the urging of some fellow marathoners, i joined LA Tri Club and soon after was attending my first banquet. they put these events on quarterly and bring in really awesome speakers. some have included the likes of Paula Newby-Fraser, Kate Major, Bob Roll (laughed my ass off all night) Macca (i was out of town. SO PISSED.), and Floyd Landis (very funny too considering all that he's endured). but the very first banquet i ever attended was an evening with Mike Reilly, "The Voice of Ironman." first off, i barely knew anything about Ironman other than that you had to be insane to even think about doing one let alone that there was "A Voice" to it all. turns out Mike has been announcing Ironman races all over the world for years and is the famous voice you here shouting " (insert poor, exhausted sap's name here) YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!" he gave a great talk, had us all laughing, told us stories about some funnier moments he's witnessed, some tragic ones too, but in the end, i still thought the same thing i did when i walked into that banquet that night: YOU HAVE TO BE INSANE TO THINK ABOUT DOING AN IRONMAN.
then after Mike was done talking he had a visor that he threw into the audience. mind you, it's a banquet hall of about 200 people, and everyone starts scrapping and clawing to get to where he ultimately threw it. now i was just sittin' in my seat, minding my own happy-to-be-doing-sprints-and-olys-thank-you business when the damn visor landed in my lap along with the smashed up faces and arms of about 6 triathletes all scrambling for it. I DIDN'T EVEN WANT IT. VISORS ARE SO NOT MY STYLE!!!
then through the rest of dinner, everyone starts pressuring me.
"you gonna keep it? i'll buy it off of you. you gonna get him to sign it? you HAVE to get him to sign it"
really? cuz it's just a visor. is it really that big a deal? ok, ok, i'll get him to friggin' sign it. pipe down!!! so i walk up to Mike Reilly.
MR: "hey, you caught my visor!!'
me: "actually, it kinda just landed in my lap."
MR: "give it here. i'll sign it for ya.."
me: "sure, ok."
MR: "which Race have you done?"
me: "which race?"
MR: "yeah, which Ironman?"
me: "uh, i've never done an Ironman."
MR: "you gonna do one next year?"
me: "uh, yeah, NO. and probably not the year after that or after that either. Ironman is for insane people."
MR (kinda joking, kinda condescending in that sing song voice getting higher tone) : "well ya know you can't wear this visor until you do an Ironman..."
me (to myself): "who does this guy think he is, Santa Claus? what, i gotta sit on his lap and play naughty or nice just to get him to sign this thing?? I DON'T WEAR VISORS AND I DIDN'T EVEN WANT THE THING!!! where's that guy who said he'd pay for it? now that it's signed i bet i can get more from him. FUCK IT. IT'S GOIN' ON EBAY TOMORROW MORNING."
it all started with a stupid visor
but i didn't sell it to the guy or on ebay. instead i stuck it in a drawer along with all the other free schwag i haven't decided to either throw out or sleep in. and there it sat for another year. i'd take it out every once in a while to look at the now illegible signature (someone spilled water on it later at the banquet) that used to read "Mike Reilly 'VOICE'"
. and i'd say to myself "fuck that guy!!! i can wear this visor if i want" but then i'd hear his voice in my head, chiding me because i didn't give a crap about Ironman, and i'd feel like a poser for wearing anything with the mdot logo on it. so back in the drawer it would go to collect dust bunnies.
cut to the following year, 2006. i'd done my first olympic distance at the end of the previous season and got the bug to GO HALF. BUT JUST A HALF!! OH GOD NEVER A FULL.
i picked a race that happened to fall on my 35th birthday and had a blast training for it and finally racing it. i was amazed at the change in my fitness level, and somewhere on the bike in the middle of the race, i caught myself saying inside, "ya know, this ain't half bad. i might, JUST MIGHT, be able to pull off THE FULL MONTY!!!!
" and there ya have it.
so i went for another season of 2 HIMS in '07, but knowing i needed to decide in advance which Ironman i'd want to do in '08. now i liken picking an Ironman race to buying a house. when you buy a house, there are 3 factors involved in the choice: PRICE
, and LOCATION
. when you first set out to buy a house, you have to understand that you will compromise. you will only get 2 out of the 3, so it kinda breaks down to this: GINORMOUS HOUSE IN POSH NEIGHBORHOOD = SELL YOUR SOUL TO THE BANK AND PRAY LIKE HELL YOU DON'T FORECLOSE. SMALL ASS HOUSE IN SEMI-POSH NEIGHBORHOOD = SOMEWHAT MANAGEABLE MORTGAGE, BUT YOU'RE GONNA NEED A STORAGE SPACE GINORMOUS HOUSE, 2-3 HOUR DRIVE TO WORK AND ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY = FARELY AFFORDABLE MORTGAGE
or you could go with my dream situation: TINY BREADBOX IN THE GHETTO, A TEAR DOWN DISGUISED AS A FIXER UPPER = THE LAST GREAT STEAL!!!
hey i love my ghetto, i love my neighbors, i can afford my mortgage, and well, there's just barely enough room for me, my two dogs and THE FUCKER
. 'nuff said.
so when you set out to pick an Ironman, there will most likely by 4 factors involved, maybe 5, but you will compromise on 1 out of 3 or even 2 out of 5. for me it was: COST
, and TIME OF YEAR
. i couldn't really bend on the timing. i coach 6 months out of the year for The Aids Marathon Program
, and i didn't want to give that up. my season runs from early June to first week in December when my runners complete the Honolulu Marathon
. coaching pretty much eats up my Saturdays which, up until Ironman was still fine, as i could usually fit in some sort of short to medium length workout later on Saturdays and could still race on Sundays, but this would never work for THE FULL MONTY. so i started base in November during my last month of coaching when workouts weren't stupid long yet, and then it ramped up as soon as the coaching season wrapped. this had me mostly training through winter, but i'm fortunate to live in SoCal where "winter" is a relative term, and this winter proved to be mild. basically, i think i rode in some rain ONCE the entire training (sorry TEA
and everyone else to the north or to the east). TIME OF YEAR=SOLVED
next was HILLS
. with cycling being my limiter and this fine, black thang pretty much weighing down the whole two-wheeled experience, i was deathly afraid of hills. so Lake Placid
) and Canada
) were out. come to find out i've really improved on the bike, and i don't suck as bad as i used to. in fact i love climbing, but um yeah, not so much for the majority of the 112 mile course. Brasil is not hilly, but it ain't flat either, and it can tend to be windy, but it all sounds manageable. HILLS=SOLVED
moving onto HEAT
. this is again where i could not compromise. i have learned my lesson from my marathon experiences that i just fall apart in extreme heat. so yeah, when i watched IMAZ
live and in person a few weeks back, i seriously wondered if i coulda made it under those conditions. just trying to knock out a 15 mile run while everyone was out on the bike course was absolutely miserable. no no, me and the heat do not get along. so while we're in Spring and moving towards Summer here in The States, south of the equator, IT'S FALL!!!
yep, IM Brasil reports temps between the mid 60's to high 70's and recommends that all participants expecting to finish after dark should pack a long sleeve top in their special needs bag. SUWEEEEET!!!
only caveat could be humidity, but that's what salt is for. i'll just have to pace myself and see how it's effecting me, but i can deal with humidity easier than heat. HEAT=SOLVED
lastly we have COST
, and this is where i get screwed. i have chosen to travel to another country on another continent, requiring that i arrive 1 day early for every change of time zone (4 hour difference, thanks!!), visas, vaccinations, bike cases, the whole enchilada (or whatever yummy delicacy they eat in Brasil). i will also extend my trip (more on that soon) to a destination that is CASH ONLY
. but ya know what? i may only do this once (not likely), so why not go all the way?? i wanna race somewhere that i really wanna travel to and explore, and no offense, but it ain't C'oeur D'Alene, Idaho
(sorry EVERYONE!!), or for god's sake, Louisville, Kentucky
(sorry suckas). i mean come on. Louisville Kentucky in August?? with my heat issues, i just peed my pants laughing when they announced that new gem of a location. so ok, COST
is where i'm having to bleed a little, and i'm gonna be ok with it (more on that later too).
for some, the ocean swim might have been a consideration. maybe you're afraid of sharks or you live in a landlocked region where you've never even seen the ocean before, or maybe you prefer not to start your salt intake before you get on the bike? i grew up swimming in the ocean from the time i could say FUCK (about 3 i think), so it's second nature to me. in fact i like when the surf is big on race day, cuz it gives me a chance to get ahead of you skinny bitches who will inevitably pass my ass on the bike or later the run. so yeah, big ocean, bring it on, but even that isn't the case in Brasil. the swim takes place in a calm bay, nearly no surf, but possibly a current. JEALOUS YET??
some out there might venture to say that i've picked an "easy Ironman," and to them i say BITE.ME
. it's an Ironman. is there really such a thing as easy?? if it were easy, everyone would be an Ironman. i picked what works for me.
so there you have it, peeps. let's review, shall we:
IT'S THIS GUYS FAULT. I'M DOING IT FOR A FRIGGIN' VISOR, AND I DO WEAR VISORS NOW, AND I WILL WEAR THAT STUPID AUTOGRAPHED VISOR UNTIL IT DISINTEGRATES FROM MY IRON HEAD.THE WEATHER WILL BE RELATIVELY MILD.THERE WILL BE LITTLE TO NO SURF AND SOME CURRENT IN THE OCEAN SWIM. NO SHARKS, BUT CORAL REEFS JUST BELOW AND POSSIBLY JELLY FISH. IT WILL BE RELATIVELY FLAT ON THE BIKE WITH 4 SMALL HILLS, BUT POSSIBLY WINDY. SAME ON THE RUN AS ON THE BIKE, BUT I BETTER BUNDLE UP FOR AFTER DARK. APPARENTLY, THE AWARDS CEREMONY THE NEXT NIGHT IS OFF.THE.HOOK.AND IF ALL GOES AS TRULY PLANNED, YOU CAN SHIP ME ALL O' MY SHIT, CUZ I AIN'T COMIN' HOME!!!! YOU PLANNIN' ON STAYIN' ON IN LOUISVILLE?? YEAH, DIN'T THINK SO...
getta load o' this joker!!!
hey, sucka. YOU.ARE.AN.IRONMAN!!! have a visor...
i felt a lot better today after a good night's sleep. still a little light headed and a slight funk in my throat, but i felt fine for tonight's run, so that's a good sign. but being a little stressed and a little under the funk is no excuse to be an asshole to the ones i love.
tonight on my way to drive to the bowl to knock out my 5 miler, out of the blue, my car won't start. ironically, not an hour and a half earlier, i pulled into my driveway while on the phone with my auto mechanic who i happen to be coaching to run his first marathon in June. car was running fine. no problems, and now it simply won't start. it's not a dead battery cuz i didn't hear the "click of death," but for whatever reason, it's just not kicking over. i called Fabian back, as if after shop hours he was magically going to tell me something that would magically make it start. he didn't. it didn't. he says it could be a bunch of things, but maybe the spark plugs, maybe the fuel line.
YOU GOTTA BE FUCKING KIDDING ME. NOT NOW. I CANNOT DEAL WITH THIS.
just then Iron maiden of Honor, Lesley, called. she sounded so happy as her man is in town and she wanted to know if i had any recommendations for a good seafood restaurant. i kinda snapped at her that i couldn't even think about that cuz my car wouldn't start and i needed to get a 5 mile run in. she awkwardly said, "well, call me if there's anything i can do to help." yeah, sure, like she hasn't done enough to help me just about every weekend when i've used her apartment as t1 for my brick workouts or even stayed over the weekend to do a series of long workouts and ocean swims. and yeah, i'm gonna call her in the middle of her date to come clear across town and help my with my stupid ass car. she is too good to me, and she didn't deserve my snappy tone.
it seems silly to drive somewhere just to knock out 5 miles, but my neighborhood lies on a ravine and most streets are too steep to get a nice flat run in. in the end, i plotted out a course and left from my house with a short warm up walk down to the end of the block and then across my neighborhood where i just had to do 3 loops or a few blocks to keep it flat, no big deal. came home and car still wasn't starting. ok, i'll have to deal with having it towed to the shop on my way to get my swim workout in. maybe rent a car. do what i gotta do...
then tonight after i'm showered and starting to make myself some dinner, my sister calls. i had called her earlier to say happy birthday to my niece. i can't believe she is 13. they grow up so fast!!! my sister was kinda rambling on and on about her patients and her new car and how she's working so much she's barely home, and i just had to cut her off. i adore my sister, and i admire her for busting her ass to raise my niece on her own and all the hours she spends taking care of other people's ailing family members just to take care of her own. she says she's working 100 hours a week right now!! i work AND train for Ironman, and i don't even put 100 hours in a week!!! when does she see my niece?? crazy thing is, i don't even think my sister understands what i do for a living or what a triathlon is let alone an Ironman. she never really asks about what i do, nor do i think she could really comprehend it. our realities are just that different and disconnected, and that kinda makes me sad. so i had to cut her off. i said,"listen, i really gotta go now. i need to be in bed in like an hour, and i have so much to do before then." i could tell by the tone in her voice that she was put off by my line of crap. she didn't deserve that either, but I REALLY NEED TO SLEEP.
so tomorrow, in the midst of me getting my car towed, renting a car, getting to the pool, getting to A REALLY IMPORTANT TEST SHOOT, and then back home to cycle 40 miles before i head to my evening class clear across town, i need to stop and make two phone calls, not emails, PHONE CALLS, and tell two people i love and who i know would walk to the ends of the earth for me, that I'M SORRY I WAS SUCH AN ASSHOLE. no matter that there's 17 days left. no matter that i have a shit ton of crap to still buy and pack AND still get training in. none of that gives me a free pass to treat anyone i love with anything less than the respect they deserve, and i'm counting on y'all to do me a solid and keep my ass in check...
I NO FEEL SO GOOD
went for my Yellow Fever vaccination this morning. the nurse sat me down and handed me a whole pamphlet on travel concerns related to Brasil. then she tried to sell me on a slew of shots. your talkin' to the girl who doesn't even like to take aspirin and antibiotics only if my tonsils are DRIPPIN' WITH PUSS
. i think we're an over medicated society. i mean RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME? are you kidding me? you bet i have restless leg syndrome. I'M A TRIATHLETE
and then i got all the side effects like in the commercials:MAY CAUSE VOMITING, UNCONTROLLABLE SHITS, LIMP PEE PEES, DRYMOUTH, ITCHING, REDNESS, YEAST INFECTION, NIGHT SWEATS, NIGHTMARES, HAIR LOSS, HAIR GROWTH, WEIGHT LOSS, WEIGHT GAIN, YET STILL WITH NO GUARANTEES THAT YOU DON'T GET THE NASTY DISEASE YOU'RE TRYING TO PREVENT IN THE FIRST PLACE..
ya know what? FUCK IT. i'll take the Yellow Fever. but ya know i couldn't take that risk. still, i politely declined the 5 other things she told me i needed to get, bought some fancy bug repellent, and got THE SHOT. i obsessed for a second on which arm to get it in. if i had a reaction or it made my arm sore or stiff, should it be the arm that's already afflicted with frozen shoulder thereby rendering it useless for Ironman?? or should i go with the opposite arm and hope for the best but potentially be left with two crap arms for the swim (and the bike and the run for that matter)? i went with the good arm, my right arm and i haven't experienced any of the burning or pain that she warned me about, but now i've got cottonmouth really bad, a sort of slight anaphylaxis feeling in my throat, the feeling of a sinus headache and a low grade fever. WTF??
so i guess the idea of a vaccine is that you get injected with a healthy "preview" strain of the disease you're trying to fight off thereby prepping your immune system to fight it should the full disease present itself in the future. so i got pricked with yellow fever?? so now i have a light yellow fever?? that is so fucked up...THIS BETTER WEAR OFF BY TOMORROW. I'VE GOT A TAPER TO GET ON WITH.
WEEKEND RECAP: THE PERFECT END TO PEAK PHASE
i need to clear up a little confusion. although i have Wildflower listed on the race roster over there, it hadn't totally committed to it. COACH gave me the option to either stay home and follow the final peak workout that was on the schedule - an 80 mile ride with sustained climbs saturday and a 1 mile ocean swim and 15 mile run on sunday - or i could go to Wildflower and race the bike leg of the long course relay on Saturday followed by the Olympic distance solo on Sunday. oh yeah, and in case you don't already know, there's camping involved in the middle there. now i'm all for camping, in fact camping and triathlon?? MY TWO FAVORITE PAST TIMES!!! but honestly, the only reason i entertained racing at Wildlflower was for revenge. without getting too into it, i basically got word that someone i despise to the core from my marathon days was taking up triathlon and had registered to do the Oly as her first race. i knew i could take her, in fact i knew i could WIPE HER ASS ALL OVER THAT COURSE, but is that what i should be focusing on 3 weeks out from Ironman?? um, yeah, not so much. i can just see it, eating shit on that crazy bike course and jeopardizing my big day all because i wanted to settle a score. that's ok, cuz no amount of swim, bike, and run training will help her improve in time for me not to SERVE HER ASS UP ON A SILVER PLATTER at Wildflower next year. that is, if she didn't suck ass so bad this weekend that she even wants to do another tri. but enough hating...i digress...
as y'all read in my last post, i hit the "Taper Freak Out" a little early. i'm sure there's gonna be more freak outs in the next 3 weeks, but all of a sudden , i was dreading this last weekend of long workouts. i was losing focus, losing control of my time, LOSING IT. then on top of it, the recent fires had left the air quality so bad near home that i was forced to drive west seeking long, sustained climbs. so i had to head to Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains, what i like to affectionately call "The Hell Canyons." i was so traumatized from my first venture up there, that i hadn't been back since base training. so what better time to tackle your fears than during peak training!! once again, i picked canyons i'd never ridden before, and while there were several bail out options, i'd be damned if i took one of them!!
THE FUCKER is riding so smooth after his overhaul. i gotta give Manny, my bike mechanic, some mad props here. when i stopped into a random bike shop a few weeks back to ask for some air in the middle of a ride, the guy started shaking his head and explaining to me how the headset was pitted and i should have the bearings replaced soon. he showed me how it didn't turn free and smoothly, and explained it'd probably be a $40 repair. so i mentioned it to Manny and asked him to give me the lowdown on anything else that had to be replaced or upgraded so i could decide if i could afford it. turns out he simply cleaned out the bearings and they didn't need to be replaced. now whether the other guy at the other bike shop would have discovered the same thing or gone ahead and charged me for something i didn't know any better about whether i needed or not, well who's to say, but it's kinda like the way they trick women at the Jiffy Lube into shit they don't need when all they came in for was an oil change. here's what my dad, also a mechanic btw, taught me to say when i go there:
"listen, i just need an oil and filter change, NOTHING ELSE. i know it's your job to point out other crap my car may need, but today I JUST NEED THE OIL CHANGED, THANKS. so don't come at me with my dirty air filter cuz i know that it can just be blown out, k?? OIL CHANGE ONLY. i'm gonna go across the street and grab something to eat. when i come back, the bill should be 29.95 and i'm outta here. UNDERSTAND??"
they hate me at Jiffy Lube
but i never have to give that spiel at my bike shop. Manny hooked me up, and THE FUCKER is riding like a dream. so smooth, so easy. i really don't know what all he did, but it's almost too smooth. he's so responsive now, and he got a little speed wobbly a few times, but i think i can keep it all under control on race day.
i took the "Hell Canyons" by storm. no doubt, there's some serious climbing up there, but i just sat back, settled in and told myself i was gonna be there a while. most people passed me more so than me passing anybody else, but with every pedal stroke, i felt i was making my final significant deposit into the Bank of Ironman. and i was there A WHILE. i headed off PCH up Latigo Canyon which didn't seem as crazy as everybody makes it out to be, especially after climbing up Glendora Mountain Rd. the previous weekend. what was harder for me was getting to the top and taking Mulholland over to the next section. you get to Mulholland after a few hours of climbing and from the elevation profile, you're thinking you can relax on some flats for a bit, but it's pretty much going uphill or downhill, no flats really, and then i reached the next sustained climb up Piuma. i had half a mind to bail out and just head back down Las Virgenes to PCH, but i stuck it out and i'm soooooooo glad i did. just as i started to head into the climb, there painted on the ground from probably some previous race are three lines that read:
FORCE it was a sign and just the ammunition i needed to get up this mother. soon came the markers for the last 5k.
ok, that's 3.1 miles left. i can spin for 3.1 miles. no problem.
i don't know what 4k equals in miles. i'll try to do the math in my head. let's see, 5 over 3 is equal to 4 over x. x equals 4 over (5 divided by 3). NO WAY!!! all that high school math was coming back to me. ok, 5 over 3 is equal to roughly 1.6. oh yeah, i knew that already. 1 mile equals 1.6k. so now 4 over 1.6. awe crap. too late...
ok, so 3 over 1.6 equals...awe crap, decimals. well, it's definitely somewhere just under 2 miles. and this distraction kept on going..
at this point, i'm all mathed out but i know that once i get just over halfway between this marker and the 1K marker i'll be 1 mile from the top. that's 4 laps around a track. one lap at a time, one pedal stroke at a time, i'll get there. suddenly the road and the view to the right opens up, and i'm looking down at the Pacific Ocean below. now all of a sudden, in some weird, masochistic way, i don't want this to end. i don't want to hit taper. is that crazy to say?? then came the MAD CRAZY descent down Las Flores Canyon. mind you, i'd mapped this all out on gmap pedometer, and although the elevation chart gives you a sort of indication of what your ascents and descents should be, nothing really prepares you for the crazy ass narrow roads you have to take to get you there. even the satellite option doesn't really indicate the feeling your gonna get when your whizzing around a tight turn and realize that if you miss this by even a few inches, YOU'RE GOING RIGHT OVER THE CLIFF. and by "whizzing" i mean like 12 mph and CLENCHING onto the breaks for dear life. i love descending, but Las Flores was just too hairball, and i'd never ridden it before, so i had no clue what was coming next. by the time i finally made it to the bottom, it wasn't my legs that were hurting, it was MY ARMS from leaning into the handlebars and clenching the brakes for dear life!!! at the bottom, i still had about 17 miles to get back to Les' place. coulda been THE FUCKER'S smooth ride, coulda been the wind at my bike or could been that i'm a cycling animal (in my head at least) but i ate that road up and made it back in record time. after 70 miles with a hella lotta climbing, i still had something left. SUCCESS!!! total time for the 80 miles was about 7 hours, total ride time, i can't remember, and i'm too lazy and too sore to go look on the bike computer, but i think average speed was something over 12mph, so considering all the climbing, i ain't mad at that. Brasil won't be half as gnarls as that ride. my nutrition was a little dicey though. my Carbo Pro didn't arrive Friday as promised so i had to rely on my Perpetuem for most of my calories and mixed in some Luna Moons just to switch up the flavor and consistency. i'm definitely including Luna Moons on the big day just to keep it diverse with flavor. as y'all who've been following along for a while may know, i have to keep the flavors exciting or that's when i'm in danger of not eating often enough.
stayed on the westside at Iron Maiden, Lesley's place as she was at Wildflower and woke up the next morning all rested but still sore and not really knowing what to expect for the day's brick. got in the water at the Venice Pier, but different from last weekend, the waves were pretty sizable and the surfers were already out in full force, so i'd have to fight a little to get out in it and mindful not to snake anybody. i just wasn't in the mood either, but oh well, had to get out there. i did snake one guy as i couldn't get out of his paddle fast enough, but i profusely apologized and he didn't seem to be too upset about. i didn't go for distance but rather time. 20 minutes out, 20 minutes back, but in an attempt to not have to come back through the surf line again, i added a few more minutes swimming out of their way and further back down the beach. exiting was tricky as i tried to wait for a set to pass before i came in. i just didn't wanna get tousled in something that would cramp my calf up. so i waited and duck dived under a few bigger waves and then made my way in. 1 mile and some change, and then off for my 15 mile run. i was kinda in a hurry too, as I HAD A BLOGGY MEET UP TO GET TO!!! more on that in a second...
started out on the run still feeling stiff from the previous day's climbing. i just didn't feel in a groove at all, but i had to trust that i would warm up and get into it. still though, by mile 5 where i most definitely find my groove by, i still wasn't in it, kinda feeling my IT band going up to my hip, but not in any real significant pain. i just need to make stretching a regular part of my nightly routine from here on out. i practiced storing my Cheeze-It Gripz pack and some Luna Moons in the elastic of my visor. it worked well which will free me up from having to wear any sort of belt on my waist at IM Brasil. i'll also carry my water bottle in it's hand carrier which will store salt caps. still though, on this run, I FELT HUNGRY. just didn't eat enough of a breakfast to sustain me after swimming first. note to self: a quick protein shake ain't gonna cut it!!!! still, i powered through and by the end i surprisingly found that i had maintained just over a 10:30 pace and an average heart rate of 148!! this was a pleasant surprise since my goal pace for Ironman is somewhere more like and 11:00-11:30 pace. when all was said and done, i just wanted to crash, but instead i downed a quick protein shake, showered and raced down to The O.C. to meet up with none other than...
THE KAHUNA!!!! no way, get outta town!!! i had been commenting to Greyhound on his blog about how bummed i was that i wouldn't be able to meet them all at Wildflower. low and behold, they invited me to drive down and meet them for a post-Wildflower afternoon boat cruise of Newport Harbor, also known as The Kahuna's triathlon headquarters. so there i was meeting 5 complete strangers who only knew me through the tri blog world, and ALL OF THEM IRONMEN!!
RECOGNIZE THIS GUY???
a 2 hour tour. A 2 HOUR TOUR...
Curly Su gets a quick boat steering lesson from The Kahuna
what better way to spend the end of the peak phase than to get reassurance from these awesome tri blog peeps that i'm gonna be ok at IM Brasil. they were all so calm, so cool and collected. coulda been that 3 out of 5 of them had just done Wildflower the day before, one of the toughest Half IMs out there, and 1 out of 5 of them just had foot surgery. take a look at his footsies:
what would Iron Wil think of these feet?
or it coulda been the TEQUILA.
Taconite Boy looks a little intimidated by Kahuna's margarita skills
we should all be scared of Robo Stu's margaritas!!!
when Kahuna handed me a margarita, i turned to hand it to Curly Su only to discover that she was already holding one. oh, wait, you mean i can have a margarita?? you guys sure?? i'm 3 weeks out from Ironman ya know. to which i received a resounding,"SURE YOU CAN!!! NO WORRIES!!!!"
so, i'm just gonna state for the record right here right now that if i don't make it across the line, i blame these guys!!!
me, Greyhound, Taconite Boy, Curly Su, The Kahuna, and Robo Stu.
then we went back to Kahuna's for a little game o' HORSE. let's just say, i'm sticking to triathlon dreams and not hoop dreams. but really, i can't tell you how special it was to meet these guys. they're just what they're like on their blogs, really kind and giving souls who happen to all share a love of this awesome sport. i wish for all of you that you get a chance to meet up with them some day too. next up is IM CDA for Greyhound, Cury Su, Taconite Boy, and i think maybe Robo Stu too?? and let's all wish The Kahuna a speedy recovery and some killer training for IMAZ in November!!! if all goes as planned, i'll be back there again to cheer him and many other Tri Club buddies on to victory.
AIGH'T!!! ON TO TAPER...
FRIDAY FREE FORM
22 DAYS LEFT. am i ready? i can't possibly be ready. missed my 60 miler yesterday. that's definitely gonna set me back. went for my visa today. it will be ready with 4 DAYS TO SPARE!!! vaccinations will happen monday. hope i don't have any adverse reactions. shoulda gotten them earlier, but i've been broke. now all of a sudden work is dumping on me. not enough days to get everything done. NOT ENOUGH DAYS. NOT ENOUGH SLEEP. and even when there's plenty of sleep, i'm waking up in the middle of the night with anxiety that i'm forgetting something, forgetting an errand. bike case is secured. phew. i think my shoes are broken down. too late to break in new ones. that's definitely gonna set me back. still have 9 miles to knock out tonight. tomorrow is 80 miles with long, sustained hill climbs. sunday's brick is a 1 mile ocean swim followed by a 15 mile run. and to top it all off, today i'm
stupid stupid stupid....