Saturday, August 28, 2010


Vacation time is over, and in less than 24 hours, Ironman Louisville starts.

Thursday night/Friday early morning, Dad and I left Virginia Beach after a lovely relaxing few days of beach time, bike rides, off road trails, water slides, and some well spent time with my family, especially my sister, who I barely see at home since she's always out. (Pictures to come but I don't have my upload cord here in Indiana.)

Oh yeah- Dad and I are staying at a Motel 6 across the Ohio River from Kentucky in Indiana. It's awesome. The non-smoking room we're in has an ASHTRAY with a NO SMOKING sign on it. That'll show those smoking bastards! There's an outdoor pool, set right on the highway. Also awesome.

Anyway, Dad and I left VA at 2 a.m. to get to Louisville in time for check in. He drove the first 2 hours but then I took over from 4-10. We stopped for breakfast, made a few pit stops, and arrived without major issues to Kentucky at 2:30. I managed to check in with only minor problems- myUSAT card is expired, they never sent me a new one when I renewed my license, so normally I just bring the old card to races and they look it up on the computer. I didn't have a printer in VA so I figured I would be fine. Turns out, for some reason Ironman didn't have anyone with Internet access, so I had to run to the conference center lobby and use their copy shop to go online and print my license. What a waste of 6 bucks. It's just annoying because a) I should have thought ahead for it, but USAT website only prints out licenses good for 24 hours anyway, and b) it's not my fault they never sent the new license. But, whatever. Everyone was really nice as I signed in, and super helpful.

We checked in to our motel, realized the room was super tiny, so we went out to see the sights after I did a 15 minute run and played around in the highway pool for a while.

It's a Cinderella Carriage! (I'm not a huge fan of horses, but this was awesome.)

I LOVE THIS BIKE RACK! There were artsy bike racks everywhere. Very cool.
Tugboats! I tried to get a picture of me with them, but Dad is not so good with my camera.

He did manage to take this picture though.

While that was all well and good, this sign about sewage in the water made me a little nervous:
(Luckily, there hadn't been much rain recently.)

Anyway, by the time we finished that, it was time for the pre-race meeting. I didn't feel like I learned a whole lot, but it didn't help that I could barely hear anything. Afterward, I really wanted Panera for dinner but they closed at 7PM (!?!?!) So, we ended up getting burritos and going back to the Motel to sleep. Shockingly, I wasn't completely exhausted, even though I'd driven 12 hours and slept for about 3 the night before.

Next morning, up bright and early to get stuff done for transition. But first, a walk to the swim start to get an idea of how it would go:
A swim around the island? Looks nice from here! It's a little tougher when you're in it with 2000+ people.

And we ate lunch at a really nice bar with excellent beer (though I could only try it, not drink a lot of it.) Good pizza for KY, but it's no NY pizza!

Finally, on to transition. It was neat how they had volunteers escorting each person, explaining everything and showing us where everything was. It definitely made me way less nervous.

And there's my bike!

Then, Dad and I bummed around the town, took our mountain bikes for a short ride along the river, went to Big Lots and got mom a pizza stone, went to the grocery store, went in the pool, and basically killed time until I was beat enough to get to sleep, ready to get racing...

Friday, August 20, 2010

T minus 9 days... and counting

In 1 day, I'll be in Virginia at the beach for a family vacation.

In 7 days, I'll be in Kentucky, getting ready for the fact that...

In 9 days, I'll be racing in Ironman Kentucky in Louisville!!

In some ways, I feel like IM has taken forever to get here. I've been focused completely on it since January, and it's hard to believe that it's all going to culminate in the one race in under ten days. On the other hand, I thought it would NEVER get here! I'm excited- in a very good way- to get there and race. And admittedly, I'm equally excited to be finished with the race, because it really closes the chapter on what's been a kind of crazy summer.

We've moved out of our old place, gotten a new place, been jumping from one set of parent's house to the other, all amidst some crazy training weeks, weird work schedules (nannying in White Plains 3 days at a time!) and generally having bad luck. We've had a good summer and everything, but I'm ready to be a full time student again, really really ready for cyclocross to start, and ready to have an apartment again. So I'm not really looking at wanting to get the race over because of the race, exactly. Just trying to move on to September!

That said, I'm super stoked that I finally get to race again! 2 triathlons so far this summer have left me wanting more! I don't think I'm a long course person, because I like racing too much. Between the cost of IM and the training schedule, it's been impossible to do more races, and I miss racing every other weekend. Still, it's been great seeing my endurance and fitness change so much, and it has paid off even on shorter course races.

So, my bags are packed, plans are sort of made (we still don't have a hotel... yikes!), and I am feeling pretty confident that I can handle this race (knock on wood). I have tons of nutrition, tons and tons of stuff for repairing a flat tire, and while in some ways I feel totally unprepared for the race and completely nervous about how everything works (i.e the transition bags), in all I'm feeling pretty chill about the whole thing. I thought I would be a nervous wreck by now, but I guess when you've been training for almost 9 months specifically for a certain race, you feel pretty darn prepared. And anyway, with such a long course, it's certainly not a sprint for me, so when I do feel any nerves, I've been reminding myself that the way to do well in it is going to be to simply treat it as if it's just a long training day, not a race. I especially think that because I know that stress can be part of why my legs cramp at really inopportune moments- i.e the marathon a year and a half ago. So, the more chill and collected I stay, the better I think I'll do. That's not to say I'm taking this race lightly, by any means. I'll still have "kick ass" and "kill it" written on my hands as reminders to push myself, but I think I've developed a really good understanding of how my body works and how to make it work optimally.

I'm a little nervous about nutrition- my coach has said my plan for the race is a little lacking in calories, and while I'll try to remedy that, my stomach just doesn't like eating much on the bike or the run. And usually, I'm totally fine. 10 days ago, Dad rode with me while I did a 20 mile run, and during it, I had a bottle of water and a pack of Clif Shot Bloks. And that was immediately after a 2 hour bike ride where I drank a bottle of water and ate nothing. And I felt completely fine at the end. 4:40 worth of hard work, with only 240 calories. Not a problem. I'm not saying that's my race plan for IM- far from it- but at least I know my body can handle a serious deficit without an issue. Finally, the one thing my stomach is willing to work with me on!

I just read the athlete guide for IM, and that definitely got my heart rate up. I can't believe it's actually here! (More importantly, I'm incredibly grateful that my taper is FINALLY here!) I have high expectations of myself for this race, as does my dad. I want to have a solid finish time, but more importantly, I want to do the best that I can do- I want to stay mentally focused the whole time, leave it all on the course, and not come home thinking "what if I had gone a little harder?"

Poor Robbie- the day after I get home from IM, we move into our new apartment. He's going to be stuck with all the heavy lifting, I'm afraid. I'm hoping I won't be too messed up from it, I would hate to have my first week of classes and moving marred by the inability to walk up and down stairs! Hopefully wearing compression socks and taking out time on the drive home will ease any major soreness that I have, and avoid more cramping from sitting still too much.

Main point: I CANNOT WAIT!

Also, once school starts, expect more frequent blogging. It's hard to keep a schedule when shifting houses and weird work times, but once we settle into routine, blogging should also make a return.

More while at the beach, I'm sure, but for now... I'm enjoying a rest day!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Most "Pro" Pic of Me Ever.

From Nautica. I love it!

More here: