Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ironman Arizona Report

WOW... what a crazy  and insane experience.  I have been through a variety of emotions over the last 9 months, with everything hitting a pinnacle on Sunday.  Since Sunday, I have had various thoughts again and I'm not sure where I'm going to land.  All of this has been very interesting to me - learning about myself physically and mentally, as well as learning about the expectations that I put on myself and how I react when I perform. 

Race Report
I got a great night of sleep Saturday night.  I went to bed around 8:30pm - woke up ready to go, only to realize it was only 10:20pm.  Sheesh.  Woke up again at 2:15am to sounds outside the window of people leaving a bar.  Hilarious!  Then woke up at 4:25am and just got up.  I was already prepped for the day, so after about 15 minutes, I was bugging Tyson to get up because I wanted to GO!  I settled down, listened to a little "G6" and we left the house around 5:30am. 

Tyson and I had passes from Janus that got Tyson into all the athlete areas.  It was VERY cool to have him with me before the race.  It was a cold, but I was nice and bundled up.  I got to see Bryan and Jamie roaming around in the bike transition area before the race.  Ran into Chris McClurg and Bryan Henry.  Saw Diana and Karleen prepping for their races.  Here we go...

I jumped off the ledge and into the water - 62 degrees.   Shockingly, it was no big deal... I think I prepped appropriately.  I swam over to the start and moved all the way to the left, near the buoys.  There weren't nearly as many bodies crowding me as I expected, and everything went nicely.  The swim went by pretty fast.  My mind was pretty calm, and I was rehashing all the swimming memories I've had since I started taking this seriously in the spring.  I remember watching the Ironman swim start one year before and thinking "who does this"?  I remember swimming in TTL for the Tempe International Triathlon and one of the kayakers coming up to me to ask me if I needed a rest(!).  I thought about the people watching the swim right now who think we're crazy.  I thought about Sam and Karleen getting out of the water 20+ minutes ahead of me. I got right into a groove and settled in.  I wondered if swimming more over the next 8 months will improve my swim time or if this is the best I can be.  Middle of the pack is a pretty good accomplishment for someone who was 78 of 90 women out of the water in her first triathlon. 

The swim was interesting - there were always people swimming into each other ahead of me.  I didn't really get the chance to get a 3-stroke breathing pattern down, so I spent almost the entire swim breathing every other stroke to my right so I could keep my eye on all the dangerous people who might kick or hit me. 

While swimming back, I happened to notice people up on the Rural bridge behind me as I was taking a breath... then I heard loud cheers and saw Tyson's orange hat... Tyson and friends FOUND ME in the water. It's a pure miracle. That was a highlight of the swim for sure!

My right pinky finger stopped working about 10 minutes into the swim.  I lost my right ring finger another 30 minutes later.  Then, I started to lose my left pinky about 20 minutes from the finish.  I was swimming crippled, but it didn't break me.  I was nearly trampled by a couple of BIG dudes on the last little jaunt from the buoy to the steps out of the lake.  I had to go into fight mode to make it to the finish - elbows out.  1:20:53.  My goal was 1:20, although I thought my time would be better after hearing how fast the overall draft would be.   All in all, the swim felt great. I was satisfied. 

Transition 1 was a nightmare... I couldn't get my arm warmers on because 1-I was wet, and 2-my fingers didn't work.  I ended up asking a volunteer to help me, but he couldn't get them on either.  We finally just ratcheted them up my arms as best as possible... you'll notice in my photos that one sleeve is red and one is white.  That's me being clever and prepping two layers of arm warmers.  Needless to say, 5 minutes wasted in transition later, that didn't work out so well.  I have photos to prove it!  T1: 8:07.  Ridiculous!

Toughest bike ride of my life.  Really. 

Loop 1:  I saw Nick on Rio Salado, and he reminded me to keep my heart rate low.  I was running 10-15mph over what Nick wanted it to be as I turned onto Beeline, and I was still getting passed by EVERYONE.  I tried to remain confident, but the consistent passing wore me down mentally.  Remember to keep you HR low, I kept telling myself.  Calm down, calm down. 

I lost my bottle of Hammer Gel within the first 5 miles - it bounced right out of my Bento Box.  That's okay, I can take Powerbar Gels from the aid station.  I took one at the second aid station, and the 2x caffeine gave me a stomach ache.  I can't take caffeine gels (I've learned this before), but it was the only option so I took it.  ICK.  I realized about 5 miles later that the pain in my belly was from the caffeine.  I asked for a non-caffeine gel at the next station, to no avail.  So, I will stick to the other food I brought.  I worked the stomach pain out. 

The first half of the first loop out to Fountain Hills was FAST, uphill.  I was getting blown around, but it wasn't too bad.  At the turnaround, the wind was in my face and the side winds started to pick up.  I was all over the road - slow and miserable.  By the bottom of the first loop, I was a mental wreck.  My time on the first loop was crazy slow and I was doing the overall calculations in my head and panicking. 

I tried to tell myself not to worry... everyone is in the same situation.  But the reality is that everyone else was handling it better than I was.  I kept falling further and further behind.  I thought I was going to get lapped by my Durapulse friends on the bike.  It was pretty close.  Looks like I need some wind training.    To top it off, I had to use the bathroom 2 times on the first loop. I guess I was hydrated. 

Loop 2: Uphill took forever, even with the wind behind me.  Can I make it through 3 loops of this?  Can I?  Not sure.  I'm supposed to be a cyclist.  What's going on?  I decided on the first half of the second loop that one IM is all I needed and that I can check the box and move on. Couldn't believe I had signed up for another one.

The wind was whipping around me, and the disk wheel was dragging me all over the road.  I hadn't really ridden with a disk before, and doing this in IM for the first time was a mistake. I should have gone with my other race wheels to be safe when I found out we may have high winds.
When I got to the turnaround, I stopped to use the restroom.  As I got back onto the bike, it started to rain.  I went down the hill in the swirly wind and all of a sudden I got the attitude adjustment I needed:  HAIL.  I just started laughing.  Laughing out loud and a HUGE smile came across my face.  THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE HARD.  Teri, why did you take the bike part of this race so lightly?  Just because you came into this with cycling as your strength doesn't mean that you can tame it without effort.  You deserve this ass-kicking and you're going to like it.  This is IRONMAN, damnit. Like one of the fan posters said, "They don't call it EASYman."  I pushed through the downhill of loop two.

Loop 3: When I got out to the Beeline on Loop 3, the side wind had dissipated, but the southward wind had picked up.  I was FLYING, and with a low heartrate.  I passed people left and right - the same people who passed me earlier in the race.  I was feeling great.  At the turnaround, though, the wind was so strong that I couldn't have been going over 6 miles per hour.  The swirly wind kept catching my front wheel and pushing me around.  Wow... this is unbelievable. 

My quads were burning.  Will I be able to run? I kept having Deuces Wild flashbacks where I had so much pain in my quads that I had to walk.  Will this happen again?  Who knows.  Maybe.

Bike time 6:19:30.  One FULL hour slower than my goal (of course with perfect AZ weather).  Everyone I know was riding well, despite the weather.  And I was riding very poorly.  It hurt my feelings.  I have never wanted to get off my bike so badly.  Get me off this thing. Now.

Transition #2 flew... easy, great.  As I ran towards the changing tent in my bike cleats, I could tell that my legs were going to be fine.  What a relief.  T2 time: 3:00.

Loop 1: Felt GREAT out on the run, from the beginning.  I was praising Nick in my head for making me ride at a lower HR.  Thank you thank you!  I felt great.  I kept getting complimented from spectators about my stride and how great I looked... it helped my bruised ego.  I was passing people left and right - it was so very fun! It was great to see Nick all over the course, fantastic to see the Tribies everywhere.  People all over the course were cheering for me because I was racing for Tribe.  Very cool.  It was awesome to run through the Tribe aid station with the loads of orange.  Great to see Kevin out there, hoarse by the end of the night!  I love the passion.  It was so very nice to have friends all over the course cheering.  They were everywhere! 

I got to see Karleen on my first loop - she was a FULL loop ahead of me.  She is a monster!  I also got to see Diana on my first loop.  I truly enjoyed seeing the other Tribe ladies in the race.  It felt like we were all in this together.  We all truly enjoyed the day. 

Loop 2: Running up to Priest on loop 2 was painful.  I was joking with another runner that I was drafting behind him, and it was true!  Drafting on a marathon.  Who knew!  I had such a fun time on the run... I was dragging the first part of loop 2, but I pulled it back together as I started running with the wind.  Actually, in hindsight, I enjoyed the hills because I run downhill well. 

Nick wanted me to walk the aid stations and run the one miles in between.  This turned out to be a great strategy... it kept me on track and kept me running, with small breaks. 

Loop 3:  It was so very nice to run around the lake, looking at the mile marker signs for Loop 3 and realizing that this was my last loop.  Yes, that mile marker #19 is for ME.  Yes, that mile marker #23 is for ME.  When I realized that some runners were just seeing mile marker #4 for the first time, and I was looking at #20, I had so much pain for those behind me.  Wow... what an experience.  I saw LaVerne on my last loop, and seeing LaVerne was one of my highlights of my day.  She is an amazing woman. 

The rain came down again with about 3 miles to go.  What a riot.  I was ready to be done.  I walked through the Mile 25 aid station, and another gal in my age group jogged past me.  WHAT?  So I took a Coke, mixed it with water, guzzled it, caught her and put some distance on her.  I had a great run.  4:03:29. I was hoping for something like 3:50, but I'll have to hold out for next time...

Friends put cheer chalk all over the course for me, and I was so pre-occupied that I didn't see it!  BAD ME!  There were photos though that I saw afterwards, and that was super cool.

I had awesome support during the race.  Of course, having Tyson out all day with that "wow, that's my baby" look in his eyes is WAY amazing.  He is a great supporter of me, and I appreciate his involvement.  It was SUPER cool that Benny and Sally from Portland were there cheering and taking photos. Sally got the most awesome photo of my finish!  I will post once I get it.  Patrick and Alex and Jo and Mon were there all day... Troy and Susan, and Ryan Wing were cheering me on as I ran through the run chute in the park. AND Chris and Erica and crew - they're always so loud, in the best way!  Bryan Henry and his girl were there.  And I saw several gals from the Women's Cycling team cheering  - so fun!  And Robin running with me on my last lap giving me great words.  And Karen and friends on the bike course!  SO MANY people... it was super cool.  I felt like I was running on a cloud. 

We went to Four Peaks after to have a couple beers and eat something.  YUM.  I didn't last long.

What's Next
Well, this was quite an experience.  I have to say that it was more challenging mentally than I expected it to be, and I got my ego crushed. I'm having a bit of a pity party with myself.  I have learned a couple things about myself that I think I already knew:  I am fiercely competitive.  I think highly of my athletic ability (or my potential ability).  I put a LOT of pressure on myself to perform.  I get really disappointed when I don't live up to my own expectations. I judge myself based on others.  Wow... this is me putting it all out there. Naked. 

I am signed up for IM Canada.  I'm not exactly looking forward to it right now - I'm more afraid than confident.  I can get over this, but I need to get out there and train.

I am being pressured by my Durapulse friends (you know who you are) to sign up for IM St George. Seriously, people!  I'm debating it... but really... 3 IM races in one year? 

In the interim, I'm racing Ragnar Ultra in February with a group of strong runners, Boston Marathon in April, some cycling races Jan-June, and IM Canada in August.  Then, I'll be supporting Tyson for IMAZ in 2011.

What am I turning into?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ironman Eve

I've been remiss in posting... I realize.  I've been preoccupied with work, training, family, and general life. 

Here we are, Ironman eve.  How do I feel?  I've been feeling pretty good, physically.  I know I'm a good athlete.  I know I have trained correctly for this.  I have raced enough this year to believe I have a good idea of how I will feel during a race (up to a point).  I have enjoyed the training.  I have lots of friends and acquaitenances who will be there cheering for me tomorrow.  I have a good understanding of how I COULD do if I feel good throughout the race. If I feel good...

But I don't know what it's like to put myself through 11 hours of high quality workouts straight. 
I don't know what it's like to stop during a race to use the bathroom. 
I don't know how I'm going to handle a hungry pit in my stomach. 
I don't know how I'm going to handle the worn out legs on mile 15 of the run, after 112 miles on the bike. 
I don't know how tired the swim is going to make me. 
I don't know what's it's like to swim with 2500 other eager, nervous racers in 63 degree water. 
I don't know how I'm going to handle getting onto the bike when it's 50 degrees and drizzling (where are we anyway, this is supposed to be PHOENIX!). 
These are all conditions that I have not dealt with.  There are MANY! 

In general, I'm feeling good, but we'll see... 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Time Management

I just finished the pinnacle training weekend before Ironman taper. 
I went into it with a tough and almost excited attitude.  I have thoroughly enjoyed training for IMAZ.  Has been tough mentally and physically, and demanding on all parts of life.  I have enjoyed the challenge of accomplishing it all.  I actually think I like the challenge of time management.  Time is something you can't buy, and I think I am a miracle worker at getting everything in and making it all happen well.
In the office by 7a for a busy day of meetings.  Don't forget to eat.  Jade's Brownie investiture ceremony at 5:30p in Anthem, pick Ethan up from karate, and on to Friday night pizza at home with Tyson.  Today was a work and family day. 
I calculated what time I needed to wake up to get in a 60 min ride and a 20 mile run in before the Open Water swim start at 10am: 4:45a.  Okay, must be in bed by 10.  Prep sets of everything to make Sat am smooth. 
#1 Up at 4:45a, eat, prep water bottles, quietly.  Out the door at 5a.  Bike for one hour.  No light on bike... that's okay, no traffic in Anthem in the am.  Had a nice ride.  Back home at 6a.  Sun starting to rise.
#2 Quick change into run clothes in garage and off by 6:05a.  House still asleep.  Lots of people out running and walking big furry dogs this morning!  Had a great long run... I'm always trying to visualize the Ironman marathon on my long runs. I train on tough, hilly run routes in hopes that IM will be easier.  Ran down to Carefree road and back, 19.75 miles.  Close enough.  Weather was perfect... overcast and cool.  Very enjoyable.  I never thought id say that about a 20 mile run.  This is the longest run of my life, next to the SF marathon.  Unfortunately, I didn't calculate enough time for the run, and I got home at 8:50. 
When I get home, Tyson is working in the yard, post-run, an Jade is lying on the couch.  She has stomach cramps, so I get her some fruit and tell her about the 5 inch scorpion I saw on my run!  Ethan is at a Boy Scout gathering, so he is out and about his day. 
Throw together a pb&j and a revocery drink and take a quick shower.  Swimsuit on, quick kiss to Tyson and I'll off.  9:20.
#3 Its about a 30 min drive to the lake.  Plenty of time.  I get to the far harbor and drat... wrong location.  The guy at the pay station knows nothing about a swim race.  Drive back towards home to the previous harbor and nope, not there either.  Now its 9:55 and I'm starting to panic.  Find the harbor (10 min closer to home!) and there they are.  
As I pulled in, the start occurred.  I ran over to registration to happily see Rich Dirmantas.  I got my wetsuit on, and by the time I get to the water, the non-wetsuit group is starting (5 min later).  I believe I started about a minute later than that. 
I've never spent an hour and a half with my head in the water before.  My longest OW swim before this was 2000m.  This is a LOT of time with nothing but you and your head. 
The stretch to the first buoy seemed like foreeeeever.  wow.  How will I swim this triangle four times? Go for it.  Don't forget to follow-through on your stroke. Breathe every 3 strokes. Twist your shoulders. Thumbs near your ears as they come out of the water.  Kick!  Don't forget to kick!  One lap, two laps.  Maybe I'll stop after 3 laps.  Why are people passing me?  Four laps. 
On the last leg of lap 4, I went into fast swim mode.  I forgot I had that mode!  Felt great as I "sprinted" towards the finish.  Keep in mind that "sprinting" is a running word to me and has no place in swimming.  Swimming is NOT a sport.  
Whew.  Done.  1:28:49, minus 6 minutes.  Not bad!
Now, back home at 12:15, after a quick stop for a krispy kreme and a chocolate milk.  YUM.  Kids just got dropped off at a birthday party from 11:30-1:30 and Tyson is driving to get the U Haul to start the move from Biltmore condo to downtown condo. 
I have officially entered Part 2 of my day. 
Home at 12:30.  Unpack.  Repack. Get kid overnight bag.  Grab computer.  Eat snack.  Back in the car by 1:15.  Pick up kids from party, talk about how fun the Play Fort is and who fell down the most.  Stop for Joeys of Chicago beef sandwich.  Drive to meet Tyson at Biltmore condo, load bikes.  Arrive by 3pm at downtown highrise, our new 2nd home.
Kids love it.  Spend the next hour unpacking the Uhaul and making this "fun" with the kids.  They're such good kids :)  all boxes in by 5pm.
Tyson and Ethan return the Uhaul while Jade and I unpack the condo.  She's such a fun little helper!  Boys back by 7p, along with our first guests: Patrick and Alexis!  More unpacking, Smurfs on TV, Subway, visit to the Community Room.  In bed by 10pm.  Wow.

Up at 6a to deliver the kids to their Moms house.  Back to condo at 715.  Out the door for a 120m ride by 8a.
First 40 miles were brutal.  I pushed with all my might to get into my HR zone, but I didn't have it.  Saturday intensity got me.  Push, push.  Sent a frustrated text to Nick at mile 40.  Do I keep it up?  Turn around and go home? 
I stopped for lunch at Safeway at mile 60. Stopped for 30 minutes to regain myself.  Then pushed on for another 70 miles.  Painful - mentally and physically.  Once I got back onto my "normal" route home, I felt okay.  Low HR from all the training, but got in the miles nonetheless. 

Tyson in CFP class all day.  I went over to the old condo to get a few things wrapped up. Packed more bikes up, and back downtown.  8pm we went to Majerle's to catch up on the weekend's football and have some dinner. 
In bed by 10pm.

Today is my birthday and I'm taking the day off of training.  Headed into the office to register for the Boston Marathon.  I have a PT appointment in the afternoon as well. 
And it continues...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wow, really? I won the Las Vegas Half Ironman!

Seriously... winning was not something I considered when I signed up for this race, got to the site, or even thought about until the bike turnaround when I counted the women ahead of me. 

What a fun course. 

The water in Lake Mead is gorgeous.  I haven't raced in a lake where I could see the swimmer next to me underwater, much less the bottom of the lake!!  In fairness, my 16 mos of racing have been limited to AZ manmade lakes.  I wore my sleeveless wetsuit, although the water was 78.  I forgot to put glide on my neck, and I have war wounds to prove it.  The swim went well for me... I felt good, and my arm tendinitis was not a problem with the stretches that Ian Chapple (my AWESOME PT) taught me. 

Out of the water and to transition.  I can never tell how I'm doing coming out of the water... I'm such a moderate swimmer (although I have to admit that I like it quite a bit), and there are so many people ahead of me that I always feel lousy.  My T1 was pretty fast (20 seconds faster than the next gal)... wetsuit off, shoes on (no socks), helmet and glasses on, and I'm out of here. 

I am always sooo excited to get on the bike.  It's my strongest of the three disciplines, and I just love the power.  This may be my most favorite bike course to-date.  It was very hilly and so much fun - an out and back course.  I kept wondering what my AllSport GPS would read in elevation change.  At the turnaround, I was able to count the women ahead of me.  But, it's easy to miss people, so when I saw that I MIGHT be in third place, I got pretty excited.  After the bike turnaround, I pushed the hills pretty hard - I could see the two gals up ahead of me after about 5 miles.  I recognized one of them as the super swimmer that I saw before we started.  Could she be a strong runner?  Not likely, but who knows!

I then pushed to pass the super swimmer, and rode up to the other gal who was from the LA Tri Club.  We spent the next 5 miles or so jockeying back and forth.  It was fun.  I was comfortable and didn't feel like I was pushing it too hard.  I pulled ahead of her on a downhill and kept pushing.  I got my heart rate up into the top of my race zone and felt pretty relaxed.  I try to pay attention to Nick's advice regarding heart rate zones for racing... he is SO right on about it, I have learned to trust him.  Coming from an the independent nightmare that I am, this is big.

I took a water bottle at each bike aid station, and it was just enough.  I drank regularly and ate my Hammer gel and solid food.  Feeling good!  It was going to be a hot day, but the bike wasn't too bad.  The wind in your face makes 90 not so bad.  I beat the next fastest girl on the bike by almost 10 minutes. 

I got back to transition and threw on my running shoes (again no socks) and my visor and off I went.  As soon as I left transition, I saw the gal that I passed on the bike.  Hmmmm... maybe she's a strong runner.  Better get going!  Up the hill out of the lake parking lot.  WOW, it's hot.  Within the first half mile, I regretted not wearing socks.  My new orthotics were already rubbing on my arches.  Ruh roh. Ignore it, Teri.

The first 3 miles of the run were torture.  Uphill, no wind, almost 100 degrees, running from someone.  Pure torture.  Heart rate over anaerobic threshold.  I'm WAY out of my racing HR range, but pace is slower than I'd like.  Do I keep it up?  I felt okay, so I kept it up.  Luckily an aid station.  I stopped, drank Hammer Melon (my favorite!), water, and poured water on my salty face and kept on going.  Downhill on a concrete path.  Whew... I needed that.  Run turnaround #1 - I calculated that I was .5 miles ahead.  I caught up to Dirk and he gave me some great motivation.  Then onto a rock path through the Tunnels.  And, crossing paths with Tyson was fun too!  I like the out and backs on a trail course - it's nice to see friends.   What a fun run course!  The heat wasn't so bad with the tunnels to break it up.  Run turnaound #2 - .8 miles ahead.  Whew... those blisters are hurting.  Ignore it.

During that 8 miles stretch of run, I kept thinking about those damn rock sculptures that Mountain Man Events gives out.  I wanted one.  I've been admiring them on Erica McClurg's mantle for years... I started running for the sculpture.  Amazing the things that inspire.  I was thinking of what I would say to Nick via text if I actually pulled out a win. 

Then I started heading downhill - 3 miles to go.  Feeling good.  I stopped at EVERY water station and walked a bit, drank, cooled off, thought about the growing blisters that must be bleeding by now and kept on going.  Last mile... I hit the mental wall, just like I did at Mountain Man.  I know I'm going to take the win, and I start losing motivation to keep up my pace.  I walked a few steps, then a few more.  What a wimp.  I could see the final downhill and I'm still walking... The blisters hurt worse when I'm walking.  Wimp.  Okay, pick it up... this is it.

Dallas was at the finish, and it was so great to see his face!  As always, I teared up at the finish.  I'm such a sap.  I then ate four popsicles as I sent that text to Nick.  I won.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I LOVE my bike...

I went on my weekly long ride early this morning - just shy of 100.  I left so early that my goal once I was out the door was to get 20 miles in before the sun came over the ridge.  Success! 

I've done my last two 100 mile long rides alone - without anyone else riding along with me.  Riding by myself wasn't intentional, rather situational.  I've always done long rides with other people, just for moral support if nothing else. 

I have been having a great time riding alone, despite how I thought I'd feel spending 5+ hours with no one to complain to.  I actually think I have a better attitude when it's just me, and the time just flies by.  Wow!  Who knew??

This is what I have found in those 10+ hours alone in the past 2 weeks:  I LOVE MY BIKE.   I am completely infatuated with it.  MY Scott Plazma.  MINE.  She and I are best friends (sorry Tyson).  Last Saturday, I had such crazy, excited emotions about my Plasma that I almost got off of it at about mile 85 and took a picture of myself hugging the core of the frame. 

How weird is that? 

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I'm having so much fun training this summer.  I must have a sickness!  I have truly looked forward to my 5-6 hour long bike rides, and the 2+ hour runs have become "normal." 

Long ride Friday morning, followed by a drive with Tyson and the kids to San Diego for the long weekend.  Looking forward to some beach time with Tyson and the kids, as well as trying out beach swimming. 

Life is good!

Friday, July 30, 2010

San Francisco Marathon: 3:26:12!

Wow... what a crazy experience! 

I'm going to chronicle my race here because this was such an amazing experience for me.  Thanks to everyone who was involved!

Okay, so I've always wanted to run a marathon.  I always knew that eventually I would, and frankly I have been surprised that it's taken me this long.  I was a distance runner in high school and college, and I ran countless miles for a good 10 years.  Our long runs would be 10-16 miles, and those were always some of my most favorite days.  After my college running days ended, I was pretty burnt out, so I took a break... about a 10 year break!  I would run on occasion or pick up and run a 5K or 10K.  I even trained for and ran a couple of half marathons - one in 1999 and one in 2002.  I've always enjoyed the competition... I don't really like to run for the "joy" of it - I run to race and to be competitive.  It's just who I am. 

When I decided to race Ironman Arizona, I thought that this would be a good time to race a marathon.  Why not - I'm doing all this training, and why should my first marathon be at the end of 7 grueling hours of swimming and biking?  I asked Nick, my coach, if I could run the San Francisco Marathon in the middle of my training and he said okay.  Funny how I base so many decisions on his opinion.  But I've learned (several times over) that he's the expert and he's right.  My goal was to qualify to run Boston Marathon in 2011.  I would need to race and qualify before late 2010 to make it for 2011.  Boston qualifying time for my age is 3:40.  In 2 months when I turn 35, I would have another 5 minute break!  Can I make it?!

Why San Francisco?  First (and foremost!), one of my best girlfriends lives there and it's a reason to visit.  Second, the timing was just right (end of July).  Third, I LOVE San Francisco.  I ran the Half Marathon in 2002 and I loved running through the City. 

We added the marathon into my Ironman training schedule, and honestly, we didn't make many adjustments except that my long runs were 2-6 miles longer than they would have been otherwise for about a month.  Honestly, I wasn't sure if I was really making enough of an adjustment to matter, but, AGAIN... Nick knows what he's doing!  I ran one 18 miler, and a couple 16 milers.  On my last long run, I got a stomach bug and could only do 13.  I was a bit nervous. 

My taper the week of the race included swimming, short runs and bikes.  And, the weekend before, I rode 80 and ran for 2 hours.  Didn't feel like much of a taper, to be honest. I do heartrate training with my coach, and his race strategy for me was this: run relaxed in my normal training HR range for the first 6 miles; push up to my threshold rate for miles 6-20; and push myself as hard as possible for the last 6.2.  Hmmm... this scared me.  I haven't run 4 hours in threshold before.  Can I do it? 

We flew into town on Saturday, roamed around the runners expo, I had a BEER at lunch (tee heee) and a sandwich, we made pasta for dinner, lounged, and went to bed around 9:30.

Race time was 5:42am, a good 45 minutes away from Kelli's house.  We got up at 4am.  I felt ready to go!  It was dark!  We got to the race site 30 minutes early, it was cold, and I was a combination of nervous and excited.  Got some good photos.

The course is known as one of the most hilly around.  The Wall Street Journal called it "The Race Even Marathoners Fear" in an article on July 13.  Oh great.  I was reading about the race from regular marathoners the night before.  Quotes from runners who have raced Boston who say the course is 10-15 minutes slower than most courses.  Oh great.  And people talking about how "no one races this course to qualify for Boston."  Oh great.  And I have to finish in 3:40.  Oh great. 

I was nervous going to bed, and nervous standing on the line.

Starting horn blows.... About 40 steps past the starting line, I got emotional.  I was actually doing this.  I have thought about it, I've intended to do it, and this is real.  Wow.  Get a grip!  The first 5 miles to the Golden Gate Bridge were awesome.  I was faster than I expected, but I stayed in my lower training range and just got comfortable.  Then we turned onto the Bridge and I got reeeeaally excited.  What a rush!  And I was passing people.  The 5 miles that included running over and back across the Bridge were glorious.  I had a ridiculous time! 

The Bridge turnaround was during mile 7, and I used that turnaround as the time to push up to threshold HR.  I was flying!  And having a blast!  I was nervous that I was pushing too hard, but I was determined to follow Nick's instructions.

Nutrition:  I've had stomach problems when running in the past.  Not regularly, but often.  And, I'm notorious for not hydrating or eating on my runs.  That doesn't work in a marathon, or in Ironman, for that matter.  I didn't stop at the first water station (mile 4??), but I did drink water and grab a GU at the second station (at the Bridge turnaround).  Had a small sip of GU and put the GU in my pocket for later.

I saw my wonderful supportive husband Tyson and my awesome friend Kelli at mile 10, after the Bridge.  I was running under 8 minute miles on average (Tyson was getting my splits), and his eyes were big with excitement.  They were suuuch great cheerleaders! 

Run, run... on to Golden Gate Park.  There were some long, slow uphills, and some seriously steep downhills.  I kept my HR around threshold - sometimes a couple beats higher and sometimes a couple beats lower.  I looked at my watch regularly to monitor HR.  I refused to look at pace and at time... those things are irrelevant, according to my plan, and based on this stage of the race!  I felt great at mile 10.  I felt great at the half marker too, but I still had another 13!

At half, I caught up to a guy who asked what the Wave 3 split was... in talking to him, he let me know that he was 49 and this was his 159th marathon.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  Wow.  And, he just finished the LA Marathon in 3:10 a few weeks before.  I was nervous that I was running with him because his pace was faster than mine should be.  We ran together for a few miles.

Mile 18 I felt great - saw Tyson and Kelli again.  Tyson ran with me for a good quarter mile, and he was so encouraging and happy.  I was still nervous that I was going too fast.  18 miles is the farthest I had run before... could I keep it up?  This was the first time I looked at my watch for time.  I did the quick math... I could practically stroll from here and I was going to make my Boston time.  WOW.  I got emotional... I teared up and my throat seized.  I couldn't breathe!  I was horrified!  Get it together, Teri!  No more emotion!!! 

Mile 22 I saw Tyson and Kelli again and I needed to use the bathroom... I stopped at the Mile 22 rest stop, used the bathroom (that was one tough squat!!), and drank some water.  Got right back at it, and it hurt a bit more after the stop.  I was worried about that!

There were some pretty serious downhills in the last section and they HURT! 

Miles 24-26 were torture.  I was broken, but almost there.  I knew I would break 3:30.  I had another emotional breakdown, seizing of the throat, panic.  What if I can't breathe and I die on the course?  Geez, Teri!  When I FINALLY hit mile 26 and I had .2 left, I tried to pick it up.  When I saw the finish line, I passed about 5 people.  Again, emotion, red eyes, tears, wow.  3:26:12.  Unbelievable. 

Tried to raise my arms, but my line crossing photos prove that I was tired.  I crossed, saw Tyson and Kelli, got a quick photo, and my legs immediately broke within 3 minutes.  I could barely move.  The beer tent that I had been dreaming of was the last thing I wanted.  Take me home to a shower. 

I was excited.  Delighted. Take me home. 

The next day we looked at results and found out I had placed 27th out of 2001 women.  Wow... I had no idea.  I have always viewed 8 minute miles as "slow," but I'm changing that idea. 

Thanks to everyone for the Congrats.  Thanks to Nick for knowing things I don't know.  Thanks to Tyson for always being there and being truly on my side.  Kelli - having you there was awesome. 

Now, on to Ironman...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Here comes the San Francisco Marathon

Haven't posted in a while... I think its the heat that's kept me off the computer!  Its been 115 this last week in Phoenix, and if you're not gone with your workouts by 7, you're toast!

So, I've been up and at it by 430-5am.  its the weekends that are killing me, so I just switched by "off" day from Monday to Sunday so I can have some semblance of a life on Sat night and sleep in on Sunday.  Yesterday was the first Sunday I've slept in since I can remember and it was magnificent!  Tyson and I slept in, bought a new TV and had lunch, roamed aimlessly around the cool temp mall (making no purchases), then sat and watched movies and the Tour de France until we couldn't hold our eyes open. Magnificent!

Sooo, this weekend is the San Francisco Marathon.  My first marathon ever, and a hilly one!  I've been doing my long runs (up to 18 miles) and 4-5 hr long bikes, so I should be fit for it.  I haven't run a marathon before, so I am not surehow those miles over 20 are going to feel, other than outright painful.

I'm nervous, because I'm filled with expectation.  I think I can run a 3:30.  I have no good reason to believe that, other than I feel good and I feel fit.  But its not going to be easy.  Nick says I can run a 3:40. I would like to make sure I'm under 3:45. 

Hmmmmm... why do I put the pressure on myself?  Why why?  I do it because I'm a good competitor.  I have expectations.  I love placing well.  I have thoroughly enjoyed training, and the long runs (when its not 100+ degrees) are some of my favorite workouts.

So, here it goes... next Sunday.  I'll post my results...   

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Deuces Wild Half Ironman

One week ago today I completed my first half Ironman in Show Low, AZ.  Tough course, at 6000 ft elevation.  Record high temps in mid-90s. 

I felt rested and ready heading into the race.  Had a great swim - 37.5 minutes, compared to my goal of 40-45 minutes.  20th out of the water.  Feeling good!  Got onto the bike and had a pretty good ride, although my last 10 miles my HR was down and my legs were burning.  My avg speed was 20.6.  Then coming out of transition, my quads were hurting and I was feeling dizzy and nauseous. I ran 12:12 pace miles, after spending a LOT of time at aid stations and walking.  UGH!

Very frustrating.  My coach believes I dehydrated, so I'm working on improving my hydration and my eating in races.  This is why you do so many races - good training for what you need to work on!

Next time!

In the meantime, Tyson has a knock out race... finished 30 minutes better than he expected and had a great, breakout run.  Very exciting :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Racing Season...

It's been a while and a lot has been going on since my last post.  I have been training a LOT... specifically running and riding - I rode a couple of 80+ mile rides, six or seven run 5 10-14 mile runs. 

I did my first triathlon of the season - Tempe International - a few weeks ago.  And, I had a poor showing.  I didn't taper at all, and it was hot, and I had a swimming problem.  The swim was SO bad that a kayaker came up to me to ask me if I needed a break.  REALLY??!!  After 34:58 struggling minutes in the water, I finally made it out.  I sped through transition, got on the bike and felt great - did my bike split in 1:10:28 - one of the fastest .  Then, I finished it up with a 48:16 10K, total time 2:36:17.  4th in my age group and 29th female.  UGH!  Very frustrating!

This very poor swimming showing motivated me to sign up for Masters Swimming... two weeks of masters swimming and i was feeling pretty good...

Raced Tribal Sprint Triathlon this last Saturday morning.  This race in 2009 was my first triathlon.  And this particular race is geared towards swimmers - the sprint swim is 1000m, where most sprint races are 400-600m or 750m.  I just went out to give it my best shot and ended up 6th overall female and won my age group!  With a total time of 1:27:56!  I was 24th of 75 out of the water (WOW!  Huge improvement for me!), 4th on the bike and 6th on the run.  FABULOUS!  Very exciting for me, and I beat my 2009 time by... drum roll are you ready for this... 13 minutes!!!!!  (Last year I finished in 1:41:00).  Wow.  What a great feeling!  And, last year I was 73rd of 90 out of the water - wow.

Prepping for this weekend's half Ironman at Deuces Wild in Show Low, AZ.  I'm looking forward to it. I'll report back :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Boca Raton here I come!

Headed to Boca Raton for 4 days of training... swimming in the 73 degree ocean, running aling the coast. Can't wait.

Did a nice 2500m endurance swim last night, ending with 6x100 pull.  Follow that with boot camp at 5am this morning and I can almost not move my arms today!  Niiiiice. And even nicer, I took the kids with me to the pool and they had a blast.  I just found a solution to swimming during family time... bring them!  They loved it.

AND, I just picked up a new long sleeve wetsuit. I'm in!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Racing and Training

This weekend I decided to go out to the Colossal Cave Stage Race south of Tucson.

- Sat 9am 6 mile time trial
- Sat 6pm 20 minute Criterium on a go kart track(!)
- Sun 7am 45 mile road race

Wow!  What fun!  Perfect temperatures. I'm feeling fairly rested (ran or swam every day this week while traveling in Chicago, but no real hard efforts).

There were 3 gals in the race - me, Alex from Bike Haus, and Leann from Yuma. Alex is on her way to being Cat 1 (this was her first Cat 3 race), and Leann and I are fairly similar.

I killed the TT on Sat and started in first place. Then, I came in second in the crit after leading many of the laps. 

Sunday was a tougher day... the 3 of us rode together for the 5 laps of the 9 mile course.  But the other 2 gals kept dropping me on the last hill right at the line. I would catch them on the downhill, but the finish was right at the top of that hill, so I knew that wasn't going to work for a finish. So on the last lap, I picked up the group pace hoping to wear the other gals down, and my efforts didn't work. I came in third.

My efforts put me in 2nd overall.  Bummer.  My redeeming grace is that I won $120 for my efforts... 

Great race and great racing mates.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


So.... I have had 2 not so fun open water experiences in the past couple of weeks, so I'm emersing myself in the swim. I had a technique session with Nick yesterday and basically I'm starting from scratch!

Just left the pool - it was a tough 4x500 workout because I'm focusing on my arms and my body rotation. Wow!  I'm going to struggle for a while until I get more experience.

I'm excited for the challenge... !! 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bike workouts CAN be fun?!

Back from a glorious trip to Tahoe with a great group... now back to the real world. To work by 730am, put in a solid day of catch up, and left around 530 to meet Tyson for a bike workout. My first ever official bike workout.

15 min warm-up. 13 minutes at 160 HR and 2 minutes rest x4.  My base training HR zone is 143-153, so 160 isn't too far out of my regular range.  But, I've had a tough time getting my HR up lately.  Not sure what that means.

I'm meeting with Nick in the next couple of days. Worried a bit about the amount of training I'm supposed to be doing, and about fitting it all in. And worried about my HR being too low.

Endurance swim workout in the morning...

Friday, March 19, 2010


I'm taking this week off to snowboard... I thought there would be a pool here, but nope.  Just me and the mountain!  Last day of boarding tomorrow, then back to town and back to training... :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

First Pool Workout EVER!

just finished my first pool workout... 2400 meters of water, including a variety of speeds and intervals, and it felt GREAT!  I can't believe it, but I might just survive the Ironman 3800m swim!

I'm so very excited!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Nutrition - why don't I want to eat?

I'm going through a strange food abnormality... when I really started training earlier in the year, I was always hungry.  Now, I'm barely eating... no appetite. No hunger, nothing sounds good. I'm eating only partial meals. Hmmm... not sure what's wrong or why. Need to keep monitoring this.


I can't believe how excited I am about training in 2010. I just met with Nick from Durapulse last Thursday to get started on a coaching program.

With all my running training background, I was thinking I didn't really need or want a coach. But I have to tell you that I am soooooooooo geeky excited about it!  I got my first training schedule last week and I can hardly stand it.  Its like an addiction!  I can't wait to get up in the morning, follow the plan and track how it felt.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Desert Duathlon

Wow... so, it rained from about 10pm until 10am.  Crazy storm and mysterious clouds.  We woke up to pelting rain on our bedroom window - it was amazing!  Up at 4:45 am and out the door to get to Desert Duathlon at McDowell Mountain Park before 7.  Pouring rain!  Started 3.5 mile run in the rain and mud... what a mudfest!  I was laughing out loud at one point!  Then rode 21 miles through the Park out onto McDowell Mountain Road and back... it was so windy and rainy that I wasn't real comfortable down in my bars.  I kept getting up to feel safer.  By the end, my hands were so frozen that I couldn't shift or break!  WOW!  That was a first, so I had to sit up and just get to the finish.  Hands were so cold that I couldn't get my shoes on to run the last leg!  I was soooooooo messed up!  I couldn't feel my feet... it was amazing.  Had to run out and get warm in the car so I don't know results yet. 

As I was driving home, Tyson called... Jade got her hand squished in a door and broke 2 fingers and lost the fingernails.  8 stitched to connect the ends of her fingers.  Poor thing! 

All followed by 45 minutes in the hot tub during the rain... ahhhh... niiiice. :)
What a day! 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

running in the rain

Went on an awesome run that ended in the rain today. 9.8 miles in Anthem. ended uphill, and in the rain. And I felt great! Followed by a fabulous half hour in the hot tub with Tyson and the kids. Loving it. Home now watching the olympics. What amazing athletes! Rainy days rock...

Friday, February 19, 2010

it's for real!

Well... here it is! My first post. I officially registered today for ironman arizona in november. Wow. AllSport GPS has graciously agreed to sponsor me for my first IM. I'm pretty excited and maybe I should be more nervous?! I went on a great 9 mile trail run this morning with my friend Karen who did her first IM last year. She has so much great advice for me. I've hired a coach... Nick at Durapulse, out of Tribe Multisport. I'll officially start training with him on March 1. For now, I'm focusing on finishing up cycling racing season as a Cat 3, and getting in some runs. Racing Desert Duathlon next Sun... what fun! Wish me luck!