Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chuck Norris never did an Ironman

But I have. And I have the tattoo to prove it!

It wasn't pretty or anything close to what I dreamed of, but I made it through with almost eight minutes to spare (thank god) and got a big hug and a thank you from Chrissie at the finish line (more on that later).

Also, I'm going to apologize in advance for the length of this report but it covers seven days and almost 17 hours of racing and I'm still leaving a lot out.

Also, I can't get my photos off my camera or iPhone for some reason. But there is an album here that has a lot of photos of me:

Rama's Photos

and some guy I don't know took this photo of me on the bike course

and here's my finish line video

Saturday, November 20, 2010

IM-Day Minus One

It's the night before my Ironman. This will be my last entry until after the race.

I'm actually pretty calm. Or maybe I'm just numb. Either way works for me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Inching towards the finish line

Today, since I was already registered and body marked, I got to just hang out mostly. I finally finished seeing everything at the Expo. I got an one hour massage. I got some sort of weird laser treatment that is supposed to be like taking NSAIDs -- it reduces inflamation. I got that twice, in fact,

We also accompanied my friend Cee to get her body marking. When people asked us if we were racing, we said we were her entourage. Our photographer friend took pictures of her just like he did of me yesterday. We had fun.

Following me on race day

You can watch people cross the finish line at and you can follow my race there too. My bib number is 2731. When you see the splits for the run, you will know when I'm about a mile from the finish line and it's time to start watching the finish line video.

So when should you be on the lookout for me to cross that line? I have been working over my possible times for ages and finally thought I had things nailed down. But then the weather forecast changed and now everything is up in the air again!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The army is on the move

When I was packing to drive to Tempe, I felt like a military logistics officer trying to move an army from one battlefield to another. I had my lists that I had worked on for months and I checked stuff off as I packed it and checked it again, just to be sure. I ended up bringing:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Jinxed

I made it to Tempe in one piece! So that's good.

On the other hand, I'm sore in new spots, probably from the drive and then, when I was out running errands, I managed to break off a big piece of one of my crowns! I guess I'll have to spend part of tomorrow finding a dentist to have a look at it so nothing falls off on race day.

Off to foam roll...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Heavy Strength and Benefiber

I can tell it's race week because yesterday I did a heavy strength routine and today I didn't put Benefiber in my morning protein shake. I'll still have fruit and veggies today but I'll start to cut way down on them tomorrow.

I'm excited, but also nervous. Yesterday was quite, shall we say, fraught?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week One: Race Week!

So my first taper week is over. I took it pretty easy with three days off in a row - Sunday through Tuesday.

Then I swam on Wednesday, which would have been okay, but we did a lot of kick drills and that bothered my calf a little. On Thursday I decided to try out my new headlamp and make sure I'll be warm enough and went for a night run around the neighborhood.

As usually when I just run cold, particularly around my neighborhood, it didn't go that well. It wasn't horrible but I could feel my calf pretty much the whole time and I ended up walking quite a bit. On the other hand, the new headlamp is awesome. My near vision deteriorates enough at night that having the extra light, even when there are street lights, makes a big difference.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The shirts are here!

The t-shirts for my "posse" to wear at Ironman AZ have arrived! They look like they are sized on the big side so I think some of us tiny people maybe in trouble.

I got them done via I had two discounts and a Groupon so the price wasn't too bad. The quality is excellent -- I'm very happy with how the graphics turned out, but also these are a nice quality tee, not some flimsy crap.

I got the idea to have everyone wearing matching shirts at last year's event. It was clear that the groups that did this were much easier to spot in the crowd so I figured it would help me find people when I was out on the course and also help them find each other when they are wandering around.

For those who want to follow my race online, my bib number is #2731 and you can track my progress at You only get a shirt if you come in person though. Um, unless there are extras and/or I just feel like giving you one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Some thoughts on doping

I found some generic Perocet in my medicine closet the other day. Plus something called Tramadol. I was thinking about bringing them to IMAZ in case my hip pain got excruciating while running. Then I remembered some drugs are banned by WADA. So I looked them up. Oxycodone/APAP (generic Perocet) is banned during competition. Tramadol is not. Both are opiate analgesics. So why one and not the other? Beats me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's a taper, not a tapeworm

My taper officially started on Monday, but really kind of started on Sunday. The funny thing is that my appetite was ravenous for the first couple of days of my taper. I was eating not only more than I was burning, but even more than I normally eat. As usual with these sorts of feeding frenzy days, my mind caught up with my body and yesterday and today I was hardly hungry at all at least not compared to my calorie burn.

During a taper, you are supposed to eat as you normally eat when you are working out more. The idea is that this tops off your glycogen stores. Then you deplete them during the race.

So I'm trying not to panic over the whole thing and am just trusting that it all works out in the end.

I'm also trying not to panic over not having run much at all this year. I think I will be okay fitness-wise, but it's going to be hard to judge when I should push and when I should hold back on the run because I have so little experience. Because I am healing, my thresholds are constantly changing. Because I am running so little, I have almost no experience running at my current level of healing.

The trick right now is to get a bit more data under my belt without causing further damage by overdoing it. The other trick is to do some running when doing any at all scares the crap out of me. I keep talking about doing some. But, if a workout is going to be blown off, it's going to be a run workout.

I am supposed to do a short run tomorrow night to test out my new headlamp. (The only one broke.) I hope I can make myself do it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week Two: Cold & Windy with a chance of Death

Winter has definitely arrived in Northern California. It's cold and rainy today. It's been chilly and windy for most of my workouts this week, especially the biking. I'm not at the point where it's so cold I am dreading working out, but I haven't done any open water swims since my challenging experience at Del Valle two weeks ago either. I have one last one planned for this week. I just hope it's not freezing. Or raining. (Though I'll still do it even if it rains.)

Interestingly, it's warmer than normal in Tempe right now. It's supposed to cool off this week and the forecast is for temps to be around historical averages on race day. The lake is actually warmer than expected as well. It's not clear how much it will cool down as air temps lower. I hope it gets slightly cooler as I don't look forward to swimming in a wetsuit in 70 F water. My hope is for 67 F as that's the temp my body thinks is perfect for open water swimming.

As I get closer to the big day, I worry something will happen to prevent me from racing. I didn't have this fear earlier in the season, but then a fellow tri club member got hit by a car two weeks before IM Canada. Now, she's going to be okay, but she couldn't race. All that prep and no chance to show what it accomplished.

When good advice is bad advice

Ever have a situation where people are giving you what seems to be good advice -- sensible and maybe even scientifically supported -- but it just doesn't work for you?

I'm going through this right now with protein bars. Dr. Awesome is not a fan of protein bars and, honestly, I can see why.

Even though they are called "protein" bars, most of them have more carbohydrates than protein. They also tend to have a lot of sugar. If they don't, they are full of sugar alcohols. MacMadame and sugar alcohols do not mix, at least not in the quantities that appear in most of these bars. They also tend to be high in fat.

In short, they are a glorified candy bar and are to be avoided, right?