Please help us in our fight to help loved ones with Parkinson's Disease live better today!

Please help us in our quest to help those afflicted with Parkinson's Disease live better today!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pants on fire....

I fear I've lead you all astray. Before you reach for the closest rotten tomato to hurl my way, please let me explain. In the past couple weeks, I have met with many friends and have heard some version of "you are so chipper! Sounds like training is a piece of cake for you!" I'm of course flattered that people think I'm in a good mood all the time and that this training is a breeze, but sadly, this is not the case! There are days when I'm just flat tired of training. Luckily, those days are few and far between, but I'm human. Some days the couch is calling my name so loudly I have to spin a little harder on the trainer to block out the noise.

Take last weekend, for example. While "normal" people looked forward to a relaxing 3 day weekend, I honestly was facing it with a bit of dread. I knew what was on our training schedule and that come Tuesday, I'd wonder what happened to our weekend. Saturday was a 9 mile run with my group, Runners Edge of the Rockies.
Saturday with my favorite runners. Don't be fooled. We aren't always this well-behaved!
Sunday, Freddy and I again woke up at the crack of dawn to do our first OWS (open water swim) event of the season. After days of cold weather and hail, the water was frigid. Freddy did a one mile loop while I braved a 1.5 mile loop. The swim was followed by a 45 minute bike ride which was followed by a 1 hour long bike skills course.
Umm, is this the law or only a suggestion?
Monday, again the alarm went off way too early, and we headed up to Boulder for a 58 mile bike ride with friends. On our way to Boulder, I was a little grouchy. There is nothing easy about getting up every morning before the birds and getting our tails out the door. Nothing. But you wanna know a secret? We chose to have a good attitude about training! And guess what, it makes it much easier. Life is what you make of it. Sure, we could bitch and moan about how hard it is but why? After all, we knew what we were signing up for. We knew there were sacrifices we would need to make. Truth is, we love the challenge! What gets us out the door are two things: 1) we have many loved ones right now that couldn't train if they wanted to. We are so blessed to be healthy and able to train and 2) visualizing the finish line of the Ironman and hearing our names with the words "You are an Ironman" after them. That brings tears to my eyes every single time I think of it. EVERY TIME!!!
Ironmen to be times 5!

Friends, no matter what you do, do it with passion. I promise you if you add passion to your task, it will become much easier!

There is still time to donate and make a difference! Follow this link to our Davis Phinney Foundation page. Every Victory Counts!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

2 Races, one weekend

Last weekend was a blur. A fun, crazy blur!

Freddy proudly representing our tribe-the Davis Phinney
Friday night, Freddy did his first ever sanctioned bike time trial in Superior!  Freddy loves speed and has always wanted to race in an official time trial, so with a little encouragement from Coach, he signed up for the Superior Morgul Classic.  I picked up my mom and traveled to Superior to cheer him on for his 8.2 mile loop-keeping an eye on the skies that were beginning to look ominous. Freddy got to the starting line, took off, and immediately the heavens opened and it started pouring. My mom worried about the slick roads. I assured her Freddy was in his element and would be just fine. Freddy, Coach and I all had our predictions about how fast he would do this TT (time trial). Coach thought maybe 27 minutes. Freddy was hoping 25-30. I told both of them Freddy would sub-25 it.  They both raised their eyebrows and thought I was high. 23 minutes after Freddy took off, he came screaming across the finish line-which just so happened to be atop a very long, steep hill.  He loved every second of it and is trying to figure out how he can retire and become a sprinter. We bought two lottery tickets that night. We didn't win, so we are working on plan B!
Conquering the giant beast of a hill at the finish!
Mom thought it wasn't very nice of the race
organizers to put that hill there at the end. 
Freddy and my mom celebrating an awesome finish!
On Saturday, Freddy got to rest and I got to head out with my girlfriends for a girls' ride from Sedalia to Palmer Lake-one of my favorite rides! Ann, Molly, Shannon and I arrived bright and early and excited about the day. Until we looked at Shannon's brand new tire, bulging at the rim, exposing her tube. After all of us gave our expert opinions on the state of her bike, we all agreed that she best ditch the ride and head straight to the closest bike shop to get the tire taken care of. And then we were 3. Ann, Molly and I took off and had a lovely ride through the country, chatting, discussing race day strategies, and how we would all have to starve ourselves the next couple months to not look like sausages crammed into the very un-flattering tri kits. It was a great ride-no flats, no drama, no crashes, only some annoying wind and a dead snake to contend with! 
Me, Ann & Molly at our turn-around point. We look so happy because it's all downhill from here!

Sunday morning, Freddy and I awoke again at o-dark-thirty to run the Colfax Half Marathon. I've done some version of this course several times and was looking forward to doing it on the new course. This was Freddy's third half marathon and was busy figuring race day strategies. I told him not to sweat it-that he would once again PR and he once again thought I was high. I don't know why these guys never listen to me!  We arrived in time to cheer on my friend Jill, doing her first full since a nasty foot surgery and recovery. While I was waiting in the corral, I got a text from my friend Natasha who decided at the last minute to jump in and do the half. I was thrilled as I didn't have anyone to run with! The new course was great. It traveled through the zoo, literally through a fire station, had one stretch with all the firefighters from the Denver Firefighter Calendar shoot, scantily-clad, and had a lot of great crowd support along the way. It wasn't a great race for me-it was a humbling day for sure and made me seriously question what I've gotten myself into, but I'm proud to report that I once again predicted correctly and Freddy PR'd by 11 minutes!  He had a great time and I was thrilled that he did so well. After the race, we enjoyed taking it easy with our Runners Edge of the Rockies teammates while sipping on bloody mary's. Overall, it was a lovely day in the park!

This weekend, while all the "normal" folks are sitting on their decks eating brats and drinking beer, we will be logging 6 hours on the bike, doing our first open water swim, and running. So, please, have a brat and beer for us!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Find your inspiration & kick 'em in the balls.....

I didn't want to go to the pool yesterday. Not even a little bit. When the alarm went off as it always does at the un-Godly hour of 4am, I hit snooze and did what I always do when I'm procrastinating: check Facebook. I was scrolling away when I saw that a running acquaintance Vince had updated his blog. Vince is battling stage 4 brain cancer with more strength than I could ever imagine. I read the blog, wiped the tears from my eyes, and got my ass to the pool. As I was swimming, I thought about how lucky I am that I have a choice to either lay in bed or workout. I have many loved ones right now battling any number of issues who would give anything to be able to get out of bed and swim.

During my swims, there is a lot of time to think. I mean, honestly, there's nothing to look at in the aqua treadmill. There are no hazards, no mountains, nothing to do but think. Some of my best thinking is done in the pool. Which is sad-if that's the best I've got! During a lot of my swims, I think of my Papa. Papa and I would spend hours in the pool when we were younger-only coming out for food or the bathroom. Then, after our business, we were right back in. Even when Grandma and mom told us to wait 20 minutes or we would drown. We didn't care; we were willing to take our chances. Papa would cannon-ball into the pool which I thought was the coolest thing ever and I would dive to the very bottom to see if I could find any sharks (I was convinced that Jaws lived in the drain). We would play Marco Polo, I'd climb all over him like he was a jungle gym, and just be silly for hours upon hours. These memories make me so happy-I credit Papa for my love of the water. I also credit Papa for getting me into the world of endurance sports. So, all this training is his fault, really.

Several years ago, in an effort to turn me into a cyclist, Freddy found a ride that he knew I could not say "no" to. It was the Copper Triangle: a loop course beginning and ending in Copper Mountain, and climbing 3 mountain passes. Honestly, it wasn't the ride that got me excited (the thought of mountain riding made my ass twitch). It was the non-profit who benefitted from the ride: the Davis Phinney Foundation. A very quick summary on Davis Phinney: he and his wife, Connie Carpenter Phinney, are cycling royalty. Davis was the second American to win a stage in the Tour de France. Long before Lance, long before our feather-light bikes with more gears than we can count. Connie is a highly decorated Olympic cyclist. Davis was diagnosed with Parkinson's at age 40 and since then has began a crusade on helping people with Parkinson's live better today. Our first year riding in the Copper Triangle, we made the top 5 in fundraising for the Davis Phinney Foundation. Each year since, our goal has been to increase our fundraising goals. And I am happy to report, that each year we have exceeded our expectations!
Freddy, Davis Phinney and I after our first Copper Triangle!

Freddy and I at our last pass-Vail-during our very first Copper Triangle! Yep, you're eyes aren't deceiving you. I am indeed wearing a camelback. I was such a rookie!

Over the past 6 years, we have come to call the Davis Phinney Foundation our friends. We truly believe in their mission and have created great bonds with the staff, volunteers and members. My Papa has been battling Parkinson's for over 10 years now and every day amazes me with his humor, strength, and resolve.

We are not only going through this Ironman journey for ourselves, but to raise funds for the Davis Phinney Foundation in honor of my beloved Papa. His brave fight everyday is what gets me out of bed, gets me to that next mile and will get us both to the finish line on August 3. There are so many wonderful causes out there and it's impossible to chose just one. But this is the one closest to our hearts. Every little bit helps and we appreciate any donation, no matter how small or large! If you would like to donate, please visit our donation page.

Ironman training is tough, no question. But life is tougher. My Grandma taught me at a very young age that if I ever face an impossible challenge, to "kick 'em in the balls". Every day, find your inspiration and go kick 'em in the balls.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Growing gills

I've been "swimming" since I was 6 months old. When I was just a wee little sprite, my mom signed me up for "Mommy and Me" classes where the babies were held over the diving boards like sacrificial lambs and tossed over-board to their moms; who were waiting patiently in the pool. I'm pretty sure in today's world, the mommy and me classes are a bit more civilized. But back in the 70's, we were tough and could handle it. I am so thankful to my parents every day for getting me in the water at such a young age. Because of this, I'm a fish. I may not be a graceful fish, but I am very comfortable in the water and could swim all day (or at the very least for 2 hours, 20 minutes-the cut-off for the Ironman swim). The most common thing I hear when talking about Ironman is "I HATE swimming! I could never do that!". Most people dread the water. I love it! Good thing, too. The past couple weeks, our swimming has sky-rocketed! So much so, that I recently told Coach Marco that I was growing gills. He replied with "gills make you faster!". Awesome! Maybe I will come in well before the swim cut-off and give myself a nice little cushion for the bike!

Our workout volume has continue to grow ever so slightly. In fact, I didn't notice how much our volume had increased until I was looking over our weekly training logs a couple weeks ago. Sneaky, sneaky coach we have! Freddy and I are handling the increase pretty well, if I do say so myself. Luckily, Freddy hasn't had to fly too much but when he does, is usually able to squeeze in his workouts by taking a run around whatever city he is in at the time. My work schedule has increased, but luckily I don't sleep much and when I do, I'm an early riser, so can typically get my workouts in before work. 

Easter Sunday, Freddy got called out on a trip. He was bummed, but we both expected with the holiday that this would happen. I felt sorry for him until I got this photo from him:
Yep, Freddy logged a gorgeous 13 mile run across San Francisco & the Golden Gate Bridge while I rode around Boulder. Boulder is lovely, but it's no San Fran!

I would have been really impressed if he decided to swim from The Rock back to the city, but he said he's afraid of the current or sharks or something. Pansy.....

Today marks our longest swim ever: just over 3,000 yards or 1.70 miles (Ironman is 4224 yards), followed by a half hour run. I haven't done it yet as I'm procrastinating. I'm sure I can find something that urgently needs to be done, like taste-testing my wine for tomorrow's recovery day, wash clothes, play with the cats....