10 You Challenges: 6 Places

22 Aug

Here is the next installment of the YOU challenge! This was a fun one to write because I love travelling!!

6 Places I want to visit!

South America! I have been wanting to go for a while. I want to go for a significant amount of time. I need to save up money and time but these are places within South America I want to visit:
Machu Picchu
Galapagos Islands

Barcelona: I have been to Europe once when I was just out of high school. I didn’t get to Spain. I saw an article on an Ironman that is in Barcelona. If I were to do an international IM this is the one I would do!! (If I ever wanted to do another IM) ;) More than likely I would get there on vacation before the IM anyway!!

Abel Tasman: Loved New Zealand! Really want to go back. We missed this spot but I have heard it is awesome!! Just another reason to go back!!

Whitsunday Islands: The blue water is gorgeous. These islands are bordering the Great Barrier Reef which is somewhere I would love to go.

Banff National Park: is beautiful. I would love to go on a road trip up there and go camping.

Croatia: A friend of a friend went on a “swimming” adventure here. They swam and swam all day.

These are just a few of the places that I want to travel to! Where are some places you would like to visit?

Ironman Recovery + What Is Next

19 Aug

Wow! It has been a long time since I have posted! I would have to blame Orange Is The New Black. I have been dying to watch it for a long time. Thank goodness we didn’t start to watch it until after Ironman. We stayed up too late too many times in the last 3 weeks. We finished both seasons and it was soooooooooooooooooooo gooooooooooooooooooooooood!! I am already counting down the days until season 3 comes out!

Other fun stuff since the race:
Dan, my mom, and aunt hung out in Whistler on Monday after the race. We rode the gondola up to Whistler summit to catch the Peak To Peak gondola.


When we got to the Whistler summit we actually had not gotten to the top yet. We took a little hike down to a lift that took us all the way to the top!



We rode the Peak to Peak gondola.

We had the entire cabin to ourselves!

We had the entire cabin to ourselves!

We made our way over to the summit of Blackcomb Mountain.


We joked about seeing bears all day. “Where’s the bears?” It was mainly me saying it but it became quite the joke. I am pretty sure this is what I looked like when I saw that bear back in June!! :)

Dan and I headed to San Juan Island for vacation the next day. We had so much fun!! A couple highlights:

Found the “locals” hang out: Eagle Cove!


We went on a whale watching tour.

These are from the boat photographer. They were better than mine. :) I would totally recommend San Juan Excursions. They took a ton of pictures for us. Gave them to us for free too! Hello!


We kayaked!
Dialog with our tour guide right off the bat:
Me: Do you think we will see whales?
Chris: Probably not. They are up north right now.
Me: That is ok because we saw some yesterday!

(hour later)
Chris (points up north): See all the boats. That is where all the whales are. (As we head south.)
Me: OOOOhhhhh man!

(another hour or 2 later)
Chris: I am pretty sure we are going to see some whales soon. Look behind you!
Everyone: (whips their heads around) Holy SHIT!!!!

All the boats are right behind us.
Chris: lets pull into this cove and watch them go by!

It was so amazing and fun! This guy was about 30 yards from us:
This was the BEST picture I got. Not great but ok. We had so much fun. It was a 5 hour tour. I thought it was a little long and Dan thought we should do the 3 hour tour. I thought we would get more bang for our buck going with the 5 hour tour. WE sure did!!
We also saw a bunch of wildlife:
Moon Jelly
Harbor Seal–We saw lots of these guys!

We had a super awesome time up north and then we had to come home. Back to reality. But we are no longer on a structured schedule. :)


What is next up for me:
My 4th Hood To Coast —> This weekend!

New York City Marathon —> November 2nd!! I am really excited about this. I have been waiting a really long time to do this.

Are you watching Orange is The New Black?

What do you like to do after recovering from a big race?

10 Day YOU Challenges: 7 Wants

6 Aug

Next up on the YOU challenge is 7 wants. I am kind of torn with what I want. I have plenty of “things” that I want: race wheels, a new bike, world peace, a brownie edge pan…etc. I tried to make these more realistic!! :)


1. Can I want the greatest for my family and friends?

2. Run faster. I would love to do a sub 4:30 marathon in the next couple of years.
Maybe just maybe in New York this year!

3. Change careers! Honestly I need to do some soul searching and researching. Now that Ironman is over I really need to get on this!

4. I want to travel around the world. My first stop is South America.

5. Dream BIG and challenge myself. I dream big but not always challenge myself. I am a work in progress.

6. Stay injury free. I want to be able to train and race as I am able and willing!!

7. I want a garage so I can finally hang up all of my race posters!

The newest poster to my collection!

The newest poster to my collection!

What are some of your wants?!

Fun Stuff during TAPER

4 Aug

I really wanted to get this posted before the race but obviously I didn’t! Better late than never!! This is all the fun stuff we did while in taper!!

WE took a Stand up paddleboard(SUP) lesson. We thought we were going to SUP while in the San Juan’s but never did. I brought my waterproof camera with us. I thought it would be so fun to take pictures while we were on the water. This was the only picture I got before the battery died! #epicfail

I was a little nervous. WE got a “land” lesson. We had to make our way across the river to a spot that was in a non-wind pocket. Let me tell you about crossing the river. It was 90 degrees on a Wednesday night and everyone who is anyone that has a boat was on the river! That was a little scary. They told us we could paddle across on our knees. Exactly what I did!! Our friend Mary took the lesson with us and we made our way across together. Plus it was super windy and choppy!

We got to some flat/smooth water and we could really navigate where we were going. It was super fun and I did way better than I thought! We even did a little race.

Well now that we were across the river, the lesson was over, we had to make our way back across the river! I felt pretty confident that I could get across on my feet. WE were cruising right along. I hit a couple choppy spots and I kept my balance! Then it happened! Another big chop and I was in the water. The water actually felt really good. It was so hot out and SUPing is hard work. My board had flipped and I couldn’t flip it back over with only one hand(my paddle was in my other hand). I screamed and yelled for Dan and Mary. The Portland Spirit(small cruise-tour boat) was coming right toward me. It was so funny but kind of scary all at once! Dan and Mary got back toward me and Mary held my paddle while I flipped my board and got right back on it. I stayed on my knees until we got back to shore! #keepingitreal

I am dying to go again and when I do I will have my camera all charged up!!

We had 3 date nights.

1st night:
It was nice and warm outside. We took the tram up to OHSU to see the view:
While on the tram:
When we got to the top (with the tram in the background):

Facing North: in Southwest/the river crosses over to the eastside.

We went to dinner. Played Pacman and other video games at Ground Control.

Date night #2:
We went and watched an outdoor movie real close to where we live.

The “screen” wasn’t tied down very well to begin with. It was really windy (it always is on the waterfront). But they put it back up and there was no other problems!!

They said there was no food or drink so we smuggled in popcorn and water. Little did we know people were having full on tailgates. Next time we won’t have to be so sneaky. :)


We went blueberry picking after what was probably a regular work out for most people—for us it was a taper brick!!

We picked 8 pounds of blueberries. If it had been up to Dan we would have picked like 2 pounds!! :)

Date night #3: Book Of Mormon!!

I saw it last year but Dan wanted to see it. We had a great time. If you haven’t seen it and think you want to. Pay the money and go. It is hysterical!
We casually rode our bikes the mile to the auditorium.

How do you keep your mind off of the race?!!

Ironman Canada: The Run

1 Aug

Lastly the run! Usually my least favorite part of the Ironman BUT this one was different! I actually loved it!

Run: (goal: 4:57-5:07; actual: 5:01) Well I made it through the swim and bike. The race starts here. I was to start out at 11 minute miles. That was plan A! I was out of transition. There are so many spectators and cheering. It is hard to start slow. I saw some friends and they got this shot!

I did not want to think about the fact that it felt like a thousand degrees and I had to run 26.2 miles. BUT I had a huge smile on my face. I was excited still. I was knee deep into my 4th Ironman. What was happening!!!!! I also thought ok I am going to be out here for 5 hours. Don’t think about 2 hours from now. 3 hours from now. Mile 18 or 20 or 22. Just keep focused. Keep eating and drinking. Keep moving forward and that is exactly what I did!

I looked down at my watch after I had rounded that first corner and passed most of the spectators! 10:15! Fuck! Slow down. Slow down. Slow down. I did! There is a ton of spectators in this area because we pass through it a couple of times. It was hot. I have done this before I have to start slow because there is no going back when I start walking later. I had to keep it together for at least the first half before I wanted to move to plan B. It was so hot. Basically the entire course is rolling hills. I thought just get through the first half and it would get cooler.
They had changed the course from last year. When we were there 6 weeks ago the old course was still posted and that is what we trained for. I was super happy with the changes. Way more spectator friendly.

There is a section from mile 2-4ish and 14-16ish around Lost Lake that was awesome. It was rolling on a trail and mostly shady! After that first go around I saw my mom and aunt cheering. Finally for the first time today I got to see them!

I saw a ton of other spectators I knew. There were so many people from Portland that their spectators were all over the course. It was so much fun. I was taking in my Gu. I was taking in more Perform. Gross! The aid stations were kind of wonky. There were 2 or 3 sets that were real close and then toward the end of the out and back loop there was 2 miles without aid. I was a little mad about that. I saw friends coming back. I saw the girls after I made the turn at the out and back. I thought they would be passing at any time. I just kept moving forward. I slapped lots of hands of friends and spectators.

I felt relatively good for the first loop. I use the word good loosely!! I don’t think that I could have done anything better or different that would actually make me feel good!! 

I was getting tired. I was still happy. I was definitely still smiling. I was getting this done. I was more excited because it was getting cooler or at least there was more shade. I knew I could start taking in the Coke on the second loop and I was actually pumped for that. Maybe more because I was not having any more Perform!!

I saw my mom again and she said that Dan had gotten off the bike so I was super happy to hear that. Not that I was worried but he was a little worried about making the bike cut-off! I saw Jeremy a little while later and he said that Dan was about 15 minutes ahead of me. I was going to try to catch up but we will see how long that lasts!!!

I was getting around Lost Lake for the second time. I was now “running” but really slow and trying to limit myself to walking for only 15-20 seconds at a time. There was a ton of people walking and I encouraged them. Said they looked great, nice job, keep moving forward, etc! You never know who is on their first loop or second loop.

I was cruising right along. Back by the spectators. Back by the aid stations I was now familiar with. Saw friends who were on their way to fast finishes! The Coke was good. It was more shady. I didn’t like any of our plan B, C, or D’s! I just kept moving at the pace I was going. I was mostly running with probably 2 walk breaks between aid stations but 11-12 minute miles. Nothing fast but I was happy and doing way better than I thought I would be doing!

Dan had made the turn around and was on his way back and I saw him there for a quick second. I was gaining on him but not very fast. I made the turn around. Not a whole lot left!! Could I keep it together for 5 more miles?! 5 more miles?!!! I saw the girls again we were coming home!! I was still talking to people. Some people were on their first loop and wondering if they would finish. I was very positive and encouraging!! I was just having so much fun!! I couldn’t believe I was still happy!

I finally caught up to Dan with about a 1 mile(ish) to go. Right where my fam was sitting. It was perfect because she got a picture!! I gave Dan lots of encouragement and left him at his special needs bag.

I saw Jeremy one last time. I was so close but so far away!!! I made the final turns into the village and then out of the village to the final stretch down Blackcomb. I was done. I gave lots of high fives and was happy I was done before dark!!!

I crossed the line in 13:06:02!! It was not a 12:59:59 but I could not have asked for a better day! I was super happy that I stayed mentally with it. I smiled. I had fun. I had such an amazing day!! I waited for the girls to finish. Talked with them for a bit. Went home and showered and back to where my mom and aunt were sitting to wait for Dan!

Thanks to Dan, Erica, Laura, Stephanie, Kat, Anne, Nik, Jeremey, My mom & Aunt LaVon, The Weinsofts, all my other friends competing and their spectators, and to all of you who have read my good and bad training logs and have given support and virtual cheers!!

Ironman Canada: The Bike

31 Jul

Here is the next installment of my race report! If you missed the swim: you can find it here!!

Bike: (goal: 6:35-6:57; actual: 6:45) I was off to ride 112 miles that I had ridden just 6 weeks ago! I didn’t want to get caught up in all the people riding fast and passing me. I was going to go my speed and not worry about what everyone else was doing.

My friend Scott did this race last year and he said the most important thing to do on the ride is save something for the last 22 miles. It is a climb back to Whistler. There are a few relief points and rolling back into the village but your legs are tired. You have already ridden 90 miles and you still have a marathon to go. That was always in the back of my mind. Don’t get crazy!!!

This was my ride. I was going to have fun. I was going to smile. I was excited to be able to see all of my training partners and lots of friends doing this race. I tried to break up the ride in 5 parts.

T2—>to the Callaghan climb. I just wanted to get out of transition and the road from Alta Lake to 99 pretty quick and efficient. I did that well. I really thought it would be worse trying to dodge people on the ups and getting enough momentum on the downs to get up easy. I think that went well. I got to 99 and I was supposed to start eating. I started eating an uncrustable and drank Perform while cruising through the village. Off to a good start.

The Callaghan climb. Now in practice this was my favorite part of the ride. I was looking forward to it. I started up and was feeling good. I tried to keep my power down and my cadence up. I talked with a few people trying to gauge what I had swam. The sun was out and I was nervous it would get hot fast because it was already getting warm. I ate a Picky Bar and more Perform.

I had a great time on this climb. There are some harder stretches but I stayed focused and positive. I was getting to the top and I saw a few friends flying down. I got to the turn around and I was still happy! I started down. I really thought there would be too many people clumped up and I wouldn’t be able to go down as fast as I wanted. For the most part I was flying. FUN! Most of the 6 pack(my training partners) were right behind me. I was watching for who I knew and who I could scream at. More FUN! I saw Dan and was relieved to see that he had survived the swim.

Stolen photo that is cute!  If they didn't charge so much I would buy a bunch!

Stolen photo that is cute! If they didn’t charge so much I would buy a bunch!

Bottom of Callaghan—>Pemberton. I knew what was coming. Most of this section is rolling hills. My favorite. A few hard stretches back to the village. Once I got to the village the crowd was amazing. I saw no one I knew but a couple of people called out my name. There are so many people lining the course that you couldn’t tell who you knew and who you didn’t know. I was sad that I didn’t see my mom. But I just kept moving forward. The one thing that annoyed me here was: they had made the 2 lane highway 3 lanes: 1 lane for southbound bikes; 1 for northbound bikes; 1 for cars going northbound. So the northbound bikes were essentially riding in the middle of the road with the rumble strips. Just annoying especially when you wanted to pass someone! Got through Whistler to the mostly downhill section with a few uphill sections. Started in on my 2nd uncrustable. The time was flying by. I was still happy. My back was still ok. I was trying to keep my core engaged and my hips quiet.

This is an awesome part of the course because of the downhill but once you go down….

Pemberton Flats. I couldn’t believe I was already in Pemberton. I rolled very quickly through special needs. I grabbed my ½ bottle of slushy Dr. Pepper and the rest of my bars and clif bloks. I was back to moving. I had forgotten I wanted to sit there and drink my few sips of DP but was anxious to get back to it. I thought after I left that was stupid. I didn’t even open the bottle and I didn’t get a chance to stretch out my back! Trying to figure out how to open the bottle at least gave me something to do for a few minutes! (I used my teeth: don’t tell my hygienist)!! The plan was to stay aero and stay engaged by watching my cadence: 88-92. I started in on my Snickers bar and more Perform. I couldn’t tell if the wind was in front of me or behind me. I was positive. I was engaged. I was still happy. I looked at the beauty around me. I also wondered why nobody I knew had passed me yet. I was looking forward to seeing friends again. I was cruising right along. Almost to the turn around. Almost to the turn around.

I was headed home. The girls were still right behind me. I still couldn’t believe it! I ate another Picky Bar and more Perform. Every bottle of Perform got more and more gross. At least it was cold!! It was hot out there too! I started passing a bunch of people. Still feeling relatively good. Again I yelled at everyone I knew and told the people I passed good job. I stopped at the bathroom right before the climb back (at mile 90). I got off my bike (and was not as bad as it was when I got off my bike at mile 80 at IMAZ) reapplied some chamois butter (made a HUGE difference) and I was back on the road.

Pemberton—>climb back to Whistler. Well it was here. I was already at mile 90. I think I was right about 5 hours. I ate a Lara Bar and choked down more Perform. I still felt good. I was still happy. I was mostly excited to do this climb and get off my bike. Right out of the gate there are 2 steep pitches that aren’t super fun even when you haven’t been on your bike for 5 hours! I got through those ok. I passed a ton of people. It was HOT!!! The sun was beating down on us. NO cloud cover. No trees. NOTHING! HOT!!!

I thought I will be lucky to get a sub 7 hour split. It was hard but I was doing ok. I knew I was hydrated. I knew I had been eating and drinking enough. My salt tabs went down easy. I was still smiling.

another stolen photo!

another stolen photo!

I was passing a guy about mile 100ish. I heard his tire start wheezing and I thought you poor bastard. It was so fucking hot! I just kept thinking don’t get a flat. Don’t run anything over!! There were people on the side of the road with bike problems. There were people on the side of the road that were obviously dehydrated/too hot/waiting for the sag wagon. I felt bad for all of them. I felt like I was going slow but I knew I would get it down. Just don’t get a flat!!!!!! 

I ate another Picky Bar and pouring water over my head. It.was.so.hot!!!!!!

I saw the sign for Whistler. 10K to go. So close but so far away. At this point most of the work was done. I was chomping on clif bloks just trying to get in the last of my nutrition. I have made the mistake before and stopped eating too early. Losing out on 100s of calories and wondering why I didn’t have enough energy to run!! It was back to rolling hills. I could see the people who were already running. So lucky!

The crowds were amazing the last mile of the bike. I tried getting mental prepared for the run while trying to finish off the bike.

All of a sudden I was at the dismount line with a 6:45 split. I.would.take.it!!!!!

T2: (goal <3:00; actual: 2:18) Another very fast Transition. You basically get off your bike; your bag is right there; you get right into the tent. I had an awesome volunteer who took my 4 items out of my bag. I took off my helmet and shoes. I put my run shoes on. The volunteered sprayed on my sunscreen. I am actually glad she did because I probably would have been to careless and not gotten enough on. She even sprayed some in her hands to wipe on my face even after I told her just to spray it on my face. She helped me with my race belt and I was walking out the door with my visor. I had all of my Gus in my race belt. As I was walking out I transferred them to my pockets and it began.

I had survived the swim. I survived the ride without any problems. I knew I had done everything thing I was supposed to do. I had hydrated. I had eaten all of my nutrition. I paced myself well. I just had a marathon to run!!

Ironman Canada: Pre-Race & Swim

30 Jul

The time came! Ironman Canada was here! I couldn’t believe we were leaving Portland!!

Arrival Thursday: Check in to condo, get settled in, race registration, grabbed a pizza from Misty Mountain Pizza that was amazing! Bed early!

Friday: We met for a quick ride/run “brick.”
Athlete Briefing. He basically read us the athlete guide!

My mom and aunt arrived in the afternoon. We met up with them and checked out the expo again to show them where everything was happening! Sugoi had a poster center at their booth. My mom and I made signs for Dan and I!
Man had it only been this cloudy and cool on race day!!

Saturday: We took our bikes to transition and dropped our bags at T1/T2.
The group was going for a quick swim. I opted out because we weren’t really swimming, it was choppy, and I didn’t want to wash my hair again. 

Everything was set. We met up with my family and Dan’s family was arriving in the afternoon. We hung out in the shade for a few hours in the afternoon chatting.
Lululemon had a big window sticker of all the Ironman participants! We finally cracked the code and figured out how they were listed! (by age group/alphabetical)


They gave us well wishes and sent us off to make dinner and get in bed early!

Sunday: Go time!! We walked down to T2 to drop our special needs bags. We got on the shuttle to head over to the lake. We got set up, pumped tires, went to the bathroom, talked to some peeps and then it was time to get in the water (about 6:45).
The sun was out in full force!

The calm before the storm!!

The calm before the storm!!


Swim: (goal 1:08-1:10; actual: 1:13) The swim is 2 laps. (unlike IMCdA and I think IMLP—we did not have to get out of the water between laps) Quickie warm up. I got to where I wanted to be. In the front 3 or 4 feet from the buoy. We waded and waded. No countdown. Nothing. The gun went off and we were swimming. It was a total battlefield from the beginning. The entire first stretch was miserable. I was beat up pretty good. A few times I almost got pushed under but I fought back. We got to the first turn buoy and the sun was directly in our eyes. You couldn’t see anything and there was no sighting but trying to keep up. Just hoping everyone around me was “sighting” ok. Finally got to turn again. I finally had some space. I thought great I can finally just swim!! Just like that I was in a huge crowd of people again. I had guys that were literally swimming in a diagonal in front of me. I couldn’t get away from anyone! The first lap went by in what I thought was a fast lap. I didn’t check my watch because it was under my wetsuit!

Second lap: here we go. I thought for sure I would get a little more room. I was wrong. The entire stretch was just like the first. Why couldn’t I get any space? Why wasn’t it thinning out at all?!

I am not sure if I have expressed this to you all my readers but I decided a while ago I was done with IM races. Too much training. Too much work. Dan and I joked this was my retire-man.

Back to the swim. I thought I am never doing an Ironman again but if I decided too (wink-wink) I am NEVER EVER MARK MY WORDS doing a mass start again!! I think that it is such bull shit that some of the races are now self seeded and by age group. I know that it is part of the experience but you can’t just change some of the races and not all of them! Stupid!

I got to the stretch that the sun was in our eyes. It was even worse than the first time around. I couldn’t see anything. It was insane. I am sure I lost time there. Still with the battle field until the last bouy. We were on our way home. It really thinned out there because there was a huge stretch of water. Of course you could barely see the Subaru arch! I got through exited the water and realized my watch was never started. Wah Wah! Didn’t know what my time was. I run through the wetsuit strippers and no one is available. I thought well I don’t have time to wait so I just took it off almost as quick as they could have got it off!

I felt like it was a FAST swim. I didn’t get my swim split until I finished. I did look at the “real” time while on the run at some point and had kind of figured it out! I was a little disappointed with the time because I did that distance 6 weeks ago 4 minutes faster but obviously not with 1900 of my best friends! It does not really matter. The swim is such a fraction of the race!

T1: (goal <6:00; actual: 3:35) I knew this would be a fast transition because there was no room at the park to make us run all of the place. (like my other 3 IM races) I grabbed my bag. Headed to the change tent. A volunteer dumped out my bag. I put sunscreen, my sunglasses, helmet, sweat(wrist)band, my socks, and shoes on. The volunteer put my wetsuit in the bag and took it away from me. I ran out quick and down the long stretch of bikes. My bike was pretty much in the most prime spot in transition. Right next to the bike out.
This was how close I was! This was Saturday when I dropped my bike off!!
This was how close I was!! This was Saturday at bike drop off!

I grabbed my bike and I was off! Another long run out of transition to the mount line. You are basically starting on a hill so you better be in a low gear!!

I was off to a great start! I was smiling and happy the swim was done!!


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