Monday, July 29, 2013

Adventures in Race Organizing, Adventures in Pizza, and A Cool Cookbook

Race Organizing: 

It is not for sissies.  Luckily, people are really excited about the project so I'm finding there's plenty of enthusiastic volunteers who are lining up for help in various quarters.  I have a well-populated checklist so far.  It hasn't been too difficult to start lining up sponsors for things like prizes and goodies in the goody bags.  I'm just nervous about getting all these parts to fall into place! 

But if you are thinking about this race and you are in Oregon or will be in Oregon on Nov. 9, block out 10AM to noon on your calendar for the most fun Diocesan event in the universe.  Trust me.  You WANT to be here for this!

Adventures in Pizza: 

On Saturday, I volunteered at Tri at the Grove.  Previously, I seem to remember these amazing burritos.  This year, they had pizza instead.  Lovely, greasy, delicious-looking pizza.  They had no vegan options, but everyone else was eating what was clearly the best pizza in the world.  They were singing odes to the pizza, dancing in joy with their pizza slices, and chowing down on cheese, pepperoni, and veggies.  There was even a gluten free option.  (But no vegan.)  

"How bad," thought I, "can one bite be?  I've been recovering so well for a while now.  Perhaps just one bite will be just fine.  Besides," I rationalized, "the doctor says to experiment on occasion to find out what I can tolerate."  

I ate one bite.  And then I ate the crust.  The crust, I figured, had less cheese than other parts of the pizza and was just the bread. 

Well, the good news is that the lactaid minimizes the worst of it.  But there were other bad, bad, very bad things that happened.  And the least of the bad things is the stuffy face/allergy-style reaction like hay fever.  

Damn.  No more pizza for a while.  

Cool cookbook: 
On the bright side, a fun parishioner gave me this: 

It is a vegan Sriracha cookbook.  So entirely dairy-safe and delicious.  I chucked out some of the menu items I had planned and made this for a side dish instead: 
That, my friends, is a Sriracha succotash.  The sweet corn really cuts the bite of Sriracha.  

Can't wait to try the peanut butter Sriracha cookies.  

Pot lucks this year are going to be epic.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Race Report: The Finisher! (M)

Yesterday, we went down to Tri at the Grove.  I did this race last year, but this year it was M's turn!  With his lovely Specialized Allez just spoiling for a race, he decided it was time to COMMIT.  When that man commits, he doesn't fool around.  

He went for the Olympic. 

He followed a careful diet for months to prepare.  The plan was called "Your wife has discovered that she can't eat dairy anymore, so you are (out of sheer sweetness) are going to learn to make almond milk and a parmesan cheese substitute made of cashews."  It was supplemented by "Shouldn't we be taking a multivitamin?" and "We haven't gone grocery shopping, which coffeeshop has the vegan muffins?" 

His training plan was equally arduous.  Some days, he interval-ran the Ridgeline trail in the direction of "No, that's not the direction I usually go, but I guess we'll try this way and see what happens".  Other days, he went biking on the hills-only-workout.  As in, we live in the hills so every workout is a hills workout.  His best workout ever was the "found abandoned dogs in the middle of a heat wave and saved their lives".  His favorite swim workout was the "You don't actually want to swim outside while it's raining, do you, really?"  

And at 4:30 AM yesterday, we tossed his bags into the car and headed out. 

It's helpful to have a wife who's done tris before, because he borrowed my bento box and my tri bag and even my beloved running hat.  Obviously, they are good luck.  But I really hope he tosses that bento box in the wash before giving it back to me.  And the hat, too.  

The sun rose.  
Actual picture of first rays of sun coming over the hills. 

I was volunteering in the transition area for the race.  Initially, I thought I'd be able to help M set up.  Yeah, that wasn't working out so well.  He shooed me away so he could set up his own space.  So I did my transition area volunteer thing, which mostly consisted of giving people pointers on the course. 

The gun went off, the samba band played, and in they all went!
Yeah, I have no idea where he is in this photo, either.  The line in the water is the swimmers, and he was in there.  The swim is incredibly anonymous, so you just have to trust in your loved one's survival.  The best part of the swim was watching the safety kayakers and standing boarders and boaters gradually converging on and escorting in the final swimmer.  It says a lot about the safety of this course, and a lot about how nice and friendly people are.  They will wait for you to finish this course! Even at the end, while awards were going on and most everyone had finished, the finish line people and the announcer stayed, announcing and cheering every single finisher, down to the very last little old lady.  Because we know we all want to be the 89 year old lady who finishes a triathlon, when we grow up.  

M came in from the swim looking kind of disoriented, but so do many people.  He went to grab his bike, and I was very busy calling out numbers and making sure people hit the mats so they could be timed correctly.  My job consisted of yelling, "WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER!" at people so we could track them all.  

I didn't see him again until he came in from the bike.  I ran down to take pictures.  I can't help out in any way, of course, but he was FOCUSED. 
Oh, sorry, are you not as distracted by the pretty BMCs as I am? Dream bike...
Here he is, coming in from the bike. 

As a spectator, I discovered that tri is a study in HURRY UP and WAIT.  There's a ton of pre race jitters, then the excitement of the start, then you pretty much lose your person for the duration of the swim.  Then it's EXCITEMENT as he comes out of the water, and then you wait and wait while he's on the bike.  Then it's ADVENTURE as he goes off on the run... and then a game of watching the clock and guessing his finish time and wondering how he liked his first tastes of Heed. 

Answer: Not much.  The stuff really tastes like stewed feet.  But he agrees with me that the Hammer gels are the best gels ever gifted to the universe.  Which will be a problem, because previously, he was energy-food flexible, and now I am afraid I am going to have to fight my beloved over my Picky Bars and my Hammer gels.  

Off he goes on the run!

A good strong finish!  

All decked out in his fancy medal with the nice ribbon.  I really like the Rolf Prima medals.  They are a nice multisport design!  

Plus, best cheerleader ever.  Seriously, you guys want friends like this on your team!  

All in all, M is a FINISHER of his first Olympic, and already thinking about what he will do next! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Adventures in race organizing

So I have been mostly relaxing.  I've been reading a lot about post race recovery- I realized I hadn't thought about it at all.  Most sources seem to say to are it really easy for week one. (And others seem to suggest that recovery may take as long as a month for newbies and undertrained people!)  Refuel, rest. Light walking and stretching. So I took a walk from work to the county fairgrounds (10 minutes) and then ambled around the Fair with M. Corncobs may have been eaten.  

I was surprised to discover how hungry I am all of the sudden.  It's not the normal pre race feed me.  It's FEED ME NOW OR DIE!!! I am trying to focus on veggies and proteins to satisfy those urges.  At least the water retention is starting to resolve. By Monday evening, I was up 8 pounds!  Now I've lost four as of this morning and am rapidly heading towards six.  So I hope to be back to Normal soon.  

After our air grounds walk, I was rapidly afflicted with Deadweight Disease, where every body part feels so heavy.  So I have to remember to not push it! 

In race news, I'm working on food sponsorships now. Hopefully, I can get some donated foodies for our race in November!  Starting this early is helping me work on the "elevator speech"- what we are running and why. It'll be fun!  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Post-Race Reflections

When I woke up this morning, I gave some serious thought to simply dying right there in my bed.  Fortunately, after some coffee, an egg, and a solid dose of Aleve, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  There are some residual GI and water retention issues, but reading other race reports seem to support that is pretty common and will resolve in 3-7 days.  If you have done these races, you know what I'm talking about.  If you have not done these races, you are thanking your stars that I'm being vague. 


What's been going through my head?  Lots.  

I had lots of goals at the beginning of the summer.  Speed goals.  Transition goals.  Time goals for individual events.  

All of those went out the window.  My goal became finish, alive.  

Yes, I was pretty undertrained for this race.  The swimming was good- in the end, it was the battle of nerves that did me in, not the physical toll.  I need to learn to warm up better and to shake off the jitters more quickly.  

The bike was great.  I was solid on the bike, though I torched my legs.  Could I have saved some energy?  I don't know.  I think my trouble on the bike (and the resulting speed drop and questioning whether life was worth living while on that mile 40 hill) was largely due to nutrition.  

The run... well, this is where I was most seriously undertrained.  I just didn't put in the mileage that one needs for a run like that.  The main obstacle was life stress.  My brain was just not there in the run training. 

I had been having GI troubles for a long time.  The problems peaked after my e-Coli-in-Mexico incident, and never resolved.  I started seeing a doctor in May about the issues, but she was a lousy doctor.  It wasn't until July and a new doctor that the diagnosis of a dairy allergy was handed down, so from May through July, my life was all about the experimentation of what I could eat and trying to completely change my diet. The new doctor had a long talk with me and gave me some excellent guidance that has helped tremendously.  Since starting with him, most of my GI, sinus, and joint issues have cleared up.  I feel so normal, at last.  

So it's all about learning to eat in a new way.  

I used to get protein balance from things like milk and yogurt and cheese.  After some trial and error, and plenty of reliance on No Meat Athlete and the Thrive book, we have ended up in a Paleo-esque vegetarian sort of plan.  I get the eMeals Paleo plan, and sub out the meat for vegetarian protein sources like tofu and rice and beans.  At every meal, I consciously add a protein source.  The numbers balance out again, and this seems to be working pretty well.

In particular, I am convinced that the Thrive salad dressings are magical unicorn food.  And the energy bar formula off No Meat Athlete- dude posts that for free.  I'd have paid for that.  It's delish.  

The flip side?  Well, I would never, never, never recommend that anyone change their diet so drastically mid-season, let alone within a month of race day.  Some nutritionists believe that it takes your body anywhere from 3 weeks to 4 months to adjust to a new way of eating.   

I guess major dietary changes are almost like an injury.  I had to throw some goals like speed out the window, because I had to focus on learning what to eat without getting sick.  

Coaches and teams
I really missed my team this year.  The tri club changed owners.  So I missed out on group workouts and bitch-and-moan sessions with teammates, and on all the advice I used to glean from a seasoned athlete/coach. 

Next time I do one of these, I'm definitely going to get proper coaching.  

Life stress
Ultimately, I think this was my major factor in this race.  Life stress is sort of out of control right now, with M's ongoing job hunt, uncertainty, financial stress, work stress, and even simple things like not getting to adopt the sweet dog we rescued (she was deemed too big for our apartment and given to someone else).  

I don't know if people who have had these major stressors are choosing the worst time possible to do an Ironman, or if it just adds to our badass factor.  Basically, I survived a major endurance event, and I wasn't last, and I did it despite everything else.  Bring it on, life,  I win?  

People are already asking when I'm doing my next one.  Ironman has been sending me emails for months to get me to sign up for another one!  Back off, little doggy, back off.  Yes, I think I'll do another... but I can't plan for it right now.  

I think that right now, I need to take some stress off.  It means I need to not train for events and just do things for fun.  I need to ride for just myself for a while.  I need to ride to enjoy the scenery and to have adventures without caring about my speed or my time or my splits.  I need to ride without guilt that riding means slacking on something else.  I need to ride for the joy and for no other goal.  I'm putting away the race watch for a while.  

As for this blog... well, I am now a race director myself!  My work has decided to sponsor a Trees for Tilori 5K in the fall, and I am in charge!  So this blog will now start to focus on all the trials and travails of organizing a race. The spreadsheets will be epic.  I don't plan to run this race as I'll be running logistics, but if you are in Oregon, I hope that you will come!  It'll be Nov. 9, 10AM-noon, and I guarantee  it will be fun!  

Monday, July 22, 2013

(Half)Ironman! Race report

So you don't have to read this whole post if you don't want to... 

Name shirt.  Mine is in the 0. 

Anyway, my teammates had a great house less than a five minute walk from the race start/finish.  This made for an awesome stay.  We could make our own food and walk to the start, making for a nice race day morning.  I wished I brought more vegetarian food, but I survived, using my "eat meat if its the safest option" theory.  I figured I needed extra calories and fat and protein the day before the race, so without quinoa, it was a meaty subway day for me. And pasta. Can't remember when I last had pasta with sauce,but my eyes got big and I ate a whole lot the night before.  

We showed up bright and early on race day... Or should I say foggy and early! I could barely see the buoys in the fog.  I set up my transition area. Now the night before, I experimented with packing my bag in a different way. Remember all those pre race anxiety dreams, most of which involved me forgetting something  in transition? Remember those! 

   Jitters made it really hard to eat anything substantial, so I chocked down a Picky Bar and made about 17 trips to the bathroom.  By race time, I was in line #18 when I saw my wave lining up, so I ran off to join the wave.  I gave my cochlear to my #1 cheerleader, aka official special needs guy (he had a special bracelet and everything!), and in we went! 

I'm kinda disappointed in my 50 minute swim.  I think it just takes me a really long time to warm up in water, so for the first half mile, I just couldn't crawl stroke.  I back stroked until I felt warm and comfortable.  I need to learn how to get warmed up more quickly or better.  On the bright side, by buoy #8, I told myself I was being ridiculous and I did not work so hard on my swim just to back stroke the whole damn swim.  So I forced myself to turn over and then I was off like a shot!  I bet I swam the last half mile in 20 minutes, flat.  Thanks, coach Judy! 

Transition went ok, except for me being frustrated by my swim.  
A day before picture of the swim.  

My BMC racked up! 

I am really glad we drove the bike course the day before.  It is technical, meaning the terrain is a 
Little tricky, so you need to know when to hit the speed and when to gear down for a climb to really get the most out of the ride.  I went out way too hard (but was having fun!) and torched my legs in this ride, but I really think I left it all on the course. So I'm glad for that.  I hit a bit of a wall around the second half of the ride, when the climbs really started hurting.  I still hit a bunch of the rollers really well, so I am proud of my rolling and climbing, but I could tell I wasn't getting as much power.  I think it was a combo of a tough course plus wonky nutrition.  I was right on the edge of being nauseous all race day- so I have some work to do on my nutrition.  The powerbar perform worked amazingly well for me- some people complained it was salty, but I loved it.  I tried the trick of taping my gels to my top tube, which also worked great... I just need to force myself to eat more of them.  

I still feel likea strong cyclist. I dropped a few tri bikes early on and played catch and go with another one for most of the ride.  It's always fun to blow by a tri bike!

It's not an idle nickname! 

Overall, this was the grossest bike ride I've ever had! Let's just say that my gloves and arm warmers are now in the wash.  Also, the aid stations didnt give us open powerbar stuff. One guy unscrewed the cap entirely, so when I tried to take a drink the cap fell off and drink sloshed all over me.  The second bottle was screwed on tightly, and opening it while it was in the bottle cage of a moving bike was... Interesting.  In the end, drink was sloshed all over me and the bike.  Your knees are right near the bottle cages, so my knees were really sticky, which bugged me for a long time!  I kept wondering how to rinse off my knees.  

There is one notorious climb at mile 40- it was the one place where I doubted that I would make it up the rest of the ride. I didn't see anyone walking but there was a lot of high fiving and "good jobs" with competitors when we all topped out. That was really tough!  Thankfully, I knew it was a short hill- it was just punchy.  


Easily the toughest part of the race.  I am not a runner!  I grabbed most of my stuff and headed out... Where to my horror, I discovered I had left T2 without my race number!  That was where I really started crying because I was afraid I would get disqualified.  (It's a penalty- 4 minutes!) I stopped at the first aid station to ask an official and she said I was ok.  I could only hope that I could run back to transition when the race looped around.  

It was soon to get worse.
See that race number? Yeah. Super important! 

Barely into the run, I started feeling a hot spot in the heel of my shoe...which had NEVER bothered me before! Soon, it was a large blister.  I stopped to adjust things, but it was no good- the blister just keep building until around mile three as I approached the loop that went near transition.  It burst and I felt a warm wet feeling filling my shoe. 

I actually thought, "oh good, maybe the blood will lubricate things!" 

By this point I was crying from pain as well as from forgetting my number.  Thankfully, I saw M my #1 cheerleader and screamed out about my number. He yelled back something about keep running and he'd go do something about it.  As I was on the out and back, he yelled at me to look at the ground and there was my number!  I scooped it up and happily pinned it on!  I had been so upset, berating myself for f**king up my race like this and how I was going to get so disqualified, and here it was!  Yay for my race number fairy!  (Side note- it is both a penalty to get help and to not wear a race number, so I'm very lucky that I didn't get caught.  If I had been in contention for a podium or championship spot, I would have not accepted the spot. As it was, I am so far back in my age group and doing my first of these ironman tris, so I am chalking this up to a rookie mistake.) 

The pain in my foot was worse and worse.  It felt like getting a knife through my tendon! And did I mention the blister burst at mile 3? Now my other foot was working on a hot spot at the same spot. I slowed down to a walk/run combo, and just battled through the pain.  Just kept ticking off numbers- 7 miles, 8 miles, 9 miles, four to go, 10 miles, just one 5k, 12 miles... Just run like it was the only mile I had to run that day!  

As I approached the finish chute, M had told my name to these super cheerleader bystanders so everyone was screaming my name like I was the winner! (That was cool!) As you go through the chute, they say stuff about you- wish I could remember what I heard!  Something about where I was from and "for the first time..." But I was running literally through a fog of pain.  You hear that all the time, but really, my whole world was nothing but getting through that chute so I could stop running and take off my shoe!  I got through! Some volunteers grabbed me- from watching others, I think they were the ones who took off your timing chip and gave you your medal and a hat.  The photo man took my picture, and someone gave me a water bottle which I immediately stuffed down my front.  You would too.  
The chute, the day before! 

By this point I was crying for real, and this one lady near me was just all "awwwww". Then I took off my shoe which was soggy with blood and made a very satisfying SQUELCH sound. Then the people around me a sound like "wow" with more than a few sympathy pain faces.  Nothing is so good in suffering as validation! 

It was so good to get the shoe off.  You know what was not so good?  When I went for my race massage and the therapist and I thought I should clean the blood off first.  We tried hand sanitizer.  Yeah, not going to try that again!  

After watching the last of my team come in, it was off to well earned burgers and beer! 

People are already asking if I was going to do another.  Some people decide within 10 minutes of racing! I want a week or so... 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It has already begun...

So I left work around 3 to go drop off some paperwork to reserve a park for a big fall event (news to come soon!) and dropped by REI. 

Ironman didnt tell me what will be served on the race course, so I go prepared.  After a rough start with Hammer products, the gels have become my favorites ever.  The Clif stuff is my old standby, and of course, a salt stick for this cramp-prone girl.  I think I go through electrolytes at four times the rate of other humans, even though I sweat 1/4 as much.

I don't expect to eat all this and my picky bars. I just like having choices.  I'll put some of these on my bike and some in T2. That way I can grab what I want.  

Now I'm just making dinner (spaghetti squash topped with quinoa and sauce) and getting ready to start packing.  

In very sad news, I had a right toenail that had been bugging me for a few days, and I left it alone.  Turns out I had ripped it while running, and my WHOLE FREAKING TOENAIL WAS RIPPED OFF.  So now I have a sore toe from a ripped off toenail.  Ouch. I bet the bugs in the lake will enter my body through my toe and I shall die around mile 7 of the run.  

It was nice knowing y'all.  

Anyway, I expect to have a race report to post on Monday! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Race Number

My race number will be #465.  There's a lot of people in my age group, which means I have a good chance of not finishing last!  Yay!

I think you can follow me on race day.  M will be coming as my support person and house cook.  We are sharing a house with a bunch of teammates and trust me, it will be amazeballs to have M cooking!

As it stands...

My swim is way stronger than last year.

My bike is about the same.  I miss my bike a lot because since the route has so little climbing compared to what I'm used to, I decided not to worry about the bike at all.

My run is woefully undertrained and it's entirely possible I may die.  It was nice to know y'all.

I have embarked on my last week before the race preparations.

No coffee, just yerba mate.  So that on race day when I get my Smooth Caffeinator Picky Bar on the bike, I am out of the T1 area like a bat outta hell.

Lots of protein.  No real carb loading for me, until a day or so before the race, I up my carbs to get a few extra sandwiches.  Yummy.  Maybe a little pasta the night before.  But not a lot.  I don't like loading down with a ton of carbs.  My body has never appreciated it.  I pretty much have to eat normally and then eat a lot on the bike.

I tried carb-loading once.  It was horrible.  I would be a terrible competitive eater.

This year is SO challenging with the no-dairy thing.  It means no pre (or post!) race pizza or ice cream. On one hand, my numbers on the scale are consistently dropping and I finally know the difference between a cold and allergies.  So I feel so much better than I did a year ago.  On the other hand, it's a HUGE nutrition change to make in the middle of the season, and I am still adjusting.

My race ambitions have been totally derailed.  I had wanted to do an Olympic this season with a 9-minute off-the-bike pace.  (I was on track for that earlier).  But with the dairy allergy, and the major nutrition change, my focus has changed to "learn how to not bonk and what energy bars are safe to eat".

Picky Bars save my bacon.

I wonder how Picky Bars taste WITH bacon?

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Well, my training plan (so well organized in the beginning!) pretty much went straight to heck about two months ago.  It was a combo of getting M back from his long away-at-work, and being my own interim while I hire a new staff member, and having to completely change my diet mid season...

So ultimately, I feel just really tired, really hungry, and really terrified that I'm actually trying to race in a few weeks.  

I am going to do Barre3 workouts because Sadie Lincoln makes me feel happy and strong dang it!, and ease up.  No more builds for me between now and race. Small workouts.  But I don't think I'll benefit from trying to add anything else in right now.  

Ultimately- I wish I had been more regular with Barre3. I love those workouts and they are so good for my core and stretchiness. But I felt so shy at first trying to do it in front of M, and then it got so hot and my upstairs is a roasty house in the heat wave.  I know, excuses, excuses, but that's what a training journal is for.  So back on the core strength bandwagon during taper. 

I would never advise changing your diet mid-season.  Learning to go without dairy has been a nightmare. I was so dependent on yogurt and cheese sticks for snacks and protein.  Having to give all that up, and user a lousy doctor, meant my carbs and protein ratio got way put of whack.  Finally, a doctor switch left me with a good doc who had a long talk about nutrition which has been helpful.  I am settling back in, and am down 10 pounds from April, putting me right at the upper level of ok-to-race weight.  Over the next year I would like to lose 5-10 more, but it will need to be a slow process for me.  

But normally, I would have done something like this over the winter or in the fall.  I'd never do something like this mid season... Unless I HAD to. 

And I did.  The dairy free stuff continues to rock my world.  Sinus issues... Gone. Headaches... Gone.  Tummy troubles... Resolving quickly, so I actually feel like race nutrition is a solvable puzzle at last.  So it was a good call by my new doctor, who classified it as an actual allergy. It means no dairy at all, for the most part (if I want dairy, I need allergy medicine and Lactaid!). He believes my episode of food poisoning probably pushed my body over the edge. For some people, their bodies heal after a while.  For some people, it's forever.  Only time will tell.  

So no dairy reactions this week... Although there might have been a little in a meal I had earlier. Thankfully I was loaded up on my just in case drugs.  

Alrighty. Off to my morning of meetings, and then an afternoon of whipping more stuff into shape.  

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Butte to Butte 2013 race report!

We both ran the Butte to Butte today- easily my favorite 4th of July tradition! M had a crazy good race, at 58:48.  I was a few minutes behind at 1:01:17.  Still a huge improvement over our first year when we were in the 1:10's! I was sorta hoping for a sub-1 hour, but that was going to work out. Wanna know why? Course ya do! 
Last night- baseball!

It started last night, when we went out to the Eugene Emeralds game with friends.  Fun ballpark, great ballpark beer, fun minor league game, and of course, ballpark food.  Following doctor's orders (or more like, Doctor said 'if you MUST eat dairy, do this'), I loaded up on Lactaid and allergy meds.  It helped the wort of the reaction, so I didn't get the worst of the gut pain, but I did get the funky sinuses.  Let's just say I'd better be real careful not to do this on a regular basis.  I woke up this morning with my guts in a little bit of a roil, but otherwise feeling ok. Oh, and my ankles were way swollen.  That's what I get for not hydrating with anything but a pint of good beer and strawberry lemonade! Into the compression socks.  

We got to the race start, put our warmup clothes into a bag, changed into running shoes, and then I used the bathroom about 15 times.  Then off we went to our starting corral! 

I started strong, pacing M. He was so strong he didn't even stop on that big hill.  I slowed to a walk, though... I was getting MAJOR HEARTBURN!  (Part of the dairy reaction).  I tried so hard to keep it down.  I massaged my tummy.  I swallowed. I walked.  I tried desperately to do anything to quiet my angry gut down!  

And then, out of NOWHERE, "BRAAAAAAAPPPPPPP!!!!!" I let out the most supersonic burp in the world.  Seriously, runners around me stopped and stared.  "Oh that felt good!" Said I, and it really did. I let off two more, and thankfully that settled the tummy and the rest of my race was un eventful and strong.  If I hadn't had that tummy issue, I bet that time goal of mine would have been In the bag. 

Overall, I am realizing that gels or blox are necessary for me on the runs.  I cannot stomach chewable solids, but I can't do just plain water, either, for optimal performance. In Ironman 70.3, that won't be an issue.  My one quibble with B2B is that their on course aid stations are sorta terrible. Not well run (at many of them, you have to pick up your own cup and sometimes even fill it!), and always just plain water.  Let year, I ran with Gatorade, and should have done that this year, too.  

The finish line festival was great, though, their best yet! I got trail mix, bananas, a Sobe drink, a stress ball, a coke and Pepsi sample, a frisbee, and a water bottle for my throwaway collection.  Then we joined friends for late breakfast at the vegan breakfast joint. Yummy biscuits and gravy!  

Still smiling after a race.  Good ending! 

All in all, excellent. 

We leave tomorrow morning for some camping and a little open water swimming in exotic Oregon locals! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

M, Dog Hero, Saver of Puppies

I was all set to post about my awesome swim workout yesterday where I swam 38 laps in 40 minutes. This is a little over a mile, and a whopping 7 or so minutes off my previous best (the backstroke at Leadman).  I can't remember how long it's taken me to swim miles before, so I figured this was a good start.  

But then the afternoon got a lot more exciting.  I went back to work, and M went out for a run on the Ridgeline trail, starting from Willamette street. As he approached the trailhead on the other end on Blanton road, he saw two dogs.  

They were coming up to people and being friendly, but otherwise were sticking close to the trail head sign. Worse yet...

Nothing but a small, dry yogurt cup.  The dogs were very hot and panting heavily.  M looked around for owners.  He checked for tags.  The dogs were wearing collars with bells but not tags.  He rallied a few nearby hikers who took their water bottles and made impromptu water dishes for the dogs, as Martin ran for his car on the other side of the butte. 

Then he called me, trying to explain the story, ask for driving directions to the trailhead, and plan help for the dogs all at once.  

I got confused.  

The conversation ended with me giving him directions based on a lousy map that Eugene posts on its website, packing up a gallon of water with a dish, and driving out to the trailhead myself.  Where I met M who beat me there by a few minutes.  He was playing with the dogs.  

They ran right up to me. 

They were both friendly and polite and happy to be getting attention.  We gave them water which they slurped down.  And we asked a few hikers if they knew if there were owners.  No one knew anything.  Night was a few hours away, and there was no water on the trail.  Worse, we know there are bears and cougars on the butte, according to the signs!  

We called animal control.  We had missed the closing time, and the shelter would reopen at 10AM. 

It wasn't a hard decision to take them home for the night.  They gleefully hopped into M's car and I went to the store to get some dog food and a rawhide bone each. 

Poor little girls were hungry!  They weren't starved or underweight, but they definitely had not eaten today.  

They are housebroken, walk nicely on a leash, and are happy to see people. 

We went for a nice little neighborhood jaunt this morning, and they only pee outside.  Their housebreaking is spot on.  They also don't bark.  

We did take them to the shelter, where the shelter actually found an ad listing them!  The owner had been trying to find a new home for them, so the shelter will research their story to see if they had a new owner yet.  They have to stay at least a week. But now we know their names and that they are both full grown.  

It is very good we took them in.  Aside from predators, these dogs were going up to all the cars looking to make friends.  They could have gotten hit by a car.  And without water, they could have gotten very sick from dehydration.  They enjoyed their stay at Casa Triathlete!

Meanwhile at home... 
is not at all sorry to see his temporary dog sisters depart.  He wasn't all that sure what he thought of the funny smell.  

But he really liked the special treats which he thought we left on the counter just for him. 

Someone tell our cats they are NOT dogs?  

So that was the dramatic story of How M Saved The Puppies.