Wow. It’s almost here.
Am I ready? Wow..I hear that a lot from friends and family.
So am I ready? I don’t know really. How do you know? It’s not like I went out and did the entire Ironman to see if I could do it. But I did do a LOT of training. Could I have done more? Sure. I’m sure I could have REALLY pushed myself to swim and bike more, but …. I know my swim is what it is and won’t really improve until I get some one on one training. So I concentrated on just being able to do the distance. I’ve done over 2.4 miles a couple of times in the last month so I’m sure I can do the distance. What I’m NOT sure of is can I handle the pushing, the shoving, the kicking, and the elbowing that goes on right at the start. A little nervous about that. One gal at our Team Blaze meeting last weekend had a black eye. I asked her how she got it and she said someone kicked her at the Boise 70.3 event during the swim. Yikes! (Oh, by the way…she’s also doing Ironman this weekend! Woh!)
The bike: Well, the bike is probably my weakest of the three disciplines. Too bad since it’s also the longest! But, I’ve ridden the hills many many times and am pretty familiar with them and while I’ll not be blazing up any of them I am able to bury my head and just slowly spin up using my 3rd chain ring. Yup..I’m a wimp. I have a 3rd chain ring. And I have to tell you I’m GLAD I have it. I don’t use it a ton, but on the really steep sections of the bigger hills. I think it’s the only way I’ll be able to have any legs left to do the run.
The run: Normally this is my strong suit, but jeepers….a MARATHON after doing 112 mile bike and 2.4 mile swim? Let’s put this another way: A MARATHON after doing over 8 HOURS of biking and swimming? Yikes! THAT’s going to be a challenge!
So many people I talk with say, “Get ready for a looooonnnnnggggg day”. Yeah, probably around 14.5 hours.
So why do I do it? Well that’s a very good question.
I’m sort of still working on that answer.
Keeps me out of trouble (HA!)
Enables me to be able to do….anything, or at least I ‘think’ I can
I just plain love it!
So, this Sunday @ 7:00 AM I’ll dip my toes into the Coeur d’Alene Lake to start, well, no, to finish a quest I started over 5 years ago:
To do an Ironman
It feels so funny…this waiting….Sure I’m doing a little of this and a little of that, but pretty much the training is done. And it feels so strange. The calm before the storm? Yeah, kind of. There’s an inner calmness and peace I feel, and I’m so thankful that I have this opportunity to be able to do this. To do this crazy thing. Wow…this is going to be cool.
Hey Folks, another quick update on our progress towards our very 1st Ironman.
This was out last big workout, and as it turns out our last time to train together before the race on the 27th of this month. So for me it was a nostalgic time as I have put in a ton of hours training along side Steve.
It was a year ago that Steve, Jerome and I decided to sign up for Ironman CDA and although we said we knew what we were getting ourselfs into, honestly I don’t think we really knew.
Our training officially started on January 1st with a 5 mile run in CDA called the Hang Over Handicap. It’s just a fun run but we wanted to start off the year with something relaxing and no pressure. We followed that up with a plunge into lake Coeur d’Alene the very same day. Oh yeah..it was COLD! But oddly enough, not that bad!
We added a significant goal of an 37 mile ultra marathon in March just to help keep our mind off of all the training we had already done and were going to do. And of course there is always Bloomsday which we both did very well at. (We ran in different groups but came with 8 seconds of each others time!)
This weekend found us again at Sanders Beach in Coeur d’Alene, ID where we attempted to swim 2.2 miles. This time the weather was fantastic! Blue skies, clam, I mean FLAT water! That’s a 1st! There were many other swimmers at Sanders and it’s always fun to chat with them to see how they’re doing in their training.
We then moved to a park up in Hayden to do two 30 mile loops of the north end of the bike route. These are where all the hills are and we’ve done this a number of times and it really has helped to really own that part of the course. We know what to expect and how to enter and exit the hills and turns. What a huge advantage we have from the folks who will show up a day or two before race day.
After the 60 miles of hills we then switched into our running shoes and took off for a 90 minute ‘brick’ run. By this time it was getting pretty warm so we took it nice and easy and had a fantastic run.
I don’t know that we can say, “We’re ready”, but I will say we’ve put in a good effort and lots of miles in all three events so that we have a fair amount of confidence that we can actually pull this off. BUT…we also understand that ANYTHING can happen on race day and that all our plans could go out the window if something goes wrong. We’ve heard it said that you have plan A, plan B, and just keep going when it comes to race day since you never really know what’s going to happen.
We have learned a ton of lessons through the last 5 years of doing this sport and we hope that we can bring all of them to play come race day.
God has given us this season in our life to do this crazy adventure and blessed us with good training bud’s and support from our families. This has enabled us to train and withstand the pressures of work and life and I have to say, I have enjoyed almost every minute of it! There was one morning during the training for the ultra that I sat on the edge of my bed at 5:00 am and verbal said, “I don’t think I can do this”. (This happened to be a back to back 18 miler where we had run 18 miles on Saturday and needed to run another 18 on Sunday) But knowing that Steve would be waiting there it wasn’t like I could back out.
So yeah, thank you Steve for being such a great training partner. This would have been an almost impossible task if I had to do all this training on my own.
ALso want to say thanks to Team Blaze. They are a local triathlon club here in Spokane that Steve and I joined and they have been awesome in support and training tips. Everyone on this team are amazing people and athletes and never have I encountered someone with an ego. They give freely of their time and talent for anyone who wants to learn. In particular, coach Scott and his wife Tristan truly promote and exemplify the Triathlon life style. Freely sharing there lives and home with all levels of triathletes. Thanks for doing such a great job!
Well, here is, Sunday at 11:00 AM and all I was going to do was just post a brief update and some pictures and perhaps video’s of our last day of training, and now I’m starting to get teary eyed thinking that it’s almost over. Gosh…there’s just so many wonderful memories of training days: Cold morning runs, where you can see each breath. Cold rides….brrrrr, but what fun! And extremely cold swims!! (Seeing a pattern here?)
So anyway, I’ll be all misty another time, one with the pics!
Just some from yesterday’s training: (Man I WISH I had taken more knowing it was out last group training…errrr!)
Links to Videos: (coming..they uploading to youtube right now..so hopefully after Sandy & my bike ride I’ll post them)
Short clip start of bike: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmA8ggtf61M
|Matilda “Mattie” Mooter|
Mom passed away June 11th, 2008 at 12:55 PM in her home in Melbourne, FL. My Dad was with her when she passed.
Just felt like I should post something about Mom even though it’s been two years since she died of cancer.
Sure do miss her. I think of her quite often and sometimes during the strangest times.
The other day I was out training for an event I have coming up and I had been on my bike for a few hours and my mind was kind of wandering all over the place. All of a sudden I was recalling a time when just Mom & I were home. I was young, too young to be in school, and we were deciding what to have for lunch. I don’t recall why, but we only had one chair, and so we both sat in one of those beach chairs with all the webbing in them. It was so cozy. Just Mom & me. Sitting together drinking chocolate milk.
Another time, well many times, I would set up Mom’s hand lotions bottles, I thought they were called witch hazel that she bought from the Fuller Brush guy. The lotion was blue and so was the bottle, and it was the perfect shape for setting up and knocking down with a small hard ball. I had my own bowling alley. And even though I know the noise must have bothered her, she left me play for what seemed like hours. Or at least until the show, “As the World Turns” came on, and then we would both sit down and watch it. HA! What a time! I’m sure I never understood what was going on, but we’d sit on the couch together and watch it together. Life was pretty simple and pleasurable.
I have a lot of stories about Mom, only those in my immediate family would relate, so I’ll not post them here. Maybe in a letter just to my siblings.
I remember one last story: It was November 17, 1978. Mom had flown out from Massachusetts to join Sandy & I in our wedding. I had so many emotions going on. I was nervous. I wanted Sandy to come with me to get to know my Mom a little before we got married, but she wanted one more night alone with her friends as a “single” gal. (don’t blamer her…I mean gosh! 31 years with the same guy? UGH!)
So I drove Mom around Boise and showed her a few places. I finally stopped at BSU (Boise Statue Univ) where I knew there was a piano. So I sat down on the bench, and Mom found a comfortable chair and scooted it next to me, and I played and played and played. She just sat there and never interrupted me, just let me express myself by banging away on the grand piano. It was just what I needed. A way to work through some of the emotions. And loved the fact that Mom just sat there and enjoyed the music (or she was a good actor). Just like her coming to all my ball games when I was kid.
Well, I could go on, but I guess I just wanted to take a moment and reflect on some of the great times I remember with my Mom.
I love you Mom, and I miss you, and always will.
It’s difficult to put into words a life time of memories about my Mom. For me, I have a million images that have been burnt into my memory. If I was an artist I would paint a “Life Scape” of warmth, patience’s, commitment, understanding, humor & Love that would span 53 years and many many canvases.
I love you Mom, and will miss you forever.
PS: Dad says Mom filled up the lake:
Just going to throw up (yuck) some pictures of our last half ironman training we did last weekend (5-29-2010) in Coeur d’Alene. Although the pictures didn’t capture how rough the water was during out swim. These were taken after the swim and you can’t really see the lake.
We will be doing a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 50 minute run this weekend 6-5-2010, and I will try and get some better pic’s.
Reporting back on our half Ironman from last weekend (5/29).
Well, I’d like to say the weather was a balmy 70 with a light winds from the south..but nothing could be further from the truth. The truth? WE COULDN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! Okay..that was random, sorry.
Anywho, the weather was TERRBILE and wonderful all at the same time. We arrived at 6:30 AM at Sanders beach in Coeur d’Alene along with 4 other members from Team Blaze. On the way there Steve noticed the flag in front of the resort was flapping out straight as could be from the SSW direction, “That can’t be good” we thought. When we pulled up everyone got out and we met at Jeff’s truck and stood around shivering in the cold wet wind as it was raining and blowing about 25 mph and there were white caps out on the lake.
“Really…we’re going to SWIM in that?” I’m sure everyone was thinking that. One guy walked up and introduce himself as being the one who would watch over us while we were in the water via his Kayak. He said, “Sorry guys, this is just too rough for me. I’ll watch you from the beach instead”. Inside I was like, “YES! I’m CERTAIN we’re NOT going to swim in this mess”. Finally Jeff who had been rummaging around in the back of the truck this whole time finally turned around and said, “What are you doing standing around here, go get dressed, we’re doing this swim!”. Dang! So we slowly slunk off and gathered out stuff and headed to the boat dock where there were some changing rooms. (Jeff had a key..good thing!).
We gathered around the water as Jeff changed the half Ironman swim distance from 1.2 miles to about 1100 meters due to the roughness of the water. It was hard to hear Jeff from the wind and the waves smashing on the shore. Once all the directions were issued he waded out into deeper water, pulled his wetsuit away from his neck and plunged under the water! WHAT?! When he came up I yelled, “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!” He yelled back, “Beeeecccccaaaauuussseeee tttthhheeee wwaaatteerrr wwwilll wwwwarm upppp quicccccckkkkkerr!”. “You’re nuts I said”. (He didn’t hear me). NO WAY was I going to do that!
I started yelling and hollering and WOOHOOing trying to get my adrenal glands to start working, and finally plunged in after him. I was sort of waiting for the shock of the 51 degree water to kick in but it never happened. My hands and feet were already numb so I didn’t feel anything there, and since I had purchased a neoprene swim cap and put my silicone cap on top of that, my head and chin were fine. I WASN’T COLD! AMAZING! Me! The Florida boy WASN’T COLD! I couldn’t believe it! I was whooping and hollering underneath the water at the fact, I. WASN’T. COLD!
Well all that excitement had to take a back seat as the reality of the situation finally hit….broadside up against my head in the form of BIG stinking WAVE! “Oh my gosh? Am I in the ocean here? Where the heck did that come from?” Each time I rolled on my left side to breathe from the right, a wave was there to greet me and instead of oxygen I received a mouth full of water for my effort. Well, I could only do that so many times and finally I rolled to my right side and gasped for air from my left, WHEW! Finally! Wow, so this is what the athletes had to deal with the last two or three years in Ironman!
I finally was able to settle down and get into the swing of things and started to breathe alternately from both sides, but I still had to deal with the waves interrupting my stroke. HA! My stroke..what a joke! Forget everything you learned in a pool! It really wasn’t a stroke at all, more like a lunge…breathe, half a stroke, pop the head up to see where I was going, Shoot!, heading out to sea again, adjust, adjust!, okay now breathe, look out, INCOMING! WACK! HA! What a joke! This is hardly called swimming, perhaps surviving would be a better fit.
But eventually I was able to figure it out and actually got into a rhythm and occasionally made head way and the next thing I knew it was time to turn around. Now the waves were hitting on my left side so I was able to breathe 100% from the right side. Much better. It even felt like there was a current as it seemed like I was flying back to the starting point.
I was soooo excited when I finally finished and exited the water….I STILL WAS NOT COLD! I just couldn’t believe it! I was soooo dreading going into this freezing cold lake and to be able to stay in for 35 minutes with no problem was huge!
This excitement lasted the rest of the day. We did our 56 miles of the IM loop and then changed into our running shoes and ran our half marathon of 13.1 miles. It was still raining but the wind had died down considerably and the lake while not as smooth as glass had certainly calmed down and looked inviting.
We both had a terrific run and felt that this day was such a confidence builder in so many ways. For me, the biggest being that the lake temp was not going to bother me at all! For Steve, I think he was thrilled with how he came off the bike. Normally he struggles getting into a running rhythm right off the bike, but this time he was conservative on the bike and was able to hit an 8:30 pace right off the bat.
We capped the day off with a mocha from the Dutch Bro’s as we chatted about our accomplishments on the way home. Oh, and we were done by 2:46. Probably one of the earlier finishes for our weekend workouts!
So what’s in store for this weekend?(6/5) A 2.2 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 50 minute run. WHEW! This will be our biggest weekend yet, and thank goodness, our LAST big weekend. After this…it’s taper taper taper! YAHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!