Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I thought I'd share Cyndi's artistic handiwork with you. As you can see, both she and Fave are getting quite skilled with the Facebook drawing tool. You might say we are masters at procrastinating...
Anyway, with the new year approaching a little too quickly, I thought I'd create a combination resolution/thankful list.
1. Be grateful (rather than a whiner) about our workouts.
When I start to complain that the workout is "too hard" or "too long," I need to remember that I am lucky to have the ability to train as we do. Ed & Mark, I promise I won't whine anymore. Really.
2. Hydrate more - especially during longer races.
No one really wants to spend their time waiting for me to emerge from the medical tent (this one is for Twila & Rick).
3. Take more time to get to know all the trigirls. What an incredible group of women! In my training frenzy in 2007, I missed getting to know a whole slew of TGs. I don't think my training is going to be any less time-consuming, but I can certainly take the time to get to know all of you fabulous trigirls.
4. Approach the swim with a positive attitude. I am going to work on loving the water. I may not get any faster, but I want to be sure I enjoy my time in pools, lakes and oceans. It's not as if they are suddenly going to remove the swim from triathlons, so I need to deal with it.
5. Enjoy every moment of every day. Even if I'm dealing with a difficult student or paying bills or running repeats. Look at life the way a lab puppy does. Have you ever met a lab puppy who isn't wagging his or her tail?
6. Thank my "lucky stars" (to quote my sweet, sweet mom) that I have the family & friends I do.

See you all in 2008!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hidden Talent

Perhaps you thought that Fave was just another lovely Trigirl. In reality, she is an aspiring artist, as evidenced by this rendition of me as a Shiraz-drinking mermaid. I have the Shiraz drinking part under control. Somehow, I need to work on my mermaid skills (seriously, have you seen me swim??)

Monday, December 10, 2007


I've been waiting to write about the Boston Marathon until I had received the official news that I was in. I have always dreamed about qualifying for the Boston Marathon, but never really believed it would happen. I've run two other marathons (well, three when you count Ironman Florida) in the past. Both races were more social than anything else (which, by the way, is a wonderful way to run a marathon). But, my latest marathon (several years ago) was about 25 minutes off from the qualifying standard.
Clearly, when I decided to try to qualify at the Richmond marathon I was still delirious from Ironman Florida. Coach Som told me once that he thought a hard-run marathon was more difficult than an Ironman race (Rick told me the same thing), but that just seemed illogical to me.
Believe it, folks.
Completing an Ironman is magical (see Cyndi's latest blog post for a beautiful description of it). I loved every single moment of that race. I had a smile on my face from the moment I made it to the first buoy in the Gulf of Mexico until I crossed the finish line (in my dehydrated daze).
I didn't feel the magic during the Richmond marathon.
Instead, I felt tired and cranky.
I had some specific splits I was aiming for along the way (miles 6, 13.1 and 20). I knew the pace I needed to run to qualify, so I kept a close eye on my watch. I figured if I was way off by mile 13.1, I would just slow down and enjoy the scenery. But, I was right on target, so I just kept plugging away. As I ran down Brook Road, I spied a blond blur to my right. Flying by me was the amazing speedster, Grandison. She smiled and told me I looked great. I, in my grumpy state, muttered, "No, I don't." Nice attitude, SusieQ!
The final two miles were much more difficult than I expected. I told myself I just had to hold my pace for two more miles. I felt my legs slowing down. My quads in particular were not happy with me. I wasn't happy with me, either.
The final stretch of the marathon is downhill. I just hoped I wouldn't trip over my own feet as I bumbled down the hill. Scary.
I gave it one last kick as I closed in on the finish line. I knew it would be close, so I asked my legs for one last effort. Whew.
I stopped just past the finish. I stood slumped over for at least a minute. One volunteer asked me if I was all right. I smiled and said, "Yes. I think I just qualified." He gave me a big smile and patted my back.
Suddenly, I wasn't so cranky anymore. Tired, but not cranky.
Sometimes with a little work (well, more like a lot of work) and great coaching, our dreams are achieved. Along with Rick, Grandison, Liz and Som, I'm headed to the Boston marathon!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Week One

It's a little hard to believe...but Ironman training has returned. Training started innocently enough on Friday evening with a post-IMFL victory party hosted by Leigh. The Florida '07 gang caught up on what we'd been doing (getting tattoos, resting, drinking wine - the usual stuff). For pictures (because I still don't know what I'm doing), check out DB's excellent blog. The wine was definitely flowing. In fact, I did notice that IMFLers Cyndi and Deanna B were not at indoor cycling the next morning. :) No worries, ladies - we have many more Saturdays of yumminess ahead.
On Saturday, it was a bit of a shock to the system to have to get up early again on a Saturday. How quickly the body forgets what it has been doing for the last 11 months! After a 3 minute drive to Marmarc, we arrived at a nearly empty cycling space. Ed was there, of course. He was putting the finishing touches on the musical selection. We set our bikes up in the "back row." The rest of the indoor cycling crew soon arrived (with an uncharacteristically late arrival by the Browns). It's a good thing we all enjoy one another's company as our bikes were nestled in tightly. Our first day back in training was mainly about reviewing good peddle technique - as well as many drills to develop leg strength. I'm happy to report that I wasn't nearly as tired after the first class as I had been last year. For you newbies, you'll learn to love indoor cycling, I promise.
After a fairly quick change into running gear, I headed off with Coaches Blake & Mark, Rick, Jeff and Lynn for a 12-mile run. We ran over to Riverside Drive to get some hills in. It didn't take long for me to realize how I had misjudged the temperature. It was cold & windy. I was definitely underdressed as evidenced by my bright pink legs. Lovely.
Even though it was early & cold, I realized how much I love this crazy Ironman lifestyle. While the training can be incredibly challenging (and at times, very inconvenient), there is nothing like challenging yourself. Or as Som once quoted to us, "Ironman: ordinary people doing extraordinary things." Frankly, I don't think any of my training partners or coaches are ordinary. You are all a little crazy - thank goodness!
p.s. Ironman Brazil isn't full yet.....