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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

SWATquathon Run from Edison

Ran with Mike, Jen Brady, and Tom Peterson (after SWAT swim with Alison, Kitty, Brian, Tara, and Kayla. )

Route:--Elev. Avg:835 ft
Location:Rock, WIElev. Gain:+0 ft
Time:07:02 PMDifficulty:2.2 / 5.0
77 F temp; 41% humidity
77 F heat index; winds E 13

Distance:3.01 miles
Speed:4.5 mph
Pace:13' 19 /miHeart Rate:162 bpm (Avg)
Calories:333176 bpm (Peak)
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
Heart Rate (bpm)
Heart Rate Zones
In Zone
In Zone
Zone 5167 - 1850h 23m59% 1.77 mi
Zone 4148 - 1670h 12m31% 0.91 mi
Zone 3130 - 1480h 04m10% 0.36 mi
Zone 2111 - 1300h 00m1% 0.04 mi
Zone 193 - 1110h 00m0% 0.03 mi
(none)out of range0h 00m0% 0.03 mi
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Heart
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
112' 33-0' 464.8+0.3148-14 ft
213' 36+0' 174.4-0.1167+13 ft
313' 40+0' 214.4-0.1170+3 ft
end15' 00+1' 414.0-0.5174-3 ft
Versus average of 13' 19 min/mile

Posted from

Monday, August 25, 2008

Technical Difficulty - please help

OK here is the deal.
I love to upload my Garmin stuff to
I figured out how to do the zip file thing, which was no small feat for me.
Now it won't accept my uploads because the zipped file size is too big.
I emailed tech support a copy of my file per their request to find the problem and send a solution. Here is the answer I got:

Hi Jenny,
The uncompressed file is too large for our servers to handle. Please split your activities into two
files and zip those and upload. Let me know how it goes.

I emailed back asking exactly how I would do that and threw myself on their mercy to help the technically inept. Here was the response:

The way I would do this is using the Training Center software, select a date range to export that is half what
you initially created and then do the other half into a new file name. Zip both of these files you have exported
separately and try uploading them.

Yeah. I still have not a clue, can't figure it out. Anyone have any thoughts or care to laugh at my attempts?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Reflections on the Big Pig Gig - Pigman 70.3

Saturday morning Mike and I headed to BFE Iowa (formerly known as Cedar Rapids) to get all signed in for the Pigman Long Course Triathlon (70.3). After taking the pups to Bonnie's, my new pet sitter - who was awesome BTW- we were off. I could not imagine a more boring drive...... For what seemed like days we wandered along Hwy 11 towards Dubuque through 3 million little towns with a combined total population of 12.
When we finally crossed the Mississippi River and got into Dubuque, I waited patiently for the scenery to change, we were in Iowa after all. Somewhere along the line, I got it stuck on my head that Iowa was flat and we were headed for downtown Pancake to race there. Illinois is pretty flat, so is Indiana, and Nebraska and a whole shitload of other states in the general Midwest area......
W.T.F. ?? I thought to myself as the terrain seemed to get hillier and hillier. Where are my flats?? You must be kidding! I watched that last couple hours to Cedar Rapids in utter amazement.
We finally arrived at the Marriot for the "expo" which was actually a place where you got your packet and shirt, and Gear West had 1 table and a rack of tri clothes to check out. Not exactly what I was expecting.
We got checked in and talked to Tri-Dummy who was still a ways away driving in with the whole family. We decided to check out the water at the lake and then drive the bike course. The water was nice. The bike course not so much. Rough roads, heavy traffic, gravel everywhre, a temporary bridge through road construction, you name it it was out there. The kicker for me was the roads. Anything paved is a highway with no shoulder, any other less traveled farm roads are gravel - no shit. Iowan bikers have gotta be hard core. I was nervous about the bike now, not so much of the hills but the traffic.
We went to supper with Blogland Superstar Tri-Dummy and his lovely wife Aimee and their kids. It was a great time, with great food. What fun! and the kids - very funny and so well behaved! It was awesome. (I do have pictures, but was asked not to post them. It DID really happen).
Back at the hotel we got ourselves together for race day. The Marriott nickel and dimes you for EVERYTHING, and provides not much - no fridge, no microwave, no WiFi (without depositing an arm and a leg onto your bill.). The alarm clock? Holy crap, it was so complicated we never did get it figured out and it never went off in the morning. Watched the marathon on the Olympics and went to bed.

Race day was there before you know it. My eyeballs pooped open at 4:40 and we got our cracks out of the sack, got checked out, and we were off to the park.

Got set up in transition quickly and found out that we were wetsuit legal for the day - SWEET. Mike and I were in the same wave which really was ideal. We got our wetsuits on and headed to the beach, hopping in to get acclimated to the water temp. We took a few strokes out and I said to Mike that we were just sitting there, where we couldn't touch, and he was NOT sinking, just floating, hoping that was the reminder that would help him calm down.

The Swim:
We were in the first wave after the elites with a single file time trial start into the water. I swam steady just ahead or next to Mike, then I got ahead a little bit and kept an eye back for him for a while longer. wasn't long til we rounded the buoy and were on the second leg of the triangle. I got caught up for a while in a pack of swimmers, then moved to the outside a little for some breathing room. I saw a big yellow buoy to my right and mistakenly thought it was the corner, swimming over to it and realizing too late that it was the halfway marker. I took a quick punch in the jaw from the swimmer I cut off to get to the fake turn buoy and kept it going. Finally reached the beach and tried to remember to take off my cap and goggles first thing so I wouldn't look as dorky in my pictures this time (you know, the important stuff....).
Up the beach to transition, I was changing and heard Mike behind me saying "I am SO proud of myself..... I just swam a mile and a quarter....I did it...." and I smiled to myself at that. How cool.

The Bike:
I took off on the bike and out of the park. I got a couple miles and realized not only was this a hillier bike than anticipated, it was also WINDY! awesome.
Mike passed me about mile 8, and about mile 20, TriDummy trucked on by me. There were several railroad tracks (a/k/a bottle launchers judging by the carnage on the other side of the tracks), rumble strips in the road, and the metal grate construction bridge was especially interesting. Everything on this course was up or down, no flats and I do think that there was way more ups than downs, although I know logically that is not possible.
There were plenty of bottle drops and the volunteers were great. I saw nothing but beverages on the bike course - would have been nice to have a banana or something but whatever.
The traffic? every bit as bad as I feared. Lots of near misses and scariness. About 8 miles from the end, there were 2 cars coming towards me from the other direction and a lady coming up behind me. Instead of waiting, she tried to swerve out around me and nearly had a head-on collision right in front of me, close enough that I was looking all over frantically looking for somewhere to bail out to. The last stretch into the park was up a long steeper hill. It was long, and getting hot, and I felt like I had a saddle sore the size of Texas. About a mile from transition, the girl on the bike in front of me starter to weave, slow down, and then just fell over in a daze. There was an ambulance right there and as I passed her talking to them, she said I don't know what happened, I just fell over......

The Run:
What can I say? As I was going out, I saw the first folks coming in from the run to the finish. I saw Jaime from Endurance House fly by me towards the finish, then a couple other EH folks. It was really hot, and I thought to myself "Put a fork in me I'm cooked." That pretty much sums it up. I ran the downhills, walked the ups (not much of either, it was a really flat course) My plan was to run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes on the run...... which quickly became run 1, walk 3......... then run 1 walk 5, then 6, then 7, .......... then "oh screw it what am I losing 3 minutes a mile maybe to walk? Yep I'm walking, it's just too f'ing hot, I am too tired, what idiot thought this race would be fun? Oh yeah, that was me..."
There were plenty of water stops. Only 1 porta on the run course ...... ONE. I took some water here and there, and always made sure to get some ice and throw it into my bra. Then I would munch on the ice chips from my shirt if I needed one (gross, I know, but I really didn't much care at that point).
Not only did this take place on the highway, but parts of it were covered in gravel, thus creating a huge cloud of dust to walk through. As I got near the half point, I saw Mike coming by the other direction and talked a couple seconds. I was feeling OK, just couldn't run. Every time I tried, my HR just skyrocketed to 160's or higher and I could not sustain it. The turnaround was at the top of the only other hill on the course. No timing mat. .....I told the guy standing there that had I known there wasn't a mat I would have cut the course long ago. He thought I was kidding, I thought I probably wasn't.
On the way back, I decided to count roadkill on the course, since there was so much of it I thought it was a perfect way to occupy my time. I lost count at 5.89 million piles of stinky bones, guts, and fur. Then I started trying to figure out what animal or reptile they used to be.
Got back to the park, way later than planned, but I finished. I mustered up a slog for the last half mile through the finish to save face (like I fooled anyone :-)

What was left to eat? warm yogurt and brown bananas, yummy. They must have had pizza judging from the dozens of empty boxes in the supply truck, but none left for me.

The Good:
- Got it done
- Got to spend an enjoyable meals with the TriDummy family. They are great!
- Swim was awesome, perfect water, nice course, felt great

The Bad:
- Hilly bike, awful roads. I was scared to death or getting hit, flatting out, or falling over the entire time.
- Forgot about chamois butter......nuff said.
- my run plain sucked
- Hot, hot, hot. Absolutely NO shade on the course which definitely took its toll.
- i forgot to strip off my bike clothes for the run, so I ended up wearing my tri shorts, topped with my heavy shebeest bike shorts, a heavy sports bra, a long tri tank, and a sleeveless bike jersey. I was a tad overdressed for the run.... duh.

Would I do the Pig again? The shirt was cool, and we are apparently being sent a really cool original print with our finish picture mounted on it. Despite that, I will never be back to BFE Iowa to race. No Way.

Would I do another 70.3? Yeah, I think I would. I do like the distance and I knowingly sacrificed a lot of bike fitness, and a TON of run fitness to focus on the swim. It was just what we needed to do or I never would have seen Mike toe the line in the first place. So, yes I would do it again, but not without spending more time and effort on biking, running, and bricks.

The goal for the next one would be to arrive at the finish line before the pizza is all gone and before the massage people have packed up. Or at least have someone save me a slice...... sounds like a good job for a sherpa- any volunteers??

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random Olympic Thoughts

Michael Phelps is simply amazing. A God.

Dara Torres - Rock star mom swimmer. Love her.

If they call that Thorp guy "the Thorpedo" one more time I am literally going to vomit in my mouth.

Women swimmers are strangely built - no boobs, no neck, giant pipes. They could be men with nail polish and glitter shadow. But they are much neater swimmers and cut the water much more cleanly than those messy boys.

The Chinese gymnasts - they all look like 7 years old and were taken from their homes to start training at like age 4....... what is the deal with that?

When is track and field on? I am ready for some running races. And the tri team.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Favorite Lines from today's ride (almost forgot)

* "well, I think you named your bike." - Brian "Captain" Morgan. I was chanting the F word to myself as I hauled my big butt up the last ginormous hill towards the terrace as my quads screamed in pain.

* "You are just 8 shades of F'ed up today." -bigmike to me as I reached under the seat for the navigation thingy to get us to the great Dane for lunch and somehow gave myself a huge charlie horse in my neck.

Biting off more than you can chew isn't always a bad thing

Today we biked 1 loop if the Ironman Wisconsin course with Alison, Brian, and Jen, who are all on the cusp of an Ironman event (Brian and Alison are doing Wisconsin, Jen is doing Arizona). They have spent lots and lots of saddle time in the past few months, and while I started on a level playing field with Alison at the beginning of the summer, they are all far and above my abilities at the moment.

So of course when Alison suggested we do the IMWI course, I said sure, of course, love to. I have never done this course before but assumed it is much like everywhere else in Wisconsin I have ridden, so how different could it really be? Should we do one loop or two? Mike's response was he would rather do 1 loop (63 miles), but if we did 2 (85 miles) he and I would do an extra 15 somewhere to make it an even 100.

Fast forward to this morning. It was cold....I had on a tank top and bike shorts. It was chilly at 7am, but we hoped to warm up a bit as we went forward. Right from the start I felt like I was struggling. I was at the end of the pack, hanging on for dear life and more often than not I was falling off. We went up and down a ton of hills right from the start. Flying down hill on Whalen Road, I was smacked square in the mouth by some sort of mammoth bug that left me with a welt on my lip and bug guts on my teeth. They tasted awful. By the time I got to about 7.5 miles, I had nearly convinced myself that I couldn't do this today and I was going to turn around and nap in the car until everyone up ahead of me got back.

Problem: I realized Mike had the car keys. Rats, guess I keep going.

Thankfully for me, Jen doubled back a couple times to ride with m and offered up some encouragement. (She is a wicked fast biker by the way.) I was glad she scooped me up, it made a big difference to have someone turn around and realize I was still back there when everyone else was quickly biking out of sight.

Problem: I had no map and was constantly worried that I was going to be lost somewhere on the side of the road in BFE and no one would notice I was gone.

I kept running through what was going on ....... why was I going so slow? Why was I working so hard and not able to keep up? I had no explanation and was feeling just plain outbiked.

About mile 28-point-something, we pulled into a Kwik Trip in Mount Horeb felling just grouchy, bitchy, and hungry. I hadn't had anything to eat along the way yet, I was working too hard to keep up to even think about eating a bar or popping some beans. When I came outside after using the potty, Mike is messing with my bike. Uh, honey, you have been biking with your front brake on. So, I guess that explains some of the question of why am I putting forth so much effort and going nowhere. Here I thought I just sucked. Come to find out I only kinda sucked and had my brakes on.

Well, the front wheel was free-er after that, but my legs were feeling cooked. There were some nice screaming downhills coming up, some of them kind of technical with twists and turns. There were also plenty of hills. I got up the first of the Bitch Hills, but ended up walking at least a part of each of the last 2 hills of the Bitch Hill trio.

I was never so glad to get off my bike and be done as I was today. I was outbiked, overconfident, and underprepared. But I did it, and it's ta-done. Now the question is, would I be able to add another 50 miles to that loop and follow it up with a marathon?

Lessons Learned the Hard Way Today:

* IMWI bike course is way hillier that I gave it credit for and it totally kicked my ass. I need to get my butt on my bike more and spend plenty of time on hills, especially those ones I hate on Johnson Road.

* Um, check to make sure your bike is in proper order before you climb on and take off. Biking with your brakes on is flipping hard!

* Take your allergy medicine before taking a 4 hour ride in the country, past hay fields and farms. Makes for a much less snotty day.

* Chamois butter just makes your hiney feel greasy. And when you stop to pee you end up wiping it off the important parts anyway.

* I need to spend less time in the pool and more time on the bike and the run if I want to have a prayer of finishing in 17 hours.

* Bring a map so you can get back to the car if you get dropped!

* I bit off more than I can chew, but I made it through to the other side. Next time I will be ready.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Save the Ho Ho: Cycling Shorts Review...... Part 2

I have now had the chance to try a couple more pairs of shorts since my first post about this, so here is the the low down on the last 2 pairs:
Pearl Izumi Ultrasensor Shorts: First off, why do they call themselves Pearl Izumi? Their logo looks like IQ, so I am always calling their stuff IQ instead of Izumi, then no one knows what the french toast I am talking about.... Anyhoo, these shorts really were great. The pad was comfortable and it held up to the long ride well. As with every pair of shorts I own, they were tight around the leg opening because of the elastic, making some very unattractive leg bulges. I am CERTAIN it is all about the shorts and has nothing to do with my chubby flabby legs. (Don't burst my bubble here of you know what's good for ya).

DeSoto 400 Mile shorts: These were the first shorts I bought and the last to arrive. The shipping was free and I got my money's worth on it I guess. These shorts had the thinnest pad (the Century Pad) and were every bit as comfortable as the other 3 I tried. I haven't yet had a chance to to take them more than 20 miles, but they get 2 thumbs WAY up for the short test drive. I put them on after swimming (it's always a treat to try to get into spandex when you are still damp/wet from swimming), and they were fairly snug, but not the way the Trashy Cat shorts were -tight- but rather like they were trying to compress things and support, a lot like a good girdle or a pair of Spanx. Best of all, they don't have that elastic band around the legs, the legs are open which is what makes the 5 pairs of DeSoto tri shorts my favorite tri-shorts for short distance rides. These shorts had a back pocket, a deep mesh pocket you could fit a lot into - a phone, a sandwich, a camera, and perhaps a small dog. The downside to this pocket is it is very deep...... and bottoms out pretty low like you could pretty much fart all over whatever you put in that pocket. Not that I did. Or would admit it. That wouldn't be dainty, and I am so all about daintiness. Now here is where my decision was made. I was riding out Tripp road towards Footville on Tuesday and Alison rode up behind me and said "I don't normally check out people's asses, but those shorts make your butt look really narrow. I didn't recognize you." So there you have it. DeSoto wins, my butt looks narrow..........DING DING DING DING DING ......WE HAVE A WINNER!

SWATquathon Thursday

Tuesday we did the usual Tri-Out at Rockport (only a couple more left - WAHH!). Wasn't a big turnout, but it was a nice night ad a good moderately hard workout. I got eate alive by a couple of really big mosquitoes or small birds - not sure which- on the run ad the bites have been itching like CRAZY ever since.

Tonight, Mike and I went to Rockport for the SWATquathon (or Surf-n-Turf depending who you talk to...). Got 1100 meters in and a little over a 5K run. Mike went up ahead on the run with Gary Clark who I think was trying to kill Mike but he seemed to be holding his own. I was feeling pretty good on the run tonight, not like FAST mind you but good. I even ran up Rockport hill all the way, which I never do and it felt pretty good.

Sunday we are biking the IMWI course with Alison and I think Darin, not sure who all else is going. I have never done the whole course, just bits and pieces of it, so that should be interesting!
So T-10days to Pigman. The water temp is 80 per Mike, so not wetsuit legal..... still haven't decided if I will wetsuit it anyhow which will disqualify me from awards (award for what? slowest chubby lady??). I can swim. I can bike. I will TOTALLY be faking the run. Don't tell anybody though..... I want them to think I know what I'm doing!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What the French, Toast??

My sister commented that to me recently- Cracked.Me.Up. I have said it like a million times this weekend.
Should have been a pretty strong week for me this week. I held back on the bike because I knew I had the century on Saturday so didn't plan a lot of biking the rest of the week.
Got a Tri-Out in on Tuesday with SWAT. Showed up for a SBR night to find that Rockport was closed due to a poop accident in the pool (wasn't me- I swear!), so we did an hour bike instead of a swim and looped back to pick up any stray riders for the regular 6pm bike and Mike, Brian, and I drove over to Edison to swim instead of doing another longer hot bike that the rest of the group did. We came back to the park afterwards to try to pick up the SWATTies for the transition run, but ended up doing it by ourselves. It felt wrong to do the bike first, weird.

Thursday, we had planned to do the Aquathon (Swim-Run race) in Madison in the evening. CANCELLED due to blue-green algae in the lake, which is apparently toxic. What's a little poison between friends anyhow? Well, Alison and Mike cooked up our own little SWATquathon and we met up at Rockport for a swim, followed by a little longer run. It was kinda fun and I think we are going to make it a regular Thursday night adventure!

Planned run several other days, but frankly it has been so flipping HOT this week, I tried to wait out the heat after work and didn't get a lot done, except for the Tuesday Bike-Swim-Run, and a Swim -Run Thursday.

Saturday, we were set and ready for our first real century ride. We packed our bikes, We packed our gear. We packed some snacks. We packed the chamois butter. At 0500 everyone showed up in our driveway to caravan over to Elkhorn and ride a quick 100 miles (well not really quick....)

............ and then the phone rang. Day nurse called in sick and they couldn't find a replacement. So instead of riding my first century, I went to work for a 12 hour shift on top of my already completed 40 for the week (for free! I love being salaried!). I sent Mike on his way with the SWAT caravan and bummed on it all day, wondering how he was doing and worrying about him in the heat. I just knew without the boss around, he would probably fall off the edge of the earth or something.

So basically this week became just another rest week, with all my best laid plans going to shit right quick. Next week I need to kick it into high gear and get some serious miles in so I can take a taper week before Pigman.

Also cracking me up this weekend:
After Mike was done with his bike yesterday, he called me on the way home to give me an update. Went like this:
J: well how did it go?
M: OK, yeah it was a long ride. I'm just driving home. (groan) Oh man, I have to shit.
J: Do you need me to let you go?
M: No I'll tell you about the ride. Man, I gotta go, like right now. Anyway, it was a long ride. I had like 10 flats. Man there isn't like a McDonalds or a gas station anywhere around here.....
J: Are you OK?
M: Yeah, fine. Yeah, it was fun...... I am going to end up crapping my pants. Oh I remembered where I saw a porta. I'll talk to ya later.


It was really OK that he hung up. I was laughing so hard, I would have wet my pants and needed to find a bathroom too.

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