Lois Lane just showed up

September 27th, 2010

Did you know with the purchase of corrective eye wear, you also get copious amounts of free tude?

Bring on the low Brass

September 26th, 2010

I’m loud.

I have loud children.

Our house is not that peaceful place where children do puzzles.  Our house is that place where the walls are typically shaking and you can hear what’s going on inside the house out on our street corner.

So when CT came home with the very large, very loud tuba…how could I be surprised?

It’s perfect.

Look at your own risk

September 24th, 2010

When I signed up to do the ironman, I really wanted to keep track of all the hours and miles I logged, we well as, how much it actually cost me to do the race and all the training.

I am pretty sure I could figure out the hours and miles, it’s located somewhere in the deep recesses of the Polar software system that kept track of every fricking beat of my heart and foot strike that I took over the past 9 months.  Alas, I don’t feel like digging for it…hey Welle, get on that will you?

I did however, keep track of my expenses.  So, if you are at all curious about how much it might coast you to do an ironman keep going.  If you have done one and don’t want to know, look away.  If you have a wife or a husband or a significant other or mother that doesn’t want you to do one, certainly don’t show them this.

Drum roll please….

Gear Cost: $4, 298.47 (this does include my new bike, bike maintenance, running shoes, new helmet, needed apparel, etc)

Race Registrations:  $800

Physical Therapy & Massage: $2497. 38

Hotels and stays in Madtown:  $850

Race & Training Nutrition:  $450 (Gu, Heed products, etc.)

Babysitting:  $245 (plus lots of free babysitting from friends and family…so this could be a whole lot worse)

Coaching: $1,475 (this is from Jan-September and includes Ironman Camp)

Total Cost of doing the WI Ironman:  $10,615.85

Coming in at 11 hours and 35 minutes…Priceless!


September 22nd, 2010

Who knew this would take me this long to get this out.  I got a little side tracked organizing SurlyFest on my return.  Which, by the way, was an absolute blast and went off without a hitch, thank you very much.

But…I am sure what you really want to hear about is if I actually made it out of Madison in one piece, right?  So buckle up or get a cup of coffee or maybe a bottle of wine, this might take a while.

I wish I could have had a recorder, taping my thoughts throughout the entire race, so I could download all the “crazy” that went on in my head for 11 hours and 35 minutes because really, if you didn’t know it already, there is lots-o-crazy in there.  And being so very social, like I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut, my coach as well as my friends were a little worried that I might self implode with all that silence.

As far as the race, I did a pretty good job following the plan my coach and I talked about.  With the exception of the run, it gets so dark in there in my head when I run.  That said, I also may have biked a little too fast to get the speed that I really wanted on the run.  Oh well, rookie mistake, even though we talked about it at great length and I knew better.  What can I say, I had Jon’s race helmet and some speedy race wheels, it’s like wearing a sexy dress or f*&% me boots, you just feel so good, so invincible.  I couldn’t help myself.

I knew this was going to be an emotional day and I was bound and determined to just have the best day possible, no matter what was thrown my way. So instead of giving you a play by play, I’ll give you some of the emotional highlights.

The swim, with about 2.500 people treading water while the national anthem was being sung, was amazing. I do usually cry at national anthems, but not today.  My coach and I went out by the buoys and tried to file in according to our race pace, it was nice having someone there I knew, at least for that fleeting moment.

Then the cannon went off, it was like being in a cage match with a bunch of seals.  I was expecting rough waters but it was even more physical than I ever imagined.  I had arms on my back, shoulders, legs and people simply trying to pull past me.  It had to do in large part with where I started, which I knew, but why not go into the eye of the storm?  I swam next to my coach for the first leg and then just found a nice pace and kept moving forward.

At the second turn, my dad showed up.  I had the same feeling a while back and the flood of emotion made me start to weep into my goggles.  I knew he would show up at some point, he would have so been there to see this.  When I started training back in January, he was still here and while training continued on, he died.  So I knew that the culmination of this race would bring with it thoughts of my dad, of loss and simply, a lot of emotion.  And as quickly as it came, it was gone.  As was the swim.  2.4 seemed to fly by and off I went out onto my bike.

I swear, every time I was out on a training ride my friend Ellen would call.  It became our joke and I always answered the phone with a, “SERIOUSLY, I am biking!” and then I would burst out laughing.  So on the course, somewhere in the distance, I kept hearing a very Pavlovian bell, which immediately made me think of Ellen, which made me think of the fact that she was at home thinking of me, which made me start to weep, yet again.  Which then lead me to think about how lucky I am to have such an amazing group of friends and family that supported me through this entire endeavor , it was almost too much to take. The tears would come and as quickly as they came, they were gone.

When thinking about how emotional this race was going to be, I always saw myself breaking down at the finish line, not breaking down during the race.  I found myself amazed by the surge of emotion and when it would come, I simply tried to let it wash over me and move on.

I was biking pretty hard but feeling really good, so I was just going to keep going.  At mile 40 I bumped into Jeff Steel and talked so much I ran my bike off the road, that could have been disastrous.  He suggested I move on as to not hurt myself.  At mile 60, as I was descending a hill at 40 miles per hour, I knew I had fallen pretty head over heels in love with this race and I knew right then and there that this was not going to be my last ironman. At mile 80 I could no longer get down my cliff bars and started dry heaving over my handle bars. At mile 82 I realized I was tired for the first time.  At mile 104 I hit a bump so hard that my handle bars fell down at least three inches, good thing there was only 8 miles left.  For those of you dying to know if I peed on my bike…YES, three times.

So with a few miles left, doing better than I ever imagined on that hilly of a course, I finished up, handed my bike to the volunteers and headed into the transition area, where I change one last time and gather everything I need for a 26.2 mile run.

The plan, 9:45-10:00 min mile pace for the first 6 miles then drop to 9:00 for the rest of the race.  Well, I kept looking at my watch and it said 7:45 min miles, so not ok.  So I spent the next three miles trying to figure out how to lumber along to get to the slow speed I was suppose to be going.  It’s hard with people yelling and cheering and all the excitement and you’re just so damn glad to be off your bike seat and onto the next event.

I honestly couldn’t believe how fast everything was going.  I kept looking at my watch throughout the day and the hours kept ticking by, now here I was, running.  Already, running.

The high points of the run: I finally got to talk with people and I saw almost everyone I knew once or twice, including all the people that came to cheer (thank you for being there!), yeah that was the best part.

The low points:  I felt like I was going to shit my shorts for about 26 miles, one of my toes felt like it got a shiv stuck in it and then hot liquid shot out around mile 19, which caused a bit of a problem with my form.

Then the little nice voice in my head showed up.  I had 6 miles of the run left.  I knew if  I only ran 10 minute miles I could still be under 12 hours.  Remember the goal pace?  It was not 10 minute miles.  So that sweet little voice, that normally is not sweet at all but nasty, is telling me I am doing such a great job that I don’t have to go any faster.  That I have worked hard enough and I will still do better than I thought.  Who was this devil in sheep’s clothing?  He was totally right, but still, I knew it in my core there was more to give but wanted to listen to that little voice so much more than push harder.

The end of the run is up State Street, which is a slight incline and if you look up you see the Capital in all its glory.  You hear thousands of people cheering, there is no way you can’t smile while you take it in.  There is one last water stop right at the base of the Capital, I wasn’t going to stop, I was so close to the finish line.  But in the blink of an eye, I realized my race was going to be over in a few minutes.

As that realization hit me, I stopped running.  I stood there, looked at the Capital, the sun shining down, the beautiful day, I turned and looked at all the people, thanked the volunteers and soaked every last ounce of my first ironman experience up.

Then I threw my cup on the ground and finished the race.

I ran through that shoot with more energy than I ever thought I would have for spending the entire day swimming, biking and running.

What a day, what an experience.

I have so many people to thank.  Without all of you and your support I could not have crossed that finish line.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Here are all the photos!

Ohhhh man – I’m birthing an Ironman

September 9th, 2010

This process has reminded me a lot of what it was like to be pregnant.  Reading all the books (training mags/books/charts), doing all the classes (training), preparing the room (my bike, my shoes, my stroke), eating right (eating right) and just getting everything ready for the big day.   I LOVED being pregnant, I LOVED training.

And now, now it’s time to give birth.

Here’s the hitch, by the time the last one came out, it only took me 2 hours start to finish . I am going to be doing this ironman for 12-14 hours.  Maybe I needed a 24 hour labor to prepare me.

I have no idea what to expect, well that is not all together true, I know the stories of others that have gone before me and the “idea” of what I think it is going to be like.  I do know this, I will try to live in the moment, I will be grateful for the experience and for all of the people in my life that have been nothing but the most wonderful support staff anyone could ask for.  So, thank you, thank you, thank you.

The one thing that isn’t the same as pregnancy, is that after the race I won’t be coming home with a small little baby that needs to be fed, changed and taken care of.  Or maybe that will be me.

You can follow the race live on race day at http://www.ironman.com.

Here are the bib numbers of the folks you may want to track.  Please no placing bets in the comments section.

Mary Sellke 2664

Courtney Steilen 2607

Todd Olson 1378

Diane Birkeland 2743

Vicki Carver 2700

Jackie Dezellar 2816

Danielle Pellicano 2394

Scott Welle 475

Getting there is way more than half the battle

September 8th, 2010

The absurdity of trying to get all your things together and actually make it to the start line of the ironman is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Here are some updates:

T-odd, just found out his bike has a crack in the frame and is unrideable.  No, I am not kidding.

Jackie, just got her race wheels on, with her brand new bike and biked through wet cement and then ran over a squirrel.

Vicki, just got her cast on.

I think I am going to lock myself up in a dark room until I get picked up on Friday morning.

I love Penn Cycle

September 8th, 2010

I’m going to say it again…I LOVE PENN CYCLE!

I’m sorry Gear West, you don’t really care about me and I have moved on.  Ok, unless you have what I need and then I guess I need to go back to you but I try really hard not to need you.

Sounds like a bad relationship doesn’t it?  Or maybe the realationship I had with my bike that didn’t fit that I bought there.  ANYWAY…

This is Rich, he’s the manager over at Penn Cycle.  I bought my new-wonderful-amazing-fast-hot bike at Penn Cycle AND they fit me on the right size, imagine that!

Rich is holding up race wheels.  Those race wheels are now on my bike for the big race, for free.  Those wheels cost more than my bike, I better not mess them up.  The one draw back, if I flat, there really isn’t a way to fix it. I know, I can feel your worry.  Don’t, I’m trying not to.

How did I get these you ask?  Cute, fast (in a racing way), funny, chatty, hot Di was at Penn getting new bike shoes and told Rich I needed some for race day. Sure enough, he told Di to have me give him a call.  So I did.  And while I was one the phone with him, I told him that I was pretty sure that if I had just walked in and talked to him, he would have NEVER handed me a pair of very pricey racing wheels.

That kinda stuff just doesn’t happen to me.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m funny and I have a great personality, but I don’t get free shit from boys.  I am at least glad he found that conversation funny because it could have been very weird and awkward.

Of course, I also found out he liked Surly, so I felt that the least I could do to repay the favor was to pay him off with beer.  I’ve never seen a bigger smile on someones face than when I walked in with a bunch of Surly under my arm and handed it over, along with my bike.

Thanks Penn, may these wheels make my travels very fast.

Antsy feelings

September 7th, 2010

The sink was left, filled with dishes, ALL day yesterday.  Needless to say, by the time I got around to getting them into the dishwasher, there were little ants crawling all around the kitchen counter and sink.

I am pretty sure God has a great plan for ants, but whenever I encounter them, either in an enormous ant hill in the yard or crawling on my counter tops in search of great sweet things I immediately go straight for the jugular.

Now I’m not a killer of animals and I am pretty environmentally conscious but ants, ants I will kill and I get a sick sort or pleasure pouring out the TERRO onto the little paper card and watching them march in, eat their fill and then march home to spread the joy to everyone else in the colony.

This pouring of TERRO usually commences by me saying,”Come here my pretties” and is followed by a very very wicked cackle.

Vicki Update

September 5th, 2010

Vicki just got word from her doctor, who read all her MRI results from every part of her body, and it looks like her knee is fine.  No breaks or tears, just one big’ol bruise and if she can tolerate the pain, she won’t do any damage to it by running on it.

Her wrist, which they thought was a hairline fracture, turned out to be a complete break along the radius.  Since she feels jarring while on her bike, the doctor wants to cast it.  So Wednesday, 4 days before the race, she will have a cast put on.

How bad ass is that going to be?  I hope she gets a glow in the dark one.

So YES, she will be doing the race with a cast.

Bumps in the road

September 3rd, 2010

This ironman race is NOT for the faint of heart.  Anything can seem to happen, in the blink of an eye.

The day we came home from Ironman Camp in Madison, Jackie forgot her bike was mounted on the top of her car and ran it right into the garage.  Needless to to say, it broke in two, IN TWO!  So three weeks out from the race, she was on the hunt for a new bike.  Not really the thing she wanted to be doing.



Last weekend, when we were all on our Clover Leaf of Death ride, the LAST hard ride of training, 15 miles into it Vicki went over her handle bars.

Out cold for a good 30 seconds, just laying there in the road still as a stone.  Her wrist is broken, her body is scraped up and they are is still trying to figure out why her knee swelled like a blow fish.

She is getting run through the paces; x-rays, MRIs, pulling, prodding.  She is doing everything she can to move forward and YES, still complete the race.

These are the moments, after all the months and miles and sweat, that you sometimes hit.

You can either be torn apart by them and quit or move forward and persevere.

Let’s hope the rest of the days leading up to the race are smooth sailing.