Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Six years ago I raced my first Ironman in Couer d'Alene. I returned two more times to compete there before turning pro. This year when I got the opportunity to go up to the race with friends and chase my coach around on a bike for a few days I couldn't pass it up. Some pics from my ride to Spokane and back...

Northwest beauty.

Good company.

Wide open spaces.

We left Idaho, then came back on our ride. Proof!

My favorite sign all day. There was a tiny dip in the bike path. Apparently it is 8%.

Our ride started out looking like imminent rain and ended up sunny.

Self portraits are always a bit dorky. But nonetheless - proof I was in the land of pine trees...

Vineyard at the top of a fun little climb overlooking Spokane.

Northwest waterfall!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Good Things

Life seems to have a funny way of working itself out if you give it enough time. It's been a while since I posted some Good Things....

Yes Indeed.
Thanks Mary Kate McDevitt for the illustration.

  • Summertime and little white lights strung across patios.
  • Frosty gelato.
  • Fresh in-season fruit.
  • Tired legs.
  • The body's ability to heal: wounds, heart, etc.
  • Picnics.
  • Open water swimming season!
  • Friends to laugh with.
  • Goldfish named Frank.
Want to add anything to my list? Hope everyone is enjoying the beginnings of summer!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Back to Work

I managed to heal most of my road rash, get back into the pool (& ocean!) and somehow not completely combust each time I attend masters.

After crashing I was a bit worried I might turn into scared Sally on the bike, especially with my already semi-awesome (HA!) descending skills, but after a few solid rides I am no worse off than before.

Happiness comes in many forms - I often find myself smiling as I'm cruising along on a ride. Just happy to be outside and enjoying wide open roads. I may also have a bit of an appreciation for the fact that I crashed my bike and didn't completely destroy myself in the process. Life is a good thing. I am happy I get to enjoy it with some good people each day.

Monday, June 11, 2012

IM Texas Race Day Nutrition

This nutrition information may be helpful to those of you planning your first (or umpteenth) Ironman. This is basically my nutrition from start to finish at Ironman Texas, where I finished 5th in 9:27. Anything in italics is something I plan to change at my next Ironman...

Breakfast: (3 hours before start)
Oatmeal, banana and bottle of Powerbar Perform (I like the added electrolytes especially at a hot race).
I'm planning to try rice cereal before my next race.

Pre-Swim: (20 minutes before start)
One Double Latte Gel

Bike: (I eat every 20 minutes)
Basically I alternate between swigs off a bottle I have filled with 14 PowerBar Gels + water, and half a PowerBar (I used smoothie & Peanut Butter in TX) at the top of each hour.  Over the course of the ride I end up going through the entire bottle of gels and two full PowerBars. I drink water and Perform on course (in Texas I drank a LOT seeing as it was hot). I don't worry about taking salts because the PowerBar Energy Gels I use have a good amount of salt in them.
Due to riding a bit harder along with my small bike implosion around mile 85, I ran out of gel and ended up grabbing one on course. My next race will have 15 gels in my bottle.

A note on caffeine:
Caffeine works wonders - when you are feeling slow it gives you wings. For me it can also make me feel horrible if I have too much of it too early in an Ironman. (Kind of like I have the flu). Therefore I don't use much caffeine on the bike at all and save it for the run. My bottle of Gels on the bike contain mostly Vanilla or Raspberry Cream because those do not have caffeine in them. I've learned this mostly through trial and error. I have friends that use tons of caffeine from the gate. My advice is to test what you want to do on race day in training.

Run: (About every 3 miles)
The run is gel, water and coke for me. I alternate between Green Apple Gel (my favorite when running) and Double Latte on the run. I don't exactly have a science to it - other than I leave T2 with 4 gels, pick up another 3 at special needs, and almost always have one in my hand. I try not to take cola until the half way point, but usually end up grabbing it much sooner. If I end up feeling overly hungry on the run I'll occasionally eat part of a banana.

The above is practiced on multiple training rides during the year. My long rides with hard efforts all are done with PowerBar gels in a bottle, just like on race day. There tend to be less surprises on race day when I have spent the entire year training with the exact same nutrition.

Hope this helps a bit when planning out what you will consume during your day-long race buffet! Feel free to email me with any specific questions.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Road Rash Update

I've been asked by many people for images of my superman-off-my-bicycle injuries. I think by road rash standards (true bike-racing-crashing-cyclist-experts feel free to chime in here...) they really are not that bad. Here is a short recap of treatment...
  • Day of crash: hospital clean up in Tobago.
  • 4 days post-crash: saw a wound specialist back at home & given wound spray cleaner.
  • 5 days post-crash: used wound cleaner and nearly died. I have NO IDEA what they put in wound spray cleaner, but it only got used once. I think I swore more in five minutes than I have in my entire life. Through the roof painful.
  • 5 days post-crash: a bunch of stuff was cut out of wounds (THIS was fun!!). They did not numb it and it did not hurt nearly as bad as when they dug rocks out of wounds at Tobago hospital.
  • 7 days post-crash: most of the pain (as in I'm sitting in a chair in pain) was gone (bump the arm pain still very much existed). I also got back on my bicycle outside.
This is a pretty beach picture from Tobago. It's also filler so that the images of my wound fall below the bottom of your screen. If you don't want to see them - don't scroll down. I personally think they are gross, but could have definitely been much worse.

2 days after crash. A bunch of rocks were in this one.

11 days after crash. Good as new! The body is amazing at repairing itself!

Day after crash. Not a great pic - but this wound grossed me out the most, it kind of just looked like raw meat to me. There were 2 rocks in this one.

11 days after crash. Still looks disgusting if you ask me.

2 days after crash. Probably the least injured, but the most painful of all. There was only one rock in this one - down by the elbow.

11 days after crash. Other than the hole in my elbow and lots of pink new skin it's pretty darn healed!

So there you have it - nasty road rash images! I'm back to training and will see the doc again next week to make sure I heal properly. Had to change the race schedule slightly. Looking forward to Rev3 Portland July 8!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Trinidad & Tobago

Although I managed to superman myself off my bicycle while in Tobago, I still really enjoyed the experience of visiting a new part of the world. These are a few of the pictures I managed to capture with my mummy bandaged hands...

Lunch location the day after the race.
Pretty water.

Life saving palm.

As part of our journey home we took a ferry boat from Tobago to Trinidad, spent the night there, then flew out early the next morning. This is the view leaving Scarborough (Tobago).

Islands we passed through on the ferry.

Venezuela is beyond these islands.

Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The Port of Spain area of Trinidad is bustling and busy. In the center of town lies the world's largest round-about (about 2.5km around). Seeing the runners and soccer (football) players in the middle of what seemed to be a chaotic mix of cars, pedestrians and cyclists was a stark contrast and made the city seem much more inhabitable, at least for an athlete like myself.

Lining the round-about are seven old historic mansions. This one is for sale.

Looking out across roof after roof, from where we stayed in Trinidad.

Coconuts for sale on the round-about.

Moonlit mansion.