Sunday, July 31, 2011

Square Top Mountain in Pictures

What few people will see

Early Morning Mountain Energy better than any energy drink

The hike to Square Top Mountain

On the way to the top

We crossed 6 rivers/streams, traversed snow, plowed through SHRUBBERY & negotiated rocky terrain
False Summit, still over 1 mile to go. It's steeper than it looks.
Always last

Summit of Square Top Mountain, 13,818 ft, view west
Mt Bierstadt & Mt Evans (14'ers) from Square Top, view North

Packs taking a much needed rest

Doesn't it look it you could just reach up and grab it?

The ONE, the ONLY Tea, self portrait circa 2011

Hiking the Ridge, this goes on for almost 150m
Square Top Summit

Square Top Summit, 40 degrees, Windy & never been happier

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What Matters

I don't remember my PR times. I couldn't tell you how many races I've done in my life. I don't remember how miles I have traveled.

But, I can tell you about the marathon that I ran in a snowstorm for my 40th birthday.

I can tell you how Mike found me at miles 18 and 21, just to cheer me on and give me warm, dry gloves and hat.

I can tell you about the first race that Jman and Googs every ran with me.

I can tell you about pulling the boys in the bike carrier when they were little. 

I can tell you how they would go out looking for me in sub zero temps just to yell for me.

I remember my first half iron, and the boys ran the last mile with me.

I'll never forget getting pelted by hail and rain at a half iron and seeing the RD pull up along side of me asking if I wanted a ride back to the finish and responding, "No. I'm going to finish".

I remember when my bike was sabotaged at a half iron and only realizing it when I jumped on the bike.

I remember the guy from Germany who rode with me the entire 56 miles, pacing me to BEAT my goal time.

I remember my very first sprint. 25 minutes to do a 750m swim. I got out of the water all shakey and crying saying that I didn't want to go on.

I remember sitting in transition for 15 minutes thinking "I can't do this".

I remember Mike yelling at me, "You're on the run! Even if you have to walk it! You CAN walk it."

I remember crying (again) when I made the bike cutoff for my first half iron because that meant I had to run 13.1 miles.

I remember doing Ironman sick with pneumonia and crying (sigh) as I turned in my chip halfway through the bike.

I remember my very first running race and some guy saying "You should be in the back".

I remember the first time Jordan beat me in a race (:24 seconds).

I remember helping a woman that collapsed at a half iron and running around to get her water and get her out of the sun.

I remember my first half marathon and being so nervous that I didn't eat breakfast or anything on the course.

I remember the first time I saw vaseline on a stick.

I remember the first time I heard of GU.

I remember asking, "WHERE do I put this cream?"

I remember buying my first bike and changing my first flat.

I've gone to bed early and gotten up early on weekends for years. 

I remember taking 5 hours to ride 35 miles in the mountains. 

But most of all, I remember Mike and the boys always supporting me. I remember my friends cheering for me. I also remember that I never, ever quit. I could have quit after my first race. I could have quit after Ironman. At any time, I could have quit. I could have taken that ride during the half iron. 

Now I have memories that I can laugh at, some still make me cry (and THEN I laugh at them). But not one consists of a finish time or pace.  

Best of all, I have no regrets about not knowing who Snookie is, what 10pm looks like, or listening again and again to the constant teasing from neighbors.

Because I know what the sunrise looks like from the top of a mountain. I've been stopped on my bike by a herd of deer crossing the street. I've ridden stride for stride along side a coyote. I've looked up to see thousands of geese flying overhead, darkening my path, to fly south for the winter, and I've swam with the most incredible water creatures. 

And none of that would have happened if I gave up.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's *almost* SHOWTIME

For those of you who have been pregnant and have had a child, you know more about endurance events than just about anyone. 

The day you find out you're pregnant is like registering for a race. You're happy, sad, scared to death and wonder if you've made the right decision.

A pregnancy takes about 40 weeks. My training for boulder (including base training) has gotten me to week 31. It'll be 34 weeks, when I show up at the start.

A week or two ago, I started stressing and wondering "Can I do this? The pain. The speeds. Can I do this? I don't think I can. I'm not ready."

A few weeks before delivery, I felt the same way. It was the freakout of "This is going to hurt so bad. I can't do this. I'm not ready to be a parent. I'm not READY!"

Then, something changes. I always call it the calm before the storm. 

Everything makes sense. The date is coming. Training is effectively over. Calm moves in. At this point, the race will be what it will be. Good or bad, it won't be for lack of training.

Race day is a couple of weeks away now. 
On race day, like delivery, there won't be a lot of thinking. My body will do what it knows it has to do. It will push when it needs to and it will back off when it needs to.

All I can do is breathe.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

oh wow



Finally some humidity!

Today, it was about 90 when I left the house for my long run and 70% humidity.


Oh, and I apologize to everyone who got the email about Google+. I was learning how to use it and didn't realize that I was blasting everyone with an email. If you've ever commented on my blog, you probably got the email....unless you were in the group, where I stopped and thought: Hmmm, did send invite actually mean send?


Have you looked at the calendar lately? I'll give you a hint: today is July 9th.

That means Ironman Boulder is less than a month away!

Do I sound stressed?

Do I seemed worried?

Nope! Not at all. 

I'm going out there with Mr. Tea and about 4 friends. Because of the set up of the courses, no matter how fast we all are, we'll see each other many times throughout the day. The bike is 2 loops. The run is 2 loops. sah-weeet!

How could I possibly be stressed about that? It's going to be a fantastic race!

Ok, so it'll be hot. Ok, so we're going 70.3 miles. Ok, ok, ok. fine whatever. As long as Mr. Tea has 1.) Air conditioned car  2.) plenty to drink/eat  3.) a good book to read.....well, I'm all set!

On the other hand, this could just be onset of Peak-Training-Delirium.

I'm not really sure. I have lost track of days, as one day runs right into the next. Train, eat, rest, train, eat rest.  If I'm lucky, I throw a shower in there once in awhile. 

My training clothes are more or less just piles of clothes that go from washer to body and back again.

Dry clothes are overrated anyway....if I'm just going to sweat them all up again.

Alas! The end is nigh! Very soon, all of this training will all come together.

Until then, or until I figure out what day it is, train happy my friends!