Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Numbers

I can't believe it is the end of November already.
I got my workouts all logged and I am not impressed with my numbers.
Swim 2.4
bike 112
Thankfully Ironman counted in November, otherwise these numbers would be big fat ZEROS.
Run 98.41
Ab Ripper DVD 5 times
Wednesday morning toning 3 times
Friday Toning/cardio 3 times

I started today's run thinking I would do 10 miles, but 3 things changed my mind.
1. I realized that marathon training doesn't start until mid-January. Still plenty of time to work up to 13 miles
2. My ipod died at 5 miles
3. I had to go to the bathroom
So I ran 6 miles and called it good.

Also, I need to welcome my hubby to the blogosphere. I am going to provide the link to his new blog but when you go there remember he tends to stretch the truth or bend it to fit his needs. That said, you can give him some love here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Rut

I get in a rut when I am without a training program. Usually it is either run 6 miles, ride 20 miles, or swim 1 mile. But this rut is worse then usual. I still can't swim, waiting on the tat to heal. It is too cold to ride outside and I know I will be getting plenty of trainer time starting Dec 14th. So I just can't make myself do that. Heck my race wheels are still on my bike.
So that leaves running 6 miles. And that is that I have been doing. In the cold early mornings, I bundle up in my cold gear and fleece and run my 6 mile loop. No speed, no tempo, no hill repeats, just an easy 6 mile run.
I have also been attending toning class on Wednesday mornings at 5:30 and Friday mornings at 8:00. So I guess I am getting a little variety.
This mornings toning class was extra intense due to tomorrow being Thanksgiving. I think it was totally unfair since I won't be pigging out on Turkey and all the fixins. Ronnie has to work on Friday so we aren't going to his family's house. I am not cooking for the 4 of us since my kids won't eat all the "stuff". So we are going to make a big pot of spaghetti and work on our floors. I am also getting up and going to the rec center for the Thanksgiving day run, where I will run 6 miles.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ironman Florida Video

Watch for me in the yellow at the end.

Friday, November 14, 2008

More Planning

Today I got my room booked for New Orleans. So while I was at it, I also booked a room for Augusta. The host hotel was already sold out so I got a room a little less then a mile away. I haven't signed up for the race yet, hangin' on to my money as long as possible.
2009 is shaping up to be a great season.
In the mean time I am still just piddlin' around. Yesterday I did ab ripper again and today I went to a class at the rec center. It was a combination of cardio and toning. It was fun and I think I will go back at least on the Fridays I am off for the next month. It is still hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that I am done after an hour. I am feeling like such a slacker.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What's Next?

The scabs on my neck from my wetsuit are almost gone.

Looks like I am only going to lose two toenails.

I got the tat.

I have done three nice slow 6 mile runs, ab ripper 3 times and an hour of toning class.
So now it is time to address the question I have been asked dozens of times since I crossed the finsh line in Florida.
What's next???
Last night I registered for this:

It was filling up and training is suppose to start next week. Time to commit. Guess I better get on BT and get the plan now.
I have also booked a room in Cincinnati for this:I have not registered for the race yet but will before the price increase. Running it with David. We haven't discussed goals yet, BQ or just a fun run???. I am going to use the FIRST program again so training won't start for it until mid January. It will be a blending of training programs, worked for the Country Music Marathon and Rock'nRollman so should this time too.
David and I are also going to run Tom King again on March 14th.
So there it is, my plan for the first half of '09. Well the big races anyway, haven't even looked at any of the shorter stuff.

Tom King half marathon March 14
New Orleans 70.3 April 5
Flying Pig marathon May 3

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Ironman Florida '08 - My Story

I wish I could make this report as entaining as Ronnie’s account but I am not the smart a$$ that he is. So here is my account of what happened.
I slept pretty good Friday night. I woke up a few time but always fell right back to sleep. That is until 3:30. That time there was no more sleeping. I did stay in bed for about an hour hoping for just a few more minutes of sleep but never got any.
So at about 4:30 I got up. I fixed myself a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter by the light from the microwave. I got dressed and headed out, leaving my family sleeping. I got to the elevator and as soon as it opened and I saw the girl standing there with her special needs bags I realized mine were still in the condo. I went back to the room and quietly grabbed my bags. Back to the elevators this time with everything. We were on the 18th floor and I had to stop several times to let people on.
I dropped off special needs bags and easily found someone to body mark me. I got to be 39 again since there is no age up rule for Ironman. Does that mean I get another party in December when I turn 40 again???
Once body marked, I went into transition and loaded my bike down with pb&j, pretzels and Nuun. Then I just sat on the curb and relaxed. I couldn't believe I wasn't nervous. I was more nervous last year when I was just there as a volunteer.

I walked over to make sure I knew where my T1 bag was and on the way back I saw Lana and JT. A little later I saw Holly who had volunteered again this year to get a back stage pass. I talked with Lana and Holly for a bit then Ronnie called to let me know that he and the kids had come down. I found them and got lots of hugs and kisses from the kids. I was so glad I had decided to have them come along.
We hung out and I just tried to stay warm. Finally it was time to surrender my morning clothes and shoes to Ronnie and make my way to the beach.
The Swim
The music was blasting and Mike Reilly was asking who wanted to become an Ironman. The crowd cheered and the excitement was tangible
The pros went out at 6:50 and 10 minutes later the gun sounded for us age groupers.
I walked/jogged out into the water with the mass of people. I started in the middle more to the left. I started swimming but kept my head out of water. It was crazy. I knew it was going to be but until you actually do a mass start with that many people you can’t really understand just how crazy it is. The first loop was the worst. I took an elbow to the chin, got kicked in the chest, had my zipper pull pulled loose so it kept getting wrapped around my neck, got pulled under, swam over...At the first turn it was total chaos. I came to a complete stop just trying to get around the buoy. I must have looked bad because I had a girl tell me she couldn’t help me there was just too many people. I didn’t need or want help, just some space to swim. The rest of the first loop was more of the same. I made it to shallow water and stood up. Leg cramp. I walked it off and made it to the beach. I saw the clock and it said forty something. I smiled from ear to ear, I was right on track. Then I saw Holly and yelled to her. She got my picture. I grabbed some water to rinse my mouth and hit the water for lap two. It was then that I realized that the clock might have been still set for the pros. Could I have just done that first loop in thirty something??? No way. Second loop was a lot less of a full contact swim. I had more space and could relax and focus more on form. Up until this point I had been breathing every other stoke on my left. I tried to bilateral breath and discovered my wetsuit must have been rubbing because it really hurt to turn my head right. So I stuck to the left breathing and finished the swim. I exited the water and saw 1:15:xx on the clock. I made my way to the strippers with a huge smile on my face. I knew then that I had just had the best swim of my life. I had a great girl remove my wetsuit, tell me congratulations on a great swim and point me towards T1.
2.4 mile swim 1:15:26
I had to pee. Actually I had to pee before the race even started but the lines were just too long and I figured I would go in the water. I never did so by the time I made it to transition I was about to explode. I had to find my own bag (something I wasn’t really expecting). It took me a minute to find it even though I thought I knew where it was pre race. I found it then I ran straight to the port-a-potty. Bladder empty, I started toward the tent but noticed it was crowded so just decided to change right there. I dumped my bag on the ground and grabbed what I wanted and stuffed the rest back in the bag. I saw Holly again while I was doing all this. I told her to tell Ronnie I made it out of the water early if she saw him. She said she would. congratulated me on a great swim, and sent me off for my bike. I ran down the rows as people were shouting my number trying to find my bike. I yelled row two and they got it just as I reached it. I took it from the volunteer and was out of T1.
T1 time 7:05:40.
The Bike
There was quite the crowd trying to get out on the bike course at the same time and we had to walk our bikes for a ways until it thinned out enough to mount and ride. I got on my bike right where the kids had written with chalk the night before. I wasn’t expecting to see Ronnie and the kids since I had told them it would be an hour and a half to two hours for my swim. But there they were, right there to cheer me on. The bike was off to a good start. But then about 5 miles into the ride, my Nuun tablets fell out of my pocket. The girl behind me yells, “Looks like you lost your Nuun.” It was too crowded to even think about stopping for it so I decided I would just have to go with Gatorade for the day.
It was a little cool and I was wondering if I should have grabbed my arm warmers but the sun was out it didn’t take long to warm up. After about 10 miles I had to pee. The port-a-potties at the next couple aid stations had lines so I skipped them. I saw a white truck somewhere around 20 miles and thought “That’s looks like the Flash”. traffic slowed due to the aid station. I grabbed a Gatorade and rode past the truck just as Holly spotted me and yelled. It was great to see them out there. I rode on past and then had them pass me a few more times. By mile 40 aid station I couldn’t hold it any longer so had to stop and wait in the port-a-potty line. I wasn’t on my bike 2 miles when I had to pee AGAIN. I stopped at the potties at special needs then again to pick up my bag to get my additional pb&j’s. 50 miles down and I was still feeling great. My bib number started flapping and I discovered that at the last potty stop I had lost a snap on my race belt. So I had to tuck my number into my shorts.
There was some rough road and I thought it was the part I had been warned about, but then I hit the out and back and discovered what real rough road feels like. I was still feeling great and excited with how my ride was going, I was doing much better then I thought I could. I had to make TWO MORE potty stops and then told myself I was holding it until T2.
The last 10 miles seemed like the longest of the whole ride. I caught up with Lana and told her she was having an awesome race. I rolled into T2 with the biggest smile and pumping my fists in the air. The crowd was cheering and that made me even more excited. I handed my bike off to a volunteer and ran into T2.
112 mile bike 5:57:29
I helped the volunteer find my bag then I hit the port-a-potty. I ran to the tent asking for a safety pin for my race belt. I had the best two girls help me. They dumped my bag and held up each item asking me if I needed it. I got the stuff I needed, had someone apply some more sun screen, got the safety pin and jogged out of T2.
T2 time 3:55
The Run
I was way ahead of schedule so I didn’t expect to see Ronnie and the kids so I didn’t even look for them. Jill saw me and shouted. The crowd was great, they were loud and very motivating. After the first two miles I started to pay for the lost Nuun. The Gatorade was not sitting well in my stomach. I had to GO. I got to the mile 3 aid station potties, waited in line, then NOTHING. I figure I was OK then. But as soon as I started running it felt like I as going to poop my pants. So I walked. I stopped at several more port-a-potties and had the same results. Lana caught me after the turn around. I ran with her until the next aid station where I made yet another stop. Finally I gave up on the potty stops and just walked. I made it to half way turn around and got hugs from my kids. That made me feel better but I still couldn’t run for long. I was walking fast. I even had a guy tell me he wished he could walk that fast. I knew by this point I had a sub 15 in the bag so I was lacking motivation to run. Finally at mile 21 I made one last potty stop. I decided I wasn’t leaving that pot until I went. Finally!!! I felt so much better after that and actually jogged most of those last 5 miles, it was a slow jog but faster then walking.
I made it to the chute and got to stay to the right. I saw Ronnie, the kids and Jill all yelling like crazy. Then I heard Mike Reilly say “Michele Emerson from south Missouri....”I looked up at the booth confused. I am not from Missouri. But I crossed the line and became an Ironman anyway. Flash was there and got my picture. The catcher asked me how I was and told him “Fantastic!!!”.
I collected my medal, shirt, and hat, got my picture taken, and then left the finishers area.
Flash took me to Holly and Mrs. Flash. I talked with them for a few minutes then went looking for Ronnie and the kids.
I was so excited to see them.
We walked back to the condo so I could shower. Then we walked down to Hammer Head Fred’s because I wanted a cheeseburger. I was moving slow and had to keep yelling at Ronnie to wait up.
After my burger, fries, and beer, we went back to watch the rest of the racers come in. Bryce fell asleep with his head in my lap so Ronnie took him back to the room and Casey and I stayed with Lana and JT to watch the final finishers cross the line.
It was a perfect ending to a perfect day.
I am still on cloud nine. I can’t believe I did it. it is over. I not only got the sub 15 I wanted, I got a sub 13!!!
final time 12:40:55

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Guest Blogger

I haven't had time to do a race report yet so I am going to allow Ronnie to give a recap of the weekend from his perspective. He typed these up as a series of emails that he sent out to our friends and family. One of them suggested that I post them here. So here they are, Ronnie's take on Ironman Florida '08.


We arrived yesterday about 6:00pm at Panama City Beach for the Iron Man event on Saturday (that's about a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run). Upon arrival the scene was laughable. Skinny people everywhere, running, walking, and biking, Hell, there were more bikes on the road than cars. I had to be extra careful not to run over someones bike because I knew that if I smash their bike and they can't compete Sat. they will kick my ass, even with broken bones and mangled body.

We went to dinner last night at Hammer Head Fred's. Again nothing but skinny people and everyone wearing polyester pull overs and warm up pants. I too was dressed this way and Michele became aggravated when the waiter assumed that I also was a competitor so she straighten him out. Stranger than anything, no one was drinking, except me of course. I wanted to yell "LOOSEN UP YOUR DRAW STRINGS AND HAVE A BEER YOU UPTIGHT SONS OF BITCHES". Finally, after about 30 minutes listening to chatter from surrounding tables about the fat content of a burger, the effects of alcohol on dehydration, and their training routine for the next couple of days, a fat couple waddled in. This couple had to wander if they had accidentally planned a vacation to a city that's hosting a bulimic convention.

It's Thursday morning and about 48 degrees and I stepped out on the 18th floor balcony, look out to the sea, and what do I see? Whales? Dolphins? Sharks? No to all of these. What I did see was a group swim had gathered on the beach. Some had already begun their trek out to a buoy that must have been about a mile out. I could see little knuckleheads bobbing in the water, arms swinging overhead and feet splashing. Turns out that Michele was one of those knuckleheads. She returned to the room complaining of freezing, but not because the water was cold but because the sand was cold.

Gotta go we are about to go to breakfast. I don't thing there will be skinny people at the IHOP. They don't have shredded wheat and granola.


We just returned from the ironman expo. Lot's of skinny people, polyester, spandex, and people wearing any brand of sports sunglasses on the market. I also had on my Bolle sunglasses to fit in with the click. I'm also wearing a tee shirt that she got from the McMinnville Triathlon and people are treating me like one of the participants. This is aggravating the hell out of Michele and she's calling me a "poser". We ran into Lana, one of our friends that is also in the ironman, and she thinks I'm disgusting too. I'm not lying to anyone and if I'm asked I'll tell them I'm not a participant, but Michele doesn't hesitate to set everyone straight. They've got all kinds of Ironman apparel at the expo. If anyone wants something let me know. Then you can look like an Ironman too. After all it's more fun to look like an Ironman than to be one. They have given them a silver wrist band and now I need to figure out how to get one of those.



Today Michele and I discussed the plan for me and the kids on Ironman day and how we can cheer her on to the finish. I'm THINKING we are there at the start at 7:00, then a couple of hours later after breakfast to cheer for her on the bike ride, and then we would give it some time time while we did the beach, Ripley's Believe It Or Not, then lunch. and then we would head over to the finish line to cheer her on as she and all the others painfully and mercifully cross the finish line.

BOY WAS I WRONG. I had not done the numbers or really thought about how long this would take. She doesn't expect to finish until 10:00. That's 10:00PM. It's going to take her about 15 hours. I don't thing I've ever done anything for 15 hours. Let me think. Sex? I wish. Sleep? Couldn't do it. Watch TV? No way. Drink? I'd fall asleep so still couldn't do it. Drive a car? I'd fall asleep again. I guess the only thing I would want to do for 15 hours straight is sex, but I don't think Michele would be into that sort of Ironman. Damn just my luck.

Dinner tonight went well. We ate at Dirty Dick's Crab House and the smell of polyester was in the air. No one asked me about the Ironman so Michele was in a better mood. I think they might be on to me because I'm still drinking and I think at this point it's a big no-no. Something about dehydration. I think we got a lecture in P.T. school on that one but I've always thought fluid is fluid. Who can trust the water today anyway. I do have a story if someone does ask. The story goes------ I've done so many that I just have fun when I do them now. I did one back in '78 in San Antonio that we had to cross the Rio Grande the Mexican authorities began to arrest the participants because they didn't have visas. We were all pissed because we had to spend half the day in a Mexican jail. I can't wait until tomorrow.


It's the day before the big race. Well it's not really a race except for the few participants that are good enough to be at the front. For the rest it's an event. A sadistic event but never the less an event. I decided I would join in the workouts today so I did a 4 mile run. Kind of neat because all of the runners were just in a get loose mode so they were running real slow and easy. This made me feel like a track star. Usually when I run I'm the slow one so lots of runners pass me, but not today. I just flew past these skinny, exercise addicts. Many of them asked me where I was from, so I had to slow down chat for a minute, then as I would speed up they would wish me luck tomorrow. I'm not sure if they think I'm participating or they know that I'll be dragging 2 kids around for 15 hours to cheer for their mom. We were all getting off the elevator and just before the door shut one of the women wished me luck. Michele was pissed that she didn't have time to straighten her out.

I really can't believe that these people are doing anything today knowing what's coming tomorrow. They all are so competitive. Even on a slow day like today they are dressed in their fancy high priced polyester shirts and spandex shorts. This stuff is not cheap. Well it can be but they don't have Walmart Starter brand like me. Many of them run or ride in packs. They have this intense look and I could tell that it was all they could do to continue at a slow pace. Imagine how pissed they were at me for speeding past them.

We met Jill, a lady that Michele had met previously at another event, and her, her husband, and another couple are here to cheer. The kids and I will probably hang with them tomorrow. She has a great idea for us to drink 140 beers. That's 1 beer for every mile they swim, ride, and bike. So if you don't hear from me tomorrow that means we accomplished that feat. I'll be taking lots of pics tomorrow and I'll especially be looking for participants in extreme distress. They should be plentiful and not difficult to find.


Michele finished and in a lot better time than she thought she would----12 hours, 40 minutes, 55 seconds.

That thing was crazy. There were about 2500 participants and about 1200 first timers. That means there were over 1000 people that were dumb enough to do that more than once. The most incredible to me was a 76 year old man did it. You would think a 76 year old would have better since. He must have Alzheimer's and had no clue what he was doing. Also incredible to me was there were some fat people in it----3 I think, and 1 brother. We stayed until almost midnight and those were the fun ones to watch. People staggering across the finish line as the crowd cheered, rang cow bells, blew party horns, and the announcer proclaimed "YOU ARE AN IRONMAN" in an attempt to inspire them. After 140.6 miles some were uninspired. No one crawled or puked, damn it, but it was fun to watch as long as I had a beer to drink.

Speaking of beer, Jill's idea of our group drinking one beer for every mile was a failure. We didn't earn our ironman. Me being the team player that I am held up my end, I even went above and beyond my duties and tried to make up for some of those not pulling their weight. We failed so there won't be an MVP but if there was I think I earned it. Obviously attempting to team drink 140 beers has a worse effect on the body than 140 miles. Michele's up running around feeling chipper, and I'm hungover, drinking coffee, queasy stomach, and head pounding. She's thinking about things we can do today, and I'm only thinking about puking. She's on a successful high and feeling good about herself, and I'm afraid to leave the condo because I might be recognized buy someone I ridiculed.


The participants had an awards ceremony last night that Michele went to because they were going to receive a DVD of the event. She could tell that it was going to last a long time so she left and we went to dinner and then back to the ceremony. Now, I'll do my best to describe the scene. The ceremony was letting out just as we were pulling up to the conference hall, and the participants were leaving through the front door right in front of us. Remember the day before all of these folks had swam, biked, and ran 140.6 miles, and now they have sat in a hard back folding chair for 2 hours. I don't think we actually have to do the Ironman to image the pain and stiffness these folks were now experiencing. This looked like the scene in "The Night of the Living Dead" when all of the zombies were walking together. Stiff legs, shuffle steps, no trunk rotation leaning side to side so they could bring their legs forward, their arms just hung to their sides with no movement. Hell, I was afraid it was going scare the kids. I sure scared me.

I woke up this morning about 3:00 AM to go pee and Michele was standing at the bathroom door. She looked kind of green and said, "I don't feel good". She stepped out of the bathroom for me to do my thing and I know you can guess what happened next. She bust through the door while I'm in mid stream, hand over mouth, HURRY UP I'VE GOT TO THROW UP!!! Now as many of you know this is almost an impossible task, but when Charlie and his friends are about to get puked on I had to man up in a hurry. She spent the next few hours with stuff coming out of both ends. Damn doesn't the Ironman sound like fun. I can't wait until next year.