Friday, December 30, 2011

GU winner

The winner has been picked out of the hat and it is one of the first bloggers I ever started following. Vanessa at Medievalist running in circles blog, you get the honors of testing out the GU Roctane Ultra Endurance and the sample pack of Gu goodies as you get ready once again to kick some butt at the Boston Marathon. I see a 3:15-3:20 in your future! Vanessa, email me with your address please.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I'm sure there will be more giveaways to come in 2012.

Much love and peace out!

Friday, December 23, 2011

2 years ago today ...

2 years ago today i sat down and started this blog.

the main reason i decided to start a blog was to put my goals in writing. i also planned on telling 2 or 3 close friends about it as a way to hold myself accountable. my thinking was, if i write about it and they read it, then i have to do what i say i'm going to do or they will surely call me out and lord knows that is my worst nightmare. ask anyone i know well and they will tell you that when i set out to do something or say i'm going to do something, you better believe i will do it! no matter how small or big of a deal it is, i do what i say i'm going to do. period.

in this case, i began this blog with the intentions of doing an iron distance race. 10 months later, i did just that and loved every second of it. so much so, i did it again a year later and getting ready for round 3 in 2012!
the best and most unexpected benefit of this blog has been "meeting" some of the nicest, most caring group of people i have ever come to know. some i have met in real life and i can say that each and everyone of them have been as awesome, if not, more awesome than their blogs portray. i hope to meet many more of you at future races.

THANKS for 2 great years of constant motivation and for keeping me on task. something about having to blog about my training and race results, keeps me honest. sometimes when that alarm goes off at 4am and i start talking myself out of going to the pool, i think about what you all would say ...like, SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP or IRONMAN WAITS FOR NO ONE! 

here's to many more fun years of blogging! much love and peace out.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

who wants to be a guinea pig for GU?

i crack up every time i look at this picture
i need one brave person to step up to the plate and test out a new liquid rocket fuel, made by GU Energy Labs. it is not yet available to the public, not even to me. can ya help a girl out here? the deal presented to me was to pick my most loyal reader of the year. WHAAAAT? well, i have no idea how to do that since i consider many of you to be loyal reader's of the year and if i could present each one of you with a tub of this GU Roctane Ultra Endurance, I would in a hot second, however, there are only 29 tubs of this stuff in existence.  
sadly, i have not had the opportunity (yet) to get my hands on this drink mix and this opportunity is only for you, my loyal, lovely friends out in blogville. from what i've read, it sounds very promising and sounds yummy. here is the scientific mumbo-jumbo about GU's new drink:

Light tasting, carbohydrate-dense Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Drink provides athletes easily available energy with the superior rehydration combination of sodium and potassium. Taurine, Caffeine, and the proven Roctane Amino Acid Blend provide extra energy, reduce muscle damage and maintain mental focus, while Beta-Alanine augments muscle buffering capacity and performance to help athletes meet their goals. In short, Roctane Drink is essential for any athlete striving to sustain peak performance through their endurance pursuits.

did you get all that? no? basically, what it means is, this stuff could possibly be a serious dose of kick ass that easily mixes in water.

the beautiful thing about GU products is that IT IS tested by super humans, like you, the beautiful people who read my blog (not tested on animals, not even on guinea pigs) and that is why they came to me, to seek out the perfect candidate.


the lucky winner will also receive this:

a GU sample pack full of goodies
since i think the task of naming a reader of the year, is next to impossible, i will do a giveaway in a random like fashion.
as Ben Bailey from Cash Cab would say, "You in?"

a few favors to ask of those who'd like to participate:

1- Follow my blog and let me know that you do. If you are a new follower (as in, you just started following for this giveaway then you get 1 entry).  If you have already been following my blog, and I do know who you peeps are, then you automatically get 2 entrie's.

2 - Tweet about this giveaway for another entry.

3 - Post the giveaway on your Facebook page for an additional entry.

4 - Post the giveaway on your blog if you have one, for 1 more entry.

5 - Promise me that if you win, and once you've had a chance to test out the drink mix, that you'll write an honest review of it on your blog and if you don't have a blog, then you can be a guest writer on mine. Easy, right? Pinky promise me this and you get one more entry.

Let me know each one that you do so that i can easily tally up your entries, got it?

the fine print:
~giveaway is only for residents of the US and Canada
~i'm not getting paid to do this
~contest ends at 12:00am EST on Wednesday, December 28th, 2011.
~i will put all the entries into a hat or box and have someone other than myself, pick the name out.
~check back on Thursday, December 29th, 2011 to see if you won.
~the winner has 48 hours to contact me via email with their contact info, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

big thanks to GU via Outside|PR for hooking me up with their awesome products for this giveaway! good luck my friends!

much love and peace out!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

thank you secret santa!

thanks J-man for telling me the bag was upside down!


i want to send a shout out to Christie in Utah at Build the Machine who seriously did her homework and took good notes while familiarizing herself with my blog.

fellow blogger, Jill at Run with Jill hosted her 2nd annual holiday blogger gift exchange. she matched up other bloggers and viola, a really fun secret santa-ish event. thanks Jill for putting all of this together; it was so much FUN!

so you wanna see the cool stuff i got from my secret santa Christie?

~ custom made stickers that read IRONMAN WAITS FOR NO ONE. is that too cool or what? i almost peed a little when i saw them. now i have to make sure wherever i stick them is sticker worthy.
~gu chomps which i LOVE. any flavor.
~a red lycra swimcap. perfect color for the season. i can't remember if i said anything on my blog about preferring lycra over latex caps but i absolutely love lycra caps. the latex one's give me such a headache. i only wear them at races because you have to, otherwise, lycra swimcaps rule for me.

i LOVE all of these cool gifts and thank you so much Christie for taking the time to delve into my blog! much appreciated!

much love and peace out!

Friday, December 16, 2011

15 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


On Monday, December 16, 1996, I married my best friend in the whole wide world! 
IN VEGAS!

Viva Las Vegas baby!
Life is good and I wouldn't trade it for anything, not even the fanciest or lightest triathlon bike on the planet. and i do love me some bikes you know. 

My Project 1 Trek Dream Ride - only $13,000
Happy anniversary J-Man! Just in case I haven't emphasized this enough, I'm so thankful that you aren't one of those husbands that wants to wear a matching cycling jersey or ride a tandem. Because that is so silly!

Team Concepcion kickin' it!
Thanks for not taking me too seriously when i get cranky and thanks for pulling me around on the bike all the time; the scenery is awesome and never gets old ...you also have the cutest buns, especially in those tight, black bike shorts!

much love and peace out!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

crunching the numbers & plans for 2012

i know it isn't Friday, the only day i like to blog, but tomorrow is a rather special post and none of this stuff would properly fit into that topic.

i pulled out my carry along abacus last night to crunch the numbers year to date and here's what i've been doing all year, besides working full time, blogging, and doing my best to maintain a normal life at home *(last year's numbers)*:

run: 1218 miles      *(1406)*
bike: 10,048 miles *(9867)*
swim: 126 miles     *(113)*

and the year ain't over yet folks!
the run makes me sad to compare with last year but i had 3 solid months of crappy running or barely running, thanks to a jacked up hammy issue. but i'm thankful that it resolved and that's all that matters now. the bike? what can i say, i love riding and i'll do it as much as i possibly can, no matter what. with our almost perfect year round weather for cycling, i just can't help myself. i knew the swim would be way better than last year. mostly because of kicking the YMCA to the curb and joining LA Fitness. best decision of 2011 right there. now that i know what i've done so far, the OCD side starts to take over as i crunch the numbers to see what i can do in these last 2 weeks to make those numbers all pretty and even. maybe i can get in 82 miles of running by December 31 to make it to 1300 miles and 252 more miles on the bike to make it to 10300 miles and 4 more miles of swimming to make it 130 miles total. I think the hardest one will be the running but I will give it a good try.


i pretty much have 2012 races all planned out. looks like i can get all of them in before the world ends on 12/12/12. i lucked out! i have some specific goals for most of these races but i'm saving that for another time. here are the race plans for 2012:

2/12/12 - St. Pete RnR half marathon
3/4/12 - Gasparilla half marathon
3/25/12 - Ocala HITS half iron
5/20/12 - Florida 70.3
11/3/12 - Ironman Florida

i would like to maybe find something between Florida 70.3 and IMFL but so far, i haven't seen anything that grabs me. there are several centuries that i do annually in between that time frame so really, there isn't a huge gap of nothingness between May and November. more than likely, i will do the 6 Gap ride again (that tough as nails 104 mile ride with 11,000+ feet of climbing) in Georgia at the end of September. so who else is doing one or more of the same races i'm doing? i hope to meet many more new faces at the races (i rhymed, heh!) this year.

a long, long time ago when i first started my blog (2 year anniversary coming up next week!), i mentioned that i have stacks and stacks of race t-shirts in my bedroom armoire and if i had to guesstimate, i'd say at least 100 shirts. as long as i can remember, i have been saying that i'm collecting them so that i can have a quilt made with all of them. so i'm asking all of my friends out in blog land, if you, or someone you know has a race quilt and if so, who made it and are you happy with how it turned out? i see a lot of different quilt businesses that you can send your t-shirts to but i would like to get a little feedback first and a possible recommendation or two before i hand off my prized possessions to just anyone. i'm very emotionally attached to those race shirts, even the one's that are 3 sizes too big!

have a great day ya'll! much love and peace out!

Friday, December 9, 2011

random friday

have you noticed the trend with my blog? i only blog on Fridays. i didn't plan that out, it just happens to be a coincidence, nothing more. anyway, today i realized that i have quite a few things i feel like blogging about and none of it is related or easy to tie in together so with randomness you get lots of bullet points to read thru today.

  • I'm finally getting around to doing the DWYLLC (do what you least like challenge) that i cleverly dreamt up back in September. if you forgot about it, go HERE  to refresh your memory. since i least like swimming, i have to swim 5 days out of 7 within the same week and no less than 1 mile. so far i have 2 days in a row of 3000 meters each. the deadline to complete this personal challenge is midnight, DEC 31st. some of my over-achieving friends have already completed their challenge ...Jenn at Junk Miles and Beth at Discombobulated Running you rock! Jenn ran 5 out of the 7 days and nothing less than a 5k distance and Beth biked no less than 12 miles for 5 out of the 7 days. 
  • remember the deal of the century i posted about back in march? no?  i posted about the "tent" sale that Shop Ironman.com was putting on and that i made out like a bandit. you can see all the stuff i got in March, by going HERE. anyway, they were back again last weekend for another tent sale, but this time, thanks to people like me who blogged about it (or should it be blabbed about it), everyone and their mother knew how awesome the deals were going to be, so this time it was a zoo. i stood in a line to pay for 3 hours! why? because there were people with boxes and boxes of merchandise they were purchasing ...maybe to sell on Ebay later? Smarties!  i didn't think the selection was as good as last time and they jacked up the prices. by jacked up i mean what i payed $5.00 for last time, was now $10.00.  i know that $10 for an $82 pair of tri shorts is still a bargain, so i'll stop my whining now.  here is what i got this time around (don't hate, LOL):

matching jersey and arm warmers at $10/each

IM jogbra $10

matching IM shorts that go with the jogbra above for $10
70.3 Florida visor $5
(front view) IM St. George Utah K-Swiss tri top $10
(back view) IM St. George Utah tri top ...i love the Kokopelli man!

  • i am way behind on movies but i just saw the hangover and i laughed my butt off. now i need to get my hands on the hangover 2 dvd. that's a hint by the way since Christmas is right around the corner.
  • Jill at Run with Jill is doing her 2nd annual blogger gift exchange again this year. i missed it last year cuz i was under that ugly, dark post IM black cloud but not this year, no sir, so i was all about getting in on the action this time. can i tell you how freakin' excited i was when she sent me who my exchangee is? oh yeah, this is gonna be good! secret Santa message to my exchangee ...i think you rock! can't wait to send you your gift from Santa!
  • i signed up for 70.3 Florida! it isn't at Disney anymore thank the stars above! after so many years of running the marathon there and having to wake up at 2:30am to catch a bus by 3:30 to then sit in the Epcot parking lot until 5:30 ...nah! i don't think so. after 2004, i vowed to never go back again and still have no intentions of ever participating in anything Disney related. too high maintenance for this girl. i prefer a grass roots race, especially when it comes to a marathon. preferably with about 1000 runners at the most, very little fan fare, like the Jacksonville Marathon. that is one of my favorites by far. 
  • ok, speaking of signing up for IM's. what is the deal with all the stupid questions you HAVE to answer in order to register? and they have a little red asterisk to let you know that you HAVE to answer it. if you hit submit but didn't answer all of the mandatory questions, it will take you back to the registration page and let you know it is not complete. why does WTC need to know my local newspaper and news channel? i assure you, i have no tear jerker, pull at your heart string stories to offer them. here are a few other stupid questions that are mandatory: 
~What other athletic accomplishments and athletic background do you have? 
~Please share significant information relating to your training or participation.
~Interesting facts about you?
~Why have registered for this event?
~Significant Personal Achievements?
~What is your favorite food and car? (just kidding on this one)

i ended up putting either a smart ass answer in the box or n/a so it would allow me to move on with the registration. anyone else find these questions annoying as all hell or am i just a crank yanker?
  • but wait, there's more! then there is another section of "non-mandatory" questions such as household income, do you expect to hire a coach, how many bikes do you own, are you planning on purchasing a bike or some race wheels in the next 12 months, how many pairs of running shoes are you planning to buy this year, what about a new helmet? 
  • i did a trail run this morning. not that this is huge news but usually when i run it's dark so i don't dare enter the dark trails with all the spooky animals but this morning, since i was off work, i swam first, then went out to run once the sun came up. i saw 3 deer and group of about 10 turkeys. the turkeys were busy eating and just for fun, i whistled at them and they all stopped and looked at me. it was kinda funny. 
  • do you all have nick names for people at the gym? i do! lots of them. makes me wonder if they have nick names for me. anyway, lately i have had this guy swimming in the lane next to me that i have named, Hop-Along-Cassidy because he hops on one foot back and forth a few laps, then he does what i call the seahorse swim. he swims upright for a few laps, then swims the rest of the time with a pull buoy. i get the pool buoy swimming but what's the deal with the hopping and seahorsing? 

well, i think that's all i've got for you today kids! it's been nice, but i gotta go. i'll leave you with a picture of my beautiful Christmas tree. don't laugh! it really is my tree and it really does make me smile. it even has one Waterford ornament hanging from it but it's hard to see in this picture.

much love and peace out!

Friday, December 2, 2011

chain reaction

A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results ~Wade Boggs
As many of you know, I log my training on Dailymile now. I have ever since the other log that I had used for over 4 years completely crashed and burned, never to be recovered. I can't say enough about some of the people that I have met thru Dailymile (DM from here on out). What's great about DM is that you meet others that have the same goals such as training for an Ironman or marathon. Sometimes, they are training for the exact same one you are so that's an instant bond right there. Some even live right here in Tampa and I see them on a regular basis. Many of these people are simply awesome and sometimes they may not even realize the impact their comments carry.
Here is an example. Last week, even with all the holiday craziness and work, I somehow managed to bike 251 miles and run 26 miles. Earlier this week, I got a text message from Patrick at 3 Sport Journey, whom I met via DM. Here is his exact text message: Just a friendly reminder that 0 (zero) of your 277 miles this week were in the pool. My reply: Aaaaaaah! Cold busted! I will make it up this week, girl scout promise (insert smiley "i just got busted" smiley here). So mind you, all week, his text message has haunted me. This morning, I got up, of course I really wanted to run, but I grabbed my swimsuit, gym bag, and headed to the pool without kicking and screaming. I admit, it felt great to swim again. I have been in the pool twice since Ironman Florida, which is 2 more times than last year at this same time. I did none (ZERO) swimming for about 3 months straight after my first 140.6 and felt guilty almost every day about it but obviously it wasn't enough to make me head to the pool like a friendly text message from a friend. Here is where I tie in the chain reaction part of this story. After my swim this AM, I text messaged Patrick to say swim done and thanks for the kick in the ass! On my way to work, I got a text message from my GA buddy, Summer from Blue Line Runner wishing me a happy Friday. Of course I had to throw in that I had already swam 3000 meters. She and I have been each others swim police since this summer as we both tend to slack off sometimes when it comes to the pool. I'll tell you what, having someone to be accountable to is wonderful. At least for me since I hate to disappoint others when they are counting on me. It worked very well for us but now that all of our races for the year are over, it makes it easy to have pool amnesia. A few hours after our text message conversation, I got an email from Summer letting me know that she too had gone to the pool and swam.
How's that for a chain reaction of pure motivation and keeping each other on task and motivated? This is just one example of how we all come together and I'll tell you, it brings out the best in me and for that, I am thankful and lucky to have met many of these DM'ers. My fellow bloggers fall into this category too.
Lately life has been super busy. Work, holiday stuff, family obligations, training just to keep my sanity, yada, yada, yada. Yeah, I hear ya too and many of you are in the same boat. It isn't necessarily a bad thing either because it's what helps us keep our lives in balance. Last week and most of this week, I found myself feeling inundated by social media ...such as, facebook, twitter, text messages, dailymile, blog stuff, emails, etc... so i had a lot of conversations with myself, on my morning runs, about how to handle it. Should I just take a vacation from all of it? I totally blame myself for allowing it to make me feel overwhelmed. I came to the conclusion that I can have it all but just need to manage my time better and not feel like I have to be instantaneous about answering an email or text. Problem solved!
I'm a night rider, not to be confused with Knight Rider. Ever since daylight saving time kicked in, the day after Ironman Florida, J-Man and I decided we weren't going to let that hinder us from still being able to get our after work rides in. We both equipped the roadbikes with a front and rear light and have been flying thru the hood during the week like bad-asses ever since. The cars can see us very well and besides the occasional jackwagon who thinks yelling at us to get on the sidewalk is a good idea or just honking their horn at us, it has been awesome. There really is something exhilarating about riding at night. J-Man and I also agreed that we feel like we are cheating time. Good times!

Big shout out to all who are racing this weekend, especialmente SeƱor Bahamundi at Cook|Train|Eat|Race who is running the Las Vegas Marathon this Sunday. Looks like the winds have calmed down and the weather is going to be great for a 26.2 mile run.
Much love and peace out!

***side note: why does this post look like crap? I hate you Blogger!

Friday, November 18, 2011

100 things about moi

well, i said i was going to do this 100 random things about me dealio awhile back but never got past 25 but today is a new day and i found my blogging mojo. enjoy!

1. After almost 40 marathons, I’ve never lost a toenail.

2. The smell of pancakes and syrup makes me sick.

3. I used to work at village inn as a hostess when I was in high school (see #2)

4. I used to cry if my Mom made me wear a dress to church.

5. I really despise sneaky wheel sucking cyclists. I may or may not try to pick a fight.

6. I should have weighed 300 pounds as a teenager with the eating habits I had.

7. I used to eat an entire strawberry cheesecake from village inn for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in one day (see #3 & 6).

8. I got serious about my health and fitness at the age of 19 and have never looked back.

9. I was a vegetarian for about 3 years in the early 1990’s.

10. I have never been to Steak-n-Shake, Checkers, Olive Garden or Sonic.

11. I used to think marathons were fun, now I find them boring.

12. Eating out is a waste of money and time in my opinion.

13. I miss my parent’s every single day and don’t think I will ever meet 2 people more special than they were.

14. I’ve never met my biological parent’s.

15. One day, I hope to meet my biological parent’s.

16. Short hair rules and I will never grow mine out again.

17. I’m scared to see what my hair color would be if I didn’t color it.

18. I eat way too much cheese. I may need an intervention.

19. Learning to swim was a very humbling experience.

20. If I could safely ride my bike to and from work (50 mile round trip), I would.

21. I could live without a TV in the house.

22. I cannot live without the internet.

23. I don’t have any pets.

24. I am deathly afraid of lightning.

25.  I prefer running alone in the dark.

26.  I have to agree that working out is cheaper, better for you and more fun than therapy.

27.  I could eat sashimi everyday but can't remember the last time i had any.

28.  I hate that my body doesn't like to build bigger muscle. And Lord knows i try.

29.  Peas and Lima beans gross me out.

30.  I have no room in my life for gossipy, stir the shit up kind of people.

31.  I wish I lived closer to the ocean so I could do more open water swims.

32.  I am more scared of crashing on my bike because of an animal than being hit by a car.

33.  I have way too many running shoes.

34.  I went thru 5 swim suits this year alone. They sure don't last long.

35.  I didn't pay more than $12 for each swim suit (see #34).

36.  I still don't "get" Twitter.

37.  I really don't "get" Google+.

38.  Slowtwitch forums are full of haters.

39.  Beginner Triathlete forum is so much classier. Especially the IM Florida peeps.

40.  I have never followed a schedule for my ironman training.

41.  I have never followed a schedule for all of the marathons I've done either.

42.  I hate schedules. It takes all the fun out of training for me.

43.  If I weren't so into triathlons, I would probably be a bodybuilder.

44.  I'm addicted to my smart phone, so says the J-man.

45.  I don't stop to smell the roses as often as I should.

46.  I have been eating Flintstones vitamins with iron for about 10 years.

47.  I have a hyperthyroid but haven't taken my medication in over a year.

48.  I really don't think I have a hyperthyroid.

49.  I hate my doctor's office and think they aren't very in tune with me (see #47 & 48).

50.  As a teenager, I ate almost all of my meals from fast food joints, McD's mostly.

51.  I broke into a vacant house on my street when I was in high school. Just cuz.

52.  I worked out with Andrew Dice Clay one late Friday night at Bally's.

53.  I am absolutely against listening to music with earphones on when biking outside.

54.  I can cook, I just chose not to.

55.  Thank God for microwaves.

56.  I'm pretty cranky when I don't get to workout in the morning before work.

57.  I really do think the honey badger is the baddest ass animal out there.

58.  I loved Christmas growing up but not so much anymore. Just another day.

59.  I thoroughly clean my bikes after every ride.

60.  I will never eat popcorn. Farmers feed their cows and pigs corn to fatten them up. 

61.  The first thing I want to do after an Ironman race is brush my teeth.

62.  I refuse to pay someone to wash and detail my car. 

63.  I can detail a car like no one else (see #62).

64.  The J-man is my bike mechanic and he is the bomb.

65.  I have no interest in learning how to do mechanical stuff to my bike.

66.  Since Ironman Florida, I have had about 50 people add me to their google+ circle.

67.  I don't know any of these people (see #66).

68.  Meeting bloggers in real life is pretty darn cool.

69.  Mellow Mushroom pizza has to be about the best pizza that I've ever had.

70.  Thank God Mellow Mushroom is about 30 miles away or I'd be racing as an Athena.

71.  Coffee is in fact the nectar of the Gods. 

72.  I used to hate Starbucks coffee. Now I can't live without it.

73.  My first hamster's name was Timothy. He froze to death.

74.  I think Vanilla really is the finest of the flavors.

75.  I drink Slimfast shakes but not for weight loss. I just love them. Vanilla of course.  

76.  Tapering for a race isn't as bad I like to make it out to be.

77.  I wish my body didn't rebel so damn much when I try to run over 45 miles/week.

78.  Men with overly hairy bodies should not be allowed to swim in the pool.

79.  I never knew snorkels were allowed in triathlons until last year. 

80.  All of my "vacations" in the last 15 years, have involved some kind of race event.

81.  I am not a procrastinator even though I've been putting this list off for months, lol.  

82.  I prefer running alone with music blaring.

83.  I graze all day long.

84.  I don't participate in food days at work. I have watched too many Hoarder episodes.

85.  I refuse to shop at Walmart during normal hours. 5-6am is usually best and safest.

86.  I vowed to never buy an American car. I think I may have to go back on my vow.

87.  I love the new Ford Focus SEL Titanium 5 door, fully loaded in red. I'm getting one!

88.  J-man doesn't like that I want to put more race stickers on my SUV back window.

89.  I still haven't gotten that 140.6 tattoo I was thinking about last year.

90.  I really like the M dot tats but not on me.

91.  I'm still devastated that I can no longer eat peanut butter b/c of allergies. I miss it.

92.  I hate excuses. They are just reasons to fail.

93.  If I could, I'd wear a running cap to work everyday.

94.  I don't get along real well with people who tend to always be running late.

95.  I still haven't visited my parent's grave since the funerals, almost 5 years ago.

96.  I think funerals are a big waste of money. What a ridiculous ceremony.

97.  I want to be burned at the stake cremated.

98.  P90X rocks. If you don't already have it, go buy it and DO IT!

99.  Don't be fooled by my quietness.

100.  I got married in Vegas almost 15 years ago. I'd do it all over again too! With J-man of course.

Much love and peace out!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ironman Florida - Part 3 - the run


yay! windy 112 miles done and i quickly hand my bike off to a volunteer and start running to the T2 bag area, which was very close this time compared to where the first transition was, and i hauled butt to the same changing area as before. plenty of space, even more than before and i quickly removed my bike shoes, the volunteer dumped my bag out and handed me my running shoes, and the other volunteer (yep, I had 2 helping me) sprayed sunscreen on me and i was out the door running. time in T2: 4:49.


this picture sums up how great i felt during the run but unfortunately, it doesn't reflect in my time: 4:08:28

i learned at about mile 8 that the few big gulps of salt water i took in the swim had done some damage to my GI system over the last 6-7 hours. i figured this out after the race while talking to at least 2 handfuls of others who had the same experience and could only attribute it to the salt water. i would say for me that it couldn't have been anything else as my eating is ALWAYS the same leading up to a race, my nutrition and hydration were exactly the same as last year when i did my first 140.6 race, and always the same as i do during training. i have never had stomach issues in a race. i also have never done a race of this distance that had a salt water swim. so with that being said, i had to make a couple of not so fun pit stops at the port-o-lets which started to eat into my time.

i would have killed for a vanilla frosty from Wendy's across the street right about now

my "should have been" marathon time should have been closer to 3:45-3:50. i never felt bad while i was running and never slowed down my pace but the time i spent reading magazines, really hurt me and does reflect negatively on my run. oh well, maybe i will experiment in my training by drinking salt water.

the spectators along the way were awesome. tents were set up along the side of the road as if people were tailgating for the big game and they were rooting for their favorite athletes. it was great and i had my share of cheerleaders along that stretch. thanks you guys! overall, the course is okay, maybe a little boring on some stretches in St. Andrews State Park. the aid stations were plentiful and i used them at least every 2 miles. i lived off the course for the marathon. i did a post last year regarding my hydration and nutrition during the Great Floridian 140.6, which was flawless, and i followed that again this year and it worked like a charm. if you want to read it, go HERE.

the finish was just as i thought it would be ...bright lights and lots of screaming spectators. the words, Kristie Concepcion, you are an Ironman never sounded so good. i felt fine when i finished, had a great catcher walk me thru to get my finishers medal, t-shirt, hat and then a finishers picture. i found the J-man right away and quickly found a spot to sit down and stretch out. then got changed into some dry clothing and headed to Wendy's for that vanilla frosty i wanted. we were going to stay and spectate until the cutoff but we all were so tired that we hopped on the shuttle and headed back to the car and then to the hotel. on the ride back to the hotel, i told the J-man i wasn't sticking around to register for next year, however, before my head hit the pillow, he had me talked into signing up for IMFL 2012, so that's what i did before rolling out of Panama City Beach on Sunday. I'm so glad I did it and I look forward to next year with even better results. 
        ********************************
Swim - 1:20:30
T1 - 8:26
Bike - 5:43:16
T2 - 4:49
Run - 4:08:28
Finishing Time - 11:25:29
544th OA
15th AG/120
much love and peace out!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ironman Florida Race Report part 2 - the bike

first i gotta give my J-man some mad props for being such an awesome cycling coach and helping me to HTFU on the bike. i took this picture of him last Friday before he headed out for a ride in Panama City Beach. it was a little nippy, thus the arm warmers. when he got back from his ride, the first thing he said to me was, "omg, i hope it isn't this windy for the race tomorrow." to which i replied, " well, i do have an aero helmet, aero wheels and the right bike so i'll just deal with it tomorrow and take what the day gives me."

fast forward to saturday, swim done, run on the cheese grater asphalt, grab my T1 bag, and into the ladies changing area. best part about ironman triathlons? lots more men than women do them so much more space for us ladies to change without someone's butt in our face. there were chairs but i didn't even sit down. the volunteer (God bless all of them) dumped my bag out on the floor and handed me my helmet, then sunglasses, socks, and then as i put my shoes on, she sprayed me down with my personal spray-on sunscreen. i wasn't about to get slathered with that generic crap they have set up with latex gloved volunteers ready to slap it on you, as you are running out the door to grab your bike.

T1: 8:26 

it sure didn't feel like 8 and a half minutes, maybe more like 5 but it was quite a haul from the swim to T1. next year i'll shoot for at least 2 minutes less.

just like clockwork, my bike was awaiting me as i ran out. unfortunately, there were so many others exiting at the same time, we had to keep running with our bikes way past the actual mount line. it was crazy! sherpa Angie yelled at me to "be careful!" somehow, i knew what she meant and she explained later that people were all over the place and almost crashing into each other. thankfully, i was able to get clear enough to get on my bike, clip in and GO!

too many people at the same time trying to get the hell out of dodge

forgive me for not going into the finer details here but i don't remember all that much about the 112 miles other than it was freaking WINDY as all hell! i have never, ever ridden in such horribly windy conditions. NEVER, EVER! there were times i almost lost control of the bike while i was in an aero position, which was about 95% of the time. i would have to say that i fought the wind for 75% of the miles and maybe had a little help from the wind at my back for about 25% of the time. i was not happy. in fact, i pretty much had convinced myself by mile 50 that i would never sign up for ironman florida again. from the minute we rolled into PCB, nothing but crazy ass wind whipping up. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

i'm sorry if this post seems negative but there wasn't much good going on out there. one of the main things i noticed, that i had heard about from previous years, was that the drafting is off the chain. now, i know some people are going to cheat but for the most part, everyone "gets" the rules and tries to maintain proper spacing, passing, etc... unfortunately, this is nearly impossible to do with the volume of people racing at this venue. my legs were about to blow up before i even got to mile 40 because i kept getting caught up in groups of riders and i'll be damned if i was getting a red card from Heidi or Chloe, so i kept surging ahead, keeping with the "pass within 20 second" rule. let me tell you, it is IMPOSSIBLE not to draft at this race, period! if anyone tells you otherwise, they are full of crap. can you imagine trying to keep surging past these clumps of riders, over and over? by the time you hit the half-way mark, your legs are toast.

then at mile 43, some guy caused a horrible crash. he should be very ashamed of himself for riding like an aggressive asshole and for not even turning around or acknowledging the crash he caused that made 2 people hit the pavement hard. he just kept on pedaling like he stole something.

i stopped twice briefly to fill my aero-bottle. the volunteers handed off the water with the caps still tight and i couldn't open it and dump it in without feeling like i was going to lose control of the bike. so quick stop, dump water in, get going.

here she comes!
i had no flats thank goodness and for the most part the roads were okay. there was this one terrible road that went about 10 miles out, than you u-turned, heading back on the same road for another 10 miles. it had these deep indented ridges i guess is the best way to describe it. every 5 second, bump, bump, bump. i was getting so annoyed, i just wanted to scream. no matter where you were on this road, those bumps were there and stretched all the way across. the absolute worst part was the last 6 miles coming back. the wind would come from between the high-rise condos and hit you like a 350lb linebacker. i had to keep getting out of the aero position and grab the handlebars tight to not get blown over. my speed would literally go from 22 mph to 14 mph within seconds and this continued for 6 miles until the finish.

and there she goes ...
overall, i felt strong, but i knew my time on the bike didn't really reflect my true strength on the bike. at the end, my garmin had me at 20.2 for an average speed but with the 2 water stops, i ended up with an official race time of  5:43:16 (average 19.5 mph). 


so, in summary, the bike portion, usually my favorite part, royally sucked in my opinion.

to be continued tomorrow - part III - the run

much love and peace out!

intermission

calm down! part 2 of ironman florida race report is in the works and will be posted before the sun sets on tampa bay.  but first,  i had to give some proper props to the honey badger sign i recently posted on my facebook page via my cell phone cam, which really did no justice to how awesome this sign is. so here it is:


honey badger don't care. it don't give a sh*t. it takes what it wants!

the very talented artist of this sign (Laura Lucus, aka: LuLu), wrote a nice note that read:
"KC don't care, she'll run all day long!"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ironman Florida Part 1- the swim

ok you guys, i almost had to cancel my twitter, facebook, blog and cellphone accounts because of all the uproar and harassment over not putting up a race report yet. i kid, i kid! but almost!

i have gone back and forth with how to structure this RR and i think by splitting it up into swim/bike/run, it will be easier to blog about from a time management standpoint (both my thumbs pointing back at me) and also just based on my own experience when reading race reports, i actually prefer shorter pieces due to my poor attention span. the coolest part of all is, tomorrow will be the bike portion and then on Saturday, i will post the run portion of the race. that means,  i will have blogged 5 days in a row! i don't think that has EVER happened.


i will be honest, i lost a little sleep thinking about this swim. not about my abilities to do it, but what it was going to be like to (a) swimming with almost 3000 other crazy animals athletes, (b) the wind had been acting up since we rolled into town so i was concerned how that would affect the current and last but not least, (c) the pink meanies!!


prior to the start of the swim that morning, i got some sage advise from Chloe and Heidi about how and where i should position myself. they said exactly what i didn't want to hear ...get up in the front, just go and let the crowd pull you. i said to myself, "self, those chics killed the swim last year, they must know what they speak of so you should listen to them and just do it." as i did my death march towards the shore with the J-man and Sherpa Angie next to me, i  felt all the nerves just go away. i told myself as i always do before any open water swim, to swim as if i were in the pool. nice and calm, relaxed, not panicky, breathing smooth, and kicking easy. before i knew it the pro's went off and then 10 minutes later, the cannon went off for us and just like that, i was in the water in no time and swimming as if it were a day at the pool. i didn't even pay attention much to the amount of people around me, i just tried to stay within myself, holding my pace and just working thru/around the slower swimmers whenever that happened. i think that i imagined the swim to be something far crazier and chaotic, and from shore, it probably looks like chaos but it really isn't as bad as it looks. the current was pushing us to the inside of the buoys as we headed out and then to the outside as we headed back to shore. my sighting was spot on, no issues there and i felt like for the most part, i was holding a pretty good line, not all zig zag. even though i have less than 2 years of swimming under my belt, i can hold a straight line in an OWS.

round one of the swim was pretty uneventful. i exited the water at 37 minutes, grabbed some water, because my mouth was tasting soooo salty and dry, and then ran back for round 2 of the swim. this time, not as many people to pull me along as the first time, which was not a bad thing as i found myself with a little more personal space to swim in. i forgot to mention how absolutely beautiful and crystal clear the water was. so much so, that on the 2nd loop, i started to see things, really funky pink, glow in the dark things under me and then i remembered the race director mentioning, at the athletes dinner on Thursday, something about a new species of jellyfish. oh yeah, and they said, if you get stung by one of these 50 pound beasts with 70 foot tentacles (not testicles, ok?), don't panic, just relax, keep swimming and when you are done, see a medic. great! just what i needed to hear.

say hello to the pink meanie jellyfish! i bet even the bad ass honey badger wouldn't mess with this thing.

anyway, i kept seeing these huge-O-rama jellyfish under me. my depth perception was not very good and i kept thinking as i was going thru the pull phase of my stroke, that i was going to get a handful of pink meanie nastiness. thank goodness, i was one of the lucky one's. some of the swimmers wearing sleeveless wetsuits were not so lucky. 

on this last, mostly uneventful lap, i did get a little irritated on the way back in as i got sandwiched between 2 Sir. Hump-a-lots ( thank you Matty O for burning that name into my head)! i had enough of that BS, so i kicked into turbo bitch mode and ripped right thru the middle of these fools and left them eating my foot bubbles. 

once i stepped onto shore, i was thrilled to see the time of 1:20:30. that is 10 minutes faster than my first 140.6 race, last October. maybe 10 minutes doesn't seem all that impressive but when you consider the swim last year was in a body of water with no waves or currents worth mentioning and only about 200 athletes at the most, i think i did pretty darn well. i think what also helped me improve my swim, was kicking the YMCA to the curb and signing up at LA Fitness. i had more opportunities to swim and my consistency was much better this year. i also have my homegirl, Summer to thank for keeping my butt in line when i began to slack with the swimming over the summer. she made me step up my game and i wasn't about to disappoint her. 

getting thru the wetsuit stripper was uneventful but kinda fun to have them yank it off you. i hauled booty to the T1 area (swim to bike transition bag area for those non-triathletes reading this), yelled out my number so they could find it faster and a wonderful volunteer handed me the wrong bag. the bag had been bedazzled and had a huge pink bow on it. i mean this bag was beautified beyond belief. i don't decorate my bags, folks. not my style. anyway, my bag was right there so no prob, grabbed it and ran into the changing room. the only part i didn't like about this long jaunt from the shore to the changing area was the asphalt was really bumpy and rough. mind you, my feet are like rawhide from walking barefoot all the time but i felt like i was walking on a cheese grater, ouchies! 

to be continued tomorrow ...much love and peace out!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

almost wordless Wednesday


this ALMOST wordless Wednesday will serve as my "pre" race report ...
WOW! That's A LOT of bikes. I'm plotting out a fast escape.


Another view of all the bikes stuffed into every available nook and cranny.



T2 - Bike to Run bags ...looks crazy but it's very organized.


Another view of T2


My bff and bestest race sherpa hanging on the beach! THANK YOU Bella for cheering your ass off! Poor girl even got a blister from ringing the cowbell so much, LOL!

I even met some fellow dailymilers. This is me and Beto from Miami. He is now an IRONMAN!!
Blogger meet-up! Can you say AWESOME? These people exude awesomeness in every way.  Love you guys!!


Yep, that's the Queen of Caratunk, Maine right there with me! Rumor has it that we were separated at birth. And, I hear she can cook up a mean batch of rice crispy treats with her eyes closed. (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!)

Stay tuned because i promise to at least blog about the swim portion of the race. Would you believe me if I said that the swim was my favorite part of the race? Yep, you read that right. 

much love and peace out!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

teaser

i am still gathering my thoughts and photos for my race report but did manage to put a little video together. it isn't anything special but what i love most about it is that it shows just how HUGE these Ironman races are. you get a good feel for that by watching the athletes lining up for the swim. i knew it was close to 3000 athletes but until i saw the video, i had no idea what that looked like. there is music on the video so you may need to stop the music that automatically plays on my blog or you will be listening to 2 songs mixed together and Eminem and Techno don't go together. enjoy!

Ironman Florida 2011

much love and peace out!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

lose yourself


i'm ready to have myself some fun! you think doing an ironman race is exhausting? i think getting all the gear ready and organizing all the stuff needed is more exhausting! it's such a mind drain but thankfully i had the entire day to get this done.
cell phone pic is sorta crappy but you get the idea - all the bags and box
hopefully all of my various bags with labels will make putting together my T1 and T2 bags a lot easier. it also helps that i have 2 of the best race sherpa's going along with me to help keep my head on straight. i get a little discombobulated with so much going on.
J-man - an awesome race sherpa

Bella - my other favorite race sherpa



i'm very lucky and so grateful to have them as my sidekicks for the next few days. i'm also looking forward to meeting so many of my favorite bloggers and daily-milers from all over the US. i will make sure to take plenty of pictures and videos. 

the weather is looking fabulous. last check showed 46 as a low and 75 as a high and the wind was 10mph but i can't remember what direction it was blowing. i could care less. i'm going out there, wind or no wind, and i'm going to give it my best and have fun along the way. who knows, maybe i will have the most perfect day and maybe get a chance to go to hawaii next year but if not, no tears here, i will gladly sign up for IMFL 2012! in either case, there is another IM on tap for 2012 and that alone makes my heart happy.
Mandy - my tri bike chomping at the bit!
we are ready to rock and roll on the streets of panama city beach! thanks to all my friends for the encouragement along the way. it means a lot to me ...more than you know and you all will be with me in spirit on saturday for sure. if you'd like to track my progress on race day, see my last post HERE.

much love and peace out!