Sunday, December 28, 2008

IM CDA week 2..

That felt like the longest training week ever!

Monday- Went to Performance Labs to get LT testing done with Craig in Mill Valley. Testing determines my heart rate training zones and also tests my fitness level. Boy! Am I out of shape..yes fitness level has much room for improvement! I think more than both Chris and I thought haha! The discussion and explanation of numbers with Craig was quite interesting. I think I learned more about mitochondria in that one sitting than I did in all of school!

Tuesday- Went to CT class with my new wattage numbers (lower) yet it didn't feel that much easier. Class is hard but always so much fun! Swum after work with Kara.

Wednesday- Work has definitely slowed down with Christmas Eve! Did a morning run along the Embarcadero.

Thursday- Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! With morning hail and thunderstorms, I wasn't sure I was able to get out for my run. A moment of sunshine came through so out the door in my running shoes I went! I ran at the museum track in Golden Gate Park. It was beautiful and empty! I wished I had my dslr camera! Got some great news! One of my best friends, Heidi and her beau Alex got engaged!! I am so happy and over the moon for her! I was there when they met at an Ironteam info meeting and I was at the party when Heidi asked Alex out! I love it! There is hope after all! Haha.

Friday- Kara and I did the Marin Headlands in the morning as Chris wanted me to do some hill repeats. I actually love riding the Headlands but it's descending down the backside that makes me nervous. The first and only time I've done it was maybe 4 years ago with the VeloGirls. I was so nervous and scared that I actually slowed my bike down, hit the barricade on purpose and got off my bike. Yup, I psyched myself out! This time, descending down went much smoother, no hitting my bike on the barricade. Just gripping on like crazy on the brakes with my calve/feet shaking like crazy! Haha. Right before Kara and I were to descend, I heard these two guys that had just reached the top of the Headlands say, "They're going for it!"

See photo below- backside of Marin Headlands/Conzumel Drive. It really doesn't show how steep it really is but gives you an idea!

Saturday- Kara and I went on a cold cold cold ride! Did I mention it was cold?! Made for the 3.5 hours in the saddle tough! After that ride, I took a nap and then went to Sports Basement to gather up some cold weather riding necessities! Did I mention it was cold this morning?! I can't decide which part of our day was better- Kara's bike falling over towards my bike while still on the roof of my car OR Kara pulling out her GoKart face mask (I have one too, haha) and putting it on and then asking, "how am I going to spit?" Haha! Good times!

Sunday- Swum, biked and ran at the gym! End of what feels like the longest training week ever!

Workout Summary-
Swim- 3 hours and 49 minutes
Bike- 7 hours and 35 minutes
Run- 2 hours and 45 minutes
Total Workout- 14 hours and 9 minutes

Sunday, December 21, 2008

IM CDA week 1- Official week 1 of structured workouts...check!

Officially started training for IM Couer d'Alene...

I LOVE Christmas and the holidays except this rain can lighten up a bit!

Wednesday night, Ironteam had our team dinner that yours truly and her co-community captain Jessica planned. It went well except we had a slight shortage of food problem but leave it to IronMom Jessica to deal with it in our favor!

Left to Right- Caesar, Marin, Jessica, Doug, Heidi, myself and Hez

Ferdie, Doug, me and Caesar-
So after Chris agreed to coach me and all the paperwork and admin stuff was done, I logged onto workoutlog to see what he had instore for me! My first reaction.....long stare on the computer screen...followed by laughter..! First week out and I already had 9+ hours of workouts to complete for the week. Whatever happened to starting slow? 6 hours? 7 maybe? Haha..nope..not Chris' style! I do have to say that I am working a bit harder on my training being that I am actually paying for it now. Have to do it right! Went to CompuTrainer class on Friday for the first time in three weeks.. I am happy to report that I didn't feel like throwing up nor did I feel like passing out!

Ironteam's coached workout was all day Saturday. They had to do a bike/run brick three times, bike handling clinic and core strength. Since I am following Chris' program, I just spun on the trainer for the 2.5 hours that I was supposed to. I was glad since every part of my body except for my fingers were basically screaming sore from CT class on Friday. It was great to see the team work so hard.. and nice to be around..glad we had the one day of sunny weather on Saturday!

With the rainy weather- be careful driving out there and pay attention to the road! It's Sunday late afternoon and I am sitting here blogging but hours before, I was out doing some last minute shopping and saw two big car accidents. One SUV spun out and ended up on the mount of this road and another was a 4 car pile up on 19th Ave. The car in front of me was being a complete idiot and actually slowed down to take a picture.. at times I really wish I had eggs readily available in my car for moments like those! AND to the lady that ran the stop sign at a commercial area to snag a parking spot..I wish I had an egg for you too!

Stay warm everyone!

Workout Summary-
Swim- 2 hours and 15 minutes
Bike- 5 hours and 30 minutes
Run- 1 hour and 45 minutes
Total workout- 9 hours and 30 minutes

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I've resurfaced!

Back from Thailand!

I am back from Thailand! It was two full weeks in the country of smiles..I avoided the mess in Bangkok with the anti-government protesters shutting down the airports and am back home as planned! Thailand was so much fun! My pictures are posted here with Shutterfly. Below is a photo of me and Lucky, the 1 year old elephant:

So while I was in Thailand, I was thinking about a bunch of things. Being in a country halfway across the world alone means a lot of thinking and reflecting time. One of those thoughts was that I want to be at the start line of Ironman Couer d'Alene next year the best prepared I can be! Having said that, I asked my CompuTrainer spin coach Chris Hauth if he would coach me for CDA and he responded with, "Of course, we already have so much fun in spin." Awesome! I am more excited about the upcoming training season when I already am! It's going to be hard and tough because he is tough but it'll be good for me. I already saw my workouts for the week of the 15th which is my first week with him. My first reaction...whoa..that's a lot of hours! Enjoying my last slacker weekend here... stay tuned to see how my body reacts to my first week of actual IM CDA training!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Coundown to Thailand!

Counting down to my annual backpack trip!

I am leaving for Thailand in just three days! I am so glad I didn't cancel this trip because I definitely need the time away to! Once I get back, it's training in full for IM CDA!

Work was murder this past week! Had to knock out three big meetings in one week and all the prep that goes into it. Had a tension headache that I couldn't get rid of until I set foot into the pain cave Tuesday morning (disgusting I know..funny how that works) for a training session. The headache just disappeared when I was securing my bike onto the CompuTrainer.

Speaking of training, went to the pain cave (Chris' CT classes) twice this week..Tuesday was definitely more painful than Thursday due to the core work exercises that he incorporated in between spin sessions. I could hardly raise my arms to wash my hair after the Tuesday class! Pain..but it'll only make me stronger as I need all the strength building I can get!!

Took P2 (TT bike) out for a mellow 30 miler on Canada Road with Fern, Caesar and Fern's mentee Stephanie. Felt like crap for the first 7 miles but after a quick stop at Robert's Market, my legs found themselves and really had a bonding moment with P2.

Had a great Sunday afternoon...went out for a morning run and then went with Mel to the opening of our friend Rand's custom bike shop, Aria Velo. He got me thinking about getting a new road bike again but it won't be for awhile..probably not for a long while. I'd have to justify the new road bike purchase since Paris aka P1 is still in fine working shape. Yes, I name my bikes. I think all bikes should be named...don't laugh!

Workout Summary-
Swim- 0 hours and 0 minutes
Bike- 4 hours and 36 minutes
Run- 1 hour and 45 minutes
Strength- 0 hours and 30 minutes
Total workout- 6 hours and 51 minutes

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ironteam 2009 Officially Starts!

42 strong and counting in terms of participants!

So Ironteam 2009 officially started this week with Kickoff! Day started at 8am..but 8:30am for yours truly due to some confusion and lasted until about 5:00pm. Guess we should all get used to these long weekend days again! 1st impression of team? So far so good!

I started to train again with IM Coeur d'Alene as my target race. I wasn't going to to start until after I got back from Thailand but my body was itching to workout so I started. I figured I'll get a little head start before I relapse while I am in vacation...hopefully post vacation catch up won't be so painful!

I am truly excited for this upcoming season and my 2nd season training for an Ironman race. I've learned so much from last season about training, nutrition and the reactions of my body that I am anxious to apply this knowledge with the additional help of others and hope to see vast improvements!

Congrats to my friend Brian on the IM 70.3 Championships at Clearwater, Florida this past Saturday! Classic text message this week-

Brian: "Every one here looks so much faster!"
Me: "Just shave your legs Brian..that's all you have to do! Shave down!"
Brian: "No way!"

Workout Summary-
Swim- 0 hours and 0 minutes
Bike- 1 hour and 30 minutes
Run- 1 hour and 25 minutes
Strength- 0 hours and 30 minutes
Total Workout- 3 hours and 45 minutes

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Introduction to the Pain Cave!

"I want to see 22mph Yi..I know you're not at 22..get to 22!

So it's Saturday morning 6:30am..Caesar texts me and tells me that he is here...I grab my TT bike to load onto his truck. He questioned my choice so I went back in and grabbed my road bike instead and off to Chris' "pain cave" we went. I've been meaning to try out one of Chris' computrainer classes but never was really motivated enough to pack my bike in the mornings. M2 made it so much more accommodating with the CycleOps trainer. Anyway, Chris decided to offer a Saturday AM class due to the rainy forecast so I signed up. We arrived at Breakaway Performance where class was held but no sign of Chris just yet. Chris shows up but door was locked and he didn't have the key to get in. Joel, one of the guys that run Breakaway, showed up and doors were opened. Instead of 120 minutes of pain, we now had 100 minutes, sweet!

I had a little bit of trouble calibrating my bike as it calibrates once I pedal to 25 mph. Well, I haven't been on my bike since Ironman so I had a little trouble pedalingto 25mph..even with Chris standing next to me saying," have to pedal to can't start class until you hit 25!" I was trying! haha. I tried to tell him to that I haven't been on my bike for months but he wouldn't take it. Fine! I didn't think he would. Between having trouble calibrating my bike and needing Tom and Caesar's help to get me a different bike scewer and tightened, I've never felt like such a girl. Haha. Anyway, my legs decided to save me another minute of embarassment and pedaled to 25mph, got calibrated, class started and with that, pain did as well! It would be my luck that between Caesar and I was an empty bike spot because that trainer wasn't working and that empty spot would be Chris' standing spot every so often. Every now and then, Chris would say, "22're not at 22mph.. I can tell" Well crap, I can tell too! In the end, it was a painfully fun morning. I think I may be back to his classes and hopefully, it will do wonders to my cycling performance at IM CDA! By the end of class, I swear I would have nightmares that night of animals eating animals (he was showing National Geographic on the was quite disturbing!) with Chris' voice in the background telling me to get to 22!

Well, I organized my workout clothing and there is no longer just a HUGE stack of it in my room but while cleaning, I realized that I lost my sleeveless flames jersey. Where can it be?! I hope it will turn up soon!

Also heard from someone that I didn't think I'd ever hear from, Joe Vicker! I met Joe at mile 85ish of IM Loo's bike course. We were both fighting against the cut off clock and were encouraging eachother on when he road up to me and we started chatting. Shortly though, he sped away and I was on my own again but we managed to start the run together. We ran together up until about mile 7 or 10 when he needed a moment and I continued on. I didn't see him the rest of the night and wondered what could have happened to him. Well, he Facebooked me and it turns out that he ended up being driven away by an ambulance as his heart rate was way too low when the medics took his vitals at mile 14. He ended up taking in 8 bags of fluids. My goodness- EIGHT! I am glad to hear that he is okay and that he has a slot for IM Loo 2009...ready for a do-over with Louisville! I told him that I will be out there cheering him on and that I'll even run a few miles with him just for good 'ol times if he needed me to. That's what I love about the Ironman, the commaraderie out on the course, unlike any Spint, Olympic or Half-Ironman race!

Sending well wishes to Kara's friend Scott as he is recovering from a fall.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cupcakes and more cupcakes!

I heart Sprinkles Cupcakes!

So I kicked my daily Starbucks habit this week but apparently, I've replaced that with a daily cupcake habit but no worries, shortly, I will put the cupcakes down and start the training! But the way to a gal's heart? A red velvet cupcake from Sprinkles! Hmmmm..yum!

I've also picked up a new skill to balance out the multi-sport life...painting! My friend Mike put on a great event Saturday evening and what a fun and therapeutic art event he put on! Anthony and I decided to sit next to eachother since neither of us inherited the art genes of the family. I was wrong. He didn't inherit the art genes..I got some of them! Ha! Just kidding. Neither of us did as badly as we thought we would. Everyone had was good times!

And what's a weekend without triathlon? Went to watch the inaugural Marin Triathlon and cheered on some friends who raced. Wonderful weather conditions, good company, good times, free food, awesome! Speaking of cool Ironman Kona Video!

Yes, the soundtrack made the video extra cool and added to the drama!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The 2008 Ironman World Championships!

Kona from a spectator's view!

Kara and I arrived in Kailua-Kona on Wednesday, October 8th. The race was set for Saturday!
Days leading up to the race, we roamed the expo many times, athlete watched at DigMe Beach (swim start), hung out at the place to be- Lava Java. Our condo was on Alii Drive and on any given day, we can see Pros running up and down the streets, we saw Macca being motor paced the day before the race, and just a lot of action going on. Chris Lieto and Normann Staddler seem to be Lava Java regulars, shiny bikes everywhere you looked, not to mention shiny smooth legs :). I thought since this isn't an event that I am doing, I wouldn't spend too much. I was clearly wrong! Ironman 30th Anniversary book- gotta have! 2007 World Champs DVD- must have! Gear that I can almost never find back in the Bay Area- should buy. Gear at a discount due to event- must take advantage of deal!

A lot of events take place before the race. Pros autograph signings, speakers, UnderPants run you see pictured below..nothing like tighties and compression socks! Smooze parties which Kara and I got into thanks to Whit.

The day before the race, the athletes are dropping off their bikes and bags. Guys are lined up in front jotting down the makes and brands of every main bike part from the materials, to bike frame, to saddles, pedals, handlebars, you name it, they tallied it! I always thought that they had a more high tech system but I guess not. Pic below- 2007 World Champ, Macca looking relaxed as he is dropping off his gear.

As the morning went on, we saw more and more people come through. Below is Chris Lieto.We
saw Desiree Ficker get sent back because she didn't have her race number on her helmet. We saw Faris, TJ, Andy Potts, many AGers and many shiny nice bikes. Speaking of bikes, I think the most interesting thing to see was how people had their bike set up. How many bottles they had, how they chose to carry their gear. This one bike had both sides of the frame taped up and in between was all his name was probably in there! The experience was made much more comical because Mike was there too commentating on everything!

So race morning comes. Kara and I wake up at 3am to get down to the swim wall by 4am to get a front row seat to the swim start! As 4:45am approaches, we see more and more athletes make their way to the start. Among those, we saw Normann Staddler, friends Lydia and Adam. By 5am..the wall was full of us spectators!
As the Pros are entering the water for a warm up, we see everyone swim up towards the swim line but there was one guy who decided to swim left instead of straight- it was Andy Potts who found his support crew in the crowd.
Before the start gun goes off, the Navy Seals are seen dropped from the plane. That's their version of "walking to transition". It's a sight to see! None of my pictures will do the atmosphere any justice!

As the swim got underway, Chris, Michela, Kara and I made our way to the "hot corner" where four way traffic of bikes and running shoes will come through!

We saw Andy Potts, who had a blazing fast swim come through on the bike first followed by the 1st leader pack which included Macca and then Normann and then Lieto. Followed by that was hours of cowbell ringing by yours truly along with loud cheers! Midway through the bike, we heard that Macca had dropped out because the front derailluer cable of his bike snapped. Bummer!!! They showed him on the jumbo-tron and he just looked so frustrated. About an hour and a half before the 1st Pro was to finish, we made out way to the finish line bleachers. The crowd at the finish line is just electrifying waiting in anticipation. We see the helicopter getting closer and closer. We see the Hawaiian drummers come through and following them was Craig Alexander aka Crowie! He was 2nd last year in his first Kona debut and here he was- 2008 World Champion! He took his time and savored the finish chute experience!

Following him was Llanos and then Rutger Beke! I am glad that Beke did well. He finished 4th in 2006. Last year, he had to walk the marathon and finished just under 900th place and when asked why he was walking? He said, "He won't DNF a race unless for medical reasons." He will say later that it's due to respect to us age groupers. How can you not support that right?! Normann Staddler, Chris Lieto, Torbjorn Sinballe, all the Pros that came through just looked relieved to finish! Matt Lieto came through the finish line bursting into tears. It was endearing. Chrissie Wellington won the female race margins and margins! We stayed out until the last person came through 3 minutes after mid night! The whole event is great to watch but to me personally, the largest symbol of the Ironman Spirit happens between the hours of 11pm to midnight. Seeing those athletes push through to do whatever necessary to get to that finish line- inspiring! 18 year old, 75 year old, our friend Lydia who barely made the bike cut off all came through with minutes to spare to the 17 hour cut was a pleasure to witness! 1:30am..bed time!

The morning after the race, Kara, Whit and I are set for our snorkeling trip with Chris. On our boat was a handful of Germans which included the first amatuer to finish the race. Unfortunately, he finished right behind Chrissie Wellington so he didn't get the cheers and the announcer excitements that one should but he handled it quite well and politely at the finish.

Chris took us out to this cover in the waters, we got our snorkels out and jumped into the water. Just when I was getting bored, I see dolphin fins about 200 yards out. I tried to kick my way over but it seemed like the more I kicked, the further they were getting. As I was about to give up, I looked down and there they all were!! There were about 50+ of them under water! Next thing you know, they're all around us!

After snorkeling, we attended the awards dinner which was quite fun until it starting raining while the Hoyts were speaking. Rain turned into down pour shortly and that's when the awards dinner wasn't so fun anymore but I stuck through it until the sound system went out during the Pros awards. That's when I made my way to the KSwiss after party! Below- a picture with Crowie. My Kona vacation is now complete :). Crowie without hair is starting to grow on me!

So the common Ironman athletes have it tougher or do the spectators? I would say it's sort of equal. Mentally, I think the athletes have it tougher because an Ironman could be 17 hours of a mental f*ck! Physically, I think the spectators have it tougher. The athletes towing the line are trained to do so..spectators aren't necessarily "trained" to be out there for that the sun..probably not eating and hydrating as often as one should. At the end of the night, my feet were more sore from the 17+ hours of spectating and cheering than they were from finishing my Ironman! Go figure!

Kara and I saw Macca with his family during our last run to Lava Java. Word has it that Macca is pissed angry about having to pull out of the race. If I were his competitors, I'd be frightened for next year! Looking forward to the 2009 World Championships in Kona already! Thanks to Kara for a fabulous week!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

TT Bike feels nice!

Nothing like a lovely girls night out! Just got back from a belated birthday dinner of a very good friend of mine at Farina. Homemade pasta anyone?!

So this morning..I am laying in bed wishing and hoping that Caesar would over sleep and forget about our morning ride! Days before, we had planned to take our bikes to Canada Road so I can start putting some saddle time on my new TT bike or tri bike! buzzes..Caesar did not over fact he was going to be on his way. Out on Canada Road..I bonded with my new Cervelo P2C! I felt the difference of an all carbon frame and the aero-dynamics of a tri bike immediately. I felt like I was getting speed without was awesome! I nearly took out a squirrel but the squirrel had second thoughts about crossing the road so it lives another day..thank goodness!

T- minus 3 days before I head to Kona to even out some tan lines that I've accumulated over the tri season and IM day. Kara and I are ready to cheer on the racers and take in some much needed vacation time!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ironteam 2009- Now Recruiting!!

I attempted to go to M2 Tuesday morning but the morning went something like this..I turned the alarm up and brushed my my clothes together..and then went back to bed. Evening came along and Heidi asked me if I would go to the evening class. I told her not likely but I got out of work at 6pm and said if I find parking, I will go. I found parking and popped into M2 spin...had a great focused class..compliments from M2 and it was one of the best workouts I've had in the last few months!

Saturday was Ironteam's end of season BBQ at Liz's house and a fun evening it was! I missed the team dearly and finally had a chance to see them!

Sunday morning, it was more Ironteam with mentor/captain training. Coach Wayne talked to us extensively about his vision and expectations of the season and I have to say that I am excited about the upcoming season! I loved last season and all my teammates and coaches but the season fell through the cracks in my eyes so I am really looking forward to helping improve Ironteam and what it's all about!!

So..we are now recruiting! If you want a life changing experience, push yourself to ultimate physical and mental limits, applications are out! Is it a long season? Yes. Is it hard? Heck yeah! It's's meant to be hard. Is it a lot of sacrifice? Yes, but the way I see it is, it's 9 months of training. You'll go on to live 80 years..9 months out of 80 years really isn't that much of a sacrifice considering what you'll get in's well worth it. The moment you cross that finish line is something no one will ever be able to take away from you!

Below is a link to all the upcoming information meetings-

I will be staffing the San Francisco ones so come out and get active..get involved..go big and sign up! Or just listen and consider!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lazy Sundays Have Stopped!

I started to get back into workouts this week. Nothing big..just little stuff to maintain some fitness. Went to Dailey Method for the first time in months and oh my did it kick my @ss! I went on Monday and by Tuesday morning, I couldn't laugh without soreness in the abs, shoulders, arms, you name it! I couldn't laugh without feeling sore or turn without feeling sore for that matter. Planks, thigh work, ab work, arms, butt, it kicked my butt!

So my last two Sundays since Ironman have gone something like this...wake email.. day in my pajamas! All of that came to a stop this Sunday as I actually got up..out of bed and out of my PJs and did stuff.

I've started an addiction with the Gossip Girls series! Netflix is my friend in catching up with the first season. Grey's Anatomy is coming back shortly. AND the opening of the California Academy of Sciences is in T-minus 6 days! I took Red out for a walk today and walked down to the park, to the Music Concourse and took a sneak peak at the Academy building. As I was walking Red, this senior citizen man said, "Your dog should be in a Disney's so cute." That's Red! She's cute!

I think by next week, I'll be ready to get back on my bike! Well, take my new bike out for a ride!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lazy Sundays Have To Stop!

Yes, lazy Sundays do have to stop!

Two Sundays in a row's da
y in my PJs. While I had an uneventful lazy Sunday, I had a very productive Saturday cheering on friends at tha Pacific Grove Triathlon!

Kara and I headed down to Pacific Grove on Friday afternoon. After a 2.5 hour drive, we checked into our cute little B&B then went down to Lover's Point for a practice swim which I was happy to be a supporter at. Kara tried to get me to swim with her but knowing how cold that water thank you! I'll take pictures!

Saturday was a full day of spectating! Weather was breezy overcast which
is great for racing but kinda nippy if you're spectating.
I went with Kara early in the morning to start my supportive spectator role. Cheered on the Zoom Team, as well as, the TNT folks granted I hardly knew any of them. I made sure to cheer for anyone who seemed like they were struggling and needed some encouragement! I remember my first triathlon, I remember what it was like! One thing I couldn't get over was how people were on the side of the road fixing their flat tires when they hadn't even started their ride yet! Everytime I looked, there was one or three guys fixing their flat. One guy was going about it completely wrong, but race rules, you can't help so I looked on wishing I could help the poor guy. Not that I am an expert in flat tire changes but I would have told him that you don't disassemble the entire rim, tire and tube. Anyway, it was a good day for Kara and the Zoom Team and a fun day for me! Got home..went to bed at 8pm..spectating is exhausting!

This coming week is a new week and I shall attempt to start my off season training!
Afterall, I am off to Kona, HI in less than one month where I am hoping to even out the tan lines!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

One week after finishing my 1st Ironman!

Some Olympians get the Olympics Rings tattooed on them. Some Ironman finishers get the M Dot tattoo!

SURPRISE! Yes, my blog is sporting a new look! The dark purple has gone away with the finish of Ironman Louisville. the start of a new chapter is on it's way. Well, actually, I am just kind of bored and adjusting to this no weekend workout thing.

As I sit here watching NFL Football, it's finally sunk in! Wow, I did an Ironman! I swam 2.4 miles. I biked 112 miles. I ran 26.2 miles. All of that in weather conditions which consisted of wind and a heat index of 101 degrees. Let's all remember that I grew up in San Francisco. Anything over 85 degrees and I think I might die from heat exhaustion! As I reflect on my day last Sunday, I realized that my bike time was really bad! Usually, my bike time is an hour longer in duration then my run time but at IML, it was 2 hours longer! My blood pressure was probably going through the roof with the heat on the bike! It's really amazing what my teammates and I have done and I am so proud of each and every single one of them!

I've recovered quite well. By Wednesday morning, I was walking around without skipping a beat. Maybe it's all the hard training or maybe it was the compression tights or maybe the combination? Either way, I am liking the way I am feeling! I miss my team dearly though. Waking up on a weekend without having to look at the workout calendar is a little strange.

So..some Olympians get the Olympics Rings tattooed on them. Some Ironman finishers get the M Dot logo tattooed on them so it's only fitting that yours truly get some ink done to honor this tremendous accomplishment! That's right! I did it..I got a M Dot tattoo. Not just any M dot tattoo though...I added a little flair with my own personal design with collaboration help from my tattoo artist at Black and Blue Tattoo, Victor.

Like it? Like it? I do! I didn't think it would hurt too much since I just did the Ironman. Well, I was clearly wrong! Right above the achilles is still a sensitive place. Repeating to myself that I just did an Ironman only helped me so much in dealing with the pain. The stuffing head into pillow worked a heck of a lot better!

So what's next for Ironyi? I go to Kona in October with my good friend Kara to be happy spectators at the Ironman Championships in Kona! We have a beach front condo rented on Ali'i Drive which should be amazing! In November, I have plans to backpack abroad for two weeks. Those who know me well know that I take off for 2-3 weeks to spend some alone time out of my element. Last year I traveled the Greek Islands, the year before I traveled Eastern Europe, the year before that, it was Spain and Portugal and the one before that, I traveled Italy and Prague. This year, because of our weak dollar, I chose Thailand! Although, there have been many warnings against traveling to that area of the government protesting going on there. I will be tracking it closely and may need to think of plan B..we'll see! I guess it wouldn't be a bad thing if I had to cancel my trip as I spent $$ on finisher's gear at Ironman!

And after all that? I will be back on full training for Ironman Coeur d'Alene! You didn't think I was done after IM Louisville, did you? With my first season under my belt, I have learned lots and plan to apply that for next season. Also have a little redeeming to do in terms of Ironman finishes! I am continuing with Ironteam, it was a very hard decision and a decision I was unsure of but I am not ready to let go of this group of people yet so I am onboard once again. For 2009, I will not be a participant though, I will be on staff as a Community Captain, or at least that is what the rumor is. Thanks for being a part of my IM Louisville journey with me. Hope you stay on for my journey to Coeur d'Alene!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Yi Hsueh of California, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

Hello All!

Yes, this is a long race report but it was a long race.. read on :). Oh before I forget, Rich of LA's TNT chapter- How was your race?! Shoot me am email!

Story behind Rich. During practice swim-
Rich says to me, "Go Team! What chapter?"
Me- "San Francisco."
Rich- "I'm LA. I read someone's blog on the SF Team."
Me- "Oh yeah? Whose blog?"
Rich- "Yi?"
Me- "That's MY blog!!!!"

The Team and I arrived in Louisville on Thursday afternoon and checked into the race hotel, the Galt House Hotel by the Ohio River. There were shiny bikes and fit triathletes everywhere we looked. Being that this particular race was comprised of 80% men and 20% women, eye candy was everywhere! At least for me and the girls..sorry guys! Like my teammate Liz said, "Being here is like being at a Star Trek convention. We're finally with people who understand and think that this is normal!"

Days leading up to Ironman were fun! We had dinners, gathering, practice swims, drove the bike course and yours truly even got pushed out of an elevator by a claustrophobic old lady! The day before the race, we did the mandatory bike check in and dropped off our T1 (swim to bike) and T2 (bike to run) bags. The volunteers from start to finish were so awesome! So here goes my day..

Entrants- 2200 athletes

Finishers- 1791 athletes..I want to say about 200 didn't start.

Volunteers- A LOT!! More than 1.5 per athlete!

Best quote during the Athlete's Meeting by the USAT Rules guy- "Guys, if you get passed by the girls, it's okay. It happens. Just let it go."

Weather conditions- heat index of 101 degrees, humidity, and wind!

Key to race- like one has said before, if there were no volunteers, there would be no Ironman. For me personally, if Heidi, Tessa, teammates and Coaches were not there, I would not have finished Ironman Louisville!

I woke up at 3:30am and ate my peanut butter sandwich and started my hydration. We walked down to the start, pumped my tires and dropped off my bike and run special needs bags. You can put whatever you want in those special needs bags. You see them at the half way point of the bike and run... I had pringles and beef jerky in my bag along with other stuff that I didn't need but had in there just in case! I made the walk down to the swim start with teammate Doug and made it to the middle of the pack of the swim start line. The swim start at Ironman Louisville is a time trial start. They start all the time cut offs after the last person jumps in the water which in this case was 7:40am!

Swim- I've almost mastered the walk and pee AND swim and pee!

Prior to start, everyone is silent! The Star Bangled Banner is being sung, the canon goes off and off the Pros went! 10 minutes later, us age groupers were moving along! As I was walking down the boat ramp..I really had to pee but I didn't have time to go to the portable so I made the decision to walk and pee at the same time. Let me just tell you that Ironman is not a vanity sport! And I had felt better about it knowing that my teammate Robin had sat in the grass and pee'd in her swimsuit just minutes prior! Josh says out loud, "Yi?" I turned around and smiled.."I'm peeing!" We all laughed! I approached the dock and jumped in with no hesitation. My race was starting…NOW! During the first 1/3 of the swim, I looked up and saw the sun rising and it was beautiful! The 2.4 mile swim took me a lot longer than I thought! Not sure if it was due to no wetsuit, not having done any long swims in the past month because of my rotator cuff earlier on or I just had a bad swim. Everywhere I looked, I saw red caps (men) everywhere! My only fear during the swim was that my timing chip which was strap to my ankle would come off because people kept grabbing on to my ankles. I must have swallowed a crap load of water as I had to pee three times during the swim. I couldn't stop and pee because if you stopped in that water of mess for more than 2 seconds, you would get knocked! What did I do? I learned to pee and swim! I think by the third time, I quite mastered it! My mantra during the entirety of the swim was "just keep swimming." Aside from my lack of speed, the only other big problem I had during the swim was Mr. Guy who was zigzagging in front of me and getting in my way so I literally took my arm and shoved him over. Out of my way! 1 hour and 53 minutes later, I was out of the water! Man! That was long but I didn't have time to dwell on my bad swim and just had to move on. I was pulled out of the water finish by a volunteer, saw my friends' smiling and cheering faces, given my T1 bag by a volunteer and headed to the changing tent. I sprayed with sun block by the volunteers, grabbed my bike and I was out of there!

Bike- 2 breakdown of tears, 1 burst of laughter and a drafting of an email in my head to all of you as to why I couldn't finish the race!

Oh the bike! I've always considered the bike to be my strongest leg but on this day, that was not the case. I took the advice of many others and started out slow while keeping my heart rate in check. I let people pass me and wasn't worried. About 5 miles into the bike, I noticed that I was started to get this headache so I popped a Thermolyte salt tab. The headache wasn't getting better so I took another one 20 minutes later. After the fourth one, I realized that the more I took, the bigger my headache was getting so I stopped taking them and relied on my Infinit calorie drink. I was worried about not replenishing the salt in my body as I could feel my face crusting in salt but I couldn't really dwell on that as I still had a lot of mileage to go! I never felt good on the bike and on a day that I really needed power in my legs, I didn't have it! My only hope during this bike course was that my spin coach, M2 would not ban me from his classes due to my poor bike performance! 5 hours and 30 minutes into the bike, I saw the Ironteam support group at La Grange and broke out in tears as I passed them! It's official, I was miserable! I saw Heidi and Alex after that was couldn't fake a smile. Why is this course so hard? It's not supposed to be this hard! I thought these were only supposed to be rollers...why is it not rolling me up? What was worse other than me feeling miserable on this very hot and windy bike course? They placed the first loop mile markers right in front of the second loop mile markers so I would see mile 40 and then right behind it, I would see a marker for mile 70! It was awful and demoralizing to say the least. As I was on the second loop, I started to draft an "obituary" like email in my head trying to figure out how I was going to explain to you guys that I couldn't finish this race and didn't. I was going to try to someway some how put a positive spin on it and was just trying to figure out the right words. I passed La Grange again and saw the Ironteam support group.. I was stone faced..saw Helen and Daisy shortly after and just broke out in laughter. Daisy, a blow up doll decked out in an Ironteam race kit! I turned the corner and saw Heidi and Alex. Alex comes up to my on my bike and in a serious and concern tone said that I had 2 hours and 10 minutes before the bike cut off. I asked him what time that would be and he said 6:10pm. I thought in my head, there is no way I still had 30 miles to go and on this course with these conditions, I couldn't average 15 mph. Alex then said, "keep pedaling..I'll see you on the marathon okay Yi?" I was shaking my head when Heidi came up along me and yelled, "You're going to do this! You trained so hard for this!" Those were the magic words I needed to hear as a light bulb went off and I thought to myself, "I did train so hard for this!" I turned my heart rate monitor off, switched it to time mode, left the pity party I was having for myself and just cranked it from there! I descended the downhills like I didn't have a life to live on my aerobars and just hoped for smooth roads and no pot holes otherwise my @ss would have been grass or actually on the grass with the horses! I saw Ironteammer Mel..yelled "Hey!" Minutes after, I saw Ironteammer Liz and yelled "Come on Liz!" Miles later, this random guy named Joe came up next to me and said, "I did the math and if we keep an average of 12 mph..we can make the bike cut off!" I thought, wow I really made some ground from 14 mph earlier! We rode together for a little bit until he left me. I approached the water stop at mile 88 and was a bit concerned to find out that they had run out of water as that is all my system could take- just plain water. The next water stop was at mile 96 and between miles 88 and 96, I asked every cop out there.. "water?" "water?" "water?" Nope! No water! As I approached mile 96, I grab a water bottle with relief but also was a little shocked by the scene of many people on the side of the road waiting to get picked up either by an ambulance or a SAG vehicle. I got a glimpse of the Louisville skyline and knew I was close! Approached the transition area, shoved/ threw my bike at the volunteer, grabbed my T2 bag and into the changing tent I went! My only worry now aside from having to run the marathon? I realized that because water was the only thing my system wanted and could take in, I didn't have any calories for the past two hours..but hey at least my headache is gone!

Run- For the first time ever, I felt better on the run than I did on the bike! A 26.2 marathon fed by bananas, coke and water.

I started out on the run course and saw Larry who said, "Yi, you need to start running." I gave him the look of death and if he could see under my sunglasses, he would have seen it! I heard foot steps behind me at the start of the run and it was Joe, the random guy from the bike. "How did he get behind me?" I asked myself. He asked me if I saw all those guys dropping off towards the end of the bike finish. I said, "yes". He said, "That last guy that you passed..he stopped at the same spot last year!" Wow, why would anyone ever want to do that?? Twice?! We walked/ran the first few miles together..coming up with strategies of running to a certain light post, running to a certain sign, every 20 steps of walking would be followed by a run (he only agreed to that if I counted). I saw Coach Pete at the beginning of the run and told him that my stomach was not feeling good. It wasn't a bathroom issue being that I hadn't taken in any calories for the last two hours but it was just uneasy. So he suggested the coke but reminded me that once I got on the coke, I wouldn't take anything else. So at the next water station, I grabbed the coke and a bit after that, I was able to run steadily..not fast but steady. At the first turn around point (not the halfway point but just a turn around), Joe said, "I'll catch up with you..I need a moment." I said, "Okay.." I never saw him again after that. I saw Coach Ted and was very excited to see him on the course! I waved and without skipping a breath or a beat, he said, "How's it going girl? Ok, good!" I thought, "Huh? But I didn't even answer!" Haha. I found out later that was during the 3 mile stretch that he was just out of it. Clearly! He asked me a question and answered it himself in the same breath! Haha. I saw Heidi before approaching the half way mark and she ran with me as she was on her way to the transition area to give my bike to Tri Bike Transport for me and pick up my transition bags! As I approached the halfway point, Larry tells me that I had to maintain a 14 minute mile run pace. I nodded as I couldn't muster any words. My mantra from then on out was "14 minute miles..14 minute miles.." Normally, that isn't hard at would almost be too hard to try to go that slow but during an Ironman but the outlook is bleak, 14 minute pace was indeed a challenge! I saw Alex at a point and I said, "Larry told me I had to run 14 minute he lying to me?" Larry had lied to Hez at IM Lake Placid so I had to ask. Alex responded with, "Well, I am not very good at doing math and running at the same time…but that sounds about right..just keep moving." He asked who was behind me and I said, "Deb." He asked if I was going to be okay for him to check on Deb and I said, "Yes." I saw Coaches Mike Wasserman and Dan after that and they said if you keep the pace you're at (which was "fast" at the time), you would have no problems. I saw Mike Kyle shortly after that and he asked if I wanted company, I said, "ok..but I am not talking." Mike and I ran together for a good stretch before we speed walking the last 4 miles. I saw Skip and Nancy again and with their words of encouragement..we carried on. I saw Coach Pete as the miles went on and heard his phone ring. It was Ted. He asked Pete where I was and Pete said, "Yi is approaching the finish..2 more miles." I turned around and said, "Pete! 1.5 miles!" Less than .25 miles, Mike Kyle congratulated me and told me to carry on and enjoy my moment as I thanked him for charging on with me. I turned the corner, heard the noise, saw all the bright lights, ran towards the finish chute, heard my name and was just relived to be greeted by my catcher with medal around my neck! As my name was being called, Mike was close by breaking down in tears as he told me later on that although he had hoped I wouldn't want or need running company that it was the best 10 miles he has ever ran. I survived on coke, water and bananas for the entirety of the 26.2 miles and negative split that marathon time too!

Due to the time trail swim start, race cut off time was 17 hours and 40 minutes. My final official time- 17 hours and 11 minutes but like a volunteer in the changing tent said, "At the end of the day, everyone gets the same medal." I was relieved that I finished. I couldn't believe that I finished! I am forever thankful to all the Coaches and my friends that helped me along that course. I could not have finished without YOU! Mr. James Gracey, you were not on the course but your words of encouragement and timely advice helped me get to the start line so THANK YOU!

So on Tuesday, I'm at the airport in Louisville on my way home. I get hungry and went for Burger King. While in line for Burger King, this guy in front of me sees my "finisher" shirt and asked, "Did you run that race on Sunday?" I said, "Yes." He said, "You swum in that water? The Ohio River?" I said, "Uh huh!." He said, "Man, that water is f*cked up!." I said, "Is that why I haven't had an appetite since my race?" Ha ha,

Video of my finish line, courtesy of Hez! Apparently, I was high fiving people as I was approaching the finish. I have no recollection of this but Ironteammate Doug has the picture of proof. It was a long day and a worthwhile journey!

Thanks to all for your text messages, emails and support! I will post pictures in the next few days..until then..

With gratitude,

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bib # 818!

My bike is on it's way to Louisville, Kentucky and my bags are packed as I get ready to leave and take on Ironman Louisville! I've trained 10 months for this- 67 hours and 3 minutes in swim training covering at least hundreds of thousands of yards, 156 hours and 31 minutes on my bike covering thousands of miles, 89 hours and 32 minutes in my run shoes covering at least 400 miles and 20 hours of core strength totaling 332 hours and 31 minutes in training time!

Am I ready? Am I nervous? Do I have a time goal? These are the questions that I've been asked most the past few days and the answers to those questions are...ready or not..I better darn well be on the morning of August 31, 2008! Yes I am nervous! Anyone that tells you they're not are lying! It's Ironman! Above all, I am more excited than anything for both myself and my teammates who have put on a lot of hard work to get our minds and bodies trained! Training for Ironman is almost like taking on a second full time job but the rewards and personal satisfaction one gets out of it is priceless! I've lived a very structured life these past 10 months haha, you almost have to! I've hit the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and just when I thought it couldn't get any lower, it did! Fortunately, I've been surrounded by an amazing team and friends who have been nothing but encouraging and supportive!
In terms of time goal, really, all in all, I just want to have fun out there! My only time goal is to make all the time cut offs comfortably! Training for an Ironman has been a very humbling experience and anything can happen on race day! So, if I can finish before the time cut offs and have a fun day out there, I will be more than happy and satisfied! It's really why I do such a thing called triathlon and took on Ironman because it's fun to live the active lifestyle, go our on bike rides to really appreciate the scenery, run along postcard views week after week, red line our heart rates from time to time and feeling that accomplishment of being able to push through a hard workout..even with tears welling up in your eyes because of mental and physical fatigue..knowing it's money in the bank if you can get through this and check it off the list! All this, I will carry with me as I am on the Ironman course!

Above the experience and more importantly, I've been able to raise just about $10,000 to support the fight against blood cancers! I couldn't have done this on my own so thank you for the support and donations! It's not too late so if you still want to donate, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will take your money on my behalf! Just visit the link-
Thank you for your words of encouragement and kind acts! I've been going through way too many variations of emotions for my 5'3'' self these past few days and everytime I receive an email or a text of support, I am humbled and encouraged so thank you!

For race day, my plan is to survive the 2.4 mile swim, keep my heart rate in check, fueled and hydrated during the 112 mile bike ride and just keep moving forward on the run! Following my good friend's advice who she got from another friend, I am going to "eat, drink and have fun!" You can track me on race day on the link below! I am BIB# 818!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Week 46- 08.18.08- 08.24.08

Are you nervous? Are you ready?

These were the two questions I've been asked the most this past week. I know it comes from a good place but I really wish people would stop asking me and my teammates that question because A. Of course we're nervous! Wouldn't you be? And the more we get asked..the more we're forced to think about being nervous or at least more so than we already are! B. Whether we are ready or not, we have no choice but to be ready. Words of encouragement.. that's all you need to say to me..really! Positive words and wishes! that out of the way!

I put in the best taper workouts I could..tried to put in a couple of good runs in my legs since I am not planning to run much next week and tried to spin my legs and put in a good swim. I have so many thoughts running through my head right now that the best thing for me during the weekend was just to be alone. I even went and saw a movie by myself just to get away from people and get my mind off of the fact that a week from today..I will be conquering Ironman! Tuning into the Olympics has been very inspiring! Aside from Michael Phelps and USA Swimming, I am very proud of our USA Basketball Redeem Team! I heart sports!!

Lebron James, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade!
Well..that's it for now..I will blog again before I leave for Kentucky Thur AM and will leave a link where you can track me on the Ironman Course on 8.31.08 so stay tuned!

Pic below- Where I've spend many Tuesday mornings! On a CycleOps bike with a power meter guided by Michael McCormack a.k.a. M2.

Doug, Brian, myself and Robyn @ our Ironman sendoff info session!
Leslie, Deb and me-
The younger guys of our team- Doug, Greg, Brian and Caesar!
Ironman Louisville's Athelete Guide!
Ironman Louisville's Athelete Guide!
Swim Course- In the Ohio River..1/3 upstream and 2/3 downstream!
Bike Course- First mile section flat and then 77 miles or so of rolling hills followed by a sweeping downhill to the finish or something like that!
Run Course- pancake flat with some treeline shade!
Workout Summary-
Swim- 0 hours and 45 minutes
Bike- 2 hours and 16 minutes
Run- 3 hour and 15 minutes
Total workout- 6 hours and minutes

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Week 45- 08.11.08- 08.17.08

It's been a sleep deprived week with the Olympics! What a great Opening Ceremonies?! I couldn't stop talking about the Opening Ceremonies and I'm not even a Ceremonies type of girl!! And how about USA Swimming and Michael Phelps himself?! All this Olympic action meant little sleep for me..I mean really NBC..would it have hurt you to broadcast our "live" Olympics action an hour earlier???

So..because I was sleep deprived..I walked into M2 spin class on Tuesday morning half an hour late thinking I was actually half an hour about early morning confusion!! What???

On Saturday, Robin, Robyn, Ted, Caesar, Pete and Josh met up at Mike's Bikes for a leisure training ride around Paradise Loop! Robyn, Robin and I got a head start only to stop at the end of the first stop sign because Robin needed to get mud out of her cleats and I needed to raise my saddle. What does a girl do when she needs help loosening a screw on her bike? Just stop and a group of men will appear happy to help :). As Robyn said, "We really are fierce..just not this morning!" Thanks guys..whoever and wherever you are! Just as we were ready to get back on the saddle and get on with the ride..the guys appeared! They went ahead of us and regrouped at downtown Tiburon and all rode back together! It was a fun ride! Good times!

I will spend the next week packing as bike and one bag goes on Thursday enroute to Louisville, Kentucky!

I said on my Facebook that I needed to be in London for the 2012 Olympic games but Robyn had a better much wiser idea..I need to and should be IN the Olympics!! I am sure that I can dry off start blocks for the USA Swimming Men be a water girl for the USA Basketball team!!

Picture below- I mean really.. need I explain??

Goodluck Ironman Canada Teammates!!

Ironman Louisville crew is going to be ready to rock!Workout Summary-
Swim- 1 hour and 28 minutes
Bike- 3 hours and 3 minutes
Run- 1 hour and 35 minutes
Total Workout- 5 hours and 1 minute

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Week 44- 08.4.08- 08.10.08

I think I am finally climbing out of the hole! The mean black hole that I was in when it came to my training!

Monday- rest day..adopted the 8:30pm bedtime and let me tell's awesome!!

Tuesday- I felt so good from my 8:30pm bedtime the night prior that I went to M2 spin and then managed to squeeze in a 25 minute run on the treadmill at the Bay Club!

Wednesday- Swum for the first time in...oh 10 days because of my rotator cuff issue. Felt rusty but at least it's not sore! Had an appointment with Dr. Rabbetz later that morning and it couldn't have been more painful! probably could have but I choose to block it out! Sharvanti worked on my left achilles, and the muscles along my left calve and my right glutes. The two things that made the pain bearable was me grabbing tightly onto the head bars of the therapy table and banging on right leg on the table as she is working on my left one! She worked on my shoulder but that wasn't nearly as bad as it felt last week! Dr. Rabbetz came in for adjustments and more checking..he scolded me for running on the treadmill. Apparently, the surface if a no no for me! And by scolding, I mean saying no in an exxagerated tone with a smile. He told me he was very proud of me and my quad muscles as they've become very toned. Don't try to butter me up Dr. Rabbetz! Your office is still the torture chamber in my eyes!!

Picked up my tuned and cleaned bike with new tubes and a new tire from Roaring Mouse Cycles...drivetrain never looked so good :)! Took ice bath that evening!

Thursday- Did a steady 5 mile run to break in my new running shoes.. run felt a lot better than it has been!!

Friday- Did my second 45 minute swim (am only allowed two- 45 min. sessions a week for now due to shoulder) at the pool. ..felt good!

Saturday- Took day off but went to Sports Basement for some team bonding and to sing Happy 50th Birthday to Ironteamer Janice!

Sunday- Woke up early, drove our to the monkey bars of Crissy Field and started my 15 mile run. My last long run before Ironman. I ran over the Bridge which was full of women training for the Avon Breast Cancer walk, to downtown Sausalito, past Cafe Trieste to the Bay Model and back. If you had asked me to do this run two weeks ago, I would have cried because I was feeling so exhausted and sh*tty but now a bit recovered and climbing out of the dark hole, I had a good run and am happy to put that under my belt three weeks before race day!

Below are pictures from last week's Vineman Full!

Are Josh, Brian, Bobbie and Larry making fun of me (in orange sleeping bag) sleeping?
It's 1am...I've been up since 4:15am! That's Kristie behind me with her pony.Awaiting Helen's finish!
Helen- you did it!! 2am..19 hours! What an inspiration..she never gave up! Not a dry eye in the crowd!Workout Summary-
Swim- 1 hour and 30 minutes

Bike- 0 hours and 50 minutes

Run- 4 hours and 23 minutes

Total workout- 6 hours and 43 minutes