Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chef Kate's Corner: CD

i know this is a tad bit late, but who cares - it was too yummy to not share. i did, however, forget to take pics - but i will try to remember for the New Year's feast so you can enjoy it too :) stay tuned for that one, but for now...enjoy :)

Christmas 08 breakfast menu:
dark chocolate coffee from Harry and David's
gingerbread and chocolate chip pancakes (the mix was from Harry and David's too - MPC had been begging for it for a month, so i finally gave in to the premade mix!)
with a homemade mascarpone eggnog sauce
topped with crushed candied pecans
scrambled egg whites with sharp cheddar cheese
organic peppered bacon
and freshly sliced gala apples

Christmas 08 dinner menu:
organic peppered bacon wrapped dates
red wine that i cannot remember the name of...oops!
main course:
cornish game hens oven baked with various spices
topped with a mandarin pumpkin marmalade glaze
fresh green beans cooked with bacon and spices
and homemade cream cheese, caesar mashed potatoes with chives

ooooh, i can't wait for New Year's day. i went shopping today and found tons of fresh ingredients. looking forward to putting on my chef's hat again :) its always nice to ring in the new year with good food - my specialty!

New Year's Eve

the close to a very tumultuous, trying year filled with massive change, weighted realizations, enormous accomplishments and mixed emotions.
i have a lot to be thankful for and even more to be thankful that i can leave behind.
no more talking about putting the past in the past, time to just do it.

starting yoga again has been a huge catalyst in releasing the bad, the old, the things that no longer hold purpose in my life and welcoming in the new and yet unseen potential of the future. this is going to be a big year - Vineman Half, AFC Half, IMCozumel to name a few and i'm starting to prep mentally and physically like never before. i am re-entering the tri world with ease, intelligence and low expectations since the expectations i set for myself are quite often way out of the realm of normalcy and tend to put so much pressure on my inner soul that i end up breaking after its all said and done. accomplishing the goals are just as fun in any manner, i do not have to kill myself in the process. keeping a clear head through this next year will be my main goal and keeping my body in the best shape for the challenges ahead is my main purpose - after that, all the rest is a bonus of infinite proportions that i will be grateful for in any way they are given to me.

happy new year's -
i hope it is filled with smiles, love, peace, joy and all the grandeur you'd like in whatever way you'd like it...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


i don't have a lot of time to write but i just wanted to say to all of my very dear friends that yes, i am going through some shit right now - internally. yes, i am going to be okay and pull through just like i always do. yes, i am still here if you need me for whatever - talking, hugging, listening, movie watching or just sitting - it may not be the cheeriest you've ever seen me, but i am always here for you and you can count on that. i was thinking - i have lost a lot in my life. some you may all know about, others you have no concept of. all in all, the holidays seem to be a reminder of those lost things when it should be a celebration of life and blessings. its I who need to change my thoughts, my feelings, my words to reflect the terms of what this time of year should mean - a time of reflection, a time of thankfulness, a time of friends and family and blessings abound. until then - until i can express those feelings outwardly in person, you should read it here...

the English language, or any other language for that matter, cannot describe how much i miss your angel butt face, your ornery ways or your elbow resting atop my head in the middle of church. i miss you the most at Christmas bc it was always a time when we would certainly be together, sharing the same bed in anticipation for the morning, rising at 5AM to see what Santa had left us, waking up mom and dad with blasted Christmas music 10 decibles too loud and yummy treats that we liked to share. i also miss teasing you, laughing with you, wrestling and even arguing with you. but most of all, i miss your hugs and your smile. hell, i miss everything about you and i wish, with all of my being that i could have you back to tell you that i love you just one more time.
i have not words to describe my love for you, what you mean to me or our family. i thank God every single day for your little burst of sunshine in a place that could have forever been shrouded in shadows and sorrow.
you are everything to me and i love you with all of my heart. you are my most trusted confidant and dearest friend. without you, life wouldn't be as sweet and i am blessed to have such an incredible woman in my life who also happens to have given birth to me.
i wouldn't be the person i am today without your unconditional love and support in all that i do. even in my most brattiest times growing up, you stuck by me and loved me through the mean girl that i was and showed me how to be the thoughtful woman i am today.
i miss you. i love you. i hope that one day we will have the time and wherewith all to visit and laugh and play like we used to. until then, please know how much you mean to me and that you will always be one of my life long friends.
i love you more than i can say and i miss seeing you and laughing with you and just hanging out - something to get back to soon, i hope, when things settle down. i know we're both in over our heads right now (mainly with work) but things will calm soon enough and hopefully training will resume for us both.
you are one of my best friends and i am so very grateful for all that you do for me, your generosity and your hope in the face of my despair - always willing to lend an ear, a shoulder or a sofa when i need it most, can not be given enough thanks.
i miss you. you make me ponder things about myself i had not previously thought before and validate my feelings with kind words and thoughtful feedback. i appreciate all of the faith you have in me and your constant generosity. you are a person that i feel blessed to have in my life and i am so lucky to count you amongst my friends.
you don't even know i have a blog but just the same, you are my oldest friend. my sister, not by blood, but by spirit. our connection will never be broken or lost because you are apart of me and i of you. we never stray very far for very long and i am grateful to have your friendship against all odds, in spite of all the hurt and amidst all the chaos of our everyday lives. i love you. and jared too :)
eb AKA "MPC"
you know how i feel about you...don't let it go to your head ;)
yes, i am still alive. i miss you too and i hope to catch up soon. you are a fairly new friend and so have yet to witness my "down" time and the "moods" i find myself in during times like these, but i will be back to my normal self sometime soon and then we can resume our fun :)
you are a good man. thank you for your care and your concern, your friendship and your time. i promise to get out of this funk ASAP and resume my training just as soon as i get the footing back underneath me.

and all the rest of you crazy people who consider me a friend
thank you for sharing a part of your life with me that i will take wherever i go. i promise to remember that people like you are in the world rooting for me, believing in me and calling me by the name "friend" when things are tough and motivation is lacking. a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Cheery Kwanzaa and a Grateful Festivus to you all (and any of the others i missed!)!!! ;)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

holidays schmolidays

katie b has a lot to write on this subject and as soon as work settles itself down a bit and she has some extra time to write, she will fill you in - but suffice it to say, this is how she is feeling...

hopefully she will be back to her annoyingly chipper self soon, otherwise those closest to her are in for a real treat in the upcoming weeks - unless she decides to close her self off again this year. oy. either way, its a pretty shitty time in the realm of holiday spirit and katie b-isms. apparently, she isn't the only one feeling under the weather.

oh and i think she's pretty ticked that out of all the 192 hits on this post only 5 comments were made. she thinks that's shit and wanted me to tell you so. you're not helping her much with her collage.

i sure hope she gets back to blogging soon. until then, happy holidays to you and yours. i hope they are much lighter and more joyful than hers...

Monday, December 1, 2008

i am a blog slacker

things that are preventing me from blogging:
the adventures of VB
having all of my shit strewn across 4 locations - BG's, storage, MPC's and my new place
my new place - it's phenomenal, too bad its phenomenally a mess and i have nothing to put in it except for what occupies my bedroom. yep, you guessed it - sitting on the floor and looking at bare walls will be your treat if you come to visit any time before my mom comes to rescue my poor, broke ass for my bday in February. currently counting down the days...
TNT coaching
my own training
traveling back to back to back (or so it seems)
my damned knees/IT's and all of the shit they put me through
trying to figure out what in the hell is going through my head - who has vaginas, who has penises and how in the hell those are interchangeable in some weird way
work - i'm drowing
being lazy (that's the best and most accurate one so far)
things i should have blogged about but haven't:
IMAZ and my rock star spectatorship
IMAZ and BAM kicking ass
Roo's and my adventures on the high seas - or really, the low valleys of sun and sand
Thanksgiving day extravaganza at Jim's
my fun weekends of riding Dina's beautiful Specialized S Works
boys and how freaking crazy they make me
my new found UNbrokenness (which was super fun to realize)
my 4 migraines in 2 weeks and probably a CAT scan if i have one more
upcoming things that i should blog about but probably won't:
coaching clinic in SF this weekend
my very first NYC trip
my move from 3 locations down to one in all of its entirety
work - learning how NOT to drown
what am i going to do about all of this non blogging?!
nothing for now.
i'm on a bit of a hiatus until i can figure some stuff out,
get an internet connection at my new place,
and get settled.
it may be awhile, it may be tomorrow - who knows.
i'm sorry to those of you who actually read this thing.
i will be better sooner rather than later, i promise.
just sit tight and i will return to my normally scheduled blogging just as soon as i can muster some time and creativity.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

i'm curious...

why do you tri?














so, i ask you...why is is that you tri?
(my next post will be filled with your responses, so get to commenting people - i want to pull it all together and make a patchwork art piece to put on my wall SO GET YOUR COMMENT ON!!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


so much since the last time i wrote and i'm not sure where to even start. let's go with this and the rest will follow in a later post...

first up: i got dunked last Thursday and really, it was a great experience. it all started at 1030 with me arriving at Iris' very sheik and inviting office where the walls are a warm cocoa with framed quotes of inspiration welcoming you from the hall, into the changing room and finally over to the dunk tank where you slowly submerge into the calming warm waters and wait for instruction on how to perform the test accurately. i weighed in at 120.2lbs - higher than i'd like but what did i really expect with the way i've been eating everything in sight and NOT working it off with killer training days? i also found out that i really am only 5'3" which makes me sad because i do so love saying "5'3" and a half thank you very much" when i am teased about my short stature. oh well, so much for wishful thinking - it clearly cannot make you grow. so we do the test three times - the first two seem more of a practice round with the last, a final test of all that you had learned in regards to trying not to drown yourself in 2 feet of water :) i did feel very safe though and not at all freaked out like some people say. Iris was right beside me the whole time and offered plenty of encouraging words along the way. in the end i only ended up being one percent off what i thought i was in the body fat percentage and don't have all that far to go to reach my goal weight and leanness factor. it will take work, but its definitely on the spectrum towards the achievable end and not the impossible end.

next up: VO2 Max testing. now this is a tricky one - you have to decide to do either A) the run test or B) the cycle test. Iris prefers the run test as i thought i would too, but MPC wasn't going for it - he has me on strict orders: under no circumstances am i allowed to run until my IT's are fully healed. ugh -so bike it is - against my will. in the end it was a smart idea because the next day my knees (where the IT inserts onto the condyle) was expressing some major anger management issues in regards to my all out effort, but that's jumping i strap on this funky little mask - and i say little because we tried on two others that were too big and this being the smallest was even to big for my little face - and finally get it to suction onto my skin with such force that i feel like my cheeks are being vacuumed up with each of my breaths. oh, and i have a trunk. like an elephant. i big, plastic "holy hell, what the eff is strapped to your face" trunk that just so happens to be hooked up to the machine of torturous death - sucking and capturing and analyzing your every exhalation and inhalation. Iris started me at a nice warm up pace, heart rate monitor just a beepin and then every two minutes or so she'd tell me to shift down or pick up my cadence and off i went until the next command. it went on like this until i was really hunkering down - eyes closed, Iris' encouragement blocked out, me and the front cyclist of my imagination duking it out to the finish - gasping, clawing screaming for air...and then it was over and i started to cool down. hmpf. that wasn't so bad. now, keep in mind that in this particular test you're supposed to feel like your gong to die without actually dying - that is the point and that point was made achingly clear as i hit the 8/9 out of 10 mark. of course, when its all said and done you think "hmmm. that wasn't terrible, i think i could have done more" but that's only because its hard to recall the massive discomfort you just experienced after its over. you must recall that was not the case just 2 very short minutes ago, when you were in the midst of level 9 pain and effort while your cussing and screaming at the top of you mind's lungs to get you out of the death trap you had set for yourself! but all in all, it was a fantastic experience and i am excited to go back and retest when the time comes.

here's the official breakdown:

good for women 20-29 = 17-20%, excellent = 16%
goal weight = 116lbs
real weight = 120.2 lbs
goal body fat = 16%
real body fat = 19%
meaning i must lose 4.2lbs of pure body fat to reach my goal - it is so on...

VO2 MAX Test
i hit the "superior" range = exceeding 41mg O2/kg/min
Zone1 = 88-150
Zone2 = 150-161
Zone3 = 161-178
Zone4 = 178-184
there is no goal here except to increase it, which i hear is really sort of nonsensical because it isn't really a variable that can change much but hey - i'm willing to try...

so, go see Iris. it is well worth the time and money to get these tests done to add to your arsenal for optimal training. i can't wait to go back and get my RMR tested - that should be interesting :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

dear universe,

i need one of these please :)

i just got my body fat and VO2 max tested yesterday and i have a bit to report on that - sit tight its coming along with a breakdown of the weekend's shenanigans and hoopla. it's starting to get interesting, juggling everything and maintaining my sanity, but here we go...

let the long hours of base building, mileage gaining, experience learning portion of training officially commense - katie b is finally back at it...again ;)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

i am blessed

my good Saturday turned into a great Sunday and this, my blogosphere friends, is why -

i received an email a couple of days prior from Jennifer saying she and her family would be in town and that she would really like to meet me in person and of course i said yes, that would be great! i was so excited to finally get to meet her, and a little nervous if truth be told. i mean all of our communication so far had been conducted through email. our relationship started through a blog post comment and has progressed quite nicely through that means. now i was going to finally get to meet her face to face and i just prayed that she would like me, prayed that she would think she had made a good decision to sponsor me and the team, prayed that i would hold up to the standards of a good person in her eyes. i have no idea why i was concerned - concern for anything ended up being null and void the moment i walked up and we hugged...

the day started off with a nice trail run through Marion Bear Park with Guru and Greg at 830. i love this run. it is a true trail with loose rocks, falling leaves, tree lined paths and fresh air. the knees held up pretty well for the 4.5 miles but i knew that tacking on an extra 2 might be pushing it, so i opted to stop and stretch at the cars and then so did everyone else - seems as though we're all nursing one injury or another. it was a nice brisk pace, and i was happy. it felt great to run again, especially on uneven ground of the literal sense instead of the figurative sense i have been maneuvering through lately. a great start to the morning.

i followed that up with a quick change of clothes and a drive over to Mission Beach to have lunch with Coach Brian. we caught up on life in general and talked about my goals and drive for the season. we touched on the magnitude of what i want to be able to accomplish next year and sort out a game plan to get my knees healthy and back to full mobility. we talked about his crazy busy schedule and his rough day that just so happened to also be his birthday. i'd just like to insert a bit of something here - he is a good man and you don't find that sort of thing everyday. he cares a lot about his friends and his family. he cares about his clients, he cares about himself and he cares about all of this with great balance and clarity. i admire him and what he stands for, who he helps and the athlete that he is. i'm so glad to have him as a coach but even more so to be able to count him as a friend. he sometimes stands as my sounding board and often times puts me in my place when i start to get ahead of myself. i talk about what a great person and coach he is and i mean it - i couldn't have done Longhorn in the time i did without his guidance and i wouldn't be able to do this next year's schedule without more of the same. i am grateful to have met him when i did and i feel blessed to have his support in all of the endeavors i have loaded onto my plate. we ate - he much, much more than i - and had a grand time of it - or i did at least. a great afternoon.

i left the restaurant and immediately called Jennifer, as promised, to stop by for a bit and meet her and her family. i got there at 2:15 ish. i didn't get home for the day until midnight. right away i felt like family. it was amazing to be so welcomed into a home with a group of people who had never even spoken to me on the phone much less laid eyes on me. we talked for hours about everything - training, Barney Butter, my brother, her children - our lives in general. at some point everyone decided to go for a run and because i had already done mine for the day and didn't have any gear in my car, i decided to go see Chris and hopefully sneak in a nap of some kind. this only happened after i was asked to please come back for dinner and spend some more time with the Barney family! so i did - of course. and it was the best time. we had wine, ate a fantastic meal of healthy proportions and visited and talked some more. it was just so natural, effortless - all around enjoyable company. Her daughters are just beautiful and seeing the dynamics of each of their little personalities meshed with the other's - it was just a really amazing and loving environment to be in. i had the most fun and never once wished i was anywhere else. i was even sad to leave. i haven't quite felt unconditionally welcomed like that before in a place where no one really knows me, but i did Sunday. its sort of hard to wrap my mind around. Jennifer found my blog, we became buddies over email, she generously offered to sponsor Team Barney Butter in order to promote health and athleticism through triathlon and now i find she and her family are even more caring and giving in person than i could have imagined. a PERFECT end to the day.

so yes, i am a very blessed girl. and even though i received some news that really sort of shook me to the core this weekend, i have people in my life that i can't thank enough - mom, dad, Bri, Iris, CB, Jennifer, Erik, Roo to name a few - that have taken the time with me, inspired me and given to me so unselfishly with absolutely no agenda or payment in return except my thanks and appreciation - and of course, good natured BS along the way which is only something katie b can provide in an ongoing basis ;) the hard times aren't over, nothing will ever be just as i think it needs to be, but i am realizing more than ever that i am honored to be where i am at this very moment, basking in the glory of good friends, insightful mentors and the thing i choose to call "God's" love.

and no, i am not a religious freak. i don't even go to church on a regular basis - although i am Catholic by upbringing and choose to still lump myself in with that group, my view and relationship of what i choose to call God is very personal and unique to me - so don't be offended or over joyed at my choice of words, just be and the rest will follow just as it should :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

a good day


it was a good one.

nothing in the way of record books or memoirs - just a solid, good day. had a nice and leisurely 23 or so mile ride from the LLS office to the coast - which by the way ended up being much more climby than i had imagined. i had forgotten my nutrition so i took a water bottle and played follow the leader over to Torrey where i am not ashamed to admit that i did NOT want to descend - so we didn't. i had my first true "off season" moment of i don't need to do this. i don't want to do this. so i'm not going to do this. so we just about faced and headed back. it was that simple, that easy, that glorious.

the 09 Lavaman kickoff followed and i was introduced as "Coach Katie" two separate times and that was way cool. i actually sounded very knowledgeable and maybe a bit insightful according to onlookers and i couldn't have been more pleased with the turnout. i will however have to convince this group that advanced/experienced run is a fun thing and not a torture device we have created to punish them :)

then i got to hang out with my newest posse of friends for a very yummy birthday breakfast, followed up by a visit to one of my very favorite people i've had the pleasure and luck to not only know, but count as a true friend where we spent hours gabbing and catching up. and then it hit me.

i am a lucky, lucky girl.

i have so many caring people in my life - those who bring me up when i am down, those who light the dim rooms and chase away the shadows, those who add laughter and lighthearted antics that only we could pull off in each other's company, and those who just plain like me for me - in all of my weird and meaningful ways.

its a good day when you see the world for all its worth in ways you hadn't even imagined.

maybe its because its November. maybe its because its close to Thanksgiving, or maybe, just maybe its because its life and and i'm grateful to be apart of those lives who mean so much to me on whatever level they reside.

Friday, November 7, 2008

what are your weekend plans?

mine you ask? oh boy -

Saturday will start with a short 6 mile ride to the LLS office, arriving by 7AM to start a 3-3.5 hour ride with John, Jason, Greg and Randy (i think, i don't know the last two, so i don't know if they will actually show or not). we will attempt to navigate our way to the coast where i will continue up until my little heart's content while the others drop off to get back to the office to set up and get ready for the official 2009 TNT Lavaman season kickoff and expo. the perks of being a coach - i get to be late and just have to talk about what i love - running. now we all know i'd love it a hell of a lot more if it didn't hurt me so badly, but that's neither here nor there at the moment - so i'll have to watch my tongue on that one. i wouldn't want to scare the team from the "experienced" run program even before we start the season! then i will ride back to the house, bee line it over to the end of the birthday ride that i am regretfully missing and try to at least make it to the breakfast part of the celebration. that will be followed by me heading to a wonderful friend's house, snagging one of her lovely road bikes* and playing with her gorgeous son.

*this is important because i am now going to be mobile for IMAZ and will not have to rely on a car at all that weekend. i will be able to see much more of the race and maybe be able to add extra special cheers where they are needed most. i can't wait to see BAM destroy this race. Chris and Don are going to kick ass. Mary is going to be amazing and i'll be there to witness it all! yippeeee!

back to Saturday...after picking up my new borrowed toy, i will have to get home, shower, change and head down town for Dana's bday celebration where Joey will be my date (she doesn't know that i call her this in my head so she probably won't even know i'm talking about her, but this is my blog, so i can call her what i want) and we will party till the break of dawn - okay, that's a lie because...

the next day is Sunday and that consists of a 7AM run with the IMAZ crew (possibly), then an 830AM 6mile run coaching clinic with the guru. that should all be VERY interesting seeing as how i have NOT run since Longhorn. i have to remember to take it easy. must. not. die. that will be followed up by a meeting with CB where he will reveal how he plans to kill me next season (i gave him some pretty elusive goals that i will be accomplishing next year and now it is his goal (i'm assuming) to get me there). all i know is its gonna hurt. bad. rounding out the afternoon will be a visit to a friend who is going to try to work out my IT "issues" (hopefully) and get me back into working order so i have a much better chance of accomplishing said goals. and maybe just maybe i'll have time for dinner and a movie after that. maybe. and can i take just a minute to complain even more because, well - i just want to...i have not slept in over a month. all the stuff with creeper and thinking he was going to murder me, moving and now sleeping on a couch. eesh. the worst part is i've always had problems with my insane dream life so i never really "sleep" - but i think this is the worst its been since last November when i wasn't sleeping at all. every morning i wake up on Bri's couch and feel like i have a massive hang over. my body hurts, i'm dehydrated and i feel like my head has been chomped on by a land shark. i need my bed back. the bed that i hate and love at the same time - in all of its cushy snugly goodness, that is massive and is the bane of my moving experience.

i say all of this and talk about all of these big goals of mine after attempting to do an hour spin video last night with Bri and Chris - complaining the ENTIRE time about how exhausted i was, whining about how much it hurt, making excuses for my poor show of strength and then tapping out 10 min before it was actually over. this is not a good example of what is to come, but i do figure i am technically in "off season" - at least until IMAZ is over and CB has time to send me my first program. then i'm in for it. sweat, blood, tears and LOTS of cursing. its gonna be a year of massive proportions and i'm scared shitless. here's to shit, getting in it sucks. rolling around in it stinks, but getting out of it is fantastic. finally washing it off will be even better and i'll be all the stronger and smarter for it! so yes, here's to shit - in all of its stinky glory :)

eww...i'm gross :-P

Sunday, November 2, 2008

falling short and pushing limits

alarm off. 4:15. still tired. semi dehydrated. nervous energy - time to roll.

running late. coffee down. breakfast in. Chris here. car packed - time to roll.

fast drive. winding roads. pit stop. camp arrival. gear on - time to roll.

hurried ride. Christmas circle. late start. two bikes - time to roll.

first loop. dry heat. heavy legs. strong ups. speedy downs. SAG savior - time to roll.

gorgeous mountains. salt forming. ice melting. skin baking. good talking. Christmas circle. nutrition consuming - time to roll.

second loop. blazing sun. more talking. fun learning. strength diminishing. boiling water. slower ups. longer downs. SAG wagon - time to roll.

one minute. flat tire. back again. quick changing. more icing - time to roll.

barren desert. thankful company. weakness showing. excessive salting. winds pushing. speeds dropping. legs failing. skin crawling. mind losing. line crossing. Christmas circle - time to stay.

body resigning. promises ruling. water consuming. barriers broken. goals missed. 80 miles. 1000 calories. 6 hours. me stopping. Chris leaving. determined feelings - time to roll.

third loop. desert winds. suffocating heat. body aching. me waiting. Chris hauling. SAG stopping. no aiding. windy battles. strong fighting. Chris succeeding. back safely - time to roll.

campground packing. clothes changing. refueling urgent. dinner eating. exhaustion fleeting - time to roll.

beer drinking. comfortable sleeping. goals set. new day dawning. and yet again - it's time to roll...

Friday, October 31, 2008

is it really Oct 31st already ?!


who knew they made "feeties" for adults?! fan-freaking-tastic!
i get to dress and act like a two year old ALL day if i want to.
whoever thought up this holiday is genius!!!!
i hope you all have a very safe and fun filled day/night.
i'll be counting down tomorrow's miles in my sleep :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

i didn't sleep last night...

and do you know why i wasn't able to visit the land of slumber and dreams? its because in my rushed attempt to get all of my shit out of creeper's place in just 6 hours spread over a 48 hour period, i completely knocked one of his shelves off the wall and broke like 5 ceramic pieces he worships, so I’m pretty effed right now. i went to Long's on lunch and bought crazy glue in an attempt to piece the dadgum things back together but they're pretty smashed. smashed as in i can't tell what shard goes to what piece of broken hoopity i am holding. he didn’t come home last night so i still don’t know how pissed he’s gonna be. i didn’t sleep at all bc i was so scared he was going to come in, find out what i did, and then murder me in my sleep.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

on the bright side

i have made some amazing new friends...

kept some incredible old friends...

have the most adorable neice on the planet...

have the best mom in the entire world who just so happens to be my best friend

have the best dad in the entire world

am getting my very own, all by myself apartment

got a very much needed raise to allow me the above

the opportunity to do something worth while in the realm of triathlon through Barney Butter and TNT

have the ability to swim, bike and run whenever i please

have great people who let me tag along for their rides and other training sessions

a pretty unwavering and newly found sense of self

continue to feel loved, supported and uplifted on a daily basis

daily blogs to keep me laughing, inspired and moving

i'd say i'm pretty blessed and thankful for my plate and all that is on it :)

too much on my plate

1. i had to have two very uncomfortable conversations this week with two people that i think very highly of and don't want to hurt

2. i have officially been named the advanced run coach for the 2009 TNT Lavaman season - how freaking cool is that?! now i just have to get people signed up who are actually interested in advanced running!

3. being promoted to a higher role at work = lots more responsibility = lots more pressure = lots more stress, but this is good and moves me in the forward direction that i want to be headed

4. effing accounting 101 THAT I AM FAILING MISERABLY, i cry on my way to class each Monday bc i'd rather stab my eyes out with Darth Vader's laser than sit through the most boring lecture you can possibly imagine, given by a robot dressed as a human

5. i'm about to embark on the longest ride of my life, in the driest dessert heat i've ever been in (i've never been in desert heat) - 114 miles worth of sand, wind, sun, sweat and maybe tears - with a pack of very strong riders training for IMAZ. i maybe kidding myself into thinking that i can keep up with them. i guess we'll find out come Saturday. i do know that i MUST get in MORE hydration, MORE nutrition, MORE electrolytes and MORE speed to accomplish this very GARGANTUAN goal of mine

6. i have to have all of my stuff out of creeper's apartment by THIS Friday AM and i have done zilch to start that process except to pay for the storage unit that i will put my too expensive, too big for me, baggage of a bed into for safe keeping until i can move it into my very own, all by myself apartment at the end of the month

7. getting a team together that will make Jennifer proud with the following requirements (if you know of anyone who fits this bill, please let me know). i feel so excited to be able to do this and i want to do it right so i can give this team/organization a chance to really do something special...

i need good people who like to race and train and these are the specs as of now:

TB2 Members:
1. Katie Brunner
4. Chris Teague
5. ???
6. ???

2009 races:
1. 10K reso run first weekend in January
2. La Jolla 1/2 Mary in April
3. Wildflower OLY or Long in May
4. Vineman 70.3 in June
5. AFC 1/2 Mary in August

i want:
- no community service for now and maybe not for this first season. Jennifer thinks its something we might pick up for the next season depending on how the team meshes, but at some point we will do something like this -
or this
- i'd like the team member to do each race. i don't care how fast or not fast anyone is.
- i'd like semi-seasoned triathletes so we aren't having to "teach" from scratch
- i want very upbeat, enjoyable, positive, friendly and dedicated athletes who enjoy training and want to get faster and stronger. i'm hoping we can build a tight knit group. THIS IS NON-NEGOTIABLE
- i'd like to have Saturday rides/bricks be the "big" workout for the week and something that everyone tries to make it to, the rest of the workouts each week can be done together, on your own, or whatever. this way we can create buzz for the brand as we're kicking butt and taking names on the streets of SOCAL :) this is a commitment.
- coach Brian is offering everyone on the team a training deal that will be disclosed at a later date. he is the official coach of the team and we want to put out a good vibe for his group - TNStraining
- whatever group we end up pulling together for the "team" it will still be open to anyone and everyone who wants to workout with us, no discrimination - even if they're not officially on the "team" i want as many people as we can possibly get to train with us, push us and teach us so we grow as people and as athletes - low pressure, fun and inviting yet still really hard workers, good speed and a kick ass attitude.

you get:
1. 1/2 of each race entry listed above paid for
2. team uniform
3. access to the best coach around
4. and maybe i can talk Jennifer into sending down some BB packs for our workouts :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

icky poo icky

wow, can this week get anymore poopy?
what's that you say?
yes, yes it can?
get ready for the toilet to overflow?
ok then, duly noted and looking for the closest plunger...

this should tell you how bad the week is:
i got a pack of gum exactly 36 min ago.
it consisted of 14 pieces of perfectly good, long lasting flavor.
the pack is now down to 5 pieces and quite quickly, further shrinkage is occuring
this after giving it up yet again because its an expensive addiction with absolutely no health benefits. it actually puts (i'm sure) harmful chemicals into your system of vast quantities, especially at the rate i consume it - therefore making my week of painful detox sort of null and void ESPECIALLY since i drank myself into a damn stupor on Sunday. so much so that i felt like barfing right up until noonthirty today. its a damn good thing Whole Foods has anything and everything an ailing person could possibly need to heal themselves. too bad it costs an arm and a leg to buy it all...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

mission accomplished

well the morning started off pretty chilly and i was glad to have my new riding vest on to keep my core warm. i ended up wearing my too-big TNT jersey so i could have the extra pocket room for the added "stuff" i was carrying around. i planned pretty well on the nutrition front, but later learned i hit nowhere near the mark in utilizing that plan - more on the "not so much" of it all later. i brought along two water bottles - one filled with about 220 kcals of HEED and whey protein, the other filled with ice water - my "yammie" baggie, an extra baggie of 110 kcal HEED/whey mixture, 4 vanilla bean GU's and 2 berry Roctane GU's. the group consisted of Mary, Don, Elaine, Gia, Tina, Dana, Mikey and some of the other girls training for IMAZ. my ride out was spent with one member or another of the group where as my ride back was pretty much solely on my own and i didn't mind either way a bit. it was the perfect mixture of time spent with others and time spent with my self to internalize all the shit i've had on my mind as of late. on the nutrition side, i was still really full from breakfast so i ended up not taking in any nutrition for the first hour or so - well, until we hit the little shop up in Oceanside - that's when i started to get the first batch of liquid nutrition in me and up we went. the first 40 miles out were great - no cars, hardly any riders, nice semi flat course. as we hit Pendelton, i was wishing i had followed Mary's lead and worn a tank top because it was pretty damn hot but we kept it at about an 18 mph average pace, especially towards the end of the 40 and i felt great. great until Gia decided to take me on some "really fun ups and downs" in the back neighborhoods of San Clemente, ending at the community center where we regrouped, refueled and i remembered that i was going to be hitting unknown territory pretty quickly. the "really fun ups and downs" we just tackled were probably the worst course of action i had taken all day as i my legs were already starting to feel a little jelly like and although the descents gave a strong push through the many ascents, it was still precious energy and leg power wasted where it wasn't necessarily needed had i stuck to El Camino Real. but its me and what would one of my rides be without a little extra "nonsense" and "shenanigans" to boot. boring that's what. so i was glad to have done it and was ready to tackle the path towards salvation - T's Cafe. the best damn salad i have eaten to date. the California Spring Salad. in a word - delightful. oh just the thought of its yumminess hitting my taste buds made the whole ride worth while (too bad it was closed when i finally moseyed my tired and blood sugar depleted ass over there! had a bridge been near by, i would have thought seriously about jumping off of it!!!).

the ride back was also (sadly) pretty uneventful except for mile 70. i was 10 miles past the longest ride of my life when i started to feel a little loopy. loopy and dehydrated and maybe a little nutrient deficient (did i mention that i had forgotten to bring salt tabs along with?!). unbeknownst to me, i was swerving. not a lot. just a little, but enough so that i was riding pretty close to the white line, if not on it at times when a ginormo truck almost clipped me. that woke me from my stupor and i immediately took a GU and prayed it stayed down, as i had been feeling slightly ill a couple of seconds prior. thankfully, all went well and my loopiness left with the influx of yummy vanilla bean sugar. i silently thanked the truck for the near side swipe and forcing me to take a closer look at my nutrition or lack there of. finally making it back to the car was GLORIOUS! and knowing i had done all 80 miles without any major malfunctions made the victory of the day that much sweeter. Iris, Melinda and John just so happened to be there to greet me and stroke my ego (not that i needed it, i was already on cloud 9) with great conversation and some much needed clarification on the pressing issues that are sort of drowning me at the moment thrown into the mix. i ended up doing 81 miles, 16.8 mph average in 4 hours 49 min, with 600 actual kcals ingested during the trip (i think those were the stats) which did not include my HUGE breakfast and although i would have sworn it was at least 18 mph average, i'll take it and put another milestone notch on the bed post. Coach Brian was not impressed with my lack of nutritional intake and i could hear his disappointment through the text message. it must have been the heat getting to my brain because as i was calculating it on my way to get food and texting him my stats, i actually thought i had maybe over done it. wrong. wronger than wrong. oops. but on the bright side, it got done and i'm not in too bad of shape today. i feel decent, a little run down and mega sore but i just jumped from 60 to 80, what do you expect ;)

well done kid, you've gone and made your ol' self proud.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

60 to 80 you say? sure, why not!

so i'm hitting a major milestone moment of truth today, or planning on it anyhow. i am jumping mileage from 60 (longest ride to date) to 80 so i am more prepared for the 114 miler i am going to attempt next weekend out at Borrego Springs. the ride was originally scheduled to start in Anaheim and ride back to Solano Beach then changed to a heat ride out in the Palm Springs dessert and has finally settled on a coast ride - Solano Beach to San Clemente and back. Dana, Mikey and i are covering new frontier and i think they're as excited for the challenge as i am. i'd like to keep a 17 mph pace (or more) but i don't know the route and seeing as how i can get lost on a straight out and back, i don't know how that will manifest itself in the mph - i guess we'll just have to see. the main point of the ride is just getting in the mileage so i need to not concern myself so much with the time - easier said than done :)

so i woke up extra early for breakfast and make an extra special real sweet potato (not yam) barney butter concoction with a half a link of sweet Italian turkey sausage and a cup of Joe with raw colostrum...yum. i cut the mixture into two halves - i plan on putting one half in a plastic baggie and carrying it with me on the ride for a bit of a solid treat half way through - thanks to Madd Max's "yammies" idea. i have a REALLY weak stomach when it comes to the bike or any strenuous activity for that matter and tend to barf so this will be a big step towards my long distance bike training. i'm hoping all goes well.

okay, gotta start getting ready. i'm so excited yet so nervous but more excited to see what the day and the ride brings...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

i love meat...

and lots of it. how, i ask you, could anyone be a vegetarian?! i have now gone three and a half days without any sort of meat in my system and you know what? it sucks. royally. now if any of you reading this are vegetarians, please don't be offended, i have the utmost respect for your will power - i apparently lack all such will power and could never in a million years sustain that lifestyle. its cruel and unusual punishment for a girl from Texas who eats steaks cooked medium rare at least once per week. don't get me wrong, i have done more extreme detoxes then the one from the last post - like not eating anything for 14 days except lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup (yes i did that and survived), but my need for meat never goes away. its always in the back of my mind, lulling me into it lair - where we feast on the deliciousness that it is.

for my first planned meal from the detox i had sauteed, fresh caught Alaskan Cod with a multitude of yummy spices in olive oil a top two cabbage leaves and garnished with fresh sliced mango and avocado...heavenly. i was so excited to be eating again that i almost didn't mind the fact that creeper was standing there drooling over it, asking me God knows what to try to make conversation. its a good thing i've learned to drown him out. i just concentrated on the taste extravaganza in my mouth, found my happy place where meat runs free and overflowing and thought about dinner and...more meat.

okay, so i am aware that fish can't really be considered meat, BUT its the closest thing i've had to it in three and a half days and because of that fact you have to slowly get your system prepped to breakdown the hard stuff like chicken, pork and beef (OH MY!). but don't you worry, my meat consumption is back in swing, my crankiness is about to hasta la vista itself right on out and my newly "cleansed" body will be ready for the 80 miler in the desert this Saturday in no time flat! hence the reason i had to plan my back to eating meal today instead of tomorrow - with the new factor of 95 degree heat, i didn't think it a smart idea to go into that type of ride with only one real meal in my system. hell, i may even get a little risque and throw some chicken in mix for Friday night instead of the fish - i just might be ready for the big league sooner than i had planned. here's hoping and here's to eating meat - in all of its yummy, nutritional glory!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

detox, you are the devil

katie's mini detox:
Aloe gel caps (taken as directed)
continue to take daily vitamins
medical grade food (1Xday, 2Xday, 3Xday, 2Xday, 1Xday)

Breakfast/lunch shake:
1/2c Carrot/orange juice mix (not from concentrate)
1c Strawberries (i buy fresh and then freeze them bc they're on sale right now)
1scoop MRM all natural whey protein

Steamed cabbage
Steamed carrots
apples (gala or honey crisp)
de anjou pears

Lots of water
Green tea
(hot)Herbal teas
fresh squeezed lemon water

No sweeteners (except Stevia)
No oils/added fat except one table spoon of flax seed oil per day (on steamed veggies)
No chemicals of any sort (no gum, sugar free sodas or Fuze type drinks)

the detox plan:
Monday-Friday as mentioned
then a half a sweet pot and piece of light white fish for dinner Friday PM
then sweet potato for breakfast Saturday AM
nutrition as normal on ride (80 miles)
then chicken and veggies to recover afterwards

i'd go longer if i didn't have this 80 miler planned for Saturday
and a 114 miler the following weekend
probably at least 14 days, but this eating (or not eating) is NOT conducive to long rides
so that's my plan
hope it works so the sicky is gone for good
happy detoxing

Longhorn 70.3: THE AFTERMATH

i got drunk. i had taken a vow of a teetotaler for three and a half months. i kept to it. strictly. at the finish line we hugged and cried - well i was fine until i saw my dad just a boo hoo-ing and that got me all worked up - but mostly i was so damned happy to be done with the thing. i just wanted a drink of the alcoholic nature and as luck would have it, my parents were prepared. they brought along ciders for me, beer for the boys and Dana and champagne to boot. i had one and a quarter of the ciders and was three sheets to the wind in no time flat. we cheered the rest of the group in (i just so happened to finish first, which was so cool because my best friend from college came down to cheer me on and kept saying "God Katie, you're amazing! You even beat all your guys! That's so cool!" and that was fantastic - to see the pride on his face, priceless) - drinking all the way. i mentioned before that i had to pee pretty much throughout the entire run yet i still hadn't gone. an hour after i finished, i realized i still hadn't gone but still had too so in true Texas form, i found a tree and popped a squat. i know, i know - classy. but i had to go and i didn't feel like standing in line for the port o' potties when there was a perfectly good tree up the tailgating sight calling my name - especially when i had a medium rare ribeye and sweet potato just waiting for me when i got back. dad had spent the morning getting fajitas and brauts cooked up for the crew so they would have a good meal waiting for them after the day's events. me being the favorite (read: only) daughter and all - their pride and joy - i got the special steak, cured with love and cooked to perfection. i was tired and worn out but i was having the most fun. we laughed and joked the rest of the day until we finally noticed we were the last group there and the last ones left to extract our gear from transition. i'd like to say we hightailed it over to get it done quickly, but there was no hightailing anything in our drunken, beaten down state - so we moseyed over to the site and packed up. the rest of the night was pretty uneventful. we were all pretty wiped out. i did get called princess quite a bit that night, but i was used to it by then (i made us change rooms because the one Bri and Ryan were in smelled like smoke and i was not having it - so i marched right up to the front desk, smiled pretty and got us a nonsmoking one instead).

i had been feeling a sicky coming on all week long and as soon as the event concluded, the sicky took full steam ahead and that's pretty much where i've been since - deathly ill. ok. not deathly. but ill for sure. now i'm trying to detox and having a horrible time of it. i'm cranky, have a horrid headache, STARVING and sleepy - but this is the way to get the sicky out for good and kick start my body back into healthy mode for the upcoming off season training that only lasts two precious months, then back to the pool, pavements and trails to get stronger, faster, better than last year and break 6 hours at Wildflower. that's right, i said it. God willing, my knees will have plenty of time to get stronger and stop their damn whining so that i can achieve this goal. here's to the off season, progress and break neck speed :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Longhorn 70.3: THE RUN

oh the run. the final frontier. all that was standing between me and my title was 13.1 miles of pavement, cedar lined dirt paths, the scorching Texas sun, the disco duets at the energy lab and countless, water drenched, sanity saving sponges...times two.

the run was a two loop course that proved to be everything they said it would be - hard. the out and back to the energy lab was deceiving if only by name. i choose to look at things from a glass half full perspective, so hearing energy lab naturally made me think of gaining energy - not loosing it, which quickly became the super standing theme of the day. the whole way out was uphill, a sort of down hill reprieve on the way back in, only to be met again by more hills, more climbs, more aches and pains, more grabbing blindly for ice cold sponges and soaked white towels, more dreading Quadzilla and more cheerful volunteers to commiserate the experience. as i ran past the Team Barney Butter tailgating area the first time, i was met by loving screams of "great job Kate!" "go get 'em girl" "looking good" and the other veritable coos and caws. i soaked it up and yelled something like "who in the hell signed me up for this madness?!" i was still feeling pretty good at this point. this point of 5 miles and counting. i actually started to think "hey, maybe my knees won't hurt this time around. maybe this is the race that sets the precedent for all future races where i will kick ass and my knees will love me all the way!" ha. hahhahaha. hahhahhahhahahhahahhahahhahhahahha......hahahhahahhahahahhaha. yeah right.

mile 6 came and as if they were on cue from the director's chair, the sharp pains set in and i new the next loop would be hell. hell as in hot. hell as in pain. hell as in "i can't wait for this effing run to be over so i can have my medal and my cider and call it a day." and then i hit it. Quadzilla. in all of its steadily rising glory. its steep ascent. its dirty path of grime and grit. people stopped to walk all around me. to my left was a couple of 40 somethings chatting. to my right was a 25 year old sucking wind. inside me was a little girl wanting so badly to walk that she stuck out her pouty lip and thought "i am going to walk. i am going to walk and i don't care who knows it. i don't care who sees it. i am going to walk" as she continued to run up the monster ahead. run as in shimmy, shake, rattle and roll her way upwards in an attempt to keep the momentum going in such a way that it might take her through the next round. no walking happened on this loop. maybe the next. maybe.

by the 4th aide station of the second loop, my wits were nowhere about me. i was hot. i had to pee. i wanted to walk. i longed for anything to distract me in an attempt to escape the pain. i finally let myself walk through the aide station, not because i was trying to be nice to myself but because i decided to let the high fructose corn syrup devil infiltrate my mind and in the end infiltrate my mouth. Gatorade. oh sweet, evil, corn syrup bearing nectar of the underworld. it was all i could keep down and when i finally gave in to its devilish control, my spirits finally began to rise and i found the one thing that would propel me to the next aide station with the next round of highlighter yellow ick. it was glorious in every sense of the word. i could feel its nonnutritive value trickle down my throat and poison my innards, but i didn't care. i was drinking it and loving it. that little devil drink got me to the next aide station where another little devil drink called my name and i allowed myself another aide station walk through just so i could get it all in my mouth. i neared my tailgating area for the second time, but no joking words - or thoughts for that matter - left my mouth. i needed to preserve all my energy for the final stretch ahead. my second date with the death monster Quadzilla. i could feel him breathing in my direction and i knew he was around the bin. so i picked it up and met him with a vengeance. i plodded and probed, hobbled and hipped up that damn thing like it was my job. i left those whining men and women in my dust and laughed at my misery all the way. for once, i relished in the pain - there was no denying the life in my lungs, the movement in my legs, the delirium in my mind. i was about to become a half ironman. i hadn't walked. i hadn't quit. i hadn't given up on myself. around the next bin i would be all that i wanted and more. i would prove that i was strong enough, fast enough, good enough to be what i wasn't sure i could be.

i rounded the corner, shot for the finish and laughed out loud at the feat i had just accomplished. i was a half ironman and i was going to revel in the glory all day long...
official time: 2:23:33
official pace: 10:57 min/mi (horrible time, but hell - i'll take it)
official temp: mid 90's
official elevation: 371 ft
official feeling: proud, accomplished, iron-worthy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Longhorn 70.3: THE BIKE

as i went into transition, i felt great - great to have that damn swim behind me. now it was time to get on Muffassa and ride like the wind. we had gone over some of the course the night before, so i knew there were quite a few technical turns out there only to follow quite a few "rough" spots that were thankfully and clearly marked by yellow squiggly lines. i had confidence in my ability to avoid the trouble spots while maintaining speed. there weren't many people in transition as i jogged to my designated area so i felt good about my timing out of the water. i had purposely not worn a watch for the race and i had purposely tweaked my bike computer so that it wouldn't activate when i got on. i didn't want any pressure during this first 70.3 race of mine. it was me against me, not anyone or anything else.

race top - check. sunglasses - check. a whole dadgum garden covering my feet - check...?! i seriously wasted a good 2 minutes trying to get the mulch off of my feet enough so that my bike shoes would fit. i knew i should have brought a bucket of water with me, oh well - the towel i high jacked from the hotel did its job. as i wrestled to get the rest of my gear in place, i began to shiver in the 80 degree morning air with the thought of the journey to come. 56 miles of nutrition. 56 miles of speed. 56 miles of me, the white lines, the blue Texas skies and the wide open fields. was i ready for this? was i strong enough, fast enough, good enough to get this done?

YES. YES, a million times over YES. the nervous thoughts were fast and fleeting. as soon as i mounted my steed, i knew the race was on. when i came upon "the turn" that would later (i have read) cause dilemmas and crashes of astronomical proportions, i cruised on by. long slow climb up, sharp 90 degree turn leading to an even sharper 100 yard ascent that i man handled like it was my bitch :) on to the next set of ups and downs, down and outs - i was on top of it all. riding high, riding fast, riding free. i did at one point - i'm guessing around mile 30 - get really distracted by my race number flapping violently in the wind. did i fail to mention the wind out there? holy Lord. there was a bit of a strong head wind at points, but at many others there was a cross wind straight from the Wizard of Oz out to get me. that damned cross wind would have liked to have picked me up and set me down in Oz had i been in Kansas to start with - and i think it might have had Todo been along for the ride. instead it settled on driving me nuts by tormenting my race number. i had been playing cat and mouse with a 34 year old woman and a 35 year old man. neither of them were content with me being in front but neither of them were very content on holding a strong pace either. so we continued our little game until that damned race number really started a flapping in the wind. i reached back to adjust the bugger and what do you know?! the damned thing popped right out of its holder on the right side! OY! i immediately slowed my speed to try to maneuver it back into its rightful home with no such luck. 34 and 35 finally got to cruise on by without a peep from me as i pleaded with God to just help me get the dadgum thing back in a safe place so i could finish my ride. nothing. for a good 3 or 4 minutes i played with that thing and lost quite a bit of speed in the process. finally, i gave in, looked behind me - clear, pulled off to the side and re-fastened the number to the belt clip. those things are the most difficult contraption to work out on the course! it took me about a minute of all thumbs to get it back in place and finally - finally i was able to get back on the course to hammer out the rest of the miles.

i kept thinking how annoyed i was that i had to stop for such a minor detail, but then i quickly realized that i had it easy. there were handfuls of "man downs" littering the sides of the roads with flat tires and i was not one of them. with a "thank you God" and a heartfelt smile to Mary, i flew through the rest of the turns and made way to T2. the final 400 or so yard climb did not lend itself to spinning out the legs in the most enjoyable way so i pushed through strong and readied myself for the dismount line. hopping off and landing felt awkward at first, but CB had me do plenty of bricks so i was prepared for the wobbly nature of my knees and headed straight for my rack. i kept a clear head about me and even dumped my "trash pocket" before heading out. i didn't want any extra weight for the hours to come. i still had 13.1 miles to go and it would prove to be the hardest task of the day - both physically and mentally...

official time: 3:04:57
official mph: 18.2
official temp: who knows with the wind, but it felt like high 80's
official elevation: 997 ft
official feeling: confident, strong, ready to finish my first half ironman!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Longhorn 70.3: THE SWIM

they say the water was 77 degrees. i say the water was 79 degrees. whatever it was, it was hot and not having my wetsuit was the best possible mistake i could have asked for. i over heat while i swim, so not having the option to fry myself in a vat of lake water amongst my age group opponents was something of a blessing. i was surrounded by 3 handfuls of women in wetsuits and a handful of them in skins. i wore my sports bra and tri shorts and stood to the inside, away from the majority of the racers in my wave because i know female triathletes - they're mean. they won't think twice about dunking you to get ahead. they jab, kick, scratch and crawl the person in front, behind or beside them that threatens the slightest movement towards what they've deemed their water territory. i wanted to stay clear from the get go so i stayed outside and prayed that this group would be nicer than the other groups i'd started with in the past. no such luck. the gun sounded and we were off. the first 200 or so meters i struggled to keep a steady breath and a strong arm. every stroke i took was met by a hard rubber body. the next 300 meters bred more of the same - all the while building more and more anxiety in my chest. we were like drowning monkeys in the pacific ocean except there was no salt for buoyancy and these monkeys were actually humans with strong pulls and even stronger will. i felt trapped in a sea of bodies and i couldn't find my way out to clear water no matter how hard i tried. there was no drafting because i couldn't get in a good stroke to save my life. finally after hitting the first buoy, a group of us 25-29 year olds pulled ahead and the water became a little less swallowing. i began to find a slight groove and tried desperately to keep it smooth. pull, rotate the hips - g l i d e...&push. pull, rotate the hips - g l i d e...&push. pull, rotate the hips - g l i d e...&push. and that was it. i'd get about 3 or 4 strokes in and all of a sudden i'd get bamboozled from behind or jack knifed from the side. i was flabbergasted at the fact that i could not just swim - so much so that i had to stop on five separate occasions to tread water and/or breast kick just so the animal to my right or left, front or back didn't succeed in drowning my poor unfloatable ass. i struggled throughout the entire swim not because i couldn't swim, but because this sea of neoprene clad bodies would not allow me the luxury. finally, with about 500 or so meters to go, i found a safe place. i pictured myself in an unpoppable bubble and there i stayed. i had already caught up to the wave directly before me about 100 meters back, and now i was seeing the stragglers from the two waves before that. i have to say that i have NEVER passed people in my own wave, much less 3 waves before mine - either they were super slow or i was getting faster. let's go with the latter, it makes me look better :) with this bit of light to guide me through the final stretch, i found a straight path to the inside outlet and made like a bandit to the swim out. i exited the water with such glee in knowing that 1) i had survived the near death drowning and the panic attacks it had ensued and 2) it was now time for the bike and Muffassa was calling my name...

official time: 30:37
official temp: water felt like 79 to start and ended feeling like 95
official elevation: 0 ft - i'm pretty sure it was flat out in the lake ;)
official feeling: glad to have not been drowned, pumped for the next 56 miles!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Longhorn 70.3: PRE-RACE

4am came really quickly. as soon as my alarm went off, i was in race ready mode. excited, nervous energy coursing through my veins, ready to take off and take flight. i was trying to harness that energy in order to keep it at bay until the gun sounded, still 4 some odd hours away. i wasn't doing a very good job. my head was everywhere and nowhere all at once. i headed straight for the ice chest and then down to the breakfast area where a gathering of anxious racers were already standing in line for the microwave. there were some exchanges of pleasantries and good lucks, but these were all men in my midst and the focus wasn't on the niceties of the back country, the focus was on the nutrition for the long day ahead. i heated up my sweet potato/barney butter concoction and added some grilled chicken breast in the mix for a little added protein to keep me full through the pre-race rituals to come. as soon as it was down, i headed back to the room to start the walk through that would eventually lead to the big show. i had packed my tri bag the night before, as all triathletes do, but i still took everything out and repacked it as i would put it on in transition - just to be sure. it was, after all, my first transition in over a year and i was dead set on not forgetting anything instrumental to my success for the day. swim. bike. run. everything was there and it was time to head out and down to BG's room to get the rest of the Team Barney Butter crew moving.

like i said, my energy was running rampant like a red headed step child left alone on a Saturday afternoon to amuse herself in a room full of feather pillows ;) the rest of the group didn't seem to have the same energy overload that i did and weren't shy in letting me know that i needed to take my 10 down to about a 2 until we reached the starting line. i tried. i failed.

i sang. i danced. i drove and talked and sang and danced some more. i was so ready to get this thing on. i had been waiting for this moment for 3 years - my first half ironman and it was finally here. no one has ever come right out and told me i couldn't do it, but there have been those in my life who i was pretty sure never thought i would and today i was going to prove those people wrong. there have been a multitude of people in my past who i could never impress, never live up to their standards, never be good enough for even if i trekked straight up to the moon and brought back the stars around it. today was my day to do it. to take those stars and hold them for myself, declaring that i am worth everything i think i am and more. looking back, i didn't need this day to prove that, but how sweet it is to have had it just the same. to look straight into the face of fear and weakness and beat it down with courage and strength. now i know that i didn't do this for those people who didn't think i would, i did it for me who wasn't sure i could.

i got to transition and set up my spot, exactly how i had imagined it should be in my head. everything had a place, everything had a purpose - directly in front of me were the tools i would use to get me successfully through the day. i did the usual 5 trip dance to the port-o-potties and got in a 10 minute or so warm up/stretch combination. the air outside was a bit cool, so i decided to forgo a swim warm up in order to preserve my body heat and comfort while waiting for the first 5 waves to go off - and then it was me. me in a sea of brightly colored pink swim caps. me in a sea of warm bodies covered in neoprene. me in a sea of women, all ready to do one thing - tackle the swim to get us to the bike that would eventually lead to the run that would in turn get us to the finish line that would, in the end, make us what we so craved - half ironmen. with no familiar faces anywhere to be seen, i looked inside and found all the strength, power and peace i needed to start and finish this race. i stood there in the water on tip toes and recited my Hail Mary's and Our Father. and as the countdown began, a wave of serenity passed over me as i closed my eyes and saw Clark's face flash through my mind. this was it. my journey of 70.3 was about to begin with 1.2...

official time: who knows, we were on an hour and a half delay
official temp: felt like high 60's
official elevation: 0 ft - i'm pretty sure i was standing still for this bit ;)
official feeling: excited, nervous, can't wait to pee my pants!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

where to start?

lets go with the pre-race day highlights and then we'll get to the race report, probably in sections so you aren't too overwhelmed with the novel at hand...

taking Clara to Barton Springs where her daddy and i used to swim as kids. we were always told that we were not to get wet, that we could roll up our pants and stick our feet in. and every time, we'd end up leaving the park completely soaked because one of us had pushed the other one in against the pleading and warnings of our handlers :) i distinctly remember riding home on more than one occasion butt-naked with a towel wrapped around my little kid body and my brother and i drawing lines across the back seat that the other one wasn't supposed to cross. well we all know how well the doing what your supposed to did not work in this particular brother/sister relationship ;) some of the best times ever were had in that spring of ice cold water that always seemed to get warmer just by having the two of us in it together.

taking Clara to Whole Foods for her daddy's special birthday dinner and cake celebration. mom and i had his favorite - cheesecake, and Clara had his second favorite - chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. we all ate every single bite and enjoyed every last minute of it as we looked up to the sky and said "happy birthday, we love you to the moon..."

picking up team barney butter from the airport and then stopping for dinner at Taco Bell after BG had begged us to stop somewhere "Texas." since it was already 10 and not much is open that late in the back country on a Thursday, we had to settle for the first thing we saw and Taco Bell was it. poor guys. i'm sure that volcano taco did 'em wonders later that night, tucked away in the camper up at the neighbors where the momma cougar makes her nightly prowl for the unsuspecting Bambie's of the Morgan's Point Resort forest. come to find out, Ryan even ventured out of the camper one of the nights to urinate...brave soul. its lucky for him he wasn't eaten!!!!

driving up to the best damn bar-b-que place i have ever been. letting my eyes nearly pop out of my head when i saw all the meat on the grill - deer sausage, hot sausage, mild sausage, brisket, baby back ribs, short ribs, steak, chicken and pork chops. salivating at the thought of the meat entering my mouth so much so that i couldn't decide what kind of meat to get so i got them all. sitting down to eat my meat and savoring every single bite. getting hyper excited about the fact that it was in my hometown at the exact same time i got sad that i no longer live near my hometown to enjoy the delectableness of it all on any type of a regular basis. driving up to the super Wal Mart where we bought 7 some odd cases of beer, 4 bottles of champagne, 10 pints of Blue Bell ice cream and a shit load of God knows what to get us through the trip down to Austin for race day. then making another pit stop at the liquor store where BG, Dana and i each bought a bottle of my favorite port wine AND a case of cider for the after race celebration. and the best part - seeing my mom's face when we walked in looking like a bunch of drunken hippies getting ready to get wasted on her lovely lake view estate :)

going on and on about how we needed to leave at such and such a time on Saturday morning to be in Austin by this and that time. getting frustrated with the drunken carbo loading yahoos and their inability to pay attention to the details of the plan and then me being the one to make everyone wait to leave the next morning because i was running behind and had no idea where i was going. BG and i jamming out to the likes of billy jo bob's bluegrass mamba jamba and missing the exit to the transition site while Tim and Ryan took the right exit but missed the left turn and ended up at the XXXadult video megaplex. getting to the absolute worst expo in the world only to find out that the race was indeed going to be wetsuit legal and me freaking out, trying to decide if i should buy a wet suit for the added buoyancy seeing as how i found out the day prior that i had completely lost all floatability in the fresh water without one. CB talking me down from the ledge i had edged out to in my tizzy while Ryan ordered the boomchickylacka boom boom sauce chicken dish to satisfy his pre-pre-race meal appetite, and all of us eating entirely too much only 2 hours before we were supposed to eat our pre-race dinner and loving every minute of it.

getting so damned lost on the "course preview" that we had to actually stop and ask for directions and this is what we got (thanks Ryan for remembering her words, i couldn't remember anything after the door comment):
katie: excuse me, how do we get to Blake-manor Road?
lady: Blake Manor road?
katie: yes, please.
lady: well, you're on Ann Showers. just keep going a couple miles and turn left on Damita Jo (i am not making these street names up. this is Texas people, back woods Texas at that), when you get to Damita Jo, keep your doors locked and...(the transcript ends here, because the SoCal city kids all pooped themselves)

taking the kids to eat fried alligator and God knows what else the night before our race (nothing new on raceday schmaceday) and then not sleeping all night long in anticipation of the next morning and the looming knowledge that we were all about to become half ironmen (well Dana already was one, but who's counting?).

Clara in all of my tri gear (future ironman in the works right here!). this is perfection at its best. i got to sit, sleep, play, hug, kiss and love my niece for 2 straight days and then some. fantastic. better than fantastic - priceless...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

i'm officially a half ironman

Katie Brunner #776
San Diego, CA
Age: 27 Gender: F
Distance Long
Clock Time 6:05:45
Chip Time 6:05:45
Overall Place 1010 / 1929
Gender Place 231 / 513
Division Place 42 / 90

Swim 1 2Mi Rank 805
Swim 1 2Mi Time 30:37
Swim 1 2Mi Pace 1:35/M

T1 Time 04:02
Bike 56Mi Rank 1084
Bike 56Mi Time 3:04:57
Bike 56Mi Pace 18.2mph

T2 Time 02:34
Run 13 1Mi Rank 1043
Run 13 1Mi Time 2:23:33
Run 13 1Mi Pace 10:57/M

i have so much to say about this incredible weekend that i don't even know where to start. for now i will just say that i am beyond exhausted, haven't slept more than 15 hours in the past 3 days and i am sore - sorer than sore actually. i promise to write all about it just as soon as i get caught up at work and then i'll be writing so much, you'll have to schedule time just to fit in all the reading ;)

thanks everyone for all of the kind words, encouragement, love and fast vibes sent to me on race day. it wouldn't have been the same without knowing how much all of you believe in me and the things that i can do when i put my mind to it.

i can't believe i am officially a half ironman. how cool is that?! ;)

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