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?! ;)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


i know i have been a blogger slacker as of late. starting school back up after 4 years of being out (and an accounting class at that!), working full time and trying to get in all of my training has proven to be more than this little person can handle. oh and trying to find a new place to live, can't forget that major distraction. i am in full freak out mode. my ride this AM was horrible. legs felt like lead. knees were killing. movement was slow. not good. not good at all. haven't been sleeping. feel like poo. what else - i'm scared shitless for this race. everyone has been so supportive - telling me how great i'll do, how strong i am, how fast i am...but what if i'm not? what if i don't finish well? what if i'm not as strong as i think i am? what if i let everyone down?

okay, this is me being melodramatic. i know none of it really matters. what matters is that i do this race - my first half ironman, in my hometown with my parents there to see it - and have fun. i know that it won't matter where i finish, just as long as i finish. no one will be disappointed and ultimately no one will really care, but that's logic and logic is not ruling this day and i am freaking out. i've drank so much coffee this AM that i am literally shaking sitting here at work trying to get all the last minute details of the new big account, the contract and the invoices ironed out so i won't have that stress on my plate while i'm back home trying to enjoy every last second i have with my little boomba. tomorrow is Clark's birthday and the original reason why i am making the trip home, but again, as i have always done - i have made the entire weekend about me and my life. that wasn't what i had planned to do - celebrate Clark's life and the gift he left us was what i had planned to do, what i wanted to do. shitty sister. shitty aunt. shitty person. so much to work on in this quest to be a better person and this just shows me how far away i actually am. no wonder things are the way they are right now - i have to be better. i want to be better.

so here's hoping to a good race, not letting anyone down and being a better person at the end of the day because my morning is severely lacking. wish me luck...

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