Thursday, December 28, 2006

I've moved!

Please change your link bars to,

I'm adding new links daily, please be patient if you don't see your name in lights yet. Please be even more patient if you see your name in lights with no link, or if the link is wrong...

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ta Da! round 2.5

Ok, that's it for now. The new site is launched-yea. You know the brilliant thing about mac is that they make it so easy you feel stupid. Is that a good thing?

The comment bar is enabled now, so let me know what you think.

I think I need to change some of the fonts, they aren't as clear as I would like them to be-and I realize there are many links I need to add, as well as songs I like and I"m working up a race schedule.

But at some point today I need to actually do the breakfast dishes.


Ta Da! round 2

For those of you who stopped by Sunday, this site had my big

"I'm a Dot com now!" announcement. Then Dot Mac ate my entire blog. So, I'm back under construction

patience please- go return some gifts or something. Then stop on by later this afternoon. We should be right as rain by then- oh and hopefully posted :-)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oh, please, oh please, oh please,

Let it snow!

You can certainly have Christmas without the white stuff, but oh how awesome it is when it flies!

Brief update:

HG b-ball team 3-0. Yes, point guard, "you really are a good team this year" emphasis on "this" . They went 1-12 last year.

Senses of Christmas with Buck Naked this afternoon. It's a kindergarten classroom. You routinely taper all of your senses when you walk into it on the day to day, so they've thrown in the holiday challenge to defy nature and go in for the experience. I guess it could be worse, it could be the "senses of 5th grade right after recess" experience. From which there is no recovery.

Caroling at the Mall of Mass Hedonism and Greed tomorrow with HG. It's the most non school week of school second only to the last one in June.

Christmas chapel and Christmas parties on Friday. I'm one of Buck Naked's room moms, so that will be a fun afternoon. Although, I do have visions of arriving home plastered in frosting. I haven't wraped a single present, but I spent a few mindless hours winding up the last of the shopping. Yea me. I really dislike shopping. But I love giving presents, so, what are you going to do?

Have a wonderful, safe holiday weekend!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tri Naked Blogger

Iron Nick, who earned his props in Brazil this past May, could easily be named as one of the greatest tri brothers around. He's at most of the local races, taking pics and cheering when he's not competing, always a willing coach (sub 60 min IM swim time), and all around nice guy. In his spare time he has worked up two web sites. One, does exactly what the name implies; it maps out the triathlons in the world, giving race info and other relevant information. Now just in time for Christmas, he's launched a blog devoted to informing the tri community of all the latest in gadgets, apparel and gear- all things tri. Check these out, and add them to your link bar if you like what you see.

But Trimama, what about the naked part?

No, this isn't the naked part. Well, Robo is half naked, but that doesn't really count. (Ok, Robo looks fantastic, so the half naked part counts a little for him, because you have to give credit where credit is due-which is why I'm not half naked in this picture because I look a little like a pot bellied pig-the wonders of neoprene)

Half naked doesn't count this year. This year it's about full on, stripped down, just the essentials, naked.

I've come to the conclusion that it's a little insane to vigorously pursue something that holds no true value for me. I had this epiphany when I registered for the GYGO New Year's Day virtual triathlon. Follow the links and register. If you live in the midwest and want to join my local tri club at our freakin freezin' polar bear plunge reverse tri, we'll be meeting at the bar by the large, gaping black hole in the ice around 8:30 in the morning. The bar is open and serving, (it's also indoors and warm) if you need a little shot of confidence before you make the plunge. It's open when you exit the water if you need a little help un freezing your blood. You'll notice when you register that there is a question regarding your New Year tri resolution. Prior to Ironman Florida, my plan for this next season was to focus on speed and power and become a force to reckon with on the tri series circuit. Then I realized, with all due respect to the incredible athletes who earn the podium, I just don't care about the schwag. Go, ahead and exhale- I love the booty that comes in the race bags, and I'll always love the free stuff. I'm talking about the little beer mugs and ash trays that say you stood on the podium. Last year that seemed important to me. As I sit here today though, contemplating what it takes to make it to the ash tray, I realize that in the economy of time and energy, both physical and mental, I don't want to spend myself there. I realized what I liked about being a newbie last year was the ability to not care so much, to focus on the things that mattered to me, like friends and The Tribe, and meeting new people. I cared about training hard, and seeing how far and how fast I could push myself, and it was fun. The idea of being a player isn't fun. The idea of tweaking equipment and monitoring data, and living under a blogoscope, and being all about me and results leaves an unsavory taste in my brain. It's a strange dichotomy. I love to compete, I always will. I think I've realized that I can't justify the means or the end in setting a goal of winning races for next year.

It's my year to Tri Naked.

To train and race by means of the essence of the sport.

To this end, I'm going to drag my sorry butt over the Wildflower course, taking great delight if I pass Kahuna on the run again. I'm going to help Hyphen Girl train and run her first half marathon. My proposal to start a Y Tri, tri club at work was met with great enthusiasm, so I'm anticipating bringing 10 new athletes into the sport. I'm going to be the ass of our group rides again this year, not because I can't keep up, but because there are a lot of people who would come out and ride if they knew there was a buddy to go along with. I'm going to try a few new races, including (I hope) the 24 hour-cross over the mountain pass-Colorado relays. I'm going to enjoy more trail running. I'm going to recruit and help train a small army of kids to participate in theMiracles of Mitch triathlon. I'm going to cheer on my fellow athletes. Of course I'm going to cheer on and support Taconite Boy and his posses of IMmoo competitors.

This past year of iron I focused a lot on what was in my hand. Ironman was an oddessy that I held for 16 months, and it was very good to me. I held on to it through fire and storm and it changed me. The feeling of letting go at the finish line, and hugging The Tribe was indescribable. I almost made the mistake of confusing what was in my hand then, for what I am as a whole. The mistake of thinking it was all about grabbing something else up for me. I'd be a lousy triathlete, let alone person if all I am is a hand. This year it's about the whole body in action using all of the gifts and talents I've been given, for the benefit of others and myself.

It's all about getting Naked.

I have a feeling it's going to be a lot more fun to tri naked.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Are you aware that Ford sponsors Ironman?

Really? That fact escaped my notice, hmmmmmmmm.

I roped myself into a Florida Ironman survey this morning (the first survey they sent out included one question, so I thought what the heck, I can answer another question- 45 questions later....)

A grouping of questions inquired about my knowledge of Ford's involvement in sponsorship of the events.

Ummmmm. You mean like the logo being plastered on the swim buoys, the misting shower, the turnaround markers, every piece of schwag. Yea, I kind of picked up on that.

Taconite Boy was ready to buy me a truck after the event though. In all fairness, he already drives an F150 and loves it, and for my part, I want a truck.

Actually I want a 40 year old beater that I can drive around when I'm working in the yard or around the house, on the days when I wear my goofy work hat and gloves and listen to old country music. I really need to move to a farm.

To give you an idea of how much work is going on in the Trimama household, when we brought home the Christmas tree and Buck Naked Boy sized up the situation and determined that there was not enough room for his train to run underneath it, he nochalantly suggested to Tac Boy that he needed to move out the front wall to make room.

Ok, I'll get out the sledge hammer and go to work on that.

In the mean time, here is a pictorial of our latest project.

Take one closet to no where. A byproduct of when our current living room was a bedroom. Which made absolutely no sense, in that the largest room in our home was the so called master bedroom. Much to Tac Boy's surprise, I registered my complaint by knocking a window size hole in the wall to demonstrate that wall could certainly be removed and most likely was not a load bearing wall. To his credit, Tac Boy saw my point of view and now we have a genuine living room. That project was completed 5 years ago, but we didn't know what to do with the closet until now.....

Plant the seed of an idea that it would be doable to open that closet from the other side so that we can access it via our current bedroom,

Then water that seed with the idea of how nice it would be to watch Sunday night football in our own bed

One barter of painting for cabinet making, one all nighter at the tv store and voila. Brings a whole different meaning to touchdowns and field goals.

When Tac Boy and I met he wasn't very handy in household projects, and we'll both admit I've kept him on his toes, so he can do just about anything now. Frame, wire, plumb, sheetrock, flooring, the works.

Except demolition. I handle that. I make the holes and he fills them.

Basketball is going well. The girls won again last night, so there team at 2-0 has surpassed their win record of last season. Hyphen Girl is a defensive terror, with a little work of her shooting confidence, teams beware.

Buck Naked Boy is the "Very Special Person" of the week which included a little presentation of himself to his class. Poor guy, trembled through the whole practice go at home, and was extremely relieved to be done with it on Monday. I'm hopeful that practice will help ease his nerves in public speaking.

My swimming has been benched until January to allow my shoulder time to heal- uggg. Not being able to swim causes me to see how much I love doing it. Who would have thought?

But, we are having a strangely warm December, so running is good and spinning on the bike is new, and of course there is always basketball.

Enjoy the week

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Great Underwear Mystery

It was a blustery day, the sort which compells every part of a man's body to yearn south, quite in contrast to the normal flow of nature under such conditions. No one knew this fact more than Taconite Boy, whose manly parts were in grave danger of permanant recess had it not been for warm thoughts of a new Kelly Clarkson Christmas album being released.

(open confessional: I'm currently diverting my blogging mental resources toward penning a Triathlon Mystery Novel. I assure you, it will be the trashy type of novel that is perfect to read on the bus to the transiton area, or perhaps the ideal antidote to sleeplessness the night prior to an "A" race- so indulge me here as I further hone my writing skills while updating you with the current happenings of the Trimama household.)

"Damn this cold! mumbled Tac Boy, adjusting the red silk, happy heart, boxers he'd been forced to wear under his painter's whites. While any gift from his lovely, gracious wife warmed his heart, these silkies just weren't up to the task of warmth or support. Not to mention what the guys at the work site would think if they found out. Of course this latest rendition of hell freezing over was certainly due in part to USC's stumble off the championship horizon, that or the mid term elections.

(That part about the mid term elections is for the benefit of my liberal friends who should enjoy the angst of their conservative counterparts, as the neo cons have been allowed for the previous decade. Enjoy the bone. I'm not particularly impressed with politics as a solution to the dire situations of mankind as a whole, but it does make for interesting holiday conversation)

Either way, the frost was here to stay and he needed to find his stash of briefs, now.

But therein lay one of the greatest vexations known to man, second only to an admonition from his mother that she didn't want him joining the likes of Brittney Spears in public humiliation.

(ok, that was a somewhat appalling visual from the mom in law on the phone this morning-but I digress)

For eight days Tac Boy had been forced into the morning ritual of scouring the house for a set of briefs, only to be frustrated in his search. Trimama assured him that she had maintained her relentless assault on the mountains of laundry, but to no avail. For a man whose underwear collection could rival Imelda's shoes, it was indeed an enigma left to be unraveled. It is one thing to lose a wayward sock, but an entire assembly of undergarmets? It would take a mastodonic like black hole to completely erase the existence of his wardrobe.

A black hole the size of a young boys room. A black hole the size of say, a BNB/Urp room.

Mystery solved. In the farthest regions of under the bed, along with several piles of, recently washed/dried/folded and stacked for being placed into drawers so that you have something to put on when mom insists that you can't wear the same pair of pants six days in a row you actually have something to put on, piles, were Tac Boy's underwear.

Go figure.

Now, you might be tempted to ask Tac Boy exactly what he has been wearing for the prior 8 days, as I was this morning while he ranted while turning the house over, but I don't know if we want the answer to that question. You might be temped to ask if Trimama actually allows Urp to wear the same pair of pants six days in a row before erupting in frustration and insisting that he change. In a word, No. At most he gets two days out of one pair, but Urp always manages to come down the stairs in the same pair of pants. He insists that he has two pair that are identical, but I am the goddess of the laundry, however impotent in getting them to put the clothes away correctly, I do have a pretty accurate inventory of what they have.

You might be tempted to ask how Hyphen Girls basketball team is doing and did they indeed win their game last night.


You might be tempted to ask if Trimama and Tac boy are signed up for Wildflower and whether the idea of training for all of those biking hills has Trimama in a state almost equal to the state she is in because her shoulder won't heal from the beating it took in the waves of the gulf over a month ago, and the answer would be yes. Trimama is in a state of intimidation and uncertainty that is beguiling and only remedied by the thought that Kahuna is bringing his guitar and John Denver songs for the camp fire and that Fe Lady signed up!!! Not to take anything away from any of the other great people in the blogosphere who I can't wait to see again or meet for the first time, but this is John Denver. Of course, Fe Lady (pronounced iron lady for all of you non chemistry types) is one of the people I really want to meet in person.

You might be tempted to ask if this post is ever going to end.

Indeed it is.

Have a good one

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Question of the Week

Registration opens tomorrow Dec 1st.

Who's in?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tattoo my butt and call me a triathlete!

My original post title was going to be "Taconite Boy wants a tattoo". But by the wonders of modern auto think, a former title popped up when I began to type. This was the title of my race report from the Liberty Half Iron. At that time I had no intention of inking my backside after Florida, I was going to do the ankle thing-damn auto think.

At any rate, Taconite Boy is enamoured with my tattoo. So much so that he showcased his tattoo video as post turkey dinner entertainment, FOR MY IN LAWS!!!!!! I love his mom and dad, and they love me, I'm just not so sure they needed to "know" me that well. For the record, I'm not so sure anyone needs to know me that well, but alas, we didn't get 'too'd in Vegas so the world gets an all access pass. Of course the video is a gift that keeps on giving, thanks to the almighty Iron Kahuna, I'm just glad we didn't video any of our kid's deliveries.

So, Taconite Boy wants a tattoo. I suggested perhaps he ought to wait until he actually had something to say. Which explains why he showed up in my dream last night, butt freshly shaved and inked with

"Minnesota Proud and I LOVE TO EAT!"

How nice.

T-boy begins his journey to Iron January 2, I'll be alongside every step of the way, and I can't wait.

For those of you interested, we are going to Wildflower in May and will follow the same training program that got us through a rockin T-Boy olympic, two halves and Florida in fine style.

We'd welcome more virtual training partners, with many of our training endevours being podcast worthy, no doubt.

Details to follow- You might even get a tattoo out of the deal

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Yes, Taconite Boy got his t.v.

and it's entirely possible it's been on too much this weekend. The doctors tell me they ought to go back to normal with a few hours of sunshine and a good book. As for me, I did the ultra early morning run on stores, but was slightly less amused, I think I went to the store visited by the most hung over, onry types. How can you start the most magnificent season of all in poor spirits? I generally do all of my Tribe shopping on Friday am, but this year only walked away with a new quilt for our bedroom. We have a few ideas for the Tribe, and are still waiting to see how they pan out. We cooked for 21 people on Thanksgiving day, Soapinator, who is "Sweet as sugar, like apple pie" made her annual classic. Uh, yea, it's good. Especially with vanilla ice cream.
We never actually made it to the Turkey Day 5k. I can't explain it exactly, it just seems like the more whole I become, the less I need to have all of those diversions away from reality past, it's quite refreshing actually. And it felt really good to just sleep in after a hectic start to the week. Holidays don't hurt nearly as much any more. How could they with a crew like this? Pretty tough to express in words how thankful I am for The Tribe and Taconite Boy. We had his family over for Turkey, in addition to a few friends, and much to my amazement,


17 pounds of turkey, 10 pounds of potatos, 3 pounds of oh-my-gosh-gingerbread-is-the-new-secret-ingredient-stuffing, rolls, broccoli casserole, apple and pumpkin pie etc...


I ended up cooking cornish game hens and a new dinner, mixing in the meager scraps from Thursday, for Saturday evening.

We did the annual run to the Christmas tree farm Friday afternoon.
You drive for an hour to the middle of mid america, and are met by a guy, heater in mouth, who shoves a map through your window, and directs you forward to his son who tosses a saw in your lap and advises you to watch the "one way" signs. Always polite and always slightly suspicious of anyone not adorned in camo or Polaris wear. We leave our spandex at home.
The fields are beautiful, and you wander along taking in the scent of fall and pine, looking for the perfect tree. Almost invariably we walk around for an hour only to return to the tree we parked the car by when we first pulled to the side of the lane. This year, however, the perfect tree was a quarter mile walk into the field, and the "old growth" forest. The Tribe always has to help cut the tree, and it's one of those annual pictures that really deserve a framed montage. Alongside the ones of dragging the tree through the door. The day we go artificial is the day Christmas ceases to exist.

This farm also has a petting zoo, and hay rides with Blu Blocker, gin soaked Santa. Fantastic. He's a riot. Of course, it was Taconite's year to bump along in the wagon with The Tribe, and imagine his dismay when there were no seats left and Hyphen Girl had to ride the round with Buck Naked. A 13 year olds dream date. :-) She weathers these things well, I think she gave in to our lunacy long ago. We capped off the night with Fuddruckers and the weekend with decorating the tree.

The latest Get Your Geek On broadcast is up, reminding me of one more thing for which I am thankful, the blog and tri family.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I am not 18 anymore

Or for that matter, 28. Two days of basketball practice have confirmed this. Ironmen get no sympathy, but, dang I'm sore. Tommorow is Thanksgiving and the annual Turkey Day 5K. This makes year 12 for me.

and while I love to show off my new 'too, I don't think I'll go this extreme. Last year it was 9 degrees race morning, these guys were a little cold. This year, we seem to be having our October in November. I think the high is going to be 102 or so. Maybe I will show off that tattoo. Our normal running contingent is out of town helping to rebuild Mississippi, so it will be a year to make new friends. I'm running with Iron Jenny and her busom (ahem) friend Iron Laura, so making new friends probably won't be an issue, although their tattoos are on their ankles (that's hardly fair). Taconite Boy isn't even running this year, he's saving his energy for Black Friday. Last I saw, he was rummaging in the shed for a tent mumbling something about "just freeze dry his turkey dinner" How big is the needle in Hyphen Girls hand? We pass TB's store everyday on the way home from school.

"Dad? What's the name of that store by the coat place?"

"TV land"

"Yea, I saw a guy putting up his tent there...."

TB was grabbing his keys and heading out the door to do surveillance. Until he saw HG rolling on the floor laughing.

TB is convinced that every saavy consumer in Minnesota is going to be waiting at TV land's door Thursday night waiting for his great TV deal, because of course we don't live in the land of Best Buy, Target, Walmart etc....

Confession. My alarm is set for 4 am. But that's because I'm a sadistic people watcher. It's better than Fight Club.

I have a list of 100 things I'm thankful for, but most likely won't get it posted until Friday, so in the meantime,

Have a very Safe and blessed Thanksgiving

Friday, November 17, 2006

Question of the Week

While my buddy Chris can gain weight with impunity in the off season, we all know that trimama's have to be more careful in their consumption, something about all that fun loving estrogen wanting to hold on to fat. Case in point, I dropped 25 pounds in my first 3 months of training, but lost a measly 10 over the next 12. My weight loss program is simple, watch what you eat, watch even closer what you drink, and train regularly.

However, someone has clicked on the hibernation button. Couple that with how recovering from Ironman makes you hungry and eating diligence becomes an endurance sport all it's own. My hats off to those of you who regard every bite you take, but here is a list of things I HAVEN"T consummed, in spite of myself.

One whole blueberry pie
A pitcher of margaritas
3 people tenting in line at the local target for a PS3 (although that might be helpful as there are 9 people in line and only 6 tickets available)
An entire Green Mill deep dish pizza
A fully loaded Chipotle Burrito with chips and salsa
A complete Thanksgiving dinner with 7 pounds of potatos (this is killing me, T-day could have been yesterday for my liking)
A dozen doughnuts
Hyphen Girls science fair project (ok, that's not so tough, it's about how quickly meat rots at room temperature-lovely)

This weeks question is short answer essay, tell me, what am I missing?


This is a tough one, I typically like the underdog, but this time it has to be

Go Buckeyes!

We have our year end tri banquet tonight, Iron Jenny is the MC, hopefully I'll have pics to post Monday
First Swim Meet for The Tribe on Saturday, Basketball starts for HG on Monday (yea I got the assistant coach position-can't wait!) and training has resummed

Have a great weekend

Trimama out!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mom, I love her

And thus, Buck Naked Boy succumbs to the world of Le Femme Fatale. Poor guy. He met her during the first week of school, SHE was his seat mate, now SHE owns his heart. BNB was in a surly mood a few weeks back when he came home to report that SHE didn't want to be his friend any longer. The currency of friendship in primary school holds the value of a North Korean Won. Thankfully, moms are wiser, and regard friendships as dear, we'll be meeting at McDonalds playland soon. I didn't lose a son, I gained a soul mate.

SHE is the oldest of four kids, so her mom has her hands full, literally, at drop off time. I remember those days fondly, one in hand, three in tow, wouldn't want to go back there. A little secret, we're presently in the honeymoon years. There is nothing like the tweener stage of no diapers, and no hormones. Well, there are a few hormones, but life is fairly straightforward. I've been blessed with four kids who love life, and more importantly, love each other, so it makes for a generally sweet reunion at the end of a day. So, all of you moms with young kids, hang in there, as I was told numerous times, the busy time goes by fast, savor it while you can.

As I mentioned before, Standing Long Jump needs a new name. My kids named themselves over a year ago, when this whole blog thing began, and his was an impulsive response to the question. Actually, he named himself after the event that I manned at his track and field day. Following much deliberation, he will henceforth be named Urp, which rhymes with burp (an equally impulsive action) but that more aptly captures an eight year old boys persona. He's named after a famous cowboy of the old west, so it fits beautifully.

Hyphen Girl has busied herself lately with creating power point displays of her Thanksgiving and Christmas ensembles. Since Iron Bolder ran trembling and hid at the prospect of HG coming for a visit at High Altitude Shopping Camp, I've arranged for her to travel north and do things as only a hearty Canadian can, at some point in the future she will be meeting up with Wendy for Fashion Camp extrodianaire. Rumor has it that Wendy's Bro is taking on the amazing feat of two ironman races in the same year. He will be seeing all of you in Arizona and then again in Wisconsin. Details of IMmoo Fashion Camp '07 to follow soon. True to her multifaceted personality, I will be arranging "Surfing Camp" (Thanks Iron Kahuna, astonaut camp, tattoo camp, beer drinking camp (oh right, those are college), pottery camp, sewing camp........

"You know you can eat camel poop? It tastes like bubble gum."

I'm not so sure we'll find a volunteer for Soapinator's theory on animal dung, and perhaps we'll need to work on reading comprehension skills a little, even if the literature is "All About Poop". Nothing like weighting the Scholastic Book Fair with those age old classics. What did Shakespeare know anyhow.

I'm gradually easing back into work and working out. Wow, how quickly fatique sets in during that initial week or so following ironman. I'm completely psyched to have Wildflower to look forward to, it easily answers the question of "what are you going to do now". I need to work on strength and power this off season. Wildflower is a tough, hilly course and the rest of my season will be about speed. I'm surprisingly ready for the challenge, which is a stark contrast to how fried I was feeling about training just prior to Florida. It's either success breeding success, or that I'm eagerly anticpating a Trigeekdreams reunion tour. Probably both.

Being thankful in this time of Thanksgiving

Trimama out

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sometimes the best way to see where you are going... to see how far you've come. When I switched into running shoes and made my way out of T2 I had travelled 114.4 miles along my ironman route, and yet was back at the beginning. That's the irony of transition. You labor and strive and progress and then you return to where you began. However, the beauty of it all is that each return to the start brings a marked change in your perception of where you began. Wetsuits in heaps, bikes askew with dramatically less shine, aero bottles empty, some hearts charging forward, some relenting to call it a day, all 2/3rds iron.

114.4 miles of iron, hundreds of miles of training and millions of miles away from the days of having my five year old virtue sold for Monopoly money. That's a lot of miles. Tiring at times, crushing at others, refreshing yes, and at times downright ecstasy producing. When someone sets your value at play money, it takes a fairly long journey to prove them wrong, and to find what is right. I spent a lot of years trying to persuade those people, and thereby hopefully myself, that I was worth more then what their currency allowed, but in an economy of hate, it is very difficult to find purchase to move forward.

Training for ironman resets the table. If you allow it to, ironman is a forge that will burn away even the most encrusted dross, it is fire and pressure that can crack the most stubborn chains, and for me it was a tool used by a masterful God to set me free.

I love C+

Hyphen Girl came home with her report card yesterday. A brilliant montage of A and A+, "she's wonderful" "an asset to our 7th grade class", "a pleasure to teach". all hidden between the back seats of the minivan. I found the report card this morning and brought it inside beaming with pride at my 13 year old daughter.

"Holy buckets of ice, HG, you smoked your report card!"

"But I got a C+ in math".

Here by a peculiar twist of fate my daughter was missing the awe of the forest due to the prescence of one struggling tree.

In my old economy of hate there was only my shortcoming of B+ in a montage of A's. That economy was miles ago, and that is why I could grab HG up in a bear hug and express to her how very proud I am of how hard she works, what a beautiful, kind young woman she has become and how much I love her.

I am not them. I spent years playing by their game, struggling against their poverty of value, and yet, thank god, never entirely selling out.

Perhaps this is why I could swim amongst the waves smiling and tossing with the seas. I had nothing to prove. Perhaps this is why I could cycle along, largely unimpacted by my diminished average speed. I had no contraints on time. Perhaps this is why I arrived at transition with a smile on my face and a little laughter with the volunteers. Life was beautiful and I felt at peace. Perhaps this is why, following that first peg leg mile of running I began to fly. Mile after mile clicked by with the gracious help of volunteers and spectators. I only allowed myself to contemplate the next mile, resisting the urge to look at the big picture until it had shrunk to one mile remaining. I ran each mile, pausing to power walk the aid stations.

Cola, chicken broth and sugar cookies are my new best friends.

Ok, that would be lame, but oh how those three things carried me along. In spite of Gatorade being a primary sponsor on the course, the aid stations served C-O-L-A, but a tired brain doesn't really care where the caffeine is coming from, only that the stimulant is there. At mile 4 I picked up with Collette, a massage therapist from Carolina. She asked me if this was my first Ironman and what I would do with a nauseous stomach. I told her that it was my first attempt, and I had no idea, but that cola was handy at helping you burp and as far as I know, there is nothing so satisfying as a nice burp when your stomach is queasy. (learned that with 160 weeks of morning sickness). She and I ran along together, up to the park and back toward the 13 mile turn around. At about mile 10 she expressed concern that the turn around was enough to make her want to quit, or at least that's what she feared. No chance, just get back to mile 14, then there is no turning back. Besides, we were dressed like twins with black shorts, blue singlets and pink running hats, my twin and new found friend couldn't quit. We lost each other at the turn when I stopped to chat with The Tribe, but she finished in 14:04. Yea!!

Understandably impossible, I felt as though I was running slightly down hill with the wind at my back through the entire marathon. Everytime I thought about stopping to walk, it just seemed easier to run. I planned to run until I couldn't run any longer, but that time never came. There was no wall, no fatigue, I ran as if the weight of the world had been pulled off my shoulders.

It had.

I ran across Iron Jenny and Robo Stu, then Kahuna and Tridaddy, how fun is that?! On the second lap I ran along with Triboomer, and Tridaddy, and Kahuna and I just kept running mile by mile. At mile 20 I called Taconitehubby to let him know I was at the turnaround and that I was feeling great. At mile 22 I ran across an oppossum, glad they were friendly. At mile 23 I watched a fellow athlete veer off into the road and oncoming traffic.

"Dude!" "Dude!" It was as if he had fallen asleep and was sleep running. My shouting jarred him and he jumped back onto the running route.

I called TH at 23 to let him know I was 3 miles out so he could deliver the kids to the Gatorade finish line.

At mile 24 I resisted the urge to reflect on the long journey to this place, knowing that I might break down crying hysterically and not be able to finish the course. Just one more mile. Just one more mile. I could now see the bright lights of the amusement park half a mile from the finish line.

Then, at mile 25 I could hear it. "Jane Doe, you are an Ironman"

I kept moving forward, but the emotion was starting to get to me. How is the world did I get here? The final mile closed quickly and I passed the turnaround point and headed up the finish chute. High fives and arms extended.

Go Trimama, Go! You made it! Go!

Then it hit me. Where are my kids? I have to find my kids. I was asking spectators, anyone, as I made my way up the finish helix. I didn't want to miss my kids. Then, at the top of the helix the finish line was finally visible. There was the huge inflated Gatorade. I glanced over my shoulder, no one was coming. I had the chute all to myself. Then I saw The Tribe! They came springing out to meet me and we grabbed hands and made for the tape. And all of that emotion hit at once. Every doubt, every don't quit, everything flooded like a Tsunami. I reached over to hug Hyphen Girl and SLJ, and I collapsed. Totally. The catchers ran to help. And I cried. The poor Tribe looked on dumbfounded, and Trihubby (who had volunteer access to the finish chute) ushered them aside, allowing the volunteers to take me through the finish area. With medal, and finisher bag collected, The Tribe rejoined me and Trihubby's hug allowed me to collapse and cry for a few moments more. I had done it! We had done it! I was an ironman!

I wish I could personally thank every one of you in the blogosphere for all of your help and encouragement. You made the training a wonderful experience and the finish line sweet.

To the Florida Tri Geek Alliance, you guys are just plain awesome. This week will go down as one of the sweetest ever! The only fault is that it was not nearly long enough. I love you guys! Wildflower makes parting do able, and may there be many reunions in the future.

To Kahuna, my music loving, tattoo buddy, life triumphing brother, thanks for bringing it all together and seeing us to the finish line. We got here on our own training, but how sweet it was to finish as a team. It's better than Everest, it's like the State High School championship.

To Trihubby, Taconite Boy. What can I say? None of this is possible without your love and support. Thanks for all the meals you cooked, the dishes you washed and the nights you gave up when I crashed way to early in the evening. Thanks for investing in all of my equipment, but far more for investing in me. You believed in me from that first "little" ten miler, and you believed in me in my first sprint last year. You encouraged me to sign up for Florida, never doubting I could make it. I couldn't ask for a better training partner, lover or friend. You are a great father and an incredible man. My life is richly blessed by you. And finally, thanks to my creator and God who allowed me these moments in time, who loved me enough to not leave me in an abyss but who graciously brings me daily through transition and into new life.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Random pics to share with the Geek family

Bolder, Iron Jenny, Taconite Hubby and I race morning

Triboomer, Iron Jenny and I ready to "Get our Geek On!"

Running to the turn around (full story to follow soon)


Soapinator and her new best friend

Walking our gear to transition

Iron Jenny and Soapinator surveying the ocean

The Cheering of The Tribe

Standing Long Jump (who really needs a new name) playing in the ocean

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Now, where was I?

Oh, that’s right, exiting the swim. One of the good things that comes of believing that there is a God and that He is more than just a fantasy in the sky is that you get an inside track on some good information. I’m just a scarred; partly broken down, stay at home mom with a great family. Because of the abuse of my past my brain doesn’t always work so well, and there are times when pain or other triggers just shut me down. Who am I to think I could take on one of the world’s toughest endurance events and succeed. I knew to train well and to cross that finish line I would need a lot of wisdom, and a lot of help.

“If you lack wisdom, ask God and he will give it to you generously, without finding fault.” It’s a good thing for me that being a total screw up, a lot of the time, doesn’t get in the way of being gifted wisdom.
“but when you ask, do not doubt that you will receive or you will be like a wave of the ocean blown and tossed by the wind”
This then is why I do what is right oftentimes in spite of myself. Reading some other blogs I’ve learned that I should have been concerned about getting sick on the swim, and that in fact many felt queasy and some no doubt got sick. I knew the ocean made people sick, so my chief concern was to not swim through vomit. Unbeknownst to me, earplugs are a great antidote to motion sickness. I just so happen to bring my plugs along; I wear them because I really hate the feeling of water in my ears. I didn’t wear them the day of our practice swim because I wanted to make certain I could hear my swimming partners, and I presumed I wouldn’t wear them race day for the same reason. The morning of the race, as I double -checked my gear I noticed the plugs and threw them in my pocket, a little voice in my head told me I might want them. I was glad for them when I saw the size of the surf, and stuck them in my ears because I didn’t want to be distracted by the discomfort of water flowing in and out of my ears. I had a few moments of queasy, but nothing overwhelming. Widsom.

I’m certain it was a cold run from the shore to the changing tent, but I think my delight at finishing the swim warmed me to the core. The volunteers in transition were awesome! I deliberately took my time in changing, making certain that I made the right choices in what to wear and what to leave behind. These choices began when I packed my gear at home and added my long sleeve biking jersey to my bag. I assumed it would be warm during the race, but that long sleeves would be nice to throw on post race. Was I glad for that wise impulse. I wore my jersey, a pair of grey leggings, my bike shorts, fingered gloves and a UA skullcap. I was toasty and didn’t have to think at all about staying warm, but was also aerodynamic, unlike some of the poor folks I saw on the bike course wearing windbreakers and garbage bags.

It didn’t take long on the flat course to be grateful for all the hours on the trainer and the circles on the flat bike path, my legs were used to spinning for hours at a time, and I had trained in a lot of wind so I knew what gearing I wanted in those circumstances to keep a steady pace without undue exertion.

Stick with your plan.

My plan involved a steady stream of nutrition, replenished at every aid station. Again, the volunteers were awesome. I did add bananas last minute to my intake, mostly because it was a riot trying to shove a banana in you mouth while pedaling, and I gave myself 2 points for each time I hit the trash can with the peel. Trimama 8, Cans 12. I don’t doubt that there is still banana residue in my nose.

I mentaled through the first tedious 28 miles, stopping for a break to eat, stretch and find a bush. I knew that this was a no complaint day. In ironman there is no room for whining, it takes too much energy and it’s a negative drain. The terrain was unique and beautiful and I spent that first couple hours just taking it all in. The wind was frustrating, but what are you going to do, quit? For every head wind, there is a tail wind when you ride a circuitous route, so I just reminded myself the ride home would be easier. I would chat briefly with each athlete I passed, trying like a dog to be mindful of the drafting and blocking rules.

This mindfulness was not universal. I’m not particularly bothered by people who cheat in the sense that they have to sleep in their own skin, and if they find cheating to be essential to success, well they get an asterisk by their success. It’s more important to me to just race with integrity. That was tough at times when the bikers stretched in a line as far as the eye could see, but I did my best to keep my draft zone clear. What makes me mad is when the cheaters jeopardize the safety of other athletes. On that note, chick with the ipod blasting, if your going to choose deaf, at least choose a straight line, you almost took us both down when you couldn’t hear my passing call. And to the chick with the disc wheel and tear drop helmet, you know better than to ride 3 and 4 abreast chatting leisurely, thereby forcing all the athletes passing to go far out into the line of traffic.

The best part of the bike, hands down, was that The Tribe would be waiting at mile 58. A hundred mile per hour wind couldn’t wipe the smile from my face knowing they were out there with me. I rolled into a stop and we had a little picnic together. Hyphen Girl wanted me to eat something other than the hot squashed sandwich from my special needs bag, so I explained the outside assistance rules to her. Soapinator wanted to give me her ipod, bless her heart-again, rules.

Trihubby had been keeping track of Paula Newby Frasier’s live race report and let me know that the first 70 miles were tough, and then things settled down.

He was wrong. This was the only tough part of the bike course. At mile 70 we turned not out of the wind, but straight back into it. It was only about 4 miles of the course, but I disgraced myself with a little tirade on the bike. It didn’t help that this was the bumpiest patch of road I have ever ridden. The good news, if you were going to flat it was going to happen here, I didn’t and on we rolled.

“You’d be real cute if you didn’t piss yourself.” came the southern drawl from behind me.

Well thank you for your insight Gizzy. But here’s the deal. I’m fueling with liquid, lots of liquid. At one point my rate of "dropping fuel" was about every 10 minutes. If I stopped and dismounted every time I would never finish this bike course, particularly because there was always a wait at the port a lets.

Stand and deliver became my motto. Remember those grey leggings? Yea. Oops.

I rolled through the century mark and into unknown territory. I’ve never ridden more than 100 miles at a time on my bike. That last 12 miles flew by, I had ridden an Ironman bike ride and no one could ever take that away from me. The ride took 7 hours with a 16 mph average. Obviously, everyone would have been faster on the bike sans the wind, but this day wasn't about time splits, it was finishing and when I left the bike I felt fresh and ready to run.

The Tribe was waiting and yelling at the bike transition, and I kissed them all- they are just plain awesome.

And dirty, so now it’s off to laundry.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006