Celebrating 5 years of Ironman participation

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To the Lighthouse

In honor of today’s training ride from San Rafael to the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse and back, I thought I would share a few quotes from one of my favorite books with a very fitting title – “To The Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf.

The sea tosses itself and breaks itself, and should any sleeper fancying that he might on the beach find an answer to his doubts, a sharer of his solitude, throw off his bedclothes and go down by himself to walk on the sand, no image with semblance of serving and divine promptitude comes readily to hand bringing the night to order and making the world reflect the compass of the soul.”

Like the restless sleeper mentioned above, I started the ride today in a funk.  And, the overcast skies certainly didn’t help. The fog broke on our 40 miles back from the lighthouse.  And with the sunshine came a little reassurance for me about how great it is to have shared my Ironman training from coast to coast with such great friends.  I rode with Rachel and Ann today, two other East Coast transplants, both of whom shared bits of my training for IMLP (Rachel and I lived in DC) or IM Wisconsin (Ann and I lived in Boston).

83 miles done – and gratitude for great friends.



30 Days till IM Canada

The countdown begins today!  To help keep myself focused, I’m kicking off another one of my blogging campaigns from now until race day.  I did this for IMLP in 2009 and it was a great way to chronicle the adventure.  My goal is to publish a post every day.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Mona jumps in again on race day for some guest posts.

You would think with 2 Ironman races under my belt, I would have things all figured out.  But, I don’t.  My question of the day – what top should I wear on the run portion of the race?

  • Golden Gate Tri Club – It’s red and black, a little short, but will be easy to identify with all the other GGTC members racing
  • Organ Donor 4 Life T-shirt – Further promotion for my campaign to increase the organ donation rate in the US
  • A bright new tri top – Finally appease my parents who have cheered for me at every race, are making their way to Canada, and find it difficult to spot me in my usual all black tri attire
  • DC Tri Club top – I think I’ve already decided against this.  It’s done me well for 2 IMs, but I have not lived in DC for almost 3 years now!

Organ Donor 4 Life t-shirtSugoi tri topGGTC Tri Top

What’s your vote?


Trans Tahoe Swim Relay – Race Report

Life unexpected. Lake Tahoe

You would think that when you sign up for an Ironman race a year in advance, it would be pretty clear what your training and race schedule would look like for the remainder of the year until said race.  Somehow, this has not been the case for me this year.  In fact, my race schedule seems to be playing out more like a case of what my niece would call “let’s play opposites.”  I signed up for Wildflower, but didn’t race thanks to a stress fracture in my fibula.  And the Trans Tahoe Relay, I wasn’t even supposed to be in the bay area during this time, I thought I would be in India for work.  But, plans change, work shifts, other people’s plans change…and suddenly, you find yourself on a boat at 6 am with 5 other swimmers getting ready to swim 12 miles across Lake Tahoe. 

It was an absolutely beautiful day.  The water was just warm enough for the wetsuit free swim (in the low 60’s).  It was sunny and warm on the boat with little wind. We dropped off our first swimmer at Sand Harbor at 7:30.  Finding him proved much more difficult than we expected, but about 10 minutes after his leg was supposed to be done, we did.  The swim broke down as follows: 30 minutes for each of the 6 swimmers, then 20 minutes, then 10 minutes each until we reached the end.   Six hours later and almost a full 3 full rotations through the swimmer line up, we reached the other side of the lake. 

Despite being part fish by upbringing, I did not expect to enjoy the swim as much as I did.  If I’m around Tahoe this time next year, I think you can count me in for this swim again.  Sara swimming Lake Tahoe

Trans Tahoe Team

Team Thin Air

Sara synchronized swimming

Maybe synchro moves are not the fastest for crossing the lake?


Signs I Might Really Be Training for an IM

This whole training season, I’ve felt like I’m a step behind in my training.  From an early season stress fracture to new outdoor distractions (kayaking!), I’ve logged fewer miles on my feet and less time in the saddle than all my other friends.  I started to doubt if I was really training for IM Canada, or just merely talking about it.  Then, I noticed these telltale signs that all IM athletes know – sure signs that you are indeed training and it’s paying off!

  • I picked up work clothes from the dry cleaner and they are falling off me
  • My jeans are tight in the thighs and loose in the waist
  • I’m hungry all the time.  To the point that it hurts and totally distracts me.
  • I’m falling asleep by 10 pm
  • I can run 16 miles and feel great!

For all you IM finishers out there, how do you know when your training is paying off?