Celebrating 5 years of Ironman participation

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The Hunger Chronicles

Last weekend I ran from San Francisco to Tiburon.  Somewhere around mile 10, I started thinking about having pancakes for brunch when we reached Sam’s cafe  – which would be at mile 20, the end of our run.  There were no pancakes to be found at Sam’s, so I had what I thought would be the next best thing – a waffle.  It was the worse.  I was hungry the remainder of the day, until I finally made my own pancakes late that night.

So, in honor of eating what I’m craving and making sure I’m eating well, I am dedicated this taper week to minimizing hunger.  Here’s how I kicked things off this weekend:


This is where you get pancakes!










chicken parm

A Real Sunday Lunch - Modern Chicken Parm!










Full fridge

Full fridge: All set for the week!



To Zipp or Not to Zipp

About 4 years ago, I invested in some new wheels.  Easton EA 90TT.  To be honest, I didn’t do too much research.  I just trusted a few friends who swore by Easton. I’ve been happy until this year, and now these wheels make me down right nervous.

In the past 10 months, I’ve broken 3 spokes on my rear wheel. When a spoke breaks on CK (my Scott Plasma bike), I’m totally out of luck.  The wheel doesn’t turn.  I’m stuck.  Thanks to these broken spokes, I’ve hitchhiked in the East Bay, called friends for rescue rides twice and this past weekend was sagged in the last 10 miles of the Marin Century ride.

Why is this happening?  And, what do I do if a spoke breaks during IM Canada?

I asked a few of my buddies who have been in the cycling industry for a while for their advice.  Turns out Easton wheels have a bit of a bad reputation!  They are known for having some structural problems, including broken spokes.

So, here are my options for IM Canada:

  • Risk it with the Easton Wheels
  • Put the original Shimanos back on the bike
  • Rent Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers for the race

I think I’ll look into renting the Zipps!


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Ironman #2 – Race Anxiety

Yes, I raced Ironman Lake Placid last year.

Yes, I finished.

Yes, I am an Ironman.

So, why on earth would I have any anxiety over Ironman Wisconsin?  What’s the big deal, right?  To be honest, I feel like a newbie all over again.  This year’s Ironman race is a whole new adventure for me.  Besides being in a new location (Madison, WI as opposed to Lake Placid, NY) and a different time of year (September vs. July), my preparation for the race was completely different.  I spent the first half of the season just trying to figure out where to ride my bike in Boston.  I swam by myself mostly at the Charlestown Y.  I had to reward myself with coffee at Sorelle or Zumes, but it wasn’t the same as gabbing with the girls after mornings at Eastern Market.  And, most importantly, I had to overcome a bike accident and regain confidence on the bike.

So, I’m packing my race bags right now, fretting over what to bring and feeling a little anxious.  Then, I start to recall a few key things for this Ironman

  • Remember to respect the distance
  • Be prepared for any type of weather
  • Know that every workout over the past 26 weeks counted
  • Be grateful for the family and friends who helped along the way
  • And smile every time I see Mom, Dad, Beth and Serendipity on the course!

Here’s to a great race on Sunday!


Have Helmet, Will Travel

The Triathlete’s Weekend Getaway List:DC Bike Ride

  • Running Shoes
  • Shorts and Sports Bra
  • Helmet
  • Bike Shoes
  • Bike Shorts and shirt

What else do you bring when you’re headed out of town, but you need to get some training in? 

I thought it was pretty funny to have my helmet falling out of my bag at the airport when I flew down to DC a couple weekends ago.  But, I was so happy to have it!  Especially since Lauren lent me her bike so I could ride through Rock Creek Park – and Beth joined me for the ride!

I’m off to San Francisco next weekend.  I’ll definitely pack my helmet again.  Just need to find a bike to rent or borrow while I’m out there.  Any recommendations?


False Start

Imagine standing on the diving block before a race – all the nerves and excitement rushing through your body.  You can’t stand still-  you shake out your arms and legs until the official announces “Swimmers take your mark!” You inch up to the edge of the block and curl your toes over, lean over and wrap your hands around, but suddenly there’s a splash in the water and the gun never went off.  False Start.

That’s the best way to describe my first day of IM Moo training on Monday.  I thought I was all prepared and ready to dive in.  But, I sat on the edge of my bed Monday evening with no workouts accomplished, beating myself up.  What happened?  Sure, I had to get to work early and stay late, there was a doctor’s appointment, and my parents were in town.  But, why did my training plan fall to pieces on day 1?  How did I dive into IM MOO training so recklessly?

Turns out, I forgot some key lessons from last year.  Kind of like my swimming days – when I knew to take a deep breath and tuck my chin in to avoid diving too early – I taught myself a few tricks last year to make sure workouts stayed on track.

How to Make Workouts Happen:

  • Get prepared the night before!
  • Put your workout clothes next to your bed
  • Have your work clothes lined out as well, to save time whether getting ready at home or the gym
  • Fill your water bottles with recovery drink powder
  • Prepare hard-boiled eggs on Sunday night – throw one in your purse every morning
  • Stock up your office on Monday with food for the week
  • Ask friends to go for a run after work instead of a beer

I applied these rules this morning and am happy to report I made it out the door by 5:30 am for a 4 mile run and 30 minutes of strength training at the gym.  I even made it to the work by 7:30 am!  Let’s hope the rest of this week goes this well.

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Pre-Race Days

You may be wondering what on earth I’m doing with all my time in Lake Placid before the big event Sunday…

Well, here is my schedule (same one I posted on the house fridge yesterday!):


  • Pick up house keys and settle in
  • Race check in – sign some waivers, get weighed, pick up race numbers and timing chip, and get Community Fund swag.
  • Bike Ride – Ride the run course and stop by High Peaks Cycle Shop for last minute maintenance
  • Round One Team Stropedogg Arrivals – Mom and Dad (and the dog Serendipity)
  • Dinner with Mom, Dad, and Team RA3 (JJ, Jim, Colin, Betsy, and Tom – plus their support crews!)


  • 7:30 am – Swim one loop
  • 8:00 am – Community Fund Breakfast
  • 10:00 am – Expo opens…wander around tents and town
  • 5:30 pm – Athlete’s dinner
  • 7:30 pm – Mandatory race meeting
  • Round Two of Team Stropedogg Arrivals – Seth, Sharon, Evie, Beth and Darcie


  • Race bag and bike drop off!
  • Round Three Team Stropedogg Arrivals – Mona, Andrew and Sherry!
  • Team Stropedogg and RA3 BBQ and sleep!


i (heart) ny

Ok, I’m going to put on my NY Ambassador hat for a little here to tell you all a bit about the greatness of upstate NY. For those of you going to Lake Placid in a couple days, this list will hopefully provide you with some ideas of things to do while I’m our on the bike course for 7 hours. For those of you just following the journey, hopefully you’ll be inspired to visit the Adirondacks!

A Little History and Education

  • The village of Lake Placid actually sits on Mirror Lake
  • Lake Placid is located within the Adirondack State Park – which is the largest park in the country with 6 million acres! That’s one fifth of all the land in NYS too!
  • Lake Placid was not only home to the Miracle of the 1980 Winter Olympics, but was also home to the 1932 games. It’s one of three communities in the entire world ever to host the Olympics twice!
  • There are 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks – and that many sandwiches at the little Deli on Main St in Lake Placid Village.
  • Oddly enough, the Albany Times Union ran a story on Lake Placid the weekend I was up there training in June!

Things to Do Around Lake Placid

  • Visit the Olympic Center and Museum – check out an ice skating show or go to the top of the ski jump!
  • Take a Gondola ride at Whiteface Mountain – or rent mountain bikes and ride down the mountain!
  • Sit back and sip a UBU Ale at Lake Placid Pub & Brewery
  • Play golf, browse independent bookstores, go rafting (I highly recommend Whitewater Challengers)
  • Learn how maple syrup is made!
  • Go for a hike! Giant Mountain is right on the route from where you turn off I-87 to get to LP. Here’s me on Giant Mountain a couple years ago!
Giant Mountain - 4,267'

Giant Mountain - 4,267'