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Texas or BUST!

March 26, 2012

Duel in the Pool Update

We are sitting just below $15,000 in just 6 days of fundraising. T Shirts are on the way. Signed memorabilia on the way. Much more on the way.

Yesterday I had that kind of feeling where I felt like the world was sitting on top of me. People have been all over me for a chance to see Lance, how can I get in…. that sort of thing. When I say you have to attend the speech I have gotten that’s not fair reactions.

Cancer ain’t fair I tell them. Seems to quiet them down. I remind them the event is by invitation only, for Teens Living With Cancer. Tickets to the speech, that money……. it all counts. It wasn’t my call, but it’s the right call.

That’s what was on my mind as I stood in line for coffee. I ordered my drink and the barista paused, looked at me and said….

“Aren’t you the girl who is racing Lance Armstrong? I saw you on the news?!” I felt awkward and embarrassed, this was the first time this sort of thing had happened to me. I told her, yes. She smiled big and said….  “Well this coffee is on us! Thanks for fighting the fight!”

Wow. Okay then. I told her she was welcome. As I walked away I reminded  myself of this…… I put myself in this place of being the crusader, because it’s what I believe in with my heart and my soul. I might have stepped on many toes by doing so but it all came together in the end. And I am up for fighting the fight. For every single person we have lost. For every single battle we have to battle. for those continuing to fight the fight and for all of us who have had to stand here and watch it.

I am no Lance Armstrong. I don’t have his capabilities on or off the field. But I have the same will. So go to hell Cancer. You are F*cking with the wrong girl. I am not here to screw around, i am not here to make sure the world is fair. I am here to fight. My gloves are on and the odds are against me. And that’s just the way I like it. Each time I turn around someone has stepped into the formation of this army. Each time I turn around there is another yellow jersey in this line behind me.

Those yellow jerseys say Livestrong. It began with ten of us three weeks ago and when I turn around now all I see is yellow.

I have to remember that what I see before me is no match for what I have behind me. I can lead this damn army, I can. I have never done this before but I have a cornel, a general and a commander-in-chief. If we need to make this up as we go along then that’s what the hell we will do.

Texas or BUST!

Six days until race day! Texas 70.3 is this week and over 13 of us Qt2’ers are headed out to race. In 2012 I did this race and I fell in love with Galveston, the people, the atmosphere, hell I just love Texas. My expectations of an early season 70.3 are very realistic, I have a definite plan and flow of how I want my season to go. With 3 half Ironmans, several olympic races and some road races on the docket, I’d like to see my 70.3 performance go something like this:

Good

Better

Best.

I am expecting to be a bit rusty out of the gate, although my current fitness level is very good. I use these early season 70.3’s to gain some insight as to where I need to be and what I need to work on come September.

My biggest priority this weekend is Jennie. It’s her first race as a professional, and she’s ready. It’s also my first race as the coach of a professional so there are things to be considered on my end. This weekend is about learning on many fronts.

Throughout my 15 years in this sport I have done quite a bit of traveling. It’s hard to believe our first trip to Kona was done through the telephone and not through the internet…. it really wasn’t around. Much has changed. I have had the opportunity to travel to many amazing places and I have gotten travel down to a science. Here are the things I consider when traveling to a race:

1. Airlines: from our area the best airlines to fly are Southwest and AirTran. Both have good prices, have reasonable bike box fees and we can fly out of either Rochester or Buffalo.

When I am booking flights I utilize something like Travelocity so I can see the big picture of flight possibilities, scheduled and ballpark prices. from there I always purchase directly from the airline, because if something needs to be changed most airlines won’t touch it if it was booked through an outside service.

I used to stuff everything I own into one carry on bag, however that typically resulted in some darn sore shoulders. These days I still travel light but I know my baggage fees ahead of time.

My rule if my bike doesn’t arrive: have a party instead.

2. Hotels: for this trip my teammate Molly took care of the hotel reservations. While I look for accommodations close to the site as we have, in Galveston the race site is easy to navigate and has plenty of parking. I try to room when I can to save on costs and while I have done my fair share of homestays, I prefer hotels these days. It just gives me my own space and the luxury of someone else cleaning the room.

3. Car rentals: I look closely at whether I even need a car. This trip I am staying close to the race site however I found a good deal on a car. Otherwise it’s sometimes cheaper to hitch a cab ride for $50-60, and save on the rental fees depending on what you rent.

4. Feeling good through travel: Because I tend to fly in late and out early one of the things that keeps me feeling good and my body functioning well is good nutrition. I drink a lot of water, I bring or find fresh fruits and I look at the food offerings of airports before I fly into them. these days eating healthy on the run is much easier than before. There are good choices just about everywhere. I find that if I eat well I don’t feel drained and like I have to catch up.

I rely heavily on the prepackaged fruits and vegetables that places like Wegmans offer. They tend to pass through security without an issue.

I have a few little tricks to help me catch some good rest on the plane.  Now remember you are talking to a girl who until a few years ago had a crippling fear of flying. Now I can take good quality naps. The first is my trusty neck pillow. I love this thing. It holds my head in a good position and I can actually sleep.

My second trick is my trusty swim parka. While this stylish coat is coveted by many, its fleece on the inside and I drape it over me to keep me warm.

Of course never fly without your compression socks. I am talking about real compression socks, not small, medium or large. I got measured and fitted for them and I sport the good old-fashioned TED stockings. take a look at this picture, notice how detailed your fit can be. They don’t help me sleep but they help me keep the blood flow good. And that’s a scientific statement right there.

In flight I tend to utilize wi-fi if available as it’s always a good chance to work on training programs, articles I am writing and study for the upcoming certifications I happen to be working on.  And it’s guilt free FaceBook time. Kim A…. make sure you are ON your laptop Friday.

4. The week of travel: Because I have a slightly busy life (with a few crusades going on) I am organized. One of my strengths is my time management skills. I squeeze the most out of every minute of every day. Each day this week I have assigned tasks to help me function and get read for travel by week’s end. Monday is about gathering up the nutrition I will need for race day along with making sure I have everything I need. Lace locks, goggles…. anything I need to purchase I purchase today. I will pack up the bike on Wednesday (I have a back up bike).

I have everything for the weekend ready for the boys, which isn’t much these days. Curt needs no instruction on anything to be honest. He’s a fabulous Dad. I often hear mothers needing to get every little thing ready and well, that doesn’t apply to me thank god. In actuality they keep running around screaming BOYS WEEKEND….. trust me they have come to LOVE when i travel).

For me staying organized is crucial, then I don’t forget anything, I am not harried or stressed and most importantly I am prepared.

The logistics of travel needn’t be overwhelming. As with anything as long as you bring along a good dose of patience travel should not wear you down at all. Lucky for me screaming babies, late flights, sleeping on the floor of the terminal are not things that bother me. Realizing what is in your control and not in your control is key. Reacting to things not in your control is the important part. Getting angry wastes energy, finding the humor in it is just plain easier.

Stop on back Wednesday as I tackle some of the mental preparation I like to flow through the week of the race!

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3 comments

  1. my motto is no more spring half Ironmans! 🙂 I’m sure that will last a year or two more…


  2. Here’s to hoping that our adventures out to Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 in June are as smooth as yours! 🙂

    Yes, we’re driving from Northern Virginia there the minute school for teachers is done!! 🙂

    Being the good Navy brat (skimmer’s kid) I am, everything is as organized as it can be! Apparently some dude who was a submariner’s kid never did these long trips, but is adjusting very well to the logistics of them! (Love that dude!)

    We’ll be supporting you each minute! 🙂


  3. Nice to see someone mentioning good ole’ Ted’s as the original “alternative” to the compression fad (only a ‘fad’ because it has become mainstream, not because it’s ineffective.) I’ve a few pairs lying around because of recovery from past surgeries and I use them regularly for recovery and travel!



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