Courage. Confidence. Determination. If You Never Tri, You'll Never Know!
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
You are sick, you're not racing!
Ciao! Hi! Hello! Bonjour! Hola! I'm Lisa Johnson (formerly McCombs) and this is Jake my beautiful chocolate lab. Welcome to my...errr...OUR blog; thanks for visiting! I am your not so average 37 year old gal tri'ing and traveling my way through life. I am an Endurance Athlete, Ironman, Coach, Marketing Professional, Blogger, Adventurer, and Army Veteran. I race for Team Zoot SE and my team, Team TOA. Jake and I are currently bouncing around Italy! More About Me Here!
As her Coach, her daughter, her friend, and as an athlete, I insisted that she not race. What seemed like a minor cold, "Don't worry mom, some people race their best races under the weather." compounded into SICK. And quickly. "Please reconsider this race mom."
She was up all night, drunk on meds, and ready to race (insert eye roll). We made a deal that if the swim drained her, it was okay to call it a day. But if she survived the bike, she might as well walk the run to finish. I can't express my relief when I saw her smiling excited and happy on the bike. This woman. #determinedtoturnmegray
And now it's her turn, "Swim, bike and run. IRONMAN 70.3 accomplished in New Orleans.
Make no mistake. My goal was just to cross the finish line. With me being a star actor in my own Nyquil and Dayquil commercial ... when you can't take the day off! And a super windy day which really didn't bother me much in the bike and run. But how can I train in choppy washing machine water like it was in Lake Pontchartrain that morning!!?? The swim was way beyond my skill level. (Ok obviously it wasn't if I finished, but I did teach myself the back stroke out there!). How many times in that 1.2 mile swim did I hear Lisa yelling at me in my head "Swim. JUST SWIM!"
Thanks Lisa for getting me through #3. I played the "Where is Lisa in the race?" game calculations while riding and running and I was dead on both times where I thought she'd be. Thank you for the cheers out there. I'm still not 100% healthy a week out. But it still defines who I am to myself. A strong and determined older woman that will accomplish the task. I started in the last wave of the race and I finished at 8:17:02. Not the time I was hoping for... But... Watch me kick it in August when Lisa, Cheryl Chaney, and I all do our first 70.3 race together in Ohio!" ~ Anita Patten
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(me again) That was by far the toughest 70.3 (due to weather conditions) I've ever raced!! Grown men were being plucked out of the water and blown off their bikes. And don't even get me going on the run headwind again... If mom had something to prove that day, she did out there. But I don't even think it was about that. I think she has found herself in a sport/activity that she can push beyond her limits, have fun, be healthy, and feel like a bad ass. She was labeled "the happiest athlete on the course" and her smile was endless from swim exit to finish line.
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You wonder where I get my bad assness? ^ look no further. She's the baddest ass. I'm super proud of this woman. *hearts hearts*
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By IMtrigirl at April 27, 2016
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Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Accountability: 6 Weeks
Monday, April 18th - post 70.3 rest day. And much needed. My foot hurts. It cramped on the run yesterday (weird, it's never done that) and it's been sore since. I'm going to baby it for a few days. I love my OOFOS. We walked around NOLA for a bit which maybe made it feel better, but still gonna rest. Monday fun run with Asics and B.E. Fit ~ I sat out. Mom's last night in town... REST
June (8) May (17) t April (9) You are sick, you're not racing! Accountability: 6 Weeks When Are You Leaving?
Tuesday, April 19th - one more rest day with my momma REST Weds, April 20th - recovery run 5k on base, 25 mins + 200 yards, I couldn't swim any farther! Phew! Worked at the shop the rest of the day. RUN Thurs, April 21st - jumped on the bike for 50 minutes to make adjustments and ensure it's 100 mile ready after the "fitting" debacle...
Wind Waves and More Wind - New Orleans 70.3 Accountability: 7 Weeks Accountability: 8 weeks I'm Going to Brazil!!
Friday, April 22nd - 100 mile bike ride with Paul. Nice and windy but perfect beautiful day for a ride! I won't lie, it was tough. I wasn't quite ready for a 100 yet, but I had 5 hours and Paul had 6 and I wanted to push him out of his comfort zone. We went a little over 6 and definitely out of our comfort zones. Saturday, April 23rd - worked at the shop and dinner and photos with friends #nolesbo Sunday, April 24th - 800 yard open water swim. That's all my anxiety could muster. I don't know what it is about Robinwood Lake anymore... Sigh. By IMtrigirl at April 26, 2016
Sunday, April 24, 2016
When Are You Leaving?
If you haven't heard, I'm headed to Brazil ~solo~ for my 9th Ironman. I fly out of Kansas on May 23rd so my Gulf Coast leave date is in the air. I have a few shifts at RNT to cover and a bit of work to wrap up before my trip... After Brazil I'll return to New York for a week with my mom, niece, and stepsister followed by GOBA in Ohio. From there I'll return to Kansas for Freeda Wander and Jake and begin my 5,000+ mile journey. This will be my longest RV road trip. I'm traveling north through Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, west to Montana, cruise through the tip of Idaho, Washington, then head south through Oregon and arrive in Windsor, California for Ironman Vineman. This leg of the trip is about 3,000 miles and I have 30 days to complete it. I have no idea of what adventures I'll get into, but I'm CERTAIN it will go down in history... After Ironman Vineman, I'm cruising back to Ohio ~ Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana will all peep the Adventure mobile cruising through. I'll compete in Ironman 70.3 Delaware (Ohio) before heading south back to the Gulf Coast. Every time it's time to go I start reflecting on my life here. Mom was here last week, "Your people love you." And now you understand why I've stayed. I get so bored here and aggravated with monotany and ticky tacky. But the people in my life on the Coast are one of a kind. I want to believe that I can recreate this life anywhere I land, but it's just not truth. There's something about this land, this circle, the Gulf Coast air ~ the water runs just as thick as blood. It's quite incredible. I've heard it a dozen times in the last few weeks, "For what it's worth... I'm here for you." I promise you that worth cannot be valued. I get scared to leave; I'll be forgotten. But I think too, I'd be a different person if forced to stay still. It doesn't change my plans but it's enough to grimace and turns my stomach. Thank goodness for Facebook, yeah!? And I'm going to be diligent about sending post cards. In fact, I'm super excited about this part!! I want a whole collection of my travel memoirs in homes ALL OVER the world! Maybe someday they'll be worth some money and put in a book. Or a museum. Hey!, you don't know who I might become from here!! ;) ;) So the big question now... Can we have a big leaving party!?!? If you'd like to get a TOA traveling postcard, please fill out this form and include your address! By IMtrigirl at April 24, 2016
Monday, April 18, 2016
Wind Waves and More Wind - New Orleans 70.3
If you raced New Orleans 70.3 this weekend, you are a bad ass.
This is not a hard race course. But it was a harddddd day. That was definitely the hardest 70.3 I've raced to date. Lots of people have asked, was that your hardest swim? And the answer is actually, no. The ocean is way tougher. And I really thought I was going to die in Cabo and South Africa. I knew I wouldn't die in Lake Pontchartrain, but I knew it was going to be rough. Sure enough, it was HARD!! Standing on the dock waiting for our turn to jump in, Dr. Kat appears smirking at me. "I'm freaking out Kat!!" The most lovely words escaped her mouth, "so am I." I instantly felt relieved. If Kat is nervous then this vomity feeling is totally normal! We jumped in together and she killed that 1.2 miles! I survived.
A protected marina, I've never seen this water so choppy. I imagine this is what it feels like to be in a washing machine. I would come up for a breath and a wave would slap me in the face and pull/push me back in. It was hard to site, hard to move forward, and just HARD. It blows my mind that the winning pro swam that monster in 25 minutes. I bow to his triathlon awesomeness. I've read that 79 people were pulled from the swim and many more didn't even take on the challenge.
I swam 1.2 miles in 50 minutes ~ worst swim time to date. ^ that's not me. First few pictures courtesy of The Times-Picayune.
T1: 3:32 (long run from swim to transition!!)
The bike was no better. We knew the 25mph+ winds were going to be in our face going out giving us a nice tailwind on the way back. Even though I was moving slow, I felt strong. I also felt like shit. A really bad bike fitting (when all I wanted was tweaked) left me super uncomfortable. My head, shoulders, and neck were aching almost immediately, my seat was entirely too far forward, and eventually my knees hurt and my legs fatiguing. We never did get that amazing tailwind. Well, we got it for a small section, maybe 10 miles or so. But we actually ended up with some serious cross wind coming back. It beat the ferocious headwind, but it was still tough coming home.
I managed to hold a 15mph going out and then a 20mph average coming in. I honestly didn't push on the bike. I just biked. 3:13 was my official time with a 17.38 average. Coming in off the bike I got a nice surprise, AMBER!! She made a last minute arrangement to get to NOLA and was there the rest of the day motivating me with Cameron. I couldn't have asked for a better sherpa team *hearts* T2: 1:55 from bike to run (another long run to the mat).
My favorite part, the run! 6.2 out and back. Knowing that we're going out with the wind and it was gonna be brutal head wind coming back, I turned up the race wheels (my legs). My splits were rocking and I felt so good. First 3.1 at 30 minutes Second 3.1 at 33 minutes. And then the turn around happened (face palm). Next 2.8 was 30 minutes and last 4.1 took 46 minutes. I still ended up with a 10:38 pace and a 2:19 1/2 marathon so I'm fairly satisfied.
I can't even describe the run coming back though, it kind of felt like running through sand while pulling a giant tractor tire tied around my waist ~ so I guess I did just describe it. We were literally bent over running into the wind. And the wind was relentless. We didn't even get any breaks in it, just a constant headwind making us CRAZY. My favorite part though (which also was due to being only 2 miles out) was coming across a friend Brandy. We ran the last 2 miles mostly together and the last 1 together. If it weren't for her, I probably would have walked and likely vomited during that last mile. The finish line felt like red carpet rather than blue. So many cheers and friends calling my name, high fives, and cameras in my face. I felt like a super star coming through. And I was SO glad for this race to be over.
^ that's Brandy behind me!! (she should have finished in beside me since she carried me the last mile but I think she wanted us to have our own special moments ;) thanks Brandy!!).
I was quickly greeted by Amber and Cameron and a slew of other bad ass New Orleans finishers, spectators, and friends. We waited with Abita and jambalaya while other friends and my momma finished.
Fun facts that I don't know where else to include them: ~ New Orleans 70.3 also included friends from Ohio, David and Aneca and their group of friends, Jennie, Franny, Ray, Julie, Traci, and Brandi. The group rented a house for the weekend and mom and I stayed with. What a FUN group of gals (and David). We cooked. We drank. We pool'ed and we danced. Oh yeah, and we Tri'd. It was so great getting to meet and make new friends. David and Julie finished their races and the rest were relays, also finishing strong. I think our next group trip will be to St. Croix 2017. Holla!! I have to add that I'm quite impressed by the amount of alcohol these girls can put down... ~ Mom finished her third 70.3 SICK. She was so sick that race morning, I insisted she NOT race. The night before she had a fever and was up all night. I was so worried. When I saw her all smiles on the bike I was super relieved. She was complimented as being "the happiest athlete on the race course". Yep, that's my momma *hearts*
~ Team TOA, Team Zoot, Ticking Tri Bombs, SBRMimosa, BnG Tri Club, and Tri-Dat were just a few of the clubs of which friends were on the course. I love love love seeing familiar faces out there and cheering for my people. ~ As an AWA athlete I got a special PINK swim cap but more scarily, they put me on a special bike rack (insert eyes wide scared face). The reason for the intimidation, everyone else on the rack is super fast!! I'm an AWA mostly because I do so many races (it's a point system). Others gain points by winning and being fast. I knew that I'd return from the swim and everyone's bikes would be long gone. To my surprise, they weren't! Only about half of them. Phew!! Felt relieved and kinda bad ass... ~ A whole slew of more photos
~ I'm super extra proud of David H. In high school 20 some odd years ago we never imagined we'd be doing this and especially together. I love this guy. By IMtrigirl at April 18, 2016
Accountability: 7 Weeks I realize that I've been in the single digits... but the #7 sounds/seems/reads so much more single than 8 or 9 did *insert the eyes wide open face. I am NERVOUS! And maybe that's also because New Orleans 70.3 is this weekend. WHICH, Ohio friends will be joining me AND my momma is coming to race!!!! UTI cleared up nicely thanks to antibiotics and Kerby love. Let's hope THAT doesn't happen again EVER in life! Monday, April 11th - 2,000 meter swim as 10 x 200 ~ what a good swim! Amber stayed next to me with her flippers on and we pushed it out. Maybe my time didn't reflect it, but I felt strong. Finished Monday with a 5k fun run with Amber and Brayden followed by sushi and lots of laugh from a 10 year old HA HA!! ;) SWIM RUN Sushi Tuesday, April 12th - Team TOA got washed out for a bike ride but we did do a transition clinic and a spin class at eFit. Miriam laid it on us too!! I was sweating! Topped that with a few sprints around the indoor track and some pancakes. I'm really proud of Jennie and Tracy and excited or their first 70.3 this weekend. BIKE (spin) Short Brick RUN Weds, April 13th - it's going to rain forever. At least that's what it feels like right now. Grrr. No swim. No outside biking. Ran on the treadmill for a bit and did a little rowing until getting called into work early. Spent the day at the shop. Rain rain GO AWAY!! THIS & THAT Thurs, April 14th - 1 hour on the spin bike and picked mom up at the airport. BIKE Fri, April 15th - a very quick 1000 meter swim and then headed to NOLA for a super regimented and busy day. SWIM Saturday, April 16th - NOLA all day Sunday, April 17th - New Orleans 70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) 6:28 70.3 RACE By IMtrigirl at April 18, 2016
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Accountability: 8 weeks New Orleans 70.3 is sneaking up on me. I'm still not feeling 100% on the bike... so let's see what happens this week... Monday, April 4th: 2,200 meter swim, felt slow and still dehydrated from weekend. I attempted a run but having some bladder discomfort (some is an understatement...). SWIM Tues, April 5th: I woke up early for a long ride with Amanda. We hit 44 miles and I headed out for another 12. Fortunately I had a deep tissue with April scheduled and a great adjustment after. Core Chiro rules my world <3 So, the bladder discomfort? Confirmed UTI. Ouch!! BIKE Massage/Adjustment Antibiotics Weds, April 6th: mandatory rest day (UTI) + lots of Tradition's Triathlon errands REST Thurs, April 7th: 2,500 meter swim SWIM Fri, April 8th: packet pick up for TT REST Sat, April 9th: Tradition's Triathlon - directing - I was so exhausted after I didn't do a darn thing!! Probably better anyway after my uncomfortable week... REST Sun, April 10th: 1hour easy run on base ~ no pain! and an afternoon BBQ RUN By IMtrigirl at April 12, 2016
Thursday, April 7, 2016
I'm Going to Brazil!!
This time two years ago I was in South Africa for Ironman #4. I went on several safaris and met some amazing new friends. I was up close and personal with a HERD of elephants (see that photo ^ this is only 5 of maybe 100 elephants!?), searched high and low for lions and rhino's, and even met some penguins. But the dolphins! HUNDREDS of dolphins swimming around us. I don't even know how this adventure can be topped. BUT...
FB memories are getting me all excited for my next adventure: BRAZIL! Oh my gosh friends, I leave in about 44 days!! 1 ~ My first thoughts: holy shit am I even prepared for another Ironman!? Have I even been training!? What's the course going to be like!? I need to go swim! I need to go bike! I need to go run! AHHHH! SHEER TERROR!! 2 ~ I'm going alone. SOLO. By myself! What on earth have I gotten myself into!? I know I'll make friends to chat and hang with, but crossing that finish line with no one to scoop me up and make sure I don't die is a bit unsettling. 3 ~ Stop being a puss. 4 ~ I'm going to journey through the Amazon! Do you know there are pink dolphins in the Amazon River!? I am going to be SWIMMING with pink dolphins (how the hell do I make the heart eyes emoji !?). I think I need to whip out my mosquito net though... 5 ~ How do I pack for this trip!? I don't even return home... I'm returning to New York to spend a week with mom, niece, and step-sister. I'm pretty certain my Ironman/Amazon jungle attire in Brazil will differ from needed New York attire (insert wide eyes emoji!!). And following that I'm biking GOBA, 7 days camping and cycling... The packing for all this alone is going to be an adventure!! 6 ~ I read a book and the girl in it wore one single dress for a 30 day adventure. 1 dress and 3 underpants (that's for you Amber). I wonder if I could pull this off. Of course, I'll need at least my triathlon race kit and some bike shorts... 7 ~ I don't think my one outfit choice would be a dress. 8 ~ Yes it would.
Random Brazil fun facts (of course I research the countries I visit!!) - Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth largest nation in the world. - The Amazon is not one river but a network of many hundreds of waterways. Its total length stretches 4,250 miles. - Thousands of species live in the river, including the infamous piranha and the boto, or pink river dolphin.
- Brazil has the greatest variety of animals of any country in the world. It is home to 600 mammal species, 1,500 fish species (I'll be visiting the largest fish market in the world in Manaus, 1,600 bird species, and an amazing 100,000 different types of insects (I definitely need my mosquito net!!). Can you tell I'm excited this morning or what!?!
By IMtrigirl at April 07, 2016
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
It's a hard knock life
I'm cleaning my black tank this morning humming "It's a hard knock life for us... it's a hard knock life for us..." Smiling. Giggling. In the time it takes you to scrub your bathroom, I have also scrubbed mine. (and drank a cup of coffee and wrote a blog post) First I have to "dump". Never in a million years (34 years) did I think I'd be saying "I have to dump". Wait a minute, I've probably said that numerous times in my life!! LOL!!!! But dumping means my black tank is full <--- gross, right!? And there's a little lever I pull to release it. <--- so gross! Ha! But I don't see any of it, it just flushes through the red hose into the magical hole of waste. <--- definitely the grossest.
Next I flush the pipes. That's easy, turn the water on! This morning I dumped cleaner down the drains first. Not because I necessarily needed to, but I figured it's not a bad idea ?? Close the little lever and shit is done. <--- pun intended! It's the easiest!! Dumping shit like a boss!! And walking around the RV this morning with Jake trailing at my feet, I was happy (I AM happy, proper writing just made me continue to use past tense). We finally got THE best spot at the park and we have SO MUCH room for activity (see first photo). We have a whole backyard! At least for the next month and a half before our adventures begin. So, in case you were wondering, #RVlife is the easiest!! It takes me about 30 minutes to deep clean my entire house, that's dusting and everything... It takes maybe 3 minutes to "clean" the toilet and bathroom. Laundry is still a hassle and yeah, my shower is small. I spend so much time at the pool/gym though I shower there most of the time anyway. We have grown so comfortable in our tiny space I can't even imagine having to live and take care of a bigger space. I'm even getting more and more okay with it being called a "camper" a "mobile home" and a ... ugh, "trailer". It's not any of those things. It's an RV. But more than that, it's home. By IMtrigirl at April 06, 2016
Monday, April 4, 2016
Accountability: 9 Weeks - RUN WEEK Monday, March 28th: my math said 3,300 meters, the swim = 2,300. I compromised at 2,500. It's okay, I was cool with that ;) Quick swim too! Stuffed Tradition's Triathlon packets and finished the day with Monday Fun Run - 3.3 miles, 30mins SWIM RUN Tuesday, March 29th: 90 minute run (just shy of 90 minutes actually and just shy of 9 miles). A little bit of RV electrical education and a bicycle tire changing class for new athletes. Successful day! RUN Wednesday, March 30th: quick swim but cut a little short... 600 warm up, 16 x 50 (hard/easy), 150 cool down. Total was 1,300m and I was going to just swim to 1,500 but my body was done (low calories, low energy!!). SWIM Thursday, March 31st: 75 minute run this morning. I just felt so good and happy running. So free!! Running is definitely my favorite part of triathlon. Yep, even after a 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike. RUN Friday, April 1st: 90 minutes on the spin bike ~ rainy day! BIKE Saturday, April 2nd: worked at the shop and overslept. I'll get my long run in tomorrow... REST Sunday, April 3rd: 2.5 hour run, last 25 minutes with Jake. First loop was strong, felt okay. Second loop tummy got funny and I wanted it to be done (which is why I grabbed Jake). Overall, great run! RUN Lots of running this week and it all felt great! I'm really pleased that I had little pain in my knees (and less towards end of week running). By IMtrigirl at April 04, 2016
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