Monday, July 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

"If we did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves." - Thomas Edison

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Getting Close

Yesterday I met with my coach to review my race plan and discuss race logistics and my nutritionist to talk food strategy for the final 10 days. Both tell me my body is more than ready for IMLP. Over the next week and a half its time for me to work on that last component - my mind. Its time for me to BELIEVE and to really remember why I've put in all of these months of hard training. Its time for me to want it! Coach Michael gave me my mantra for race day. Climb Confidently and Descend Bravely. Those are the words I will repeat in my head over and over again on the IMLP bike course.

So. . . over the next week and a half, I'm going to try and post things that inspire me.

Last night, I got a card in the mail from a colleague of mine who also happens to be a kick ass runner and athlete. Here is what it said:

"There is nothing in this world so STRONG as your belief in yourself."

Time to believe.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Germany Part 2

Its the end of day 3 here in Germany and the trip has steadily improved day by day. Yesterday (Monday) was a lighter workout and work day. I did strength training in my unairconditioned room to start the day (thank heavens the mornings have been in the low 60s) and started work at a leisurely 9:30 am. Work went smoothly and my presentation to a large group of company employees, while relatively unrehearsed, went well. However, if I plan to return here often, I need to at least learn some basic German. The meetings got less interesting when everyone switched back to German.

Dinner last night was local in Fellbach. Our meals were relatively simple, but very good . . . other than my taste of my hosts' appetizer - a small bite of very thinly sliced ox tongue that I was dared to try. It looked a lot like proscuitto, but definitely didn't taste anywhere as good. On a positive note, I love how the Europeans seem to cook with the seasons - my salad was made of the freshest vegetables and dessert was amazing berries with homemade rasberry ice cream. After a post dinner glass of wine while we waited for the rain storm to pass, I was ready to call it a night.

At 1 am, my body decided it would rather be on east coast time and I was wide awake for the next hour an a half. When my alarm went off the last thing I wanted to do was get up and put in a hard run. But I did. And it was hard. My US legs still haven't arrived. My workout was 2 twenty minute threshold repeats with a warm up, warm down and a 5 minute rest between repeats. I ran in the vineyards near the hotel -- beautiful scenery but also some hills. My legs weren't happy with me for the first set but by the second set, I was feeling good and ended the run strong.

After a long 11 hour day at work, we were treated to an amazing dinner tonight at Dal Sardo's in Ludwigsburg. If you ever visit Ludwigsburg, you must put this restaurant on your list. I let our host pick my menu and I can't tell you how happy I was to hear that this Italian restaurant in Germany made its own homemade gluten free pasta. It was to die for! We started with seasonal mushrooms sauteed in olive oil. Our next course was black truffles shaved over pasta tossed with olive oil and for the main course, a white flaky fish that was baked whole encrusted in salt and then fileted at the table much like a dover sole. It was surprisingly moist and not salty at all. To top it off we had homemade vanilla ice cream with fresh berries for dessert and wonderful wines throughout dinner. Definitely a dinner at the top of my best ever list.

So far its been a productive yet fun trip but I miss home and Bart, Lulu and Maverick. A couple more days and then I'm back in the states (and air conditioning)! Hope everyone's taper is starting to feel good.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Germany and Training Update

This past week I didn't fare so well with my training. Perhaps it was some burnout after my really great 23 miler the Wednesday before (which I think was a PR 23 miles for me even though a training run) or perhaps a bit of the stomach bug or food issues I dealt with last week, but I certainly didn't do so well sticking to the plan.

So I missed a long swim, a short easy bike and as of today, part of a long run. This isn't customary for me so I shouldn't stress about it but still I feel anxious. I am still not confident about that darn bike. Its no longer about the descents -- I think I've made my peace as best as I can -- but more about just how darn long it takes me to climb.

And now, I'm in Germany for business for the week. Travel for me isn't always easy when trying to stick to the plan. First, I have the food issues. Since I don't speak German and am pretty hungry due to training, finding safe gluten free food is a challenge and I don't always succeed. Second, my body clock is all messed up. I don't sleep well on the plane and I had a meeting once I landed so my total sleep for last night plus a nap was probably around 4 or 4 1/2 hours. On tap for today, my 18 miler from earlier in the week that I couldn't do because I felt bad. Clearly that wasn't going to happen. But I had to at least do something. So after a brief 1 hour nap, I headed to lunch with my colleague to refuel. I should have just eaten a bar in the room because my gluten free meal was not and I left lunch with a bloated and painful tummy.

After about 45 minutes in the room (where I did get a little inspiration from the Tour and the European Ironman championships in Frankfurt), I headed out for a run. My legs felt like lead and I clearly was suffering from jet lag/gluten issues. Despite the huge torrential rain in the midle of the run, I was able to struggle through 7ish miles before calling it quits for the day.

Dinner was more successful I think in the GF department and after I finish this, its off to bed for me. I'm beat.

So here's hoping my plan goes a little more smoothly this week and that I find something to eat (other than my GF bars that I smuggled in) to survive on for the rest of the time I'm here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

An Ode to Jill

Today is my dear friend Jill's 40th bday party and alas, I am instead sitting in the Delta Club in Atlanta waiting to fly to Germany for business. What a way to celebrate the 4th.

But Jill. . . since you are a faithful blog follower, I thought I'd post and ode, well not really - I don't possess your eloquent writing skills - but just a shout out to you in honor of your birthday.

You are truly a fabulous friend and I credit you in part with getting me into this crazy yet fun lifestyle. I recall our early lawyering days when you were training for your first marathon. Your enthusiasm for the sport was contagious and I'll never forget your essay about your first marathon. So it was easy to sign on for my first and stick with it. Maybe now I can convince you to do a tri?

Your zest for a full life, fun, family and health always make me smile. Whether we are exchanging nutrition tips or meeting for lunch at the "beach" to take a break from our sometimes too serious work days or catching up on the latest, you always bring some sunshine. I know you have an open ear and will help me sort through things. Your friendship is certainly one I treasure.

So cheers to you today Jill. You are a fabulous forty! And here is my official raincheck for a post ironman - 40th bday big celebration.