Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Double Iron Race Report: Swim

I usually do my race reports all in one, but a double iron distance race deserves more than one post. Plus, I'm not doing anything but recovering for the next little while, so I'll write more and add more pictures instead!

So my crew and I started the journey down to Tampa on Wednesday. We made it about halfway, and finished up the drive on Thursday.

Then, we had a little carb loading lunch.

And headed over to Flatwoods State Park. There we got all of my registration stuff: numbers, timing chip, blood testing, etc.

That evening, we gathered by a pool, ate spaghetti, met the other racers, and had the pre-race meeting. We discussed very important things, such as what animals we might see on the course.

It was a long-ish meeting, and there were these cool bugs flying around. We might have picked a few of them up. Dani and I decided that they were good luck. George made friends with one. Anne thought they were shifty and didn't trust them.

Here are a couple of Pre-race shots:

Feeling pretty nervous in the hotel before we leave!

The swim was 4.8 miles. That is 76 laps, or 152 lengths (which is how I count them) in an outdoor 50 meter pool. I really enjoy swimming, so being in a pool that long is not a big deal for me. And this was a pretty one too!

The big decision was the wetsuit. They turned the heater off in the pool to make it wetsuit legal. I have a really nice wetsuit (thanks to my amazing team). The trouble is--I don't like wetsuits. I really don't. Even the nice ones. I don't like having stuff on my skin. I just like to SWIM! So, I was one of the few that decided not to wear it. Don't you worry. I was a nervous wreck about the decision. But I made it, and we stuck with  it. No wetsuit. I got a little chilly at one point, but I just prefer to swim without one. I am in the pink cap shivering a little bit!

And it starts! It is always a really really exciting to start a race. You spend SO much time preparing and training, that I have a sense of relief in starting!

Not much to say about the actual swim! I just went back and forth! Sometimes I was able to be on a train with the three Swedish athletes in my lane.

And other times I was swimming on my own.

We were able to all put our bottles and nutrition at one end of the pool, and there were official lap counters on the other side. 

And here is a picture of some of my crew. Look how rested, not sunburned, and calm they look. Don't worry--it won't last. 

So, while I was doing this:

They were playing...swim bingo! S&G get in trouble is Sparkles and George. We put it on every bingo board...because it was a sure thing :-)

They were also putting up funny signs for me. I love Finding Nemo, so there were lots of references from that!

I didn't know it until later, but there was a turtle in the pool! Here's the crazy video!  

I got out of the pool after 2 hours and 42 minutes. I wasn't thrilled with the time, but I wasn't upset with it either. My shoulder had been really hurting in the two weeks leading up to the race, and I was very nervous about it. It didn't bother me at all, which was really nice. 

I got out of the pool to my cheering crew, and then I walked into the YMCA locker room to change  into my bike gear!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Double IRON Tracking Information

Since we are taking off for this adventure very soon, I thought I would put some tracking information up!

The Race:

The race starts Friday at 7am in Tampa, Florida. It is 4.8 miles swimming in a 50m pool. Following that is a 224 mile ride. There is a little at the beginning to get from the pool to the course, and then there are 30 loops of a 6.8 mile ride. Finally, is the double marathon, or 52.4 mile run on a 1.7 mile loop. The clock is continuous, so my motto is "Constant Forward Motion."


The Crew Breakdown:

Anne is the Crew Chief, and Will is my coach. Together, they will be focused on executing the many pages of instructions I give them. Nancy will be their go-to girl for loading bottles and taking care of the crew!

George and Sparkles have cheered for me before, and they are seriously ready to bring their A game to this event. George is also my number one emotional support, and Sparkles will also be pacing me some on the run. They are also my "social media correspondents."

Laura is going to be my main pacer. She is ready for anything! We have been training together a ton, and she is prepared to do as many of the steps with me as she can!! What a rockstar.

And then we have some more additions to the party! Leslie may come with chocolate cake and friends to pace and cheer. John, Laura's husband, will be joining us to cheer and be a helping hand! Scott Rigsby, endurance athlete and inspiring speaker (wrote the book Unthinkable), will be travelling down with John to pace and cheer Friday night and Saturday morning. Candler, George's cousin, and his wife Emily, who live in Tampa, will be making a cheering appearance too! Jill is actually crewing Dani and Jason (who are amazing athletes that I can't wait to share a course with!), but seeing her smiling face will make me SO happy! Dan will be volunteering, but he is an awesome triathlete we met in Cozumel who just can't wait to see this thing go down!

I am SO honored to have so many people who love and support me enough to spend a weekend watching me go in circles in Florida. I don't know how to even begin to say thank you. I am starting by bringing freshly baked goodies to Florida for you to eat!

If you are so inclined, here are some places you can look to track my progress!

Official results and progress will be posted either HERE or HERE.

Facebook: Sparkles and George will be updating Facebook with progress. They also have access to my account during the race. Here are our three pages. If you are not already friends with us and want to follow us on FB, just send request:




Twitter: Also great for tracking. Same three of us will be posting (well, they will be posting for me!)





Thanks for any support and positive energy you are able to send my way! I swear that I feel it. In other races, George has read FB/Twitter comments/Texts/Emails to me when I am in a low place, and it is amazing how it effects your spirits just knowing that your friends and family are thinking of you. This is a huge new experience for me, and I can't wait to get going!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I heart dinos

My crew chief Anne created these shirts for our crew:

Yes, they will be pink.

Yes they have dinos on them.

Yes there is a Jurassic Park reference.

Why? Because I love dinos. I am a science teacher who argues that I would TOTALLY go to Jurassic Park if it were real.

Yes, there will be additional crew costume.  

Remember this?

I do! That was Sparkles in at Ironman Louisville.

She has told George to think Tron for this race.

Glow in the dark AND dinosaurs. This is going to be awesome.

10 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The morning after a long sleep!

This has been my life lately:

It doesn't always take much!

Thanks for all of the online love. I went home, ate a cookie, sat on the couch and watched TV, and then slept and slept and slept. 

Feeling much better. 

I didn't really think about how sleepy this training cycle would make me. I know that sleepiness is my body saying, "I need to fix everything so go lay down."

The catch 22 is that getting the training in (and working of course) means less time for that.

Well, I have one more big weekend, and I am excited for it now!!!!!

I will get a massage tonight, and then be ready for a big big day tomorrow and a really long trail run Sunday!

2 Weeks!!!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reality Check at 2 Weeks out

So I've had a tough couple of days.

Aching shoulder, very poor sleep, bad mood/attitude, feeling sick, mediocre training sessions since the weekend. I am a real gem to be around.

So I emailed my coach and asked if I need to suck it up or to rest.

He told me to read this analysis first:. I don't usually post any totals, but here goes.

Total Training Load 1/1/12 through 2/9/12 (Total 132.89 hrs.)

Bike – 38.75 hrs. (29.16%)
Run – 32.30 hrs. (24.3%)
Swim – 30.17 hrs. (22.7%)
Bricks – 26.17 hrs. (19.69%)
Strength – 3.75 hrs.
X-train – 1.75 hrs.

Total load per week:
12/26 – 1/1 – 28.0 hrs.
1/2 – 1/8 – 25.75 hrs.
1/9 – 1/15 – 26.25 hrs.
1/16 – 1/22 – 25.0 hrs.
1/23 – 1/29 – 21.22 hrs.
1/30 – 2/5 – 23.42 hrs.
Total - 149.64 hrs.

Then he told me to go home right after work, eat a cookie (or other such goodness), rest, and sleep.

That means I have to **gasp** miss a workout.

I hate that. It makes me worry.

Ok--so maybe that's a lot of training for me.
And maybe it's ok that I am tired.
And maybe I even started before those dates.
And maybe this training cycle did come RIGHT off an ironman.
And maybe I am going to be ok.
And maybe rest IS the right choice.

My race is two weeks from tomorrow. What is more important for my race? One bike ride or not getting sick and falling apart for the next week.

The answer should be clear--time to accept it and get ready for an evening of rest.

I mean, I did swim two hours this morning.

It's going to be ok. It's going to be ok. I'm going to finish this race. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Double Scoop Double Brick Strikes Again!!!

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to travel back to Florida with my friend Laura for another double scoop weekend!

We started the weekend off right with some food!

We went to this A.MAZ.ING. Italian restaurant. They made the fresh mozzarella at you table. That made me very very happy.

Here is the amazing dish....

And here I am being very very happy....

I was clearly not really dressed for this nice place. BUT--I was enthusiastic about their food, and that has to count for something!

Saturday was a double brick. 3 hours riding, 2 hours running, 2 hours riding, and 1 hour running. It is the same workout we did about a month ago. This time, it was MUCH windier, which just makes you stronger, right?!

Here we are again! Have I mentioned how amazing my friend Laura is? She is a mom of 4, a wife, a CFO, a  multi time ironman, and an A group Boston qualifier in her AG. Really? And she is down to earth, and a PERFECT training partner for me! I am super super lucky!

About 6 hours into our training day, Laura revised our plan to end AT an ice cream shop. If chocolate milk is a good post-workout drink, then a chocolate milkshake must be better. That's how I see it. Then we had a beautiful 1.5 mile walk by the beach back as a cool down.

The whole workout went really smoothly. No issues at all. The last time I did this, I could really FEEL it that night and the next day. This time, I didn't even feel like I had done anything. That must be progress.

Sunday brought a 3 hour swim. I was able to swim at this awesome 50m pool outside! It was in the mid-70's and I was a really happy camper!!

So I hopped out of the pool, and Laura had this waiting for us. I was really excited, but my arms didn't really want to move it up to my mouth. I soon overcame this obstacle!

It should NOT be suprising by now that we went out to a killer brunch.

And then here's the picture of me looking WAY too happy about this breakfast feast!

After such a great morning, we decided to get haircuts before I had to get on the plane! I am going to fess up and say that this is my first haircut since May. That's right. May. I am a ragamuffin no more!!

And then we were off to the airport...including my new turtle friend that was in my Race Swag Bag from Laura!

And then my weekend adventure was over, and Turtle and I went home.....until next time!!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Meet My Double Ironman Crew Part 5 (My Coach!)

 In this addition of meet my crew, you guys get to meet my awesome coach\! I have been woking with him for a few years now. He has brought me through my first marathon, a few 70.3's, 4-140.6's, taking over an hour off of my 140.6 time, decreasing my half marathon time, and now leading up to the double IM. He also coaches my husband George, who is a very successful athlete. I am incredibly excited that he and his wife decided to come to Tampa for this race!

1. Give a quick introduction of yourself:
My name is Coach Will Dillard. I coach cyclists, triathletes, and runners of all abilities from beginner to world class competitors in National and World Championships.
I hold the following national certifications:
USA Cycling Elite Level 1 Coach
USA Track & Field Level II Coach
Road Runners Club of America Certified Coach
Training Peaks Certified Coach
Heart Zone ® Blue Jersey Indoor Cycling Coach
USAT Member
Affiliate Member of American College of Sports Medicine

2. How do you know Kacie?
I am her coach.

3. What is your favorite type of ice cream?
Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk

4. If you could fill an empty swimming pool with anything, what would it be?
Banana Pudding

5. What is your greatest athletic accomplishment?
Helping athletes of all levels reach goals they never imagined possible.

6. What is one "creepy crawly" animal that you can't stand?
None, remember I am the slayer of spiders and other creepy crawlers J

7. Give us 3 words to describe you:
Dedicated, dependable, honorable

8. If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you bring with you?
Probably “Wilson” from the movie Castaway.

9. If you could only eat 1 meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Southern fried chicken, mashed potatoes, black eyed peas and cornbread, and sweet tea.

10. Do you have any secret talents? Party tricks? Hilarious jokes? Tell us!
I can wiggle my ears.

11. If you were given a yaht, what would you name it?
I would prefer a sailboat over a yacht but I would name it NIKAO, which is the Greek word for victory or success and the basis of the word NIKE that we all know and love J

12. What do you think is the worst Halloween candy?
Probably candy corn

13. If you could have one super power, what would it be?
The ability to fly

14. If you were a professional wrestler, what would your stage name be?
Mr. Wrestling 3 (since there have already been 2, and no. 1 was my favorite)

15. Crunchy peanut butter or creamy?

16. Would you rather spend a month is Antarctica or Death Valley?

17. What is your favorite kind of music? (there might be a playlist in the making, so feel free to add all you want!!)
Like all kinds except RAP, which isn’t really music but just fast talking.

18. What is your next athletic adventure?
Probably a half-marathon or maybe a triathlon.

19. If Kacie were to make a treat during her taper, what would you like to have around for 24+ hours during the race?

20. What are you most looking forward to on the crewing adventure with Kacie?
Watching the culmination of approximately 258 hours of training (~24-25 hours/week) since December 5, 2011 as Kacie crosses the finish line and earns the title of “UltraIronman”