Last February I decided to take on the challenge of competing in the Wildflower Triathlon, one of the nations most difficult Triathlons,which took place in May of 2006. The distance I would cover included a 1.5K (1 mile) Open Water Swim, followed by an intense 40K (25 Mile) bike ride and finishing off with a 10K (6 Mile) Run. I finished this race in 5 hours, since then I have continued to document my journey.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Week 13: The Pressure Is ON!!!

Hi all

Wow...We are almost to the big weekend. One more Newsletter after this then I'll be giving out a post race review. I have enjoyed my time with TNT immensely and am saddened to find that this season is almost over. That's ok...I'm training for the Fall season as well ;-)

I updated my webpage with some new pictures. If you have time stop by my blog:

Typically I only review my Thursday and Saturday workouts in these newsletters but I thought today I would include other training as well so you don't think that I am training hard 2 days a week and slacking off the rest. On Monday a few of us met at Redwood Shores and went for an open water swim in the bay. I felt kind of weird dawning my wetsuit in the middle of a corporate plaza over by the water. I quickly got over it when 5 fellow Orca greeted me dawning their sleek black suits. Before we jumped into the frigid bay we discussed our options. We could either 1. Swim around buoys in circles or 2. Swim out to a distant bridge and back. One of the long coursers, Nicholas, insisted on swimming out past the bridge and back which covered a distance of 1.5 miles (equivalent to the long course swim). Because I did not want him to swim alone and because I was the only other person who was not intimidated by swimming so far out I volunteered to join him. The swim was HARD. I felt so constricted in my wetsuit. I just wanted to rip it off. Of course that was not an option so I calmed myself down and swam out. I thought I would get used to the wetsuit after a while but I maintained my panicked state throughout the swim. I felt like my arms were being held down and someone had tightly tied a rope around my chest. The ironic part wetsuit is too big for me. Despite being uncomfortable; I swam the entire 1.5 miles...some of it while doing the backstroke in order to open up my chest. I was very happy to be back on shore.

On Tuesday I went for a bike ride with my friends Myron and Sabine. We decided to ride from his house in Los Altos Hills all the way down to Foothill College and back up to Taafe. This is a route that I had attempted last week but asthma prevented me from doing it. I decided I needed to slay the beast we called Taafe. On the way up my chain fell twice and I decided to do the easier hill rather than finish Taafe. Sabine wanted to go up and Myron was getting tired because he was using a Mountain bike so the two of us rode together and Sabine went up and around (what a stud!!!). After going back and forth on the easier hill we decided to go up as far as we could on Taafe instead of sitting around to wait for Sabine. Could you believe we made it all the way up?!?! It really was not as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe I am getting in shape :-) The road back to Myron's house was all uphill and very challenging but I had an aha moment going up his hill. I realized that I was not using my hamstrings at all. It was great finding a whole new muscle group as I was getting exhausted trying to power up that steep hill. This was a tough bike ride but a huge win for me since I have been dreading Taafe for months.

Wednesday was another open water swim day. This time I swam out to the bridge and back. was challenging but I didn't freak out as much as I had the first time. I think it was because 1. I knew I could do it and 2. I had other people swimming next to me the whole time. There was a good 12 of us at this swim and about half chose to swim to the bridge. On the way there I was as relaxed as I could be considering I had the suit on. I really didn't get that tired and never did the backstroke. I was very pleased with how I did. One of the girls on my team, Mary, was intimidated by swimming out to the bridge but really wanted to do it so I told her that I would be with her the whole time. Ha!!! That girl was a stud. She got over her fear early on and finished well before me. I was so proud of her!!!

On Thursday we had what is called a Brick workout. A brick is when we practice 2 events without rest. Our brick entailed biking and running. I felt really strong on the bike until about 2 miles in when I got chain lock. My chain fell off then got stuck in the gears. It took forever to get it out but I did. After riding up another hill the chain fell again. This time I couldn't get it off until one of the Mentors helped me and put the chain back on. After testing it out for a bit the chain fell again. I conceded to my bikes desires and rode it back to the school. Once there I jammed over to the bike shop where they adjusted it and I went back to practice just in time to run a 2 mile time set. Despite the rough beginning of my workout I managed to run my 2 miles in record time!!! I'm so glad I went back. Here is a picture of a few of us during the run:

Friday was a scheduled, and much needed, day of rest so I didn't workout at all.

On Saturday our team was joined by the Santa Cruz and Monterey chapters for a practice triathlon. I was so excited to finally see how these three sports come together. We parked our cars and set up our T2 (bike to run) transition areas and then biked to the lake. On the way over I got chain lock...again. Grrrrr. This time it was so bad that one of the coaches, Frank, had to literally unscrew part of my bike to get the chain out. As soon as I got back on the chain fell off AGAIN. The bike was just not going to work for me this day ;-( Paula drove me to the lake and I did the swim then Barbara drove me to the run transition area and I got ready for the run. Unfortunately, my socks were left in the car with my bike. Rather than not running at all I decided to run without socks. I thought...if I get blisters they'll heal. I wanted to get a workout in damn it!!! Not only did I get in a good workout but instead of doing the 5K we were supposed to do...I did the route twice and did a 10K. Above is a picture of me during the second loop.

At the end of the run I was excited to see that not only had I finished and felt great but I had run a 10.35 minute pace. For you runners out there that seems slow but in the marker set I did last month I ran a 13 minute pace and I ran a 15 minute pace on my first marker set. What a HUGE improvement. I can't believe it ;-)

At the end of the run we had a pot luck so I ate quickly and went to a different bike shop than I had before. The guy took one look at my bike and told me that I needed a new chain. Finally...someone who seemed like they know what they were doing. I explained to him that I had a 16 mile bike ride scheduled for the next day and was hoping the work could be done by then. The guy said that he would do his best and sure enough it was done within the hour.

On Sunday we went to UVAS so that I could review the UVAS triathlon course which I will be doing on May 21st. The course was amazingly beautiful. The only problem was that I could not get onto the big chain ring on my bike. The big chain ring is the hardest one. I like to use it in order to gain copious amounts of speed going downhill so that I have momentum on the ascent. Its probably better that I didn't have it so that I could work harder on the hills. After the ride we opted to skip the planned 5 mile run and eat pancakes instead ;-) I'm glad we did because later that day I realized how sore I really was.

So now my bike is in the shop...AGAIN...and I'm hoping they get it right this time. I told the shop that if it didn't workout I was going to have to return the bike for a new one. I hope it works because the idea of doing a triathlon on a bike that I'm not used to is daunting. I'll keep ya'll posted.


I hit my goal but you could never raise too much money for this great cause. If you have already donated...I thank you very much. If not...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!

Here is a link to my fundraising site:

Update on Ethan:

Monday April 24, 2006

Weekend Update

Hi, All!

Well no sooner were we home, than we packed up for our weekend in Arnold with the Lazenbys! We left on Thursday evening, had a wonderful, fun day, and then Ethan started to develop a fever on Friday evening. When it hit 101.1, Greg and I decided it was time to head back home, just in case it went any higher. Colin and Erin stayed with the Lazenbys, and we headed for home.

Thankfully, Ethan's temp went down on the way home, and he only had a low grade temp the next day, so we were able to avoid a hospital visit! Greg went back to Arnold Saturday morning, and Ethan enjoyed some one on one attention from Mom for Saturday and Sunday!

We're so thankful for the time we got to spend with our good friends, and for their help and flexibility!!

Ethan had to miss the Wiggles concert last week because he was in the hospital, but we're hoping to be able to go to another concert, possibly this Thursday. Sonia's been in contact with the Wiggles folks, and is seeing if they can arrange for Ethan to still get to meet them! We're hoping so! It's a good thing Ethan doesn't have a very good concept of time!

Today, Ethan will be having lab work done, and if his numbers are good enough, they'll be having him start taking his chemo again. (He's been off it for the last week.) They may be modifying his dose. . . we're not sure.

Thanks so much for checking in on Ethan, and for your continued prayers!

Andrea (for the Marleys) Thursday April 20, 2006
Ethan is Home!

His counts recoved enough for him to be released from the hospital yesterday morning. We got to spend a little time with Grandma before our 5 hour trip home. Ethan is doing pretty well. Enough so, that we are still going on our planned trip to Arnold, Ca. this weekend.

We want to thank all who were praying for Ethan this week. It is quite comforting to know we are cared for so much. Please pray that Ethan's counts continue to climb and for a safe trip this weekend.

Thank you,
Greg (for the Marleys)


Post a Comment

<< Home