Friday, August 29, 2008

I WON, I WON, I WON!!!!!!!!

I was feeling pretty exhausted from a tough summer of clinical rotations and racing so I tried to bail out of the Lorain International Distance race last weekend. I told Paulo that I didn't feel up to it. His reply? Just get it done.

So I was off to return to the scene of the crime!. Yes, this was where I did my first US triathlon.

A backstory...

My training since Steelhead sucked. Emergency Medicine was a tougher rotation than anticipated because of the swing shifts and studying, so my workouts were few and far between. Then before the race I decided to do a completely ass-kicking swim workout on Friday, a bunch of running at the end of the week, and another swim workout on Saturday. Bad idea!

I remember back to when I did my first race here. I signed up months ahead of time, went the day before to pick up packets and scope out the race site, and had everything laid out the night before. I was terrified! This time was like a whole different ballgame! I was exhausted when I got home from work the night before and passed straight out. I woke up with barely enough time to shove all my crap in the car, take a quick look at the map and get out the door. I remember thinking- Right on Colorado, Right on Kansas. That is easy enough! They are both state names!

As I turned off the expressway into Lorain I had a bad realization. I looked at the street names.... Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Indiana, Ohio. Oh crap. I'm in trouble. So after 2 frantic calls to Lanny and a plea for help from a local, I finally made it to the race site at a bit after 7am (race start 8am). I registered, peed, racked my bike and made my way down to the race start.

The race had a sprint and Oly division. As people were lined up I started to think that my cap was the wrong color. There were hardly any people with blue caps! The 1st-4th waves of sprinters went off and there was a pretty pathetic sized wave left. All of the Oly racers. 29 strong with 8 women. Hmmmmm....


I overheard someone talking before the race saying that the coast guard had their GPS stolen the night before and they had to guess on the distance of the swim. Interesting. And looking out I could barely see the buoys. Partly because they were so teeny, tiny, and partly because there weren't a whole lot of them. As we started swimming it started to become very apparent that they made the swim a teeny, tiny bit long. To make matters worse the very last buoy they had was the farthest from shore! It was like they were saying- just go back in! Don't worry about swimming straight, you'll get there eventually. And of course, the genius in charge of assigning swim wave colors chose the Oly racers to give the navy blue caps. So we couldn't even spot off each other. Needless to say the swim was a mess. When I got out of the water and saw my time was far north of 30 minutes I knew one of two things: The swim was WAY long, or I had completely trashed my arms with my swim training that week. Likely a combination of both...


On to the bike, there was again a monster headwind on the way out. I half wanted to get off my bike to make sure my brake wasn't rubbing. It felt so slow! But of course we were rewarded on the turnaround. The Sprint was 2 loops of the Oly so we got to go against that lovely wind twice. Saw a bunch of newbies on the course which was nice. But there was also some really bad rule infringements (blocking, drafting, ipods...). I didn't see many women out on the course so I didnt know if they were ahead of me or behind me. I paced the race a little bit harder than my half ironman bike pace. I shot for a bike HR of 170-175, which is 5 bpm higher than my half pace. It felt ok, but I was pretty tired. The month had taken its toll for sure.

Off the bike onto the...


The run felt like total crap. In the first 1/2 mile I actually remember wondering if I was going to even be able to run the whole thing. It was so painful and my legs didn't want to cooperate. Mile 1 took approximately 30 minutes to come (or so it seemed). As I started to near the turnaround a woman buzzed by me on her way back. Crap! She's way too far ahead. No way in hell can I catch up with how I feel.

But seeing her managed to light a bit of a fire. I started feeling a bit better and tried to pick it up. When I got to the turnaround Steve, a CTC friend told me I was 1 minute behind. I hit the turnaround, grabbed a gatorade and headed back out for lap 2. I could see her now. I ran faster.

As I got to the lap 2 turnaround at mile 4.5 I had bridged the gap. As I went by the lead woman she cheered for me (how cool is that?). After I took the lead I basically ran as fast as I could all the way home. I was breathing like a rabid bull and most likely foaming at the mouth as well. I ran by some people walking to their cars after the sprint and heard a lady say: She's a fast one! I would have laughed if I wasn't in so much freaking pain!

As I came up to the finish I heard a very large cheering section start up. How awesome! I am beeing cheered in! I finished the race, nearly passed out and downed 40 ounces of water in quick time (it was REALLY hot out). I had a great time with new and old friends and stayed to pick up my FIRST OVERALL WOMAN TROPHY!!!!!

Here are the stats

Overall Place 6/29 (First woman)

Jodi Thomson

Swim (long)






21.0 MPH








Considering my last real Oly had a finish time of 2:58, I call this progress


Then I got miserably lost (again) on the way home and had to call Lanny to get bailed out. I don't know how I find my way around my apartment without a GPS....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Needed: Poop bags

Well, let me clarify. I don't need bags full of poop. I have a certified black fur covered, four-legged poop machine. I really just need the empty bags with which I can pick UP the poop created by above-mentioned princess of fiber. In her hippy, walk to the grocery store, save the planet attempt at the simple life, the caretaker of said animal failed to take into account the ramifications of the reusable cloth bag. Now that every plastic bag in the small one-bedroom apartment has been emptied and the apartment is now out of disposable ziploc tupperware containers to house the former contents of the converted excrement holders, the neighborhood is in serious jeopardy. Screw the planet, I need to save the yards of my upper class neighbors before I'm run out of town....

Exhibit A: In this picture, she is clearly pooped

Friday, August 22, 2008

Need a laugh?

I saw a couple great things on ST this week. I just about fell on the floor laughing when I read this

And I just can't help to laugh every time I look at this picture:

Here is a pic that I think is just awesome and inspiring. The perfect attitude to take with you to all your races:

And one final note to the evil species below:

Screw you

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tempo...errr...long run

I've been a bit busy with work and studying lately so I'm trying to make my sessions count. So although I haven't done a run longer than 6.5 miles outside of a race since April, I thought it wise to do a 7.3 mile tempo run today. That run DEFINED pain. Holy moly. And the thing that sucked about it is that I felt like I was running through corn syrup. I don't know if it's my form, the extra couple pounds I'm hanging onto, or the fact that I don't like running tempo without a bike ride warm up, but it was just very sluggish feeling. I was even holding to a 180 step per minute turnover. By the last mile I was just totally spent and wanted to throw up. But when I looked at my watch I realized that I did the 7.3 miles in 56 minutes for a 7:40 average. This is really not at all shabby for me! So I ask- why did it feel so slow? I've done much slower runs and felt much stronger. Maybe it's just my inadequate training lately, but I felt like a hippo. I think it's time to watch the diet and run more...

Monday, August 11, 2008

I think this is sabotage....

It's tricky to get coaching advice from a man that you want to chick at a race. On the one hand, he's one of the best coaches in the world. On the other hand, there is nothing in the world that he fears more than me beating him. Well after today's swim, I'm pretty sure this is sabotage. He is trying to kill me.

600 choice
30 x 50 every 4th and 5th FAST (5-10s rest)
200 choice
30 x 50 every 3rd and 5th FAST (5-10s rest)
300 cool down

At first glance it looks pretty easy. I can do 50's! Man, after the last couple week's workouts of 500s and 1500s this will be a breeze!

Yeah, well that's until you get to about #24 of 60. Then it just gets painful.

I'm thinking that maybe the weekend ride will include 30 x hill repeats on Sherman Road. And I think 60 x 200 all out on the track is in coming.

But on the bright side, if it doesn't kill me, then WATCH OUT!


(The workout actually went pretty well. I did about :37 on the fast 50s and :45 on the easy ones. Not smoking, but there's a reason I'm a triathlete and not a swimmer!)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Go win it dude!

Stop by Simon's blog to see the cutest thing ever. And wish him good luck!

Go get 'em Simon!


Friday, August 08, 2008

Guess what I just got in the mail?????

My tickets to KONA!!!!

Yes, they came in the mail. Like the snail mail! How bizarre. Now the goal for the next 2 months is to not forget them! I'm heading out to Las Cruces for 10 days to train and race then Kona for 10 days to work and have fun.

Race you ask? Yes, I have added 3 races to the end of my year, with the third being the most important. This is the race I have trained my entire life for. One day. 2+ hours of intense struggle. Oh, yes. It's on. It's a smackdown. Me vs. Paulo. It's all happening here

I'm gonna get you. I don't know how, but I'm gonna get you! (a quote from one of my favorite movies, Dumb & Dumber)

In other news, no my helmet has not resurfaced. So I'm pretty sure it was in fact stolen. Jerks.

And life flight was a lot of fun last night. I got to go on 4 runs with one of them being in the middle of a lightning storm. It was a really awesome experience. And if anyone I care about EVER rides a bike or motorcycle without a helmet I'm going to strangle them myself. I figure it will spare them the eventual traumatic brain injury....

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Race pics and my crazy life

First off, some race pics. Amazingly, I don't have the knee-jerk oh-my-god I hate these pics I look like such a fat-ass response that I usually get. I actually like a couple of them! But once again, it just highlights what total crap running form I have. Ah well, looks like I have something to work on!

In other news, my crazy life...

Just when I thought that I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life I get smacked in the face with something new. Emergency.

In med-school we are taught a lot of things. It's absolutely a crash course in physiology and pathology. But one thing that we are not taught is basic first aid and life support. I know, crazy! It really struck me when riding in the Sweet Corn ride and our friend went down and broke his wrist something fierce. I was thinking- holy crap, I'm going to be a doctor in a few months and I have no idea what to do for him right now. But damn, could I ever manage his hypertension or diabetes!

So then the next day I started my Emergency Medicine acting internship eager to learn although I was pretty sure I was going to do radiology. Within 2 days I made a total 180. THIS is what being a doctor is about! Going in to work into the complete unknown and being forced to use absolutely everything you've ever learned to figure out what is going on with your patients. Having to think fast and be calm under pressure. Needless to say, I am really enjoying it. But now I have about 3 weeks before applications are due and have to do some serious rearranging and research. yikes!

Ok, I'm off to study. Tonight I am hitting the skies to work on Life Flight for Cleveland's Level 1 Trauma Center. I can't WAIT!

Sunday, August 03, 2008


When I first planned my year I had my sights 100% set on Steelhead. I wanted to go to Clearwater. As the year went on I really got into racing half Ironman races. I gave all the races 100% and had some amazing weekends. Kinetic was awesome and a good early season test, giving me Swim Bike and Run PRs. Then the Triple T was just too awesome for words. Musselman was a huge breakthough with another bike and run PR. So when it came time for Steelhead I was excited to race, but no longer felt like it was this huge race I'd been building for. Clearwater had gotten less exciting to me as well. I realized that I really enjoyed the smaller races where the bike courses had some breathing room and I don't have a ton of extra money to use to go to Florida. So I went into the race wanting to PR the swim, bike and run (the bike was a no-brainer since it's flat), but I wasn't sure if I really wanted to go to Clearwater in November.


I am very fortunate to have met a great couple, Anita and Jim, when I was in Florida this year who own a boat that they dock at St. Joes. They offered to let me stay on their boat when I came up for the race. Anita was doing the race, her first half in many years. She did Kona in '96 (how cool is that?) but had taken many years off of racing. I met them the day before the race at the expo where they were volunteering and I jumped in and helped with packet pickup. That was fun. Then we went back to the boat and cleaned up and went to dinner at another wonderful couple's house. They were hosting the only pro woman who was at the race, Gina Kehr, and it was great to have a nice home cooked meal with some new friends who were all SOOOO friendly and funny and relaxed. After that we went back to the boat and I was cutting Z's within minutes, lulled to sleep by the slow rocking of the waves.

Race morning:
Got up, got ready, and drove to the race super early. Set up transition and made the long walk to the swim start. I had lost Anita somehow so chatted it up with some other competitors on the walk to the start. It was SUPER windy and the there were whitecaps and breaking waves out about 500 yards. So it looked like it was going to be a rocky morning. One thing that stood out was that there were no buoys on the race course except for at the beginning and end. Also obviously absent were boats in the water. Weird. About 10 minutes after I arrived at the start they announced that they were canceling the swim. I was super disappointed, but completely understood. I guess the kayakers couldn't hold their lines in the waves and buoys kept breaking loose. And there was a very strong current. I figured that this made the Clearwater decision for me, as I am a much stronger triathlete than duathlete. We all walked back to transition to get our shoes for the 2.1 mile run and walked to the run start.

Run # 1

The beginning of the run really highlighted how huge this race is. The competitors lined up on the street for blocks. They set us off in waves by our age groups every 4 minutes (instead of 6 as it was supposed to be for the swim). I knew this was going to make for an even more crowded bike course and an insane transition. I mean, how spread out are we REALLY going to get in a 2 mile run. Not very.

My wave took off somewhere around 8:20 and the run went straight up a big hill and back. I tried to keep at 1/2 iron run pace so as not to get overly anaerobic. I also didn't want to pull anything since I didn't get a chance to warm up. It went fine. Headed into T1 at 15:16.

Ran in, got my bike, helmet, took off. 1:04 T1 time. I ran out to start the bike and heard someone in the audience yell- Go Mike Honcho! It was my mom! Yay! My parents made it out. That was so cool to see. And they had my puppy who I haven't seen in 8 weeks. SUPER cool.

Not so super cool- Idiot me forgot to put on my sunglasses. DOH!

I had actually tapered for this race so my legs felt great and the bike was fast. It became immediately apparent that the only way not to draft was to pass people. So that's what I did. Whizzing to the left past people then back to the right. Over and over. The course was SO FAST. It was boatloads of fun. My crank was making some funny noises that had me very concerned, but I figured a flat course wasn't going to put too much stress on it so I tried to ignore it.

I did a good job of not drafting or blocking until about mile 48 or so when the age grouper men caught me. I got engulfed in a big pack and had to expend a lot of energy to pass them again. Thankfully we hit a section with a strong crosswind and my wheels are money with a crosswind (hence their name- Nimble Crosswind...). I feel like I'm shot out of a cannon when I get the right wind angle. So I continued on and made it into transition super fast. When I looked at my watch I realized that the course had to be short, as I had imagined it would be when they had to change it at the last minute to make room for the first run. By all accounts it was 54 miles.

Time: 2:31:52 21.34 mph (adjusted for length)
So if it had been 56 miles it would have been 2:36:30. Which is still pretty huge for me

T2: Uneventful. Exactly the same time as T1. 1:04. No reason for it to be any faster or longer than T1 I supposed. Same distance, opposite order of events.

Run: When I started the run I was sure that it was going to be a big suckfest. I was hot. Really, really hot. Melting actually. And I was slow. I hit the first mile at 9 minutes and made a pledge that if I totally blow up I can't walk! I decided then to walk through all the aid stations and take in as much fluid as possible. After the second aid station where I took water and threw it over my head and 2 cups of gatorade down the hatch I started feeling better. Much better, actually. And I started to pick it up. For some reason I always have this feeling that triathlon runs are going to drag on forever. And they never do. The miles just click off so fast that the race is done before I know it! When I turned around for loop 2 I really started to cook. Now I was lapping people so there was always a target to pass. That really helps to keep moving. But of course, as always I got to mile 11 and completely ran out of gas. This is actually a good scenerio, since I can always talk myself through 2 miles of pain. But man, do those 2 miles HURT. Thankfully at Steelhead it was all downhill. And by this point there was plenty of eye candy to chase since the age grouper men were just starting to pass me. Never hurts to have that extra motivation!

As I came into the last stretch, which someone with a really sick sense of humor made through very soft sand, I got a huge smile on my face. It was over, already. My 4th Half Iron race of the year, and it was a successful one. I saw my parents off to the side, crossed the finish line, beaming, and literally collapsed. Thankfully there were 2 great volunteers who caught me and dragged me over to chair since I was completely out of it and couldn't even support my own weight. Mickey, our local race director and friend came over to congratulate me, which was really nice. I had warned him about my tendency to leave it all on the course and that I would be unlikely to be verbal after the race. I was right!

Run: 1:44:25 (7:58/mile)

After a few minutes of stuper I got up and walked over to the food trough like a drunken sailor and then saw Maddie and my parents waiting for me. What a treat! We found a spot under a tree where we hung out until I could start to process information again. It was a good day.

Post Race:

My parents were nice enough to hang out through the long rolldown process. I didn't get a slot, as they only rolled to 8th or 9th in my AG (I was 10th out of 128). Ironically I thought that racing in 25-29 would give me a BETTER chance at qualifying (I raced 30-34 all year due to USAT rules and this race did age on race day instead). Turns out I would have gotten a slot in 30-34. Oh well. Now I have to find something else to do with my November. I'm sure I'll think of something!

Went with Mom, Dad, Anita and Jim for ice cream, they handed off Maddie and we drove home, landing in Cleveland around 11:15. Paulo was nice enough to keep close tabs on me during the drive so that I didn't fall asleep (I was a tad tired and a little bit out of it still). And this morning I took the Mad Dog on a 1.5 hour tour of her new neighborhood, including a dip in the lake. It's so nice to have her back!

The Good:
Bike and Run PRs. A very fun weekend, and some time with my family. A very well run race, and great job to the RDs for the last minute course changes with very little delay. First class event.

The Bad:
Big disappointment not to have the swim. Especially since this most likely would have been a sub-5 performance for me and huge breakthrough. Not to mention a likely Clearwater slot

The Ugly:
Someone took my aerohelmet from transition (#964 if anyone reading this took it by mistake...). I'm holding out hope that it was a mistake, but fear it was stolen. Just damn!

OK, time to find another race to do this year!



Conversation with Paulo this morning:

pAULO says: (12:03:46 PM)
For someone that didn't want to go to Clearwater, you sure mention it a lot ;)
Jodi says: (12:03:57 PM)
I know
I would have taken the slot
don't really want the season to be over yet
I guess that's the main reason I wanted to do Clearwater
I've had a lot of fun racing this year
pAULO says: (12:08:03 PM)
and good races
now you need to become a decent runner

I guess it's time to do some run training....