Running For A Reason – Let’s Do It In 2012

I love the start of a New Year!  It’s all about new challenges, changes, and this year is going to be like no other.

Last year I had the opportunity to get to know Cassie Kottke through a Chi Running clinic that I attended.  Cassie comes with a whole list of impressive accomplishments as an athlete- multiple Ironman finisher, and this past year she completed a long time dream of running and finishing the Leadville 100 trail run to name a few.  Not to mention her passion for sports and her unending gracious spirit.

In true Cassie form this past week she came up with a brilliant idea (if I remember correctly it was during a run) titled Running For A Reason.  It is all about us as athletes giving back through running and training.  Her idea was for every mile ran the athlete would donate 1 penny to an organization of their choice.

I immediately knew where this would take my family and I in the New Year.  During the holiday season  we learned of two friends affected by a cancer diagnosis right smack in the middle of what was supposed to be the most happiest time of the year.  It has been difficult to watch friends deal with cancer, and feel helpless other than offer support and be there to listen, when really….you just want it to go away.

So with this said our two charities/organizations that will benefit from our training and racing this year are Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.   It’s the least we can do, as the battle their both facing with such grace and determination is much more than what it takes to train and race.

To add a punch to it, since we’ve chosen two organizations we’ve decided that all five of us would log all swim, bike, and run miles for all 5 of us, up through August 18th, 2012.  And this year there is going to be some big mileage!  Thomas, who is 11 years old,  got it kicked off by swimming 8,100 yards for the New Year.  We have training and race plans that consist of 5Ks, marathons, 1/2 marathons, and an Ironman, along with smaller distant triathlons this year, so we’re talking some good mileage.

If you’re interested or know of someone that may be interested in joining Running For A Reason, please click on the link and/or find it on Facebook.  If you’re not a runner, how about walking?  Every penny counts, we are moving for a reason, and becoming healthier.

My friend Nancy said it best:  “They say we compete our best when we are running for something outside of ourselves.”   All I can say is:  Bring on the miles!!  Happy New Year everyone!

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Good Luck Rick!!

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Tomorrow is the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, and we wanted to send out a BIG good luck and high-five to our friend Rick.  Rick qualified for Kona for his 5th straight year (an incredible feat) at Ironman Louisville in August.  His race number is #277 and you can track him all day tomorrow at www.ironmanlive.com .  Please remember the time change.  (5 hours behind us if you’re in the Central Time Zone).

Rick- all of us, not only my family, but our Ironman family and those that train and support all of us, sure do wish we were there to cheer you on, and take in the day with Nancy (Rick’s wife) and Aubrey (daughter).  But know each time you’re getting slapped in the water, fighting the winds on your bike, and chasing down your dream on the marathon, ALL of us will be there with you in spirit!  You are such an inspiration and mentor to so many people.  I think it’s all safe to say we hope to be doing what you’re doing in the years to come.  You’ve all taught us what race day can bring, and how to fight through it, so now it comes back to you.  Please smile at some points in the day and know there are so many cheering for you and wishing you a safe and happy race day!  Go Rick Go!!!

“Embrace The Struggles”

It’s been about a month today since surgery, and I wish I was here to tell that all was back to normal, and that off-season training was in full swing.  But unfortunately this is not the case.  There have been a lot of “good” days, and then there are those days filled with lots of pain and with it feelings of despair.  I am just being honest.

The first week after surgery I was up and walking a lot!!  I felt great, and called and asked if I could do more “as I was walking 10.”  So the nurse asked “10 minutes?”, and I replied “no 10 miles.”  I was than given the clearance to start biking EASY and once I hit two weeks if the incisions were closed I could begin swimming.  So for two weeks I kept really busy doing this, catching up with friends, lunches, coffee, and the whole bit.  But I do believe I have a hard time finding and controlling what would be considered “easy”, and this would come back to bite me.

Shortly after two weeks I found myself in a dark “pit”, and just did my best to make it through the daily routine of having a family.   I’ve heard this happening to so many athletes, but just didn’t know what to do, how to talk to someone about it, so I did nothing.  I lost interest in several things, and things just kind of went downhill quickly.  At the time I didn’t realize that trying to keep up with all the physical activity was actually preventing me from healing and just plain recovering from an Ironman.  I didn’t seem to hurt, but I was reminded that I have a high pain tolerance, so indeed I was hurting, I just didn’t feel it.  But than after a couple days of lots of activity I’d be in bed knocked down with pain, bloated, and not comfortable.  It was a vicious cycle, that kept on going.

Late last week I got an email from someone who gets it, that basically confirmed that everything I was feeling and experiencing was normal, but I needed to get out of this rut, and they offered their help.  So here I am almost a week in being guided back to my form of normalcy.  It was perfect timing in so many ways, and I am really excited about what we’re doing.  I’ve also learned some valuable lessons through this process that can be applied not only to where I am at, but to life as well.  Here are some of them:

  • Embrace the struggles don’t fightt them.  Learn to deal with them and overcome them.
  • Rest/Recovery just as important if not more so.
  • Honesty- be open with your struggles
  • It’s really nice to be guided and have your training/physical activity planned, especially if you have a really driven personality.  I love not being in control of this. 
  • Time- sometimes no matter how healthy you are, things sometimes just take time
  • Patience- one trait you surely you have enough of.
  • Acceptance- sometimes it’s just easier to accept things than try to fight them.
  • Being open to new things, modifications, as you just may actually like them.
  • And last, but definitely not least, you are again reminded of how important family, friends, coaches, and coffee shop workers are. 

Today has been a great day, and I do believe we’ve turned the corner, and just ready to forge ahead.  There’s so much to look forward to….snow, skiing, getting back on that TRX, boys swim meets, a family trip, times with friends, football games, track work, getting trained and ready for a 40th birthday party happening in Louisville next year (IM Birthday Smashfest Hillary Biscay style), and lets not forget the Ironman World Championship this Saturday where our local favorite Rick is going to smash it up.  (There is going to be a post on that Fun-Fest coming up tomorrow and how Rick has been such a driving force for Ironman in our community.  Nancy and Rick have been keeping us updated on the happenings in Kona.  Can’t wait till next year!). 

So no matter what struggles you may be facing…go out there and EMBRACE THEM!!  It’s better to face them!

 

 

Green Smoothies by the Basala Boys

We (the boys of this house) are in our 4th week of pre-season swim team and our appetites are huge, like always hungry, so we are making more smoothies than ever before.  We’ve decided to try to skip all the junk food that’s out there.  We wanted to share the following smoothie recipe with you as its so good, and you can’t even taste the kale or spinach.

Place the ingredients in Vitamix (blender) in the following order:

  • kale and/or spinach (2 handfuls of it, be sure to wash it)
  • about 1/2-1 cup of drinkable yogurt (we use Organic Valley’s Vanilla Live yogurt)
  • frozen fruit about 2 cups (peaches, strawberries, pineapple, grapes, and mango)
  • 1 peeled beet
  • 1 peeled and cleaned out apple
  • small amount of water to help make is smooth…get it…smoothie.

Have fun making this.  It will also keep you healthy, and our mom said we will swim and run better than if we ate junk food.  Our friends also like this.  My mom’s friend never lets her boys see the color of it until they first take a sip of it.  So you might want to blindfold your kid first than have him drink from a straw.  He will like it for sure. 

 

 

 

 

Second Chances – A Different View

Recovery, recovery, recovery, and more recovery has been the theme the last three weeks.  It has been a mixed bag of emotions.  There has been a lot of time with family and friends, which has included lots of coffee, dog park action, lunches, football games, bike rides, cheering my cousin on in her first marathon, rocking it all day at Ironman Wisconsin, and planning for ski season.  This has all been the plus side of recovery and I wouldn’t change this part for anything.  Then there is the downside, and what I miss the most is TRX work/metabolic training and running.  I know that this is going to come with time, but I am just not the most patient person when it comes to these two things.  This has been so hard.  Never have I longed for a long run on a treadmill so badly.   On the positive side is that I am back in the pool and biking again.  So 2 out of 3 isn’t so bad.  I need to remind myself of that daily!

Today I had my 2 week post surgery check up.  As I was waiting for my appointment a man in a wheel chair that he operated by blowing through a straw commented on my shoes.  So began a conversation about shoes and running.  He told me how much he missed running, as since the accident he wasn’t able to anymore.  My feelings of disappointment of only making it the 2 mile mark running today quickly disappeared.  This stranger had just given me a different view of my recovery.  As one day I am going to be doing all the swimming, biking, and running as I want to, and he’ll never get the chance again.  I never got his name or much details of his accident, but I wish him the absolute best, and would welcome a chance to get to talk to him again one day and thank him. 

I also realized today that I was given a second chance at Ironman, as it was clearly explained to me today how lucky I was.  As by all standards things could’ve turned very bad.  So it’s a second chance not only at Ironman, but a lot of things in life.  My doctor and I discussed the risks of doing another Ironman again due to what happened this year, and yes there will be another Ironman next year, but there’s going to be a lot of “figuring things out”, especially when it comes to hydration.  I am a heavy sweater, and I walk the fine line of not drinking enough and taking in too much.  If anyone has any ideas or can refer me to a source I’d appreciate it.  I got lucky this year….my kidneys didn’t shut down or fail…but I can’t take that risk again.  While Ironman is great, my family, health, and friends will always come first. 

So for the time being I am going to keep focusing on the positive things of recovery, and hope that each day there is more strength and endurance in me. 

For those that are training for Kona I am thinking of each of you, and so proud of you!  Keep the dream alive my friends!  Aloha!!

🙂  Kim

2011 Ironman Louisville – Never, Never Give Up!

Well, it’s almost been two weeks now that I crossed the finish line at Ironman Louisville for the 4th time, and I’ll have to say each time I cross it, it’s an amazing feeling no matter how many times I’ve been there.  I’ve really thought long and hard how exactly I was going to write-up this race report as the days leading up to race day, race day itself, and the week following was filled with so many highs and lows.  Today as I was sitting having lunch and coffee digesting Ironman with Rick and Nancy I glanced down at my wrist and quickly knew how I was going to talk about 2011 Ironman Louisville.  On my right wrist I wear a bracelet given to me for my birthday (Friday before race day) by someone I respect as an athlete, individual, and has given much of her life to the sport of swimming and triathlon.  She is a mentor to me as well as many other athletes and the bracelet really sums up this entires year’s journey.  So here it is.

Training for this year really began last October.  We had been to the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii and I came back fired up.  I started training with Breeda and I think at best we could call my overall strength as very minimal at this point last fall.  I remember the first core session and I was actually intimidated by a TRX band, and thinking I was the biggest klutz.  Together we started out with small goals, and quickly over time we worked our way up to longer intervals, more burpies, faster running paces, and other good stuff.  We also looked at my diet, way of training, intensity, duration, etc., made a plan, thus started the journey to Louisville 2011.  I really do believe that any goal in life is achievable when you start out small, have a good plan, and a great support system.  I learned so much early on, and it was a beginning of a great relationship.

January soon rolled around and I was FINALLY getting faster at running.  It seemed like for so long I couldn’t break the mold of long and slow, and with some gut wrenching track work I finally was getting some speed.  During this time I made it known to some close friends that “yes, indeed I wanted to go into Louisville with eyes on maybe picking up a Kona spot.”  It was a lofty goal, and under this goal we had many sub goals that we wanted to achieve.  We had been to Kona to see Rick race, and I had some years of dropping some considerable time on the same course, and it quickly made me think “how much more can I do”.  I had vowed that even if I didn’t make it to Kona this year, that I’d continue this big dream of mine in the years to come.  I truly think anytime you enter into such a demanding endurance event that crossing the finish line should be your first goal, and then let your other goals be “chasers”.  For me personally dreaming big pushes me as an individual, in all of my training and life activities throughout the training year.  And like I tell my boys, once you have a dream and you talk about it openly, you “cement it”. 

After almost an entire year of a change in training, nutrition, and several other lifestyle changes we were headed down back to Louisville on Thursday, August 25th.  We (Joel, Thomas, and I) actually arrived earlier in the afternoon, and we were able to not rush to athlete check-in.  It was a much more relaxed drive down.  Got checked in, and later meet the rest of the Stevens Point gang and went to the Hard Rock. 

The next day, Friday, Derek and I planned to do our annual pre-ride the course.  The whole support crew comes along, we do lunch in LaGrange, and I would say it ranks as one of my favorite things to do during race week.  We rode about 20 miles of the technical parts of the course, and headed back into Louisville to get ready for the Welcome Banquet.  At the banquet we meet up with Hillary and what fun that was, and had a little conversation with Mike Riley. 

 

Saturday morning came quickly and Rick and I meet up with our families down at the Ohio River for the practice swim.  I couldn’t believe how warm the water was.  There didn’t seem to be too much of a current, and after a 20 minute swim called it good.  We spent the rest of the day getting organized for bike and gear check in, and did some sight-seeing around town. 

Race day morning was pretty uneventful.  The plan was to meet up with Derek, and get to the swim start as soon as we could to avoid being in the back of the line for the time trial start unique to Ironman Louisville.  It was nice to have the family along, and it just set the tone for the day…lots of laughs, and Derek and I were pretty calm, and I didn’t sense any nervousness from either one of us. 

THE SWIM: 2.4 miles

Shortly after 7:00 a.m. we were off and swimming.  Heading up Toe Head Island was easier this year.  It didn’t seem like anyone else was swimming, and for the first time at an Ironman I wasn’t having to swim over anyone and things were going smoothly.  As we headed a tad out beyond the island we then turned around the furthest bouy and began swimming down river.  Everything seemed to be going well.  I kept reminding myself to keep focused on what I was doing…swimming…and not even think of the biking and running that lay ahead.  I thought of many people along the way down the Ohio, and just kind of talked to myself.  At one point during the swim I felt like I was cramping in my right side and I attributed to it at the time that I was doing too quick of a stroke turnover.  I slowed down my turnover and tried to extend myself further out.  I exited the water, was happy with my time, and now it was transition time.

T1

I quickly ran through transition and was handed off my bike bag.  I don’t remember having any volunteer help me in the midst, but one yelled from the tent as I was exiting that she’d put my bag all back together.  It was now time to settle in on the bike.

BIKE 112 miles

If there is one thing I really like about the IM Louisville is the bike course.  You get a longer stretch of flat going out and coming into downtown Louisville.  I’ve always used this stretch of the course to “settle in” going out and “settling down” coming back in.  The bike seemed to go really fast this year.  I think coming back year after year you know the course better, and can breakdown the 112 miles a lot easier.  By far one of the highlights for me is seeing family and friends in LaGrange.  It’s a quick bike thru, but it lifts a spirit by leaps and bounds.  The one thing I noticed this year was how much easier it was climbing the hills, and I wasn’t so gassed after doing so.  After passing through LaGrange the second time it occurred to me that I hadn’t used the bathroom, nor did I have the urge to, and I was taking in 1-2 bottles of liquid an hour.  This brought on a little concern, but I forged ahead.  Slowly after about mile 70 my right side of my abdomen started feeling “full”, and bloated.  It was there, but not painful.  Towards the end I was getting tired of being on the bike, that kind of feeling that you just want to throw the thing away, I was tired of the wind, and wanted to run. 

T2

Came into T2 and it was pretty uneventful.  Nothing beats the feeling of trying to run after 112 miles of rolling hill biking.  But I was so eager to run.

RUN- 26.2 miles

I had finally reached a point with Ironman where I was excited to run the marathon after a long bike.  I am incredibly grateful for such an amazing training plan put together by Breeda.  Unknown to me when I started out on the run  that a solid year of training with Breeda, a will to never give up, and the support of my family, friends, and a few racing out on the course (Rick, Derek, and Hillary) would be the “fuel” that kept me running through a motherload of unexplainable pain. 

I ran out of T2 with a smile on, and so glad to be using my running legs.  By mile 2, which placed me up on the bridge over the Ohio I realized how bad my right side hurt.  In a desperate attempt to make things better quickly I made myself sick, and it relieved a lot of the pressure I was feeling.  I came running off the bridge on pace and life was good.

 I yelled to Joel and Thomas (maybe Nancy was there…not sure) a quick hi, and was on my way.  As I was running I thought of a lot of things, but most of all these thoughts floated in my head the first 12 miles: “never, never give up”, and “geez….I am finally running like I want to be.  So thankful!”  Somewhere around mile 12-13 it felt like I had been shot in my right side.  I kept looking for a wound or blood streaming down.  I quickly found some relief breathing like I learned to in child-birth classes.  Yes…this was worse pain than child-birth. The worse was stopping at aid stations and then having to start running again.  I remember every time gritting my teeth and screaming, as it hurt so bad.  The only other thing I remember is getting a nudge from Diane somewhere on the course, saying “go” to Rick, Derek, and Hillary.  I remember nothing else.  From what I’ve been told I was “ugly”.  I didn’t have anything good to say.  In hindsight I am glad I don’t remember that run.  It’s almost as though someone was looking out for me that turned my mind off, and saved me from being intimidated by that run in the future.

THE FINISH LINE- 140.6 miles

I do remember lighting up like a Christmas tree coming down 4th Street to that finish line. It’s the most amazing and undescribable feeling coming down that finish chute.  A smile emerged on my face and it felt just as magical as the first time.  When I crossed and stopped it felt as the though I had entered another world.  I had a smile one minute, and the next minute was grimacing in pain.  It was as though my body couldn’t decide what it wanted to do.  I was 45 minutes faster than I was in 2010 and almost 4 1/2 hours from my first IM in Louisville in 2008.  I was happy with my time.

I had the greatest volunteer at the finish line and she stayed with me for a while, and before long I was on my way with Joel and Thomas to get a massage.  IM Louisville by far has the BEST volunteers hands down!!  Thank you to each and everyone of you!

Once we got to the massage area and I was ready to check in but I had forgotten my name, race number, or where I was from.  I asked for a bag, and was quickly brought over to medical.  When I arrived in medical they told me my blood pressure was low.  I knew the numbers, but what I didn’t realize is how dangerously low it was.  3 IV bags later I was on my way, and back in the hotel.  Something I do remember from the time I crossed the finish line to getting back to the hotel was walking with Rick and Nancy and joking that I wanted to stop at White Castle and the Love Boutique. (inside joke, but it made me feel normal again).  I am so thankful for Joel- thanks for getting my bike and gear, dealing with medical, and the endless race day support;  Thomas- you are a trooper.  Not only did you get to see another Ironman, but you learned what happens in medical, and you’re still so excited to do an Ironman; Rick and Nancy- what can I say.  You are not only my stone, but my family’s stone when it comes to these crazy things we do, and you’ve played such a big part in this lifestyle.  Thanks for helping us out in medical.  (The most exciting news that I got in medical that Rick had placed first in his age group by over 1:20 and was headed back to Kona.  It was the icing on top of the IV bags).

At the awards banquet Thomas got to meet up with Big Sexy again (Chris McDonald).  One of the things we love about Ironman is the inspiration that our kids get from not only the age-groupers but the pros as well. 

A lot has happened since that August 28th night when I crossed that finish line.  We returned home to Wisconsin and in the days after the race I really felt miserable and still in pain on my right side.  I was hospitalized for three days and a week ago today I had my gallbladder and appendix removed and had a liver biopsy.  The doctors have concluded that on race day I had a gallbladder attack, and my body was fighting through it, and how I ever finished that Ironman is truly a miracle.  They have no answers on how I did it.  Had I not adopted a healthier lifestyle (more plant-based) during this past year this most likely would’ve happened sooner. 

This year has been life changing for me in so many ways, and I am thankful for all the gains I’ve made and I can’t wait to get back to training.  I’ve had a lot of time to think lately, to read, to talk with friends, those that I respect in the sport, and I am lucky on how things turned out on race day.  The numbers and symptoms weren’t in my favor yet I pulled through.  And I couldn’t have done it alone.  I have so many people to thank for a great year, and I am afraid I am going to leave someone out- Joel, Thomas, Henry, Sam, Breeda and family(Get Fit Now LLC), Grandma Billie, my local Ironman/triathlon family, my friends who’ve stood by me through the thick and thin, the Hostel Shoppe, Dr. Wally at ProActive Wellness, DivePoint Scuba and Adventure Center, and many more that I am accidentally forgetting.  Without all of you, Ironman wouldn’t have been possible. 

Thank you also to Ministry Health Care- Dr. Selwyn, Dr. Swiecki, Dr. Shittu, Clare Cullen, and staff, for such great care and getting me back closer to good health so that I can be swimming, biking, and running soon again.  Your honesty, persistence, and care was amazing.  Keep doing what you’re doing, and Dr. Shittu- keep on biking as I’ll be looking for you when I am! 

Thanks again Breeda for “taking me on” and here’s to 2011, and looking forward to 2012!

In the meantime I am in some serious recovery mode.  This has been the hardest part of the year.  All of a sudden what you love doing is taken out from under you.  I am looking forward to coming back stronger and I am anxious to see what 2012 holds in store. 

Thanks again for all your support, and remember no matter what kind of race you’re training for in life, you have the ability to change other’s lives along the way. 

In health!

Kim

The BEST Taper Week EVER!!!!

This past week has been the best taper week a girl could ask for.  Lots of resting, catching up, and fun has been the norm here.  Usually by now I am climbing the walls, but I have surprised myself and I am enjoying this week to the max.  But the itch and desire to race is building everyday, and I can’t wait to get in the Ohio River come Sunday morning, and put the icing on top of this season. 

Hillary

We got a big surprise Friday when we received a message came from one of our favorite pro athletes Hillary letting us know she’s going to be racing Sunday in Louisville.  In 2008, in my first Ironman in Louisville,  I remember her racing, and a week later we got to see her get her big Ironman win in Madison.  That’s right….she went back to back weekends doing an Ironman.  She is an incredible athlete and inspires so many.  Earlier this year she had a contest and I thought what the heck…put my goals out there, and in the end it really helped me commit to making some difficult changes across the board.  Over the course of this year I’ve learned Hillary and I have a lot in common, and there have been many, many mornings when the alarm would go off at 4:00 a.m. and I’d be dragging.  A quick click on one of Hillary’s new blog postings and I’d be fired up and out the door.  We are looking forward to meeting you Hillary, in-person, and everyone please be cheering for this girl on Sunday!  By the way…she’s not only a great athlete, but very giving of her time and talent back to the Ironman and triathlon community. 

Nancy - Mega Iron Spouse

Sunday we had our Ironman gathering and it really drove home why I do what I do, and it sure isn’t for the money, as there is none involved.  It’s because of the great people the sport allows you to meet along the way, and the opportunity it provides.  Here are a few pictures of the gang’s biggest supporters.  Without the spouses and all of their support it just wouldn’t happen for us.  Much, much thanks to all of you!

Deb and Kari

Nancy and Joel

Nancy and Joel

Bill and Nancy

What I came away with Sunday night after our get-together is how driven this group is this year, and the friendships that have developed.  There are some awesome dreams hanging out there, and I just can’t wait to see how it unfolds on Sunday.  I hope EVERY GOAL IS SMASHED TO PIECES!!  There is going to be some good times in FUNtucky starting Thursday! Ahh…and rumor is there is going to be some bull riding after!

This week has also been filled with some much-needed coffee dates with friends, and an overdue meeting that just needed to occur.  Lots of catching up and caffeine. 

Shelley

Yesterday got another whooping surprise that my friend Shelley was volunteering in the women’s changing tent in T2!!!  YES, YES, YES!  I appreciate all the volunteers and its going to be great having Shelley in T2 as that is a critical area for me, and I know Shelley knows her stuff, and will help many athletes have a quick T2.  Thanks so much Shelley, and I can’t wait to see you.  But we’ll have to chat later, as I have to make it a quick one!!

Breeda

Today my body got some much “kneaded” work, and I’d have to say it was the best massage these legs have ever received.  They feel absolutely marvelous!  Thanks Breeda!

Hope everyone is having a great week.  Enjoy!

Loving My Local Bike Shop

Hostel Shoppe in Stevens Point, WI

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts this is the year of change, so to keep with the theme very early in the season I was talking with Scott at my favorite local bike shop- The Hostel Shoppe– on what we were going to do for a bike for me this year.  The last 3 years I’ve ridden my Blue, and I always felt it fit like a glove and rode well.  Knowing I wanted to step it up a notch this year we began looking at other bikes on the market, and we soon discovered that even the extra small frames were too big for me. 

One thing I did know is that I wanted to keep working with the Hostel Shoppe as they’ve been a big supporter of our family since the day we moved to Wisconsin.  In fact I remember Joel and I going into their old shop downtown when we were house hunting as I needed a winter jacket, and Barb (one of the owners) helping us prepare for the Wisconsin winters, and directing us to a restaurant for dinner that night.  It’s not any surprise that on my side of the family that we would know the owners of a bike shop before ever buying a house in an area we were moving to.  We love to bike.  That initial friendly and good service exchange paved the way for a beginning of a long relationship with Rolf and Barb, and the rest of the staff at the Hostel Shoppe.

The conclusion Scott and I came to was keep the Blue frame as fits, and go ahead and replace the components.  My choice of components without a doubt were SRAM Red, and Scott and Jitters found some sweet racing wheels for me- Rovals.  I am happy with my decisions and feel both have been good investments.  Bike racing has always been my passion since I was 7 years old, and I think it will always be.

BOB

Over the winter and early spring my body really changed and I was having a lot of issues with my bike fitting.  I felt one day I’d be comfortable on the bike, and the next day not so much, and I was making too many minor adjustments, and still it wasn’t feeling 100%.  Scott had taken an extensive course in bike fitting out in California over the winter, so I scheduled an appointment with him, and he was really able to key in on some very minor details, that over 112 miles become a big deal.  He was able to position me in a way where my legs would feel “fresher” coming off of the bike and onto that marathon.  A better aero position was achieved, and I felt so much more comfortable.  Thanks so much Scott!!!

Scott

 Another thing I love about the shop are the “boys” on the maintenance/repair side.  They are like brothers to me, as I can joke around with them, and as they’ve learned over time  I pretty much say it as it is.  They crack me up.  Mikey just finished working on my bike and getting it ready for Louisville last night, and what I appreciate about him is that he tolerates my pickiness.  I like certain things set/positioned a certain way and I never have to ask him to do things a certain way as he just knows.  Not to mention the entire staff will take the time to make things right in a real pinch.  I’ve seen them over and over again service the bikes they sell in some really tight and critical situations.  They have made many race days for many triathletes in this area the very best that they can be.  The extra distance they go to for their customers is very much appreciated by so many athletes.

Mikey

 When fall sets in soon the shop is filled with cross-country skis, snowboards, and snowshoes, and its a winter lover’s paradise.  So no matter what the season, the Hostel Shoppe always has something to keep all of us busy and in shape. 

Thank you so much to everyone at the shop for all the support, putting in and getting my special orders of First Endurance gluten-free nutrition, staying on top of getting the LG Vortice aero helmet in, great and friendly service, all the behind the scenes end of the business, and story telling sessions, which have always provided lots of smiles and laughs.  We are so lucky to have you in our community!  Here’s to a great bike leg of Ironman!!!

Marky-Mark

 

Surprise Taper Friday

Today was filled with many BIG surprises beginning this morning with a Facebook message that totally took me by surprise and has fired me up even more for race day!  I don’t want to say a lot now, but hopefully by next week I’ll be able to mention it on here.  It’s all very good and this event has turned the Basala Family Ironman Adventures to Louisville even more special. 

Another surprise landed in my emails this morning and as it turns out Breeda is getting very video savvy on me.  (We’re not competitive at all 😉 ) She created this:

This video makes me want to hop on our TRX and Rip Trainer and do a quick session, but it’s not in the plan, so it will have to wait till early September.  The one thing that it does make me realize is how much I’ve come to enjoy core work and the daily challenges that Ironman training can create.  While I remain the patient during this taper period, I am ready to rock and roll.

My bike is getting its final check-over/tune-up at The Hostel Shoppe as I type from my buddy Mikey.   Make it fast Mikey!!  Tomorrow I’ll write more about my favorite local bike shop and all that we’ve been through this year in dealing with bike “shrinking” pains, and how they totally pulled through for me once again! 

Have a great weekend, be safe, and happy training!!  For those of you tapering….ENJOY!!!