Monday, April 28, 2008

Go Xian Go!.........

Yesterday we took Xian to the Scenic City Triathlon so he could do his second race ever. The course for the little ones was a run/bike/run. The weather was bad (rainy and overcast), but this did not stop Xian from being ultra-competitive. It was so cool to see that look of determination on his face. The last time he was so new to racing that he didn't know what to think of it all. Now he knows what he's gotta do..... and he LOVES it! With that said Xian took home first place for his age group! This morning on the way to school he asked "when is my next race?". How cool is that?!

While we were there we learned that my brother had done the race.... placing 3rd in his age group. Very nice! Also.... my friend Cat won the Athena division! I am so proud of her as she has been taking my advice on training for this event!

For me.... it was a tough decision not to do this race, but I am still recovering from Ironman. I must keep telling myself this.... atleast for another week or two.........

Friday, April 25, 2008

The last day of our trip.....

Our trip finally had come to it's end on Monday. We stayed Sunday night in a Hotel in Phoenix so we'd be close by the airport for our departure.

Good-bye Arizona..... I hope to visit you again sometime in the near future. Not for an Ironman, but maybe a trail race. There is the Rim to Rim race at the Grand Canyon........uhmmmm....just maybe......

Sedona, AZ........

Sedona, AZ is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Take a look at these pictures and I think you'll agree with me.

Saturday morning we arrived at the Pink Jeep headquarters for our 3 hour tour. We lucked out and got an excellent tour guide who was very informative on Sedona history, geology and more. We learned about the different layers of rock and eras in which they occured and in addition to a great lesson we went for an awesome 4x4 Jeep adventure! Later that afternoon.... Trey and I rented some mountain bikes and hit some trails. Wow.... Sedona has some of the greatest trails I've ever seen and they are everywhere! The rest of Saturday was spent haging out at the pool and shopping. That night Trey and I took the kids to a great restaurant called Cowboy Club. This was the best food I had while in Arizona.

Sunday morning we drove over to Oak Creek Canyon for a light hike along the creek. After this we did a bit more shopping and grabbed some lunch and we were set to head out. On the way from Sedona to Phoenix we stopped to see a chapel built in the rocks and the Montezuma Castle. Both of these were very much worth the tiny detour we had to take in order to see them.

Grand Canyon Express......

Thursday night we stayed in Williams, AZ. Hometown of the Grand Canyon Express. Friday morning we went to the depot and boarded for a 2 hour train ride to the Grand Canyon. Once we arrived to the Canyon we had 4 hours to sight-see, eat and so forth before we boarded again. The pictures of the Canyon truly do no justice to what the human eye sees while there.

Once back to Williams we drove through Flagstaff on our way to Sedona. We passed by the San Francisco Peaks (over 12,000 feet in elevation). They were covered with snow and absolutely breathtaking. We rolled into Sedona around 8:00 pm.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Havasu Falls.....

Wednesday morning we headed out of Kingman, AZ to an Indian Reservation about an hour and a half up the road. From there we put on our backpacks and gear and descended into the Canyon where Havasu Falls is located. Along the way we ran into a nice guy on a horse who gave us a tiny history lesson on fossils in the canyon. Gage thought this was so cool. At mile 10 we entered the Supai Village where we had a quick lunch and continued 2 more miles to the campgrounds. The views/scenery were outstanding. We were a bit saddened to see the horses coming and going with people's stuff on their backs as it looked as if they were not well taken care of. Glad we did not opt to use them to haul our stuff in.... I would have felt so guilty.

After we got tents pitched and settled in me, Trey Gage and Xian went out for a baby hike so we could see the falls. We saw Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls. This was spectacular! The water was freezing cold though! That night the temperatures fell into the low 30's, but we had all the right gear and were just fine.

The next morning we packed up and hiked 2 miles back to Supai Village where we caught a helicopter back to where we started. The helicopter ride was awesome and made me realize how far we had descended to get to our destination. Once we were all back to the car we left out for Williams, AZ.

Hoover Dam....

We drove up to Hoover Dam Tuesday morning. Wow.... what a site. These pictures really do no justice in how large this structure is. We took the tour and learned alot of valuable information. It's truly amazing how much power this dam creates for California, Nevada and Arizona. We were also lucky enough to see the construction of an arched bridge in which the new Highway will cross to ease up the traffic going over the top of the dam. Once completed.... this will be the largest arched bridge in the Western Hemisphere. Amazing.

After the tour we headed over to Boulder , NV for a nice lunch at the Boulder Dam Brewery and then hit the road for Kingman, AZ.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The day after Ironman.... vacation begins.....

The next morning after Ironman we scurried over to the race site to pick-up special needs bags, ship the bike back and to purchase some IM finisher's merchandise. After we were done with this we finished up packing and hit the road for Laughlin, NV.

It was beautiful heading north through the state as the scenery changed quite a bit along the way. Trey had booked us a room at Harrah's Casino on the Colorado River. Once we were there I walked around on my tight and tired legs to try and loosen them up and topped it off with some time in the hot tub. Later that night I tried my luck on the penny slots and won over $40.00. Wow.... who would have thought?! Trey was over at the Russian Roulette table and was up $80.00. We both left while we were up and went back to the room to get some needed rest.

Tomorrow we head to the Hoover Dam.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Raceday.... Ironman Arizona.....

Well...I am officially an Ironman for the second time! With that said…. You’d think it gets easier the second time around, but nothing could be farther from the truth. I spent the better part of the last year preparing for this event juggling a full-time job, family and many other responsibilities. Training through the winter months for this early season race was HARD. Not only does training on days when temperatures are 30 degrees and below stink, but not having any company while out there did not help either. Winter months seem to be the time when most are doing reduced volume and focusing most anything but training. There were so many Saturdays and Sundays that I'd be out on the bike all day and/or running and/or swimming and I missed spending time with Trey (my husband) and my boys. Trey’s incredible support has allowed me to follow my dreams and do things I once never thought possible in the sport of triathlon. 10 years ago I would have never imagined that I would complete an Ironman as it was a struggle for me to complete one full lap around the local track. And yet….here I am.

My Ironman Arizona Race report:

The swim:
The water was COLD (64 degrees). It was a mass start that started in the water. This meant we had to swim out and wade in the water for 10min or so before the gun went off. I start off and immediately my goggles fog.... This goes on for the first 20-25min..... Panic sets in and I finally end up spitting in them. It worked. Can't remember who told me this would work, but it did.... thank-god. I pull myself together and proceed with the swim passing back most of the people who had passed me during my goggle episode. It was difficult to find any clean water to swim in...... there were people any way I went. My finish time is nowhere where it should have been, but at this point I'm glad the swim is over.

The bike:
After the first transition I wheel out onto the bike course for 3 loops. First loop is WINDY as hell all the way out to the turnaround and temperatures are beginning to rise. Luckily the wind did help some on the return. Second loop is even MORE WINDY than the first and temperatures are just plain HOT. I opt to stop for my special needs bag and loose some clothing hoping to cool down some. Third loop is about like the second. This time I stop for a restroom break on the return. During the whole bike I hydrated and ate 2 gels and took 2 edurolytes per hour as Carole (my coach) had suggested. The bike course was tough due to the wind and heat (at one point I rode through a dust storm), but somehow I was able to pass a ton of people. I finally make it to transition area and dismount the bike and feel pretty good.

The run:
After the second transition I head out a very HOT run course for 3 loops. There was NO shade to be found and my tummy was not welcoming any gel for the first 3/4 of the run. I continue with fluids and endurolytes. Due to the heat and multiplying blisters on my toes I knew this run was going to take far longer than I wanted so I kept telling myself to hang in there and do the best I could. There were periods of walking and periods of running, but I knew I would finish this damn thing one way or the other. Luckily Trey ran some of the run with me and it was nice to have some company. People were dropping like flies on the course (later I find out some 350 people dropped out)..... I feel very fortunate to have stuck in there and finished. Crossing the finish line was every bit as special to me as when I completed my first Ironman. Hearing the words "Dreama Campbell YOU ARE an Ironman" on a day with less than desirable conditions is proof that I can overcome so much in life and hope that I can continue to inspire others along the way.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Time to get chores done..... 7 days and counting....

This morning Trey and I slept in as we had a babysitter last night. WOW.... that was nice. I finally feel caught up on sleep and rest! After we got up, read the paper and ate some breakfast we went over to Lookout Mtn to run some trails for an hour. Carole only had me scheduled for an hour and was very clear that I should not go over an hour....even if I was tempted to do otherwise. I took her advise and followed the plan. This left the rest of the day to get some things done around the house that have been neglected for sometime now. I happily mowed the lawn, trimmed some trees/shrubs and even came in to vaccum the entire house. Tomorrow we will finish the cleaning on the inside so Joey will have a clean place to house sit while we are gone.

This time next week I'll be doing an Ironman!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Good news...Good news!..... 8 days and counting.....

What's the good news?..... The bike arrived there yesterday according to Fed Ex and the water temperature in Tempe Town Lake is up to 69 degrees!!!!

These are both things I VERY much needed to know. Hopefully that water temperature will just keep rising.

Today I only had to put in 1.5hours on the bike with some intervals. I opted to do this on the trainer since we are having more rainy/dreary weather. Tomorrow's forecast is looking sweet....which is good as I'm due an hour of running and hope to go for a hike afterwards.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My last IM speed workout!!.... 12 days and counting.....

I'm so excited that today was the last IM speed workout session!!! I decided to move things away from the after my warm-up I headed over to the Walnut Street Bridge for 1/2 mile repeats. This worked out great as there was much more to spectate in comparsion to the boring track.

Earlier today I put in a core/strength session and a session in the pool as well. Tomorrow is an "optional" 45min bike.

Raceday is SO close. The TT bike shipped out yesterday afternoon thanks to Noah and Eric at River City Bicycles. I am making an effort to get plenty of sleep and eat well. Just wish there was something I could do to settle the nerves too!