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June 2010

Abuelitos

Grandparents

Seeing them after 17 years is a beautiful thing. I am truly blessed! They are my Granparents but they are more than that to me--they gave me what no one else would: they took care of me, they raised me, they loved me. I am who I am this day because of them. I love them so much.

MyGrandparents


Ragnar 2010

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Sasquatch Backs & Babes Team aka You-Cannot-Hold-Back Awesomeness Team!

Hubby and I participated in our very first Ragnar team. We have to admit that we went into it with really high expectations. Everyone around us kept telling us that this race is one of the best ones out there and to expect loads of fun. As we were preparing for it, it really didn't feel like a race, it felt more like a camping trip! We had so much to pack and so much to remember that I was getting a bit crabby about the entire thing. However, the race itself was quite a blast! I loved my team. Each one of them was so strong and they showed so much enthusiasm for everyone in the van. 

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I renamed my team as YOU-CANNOT-HOLD-BACK-AWESOMENESS team because that's what we were, we were just so freaking awesome. Even in the middle of the night, the team was out there cheering, while one or two of the team tried to take a nap, others made sure that the person running was "cheered on" and well supplied with water. Our van captain, Shane, was amazing! Each time one of us had to go on our running leg, he was there to see us off and to cheer us on. 

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My favorite part about the race had to be cheering my team and others around me. Each time the course got hard, and it did quite often, we all made sure to cheer not only for our team member but for the others along the road. You could see that our cheers made such a huge difference and even at the end some of the other team members came and said to us that our cheering made a huge difference for them during the difficult parts of the Ragnar hill. 

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The running part itself wasn't bad. I think my body is getting used to all the running around, either that or I am not feeling the soreness anymore. My first leg went smoothly despite the heat. My first mile, I clocked in at around 7:20 mile then the next one around 7:50, and the others were around the 8 minutes. The middle leg was around 12:15am...yep, AM!!!! I for sure told myself that I had taken this whole running thing to an entire new level of crazy!!! However, as I stood waiting for my relay partner to arrive to give me the bracelet and I kept seeing all the other runners taking off, the excitement got to me. I had a moderate 3.8 miler ahead of me and I felt ready for it. As I took off on the second leg wearing my flashing butt lap, flashing vest and headlamp, I felt like a human-Christmas-Tree running around. My eyes took awhile to adjust to all the flashing lights around and I just had to concentrate on following one with one eyes otherwise I started to feel dizzy. One gal even had flashing lights down her legs--talk about giving me a headache! The moderate was more uphill than anything, nice big rolling hills. At the first chance of downhills, I took advantage and just simply let my body go down the hills--passing guys on the run is one of my favorite parts ;) and I did pass quite a few. Actually, in all my three legs, I passed over 60 people and got passed by only 2, both males in the Ultra division teams, both of them from some college team. 

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My body was tired from the previous week, my legs weren't but I knew that I couldn't pull an all nighter, so after my second leg, around 1:00am, I chugged down 2 Tylenol PM and some food and fell asleep. I woke up next morning at 8am, ready for my last leg. As soon as I woke up, the first words out of my mouth were "Sam, were is my Garmin". He had worn it for his last leg to help him keep track of his mileage. Soon enough we found out that we had lost the garmin at one of the many exchanges. I was distraught! I seriously didn't know if I could continue running. I am so attached to that darn thing that I told the team that I didn't know if I could run without out it, at least not this course that I didn't know. I like to use it so I can know the pace I am running, it pushes me to run a bit faster. I was sad. I was upset. I went and took a shower to cool off but I was still sad. Hubby was sad and he felt so bad about the entire thing. He had given me that Garmin just last year as a present and now it was lost. 

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When it was time for my last leg around 10am, my awesome team member Ashley let me borrow her Garmin--she is a rockstar!!! As I got all ready, putting "armour" on: Garmin, roadID, Bib #, shoes, visor, glasses, fairy wings, I felt ready. I envisioned the entire last leg, 4+ miles, I wanted to give it my all, my very best, despite the tired legs. I told my team that I needed water around mile 1 and also a GU. My relay team member arrived and as we exchanged bracelets and I told her that she had now done and she could relax, I took off, with wings flying in the back. I started off at a nice fast pace (for me) around a 7:30 pace, tried to keep it for as long as I could, moving a bit to the 8:30s and back and forth. During this leg was when the two Ultras passed me...a little crestfallen but not defeated I kept checking the Garmin to make sure that I would keep on pace. As I approached the end of my leg, I could see and hear my team, I got all happy knowing that 1)they were there 2) this was the end of my racing for the day, so I picked up the pace to the very end.

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I don't have exact times for my three legs as well the Garmin is MIA but I remember more or less that they were as follows: Leg 1: 8:05 Leg 2: 8:45 Leg 3: 8:03 (this one I am pretty sure it was that).

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The race was a great one overall! I loved my team, they were all so awesome and they all worked so hard to meet their times. Their support and their smiles made me keep going whenever it got really hot or whenever the hills got steep. I *LOVED* that my hubby did the race with me. I love that he was always there to support me and to tell me that I looked so hot in my running clothes--to the point that he asked me if I wanted to be turned on, hahahaha, alright inside joke LOL. My vest needed to be switched on and he just blurted out in the van "do you want me to turn you on" to which we just all starting laughing so hard :). The things that come out of our mouths in the middle of the night :). Ragnar 2010 gets a 10+!!!

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Garmin update: My garmin was found and they contacted me too! You want to know who found it? I am so freaking stoked about it--Seth Wold! Winner of the Ogden 2009 Marathon!!! Yes, the very same Seth Wold! Not only did he find it but he took the time to go through my Garmin stats and then he searched through the marathon finishing times to cross reference and then he Googled my name. I am so stoked!!! My Garmin will be coming back to me and I got to exchange emails with a super running star! I feel so honored. Thank you Seth!!! We really didn't know if we were going to be able to replace it anytime soon and then you emailed me with the great news. You made our day, hubby and I owe you big time! We wish you many successes in your life. Thank you!!!



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Thoughts on my Cycling Skills (lack thereof)

Cycling Every runner, cyclist, swimmer, triathlete goes through his/her race in his/her mind not once nor twice but many times. The same can be said of me. Boise was and will always be one of the most difficult races that I have put my body through. It wasn't so much physical endurance for me rather it was mental. I was really so afraid of the bike portion that I barely ate the previous three or four days. I would sit down and imagine all the worst possible scenarios. Falling off the bike and being run over by a truck, being hit by a truck, falling off the bike in the bridge portion and my body flying off the side of the bridge to plummet miles and miles down below. I would imagine my poor kids and husband being left alone all because I cannot handle a bike properly.

In reality, I don't think I will ever, ever feel 100% at peace on a bike. I feel truly like a 6 year old in a very fast, sleek machine. At moments, I get so upset because if only I had had a bike as a kid, if only I had learn to ride when I was 10 not 30, if only I could grab my water bottle while riding, if only I could let go off my handlebars to wipe my snot! The anger boils within and it makes me see red and then a thought blooms in the back of my head like a beautiful flower and it sends the message "it will be okay, you can stop and get a drink, you can stop and clean your nose, someone must finish last" then the anger subsides.

I have gone through the entire race in my head so many times, what I could have done better, what I would change. I have learned a lot from this race, I have learned and now I can apply the changes to my next race. I don't know when my next 70.3 will be but I can tell you this much--I will be working really hard this summer to learn to take my hands off my handlebars and at least clean my snotty nose and perhaps with luck I can too learn to get a drink while riding my bike--dreams do come true, so maybe this one will too :).


Ironman Boise 70.3 Race Report


  Boisemosaic

I did it! I did it! I completed my very first Half Ironman!

I was so scared of the entire thing but mostly about the bike portion. I kept imagining all these super fast people and me falling off my bike. There were the fast people but I was nowhere near them. I didn't fall either. 

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Swim: 48 minutes.

Amazing, pristine water! The swim itself: I was all a jumble. I think I started way too far back and then I had to work my way through the peoples and got hit a few times, two of them really badly. On one, I even lost my goggles. I had to stop an put them back on. The second time, one of the guys just hit me right on the noggin and made me see stars. I guess that is the risk one takes when one is slow. Although I was slow, I have to say that the swim was my favorite part of the entire event. I loved being in the water and seeing all the other swimmers. I saw a few of the older gentlemen (who probably toasted me in the bike portion) just doing the breaststroke. Yes, I even stopped a few times and said "good job". I am such a silly person LOL. The water was cold, really cold and I was glad that I had booties to cover my little toes. My hands froze within the first few strokes and I had to concentrate on something else to forget about the cold. As I was getting out of the water, I realized that I never really practiced taking my wetsuit off in a hurry. I was running up the ramp trying to get my hands out and my upper body uncovered then I saw the volunteers there and they told me lay down on my back. Two of them pull the wetsuit off my legs and they even took my little booties off! All of it in less than 10seconds. I was off and and running to get my bike. I got all my stuff on except for sunblock. Yes, my shoulders are sunburn and it hurts to the touch. My transition was long, 5+ minutes. 

BikePortion

Bike: 4:11minutes.

I sucked. I knew I would suck during this portion but I wasn't planning on so much suckiness. I was about 40 minutes past my goal. The wind was a beast and I couldn't defeat it. Each time I thought I would get a break, it just came back harder and hit me in the face...literally. In some portions of the bike course the wind was so bad that it will throw debris my way, probably little itty bitty pieces of dirt but it would hurt so badly when it hit my face and body. The downhills were I thought I would pick up some speed didn't happen due to the wind. I felt I was working harder just trying to keep my bike under me. I remember specially at mile 40 that I was just about to give up, tears were streaming down my face as I kept thinking that I wasn't going to make the cut off time. I saw a few ladies on the side of the road waiting to be picked up. I told them to hang on, to keep going. Darn wind!

I so wished that I knew how to take a drink while riding. I had to stop 4 times to take a drink and nourishment. If I could take my hands off the handlebars, I would have been better hydrated. I am going to look into getting an aero bottle in front of my handlebars.

My transition took some time here too...about 3+ minutes. I don't know what I was doing...not having a picnic for sure! I even forgot to get my hat! I never forget my hat!

Running

Run: 2:31

I was looking forward to this part of the Tri all day. I knew that if anything I could at least walk and there will be no cars to run me over and I can most definitely drink while I walk/run. I had a goal of 2hrs and missed it. My first 6 miles were awesome but the second half was not so awesome. I used the restroom (something I never, ever do) after using the restroom, a pain came in the lower left side of my abdomen that didn't quit. Each time I started running, it would hurt, so I walked. I walked about 3 miles. I was feeling down about walking but then I found a few people who were walking too and we started talking. They made me realize that even though I was walking I was still completing a great task. At mile 9, I decided to keep running, I started running for 2 minutes and walking for 1. Increased it to running 3 and walking 1 and then I just took a nice slow little shuffle that kept me going to the end. 13.1 miles of a slow shuffle. My abdomen still hurt the next day, I don't know what the pain was about but I hope it doesn't happen again.

As I reached the Finish line, I looked around for my family, as I saw them, I heard my name being called out "Isela Phelps from Providence Utah" and next thing I knew I had finished. 70.3 miles done!

Volunteers ran towards me to cover me with a space blanket, asking me if I was okay, if I needed water, gatorade, a chair. Amazing, just amazing support. I bet that if I had been about to faint that not a hair would have touched the ground because 100 volunteers would have reached out to get me.

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As I came out of the Finishers Chute, my little family came running to me. My son had tears in his eyes. My little daughter was on my hubby's shoulders and she reached out to give me a kiss and a hug. My hubby's first words to me: I am so proud of you! I wanted to cry and just melt...my family, my little family was proud of me and they had been there with me all throughout the 70.3 miles.

Overall: It was an amazing, unique, challenging experience. The bike portion tested every single fear within me. The run had an obstacle that I have never experience however it allowed me to enjoy the process. The entire thing is something of dreams. I never thought I could do it. As I biked through the toughest parts, I kept thinking this is my dream, I can do it. I did! I made my dream come true!


A new US Citizen

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After being a resident for a very long time, I decided to take the plunge and apply to become a Citizen. On June 9th, I was granted my US Citizenship! I am so stoked! I was one of 170 candidates that took the oath on June 9th, 2010.

Citizenship

It was truly an amazing experience. I cried, as I usually cry during the anthem, but then at the very end when they played God Bless the USA, I couldn't help it, the tears were just streaming down non-stop. It was a grand day for sure for all of us in that room, a day when dreams became reality!

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During the ceremony, they allowed some of the participants to share a little bit of their background and their hardships that brought them to this point in life. The stories told were all touching and they reminded me of how blessed we truly are in this country. All of them mentioned how proud they felt to finally be a US Citizen. I testify to that same feeling--It is with a full heart that I say GOD BLESS THE USA, my country, my children's country, our country!!!


Nature Strikes Back

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No, this is not a post about the weather, although, perhaps it should be as it has been treating us a little bit harshly up here in the Utah tundra. It is however about the trees in my back yard. I was trying to be all domestic and everything (something I rarely do), so I mowed my lawn first thing in the morning. Then, I moved on to trimming the trees--they are ugly bushes really, nothing to them, they just grow every which way they want. I know very little about yard work and I have no idea how to tend the poor things so I have decided to pull them all out. But before pulling them all out, I decided to give them a good trim.

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I am trimming away, cutting the dead branches, cutting some of the live branches, cutting, cutting, cutting. Next thing I know, one of the branches I cut gets stuck. I drop the cutting tool and grab with both hands the branch and I pull and pull. Next thing I know, I am holding my nose and screaming bloody murder! Stupid branch came out and hit me right on the nose. All I saw was stars, actually, all I saw was black and a searing pain came to my head via my nose. Ouch!

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So there you have it, whenever I try to get domestic I get injured, thus, I have decided to wait until my Abuelitos arrive and then they can help me. I think mother nature will be nicer to them than to me. Plus, I think they will have better ideas on what to plant in those areas or perhaps how to make the ugly bushes look "pretty".

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Last thought: 3 days until Boise 70.3! Help me Rhonda!!!


Busy June

Alright, so you know it has been way too long since you last posted on your blog when 1. You can't remember your login information 2. You haven't taken any pictures to go on the blog. Sad :(.

Recap and a quick list of what's happening this week, next week, the following and to the end of the month.

I didn't think my June was going to be so busy but it turns out that I will be capped to 100 percent.

First week: it saw me running and swimming. Running nothing new. Swimming--well, I went on my very first outdoor swim. It went well overall, except when I freaked out at the beginning. I didn't see anyone and my head was sending the wrong messages to my body. I was able to put myself together and continue and I have to say that after that first and only episode everything went okay.

Yesterday, I participated in the Little Red Riding Hood ride. I wasn't planning to ride 100 miles. I told myself to do 50 miles, perhaps 60, but I was feeling so well at 50 and 60 that I wanted to continue. I couldn't quit at 80 because frankly, 20 miles is just 20 miles. So I continued on, I did take it nice and slow on the last 20 miles, not only because I knew that I needed to but because I was feeling a bit tired. So, nice and slow we finished the 100 miles. It was a great ride. My friend Laurie and I stuck together to the end. We make a good team :). We talked a lot and we survived the huge hill in Preston.

Next week: this coming week has two big milestones. The first one: I have my appointment to take my Citizenship oath on Wednesday. It is not difficult but it is an appointment that I cannot miss.

Saturday, June 12, is the big day. Probably one of the biggest days in my life! It is my first Half Iron Man (HIM). I am scared. I am so scared. I know I can run the course, it will probably be slower than I am used to as I will have tired legs but I know I can walk and run. I also know I can probably, most likely be able to manage the 1.2 miles of swimming, slowly, but I can do it. The bike--the bike is another story. I am afraid. I wish I could ride faster. I wish I was a more accomplished rider who could average 20mph or one who could take a drink while riding. Sigh...I am scared. But, I will get it done...if the weather cooperates. Speaking of the weather--the water temperature is predicted to be around 55 degrees--freezing cold for sure! The 10 day weather forecast predicts showers...showers are great on a run, but suck big time on a bike ride.

Friday and Saturday 18-19th: Ragnar race. Hubby and I are both taking part in it. I have the easiest legs but I still have to run. I have to run at midnight too--hope I am awake enough to get it done.

Saturday 19th--night time: My Momma arrives from NY :). Happy times.

Sunday 20th: My Grandma and Grandpa arrive from AZ to see us :). They have just arrived from Mexico and they are currently visiting my aunt in AZ. I am excited to see them. 18 years is a very long time to go without seeing your Grandma and Grandpa.

To the end of the month: my Momma and Grandma and Grandpa are staying here til the end of the month. We are going to be sure busy taking them around and showing them the sites. I am so excited to be with all of them.