Thursday, September 17, 2009

So, It's Been a Month

...and boy do I have a lot of updates for you! A lot has happened since I last posted. First off, I hurt my foot during my first 20 mile run, and now it's almost healed. I somehow moved a couple bones into the wrong position (weird, I can't imagine how that happened), but my chiropractor has been working on it and it's feeling a lot better. Now, to just get those bones to stay where they should be! It's a work in progress, but my speed training had to take a back seat while I try to heal. No biggie, I just have to readjust my goals for the race and that's A-OK. Sub-4 hour marathon is what I'm shooting for, and if the temperatures continue to drop like says they will all will work out. I'm being very optimistic. If you know anything about the weather during TCM, you're better off buying a Powerball ticket than successfully predicting the weather for race day.

I also have gotten a few massages from Stronghands Terri:
uh, huh. She's a leg-beater.

So I have a shin splints problem. Stronghands Terri feels very strongly about this, and she's not afraid to show it. I may or may not have dropped an f-bomb during this (beating) massage.

My older brother celebrated his 30th birthday, and we rang in the new year for him at the cabin. It was a fun time, but unfortunately, the weather was terribly confused and we spent the last weekend in August in jeans and sweatshirts. What the hey Ray? It's still summer right? Apparently not.

Adam and his friend, Andre the Giant

Wearing away the grass playing bean bags all weekend.

This white boy can't dance.

All he needs is a jean jacket. What a creeper.

This past weekend, Mr. Fury and I went to Madison, WI for Ironman. We had a great time volunteering and cheering on our friends. We spent the morning stripping wetsuits off the athletes, and it was crazy chaotic and so much fun. I can't wait to go back next year and do it again! Here we are in action:

This transition station was full of people yelling, "Here, here! Point your hands! Lay down! Point your toes! Have a great race!!" It's hard to believe that we had nearly 2,400 athletes come through to get their wetsuit stripped. We had the privilege of stripping (bow chicka wow wow) our friends Ironman Sean, Ironman Dana, and Ironman Becca. It was amazing that they found us in the mess of strippers and athletes so we could help them. I was really happy we got to see them so early on in the race and wish them luck for the rest of the day.

After chasing our friends around on the bike course, we worked at the finish line as catchers starting at 5:30pm. We got to catch some of the fastest age groupers racing that day and saw Jan Guenther come in soon after we started working. She looked phenomenal! It was hard to believe she just raced a 10:30 Ironman because she looked like she just raced a 1/2 Ironman. What an athlete!

Working at the finish line was a little emotional at times. I caught a man and brought him through the finish line area to get his medal, hat and shirt and then walked him over to his family. They were all in tears and his kids kept saying, "Daddy, daddy, we're going to Kona! We're going to Kona!" He came in just after 5:30pm so it was very possible he earned a slot to the World Championships. I dropped him off with his wife, and it just about brought me to tears. I really hope he earned his slot to Kona, he clearly put in a lot of work to get there.

As time passed, Mr. Fury and I knew that our friends were going to be coming in soon. Just after 9pm, our friend Ironman Sean crossed the finish line and I was there to catch him along with another volunteer. He crossed with a huge smile on his face and then promptly said, "I think I'm going to throw up." The other volunteer and I looked at each other and tried to get him off to the side, but there were too many people. IM Sean then said, "Um...Hurry?!" and we started yelling, "MOVE! MOVE!" and we got IM Sean to a garbage just in time. As he was clutching the garbage can, Mr. Fury came back from the medical tent from dropping off another participant. IM Sean stood up and said, "Wow, I feel better," and then we asked him if he needed anything. He looked at the table next to him with a stack of finishers medals, pointed at them and said, "Well, I would like one of those." He always makes me laugh, even when he's puking and half-alert. Congratulations Sean! You are an Ironman!

Sean and his beautiful lady friend J-Tub

After Ironman Sean finished and we walked him to his family and the rest of our friends, our volunteer shift was over. We went with Ironman Kimmi to find our other friend Dana on the course. When she got close to the finish line, we snuck back into the finish line area to catch her as she crossed. Her face crossing the finish line brought me to tears. She had the best reaction and she was one of the happiest finishers I saw all day. Pumping her fists and running across the finish line she ran to Mr. Fury and I and gave us a huge group hug. I was beyond happy to have been there for her when she crossed, and you could tell she felt the same to have Mr. Fury and I there for her. Congratulations Dana, you did it! You are an Ironman!

Right before Dana yelled to us, "I'm having so much fun!"

2 blocks before crossing the finish line.

Ironman Becca wasn't too far behind Ironman Dana. Mr. Fury and I waited and waited for a warning text message telling us she was coming, but we never got one. Finally, I heard Mike Reilly say Ironman Becca's name before she crossed the finish line, and Mr. Fury and I ran up to the front of the line to catch her. We were a little late, but we still got there to walk with her to get her picture taken and walk her to the huge group of family and friends waiting for her. She never stopped talking the entire time we were with her which isn't entirely normal for her, and suggested that maybe she meander over to the medical tent to get checked out. She was feeling dizzy earlier during the run, and you could tell the heat and dehydration had gotten to her. Being the wonderful doctor that she is, she refused to go right away, but eventually she was persuaded to stop in to get checked out. Congratulations Becca, you had an awesome race! You are an Ironman!
A big smile on the first loop.

Still smiling during the run!

I also want to send a big congratulations to Ironman TriChicKris. Awesome job out there, you fought your way through the bike course and hit it hard on the run. Hello, sub-5 hour marathon! You are an Ironman!!

Workin' it across the finish line.

Ironman weekend, whether you're racing or spectating, is absolutely exhausting. I'm just now starting to feel like I'm back to normal. After a great night of sleep, I sent Mr. Fury off this morning to his bachelor party in Las Vegas. All forms of debauchery to ensue, I'm sure. He just texted me a little while ago to tell me they landed safely, got to the hotel and were off to the buffet for lunch. Ha! Of course they're going to a buffet, where else is there to eat in Vegas?? I am only benefiting from this trip to Vegas since my brothers are going as well. No brothers in town means Gopher Football tickets for me! Have fun in Vegas boys...GO GOPHERS!!

This Deserves a Post of It's Own

Wow. Jan Guenther is a machine. Clearly she had the AG performance of the year at IMWI. Crossing the finish line, she made it look so easy. All in a day's work for one of the nation's best age groupers.

Monday, August 17, 2009

So close!

Mr. Fury and I went up to the cabin again this weekend for the third weekend in a row. Yet again, we had rainy, cloudy weather for the third consecutive trip, but at least it was warm this time! It was a nice relaxing weekend (kind of) with just my parents, Mr. Fury and me.

On Saturday morning, I had to wake up nice and early to beat the heat for my 18 mile run. The alarm went off at 6am, and I rolled over to look at Mr. Fury with a pained look on his face. He was struck with a headache with little sleep and poor nutrition the day prior being the culprits. Mr. Fury was out for a long run, and there was no way I was going to convince him otherwise. I got out of bed, went upstairs and popped a couple pieces of bread into the toaster. I reached for the peanut butter, which felt lighter than normal, opened up the top and was horrified at what I found. One teaspoon of chunky peanut butter left on the bottom of the container. There was no way that was going to cover two pieces of toast. What barbaric creature would leave such a measly amount of delicious peanut butter in the cupboard disguised as a full container? I searched through my memory bank to discover it was me. Whoopsies. I guess I had that one coming, didn't I? I made-do with the small amount of peanut butter and slopped some blueberry jam on top. I threw in a banana and I was pleasantly surprised at how satisfying it tasted.

After I got dressed and headed out the door, I walked to the end of the driveway, threw a full container of water under the mailbox, and started my run. It didn't take long to realize that the head and humidity were going to be a factor during my run. I said a little prayer that the sun would stay hidden under the clouds for the duration, and threw on my iPod to help distract me from the boring scenery. On tap today were three out-and-back 6 mile loops, all coming back to the mailbox to replenish my water supply. The first leg went swimmingly, as in I felt like I had to swim through the air more than run. I challenged myself on a very hilly stretch of road for the second leg, and then for the last leg went back to the first leg out-and-back. All I could think for the last 3 miles of road was, "Oh Dear Lord, I have to run 8.2 more miles on race day." It's easy to forget you have been through much worse when you're swunning in ridiculous humidity and heat. Here is my wish for race day: low humidity and 40 degrees. That would be puuuuuurrfect, but we are talking about Twin Cities Marathon so who knows what we'll get. I predict Armageddon-like heat, hail and sink holes near the finish line.

Anywho, back to my run. I ended my run at 2:36 on the dot. I had to do a double-take at my watch. 2:36? For 18 miles? 2:36 for real?? Yeah, 2:36. Track workouts and tempo runs are going to make this the best and fastest marathon to date for me (I hope). I calculated it, and if I keep an 8:40 pace for the full 26.2, I'll finish around 3:45. My goal is to finish around/under 3:55, and now I know that is absolutely do-able. The only frustrating part of all this is how close I am to a BQ! I realize TCM is not the race this year where I will BQ, but it's in my sights!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Lifetime Fitness Tri was awesome yesterday! Everything went right although it didn't always feel like it. Ok, I'll revise that statement because the swim went OK; Everything went mostly right. My goggles that I love and adore decided to be leaky jerks so I had to stop and empty them about 5 times. Other than that, everything went really well and I beat my goal time of 2:45! Here are my results:

Rachel Holzemer

International Course

Bib #: 741
Age: 27
Gender: F
City, State: St. Paul, MN
Nation: USA
Race Category: International Age Group - Women 25 to 29

Triathlon Results - International Course

Finish Time: 2:42:47.0
Category Place: 10 out of 65 Women 25 to 29 finishers
Overall Place: 325 out of 1040 International Course finishers
Gender Overall Plc: 50 out of 296 Female finishers

Triathlon Splits
Swim 1.5K

Time: 28:11.6
Pace: 1:52 /100m
Category Place: 9
Overall Place: 226
Gender Overall Plc: 43

Transition #1

Time: 2:16.4
Category Place: 3
Overall Place: 67
Gender Overall Plc: 15

Bike 40K

Time: 1:19:59.5
Pace: 19.1MPH
Category Place: 12
Overall Place: 548
Gender Overall Plc: 79

Transition #2

Time: 1:23.1
Category Place: 4
Overall Place: 60
Gender Overall Plc: 13

Run 10K

Time: 50:56.3
Pace: 8:13/M
Category Place: 12
Overall Place: 394
Gender Overall Plc: 67

I was amazed at my run pace. I felt like I was going so slow and I figured that I was running around 9-9:30s. I was way off mark! Woohooo! My previous best time was 2:55:xx so it felt great to crush that time. I'll probably write more later, but I need to sleep and RICE my right foot. It's not too happy with me this morning. I think there was a little too much dancing at the victory party last night with the team...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Welcome to Amateur Hour

...or "First Race Report of the Season," or "Good Morning Brain, Welcome to Race Day! ..Er...Brain? Where Are You??"

Gear West Duathlon was just a couple Sundays ago on May 18th and I definitely felt like I had no business racing. Mr. Fury and I woke up around 5:30 am to pack up the car and head to Orono. It was a much better day, weather wise, than Saturday and I thought I felt prepared for a nice, fun Du. We got to the race site with plenty of time to set up my transition area, warm up, eat a little something and chat with my TNT buddies.


That is seriously how far I got on my last post that I started at the end of May. I haven't felt motivated to post because I haven't felt like there is anything major to report. My apologies to anyone that reads this and to myself because, really, I do have a lot major going on. Here is a brief (or maybe not so brief) summary of all that has happened:
  • Gear West Duathlon - First race of the season, and yes, it really felt like it too. I managed to keep the covers on my clips for my bike shoes and proceeded to not be able to clip-in on my bike leaving T1. In T2, I managed to run two bike racks from my transition wearing my helmet; awesome. I finished strong though, and that's all that mattered. I just wanted to finish knowing I paced myself well througout the race, and I think I accomplished that.
  • Gear West Test Team - It's official, we started testing products. So far I have tested the new Accelerade Hydro (it's delicious), Accelerade Orange flavor, Endurox Endurance (er..I think that's what it's called, and it's tasty), Skirt Sports bike shorts (tremendously comfortable), Skirt Sports tank top (it has a cleavage pocket!!! HAHA), Avia Avi Bolt II race flats (meh, not convinced they're worth the money), SLS Compression Socks (soooooo worth the moola), TYR Tracer goggles (I was a Speedo girl until I tried these out. Hands down, best goggles I've ever worn). Next up is a BlueSeventy wetsuit, aero helmet, and a set of Zipps with a Powertap. I'll be working at the LTF Tri Expo at the GW booth so come visit. Not sure what time, but I'll let you know.
  • Team in Training - We're almost at the end of our season. It's gone by so quickly and Lifetime Fitness Tri is in two weeks. I'm really looking forward to race day, especially since my friend Isabel will be home from Des Moines to cheer for me and our other friend Erin.
  • Wedding Plans - ...are chugging along. We're sending out Save the Dates soon to Mr. Fury's family. It will be here before we know it!!

There's my recap for the past few months. It's been crazy and busy and fun, and crazy busy fun!

Tri on.

Monday, April 20, 2009


This morning has been difficult, and so the story goes for most people on Mondays. To spice it up a bit, why not post about all the fun business that has been going on lately? I realize I haven't been posting with much regularity, but I hope that will change as I have quite a few races coming up this year (more than normal for me) and that means fun stories about training, I hope.

My biggest, most exciting news is that I'll be racing in the Gear West colors this season as part of the Gear West Test Team. There are 14 of us on the team and we'll be testing products from socks to nutrition to wheel sets. Trent at GW is still working on getting some bikes for us to test, but that's not looking too promising right now. It should be a lot of fun, and I'm really excited about it! We get to keep some of the products we test such as clothing and nutrition. Can you say a-w-e-s-o-m-e?! I can, and I have said it multiple times since they offered me a position on the team. Woohoo!

In other news, training with TNT has been great. The team has been working so hard and we did our longest run to date on Saturday. The other two training captains and I led the workout and I think we had a pretty good route set out for everyone (...if I do say so myself!). We started out at Minnehaha park near the falls and our route went back toward Fort Snelling. The 1/2 Iron team took the short loop around Pike's Island and then came back. The Olympic team ran to the base of Ft. Snelling (out and back), and the Sprint team went out two miles and turned around to our starting point. I love that path back there in the woods. It's on my top 5 list of running routes in the cities. There's nothing like feeling you have escaped the city while you're still in it! The best part of the run was when we got back and two of the ladies on the team said, "That's the longest I have ever run! I feel so good!" Mission accomplished!

Saturday after practice Mr. Fury and I went out for breakfast with a few other people on the team. We went to Grandview Grill which is so fantastically tasty. It's a primo spot to go if you love breakfast. They're only open until about 2 or 3pm each day so get there early. Yum. We had to run out of there in a hurry because I had a massage with Strong Hands Terri. Yowza, she really did a number on me this weekend. My diaphragm is really tight and it's not something I normally stretch (or really know how to), but let it be known that I will now be finding ways to stretch it out. Holy Mariah, I have never felt such pain from muscle tightness! I have been experiencing problems (ie: diaphragm muscle spasms) with my breathing so Terri has been working on it and sometimes I think that is a big mistake. Mostly I think it's a mistake when Terri is working on it, I have tears rolling out of the corners of my eyes and I'm pleading with God, "Please God, if you make her stop I won't ever roll my eyes again and pretend I'm listening when my mom won't stop blabbing on the phone. I PROMISE!" I realize this is not the proper nor most sincere method of prayer which makes it obvious that neither I nor God has held up our ends of the bargain.

So in the spirit of keeping the pain coming, Mr. Fury and I signed up for Twin Cities Marathon on Friday. My goal this year is to not only train but also race TCM. Cheers to not getting sick a couple days before race day again! Does anyone have a good marathon training plan? I've been fishing around for one but haven't found one I like yet.

Alright, it's time for more Monday goodness.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dear Randall,

I am deeply sorry I did not post this weekend as expected and have disappointed you during your morning coffee. I do hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me.


Ms. R

Monday, February 9, 2009

Middle School Germ Infestation

I'm back and with another cold to boot. I've actually done pretty well this winter on the cold/sick front. I'm writing today over a nice steamy bowl of taco salad made up of taco leftovers from last night. It's not tasting nearly as good as it did 18 hours ago, but I'm going to make myself eat as much of it as I can. I haven't had much of an appetite since this cold really took hold Friday night. I'm blaming the middle school pool the team swims in that was just infested with middle schooler germs. It was a floating biology project before we jumped in, I'm sure of it!

It's been a pretty eventful winter at the Walzemer's (Walch/Holzemer house). Let me highlight just a few:

  • Mr. Fury and I scared my mom into thinking that we actually wrapped up Mr. Fury's deer mount to give to her as a Christmas present for the second year-in-a-row. We scared her with that present last year, which was hilarious. We didn't give it to her again this year for Christmas, but we did hang it up at the cabin over the mantle for a "Just because we love you!" gift. She was so thrilled with the present, she's giving it back.
  • Mr. Fury and I are officially gettin' hitched! We're still hammering out the plans, but we've decided on 12/12/09. We're embracing the Minnesota cold and my ensamble will consist of a parka and sorels. I'll be playing the part of the blushing (or frostbit) bride. No horsedrawn carriage here, we're riding in on snowmobiles!
  • Mr. Fury said hello to the dirty thirties this past month. We had a huge party at the house to celebrate, and he partied so hard he went to bed before everyone even left. Hey, it was his party, and he slept when he wanted to!

Team in Training started up for the summer season last week, hence why I'm sick from the middle school petri dish/pool. I just need to build up my immune system to middle school strength and then I'll be fine. It's been great to see some familiar faces again as well as a lot of new ones. I'm still trying to recruit another familiar face. You know who you are, Lisa. It should be a fun season. There's a team going out to Sun River, Oregon to participate in the Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival to do the 1/2 Iron and Olympic Triathlons. Of course, we're also doing the Life Time Fitness Tri in July. I can't wait!

I'm just getting my summer racing schedule set. Anyone else doing the Gear West Duathlon? I'll be a first-timer at that race, it would be great to see some familiar faces!

Alright, time to trudge through more of this taco salad. Chow!