Vineman 70.3 Race Report

By: Dr. Dawn McCrory, PT, DPT

I survived!! I am not completely happy with my race results but I am mostly happy!! I missed my goal time by 23 minutes, but I gained some good information.

Here is how it all went down:

Swim – 40 minutes  – right on target for my goal

Beautiful swim in the Russian River… until I was overrun by a bunch of elbow throwing wild kicking men in red caps! One guy actually swam right over top of me! I did my best to give right back – yanked on the leg of the guy crawling over me hehehe! I had a lovely but short conversation with a woman in my age group as we were treading water waiting for our heat to start. Unfortunately, she had a cardiac arrest during the swim. They revived her on shore and rushed her to the hospital where she passed the next day. You never know when your time is up… Enjoy every moment of every day… There is always always always something to be thankful for! She left this world happy to be participating in her chosen sport!

T1 – 7 minutes – missed my goal by 3 minutes!!

You may ask “what were you doing for 7 minutes?!?” Well, I was packing and repacking my T1 bag so it would be neatly tied for the volunteers who were going to transport it to T2. Yes, this was my first point to point race and I was having issues!

Bike – 3 hours 22 minutes – missed my goal by 7 minutes

The bike course was absolutely gorgeous… but hillier than I expected. Everyone talks about Chalk Hill. By the time I got to Chalk Hill it really didn’t seem like much compared to the rest of the course. And the hills were not big climbs, just a fairly constant incline, slight decline, incline. For all the uphill I feel I did, there was no real pay off for me – the awesome descent!! The scenery made up for it though – miles of vineyards along country roads. I probably could have hit my goal time but I was concerned about my well worn bike chain breaking so didn’t push it too hard.

T2 – 7 minutes 52 seconds – definitely missed my goal time by nearly 6 minutes!!

I really thought I was faster than that. I guess the line at the port-a-potty took longer than I realized. Someday I will learn to be ok with peeing on the bike… maybe.

Run – 2 hours 25 minutes – missed my goal time by 15 minutes

The run was really stunning, especially the couple of miles along the dirt path surrounding the vineyards at La Crema Winery. It was a hilly little course but I had a strategy in place – power walk every hill then resume running. I also quickly walked through each aid station. That gave me time to collect ice for my bra and hat… it was warmish on the run but definitely doable. My usual cramps started about mid way through the run although very light and manageable until about mile 9-10. I walked a good deal when the calf cramping prevented me from running. Calf cramping is a real problem for me on long runs. I have been working on resolving the issue but have not been completely successful to date although it’s improving somewhat. I really need to get this issue under control before Ironman New Zealand! I have added fat to my diet and take calcium and magnesium as well as salt on my long rides and runs. Anyone have any other suggestions? Maybe I just need to use more of the above. I am open to trying anything at this point! Thankfully, I felt really good the last mile and was able to run strong across the finish line! Maybe it was knowing I had a friend waiting with some bubbly in a cooler!!

Overall, Vineman 70.3 was an amazing experience and the course was fun and scenic! I would definitely do this race again! It also gave me some food for thought and issues to work on in preparation for IM training and execution.

Next race – Malibu Olympic Distance September 15, 2012.  Time to reduce the mileage a little and pick up the pace!!


Life’s greatest moments…

By: V Capaldi

July 10, 2012 will forever be known as one of the greatest days of my life!  During my morning meditation I suddenly was overcome with a joy and an inner peace that brought me to tears.  Startled by my emotions, yet allowing for them, I sat realizing that for the 1st time since 1986 fear  has left my being!  No longer on the edge of my seat waiting, fearful of what plan MS has in store for me.

Having a disease that is relentless at reminding me of its power to control my body whenever and however it wants has been my reality for longer in my life than without.  Every morning when I wake reminded of its power the moment I open my eyes.  If I am lucky enough to see when I wake up (MS has taken my vision on many occasions) then I take an inventory of what moves, what works, what I can feel.  Once that process is complete I wonder if I can get myself up and out of bed. Will my feet work and allow me to walk?  Will they have pain like they often do?  Will I feel the floor? Can my legs hold me?  Will they lift so that I can walk?  Once they lift will they go back down?

So how did such an intense fear leave my being?  I believe with 100% certainty this is a result of really LIVING MY BEST LIFE!  Fear was present because all I focused on was what I would lose to MS, what MS would change and when it would change my life. When I became disabled I knew I was not living my best life.  Consciously I have worked hard to make living my best life reality.  Living your best life offers a life that MS or death cannot change because you are truly living!  LIVING has no fear.  Namaste.

Tecumseh (Shawnee) Vision Statement:

“Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life.

Beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and no living thing, For abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes to your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

taken from:

Taper Time?!?

By: Dr. Dawn DPT

Well, Ironman 70.3 Vineman is almost here!

I have trained diligently for the past 3-3.5 months with ever increasing mileage and intensity. My time commitment to my training has lengthened weekly in proportion to the lengths of my swims, rides, and runs. My brain and body are now programmed to go long, go hard, or go home… and then last week came along. I looked at my training plan several times in sheer disbelief! Yes… the swims, rides, and runs were all still there, but the times were cut tremendously. I actually had a ride and run “brick” on Saturday and was home before 11am! This week leading up to the race is even lighter.

I must say it’s a little scary NOT training so much in the 2 weeks leading up to the race. I am told that the taper portion of the training plan is just as important as the build so that you can attack the race with a well-rested and well-fueled body and mind. I will let you know how that works in my next post! This is the first race in which I have ever actually adhered to a taper plan. Usually, I am behind in my training and pushing it right up until race week. Wish me luck!

You can follow my progress on race day, Sunday July 15 2012, if you are so inclined. Go to and click on the RED button in the top right corner that says “Live Race Coverage”. Choose Vineman 70.3 and look me up by name or race number – Dawn McCrory #1176. The system will give you my race splits. If a race split isn’t listed, I haven’t crossed that check point yet.

My dream goal race splits: Swim 0:40 Bike 3:15 Run 2:10.

They will also list my transition times. T1 is the time it takes me to get into the transition area from the swim, take off my wet suit, don my cycling gear, and get me and my bike out of transition and onto the ride. T2 is the time it takes me to get into transition from the bike, rack my bike and take off cycling gear, don my running shoes and fuel belt, and get out of transition onto the run. My T times are notoriously slow. Please don’t judge! And no I am not grabbing a cocktail for the road!

My dream goal T times: T1 0:04 T2 0:02

Total dream goal for this race: 6hrs 20min

And yes I am definitely having a cocktail after the race! Cheers!!