adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

Posts tagged ‘triathlon’

the race that almost wasn’t

Driving well over the speed limit on the interstate in a construction zone, I berated myself in my head for overscheduling and underplanning for the race I was currently about to be late to arrive at. Coming off a 2 day conference for me and a 2 day Ragnar race for Mr. Prepared in which heat index was over 100 degrees  and multiple factors made him late arriving to the finish line Saturday night, Sunday morning seemed like about the worst time to pick up triathlon racing again.

I had really good intentions when I started packing my tri gear on Thursday night before I left for downtown. I meant to finish packing it and go through my checklist…I just didn’t. Truthfully, the leaving the kids and going off in different directions (him to Madison, me to Chicago) was annoying. Coming back to that half-packed bag and unprepared bike after 9 PM Saturday night did not motivate me to get it done like I should have.

Big mistake.

Basically, I didn’t fall asleep (tossing and turning thinking about all that I had learned at the conference) plus not preparing and then needing to wake up “early” led to about 4 hours of sleep. Plus, I hit the snooze. Then I screwed around in the kitchen for a while and futzed with the coffee, changed my racing uniform (I never do this), showered (def I never do this), scrolled the old FB feed with coffee cup #1, and …DAMMIT! I should have left a half hour ago!!!  Shit! I have nothing ready!  

Time for panic. Threw some more things in the half assed bag and tossed bike into back of truck. See, cuz the thing was I was also supposed to be there early because I had to pick up my packet, which they were offering for a little while the morning of since I didn’t get to packet pickup the day before (because people have lives?!?).

Side Note: Packet pickup is important because that’s where you get your timing chip, swim cap for your heat, and your swag. The swag was $$ in this race- a biking tank with gel pockets and what not. Perfect for the summer and way better than some crappy T-shirt. 

Anyways, on the hour drive to the race, I realized early on that I forgot my coffee and my pre-race water. For those that don’t know me, life just isn’t worth being awake if you don’t have morning coffee. So that sucked. I had nothing and I don’t have time to stop. I started drinking out of my race water bottle, banking that I would find water there (I didn’t but I also didn’t try because of reasons I’ll detail in a sec). I started wondering about all the other important stuff I could have forgotten and wondered whether to throw in the towel and turn around. But I really wanted that tank top. And I was already on my way so…

Crack of dawn being on my side, I made good time, only to roll close to the venue to find it inundated with cars. There was like zero parking anywhere close. I kind of expected this, but I didn’t plan for it. My go to triathlon pop-up bag is not like a backpack- it’s like a “mom”style tote (AKA drunk purchase made at an “Initials” party many years ago. You know the one piece you “had” to have after 4 cocktails? Yup, it’s that one). It does not just sling over your shoulder so you can ride your bike the FAR distance to the place where you pick up the packets. Basically, it sucks. Obvi, I am so fucking far out of practice preparing for races that I had basically messed up every step so far.

Good news was that I had all USAT required equipment- like a helmet, so I was still in the game. I pulled the ole race bike out of the back and … maybe I should have checked the tires before I left. No problem. I had the bike pump in the car and could pump them up. They definitely needed air, and … air was not going in. Nope, not at all. The valve extenders were spinning around and I knew there was something wrong, but I couldn’t fix it with what I had in my bike bag. Fuck it, I said. I‘ll ride on flat-ish tires. Maybe I will get a flat and then I won’t have to do the stupid race. 

I basically convinced myself that I would pick up my packet, get my tank top, and leave with my flat tires when I realized that if I didn’t just do the stupid triathlon, I was going to have to go home and recreate the experience. This race was not meant to be an end- it was really just a high-intensity training block for the week. When I thought about how I would have to recreate the logistics at home, I decided to grab my packet and continue on. I rolled over to the bike mechanic stand (which I had totally forgotten existed! YES!)  and said (nonchalantly), “Hey can you put air in my tires?” knowing full well some shit was messed up in there, or else I would have been able to do it myself.

The mechanic tried airing them with two different pumps before he tested it and determined the valve inside the valve extender was closed. I have these shitty ass valve extenders that look cool but are a pain in the ass (well now I have one less because he actually TOOK one from me that morning). Anyways, he pulled the old tube, tried a new one, same thing, didn’t work. Meanwhile, the clock was creeping ever closer to the transition area closing. Finally, when we were within 5 minutes of transition close, he got the right tube and put the tire and wheel back on the bike like a ninja!  I offered to pay (having cash for the first time ever at a triathlon…another sign of the apocalypse) but he just sent me off with a thank you yelled over my shoulder.

I get to the athlete entrance, no stickers on my bike or helmet. This kind of dumb, unprepared shit is where being at a “beginner-friendly” triathlon worked in my favor. Everyone was so stinkin’ nice to me, just in case it was my first time. A lot of races you will get volunteers on power trips yelling at you if you do something wrong. However, these volunteers were helping me unearth my sticker packet from my mom-tote and talking to me really gently, and I about broke down in tears because I didn’t even understand why everyone was being so nice when I hadn’t done a single thing right this morning.

However, I was too panicked to be filled with gratitude yet because transition closed in 4 minutes and you have to have your stuff set up and be out of there. It’s a big deal. Lots of people come an hour early, take time to set up, do warm-ups or a quick jog (this is what I do), and I was doing the exact opposite. And…there were no more spots on the bike racks in my wave. Everyone had already set up perfectly front-back-front-back on the racks and who could blame them? No one was expecting a late-as-shit-hot-mess coming in Wave 10.

I saw an opening in a Wave 11 rack and just took it. The people who were set up had already left to walk down to the water, and they would probably be mad when they returned, but whatever, the race would have started!

Mom-tote had way too much crap in it, including my MF driver’s license (found and lost this again since then!), car keys, and cash floating freely about in it, but I shoved everything down in it, threw the necessities on top, grabbed some gel (mostly for the caffeine! My lord!), my wetsuit and my cap and …broken goggles. Shit. I heard them sending in the not-so-gentle volunteers to close transition. He came my way and I just put my hand up, told him my goggles were broken and that it would take a minute to see if I could fix them. He backed away, clearing seeing the rabid dog look in my eye, and I was able to fix them. I headed out of transition toward the beach.

lake poolI got to the beach, expecting a lake (beach-lake- this is a natural association, yes?) and was VERY surprised to see a rather large sort-of natural pool. In my head I was like “uh-oh” because my strength is swimming in large bodies of water, not competing in a weird 100 meter hybrid pool/lake. Ah well. At this point, I was more about just involving myself in the experience and letting the rest sort itself out. I let go of ambitions about placing in my age group and reminded myself that this was my first rodeo in a while and it was okay to just enjoy the event, not treat it like my own personal trophy collection opportunity.

We waited about a half-hour for our wave to start swimming, and during that time, I was able to get my gratitude in order. How lucky was I that everything worked out and everyone was so nice? I even broke my ponytail holder during this time and the woman in front of my took her extra off her wrist and gave it to me! The attitude of being happy and grateful to participate was contagious. I entered the water in excited anticipation.

swim espirit de she 2016The rest of the race was pretty much history. (I know, right? You thought this would be all about that race! Wah wah. ;)) Once I entered the water, my drama went away. I swam quickly, playing follow the leader with the other woman in my wave who swam out front of it with me. We swapped the lead several times as we maneuvered through the slower swimmers from the waves in front of us. It was not my favorite swim as it was the most crowded one I have ever done. We exited into a long transition, running to our bikes as I pulled off my wetsuit. It actually came off pretty effortlessly despite having no Body Glide on my body (yup…forgotten).
bike espirit de she 2016We hopped on our bikes, and started off. The woman who came out of the water ahead of me took off. Letting someone gap me like that is generally ok with me, because whomever I come out of the water with, they are 97/100 times a MUCH better biker than me. This was a two lap “criterion-style” closed course for the bike, which I actually enjoyed a lot. I liked the closed course because it allowed you a lot of freedom from decision-making of passing and having to be super mindful of traffic. I pushed pretty hard on the bike, looking to see what kind of gains I had made from improved strength training and more time in the saddle lately. I was not quite to the point “Dear God, when will this end?”, which is my typical end of bike feeling, when we rolled to the end of the course. However, the fun part was about to begin.

The run started in transition and my goodness, my legs felt like crap. I haven’t practiced a bike to run transition or workout since last…June? and it was obvious. Parts of my body were clearly pissed that I was running. So I slowed, trying to stay conservative, which just led my mind to all the thoughts of quitting one more time. I crossed over the threshold into the “deal-making” stage and made a deal that if I just kept running, I was fine with however slow I wanted to run. So it got slow! But at about 2-2.5 miles, I actually started to feel better!  I was like “Great, the run is ending and NOW I feel better?” LOL. Ran it in fast and then just laid there with a cold towel on my face for a few minutes outside the finish line.

bike susanI was so relieved to be done and happy to have made it through. Looking at my splits, my run was negatively out of proportion with my performance on the swim and bike legs, so it will be the main focus as it has been for the rest of the summer. I took my extra coupon from the race and used it to sign up for the international distance at the Chicago Triathlon in the end of August. Between now and then, I’d like to get in a few more races. Mostly because (when you’re prepared) they are fun and I enjoy it. Plus, you’re done early and can still grab breakfast, which is really the part I excel at. 😉 (As anyone who was on the Stevenson High School swim team in the mid-90s can attest to my breakfast-eating prowess.)

Takeaways: Being on time and being prepared is really important. Do these two things and you’re most of the way there. The race is just the fun part! 

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 9.36.42 AM

Mighty Mac Training Week of 7.27.15

It’s usually about this time in the summer when I get to some real fatigue with sticking to a training plan. I should know this about myself by now- I can be really “bus bench” (Dan John term) focused on a training plan for about 5 months, but as things start to linger beyond 6 months, I like to stray. And this week proved to me that I haven’t changed.

Fortunately for me, I have become a *teeny* bit smarter so that I don’t fall completely off the plan and start doing Zumba, but for sure, I am not one to be a complete rule follower. My older sister might say it’s the Gemini rising sign in me. She’s probably right- at least I can’t think of any other reason I have such trouble sticking with a plan for a long duration. On the upside, it keeps my life interesting, spontaneous, flexible, and FUN. Since fun is kind of one of my core values, training plans can sometimes seem a little “un”fun.

I knew I had been slacking a little in the speed and power category of training- one thing I think I have been consistent with in this training cycle is duration- getting the distance down. The distance/duration aspect has always been a challenge for me, and definitely will prevent me from trying some kind of insane long distance racing like Ironmans or marathons for the time being (probably forever). So, I have been proud of getting those long swims nailed. Looking at the calendar for this week, I realized I had a 5.5 mile swim on the books. My shoulders sagged a bit, and my fingers hit the keyboard. Jackpot. I could do a triathlon this weekend, bank some “mileage” on that event, and swim a little less.

Of course, let me explain that I know very well HOW a training plan works. I just don’t CHOOSE to do it the way it’s written. I understand that these choices may have CONSEQUENCES, but those are what I am willing to deal with, and this blog is just a way (for the time being, anyways) to record those choices and how they affected my overall goal achievement.

And YOU’RE WELCOME. My gain or blunder can only be a benefit to you– you don’t have to make these mistakes because I am already making them for you! 😉

So, without further ado….

Monday 7/27- 2.4 mile swim in Trout Lake- thanks to Vicky and Joe for hanging out til the moon came out!
Tuesday 7/28- squat + deadlift
Wednesday, 7/29 – nothing (I’m not really sure what happened here)
Thursday, 7/30- bench + 30 minute run (trying to make up for Wednesday, and “prep” for the triathlon, LOL)
Friday, 7/31- squat + deadlift

Let me just stop here and say that one thing I learned is that 48 hours is not quite enough time between squatting and racing. Since the race was truly intended to be a workout, I understood that this may happen. But if you plan to race, don’t assume 48 hours is enough. My legs were TIRED on the bike.

Saturday, 8/1- pool swim (short pool 23.5 yards) – 2 miles
800 WU 
800 pull
8×100 moderate pace ~ 1:15/94 yards (short pool, remember!)
400 pull
4×100 fast pace ~ (1:10)
200 pull
2×100 sprint (1:06, 1:08)

Cooldown  — Idk. I know I hit two miles, but I have to add lengths here and there to get to two miles, which in the short pool is 150 lengths.

Sunday, 8.2- Wolverineman Triathlon, Halfmoon Beach, Pinckney Rec.

I just have to say that I love doing Epic Races races. Not because I just think their team is great and they helped me with my fundraising a ton (they did! THANK YOU!), but the whole package is better. The crowd is a little more manageable, the vibe is friendlier, the swag and food is always tons better, and there was beer at the finish. BEER. (I didn’t drink any because I had some swimming to do after, but…BEER.) And most of the ones I have done- the run is partly on trail, which my knees and hips appreciate, and I like it aesthetically so much better.

highlights and lowlights: I started the race and had immediate drag on my chest as I was swimming. I was like “What the heck?” and thought maybe the elastic on the top had blown out or something, which would have been a bummer. But then I got out and was like, “Oh, you forgot to zip up your top, dingbat.” <– Typical. Zipped up top, got on bike. Bike will be a big focus for me if I choose to keep racing tris next summer. i haven’t been on as much as I wanted to be, and thus, the specificity aspect of going fast on two wheels has suffered. So the bike was slower than I hoped. I was very familiar with the course, however, as I have ridden those roads a lot. Run was pretty good, considering the hills/trail. A big thanks to Bart for pushing me through the beginning of the run. He picked up my pace after I dive-rolled the bridge crossing (ow!), and kept me going until he peeled off to finish his mini-sprint distance about halfway through my run. I kept after it, with my main goal being to not walk, and not slow down. I am pretty sure I accomplished both of those things. However, i have no working Garmin data to prove it, LOL.

wolverineman triathlon

My hair was staging a rebellion against braids, clearly.

Overall, as is my theme of “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”… ended up 3rd OA, 1st in 35-39 AG. And thus I got some sweet new socks. 🙂 Gotta be happy with the race as a workout and the result. I am slower than last year, but given the volume of sport-specific training I have done, I am working above my expectations for this kind of event.

After I got home, I ate a giant egg/cheese/bacon sandwich. Then, my lovely neighbor Julie, paddled alongside me as I swam 2 more miles in my home lake. And then I was pooped. 🙂

This weekend we head to Sleeping Bear and Lake Michigan…more swimming, YAY!

what is the offseason?

Tuesday I found myself with 3 strangers on a pickleball court playing a game I had never even seen before. I know what you’re thinking…wait, no I don’t. Ok, you’re either thinking:

1. Damn, the offseason has gone to her head. 

OR

2. I LOVE PICKLEBALL! Where do you play because my courts are always crowded and…

dory

Dude, pickleball is fun. OK, it’s pretty fun but probably would be more fun if I wore my glasses. Point being, I love to PLAY. New sports, new activities, I do them ALL. Well, most of them. I haven’t done Zumba, but I am pretty sure I would like it. I joke that I have exercise ADD. I joke with my strength training class that it is perfectly acceptable to break out into “spontaneous planks” at any time. They laugh. I tell them that pretty much all I do right now is spontaneous exercise, which is TRUE. I spontaneously did kickboxing a couple of days ago, then there is the pickleball, water aerobics, a squats race during TV commercials, you know, the usual. 😉

Right? It is the usual for us to keep on moving, yes? Try new things, yes? I find so much joy in moving my body in new  and potentially awkward ways. It’s liberating, healthy, and humiliating enriching!  I recently checked out an “offseason” triathlon article a bit ago…you know, the typical, “Make Your Offseason Count!!! blah blah blah” and as I was reading it, I was like, “How is this plan different from my training plan?” I mean, let’s be honest, I don’t know that I even always run 4 times a week in the IN-season. Offseason is OFF-season, not a trickled down continuation of all the structured training crap you did in the IN-season.

Playtime is what keeps us happy and motivated to the do the “must-do”s in our lives. If I continue to swim,bike, and run, it certainly begins to feel like a “must do”. We love the camaraderie we get from having shared physical activity experiences, so my goal is to extend that into true OFF-season activities, by which I do not mean 12 oz. arm curls, people. So, unplug your Garmin and your Strava, stop re-watching Kona on the trainer, and in case anyone wants to learn to play racquetball together, let me know. My OFF-season schedule is WIDE OPEN.

Training Update: 7 weeks to go!

So for those of you not in the know, I have about 7 weeks to go until my first 70.3 triathlon race.  I would call it a half-ironman, but I really hate that term- when I run 13.1 miles, I can’t stand the term half-marathon, and I really don’t think busting my butt for 6 hours should be considered half of anything.

I have rewritten this post twice because the first 2 times were super, super whiny.  Admittedly, my “why can’t I go to IKEA and eat lingonberries and let my children play at SMALAND on a Saturday like everyone else” self as the culprit for these drafts.  They were both quite, quite, small-minded.

Today I busted out my big ride, and I did it in no half-ass fashion (unlike last week, where I broke it into MTB riding and road riding).  It’s quite amazing what 10 hours of good sleep + a day off will do for a person. I got on the Dark Horse ( that’s my pretty speed machine bike) in Stockbridge, rode the Waterloo Rec loop for recon on a future mission, and did Chelsea-Dexter-Ann Arbor to finish it out.  Which is pretty awesome.  I love going places via bike that I have never gone before.  This gives me an opportunity to see things I don’t see via car, like a geodesic  dome farmhouse, or a Harvestor Blue Silo, which is something that you only see in the midwest and also Mr.Prepared’s grandfather created and sold the patent for these to Purdue (ok, I know that fact is boring, but still!)

cool, huh?

cool, huh?

I rode into Ann Arbor to the bike shop for a re-fit on the bike as part of my ongoing “let’s be intelligent about training” process.  I think I have a few key factors that have made the difference in this season going forward:

  • Training. I have used Endurance Nation as my coaches for the season.  These guys have built triathlon training for the age group athlete to a science.  I respect that as I build my own business that they have their own mission and success dialed in, and I can only hope to be as good as Rich and Patrick at what I do.  I am certainly sold on the model and the advice that these guys give.  I just have to remember to get my ego out of the way.
  • Injury Prevention.  Shawn Kitzman of Synergy Movement Therapy has been a literal game-changer.  Many of you know I stopped running in the fall to try to give physical therapy a chance to work.  With Shawn’s Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT), I no longer have to wait to see if something works in a couple of months.  He must truly be one of the best at what he does because I have lived with hip pain for a couple of years.  In the first few weeks of working with him, I kept checking my back pocket or purse for a missing wallet or phone because I couldn’t figure out what was missing.  It was hip PAIN!  He is amazing, such that I am thinking about adding NKT to my practice by getting certified in the fall.
  • Dialing in the bike.  Between working at Hometown and finding a great crew at Transition Rack in Ann Arbor to help me with my TT bike, I have gained a ton of confidence on my bike in terms of fit, fix, and find.  I found my beautiful bike, I can fix it now, and I have resources to fit it too.  Lucky me.

Most importantly, I know that I am grateful and honored to be able to do what I do.  Many people would love to be able to race, ride, and run like I do most days without thinking about it. Trainer Guy once told me something that has stuck with me almost every day:

I am grateful for the day. I am grateful that I am alive in this body and that it can do what it does.

I know this mantra will carry me through Rev3 WI Dells and the rest of my race schedule because I am racing with a grateful, happy heart.

REV3 Wisconsin Dells

inspired

who's gonna stop me

So now that I hit the “STOP” button on the treadmill of life, jumped off for a break, and am ready to move in a new direction, I cannot tell you how much better I feel.  Physically and mentally.  Literally, my stomach stopped hurting as it has pretty much ever since I “decided” I was going to shoulder this job that I didn’t want.  I haven’t felt this motivated or empowered in a long time, and I feel like I have my life back to me.

And of course, I have a plan.  It would be unlike me not to have a plan, but sometimes you just have to jump without knowing all your options, right?  So I was thinking about what lay ahead in the future for me, thinking about what I have done in the past and whether I cared to return to that place.  Which I really don’t.  I am not ready to grasp at straws yet.

I want to enjoy work and be motivated to do it.  And as I looked around at what inspires me, the answer became pretty obvious.  I want to help people achieve their goals and dreams.  What I love about teaching adults is helping them on the path to reach their goals.  I share their feeling of accomplishment that they have when they finish their course successfully or pass their GED exam or learn more about reading or math or grammar or anything.  I want to do that all the time, and if I can’t do it always in a school setting, then there are other places I can do that.

Becoming a personal trainer will fit in with what I love to do, and it is extra special to me because I know about struggling with my weight, my self-confidence, and all the mental BS that held me back for many years.  With my students in my adult ed classes, I still have a hard time relating to their struggle because I never struggled in school.  But losing weight, getting fit?  I know A LOT about that struggle.  I want to help people enjoy becoming athletes if they want because I know how much joy racing and triathlons give me, and if I can share that passion with someone, that would be awesome!

I know it isn’t going to be easy, and maybe it seems cliché, but I am determined and I know I have the intelligence and motivation to do this thing right.  And it is so gonna happen because the right reasons are keeping me moving forward toward my goal.

Race Recap: IronGirl Lake Las Vegas

Whoo-hoo! Glad I can put that one in the books because if I had to wait one more day to race, my husband probably would have smothered me in my sleep.  Yes, I was that annoying and keyed-up. By the time we got to Vegas, I kind of just wanted to get it done with!  But things were looking up by the time we walked into the Westin to pick up my race packet and rack my bike– something I have never done the day before a race.  Finally Meghan had gone to the bathroom (she has an intense fear of automatic toilets), and the hundreds of women strolling about with their bikes and other cool stuff just put me in a  good mood.  In fact, looking at other people’s fancy bikes puts me in a good mood.  I am (finally) starting to learn about bike components and stuff, so it’s cool to see what others have, and to see if the bike matches the person.  I think mine does, if I am going for the “mom off the couch into a sprint triathlon look”:

not my bike, but pretty much it

So…I know, on with it!

We woke up at the crack of dawn for the 6:30 race start.  The whole family had to come since we were staying in Henderson and the race was in Lake Las Vegas.  The girls are early AM heroes at this point!  I warmed up in the gym at the hotel before we went, downed coffee and a bagel, and we were off!  I barely made it to transition to set up all my stuff before it was closed and we were down at the water.  This event was a time-trial start where you seeded yourself, basically lining up where you wanted to swim.  This kind of start is awesome for me, because you start 2 at a time, and I could line up near the front but not first.  (I know, chicken).  When I dove in, the water was murky but warm enough, and I felt great!  I passed almost everyone in front of me by the first buoy, and kept going despite the sun in my eyes when I lifted my head to sight.  At the end, there was just one person in front of me, and I took some time to slow my breathing and pace in order to transition.  Plus, let’s be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure how to get back to transition (almost a quarter mile!) and I wanted someone ahead of me.  Well, she stopped on the beach and I kept going alone, run/walking and laughing nervously since I wasn’t convinced I could find my way back to transition(although it was totally obvious in hindsight, thanks to you, large orange arrows).

Got to my bike, put all my gear on (yes, I will address my extraordinarily long transition time in another post, but hey, there was that long run from the beach and well…) and got out on my bike.  A few people beat me out of transition, so I counted 4 people in front of me.  I thought to myself, OK, prepare to be pummeled by passers-by, since that had been my previous tri experience.  Somehow, I passed someone on the first hill, and kept riding.  I was worried about all the hills on the course the day before, and they made it challenging, but I just kept thinking about all the things Trainer Guy taught me about riding hills and worked my gears as best I could, keeping my cadence steady.  One person passed me about 5 miles in, but there was no one else out there all around.  I started to think crazy people thoughts like, “Hey I am doing pretty good.  I wonder how well I will end up doing?”  I was deliriously happy as I approached the turnaround because there were only 5 people ahead of me, and it seemed most of the way back was downhill!  Hooray!  Who doesn’t love a good downhill?

Apparently, the wind.   I went to turn and the wind slapped me right in the face, as if to say, “Hey dummy, this isn’t a walk in the park, you idiot!” I freaked for about 30 seconds, and then brought it back to Trainer Guy’s advice.  Christine and I usually poke fun at his harping about “good circles” but focusing on that kept me from thinking about the wind and kept me moving as fast as I could.  As I was getting to turn off the highway and into the resort, I started smiling.  BIG.  I started yelling, “Good job!” to the people on the other side starting their bike.  All the way into the resort, where it was wind free and I could use the downhill for active recovery into the transition.  I wish everyone could have seen my husband’s face when he saw me come down the narrow chute into transition.  It was a mixture of “Oh my God, she did not die out there on that bike!” and “Holy shit, she’s doing a pretty good job!”

T2 was pretty simple (thanks speed laces, you’re both cute and functional), so it was off for the last leg.  You had to run a big hill out of transition for the out-and-back 5k.  Again, I panicked I didn’t have enough left in the tank to finish, but I kept telling myself to do what I could, and I would figure it out if I ended up dying out there.  There were so many nice volunteers, I was sure one would scrape me from the road if necessary.  I put my “thumbs up” and started running up the hill.  On the second hill, I started walking because my heart rate was through the roof and my lungs were on fire.  But I picked it back up, and once I saw the group of half-naked men handing out water, my pace quickened, only to stumble right in front of them and drop my cup of water (total me move).  I pressed on, getting passed by a couple of women, and having to walk at least one more hill on the way back.  And I kept a good spirit about it all.  At this point, I have to give a little shout-out to Trainer Guy.  All that crap I thought was so repetitive and annoying that he kept saying: 1) made me able to actually remember it and 2) totally worked.  Just sayin’.

The downhill into the finish was awesome (again, who doesn’t love downhills?).  I was flying and I was psyched because I knew I had done my best, I had fun, and I had put together an awesome race.  I had to tear up a bit because I couldn’t believe how well I had done, coming off the Black Lung and not doing anything disastrous, like getting caught in my wetsuit or falling on the bike.  Plus, I’m a crier.  A volunteer hugged me and told me “Good job, honey!”  The race director let me back into transition to get my inhaler before I had an asthma attack, and then I rolled onto the grass with the girls.  I couldn’t have been happier.

@ the finish. apparently went “too fast” for an action shot.

Well…maybe a tiny bit happier.  Apparently you can get a little happier when you hang out for the awards and delicious free breakfast (in case you’re wondering if IronGirl events are “worth it”, there’s no question!).  There was a little part of me that needed to know “What if I did place in my age group?” and since they were not posting results and I do not know how/care enough to calculate everyone else’s time, I wasn’t certain about how I did.  I knew my time (approximately) and when they announced my age group’s 3rd place winner, I thought, “I think my time was faster than that…”. Same with 2nd.  Then I started to think “Hey, maybe my timing chip didn’t work…” and then they announced I had WON FIRST PLACE!  There was some shock involved. I didn’t move and the announcer was like, “Is she here?” and I put up my hand and starting walking up.  And then he announced that I had the fastest swim time of the day, and people were clapping and patting my arm.

my finisher medal and winner bling!

It’s a lot to go from fat chick on the sidelines to being called to receive an award at a sporting event.  We got back to the car and one of the women who beat me was arguing with her husband/ coach (not even touching that one).  She’s yelling “13 minutes for the swim!  It’s impossible!  I’ll never do it!”  Which was my time.  And because I have no skills at thinking on my feet, I’ll tell you what I should have told her.  “No, it’s not impossible.  2 years ago, I weighed 230 pounds and could barely walk a 5k.  I was fat and miserable and disappointed with myself.  Today, you barely beat me out there.  I won my age group in huge triathlon.  And I HAD FUN doing it.  Nothing is impossible.”

Here we go!

We made it!

To the end of the semester and the ski season, that is…and now it’s vacation time!  The hubby and I dreamed up a ridiculous 18 day road trip with the kiddos, and we leave tomorrow.  Of course, everyone is sick and the house is a mess, but it wouldn’t be an adventure if there was no challenge, right?

The Land Yacht, aka the Suburban we bought in February, is not apparently large enough to fit all of our stuff.  (For the record, I wanted a Wagon Queen Family Truckster, but those are a little harder to come by).  The hubs last night told me that we definitely needed to add the roof box to the top of the behemoth monster that we drive.  And we just got a bike rack last week. Every time he accelerates, I start counting, “One dollar, two dollars, three…”

The land yacht

My top choice was rejected.

Hopefully, it will be our trusty steed (and home) for the next couple of weeks.  And it’s the official crew vehicle, since I will be doing the IronGirl Lake Las Vegas triathlon (I know! So exciting!) this weekend and Taylor will wrap up our trip at the Silver State 50 near Reno in a couple of weeks.  I think the jury is still out on whether or not we are warping our children by designing vacations pretty exclusively around racing.  Trainer Guy thinks we are being “good role models”, while I think that someday they may rebel and become coach potatoes.

Since I have contracted the Black Lung from my children earlier this week, I tried to hold a pity party for myself about my potential race performance.  Trainer Guy and my husband both told me to get over it, so instead I am focusing on the important things, like these cool, new speed laces that match my shoes exactly:

It’s the little things that excite me.

And the super fancy sleeveless wetsuit Christine let me borrow.  I wore it this morning to swim practice.  It’s pretty awesomely buoyant.  And, it is easy to take off, which has been my #1 fear going into this race, since it took me about 27 minutes to take off my full-sleeve wetsuit at Highline Lake a couple of weeks ago.

It looks even cooler right side out.

 So, no matter what happens or how I feel, I am VERY excited to go and see the spectacle that is a 700-woman triathlon event, even if I fall down taking off my wetsuit in T1, or get a flat tire, or win (hahahaha).  Because after that our road trip consists of seeing family and friends, camping along the coast in California, going to Yosemite, and being in and around Lake Tahoe.  So hit me up with suggestions— for my race, for sights to visit, if I can use your washing machine, or something like that!  I’ll send pics!  🙂

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: