Monday, September 29, 2014

Part 1 of 2, The Race.....

The whole reason I started blogging was because of Ironman Florida. Participating in Half Ironman Augusta was part of the training process. I don't think this is news to anyone, but I've never participated in any long-course triathlon. Sunday gave me a chance to put everything together and see how it came out.

I'm going to try and stay focused on my race in this blog, but please read the next one about the people, because one of the reasons this was such a great weekend was because of the people. I'll be name dropping throughout cause for me, there is no way to tell the story without the people.

Transition: Got there nice and early, met up with Stephanie to use her pump and got everything laid layed set out. Stephanie and I were in the same wave, so we agreed on time and location to meet up and she headed out to regroup with her husband. Sarah (who had dropped me off) let me know where she was waiting for me and then she drove me up to St. Paul's to hang out for awhile.

The Swim: 1.2 miles in 30:14 (age group ranking 69)
Nutrition: pb&j and a banana at about 6:30am and a Gu at 8 am.

Our wave didn't start until 8:32 (or something like that) but we wanted to be there for the start so I met up with Stephanie at the flag pole at 7:30 for the sky divers, National Anthem, and pro starts. Hung out by the river and then found our guy with our wave start and got in with the group.
Me and Lia with the other red caps in wave 16.
Very uncharacteristic of me, but I was excited. Ready to go. I wasn't nervous, I wasn't doubting my decision to sign up, I was ready! I was bouncing around and dancing. Hell, there might just have been a dance off between corral 16 and 17! I even was the voice of reason for another athlete who was getting a little anxious about the swim.

It was our turn and we were able to start in the water or out. All but 2 choose in the water. We just floated about and had a great opportunity to acclimate to the water temperature and find our space to swim. I started towards the middle as I was advised by many. The horn blew and off we went.

It was noticeable that the water was higher. I could see the weeds but barely had to go through them unlike Friday when they were wrapping around my watch. I swam. Nice and easy. I got bumped, I kept swimming. Frank will be happy to know I didn't start laughing when a woman kept tapping my feet. Only once did I have to push someone away. She hit my shoulder one too many times.

I ended up towards the shore, but it just made my exit that much easier. I swam until my finger tips hit the boat ramp and then I stood up and started pulling down my wetsuit.

Transition 1: 5:17
I decided to use the wetsuit strippers. I don't remember where I read it, but it said: Wetsuit to your hips, on your back, ass in the air. That was exactly what I did and 2 volunteers pulled that thing right off me! Trotted towards my bike (there was a lot of distance in and out of transition) got some sun screen slathered on my back and got to my place. Stephanie was right in front of me so I hollered to her: Middle row, first flag! I got to my bike, dried off my feet put my sock and shoes on and grabbed some Bag Balm and reapplied to my saddled area. Helmet, sunglasses and Stephanie and I ran out together. That was the last I saw her (she had a speedy awesome race!)

Bike: 56 miles, 3:12:41, 17.44 mph avg. (Age group ranking 82)
First split at mile 28: 1:40:26 (16.73 mph avg). Second Split at mile 56: 1:32:15 (18.21 mph avg).
Nutrition: almost 3 bottles of infinit nutrition

THE BIKE WAS AWESOME! Coach and I agreed that I would not worry about speed but focus on cadence. I didn't even have speed displaying. Cadence, mileage, and elapsed time were my display fields. I let people pass me, I just pedaled. Nice and easy. Comfortable, I had a long way to go. As I warmed up I was able to go faster.

I was passed. I did some passing. I'm guessing many of the age group (AG) winners of the younger AGs passed me by. I yielded to faster athletes that were maybe chasing that AG win. I took the pass when I could. I powered down the hills and stayed out of the way on the way up. I maxed out at 40 mph. WEEEEEE.

All season I've been trying to focus on a cadence of 90rpms. Sunday's average was 88!

I thanked the volunteers but didn't need anything from the aide stations. It was perfect riding weather and I didn't need anything I didn't already have on my bike. Ok, maybe not perfect, a tail wind would have been nice instead there was quite a bit of head wind.

Marc, you should skip this part:
My hoo-ha... many people have asked if I have resolved my saddle issues. I think I have! At the advice of Len (one hell of a local triathlete I randomly met at the LA Fitness pool over the winter) I have begun putting Hoo-ha Ride Glide on my short chamois the night before and letting it soak in. I used a stick on the creases of my legs and then as I mentioned above, I used Bag Balm very liberally. Minimal chafing which was Ah-Maz-Ing!
I got it at Rite Aid
I'm also 98% I'm going to ride on the Cobb SHC170 (at least I think that's what it is called). Yes, I'm going to keep it in pink! In the past I have been bruised by my long rides. No bruising from yesterday!

I got off the bike buzzing! I felt amazing. I was ready to run.

Transition 2: 4:45
I would have been out faster, but I had to pee. I actually had to go on the bike and even contemplated peeing on my bike, I just couldn't do it. Shoes switched, dropped my helmet and sunglasses and grabbed my visor, race belt, and fuel in a hand held water bottle.

The Run  13.35 miles (no, that wasn't a typo) 2:27:42, 11:16 avg (Age group ranking 91)
Nutrition: almost one serving of infinit nutrition and then at mile 10ish a vanilla Gu

If I had any disappointment in the event it was here in the run. I had no delusions of running a 10 minute mile but I thought I would be more consistent and just a little bit faster. Maybe 10:xx mile.

Augusta HIM is a double loop run course. It is incredibly spectator friendly. Sarah saw me take off out of transition and then drove ahead to get on to the course (and grab coffee). I was feeling good and ran right past the first aide station.

I decided I'd walk a moment at the second but not the full thing. My walking through aide stations became sporadic and unpredictable. Note to self: in Florida I will walk each and every aide station whether I need anything or not and then I will run again.

I loved the run in that I kept seeing people I knew! Lots of support. Great aide stations. Very nice kids (I now sound old) manning the course calling me ma'am. I'm thinking they were the high school JROTC or very young enlisted.

I never stopped moving forward and I never felt the desire to quit. Yes, I was ready to be done a few times, but never any desire to quit.
Ok, here's why I ran more than 13.1. It's a double loop course. There was a young man shouting out directions. He had a booming voice and a brilliant smile. It said first loop straight, finish to the right. I thought I had completed my first loop and figured I was starting my second. I turned to the right, saw the finish and thought: aww sh!t. I turned to the guy next to me as asked him his mileage. He said he was done. DAMN IT!! I turned around and ran back. The wind just left my sails. It was only an extra .25 miles, but I was really annoyed with myself.
At mile 7 I was done with my hand held water bottle. I couldn't sip on the infinit any more. I didn't want to hold on to my bottle. I needed it gone. I turned the corner around mile 8 and Mike from All3 Sports was standing there. He gave me a super genuine cheer and I turned to him and said: Take my bottle, I'll get it next week! And I threw it at him.
Sarah saw me around mile 12 and hollered at me: Next time I see you will be the finish line!
I turned around a building knowing I was in my last mile and with no spectators and no one watching me, I walked for about 50 feet. I then took a deep breath so I could finish strong.
I completely dorked out and looked behind me in the finishing shoot to see if anyone was behind me so that I could get a nice clean finisher's picture. I finished smiling, strong, hands in the air. I didn't even stop my watch until I was given my medal (Thanks Andy Shanks for the tip!). I'm hopeful my first 70.3 pictures come out well! (They did, I saw them this morning)
Sunday I identified that I need to work on my run nutrition. I had no issues with the infinit on my bike, but I couldn't stomach it for the run. My stomach started to cramp. I felt like it was sloshing. It just didn't work for me. I have 4 weeks to figure it out.
Last season my race stats went like this: bottom 10% swim, mid pack ride and top 25% run. This would average out to a nice race. Did you notice my age group ranking kept dropping as the events went on? If you didn't know better, you would think I was a swimmer!
Bottom line data:
Total time:6:20:30
Age group 91/187 (about 43 women DNS or DNF)
Overall 1554/3290
In sum, this is how I felt about the whole thing:

Thank you Luis for the picture!
I loved it! I truly enjoyed the whole event. I'm ready to commit to Augusta 70.3 for 2015! Physically, I'm a little sore like I did a long workout on Sunday. I'm going to lose 2 toes nails as I had blood blisters under both middle toes. I'm also going to go to Big Peach Running Company and consider getting different running shoes. I've been wearing the Saucony Guides for about 18 months (no, not the same pair) and recently they've been causing hot spots and blisters.
I know I'm not supposed to be thinking: OMG how am I going to be able to do this twice, but I am. Still not sure how that's going to happen, but I'm feeling more confident that it will (eventually).
I'm hoping to have the second half about the rest of the weekend posted later this week. It was an amazing weekend because of the event but more because of the people I got to hang out with and meet!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dress Rehearsal Time....

I'm sitting on my bed staring at my coaching manual. Inside the manual is a print out of the test I need to complete. I should be working on that, but instead I'm blogging. I think that is what one would call: procrastination.

On Sunday I will complete my first ever 70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 miles ride, 13.1 run). I think much of the excitement has been overshadowed for me by IMFL.  I'm uncharacteristically calm.

I mean calm.

The usual is for me to have a complete and utter panic attack before a new event, new distance, etc. This panic includes doubt, fear, desire to DNS (did not start), and tears. Lots and lots of tears.

The biggest difference this round is I know I'm ready. I'm ready endurance-wise and I have done this course in its entirety twice. Not one right after the other like Sunday will bring, but I've seen every inch. There is no unknown. I don't like the unknown. I'm the person who panics and kicks and screams about getting on a roller coaster and then once it is done wants to do it again! That was another reason going down to camp with Lifesports a couple of weeks ago was so valuable, there will be no surprises in Florida either.

Curtis and his crew at Cannon Cyclery have once again been amazing. I picked up my race wheels and upon his request, I brought my bike by for a quick once over. He showed me how the front brake was rubbing and fixed it. He lubed up my chain and made sure I had everything I needed for race day. Hadn't even thought of it, but with different wheels, I needed a different spare tube. They treat MP like their own. Can't ask for more than that.

This week I also received my first FusionUSA shirt. Seems like it is official, I am now a Fusion ambassador.

Looking forward to wearing this on my run tomorrow.

I have felt incredibly 'loved' the end of this week. I've gone out to dinner with some girl friends. I've had text from other triathletes sharing some last minute wisdom with me. And lots and lots of encouragement from everyone. I'm feeling really good about 5775, I think it is going to be a good one. (Jewish New Year, remember?)

There was even a first date on Tuesday. I'm not sure about this one, but whether it works or not, it's going to be a good story to tell at a later time.

And then there is this friend who I think I shall keep supplying cookies to as long as he keeps stroking my ego! He might very well kill me for posting this.....But it furthers the idea that everyone sees things differently. I don't find myself the least bit graceful when I run!

If you are in Augusta, please look for me. I'll be the one wearing a pink sparkly tiara visor on the run....
Can't wait to see all the tri camp people again!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy New Year....

I know I've been quiet. I guess I haven't really felt like I have had anything to say. It's a weird time of year for me. The Jewish High Holidays are swiftly approaching and since I left working in the Jewish Communal world it just doesn't feel the same.

There's too much going on and with working until 5 on Wednesday when Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) begins, getting to Birmingham to celebrate with my parents isn't feasible. Plus, I've been out of town the past 2 weekends and will be again this weekend. Logistically, it just doesn't make sense. My local family doesn't celebrate the holiday or at least not like we did when we were growing up: chicken soup, noodle kugel, apples and honey, nice family dinner.

I guess you could say I'm a bit blah about that. I'll take the evening to make myself a nice dinner and begin contemplating the year past and then continue on Thursday and Friday until I head out of town. The holidays have always been about family and smells. Sounds funny doesn't it? But I can still sense perfectly coming home from school and the smell of the house after my mom had been cooking chicken soup all day and the other scents as well. Although, chicken soup is still my favorite.

This past weekend I was in Franklin, TN just outside of Nashville. I went to attend an RRCA Coaching certification course. 8am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday, sitting still, focusing on someone else talking, with one run, while tracking friends that were racing and kicking ass in Ironman Races. I will still blame Ann for going sub-10 at the Ironman in Maryland if I fail my exam. Although, with that sort of race time, she didn't distract me for very long!

How I made it through: coffee and water
The course was 95% locals. Unlike the impression I was given that there would be a group dinner Saturday night and a group run Sunday morning, there was no community building. I asked Saturday at the end of class if anyone would run with me in the morning as I don't know the area. One woman from out of the area said she'd meet me and a couple of men came up and gave us ideas of where we could run. According to a Facebook friend, the same thing happened when the course was in Atlanta. My biggest disappointment is I put off making plans with others in the area because I thought I had dinner plans Saturday night. Don't get me wrong, everyone was very nice including the instructor who picked on me incessantly the first day.

7.3 miles of rolling hills Sunday before
class with Ellen from 'Choo.
No big deal. I had a nice meal at the Franklin Chop House and got my homework done there at the bar. (Where else would one do run-planning homework?)

A few weeks ago I went to Ikea to get a dresser because I have yet to furnish my bedroom beyond a mattress and night stand. I told a friend I need a space for clothes and to put things down when I walk in the room. I posted on Facebook soliciting help because having an extra set of hands is nice. This is another time when it sucks to be single. I don't need a guy to put it together, I've been assembling things on my own for years. I need a set of hands to hold things up or help me put the bedframe down. Wanting help is not the same as needing. As of last night, things may get assembled next Thursday.

Well as you can see, I found a place to drop things....

Oh, and I guess there are some races this weekend that my friends and I are involved with. There is the Chattanooga Ironman (144.6+ thanks to changes in the bike course) that I am STILL very happy with my decision not to participate in and then the Augusta Half Ironman (70.3) that I am participating in. I am bib number 1933 if that interests you, but I think you can track by name too.

If you remember I said I had 2 big weekends coming up that would really gauge my preparedness for IMFL. IMFL training camp 2 weeks ago was one and Augusta 70.3 is the other. I'm excited and anxious and nervous and indifferent and you get the idea. It is my first 70.3 and I think the excitement of it all has been overshadowed by IMFL.

To those of you who are racing: Race hard, race fair, have fun! This is merely a celebration of all your training.

To those who celebrate: L'shanah tovah tikatevu.

I may just have to make mom's Jewish Apple Cake for the aromatherapy. Who in Augusta will help me eat it?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

IMFL Training ....

Lots of pictures in this one....

Friday morning I met up with Stephanie to head down to Panama City Beach to participate in an IMFL Triathlon Camp led by LifeSport Coaching. We were off to a great start when both bikes fit perfectly on the bike rack.

The trip was easy and time flew by. After we checked in I did a quick assessment to make sure I had everything I needed to ride on Saturday and run on Sunday.

We had dinner with the early crew. How could we not have fun with this group of crazies?!?

After dinner I very quickly found my way waist deep in the Gulf. Sand + Surf = My Happy Place!

Then it was time for introductions, a quick overview of what the weekend would entail, and some door prizes. My name was actually pulled and I grabbed a nice pair of paddles.

We were going wheels down at 6:20 on Saturday so it was an early to bed night. Bright and early (or at least early) we met up with everyone to get the ride going.
This is also the moment I realized my Garmin was going to be almost useless. Not this moment per se, but when I rolled up, it wouldn't load properly. It still won't.
A rare picture of Nadya in front of the camera instead of behind it.
How this ride was different than the MACC Century: It was flat. Okay, there were some rolling hills in the middle, but this course is flat! What I never mentioned in the blog about the MACC Century was my pace. Well this one: MUCH FASTER! I think we may have resolved my saddle issues. Curtis at Cannon Cyclery had me give the Cobb SHC a shot and Megan at All3Sports suggested I invest in a pair of Castelli tri shorts. MP continues to live up to his name and I haven't even purchased the saddle yet, OMG were those shorts expensive! Some chafing still to resolve, but nothing like the issues I have had in the past. I am still having trouble with my feet, specifically my toes. They go numb. Then they go to pain. Extreme intolerable pain. Huge gains this weekend: I rode straight through to mile 50. I then stopped twice in the second half: once to go to the bathroom (I don't squat nor pee on my bike) and a second time because I just couldn't tolerate the pain in my toes anymore.

Straight from the ride I went to our hotel pool.
There I discovered I had had company for my ride, I'm not really sure how long, but he was there for a bit.

After rinsing in the pool (don't judge!) I was able to relax and ended up cat napping before heading out to practice getting in and out of the Gulf for the swim. Unfortunately our time was cut short due to approaching electrical storms that were rolling in.
After the swim we gathered up for some informational sessions on nutrition, transition/special needs bags, and injury prevention.

Dinner with some friends from Texas and another early to bed as we were running at 5:45 on Sunday.
I think Stephanie and I may have been the only ones with CamelBacks and we had to answer multiple times: Yes, I ran with this before. No, it doesn't bother me. We agreed, we loved having it. We could sip on our drinks whenever we wanted and had additional nutrition with us if needed.

I bounced around on the run. I started with a few people who were running 1 mile and walking 30 seconds. Then I ran on  my own. Then to finish with company I met up with the awesome crew below doing a 2:30/30 interval. I finished 14.5 miles and most importantly, I felt GREAT and could have run more.
All done with the official part of camp, Stephanie and I headed back to the Gulf to get more swim practice in.
Everything was going great. We had gotten some solid advice from Lori yesterday. We practiced that. We were floating about, chit-chatting on our last practice run when something bumped my arm. And then it bumped me again. I looked down in the beautiful clear water to see a HUGE jellyfish! I mean huge solid gelatinous thing. I swear it looked something like this:
I turned to Stephanie, who I'm not sure had ever been that far out in the Gulf or an ocean and told her it was time to swim. It was a jellyfish. I managed not to get stung and according to Stephanie I also swam the fastest she'd ever seen! I was totally freaked out! The thing's head was easily the sized of my hand spread out.

After our last swim being a speed interval out of my sheer panic, we cleaned up and headed to breakfast. Waffle House was our preference but there was no place to park. We ended up at a diner and right after we got there Alan, Carla and Les walked in. So we all over indulged in the breakfast buffet together.
I keep saying the best part of training for IMFL has been the people I have come in contact with. This weekend I got to meet many people I had been chatting with on Facebook. I got to meet many more I will start to chat with.

I got to meet Anne and Bill:
And Ron who blogs at I'mRONMAN

I got to spend a lot of fun time with Stephanie and Nadya.

Thank you Chuck Kemeny for a great camp! I have been telling people this was a really important weekend for me. A test if you will. I think I passed with flying colors.

The next big test is HIM Augusta when I get to practice putting it all together.

Thankfully the weekend was great because right now, all my dirty clothes are soaking in soapy water because my washer decided to quick working (full of water, detergent, and dirty clothes). How lucky am I?

I'm sure there is a joke somewhere about everything I touch this weekend breaking.....

To the woman who rolled her eyes at me when she found out that not only have I never done a full before, but my first half will be HIM Augusta just 5 weeks before IMFL.... I'll see you at the finish line!

Thank you Stephanie for a great weekend!

I really didn't want to come home. I have really missed the beach. I propose an IMFL meet up in Augusta in 2 weeks. Who's in?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kickin' @ss...

What a week it's been and what a weekend it's going to be.

The highlight of this week (so far) was getting beat on a sports massage from Samantha at Tri Body Works. We had a great chat as she tried to distract me from the obvious and necessary pain she was inflicting on my IT Bands and my quads, and hamstrings, and glutes.... Just add her to the list of those who call me a tight @ss yet don't mean it as a compliment.

Right after the massage I stuck around for a 2 hour self-defense seminar hosted by Tri Body Works and the brain child of Angela from TeamEndured and Nathan from Trinity Fitness. A month or so ago there were a few attacks in the Atlanta area on female endurance athletes. Angela and Nathan decided that they wanted to give back to the community and conduct free seminars. They've taken this presentation around the Atlanta area. It's free and I got a lot out of it. There are a few more left. check out the events page for Team Endured for information and to register.
Angela and I have been FB friends for a while. First time we got to meet IRL.
I like to think I'm relatively aware of my surroundings and I don't present as a victim but it never hurts to have more tools at your disposal.

Side note: First time I met Nathan I posted wanting to ride in one of the local tri groups. I met Nathan, his friend and another man at a remote parking lot to ride 40 miles on a relatively isolated trail. Hmmm...maybe not my smartest move, but with so many friends in common....

 Some things I think I already knew, but you can never hear too often:
  1. Be aware of your surroundings.
  2. Don't be predictable. Don't run/bike/walk/drive the same route the same way at the same time everyday.
  3. Mind your social media. Many of our awesome GPS watches upload our maps. Many of us start our workouts from our front door. Many of us over share (cough, cough, guilty!).
  4. Exude confidence. Know where you are going and if you don't know...FAKE IT!
  5. Trust your intuition. If you are coming up on someone or something that gives you the creeps, STOP, turn around, and go the other way.
  6. Easy on the music. Actually if you are tri training - DITCH the music. You can't use it on race day anyway. If you do have ear buds in, make sure the volume is such that you can hear some one approaching. This is important for a cyclist calling "on your left" wanting to pass you as well as creeps who might mean you harm. Not being able to hear either could have disastrous results.
  7. WEAR A ROADID! They are cheap. They speak when you can't. Seriously. Get one. Wear it. Embrace the tan line!

Something I do for a few reasons is acknowledge EVERYONE I pass. It might be a verbal "hi!" or a nod, or a wave. I do this for a few reasons:
  1. If I am running alone, I WANT to be noticed. If my gorgeous mug shows up on the evening news, I want someone to say, "I saw her!"
  2. I want them to know I noticed them.
  3. I'm just a friendly kind of girl.
We also learned some moves if we end up in a physical altercation. Nathan encouraged us not to throw a punch. If we have not been trained we could hurt ourselves worse. But elbows: elbows are fair game!

We also discussed knees. I knew all those years of soccer would pay off!

Training wise: I have 2 big workouts coming up. I have an IMFL training camp this weekend where I will ride another 100 on a new saddle on the race course. Stephanie assures me that it will be a great ride. I'm not so sure. Everyone gets a new saddle to test drive on a 25 mile ride (done today) and then for 100. Saddle review: still chafing (need to look at new shorts tonight at All3Sports), sit bones are tender (I think they are supposed to be), soft spot that was getting bruise seems not so bad.

Two weeks later is HIM Augusta.

They FINALLY posted bib numbers for Augusta. I'm excited and nervous and anxious for so many reasons. It isn't my goal race, but it is THE dress rehearsal! 

Both events are significant for my confidence as I begin to realize how real IMFL is!

You want the dating dirt...don't cha? Not too much to report but I did get this message this week:

Incase you decide you have the perfect guy for me. I just have to meet him. Show him this. If he even hesitates at any of them but especially 17.... just let it be!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I Might Just be Getting Stronger...

There was this one time I uploaded data for a ride to Training Peaks that included commentary that I nailed my ride workout. One time in this entire training cycle until yesterday.

I hate my bike. I hate the bike. I hate riding. I hate how I feel when riding. I hate how my hoo-ha feels when I'm done riding.

After last weekend's horrifically awful (physical feelings) yet amazing (training wise because I actually finished it) Century plus a few miles, I spoke with Curtis at Cannon Cyclery about my feelings about MP (Money Pit, aka My Bike). Actually, he called me! Talk about service! I was planning on giving him a call but he had seen my Century write up and contacted me. I digress (I just LOVE customer service). I talked to him about getting a new bike. Maybe MP wasn't the right bike for me. He listened and explained that psychologically a new bike could do wonders, but with 8 weeks (now 7) to IMFL I should stick with the devil I know. He put forth a good argument. I conceded it was a very logical and rational thought process. We will discuss a new bike after IMFL when I figure out if I'm going to try a 140.6 again or only be half crazy and focus on 70.3.

This week has been a recovery/cut back week. The month of August was all about building and building. Yesterday's ride was only 56 miles. It was posted on the North Georgia Tri Club page that a group was riding about my pace on the Silver Comet I said I would meet up with them.

Post said wheels down at 7am. One of the people coming to join was running late. By 7:15 I turned to Nadia and asked if she was ready. Confident the others were faster anyway, she agreed. (they ended up averaging 18mph, we did not!).

I HAD A GREAT RIDE!!! Nadia is a strong cyclist and has been doing triathlons for 3-4 years. We chatted, we rode, we ran, and of course got lunch. It was NOT my fastest ride. But for the first time after a long ride, I felt good. I felt like I had gotten a solid ride.
Note to self, 1 mile up the road are real bathrooms!
This is how my cadence has been looking all season on the Silver Comet. By the second half of my ride, I pedal for a minute or two, then coast. Rinse repeat.
This was yesterday's ride.
Don't confuse my good ride with me falling in love with MP or the ride. I still have issues and I'm still going to see Curtis this week. It was just so nice to get off my bike feeling competent!

Nadia had a 45 minute run; I only had 20 minutes. I utilized my extra time cooling off in the fountain. This time I was smart and grabbed my goggles!

Next weekend I'm headed to Panama City Beach for IMFL Tri Camp with LifeSport Coaching, Velocity Multisport triathlon coaching, and Revolutions: Triathlon Coaching, LLC. Looking forward to meeting everyone and riding another Century. Hoping and praying that this Century goes well. It will be a huge confidence boost if it does.

And remember: Always be yourself unless you can be Batman....
For those wondering: Kohl's Boys' Department.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Is The Grass Greener....

In case you didn't know, I'm single. We are talking incredibly unattached to anything. No significant other, no children, no dogs, cats or fishes. My RoadID emergency contact is my sister and brother-in-law. I'm thankful for them, but you know...

Being a single/unattached (from now on referred to simply as single) woman is amazing. Really. I'm in a Facebook group for single (but not necessarily unattached) triathletes and this question came up the other day. I just reviewed what others said and a lot of the positives were ones I already planned on sharing with you.
  • One calendar to check before committing to something
  • I train when I can/when I want. (I do have a job and some seasons more than one)
  • I can sleep in the middle of the bed
  • No one complains about my bike being a regular object in the living room.
  • No one complains about dishes left in the sink or water bottles hanging out on the dish rack
  • Collection of running shoes by the front door, no problem
  • I can stay in bed till 11 on rest days if I choose
  • Ice one around to hear me whine
  • I don't need anyone's permission to agree to a race (well, besides my coach)
  • No one complains when my alarm goes off at 4:30a.m.
  • No one to hear me yell F@CK when I kick something I left on the ground.
It's possible I just broke my toe
  • I come home when I want.
  • If I don't feel like cooking, I can pick something up
  • I spend my money on what I want, when I want
  • Only my mess to clean, my laundry to wash
  • After a long workout, I can just be. I can sit on the couch and no one needs me
  • I never have to worry about the toilet seat being up!
I am only responsible to and for me. I can do whatever I want!
However it sucks being a single long course triathlete.
  • If there's no food in the fridge, it stays that way
  • Laundry has to be done no matter how tired I am
  • No dish fairy
  • If I'm too tired to prepare food, I have to suck it up or go to bed hungry
  • No one cares when I come home
  • No special someone waiting for me at the finish line
  • When the world seems to be overwhelming, no one to give me a hug and tell me it all be okay
  • No one to curl up with on a cold night
  • No one to split chores and issues as they arise
  • No one to just be with
  • No one who says, "You just rode 100 miles, I'll get your bike out of the car."
  • No invites to social situations that are couples only
No one has my back but me.
This doesn't mean I'm desperate or lonely, just single. When the car breaks, I have to fix it. When a contractor has to come to the condo, I have to be here. Chores, on me. Sometimes it gets to be a bit much. But I get over it, because I'd rather be happy single than miserable in a bad relationship. 
That sounds kind of obnoxious, but I'm not going to date someone just so I can say I'm not single. 
The next time you are looking at me thinking how great I have it remember that I might be looking at you thinking how great you have it. There are pros and cons to both of our situations.  
P.S. I wrote about my family the other day. You might have missed it because I didn't link in the race groups.

Monday, September 1, 2014

We are Family....

About a 6 weeks ago, my mother told me they (she and my father) would be in town for Labor Day weekend. I assured her I'd see them, but I didn't know my schedule yet.

What was my schedule this weekend? Just a Century ride on Saturday, a 13 mile run on Sunday, a 1.2 mile swim on Monday. Dinner plans with my out of town guest on Friday. Dinner with a friend I hadn't seen in 4 months on Sunday. Oh, I didn't mention that? A friend was coming to the area (plane ticket bought a month or so ago) and her original housing plans fell through. She told me she was staying at a hotel and I told her I could offer her a couch and a key, but that I wouldn't be around. I think I spent a total of 4 hours with her and she was here from Thursday evening through this afternoon. I was home so little (she had plans, I didn't abandon her) that I didn't even get a picture with her!

After a great open water recovery swim this morning at Red Top Mountain (one of my happy places)
Red Top Cove
 I got to have a fun breakfast with these awesome people.
Yes, Stephanie and I train for Waffle House
From there I went to hang out with the Family. I got to see my folks Saturday night as well. My mother's favorite restaurant is PF Chang's. If you are a single male and reading this and thinking maybe, just maybe, you'd like to break bread with me; make note: NO CHAINS! But mom loves this place, so that's where we had dinner.

Back to today....I met everyone (my sister and her family and my folks) at Bagelicious. My mother just got a new laptop and it has Windows 8. Guess who is the only one who has had any interaction with Windows 8? I got voluntold to go back to my sister's to help my mother with her computer. (I was planning on hanging out with them anyway but me as the IT Help Center - that's just funny!)

Mom and I sat on the couch and I showed her (and dad) how to make the screen look more familiar. 
Might just be mom's first selfie
We also reviewed many of the pages that The Facebook randomly decided she should follow, because The Facebook does that. We did lots of unliking! I also tried to explain the components of the Facebook home page: ads, activity, etc. Saturday night we talked about 'liking' EVERYTHING I post on Facebook. Mom said she just wanted me to know she saw what I posted. I told her I would prefer to think that she actually misses some things.

You may or may not know, but I used to be a Social Studies Teacher. My sister used to teach math. While she taunted me with imaginary numbers, I got to help my niece with her social studies homework.
I think our work session went well.
My nephew was in the other room getting his homework done and my sister was lamenting about the quantity of his homework. I told her we had lots of homework. She said, "I don't know how much homework I had in high school, I never did it." (I have permission to share this!)

After some quality time with my folks and family (and determining I could fit into one of my niece's swimsuits if I wanted) it was time to head home. My sister walked me out and we chatted for a few minutes. My niece came stomping out in classic preteen fashion. After getting to the bottom of the issue I turned to my sister and told her: She is just like you and when she isn't like you she is like me! Ha! Mom did better than win when she said "may you have one just like you!" My sister conceded I was right and walked away.
I love my mini me!
I love my family but after a century, a half marathon, and mile swim; a bit of socializing and tutoring my mother on The Facebook this might just be dinner...

Much, much, much needed rest day tomorrow!