Monday, August 30, 2010


That's right peeps - I did it. I am a triathlete AND I wasn't even last!

We got to the race at 6am to check in and get ourselves all ready for the day. Kevin, as always, was so amazing - had all my drinks ready, food, snacks cold and race ready - I feel bad for people that don't have him as their team support! From the moment I woke up until the moment I started to swim I was never nervous - not even a little. I was completely ready and excited to get the race started. The swim was not what I expected as we had to walk way out in the gross water to a spot over our heads to wait for a whistle/gun/"go" which no one ever really heard but alas someone started to go so we all went for it. The swim was hard, much harder than I had imagined it to be. I had trouble finding my rhythm and felt as if I was just not moving forward at all. About 2 minutes into the swim I felt my timing chip coming loose so I tried to float for a second and fix it and then it was gone. Everytime I looked up during the swim, it didn't seem like I was any closer to the double buoy as if I was going nowhere fast! When I did make it and turned around to go back to shore, the shore seemed to never be moving closer to me either. But 14 minutes later (or somewhere around there bc I lost the chip I don't really know my times) I was on the shore ripping off my wetsuit making my way to T1. On to the bike, this was the highlight of the day since I knew the EXACT course. I've ridden this course 4 times already and knew every turn and every climb (which is basically the whole damn thing - climb, climb, climb). There was a girl in front of me on a mountain bike, wearing sneakers and a SKIRT and I thought for sure I could smoke her but I could not catch her the whole time. All back to the point of, "it's not about the bike". So damn annoying. But the ride was good, my goal was under an hour but I did it in 1:07, again I think since no chip. On top of no chip, my bike computer decided to stop working as well so all I had was my wrist watch to keep my time. Thankfully I have been on this course so many times I knew where the miles were and I knew how much further I had to go otherwise I think I would have freaked out not knowing where the climb ended.

Rolled into T2 and everyone was screaming!!! So many people it was kind of confusing - I couldn' see the "dismount" sign anywhere but just headed in that direction. I was trying to spin my legs to get rid of the lactic acid in my legs in order to run. That, my friends, is one of those "tricks" that competitve athletes tell you to do - it doesn't work. The only thing that could have helped my legs was a new set of legs, another person running or a motorized scooter! The run was a measly 4 miles - seems easy enough but I think they moved the cones. The first 2 miles were up a 90 degree angle, at least that's how it felt. I looked ahead of me and saw many, many people walking so I also walked quite a bit - almost the entire first 2 miles. I figured I could run the 2 miles back since it was down hill. At one point I figured the race director decided not to post mile markers bc certainly I'd already gone at least a such luck. The water station was the first mile and the lovely volunteer giving out water said, "this is the 1st mile". I almost threw my water at her. FINALLY made it to the turn around and figured - this is it, this is the end, 2 miles left and I'm done. This I can do. I tried to run as much as I could the last 2 miles in order to get my time in under an hour (4 miles in an hour is fairly pathetic but at this point I just wanted to finish at any time!). My only goal at this point was not to let anyone see my walking once I got into the parking lot where the finish line was and all my adoring fans! Make is seem as if I were running an 8 minute mile the whole time.

Running in was so great - my entire team was there. Team Lipstick totally took over the entire race and it was great to run to the finish line towards the team, Kevin and my sister! Since I crossed the finish line alone it was like my very own private race! So awesome, great feeling - all the hard work finally paid off. I crossed the finish line. I am a triathlete. Hard to believe, but true. Watch out world...anything is possible.

Peace out and I'll see you at the next race - thanks for joining me for the ride.

Friday, August 27, 2010

You aren't going to the Olympics?

With the amount of time I think about Diamond Girl, the amount of time training for it and the amount of time traveling to the training many people, myself included, feel as if at this point I should be going to the Olympics. They say it's just what happens when you are training for something specific no matter how big or small. It's all consuming in your life -it's all I think about, talk about and dream about. If I happen to meet someone that competes in triathlon they might say, "OH it's just a sprint?". Well it's not just a sprint to me at all! This is my olympics. Aside from bearing 3 human beings, this is the most challenging thing I've ever done. I've been out of my comfort zone from day 1. My coaches and team continue to push me further and harder should I accidentally step into my comfort zone (don't think I ever have actually!). But with great support and a small voice in my head telling me I can do it - I've made it this far. As Andy says, "The hay is in the barn". There is nothing more I can do at this point - we've trained hard for this, some say overtrained but that's just a pipe dream for me, I can only hope that I've overtrained for something.

In 48 hours from now I'll be deep into my first triathlon. We have all set our personal time goals for the race, I have everything I need to make me as successful as I can be. The rest is now up to me. Just me. I know I can do it and I'm so excited to cross the finish line.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two New (or more!) Fears:

The countdown is on...the end is near. Race day is rapidly approaching - have I over trained for it? One can only hope. But now that I'm finally at the point of having complete faith in my ability to finish the race and not come in last. Two new fears have set in:

-the race directors call off the use of wetsuits due to warm water
-they call off the swim altogether bc of lightning/high levels of crap in the water/etc.

If they call off the wetsuits my fear is that I can't swim safely the distance and if they call off the swim and add another run I will run into the water with a brick tied to my ankle. That will solve all of my problems.

At this point in my training I think I have exactly the amount of stamina and training to do EXACTLY 500 meters of swimming WITH a wetsuit, 15.5 miles of mountainous terrain (I might have a little more here but not more than 18 miles) and 4 miles of a fast walk, if I'm lucky. I've gone through this whole process with the thought that was all I had to do to get to the finish line. If the race directors start throwing wrenches in that plan I'm not sure my brain will be able to take it or my heart.

12 days left...not that I'm counting.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Internal Dialogue

They say everyone has an internal dialogue and it's up to you to make that dialogue positive. Mine is normally very negative, shocking I know. I often think:
-I'm a quitter;
-I'm lazy, slow and the fattest girl here;
-it would be easier to go home then to try to find the strength to finish;
-did I mention I'm a quitter?
-I'm destined to be my mother, might as well just quit now.
-you get the point here...

I've been slowly replacing those negative comments with the words of wisdom my many coaches & my NLLP have taught me along the way. These are not positive affirmations but more about technique in the specific sport I'm doing at that time. Even this morning I captured yet another. So now when I'm training these are the things I tell myself - feel free to steal them and use them for your own training!

-Relax your upper body so the rider next to you thinks you aren't working hard - ride as if this is sooo easy;
-Downhill is not a recovery period but an opportunity to gain time (this one I do not like at all!);
-This is discomfort not pain - push through it;
-Run until your legs fall off or give out (this of course never happens!);
-You don't have to go fast you just have to go;
-We've done more before noon than most people do in a whole year;
-If you breath correctly, you can swim all day long;
-Just keep putting your feet down and you'll keep going;

And my all time favorite:
-95% of your problem is from the shoulders up - get out of your own head. You can do it and do it well, now get out there and make yourself proud!

Monday, August 9, 2010

weekend "vacation"?

My all time favorite thing to do is to snuggle up in a blanket with a cup of tea and eventually take a nap. When the kids are gone that is how I USED TO spend my weekends. This past weekend was the exact opposite of what my dream weekends used to entail. Left Saturday by 8:00am to head up to 87 Motel - yes that's actually the name of the place we stayed. I wouldn't call it a hotel bc that would be giving it way too much credit - I think calling it a motel is even a bit of a stretch! Arrived in New Paltz and was ready for a nice long ride - we were broken up into groups and I went in the beginner group. You know it's a hard core crowd when the beginner group is a mere 35 mile ride with "mild" hills. The insane group of girls went out for 70 miles but that's someone else's blog to write. After the 35 mile easy ride, we stopped to run. By the grace of God, I got out of running as my knee has been killing me for some time. I cashed in my Get Out of Jail Free Card and become the Bike Watcher while everyone else ran (which might be the highlight of the entire weekend!).

We ended the day with a fantastic dinner with the entire team - so fun to get to know everyone, talk about the day, discuss battle scars, routes, races and the following days workout.

I could hardly sleep Saturday night 1) because the "motel" was far from the Ritz and not all that comfortable (not to mention the child's shoe I found under the bed and was just waiting for a body to be there as well) and 2) because sever anxiety had set in. Sundays work out was going to be a longer, faster, hillier ride followed by a run, then lunch THEN an hour swim workout. I could have certainly slept for a few days after just Saturdays workout. So I had some trouble sleeping just trying to imagine myself getting through the day and not being last, the lamest, weakest of the group or merely just getting in my car and going home without anyone noticing.

But 5:20am Sunday arrived, I hadn't headed home just yet and was ready for the day - or so I thought. Put myself in the group above the beginners and off we went for a 37 mile ride. It was challenging, fun, hilly - I learned a ton on the ride since I was being coached by Laura for the first time. Each coach brings new insight and information to each session. Then I hit mile 28 and hit a wall but Laura doesn't like walls and we had to knock the wall down and speed through it. I'll admit, I wasn't happy - I wanted off the bike or at the very least to be dropped to go at my own pace. That was not an option - I think Laura's exact quote was, "this is called discomfort and people don't like it but too bad - get on her tire now". Another of my favorite quotes of the day, "biking is a workout done from a chair you need to work harder to get a good work out". Even sitting in a chair for 3 hours is hard work but I digress. Since stopping, being dropped or being uncomfortable were not options I finished and tried my hardest to finish strong...I think I did ok. I was able to keep the tire in front of me until the last mile which was a very strong climb - go figure the last mile is always the hardest climb!

Today I was not out of the run so out I went - it was supposed to be 15 minutes out, 15 back but since I was in some pain I did 10 out. My big plan was to do 10 out and then walk 10 back but alas, there was Laura again next to me running the whole time - no stopping when the "boss" is running next to you. By this point I could not even feel the pain in my knee or feel my legs at all - they could have been cut off and I'd have never even noticed. I did run an entire 20 minutes and for most people they do that as a warm up but it was probably the hardest part of the entire weekend for me. This running thing just sucks the big one. By this point the weekend was a blur and the rest is just more blurry than before.

The NJ team met for lunch and did all I could to continue talking and being human as not to pass out into an unconscious state never to return. Then on to swim for an hour of drills. At this point I knew for sure I'd drown in that pool or at least be happy to drown bc there was no way I could even move. But as I've said in the past, when your team and coach shows up - you somehow find a way to continue on. While most of that hour I did complain, bitch and stop at every wall - I did do it and even felt pretty good while doing it.

So now I'm home in the comfort of my own, lovely, comfortable bed and trying to reflect on the weekend. I often get stuck in little details:
I was in the slow group; I'm always getting dropped; I come in last; I swim the slowest; on and on but I can honestly say that I came home and thought I DID IT. I actually did it - road over 70 miles, ran 2 miles, swam for an hour in less than 48 hours - simply amazing.

I'd be remiss if I didn't once again thank my amazing team and coaches and this time I get to add Laura. Thanks for the push even though I didn't like it at the time it feels great now!