Monday, May 31, 2010

2010 Kinetic Half Ironman Race Results

I know, I know. The Kinetic Half Ironman was over 2 weeks ago, and here I am just posting my results now.

Swim 1.2 miles (no wetsuit) 32:53
Transition1 2:55
Bike 56 miles 3:53:57
Transition2 1:56
Run 13. 1 miles 3:28:236

Final time 8:00:01

It was a long day but I finished. It was a choppy swim, a very windy bike & a long hot run, but a wonderful & well-supported race. Thanks to the support of my wonderful teammates & family for cheering & waiting for me at the finish.
The most inspiring moment was seeing the blind athlete multiple times on the run course going strong with his guide. It's so easy to do something hard, when you are inspired by someone who is doing something harder.

I felt stronger than I did during Eagleman Ironman 70.3 in 2007 -- even though it took me longer, it was a much better race for me. It was a more challenging course, but in many ways I was more prepared for it.

Most ironic part: my 2 goals for this race were 1. not to walk up any hills on the bike 2. finish in 8 hours, feeling good.

Goal 1: completed
Goal 2: well, you saw my time for the race! I missed 8 hours by one second. But, I did stop a couple times to kiss & hug my kids, so I guess it was worth it!

Photos: I'm still working on finding some! I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sandman Triathlon Race Results for 2009

I finished Sandman just before 10 a.m. Results were in my email box at 11:38 a.m. That has got to be a record! The awards were still going on at Luna Sea down the street! Amazing!

Anyway, Here are my results from yesterday's race:

Sandman 2009 Total time, 1:54:50.35

The breakdown:

Your Swim time was 20:25.20 (1000 meters) in a very rough ocean

T1 2:54.45
Your Bike time was 50:29.55 (14 miles)

T2 1.21
Your 5K time was 39:40.15

The weather was perfect. It was cool, about 65 degrees, sunny and a it windy. It was a fun race, although I was fatigued on the bike (not enough training on the bike). To my surprise this time was nearly a PR. I'm not sure why, but I decided to wear a wetsuit. Big mistake. I hate swimming in a wetsuit. I knew that but thought for some reason this time would be different. I spent alot of time freaking out in the water because it was so tight around my neck I felt like I was choking. Believe it on not, I almost quit on the swim. I was so panicked I wasn't sure I could do it. I spent alot of time not swimming. Grabbing at my neck, floating on my back trying to calm down, doing side stroke.Then, I decided that quitting wasn't an option. And that I wasn't going to die from it being so tight around my neck, so I might as well swim faster so I could get the damn wetsuit off faster. In the end everything was OK, but I do have a wetsuit for sale!

Sandman 2008 1:55:28.15
Sandman 2007 1:54:17
Sandman 2006 1:57:53.8

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Good News, My First Ever First, VBLA Race Report

I know, delayed results. But what do you expect for a somewhat neglected blog?

Last week 5 of us girls from Richmond, drove to Virginia Beach to swim in the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Series 3k swim. Result: all of us had a great race! Three of the girls were testing out wetsuits for Ironman Flordia. Me, you know I'm not a huge fan of wetsuits, so I swam Plain Jane. Luckily, I did remember to put on sunscreen!

The water was perfect, calm, rolling waves, and a clear day. It was beautiful. No jellyfish. And, I had a pretty good swim. For the first time EVER I came in first in my age group in a race. Now, to fully understand this, you have to know I was totally excited about this even when I though I was the ONLY one in my age group! Imagine my surprise when I saw that there were actually 5 of us.

Here are my results:

Holland 3k, 40(overall) 1(age group)51:16:00 (3k time)26:04:00 (1.5k split)

I came in 40th overall of about 60 swimmers. And, I had a negative split!
They lost my registration, and had to write me in at the last minute -- so hence my botched name, but I'll take it anyway!

If anyone is looking for a well run open water swim, this is it! The 5k is August 23rd. I highly recommend it! When the race is over, the guards even drive you back to your car in the lifeguard truck. Nothing like riding down the beach at 20 mph with the wind in your face to realize, wow, that really was a long swim!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Race Results: I Love the Tavern

The I LOVE the Tavern Triathlon race
results are finally posted!
Good news! I did PR on the race overall, but
most importantly, I PR'd on the run, which was my goal.
I was the third Athena out of the water on the swim.
And I had the second fastest bike split.
It is so obvious to me now what I need to do:
work on my RUN! Although I PR'd, if I was 2 minutes
faster I could have placed.
I did give it my all yesterday. I felt great and
had alot of fun.
I LOVED seeing all those TRIgirls out on the course,
and I loved getting to cheer on the other athletes.

Here are my stats from the last
3 years of the Tavern race:

2009 2008 2007
Swim 750m 15:42 15:29 18:43
T1 1:40 2:44 2:53
Bike 18.89 1:06:07 1:05:24 1:04:10
T2 1:43 1:57 1:04
Run 39:38 42:06 40:52
Total time 2:04:48 2:07:39 2:07:40

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I LOVE the Tavern Tri Race Report

It was a beautiful day for a triathlon. After a 15 minute delay and a slight shortening of the race course, for the first time ever I started a race on land. Typically, we tread water for 3 minutes and wait for the gun to go off. This time we were still making our way down to the water when I heard 10 second -- beep!
And we're off!

Unfortunately, with the strong current, many of the men from the 2 heats prior were still trying to make there way forward and those of us in purple caps who were faster had to swim over both red and yellow caps. There was lots of confusion, and this was both the most contact I'd ever experienced in a race and also the gentle-ist nicest elbows and feet I'd ever encountered. Yes we were all climbing over each other in an effort not to be swept downstream, but we were being polite about it.

As I climbed out of the water, slightly disoriented, and ran down the trail through the woods, someone shouted that I was the second TRIgirl out of the water. I grabbed my bike and mounted it only to have lots of trouble clipping in. About 5 people passed me as I tried to clip in, and thankfully, I didn't fall.

The bike course was full of passing and getting passed. I was pretty tired starting the big hill at the turn around, but managed to have a good bike leg anyway. For next year I need to remember, I only need one water bottle and no bike gloves. I think both those things slowed me down.

My goal for this race was to PR on the run especially. Typically, I go all out on the swim and bike and don't save much for the run, but today I was able to hang on for the run too. I have no idea if I PR'd but fact that it was a cool day helped immensely.

The trail run was fun but took a bit of concentration no to trip on the roots. Lots of people passed me! I mean lots! But, these were they guys getting the awards.

Before I knew it they were saying I had .6 miles left and I ran it in as hard as I could. I knew there was a chance I was in the running for a medal if I picked up the speed, but all I could do was all I could do. I had a strong finish, that left me wanting more for my next race. So, more hard work, and a goal, that next year I'd like to bring home a 3rd in Athena. This is the second race this season where I've come in 4th -- which is totally fine -- but makes me think If I work at it there is no reason I couldn't get a third. The 3rd place winner beat me by about 2 minutes.

Yet another opportunity to set a goal and work towards it and set a good example for the kiddos! Oh, those kids! I absolutely LOVE seeing them cheering me on during a race! I'm so grateful their dad brought them out to cheer!

My time was 2:04 something. The past 2 years it has been 2:07 -- So I got a PR, despite a a strong current. I'll post my splits when I have them.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Getting Ready: I LOVE the Tavern

I'm getting excited, it's race weekend -- I LOVE the Tavern Triathlon, my favorite local race.
Friday night is the open water swim practice with the Richmond Tri Club, Saturday is packet pick up and setting up the TRIgirl Training team tent for race day, pack my race bag and Sunday, 7 a.m. is race day!
This is the third year they've held this race and I've done it each year. Looking back on my race report from last year is funny -- I PR'd by ONE SECOND! That is completely crazy for a 2-hour race!
This year, my goal for the race is simple -- have a good time, enjoy it -- and especially enjoy the run. The swim is easy to enjoy -- it's in the James River, mostly against the current. Typically I feel at home in the water, even if it is muddy and filled with flying elbows. The bike is beautiful, and wild, mostly country roads, with one incredible hill. I hope that I fly up that hill like I did 2 weekends ago when we practiced the course -- and I hope in flying down it I enjoy the ride and don't break - despite hitting 36 mph.
The run, is a trail run, through the woods and out in to a neighborhood and then back through the woods. I love the shade that the run offers and the privacy of the trail for a moment, in between the runners passing me. This year I've been making stride in my running and I've incorporated trail running into my training for the first time. I'm hoping to feel strong on the run -- really strong and have a great finish. Oh, and a PR, if only by one second, would be nice too!
Stay tuned for the report on Sunday.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rocketts Landing Triathlon (Duathlon)

Just wanted to take a second to post the results from the Rocketts Landing Triathlon. Actually, I should say duathlon -- because the swim was canceled after a very rough James River made about half of the first wave of swimmers drift downstream from the buoys, missing the course entirely.
Here are my race results. Not pretty, but for my first duathlon, I'll take it. There is nowhere to go from here but up!
2 mile run 24:58, 40k bike 1:38:39, transtition 1:43, 10K run 1:25:06
Total time 3:30:24

This was the most beautiful race course I've ever seen. I can't wait to do it again next year, as a triathlon!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Why I've let Daydreams Back into my Life

My friend John Sarvay (you know they guy who inspired me to start writing a blog in the first place) just started his sixth blog. I know. Crazy, like he doesn't have enough to do with a new baby!
Anyway, the newest blog, Floricane, is actually about his new business -- focusing on leadership coaching, organizational development, and creative facilitation. He just wrote this amazing post on daydreaming.
I've always thought daydreaming was indulgent and stopped myself from it whenever possible. Kind of sad, I know. Only recently, have I allowed myself to daydream. How has it changed my life? I don't know. I dream at night more. I hope more. And I feel more too. Actually, come to think of it, I think I deprived myself of daydreaming for so long that in allowing myself to do so -- I overdid it a bit! Funny how that happens? I guess it is just one more reminder that balance is the key! In the past 3 months, daydreams have played a critical role in my life and my future. They've allowed me to see posibility, hope and in one case even frightened me! It's amazing what your mind will do if you just let if off the leash once in a while.

Sarvay quotes a recent article on the topic in the Boston Globe:
In recent years, however, scientists have begun to see the act of daydreaming very differently. They’ve demonstrated that daydreaming is a fundamental feature of the human mind - so fundamental, in fact, that it’s often referred to as our “default” mode of thought. Many scientists argue that daydreaming is a crucial tool for creativity, a thought process that allows the brain to make new associations and connections.

The article in particular talks about how in society today we tend to use television to occupy our empty time, which keeps us from daydreaming and being creative. Daydreaming actually take practice and being able to notice insight within that daydream is key to it being productive.

For me, daydreaming (or not allowing myself to) has been a weakness. Something I was never taught to value. But isn't it interesting that our body knows what it needs. Which brings me back to the focus of this blog -- triathlons. The one time I have allowed myself a sort of daydreaming state is when I excercise. Especially swimming for endless hours or biking for endless miles. Then it is no cooincidence that I've chosen to be an endurence athlete. Before triathlons, the only other time I allowed myself to do this was when I would go for long motorcycle rides whenever I felt "antsy". And that is what the article talks about next:
Every time we slip effortlessly into a daydream, a distinct pattern of brain areas is activated, which is known as the default network. Studies show that this network is most engaged when people are performing tasks that require little conscious attention, such as routine driving on the highway or reading a tedious text. Although such mental trances are often seen as a sign of lethargy - we are staring haplessly into space - the cortex is actually very active during this default state, as numerous brain regions interact. Instead of responding to the outside world, the brain starts to contemplate its internal landscape. This is when new and creative connections are made between seemingly unrelated ideas.

"When you don't use a muscle, that muscle really isn't doing much of anything," says Dr. Marcus Raichle, a neurologist and radiologist at Washington University who was one of the first scientists to locate the default network in the brain. "But when your brain is supposedly doing nothing and daydreaming, it's really doing a tremendous amount. We call it the 'resting state,' but the brain isn't resting at all."

Recent research has confirmed the importance of the default network by studying what happens when the network is disrupted. For instance, there is suggestive evidence that people with autism engage in less daydreaming than normal, with a default network that exhibits significantly reduced activity during idle moments. In addition, more abnormal default networks in autistic subjects correlated with the most severe social deficits. One leading theory is that atypical default activity interferes with the sort of meandering memories and social simulations that typically characterize daydreams, causing people with autism to instead fixate on things in their environment.


What these studies all demonstrate is that proper daydreaming - the kind of thinking that occurs when the mind is thinking to itself - is a crucial feature of the healthy human brain. It might seem as though our mind is empty, but the mind is never empty: it's always bubbling over with ideas and connections.

One of the simplest ways to foster creativity, then, may be to take daydreams more seriously. Even the mundane daydreams that occur hundreds of times a day are helping us plan for the future, interact with others, and solidify our own sense of self. And when we are stuck on a particularly difficult problem, a good daydream isn't just an escape - it may be the most productive thing we can do.

So, this is a new goal for me. Allow myself not only to dream, but to have daydreams. And I'll encourage my kids to daydream too. In fact, I think I need to make some time for my husband to go paint, I have a hunch that is where he gets his daydreaming done.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

For Every Curse there is a Blessing: Elite Performance & Trauma

I read an article in the New York Times yesterday that just made my jaw drop. It's an article about psychiatric consultant Michael Miletic and his theory that many elite athlete's incredible focus and ability to perform comes from one of the strangest places:
He theorizes that the highly adaptive abilities of successful athletes were often formed to create a sense of invulnerability in the face of early physical and emotional hurdles. Thus, the seeds of success for some athletes -- perhaps as well for some opera singers, police officers, test pilots, surgeons -- are sown in trauma, often including physical abuse.

''Now don't take this as a blanket statement,'' said Miletic recently in his Birmingham office, ''but I have seen a significant proportion of high-achieving athletes who have come out of abusive homes. Their ability to block out pain and fear, to dissociate from their emotions, comes from their adaptive tactics to the trauma of their childhoods. It's a form of compensation.

I would argue that in order for these athletes to make the best of this traumatic childhood and turn it into something positive, they might also have to have the "resilience gene" as well.

If you read this story (and it is worth the read) you'll learn about how a hockey player lost his signature shot and found it again. And in an interesting turn of events, it turns out that this athlete could put his strong work ethic acquired from intense sports training and apply it to the work he needed to do in his therapy.

The player's willingness to be treated -- he asked his family to leave the intensive care unit so he could talk to the young psychiatrist -- and the superficiality of the insights he offered turned out to be typical of Miletic's future athletic patients. So was the thoughtfulness and enthusiasm; the player approached his initial psychotherapy with the same work ethic he brought to physical training.

But he resisted the trip into his unconscious mind. The hockey player ascribed his suicide attempt to outside pressures; the fans and news media expected him to lead a subpar team racked by dressing-room dissent. Because of this pressure, he said, he had become so unsure of himself that he even suspected his fiancee of having an affair with a teammate.

It was not until the second year of therapy that the player was ready to deal with the repressed trauma that had led to his breakdown. He had become anxious because he was soon to be married and a father, and that had stirred old ghosts.

So for me this was a fascinating story. I am no elite athlete. But I certainly can relate to this story. I wonder how many other elite and endurance athletes gain an edge from the disassociation they learned during their traumatic childhoods. It seems to every curse there is a blessing. And it is stories like these that make me keep looking for the blessing at every turn.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Goals & Remembering This is Why I Tri

I met me goal for December, just barely. I made it to 2 Maramarc workouts each week (one bike and strength training and one Saturday brick) and in addition I ran at least one other day a week, sometimes even two. I just barely made my goals, because today, I found out I have strep and have had it for the last 8 days. No wonder workouts have seemed harder and I've been struggling to keep my head above water.

But, it's the workouts that keep me sane.

This week has been one of the toughest weeks in my adult life. I try to keep things in perspective but it is hard. I draw strength from my friends. From my incredible husband and my children. And from music. And, workouts clear my head and set me free if only for a moment.

This is not the first time that training and triathlons have helped me turn an important corner in my life. I try to remember why I swam across the Chesapeake Bay and why I've decided I will do an Ironman one day. It is because I can. I have the dream, the desire, and the drive to conquer my biggest fears. To be stronger than I ever thought I could be. And to always do the right thing no matter how much it hurts. Without triathlons, I'm not sure that I'd know how to bear this pain. But they have taught me to look to the finish, to see the big picture, to keep perspective and to keep my head up. They have taught me that my strength can be found in helping others and in confronting my biggest fears.

Tonight, I learned about another inspiring woman who feels the same way. And so tonight, I remember nothing is easy. And that challenges can be incredibly inspiring and an incredible source of strength. And that maybe things like this change you forever. And probably they should. And just because something hurts doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. And just because you feel alone doesn't mean you are. There is always room in a hurting heart for hope and for inspiration.

"The biggest fear I've ever had is dark water," she said. "And the biggest urge I had was to face my fear. That's why I decided to do marathon swimming. "... I imagined myself doing it. I believed."

.....[She], conquered the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim three times, using her fear of the ominous, murky deep as motivation to quickly churn through the 31-mile course along the Harlem, Hudson and East rivers.

When she first plunged into the chilly waters in 1982, she'd never swum more than two miles at a time. The water was so "black and yucky," she couldn't see her hands in front of her. She swam through old cardboard boxes, melons and rats.

"One of the other competitors ran into a corpse," she said. "They didn't finish."

But Clark did finish. Last.

She completed the course in 9 hours, 30 minutes and couldn't wait to try again. More than a year later, she posted a record time of 6:52.15, faster than any woman had gone before.

"I was that inspired," Clark said. "Marathon swimming isn't important, but the lessons are. One of the lessons I learned is that facing my fear is a parable to facing issues. Persevering, finding power in my weakness. My biggest weakness was dark water. That fear was the fuel made it possible for me to swim."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ironman Kills Athena and Clydesdale Divisions

I know, I know. MIA. I'm getting back to it. Working is just majorly stressful and that, raising a family and workouts are taking up every waking minute. Hmm. Maybe I need to sleep less.

I'll be back soon. IN the mean time, I just want to say that this SUCKS!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Inspiring Stories of Ironman Friends

I am in complete awe of my Ironfriends who completed Ironman Florida this weekend. These incredible athletes continue to amaze me. Actually, I could go on and one about each of them. Each one has overcome amazing things to get to this finish line. But based on time, I'll just have to highlight two of them. Plus, the two I've chosen don't have blogs, and many of the others will write their own stories.

Iron Friends who did Ironman Florida this weekend included my swim coach Som, who crazily decided to do 6 Ironmans in a year, to celebrate his 60th birthday (no really he is 60, I know he looks 35, but it's true). Talk about an inspiration. Did I mention that he is about to be featured in AARP Magazine?! He is a local (and national) legend.
TRIgirl Kate O.
TRIgirl Kate G.
TRIgirl Shawn
TRIboy Fred
Granite Pool friend Chris Lyons
and of course the unforgettable butt-slapping TRIgirl Patty

I took a special joy in watching TRIgirl Sharon finish, because I remember one Sunday, about a year ago I was at work, and thinking of signing up for IMFL 2008 myself. I thought, who would I like to train with. No really, really like to train with, for hours upon hours of training. And Sharon was one of the first people who popped into my mind. I looked up her number, and called her when there was a brief lull at work and before I knew it the conversation was over and, she just said, we'll there's no time like the present and she had signed up. OK, to me, it seemed like a whim, but to her, perhaps she'd been pondering the leap for years. Who knows. But the look as she crossed the finish line Saturday night and her huge smile were priceless. A warm feeling ran all up and down my heart for her.

TRIgirl Charlotte is yet another amazing story. It seemed like injury after injury plagued Charlotte. But each time, she remained optimistic and hopeful. When I swam with her at her last TRIgirl swim practice, we talked about Ironman Florida for a minute. She said, with no doubt or sadness, that she did not know if she would finish in the time allotted. There was a complete calmness in her voice. Resignation that she'd done all the training she could do. And that her journey had come to an end. She seemed at complete peace with herself and with the fact that she had done all the training and perhaps would or perhaps would not finish. It was an uncomfortable moment for me. Thinking that someone who wanted this so bad, and someone who had worked so hard against all odds could achieve such a sense of peace in the acknowledgement that after all this, she still might fail. In that instant, I admired Charlotte so much for teaching me something, she certainly has an IronSpirit.
We both mentioned how in awe we were that the body could achieve this feat, when so often our own bodies resisted attempts to stay up late just to watch our friends finish And for her, like me, more often than not, we succumbed to sleep. Totally in awe of what we had not done that day, and yet our bodies resisted even efforts to stay awake.
So, when Charlotte actually did finish and with time to spare, you could see, on her face, all of that glory -- so well deserved, coming to the surface. And in that moment, I experienced complete joy for her.

Oh, and did I mention she has one of the most dedicated husbands in the world. Her husband Fred also did Ironman Florida. When I first met Charlotte and Fred, he was always with her to keep her company on each workout. After a while he started to trust us TRIgirls with his most precious posession, but you can just tell how much Fred loves Charlotte. And I LOVE that!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ironman Hawaii 2008 World Championships Video

Here is a really cool video from last week's Ironman Hawaii World Championships:

Monday, October 13, 2008

If you Fall in Love with the Ocean -- It is Love at First Sight

Thanks to Sarah who shared an article about my new new hero -- Laurene Booth. She embodies what I hope to be. And her story, along with the inspiring story of Dave, Jeff and Tanner Martin show how ones actions can influence the actions of others. It's a long read, but if you need inspiration, here it is.

Some Thoughts on Ironweek

Thanks to Nancy Toby for pointing me in the direction of this essay by Martin Dugard on the Ironman. I'm not sure it I agree with him, and he certainly isn't Ironstuck (like I am), but he may have a point.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ironman Buys Ironkids Brand

We all know that Ironman events are some of the best run events in the world.
I've experienced 2 events owned by the Ironman brand --Irongirl Colombia and Eagleman Ironman 70.3. The were really well run races. Now, annouced today, Ironman has bought back the IronKids brand and are launching an 8 city youth triathlon series. I can only hope that there is an event near Richmond, because I'd love for Daisy to experience that -- but I'm unlikely to drive too far for her to do it. Stay tuned for more details....

October 8, 2008 – Today, World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), owners of
Ironman, Ironman 70.3 and Iron Girl, announces the growth of its brand
portfolio. In 2009, IronKids, the newest member of the WTC family, will
an eight-city youth triathlon series culminating with a national
The IronKids̢۪ mission is to inspire and motivate youth
through the sport to
lead an active, positive and healthy lifestyle. The
national event series,
targeting children ages six to 14-years-old, will
offer an interactive weekend
experience for the entire family.

Monday, October 06, 2008

An Ironman Dream Deferred

I've strayed away from this blog recently. But I've been sorting it all out in my head. Plugging along, training (or not) and racing on autopilot. Ignoring the cliffhanger I posed in early June about my plans for Ironman Florida in 2009. Perhaps scared to admit that I've chosen not to do an Ironman this year. Maybe worrying that I don't have it in me. Or that I've lost focus on that goal.
But recently, I've been taking some time to think more about me. Despite a new job that is challenging to say the least -- and the fact that I'm experiencing a major learning curve while I adjust and try to master new skills -- I've taking some time out to refect on me. The kids are at school, and one day a week, I try to squeeze in just a little time to focus on my goals. It's funny how you can put everything on hold, just by having kids. I feel like I've been on auto pilot for years. Finally, I'm taking the time to reflect and make some more deliberate decisions about my future. Decisions that require more thought that just the 1 hour nap time, or 2 hours squeezed in here or there.

I've been examining my career, my role with TRIgirls, what really makes me happy, and how I can live more passionately. I mean, that is why I started my triathlon journey in the first place. I wanted to feel alive, experience life more fully and to take some controlled risks -- out of my comfort zone to challeng myself. How can I balance being a full-time mom, an athlete, a TRIgirl team leader, a loving wife, a writer, a daughter, a sister, a PR & marketing coordinator, and blogger? Can I do well at all these things at the same time? Or, does something have to give? How do I choose to give less to one of these very important things or not put my heart fully into one of them. Until I recently took the time to reflect, I might not have lived my life as deliberately as I would have liked.

But things change. We grow older (and wiser). We write and reflect. We find that we are stronger than we realized. Then, we find something we need to be stronger for.

I'm not sure how this ties in other than It's helped me understand (without fear for a change) my own mortality. About 10 days ago, 2 friends were killed in a fire. They were not close friends, but still they were friends, and more importantly they were beautiful people trying to live their dreams. My grief for them is reminding me to balance goals in my life with relationships. To balance work with play. To live my life with no regrets. To place more emphasis on the people in my life that I love and respect. I regret not getting to know Oi and Nit more while they were here and now I've lost that opportunity. And, I'm trying to turn that regret into change in my life.

So, while I still have Ironman dreams, I'm thinking maybe now is not the best time to accomplish them. My son will never be 4 again. My daughter will never be 7 again. Maybe I'll wait until they are just a bit older. And maybe if I do that, they will understand more fully the sacrifice that an training for an Ironman takes. Maybe it will impact thier life differently --maybe they will be inspired.
Perhaps in a few years, I'll be in a better stage of my life to truly appreciate what completing an Ironman means as well. Maybe I'll be able to savor each mile more carefully, knowing that my family didn't make unwilling sacrifices for me to get there. I know I don't want to feel a tinge of guilt while I am fulfilling my dream. I don't want to be selfish.

And, I find myself coming back to last summer's posting about weight, self-esteem and the Ironman Pill. I mean if you are going to do an Ironman, you better do it for the right reasons right? I figure if I am not at my best self when I start the training, I likely won't make it to the starting line on race day. If I'm not doing it for the right reasons, and with the full support of everyone in my life, I doubt I'll have the fortitude to finish. My Ironman dreams need to be based on just me -- not improving self-esteem, or proving something to someone. Not even proving something to myself. Maybe some people would find that the Ironman completes them, or makes them whole, but for me, I know that if I am going to be sucessful at this, I need to be complete and whole from the day I sign up. And my Ironman, If I ever get there, will be the icing on the cake.

After getting a comment last week from someone who wanted to include my Great Chesapeake Bay Swim story in a book they are writing about the Bay Swim, I revisited my race report and realized that I still have alot to learn. My journey is just begining. And if I'm going to do an Ironman, I want to do it right and be able to enjoy each moment of it, and I don't just mean the race.

So, I'm still on my journey to Ironman. It's just that getting there for me might take a little longer.

Happily, I'll still get to be a TRIgirl team leader, with more of the work picking up when my job ends in June. Coach G is so understanding and flexible. And, I think she realizes how much TRIgirls means to me. And in the mean time, as I get an handle on my new job, I'm hoping, with a little hard work, everything else will fall into place.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sandman Triathlon Race Results 2008

I finally got my race results from Sandman. I was lucky number 173. The good news, is I placed 3rd in the swim -- averaging 3.06 kph. Don't you just love how they break it down like that, like you are going to travel across the country swimming? I guess is pretty good considering it included the run from the water all the way up the beach.

OK, Here are my splits
Swim 1K: 19:38.20 (no wetsuit)
T1 3:12.70 (slow!)
Bike 46:32.20 19.0mph -- wow, that sounds fast! in fact, it was faster than last year, but they changed the course so it was less windy and more shady, so it's hard to compare to last year's 48:09 averaging 17.4 mph. Actually, last year surprisingly, I had the second fastest bike split. This year, I was 8th, if that is any indication.
T2 1:58.50 (slow again, I need to get Mr. Preschool to put my Yankz! in. I don't even have lace locks. what is wrong with me? Am I a triathlete or what?

Run: 44:06.55 OMG it was H-O-T. I heard that it was 97 degrees, but that may have just been the heat index -- it was 90% humidity. The icey cold ocean was awesome after the race. That is all I wanted, was to stay there....forever. Kids were ready to go though so I pulled myself out.

Overall time for Sandman 1:55:28.15 -- Not a PR, but not too bad either. I really need to start running again! That is what I learned from this race! My run was 4 minutes slower -- it had alot to do with the heat, and my lack of desire to run recently!

Also during this race, I took a shower on the boardwalk, kissed Redfish in transition, and run across the finish line with not one but two kids!

Sandman 2007 1:54:17
Sandman 2006 1:57:53.8

Sandman Triathlon Photos, Redfish's 4th Birthday

The night before the race, granting Redfish's wish -- to ride in a surry we pedaled -- he road in front like a king, watching it all and waving. Totally ruined my legs for raceday but it was worth it!! he he.

I had a great swim. Was finally able to stay focused the entire time.

This year, both kids got to run me in!

And, back in the ocean at the end! One of the many great things about Sandman. The support out there was amazing. Thanks for everyone who cheered me on -- on the bike and the run!

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Cancelled Patriot Half & Simply Stu

Man, I can't believe I'm letting things slide so much. Between the kids going back to school (Redfish starts Monday) and getting ready to start my new job at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden on Tuesday, I've let things get away from me. For one, I've been blogging like crazy over at the Near West End News. And, I've been putting in alot of hours on my other new job managing the Facebook page for the Richmond Region and Richmond InsideOut. on top of all that, I've been trying to train for Sandman the day after Redfish's 4th birthday -- on September 14th.
I know, enough excuses! Finally, I'm writing because of a comment that someone left on my blog. Marcus was complaining about how Set Up Inc has handled the cancelling of the Patriot Half Triathlon scheduled for Saturday, due to Tropical Storm Hanna.
Ladies,I just saw that the race has been canceled and that they are going to
give us 50% credit! If anyone else thinks that this is absolutely unacceptable,
please join with me! As I see this, they run a business. In business, you take
risks. In business, if you cannot deliver your good or service for ANY reason,
your customer does not pay. I do plan to write to the race director and USA

When Sandman was cancelled 5 years ago due to similar circumstances the response was much better. Not only did they reschdule the race for several weeks later, but also they offered an alternative -- if you weren't free during the reschedule date or didn't want to race for some reason you were given free admission into the next years race. In my case, it was a total loss -- I was pregnant with Redfish the next year and couldn't race at all -- but still I never felt short changed. In this case, not only is SetUp not offering a make up race, but also they are pocketing 50% of the fee which could be as much as half of $220. SetUp is a large company with many races. Surely they could have expanded the Duke Liver Half (on Sept. 14) to accomdate folks who have trained for many months for this event. Or at least allowed as many folks as possible to switch over for free. This morning there were 35 spots left. Currently, there are 13 spots left.

On our team, we have 2 women who were set to do their first Half Ironman race, and had trained for it since last winter. Why isn't SetUp trying to reschedule the race or otherwise accomodate these athletes? I'd hate to think it is just about money to them.

On another more positive note, I'd like to just say thank you and give a shout out to Simply Stu out in Wisconsin. Some of you may remember last winter when my husband made a video about me and TRIgirls and I competed to get on Team EvoTri. Well Stu is on Team Evotri. He is a legend in the triathlon world (or at least the internet techy triathlon world). He symbolizes the comraderie and love for this sport that so many of love and try to represent ourself. He inspired my kids to do their first ever triathlon - the World Wide Triathlon. And, check this out:
Among his accolades, Stu is also the personality behind the Simply Stu Triathlon
Podcast, which has consistently ranked in the top 100 sports podcasts on iTunes.
The show has been featured on iTunes and has been ranked #2 of amateur sports
podcasts. He is the team manager for Evotri.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Stu, awesome guy that he is, took Dr. Rick, Coach Blake and Aimee G. all around Wisconsin, showing them the Ironman Wisconsin bike course, helping them upgrade their wardrobe at the local running shop, etc. All in an effort to get ready for the big race on Sunday. I'm sure this is typical for Stu, 'cause he's such a rockstar and all, but I really appreciate our folks from Richmond getting a warm welcome from such a great guy, who is so dedicated to the sport.
Good luck Dr. Rick, Coach Blake and Aimee! Have a great time, wish I was there to cheer you on.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Virginia Beach Lifesaving Association 5K Ocean Swim

Quick race cap. I finished. I placed 2nd and got my first hardwear EVER! The downside is there were only 2 or 3 of us in my age group. Not sure. I came in 28th overall.
I got the worst jelly fish sting EVER!! on my face -- right below my eye. Thank God for my goggles or i'd have been stung in the eye. I think there were only 2 jelly fish. no one else got stung. I got another on my leg. One jellyfish in all of VA Beach and I hit it on the way down and the way back! My shower tonight, 6 hours later revealed tenticles in my suit! ouch.
I predicted a 2 hour finish. I think I finished in 1:55 or so . Although it was a perfect day and the ocean looked like glass. But there was a pretty good current. I swallowed alot of saltwater. In fact my throat still burns from the salt.
highly recommend this race for TRIgirls next year. ROAD TRIP!!
More details later. off to bed.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sharks in the Pool? Oh My!

Well, Coach Adam won the sperm helmet. It is OK by me! But I will miss getting that photo of me and ANNN in our matching dork helmets.

I dropped my Y membership today. Too expensive. But I will miss those Masters swims with Ironwoman Canada. I hear she'll be out for a while anyway, which will make it less painful to lose.
In the meantime, I'm off for my 5K Ocean Swim in Virginia Beach. I'm feeling nervous about it. I keep thinking about the sharks, which is funny, becuase that never even crossed my mind at Sandman all these years. Maybe it's the fact that I'll likely be in the water 2 hours that has me thinking I need to worry. Last night, one of the regulars, Rick, brought his daughter to swim in the fast lane. She was so fast, that when I caught her out of the corner of my eye I did think she was a shark. I guess that is just where I am right now. Everyone has their demons. Today mine are sharks.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Looking for a Tie-Breaker in the Bfit Bday Challenge

Thanks for all your votes gang!
I am currently tied with Coach Adam -- we each have 43.9 percent in the Bfit Bday challenge where we swam, bike and ran our age. If you haven't voted yet, go vote....I have no idea how long the voting will last.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

TRIgirl Mentioned in Richmond Magazine's Best (& Worst) of Richmond Edition

This is a cross post with the TRIgirl Training blog.

Richmond Magazine's Best & Worst of Richmond edition just came out. Guess what? TRIGirl Training came in runner-up in the "Best 10K Training Program." Our members love us, and so will you!

You can pick up a copy at newstands or Ukrops. They don't run the whole story online, because they'd like you to buy it.

If you'd like to come to a workout and give our team a "TRI" just email us to let us know you are coming. We'd love to meet you.

Here is the email address in code form so those spambots don't get us:randison[at]TRIgirltraining[dot]com

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My New Hero -- A Triathlete

I have a new hero: A triathlete, Casey Peirce, who dove into fridgid waters in Canada to save a couple who had capsized in their canoe. The story is amazing. What a gift she gave them -- the gift of life.

Despite the danger of diving into the frigid mountain water near Canmore, a
Calgary triathlete risked her safety to rescue a pair of boaters whose canoe had
capsized, dragging them and their boat to shore.
Casey Peirce, 30, was on a
bicycle ride with family near Spray Lakes Saturday night, when the group heard
two people in the water yelling for help.
They saw a man and woman about a
kilometre from shore clinging to their overturned canoe and Peirce, a strong
swimmer, dove in for them.
"To be honest I thought twice about jumping in
because I know how cold that water is," said Peirce, who works at the Canadian
Sports Centre in Calgary.
"But I had recently done a triathlon and I knew I
had the training to do it."

She said it took 15 minutes to swim out to the couple, but
at least 45 minutes to swim back with them in tow, her sister Darcy dialling 911
from shore.
Peirce said she knew that since the couple had already been in
the water for an hour, and the woman was mostly submerged, that they didn't have
a lot of time left before they might have succumbed to the cold water.
I got to them, I first asked them if they were injured, but they were both too
cold to speak," Peirce said.
"I knew by the time anyone else got to them, it
would be too late."
The swim proved trying for the triathlete, as she towed
the canoe with a rope tied around her waist, her hands too cold to pull it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Church Shooting in Tennessee Hits Home

Yesterday, around 2 p.m. I heard a report on NPR that 7 people had been shot at a Unitarian Universalist Chuch. I was working, and I did not catch the full story, but , having grown up a Unitarian, and knowing that there are aren't many UU churches, I rushed to the computer found out what church they were talking about. ...Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tenn.

My friend Kim Kredich, who founded Triathlonmoms (the predecessor to TRIgirl Training) and her husband Matt Kredich, TriMom's swim coach (and the swim coach formerly at UR) are members of that church. Our children are roughly the same age. When they lived here, they went to "First Church", or First Unitarian Chuch of Richmond. Kim was always involved with the children's performances here, and even lead and inclusive kids orchestra, for any child who wanted to make music.

Fragmented news reports kept coming in:

7 people injured.... Some with severe head wounds. ....Man pulled out a
shotgun....during a children's performance....1 now dead. 2 now dead.

I called a mutual friend. She didn't know anything.
Finally, I got off of work and called Kim and Matt's house. A message on their machine stated that they were safe. And, a wave of relief ran over me. Because you don't realize how special Kim and Matt are. They are amazing people. The kind of folks who draw others in with their positive energy and magnetism. They are just the best, kindest, most resilient people. And, they are safe.

But, not everyone was. The Washington Post Reports:

A burly usher, 60-year-old Greg McKendry, was hailed as a hero for shielding
others from gunfire as other church members rushed to wrestle the gunman to
the ground. Police arrived at 10:21 a.m., three minutes after getting the
911 call and arrested Adkisson.
No children were hurt, but eight people were shot,
including the two who died _ McKendry and Linda Kraeger, 61.
When the first shot rang out at the rear of the sanctuary, many church
members thought it might be part of the play or a glitch in the public
address system. Some laughed before turning around to see the shooter and
his first victims covered in blood.
A four-page letter found in Jim D. Adkisson's SUV indicated that he targeted
the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church because "he hated the
liberal movement" and was upset with "liberals in general, as well as gays,"
according to Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen IV. Adkisson, 58, had
a shotgun and 76 shells with him when he entered the church Sunday during a
children's performance of the musical "Annie." Six adults were wounded in the
attack. Owen said the letter indicated that Adkisson did not expect to leave
the church alive.

The Washington Post quoted the pastor in an op-ed piece in the local paper as bringing the church's liberal views to the forefront of the community.

"In the midst of political and religious controversy, I choose to love my
neighbors as myself," Buice [the minister] wrote in an op-ed piece published in March.
"Ultimately, I believe that tolerance, compassion and respect are the qualities
we need to keep Knoxville and East Tennessee beautiful."

Thank God for the bravery of the people who jumped the guy.

Update: I just found out that Kim and Matt and the boys were not at church at all on Sunday. A blessing for them. But does not change the facts in this crazy shooting.

Voices of the Olympics, Blogging Like Never Before

We all know I love blogs! Which is why I'm so glad that I found the Voices of the Olympic Games athlete blogging website. Athletes are blogging about their experience at the Bejing Olympics on Lenovo Ideapad notebooks. The best part? It is athletes from all over the world, some blogging in English, but many blogging in their native tongue.
Whoever made this website did a great job. You can sort the blogs by country, sport and language. Or by all three.
I know I'll be spending alot of time here over the next 3 weeks. Check it out, I bet you will too.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Turned 35, B Day B Fit Race Report

I can't write a long race report, but I wanted to share with you this cool photo of me and my friend Stacia after I was almost finished with the Bday Bfit Birthday Challenge on Tuesday, July 22, the day before my 35th birthday. (I finished the last mile running when I got home).
I started my challenge at 6 a.m. in the pool with the Tuckahoe Masters. Then swam some more, and more, until I'd hit 3 miles. After drinking some much needed coffee, I ran 4 miles on a treadmill (saving 1 precious mile for later, so I could make an appointment). Then home for a few hours with the kids. Oh, and a huge (for me) job interview!
I decided to push my biking back until 5:45 p.m. because it was so damn hot! I think the heat index was 110, but the real temp was certainly around 100 degrees. After the first 6 mile lap at West Creek, I had no idea if I would actually finish this thing in 24 hours for the "gold" designation. I was thinking silver looked pretty awesome, so I could ride my bike in some cooler weather. Thank God the sun went partially behind the trees and things became much more possible all of a sudden. TRIgirl Linda rode with me and Stacia for 2 laps, and then went home to her family for dinner. Hmm. That sounds good, I thought. Stacia had never ridden more than 24 mile before and I certainly didn't expect her to ride 35 with me in this heat, but as the night got cooler, I could see that she might! We had a "cupcake transition" around 7:45 or so. I really wasn't thinking I could stomach a cupcake, but surprise, it was a good idea, and kept me from bonking! Something I really needed since the last 2 laps were filled with the windy gusts of a coming storm (always a headwind of course). We finished up around 9 p.m. after taking a few water breaks. Yes it was dark. And yes, Stacia rode her longest ride ever -- 35 miles, and was such a trooper to stay with me! I might even say that we had fun doing it!
I decided to run at home, or perhaps even run/walk at home with a glass of wine in my hand for the last mile. Yes, I felt like since I was still 34 for a few more hours, I should savor that last one, until I was officially 35. Oh, and If I didn't hurry up, it would be too late, by the time I got home and drank some much needed water it was 9:30. As I unloaded my bike, the storm that we encountered on our bike ride had arrived. The lightning was off in the distance a little, but if you know me, you know I'm terrified of lighting. OK, not terrified, just a little bit too careful around it. My kids aren't embarrassed to tell you that their mom sleeps on the floor during lightning storms because sleeping in a 4 poster brass bed, that would just be stupid! I ran one of my fastest miles since forever because I was so scared. I toyed with the idea of not finishing my last mile, but quickly put that idea out of my head. I mean, a mile is a mile. Thank goodness I'm not afraid of the dark! I ran quickly, sans wine, avoiding metal posts and tall trees like the plague. I mean how stupid would I be if I got hit by lightning doing something like this? As the storm rolled in, I turned around, and barely made my mile in before the rain started. Yes, I made it to 35 in one piece. And it was exhilarating. And when I got home, then I had my glass of wine.
Total time, including my cupcake transition & water stops: 5 hours and 55 minutes and 48 seconds
Swim 3 miles: 2:05. 11 by the time I got out of the pool and remembered to stop my watch
Run 5 miles (split): First 4 miles 53 minutes, last mile 11.5 minutes
Bike 35 miles : hmm, I didn't press my split button, for the breakout, so I'm guessing 2:46 or so.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Tour de Google

I just found an old swimteam buddy on FaceBook, and when I linked to his his brother's webpage, another friend of mine, Bob Cesca. I came across this on his blog. I thought you all might enjoy it.
I still can't watch the Tour. I wonder if this will suffice?

Monday, July 07, 2008

More Inspiration from a SwimmerMom

I hope that the inspiration keeps coming. Dara Torres, 41, just set an American record for the 50 meters freestyle. She is the mom of a 2-year-old.

In this YouTube video, from last year, she explains how it feels, to be a competator and a mom at 41. Thanks to Phaedra and Becky for pointing me in her direction.

Ironman Dreams ....This is Why

I've been needing some inspiration. Perhaps you have too? Go ahead, check it out. XT4, over in Madison, Wi. is blogging his heart out. Something I just might want to ponder again someday soon.
I've been here. Have you?

Because the first time I swam 25 yards I thought probably that would be
about it. Until I could swim 50. Then 100.

Last weekend I got on my bike at 4:45am. Clear dawn was rising on the left side of my road, and the end of a sinister thunderstorm was looming on the right side of the road. Between them, inviting me to ride into it, was a rainbow. I thought, who else sees this now?
People who choose to ride a bicycle at 4:45am, they've lost a bit of their
minds. But it's only when you lose your mind that you see some of the best the
world is.Those who hear not the music think the dancer mad.

....Yes, it is. It is that big of a deal. It is that hard. It really is.
That's sort of the point.
The rest are just details. The rest figures itself out. There's never a
"good time". It's never going to ideally suit your universe. You'll never think
to yourself, "Geez, you know what I'm in the mood for? Madness." It will always
be hard, you will always have to work to find the balance, it will never make
sense to everybody, often not even yourself. And that, too, is part of the
journey, and part of the forging. If you have to talk yourself into it, then
wait until your time comes. Until you're drawn in. Until the current takes you.
But if you're just making excuses...well then. Life is short. Get in

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Amazing Wheel, Better than Zipps

Did I mention that the wheel I raced on yesteday is also the same wheele (and tube, and tire) that I ran over? After replacing the skewer, things seemed relatively OK. It's a good thing I didn't cry over it!

I Love the Tavern Race Report

Yesterday was a good day. I had a great time at the I Love the Tavern race. Results were slow in coming and were just posted, but here they are. Get this, I PR'd by ONE second!

This year
Swim 15:29 last year 18:43
T1 2:44 last year 2:53
Bike 18.89 miles 1:05:24 last year 104:10
T2 1:57 last year 1:04 (this year forgot to put my Yanks in)
Run 42:06 last year 40:52
Total 2:07:39 last year 2:07:40

Last year, in my race report, I can see the current was stronger. I remember it being a bit of a tougher swim than this year. This year, I definitely could have pushed harder on the run. To be honest, I set one goal for this race -- to get up that friggin' hill without walking. And, I did that. My second goal was to PR. Did that too.

My only complaint: They tried to mark the inside of our arms at the top of the giant hill bike turnaround. This was totally crazy. The space for turning was incredibly small, a narrow 2-laner with no shoulder. Needless to say, it was thrilling and a bad idea! The girl behind me fell. I likely would have too, but decided to take the catch me if you can approach.

The most rewarding part of the day: The TRIgirls got the Great Ball of Fire Spirit Award, which I got to accept on behalf of the team! We had fun. We rocked the course. We cheered for our teamates. We cheered for others. We thanked the volunteers. We had a great race.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It is all a Balancing Act

I'm looking forward to my first triathlon of the season, I Love the Tavern Triathlon, on Saturday. I've afraid to say I've been feeling a little burned out and I'm hoping that doing one of my favorite races will bring me back from feeling that way.

Regardless, I've made some decisions. I've decided against the Richmond Marathon this year. And, I've decided against the Patriot Half. I'm not sure how this will affect my 2009 season if I decide to do Ironman Florida, which doesn't seem likely.

I kept thinking, Ironman Florida or go back to work. Now, I'm thinking maybe going back to work is best for my family. Ironman Florida can wait.

I feel like while I started training to add balance to my life and my family (which was way to focused on just my 2-year-old) I'm at the other end of the spectrum. The one week I followed the Patriot Half schedule when I was not away from the kids training, I was too tired to give them much or be there for them. A 6 mile run that would take most folks less than an hour, takes me an hour and a half. And then the biking and swiming on top of that was too much. With Mr. Preschool working on his PhD. with night classes, I just feel like I really need to be there more for my family. Stay tuned....maybe things will change after Saturday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Believe it or not, it was not the Worst Workout Ever

I was emailing my lil' sis today. She made the mistake of asking how my workout this morning was, now that I've decided I actually have to do them ALL and can't use the Bay Swim as an excuse.
Big Mistake.
Her: How was your workout??? Sorry I missed you!
Me: hhm great except i ran over my tire with my car.
i am not kidding.
Me: Both
Need I say more? I've been meaning to get out of the habit of leaning my front wheel against the back of the car while I put the bike on my roof. Now, I'll stop doing that for sure.

Then, I proceded to put the smooshed wheel in my back seat and run 5 miles of hills. I did not even....cry!