Tri Diva Reunion Event? Hell, yeah!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter Training: Indoor Brick Workouts

Hey Divas!

The USAT newsletter had a good article on indoor brick workouts. I'm going to start playing around with them this week. Hope all is well!

Click Me!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Heels and Hills????

Courtney found this one... click the logo for the details.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Du the Bear aka Du the Muddy-Buddy :)

It's no secret I suck at running... I mean I try not to suck, and I have improved, and therefore suck less, but I still suck.

I was happy when I woke up, expecting to have great weather for racing. We lined up and it had been misting already. The Guys started, "and they're off." The Women started and the skies opened and the rain came. LOL What are you gonna do?

But even after the rain, running 5 miles Saturday morning, a gait analysis, Maggie at Kola working on my hip AND being on my feet for 4 hours volunteering at the 10 Miler packet pickup I had 2 of my best race runs, ever!

Maybe there's something to that being on your feet all day!

The bike was okay. I mean it was raining, wet and yucky and riding in rain does nothing for morale. I should have played the lottery though, because I was lucky enough to get stopped by the same cop, at the same light, on each loop (and it wasn't because I was riding at light-speed).

The mud sucked. My one legged yoga moves came in handy, balancing while changing shoes. Lastly, I must be getting faster/better, because there was hot food left when I crossed the line.

I had a little discrepancy between what my Garmin reported and what the race results reported. In the end, it appears that the 5 minute offset for the Athena class was not applied. I would have never been able to prove it, or point it out to them, if my friend's husband hadn't been taking pictures!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tri Divas 2010?

Time to start thinking! Are you all ready to start talking about it? 2009 was so positive and I can't wait to see everyone again! Let's get together again ladies!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Redman Olympic Distance

I have this list I've been working on... it's my 35 x 35 list... a list of 35 items to complete between now and before I turn 36.

#23. Complete an Olympic distance triathlon.

See the full list here.

The race was the Redman Olympic Distance Triathlon in Oklahoma City.

So the beginning of the story is this... I have this idea in my head that I need to do these physical challenges. And I honestly don't know if it's me trying to prove something or me trying to get better or me just not understanding myself at all... but at the end of the day, I'm not your typical athlete. I'm in pretty awesome cardio shape, but I carry extra weight. I'm not thin, I'm not tall, I'm not the typical runner shape, I'm certainly not the typical triathlete shape, none of it comes easy to me... but yet, I keep setting goals higher and higher and strangely enough... I keep meeting these goals. And it surprises even me.

That brings me to the fact that joining a group usually makes it easier to achieve my goals. I'm not saying everyone has to be groupies... but having people around to laugh, get advice from, comiserate with... goes a long way to getting me across a finish line... so while it's my race at the end of the day, I wasn't without a considerable amount of help getting across that line.

I don't have all of my pictures... but a few... and I will add later... I'm just afraid if I don't write it down now, I will forget the feeling... especially since my mind is already onto the next thing and the next thing and the next thing.

At the hotel room, I layed out all my gear... just checking to make sure I had everything.

(transition towel, body glide, sunscreen, wetsuit, swim cap, goggles, garmin, transition flip flops, bike shoes, socks, bike gloves, {the helmet was already in transition with my bike}, jersey, bike shorts, sports bra, tank top, compression shorts, water bottles, jacket, race belt w/number, sport beans, running shoes)

Now here it is in the actual transition area... it was dark. We got there about 6:00.

So one of the bad things about this Oly distance was they were running a sprint distance too... and the sprint took off about 7:00... leaving us to wait and wait and wait until about 9:00 before we could even start our race. That was a lot of time to kill... and we weren't allowed back into the transition area after they closed it for the sprinters. So for two hours, I stood around, barefoot, wearing less clothing than I typically wear in public, carrying my wetsuit and holding my swim cap and goggles so tightly in my fist (for fear of losing them somewhere) that I almost got hand cramps.

I also had to use a porta-potty... barefoot... and it was sloping down a hill... and I slid in my barefeet on the floor of that porta-potty... and I will try to never think about that again.

Bodymarking occured... and see my number? It's 3355... When I first saw my number I was like why couldn't it have been 3535! Wouldn't that have been a neat little coincidence?

I stood around and looked for my mom for an hour. And it was strange because while it wasn't that big of an area, I just couldn't find her anywhere... and I knew she was going to send me off into the water and watch me get out and transition to bike. I looked and looked and looked... and watched part of the sprinters transition to their bikes... and finally, I saw her... over by the water... I saw a flash of green and a flash of blonde hair and thought, that's my mom and booked it over to her. And it was... and I was about to cry before I even started... just so glad to have my mom there. (She hasn't sent me her pictures yet. And now that I think of it, I should have had someone take one of me with her. oops)

So finally it's our turn to get in the water... and I was really glad for the wetsuit... I think the water temp was about 73°??? They said what it was, but all I know is that I stepped into the water and it was cold for a minute... like, oh dear, what's this coldness. This is my swim wave... I'm in the rectangle. That's me!

Right about that time I was splashing water on myself trying to acclimate and thinking... "This is your race to finish. A finish is a win. This is your race to finish. A finish is a win." Over and over and over... and then they hit the air horn... and I tried like hell to move... and couldn't. It was just a second or two... and then I tried to put my face in the water and had a panic. It was pretty short lived though... and soon enough, I was headed for the first bouy. I was swimming next to a girl for several minutes and she kept swimming into me. I finally figured that she was swimming right and I was swiming left, so with her on my left and me on her right, we were destined to keep hitting... the thing was, she never noticed... because I kept correcting before I'd hit her... so finally I got smart (duh) and moved over to her left side so I could quit correcting to her and start correcting to the bouy.

Going out in the water wasn't bad at all... the wetsuit worked like a dream... and after the initial freak out of face in cold water *note to self: don't splash the wetsuit and your arms next time before you start, splash your face!*, I was never cold again. But the back side of the course was difficult. It was a triangle, sort of... and the back leg was the longest portion of the triangle and the water on that side was choppier... and the longer we swam, the choppier it got.

The thing about open water swimming I don't understand is... how can we have a whole damn lake and still manage to swim on top of each other? I don't get it... but I still swam into and got plowed over several times... the men's heat had gone off before us and they were passing us by the time I was on the far side. I did watch a very hilarious moment though... the bouys were giving me so many issues... everytime I came to a bouy, I was having a hard time swimming around it... and then when I finally started making decents turns, I had about four swimmers on top of me trying to make the turns too... so too many legs, a lot cussing and then just getting back to it... but this one lady was coming up on my left side, and I was cutting it around the bouy really short... but she just swam right into it. I started cracking up in the water... to see this woman swim right up, almost underneath, the bouy and then look up totally suprised. It's so something I would have thought I would do.

Two laps in the water. My shoulders were starting to get tired... but the swim went well... As I was coming out of the water, two volunteers helped me get my wetsuit unzipped... and basically made sure I wasn't going to fall over... I was a little worried about the transition from swimming to standing... I've run the gamut of weird ankle cramps to dizziness... but the only problem in the water, bodywise, was a slight cramp in my calf that started as I was making the final turn to leave the water.

Out of the water... there were several men standing over a mat yelling at me to see if I wanted them to strip me. (MY WETSUIT!) They told me I had to lay down, but as soon as they said that, I figured, I'd better not lay down... so I was actually able to strip my own wetsuit... if I'd had long sleeves, long pants on... I'd have needed help... but yeah.

Running to transition area... one of my running ladies was there as well... I heard her say, "You're not the last one out of the water!" And I mentally shook myself... because I was really glad for that... and then I saw my mom running over too, snapping pictures and yelled "MOM!" That was pretty much the only thing I said when I saw her all day. "MOM!"

Got to the bike... and I'm not a fancy mounter... I've seen the videos for a flying mount, without shoes... and let me tell you this... I'll probably never get to that... I will put on my shoes and run/walk my bike to the mount line and I will step over my bike and then start riding. I will not try to kill myself with a mount or a dismount. Seriously. I may be a triathlete, but chances of me being a "good" triathlete are pretty slim.

The bike was four laps... and it was a little bit of a mental struggle... because all along I'd thought it was going to be closer to 24 miles (40k), but it ended up being closer to 28 miles... as soon as I heard that, I pretty much knew I wouldn't have a sub five hour race... and I just went out and did the best I could... but that four additional miles just added too much time to a crunch to get under five hours. But you know what? So what? I still got out there and did it, right?

The bike was very difficult... more difficult than the time we went over there a couple of weekends ago... the wind was different and throughout my ride, it was constantly changing... up on the dam, riding into the wind and then down and around and up a few hills... the course finished on an uphill... and while it wasn't a huge incline, between the wind and the incline it was rough. And four laps of the same same same same stuff... well, it was good because I knew what was coming at me after the first lap, but I also knew what was coming at me after the first lap... and that end of the loop was tough. I got through it by saying to myself "you only have to do this two more times, one more time, you're done, you don't have to do that again" over and over and over. And there were tons of people who passed me... some I knew, some I didn't... but I kept hearing a steady stream of other people saying "you're doing it, keep going, you're doing great! You're awesome, great job!"

I finally made it back to the dismount area... I stopped my bike several feet before the dismount line because one of the things I hate most is hearing someone yelling at me "DISMOUNT BEFORE THE LINE!!!!!!!!!!!" It's just too ragged after everything... and you still have to change your thoughts to running... I wish the dismount area was a little more calm, but it's filled with people everywhere and excitement for you and because you're 2/3 of the way through... and it's a big emotional area that scares me a little.

So I'm standing a few feet from the line... and I realize... I'm so tight, I'm not sure how to get off the bike. My hands were clutched around the handle bars like they were holding me up (maybe they were)... and my legs were starting to go jelly. My feet were asleep. My brain was chugging... and I told the volunteer who ran up to me... "I don't know if I can do this." Meaning, I don't know if I can get off my bike... and he asked if I needed help... but I just slowed down for a second... stepped to the side, dropped my bike, and stepped over it... as he cheered me on and I ran/walked into transition for the last time.

I racked my bike, took off my bike shoes, put on my run shoes, grabbed a water bottle and started walking out of transition. They were already dismantling the racks for the sprinters... so I was dodging poles and people everywhere.... I asked a girl... "That way?" and she didn't hear me... so I said "MA'AM! Run out that way?!" And she heard me and said "Yes! Keep going!"

And for the next two hours... I put one foot in front of the other. It was two loops... about a mile and half out and back... and it never felt like it took so long to go a mile and a half. My Garmin was messed up when I tried to change from bike to run and I had no idea how far I'd gone. I luckily kept my other watch on, so I had a general idea of how long it was taking me and how long I'd been on the course.

But the run volunteers were awesome... because they actually have some time to talk to you... coming out of the swim, you're so dazed and focused on getting to the next thing, that it's hard to talk, the bike, they can talk, but you might not hear them, but on the run, they're just kind of right there with you... and every volunteer I passed said something... great job, keeping going, you're doing it, proud of you... and I was running with other athletes too... and our names were on our run numbers... so I was able to say "keep going Stacy, you're awesome Allen, etc... as well as them being able to call me by name too... it's comforting in that situation....

As I was walking out of transition... I started wheezing... so I didn't immediately start trying to run... I got myself calmed back down... I passed several people I knew (they were finishing the run as I was just starting it)... got my breath back and started landmark running... run from here to that light post or that bench... but then decided I needed a better plan... so I started a run/walk at a 1 minute interval... I kept that up for most of mile two and three... but by then, I was really fading... I should have eaten something else, but I couldn't stomach any of the nutrition I had on me to eat... so I just kept walking. At that point, it was hot and there was no shade on the run... but I put one foot in front of the other and just kept walking.

As I was rounding the final corner, I saw all the red netting that was the finish line chute.... and I almost started to cry... and then I wanted to run, but I just didn't have it... and a lady who was just walking, not racing, that day... came up beside me... she asked "Is there some sort of event going on today?"... I told her what we were doing... and she mentioned that she was going to walk to whole resevoir that day (about 9 miles)... and she asked "Am I distracting you?" And I laughed and told her I wasn't moving any faster than how fast I was going and that no, no distraction, it was nice to talk to someone... but she turned up her speed and was ahead of me before I knew I wasn't keeping up.

I finally rounded the last bend into the finish line area... and I was really near to tears at this point... five hours, tired, hungry, sick to my stomach, proud, sunburned, infinately proud, and happy, and nervous and everything all mixed up... and I hear the crowd... everyone still left at the race was lining the chute... My mom "MOM!", stepdad, several of my friends, people I will never know... all watching me and cheering for me as I walked into the finish area... they held out their hands for me to high five, they yelled for me... I was biting my lip at first trying not to cry, but then I just started smiling and couldn't stop and smiling made the tears go away, so I cheezed it up the whole time... I passed my coach... and then... I started running... it was about 25 yards to the finish line at this point... and as I started running the whole crowd just went up into this huge cheer! I crossed the finish line running, hands high in the air... pretty much never more proud of myself for finishing something.

One of the run volunteers who had been out on the course was back in the tent... he came running over and hugged me and said "I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT!"... I still don't have a clue what his name was... but I will remember that forever.

What an awesome experience. I was the final finisher... but someone has to finish last... It's just the way life is... but just because I finished last didn't put me in last place... because at the end of the day, that was my best race ever... I set a PR (personal record) because the first time you do any race is a PR... I did it. I finished it. It was a long day and I made it through... I didn't drown, I didn't wreck and I didn't fall. I made it across the line running, with people cheering for me too.

I did it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wimping out

Ok, so tomorrow is the Danskin Tri, and I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons of doing the tri.
  1. Would feel pride and accomplishment for finishing
  2. Would get to see some of the gals from my training team (hopefully)
  3. Would not feel guilty for bailing
  4. Would get swag and another medal
  1. The water is going to be between 70-72 degrees and I don't have a wetsuit.
  2. Fibro has been acting up after a humid and dreary weather week
  3. I have not done anything even remotely like training in over 2 months
  4. Did I mention how cold the water will be?
  5. Lots of gear to get ready and haven't touched any of it since July
  6. I still haven't taken the trek tri sticker off my bike... how sad is that?
  7. Could potentially injure myself
  8. Very vivid dream last night of me wiping out on the bike and being taken away in an ambulance. Woke up when in the dream I was on the verge of passing out. Omen?
  9. It's supposed to rain most of the day today up there... My bike would be out in the rain overnight
Pros of bailing on it:
  1. No risk of injury, drowning, death, etc.
  2. No potential asthma issues
  3. No pneumonia risk
  4. No fibro flare up
  5. R&R at home over the weekend
  6. No trekking back and forth up to Wisconsin.
  7. No waking up at 4am to set up my gear in the cold.
Cons of bailing on it:
  1. Would feel massive guilt for bailing.
  2. No swag (you all know I'm a swag whore)
  3. Would feel like a wimp.
I think I have my answer, but could use input from my TriDivas :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Hey Divas!

The blog as has been extremely quiet, so I figured we needed to check-in. :) September is 1/2 over and the 4th quarter is fast approaching. What are your fitness plans/events for the remainder of '09?

As for me, I've registered for Bronda's Run/Bike Duathlon in November. There are several other Tri Divas du-ing (haha) the race, so it should be fun! The event will definitely be a challenge for me because Coco & Running isn't exactly PB & J. I've been very focused on my training/nutrition lately and I'm hoping to continue the trend and end the year on a fabulous note.

My last event of '09 will be the Cap 1 Turkey Trot. A couple of friends do the 5K every year and love it, so I put it on the ol' calendar. I figure it can't hurt to start the calorie burn early on Turkey Day. LOL

Hope all is well with my lovely divas...check in when you can.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Trek Tri

I'm a little nervous! The Trek Women Triathlon is Sunday! Pray for me!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Anyone seen this? TRImapper

Pretty interesting. I found a list for Texas, Sprint Distance, and Tri Clubs.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


I've always had a problem getting a consistent reading on my Polar HRM in the pool due to the chlorine (no issues in open water). I saw a recommendation for Buh-Bump on a fitness site and I've decided to give it a try. Just thought I'd pass the info along to my fellow tri divas. :)

Buh-Bump HRM Electrode Cream

Saturday, June 13, 2009

She Pedals Magazine

Hey Divas!

If you register on the mag's website, you'll receive the first issue (September '09) for free!

Friday, June 12, 2009


Thought this was a good article.


By: Kim Brown, MS, RD, Sports Nutritionist

So you are gearing up for first triathlon! Congratulations and welcome to the sport. I made my grand appearance in 2002, doing one Olympic Distance Triathlon before jumping into Half Ironman and Ironman distance races. Yes, I can say it is truly an addicting sport! Fortunately, with being a Registered Dietitian, an Exercise Physiologist, and having a background in endurance training, I have a distinct advantage in knowing what I have to do both nutritionally and in training to maximize my own performance. For many, however, it is not that easy which is why I am going to provide you five essential nutrition tips as you prepare for your upcoming season! Happy trails ( :

TIP #1 Meet your daily energy demands

It is not uncommon for athletes to underestimate their energy demands during training. Unfortunately, with inadequate fuel in your tank, you will never reap full benefit from your training and actually can heighten your risk for injury. Depending on daily training volume and intensity, most triathletes require a range of 16-30 calories per pound of lean body weight, with male triathletes training for long course triathlons requiring the latter end of these requirements. If you are looking drop a few pounds of body fat, you should never restrict by more than 1,000 calories per day as this causes muscle breakdown. To avoid an energy drain associated with restrictive eating patterns, a smaller restriction of 250-500 calories each day will help you lose ½-1 pound of fat mass a week. On the flipside, if you need to gain body weight, boost your calorie intake by 250 calories daily.

Aim at a balance of 55-60% healthy carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans), 15-20% lean protein (soy, low-fat dairy, chicken breast, fish, round steak, turkey), and 20-25% healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, olives), spreading out your total calorie needs into 4-6 smaller meals throughout the day. Be sure to avoid dietary plans that entail avoidance or restriction of major food groups (e.g., carbohydrate-restricted diets), as they are not balanced and can lead to performance declining nutrient deficiencies as well as potentially serious health consequences.

To give you an example of what a nutritionist eats: As a 110 pound female with ~15% body fat, I generally

consume ~2,500 calories during Ironman training which does not include calories that I consume during or immediately after training. I split my 2,500 calorie daily intake into 4-6 400-600 calorie meals consisting of combinations of carbohydrate and protein and a whole lot of colorful fruits and vegetables. A typical day of eating for me includes 1) Breakfast: Oatmeal blended with granola, berries, almonds, and milk along with Naked Juice, 2) Lunch: Vegetarian turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cheese on whole grain bread, vegetable soup or salad, a piece of fruit, and low-fat chocolate milk, 3) Afternoon snack: Fruit smoothie prepared with yogurt, juice, and frozen fruit or an energy bar and piece of fruit, 4) Dinner Large salad plus a pasta dish prepared with soy-meat, 5) Evening Snack: Small bowl of granola with almonds and nonfat milk.

TIP #2 Stay hydrated

Aim at drinking half your body weight (pounds) in fluid ounces each day. This does not include your morning cup of Joe or any other caffeinated beverage but it does include any fluid you consumed at rest that is liquid at room temperature (e.g., juice, milk, broth). In the 1-2 hours prior to your workouts, tap off your fluid tank by finishing one water bottle full of fluid (~16-24 ounces). During your workouts, aim at drinking 5-12 ounces of fluid intake every 20 minutes. Carry a water bottle or fuel belt with you if going on routes where no water fountains are available. Opt for a sports drink containing electrolytes when your training extends beyond 90 minutes. Rehydrate with a sports drink after a workout if you find your urine color tending towards a bright yellow color rather than clear or you have lost a significant amount of weight (1 pound or more)!

TIP #3 Eat prior to high intensity or long duration workouts.

To ensure optimal energy levels during high intensity or long duration (>90 minutes) training, aim at consuming ½ your lean body weight in carbohydrate grams for every hour prior to starting your workout. For most female triathletes, this equates out to be 45-60 grams of carbohydrates (~200-250 calories) for every hour prior to starting; an energy bar or a piece of whole grain toast spread lightly with peanut butter and topped with 1 sliced banana would be sample snack ideas for 1 hour prior to your workouts. For most male triathletes, this equates out to be 60-75 grams of carbohydrate (~250-300 calories) for every hour prior to starting; a banana and an energy bar or a small bowl of Special K cereal topped with strawberries and nonfat milk and a glass of orange juice would be sample snacks 1 hour prior to starting your workouts. Make sure to minimize the amount of fiber, protein, and fat in the meal, as these three nutrients will slow down digestion and potentially cause gastrointestinal problems (e.g., diarrhea) during your workout. Also, make sure to drink fluids with your meal to ensure optimal absorption of the nutrients.

TIP #4 Be sure to refuel when training longer than >90 minutes.

To optimize fuel usage (burn fat, spare your limited carbohydrate stores), be sure to start refueling after 90 minutes of training. For every hour beyond 90 minutes, aim at ½ gram of carbohydrate (essential in all races lasting longer than 90 minutes) and up to 1/8 gram of protein (desirable when training for Half Ironman and Ironman distance races) per pound of lean body weight. Again, for most females, this equates out to be 45-60 grams of carbohydrate, which could be replenished by consuming 1 energy gel with electrolyte enhanced water every ½ hour beyond 90 minutes of training. For male triathletes, an hourly dosing of 60-75 grams of carbohydrates is generally warranted. This could be fulfilled by consuming an energy gel with electrolyte enhanced water plus 8 ounces of a sports drink every half hour beyond 90 minutes of training. Opt for sports foods containing small amounts of protein (Accelerade, Perpetuem, energy bars) when training for long course triathlons.

TIP #5 After hard training efforts, eat a carbohydrate-protein combination.

Within 30 minutes after finishing, aim at consuming ½ gram of carbohydrate and 1/8 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight. For most female triathletes, a 200-250 calorie snack is appropriate whereas most male triathletes will require closer to 300+ calories for post workout replenishment. At this time, you could opt for a sports food or you can go for real food. Some of my favorite post-workout recovery foods include low-fat chocolate milk, smoothies with a protein boost, peanut butter/honey/banana sandwiches, salted pretzels dipped in yogurt, and cottage cheese/fruit combinations. Meal replacement shakes like Boost and Ensure also provide a convenient nutritional punch when time is at a minimum.

Interested in customized meal planning and sports nutrition coaching? Kim Brown, MS, RD has worked with athletes worldwide, creating menus specific to individual training and metabolic demands and designed to help maximize endurance performance. Information on my programs can be found at . Kim can be reached at .

To be published in an upcoming Triathlete Magazine issue!!!

Sprint Distance Training Plan

Found this on (click to see the full-size version... if ya want)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Keep Austin Woodchipped

The Race
Swim Goes A Little Something Like This:

*I was absolutely unprepared for that open water swim... that was literally the first time I've stepped into open water intending to do anything but splash about leisurely ... first time to "head toward that bouy, turn, head toward that bouy, turn, head for the shore. "

*Out to the first turn and heading into the sun, I couldn't see a thing, although my goggles do have a slight tint... still couldn't see, water reflecting the light, light coming down... it's a wonder I didn't end up on the other side of the lake.

*Everyone I've talked to said open water swim = a lot of jostling... people all around you, everywhere... but they told me to get toward the back and side and find a space to swim... I tried. I really really tried... but every time I found a bubble, someone would pop it.

*The thing I find hilarious about the bubble popping was the chorus of sorries I heard through the entire swim... mine included. sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry... every time I poked my head up out of the water, I heard someone say sorry or said it myself. Polite? Yes.

*You probably already know the the reasoning behind the sorries, but... My mom called right as I got back to the hotel room to shower and I told her, "Mom, I grabbed so many crotches in that water today, I'm embarassed for myself!" I couldn't go two feet without putting my hand on someone... arms, legs, crotches, boobs, heads, bodies everywhere.

*I found a groove with what I would estimate 300 meters to go... I could finally put my head down and swim more than two strokes without running into anyone, having to look up to see where I was going, and just letting go of the fact that when I put my head down in lake water, I wasn't going to see anything, so quit trying... although I could see the reflection of my eyeballs in my goggles... and I have to tell you... I could see the fear in my eyes!

*Whoever came up with running out of the water onto sand... love you
*Whoever came up with running from sand to grass... love you
*Whoever came up with running from grass to pavement... don't love you
*Whoever came up with running from pavement to wood chips... hate you.
*Whoever came up with the idea of doing all this on a hill... you're a bastard
*Whoever came up with the idea of doing all this while running... you're an even bigger bastard.
*Whoever came up with the idea of doing all this BAREFOOT... you.are.the.devil.
*I had really strange cramps in my ankles coming out of the water... or maybe I should say my lower calves... first time for that part of my calf to cramp... but it made running nearly impossible, going up the hill... so I walked... I was afraid running would result in a full charley horse and I'd never get on the bike.

Biking Austin Hills:

*You know, I now see why Lance Armstrong trains in Austin... there are little hills and big hills and oh shit hills and beg for your momma hills.

*I walked the "Bitch Slap Hill" ... where they had us going down that great hill into the 90 degree turn and up the steepest of any of the hills... I got halfway up, refused to come out of the saddle, and walked up the rest of it... I was glad I was not alone... I've done a lot of alone hill walking dragging my bike, but knowing that it wasn't just me, made me feel... better... I know every woman walking up that hill dragging their bike wanted to be riding, but it was a dang hard hill, and the fact that we were in it together, just made it all better.

*There were two other hills I was really worried about... and it took me a long time to get my bike up those hills, but I did it... and I want to go ride up them again, just to prove I can do it more than once... and maybe take video footage... I could be in movies, man.

*Lesli and I drove the course on Saturday, and on Saturday, I was equal parts glad and equal parts sick... since we were going into the course blind... looking at "Bitch Slap Hill" and as CoCo called it "Oh Shit Hills" and "Holy Shit Hills" ... I was sick... but having seen it, I felt much better when I was actually riding... so if I have to go in blind again, I will drive the course, if possible.

*When I looked at my times... I felt like the ride was actually my strongest portion of the event... and I felt really proud of my cycling.


*I honestly don't remember coming back into the transition area... I think it was because I actually had shoes on
*I do remember changing from biking to running shoes
*I remember getting nearly blinded by my headband when I was trying to walk (not run) across transition to the run out.

It's Called Trail Running:

*Running is my weakest link... I'm not going to lie... I ran down the hills, but never back up them... and only managed to average a 17 minute and change pace.

*Running on wood chips? I don't know who got the discount on wood chips, but why.were.they.everywhere?

*I've determined hate running on wood chips... they move a little too fluidly under your feet.

*The grass and sand was better, but... still... not my strongest event.

*Thank god for water stations.

*Here's to the sadistic bastard that put the longest hill at the end of the race... although it was a flat finish.


So I can finally claim a medal! WOOT! I was very proud of everyone there... we've all had many personal triumphs and many personal setbacks... but at the end of the day, we all finished... and as one of my coworkers who put the running bug in my ear a few years ago likes to always remind me... A finish is a win.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Turn!!!

Where do I start? What a weekend!

I think I’ve started writing this several times, but it just comes rambling out. Guess there is a lot I want to say.

We arrived in Austin on Friday. The Expo was on Saturday. Elysha and I met up with my other “Tri Diva” friends to pick-up our packets, chips, swag and check-in our bikes. It was great to see and met some of them for the first time.

For me, by the time I started packing to head to the hotel I was getting nervous. I just kept repeating to myself that I couldn’t do anything any better than I have. Over the course of my training I missed a total of running 7 miles and swimming 2000m since April. In the big picture those 7 miles and 2000 m were not going to make me any faster. The rest was only going to come to me during the event.

Elysha and I woke on Sunday and were out the door pretty quickly, after prepping our hairdryer warmed Ezekiel English muffins and low fat cream cheese. We made it swiftly to the grounds and started prepping. Damn… I was nervous. I don’t think anyone really knew just what a mess I was inside.

I didn’t want to fail myself. I only wanted to prove to myself that my training was paying off; that the sacrifices my family was making that allowed me to train weren’t pointless. I needed to do just a little better. I didn’t want to fail my friends who, for some reason, seemed to have this impression that I was some super Triathlete. I’m adequate with a little touch of nuts at best. :)

As the start time drew near we made our way to the dock where the swim launched. For some reason I was confused about what wave I was in. I kept thinking age, but it was going by bib number… I was in wave 7, and in the nick of time realized it. I made my way to the front and started appropriately and pretty much immediately.

As I started to swim, I literally thanked God for something different each time I looked at the sky while taking my breath during the freestyle. I thanked him for the day, the weather, my friends, my body (yes, unbelievably so), my courage, my trust that he would take care of me. He did. My stroke was steady and I was in control of my breathing, which had been somewhat of a challenge in open water for me. I had not struggles. I didn’t have to float on my back at all. My problem was navigating through the other athletes and sighting. Easily something I can work on.

As I came out of the water my legs were just a touch heavy. I ran up to the timing mat and then slowed my pace a bit. I had a pretty good transition, but made a mental note about needing an extra water bottle to spray off my feet – they were kinda dirty and I didn’t think mulch in my cycling show would feel good.

I mounted the bike and just rode in a spinning gear for a mile or two. As I felt my legs back I was feeling more like myself. Back in 2003 I averaged 10.4 mph and got off my bike for nearly every large hill. This year I navigated all the hills on my bike, never getting off. By the end my average speed was 14.4 – I was thrilled with the improvement. By far, the best achievement for me on the bike course was completing the steep descent into the hard right turn, into a steep uphill climb. I had to come out of my seat and found myself breathing like a buffalo, but I made it to the top. I think I started crying a little right then and there! I totally remember how defeated I felt in 2003 when I had to get off my bike.

When I got to the last hill I encountered a plus-sized athlete, who reminded me of me, back in 2003. I slowed down next to her and told her to remember, “as long as you are moving forward you’re still making progress”. Someone said that to me, and it made a difference; it’s easy to forget when you’re challenging yourself beyond anything you’d done before.

I transitioned for the run pretty quickly and was on my way. I started out pretty good until this woman, slightly older than me, started chatting me up. She was telling me how she just did a half IM in Florida last week. She happened to be from the Houston area too, so we got little chatty and started wogging together. Although she was lovely company, I let my own pace slip away. I could have done better had I remained more focused, but it was worth hearing her story. I do believe she was trying to get me to drink the IM kool-aid. Uh, no thanks – need an Oly under my belt before I go to any fraction of an IM! LOL

I finally crossed the line at 2 hours 11 minutes – I didn’t make my sub 2 hour goal, but I had a great time enjoying each recognizable improvement that I made:

In April’s Lonestar, I did 300 m in 26 minutes.
At the Danskin I did 800 m in 29 minutes and had control of my breathing.

In Danskin 2003, I averaged 10.4 mph and got off my bike at all the big hills
At Danskin 2009, I averaged 14.4 and stayed on the bike and in the pedals.

At May’s Y Practice Tri my Run time 49 minutes.
At the Danskin 2009 my run was 44 minutes, and could have definitely been better had I not been yappin!

This body, the one that I despise on more days than I care to admit, brought me through all this. This is a gift that not everyone has the courage or wherewithal to enjoy and I promise to be kinder to my body (and my mind) because they (me) deserve it.

To my fellow Tri Divas…

Alana and Courtney – We made that promise in 2003 to come back to the Danskin in 2003 and do it as individuals, so really, you guys are the reason I made it back to the Danskin in 2009 and I’m glad to have returned to the event with the two of you, because even though we didn’t get a lot of time together at the event I still knew you all were there. It wouldn’t have been the same had you not been there on the same day, accomplishing the same thing. I’m not sure why you ever drank what I was giving you from that first Ride for the Roses in 2003, but I’m glad you did. Crazy loves company, I guess. Thanks for always reminding me of where I was and where I am.

Leslie – I am so proud you had a change of heart out and did the bike. I hope you take a moment to enjoy the accomplishment and don’t regret seeing the tri through its entirety. Good luck on your future swimming endeavors! I still hope to embrace my “inner fish”.

Lynn – My goodness! I can hardly believe that 4 months ago you hadn’t even had your face in the water. I know this was a challenge for you and by the grace of God and your power of persistence you came, saw and conquered… no matter what the speed, you did it, and the rest of it was “up hill” from there, so to speak! Of course I’ll continue to watch you train, but it was lovely to meet you and I hope to see you around again in “real life” when we have more time.

Drea – You self-proclaimed yourself the “fraudulent triathlete” and my heart hurts that you feel the way you do about your accomplishment. I do understand where you are coming from as you provided your reasoning, but I have to disagree. You may not have trained and made sacrifices in the way you thought or even hoped you might, but the hardest part of this race is showing up to the starting line, and you did. For whatever reason, not participating wasn’t even an option in your mind! That doesn’t happen with someone who fears challenge. You have inner strength you need to tap into a little deeper and learn not to be afraid of accomplishment in it’s finest form. You deserve to feel the grandeur of crossing that finish in its full glory (training perfectly or not). I’m sorry I didn’t have more time to get to know you, because of your strength is any indication of who you are as a person I look forward to getting to know you as well!

Jenn – I know our meeting was brief, but how awesome is it that you made the trek down here to do this tri. You are still aka “Da Fish”, and I hope to continue to watch your training and see you grow!

Angel – I had no idea of your story until the day of the tri! So you might imagine how shocked I was to find out you were a survivor and all you had gone through which brought you to that day. I realize I don’t know you… well, at all, really, but when I heard your name as you crossed the Finish I got chills. I’m glad to have caught the picture of you truly living more than surviving on that special day! Good luck to you and hope to see you again. My prayers are also with you as you continue your journey.

Elysha – How could I forget you? You know how I feel, but I am so lucky that for whatever reason we managed to connect. You are definitely like my sister from another mother. I’m so happy you enjoy an unbelievable zest for life that leads you to living it fully and with fun and laughter. I’m glad to be a part of it now too! It helps that you’re a little crazy and easily persuaded to do these crazy events with me – thanks for being right there with me in the thick of it! And no, YOU Rock. :)

And to the other Tri Divas that I don’t really know all that well: As I hear pieces of each of your stories I’m amazed by each one of you. I only hope I get another opportunity to see you all again!

Fraudulent Triathlete

All the days leading up to June 7, 2009 did not phase me one bit. I felt so calm not one ounce of nervous energy, not one pinch of anticipation, just empty. I didn't lose any weight, I made only one sacrifice and I don't see that it was necessary at all but I didnt drink 2 weeks leading into it. Coco says that I am a perfectionist and by not meeting the goals I set for myself I feel an overwhelming sence of sadness, perhaps it is true but in all honesty I was not prepared for the adventure I set out on. I finished, yeah I finished but not the way i wanted. I felt no sense of accomplishment, no pride, no excitement; again there was only an emotional void. 

As I crossed the first mat to the water I was thinking... "This is it. Here is where it begins". I thought of Jenn's key chain that said "The woman that starts the race is not the same woman that finishes the race". I was intrigued to see how this would change me. It mentally broke me down. I started to swim and everyone in my group passed me. I was the biggest girl in my group and I was alone from all other Tri-Divas. I wanted to turn around but I was too far out and my pride would not allow it. I had two very important people in my life tell me they didn't expect me to finish and I could not allow this to be my story. So, I pushed and pushed and pushed for what seemed an eternity of 48 minutes. The red wave passed me, the blue wave passed me, the green wave passed me, the purple wave passed me, the yellow wave passed me and 1 lone lady in a silver cap passed me. I saw the shore and have never been so relieved to touch the ground in my life. I got out, I smiled because it was expected and I headed to the bike because I knew I am a cyclist and I can make up any lost time that I needed on my beloved bike...

As I headed out, I was discouraged but began to cycle. Out of the park head right down the hill and then to parking area and there is a small hill and I knew then I was going to be NO GOOD. I couldnt make it up that hill. My legs were gone. My stamina capoot. I was empty. This where Drea the Diva of Optimism and never say dies gave up... If I was a stronger woman I would have cried, had some sort of emotional response that could have driven to the end but I only had resignation of failure. I killed my self to get up those little bitty hill and walked every single massive one. My one event I knew I was good at proved to be my WORST one. I now don't even know who I am. I was alone and ashamed that I was too fat and too out of shape to represent the TRI-DIVA name in the 25-29 category with honor and fight. As I walked the last hill I thought of my girls, especially Jenni, Coco and La-La and the disappointment I was for them. I thought about how all the times I cycled and ran on the treadmill and then went to eat pizza or worse cost my sour and badly beaten ego. I can only assume that my sadness was etched all on my face because volunteer after volunteer took a serious interest in pushing me on. As I entered the transition area I came fast to face with Erma and Loni by now my disappointment and shamefulness has transfered to anger and self-hatred. I DID NOT WANT TO GO ON. 

I took my time, put my bike up, took a potty, bitched and complained about how I am a failure and I hate it and I NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVA want to do this shit again. After 15 minutes I headed out to the walk, legs wobbly, and I see Lesli and Lynn coming in from the bike silently praying they were too far behind me to see my disasterous attempt at bike riding. I walked my 5k. Half way through I heard them call out Coco and La-La's name as they crossed the finish. I received a boost as I got to the end and the beautiful ladies with cow bells and boas were high fiving and screaming in support, I put on my best show of excitement and crossed the line. Unfortunately, I was mentally broken. I do it and I know its going to be bad to say this, please understand that I mean no disrespect , but I don't think there is no one who can't. If all you have to do is float and walk 15 miles its not that hard. I got a medal because I reached a line in a "reasonable" amount of time but I am NO triathlete. I, walked my bike more than I rode it, I walked the 5k out of pure exhaustion. I am 27 (*no comment*) and I finished last in my class because I refused to go home and tell everyone they were right and I really couldn't do it. The truth is... I didn't do it. 

I look at my medal and take no joy in it. I enjoyed my weekend. I was with 12 of the most awesome women GOD every created and I am beyond blessed to call them my friends, my sisters, my heros but I don't deserve to share the title Triathlete with any of them. It will hard for anyone to understand what it this did for me mentally. Physically, I am fine. Theoretically, I did it. Realistically, I crossed the line, I finished. Mentally, I am a fraud. 

I have promised myself that this is not the end for me, only my beginning. I have told myself that I will continue my planned events and work harder to lift myself into what I feel a Tri-Diva is but as for today and  Sunday that was not it. I crossed the line 3:24:05 after starting my FIRST triathlon, but I have not finished. I am still a work in progress....

Learn to Master the Bike-to-Run Transition |

Learn to Master the Bike-to-Run Transition |

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Team Tri Diva rocked Austin. You gals are all amazing!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Open Water Swim Tips

See you soon!

Well, I'm just a few hours from departure... I'm so excited!!!! :) See y'all real soon!!!! (how's my Texan?)


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Get your Number!

If you'd like to get your bib numbers online before the expo, go here and scroll to the bottom of the page. Check out "Search Roster Data" and choose, of course, Austin.

Knowing your number before the expo will save you time since you won't have to fight the crowd to check the board outside the expo center.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Just got an email from my tri camp coach... they're doing another camp this summer... for an Olympic distance event in September in Oklahoma City... part of the Redman stuff.

The first thing that popped into my head was not "you can't do that"... but "You could do that!"

35 x 35 list item!

I've got the bug.

Keeps me busy and mostly out of trouble, right?

And no, I wouldn't be an Olympian... but doesn't doing an event with the word Olympic attached to it sound like a cool deal?

As my niece, Mia, would say... "Curses!"

Running 101 is the only obstacle and that ends late July with goal race on the 1st of August.

When did this become my world? I love it... but how did this happen?

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Who is freaking out???

*raising my hand* ME!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Well, chicks, there's 10 days left until the Danskin! Whoohoo!

I wanted to start a thread here because Angel had asked about covering the bike course on Saturday, and I thought we should discuss.

Personally, I'd be glad to DRIVE the course, but I don't want to do more than a short run on Saturday, if anything. 1 bike ride around the course is not going to improve our times, and frankly would probably hurt us more by burning our legs up... especially for beginners.

We've trained... we're ready.

We will do this. :)

I'm coming into Austin on Friday, but staying with a friend's Dad on Friday night near Lake Travis. On Saturday I'm checking into that Arboretum hotel (where Courtney is staying), along with my friend Elysha. We'll be at the Expo Saturday and if Dinner is still on at Chuy's, we'll be doing dinner with y'all. :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tri Ride

So I had the chance to ride the Danskin course yesterday. We checked out the park and everything looks the same as in 2003. We befriended another lone rider out to try the course for the day, so three of us rode the course together. Here's the scoop:

I left my bike computer at home so I have no idea as to speed on the course for the day.

At the end of Lindell, there is a fast downhill. The problem is, you have to stop before you make the next right. I remember volunteers being there, tell you to stop. Not sure if they'll be there this time, but that's how it was in 2003.

The problem with stopping, is that the moment you turn right, you have a very steep climb right in front of you; seriously, like a wall-in-front-of-your-nose kind of climb. Literally, I had to come out of the seat for this one (thank God for Spin Class climbs!). if you are not in the right gear (an easy spinning gear) when you make that turn, you will kill yourself getting up there. Seriously, I thought my derailleur failed mechanically, but when the same thing happened to E, I realized what it was. Those with mountain bikes, hybrids, or general gear heads who are proficient with shifting will not have as much of a problem. LOL

Just a tip when you are coasting downhill: tuck your knees and elbows in. Feet should be at 3 and 9 o'clock. Get low, shoulders back, flat back. This will maximize your downhill speed and help you gain momentuam. :) That said, I can't say I did much coasting... I took advantage and pedaled down each downhill.

Then the other L-O-N-G climb is the last road before you make the right on to Hogeye road to the finish. You have a pretty good downhill proceeding it, but since many of us like to take a break and coast the downhill, chances are we won't have the momentum to get to the top of this mammoth. Plus the downhill is not on real smooth road, so if it doesn't scare you to go super-fast down uneven pavement, then let it send you flying. I'm no expert, but I think the key to this one is pedaling in your fastest (hardest-to-pedal) gear on the downhill and let it help you build momentum. You'll need that momentum to help you up the long climb... at least for portion of it. Downshifting to your next lowest gear BEFORE you start to feel the burn will help save your legs. I was in my Granny gear before I got to the top. Definitely had to muscle it up and over. It looks scarier than it really is. Just keep focus and rhythm.

So my map is incorrectly identifying the hills. The second hill in on FM973, right before you make a right on to Hogeye.

Other than those two, the rest are the accepted rolling hills Austin always has. I finished the course n 1 hour and 5 minutes, but that was with 5 stops to wait on the other two riders -- there are no shoulders on the majority of this course, so riding in numbers is the only way to stay safe.

Friday, May 22, 2009

2 Points!?!

You know that last tri I did? I just learned this morning that I earned 2 USAT points for the 5th place Athena division finish; that's 2 points.

I don't know what I'm supposed to do with them... but it sounds kinda cool. LOL

I think my multisport training team gets to count them. The different teams keep track of points and clubs win money at the end of the tri season for having the most points.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Austin Danskin SheROX Bike Course

(click to see it full-size)

So this is the map of the bike course for the 2009 Austin SheROX. If all goes well this weekend, I may go out on Saturday to ride it. There are 2 large hills on the course that prove to be challenging, and not to scare anyone, but many dismount and walk over the top. Just be prepared... find some hills near you and drill, drill, drill.

From the website: The bike course is a beautiful 12-mile loop around Decker Lake, featuring rolling hills. Participants will exit the transition area and turn left along the park entrance road, then they'll exit the park and turn right onto Hog Eye Road, which will then merge with Decker Lake Road. Turning right onto Decker Lane, participants will proceed until Lindell. Participants will turn right on Lindell, which dead-ends at Blue Bluff. Participants will turn right on Blue Bluff, which then turns into Bloor. Participants will follow Bloor to the SH130 frontage road, where they will turn right. Participants will then turn right onto Highway 973. At the top of the hill, participants will turn right on Decker Lake Road, and then right at Blue Bluff, which takes them back into the park. The transition area will be on their right. Some of the bike course is completely closed to traffic, and other roads will have one full lane marked off with cones.

The good thing about this course is that it has changed since 2003 (thankfully). There was a long strip of really rough, uphill road to the FINISH. Seriously, it was like riding on the cobbles at Paris Roubiax.

Good luck... 18 days and counting! Are you ass-cited!?!

I am!!

Trek Recall

Model Year 2009

Trek 7300, 7300WSD, and 7500 bicycles manufactured from August 2008 to April 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

T-Shirts - Check it!

Check out the first round of t-shirt printing. Sorry it's taking so long, but life happens. :-)

*Update* Official Silverlake Tri Results are In!

The good news is, I finished in 1:32:58... not 1:35
(every second counts, you know?)

Finishing #435 of 467 participants sounds realllllly bad; but have to keep it in perspective.
Finished Lonestar 2:05 and some change, so this is an improvement.

Lots of room to grow; T times are much improved!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

2009 Silverlake Tri - 400m / 10 mi / 5 K - Race Report

So here I am sporting my new team jersey. BAM is Bay Area Multisport. Not sure how I like the 2 piece gig. There are pluses and minuses to 1 vs. 2. The debate is neverending I think. LOL

I took time the night before to prep everything for race day, like a good little triathlete, so I could maximize my sleep. Transition opened at 5:30 am and I had not been there before. I think I need a Garmin. :)

There was scattered rain in the forecast, but the only way the event was going to be canceled, was if there was lightening.

Got up, got dressed, took meds, made breakfast and loaded the car. Said my "see you laters" to Darren and Cass and promptly left, leaving my breakfast behind! Doh!

I found the site, super nice! See that pic at the top! Suffice it to say this tri is definitely a do-again. :) I got myself situated and ran a little, stretch a little, and chatted a bit -- you know, just to warm-up.

I was not sure what to race, age group or Athena. I chose Athena, only because I did age group last time and figured, why not? Evidently I'm in a tough class, so I'm better registering for Athena. If you notice, I was number 5 -- usually a number reserved for the "elite" athletes!

The water was nice and warm. My swim was okay, except for getting kicked in the head by someone who it seemed swam backstroke the entire way! My adrenalin was up at the start, so breathing was hard. By the time I made it halfway I calmed down and had my rhythm going. I finished the 400 m swim in just over 13 minutes.

I quickly transitioned to the bike. I actually RAN out of the wanter and RAN out of the transition with my bike. I was super surprised because it usually takes me a while to get my legs back. the 10 mile ride took me about 35 minutes -- I don't have exact time, but my stuff said 37 minutes for the ride and that made for a 16.1 mph. Nice ride too... no hills, through a real pretty subdivision and great ride support. I was enjoying the fact I was passing riders...

At some point during the race it did rain, because when I came back in from the bike, my running shoes were a little soggy -- that was annoying. I didn't have anything but a couple sprinkles during the ride, so it surprised me my stuff was so wet.

Then the run... transition to run was pretty good. Remember, I had no breakfast at all, so by now I was feeling it. I was glad I had made a bottle of Cytomax. I don't usually do it because I'm told by several sources that sprint tri athletes carb load too much. I have enough "energy" on my body (fat), so there's really no need for carb loading or extra calories outside of breakfast and a light snack 40 minutes before the start.

My run was okay... did walk run intervals, but never let myself walk more than 60 steps and never let my heart rate go below 155. My average heart rate was 161, my max was 180. I think I finished my run in about 35 minutes, if my math is right. :) So that puts me somewhere between an 11 - 12 minute pace.

So before I left I saw some of the results: I finished number 5 in the Athena class and there were 10 in my class. I don't know what my overall position is yet. but I was in the bottom third somewhere, I bet, looking at last year's results using my finish time to gauge.

Here's some pictures -- they are scary, so browse at your own risk. No one looks good in their uglies!

Cyclists Do It Wet

Alternative Title: Julie And CoCo, Off The Beaten Path

Ok... let's get this out there because it needs to be known... meeting the girls was fabulous. I already knew that, but the sparkle added when you get to see the words spoken instead of written just makes it better. It was AWESOME to finally meet them. And I'm sorry if I broke the "company is coming to town" rule. I was completely comfortable to be my normal crass self, immediately.

So the drive down to Texas was fun... I had a list of all this stuff I had to deal with before I even got out of Tulsa... eat lunch, buy water bottles, buy extra tubes for the tires (all at Mid-Town Bicycles, which might take over from Lee's as my new fave bike shop... they were really nice!), run to the bank for work, run to the bank for me, put gas in the car, get sudafed (which has to be bought in the pharmacy here in Oklahoma now, because I guess some component of Sudafed is used to make meth), get sun screen, buy a pop, get some candy and GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I listened to a lot of music... thought about listening to one of my books on my iPod (can't hardly call it a book on tape anymore), but I kept with the music.

If I have any room to complain about driving (in any state) it is this: Pick a speed and go. I hate people who go 80, then 75, then 70, then realize someone is tailing them, bump it back up to 80, lather, rinse, repeat. And if I see you coming up on me fast, I really will try to get out of your way... so give me a damn minute. Don't just whip around me. That scares the shit out of me and it should scare the shit out of you too. And if you rearend me with my bike back there and ruin it, you're buying me an even better bike, mkay? Cause I'd probably take the payout for getting my junker of a car totalled and buy a really sweet ride.

So I got to Plano later than I wanted... I had planned to be there by four, do some laps in the pool, get cleaned up and meet some the girls for dinner. I got there at about 5:45, with time to throw my bike in the room, go to the bathroom, glance around the hotel to see if the pool was indoor (for after dinner usage, it was not) and head out to meet the girls for dinner. The best laid plans....

Dinner was hilarious... loved all the girls and it was seriously like I had already met everyone. They were so welcoming and friendly and it was awesome.

I explored Addison a little (not much as I had specific directions to and from specific places and I didn't feel like getting lost) and headed on back to the hotel to hit the hay with a wakeup call called in and my alarm set for 5:45.

About midnight I hear it... splashing water. And I see it... lightning. I rolled over and went back to sleep... all night long this continues... and I kept thinking... I heard it will be over by morning, by morning, by... morn... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I looked at the clock at 5:44... my phone had already turned 5:45 and had some cryptic message that the alarm time had already passed it would ring tomorrow, but not today? Whatever... I was awake, but I was laying there in anticipation of the wake up call... that never came... so I got myself up out of bed, washed my face, brushed my teeth, put my gear on... all to the steady sound of rain.

Loaded my bike... loaded myself... this would have been a good time for a checklist... because I thought I locked my keys in my car right after I had loaded my bike.... but then found them, had to go back for a towel, had to go back for my Garmin, had to go back for the directions... I drove out of the parking lot four times before I really got on the road. Checklist next time!

Arrived at the event which was the WildRide! Bike Rally. We had decided on Friday night that we were going to do the 16 mile course.

I sat in my car waiting for everyone to get there... and thought... hmmm... this is kind of crazy... it's pouring out there. But I got my bike out, aired up my tires, got dressed and went in search of the other girls... who knew it would be so hard to find them... we laughed when I called and Courtney said she was the one with the bike, next to the tree.

This is before I was totally soaked...

So we head out... and I'm not going to lie... it was wet. And a little bit scary to be riding in the wet. I've been sprinkled on, but I've never ridden in the rain... but rest assured, we didn't fall! And once we actually got out and everything reached saturation level... it was, actually, not that bad to ride in the rain. I wish I could have stopped and rung out my socks... they seems to retain the most liquid... and my jersey, the back pockets felt like they were starting to fill up.

Courtney and I somehow split from Alana and Drea, but it was great riding and talking... we were just chit chatting, comparing race schedules, talking about all things tri having a ball... when we finally look up and notice... no rally signs.anywhere, no bikers.anywhere. She thought there was a rest stop about mile 9 at an elementary school... and we rode along and found one... but it wasn't the one. So we turned around and started looking for cyclists. As we were headed back into the rain, I mentioned, I don't know whether to be pissed or laugh! How in the world did we miss.the.turn.

So we're heading back the direction we came from... and notice a line of cyclists crossing a road we had breezed on by earlier (and we almost got a car up the crack because the police officers motioned us through and the car went instead)... and we started cracking up... I tried to see a sign that said turn, but never could find it... and we saw the other two girls coming, so we had to be on the right track.

Neither of us ever figured out where we missed the turn... and it must have been marked somewhere because most of the other riders seemed to have made it... (but we did see a few other random stragglers who did the same thing we did)... but we missed the rest stop where there were apparently cookies and oranges... and I was sad to not have been involved with that.

But... we made it back... all four of us crossing the finish line... and we had to take a picture, you know? (I just noticed my eyes were closed, but hey! I'm smiling!)
And it was a good course, a couple of hills, a few gradual inclines... I'm glad we didn't do the 40 miles... especially in that weather... but now.. I don't know... for some reason, I hadn't been considering myself a real cyclist... but after that ride in the hot mess of the rain, I decided, yup, I'm a cyclist. And I didn't come all the way to Texas to pack up my bike and not do it. So I'm proud of us... we did it. And even the detour was pretty funny (after the fact).

Notes to self:
*know the route
*carry a map of the route, maybe I'll finally to listen
*if it rains, decide to play in it, it's like being a little kid again
*start thinking about that century ride I'd like to complete next year

I would say my first organized bike ride was a success!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

WildRide! 2009

Join more than 2,000 cyclists for the 6th annual WildRide! Against Cancer on May 16, 2009. The event is projected to net more than $110,000 for Richardson Regional Cancer Center, an affiliate of UT Southwestern Medical Center and home of the Lance Armstrong Shaped Beam Surgery™ program. WildRide! is the only bike ride to allow riders across the long stretch of the beautiful Lavon Lake Dam, closed all other days of the year! Enjoy rolling hills and scenic byways through small North Texas towns that open their arms to this annual event.

Oy vey! Of course the morning started with heavy rain. I prayed that we'd be such luck! There were 5 Tri Divas doing this event (including Julie who rode her bike from Oklahoma to be here! Ok, she drove...but still a rock star). At 7:45am it was still coming down (ride started at 8), so I decided to stop bitching and just get the damn thing done (how is that for positive attitude? LOL)

The Divas split up on the course and Julie and I ended up riding together. We're rolling along (at a nice pace, I must add...despite the sequel to "Waterworld" playing out in my contacts), chatting and having a good time. After awhile we realize we're in heavy traffic and there are no other cyclists around. Umm...WTF?!? Julie and I were apparently having so much fun that we completely missed our turn. The mishap only added an additional 2 miles to our total, but it was still a tad bit annoying due to the rain. We missed the rest stop (not that you really need it on a 16-mile course), but y'all know I'm all about the snacks! *stomping foot*

The ride itself was pretty good. A few rolling hills and a couple of slow climbs and a nice downhill that took my bike to 28mph...woohoo! Probably wasn't smart in the rain, but I survived. Don't tell my mom, ok?

I think all of the Divas enjoyed themselves despite the shiteous weather and meeting Julie was great! She's a very cool girl and I can't wait to see her again next month for Danskin! I must give a shoutout to Alana (Super Mom of Multiples!) for completing her first event of the year! As if birthin' twin boys isn't impressive enough, the girl is still a cycling machine. I also have to give love to Drea. She's totally embraced cycling and her enthusiasm is contagious. Congrats on finishing your first organized ride!

Wet and smiley after the ride...Julie, Drea, Court, Alana (I always feel like freakin' Gulliver in group shots..LOL)

One for pinot grigio, One for tequila. Gatorade is for rookies!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Calming Swim Fears

Calming Your Swim Fears
Kelly Handel
Professional Triathlete
Consultant, Source Endurance

If you have committed to doing your first triathlon this year, first of all, congratulations on getting started! That is the first step and often the hardest part. As the summer approaches and temperatures rise in Austin, there is no better way to complement the day than cooling off with a swim. While this is often times the most ‘feared’ discipline of all, it is nothing to be afraid of and hopefully something you can even come to enjoy. Here are a few tips for getting you off on the right foot for a successful race.

Scout out the course. Try to arrive early enough to the transition area to set your things up and get to the swim start with time to spare. This means, maybe wander over there 20-30 minutes prior to your wave start time. Look at the course, and ask questions of volunteers or even the race director if you can find him/her. Be sure you know which direction to go and you can see all of the turn buoys (if possible) from the beach. A very good tip is: Start off to the side or the back if you are intimidated. So, if the first turn is to the left around the first buoy, aim to start to the right side of the swim pack you are starting with. Picture this: Everyone will merge to that point and make the turn, so you do not want to be on the ‘inside’ and get pushed off course. While you may swim slightly further starting to the outside, you will not get pummeled by all of the other swimmers. It will feel safer and less hectic in the mix of things.

Count the buoys. Again, do not hesitate to ask questions! Some race directors will make the turn buoys different colors. Maybe the ‘marker’ buoys are orange, and the turn buoys are yellow. Know the course as well as you can from looking at it, and if you know how many buoys you are going to pass, you can count them off as you go.

Sight often. This cannot be underestimated! Hopefully you have practiced ‘how to’ sight, but all you really need to do is lift the eyes to just above the surface of the water. You may even be able to work this into your strokes, if you practice it enough. Starting out, try to sight every 3-5 strokes. But remember, this does not entail ‘stopping’, but more so simply lifting your eyes above the surface, glancing ahead for the NEXT buoy and continuing to swim. Keep the sighting quick, efficient and frequent.

Trust yourself. You may find that you settle into a small ‘pack’ of others, which is a great place to be. But, do not let them lead the way entirely. They may be going fast, but they may also be going off course. Be sure even if you find yourself swimming in a pack that you are sighting often to be sure that you are on course.

Stop and tread water (or swim on your back) if you panic. This is VERY important for beginners to know! It is just fine to stop and catch your breath if you need to. The swim start can be a bit stressful and hectic, as there is a lot of splashing, kicking and arms and legs flying. This will clear out a bit, as people begin to fall into their own paces. If you find at any point you begin to feel short of breath, stop and tread water, or even flip onto your back and do some strokes here. It is important to relax, catch your breath and then continue on. There is nothing wrong with a short break, especially if this is your first triathlon (or even your first year of triathlons).

Practice in open water prior to race day. We are blessed in Austin with so many great swimming holes. You will feel much better on race day if you know you have ‘experienced’ open water at least a couple of times before you race. Make it a goal to go to Barton Springs, or perhaps the Pure Austin North quarry, a couple of times the month leading up to your event. It is a different experience than swimming in a pool; but think of it as fun. There are no lanes, no walls and no clocks; just you and the water! If you think your race may be wetsuit-legal, be sure to practice a few times in the wetsuit you may race in. Sleeveless suits are nice for added mobility and a more natural swim stroke; and they will still keep you very warm.

Relax and be confident in yourself! This is so important. We all have self-doubts, but come race day, try to find a minute before you start to quiet your mind and focus on what you are there to do. You are in control of your race. Things may happen, but remember that you know how to swim, you have trained for this day and you can control what happens. Self-talk can come in very handy, especially in the swim! Find a ‘mantra’ that works for you, and carry this through your race. Remember to smile; this is fun stuff, and the more you do, the easier it will get. After all, everyone is in it together!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A First-Timers Video - Danskin 2007

Nichole Nordeman, Jay Joyce

The gate is wide
The road is paved in moderation
The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in
Welcome to the middle ground
You're safe and sound and
Until now it's where I've been

'Cause it's been fear that ties me down to everything
But it's been love, Your love, that cuts the strings

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I am small
And I speak when I'm spoken to
But I am willing to risk it all
I say Your name
Just Your name and I'm ready to jump
Even ready to fall...

Why did I take this vow of compromise?
Why did I try to keep it all inside?

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I've never known a fire that didn't begin with a flame
Every storm will start with just a drop of rain
But if you believe in me
That changes everything
So long, I'm gone

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
I wanna be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Kickin' & Screamin'

Seriously, yesterday just sucked. All the way around. I was crabby and had no patience. It started from the moment I woke up and continued throughout the day. Just one annoying thing after another.

Truthfully, in the big picture, none of it was big stuff. Just irritating.

For those of you who don't believe I struggle with getting to the gym and being a domestic goddess, yesterday was one of those days. I knew there was stuff (laundry!) that had to get done at home. I was afraid if I went home after the gym I would just call it a night, and there the laundry would sit.

In the end, I put my body first and packed up to go to the gym right after work. Good choice, right?

So remember how happy I was about the practice tri? Well, I was quickly deflated when I got my official time yesterday -- overall the cumulative time was better than I thought (1:30:28) Just 29 seconds outside of my goal. That was the good news, but what I learned next was horrifying to my training effort:

Evidently I must have slowed my jogging pace so much that they had my run time down as 48:24.



Right before I left work I got more news that just irritated me so much... I guess I just needed to be mad for a little while. I simply don't understand how that time could be? Seriously, that would be like jogging 3.7 mph... or so. How can you even jog that slow? My hope is that it was an error... this was not a chip timed event. But regardless, I guess I have to step up the running even more. *shrug*

Not wanting to be there and feeling so bummed, I get to the gym... get changed. No goggles. No cap. No swimming without because they just shocked the pool. I was ticked. I felt like I couldn't buy a break today.

I left, picked up Cass and headed home. While domestic goddessing I was quickly losing my motivation to go swim later on; the terms on which I had bargained with my brain when I left the gym earlier. Darren came home and I vented about the day and eventually I did make it back to the gym, so that's a small victory.

Gotta have the bad days to appreciate the good I guess. I hope my brick training today goes more smoothly.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pearland Y Practice Sprint Tri

After taking the Tour de Pearland to find the Y -- seriously we drove around the entire city we made it, we finally found the facility. We learned it is always prudent to verify directions before leaving. LOL

This sprint tri was a practice tri the Y sponsored to which they invited members of Bay Area Multisport to participate. It was a 300 m swim, 9 mile bike and 5k. Maybe there were 40 people there, tops. You had the option of the long or short course. Elysha and I did the long. It was nice, casual and very un-intimidating.

The swim was in a pool. They seed you by swim time for 300 m. I told them 10 minutes, but the last time I timed myself it was 8:30... I just never did a pool tri before so I gave myself some extra time. The guy ahead of me was slow, then fast, then slow, then fast again... it was annoying because either I was on his feet or he was on mine. Guess it goes with the fun .

I exited the pool and had a little issue with my sunglasses getting knotted in my helmet. Some chick was screaming, "you don't need shirts... you don't socks". I'm over the shirt thing, but I still need socks, lady.

Anyway, after a fabulous rolling mount (I even surprised myself and don't think I could do it again) the bike course offered a headwind heading out on the loop and tailwind on the way back, so that was nice. I tried to stay as aerodynamic in form as I could to take advantage of the wind. I think I hit a highspeed of 20.5 on the ride. averaged about 16 mph, I think. Pretty good for me.

The run. I was dreading this. Earlier I felt some twinges in my knee and back. Before I left I stretched on the foam roller and stretched some more after I got there. My back felt pretty tight and hurt just a little this morning; enough to make me wonder how things were going to go.

I started running and I was feeling good. I realized I had run the first mile straight and not a peep out of my back... Not only that, but I had not taken a walking break! It seemed I found a rhythm... although slow, it worked for me. Before I knew it I had run the 2nd mile without a walking break either... I was determined now to run the last mile. Which I did. :) Soooooo happy for me. Plus, my back didn't bother me at all on this run -- I mean it feels tighter than leather pants on Cher, post-race, but it did not hurt on the run the way it did on the treadmill on Friday night.

My goal going in was to finish in 90 minutes or less. I think I finished in 91, according to my watch.

Where to improve:
  • Always use the checklist
  • Verify directions to race site!
  • Continue to train, because it's working -- Imagine that!
  • Get some Yankz.
  • Don't forget towel to dry feet! Had soggy feet in my cycling shoes... had to take socks off for the run.
  • Unlock helmet strap and place upside down on handlebars.
What was good:
  • Best 5K ever; consisten running, no walking breaks.