a Bri Gaal's Blog: June 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Beaching It Up

We had a very busy weekend starting with a great happy hour in Chapel Hill with our triathlon team on Friday night. The team has 25 members or so and with everyone's hectic schedule we're never quite sure who is going to show up, but we had a great turnout and a good time. Marty and I then ran a swim clinic at the Triangle Aquatic Center from 8am - 2pm the next day. We've done quite a lot of these now, but they are still quite tiring by the end of it. Once again we had a really great group and I think everyone walked away with some new tips, techniques and overall training knowledge.

After that, Marty did some work and then we drove over to Kure Beach because the Kure Beach Super Sprint was this morning. This is a very fun race: 350m swim, 1.5 mile run, 20K bike, 1.5 mile run, 350m swim. I won this race last year but opted out of it this weekend seeing as I'm barely moving on my run right now and I just didn't think it would be smart to try and race so soon after my injury. So I sat on the sidelines with Tassie and cheered everyone on. We stayed with fellow teammate Mary Lynne who has an awesome house right in Kure Beach, along with our teammate Alysia and her husband and some other friends of Mary Lynne. We had maybe not the most ideal pre-race night, but it sure was a great time :) Plus, I wasn't racing so what did I care? After the race we all went back to the house and then out to the beach for the rest of the afternoon (except for Marty who had to stay in and do some more work before he could join us). We all grudgingly got ourselves packed up in the evening and made our way back home. Another fun weekend in the books.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Loose tooth

Swimming went well this morning – I moaned and groaned when the alarm went off but grudgingly got up after Tassie gave me doggie kisses. She has transitioned to sleeping in our bedroom now on a blanket right next to Marty. Not IN bed, just on the floor. We wanted to get her out of the crate because she was already well trained and that thing took up too much space in our dining room. It took a couple of weeks for her to learn that just because one of us gets up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom does not mean it’s “HAPPY MORNING TIME!” (If you are ever at our house in the morning, you will understand better what HAPPY MORNING TIME" is). Anyways, I was thinking I would be kind of slow after my nearly 2 week break from swimming with the vacation and all, but I did pretty good (for me). And then tonight was our usual small group hammerfest ride, which I'm happy to say I felt 100 times better than a few weeks ago.

I also visited the dentist on Monday, which always gives me anxiety. I guess it gives most anxiety, it’s just one of those things. I like my dentist and even the hygienists are quite nice, but there’s just something about that place. And I’ve had a tooth in the back of my mouth that has been kind of bothering me for awhile. It has a crown and last time they told me that I would probably need a root canal in the future. But the x-ray looked fine at the time, and it really didn’t hurt that bad. Only when I ate or drink something really cold. It was the same this time, x-ray okay and same feeling. So the dentist decided to poke around a bit and all of the sudden he says, “Oh, well this is why you’re feeling some discomfort.” I look over and he’s HOLDING my crown. Ugh. This was not going to be a fast appointment. So 2 hours after arriving I was finally on my way into work, with my crown newly cemented in. The dentist told me that my back teeth are kind of short and that’s why the crown came off – not enough tooth to cement onto. He said if it happens again in the next few years or I still feel discomfort, he could laser my gums to get it on really good. FABULOUS.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Great Weekend

It's Sunday night and I'm forcing Marty to watch the women's gymnastics olympic trials - I love it! It was a good weekend here, and I rounded it out with my 5th run of the week! Yes, you read that right, 5 runs this week. 4 of them that lasted 15 minutes, and a long run of 25 minutes :) I'm all about keeping up the consistency right now, and not worried at all about my pace. Marty and I also did our typical short loop ride both yesterday and today. I felt slow and out of shape yesterday, but felt much better today.

I also went to Alicia Parr's baby shower this afternoon which was fun and filled with all sorts of oohs and ahhs over all the cute presents for her and Remy (and Gary, too :) All in all a great weekend.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Zipline Video


Costa Rica Part 2

Well! If you’ve read Marty’s little write-up about our Costa Rican trip compared to mine, you may have thought we went on two different vacations! We believe he is getting a bit crotchety in his old age, but what he said is true and I will touch on them. His writing was more of a summary where as mine is very detailed – I don’t know if everyone wants to read all that anyways, but it’s good for me so I have something to go back and remember everything by. Kind of like our trip around the world, I’ll go back and read some of the entries and realize I had completely forgotten what had happened. It would be a shame for it all to be forgotten.

So the next day we got up, and ate some breakfast at an overpriced hotel in town. We never went back there after that. Like Marty said, it was much more expensive than we anticipated. It wasn’t quite as expensive as US prices, but higher than we had heard from our friends who had been there in years past. I imagine it has a lot to do with the fact that Costa Rica has become quite popular, not to mention our falling dollar and the Europeans who vacation there and drive the prices up. Our hotel was still quite cheap all things considered (bugs were a free, an added benefit). From then on, we had a breakfast at one of the local “soda’s”. Soda’s are usually family run and you can get pretty cheap, good Costa Rican food (breakfast, lunch and dinner). We were partial to this one Soda that was close and had great service. Just kidding about the service, the girls working there hardly smiled at us, but they did have two cute dogs.

Which brings me to my next topic – DOGS! Everywhere! Much like the Philippines, dogs roamed the streets, the beaches, the restaurants…except in the Philippines they pretty much looked the same (kind of like a dingo). However, in Costa Rica you had all types and practically every mix of breed. Some were pets, but most were wild – not wild in the sense that they were dangerous, just on their own. Dogs don’t live very long down there and aren’t viewed so highly like they are here in the US. Even though we never give table scraps to Tassie, we did down there. The dogs would beg, but not forcefully. I imagine they had learned the hard way what happens when they truly beg. Many had mange, or were hurt in some way and it absolutely broke my heart. I really love dogs. Although, as Bill pointed out, even though they may have a hard life, they also have a very fun life – most dogs would love the opportunity to run free, chase whatever, play in the surf, etc.

That day we also went to the beach so Marty and Bill could surf. I had intentions of taking a surf lesson, but honestly the waves were really big. I also envisioned some nice open water swim workouts, but there was no way it was going to happen in that water. So I bodysurfed the first day and got totally tossed around. I lost my hair tie so my hair was all in my face and then immediately after, the top of my bikini came undone!! So I’m trying to hold that up and get the hair out of my face while wave after wave knocked me over and under and all around. I wasn’t scared or anything – I’ve been in plenty of rough waters and am totally comfortable in the open water, but it started to get old so I made my way back to shore. I finally was able to retie my bikini and I headed up towards the beach with my fins in hand (Marty had bought me a pair to make body surfing easier). So now I’m in less than shin deep water, fins in hand, bikini righted, and directly in front of the one beach bar when a wave comes and completely takes me out! Very embarrassing! I scrambled up quickly and got out of there.

Later on we walked down to the house that Jamie and Judy were staying out. This place was sweet and right on the water! It was about a 25min walk for us which we did several times during the week, on a dusty dirt road without a sidewalk, but that’s how it goes in many countries. They also had a nice tide pool which us girls liked to sit in while the boys surfed or body surfed. The group of people down there was super fun and we had a real good time with everyone.

I think it was that night we went into the next town to find food. They had rented a Rav-4 so all 9 of us piled in there, quite a squeeze. We went to a Middle Eastern restaurant where the guy who served us was white but definitely had an accent. Someone asked him, “Are you German?” to which he replied, “No, the opposite…I’m Israeli!” Woops! That was a fun night although some people don’t remember much of it after downing too many Imperials.

We also went on a canopy tour which took us to the Montezuma waterfalls. This was very fun – you’re zipping along very quickly, with the jungle underneath and ocean in front of you. The one guide didn’t speak English very well, but he asked me if I was a cyclist after seeing my Livestrong tank top. I said yes and I found out that he was the current Costa Rican master’s national champion! He said some more things that I didn’t understand, but I’m guessing he was probably a pro when he was younger. I have no idea where he trains since most roads in the small cities are unpaved and he worked in Montezuma (which is a small unpaved, backpacker town). We did get a picture of his trainer – and never again should any of us complain about ours when you see his!!

Stopping during the canopy tour at the falls was nice and refreshing. We jumped into a deep pool and then the guys who were all braver (and dumber) then the girls jumped off the waterfall. This was VERY high and some of them walked away with bruises. No thank you. I dove in off some rocks and managed to split one of my contacts in two causing me much pain and suffering making the tour a little less fun. I finally fished out one part and got the other part out later in the day. My eye was not happy with me. I decided to wear my glassed from there on out.

We hung out in Montezuma a bit before and after our canopy tour, and then Marty, Bill and I went back there on Tuesday (the rest of the gang left on Monday). It’s a cool little city and I managed to get a neat handmade necklaces – but the prices! Sheesh, these people on the street were trying to sell things to us for $35! I can go to Target and get cool costume jewelry for less than that. And since I’m complaining, might as well talk about the water – like Marty said, a lot of sewage runs down the rivers into the ocean, and since Costa Rica just had a tropical storm go through the other week, much more sewage than normal was running into the water. This made for some bad smelling ocean and gave you the heebee jeebies about what you were swimming in. Gross.

Okay, time to wrap up because this is getting long and frankly, I’m tired of typing. All in all, Costa Rica was a fun, relaxing vacation, but I don’t see Marty and I going back there. There are other places we would rather check out, and I think we’re a bit spoiled after seeing so many awesome places when we traveled. I’m glad we went, nonetheless.

So, onto our return trip. We took a cab back to Tambor to catch our tiny flight back into San Jose. I had to go to the bathroom and the only thing at the “airport” was a portolet. I’ve been in thousands of them throughout my life with all the racing and really could’ve cared less. And it was locked up so I knew that random people weren’t using it and I thought it would be okay. I was wrong. The smell almost knocked me out when I went in there and then…there were MAGGOTS swimming in the toilet water!! I’m almost vomited on the spot. I have never seen that and never want to again. Little plane was fun, except for the very windy landing where we werepractically coming in sideways, then our flight out of San Jose was delayed because Miami International was closed (?) We figured we wouldn’t miss our connection since everything was bumped back, and we were right. Unfortunately, we didn’t get into Orlando until 11pm when were supposed to get there around 8, and then after waiting for the bags, and getting a shuttle to Bill’s car, we didn’t get home until 12:30. I had trouble falling asleep and then we had to get back up at 4:30 so we could go BACK to the airport for 6:20am flight into Raleigh. I think I got a total of 2.5 hours of sleep and a little shuteye on the flight back home. I was pretty tired yesterday but had to go into work anyways. I was planning on getting up to swim this morning (since I haven’t swam in almost 2 weeks, or biked…) but my eyes just would not open! I think I really needed to catch up on my sleep! So that’s it. Enjoy the pictures below. If I think of anything else to tell about our trip, I’ll just blog about it later :)

Hanging with the gang at their sweet house

In Montezuma before the canopy tour

In the back right, our guide's bike trainer!

All dressed up for the canopy tour

Waterfall the boys jumped off of

Hanging in the tide pool

More tide pool

Typical road in Costa Rica

Jamie with everyone's drink of choice

Hitching a ride into town for dinner in the back of truck


Shortcut to the beach

Marty taking an outdoor shower at the house

Cute little doggies at the local soda

Another professional beggar

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Costa Rica - Part 1

We’re finally back in NC after a loooong travel day yesterday. But I want to back up and try to get everything down in order, so first things first! We left RDU around 7pm last Wednesday night, on a short flight to Orlando. Marty and I left the house disheveled and stressed, trying to tie up the loose ends necessary when one leaves the country and will be almost completely out of pocket for a week. Our friend and traveling partner, Bill, picked us up in Orlando and then we headed into downtown to get a quick drink. Of course, it isn’t a night out in Orlando unless you are hassled by a few bums, and that was taken care of rather quickly after having a seat at The Crooked Bayou. Off to bed later (too late, really) as we had a 6am flight out of Orlando in the morning. Our wake up time came quick and the three of us made our way back to the airport. We had a short flight to Miami where we then connected to the 2.5 hour flight into San Jose, Costa Rica. FYI, San Jose has a much nicer airport than Miami International. I slept for most of the flight into San Jose, but was wide awake for our 400-500 foot unexpected drop. I like roller coasters, but I don’t like feeling like I’m on one when I’m being hurtled through the air in a very heavy metallic tube. The storm cell that caused our frightening ride was not on the radar and the pilots were rather sheepish as we de-planed. The poor flight attendants were wiping coke and other beverages off the ceiling.

Bill has been to Costa Rica several times, so it was nice to have a little tour guide who more or less knew his way around. In his own words, he can speak Spanish on level with a 4 year old, but as we all agreed, you can communicate with a 4 year old, so we were set. Marty and I aren’t bad – we can interject a Spanish word here and there. After going through customs and making our way outside of the International airport, we were greeted with all sorts of Costa Ricans (Tico’s) yelling “Taxi! Taxi! – Going to Samsa? Taxi!” Samsa was the domestic airport to which we were headed to next. Luckily, Bill already knew their scam because Samsa was LITERALLY a 4 minute walk. For sure these taxi’s would give us a short trip around San Jose before depositing us a mere 200 yards away from where we started. The domestic airport was much smaller and more open air. We dined on Church’s chicken before waiting for our next flight into Tambor. This flight was on a small plane that looked more like a toy. You had to duck to walk down the aisle, and Bill had the pleasure of sitting with a strange character that smelled and had sores all over his legs. Also, before boarding the plane, they not only weighed your checked baggage, but also YOU while you held your carry-on. It’s all very scientific, you know. This flight was fun – it was almost like a tourist plane that you take up to view the pretty lands. We touched down 25 minutes later and had a taxi waiting for us to drive us into Malpais. The road was paved until we got to Cobano and then from the rest of our time we were on rough, dirt roads with huge potholes (and sometimes with streams running through them). We were dropped off at our hotel, changed and then walked out onto the road at the exact time our friends Jamie & Judy (and their friends Kim & Adam) drove by. Perfect timing.

Our trip over was easy, much easier than their’s we soon found out! Their flight had been delayed the day before getting out of Miami which made them just barely miss their puddle jumper flight into Tambor. If you miss that flight you now have two options – take a taxi to the ferry and take the ferry over, or take a taxi all the way in (6 hours total drive time). They took a taxi to the ferry, only to find out they had missed the ferry by 20 minutes. They then had to wait 2 hours or so to get a taxi to come get them and drive them into Malpais. During this time they had some excitement with a local who wanted to buy their football and then tried to get in their cab (he did get in, and sat there for 30 minutes) in the pouring rain while misunderstood English and Spanish was being exchanged. After awhile things were sorted out and they were safely in Malpais drinking Imperials. Their other friends also missed their flight and arrived much later than planned which had everyone stressed for awhile. Marty, Bill and I had no idea how easy our connections had been!

We had dinner and drinks and it started our week of vacation in Costa Rica. I caught up on my reading while I was down there – I really love to read but busy schedules don’t always allow for it, but I did finish a funny and fascinating book called Stiff, which is about the life of cadavers, and I’m almost halfway through the epic book The Pillars of the Earth. The nice porch outside out room with a hammock and table and chairs became a prime spot for the three of us to hang out, talk, and read. Our room was nice enough – no ac which I was worried about, but it had great ventilation and plenty of fans so surprisingly I not only slept with a sheet but sometimes even a blanket at night! It helped that almost every night a good rain would come in and help cool things off. Our place also had a pool which was nice to dip into during the hot afternoons. You aren’t supposed to put toilet paper in the toilet which was a hard one to get used to! And although I tried hard, I could not manage to get Marty and Bill to put the toilet seat down on a regular basis. Aw well, I’ve been trying with Marty for a very long time. I think it’s his last stand of independence or something.

Okay, that’s enough for now. I’ll write more tomorrow about the rest of our trip. Pictures below and more to come!

Our mini plane into Tambor.

This was the airport in Tambor!!

Runway into the ocean

Scenes from the plane

Marty lounging in the hammock

Entrance into our little cabana/room

Chicken place we ate at. It was the shit.

Cute little crab

Monday, June 16, 2008

In Costa Rica

Just a quick update, we finally had some time to hit an internet cafe! We've been having a lot of fun here in Malpais, Costa Rica. We've taken a bunch of pictures and I'll try to put some up next weekend. We had a pretty uneventful trip out here, except for one horrifying moment on our plane from Miami to San Jose when our plane dropped about 400-500 feet! We did a canopy or zip line tour a few days ago with our friends which was great. I have only gotten in one run so far, but my foot felt good at least! Okay, I'll update more when we get back.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Ran 1 Mile in 10 Minutes...

...and my foot didn't hurt! WHOOPIE!!! Okay, it did feel a little funny, kind of stiff but definitely not like it was several weeks ago - I am very excited about this. I need to pack for our trip to Costa Rica and it looks like I'll be bringing some running clothes now :)

I haven't had much a chance to even think about our trip because I've been so busy, but we fly to Orlando tomorrow night and then we fly into Costa Rica Wednesday morning with our friend Bill. Our friends Jamie and Judy will already be down there with some of their friends and I know it will be a really great time. We fly back to Orlando next Wednesday and then we have a diabolical 6am flight back to Raleigh on Thursday...so I can go right back into work, grrr. But I'm certainly not going to think about that until next week. I may take a surf lesson with Judy, and we'll probably all do some sort of rain forest tour. I have surfed a few times, but just on the baby waves in Florida and I really have no control (particularly of where I'm headed or where the board might go when I bail). We aren't taking our computers down there so I'll only update if there is a cheap internet cafe. If not, stay tuned until next week!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Eagleman Weekend

Did you all like the hacker that got into my account yesterday morning?!

What can I say? It was hard to get excited for a race when I knew I wasn’t doing the whole thing. It was fun watching everyone else come out of the swim before I finally made my way over to the start of my wave, the final of the day. The water temperature was 76! I was glad that I had a sleeveless wetsuit on. Waiting to get into the water we were all sweating bullets and it was very refreshing to make our way to the line. I lined up front and center…with no one else. There were a couple of people who lined up near the buoys, but everyone else just kind of idled several feet behind the line. I realized that the start was not going to be cutthroat at all. The horn blew and I took off. I saw an athlete off to my side who was obviously swimming at warp speed but not many others. I had clear water and just tried to get into a groove. I never had anyone to draft off and tried to pull hard, but I’m still unsure of what exactly ‘hard’ is in the open water. The first turn buoy was quite a challenge to see since the sun was right behind it, but I don’t think I got too far off course. I swam through waves ahead of me, but everyone was pretty strung out so it never got terribly crowded until the last turn buoy. And now a Public Service Announcement: Breastroking around a buoy is not advisable. It not only slows your forward progress down greatly, but it also increases the chance of one of your fellow competitors getting an unexpected kick to the stomach. Please keep swimming and turn by sweeping your hand under and across your body thereby turning your entire body. Thank you.

I got out of the water and for some reason had it in my head that I wanted to be under 30 min. I glanced at my watch and realized I had just missed that mark. By the time I crossed the official timing mat I was more around 30:40. Oh well, still a PR for the distance.

I ran into transition which was quite a far ways, and finally got to my bike which was one of the first racks at the bike exit. My foot did hurt, but that is not going to stop from running 10 minutes tomorrow. I’m sick of this.

Here I am running out of transition with my bike.

Off on the bike after navigating and waiting for some dude to take his time getting through the chute. The first five miles didn’t feel all that good, but I figured I was just warming up. The next five miles also didn’t feel all that good but I pushed harder. And so it went. I passed a ton of people out there but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going fast. Since I don’t have a computer on my bike I was trying to judge how fast I was going by 5 mile splits. I was on track for about a 2:35 split, which I realize is not stellar (especially since I would be done after that) but it’s all I could do. Then my lack of long rides hit me around mile 45. I was expecting this and knew I would lose some power, but what I didn’t think about was the lack of long rides in the aero position. My back and neck were killing me. The last 10 miles were very tough for me. I resigned to sitting up on the bars and stretching. My saddle and I also had a huge fight out there and I don’t foresee reconciliation in the near future. He hurt me and I’m mad at him. I know I lost a lot of time the last 10 miles, but there really wasn’t any way around it. I was not super psyched up which can help you through the pain in big races, I really just wanted to get off the friggin’ bike! Around mile 48 another competitor in the aquavelo passed me and I just watched her go. That is so not my style in any type of competitive arena and now I’m disappointed in myself for it, but when I think about how I felt, I know there was nothing I could do. I came upon the transition finally and decided that taking my feet out of my shoes and hopping off on the concrete would probably be one of the stupidest decisions with my foot right now. So I did it the slow old fashioned way and racked my bike. Then I kind of stood there and was like, huh, I guess that’s it? Some guy walked over and put a medal around my neck and I went and found food and Marty. My shorts were caked in salt and I couldn’t even begin to imagine running at that point. I would like to think that if I was doing the entire 70.3, I would’ve been more prepared, but right then all I wanted to do was sit down and drink coke. Bike split was 2:40:45. Didn't see much drafting back where I was which was nice.

So things I thought about on the course. Why did I sign up for this?! I have done 3 half ironmans before – 2 miserable experiences at the Duke Half (2004 & 2005) and one okay experience at White Lake last year. That one was still miserable, but I was in good shape so I was able to limit the pain and torture. I have never been a very good long distance anything – I can’t fake that stuff. Even long runs! My longest run to date is 13.1 miles and my pr comes from White Lake :) My longest bike ever in my life is 75 miles. I just don’t like sitting on that thing for that long. I think that it’s easy to get caught up in the 70.3/ironman following. Hawaii is like the holy grail of triathlon, but it doesn’t have to be and I’m not sure it ever will be for me. I read a lot of blogs and get excited for the long stuff and then of course how can you not get excited when you watch the broadcast? I truly think that if I had a lot of time and really trained very meticulously I could do well – but for the most part I am happiest doing sprints and Olympics. And right now I would be happy just to be out there competing for the entire time! A huge congratulations to all competitors yesterday – you are all my heroes for slugging it out in what had to be one of the toughest on record for that race.

Marty and I hung around a bit after I was finished but soon packed up the car and started our drive home. We decided to take a bit of detour and check out Ocean City, Maryland for future summers, but decided pretty quickly it wasn’t our scene. We walked on the boardwalk for a bit and got a burger and generally just enjoyed the ocean and each other’s company. We also looked very cool; me in my very bright, obnoxiously colored Eagleman race t-shirt (and I still had on the sports bra I raced in!!), all numbered up and smelling like…I’m not sure but think of the worst smelling thing and that was me. And Marty in his big floppy hat that made him look like he was ready for a safari. We milled around with the 17 year olds in their bikini’s and ball caps.
Not to be too complainy, but I have to be honest I was a bit disappointed in the race itself. I guess my expectations were high seeing as it is such a popular race and it sells out so quickly. The swim was nice enough but the bike was boring and a lot of the roads were choppy. And the run just looked miserable. Even without the oppressive heat, just out and back on blacktop and not much scenery so to speak. Sometimes I don’t understand why races are so popular when there are lots of other races that have nicer courses and venues. The set up was fantastic, as were the volunteers and no complaints there. I imagine a lot of it has to do with the fact it’s a qualifier for Hawaii as well as it being around for a long time.

I was pretty tired on the drive home and Marty graciously carted me up and back so I could relax in the passenger seat. We finally got home a little after 10 where I promptly went to bed and was asleep about 1 minute later. No morning swim for me this morning! I barely moved until my alarm went off at 7am.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Wow, technology is soooo amazing!!! I'm writing this blog WHILE I'M RACING!!! LOL HA HA HHA. Just kidding I think Marty hacked my blogger account and is updating for me!! No but seriously I am out on the bike course right now. I swam a 28 something for the swim, that is soooo fast! I am awesome! HA HA LOL Marty seems to think I sound like Tassie when I make my updates!!! Hoo hee silly Marty! Anyway I am going to crush all these biotches on the bike out here today, cuz I totally rock!! Later gator!!

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hot hot hot!

We're in Cambridge, Maryland right now (got in late last night), enjoying the nice cool ac of our hotel room. Holy crap it's hot out! It almost makes me glad that I'm doing the aquavelo (almost) because it is going to be one tough day. Literally, just dropping our bikes off in transition was enough to leave me soaking wet and practically sick to my stomach. I think the medics will be very busy come tomorrow.

Not suprising, the wave I'm in is the last to go off, so the swim could be pretty crowded. Since I don't have to worry about running, the nutrition plan is definitely not as high on the priority list. I'm still going to eat and drink, but I'm not as concerned about it as I would be if I knew I still had 13.1 mile of hot hot hot running to go. Frankly, the whole feel of the race is different - I feel like I should be wearing a sign that says, "Yes, I'm a poser. I'm doing the aquavelo. Have fun on that run for me." Even the official race t-shirt I got says aquavelo on it, lest I think I did the entire half ironman and tried to con others in also thinking so should I ever wear it out.

I do get to test out the foot tomorrow since my rack is about as far away from the swim exit as possible. There is no way I am going to WALK out of the swim to my bike. I don't even know if I could do that - you just have to sprint out of the water and through transition, right? But I was going to try and run anyways Monday, so one day earlier shouldn't make a difference.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Oof, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. The past few days I have been in a fog – very tired and lethargic. And one thing’s for sure, it’s NOT because I’ve been training a lot! There have been a lot of sick people at work recently, including the girl I work real closely with in the department we support, but I don’t necessarily feel that kind of sick. I’ve just been so tired, but even getting 9+ hours of sleep the past few nights hasn’t seemed to help. Wednesday night on our group ride I hit a big brick wall and cracked, not literally of course :) Lucky for me no one else was feeling particularly punchy and we had already decided to do the short loop. A little more than half way through I fell off the back and told them to please leave me in my misery and go on without me. I could only manage to spin and knew the way back in. Of course our friends are way too nice and wouldn’t here anything of it. They spun in with me and talked the entire time to help the time go by faster. I still feel bad I ended their workout early, though. I came crawling home and hit the sack pretty quick, only to be exhausted when my alarm went off 9+ hours later. Sunday is my (sort of) half ironman and I really hope I feel better. Physically, this season has really been a bust so far :(

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New Car

We got a new car today. We traded in our PT Cruiser for a Honda Fit. The PT has been a great car for us, and if it got better gas mileage (and frankly if Chrysler wasn’t discontinuing it!) we probably would’ve bought another one. They are such great cars for what we do. That car was ‘mission control’ for the 6 weeks we drove around the country in 2006. It had both of our bikes, extra wheels, all of our luggage and us in it. We’ve even fit 4 bikes in that car before! Marty bought the PT in 2003. My car is a 2000 Xterra, which we always thought would be the next car we trade in. But it actually made more sense for us to trade in the PT. The Xterra is all paid off, but the PT wasn’t. The PT was the primary car I drove since I have a much longer commute (versus Marty’s 2 feet away from our bedroom to the office), and it’s not paid off. We could basically trade it in and have almost the same payments but for a new car that would get better gas mileage. And it will be nice to still have an SUV if we need to haul anything big. We definitely need to get Sirius satellite installed asap as I cannot go back to regular radio! That’s the news for today. And today marks one week until our vacation to Costa Rica! I’m so excited!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Family & Food

The title says it all! My entire family was here and we pretty much ate our way through the weekend. Thursday evening I went with my mom and sister Shana to Tyler’s Taproom, Friday evening the whole family was here and we stuffed our faces at the Twisted Fork, Saturday was a cookout at Casa de Gaal (with more birthday cake!) and Sunday we hit the Carolina Brewery for lunch and the Flying Saucer for dinner. YEESH! My stomach is in sugar/fat/beer overload :)

I ran into a high school friend in the bathroom at the Twisted Fork on Friday – it was a very random meeting! I hadn’t seen Kristy in literally almost 11 years. We were quite close in high school but lost touch through the years and it was a nice, quick little catch up. Her and her husband also live in NC and aren’t too far away so we’ll hopefully meet up with them soon.

Saturday I went for a 2 hour bike ride before writing schedules and then heading to Chapel Hill to help out with packet pickup for the kids tri on Sunday. It was pretty hectic and hot, but for the most part people were nice. Like Marty blogged about, there were a few not so nice parents but overall everything went fine. We were both pretty wiped out after our 3 hour shift, though. We came home and my dad was almost done grilling the hamburgers and all the sides were ready to go. My sister had brought over her Wii so we had some fun bowling. I won! I am a much better Wii bowler than I am in real life.

Marty got up very early so he could drive to Kerr Lake (pronounced car lake), and my dad and I got to sleep just a bit later before we made our way back into Chapel Hill. It was a lot of fun watching the kid’s tri. There were some really little kids out there! Several bikes with training wheels and many more with streamers. They allow the parents to ride and run with their kids if they want to which is also great. My niece Haileigh did very good for her first triathlon, although I’m not convinced she will want to do another for awhile! She swam great and passed several kids in the time trial start and then had fun on the bike, but oh the dreaded run :) And it had gotten quite hot by this time, but she still finished and even managed to puke across the line! I have never done that before in any of my races! And the kid who finished right behind her also puked! After those two we heard some of the finish line workers call for a vomit bucket – those kids are hard core.

After the race we dined at the Carolina Brewery which wasn’t crowded at all. I guess it’s not the hot after church establishment, ha! I love love love their sweet potatoe chips (which they cover in brown sugar) and thankfully we even have some leftovers so I can enjoy some more of them tonight. I managed to sit on the trainer for about an hour once I got home, but that was all the training I had in me for the day. I am rapidly descending into out of shape land. We capped the night off at the Saucer before hitting bed early so we could get up for Master’s this morning.

So the other thing is I really want to run again. Today as I was walking out of work I had this overwhelming feeling - to the point that I almost got myself upset. But I didn't and I haven't run. I know my foot still needs more rest.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Long weekend, much to talk about, too tired, must go to bed.