a Bri Gaal's Blog: June 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Philly Tri Race Report

Warning: This is long.

Our friend’s place in Manayunk was about a 15min mostly downhill bike ride to transition. My wave was starting pretty late (Wave 8, 7:35) and Marty’s went at 7:20. I knew from reading the race information that transition closed at 6:45 and you had to take a bus to the swim start. All these things make me want to get there early so I have plenty of time, but I have a husband who is always on a different time schedule. His thinking was, we are so close and we’ll be getting our bike warmup in so let’s just leave at like 6:15? I talked him down to “how about a bit before 6?” but we didn’t end up out of there until a bit after 6. This stuff stresses me out, but he is always calm and ‘it will all work out.’ When we were riding down to transition there were already buses full of athletes heading over to swim start. My heart rate spiked. Then we get to transition and my rack is completely packed. I had to go pretty far in from the aisle to find a spot.

Then there was a long line to get on the buses. We did make it over to the swim start with plenty of time, of course. It helps when you can’t do any other warmup to have extra time to just sit around. Right away I found Beth and Oscar and we hung out until our wave lined up. Oh yeah, I also forgot to mention that Marty realized he forgot his wetsuit in NC as we were walking out the door and then when we got to the race site he realized he forgot his run number. That boy stresses me out!

The river had a ripping current race morning. I hadn’t been aware that it would be so strong, and I don’t think it’s been like that in previous years. It was hard to stay in line with buoy at the start because it kept pushing us all forward. No one knew how much time was left until the start and then finally there was a very soft 10 second countdown and everyone started swimming. I tried to start off hard and saw a couple of girls out in front of me. I drafted off of them as long as I could but then we quickly caught the wave ahead of us and I lost them. The wave ahead of us were orange caps which blended in nicely with the orange buoys we were supposed to be following. My goggles were very dirty and I had trouble seeing and when we got to the part where we go under the bridge, I couldn’t remember which side I was supposed to go through – people were everywhere! Now I don’t even remember going under the bridge because I was so distracted with not being able to see and trying to get around all these orange caps. At the final turn all of the sudden it seemed like there were 1000 people around me. Where did they all come from?! I made my way to the swim exit and tried to navigate around people walking to transition. My swim time was 19:01 – that current was way strong. Realistically, I should’ve been 2-2:30 slower than this.

I found my rack because I had seen that two racks away were two balloons someone had tied near their bike. I try to use some sort of landmark and knew that one wouldn’t move (one time my landmark was a tent that was moved during the swim). I was in and out of T1 pretty fast.

I did not like this bike course. There were WAY too many people on the course at one time – and it had a ton of turns and hills with turns and sand/glass/potholes and you got to do it twice. Yay! There were just too many people who were too new to biking and were all over the place. I didn’t feel very safe and was not aggressive at all because I was too worried about the people around me. I would not do this race again solely for this reason, unless they figured out a different bike course or had an elite amateur wave. My wave started late and there were people everywhere. Thankfully, they had the entire course closed off, but at one point going up a hill there were people from one side of the street all the way to the other – must’ve been 8 across. I’ve drawn a picture of the bike course for you so you don’t have to go look it at on the website. Bike time was 1:07:53.

My biking has been feeling stronger recently, but I don’t think I really showed it on the course. I had no idea where I was compared to my age group or overall (we didn’t have anyone there that we knew who could give us splits or even cheers!). Around mile 18 or so, Beth passed me and there were two girls pretty much right with her that also passed me. I was happy that I had stayed ahead of Beth for as long as I did! I tried to keep them all in sight but Beth and her teammate kind of rode off. The other girl was closer and I was able to run by her right off the bike since I left my shoes on my pedals. I had to give one guy a “Let’s go, dude!” while trying to make my way to my rack and he kindly moved over a bit – thanks! My T2 was not so good. I put on my socks and then realized there was a piece of mulch stuck in my sock and figured I’d better take care of this now. I finally got out of there and passed Beth’s teammate pretty quick. I felt good and told myself to stay relaxed. The other girl who came off the bike near me passed me and I tried to match her pace but it was just a little too quick for where I wanted to start out. Either she was going to run very fast or she’d come back to me, but I was not willing to run her race just yet. The first 2 miles are nice and shaded and I was glad my legs had some turnover. I went through the first mile in 6:25 and the second in 6:30 and felt I could probably hold that pace throughout. At the turnaround I pointed out the girl to Beth so she knew she was in our age group. After running through the grass near transition I looked up and realized I was gaining on Beth – no way! I figured she’d be long gone by now. I really had no idea I could be this close to her. I forgot to check my split for 3rd mile and not long after that I was right on her shoulder. To pass or not…it was pretty early to just sit there and I was feeling okay. I figured I should just go with it and hope for the best. I was just going to hold my same pace and see what happened. I got my first cheer from fellow racer Cara Brue who started in an earlier wave and from Marty who was also coming back the other way. I took the gel I was holding in my hand around mile 4, mainly because somehow it had started leaking all over my hand and I thought instead of letting it go to waste I could put it to use. I came close to the turnaround and saw the fast runner girl was still looking fast and strong. I didn’t think there was much of a chance of catching back up to her but hey, you never know, right? Soon after the turnaround my legs started to feel heavy. Where was the 5 mile marker? And here is where all the positive self talk began. “You can DO this! You have worked so hard, don’t let up!” I was really working it now because I knew Beth was going to be right behind me gunning it, too. The run was crowded and I had to run outside the cones sometimes to get around people. I was getting annoyed that I had to do this, but really it was just because I was getting so tired. I totally missed the 5 mile mark, but knew I had to be getting close to the finish. “Come on! Get there! You can run hard for another 6 minutes!” Then I saw it – it was still a ways away but it was getting closer. Oh I was digging and it hurt so bad. I think I heard Marty yelling at me to kick it in – believe me I was trying! “There it is! Get there! Get to the line! Its right there get there! Get there!” and then

Beth ran by.

And I crossed the line.

I couldn’t believe it. I dropped to my knees and hung my head. Really? Is that how it ended? 2 seconds?

Beth was on the ground, too, and I got up, helped her up and told her what a great race. It was very well played – she passed me at the perfect time, right before the line when there was not any time for me to respond. I knew I had a great race for being so close to her, but I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed. Very disappointed. (run was 40:36, by the way)

In the end I was still 3rd overall amateur – wow the 30-34 age group is tough! It was nice to come to a big race and do well after training so hard for St. Anthony’s and then having to DNF when I got so sick. I asked Marty if it looked like I was kicking at the end and he said, “Bri, it looked like you were killing yourself.”

And I don’t believe that those 2 seconds were static. Meaning, I’m not going to give a long list of excuses like, oh if my bike had been closer to the aisle or if I hadn’t take so long in T2…I’ve come to realize that WE ALL have those things (couldn’t get my wetsuit off, went too wide in the swim, etc etc.). And the puts and takes here and there wouldn’t have made much of a difference; we still would’ve been on the course at roughly the same time and maybe we both would’ve just gone 2 seconds faster.

However, I do think if the current hadn’t been so strong this year in the river and it was more of a legitimate 1500 meters, the results may have been different. But that’s how it was on that day.

Beth actually apologized to me for passing me so close to the end. What?! That’s racing! No apology needed. She did what she needed to get herself in the best place possible. I wouldn’t be mad at her for one second. I’m mad at myself for all sorts of reasons of what I could’ve done differently, but definitely not mad at her.

Here is a blurry picture of Beth and I right after we laid around the finish line for a bit. We also got to hang out before the awards got going and that was a lot of fun.

Here I am congratulating the winner.

And the top 3 amateurs. I have no idea why the lady on the far right is in our picture.

So I’m living proof that you can train 10-12 hours a week and still be very competitive. I’m definitely more quality over quantity! I know (from reading blogs) that there are a lot of girls who train a lot more than me. Sometimes this gets me worked up and I think I need to train more, but this works well for me and it helps keep me balanced and able to do other things in my life that I also enjoy.

After the awards Marty and I unfortunately had to ride our bikes back to Doug’s place. Remember when I said it was mostly downhill to transition? So you can figure out what it was like getting back there. Oh so painful! And with a giant bag on my back and aero helmet on no less! There was one huge overpass hill that we had to get up but we had just come to a complete stop and I COULD NOT get started. I had to walk up the hill with my bike, aero helmet on and all. I did not dare look at anyone driving by me. What a sight! As if I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself enough already, ha!

On a side note, I’m not sure what went on during that race, but I came out with a huge painful bruise on one of my knuckles and another bruise (complete with a bump) on my forearm. Beth bruised her foot bad coming out of the water. This is a dangerous race!

We got some lunch and then started our long journey back to North Carolina. Marty was a saint and did most of the driving home. Just like the drive up, we hit lots of traffic, but maybe a little less. We stopped in DC for dinner with the nicest lady in the world and her husband and finally made it home just after midnight. Wow, that was a long day. No rest for the weary, though, right back at work Monday morning!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I'm finally sitting down and trying to get some rest. Our host didn't realize that it's good to relax the day before the race so our extra long bike this morning and long warm walk to lunch seemed okay to him! I was forced to complain a little bit and I'm hoping he doesn't think I'm a big whiner. I tried to explain that if it weren't for the race I would be all about walking all over Manayunk.

After a very long drive yesterday (smooth sailing until DC and then from then to Philly was nothing but stop and go slow traffic), we made it to Marty's friend's apartment. Although Doug is 40, he's still living the bachelor lifestyle. His place is rather convenient to the race site, although we took a long detour around the Art Museum trying to find packet pickup (you know, where Rocky ran up?). Now we know where to go tomorrow morning since we're just going to ride our bikes in.

I'm hoping for a good day and will go as hard as I can, of course! The weather seems really nice - not too hot or humid. Thanks for the good lucks on facebook!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bad Shopper and Future Races

Random updates for you!

I’m sure much to the dismay of my mom who is an elite-level shopper, I am a definite back-of-the-packer now. I’m a little too cheap and lose patience quickly when I’m looking for something. I also have a hard time making up my mind by myself and then start to question if what I’m trying on is age appropriate or is flattering at all. I tried to find a dress for my sister’s rehearsal dinner that’s in 2 weeks and came home with nothing but a t-shirt from the Gap and I was very cranky and tired from the outing. Ask Marty. So I called my sister (who is also an elite-level shopper) and asked her to just get me something. I know it’s pathetic, but it’s also not the first time she’s done this for me. She’s become somewhat of a personal shopper for me which is great! She knows my size and how things fit me and will just pick something up (on sale of course). It’s going to be tough having my personal shopper move away to Jacksonville in August. I told her I would pay for shipping.

And yes, she did find me a dress.

I’m really looking forward to our trip to Philadelphia this weekend! I’m also excited to race and have been feeling pretty good in training so hopefully that translates on Sunday :) However, I’m definitely concerned about this two-loop bike course with so many people; and the course looks pretty turn-y. My wave is fairly late and I just hope that the course is safe and not too congested that you can’t push.

The rest of my season is kind of up in the air. We’re signed up for Triangle (which looks like it will be the most competitive sprint in the country!), but after that I’m not really signed up for anything. We’ll be in New Jersey at the end of July and I think Marty is going to race the Brigantine Island triathlon, but it was too expensive for both of us to do. So I’m going to take one for the team since that’s his old stomping ground. I’m on the fence for Age Group Nationals. Marty is not too keen on going and flights are not that cheap. I’m definitely not driving by myself. But I do have a place to stay if I get there since my dad will be there as part of the USAT Board of Directors. We’ve done Nationals twice before, once in Shreveport, LA (14hrs from Orlando) and in Kansas City, MO (20+hrs with an out of the way stop to find a house in NC, and then a meandering drive around country for 6 weeks). Yargh, can’t believe we did all that driving.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Yesterday morning, against my better judgment, we did our long run at Umstead. We met Aaron and his friend Marty (aka #2) and the deerflies were out in droves. Luckily, those two had their shirts off and the bugs seemed more attracted to bare skin. I smartly wore a tank top even though it was 200% humidity. It was just the last 20min or so when it was just Marty (#1) and me that were pretty much unbearable. We saw some people heading out when we were almost done and I wanted to yell, "Don't do it! Turn back now!" but was too busy swatting the flies away.

Then we ran a swim clinic at TAC which went good. We definitely fit a lot of information in those 6 hours! Almost immediately after that we were in Chapel Hill for some dinner with friends. Good times.

This morning we rode with the Ali-(ci/sh)a's and Jerry. Alisha tricked us all and had us ride for 3 hours! It was good though - a nice day out and I got to see a part of the new Triangle course.

My mom has requested some pictures of Tassie. We recently clipped her fur...ourselves! My friend bought some heavy duty fur clippers and I think we did a pretty good job for our first time. This way we won't have to let her grow until sheep status before we get her buzz cut. We can do little in between trims and save some $$. Marty protested, but I had to shave off her mohawk. That thing had gotten too long and knotty and needed to go.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Shore

It just occurred to me that almost every week starting next week through July I have almost every Friday off (except for one) – YAY! Next Friday we’re driving up to Philadelphia for the Philly Olympic Distance Triathlon. The following Friday is a holiday for the 4th of July weekend, and the one after that is the day my sister is getting married. I’m taking the whole day off to get my hair and make-up done. I’m the ‘matron-of-honor’ so need to look my best!

Then I have to work that following Friday. Boo.

The next Friday after that is the start of our vacation! We’ll be driving up to the Jersey Shore for a week. No, we don’t live in Philadelphia or New York, which is where most people come from to ‘go to the shore.’ By the way, if you’ve frequented the Jersey Shore, make sure you check out this You Tube video “Guido Beach.” OMG. This is so not my style! I don’t think I’ll ever fit in up there!

Anyways, Marty was a lifeguard in Ocean City, NJ for several summers and loved it. He’s trying to devise a plan for us to get back there for long periods of time. He’s says I’ll love it, too, I just need to give it a chance.

I’ve been up there a few times, but not for much longer than a weekend, and those are spent surrounded by Marty’s old friends drinking beer and reminiscing about old lifeguard races. I start to severely miss girls to talk to (all of his friends are single).

Also, there were some things that surprised me the first time I went to the Shore, but I think it’s more me being a Florida beach snob. Any of you raced in Clearwater? That’s the type of beach I’m used to.

This is what surprised me:

Having to pay some amount of money for a beach tag so you could stay on the beach
The sand looked dirty
Small portions of the ocean flagged off and you can only swim in these areas
Leading to everyone and their brother/cousin/sister/uncle being in this small area bobbing up and down with the waves
The water was cold

Things I did like:

The boardwalk
Running on the boardwalk
All the yummy foods that are also on the boardwalk
Myriad number of open water swim races and run/swim/run races
It is the beach after all!

Also, we’ll be visiting our friends Jamie and Judy who used to live in Florida but are now back at a beach just a bit further north. We haven’t seen them since our trip to Costa Rica, and they’re a lot of fun.

Have a good weekend, everyone! It’s looking to be H-O-T here!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rainy Days

Yesterday morning we were planning on doing an early morning run/strength session at Bond Park, but woke up to an absolute downpour. I'm all for running in the rain, but some guy named Noah was building an ark down the street.

(Some street in Raleigh yesterday)

I opened the door for Tassie to go outside and she happily started running towards it until she caught a glimpse of the wall of water coming down. She came to a skidding stop and wouldn't go out. It took me a long time to get her outside - neither Marty or I were going to be home until well after 4pm and she NEEDED to go out!

And please, can someone tell me the trick to getting in the car with your umbrella without the whole thing dripping all over you?!

We should've known better, but decided to ride outside after work anyways. I actually was content to sit on the trainer since the roads were all gunky, but Marty decided to skip his Kung Fu practice and I didn't want to miss out on the chance to ride with him (read: draft off of him). We made it about 2/3 of the way through before another heavy downpour drenched us. Cars were splashing us big time and I could barely see. I was feeling kind of sorry for myself imagining what I must've looked like to the passengers staring at me at the stoplights. Oh well, what doesn't kill you...wait, last time I said that I ate at McDonald's. Thankfully, I didn't do that last night.

But this morning I did have 3 thick pieces of French Toast after Master's. I was starving and justified it by having just swum 3500 meters. It held me off until now (11:30) and I'm starving again and heading back to the cafeteria. Time for lunch! And time for me to get off internet and start doing real work (I just took an itty break, I promise!)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weekend at Home

It was nice to have a weekend at home. I guess we technically had a weekend at home last weekend, too, but with the open water swim it was pretty hectic. Marty decided to do a local sprint on Saturday morning, but I opted out because I really just wanted a solid training weekend. He ended up winning a cool belt buckle, if you're into that sort of thing.

After the Thursday run meltdown, I took it easy at Master's the next morning and brought up the back of the lane. They were having a huge meet there this weekend so we were relegated to the short course pool. This is also the 'warm pool' which I was very excited about when I first hopped in but not so excited about after 500 yards. Can someone make a pool that is warm when I first get in and then slowly drop the temperature a couple of degrees when I'm ready to start the workout. Am I asking too much? ;)

I went to work, got a much need eyebrow wax, had pizza with Marty for dinner, and then watched a bunch of House Hunter episodes. I was pretty much a blob on the couch and still obviously needed good rest.

The next morning I did my long run (10 miles) and was not worried at all what my pace was. I just wanted to get the time in. There was no way I was going back to Umstead, so instead I ran on the Black Creek Greenway (thanks to the anonymous poster for teaching me the name of that greenway. I can now stop calling it 'you-know-that-greenway-that-kind-of-starts-near-the-dogpark-and-runs-into-umstead-at-reedy-creek?') Thankfully, no horseflies!!

Saturday night we hung out with Alysia and Jimmy at their pool and had a great time catching up with them. It had been too long since the 4 of us had gotten together.

And this morning we did hill repeats on Lystra (a pretty steep hill near here). I felt great! And I ended up riding home instead of back to our car to get some extra miles in. Now it's time to catch up on all that house stuff - stupid laundry won't do itself no matter how many times I ask it!

Friday, June 12, 2009

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Eat McDonald's

I’m typically a pretty consistent workout person. Of course, I don’t always feel good or fast or strong, but when it comes down to it I’m not usually too far off my target paces. It’s not supposed to be easy right?

Yesterday I was supposed to do mile repeats, which I was going to do at Umstead on the bridle trails. Wednesday was a challenging day with early morning master’s, a longer than normal work day, and then a solid bike ride with the girls. I got home and was d-o-n-e. But I was going to sleep in (relative term when I’m used to getting up between 5-5:30) and actually felt pretty good all day on Thursday. I was even excited for the workout. I do get excited to do run workouts a lot of times, I’m weird like that and a runner deep down. I ended up getting stuck a little later at work again, but no matter, I got to the park before highway traffic got too bad.

The first thing I noticed was the heat. And the humidity. But I’m from Florida so that doesn’t bother me too much. I set off on my run and felt the deep, dead feeling in my legs but also knew this didn’t always indicate a bad run. Maybe after I got warmed up a bit I would be fine.

And then THEY came out.

The horseflies. Or deerflies. Whatever they are they make life miserable for us runners in the woods. And the more you swat at them the more they dive bomb you. The sweatier you get the more they multiply. The slower you go they multiply exponentially.

I set off on my first mile, which was pretty hilly but I was having to work SO HARD. And when I saw my time I was mortified. I was breathing like a freight train and I could barely pick my legs up. The second one (less hilly) was faster but I felt even worse and with the amount of pain I was feeling I might as well have just set a world record. It’s possible I set a world record for 2 year old girls.

I had to reassess – this was ugly and I could tell I had crossed that line of pushing hard to get faster and pushing hard to get nothing. I was actually weaving a bit on the second mile. This can’t be good. I decided to run just a ½ mile and back the effort down. Of course I ended up doing the entire mile, but it was a minute slower than the other one so it was manageable. What wasn’t manageable were all those flies. I had at least 3 of them constantly circling around me, dive bombing my arms, legs and face. I was swatting like a crazy person, but barely hit them, and even when I did it didn’t seem to faze them one bit. I wanted to cry. Actually I wanted to stop, but that meant more flies. And I was SO TIRED!! But I was still 1.5 miles away from my car. I really wanted to cry, but didn’t have the energy. It was a miserable, miserable experience.

And I had to walk. I had to! I could barely get one foot in front of the other. F----NG BUGS GO AWAY!!! AUGH!!! PLEASE GO AWAY YOU ARE GOING TO BE THE DEATH OF ME! I wanted to jump off the bridge and into the lake that has signs posted that you shouldn’t eat the fish because of the high levels of mercury. I didn’t care, would it get the bugs off me? Because I was willing to risk some mercury poisoning at this point.

I did make it back to my car but I was not a happy camper. It’s one thing to have a bad run. It’s another thing to have a swarm of bugs around you. It’s torture to have to deal with both. Forget waterboarding, go run for miles in 90% humidity while deerflies try and poke your eyes out.

So I did what any exhausted person would do – I went to McDonald’s! I love McDonald’s. I know it’s horrible and I don’t eat there that much but for some reason I felt like I needed some big fatty caloric goodness. I don’t think my brain was working correctly at the time. It seemed like such a great idea. Except it didn’t do the trick and I ended up only getting half the burger down and couldn’t even touch the fries! What a waste!! My stomach, after that effort (as slow as it was) and the heat/humidity was super mad at me for trying to put that filth in it. We really need to go food shopping so I’m not tempted to make such an ill-fated decision again.

Okay, so now you all know I’m not perfect and have lots of downfalls :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Hope This Wasn't Someone's Personal Playlist

This morning I thought I was going to Master’s practice.

Turns out I walked into a Middle School dance in the mid 90’s. They have a pretty good sound system at the pool we swim at. I would like to advise the employees on when it’s a good idea to blast C&C Music Factory’s ‘Gonna Make You Sweat’ (Everybody Dance Now) at 5:45am.


Some other highlights included:
PM Dawn (I’d Die Without You)
Janet Jackson (Together Again)
Britney Spears (Baby One More Time)
Boyz II Men (End of the Road)

and - drumroll please...

Milli Vanilli (Blame It On the Rain)

Music aside, it was a nice swim.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Is it just me, or is she totally smiling?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Jordan Lake Challenge - 1 Mile Open Water Swim

Here are results!

Collis and I were manning the 'packet pickup' table and everything went pretty smooth. Some people were irked that they didn't get a t-shirt but that's why it's good to sign up early. We have to put the t-shirt order in at some point and for a race like this, if we have a ton of t-shirts ordered but not paid for, it really eats into any profits.

Marty did the pre-race swim clinic and we actually only started about 15min late, which I thought was pretty good. The water temp ended up being 76, so there were plenty of wetsuits out there, but also a lot of us who didn't wear them.

We saw tons of familiar faces and it was a very low-key, fun event. They started us and the swim itself was pretty uneventful - the Coast Guard was out there overseeing everyone and some people were on surfboards paddling around. I went out steady and tried to pick it up a bit on the way in. I was around people the whole time but it never got too crowded. I got closer to the boat ramp and was getting pretty tired, so kind of put it into a hard tempo effort (whatever that means) and took the last turn toward's the exit; the exit was about 20 yards aways.

Then all of the sudden - ZOOM!! Someone went sprinting SO fast by me...and it was a she! Oh no! When she popped up I realized it was my friend Laura who swims at Master's with us. She had an awesome finish and said when she turned around, "Oh Bri! I had no idea it was you! I drafted the whole last half on you!" That's racing! We finished 1 second apart, so fun!

We both got back in to do a little warm down and I could barely lift my arms at all. I had never felt that much soreness in my lats so quickly. I guess I was pulling hard! My breathing wasn't out of control or anything, just sore muscles.

I waited around for the awards with Collis and Kari and Bobby. Kari beat Bobby and he seemed super excited about the swim he just did :) I think Kari may have a gross post-swim picture of the two of us; hopefully it came out blurry.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Weekend Preview

I just finished some oatmeal and am about to get Marty moving for our long run. We're heading to Umstead to do Turkey Creek, hopefully with some tempo thrown in. Then a short mountain bike ride immediately after. Marty's friend, Collis, is flying in this afternoon for a visit and to do the Jordan Lake Open Water Swim. Marty and Collis both swam at FSU eons ago ;)

The race had over 100 signups when online registration closed the other night! We'll be at Inside Out this evening doing packet pickup from 5-6pm (which really just consists of a cap and t-shirt, but help us out and get your stuff tonight so the morning isn't so busy).

Even though the swim will probably be wetsuit legal, I'm going to go without mine. What?! But I've said on here 20 different times how much I love my wetsuit! That's still true but I think I'll get a much better workout without it, and I already know I swim well in it so it's not like I need that practice. And I'll look like a real swimmer without one :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

On The Go

Oh my what a busy week it’s been.

We got home Sunday evening and I had some time to unpack and do some laundry. I skipped master’s Monday morning since I had just raced, but from then it’s been nonstop:

Evening run at Bond Park (6pm)
Coach master’s (7:30pm)

Morning run at Bond Park (6am)
Ride with Alisha

Swim master’s (5:45am)
Run/Swim/Run at Jordan Lake (6pm)

No way I could get up this morning for the run at Bond Park – SLEPT!
IOS ride (6pm) barring any storms

Swim master’s (6am)
Probably run workout

I’m wiped.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Open Water Swim & Pics From Race

Hey all you Triangle people! Don't forget about the 1 mile open water swim at Jordan Lake this Sunday!

I will be there pretending to be a swimmer in my pink-plaid Splish suit!

Like I mentioned in my last post, my 10 year old niece took some nice shots at Breezy Point. Much better, in fact, then the ones the professionals took.

Case in point:

Here's her picture of me on the bike. Nice profile view!

And here's their's. Their logo is conveniently placed to make it look like I have a goatee.

Here's the picture Haileigh got of me finishing. She cut my head off a little, but I have a big smile and look like I'm having fun:

And now for the professionals. Tongue out, hand flopping and completely flat flooted. Is this the same girl? (Sadly, yes!)

Ahh well. Here are some other pics from the race.

Marty getting out of his wetsuit (notice the windsock sticking straight out near his head):

Here I am running my bike out - lopsided running on my cleats. The guy that's right behind me passed me while running to the exit since he had his shoes clipped in (it was a long run out of transition) and then fumbled around all squirrely trying to get his feet in while on the bike. I passed him back while he was struggling, once again proving my theory that hardly anyone is faster doing it this way. And in fact, most people are a danger to anyone around them. I'll get off my soapbox now (and no offense meant to dude in story).

Here's Marty heading into T2:

Me hustling in T2:

Post-race picture with my 4 year old niece. I squatted lower to be next to her and then she decided to squat, too. How low can you go?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Breezy Point Triathlon Race Report

Yesterday Marty and I raced the Breezy Point Triathlon in Norfolk, Virginia (1K swim, 20K bike, 5K run). It’s held on a naval station and it was pretty neat to see all the giant helicopters right next to transition, and finish the race on the airstrip in front of them. This race had a bit of prize money which was an incentive for us to go up there; my sister lives nearby and she graciously lets us stay at her house, and then dragged herself and her daughters out to cheer for us in the early morning. I’m about ready to make her start traveling with us because literally every race she has come to I have won! And this goes back to our time in Florida.

I knew a few of my competitors from doing a couple of races up there now, and also recognized a couple other names from different race results and knew I needed to have a great race to finish near the top. Last week at the fun Woodlake triathlon I purposely dialed back the intensity and used it as a workout because I wanted to be ready to go for Breezy Point. I knew I may need to dig deep and didn’t want to have to go to the well two weeks in a row. That worked perfectly and I had a great time last week and a solid ‘triathlon workout’ but wasn’t sore or that tired afterwards.

Marty and I got to the race site early since you had to drive on base and we didn’t know if there would be backups with them checking ID’s, but it turned out to be a non-issue. There were also a ton of people already at the race site which surprised me since we got there around 6:15 for the 8:00 start! We did our morning race rituals and then realized at 7:30 that the swim area was only open for another 10 minutes, so we hustled down there to get in a little warm up. After getting out of the water I talked with Scott (future bro-in-law) before my wave got ready. I was glad he was there to chat with because I was pretty nervous and he kept my mind off of everything.

Once we got in the water there was confusion and yelling about where the start line was (the one end of the ‘start line’ was way ahead of the other, not sure who came up with that). Then the horn went and the typical mayhem ensued when you start with all the Open men, too. Except since this was an in the water start I didn’t get clobbered like I did last year at Sandman. The swim was 1K in a protected area of the ocean, but it still had a bit of chop and some current so it wasn’t one of our nice, flat, lake swims we get spoiled with here in NC. I took the swim out hard and put a lot of effort into it. My reward was 2nd female out of the water, and my transition had me on my bike with the slightest lead. My swim time was 14:31.

The bike is completely flat with some turns I am too cautious on. It was windy (hence the name, ‘breezy point’) and the roads were way bumpier than I would like. My legs took a bit to get warmed up but they came around quick and I pushed it pretty hard. No bike computer means I’m always a little nervous about how fast I’m going but my breathing (LOUD) reassured me that my effort was high. The second half of the bike smoothed out a bit and had a turnaround where I could gauge my position. Over the years I’m usually the one chasing and it’s a whole different mental battle when you’re in the lead! The girl who came out ahead of me on the swim wasn’t too far back, and the one young girl from Virginia Tech that I knew was fast must not have had a very good swim because I had a really solid lead on her. I relaxed a bit towards the end and I was confident I could hold it together for the run. Bike time was 32:28.

My sister and nieces and Scott’s mom were right there when I got off of my bike and were cheering like crazy. There is nothing cuter than hearing a 4 year old yelling your name! Heather was able to give me my lead (about :40) as I was running out. Even with putting on socks because of my delicate feet :) I had one of the fastest T2's for women.

I started the run and felt pretty good. I quickly caught up to a 19 year old (I think he was the first out of the water) who I had come up on the very end of the bike. He said, “You’re a machine!” which made me laugh. I told him he was doing great and he tucked in right behind me for most of the run. I didn’t mind and he kept me from slacking off. The first mile felt easy and when we turned right after it I found out why – we had a massive tailwind. So now it was a massive headwind. I kept it together for 2+ miles but then started to lose it mentally, and my buddy had fallen back. The last ½ mile is on the seawall (running into the headwind) and I definitely let my pace slide a bit. You could see the finish but it was so far away! My buddy ended up kicking past me with about 100 yards to go, and there was no way I was going to get into a sprint to the finish match with a 19 year old boy! I crossed the line and was pretty tired but overall felt good. Run was 19:30.

Marty is definitely getting back on track and finished 3rd overall. He was the ‘old guy’ in the top 5 and I think he did great. They sure do know how to have a post race party at these events; they held it at a park on base and had tons of food, soda and beer (all free!) They did awards pretty quick and we got watches and checks! I won $400 and Marty won $200 so that will help pay for the new front, side and back doors we just bought for our house. They were desperately needed but geez those things are expensive!

I’ll post some pictures once my sister gets them on facebook. My 10 year old niece took some great shots, although definitely too many butt shots of me.