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Saturday, June 22, 2013


Why?  Why Half Marathons, someday a marathon, and Triathlons?  So many times I have asked myself this.  Somewhere I read that if you have to ask, you’ll never understand.  So maybe, just maybe I won’t!  However, the more I think and question why, my answers seem to flow.  The main answer is, “Because I can, but never thought I could….until now.”

About 13 years ago I worked as a lifeguard at the city pool in the town I was attending college.  I was overweight, I partied and drank more nights than not, I worked hard, but had no direction in life.  I remember an older (than me) lady who also was a lifeguard.  Carol had to be in her early 40’s and was so fit.  She loved the job because it allowed her to get her tan.  I remember an early morning conversation with her after I saw her come into work after a run.  I asked her how far she had run and her answer was, “10” and I looked at her and said, “minutes?” and I was dead serious.  She responded, “No, 10 miles silly.” 

I really had no idea that a normal person could or would want to run 10 miles at once.  I thought long distances were only something that pros did.  I didn’t realize that city held marathons for average people.  I just always assumed those races happened somewhere the pros lived.  I remember thinking about Carol as superhuman.  She must be.  No one would just go out and run 10 miles for fun. 

Then somehow, 13 years later, I am enjoying runs.  I am a runner.  WOW!  It felt so strange to say that.  I’m also not just a runner, but I am a triathlete.  

So why?  Why do I do these things?  It’s because I can and I’ve finally realized it.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What I Learned

The results from the Maumee Bay Tri (RACE REPORT HERE) were finally posted… HFP must have had some snags from all of the electrical issues.  It’s not like I was worried about what place I took- I knew I’d be at the bottom of my age group.  I just wanted to know my times so that I could see how I did personally.

Yesterday I posted the following on my facebook:

I’m so very proud of certain parts of my first triathlon.  To have my fastest 5K at the END of a triathlon?  Maybe I should be un-proud (yes, I know this isn’t word!) of the 5Ks that I run since I don’t know how I couldn’t possibly go any fatster during them if I could run a faster 5K at the end of a tri!  Maybe I should be pushing myself more?  NO? 

I was also 8th out of water for my age group.  For the sprint tri overall, I was 78th out of 235!  That’s pretty good for my first one I think. 

My bike time was HORRIBLE!  I was 217 out of 235.  Guess I know where I should be doing some work! 

I’m am so very proud of completeing my first triathlon.  I’m so very nervous about the next one because I really feel like I’m so SLOW.  However, I know that I will improve.  I got on my trainer last night and rode for 1.5 hours.  I read some articles about improving bike speed and I think I know what I need to work on.

I am worried because I signed up for an Oly tri in August.  WHY??  I don’t know what I did that before trying my first triathlon.  I should just stick to sprint distances until I’m more comfortable.  I don’t know if I am going to try to switch or if I’m going to push it out and do it, even though I think I will end up dead last (or dead!!!)  I'm really trying to convince myself that I should just train and try it.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I TRIed a TRI at Maumee Bay!

Today was my first ever REAL triathlon.  I'm writing this without even really knowing how I did.  The results have not been posted...I'll get to that in a minute.  However, my only real goal was to finish with a smile on my face.  I'd say I accomplished that- wouldn't you?
This is absolutely the silliest race picture I have ever seen!  I look like a clown doing a dance!

So let's start from the beginning.  Yesterday (Saturday), my hubby and the kids went with me to Maumee Bay State Park to pick up my packet and to get the course preview.  I wanted to be there for the preview just so I knew what was really happening before the race morning.  It made me feel much better to look over the course before it was busy and crazy.  

HFP Racing seemed to be decently organized when it wasn't busy.  The pick up was very quick and efficient.  The lady that got my packet out was not overly nice, but she got what I needed and answered my questions.  

I looked over the course and took some pictures....

The finish line!

What I would need to sight from the swim to get to the beach- the run up was just to the right of this picture, as transition entered under that little tiny tent there to the right of the picture.

My hubby and little man under the finish....

The finish again from the path I'd be running

The can see the first 2 red buoys, but the yellow are past seems SO far away for just 750M.

The EMPTY transition area

I listened in on the preview and we headed for dinner and home.

My alarm went off at 4:45am.  UGH!!  I was so tired.  I went to bed at 10pm and slept well.  I seem to sleep well no matter what is going on.  I know some people can't sleep the night before an event, but I honestly think that I am so over tired all the time, that I just pass out!  

I got everything in the car and took off with breakfast in my hand by 5:15.   There was little traffic and I was in the park by 6:20am.  There were a few times that I had to blast the radio since I was falling asleep while driving.  I wish I could have had hubby drive me there, but waking 3 kids at 4:45am is NOT my idea of fun and I'd hate to leave hubby with 3 cranky kids while I'm out swimming, biking, and running- especially on father's day!

I set up my transition area and then went to check out the water.   74 degrees on a cloudy morning seems a lot colder of a water temp than 74 on a sunny day.  I decided to head back to my car and grab my wetsuit, which I was planning to leave behind before that.  I just wasn't sure I could get it off easily.  I eventually put it on and it turned out to be a great decision.  

Here are a few pics of transition:

I stood around and some friends of mine stopped by to wish me luck- they were heading out for a 7 mile run, but would be back to see the transitions later and to cheer me to the finish.  

I want to mention that I thought HFP did a great job of keeping things marked and simple.... these signs lay it all our and they are everywhere.

All of the roads (including the bike course) were marked everywhere with these handy arrows, in the colors of your event.

Everything that I saw was well marked and organized.  I did hear a few people complaining about the race management, but I really didn't have a lot of issues.  

The first race was due to start at 7:30.  At 7:00 they announced that they would delay the starts by 15 minutes as they worked to get the course ready.  At 5am in the morning there were some really strong rain storms that has passed through right as they were trying to set up and it got them a bit behind as they waited for that.  The storms were all gone by the time I got there, but it's understandable that they might have been trying to set up at that point and needed extra time.  

The waves then started on (delayed) time and we waited on the beach for our wave.  The one complaint I guess I could have is that they separated many of the groups, but the ONE group that was not split was the women's sprint.  We all started together.  All of the other waves had about 20-25 people at the most.  Our wave was more like 70 women.  It was a bit hectic.  I was not worried, I'm a strong swimmer and I didn't mind people running into me in the water.  About 100M into the swim we were spread out and everything was fine.  I took the first 1/2 slow so I could work on my sighting.  The second half I saw the beach and tried to take off a bit.  I started running into the men from the wave in front of us around the 500M mark and that wasn't very fun, but it was neat to get out of the water at the same time and some of the men.  

My first transition was a bit slower than I wanted, but I wanted to be sure I had what I needed for the bike.  It was extremely windy and I knew I was in for some slow riding.  If I had to pick which sport I am the worst at, it would be biking.  Within minutes, all of the people I probably passed on the swim were flying by me like I was standing still.  I felt like my was riding a kids bike into the wind.  I just couldn't go any faster and it was soooooo hard to ride.  Eventually we had a tail wind and that was great.  If I could have a tailwind the whole way, I'd love the bike we had 20MPH winds for 1/2 of the ride.  UGH!!!!!

My bike was slow and I knew it would be.  I'll work on that.  My T2 was decently fast and I was off for my 5K.  My friends saw my transition...and took a GREAT picture (insert sarcasm) 
I think I was waving, but who knows.  I'm the queen of stupid looking pictures!  I look like I was trying to carry a tray of food.  At least I was smiling right?!

Anyway, within 100 yards I was thinking the following, "What the HELL did I do?  Why did I sign up for this?"  I was hurting and I did not feel like running a 5K.  I finally got into a decent run around 2 miles and managed to finish was a decent time- I think.

Here is me running into the finish!

I have no idea what my time were- for one, I FORGOT to start my watch when I went in for the swim.  I was so mad.  I bought that watch because it was water resistant and could be with me on the swim.  DARN!  Maybe next time.  HPF would have normally posted the times, but due to the rain and standing water near the finish, their electrical kept shorting out and they were unable to print the results.  They still don't have them posted online.  I would guess that they are trying to get everything sorted out and to be sure everything is correct before they post them.  

Again- I'm sure some people complained about this- but you know what?  They were running a LOT of electrical devices near a very wet beach and in some REALLY wet grass and trying to keep many things running at once.  Are they a race company that should expected that- yes, but did it happen at the last minute before the races were to start?  Yes.  Is it that big of a deal to a newbie who has NO chance of placing even in her age group?  NOPE!!!!  :)  I just want to eventually know my own personal times.  The funny part was when the electrical shorted out to the fans that blew up the finish line arch RIGHT as the winners of the men's OLY tri were finishing.  They had to run under a deflated arch falling on them.  Pretty funny if you ask me!!

Anyway, here are some more pictures from the event-
 My friend (and my personal photog!) Kim!

A bunch of medals they had laying out on Saturday- I love me some bling- I HATE when races don't have finishers medals.  I like to have something to show for my finish!!!  I know- I'm LAME!
Me actually looking like I'm running to the finish!  YAY!  Most of my pictures look like I'm walking when I'm close to the end of any race!

Me running to the end!  

I'm so happy to have my first Triathlon done.  I have signed up for two more- a women's only sprint in Sylvania and then an Olympic Tri in Vermilion in August.  WHY did I decide I could do an OLY?  I don't know.  What I do know is that racing (or in my case, finishing) is a lot like childbirth.  While running the last leg I was in pain and questioning my sanity.  As soon as it was all over, I was thinking, "That wasn't so bad!  I loved it, I want to do another- like maybe tomorrow!"   It's like the memory of the pain is already out of my mind and lost to the great feeling of finishing.  I'm sure I'll suddenly remember when I'm on the second lap of my oly swim, bike or run in August though!!!  

Here is a cute pic of me in the shirt we got from the race... don't you love the bathroom mirror picture???

And the medal-

And that's it- another bucket list item crossed off the list!
Happy Father's Day to the dads and especially to my dad and my hubby, (who is an awesome dad for staying home with the kiddies so I could Tri-it today!)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Week of Firsts

This has really been a week of firsts.  Some good and some not so good.

Let's start with the fun ones...  in an attempt to fill in some low spots around our house, we asked the highway department if they had any dirt left over from any projects and they were happy to deliver a pile to us.  15 TONS of dirt showed up on Monday afternoon.  This was absolutely great, except we only really needed about 3 tons.  The rest of the pile is still sitting there while we look for ways to use it!  My kids wanted to play in the dirt, but we told them that there was glass pieces in it.  So just how did my kids decide to play without actually touching the dirt?  Sled down the dirt pile!  Sleding in June in Ohio- definitely a first!

Now for the not so good first.  I decided late on Tuesday that I wanted to ride my bike.  I headed out at 8pm and got about 6 miles out when my bike swerved on some loose stone and down I went.  I don't really remember much.  I remember knowing that I was going to fall and that I couldn't get unclipped in time.  The next thing I knew, I was laying in the middle of the road.  OUCH!  I was bleeding all over from my elbow and my arm and hand were numb.  I (DUMB DUMB DUMB) forgot to take my cell phone with me that night and I couldn't call my hubby to come get me, so I got back on my bike and carefully pedaled home.  It hurt so much and I don't think I could have been happier to see my house come into view.  My hubby freaked out and got me all cleaned up.  The pictures don't do it justice and it's been 2 days, so it already looks a lot better!  I was worried that I might have broken something because my hand was numb, but by the next day, the numbness wore off and my palm is just really bruised, so I much have hit with the hand first.

And now for the REALLY good- I think!  Tonight was my first ever Open Water Swim!  I joined Team Toledo

and the membership includes the team swim nights at a lake in a park nearby.  They have lifeguards in row boats and the whole team (about 50 people) swim around the lake- about a mile total.

I got in my wetsuit for the FIRST time and I made the whole mile.  What did I learn-  I SUCK at sighting!  I need to work on that.  I'm pretty sure I swam crooked and made my distance longer.  What else did I learn- I'm not really fond on the wetsuit.  The water was not cold.  Everyone else seemed to think it was cold, but it was not cold compared to the swimming pool I've swam in.  I liked the temp of the water and I felt like the wetsuit constricted me.  Though I've read a lot about why having sleeves is a good thing, I think I'd be much happier in a sleeveless suit.  I just did not like the feeling of my arms being all covered.  I like to feel the water when I swim.  I thought I'd be freaked out by the dirty water, but I really wasn't. What DID freak me out??  Seeing the vegetation at the bottom.  I was afraid I'd feel it as I swam over it.  I just dreaded seeing it below me and I was so worried my hands would hit it. UGH!!  Thankfully I didn't actually touch it and I finished without having any OWS meltdowns.

Yay for some good firsts!  My FIRST TRI is in 10 days!! EEK!!!