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Tag Archives: running

…but I guess that’s not true. I did a 10k last weekend with my husband and some friends.  It wasn’t awful.  Except for the almost throwing up part at the end.  Wow.  I hadn’t experienced that before.

I beat my goal (maybe that’s why I almost hurled?), and wasn’t in excruciating pain afterwards.  I could possibly consider running another event.  Someday.  In the distant future.

That’s all I’ve got for now.  I hope to have something more interesting to share at a  later date.


And that’s a wrap.  My season is over.  Can’t say I’m sad about that.  I’ve been struggling with the whole competing thing all summer, and was kind of dreading this race.  I was irritable, stressed, cranky.  So maybe not too much different from my usual self…  (Just kidding?)

brownie and cookies

chocolate espresso brownie (incredible gooey goodness) and potato chip cookies

Race day Sunday:  I had eaten a delicious chocolate espresso brownie a little too late on Saturday, so my sleep sucked, but I don’t sleep well before a race anyway, so it probably didn’t make much difference.  That night I just happened to have caffeinated bad sleep instead of just regular bad sleep.  Moving ahead… Up at 4:15am, out the door at 5.  The weather seemed good, although it was dark, so I couldn’t be sure.  I saw stars though, a good sign.  An hour drive to the Ted Williams Camp in Lakeville, MA for Sun Multisport’s Cranberry Trifest.  Set up, stress, wander around, stress, talk to Team EnVision teammates, shiver in the cold, stress some more.  There were 4 TE women doing the aquabike  (25 women aquabikers total), 4 doing the full olympic tri and 2 joining together to do a relay.  A good team turnout!

Loon Pond at Ted Williams Camp

calm before the storm

The race:  .9 mile swim, but most people agree it felt short.  Last year the pond was really shallow and a lot of folks ended up running (swimming?) aground, but the water seemed a little deeper this year.  There was only one, well-marked, problem area that was easy to avoid.  I was in the last wave:  aquabikers and relays.  It was a small manageable wave, and by the time I started swimming through the group ahead of me, it was easy to weave in, out, and around flailing arms and beating legs.  The longer races are nice that way – athletes get spread out.  Out of the water in 19:18 (first of the aquabikers, thank you very much!), skipped up the stone stairs without falling, phew!, all the way to the back of transition and on to the bike.  If I do this again (what?!), I should probably get different bike shoes.  The tongue gets in the way, and it’s hard to pull out when it gets mushed down there trapped by my wet foot.  Ran the bike out of transition, kept running by the people stopping to get on their bikes and HURLED myself on the bike.  Pedal, pedal, pedal, get moving!  Only to be held up after maybe a mile or two – HEY! – by a police officer letting the accumulated traffic go.  ARGGHH!  Frustrating, yes, and it probably cost me a place (no doubt I would have been 4th for the women instead of 5th), but you never know what will happen on race day and you just have to go with it.

26.2 miles of mostly flat terrain with some rolling hills.  If I was more leisurely about it, I would have noticed the beautiful ponds and fields we rode through.  I hear it’s very pretty in the Lakeville, Marlboro area!  Gasping for breath, trying to inhale a gu (yum, salted caramel), occasionally taking a sip of water, I finished with a bike split of 1:23:47 (good for 15th out of the 34 aquabikers), for a total time of 1:45:22 and 5th place (by a second).  All of my splits were faster this year than last – that was my goal, so yeah for me!  And no run.  Double yeah!  I’m sure my shorty wetsuit helped with the swim (I didn’t wear it last year), but faster is still faster!  Another goal was to finish no more than 15 minutes behind my sister, and I did that, too.  She’s a solid swimmer and kicks ass on the bike – she placed 2nd.  I believe she caught up and flew past me at around mile 11 (she says it was closer to mile 13, but whatever).

Will I race next year?  I’m not sure.  I’ve been so ambivalent, and even negative, that maybe I should take time off from competing.  I really enjoy swimming and biking with my friends and teammates, so perhaps I’ll leave it at that for a while.  I want to keep it fun.

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Special thanks to Greg M Cooper Photography for use of his photos.  Thanks, also, to Paula and Trinity for their pictures.


A Day at the Races,  Ironman Lake Placid.

My friend and tri team director, Kristi, raced in Ironman Lake Placid this past weekend so a few of us from Team EnVision went to cheer her on.  I had never been to, or even considered going to, a race of this magnitude prior to meeting Kristi.  I had no idea what to expect.

Navajo Lodge, Lake Placid, NY

Navajo Lodge, Lake Placid, NY

Kristi had rented a house – a big house – in Upper Jay, NY, and invited family and friends to give her logistical and moral support for the couple days before, during, and after the big day.  Wise decision.  She had time to make the 5-hour drive to Lake Placid, settle in, have a couple days to relax (?!) (there was tubing practically right outside the door!), take in the super-charged atmosphere, and deal with the logistics of the race.

And wow, talk about logistics.  2700 athletes, 3000 volunteers, and who knows how many friends and family members, all descending upon a rather small town in upstate NY.  Picture 1970s Tyrolean ski chalet-themed kitch and you’ve got Lake Placid.  I thought it was kind of cute, but the town has definitely seen better days.

Members of our group had been arriving since Thursday, We (4 of us) got to the Navajo Lodge late Saturday afternoon in time for a nice pre-race dinner with Kristi, her parents, girlfriend, and friends.  All of us were ready to cheer her on through the race the next day.  All together, there were 11 of us + a very well-behaved baby.  By Saturday evening all of the details, big and small, had been attended to.  Gear had been dropped off including 2 “special needs” bags full of race-day nutrition and things that might be needed during the race. These bags were available to participants on the course:  one bag at the end of the first bike loop and the other at around mile 11 on the run.  A far cry from the tris I do where I only need a water bottle and maybe a Gu in addition to my swim/bike/run stuff.

run special needs bags

run special needs bags

I can’t believe how calm Kristi appeared.  Everything was in place.  She had done the work – and more work – throughout the previous 9-10 months.  Up early to train, eating well, figuring out what worked and didn’t work for multi-hour bike rides and runs, inviting friends to keep her company on all or parts of her workouts.  Focus, clarity, dedication.  Through all sorts of weather, and personal ups and downs, she put in quality effort and rarely complained.  The day was finally here and she was ready.  I guess there’s a calm that comes from knowing you’ve done everything you should have and could have, and you just have to see how it will play out on that one day where it all has to come together.

Race Day

Kristi heading out

Kristi heading out

Kristi was up and out by around 4:15am.  I was going in a car leaving at 5.  Another car of supporters was heading over a little later, say 6:30, and the final part of the entourage left the Lodge by 8 or so.  Parking, while not a total nightmare, could have been better marked.  We parked on a side street rather than in a specified lot, since there weren’t any signs for the lots…  Maybe it was because we were so early.  At any rate, the town was already crawling with people.  We had our team tent set up where we could hang out and watch the swim (from a little distance), and see the cyclists pass twice and runners pass 4 times.  Perfect.  Kristi knew where the tent was and could expect to see us at certain times during the race.  AND, since the weather was calling for rain, we had shelter.

Swim start

Lining up for swim start

The pros went off at 6:20am followed by the age-groupers at 6:40.  The rolling start was new this year:  participants self-seeded based on estimated swim time.  I think it made for a much safer, and probably quicker, swim although the purists grumbled about tradition.  I don’t know.  If fewer swimmers suffer concussions and avoid drowning by toning down the melée, is that a bad thing?

napping and waiting

napping and waiting

Our day, as spectators, was largely spent hanging out at the tent, napping, estimating the times Kristi would pass by, and cheering everybody on. Cowbells clanging!  The Team EnVision tent was one in a long row of team tents so it was a very busy place.

Between Kristi’s bike loops I had time to get in the water and swim the course.  The coolest thing about the swim is the permanent cable marking the route.  Just follow the golden thread for 1.2 miles.  And, if you’re doing the race, do it again.  Once was enough for me – I had more cheering to do!

13:34.26 after the event started (official time: 13:27.47), Kristi ran down the chute to hear those very important hard-won words:  “Kristi, you are an Ironman!”

We (partner, family, friends, and teammates) couldn’t be more proud of her.

Kristi finishing IMLP

She did it!

Very short post.

I’m going up to Lake Placid, NY to watch a friend take part in that little race called IRONMAN on July 28th.  I cannot believe or fathom the dedication, determination, and focus involved in getting to this point.  Kristi is an amazing athlete and I’m super proud of her – and in total awe.  A bunch of us from our triathlon team are going to be there to support her and cheer her on.  I hope to have pictures and a story to post next week.  And of course I’ll be cheering everyone else on, as well.  I’ve got cowbells to clang!

Ordinarily I prefer to greet the Summer Solstice with pizza and a dirty vodka martini.  Maybe light a few candles.  This year, however promised to be a little different.  A friend of mine missed registering for a sprint tri she wanted to do in New Hampshire and happened upon one closer to home.  On Friday night.  The Summer Solstice Sprint.  Did I want to do it, she asked on Monday.  Not really,  I said.  Maybe, I thought.  NO, my more rational scaredy cat brain shouted.  OK, my credit-card wielding hand decided.  And before I knew it, I was signed up.  Thanks a lot, Amy.  Damn peer pressure!IMG_0002

I had no intention of doing any races involving running this summer (or ever?).  Last time I ran was 2 months ago and I still feel the pain!  Well, just a little, but still.  But then I thought, why not?  I always say that anybody in reasonably good shape can do a Sprint.  I’m in reasonably good shape.  Sure, this race wouldn’t be pretty, but it wouldn’t kill me either.  And really it’s just the run that would totally suck.  Oh, and swimming, biking, running a lot harder than I usually do, but whatever.  So what’s a day spent recovering from muscular pain?!  That’s what NSAIDs are for.  Such was my thinking BEFORE the event…

Oh, and here’s what I did the week going into the race.  I figured I’d treat the race as just another workout.

  • Monday:  biked ~25 miles
  • Tuesday:  Interval Challenge class before work, 3700 yds @ masters swim practice at lunch, Total Body Conditioning class after work (fun day!)
  • Wednesday:  1.25 hr hot yoga class (I was trashed from Tuesday!)
  • Thursday:  biked ~38 miles, ~1 mile OW swim
  • Friday:  RACE DAY!
  • 30 mile bike ride scheduled

The Race: it was pretty fun to race in the evening for a change (except for dealing with Friday afternoon traffic).

I met Amy and Annette and set up in transition.  Went for a warm-up swim and waited for the race to start.  Other than a slight start delay, the race went off pretty well.  We were told to self-seed, faster swimmers first, for the 1/4 mile swim.  We’d be going off 2×2 with about 5 seconds in between.  All the men went first, then the women.  Interesting way to start, but made sense, I guess, given the size and orientation of the course.  I was still swimming through lots of men, but at least there wasn’t a huge clump of them in my way!  I tried not to swim over too many…  or at least not too roughly.  Run up to transition was just that:  UP.  ugh.  Then a 10-mile ride on pretty good roads.  Not too much traffic and only one area with bad pavement.  There were a couple VERY sharp right turns, though, that demanded caution.  Finish it off with a 5k run – or shuffle, if you’re me.

And done.  I (surprisingly) placed 2nd in my age group. My friends started and finished together – one of them slowed down on the bike portion to help a newbie with shifting.  How nice is that?!  AND they stuck it out to the bitter end with me to see me get my medal.  Thanks!

One downside:  no veggie burgers left by the time we wandered over to the food tent.  Oh well.

It was a perfect evening.  Temperature was just right.  Gorgeous full moon.  Small manageable number of participants:  about 145.

The 30-mile bike ride on Saturday, barely more than 12 hours from finishing the Solstice Tri, was a bit tough though…

Will I do it again next year? I DO like my pizza and martini ritual, but maybe there’s room for both!

I considered signing up for the Janathon challenge, but didn’t find out about it until January 1st, and I was basically a slug that day.  I generally do some form of exercise (or 2) every day, which, according the “rules” is the whole point, but it seems like the focus is on running. Every day.  And that’s not going to happen!  I also doubt that I’d blog every day.  I encourage you to take a look at the Janathon site and participants – it looks like a fun challenge and a great way to find new blogs to read.

SWIM – the usual.  I try to swim most days, but end up taking a day off here and there.  On my own I’ll do 2000-2500 yds; more when I swim with the team. On New Year’s Eve day, I took part in the Miles for Marly 100×100 benefit swim.  A Cambridge Masters Swim Club coach was killed in a bike accident a few years ago, and a scholarship has been set up in her name at Smith College, where she did her undergrad.  I did 55×100 on a 1:35 interval.  I had only planned on doing 50 so I was pretty happy with that.  Hey, I wanted to go out on New Year’s Eve and be able to raise my arms in celebration!  Next year I might try for more 100s at a slower interval and see how it goes.  Next up:  USMS One Hour Swim on January 13th – unless I’m sick.  I seem to be catching a cold but hope to be better by next week.

New swim suits from AgonSwim

Two new suits

Very exciting:  I got 2 new bathing suits!  And I’m waiting for one more (back order).  I decided to give AgonSwim grab bag another try.  Unfortunately the one w/the paw prints is too big.  Oh well, someone will take it off my hands for $18 (cheap, I know).

What the hell is Cimarron-Memorial anyway?!  That’s the fun of grab bag.  Maybe somebody will recognize it somewhere along the way.

BIKE – other than commuting my 3 miles to/from work, I’m not riding outside.

commuter bike

My trusty tank w/lots of lights

It’s just too cold.  I went for a road ride when it was in the 40s and I was NOT happy by the end.  I hate it when my feet turn purple.  And that was WITH shoe covers!  So I’ve been on my trainer a couple times and am resigned to spin classes until… June?  No, probably April, though.

[RUN – I figure it’s worth mentioning when I actually do it.  3 mile run with a friend, talking most of the way.  Actually fun and not horrible!  And not too slow – it’s all relative, right?]

READ –  Fugitive Pieces, by Anne Michaels.  The writing is beautiful, descriptions and characters are rich.  But I’m not loving it.  I can dive into it and get lost for a little while, but can easily put it down.  And I’m not rushing to pick it up again.  I’m hoping the next book I read will really grab me.

and EAT! – after run snack (aka breakfast):  a banana, 1/2 an apple, 2 dates, home-made almond butter and home-made tahini.  Yum!  Oh, and MORE COFFEE!!!

I never thought I’d say “nice” and “chain letter” in the same sentence, but here goes.  I’ve been nominated for a Liebster award by I swim (and now iTri too!) – thanks, Mo! – which seems like the blogger’s take on a chain letter, but a nice chain letter.  If the idea of blogging is to get yourself out there, why not ask questions to learn more about each other and promote those sites that we find interesting?  It’s like saying “Tag, you’re it!  Tell us who you are and why you decided to speak out.”  I’m pretty sure I won’t fulfill all of the requirements (let’s say “suggestions”), but blogging is kind of a free-for-all so I can do whatever I want.  So there!

liebster-blog-awardLike any award nomination, there are rules.  I’ll state the rules cited by my nominator (and her nominator), because cutting and pasting is a lot easier than thinking and typing:

  1. Add the award icon to your blog
  2. Link to your nominator to say thank you
  3. Each blogger should post 11 facts about themselves 
  4. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you and create 11 questions for your nominations to answer
  5. Choose 11 up-and-coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers, go to their blog, and tell them about the award.

Wow, that makes for a LONG blog entry.  Forgive me, but I’m going to post fewer than 11 facts about me, and might cheat in other ways, too.

  1. I turned 49 in December, but will be racing as a 50 yr old this coming tri season (wonder if it will help)
  2. I quit swimming competitively at 15 and took about 10 years off – 18 years before competing again.
  3. I considered being a mental health therapist, but couldn’t sit still w/o falling asleep, so I became a massage therapist instead – much more active!
  4. I lived in at least 10 different places in the SF Bay Area in the 10 years I was there (’84-’94)
  5. I’m the youngest of 4, so I’ll always be the baby
  6. My commuter bike was stolen from my office and I found it a month later, locked to a pole, a block from my house
  7. My husband and I recently decided not to replace our 2nd car so we’re sharing one.  We’ll see how that goes…
  8. I’ve had a few motorcycles, but my bicycles always got more use, so I no longer ride (obviously wasn’t much of a motorcycle rider anyway!).

Mo’s questions for me:

  1. Why do you blog? I hadn’t planned on it, but my husband signed up for a wordpress class so I joined him.
  2. What sport(s) did you do as a child? swimming, gymnastics (I was terrible), more swimming, field hockey
  3. What’s your favourite colour and why? It was always blue, but I’ve branched out into purple.  There’s no “why” to it!  It’s a visceral reaction.
  4. In a world with no technology, what would you do for a living? I could probably keep doing what I’m doing!
  5. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?  Flying.  It just seems so cool
  6. What motivates you?  food, and too much food!  And friends
  7. Chocolate or cheese?  Chocolate more than cheese these days.  Cutting down on cheese consumption
  8. Do you always shower before swimming?  No, not if I can get away with it
  9. What did you want for Christmas that you didn’t get? World Peace?
  10. What are your plans for 2013? Winter escape at the end of Jan., do a couple swim races, tris, and a bike vacation in Croatia (in September)
  11. Would you ever shave your head for charity? Sure, in summer, and if the charity actually got anything for it!

11 Questions for whoever wants to answer them, since I don’t know 11 bloggers w/fewer than 200 followers except the ones that have already been nominated.  Anyone can answer!  I’ll tag some blogs that I think have fewer than 200 followers.  I can’t always find the number of followers on blogs, though.  Sorry if you’ve done this already.

  1. What food/snack/drink do you find hardest to resist?
  2. Who is your favorite author?
  3. What is your most vivid childhood memory?
  4. Would you rather be hot or cold?
  5. If you were to do a tri relay, which leg would you do?
  6. What’s one goal you hope to achieve in 2013?
  7. Do you walk around while brushing your teeth?
  8. Dogs or cats?
  9. What household chore do you dislike the most?
  10. What’s your idea of a perfect day, that you can realistically have (but maybe not every day)?
  11. How often can you make your perfect day happen?



Pipe Down Piper

The Write Space

The Wonder of Walden

Intrinsic Fitness

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