Category Archives: Exercise

Do moms bromance? Is that a thing?

 

Being an extroverted introvert makes some things difficult.  One of those things that is tricky is busting in on a group of people that are already established.  They have a rhythm and a routine.  I am kind of a big personality (shut up, I know that is an understatement.) And finding my place in a group of personalities that already have a vibe is delicate.  I don’t really know how to take a back seat.  

mom3But the back seat is exactly where you sit when you are the new kid that joins a group of people that regularly share a swim lane.  Treading water next to the lane line while you wait for your spot to grab the wall and try to think of something clever to say in the ten seconds you have before the next swim set starts is exhausting.  Never mind the swimming part.  I always feel like a 12-year-old kid in the back seat of a car.  I can kind of hear the conversation but the windows are down and the infinitely cooler teenage driver and their counterpart in the front seat are smiling and laughing and I am nodding along and treading water and trying to not look clueless.

5:30 a.m. Master’s swim practice is a strange animal. It’s not the retired folks from mid-morning or the work from home people from lunchtime. Both of those groups are happy to chat it up poolside.  These people are getting in and out and getting on with their lives.  They’re busy people or so it seems.  And nobody is particularly chatty when it is still practically the middle of the night.  So how do you get to know them?  How do you find a rapport?

You keep showing up.  Therein lies the problem.  I can think of a zillion reasons not to get up before five in the morning.  Add in a little social anxiety and I can convince myself to bail on practice.  Easy peasy.

But on Wednesday there was this lady that made me laugh.  Hard.  She said “I’m going to make an art film called Sounds From the Pool” as we were all gasping for breath in the cold water.  Later in the practice as the gasping had to turned to heavy breathing I said “If you started the film just with sounds – snapping of the swim cap, gasping and then creepy, heavy breathing – it would totally sound like a dirty movie.  Condoms and then hot and heavy humping…” She didn’t miss a beat, guys.  She immediately grabbed onto my ridiculousness.  She was my people.

This morning I considered sleeping through practice.  But I kinda sorta wanted to see her again.  She was funny.  At 5:30 in the morning.  She’s a rare breed.

mom2I make friends the way drunk girls in bathrooms make friends.  I like to go from “Hi, my name is…” to “OHMYGODYOUAREMYBESTFRIENDEVER” in about four minutes.  It doesn’t always work out well.  I am trying to play it cool.  I am.

But when I saw her this morning and she made me laugh again before I even had my goggles on – well, I was smitten.  While swimming this morning I was thinking about how stressful it must have been to have been a swimmer in high school.  Imagine sharing a lane with someone you are crushing on.  You’d spend the 200 yards you were swimming thinking of something clever to say in the ten seconds you might share at the wall.  And then when you said it there would be a 50% chance that it went unheard.  So if nobody laughs did they not hear you?  Do you try and say it again? Or would you then become that weird girl that repeats herself and thinks she is funny? (Again, shut up.  I know that is self-referential.)

This morning as we were climbing out of the pool and laughing I decided to just go out on a limb and ask “do you stay home with your kids?” There’s a certain camaraderie among people who might not talk to anyone else all day that is not biologically related to them.  Maybe it is a momentary “holyshitwebettermakethiscount” kind of feeling but whatever it is – she had it, I knew it.

We joked about how it is hard to MomFriend someone at swim practice when you only have ten seconds at a time to get your funny on.  I mentioned that I write stand up routines in my head while I swim/bike/run and sadly the only people who ever hear them are my peeps at the grocery store.

“Do you do stand up?” she asked.

And it took everything in my power to not crumble to the floor at her feet on the pool deck.  Only moments earlier she said something to the effect of  “that’s a sleeper that will make me laugh again and again all day” and I could feel myself stand up a little taller.  We’ve only just met.  She thinks I am funny.  That’s my in, y’all.  (Granted, my ten second schpiel on how sprinting breaststroke is like fast walking was pretty damn funny.) I know I get myself into trouble when I dive in prematurely – but I think I am making a new friend.

 

momSo.  Both kids will be back in school next week.  I will once again have that “what do I do now?” feeling.

Maybe I will write some stand up, huh?  Take this show on the road.  And by on the road I mean to the Harris Teeter.

And it’s not like I need to find things to do.  There’s new SnapChat filters on the daily, y’all.

 

 

Goals: Smashing them

I am not a super competitive person.  Not in my life, not in triathlon.  I am just not.  I really believe that hocus pocus about how you’re only competing against yourself.  It’s true.  I struggle with my training because I want each run to be faster than the last.  And improvement comes in incremental leaps not daily.

This month has been big for me.  In the middle of my fourth season of triathlon I have started to make some improvement.  I rode the bike leg of Ironman Raleigh 70.3 a few weeks ago and I didn’t ride my brakes downhill.  And I did not die.  At all.  I used my aerobars even though I still feel like I am going to crash because my hands aren’t even touching my brakes and I figured out what it feels like to blow your legs out on the bike.  (Awesome, by the way.)

racerThis last weekend I raced my first sprint with a pool swim in over a year and I passed a bunch of folks so apparently I hugely overestimated my swim time.  

And then I went all out on the bike and figured I would just see if I could run.  At all.  And I smashed my personal record for a 5K.  Not a 5K in a tri.  But at all.  It was crazy. I felt like George Jetson.  In my head I was all “Jane!  Stop this crazy thing!!!!” but my legs just kept moving.

Another fitness related accomplishment is as much about my head is it is the rest of me. I started running without my shirt on.  And it isn’t pretty. But I feel like a badass and it seems that people will not actually DIE if they see my stomach in motion.  Stretch marks don’t tan so they are just whiter and more bold than ever but I am over worrying about it. I stopped in the bathroom on a run recently and when I looked in the mirror I noted that I looked like a “runner.”  Intellectually I know that runners come in all shapes and sizes but I have always felt like a poser.  runner

The last accomplishment is one that I hesitate to speak about. It feels more personal.  You know, since I don’t get naked and stand on the bathroom scale in front of all of you.  But it feels good to be proud of yourself, and dammit, I am.  I have lost a good bit of weight this year in my “Get Your Shit Together Before You Turn 40!” plan and I have maintained it. I have had to change my race registrations from Athena to Age Group since I no longer qualify.  And it feels weird.  I have identified as a big kid for the last ten years. I actually enjoyed that moment when I told someone that I was just a little shy of 200 pounds and they raised an eyebrow and said “No fucking way!” But I am down almost 40 pounds and I run faster and sleep better and drink less alcohol and wear ALL OF MY CLOTHES because holy shit, they fit!!!

Silly that I had to go stand in a store and weigh myself and purchase three months of a diet program to put into practice the same dietary advice that my mother has been giving free of charge since I was a kid.  “Mom, I am hungry.”  “Eat an apple.”  “I don’t want an apple.”  “Well, then you’re not hungry.”

I don’t do low-fat food.  And I don’t do diet food.  But I started eating real food.  And a lot of it.  And I dropped weight.  And then I got faster. And then I stayed the same weight for two months and got faster still.   I can’t believe that those things are not connected.

I was eating an apple (from my purse because I carry snacks around like I am my own toddler) and thinking the other day as I walked into Target.  I eat like an athlete.  I am fueling my body and my workouts and caring for myself.  I’ll be damned.

shower beer

I didn’t turn into a different person.  I still drink cheap beers in the shower.  I just make better choices when I get out of the shower.  Another perk?  It seems that losing weight has made my boobs all but disappear so now I can share my shower beer pics with no boobs in sight unless I take them from the waist up! Long boobs, indeed!

I am not that competitive.  Not with other people.  But with myself?  I want to get there faster than I did last time.  Every single time. I spent ten years gaining and losing the same 40 pounds. But I can guarandamntee that I won’t do it again.  Because this feels so good.  I feel like me again.

Running last weekend I was thinking about how I am not normally motivated to speed up by other runners.  We are all in our own race, on our own journey.  But there was this kid in front of me.  Well, he was behind me at first but then he was in front of me.  And I couldn’t stand it. I gave it all I had to try and catch him.  The weekend before I was climbing up a hill on my bike and feeling strong when I heard that whirring sound of fancy wheels and “On your left!” I moved to the side and prepared to be passed.  Out of habit I looked at his calf to check his age.  64.  I dug deep and passed him on the next hill.

I guess I am a little competitive.  I don’t like to get passed by people I could have given birth to or people that could have given birth to me.  That’s my window of shame.  And I don’t want to feel like I live in a body that doesn’t feel like mine.    Eventually the triathletes I could have given birth to won’t be in elementary school and I will have to revise my plan.

But for now – I have goals.  And I am smashing them, friends.  Set some.  Aim high.  It feels so damn good.  It feels even better if those goals serve absolutely nobody but you.  Be selfish. Take care of yourself.  Take naps.  Take risks.  I triple dog dare you.

Mom

Driver of that Giant Truck, I salute you!

I am more than a tiny bit scared of riding my bike.  This wasn’t a huge problem as a kid.  But as a triathlete – it sort of sucks.  How do you conquer a fear?  Head on, friends.  So, I ride.  I ride in my living room on a bike trainer so that I can feel I have a mastery of my bike’s gears and my stupid (albeit useful) clipped in bike shoes.  I ride in groups so that I can learn more about how to ride safely on the road.  I ride with friends so that I can remember that going for a bike ride used to be something I did for fun.  And I ride in spin classes so that I can build muscles that will help me drag my ass up hills.

But until today I have not ridden alone.  There are a million reasons not to ride alone.  It’s not crazy to not ride by yourself.  But as a mostly stay at home mom I really want to train as much as I can during the week when the kids are in school.  Unfortunately that is when my bike riding sidekicks are at work.ICE  A friend that is sidelined with an injury mentioned that instead of joining me for our Thursday morning ride she’d be happy to have my back if I wanted to just go ahead and ride.  Mid morning on our almost empty country roads seemed like a perfect time to give it a go solo.

I wrote her phone number on an index card, put it in my shirt pocket and sent her a quick note that I was leaving before I chickened out.

The first mile is uphill.  I wasn’t particularly creeped out.  I was still so close to my house and going back and forth between being freezing and exhausted.  I hadn’t any time to freak out.  A few miles later I found my groove.  I stopped obsessing over every single noise that my bike made and started thinking that maybe I could stay over 16 mph on average in spite of the three fairly decent hills on my route.  I might even do a second loop.  By the fifth mile I passed the turn to Emily’s school and giggled at a bit at our plans to stop and eat lunch with the kids.  Nothing is more absurd than a person in head to toe spandex and bike shoes.  We just need to wait until it is warm enough to wear our matching tri-kits to go for maximum ridiculousness.

By the time I was just about two miles from home I had decided to stick with the single loop and call it a win.  Why tempt fate?  I was content.  I was warm.  I could run when I got home and go out and do this again soon.  I was a person that could ride her bike alone if need be.  I didn’t die!

As I was headed up the last big hill about a mile from my house a car slowed behind me.  There is no shoulder on this road (only a steep ditch) and I was riding the white line.  I couldn’t very well move over and I appreciated the driver behind me just taking his time.  I assume that the honking by the truck marked with a local HVAC company (that I shall not name only because it may very well have been an employee of this small company and not the owner so I am hard pressed to put you on blast) was to alert other drivers of my presence.  Surely you didn’t mean that the car that was giving me a little space should speed around me on this hill where they can’t see oncoming traffic.  Right?  I did check out your website when I got home, local HVAC company… all those stock photo images of happy families – yep.  You surely value the life of a mother of two so very much!  Thanks for honking as if to say “Hey, Drivers!  Take care near this cyclist!!” Jerk.

I shook it off.  I pulled over at the soonest available moment and let the truck pass by me. With less than half a mile before I was home I was determined to end this maiden voyage with a smile on my face.  There’s a killer downhill just before I turn into my neighborhood. I enjoyed it.  I was warm (finally) and I was unafraid.  I was a person that rides her bike!

I slowed down before I turned onto my street (because I am still not a person that is unafraid of the slightest bit of gravel) when a huge Dodge Ram sped around me, window rolled down, gave me the one finger salute and yelled “Get off the road, Bitch!!”

My eyes stung like I had been slapped.  I have been scared of falling. I have read race reports where experienced cyclists get injured.  I am always fearful of cars.  Recovery after an accident with a car could take months.   But it never dawned on me to be afraid of being yelled at by some asshole in a giant truck  (and yes, I realize that name calling is juvenile and two wrongs don’t make a right but this guy was an asshole!!) I could see my house from where I was located.

kellyBut I kept riding.  I rode right past my street with tears in my eyes and made one more single mile loop in the neighborhood next to mine.  Because I won’t let you ruin my good time Mister Big Truck.  I am only sorry that you momentarily knocked the wind out of me and I was unable to return your salute!

So.  You haven’t convinced me to get off the road, Mr Big Truck.  Nor have you really even made me think that I am a bitch. I assure you that I have done far more egregious things than ride my bike on the same stretch of road that you were enjoying.  As I rode that last mile I started to wonder.  Would you have yelled in my face if I stopped my cart in the middle of the aisle at Costco?  Because I do that sometimes.  What if I walked in front of you at a softball game to chase my four year old?  I am so super sorry I was in your space for a second, man.  I guess that never happens to you, huh?

I like to give each bike ride an anthem.  Riding without tunes is so weird to me so I sing in my head.  Today’s quick ten mile ride goes out to Matthew Wilder – Ain’t Nothing Gonna Break My Stride…

I will be back soon  with a race recap for Belews Lake Olympic Triathlon   that was a duathlon (click for last year’s race recap if you like!).  Quick summary: I nearly froze to death.  The runs were fast and awesome and the bike was cold and lonely.  Belews Lake theme song was an obvious choice! Love me some Eric Carmen: All By Myseeeelf…….

Crash & Burn

Heeeey.  It’s been a hot minute, huh? So much has happened.  My sweet, funny big girl turned TEN.  Lucy started preschool. MQD started a new job.   I ran a marathon.  I finally bought light fixtures for the kitchen.

And so much has stayed so very much the same.  I am still nursing and co-sleeping with Lucy.  I am falling in love with my adorable husband more every day.  I am still a mostly stay at home mom and grateful for it almost all of the time.  I am still treading water in a strange place where I am proud of my physical accomplishments and hating the body that makes them happen.

But the big Sameness… the Thing that I thought was gone and has come back and hit me in the face like a long-forgotten boomerang… Depression.  I thought for a while I was “better.”  Or maybe I thought it was seasonal. Or maybe I thought it was just Post Race Blues.  But it was still warm outside when it hit me this time.  The kids were just starting school.  MQD had just started a new job.  Life was rich and exciting and joyous and I was… numb.  Again.  And when I saw it coming like a wave and I knew that there was no chance in hell that I would be able to jump over it – well, I did the only thing I knew to do –   I held my nose and went under.  Marathon training was a nice little band-aid.  A mid-November marathon meant I had miles to run, things to do, very little time to mope.

But still the late summer wasn’t good to me.  I spoke up.  I reached out. I said it out loud. “I struggle with Depression and sometimes it drags me under.”  But I never wrote it here.  Why?  There’s no shame in my game, that’s for sure.  I just didn’t have the oomph to get it all down and play catch up.  By the time I started to feel decent enough to sit and write it seemed like “old news.”  And then I started to feel better again, normal even.  So, I was busy living.

What’s the point of all of this?  Here?  I don’t know.  I miss writing.  I miss getting it all down, the moments that slip away unless we share them.  Our minds are in a constant state of sloughing off the old memories and replacing them with new and I am afraid that if I stop writing them down that they will disappear.  But I fear even more this weird space where what I have shared here is not representative of the Time that has passed.

Because here’s the thing – Depression is terribly boring.  Mind-numbingly dull, really.  Imagine the entry I would write.  “So.  Today sucked.  Why? Mostly because of Nothing.  Everything is Fine, really, but today was super bad.  But it doesn’t matter.  Nobody is probably reading this anyway because I am so terrible and everyone hates me.”  A few of those in a row and then a Good Day just to mix things up.  “Woke up today and felt awesome.  Cleaned the entire house, mowed the grass, ran 871 miles, hugged my people and had a great dinner!  Everything is Awesome!  I did All The Things!!”

I despise this week.  The week after Thanksgiving is the worst.  Christmas season is closing in and I just want to climb into bed and stay there.  I love the holidays, I do.  But they exhaust me.  I want them to be “Perfect.”  Perfect holidays?  Ha! Are this week’s Blues a product of being overwhelmed by a To-Do list a mile long or is this the boomerang of Depression that never really leaves me but just takes temporary leave? The truth is, I am not sure.

I am tremendously sad that the marathon is behind me. It gave me a focus.  A wise friend once shouted to some runners “You can’t run from your problems!” but I beg to differ.  When your problems are just chemicals in your brain you can certainly do a decent job of waging war against them with some exercise endorphins.  A new training plan and a fitness goal for 2016 will help to keep the Sad at bay, I am sure.

I reached out to another wise friend (I am surrounded by smart, good people, another reason why being Depressed is so Stupid!) just to mention that it was an uphill battle to stay out of bed this week.  I pointed out that being a stay at home mother and a Depressive is like trying to get sober in a bar.  When all I want out of a day is to get dressed and stay out of my bed – the stay at home part of this gig is tough.  But I am going to keep on keeping on.

I miss you guys.  The last six months have been terrible and wonderful all at once.  There has been so much more wonderful than terrible and for that I am grateful.  I am going to try to write again soon. I think that my heart needs it.  But for today I just wanted to say hello.  And I wanted to remind you that if you suffer from Depression or know someone who does – the holidays are hard.  Reach out.  Get help.  You’re worth it.  And you’re not alone. 11219421_10153755947064819_9141546464765793859_n

 

Raleigh 70.3 Race Recap: Still too tired for a clever title

Where do you start a race recap that is made up of 70.3 miles and required months and months of training?  When you’re still deliriously tired you just jump in and start at 3:30 in the morning the day of… or we would all be here all day.

I woke up the day of the Raleigh Half IronMan at 1:15.  I had already had five hours of uninterrupted sleep and I was feeling pretty good.  Nervous.  But rested.  I slept a little here and there between then and 3:30 am and I hopped out of bed at 3:30 ready to go.  I drank three cups of coffee, braided my hair, tried (in vain) to get Lucy to go back to sleep, thanked Mike and Emily for their support (and for watching Care Bears with Lu in the middle of the night) and I headed out to meet my friend Tori, the only friend I have crazy enough to be doing this race (for her second time!)

The play-by-play of a thirteen hour day would bore you to tears, I fear.  Let me just make sure I give you the highlights….. did I poop before I left the hotel? Nope.  Not pleased about that.  But who wants to be a middle of the night pooper? (Unless you are a sophomore in college and you move in with your boyfriend and you pretend that you don’t really do that.  Ahem.)

There was a mile stroll to  catch the shuttle to Jordan Lake where I had left my bike the day before.  I dropped off my running gear in transition in downtown Raleigh and marveled at the number of people that were milling about in the middle of the night.  I tried to convince myself that it was actually very early in the morning but the drunk girl sleeping in the lobby of the hotel and the chain smoking,  loud talking, laughing kids still lingering in front of recently closed closed bars told a different story.

The ride out to the lake was pretty chill.  Lots of chatty, nervous athletes.  When we arrived at T1 (the transition area between the swim and the bike) Tori said “Have a good race if I don’t see you again this morning!” and that is when it dawned on me that I would largely inside my own head for the rest of the day.

The moment we got off of the shuttle bus it was confirmed that the water temperature was above 76.1 and we would not be wearing wetsuits.  The day before I had gotten in the water a bit and felt pretty good about skipping the wetsuit.  I am a confident swimmer, if not a particularly fast swimmer, so I was happy to skip out on the added complications of getting in and out of my wetsuit.

prerace

I found my bike and was pleased to also find a bike pump to borrow in short order. Upon the recommendation of more seasoned triathletes I let the air out of my tires the day before.  Evidently sitting on hot asphalt for 24 hours can cause your tires to pop from the heat if they are inflated.  Bike was ready, water bottles were full.

Back to the portapotties.  Watched the sun come up and enjoyed the fact that whomever was choosing the pre-race music had a soft spot for Def Leppard.  Fruitless visit to the portapotty and some sweet text messages to Emily and it was time to drop off my morning bag of stuff.  Without a phone, wearing only my trisuit, goggles around my neck, swim cap stuffed in my bra I returned to the portapotty line one last time.  Had the good fortune of finding Tori again so I was able to skip out on the mindless, friendly pre-race chatter with a stranger that can take my head somewhere it doesn’t need to be.

Before I knew it the Pros were in the water and the swim waves were lining up.  Fell into a good groove with some nice women in my swim wave.  A delightfully nervous lady had me rolling with laughter before our feet were even wet.  I took my place on the far left outside of the pack (all the better not to get the shit kicked out of you, my dear) and off we went.

swimThe swim felt good.  I hit a nice, mellow stroke, breathing and sighting and doing my thing for the first third.  We turned at the first buoy and the water got a little colder and a little choppier and I let myself check my watch. I had an overall goal of finishing the race within the allotted eight hours and thirty minutes.  My pie in the sky dream was to finish in under eight hours: one hour for the swim, four on the bike, three on the run.  All of these were well within the realm of possibility barring any surprises. The first third of the swim was just under fourteen minutes so I was stoked!  Either I moved ahead and into the pack of men swimming in the wave before mine as we rounded the buoy or the younger guys that started after me were catching up but the choppy water was suddenly the least of my concerns.  I slid back out to the left hand side and stayed out of the way. In spite of the swim being my strongest sport I wasn’t trying to spend the rest of the day with a black eye.  Reading other race reports indicates that the water was giving people a hard time but I didn’t find it too awful.  As we rounded the second buoy I was at about thirty minutes and decided to try and give it another go in the middle of the pack.  I got knocked around a bit but kept trucking.

I finished the swim in the top third of my age group (and that would be the last time I enjoyed that feeling!)  With my swim time closer to 45 minutes I knew I would get out of transition and onto my bike in well under an hour so I took my time in transition.  I ate a Honey Stinger waffle and got ready to ride.  A generous slathering of sunscreen from a volunteer and I was off!

The bike course had a strange little out and back jog around Jordan Lake involving a turnaround on a tiny two line road.  Everyone slowed way down and I successfully unclipped a foot in case I needed it! That tiny bit of confidence had me smiling within the first ten minutes of the bike.  As we head out of Jordan Lake I spotted the Instagram famous Alan and I spent a few minutes thinking about how many people worked so hard to be here and how lucky I was to be among them.

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My goal time of four hours on the bike was doable if I maintained a speed of 14 miles per hour.  Not fast if you are a seasoned cyclist but not easy if you ride your brakes going downhill and planned to stop at each aid station.  My big fear of the bike involves crashing into others.  I was petrified that I would reach for a water bottle and wiggle just enough to bump into a man on a zillion dollar bike.  I would be fine and he would have a shattered collarbone because I was going slow and he was whizzing along.  I focused on staying my course, keeping to the left and listening for other cyclists.  Women shout out “On your left!” almost always but many of the fast men seem to appear out of nowhere. I did manage to get an ear for these fellows, though, by the end of the day. You can actually hear expensive wheels and their fancy whirring sound if you listen for it. Just as I was starting to think that I might actually meet my 14/mph goals (averaging 15.2 mph in the first twentyish miles) a guy road up right next to me, slapped me on the bike and said “heeeyyyy, Kelly!”   Instead of shitting my pants (thanks, Immodium!) I just said “Hello!”  My bike tech and all around super cycling support system was out for a ride to see if he could catch up with anyone he knew.  He rode with me for a few miles and I felt 800% better by the time he broke away.  Just remembering that not everyone that was good at this was likely trying to kill me was a bonus.

bike

I had a successful water bottle hand off at the first aid station and decided to pull over anyway  just after the aid station to pop into the portapotty and apply some Hoo-Ha Glide! I wasn’t having any issue but hadn’t used any before the swim thinking that it would all wash away anyway.  I hopped back on my bike all smiles! Shout out to the lady that said “You’re all smiles!” I replied “New Hoo-Ha Glide!” and she quickly said “Gotta love the menthol, sister!” before she took off.

Mile per hour average dropped to 14.1 including my stop but I figured I could make up some time.  The rolling hills in the middle of the course were great.  I learned a lot about my cycling skills on the ride.  I LOVE to climb! I got passed by a handful of women on the flats but within a few miles I would find that I passed them on the climbs.  My fear of riding on the road means that I do 80% of my riding on a trainer.  I guess this means I am always pushing my butt and my legs so climbing is where I am comfortable. Who knew?!

I was prepared for the last third of the ride mentally.  I knew that as we neared downtown Raleigh the roads would change and I would need to be more mindful of other riders.  I was not prepared to stop while going uphill FOR A TRAIN! I had some laughs with the group of folks that were hanging out at the train tracks.  I said “This is the Half IronMan version of a fishing story.  I would have WON my age group but we waited at those train tracks for almost an HOUR!” It was nice to have some laughs before we hit the stretch of the ride I had been fearing.

At some point on the ride I was behind a woman with Team Hope on the back of her tri shorts.  I spent a solid thirty minutes thinking about all of the things in my life that make me hopeful.  I think I got a little weepy as I thought about all of the hours that had gone into making this one day happen and all of the people that had supported me.

My average mile per hour was sitting pretty at just above 14.5 so I was stoked!  I tried to be fearless.  When there was nobody near me I leaned into a few turns, I went aero on the downhills and repeatedly said out loud “God dammit, you can do this.”  An unbelievably helpful woman that I met in a Facebook group, Mandy of Fierce & Focused Coaching, told me that I needed to find my own mantra.  Nothing had come to me until midway through the bike when I realized that I muttered that to myself every time I got scared.  I guess sometimes a personal mantra finds you, huh?

Coming into T2 (the transition area between the bike and the run)  I noticed one thing – it was hot, Africa hot.  I had a successful dismount (huzzah! I hate seeing people fall while getting unclipped at the Dismount line!) and found my rack. Got my bike racked and sat down on the curb.  I had planned to apply some Body Glide and hadn’t counted on it being liquid after a full day in the sun.  I slapped it all over me and swapped out my shoes. I paused and focused on the gratitude I had for the swim and the bike.  I had no fear of the run, checked my watch and realized I had over 3:30 hours to do my 13.1. My goal, finishing within the eight and a half hours was totally possible.   It was the first time in the day I got goosebumps.

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I went out on my run feeling good. My pace was all over the place and way too fast but I was excited.  I told myself I would give it one mile to level out and then if I didn’t slow down naturally I would walk for a minute and get a game plan together in my head.  As I slowed to walk after my first mile I realized that in about 200 yards I would see my family.  MQD and the kids were at a hotel on the run course and I would be able to see them three times on the run course as it was an out and back, assuming that they met me at the finish line.  (Out and back – we ran down the street and then back again along the same street in a loop and did this twice.)

I always sweat like crazy when I slow down.  I started to walk and looked at my watch.  Goosebumps.  Not excited, holy shit, I might actually finish this thing goosebumps, but I am freezing and nauseous goosebumps. I watched my pace getting slower and I never started sweating.  I was cold.  And possibly dehydrated.  And definitely starting to cry.  I had to pull my shit together.  I had to be running when I saw my family.  There was an aid station in front of our hotel.  I could get cold water and see my kids.  I was just excited and nervous, I told myself.  I got hugs from the girls, big smiles and a thumbs up from my dad and a “You look hot!!!” from MQD.  I tried to run out as I left the first aid station, I had to.  The kids were watching.

I think I made it less than a quarter of a mile.  Hills were coming up fast and I already had told myself I would walk uphill.  I wasn’t tired, my legs felt good.  But I felt bad, super bad.  And weird.  And…. tears.

In front of me was a woman about my size, she was in my Age Group or so said the back of her calf.  I told myself I would just not lose sight of her.  I passed her and she passed me for a couple of miles.  Eventually after the first turn I settled into a decent pace on the long downhill and I just kept my eyes on her back.  At some point I caught up to her and said (because the mid-race crazies had taken hold of me) “Not to sound like a total creep but…I think I could pick your ass out of a line up with my eyes closed at this point.  I have been trying to catch you for the last three miles.”

Instead of giving me the “Get away from me” eyes, she laughed.  You guys know that laughing just encourages my bad behavior. I don’t know that we ever decided to finish the next ten miles together.  It just happened.  One of us would start to feel good and say “We run to the next three stop lights and we walk through the aid station?” and off we would go. We talked triathlon and kids and labor and laughed and drank Gatorade and squeezed ice water on ourselves for the next two hours. She’d missed setting a new PR and decided not to kill herself.  I was feeling dangerously dehydrated and just avoiding getting spotted by a medic so we made a good pair.

As we closed in on the tenth mile we realized we had an hour to finish the last 3.1.  On the last pass by the hotel I noted that Lucy was passed out in MQD’s arms (and later in a flower bed) and hollered to them to stay at the hotel and not come down to the finish line.  I love that I had been able to see so much of them during the race and that they’d not had to hang out on the sidewalk all day.

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As much as I wanted to get to the finish line – I also felt like a summer romance was coming to a close.  This delightful human being that the Universe delivered was going to disappear at the finish line.  Angie, I am glad I could find you on the Facebooks! We laughed as we talked about how one of us had to drop back and one of us had to hurry up so that we could get our own finisher’s pics. I told her to Go, go, go!

We started picking up speed as we made the turn towards the finisher’s chute.  I fell about twenty paces behind her and figured I would just run in behind her.  I had been fighting a gross feeling for almost three hours, what’s another hundred yards?  And then I felt the urp feeling.

And then it was like the scene in Stand By Me only instead of a pie eating contest it was Gatorade and I was the only one competing.  With one hand on my knee and one hand on a planter I let it rip.  “Oh shit” gag, “oh shit.” I wiped my mouth and looked apologetically at a woman with two school aged kids “Oh man, sorry about the swearing… and well, the puking.”

“You’re almost there!” she said!  I knew that.  But I couldn’t stop hurling and I really wanted good race pics.  I hadn’t lost all vanity in the preceding eight hours. I leaned into the puking and gave it everything I had. More than seventy miles of Gatorade and ice water came pouring out of me.  A fantastic woman stopped next to me and said “better out than in and better now that at the finish line.”  I smiled.  She got me.  “Do you want some salt?” she asked.

Licking crushed salt tabs from a stranger’s hand is not the weirdest thing I have ever done.  I don’t think.  But it certainly ranks up there.  I felt better instantly.

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Eyes on the prize.  And before I knew it, it was over.

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Finished in 8:01:27. Between the puking and the train, I am calling it a win.   A medal and a hat and some pictures and some more smiling and some water and a Gatorade.  I went down to pick up my morning bag and get my cell phone. I called MQD when I got to my bike.  “I knew you could do it,” he said. “Stay where you are, I will send a Raleigh Rickshaw to get you.”

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And the tears started and they wouldn’t stop. “I can’t just stand here, I can’t.  I will just walk back now.  I need to be where you are… I did it.  Fuck.  I did it….”

And I piled up three big plastic bags on my handlebars and I walked another mile.  What’s one more in the greater scheme of things?

I am still riding high.  I still can’t bend my fingers on my right hand all the way. Dehydration?  Pinched nerve?  It’s better today than yesterday.  The rest of me feels great.   After what felt like a three hour labor, I finally pooped.  My 70.3 sticker is on my car.  My eyes still well up when I try and talk about Sunday.  I have all of my toenails. I have a new necklace that says Tri and an Ironman backpack. I am tired. And starving. And so very, very proud of myself.

What did I learn from this experience? More than I can adequately sum up just yet.  But I can share with you two things today.  One – make friends with the person that crosses the finish line before you.  This way when you throw up they will tag you in their finishing chute picture because you can be seen emptying your stomach on the sidewalk in the background.  Really, thank you.  Words can not express how happy I am to have this picture. It kills me.

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Two.  If there is an option to check an occupation in a race registration – pick something hilarious.  If you skip to about 5:46 in this video you can see me cross the finish line and hear the announcer say “Kelly Doherty, a homemaker.”  WTF?  I have never said that in my life and it cracks me up.  I wish I had picked Astronaut.  Or Fortune Teller.  Ahh, next time.

This won’t be the last you hear about Sunday.  It was a big day for me emotionally.  We don’t do things that scare the shit out of us often enough as adults.  And this was terrifying.  And awesome.

Set goals.  Big, crazy impossible goals.  And go get ’em.  Really.  You’ll be glad that you did.

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Free Crazy

Have you ever been so sweaty and crying so hard that you were not entirely sure if it was sweat or tears that was all over your neck and getting on your sunburn and stinging? No.  Well, isn’t that too bad.

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I had a shit day today.  For the first time in forever and ever a good sweat and a workout didn’t seem to cure what ails me.  I spent two and a half hours on the bike trainer today (a special kind of hell that I actually quite like) because I am too disorganized to make a plan for a group ride and too skeered to ride on the road alone.  I think I spent two hours and twenty nine of those minutes imagining every single thing that could go wrong during the bike portion of my upcoming 70.3.  It wasn’t pretty.

And it was hot.  And riding a bike in your backyard and not moving means you are a buffet for the skeeters.  So when I set out to run I was beyond cranky.

About a mile in I thought “Fuck it.  I will just go back home.”  When you are considering turning around and bailing and you only have to run three miles – it is a bad, bad day.  Bad.  So, I started to cry. Naturally.  I kept running.  And crying.  And feeling stupid and slow and defeated and tired.

And then I saw a piece of trash on the side of the road.  It was a Little Caeasar’s advertisement for Crazy Bread.  It was folded in half.  All I could see were big block letters advertising “FREE CRAZY.”

I was running and sweating and crying and thinking about maybe peeing in my trisuit just to see if I hated the sensation and I saw a sign that said “FREE CRAZY,” guys.  Umm.  Nope.  No, thanks.  I have plenty of my own crazy.

So, I did the only thing I know how to do when I think I might totally lose my shit on a run.  I started singing along with the crappy music I run to… “Oh, don’t you dare look back. Just keep your eyes on me. I said, “You’re holding back!” She said, “Shut up and dance with me!” This woman is my destiny!!!!”

It must be time to take a few days off, dude.  I actually cried and serenaded myself today during a workout. This might have stopped being good for me, huh? Took a peek at the calendar and whaddayaknow? Taper starts this week.  Right on time.

 

Burgers with Fried Eggs

The mindless chatter that happens between a married couple can be damaging.  Because the things that I say when I think nobody is listening – someone is listening.  And 99% of the time that someone is a little girl who will remember what I said for years to come.

We were on the way to dinner, headed out to a bar for bar food when neither of us are drinking and I am knee-deep in training mode (because we are, as MQD might say wicked smaht)  “I should get a salad.  Dammit, I really want a burger with a fried egg on top but I should get the salad.”

MQD mumbles something to the effect of “Get the burger if that’s what you want” since we agreed long ago not to police one another’s behavior.

“But five weeks out from the Half IronMan I should really get the salad.  I was faster when I was ten pounds lighter and really the faster doesn’t even matter, it’s not like I will place no matter what but it will just be easier to haul my ass 70.3 miles if I am lighter.  Not that any of it will be easy but….”

And I realized that both of my girls were listening.  And so was my husband.  And I was mindlessly rambling about weight.

I took a deep breath and spoke clearly.  I spoke to myself and to my girls.  “It’s not about what I weigh, but if I eat a burger now I will feel tired and yucky and I have to ride a bazillion miles and run tomorrow no matter what so I should eat the food that makes me feel good.  Everything I read supports that.  Over and over, garbage in makes for garbage out.”

“So, get the salad,” he said.

I got the salad.  And I ate half of Lucy’s chicken fingers but that is neither here nor there.

It’s so hard to train and eat and fight old feelings of being weight obsessed and have small eyes watching.

My new tri suit came in the mail today.  My new, new tri suit.  The first one came a week ago, an extra-large because it said to size up if you were in between.  Against my better judgement (and okay, okay, because my mother said I should) I sent it back and exchanged it for the smaller one. You want a dress that makes you feel good and is comfortable but you want a tri suit that is tight.  There’s no other word for it.  Tight.

I have avoided the scale all week because I am training hard this week and eating clean (and a lot) and my jeans indicate that I am retaining water (likely because my legs are screaming tired) but I feel strong.  And capable.  And like 70.3 miles is not an insane goal.  I don’t need a number on a scale to make me feel like I am not good enough.  Don’t get me wrong, I love numbers.  I have run 346 miles this year.  I have ridden 663.  I have swum 17.  These numbers make me feel strong.

I pulled the suit from the package and I headed for the bedroom to try it on.

When I popped out of my bedroom my greatest fashion critic said “It looks awesome!!”  The tiny teller of truth said simply “It’s really tight on your muscles.”

I had to walk away.  I couldn’t do a round of “Are you crying?  Why are you crying?” just right then.

Yep. It looks awesome and it is tight on my muscles.  And it is also tight and unforgiving across the roundness of the stomach that housed two children and the fullness of the hips that are filled with pizza and beers and burgers with fried eggs on top.  But all they saw was “awesome” and “muscles.”

Kids see what we show them.  Somehow I had just stripped naked, poured myself into a skin-tight tri suit, kicked aside my bathroom scale and presented myself to them as strong and capable and proud and ready to kick some damn ass.  Painstakingly slow ass, but ass, nonetheless.

I am calling that a win for the day.  Triathlon is hard.  Parenting is harder.  Being kind to myself, however, is proving to get a teeny bit easier every day.

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You know you are an “insert thing you might not really be” when…

If you only stop by to hear me get weepy about my kids, skip ahead.  But if you enjoy my triathlon related rambling with a dash of bodily fluids – this one’s for you!

Observations Pre Race:

The day before my first Olympic length triathlon I had a couple of goals –   get on and off my bike a bazillion times and try not to panic about riding clipped in and get back in the water in my wetsuit and see if I hyperventilate.   Note the trend – don’t freak out.  I was dreaming big, guys.

I took Lucy into the kid room and managed to push my bike, hold her hand and hold my helmet and my shoes.  I even successfully pushed my bike from the seat for a bit, which if you don’t know, totally makes you look like a Cyclist.  It is the Grown Up equivalent of riding downhill with no hands. Not NO HANDS when you have your hands up over your head, but just the casual Big Kid in the Neighborhood hands hanging straight down and zipping down the hill with a slightly bored expression on your face kind of Cyclist.

Shoes on.  Helmet on.  Onto my bike. Rode around about ten miles, switched gears, went up and down some hills.  Came to a dead stop in an empty parking lot and decided it was do or die time. Picked a line in the parking lot and pretended that was the Mount/Dismount line. (In a triathlon there is a Transition Area where you switch from one activity to the next, you can’t ride your bike in there. Just outside of there is a line where you mount your bike on the way out and dismount on the way in.  Side note: If you have the pleasure of knowing the delightful Laura M from high school then you know that I love this line on my way out.  She is a bad mofo that supports my triathlon endeavors and I love seeing her name as I start out on the bike leg of a race!)

I told myself that I would ride to the line and dismount 25 times.  That seemed like a reasonable number.  I did it 21 times and thought “oh hell, I got this.”  And then I decided that was lame to cut it short and did it 4 more times.  And then I felt so damn good about riding clipped in that I stopped and took a picture of myself to send to my mom with the caption “Look, I might not die in my race this weekend!” And then I prepared to ride back to my car and rack my bike.

And I fell down.  Of course I did.  I should know better than to get cocky.  Falling actually thrilled me, I no longer had to fear tipping over! Bloody knee?  Check!

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I hobbled into the pool.

IMG_3214 copyWetsuits are tricky.  Getting in a wetsuit on a cool, crisp morning in the out of doors looks pretty silly but you’re doing it because you’d freeze if you just hopped in the water.  Wriggling into a wetsuit poolside at an indoor community pool warrants weird looks from the pool joggers and the AquaBikers.  And when you can get pool joggers to look at YOU funny… well, that’s a win.  Swam 1000 yards before I was so warm I had to get out.  Wetsuit Success.

Into the showers at the gym.  Rumor has it chlorine is dreadful on a wetsuit so I just hopped in with it on to rinse off.  As I pulled my neckline out from my throat to let the lukewarm water run down the length of my body I immediately set a new goal.  I wanted to pee in my wetsuit.  Not now in the shower, I save that for the summertime.  But I wanted to pee in my wetsuit during the swim portion of the race.  If lukewarm water from the gym shower felt this good some 98.6 degree pee would be glorious!  (As I said above, I dream big.)

That just left packing up my tri bag and getting a good night’s sleep. Heh. Sleep eludes me on a good night.

But I did get packed.  And I did get out the door at 0’dark thirty. Did I Swim 1500 meters, bike 27 Miles and run a 10K?  Well, you will just have to stay tuned! I have to get to the gym because… well, because I am obsessed.  Determined.  Obstermined? Detessed?  Your call.

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On the up and up…

The upside of being down is… well, it’s the upside.  You start coming back up one step at a time and before you know it you are back on top.  I beat back the blues (again) simply by putting one foot in front of the other, over and over again as fast as I can.

I did not get to use my favorite treadmill today. And I brought the water bottle that leaks.  I turned on my music and I didn’t hit the playlist I had intended.  Instead, quite accidentally,  I started a single song.  On repeat.  Somewhere around the third time the song played I realized that I had it on repeat.  Somewhere on number five or six I had run just far enough to realize that I would definitely hit my goal for the year – one thousand miles.

This morning listening to the Cowboy Junkies’ cover of Vic Chesnutt’s  “Flirted with You All My Life” I ran.  I ran and ran and I cried (yep, on the treadmill like a lunatic) and I realized that I am not ready to quit.  (It’s not the first time that Vic Chesnutt made me realize that I am not ready to give up.) Chesnutt’s tune is about death and suicide but to me it has always been an allegory about letting go and moving on. Death is the absence of change, the absence of moving on and transforming.    And I am not ready to give up on Change.

I am so desperately afraid of that which is Unknown.  But sometimes to accomplish anything at all you have to change.  I am even more afraid of Hope.  But I am certain that in order to Change you have to Dream, you have to Hope.

When I decided that my bizarrely cathartic weeping and sprinting act really needed to stop I hit next on my phone.

And I had to smile.  The Universe was having a time at my expense today.  Jeff Buckley’s version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah serenaded me as I crossed my thousand mile marker.

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I updated my Facebook status from the gym today (like you do) – “I try not to be a runner that is all “holy shit, y’all, RUN. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.” But if you don’t do something every day that makes you feel like every song you hear is the best. song. ever. and that you are at peace with everything and you totally understand your life – well then, find it. Because it will save you some heartache. Really.”

I can’t seem to find better words than those above. I don’t care what you do.  Yoga.  Meditate.  Paint.  Organize your linen closet. Skateboard. Do it. And love it.  And listen to music and figure out your whole entire life.  I promise you that the Truths that you realize in that hour a day will vanish.  It is similar to the way that dreams tend to evaporate in the time it takes you to roll over and say “damn, I just had the most fucked up dream.”  But for that hour everything makes sense and music sounds so good and your Life feels like no matter what it will all be okay….

I wanted to tell you what I figured out this afternoon.  I wanted to wow you with my simple understanding of Life and Death and Fear and Change and Hope.  But it’s gone.  Up in smoke.  Rather it is up in the grocery store and laundry and math homework and nap time.  But I will find it again tomorrow.

I want that for you. I didn’t run one thousand miles today.  I ran them over the last 343 days.  I have twenty two days to figure out what I will do with the next 365.

If you’re not sure what you are doing with the next year of your life go hide in the bathroom and listen to these two tunes back to back.  You still probably won’t know but they are damn good tunes.

Thank you for reading.  Thank you to all of you that have reached out over the last few days to say “Hey, I am sorry that you’re blue.”  It’s imperative that I write it down when I am hurting.  I need to.  It makes it start to go away.  But sometimes I forget to make the time to write it down when things are on the up and up.  I am back on an even keel, guys.  xxoo

The Scene of the Crime

I told a man yesterday that I consider him my unofficial Pusherman.  Roughly a year ago it was him that said “And Go.”  (Pool swim triathlons have a staggered swim.  Each swimmer begins roughly ten seconds after the last swimmer.  This is an effort to avoid a total pile up as you snake up and back through the lanes.  It doesn’t always work.  More on that later.)

Last spring I pushed off the wall and started the swim leg of my first triathlon. And an addict was born.

This weekend I returned to the scene of the crime, Girls Run the World Sprint Triathlon put on by FS Series. I was excited, eager to see my own improvement over the last year.  It is hard to really compare race times to one another because the conditions are always different.  This race was hilly, that race was congested.  But I had a neat opportunity to compare the progress I have made in the last year by doing the exact same race again almost a year to the date.

So, how was the race? Well, they say a picture says a thousand words.  I think this picture below says “Holy shit, guys, third place in my age group? So, it was a small race and there were only 26 people in my age group, but holy shit, guys!” Well, to be a thousand words it would say that 35 times.

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If you are simply humoring my obsession or you have already asked me “So, how was the race?” and gotten my long-winded reply you can feel free to skip the rest of this post.  My feelings won’t be hurt at all.  Really.  I filled up my wine glass trophy enough times last night that I barely have any feelings today.

Swim: The swim is my strong sport.  It is the one that seems to come naturally to me and I have the advantage of having been a life-long swimmer. I knew as soon as we lined up that maybe it was going to be a rocky swim.  “I am not a very good swimmer, I haven’t been in the pool since I don’t remember when!” Several women around me echoed similar thoughts.  Umm.  Maybe I should have entered a different swim time?  We are lined up by our 100 yard swim times and I was conservative.  Lesson learned.  By the end of the first 100 yards there were four women ahead of me piled up on one another and it is impossible to pass that many people. I did a little breast stroke so I could see what was going on, passed a few folks when I had the chance and reminded myself of the truth I have heard numerous sprint triathletes utter –   “Tris aren’t won or lost in the swim leg.”  In the greater scheme of things being a fast swimmer gets you an early swim start and you waste less adrenalin waiting in line, but that’s it as far as it goes with respect to any kind of huge advantage.

The lap lane traffic jam was evidenced in my times.  5:47.  Last year was better with 5:24 but there was a fair amount of traffic in that race, too.  I am still too chicken to put in an ambitious pace time (sub 2 min/100 yard) for my swim for fear of getting in the way of the “real triathletes.”  Someday.

Bike:  The bike is my weakest leg. I live in fear of my chain popping off.  In spite of the great strides I have made in bicycle maintenance I am still nervous on a bike. I brake when I go downhill.  That does not a competitive cyclist make. But it’s fucking scary, guys. Gone are the days when I would fly down a hill all “Look, no hands, Mom!” I rode my hybrid at this race last year so I knew I would shave some time off of last year’s pace just by virtue of being on a road bike.  Who cares if it is a 30 year old lever shifted road bike (a sweet sparkly blue Sekai 1000, a Japanese bike circa 1980)?  It’s mine and I didn’t need a second mortgage to buy it! I am still too scared to clip in but I didn’t brake on the down hills! Progress, folks!  And my time reflects that!  Shaved just about five minutes off my bike leg.

A girl and her ten speed

 

This picture says “I just changed my clothes in the parking lot because since I have had two babies I no longer believe in things like privacy” or something very similar.

Run: I came into the transition area to rack my bike a little winded.  I pushed myself on the bike and I was a little nervous about the run.  I forgot my Garmin and I have never run without something telling me my pace.  I was terrified that I would burn out quickly or end up running super slowly in an attempt to make sure I could finish.  I slugged some water and racked my bike and figured “Here I go.  Fuck it, I am just gonna get behind someone that “looks faster” than me and go.”  I exited transition and as I ran past the DJ I heard the best sound I could have imagined – shitty synth drums.  I can’t figure out how to spell it out – but you know the drum lead… “Miss her, kiss her, love her…. That girl is POISON! Never trust a big butt and a smiiiile…” I was smiling alright.  Two more miles and I was done.

This race is a pain in the ass, like most in and around Raleigh.  The first mile has lots of downhills and lulls you into a false sense of security.  Grabbed water at the turn around and wrapped my mind around the fact that I had to run back up all of those hills.  My run was… okay.  I should have pushed harder. Live and learn.  And don’t run behind someone that “looks fast.”  What does that even mean?  And don’t forget your Garmin, asshole.  You are technologically dependent, accept it and move on.  Shaved just about a minute off of my run time.  Not impressive for a year’s worth of training, but I will take it.

Summary: I shaved ten minutes off of my time.  My swim was slower, my bike was a good bit faster and my run was a little faster.  My transition times showed huge improvement because I didn’t stand there doing that thing that I do at the airport where I check my pockets compulsively 800 times.  I just put my shoes on and I left.  I did the whole race in my tri-suit.  Last year the idea of riding my bike and running in what amounts to a bathing suit made me want to die.  This year (after a year in a gym locker room and a year working hard to accept and nourish the body that I have) I decided to just go for it.  And guess what – nobody gave a shit.  Not a single person shouted “Go #48!  Go, right back and put a shirt on over that mess!” Go figure.

I don’t usually talk numbers because I think the message gets lost in the details  but if you really wanted to know you could see them on the internet and the idea of you creeping around the internet freaks me out. If you are dying to see the side by side comparison – here you go –   2013 and 2014.

Am I still riding high?  No such luck.  In case you were wondering I figured out the fastest way to knock a girl down a peg or two.  I was standing around waiting for the awards ceremony (having figured out via the wonders of live tracking and smart phones that I had actually placed in my age group.) I’d eaten a bagel.  I’d changed into dry clothes.  I had called my mother.  I had a little time to kill. I walked up to the DJ booth to thank the DJ I Could Have Given Birth To Without Having Been a Child Bride. “Thanks for Bel Biv Devoe, it was right on time!”

He smiled.  It was a smile similar to the teenage checker at the grocery store.  It was the “I am humoring you because I need this job and you seem nice enough” smile.  And then he did this terribly confusing thing.  He stuck his fist out.  Slowly (thank goodness or I’d have thought he was going to punch me.) I stood there looking perplexed for what seemed like an eternity and then I realized he was, as the kids say, fist bumping with me.  I swallowed a guffaw and stuck my fist out.  And then I turned on my heel (not easy to do in flip-flops) and ran.  Because I was in hysterics.  Whatever level of cool is afforded to those that place in their age group at an all-womens popular with first-timer’s sprint triathlon is instantly stripped when a twenty something tries to fist bump you.

So, how was the race?  It was awesome.  Do I have any advice?  Train hard.  Have fun.  Get there early and you will be the first person to use your chosen porta-potty.  And stay the hell away from the DJ.

Cheers!  What do you have planned for the summer?  Fitness goals or otherwise?

Cheers

And don’t even talk to me about the Diet Coke in the background. Change is hard. I don’t drink it as often as I used to.  Lame excuse, I know.  Just gaze in to my “I have had three glasses of wine” eyes and tell me how you plan to kick your own ass this summer.  It feels so good.  All the cool kids are doing it.