Friday, May 30, 2008

I took the plunge!!

The alarm buzzed annoyingly at 4:28 a.m. and I knew I HAD to get up. Of course, I always get up for my workouts but today was different. There was No time for dosing 10 more minutes. I love those 10 extra minutes. But today my little brother was meeting me at the lake for our first taste of fresh Maine lake water. I convinced little bro to do this with me. He is racing at Mooseman next week too and I reminded him that we did Not want to donn our wetsuits for the first time this year on race day. He agreed. He also growled, "I am not liking you for this Ange." :-) I knew he'd thank me later. Isn't that what big sisters are for?
We met at 5:15 at the lake which is 30" from our homes. The sun was up but not yet over the trees. The air temp, 41. Woah. The water would be Warmer than the air. Jeff and I usually meet earlier than the Tri group because of work schedules. The next gang was due to arrive at 6:00. But there was another man there early today who decided to go with us. The guy had a sleeveless suit! I was worried for him.
We were on a time schedule so there was No time to sit around and moan about how cold we thought it would be. Just Go!
You know what? It was gorgeous. Beautiful. Refreshing! I loved it.
We swam about 200 yards and then there was a break in the tree line and the sun poured through. It was so warm on my face. The water was calm and clear. There's something powerful about swimming through a lake when not a soul is around. Jeff was a few strokes ahead of me and our new swimmer friend was a bit behind us. So it felt like I was breaking through a sheet of glass. It was just as I remembered it from last year. Just the Perfect way to start the day.
We swam to the point which is .5 miles from our start. At that point we had to wait a little while for our new friend. We don't like to leave people out in hte lake alone so we didn't head back until he was ready to make the turn too. I had time to yank the sleeves up on my wetsuit. My shoulders feel so restricted in these suits. I really have to adapt my stroke. It's much different than the pool.
We swam back at a good strong pace. I tried to draft off Jeff for a bit but he was just too fast. It was fun to try though.
When we were almost back, a long line of swimmers were coming our way. They were spread out across 50 yards or so. It was a cool sight. I said good bye to little Bro (who did, by the way, Thank me) and turned around to swim back to the point again.
The morning was a success. I was pretty chilled after but it didn't take long to warm up. It was no way near as painful as I expected it to be. It was downright fun actually. We triathletes have a different opinion of fun sometimes I think.

I shifted gears, ran in the door, quickly changed my clothes, washed my face, brushed the kids hair, made their lunches, read a book, packed their bags and drove them to school. From there I headed to the grocery store with Nick. He was stylin' with his Thomas the train bike helmet and polo shirt backwards. :) Ahh to be 4. The little guy was NOT happy about our store trip. He wanted to ride his new bike. So, while I was getting my stuff together as I got out of the car, he gently pushed the door shut in an effort to show me his anger. Instead, I got to show him mine.
He locked the keys in the car!!! And my phone. And my wallet. All of it. So much for the perfect morning.

We got lucky because there was a nice guy at the car dealership next door who helped us unlock it with his low-tech tools. phew. We brought him a dozen doughnuts to say Thank you. There are still Good Samaritans out there. I was so happy to find one. Now I'm back to my Perfect morning feeling.
Later, I have to do a 60 minute bike ride...HARD. My HR zone for the ride is high. ~150 bpm. ouch. I'm a bit nervous but at the same time, know I'll feel so great when it's all done.

Happy Friday to you!! I love short weeks.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Summer In Maine

It's Memorial Day weekend....the kickoff to summer. We visited my favorite spot on earth yesterday. I wanted to share a few pictures to show why I will always be a Mainer.
This is my family's camp in Freeport, Maine. It's so beautiful there. Thank you Grampa and Grammie. I will cherish this gift forever.
I have had fun training this weekend too. I went for a fairly short but hard ride on Saturday with a super short/fast run after. It felt great. I have a new bike loop that wasn't super hilly like the rest of my rides so it was fun to just cut loose.
Yesterday was my main Brick workout. I rode 50 miles at a moderate pace and then ran 5. I felt strong. I was happy and comfortable the whole way. I finally figured out how to dress properly for a ride that starts at 42 degrees and ends at 60. (the trick? Have hubby and boys meet you part way so you can shed layer!! :) plus, I got to say Hi. My 6 y.o. even drew me a picture that I got to stick in my bento box. )
The best part of the workout came later in the day. I was fine!!! Last year when I did bricks of this length, I was Toast for the day. I really felt fine the whole day and today too. I'm not sore or tired. Yeah! I hope this means I am getting stronger and generally adapting to triathlon training.
Over the next few weeks I will be adding a long ride on Saturday before the brick on Sunday. I will build up to 85-90 miles by the end of June. This is a big deal for me. I have only ever ridden 65 miles!! I know I know. I have a loooooong way to go before I achieve my Ironman dream in '09. I will get there. First, I will tackle the Lake Placid training camp at the end of June. Woah. I am nervous and it's only a training weekend! I have never done anything like this before. Just me, my team mates, and hilly Ironman course for 4 days. Should be an adventure.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Was it a Breakthrough or were they just good days?

I am feeling great. GREAT! On top of the world GREAT!!! I had a week of blah. I just wasn't in the game. It baffled me a bit because I had just had a super race. I was so happy with my performance at race #1 of the year. Especially placing 1st on the bike leg. That was such a shocker for me. A HUGE improvement from last year. So then, why was I so apathetic? I didn't want to do anything. I went through the motions. I was tired of going to bed early and getting up early. I was just not into it. I wasn't excited about my next race either. That made me nervous. I had to get fired up! But,it just wasn't there.
I posted a few times airing my concerns. I had a bad run. I had a bad swim. I was doubting my training. I am grateful for all my blog buddies and their encouraging comments. It really helped!!
A woman I admire greatly, Bree Wee, suggested that maybe a breakthrough was coming. I don't know that I have experienced a breakthrough. Does this mean you suddenly see grand improvements in your performances? Do they stick?
I am choosing to think that is what is happening. I started the week with a short bike-run on Tuesday. Wow!!! I felt like I was floating when I hit the road. I ran a 6:50 mile with moderate effort. Usually, I see something like 7:15. Cool. I only did a few miles that day but I wanted to do more SO badly. In fact, when I got to my house, I turned around and sprinted back up the .5 mi hill just because I couldn't Stand to end that run.
I ran a loop on Wednesday that I do all the time. It is a rather hilly but beautiful 6 mile out and back. I usually do about 48" on a regular day. Sometimes 47" but that is when I'm feeling really good. My split on the way out is usually ~ 24-25 min. Not super fast but it's hilly so I know it's ok. Well, I checked my watch at the turn around on Wed and I was 22:57!!! What? I ran home and did the route in 45:25". Yeah!
The next day I swam. I did 10x200s and 10x100s. I wasn't doing them at 100% effort but close. About 90% I think. I brought the 200s down to 2:32 and the 100s to 1:12 repeated. This is faster than I've been swimming too. The increments in swimming is much smaller. I get frustrated by that. But, after all my years of competitive swimming I certainly know it is true. I think I just start accepting the fact that I won't be seeing the times I posted while in Div 1 collegiate swimming. It's hard for me sometimes. Last year at this time I was just barely back in the water after shoulder surgery so I am feeling very happy that I am down to 1:12s in the 100 and faster than last year at this time.

Are these breakthroughs? I want to think so. I want to have the confidence that brings with it. I want to feel fast and ready for my first Oly of the year in two weeks!!!! But what makes it a breakthrough vs. just a good few days? Who knows. I guess it's all up to me at this point. I have to believe in myself. Confidence.

For now though, I feel great. I am back. I feel motivated to train once again. I love it! I have a 3 day weekend ahead of me and I am planning great long hard workouts. I can't wait!!! Bring it on!

TGIF everyone!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


First off, I want to say a big thank you to all those who posted such thoughtfull comments on my last entry. It really does mean a lot that you all take the time and energy to give me words of encouragement. I took it all to heart. And, I am feeling Much better now. I had a super 10 mile run with my hubby yesterday and went 4 minutes faster on a coarse I do all the time. Yeah!

Comparisons.....that is my thought of the day. It can really drive you crazy can't it!!! I love hearing about other people's training. I learn from it. I am motivated by it. However, sometimes I feel that I get too worried about it.
For example, I have a friend in his 2nd year of triathlon. Last year he did 2 races. He's really very new to the world of competition as a whole. He is diving in head first. I am proud of him. He's doing very well. But I can NOT Believe how much he is training. He does have a flexible job which helps. He also has 2 small kids and is married so I know he has lots of family obligations as well. But time doesn't seem to affect him as much as it does me. But that is not really the point. I focus on the actually workouts.
He goes for hours and hours each and everyday!!! It's amazing. It's mind boggling. I do wonder if it's worth it sometimes....or effective....or if I am missing the boat somehow.

I know I am working very hard too. I trust my coach. Then why do I constantly question things?
Am I doing enough?
Should I bike longer?
Should I run more often?
Is my swimming improving?
Is a day off ok?
It all comes down to this question, "IS IT ENOUGH??"

Triathletes seem to thrive on quantity. More mileage. More hours. More workouts/week. We love our log books don't we? The bigger the numbers the better we feel.

My coach focuses on specificity. He gives me workouts that might not be super huge but they target certain areas. Sustained speed, hill power, and yes, long aerobic swims, bikes, and runs to name a few.

But when I hear about the multiple century rides MONTHS before a Half Iron.....It makes me nuts. I am NOT doing this! Is that Bad?
Again, gotta trust my coach.
How do you know which program is right for you? Is it trial and error over the years? I'm only in year 2 (three, but the first was kind of a whim) so I don't have much to go on. Last year was successful. But could I be better?

I spend a lot of time thinking about this sort of thing. It's a little overwhelming to a newbie like me I must say.

I want to stop comparing but is that possible?

Does anyone else do this?

And yes, in case you were wondering, I am officially obsessed with this sport. :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Motor on or Abort the mission??

I had the worst run this morning. I usually never consider stopping a workout but recently I've heard people talk about doing that if it's really bad.
Here's my question. Is fitness gained if you push through a workout when you feel lousy and know you're not doing it as well as you should? Is it better to just suck it up or will you do yourself more good by stopping?
All I had to do was run for 60 minutes. Within that 60" I was to run 15 min POE, twice. Fine. No big deal. Hard but very doable.
I knew I was off the second I stepped out the door. My legs didn't hurt per se, they just weren't ready to move. They were slow. They were heavy. In some ways, I felt like they belonged to someone else's body. I felt awkward and clumsy. I did my 15 min fast sections on a road that I can clock my mile splits. They were about 30 seconds off!!!! WhY??????
That is my question today. WHY????
I had a big workout weekend but yesterday was rest. I shouldn't still be tired should I?
Am I suddenly slower? Out of shape? That seems unreasoable but those thoughts go through my mind.
Did I eat too much yesterday like I thought I did? Too many pistachios? I did have 2 chocolate chip cookies after all. Ooops. Come on....that can't be That bad every now and then right?
Hmmm, girly stuff? Next week is that it PMS? I should log that stuff and see if there's a trend.
Who knows. I just know I didn't like it one single bit!!!
I love the days I get to just run and run hard. And now I feel like I blew it. I wasted one. I want a do-over!!!!
whine whine whine
ok, time to move on.
I'm not going to obsess over it.....hear that Ange!? No more obsessing over 1 bad run!!!! But wait, Sat was a bad run too!!! What's goign on here? Ange, no more obsessing. Move on.

Tomorrow I'll swim and bike. Later today I will do my strengthening exercises. There's no time to get hung up on this.

But what is best? To motor on or abort the mission in cases like this?

What do You do?

Monday, May 12, 2008


I really need goals in my life. If I don't have something to focus on it's hard for me to get motivated.
I had a little trouble getting my heart back into the game this week. Especially with swimming. I had been so obsessed with the 500 yard pool swim in the sprint tri last week. My workouts were very specific to that kind of swimming. It was different than open water preparation. Once Polarbear ended, I had the attitude "oh...I can miss a swim. What difference will it make?" You see, I have to travel 30 min to the pool and then I only have 30 min to swim unless my husband agrees to go in to work late. Sometimes it just doesn't seem worth it. That said, I didn't miss my swims. I went and I tried to motor through 3x1000. Not my favorite workout. But I know those types of swims must be done. There are no more sprint 500s in the pool until Fall. sigh....
So it is time for a new goal. My workouts will suffer if I didn't find another thing to focus on. My next race is Mooseman Olympic Tri in early June. It's in New Hampshire. I've never been to this race but I know a lot of people love it. My problem is that my family won't be there. I really never race without Mark nearby. I hope I can still push myself without his quiet support on the course. (actually, he's not quiet. I just rarely See him while out there but I know he's there routing for me.) I think I can do it. I'll just think of him at home. The other thing that will be different about this race is that I won't really know any of my competitors. I am going with a few friends which is awesome, but they aren't my competitors per se. At least Mary is not. She is my friend and I would most like for us to race the course side by side. That would be cool. I would like for us to push each other that way.
When I get excited for races while training I envision myself catching the girls I want to beat. I visualize myself passing them and winning the race. ( I may not have a chance of Actually Winning but I like to pretend to get fired up.) I can't picture any of those girls girls in N.H. This is a new place for me and I have to learn to get psyched to race the unknown.

I had a strong week of training. I actually logged more miles/hours than I have all season. I think I biked about 120 miles, ran 31 and swim 6500. I dont' feel beat up either. I feel strong and ready to continue on this week. Today is a rest day. I don't really like rest days. But, I do need to follow the rules and listen to coach.
Yesterday I had a fun but challenging 50 mi bike ride. It was my longest of the season. I felt pretty good through the whole ride. However, the course was tough. I went up over Streaked Mtn to start the day. After descending the other side I headed into Turner on a newly paved road. That was amazing. You see, last year I headed out on that same route to find rte 117 TORN UP to shreds. I suffered through about 7 miles of bumpy rocky deep sand and rocks. It was awful. I finally got to route 4 which is busy but there are nice wide shoulders and no hills. But there was big wind yesterday. I was riding into the wind and could barely get over 15 mph. The final turn onto route 219 was satisfying but the toughest part of the day. I was on my way home but to get there I had to climb uphill (BIG hills) for about 12 miles. No joke. I thought I'd never ever stop climbing. I just had to keep pedaling away under 10 mph for a long long time. I was desperate to get home after a while. I just really started missing the family.
I finally got in the driveway ready to change for my run and was sad that the boys and Mark weren't home. I headed out for my 4 mile run. I felt good but a bit heavy. I need to do more transition runs. This is my weakness right now I think. I felt it during the race last week for sure.
After 3 1/2 hours I was home with my guys. We had a big lobster feast for Mother's day and then we watched old movies of the boys as babies. Wow...a walk down memory lane. The boys loved seeing themselves and it was a stunning reminder to us how fast they grow up.
My kids made me beautiful homemade cards too. They are my favorite. Here's my favorite line from the day. This is what my 8 year old wrote to me: "Who could have a better Mother? and on the inside:
"I love you to the end of the universe and back! and the universe is always getting bigger! smiley face, heart. "
Isn't that the sweetest thing!? It was very touching to me. After a week of eye rolling and very bad choices made by him, it made everything seem ok again.
It was a good day.

And I must say! Congrats to Iron Matron Mary who Rocked her first race of the year!!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Polar Bear Sprint Race Report

My first race of the season was a success. I'm really happy with my performance and now I can't wait to race again.

After hitting doze twice starting at 4:21 a.m. I realized I in fact did need to peel myself out of my warm bed with my husband and say good-bye. I was sorry we couldn't travel together but it was way too early to expect them all to leave.

I got to the venue and remarked to a few other runners that it doesn't matter if it's a sprint/oly or half iron the gear still piles up!!!

The weather was not very good. It was dreary. Raw. Rain looked possible. The temperature....low 40s.

The first few hours were spent the typical way. I took my bike to transition and discussed what to wear with a few other friends. They were just wearing their tri suit out of the water and that was it. I was incredulous. We would freeze! They are much more experienced than I and they swore I wouldn't notice.

Finally it was time to head into the pool for warm up. This was a tricky race because of the swim waves. I had to warm up an hour before I would swim. Some poor folks had to wait hours before they could swim! I was in wave 3 so it wasn't too bad.

I did Not like the way it felt in the water with my tri shorts and top. Oh well. There was nothing to do at this point. I just tightened the shorts around my waist and hoped the adrenaline would cause me not to feel this either.

I stopped at the end at one point and heard a familiar, "HEY ANGE!" It was my good friend Alina who had come with her daughters to watch. That meant so much to me. Alina and I grew up swimming together. This felt like a meet to me in many ways since we were back in the pool and it was awesome to have her there!! She even brought a big sign that said, "GO ANGE!!" She's amazing. I was also scanning the crowd behind her and she saw this and reassure me that my family was there. She had just seen them. Yeah. Shortly after that I saw Mark and waved. Now I was ready.

I got out of the water, dried off and headed to the stands to see them. My father in law came too. I was excited for my family to see me swim in a pool. It was such a huge part of my life before and one that I never shared with them. It just made me proud to show them what I could do.

It was time for the pre-race meeting and then for the race to start. I saw a few of my competitors. It was interesting. Some are so friendly, and one in particular won't even look at me. More on that later.

Oh, I forgot to mention. When swim warm upended the buzz on the deck was this: It was pouring rain. All our stuff in transition was getting wet. We were all in the same boat. Any warm clothes we had considered donning at T1 was now wet. Shoes were wet. Everything. Ok.....I learned from another race last fall that I did in the cold rain that socks were a joke in that weather. Hands can not manipulate wet socks when one is tired +/or cold. That took away that question in my mind. No socks. I was psyched I had my new neoprene shoe covers for my bike shoes that stay on and don't' require manipulating so I could just jump on the bike like that.

Time to get going. I walked behind my lane and chatted with the girl who I would swim with. I was excited because amazingly, of all the people I could have been with, I got someone I knew! She swam in my lane for my 100x100 workout back in March! I knew we were a good match and I Hoped I could keep up with her. She's about 10 ft tall. I was in lane 11. There are 16 lanes here with 2 per lane. I was in 11, my friend Steve and the girl I hope to beat some day were in 10 and my brother was in 9. That was fun. I gave one more wave and smile to my friend Alina and to my family up in the stands. I was so excited to be standing behind a lane at the pool again. We all hopped in the water and grabbed the wall. It was a bit unclear whether or not the started would talk first or just blow the air horn. I was ready for either. Suddenly, off went the horn.

GO GO GO !!!! ( to quote some of my more experienced blog friend's advice on how to race this race. that became my motto for the day.)

Mark took my splits for the 500. I sort of messed this up. I went out fast in 1:07 I think. I felt like I was flying. I pushed hard the whole race making sure to really kick and finish my stroke. My 100 splits got slower though. The rest were in the mid teens. I'm not sure of the exact times. I was annoyed so I didn't write them down, yet. I worked hard though. I felt good in the water. I beat the girl in my lane. I didn't get lapped by the super fast girl next to me. I pulled myself out of the pool at the deep end and ran outside. I had a few "good job Angela's" yelled to me by some friends and felt pleased. Time for T1. I Loved not having to deal with the wetsuit!!!

I got in my shoes quickly and decided to go with arm warmers. I had rolled them down so I only had to put my hands in. I would roll them up as I biked. It was pouring and cold. I also had to put my glasses in my mouth b/c I couldn't see out of them. They were dark and covered with water. I headed out of T1 and hit the road. I quickly realized I didn't want the shades. Hmmm.....only thing I could do was stuff them down my shirt! That's where they stayed.

The bike. Ahhh, the bike. I was flying!!!! ( for me) It was a blast to let my new girl rip. My new ride really responded and I was so confident. I knew Catherine (the first girl out of the water) was ahead of me and didn't really expect to see her again. You can bet I kept my eyes out though. I just rode and rode. I gave it all I had. I loved the way the bike felt. I already said that but man, did I ever love it. I had to go around a few corners that were hairy. The wet roads made me nervous. I took them really wide.

And then....wait....could it be? No. I can't be. But....that's what she was wearing!!! OMG!!!!!!!!! I was catching her!!!! No way NO WAY!!!!! I had to get a grip. I was trying to decide if I should just stay "with her" or pass her. You can't draft of course so, that became hard. Because I was GOING FASTER than she was!!!!??? How can this be?? I put on my game face and rode on by. As soon as I got past, I SMILED the biggest smile that I'm sure people would have laughed if they saw me. I was Really wishing Mark could have seen that. He would have been proud of me. I rode ahead of her for a while with no clue how far back she was. Knowing her, she wasn't going to let me get away. I was right. We hit a hill and she went by me. Shoot. But, as soon as that was done, I went by her again. Note to self: HILL WORK!!!! We went back and forth two or three times but I finished first! Woo hooo!!!!

It got a little interesting here. I was dismounting the bike getting ready to head to T2. I had my left foot unclipped (mistake #1) and my right foot still in. I dismounted to the left side of the bike. Somehow I got all twisted on the wet road and my bike landed on me. The handle bar really rammed into my chest. That's all I knew at that point. I swore. Jumped up and nodded that I was ok and ran on to T2. It wasn't' until I got there that I saw my bloody leg. My friend Steve came in with me at the bike and I remember saying, "OH I'm bloody!" I wonder if he heard that. Meanwhile, I think Catherine might have run barefoot she was SO fast in T2. In and out. Darn. I struggled with my sneakers...already tied but the back bent down and headed off. I think I was pretty fast. But not AS fast as she was. I saw her running ahead of me. She looked Strong! I just hope Mark saw me come in ahead of her on the bike. :)

I ran out of the athletic field and saw my gang. The boys were holding the GO ANGE sign that Alina made and Mark was taking a picture. I pointed to my leg covered in blood. He said, "ARE You ok? Your shoulder??" I yelled that I was Fine and nope, no shoulder. ( if you've read my blog from the beginning you'd remember that I had shoulder surgery in Jan '07 for a torn rotator cuff after a bike's always on our mind when I bike now.) I ran on and was discouraged by how hard it felt. I usually feel Fast on the run off the bike but this felt a little harder. My breathing was so loud! We were running on a skinny bumpy sidewalk with bikers heading towards us on the road. It was a little tricky. Then we entered the woods. I could see Catherine ahead of me but she was Not slowing down. I finally came into and really felt like I could push it a bit. In the woods, we had to navigate roots and rocks but it was ok. We also crossed a grassy wet field so that was a little bit tougher than the roads too. As I ran, I felt more and more blood oozing down my leg and into my shoe. My shoes were not tied tight enough so they were wobbly on my feet and I could really feel the wetness in them. I don't' think it changed my run any, it was just a strange sensation to be bleeding like that.

I pushed on and knew I had given it my all. I ran into the finish chute and was psyched. I didn't beat Catherine, but I put up a good fight. I was closer than I had been.

At that point, I got bombarded. Will, the race director was at me Immediately. I guess they saw the blood now. Several questioned me, "What happened?? Are you ok??" I was fine. I was so much more than fine. I was chuckling at my appearance but they made me go to medical to get cleaned up.

The race went on for several more hours because of all the waves in the pool. It must have been hard for the people racing after others were done.

Here are my final results:
2nd woman and 1oth overall
was as happy with the 1oth overall as I was the 2nd woman.

My swim time was 7:11 for 525 yards + exiting the pool area and running to T1. I think my actual 500 split was 6:20. I was the 5th woman in the water. There were some young Bowdoin college swimmers in the race who snuck in there!

My bike was 31:39 and that includes both T1 and T2. Here's the totally wild part for me. I was the First on the bike. The Fastest woman??? That blows me away. That is a huge victory for me. I wasn't even close to top 20 for most of my previous races in the bike.

Run split 21:10 and that made me 3rd. I want to improve this one. I know I can. Again, note to self and coach: work hills on bike and faster running.
Final Time: 1:00.01 I Almost broke 1 hour. The winner was 58:56 and she was the first woman to ever break 1 hour in this race. I was Sooooooo close!!! That stings a little.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fired Up!!!

Time to get this party started. I'm off in a bit to pick up my race packet for my first race of the season. The Polar Bear Sprint! I'm psyched. I've wanted to race this for a couple years now. I would have done it last year but my shoulder was just let out a few weeks earlier and I think I'd swum about 800 painful yards with it at that point.

I'm so so nervous. It's the first race of the season. It's my first pool race in a triathlon. I think I'll Love that part. It'll feel like a swim meet to me. I never thought I'd have that feeling again. I am dying to find out what wave, what lane and who my lane partner is going to be! It would be fun if it was my brother. He'd kick my butt though and that wouldn't be so fun.

I have never gone sans socks in a race, but I'm thinking about it. I want to be fast in T1 and T2 for that matter. The problem is the cold. It's probably going to be high 30s low 40s that morning. I don't want my already problematic feet to be more of a mess. ( toes swelled periodically throughout the winter and my doc thinks I had a "cold injury." Whatever that is. I had blood work and xrays to rule out other stuff so this is what they've come up with.) Anyway, I don't know what to do on that one. I also have hopes that I can leave my bike shoes clipped onto the bike and just go like that. AGain, I'm not sure I can swing htat. I think I'd make a complete fool of myself and fall or something like that.
I also dont' know what to wear post-swim. I'll wear tri shorts and an underarmour tank for the swim I think. Should I put a jacket on to bike if it's cold? Or, are arm warmers enough? I dont' know how to decide these things.
So, I have a lot of thinking and prepping to do.

I'm mostly just excited to get out there and enjoy the competition again. I get so nervous but once the gun goes off, it's just fun fun fun to race. I hope all this hard work will pay off.