Thursday, December 30, 2010


I have officially emerged from my post-Christmas coma. The sparkly-full-of- magic holiday last Saturday left me in a complete catatonic state for the two days following. It's quite remarkable, now that I think about it, that I didn't get sick. {actually...I sort of did get sick. But it never leveled me so I consider that a success.) However, I am also proud to mention that despite being paralyzed and glassy eyed on the couch in my pjs for 48+ hrs after Santa's visit and playing hostess to 30 of my in-laws, I did manage to haul myself up, don layers upon layers of running clothes and bust out a fairly hard 15 miles on Sunday. Twenty minutes after walking in the door, I was back in pjs on the couch. No joke.

Our holiday was full-on craziness. I saw some people yesterday who, when I asked about their Christmas, replied, "Oh it was so nice. Very low key and quiet."
HA!!!!! Mine was not. Not low key at all. And you know what, I like it that way.
We go all out for Christmas in every way possible. My parents did for us when we were growing up and I want the same for my kids. We make loads of cookies, build homemade crafts with greens we cut outside, decorate full tilt, sing songs 'til we're blue, go to parties, fill the house with too many gifts and track Santa until he's in South America. Heck--we even threw the tooth fairy in on Christmas eve!! I am quite sure she helped Santa eat all those Hershey Kiss cookies the kids left for him. And then, on Christmas Day, I hosted 30 members of my husband's family for a little meal. phew....this is making me tired again. That little list doesn't begin to touch the myriad of Christmasy activities and preparations that were happening here. As you all know.... I am not alone here. On top of that, we threw in a birthday for my now 9 year old and um, Marathon training!!!! I sort of forgot about the insantity of December when I picked a January 15th marathon down south.
Amidst all the shopping, parties, basketball games, birthday celebrations and planning, I have been running running and running some more.
I love it.
The weather has cooperated for the most part. There have been a few nasty long runs during which my fuel belt bottles Froze solid and the gels I had made me nauseus. Running sub marathon pace with no hydration and thick gels did put me over the edge a few weeks back. I am proud to say however, that I donned my high heels just hours after that 20 mile suffer-fest and partied the night away. I refused to miss anything this past month!! It's been fun.

Somehow Vacation week is cruising along too fast. The boys are totally enthralled with their buckets of legos and remote control helicopters. I'm finding time to sleep late and feed them breakfast at lunch time. We had a blizzard and we've found our way back to the ski slopes. It's been a good week.

I have been out of blog-ville for quite some time. I couldn't justify the the time it takes to write one. I have read a few but not many.

I have read enough and talked enough to others to say that I have come to this conclusion.

Training for me isn't complicated. It's not stressful or fancy. It's what I do to make me who I am. Racing is in my blood. If I need to miss a workout for some reason (and believe me, it needs to be a GOOD reason) I don't like it, but I know it's not going to ruin the big picture. As long as the rest of things stay intact and consistent. You can't haphazardly skip a workout Monday, Thursday, move Tuesday to Saturday, miss Sunday and do 3 to make it up on the following Monday. Things will start to fall off at that point I believe.
Train consistenly and when you're training, focus on your training.
When you're not training, live a life that supports your chosen hobby and focus on your life.
Try your best not to over think, over analyze, worry and obsess about all the workouts. It will drive you crazy. At least, it would drive me crazy. That's why I choose to 'just work hard.' I am dedicated and try to be smart. I do my best to eat well, sleep well, listen to my aching body parts now that I'm almost , gulp, 41. I enjoy myself too. I really enjoy the work. And, I look at the big picture, I make sure all the components of a good training plan are in place (thanks to my coach Jen I do.....) and then I just do the work. For exacmple, on a Tuesday, I know what Wednesday's work will be. I am always a few days ahead of the plan in my head. I think about my nutrtion and my rest accordingly. If Saturday is a huge day, I will get plenty of sleep on Friday. I even know today, that next Wednesday is a hard day. I have locked that away in my brain so that when it arrives, I am ready. I will follow the plan consistenly until that time and be ready.
I don't know exactly what I'm saying here, or why...... it just seems like people spend so much time worrying about what they are not doing. Instead, try focusing on what you Are doing and do the best that you can with it.
Be Consistent and work hard.
Give yourself a break if life throws a curve ball. Get back at it and start again. You will be fine if you do that.

Happy New Year!!
2011 already?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Where it all starts

It doesn't matter what your friends are doing. It doesn't matter what they think. It makes no difference whether or not your husband thinks it would be fun or if your parents would be proud.

You can't do it for them.
You Must do it for You.

If you want to succeed, it Must come from your Heart.

Before anything else. If you don't have a hot burning desire to dig deep inside and work your tail off, don't bother.
That might sound harsh. I believe it though. Certain things take too much energy and time and devotion to do it wihtout your heart.

Transfer this to anything in your life. It doesn't have to be Triathlon. Or running. Or swimming. But for me, it is. This post is about my sport.

Some people are born with more atletic talent than others. In other words, genetic potential. This is a sweet little gift from your Mom and Dad or Grandfather and Grandmother. If you were born with a dose of talent, say your polite thank yous and move on. Because it takes a Lot more than that. And more importantly, you don't have to have the perfect amount of genetic potential to be the best of the best.

What you need is heart. And skill. And toughness. You can develop your skills. You can study and practice and repeat things over and over and over until you get it right. You can devote months during the winter to improving your run form. You can hire a coach and learn proper swimming techniques. And then you hit the pool or the roads and you dig into that desire that comes from your heart and you practice perfection over and over and over until you get it. That is how you develop your skills. Again, it starts from inside. After all, if you don't want it, nobody is going to motivate you to run back and forth on your driveway doing running drills when it's 32 degrees and snowing!


Have you ever watched someone race who is clearly not showing great bike handling skills. Or maybe she doesn't have the best swim stroke. Does she lean back when she runs or maybe her shoulders are hunched and her arms cross over? And yet, she's out in front or close to it? She's fast!? Maybe you've watched athletes like this so you're thinking, hey! Where are her perfect skills? How is that working?

Let's talk about Toughness.
That factor in sport that I believe is Crucial. It can make or break the race. It propels some people into greatness. It comes from deep inside--from your heart.

Let's get this straight before I go on. Toughness is not inherited. It's not something ones wins in the genetic lottery. You develop it over your life and learn how to put it to use. You aren't Lucky that you're tough. You teach yourself to become tough. You work at it. You fight for it. Once you have it, it's yours to keep.

So, what is toughness?
Have you ever been out on a training run with specific goals in mind. You were out there to hit a certain pace as part of specific training for an upcoming race. It was a key workout. Let's say you were running along getting ready to pick up the pace and hit those goals when Bam! wind. You turned around and a wall of wind smacked you down and force you to reach even Deeper! Mabye for a few minutes you thought, forget it! I can't do it today! This was going to be hard enough with no wind, perfect temperatures and flat roads! Now this!? I'm done.
OR... do you change your thinking and employ a fighting spirit against those annoying winds and just go for it anyway. Race day weather is Rarely perfect so get tough and make this happen. Use your heart and dig deep. It must come from within.

Perhaps you were on a race course, thinking that things were moving foward as they should, when a competitor surprises you and makes a pass.
Do you quit? Back off? Give it up to him and say, "oh's not my day."
HellNo! Not if you're tough.
FIGHT Back!!! Get over that disappointment and jump back into the battle.
Be strong. Be tough. It takes heart.

Have you ever been in a race when you felt the overhwelming urge to just stop. To get off the bike, to walk off the road, or to hide under the shade of a table at an aid station? You know that pull...that feeling that you have nothing left. Nothing. Can you fight it? Did you fight it? Did you reach deep inside and pull out the last little teeny bit of strength to get to that ever glorious finish line? If you did, you are tough too.

Don't ever go out there and think 'you're not talented enough or that you didn't win the genetic lottery' as others may have. That is not what determines succes in my opinion. Does it help? Probably. But how much? You can't measure that. Plenty of people are uber talented but they are as tough as a corn flake and that's as far as it goes.
I love this line from a great book I read. "Your future is determined far more by what you do than what you are genetically."

Monday, November 15, 2010


It's been so long since I've posted I had to go back to see what that last post was about!!
I was apparently really tired that day. Now, I'm tired of reading that title. It's Making me tired!!

The theme for me this month has been soreness. I was beginning to feel like I might never walk across the room, or reach onto a shelf, or sit on a chair without a guarded,'ooooh ouch ahhhh....'
I have been Hurting for Weeks!!!!
My body has been going through some changes. I've been asking it to do things that it's never done before.
Circuits upon circuits of slamming medicine balls, jumping repeatedly onto massive tires, throwing medicine balls up at a wall - catching it- bend into squat and repeat. and Planks! oh the planks. Planks with one arm, planks while climbing mountains, planks while moving a ball back and forth and doing a push up! Crazy hard fun stuff. But my body has been Screaming!!
On top of that, my run mileage is gradually climbing. While the running hasn't been overwhelming, trying to run up my neighborhood hills (I mean, mini mountains) has left be begging for mercy. My quads have been shaking and rebelling on more than one run lately.
My last strength workout was Thursday night. I woke up Friday feeling all cocky and proud. I felt fine! I drove to the pool for a great swim. Haha...I am fine. I can keep up with those guys and handle this No problemo. (my new strength group is 99% men).
I spoke too soon.
(and I must interrupt this post, that I am writing while watching Dancing wth the Stars, to say that Jennifer Gray is one Hot 50 year old!!! You go girl! Motivation to keep the body in Shape! )

So yes, I spoke too soon. Serious DOMS! Yup---delayed onset muscle soreness. I had it. My upper body was
What was it saying?
"Hello Momma! You are Wrecking me! I am getting ready to show you what this is for!"

It was time for some adapting. My body finally decided to stop taking this abuse and put all this hard work to some good use.

By Sunday morning, I was feeling just fine. Allejuia. I had a long run on tap and I wanted it to be good.

You know what? It was INCREDIBLE!!!! Now, my Heartrate and pace were controlled and monitored throughout. I am sure that helped things. However, something amazing happened. Something that is Rare for me. In all my years of running.
I never got tired. My legs did NOT get tired. At all!!! I felt Great! Fine. I felt the same at mile 15 as I did at mile 7. It was fabulous!!! And mystifying!
What's happening here??

Ding ding ding. I get it. Finally, I am getting stronger. My muscles are experiencing that thing we read about. Resistance to fatigue. Yup...that's what that was.

I am running more and more. I have double runs some days, and about 15 more miles/ week than I'm used to. That combined with some effective and well planned strength program and I'm seeing the results.

Sure, there's a good chance I was just havinga good day. But it was enough. Enough to build my confidence and give me the kick to keep working just as hard.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sometimes I Like to Curl up in a Ball,

So no one can see me because I'm so small.

Sometimes I like to run ever so fast, I sometimes come first, but I sometimes come last.

Sometimes I like to stand still as a tree, and watch everyone rush around about me.

Sometimes I like to just walk round and round, I pigeon step, pigeon step, till I fall down.
(ok--I don't do this very often. But my middle son sure does!! Makes me laugh...)

Six or seven years ago, my dear Aunt Jane gave my kids an adorable little book by the same title as my post. The author Vicki Churchill captures the feelings in our home in just the right way. Aunt Jane died very suddenly of a brain tumor almost 5 years ago. This book always makes me think of her.

This morning when I woke up, all I could think about was when I could possibly figure out how to crawl back into bed. My body shuttered when the alarm screamed at me at 4:30. I was still awake a mere 3 hrs before. I was in panic mode when I looked at the clock and saw the time in the middle of the night. I had missed my early morning swim on Monday. I was fried that day for several reasons and shut the alarm off by mistake. I Had to swim today. I had to. I was running out of options for fitting in my 2 / week dates with the pool.
So I got up.
Last night was such a bad night. Why does that happen? Yes, it was election night and I am pretty worked up about a few things happening in Maine right now. Specifically, an issue that was voted on by the entire state but only impacts My county. I'll just leave it at that. So I was up too late watching the poll numbers (fyi--- both issues are still statistically tied. But it's not looking favorable for my side.) and my husband was out late for something.
One thing after another and the next thing I know, insomnia.

But I got up.
I swam. I swam pretty hard and felt pretty good!!! I couldn't imagine even diving in the water as I looked at my face before. My eyes were puffy and red from my sleepless night. The cool water stunned me. SO, I just moved my arms and completed the workout. After a few hundred yards, I was focused on the job at hand.
And as tired as I am now, I'm more than happy that I dragged my butt out of bed and started the day off right with a swim.

I imagine everyone has those days. Those mornings when you do not think you can possibly accomplish one darn thing on 'the list.' Maybe you're too tired, too busy, too stressed, too sore. Who knows. I do know that it's always easier to just put it off. It alwasy makes sense at the time, to turn the alarm off or to just take one day off.

I also know that what puts you ahead of everyone else is when you make the conscious decision to just DO IT! Learn to ignore the little devil on your shoulder that is convincing you to back down. Have you ever finished something that was hard to start or hard to complete and said to yourself, "Boy, I wish I hadn't done that." Probably not. I know I haven't. That is what dragged me 40 minutes away from my bed early this morning after getting 3 hrs of sleep. I feel good now. Tired, but healthy. I feel stronger and more energetic than if I had just crawled down to the kitchen blinking for my coffee cup. (ok, I did do that but I took it in the car with me to the pool.)
You get my drift.
Get UP!! Do It!!!
There. that's my little pep talk for today.

And then, as Ms. Churchill says so aptly says,

"But when the day ends and the sun starts to fall,
Then I do what I do best of all.
I find somewhere soft,
somewhere cozy and small....
and that's where I like to curl up in a ball."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Change in Routine

And apparently, that results in Pain!!

I know there's really no such thing as good pain and bad pain. Seriously, pain is pain. It hurts and it's uncomfortable.

However, I know the pain I feel right now is temporary and is a result of a fun new regime I have going on.

Way way back when I was small (no pun intended), and before the age that many think one should 'specialize in one sport,' I started things off as a swimmer. That lasted, oh, about 15 years.

After my swimming life was over and it ended rather abrubtly with an 800 free relay at the University of Delaware, I turned back to running.

I ran and ran and ran.
And then, I got married. And had a baby. And then another. And then another.

Two years after that, I raced in a triathlon. ( I could say it was my first but I had done a few over the years... just two or three and they were with my creaky college-transportation mountain bikes, I changed my clothes behind a towel after the swim, and I had basically no idea how to ride a bike.)

I love Triathlon now. That is what I call myself. I'm a triathlete. It's still going strong.

And yet, I have decided that a change in routine, a diversion, is needed. I had a great 2010 season. I was able to pull out a few wins, I had a few PRs, and best of all, I had fun. But, things were just a little less than exciting for me. I'm not sure why. I honestly haven't pinpointed that. It was just something inside me. Something was missing.

July 24, 2011 I'll be toeing the line at Ironman Lake Placid for my 2nd time. I have decided that I love that distance. I think it suits me at this age and I truly love the challenge of figuring out how to get through those 140.6 miles with as much strength, power and speed as possible. I'll be ready.

But Before that...I'm turning myself into a Runner again!!!
Yahooooooooooo! I'm totally psyched. January 15, 2011 I'm running the Charleston Marathon in South Carolina.

I trained hard for a marathon a few years ago. Chicago 2007. I was in great shape and felt super confident about my run speed. I flew to the midwest with Mark and met Mary and Andy there for what was supposed to be a fast race. Well, just like this year, the suprise heat wave knocked us down. This was the year they stopped the runners who weren't done by 4:00 or something like that. It was in the 90s with nasty humidity that was held in by the big city walls. Yuck. I failed and didn't even come close to my goal time.
I haven't really been hung up on that race but I do have the desire to be properly trained to run a marathon again.

But why focus on running when I have an Ironman coming?? I'm in Maine. Starting about now, it's too cold (for me anyway) to do my rides outside. Soon, the roads will be wet, snowy, icy and it's impossible to go out. Like many, it's all trainer riding for many many months. I'm ok with it... for a while. And for certain types of rides. But let's be honest, it's a sure way to burn out if you're not careful.
So for now I run,and run, and run. And I love it. I am still swimming and I am still biking, but not as much. After January, those things will pick back up and I will have an amazing run base to carry through the spring.

The other change, the one that is kicking my butt, is a total increase and revamping of my strength program.

I am seeing a personal trainer weekly now. She has me doing things I've never seen or heard of before. Every week a new part of my body is screaming and begging for mercy. I recover from one session in time for the next one and then it's back to wobble around mode. I also bought a TRX system and will incorporate that into my routine soon. As soon as I can move again. And, I hope to join this group of great men and women at this clubhouse where they are led by an instructor through intense cross-fit like workouts. It's sure to be a blast.

The results so far? Almost every day I wake up to a new body part screaming at me. Today is Brutal!! I saw my trainer on Thursday. I had done some plyometrics on my own on Tuesday which left my quads on fire. After Thursday's workout, it hurt to sit. It still hurts to sit. Yesterday morning I ran 11 miles with some good hard efforts mixed in. I showered, ate, and then hopped in the car for a soccer game. A soccer game in which the parents took on the kids. And we PLAYED HARD!!!! Woah!!! It was 90 minutes of all out sprinting and stopping and kicking and moving back and forth and side to side and even a few slams on the ground.

I hurt everywhere today. My hip flexors barely allow my legs to lift themselves to climb the stairs. It still hurts to sit, albeit a bit less. My back muscles are sore, my neck is sore. Oh I have no idea what else. My legs just ache. Yesterday on my run, my glutes pulsed and felt like bruises with every step.

I can't imaging how the 7 miles I'm about to do now will feel.

I think when my body desides to stop rebelling against all the new crazy workouts I'm going to feel and be better than ever.

But for now: OUCH!

p.s. Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Triathlon Workshop Announcement

If you are a beginner Triathlete or would love to enter your first race in 2011 but have questions about where to begin, please join me during your lunch break for a helpful session.

I will be giving a free clinic at Lululemon Athletica in Portland, Maine on November 15th from 12-1 p.m.

I will help you figure out what races are best for you, what equipment is needed, when you should begin your training for next season, how to train during the winter months and more.

Lululemon is located at 22 Milk Street in the Old Port.

If you have any questions please comment here or drop me an email at

Hope to see you there!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010


I have three.
Three boys.
They are my world.

I am going to stray from my usual triathlon chatter to talk for a bit about my boys. Don't worry, I'll get right back to my swimbikerun babble shortly.
But something happened yesterday that truly had a profound effect on me.

A few nights ago, I went to bed in tears. That sounds a bit too dramatic for what was happening but the truth is, I was at the end of my rope. I ended my day feeling useless. My mothering felt ineffective. I have been feeling totally incapable of reaching through to my boys. I stare at photos taken from earlier years and find myself sad. Things were easier then. I was hardly ever 'mad' or upset with them. We just cruised around doing things you do with babies. We've watched a lot of family videos lately from when the kids were 1, 3 and 5 or ages near that and I tell ya..they were SO cute!! Oh I miss that stuff. Sure, they were much more dependent upon me for the basics in life--getting them dressed, feeding them, washing their faces in the tub, and for that matter, carrying them. But they were small and I was their world. It was easy for me to carry them around, hang their coat on the hook, plunk them in their high chairs for lunch and then throw a ball around the playroom.
I'm totally simplifying things of course. It really wasn't that simple. But somehow, I feel as if I am spinning my wheels right now. The boys are 11, 8 and 6. They are fabulous children. They really are. I'm their Mom so of course I think that but hey, I really do think they are awesome kids.
And yet.... every-single-day I have to tell them the same things over and over and over and over! I tell one not to drop their shoes at the bottom of the stairs, another to put clothes away instead of throwing Clean clothes in hamper because it's easier, please pack your soccer stuff (we do this 5x week so it should be easier by now!), where is your coat?, dont' throw the kickball inside, blah blah blah blha blah. I write things out it all seems SO totally unimportant. But the jist is that I'm talking about basic things around the house that each of us needs to be responsible for. We are a family of 5 and I do feel that as each child grows, he needs to be able to do things for himself and to help keep things rolling along smoothly. Having to explain these things day after day after day after day after day, it starts to feel like nobody is listening.

So that's that.

Last night I was about to go to bed. Mark asked me if Cameron (he's 11) told me the story about Jack. (ficticious name)
Earlier in the evening Cam had told me that there was something he wanted to talk to me about but he never did.
So Mark told me.
Cam started the story by saying that "something happened today with my friends and I hate it when this happens."
At recess, Cameron saw some boys over in a group. Some of them were boys he plays with. As he walked over, those kids ran away and he saw Jack on the groud, hurt. Jack ended up in the nurse's office getting ice for his hurt leg.
Later on at lunch, Cameron was already sitting at a table with some friends. ( I am not sure if they were the same ones that had been bothering and I believe hurting him outside.) Jack came over to sit there too, limping and holding the ice bag.
As Jack started to sit down, this boy that had hurt him, swooped in and 'stole' his seat and left no room for Jack.
Jack left and found an empty table and sat down alone.
The rule in their cafeteria is that once you sit, you stay there. The teachers don't want the kids moving around.
Cameron is a rule follower...Big time. However, he decided to risk it.
He stood up from the table where his friends were sitting and moved to sit with Jack.

When Mark told me this, tears just spilled out of me.

That's My boy. He gets it. He totally gets it. I am actually blown away by how sweet that was and how proud I am of him. Cameron is not the child who is most comfortable in social situations. He has felt awkward along the way while trying to develop friendships. It hasn't been easy for him. And despite the fact that he now feels 'safe' with this group of popular boys, he still went out on a limb to reach out to this poor little guy who was undoubtedly feeling horrible and sad yesterday.

At that moment I realized how undeniably wrong I had been in feeling so much frustration with these little kids.

I was allowing myself to get so hung up on the day to day mundane tasks. The small stuff. The details in our world that make our homes run more smooothly but don't mean one iota in the big picture of life. Who really cares I guess if Nick's shoes are alwasy left at the bottom of the stairs with his coat on the floor?
If I can somehow show these kids that kindness and compassion is what matters, then I feel I have succeeded. Tonight at dinner, I will have Cameron tell his brothers the story. He clearly has a lot to teach all of us.
Thank you Cameron. You're awesome.

I have to 'smack' myself every so often, when things are wild and crazy around the house. These kids are here because I brought them here. I mean truly, I 'made' them! They didn't knock on my door and ask for this life. I brought them into the world and it is my responsiblity, with my husband of course, to show them the way. I am so so insanely lucky to have them all. Two of my 3 kids spent several weeks in the neonatal intensive care when they were born, one was born prematurely via emergency c-section, one was at high risk of brain damage since the cord was wrapped twice around his neck for 12 weeks during my pregnancy (I used my swimming history to 'will' him to do flip turns while he was swimming around in there to unravel himself--it worked!), and yet all of them are incredibly healthy.
I am Lucky!!
So how dare I feel exasperated like I do at times. It's normal, I know, but I need to step back and remember all this. The important things.

My guys:

So after my Proud moment last night with Cameron, I was able to keep the happy Mom hat on and accompany my other little guy to his field trip today!! Oodles of 3rd graders at a cool mine in Western Maine. It was 37 degrees and SNOWING when we arrived! Yikes. It turned out to be a fun day. After learning some interesting facts about all the valuable gems and minerals found on this site we went into a real bona fide cave! Actually, a tunnel. It's a man made tunnel that they used to mine in. Check it out!!!

black tourmaline

open your eyes Tommy!


I'll post again soon and get back to Triathlon!!! I have a few new developments that I'm excited to share. Actually, I've been scheming about things for a while but the plans are finally in place.
I can't wait for 2011!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mission Accomplished

I am absolutely deconditioned.
And, it's not just my body, but my mind too.
I am supposed to be decondtioned, that was the goal. A good long hard break from training. I needed to step away and stop the grind for a while. I struggled a little bit at first, but then I began enjoying the time off.
I didn't stop thinking about things. I have to admit, I thought about the sport a lot. I have a plan for this upcoming season that is a little different. I am excited and ready for what's coming next.
More on That later.

Back to the present.

I will not lie. I have had a hard morning.

It's Monday, th start of week 4. You see, I just took 3 weeks off. Ok. There were a few short easy runs sprinkled in over the last week. And, a few comical attempts at "yoga" and "pilates" that resulted in this uncoordinated athlete just dropping onto the floor for sit ups and planks.

Today's workout called for a swim. Yay! If you read my blog regularly, you know I love swimming. It's my safe place. My athletic life started in the pool. Swimming is easy for me and it feels great. It feels great to work hard in the pool and it feels great to swim easy for recovery.

However! Because I live in rural Maine and my town doesn't understand how valuable a swimming pool would be (yes, you are sensing a "tone" in my voice)to the community, I am forced to drive 40 minutes to swim. Deep breath.

I am used to it and I am absolutely able to get into the routine that is necessary to fit in my swims.

The alarm goes off at 4:33. I get up, don my sweats, grab my coffee, pick up my pre-packed swim bag, hop in the car, and I'm off. I listen to a strange talk radio station that discusses the possibility of life outside our universe (I'm serious) and then at 4:59 the local radio station morning show comes on and I switch to that. I drink my coffee, always finishing at a certain point in the ride, eat a Luna bar if my workout is long and hard, and just enjoy a quiet ride while the rest of the world is sleeping. I'm home by 7 a.m. so my husband can drive off to work and I am left feeling pretty damn happy that I'm way ahead of the world with a strong swim in the books.

Not today.
Last night, I packed my bag. I wrote my workout on my index card and put it in the baggie. Mark offered to let me swim during the day because he is taking part of the day off. (Columbus day..and we are going to our camp to close up...there's a pool nearby. ) I hurried to the computer to check the schedule. Closed Oct 9-11th. Darn. I really do need to set that alarm.
Deep breath.
It's been a while since I've had to get up at 4:33.

I went to bed way too late. I didn't mean to. But, it just happened. I'm out of practice. I had things to do. I wanted to read this and that. Next thing I knew, it was 10:23. That leaves only a bit more than 6 hrs. Not enough.
Deep breath.

I couldn't sleep. I got up to use the bathroom and by accident, I saw the clock. 10:57. Shoot. Now, it's less than 6 hrs.

It could have been just a short night that made me tired. But I wasn't that lucky. You see, I am sometimes brain smashing migraines. One thing that bothers me the most, is that they come on During the night. For no apparent reason. I wake up with someone pounding a hammer on my head. What gives? I was awake on and off feeling HOT! I was sweating and just miserable. The room was chilly. It was freezing last night and my windows were open. So, who knows. I was sick to my stomach too. Would I have to get up? Not a good night. It's been happening for years and a while ago, I was given a nice strong prescription that sometimes helps. The problem is, it messes with me. I can't adequately describe what the drug does to me but let's just say, it's best when I can take it and go back to bed. At 3:00 a.m. last night, I took some. It was that bad.

4:33. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

deep breath. I stumbled around my room searching for my little pile of clothes. I do it automatically. Just like it was yesterday. But then, I kicked the laundry basket which banged into the table which made a picture fall. ooops. Sorry hun. I'm out of practice.
Worst of all. The headache was still there.

I kissed Mark goodbye and stumbled away. I poured my coffee, grabbed the bag, and headed out.
To be on time, I'm supposed to be out of the house by 4:45.
It was 4:49. I don't know what I did. I was just slow.

My ride was unpleasant. The car was all foggy on the inside of the windows and the defrost wouldn't work. The coffee tasted gross. My head was throbbing. The lights on the other cars were blinding me and aggravating me so much I almost pulled over.
Oh, there's more but I'll spare you.

Let's just say it wasn't the best re-entry into training.

I arrived at the pool, late, but I was there. The few people who were there commented on my absence and I think they also wondered what the heck I was talking about when I said, "off season this and off season that..."

Finally. The water.

I stretched and felt tight. I felt thick in my bathing suit.

Just dive in Ange.
And so I did.

Ahhhhhhhhh.... There we go. My happy place. My safe place.
The water.
It was quiet. It was cool.
I swam back and forth and back and forth trying to find my stroke.
My arms loosened up and my head relaxed.
Before I knew it, no pain.
Just me and the water.
The sound of the splashes soothed me.
I was back.

An hour later I hopped out and drove home. My head is still pounding and I want nothing more than to crawl back under the covers. But, that doesn't happen at my house. The kids are off today and they are all staggering downstairs one by one as I type. I'll take my hot shower, pour more coffe, and open training peaks to log my first workout for the next season.

It wasn't easy today. But I did it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thinking Back and Looking Forward

First, thank you THANK YOU for all the helpful and supportive comments on my last post. It is nice to know that I am not the only one who struggles with food intake on a day to day basis. I do wish that I could just, 'eat when I am hungry and listen to my body,' but I struggle with this. I have certain foods that I want to eat each and every day because I love them. So, regardless of hunger or my body's need for X,Y or Z nutrient, I want to eat my peanut butter rice cakes because that is what tastes good! sigh...
I know that if I want to see a change in my body, then I must change what I am doing. Even though I eat healthy food, I do not eat enough variety and I do not time things well. Oh, and yes, my portions are too big. I am sure of that. I think that is what is the most daunting. Having less food. I don't like that part at all.
Besides my dinner, the food I eat each day is more or less the same. I can't imagine that is a good thing. Especially since it's not egg whites and spinach that I eat at lunch. (I am sorry, but egg whites are terribly tasteless to me. I try...but I can't stick with it because I don't like it.)
I plan to check out the book recommended to me and adapt some of other thoughts that were shared. Thanks so much everyone!!
OH!! I also have to add this before I move on to another topic. While the timing of this post was a bit odd, my feelings and frustrations have Nothing to do with the off-season. Nothing. I struggled with this all year. I was never at my race weight. I don't even know my ideal race weight! I am not just struggling with gaining a few pounds past my in -season buffness (ha!) because I was never there to begin with.
That said, I FULLY intend to be there Next Year.

I am enjoying my rest period. I like the off season. I really do. I am saying that in all honesty. Sure, I struggled with the cessation of training after my last race. I love training. I love exercising. Of course I do! Otherwise, how could I be in this sport? However, I am also able to channel myself back to the days when I had to struggle to fit it all in. The days when I had to frantically drop the kids at school, drive like a maniac home, barely stop to breath so I could be on my bike by 9:02 in order to fit in the 80 miles + 2 mile run in time to shower, eat that perfect post-big-workout-meal, and then get the kids from school. I didn't have time to do anything else. Sure, some days are much lighter than that. I enjoy going to bed at 10:15 and not stressing that it's 45 min too late and I have to wake up at 4:30 to drive 40 min to the pool. I enjoy figuring out our weekend plans and not stressing about how I will fit in my workout. For example, my kids have 6 soccer games on Saturday. I Love that I have no other worries than to get them to the field by 7 a.m (yup, and it's 40 min away)and spend the day cheering them on and ---feeding them. :) It's all about them right now. It's their turn. And, I'm good with that. It makes me happy.
My body is softer and certainly slower. It's only October so, I'm good with that too. There is time. Lots and lots of time. Last year I developed a stress fracture in my foot and was more or less sidelined from November-January. And yet, I did just fine last season.
I think the longer I do this sport the easier it is for me to realize that I need to step away from time to time. I need to show my family that there is more to my life than the need to train with a purpose every day.
I am focusing on my business and how I can develop that more. I am reading loads of material to help make me a better coach. I am cleaning kitchen cupboards. I am shopping for Christmas and school clothes for the kids. I am taking a Shower as soon as I get out of bed!! And...I only take one shower a day! It's the little things.

The other thing I am doing is planning for my 2011 race season. No, Triathlon is not totally off my mind. It's there every day. I am planning races. I am planning strategies. I am putting together ideas that will make me stronger, fitter, faster and happier. I know that this upcoming year is going to be the best yet.

Saturday is the Ironman World Championships in Kona. I am enjoying all the pictures and comments that are coming from the people I know there now. I have been thinking about my experience there last year and just how fortunate I was to be able to make that trip. That race is such a Huge Experience. The entire week leading up the the race is like nothing I have ever done before. I am not sure if I'll ever go back or not. But I do enjoy reliving my time there. This is a little redundent since I'm sure I posted these last year. But it's as much for me as it is you. So bear with me. I love going back to old photos and remembering.

Saying goodbye to the Kids. Not a happy moment for me.

These are completely out of order. But...
My poolside post-race "meal!" That's a Frozen mudslide and french fries! I had to replace all that lost salt!!

Getting real......note my colorful ribbon. I did that at both Ironmans and it Helps!

This was the day before the race. I had just racked my bike and bags. On the right you can see the giant gatorade bottle that is in line with the starting line of the swim. The Navy ship is behind me. It was just over this wall that Mark saw a few giant sea turtles.

One of my favorite parts of my time in Kona. The morning swims at Digme Beach. The atmosphere was still semi-relaxed and as I've said 1000 times, the colorful fish and coral were stunning.

Mary Lou and I had a swim lesson with Karlin Pipes-Neilsen in an endless pool overlooking the Pacific. This is MLou.

I took this picture while sitting on the rocks next to the expo. I was on the phone with Coach Jen discussing my race plan.

Somewhere on the run. Note my distorted body shape. I was Filled with ice! I stuffed ice everywhere I could at every single mile along the way.

The Finish line was under construction all week. I loved crossing the line and seeing myself up on this giant screen.

I took advantage of some free demos at the expo. It was a chance to sit and relax. My muscles went Crazy with this electrical stim machine. I can't remember what it was called.

Walking to a morning swim.


Hanging with Pro Bree Wee.

Pre-Race dinner with friends and fellow Maine women: Kim Cole and Mary Lou Lowrie. their daughters Alison and Rachel joined us too.

Post-swim breakfast with Nat under a big tree along Ali'i Drive.

Happy, Relieved, Sore and Proud. Sporting my Finisher's medal while having fun at the finish line for the last few hours of the race.

check out

Friday, October 1, 2010


I have a love/ hate relationship with food.

This bothers me. I know it's an unhealthy piece of me.

Oh where to start......
I grew up swimming competitively starting at age 8. As many of you surely know, swimming is one of those sports that increases your appetite. I think running suppresses your desire to eat. At least for a while after you finish your workout. This is not so with swimming. At least it was never the case for me in my 32 years of experience. During those key developmental teen years, I was swimming about 10 times / week. I worked very hard and I burned ooodles and oodles of calories pulling myself up and down the pool. I never once worried about my weight during my youth. And yet, I ate and ate and ate. Just as Mrs. Geyer. (Heidi---if you ever read this, seriously, ask your Mom.) My friend's Mom worked with my Mom. Their office was in our house. I would come home from afternoon swim practice and make my snack. She would wander out of the office and look at me wide eyed. You eat ALL THat?? I sure did! (baked potatoes with cheese, hot dogs (it's true- and we're in Maine. They were Red!), nachos, all sorts of wonderful things...) I'd head upstairs to do my homework and then come back down a few hours later for our family dinner.
Or, Jeff and I would come home from late practice to find a yummy casserole my Mother made for us. And, we'd eat it.
At least that's how I remember it. I think we pretty much devoured those turkey and rice casseroles.
Seriously folks, I could put it away. And I was skinny! I really never worried for a second about it.
From there, I went to college. And, I gained a little weight. Didn't we all? Pre-season beer and pizza and Ben & Jerry's and dorm food didn't quite agree with me. Or should I say, it didn't agree with my waistline. Thankfully, I jumped back into the pool for 4 intense years of Div 1 swimming and I was ok again.
I tried to eat well during those years. But come on, I was barely 20. I had never worried about food. None of us had ever learned about pre and post -meet nutrition. In retrospect, this appalls me. I honestly hope people are at our colleges now teaching the athletes how to properly fuel their bodies for peak performance in their sport!! on a little rant there. But seriously! I DO hope schools have that in place now. If not, there's an opportunity there.

My point in all that history is that as a child, I was lucky enough to be very very physically active. My Mother made us delicious healthy dinners. Looking back, a Lot of the snacks I ate were horrendous. We didn't know any better. I ate foods that I would never allow my kids to eat. Flaky puffs, fruit roll ups, and crumb cakes were all part of my normal diet. I would often leave morning practice, go to the cafeteria and eat a chocolate powdered donut and milk before class. Lunch always included a pack of oreos.

Flash forward. I'm 40 years old. I'm a Mother to 3 boys. I'm a serious Triathlete. And I'm a coach.
I LOVE learning about food. I read all I can on nutrtion. I buy books about clean eating and metabolic efficiency and ideal race weights. I devour all information I can about this topic.
I understand Why we all need to eat well. I embrace it whole heartedly. I spend a very significant amount of our monthly budget on groceries because I insist on buying all healthy food. I get fresh veggies and fruit, organic crackers and snacks for lunch boxes, organic peanut butter, real maple syrup,lean lean meat, and yogurt with little to no sugar and preservatives. I spent well over an hour at the store this morning reading all the labels and thinking through our meals for the week. I try so hard to feed this family well. It's not easy when my boys devour everything in sight. It's very hard to keep my cupboards and fridge stocked!! Breakfasts before school are a 3 course meal, then I fill their lunchboxes with sandwiches, fruit, a snack, a drink and a yogurt or applesauce. We sit down for a big afternoon snack, a pre-soccer (or whatever it is) meal, and then a 2nd meal after that activity. I kid you not. FOOD is a major part of our day.

I talk to the kids all the time about why they need to eat healthy foods. I have taught them why high fructose corn syrup is bad. I have taught them about saturated fat and trans fat and they even tell me when something isn't a "healthy choice." Tommy often asks, "Mom, is this natural?" They know about protein and what it does. They 'get it.' And I am thankful that I've had the time and knowledge to teach them all of this. I will continue to do it all through their years with me. (lucky them huh.. :)

I have also liminated many things from my husbands diet over the years, just by example. He won't touch mayonaise. He avoids deli meats. He chooses much leaner items on menus when he is at work for example. I am trying.

Nutrition is so important to me.

Then why... WHY is it that I Can Not Lose a POUND??? WhY is it that I am SO incredibly WEAK when it comes to those relaxing after-dinner hours?? I lose all sense of strength and just want to snack. NOw, my snacks are not that bad. I have to stand up for myself. Last night I had a green apple with natural almond butter on it. HEalthy stuff. And yet, I know I didn't Need those calories at 8:45 p.m. I know that. But I Wanted it!!
and That's all it took. It bothers me that I can't keep myself from overeating at this age.
I can be the strongest willed person out there in my training. And yet, I can't say no to a cookie.
I'm embarrassed and annoyed with myself. I'm disgusted. I'm frustrated.

I am so active and so mindful of our nutrtion and yet here I am, 10 lbs over my ideal weight. My day to day diet is good! I think so at least. I eat oatmeal, and greek yogurt with fruit and granola (bad bad..I eat TOO much granola), lean chicken and lots of veggies, no sauces, no butter, natural peanut butter (again, TOO much of it) and that about sums up my typical daily intake. Nothing too bad. Just too much.
I start with small amounts, however, I am Not satisified with it.
I think I taught my body to expect More. At age 16, I was sealing my fate. I'm a pig.

10 pounds. That's free speed right there!! That enough should motivate me! And it does. Until 8 p.m. At that point, I'm in my pjs, the kids are in bed, and my mind races to 'what do we have that is yummy???" And I go for it. No. Matter. What.

that's it. I need an intervention.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


During this break from training and racing, I have been trying to avoid thinking about training and racing! Instead, I find that I can't Stop thinking about it. I am scheming about the next season. I am developing my goals. I'm making a plan.
My thoughts are not complete and my plan is not fully developed. So I will wait before I talk about all of that. Instead, I wanted to post a few pictures from the season so I can look back and smile.

My summer Full of fun with the kids and Full of racing. Below are snapshots from a some of both.

My friends Rob and Bob enjoying some down time with us at Wolf Neck after Lobsterman

A lovely 4th of July at the cottage

A Gracious World Champion

First Race of the Season...PolarBear Tri

THe kids at their FIRST youth Tri...
(check out the Healthy Habits Tri series next year!!)

My 3 winners at the Pirate Tri

The Start of the Kid's triathlon at the Pirate Tri in June. Cameron and Tommy did GREAT! (Tommy is the little boy in the middle of the picture.)

My PR Transition at PolarBear in May- 14 seconds!

Before the Timberman 70.3 with my friend Bob

Post-race quiet time with my husband

Talking with one of my athletes, Marisa, before the Timberman start

Tommy and the other boys learned to ski this summer!

The finish line at Timberman

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ok--that's just about enough of that!

Less than a week ago I raced my final race of 2010. I had a blast. I had a good race. I had a great afternoon with friends when it was over.
I let my guard down. I accepted the fact that it was time to rest.
I am absolutely-100%-no argument from me-on board with the need to rest and decondition post-season. I get it.
I need it!
I need it physically and mentally.
I haven't trained this week. I had an amazing massage. I have slept until 6:30 (yes, that's late for me) I have done close to nothing it seems.
except---- EAT!
Holy man alive I really really need to stop.
I feel so sick right now. I feel slothenly. Is that a word? I am trying to express to you that I feel like a sloth. I don't think it's because I haven't logged 94 miles on my bike, I doubt it's because I haven't worn the rubber on the Saucony's with 27 more miles, and it's not because my bathings suits are dry. Nope. that's not why.
It's because I seem to adapt the attitude that I can eat any ole' thing I want now that I am not racing.
I wake up in the morning and realize that my standard pre-workout breakfast of oatmeal + banana isn't necessary. I am not working out.
Instead, I now jump into the shower upon waking ( highly unusual for the rest of the year) and just savor my a.m. coffee.
I have good intentions every day. You see,I Like to eat well. I enjoy healthy food. And, most of the days this week, 80% of my intake has been good wholesome food. Ezeikel bread with hummus, greek yogurt with fruit, nectarines, grilled chicken and salad. I buy organic nonprocessed food that will fuel me and my family in just the right way.
when I stopped for a turkey sandwich the other day, I also grabbed 2 Cookies And ahem, DORITOS! yup. those orange chips. I had to eat some.
I've had numerous little moments like that all week long.
Now, as of 3:00 this afternoon, I feel sick. Disgusting. Gross. I'll never be hungry again sick. I didn't even eat too much today. Nor was it too bad! I even had some seaweed! Weird. I know. But I got some at this little shop and I do like it.
I think the combination of ZERO training + lots of random indulgences has resulted in this mommy/triathlete feeling nasty.
SO, that's enough of that!
I will continue to rest but I will stop thinking I can eat this way just because 'I'm done!'

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Season's best Race--One more Race Report for 2010

Saturday was the Lobsterman Triathlon in Freeport, Maine. I almost skipped it this year. I can't tell you how happy I am that I changed my mind.
This race is just fun. I do love it from start to finish.
It's an Olympic Distance race. In some ways, I think this is the hardest distance. This could be argued. Of course an Ironman is harder. A Half Ironman is too. But at the same time, the Oly has the potential to hurt more. A sprint is so fast and furious that you almost don't have time to feel the pain. But an Olympic is short enough that you need to go nearly 100% the whole time but you's Hard to go nearly 100% for over 2 hours!
Regardless, I Do love the distance. It requires a combination of grit, guts, smarts, and stamina.
Back to the race.
I packed up the kids on Friday afternoon and hurried down to Freeport. It's an hour from home and on the coast of Maine. We were blessed with perfect Fall weather. Sun and warmth. We grabbed my race packet and settled in for the night at my family's cottage at Wolf Neck. {if you read this from time to time I'm sure you've heard me go on and on about how much I love this spot....} I was in the perfect place for pre-race relaxation.
My husband was also racing but had to join us a few hours later after he left work. by 7:00 we were all there enjoying a nice meal before we went to bed early.
We put the kids to bed, built a fire in the fireplace, looked out over the ocean and Mark started going through is race packet and things for the next day.
"Why do you keep leaving your tri shorts on the ground?" I had been pickign those things up all day.
"I'm just going to put them on first thing in the morning."
"Ok. so where's your shirt?"
"In my other bag. YOu grabbed it from upstairs right?"
Mark and I had talked before I left town. The question was, did he need to go home before he came to the cottage? Yes. I told him that I couldn't bring all the things in my car so he needed to get his stuff and a pile of things in the garage that I left behind.
He grabbed the stuff from the garage but he never went in the house for his own gear.
Oh No!
At 9 p.m., my poor husband had to drive 1:15 minutes home to get his bag. And then back. Not good.
Needless to say, neither of us had a very restful night. I was in bed but awake until he got back. I called him a few times to check on him and 'keep him company.' For some reason, even after he was home, close to midnight, I was still unable to relax. I was awake almost ALL night long. I grew more and more tense and stressed. Yes, two night before a race are more important but I don't think a pre-race all nighter is recommended either. Would I feel like Mush the next day? I was worried. I had big goals for Saturday---how could this happen?

Well, I was thrilled when the alarm went off at 5:30 and it actually Did wake me up. Phew. It's better than nothing.
I didn't jump up quickly like I normally do on race morning but I did get up and make my way to a hot shower. I was ok... ready to focus.

Mark and the kids were coming along a little later than me. That's just the way we do it. We had two cars so it worked out. I'm an early bird and he is not. There is no changing that so we don't fight it.

Mark's Mom and Dad were actually camping for the weekend at the race venue in their motor home! My Mom and Dad live in the town where the race was held so we had tons of support and help for the boys.

I arrived nice and early and began my pre-race routine. {aka--try not to allow myself to get too nervous. It's just who I am. I get nervous and unable to focus on anything other than what I need to be doing at that moment. People give me grief for it...but it's just how I get revved up to do my best. It's not a regular workout day-it's a race and I go there with one mission. So it's only natural, in my opinion, that I would be feeling some nervousness and anxiousness. Once in a blue moon I feel calm and ambivalent on race morning. THOSE are the days I worry about my performance. I NEED the pre-race tension. }

I set up my transition area, I hit the portapotty lines x 3, I ran, I talked to my brother, my parents helped me with some logistics with my car, I talked to Mary, I talked to Mike and Mary Lou, I wondered where Mandy and Katharine were,and I saw very few others for the first few hours before the race. This seems to be normal. My tunnel visions prevents me from too much socializing before the gun fires.

I also wondered where my family was. There were 800 racers that day. Turns out the line into the park was long and slow. Mark and the kids were hung up there. Eventually they made it inside and I was able to grab a few hugs and show Mark where his things were. They boys then ran to the motor home to have pancakes with Meme and Papa. I was so happy they were having a fun race morning too.

Finally it was time to make our way to the start. I had decided it would be best to skip the swim warm up. I Really wasn't happy to make this decision, but after last year, I thought it was the smartest thing to do. You see, this race is in the ocean. I love the ocean, but, I admit, the Maine waters are NOT warm. Especially in September. Our days are still warm but our nights are very chilly. The water temps drop rapidly during the weeks preceeding the Lobsterman. Last year, I jumped in for a swim before the start and it Hurt! It was miserably painfully shockingly COLD. Frigid actually. I stood around for the next 20 min stressing and shaking about the cold. It distracted me from the race. So this year, I skipped it. As did many others.

I was so happy that Katharine (one of my best friends from college) found me while I was donning my wetsuit at the start area. While chatting with her and getting the rubber suit on, something happened.
I have no idea Why or How but I felt this Twang (best word I can come up with) in my back. It took my breath away. I could not breath deeply and I couldn't move my arms around.
#$(*%^#*($&#($*#*(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is THIS!??? Geez. Does my body think I'm 40 or something??? I was mad. And really, afraid I may have just caused myself the need to DNS. (did not start..)
I tried to pretend I was makign a mountain out of a molehill and just wiggled myself around and tried to UNtweak it. NO luck. I became increasingly uncomfortable and worried and had to excuse myself from Kath and walk off to find some help. I immediately saw my friend Mike and a few others behind him. I sort of lost it for a minute and kind of cried while I begged him to help me. He unzipped the back of the suit and began working on the 'spot.' OUCH!!! It hurt SO SO SO BAD!!!! Meanwhile, my other buddy Bob bobbed up full of great prerace energy and excitement. He tried to high 5 me and all that and I just had my head down and kept making 'I'm in pain' noises. Finally he caught on and asked another guy that was right there, "what's wrong with her?" He hurried off to find Jared, who is a PT he thought he might be able to help. That was the last I saw of Bob. I wanted him to go focus on his own race anyway, so that was good. I also wanted Mike to take off to do the same...thankfully at that moment Another friend (see how lucky I am!) ERin came along. She is also a physical therapist. She grabbed my back and started trying to 'melt' this Marble as she called it, away. Yikes. It hurt so much but she did Help! Erin Saved my race. ( she was doing a relay and not doing the swim leg so I felt better about stealing her for a few minutes.) I am NOT kidding. After 5 or so minutes I was not pain free but I was back in business and in line to start. THANK YOU ERIN!!! I did wonder if it would be ok in the water but I decided to refocus on the day ahead. Back to business.

I was in wave 6. Why do they Always put the 40+ women Last??? I have issues with that. do they think we're slow? Ha! Time to proove that theory wrong!
I swam out beyond the dock where we started. Mary was next to me. I was really excited because I Could swim and didnt' feel my back. SO Lucky on this one. I was also thrilled to feel that the water was not too cold! I could stand this temperature!! It was just fine... ( found out later it was 60-61 degrees..incredible for mid-September.) I put myself in the start position for a deep water start, clicked on my interal race mode and readied myself to suffer and love it. GO GO GO GO GO!!!!
We were off. I kicked like a mad woman and kept my head down. I find it quite difficult to site at this race. We swim in a direction that heads us towards the sun. The ocean is sparkly on a sunny day and that makes it even harder to identify things to site from. I followed the splashes from the waves ahead of me and knew I'd see the turn buoy soon.
I could tell I had a lead on my own wave. My plan was to get that lead by buoy #1 and not to let it go. THis was my goal. I didn't want to see any other women that day UNLESS I was going by them. I was aiming high. Why not!?
I felt good in the water. I swallowed a bunch of salty gulps but never choked. THe water was quite calm and I only had to mash my way through a few groups of people in front of me. I did get myself through a bunch of different colored caps but I didnt' have trouble weaving through most of them. I sited well and kept good lines. I would love to watch a video from the air someday... not sure how that would ever happen but it would be cool and I'm sure I'd have a different analysis of my 'lines' after seeing it from that perspective!
I hit the bottom of the ocean floor with my hands, did one dolphin dive and ran up the ramp. I heard my parents and my kids and Tried to smile and look. But as I explained to my boys later, I have to stay focused. I knew I had a lead but the race is so fast and 'short' that every second in the race counts. I had to keep my eyes on the ground and begin thinking about what was next.
Unzip the suit.
Cap and goggles off.
GEt to the bike. Stop. RIp off leg 1, step on the suit and yank out leg 2. It worked this time! The wetsuit was off in a flash.
Glasses on. Helmet on. buckle. Into shoes. (ok....I know.... Jen.... sorry but I still really need work on climbing on the bike With the shoes clipped on. )
bike off rack and we're off!!!

swim time: 21:41 (it was about a mile...)

Bike: I felt great from the start. My legs were Not dead. They were turning over nicely and my focus was dead on. We have to climb for a while when we are first exiting the park and that is a tough way to start the bike And the run. I just stayed positive and rode hard. NO TIME to let up. I had a great bike fit done a week ago and with that came some good advice. I had cleaned my bike of all extraneous gadgets. I took off all the water bottle cages. I didn't carry Anything except my gel flask and the aero bottle. My head was down, my hands were in the right place and I hammered.
Up and over hills, around the corners and into the masses. The roads were clustered with riders. It was dangerous and annoying. I did my best to fly past people as quickly as I could. I have No desire to draft or cheat but it's clear that many folks out there are not privy to the rules of the road. People park themselves in the middle or on the left and just hang out. It makes it very tough and quite frankly, dangerous.
The ride went very well except for when my chain got locked up around mile 10. It was absolutely stuck. It didnt' drop off, but the rings would not turn! I talked to it and wiggled this and that and somehow I maneuvered it back into place and never had to get off the bike. Close one!
Around mile 18 (?) I saw my husbands orange tri top. I was psyched it had taken me so long to catch him! Granted he had a 12 minute head start on me! :) I smacked him in the butt as I rode by and of course, he loved that. He told me later that the guy near him said, "hey ! that was a girl that just flew by us!" Mark was apparently proud to tell him, "yeah, that's my wife. She has 12 minutes on us now buddy."
Mark's such a good sport about it. He's a tremendously talented athlete but he doesnt' have time to train very much at all. He has no issues At All with his wife crushing him. Thanks hun.

bike split: 1:09.30 (21.5 mph) a mere 5 minutes faster than last year!

Time for my favorite part. The run. Ok... of course I love the swim. But there's so far to go on the swim and things aren't in place yet. I love the run because I can get out there and make it all come together.

I felt decent when I started. A little wobbly. Definately tired. But I had a lead and I intended to hang on to it. I had no idea where the women were from the wave in front of us.

So many people yelled "go Ange" while I was running. It really touched me. I couldn't see who many of them were because they yelled as they biked by or as I ran on the other side of the road. I had my head down and I was thinking about where I was so I missed so many of them. Thank so for the support out there! It really really gave me a boost.

My garmin didn't record my mile spilts. I have no idea why but I'm bummed about that. I saw 6:20-6:40 for the first few miles. I knew this was probably too fast to hold on to but I was just going for it until I couldn't push any harder. I hit mile 3 and was feeling steady. I wasn't feeling Great but I was fine. I was working and ready to push the last 3.2 miles of my season as hard as I could.

I turned into the park and knew I had about 2 miles left. It's very very hilly at the end of this course so it requires a lot of focus. FInally, I could see the ocean again and feed off the crowds. I heard some friends and worked off that support. We make a big loop around a circle before running down the finisher's chute. It's looooooooooong. However, Mom, Dad, my In-laws, my brother, my friend Mike and my 3 boys were ALL there cheering me in. Nick was holding a horse shoe crab in the air at me while we slapped hands. Tommy was yelling, " I found a message in a bottle Mommy!" while we slapped hands too! Pretty cool stuff.
Run 43:34 7:01 pace.

Overall time 2:16.43 (5 min faster than 2009)

Post-Race at Lobsterman is another reason I love that day. There were freinds everywhere. We all stood around chatted about our race and our season. We are overlooking a sparkly ocean. They give us cups in our gear bags for free beer after the race. They put on a Lobsterbake.
Does it get better than that?

My Dad, my biggest fan by the way, was keeping track of the field for me.
He let me know that some other girl snuck in ahead of me. "Was she more than 3 minutes ahead though?" (the spacing of the waves.) She was. Oh well. I did my best.
The comical thing is that this woman, a 30 year old from New Jersey, beat me by 2 1/2 minutes in the water!
Our two transition times were within 5 seconds of each other. Our bike times were Both 1:09. Our Run times were Both 43. She was 43:32 , I was 43:34. Unreal. IF ONLY we had gone head to head---perhaps I could have chased her down. Who knows.

I am 100% satisfied with Saturday's race. I felt strong, I moved pretty fast, and I had a blast. My head was in the right place and I never let up my guard. I LOVED RACING and That felt great. I posted something last week that I ended up deleting. It was too negative and I didnt' like the way it sounded. I'll get back to my thoughts on all that but I'll just say that Saturday rekindled my love for the sport. The day was all about why I love to race Triathlon.

Overall stats from Lobsterman 2010.

2nd overall woman. 1st age group. 27th out of entire field of men and women (800 racers?)

Now-I rest.
That thing in my back, came back with a vengeneance as soon as I crossed the line. not sure what it is or what to do about it but I am in pain. I'll be calling for a massage asap!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Summer memories

As Labor day weekend approaches, we are packing for what will most likely be our last weekend at camp. All three boys are on soccer teams this fall. That's three different teams. Mark coaches one of their teams. And of course, we will keep racing ourselves. All that adds up to very limited time at camp. The fact that it is September and usually that signifies a drop in temperatures and cooler waters, is lost on me right now. We are in the final (thankgoodness) day of a 6 day heat wave. I am a Mainer. A True northern New England girl. A full week of high 90s and humidity breaks me down. I can race an Ironman but stick me in a house without air conditioning for 6 days and crank the heat above 95 and I am a mess. Just ask my kids. Thankfully, my husband is almost worse than I am with the heat. Since we are on the same page, there isn't really any irritable crankiness with each other...just a clear understanding between two 40 year olds....'I'm hot, I'm sticky, I'm sweaty. you stay right there and I'll stay right here.' :) Right? Poor little Nick, he is the snuggliest little bug and just wants to jump on my lap every 10 minutes. It's really really hard to turn him down.. but oh the sweat. And the stickiness.
I do NOT know how people in the southern states do it!
So as I look out my window at the increasing clouds and cheer on Earl to bring us some rain....I decided to just post a few of the many pictures we have from our summer fun this year. The kids have been back in school for a week so we are beginning to settle into some bit of routine. It is nice. I must say. Summer was fantastic...but there's something about little boys and "noise." What IS That??? love those little guys to a million pieces but now that I have a few hrs of's quiet! 25 more minutes left today so I chop are the pictures. In no particular order.
I had more pictures to post but blogger shut me off!!

The boys made a rowboat this year with their Grandfather. From scratch! here they are putting the finishing coat of paint on and launching it at the island. (camp)

Crescent Beach

Nick and I on the wharf at Wolf Neck

Cameron and Tommy at Wolf Neck

tubing at the island

On the podium for Timberman 70.3 8/22/99 2nd place 40-44 women and Mary 4th 40-44 women

Tommy Waterskiing! All 3 boys learned this summer!

Our moment with a 3 time World Champion...