Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mont Tremblant 70.3 Race Report

 I took a risk and made my first 'A' race of 2012 at brand new race site.  Last weekend was the inaugural Ironman 70.3 in Mont Tremblant.  I loved it.  The village of MT was very warm and welcoming. Now, tourism is their thing. It's the bread and butter of this beautiful little village. Of course they wanted us there. However, this is also the case for other host towns but they do not always welcome us with open arms.  This was a refreshing change for me.

Most of my best photos from the weekend are stuck in my phone. I can't seem to get them onto blogger...  I will keep trying. The village is centered on a hill. The hotels and shops and cafes sprawl their way up the street. A small Tram is at the base and you can ride up and down the road that way or hike up on your own. ( ahem... we timed this perfectly After the race... yup.. tram closed and Mommy was forced to crawl back up this Hill in order to go luge riding. Perfect post Half Ironman fun don't you think? ouch.  :) )  There's a nice courtyard at the top with restaurant seating everywhere. There's a chair lift to the top where the kids saw free roaming giant birds ( never did hear much about this one... I just know they saw Huge birds eating things.. sorry... day before race fog for me ).  And, one of the favorites was the luge ride. I think the kids and Mark took >20 trips down that thing.  It was fun, I admit. Though they were all disgusted with my pokiness on the slide.  Hey.. I spent the whole morning racing!  I was up there to sight-see at that point. All of these things overlook the big pretty lake that we started the day in along with the colorful European style buildings that crawled down the hillside.

Our hotel was AT Transition... but it was better than that.   We walked out the door, down the hall, down the stairs into this:

 a great little Cafe with such yummy treats and coffee and sandwiches! Then, out that door and Bam.. you're at the race site.  To make things even easier, many of the little cafes and restaurants opened at 3:00 a.m. on race morning!!!  And, the race organizers had a table out in the courtyard with bagels, coffee, bananas for us. You know, these little details matter to us! It made things Very very easy.
Mark and I at dinner the night we arrived. 

 The big Ironman stage set up at the base of the hill. I could look at this from my hotel window. Behind it is Transition. ( Huge clean parking lot..very easy to navigate.)  They blasted Great music from this stage All weekend. I took it as a sign.. an omen of good things to come...that U2 seemed to be their favorite band as well.
 These two shots were taken from our dinner table the first night. The top picture shows the tram that goes up the hill.  The boys are leaning on one of the railings of the finishing chute.  The last 1K of the run weaved it's way from up on the hill down through town and finished right at that stage.  The clock tower behind the kids is our hotel. ( Le Tour de Voyageurs...I recommend it if you're thinking about this race. It's incredibly convenient.)

Back to the race!!!!!

I spent Saturday on the bed. I think I moved to the couch for a few minutes too. I read. I watched French TV. I did go out and rack the bike. That was about it. Oh.. I had a huge waffle breakfast that morning too.  Yup.. that was the big event of the day. It's a long long day... and at the same time... it goes way too fast. 
I was nervous and yet, not so much. I had waves of uncertainty, waves of excitement and confidence, and just overall that day before Off Feeling. I do actually like tapering. I like the rest period and the mellow week of workouts. But, by Saturday, I was a mess. I was no longer tired so I was up at night. And, that made me tired. Vicious cycle I think. I was barely working out but I had to eat a lot. So, I felt gross. I just felt gross on Saturday. It's a bit unnerving. And yet, I've done this before so I didn't let it stress me out. Not too much at least. :) 

4:02 a.m. Race day---
The alarm... or I should say, the alarms. I had about 3 set.  I was instantly worried because I didn't Jump out of bed in my eager beaver readiness state. Uh oh... 
I went through the normal drill. Gag down the bagel, banana, some coffee, a few sips of ensure....  wash up and head out.  
Body marking was fast. The bike guys in Transition were amazing. They were FAST and Efficient at pumping our tires with some electric pump thing. They reassured me about my tires... it was all easy. 
I walked back to the room!  I left my big gear bag there and headed off again. 

The walk to the swim was kind of far.  I had to wear shoes and keep a shirt on. This made it necessary to use the morning gear bag. ( this is for those doing the IM in August...  be prepared for the walk to the start.  The bags were dumped in numbered bins.  When I got back to Transition after the race, the had Delivered our bags TO our bike spot! Nice and easy. Again...those details help!)  

The swim start was fun.  They had More great music. Flags flying everywhere. And, 9 or 10 jets in formation flew over us 2 or 3 times.  We arranged ourselves in waves, warmed up ( very warm water... 74 degrees...)  and got ready. 
I was wave 8. sigh... why oh why do they think we should be in the back? 40-44 year old women are Not slow! We are always behind the 50+ men and we almost always out swim them... makes for a big cluster a few minutes into the race for us. 

I lined up next to a woman I Knew was fast. I could tell. She stood confidently and had big shoulders. I know how to spot swimmer's shoulders!!  She was the one for me to watch.  I was checking people out. Giving them the once over. Ok ladies... I'm ready... who am I going after today? I have fun with that. I love to try to figure out which ones I'm going to be racing. 
First job was lady swimmer. The cannon blasted and we ran in.  I dove and dove and dove and we popped up together. I drafted off her for a while.  Nearing the first turn buoy I lost her. I was amidst many men. damnwheredidshego???? The sun was blinding.  I had No clue where the buoys were. The swim starts on one beach and ends on another!  
I just followed people and looked for shadows of buoys ahead. 
There's not much to say here except I swam hard. And yet, I was totally in control. I was wishing for someone to swim with. I wanted someone to go stroke for stroke with me and make me Suffer! I tried to force myself into the suffer mode but.. I am not sure I was there. 
The strangest thing was my left arm. It was dead. Numb. Useless. I had to have a few talks with myself. First, "hmm... my arm isn't really doing anything over there. It's really not pulling. I think it's just going back and forth reflexively. It's dead actually. I can't feel it. why is that? I think there's something wrong with my arm. I wonder if anyone else has this.." 
SNAP OUT OF IT!  Girl you are RACING! Stop making excuses for your stupid arm and Pull! So, I watched that left arm and made very very conscious underwater catches and started moving some water!  Sometimes there's too much time to space out. 

Finally.. I heard the screams. I was about in. I swam and swam until I was scraping bottom. I chuckled at all the people trying to Run through the water. (hint: don't' do that.. .swim as Far in as you can. It's much much easier and Faster!) 

swim :  27:50   

I made eye contact with a big strong male wetsuit stripper, pointed at him and said, "RIGHT HERE!" 
He ripped it off and I started the LONG run to T1. 
That wasn't my favorite. There was a red carpet ( nice touch ) along the roads but it hurt my feet. 

T1-- HI Mark and boys!! big waves... 
Glasses, helmet, GO! ( shoes on bike again thankyouverymuch ) 
ALMOST out when "You forgot your number!!! "
NO! ? ME??? shoot... 
that's what I get for having my shoes on my bike and being pro-like. haha..  I never looked down and so I forgot my race belt. 
grrrr. I had to go back. and T1 is big.  
It's ok.. Focus

Mark yelled just that as I finally mounted the Velo..."Ange  FOCUS! "
Ok.. game on.

I was on the bike and instantly climbing. Oh oh.. what was I in for on this course. It's ok. I know hills. I ride hills all day long.   I was also instantly in control. I felt good.  I knew right from the start of the ride that my legs were totally ready. And, despite my lackluster feeling at 4:02 a.m, I had the racing fire in my belly. I was lovin' every second out there. 

The course is awesome. I loved it. I felt a smile on my face the whole ride. The roads are almost all repaved. They are wide and permanently marked for the Ironman racers.  There were big huge rollers but you could just flyyyyyyyyyyy on them. I felt incredible.  

And yet, there was this noise. I had some very irritating constant noise coming from my bike. My focus was gone. I reached down and tried to wiggle things to see if something was loose. I battled back and forth. Keep going? Stop to fix? Finally, I stopped. And then again. Crazy. There was nothing that I could find. Just go. It bothered me from mile 20-56... but.. nothing went wrong.  

The ride was fast for me. I felt really strong. But it was hot too. I drank and drank and drank. I went through both EFS bottles. It did the trick but it also left me feeling so thirsty.  I grabbed perform at one point and drank nearly the whole bottle during the aid station stretch. Probably a mistake that came back to get me.  

I was moving fast and taking numbers. I checked the legs of all women I came upon to see their age. (marked on our legs at the race start ) .  I think it was pretty early on that I found my swimmer friend. I hid my face and hammered by in stealth mode. No need for her to see me and try to chase me after all. The rest of the women were younger.  I was in a good spot. I could feel it.  The final 15 miles of the ride are tough. You pass by transition and head out on new roads that go UP and DOWN over and over and over. It was very hot and we slowed so much. There seemed to be a headwind as well. It's a hard way to end the ride.  

At this point, I was talking sternly with myself about staying tough. I was over the point of feeling amazing and fast and I was feeling hot. How I handled nutrition at this point was critical. How I handled my head was even more critical.  I had no idea what was ahead. The run course was unseen territory.  

Into T2:

SPLIT: 2:38 YES! I was fired up about this.  

Ok... focus again.  

socks, (always in 70.3/ 140.6 races for me... I have no need to be distracted and slowed by nasty blisters when it only takes me 15 sec to don those socks.),  run shoes, garmin, gel flask, salt, visor

Why was there so much to carry! My foggy brain was a bit flustered. I started stuffing things down my shirt.  The garmin went on fast. The rest was in my shirt. The visor and I battled. It was hot and sunny and I wanted that on!  I was running down the road messing with that thing and driving myself crazy. It kept coming undone in the back and getting stuck in my hair! It was pathetic.  In that fluster I realized I forgot to take the glasses off. ugh.. I never run with my glasses...  

Time for another chat in my head "chill... just run.  Stop. put the hat on. done. Ok.. run. small steps. You are doing your thing now.  stay tough... " 

The heat of the day was with us. The sun was high and the run started with more climbing.  I felt like I was at home. I start all my runs with 1/2 mile UP. Here... we went up for about 3-4K. ( I started thinking in K instead of M on this trip. The run was 21.1 K and so I just went with it...) 
It might have been more than that. All I know is we went up up up for TOO long in my opinion.  I was feeling bad. I'm not so sure why.  
I wanted water so badly.  
FIrst aid station, I stopped. I drank and drank and poured. 
Second station, same thing. In fact, I did this at All the aid stations.  

I was irritated with myself but I felt this desperate need to drink. I couldn't even consider taking the gel from the flask. It wasn't happening.  

Mile 6 finally came along. By now we were cruising down a soft surface rail bed. Racers filled the path in both directions.  As miserable as I felt, I was taking more numbers. 
"good pace.. keep it up.. nice run.. " I kept hearing those words. That pumped me up and pushed me along. 
Ok.. Keep going girl! You're moving forward! 
I made the turn at 6 miles and things clicked. It was a Long gradual climb again out of the rail bed but I felt amazing. I pushed so hard. I felt fast. My form felt good. I kept my head down and didn't look at the racers coming towards me. I had a feeling I was leading, if I had kept track properly, and I didn't want whomever was 2nd to see me if she was close. 

I started in with coke around mile 7 or 8. LOVE coke when things get hard like that. It's the perfect change and boost in energy. 

Instantly, all my crazy overloading of fluids caught up to me. Massive side stitch/ cramp hit.  Great. I ignored it at first. Then I found myself running with my hand on my side. 

I also started to become aware that my time was not where it should have been. 

I had to accept that and just finish as strong as possible. 

So that's what I did. As Kurt has told me many times, shut off the brain and just go with 5K left. Let it rip. 

I ran up more hills and could hear the crowds. Into the town and onto the village road half way up the hill. The finish line is Long and filled with crowds on both sides. Music was blasting and the energy was positive and fun.  

Looking ahead I saw a little boy climbing on lamp post column... who else? Tommy!!   Big smiles all around.  I saw them all recognize  me and we all waved. 

DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!             run 1:38 

Time: 4:51
1st place age group
2nd amateur
12th overall woman 

Off to the World Championships in Vegas we go!!! 


On the Podium 
The finish 
The most delicious crepes... our breakfast as we headed out of town. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Race Reports - Small town 5K and Pirate Tri 2012

The Bancroft family has been having some at some races the past few weeks!!  Two weeks ago, New England was hit with torrential rains that lasted for days.  I think I heard that if it had been snow, it would have been about 7 feet! Instead, we got floods.  Rivers swelled, lawns drowned, gardens struggled and at camp, all the docks are now submerged. But that didn't stop anyone.  In my last post you read about the gang at the Mooseman Tri in New Hampshire. That was the same weekend. Insane cold rains....  Here in Maine it was no different. 

The hospital in our town started a 5K this year.  I was thrilled. Why? I'm not really a 5K runner. The distance makes me rather sick to be honest.  It's fast and furious and since I love to push myself outside of my limits, trying to run that fast makes me eyeballs want to pop out. But... the county I live in is, quite sadly, extremely unhealthy.  I hate to admit this but we are in fact the 'most unhealthy county' in the State. Possibly New England. sigh.. it is heartbreaking. But, it is true. Hard to believe because we live in a gorgeous area with many many clean lakes, beautiful roads on which one can run and bike and walk, ski areas everywhere, trails... you get the point. ( Of course, I must add in case someone with an idea is reading, NO swimming pool. NO community center... blah)
Ok... back to the races. 
A 5K in our town.... the Bancrofts are IN!  The kids signed up for the 1 mile fun run. 
Despite the POURING Rain ( not regular rain, Insane torrential windy cold rain), we all got up early and felt excited. A little Sunday morning adventure.  
The gun went off for the kid's run and boom...they ran. And then boom, they were back. Huh? 
The road was flooded. So, they turned the kids around after about .12 of running and they were back to us in 2-3 minutes. 
Ok. My boys were a little unsatisfied. 

"can we do the 5k too Mom?? Paaleaaaaaaaaase!!!???"  
Yes, of course.  The choice? Stand under the tent and watch or get out and run for 3.1 miles with some friends.  Easy.  Do I push my kids to do long run distances at their young ages? No. They do it by choice once in a while.  It was all about the community and having healthy fun on a crummy day. 

Here we are below. Feeling wet. 

At front of the line: Gavin ( our friend) in red, Tommy ( gray and black) and Nick ( all black ) looking at me like we're all crazy. 

Cameron and Mark ( both in blue Tshirts) and me. 
 In short? We ran. We all ran hard. We all high 5-d as we passed each other on the way back.  Mark and I ran together for 2.8 miles or so ( I was in front, I must add. He drafted. ) And then, his giant 6'3" legs took off and he smoked me. He ran 19:02. Woah!  I hit the watch at 19:14. Huge PR. I took 1st place, Mark took 3rd for Men.  The boys were right behind us and in perfect order (phew..little brothers keep trying to catch big brother..not ready for that yet.)  : Cameron in at 21:20, Tommy 1 min later to the second almost and Nick sprinted in to finish in 23:xx!!  Pretty cool. They were proud. I was proud. We had friends who ran with us and they had great fast races too. It was a good day.
To see >200 people show up and run hard in that weather was a warm and fuzzy feeling. The goal to get people up and out and pumping that heart muscle is on it's way!!!
 Next up:
The Pirate Tri at Point Sebago. 6/11/12
We have a little camp on Sebago Lake.  We call it "the Island." Because, well, we're on an island.  It's off in a little part of this big lake called the Basin.  It's our summer hideaway. That makes this race one of our favorites. We can Boat there!!!!  How fun! We still get to spend our weekend 'at camp' but we can also squeeze in a race. My boys love it because it's on a beach. And, there's a jungle gym. And, a fun run.  The night before, Tommy told me, " I only like getting up early for races. " Cameron added, "Yeah, me too. It's exciting." Ahhh.. phew. I guess these guys have just grown up with this.  They don't seem to resent me or dread it all. They embrace it and have their own fun. This makes me very happy.  It's part of keeping the Balance.. which is very important to me.
My parents came to our island on Sat so they could enjoy camp and see the race too.
We got up super early, ate a little food and hit the water!  Our party boat was loaded up with race gear and bikes. We bunded in sweats and blankets and started our day with a 45 min ride across the lake. Pretty invigorating really. I loved it.

One of the best parts about this day was seeing a bunch of my best friends again. Our races schedules and personal schedules don't always mesh. Life is busy and catching up with everyone is tricky.  But I was happy that a bunch of great friends were there on Sunday to have fun with again.  It's one of the reasons I love this sport.

Did I say yet that Mark was racing? Yup!! Both of us were toeing the line for the Pirate this year.

Ok- onto the race!

Here I am pre- swim.

Focused? Or... just hot standing in sun with wetsuit on for too long?

Swim-- My wave was 6 min behind Mark's. The 35-39 y.o. women were 3 min ahead of us.  My mission became to catch "them all."  :)  I just wanted to go out and go fast. That's really all it was about. Go hard the whole time. A race is a race to me. I've been in some big races far away from Maine and I've been in lots of local races. I give my 100% for every single race I do. It's just what I do.  This was no different. I'm preparing for my first "A" race of the year in 2 weeks. Mont Tremblant 70.3. For this sprint, my goal was to push the envelope a bit to see how I felt in 'race gear.'

I ran and dove in at the GO GO GO command.  Head down, I sprinted like crazy. 
Doh! I finally sighted after 15-20 strokes and I had taken a Serious right hand turn. Geez... Ange!??? 
I corrected myself and moved on. 
I caught some of the age in front of me and got around the buoys. The swim at this race is SO SHORT! Too short. I will always say that but truly, it took me 7 minutes!  I think it took longer to get the wetsuit ON than to swim the course. But since I can often gain in the swim, it is a bit of a handicap for me. I needed to do the job on the bike and run on this day.  

Alright. Out of the water and into T1. Suit came off without much ado and off I went. I have to admit something. After 8 years in the sport, I accomplished something for the first time. I ran out of T1 with my bike shoes ON the bike, did a flying mount and later, a flying dismount. Yes. I did. Thankyou. This is a big thing for me. I actually have multiple scars on my knees from previously failed attempts. I am proud. 

I felt fast and strong on the bike. I had fun slingshotting with others and cruising around the course. I loved it.  I caught Mark a few miles in and gave him a little smile and teased him with some words. :)  

Not much more to say! 14 miles of up and down and up and down and I felt great through it all. 

Into the run... ahh... wasn't feeling so hot here. I thought about my 5K the previous week. It appeared I left all my speed out on the course that day.  I was breathing like Darth Vadar again.  I ran with my friend Pat for a bit. He was looking super strong. Fun to see him there. I pulled away after a bit and made the turn towards home. The next few minutes made me so happy.  You see... there were 3 other TriMoxie athletes there on Sunday. A few of us were wearing our new Kits. I felt like real team. Those woman were running towards me looking SO strong!!! As I said in my last post, the joy I am getting from watching these people succeed is just fantastic.  I'm loving it.  Mark ran towards me as well.  He looked awesome as he usually does on the run.  There were lots of spectators and support. I heard my kids and parents. 

I was suffering pretty badly. I didn't feel very good at all. But then it clicked and I said to myself, "Ange. This is a Sprint Triathlon!!!!! If you felt GOOD you wouldn't be doing it right!!!!" 

Good point self!  

And, as is usually the case for me, as mile 2-2.5 came along, I started to find my groove and felt pretty fast. I finished strong and gave it my all.
run: 20:10 
overall 1:08:50
Pushing hard to finish
I took 1st place on Sunday.  The other TriMoxie athletes took 5th, 6th and 12th overall!!!!  Just awesome.
Mark had a great race. The kids ran the 1/2 mile fun run and crushed it.
We were all happy.
So we packed up the party boat and cruised back to camp in the warm sun.
Party boat cruise home
Tommy--chillin' on our cruise home

Monday, June 4, 2012

Renewed Excitement

Yesterday was a great day. I don't care if poured and poured for the second straight day, flooding our roads and basements and causing havoc around the state. ( ok, I do care about that but that's not what I'm talking about here...)

I spent a great part of last week talking with athletes who were preparing to race on Newfoundlake in NH at the Mooseman Tri series. There was an Oly on Sat and a 70.3 on Sunday.  The forecast was grim, the course is so tough on a sunny day forget about torrential rains and the nerves and anxiety was great. It's really the first big race of the season for many around New  England. As of Saturday night, I knew everyone was ready. 

Sunday morning the alarms buzzed here in our home and we all chuckled as we looked outside at the crazy wind and rain and read 49 on the thermometer. ok... here we go. Off to a new 5K here in town.  To set the stage just a bit for that here is a bit of sobering data.  The county I live in here in Maine has been recorded as the UNhealthiest county in Maine. Perhaps New England. I am not sure, I block that one out.  The obesity rate is High. Very high.  That's why I was super excited to have a new road race pop up here in town. We have a sprint tri that occurs in July now too.  That was also a wonderful addition to the summer actiivities around here but honestly, a 5K walk/ run is more welcoming for those who aren't already involved with sports. 

Despite insanely bad weather, people came!!!!  Some ran and some walked. Some of us were racing for the 'upteenth' time and others were doing their First EVER race!!!!  Remember, it was POURING. Not raining... Pouring. And it was cold. And believe me, lounging on a couch with a hot coffee in your hand watching the news would have been pretty darned nice! And, even my parents came to watch! ( They live >60 min away!!!)  Truly, the most dedicated parents in the world. Thanks Mom and Dad!!!

9:00 and we were off. My husband and I hustled down the road and my 3 boys all cruised along behind. They ran with one of their best friends and we had many friends and familar faces races around us as well. There were two of us TriMoxie running.  Joanna,  knocked 2:20 off her PR!!!!!  She took 3rd overall.  I ran 2 steps ahead of Mark ( my hub) until about 2.8 miles in when he just left me. oops. How does he do that????  He nearly broke 19 min with a 19:02 and I hit a PR with a 19:14 and took 1st.  I was psyched with my time. But More psyched to turn around, and after only a brief minute or so, I saw Cameron ( my almost 13 y.o.) flying in at 22:21. Wow. A minute later, Tommy ran through the puddles to 23:20! I jogged down the road to see Nick. Nick and Gavin ( my boy's best buddy and son of our best friends ) were running to the line. Gav was ~10 yards back. I screamed " Get him!"  :)  He did. But, Nick fought back and the two Sprinted THROUGH a huge puddle and crossed together.  Grit.  

I watched for the next 30 min while person after person crossed the line.  So much success for getting out of bed on a cold rainy Sunday and doing something fun and active to encourage healthy living. 

From there, I changed into dry clothes and started my run home.  I had about 50 more min to do. I felt reallllllllly cold and VERY hungry but I was out of gel. oops.  I flagged Mark down as he drove by and grabbed a warmer shirt and a bite of power bar. All set. I headed off but within 5 min a car flew by me and hit the deep puddle Perfectly and sent a title wave of water ON my FACE and soaked me to the bone. Again. I also stepped left to avoid this ( unsucessfully) and stuck my foot Underwater. Ok. SO much for that! 
I ran on. And, I'm happy to say, I just felt better and better as the miles clicked away. 


The other part of the day.  
Wow. That is all I can say.  Wow. I spent the next several hours texting back and forth with people on site and clicking the athlete tracker. I was just blown away by how nervous and excited and PROUD I was feeling. I had happy tears in my eyes all day long.  

You can see what everyone did specifically on my Facebook TriMoxie page but let's just say this.... they were ALL SO TOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   
Three athletes of mine raced, and they all earned spots to the World Championships for 70.3 in September. Kim won her age group, Marisa took 5th and Tammy took 10th!!!!  
Meanwhile, back at home, another tough ass lady was out in this weather working through 2 long runs!!! And, she rode 100 miles Yesterday!  Wow!!!!  That is TOUGH stuff! 

It's just an incredible feeling to share this with them. You know.. we are all so hard on ourselves.  I lump myself into that pot.  
We feel guilty if we miss a swim or a ride. We feel discouraged if we dont' hit our 100s on the same interval or if our watts are low and our run pace off. We get mad at ourselves when legs feel dead and energy wanes. 

Stop.  We all have to stop.  You know why??  We are DOING IT!  This is a somewhat extreme lifestyle. It's not "normal."  ( whatever that is....)  

I have had the pleasure and been lucky enough to get to know these people who hired me over the year or two in some cases.  They took a risk with their training and asked me to help.  They are people who are SO busy with other aspects of life. Children, spouses, jobs!!!!   We all try So hard to fit in these hard swim, bike , run workouts day after day after day after day after day! It never ends. And sometimes it's cold or wet or you just do not want to do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The exhaustion that comes along with trying to schedule a 2 hr bike ride and a run into a nice family day or a work day or a day when your son tells you last minute that he has a concert at 1:30.. it's hard!  
We have to do the best we can do.  Many wonder why.  Why do this? 

I can't always put it into words and therefore I don't usually try. It's a feeling.  I think if you asked the athletes who crossed the muddy  finish line in Bristol, NH yesterday if it was worth it, you would have a unanimous response. Just my guess. 

I am still feeling so much excitement and renewed love for this sport. Renewed love for this lifestyle. 

I feel so lucky to be able to help people grow a love for this like I have.  Thank you guys!!! I am SO PROUD of you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  All of you out training and preparing and those of you who Crushed it yesterday!!! 

Marisa Rowlson at the Finish 

Kim Cole Giving her Thumbs up 

Friday, June 1, 2012


June 1st. It's time. Time to race and time to put all that hard work into action. 

I'm sitting here staring at the blank white box waiting to be filled with my words, my thoughts. Instead, I am wondering if I have enough time to truly write before the boys run in the house for bed.

I'm wondering if I have enough time to make the rattlesnake costume for Nick by Monday.  If I will have enough time to squeeze in a bike ride before the rain begins tomorrow morning. I feel like I spend a lot of time worrying about Time!!! It kind of drives me nuts.


Ok.. that random last post. I am no longer a new triathlete. I'm not the youngest or the least experienced. I've been around the block a bit. And because of this, I think. I think about all the process. I think about what lies ahead for me. I go back in time and remember all I have accomplished and how I did it. What made it work?

 I have had so many things ricocheting through my head lately. What? What is that I need? What do I want from all of this? Am I doing this right?

I have learned a few things about myself. I have learned to accept things about myself and also, expect things from others.

When things really count, I am able to maintain strong focus. I am determined and I work very very hard. I am ambitious and like to go after things that are hard and challenging. There is no sweeter victory than one you reached by overcoming huge obstacles.

I hate to admit it, but I also like the approval of others. Sure. Who doesn't?  I appreciate when I get a nod from someone I respect. And, I strive to earn the respect of people around me. People I  care about.

I have to have reasons. There are a whole pile of reasons that I go after it in this sport.  Occasionally, I lose sight of my why. . From time to time, I stumble and I question. I definitely lose focus and drive. But so far, these have been  quick diversions and before too long, I'm back on track. 

And with that.. I'm out of time. Here come the kiddos.... more on this soon.....