Monday, July 27, 2015

Another Race?

Yes. The race that I internally agonized over ever since signing up, but kept to myself because I didn't want to whine to everyone (other than Sara and Coach Brooks). Anyway - it was the FS Series Washington NC Olympic Triathlon on July 25, 2015. And... it ended up being a pretty good race.

Coach Brooks emailed me a race document detailing what to do during the race, how to approach each leg and goal paces. I read it Thursday after Masters swim and laughed was excited to take on the challenge.

Friday afternoon I picked up Sara at her house, then we drove to Caryn's parents' house in Clayton to pick her up. We headed down to Greenville, checked into our hotel and then drove to Washington Park to check out the venue. We were supposed to swim, but decided against it and drove back to Greenville to eat dinner with another Raleigh triathlete friend, Dave.

The lovely shoreline of the Pamlico River in Washington Park, NC

Woke up at 5AM Saturday morning and made my bowl of oatmeal, prepared my nutrition and we packed up the van to head out to the race. Setting up was pretty unremarkable, but I was thankful for the Inside-Out Sport Triathlon Club tent where I could store my large bag.

Where do I go?
At this point I *should* have eaten a banana, a gel - ANYthing, aaaand I didn't. Nor did I drink any water. I did warm up by swimming in the water a little bit, where I discovered the GRASS under the water (UGH) and actually no noticeable current. So, all those people hadn't been lying to me after all.

Swim:

The swim was two loops on a 750-meter triangular course in a counter-clockwise direction, so as to move with the slight current on the longer stretch of the course. The Olympic men started, with the women following a few minutes later. I headed out in the very middle of the pack, even though I knew I would fall behind, but it makes sighting so much easier. Nothing really exciting happened until I was in the middle of the first loop and the sprint distance men caught up. Flipping Raleigh IM70.3 all over again. I really hate this part of OWS races. I just kept swimming and never stopped to apologize if someone swam into me, even if it was my fault. Oh wellsies! Rubbin' is racin'.  Finished my second loop with a few sighting errors on the long stretch, and somehow wasn't the very last person out of the water. Just second to last. :-) I also stood up way too early, and had to wade through the awful sea monster grass. I need to stop doing that in races.

I farted around a bit in T1, because I recently discovered my helmet is a BILLION times more comfortable if I pull my ponytail through the back, rather than a low-po underneath it. Guess I need to practice doing that.

Swim - 1500m: 00:46:30 81/94 OA 6/8 AG

Bike:

I've been feeling stronger on the bike lately, but I didn't feel strong on this ride. The course is incredibly flat, just a few tiny grades here and there. A little bit of a headwind. I was getting frustrated with my lack of speed until I looked down at my watch. 19.3mph. Oh. Well, then.

My nutrition plan was simple. I had made a 300-calorie Tailwind bottle, had water in the aero bottle and a Gatorade Endurance chew bar thingie. Perfect for 1:20 ride. Except... I DID NOT FOLLOW MY PLAN. AGAIN. I ate three squares, drank 1/2 the bottle of Tailwind and maybe 1/3 of the plain water.

It was really about not wanting to stop and deal with the food - picking it out of the wrapper and bento box, grabbing the water bottle itself, etc. I have a new plan in mind now, I'll talk about it later.

Anyhoo - it was a quiet ride and a few parts were pretty. I passed people, especially on the second loop - perhaps about eight people total. I knew they were going to pass me on the run, but I'll take what I can get. Started to lose some momentum and at one point glanced at my watch to see 17.3mph. Ugh. Saddle started to hurt my rear, I think the nose started to shift. Was glad to get off the bike when it was over.

Bike - 25 miles: 1:20:59 59/94 OA 3/6 AG

Run:

It's funny, because I was curious what was going to happen on the run. I've been working hard to get used to the hot weather (and trying to improve in general), and while the morning had been comfortable it was heating up really fast. So, I was genuinely thinking, "Hmm! Wonder how this will go! Kind of excited to find out!" as though I were putting on a freaking science project or something.

So, what happened is I shuffled along and tried to run as much as possible, tried to not look at my watch very often, ate Base salt and ate my Quic Discs. These were in the Raleigh Ironman swag bag, and I kind of like them. There are ten discs in a container, and four discs are 70 calories. Pure carbs - pretty much the same nutritional content as a gel. I planned on eating 1.5 containers, and I did just that. I ate two at a time throughout, rather than eating four every three miles. It just worked better for me, and frankly I was hungry and was starting to feel nauseous.

Then I realized I wasn't sweating very much. Not good. Drank water, poured cold water into the towel I had in my top (they handed out cold towels, bless them). Shoved ice in my bra and held it in my hands while I ran. The course has a little bit of a hill going over a bridge (twice - you turn around at the finish line for the Olympic distance). I looked at my watch and realized I was going to be cutting it close to finishing the run at 1:15. My watch said 1:14, I could SEE the finish line. I was running as fast as I could, and I realize now that was only about a 9:48/mi pace. I honestly had no idea what my overall time was going to be, I didn't look at that screen on  my watch during the race. I saw Dave, Sara and Caryn at the finish line.

Then I saw the race clock said 3:30.

What the WHAT? I was going to finish under 3:30? A 16-minute PB? Yup.

Sweet. And I was right in the middle of what my coach had set for me.

Run - 6.2 miles: 1:15:48 82/94 OA 6/8 AG

Total Time - 3:27:12 81/94 OA 6/8 AG

Another race - done! And congrats to Caryn on her podium finish!
Anyway - I felt deathy, I won't lie. But it was manageable deathy, so I figured that is probably normal for a triathlete. I perked back up yesterday, well, hmm. I haven't perked back up yet, but I think tomorrow will be better. :-)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Always Be Yourself, Unless You Suck

Oh, social media. You make it so easy to celebrate others, to stay in touch, find out news, make plans and so much more. You allow glimpses into the lives of others and make us feel a little less isolated.

Thanks to filters, we can hide articles from Fox News, not look at your third aunt's second-removed daughter's PETA shares, and your elementary school friend's pictures of her pet snakes. *click* No thanks. *click* That's cute. *click* She's so sweet. *click* He's an idiot. *click*

*click*

Several months ago I was in the same room with a person who shares so many positive, encouraging memes and stories via Facebook, and she was scrolling through her newsfeed. Someone had written something nice, and I'll never forget this:

She read the message aloud, a kind and positive sentiment wishing her luck at an upcoming endeavor, and then said something to the effect of "I don't even really talk to her anymore. Like I should care what she says." *scoff*

I was floored, completely shocked to hear that come out of her mouth. To me, the average response to someone wishing you well is "thank you." Period. Am I wrong here? This woman has a pretty big "friends" list, so I am sure she does have many people with whom she doesn't regularly stay in touch. But dang.

I am not perfect. I try hard to be honest via social media that a.) I don't think I am perfect (no, really) b.) I don't think my way is the right/only way c.) my kids aren't perfect, I am just biased in my admiration toward them d.) my life isn't always great. 

It's tricky though - if you share happy, shiny things on social media - you're phony. If you share about the crap that happens to you - you're a complainer. You can't win. Never. Never ever.

So, I was talking to Derek about this - the general concept of people being "shiny, happy people holding hands" on social media, and then turning around and making fun of their "friends", etc.

He looked at me and said, "The only thing I can say about this is to roughly quote: Be yourself. Unless you suck, then pretend to be somebody else."

He kissed my forehead and continued on with his morning. (He doesn't really share my enthusiasm for overthinking things.)

I just don't feel good. My blog about Queen Bees sort of churned up emotions in me and made me feel even more distrustful of people. Recalling the situation with the woman a few months ago, and a few other things I've been thinking about - it is just meh.

And I am not some nun over here. I shout at my kids, I even swear sometimes. I think and say horrible things in general. But I think I am pretty honest, for the most part. Maybe I just don't trust *anyone* anymore. Or I certainly can't tell who is trustworthy, that much I know is true. Who is kind to me, but slamming me behind my back? Who tells me positive things, but tells others I am not this or that? Who pretends to like my kids, but tells everyone else they're little asses? 

I am guessing my answer is one that I probably don't want to know.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

You Can't Drown in a Wetsuit

But that's not helpful when the water is 85 degrees and you can't wear one.

This past Saturday, I participated in the Triangle Open Water Mile Swim Series "Little Uno Big Deuce" race. I swam the one-mile distance race with my friends, Sara, Caryn, Ana and IOSTC Teammate Kathryn. My friend Alesia raced the two-mile distance - her first race of that distance (and she ROCKED it). Anyway - I had procrastinated my entry until the day before, and unfortunately REGISTRATION WAS CLOSED.


Uh-oh. This was supposed to be a substantial workout for me - following the one-mile swim, Sara, Caryn and I were going to ride 40 miles and then I had to run 6.5 miles. Thankfully, Marty Gaal, the race director and a local triathlete/coach, went above and beyond and re-opened registration for me. Yeah - that's kind of amazing, I absolutely deserved to be told, "sorry, folks - park's closed."

I woke up early Saturday and had my oatmeal and green tea and finished packing my bag. I need to start packing an actual cooler with ice because my water bottles were *somewhat* cold in the thermal bag with ice packs, but not super cold. Drove 45-minutes to the part of Jordan Lake where the race was held.  I ran a bit before swimming and then walked to the water to look at the course.

WHAT IS THAT ISLAND OF DEAD TREES WE HAVE TO SWIM TO?!?!

WHY IS THERE A WEIRD, SWIRLING-LOOKING PART IN THE WATER OVER THERE??!!?! (That no one else noticed)

WE HAVE TO SWIM OUT, TREAD WATER AND THEN START SWIMMING??!?!?! OH, HELL NO! NONONONONONO! I HAVE NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE AND IT IS A TOP FIVE OPEN WATER FEAR OF MINE.

Oh wellsies, Heather. Get over it. Get out there. And swim.

So, I did. I fully expected to be behind everyone, and within about ten minutes, I was. That's ok - it was helpful for sighting. I made it to the first turn buoy without incident.

Can I take a boat back? No.

The one thing that makes these open water races and triathlons difficult compared to the Ironman course is they don't have as many sighting buoys. So, after I right-shoulder turned to the second buoy - I could not see a single thing. The sun was rising over the trees, the tops of my goggles had started to fog a bit, and it was just a lost cause. I could not even see the people swimming far ahead of me - the glare was that bad.

Can I take a boat back? No.

I could see the yellow sight buoy for the return loop, so I started swimming in that direction. And then...

I touched it. I don't know what, I did not stop to find out. Submerged boat? Log? Old buoy? Dead body...I got the HECK out of there.  Finally, I could see the second turn buoy!  Alllllllll the way to my left. Sigh. Strongly considered skipping it. Who would know? *I* would know. Turned back toward it.

I swam a heart - thanks to backtracking for that darn turn buoy, ha!
Can I take a boat back now? NO.

Swimming back seemed to take forever, a piece of pine straw got stuck in my watch band and kept stabbing me as I swam. I just tried to keep a solid form and keep moving. Finally, the two-milers were starting to pass me, so I could use them to help me sight back to the boat launch ramp.

Official time: 00:52:07 129/131 OA, 17/17 AG

My coach's goal time for me? 1:00:00 YES. I BEAT IT.

The rest of the day didn't go as planned - it was extremely hot and humid, we only rode 32 miles instead of 40, and my "run" was only 2.85 miles. The run area was really hilly - those short miles had a gain of 220 feet with little shade and no breeze.

I am making some big changes in other parts of my life right now with nutrition. Just completely cutting out beer at home - will have one if we dine out. Changing my diet around (again) after meeting with a nutritionist at my new gym - Raleigh Lifetime Fitness, which I am really enjoying so far. Going to crack down on our monthly expense budget, too.

I also had my strongest bike ride in a long time last night. Unfortunately there were no other "B" group people, so I was forced to do my best to hang with the big boys. They were actually extremely nice, someone always made sure I was with the group and Dave really pushed me in a few spots I would have normally backed off.
 I think I did alright - and was proud of this segment. 


It's downhill, but you have to really hammer to get going that fast. I barely even used the "little wheel up front" for the first half of the ride, but I started to lose steam on my way back, but my coach stayed with me and made me finish strong. I don't think I want to try to stay with them every week, but it felt good last night!


Friday, July 10, 2015

A Belly Story

Sometimes, at the right moment, the right time, the right lighting, the right smoke and mirrors, I can look like I want to look in pictures.  Most of us can.  Clothing, lighting, filters - we can manage it.  In pictures. 

  Oh, look at me a few months ago!  Exercising with a kid hug! Whee! Trying to look fit-ish? (It really was a great moment) 

And then there are other times.

   Like this.

I want to summarize my birthing stories as quickly as possible.  *sucks in breath *

I spent most of my teen youth 130-135 pounds.  I am 5'9".  Eventually I weighed 150lb at one point in my life (ages 25-28), then lost a bunch of weight and lingered at 135lb (ages 28-31) then steadily gained weight up to 160lb right before my wedding at age 33 (I taught near a White Castle).  Then for fun I gained ten more pounds after getting married (beer and INCREDIBLY good food). No exercising.

Didn't think I would get pregnant because MANY REASONS, but I did - and when I did, I weighed 170 pounds.  DID NOT EXERCISE AT ALL while pregnant because I was afraid I would lose the fetus because "you're not supposed to do anything 'new' while pregnant" and I never really moved at all, so there it is.  Then, finally - I weighed 230 pounds when I had Alex via unscheduled cesarean.  Got down to 165 when I became pregnant with Mads 18 months later, only went up to 210 with her, and back to 170 after her birth. (Thanks, breastfeeding and neighborhood walks)

*exhales*  We can now return to normal grammar.

My belly, as it is, is pretty much ruined. It can be fixed, but I don't have a normal core at all right now. I have diastasis recti.

When you take away the perfect "photo setting", you see this.  (Also, I was sucking in on this one.)
I've never shown anyone these pictures of my stomach.  Not ever.  My husband has seen me.  My dermatologist and my GP.  That's it.  Everyone else has seen "Heather in some sort of covering," but never these.

Me

What I see when I look down and don't suck in
 

And why start now?  Why share these?  Why now?  Because I want women to understand.

I want women to know that this is what we hide.  This is what I hide under clothing.  But I am not just hiding a "not-perfect-looking belly".  

I am hiding the pain that comes from all exercising.  Because it does physically hurt me some times.

The hurt I experience with lifting and carrying my kids (and groceries or whatnot... at the same time).  

Standing up straight.  Trying to do yoga, sometimes biking makes it worse. Running often hurts. I can't keep my core tight when I swim.

It all hurts.  

Almost everything I do.  It hurts. 

We use our core for everything and mine is broken.  Some people would never guess that about me.  But there it is. I do exercises for other core muscles, but the big ones that I need just don't work.

It's not "woe is me," though.  Not. At. All. Not anymore, at least.

       These kids.

This is something that SUCKS because it HURTS.  But, it can be fixed (someday I will probably beg for a tummy tuck).  And I can manage, although painfully, in the mean time.

I can ride my bike 112 miles with this stomach.

      I rode fast enough with this belly.

I can run 13.1 miles.

(My belly looked like this when I was 153 lbs and ran 13.1 miles in March 2014.)


I can swim 1.2 miles, ride 56 miles and then run(walk) 13.1 miles.  Not sub 6-hours.  But I can I do it.

    May 31, 2015 - Raleigh Ironman 70.3. - 165 pounds, dehydrated, and sucking it in.

Sometimes there are reasons people cannot exercise.  And sometimes it is just us, just our minds, holding us back.

I beg you to listen to your soul - to know the difference - and to get out there when you can, as often as you can. I finally listened to the difference, and I will keep getting out there as much as I can.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Introvert, The Extrovert and The Queen Bee

The Introvert V. The Extrovert


You can't go a few weeks on social media without coming across an article or quiz that has something to do with "We're Here, We're Introverts, And We Hate It." Or something to do with extroverts and their fear of alone time. It's all really silly, when you think about it. I think it boils down to everyone being different, and everyone using energy in different ways. Having said that, going by standard definitions, my husband is more of an extreme introvert and I lean introverted with a healthy appreciation for spending time with others and even attending parties and so forth.

When Derek and I were first married, I had visions of married life being weekend dinners with friends, hosting parties and using all the crap we had registered for at Bed Bath and Beyond to entertain friends. I saw us becoming friends with neighbors and sitting out on porches while making small talk and having a beer. That never happened in our townhouse. The woman who lived next door to us was a Queen Bee (just wait) and the people on the other side let their 110-pound golden retriever poop on our sidewalk and never cleaned it up. (It was a beautiful dog, and I loved that dog. He always came up to greet us when we got home, but I just didn't appreciate cleaning up his dog poop everyday because he wasn't our dog). I mean, he actually pooped by our front door, every single day, and they never cleaned it up.  Anyway, we never developed the "as seen on TV" married life that I had envisioned. When we knew we wanted a second child, we also wanted more space and moved to the house we live in now.

The neat thing about our neighborhood is people tend to move in at the same time, and nearly everyone is looking for friends. Probably so they can also use their useless Bed Bath and Beyond wooden cheese tray with matching knives. Except, of course, for my introverted husband. It's not that he is opposed to making friends, he likes people very much, really - but he is shy and feels like he is a social idiot (which he isn't, but he feels that way), so he avoids small talk.

Right before Mads turned one, I was unfortunately pulled into a group discussion on Facebook about smoking at the neighborhood pool (believe it or not, our neighborhood pool has a smoking section.). I was not thrilled about it, composed and shared a strong letter to the HOA expressing my displeasure (at the urging of a neighbor) and HAD NO IDEA THAT OTHER PEOPLE IN THE CONVERSATION WERE SMOKERS. I would have NEVER written a letter that slammed smoking and shared it with neighbors who smoked. It was not insulting, but was very strongly worded against the health concerns and making the pool area smell unpleasant.  One of the women in the group, then posted a Vaguebook status update that said "Some people need to get a job and a life. Glad I have a career so I don't sit around all day complaining about things."

Being a believer in "fierce conversations," I confronted the woman and asked if she was talking about me (I still didn't know she smoked at this time!). She replied that she had the right to her feelings.

Sigh.

I realized at that moment I wasn't going to have that "small chit chat on the front porch," the parties, and the entertaining dishes we registered for were going to continue to sit in our kitchen cabinets for the indefinite future.

The Queen Bee




I think everyone knows a queen bee, and if they don't - it's probably because they are the queen bee. Queen Bees are usually very personable, very intelligent, very fun and god help you if they don't like you.You find them at your job, at the gym, in your neighborhood, your church, and on-line. They're everywhere. Queen Bees never like me, never ever. I can't exactly figure out why. I mean, I know I have a crap ton of undesirable traits (chronic complainer, conversation monopolizer, strong political views, I like weird things, etc,). But there do seem to be a few people who keep me around in spite of all that, and I don't even have to pay them.

Everyone likes the Queen Bee because she is a leader. You want to do the things she does, too. The people who are in the Queen Bee's circle love-love-LOVE her, and why shouldn't they?  She is a wonderful friend to them. But when the Queen Bee dislikes some folks - look. the. heck. out. I had a Queen Bee shun me on an internet forum a few years back. It really kind of sucked, because I had previously enjoyed the forum before the shunning. It wasn't just a shunning from her - she did a fantastic job of pulling in others. Folks who had tolerated me before, now joined in on the vicious remarks. Some deserved - I know I can grate on the nerves, but I don't think I deserved it to that extent.

Let's pause. If you're still reading, that is. Yes. This is totally, nutso, psychotic-sounding banter. I wish I were making it up. Unfortunately, my completely drama-free husband would back me up on all of this, and he loathes it - he hates that I am right, but mostly hates that it happens. It just proves that people can be awful to each other and he is usually much more optimistic than I am (and my heart bleeds liberal banter 24/7). It's not the sort of thing you want to be true.

There's a Queen Bee in my life, on the fringe. I try really hard to avoid it because as much as I would like to break out that chip and dip bowl, the crystal serving platter, the traveling cake thing-a-ma-jig, I just can't. I can't do whatever it is I am supposed to do to be on the good side of a Queen Bee. So, it means a few folks that used to be friendly with me now turn away when I see them. Folks that used to have small talk with me no longer do.  Gossip can be part of the Queen Bee's arsenal, and I am sure it's been fired, goodness knows I vent often enough on Facebook and give her plenty of ammo. (I can't stop my fingers sometimes!) Sad face, though. Ya know?

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE.

This is where you look at this.  Look at this entire crazy, NUTJOB situation and then you look at your jar of Giving-A-F**k's.  And you look back at Queen Bee. Then the jar...

And you save your serving dishes for a time in the future when your kids are older, your house is a little cleaner. You enjoy your small meals as a family and the time you spend with your good friends. And you save your Giving-a-F**ks for the things that really need attention in this world.

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Smile is Contagious

Last June I went for a ride with a few cyclists from a neighboring community. During the ride, they mentioned a very local sprint triathlon in Wake Forest, NC called "Smile Train," which then introduced me to the Smile Train charity. At that point, I had only completed two super sprint triathlons and was signed up for the Rex Wellness Three-Peat Series hosted by FS Series. I started considering it until I heard one of the ridiculously in-shape men say, "one heck of a run, though." Well - that answered that! I immediately dismissed it without giving it a second thought. Maybe next year.

A few weeks ago, a friend mentioned the Smile Train triathlon again. I didn't want to do the race because I am preparing for Ironman 70.3 Steelhead on August 9th. Then two more friends said they were racing it, so I asked my coach what he thought about it and he said "YES!" Alrighty then! Completed my on-line registration and told the husband our plans had changed a little for the weekend.

The race is honestly about ten minutes from my front door, I could have ridden my bike but it's a little hilly, so I decided to drive. Parking is difficult, and there was a bit of a walk to the transition area from my car. Set-up quickly, retrieved my timing chip and wore my extra sneakers so I could run a bit before the race. Socialized with my friend who is 23-weeks pregnant with their first child, talked with my coach a bit and other friends. Ran up and down the street a little and then it was time to get in line to swim.

Look at this amazing mama-to-be, Laura Swanson!


I set watch to "Triathlon" as I stepped into the pool. However, the Garmin 920 has a battery-saving feature that allows it to go into power-save mode when not in use. When it was finally my time to swim, I looked down and saw THE CLOCK instead of the swim page. UGH! I was about to hit the buttons when the guy said, "go." I then figured I would turn it on at the end of the lane, but once I got going I did not want to stop and mess around.

The swim was alright, and was my fastest in-a-race swim. Smile Train uses the Heritage Community Pool and arranges the lanes so you are not sharing them, but snake through the pool in your own lane. This is really nice, as I tend to hit my hands on the lane dividers during shared-lane pool races. The end of this swim requires you to climb out of the pool without a ladder, and unfortunately this is really hard for me to do with diastasis recti. I managed to get one knee on the edge and pulled myself out, but did scrape up my knee. The run to the transition area was short, but did have a sharp right turn, and my bike was pretty far from the entrance.  Wiped off my face, put on helmet, stepped into shoes (no socks), grabbed sunglasses and ran out of the transition area.

Swim, 250 yards: 00:05:49
T1: 00:01:18

The bike start requires you to ride over several speed humps in the Heritage neighborhood until exiting on to a country road. Couldn't really get going too fast out of fear of falling on one of the humps. Maneuvering over those also prevented me from fussing with my watch, so I just decided to ride "blind." Bike strategy: Operation Haul A$$. I was happy to finally get out on a fairly flat road when I realized the wind had picked up a bit and I was riding straight into it. I tried not to get too cranky, because this meant I would have a nice boost on the way back. Passed several folks and just hammered as hard as I could. Kept thinking about the watch and told myself I could set it for a run after I got onto the run course. Heading back to the transition area inside the neighborhood is a steady grade, so I dropped the chain into the little wheel and maintained a high cadence to get my legs ready for the run. Passed Derek and the kids (wearing their Team Drea shirts!) and that definitely made me happy. <3 Dismounted and carried my bike up over the curb and back into transition. Saw a gentleman who told me before the race that this was his first triathlon - I asked if he was having fun, and he happily exclaimed "it's awesome!" It sure is! I did take the time to put on socks for the run, because unfortunately I had rubbed my heel raw earlier in the week.


Bike, 12 miles: 00:41:05 (17.5mph)
T2: 00:01:37

I saw my coach as I was leaving the transition area for the run. I said, "I totally forgot my watch, so I have no idea how I am doing!" He smiled and said, "you're doing great!" I decided to believe him.  I looked down at my watch and thought, "you know - why not just run without setting it. See what happens." The weather was gorgeous, the rains the night before cooled off everything and the wind - while annoying on the bike - seemed to blow away the humidity. Run strategy: Operation Don't Walk (very much). The funniest thing happened - I didn't walk! Had no idea what my pace was, but I just kept pushing and shuffling along. I did walk through the water stations, and walked just a bit at the crest of two hills, but really pushed it. Saw friends and teammates, and for the first time, I didn't have a billion people passing me on the run. In fact, I even passed a few people! And it REALLY is a hilly run, those Heritage guys weren't lying. Incredibly thankful the weather was on my side.

My drunky, endorphine-y self came out as I started to pass a woman walking up the very last hill. I wouldn't let her walk! I kept saying, "come with me - we are almost done, let's run together," and she did not really want anything to do with me at first. (Can you blame her?) But finally she agreed and we ran up the hill together, talking a bit about everything and nothing, just like runners do. It felt really nice to be have the energy to encourage someone else, as I am usually the person who needs it. Derek mentioned I looked a little too fresh at the end, so I guess I *could* have pushed it even harder on the run.

Run, 3.1 miles: 00:32:25 (10:27)


Overall: 01:22:16  (OA 168/294, G 54/127, C 8/26)

They didn't have results posted before I left, so I didn't know how I did until I got home and checked it on the computer.

That's when I saw it.

This screen capture was from that day, my age group position in the run portion changed to 14


I had not only PR'd every part of the race, pace-wise (except the bike, I once averaged 17.6mph on a 10-mile course), that was the fastest 5K I have EVER run. EVER. I think I jumped about ten feet in the air, did a HUGE fist pump and shouted, "YES! YES! YES!" a million times.

It was just a perfect race. Beautiful weather, gorgeous course, friends and family, kind racers. My coach's athletes all did very well, too - with one taking Overall Female, another top ten Overall, and everyone finishing top ten in their age group. 

Coach Brooks Doughtie and his athletes


You really can't ask for a better way to start a day. Definitely put a smile on my face.