Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bike shops

If you know me at all, you know that I am fiercely loyal. I’m loyal to friends, family and good service.  In this relatively new triathlon life that is mine, I have had experience with a few bike and running shops, some good and some not so good.
I started out racing triathlons on the mountain bike I had that had never been ridden much. It was a good option since I did not have a clue what I was doing and did not know if it would last. It did last so after my first season, I ventured out for an entry level bike. The guys at Bikers Edge in Kaysville were extremely helpful with the purchase of my Cannondale (above). If you are in the Kaysville area, I recommend them.

When this season rolled around, I decided it was time for an upgrade and was excited when Will from High Knees Cycling in St. George made a bike selection for me. Will and his team was our bike support crew during the March GPP Triathlon Camp in St. George. It was fun to get to know them and be assured we were being taken care of by people who had triathlon experience. I was apprehensive at first about buying a bike long distance but Will delivered a Ridley Liz to me and has been available many times for questions and to help when I’ve been in St. George.  If you are in the St. George area, please check out the best bike shop in Southern Utah!

There were times this summer that I could not get south for various bike needs, so I turned to Top Gear Bicycle Shop in Bountiful. I needed to get a quick fit on my Ridley to tide me over until I could make it down south to get a proper fitting. Brett at Top Gear took care of me at that time and several times since when something needed tweaking. When my bike was stolen and my friend let me use my old bike, Brett and Josh fitted it to me again and even changing out my cleats. During one visit, they showed me a more tri specific bike (Trek Speed Concept) that was going to work for me even better than the one that was stolen. They had it ready for me the day I was leaving for my last race of the year.
I won’t bore you with all the details of everything these guys have done for me but know that if you are in need of help with anything bike related, they have the state of Utah covered. If you are in Southern Utah, stop by and say hi to Will and crew at High Knees or Northern Utah, see Brett and Josh at Top Gear.  Love you guys!



Monday, December 9, 2013

HITS Palm Springs Triathlon recap

Considering it was December 8th, it really was a beautiful morning for a triathlon. Normally December in Palm Springs shows temperatures around 70-80 degrees but with the cold snap we’ve had around the country, temps had dropped to the 60 degree range.  This event was a relatively recent addition to my calendar thanks to a fellow triathlete who “talked me into it.” I’ve been told that I need to quit caving to peer pressure! The others who were to compete this weekend ended up not coming down. This should have been a clue to me to not go but I am all about wanting to do that one last race of the year. My friend and surrogate daughter, Ashlan, planned on making the trip with me. The odds were stacked against us from the beginning.
My week began on Monday with my bike being stolen off of my car in my work parking lot. It was a “thing” but it dealt me a devastating blow to lose it. I have never been accused of sitting back and waiting for results so in a fast 72 hours I selected and was fitted for a new bike. I still feel violated that this person decided it was ok to take something that wasn’t his but there is always a silver lining and I believe I have gotten a better bike that will carry me through to my Ironman race next year. The second setback was when we were leaving Ashlan’s house Thursday night. She has a steep driveway and when backing out I slid into a fire hydrant. Small amount of damage but off we went anyway.  The temps were so cold on the way to St. George. At one point even hitting 23 below.

We were able to stay in St. George that night to break up the long drive and Friday morning we were off to sunny California. We made it to Palm Springs in time to check in for the race and check out the expo. The HITS series triathlons have a distance for everyone. Saturday was the half and full-ironman distance and Sunday was the open, sprint and Olympic distance races. The weather was a little crappy on Saturday and the competitors had to deal with some wind and rain. We were scheduled to volunteer on the bike course for Saturday and while we were not really needed we did find a purpose. A half distance cyclist crashed and needed stitches and transported back to the start since his bike wasn’t functioning. This is the first year he started triathlon and this was his first long distance race. It was fun to talk with him and help him out and I think we talked him into competing in St. George in May.

I was scheduled for both a 20 minute bike and run so headed back to hotel. First time on the new bike and it rode great. We called it a day after that and found a place to eat lunch/dinner.
Babe’s. Great place and I think we sampled everything on the menu. By then we headed back to hotel and vegged out the rest of the day. 4:30 am came really early.

It was about 45 degrees when we headed to lake at 5:30. The care and detail that HITS puts into their races is amazing. Transition area is nothing like I’ve ever seen.
The water temperature was supposed to be 60-63 but it was more like 55. I’ve raced where the water temp was warmer than the air but have never felt this cold. We had an in water start and when the horn blew and I started swimming I could not catch my breath. After about 100 yards I had to stop for a minute. I actually could not get into a rhythm of breathing and started heading to the shore thinking that this was going to be the first time ever of quitting a race. After a minute of contemplation, I started swimming again and somehow made it to T1. Slowest transition ever – 7 minutes. I know some people had hypothermia on Saturday after the longer swims and I could see why. I put a long sleeve top and a windbreaker on and headed out on the bike. I should have had shoe covers and gloves on. My feet did not thaw out until mile 2 on the run and my hands were cold the entire race. It was a flat course and after my slow swim I was happy to pass several dozen bikes. Everyone was having issues. T2 was quite a bit faster and the run was really nice. The weather had warmed up and I could shed my long sleeves and was happy I could finally feel my feet.
This was by far the most difficult triathlon of my life but am happy to say that my mental toughness training paid off. One last test of that was that after a quick shower and loading of car, we drove the entire way back home, making it in about ten hours.  This was a great venue and with a few changes in my preparation, I will definitely do it again.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lemon into Lemonade

I love the holiday season. Even with the stress of deadlines, getting the perfect presents and all the other things that go with it.  It wasn't always so for me, though. As an adult, I made a decision that this time of year was going to be a joyful time. Simple as that - I made a decision. When my boys came along, it became more important than ever for me.

I didn't have the greatest of childhoods. This is not to say that I don't have some good memories but there was a lot of less than desirable times. My mom and dad drank. My dad drank a lot. There was something about the holiday season that exacerbated this so the time from Thanksgiving until January 2nd was always a rollercoaster. There was physical abuse from him to my mom. Not us kids but as the oldest of four children, I was always there as a witness and to help clean up the carnage. It's odd to think back on this now - these days it would be considered child abuse and we probably would have been removed from the home. There were many holiday dinners that ended up with the contents of the table on the floor because of some disagreement between my parents. Funny that it just seemed a way of life to us.

I don't blame my parents for any of this. I believe they were doing the best they could with the skill set that they had. Other than this my parents always provided good care and shelter for us. They taught us right and wrong. They loved us the best they could. I was angry at one point in my life when I realized that not everyone lived the way we did but as I matured a little I was able to forgive both my parents and live out the remainder of their lives with a fairly decent relationship.

I share this morose little tidbit about myself to show that we do not have to let our past define us. I have taken the lemons that life dealt me and turned them into a wonderful life filled with lemonade! It has been a long and not so easy journey but each day I take another step and make a decision to be happy and be accountable for my choices.

I love the holiday season and hope that yours is filled with much joy and happiness!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ironman Arizona

I went to Arizona this weekend to volunteer at Ironman Arizona and to cheer on my friends that were competing. I stayed with family and as always felt their great love! It was a whirlwind trip, arriving Saturday morning and leaving Monday morning. This was the first time I have volunteered for a full Ironman and it won’t be the last.
It was a beautiful site early in the morning at Ironman Village.
 My shift at the bike special needs location didn’t start until 10 am so I was able to be at the start and watch the age groupers all go at the sound of the cannon. What an amazing sight!
The water instantly turned into a washing machine. Seeing this made me a little more nervous for my own big race next year. I stayed to watch some of the athletes I know exit the water and head to bike transition before heading out to my assigned station. I was at about the 15, 50 & 100 mile mark. It was a 3 loop course so I was able to see people several times. It was great fun talking to the athletes as they stopped for their special needs bags, to refresh their bottles and get nutrition and sunscreen. Some were all business and just grabbed their bags on the go but a lot of them really wanted the break so would stop and chat. It was interesting to see what each person thought was important to have in their bags. There was as much variety as there were people.

Earlier this year, I bought the book "Feed Zone Portables" by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim.
Feed Zone Portables I don't necessarily have nutrition issues but am always looking for better, healthier methods of fueling during a race. I especially think this will be necessary as I head into longer training sessions and races. Anyway, I read the book but have not had the time to make any of the recipes and try them out. One of the cyclists who stopped in my area had what was obviously food prepared from this book. I recognized the wrappings so I asked him.  His wife is a nutritionist and they started preparing this food earlier this year. He told me since he stopped using processed nutrition and switched to the feed zone food, his performance has gotten much better and he's had no issues. He even gave me one of his rice cakes to try since he had over packed his bag. It was delicious and I can't wait to spend the winter months experimenting with the recipes.
I finished my four plus hour shift and headed back to Ironman Village to cheer on the people on the run and meet up with my friends. I can tell you that during a weekend like this with little sleep, we get a little crazy and there was lots of laughter! It the middle of this craziness, I decided that I would register for 2014 IMAZ. This race sells out immediately but if you volunteer you get a jumpstart on the registration process. Most of the friends I was with were going to campout to be first in line Monday morning to register.
The wristband proves you volunteered and lets you get in the early line! I got caught up in the excitement of the weekend but actually thought better of it Sunday night. I figured I better get through my first Ironman in May and then decide if I want to do a second one!

Last week was a great week. The GPP Master's class has grown in size and it's been exciting to watch them push their limits and go beyond what they thought possible. And my piece of good news for the week was that my application to be a USAT Level I Certified Coach was accepted so I'll be going to a training class in February and then will be able to work even more sharing this sport I've come to love dearly.

The next two weeks are going to be crazy, getting ready for Thanksgiving, training and heading into a busy time at work!

Have you ever done something because you got caught up in the moment?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ironman Training Day 1

I caught this beautiful sunset last week on my drive home from teaching class!

I woke up this morning and decided that this day is my official start for my Ironman training. I say this even though I am constantly in some sort of training mode but felt there had to be a “1st Day"! The morning began rather ominously and has put me into a “full of doubt” mode. Not good when I will be competing in about six months in the hardest race of my life.

Computrainer class starts tonight. If you don’t know, this is an indoor cycling class where the bike is connected to a computerized trainer that can be programmed for specific workouts, wattage and power. It is a valuable resource for triathlon training in the colder months. I did these classes two years ago and could really tell the difference when spring came and I was able to get outside versus last year when I did not participate. Before starting classes, you need to have a Lactate Threshold Assessment done. Through this process your lactate threshold is analyzed and then power zones are set specifically set for your ability.

I was excited to do this and see a huge improvement over my last test from two years ago. I was disappointed to get the email showing my zones are exactly the same as last time. I thought it would show a big difference. They did show that my lactate and heart rate are much lower than before but I can’t help but feel defeated already on this first day of training.

The other aspect of the Ironman training that I need to master is balance. Balance in my life with home, church, work, teaching and training. Last week I had to miss a swim workout because I was not organized and felt overwhelmed. I am going to have to be much more on top of things in order to be able to do what is necessary to get me to the end goal. This means planning my food for the week, organizing my workout equipment for each day, planning my life out at least for one week at a time and still functioning at my day job. Thank goodness my training plan is done for me and accessible in Training Peaks.

My darling hubby cast doubt on me today as well with a simple comment that I know he did not mean negatively.

What I know is this journey will be a roller coaster ride with my physical and mental abilities and most of all my emotions. I will not beat myself up and I will listen to my kind and caring coach! I am excited to see where this journey takes me and what I am to learn.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Winter and Ironman

This month is the start of my 33rd year of living in Utah. Winter shows up with a vengeance every year. I moved here from the eastern Oregon/Washington area where we did not have much of a winter. I don’t like winter. I am not sure what possessed me to stay here in the beginning. As a poor young person, I walked to work at the U without owning a pair of gloves or boots. My parents sent me these necessities for Christmas that first year.  Utah is such a beautiful state with so much to see and I have to believe that is what kept me here.

No running for me the past couple of weeks. I have been in a medically induced state of rest. Last week after returning from the Iron Girl Triathlon, I endured a PRP (platelet rich plasma) injection in my hamstring. This is the third time I have done this and it has really helped me heal. If you’ve never heard of this, Google it. It’s not a very fun process but I truly believe it has helped me get and stay pain free. The deal is no exercising for a couple of weeks and then starting back light the next week. The timing was good for me since my October schedule had thrashed my legs fairly good and rest was in order.

On a good note, I found out that for the Nike Women's Half Marathon that I ran two weeks post-marathon where I wasn't too sure about my legs, I placed 177/881 in my age group. this is the best I have every run in one of the "big" races.

The countdown is 130 days to my half distance Ironman in Monterrey, Mexico. In my mind, it seems far away but it will be here before I know it! Staying healthy while training is my biggest focus. I believe that I will make the cutoff times and finish the race.

Somewhere during the weekend my thoughts turned to whether I could actually compete in a full ironman distance race. I kept trying to push these thoughts away, especially since I’ve made the declaration that I never want to run a marathon again. It stayed on my mind through yesterday and after looking at potential locations and checking with my coach, I took the plunge and registered for Ironman Texas 2014.

This scares the crap out of me but I believe we need to do things that scare us periodically.  More to come on this development and the training. I’m happy that a bunch of my friends will be competing at this race and I can learn from them.

I still don’t like winter but I am much better equipped at handling it these days.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Iron Girl - Las Vegas

I was really excited to head to warm weather to compete in the Athleta Iron Girl triathlon in Las Vegas last weekend.  It was my last planned event of the year until a friend came up with just one more in December!  I’m a sucker for a destination race.

Photo: Saying until later to Lake Las Vegas...
The weather in Vegas was supposed to be in the 70s and it actually got up into the 80s. It did not disappoint. The event was held at the resort at Lake Las Vegas with reported water temperature of 68 degrees, however race morning it was 63.  Not a big deal except that we could not get in the water early so my first exposure was when they said “go”!  It took a few seconds to catch my breath but then I was off. It was a time trial start which I have not done in open water before. I got bumped around a little and then someone tried swimming between my legs. That was interesting!  There was a long transition distance but it had warmed up nicely and I was off on the bike. We immediately went into a climb and most of the course was very hilly. I took advantage of the few downhills, topping out over 30 mph at times. With about a half mile to the transition, my front tire flatted. First experience with that! I managed to stay upright and rode to transition but my heart was pumping pretty hard.  The run course was hilly as well with the first mile or so being a pretty good climb. I felt like I was running in quicksand but was pleasantly surprised with my run time at the end. I finished 5th in my age group of this all woman race and have something to shoot for next year. Yes, it is one that I will repeat! My friend, Darlene, did the Olympic distance and bettered her time from last year by over an hour! 

The Iron Nun, Sister Madonna Buder, was at the race and was competing. She is 83 years old and started doing triathlons in her fifties and has gone to the Kona World Championships. Pretty amazing and inspirational woman!

Overall it was a pretty great weekend!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nike Women's Half Marathon

I spent last weekend in San Francisco with a dozen girlfriends also known as my adopted family!
We were there to run in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon.
This is a great race – you run and at the finish there are handsome firemen in tuxes handing out Tiffany’s necklaces.

There are about 30,000 participants so you can just imagine how crazy not just the race is but the city in general. Lots of sightseeing, shopping and laughter happening. This was my second year running it and I wasn’t sure how it was going to be since I was only two weeks out from my marathon. My legs were still a little trashed but since I was not worried about my time, I went to enjoy the sisterhood. A group of us booked and went on a tour of Alcatraz – at night.  Kind of cre It was fun to learn even more about this prison that was only in operation for a brief time! Kind of creepy! It was fun to learn even more about this prison that was only in operation for a brief time.
The view from the island on the return trip was beautiful!
Saturday was spent walking around, shopping and eating. Then we got to bed early so the morning alarm wouldn’t seem so bad. At the race start I was a couple of corrals back so it took over 20 minutes for me to cross the start line. It was a chilly 50 degrees and foggy so I had a long sleeve shirt and gloves on to start. The gloves came off after 45 minutes but the shirt stayed on for the entire race. I was running a little slower than normal but keeping a steady pace until the hill at mile 7. That’s when I found that my legs were not working well and I ended up walking up most of it.  And since my time in that mile was already slow, I took advantage of the no lines for the port-a-potty. I felt fine the last six miles and was surprised at ten miles to see that I had a chance of beating last year’s time and ended up taking 10 minutes off and feeling pretty good. The finish line needs some work to be more efficient. There are always huge lines waiting for shirts, food, necklaces and firemen so it takes awhile to pick up your drop bag and get something warmer to wear. It’s a fun experience though and well worth doing at least once. The rest of the day was spent—and this shouldn’t be a surprise—resting, eating and shopping! With the Bart workers on strike, it was an adventure getting back to the airport but I did and made it home without much else happening. It is nice to be home and back to a routine. Not sure about you but my eating gets a little out of hand when I am traveling – so much good food to try.  It was nice to see this box in the mail at home - 
It's my first Kona Kase with samples of all sort of healthy sports goodies.  I tried the banana snacks last night and they were pretty good. This morning my race weekend weight is almost gone again and I am ready to tackle another race on Saturday, one of my last two triathlons of the year. More later!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Random thoughts!

I started out last weekend with a stay in Midway with fellow Red Rock Relay volunteers.  We were up and out of the hotel before 6 am to work at exchanges for this one day relay.  If the thought of a two day, 200 mile relay sounds like too much, you should check out the RRR relays in Moab and Park City.  They are one day, 70 miles and are a blast!  It felt strange to not be running but my legs are still recovering from my marathon adventure.  I was at exchange two which was about 8 miles into the race for the runners.  It was a beautiful but cold morning.  Then it was off to lunch at my son’s new home and to the Utes football game.  We were projected as underdogs in the game but I had faith and our team pulled through, upsetting the 5th ranked Stanford team.  It was beautiful!
I was pondering (don’t you love that word!) the other day what my purpose in life might be.  Does this ever cross your mind?  I have always told my boys that God must have some kind of plan for me because I really should not be alive now.  I have survived two rollover accidents, alcoholism, taking more drugs than I care to remember (and probably don’t) and on and on and on.  So it just makes me wonder what it might be – was it to bring my beautiful children into the world, meet, marry and annoy constantly my wonderful husband, getting sober and sharing my story, giving my kidney to a random stranger?  Each time something new happens, I think this must be it and my time is up but life goes on.  Now I wonder if it is this personal trainer certification.  I taught my first class at GPP last night.  It is a “master’s” age class.  I am really excited for this, to share what I have learned and experienced in the past six years.  Two ladies came and it was fun seeing them realize what they could do.  Regardless of what my purpose might be, I will keep on getting out of bed in the morning and seeing what the day has in store for me.

I really hope the “tiredness” leaves my legs soon.  I’m off to San Francisco this weekend to run with a few thousand crazy women on a quest for a Tiffany’s necklace given out by a hot fireman in a tux!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

St. George Marathon

The weekend of the race finally arrived.  I went to St. George a couple of days before race day to kind of get myself in a mental state of being ready.  Did an hour swim on Thursday and then a two mile run Friday morning before going to the expo.
My body felt good and as ready as it was going to be for the marathon.  The weather was supposed to be a perfect temperature but the wind picked up Thursday night and did not really quit until Saturday morning.  That worried me a little but once the race started, it stopped.  The rest of my group arrived on Friday afternoon and we had a pre-race dinner at the house.  Steaks, salmon, pasta salad, sweet potato casserole and apple cobbler – it was yummy.  I have really fun and supportive friends who wanted to make the race-eve memorable!
We made a plan on where to meet to load buses in the morning and said an early goodnight.  3:45 am comes really early!  The crew at my house headed to the buses but we didn’t see our friends so we loaded and headed up to the start.  Having never done a marathon before, I was noticing how far we were driving and realizing that I would be running back the same way!   We stood in line for over a half hour for the bathroom and a little more to drop our clothes bag and then the race started so there wasn’t a lot of time to think about anything.  We never did find the others in our group but I was going to run alone so I knew I would just see them at the finish.  My biggest problem is always starting out too fast so I worked hard on watching my pace so I would not run out of steam.  I was running a little under the pace I had planned for but felt good so stayed with my run/walk plan.  The course was beautiful and it was fun to see the sun coming up over the red hills and the beautiful setting.  I failed a little on my nutrition plan but never felt deficient.  I did have a little “bathroom” problem and ended up stopping half a dozen times the first 20 miles.  The weather was about 37 degrees to start so I left sweatpants and a long sleeve tech shirt on for the first hour or so.  They say this is a “downhill” course but there are several little blips on the elevation chart that translate into hills but nothing insurmountable.  Until mile 19 starts.  Coach Lizz and I had talked about this so I was prepared and, as I told her after, “I ran up the effing hill at 18-19!”  I hit 20 miles at about the same time as I did on my training run and still feeling good.  A 10k left – no problem!  My pace dropped a little but I was in familiar territory and knew the end was near.  As I rounded the corner for the last mile, there was my husband taking pictures and cheering me on with our friends.
That gave me what I needed to finish.  When I first registered all I wanted to do was finish in at least 6 hours but as I trained, I thought I could maybe get it done in 5:15-5:30.  My time was 5:19 so I was happy!  I found my friends who had finished before me, we took pics and headed to clean up.
The funny thing about this picture is that there were 5 guys that we were facing that were taking pictures - we should have gotten one of them!

After an ice bath and shower, I felt almost human again.  Unlike some of my younger friends (Candice & Kenzie!!!), I will not return to the gym until Wednesday and even then it will be at half effort.  The sense of accomplishment that I have is enormous – I ran a marathon!  Thanks to all my friends and family who believed in and encouraged me.  Especially to Wes, who delayed his work life in order to be here for me!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Madness Week

Here it is - madness week (oh, I mean marathon week).  Let the madness begin.  It's already started as I feel so many aches and pains (imaginary or not).  I told hubby last night that I probably would not be able to run since everything had started hurting.  Of course I understand that this is not true but it feels real at the moment.
I weighed in yesterday at my lowest adult weight ever and so a good thing about this process as Coach Lizz pointed out is that most people gain weight while training for a marathon.  I eat and some days I eat a lot but I have been trying to eat smartly.  My husband makes fun of my "gourmet" dinners.

But I quite enjoy them and they are filling.  Now today is a different story. We had an ice cream truck at work with homemade ice cream - a treat for the employees for getting through our inventory in a timely manner.  Most of my co-workers were telling me that they probably had "diet" ice cream but as I told them, there is no point in that.  I do like a good homemade ice cream.  And it was yummy!
111 hours to race start.  And it looks like it's for real because they show me with a bib number.

St. George Marathon BIB Number Assignment

Suzanne Martin
Your BIB Number is: 8546

I will sign off now for a week of tapering, worrying and a lot of self talk.  More to come next week!



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Weight loss and running a marathon

I remember very clearly the moment that my legs and knees stopped rubbing together during a workout run and when my arms hung down straight to my sides. If one has never been heavy, it’s a hard feeling to describe.  At that point, I had only lost a fraction of where I am now. I have recently hit the 90 pound loss mark from my very heaviest, 55 of those pounds lost in the past 4 years.
And now
I also remember the day that we had to run 2 miles for our Saturday gym workout. I ran the first mile and had to walk most of the second and my hip flexors hurt for a week. And now I am getting ready to run my one and only full marathon.  I can hardly believe that in 9 days I will be at the start line of the St. George Marathon.  After running 23 half marathons in the past three years, a full never really was on my “bucket list”.  I sorta, kinda got talked into it by a friend and my hubby.  I am trained and ready for it.  I will not break any kind of speed records but I will finish it.  Then I never have to do one again.  I quite like the half marathon distance, it’s a reasonable time in which to finish and the training time doesn’t suck!

I’m in the taper madness phase of this upcoming race.  Still doing a little something something but cutting back on frequency and intensity.  And don’t even get me started on the eating.  I know it is okay to eat a little more in the days leading up to the race but this hunger is beyond what I have normally experienced.  My mantra this week has been “trust your training” so I need keep repeating it and know that I have done everything I can to get to the race start!

This has turned into a little bit of a rambling post so I’ll close for now.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bear Lake Brawl-Olympic

This one worried me. Of course, all the new distances give me that feeling but since I have already done an Olympic distance in the Burley Spudman race, I wasn’t worried about the bike and run, it was swimming a mile without the current. Bear Lake was my first sprint open water tri and I remember standing on the shore looking at the buoys, thinking how far out they looked. It was the same on Saturday only now I had to swim around them twice!
My wave was the last wave to start but we had to get there early before transition closed so it was a good two hour plus wait for me once I set my bike and run stuff up. The air temperature was a brisk 46 degrees but the water was about 65. Darlene and I swam out to one buoy on Friday night so I knew the water was going to be good. I got in about 20 minutes before my wave started to warm up so I was ready to go when we counted down.  I swam the whole time, meaning no stopping, no breaststroke, or backstroke. My goal was under 46 minutes so with the .15 mile from water to transition being included in the official swim time, I made sure to check my Garmin when I exited water – 45:30! I know that is not fast by most standards but it’s a huge accomplishment for me.
Both the bike and run were two out and backs which I’m not sure I really liked but they were non-eventful (except for the white truck that tried to pull out as I was making my first turn around on the bike-WTH?). I passed a few people on the bike and then got passed by a few on the run. Between 4-5 miles, my left foot went numb which is a little tricky when on a run! I will have to check the laces before I use my tri shoes again.
Since the Olympic female wave was last, there were not a lot of people at the finish line but it was fun to have the cheering going on by the few who were there. I was grateful to Sylvia and Darlene for cheering me on and taking pictures! I received my finish line card saying that I had taken 2nd in my age group but when the official announcement came, I had been bumped up because the gal before me took 3rd overall. 1st place Age Group!  That meant 2 medals-and we know it’s all about the medal! It was a pr (personal record) for me to since I’ve never done it!

The Bear Lake Brawl is a great venue. Joe and his crew do a wonderful job of organizing and making it a good race.
Now I’m in the count down mode for the St. George Marathon – 12 days and counting!

Ta Ta!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Busy Week

Wow, what a week last week was.  After speaking to my niece's group there was no rest.

In addition to getting in some training in spare moments, I had the test to become an NASM Certified Personal Trainer on Thursday.  I've not been so nervewracked over a multiple choice test ever.  Could be because I had not been able to dedicate as much time to studying as originally planned but mostly it was that I really wanted to pass it!

And pass, I did! I'm not quitting my day job but am excited to work with GPP ( in some form or another.  Neil and the GPP crew have been instrumental in getting to me to where I am physically now. And I would love to give back something.

After the test on Thursday, I was ready for the family to start arriving for the mini reunion/birthday party we had for my hubby's family at our house.  It was my mother-in-law and a cousin's birthday so we have been planning this get together for about 6 months. Family came from Nevada, Toronto, Arizona, Wyoming and St. George.  Most all stayed with us and for the big dinner on Saturday, we were planning on 19 people.  It was such a blast having the brothers and cousins and kids all together.  We were missing quite a few people but had a good representation from all families.

A 10 mile run was on my training plan for this weekend but in the interest of time and being able to have family time, I split it up and ran 6 miles on Saturday morning and 4 on Sunday morning.  Saturday, a bunch of us girls went to a hot yoga session where we dripped sweat for 90 minutes. We tried to not giggle too much and disrupt the class.  Some went to the Museum of Natural History but mostly we sat at home, talking and reminiscing!  We sent most everyone off Sunday and some today.

I have 4 more races coming up starting with the Bear Lake Brawl Triathlon this weekend.  It will be my first lake Olympic distance so more to come on that.  19 days until the St. George Marathon (trying not to dwell!).

This sight greeted me as I was leaving the neighborhood for work this morning.

I love rainbows!

Have a great week

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Giving Back

13 years, 7 months, 21 days (but who's counting).

This is how I began my talk last night.  It was meant to be funny but maybe it's just accountant humor!  My cute niece, the social worker, had asked me months ago if I would speak at her recovery group.  The subject was sobriety and fitness.  I was honored and touched that she would ask me.  I promptly forgot about it until last week when she sent a reminder! (must remember to put EVERYTHING in my calendar!)  Anyway, I made it to the meeting and found out it was more than just a few people sitting in a room, it was a big event that had been planned out and I wasn't the only speaker.  The first person started and I got so excited, he was from a group called AddictIIAthlete.  I had never heard of them but definitely want to be involved.  They use physical fitness, mainly running, to help people work through their addictions and live in sobriety.  It was such an inspiring time to listen to several people tell their stories and successes.  The concept makes such great sense.  I love sharing my story on the chance that it will help even one person to know they're not alone.  Bottom line of my message is that "I can do hard things" and it is the reason I keep signing up for one more thing.

*update on my legs - I finally feel like my legs are apart of my body again and not fighting me. Day 4 after Mt. Nebo, just in time to run again.

Have a great day!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Inaugural post

Beyond sore.  That is how I felt yesterday and still today.  The good thing is that I know it will get better.  I ran the Mt. Nebo Half Marathon on Saturday.  This is the course –

It was an 11 minute pr for me over my last year’s run.  I cannot imagine running any faster than I did Saturday.  That being said, I remember thinking the same thing last year.  It’s all about the training.
It was a fantastic event put on by great people.  Definitely worth doing.
This is the first of my blogging.  Hopefully, I do it right and it is helpful to someone to see how an old, out of shape, recovering lady can get into shape and do some of the things I have done.
Toodles for now!