Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Smoke Free in NC

Come Saturday, all restaurants and bars will be smoke free in North Carolina. This is a huge deal since tobacco has always been such a big part of this state's economy - and I am SO happy that the no smoking law was passed! Florida passed it several years ago when we were living down there, and it was weird to move to a state where smoking was still allowed. We forgot that when you walked into a restaurant they still needed to ask, "Smoking or non?" Well, not anymore!

This guy isn't as happy as me. What an idjut.

"Starting Saturday, Albert Brown will be forced to alter a cigarette habit he picked up at 9 years old. No more Marlboros over breakfast at the Toot-N-Tell Family Restaurant.
The state's smoking ban doesn't sit well with Brown, now 67, who shows a chest scar to prove his loyalty to tobacco. After heart bypass surgery in 2000, Brown kept smoking.
"The first thing I did when I got in my car was light a cigarette and puff away. Is that stupidity? Of course it is. But I love my cigarettes."


Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Catchup

I had to work Monday through Wednesday of last week, and it was surprisingly busy, even with a lot of people taking PTO. It went fast at least. Marty and I saw Avatar in 3-D and you can ready Mr. Cynical's review on his website. Thursday we drove to Virginia where we would be spending the holiday at my sister's house.

Christmas Eve we had our now traditional dinner at Outback.

I'm on the nice list and Shana's on the naughty list:



Christmas morning was filled with lots and lots of presents.



Nice jersey! Tassie somehow managed to get in most of our pictures, too.



Tassie also made time to get her hair did.



And in keeping with the theme, Shana and I wore matching shirts for Christmas dinner.



Christmas dinner is always lasagna. Don't get me started on you people who eat Thanksgiving again on Christmas.

The day after Christmas Marty and I found a park where there was a 1.5 mile trail around a lake. Neither of us wanted to run at the Dismal Swamp again (BORING), but we didn't factor in all the rain, so the trail we found was beyond muddy. And yeah, we did have to do a bunch of loops, but at least it was interesting. Tassie ran about 6.5 miles with us. The first lap was spent trying to get her to not run through all the mud puddles, but we quickly realized this was futile. She got a bath when we got back to my sister's house.



When we got home yesterday, Marty and I went out for a short mountain bike ride. It was sunny and 50-something degrees and there were families and puppies and babies all running around the local park. If it were any cuter we would both have been puking rainbows.

And it wouldn't be Christmas without catching some sort of cold, so now I'm all hopped up on some over the counter medicine and have a big box of Puffs Plus to help minimize the red nose from blowing too much.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Longest Run Ever?

I think I may have just set a new pr for myself in running for my longest run. I realize most of you readers out there are triathletes and runners so this is not going to be too impressive to you all, but for me it's pretty big. 14.1 miles in 1:46 - it had some warmup, some tempo, and some cooldown. We ran on the American Tobacco Trail which is about as flat as you can get around here and still run on a soft surface. It does have some net downhill/uphill but the uphill is only noticable when you're nearing the end of the run and you're tired, then it's like "where the f did this hill come from?!" My tempo portion is nowhere near where I want my race pace to be so I really have no clue how that small miracle is going to pan out. Ah well.

My sister and her yellow lab drove up and will be staying with us for the next week and a half or so. Now Tassie not only has another human to shower her with attention but also a dog to keep her company and play with. As you might remember, Shana also doubles as my personal shopper so she came bearing some new shirts for me which I promptly paid her for. I'm telling you, you guys need to get one of these - I don't have to worry about spending time at the mall which I don't really like doing, but I end up with good clothes that always fit. Yay for sisters who like to shop!

Friday, December 18, 2009

We Just Can't Help Ourselves

They were calling for a wintry mix here today, and we're getting it! So of course we had to video and document the snow - I know, I know, we can't ever get over the novelty of it. We are such Floridiots.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tassie & Running

Tassie has been putting in some good miles so far this winter. Yesterday she did a double! Sometimes in the morning I'll do a short little wake-up jog (like 15min) and Tassie loves coming along. It's good because Marty likes to roll over and go back to sleep. Although I can't complain too much because I've been very guilty of this same act with morning swims the past couple of months.

Anyways, Tassie also ran with us last night which consisted of some 1min pickups. We didn't end up doing them all because she got a little too tired. I tried to do an extra but she was having none of that and pulled so hard she was practically frothing at the mouth trying to catch me.

I always get worried when she starts falling behind and trotting more than running. I'm paranoid since she has a heart problem (even though the vet has assured us that running is GOOD for her heart). 10 times out of 10, it's because she has to poop. And me being the apparently rude dog owner can never remember baggies. And seriously, Tassie, kicking up grass and dirt afterwards in an area that is not even remotely close to where you just laid a grumpy* is not helping.

Yup, maturity is through the roof tonight...

*Term Marty likes to use because, duh, you look kind of grumpy when you're pushing it out!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jolly Elf Trail Run 5k

This past Saturday Marty and I did a local 5k in Bond Park. If I’m being honest, I need to admit that I totally tried to talk Marty out of doing this race. And only because it was going to be hella cold in the morning. I really have no problem racing – I think doing road races is an excellent way to get feedback on how the training is going as well as get in a great effort for a hard workout. I don’t get all tied up in pr’ing or any of that. I know some people only want to race if they’re going to race well, but I can compartmentalize and race for fun when I want to.

Anyways, Marty wasn’t budging and I grudgingly got up the next morning. I immediately checked the weather and the feels like temperature was 23 degrees. Awesome. We dressed in many layers and then jogged over to the park, much to the dismay of Tassie who watched us from the window as we took off. Since we were both running and weren’t taking a car, we couldn’t take her with us. So I was warm I guess on the way over and even took off a layer before the start because I didn’t want to overheat. I still had on fleece tights, a short sleeve base layer, and long sleeve shirt that had a little turtleneck, warm hat, running gloves (that were not thick enough), and smart wool socks.

The other fun thing about this race is that it’s mostly cross country – trails and hills and even a big wide open field for the start (about 150 yards long) with a sharp turn at the end. There is some greenway pavement mixed in. So the race went well – it was cold and my hands went completely numb, but I was pleasantly surprised to run an 18:54 out there. Unfortunately, even though once again I was signed up as Bri, the results have me as Brianna. I guess I’m entered into their database incorrectly. Marty sent a strongly worded email asking them to fix it – something I would never do since I’m too much of a coward at confrontation. Although, complaining about it to the world on here doesn’t seem to bother me.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Know I Know

I know I'm slacking when I get an email from Marty telling me "your blog is lonely for updates." You'd think my own husband would know what's going on with me and not have to resort to reading my blog, but what do I know. So here are some random thoughts for Friday:

  • We did a track workout this past Tuesday and it was dark, cold and rainy. There were only a few other brave souls out there. The traffic was horrendous and we may just have to cut the cord on that track until we change time and can get to the one that is slightly closer.
  • I really like the people at Master's. Although I hate having to get up early, I'm always glad to see everyone and push myself to the point where I feel like my lats are going to burn off.
  • In the locker room, one of the girls told a Tiger Woods Christmas themed joke: What's the difference between Santa and Tiger Woods?..........................Santa stopped after 3 ho's!
  • Ho ho ho! :)
  • Tassie made an update last weekend.
  • Marty and I did a tempo run last night. I hate how dark it gets so early which means we can't run on trails (I get home too late). I'm so lucky he'll wait and run with me when I get home.
  • 7 years ago on Dec 7th, Marty proposed to me in a swan boat in the middle of Lake Eola.
  • After not having a Christmas tree the past 3 years, we have 2 this year? Why, you may ask? Well, Marty was at WalMart and saw a really cheap deal on a tree and bought it as a surprise. I was surprised. And then he was surprised when I said, did you forget we bought one last year? No matter! They're both going up!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekend in Virginia

I drove up to Virginia to my older sister's house to do a little pre-Christmas festivities with some of the fam, as well as celebrate my nieces 11th birthday. She is a huge Twilight fan so we had tons to talk about ;) No one wanted to take her to New Moon so I sacrificed myself and went to see it again with her yesterday afternoon. She LOVED it.

After the movie we watched the Gators fall to Alabama - now I know it's sacrilegious for me to cheer for Alabama since I did go to Auburn, but the one team I will always cheer against is Florida. So ROLL TIDE! I definitely enjoyed myself watching that one.

This morning I ran 12 miles at the Dismal Swamp Trail. Seriously, who decided that would be a good name? It totally reminds me of The Swamp of Sadness where Artex died (anyone else out there fans of The Neverending Story? I loved that movie as a kid, but always cried during this scene. Okay, and what the heck was the name Sebastian yelled out at the end of the movie?! That's like the mystery of the century).

Here's a funny picture of me and my sister - both on the computer sitting practically on top of each other. What can I say, we like each other. Here's how ridiculous this is, we were actually looking at the same website, pointing funny parts out to each other. It was www.fmylife.com in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Feeling Off

Did you know that there are bowling alleys that don't sell beer? Because I sure didn't. We met the Lovgren's out for some bowling fun on Friday night and we were all WTF when we realized that no beer was to be had. But we don't need beer to have a good time! It would have just been a nice little addition to the beverage selection. I bowled a 71 and a 109. Did I mention I am awesome at bowling?

On Saturday I woke up not feeling so great. I was tired, sour stomach and all around blah. Lots of lying on the couch watching football while Marty and Tassie lived it up our friends house. Sunday was not a whole bunch better. My training has suffered over the past few days. I just haven't felt like myself and I'm getting worried and might be re-assessing my goals for the Disney half marathon. I'm definitely no where near where I had hoped at this point in time.

My sickness or whatever has morphed into some sort of head cold. I'm still tired but at least my stomach feels better.

I see that Marty has put up a race schedule on his blog. I guess I know what races to plan for myself next year now ;)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's just Marty, Tassie and me for Thanksgiving this year. We're going to be doing our own dinner tonight, although we bought a baked chicken instead of a turkey...same difference, right?

I got in a good 11 miler this morning, the middle of it being the Inside Out Sports 8k Turkey Trot. I averaged 6:23 so a good effort for the long run! I felt ok, nothing special, but I wasn't exactly trying to target this race. Tassie ran to the race and back with us (it's a little shy of 3 miles to the race) and of course had a great time. Marty ran the 1 mile race and stomped on all the little kiddies with a smokin' 5:25.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! There sure is a lot to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mountain Weekend

Gotta love abbreviated work weeks! And it’s so dead at the office that I’ll be working from home tomorrow :)

As many of you won’t be surprised to find out, I saw New Moon Friday night. My friend Brooke is a big fan of Twilight/RPattz too, so we met for dinner and then braved our way into the theatre full of shrieking 15 year olds. Okay, maybe we shrieked once or twice, too. Haha, I’m totally kidding on that one.

Saturday after a long run I drove Tassie and myself to Maggie Valley to spend some time with some of my family. We had a great time and lots of good food. Marty and I made our way into Asheville on Saturday night (one of our favorite little cities).

And here’s a picture of Tassie drinking the last few drops of some Tasmanian beer the other night (her namesake).



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dangling the Carrot

Nothing like a cliff hanger. I wasn't going to tell this but I'm easily swayed by peer pressure. Anyways, Marty wrote it --- as a play. It's not really as funny as you are probably hoping for, but at least you can all get on with your lives ;)

I'm going to go hide now.


The Scene: The Flying Saucer Pub in downtown Raleigh. It is 3 PM. Sunny. Cool. A nice Autumn day. Bri is relaxing on the outside deck with a pint of Sea Dog Blueberry. She just finished 2nd in a 5k running race. She is enjoying pretzels and beer.

Her tummy hurts. She has to go to the bathroom. One of those post-running workout issues all runners have experienced. Time to go potty.

Bri: “I have to go potty,” she tells her husband, Marty. “You know.”

Marty: Nods his head. He has been there.

Bri gets up from the table and walks inside. It is dim and smoky. There are people sitting in groups, laughing, chatting, having fun. She proceeds to the bathroom. As far as bar / pub bathrooms go it is not bad. Not too clean, not too dirty. About what you’d expect. She walks to the stalls. There are three. One of them is taken. Bri takes the stall farthest from the door and enters.

Bri gets prepared to do her business. There are a few loud, pre-emptive strikes.

Three year old little boy in the stall next door: “HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!”

Little boy’s Mother: “No, Timmy, be quiet!”

Bri shakes her head and continues onward. The bathroom fills with the terrible smell of a post-hard run poop.

Little boy: “STINK!”

Little boy’s Mother: “No!”

Little boy: “STINK!”

Little boy’s Mother: “No!”

Bri tries to hide her head but no one is looking. She is not sure if she should laugh or cry. Perhaps she’ll just hide in the stall until they are gone.

Little boy: “STINK!”

Little boy’s Mother: “No!”

Little boy: “STINK!”

Little boy’s Mother: “Timmy! If you don’t stop I’m going to wash your mouth at with soap!”

Little boy: “Why? STINK!”

Little boy’s Mother: “Because you’re not being nice!”

Time passes. Bri has to wait them out because she clearly can’t face the little boy so immediately. The little boy finishes his doodies. The mother helps him wash his hands and they leave.

Bri waits some more. She washes her hands. She exits the bathroom. She tries not to look at the little boy she can see out of the corner of her eye. Is he waving and pointing? Is he holding his nose? Is that mom smiling at her?

Bri sits back down with her husband. “You won’t believe what just happened in there.”

Marty: “Tell me.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Spot On

And now for a little training talk. A lot of times I don’t like to go into specifics because then that gets people to compare one another, and that is not always a good thing. I also don’t want any readers to think, “oh she just thinks she’s so fast” or “god she’s self involved.” But you know what…my blog! :-)

I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get any other comments about my dirty comic below (except from Bella Swan herself). I guess sometimes my humor is out there. Marty keeps begging me to tell the story of what happened to me after the 5K on Sunday on here, but I won’t because then you all would think I’m even more demented and gross.

Oh yeah, training talk. So last night was track night at the oh so lovely cement lit track. I purposely did not say well lit – it’s not, but at least it’s not pitch black. I wasn’t feeling super motivated for the track but that’s why you run with a group because the work still gets done. The workout was 2x2mile with a ¼ jog in between. Lovely. Goal pace was somewhere between 10K and half marathon pace. I decided 6:20 per mile would be good and tried to settle into an even cadence.

1st 2 mile – mile one: 6:20, mile two: 6:16
2nd 2 mile – mile one: 6:19, mile two: 6:18

I was able to click off pretty much even laps the entire time without too much difficulty. I mean, it certainly wasn’t easy but I got into that rhythm and stayed there – you all know what I’m talking about. That place where you don’t even have to think you just click the laps off.

Afterwards Tim and Angela went with us to the Fox and Hound Pub & Grill making it a very fun school night.

Oops, forgot to get up and swim again this morning ;)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

End of another weekend

Just a quick weekend wrap-up. We ran a swim clinic yesterday and everything went smooth and we had another good turnout. Marty is so good at these and everyone seemed to get a lot out of the information we provided. Although I don't really like getting up and speaking in front of people, Marty has me doing one of the presentations so he can have a little break. I know it's good for me, but I still don't like it!

This afternoon we ran the Old Reliable 5K. It was warm out and they changed the course so it was quite hilly. I didn't have very good spring in my step, but I was able to keep all my miles within about 8 seconds of each other which I think is a good sign of strength right now. I ran a 19:06 for 2nd place female.

Afterwards, we cheered for the 10K runners then headed to our favorite bar, The Flying Saucer. We scored a table outside and had a fun time with some other runners that decided to partake in the frosty beverages.

It was a great Sunday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dropping the Kids Off

As Marty mentioned on his blog, we’re adding another swim to our Open Water Series next year – it will have a 1 mile and a 2 mile option. We were talking about this on our drive down to Jacksonville the other weekend and we were trying to come up with names. I am proud to announce that I was the one who came up with The Big Deuce for the 2 mile. Marty laughed and probably called me gross or something and then we dismissed it saying it might not be a good idea, but after running it by some friends we said screw it – The Big Deuce it is! Marty came up with the Little Uno for the 1 mile option.

The remnants of Hurricane Ida have been swirling here for the past 3 days making our weather super crappy. It’s been windy and cold and raining non stop – this is like no hurricane I’ve been in (and I’ve been in several, thank you Florida summer of 2004). We got in a good track workout on Tuesday night before the rain got too heavy. There is one middle school track in the county that turns on its lights, so at least we have an option. It’s not a nice track but I’m not a beggar. Last night, though, I had to resort to the treadmill at work with my trusty i-pod.

This Sunday we’re running the Old Reliable 5K – hoping for a good time there! The forecast is for 75 degrees – crazy weather!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Slacking in Blog World

I've been a slacker here. I know. And since this is how my family keeps track of me (hi mom!) I figured I'd better write something. But since I'm lazy, I'm going to do a Kari and bullet list this awesome.
  • Last week ranks in the bottom 5% of bad work weeks for me. Friday culminated into one of my worst days ever.
  • BUT the weekend was great! We drove to Wilmington Friday evening to watch the Beach 2 Battleship full and half iron-distances races.
  • Watching the races was very, very fun. I love cheering for people and seeing them accomplish their goals. Our friend Michelle stayed with us and it was nice to catch up with her after not seeing her for over a year.
  • We also screamed for Tim, Angela (who totally gave me the stink-eye upon my very exuberant "YOU DID AWESOME!!" when she finished. Hey, a 33 min pr IS awesome!), Kathy (nicest lady in the world), Ashley (who we yelled for from our car - she yelled back AND was booking it), Karen (full finisher!) along with numerous other peeps.
  • Sunday was Marty's 38th birthday! We started the day off right with an 11 mile long run around Wrightsville Beach.
  • Speaking of running, I logged over 30 miles last week which is huge for me. I looked back at my log during the summer and I avg about 21 miles during the tri season. I'm feeling like a runner again - I love it :)
  • Sunday night we met some of our friends out at the Flying Saucer for some birthday fun. Then Marty and I went to see Dane Cook at the RBC Center. Not bad for a school night.
  • Work week has started off better - positive attitude!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Weekend in Florida

Marty and I drove down to Jacksonville, FL to visit my sister and her husband who moved there in August. She scored us some tickets to the Florida/Georgia game which has been held in Jacksonville for quite awhile. It’s a big party and even though it was hotter than Hades on gameday we still had a fun time.

My oldest friend also came up and stayed with us – she is getting her MBA at Florida so is now a stinkin’ Gator fan, but that’s more because her undergrad, Michigan, is hardly football worthy right now :) Katy and I have known each other since we were 7 years old and we both laughed/grimaced when we realized that we had pictures together from over 20 years ago. We can’t possibly be that old! She is a stud runner and we met each other doing youth triathlons – she has finally decided she will do some tri’s next year after a very long break from them. I’m sure she’ll tear it up if she can remember how to ride a bike.

We got to the game nice and early for some tailgating which entailed lots of food and beer. And sweat. Did I mention it was really hot on Saturday? Funniest shirt I saw from a Georgia fan: T-bag Tebow. Hahaha.

I’ll skip the game. Blah blah blah, Florida won again.

We were all sweaty, tired messes after the game. Marty and I had a nice run on the beach Sunday morning, though – it was much, much nicer on Sunday than the previous day.

I have a deep love for doritos.

2 Harrington's and 1 Radkewich - missing the other Rad (although she's an even bigger Gator fan, ugh). We were all coated in a nice sheen of sweat already.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Answering Some Questions

Dawn, an occasional commenter asked what the heck is a bunhugger? It's the name given to the tighty little shorts collegiate and fast runners wear in races. Here I am in a track meet in college in some bunhugger glory.



I drew the arrow lest you think I'm the tiny little blonde thing. I do remember outsprinting her at the end - giant versus the petite girl.

Truth be told, bunhuggers aren't a whole lot different than what a lot of people wear in triathlons, but if you are wearing them at a road race you'd better BRING IT. And another truth be told, there was only one girl who was sporting the true bunhuggers at the 5K this past weekend. The other two were wearing the slightly cuter, but you still better have a rockin' body to pull them off, boy shorts.

And here I am in the race, un-bunhuggered. Sorry mom, the pink shorts were in the wash so I had to resort to some black ones. Again, I drew an arrow lest you confuse me with a man.


And Courtenay asked for at least a description of the spider lady from the fair. It was a woman whose head was sticking out of this hole, and surrounding her head was a very bad spider costume. The trick was that the space below the spider body was completely empty, so it was just a really good optical illusion. That we all wasted $1 on.

Since I'm in a drawing mood, this is not really what it looked like but I gave it my best 6 year old effort.

So this Friday Marty and I will be traveling to the great state of Florida to attend the "Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" also known as the Florida/Georgia game. Except you're not supposed to call it the cocktail party anymore because some kids got drunk and died or something a couple years back. Anyways, we WILL NOT be cheering for the stinkin' Gators. Go Dawgs!

Monday, October 26, 2009

5K

Marty and I were planning on doing a 5k on Sunday afternoon called the Monster Dash and people supposedly dressed up in Halloween costumes. I was pretty excited and was going to wear a genie costume I’ve had for years since it seemed like it had enough flow to run in. Although I would have to come up with something to keep the little headdress/handkerchief thingy in place. Marty has superman pajamas so that would be his costume. Don’t think too much on why a soon to be 38 year old man has superman pajamas.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, we were informed that the awards banquet for the NCTS was Sunday afternoon. Marty and I had both assumed it was Saturday night – but everyone knows what assume means. And we would’ve proven that definition had we shown up at the North Raleigh Hilton on Saturday night.

So we signed up for a 5K Sunday morning instead. There’s a bunch of road races in the area at this time of year (there was actually a 3rd one right by our house at a park but that one was also in the afternoon). Although some people don’t agree with us, we both like to do road races even if we feel like we’re not in tip top shape just because it’s fun to go out there and hurt a little bit. And haha to those of you who told me there wasn’t any reason why I still couldn’t dress up in my costume for this race.

Marty signed me up for this race and he definitely knows how to spell my name. I was so annoyed when I got my number and BRIANNA was typed on the bottom. Gah! That’s not my freaking name! 2 syllables – BRI-ANNE. Sorry, for this mini rant that I realize shows up on my blog about once a year, but after 30 years of having my name mispronounced I’m weary.

It wasn’t a big race but the fact that they had a bit of prize money meant that there would be some fasties showing up. We have too many good universities in the area and the post collegiates like to mop up any money that might be floating around at the road races. Sure enough, I saw the bunhuggers lining up before the start.

The start was typical – everyone goes off sprinting and I’m left behind thinking “You all just wait! Once I get up to speed I’ll hunt you down!” :) I ran my way into 4th place after a few minutes and the bunhugger trio was way up the road. I went through the mile in under 6 minutes and they were so far ahead I can’t imagine what they went through at. Just after the 2 mile mark bunhugger #3 was coming back to me. I passed her around the 2.5 miles and was in the money for about 15 seconds, before she unleashed that “I’m still 22 and can kick for 600 yards old woman” on me. And the $50 slipped away. Still managed to run 18:45 which I’m stoked about. The course was not hill-acious, but it was also not flat.

And anyways, I got me a nice little check later on in the afternoon at the banquet. “The Man” Dave Scott was handing out the awards and gave an interesting speech. Maybe I’ll use my winnings to buy some bunhuggers.

Not likely.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

State Fair

It's that time again when people all across North Carolina flock to the fairgrounds in Raleigh in search of the grossest fried creations imaginable. Besides the very typical fried candy bars, ho ho's, pb & j's and mac n cheese, this year they also had chicken fried bacon and fried butter. Disgusting.

Here are some pictures I stole from Kari's fb. Thanks, Kari!


We paid $1 to see spider girl, but they wanted another to take her picture. Kari tried to take one on the sly but it didn't come out, so I guess you'll have to come down and see her for yourself.



They wanted me to buy this t-shirt, but seriously people, if I get a Team Edward shirt it will be classy. This is not it. Duh.


Kenny can fry it, but he ain't that good of a spellur.



I brought my A-Game and decided to step it up a notch by dipping my fried oreo in cheese. It was really good.



Future Farmers of America. Or as Kari captioned this picture on fb "what did you do last saturday night? i showed my cow."



This was the one "ride" we did. I'm on the far right, Alysia is next to me and Kari is next to her.



And I totally kicked it's ass. I win.



Seriously, I love my friends. They are too much fun. We got there nice and early for the pig races (you have to get there 1/2 hour early to get a seat) and it was worth it. The last race of the night are the pot-bellied pigs and the owner (very big old redneck) picks old women from the audience to cheer for one of the pigs, and if your pig wins you get a prize AND you are named Pig Queen. Kari and I shot our hands up high in the air when he came to our section and he started making fun of us for being too young and not knowing which end is the right end of the pig (or something, honestly, I didn't get some of his jokes) but he pointed a finger at me and said "You!" So I jumped up all excited and he says, "No, not you, YOU!" and is pointing at Kari. I totally got dissed by the racing pigs owner. Oh how low can you get in your life?!

Here's Kari trying to become pig queen.



And a very funny video.




I rallied this morning and had a good 9 mile run at Umstead but was totally overdressed since I'm not used to cold weather.

And then it was lots of football today. Marty comes home tomorrow night. I miss my other half.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Goings On

Into another week already! October is flying by and we actually had to turn the heat on this morning (a little different from my Florida readers I suppose - after hearing the grumbling from my family about how HOT it’s been down there).

Marty and I drove down to Pinehurst on Saturday to cheer fellow athletes and clients on. It was extremely humid and both of us were very glad we weren’t racing after just doing the run course. This is a nice race, but it’s very challenging and the elements didn’t help much. Every single person I talked to after the race had pretty much the same sentiment: “Ugh, that was really hard.” October is a difficult month to predict the weather here; sometimes that race is freezing and other times, not so much. It was not so much on Saturday, although Sunday was crisp as Marty and I headed out for a run and a little mountain bike ride after. The running was training, the biking was just ‘working out.’ Its fun to go on nice bike rides and just enjoy the scenery.

Saturday I was also pretty intent on watching IM Hawaii, tracking one of my good friends and reading her husbands facebook status updates. Brooke was solid throughout the day and ended up 5th in her age group (podium!). I am so happy for her!

I also just started to read the books that the HBO show True Blood is based on, to help satiate this new found vampire appetite I have. Marty is thrilled because he’s always loved anything and everything vampire, and one of my favorite quotes from him early on in our relationship was him trying to convince me to watch some horrible vampire movie: “There’s vampires in it! How bad can it be?!” (it was bad). But these books are pretty entertaining and we rented a couple of the episodes since we don’t have HBO, and they are also interesting.

And now for some Tassie antics. Last night when I was giving her her dinner (as she patiently sat and waited for me to pour the food – she is very obedient like that), I accidentally dropped a kernel into her water dish. This happens frequently but I just didn’t feel like getting my hand all wet to dig it out so I just left it in there. A little while later I heard bubbles being blown, and sure enough Tassie was dunking her head into the water bowl trying fish it out. I didn’t even know dogs could blow bubbles!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ironman Hawaii

It seems like these days almost everyone is talking about the Ironman World Championships taking place in Hawaii this Saturday. I was lucky enough to accompany Marty out there in 2005 and it was quite an experience. For those interested, here’s his race report. I always enjoy reading Marty’s race reports and I realize I may be a bit biased, but they’re not full of flowery language and “oh I learned so much about myself out there”, but more “this is what happened” with a mild sarcastic drip. I wrote a novel detailing our entire trip but it doesn’t seem to be on the old website anymore.

I’ve mentioned my dad before on here, and some of you have met him at the races – he’s on the board of directors of USAT and is kind of a big deal. Haha, just kidding, I just felt like getting a Ron Burgundy quote in there. Seriously, he has been around the sport for a looooong time and knows a lot of people, but this is his first time ever out in Hawaii to watch the big show. He left me a message last night saying he just found out that he, along with the mayor of Kona, gets to shoot off the cannon for the start on Saturday! It also pays to be nice to Marty and I because he was able to hook up some of our friends with some VIP passes which gets them all sorts of swag, entrance to pretty much anywhere, free tickets to the banquets, and who knows what else. It’s all about who you know. We accept cash, checks, bribes, and gear :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lake Royale Spectator Report

I'm the proud wifey :)

This morning, Tassie and I cheered Marty on at the Lake Royale sprint triathlon. Truthfully, I cheered and Tassie whined when she saw Marty, apparently wanting to run and bike with him.

So Marty kind of sucked pretty bad at Wilmington and it was totally not indicative of his current fitness. He just had a bad day and really didn't taper which didn't help him at all. I knew he was going to do better at this race - way better, and he proved me right :)

I ended up missing the start because Tassie and I had to move the car to a parking lot that ended up being 2.5 miles away. We jogged back in, and saw Marty heading out on the bike in first place. Then we hung out with Angela and watched the mayhem that ensues when there is a hill immediately out of transition. I know I shouldn't laugh so much but people do the funniest things sometimes. I swear that is always the best place to watch a triathlon if you want some entertainment. We did inform a guy that he was missing his helmet (He touched the top of his head and then had a surprised look on his face after we told him, which made me laugh more).

Marty was still first coming into T2 and I yelled at him as he was running out that he'd better run fast! The run course was hilly (I know since I ran part of it from the car) but Marty stayed tough and ended up winning wire to wire. I'm so proud of my hubby :)

His races were all over the place - yeah I may have beaten him at Wilmington, but I'm sure if I had raced today he would've gotten me by several minutes. The good news is, we should now see a turnaround in the recession.

It was fun to hear some of the athletes later on talking about the race: "Did you see that guy who had that huge lead in the swim?" and "Man, that guy leading the bike was FLYING"

Here are a couple of pics from the race:

Marty coming in off the bike.



And heading out on the run.



First place!



Tassie chillin' before the awards.



Tassie's twin. Actually, that's a labradoodle. His name was Rufus.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Lucky Day

Track
Last night, Marty and I hit the track group. Angela and Tim come out now and it's nice to chat with Angela on the warmup and cooldown. We even got a few hi's and smiles from some of the other members which is a big step - this is not the Downtown Orlando Y Runners Club!

I stupidly left my sunglasses hooked to the fence and completely forgot about them until very late that night. Cue stomach drop. No no no! Those were my prescription sunglasses and those things aren't cheap! The track is not close to our house and I wasn't going to drive back there right then. I really hoped either someone from the group saw them or they were just still there - they certainly wouldn't do anyone any good if a random took them thinking they had just scored some new shades.

I got up early and was out the door quick (jeans and a messy bun do not a financial analyst make, but that's what they got today) so I could drive across town to see if by some chance they were still there - I got lucky!! Still hanging on the fence and no worse for the wear. I did get to see some of the local high schoolers - really, a pink mohawk, sandals and knee socks?! What is going on with these kids.

Cross Country
After work I went for a little run to the park near our house. I didn't realize that a cross country race was going on; they didn't have any markings or anything that would clue me in. So I found out when a stream of girls came running right towards me on the trail. Oops. I ran in the bushes to get out of their way and then high tailed it the other direction at my first opportunity.

I made my way to the other end of the field where the paved trail is and thought it was clear to go back in that way. There wasn't anyone on that part until all of the sudden several stragglers came out of another trail in the woods. Crap, I was totally blocked in and these girls were not running fast - I was catching them quickly. This is weird. Then around the bend - and there's now a line of spectators on BOTH sides of the paved trail! I had nowhere to go and I was still passing these poor girls. I'm such a tool! In the middle of a high school cross country race again! Thank god I opted out of taking Tassie with me, that would've been very interesting.

As you can see, I was pretty freaking embarrassed. I took the first turn I could to get out of that mess.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blah Blah Blog

The Gaal’s enjoyed a nice weekend at home – finally! Training has taken a backseat to everything in my life right now…ahh the off season. I don’t feel the need for a big break (I only did sprints since June, which is I think a big part of it), so I just kind of slept in and did whatever I wanted. This included nothing, an easy 30min run, more nothing, a short bike with a friend tapering for Kona and a lot more nothing.

We had some houseguests for the Duke Half and went out to dinner with them on Saturday night. Tassie got all sorts of loving from them, too, including the requisite foot massages she so dearly loves. Marty and I made our way out to the course on Sunday to watch the athletes come in off the bike and start the tough half marathon run. I once again had no feelings of ever wanting to do that race – more power to you all who do :) That afternoon we grilled out with some friends before we met another friend out for some celebratory beers (he raced that morning). Dang, we are popular.

Throughout the fall I plan on doing some of the local road races but the big event will be the Disney half marathon in January. I’m going to try and train specifically for it and actually race my first half marathon. We’ll see how it goes. Marty’s spectating since that race has an astronomical price tag associated with it, and we didn’t think it would be wise to spend $260 for both of us to do a half marathon. Even worse for our Aussie friends who are also running, because of the exchange rate.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just to push the last one down

I don't have too much interesting to say, but figured I needed to push that last post down a bit so people weren't scared when they saw that picture. I'm glad a lot of you got a laugh out of it; I sure did!

Yesterday after work I went for an easy jog. It had started raining in the afternoon but by the time I started, it was just a light drizzle. It must've been the calm before the storm because the skies absolutely opened up and I got DUMPED on. I seriously don't think it could've rained any harder. I stupidly decided to run on the trails in Bond Park near my house thinking that the rain wouldn't be hitting me so hard, but I didn't think that the trails would be such a mess. It was more like running through a river.

On my way home, we always pass this house where the people sit on their front porch and smoke. We always wave and they wave back, all of us probably thinking interesting thoughts about the other I'm sure. I can't imagine what they thought yesterday as I came plodding by like a drowned rat. They did ask where my other half was - it's like we're all almost friends ;)

I slept in Monday and Wednesday for masters. I never feel guilty about it right when I start the off season. But I do like swimming so I'll get back into it very soon. It's the waking up so early that I don't like so much, but whaddya gonna do?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If you can't laugh at yourself...

I found this gem of a picture from the Lake Norman triathlon. Oh my.


It seems that it would never be advisable to have your picture taken with your goggles on.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wilmington YMCA Triathlon Race Report

Results

Wilmington was going to be the last race of the season for me and I was determined to make it a good one. We got there Friday evening, in time to pick up our packets and have dinner at the condo we rented with one of Marty's athletes and our dog Tassie. I won't reveal what we ate since most of you would recoil in horror at our pre-race dinner (but it was just a sprint and we were running out of options and time by that point).

I was dissatisfied with my performance at Lake Norman and also with my race here last year. I strung together some good solid weeks of training and felt pretty strong coming into the race, but also knew after glancing at the participant list that it would be competitive -- YAY!!!

I rode my bike to transition, set up my junk and chatted with people on my rack. Rode the trolley to the swim start (it's a point to point swim) - we got to wear our wetsuits! Although, upon going in the water I was pretty surprised, and even got a bit warm during the swim. Marty and I misheard the current warnings and lined up on the wrong end of the start line (the current was moving pretty strong pushing us to the right for the early waves) but I still had a great swim for myself. I went super, super hard at the beginning and was able to draft off of people I'm typically nowhere near. Of course, they did drop me about half way through and I had a moment of panic when I realized, "Wow, I'm REALLY tired!" but was able to compose myself and still got out of the water in a great position. I actually beat Kate Martin (last year's winner) out who I've never beat in the water. And upon running to my bike, Chris was still there. Kate is a transition specialist and was off ahead of me on the bike (and I'm not even that slow with my wetsuit or anything - she just blew by so fast). I passed her after the causeway, she re-passed me soon after, and then I passed her back quickly for the last time and stayed ahead the rest of the ride. But she was in the back of my mind and it really forced me to go fast! No sleeping this time on the bike! I knew that the bike was going to be important and I pushed a lot harder than I normally do, not even worrying about what my run may feel like because of it. Last year, my bike was pretty crappy, and I ended up biking almost 2 min faster this year. Very happy about that.

I am a little slower in T2 since I put on socks, but once again Kate was a lightening bolt and I swear I barely saw her rack her bike before she was off. Leaving T2, I was in 4th place - Kate was just ahead of me, Chris was in 2nd and Brianne Godwin was in 1st (she crushed us all on the swim).

At the beginning of the out and back early on in the run, I passed Kate and Chris pretty much at the same time. After the turn around I passed the other BG and was now in the lead just before the mile. I felt pretty good - I was definitely working it but thought I could hold the pace and felt like if anyone came up from behind I would be able to put up a good fight. Kate had told me before the race that she had been running a lot so I wasn't going to discount her that fast.

I also caught Marty around the 2 mile mark, but was unable to make any snarky remark because I was too tired at that point and didn't have any extra breath -- just kidding! I would never do anything like that to my love :)

He did tell me that I was clear, which was nice to know. I didn't let up for one second but instead of worrying about what was going on behind me (because I was not going to look back) I could concentrate on my form and cadence.

I rounded the final corner and smiled as the announcer Tom called my name as the first female. This was my first win this year in the NCTS and definitely hard fought! It was a lot of fun to put it all out there and come out with the win.

After the race I was talking to Chris, who I had known was in a car accident a couple of weeks ago. I asked her if she was okay (I have not beaten Chris in a long time and she is now racing pro) -- this is what a class act she is: she said, "You know, I wish I could say that the accident is the reason why I didn't do good today, but I can't. I just didn't feel all that good!" So many people would have used any excuse for having a sub par race, but she was like, nope, just didn't have it. It sounds like she has had some pretty big training weeks so hopefully with a little rest this week she'll be ready to go for Best of the US next weekend.

So all in all, I'm really happy with my last race. I was able to dig deep AND feel good in all 3 sports; something that doesn't happy too often. It's always nice when the hard work pays off.

We met some of the Wilmington locals out that night - fun times! And this morning we did an open water swim clinic at Wrightsville Beach and in the intracoastal. Now it's time to unpack and do some laundry.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Drizzly Weather

We've had cloudy, drizzly weather the past few days. Kind of like living in Seattle, I suppose, only warmer. The weather people keep saying we need the rain, but not this type of rain since it's not a whole bunch. Just annoying enough to get your glasses all speckled when you walk outside. I hate having to wear glasses.

I only had a 1 hour bike ride yesterday and it just didn't seem worth it to go outside for that, especially with traffic/stoplights/chance of showers so was planning on riding the trainer. Kari emailed me right before I left work and asked if I wanted to bring my trainer over to her house so we could ride together - fun! I brought over Twilight and we made fun of the awkward acting and the 1.5hr we ended up doing went by in a flash. I also gave her the book in hopes that she'll become as addicted as Brooke and I are and we can all dissect the plot line chapter by chapter.


I love this website.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Patriots Half and Busch Gardens

Alysia and I had such a fun weekend! We seem to find endless things to talk about and laughed a lot. Such a great time. I know Marty was building forts for himself in the living room, not knowing what to do while I was gone all weekend, but girl time is a must.

We started off Friday afternoon heading to Williamsburg, Va, and proceeded to get slightly lost trying to find the race site (this was a theme of the weekend). Race morning came very early and I started my paparazzi and sherpa duties. I think I did a pretty good job on both fronts. Alysia had a great swim and bike – her bike time was solid even though she had to ride the last 6 miles pretty easy so as not to cramp too much. Onto the run, she got into a groove after the first mile and was closing in on 3rd place when I saw her at mile 7. It was nice to meet Crystal Pruitt and her friend Meagan and have some people to chat with while we cheered on the competitors. Crystal and I raced against each other earlier this year but I didn't get a chance to talk with her. Such a nice girl! I was like the worried mother hen during the race hoping everything was going okay for Alysia, and I got very worried at the end when she didn’t turn the last corner when I thought she would. Turns out a really bad hamstring cramp at mile 9.5 had her doing the shuffle for the rest of the run. Even so, she finished 5th overall and 1st in her age group – not bad for her first half!



The course seemed really nice (I did most of the run course while she was out on the bike) and she ended up winning some wine, a wine glass and and gift card – nice winnings for a smaller half! I like supporting the non M-Dot races.



Besides the cramping, she had one other obstacle to overcome on the run course. The week of when we were talking about the weekend and going through any last minute questions she had about the race, I tried to convince her to wear socks on the run. But she was pretty adamant that it wasn’t necessary. Not wanting to be pushy I didn’t want to say anything else, but on the drive up it was bothering me so I mentioned it again, but that still didn’t budge her. Well, several bad blisters and one bloody foot later, she told me after the race that she would do anything I told her to do before a race – even if I told her something ridiculous like “eat 10 hot dogs before the start” Ha!

Later that night, we went to Cheeburger Cheeburger where Alysia finished their ‘famous pounder’ without any problem. She flexed for the camera that took her picture for the wall of fame, and the cooks in the back couldn’t get over how ripped her arm was. We hit a local bar after that and did a couple of celebratory shots. It was a great way to end the evening.



Busch Gardens was fantastic. There weren’t any lines on any of the rides and we managed to ride each roller coaster twice (front row and back row) plus saw a show, and did most of the other little rides. We ate at the Festhaus for lunch where they were doing Oktoberfest celebrations and one of the dancers took a liking to us (after teasing me about eating a cookie monster cupcake – where are the kids? he asked). So we both ended up in front of the crowd – Alysia did the polka and I did the chicken dance. It was me and a bunch of 2 year olds holding hands and flapping our wings. Awesome.



This week has been pretty busy already and this weekend is my last triathlon (Wahh!) in Wilmington. I’m hoping that the cooler weather brings a wetsuit legal swim for this longer than normal sprint (1500 meters with a current). We’re staying overnight with Tassie and we’ll be a running an open water swim clinic on the beach on Sunday. The following weekend I’ll finally be at home and will hopefully get caught up on the rest of life!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Patriots Half

Nope, not doing the Patriots Half, just going to support one of my bestest friends Alysia - it's her first half! She had been debating for awhile about doing one and I told her a long time ago that if her husband couldn't go with her I'd be happy to be her sherpa.

It'll be a fun girls weekend; we're going to go to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg on Sunday. Hopefully, Alysia won't be too tired because I'm going to print out the map and plan out what rides we're going to go on first - of course we'll sprint through the gate right when it opens (this is what my dad would always do when we would go to Busch Gardens in Tampa - roller coaster riding is serious business).

So Marty will be the bachelor this weekend, but he's keeping himself plenty busy with the Pier 2 Pier swim in Wrightsville Beach on Saturday and then the Magnificent Mile on Sunday.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Always Check the Seat Back Pocket

On our plane flight down to Florida I was jamming to some new Muse on my i-pod. When I was done, I put it in the seat back pocket in front of me because I had a drink and peanuts on my tray table and I didn’t feel like shuffling everything around to put it back in my bag.

Big mistake and you can probably see where this is going.

I didn’t even realize I had left it on the plane until Sunday night when I thought to myself, ‘Oh, I’d better charge up my i-pod so I can listen to it tomorrow.’ Then I went to my bag and was puzzled when it wasn’t in the pocket. Then it hit me…..oh what a horrible feeling!

At the airport I went to check if any very moral person had found it and left it at the Southwest office, but I wasn’t so lucky. And the employee said that usually those things turn up right away; if hadn’t been turned in yet, it probably wasn’t going to be.

Bad karma to that person! And an annoying lesson learned by me – always check that seat back pocket when you leave a plane!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Weekend in Florida

Friday morning, Marty and I flew down to Hollywood Beach to spend Labor Day Weekend with his family. Specifically, for his father's 75th birthday. We rented a little studio condo right on the beach, and it was very nice - updated and clean. After the conversation I had with Marty earlier in the week, I was a tad worried since he had picked out the accommodation and I hadn't seen nary a picture.

Marty: I got us a place right on the beach! It was only $200 for the weekend.
Me: Hmmm. It was only that amount for one of the busiest summer holiday weekends? This can't be good.

But it turned out to be fine...very small...but nice. We don't need anything that big, and the Murphy bed was really quite comfortable.

Down in Florida we did a lot of eating with the family and caught up on each other's lives. I also listened to way too many poker stories, political rants, and national economy woes, which are always the themes when Marty, his dad, and brother-in-law get together.

Marty and I did a little open water swimming in between the oh-so-Floridian thunder stormy weather. The water was bath water and I thoroughly enjoyed that! I also read The Time Traveler's Wife (thanks to Laurie Zack, who I'm always getting book ideas from).

We also did a 5K early Sunday morning. It was put on by a 17 year old kid who was raising money for The National Kidney Foundation. He did an EXCELLENT job! You can read more about him here. He was able to get almost everything donated and had a much bigger turnout than he expected; really nice to do a race where literally all the proceeds go to a good cause. I managed to win and beat Marty by about 20 seconds. I didn't catch him until after the mile, though. I felt kind of yucky and seemed to be swimming rather than running -- the humidity was unbelievable! I've raced down there so many times throughout my life, but not having done it in awhile is always a shock. It does get hot and humid up here in NC, but you really don't know how humid it can get until you go to south Florida in Aug or September and do a race.

We flew back in this afternoon and have reunited with Tassie. Life is good.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Glorious Weather

I was looking at the website for the 5K Marty found for us in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, and had to snicker at this warning:

Heat Warning

Temperatures and humidity can be high in South Florida. Drink plenty of fluids prior to and during this event. (Non-Alcoholic!)

Pheww! Good thing they qualified that statement.

There is definitely NOT a heat warning here in NC - the weather has been absolutely gorgeous! Last night we ran at the track and I felt so good! We did a bunch of 800s with short rest and it felt incredibly easy. Too easy. I'd like to feel like that in an upcoming race!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Got sucked in and couldn't stop!

As Marty pointed out yesterday, my blog has been awfully quiet. There a few reasons for this, but the main one being I read all the Twilight series books (and the leaked draft of Edward’s perspective of the first book). Devoured is not a strong enough word for what I did to these books and I had no idea that they would capture my attention so much! Marty is probably glad I’m done with them so I can get back to being a normal talking wife who folds laundry and all that.

Of course, besides reading 2,300+ pages in one week, I had work and training. And we ran a camp here Friday – Sunday (lots of training and eating), and Marty and I did packet pickup on Saturday for the final open water swim we put on. Sunday morning we were up early again to get out to the lake early enough to set up and I once again was in charge of checking people in and handing out the t-shirts. No one yelled at me this time around for not getting a t-shirt, but we did order extra this time and can you say LOCUSTS after the swim when people found the box of extra’s?! Like Marty mentioned, the race sold out last week which we were super happy about – being that it was the first year of the series and all that. Plus, we didn’t have to do any walk-up registrations the morning of which is time consuming. I can’t say enough nice things about the Finish Strong guys and gals. They know what they are doing and they are so calm and nice about everything! We’re so glad we were able to team up with them to bring some open water events to the area.

By Sunday I was pretty exhausted but was still planning on doing the swim myself. I had no idea how it would go with the less than normal sleep I had been getting, but it all turned out great! At the start I tried to get on some fast feet but they proved to be a little too fast for me so I ended up swimming by myself the entire way. My time was much faster than the Jordan lake swim, but it’s so hard to compare these open water events. We all had to deal with some very thick high grass, which was interesting to swim through to say the least, but hey, that’s open water for you! At the final turn buoy I swam hard to the finish and I felt like a swimmer!! It is always going to be hard for me to understand that yes, I am actually a pretty good swimmer when it wasn’t so long ago that I was almost always the last elite person out of the water in the Florida races. Being able to swim hard and feel pretty good makes me better understand why collegiate swimmers have the reputation of being pretty big partiers. This was not something you can really do in the midst of a cross country and track; if this had been a road race instead of a swim race I’m sure it would have been ugly and hurt bad, but something about the water made it much easier. Not to confuse anyone – we didn’t party all weekend or anything like that, but being exhausted/tired would have me believe that a race of any sort wouldn’t go all that well, but apparently swimming can be a different story (at least distance swimming).

This weekend we’ll be heading to Fort Lauderdale to spend some time with Marty’s family (it’s his dad’s birthday). Of course, Marty has found us a 5k to do! He always finds us some random race when we’re traveling. It’s in a park where we’ve done some triathlons and I’m not sure if any of it will be off road since there are some trails there, but it should definitely be flat!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Off Topic

So…I totally didn’t mean for my last post to turn into an age group vs open debate, but I do appreciate all the comments. It made me think of earlier this year when Marty happened to (light-heartedly) call TNT “the purple menace” and received lots of comments about that one little phrase, which was totally not the main idea/summary/point of his thoughts.

Just to put in my little bit of observation:

  • It seems that the bigger national races that offer good prizes tend to get more open racers.
  • Set-Up doesn’t offer much in the form of prizes at any of their races to distinguish the open competition from the age groups; they do give a little bit of cash for the series, but probably not enough to entice most to race open (especially when we have some super-freakin-fast ladies in the state that can easily sweep up the money)
  • Set-Up probably doesn’t have an incentive to offer good prizes, particularly to the open division – because frankly, why should they? They sell out almost all of their races and certainly hardly anyone is signing up for their races because of who might be racing in the open division. People sign up for their races because they do a great job of putting them on.
  • For whatever reason(s), the men don’t seem to have this particular problem.

Anyways, like I said previously, I like to RACE! No matter what the age is, I would rather race against the fastest. It brings out the better athlete in me and forces me to push through boundaries. And I like that. With the current trend here in NC, though, racing age group would probably be the way to go if I really want that experience.

New Topic!

Marty took a looooong nap when we got home, but I wasn’t too tired so I mostly read a book (confession, it was Twilight, and yes I realize this is supposed to be for people MUCH younger than me, but what can I say? I liked it!) Then we went to The Flying Saucer for a couple of beers, but of course, we were home by about 8:30 pm. We are such rock stars.

Sunday, Marty got up early and went to the beach with some friends. While it may have been fun to go to the beach, I probably would’ve gotten bored after awhile just watching these guys surfing all day. So I decided to stay home and check off lots of things on my to-do list:

  • Big shop at Trader Joes
  • Change my cassette and clean my bike
  • Ride my bike (on the trainer, so I could…)
  • Watch a movie (wanted to see The Other Boleyn Girl after reading the book. I know I heard lots of people say they didn’t like movie, especially after reading the book. I’m now one of those people)
  • Take Tassie for a walk (not as fun for her since I won’t let her chase the ducks)
  • Clean the house (this took 2+ hours, and that was just the downstairs, sheesh)
  • Fold and put away laundry
  • Finish Twilight

Next weekend is going to be jam packed with our camp and The Nuclear Swim (over 200 people are signed up already!!) so I really wanted to try and get as much done as possible this weekend. Mission accomplished.

I sure did use a lot of bullet points today.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lake Norman Recap

This morning while setting up my transition, I saw a guy in a motorized wheel chair with a breathing tube and a personal nurse by his side rolling by the bikes. I distinctly remember stopping what I was doing and staring at him; wondering what happened and thinking 'geez, it can all be taken away so quick.'

Then before they started the race, I found out about his story. I can't remember his name right now, but last year he raced at Lake Norman. They gave him the mic and he was able to read a prepared speech through his breathing tube. He noticed something was wrong with his hand around the race time last year, and finally got a diagnosis in December - he had ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and one short year later he was paralyzed and couldn't breathe on his own. I teared up as he told his story, and as he sat there telling us to enjoy ourselves during the race and embrace the hurt that racing brings. It really can all be taken away so quick.

As it turned out, there were not any other Open women that showed up for the race. There were a few Master's Open women, so at least some others were in my wave (along with the Open and Master's Males). I saw Nasrin off to my right after the start and then tried to settle in behind her for a draft but couldn't stick on her feet at the turn buoys - ahh she was swimming so fast! Or maybe I was swimming slow? I need to stop skipping master's in the morning! But I was breathing and pulling hard so I thought I was swimming okay, Nas was just swimming better. I saw her get out of the water and estimated she was 15 seconds ahead of me. As I ran out, someone told me I was the first female but I knew that people often mess this up - but then when I got to the transition area Nas wasn't there -- it was Wade! Oops, so I'm first women out of my wave.

A male open passed me right out of transition and during the bike 2 master's open men passed me. And that was it. For the entire race. Out of 700 people, I saw 3 people on the course. 3! They had shortened the bike because of construction and the cut through road they put us on was even more hilly than the usual course. I tried to push.

I came off the bike and onto the run. I tried to push. I didn't see anyone ahead or behind me, the only people I saw were the volunteers.

I crossed the line first and then did a cooldown with Marty (who raced really well today! a few track workouts and he knocked some serious time out of his run). We saw some ladies who were moving on the run in the 35-39 age group; they were about 3 seconds apart. The first lady asked how far ahead she was, they were both working. I caught up to her after she finished and asked if she had held the other lady off and she said, "I did! It was great, we were together on the bike going back and forth and then ran the entire run together."

Oh, you mean you got to race?! I felt a pang of jealousy - I do these races to race, not for a time trial and I know how much it hurts and also how FUN it is to duke it out with other competitors.

At the awards I found out these two had beaten me by 1 minute and I was super bummed. First, though, I got to feel like an idiot getting up on the podium by myself for the first place open woman.

I was pissed. I was pissed at myself for not being able to push harder by myself. I was mad that I wasn't faster. And I was irked that fast age group women don't race open.

I threw myself a pity party for 5 minutes in the car, silently fuming and sending my friend an upset text about the race.

Then I stopped and thought about that guy with ALS and I felt like an absolute JERK. What am I upset about?! About not winning? Am I that big of a baby? (uhhh, don't answer that). I got to go out there and do something I love, still finishing 3rd overall while my husband is out there doing great, too. That guy probably has weeks or months to live.

Hopefully he knows that his story and speech affected a lot of people, but particularly me - as I remember what a gift life itself is - and one that is never guaranteed. This is something that is way too easy to forget.

I'm sure when I see my splits I'll be mad all over again, but I promise to get over it quick ;)

We took the scenic route home and stopped in Pittsboro at the Soda Shop.



And I had a delicious chocolate malt.