Sunday, May 30, 2010

Doughman Quadrathlon

This is going to be an epic race report for an epic race - The Doughman! Are you all tired of me talking about this race yet?

The doughman is a competitive eating/running/biking/aquatic event relay. It's always been dominated by all men teams so me and a couple of my girlfriends decided to put together a ringer girls team and see if we could give the boys a run for their money. Mission accomplished.

The skinny:
Brooke Tvermoes started out for us eating local yogurt with granola and strawberries. She then had to bike 10 miles through Durham obeying all traffic laws and even got stopped by a train. She then had to eat barbeque at Hog Heaven, then a ride a short distance before tagging me. I ran .25 to Broad Street Pizza and ate two slices, then ran another 1.5 miles to a Duke pool. I grabbed an inner tube, jumped in, then sat in the inner tube and paddled across the pool. I tagged Alysia Lovgren who ran .7 to Dain's Place, ate a goat sausage hoagie, then ran another 1.8 to Dos Perros. Kari Mayhew was tagged at Dos Perros and ate some weird Mexican dish and then ran 1.5 miles to the Durham Athletic Park. We all reconvened and ate dessert, before running a lap around the park and finishing.

We had prepared well for this race. We had lots of strategy meetings which were really just good excuses for the 4 of us to get together for dinner and drinks. We did come up with a cute team name (Victorious Secret) and an equally cute outfit. We also had a few practice rounds which actually really helped all of us out.

We all met bright and early on Saturday morning.

Here is our coach.
Matt is a friend of ours who agreed to be our team support vehicle. This race is a logistical nightmare (and not closed or anything, and all the eating places were in different locations) so you have to have one team vehicle who drops the racers off and picks people up. He decided to dress up, too, and stayed in character the entire day as a North Carolina super redneck. He even grew a beard for several weeks JUST so he could shave it into that goatee. Everyone was in this thing full speed.

Here's a great team picture before the race.

And a pre-race photo at the start (Local Yogurt)

Last minute hug and words of wisdom.

This race raises money for several charities and they encourage people to come dressed up in costumes. Even so, a lot of the teams are pretty darn competitive.

We had the biggest entourage throughout the race. Brooke's husband Nicolai, Marty, and my sister road their bikes next to all of us while running. Nicolai and Marty got tons of great video, which was awesome since as racers we didn't get to see a lot of the other parts. Here is Nicolai reviewing the course while I contemplate what's to come.

Here are Kari, coach and me waiting in T1 for Brooke to come in off the bike. Matt had his thumbs hooked on his belt buckle in almost every picture we took.

Here's Brooke coming in off the bike.

A couple of fast guys ate much quicker than Brooke did at Local Yogurt and they were able to breakaway. Brooke is a super fast biker, but she got stopped by a train and several lights and this caused a huge pack to form and she said it was impossible to break from them. She did eat the bbq at lightening speed and got ahead of a bunch of her pack, and was able to come in around 9th place (there were 70 total teams).

I'm stretching while waiting for her to tag me in T1.

And here's the tag.

We did a practice run of this pizza a couple of weeks ago and I was kind of slow eating it. The crust was very hard so I already had a strategy of dipping it right into water to make it soggy and easier to go down. I wasn't sure how much water they would have so I brought my own water bottle just in case. Here's what I had to eat.

Only 2 slices! We had practiced with 3 so this was really, really good. I also had my game face on and was ready to eat it fast!

The full table of pizza awaiting the racers.

Here are a couple of the first few guys eating.

Here I am running into Broad Street Pizza.

A couple of shots of me eating.

And here's some video. I downed the pizza in 1:30 and passed several other teams!

Now I had to run 1.5 miles to the pool. I went super hard - like sub 6min pace hard.

Here's some video of me running. Nothing too interesting happened here, except for the guy trying to stay with me at the beginning. Not happening today, dude! :)

On the run I caught everyone except for 2 guys. The first guy's team had a huge lead, but I came in with the 2nd guy to the pool. People laughed at me on Friday morning at master's because I brought an inner tube to practice jumping in and getting in the tube fast, then stroking down the pool. Well let me tell you - this made all the difference!! I got our team into 2nd place because of my superior inner tube skills. (we had to walk on the pool deck, by the way, and yes, I jumped in fully clothed. I was not going to waste time taking my shoes off. I told you we were dedicated.)

Here's some video of the pool. This video is pretty funny.

Next up is Alysia. Here are a couple shots of her running.

Here is her eating place.

And a shot of her eating.

Video of her eating.

Pic of 2nd place runner.

After running-eating-running, she tagged Kari, who ate the Mexican dish.

Video of Kari eating.

We were in 4th place when Alysia tagged Kari (the 3rd leg was by far the toughest and longest, and the top teams had some fast runners). No matter for Kari though, as she easily hunted down 3rd place and passed him quickly.

Kari finished her run at the Durham Athletic Park and we all ran in to eat the final thing - dessert. Two Loco Pops (popscicles) and 2 cupcakes. The cupcakes were bitesize and luckily for this round we could help each other out. This was really good since Kari had just gotten done eating and running. Brooke and I downed the cupcake quick and then helped Alysia and Kari finish off the loco pops. At the very end, Kari shoved the last little bit at Brooke who bit off a big chunk. A tiny piece fell to the ground and she picked it up and threw it in the garbage. The volunteer said, "Uh uh, that's not going to work." Without batting an eye, Brooke immediately dug in the trash, got the little piece and ate it! She said it had luckily fallen on a paper plate...I told you we were serious about this! I LOVE my team - best group of girls ever. Nicolai actually got all this on film, but I don't have it. She definitely gets MVP for the team.

Eating the dessert.

Here's the first place team - next year they're going down!

Here are a few finishing shots - 3rd place!!

Great finishing video! The 2nd place team and then us :)

We got bronze medals - they were macaroni stringed with marshmallows covered in bronze spray paint.

Full team pose post race, all wet and sweaty.

Team with coach.

High fiving the second place team.

After the race, the local news interviewed a bunch of racers. They even interviewed Matt and the reporter was laughing so hard at him. At the end of the interview, the reporter said, "Well, Coach, your team finished 3rd today. What are you going to do differently next year?" Matt answered without missing a beat, "Side stretches. Lots and lots of side stretches." Unfortunately, it didn't make the evening news.

And finally, the top three teams at the awards ceremony. I think we surprised a lot of people :) Thanks for reading about our antics :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Anybody Listening?

I've complained to Marty recently that I felt like I had lost a lot of readers over the past month. I thought it was either:

A. I'm boring
B. I'm irrelevant
C. All of the above

My friend Kari has told me that she can never comment on my blog anymore, and Beth also mentioned she sometimes has problems. Then Kari told me that her feed never lets her know when I update, so I did some internet sleuthing and figured out that when we changed servers and Marty posted that my blog was moving and to please use "this" address...he mistyped the address. He put a www. when it was really just So maybe I've lost readers because they put in a bad address in their feed? Maybe I haven't lost readers at all, but it definitely seems like people who used to comment occasionally don't. Then sometimes I think, why the heck am I even doing this? Like I'm so important that I need to write about inane happenings of my life.

Carry on.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


(Sweet 16 X 2) - 1. That's how old I turned yesterday. Having your birthday on a Tuesday when you have to go to work all day kind of sucks, but we're going to do a re-birthday on Saturday :) I did birthday 400's at the track last night, and then was serenaded by the group - where I was super comfortable being the center of attention. That was very nice of them, though.

At work I had to give feedback in the form of a survey for another employee that I have been on some teams with. The first part of the survey consisted of gathering general information, and the first question was a drop down box asking my age. First choice: 18 -30. Second choice: 31 - 40. That kind of hit home.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Saturday morning Marty and I drove to the booming metropolis of Sims. I shouldn’t make fun, we are so lucky to have so many races within easy driving distance of us. And this race was in a great location for a triathlon. Marty was going to try and defend his title at the Battle of Buckhorn – he did and won another belt buckle (although it’s on backorder so he won’t get it for a couple of weeks). I did the swim on a relay and tried to swim hard. The 1,000 meter swim was a bit short and it was wetsuit legal; I came in at 12:40 and first in the wave. This would have put me right with the main pack of boys had I been in that wave (Marty killed everyone on the swim, then there was everyone else). After I swam I ran the opposite direction of the bike so I could see the guys coming in. I have to be honest and admit that I wasn’t all that positive that Marty was going to hold on since he only had about 1min on the next guy when I saw him near the end of the bike. I completely miscalculated my out and back run and realized when I turned around that if I didn’t pick it up (like really pick it up), I was going to miss the finish. I ended up getting back just in time to see Marty making the last turn, so I had enough time to scream “GO MARTY KICK IT IN TURN IT OVER!!!!” :)

When I did a warmup on the swim I realized the lake had some gross dirty film and apparently I was paranoid about this as I exited the swim. You know, didn’t want the pictures to show I had brown on my face. Instead it looks like I’m throwing up.

Also, Tassie has a facebook page. Marty made it for her because “I wanted to be able to tag her in pictures” I told him he could tag her without her having a page, but “I wanted people to be able to click on her name.” Okay, but it is pretty funny. I was on her page editing something and I got some warning about her information showing up on the internet and making sure I have the appropriate privacy settings. I thought, oh yeah! I totally need to adjust her privacy settings before realizing I must be insanely stupid because

a) Who would be googling ‘Tassie Gaal’
b) Why would it matter? (uh, for that job interview she has? Wouldn’t want questionable pictures showing up…)

We also had another fun master’s get together on Saturday night – dinner and clubbing. Marty and I only made it through the dinner but rumor has it that at the club there was a dance-off and the worm…

Sunday was a 50 mile ride in between the rain, then some lazing around. I finished the night with my sister performing minor surgery on my heel as I had a piece of glass embedded in it (ummm, ow) and then some Goodberry’s. YUM.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Relays and Eating

Tomorrow I’m doing the swim portion of the Battle at Buckhorn with a fellow OSB athlete who hurt her shoulder and can’t swim until after surgery and rehab. I told her I would be happy to do a relay with her since I was lukewarm about racing already with how my foot had been acting recently. I think I would’ve been fine, but instead I’ll get a nice swim and probably run right after. And relays are fun. Marty’s going to try and defend his title so he can win another one of these:

Last night we had training session #2 for the Doughman (I missed training session #1 last week because we were driving to the mountains, but you can check out pictures from that one here). Let it be known – I’m the weak link for the eating portion of this event. I kind of thought I would be, but I’m actually even worse than anyone thought. We ate 3 slices of pizza; it took Kari and Alysia 3:30, it took me 5:00. And they were laughing and talking the whole time (I wasn’t) and Alysia left once to run upstairs to get her camera. I did throw down a 6:00 mile immediately after, but I’m sure there are guys who are going to out-eat me by a lot. Think I can improve my eating time in one week?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

General Housekeeping

Update on the foot
Feeling fantastic! That cuboid bone has gone back to where it's supposed to be and has stayed put. I've been diligent about my exercises and it helped that my sister was here right after I did it so she could do a bit of therapy on it every night. She's back in town next week so I'm going to hit her up again (she needs to earn her room and board :)

Running, what?
I didn't run for a full 2 weeks after hurting my foot. Then when I started back I was extremely cautious and ran 3 times over the next week TOTALLING 1 hour. So my run pretty much sucks right now. I did do part of the track workout last night and was happy to hold 6min pace on the intervals I did. But I'm super, super sore today.

Upcoming Races
As mentioned in previous blogs, the next 'A' race is Doughman coming up next Saturday. The week after that is Breezy Point. I was in pretty good shape last year for this race and came away with some prize money, but this year is probably going to be a different story with my run being so slow. But I'm planning on swimming and biking hard and then seeing what happens. The week after that is the Jordan Lake Open Water Challenge. I'll be working and swimming that one.

Monday, May 17, 2010

More Anniversary

Check out Marty's blog for a photo tour.

Here' a short video of us in the creek behind the house.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Anniversary Weekend

Marty and I have been enjoying our time in Maggie Valley. We've been taking pictures but the camera cord is back home, so I'll put those up in a couple of days.

We got in late Thursday and pretty much went straight to bed. Unfortunately, I missed the first official practice of my Doughman Team (Team Victorious Secret) on Thursday evening. I have it on good authority that my girls had a successful session that included scarfing down yogurt, going for a bike ride, scarfing down barbeque and then either going for a hard short run or a hard short ride. They are awesome.

Marty and I got our own ride in on Friday - not really knowing the area that well we just looked online and found a close route off of Here's a picture I snapped from my typical position when I ride with Marty. I also uploaded this right to facebook after taking the picture. I'm all sorts of coordinated.

So the ride -- I think we climbed every one of those mountains in the picture! Getting out of Maggie Valley to the Blue Ridge Parkway was hella steep. The the Parkway, although not as steep, was still a relentless uphill. We finally descended into Waynesville and made our way back to the house.

When we got home, Marty, Tassie and I soaked our legs in the creek behind the house. Tassie said the bike ride was tough and she needed an ice bath.

Marty also got in some fishing (minus the actual 'fish' part) before we had an early dinner in Waynesville.

Today is our actual 6 year anniversary and we're going into Asheville for a nice dinner - Italian, my favorite.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another weekend in FL

Quick trip to Florida, but we packed it full of events!

I love the direct flight from Raleigh to Tampa – less than 2 hours and it’s just so easy. Marty and I got into Tampa around 7:30 and then had some dinner before driving over the bridge to St. Pete.

Saturday morning we were up early for the Hurricane Man 2.4 mile swim. I took a shuttle to the start and Marty ran down the beach. The water was nice and warm already and we had some chop/waves the entire time. Having never done this distance before, I decided to cruise the first half and then pick it up. I hardly every go more than 3,000 meters in the pool so I really had no idea how it would play out. I ended up with a couple girls for the first half so that kept my mind occupied trying to stay in someone’s draft. I was feeling really good and with about ½ mile to go I decided to start kicking – wow, that makes a huge difference! I’m more of a drag your legs behind and kick for balance but I could definitely feel the increase in speed when I added in the legs :) I rounded the last buoy and hit my watch at the finish line; and was completely surprised by the time: 57:48! I think Marty was even more surprised! I’ve never broken 30min in the few half ironman’s I’ve done so I was thinking anything under 1:05 would be good for me without a wetsuit. We ate the free breakfast but didn’t stick around for awards (which were tiny rubber ducky’s, seriously).

And then as we were driving away, Marty disclosed this little nugget of information, “So when I was running down the beach I saw a fisherman. He had just snagged a baby shark and was in the process of releasing it back into the water.” I’m very thankful he didn’t tell me this before the start – not something I want to be thinking about. Especially because I would be wondering the whole time where the mama shark was.

That night was the hall of fame induction ceremony and senior athletic awards banquet at my high school. I was very, very nervous for this, which I know probably seems silly – I was more nervous for this than any race I’ve had over the recent years! They treated me like a rock star and said so many nice things about my time at the school. I got to meet a bunch of the kids on the track team and I’m pretty sure that my speech went over well. It was really a neat honor and I was very appreciative of it all.

Sunday morning I ran. Yup, I ran a whole 18min with minimal foot pain. My cuboid bone seems to have worked itself back into place as I haven’t had much pain while walking around the past couple of days. This is very exciting and I’m hoping to get more consistent with my running again.

Here are some pictures from the induction.
This girl just broke my 3200 meter record last week at their state meet. She has a great future ahead of her!

Listening to one of the coaches say too many nice things about me. Marty seems to be thinking, "Eh, big deal." ;)

Nervous giving my speech.

They presented me with the actual sign that was in the track record display in the gym. Where do you all think I should put this?!

No doubt imparting loads of wisdom...

I had lots of pictures taken with various current team members.

One of my absolute most favorite teachers and her daughter.