Friday, September 30, 2011

triathamom: run

To continue the timing chip saga, as I was leaving the transition area, I told the people at the beeping mat that I must have lost my timing chip in the pool and I took off the useless velcro strap to show them. One of the race organizers was also there and she said "yep. We won't be able to give you your split times, but we'll still be able to give you a start and finish time." So oh well. That was that.:(

Off I went.

I walked for a couple minutes to loosen up my legs a little bit and then got going. My shins hurt but seemed to feel a little better as I warmed up. Then I ran 10 min, walked 2 to stretch out a little, and ran the rest. I have to say that reaching the Mile 2 mark was pretty amazing! Only ~1 more mile to go! Wohoo!!! At that point I felt like I could do anything! One Mile was nothing! (note: I've never felt that way ever before during a run - ever) ;)

So here I am coming into the finish:

I have to say I find finish lines embarrassing. Am I the only one that feels that way? I kind of don't like having people cheer for me when all I want to do is focus on my ipod tunes and get across that line. Push through to the end. I feel uncomfortable with people watching me as I'm struggling and huffing and puffing (there's a race in Provo that goes along the 4th of July parade route that I avoid for that very reason).

Anyway - I made it!!!!! They handed me my finisher's necklace. I said Hi to Zac and the kids. Then I went to the food table to pig out - because I felt like I had earned it for sure. :)
Bagels, cream cheese, fruit platters, and cookies. Yum.

Me, stuffing my face and talking to my mom:

The kids had their faces painted:

They also had a sign-making station for the families while the wife/mom/daughter/woman was running.

Here's one the kids made for me:

So cute!

And my finisher necklace:

The finish line:

And bounce houses for the kids:

It was kind of a carnival for the families waiting, so that was a lot of fun for them.

Anyway. Because of my timing chip problem, my name wasn't even listed on the results page online which sort of ticked me off. I had to email the timing company and they finally got me my total time and said they'd update the list with my name on it (but it's still not there yet).

So - my total time was 1 hr 54 min and 18 sec.

According to my watch, my bike (12 miles) took 1 hr 06 min

and my run (5K) was 36 min

(which was about what my trainings had been taking me, so no surprises)

and that leaves 12 min for my swim and transitions.

It's possible that the swim (300 yds) took 10 min or so (even though my training swims were about 6 min - grrr). So, that would mean I took 2 min in getting from the pool to bike, and bike to run. But I don't know for sure.

So will I do it again?? Definitely. I think I want to try one with a half-mile swim (~800 yds) because I'm pretty sure I can do that. Maybe I'll even try an open water swim sometime (although finding a wet suit is not something I'd be looking forward to and might not even be feasible). I feel really good about what I accomplished. I'm proud of my body markings (that still haven't completely washed off) - and I will gladly show them off. I am sooo glad I won the entry to this race so I could try this out, risk-free so to speak. :) I'm never quite sure how to sum it up succinctly enough when people ask me "how was it?" (hence the very long post series all about it) - but I am very happy to be able to say I did it. That's something!

I can call myself a triathlete now! hehehe.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

triathamom: bike

(getting ready to bike) So, speaking of the timing chip, I took off on the bike and you cross over this mat where your timing chip is supposed to beep. And mine didn't beep (obviously). But there were lots of other people trying to get across and stuff too, of course. So I went back over it again, and the person said "ok, you're good" and I kept going.


The first 6 miles of this bike ride were supposedly all uphill. I'd driven the course - but I drove it backwards apparently, so I didn't get the full effect of this hill-thing that I was in for. Oh boy. The first 4 miles were kind of gradually uphill - hard but not tooooo bad. Then I see it ahead. The big hill. Ok. I keep telling myself, I can do this, I can do this. It was really tough. And I was being passed like the dickens all along the way and had to focus really hard not to be discouraged by it. But I could do it. I was pretty sure I could do it.

But then. I came up around to a bend and what seemed like must be near the top of the hill, and I went around the turn . . . and it kept going. Steeper. And I just about broke into tears (I also may have come close to saying some choice words I don't normally use). I tried to keep going. But about a few hundred yards from the crest of the hill I had to get off and walk it. I have just never felt such incredible burning exhausting exertion and I couldn't do it.

Good thing was, the last 6 miles were allllll downhill!!! HALLELUJAH!! And that felt soooo goood.:) I can't even tell you.

Here I am, approaching the dismount and transition area:

I made it!

[My timing chip didn't beep again as I crossed the mat - but again I went over it a second time and the people there said "ok you're ok" and I kept going, but this time I looked down and ran my finger around the velcro and lo and behold, there was no chip on there. Um. Well. All I really thought was that there wasn't anything I could do about it at this point. So. Huh.
No choice but to just keep going. . . ]

Only the run left to go! yahoo!

triathamom: swim

So the morning of the race, we got up at 5 am, left at 5:30 and arrived at 6 am when the transition area was open. I wasn't sure if I really needed to be there that early, but since I had no clue what I was doing I wanted to be sure I wasn't rushed. Turned out to be a good thing to be there early so I could pick a good spot to put my bike and stuff. As we got closer to the start, people were kind of searching frantically for any open spots for their bikes, and I was glad that wasn't me.

It was chilly and I was nervous, so here I am after I got everything all settled, shivering and saying hello to Zac and the kids who were eating breakfast in the car.

Hanging out in the transition area:

I was reassured as I talked to some other ladies that I wasn't the only clueless one. I had prepared better than some. And even the really competitive looking gals seemed friendly.

Finally at 7:30 we headed into the pool.

Now this is where the fun begins. Do you see this?

This is only a partial glimpse of the 400-something swimmers crowded around the pool. The way this was supposed to work was that there would be 3 start groups of swimmers and you put yourself in whichever group you felt you belonged in: fast, medium or slow. How this turned out was that the person over the PA system just said "fast swimmers come to the front." And there was kind of a rush, push and shove (and lots of confusion over what's considered "fast") as these swimmers went to the front. Then, for the rest of us, there was lots of mingling and more confusion as we asked everyone around us "how fast are you going?" "how fast are you?" "what's your time?" and kind of moved ahead or behind people as we felt appropriate. It was a mess, really. And then there were crowds of people cutting ahead and moving to the front from the sidelines without any sort of knowledge of how fast they were swimming or anything. I was getting pretty frustrated with the whole thing, but at the end of it all I just kind of got stuck where I was and we were so crowded together it would have been impossible to move to a different spot had I even wanted to, without a whole lot of shoving. ugh.

Here's my cheering section, though. My mom came to support me too, but she's not in these pics.

One thing I hadn't considered as I envisioned how this would all go is how LOOOONG it would take to get all of us into the pool. We were zig-zagging down the lanes, so up and back one lane, move the next, up and back in that lane, move to the next, etc. And they were spacing the starts. And . . . it took an HOUR from the first start time before I was even in the pool. Waiting nervously, trying to stay loosened up, crowded with a bunch of people, and standing for that long was just not fun at all. We'd been standing by the pool for an hour and a half by the time I started!

But then . . . finally . . . I was able to get in the water (yay!!) and we lined up against the wall waiting for our turn to move into the first race lane, push off and start (me in the black swim cap).

I knew as soon as I got started that I was in the wrong "group" (as if there were any actual groups in the first place). I'd barely get going, getting into a good rhythm and pace, and I'd run into someone going waaaay slower. And I'd basically have to stop and tread water until I could pass them (and not run into someone coming up the other direction) or wait til we got to the end of the lane and get ahead of them before they took off again. I hated it.

The good thing was, it boosted my confidence that I really am a better swimmer than I often think of myself. Dang, I was a lot faster than most of these ladies. hahaha.;)

So, it was frustrating. But I tried not to let myself be too bothered by it. I knew my time wouldn't reflect how fast I could have gone. But - eh, oh well.

The worst thing though was that my timing chip felt like it was falling off. K, so the chip was slipped onto this velcro strap that was wrapped around my ankle. As I was swimming I could feel the velcro coming loose and sort of slapping around (which is really annoying when you're kicking). I was afraid I'd lose it completely. So at the end of a lane, I actually stopped and took it off, hoping to reattach it more securely. Big Mistake. It was really tricky getting it back on right in the water. I thought I got it back on though. And on I went (losing more time, though, of course from stopping).

Looking back on it, I can see that I must not have gotten it on correctly. The chip must have ended up on the edge of the velcro strap (seen hanging loose in this close-up of me leaving the swim) and fallen off in the pool.

But I didn't know that at the time.

I got to the transition area and dried off and I was incredibly relieved that it wasn't as cold as I had expected!! So I didn't need the running tights or thermal shirt I had brought with me and I got all set and took off on the bike.

The swim was the easy part for me - besides feeling a little shaky from the nerves, adrenaline, and some frustration during the swim, I didn't feel winded or too exerted. I knew the bike would be the tough part.

stay tuned . . .

Monday, September 26, 2011

triathamom: pre-race

The night before the race, I went and got checked in. Picked up my swag bag with my race tshirt, my timing chip, my number bibs, and got my body markings stamped on me.

Feels official, doesn't it?
Race numbers on each arm:

(this one makes me laugh, because somehow the camera angle makes me look like I have Popeye biceps bigger than my head - hahaha. I am a lot stronger than I've ever been in my life, but I'm not that strong)

And my age on my calf. Never have I felt more proud to have my age flagrantly displayed.

(yep I'm flexing for the camera. Come now, wouldn't you?) ;)

And I gathered up all my gear. Checked and double-checked my list. Changed up my ipod running playlist. Charged it. Made sure I had clean socks. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Phew! All ready to go!


I'm a "triathamom!"

(me, at the end of it all!)

I did it!


Most everything went about as well as I expected - and I'll tell you all about it soon!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Tomorrow is race day.
(remember this?)

And I am really nervous.
I have a list of 25 things to remember to do or bring.

And today I need to be feeling completely awesome, and nothing but. It's sort of not my natural state - haha - so it's hard work to get myself so psyched up.

Today I need to feel:











And anything you can do to contribute to my efforts to feel this way would certainly be appreciated! Seriously.

I am fighting my monsters today.

ohh help . . .

Happy First Day of Fall

It's officially my favorite time of year!

And, while nothing around me is looking like this yet (or ever will), I can't resist sharing these beautiful autumn pictures I've collected on my pinterest board (I'm sorry I can't credit each one right now - but none are mine). I had to choose from 28 of my favorites - these are just the ones that struck me this morning. :)

Have a beautiful day.



Monday, September 19, 2011

oh, yes . . .

"I have sought rest everywhere, and have found it nowhere, save in a little corner, with a little book."
-- Thomas à Kempis

(picture found here)

(I'm excited to start back into my reading round-ups and Book Addict's Bookclub now that summer is over and I can think again! yay)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Summer Fun {13}: 13 Songs of the Summer (and we're done!)

Just for fun I'd thought I'd throw in my "summer playlist" for your enjoyment, as the grand summary of all things summery (wow - that was good, haha). Yes, this is an actual playlist I put together on my ipod. Zac laughed at me when I told him I was listening to some of these intentionally. You can laugh too, I don't mind.;) I won't even try to justify some of them by explaining to you how or why they got onto my ipod in the first place - but I will just say that these were some of the songs of my summer 2011. Songs I discovered or rediscovered, remind me of things I did, people I saw, places I went, or that I just seemed to be in the mood for more often than not. And yes, it is just coincidental that there were 13 songs on this list, and we are on the Summer Fun #13!! Amazing, isn't it? It was meant to be!

Enjoy the songs. (sorry this Astropuppees song is nowhere to be found on the internet)
And enjoy the random pretty pictures from some summer days.

What were you listening to this summer??

1. Peter Salett - Heart of Mine
2. Astropuppees - Lower the Line
3. The Jeff Healey Band - Stuck in the Middle with You
4. David Archuleta - Something Bout Love
5. Material Issue - Valerie Loves Me
6. Julian Lennon - Lucy
7. Badly Drawn Boy - A Minor Incident

8. Explosions in the Sky - Your Hand in Mine
9. U2 - Magnificent
10. The Wallflowers - When You're On Top
11. Michael Franti and Spearhead - Say Hey
12. William Fitzsimmons - So This Is Goodbye
13. U2 - All I Want Is You

And now we are officially done with summer!!!


(I am soo ready to be done. Aren't you??) ;)

Summer Fun {12}

The Swimming Pool

Over the last couple years, we've decided that it's probably more cost and time effective to pay for a pool membership rather than just pay to have the kids in swim lessons. The beginner lessons especially seem focused on just becoming comfortable in the water, putting your face in, floating etc. And just being exposed to the water, and being in it, moving in it, experimenting, getting around, I think kids naturally pick up on a lot of the early water skills by themselves. And also, knowing how to swim myself, I can help them here and there with some of the skills too, by going to the pool frequently during the summer.

So! Zac and I sort of set some mental goals for the kids to accomplish at the pool by the summer's end. Just to keep in mind and help them work towards so we can see that they're making progress.

Elisabeth - well, she takes to the water like a little fish. This year the pool added these climbing walls in the 4 ft and she had no fear whatsoever. She just climbed up as far as she could, jumped into the water, kicked herself to the surface and was ready to do it again.

(here you can also see Abigail jumping down from it)

The goal for Elisabeth was to get her to be able to lift her head up and breathe while she swims and I think she could do it at least once. She already dives in the water, does underwater flips, kicks with a kickboard, and "swims" as far as she can before stopping to get a breath, so we're pretty happy with her "water skills" thus far. ;) She even did a flip off the side of the 3 ft pool once . . . but I had to tell her that wasn't allowed because it's not safe.

At the beginning of the summer, Samuel was still insisting on wearing the life vests that the pool provides everytime he got in the water. So our first goal for him was to get him in the pool without it. And then to get his head under the water.

And he did it! At first he would dip his hair backward into the water and tell me he got his head wet (haha). Then he would tell me to "look away" and he would put his face under only when I wasn't looking. But by the end of the summer, he was dunking under water and even doing a few bobs! yay!! Ohh it feels so good to see progress!!:)

Isaac and Abigail - our goal was to get them to jump off the diving board and swim to the side. Actually, that was the original goal for Abigail but Isaac "jumped on board" too and accomplished it as well!

So at least we know that if they fell into some deep water, they'd be able to swim a short distance to save themselves. That's an important skill, right?

Anyway - I love the pool. I loved the times I could go swim laps. I loved just sitting in the water watching the kids. I loved teaching them how to play "Marco Polo" (or Marcolo Polo, as Samuel liked to say). And I loved watching them love it too.:)

Here is Zac throwing Samuel (something Samuel was terrified of doing for a long time!!).

And a partial shot of Elisabeth, the flying fish. :)

Did you get to some water this summer?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Summer Fun {11}

1. homemade ice-cream-in-a-bag: check!

2. chunky rainbow crayons: check!

3. Homemade lemon Italian Ice (like Luigi's): Check! Check!

4. Caprisun and fruit slices popsicles: Check!

5. 2 silly kids insisting on wearing these "glasses" everywhere we went all summer long: oh yes. Check.

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