DNF, freezer meals and rubber band love

Welp, it happened. Our first DNF (did not finish). I guess technically its really a DNS (did not start) b/c we didn’t even go to the race.

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I woke up around 6 hacking and coughing up all the fun stuff that clogs up in your face when you sleep at night while getting over a cold. Lovely huh? Paul was still feeling feverish and achy. And to top all that off with a cherry, it was snowing this morning. Seriously? In March. Oh yeah right, we live in Seattle. I almost forgot. So we decided to ditch the crowds and snow and stay in bed warm and cozy and coughing.

When we finally did get up, I decided since I had the time, I was going to whip up some meals to freeze. I ended up making 5 meals in around an hour in a half and have about three more to make but I ran out of containers. I’m going to finish up tomorrow. There is nothing better than knowing I have yummy frozen meals that just need 30 min in the oven. Makes nights when getting off work late or having an extra long time in traffic almost a pinch more bearable.

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Here is what I made:

Spaghetti Pie (one large container and then I split up the other batch into two smaller containers)

8 oz. spaghetti, broken in 2” pieces

2 Tbsp. soft butter

½ C. grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1 egg, well beaten

1 pound cottage cheese


Cook and drain spaghetti and mix with above ingredients.  Set aside.


Brown:

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Drain above, then add 1 jar spaghetti sauce.

Layer noodle mixture in greased 9×13 pan, then top with meat sauce. Top with 12 oz grated mozzarella cheese. Freeze.

When you are ready to eat, thaw and then bake at 350 for 30 min or until warmed through and cheese on top is melty and bubbly.

Tuna Noodle casserole (split into two containers)
  • 1 (16 ounce) package egg noodles
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tuna, drained
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, adding peas for the final 3 minutes of cooking; drain.
  2. Melt the butter in the same pot over medium heat. Add the mushroom soup, tuna, milk, and Cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is melted, and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the pasta and peas until evenly coated.
After I was done being all Martha Stewart in the kitchen we went to go check out a couple houses and then ran some errands. Then we ran into some little girls who beat us up and forced us to buy girl scout cookies. And open them and eat them immediately in the car. Have you seen those girls? They are intimidating, you don’t’ want to tell them no. They will hurt you.

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Last night Guinness had a brief love affair with a rubber band. We can’t give him real dog toys b/c well….he ends up “loving” them. Doesn’t matter what it is, a ball, a rope, whatever…somehow he will end up being inappropriate with it. So since he doesn’t get regular toys, he plays with random things he finds around the house. Last night it was a rubber band.

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Please don’t mind my heart shorts. Somehow the rubber band landed in them and so he proceeded to play with those too. Who needs cable when you have this kind of entertainment around?

(btw’s….apologies for my crazy formatting in this post. I tried forever for like 20 min to fix it and I couldn’t figure it out. I’m tech savvy to a certain point and then I just give up. Better luck next time I guess.)

Love’m or Leave’em Valentines Day 5k

Official time 44:14

RAN THE WHOLE TIME.

Let me say that again.

I ran the ENTIRE time, did not stop once. I may have been running at the same pace that some people were walking, but I did NOT walk once during this race. This has been a personal goal of mine for a LONG time and I can’t believe the day has come that I accomplished it!!

Even though my time in this race was faster, I really wanted to concentrate this time on slowing it down and running the entire time instead of running/walking. I know now that  I can run the distance and so now I can work on time. I would love to get to below 40 min in the next few months and I know I can do it!

Ok let’s back up to the beginning….

Breakfast

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English muffin with Nutella, naner and chia. I usually eat a sandwich thin, but today I felt I needed something a little, idk…more.

Had plenty of time this morning since the race didn’t start until 9:30. Lots of time for my coffee to work its magic so we don’t have a repeat of this.

Headed up to Seattle to Green Lake, one of my favorite places in all of Seattle. I remember when I first moved here a few years ago I was super impressed that I had walked around Green Lake. Now I was gonna run it. I’ve come a long way baby.

Got our shirts and hung out in the car for a bit cuz it was brrrrr. Not near as bad as the last race, but still cold.

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We got our bibs on, timing chips and took some pre-race photos.

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Can anyone say cheeseeeee-yyyyyy? (we can in case you couldn’t tell)

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We saw a girl doing yoga poses on the treadmill at the gym the other day but weren’t able to get a pic, so Paul decided to recreate the moment. Except not on a treadmill. And not a girl. But whatev, same general idea.

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Headed to the start area, hit up the port-a potties one more time, got some stretching in and then lined up according to pace.

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Paul stayed up here and I headed to the back. Running at 8min pace is sooooo last year anyway.

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This was where I was in relation to the start. Took a while to actually get to the start since it was so congested.

Mile 1

Felt good pretty much the whole time. Lots of people passed me but I didn’t care. I was just enjoying listening to my music and enjoying how good my body feels when I first start running. I made sure to keep my pace slower and not get to excited b/c I really wanted to run the whole time and didn’t want to jeopardize that.

Mile 2

HARD. Hard hard hard. This is when people around me started slowing down and walking and I knew that I wasn’t halfway done/still had a mile to go. I just kept telling myself that I had all the rest of the day to sit and relax and do whatever else. I just had a little bit more to go and then I would be done. This kept me going even when I wanted to stop.

Mile 3

Feeling better. Knowing I only had one mile to go, I started to really believe I could do it. I could run the whole thing. It was happening. I was around the same basic group of people and one girl by me kept walking, but then when I would pass her she would run again to be in front of me. It was amusing.

Passing girl

Paul PR’ed!!! (24:14) so he ran back to find me and run the end with me. And take lots of pics of me running. Love that guy. Seriously.

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This was it. Only .30 to go. I was gonna do it!!

Garmin time was 46:22 for 3.22 miles. This was mostly due to the fact that I started it when we started, not at the actual start line, and also b/c I forgot to turn it off when we crossed the finish. I kept telling myself not to do that, but of course I did.

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Official race results read 44:14. Not faster than the Magnuson race, but I walked a bunch in that one so I consider this a total win!!

We hung around the finish for a bit and got some treats

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Yes, that is red velvet cake. I know right?

Before race:

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After race:

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I think we had a little runners high, no?

We headed downtown to hit up Pike Place for lunch and ended up at Pike Place Brewing Co.

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We weren’t fans of our waitress but the food was good.

Waitress rude

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Turkey sandwich for me and a spinach salad with chicken for Paulmeister.

When I hit up the b-room, Paul got camera happy.

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Paul PR


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Wow those two pictures together look like one pic! That is CRAZY. Totally unplanned. But wicked cool.

After we ate we walked around Pike Place (the location of our first date….everyone together now…awwwwwww) and saw these little cuties outside one of the restaurants. I tried to convince Paul that they were obviously abandoned and that we needed to take them home with us, but he told me no. Rude.

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Got some awesome fresh produce at the market, an iced coffee and then headed home for some laying around and tv watching.

Next up is the St. Patty’s Day 5k.  I’ve done this one before and if the course is the same its half uphill and half downhill. That ought to be interesting. Hopefully the time I loose going uphill, I can gain back going downhill? Either way I’m gonna shoot for at least 42:00. Any tips, tricks, helpful solutions to get a little faster are always appreciated. 😉

What was your first big “milestone” with running?

Race Recap: Freeze Your Thorns Off 5k

Did my first virtual 5k thanks to The Boring Runner and it was epic!!

If you don’t know what a virtual race is you should be ashamed of yourself (just like I didn’t up until about a month ago) its basically where a blogger hosts a virtual race and everyone who wants to participate just does the race on their own and then reports back on the experience. You can pretty much do it whenever and where ever you want as long as it is the general timeframe of when it’s being held.

This sounded like a great plan to me so I signed up (great news, virtual races are FREE!) Running on the street outside doesn’t have to cost you $30+! HA!

I can say now that for the first time I actually feel like a runner.

I’m about to bust out some #runnerterms just to prove how runner-ish I am actually feeling.

Friday night we unintentionally #carb-loaded for dinner on the way to Paul’s work to find his wallet. (Don’t worry, we found it. But it was after I had to pay for dinner. Hmmmmm.) He forgets its all the same account. 

Then I unfortunately had some pretty serious #GIissues during the night so our planned run for the morning was thwarted until the afternoon.

We went to a friends house and built this

but decided we wanted to do an outside run and really freeze our thorns off instead of spending time on the #dreadmill.

We made our way to the Cedar River Trail but we had to wait to get started so I could #locatesatellites on my #Garmin405

We did a #downandback and turned around at 1.60 so we could have a .10 cool down before we got back to the car.

I ran the entire time until we turned around. When I say run I mean more like a jog/bounce but it wasn’t walking and that is all I cared about.

When we turned around I walked for .10 of a mile so I could blow the nose but then I wanted to get going again. I was bound and determined to get this thing done running the majority of the time.

My legs felt good. My breathing felt good. If I started to get a little uncomfortable, I backed off a little and slowed down. My goal wasn’t speed, it was consistency in finishing the whole thing without walking again.

Paul stuck with me the whole time. He did some #fartlek’s while I trudged along.  Husband of the year. It felt so good to have him there with me. He kept telling me how proud he was of me. It was very motivating. Sheesh I love that guy.

At about 2.80 I couldn’t believe it. I knew I could finish out the whole thing running. I wasn’t going to die. Bring on the #runnershigh.

Finished in 44:49 with an average pace of 14:29. Two minutes slower than the last 5k, but I feel like I walked at least half of that one so I am really proud of this one.

Even celebrated with a practice #snotrocket

#FAIL

Here are my #splits

Mile 1: 14.07
Mile 2: 15.25
Mile 3: 14.14

Slow as molasses, but seriously I don’t care.  I consider today the first day I really feel like a runner.

Next race is Feb 11th. Can’t wait to see what that one brings!

When did you first feel like a runner? (If you run of course) 🙂

Magnuson Series MLK 5K

First 5k of 2012 DONE!

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The race was at 10am so we had plenty of time in the morning to get ready without feeling rushed. Up, eat, hydrate, bathroom (x3) all at a somewhat leisurely pace.

I was feeling pretty good and really ready. I have done some 5k’s in the past when I was triathlon training, but wasn’t really super serious about them. Really just wanted to practice running the distance outside. This year though, I have some goals that I want to reach and this was the first step towards achieving some of those.

The forecast was for rain and possibly snow, so that was the only thing that had me slightly worried. But everything else (stomach, legs, energy) was good, so I was feeling good and ready to do this.

The Magnuson series is a cool series of races that I found online that they hold at Magnuson park in Seattle. They do a different race every month of the year. They do 5k, 10k and 15k and some months they even do Duathlons. This one was in honor of MLK day and registration without a t-shirt was only $12. Sweetness.

We arrived in plenty of time to get our bibs and then turn into ice cubes instantly get back in the car. It was FREEZING. Temperature wasn’t too horrible (for living in Seattle) but there was an awesome wind coming off the water. So So So cold. And it wasn’t raining raining, but it was misty and just basically miserable.

I haven’t done much training outside and none really in rain and wind, but I was still just excited to start running and get going. There were a ton of people there. Way more than I was expecting. I find the crowds energizing though, and also I have this irrational perfectly understandable fear of coming in dead last, so I figure the more people there, the better chance I have of NOT being last.

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Paul was pumped and ready to go too.

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I had my new Garmin ready to go, but this was the first time using it and since I am such a novice I totally blew it and didn’t get my time at the end. Sad face.

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It was COLD!

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Finally it was time to start, so we got out of the car and headed to the start. Paul and I said our good lucks and then we were off!

Started out and instantly the entire crowd passed me pretty good and in the middle of everyone and then at about half a mile everyone kind of thinned out. I warmed up right away which was great, but the misty rain  and wind was not fun. I had to walk up one brief but steep hill and also to blow my nose, but other than that I made it to mile 1 marker running the whole time.

Then it got rough. Right after mile 1 we basically ran a pretty long stretch into a strong headwind. Added to that, my legs were feeling like bricks. Or tree trunks. I was trying to figure out which one they felt more like, and I think I finally settled on tree trunks.

I kept giving myself marker goals. Like “just run to that bench and then you can walk for a few seconds.” Or “just keep running until you get to mile two and then you can stop for a bit.” “Just keep running until this song is over.”

Hey, it’s the little things right?

I found that I ended up in a little group of about 6 people and we were all going around the same pace. I would pass them, they would pass me but overall we all stayed pretty close together. Made me feel better than just being out there all alone and dead last.

The last mile wasn’t as bad as the 2nd for a couple reasons. Only a short portion of it was in the direct rain and wind, and it was the LAST mile. Hallelujah.  Almost over. More than halfway done.

I find that an awesome motivation mantra I tell myself lately when running and its getting difficult is “just  few more minutes and you are done. you have the whole rest of the day to walk, lay around, sit, sleep, whatever….you just have to do this for a few more minutes. it’s nothing in the grand scheme of things.” I know that since that is so long its probably not technically a mantra, but throw me a bone here…

It works every time. Keeps me going.

The very end was a short down and back. Once we got to the turn around I told myself, “run all the way to the end, you can totally do it.”

And I did.

I could see the clock and I just wanted to get to it.

Paul was waiting and got some good shots.

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That’s me in the green. Kyle saw me and joined me to finish.

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Finish time 42:47. Pretty much in line with my training treadmill time and I am proud of this for a few reasons.

1) I think its slightly easier to run on the TM b/c (to a degree) its helping you along

2) No hills unless you choose to add them in which I haven’t really done yet

3) No rain, wind, cold and mud and other people to get in your way and throw you off

So I count this as a win.

I was super emotional after it was all over. I was disappointed that I couldn’t figure out my new watch. I was really wet from the rain and my legs were really heavy. We went back to the car b/c there wasn’t really anywhere for us to go that had cover and when we got in I just started crying. Not really sure why, I think it was just really stressful and I was just needing a release. After about 20 min or so I was better though and excited about what I accomplished.

Time for food at that point so we stopped for something that was really delicious good and healthy for us.

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Got good and muddy.

Headed home to shower and relax and watch the Olympic Marathon trials.

Hey at least I didn’t end up like this guy!

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They were literally rolling him off of the course. I mean he DID just run a marathon so….I guess I can throw him a bone too.

Now I’m on the hunt for my next one…Wanna get to a PR of 40 next. I know I can do it!!

Danskin 2011 and Cottage Lake Tri and Tri Again

So I was planning on doing the Danskin Sprint Triathlon again in 2011, but then some good and some bad went down.

First the good. Four days after my first (awesome) 2010 triathlon experience, I met my (now) husband. Fast forward a few months and then right about the time I should have been hardcore training for the 2011 tri, I was instead hardcore wedding planning.

forget the ring, look how awesome my nails look!

We got married in June and took off to Jamaica for a week which also was a great excuse for not interfered with my training. I did get some training in, but it wasn’t anywhere near what I needed in order to beat my time from last year. About a month before the race I decided that I would just wing it, go out there and have a good time, not worry at all about beating my time, just go and enjoy the experience.

Then the bad happened. During a softball game about two weeks before the race, I pulled my right quad while sprinting to first base. I hit a home run grounder, took off flying and felt a horrible pop in my leg. When I got to the base it instantly started hurting. BAD. I limped around the rest of the game and when I got home I could barely walk. I RICE’ed it and WebMD’d it to confirm that I did in fact pull the muscle. After about a week of it not really feeling better at all, I decided I should not even attempt the tri  😦 I didn’t want to risk further injury. It really was the best decision b/c if I had decided to go through with it, I would have almost certainly damaged the quad more.

Even though I wasn’t going to be participating, my good friend Jocelyn was, so I decided to go anyway to cheer her on.  It was her first tri (she was inspired to do it last year when another friend of hers and I did it) so there really was no way I was missing out on going and cheering her on to the finish. So although it was tough to be there and not be competing, it was still so awesome to be able to see her and cheer and support her on to an awesome finish!

Right before the swim. Look at how fake happy she is!

at the bike finish

showing that finish line who is BOSS

Since I missed out on the Danskin tri, Paul and I decided to look into doing another tri later on in the season. He had been itching to “tri” (I know right? that worked itself in there perfectly) one out as well and as luck would have it, we found an awesome sprint tri that was not too far away.  This particular race was actually a shorter course than most sprints, perfect for beginners (him) and injureds (me).

We did a couple practice swims in the lake, did some great bike rides by our casa and did minimal lots of run training. My quad was getting better and so we headed out that early Saturday morning to do the Cottage Lake Tri and Tri again.

The course is a little on the short end b/c if you so choose, you can do it TWICE. The horror.

400m swim, 9.1 mile bike and 1.5 run…repeat. We brilliantly chose NOT to repeat.

I was a lot little nervous mostly b/c I was unfamiliar with the bike course and being someone who has only been riding bikes for just over 2 years, I’m still not all that good. I am scared to death of don’t particularly like riding in traffic and don’t really have any idea what do do with major hills so confronting a course that I hadn’t seen before was pretty daunting.

There were only about 200 or so people in the race so it was waaay less crowded than the 3,500+ at the Danskin. Paul and I racked our bikes at about 7am and waited for everything to begin. Our awesome spectators got there in plenty of time to take pics of us before we headed into the water.

always with the cheesy grins us two

The swim for me was easy. I really enjoy swimming and fancy myself to be pretty confident in the water so the 400m was nothing I was too concerned with. I know, so humble I am. I actually passed Paul and exited the water a few seconds way before he did. He was quicker to change and get on his bike though so he sped off before I was even able to get going. Not so fancy after all I guess, huh?

Starting the bike ride I already knew I was in trouble with a capitol T. Where we took off was actually on a slight incline and I couldn’t get started. Took me a good minute at least to get on the bike and start riding. That may sound like no time at all, but believe it is FOREVER in race time.

The first half of the first lap of the bike route was pretty enjoyable and I was cruising along thinking, “OK, this aint too bad” and then…dun…dun…dun…my worst nightmare. A GIANORMOUS hill. Crap. What do I do? I decided to just kind of go for it (I must have been delirious or something) and instantly regretted it when I popped my chain. I had a panic attack stayed calm and huffed and puffed walked up the hill and attempted to get it back on.

TEN  minutes later I was on my bike again. T.E.N. Seriously, I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if it was all the people passing by, or just the pressure of the situation getting to me or what, but I could NOT get my bike working again. Considered numerous times just walking back to the transition area and calling it a day. But somehow that didn’t happen and I got the bike going again. As I was coasting back to where I would start lap 2, Paul was ending his lap 2. He was super excited to see me, but I was feeling utterly defeated.

I took off on lap 2 and cried for about the next five minutes while riding and tried to hide the fact that I was crying from the people along the course route cheering us on. Thank goodness for sunglasses.

This time when I came up to the hill I dismounted right away, walked up and then went on my way. I learned my lesson. By this time I knew the race was more than half over and I really just wanted to be done with it. I wasn’t feeling anything but sad.

don't be fooled, there are tears behind those sunglasses and that smile!

By the time I got back to the transition area, Paul was done with the race and waiting for me. He walked me back up to where I changed out of my bike shoes and got on my running shoes and he told me he would run with me. I was so upset that I just needed to be by myself to gather my thoughts so I had to tell him no even though it was really hard. I took off on the “run” and did some more crying for the first part of it. I ran here and there but most of the time I just walked and kind of zoned out. I was embarrassed, I was frustrated. This was nothing like my first tri experience and I just wanted it to be over and to go home. There was no one to blame but myself, I hadn’t trained enough and I knew it. Even through all that frustration though, it was OK, I knew I could do better, I am capable.

I got back to the finish line and Paul, Jocelyn and Nicole were super supportive and encouraging even though they knew I was not feeling it. We got some goodie stuff and our gear and headed out.

excited it was OVER

Even though my 2nd tri will not go down in the record books of anything I am really proud of, it was something. It was NOT sitting on the couch doing nothing. And my hubby has officially caught the tri bug and can’t wait to do more. We decided we are going to buckle down and make it a priority to compete in a few of these together in 2012. We are excited to see what we will accomplish!

Have you ever had a bad race experience?

Have you ever injured yourself before a race and had to back out? 

Danskin Tri 2010- Seattle

In the summer of 2009, my friend Darby was doing a triathlon. I thought this was ridiculously cool. I had never given much thought to triathlons…like I knew what they were but had never really stopped to THINK about them you know? Darbs had just had a baby and she wanted to challenge herself and get back into shape after baby by doing a tri. She asked if I wanted to come  and I was absolutely on board to come and see what all this triathlon-ing was all about. At that time, I was gearing up and training to do the Susan G. Komen 60 mile walk the following month, so I was in a “lets do something we never thought we would do” kind of mood.

I was NOT prepared for what was going to happen.

Not only was it so incredibly exciting to see my friend compete in this race and cheer her on, but I was moved and inspired by the thousands of women of all sizes and shapes and ages doing this awesome athletic thing. I am pretty sure I cried at least 20 10 times. I had no idea this was what this was all about. I’m sure most of these ladies used to think “ME? no, no, I could never do something like that”. Well today all these ladies are doing that exact thing that they thought they could never do.

Amazing. I HAD to get in on it.

I decided that day that I would be doing the triathlon the next year. Only one huge small problem, I didn’t know how to ride a bike. But it’s not like that is going to stop me. No way. I had to do it.

Me and Darby after she finished rocking her 2009 Danskin Tri

A year later, I was there. In the water. Ready.

Swim

Standing knee deep in the water at close to 8am, wetsuit, swim cap and goggles on waiting to begin something I never in a million years I thought I would EVER do until about a year ago, I was surprised to find that I wasn’t nervous. Not one tiny bit. It was a strange sensation.  I had been waiting for the nervousness to hit me all morning. I am almost always nervous in a situation such as this. Brand new experience, physically challenging and the “unknown” looming before me. That awful swirling of uneasiness in my stomach settling in even though everything in my head says “this won’t be that bad.” Your body never lies to you like your head does. But I wasn’t feeling that right now. I was feeling nothing but calm, and anticipation. Like “C’mon lets get on with it already!”

A lady up on the pier above us was sprouting off some encouraging words into a microphone but I couldn’t hear anything she was saying. I was looking for my friend Peggy because she was in my same “wave” of green-capped swimmers, but even in the group of 40 or so of us that were there in the water waiting to take off, I could NOT find her. I told myself, “This is all you. You are the only one responsible for being here and completing this race to the best of your ability.” Right about then the countdown began and then 5,4,3,2,1 in the water we went.

It felt good to get in the water actually because it was already pretty warm for 8 in the morning which is atypical for Seattle. Of course this had to be the hottest weekend of the summer. But being the eternal optimist that I am, at least it wasn’t raining. That would have been way worse.

So here I am breast-stroking my way to buoy #1. The water was pretty choppy up until that first buoy. I heard later that there were some curious jet-skiers near by causing all the ruckus. All along the way there were volunteers on kayaks, canoes and paddleboards encouraging the swimmers and offering a break if anyone needed one. I thought for sure I would need to hang on one of them at some point but ended up not needing to at all. The swim was actually much more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It was the leg that I was dreading the most, but with the buoyancy of the wetsuit and the fact that I had done a lot of training in the pool and lake, I felt like I could have gone on and done another round of the swim.

Some of the next wave of yellow-capped swimmers and even the group after them- the blue-capped swimmers passed me, but I didn’t even mind. I was having a great time. Even though the breast-stroke is slower, you can see where you are going and you don’t get quite as winded, so I just caught a rhythm and was just rockin it out there. I only got kicked once but kicked a lot of other people. Not sure why exactly. I think some ladies just came up behind me and didn’t see me, so blammo! they got some Cinnamon-leg action.

The last leg of the swim was much better b/c it was headed back towards shore and the sun was no longer in my eyes. I could see those yellow buoys and couldn’t get to them fast enough. By that time I was ready to see what the rest of this race had to offer. A nice volunteer helped me out of the water, told me what a great job I was doing and off I ran to the transition area.

This is where I spotted my faithful spectators, Lisa, Ryan and Pat. They had three awesome signs for me and yelled their heads off and I found myself laughing and smiling as I made my way to my station to get on my bike.

Bike

I peeled off my wetsuit and dried myself as best I could and got my shirt with bib # on it and off with the swim cap and on went my bandana that I wear under my helmet. Downed a Vitamin water and slathered on some lip chap. Had some small chit chat with the ladies around me. I got my helmet and shoes on and was pumped for the leg that I was most excited for. A year ago at this time I couldn’t even ride a bike and now I have totally fallen in love with it. Couldn’t wait to jump on. Had to run the bike out of the transition area before mounting. This is where I saw my faithful spectators again yelling for me, but in an instant I was off!

The ride was absolutely beautiful. All along Lake Washington Blvd so there was a view of the water the whole way. I actually passed people which is something I’m not used to so that was kind of fun. =) When we got up to the super steep hill I walked up because although I’m getting better I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it without causing some sort of crazy accident so I decided not to chance it. Took like a minute to walk up and back on the bike and off I went down onto I-90. Coasted up to 24-25 miles an hour a few times and loved that, but there were plenty of hills that I wasn’t really expecting either that slowed me way down. But I kept on keeping on and did all of them without stopping. I even saw some ladies walking up a couple of them so I felt pretty accomplished. Darby sped past me at one point going the opposite way and yelled out to me but I barely saw her because she was so fast. At another point I saw a lady in a full-on motorcycle helmet!! I had to double take that one! No idea why she had that on, must have been crazy hot.

My quads were starting to feel the hills on the way back, but I knew that I was over halfway through the bike and pretty much halfway through the whole race so it was all “downhill” from there. Feeling good. Wanted to go so much faster than I was going and seeing all the ladies on their road bikes made me want to get one all the more. I’m sure it won’t be much longer until I am joining that club and zipping along as fast as I want to!

I was super thirsty at this point and don’t have a place for a water bottle on my bike so I was ready to be back by this point. I dismounted and off to my station for transition #2.

Run

I was still feeling really good at this point although it was getting pretty hot. I didn’t do a lot of run training in the heat b/c well…it’s not all that hot very often in Seattle. Regardless, I knew this was the end and I was ready to rock it. Chugged some water, reapplied the lip chap, got my Saucony’s on, threw on a hat and I was off. Saw my spectators again as I turned the corner and they screamed for me again. They are so good.

The run was tough for me. I usually do a walk/run combo but I felt like I walked more this time than I usually do. The heat was getting to me I think. And I needed water. There were plenty of water stations but it didn’t seem like it at the time. The run was pretty as well, down the other way of Lake Washington blvd by the water towards Seward park. It was great to see all of the ladies of all shapes and sizes and ages as they carried on, completing this amazing goal. I had my music on and just tried to enjoy the experience even though I wasn’t finishing as strong as I would have liked.

Right near the end there is this hugemongous hill. Climbed up that and told myself that I just had to run that last little bit and then I was DONE! That was enough motivation for me. Kept on until the end and rounded the corner and saw Darby and Garrick yelling for me with a camera so I threw up some deuces and a “yeah that’s right, I’m the bomb” face then I blasted to the actual finish line at full stride. My other faithful spectators were on the other side yelling for me and unfortunately I didn’t see them, but they got a good pic of me right at the end at full speed.

A lady gave me a medal and another guy took off my timing chip and I tried to catch my breath.

I was done.

A year ago I was here cheering on my friend Darby and was so inspired by the dedication and spirit of these ladies that I made the decision that I had to be a part of it and here I was. A finisher.

I had never run for more than 1 or 2 minutes before last October. I took swimming lessons as a child, but hadn’t ever done any lap swimming or distance swimming before this past February and of course hadn’t ridden a bike in well, ever. And now here I was finishing all three in a pretty decent time. Could not feel more accomplished and inspired that you really can do whatever you set out to do. It just takes some determination, setting small goals and of course encouragement by those who love and care for you.

Finishing strong!!