Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Highlights of our weekend in Portland

Friday evening, we headed off to Portland. After many relentless attempts at getting Kelli & Laura to learn the words to my new favorite song (wadsyaname by Nelly), I finally gave up only to find myself laughing so hard I couldn't breath....and I just MIGHT have peed my pants-jury is still out on what actually qualifies as "peeing your pants". I'll leave it at that.

We got into our lovely accommodations only to be "shushed" by the hotel manager. Shocker, I know. Kelli parked the car, Laura took their two bikes up to the room (this was quite a feat for Laura to get two bikes moving in the same direction at the same time). My job was to get this luggage rack and my bike into the elevator and up to the third floor. Let me tell you folks, it looks a lot easier than it was. There was an art to getting my bike in the elevator and then the luggage rack without the door closing on me. After getting the evil eye from the hotel manager (because now I was laughing all by myself), Kelli saved me and helped with my tasks. I had to shush her so we wouldn't get three strikes against us and kicked out of The Sleep Inn so early in our stay.

We woke up bright and early the next morning to head out and cheer on our friends racing in the sprint. We loaded up our gear so we could get a little training in while we were there. After loading up, I chucked my keys up on the drivers seat and closed the back of the car. We all went to get in.....and um, the car was locked. WHAT? I have such incredible luck that when I threw the keys, they landed "just so" that the lock button successfully was pressed and therefor locked us out of the car. An hour later, AAA arrived and our buddy broke us in. All I gotta say is good thing it happened that day. Sad to say, we missed the swim start but were able to cheer Tim & Andy on and see their finishes.

Foof! Here' s Kelli & Laura in their cheering positions.

We headed out for a little pre-race ride and Steve got a flat. He changed it in 6 1/2 minutes....which is a lot faster than my flat change in Hawaii. We got out of helping him change it by convincing him that it's good race practice and that we should time him. Worked like a charm and he changed it fairly fast so we didn't have to wait around long. ;)

Laura busting some kind of dance moves. I wasn't the ONLY one dancing. Love the "sash" prop.

After we got some training in we headed out in search of a pre-race pedicure. If you don't like feet, skip these photos. Here's mine:


and Laura's:

Here's me with my own gang-sign. This was adapted the day before when we were in the car driving and Kelli was taking my picture and I turned to her while driving and put three fingers up instead of the more common "rocker" sign (I must admit, this was not intentional, I just don't know my signs). This was one of the many causes of the rumored, peed-in-pants and now it is "my sign".

Kelli & Laura getting pedicures. What-no gang signs?

Me & Laura at dinner the night before the race.

The weekend Crew. Me, Laura & Kelli. Good times, good times.

We headed back to the hotel to get jammies on, read our important pre-race material (People, US and OK magazine) and eat some cereal. Here are Laura and Kelli eating their dainty bowls of cereal before bed.

Maybe I didn't get enough to eat at dinner. And yes, I did consume that entire bowl of cereal with the exception of the soggy bits at the bottom. In this case, my eyes were not bigger than my stomach. I wish I could say they were.

Photo documentation of the peeing-in-pants/bed.

After getting Tiffany to sign a waiver, I helped attach her aero-bottle and Trish was a pro with the velcro placement. What'd you need me for??? Here's Tiffany with her big mouth and Trish with her strong thighs. What a team these gals make!

Yes, my race number really was #69. Where's the content of my blog headed? I only report the facts.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Blue Lake Club Championship

This was such an incredibly FUN weekend filled with a lot of laughter and a small helping of disappointment. I think the highlight of race day was Laura and I, hiding in the car after the race, laughing and crying simultaneously (it is possible). Crying because we both had less than stellar performances and laughing because-why are we crying? Seriously, pull it together. Not to mention the fact that we were sweaty with crusty noses, matted hair, snot on our shoulders (our aim on those snot rockets still hasn't been perfected) and puffy eyes. We got it out of our systems, were able to laugh at how lame we were and then get over it and move on. My husband left a note in my luggage before I left because I had a rough week and training didn't go so well. The irony is that I didn't find the note until AFTER the race, on the way home. I came to the club championship really excited to represent our team and hopefully contribute. I came away feeling like I let the team down with my poor performance. I do understand that regardless of how I performed, I added value to the team by being there and for that, I am grateful. The quote (by Michael Jordan) that Cody included was so appropriate for the situation (even though he had no idea what the weekend would have in store for me), I thought I'd share:

"I've missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot....and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And, that is why I succeed".
Michael Jordan

It's good to know that all this failure will somehow turn into success. I'm just hoping it happens before my body falls apart. So, I will continue to work on failing so that I can succeed. I think I've perfected the failure thing and I'm kind of bored with it but I'll listen to Michael Jordan since he's pretty good at what he does. Once again, I will work towards a solid race next time. Speaking of solid races, there were SO MANY great performances this weekend. Numerous PR's and firsts......I have to give a shout out to my friends who went above and beyond in so many ways.

Here's just part of our club after the race on Sunday.

Laura: my girl....I know you are frustrated with your swim. Way to keep your chin up and celebrate everyone else's victory. We'll get that swim figured out. And, it's summer now so you can really focus on your training. Man, we did have fun though-didn't we?!
Kelli: OHMYGOD! I am so excited for you! What an incredible PR! 20 minutes???? You had an amazing race. I can't wait to cheer you on in CDA! Thanks for all the laughter this weekend, it was really nice to have girl time with you. Haven't laughed that hard in a while.
Jessi: you kicked BUTT! I still am trying to remove this foot print from my ass. Way to push through little sleep AND a big ol' butt cramp.
Steve: my SUPERSTAHHH team mate, NICE, fast, solid race. You represented for the both of us!
Tiffany: way to not only 'survive' your first olympic race but you ROCKED! It was probably the aero-bottle set-up for sure.
Roger: what can I say? You won another's exciting to see how you are consistently winning EVERYTHING....
A-Dawg: Another great performance....wished I could have spent more time with you. Thanks for being there for me after the race ;)
Eve: Well, it's one for me and one BIG one for you. WOW!! You are insanely fast. I'm so happy you had such a great race. On to Lake Stevens now.
Aaron: I still want to hear how your race went.....loved seeing you there.
Ben: Awesome job on another rockin' race.....I'm looking forward to seeing what you do at IM CDA! You're SO talented.
Tim: It was so fun to watch you kill that sprint distance & get 2nd AG!!! Incredible!
Andrea: First duathlon and 2nd in your AG!! WHAT? Way to stay in your aero bars and rock those new pedals.
Dori: Thanks for coming out to represent our masters even though you're injured and you had to change your weekend around. We are so grateful!!! Thanks also for letting me kidnap you off to dinner with us. It was nice to get to know you a little.
Tia & Steve Rupe: Great job to both of you....thanks also for the Starbucks run when our keys were locked in the car ;) Also, I know you had a sick kiddo which makes everything more challenging and stressful.
Heather Flowers: I know it was a challenging day for you but you made the club proud. Thank you for your sacrifices.
Virginia: AWESOME job! Way to represent the club!
Kirk W-G: You consistently amaze me with your drive and're such an asset to the club. Thanks for working through your injury to be there.
Martin: You old pro, once again-you make the team proud.
Matt: Way to work through stomach issues and still have a great race.
Jay & Michelle: Thanks to both of you for being such team players! You are SO appreciated!
G-man: Way to rock the race and WOW-what a great run. Jeesh! Can't wait to see what you do at Lake Stevens
Sheena: WORD! way to represent!
Mark & Daryce: You guys are a hoot to be around.....and your great attitudes are infectious!
Matt Taylor: You Da-man!

Thanks to Scott Ward, Dave & Tasha Gordon & Jon Moen for coming and racing for the club. I didn't get a chance to talk with you but I know you were there.....

A special thanks to Trish Cudney, Jen Snyder, Jessie Cusack, Andrea Swanson, Eric Byrd and anyone else that was cheering out there. Even though I looked rough on the run, I really appreciated you yelling loud and I know everyone else did too! You went above and beyond to support the club!

I will have to do a whole separate post on the adventures of our weekend. Good times, good times. Below are just a few photos of some of the above mentioned people.

Tim & Andrea Swanson after the sprint on Saturday. They both placed 2nd in their AG!

There were some good tunes playing at the sprint on Saturday so of course a girl has to dance! Steve took this shot of me (& many others) rockin' to the tunes by the porta-potty. I think I'm a bad-ass but really, we all know I'm a total dork.

Me, Kelli, Laura, Michelle, Jay, Tim & Steve in the the sprint on Saturday.

Jay & Michelle Huskinson. Michelle walked the olympic run to finish....and represent the club.

Tiffany & Trish. With my wealth of bike tech knowledge & skill (NOT!), I helped Tiffany set up her aero-bottle the night before the race. This was VERY entertaining to say the least. Trish-your thighs are very strong ;)

Tiffany & Eric Byrd. Tiffany raced her first olympic and Eric was her cheerleader....awe.

The clan at dinner the night before the olympic race. Sheena, Jen, Trish, Laura, Kelli, Dori (behind Tiffany's head), Tiffany & Eric.

Daryce, Kelli, Dori & Laura

Matt & Jessie Cusack, Michelle, Virginia, Jay, Jessa & Ben Greenfield.

Me, Laura & Kelli. The weekend crew. This is the most composed we were all weekend. More on that in the next post.

Trish and I.

At the race, Jessi getting her well-deserved AG award.

Steve (team superstahhh) & I at lunch after the race. Won't explain, you just had to be there.

More in the next post about the weekend with Laura and Kelli.....Thanks girls for making it so memorable. Can't wait for our next adventure!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Pain is just weakness, leaving your body"

We arrived at the pool for masters swim this morning at 5:30am to find the water resembling milk. Fearlessly, we jumped in (some of us quicker than others) and risked the unknown to get yet another masters swim under our belts. About 20 minutes into our workout, the pool blew up and we all had to get out. Maybe that's a little dramatic but there was a loud noise, smoke and we did have to immediately get out of the pool. Kevin sent us over to the mats for some core work while we awaited a verdict. Verdict in and there's no swim. Alrighty then. I still had a track workout to do so I roped Jessi, Laura & Trevor into joining me. Way more fun than doing speed-work by myself. Not to mention the fact that it was 6:30am, and raining/snowing as we got on the track. What??? It's JUNE!

Jessi had her own workout to do and Laura was doing some kind of ladder so I roped Trevor into doing the same workout with, uh, ahead of me. That boy can run. He gave me good motivation and made it fun. Jessi would hoot and holler at us when she was in between sets and I stuck my tongue at her cuz I thought I was gonna barf. This is where the title quote comes in. "Pain is just weakness, leaving your body". Keddie from Masters shared that with me and I'm not sure if it's his or someone else's.......but I LIKE it. There was a helping of weakness that was left on the track today. I'm hoping there'll be some weakness left in Blue Lake this weekend as well....for all of us.

After pulling into our neighborhood and dropping a Starbucks off for Jessi, we decided that even though we didn't bring a camera to the track, it was important to document that we went from soaking wet in the pool to soaking wet and freezing on the track, all before 7am! Bummer we didn't have the camera at the track. The above photo was taken with Jessi's timer....I'm sure the neighbors were entertained by the photo shoot.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Fire up the grill again.....

Tonight we had grilled chicken and pineapple with cilantro-lime rice. Ingredients and recipe below:

Pineapple & Cilantro Chicken
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 5 limes, juiced (approx 3/4 cup)
  • 1 bunch cilantro-finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup warmed honey
  • 1 Corona Beer
  • 1 16 oz can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a 13x9 baking dish, add chicken and marinade for 3-4 hours or more. Grill until done (approx 15 minutes). When serving, slice avocados and lay on top of chicken.

Cilantro-lime Rice

  • 2 cups white rice (I prefer a shorter grain white rice-it makes the best sticky rice and works better for leftovers as it does not dry out)
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (seeing a pattern here?)
  • 2 tsp Tabasco brand green pepper sauce
  • fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
Here's when I'm going to sell you on owning a rice cooker. Because I don't eat wheat, I always have sticky rice in the fridge. It's my bread. A rice cooker makes recipes like these, brainless. Add all ingredients in rice cooker and press "start". The rice can sit on "warm" while you grill the chicken. If you don't have a rice're on your own. Get one.

Grilled Pineapple

Cut off top and bottom of pineapple and then cut skin off of outside. Lay pineapple down and cut into 2 inch slices. Grill 5 minutes per side. This needs no marinade. It's delicious.

Throw it all together and we've got dinner! The hardest job of this whole meal is juicing the limes. It's a pain in the butt however, DO NOT use "pre-squeezed lime juice". NO NO NO. There is absolutely no comparison. What I often do is, squeeze a bunch of limes and keep the juice in the fridge. It keeps well. For those of you who have eaten in my home, you know I make A LOT of food but leftovers are my favorite. This is a great recipe for leftovers. I had a busy day so I didn't make a salad. A green salad with a light, citrus dressing would go well with this. I'll work on that recipe :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What's For Dinner?

Before our neighbors roped me into this thing called triathlon, I used to be really "into" cooking. I think my husband probably liked my old hobby better. I still have a great love for eating and feeding others but just don't have the time or desire to spend an entire day preparing lavish meals. On top of that, I have given up wheat and dairy. Not to mention, my older son is allergic to everything on the planet.

I thought it might be fun to share the way I cook now....very different from before. And since all of my 5 readers are triathletes, I thought they might enjoy some suggestions for "training friendly eating". I make up my own recipes (all very simple) and I don't like to take more than 30 minutes to prepare anything. For the most part, I don't.

Here's what we ate tonight: Filet mignon, grilled onions, grilled red potatoes and broccoli with roasted pine nuts. My darling husband burnt the potatoes on the grill a bit but they were still good. I added a little ketchup to dip the potatoes in. Notice there's already a bite missing.

  • Before I go into the recipe for this, if you are interested.....there are a handful of ingredients that I try to always have stocked:

  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • cooking sherry
  • fresh limes
  • fresh lemons
  • kosher salt
  • pepper grinder (fresh ground IS better)
  • white & brown rice
First I started with the pine nuts for the broccoli. You can find these in with the nuts at the grocery store. Un-roasted, they look like this and only take a few minutes to roast.

In a frying pan, turn burner on to medium heat and stir constantly. They roast quickly so don't walk away or stop stirring.....believe me, I've turned these beautiful nuts into charcoal bits on more than one occasion.
When done, they should look like this:

Potatoes..... I bought red potatoes and sliced them in about 1 inch slices. Marinade ingredients:
  • 6-8 red potatoes
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 5 shakes of tobasco sauce
  • 3-4 cloves of minced cloves of garlic (or 1 1/2 tbsp pre-minced garlic)
  • fresh or dried herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary)
  • kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
The grocery store was out of fresh rosemary so I just used some dried thyme I had in my spice rack. Place sliced potatoes in a glass baking dish. whisk marinade ingredients in a large measuring cup and pour over potatoes. Place potatoes on grill the same time the steaks go on. These should cook for about 12 mintues.

They should have come off the grill when they looked like the below photo. They taste good when they're a little crispy on the edges......

Now, onto the onions. I have come to the conclusion that ANYTHING marinated in balsamic vinegar and honey, GOOD. When coming up with marinades, especially for the grill, I like to have an acid (vinegar, lime/lemon juice...) and either an oil or sugar or both. Sugar and the grill are a good mix because it caramelizes and you can't go wrong there.

I took a vidalia sweet onion, sliced it in 1 inch slices, poured some balsamic vinegar over it and drizzled honey on top. These grilled for about 6-8 minutes. I like them still a little crunchy. I think overcooked vegetables are a tragedy. A bite of steak mixed with a bite of onions is tasty.

The broccoli:
  • 4 bunches of broccoli (about 5-6 cups cut up)
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cooking sherry
  • 1/3 cup roasted pine nuts.

Heat frying pan on medium heat. Add oil, sherry and garlic until fragrant. Add broccoli and stir to cover. Stir often until broccoli turns bright green. Do not overcook. As you turn off heat, stir in pine nuts.

As far as steak goes, I eat beef at least once a week. I like a tenderloin steak because it is very tender and very lean. Grill as you prefer. I like mine medium and that takes approx 12 mintues total.

I place some fresh ground pepper and kosher salt on the plate next to the steak and dip each bite in the mixture. Again, a VERY simple meal. This is pretty much the way we eat every night. We grill throughout the winter. It's a great way to add flavor to many things without adding sauces and fat. More to come......

Monday, June 2, 2008

Getting to Hawaii

So, after getting in my masters swim on Wednesday morning and then getting the boys off to school, Cody took me to the airport for my 11:30 am flight to Kona. I need to point out that my sweet husband packed up my bike and was "super dad" while I was off racing in Hawaii. I am so grateful for his support and what a great dad he is. Obviously, without him I would be unable to do these races. I never have to worry about the boys when I'm gone because I know they'll have a blast while I'm gone. And, like always, they did.

After our monster roadtrip to Wildflower and the leg heaviness that ensued, I decided to try compression tights on the plane. I wore these full tights under my velour, juicy sweatpants. This wardrobe information is relevant....more on that later.

I got all checked in and was off to connect in Seattle. After hitting the fish taco spot in the Seattle airport and picking up a book to read at Borders, I was walking through the airport with my backpack on. I noticed that it seemed like a lot of people were staring at me. Do I look that cool? As I walked by an older gentleman with eyes as big as saucers I felt an odd sensation and looked down to catch my velour pants as they were making their way past my knees. NICE. I said something out loud about velour and spandex not being a good combination only to get NO response from the surrounding onlookers. Another classic, Phaedra moment.

The rest of my trip to Kona was uneventful and thankfully, I didn't loose any more clothes. I got into my hotel room at around 9pm. Ah, Hawaii. I unpacked and put my bike together and got into bed around 11pm (that's 2am Spokane time).

I woke up bright and early on Thursday morning, went for a run, got some breakfast, walked to Starbucks and made my way over the the spa for an incredible massage. Here's me, "pre-massage" wearing my spa uniform. I look so well behaved.

After my massage, I went out for a short ride and got registered. I ended up hanging out in my room and ordering room service for dinner and watching "Fools Gold" on tv. Pretty uneventful.

Friday morning started much like Thursday morning and then I headed out for a run that felt great (which was a good sign, no leg heaviness....maybe there is something to these compression tights). After that, I got a short ride in and was pummeled by the wind. I knew there was a very good possibility the wind was going to be brutal on race day. Tough conditions-good experience.

Former Spokane resident, Rick Rubio picked me up at the hotel (thanks Rick!) and we headed over to Hapuna to check our bikes in and go for a short swim in the choppy water.....and yes, the wind was blowing and the current was evident.

After we swam, I found Rachael and Katherine in their bathing suits putting their bikes together.....I think the only reason there weren't a swarm of men around them was because they were hidden off in a secluded spot. I felt like a prairie dog surrounded by gazelles. We ended up meeting for dinner at around 4pm and Paul (Rachaels coach from Lifesport) joined us a little later. It was a relaxing pre-race dinner and I was grateful for the company and all the great information they shared with me. Thanks guys! 3 hours later, I headed back to my room.

4am rolled around quite quickly after waking up a few times to hear the wind howling outside.

The Chop, The Wind, The Flat and The Run PR

Before you read my perception of the day, here's a link to the coverage of the day's conditions and what the pros and other participants had to say about it.

I woke up at 4am race morning after a mediocre nights sleep. The wind was blowing most of the night and woke me up a couple of times. I got everything together and went down to catch the shuttle to Hapuna.
note: at this race, the swim starts and ends at Hapuna Beach and T2 is at the Mauna Lani resort as well as the finish line.

Once I got to Hapuna, it was clear that conditions were just going to be tough. The wind was really blowing and although I wasn't concerned about getting hurt or crashing, I was concerned about being SLOW in the water and on the bike.

This year, there wasn't an option for the swim start. All 1300 participants started in the deep water at once. I positioned myself fairly close to the front knowing that my best chance of getting through this swim with a decent time was finding a draft. Before the gun went off, things got a little tight and I was getting knocked into a bit. Once the gun went off, it was a bit chaotic but nothing compared to what was coming. About 400 meters from the start line, there's the first turn buoy....and it's a hard, right turn. I've got scratch marks on my arms and was dunked a few times. I took in a lot of water and there were a ton of people all on top of each other, trying to get around the turn buoy. Once we turned, we were swimming against the current, not to mention the wind was really blowing the water across the surface. I'd look up to spot but couldn't see any buoys. I just followed the pack. I had a draft for a bit from a 60 year old man and then someone fought me for it and I just didn't have the energy to fight back. They were bigger than me and I was putting a lot of effort into getting through the swim. This was by far the toughest swim I have ever experienced. And, I knew that the bike wasn't going to be much easier. I knew before I got out that this was not going to be the swim time I was hoping for.

swim time: 40:44

I ran up the long ramp to T1 and had an uneventful transition. Everything had to be in a bag, hanging on your bike. This is a fairly long transition.

T1: 3:00

I headed out on the bike and the wind was blowing pretty good. I just stayed in my aero bars and leaned into the gusts as they came. There were a couple of gusts that almost knocked me over but I felt pretty confident that I could handle the conditions. I did my best not to tense up when the gusts hit and just stayed in my aero bars. I noticed my wattage was really low but I decided rather than pushing beyond what I thought I should to bring my wattage up to, I went off of perceived exertion. I stayed steady knowing that once I got to the turn around at Hawi, I'd be able to enjoy some high speeds coming down. There were times because my power was so low, I questioned whether or not my SRM was properly calibrated. I did calibrate it the day before, the same time of day, so I knew it had to be.....but my power was so low. When I got closer to the turn around, I started to have some foot problems that have occurred before in training but never racing. Just get to the turn around and you will have relief.

I turned around at Hawi and was excited to enjoy some speed. I was going about 27 mph with a smile on my face when I heard a very loud "pow" followed by something hard hitting my cadence sensor. I stopped and pulled over to find a large screw lodged in the side of my back tire. BUMMER. 10 minutes later, I was back on my bike with everyone I had kept in my sights.....LONG gone. The last 10 miles were brutal, my power was averaging about50 watts under what it should have been. The pain in my feet just kept getting worse and worse. In hindsight, this had to be a shoe or saddle problem. Oh well. I was SO happy to be off the bike. The moment I got off, the pain went away.

Bike Time: 3:10:17

Got into T2 and there was a helper there to round up my stuff as I got what I needed out of the bag and left the rest for him to put back. I have to say, they've got a great system at this race and it worked well for me.

T2: 2:39

Ah, finally onto the run. There's a lot I have to say about the run. First of all, so far this season, I have pulled out my slowest run times ever in my half irons. This has been discouraging, to say the least and I was starting to wonder if I just thought I was capable of more than I was capable of. With that said, I'm happy to talk about the run.

I headed out and decided to get settled into a mellow pace and see how I was feeling. I know I was a little behind on calories because I wasn't feeling great the last half of the bike and I didn't take in as many gels as I was supposed to. First mile split was an 8:45 but my heartrate was nice and low. Good. Next mile felt even better. I guess that's the benefit of having a really weak bike ride and 10 minutes of rest. As I clicked off the miles, I was passing people and surprised at how good I was feeling. I think I've been traumatized by my slow run times lately that I was just waiting for things to go south. I kept my heart rate pretty low, still lacking some confidence that I could stay consistent on my pace. I negative split the run, 5 of my miles under an 8 minute pace, only two of the miles over an 8:30. The last 2.1 miles at a 7:30 pace. I obviously benefited from going so easy on the bike but this was a great confidence booster for me. This is a challenging run course that is, in no way, flat. It's not nearly as tough as the Wildflower run course but it's rolling, up and down, winding around and across grass and some sand. I actually pr'd on this run and being as tough as it was, it instilled a little bit of confidence in my running ability.

The last two miles were my fastest. I paced myself conservatively, took in a lot of water and consumed all my gels. I was extremely happy with how my run went and I finished strong.

Run Time: 1:47:12

Finish Time: 5:43:52

I still haven't been able to put together a solid race across the board this season, but like always, it's a work in progress. I'm pleased with this progress. Sooner or later, all these things I've learned will come together......hopefully.....for one race, or ten. That's why I keep coming back for more. Sometimes, it's solving a little mystery, (nutritional or otherwise), finding balance or learning to have confidence in my ability to push harder than I thought I could. The conditions were tough, the bike didn't go AT ALL as planned but the run went better than I could have imagined. I thought the fastest possible time I could have run was a 1:50. I got 14th in my Age group which was disappointing but for my performance, it's right.

2 weeks until Blue Lake Olympic and 5 weeks until Lake Stevens 70.3

I can't wait to race again!

Post Race Playtime

Before you go on to look at these pictures, I'd like to share my opinion on training and racing and how those relate to playing. I train hard, take it very seriously and follow a pretty strict, pre-race regimen. My attitude is, after I finish, I allow myself to let loose, have some fun but once Monday rolls around it's time to hunker down.

Rachael and Katherine were game for anything and I had a blast playing with these two gals. Rachael is injured and was under strict orders to DNF after the bike but still managed to produce some incredible results for the swim and the bike. Click on her name to read her race report. While you're at it, check out the rest of her blog too, she's freakin' hilarious.

After Katherine's stellar performance, 1st in AG and 5th overall.....I thought it was only appropriate to do a post-race shot. Katherine had never had a shot in her life. Here I go, corrupting another. Here we are, pre-shot. I can see just a bit of fear and hesitation on Katherine's face.

Post-shot. I LOVE this picture.

Me on the left, Rachael in the middle and Katherine on the right. Love the facial expressions but I do have to point out that Katherine didn't quite finish her shot. Rachael and I emptied ours. We cut Katherine slack since we still had to head over to awards....and she'd have to walk up on stage and collect some bowls (they give out wooden bowls instead of trophies and she got TWO).

Here we are at awards. From left to right: Paul (from Lifesport, he coaches Rachael), me, Katherine and Rachael. Paul had some great pre-race tips that he shared at dinner the night before. Thanks Paul!

Speak no, Hear no, See no evil.

And of course, it wouldn't be complete without a picture of me with a World Champion on my lap. I decided to go black and white with this photo mostly because my face was so red.

The story is, I wanted to get a picture with Chris McCormack. I had to assure him he wouldn't squash me before he'd sit down on my lap. How often do you get a world champ in your lap? And, because I'm all about a good photo and this is way more original than the standard pose. To see other pics of him and other athletes I admire in action, check out my Gallery.

I had to get a picture of me with the tri-goddesses I spent my weekend with. Their legs are longer than my whole body! They are both incredibly talented, humble and FUN! Thanks girls, for a great weekend and tremendous inspiration. I am blown away by your ability. I'm not sure what I'm doing with that beer bottle. I think I felt like a Geisha among......non-geisha's.

After this photo was taken, the girls headed off to the airport and I was once again alone in Hawaii. I grabbed my camera and headed to the beach to take some pictures. Below are just a few.

After that, I walked over to the nearby shopping center to eat dinner at Tommy Bahama's. I ended up running into some folks we sat with at awards and joined them for dinner. After that, I walked back to the hotel and went to bed.

I woke up early the next morning and went to breakfast, joining my new friend Penny. Penny is 68 and lives on Oahu. She qualified for Kona and will be competing in October. I enjoyed her company and zest for life!

After that, I packed up my bike and then went to go hang out at the beach in my bikini until 7pm. Below are a few of the photos I took on Sunday.

The airport shuttle picked me up from the hotel at 7pm and I took the red eye home. I landed in Spokane at 8am this morning.