Saturday, December 26, 2009

it's hammer time

Christmas came and went and was awesomely spent with my husband to be. james now insists on (lovingly) calling coach Dirk, "the grinch", as i had a 3 hour ride and 1 hour run to complete on Christmas Day. i was also supposed to go to masters swim, but lucky for me (thank you baby jesus!) the pool was closed. we managed to squeeze in some gift opening, and perhaps the lovliest gift came by e-mail:

when my brother and his girlfriend want to show me how cool they are by simultaneously going green, saving money, and making big fun of me- they send me the latest christmas/wedding gift...
the gift of song. in my inbox on christmas morn was an email titled "Original Wedding WorkOUT Jamz by Brotha Bear and the KTD Connection". inside was the MP3 complete with our very own copy of the lyrics and sweetest album cover ever, check out our creepy "shhhhhh!" faces in the background


"Beth and James en love"


when I don't know what to do
when i think i've lost the race
running out of steam
runnning out...
your the light oh your the light i see
when i'm feeling slow
i cannot believe in anything but we
your the light oh your the light in me
"beth and james in love"
i cannot believe in anything but we

when you don't know what to do
i will run
i will run for you

i'm the light i'm the light you'll see
when you're feeling low
i cannot believe in anything but we
i'm the light I'm the light you see
betth and james in Love
i cannot believe in anything but we

Ahh
Ooh
Beth
James

When you don't know what to do
I won't let it go
You're the light you're the light in me
I won't let it go
I cannot believe in anything but we
You're the light you're the light I see
Beth & James in Looove

fortunately (for you) i do not know how to upload the MP3 for your listening displeasure, nor do i have the time. because today is nuts.
somehow i need to ride 4 hours, swim masters, pick up my wedding gown and pack it, pack everything else, make placecards and menus, go to the bank, get a mani/pedi and who knows what else...because bright and early tomorrow- we leave for cabo san lucas to get MARRIED. see you in 2010 as Mrs. Walsh!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

2010 - racing with the ladies!



there's a new look around this here blog for 2010. a new look for the new team! switching teams for 2010 was a tough choice, but i couldn't forego the opportunity to race for a small all-female kick ass triathlon team.

i'm so excited to be one of the 7 on the Nytro women's elite triathlon team ....our team manager, kristin mayer of betty designs, and the folks at nytro multisport really made it all happen. the level of support we are getting is pretty incredible and something i never imagined at the amateur level. i am also personally stoked that Zoot is one of the team sponsors because i am really fanatic about zoot shoes and gear and am so happy to continue to work with such an awesome company. so yeah, i am lucky- and mostly because i get to share this experience with a couple of my amazing triathlon friends- a true team and for me- if you've read this long enough, you know that's what i love.
two of my new teammates- colleen and kristin- next year our outfits will match for real!

yeah, and bout all the gear, etc...a guy would probably be most stoked on the bike, but you KNOW i am most excited for our hot matching cycling and triathlon kits designed by mrs. betty designs herself. (who will now be known as "lane bait" as she earned that rubber ducky award at our master's swim holiday party).

the new kits.....on their way soon! skulls & butterflies- what's not to like?
we're going to have a little team christmas pretty soon...just waiting on a little shipment from ITALIA!

Friday, December 11, 2009

thoughts from the trainer

thoughts from (literally) the trainer this morning...i'm riding now...2 hours in something like zone a 2. with 90-100 rpms the whole time. 

5:02 am- *taylor swift's actually got a good 90-100RPM beat goin' on...get your cadence on, girl!
5:18- * hi james! good morning! what, not as bushytailed as me? what's that? oh, the trainer makes lots of noise? whoops. sorry.  can you grab me my water bottle? 
5:50- *i may be crazy as its before 6am, but james is the one out on the dark cold road right now.
5:58- * my heartrate is higher in the zone when i'm typing! typing is good for you!
6:10-*Jp told me on facebook: Beer is made by fermentation cause by bacteria feeding on yeast cells and then defecating. In other words, it's a nice tall glass of bacteria poo.
my thoughts: well, then it's proof...James is full of s#*t!
6:12- *good old 80's movies on in the early morning! i forgot how great "The Great Outdoors" is! gotta love a good John Candy & Dan Akroyd combo. and those little twins are creepy! and holy "cellular phone" the size of a BRICK. it's like that car phone with the cord my mom had when i was like 8. 
6:25- * is it over yet? NO. 
6:28- * Damn. Lady Gaga's Bad Romance video. obsessed. its like sexy thriller. i want to do that dance...wonder if i can learn. thank you, VH1 JumpStart! 
6:30- new Bon Jovi video- meh. give it up dude, never going to come close to "livin' on a prayer". 
6:45- * i hope my coach doesn't read this. BUT, i have powertap proof that i followed the workout exactly as prescribed. while blogging. 
6:50- * whoops. just knocked over the huge box of clementines...little oranges all over the floor. need to budget in 45 seconds when i get off this thing to clean them up.
6:59* mentally preparing for T1. i have exactly 14 minutes to shower and get out the door to make it to my desk by 7:40...don't forget food for potluck holiday lunch, makeup to bring in the car, running shoes, heart rate monitor for after work....oh crap... garmin is not charged. not only not charged, but where is it? 
7:02* later! click publish post.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

gift guide for guys

so, you have an athletic lady friend who you need to get something for this holiday season? well, the other day, i was bored out of my brains in pilates class (seriously, there were at least 5 minutes of instructor-who-loves-to-hear-himself-talk babble to every one minute of core work). as i was bored, i looked around my mat and saw that i was surrounded by a few of my very favorite things. now, i know things are just things, but these are all things that make my life fun, functional, and add a pinch of style to the athlete's closet...here are the pics i took from my mat. during class.
now, boys, take out that credit card for that special lady and start a-clickin'!!!

first, my awesome yogi toes yoga towel. this is a grippy no-slip towel. and it is orange and turquoise tye dye...what's not to like? i had towel envy for months watching all the cool yogis in hot yoga and eventually caved and bought my own. and i LOVE it. i feel legit.

next, its not a good photo, but that black lululemon bag is genius. part briefcase, part gym bag. it goes with me from work (there is a computer sleeve inside!) to the gym, to the airplane..next to the bag is a black cashmere beret. i love it. next to that, are my fave zoot ali'is. so comfortable and so fast!

and laying below them was my lululemon Run: Sport Henley. this one is cute enough to wear to the gym and then out to the bar. for sure. of course, its nice and long, flattering and has the thumb holes i love so much.
outside of what i saw around my pilates mat, i wanted to mention a couple other of my faves....all of them are things i would love to find my stocking stuffed with...
sock guy knee highs... i go for these on days that i may not need knee warmers, but its still a little chilly out.


new PB & J flavored larabars..mmmmm....so good.

hanky panky underwear. no woman should live without these. i could do public service announcements about these until the cows come home. sexy and comfy all in one. cannot be beat.

moving on, athletic girls have got to have cute nails year round...we're always showing some toe (not the camel kind!) at the pool AND we always need a good race day manicure.. get her some new OPI nail polish - its all about the purple right now. i'm into "Done out in Deco" and "Pamplona purple". saw it first on colleen. had to have it. it not overdone yet, like neon (unfortunately) is.


lastly, every girl needs a good chapstick for those long rides and windy days. why not add a little shine in there? these burts bees lip shimmer sticks are tiny and can fit anywhere without causing a bulge, and they are definitely more chapstick than lipgloss. BUT, they also add a nice little shimmer and shine. nothing wrong with going fast and looking cute at the same time! you can fund these everywhere now- probably your local drugstore for sure. i live on these things




happy shopping!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

bride-to-be on a bike

a piggy bank! [possibly my favorite keepsake from the day-o-fun described below]


friday after thanksgiving, katya and i had an afternoon ride planned. often, if i don't knock my workout out in the morning, i lose motivation, as was the case on this particular day. so i texted her "not so motivated today..." hoping she would give me an easy out :). instead, she replied, "we won't go too long and we'll make lots of stops." dammit! it was a bit chilly and windy out, but I'm not one to bail, so i threw on some unmatched cycling clothes (unfortunately this included the capris that james thinks look like i took a dump in the pants). Katya showed up at my place and gave me a cute little wedding card with a "Free frozen yogurt" card inside. score!

it was kind of random since my wedding is in a month, but i just thought it was nice. we hopped on our bikes and headed to the coast (about a half mile from my place). i assumed we were going to head north, but i asked her what she felt like and she said , "south". ok. whatever. damn, i am pretty easy going! someone asks me to ride and i don't even bother asking where or how long or anything i'm just always so glad people ride with me. so we turn left onto the 101 . and head up the little hill in encinitas. i see a few girls at the top, next to Berry Happy Frozen Yogurt. one has a blue zoot top on and looks like colleen. but Colleen told me she wasn't riding, so it's not colleen. WAIT!!!! yes it is! Why is she with Kerrie and Kristin and Caroline and WHY was I not invited??? Oh, I was pissed!
"SURPRISE!!!", they yell.
ahhhhhhh haaaaaaa......talk about friends who know you well. a surprise bachelorette party on BIKES that starts at a frozen yogurt shop. GENIUS! it was totally unexpected- I had told everyone not to bother with a bachelorette party or a shower or any of that (because i honestly get really uncomfortable when people "bother" about me.) luckily, i have awesome friends who put something together anyhow and it was the most fun i've had in a long time.

FIRST, was the frozen yogurt. self serve, of course!!! but, i only got the fro yo after they dressed me up like a lulu in a tutu, veil, a couple of sashes and a flower headband. i was a good sport for sure. no complaints!

i also was given a little orange backpack for collecting clues and treasures...because this was a SCAVENGER hunt biking backelorette party...with lots of special clues, written by Edgar Katya-Allen Poe-Meyers.


each of the clues were on cute little blue paper scrolls that a little elf had planted all over north county from la jolla to encinitas. along with the clues were little prezzies and trinkets perfect for a bride to be...the first scroll said this:

"What to do for a most athletic bride-to-be? Why a biking scavenger hunt seems the best activity! something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue... here's your list for a first step towards wedding bliss! To complete each task, all you have to do is ask: "Have you something here for me? the MOST beautiful bride-to-be?"

and then i was given the first clue.....and we were off! at each clue location, in order to get my goods, i had to ask, "Have you something here for me? the MOST beautiful bride-to-be?" again, i was a great sport, I must say! the clues led us all over North County...here are a couple of the clues/stops...

Clue # 3: Flat tire, broken chain no prob. for the guys at this shop. if you don't know them, it's your loss... you need to head here for that _________ to toss!

Off we went to B&L! We quickly found Matt wearing my garter and I was proud to do the honors. Sexy legs!!!!

the girls at the bike shop Clue #5 Hill repeats or during the La Jolla Half,
c
resting the top always brings a smile and a laugh.
At the peak you will find treasures of all kind- words of wisdom for many years of happiness to come!


and off we went to the top of Torrey Pines! darn it, i had to climb up. they may be nice friends, but they didn't wait for me on the climb! even caroline, fresh off of IMAZ smoked me on the way up. but at the top, i found my clue and we took a little photo opp-

at the last stop (the Brigantine) I got one final scroll....

"don't think you're leaving without a toast. here's to the beautiful bride who means the most!"



AND after this, I found out that our little ride was just the beginning of the day-o-fun. i was given just enough time to shower and change and we all met back for a yummy dinner, all girled up at Pacific Coast Grill.. the girls had also planned a dinner shower with cute (and sexy!) gifts and a HILARIOUS game...they had emailed james a list of questions about us and I had to guess his answers. let's just say we won't be going on any newlywed shows anytime soon. He had some fine answers...how about these:
"What is Beth's favorite physical part about you?" James: "Everything"
"What is your song?" James: "Low, by Flo Rida" (you know...Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur....) sweet. glad he took it so seriously!

after dinner and wine and fun, we went home. yes, home. no nasty bars at 2 am and licking shots off mr. smooth's shaved chest, no fireman knocking at the door, no you-know-what straws and necklaces...none of that.... all of it was JUST MY STYLE. THANKS, GIRLS!

Friday, November 27, 2009

all in a week's work

it's been a heck of a week off, and gobs of fun were had. yes, gobs. i did have a bunch of work to do at home (a school psychologist's work is never done!) - so i spent a few mornings writing psycholgoical reports on my couch. but, i thoroughly enjoyed being able to just sit and work with my coffee and the Today show on in the background- so no complaints here...

other than work, i got back on the bike a bunch of times...i start next monday with coach Dirk, so i just worked on getting back into the swing of things. on monday, i rode the coast with james..
as you can see, i love it!
wednesday i rode with katya and colleen on a nice easy (for them) ride through elfin forest. just gettin' in the base miles on a beautiful thanksgiving eve in sunny southern california.
and this video below, is par for the course for me on these "easy" rides....see, i told you this ain't easy for me!



wednesday night was a hoot. james sent a last minute facebook invite to everyone in town to meet up at the Encinitas Ale House for some pre-holiday drinks and good times. good times were certainly had by all...especially me!
my fun was short lived, however, and in the morning, i was brutally reminded why 4 drinks is 3 too many for me....waking up on thanksgiving, i could barely get out of bed, but i knew i had work to do at the super secret Ride n' Tie race- 12 miles of mountain biking and running with a partner in leapfrog fashion...there are other rules of the game, but they are super secret and i wouldn't dare expose them on my blog. however, katya, did a nice job of doing just that (she'll probably be banned for life). so read her recap before she is forced to destroy the evidence by the Ride n Tie powers that be...

well, i made it to the top secret starting location. my partner, colleen, and i were Ride n Tie newbies. other teams had strategies galore. we had just one- matching lululemon outfits!
the race turned out to be a blast...colleen's first time on a mountain bike and she flew by me at one point as she was riding my sweet pink mountain bike and yelled, "I'm getting a mountain bike for christmas!!!". this was the certainly the most fun i've ever had in a race and colleen and i were the female champions- earning coveted turkey sombreros. good thing we were the only all female team :)

besides being great fun and a great workout, i also ran off my hangover, which was a big plus as I headed home to host my first thanksgiving....james' aunt, uncle, and sister came over and everything went great. phew!
ok, so now we're all caught up until thursday...but the REAL fun began friday- can't wait for my next post! but, gotta go off to my last wedding dress fitting! sure hope i fit in the thing with all this turkey and pie in me.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

D is for Dirk

first, what an awesome day my friends had out at Ironman Arizona today! i had a blast watching from my computer and couldn't be more stoked for Linsey, Tatiana, Caroline and all the other amazing san diego atheletes.

ok, back to me! :)
so, i spent 2 years messing around and figuring that just getting out there and swim/bike/running on a consistent basis and occasionally jumping into workouts with other people way faster than me would eventually make me faster. and it did. to an extent. but here i am 2 years later and realizing that

a) i'm not going to get that much faster just messing around and

b) ironman is no joke. especially the hilly one i signed up for in st. george, utah on may 1, 2010.


here is the bike profile. ouch
i have some friends who have gone out and rode/run the course and they say they bike course is tough, but the run is tougher. double ouch.

so, i put on the big girl pants, and have sought out some help. enter coach dirk. he is very german. he is fast. he is local! he coaches fast people (exhibit a) & (exhibit b). when i first decided it was time for the coach, i was quite nervous and a bit sad. nervous, d'uh- he's going to kick my ass. sad, mostly, becuase i will no longer be allowed to just hop onto any random chat session like those i regularly enjoy with my lovely girlfriends katya, colleen, & caroline.

but today, as i clung on to the tail end of the group ride and accepted charity pushes/shoves by the team Jamba Juice guy up all the climbs, i was quite glad. because when coach Dirk asked me my "Goals" for 2010. my first one, above ALL others, is to not suck on the bike so badly that i can't properly enjoy a fall group ride (that was not a smashfest for anyone but myself. they were all chatting away and i was DYING). goal number 2 i sent to coach Dirk was to podium at st. george and qualify for kona, of course- no big deal. yeah yeah, i know...but hey- THINK BIG! and write it down. Oprah and the guy from P90x would both agree. write it down. but, i digress.

anyhow, bring it!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tri-Strength off season program


just a quick note- i sometimes get questions about my off-season plans and getting ready for next season, so i thought i'd share one of the things i am excited to be a part of. Rehab United has some incredible facilities, highly trained therapists/trainers, and really unique and exciting programs. Earlier this year, i went to Rehab United for some physical therapy (which turned into awesome strength sessions once i was ready) and realized that their focus on injury prevention and strength building was key. And I also learned that RU is definitely NOT just for rehab.

I learned a lot of cutting edge, functional strength training that I took with me. i'm really excited to go back now to begin a triathlon-specific functional strength program with Rehab United and am stoked because james will be working out with me! We also get to hang with some of our favorite Xterra pros- Trevor Glavin and Lesley Paterson. If anyone wants to join the crew at RU, it starts tomorrow (Carmel Valley location) details here. I can't wait! let me know if you have any questions!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

orange at heart

me and mr. easy-on-the-eyes brazilian, felipe loureiro....

the past two years, i have been more than fortunate to be a part of the breakaway training elite team. felipe & luke took a chance supporting me when i had done just two triathlons in 2008. i think they could see that i'd do my best to not blow the great opportunity :). anyway, i ended up with a lot more than training gear and race support. i ended up with a triathlon family that was was always there, supportive, positive, and flexible. i ended up as part of an amazing team that shows up at every race in bright orange and basically, i must admit, dominates.

breakaway is so much different than your typical- coach-writes-plan-and-athlete-executes-plan type of thing. sure, the plan is a part of it, but breakaway also has 4 group workouts per week (and we're not talking 2 or 3 people, sometimes up to 40!) and there is always someone your speed. its a true team. last year, i moved up to north county san diego with james, & i wasn't able to attend the group workouts as much (ok hardly ever) anymore and i really really missed it. but, i just couldn't justify driving 20 miles for a track workout during the week. so, i missed out on a lot of the daily, week-in-week out fun. but when it came race time, all my orange peeps always welcomed me as if i had been there every day.


last week, a bunch of us gathered at the dinner for the San Diego Triathlon series awards and i got to celebrate with my teammates (not in orange for once!)

at the dinner, i had a chat with felipe. he didn't know it, but i almost cried. i talked with him about some new opportunities next year that i'm excited about. i won't technically be racing with the breakaway team anymore, but he told me i'll always be part of the family (or maybe i told him that, but whatever. i'm not going anywhere! ). orange is my favorite color after all.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

sunday array

good morning! it's really starting to be fall around here and i'm trying to embrace the brisk mornings. james loves it, so i'm trying to channel that energy. the off season is in full swing with all kinds of fun stuff like...

dressing up like a cat for a 6k cross country race. it was the last race before the finals (next weekend) so i thought it would be a good workout since i've fallen off the running train...the race was in Cuyamaca, which is basically BFE.
the start (photo courtesy of/property of BSK/Running Center team)

i knew i'd not be super fast after not running, so i decided i'd dress as a cat and at least draw the attention away from how slow i was running. and, it was halloween.
(photo courtesy of/property of BSK/Running Center team). i had a tail too.
as if the cross coutry race wasn't enough to raise my heart rate, in the car ride home from the race, i discovered something NOT-awesome had happened to my engagement ring. wish i had been wearing a heart rate monitor when i looked down and saw this:
the gaping hole is where the big diamond should be. but it wasn't there and and it could have fallen out in a million places. it was someone's lucky day- just not mine!

despite losing the diamond, the off season good times continued. i did what normal people do on saturday and actually met friends for brunch at Claire's on Cedros- it was worth the 30 miunte wait. yum. turns out we all got the memo to dress in head to toe luon (that's lululemon code for fancy spandex) paired with ponytails, large sunglasses, and flip flops (we were directly post-workout afterall).if you saw us standing, it looked like we stepped out of the same rainbow brite lululemon closet. some may think we're too lazy to get dressed for real. i call it north-coastal-san-diego-active-chic.

colleen, me, kirsten
(p.s.- i have not taken off my Run: Spirit tights from lululemon since i got them. they're the same ones rachel just wore when she got 5th place at the Nike women's marathon. don't be scccrrrrrrd of the high waist. they're the best.)

while we waited for our table at brunch, Colleen practiced her aero position at the bike rack
we had a fine time. it's nice when my off-season coincides with my friend's taper and we can do normal people things like spend 2 hours at brunch. speaking of TAPER- i am so excited for Colleen's race next weekend. Both she and Kristin are going to tear it up at Clearwater 70.3 Ironman World Championships. YEAH YEAH!!!!

another off season objective is to actually ride my mountain bike. i had not ridden it since the last race in september, so after work on thursday we headed out for a short local spin on some trails. i wondered if i could hop the curb....

guess not! note so self: work on curb hopping skills...


and here is my shout out super plug for purchasing diamond rings with insurance and lifetime warranties....see what james brought home on thursday:

all's well that ends well!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

pump it up

as soon as SOMA ended, i began my off-season. better known by me this year as "operation wedding arms". with all the endless cardio over the course of the triathlon season, my guns have gotten a little weak.

so, my only workout goal the next 5 weeks or so, is to do 5 or 6 strength workouts per week. i'm fitting in a little triathlon maintenance- 1-2 masters swims, a couple runs, a spin class here or there and some fun rides on the weekend. but other than that, pumpin' iron!

it's also just a great excuse to get out of the old routine and try somthing new. i am worlds biggest SUCKER for a flashy new group class at the gym. in the past week, i've done lots of random strength workouts/classes including:

GRAVITY.....these machines can do everything. awesome class...


GLIDING...this class was funny, especially when i slid onto my butt. but i swear it was crazy hard too. and fun!

and i've been going to HOT YOGA...the class i go to is a definite strength builder...you know how much holding this ukatasana burns the quads?
up next are TRX fusion class and sculpt pilates and within a couple weeks, james and i will be attending twice weekly strength classes at Rehab United. i'm REALLY excited about this and can't wait to do some awesome functional strength training consistently over the winter and spring. i worked with Rehab United throughout my injury earlier this year and learned some amazing stuff while rebuilding strength. i can't wait to see some gains when i'm starting already healthy! prevention people!

so basically, i'm trying squeeze in all the fun new workouts i can, and build a little strength base for next season.. which starts december 1st...with my new ironman coach! more on that later, i'm scared, but excited.
but before all that, operation wedding arms in full effect and enjoying the off season. i've already cooked dinner twice this week and its only tuesday! world record!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

SOMA half iron- the end!

i'm not procrastinating this one...race report time!

THE DAY BEFORE
we cruised up to tom & amy's place in scottsdale, az on friday after work- super lucky to have such awesome friends just 20 minutes from the race. and, james got to get in some quality mountaib bike ride time with tom, so bonus that it didn't feel like as much of a selsfish trip.

saturday, my pre race workouts went fine. nothing great- i kind of felt like crap and lazy, but i wasn't too worried about it. that's how you're supposed to feel, right? i also showered right after my 20 minute run/35 minute bike, which made me quickly decide to skip my planned 10 minute swim in tempe town lake. i mean really, people, is that pre-race swim worth it if you've already blow dried and make-uped?

the expo was super uneventful, except for the traffic to get there. in phoenix, apparently, they jsut randomly close parts of the freeway. random. bike check-in was saturday, so i said good-bye to my Look. and okay, it was a little matchy matchy, but i was so excited my zoot alli'i shoes matched my new lululemon scoop neck tank....


the best part of saturday was the double date pre-race meal at chelsea's kitchen...JP- if you're reading- a) i'm sure you'd love this place and b) i'm sure you already know this and have been there. oh, and c) please don't make me feel like a loser by saying you went there and it sucked.
tom and amy at dinner:


RACE DAY!
up at 4am for breakfast....here's what i ate. yum.

brekkie (total= 500)
230- 1 zen bakery cinnamon raison roll (holy moly these are dough-y rolls of HEAVEN and pretty healthy. they taste like chewy bagels. )
70- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
20- a little honey on my delicious bagel roll thingy
40- 2/3 cup of grapes
100- yoplait light strawberry yogurt
40- coffee with milk

the view from transition early...

we got down to the race at about 5:45. a touch late considering that transition CLOSED at 6:15
and i still had to set up my stuff, pump my tires (w/ the disc), get body marked, go on a jog, body glide it up and put on my wetsuit. i was happily surprised with the coolest transition feature- bike guys who pump up your tires perfectly with air hoses! rad! i barely made it down to the swim start in time and actually started walking down the ramp with my suit only half on. whoops. went back to james for a last kiss and he zipped me all up.
yeah- looks like i'm pretty late...
see you in 5 hours!
aw, look at the moment of love james captured- right before my wave hit the water


SWIM- 1.2 miles
the swim is an in-water start and you swim about 850 meters directly into the sun. sweet. i think i swam the world's best zig-zag. my wave (purple caps) was pretty big (4 female age groups) and unfortunately, we started behind almost all the men. there was LOTS of traffic to swim through. regardless, i didn't have a great swim.
swim start from above
front pack of my wave...

swim time: 33 something. ick. i wasn't very happy with this, but then looking at the times, it's not so bad. the fastest male pro swam just under 28 minutes...and all the pro ladies were over 30 minutes. slow swim. i don't think it was long or anything, just slow for some reason.

T1
was a s&^t show! i ran in (after having my first experience with wetsuit strippers!! awesome and scary at the same time- kept thinking my shorts were going to come off with the suit. nightmare material. ) i digress, andyway, i ran into transition and saw to my horror :) the man racked right next to me was there and he was fumbling around and bumped my bike, my helmet and glasses flew off, the bike fell down and he left it!!! i rolled right up and said, "hey- thanks, man!" aw, you should have seen how uncomfortable it made him when he realized he was caught! my glasses were way under the next rack and it took a bit to gather up my things. he offered to help but too little too late, i told him to go. nice manners, dude. i brushed it off and headed outta there!
out of T1..

BIKE: 56 miles
the bike is 3 loops of a flat course with a ton of turns and turnarounds. it's almost shaped like a clover, so you do a lot of out and backs and cross through the hot corner near transition many times. i started out pretty well on the bike. the course is very congested and there is a lot of legal drafting going on and i definitely saw some not so legal drafting too. i can honestly say i kept it clean. i wanted this to be my effort. the course is narrow in a lot of places, so no big packs formed except around the corners, just lots of extended pace lines. at about mile 5, stacy caught and passed me. i made it my mission not to let her go. we have trained together before and although i know she is a stronger rider overall, i also knew that she is a smart rider and that if i pushed hard enough i could keep her in my sights. i stayed about 20 yards behind her for the entire first lap and i thought we were cruising! all of a sudden i was coming up on the left, passing 2 guys, one of whom was drafting big time. i wasn't hyper aware of the drafting until i heard a smack and watched their wheels cross and one guy eat it at 25 miles per hour. he slammed into the ground, and everyone kept going. except me. i had a brief moment where i thought, "man, i do not want to stop", but then i did what i hoped someone would do for me. guess how many other people stopped? ZERO! crazy. this guy was laying on the ground cursing (i would be too) and i was scared. i pulled my bike over, got off and walked back to him. i kept asking, "are you okay? how can i help?" he lay for a bit (shock?) and then got up a couple minutes later (still no one stopped and we were on a highway off ramp so there were no course people there yet). at some point, he got up grabbed his bike and told me to go. i said no, and yelled at him, "what can i do for you?" he the kept saying he was fine and i said i'd ride to the corner and tell a race official or volunteer. which i did. i think it was the right call. it felt like i was stopped with him for 10 minutes but it was probably only like 2. not a race-breaking type of thing so back on the mission! i was bummed to have lost stacy, but i knew i was still making good time and my sub 5-hour goal was definitely still ON! the rest of the bike was uneventful.
total bike time= 2:39- big time PR! 21.1 miles per hour average.

T2: i came into T2 and was out pretty fast, feeling okay.

RUN- 13.1 miles
the "feeling okay" lasted oh, about 50 yards and then i felt like crap. i had brought my garmin which i turned on in transition and it wouldn't sync up which was frustrating. i didn't know how fast i was going, but i was pushing it and i did not feel fast. the concrete really got to me mentally and physically. i hate running on concrete and just keep picturing skeletal damage. wherever possible, i actually ran on the grass or dirt next to the path. slower, but less brutal. it was a suck-it-up run. i never felt great, i just made it through. in my head i wanted to run as close to 1:30 as possible, so i was a little bummed with a 1:34 since it was such a flat course. i passed a couple girls in my age group and eventually, happily, made it to the finish chute..

one last look back for any sneaky bohemeth tall swimmer chicks :)
and i'm there...

i'm happy with the result and breaking 5 hours really was my goal and i made it with 11 minutes to spare. 4:49!
turns out i had quite the speedy age group. i ended up 6th amateur female in the race (yeah!) but 4th in my age group. they moved me up to 3rd (so i got the SOMA bottle of wine!) as the ag winner was moved to the "overall", but even though it says 3rd, james reminded me i was really 4th. that's okay by me though. i accomplished what i set out to do.

looking back, i think i raced close to my best but i could have had a better run. i guess now that i am building strength on the bike, i need to learn how to run on tired legs (last year i couldn't ride hard enough to tire my legs out, i think). i'm also still learning about race nutrition...here's how it broke down during the race:

total=830cal=166calories/hour
260- hammer perpetuem orange vanilla
300- 3 gu (vanilla bean, rocktane, espresso love in that order)
165 - 5 clif shot bloks (margarita)
105- about 8 oz of cola (2 half cups)

i definitely ate a little more this race than i usually do, and i still think it wasn't enough. maybe i need calories in 2 bottles (i put all the perpetuem into one bottle and had water in the other).

so the great thing about being 4th in my ag was no waiting around for the podium! (we only found out later on that they had moved me up), so, my withering tri sherpas got a break and we left at noon! the happy campers...james and tom...don't they look excited after standing in 90 degree sun for 5 hours?

me and super sherpa (please ignore the greasy arm that i must have just sprayed with PAM)all in all it was an awesome day, an awesome end to the season, and a great mini vacation with james. i am so lucky to have a future husband that supports me so much and truly likes (at least for the first few hours) to be out there cheering me on. james and tom had their bikes and they were all over the course which was huge for me. i must have seen them 7 or 8 times during the race.
i am also so lucky to have such incredible supporters that i think about all day while i'm racing...i think about how i am thankful for
- dan selstand for tuning my body and
- gordon for tuning my bike.
- zoot for making me always feel fresh and fast in my race gear, and the zoot shoes, the shoes the shoes!! there are no faster (or cuter) shoes. no way.
-breakaway training not only for the amazing support, but for being my little triathlon family- even in AZ, there were so many breakaway faces out there, dominating the course. it was really neat to be in another state and still have the breakaway orange in full effect! we all cheered for eachother and it was like our own little (fast!) family.
-hi-tech bikes for the opportunity to race on the look 496 speed machine and for always being there. and for not making fun of me 2 years ago when i walked in with my dad and didn't even know that clip in pedals existed. and i still can't believe it, but i let my dad pick out the bike (orbea- good choice, dad!) while i shopped for clothes. you guys must have thought i was a piece of work!
-nuttzo for the pre and post-race fueling and giving me my omegas!
-lululemon for making the most flattering, functional and amazing clothes and for the opportunity to wear them and give feedback to the company. but mostly, thanks everyone at lululemon for being truly amazing people and friends. when i walk in to the store, i feel like i'm at home!
-bettydesigns for making me a one and only :)

and thank you, to my friends and family for putting up with me. it's a long season! and i know i can be a real handful. and thank you too, to anyone out there who reads this because i know i can be sporadic and long-winded and hard-to-read as i jump all over the place, but at the end of the day, i just hope it comes through how much fun i'm having and how lucky i feel to be able to do this, and write about it, and go out there and do it all again! (sweet run on sentence that was!) i never would have thought that at 30 (almost 30) i'd be doing things i never imagined just a couple years ago. and that anyone would read or care about it. so. thank you.