Tag Archives: triathlon

Three (3!) Things Thursday – Pants on Fire Edition

1. Remember when I said on *checks calendar* that I was going to do a book review on Wednesday and one on Friday? Did you enjoy yesterday’s review? You did not? Because it wasn’t there? Yeah. About that…so I have pneumonia. Which is not the bronchitis I was afraid I had at this point last week. It’s been making it difficult to wake up in the morning because my body thinks sleep is more important than waking early to write. (It also thinks not coughing is more important than exercising, something I am supporting.)

This is how I feel now.

This is how I feel now.

2. Speaking of writing, I had promised to finish the draft of the novel I’m working on by the end of the month. I have written approximately 1300 words in the last week (damn you, pneumonia! and double damn to Alvie’s ear infection). That is not enough to finish this. I’m going to have to push hard over the next 9 days to make my goal.

Day 004

The writing cave

3. The five point action plan I mentioned last week? The one with breakfast and lunch and no wine for dinner? That’s been going quite well! Go me! The activity levels need to be bumped up, but as soon as I can hit a brisk walk without coughing up a lunch, I feel that I’ll be doing well. I have a 5K April 4, my first outdoor triathlon (sprint!) on 5/9, and an Olympic tri on June 7. I also need to run a 10K at some point in April. The one thing that all of these races have in common? Every single one has a medal for all finishers.

I only race for medals.

I only race for medals.

Triathlon Report – 1st Annual Non-Invitational Self-Supported Post-Baby Tri!

After my horrible, no-good, very bad failed triathlon on 9/23 in which I didn’t finish the swim (arguably my strongest sport at this point), I was determined that I would still do a triathlon this year, as it was in my 2012 goals to finish one. Being the end of September, there weren’t a lot of local organized choices left.

So, I decided to just do my own. There were some logistical issues with the triathlon, but thanks to the awesomeness of The Ambitious One (it was not really a self-supported tri; it was an Ambitious One supported tri).

The morning of my tri, I planned to meet the Ambitious One at 9 am at the pool. A series of mishaps and the fact that it just takes longer to do anything when a baby is involved made me late.

I got to the pool (the architect dropped off my bike and me) and locked up my bike then went inside to start the swim. Immediately upon getting my stuff ready, I realized that I had forgotten to grab my small swim bag. In that small swim bag were my goggles and cap. My hair is short enough now that I could get by without a cap, but 800 yds in the pool without goggles is pretty hard.

Fortunately, I was meeting the Ambitious One, and she is awesome. She lent me her goggles and kicked for my entire swim. I did a 200 yd warm-up before starting my watch and beginning my tri.

I did my 800 yds in 17:19, which is the second fastest paced swim I’ve ever recorded. (The fastest paced swim ever recorded still stands as the mile swim I did at 39.5 weeks pregnant in March.)

I didn’t time my transitions, because they were ridiculous…after I got out of the pool, the Ambitious One gave me my swag bag full of powerbar products and body marked me for the rest of the race.

I got to choose my age – and went with my real one, because I like being 35. When asked for my race number, I chose 666 because it was funny, and my standard motivation for almost everything is whether or not it will be funny. (I tried my hardest to convince the architect to marry me on June 6 in 2006 – he declined because apparently he is less dedicated to funny than I am.) This is important later.

After running down to the locker room and having a devil of a time (see what I did there?) getting my sports bra on (damp skin & tight clothes do not work together). I unlocked my bike, put my whole bag + lock at the Ambitious One’s locker, and started the timer for the ride.

My goal was to do the 16 miles that was the distance in the Portland Triathlon. The Ambitious One was meeting me at my place at 11:30 to run the 5K with me, so I wanted to be there by then.

The bike ride was insane. Seriously completely insane.

After getting downtown, I rode through an untented revival. There were hymns and and a great mass of people. And a few of them saw my race number. One of them took it upon herself to call me the Daughter of Satan. Already, the funny was paying off!

I rode along the waterfront and was intending to cross the Steel Bridge. Just as I got there, I noticed another large mass of people on the Bridge. Turns out it was a suicide victim awareness walk. For a memorial walk, they were not very solemn and friendly. I got off my bike to walk across, there being too many people to safely walk through, and nearly got into a fist fight with a large woman who thought I was not being properly respectful. Eventually, I got through the mass without throwing any punches, and made my way up to Interstate, where a car whose driver was reading a map nearly hit me after he ran a red light.

I continued my ride without much further incident, but was very much behind schedule, and then hit every red light possible. When I neared my home, I had done about 10 miles, and didn’t have enough time to finish the full six by 11:30. I did 4 more miles (and was barked at by a woman on the trail) and finished my 14 miles by 11:30.

I finished in 1:17:09 (11 mph average). Every time I looked down when I was actually riding, I was going 14 + mph, so I think if I had a closed course, I could’ve done this a lot faster.

As I approached the house, there was my welcoming committee!

I changed my shoes & shorts & hit the rest stop, then kissed my supporters good bye for luck & headed out for the run.

The 5K was wicked hard, but fortunately the Ambitious One kept me on track! I could not have done it without her, for sure!

The 5K was one of my slowest ever – 41:28 (and certainly the slowest at the end of a triathlon), but it was my fasted post-baby 5K!

When we came in sight of the house, the Ambitious One ran ahead to get finish line photos, and I did a sprint to the finish.


And there it is! Done with my triathlon! Since I didn’t time the transitions, I’ve no idea what my total time was. But it is a PR for the course, for the post-baby life, and for the distance, as every other sprint tri had a 12-mile bike instead of 14. So yay me!


I have decided that my total transition times were likely about 15-20 minutes (we’ll go with the most conservative estimate), which makes my total triathlon time 2:35:56 – which is 45 minutes slower than my next slowest triathlon. BUT, as I said, it was course PR and a post-baby PR, and not having a closed course makes it very difficult.


And now – that can be crossed off my list as a 2012 goal!

Move It, Monday. (Or Move It Monday!)

Either works.

Today, we are all home sick. I will be going into work in a little bit, but it’s been a rough 36 hours. Alvie Bean has a baby cold (which he promptly shared with me & the architect).  Snuffly, wheezy, snotty, and gross. There has been a lot of waking up at night on Saturday & Sunday night, so in addition to feeling like I got  hit by a truck, I am also more sleep deprived than I’ve been in ages.

I think Alvie is feeling better this morning. He is breathing better and is a little more smiley. He is pretty tired, as well, though.

Yesterday was rough. For most of the day, if he was awake, he wanted to be held, and he specifically wanted to be held by the person who could give him comfort nursing. So, even though I didn’t feel too bad for most of yesterday, I didn’t get to leave the house (except a quick run to the grocery store during a nap). We spent most of yesterday cuddling and nursing.

What that means, in terms of moving it, is that I didn’t get my bike ride in. So – triathlon in 2 weeks; 16 mile ride, and I haven’t been on my bike since July? That’s going to work out well. I am riding to work tomorrow (I need to get a light for morning; it’s dark now at 6 am, as I found out last Tuesday), and will try to ride Friday & Sunday, then next Tuesday again. I know I CAN ride 16 miles; I just was hoping to be a bit better trained.

Oh well – my triathlon goals are

  1. Finish
  2. Don’t finish last (A Goal)

And that’s it.

But this week, plans are

Monday – rest, eat soup, drink plenty of water, go to bed by 8:30.

Tuesday – Bike to work & back (about 20 miles round trip)

Wednesday – AM swim

Thursday – PM swim

Friday – AM run/mid-AM walk/PM bike

Saturday – AM trail run

Sunday – AM bike

I know I can do the swim, I know I can do the run, and I know that I cannot PR this thing (besides, the bike is 4 miles longer than other sprint tris I’ve done, so even in tip-top shape, it would be hard to PR). So – I need to just go easy and go hard and have fun.

Three (3) Things Thursday – Olympic Edition

Hi! I totally went away for a week again, didn’t I?  Oops!  I was pretty busy with work, and baby-raising, and running, and having my phone die for no good reason and now I am stuck with a slightly less smart (read: dumb as a post) phone and I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! I need my apps!)



Three things that I will somehow relate to the Olympics, mostly to irritate my good friend Brian. (I am not a nice person, am I?)

1. My baby boy started rolling over last week. He rolled over 6 times on Wednesday and 2 times each on Thursday & Friday. All for the nanny. We posited that on the weekend, when I saw him in the middle of the day & he was well-rested, he would roll over for me. HE DID NOT. And then, on Monday? He rolled over for the nanny again. At this point, I was becoming a conspiracy theorist. Was she lying? (Why would she lie?) Did he just like her better? WHAT? And then, Monday evening he rolled over for us, and now does so about once a day. VICTORY! I am just trying to figure out what sport this indicates that he will excel at, so I can get him in training now. I have high hopes for his chances at gold medaling in the 2032 summer games. (I am working on supplementing the breast milk with awesomesauce, as suggested by Cat, who is herself 100% pure awesomesauce.)


2. Although it seems unlikely that, at my upcoming triathlon, I will prove that being pregnant for approximately 2.5 years in any way made me a world-class athlete, thus resulting in endorsements and a chance to train and compete in the 2016 games, I am getting excited for my first “race” post baby. I am doing an open water swim tonight (in a river! even scarier than a pond!), and am planning on eventually riding my bike. Also – this weekend, I will be running three whole miles in! a! row! The likes of which I haven’t done for quite some time. I hope I don’t die. That would really ruin my Olympic dreams.


3. I am having some fairly severe anxiety issues lately. My therapist diagnosed me with postpartum anxiety disorder – the lesser known cousin of ppd. It should start to dissipate in the next couple of months as my hormones re-balance, and in the meantime, when I find myself spiraling into a tunnel of anxiety, I just need to remind myself that this is NOT me. It’s weird. My anxiety is primarily taking in the form of constant worrying about not being good enough – not just at mothering (but go ahead & ask me how I feel I’m doing at the whole pumping thing…if you want to hear about my spiral of self doubt & recriminations), but at just about everything. I have always pushed myself pretty hard & held myself up to a very high standard, but this is approaching ridiculosity. In fact, I’d say that my anxiety is approaching olympic proportions. (I knew I could work that in somehow.) I am trying to find a way to interrupt my own vicious cycle of worry/fear/doubt/etc. and to stop being so obnoxious by constantly talking about my own inadequacies (and there goes the negative self-talk again – see what I mean?).

I thought about not sharing this, but just in case anyone else is feeling this way – just want to let you know that you’re not alone.

mom – chill out & suck your fingers! you’ll feel better in no time.



Blue Lake Triathlon Race Report

I just want to start out by clearing up any expectations for Saturday’s race. I met zero percent of my goals. Total PW (personal worst) for sprint tris. BUT – since it was only my 2nd sprint tri-, I guess that’s not so bad. And since it was my first sprint tri that was shortly after foot surgery instead of midway through marathon training, I guess it could’ve been worse.

Let’s review my 2009 times:

Swim: 19:27
T1: 4:21
Bike: 44:58 (16 mph avg)
T2: 2:03
Run: 31:29 (10:09 pace)
Total: 1:42:18

My expectations were that I would PR the swim (I am such a stronger swimmer now; I took lessons, I can breathe on both sides!), come in about the same on the bike, and totally be waaay slower on the run (see not in marathon shape above).

I was so nervous the night before. I packed my bag, got everything ready, and laid out my tri suit. (Thanks for the tri-ready-list Jen & Alisa!)

That night, I dreamed that I’d forgotten my bike and the tri race officials made me run the bike course moving my arms & legs in a biking parody.

I woke up at 5 the morning of the race & laid in bed until alarm #1 went off. I got up, made coffee and a smoothie (neither of which I finished) and hopped around anxiously making the architect nervous.

We loaded my bike, my 17 bottles of water, and my bag/wetsuit & headed out.  I got body marked & headed into transition.

Marked up & ready!

I got into transition & as I was setting up my stuff, I heard my name!  I looked over & saw Jen & Alisa waving at me.

After getting all set up, I went out to find the architect & we tracked down Jen & Alisa. There was a little pre-race chit-chat, and then we put on our wetsuits & headed towards the swim area.

As we got close to the 8 am start time, I knew I needed to get in the water & warm up to avoid any pesky panic attacks. Whenever the water gets above my neck level, and I feel that cold just below my face, that’s when I start to freak out, and since I was in wave 2 for the swim start, I was pretty sure that I didn’t want to be panicking in front of everyone!

Getting ready to go

I am the third from the left, right up toward the front (adjusting my goggles, I think).

I got in, swam about a bit, and then made my way over to the start. I got my watch ready to go & then the horn started and we were off.

The course seemed waaaaaaaaaay longer than it had two years ago. Way longer. I swam the whole thing, only stopping to tread water once when someone swimming perpendicular to the course kicked me in the face. (I hope they got lost & ended up on the wrong side of the lake.)

I felt really strong throughout the whole swim, but it seemed to take forever! I honestly have am having a really hard time believing that it was the same distance as two years ago.

I came out of the water feeling a little wobbly, but overall good.

Finishign the swim

Swim time: 21:19 (or 1:52 slower than before….dammit).

The transition area also seemed longer than before. I know they’d had to reconfigure everything due to flooding, but although the distance from teh swim to transition seemed the same, the transition out to the bike course took forever. I dried off, put on my helmet, socks & shoes, took a gu, and headed out.

T2: 5:23 (or 1:02 slower than 2009)

The bike was hard. Really hard. I was prepared for the headwind that one always gets on Marine drive headed west, but I was not prepared for actual pain. My shoulder started hurting a LOT (and for the rest of the day, I was convinced it hurt because of the bike ride, because that’s when it started, although everyone I talked to seemed to think that it would make more sense if it hurt because of the swim, and in retrospect, I think that I must have hurt it during the swim; but didn’t really feel it until the bike?). I didn’t pass a single person on the way out.

Not one.

And I was getting passed by people on crappy old bikes who looked like they might die at any point. I just told myself that I was going to just keep going, do my best, and not worry about time. My goal was to finish.

I got to the turn-around, and realized then that the wind had been more of an effect than I’d thought. About 1.5 miles past the turn-around, I saw Alisa! She looked so strong! I was excited to see her, since in 2009, she’d seen me, but I’d missed her.

I didn’t feel any faster, though, and by that point, it didn’t even matter. I passed one person on the way back. One. Last time, I was passing people left & right. I think the combination of the heavier bike (I rode my ‘cross bike instead of my road bike, because my road bike has the bad habit of vibrating violently every time I go over 15 mph [strangely enough, my car occasionally does the same when I go over 65 mph…hmmm]) and the heavier Amy just made this harder for me.

I didn’t get very close to my 45 minute goal, and I’m a little bummed about that, but I did feel strong when I finished (minus the sore shoulder, of course).

Finishing the bike


Bike time: 48:18 (14.9 mph, i.e. 1.1 mph & 3:20 off my 2009 speed).

Again, it took forever to get back to transition & then out again – super duper long. Also, this year I changed shoes between the bike & run, and in 2009, I wore my running shoes on the bike. I took a gu & started jogging to the start line.

T2: 3:45 (1:44 slower than 2009)

I was expecting the run to be hard. Wicked hard. And it was. It felt so much slower/harder/worse than 2009. I was pretty sure I was going to have to stop & walk the whole thing. I’d turned my ankle the week before & it had been bothering me off & on, and I could feel it twinging as I got started.

Immediately after starting my run, I saw Alisa coming in on the bike (and, on her race report, if you look at her finishing the bike pic, you can see me in the background starting my run!)

Starting the run

I did walk briefly right before mile 1, and then told myself that I could totally take a break every mile if need be.  There was no need, though. After convincing my legs that yes, we were supposed to run now, I started to feel better. Not faster, but better. I saw Alisa again just before I hit mile 2 & we high-fived in passing.

My mile splits were pretty consistent ~10:30 each. Not the time I was hoping for, but after the turn around, I did start passing people. In the last mile, there were two little uphills, and that’s were I really started kicking past people. I am an uphill running queen!

I finished really strong, and although my time wasn’t what I wanted, I did finish with a smile!

Approaching the finish line

Run time: 32:25 (10:27 avg pace and only 56 seconds slower than last time – who knew the run would be the strongest?).


Overall time: 1:51:12 (8:54 slower than 2009. :(  BUT! still faster than 2 hours!)


ETA: The numbers

430/483 – overall
35/42 – age group
367/500– swim
465/493– bike
428/491– run

After finishing, I grabbed some water & headed back to the finish line chute to find the architect & Jen and watch Alisa finish. I found Jen, but the architect had gone off to find me. Eventually, however, we were all back to the finish line to watch Alisa cross the line.

After hanging about a bit post-race, it was time to gather our stuff & go.


Alisa & I were numbers 58 & 57 respectively, so our stuff was right next to each other in transition. We grabbed our gear & went to find our sherpas, then headed out.

The architect & I stopped at home so I could put on clothes & then we went to find food. I was so hungry. I ate an awesome cheeseburger and drank the best beer in the history of beers, and then went home. I intended to have a little down time before making cupcakes, but ended up taking a 2.5 hour nap. I never take naps, so that was weird.

I got up, showered, got dressed, and then we headed out to Jen & Zach’s housewarming party!

I think I drank about 17 million glasses of water, and look a wee bitt tired here, definitely had a good time! (Thanks for the awesome party!) (Also, check out the Iron Man & triathlon magnets on the fridge – so many awesomely athletic people in my group of friends.)

Yesterday was not nearly so busy. I skipped my planned 10 mile run due to extreme soreness in body & shoulder when I woke up at 6 am. I made hotdogs and salted some bacon, and then spent the rest of the day in that most noble of pursuits – finally having enough time to finish Dragon Age so that I can buy Dragon Age II. (Oh yeah, ambitious!)

Today, I am spending my vacation day at work for a few hours, and then I have tomorrow as a REAL vacation day! Woo! I am getting a massage tonight, a haircut tomorrow, and am planning to make up yesterday’s missed run before heading out for HH with my classmates to celebrate surviving another class.

Have a great week, everyone!