Monday, August 15, 2011

The Coeur d'Alene Triathlon aka My Olympic Finish...

If you've been reading for a while, you know that I have been training for an Olympic distance triathlon.  My race was Saturday and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life...
In other triathlons I have competed in, there are several, small waves to start.  Not so in this race.  There were only three waves for more than 500 athletes.  That's a lot of people standing on one stretch of beach, and a lot of bodies entering the water at the same time.  This is also the first race start that has been co-ed.  I wrestled quite a bit with my swim-start strategy.  I finally decided to wait for the fast starts to enter the water and take my time a bit so that I wasn't caught in the initial rush...
So, while it looks like I'm just strolling into the water...this was all part of the strategic plan!  I have been swimming in the lake several times and this morning was the warmest and calmest I have seen the water. 
The planning and training paid off.  I had a great, strong swim start and there were no kicks, pulls or random kayak collisions in this race!  In fact, this was the best swim I have had in a triathlon.  Yay!
I had only one goal for this race...FINISH!  I have been obsessed with this race, agonizing over whether or not I would be able to finish.  One of my worries was that I wouldn't be able to complete each stage within the given time amounts.  Leaving the water feeling strong, and not last, was an excellent position for me.  I felt good and I knew I had achieved what I wanted to in the water.
My transition was speedy.  Happily, I have competed in enough triathlons to have a good packing list and transition zone plan.  I had everything I needed at my fingertips and I was out on the bike course quickly.
My biggest fan, Kyle, was waiting just around the corner from the transition zone and caught me heading out on the toughest bike ride ever.  They call this the "Scenic Course"...this bike ride is crazy.  The course taunts you at every comes a little take a's another hill...oh guess what?  the mother of all hills is waiting just around the corner!  You know when race officials warn you that "there's a sharp corner and you need to gear down" you're in trouble!  Fortunately I had ridden the course twice with my amazing training friend Melissa.  There are so many hills you have to just laugh, to keep from crying!  At one point I passed a fellow rider who said, "they told me that last hill was the last one!"  I wasn't sure what to say, so I told her the truth.  "It's the steepest one, but you actually have four more hills left.  Sorry!"    

It is 25 scenic miles...but they're full of hills!  Enough said!
My biggest fan had time for breakfast before he caught this series of pictures.  Happily, I'm riding back into town and heading for my second transition.  A quick check at my bike odometer told me that I had completed the ride faster than I had in training and I was feeling great.  My nutrition was right where it was supposed to be and I was ready to run.

Well...I was ready to run for a mile anyway.  I had trained on the running course, and I was glad that I knew where I was and had already established important landmarks.  The run was tough for me though.  Next year I am going to need to carry some water with me as I got a bit dehydrated and hit a wall.  Fortunately, I didn't have to give up and walk the whole thing.  I tried to settle into my music and pace myself with other racers to keep going.  I pushed really, really hard...

...and finally rounded the corner to the last half mile.  I was able to finish running, and smiling!

The Finish Line is in sight! 
1 mile swimming
25 up hill miles on my bike
6 miles running 

Three years ago, I had serious doubts that I could finish a sprint triathlon and now here I am with my first Olympic Finish

I feel a bit like I am receiving an award and need to thank people...
* Thanks Kyle aka My Biggest Fan...I was a bit obsessed with this race.  Thanks for your unwavering support and unending supply of pep talks.
* Thanks Melissa aka My Amazing Training Friend...You really made me believe I could finish this race.  I would never have ridden or swam as much as I did without you.
* Thanks Amanda aka My Triathlon Coach...Your training calender gave me the strength and confidence I needed for this race.  And, you're just pure inspiration!
* Thanks Tessa aka My Amazing Supportive Friend...I would never have started this crazy path to triathlons without you.  I love that you're at every race and I love that you're such a cheerleader for everyone!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer Adventure List...

Several weeks ago, I wrote this post about all the adventures I was looking forward to this summer.  As my return to work date is hovering, I thought I should take a minute to review the list...

* Complete two sprint and one Olympic triathlons I have in fact complete the two Sprint triathlons and I am in my taper week for the Olympic.  It's Saturday...send some positive energy my way!

* Attend the soccer match of the year...Manchester United v   
  Seattle Sounders!
Yes!  That Father's Day Adventure was amazing.  The most fun I have ever had at a soccer game.

* Spend as much time as possible creating & crafting I have done my level best with this goal!  My Silhouette has been humming and I've been having a great time with girlfriends.  I will post next week about some of our crafts and I have a new Birthday Plate that is awesome!

* Update and revise my blog Well... I could spend a little more time but some of the important changes have been made.  I would like to create some great fall blog buttons to share with all of you.

* Read, read and then read some more Oh, my little Kindle has been humming.  I have certainly not been slacking in the reading department this summer.  In fact, if you have a chance The Hangman's Daughter is my most recently finished book and it's fantastic.  I'll share more in the next Book Club post.  

* Visit a local pool at least once each week with my kids...
  Summer Pool Tour 2011 We have been swimming at least once a week this summer.  There are a couple of pools still on our list because we've visited a couple more than once.  We've also have a couple of great beach days since I've needed a few open water swims in preparation for the big race!

* Take my husband on a mini-vacation for our 16th anniversary We spent a couple of days in a beautiful hotel in our town while the kids were at camp.  It was so much fun to just do whatever came to mind.  In one afternoon we went to a 3-par golf course, played roulette at a nearby casino and then went to a paint-your-own pottery studio.  Random and super fun!

* Host my friends kids for a day of science fun We have already enjoyed one great science day and plans are in the works for another one.  Check out The Science Mommy for all the details.

* Update my 2011 Family scrapbook Ok, you've got me here.  The Family Scrapbook is a bit out of date.  I will have to hustle to have it current before school starts.  I did manage to create a great 8x8 book of the Manchester United soccer game!  My husband loved it!

* Go somewhere we've never been before We went to the DaVinci exhibit at the museum and we went on the Underground City Tour in Seattle.  Both were great adventures.  Aiden's never been to the top of the Space Needle (well, he didn't remember going since he was about 2) so we made sure he got to the top this summer.  I have never been to the par-3 golf course...and actually thought I hated golf until that experience which was surprisingly fun.  Kyle plays by the "fun rules"!  And finally, the boys are going camping with their grandparents in a couple of weeks and will have several adventures they've never had before.  

We're having a great summer here!  Just a couple more weeks of fun adventures, before we start shopping for school clothes, school supplies and the fall soccer season begins in earnest.  What's been your favorite family adventure this summer?  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blog on Fire...

I was recently awarded the Blog on Fire award from
XLMIC at Taking it On
If you haven't yet visited her blog, it's a must.  I have truly enjoyed reading about her running challenges and biking adventures over the past several months.

There are two caveats to this award:
# 1 -  Share 7 deep things about myself...that's an interesting criteria for a blogger.  I feel like every day is sharing, so I have been wondering what I could conjure up for this award.

One...I am still fostering a childhood dream of being a published author.  I have published some curriculum and thought about professional publication, but I think there is a story waiting to be told.  I have toyed with several starts and ideas but there's nothing that I am willing to share yet.

Two...I wish I was wittier in the moment.  I really have to think about good comebacks and then the moment has passed and my thought is no longer relevant.  I feel like a witty person, but in conversation with others it just never happens.

Three...Some days I fantasize about owning my own business.  There have been times when I've considered opening a private school and other times that I have thought about opening a book store with a cozy coffee shop.  I don't really want the responsibility and uncertainty of being a small business owner, but it's a fun dream to pull out especially when I'm a bit cranky about my real job.

Four...I really love science!  This is definitely not news-worthy sharing for people who know me, but I really love science.  I love to learn new things, I am hugely curious, I love sharing new ideas and adventures with my kids!  And now for a shameless plug...if you haven't visited The Science Mommy really should.  It's my science blog, and in my heart it's quickly taking the place of this one as my primary blog.

Five...I have been training all summer for an Olympic triathlon.  The Olympic triathlon scares the crap out of me.  This is easily the hardest, scariest, most unknown thing I have ever done.  I am not sure exactly why I am so compelled to finish this race, but it's something I need to prove to myself.  I can't wait for it to be over.

Six...I am usually a glass half-full, silver lining, Pollyanna kind of girl.  That's not to say that I don't experience sadness, depression, low self-esteem...there are days when they hit me like a ton of bricks.  I lost two years of my life mired in grief and agony.  As I was coming out of those two years, and putting myself back together I made a conscious choice to project the positive be that person.  I know that I often annoy people with my attitude and that some people assume that I have never experienced loss, that I may be a shallow person.  What I know is that a person can get lost in grief and depression.  I don't pretend those feelings don't exist but I do my best to spend each day positive, happy and smiling.

Seven...hmmm...are you still reading?  There are still so many things that I want to do in life.  There are so many places to travel, adventures to have, projects to complete.  While I am happily settled in a marriage and a family and a job...I am always looking for what's next?  What's new?  I have a curiousity and a thirst for life and I can't wait for the next thing?

Thanks for the award!  Thanks for reading along!  I am tagging these bloggers...
Wendy at The Sederwalls
Sarah at Clover Lane
Donna at Go Mommy, Go!