Monday, May 31, 2010


I got to sleep in today! Woo-Hoo!!

Now I did wake up at 6, really sore - I mean total body pain. But that might have had something to do with the 2 BBQ's I went to last night. See, there was Karen checking the status of our wine supply. I did go back to sleep and it was wonderful.

And of course, today would not have been possible if it wasn't for those have and are serving for our country. To all, thank you.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

That's More Like It

Today was my first "race" of the season. An easy 2 mile open water swim in the beautiful Lake Audubon in Reston, VA. Of course, this meant another early morning... When you do triathlons, long weekends are not for sleeping in.

Anyway, I got on the road and headed out to Reston. When I got to the lake, the DC Tri tent was up and filled with peppy swimmers. Okay, that might be a stretch, but it was filled with people who were about to swim.

I sandbagged my time a bit, so I was starting in the third to last swim wave. I knew I would be tired from the day before and it was a technical course - multiple turns, only 1 straight away, so I knew my time wouldn't be great.

We all lined up, say our good lucks and each wave started to go off. Karen and I headed into the water, I went to fix my wetsuit on my neck and off went the whistle. No count down, no warning - just off. So, I took off. Here was the other problem with putting down a slower seat time - no one to draft off of!! I took a few strokes, looked around, and I was leading the wave! Dang it!!

The first lap was pretty uneventful. A few kicks here, hits there. I also took mental notes to have a better and more efficient line for lap two. I was getting frustrated with people hitting my feet and not knowing how to draft properly, but I think that was just because I couldn't find anyone to draft off of.

Lap two started after 32 minutes. I worked on having a better line and more efficient stroke. At one of the turns, I saw a guy cut across me, and cut the buoy. About 100 meters later, he cut the next turn buoy. Stupid guy. I don't know how he lives with himself...

Anyway, I finished the race as strong as I could - 1 hour 4 minutes flat. A perfect split. Not too bad. 7 out of 12 in my division, I'll take it! Only 1 minute and 8 seconds slower than when I did the race in 2008 - when I was in better shape and training for the Bay swim.

After the race was the best part. Hugh's sister and brother-in-law live on the lake and opened their home to us for a BBQ. YUM!! Nothing says happy 2 mile swim like a cheeseburger. Delish!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I Thought Starting Off Summer By Biking Up a Mountain Was a Good Idea???

I don't really know what to say about the day. For the first time in a long time this just left me - blank.

Another early morning. It's sad that I sleep in longer on Monday's than I do on the weekends. Anyway, I made it to Karen's where we loaded up the bikes along with Kimberly and headed out to Marshall, VA. We started to get ready and more and more DC Tri people showed up. It was pretty awesome. When we rolled out, we had about 35 people (there is a group to the left that didn't make the picture).

The ride start was a lot of fun. The first 20 miles were rollers, lots of downs and ups, ups and downs. I can do okay with those. Mile 20 was also the main rest stop. It was a sight to come around a corner and down a hill to a sea of DC Tri jerseys.

Right after that, the real hills started. Or shall I say one of the hardest things I have ever done. I really don't even have the words. Everyone split into their pace groups pretty quick - mine at the end.

The first climb was steeper and longer than expected, after every turn, it kept going up. A theme often repeated. After that climb, there was a short break, a half mile on Rt 7, and left turn to straight up. With no sign of the top. I.E., the mountain climb had started. I went as far as I could until my quads started shaking and it was fall over or clip out and walk. I clipped out and walked - for the first time ever. And by this time, the 4 ladies I was with were long gone.
After a tiny break, it was up, then down, more up and down, even more up, and FINALLY down. And at the end, there was Sandy, Carolina, Stephanie, and Katie.

But it didn't end there. Once we got to Paris, VA, it was beautiful. We actually had some time to look around - such a beautiful area.

Then mile 42. One more hill. One last major climb and I just couldn't do it. Again. My legs just stopped moving. Carolina was right behind me, didn't want me to feel bad, so she got her bike too and walked up with me. I had horrible stomach cramps, non-working legs - just not good. We clipped back in, turned a corner and BAMB! Another frickn' climb. Proof someone hates me. But once we got to the top, Sandy, Stephanie and Katie were waiting. It was a glorious sight. They were stretching on the grass and I knew if I got off of Blain, I wouldn't want to get back on, so I just laid on my aero bars. I really don't know what I would have done if I were on my own for this ride.

The rest of the ride was mostly down hill, rollers, and flats. With a few more hills that made me even more - blank. I just didn't know what to think anymore.

55 miles. Not good. Not bad. Not okay. Just - just.

After, Karen and a great spread of sandwiches, chips, tots, and ICE CREAM!! Tammy came with mimosas. Lindsey had another great quote as we were trying to help Karen clean up "Oh, let me take care of it. I am really good at taking care of ice cream." Thanks Karen, it was awesome.

Here are a few things I learned on the ride.
1. I am really bad at climbing. And I just don't like it. Rollers, yes. Mountains - no (you can see the elevation change and map in the pic above. Thanks Alejandro)
2. My bike computer doesn't measure mph less than 3.0. I know this because on some climbs it would go between 0.0 and 3.0. Something I never wanted to know.
3. When going 40.7 mph (my max speed today), hitting bugs hurt. I now know how a windshield feels.
4. I am luck to have supportive people to ride with, people to wait for me even when I tell them not to, and great friends to talk me into crazy things like riding up a mountain.

Tomorrow, Reston 2 mile open water swim "race". Good thing I really don't use my legs swimming...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Blue Ridge Challenge

8:15 am clip in time.
56 miles.
Up a 'mountain' called Mount Weather.

What a start to a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Participation For All Elves

If you read my blog regularly, or ever for that matter, than you know that I stink at grammar (and I don't know if that should have been then or than...). I don't care. I tried to care in high school, took extra grammar classes, even 'borrowed' the text book to take to college (which I still have). For important stuff, I always have 1-2 people proof read my documents, important e-mails, papers, etc. For my blog - nah, it adds character. You have to read what I mean, not necessarily what I type. This is very important when when I flip words closest/closet; know/now; etc. I often don't pay attention to spell check and let it put in what Microsoft word thinks is best.

Well, this little weakness of mine is kind of funny as I am the DC Tri club Secretary (and volunteer coordinator). Even though I stink at grammar and spelling, I can take some pretty good minutes. This is coming in handy because we have a situation going on in the club where minutes are necessary. Before we send them to the 1,000+ members, I insisted that the other board members CAREFULLY read through my minutes.

In one section of the minutes I wrote about participation for all levels. One board member has a good eye and sent me an e-mail: "item #3 on Priorities says "elves" instead of "levels".
Me. "Thanks. You are the only one who noticed".
Him. "Well I think we should encourage participation from all elves. Heck, even one elf would be cool."

I about died laughing. Never has a word flip fit so well.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hills. Lots and Lots of Hills

Tonight was a Conte's ride. It's regular Tuesday night hill-fest. Or torture fest if you will, for me anyway. I just don't like hills. Big girls don't do hills!

But, they are so good for me. There is something to be said for when you feel like your heart is about to pop out of your chest, you feel like your legs just won't pedal anymore, but you do. You keep going to and make it to the top.
Then you have a glorious downhill when you are breaking the 30 mph speed limit!
Followed by another uphill. And then down hill. Continue. Continue. And continue again. My speed varied between 3.6 and 37. Good times.

And as I was searching for a bike/hill picture, I came across this one - which I LOVE! She might me my new mascot...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Swim Fail

Today was not a great day. They happen, but that doesn't make them any better.

It was a super fast pool. There were about 3 new really REALLY fast people in lane 1. That dropped 3 people into my lane. Which made me very, very last. And lapped at a 300! That doesn't make anyone feel good - in fact it reminded me of high school - eek!

About 700 into the workout I was coming into the wall just as Hugh was pushing off (in the lane next to me) and we smacked wrists. Hard. It was so hard my arm flew back and I couldn't finish the full stroke. I got to the wall, a bit dazed. By the time I made it back to the other side, Hugh was laughing. Apparently, it didn't bother him too much.

Me on the other hand... It immediately started to swell and just hurt. I kept swimming, but after about another 1000, I just couldn't take it any more. Between the super fast people, felling blobby, and a pounding/throbbing wrist - I called it a night. 1800 - still not that bad.

When I got into the car to head home, shifting from park to reverse - HURT!! I knew I made the right decision.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Today seemed to have a lot of two's on our ride...

It's a 2 hour drive to Cambridge, Md. There were 2 cars with 2 people each that were a tad late. So, we clipped in at 8:22 (instead of 8). Around mile 2, I rode up to Tammy and informed her that I should have going to the bathroom one more time before we headed out... Luckily, it wasn't number 2, so I just kept going (Note - sorry if that was too much information, however you can see I am going with a theme).

The ride was going really well, and for the first time, without a lot of wind. But, I was afraid to say anything - not knowing when the wind was going to hit. The other problem with no wind, I was going out way too hard. There was no need for me to be biking 20 mph within the first hour, of a 4+ hour ride, so I dropped back. As much as I love riding with people, I really love riding on my own. It's even better when you know you have 17 people around.

As I was riding, I passed Julie and Ed, with a flat. They seemed okay, so I kept going. Around mile 20 - I couldn't hold it any more, stopped, and ran into the bushes. And the bushes cut up my legs!! About 12 miles later, I came across the boys, with another flat. Yes, that was 2 flats!!

I made it to the rest stop as Karen, Julia, and Tammy were on their way out and I had to go to the bathroom, AGAIN! That was 2 bathroom stops! I usually NEVER have to go. Anyway, I finished up my 56 miles feeling really good. Almost 2 good... So, I headed back out for round 2. I wasn't going to do a full 2nd loop, but wanted to get in 70 miles. Foolishly, I went out with Karen and Tuan. Karen is just 2 fast for me now, it's impressive.

But, overall, 71 miles. Not a lot of wind. Awesome people.
Not bad, not bad. And see how many 2's!!

This was of course celebrated by my 2nd trip to Sonic.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's What We Do!!

A Friday night. 8:00 a.m. ride in the morning. Karen, Tammy and I went to Karen's to make a healthy dinner. A Rachel Ray dinner, which actually tasted pretty good!

But of course, we had to properly carbo load and nothing says carbo loading like cake.And because we couldn't decide on one flavor, we went for the variety pack.
And of course there was wine.
And we were out the door by about 9:30 pm.

Yup, it's what we do on a Friday night.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Chose Sleep

I don't like being one of those people who says they will be some where, and is ridiculously late, doesn't show up, or bails last minute. Well, this morning, I was. I haven't been sleeping well for the past few months and crawling out of bed at 5:45 just wasn't happening. This just doesn't make any sense because I was tired from my 3400 yard swim (that's almost 2 miles!), I went to bed at 10:30 but was up until at least 1. Again at 2:15. And one more time 4:30. So when the alarm went off at 5:45 - I reset it for 2 hours later, texted and e-mailed an apology to Brooke, Mary Elizabeth, and Karen, rolled over and went back to sleep.

The sleep was great. I know I made the right decision, but I am also on my second cup of coffee...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh Dhani... It's about time

One of my new favorite shows is Dhani Tackles the Globe on the Travel channel. He goes around to different countries and plays their national sports. Oh, and he is a currently a linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals and this is what he does in the off season. Yes - I do plan on meeting him some day, winning him over, and we will live happily ever after.

And you know what we are going to talk about? No, not triathlon - but we could. He is an avid biker. But water polo!! That is what he played on tonight's episode.

When he was called into the scrimmage game, his first ever game, guess what number. 7. That was my number when I played at Minnesota. See, we are so meant to be!

And back to reality - I did swim tonight with Karen. A solid 3200, I just couldn't do the full 3500. It was getting too hard enough to lift my arms.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Yesterday I got roped into doing a swim clinic at Sandy Point State Park for the club's New Triathlete Program (NTP). What a good time! Tammy and Simon had some great handouts ready to go for about 30 people - most of which this was their first time in open water. After we went over the basics, into the water we went. There were a few great swimmers. And a few more not so comfortable swimmers. We had tons of volunteers and I think everyone learned a lot and became more comfortable in the water. Also, I got to share a few of my "fun" open water stories.

After, we followed up with a bike ride. All was going well until about 4o minutes in and the two girls I was riding with - we came upon a different group of DC Tri with a flat. Because I just had experience changing one last week - we all pulled over and I put on a show of how to change a flat. Luckily, Will showed up 5 minutes later to cover and give tips I wasn't aware of. Yay learning! After way too long, we were back on our bikes and back to the park.

Of course, no good work goes without lunch, and cupcakes.

But what I don't understand is that if I use sunblock, smell like sunblock, why do I still burn???

Friday, May 14, 2010

Now that I am a member of USMS...

On Wednesday night, I received 3 text messages and an e-mail from AJ about joining the DC Park and Rec Masters Swim team. It is by far the cheapest team around, and therefore spots fill up quick - when they do open spots. So, I got in and all was good. Now I just have to go to practices...

But, that also made me realize that I could sign up for races with my new USMS number... so of course I did.

My summer is filling up quite nicely!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why Didn't He Just Fly Away???

I tried to come up with every excuse this morning so I didn't have to crawl out of bed and go biking. I just wanted to sleep. But no. I told Brooke that I would go biking. And after it wasn't raining, and the ground wasn't wet, so I got ready and headed out. I got on Rock Creek Parkway, headed to Hains Point - and smack... A bird was trying to fly away - but he didn't fly fast enough and hit the top of my windshield. Oh, it was so loud. I felt horrible! I knew there was nothing I could do, 3 cars behind me, so I kept driving. Poor bird...

So I made it to the parking lot, meet up with Brooke, Mary Elizabeth, and a few other DC Tri people - and of course shared my sad bird story. Of course, no sympathy, just mockery.

But the ride was good. As hard as it is to get up and moving, it's always worth it (well, not for the bird but...)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Foot Dr. Visit

Today was a follow up for my inserts. So far, so good. A few more tweaks are needed, but I feel we are on the right track. No surgery, no cortisone. Just good old fashion doctering.

But here is my number one major concern. Not my back. Not my shoulders. Not even my right food. But, back to the good ol' knees. My right one specifically. I was doing laundry yesterday and I stood up after (over) loading the front load washer and felt this horrible pain on the lower inside part of my knee. NNNNOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! I hobbled back to my apartment and went right for the ice pack. It's a smidge better, but going up stairs isn't good. Not sure how long I wait to call another doctor. (and this cartoon made me laugh really, really hard.)

But I did go to swim practice tonight. The Club set up a group to come in, video your swim, and it will be analyzed by NCAA coaches and e-mailed to you with tips and drills. YAY! I haven't had my swim looked at in YEARS!

Oh, and friends, PLEASE stop hurting your selves on your bikes. PLEASE! There were at least two more accidents/mishaps that I know of. Not good people, just not good. Please take it easy.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I Can't Kick My Own A$$

That was a quote from Sandy around mile 40 at our rest stop. It pretty much summed up the day.

Today's ride
I got to the starting point, going through my routine, including pumping up my tires. Well, the pin on my front tube broke off. Karen and Lindsey said don't change it (as we all try to avoid changing tubes) but Mimi and Sandy said change it. Well, I only had 1 tube - but Sandy had 2, so I borrowed one and started changing the tube. And you know what - success! And pretty quick. Almost too quick... But YAY!

Then the ride started and I felt a poke in my left leg. Within 3 miles, I had a hole in my shorts. Not.Cool. My bike fit pushed me back about 2 inches and my saddle bag must have been a bit off so the velcro was rubbing into my shorts. And the worst part - biking shorts are expensive! And I had about 50+ miles left.

Then, the wind hit. Now, I knew this was going to happen - especially because there was a wind advisory, but for some reason, it was worse than I expected. And earlier in the than the last time.

Then, the sun came out. And it was hot and windy. That sucked up a lot of energy, which is not a good thing. I just kept counting down til the 40 mile rest stop. When I got there, I was so excited to see a drinking fountain. I was eating my Combos (the new super food), chatting with Karen, stretching and I heard "But see, I can't kick my own a$$!" There was Sandy, showing Mimi, how she can't kick her own a$$. That just struck me as very funny - and I knew it would be the appropriate title of this post.

16 more windy, painful, trying to beat the rain - and I made it back. Karen and Lindsey were waiting - deciding between more biking and a run. Well, I wanted to go 5 more miles, so my odometer said 6#. Well, 5 miles turned into
Karen "Let's just go to the barriers". Me. "Ok"
Lindsey "Let's just go to the other barriers". Me. "Okay, but then we turn around".
Karen "Let's just go to the highway". Me. "Okay, but then we REALLY turn around."
Back to the street and Lindsey points left (the long way back to the car). Me "RIGHT". Karen "no, left, it's prettier". Me "fine. Wait, I am really easy to convince, aren't I?" Karen "Yes" and she peddled away...

The best part of the 64 mile ride - my first trip to Sonic.
Best quotes of the lunch - Sandy "if you ____________, you burn more calories, right?" (Editors note - I typed out what she said, but just couldn't leave it knowing my parents and their friends read this).
And out of no where, Lindsey "I get really tried from eating rice crispy treats". That one makes me laugh typing it out.

Anyway, it was another great ride with awesome ladies, tons of laughs and over 3000 calories burned (hence the tots at Sonic :-).

I can't kick my own a$$, but the sun, wind, and Karen can - and it's awesome.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'm Like an Elephant?

Really, that's what AJ said!

Here's the story. AJ and I met up for a swim and dinner tonight. Yes, we have rockn' Friday nights! Anyway, we were both pretty beat up after our 3K swim with fins from Wednesday, but decided to swim anyway. It was a good workout, even thought AJ is staying on my feet... I liked being faster than someone who qualified for World Championships.

Anyway, AJ also has a degree in physical therapy. So after helping her with her swimming, and making her the same speed as I am, at dinner I put her to work with my new body issues. After my bike fit a few weeks ago, I learned that it's not my hamstrings, hip flexors, or even my IT bands that were tight, but the soleus. They are the reason I can't do squats and have to lean over really far when standing up. So I asked AJ for some stretching tips. As we walked to our cars, she was fascinated by how my foot isn't at a 90 degree angel with my shin.

We figured out a few stretches and AJ said she would do some research. She also came to the (probably correct conclusion) that this could be why I don't like running!! I had not put these two together, but it makes total sense.
This was followed up with something like "you know it's like an elephant. How they don't run because they don't have ankles".
Me - "Did you just compare me to an elephant?"
AJ - "No, not like that!"
Me - laughing hysterically. AJ kept talking, and it was the epitome of sticking your foot in mouth, further and further. I understood her point - but it was pretty funny.

Tomorrow - another Eagleman ride. I am really hoping the isolated thunderstorms stay away and the wind gusts don't start until after the ride. Doubtful - but I'm am hoping!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fins are Fun

Today's swim was pretty quiet. Monday was B.A.N.A.N.A.S and today was, well, not. It started off just AJ and I in our lane, and she decided to use fins for the entire workout. I thought, of course, that this was a brilliant idea, so I used my fins too. It was actually a lot of fun!

3500 total, 3000 with fins. This was definitely a workout for the legs. But my favorite part - I turned my sprint set into an IM sprint set. Doing butterfly with fins - so much fun. I felt very Michael Phelps'ie.

I may be not so happy with legs tomorrow - and therefore will blame AJ. Good thing she doesn't read this...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pulling was a bad idea

I write the swim workouts for Monday's, so I have no one to blame but my self.

If you read my very long post from yesterday, you know I totally bit it on Saturday. See, the nose of the saddle jammed into my inner thigh on the right side as I fell.

That makes using a pull buoy for 600 yds no fun.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Yesterday's Bike - Fail. Today - Good

From all that happened yesterday - I don't think anyone should have biked.
Part 1 - Me.
I headed to 14th and T, pulled Blain out of of the car, and rushed to meet my group as I hear "Amanda"
I looked around, didn't see anyone and kept going. "Amanda!!" is yelled again, so I answer "YES???" And I saw someone coming over and she yelled "It's Brooke". It was true, I had no idea who she was. Oops. We had a quick chat, she was off on her run and I was off on my ride. Or I tried.
I went to clip in, my gears locked up and down I went. H.A.R.D. If it was appropriate, I would take a picture. But it's not, so I won't. But it's bad.
I met up with the group (lead by Christina who I did Augusta 70.3 with, not Karen, the other one in the pic) and I took the back/sweep. There were a few new-ish riders and I could tell this by the wobbles at stop lights.
Sure enough, right in Georgetown, down one girl went. Hard. I had to smack the saddle back into place, and she was pretty shaken up. Rightfully so - but it happens to all of us (i.e., me that morning). We kept going, and at another intersection, about 1 mile away, down again. Not as hard, but still. By this point, we lost everyone else, but we kept going - and I didn't mind the easy pace, I didn't have the use of all of my gears - I banged my derailleur during my fall.
But, as soon as we hit the first hill, I waited and waited, until she finally came up the hill, walking her bike. I felt so bad. We had a snack, said we would keep going, and as she peddled away - flat back tire. And she had no spare, pump, or patch kit (and she was on a hybrid so what I had wouldn't have worked).
Obviously shaken, I offered to ride back to my car and come back to get her and drive her home. It just wasn't her day - and I get that. On my way, I heard a rattle, stopped to make sure I had my car key. As I did, I see Karen and AJ fly by.

Part 2 - Other DC Tri People.
AJ "You okay"
Me "Rough day"
AJ and Karen - keep going. Strange that two of my closest friends flew right by me. So I take off, trying to catch them, as they were heading in the direction of their cars (and it was way to early for them to be done). They made every light, I didn't. When I got to their cars, I asked for a ride to my car. No luck for me as there was a big crash with a bunch of our DC Tri guys. Karen was getting her car to pick up those guys!
Luckily, all was okay, for the most part, with them.

Back to me.
On my way back, my chain fell twice and I had about 2 gears. No fun. But I made it back, picked up my down biker and explained what happen to the other group.
Overall, it was just a bad biking day.

Part 3 - Conte's
I confirmed my love for Conte's. I took Blain up to the shop to figure out why I couldn't hold a gear. The mechanic started explain what he had done last year for my tune up, because Blain is so awesome, he remembered working on him. Within 5 minutes, he was fixed and ready to go. And NO charge! So I ran to the store and got them some cookies as a thank you.
PS everyone - stop stealing my move!

One of the club's biggest events - the Columbia Brick-nic. See, we ride and run the Columbia course (brick) and have a picnic (nic). We are smart crew. Some of us got there early so we could help out later.
Overall, it was a good ride. Slow, I was dropped pretty quickly, but it was fun. Blain was shifting great, and no dropped chains. Don't get me wrong, the course still sucks. Hills - they are not fun and I spent a lot of time there in 2008.
At one point I hear "Get off the road!" It was Joe and AJ. I managed to stay with them for about 2 minutes, then we hit a hill. And they are very fast. But I liked being on my bike and it was so nice to have so many people around, and not feel the pressure to go a speed I didn't want to go. Not push too hard to keep up, but not sweep so someone doesn't feel bad. It was a 24 mile loop - someone was always close.

After the ride, I did go for a wag (walk/jog) for the first time in months - with my new inserts!! And, I didn't want to cut off my entire foot! Just the top half, but only half way into my 2.6 miles. But, I will take it!

And then we ate. And ate (yes, that is an entire table of desserts). And ate some more.

Good times.