Wednesday, June 30, 2010


As you are now well aware, I missed yesterday's ride due to traffic. I am the queen of making excuses for when I don't want to workout. However, when I do want to workout, I get frustrated when things get in the way - like traffic.

It was a slow day at work and Karen and I were e-mailing about one thing or another. She sent one message that I read and a bit of coffee came out my nose due to laughter. Of course that was my response to her to which she said "as long as you don't use that as an excuse to skip swimming tonight. or pull the old, "oh, i'm slow tonight because KAREN MADE ME SPIT COFFEE OUT OF MY NOSE THIS MORNING" excuse. that gets old."

And there we have today's blog post. And when I told Karen, she said, "you're welcome. again."

And the swim, well I have discussed the pros of CUA practice; fun people to swim with, I tend to swim faster and longer, even when I don't want to do sprints, I do sprints. The cons - it's a disgusting pool. I mean, you smell for 3 days and can't get the gross taste out of your mouth, even with beer. Oh, and the pool totally ruin your suits. But tonight - gross, nasty, dead HUGE bug on the bottom. It made me slightly nauseous.

It's called a skimmer. I am thinking of buying one to donate.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Tried

I really did try.

Tonight was the Conte's hill ride and I was all set to go. Got up early, made it to work early, all so I could leave early. I got home, changed and headed out. And then I hit the traffic. I hardly moved for 30 minutes. I was email with Karen (seriously, no comments about e-mailing and driving. I went less than 1 mile in 30 minutes. I wasn't going ANYWHERE!) when I realized my fate. So, I posted my frustration on Facebook.

Luckily, Alejandro was also on FB, and said "Want to grab a drink instead? I am in DC". Well, it didn't take me long to decided to turn around, head home, get stuck in more traffic, and call it a failed ride. Friends are awesome that way.

So, Alejandro and I met up for a (few) drink(s) on a nice roof top deck in Cleveland Park. Unfortunately, Carolina didn't know Cleveland Park Bar and Grill had a roof deck, so when she came looking for us (sans phone), she couldn't find us. Next time Carolina, next time!!

Or maybe next time I should get over my fear of riding in rush hour traffic...

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Yay Me!! Today was an event I really needed, and I am very happy with the results.

Tammy and I made it down to Richmond eventually, there is ALWAYS traffic on I95. We went to packet pick up, got last minute necessities at the bike shop, and checked into the hotel. All of this was right around the time the US started playing Ghana. I missed the first goal, and rushed Tammy (who, bless her heart, didn't really care about the game...) to the room to watch. Once again, bless her heart, she said we could go watch it somewhere. And do you know where the closest place was to watch (with beer of course)? No, not the hotel bar (it wasn't open), but Hooters. Yup, we went there to watch the second half. And I had a beer. And we had sliders and cheesy, bacon tater tots. Nothing screams pre race meal like Hooters! Needless to say, I was crying into my beer, and so was Tammy - but for a different reason. (EDIT - Tammy would like me to mention that there was also bikini car wash going on by the Hooters girls. Thank you Tammy, I am not sure how I forgot that part of the weekend...)

We did some shopping in the local mall, grabbed a quick bit at Panera, and were back at the hotel by 8 - to get ready for bed. Gotta love pre race day activities :-)

Race Day!
I think this was one of the first times I was so early to a race start. Races with 418 people are so nice. Different, low key, enjoyable. And, with a sunrise like this - it had to be a great day!

We knew the swim was a point to point with a slow current. 500M - sweet, I figured I would be out so fast, even though the water was 87 degrees!!! YUCK!
After treading for about 4 minutes (another props to my water polo days for treading not taking any energy), we were off. I had a good start, drafted for a bit, and finished strong. So that means when I looked at my watch, I was once again, pissed. 10 minutes! REALLY! For 500 meters! Blah! PLUS, there were stairs (which I may or may not have tripped on) and a short distance to jog before the timing mat - so my swim time was 10:55. I can't keep blaming my slow swim times on long courses, but something is going on.
(NOTE - after reviewing the overall results, it was the course. Or the warm water. Or both. I was 85/418)

Tammy offered to drive me around the bike course, but I said no, I like surprises.
My stomach was a tad upset to start off the bike, so I sipped on some water and munched on a snack, and hoped it wouldn't get any worse.
Overall, I was pretty happy with the bike. I would call it gentle rollers with one climb. I didn't realize it, but apparently I was doing a slow incline up to the turn around, because I flew back. I really wasn't paying too much attention to my time, but was feeling pretty good. It was pretty shaded, no wind. A very nice course.
And my time - 17.1 mph! I PR'ed (personal record) my bike split!!

Well, if you read my previous post, you knew this was the big test. My goal was run a minute, walk a minute the best I could, and try to be under 45 minutes - which would be under 15 min/mile. It started off pretty well, the first mile was on a nice trail with hard sand. And shaded!! In the little subdivision we went through, Malissa passed me (she is a mulit Boston marathoner, so I was just waiting) and gave me a little up lift. After the turn around, I see Tammy from afar. We start doing a slow run, arms wide open, towards each other. This was followed by a slow motion run - with Chariots of Fire playing in my head (and later I found out, Tammy's as well). We had a quick chat about the swim (that it sucked) and continued our on way, but first -
Me "Come on Tammy, CATCH ME"
Tammy "Slow down"
Everyone else - strange looks
Us - hysterical laughter.

The rest of the run continued with my 1:1, and I was happy. I was moving, my right foot hurt only a tad, but nothing compared to what it has in the past.

And my run time - 44:36, 14:21 min/miles. Which for me, and my first run in months, I was really happy.

Overall time, 2:05:10 (and Tammy, about a minute faster :-)

So, I am really happy with the race. There isn't too much I would have done differently. And if I stay pain-free, I think I can slowly build in some running back into my workouts.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why Do I Keep Talking About This Race?

Yes, I can do a sprint triathlon. I tend to do more than a sprint triathlon in a weekend training - 500 meter swim, 18.8 mile ride, 5k run (okay - maybe not the run part right now, but you get what I mean), really it's not that much for me. So why is this race so important??

Well, last year was a really rough time. A smidge over a year ago is when the back spasms started. This was the first tri I have ever backed out of, and I hated making that decision. This has stuck with me, and I want to fix it tomorrow. I have done a few races since the spasms started, including Augusta 70.3 (which totally kicked butt!!), but they were followed up with a lot of pain and PT. My last massive spasms was over Christmas and I have been close to feeling them come back, but have managed to keep them to twitches (yay to biofreeze and Motrin!!).

But my main concern to doing full races again, I haven't been running. Why, because I am afraid. I am scared running is the reason for the pain and afraid to try again. Yes, I have a bad foot and knee. Yes, my back has been bad. But it seems to be better, but I just don't know. That is a lot of pressure to put on a 5k, but I am ready. I am tired of being scared. I am tired of being afraid of what is going to happen if I try. One of my favorite not-suitable-for-children musical lines is "There is a fine line between love and a waste of time", there is also a fine line between reasons and excuses.

Also, I want to do another Ironman. I really do. I want that feeling that I can't put into words, but smile every time I think about it. This year it wasn't in the cards, but maybe 2011. There are some amazing people talking about doing their first IM's next year, and I want to be there with them, doing the race. In 2008, I only did one 13.1 mile run, a handful of 10 milers, and a lot of maintenance runs, and I finished. I KNOW I can do it again. I WANT to do it again.

Will all be answered tomorrow? No. But I want to have fun, enjoy myself, and not be afraid of that pesky third part of a triathlon.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I Am NO Michael Phelps

Tonight was my date night with Karen. Swim, yoga, dinner and gossip. Good times!

But the swim, I was a bit off. My stroke didn't feel natural or strong. I never got into "that rhythm". Things did get a bit better when Karen's coach hopped into the lane with us - and made me lead, but not much better.

Then I thought - had I swam since Eagleman? The Monday my parents were here, Wednesday I had an appointment, this past Monday I was in Milwaukee and Wednesday I went in for a bike fit-tweak. So nope, first swim since Eagleman. No wonder...

Well, I am off to pack to head to Richmond tomorrow. Oh, and the swim "The river is 85 degrees with a current speed of 1.25mph, lake like, but with movement so not a yucky stagnant body of water!"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hazy Hot and Humid

It's about time that title came up. Today there was a high of 95 - which I can only assume it was pretty close.

But yes, even with the heat, I still crawled out of bed and went for a ride. Karen wasn't there. AJ wasn't there. Brooke wasn't there. Mary Elizabeth wasn't there. I had no one to blame but my self. And it was HOT! I was sweating before I finished getting my shoes on.

But, I got in a decent 17-ish miles and made it to work on time.

And as much as I hate mornings, and as much as I hate the heat and humidity, it does make for a wonderful sunrise.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

tMan, time does fly. Things have been a bit crazy lately.

After Eagleman I had a few more days with my parents. Some fun family Chadwick time. This was followed up by a few busy days at work and a flight back home to Milwaukee. Yup, I figured 3 days away from my parents was too much so I flew home. And there was a baby shower to attend. AND Father's day!

So, what did all this mean? Food. Shopping. Food. Pedicures. Food. Beer. Cheese. Food. Wine. S mors. Shopping. That was my 4 days at home.

This also means I haven't worked out much at since Eagleman. Which isn't the best as Tammy and I are headed down to Richmond for the I Love the Tavern Triathon. Which includes a 5K run. And I really have no idea the last time I went for a little jog. Soooo.... we shall see...

But first, let's see if I get up for my ride tomorrow....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2 More Eman Stories

As you know, I am pretty sun burnt from not having long enough arms to reapply my back with sunblock in T1. Karen had the same problem and had this story to share.

a coworker just asked why i was so sunburned and i said my big race was yesterday.
he asked how i did and what race was it?
i said, it was a half ironman. it was a tough day, i was happy that i finished.
he said, oh. i played golf yesterday. it was really hot!
congratulations to you, coworker, on your round of golf.

Nice snark Karen. APPROVED!

Also, triathletes often write race reports on our DC Tri Club forum. It's to share stories, brag, trash talk, and just let others know the ups and downs of a race. There were a bunch on Eagleman for this past weekend, all with the common theme of "The swim was long. It was hot. There was wind." Things I have already said.

However, Sandy had nice little write up, channeling her best Dr. Seuss, and I asked if I could share with you 7 readers (even though I think 4 of you have all ready seen this on the forum...)
I do not like swimming without suit,

Too long swim course was no hoot.
I do not like swimming very far,
Especially if there’s no pool bar.
Bike ride was so flat and breezy,
Pedaling non-stop was not so easy.
Puked on the bike, puked on the run,
Sunburned skin is no fun.
I do not like sun here and there
I do not like sun everywhere.
I gutted it out, towards the finish line I ran,
I’m so glad to be done with you, Eagleman.

Well said Sandy. Well said.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

57.2(+) Miles Baby!!

So much to say... where to start.

I made it down to Cambridge around 12:15. It was just enough time to grab my packet, change, do a quick ride with Karen, and make it in time for the 1 o'clock race meeting.
The best part was after when we were talking with some other DC Tri peeps.
Karen to Tuan "What wave are you in"
Tuan "Wave 6. You?"
Karen "7! Right after you!"
Tuan "I'll pee"
Me - fall over laughing.

After racking our bikes, Karen and I headed to the Days Inn for some hydration (water, thank you very much), rest, and watching the US vs England game. Then dinner at a super cute Italian restaurant in historic downtown Easton with Trisha, Jen, Dena, and Jelena. And of course, an early bed time. The alarm was set for 4:40 A.M.

Sunday - Race Day!!
I actually wasn't nervous any more. I knew it would be hot and windy. And there was little else I could do for the day. After transition was set up, it was off to the DC Tri tent. And this is where I learned that this would be my first non-wetsuit race. Yup, the water was warm enough were wetsuits were not allowed. I was so thankful I grabbed my DC Tri top last minute. It went against my "nothing new on race day" rule, but it was better than swimming in a sports bra...
I was in wave 13, the second to last, so I had plenty of time to relax. Oh, and there was a 15 minute delay.
The swim
Not much to say other than it was WAY longer than 1.2 miles. I am sorry, but it does not take me 45 minutes to swim 1.2 miles. There was not a strong current, no chop (despit swimming in a river called the Choptank), and my sighting was fine. After talking to others, everyone felt the same - it was a long swim.
Oh, and the nothing new on race day - I should have listened. HUGE chaffing under my arms. Oops. But still better than swimming in a sports bra!
Pretty simple as I didn't change. It was just gobs of sunblock, socks, shoes, knee brace, helmet, sunglasses, gloves, and race belt - and I was off. Well, it took awhile to clip in, hence the happy look on my face that I didn't fall over...
The bike
I am very glad I have been on the course before. I knew that when it was windy in some part, where I should hammer in others. The issue was that the hammering part was in the beginning and the last 15 miles were into the wind. It's hard to hammer the first part of a 56 mile ride.
Overall, I was pretty happy with the ride. I did pretty well for my self, considering the heat and wind at the end. There was some foot pain around mile 45. Some massive stomach cramping around mile 35 til the end that made areo very difficult. I did one good deed by stopping and sharing the love of combos for a guy with some serious cramping issues. And finished the bike in 3 hours and 32 minutes. YAY ME! But boo to non long arms to use the gobs of sunblock over my entire back.
No run
I can't say how happy I was to not be running. The last part of the ride overlapped with some of the run course and I got to see a lot of DC Tri people. It looked horrible - especially because I really do not like running. Seeing great runners struggle - eek. My fear was I would have finished the swim and bike and thought that I could manage the 13.1 mile run - nope. So not an issue. One report said it was up to 107 on the black top, in the sun, with no shade or breeze. BRUTAL!

I was so proud of all the DC Tri people, and everyone who did any part of Eagleman. It was a tough, tough day. Which could only be celebrated in 1 way - SONIC!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wet Dog and Worms

This morning I got up to ride. It was BEAUTIFUL! One of those mornings when I was driving on Ohio drive, the fog was rolling in, the sun was coming up over the tree line, you could see the top of the Washington Monument, and you could see the curve of the Jefferson Memorial. It was gorgeous. I wish I could have grabbed my camera and capture the scene.

Then I started riding. At first, I was still in the moment. There was one point where the sun was hitting the layers or trees and it reminded me of my canoe guide days.

But, it rained last night so the roads were damp. And it smelled. When I went around the point, it hit me. An odd combination of wet dog and worms. Lovely huh?!?!

But it was a good last ride before Eagleman AquaVelo. Which I am a bit nervous for...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


On my lunch break today I did some counting. Yes, I am an “economist” so I often do things with numbers, however this was just for me. And had nothing to do with economics.

Sunday’s Aquavelo will be my 38th “endurance” event since April 6, 2003. Yes, I keep track of all my runs, swims, duathlons, triathlons, and now aquavelos for time, but not placement; that doesn’t matter to me. I have done 12 runs, 11 open water swims, 2 duathlons (both were supposed to be tri’s, but because of weather, were Du’s), and 13 triathlons. I have finished all but 2. One open water swim I was pulled out and DNF’ed, and one Du I was not allowed to finish because of weather.

I always find the start of the season a good time to reflect on what I have done. I have done everything from a 5K to a marathon, 750 meter to 4.4 miles swim, sprint to Ironman triathlon. I knew all of this, but for some reason going into Sunday knowing it’s my 38th event, shocks me. I am incredibly lucky to be able to participate in these events. All I can do is hope my luck continues.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ahhh... Taper

I feel like I have this question a lot. Can you taper if you didn't fully train? I always go with a yes...

In case you are not aware "Tapering, in the context of sports, refers to the practice of reducing, or tapering off, exercise in the days just before an important competition. Tapering is customary in many endurance sports, such as the marathon, athletics and swimming. For many athletes, a significant period of tapering is essential for optimal performance. The tapering period frequently lasts as much as a week or more." So this is the phase I am in before Sunday's 57.2 event.

It was the reason I skipped a lot of my swim today. Not because I'm lazy. Not because I wanted to go to dinner with people who finished first. Because I am on my taper. Yup, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

And I am pretty excited. Eagleman has notoriously had horrible logos and shirts. This years seems much better. Yay!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Saturday Night Without Spandex

Last night was one of those really great nights. Good food, drinks and great friends. Tri friends. And a night without Spandex! What a concept!!

We were luckily enough to be friends with Karen and get tickets for Taste of the South. She is on the committee so it worked out pretty well for all of us. It was this awesome black tie event full of swag (I scored some really good stuff!!), delicious food (South Carolina caramel cake - to.die.for) and tons of drinks. Also, they were nice enough to turn the Armory into the South by making it sweltering hot. It really added to the ambiance (and I stole that line from Kimberly).

Oh, and of course there was dancing. Lots of dancing. See, the picture on the right is a bunch of triathletes dancing to the "Love Train". And there was a lot of sweating. And a lot of jokes about triathlon. We quickly realized how dorky we were, but didn't care. There were 14 of us, our own little DC Tri Club Prom - without Spandex.

We clean up pretty well!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fries and Cupcakes

A totally acceptable dinner. Right? Oh, and beer too. Trisha said it was fine...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1 in DC Means...

It's hot. Gross, sweating the moment you step outside, deodorant doesn't work, never wanting to go outside, proof DC was built on a swamp - icky-ness. That also means storms pop up at any time. A perfect excuse to skip the Conte's hill ride. It had nothing to do with the fact that my legs are still sore from Saturday... Yup, nothing at all...

I do realize that I have a race in 12 days so I still need to do something. And that is why I have a trainer!! Yes, it's June and I am on my trainer, but I don't feel bad about that. I needed an easy ride to stretch out my legs, and it worked. Plus, I had a great system. The BEST show ever was on - gLee. I would take it easy at the commercials, in aero during the talking, and sprint hard during the songs. Before I knew it, 60 minutes.

And no hills :-)