Friday, December 30, 2011

The Danskin Run: with slapping, punching and a guy named Tim

While Ann Marie did not enjoy the swim portion of the race,

she is definitely the stronger runner.  Wait.  That may make me sound like I'm a good swimmer.  I'm not.

An homage to one of my favourite SNL skits.

Ann Marie is a running machine.  So she set the pace and I just tried to keep up.  We were very surprised to see TriGuy once again taking our picture (he's a pretty fast runner too!)

Since we were in the Buddy wave, the majority of racers were walkers at this point.  We wove through lots of chatty groups and I was shocked to discover we'd finished the first mile in 9 minutes flat!  We passed by volunteers handing out high fives.

What?  I like high fives.

We hit the turn-around and once again clocked in a 9 minute mile!  We dutifully trudged up the hill on the last mile.  As we got ready to hit the corral, there was a surprise waiting for Ann Marie:

Fresh from performing surgery, her husband was waiting by the finish line!  (He will henceforth be known as Dr. Tim because he is an orthopedic surgeon...and if you don't know his name at this point, then it is Stephan.)

As we got to the very last stretch of the race, Ann Marie yelled at me to sprint to the end.

I complied with great enthusiasm.

We crossed the finish, ditched our timing chips and got our medals (I did not die, thanks for asking :D).

The lady who finished right ahead of us came up to Ann Marie to thank her for encouraging her to run at the end.

Ann Marie was glad to have inadvertently cheered on a fellow racer.

Medals acquired and photos taken, it was time for some post-triathlon burgers and sweet potato fries!

This was my final race for 2011.  A year of hard work was over, and I had bested my 2010 finish time by a whopping 21 minutes!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Danskin Bike: 'Pain Don't Hurt' and 'Rules Don't Matter' in the Buddy Wave

When we last left off, the swim was done.  Ann Marie and I caught up in T1, then took off on our bikes.  I would tell you about the transition but I honestly don't remember.  However, based on past experiences, I'd say there was a high probability absolute positivity of this:

I let Ann Marie take the bike lead and followed at enough of a distance that I was definitely not drafting...

...often. Luckily the officials never seem too worried about details in the non-competitive wave. By the way, did you guys spot Ann Marie's cheetah helmet? So awesome.

We quickly came to THE HELL HILL.  When Ann Marie started to slow down I worried that she wouldn't make it to the top (and that I also wouldn't make it to the top).  So, I called out a little encouragement:

She kicked it into high gear! Low gear? I still have no idea.  Anyway, she hauled booty up that hill!

We successfully made it up and onto the highway. I was doing so much better than last year; i.e. I was riding my bike and not just holding on for dear life. I did have one sticking point about the ride, and that was the lady who was biking in front of me...and refusing to let me pass. (I would have had at least 5 drafting violations off her alone if they were checking.)

The route was an out and back so there was not a lot of wiggle room. I tried to get competitive and warmed up with some exaggerated sighing.

When that surprisingly didn't work, I got more aggressive. I  started to pull up to pass and yell:

At that point she would edge over to the left and speed up, so I would have to drop back. Other cyclists who were faster than me (only because of their fancier bikes of course) whizzed by us both.

I attempted to pass her multiple times because her cruising speed was slower than mine. Then I yelled at her that if she wanted to go faster she had to a) keep up her speed and b) stay to one side! I finally passed her with an exasperated:

Gosh! I'm sure she is a lovely lady; she just was lacking in basic triathlon etiquette.

There was more leap frogging on the way back, but most people followed the drafting rules of falling back when someone passed. Our very own photog was sitting on the grass, in a better position than the paid picture-taker and caught us biking in!

Before I knew it, we were in and out of T2 and there was nothing left to do but go for a run!

P.S. For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook or Twitter or Google+, (hehe) I made a CALENDAR. I think it's pretty awesome. I also think you should check it out.

I'm hoping it will be available on the international Zazzle sites very soon!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy ChristmaHannuKwanzaakah, with a Side of Serenity.

Here at Tri-ing to be Athletic we are a multi-ethnic family.  So,

Happy Chanukah!

And Merry Christmas!

And if you celebrate Kwanzaa,

(That means "Happy Kwanzaa" according to the official Kwanzaa site.)

And if you don't partake in any of the above celebrations,

I hope you're all enjoying some time off as I am this week.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Danskin Swim: now with more arms and legs!

One month after the ChelanMan race, it was time for the Danskin!

And guess whose ear was still mostly blocked?


Quick sidebar: here is an actual conversation I had with TriGuy around that time, when he was leaving town for a business trip.

(TriGuy, from another room): "I hope your hearing (mumbo jumbo bumbo wumbo)"

(Me): "What's that?"

(TriGuy now shouting, but still from the other room): "Are you SERIOUS??"

(Me, now shouting as well): "Yes. What did you say?"

At this point TriGuy walked into the room I was in:

I had been on two rounds of antibiotics and it was awesome awful.  I was pretty sure I would never hear properly out of my left ear again...remember, someone's a tad dramatic.

Anyhoo, back to the race.  As with Chelan, once Ann Marie and I were set up in the transition area (which was waaay bigger than Chelan) we set our sights on an end target and went for a warm up swim.  By the way, Ann Marie is in the red cap, which will be relevant in a minute.

We found each other and swam back to shore, then stood around nervously mugging at the camera for TriGuy.

Ann Marie was not overly confident about the swim and was wearing a non-tri wetsuit.  The benefit was that she did not feel like she was being strangled, but the down side was that it was less buoyant and colder.  I told her I would stay close to keep her going.

I made sure we were in a middle round of the mixed-age wave, and off to the side for the start.  We swam out into the chop with lots of flailing arms and legs (some of which may or may not have been my own).

It was so great to look around and see Ann Marie's red cap in a sea of orange, and be able to encourage her through the swim!

The swim was much more crowded than Chelan, with murkier water and lots of doggie-paddlers to weave through.

Finally, I reached the last buoy and headed to shore.  Luckily this race has a HUGE swim out ramp with helium markers and about 50 people standing along it to pull you out if necessary.  This meant that I did not overswim my finish, but the last 25 metres was full of seaweed (or as Tonya from Where Have All the Hobos Gone? calls it, the toilet paper of the sea).


In other news (in case you missed it):  My blog turned ONE YEAR OLD on December 7th! And I missed the day.

In this past year I've published 56 posts, started selling things on Zazzle (for a preview check out the sidebar on the right), and become a FitFluential Ambassador! But, most importantly, I have made some fabulous friends through blogging, most of whom I have yet to meet in real life!  I am so grateful for each and every one of you who follow, and for those of you who take the time to comment!

Oh!  One more thing:  if you're trying to follow and the widget doesn't work, try reloading the page.  That usually takes care of it :)


Monday, December 5, 2011

May I FitFluence Your Day?

Hey everyone!  I apologize in advance for some of the recycled drawings, but this is (hopefully!) for some new readers :D

For my first assignment as a FitFluential ambassador, I have accepted the challenge to write a post!

Oh, but not just any post.  A post about why I'm a good fitness influence.

Are those crickets I hear?

Ok, I'm just kidding.  I know I've inspired one or two people. They tell me so in the comments.  Plus there's Ann Marie (you know, the one I keep blogging about lately).  She signed up for two triathlons with me after watching me finish my tri last summer.  I was able to motivate her to go to the pool, go to spin class and get a shiny new bike for our training rides!

Forget the fact that she was already totally in shape and an amazing runner :)

Oh!  Another person I was able to motivate was TriGuy!  He being naturally athletic, he has really enjoyed the competitiveness of training together.

Just (sorta) kidding :)

People sometimes want to know how I got involved in doing triathlons, and if they have known me longer than two years, that question is usually accompanied by this look:

This is likely due to the fact that I was never much of an athlete (i.e. I was always the last picked for teams that I never wanted to be on anyway, geez!)  However, my mid-30s seemed like the appropriate time to ignore my complete lack of training and fall prey to peer pressure by signing up for a triathlon! I was out of my mind.  I made this movie for my very first blog post to recreate the convincing conversation I had with my coworker. I'm the brown bear.

And now, as required by the FitFluential team, I bring you:



If anyone is just getting started, or is thinking of getting started, these tips are for you* (but everyone else, I hope you'll keep reading anyway!):

1.  Start by getting all the gear.  You will be more motivated if you have the proper clothing and equipment.   Also, you won't look like a noob.

2.  Stretch.  Seriously.  Yes, it is boring.  But it is really important if you want to stay injury-free (take it from someone who has learned the hard way).  Join a yoga or Pilates class if that will help you stick with it.

3.  If you do get injured, don't ignore it (for the love of Todd).  If rest does not make the pain go away, seek professional help.

4.  Cross train.  This is important for several reasons.
A) You will give your muscles a break by not overexerting them from repetitive motion.
B) You will not burn out on one activity.
C) Each activity will be beneficial for the others.  In other words, swimming will help your back for biking, biking will help your legs for running, etc...

5.  Hydrate.  It just isn't a good idea to burn 5,000 calories in an hour or two with ne'er a drop to drink.

Water is fine, but if you want to drink your electrolytes and sodium, try out different sports drinks until you find the one that works and doesn't hurt your stomach. (Dilute it when you start out and add more gradually.)

Oh, and take small sips.

6.  Try an activity that challenges you.  That way you will focus on developing the skill rather than on dropping pounds or toning up.  You'll find that those changes will be a great side benefit to the confidence of doing something you never could before.

No wait, not that.

There we go.

7.  HAVE FUN!!  Honestly, there is no excuse for doing a workout you get nothing out of, to wind up looking like this:

when you can look like THIS(!):


Thanks SO MUCH to FitFluential for adding me to the team!  I am in awe of all the incredibly talented people who contribute to the group!

*You all know you should seek professional medical advice about exercise, right?  

EDIT:  I'm linking up with The Blog Entourage this weekend!  Come stalk some bloggers with me!



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