Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day….


When you are a military family, have family members in the military, or friends in the military you know that this holiday is more than just a day off for grilling up burgers and dogs. Have you ever seen what an American flag looks like through NVGs? NVG’s you ask? The above picture was taken through my husbands Night Vision Goggles in Afghanistan on July 4th, 2010. When we were celebrating our independence at the local fair and thinking about fire crackers he was working.

I spent the Memorial Day long weekend at the beach with my husband,LB and close friends. While we were having a good time the reason for our long weekend was not forgotten. A sobering conversation took place  at the dinner table when The Hubs explained to LB just what Memorial Day is all about. He explained about those who did not make it home, those who gave their lives for our country and our freedom, those who stood beside my husband and his friends.  Each man at the table, 6 of them, knew all to well what this day was about. Our friends, their “brothers”.  It is hard to put into words... I actually can’t put into words what it was like listening to that conversation and looking at each of their faces. Each one of them has their own story, if they were to tell it, of a friend (or two or three….or more) who will not be forgotten.  It is a hard lesson that not many 5 year olds learn or even think about. But LB understood.  For us, it is a reality that a goodbye kiss and hug could be the last…

In The Hub’s own words, he writes:

“The wars of our generation have effected and changed us all in different ways. Our parents compare them to the wars of past. For our children, the innocence of a world without war does not exist.

Isolated by oceans, protected by money and insulated by technology, most Americans have little concept of, or connection to, the warriors that fight for us in faraway lands.

Yet for those of us that have gone and continue to go to battle, and for our families that support us as we come and go, life is no guarantee. We have all lost friends and brothers. At times we hear about it long after the fact. At times they die in our arms.

Every day we remember them. Today we honor them.

In memory: Eric Caban, Dave Textor, Jeremy Bessa, Andrew Loboscoe, Jack Martin, Frank, Joseph Johnson, Gunnar Hotchkin, and so many others.”




And so what does this military wife do to combat this reality? She runs…..

I’ll be back tomorrow with a quick beach vacation recap!

Friday, May 27, 2011

10 Miles of Newness!

So I have 10 miles on the table for the morning. It’s 11:15 so I need to get to bed or else I may not make it out the door. I am just a little bit, ok a TON…excited for 10 miles of new running scenery! I can’t wait!!

Today was a sun-filled day and there is more where THAT came from (after I run of course)!!


Yep, LB pretty much sums it up with that pic….

I wanted to remind you to enter my Saucony shoe giveaway if you haven’t already HERE!!! And get this… is having a giveaway too!! What is up with all the shoe giveaways? I have no idea but it is awesome!! So head over and check it out HERE! Who knows, maybe you will win both pairs! That would be nuts!

What are you doing this holiday weekend?

Anyone know of good running routes in Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, NC? If not I’ll hit up Map My Run. Can’t go wrong with that, or I’ll just run aimlessly for 5 miles then try to remember my way back.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer-tastic Saucony Giveaway!

Yep, with Memorial Day weekend here it is officially the beginning of summer, for me at least. Growing up we weren’t allowed to fill up our pool until Memorial Day. This holiday will forever be one of the best in my book. So what better way to celebrate than to offer you a chance to win some awesome, fantastic, amazing Saucony shoes to wear on your beach vacation? Ok, beach vacation not included but the shoes are totally perfect for summer runs on the boardwalk! And don’t worry, this is good for men and women!

When asked me if I wanted to offer a pair of Sauconys to give away to one of YOU, my awesome readers, I could NOT say No! If you recall, I recently made the switch to Saucony from Addidas and I am thrilled thus far! I am sure many of you have your go-to favorite shoes for running. BUT it is good to have a rotation, an extra pair to work with. So even if you have a good pair, or two or three or ten, I encourage you to enter! You never know, Saucony may just be the perfect shoe for you! And winning a FREE pair is the best way to give it a try, nothing to lose right?


*So there has to be a catch, you say, right? Yep, sure is! You have to pick the pink and black pair! We MUST be twinsies! And you must wear them when you run Rock n Roll Seattle with me, while wearing matching outfits!! Wait, no no no!!! This is not also a Free race entry and trip to Seattle….only the shoes are included!!!!  Ok, fine, you can also pick any pair you want, up to $100 value.

How do you enter this Summer-tastic Saucony Giveaway? I’ll tell you…I’m going to make it as easy as possible BUT really, a minute or two is totally worth $100, don’t you think??

Please leave a separate comment for each entry!

REQUIRED: Visit the Saucony page at HERE and take a gander at all the amazing Saucony shoes and let me know what you would pick if you won!

Extra Entries: (comment for each)

  • Like on Facebook HERE and let them know I sent ya!
  • Like 5 Miles Past Empty on Facebook and give me a holla on my page! =)
  • Follow on Twitter HERE
  • Follow me on Twitter HERE
  • Tweet the following about this giveaway: I’m gonna run fast in a pair of FREE Saucony running shoes courtesy of @5MilesPastEmpty and @OnlineShoes_com
  • Link this giveaway on your blog and/or facebook (comment for each)
  • Tell me how many miles are on your current pair of running shoes!
  • Where will you take your Sauconys this summer? They love to travel and run in new places, I want to make sure they go to a fun, exciting home….
  • And finally, repeat this phrase a few time slow, “Oh…..wah…….tye……..sssss…….I…” Now say it fast…

That is a ton of chances for you to win!!!! You don’t have to do them all, just the required one. But obviously the more you do the better your chances are!! The contest will end on 6/6 and the winner announced soon thereafter!

And if you have another spare second I would love your vote for my blog over at Circle of Moms Top 25 Health and Fitness Mom Blogs HERE!! I’m hanging in there!!!

*there is really no catch…you don’t have to pick the pink and black ones and we don’t have to be twinsies…and you don’t have to come to Seattle or run with me. Stop freaking out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I’m Going to Tri Camp!

I feel like a High Schooler getting ready for basketball camp, only not really….I’m 32 and going to the beach house for the weekend with my family and bringing my Garmin, Saucony running shoes, Tri bike, Speedo racing suit, swim cap, goggles and GU. Sounds like TRI CAMP to me!!! Woooooo Whoooooo!


Obviously it is vacation so what in the world has happened to me that I have come to the point where a vacation on the beach includes all my favorite workout gear? I can’t wait for my 10 miler in a beach town, to wake up and have an early morning swim in salty water,  I am excited to explore on my bike? Is this a vacation? You bet your boots it is!!

It is glorious!

This morning I got around as early as I could and headed to the track to meet Sarah (she’s coming to do Seattle RnR 1/2 too!!). I had speed work on the plan. I have been slacking in the speed work department big time so it is time I stop slacking and pick up the pace. I have about a month before Rock n Roll Seattle and I think that is enough time to build some speed. I got to the track and it was H.O.T. Hotter than a mug. Smokin’ hot. Humid. Not good…and it was only 9:30 AM. I did my warm up lap and started in on my 6x400’s @ 5k pace (or faster) with a recovery lap between. It was rough but I had no choice but to complete the workout.

Below are my splits. As you can see the fast ones are much faster than my 5k pace. I wish I could run a 5k at a 6:52 pace or even a 7:18 pace!! I’d like to take a training cycle and start training for a 5k race distance and work on speed but there are so many races on the schedule…so many that I want to do and I just can’t fit in a 5k training plan. At least not right now.


After the run we were melting and I was stoked to be heading to the pool! As you can see I had a rough workout…


no comments from the peanut gallery about my diving form…

The pool is pretty much empty. For now. It is not officially opened until the 28th but for some reason they are open now and I was privy to the info! Lap swim the last couple of weeks has been awesome!! Today’s swim was 1100 yards (350 warm up/10x25/4x50/1x100/200 cool down). I ended the workout with a celebratory dive into the pool! I love summer. Did I mention that yet? This was the temp reading on my way home from work:


I know I complain about the heat a lot but I have missed the summer weather! This is one thing I really missed while living in the PNW-hot summers. That is what summer is supposed to be! I just have to tweak my schedule so I don’t die of heat exhaust (and that is no joke)! Anyone else implementing summer run schedules yet?

Well just to show you how much I love summer I’ve got an awesome giveaway I’ll be unveiling in the morning!! You wont want to miss it!! Make sure you check back tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Convenience is worth $1,000,000…

For real, yo! Don’t you think?


When we moved to our current house, our current place of residence, we knew shopping would be…er, lacking, to put it nicely. The mall stinks and the closest thing to a specialty running store is Dicks Sporting Goods. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dicks. They have some good stuff, spankies, bright colored running gear, pretty much everything I guess. BUT it’s no South Sound Running Store or Fleet Feet and it is the most annoying drive across town for me. The nearest specialty running store is over an hour and a half away. But I digress…

We knew most of our shopping would be done ONLINE! Low and behold I found and they have RUNNING shoes! Check out their Running home page HERE! They have most brands you could ask for! I was drawn immediately to the Saucony Minimalist shoes!

So after combing through the Saucony shoes, one by one….I finally chose these beautiful, black and pink shoes:

The Saucony ProGrid™ Mirage

image                             image


Aren’t they great!!?

Don’t like pink? Shhhh…..     imageDon’t tell me that BUT they are also available in: White/Purple/Pink, White/Blue/Navy, Blue/Citron, Silver/Black/Blue.

What Saucony says about the shoe:

The Saucony ProGrid™ Mirage shoe is lightweight, responsive and provides a touch of guidance for the neutral to slight overpronator. This women's running shoe features a synthetic and mesh upper with memory foam heel pods for customized cushioning. The EVA midsole lends support, while the XT-900™ outsole of the Saucony ProGrid™ Mirage athletic shoe ensures reliable traction.

What The Hubs says:

“Those are hot.”

So I am pretty sure I will be ordering my running shoes from from here on out. My time is $$ and ordering online is just the simplest way for me to shop, especially when I know what I want. They were FAST and easy! And returns are super easy too!

Last night I was in a bad mood. I hadn’t gotten to workout all day and was waiting for my turn to get out on the road.  Finally things had settled down, LB was in the bath, The Hubs was doing his home workout and it was time for me to head out, in the dark, for my 3 mile run. I slid on my Saucony’s and hit the neighborhood. I was about two steps into my run when I realized something was different…my new shoes were broken in! They felt great! The breaking-in stage of shoes is rough, but necessary, and the way they feel when they are broken in is sooooo goooood. You know what I mean?  It is just a great feeling to put on a pair of running shoes that could double as slippers or flip-flops. I’m happy with my switch to Saucony! These shoes will carry me through a few exciting races: Army 10 miler, Rock n Roll Seattle, Raleigh Sprint Tri, White Lake International Tri and whatever else comes my way! Me and my Pink Saucony ProGrid™ Mirage are going to spend a lot of time together…and I CAN’T wait!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

FitFluential Ambassador-Do I Have What it Takes?


Every once in a while an opportunity comes along that you simply cannot pass up. For me, the opportunity showed up in my inbox a few weeks ago. I mulled it over, and over….and over. Am I worthy? Was this a mistake? A courtesy call? A randomly generated email? Maybe yes to all of those questions but the reality is I want to give it a shot.

Ok, OK!!! Aright already you are saying! What is it???

I am applying to be a FitFluential Ambassador for the Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, North Carolina area!!


If you haven’t heard of FitFluential then you should really check them out. I have a button on the right hand side of my blog that will take you to their sight. In a quick overview, FitFluential is a new up and coming network that is striving to connect  Influencers, or 5 Miles (and well, that would mean YOU as my readers too), with  companies whose products, missions, beliefs and passion for punishment running, fitness, and now TRIs, align with mine!! This company will give me  the opportunity to talk about fitness and products as a “messenger” and the goal is to spread the word about ALL things fitness-related to all the people in the FitFluential network-and YOU!! And get this…I would be invited to co-host FitFluential events in my area! Who wouldn’t want to get up and talk about their passion? Question though---can I wear my medals behind the podium? Too much? Nah…. In short, this is an opportunity that I believe I cannot pass up. I get pretty excited thinking about it and thinking about all the people I could reach!

As part of the application process, FitFluential wants to know what makes me All That and More….so I will oblige them, and you:

  • 70.3need I say more? Ok, I will…I swam 1.2 miles in 44 mins. I rode my bike 56 miles with some chick’s snot rockets on my leg. I traveled 13.1 miles on foot through, heat, humidity and then a tornado warning. All that and more….
  • In 2008 I ran 12 races in 11 months while my husband was deployed. I did so as a geographically single mom and a grad school student working full time. And along those lines…
  • I am a military wife and have juggled work, school, house, running and mothering on my own for months on end….
  • I have ran 13 half marathon’s
  • I ran 3 full marathons in 2010
  • I crashed my beautiful tri bike going down a hill at 25 mph and was up and training in less than a week.
  • I have motivated and encouraged my readers and friends to get out and get active!
  • I’m a great dancer…wait, nope..not that. I can’t dance.

I don’t need your votes or anything at all! I know, can you believe it? But what I do ask is that if I have encouraged you or motivated you in any way over the last couple of years just let me know in a quick comment. You don’t have to go into details but really, that is what this is all for…to share my story and encourage others!! And if you are so inclined you can visit their Facebook Page  or twitter (@FitFluential) to put in a good word for me!

And here is a little video I put together!

FitFluential Ambassador Video

Thanks everyone! I know that this could not be possible without YOU! I hope you know that you all have encouraged and motivated me as well! You have often been the little push that keeps me going, that pushes me to the finish line! I truly hope I have been a force to your finish as well!

Friday, May 20, 2011

What is going on here!!

My new diet plan had me eating a bowl of cereal with milk and a serving of peas just now. Random?  At 9:45 AM? I think so…the idea is a certain ratio or carbs/fats/proteins so who am I to question the diet guru. I just eat my Honey Nut Cheerios with low fat milk and I delicious peas.

I spent three days completing my training plan through Nov 12. In my plan I have integrated Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon, my sprint tri, my international tri and full marathon training. It is a doozie of a plan but I know I can handle it. You know how I know I can handle it? Because I trained for and did 70.3. THAT’S HOW I KNOWCan you say Empowered?


Here is a little peek at the plan. My full marathon training falls perfectly after the sprint tri. I’ll be doubling up for 9 weeks with Tri training and Full training. Luckily as the mileage picks up I’ll be laying off the bike and swim a bit. I’ll be able to focus strictly on running for the last 9 weeks.


I finally took my medal off and hung it on the wall….I was starting to get funny looks.


And finally, I know you all are sick of hearing this but if you have a second I would appreciate it if you would head over to Circle of Moms and cast your vote! You can do it every 24 hours from every IP address you have, to include your internet enables phones. I can’t believe I already have over 140 votes!! You all are the bees knees!!!

Ok, off to get some work done and squeeze in a run!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

70.3 Final Thoughts

…That was nuts.

I still feel that way, still believe that…still want to give it another shot, but not any time soon. My race schedule is quickly filling up with my next race being a local Army 10 Miler on June 10, Seattle RnR 1/2, Raleigh Triangle Sprint Triathlon, Inside Out White Lake International Tri, Thunder Road Marathon….Whew! That is a mouth full! And my legs shudder just thinking of all of it!

Yesterday I went for a 3 mile run with The Hubs. My first run since the race Saturday. I could feel they were still a bit sore and tight but nothing I couldn’t run through, nothing compared to when I came off that bike. I held a decent pace (8:27/mile) but was working pretty hard so that I could keep The Hubs in sight. After our run we headed to the pool. I’m pretty sure a break would be fine but alas, I am a creature of habit and going to the pool is what I do in the morning, after a run. So it only felt normal. I needed to swim. Plus I have two tris added to the race schedule.

I have tweaked my diet, and I don’t mean diet like I am on a diet, but I mean diet like the food that I eat. I am pretty much eating the same foods just less at one time and more often. I am eating a healthy ratio of carbs/proteins/fats in six small meals a day. It is going to be hard but I’ll let you know how it works out. hopefully it will result in me getting off the plateau I am currently on.

I have been thinking about my 70.3 training. I have come to the conclusion that my training was sufficient for a finish. Not for a win. Duh. Honestly, I didn’t think I could wind but I naively thought I could do better. In order to do better, next time, I need to spend more time in the saddle, on the open road. I wish that was a saddle like on a horse, but it’s not…on the bike, in the aero position, fighting the wind for miles and miles. After that I need to get off my bike and run for at least 20-45 minutes. This is where I failed. Age group ranking: 27th out of 30…ye-ouch.

In the swim I did pretty well. Age group ranking: 19th our of 30…I’ll take it. Ok, not quite top half but I am still thrilled with that.

The run, I don’t need to go into details but I’ll just say, Age group ranking: 24th out of 30…whatever, I was trying and dying.

In the end of it all I have accomplished a huge goal that I set out to reach. I can’t seem to take off my race shirt…It gravitates to my hands in the morning when I am getting dressed. Weird. I am proud. Sure, I wish I had done better, hit my 6:30 goal but really, for a first timer I am happy. Now I know what to do differently.

  • Quicker transitions
  • Better fueling on the bike
  • More bike training
  • More bike to run bricks
  • More cowbell…..

More! More! More!!!! =)

And finally, The Hubs did the Sprint Tri Sunday and he did awesome!! I am so proud of him!! And he loved it! He’s hooked! If he had things his way (and he usually does, what can I say?) we would be tri-ing every weekend! He is already registered for a weird double tri the weekend I’ll be in Seattle. Not gonna lie, I’m A LOT jealous…but like he said, I’ll be racing too and visiting friends!!  Here is The Hubs in action (I think he needs a new blog name, so if I randomly change his name it’s not because I have a new husband but rather because The Hubs is not snazzy enough for him….):

Coming out of the water…


His transition to the bike was too fast! I couldn’t get from the lake to the Bike entry in time to catch him. But here he is coming off the bike:


Here he is hauling buns… This is when I yelled, “Run faster!!!” Only a payback from when he yelled at me to run the day before. The crowd laughed when I yelled at him, probably because he was obviously already running warp speed.


And then, I failed. BIG TIME. We were watching everyone come in to the finish and I was cheering and having fun when I say some poor guy about to be passed, right in the home stretch. I started yelling, “He’s coming for you!! He’s coming for you!!!” And about that time TORC (Jessica) yelled, “Go Jonathan!!” I said, “WHAT?” and did a double look, it was MY HUSBAND with the Kill Look in his eyes, passing that poor dude and burning into the finish! I started yelling for him and the poor guy getting passed was probably totally confused.  In my defense though, The Hubs had pulled his tri-suit top down to his waist, I wasn’t looking for a bare chest…and he was wearing a visor…he NEVER wears a visor.

Here he is, finished.


Tri #1 complete!! He just looks fast….


And yes, I was wearing my medal…the day after the race. DORK, yes I am…


Finally, thank you all for all your support during my training and tri-ing! I can’t even tell you enough how awesome you all are and how your encouragement helped me along the way. So THANK YOU!

If you have a spare moment, and you think my blog is deserving, would you please head over to Circle of Moms HERE and cast your vote for my blog? Last I checked I was #28…I’ll take #25! =) I would really appreciate it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

White Lake Half Iron Man-The Run…

Dun dun dun……

Ok, a few house keeping things on the agenda. If you have a spare moment I would love it it you hit the button over on the right hand side and vote for me as one of the Circle of Moms top 25 Fitness Blogs (you have to lick the little tab that says Recently Added). I have some STEEP competish but since when does that keep me down???

Rewind a bit to the bike again….

Ok. Now I realized I had forgotten to tell you all something. Remember a while back when I was worried about needing to go to the bathroom while on a 56 mile bike ride? Yeah, I remember too. I looked it up and found out you just goyou just let it go right there on the bike. So I was riding along, for 3 hours and 29 minutes (or 56 miles) and it hit me. I had to go to the bathroom. There wasn’t a single port-a-potty, hadn’t seen one, no indication of one coming up…I saw a dude ditch his bike and head for the trees. I wasn’t feeling that. 1. I didn’t want to stop and 2. I didn’t want to stop. So I did what any Awesome Half Iron Woman would do…I tried. I tried hard. I had to laugh at myself for trying and failing. So I promised to tell you all if I peed on my bike. I am proud to admit that No, I did not.

The Run

I came off the bike in not-so-good shape. I was hurting. My legs were on fire and stiff. I could tell this was going to be a looong 13.1 miles. I changed out my biking shoes for my running shoes, threw on my hat, got a drink of water and made a last minute decision to leave my Nathan Handheld water bottle behind. A decision I did not regret. I grabbed my Chomps and made my way to the Run Exit. My legs would not move but I had a cheering squad and my pride would not allow me to walk. So I ran….


You can bet your bottom dollar as soon as I was out of sight of the Hubs and friends I walked.  I hung my head and walked. I couldn’t believe how my legs felt. They were so tired, sore, tight, dead. I was seeing some pretty fast people coming in to the finish and I was just starting out.  They looked tired but strong. I felt awful. I was mad at my self for walking but I kept thinking I would loosen up and find my groove, “Only 13.1 miles. I can do this. I do this all the time. No biggie. At least it’s not 26.2.” I tried to convince myself but it wasn’t working my legs were simply shot.

The run took us all the way around the lake and about 200 meters from the finish line where we would turn around and run back around the lake.

We had to run on the shoulder of the road. It was about 3 to 4 feet wide at times and we had to stay between the cones on the out and back. So as you can imagine it got crowded with all the runners on the way to the finish. I felt like I needed to get out of their way, after all they were practically winning. And I was walking. I got into a run/walk rhythm and tried to run for 5 min and walk for one, but that didn’t really work out.

At Mile 1 I came up to the Port-a-Potty. I still had to go from the bike so I ran in. It was SO hot in there, it had to be over 100 degrees. I immediately got light headed and felt sick, I was already hot (it was in the 90’s by now and humid) but in there it was suffocatingly hot. I pulled my pants up and fell out the door to puke beside the Port-a-Potty. Gross. It was that or pass out. I seriously think that if I had spent even one more second in there I would have passed out or suffocated, instead I just threw up all my fluid. I walked 100 yards to the first Aid Station. There they had water, something else (I don’t remember), coke, chips, pretzels, orange slices (I took two), salt pills, and a bucket of freezing ice water with sponges. I grabbed a sponge and wiped my face, arms and neck down and shoved it in my sports bra. I started to run again and hoped to run all the way to the 2 Mile Aid Station.

Didn’t happen. When I was actually running I was holding a good pace, between 8:50 and 9:20 min miles. But there was no way I could hold it for more than a quarter of a mile at a time. My legs just would not move. Maybe, now that I think about it, maybe they were cramping. I have never experienced this feeling before. Ever.  So I continued my walk/run and tried to push the run as far as I could. My walk became a super mall-walker type of walk. Embarrassing but necessary.


It was lonely and quiet. Headphones were not allowed on the course. This was a factor, believe, in my mental defeat. Actually I’m not sure this was much of a mental defeat, I was mad at myself, sure, but the pace was not due to mentality. It was sheer dead legs. In my mind I knew 13.1 miles was fine. I could do that…it was the bike that had killed me.

The rest of the run goes much the same. I think it was at the 3 Mile Aid Station where the nice girl told me to dip my hat in the bucket of ice water and put it on my head. Oh sweet heaven it felt so good! I wanted to put my whole body in that bucket. It was so hot. I drank a lot of fluid and poured a lot of it on me. I was not fueling properly. I set myself up for failure on the bike by not fueling enough. I only drank my CytoMax, no Gu no Chomps. I depleted my muscles and body of fuel. I paid for it dearly on my run.

My run/walk continued on for the rest of the way. The spectators were great. There weren’t a ton of them but there were a lot. It was cool to see the local people cheering for us. I tried to run when I was around people but it didn’t always work out. I finally rounded a corner and was about 3/4 of a mile from the turn around point. I was keeping an eye on my Garmin and it was making my angrier and angrier at myself. My time was not where I wanted to be. I had been right on with my Swim Goal and my Bike Goal. What happened to my run? I severely underestimated how hard the run would be. I thought I had the run in the bag, I thought I didn’t need to worry about it. I. WAS. WRONG. Totally, completely wrong. There was no way I was going to hit my 13.1 goal of 2:10.

I hit the turn around point and then, at mile 7 my Garmin froze up. I have no idea why, heat and humidity maybe. It was so hot and muggy, I would stop working too if I were a piece of electronics.  I was actually relieved that it was done because looking at it only made me beat myself up more and more. Now it was just me and the road, on the home stretch. 6.5 miles to go. In my mind I knew it was nothing. My legs disagreed. 

Around mile 8 I realized I had to use the bathroom again but there was no way on Earth I was going into another death trap of a Port-a-Potty. No way! I held it. Every single mile I stopped to sponge off and dip my hat in the ice water. I was starving and finally dared to eat a pretzel. It was delicious. At the next mile I gave some Sun Chips a try. They were also delicious! I was not worried about my stomach becoming upset, I was starving. Literally hungry enough to eat lunch right there. I asked one of the kids at the mile 9 Aid Station if he had a sandwich back there, he looked at me funny and said, “I wish.”  I stopped eating chips, downed more water and started running again. I started trying to remember what mile that was. 9? 10? Is this next one 11? I hoped so much that is would be 11 but I saw the sign: Mile 10. Ugh. So not cool…the worst let down ever to be a mile off. Three miles to go and it felt like forever far.

All I could think about was the finish line. It was merely 200 yards to the lake. I decided I would cross the line, get my medal and go sit in the lake. I wouldn’t even take my shoes off. Probably not even my Garmin since it was dead too…Ah the lake…I couldn’t wait to go jump in that crystal clear, cool water.

Around the Mile 11 Aid Station I saw the sky darkening. We had been lucky all day to miss the forecasted thunderstorms but it looked pretty ominous.  And sure enough, just as I hit Mile 12 Aid Station the heavens opened up as if to say, “You have suffered enough, here is a shower of rain to cool you.” I have no complaints about the pouring rain or even the driving wind. I was so hot and this was saving me! I laughed to myself about how different this was from Portland Marathon and my most recent OKC Half where the rain was nearly the death of me. I was so hot and the temp dropped from probably 90 to 75 and the rain was just perfect. It washed the salt from my body and drenched me, head to toe. My feet were wet but I didn’t care. I felt so rejuvenated that I skipped stopping at Mile 12 Aid Station. I still needed to use the Port-a-Potty. I was drenched, no one would ever know if I just let it go. I tried. I tried really hard. I couldn’t. I have no idea how those people do it. I tried and it went against 30 years of potty training. I just couldn’t do it. So I held it….

While the rain and wind felt good I was a little worried that I might get picked up off the course. The thunder was so loud and lightening stretched across the sky. Leaves and debris were flying around. I found out after I finished that they were pulling people off the course because of a tornado warning, but I was close enough to the finish. I played it in my mind what I was going to do or say if they tried to get me into a van with less than a mile to go. It would not have been pretty. I was afraid to walk for fear the a race official would make me get in a van. So I kept running. Just a little bit further, more rain, more lightening, more thunder…I kept going! I saw the orange cones ahead and I could not wait to be done!!!

I turned to run into the shoot. The spectators were mostly gone, scared off by the storm I suppose.  But I was finishing! And The Hubs and my crew were all there, at the finish!! Cheering me in!!! Much of it is a  blur but I gave it my best kick and finished!

I finished!!!!

70.3 in 7 hours and 8 minutes!! I did it! I was alive. I was sore! I was wet! I didn’t need to jump in the lake after all.



As I bent over to receive my medal I said, “That was nuts.” I guess they thought that was funny because they all laughed…I still believe it was nuts.

And this one says it all….


So there you have it. My 70.3 recap. I did it. I am super proud. I am happy with my time and my effort but I feel there is room for improvement…which means…..if there is room for improvement then I need to improve.

I need to do another one.

What is wrong with me!?!?!

I’ve already been looking around for one but for now I have a sprint and an Olympic on the calendar.

Monday, May 16, 2011

70.3-The Bike…

Where do I start? Oh yes, coming out of the water and into T1. If you will recall I  was on Cloud 9. I ran from the water to my bike (good sign!! I didn’t meander to the transition area). My bike was located near the Bike Exit so as soon as I got there I saw my whole cheering squad! I heard them too!!! I got my shirt on, gloves, helmet and sunglasses, put on my shoes, took a drink of water and headed out. I had my Chamoise Cream in my hand. I knew I should apply some to my body but didn’t want to take the extra time. I also knew I wouldn’t want to stop while riding to apply it. I tossed it back onto my bag and made my way to the Bike Exit.



I made my way to bike mounting area and took off. 56 miles. No bike computer, no Garmin, no music, no company. Distance PR ahead of me.  Just me and the road. And a ton of fast people on bikes. I held strong for a good amount of time.  I have no idea what my speed was and there were no mile markers. I couldn’t remember what they said about having aid on the course either. I just rode along, peddling away.  The first half hour on the bike was awful. The road was so bad with bumps and cracks everywhere.  Road bikes are not comfortable to begin with and my tires were filled to 120 psi. Too much I believe now. Every single bump in the road was felt in my bottom. The stupid tri shorts were about as useful as a pin cushion as far as providing padding for my poor bottom.  Horrible. Every little bump was felt and noted. The bumps even caused the water from my water bottle between my aero bars to splash water out and spray me. It felt good.

Being in the aero position was tough. I held it for a while in the beginning, with my bottom screaming then my neck and shoulders began to ache. I thought about how I took a breath every second stroke during the swim, maybe that had something to do my my neck hurting? Who knows, didn’t matter. The fact was that my neck was hurting.

I passed some people. I got passed by some people. I noticed a few doing the Relay pass me. Yeah, they should be passing me. They didn’t just swim 1.2 miles… I got passed by a chick in a high speed tri suit (the same suit that J-Ninja was sporting). When you get passed, or when the other persons front tire passes your front middle tire it is considered a pass and you are supposed to let off and allow 7 meters distance in front of you to them before you can make your move to pass them back. So this chick passes me, I hardly had to let off to allow the 7 meters distance. But she didn’t even wait one meter before she blew a snot rocket out of her right nostril…then turned and did the same out of her left nostril. Gross. Biking is gross. I couldn’t miss it. I got nailed in the shin by both rockets. I nearly gagged. Gag-o-maggot! Seriously. It took me some time to recover from that. I couldn’t wipe it off, I didn’t dare take the time to do that.

As I was riding along I realized that I had no clue where in NC I was. I had no sense of direction. All I knew was that 56 miles was a long way and I was no where near done. It was getting hot and I felt my back sweating. I was thirsty and hydrating, alternating with water and Cytomax.  Finally I came to the first water station. We were expected to be able to ride by, grab a water bottle, hydrate and ride on without stopping. YEAH RIGHT. I rode on through, I was good on fluid for the time being. I did ask what mile we were at: 18. I did the math in my head: 38 more miles. Ugh. My body was aching. My neck and wrists were hurting. My girl parts were hurting. Who would purposely do this to themselves? A crazy nut job, that’s who…

I had to keep going. I figured the next stop would be around 36 miles.  It was boring, hot and lonely. I saw a dead squirrel on the road with his head crushed. TMI? Sorry but it made me wonder if some biker had plowed him over, like the one I ran over a while back. It was gross. I had to swerve to miss a turtle crossing the road too. I wasn’t about to run over that thing. I was looking around and alternating between the aero position and using the outer handle bars and fighting the wind most of the time. It seemed there was a headwind for the first 40 miles. It was ruthless. For a brief quarter of a mile I road through some shade. It felt nice to be our of the sun for a moment.

I was in so much pain I just wanted to be done. If you recall my bikes name is Nelly C.I.R.N. (Can I Run Now). I chuckled at this and thought about Tall Mom, who suggested CIRN. I was certainly feeling that way around the time I rolled up on the 35 mile mark, the second water station. I refused the water once again and was sorry I did so about 20 minutes later. I ran out of fluid. Epic Fail. It was hot and humid and I was thirsty. I was cursing myself for enjoying the spray of water from my water bottle in the beginning, now I recognized that it was precious fluid that I needed to stay hydrated.

In case you were confused, here is a pic of my water bottle, up front where I can drink and ride without having to grab a bottle from below. That is a recipe for disaster.


I wasn’t sure if there would be another water stop or not and I was beginning to worry if I might get dehydrated or even die out there on the road. I started looking for abandoned water bottles on the side of the road. In the beginning I saw a number of them but by 40 miles there weren’t any that I came across. I thought about asking someone for their water but decided not too, yet.

A woman passed me and she must have seen the rigid pain in my body because she said, “It’s a tough ride doll, hang in there.” I knew she was right. This was no child’s play. 56 miles is no joke. It is far. I felt out of my league. I got passed by guy who blew by me, somewhere between mile 35 and 40 and said, “Ride hard, baby. Ride hard.” I said something to the effect of, “Yeah, I’m trying…” But he was too fast to hear. I wondered where he came from and how in the world he is just now passing me this far into the ride. The way they start these races always throws me off as far as getting passed and knowing where you are placing. It didn’t matter. He was a dude and not in my age group so he could pass me all day long.

There was a small out and back that was probably a mile each way. I was checking out all the people ahead of me. Out and backs are fun because you can kind of see the playing field in front of you and then behind you. I got to the turn around point and kept my eyes out for J-Ninja and Breaking Pace. They were somewhere out there on the course, in the heat, suffering like I was…That brought me no peace. I was in misery and it was no fun.

Finally, I came out of the out and back and made a right turn. I saw a sign for White Lake 16 miles (or something like that). I was on the home stretch. Heading to the house…or heading to the run anyway. I kept saying to myself, swim is done, finish the bike, then fun a half marathon. No biggie. You. Freaking. Got. This. as EMZ would say. But thinking about EMZ just sent me into a whole other train of thought, if that woman can run 100 miles on a treadmill in 24 hours I can ride my bike for 56 miles. What the heck!? Who is that woman? Amazing, and so I had to ride. I had to finish. I started talking to myself. 56 miles on the bike, alone for the most part is boring. So I talked to my self. Not only did I say “Can I run Now?” I said, “Get me off the freaking bike!” “Good grief can I be done yet?” “This is the by far the dumbest thing ever…

Finally I rolled up on the last water stop. I actually stopped because I was dying of thirst. I pulled over and filled my water bottle and asked how much further and the guy told me something and all I remember is him saying, “About 25 minutes.” Ok, great, 25 more minutes. No biggie…I was on my way before I realized I had no idea how fast he thought I could be going. 25 minutes going at a snails pace, like I felt like I was doing? Probably not. More math in my head told me I could have an hour left max. I did not want to be out there for another hour. Period. I picked up the pace as much as I could but my bottom hurt so bad, and other parts too. And my legs were on fire. My quads, calves and hamstrings were burring.

Finally I was almost done. I don’t remember too much of this part. I kind of remember the dismount. I got off my bike and tried to jog it into the transition area but I could hardly walk. My legs were shot. Again my entire race crew was there, whootn and hollering! It was so great to have them there! This is only the third race that The Hubs has been to and he was an amazing spectator and supporter! I loved looking out to see him in the crowd, waving and cheering me on, it’s something I always wanted and finally, he was there to see me! I came in off the bike hurting and tired. But hearing him yell at me from across the cones and into the transition area “Run!” Was really cool. I think he was proud of me. And even though running was out of the question at that moment I knew he meant well and it made me smile.

Here I am coming in off the bike. Can you tell you my legs are toasted? I could hardly stand up.


Here is the signature pose in action…first shot of it during an event…



I threw on my running shoes, Garmin, hat and race belt with the bib. I opted to not carry my handheld water bottle….but this is for the run recap.

Overall times: Bike 3:29.03/ 16.1 mph    T2 (bike to run): 4:39

I am actually extremely happy with this time. My ambitious, I wish goal was 3:30. I hit it with 57 seconds to spare!! Now on to the run…..

White Like Half Iron Man-The Swim

The swim almost didn’t happen.  The race was to start at 7 AM but it was super foggy. The Race Director made the call to postpone the start until 7:45 AM. That only gave us more time to be nervous and moan and groan about everything.


We rented a cabin to stay in at the race site for Friday night and Saturday night. We were literally RIGHT by the finish line. It was awesome to have a Home Base and to be able to  relax. I tried to stay calm during the delay by resting….


Luckily, the fog began to lift and they decided to start the race at 7:40. I was in the third wave.  I had butterflies fluttering around my stomach  like no other, almost to the point of tears.


Once I was in the water the reality of the situation set in. This was BIG TIME. The horn sounded and I was on my way….


I had to reign it in and remember I had to swim 1.2 miles. This was no joke. I was anxious and excited and my breathing was all over the place.  I couldn’t get into a comfortable rhythm and my breathing was off. I was breathing every second stroke, which is not how I practiced and not how I am comfortable. My kicking was sporadic. I was just flailing, or so it felt. Flailing along with the crowd. There was a bright orange buoy every 100m. So I just started counting buoys. Before I knew it I was at the turn. I can’t remember how many meters out it was but I felt good to have made the first turn.

The lake was 70 degrees, perfect swimming temperature. I was ok without my shorty, I forgot it at home anyway. It was so clear that I caught a glimpse of something shiny on the bottom. For half a second I  contemplated diving down to get it. I thought better of it and continued on my way. I started to concentrate more on my kicking and my stroke and at one point I fell into a nice groove with a guy swimming next to me. It was kind of like running next to someone, only not really. There was no conversation, just stroke, stroke, stroke, breath, stroke, stroke, stroke, breath….That was the turning point for my swim. Being in rhythm with him helped me get my kick under control and my breathing more consistent. We swam maybe for 100 meters before he kind of started angling off course. Maybe he was tired of me or maybe he just got off course…that happens. A lot.

At one point I had to stop almost completely when a dude just cruised right on by, in front of me, going perpendicular to the race course. It is kind of funny sometimes, it is like trying to run a straight line with a blind fold on. Just doesn’t work out most of the time. I let him go on by and then got going again.

This swim was pretty calm compared to a few I have done. I only recall one kick in the head, one punch in the head and a punch in the back. It didn’t hurt it but the punch in the back was kind of random. Usually all this happens in the beginning, the first few hundred meters when everyone is swimming in a huge gaggle. But this punch was out of nowhere around the 1000 meter mark. I can’t really complain though because it was around this point where I punched someone in the bootie. Awkward…..Just keep swimming, just keep swimming….

Once I was on the home stretch the distance and time just kind of flew by. I saw the 1 mile buoy and realized I was so close. Oh so close to being done…I swam a little faster and don’t really remember much of this part at all. I do remember seeing the ladder. Yes. We had to swim to a ladder (there were two of them) and climb out. Once I got to the ladder I looked at my watch: 43 minutes!! Wooo whoo!!!!!  Official Time 44.16 after climbing out of the water and crossing the mat.

My ambitious, I wish goal had been 45 min swim. I thought it was possible but I wasn’t sure. I had really hoped to be out by 50 min!! I was so happy and excited! I couldn’t believe it really!! Swim was done, I was thrilled!! AND I wasn’t really out of breath or tired. I know I could have swam a bit faster…but this was my first open water swim at this distance and I had no idea what to expect. But now I know and next time….(wait, I am getting ahead of myself here).

I came out of the water and ran down the dock. Everyone was there! Cheering for me like mad! It was awesome!! The Hubs was there cheering and yelling!! Jessica was in the water snapping pictures and cheering, LB was there,  Breaking Pace’s husband and J-Ninja’s husband were there too, all just cheering like no other!


I made my way to T1 and was still elated about my swim, but it was bike time.

Oh 56 miles on that bike……Part II to come!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Holla! I’m Alive and Eazy Bandz Winner!

Ok, so so sorry for the long delay in announcing the Eazy-Bandz Headbands giveaway. Blogger was down Thursday and Friday and we headed out of town for my 70.3 early Friday afternoon…. so without further delay, I will tell you who won!!!

Matt, from Eazy Bandz actually gave me TWO to give away so one was chosen at Random and one was chosen by ME because as soon as I read her comment I knew she neeeeded one of these!!

The Random.Org winner was comment #32 Alanna Running 42K !

The handpicked winner by me is Tressa of Track Coach and Adorable Wife


Ok you two!! Congrats!!! Email me and I will get you hooked up!!!!

And I know you, or some of you, are dying to hear about my Half Iron Man on Saturday….check back tomorrow morning for at least a partial recap. Man, 70.3 is a LOOOONG ways and there is no way I can recap it in a single post! I will leave you with some teasers though!!!

  2. Awful!
  3. Hard!
  4. SORE!
  5. Pain!
  6. Never again….until next time. =)
  7. Can I run now?
  8. When can I get off this stupid Bike?

Ok, I don’t want to give it all away in silly bullet points…

Getting set up…


Waiting for GO! time!


My OFC all the way from Washington (Go Cougs!!)!


Ready to Rock! I think??


Trying it out….


And that is all you get…more to come with the recap!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

It's Time...

....and I'm ready. Ready as I'll ever be!!

We are here and currently listening to the USAT Official tell us the rules. So far I'm only slightly freaked out.

If you want to track me tomorrow, and I'm not making promises about how awesome I will be, you can go HERE and enter Bib#90.

Here goes nothing!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I Can Now Fix a Flat!

Less than 48 hours….if the weather cooperates.


Thank goodness I learned how to fix a flat tire. That is a relief, of sorts…

J-Ninja’s hubby put on a small, but very beneficial, Fix-It Bike Clinic. It was great, except he charged us 20 bucks each. Just kidding…he did say it was 20 bucks but we all threatened him to get on with it and stop all the money talk.

He set up our bikes while we were inside girl talking taking care of important details.


I have to say, having poor Nelly CIRN taken apart and flipped upside down made me a little anxious. I don’t like to see her that way and I certainly don’t want to see her that way on Saturday.


Our knowledgeable (and patient) Professor taught us to take the wheel off, take the tire off the rim, take the tube out, to put it back in the tire, put the tire back on the wheel, and the wheel back on the bike! Sounds simple…right? I know, I know. Some of you can do this with no problem. You can probably change a tire on your car too…But for us this was new and it was necessary! Breaking Pace got it down quick. She did hers three times to J-Ninja’s and my once. Show off… No. we aren’t competitive AT ALL. Why do you ask?

We got our bikes to functional condition and thought our lesson was over. Not quite.


Once more we were instructed to change a flat…in the yard. We had to leave the comfort of our cute towels and head to the yard where we would simulate a flat during a race. Of course Breaking Pace was done first…I struggled with getting the tire back on my wheel. I sure hope I don’t need to use this knowledge but I feel much better knowing how to do it.

I got home around 9 PM last night and found this waiting:


Any guesses of who it is from? Here’s a hint: “No fungus!” I cracked up when I read this!

Mel sent me this awesome little care package and it was so out of the blue and brought a huge smile to my face!

It had all sorts of good stuff in there. New hair ties, which I ALWAYS need, Gu, Chomps, a Luna Bar, a cute little note book for me to keep my thoughts in about the race, and a super nice note! And on top of that, the way this thing was decorated…yeah I’m sure my mailman thinks I am HARD CORE now.


I have lots to do to get ready between work and packing and picking up My Official Race Crew from the airport! I can’t believe it is almost time…mini freak out…



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