Friday, September 19, 2014

T.R.U.S.T. Third Quarter

The challenge by Ali Edwards to tell our story for a year through  One Little Word continues. June was a reflection of sorts with  simple graphics so that we could focus on writing about our thoughts.

The July prompt was threefold:

1. Do something good for yourself.
That was easy. I was training for my triathlon so I gotta coach!


2. Do something good for someone else.
Gifted my Bose radio to Rick. He loves music, talk radio, political banter and all things on air.

Turn about is fair play because all the photos that I take for this blog are taken with the camera that I quite literally lifted from him!



3. Celebrate Something
Our home is no longer a construction office. We are now in a cool mid-century office building within walking distance of our home!


One of my goals this year was to conquer Photoshop. The program is so complex so I am taking an on line class. The growth is slow and steady but I was pleased to be able to layer this text on my photos to expand my scrapbook options.

 It is ironic that as soon as I gave away my music source, Ali prompted us to make a play list.


Decided to highlight the lyrics.


Starting to think about what word will speak to me next year. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Life as a Late Bloomer

For some time now, I have realized that I am a late bloomer so it is no surprise that my first Triathlon came to a close this weekend at age 59. I invite you to live vicariously through my eyes as I share some of my insights.

triathlon
an intense aerobic endurance competition, typically, in its longest form, consisting of a 2.4-mile ocean swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon run, the winner being the one to finish all three events in the least time.

Our competition was a shortened version called a Triathlon SPRINT
300 meter swim, 13.1 mile bike ride, 5K run

Tip # 1 DO NOT TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY
Advice from every competitor for miles around

Chelsea and I met on pre-race day to get marked and pick up our timing chips. Yep, they plaster your age on your leg!


It did occur to me that this badge of honor might be what the medics use to identify me.

TIP #2 SLEEP IN RACE DAY CLOTHES
Inspired by my desire to sleep as late as possible

Race site was 12 miles from home. It was dark out and trust me when I say that I have no experience with life at this sobering hour of the day.  Arrived 45 minutes prior to start.

Tip # 3 CARRY BIKE THROUGH DESERT TO PAVEMENT 
Advice from Chelsea Shepherd to avoid flat tire


Chelsea heading out for Bike 

Bikes are hung in race # order and each person is given a teeny tiny space under their bike to arrange equipment for each tri sport. 
Geesh, give a girl a break!

At 6:20am a volunteer directs us toward pool. This represents walking in bare feet several hundred yards over a thin black tarp while being very careful to protect feet. Oh yeah and I am carrying my swim cap and goggles.

Wait with 200 new friends...and wait...and wait. We were queued in groups of 16 so it took about 70 minutes and then BAM! We're up! 

I digress.

My last training run was 48 hours earlier on 9/11 in recognition of veterans. Usual pace and path only this time I got blisters! Gahhhhhh! The last mile was spent walking on the back of my shoes praying that I had stopped running in time to avoid serious injury.

Tip # 4 COVER BLISTERS WITH 2nd SKIN BANDAIDS 
Advice from Fleet Feet staff

There is nothing more distracting than something flapping around while swimming so I put the bandaids on before my swim. Touted to last 5 days, but I only needed 2 hours*

Circle swim; counter clockwise; 4 to a lane; Chelsea, Diana, Debbie, Lisa.  
Timing captain directs us to enter lane 1. I do believe this jolt might have been the hardest part of the race.  

Race start 74 degrees feels like 68.

Ready, set, push! Oh no! Goggles came flying off! Not sure how I fumbled to find them and get it all together but I recovered and I’m off!  Passed someone? FOCUS. breathe. breathe. breathe. Goggles were in charge so my usual strong wall push was more gentle than planned. Drats 'cause that was my strategy to store some energy.  

In hindsight I should have wet my goggles first. Note to self: Observe tip #1.
Should have trained getting out of deep water. I can ace it in the shallow end but we started and ended in the deepest part of the pool. It all went so fast and before I knew it I was going back over the tarp to the transition area with the first leg of the race done.

Tip # 5 CHANGE SOCKS AND KEEP FEET DRY
Advice from husband of 22 years

Decided to sit to dry my feet so that I could remove grass from between toes. Nutrition in back pocket; check,  bike socks on; check, bike shoes on; check, sunglasses on; check, helmet on; check (buckle helmet before leaving transition area so as not to get disqualified)!

Why did I not know that we had to walk over the black mat for the benefit of the timing chip? Full speed ahead and hankering to hop on my bike, I had to spin back around making sure to cross the mat this time.

Mounting area was monitored although I cannot remember clipping in to my pedals. I took off strong in a low gear determined to stick to my hydration plan of 32 oz during the ride. Pedal, pedal, pedal. Sheriff holds up traffic and I feel confident about safety. Did I mention that this is dangerous?  Dropped the first hydration bottle putting it back in its’ cage. Had already decided if that happened I would just keep going. Enter new hydration plan: 16 oz electrolytes.

East into a SE 17 MPH W.I.N.D. Enter the new normal so saddle up!
The Sunday before race day I rode 23 miles into a similar wind so I was prepared.  Competitors were really spaced out since we went off in heats of 16 every 5-10 minutes. Road conditions were sandy from a healthy monsoon season. Did I mention that this is dangerous?

On my way out I was distressed to see two people flatted but decided to thank God for keeping my equipment in working order. The ride back to the barn was amazing. Wind to my back and downhill, speed of 18-22 to compensate for the miserable speed going out.

Geesh! Why did everything on the way back look so different? Was I on the same course? Did we pass by all these horses? Did it smell this bad going out? Overshot the turn since it was not marked. Advice to race director…invest in a couple of cones!  Ahhhhhh…I see the barn and GUESS WHO ELSE! My sweetie was waiting for me so I gave him a huge wave and hopped off. It was very comforting to know that he was there. Rack bike, remove helmet, remove bike shoes/socks and dry feet. Put on run socks and shoes, sunscreen, visor and go! Go! Go! I said Go! Legs had a different idea lol! NOT EVEN FUNNY!

Finally got my legs and am now grateful that I do not have to depend on any equipment for the final leg of the race. First half mile is usually tough for me and this was no different.



Tip # 6 FOLLOW NUTRITION PLAN
Triathlon EQ A Guide for Emotional Endurance
Dr. Izzy Justice & Heather Gollnick, 5-Time Ironman Champion

Reach around to back pocket for a Cliff Bar. In my spare time I plan to make an energy bar that does not taste like sugar alcohol. Finally got my grove on just in time to pass my son in law who was parked tailgate style on the side of the road. My grand littles were cheering me on! That was a major emotional moment!

This is hard! I can hear the finish line crowd cheering and it propels me with a final burst of energy. I cross, they hand me a medal and I am a triathlete!   


DID I MENTION THAT I WAS THE SECOND OLDEST FEMALE COMPETITOR?
*Bandaids stayed put

GOAL: 2 hours
Actual Time: 1:55:51

9-13-14
Praise God!