Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

He said he wanted to be a rocket ship.  And Dave made him one out of posterboard and duct tape.  So creative.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Thank You Oiselle!

The Friday we flew to Oklahoma I was looking around on Twitter and Oiselle was having one of their Friday tweet contests.  Each Friday they hold a contest with different themes.  This one was for #startinglines so of course I tweeted about my starting line at aquathlon nationals that weekend.  And I won!  I got a $50 gift certificate to their online store which I promptly used to buy this:

This is the Lux long sleeve base layer.  It is so comfortable and warm.  Almost too warm, actually.  Each time I've worn it I've had it off within a mile because I was too warm.  But it kept me warm last week while hiking in Colorado. 

Wait?  What?  I went to Colorado???

Monday, October 26, 2015

Rewarding Myself

After my good performance at aquathlon nationals I decided to reward myself with a new swimsuit.  After all, I will be spending a lot of time in the pool soon.  I got this from  It was inexpensive and cute.  

The only weird thing about this swimsuit is the red liner turns the whole swimsuit pink when it's wet.  I guess I'd rather have pink than see-through.

Do you reward yourself after good races?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Swimming is Dangerous

Who knew that swimming could be dangerous?  I've always thought of it as a pretty safe workout since you're not pounding your body and using only the water as resistance.  Turns out, I was wrong.  Earlier today I was doing my workout, went into a flip turn and OUCH!  I got my toe stuck under me while flip turning and pushed off the wall like that.  Immediately I knew it was broken.  Of course, being the good athlete that I am, I immediately stopped my watch and then checked out my toe.

This is what it looks like now.  Should I call the doctor or just tape it to another one and keep on?

Friday, October 09, 2015

It's Not About the Marathon

(...the future title of my autobiography)

When you tell people you run they ask you if you do marathons.  When you tell people, yes, you've done a marathon they ask if you've done Boston.

Been there.  Done that.  Time to move on.

I am so excited to have done so well at Aquathlon Nationals and am even more excited to train and compete at the World Championships.  In 2016 I had planned on training for a PR in the half marathon and maybe, maybe do a fall marathon.  Well, scratch that.  I don't want to do either.  It's most likely that the Aquathlon World Championships will be a sprint race - short swim, short run - and that's what I want to train and compete with next year.  My race schedule is probably only going to include 5ks and 10ks.  I'd also like to try my hand at some swim meets.  And I also somehow got roped into doing the swim portion of a relay at the new Ironman 70.3 Delaware, Ohio.

The new season is going to be awesome.  I can't wait to get started.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

September Totals

Hey look at this!  The husband found a way to get some of my GoPro pictures.

Nice T-Rex arms!  Raaawwwrrr!
Anyway, let's talk about September.  I did some running, lots of swimming, and lots of working.  Here's the lowdown.

Swimming - 30,100 yards ~ 17.1 miles
So much swimming.  So much more to come.

Running - 45.27 miles
Getting there, slowly, but surely.

Strength - 1.5 hours
This was probably more as I would do my rehab exercises throughout the day and then not record them. 

YMCA Visits - 11
Cost per Visit - $3.42  (They finally got us on the employee discount!!!)

I have no idea what October will bring as it is the end of the season and it's a long way to go before my goal race next September.  Tune in, though.  I've got big thoughts...

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Our Whirlwind Weekend in Oklahoma

As of Wednesday morning last week we were driving to Oklahoma.  Plane tickets were atrocious!  We were going to take two days to get there, two days to return, and we would be bringing Anderson.  But, we kept searching the internet and finding different options and finally by Wednesday afternoon we had found a more reasonable set of plane tickets.  We would fly out of Dayton to Tulsa and we would need to leave Anderson at home for the weekend with my parents.  The plan was in motion.

Dave Runs a 5K
We arrived into Tulsa late Friday, checked into our hotel, and immediately fell into deep sleep.  Our alarms were set early, though, as Dave also wanted to do a race in Oklahoma and found a small 5K at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.  It wasn't a very big race, and not particularly fast, but Dave did walk away with first in his age group.

Oral Roberts' campus 

We're Going to Jail
After Dave's race we drove to Oklahoma City for my race.  Our trip involved a toll road.  Dave had done his research prior to the drive and we had enough cash for the trip.  Or so we thought.  Most of the toll stations were not manned and required exact change.  Luckily there were change machines so we got lots of quarters for our $5 bill.  We thought we would only have to pay $4 for the whole trip.  We were wrong.  At one point we didn't have enough money and had to write a check.  Yep a check.  For $1.15.  Then, after lunch, after we had made change for more money, we made it to another toll stop where the fee was $1.15.  For some reason, Dave had to make change again.  Except this time, the change machine didn't work.  And we only had a quarter.  So we put the quarter in the machine and drove away.  We are fugitives from the law.  Oklahoma wants us for our 90 cents.

PS - We paid that 90 cents when we came back on the toll road on Sunday.

Thin Walls
El Reno was the location of my race.  Although a suburb of Oklahoma City, it seemed like the middle of nowhere.  There were a few establishments and very few hotels.  We stayed at the Best Western which should have been renamed the Worst Western.  It was awful.  We were right off the freeway which was loud.  Then there were the thin walls.  I could hear every time someone went to the bathroom, flushed the toilet, had anything to say, and oh yeah, the neighbors having sex.  MULTIPLE TIMES!  I was starting to wonder if there was a prostitute in the room next to us.  There were truckers who would park at the end of the motel and I was wondering if they were keeping company in the room next to us.  After the second sexual encounter I thought if I heard it one more time I was calling the cops or the front desk, at least.

Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial
On our way back to Tulsa after my race we detoured to downtown Oklahoma City to see the bombing memorial.  I had seen it before, I think, more than 10 years ago.  Dave had never seen it.  It's so very neat: poignant, artistic, somber, beautiful.

I Heart Tulsa
Our last night in Oklahoma was spent in downtown Tulsa.  We were able to walk to many activities and really took advantage of the local scene.  We started with a trip to Valkyrie which is a bar like you might see on Esquire's "Best Bars in America."  There is no menu at this bar.  There are seasonal drinks written on a chalkboard or if you don't like any of those, you tell the bartender what you like and he'll mix you up something special.  My first drink was some concoction that had a whole bunch of unknown alcohols to me.  The only thing I could name was strawberry syrup.  It was fruity and spicy and awesome.  Dave had a mule with carrot juice, cinnamon, and ginger.  It had a little kick but was really good. 

We walked to Guthrie Green where we took in some live music.  Then we walked to "The Center of the Universe" where science met art and we made cool echos.  Dave and I got engaged under a whisper arch so this was super cool to us.  Dinner was at Mi Mexicali where we had some tasty food and margaritas.  Then it was back to Valkyrie where we enjoyed a second round of drinks.  Mine was called "The Bees Knees" and was a gin martini with honey and lemon.  Dave had "The Schute of All Evil" which had beet juice in it.  To me it tasted like eating the earth.  I'll stick to my fruity drinks.  Our flight was stupid early the next day, so we called it a night.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Aquathlon National Championships 2015

Swim confidently.
Run aggressively.

Aquathlon (swim/run) is a sport I have always thought I'd be good at and always wanted to try, but unfortunately, they're really hard to find locally or even in the whole state of Ohio.  Early in 2015 I established that I wanted to go to the national championships and try to qualify for the world championships.  Obviously, everything got derailed when I broke my hip.  In mid-August, though, the doctor, physical therapist, and coach gave me the green light to go ahead and do this race.

My training has been spotty at best.  I've put in the time in the pool, but I've been tentative about my running.  I've done some running but nothing as long as six miles and nothing with speed.  Honestly, I'm scared to push the hip at this point.  In addition, I put on quite a bit of weight this summer and haven't taken any of it off.  I've eaten and drank horribly and have overall felt like crap.

Nonetheless, we planned a trip to Oklahoma so I could compete in the race.  I had a hard time wrapping my head around the price of the trip versus the total time of the race versus my ability to actually qualify for the world championships.  We always came back to the fact that I was "racing the states" and I didn't have Oklahoma.  Excuse, enough, I guess.

More on our overall trip to Oklahoma tomorrow.  And now, on with the race.

The swim was a 1500m triangle open water swim in Lake El Reno.  The water was a cold 67 degrees and murky.  Ah, just like home!  I haven't done an open water swim since Anderson was born, but things have gone really well in the pool so I figured I would be okay.  Except, I'm not very confident in open water.  I don't like to be close to other competitors.  I don't like seeing how long the swim actually is.  I don't like thinking about how deep the water is and the possibility that no one would see me sink to the bottom.  Dude, seriously, I'm a head-case!  I started too far back in the pack and almost immediately freaked out.  As I was spotting I saw a girl beside me raise her hand and ask for assistance from one of the kayaks.  Yikes!  I flipped over to my back, collected myself, and told myself to just make it to the first turn buoy and then I could quit.  As I was swimming to that first buoy I got mad at myself.  I didn't travel over half of the country to quit.  If anything, I was picking up Oklahoma!

I got to that first turn buoy and it was shallow.  Like, only up to my chest, shallow.  Several people were walking.  So, I stood up too.  Shoot, I was walking as fast as anyone was swimming around me!  Soon, though, it was time to get back to swimming and I did more confidently this time.  It took forever to reach the second turn bouy but by this time there was a light at the end of the tunnel.  Although I swam a horrible line, I still picked people out in front of me and swam hard to catch them.  Finally the swim was over.  I was plucked from the water and was headed for the wet suit strippers.

Seriously y'all.  Multisport is just comical for me.  There is always something.  For me, it happened at the wet suit strippers.  My wet suit got stuck on my wrist.  Not on my watch.  Not on a timing chip.  On my tiny, T-Rex, wrists!  Seriously?!  How much weight have I gained?!?!  It took a good 30+ seconds to rip my arm out of the wet suit and then a mere flash to get the rest of the wet suit off.

Transition wasn't any better.  It shouldn't take that long to put on socks and shoes (shoes that have speed laces in them too), grab my hat and number and go.  Yet I seemed to be in transition forever.  (In reality, it was less than a minute but it probably should have been a lot faster.)  And then I was out on the run.

I got passed.  I did some passing.  I tried to do some counting in my age group.  I ran within myself at a pace that was both swift enough and conservative enough for my hip.  At the first turn around (it was a two-looping, out-and-back course), I got passed by a girl in my age group.  She was flying.  Crap.  I finished the first loop and Dave told me that I was in 10th in my age group (in reality I was 11th) and that girls ahead of me looked bad.  I picked up the pace a little and started focusing on other competitors.  I reached one girl and we began to push each other.  My pace dropped down to about 7:50 and I was starting to feel good.  At the final turn around I caught that girl in my age group who had passed me earlier.  I wound my way to the finish line and kicked it in.  My run time was around 49:15 or something like that.

This picture pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?

Here's where things got dicey.  The top ten in each age group qualifies for the world championship next September in Cozumel.  Aquathlon follows the same rules as triathlon.  You compete as your age at the end of the year for the whole year.  Does that make sense?  My birthday is in April.  I competed as a 37 year old no matter if it was January 2015 or December 2015.  This rule sucks for Dave because he has a December birthday.  Because of these weird age-up rules, my competition was really 34-38 year olds because they would be 35-39 in 2016 for the world championships.  For the current 35-39 year olds, I finished 8th in the age group.  Applying the age up rules, I finished 10th.
Unofficially, I have made the national team and will be heading to Cozumel to compete in the world championships.  I am so excited!  

Note - All of my pictures from the race are videos on the GoPro.  I'm trying to figure out how to make them into still images.  Hopefully more pictures to come later.