It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

August 30, 2011

GIVEAWAY WINNER & Shoulder Update

I had 52 valid entries for my Giveaway. chose lucky number 21 which was Rose @ Hacker Half Marathon.  Congrats Rose!  Go check out her blog if you don't follow it!  It's great!

Rose - Please e-mail your address to and I'll get your gift card in the mail right away.

Shoulder Update:

My shoulder is feeling much better.  It popped and cracked about 100 time yesterday which seems to have put it mostly back in place.  There is still some pain but not nearly as intense.  I was probably at about an 8 or 9 pain level on a scale of 1 to 10.  I'm probably more like a 4 or 5 now.  I have an appointment with a Sports Medicine doctor this afternoon so I'm hoping he'll be able to shed some light on the situation.  I'll also be curious to see what he says about my race on Sunday.  Those happy thoughts, prayers, good vibes from you guys seem to be working - so keep sending them my way!!

August 28, 2011

Why There May Be No Hyvee ......... and a 10K

Caution:  I haven't even started typing this, but I have a feeling it's going to be a long post .....if you are just interested in the 10K Recap...skip to the bottom.

As most of my followers know, I have my 7th triathlon next Sunday and my FIRST Olympic distance race.  I started seriously training for this triathlon at the end of April.  I am ready.  I put in my training, I am improving my race times from last year.  I AM READY for this RACE.....except - I am injured.  If I had to race today, there is no way I could.  I have had my share of injuries in the past from back problems, to a tibial stress fracture, foot issues.  And I swear it's like a pattern for me.  It's like my body revolts against me before big races.

The week before my first tri this year, I pulled a hamstring.  The week before and during my first half marathon of the year I was incredibly sick with a head cold and fever.  And now I have injured the rotator cuff of my shoulder - almost out of the blue.

Last week I swam twice...nothing extraordinary.  I went to Masters Swim on Tuesday and swam about 2200 yards.  On Thursday, I had a short swim of only 1000 yards.  On Wed and Thurs I was feeling some very minor pain in my rotator cuff...the kind of pain that was just kind of there, but didn't even require Ibuprofen or anything.  On Thursday, I said to my coach, you know I'm starting to get a little minor shoulder pain...maybe I'm doing something wrong.  After I finish the Hyvee Triathlon, I really want to start focusing on technique vs. endurance.  I swam Thursday and felt fine.  I went to a movie with my girlfriend after the swim and felt fine.  I went to bed feeling FINE!  On Friday morning I woke up and I couldn't move my shoulder the pain was so intense.....and it's pretty much been that way for three days now.  I looked in the mirror and my left shoulder was probably two to three inches lower than my right shoulder.  There was a visible difference between then.

I thought, I must just have slept wrong or something and my shoulder is out of place.  I struggled through the pain most of the day Friday during work and then went to the Chiropractor that afternoon.  I sat in the waiting room, dying of pain.  Tears in my eyes I hurt so bad.  I just knew that I would have relief in a few minutes though.  I went in to his office....yes, he said, it does appear the shoulder is a bit out of place.  But, your muscles are so inflamed and spasming so badly, there's not going to be much I can do for you.  I won't be able to get your shoulder in place until your muscles relax and then it will probably happen on it's own.  He did some gentle stretching and put some kinesiology tape on shoulder to help try to keep it in place.  I was devastated.  I needed relief from the pain.  I had a busy weekend with a 30 mile bike and a 10K run planned.  My last "long" workouts before my triathlon.

I can suffer through the bike and run.  I learned that this weekend.  I however, cannot swim unless this improves.  I can lift my arm overhead, but I can not lift it behind me or side to side.  If I physically try to do the movement of the high arm recovery stroke - I CAN'T do it.  Physically, the restriction in my shoulder is too great.  I cannot put my hand on my hip.  I can't put on my deodorant under the right arm because I can't cross my shoulder across my body.  I can't wash my hands, it's too painful.  I can't explain how much this hurts.

I went ahead and did my bike ride on Saturday, cutting it to a 25 miler instead of 30.  It was slightly painful, but the bike doesn't require alot from your shoulders.  Hills were a little tough, but I managed.  I had really hoped to wake up this morning and feel much better.  It has been 2 days of ice and Aleve.  But my shoulder hurt worse this am than ever.  I'm not sleeping much at all.  I can't move during the night because it causes immediate pain.  I sleep on my left side, which is the one that's injured so I can't sleep in my natural position.  I'm forced to sleep on my back...even sleeping on my right side is too painful.

I woke up this morning for my 10K and decided I couldn't do it.  I was in too much pain and running does require the use of your shoulder - at least some.  I sat in bed and cried.  Cried because I was in pain, cried because I couldn't do something simple like go run a 10K, cried because I knew my possibility of doing Hyvee in a week was fading.  And then I just got mad, and decided I was going to go run.   Jim said he didn't think it was a good idea.  He said I should probably stay home and get some rest.  I thought to myself.....would this honestly change anything?  Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't, but I was going to try.

I put my running clothes on and went and ran around the block just to see if I could run.  I had a very unnatural body position.  I kept my left arm up and couldn't force myself to swing it.  I was swinging my right arm and keeping my left still.  There was pain, but it was minimal. I might look a little silly, but I could get through it.  I wanted to race and I was going to do it.


- This was an inaugural race in Kansas City.  It's typically a trail race in other cities, and this was the only city where it was a road race.  They had a marathon, ultra marathon and marathon relay on Saturday and a 5K, 10K, and half marathon on Sunday.
- I saw it advertised in Runner's World and immediately wanted to do it.  My training plan had me doing a 6 mile run this weekend, and I thought this would be perfect.  Plus, it's the exact run distance of my tri next week.  It was a perfect "practice" event.
- Only one hitch, it was the same day as the Royals 5K, an event Jim and I have done for the last 2 years, and where I currently hold my 5K PR.  Plus Madi (my step daughter) and her boyfriend Nate were also going to do the Royals race.  It was difficult to decide, and a bit odd that Jim and I would split up.  But he signed up for the Royals 5K and I signed up for this one.
- The race was great and well organized for an inaugural event.  Dean Karnazes was there to kick off the race, and was available for a meet and great after the race, but I didn't stay long enough.
- The swag was pretty good.  You got a Northface technical tee that you had screen printed on site.  Everyone got a different color and type of t-shirt, which I thought was kind of cool and then they screen printed it with the exact event you completed.  So not everyone in Kansas City is running around with the same race shirt.  I liked the idea.

- You also go a medal, which was great too.  It didn't matter which race you completed.

- If you did the half marathon or above, you also got Northface arm warmers.  I was bummed I didn't get these....but maybe next year.
- The race was pretty hilly - as pretty much every race in downtown Kansas City is.  My calves are a bit tight after the many hills.
- It was a little cooler this morning, but still pretty humid.  I was definitely hot, but luckily some of the race was through some shaded parts of the city so you go to get some relief from the sun.
- My final time was 1:14:17 - a pace of 12:01 per mile.  It wasn't great, but it was ok, and was just over a 3 minute PR for the 10K distance.
- There were only 464 participants.  I was 405 of 464.  Man I need to be faster on the run.
- My shoulder actually loosened up during the race and felt alot better.  It wasn't much of an issue at all.  I was afraid I would end up being in so much pain I would walk, but I didn't.  I pushed through and got a PR.  That made me happy.  The shoulder pain relief was short lived and I'm pretty much back in severe pain as I write this.

That's all.  That's where I'm at.  I'm hopeful that I will improve enough to just be able to get through the swim somehow next Sunday.  I do still have a full week.  I'm not going to do much, if anything this week as far as training out goes.  If my shoulder feels significantly better by Thursday, I may go for a very short swim just to test the waters and my flexibility, but we'll see.

Anyone up for a team triathlon next Sunday that lives in the Des Moines area??????  Maybe I can switch races.

Anyone else ever had a major shoulder injury?  What did you do for it?  I would be open to anything that might help speed recovery!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't already.  It ends tomorrow!

August 23, 2011

THANK YOU for not Leaving Me.......GIVEAWAY!

Hey everyone!  It’s Michael’s THANK YOU for not Leaving Me Giveaway!

Over the past several months I have been very dedicated to my training.  I get up about 4:30 am each morning and do an am workout, then I go to work all day, get home in time to change clothes and then head out for an evening workout at least 3 or 4 nights a week.  I am rarely home before 8:30 pm.  I get home, take a shower, get ready for bed, and do it all again the next day.

I NEVER get a chance to read blogs anymore.  Maybe one day a week I get to sneak in a few.  Sometimes I read on my phone, but don’t comment because it’s just to dang hard.

But in spite of that you guys still haven’t left me.  I still put up the occasional post, and you still come by and visit, read, and comment because you guys ROCK!! You provide encouraging words and truly keep me going!   I haven’t been giving back to you the way a good blogger should, so I wanted to show you some attention by having a small giveaway.

And I’m going to make this an EASY giveaway to enter so that everyone feels like they can participate.

So, one lucky follower will receive a $25 gift card. 

So what do you need to do?  Just be a follower and leave me a comment that says you are.  That’s it.  No need to blog about the giveaway (unless you just want to), no need to have a Facebook or Twitter account.  You just have to follow me!!  Winner will be selected by  Thanks!

Entries must be received by 8pm CST on Monday, August 29th.  Winner will be announced Tuesday.

Good luck!

August 22, 2011

Oops I Did It Again!!!

PR That is!! 

Sunday, I competed in my 3rd Sprint Triathlon this Summer.  I had struggled with whether or not I was going to enter the race because it's exactly 2 weeks away from my Olympic Tri and this was my last weekend to  get in a long run and a long bike since I'll be in semi-taper starting next week.  But many of my girlfriends were doing the race and it's in my hometown of Lee's Summit.  I know the course because I swim, bike, and run there all the time.  So, I decided I would do it and just have fun, and use it as a trial run/training race for the Hyvee Tri.  I decided to keep my long run on Saturday but did scale it back a bit.  I did a 6.2 mile run Saturday, followed by a quick 500 Meter swim.  I had a pretty good training week this week, and with the long workout Saturday I knew I would be pretty tired going in to the race on Sunday.  I kept telling myself, this is NOT a race, it's a training opportunity.  It's ok if your times aren't that great.  It's a training race!  I really didn't expect to improve on my time from the previous year.......

BUT I DID!  I beat last year's time by 19 Minutes and 47 Seconds!!

I would really like to say that all of the 19 minutes were due to my awesome training, but I have to admit the swim was WAY short.  It was supposed to be 1/3 of a mile which is roughly 500 meters.  In my last tri I did 500 meters in 11:48, today I did it in 5:34.  Wow, I'm amazing!  Based on people's times we were estimating the swim was actually only about 250 meters.  How in the world they can be THAT far off I have no idea.   But unfortunately this is not the best run or organized triathlon. 

The good news is the run course and bike course were exactly the same, so I know I improved in both of those areas cutting over 5 minutes off my bike, and almost 6 minutes off my run.  I also ran my fastest 5K run (in a triathlon) finishing and the super fast pace of 11:29 per mile - but hey that's fast for me.

I'm still certainly not winning my age group or anything, but I am definitely improving and that feels great!  I was really starting to doubt myself and my ability to do this Olympic Tri in a few weeks, so this was seriously a huge confidence builder.  If I can finish this strong in a race after a full week of training, I should be ok for my big race....I THINK!

Me & Michelle with our race results - Michelle did AWESOME getting 5th place overall for the women's

Here's the race breakdown:

Race:  Jackson County Sprint Triathlon
Location:  Longview Lake, Lee's Summit, MO
Race Distances:  Swim - 500 Meters (prob more like 250), Bike - 12 Miles, Run - 5K

            Swim      T1     Bike       T2     Run      Total    
 2010   13:17       2:41   49:35    2:06   40:15    1:47:51
 2011   5:34         1:57   44:01   2:08    34:26    1:28:04 

               Place in Division (women's)    Overall Place (all genders)
2010        31/37                                   351/400
2011        17/26                                   249/334

My transitions could still get a little faster, although I did lose some time trying to find a place to rack my bike when I got back to transition to find that someone had put their bike in my spot.  SERIOUSLY???  I was pretty ticked.  It definitely cost me a few extra seconds.  I also know that my biggest weakness is definitely the run.  I was 200th place in the swim, 225th on the bike, and 299th on the run....UGH!  I have obvious improvement in all areas, but I have also improved in all areas.  Overall, I was VERY happy with my race. 

August 18, 2011

Gender Check?

My first ever Olympic Distance Triathlon is just a little over two weeks away!  Yikes, I'm starting to get very nervous.  Yesterday I received the following e-mail - my first communication from the race.

Good morning,

My registration program has an automatic gender check and your name was flagged because my computer thinks your first name doesn’t match the coinciding gender.  I have you marked as a female.  Please let me know if this is incorrect.


I guess I can't complain really with a name like Michael, but I thought it was kind of funny.  This will be my 7th triathlon, but my first "gender check".  

August 17, 2011

A Tale of Two Conversations

Yesterday, my wonderful husband (Jim of 50after40) recounted a conversation we had in our bathroom while getting ready for work.  Perhaps you read it, if not I have included it below.

Jim's Version:

The scenario: I've been up since 2:15am because I couldn't sleep ... but I'm in a REALLY great mood ... I just had a killer speed workout where I touched 5:30/mile pace for half mile stretches (my fastest ever) ... I come into the bathroom where my beautiful wife is getting ready ... and ACTION:Me:  Hey beautiful ... wow, you look hotter than ever - is this heaven, 'cause there's an angel in my bathroom!
Michael: (Silent ... no response and snarling a little)
Me: Awe sugar-baby ... what the heck is wrong ... is everything okay?
Michael: (Silent ... no response and rolling her eyes)
Me: Wow, I had a great workout ... miles 5-8 were 6:36, 6:20, 6:24, 6:27 ... and best of all sweet-cheeks, I ran long portions of my run at a 5:30/mile pace!!!
Michael: Wow ... that's amazing babe! (mixed with a little sarcasm)
Me: I'm just sayin', that's really fast for me!
Michael:  Yeah, we get it ... you're awesome! (Now the sarcasm is obvious)
Me: I think if you go touch the sidewalk were I ran ... it's probably still warm!
Michael: (Deep sigh ... gripping the curling iron a little harder now ... shaking her head)
Me: Did you work out this morning?
Michael:  No I didn't!!! Is that okay with you??? It was planned because I have a swim tonight alright??? (detecting a little tension)
Me: Is it intimidating to live with a great athlete?
Michael: You're an idiot ... when are you going out of town this week???

Clearly my improving running prowess is not appreciated in the A.M. in my house.  That's okay, I know when she says things like,
"You're an 'idiot'" & "when are you going out of town this week?"  she really means, "Wow babe, you are one of the greatest athletes I've ever laid eyes on ... and I really aspire to be like you!  Please teach me the ways of running and how to master speed like you have!  I love you!"

Now, we all know there are two sides to every story (or conversation):  The right one (that would be mine) and the wrong one (that would be Jim).  Here is my corrected version of this conversation. You will notice alot less compliments.

Scenario:  I just got finished with my morning run, I’m just out of the shower and I’m getting ready for work.  Jim knows I like a little quiet time in the morning, but he never seems to want to give it to me.  I’m deep in thought, mentally preparing for the day……enter Jim practically floating on air, overly excited and already annoying me.

Jim coming into the bathroom

Jim:  Hey babe!  I just had the greatest run of all time!!  I’m amazing!!  I’m the man!!  I should run on the US Olympic team.  (I think at this point Jim did a cartwheel or something).
            Me:  That’s great babe.
Jim:  What’s wrong with you?  Are you mad about something? (Jim clearly can’t understand why I’m not bouncing off the walls excited about his personal greatness).
            Me:  Nothing is wrong.  I’m just tired. 
Jim:  What’s wrong, are you intimated by my greatness?  You don’t understand I just ran miles 5-8 at some pace (I don’t know what he said I’m tuning him out by this point) and I had some miles where I hit in the 5s.  I’m the greatest runner known to mankind.
            Me:  Wow, that’s truly amazing (a little sarcastic, but truly not caring, just wishing I had my quiet bathroom back).
Jim:  Man, I’m fast.  I just can’t believe I’m so fast.  I’m pretty sure the sidewalk might be on fire out there I ran so fast.
            Me:  Hmmmm…yeah, probably so.
Jim:  So (lazy wife) did you work out this morning?
            Me:  No, no I didn’t.  I have Masters Swim tonight.  I have a triathlon on Sunday so I’m already running 5 days this week so I had planned to take this morning off from running.  Is that ok with you?  Or did I need to clear my morning off with you?
Jim:  Woah….is it that intimidating to live with such a superior athlete?
Me:  You’re an idiot.  When are you going out of town?
Jim:  I’m not.
Me:  What?  I thought you said you were out of town almost all week?  You need to find somewhere to go! 
Jim:  Man I can really feel the love.  You are going to get discussed on my blog today!
Me:  Oh no, not that, anything but that! (note more sarcasm here)

Jim and I do truly love each other, but clearly one of us is not a morning person.  I can drag myself out of bed every day at 4:30 am to run, but it’s usually not pretty.  Once I’m done I just need some space….Jim’s morning enthusiasm is usually not too well received in the Weatherly household.  So sue me J

August 15, 2011

Two Weddings & a Bike Tour

This weekend was busy!!!  But wonderful all the same.  I know I haven't posted much lately, but things have been crazy.  Last week I was busy catching up from the previous week of vacation....and then Thursday, I headed to Oklahoma City for my niece Ashley's wedding on Friday, and then my niece Blaine's wedding on Saturday.  After arriving home late on Saturday night, I had a 35 mile bike tour on Sunday am.  Man what a whirlwind!

Ashley and Me

Both weddings were beautiful!  It was nice to spend time with family and friends.  It was hectic and I ended up helping with Ashley's wedding quite a bit.  I was up at 4:30 am Thursday and didn't crawl into bed until just after midnight.  That meant no workout Friday.....back up Friday am and going strong all day until after midnight again.  That ended up meaning no long run Saturday.  I hated that I ended up missing my long run and a swim workout this week, but family is much more important.  And I wouldn't trade the moments I had with my family for anything in the world.

Jeremy & Ashley with my Mom & Dad

Ashley & my sister Tracee

Jim & Madi - Madi was a bridesmaid

Me & my sisters

Blaine & Jordan and Jim's sister Angi & Shane

My nieces Paije, Laken & Blaine with Jordan

Me & Jim

We got home late Saturday night, and I had a bike tour scheduled the Sunday am.  I was picking up my girlfriend Michelle at 6am, which meant getting up at 5am.  What was I thinking when I signed up for this bike tour I thought to myself when I crawled in bed Sat night and knew I'd only be getting about 5 and half hours of sleep - again - for about the 3rd night in a row.

I woke up and was TIRED.  I wanted to call Michelle and cancel, but I had already skipped my long run, and I knew I really needed to get in a long bike.  I slowly got out of bed and got moving.  I was tired and groggy.  But it was a BEAUTIFUL morning.  The weather was nice and cool.  I was wearing a light jacket.

The bike tour ended up being AWESOME.  There were a group of 7 of us that rode together.  We did 35 miles so it wasn't terribly long.  After the ride they had great food, music, and a beer garden.  We ended up hanging out for awhile and finally headed home about 1pm.

I got home, showered, and took a 3 hour nap!  I had never needed a nap so badly.  Now, it's time to start the week all over again.  I have to have a GREAT week of training this week.  Only 3 weeks to my Hyvee Triathlon, and a I have a Sprint Tri on Sunday.  BRING IT!!

I would share more stories and photos of the weddings, but I guess this is supposed to be a workout blog.  ...but I couldn't resist at least a few.  It truly was a wonderful weekend.

August 05, 2011

Working Out on Vacation

Just got back from my vacation last night.  I had a WONDERFUL time.  Vacations are amazing.  They truly help rest the mind and soul.  I feel refreshed!

The only bad thing about vacation is they get you out of your normal routine.  And with my my Olympic distance triathlon just a few short weeks away, I knew I had to stay at least moderately active while on vacation.  I didn't do as much as I normally would do, but I did stay active and I'm happy about that.  And Saturday and Sunday I will still get in my normal long run and bike, and hopefully a swim as well.

Luckily for me my friend Sam is training for her first half marathon, so she was totally up for some running or other activities while we were gone.  The weather in Hot Springs, AR was even hotter than it was in Kansas City.  Every day the actual temperature ranged from about 108 - 112 with a good dose of humidity added on just for the fun of it.  So we knew there would be no sleeping in on our vacation.

Some of our delicious meals at Rolando's (we ended up eating here twice)

We arrived Sunday night and didn't do much besides get checked in to our hotel and eat some dinner at Rolando's - a Latin fusion restaurant.  The dinner was delicious!  I honestly couldn't believe how good the food was in Hot Springs.  Monday am we woke up bright and early at 6am to beat the heat.  We headed out the door and did a nice 3 mile run.  It was fun just seeing new and different scenery.  I came back and attempted to swim in the hotel pool.  I had no idea it would be so small.  It took 7 strokes to go from end to end and the 7th stroke your hands were on the bottom of the pool because it was only 3 feet deep.  It was literally like swimming on a treadmill.  Oh well, at least I attempted it.  I estimated I did a short swim of about 500 meters or so.

The rest of the day was spent browsing some local shops, and then we headed to one of the old bathhouses for a wonderful spa day.....ahhhhh heaven.  I still had some major tightness in both of my calves from my triathlon on Saturday, so a massage was exactly what I needed!

The bathhouses were really beautiful.  There is a whole row of them that were built in the 1920s.
The next morning we were planning to run, but we were going to spend the entire day at Magic Springs and Crystal Falls - an amusement/water park.  We figured we would be walking and swimming all day in the 110 degree heat, so we probably would be ok to skip the workout.  We spent most of our time at the water park due to the extreme heat.  We stayed about 6 or 7 hours.  We had a blast.  We were completely exhausted by the time we got back to our hotel, so I felt like we definitely got some exercise in.

Having a nice dinner after a long day of fun

My friend Sam is 6ft tall (and amazingly beautiful), she makes me look very short.
The next morning we knew we would be heading out of town and I really wanted to get some hiking in before we left so we ran to the hiking trail from our hotel (which was about a mile) and then went on a 4 mile hike and then walked back the one mile to the hotel.  The hike was tough.  I definitely used some muscle groups I hadn't used in awhile.  My butt was so sore the next day!  The hike was beautiful.  We didn't pass many people on the hike (it was too hot to hike for most I think), but when we did come across a couple we thought we would ask them to take our photo.  So I asked, "hey would you mind snapping a quick pic"?  To which they replied, no problem, and immediately snuggled up for me to take a picture of them.  I thought I was going to die from holding the laughter in, but I didn't want to embarrass them, so I took their picture and then politely asked if they could now take ours.  Sam and I walked away dying of laughter.

Hot Springs flowing off the moutain

Sam and I had to work really hard during our hike moving trees & rocks out of the way

Our random friends we met :)

Hanging off the side of a rock.....

Oh, not really

After our hike, Sam and I showered, ate some breakfast and headed out of Hot Springs.  I dropped her off in Fayetteville where she lives and proceeded to the lovely Bella Vista, AR to stay one last night at a little Bed and Breakfast up in the countryside.  It was really beautiful.  There was only me and one other girl staying there that night, so it was very quiet.  I did some walking around the property, but not much and headed to bed early.  The next morning I decided to go for a swim before I left.  I started to get in the pool and I asked the owner, um is that a big worm or is that a snake.  Oh, yes, dear that's just a little ring neck snake I'll get it out of the pool for you.  UGH!!  It wasn't very big, but I'm sure glad I didn't swim with it!  This pool was much bigger - about 13 strokes from end to end.  I estimated about a 1000 meter swim!

Although I certainly didn't get in my normal amount of running, biking, and swimming I feel like I stayed active and that's important.  Now it's back to my routine.  I am looking forward to some longer workouts this weekend.

Sorry if I bored you with my vacation stories, but I did try to throw working out in there.

Do you workout while on vacation?  Or do you just use the time to relax?

August 02, 2011

WIN for KC Triathlon Race Report

Me & my friend Jenn after the race

Well, you all already know the big news...I had a great race and a 9 minute PR, but here are the race details.

Race:  Win for KC Women's Sprint Triathlon
Location:  Smithville Lake, Smithville, MO
Race Distances:  Swim - 500 Meters, Bike - 10 Miles, Run - 5K

This was my 5th triathlon.  Because I have been training for an Olympic distance race I knew I should easily be able to complete these distances, but I was expecting a super hot race.  It had been in the upper 90s to low 100s with ridiculous humidity for at least the last month so I wasn't really sure how that would impact my race times.

Me & Michelle - Pre-race
I was up at 3am and out the door at 3:50.  I picked up my friend Michelle at 4am and we headed to Smithville.  We got there right around 5:15 am, just when the race opened. The race wasn't scheduled to start until 7:30 am so we knew we had awhile but if we weren't there early we would have to park over a mile away.  There was about a 20% chance of thunderstorms that morning, but I hoped for no rain and overcast skies to keep some of the heat away.

Storm moving in....looking very ominous!
About 6:15 am it started getting really dark and looked like rain might be imminent.  It started to sprinkle a bit, so I took all of my gear that I already had set up and put it back in my bag.  About 6:45 am I headed to the bathroom and just a few minutes later it started to pour.  It hadn't rained in at least 4 weeks, and it was pouring.  I took shelter in the bathroom, but soon a volunteer came up and said - doesn't matter if it's raining don't forget we close transition at 7:05 so if you need anything you better get it now.  Crap, I had nothing and I had thrown all my stuff back into my tri bag.  I sprinted down to transition and grabbed my swim cap and goggles.  My towel that my gear was on was completely soaked, so I decided to leave the rest of my stuff in my tri bag.  It might make for slower transitions, but I would rather it take a few minutes longer than have wet shoes.

We headed to transition and it continued to pour, then it started thundering and lightening.  They delayed the start of the race by 15 minutes, then 30, then 45, and then finally an hour.  We sat in the rain for an hour.  It poured the entire time.  I was getting hungry, I was thirsty and I had to pee.  I was freezing!!!  What??  Yes, freezing.  That was the last thing I had worried about.  I had worried about it being hot, but I had not worried about being cold.  All of us were drenched and huddled together, and we just couldn't wait to get in the water to "warm" up.  There's also nothing like the feeling of being a a large open field, right next to the water in a lightening storm.  Made you feel so safe.

Anyway, finally after an hour delay the race started.  It was a time trial start where one person entered the water every 3 seconds based on their swim time.  I was about somewhere in the middle of the swim pack, so I wouldn't start until close to 9 am.

Finally, it was time to go.  I jumped in the water, but honestly all I could think of was how bad I had to pee, so I started slow.  I had never been able to pee while I was swimming before, but I knew I couldn't hold it for the rest of the race.  So yes, I peed in the lake - sue me.  After that I got in a rhythm and felt like I swam really well.  Masters Swim was truly paying off.

Swim Time:  11:48; Transition 1:  2:10

Since I hadn't had time, or really wanted to leave my stuff out in transition my transition time was a little slow, but that's ok.  I also made a really stupid decision and grabbed my Garmin at the last minute.  I thought I could get it turned on, set to biking,  and on my wrist while riding my bike.  That's a big FAT no!!  Not possible (at least for me).  Plus I was  moving, so Garmin couldn't locate satellites.  After fumbling with it for the first 5 minutes of my ride I finally gave up and stuffed it in my top for the rest of the ride.  Those pics should be interesting.  I usually have it on my bike, turned on, and ready to go, but the rain totally messed things up for me.  I really should have just left it in my bag.  Once I finally got rid of the Garmin, I focused on the bike leg.  I knew I only had 10 miles, so I really tried to push it pretty hard.  The bike course has alot of rolling hills, but no major hills so in my mind I thought it would be pretty easy.  It seemed alot harder than I thought it would be.  Maybe it was just because the pavement was so wet.  It wasn't raining anymore, but the pavement was still soaked.  Anyway, before I knew it , I was coming back into transition.

Bike Time:  36:41 (16.4 mph); Transition 2:  1:44 (a little faster)

I got in transition and put my bike away as fast as I could and slipped into my running shoes.  I had on socks, but I stepped on my towel, which was soaked and immediately my socks were completely soaked.  I ended up taking my socks off and running in my shoes barefoot.  It was the first time I had ever run in my shoes barefoot - I knew this was not the time to try something new, but it was better than the alternative.  I got moving, and as soon as I hit the run course I remembered I still have my Garmin tucked in my shirt, I pulled it out and put it on my wrist, which made several volunteers and spectators laugh.  It was already set to run, so I went ahead and turned it on so at least I had run pace.  The run is definitely my weakest leg of the race.  It's hard for me to find a rhythm and I always go out a little to fast, so about 3 minutes in I was already walking to catch my breath.  For the most part after that I maintained a fairly even pace and finished with a good run time for me.

Run Time:  36:06 (11:39 pace).
Final Time:  1:28:30

Was this an awesome finish time for most people - no.  Was it awesome for me - YES!!  But the average race time finish was 1 hour and 31 minutes - so I bet the average!!  Wahoo!!  Below is a race comparison from last year.  I am so happy with  my improvement.  It's nice to see my hard work and training finally pay off.
            Swim      T1     Bike     T2     Run      Total    
 2010   14:51       2:35   38:23    1:43   40:06    1:37:38  
 2011   11:48       2:10    36:41   1:44   36:06    1:28:30  

               Place in Age Group      Overall Place
2010        102/136                        428/626
2011        81/155                         343/718

Oh, and am I having fun on vacation....You Bet!!

Me & my friend Sam