Philadelphia Women’s Race Report

Wake up call…4am!


Distances: 1.9 mile run, 17.5 mile bike, 3.1 mile run

Same story as last year.  Due to rain the night before which left the river riddled with debris and a heavy current (and probably due to high alert after the death at Philly Tri two weeks prior) the race was changed from a triathlon to a duathlon.


Kept it simple.  I packed the night before so all I had to do when I got up is shower, pull my hair back, eat and go.  5am and we were off…coffee is a must!  Drive over was uneventful; got there early enough to get good parking, made our way down the hill to the park and got situated.  I got my transition all set up while my mom went off to take photos.  While I was racking I saw many of my teammates.  A lot of us were in the same row, which we named the “bitch rack” after not one, but two girls came up and made comments about how some people were racked.  Seriously…this isn’t Kona!  Anyway, my bike was being funny and making a weird noise, so my friend Kate checked it out for me- even though it turned out nothing was wrong it gave me major peace of mind and I know it made a difference in my race.  Right before the start, I got really nervous and for reasons I still cannot figure out, I started to break down a little.  Found my mom, had a little cry, got a pep talk from her and was good to go!  Thank goodness for moms ♥


Run: 18:54- 9:57 avg. 533/680

Went out in our “swim” waves…I was in the fourth wave so we only had to wait 15 minutes to start!  First run was good…I went out WAY too fast though and by the turn-around I had to slow it down just a bit.  Ran the entire thing…no walking…felt strong.  Good run.

What I would do differently: Seriously, I need to learn how to pace myself. 

T1: 2:15

I got in and I got out.  Put on my helmet…ate some clif bloks and was on my way!

Bike: 1:09:55- 14.9mph avg. 600/680

 Once I reached the street I ran up with my bike a little to avoid being in anyone’s way.  I mounted and started off.  I was in a group with a few girls I could tell were apprehensive like me and we were all just taking our time.  Then some asshole yells out “hey shleps…make a decision” to which all of us were like “whoa!”  As it turns out, shlep yeller actually sucked on the bike and I never saw her again once I got going.  UGH!  Anyway, the bike was really good for me.  At times, going downhill, I had myself at 21mph which is HUGE for me.  I was making an effort not to dip below 14mph they entire way; the only time I struggled with keeping pace was going up the bridge…holy tough on my quads! 

My second loop was about 2 minutes faster than my first loop but for the most part I felt consistent.  In every race I have done thus far in which the bike course loops, I get faster which each loop.  I’ll take it! 

In the end, I was so overjoyed at how well I did…I made it through the whole bike going faster than I ever did for that many miles before, was able to drink from my water bottle a number of times, take a GU while riding and I dismounted without problems.  If you take away the time it took me to mount and then run in from the dismount, I know I averaged over 15mph.  And while I understand how slow that is for most…for me…it was like being the fastest biker ever!  At first I was bummed because I didn’t actually realize how well I was doing.  This girl…me…I biked faster than 80 other people!

What I would do differently:  I still have to work on dismounting.  I did okay, as in…I did not fall, but I still need to practice.  It totally slowed down my time on the bike. 

T2: 2:30

Legs were dead- moving as fast as I could but felt like I was in slow motion.  I saw my mom and called her over to the transition fence- she told me how well I was doing and I was kind of shocked, but it helped me because it got me moving again!  Ate a GU, drank down some water and got out!

Run: 38:58- 12:34 avg. 589/680

 So…do I even need to say anything here?  The run friggen sucked!  I had a cramp in my calf and could hardly walk let alone run.  I walked the entire first mile!  The whole thing.  Over 15 minutes of walking in the first mile.  I was really upset and starting to break down inside…I started running tree to tree, pole to pole…whatever kept me moving forward.  It was hot, I was hurting and I wanted to be done!  Then, just after the turnaround, the coolest thing ever happened: someone recognized me from my blog!!!!!  All the sudden I hear “Hey Jill, I read your blog, go Jill” and I was like “heeeeeyyyy” but I didn’t really catch the face.  The whole way back to the finish I kept wondering who it was and it kept me motivated to get my butt across the finish line.  With one mile left to go, I knew a PR was possible and I just gave it my all.  As I came through the shoot my mom was yelling “gun it, goooo, push” and I was trying to hard and I felt like I wasn’t even moving and I was pushing and I just could not sprint!  My legs would not have it!  I still made it across with a PR though which was AWESOME obviously!!!!

What I would do different:  You know, the calf thing was kind of out of my control.  I do plan to wear my compression socks during my next race though and see if that helps with the cramping.

Post Race: 

Immediately went looking for the massage tent, only to find out it was a “team only” thing…what?!?!?!….so then I made my way to the med tent where the nicest man ever massaged out my cramped up pissed off calf.  Ahhh…much better!  When that was done, I went and found my mom! Hugs!!!  Then over to the TT Tent where we had sooooo many goodies.  Lots of fruit and cookies and drinks and etc.  I ate a ridiculous amount of food! At one point this girl comes up to me and introduces me as the girl from the run who reads my blog.  Her name is Jen.  She doesn’t have a blog but has been reading mine almost from the beginning.  Seriously, how awesome is that?!?!?  She went on to say a bunch of nice things about me and my blog which really went even further in making my day!  (Shout out to you Jen- YOU ARE AWESOME!)  After some photos and transition clean-up I called it a day.  Packed it in and headed home, where my mom and I proceeded to go to breakfast and I housed an egg sandwhich and mound of potatoes in less than five minutes!  And then it was time for a nap- ahhh 🙂

Overall:  2:12:30; 592/680

This is the first race, other than some 5k’s, where I was actually able to compare from a previous year.  The night before the race I looked at my race report from last year and it reminded me of a few things I wanted to do differently.  I wanted faster transitions, a better bike and I wanted to do better with my nutrition.  I accomplished all of that!  Last year both of my run’s were faster but this year I did SO MUCH better on the bike and kicked ass in my transitions as well.  The end result was a 2:30 PR!  Honestly, I expected more of myself (when don’t I?) but with that said I am so very proud of that PR.  That isn’t just any PR…that is a sentiment to all the work I put into getting better after injury.  And I have come so far on the bike; I feel like that alone is reason to celebrate!  At the end of the day, I left everything I had on that course.  It might not have been exactly what I wanted, but I can walk away saying I gave it my best. 


Eaarrrrllly! TT girls 🙂

Yeah, I totally did not wear the tri suit! Annnnd my eyes are shut!

Kate and I- teammates and friends 🙂

See the circle?  That’s my visor- at the start line; my mom edited so you can see me 🙂

One run done…booking through transition!

Coming in from the bike!

In T2- trying to be fast!

Headed to the finish!!!

Sign for this years Tri’s; my cousin Allie made it

My biggest fan ♥

OneLittleTriGirl did the DU!

Birthday Weekend! (And A Note About MBE)

Wow- what a weekend I just had!  Seriously, I had so much fun this entire weekend.  Summer is flying!!!!

I celebrated my birthday ALL DAY Friday- I told you, I love birthdays!  And yes Jamoosh, I really am 29!!!!  A little recap of the day, photo style:

Breakfast at the Pop Shop- local hot spot around here with AMAZING french toast.  They are known for their grilled cheese sandwhiches…they even beat out Bobby Flay when he came here to do a throwdown for his show!

Dinner at Iron Hill Brewery- one of my most favorite places!

Key Lime Pie- YUM!!!!!!

Celebrating with besties 🙂

Teammates ♥

Quite a few of those happening!

This would be my drunk face…

The night was so much fun- a lot of people came out…I drank more than I have in a year I think and we took 23978 photos!  Probably my best birthday in recent years!

The next day I had to pull myself together (which was NOT easy) and get over to the expo for packet pick-up.  We were told that there was a high chance of a DU because of all the rain we were getting.  Bummer, but the truth is, I was glad to know in advance.  Even though I was not happy about a DU, at least I wasn’t dissapointed the next day.  They told us it wasn’t definite but most of us knew in our hearts it would not be a Tri. 

After the expo I came home and slept off some of the night before and then headed over to my friend Sarah’s 30th birthday.  I couldn’t stay long because my friend Darek was in town from CT and I hadn’t seen him since Christmas.  He was at a mutual friends house for a BBQ so I stopped by for a little before heading home to pack for the race.  I was exhausted but could not sleep.  I think I finally drifted off around 1:30am or so which made the 4am wake up call pretty brutal.

As for the actual race report…well, you’ll have to wait one more day! 


A quick note about Monday Brain Exchange- I am putting it on hiatus for the rest of summer.  Summer is just way to jam packed with activities; a few participants emailed me that they would be breaking from it over summer and it got me thinking that it was a good idea to put it on hold.  While the MBE did not have the participation level that I had hoped, I have had a lot of fun with it and from it I have found many great blogs.  I sincerely thank those that played along and that linked it weekly on your blogs.  I hope you will look forward to picking it back up in September. 

Because I Need A Nap…

This is all I have for now:

Once again, due to rain, this was changed from a Tri to a Du…

Had a great first run…

Kicked ASS on the bike…

Rocked my transitions…

As for that second run, not so great…

…in the end, happy…

4 Minute PR!!!!!!!

Full race report coming soon!

Oh…and THANKS SO MUCH for all the birthday wishes…I had a grrrreeeeaaaaatttt weekend!  I’ll post some photos soon!

Happy Birthday To Me!!!

I am 29 as of midnight EST- I officially begin celebrating the last year in my 20’s today 🙂 

Yes, I still get excited over birthdays.  I know the appropriate age to get over birthday parties is around 12, but I love them and love celebrating.  It is the one day of the year dedicated to ME 🙂  How can I not love that?!?!?!?!

This years birthday festivities include dinner with my parents at one of my most favorite places, Iron Hill Brewery.  That will be followed by a night out with some family and friends on the deck at a local bar.  Then it is go-time for Philly Women’s triathlon; the expo is Saturday and race day Sunday.  First tri of the season and my birthday all on the same weekend…holy excitement!

When I was growing up, each year on my birthday at 7:11pm, the time I was born, my mom would take my photo; she did this for 18 years…here are a few of those over the years:



I am honestly excited about turning 29…I feel like my 30’s are going to be good for me.  I don’t feel old at all…I feel like everything will come together in my 30’s and all the crap of my 20’s will officially be behind me.  So when I say I plan to celebrate being 29, I am serious!  Let the celebration begin 🙂

Oh…and as if my birthday wasn’t already super awesome enough…Kara Goucher was born today too 🙂 

PiF 500 Mile Update & Summer Race Calendar

PiF 500 Mile Update

What is PiF 500?? Check it out on Robin’s blog!

So as I stated in this post, I have resigned myself to the fact that running 500 miles (much less 650 which was my original goal) this year is not going to happen.  I assessed my running and what I felt like I would be capable of doing and it is not going to equal 500 miles.  The ultimate goal is staying injury free.

However, I am all about making things work.  Therefore, I have decided to count my walking miles.  Here’s the thing…my walking is a direct result of my injury and a large part of my recovery.  Why not count the miles, right??  Miles are miles…and the plus side is, I think it will help me to go out for walks more than I have been lately.  And that makes me totally confident that hitting 500 is possible!

Race Calendar Update

I am so excited to be back racing again after months of being on the DL 🙂  I have a jammed packed summer of racing (or participating, I should say!) and I cannot wait for the fun to begin!  Here’ is where I will be:

July 11- Philly Women’s Tri Fairmont Park, PA 

July 17- 20 in 24 Relay Fairmont Park, PA  (relay with co-workers)

July 25- NJ State Olympic Tri Mercer, NJ  (my FIRST Olympic!)

August 1- Belmar Sprint Tri Belmar, NJ 

August 8- Steelman Olympic Tri, Quakertown, PA (relay with teammates)

August 21- Wildwood Sprint Tri Wildwood, NJ

August 28- Medford Lakes Sprint Tri Medford Lakes, NJ

I know it seems like a lot, and it is in comparison to last year…but all in all, it’s not that much when you consider two of the races are relays.  Furthermore, four of these are comped races, given to me for all the volunteer work I do and I don’t want to pass them up!  


If you are going to be racing/spectating any of the above, please let me know!  I would love to meet you 🙂


Brain Exchange Week 15- Favorite Athletes

Here are the answers from participants in last weeks Brain Exchange: Kim, Whitney, Alanna, Darlene, Ann

Here’s how it works: 

  • Every Monday, at the end of the current weeks M.B.E answer, I will post a question for the following week.  This way you can cue your post for Monday if you wish.  If Monday doesn’t work for you, you can still play along any day of the week that works best. 
  • If you want to play along, all you have to do is post the question and your answer on your own blog.  Link your post to my blog so that I know you have participated, and in the following weeks post, I will link all the participant blogs from the prior week.
  • Topic:  Favorite Athletes

    Question: Who are your Top 5 favorite athletes? And why?  They can be famous or infamous, dead or alive, to do with your sport or be in a completely different sport.

    I could probably list 20 athletes off the top of my head that would qualify as favorites and THAT would be without thinking about it; given thought I could come up with a mighty list, that is for sure.  Sometimes I purposely make these questions tough…a way for readers (and those who also play MBE weekly- thank you to those 🙂 ) to really think about their posts.  But this one…I made it even too hard for myself!!  Therefore my list is comprised of famous, alive athletes who either compete in triathlon or road races.  And even then, I had a tough time narrowing it down!!!

    Chrissie Wellington- I love this girl! She was the first triathlete I ever read about and not too much later she was pretty much killing it on the race scene!  She is a beast on every course, including Kona where she shattered the women’s marathon record on the championship course!  Every year she gives out awards at Timberman…enough reason for me to do a 70.3!

    Kara Goucher– Seriously, who doesn’t love this girl?!?!  She seems like the kinda girl you could kick back and have a margarita by the pool with; she is always so real and down to earth in her interviews.  I love her, and I want her abs!

    Bart Yasso–  Dear Bart, I want to work at Runner’s World and be your friend.  Meeting you at Philly was a highlight in my life 🙂  Love, Jillian

    Meb Keflezighi–  This guy is a warrior for real.  I never get tired of reading about him or watching him race!

    Craig Alexander- Awesome athlete.  Only one of three men to win back to back Kona.  Oh and he is super hot. Bonus!



    Next Weeks Topic: Pre-Race Rituals

    Next Weeks Question:  Do you have pre-race rituals?  Bizarre OCD’s?  If so, what are they?

    Week In Review; 6/28-7/4

    Week In Review; 6/28-7/4

    Monday: 5 miles on the bike.  It was friggen hot and then my tire went flat.  I was in no mood to deal with it so 5 miles it was for the day!

    Tuesday: 1700 meter swim.  Didn’t have a specific swim planned, just got in and swam.  Decided at about 400 meters to make it an endurance swim and went 1600 meters.  Then did a 100 meter cool down.  Possibly my best swim of the year!

    Wednesday: 30 minutes lifting.  Woke up late and got to the gym late.  Settled for some PT dynamics and some arms/abs work.  Something is always better than nothing.

    Thursday: TRACK WORKOUT!  Woo hoo!  Haven’t done one of these since last year.  800 meters jogged @ 5:20 for a warm up.  Then 5×800; Mile 1-4:30, 4:41= 9:11 and Mile 2-4:44, 4:41= 9:25 -4:52 2.5miles= 23:28.  Cool down was 800 meters walking.  Went out a little fast…had teammates there reminding me I am still recovering and to push, but not too much so I let up just a little.  Felt great!

    Friday: 1000 meters in the pool.  Worst swim ever- I went later since I was off and I will NOT go at 10am EVER again.  There was ONE person in every lane…it was like geriatric swim hour or something.  And they all wanted to doggy paddle and take up the whole lane.  I decided to go with the one lady who actually looked like she might be able to handle sharing a lane but I was so very wrong.  Every time I swam by her I got hit in the face or leg or arm or something!  THEN…as if having one lane wasn’t enough…the old bat in the lane next to me doing god-knows-what kind of swim kept kicking her feet into my lane.  This was worst than OWS at a race!!!  And just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, the lady in my lane got out just as scuba Steve decided to get in and share lane with me.  He brought EVERY toy he owned to the pool.  He had on handweights, flippers AND a snorkel.  (side note: no fish in our pool!) He proceeded to kick his fins just as I would come up for air each time.  And you know what, after 1000 meters of swimming hell, I called it a friggen day!

    Saturday: This was an intended rest day, but given my weak workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I decided to venture out on a bike ride.  I rode for close to six miles.  Afterwards I went for a short walk with my mom.  Have I mentioned how much I lovvvveeee being in the sun??  Cause I do.  A lot.

    Sunday: Had a run planned but changed it to a walk/jog when I woke up with sore shins.  Did 3.7 miles down by the river and felt great; I actually think I engaged my shins/calves more walking without pounding on them.

    Weekly High: Track workout, which was bytheway followed by some yummy ice cream!  Oh, and my Tuesday swim too!

    Weekly Low: The intensity of my Mom-Wed-Fri workouts was mediocre at best.

    Three things I am grateful for this week:

    1. No parents, no kids, no teachers at work 🙂
    2. Teammates that push me to be better!
    3. Air conditioning…seriously…NJ heat wave coming in with the whole next week slated to be 97+ degrees!  And that is BEFORE the humidity!

    Quote of the week:  “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”  Benjamin Franklin

    Hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July!!!!!

    The June Review- 6th Month Check-Up!

    Wow- did we really just finish the sixth month of the year?!?!?  Already!!!  Is it just me or is this year flying?  I feel like I have been through so much this year and done so much already this year that time is just getting away from me.  And summer isn’t slowing down for one second.

    The Stats-

    Swimming:  12,200 meters.  Swims are a mix of timed 200’s 400′s and 800′s, different drills and free swims.  They always include a warm-up and/or a cool-down.  I swam less this month than in May, but I feel like they were all quality swims so I am okay with the dip in meters.  Grade A

    Biking:  37 miles.  I feel like a slacker when I see this number and it motivates me to kick ass in July!  If I don’t get over my fear of biking this season, my bigger fear is that I never will…Grade C

    Running: 17 miles, plus 9.5 miles walking.  Post-injury running has presented me with a lot of set backs.  I am still uping the mileage month-to-month which is a postitive, but I am also let down that I cannot do more yet!  I try to make up for it with walking and the confidence that I WILL be better soon!  Grade B

    Cross-Training:  N/A; I really don’t do much of this is the summer between training and racing.

    Strength:  1 hour and 15 minutes.  Not a total fail but pretty pa-the-tic! Grade D

    Goals Grades/Assessment-

    • Stretch More- Like a crazy lady still!  No more whammies injuries! Grade A
    • Abs Challenge- Honestly? I lost count.  And that’s  good thing! Grade A 
    • Pilates- You know, truth is…I just don’t think I am ever getting there.  Ever. N/A
    • Up the Run Mileage- Hell yes! Grade A
    • Two-A-Days- Not as many as I would like, but more than last month! Grade B
    • Eat Consistently- Meh- I do really good until dinner.  Then I usually scrounge because it is too hot to cook. Grade B
    • No Soda- I had a diet coke this week.  What the hell pizza shop doesn’t have water OR iced tea….REALLY???? Grade A-
    • No Scale- Here’s the thing…when you gain weight, you don’t want to weigh yourself.  I feel as though I have gained, so I haven’t weighed.  Grade A

    Overall Grade B+; I can live with that!  Here’s to July being my best month yet!  Lots of great races coming up too!!!

    Year to date totals; Jan-Jun

    Swimming- 38,000 meters

    Biking- 122.3 miles

    Running- 132.2 miles

    Walking- 25.1 miles

    Strength/Cross Training- 23 hours and 25 minutes

    All things considered, I am feeling pretty good about my numbers.  I did not start swimming until April 6, so YTD is a little misleading on that one.  And the entire month of March was pretty much a wash because of my injury.  Still not where I want to be…and I think I have to resign myself to the fact that 500 running miles might not happen for me this year.  But that is okay; honestly, I will be thrilled if I can just get my second YTD numbers all higher than the first.  And I see no reason why that is not possible!!!  So all in all, I really am pretty proud of these numbers. 

    What are you most proud of through the first 6th months of the year?