Belmar Tri- My First DNF

The day wasn’t right from the minute I woke up, which by the way was 15 minutes late.  I had stayed at R2’s house and we both missed our alarms.  Thankfully his internal “fuckwearelate” alarm went off and I didn’t miss the race.  Of course, if I could have foreseen the day, I may have pulled the covers over my head and just said screw it anyway.  But you know what is hard…pulling covers over your head in T2 when you slump over and your body decides it hates your guts. 

Let’s back up though, because the race wasn’t a total bust and I really should notate the highlights before I go on about my DNF.

Got to the beach with about an hour before race time.  AnI just wasn’t feeling it.  I was kind of out of it and R2 even commented at one point that I seemed aloof and not myself.  I couldn’t pinpoint what was up, but something was up.  Most race mornings I am a bundle of nerves and at least once I say “I don’t really want to do this” so when I said that everyone was like “eh, you’re fine” because of course they are used to it.  And I agreed that once I got started I would be fine.  Nothing was innately wrong, something just wasn’t right.

Eventually it was 7am and I was standing on the beach ready to dive into the ocean.  And I killed the swim.  Even better than NJ State.  5th in my AG and 19th in my wave.  I really felt good and as I passed R2, I gave the thumbs up.  I headed into the transition area, made really good time and was off on the bike.  I actually felt pretty comfortable on the bike and passed a few people.  I finished up and headed into T2.  And then everything stopped…

…literally.  I was half through T2 and suddenly I was seeing black and white, spots, colors, starts…random horrible feeling in my chest.  Everything just stopped.  R2 was on the sidelines of the transition area cheering for and telling me how great I was doing and all I could think about was “rack your bike” at which point he noticed something was up.  I racked my bike, walked over to him and said “I don’t think I can run.”  He tried to encourage me to keep going but he could tell something was up.  And then my heart rate skyrocketed, I was shaking and I felt faint.  I sat down and just as R2 went to get someone, someone from the race personnel came over to help.  And another racer came over with a wet rag- I have no idea who you are, but thank you!  I was really concerned with how fast my heart was racing and how tight my chest felt but that turned to complete embarassment when the EMT’s came over.  Of course, I was also thankful.  They got me some fluids and took my BP which was crazy low.  They think I simply sweated too much out on the race- which has never happened before.  I hydrated super well but I just sweated way too much.  Fortunately, I began feeling better and didn’t have to go to the hospital or anything.  But I did have to go turn in my chip and accept the fact that I had my first DNF.

Ugh- these damn hard decisions!!!

The upside to it all, is that once I felt better, I really felt better.  I was back to normal within the hour and able to hang out post-race with my friends.  We spent most of the day at Bar A having breakfast, drinking and playing in the sand and water.  It ended up being a really good day.  And since I have an amazingly supportive boyfriend who is proud of me no matter what and teammates who love me regardless, I was able to have a little pity party and get over it.  DNF’ing sucks…and I wouldn’t want to do it again.  But it happens. And it happened to me.

Updates, Updates, Updates…I’m BACK!!!!!!

Anyone still here…anyone?? Anyone??

It has been almost a full month since I have written!  So much to get caught up on!

Unless you are on my Facebook (and if you aren’t, why not?) you might have thought I died. Or was kidnapped. Or that I hate blogging.  Don’t believe the rumors- none of the above are true.  The truth is, I was so overwhelmingly busy that I could not sit long enough to finish a post.  But now things are calmed down a little and I am ready to give you the updates.  And there are some major updates!

  1. I turned 30- That’s right folks, I am officially in the 30 club!  And honestly, I feel great!  I am so happy to be out of my 20’s I cannot even tell you!  Plus, turning 30 has been so much fun…I had a surprise party back in May and then over my birthday weekend I went to Boilermaker to celebrate with 9.3 miles with two of my closest friends.  Last weekend topped off the birthday festivities with a trip to Baltimore with R2.  We stayed Friday-Sunday and had so much fun.  Yeah…hello 30, I think I love you!
  2. I GOT A NEW JOB!!!!- I did it!  I finally left my old school and got a new job!  This is the best news and best thing to happen to me in a long time.  I feel emotionally more stable and so much less stressed out.  I have been sleeping through the night again, not freaking out over dumb stuff and can enjoy my weekends more because I am not thinking about work.  I feel like my prayers have been answered!  I start in two weeks and I cannot wait!!!!!!
  3. I am still racing- Since I last wrote I raced the Boilermaker, Splash and Dash and NJ State Triathlon.  See below for race reports- they were all good ones!
  4. R2 and I are still amazing- I am not the mushy mushy type and I certainly dont talk much about my relationship publicly, but seriously…how lucky am I to have such a great guy.  R2 has been there for me every step of the way while I searched for a new job and is ridiculously supportive of my racing.  We have so much fun, we are almost always laughing and we genuinely like each other so much.  It has been a great six months!
  5. Marathon Training is underway- That’s right…the official training has begun.  I don’t want to rush summer or wish time away,  but I will be glad when the race itself is finally here.  This training is daunting!!!  I have to be honest, I don’t see myself ever doing a second marathon!

Three Race Reports!

     Splash and Dash- Splash and Dash is a local swim/run race held in memory of a local boy who was killed in a car accident.  It is held at night and super fun.  I had a pretty good swim and used the run as a training run so it was so-so.  I was happy with it overall and can’t wait to do this race again!

     Boilermaker 15K- Hello automatic PR 🙂  This race totally lives up to its hype.  While I wanted to kill myself up the first 3.5 miles of hill that seemed endless (hi, I train in SJ!!) I love love loved all the course support.  I am not even kidding, there was support every single step of the race!  People everywhere- more music than anything 1/2 marathon I ever raced and water/aid stations everywhere!  I went into this race with some shin pain and random back pain so I wasn’t sure what to expect out of myself; in the end, I was really happy with my time.  15K- 1:48:23.  Slow, steady and recovered well from it- stuck with the plan and it worked!

     NJ State- This race was last weekend…you know, in the 92387 degree heat.  Which honestly, was still better than last years weather.  This was my first full tri this year- up to this point I had been doing only relays.  I went in thinking I would see how I felt and take it from there.  Listen- I KILLED the swim.  As in…20th out of 103 in my age group and 375th out of 1362 overall.  KILLED THE SWIM.  I felt like superwoman coming out of the water and was rearing to go!  I zoomed in and out of transition and started the bike.  Ugh…the bike.  My disdain for the bike runs deep and my goal was to do the same or better than last year, although my lack of bike training had me thinking I might not make it.  However, I did…beat my time last year by a few seconds 🙂  Hey, I’ll take it!  Once again, I zoomed in and out of transition and was ready to run.  I should clairfy…I was ready…my legs, notsomuch!  Took me a solid mile to get my legs back, but I knew I was doing so well overall that I kept pushing and smiling.  I crossed the line with a THREE MINUTE PR.  And I couldn’t have been happier!!!

What’s next?

Racing- This weekend I have Belmar tri, one of my favorites.  After that, my concentration is really on running.  Getting through this marathon training without injury and feeling good and confident.  I have a few 5k’s in August where I hope to work on my speed and then the WildWood half-marathon at the end of the month.  The WildWood half is going to be a good indicator of where I stand in my training.  They will have pacers and I plan to use one; my hope is I can keep the pace for 13.1 and reach a solid PR, which will give me confidence for the full marathon.  In September, I am running the Jersey-Liberty Half Marathon.  This is purely a training run with no PR expectations.  In Oct, I am running the LBI 18-miler (falls right into my schedule perfectly) and then November is the marathon!!!!

Life- I have a little over a week of in between jobs ending and beginning and then I start the new school year.  I am not the least bit sad to leave my current job (although I will miss most of the people, most families and the students) but I am scared/nervous/excited for the new job!  In September I will be heading downtheshore for my yearly, much anticipated, vacation.  Other than that, I am just feeling really blessed right now in my life.  Lucky, and blessed.


You know I wouldn’t leave you without photos!!!  Here’s a hodgepodge of race photos from the S&D and NJ State…

PS-It goes without saying that my Reader was out of control, so I deleted everything and I am starting over today.  Please update me on anything awesome I may have missed!

A Hospital Visit & Parvin Tri Report

(FYI- I am all about TMI’s and hold little back.  If you aren’t interested in my hospital stay, move on and down to the race report.  That is your warning!)

On the day before the last day of school, I found myself in a serious amount of pain that presented like a kidney stone.  I hadn’t felt myself all day and had some cramps, but just figured maybe my period was coming early.  I am not the most regular when it comes to my period (try as I might to regulate, it never seems to work for me) so I brushed it off.  Additionally, I hadn’t really slept much and I have been under enormous stress at work.  I just figured it would go away.  Until about 2:30 when the pain intensified.  Big time.  And within the hour, I was in the nurse’s bathroom hardly able to move.  I called my mom and we decided I would go to the hospital.  My co-worker drove me home and my mom met us there.  The hospital we went to is brand new.  Advice- NEVER go to a brand new hospital.  Best analogy I heard in reference to being at a new facility: its like a new car.  You have to learn where everything is and how it works.  It all added up to a lot of waiting.  Pretty much right away they were talking about bladder infections, UTI’s and had pretty much ruled out a kidney stone.  Here’s the thing, I got the impression they didn’t believe how much pain I was in because when I am in pain I am quiet.  I internalize and I am not one of those screaming annoying patients.  This worked to my disadvantage because they quickly assumed it was nothing.  I waited on a bed in a hallway- peed in a cup…and later a hat looking thing.  I’ll tell you what it wasn’t…a bladder infection or a UTI.  At least I could go back to just peeing in the damn toilet!  So then there was an Ultrasound.  Good news- not pregnant!  Although, my mom did mention that if I was, we were totally calling that “I didn’t know I was pregnant show” and getting me some 15 minutes of fame.  Anyway…ultrasound turned up nothing.  So it was more waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  And finally…THREE HOURS into my wait, they gave me pain meds.  Heavy dose of Motrin.  Basically, it did not take the pain away but it subsided a great deal.  I was having so much pressure within my belly and as the night progressed my stomach was becoming more and more distended.  To the point where my mom was really concerned.  Her and R2 both confirmed to the nurses that I have a normal flat stomach and abs and this is not normal.  Still, they pretty much just kept me waiting.  I had an X-ray and FINALLY the doctor came in.  His name was Nick Nolte.  This Nick Nolte was much better looking!  He determined we would do a CAT scan.  Talked about a blockage…tubes in my nose…possible surgery.  Now the meds were wearing off, I was in pain and had all kinds of crazy anxiety!  And the CAT scan was a slow process- I had to drink some stuff that would require a TWO HOUR wait before the test.  More friggen waiting.  And then I had a meltdown. Well, for me it was…and I got me some reallllly good pain meds.   My mom was right, I should have had that meltdown a lot earlier.  Note this folks- freaking out is a one way ticket to medication land. And medication land is a nice, nice place!!  And according to my mom and R2, I was also hysterically funny.  I barely remember, unfortunately, what was the only nice part of the night.  Being drugged that is!  After what seemed like a million more hours they finally came and got me for my CAT scan.  It wasn’t long after that, that the doctor came back in with the results.  I had a viral infection in my intestines.  Awesome.  And the best part of all…it’s viral, so it just had to run its course.  There was basically nothing that could be done about it.  But in the end, that was WAY better than having to have surgery for what they thought might have been a blockage.  It was a long  night and the next day wasn’t all that pleasant for me either.  In fact, it took about 3 full days before I felt remotely back to normal and a good week before I felt like myself again.

So given all that above, what does a girl do?  She tri’s of course!

Only four days after my hospital stay, still feeling on the mend, I did the Parvin Sprint Tri.  I had no desire to bike, so I did it as a two-person relay with my teammate Kurt.  I swam and ran and he biked.  The swim was not fun- one of my worst; even though my time was still a respectable 9 minutes and I still placed 101 out of 253, I wasn’t happy with the performance.  I should have been in the low 8-minutes.  But I reminded myself that only a few nights before I could barely walk with all my stomach pain, so I sucked it up and got over myself.  Kurt had a great bike- really good, placing 76 out of the 253.  He tagged me and off I went on the run.  My legs felt great and I loved the trail.  My Garmin punked out on me as soon as I hit the woods so I had no idea how I was doing the entire run, but that is a good thing because I need to work on my pacing.  My goal was to run it just a bit faster than my training runs have been but not run at race pace.  Not running at race pace is very hard for me; I want to push myself but at the same time this was meant as a training run.  And I wanted to focus on running smooth and ending feeling good.  The end result was perfect- I ran a very solid 31:20 for the 5K and finished feeling great!   Kurt was right at the finish line waiting and cheering, as were many of my teammates and R2.  I quickly got some water and joined my friends to cheer on the rest of our teammates.  Overall, we placed 139 out of 253 and we were 4th relay.  I felt really good all things considered. 

And of course…what would a race report be without photos:

Getting ready to swim

Happy that’s over!!!

Coming in from the run feeling great!

With Kurt, post-race!

TT kids ♥

Scott Coffee 8K & Black Bear Tri Reports

So many races to catch you all up on!!   That will  give me more time to get caught up on my reader as well.  (Does anyone else feel like they will never be caught up on their readers?!?!)  I raced yesterday too but that post will have to wait…as will my hospital post (the fun never ends with me) and my general life update! 

Two weekends ago, I raced twice; first on Saturday at a local 8K and then Sunday in the Poconos for a relay tri.  I was the swimmer.  Obvi, right?

Friday night I had to work, and I had a bad week the days before so I was really not in the mood to race.  But I woke up Saturday and got ready to toe the line!  I ran into a few friends and my friend Kristen and I decided to start out together.  First mile…9 minutes…WHOA fast runner.  Had to slow that down or I was going to lose it.  We slowed it down a notch but by mile three we were still just under a 10 minute mile pace.  At about that time, I took off from Kristen (she would have done the same thing and I would have let her too)  because I was feeling like I could really push it.  I held on strong, only stopping at the final water stop and came through the finish at 49:57!  I have raced this course four years now, and all I wanted was to get in under 50 minutes.  I was ecstatic!!!!!

Pre-race with Kristen

Mom and pre-race

YES!!!! 🙂

After the race we grabbed a quick lunch and then R2 and I were headed to the poconos for race number two of the weekend!  We headed up to the Jim Thorpe campsite the night before for a night of cooking out and chatting around the fire.  (In addition to the good times, it is about a 2 hour drive, so going up the night before was a major morning of time saver!)  The ride up was going well until R2 missed his exit.  Have you ever missed an exit on the PA turnpike?  Not fun!  After that notsomuchfun time, we were finally there.  There were a total of 10 of us camping, however only four of us were doing the tent thing.  Our friends had a camper.  It worked out really well because we used the camper for making dinner 🙂  R2 is a former Eagle Scout, so I was camping with the best of them!  In fact, it was obvious that R2 had some experience when we compared our tent to our friends tent:

Even though we were camping and having fun, it was still the night before a race.  Bed early is still the rule!  Wake up call was 5am and after packing up the site we were off to the race.   I had a little bit of anxiety because I was remembering the prior year when the swim portion of this race chewed me up and spit me out.  Talk about humbling!  Well, this year I was back for redemption.  And I got it.  My swim was 30minutes and I felt great the entire time!!!  I quickly tagged off to Shauna for the bike and she was back in no time!  We were kicking ass one relay person at a time and next up was Lisa on the run.  As she passed us on the first lap, she yelled out “8 minute miles” and we could tell she was rocking it.  Turns out we were all right too- end result was 1st place female relay and 3rd relay overall!!  Wooohooo!!!!

R2 at his tri, spectating 🙂

Happy girl coming out of that swim!

Awards ceremony!!

A Look At Summer

As much as 2010 has been a thorn in my side, with a lot of stress, injury and more stress…this was a really great summer.  Despite my injuries this year and what seemed like constant pain in one form or another, when I look back I feel extremely accomplished.  It was a good summer for racing, I had a most excellent birthday and I am wrapping up my third weekend in a row down the shore as we speak.

As I laid in bed falling asleep last night I started to really give thought to how far I came this summer; I was hard on myself because I often switched up my goals and in part it felt like I was taking the easy road.  But this road was not easy, it was full of challenges.  Was it the summer I expected?  No.  But the end result was one PR after another and some really great experiences.  And I’ll take that as a win.

I consider my kick-off to summer Black Bear Relay in May; the coldest swim I have ever endured and also my first 1500 meter ows.  It was brutal cold and I threw up in the water before finally finishing…but I finished.  I knew my next swim of that distance would seem like cake in comparison!  Next up was the Scott Coffee 8K- I still wasn’t allowed to push or run hills of any kind but it was still a good way to gauge my recovery.  I did well too and it was the start of getting my confidence back.  After that, I had a small break wherein I attended two weddings in two weekends and then my birthday.  And before I knew it I was back to racing; with the exception of two weekends, I raced every weekend from July 11 until this weekend, Sept 11.  First up was Philly Women’s Tri which was once again turned into a DU; it was just as brutal as the year before but at least I knew what to expect.  It was also my first PR 🙂  I followed that race up with NJ State…probably my most anticipated race of summer.  First it was an Oly, then I made the smart but agonizing decision to drop to the Sprint.  In the end it was the right thing to do.  It was the best race I had all summer and the most fun.  Oh, and another PR 🙂  A week later I was in Belmar for a Sprint Tri; another fun race and another PR!  I followed that up with a Spring relay at Steelman where I had a great swim.  The seond 1500 swim, and just like a predicted…in comparison to Black Bear, it was cake!   Just as I was getting used to all this PR’ing…Wildwood came along and beat me up!  To date, this was my most challenging race.  I knew I was tough when I crossed that finish line!  A week later I did the Medford Sprint as a relay and had my best swim time to date.  Another PR! It was a great way to end my tri season!  And I topped the race off by heading down the shore.  And the racing did not stop…last week, I ran the Avalon 7-miler and although it tested my strength and my body, I finished well.  And this weekend…well, this weekend I am enjoying the end of summer!

And because I love photos…I give you, a summer in photos!

The thing is, I haven’t figured out a way to post it to this page- WordPress doesn’t support the OneTrueMedia, and on YouTube the music doesn’t play.  And it just isn’t the same without the music.  Therefore in order to see the montage (and you know you want to!) you have to click here.

What’s next?  That is still a tough question.  I am still not running…I will run this week and see how I feel to determine my course of action for PDR.  The Warrior Dash is still a definite and as long as my legs feel healthy, so is Philly.  But after Philly, I am taking a major break from running.  I need to heal- I need to just enjoy running without the pain or lasting aches that come with my longer runs.  For a few weeks, if not more, I will be much more focused on getting back to 100%.  Cause if you know me, you know I am already looking for ways to make 2011 even better than 2010!!!!

What was your biggest accomplishment in the summer of 2010?

*This day cannot go without acknowledging its significance- thinking of all those who gave 9-11-2001 and still give. ♥

Medford Tri Report

Today was my last race of the season.  As sad as that is, I am actually ready for a break- plus, I am still half-marathon training.

Because I was going to be leaving the race right from the shore, and have to go right to work from the shore Tuesday, I did not want to take my bike to the race.  Therefore, I had my friend Kurt bike for me.  Our relay name was a combo of both our last names- because we are super creative like that- you know it!


Wake up call was 5am; pretty late actually which was a nice change.  I had packed the night before, for both the race and the shore so I was all ready to go once I had my breakfast ready.  Out the door, quick stop at wawa and I was on my way.  Parking for this race was great…some of my teammates were already there so we chatted a little and headed over the the race.  Got there fairly early so there was quite a bit of waiting, but we had so many team members there the time went pretty fast.  Before I knew it, I was headed down to the swim.

Swim- 8:10; 71/302

This was my best swim to date.  So of course, it was also the one time they messed up my score!  They had me as starting in a different wave so my original time was listed as 11:10- you KNOW I had that fixed!  It wasn’t tough to figure out- it was clear I had an awesome swim; I was the 5th out of the water from my wave 🙂  I started off confident, in the front and just took off and never looked back.  I had the swim I was hoping for all summer.  It could not have been better!  And without a doubt, this is the best I have ever placed in a tri event, so I am over the moon!!!

What I would do different:  Um, Nothing!!!!

T1: 1:16

I had a long run into transition but I knew Kurt was waiting for me so I pressed on.  As soon as I reached him, we exchanged the chip and off he went!

Bike: 39:25; 64/302

I can’t really speak much for this but I can tell you this, Kurt was back in a hot second.  While he was biking, I used the bathroom and got changed into my running shorts.  I wasn’t sure when to expect him but I got into our transition spot only a few minutes before he returned.  He had a GREAT bike!

T2: 0:54

Look at that killer time!  Kurt came in, I took the chip and peaced the heck outta there!

Run: 32:46; 251/302

I went into this as a training run- I already did the 5k Wednesday as my speedwork and had to get my longer miles in today so this was just for training.  Of course I pushed it a little but I had to make sure to keep myself in check too.  Overall the run was good- out and back, mostly shaded but the one major problem was the lack of water.  There was NO water at the finish.  W.T.F???

Overall:  1:22:28; 134/302

I am really proud of this race- Kurt and I both did really well.  It was a great way to end my season!


Hung out for about an hour after- we had our team tent there and it was my friend Vic’s birthday so we had cake and some adult beverages.  It was really fun but the sand and sun were calling my name.  By 11am, I was in the car and shore bound 🙂

*Photos from Wednesdays 5k and today’s race will be posted later this week.

How was your weekend?  How are you wrapping up summer?  I am hardly reading while on vacation but I would love to know what is up with you all- let me know anything worth knowing 🙂

Wildwood Tri Race Report

Wildwood Tri Report Bitchfest

Yeah, get your seatbelts on and get ready for the ride!  This race was a doozy kids! 


I had a BBQ at a friends on Friday night and when I got home, I just wanted to go to bed, so I decided to pack in the morning.  Mistake #1.

Wake-up call, 3:30am.  Got up easily, had my regular english muffin with PB and started packing.  Typically, I lay everything out and check it like three times before packing but this morning I was just kinda going through the motions and not paying very close attention.  Mistake #2.   

Drive down was mostly uneventful.  I have been making the drive to Wildwood since I was ten years old, and driving it myself since I was 17.  This morning I decided to take the way my parents go, which I have done in the past but not too often.  My mom was with me so I figured it was all good.  And it was.  Until we got to the fork in the road…luckily both ways end up at the same point because it did NOT look familiar to either of us.  Meanwhile I was being tailgated and starting to worry that I was going to be late.  We ended up getting into Wildwood in time but once we got parking I was cutting it close so I rode my bike up to the race site and my mom walked up to meet me.

It was at about this time I started remembering all the things I forgot to pack- including my watch, my race belt and my visor.  WTF Jill?!?!??!  It definitely had me starting on the wrong foot and it was at that moment that I decided this race was just going to be what it was…no point getting all upset since I couldn’t do anything about it!  At least I had my goggles, helmet and sneakers!!

(Oh, and I must make an addendum to my list from the other day.  Had I ever thought I would see this, EVER, I would have included it but I cannot even fathom what would possess a RACER to SMOKE in transition.  Ok racers…listen up…no smoking in transition!!!)

Swim- 14:26; 193/402

Note this: the “400 meter swim” was actually around 650 meters, if not more.

This was without a doubt, hands down, the most difficult swim I have ever raced.  The waves were huge, it was choppy and it was a fight the entire time.  I ended up kicked once in the stomach but was able to recover quickly.  I started a little back but passed a shit-ton of people and ultimately, all things considered, had a good swim.  Good, but tough. 

What I would do different:  

Nothing…in a swim like this all you can do is fight through it.  Getting into a rhythm is difficult and it becomes about just moving forward.  And in the end, I beat more than half the racers, so I am really thrilled.

T1- 4:24

Worst transition EVER!  I had to get my TT shirt on and then pin my race number on.  The shirt was not cooperating and the faster I tried to go the longer it seemed to take.  I felt like I was in there forever!

What I would do different: 

Um, don’t forget my race belt.  Yeah, that’s it!

Bike- 39:55; 15.0 pace; 363/402

The bike sucked.  Yeah, that about sums it up.  It was four…FOUR…laps around a fairly tight course.  Each bike out was great; the wind was at my back and I was riding at 17-18mph, but at each tight turn, I was slowing down to like 11-12mph right into the headwind on the way back which kept me at like 13-14mph.  Oh, and I was kinda bored. 

The fun part about the bike was that I passed my mom on each loop.  Even though I wasn’t loving the race, I was keeping a good spirit and each time I passed I would say something like, “I shouldn’t have left my Cervelo at home” or “this is me not loving the bike” with a huge smile on my face. 

What I would do differently: 

The wind element was out of my control.  As for the course, it was crowded and tight, so to say I would do anything different would be a lie.  For me, it is all about racing safe…if it costs me  few minutes to be safe, than I am okay with that in the long run. 

T2: 1:37

I tried to haul ass because without a watch I had no idea where I stood.  But in my rush to get in and out, I forgot to take my GU.  Mistake #3.

What I would do differently: 

Bring my damn race belt!!!!!!!!

Run- 32:01; 10:20 pace; 347/402

On the way out I saw my mom and said “I heart Wildwood, but I do not heart this race” and got some good laughs/cheers from the crowd. 

The entire run was on the beach.  It was not even possible to run down the soft sand, so I just kind skipped through it until I hit the wet/hard sand.  My legs felt okay but I couldn’t seem to get moving very fast.  I shuffled along to the first turn-around which was at a half mile and back up on soft sand and that is where I met Lonnie.  She was also walking through the soft sand and we started chatting.  We ended up running together for a while.  We kept a solid pace, chatted off and on and kept each other going.  I  am pretty sure I would have walked a lot more if I had not run with her.  With a little less than a mile to go, I slowed down a little and Lonnie went up ahead.  Pretty shortly after that, I came upon a girl walking, gave her a “let’s go” and we ended up running the rest of the course together.  We even sprinted into the finish together which was a lot of fun.

What I would do differently: 

Remember my watch!  And my visor!  And yes, my race belt!!!  Seriously, not having a concept of time was really agitating…and without my visor I was hothothot!  But most of all, I missed my belt!

Overall: 1:32:23

This race had problems written all over it.  Additionally, it challenged me from the very start.  Had I paid for this race, I might be more upset with myself, but it was free for volunteering and was a good day at the beach!  I don’t think I would race this course again, paid or free, mostly because I didn’t really love the course.  But it was super well organized, had great volunteers and was a good challenge for me.

What I am learning most about myself is that even when things don’t go right, a race can still be a really good time.  Prior to this year, having forgotten all that stuff would have really thrown me off.  I didn’t like it and it definitely cost me serious time (especially in T1) but so what…not every race is going to be perfect.


My mom and I went to breakfast and then spent the day at the pool.  Every year for the last 17 years, we have stayed at the same place.  They have a great pool and totally didn’t care that we spent the day there.  We had great weather and it was the perfect ending to the day!  After some time in the sun, we grabbed some lunch and headed home.

 And of course…photos!

Pre-Race photo!


Headed in from the swim…

…And into T1

On the bike…

Coming out from T2

Sprinting in…finishing strong!

Post finish line photo, take 1

Post finish line photo, take 2!

Ah…post race coffee/breakfast ❤


I may or may not have mentioned previously, but this was my last full tri of the season.  I have a race next weekend but my teammate Kurt is biking and I am swimming and running.  Although I called this the “bitchfest” I am really proud of myself for getting through this race as challenging as it was…I have come SO FAR in the last two years!!!


Triathlon Etiquette- Some Advice For a Happier Race!

(Originally, I was going to title this post “Boys Are Mean” because in my experience, boys do not like women on “their” race course and many of the behaviors I listed below, I witness by males.  However, I can admit women are bitches too I have a decent male readership and did not want my virtual face ripped off.) 

Throughout this summer while racing, I have been observing some behaviors that I feel are both unnecessary and at times down right rude.  Triathlon is supposed to be fun (and it is- I swear!) but some people take their racing WAY too seriously and often at the expense of one or more other racers.  Let’s face it…every race is not Kona.  And no race is life or death.  

Here are a few things I have come up with while compiling my list this summer of ways in which you can make a race happy for yourself and for all!   

  • Know the course.  Be informed and if possible, attend the pre-race meetings.  In most cases this will answer any questions you may have and get you even more ready for race day.
  • Plan to arrive early.  And if you don’t want to arrive early, don’t bitch about rack spots or worse expect people to move all around so you can rack.  Your failure to prepare is not the concern of any other racer. 
  • Don’t touch other bikes.  Rack spots are FIRST come FIRST serve.  This does not mean that you can just move some bikes down for the coveted end spot.  You take what you get or you arrive before everyone else!
  • Respect other transition spots.  Your transition area should not take up to much space.  Know what you need and bring it.  Every accessory you own is not necessary on race day.  And please don’t be the jerk who brings their trainer and rides it while others are setting up in transition.
  • Respect other transition spots. Part Two.  When you return to T1 and T2, re-rack your bike where it belongs.  There is nothing worse than coming back to your spot to find someone else’s bike there, leaving you to find another place to rack (which will be someone else’s spot and so on and so on with the domino effect).  Take the extra 20 seconds to be respectful.  And if you accidentally knock over a bike while re-racking,! 
  • Be fair at the bathrooms.  When there are long lines just before start time, it is simply courteous manners to allow those starting before you to go ahead in line.  There is no reason while someone in waves 1,2 or 3 should be stressing out behind those in waves 9, 10 and 11.  And spectators…seriously, hold it until the racers have begun and then you can have the potties all to yourselves! 
  • Know how to swim.  I covered this here.
  • Stay to the right if you are slower on the bike.  As a slow biker myself, I know the importance of not getting in another cyclists way while riding.  Too often slower bikers (or those unaware of how slow they really are) are in the middle of the bike lanes.  This leaves the faster bikers coming behind you having to weave around you on both sides to pass.  This is extremely dangerous to both you and them.
  • Say “on your left” as you pass.  Look, I get passed all the time.  I know for some people they would be saying “on your left” for the entire ride if they did it everytime they passed someone.  And I imagine how old that would get after a while.  Still, saying “on your left” is the right thing to do.  And I don’t expect one to say it for every single person they pass, but in a crowded situation or on a narrow path, letting someone know you are coming helps keep them out of your way.  I am pretty sure it doesn’t take any time off your split to extend a little kindness on the road.
  • Don’t walk in the middle of the run course.  I have been known to take walk breaks.  I do not feel that makes me any less of a competitor.  But it does mean I need to be respectful of those who will be passing me.  If you need to stop or walk, get over to the side of the course to avoid any collisions. 
  • Pick one friend.  If you want to walk or run with a friend, great.  But just pick one.  Nothing is more annoying than having to dodge around friends 3-5 people wide on the race course.  You can talk to them in the food tent, I promise.
  • Don’t stop for water.  Being that I walk through almost every water stop, I have seen some crazy stuff happen!  Water stops are congested as it is and they are the worst place to stop.  Oh, and it is plain rude.  Don’t just grab your water and completely stop and drink in front of the area.  Get out-of-the-way!  Jog through the actual water area, move over the side away from the stop and stop/walk/drink from there. 
  • Name calling is unnecessary.  If you successfully graduated the pre-school program you should know better.  Unfortunately, some people are shitheads and some shitheads like to race triathlon.  If this does happen, rise above.  And then write about it in your blog. 🙂
  • Try not to litter.  I get it-  sometimes despite your best efforts, the wrappers just hit the ground.  But if you can avoid it, don’t trash the race course.  Nothing burns me up more than going through a water stop, watching someone take a GU and then as they pass the designated trash can they throw the packet to the ground.  Unless you invited your mom to come clean up after you, do your best to throw the trash where it belongs. 
  • Be nice to volunteers.  Here are a few words racers tend to forget while racing: please and thank you.  Volunteers do not have to be there- they do not have to hand you water, fight the cold/heat/rain etc or pick up after you.  They do not have to cheer you on, make sure you are okay or care if your bike gets stolen.  But they do.  Volunteers make or break a race.  Giving them a hardtime is a surefire way to make sure they never help again.  As someone who both races and volunteers, I can tell you how nice it is to hear a simple thank you on the course. 
  • Have patience.  Patience is a virtue.  If you go into a race understanding that things happen, you will be much better off in the long run.  Knowing that you may have the above things happen to you will help you deal with them if they do occur.  It is more than likely that you will at one time or another be held up whether by a zig-zagging swimmer, a walker in transition, on a narrow road and etc.  Expect the unexpected and train yourself to deal properly.

And one for the spectators:  If you are going to bring your double stroller, four kids and three dogs to the race…you better have a plan to keep them in control.  This is a race, not the playground.  All too often I see kids running into the middle of bike/run courses or worse…families who expect the race to stop so they can cross the path.  Look, I love spectators and appreciate their presence at my race, but not at the expense of someone (especially myself) getting injured.  Pay attention to your kids or call a babysitter.

What do you think?  Fair list?  Have anything to add?

Steelman Race Report

Steelman, or as I like to refer to it, Steel(wo)man report 🙂


This was by far my earliest wake up call to date.  The race was about 1.5 hours away and we had to be there for day-of packet pickup by 5:30.  That meant leaving by 3:30 and a 2:15am wake up call.  When I went to WaWa (coffee shop) to get my coffee there were far more people just rolling in for the night than there were getting started for the day like I was doing.  A few of my teammates and I drove up together so after meeting up and transferring all our bags we were off.  Ride up was uneventful- except my friend Brian, who drove, put his contacts in the wrong eyes!  That made for a fun time when it came to reading new construction signs!!  But…we made it there safe and all was well.  When we arrived it was still pitch black out (must get a headlamp) and already packed with people!  Good thing we left as early as we did!

We headed over to the packet-pick up and then into transition.  This race gave out Hoodies which was a nice change from a t-shirt.  And they are super nice hoodies!  Which is good, because no joke, that is why we signed up for this race!  Once we were all set up the waiting began.  At one point the RD came over the mic and announced that the water temp was over 80* and the swim would be wetsuit illegal (because it was under 84* you could still wear one, but your time would not be official).  This made me very nervous.  My teammate Kurt would have you think I “threw a fit” but in actuality, I was just scared of swimming that distance without a wetsuit.  Even a strong swimmer like myself gets anxiety- open water can be intimidating.  Deep down I knew I would be fine once I started- it’s all that waiting around that gives me time to think about it!


I did this as a relay with my teammates Kurt and Kristen.  I was the swimmer, Kurt biked and Kristen ran.  We have no allusions- we named ourselves the Slowskis.  No joke.


Getting in was the most difficult part- it was so rocky and slippery!  Once in, I placed myself to the outside right so that I could start with the crowd, but not IN the crowd.  This proved to be extremely effective.  The water was absolutely beautiful.  Before the race, some girl was talking about how gross it was…obviously this girl has never swam in either NJ or the Schuylkill River before.  This lake was gorgeous; I could have swum all day!  The first 400 meters to the first turnaround buoy seemed to take forever so I had to glance at my watch; turns out I was on pace for a good time and from that point on settled into a nice rhythm.  Only twice during the race did I have to break rhythm, once because some idiot who could not swim faster than me but didn’t want to pass him was zigzagging in front of me and once because it was very jammed at the last turnaround buoy.  As I came into the finish, I was stroke and stroke with a guy swimming next to me.  It was impossible to run in so you had to swim all the way up until the ramp in (where they had volunteer hotties guys there to pull people out over the rocks) and as we came to the ramp he made a smart remark about not wanting to get beat by a girl.  It was then that I poured it on to the finish ramp!  I heard a guy pulling him out say to him “yeah, you got chicked” and I couldn’t help but laugh.  Of course, he proceeded to blow by me in the transition.  All in good fun though 🙂

This was my best to date swim experience.  I only wish I could have worn a wetsuit.  My time was really good (31:04) but with a suit I could have gotten under 30, I know it!

So yes, with a time of 31:04 for 1550 meters, I officially have another PR 🙂


As soon as I came in and tagged Kurt, he was off on the bike.  About an hour and some later he was in and Kristen was off on the run.  I asked Kurt how the bike was and he replied, “you would have hated it” because it was FULL of hills.  (we drove these hills home and let me tell you, those are some hills!!!)  Kurt and I were starving and the way they had the food set up was through the finish.  When they said we had to wait for our relay as a whole, Kurt and I took it upon ourselves to sneak under the fence and get some food.  I know, I know…badass.  The best part about being on the relay is that I got to see many of my teammates come in through the finish.  About when we thought Kristen would be coming in, Kurt and I went to meet her so that we could all run in together.  As suspected she was hauling ass and looking good and we all ran in as a team. 


At the finish they had these super cold-soaked transition towels which only added to the amazing swag 🙂  Us teammates hung out post-race and ate some of the amazing food they had.  It was the best food tent of all time- watermelon, grapes, peaches, apples, bananas, cherries, pizza, full bottles of gatorade, chicken fingers, hoagies and probably even more that I didn’t see.  And even better- you could stay in the tent as long as you wanted and there was plenty of food.

Not only was this race fun but it was super well run and amazingly supported by great volunteers.  The single only downsides to this race were that I did not think it was very spectator friendly and I thought the swim enter/exit was tough to navigate between the rocks and slippery mat.  But seriously, this race was great and is definitely on the list for next year.  As a relay again though, because no way in HELL am I doing that bike!!!

As always, some photos…

Relay team

Carefully entering the water…


After the race, we had some lunch and headed home.  It sure was a long day…but after I napped I had a major second wind and went out for 10 miles on the bike.  This week starts half-marathon training; I have two tri’s left but my workouts will be a lot more run focused.  I plan to keep up with my biking as much as possible so that I don’t lose my newfound confidence but I know I am going to have to trade some of my swim time in for running time.  I genuinely love the water.  Swimming to me is relaxing and freeing.  I am starting to toy with the idea of doing a few open water swim races next year.  New challenge? Perhaps so!

Belmar Tri Report


(Before I continue, it is important to know a few things.  First, their timing mats malfunctioned and therefore some splits were not recorded.  My bike split is missing but I was able to figure it out between calculating my other splits and using my odometer.  The worst part about the malfunction is that I have no idea where I placed within each discipline.  Secondly, their distances were slightly off…this happened last year as well so I am not surprised but it helps to know the exact distances.  Lastly, regardless of the slightly smaller distances than advertised, I still PR’d.  And by such a great margin that even had all the distances been point on, I still would have PR’d!)


Wake up call 4am once again.  Ran a little behind and for some reason WaWa was packed so we skipped coffee and headed straight downtheshore.  Once there I had to get my packet- this was a comp race for me so I had to still get all my things in order.  Finally, I was numbered and headed to set up transition.  I had a really bad rack spot; it was far from swim in, bike out and bike in.  The only upside was that it was all the way on the end so at least it was easy to find.  Once I was set up, it was hang around time.  Took some photos with teammates and hung out with my parents.  Yes, parents…my dad came to this race too!  Before I knew it, we were heading down to the beach.  It was go time. 

Swim- 9:22

I had a great swim.  I remembered from last year to dive into the waves instead of trying to fight them off.  It worked great!  Once I was past them the water was calm and I easily found a rhythm.  One girl kept stroking into my leg and it was getting really annoying…I had no choice really but to kick her off- enough is enough!  When I finally got away from her I really poured it on.  While I think the swim might have been a little short, I don’t think it was more than 25 meters or so.  I was very happy with my swim and my speed getting out of the water and all the way into transition…it was a long run from the water, through the sand, over the boardwalk, across the street and into T1!

What I would do different:  Nothing really…this was a solid swim

T1- 2:13

Ate a few bloks and got my helmet on.  Was drying my feet and trying to go as fast as possible but my feet were so dirty from the run in!  I ended up just dealing with wet socks and going about my way.  The only really bad thing was that I forgot to put on body glide before the race…I didn’t want to waste time, so I just went on without it through T1.  Big mistake.  Big.

What I would do different: I needed a second towel solely for feet drying!  Oh, and it is okay to “waste” time on body glide!

Bike- 40:34; 15.9mph avg.

Mounted the bike and took off.  Thanks (as always) to my friend Kate who pumped my tires, I was hauling butt on the bike.  (Turns out my air level was really low-oops.)  The bike is three loops…down, around and river and back.  The turn around is super tight and the only time I really slowed down.  Oh, other than the time on my second loop where a girl dropped her water bottle and I had to slam my breaks to avoid it!  That was a close call!  If it weren’t for the scenery of the lake and ocean, this ride would be super boring…but it is flat, fast and pretty so I like it.  This was my best biking yet- seems like I am getting better and better with each race. 🙂 

What I would do differently: My dismount still needs some work.  I MUST do more brick workouts!!!

T2: 1:20

I really wanted to get in under a minute…but it took me close to that just to get from the Bike In to my rack spot!!!  Once I got there, I racked and peaced out.  I grabbed two GU’s, downed one, and put my race belt and visor on all as I was running out of transition.

What I would do differently:  Nothing. I was happy with this.

Run- 35:39; 11:30 pace

Once I was all situated I began to jog slowly along…but it took less than a 1/4 mile for me to realize that my calf cramp was not going to go away without some effort.  I gave in and stopped to stretch it out.  As I began to run again another girl, Sarah, ran up next to me and we jogged along together for a little while.  Turns out, she was also recovering from a hip injury!  The run is one loop around a lake and then out and back along the ocean.  As we neared the end of the lake loop Sarah encouraged me to take off as she needed to slow down.  I was pumped by the crowd (the end of the lake loop is also right at the finish) and the energy got me going.  I kept a good pace until the damn crap reared its ugly head again with about a mile or so left to run.  I actually had to once again stop completely to stretch it out.  Here, I met Mike, who was also suffering with calf cramps.  Unfortunately, Mike was having it a lot worse than I was and could hardly walk.  I decided to try to walk mine out since there was only about a mile left in the race.  I jogged/walked and then really picked up the pace when I started to see the crowd.  At about that time, my friend Brian found me and walked/ran with me.  At one point I looked up and said to Brian, “wait is that the finish?  Are we here?” because I could not believe it came up so quick- I looked at my watch and knew I had a PR.  From that moment on, I poured it.  I sprinted through the finish high-fiving people as I went by and crossed the line with a huge smile. 

What I would do differently:  I ran much more solid at NJ State and the difference is, I was taped.  This was perfect running weather and if my calf hadn’t cramped I would have run a lot better.  There isn’t much I could do different, I gave it 100%…maybe I could have pushed through the cramping but the truth is, I am still gun-shy about pushing too hard and getting injured.

Overall: 1:29:31

This was a great race.  The weather was great, my parents were both there and I had a good time.  Of course getting a new PR helped too!

And photos…


Going out to the swim- I love this photo!

See ya in about 10 minutes!

Bike, dismount straight ahead!

Headed to the finish…feet both in the air, passing some girls in my age group, smile on my face!

TT kids, post race 🙂

Transition…post race

No body glide…the aftermath!


I am so happy to be back racing!  When I got home from Belmar, I thought to myself “I think I am finally getting good at this” but really, I think it is a mixture of realizing who I am when it comes to this sport and confidence.  As soon as I gave myself a break, decided to just have fun and relax with my racing, I have been excelling.  Additionally, the support I get from my family, teammates and friends and all of you is amazing!