Friday, September 12, 2014

2014 Rev3 Cedar Point 140.6 Race Report - Part 2 - A Lesson in Humility

I knew it was going to be difficult to complete my first 140.6 race but never in a million years did I expect it to be as difficult as it was. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. Physically and mentally. Even though almost everyone I talked to said to "just finish" this one, I had higher hopes for my finish time. I can't help it. As a competitive person I want to always do my best. I know I shouldn't care what other people think about my performance but I do care. So when things started out so rough for me Sunday I battled my mind for hours and hours. Sure I might not have the time I had imagined but I would under no circumstances not finish this race! It meant too much for me. And it meant something to the people that love me and all of the people that supported me along the way including my Rev3 teammates, friends and family members. I didn't want to let them down.

Prerace setup in Transition
Prerace:

Steve and I got to transition around 6am with plenty of time to setup our bike fuel and our gear bags. It was dark and we were both more quiet than usual - probably the fear of the unknown stirring in both of us.  Transition buzzed with activity but all I could hear were my thoughts...We did the training, we practiced open water swimming at Mentor Headlands, we put in the long rides and the long runs. We should be ready for this. We have to be ready for this. We said hi to a few of my teammates and friends and got ready for the stroll down the beach to the swim start.

As daylight neared it was clear that the water was not as calm as I had hoped it would be. It sounded more like Ocean Erie than Lake Erie. I drowned out the worrisome thoughts and focused on my breathe. When we arrived to the start we had a little time for a warm up. The waves weren't too bad in the warm up and I felt good. The water felt pretty warm to me and I was ready to get it started. The waiting is always the part I dislike the most. They called us back out of the water and my teammate Rachel snapped a quick shot of us before the start. We saw some teammates and CTC friends and we all prepared for the start.
Almost go time! 


The Swim: 2.4 Miles of FML

I entered towards the back left of the pack with Steve and as we started to enter the water it seemed like the water grew more wild. Waves were smacking against our bodies and I tried to make it fun like when you're at the beach and you wave jump. After a minute of running in and a couple dolphin dives the swim was on. I could tell that it would be challenging swimming against the current with the waves and chop but I felt ready to take on the day so I kept calm and freestyled for what seemed like forever to get to the turn around bouy. I looked at my watch, which read 52 minutes. I was 10-12 minutes behind my goal pace so not great but not terrible in a rough swim such as this.

The second loop was definitely worse. The water was rougher and after seeing my teammate Susan backstroke I decided to do the same. It was a nice break from having the waves blast me in the face. The only obvious problem with this is the lack of sighting. Occasionally I'd flip back onto my tummy and freestyle or breaststroke to position myself. Even moving straight ahead it was very difficult to see the buoys and even other swimmers. There were a couple points in the race where I was just
The Swim start
treading water in the middle of the lake trying to decipher which way to go. I'd wait for a swimmer or kayaker to point me and I'd be off again. I looked at my watch and was shocked to see that I had been in the water for an hour and 50 minutes as I saw the last set of candy corn looking buoys I knew I didn't have much time so I did my best to push through despite being tired and feeling seasick. It felt like it took me forever to get to the shore and I looked at my watch in disbelief as it read 2 hours and 10 minutes. Most of my practice swims of 3500-4000 meters at headlands had taken me no more than an hour and 15 or 20 minutes so I of course was pretty fatigued not to mention sick to my stomach from taking in numerous gulps of tasty Lake Erie water. I have never been so thankful to finish a swim. I never thought I would drown or anything but I wanted to quit so many times on the second loop that I just had to keep my mind on the task at hand.

T1: 

I had a long T1 at 12+ minutes and at the point after the long, disappointing swim I really didn't care how long I took in transition. I was frustrated and sick to my stomach. Fortunately my Rev3 teammate Laura was in the women's changing tent to help comfort me and get me ready for the long ride ahead. She helped me get my head into a better place. I'm thankful to have teammates/friends who genuinely care about me and my well being.

The Bike: 112 Miles of Blah


I love the bike. Some days I even love it more than the run. This day however was not one of those days! It was a long, sufferous ride for me. For the first hour I was seasick and throwing up so I was not able to get in any nutrition. Once I started to eat I felt better but I definitely felt fatigued from swimming a lot longer than I had anticipated. And there were some funky winds as usual that I just
Beautiful, sunny day for the ride albeit windy!
didn't have much energy to fight. My plan had been to average at least 18, which I did only for the first split. My second split quite frankly sucked but I was able to get back on track somewhat on the second half. The special needs bag at mile 50 was a godsend. I chugged an iced coffee and ate some chocolate and that was a real pick-me-up! The last 30-40 miles of the ride my neck and back were killing me and I could not wait to get off of the bike and start the run. It seemed to take forever. Finally after 6 hours and 57 minutes I got off the bike. Not the time I was shooting for or capable of but I was elated to be onto the run. The run is my thing. I was actually looking forward to ending the day in my best event.

T2:

Again I had a long T2 at 10+ minutes. If you just add up my transition times alone I could have had a better race. I was exhausted and disappointed in how the day had went so far. In the women't tent this time I had my teammate Jaime and some others helping. I was again happy to have some friendly faces around this late in the day.

The Run: 26.2 Miles of Happiness

I was so happy to be on the run that I went out too fast the first few miles and then it caught up to me with a little walk break. I did not want to walk the marathon. I take the most pride of all in my run and I was determined to at least put in a decent run split to end the long day. I got to see Steve a few times including at mile 14 for me where he just had a mile to go until his finish so that was exciting and gave me a much needed boost. The run was by far my favorite. I had so many teammates and rev3 staff and friends cheering me on that it kept my mind off of the pain. I had been worried about my foot but it held up pretty well and really didn't even begin to hurt until later in the marathon. I kept to my plan to run and only walk the aid stations. Probably my favorite parts of the run were later on when they were handing out hot chicken broth, which was indescribably delightful for someone that's been working out already for 13 hours and then later when it got dark and I was running along the road to Cedar Point I could see the park lit up and all the cars driving by would beep at me and yell motivational things at me. I'll never forget that image. It gave me abundant energy. At a time when many were walking I just kept running. I finished the run in 4:51. Not bad for the end of a 14 hour and 21 minute day. I was at least happy with one of my three sports.

The Finish: Finally

Crossing the street to the finish a number of my Rev3 teammates were there running with me. I took everything in. The sights, the sounds, the smells. I was tired but awake. I had accomplished my goal of completing my first iron distance race. Not as fast as I wanted but I had perservered. I didn't let the sucky swim stop me or the lackluster bike. I went for it on the run and took back my race.

At the finish my friend and Rev3 announcer Sean English played a special song called "Rose Tattoo" by the Dropkick Murphys to honor my late cousin Danielle who loved the band. I was able to raise more than $2100 for the American Brain Tumor Association and hope it will make a small bit of difference for someone else that is fighting cancer. My battle for the day was hard but certainly nothing in comparison to those who must fight cancer.



Post Race:

After the race Steve and I hung out for a while with our Cleveland Triathlon Club friends. I devoured some Pizza and had a special post race IPA from my friend Phil and then we headed over to the Rev3 team tent for a while. On the way back to our hotel we found a 24-hour diner and both devoured a couple of hard-earned cheeseburgers!

My fast husband and me at the finishers brunch
The next morning Rev3 had a nice Finishers brunch and gave out awards for the Full athletes that placed overall and in their age groups including my husband! Steve ended up finishing in 12:09 and placing third in his age group out of 26 people. I'm so proud of him and glad that at least one of us made it to the podium.



Closing Thoughts:

An iron distance race is more mental than physical. You have to dig deep and ignore the aches, pains and negative thoughts. In my mind I wanted to quit a number of times but I knew that I couldn't succumb to those moments of weakness. I had to be strong. I worked too hard to let it slip away. Pain is temporary, pride is forever.

We are all capable of so much more than we think. We just have to decide that we want something and go after it. Such is the case with the 140.6 training. Just pick a race, commit to the training and do it. Don't overthink it or you'll always find a reason to get out of it. Sure there will be sacrifices along the way but in the end you'll be glad you did it.

Let your time be what it will be. If you show up on race day and go home a finisher then you succeeded. It's more about the journey than the destination anyways. I know I'll go back at it again for a faster time when I am ready but I now have the confidence to know that I have already done it. I took on the 140.6 distance and I survived it. Perhaps the adversity of the day made that finish just a little sweeter.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014 Rev3 Cedar Point 140.6 Race Report - Part 1 Getting to the Starting Line

I dreamed of the day that I would complete my first 140.6 iron-distance triathlon race. In my dreams it went a little smoother than it did on Sunday. It was a roller coaster of a race for me and I am proud of my ability to dig deep and finish my first full on a tough day and tough week emotionally.

Race Week had been going well. I was staying calm throughout the taper and all was well in the universe until Thursday night at 8:45PM when my phone rang. My dad had called and left me a message that I needed to call him back right away. I called him and was completely shocked when he told me that my baby brother Justin had fallen at work and was lifeflighted to Metro Health in Cleveland. I had no idea if he was going to live or die at that point so I was terrified. Steve and my daughter Marley and I rushed to the hospital and got there around 9:45 just as my parents and Aunt were arriving. We were not able to see Justin right away so we all nervously sat around and paced in the ICU waiting room waiting for news. Finally around 11:30 we were able to see him. I went in with my Mom and Dad. The poor thing was not conscious and it didn't really even look like him as his whole face was swollen, eyes black and blue, face bloody with a breathing tube. It was a sight I will not soon forget. We left the hospital to get some sleep but needless to say sleep did not come easy. 

Friday I had a couple of morning meetings at work that I somehow managed to get through but left early to pickup my daughter and head to the hospital to see Justin again. As of that morning he had still not gained consciousness and we were not sure the extent of the damage. Fortunately he did regain his consciousness that afternoon and the doctors confirmed that his brain seemed to be okay as were his neck and spine. He had suffered several facial fractures, arm and hand fractures, broken ribs and one broken vertebrae in the neck. Once the doctors confirmed that he would be okay I decided to move forward with the race. I rushed home to pack, get something to eat and try to get some sleep.

Saturday I awoke feeling a little better but still tired. Steve and I had a big breakfast, did a quick 20 minute trainer ride, loaded up the bikes and gear and headed to the hospital for another visit with Justin. I was relieved to see that he was doing better and was awake and talking. He even asked me for a hug and kiss. Knowing he was improving put my mind at ease. We headed out to Sandusky, stopping on the way at Panera to pick up food for the team lunch.

My crazy awesome Rev3 Family!
We arrived at Cedar Point around noon and picked up our race packets, timing chips and goodies. We met up with the Rev3 teammates at the Rev3 tent for lunch and there was a great group of people there. I was so excited to see everyone as some I have not seen since earlier in the summer or even March at the team summit. Our team manager Carole (mama bear) was there with us too!

Bikes racked in transition!
After lunch we got our bikes ready for check in and set them up in transition. With this being my first full and Steve's first full we had a lot of questions about the swim to bike and bike to run bags, special needs bags, etc so my teammate Stephanie who was working the race explained all of that to us and showed us where to put everything and where the changing tents were. Once we had all that figured out it was time to head over to the Breakers Express to check into our hotel room and get ready for dinner.

For dinner we met the Cleveland Triathlon Club folks at Sorrentino's Little Italy for a big dinner of bread, pasta and of course an IPA. It was great to be around so many friends many of which were doing their first 70.3 and another who like Steve and I was doing his first full. Once we were so full that we could not walk it was time to head back to the hotel to pack up our swim to bike, bike to run and special needs bags. The process went pretty smooth. Since we had two beds in the room I used one bed to organize all my stuff and Steve used the other to organize his stuff. After about an hour it was done and we decided to read for a little while and get ready for bed. Even with the melatonin I took I could not sleep. I was way too excited. I tossed and turned looking over at the clock anxiously as it read 10PM, 11PM and then 12AM. I think I finally fell asleep around 12:30 and the alarm was set for 4:45. Needless to say I have had weeks with better sleep leading into a race.
CTC dinner at Sorrentions with our friend James and many others!

Race morning the wakeup call came at 4:45 and it was almost a surreal feeling. Was I dreaming or was it actually thee day that I would toe the line for my first 140.6?! Steve and I were both excited and nervous. I chugged a Starbucks iced coffee and took a quick shower to mentally prepare myself for the long day ahead. After getting dressed and affixing all the race tattoos including a special one honoring my cousin Danielle "Smoxy" who lost her battle with cancer last year and hand drawing a heart with my brother's name on it, I was ready for breakfast. I was able to eat a couple of gluten free blueberry waffles with maple syrup and some watermelon and I downed a cocount water. We were out the door at 5:45 and headed over to the transition area. Once we arrived there it would be just a matter of minutes before our first 140.6 triathlon would begin. Wow!



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Five days til my first 140.6 & five things I've learned along the way

The countdown until Rev3 Cedar Point 140.6 is on! In 5 days I will run, jog, or hobble across that finish line as fast as humanly possible for me on that day. Whatever the day brings I'll be ready. I feel like so much of the journey has just been leading up to the race, which will be a part of that journey also. I'm excited to share this special day with my husband, who is also completing his first 140.6 race as well as my Rev3 teammates and Cleveland Tri Club friends. It's been a long summer of training and I am so ready. 

So to honor these last five days leading up to the race I wanted to share five things that I've learned as a result of training for my first 140.6 iron-distance triathlon:


  1. Training is easier when you have family and friends that support you. In my case having a husband to train with and friends to train with as well as my Rev3 teammates has really been so valuable. My work has also been supportive too. On days when I felt low they were there to lift me up. On days when I felt high they were there to share in those moments too. I am blessed to have the support of so many people, which has helped me get to where I am today.
  2. Planning is key but plan to have some fun too. You must have a plan to get in the needed hours to train for such a big event. You have to get up early and workout, fit things in on your lunch and workout at night before dinner. Weekends during the build period can be consumed with key workouts but you can still have fun. Plan some workouts and races with friends and make some memories as you train. I look back on all the good times we've had with friends this summer and the training went by so fast!
  3. Embrace every part of the training. I've been guilty of ignoring the swim in past years but that was not an option this season training for a 140.6. I started the work on cold, snowy days and it continues a few times each week. In particular I have fallen in love with open water swimming. I've spent many days swimming at Mentor Headlands this season and each time I am out there I feel so alive. It is challenging and fun and I look forward to it. Not to mention that swimming gives my tired legs a break! I hear other triathletes complain about the bike or run. Whatever your weakest of the three is make sure you put in the work in that area especially!
  4. Recovery is part of the training also. I have had knee pains, foot pains, back pains, total exhaustion and days where I feel like a million bucks. There will be aches and pains. Make sure to rest and recover. Stretch frequently. Use a foam roller. Get a massage. Eat well. Sleep well. Hydrate. Take vitamin supplements. Take days off when you need to. My foot has been bothering me for the last month or so with tendonitis or my arthritis flaring up. I've taken up to a week off and been in for treatments on it. Don't wait too long if something hurts. Fix it! 
  5. Keep calm and carry on. This phrase is used often now but I had to use it. This is so important to successful training. There will be ups and downs in your training. And as I just mentioned there will be aches and pains. There will be days when you just want to throw in the towel. Accept those days. It will pass. Just stay as calm as possible and carry on with your plan or as close to your plan as possible. You will get to where you need to be. For me, I can remember being so nervous before my first 70.3 also at Rev3 Cedar Point. I don't feel as nervous for this. I feel more calm than I expected to the week of the race. Sure I am excited and a bit nervous but I know that I have done the training and I know that I will give it my all Sunday. I can see my goal. The finish line awaits


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cedar Point Preview Day & Training Update

CTC Rev 3 Preview Day:

This past Saturday the 16th Cleveland Triathlon Club held a course preview day for the upcoming Rev3 Cedar Point Triathlon. Riders had the option of riding a 62 mile loop or double loop that ended up being 100 miles. Close to 100 riders came out to take advantage of the day. A number of CTC members and local companies volunteered their time to make it a successful training day. Thanks to Ken Beech for helping manage the event; Leah at Liquid Lifestyles for helping with the swim clinic; Boom Nutrition  for donating some nutrition and a huge thanks to Powerbar for providing us with a lot of great products for the event including gels, bars and the delicious new wafers!

getting ready to start the ride!
It was a chilly morning when the ride started just after 9am but things quickly heated up. The weather was good and the route was clearly marked thanks to CTC. Unfortunately things didn't start out so well for me. Not thinking, I had had a deep tissue massage the day before the ride to celebrate my birthday. It was a painful hour or so to warm up as my hips, quads and back felt like they were on fire and I was a wee bit crabby. Once that feeling passed I was okay. Special thanks to my husband Steve for putting up with me for the day. CTC had arranged for an aid station and restroom to be available around mile 40 and then again around 80, which was awesome. They had water, cookies, Powerbar, Boom and pretzels available, which really helped us out. Thanks to the folks that volunteered at the aid station!

Steve before the ride
Overall the ride went okay for us although not as well as I hoped for. We finished the 100 miles in around 5 hours and 30 minutes (around 18mph) despite a heck of a lot of wind and it getting hotter in the afternoon and it just being the two of us for the last 40 miles. I think we would have been more efficient with our race wheels and aero helmets. After the bike we headed over to Fatheads Brewery with our friends Janet, Joe and Brandon for some hard earned beer and burgers, which was a perfect end to the day!


Training Update:

So the bike has been going well and on schedule with about 10 hours of riding last couple weeks and the same planned for this week leading into the 2-week taper. I'm hoping to finish the 112 mile bike in around 6 hours on race day but also know I have to save a little juice for the "little" 26.2 mile run after the bike.

The swim has been going well. I've actually been swimming three times a week for at least an hour to an hour and a half, which is terrific for me. I am hoping this consistency pays off. Last Sunday I completed a long open water swim at Mentor Headlands alone. I swam for an hour and 5 minutes and calculated about 3400-3500 meters. I felt good even coming back against the current.  Because I tend to swim better after I am warmed up I hope to have some more efficiency in the second 2000 meter lap. I am hoping to complete my swim at Cedar Point between 1:15-1:20.

So ironically my run has been the only area of concern and only for the last week. I started to feel some abnormal fatigue and pain in my left foot at the end of my long run on Sunday the 10th. It started around 90 minutes in but I pushed through for another 45 minutes on it. Following the run it was sore so I iced it and took some ibuprofen for a couple of days. It felt okay by Wednesday so I went ahead with my 10 mile run that was scheduled for that day. All seemed well and I had no issues until later that evening. It was painful to walk and get onto my tip toes. I then decided to follow PRICE (prevention, rest, ice, compression, elevation) so I have not run on it since last Wednesdsay.

I went into the chiropractor Monday after work and he moved around some bones in my ankle and put the STIM on the foot and massaged it and also made some light adjustments to my back. He said he did not want to do anything too aggressive right now with the race being so close. In terms of the left foot, there is a history of injury with this foot including tendinitis and stress fractures. I was diagnosed with arthritis in my ankles years back but have been able to work through it. My left is definitely weaker and something I need to once again address in the off season. For now I have went back to using a shoe insert to give me a little extra support on the foot. I will also be using KT tape and/or compression socks for now. My chiropractor told me to run on it tonight on an even surface as we both suspect running on the roads (often the same routes) is largely part of the culprit for this current bout with tendinitis. The foot feels okay so I am hoping for good results and I will probably keep the run to 45-60 minutes at most. If that goes well I will do another shorter one Friday and then hope to attempt my long run on Sunday just before the taper starts. If the run does not go well I may have to shut it down for another week. For the race I would like to finish the 26.2 miles in 4:15-4:30 but will have to see what I have left in the tank at that point.

I think we're 17-18 days out now so much of the work for the race is done. This week is the final push with next week starting a recovery week and the following week being very relaxed leading into race day September 7. At this point I am feeling pretty good and assuming my run goes well this week I will feel very good about the training going into the race. All in all I hope to finish in around 12:30-13 hours but will have to wait and see what the day brings. The main goal for this one is to be able to finish.






Monday, August 11, 2014

Rev3 Cedar Point Training Update & Powerbar Contest Winner

This past week was the first of three big build weeks leading into a recovery and taper week for Rev3 Cedar Point 140.6. I'm happy to say that I got through it pretty well with just minor aches and pains. The week consisted of three bike rides: 2 hrs, 1 hr and 5 hrs; 3 runs: 90 minutes, 45 minutes and 2 hrs & 15 mins; two swims: 90 mins and 60 mins and about 60 minutes of stretching and lots of eating of course. 

I feel pretty good with the only minor issue being a little pain in my left foot around the navicular bone. It did not hurt while running but was achy after. I am taking advil and icing it and stretching, rolling it out as it likely a little tendinitis. I plan to tape it up with the KT tape before running my 90 minutes on Wednesday am. Aside from that a minor amount of low back pain towards the end of yesterday's run, which feels okay now. At this point I have to expect some discomfort for the next couple of weeks and then hope the recovery/taper will have me back to 100% for race day.

During this build I have designated Mondays as an off day although I did get up to stretch for 20-30 minutes, which felt very good. I will repeat this for the next couple of weeks as well as taking a gentle yoga class. I am avoiding the power yoga that I love so much right now as my body really does not need the added stress. This week I have about 18 hours on the schedule with about 10 of that on the bike, 4.5-5 on the run and the rest on the swim and yoga. Saturday I will be participating in the Cleveland Tri Club's Cedar Point Preview Day and will be riding about 100 miles of the course, which will be a great prep workout for the race. If you're planning to do Cedar Point or a different race please feel to join us just visit the CTC event page on facebook to sign up!

I am happy that so many people have been supportive of my fundraiser for the American Brain Tumor Association. Right now I have raised about $1200 towards my $2500 goal with 4 weeks left to go. If you have given thank you. If not, please consider even a small donation of $5-10 helps. To donate just click on this link and you'll be taken to a secure webpage. Last week I did a contest for a package of Powerbar goodies. The winner of that contest is Marianne Zappella. Marianne if you're reading this, thank you and congrats! Please contact me so that I can get your shipping address and send out your goodies!

Stay tuned this week for a sweet Cleveland Indians giveaway package!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Northern Ohio Team in Training Team Takes on the Greater Cleveland Triathlon

GCT Team in Training Team and Me on the end
One of the best things that happened to me this year was having the opportunity to coach a team for Northern Ohio Team in Training. A special thanks to my Rev3 teammate Heather Oravec for the suggestion. This amazing group that I've had the joy of coaching has renewed my love for triathlon. Week after week they showed up on Friday nights to swim at the Twinsburg Rec. Then for the last month as weather would allow they drove to Mentor Headlands on weekends to practice the Greater Cleveland Triathlon course. These folks didn't sign up to win the race. They signed up to make a difference in the lives of people suffering from cancer. Triathlon (or duathlon for some of the team members) was simply the means to make that difference. And the staff at Northern Ohio Team in Training are amazing too...probably the most caring people you'd ever meet.

This weekend it was time for this group to race. All these months of training had led up to that one moment when they would swim, bike and run (or run, bike, run) to the finish line of either a sprint or olympic distance race. For many on the team it would be only their first or second multisport event. Imagine if you will the excitement (both good and bad) that comes with such a task.

Mariah, Kelly, Ellen, Rebecca and I after the dinner
Saturday we planned to have a group open water swim at Mentor Headlands but we ended up having a storm with heavy rains and as a result I cancelled the swim practice. Team in Training hosted a lovely inspiration dinner for the team. Their speaker for the evening had been diagnosed with Mantel Cell Lymphoma and he shared his story with us. We also had an honored guest who had been diagnosed with childhood leukemia. So many stories of people just like you and me who had been diagnosed with blood cancer. At the dinner I got to say a few words to the athletes and their families. What I mostly wanted to say to them was thank you. Thank you for caring about and helping the patients and their families for reminding me what's important in life. After the dinner Steve and I had a chance to hangout with the team and enjoy a drink before heading back home.

Kelly & Mariah prerace
Sunday morning we were up at 5 to eat a quick breakfast and I needed to be at Mentor Headlands around 6am to meet the team. From 6-7 we gathered at the Team in Training tent and shared some laughs and advice. Mickey (the race director) started the athlete meeting at 7:15. Following the meeting it was time for the triathletes and the swimmers from our two relay teams to walk down the beach to the swim start. Even though I know some of the team were anxious there was a good vibe. They were ready!

Kelly and Rebecca before the swim
The olympic athletes would start first so I headed down the beach to see off Kelly, Rebecca and Ellen. They were able to get in the water for a few minutes to warm up and get used to it and then they were off. I shouted goodluck as each of them ran in to start their first leg of the race and then headed down the beach toward the sprint start watching over the swimmers to make sure all looked well.

Anita, Mariah, Jess and some other folks doing the sprint and sprint
Jess looking ready to go!
relays were also getting warmed up and ready to go. Again we had a few different waves and this group would not have to swim as far as the first group. I tried to keep everyone calm and shouted goodluck to each person, gave some hugs and they were off!

First out of the water was Kelly. Holly from Team in Training and I stood near the swim exit and cheered for all the team members until the last one came through. They all looked so happy to be done with the swim in Lake Erie!

Kelly finishing the bike!
Next up was the bike. My hope was just that the weather would hold out and that everyone would ride safely on both courses. Most of the athletes had road bikes but not all. In fact one of our team athletes Rebecca actually won a new road bike from Bike Authority as part of the annual raffle! Everyone made it in safely from the bike and the last thing remaining was the run (my personal favorite).

The run was either a 5K or 10K run depending on the race and
Rebecca finishing the olympic tri!
again we had athletes doing both race distances so it would be a little while before some of the folks finished and we headed over by the Team in Training tent and finish to cheer on the finishing team members. Everyone did well on the run as well! It was fun being able to scream and ring the cowbell for each one as they hit the finish.

Anita getting her award
After the race we had coffee, water and lots of good snacks at the team tent as well as some yummy post race food from Northcoast Multisport. Once most of the finishers were done they started the awards for each race. Our team did really well with a number of athletes placing in their age groups! In the olympic we had Ellen win her age group and in the sprint we had Anita win her age group, Jess placed 3rd in her age group and had a 5-minute PR and one of our relay teams won as well!

It was a great day and I am so proud of the work that the team did! They all pushed themselves to do their best and most of all helped Team in Training raise the money needed to save lives. Thank you to Mickey and Northcoast Multisport for putting on this event each year, to the volunteers on the course including my husband Steve and stepkids Evan and Grace as well as the Team in Training staff who came out to help and cheer. And an extra special thanks to Steve for all his help this season as I couldn't have done it without him!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Help Me Fight Cancer & Win Free Powerbar Goodies!

As part of my ongoing effort to raise funds for the American Brain Tumor Association, I will be giving away a package of Powerbar goodies to help fuel your training and racing for the rest of the season. All you need to do to be eligible is make a donation of ANY amount and you'll be entered to win.

The package contains the following Powerbar items:

  • Box of 24 Pomegranate Blueberry Acai Gels ($30 value)
  • Box of 6 Pear Apple Peach Energy Blends ($15 value)
  • Box of 15 Peanut Butter Cholcoate Chip Harvest Energy Bars ($22 value)
  • 4 Banana Performance Energy Bars ($7 value)
  • 4 Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars ($7 value)
  • 2 Peanut Butter & Jelly Performance Energy Bars ($3 value)
That's about $85 in Powerbar deliciousness! I'll cover the shipping so all you have to do is make a donation HERE by next weekend and you're entered to win. The winner will be posted to my blog, Facebook and Twitter the following week.

Thank you for supporting my fundrasier! Together we can beat cancer!