Category Archives: 2010 Adventures

Cat Maudy morphs into an Igloo

For months, Captain Paddy informs me “it’s coming”. He is referring to our least favorite time of year — called winter. I know what you’re thinking. Paddy has amazing insights ’bout the coming of the “seasons”.

The nuances of weather are amplified when you are engaged in an extended camping trip – on a catamaran. For us, the arrival of winter in Baltimore looks like:

1) frost on the dock making for a slippery and treacherous AM walk from Cat Maudy to shore.

2) no more running water. The marina decided to shut this off. It has something to do with 20 degree weather. Our running water consists now of whatever is left in our tanks. And that’s not much.

3) the cockpit of Cat Maudy is filled with bottles of pink liquid. That would be anti-freeze.

4) Captain Paddy’s mood is not so good. He has to put the pink liquid into the engine, the hoses…and anything else that will freeze and break.

5) our ‘boat camping’ experience is restricted to the salon. This is the only section of Cat Maudy that has any heat. We run all computers day an nite — to add to the heat factor!

6) we run our propane heater INSIDE. Some might consider this hazardous. Yes, the fumes could kill you. But we’re desperate for heat.

7) we avoid going down into the hulls for any reason. Here, your breath looks like puffballs of fog.

8) wool hats and 5 layers of clothing are worn 24/7. I’m starting a new hairstyle – called the matted hat look.

9) winds are blowing from the north – steady 25-35 knots – forcing new cold air to leak into Cat Maudy’s uninsulated structure. It’s breezy inside.

If that isn’t enough to push us to land life (or better yet, migrate south for the winter!), now the igloo people have arrived. The shrink wrap boys. Within hours (and in between wind gusts) – Cat Maudy is covered in a sea of white taut plastic. The good news is, that the wind gusts no longer send blasts of cold air thru Cat Maudy’s uninsulated structure. But there is a downside.

The entrance into Cat Maudy is a tiny door….that rests at an angle….making getting ON or OFF Cat Maudy a Cirque du Soleil challenge.

Here is how it works. First, you lie down on your belly and squirm around in the cold fiberglass cockpit or fishdeck…and with your arms, swim your way thru the tiny shrink wrap door. Don’t stop with any momentum you have made via “swimming”. Start kicking with your legs, until you are through the opening. If you are going OUTBOUND, grab onto something so that you don’t slide into the 40 degree water. If you are going INBOUND – resist the temptation to stand up. Keep flailing with your arms and legs until you are past the helm station. Then, work your way up to a standing position.

Watch the videos of Paddy and Jane demonstrating their unique styles on how to enter the Cat Maudy Igloo….

After 3 days of igloo life, I caved. As much as I resisted making any transition back to land – (knowing full well it would be a temporary transition) – the igloo broke my spirit. We dragged off the boat anything that could turn to mold for the next 3 months, contents of the ‘fridge, and of course Soxy….and reluctantly patted Cat Maudy a temporary good bye. Let me emphasize TEMPORARY. Don’t worry Cat Maudy, the first warm spell (above 30 degrees), we’ll be back. OK??

Cat Maudy hangs on as mighty mighty winds (tornado!) rip thru Baltimore

It was 1:34AM, and I’m pretty sure I was in a deep sleep…when suddenly Soxy and I bolted to a wide eyed upright position. The noise was deafening….and I shook Paddy to wake him. Paddy can sleep thru any weather condition, and it is my job to share these moments. I don’t want him to miss out. “Listen….listen to that noise” I demanded. It sounded like a freight train. The same sound we’ve experienced twice before – while aboard Cat Maudy. The sound of a tornado.

The winds roared so loud, you couldn’t hear much else…except for our typically still water now turbulently breaking into Cat Maudy’s hulls. I peeked out our hatch — to see a violent sea state. I’ve never seen the waters in our protected cove at Anchorage Marina quite so upset. I am hoping that all of Cat Maudy’s lines hold tight to dockside. I peer out another hatch to check on our anchored neighbors….and not one of the anchored boats is holding ground. Frantic sailors are doing their best to avoid crashing into nearby docks or boats.
Within 2 minutes….the wind driven freight train had moved through. We have escaped yet another tornado “direct hit”. And our anchored neighbors are busy looking for a safer spot for the night. In the news…

Capt’n Janie’s scary mast invention

It might appear that I have too much time on my hands. Not so. Actually, it has more to do with insomnia. I lay awake thinking… thinking… thinking…. and every now and then there is an idea that won’t let go.

Here are my ideas for Cat Maudy’s mast re-design.

Problem: How to modify the design of the top of our mast, so that Cat Maudy can easily navigate under 65′ bridges on the ICW without having to hoist one of the captains 63 feet above the water to remove “gear” that adds 2 or more feet to our “Air Draft”….and then return back UP to the top…when sailing in open water. Too much captain hoisting!!

Solution: The adjustable HINGED-HOLLOW-SPREADER with controls at the base of the mast to allow either (a) open water sailing with gear resting ATOP the mast or (b) bridge navigation with gear resting at some acceptable angle below the mast.

Watch this scary video for more on Capt’n Janie’s invention 😉

Note: This design has not been approved by Captain Paddy

Slowin’ it down….in Reedville VA

Not a whole lot happens in Reedville VA. Located near the southern end of the mouth of the Potomac River….Reedville is about as remote as it gets.

You will find the Menhaden fish factory nearby. This means that during “processing hours” (i.e. all day long) it smells like dead fish irregardless of which way the wind is blowin’. The locals say you get used to it. Hard to imagine.
Next to the local Cessna airport…is Jaynes Marine. It’s a new “cat” yard (catamaran) on the Chesapeake — and we are here to talk about “cat repairs” to Cat Maudy. Doug spent hours with Paddy talkin’ guy boat stuff….while I spent my time eating chicken soup and trying to bounce back from a nasty cold.
By Thursday, we decided to leave Cat Maudy here for the remainder of the fall…and get her back in ship-shape. Then reality set in. Biz was callin’. And by Friday, we decided to procrastinate the repairs until the spring – once our computer work settled into a more manageable pace.

So, for now, we get to breath “real air” without that fish scent upon departing Reedville, knowing that this feature will wait for us when we return in the spring.

Captain all grins as Cat Maudy screeches down the Bay

Winds 15-20 from the NW, with gusts to 25. This is Captain Paddy’s ideal world. Only one bit of data to potentially foil the day…rains and gale force winds to kick in later. “Later” is the operative word. Would we make it to Reedville VA before the weather intensifies?

Departed Annapolis harbor by 8AM, and we wasted no time raising the main sail, and turning off the diesel engines. Haven’t even unfurled the jib sail – and we are already doing over 8 knots. As we get closer to the mouth of the Severn, the full force of the winds are felt. For an hour or more, we sail with just the main.

It doesn’t take long to see that the weather is “changing” and the skies are getting darker. We need to make better time. Thus, we unfurl the jib sail…reefed. Cat Maudy easily hits 9-10 knots, for a very smooth sail with winds off our stern quarter. Somewhere near the mouth of the ChopTank River…a huge freighter called the “Northern Juvenile”, traveling at 21 knots makes a sudden turn directly at us. WOAH!! After a brief “holy sh#$” moment…Captain Paddy headed up and Cat Maudy INHALED the wind….getting us out of the path of the “Juvenile” in the nick of time. NOTE TO SELF: Big freighters make their own rules as to where the channels are in the bay…

Generally, when I get a call from shore (my brother) giving me weather updates — this usually means the weather is going south faster than predicted. Sure enough, BRO reports heavy weather in Solomons, MD by noon. We are 11 miles to Cove Point – near the Pawtuxent River. The winds gusts are now increasing, and Cat Maudy tops out at 13.2 knots. Sweet.

The skies are dark, and the rains have started. We are 2 miles from the entrance to the Patuxent River – and decide to abandon the notion of finishing todays trip in Reedville VA. Instead, we’ll take cover in Solomons, MD. Our 50 mile trip to Solomons took just over 5 hours of sail time…. Needless to say – Captain Paddy is in a very happy place!

Woa – we actually LEFT the dock in Baltimore!

After a failed first attempt on Friday…Saturday’s departure from Baltimore proved more successful. The winds have subsided MUCH from gale force – and it appears we will have a leisurely, no hurry sail south to Annapolis.

Leisurely it is. Highest speeds are 6 knots…and by the time we reached the Chesapeake Bay Bridge…we had slowed to 1.5 knots. This is a notch above floating backwards. The winds have disappeared. We motored to Annapolis harbor and decided to grab a mooring to stimulate the Annapolis economy (and grab showers, water taxi and all that fun stuff).

On shore, I just “HAD” to go for a 4 mile run through the Naval Academy…Jus Say’n!

Tropical Storm Nicole: 1 Cat Maudy: 0

Now that the rainy portion of Tropical Storm Nicole has moved north of Baltimore – we are left with her tailwinds. A bit fiesty (some call this GALE FORCE) – and strangely I was game for a sail to Annapolis.

We waited til noon – giving me ONE LAST EXERCISE OP and the gale winds a chance to subside based on professional weather forecasters. If you ask me, the winds got stronger after noon – but hey, who’s askin’? Paddy and I finished provisioning for a trip of unknown length, and only one known destination. Where the wind is blowing. The wind is blowing from the north – so it should be a fast sail – to whereever we decide to stop.

Left the A Dock at Anchorage Marina around noon…and we are quickly blown out past Ft. McHenry. “Maybe we should double reef the main?” I suggested to Paddy? Captain Paddy positioned Cat Maudy upwind and had plenty of work to do to hold her in place, while I attempted to raise the main to a double reef point. Once in place, all 3 of the reef lines need to be tightened.

I tried using my strength. No luck in tightening these lines. I tried the power tool….it sounded like the rigging would break. I tried step 3 – which usually works….”salty sailor talk”. No avail. The reef lines are jammed up – and in these heavy wind conditions…there was no fixin her.

We had only one choice…to return back to base camp. The problem now, is that our A-DOCK landing (perpendicular to the winds) would be very tough to land a wide-ass catamaran. So, we made an emergency landing on the Anchorage P-DOCK. From a dock point of view, we traveled about 500 feet today.

And the reef lines? They were just “tangled”. Likely I never noticed the “tangle” – as I usually do not depart knowing I have to double reef. For today, Tropical Storm Nicole wins. Cat Maudy will depart dockage tomorrow.

Skate of the Union – 2010

With a focus on triathlons, the tri sista hood has not put skates on in nearly a year.

3 weeks ago, Jilly and I decided to dust off, and lace up the Bont skate boots…. Yes, there was boot pain. Our feet were screaming. Yes, we moved slowly. Yes, old ladies walked faster than we skated. Yes, we wobbled and bobbled. Yet, after only a few miles of very little forward propulsion – Jill looked at me and said “I think you’re ready for Skate of the Union”. Jill can sell ice to Eskimos.
The Skate of the Union is an annual inline skate race – where East Coast and local amateur speed skaters…mix with the elite pro speed skaters. i.e. these folks move FAST. I had to agree with Jill. We’re untrained and unprepared. Perfect condition to step into this world of fast skaters.

Only one problem. The “we” in the Tri-SisterHood became “me”. My tri-sista hood refused to look silly on wheels with me. Isn’t that what sista’s are for? No problem. I had a plan. Don’t fall….and get to the finish line before the boots dig holes into my feet.
I signed up for the half marathon – which meant 12 laps on a 1.1 mile track in Chantilly, VA. I started in the back of the pack and would spend the first lap making sure I didn’t tumble. Within the first 1/4 mile – I discovered a new group of skate friends for the day. Meet Team New Jersey. Team New Jersey – is a group of 3 young skaters (teenagers?), and 2 skaters closer to mid-life — draft buddies Rose and Barry. We skated lap after lap in a lovely draft pack. We changed leads every half mile, and everyone did their job pulling the pack along. What a delight – pack skating and a friendly vibe!

Somewhere around lap 6, we latched onto the tail end of a larger pack of skaters. At the end of this pack – was a tall man in a navy blue shirt. I HAD to draft him. He blocked ALL of the wind…and suddenly skating became effortless. All we (my new friends from New Jersey) needed to do — was to stay right behind the tall man in blue….

On the sidelines, tri-sistas Tami and Jill are doing an incredible job as support crew. Tami took most of the pictures on her camera. I think they came out nice. Tami never downloads her digital pictures to the computer, she likes to keep them in her camera at all times. So you’ll just have to “visualize”. Jill was busy watching the skaters. A speed skater in a well organized pace line is a beautiful thing to watch. Who can blame her?
By now, I can’t wait to be finished – so the TriSistas can take off on our next athletic activity. But, first things first. I need to finish. It is now the last lap – and the large group of pack skaters we latched onto at Lap 6 — crossed their finish line. They were one lap ahead of us – Team New Jersey. I took the lead at this point – and never let go. I needed to finish…as fast as possible. Boot pain was taking over, and it was time to end this skating experiment. Rose and I coasted over the finish line – and I wasted no time removing my pink skate boots.
Reunited with Team TriSistaHood – Tami, Jill and I took off for a 40 minute run in the burbs of Chantilly. Being a Sunday morning – the roads are empty. Jill wanted to swim in a man-made pond filled with large lily pads in the middle of corporate America, but Tami and I restrained her.
We couldn’t lose any more time. Our thoughts had turned to food. It’s time for treats.

View more pictures!

Cat Maudy leaves the dock for Labor Day!

After 60 days of scorching temperatures over 90 degrees in the mid-Atlantic, a typical shortage of summer winds (which would have been too hot anyway), an exercise regimen that included 5 sprint triathlons and a host of other excuses (oh yeah – WORK!) – Labor day weekend changed all of that.

Temperatures plunged into the delightful range of mid 70’s, the humidity is gone, and thanks to a “cold front” – winds are steady 20s with gusts to 30. If Cat Maudy can’t get outta Dodge now…then she better have a pretty good reason.

In typical Cat Maudy form…we had no plan. Other than to depart the dock, and get the best angle on the winds. Where we are headed is unknown. How long we’ll be gone – again unknown.

What is known…is Soxy’s tummy wasn’t quite ready for motion. Soxy has been living large being an ‘A Dock’ kitty at Anchorage Marina for the summer – and suddenly bouncing around in waves was not part of her plan. Soxy is not in a good mood.

We put a reef in the main, and headed out the Patapsco River doing steady 8.5 knots. Added a reefed jib sail – and speeds are up to 10 knots. Unlike Soxy, Captain Paddy is grinning ear to ear and easily holding onto his lunch.

With winds from the west – we had many options once we reached the mouth of the Patapsco River. Feeling spontaneous, we opted to head south…. Will we then turn into the Magothy River? Nope.

We continued south under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge – and considered a nice quiet anchorage at Whitehall Bay vs a more ‘urban’ anchorage in Annapolis. True to form, we couldn’t decide – and opted to just let Cat Maudy go where she wanted. She choose Annapolis. We anchored in front of the US Naval Academy – and enjoyed an evening of glorious temperatures in the 60s and 70s.

2010: Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon

Headline News: Iron Girl Triathlon Team Sistahood completed the journey on Sunday 8/22/2010 (swim, bike, run) and are now a bunch of Iron Girls… (yes, it rained…thank you for asking!). Woo hoo!!!
And, for those of you who want details….here it is: Iron Girl is a women’s only sprint triathlon, held every August in Columbia MD. 2500 triathletes sign up each year – to test their stamina, determination and grit – for an event that can take as little as “just over an hour” for the PRO’s….to somewhere over 4 hours for those who want more time exercising.

Leading up to the Iron Girl sprint TRI – is endless training….and eating….and more training. It is an all consuming activity. You train…eat…think about your next training event…get hungry just thinking about it….turn the smallest detail into a training activity…
Our training looks something like this:

8/10/2010: 2 mile run on the Canton/Baltimore waterfront: 95 degrees. In dire need of air conditioning. Note to self….don’t run in this heat. Listened to my iPod with a whopping 2 tunes installed (Love Shack and Amadeus). They repeat over and over. Someday I’ll add more songs to the run collection

8/15/2010: Open water swim at Gunpower River: winds from southeast – huge waves – could only swim in 1 direction — WITH the waves. Tami (who is all of 78 pounds…wet) and I did water aerobics against the waves. WTF???? Who’s idea was it anyway to swim in this sh@#? (did someone say “Jill”)? Jill, Elliot and Tricia had no problems swimming both directions in the tsunami….That’s because they are pros. Every time I looked over at Tami she was being tossed around in the waves like a little cork. After that “swim” (or whatever you call what we did in the water!) I wanted to go and run. You know, just be cuz. Nobody else thought this was a good idea. I gave Jill the stinkeye, and Tami eventually caved. We did 3 measly laps around the parking lot to make up for the lack of quality swimming in the brown lake. After all of this nonsense…we headed to the diner to devour omelette’s and short stacks. Food makes everything better.

8/16/2010: Pool swim. I brought my new fancy smanchy watch to help me count laps…but then I forgot to press the button each time I did a lap. The one time I did remember to press the lap button on the watch….I sucked down a lot of water – so decided knowing the number of laps wasn’t that important. A man hopped in my lane after 30 min…He must be new to the pool. With my ultra wide kick…rarely does a man dare to jump in my lane and risk bodily injury…

8/19/2010: Last chance open swim workout at Gunpowder River: Just a few days b4 IronGirl – and needed a good vibe in the open water swim practice. Swim buddy Jill and I briefly read the warning post at the shoreline. Something about severe water contamination…b careful w/open wounds…and better not swallow any of the water – or you will notice a 3rd eye growing on your forehead. We should have headed back to our cars…but we got in the water anyway. I think the Purdue chicken farms got flooded upstream. The river is filled with feathers…and more things I don’t want to think about. Jill swam laps around me….I got tangled in seaweed…and managed to finish 1200 meters despite many thoughts about the nasty water.
The training season is now over, and it is Iron Girl weekend. This is where the bacon hits the grease, the sh@# hits the fan….or Tami just bakes us a bunch of cookies. IG weekend starts out with a mandatory shopping spree. It is a very well organized event. First you pickup your race packet with bib numbers….and then you sachet through a maze of vendors with anything and everything an exercise girl could want….but doesn’t really need. Don’t that that “need” factor stop you from buying tho….and there we were – bags bulging with new tshirts, post exercise dresses…and more spandex. Someone has to stimulate the US eco.

Saturday afternoon arrives – and it is now time to rack our bicycles….check out the transition area….and closely inspect the buoys in the water. Team Jill-Holly-Tami and I find our bike numbers amidst the 2500 bikes that are preassigned on large metal racks. We spend another 20 minutes staring at the surroundings trying to locate something “unique” that will alert us to finding our bike during the event. Tami’s bike is next to a tree….Holly is a few rows from Tami’s tree….and Jill and I are side by side near some bright orange cones. How hard can it be to find the orange cones?
Next stop….a quick view of Centennial Lake – the swim course. The finish line is dotted with bright orange buoys quite close together. This is a good thing – because one surely doesn’t want to get lost in the weeds while trying to get out of the water. At the swim start – a huge white buoy marks the beginning of the course. The swim course takes you close to shore in an “outbound” direction – keeping a close eye on some yellow buoys. Two bright red buoys mark the “turnaround” point, and then you head straight back on the opposite side of the lake – keeping your eye on a new set of yellow buoys, around the island…and to the finish line.
From our vantage point on shore – the swim distance looked quite long. I wonder how they measure up 1100 meters in the Centennial Lake? Jill, Holly and Elliot are busy discussing their swim strategy. They will get right up in the pack of swimmers, breathe bilateral, check their heartbeats to make sure they are in the ‘zone’, stay tight to the buoys, and swim past the crowd with their special dolphin kick to the finish line. Yeah right. Tami and I worked out a very different strategy. We would wait 10 seconds after the swim wave starts so that the peeps get out in front of us, stay far away from the buoys, far from the other swimmers, hope the kayaks would keep a close eye on us, and Tami would stay to my left so that we could always see each other. OK, so we might be swimming some extra mileage out there…
After spending another hour looking at the transition from every imaginable angle, we decided it was time to move-on from being overly neurotic – and get some food. Barbecue and a slumber party was part of the evening plan — the night before Iron Girl.
Jill wanted us to arrive in Centennial Park at 2AM so that she could get the first available parking spot. The slumber party IG’s (Holly, Jane, Tami) successfully vetoed this idea – and we arrived in Centennial Park at 5AM. We were one of the first 25 cars to arrive on site.
Along with the rain.
Possibly thunder and lightening.
For Tami and I, a little thunder-n-lightening could be some very welcome news. Especially, if it were to force the race organizers to abandon the swim portion of the TRI….and turn it into a run-bike-run. This wouldn’t be a bad thing. Jus say’n.
But no such luck. We proceeded back to the transition area – with bike shoes, helmets, running shoes, towels and whatever else seemed necessary to get us from one leg of the event…to the next. It’s still dark at 5AM – so it is a bit hard to see. I’m hoping that I pumped up the tires on my bike – and not someone elses.
By the time we finished setting up our transition space in the dark, got body marked, made a few trips back to the car, and waited in very long lines for the porta-potties….it is now time to meander over to the swim start. Holly gets in the water with her swim wave at 6:45 – and she swims like a fish out of the gate. Jill, Tami and I move with the herd of pink swim cap ladies toward the waterline. Our wave starts at 6:55AM – and it seems that these women can’t wait to get in the water. Tami and I get in the water up to our knees….and wait. Jill tries to coax us further, without much luck. Finally the race officials insist that we move further into the water. OK now….you don’t have to be so pushy. We’ll start swimming when we have to.
The gun goes off….and we watch Jill glide effortlessly through the water. That’s what swimming is supposto look like. I had counted to 6….(out of 10)…and Tami was getting impatient. She suggested we might want to start before the next swim wave gets in the water. Oh – ok. And we’re off.
I can assure you – there were NO swimmers on the outside perimeter of Centennial Lake. Occasionally, someone on a kayak a few feet from me – was saying something. With an earplug in one ear — I’m hearing impaired – so his conversation was one directional. But, I got the idea…these were the moments where Tami and I had ventured too far off course. Tami was swimming strong – and I had my work cutout for me — to keep up. Tami swims freestyle, and occasionally does some breast stroke. She swims at a perfectly choreographed cadence, one that was passed down to her from her older sister Beth. I swim using the 1-sided-breast-stroke-lurch. It’s a variation of the side stroke, breast stoke and butterfly – and I’m fairly certain it will be considered as an Olympic event – soon. In case you want to try this in your pool – you basically swim on ONE side (right)…propel outta the water (like the breast stroke) – but only on one side….and occasionally fly outta the water when attacked by seaweed. It is probably the most energy inefficient stroke available to mankind – but if you work at – you’ll get yourself a fine workout.
Slowly…we passed buoys. One at a time… and eventually rounded the red buoys – which meant we can start swimming to the finish line. Tami and I were focused on our swim….but always keeping an eye on each other. Tami would call out to me to swim closer to her – when I started weaving to the lily pads. And I would yell “watch out Tam” – when a swimmer came up behind Tami. I didn’t want my girlfriend to get mowed over….we needed our swim space. Before you knew it….we had reached land. Tami and I stood and hugged. We had done it. The swim is now behind us…and we’re feeling real good.
We run up the hill to the transition area… Where are those landmarks? The tree? the orange cones? Tami can’t see a thing without her prescription glasses – which she is not wearing. She is busy running circles around the transition area – and I can’t seem to locate those friggin orange cones. I eventually found my bike….and Tami located her tree. Whew.
Jill and Holly were long gone from the transition area – and the rain was now coming down in buckets. This should be fun. Tami and I take the first 20 minutes of the bike ride at a much slower than normal pace. Not sure how the bikes will react to slick roadways – and we don’t really want to find out. Slow is fine. For awhile anyway.
Ms. Madone, true to form – cannot hold herself back on an uphill. We easily fly past 30 bikers… And then, the dreaded downhill. Ms. Madone – who has not been herself this year – slows to a crawl to avoid the noodle affect. It’s better to be safe…than fast….so we watch all of the peeps barrel past us. Including Tami. “See ya Tam on the uphill” – I yell out. “Ok girlfriend – you rock” she replies as she whizzes by.
5 miles into the course, the rains had stopped…and the big pools of water on the roads were dissipating. Ms. Madone catches back up to all the downhill speedy bikers….who are now tiring on the uphills. And so we go….fast uphill….slow downhill….for the remainder of the bike race. And with the sheer volume of bikers on the roads….Tami and I became separated.
I returned to the transition area having successfully not fallen off my bike (due to slippery conditions or to the dreaded bike noodle)….and was pumped up to be starting the run. Not because I’m an exceptional runner or anything….but because I knew the end of all of this crazy exercising was near.
One problem…I can’t find my rack#. Did someone move those orange cones? Finally…there it is. I whipped on my running shoes….and bolted out onto the running course. Running….after you have swam 6/10ths of a mile…and raced on your bike for 17.5 miles…isn’t exactly easy. For the first 1/2 mile, you contend with leg mush. This is where you put weight on a leg…and it turns to mush. You spend your energy trying to talk your legs into behaving like a runner – but they just don’t listen. An iPOD would be handy (with my 2 favorite tunes) right about now…but the race officials won’t allow. With an iPOD, at least I wouldn’t have to listen to my own heavy breathing. You know you are breathing scary, when people ahead of you look back, eyes wide, mouth open and JUMP to the sidelines out of your way.
As I descend Heartbreak hill….I see Jill – ahead of me, looking strong. “You rock Sissy” Jill yells out….”No YOU rock Fluffy” I yell back….and she is long gone. Ahead of me is a para triathlete – who is doing an incredible job running with one leg, and one prosthesis. As I pass her, I greet her with “you are such an inspiration girlfriend”….I find myself suddenly very emotional. This woman really is – an inspiration. I vow not to bellyache about my breathing, or how tired I might be feeling. At least I can refrain from bellyaching for the next 10 minutes!
With a mile to go on the run course – I cross paths with Tami – who has not even broken a sweat on the run. She breaks out into a huge smile and we give each other some encouraging words. Jill crosses the finish line first with an amazing blazing time of 2hr 16 min, Elliot and I cross the finish in 2hr 22 min….Tami 2 hr 29min….and Holly well under 3 hours. Considering that Holly had to become a professional bike mechanic on the fly (her bike became possessed – and her chain popped off twice) — she showed what she is made of. Pure grit.
Many many thanks to our support team of Chuck, Paddy, Jim, Rick & Linda, and Dave who braved the wee early hours and rainy weather – to cheer us on, make us laugh and walk at least 5 miles to watch us from every vantage point. And special thanks to Paddy (who did his first TRIrelay this year), joined the gym to be my workout partner, and believes that I can swim in open water – long before I believed it….and Chuck (who also did his first TRIrelay this year)- who never misses an opportunity to support Fluffy, Sissy and everyone else in the periphery. xoxoxoxoxo
Moving forward….we have a new recruit to the TRI-family. Hellooooo Linda – let the fun begin!