Category Archives: 2011 Adventures

Annapolis Half

SOMETHING big was needed for our next athletic event.  Something for November.  Something big and ambitious.  Something that makes no sense at all.  


So, when an email fluttered it’s way into my inbox suggesting that there was 1 day left to register (before the price went up on Nov 1) for an inaugural half marathon – well that was all the incentive needed.  Plus — our entry fees go to a worthy cause.  What’s not to like?  Of course we could do this.  13.1 miles.  We never jog more than 3 these days….so why not try the Innaugural Annapolis Half Marathon?   


There were several reasons why we (the TriSistaHood) should NOT do this half marathon.   The biggest reason might be training (or lack of) – and the second biggest is timing – we only have 3 weeks to train for 13.1 miles.  Details schmetails.  


TriSista Jill had her game face on (i.e. weak moment) — so we signed for this event and proceeded to power-walk / jog like maniacs along the Baltimore promenade 9-11 miles at a pop every weekend.  I even attempted to jog along the new ICC pathway…with little success.  Our goal was simple.  Don’t get hurt.  So far so good.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011 – event day was a brisk 32 degrees.  Trisista Jill (Fluffy) and I arrived a mere 2 hours before everyone else.  Jill likes a good parking spot – and by golly we were front row at 5AM.  We spent the remaining 2 hours deciding how many layers of clothing to wear, and people watching.  People were walking about in the dark with only shorts and t-shirts, while we were bundled in 4-5 layers of clothing inside of a heated car.  Jus sayn.  



By 6:50am, we left the warmth of the car, to stand, hop around, and wait along with a maze of 4000 runners at the start.  Collectively shivvering.   Thanks to a technical malfunction, the race didn’t get started until 7:20.  This gave us a full 30 minutes to acclimate to the freezing temperatures.  


Finally, the race started, and the crowd began to surge.  Once we started running, body temperatures warmed – and it was a perfect day for 13.1 miles.  We ran with the big crowd along the narrow roadways, and wondered at what point would we resume our powerwalk/jog pace.    

We weaved our way through the historic district of Annapolis and made mental notes of cool places (coffee shops, pottery spots, and anything bohemian) we would need to visit some other time.  We also changed the channel on the sounds of  complaining muscles, and IT band woes.  Yes, the terrain was hilly and challenging.   Despite our efforts to maintain a pace that we had trained (if you can call it training!) with, there is nothing quite like running with a crowd of runners to keep your pace going faster that you thought you could do.   


We finished 30 minutes FASTER than our projected finish, and stoked that we accomplished another mind-over-matter athletic event.  Plus, we didn’t injure anything in the process!   Now…what to do in December….   


More photos!

Cat Maudy to Reedville for the winter

Cat Maudy sails (or tries) south for her winter ‘home’. Home this year will be Reedville VA. It’s a dot on the map just south of the mouth of the Potomac. She’ll be getting some work done – on the hard. Departed from Baltimore on a beautiful fall day – temps in the upper 50’s. The weather window would be 3 straight days of basically ZERO wind…with light breeze from the south. South breezes mean warmer temps, so we are OK to sacrifice the sail (this time only!) for warmer temps! Three hops…day 1 to Annapolis, day 2 to Solomons MD, and day 3 to Reedville VA.

Photo and video gallery

SeaGull Century Bicycle Ride – 2011

We trained and trained for a 100 mile bicycle ride on the Eastern Shore – but nothing could have prepared us for the extreme winds on event day. For the most part, we ignored the weather forecasts of wind gusts to 40mph. It just “couldn’t” be true.

We met our match – and somehow managed to persevere. On many occasions the crosswinds tossed us off the road, and the headwinds slowed our speeds (at times) into single digits. We ran over 2 big black snakes, saw the aftermath of a bad bicycle accident, ate way too many bananas and fig newtons (rest stop fare), and devoured cherry pie and ice cream – at mile 84. 7 hours and 22 minutes later – 3 exhausted, wind-beaten WAAAY ready to be off our bicycle tri-sista team of Jill, Jane and Tami – crossed the Seagull Century finish line. Woo ha!

Photo slideshow

Cat Maudy sails da’sewer waters of the Bay

A week after Hurricane Lee drowned nearly every community along the Susquehanna River – we decided it was time to explore the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. We discovered…a sewer…debris large enough to puncture recreational boats, submerged huge blue barrels of questionable contents…and the water took on a shade of chocolate brown.

Despite the downsides…Cat Maudy left the Baltimore dock…for sail time…and ended the day in Annapolis.

View Photo and Video Album
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Skate Of The Union 2011

With Mother Nature hurling 1 earthquake and 2 hurricanes at the mid-Atlantic over the past three weeks, coupled with complete lack of skating (let alone skate racing) and skate training partners – a very loud voice in my head told me NOT to enter the Skate of the Union race this year. But, no. The lack of skating or skate opportunities didn’t seem to matter. I entered anyway.

Entering an event, means that I have to do it. There’s no backing out. My skate race training consisted of ONE (count it!), ONE hour for the entire year. And yet for some reason, I thought I could win. Go figure.

September 11, 2011 turned out to be a perfect day for Virginia, Maryland and DC skaters (plus many who traveled further!) to get together and draft, heel carve, double-push, maintain skate technique until your quads cave, and GO as fast as possible around a 1 mile+ flat track – for 10K, 1/2 marathon or the full marathon — all to benefit the Special Olympics.

Skating is an endorphin rush…and being a part of a kick-ass draft line is about as exciting as it gets (too bad I couldn’t keep up with any!). Unlike the prior year where I drafted with Team New Jersey, or behind a big man in a blue shirt….this year was different. I skated a few laps with random skaters, in general I was solo for most of the skate – either too fast for draft lines, or too slow. While my quads were screaming from the lack of training – I managed to stay upright and finish…and take second place with a spot on the podium. How ’bout dem apples eh?

The skate community is pretty tight – and it was all worth it being reunited with old skate friends from the days of Leukemia Team-n-Training, A2A-86mile, Eddie Matzgar clinics, Team Skaters Quest, and Team Rollerquest of Baltimore. Will train for this next year!

Every little thing, is gonna be alright

Celebrating the Iron Girl TRI Journey

Columbia, MD
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Time….matters.
Somewhere mid-way through endless hours of swimming, freestyling, studying technique, breathing efficiently, bicycling, hill repeats, interval training, running…fast running….and just thinking that we are running fast….for one very long week in early July….time stopped.  Training stopped.  Perspectives changed…and not a whole lot about anything that we once thought “mattered”….mattered any longer.
When the Emergency Room physician first discovered the large mass in TriSista Jill’s lungs — there was name dropping.  The “C” word.  It was a game changer….and suddenly we were all an even tighter knit group of friends-and-family.   There was a lot of Google medical research done by not-so-medical-family-members….text messages averaged 100 per day….and we looked for a sign…any sign…of hope.  We hoped someone in our network might include some kick-ass doctor at Hopkins.   We hoped for a new reality.   And suddenly, 3 little birds appeared.
The first sign occurred while stimulating the economy at Starbucks.     As I waited to be served an extra-dosage latta-soy-latte….the hub of the coffee grinders and cash registers hushed….and the chorus line of Bob Marley’s tune….repeated over and over.  Who listens to the music at Starbucks – when you are in a rush for caffeine?  Yet, some force….beyond logic…was begging me to pay attention.   This was a message for our TriSista Jill….and in a strange surreal twist, that turns logical thinkers into head-scratchers – the message was clear.  “Every little thing is gonna be all right”.
For the next 3 days, the scene repeated itself at Starbucks.  Each day….the same Bob Marley tune was playing.   How is that possible?  And sure enough, with the power of all of the TriSista’s, friends-n-family positive thoughts….OK – AND with the help of some kick-ass doctor at Hopkins….Jill’s diagnosis changed from the “C” word….to something akin to a medical turd caused by too much open water swimming near chicken farms on the Gunpowder River.
In case you are getting bleary-eyed, and wondering if this year’s Iron Girl Columbia TRI Blog is a bit of a ‘tear jerker’….don’t you worry.    With a new lease on life, TriSista Jill was not about to let the rest of us off the hook.   Oh no.  That week off of training….the luxury of sleeping in until 6AM….those days were over.
Thanks to Patty (who we recently discovered is the state champion for dead-lifting farm equipment in Maryland), a new watering hole was discovered.  Located west of Frederick, was a clean lake, shallow (uber important – jus sayn;-), with live fish, under-water-visibility – and no floating bird feathers or duck poo.  This became our open water swim training grounds.   Every weekend, we car-pooled (no pun intended 😉 an hour-plus drive….to wait another hour plus to get into the popular crowded park….to swim 30 plus minutes….inhale food an hour plus at the Myersville diner….and add another hour plus drive to return home.   Never once did we question the logic of this training routine.   We’re triSistas….this is what we do.

South of the border (North Carolina)….TriSistas Holly and Shelby had ramped up their training program to new heights.  By Golly Ms. Holly could be seen puttin’ on the ritz (code for “makeup”) both before and after training bricks.   Apparently Holly has designed a special “speed cream”, that you work up into a lather, plaster it onto any slow moving body parts – and instantly – you move “slick”.  She did not share her speed cream with the rest of us, but we will be watching her closely from now on.

Shelby had gotten herself an iPod.   She discovered that if you crank up the volume on your iPod, you no longer hear your body complaining about pain.   Let’s just say that Shelby got a little too carried away with the volume control.  When her foot finally broke with a stress fracture….during the final leg of her first ‘southern belle’ triathlon, she didn’t hear it coming.   Shelby screamed for help – and two volunteers rushed to her rescue.  Rushing, in an elderly sort of way.  The first volunteer – was in his early 90’s….and the second was closer to 100.  Never underestimate a senior man over the age of 90 who volunteers for an all-women’s triathlon.  They know exactly what they are doing.  5-6 hours later (who’s counting?), they took turns holding Shelby’s hand.  While icing her foot may have been more effective, clearly the situation was a cluster, and Shelby’s IG debut was put on temporary pause.
In the mid-Atlantic, summer temperatures reach record highs.   The norm, is 100 degrees, with a heat index well into the 120’s.   Outdoor pools baked in the extreme heat, and morphed into large saunas filled with too many humans.   Every morning, at OH-DARK-thirty – we dragged ourselves out of bed (because Jill insisted – jus sayn 😉….and pushed ourselves to swim…bike and run.   With Jill’s lung turd keeping her oxygen capacity down to the 60% level….this just meant that she needed to take moments here-n-there….to hack up a hairball…and catch her breath.  All I can say, is when her TT starts (code for “Turd Treatment”), and Jill’s lungs are back to 100%….I’m gonna need to borrow Holly’s speed cream.  While Tami and I didn’t have the “lung capacity issue”, we were more than happy that our training regimen included all of Jill’s breath catching breaks.
By 0400 Sunday August 21….the TriSista slumber party had come to a end.   Chuck was brewing multiple pots of coffee for the slumber-girls and getting the latest internet weather reports.  Jill, had apparently taken my queue from our last IronGirl event in Atlanta…and slept the night in her TRI clothing.  It’s very efficient.  Outta bed…and ready to go.  Jane consumed a protein drink and a large bottle of crystal light….while working on juju for a rain-thunder-lightening dance that could nix the swim. Tami changed from jammies to TRI skins in the hallway, and ate exactly 1 teaspoon of peanut butter and 3 crumbs of bread.  She then managed to lose her bike number…assigned swim cap….and timing chip.  The rest of us went into a frenzy trying to locate all of Tami’s gear.  Shelby was busy tending to her foot cast, and lamented how much she would miss not being able to swim in .62 miles of pond scum.  Laura, our sign artist, without even a sip of caffeine…designed 2 picassa posters in support of the TriSistas.  ByGolly MsHolly had no time for breakfast. With a flick of the wrist, a bat of the eye, and a flick of the hair….it was makeup time – and out came the speed cream lather.
By 5:30AM…we were bustling in the dark transition area….and proceeded to get “mechanical” with our bikes.  Getting “mechanical” goes something like this:   “How much air should I put in my tires”…..”I dunno…what does it say on the tire”…..”I can’t read it in the dark”……”You wanna guess?”…..”How does 90 sound to you?”…..”Sounds good to me”….”let’s give it a go”…..”How do I know when I’ve put in 90 pounds”….”Does anyone have a tire pump”….and on an on.    You’d have to agree….this is some world class bike “mechanic-ing”!
Just moments before the 7AM triathlon start….we were greeted with the most delightful popup thunder and lightening storm….with buckets of rain.  Granted, not everyone was ecstatic to see the weather situation unfold….but I held out one last bit of hope that the swim portion of the TRI would get cancelled.  No such luck.   With a 15 minute rain delay….our swim waves were called to the water.
Holly’s wave first….and she glides through the water….makeup intact…swimming like a fish….with speed cream.   Jill, Tami and I are next.  Jill is our designated swim angel…and Tami and I put up a pout each step further away from shore.   The role of a swim angel, is to keep your sinking ass from drowning, point out obstacles (i.e. other women who swim worse than you) and keep you on course (i.e. away from the shoreline snapping turtles and snakes) and close to the buoys.   The role of Tami and I….is to stay as far away as possible from all swim obstacles….even if that means swimming an extra mile or 2.   Swim conversations would go like this:
Swim Angel Jill:   “Come this way (substitute name here — Sissy or Tami)….closer to the buoys”
Jane (Sissy):   “ok”…..and continue on a course away from the buoys….toward land
Tami:   after 3 or 4 freestyle strokes…..”we’re fine”….and back to head in the water….with no course correction
Despite our obstinate behavior….our swim angel brilliantly guided us to the swim course finish line.  The 3 of us were beaming from ear-2-ear….as if we had completed the entire event.  We still had the bike…and run….and none of us were wearing Holly’s speed cream!   We had some work to do.
Our plan…was to finish – together.  Jill and Jane would take down the bike course….and Tami would catch us all on the run.   Team J&J work the bike course like this:    Jane races up the hill on “Black Beauty” (yes, I name my bikes)….and passes 25 women…..and Jill flies down the next hill passing 25 more women.   This tag-team effort hurts some feelings…especially those women in the younger age categories…and they eventually wear out trying to chase us down.  OK OK….maybe this is not very “nice”….but hey Ms. By Golly had all the speed cream!   We had to do “something”!
Off the bike course….into the transition area…for a quick change into running shoes.  Jill’s lung turd…reared it’s ugly head…and insisted that Jill slow it down…and get oxygen. It was a moment to reflect.  6 weeks ago…the diagnosis could have been much worse.  How incredibly amazing — just to be participating….and soon to be finishing –  the Iron Girl TRI.

All of the triSistas finished their Iron Girl journey – and it was big smiles at the finish line.  This year’s “record buster” award goes to ByGolly MsHolly — who set a personal best record – beating her prior PR by 25 minutes.   That is no easy feat – tho maybe you could share with us some of your speed cream next time?….jus sayn 😉

Setting goals….overcoming obstacles…picking up the pieces…pushing to get fit ….achieving…. believing…. inspiring…. and knowing – that “Every little thing..is gonna be all right“.   Congratulations to all the TriSista’s – to their amazing stories and journeys.
L–>R   Holly, Patty, Tami, Jane, Jill
Special thanks….
Bro Chuck…for putting up with all of us during IG slumber weekend….making coffee…chasing us around on event day….and for all of the fabulous pictures!
Chuck & Jill – for hosting the slumber party & Afta Party
Paddy….for enduring my crazy swim obsession over the past year!
Laura…for being great support to all of us, holding your mom’s makeup bag, signage….and joining the TRIsista hood next yea
Linda & Rick – for joining the TriSista’s & TriMista’s this year…getting up early and chasing us around on the IG course – you guys rock!
Shelby – volunteering at the finish line….and waiting patiently for her turn….it will come!
The ‘Hood…
TriSista’s:   Jill, Jane, Tami, Holly, Shelby, Patty, Eliott, Trisha, Deb, Melody, Kim, Maria, Julie, Linda, Minh, Emma, Lamie
TriMista’s:  Chuck, Paddy, Rick, Owen, Trung, Bi

Me o My and the ICC

Runner grrl Jane explains the difficulty experienced attempting to exercise along the jog path of the new Montgomery County MD Inter-County Connector (ICC).   The new mega lane TOLL road (the ICC – Inter County Connector) was constructed to relieve the metro-DC area of it’s traffic woes. To prove to the exercise community that there was something for everyone in this new ICC…a jog path parallels the mega road. It looks enticing. Let’s try to get there

Effin TriSistas Rock Atlanta

It is no secret, that May 15, 2011 – the date of the Iron Girl sprint triathlon event in Atlanta Georgia – came earlier than expected.   For many of the sprint TRI sista veterans, we weren’t “ready”.  Our training season had only just begun, we could count the # of training bricks on one hand (um…maybe 1 finger?) and we were hopeful just to finish the event the same day it started.  Of course this does not apply to the 2 “ringers” (you know who you are)…who became part of our TRI sista family of 8.

For some reason (global warming?  global confusion?), Atlanta Georgia is no longer located in “the south”.   Apparently there is an arctic depression spanning from Canada to Georgia.  Two weeks prior to the “event”, we learned that water temperatures would be a nippy 60 something degrees.   The race organizers suggested wetsuits for the swim portion of the event.    For those of us who are “thin skinned”, the news of cold water temperatures gave us an opportunity to prepare for the worst.  We started looking for survival suits — those worn by the arctic fishermen on The Deadliest Catch…and we envisioned floating in red 15 mil neoprene suits, on our backs…waiting for a Coast Guard rescue.
For the past few months, we shared dozens of emails with our new extended family of 8 TRI-sistas.  During this period, we learned a few things:
1)  If you are not planning to wear wet suits in 60 degree water (Maria-Kim-Julie-Deb) – just go straight to the finish line – you are already an IronGirl
2)  Tami does not like to be cold.  Period.
3)  Jane is attached to her rubber-duckies
4)  Deb was not distracted for a moment from cooking while a tree fell on her house
5)  Jill took steroids for 1 week while she battled walking pneumonia…and briefly became a man.
6)  Holly by Golly ran a 10K in 33 minutes….and suddenly we all re-focused on training
8 Tri-sisters, traveling in 3 cars, representing Maryland, DC and North Cackalacky….converged on Friday the 13th for our first face-to-face meet, and subsequent slumber party and girl-time.  Oh yeah…and there is that triathlon.  Let’s meet the TRI-sistas….

Julie:   Designated TRI sista team shrink.  Julie will treat any issue or manifestation for the discount rate of $99.95.  Needless to say, Julie made a fortune during TRI IG Atlanta weekend.  Now, Julie is not a psychologist by trade – but that is just a minor detail.  Some of Julie’s notable TRI sista shrink successes include:

— helped Maria accept that driving slower than 90mph on I-85 was “ok”
— guided Kim into seeking future December 1/2 marathons in climates that are warmer than Pittsburgh
— worked with Chef Deb to overcome guilt on recommending gas station pizza to her “friends”
— coached Holly on how to pack everything a girl could need into 2 bags….bless her heart
— worked with Jane to stay “in” the car when Jill drove up and down the rental home driveway cliff
— gently listened to Jill’s heartbreaking French birther story– “Effin Wieder Hole….Fase”
— and will need more sessions working with Tamar – the exhibitionist
It is interesting that we nominated Julie as our team shrink – when her role model for IG weekend was an old man, who smoked, never exercised and clocked a TRI course at 2:08….a time that Julie was determined to beat.  No issues there….Jus sayn.

Maria:  If there is anything to be known about pop-culture, professional football, and trivia…just ask Maria.  I’m pretty sure that I remember watching Maria win many rounds of Jeopardy a few years back.   She stumbled only once on Jeopardy…and that was during the question of “who won the first Dancing with the Stars” contest….a show that she was not familiar (back then).

But don’t let that one lapse in trivia years gone by, fool you, because during TRI-Sista weekend…Maria was introduced to the TV program that had previously eluded her  – thanks to By Golly Ms Holly.   Bless her heart..
And Marie found herself glued to the TV.  Perhaps it had something to do with the Pittsburg Steeler pro football man (Hines Ward) with the nice smile and lovely 2-step.  By the end of the night, Maria could name every dance move, celebrity and professional dancer.  Don’t be surprised to find Maria back onto Jeopardy with her newfound knowledge of Dancing with the Stars.

Kim:   Ex Navy SEAL.  SEAL stands for She who Eats A meal Long b4 anyone is awake.   Like clockwork, every morning at 0400 you could find Kim rummaging around the kitchen, working up a brew of tea, followed by a bowl of cereal, banana, leftover raspberry scones and trail mix.  The rest of us were walking around like zombies, colliding into walls and each other and wondering why we had to be up at this awful hour…but not Kim.  She was focused, bio-rhythms perfectly timed, and eating on schedule.

Kim also has a very knowledgeable Cosmopolitan side – that she skillfully “hides” by wearing her pink I LUV NY jammies.  I won’t go into a lot of detail here, but apparently Kim told the owners of a world class girlie salon…that “everyone knows” the 75 secrets on how to fiddle with your man.   Do not mess with a military girl.

Deb:   That would be Deb “Julia Child” Rossi.  It was obvious when Deb unpacked, that not only was FOOD a primary focus for the weekend, but only the BEST food will suffice.  Deb is a self proclaimed “food snob”, and we saw no reason to argue with this highly desirable quality.  Deb had Tri-Sista nutrition bars (chocolate) specially made for our healthy eating needs and a supply of M&M’s.  It was only appropriate that we all changed into spandex.

As Deb brought in her Kitchen Aid with pasta making attachments, homemade lasagna, scone mixes from Harry and David, and contraptions too numerous to name (mainly because I can’t – I don’t even know what they are!) so that she can make delicacies from scratch….I quickly pulled Jill aside.  “Jill – do you think we should hide all that prepared food we just bought at the Publix?”…and we nonchalantly pushed the Publix food to the far back corners of the fridge.  We could always say that the food was left by the prior renters…
Holly:   Ms. By Golly, a native from North Carolina, shared the secrets of southern communication with her Yankee TRI-sista counterparts.   Southerners speak in forked tongues…which is another way of saying two meanings for the price of one.  You figure out which best applies.   “Bless her heart” is southern speak for “that bitch” or “sweet thang”….a “hot mess” translates to someone who is having a bad hair day…or “gee…I sure wish I looked like her”, and “cluster” is an abbreviation for “cluster F%*#” or… a gathering of goats.

Anyway, I got to know these expressions first hand from Ms Holly.   Can you guess which meaning applies?

Me:   OMG Holly – didn’t you get the memo on a 2 bag quota? (as we loaded her 15 bags of beauty products into the car)

Holly:   oh Janie…bless your heart

Me:   OMG Holly – are you still putting on makeup?

Holly:   oh Janie…you’re a hot mess

Me:    (after we have parked and planning to take off bikes to put in transition area)  OMG – I forgot the bike lock key…and left it at the house…we have to go back
Holly:   Now Janie that’s a real cluster
Jill:

If there was ever a contest for multi-tasking, Jill would win hands down.  Or, hands “occupied”.  Driving at top speeds in congested traffic, Jill can not only skillfully navigate the roadways, but can also participate in a conference call, send text messages to her hubby, eat a sandwich, rummage thru her purse, check the weather, make eye contact with passengers, respond to questions such as “is there a rest area soon”?, executes sales contracts, and finds the disco music on the radio.  It is truly impressive…and scary.

But alas, just when you think you know someone…you find out that their birth certificate reads Effin Wieder Hole Fase.  And, to make it worse, the father she thought was French and designed the Eiffel Tower….was Effin Dutch.  Now, there is nothing wrong with being “Effin Dutch”, but in Michigan (Jill’s hometown) the Dutch immigrants are obsessed with tulips….and this is not as cool as being Effin French.  Apparently, this is still an issue for her.
Tamar:  (or Tami)   Tami is the second of 10 siblings.   She grew up in a household where beds had to be shared…bathrooms worked on a schedule…and a household that was the “hub” of the neighborhood.  Privacy was

not an option…or seemingly necessary.  Some things never change…more on this…

Now, Tami has well known disdain for cold weather, or just being “cold”.  Cold, doesn’t bring out her “best”. I assumed that she would dread getting into the frigid waters (now up to 72 degrees) of Lake Lanier.  But no.  Dressed in a full 7mil wet suit plus neoprene head gear, that left only hands and feet exposed….Tami made a pivotal discovery.  “I can float….I’ve never floated before!”   Immediately, Tami no longer cared about any chill to the water…she was busy floating on the surface and considering ONLY doing future TRI’s that require wet suits.
Jane:  I’m pretty sure most of you who have read this far…are thinking what I’m thinking.  Hmmm… Jane.  Does she

actually have any “issues” that can be roasted on this blog site?   Yes, we are all thinking hard…tapping our fingers…with the collective “hmmmm”….I wonder what we can say about that Jane…hmmmmm

Alright alright…maybe one itsy bitsy issue.    I suppose “one” could say I get a tad “worked up” about swimming in dark water.   OK…perhaps there is some “manifesting” going on….yes, I guess you could go so far to call it a complete meltdown.   And that’s before I even get into the water.    OK OK…so I am the only person on pre-race day practice swim who dragged along her rubber duckie.  Is that bad?   Enuf on “that Jane”… I’m sure there is more we could reveal here….but let’s move this blog along.
Sunday, May 15 – Iron Girl TRI Atlanta Race Day
Up at 4AM (because Jill said we had to) – we gathered in the kitchen and watched Kim consume a hearty breakfast.  Julie was nervous, talking fast and carried a picture of smoker Sam — her personal inspiration.  Jane had popped out of bed fully clothed in a TRI suit, Holly was busy putting on her makeup and Tami had slept with her neoprene hat.  Deb was thinking about where the bread should rise, and Jill was doing a house inspection to ensure everyone had brushed their teeth.  I think she sent Maria back to her room.
It was a good thing we arrived at the transition site early.  This gave us a full 2 hours to gradually freeze in the 52 degree temperatures in 20 knots of wind.  It also gave us plenty of time to repeatedly use the porta-potties, relocate our bicycles so we could be closer together, and huddle to share body heat.  This is fun….not.
By 7AM, the first swim wave was in the water.  And within seconds…people were swimming on top of each other, kayaks raced to rescue swimmers screaming for help…and I was not having one of my finer moments.  While we won’t dwell on my sad swim….I would like to highlight that my swim angel (Jill) stayed back with me and if it wasn’t for her I would not have made it.   You are the best.   But it won’t happen again.  Jus Sayn.
Now, moving along….we know that Tami does not like to be cold.   As she exited her swim….fully clothed in neoprene….she realized that her TRI shorts would be wet from the water.   Who wants to ride a bike in 52 degree weather wearing wet clothes?   Without skipping a beat, Tami completely changed her outfit from the waist down in the wide-open transition area.  Wet shorts off….dry leggings on.  Privacy smivacy.

In general, Georgia suffers from “measurement” issues.  One day, the swim course is 300 meters…then 1/3 mile…then 800 meters and so on.  Signs along the bicycle route are meant to inspire you.  For example –  “You are at Mile 5 You Go Girl”….but you look at your bicycle odometer which shows you have completed 10 miles. This causes your mind to go “south”…and you say things like ‘#$&*  this is a cluster…”   Does anyone really know the length of the bike route?  18?  19?  20?  Jus sayn.

In addition to the measurement issue, the bike route also tested our slalom skills.   It’s a new “game” called “dodge the roadkill”….where you make quick turns left or right, avoiding DNA of dead animals.   These sudden crazed moves, has the added benefit of losing any potential drafters….as it appears you cannot ride your bike in a straight line.
The running course is a lovely tour though Lake Lanier Island Resort….la la la la la….until you reach the turn-around point at the local landfill.  One thing for certain, you know exactly where to turn around and head back to the finish.  No extra steps spent getting any closer to this pile of garbage, and some of the fastest run times were recorded running on the second half of the course….AWAY from the “dumpsite”.
Julie and Kim (the ringers) made fast work of the swim-bike-and run in a blistering 2:06 time, easily beating the world record held by untrained-smoker-man-Sam.  Julie was very proud of this, and Kim was busy eating again.   The rest of the Tri-sistas finished one by one, demonstrating true individual grit, relieved the event was finally over, and singing in the victory huddle “All the Lovely Ladies, All the Lovely Ladies”.
We could now get back to what is important…eating, and bonding with our new wonderful friends – the TRI sista hood.  Well done ladies!

 

 

Winter on land…

3 months of winter on land in suburbia Maryland wasn’t all that bad.  It could have been worse….like a winter in Canada (brrrrr).   We spent our time on land….

-working working working….computer clients keeping us busy!
-created a Cat Maudy simulator to test out navionics and software

-not exercising enough  (OK…anything less than an 8 hour day of endorphins is cutting it short)
-learning how to cook in a “land kitchen” – where the food cooks at warp speed
-fixing a 55 year old patio that was becoming one with the earth
-wondering if Cat Maudy missed it’s captains…

And finally – it is spring!   The return to Cat Maudy is now within weeks….let the sailing season begin!