Everything Happens for a Reason


There are many times in my life when I think “why is this happening to me?”, “why do I have such bad luck”, “I think I need to start going to church cause I think the man above hates me”.

But when it all shakes out and you look back, most every time, you learn something, you become a better person, and if nothing else, you usually have a good story to tell.

I hope everyone has a great Thursday and an even better weekend approaching!

Busy Bee


Well, last week was again, “on my own” with no scheduled workouts and included lots of fun and goodness.  But, I will admit, after 2 weeks of no schedule, I’m ready to get back to it.  Though it has been awesome rest for my body physically and even more so mentally, I do start to miss my routine.  The primary reason I have a coach is because I don’t want to have to do the thinking for myself about what is best for me on what day.  Let’s be honest, it’s not brain surgery to train for a triathlon.  But what I love is someone else telling me to rest, go hard, go easy, so I don’t have to be the judge of that. 

Also fueling my desires to get back to training was my meeting with Stacey Sunday morning in Chapel Hill.  After a trip to Carrowinds to ride some roller coasters with my sister Saturday morning (which was a blast!), and a quick 11 mile run from hell, I ventured home Saturday evening to spend some time with my ‘rents and let my doggies have a field day at the lake.  Stacey and I had a great morning together on Sunday going over lots of stuff that we’ve wanted to talk about and I think we laid out a pretty great race schedule for next year!  I will officially post my schedule as soon as the thought of racing again doesn’t make me want to cut a vein. 

My trip home and meeting with Stacey coincided with attending the NCTS banquet on Sunday in Raleigh.  I won the 30-34 age group which is a pretty competitive group of women so I was pleased.  I can’t lie, I hoped for better results overall, but considering this was my first year that included any speed training, I’ll accept what I’ve been able to accomplish.  Most importantly, contrats Jenny and Tom!!  Accolades very much deserved by both of you.  Congratulations to everyone who also had a great season and took home an award (and even those who didn’t)!  The banquet was a nice ending to the season and I was glad I made the trek up there to attend.  I also give the Hilton accolades on their pecan pie. 

Other interesting things in my life are pretty limited.  Coaching has quieted down significantly since the season has ended, which is sad in one regard, but also a breath of fresh air.  Since every waking hour of every single day has not been occupied for the past few weeks, of course I embarked on a living room renovation as well as tackling a to-do list of, literally, 34 things.  These “things” do not icnlude like “go to the grocery store” but rather bigger ticket items such as clean out the gutters and the garage, trim all my hedges, have the carpets cleaned, on and on and on.  Nothing is a “quick” check-off, but I’m plowing through little by little, while also being patient with not being able to do everything in one day.  If you know me, you know this isn’t my strong suit.  My living room has turned out great.  I’ve had the accent wall and trim painted, got a new entertainment center and TV, new blinds, a new rug, pictures and traded out lots of the picture frames and such.  A new couch is on the horizon and I plan to build my own cornice this weekend….which will complete living room overhaul 2011.  

This is a cornice, which is on the
to-do list this weekend
Here’s the Z-gallerie comfy couch I’m planning
to complete my living room with

I’m planning an end of the season party for my athletes and my favorite training friends.  To be held November 17th!  There is so much to celebrate this year; my athletes have completed so many firsts, PR’s, and new accomplishments, that it’s only right to show them how proud I am and how much I appreciate working with them!  I’m so looking forward to a night of good company and cocktails.  

Well, I best get back to that monster to-do list.  Tonight’s project included moving out all of my summer clothes to make room for my winter clothes.  It is such a daunting task to me for some reason, I dread it every season, but  it needs to be done.  Maybe I should just eliminate 1/2 my wardrobe and keep all my clothes in my closet year round to eliminate such daunting task….

That would be no fun!  🙂 

Yoga and Mountains and Non-Triathlon Training


This past week has been exactly what I’ve needed!  I did whatever my little heart desired workout-wise and loved every minute of it!  I did nothing too terribly hard, other than a 50 mile mountain ride on Saturday, and my body was thankful.  I also slept at least 9 – 10 hours every night, squeezing in two 2-hour naps and a 12-hour night on Saturday!  I think my body was pretty tired to say the least.  I haven’t felt quite as rested as I did today in, literally, years.

I mean, look at those mountains!

I headed to Blowing Rock Saturday with some training buddies for a day of riding in the mountains.  It was so beautiful out, albeit very very windy on top of the mountains making the descending pretty interesting, but given were weren’t there on an “agenda” it was so nice to just ride!  There were tons of people out to see the leaves and despite being slightly annoyed with us going 6mph up the mountain when they wanted to be going 20, it was such a fun-filled atmosphere.  We went up to ride easy, but “easy” really just doesn’t exist when you’re climbing 1500 feet up the side of a mountain.  You can only peddle “so easy” before you fall down 🙂  We rode a little harder than I probably would have liked, but all in all it was such a great day!  Thanks Greg and Mike!

I rode my bike again on Saturday with Marianne, my Pain Pathways teammate/friend around the Booty Loop.  This was a ride that would have been nice to put a sign on our backs “Recovery Ride”.  We rode so easy, but it was exactly what I needed and it was great to catch up with her.  Big things for next season that I’m excited about.

What I realized the most this weekend is how much I’ve missed riding my bike.  The past few months have been so run/swim focused for me, I’ve truly missed group rides and all the fun of cycling with my friends.  After a long conversation with my wonderful coach today, we’ve decided that for the next few months, Saturday will be “my day”….my day to ride with whomever, however long, however hard or however easy my little heart desires!  I’m very much looking forward to it.


I have also done yoga 3 times in the last week.  I feel like a new person after just 3 classes and my goal is to continue to go 1-2 times per week through February!  Hopefully this will be me in no-time.  Well, with better hair.

I’m excited for this coming weekend.  I am going up to Chapel Hill / Raleigh area on Saturday (after a fun fill day at Carrowinds with my sister!) for the NCTS Awards on Sunday.  Stacey and I have lots of stuff planned….though most not “coach / athlete” related and I can’t wait!

I have lots of thinking to do about next year and where I see my season going…what my goals are, what my A-races (other than Worlds) are going to be, if any, and what distance(s) I will focus on.  I think we’ve pretty much decided that mid-2013 will be my next Ironman and now it’s just making my final decision on which one I’ll have to register for next year.  The selection process will be pretty strategic as discussed with Stacey and I’m actually excited to make my final decision!  There are several reasons I would like to do another Ironman…though I can’t say I have a profound overwhelming desire right now to train for that distance again.  The two most significant reasons are:

1.  I want to train for an Ironman under Stacey’s guidance…for myself, and especially for my coaching knowledge.  The more you work with different coaches being trained for different distances, the more you learn about your own coaching styles and preferences.  My previous coach was very focused on volume, sometimes to the point where I wondered if my workouts were actually hindering my performance overall, vs. making me more fit and prepared for the race.  I will be so so curious, given HOW focused on recovery Stacey is to tackle one last IM training under her coaching.

2.  Secondly, as I’ve discussed in this blog before, I think I have unfinished IM business.  As I’ve said, my best IM execution-wise, how I felt (and coincidentally, time-wise also) was my first…to which I competed un-coached and had just learned to swim 7 months prior.  My fitness, athleticism, speed, and I’d hope my swimming (though the jury is still out on that) has come a long way since then.  I was prepared physically (I think) at Louisville in 2010 to have a strong race, but I was totally shot mentally by the time the race rolled around and the cards just weren’t dealt in my favor that day.  I bounced back 2 1/2 months later and had a pretty good race at B2B considered I had hardly trained with much distance post-Louisville, but I know it wasn’t the best I can do.  So, that said, I want to pour myself into training one last time…train “smarter,” recover more strategically and see what that equates to over the longer distance.  Still a long time away which is a bit of a relief right  now 🙂

Well, that about wraps up this weeks ramblings.  I hope those paragraphs at least somewhat go together in some logical sequence because I’m not feeling like much of a blog-editor tonight.  Enjoy friends 🙂

Race Recaps


So I am officially 5 days into off season and I’m surviving!!  Since Saturday’s race, I have done exactly 3 hours of enjoyable, non-structured workouts including:  1-hour of Hot Vinyasa yoga, 30 minutes on the elliptical, a 1-hour computrainer class at Uptown this morning, and about 30 minutes of light strength/core work!!  Spread over the course of 5 days, it feels like I’ve done nothing.  Nonetheless, I’ve needed this.  I’ve specifically asked Stacey to have a totally free week to chose what I want to be doing and she’s complied, for the most part ;-).

During the race this weekend I started pondering (while I rode up and down on a desolate, flat, boring highway) why I am so anxious for this break….more so than years prior.  Well that’s just it!  There HASN’T been a break in years prior!!  So I figured a recap of the last few years would help explain just why I’m ready for this off-season….

I did my first sprint triathlon in May 2009 and followed up three weeks later at Over the Mountain Olympic (not the most well-thought out choice for my 2nd triathlon).  Throughout 2009, I did a handful of other local races (Latta, LKN Sprint, Lake Wiley, Lake Logan Olympic, etc).  I did my first 70.3 in September at Augusta and and my first Ironman in November in Arizona.  All within 9 months of having a fractured femur 🙂

This is my first triathlon in Hilton Head in May

2009.  Notice I’m already holding my wetsuit as I

exit the water.  First lesson learned:  don’t attempt to

remove your wetsuit while still standing IN

the ocean as you get slammed by waves.  That

would be what transition is for.

Having had a great first season, I immediately set my sights on qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  I ran the Quintiles Marathon the following March, with 2 half marathons over the winter in preparation.  Shortly thereafter, triathlon season kicked off; throughout 2010, I raced 5 sprints, 3 Olympics, 3 half IM’s, and 2 full IM’s in August and November.  I have no clue how many “organized” century rides, 1/2 marathons, 10k’s, etc I did throughout 2010….I honestly lost count.

This was my exactly one year from my first

triathlon – Rev3 Knoxville 70.3 where I

finished 4th OA.

Immediately after B2B IM last November, I ramped up my running miles in anticipation of Boston in April of this year.  Just 2 months after world’s most disappointing (and painful) marathon, Blood Sweat and Gears Century was staring me in the face.  In preparation for BSG, I did 2 other century rides in May and early June.  All the while, 2011 triathlon season had kicked off long before Boston with a duathlon and a mini-sprint in March (“Cold Breeze”), rolled right on through the summer, and ended this past weekend!  This year, I raced 3 sprints, 3 Olympics, 1 half IM, 3 century rides, 8 bike races, and the infamous Boston Marathon.  It exhausts me just thinking about it.

This was from the Salisbury Crit – my first bike race victory 🙂

When I put it on paper, and actually begin to try to digest what I have done, it certainly is pretty cool.  In a very short time, I have experienced so much in a sport that I am truly so passionate about.  That said, this break will certainly re-ignite my fire for training.  I may have to remind myself daily in the coming weeks that recovery is healthy, but I’m hell-bent on taking it easy – for my mind most importantly.  I’m certain my pants will be start to become a little more snug but I’m going to try my best (aside from eating healthy and trying to avoid it) to be okay with it.  I know in the end I will come out a stronger athlete for 2012 (and my pants will fit again soon)!

What I have decided through lots of discussions with Stacey though is that I’m going to plan to do an early season 2013 IM!  That said, I’ll need to narrow down my selection and register by this coming Spring!  Stay tuned for when I announce my IM destination…

HalfMax Nationals 2011


So my last and final race is done-zo!  To say I’m sad to wrap up this amazing season would be a bold-faced lie.  I have raced my little tail off, have had a blast doing it and have had a great season overall, but I’m delighted to be done for a few months.  I will post a “season recap” sometime later.

Halfmax has been on my calendar for quite a few months and as I’ve said, there were two “stresses” about this race.  1st, I’ve never done a 70.3 while not knee-deep in full IM training and 2nd, knowing it was both my last race and my longest race of the season made it somewhat “daunting”, for some odd reason.

Nonetheless, having a good race at Pinehurst mentally prepared me to race hard this weekend.  I had a great pre-race swim and run Friday morning.  I swam my first 1:25/100…two of ’em actually, which again, is still slow as shit compared to the good swimmers, but I gotta focus on baby steps.  Dawn and I got on the road about 11 and I was pleasantly surprised to see my Garmin only said it was a 3-hour drive.  I had my mind set that it was 4, but I guess that’s from driving to North Myrtle to see Emily’s parents so much.  So, 3-hours later, we arrived in Myrtle, checked in, and headed to the hotel.  My mom arrived shortly after and we made our way to an early dinner.

I got up race morning with exactly enough time to get to the race in time, but without tons of time to spare in my usual fashion.  I hate the waiting around of these races so I try to time it just right, and usually get pretty lucky.  As I checked into transition, the race announcer was announcing all swim start times had been pushed back 15 minutes to give the tide a chance to go out.  Apparently high tide is at 8am so the closer you can start to 8, the better the water conditions.  I was the 2nd wave, so 15 minutes wasn’t too big of a deal and I’m happy to wait around for something that might help make swimming easier or more enjoyable.

The “most interesting” part of race morning was turning on my Garmin to see “Low Battery”.  CRAP.  I managed not to panic, there was not much I could do about it at this point.  I charged it all day Friday and it was definitely off when I stuck it in my race bag, but every now and again, the power button gets hit while it’s in there, and I’m certain this is what happened.  I faintly thought I heard the sound of the beep on the way down in the car, but then figured I was just hearing things.  Sure enough, it must have turned on and drained itself overnight.  LUCKILY, I have an amazing sister who was ON it as soon as she saw it was dead.  She began searching at all the tents and race booths for a charger.  Around the same time, I bumped into Tom and Troy heading to the swim, and Troy mentioned his charger was in his car.  Sister was on the ball, and at his car in a jiffy to get his charger to plug mine in during my swim and ride.  I really don’t rely on it until I’m running so it was okay not to have it until then.  I was very very thankful to have it.  Crisis diverted.

Anywho, I bought a new Aquaman Bionik wet suit the day prior to the race, which is an amazing (and expensive!) wetsuit and I was actually really excited to swim in it!  It fits like a glove and I feel much less claustrophobic and restrained in it that the wetsuit I’d previously been wearing.  Sadly, I don’t think it’s built-in motor was functioning 😉   hahaha.  Nah, as a whole, this swim went pretty good for me.  The water was black as coffee, unable to see your hand 6″ in front of you, which always makes things interesting.  The fast girls took off after the first 300 or so but I was able to keep them in site for around the first 800.  The began to pull away after the turn, but that is to be expected and I was still in a good grove with a fair amount of other girls around me.  The faster guys who started behind us caught us with about 400 to go, but I refused to let getting pummeled over the head by male fists bother me.  I swam a good line, I was very calm and comfortable in the water.  Total time, including a pretty long run to the transition mat was 36:50, with swim time of 35:40ish (1:41/100).  All in all, it was a decent swim.

The ride was also pretty good.  I’ve had a lot of dialogue with Stacey today and yesterday regarding my bike fitness.  Other than a once a week computrainer class and a few bike races here and there, I really have not been riding my bike at all.  I knew this was what I was signing up for when I began working with Stacey as she tries to make me a more balanced triathlete, but it really showed today as I felt generally un-fit on my bike.  I’ve written about this before, but my bike has always been my “safe-haven”…the one thing I could always rely on to feel “good”.  This is starting to shift a bit and it’s a tough pill to swallow.  The course was virtually dead flat, and only included one bridge that we went up and over twice.  The big factor, as everyone told me, is the beach wind, which was absolutely brutal.  We headed out on Route 17 along Myrtle, took an exit ramp onto the highway (literally) and rode out and back along the highway for about 40 of the 56 miles.  The out was dead into the wind.  Full 1/2 IM race power on this totally flat road got me17-19mph at best.  At times, less.  Working pretty damn hard.  The turnaround was great as you got to head the other direction with the tailwind, though my teammate Michael and I agree that there were times when we were supposed to have the tailwind that still felt like there was a bit of a wind to the front.  Nonetheless, I rode just under 2:35 (21.7mph), which was a few minutes shy of my goal, but I was still pleased.  I did a great job of “constraining” my desire to ride any harder as I had a big personal run goal looming.

My goal was to run 1:39:59 (7:38/mile pace) – a pretty stiff PR compared to a 1:44 and change at Augusta in 2010!  I got off my bike feeling fueled, hydrated and ready to run, albeit stiff at first from being bent over in aero position for over 2 1/2 hours straight with few breaks.  I set out nailing just under my goal pace, which I planned to do knowing regardless, the last few miles would probably be slightly slower than I wanted.  I was running 7:25 – 7:35’s and feeling amazing through about 7 miles.  The pain definitely starts to set in around the 1 hour mark and it’s all a mind game from there.  6 more miles is NOT almost done.  45 minutes of running sounds like an eternity at that point.  But I wanted it today.  I wanted so so badly to finish this race and this season strong.  I wanted this race for my sister and mom who are always there cheering me on.  I wanted this race for Stacey who has spent countless hours with me over just the last 4 months and I wanted this race for my athletes that I offer guidance to on a daily basis.  I did not want to quit….I knew that for sure….but let me tell you, I sure didn’t really feel like running anymore.  🙂

I focused on each mile marker, ticking off one at a time.  It’s amazing the things you try to force yourself to think about when you’re suffering that only briefly work, before your mind reverts back to how much physical pain you’re in.  What kept me going is all the people in Kona who were about to start a much more physically demanding and mentally challenging endurance event.  I continued to remind myself to be thankful I only had to run 13 miles and not 26 and that it also wasn’t 100 degrees.  It honestly helped.  The miles continued to tick off, just shy of my goal pace as I quickly walked for 3-5 seconds through each aid station to be sure I got fluids down.

I ran the last mile at 7:18 pace and gave it all I have but still crossed just :45 seconds shy of my running goal.  I’m pleased with my run of 1:40:44 (7:41/mile pace) but having just missed my goal it’s bittersweet.  I will run a sub 1:40 off my bike next year and, further, I will run a 1:35!  I don’t put things in writing I don’t think I can uphold.  My 1:40:44 is still a 4 minute PR so I have to be pleased though I’m not 100% satisfied 🙂  5th female run split of the day.

All in all, I went 4:55 and took 7th overall and 2nd in my Age Group.  So, I qualified for Long -Course Worlds in Spain next June but don’t think I’ll be going with New Zealand on the docket.  7th overall is bittersweet but just fuels my desire to keep working hard, training smart under an extremely nurturing, knowledgeable (and bossy) coach, and improving my performance.

Want to congratulate Michael Starkey, my One2Tri Racing teammate who dropped a 1:23 off his 25mph average bike for a 5th place overall and a 1st place AG position.  You’ve got no where to go but up from here stud!

Tom O’Donnell had a phenomenal day with a 4:45 total time and a 10th place AG position and a great all around performance.  And Troy, I’m happy for you sticking it out and congrats on a WORLDS spot!!!

Cheers to 2011 season….and bon voyage.  🙂  It’s been fun!

If You Wanna Fly…


One of my friends posted this on Facebook and I couldn’t help but to post it.

I mean….how true!



So one of two of my last races of the season has come and gone and it feels great to have ended the NC series on a high note!  I had a great race and felt wonderful all day, despite having not rested for this race, so I’m hoping that’s a good sign for HalfMax next weekend!

Pinehurst is a great race…however it always seems to come right as fall is hitting hard and it’s COLD!  We did luck out, it was pretty tolerable on race morning, low 50’s and warmed up for the most part to pretty perfect racing weather.

I ventured to this race alone which was actually kind of peaceful to be “in my zone” the whole time.  I very rarely travel or race alone and most all of the time I love having the company but it was nice to change it up.  Two athletes I coach were down racing Saturday and Sunday also, and one of my favorite One2Tri Racing teammates came down a day early to cheer us on before he raced Sunday which I thought was so so cool!  We did a group dinner Friday night at a restaurant that turned out to be much nicer than we anticipated, but certainly delicious!

I didn’t get up until 6:20 on race morning….wow, sure beats 4am alarms!  I was headed to the race site by 6:45 and really feeling ready to race!  I loved having picked up my packet the night before and just felt very at ease on race morning knowing I had athletes there I was more focused on.


Me and Stacey pre race.  Love her

About 7:45am, I’m standing in transition talking to Kendra, Jip and Shayna, and low-and-behold, my mom taps me on the shoulder!  She had asked for the race site address the night before saying she was going to check to see how far away it was, but I never heard back from her so I assumed she decided not to come….but she’s the best and she did!  I was so excited to have her there!!  Stacey also volunteered at the race and having my coach by my side, and not actually racing, was pretty cool.

So my goals for this race were pretty much the same as they are in every race….improvement in the swim….ride hard enough to be competitive but not hard enough to blow myself up, and run like the wind.  I went 2:48 at this race last year, which was a good race for me at the time but I knew I had more in me this year so I set my goals at sub 2:45.  Being one week out from Nat’s, I wanted to really really dial into my nutrition at this race to be sure everything I plan for next weekend is on point.

The swim is a beach start which I actually kinda like.  You get a little “momentum” vs the open water starts so I felt like I was really moving the first 50/100 meters.  I started next to Mollie Brewer, an athlete from Triangle Multisport (the Co. Stacey coaches for), and knowing she’s a slightly better swimmer than I, I planned to try to stick on her hip the whole swim.  It actually worked!  This might be the first time I was able to “strategically swim” vs. “survive” as I usually do.  So…we’re making progress.  The turns got a little hairy and I lost Mollie for a bit, but I saw her ahead of me after the final turn at the 800 meter mark and planned to try to work it to catch her and sit on her feet.  I fell slightly short of totally catching her but I was able to keep her in site and stay in a good groove the whole swim.  I’m still not producing stellar swim times, but I swam a 28:30 (29:10 on the race clock by the time I hit the mat) and I have to be happy with that.  I swam a 30:19 the previous year so net, 1:09 gain.  Not huge, but I’ll take it.  46th women last year, 34th this year.  Still a major “ugh” at 34TH, but the improvement is what I’m trying to focus on.  At this rate, in about 6 more years, I’ll be swimming with the leaders 🙂

Mom actually got me swimming….the girl facing the camera

T1 was fine, uneventful, though felt a bit slower at the time.  All the usual “couldn’t get my wetsuit over my ginormous Garmin”, stumbled putting on socks”, but overall fine and actually the 10th fastest of the day.  Need to make that top 5.


Ready to roll……

The ride was….well, kinda hellish.  The course, as I learned last year, is freikin hilly as all get out.  There are few flats, and, as anticipated, the wind was whipping making the flats feel like 10% grade hills!  Nonetheless, I remained in a very positive mindset, put my head down and used my “gator eyes” to site the road, and pressed on.  I tried to remind myself that everyone was in the same conditions, I wasn’t the only one going slow and working hard, and focused on my fueling and hydration to distract myself.  I didn’t get passed by anyone, and I think I passed no less than 100 dudes.  I am most excited to race open next year to at least be somewhat in the mix (or a bit behind) the people I’m actually competing against….I’m tired of riding with 45+ year old men.  Overall, if I had to guess, I probably averaged about 210-220 watts on the ride, but only 20.8mph or 1:27:30 ride time.  I rode a 1:29 the prior year so a net 1:30 gain.  I’ll take it.  As I rode in, the announcer was calling out the first female age grouper was off her bike….and that was me 🙂

I NEVER put my race belt on IN T2 – always as

I’m running out. What was I thinking!??!

T2 was super slow and I’m kicking myself because I finished only 8 seconds overall behind the girl who finished 4th overall and my T2 was about 15 seconds off.  My feet were pretty numb so I just fumbled with my shoes a bit.  Nothing too detrimental until you look at the results and see everyone’s 50-something T2’s and my 1:18 and you can’t help but kick yourself.   That’s racing!!

The run was great.  I fueled perfectly on my bike which led to an energetic run off the bike, which is a great feeling.  There’s nothing worse than getting off your bike feeling like crap knowing you’ve got however many miles to run.  I set out at a quick pace to try and gain some feeling back in my toes/feet and managed pretty well.  There’s a nice downhill as you head out and I tried to get the legs firing the best I could before the first climb.  The climbs are no joke, but I really like this run course because the statement “what goes up, must come down” very much applies.  As hard as the hills are, and some of them are loong, there’s always a nice long downhill as a reward.  It’s easier to psyche yourself up to run up a big hill when you know recovery is on the horizon.  My first two miles clicked off at 6:55 and 6:56 and I was feeling really good.  I opted to walk quickly through aid station #3 to get some fluids in for the last 2-3 miles and I’m glad I did, though mile 3 was a bit slower than my goal pace.  Overall, I held it together in my head very well and spent much of the run planning my race strategy for next weekend vs. focusing on the pain.  A great mind game 🙂  I ran a 44:16 (7:04/mile pace) and I was pleased.  I ran a 45:46 here last year, which was fast for me at the time….so a 1:30 gain is pleasing.

As a whole, this was a great race.  I blew my goal time of 2:45 out of the water coming in at 2:43:52 and improved in all three disciplines over last year – total time 2:48:42.  I finished 5th overall compared to 11th last year and was 8 seconds off 4th.  The winner however, was 8 minutes ahead of me (jeeezus), 5 of which are lost to her in the water.  Just another demonstration of how I need to continue to improve in the water. That said, the 6th place girl was 4 minutes and 40 seconds behind me.

So one of two races down.  It was so fun having athletes out there to cheer on and race well for my mother.  I’m getting super super excited to race next weekend, and that is usually a good sign.  My nerves are turning into excitement and I’m ready to lay it on the course to wrap this season up strong!  T-6 days!