Monday, November 29, 2010

See, it's not ALWAYS about triathlon!

As the weekend drew to a close, I realized I hadn't blogged anything on Thanksgiving and had fully intended to do so as I know my audience has been patiently waiting to hear how my post 70.3 training has been going. Ok, maybe that's wishful thinking.

On November 20th, my sisters & I attended a baby shower for Heather (Chalfant) Buttenob, Keith's daughter. Heather & I have a lot in common: we both have 3 sisters, we are both the oldest, our youngest sister is 13yrs younger than us AND we share the same birthday. Weird!!! As those of you close to me might recall, she got married earlier this year and is already with child...and very excited I might add! She & her hubby Michael knew they wanted to start a family quickly and so they did! They've got so many exciting things on the horizon right now...still celebrating being newlyweds, a baby on the way, a new job for Michael AND as if that's not enough, a move to Chicago. All I can say is WOW!!! So much change in such a short time but how cool! The shower was a lot of fun & it was awesome that family & friends traveled from all around to celebrate Baby B. Above you'll see a great picture of Keith's four gorgeous girls: Emily, Heather, Caitlin & Hannah. Baby B is in there too if you look really close! So yes, I will be dating a grandpa very, very soon. Let's face it, she's prego now so he's already a grandpa! You know, I always knew this day would come, I just didn't think I'd still be in my 30's! Although some of my friends (Brandon Lamb) pointed out I'm basically a grandma, I've corrected him...I'm grandpa's girlfriend. Keith & I think the baby can call me Gigi (GG) for short...get it? Grandpa's Girlfriend. We'll see what Heather thinks. :)

So I mentioned my three sisters got to go to the shower too. It makes me SO happy that our (mine & Keith's) two families get to hang out on occasion. Everyone SEEMS to get along. :) After the shower, they stayed in The Woodlands a bit and hung out at Keith's as he was babysitting my nephew, Cristian. My nephew LOVES Keith...probably because they wrestle, play with trucks and act goofy. Either way, the weekend was great and a perfect way to prepare for the Thanksgiving Holiday ahead.

I'll skip all the stuff about work & my workouts and just get to the good stuff. I haven't entertained at my new home since I bought it and so volunteered to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year. I love to cook and love to entertain and LOVE Thanksgiving so this was the perfect time. My house isn't looking exactly how I want it to yet but I wasn't going to let that keep me from hosting everyone! I was lucky enough to cook for 12 folks this year and had a great time. Everything came out great if I do say so myself and the added bonus was nobody got sick after (like they did a few years ago when we all gathered at Keith's). To this day, my brother Kevin insists it was food poisoning but I don't think it was. Not everyone got sick and those who did didn't eat something in common that nobody else ate. Thanksgiving 2008 will go down as one of the great unsolved mysteries of all time. If I'm talking about Thanksgiving and what I'm thankful for, it's only fitting to include a picture of my mom as I wouldn't be here today if she didn't pop me out all those years ago. I wouldn't be who I am today without my mom and I certainly wouldn't be doing all the cool things I get to do if it wasn't for her. Thanks Mom!!!!
I did skip the Thanksgiving Day run/race & opted to run on my own. Honestly, I had way too much to do in the kitchen and since I knew I wasn't racing or going for a PR, I felt it was best to not rush around and just relax and run from home. So glad I did too b/c after I showered, I was in the kitchen the rest of the day! Whew.
This Saturday will mark 24 weeks until IMTX (ok, now we turn to triathlon talk but that IS what this blog is about). The time is going to fly by and I'm excited about that. There are so many amazing things that are going to happen before then. 2011 is shaping up to be an incredibly busy and eventful year! I've got something really special happening in February that I can't talk about here but again, those closest to me know what I'm talking about. ;) Baby B will be arriving in March so Keith & I will be spending some time in either Arizona or Chicago! April brings my 2nd 70.3 race and first OFFICIAL mDot race! April is also the month my man celebrates his bday AND when we celebrate our anniversary...just don't ask which day b/c neither of us know. Keith's second oldest, Caitlin, graduates from Texas State 1 week before IMTX and I'm so excited for her. This girl is crazy smart and finds herself on the Dean's list EVERY semester. She'll be going to grad school after that so you can imagine how proud her dad is. And then of course May 21st will bring IMTX, the day I've been thinking about nearly non-stop since June when I lost my mind and signed up. :)
So there you go, my post Gobble Gobble thoughts. The rest of the year is going to fly by so enjoy every day as much as you can! I know I'm going to try my very best to do that!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More Course Maps!!!

Before I explode from the excitement of seeing the other course maps, I just wanted to let everyone know I'm STILL on cloud 9 post 70.3. Ok, now that we've taken care of that important item, on to what's REALLY got me excited!

I've been checking the IMTX website religiously and earlier this week my relentless nature paid off as all course maps are now posted. Hell to the yes! I shared the bike map a few weeks back and now I'd like to share the swim & run maps. Seeing the course maps makes the course more real. I can't explain but I'm sure many of you out there get what I'm saying. Sure, I had a good visual in my head of what the course would look like but until it's on the internet, it's not legit!

IMO, the swim course is kind of funky but you can decide for yourself. I'm having a hard time wrapping my arms around how 2,500 people are going to enter the water at roughly the same time. The entry point isn't super wide. Maybe we'll tread water before the gun goes off? Maybe we'll all run in from the parking lot. Who knows? I'm excited to find out though! For those of you familiar with The Woodlands, we'll be starting at Northshore Park towards Southshore Park (so from Lake Woodlands towards Woodlands Pkwy), turn around and then before getting back to Northshore Park, hang a right through the canal system and then out at Town Green Park. The canal gets pretty narrow but by the time we get there, I think the thought is we'll have spread out enough that it won't be an issue. Here's hoping! I don't love the swim course but it could be worse. One thing I can tell you for certain, I hope they clean up Lake Woodlands so I don't have to worry about entering the water with any open wounds. Seriously, it's straight nasty. I don't know if chlorine tablets work in a lake but I think they should give it a go. Shock the hell out of it. I don't care if my skin burns a little as long as I don't catch anything nasty. I'm thinking about putting a can of Lysol in my T1 bag so I can disinfect myself after getting out. I'm not sure what impact Lysol will have on sunscreen so I need to research that first. :)
The uncertainty I have for the swim course is completely overshadowed by how much I LOVE the run course. From the beginning, I knew I didn't want a giant loop, an out & back or a 2 loop course. Some people get bored with loops but after Iron Star, I found I really enjoyed it in a race day setting. For me, I think I'm going to have an easier time breaking up the run into manageable pieces. Each loop will be over 8.5 miles (I think) and the route is one I really, really enjoy. 8.5 miles is one big loop but that's ok. We should have great spectator support and will be able to see family & loved ones multiple times if they can stake out a good spot to cheer. I plan on running this route a lot over the next few months. I want to know every line in the sidewalk along those 8+ miles...mainly so I know if I'm in danger of tripping and falling! LOL. All joking aside, I'm really excited to get out on that course and start visualizing my big day!

So that's pretty much all I've got today. I'm back to working out & feeling really good. Training has been a little lonely but I'm enjoying it all the same.

I'll be back soon with another update!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Race Day is better than Christmas Morning and other post-race thoughts

Remember when you were a kid how excited you were for Christmas morning? More packages than you probably ever needed sat beautifully wrapped beneath the Christmas tree just waiting to be opened. The excitement just couldn't be contained which is why most of us probably woke up 5 times in the middle of the night wondering if it was too early to wake our parents up. When it was time to open the presents, the beautiful packaging was ripped away and exposed the gift. I was always very sad when the last present was unwrapped not because I wanted more gifts, more because I wanted that excitement to last longer. That's kind of how I feel about race days.

You prepare months for a big race and while the excitement might be more of a mix of joy & nervousness, it's excitement all the same. For me though, the excitement I had the week before Iron Star is still with me. Since the race, the last thing I think about at night is my race and the first thing I think about in the morning is the fact that I did it!!! I'm just plain happy and not just for me, for each of my teammates (especially the other first timers). It really was special to be able to share that with my training partners.

Being a few days removed from the race, my excitement is still here but I'm also starting to shift focus for what's next on the horizon. My next 70.3 race is a mere 21 weeks away with IMTX 6 weeks after that. Wow. That's closer than I realized! I'm so looking forward to going to Galveston for IMTX 70.3, formerly known as Lonestar 70.3. While I will be able to set some time goals for myself, the real purpose of the race is to serve as a dress rehearsal of sorts for IMTX in May. Hydration, nutrition & pacing will all be top priorities for me. A 70.3 PR would just be gravy.

Like every race, I've come away with a recharged battery and a renewed focus on training. I have in my mind some specific things I want to focus on over the coming months. (1) I want to focus on the bike as there is a lot of room for improvement there. I don't feel I've been particularly consistent and know I can be much more powerful than I have shown in recent races. (2) It's time to really race in the pool. The lack of confidence I carried for so long is holding me back a bit. It's time to make myself uncomfortable in the water and really push the pace because I know I can do it. (3) I'm never going to be an 8min/mile runner in a big race but I can't let that keep me from pushing a little more. My run has suffered a bit this year and it's time to figure out why and fix it. This isn't meant to be negative at all...just focused.

I really loved racing 70.3 and I suspect this might be my new favorite distance. Who would've ever thought that?!? I can't wait to see my teammates tomorrow night so we can celebrate in our accomplishments and talk about what's coming up next. 2010 is really turning out to be a great year and I can't wait to see what 2011 has in store for me.

See, racing really is better than Christmas morning!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Iron Star 70.3 is in the books!

For those of you who have been patiently waiting to hear, I completed my first half ironman yesterday! 70.3 miles of racing is done & done and I really couldn't be happier. This blog post will also serve as my race report so enjoy!

Short version: I raced, I finished.

The morning started off interestingly enough. You would think having gained an hour of sleep there would be no way anyone would be late. You guessed wrong! I'm not going to even try to explain what happened. I made it to transition with 10 minutes to spare...piece of cake. Thanks to my anal retentive tendencies, I had packed my bag in the order I would need items so setting up transition took no time at all. Yes!

Swim - I had gone back & forth with my plan for the swim. Part of me wanted to go balls to the wall since I have never done that in a race. Part of me wanted to just take it easy and conserve energy for the bike. This was my first 70.3 after all. I compromised with myself and took it easy at the start and then when I got towards the end, pushed myself. I finished the 1.2 mile swim in over 44 minutes which is basically the same time it took me to swim .9 miles at the Houston Oly in September. Thank you! I was very pleased with my swim. Despite the fog and the fact we couldn't see most buoys until we were on them, I sighted very well and swam in a pretty straight line. I took in a little water at the beginning but didn't let that upset my rhythm. I stayed calm. I have to say it was so awesome sharing some laughs with Amy Gage & Michelle Comrie before our wave, the final wave started. Amy is a strong swimmer and put herself to the front while Michelle & I placed ourselves in the middle of the pack. We got to start our first 70.3 together and it was really fun!!

Bike - After doing my race prep on Saturday, I knew I would be cold on the bike. I decided to pack the make shift arm warmers made of tube socks and a zip up jacket. I figured I would make a game time decision. When I got to T1, I decided arm warmers would be the way to go and I'm glad I made that decision b/c I was PERFECT temperature wise on the bike. Speed wise, not so perfect. My bike time was 3:54 which is far longer than I expected to take (I was thinking 3:40 range). I can't really say what happened. I felt strong and thought I was riding solid. I know I slowed down the 2nd half of the ride b/c my HR was getting a little high but I didn't think I slowed down that much. At the end of the day, the time isn't an issue. I was to have no time goal for this race so as long as I made bike cutoff, my time didn't matter. What I was really thrilled with is nailing my nutrition & hydration on the bike. Very, very proud of that as that was my downfall in Galveston in April. An added bonus for me on the bike was Keith, Stef & Hannah drove to the turnoff point at 1486 & 2819 and cheered for me. I can't tell you how great it was to see them out on the course!! To top it off, they had signs for me AND Team sTRIve! How awesome are they?

RUN - As I was coming to the end of my bike, I was really curious to know if the leg cramping would return. This would be the true test of my hydration on the bike. I passed! I had NO leg cramps. Zero. I was thrilled. I had a mishap early in the run as I tripped on a metal thingy going through a gate. I hit the ground and know I started to cry mainly out of complete frustration. As many f you recall, I collapsed on the run course in Galveston when I tried my first Oly. A volunteer came up immediately and yelled for a medic. I yelled no to her and a few other expletives. She let me know my leg & arm were both bleeding and a medic needed to look at it. I was in pain, I knew I was bleeding and I didn't care. I was getting up to finish hell or high water. Michelle was right behind me and was sweet to stop & check on me before continuing her run. I got up and immediately tried to run and couldn't. For a split second, I was really afraid I had done something to my knee & that I wouldn't be able to finish. I quickly put that thought behind me and made myself fun. I was fighting tears for a good 1/4 mile. There was no way I wasn't finishing this race. After a few minutes, I forgot about the pain (mainly b/c I realized my left hand was swollen and hurt way more than my knee). I went back to my run/walk combo and focused on the task at hand, complete 3 loops. When I got back around the transition area, I was thrilled to see my support crew had grown! My mom, brother Kevin and sisters Annie & Kiri showed up along with my nephew. On top of that, Val's hubby Spencer made his way to my family area. On my first loop of the run course I got to see many of my teammates who were at different points of their race. I was so excited to see everyone! As I started my final loop, I knew I was almost done and one step closer to my big race in May. No time to think about Ironman now though, let's get through the half. I was so happy towards the end. I made my final turn on to La Torretta Blvd and saw Micah who had volunteered for the race and was cheering us on. Being in the last wave, many people were leaving when I was still running. Every person who passed me as I headed to the finish cheered me on and wished me well. The spectator support was awesome. I saw Scott & Tarrah Mayer one more time. My family was no longer where they had been waiting as they moved closer to the finish. I hit the 13 miles sign and had .1 left to go. Oh my gosh! Kathleen Woodhead was still there even though she finished long before and was cheering me in. Stew & Michelle were right along the finish chute. My family was cheering like crazy and then I crossed the finish! Misty was right there too and I got to give her a hug as I collected my finishers medal and water. I did it!!! The run took me 2:45 and I was FINE with that. Per coach's orders, I finished with one big smile! Total race time...7:31! The way I look at it, I'm setting myself up for a great PR in Galveston this coming April!
As I sit here today typing this, I'm just still so proud of this accomplishment. If you had told me 5 yrs ago I would attempt and complete a 70.3 race, I would've laughed at you and said you were crazy. Here I am though!
I know this is going to sound like an Oscar speech but I need to thank so many people. Obviously, my family, Keith & Hannah were so awesome yesterday. To spend their entire day cheering me & my teammates on was so appreciated it. My teammates are the best and with yesterday being a key race for so many of us, we were given a neat opportunity to bond with each other. Hugs were a plenty at the start and end of the race. I think Michelle & I must've hugged 10 times at swim start! Kathleen, Scott, Tarrah, Micah, Spencer, Logan and everyone else who cheered for me...THANK YOU a million times over! My coach, Gena needs to be thanked as she has always provided me good advice and encouragement when it's most been needed. I have to of course thank the person who started all this....Jill Gellatly. If it wasn't for her, I would never have given tri's a try!

I'm over the moon today and enjoying my day off. I will be back at training tomorrow...I've got big races on the horizon. While I have a few small races coming up, I plan on focusing on training.

Thanks again to everyone near & far who sent me well wishes last week & yesterday. I really appreciate the support. Don't worry, I'll be blogging soon even though I don't have a big race for awhile. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Special Introduction to Triathlon - 11/7/10

I attended a seminar a few weeks ago where Coach K (Kim Hager) talked about mental preparation for IM races. She shared with the group a few things she does and one of them really stuck out to me...she has pictures of her kiddos on her water bottles. Well, being that I'm childless and I didn't want to get made fun of for having pictures of my super cute puppy with me, I was determined to figure something else out. An idea popped in my head but really stuck earlier this week when my Grandma Seliger passed away.

Three very special ladies will be accompanying me on my first 70.3 race this weekend and I want to introduce you to them. There are many, many other very special people in my life and luckily, I have many more races in the near future that I will share with them. But for my first 70.3, Bonnie, Hazel & Ang will be with me.
Bonnie Seliger (left) & Ang Cerami (right)

Hazel Chalfant
Bonnie Mae Brian Seliger (March 4, 1927 - November 2, 2010) - Grandma Seliger was my step-dad's mom but thought of us as her grandkids just the same. Grandma Seliger was a very neat lady and we were lucky enough to spend special time with them growing up. On Sunday, Grandma Seliger will accompany me on the 1.2 mile swim as she is the lady who taught me how to swim many, many years ago. Her tactics may have been unconventional but a whole generation of Seliger's learned how to swim because of her. "Camp Grandma" is where I was introduced to cicada's, the art of microwaving Jell-O pops, making homemade stationary, The One and Only Genuine Original Family Band, Dr. Pepper, swimming and many more things. I will always cherish the time I spent in Lubbock, Texas.

Hazel Watkins Chalfant (May 1, 1944 - October 5, 2007) - The lady who once encouraged me to "kick up some Texas dirt" was so, so special to me. Hazel is Keith's mom and I got to know her shortly after he & I started dating. At that time, she lived in Rolla, Missouri and we talked on the phone every week. Keith still jokes his mom liked me more than him (who could blame her). After moving to Texas in early 2007, Hazel became very ill and spent months in the hospital. When she was moved from the hospital to the rehab center, I visited her every day after work and took her whatever it wass she was craving that day. I will never forget the day she had me go to McDonald's for a fish sandwich, Wendy's for fries and Sonic for a sundae. Hazel passed away while I was training for my first half marathon and was probably my biggest cheerleader. On January 13, 2008 I ran the Houston Half Marathon and could smell Hazel's signature scent from mile 9 on. I ran the half in 2:10, still my PR. Hazel never got to see one of my triathlons but always wanted to. On Sunday, Hazel will have a front row seat to my 56 mile ride and I can't wait!

Angela Loffredo Cerami (March 23, 1919 - February 1, 1995) - Her whole life, Grandma Cerami insisted she was "Angeline" but when my mom found her birth certificate (or some other important document), it showed "Angela". Grandma Cerami was something else. As a little girl, I remember visiting her after having already eaten only to find that she had prepared enough spaghetti to feed a village...and not a small village. Telling her we weren't hungry meant nothing as she expected us to eat. There were many years I didn't get to see my grandparents but I wrote to them often and called when we could. After many years of being away from Buffalo, I got to go back to visit my family and see my Grandma. She was sick with breast cancer and we knew she probably didn't have long to live. As long as it had been since I had seen her in person, she was just how I remembered. I am so glad I was able to go back and spend time with her as an adult. A few months after my 20th birthday, Grandma Cerami passed away. I was given a rosary that belonged to her and I will have that with me as I run (jog) 13.1 miles. I figure the rosary is easier to carry than one of her cookbooks!!

Some of you reading this may think this is cheesy or even odd and that's ok. For me, it's a way to remember three people who had a huge impact on who I am today. Without them, or anyone in my life, I wouldn't be where I am and I wouldn't be attempting to do what I'm going to do on Sunday.

Rest in peace Bonnie, Hazel & Ang!! I love you all and I hope we have a lot of fun come Sunday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No pictures, just thoughts....

4 days to race day! That's F-O-U-R. The excitement is sticking & hasn't turned back to anxiety or fear yet. This is good. Very good.

Monday swim went extremely well. We swam a broken 1,500 and I had my best time to date. The pace I kept is one I really feel I could maintain although never have in a big race. We'll see if Sunday is the day. I've got coached swim tonight too and it will be an "easy" workout. I'm looking forward to getting in the water and doing some visualizing for Sunday. Yee haw!!

Last night was an easy track workout consisting of a 1 mile warmup, main set of 6x400 and a 1 mile cool down. I love 400's! Misty & I headed to the track and did a pretty good job pacing. We tended to start out too fast and would take turns lecturing each other on slowing down. Well, maybe not lecture but there was a lot of, "we started too fast again" or "stop chasing the other runners". We were at the same track OutRival works out at so it was nice to see some familiar faces and not feel totally alone out there. We missed our teammates though. I rarely get to do track workouts with the group anymore b/c I just can't get there from work. The past month or so those training for IMFL haven't even had track workouts b/c "Ironman races aren't about speed" as coach said. Boy was I glad to hear that b/c my IMTX probably won't be described as speedy. :)

Packet pickup starts today but I'm waiting until Saturday to get mine. No word yet as to what's going on with the swim course. Val is getting her packet tonight and she's promised to give me the scoop (if there is any). I am definitely to the point where I don't care what they do about the swim so long as they don't cancel it. If we have to walk part of it, so be it. We'll all be faced with the same challenges. I just want my first 70.3 to be a true 70.3, not a 69.1. That doesn't even round to 70!

I've been thinking so much about this race. This is the strangest pre-race feeling I've ever had. I feel strangely calm about it. Maybe part of it is b/c I know what's done is done and nothing that happens this week will change anything. Maybe it's b/c I know this isn't about how fast I finish but about finishing. Period. Maybe for once, I really believe in myself. I'm not saying I never believe in myself but if you've raced, you know what I mean. It's easy to doubt if you'll be at your best on any given Sunday (or race day).

My biggest focus the rest of the week is nutrition. I'm trying to be mindful of the carbs, proteins & fats I'm putting in my body, always asking myself if this is the best fuel I can find. I'm hydrating like it's going out of style. Sports drink is accompanying me everywhere. I feel good.

Well, those are my hump day thoughts. I'm curious to see what tomorrow brings and if everything I'm feeling now will continue or if the nerves will start to creep in.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I've walked a run course but walk the SWIM course?

I want to start this off by thanking OutRival Racing for getting pics from our swim clinic this weekend because without them, my blog would've felt naked today!!!! THANK YOU!!!

As you all know, Ironstar Half Ironman is coming up and this is my first race at this distance (70.3). While I'm very comfortable with swimming the 1.2 miles required, a swim clinic was being held on Saturday and we would have the opportunity to get out on the actual course. I couldn't have been more excited to get up at 6am and get on the road by 7am to be there with plenty of time to spare. A good crowd showed up and all seemed as eager! Before I go further, let me just say that I really do look like a whale in my wetsuit. I was caught in a couple pictures and it took all I had not to cry. That's a problem for another day though. Back to the story at hand.

We heard some helpful tips from Sandra Sutherland about open water swimming but I was anxious to swim the course. We learned that we wouldn't be swimming the entire course though. While we would get the distance, we would be swimming from swim exit vs swim start. This was a major bummer for yours truly. I attended Ironstar last year to cheer on friends who were racing as a relay team (Go Jill Gellatly & Jeff Gardner and...I can't remember the other guys name). Anyway, having attended, I knew the beginning of the swim was a little funky as you started on the beach and had to navigate out of a somewhat narrow cove into the lake. This was something I wanted to practice but nope! No biggie I guess.

We got our wetsuits on and headed towards swim exit to enter. Make sense? Lots of sTRIvers were in attendance and we all got in around the same time. As we get in, I glance up and notice there are a lot of people far out standing up. Hmm, did all the swim challenged show up today. I don't think so. I got in & swam a bit and then something strange happened, my fingertips got stuck in the mud. Huh? What is going on? I stood up and much to my surprise, I found myself in not even knee deep water. I thought maybe the margarita from the night before was playing tricks on me...not so much. I looked up and there was Misty, standing up. Michelle, Stewart, Val, everyone...standing up. As we looked ahead, a sea of zombie like creatures waded through the water. We walked a bit and moved to "deeper" water as Michelle LeBlanc of OutRival directed us from shore. That helped but only for a bit. We soon found ourselves touching the muddy bottom again. This cycle repeated the entire swim course. I may have gotten in 100-200yds of uninterrupted swimming but definitely not more. I'm not going to lie, I was very frustrated at first...everyone was. After a few minutes though, I just had to laugh. This truly was a comical experience and I was getting to experience it with my friends & teammates. We were all in the same boat. "Worry about what you can control" went through my head a few times. While I was disappointed I missed the chance of having a solid swim for this clinic, I had a really fun time bonding with those around me. A fair trade-off I would say.

Misty, Lynn & I headed out for a run after the aqua jog (along w/ countless others). The morning was absolutely beautiful...perfect running weather. Lynn is preparing for IMFL (Ironman Florida to the uneducated) and was running strong. Misty & I welcomed the opportunity to check out a portion of the run course and experimented with what we plan to do race day. A successful run following a not so successful swim = a good day.

Yesterday was our last long ride prior to the race. 40ish miles with some race day pick ups. After my cluster of a ride last weekend, I really REALLY wanted to have a decent ride. Hell, half way decent. Either way, I knew I had to get on the bike with a good attitude if there was any chance of me being happy with this ride. Well, the good attitude worked b/c I really felt like I rode well. Lynn, Misty & I stayed together and I think we all enjoyed the "easy" ride. Most people laugh when I say 40 miles are easy but you triathletes know what it's like! Following a great ride, Starbucks with teammates was in order. It was so good to see some of the folks who would be traveling to IMFL later this week. Everyone had that pre-race excitement!

I anticipate I'll be blogging a lot this week as my emotions run from one extreme to the other. Today I am just plain excited. I trust my coach, my training, my teammates and ME. I know I can conquer this distance. I know it's not going to be easy but I know I will finish. Now that I've been on all 3 event courses, my visualization exercises will really be helpful. I am so ready to get out there!! I can't wait to cross the finish and hug whoever I can find. I don't have to know them either.

Happy Monday! I'm sure you'll be hearing more very soon! :)