Wednesday, December 19, 2012

And here comes Miss Morgan Ann!

So the past few weeks have been crazy.  Baby Cole made his debut as you all know and this past Monday, Miss Morgan Ann Buttenob made her debut!  Keith is now a Papa of 2 precious little girls!  We'll be flying to Chicago with Hannah (Emily will meet us there) a few days after Christmas and we're super excited!  While I'm not exactly crazy about the thought of Chicago-cold temps, I have to admit, it will be nice to have "Christmas" weather for at least a few days. Of course, I'm going to have to do some shopping because I have very little in the way of cold weather gear!

We are especially excited to see how Miss Addison does with her little sister at home.  We've heard lots of funny stories already (Addie telling Morgan to go away, night night, etc).  As with many first born children, Addison has become accustomed to being the center of everyones world...and who can blame her??  :)  We're all confident that she'll be welcoming little sis with open arms in no time!

Here is a picture of beautiful Morgan Ann as well as one of Addison when she was just a few days old.  These two girls look very similar with the exception that Morgan showed up with a lot more hair than Miss Addie AND it's dark like her mommy.  

Many congratulations to Mommy, Daddy, big sis Addison and both extended families!!  I have a feeling Christmas at the Buttenobs is going to be pretty special this year!

Morgan Ann Buttenob

Addison Irene Buttenob - March 2011 on her way home.  :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

It's not a race. Maybe I'll race. I'm not racing. Do you mind if I race?

What can I say, my family knows me well.  I asked Keith & Hannah to do a local 5k with me b/c we would get free antlers in our race packet.  Annie let me know she would be interested in doing it too so I thought we'd have so much fun dressing up and sticking together. 

The day before the race, I was feeling good and having not raced since OilMan, started to feel the itch.  I talked to Keith about it and decided to think about it.  Hannah & I went to Wal-Mart to select our outfits and while there, I decided I was going to stick with them.  I called Keith & let him know I was sticking to the original plan.  

Annie stayed the night Friday night and we took her to GenuWine with us.  Two bottles of wine later, I was falling asleep and asking them to take me home!  I definitely wasn't going to be racing on Saturday and it was a late race start so what the heck!  

Annie & I got up Saturday, ran to Wal-Mart to get Keith's Santa hat and then ran to Starbucks where we ran into Kerry Gordon who was so sweet and bought our coffee for us (thanks again Kerry).  We picked up our fellow reindeer elf (Hannah) and then went to get Santa (Keith).  Stef & Avery decided to get out of the house and meet us there to cheer us on.  This was shaping up to be a great morning. 

Santa and his reindeer/elf mutants.  

We took a bunch of pics at the start and then started to line up for the race.  As I stood in line, I turned to Keith and asked if he minded if I ran ahead of them, he said "go for it" and Annie & Hannah laughed as both suspected I would want to do that (see, my family knows me well). 

I totally wasn't dressed to race.  I was wearing elf boxers with the crotch cut out to look like a skirt (tri shorts underneath) and a Hanes white tshirt.  I had antlers on my head no less.  I passed the antlers to Keith, hiked up my skirt, rolled up my sleeves and tucked them into my sports bra and decided what the heck!  No warm up either.  This would be interesting.

I ditched the antlers and started to hike up the skirt.  I meant business.  

Just like that, it was time to go.  It was warm yesterday, a lot warmer than my August race in Buffalo. There was only one water stop on the route and I think it was at around 2 miles.  I felt really good but honestly, had no clue what pace I was at.  I had no Garmin, no watch, nothing.  I was running strictly by feel.  I felt I had slowed down a bit and thought, no big deal.  I mean, I haven't done speed work in a while and even though running 3.1 miles isn't too tough, it's different when you're trying to run hard.  

As I turned back on to Lake Woodlands I decided to pick it up a bit and was surprised to feel great.  Turning into North Shore Park, I caught a glimpse of the clock and saw I was a minute faster than my August 5k and less than a minute off my PR which was in much, much cooler temps.  Not too shabby.  After a few minutes, I consulted the standings and saw I was listed in 1st place.  Well, that's nice.  Hey, small races are great for those of us who don't typically place.  :)

Me sitting patiently.  :)
What the heck just happened?
When Keith, Hannah & Annie finished, I let them know we'd be sticking around for the awards because I probably would never place again.  I sat very patiently, expecting my name to be called as the winner of the F30-39 a/g.  Much to my surprise, they didn't call my name.  I knew something was wrong b/c they had called Hannah as the winner of her a/g and we didn't think that was right but weren't 100% sure.  I went up to inquire as to what happened and they kind of blew me off.  I caught a glimpse of what they had listed for Hannah's time.....21 minutes and let them know their results were off as I knew Hannah was not that fast (no offense Hannah).  A few more folks complained and they finally admitted the results were off.  After about 15 more minutes, they announced the results again and I got my 2nd place A/G finish.  I was still happy although secretly thought the lady who got 1st looked a lot older than 38.  
The anti-climatic "Awards Redo" Presentation.  What about my speech?

All in all, we had the best time yesterday.  We laughed so hard at so many things and got to just hang out for a few hours.  After the race, Annie & I pampered ourselves with mani/pedis while Keith worked in the shop and Hannah returned to her mom's place.  A great, great day!

My mission today:  find more small races so I can place again. :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Time sure does fly when you aren't "training"!

Ok, maybe that's not entirely true.  :)  I have sort of been training.  

So let's back up.  After OilMan, my awesome coach gave me a few weeks "off".  For the first few days, I did nada.  After that, I did easy stuff.  While on vacation in Turks & Caicos, I worked out every day mainly b/c I love to exercise and it was vacation and on vacation, you do what you would love to do at home.  :)  So I worked out!  Since getting home, I've got more structured workouts again and I have to say, I am feeling amazing!  

So much to be thankful for and so much going on.  I love Thanksgiving, it's my favorite Holiday by far.  The food, the family, everything.  It's more relaxed than Christmas in you don't have the stress of shopping and finding that one perfect gift.  You can just eat & visit with the family.  We got home at about 2am on Thanksgiving so caught some zzzz's before heading to the land of Sugar to celebrate w/ my family.  Keith's girls were with their mom and we would be having Thanksgiving with them that Saturday.  Both Thanksgiving celebrations were awesome!  Great food at both and thankfully, I didn't over indulge so I was able to fit in my skinny jeans.  Bonus!

Cole James Copeland
Kiri gave birth to her 2nd baby last week, Cole James.  Oh my goodness he's a cutie pie which is odd because he looks just like his Dad (hahaha, just kidding Derek)!  Kiri, my baby sister, is a mommy of 2!  I remember the day Kiri was born and getting a note at school letting me know she had arrived.  I changed her diapers, played with her, put makeup on her, took her shopping for prom dresses and all the other fun stuff big sisters get to do.  Man, I am getting old. I turned 38 the week before Thanksgiving and while I know I'm in the best shape of my life, I can't deny that I'm no spring chicken.  Boo hoo.

So now that Cole has arrived, we are (im)patiently waiting for Baby B 2.0 to make his/her debut.  Heather is having a c-section a week from Monday and we are dying to meet this little one.  Keith likes to call me "granny" every now and then (not very often at all, trust me) and I always remind him that I'm "just" his girlfriend.  It does kind of stink not having a cute nickname for Addie and her little brother or sister to call me but hey, that's ok.  Addie sure does say my name in the sweetest way!

Christmas is going to be awesome!  We'll have Cristian, Avery & Cole at my mom's and then Addison and 2.0 and Heather's.  Tick tock tick tock.  Not to wish time away or anything BUT, I really wish time would hurry up just a bit. 

Ok, so that's all I've got.  I haven't written in a while and I know this isn't a training post but it's my blog and I do what I want.  

Have an amazing weekend!!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sometimes I think something is really wrong with me...

I’m really not sure why I bother saying I am “never” going back to Galveston.  Everyone who knows me well knows that I can’t stay away from anything I haven’t been successful at. 

For all you loyal blog followers out there, you know I have two DNF’s in Galveston (one at the Oly distance and the other at the 70.3 distance).  For those who are new to the blog, I passed out during my first Oly and was pulled off the bike course at mile 50 of the 70.3 after suffering two flat tires and not being able to make up the time.  In 2011, I went back to Galveston and successfully completed the Oly (woo hoo)!  At that time, I had declared I was done with Galveston. 

So here we are, November 2012 and I’ve officially signed up for Ironman 70.3 Texas which will take place on April 7, 2013.  Once again, this race is 6 weeks before IMTX and so a perfect training opportunity.  I had considered going to Boerne in March to do the Tall Texan instead but after weighing the pros & cons, I decided I needed to go back to Galveston so I could finish a 70.3 down there. 

I have to admit, I’m pretty excited to be signed up for this race.  I feel so much of the same excitement that I did in late 2010 as I was preparing for my first IMTX.  Only now, I have the benefit of experience and more confidence than I had back then.  I am so ready for this training to kick in!

I’m feeling very good post-OilMan too.  I was definitely sore the day after with a little lingering soreness Tuesday but felt awesome by Wednesday.  The only thing I noticed was that I got the yucky skin I seem to get after long races.  I don’t really break out so you can imagine my disgust when I noticed 3 pimples a few days post race.  Ugh.  I’m not a teenager anymore…go away!

I’m still so excited about OilMan. :)  Anything can happen on race day and I was blessed with great weather, great coaching, great support and great execution.  Yay yay yay!

Monday, November 5, 2012

OilMan 2012 - YESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

Oh.  My.  Gosh!  Yesterday could not have gone better.  I am so happy with what I was able to accomplish and am still kind of in shock that I did it.  

The morning started out great!  Yay for daylight savings time and getting a bonus hour of sleep.  Luke stayed the night with me so Saturday night, we went to dinner (Keith & Hannah too).  We had some yummy pasta and then packed the car up so we could be ready to go bright & early. 

Before we knew it, the swim start was minutes away.  I was in wave 2 and Dorina was in wave 7. We headed over to the start area, got in the lake for a minute and then lined up.  The gun went off and at 7:04am, I was in the water.  If I've said it once, I've said it a million times.  I am not a strong swimmer.  I do my very best but it is what it is.  The highlight of my swim yesterday was the number of times a large man swam right over me.  I also got hit in the face (by a man), kicked (by a man), and held down (by a man).  Sense a trend?  While I love having an earlier wave, it does suck when you have the men behind you.  I was very proud of the fact that I did not freak out, I did not panic and I just kept on swimming.  All in all, I was 30 seconds slower than last year (give or take) but was perfectly fine with that.  The first year I did this was I don't know how on Earth I swam it in 44+ minutes.  That was a miracle. 

My wave starting the swim.  Go ladies 35 and older!!
I'm happy to report that I was able to improve my T1 time.  Last year I was 5:01 in transition and this year, I was 3:49.  Woo hoo!  Not too shabby.  

Glad to be on my bike!
The bike.  Oh my Lord.  I had a good bike.  To offer some comparison, my first year my bike time was 3:54:07.  Last year, I biked in 3:44:04.  This year?  This year I am happy to report I biked in 3:15:58 giving me a nearly 29 minute PR! O.  M.  G.  I have to admit, the conditions were awesome on the bike and we couldn't have asked for a nicer day.  Keith & I have spent a lot of time on the back part of the OilMan course and I think it really paid off for both of us.  How did he do?  Well, last year his bike time was 3:19:02 and this year he went 3:12:38.  I am SO proud of him!!!!!  Needless to say, we were both happy with how we did on the bike.  And I was especially pumped that I wasn't too much slower than him.  :)  A couple that trains together has bike PR's together!!!!!

I was also very happy with my improvement in T2.  Last year I was 3:18 and this year I got out of there in 1:49.  All the racing I did this year at the sprints really helped me improve my transition times.  Woo hoo!!!

On to the run.  Oh yes.  This is where I've struggled on my previous half ironman races.  Last year I was 2:49:40 and my first year I was 2:45:08.  I'm happy to say I was more than 1 minute per mile faster than last year and finished in 2:33:40 (good for a 16 minute improvement over last year).  All week, I spent time visualizing the entire race but especially the run.  I planned to take the first loop easy and settle into my running legs. If I felt good, I would pick up the pace on the second loop and then really try to push the final loop.  It was funny because when I was finishing the bike, I was doing some math in my head and I kept thinking my overall time would be close to 7hr which still would've been a big PR but not what I wanted.  For a split second, I was like, "well, I guess it doesn't matter what I do". I could've slapped myself.  This is what I tend to do in races...think I can't hit my goal and throw in the towel.  I didn't do that yesterday.  I told myself that I was still on the bike and it was not time to think about the run yet.  Anyway, as I started my final loop on the run, I did the math and knew that I would be under 7hrs and that there was a good chance I would be somewhere in the 6:40 neighborhood IF I kept doing what I was doing.  

As I turned on to the final stretch of the run, I looked at my watch and knew I was going to have a big PR.  I approached the spot where Keith, Hannah & Dorina had been spectating. I glanced at my watch, looked at them and did a little fist pump.  I then put my hand over my mouth because I knew I was about to cry.  The race wasn't over though and it was time to finish strong.  As I approached the finish line, I looked at the clock and saw 6:52:54 and knew that I started 4 min after the clock start so backed that time out.  I threw my arms in the air (which didn't last long b/c I was T I R E D) and screamed "YES". I quickly burst into tears of joy.  My official time was 6:48:54....good for a 43 minute half ironman PR.  

Trying not to cry.  Love that Hannah captured this!
Wow.  What a day.  I really worked hard all year and while I slowly showed improvement, I wasn't getting my "big" moment.  This race was a long time coming.  I have been blessed with an unbelievable support system.  My family is awesome and goes to as many races as possible.  Keith of course is wonderful and is always so encouraging.  We've become awesome training partners on the bike and are both looking forward to getting even stronger.  Keith's girls also show me awesome support with text messages or FB posts.  Hannah though is the real trooper.  I don't know any nearly 16 year old girl who would spend most of her Sunday at a boring race but she did it and she cheers for not only the folks she knows, but everyone out there.  Hannah is an awesome cheerleader and we're so happy to have her out there.  I was also lucky yesterday b/c I knew so many people racing and volunteering.  On every loop I would see someone I knew at just the perfect moment.  Lori & Melissa were volunteering towards the end of the run loop and they gave awesome words of encouragement on every loop.  I can't name everyone but I will say that everyone I saw helped make my day!  Last (but certainly not least) I have to thank my coach, Ana Lemus who is amazing.  She raced as part of a relay yesterday....the first place female relay of course.  She had a blazing fast bike time which is AWESOME!  Ana is a great coach.  She has helped get me here and has been a huge support.  I'm so grateful I met her and am coached by her!!!!  Oh, and I can't forget Chase Banks who has me on a nutrition plan that has helped me drop 23 of the 30 pounds I've lost.  I feel amazing!!!!!!

There are a few things I have to work on of course.  My nutrition yesterday didn't work as it should've and I had a lot of bloating.  We suspect I didn't take in enough water on the bike so I'm going to be sure to correct that issue.  I want to improve my swim and I have to figure out what makes sense there.  Don't worry, I'm not picking apart my race!  I'm just making notes of ways I can continue to improve. 

I'm off today and am so glad I am.  Mama is sore!  And that's good because that means I left it all on the course yesterday!  Now, time to enjoy the accomplishment and turn my focus to Turks & Caicos.  Yee haw!

OilMan -- Will 3rd time be a charm???

Written the day before the race. :)
Ok, so the title of this blog implies that my other OilMan races may not have been successful which is not what I mean to imply at all!

November 2010 was my first half ironman and I'm so proud of that race.  I executed everything as planned.  I had a really solid swim, ok bike and ok run.  When I finished, I felt fantastic (minus the cuts & bruises from tripping on the run course).  I had an awesome experience and was so very proud of my finish.

November 2011, I went into this race feeling like a PR had to happen.  I mean, I was more experienced now and I had done IMTX.  My swim was slower and not that great, I had a bike PR and my run was slower.  I was a few minutes behind my 2010 time and when I crossed the finish, was very disappointed I didn't PR.  Not to make excuses or anything, but a lot went on last summer and as I look back now, it's pretty clear my head wasn't 100% into it.  Hindsight is 20/20 and following IMTX, I think a longer break from racing is that my body really needed/wanted.

Here we are...November 2012.  I'm going into this race very well trained.  Dare I say I'm better trained this year than I have been the past two years?  Yes, I dare!  I'm better trained.  I've done the work on myself as well.  This morning, I am 5 pounds BELOW the target weight Chase set for me (to hit next week).  I am 23 pounds below where I was when I started with Chase and 30 pounds below where I was in July of this year.  What does all this mean?  It means I have a lot less of me to drag around on that run course!!!  All joking aside, I feel fantastic and I've got some confidence back that seemed to be slipping away ever since IMTX.

There are no guarantees a PR is waiting for me tomorrow.  As I mentioned before, there are only a set number of things I can control on race day.  How I execute is the most important.  Who knows what Mother Nature will deal us tomorrow.  Who knows what might happen from a mechanical standpoint.  What I do know is I have visualized this race repeatedly and I've thought about what I'm going to do during each leg.  I have a plan and I have a backup plan.  I've thought about what I will tell myself when I want to slow down and walk.  I've thought about what I'll repeat to myself over and over during the swim.  I've thought about the profanities I'll surely mutter on the bike course as we're faced with the inevitable head wind right as we hit the hilliest part.  Yep, I would say I'm set to execute better than I have in a long, long time.

I am so very excited for tomorrow regardless of the outcome.  It's going to be a great day.  IMTX becomes more real after tomorrow.  I will have a short "break" from training the rest of November & December (all this means is that I won't have as long of workouts in the pool and on the bike but I will be getting ready for the Houston Half Marathon in January).  I will also be starting the maintenance part of my weight loss efforts.  My body is going to have a nice little rest before hitting it hard for  IMTX 2013.

Happy November!!!!

Getting ready for my swim warm up.  

I think I would still feel like a stuffed sausage even if I lost 50 more pounds!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

S. I. X.

I am so nervous.  I could stop this blog update right here if I really wanted to.   

OilMan is this coming Sunday and while I’m super excited and ready for this race.  I am nervous (but in a good way).  I think it’s hard not to feel a little pressure when you race.  Especially when you’re racing a distance and a race you’ve done before.  I’ve raced OilMan twice before and my times were 7:31 & 7:35.  Last year I really thought I would PR but I just didn’t get it done on the run.  My swim was slower too but had my run been what it should’ve been, it wouldn’t have mattered.  I am trying so hard not to put time pressure on myself but I don’t know if that’s realistic.  I mean, you spend months training and hours & hours on your bike or in the pool or in your running shoes.  You know what you can do.  You know what kind of pace you’re able to maintain.  So of course, you put that to paper to see where you think you might be on race day.  

Ana always tells me to stop worrying about a time and just execute.  So that’s what I’m going to try to do from today forward.  I’m going to think about how to best execute my race whenever I have a free moment.  Yes, I have a time in my head that I want to break and I’m going to be reaching for something faster than that.  I can only control a small number of things on race day and the execution of MY race is the most important thing I control so it’s time to own it and to do what I know I can do.  If I execute, I will have the best possible race on Sunday regardless of everything else around me.  And if I’m lucky, that just might result in a finish time that begins with a 6. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is it really the end of October???

Happy end of October everyone.  I can’t believe the year is coming to a close.  I’ve mentioned before that there are a few babies due in my world before the year ends….Kiri is having her 2nd little boy and Heather will be welcoming her 2nd baby (gender TBD). 

I’m thrilled to report that I hit my 1st weight loss goal last week. In 7.5 weeks I dropped 18lbs!!  I am now down a grand total of 26lbs and sooooo happy.  I go back for my next check-in on the 29th and will get my next 4 weeks of meal plans before hitting the maintenance phase for a few months.  

Thanks for carrying me another 14 miles legs!
Training this past weekend was awesome.  Keith & I ventured out for 67 miles on our bikes and enjoyed the fabulous weather and challenging rollers we encountered.  We spent a portion of the ride on the OilMan course and felt we did pretty darn well.   On Saturday we have our last long ride prior to the race and we’ll one again venture up to Montgomery so we can tackle the back part of the race course.  On Sunday I had a 14 mile run to do and was actually looking forward to it all week.  Once again, I left my place and decided to run to the front of The Woodlands where Keith would pick me up.  My Garmin died 3 miles into the run which really sucked but I had an extra watch on so I was good.  For those of you familiar w/ The Woodlands, I live near the Starbucks in the back (by Wal-Mart) so I ran up Terramont to Branch Crossing, over to Sterling Ridge and then on to Lake Woodlands.  From there, I turned off on the Ironman Texas run course.  When I made it to South Shore Park, I stopped to refill all my bottles (the news reported 96% humidity) as I was parched.  I looked out at the water and got so excited knowing I would be swimming in that nasty mess in just 7 months!  I continued on my run and felt awesome!!  I ran into Market Street and picked up Hannah who was running my last mile with me.  While we ran, Keith & Emily enjoyed their coffee and worked on a project Emily had.  Hannah & I had a quick loop around the Waterway area and then headed back into Market Street.  I don’t know why she wouldn’t want to run the whole 14 with me!!!  

My lower back had been giving me some issues on & off the past few weeks.  I decided I needed to go get a massage before it got any worse.  While I knew I would benefit from a deep tissue massage, I also knew that there was probably no way I could handle that kind of pain.  Before going in, I would have to stretch a solid 20 minutes before I could even touch my toes.  I’m happy to report, I’m touching my toes again!  It turned out that while my lower back was in fact tight, the real culprits were my glutes.  I have a sizeable bruise on one of my butt cheeks right now thanks to the man-handling my backside required.  Needless to say, I don’t plan on letting it get this bad again.  Hey, I was just happy there were muscles underneath that big ‘ole bootie!!

That’s all I have for you.  I’m starting to taper this week so am expecting a little bit of madness to set in.   You know when you refer to your long run as “only” 6 miles, you are brainwashed. 

Have a great, great week ahead!

Monday, October 15, 2012


So I’m happy to report that 10 for Texas was a success!  The conditions were definitely warmer & more humid than last year.  I sweat a lot when I run normally but by mile 1, I had a shinier glow than normal.  I did make the very same mistake I made last year which was I went out too fast.  I think this is something most people tend to do because you get caught up w/ what the crowd is doing.  And of course, I kept telling myself I felt great and I could maintain it.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t a speed I could maintain over 10 miles (at least not yet) and so I had to dial it back a bit.  Either way, I was approaching mile 5 a little faster than planned but that’s ok.  I rounded the turn at Cochrans Crossing and loved seeing the spectators cheering away!  As I got ready to make my turn on to Lake Woodlands and head back to the finish line, I saw Keith sporting his ORR shirt.  Yay, my cheer squad was here.  He knew I was on the pace I had hoped to be and told me to keep it up.  I felt great for about 400 more yards and then as I hit mile 6, I just started to struggle.  My nutrition was good (I was taking water & sports drink every 2 miles), my training was good and mentally I was good.  My best guess is that it was a combination of going out too fast and the humid temps.  I was definitely feeling a lot of heat in my face/head if that makes sense.  At mile 6 I took 3 cups of water and 1 cup of Gatorade.  2 cups of water went on my head and the other in my body.  By mile 7, I was feeling much better and knew it was time to kick it into gear.  But dang, it was hot!!  I kept thinking about how my coach told me to race so hard I vomit. At one point, I really thought I might but then I thought about the camera at the finish line and I didn’t want a puke crusted face.  When I hit mile 9, I did my very best to speed up.  I was getting ready to turn into Market Street and I was fading a bit.  One last push of the gas pedal and I could stop.  I straightened up, raised my head and just pumped my arms until they couldn’t pump any more.  3-2-1 DONE!!  When I stopped, I thought I was going to pass out.  The tunnel vision started and I was looking for Keith to break my fall.  I knew to keep walking and that seemed to help.  Cold water never tasted so damn good.

I was so happy with the race.  I felt like I raced smart once I corrected the issue of going out too fast.  I hung in there when I felt terrible and I pushed at the end until I couldn’t push another step.  No time to sit around and bask in the glory of a race done well though….it’s time to get back to training.  This week is another crazy busy week.  I am already looking forward to my weekend training though!  Keith & I have a 4hr ride on Saturday and we’re both super excited.  And then lucky girl that I am, 14 miles by foot will be my Sunday morning activity. 

As of today, I’m 1lb shy of my 12 week goal (and I still have 5 weeks to go).  Needless to say, I’m super pumped with the progress I’ve made.  As of this morning, I’ve dropped 17lbs since starting with Chase and 24lbs in total.  It’s funny because you realize when you’re losing weight b/c of how your clothes fit but since you see yourself in the mirror every day, you don’t really notice the difference.  And honestly, it’s only been the past couple of weeks that folks have commented at all.  When I saw the pictures Keith took at the race though, I was in shock and almost cried.  I couldn’t believe how different I looked. I told him more than once that it looks like a different person. In the past, I always told him that he captured the most unflattering moments in all my races but it’s time to face the fact that the pictures looked bad because I didn’t look great.  Period. 

The best before/after picture I could find.  Same shirt worn 7 months apart.  Yikes!!!!!
I am so excited for the next few weeks.  I am not even thinking about a time goal for OilMan (ugh, ok, that's a lie....sorry Ana!).  All I’m doing is visualizing the race piece by piece and thinking about what I need to do in each event to have a successful and fun day.  I am SO excited!!!