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My Biking History... and Future Plans

Friday, April 15, 2011

Another SPer asked me about my bike and my bicycling. I wrote a pretty long response and thought I'd create a blog post based on it.

I am now 41 and hadn't rode a bike since I was a child. That changed in June of this year shortly after I started running Couch to 5K (C25K). I was going on vacation with my sister-in-law (and other family members) to New Mexico. We had a house that included 2 bikes. My sil had started riding as part of her weight loss/getting in shape plan. So, we decided to both run & ride while in NM.

(June 2010)

We went on 2 rides through the foothills of NM. The first ride was 4 miles and the second was 7.5 miles. The views were spectacular!!! From the mountains to the sunsets to the birds, the lizards, and the groundhogs. It was amazing!

I had to learn basic biking communication AND I tried to learn how to grab my water bottle while riding... it wasn't easy!

January 2011

I debated a lot about what bike to buy and didn't end up buying a bike for several months. In early October, I bought a Scott Speedster. (And, I love it.)

Just a few days after buyiing my, I got in a wreck with my daughter. I had a banged up hip and scraped up arm which hurt for months and scared. A few weeks later, I went out with my trainer (a biker) twice and he had a bad fall. It took months (through the winter) before I was ready to get back on again.

I think I started back in January with a bike at the gym. Then, maybe in Feb started riding. Now, I'm still only riding on my 'real' bike once a week and then at the gym another time.

I am trying to increase my 'long rides' and have went from struggling with 7 miles (I found out that just because I could run for a long time didn't mean I could ride for a long time!). I increased to 10 miles... then 15... and 2 weeks ago (right before my tri) I did a 20 mile ride!

April 2011

So far, all of my riding has been by myself except for those 2 rides with my personal trainer AND my 2 rides last weekend - the triathlon and the beginners clininc the day before. I am planning on doing my longest ride ever next weekend - 30 miles in hilly Oklahoma while we are there for vacation. It is an organized ride and that weird skeleton on my background is their logo. Pretty creepy! (And, I hope my foot does NOT have a stress fracture like I fear it does... or I might not be able to ride next weekend.)

My goal is to do a long, 2 day ride this fall. It is 75 miles on Saturday & 75 miles on Sunday. (It's called Bicycle Around the Bay in Galveston, TX) I'd LOVE to do it! I'd also like to do the local MS 150 next year. It takes place this weekend! So, I have a year to train. It is 2 days and covers 180 miles from Houston to Austin.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMOHAME2 4/16/2011 9:25AM

    Great story! I really want to make the switch from indoor cycling to the "real thing". We've got great bike paths all around Ottawa but I want to eventually get up to nice fast rides which would mean being on the road. I'll be honest, biking on the road, next to all the cars, scares the crap out of me! Do you ride much in heavy traffic areas, or mainly on quieter streets or paths?

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LIV2RIDE 4/16/2011 8:41AM

    we are about at the same experience level biking. It's amazing to me how contagious this really is. I want to do a metric century by June but ride alone and not sure I want to do an organized ride. I give you a lot of credit for signing up for something like that. There is an MS ride in June I can do. I just haven't decided to take the plunge.

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REMEMBER2BME 4/16/2011 8:39AM

    Great blog. You have made great progress and are a motivator. Great job. Thanks for sharing.

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RHONDALYN10 4/16/2011 8:03AM

    Way to go!
I am getting my bike ready for some recreational riding now!

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JREA24 4/16/2011 7:41AM

    You make me want to go get a bike.

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MINNA72 4/16/2011 5:21AM

    Way to go, Dana!

The races sound so exciting! It'll be fun to follow your adventures!

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MNCYCLIST 4/15/2011 11:23PM

    Awesome! The cycling bug bit me 11 years ago and I've been addicted ever since. I wish you the best as you continue to grow in your passion.

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Pain on My Foot...Drat!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm lying here on the couch with my foot elevated. My foot started hurting a few hours ago and I'm not sure what's wrong with it. It hurts on the top of my foot. Anyway, I'm hoping it is very temporary and might have something to do with the shoes I was wearing while shopping today.

I've had a very busy week since my tri on Sunday. I took Monday off and then jumped back into training on Tuesday. I have only about 3 1/2 weeks until my next tri!

On Tuesday, I had my weekly session with my personal trainer. Later in the evening, I did my first trail runs. I loved them! I also figured out how to use my Garmin watch as a trainer and set it for 1/4 mile intervals. I did 8 of them with a 30 second walk in between. What a great way to work on speed!

On Wednesday, I got up early and spent some time on the Expresso bike at the gym. I chose a hilly, challenging course and rode for about 45 minutes. Wednesday night was my swim class. I swam 850 yards in the 30 minutes including a 350 yard segment at the end. It felt great!

I woke up early today and ran outside. Again, I set my Garmin for intervals but this time for three 1 milers with a 1 minute rest in between. I felt like I was zooming along! I did pretty well, but not as good as I thought. Anyway, it felt good to work on speed.

This evening, as I mentioned, my foot is hurting. I know I need new tennis shoes - maybe that is part of my problem, too. I was debating about taking tomorrow off or swimming tomorrow morning. With this pain, I'll just take the day off! I have a busy workout schedule coming up.

This weekend I'll do a long run (7 miles - have to prepare for my HM on June 5th!) and a brick workout. On Monday, my daughter and I are trying CrossFit... I'm really excited! I'll swim either Monday or Tuesday morning and have my trainer Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday is my swim class and Thursday I'll get to run 'the hills' while my daughter is at an activity. On Friday we are driving to another state for a week off... and I'm doing a 30 mile organized ride with my sister-in-law on Saturday! I'm exctied about it! It'll be a lot hillier than what I'm used to, and I'm excited about the challenge and seeing how I'll do!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 4/17/2011 10:05AM

    I have not been on your blog in quite a while and it as FANTASTIC to see how much you have learned in the past few months! WAY TO GO!!

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GIANTMICROBE 4/15/2011 7:23PM

    You're a machine!

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FUNFROG79 4/15/2011 1:07PM

    Sorry to hear about your foot, hope it feels better soon!

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SLEEPYDEAN 4/15/2011 11:52AM

    You are so going to be ready for that next tri with those brick and two-a-day workouts.

Eeek June 5th will be here before we know it and the longest I've run in months is 3 miles. Luckily I'm only doing part of the half, but it will still be a challenge I'm sure. Especially since right now I am only supposed to be doing 1-2 mle treadmill runs.

Glad to read on your status that your foot is OK today. There must be something "going around" a lot of us Sparker runners having issues lately.

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 4/15/2011 11:19AM

    WOW!! You have some awesome workouts scheduled! Sorry about your foot, hope it feels better after the rest. Reading your schedule I can't help but think "life is good". :) You have so many great things planned. Hope you have a great weekend :).

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RHONDALYN10 4/15/2011 8:35AM

    WOW! What a workout schedule! Glad you are paying attention to your pain and taking the day off. Hopefully it is just from the shopping.
Have fun with the 30 mile ride!

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REMEMBER2BME 4/15/2011 7:48AM

    YIKES.... that is one busy schedule. You are doing a fantastic job. Continue to listen and take care of that body of yours. It is working so hard for you. Too cool that you and your daughter are trying CrossFit together. You take care. You know the most important thing is NOT to get hurt or sick so figure your risk/actions from there.

Feel better!!! And have fun! Ah, I felt the need to come back and add, I hope you are getting plenty of rest as well with all this training.

Comment edited on: 4/15/2011 7:49:05 AM

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AMOHAME2 4/15/2011 6:09AM

    Woah, you have been one busy woman!!! I love reading about your tri training workouts, they sound like so much fun! I really hope that foot pain is extremely short-lived and nothing serious!
Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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IONA72 4/15/2011 3:46AM

    Busy busy girl, hope the pain in your foot is only temporary, I dread injury.

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MINNA72 4/15/2011 2:40AM

    Holy moly, you've been busy! Sorry about the foot, hope it's just fatigued from the shopping trip.

I'm off to look at race bikes now! So exciting! Actually I need two, one for road racing and one mountainbike, but I'll try to find a used mtb on the internet. What kind do you have?

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Photos from My First Tri

Wednesday, April 13, 2011




TRI!!! (The Finish)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JETERSGAL729 4/22/2011 7:11AM

    So cool! I don't own a bike and don't have a pool that I'm able to use for swimming so I doubt I'd be able to do a Tri as those are most likely important key factors in the training for one! lol But CONGRATS!!!

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LUNATIFF 4/20/2011 2:52PM

    That is so awesome!!! emoticon emoticon

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LCHADBOURNE 4/20/2011 2:17PM

    Way to go!!! Great photos!

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LAUROCHKA 4/20/2011 1:36PM

    WOO HOO!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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4EVERADONEGIRL 4/18/2011 5:21PM

    Good job girlie!! Look at you go!!! Not even a runner not that long ago and here you are a TRIATHLETE now! Awesome!!!

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MINNA72 4/15/2011 2:42AM

    LOVE these photos! You look so happy! Congrats on the being a TRIATHLETE!

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NEEBREW 4/14/2011 6:09PM

    That looks like SO MUCH FUN! Or maybe you just make it look easy! Congratulations!

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TURNINGJ 4/14/2011 5:35PM

    congratulations!! you did it!

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STIPER23 4/14/2011 12:03PM

    Great pics! Congrats!

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LILPAT3 4/14/2011 11:51AM

    Very nice---TRIATHLETE! A newly earned title. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FUNFROG79 4/14/2011 11:07AM

    These are amazing shots of your achievement! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/14/2011 11:07:26 AM

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SLEEPYDEAN 4/14/2011 10:38AM

    Those are some great shots, you don't look one bit tired in any of those!

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AMOHAME2 4/14/2011 9:41AM

    Amazing photos!!! Look at that smile on your face, that says it all!!

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CRYSBROWN1 4/14/2011 9:01AM

    Nice pics, I like that you are smiling the WHOLE way!

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RUNTRILAUGH 4/14/2011 8:38AM

    These are awesome!!!! You look great and like you were having fun!

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    Great action shots - the best was at the finish you were smiling - you will be doing more my guess.

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SEABREEZE64 4/14/2011 7:40AM

    Super Job and great photos!

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WOMANCHEF 4/14/2011 7:32AM

    Good for you!!!!! You are awesome!

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REMEMBER2BME 4/14/2011 7:00AM

    Too cool!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 4/14/2011 12:53AM

    Great pics!!

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MENT2BE 4/13/2011 10:57PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Well done you!!!!!! Great pics!!

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TEDDYBABE 4/13/2011 10:48PM

    OMG! You look like you have done this all your life! Great pictures and you look FABULOUS! Fit, healthy, trim and so happy!! Congratulations, awesome for you!

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LLBEAN75 4/13/2011 10:47PM

    GREAT JOB! So proud of you :)

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Swim, Bike, Run...My 1st Sprint Tri! (long)

Monday, April 11, 2011

(P.S. I have lots of photos but have so much trouble uploading them to SP! I'll try again later. Grr!)

I did it! Yesterday I competed in my first sprint triathlon. Wow!!!

So, how was it? It was great! It was hard! It was WINDY! But, I did it! And, I AM a triathlete.

MORNING: I woke up a little before 5 am and went through my bag one more time. I grabbed my breakfast (I was too nervous to eat) and loaded my bike on the back of my car. And, I headed towards the community center.

CHECKING IN & SETTING UP: I had been there the day before for a first timers event. (More on that later.) So, I knew pretty much what would be happening and where everything was set up. I brought my flashlight (great idea as I had to pump up my tires in the dark parking lot!) and went over to get my markings. The guy marking my leg heard me say "31" instead of "41" so he had to rewrite it. It was really messy and unreadable. Oh, well! I got my area set up according to everything I'd read and the Saturday class. I ate my banana and went and got my ankle chip. Then, I walked the exit & entrance to the bike & run several times to make sure I could find my bike. I was 2nd from the end, and got really good at finding it.

SWIM: There were about 600 participants and I was number 487. I was told they'd put someone in the water every 5 seconds, which should have put me around 7:25. But, I didn't get in the water until 7:45. It was a LONG wait, and I was wishing I had more 'fuel' to eat. I stood around talking to one of the ladies I'd me Saturday and the guy who was next to me on the rack. He actually trains some triathletes, so he was a great person to ask questions! (Oh, and I learned that they close the transition area -something I hadn't read - so you have to get whatever you need out of there!)

It was finally my turn to start & I jumped in. I'd predicted my swim team, for the 275 yards in the pool, would be 7:30. I hadn't practiced jumping in and was afraid my goggles would fill up with water, but they were fine. I hadn't warmed up at all since I knew there'd be a long wait until I started swimming. But, I immediately felt at ease in the water. That is, until the guys behind me caught up to me on the 2nd lane. For about 5 laps, they passed me one after another. And, they were bumping into me, pulling my legs under, and just messing with me! I was proud of myself for staying calm. I flipped over on my back twice, but just for a couple of seconds. I ended up swimming slightly faster than expected with a time of 7:24! And, I realize now that I actually probably swam 300 yards instead of 275 since you are also swimming the entire length of the pool. So, I was swimming faster than ever! Yeah!

T1: My first transition went well. I really had trouble 'running' from the swimming pool and it was a slight jog instead. My plan was to stand up and put my socks & shoes on, but my socks weren't going on easily. So, I sat down and got them on. I also grabbed a few Honey Stingers. I had a good time at just 2:41.

BIKE: I'd rode one loop of the 2 loop bike route the day before with the first timers group. And, Saturday had been kind of windy. But, race day was VERY windy! And, the path was hilly! (At least compared to the flat lands I ride on!) I am very proud of how hard I worked on the ride. I pushed & pushed and gave 100%. There were times we were riding directly into the wind and we were barely moving. And, we didn't get the benefit of the wind because we were behind some buildings when it should have been at our back. Overall, I'm very happy with my bike leg, especially since I haven't been riding very long. My time for 13 miles (which I showed as about 13.5 miles) was 59:21.

T2: I had a quick transition. I know I could have been a few seconds quicker by putting my cap on while running, but I was so tired and wanted a few seconds break. I also grabbed a big drink of water off of my bike and a couple more Honey Stingers. I had one of the fastest T2s in my age bracket at 1:14. (But, I didn't have to change shoes since I ride in my tennis shoes.)

RUN: I was so tired by my run. It was hard to get going. I walked a lot more than I expected. I think I walked 5 times and they were pretty long walks. I had just given almost all of what I had to give! My run time was the 2nd slowest in my age group at 40:16. But, my fastest 5K to date is only 37something, so this was actually pretty decent for me.

So, my total time was 1:50:38. I placed 26 of 28 in my age group. I placed 150 of 175 out of the women. As in every other race, I came in at the back of the pack. Yes, that is frustrating for me. But, I think I did an incredible job and I know I gave it my all. (Well, I might have held back a little during the run.) I need to keep working on all 3 sports and I will get better! Right now I'm a little frustrated that I have a half marathon I'm training for, too, so it'll be harder to work on speed, but I'll do my best!

That's it! That's the story of my first triahtlon! I hope, if you are considering doing one, that you'll get out there and give it a try. It is an incredible feeling of accomplishment.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUBRAZILLA 4/18/2011 11:46AM

    I had been a little discouraged by triathlon training before because it felt like too much to juggle, but you are giving me the strength to think I can do it!

Swimming is my hardest sport; did you swim further or faster than your planned race distance/time or did you just work on cross training to keep you conditioned?

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JUST_TRI_IT 4/17/2011 10:03AM

    So excited for you! This was a wonderful description of those "firsts" in a triathlon. And for sures, this will be a first TRI in a line of many more to come.


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PRINCESSJ99 4/15/2011 8:09AM

    Thats so awesome! My first tri is in July, so this blog was a great inspiration!!!!

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MICHELE5551 4/14/2011 10:28PM

    Good for you!!!!!!

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TURNINGJ 4/14/2011 5:38PM

    I think you did AWESOME!! I am excited to do my triathlon in August... I am starting to work out with personal trainer next week....I want to make sure I am doing enough strength training to get me ready!

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MEGS4148 4/14/2011 9:18AM

    I think this is amazing! I want to do a tri next year and it is so inspiring to read about other people out there trying it. Great job!

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TEDDYBABE 4/13/2011 10:52PM

    Congratulations! You did great, and you trained so hard for it! Such an accomplishment. You should be very proud of yourself!

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NUTRIGIRL08 4/13/2011 5:42PM

    emoticon emoticon

On thing I do that helps get my bike legs under me is Brick workouts. After riding your bike hop off and run. Start with 5 minutes and build up. It really does help. Sometimes I just shuffle along until they get back under me! Forward motion!!!

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RHONDALYN10 4/12/2011 3:38PM

    WAY TO GO!

I remember my first sprint triathlon - I thought I was going to die and said to everyone that would listen - "checked it off the to do list and I AM NOT doing another"......well, I ended up doing 2 more! All 3 were in Baghdad which really stunk (literally and figuratively) but I did it! We were even pictured in Triathlete magazine and that makes me proud!

Very proud of you and all of your hard work and dedication!

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LUV4CHOCOLATE 4/12/2011 1:13PM

    Very inspiring!!! You should be so proud of yourself! And it doesn't matter how fast or slow you are -- you FINISHED -- there are so many who don't even try!


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    A very big congratulations to you. You are now a triathlete.

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RUNTRILAUGH 4/12/2011 12:25PM

    Congrats! Sounds like a GREAT triathlon!!!!

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VICLAF 4/12/2011 12:14PM

    Congrats to you!!

You did great :)

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DELIRIOUSXIX 4/12/2011 12:14PM

    Wow! how exciting! congratulations. I have my first tri May 30th and I'm super nervous, so this blog really makes me feel better. I can't imagine how it feels to cross that finish line.. you should be so proud!

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SLEEPYDEAN 4/12/2011 12:00PM

    Finally getting a chance to read this... Sounds like a good first experience aside from the wind - ugh I feel ya on that one because of my crazy windy half marathon.

I am so glad both the tris I did were reverse. I can't even imagine running at the end and having to deal with so much after the swim in transition. Mine were all really quick because I wear my running shoes too, so I was in and out - of course it was also quick because I didn't really have too many other people around by the time I made it back from my run.


Now you know you can do it, and you can lay out a training schedule that includes another one if you like or you can focus more on shorter distance running to work on your speed. I know I would love to do that, breaking a 30 minute 5K would be such a dream for me - but with my knee problems, I don't think its in the cards this year.

Good luck in the rest of your half training - I have to live vicariously through you you know.

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AMOHAME2 4/12/2011 11:41AM

    Woohoo!!!! Congratulations TRIATHLETE!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FUNFROG79 4/12/2011 9:45AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EARTHTONED84 4/12/2011 9:14AM

    Way to go! I loved reading this blog! I did a mini triathlon with a friend of mine and the most difficult part for me was transitioning from swimming to biking. When I got out of the pool to jogging to T1 my legs felt like jelly! Great job! I hope you plan on competing in more!! emoticon

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REMEMBER2BME 4/12/2011 8:47AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Amazing. You did a great job. I just can not even imagine a tri. You are AWESOME!!!!

I have to add, you really can not look at the numbers... think of ALL the people who didn't even give it a try.

Comment edited on: 4/12/2011 8:49:58 AM

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SEABREEZE64 4/12/2011 8:40AM

    WTG! What an event! You did so great!

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TRILLIUM22 4/12/2011 8:02AM

    emoticonLoved reading your description of the tri. BTW the Go St. Louis was really hot and rather unpleasant this year--think you had a better event. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PARTICLEGIRL22 4/12/2011 8:01AM

    emoticon You are AWESOME!!! That is so great that you can now officially call yourself a Triathalete! I am so proud of you and you, as always, are an inspiration to me!

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JOYCERN12 4/12/2011 12:13AM


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ITSHOWYOULIVE 4/11/2011 11:56PM

    So Awesome!! You did it and you didn't come in last and it was your very first tri. I think you have a lot to be proud of and should relish that sense of accomplishment for all it is worth. I would have come in last-lol!! Not kidding, but it's still funny :). I am impressed. I am probably still at least a year away from trying a tri. I am blown away and you rock!!

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CRISTINEJOY 4/11/2011 11:38PM

    I'm training for a triathlon right now and I'm a little nervous, especially about the swimming. I have to stop after 4 laps, and those are the half laps! Any advice for a really bad swimmer?

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AMSTERDAMAND125 4/11/2011 10:36PM

    WOO HOO!! You did it!! I'm so glad it was such a good experience after you had to miss your half. Great job!

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Friday, April 08, 2011

For the past few days, the weather report for my first sprint triathlon on Sunday has been looking bad. It was at 30% chance of t-storms. Yesterday, it went up to a 40% chance AND "Windy!" I am not prepared to compete in a thunderstorm. I would (and have) run in the rain, but I'm not that confident on my bike yet. So, I was contemplating skipping it...

Until this morning! The weather report now shows only a 10% chance of scattered thunderstorms! But, it is still WINDY! 20-25 mph. (Does that mean sustained winds?)

So, I'll be doing it! (Whew!) And, because of the wind, I'll not even worry about my times. (Another, whew!) I know I shouldn't, anyway, since it is my first... but I had certain times I wanted to hit and felt I could/should. But, the pressure is off! I'm going to have FUN and LEARN during my first tri!

I hope you all have a great weekend, too!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ITSHOWYOULIVE 4/10/2011 11:35PM

    Good is not Sunday night so I'm a bit late I guess. Hope it was great, can't wait to hear your report! :)

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TURNINGJ 4/9/2011 7:28AM

    Good luck - I'm sure you are going to be a rock star!

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REMEMBER2BME 4/8/2011 1:09PM

    WooHoo! Can't wait to hear all about it! You will do great. I know this because you will start and finish!

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COURTNEYLEA08 4/8/2011 12:33PM

    Good Luck!!!!

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AMOHAME2 4/8/2011 12:19PM

    It's funny how the weather report can totally change your excitement about a race!!! I'm glad it looks like it's going to be nice for your FIRST TRI!!! how exciting!!

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JOYCERN12 4/8/2011 12:17PM


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SLEEPYDEAN 4/8/2011 10:52AM

    You are doing it! I had a cheapie rain poncho that I packed in my bag just in case, but wonderfully the pouring rain stopped about 2 hours before my first.

You'll have a blast I'm sure!

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FUNFROG79 4/8/2011 10:27AM

    Good luck!!!! emoticon

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KARVY09 4/8/2011 9:09AM

    Hehe, try not to stress the weather! It always changes up until the minute of the race! And if it's too dangerous to swim, the organizers will postpone it.

I'm excited for you! Best of luck!

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