2017 wrap up & 2018 plans!

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Gotta’ say I’m proud of myself for accomplishing some great endurance sport goals this year. My first big swim (Raleigh Half Ironman 1.2 mile swim in Jordan Lake, NC)…..my first Olympic distance completed (Outer Banks, NC)…and my first “classic distance” tri as a recovery goal after surgery. All 3 events were open water – 2 ocean, one lake. Here’s a cool recap of pics from the season. Always sporting the #trimafia gear through Velocity Sportswear – their gear is fantastic!

CHECK OUT MY 2017 SEASON PICS HERE!

For whatever reason I’ve been struggling with what my plans for 2018 will be. But for whatever reason the light bulb went on & I think I’m pretty close to figuring it out. I think I have about 6 events I’m planning on again this year. My bigger plan is to hopefully complete a 70.3 Half IM distance event by 2020, but to do that I have to take steps in that direction. Last year’s big 1.2 mile swim was huuuuge for me & felt impossible. In 2018 I’m looking at another big scary thing – a half marathon!

I have decided my word for 2018 is STRONG. I want to focus on strength training through the winter & apply that to my swim strokes, cycling, and stability for running. I’m continuing with my 3rd year as a brand ambassador for Velocity Sportswear – great people, glad to be a part of the family! Always loving their shirts – especially my newest, RAISE THE BAR! Pic taken in the dark at 6am after a  brief workout, of course!

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2018 Tentative Plans:

January 15, Indoor Tri at LifeTime
March – TBA
April – lots of fundraising Walks for work
June 24, Smile Train Triathlon sprint
September, Mud Run with family or friends
September 15, OBX sprint
October 13, Wilmington Half IM as a team (swim & run)

…and maybe another brand ambassador gig. Not sure yet, but I’m looking at one! We’ll see what happens there!

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The last race that almost didn’t happen!

My triathon season for 2017 is over. It’s been a long one (since April 2 and through Oct 8). Yesterday I did the Ramblin Rose in Chapel Hill…that’s where this whole journey started back in 2009. I’ve been talking about this particular race with some friends since the beginning of the year, literally since January. I had signed up for several events and just ASSumed that I had also signed up for this one since I was planning on being there. This pic shows that I finished, but this is how it started…

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Well, come 3:30pm on Saturday I go to check my bib # and it’s not there. All my friends have a bib #. But not me. So I start checking my emails to confirm my registration and there are none. Nothing. The time of 3:30 pm is important because packet pickup ends at 4pm and it’s in Chapel Hill, about 45 minutes away from me if I had left that second. They had said that you could still sign up at packet pickup. There was literally NO way for me to get there and sign up in person. There was also literally NO emergency contact info (name, email, phone, etc) to find anywhere. On Saturday afternoon, a few hours before the morning of the race, I did not know if I was going to be able to participate in my last race – and one of my favorites – of the season.

I was freaking out!! The only thing I could do was to send a message via social media on their FB page. I did. And I waited. I kept trying to formulate a Plan B in my head. IF I can’t race tomorrow, I’ll cheer for my friends. I’ll take pics. I’ll be the best cheerleader ever! But I’m super F pissed at myself. How could I NOT sign up for something I’ve talked about since January!? Just how crazy AM I!?

Somewhere later the people at Ramblin Rose message me that yes, I can sign up at 6:30am onsite. (No cost mention, just that I can.) So for the bargain price of $100, I’m back in the game! My friends meet me at 6am, we drive over, I sign up paying nearly double what I thought I was going to, all is good.

Swim? good. Bike? good.

WAIT – it was good until half way through and I get a flat. Thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump. Damn. I have no tools, no tube, no nothing. Shit. It’s over. I just paid $100 to swim 5 laps today. Awesome. My first DNF.

I tell a rider passing me while I’m on the side of the road to let the next volunteer know that I have a flat. Maybe someone can help or at least give me a ride back so I don’t have to walk it 4-5 miles back. Then an athlete named Shelley stops & says she can help me fix it! …really?? Well, she could have – but the tube was totally gone. Neither of us had a tube even though she did have tools. She tried putting in air with the co2 cartridge, but it wouldn’t hold air. So, after some time, I thanked her profusely and told her to finish her race! Don’t waste any more time here, it’s over for me but go!! I call Jason from the side and, still cheering for others passing me, I tell him it’s over. I’m totally flat, no extra tube, no tools, no help. Lots of cussing. I’m so pissed. IMG_2274

And then, someone from the sag/helping crew shows up. Her name is Sophie & she has tools AND A TUBE. She was like an angel mechanic. While she’s working on it I call J back and tell him that I might be back in the game…if he doesn’t hear from me again then I’m back in! She magically fixes it like the badass that she is, and soon I’m on my way. I thank her as I’m riding away. The kindness of strangers at this event was really amazing. Such support and genuine concern for everyone on the course. I ride away. Come into the transition & see J with the boys! This is the first race they have been to so it was exciting and also very emotional given the way things have gone with this event.

rose 2I’m off on the run. About half way in, someone calls my name – it was Shelley, the one who helped me first on the bike. She recognized my TriMafia gear/shirt. She runs up to me & high-5s me, saying she was so glad to see me and that I made it back, got help, etc. Then, as I’m coming back I see Cathy starting the run. And then as I’m rounding the finish I see Parker and he wants to run me in through the finish line. I told him I needed his help & he was ready! So for the first time, I ran the finish chute with my youngest.

 

I know ONE thing I’m doing during the off season. I’m learning how to change a tire! For real this time. No messing around.

But here are some pics of my first 2009 Ramblin Rose. I printed everything out, making sure I knew everything and was prepared. I found this folder when I was looking for something else this summer and it made me smile. This is also my first little one, Ethan, at 11 months. This is how it all began!

 

 

2018 already?

It’s already time to think about 2018 triathlon plans!

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I have two events remaining this year – one big, one small. Then, BOOM, it’s gearing up for 2018. Already!

Here is what I’m thinking for 2018. I’m gonna’ keep a few sprints that I really like doing and try to intentionally improve on my times. Then, I’m going to do a few bigger sprints with open water. My initial thoughts are…

May 2018 – Beaverdam sprint tri – 750 ows, 15, 3
June 2018 – Rose – I’ll do it with someone if they are interested
June 2018 – Smile Train, 5th year – can’t miss it!
July 2018 – Little Uno (one mile ows swim)
Sept 2018 – OBX – distance tbd
Oct 2018 – Rose in Chapel Hill

I’m also looking at doing one or two Half IM distances as a team, doing the swim and/or bike legs. My first tri was in 2009, so it seems like a good goal to do my first Half IM distance in 2009 – 10 years later. I’m on the slow track but moving forward.

Anyone else got plans for 2018? Already signed up for the big race? I need to think more about what my specific goals are – beyond just finishing. Nothing wrong with finishing, but it’s time to get better. Focus on quality, not quantity.