I won! As I stare at my medal hanging on the wall, I’m thinking about how glad I am that I made the decision to do the race; well, that I made the decison and actually followed through!

I spent the Satruday before the race at a wedding and basically got no rest.  I didn’t practice my transistions until I got home, which was about 9pm that evening.  I ate a HUGE bowl of brown rice, got my things together and hit the bed about 10:15 pm.  My alarm went off at 4:50 a.m. and I felt fairly rested.  I bundled up to keep as warm as possbile before the swim, ate a bowl of cream of rice and headed to the race site.  I knew that I needed to stay hydrated, so I drank about six glasses of water before 6a.m. 

I arrived at the beach, found a good transition spot and got everything situated.  I evaluated the course and determined the swim seemed much longer than anticipated.  But I thought that at my last race too, so I hoped that was not the case. 

My wave was the fourth to start, and I kept telling myself that I didn’t want to the last one out of the water.  The siren sounded and we were off! The water didn’t seem cold, and I was able to get into a stroke right away.  There were many people behind me, so I was able to relax and enjoy it.  The worst part of the swim was actually pulling myself out of the water and running through the sand to get to my bike.  Once I made it, I thought, “let’s rock,” as the bike is by far my strongest discipline. 

Once on  my bike, I noticed right away that the cadence on my bike computer was working.  Ugghh! I use the cadence to guide when I should shift gears, so I had to bike the entire course by feel, which I hadn’t done before.  Other than that small glitch, I felt strong and fast, and passed several people in front of me on the course.

My least favorite leg of the race is the run, and I was definitely dreading it! Lucky for me, it was a very flat course.  I took the first half pretty slow and picked up the pace after the half way mark.  I felt like I couldn’t run any faster, but once I crossed the finished line, of course I thought, “I should have gone faster!”

Results were posted pretty soon after, and I was elated to have won my divison.  I got a medal and everything! I promised to wear it all day, which I did.  I little childish I know, but that medal got me seated in front of about 30 people at the Griddle in Hollywood.  I ate pumpkin pancakes with butterscotch chips and caramel for my victory breakfast.  Pancakes never tasted so good!

Yea so obviously I have to do better about blogging! It’s been about two weeks since my first blog, which means I’ve been training my bum off, literally.  The race is in two days, and I’m actually really excited.

The beginning was rough.  It’s easy to get discouraged, when you know you have a limited amount of time, and when you are competitive the way that I am and don’t want to just finish.  I understand the concept of trying something and being proud of putting forth the effort; but I want to do everything in my life in an exemplary fashion.  I genuinely don’t see the point otherwise. Of course that notion would lend it itself to the question of why I didn’t start prepping earlier, so that I could ensure my excellence.  Life got in the way.  So I’m here now doing my best to do my best.

My bike training, as always, has been fabulous.  I’m the strongest on the bike, probably because of how much I love it.  I rode three days in a row in Palos Verdes.  Palos Verdes offers stunning landscapes of the the ocean, cliffs, beaches and multi million dollar homes.  It’s also got incredible rolling hills, which are perfect for intense training.

I ran track in high school, so you would think running would not only come easy for me, but that I also might enjoy it a little more.  Right now I’m in a “do it cause you have to,” phase.  If I run ten minute miles in the race, I will be thrilled.  I simply haven’t been running the distances I should have been; I’m thankful that the course will be very flat!

I did my very first swim in the ocean last Saturday.  Brrrrr! Actually, it wasn’t quite as painful as I had anticipated.  I got in again Sunday and then took Monday off; Tuesday I attempted a swim all by my lonesome in Venice.  That didn’t pan out.  It was super foggy out and the beach was really errie; there was no one out really but me, and I basically freaked myself out.  The big bad ocean is a pretty scary place.  I saw four large fins in the water which scared me to death.  They of course turned out to be dolphins.  The swim session did not happen that day.  But I made it back in the water Wednesday for a less than stellar session; then turned in one last swim today, which was wonderful.

Today is supposed to be a rest day, but given my limited training time, I’m going full force.  I’ll run two good sessions tonight, and then take off Friday and Saturday to get some good rest.  Of course I’ll have a yummy carb meal Saturday night; I’m thinking pasta.  And something small Sunday morning.  I ran a race once after a huge bowl of Raisin Bran.  Not a good idea.

So, while you all are snuggly in your beds Sunday morning, I’ll be setting up my transition area at about 5:30a.m.  I’m hoping for calm water and no winds.  I just want to race as fast and as hard as my body will possibly let me and enjoy every second of accomplishing my goal.

I’ve made the decision today to do the Playa Del Rey sprint distance triathlon on October 16, which is a daring 19 days away. That will give me approximately 16 days to train for it, because of the necessary training time taper for the last 2 days prior to the event. My second decision was to blog about it; I haven’t swam in the ocean since last November, and I haven’t swam at all in at least two (maybe three?) months, so this outta be interesting!

First, let me emphasize that NO ONE should do this. I mean, it is just a sprint, but ocean swimming in 60 degree temps is absolutely no joke. I trained for nine weeks for my last tri, considered myself over prepared, and still it was by no means a cake walk. I work out consistently; however, doing yoga, climbing stairs at the Venice Gold’s and participating in the somewhat infrequent spin class doesn’t exactly prepare you for the rigors of an endurance race, no matter the distance.

But the season is coming to a close, and I simply don’t want to end the year without having done a race. I started training way back April-ish for a race in San Diego in June, but Delilah, my 12 year old box/rott mix got very ill and passed away in May. It was such a devastating loss, that I simply could not find the motivation to do anything other than stay out with friends partying, because I didn’t want to come home to no Dee:( I also lost my very best friend at the exact same time…but that’s a different story for another blog.

So here I go. Today’s training thus far has included an 800 meter swim at the Culver City Plunge, which was a nice and cozy 79 degrees. After the first lap, I thought to myself, “yup, better not get into the ocean until next week!” In a couple of hours, I’ll do about a two to three mile run as fast as possible to focus on my speed. And my food has consisted of my usual staples: cream of rice and extra lean ground turkey for breakfast and lunch. Oh and three Otter Pops. I’m allowing myself three pops a day cause I’m addicted.

I’m on a mission to the do the race and not suck at it, because that whole “oh it’s just so great that you finished it,” mentality is really not my cup of tea.