Monday, April 30, 2012

Key Biscayne Half Marathon Race Report

Well my goal was 1:57 - 1:59 and I finished in 1:57:45. Yeah Me!

Packet Pick-up
The running store sponsor of the event was iRun up on Biscayne. I went Friday to pick up my packet. It was quick and easy. That's definitely a benefit of a smaller race. The iRun store is super small but they seem nice and they have earned themselves a devoted following. It's too far from my house to go there often.
Exciting ... I know.

Saturday - Rest Day
I spent the day just chilling with my family. Sleeping in on a Saturday is a weird feeling but in a great way. I recommend it.  It was a rainy day. My daughter's swim lesson was shortened from lightening and we were sure the preschool carnival would be rained out. But amazingly it wasn't so that was a fun family activity to end the day.

I made sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat more salt than normal.
my biggest meal on the day before a race is breakfast. Eggs, sliced tomato, "marathon" bread  toasted with butter which is just whole wheat bread, banana, coffee and a glass of water.
Lunch was veggie soup. Progresso. This stuff has enough salt in it for a week. I usually avoid it because of all the salt but the day before the race I figure it's okay. Also since drinking water gets boring I try to pick foods that have liquid in them like soup. Lunch will be the last fruits and veggies for me before a longer race in the hopes that my stomach will work on my schedule. That's Crystal Light in the glass - a nutritional nightmare but water gets boring.
Dinner not pictured was a half a hotdog at the carnival and then plain elbow pasta when I got home.

I also foam rollered and stretched a bit. Packed up all my stuff realizing that I accidentally had plain GU with caffeine - oops. I had hydrated to the point where I pretty much had to pee every few minutes so I knew I was done. Pre-made my breakfast and was in bed by 10.

The race started early as a nod to the tropical heat at the end of April start time was 6:30 am. Wake up scheduled at 4:15.

Overnight it rained hard all night. I woke up a few times thinking okay, no biggie, this way it will be a nice clear morning.

Sunday - Race Day
Not so much a nice clear morning actually. I woke up at 4:10, 5 minutes before the the alarm went off and it was pouring. So I had my breakfast thinking no worries there are still more than 2 hours until the race start. Unrelenting rain is not so normal here in Miami - we get more of the heavy fast moving tropical showers. But this did not let up. I grabbed my Mickey Mouse poncho from the closet and packed a full change of clothes for after the race in case I was soaked to the bone. I drove out to Key Biscayne - Crandon Park and joined my fellow runners waiting in the dark in their cars until the last minute.

I don't know what everybody else was doing but it was funny to see everyone illuminated by their phones in the cars. But I was updating my facebook with pithy rainy run comments and obsessively checking the weather.
This is my bib. If you signed up early you got your name on it but I signed up when they announced 100 spots left so I didn't get my name on it. No biggie as there were zero spectators out in the rain.

As I waited I thought ... okay it's not the running in the rain that's a problem really it's the waiting at the start in the rain that really is no good. So luckily for me the one break in the rain was when I was walking to the potties and then to the start. As a side note one of my favorite things about racing on the key is that you get the advantage of using the park bathrooms instead of porta-potties. They had those too but I prefer an actual bathroom when I have the chance.

I found some friends along the way (Max, Carol, Tony) and that's always fun. Then it started raining hard again and we were off - about 10 minutes late actually. I had lined up with the 2 hour pacer. My friend Nati who was pacing 2:20 said go run with him - Nelson, he's cute and he's a swimmer like you. I'm not sure where she gets the idea that I'm a swimmer but she's right he was cute and also very nice. Super encouraging for all the people in his group. I did actually pull away from him after the first mile because I was aiming for under two hours and I believe that its better to start at your goal pace and then try to hold on.
This I had never seen before. This is the back of the bib - the chip if you will. It actually made the bib rigid. Other than that I have no opinion about it.

That was my mantra from about mile 3 ... just hold this pace, Amy just hold this pace. So Miles 4 and 5 were the bridge up and back and on the way over I had the wind at my back so I did okay ... on the way back -- not so much. I worked to keep the pace on target on the way up ... and then I ran down into the wind and rain on the way back and that stunk. Over each bridge going back the wind was howling and the rain stung as it hit the skin. Ouch! Coming down the bridge my training partner Tony caught up and he offered to break the wind which was a super kind offer except the wind was unstoppable so I just held on until we reached the trees and then I was fine.
This is me on the way up the bridge the first time. Smiling for the camera. Didn't much need those sunglasses as it turned out.

My target pace was 8:55. So I was checking the trusty Garmin every few strides to keep on pace. I had recently run at 9:30 for a 10k and that felt fast so I was so unbelievably surprised that I was able to hold this for so long. I Gu'd at mile 2, 6 and 10 (in case you're curious) plain, lemon-lime, plain again. They had the 8-2-Go water on course, it's eight ounces of water in a plastic bag. I have decided that for a race I love this. You bite off the corner and squeeze it into your mouth. I have issues sipping from cups in a race so this is good. However, honestly during a race I could use like a 2 ounce bag because I wasted a lot of water with these. They also served Cytomax which I didn't take any of. It's fine but I try to avoid new things on race day and I've been drinking only Gatorade.

We ran out and back on Virginia Key and then over into Crandon Park. Then we ran past the finish line (I hate that) and into the old Crandon Park Zoo. I've never been into that part of the park so that was cool but it's a lot of turns which makes it hard to keep on pace.
Okay so I went over the course with a red line so you could see all the turns at the end. I will say those guys at Multirace can find a run course just about anywhere...what you need 3 miles just run 35 ovals in this parking lot no problem. That's a joke.

Miles 11 and 12 were the darkest time when I was really working to hold the pace. At mile 12 the guy next to me said, "from here on it's all in our heads - it's mental." He was right and I took those words to heart and passed him and just kept going to the finish. I passed Tony just after and said come on - he's faster than me so I knew he should have some kick and sure enough a few minutes later he said okay let's go and sped off. I sped up a teeny tiny bit with what I had left. I looked at my watch when I could see the finish line and it said 1:55 and that's the first time I let myself beleive I could actually break the 2 hour mark.

Then back past the finish line again (I still hate that) and one final turn and then into the finish line ... ooops this is Multirace one final curve to come at the finish from the other side. But then finally finished.
The medal. It's nice and heavy and the ribbon is very pretty too. I do wish it had the date but that's just me. 
In closing
I think Multirace puts on a good race. They do mostly triathlons to my knowledge and so we'll see if they do this event again. If they do I'll probably make it an annual event I mean it's as close as a half-marathon will ever be to my backyard. I will say that if they do it again I predict that they alter the course to take out all those bends and twirls at the end for two reasons. First, the paths there were kind of narrow. Even with this smaller field it was a tight fit. If you double the size of the field it would be horrible in those spots. Second, turns break your speed and the speedsters don't love that and what the speedsters want they usually get so I am guessing that the top feedback from the speedies would be lose all those turns at the end when our legs are shot. It will be pretty easy to modify they'll just take the course further out on Virginia Key and problem solved.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Key Biscayne Half Marathon Preview

So, tomorrow I'm running the Key Biscayne Half Marathon. Yup. This is a boring plain Jane preview because I'm writing it in bed on the iPad the night before the race. I Thought I was totally ready for a half marathon pr breaking 2 hours in January. Now, I'm not so sure. But, I'm going to go for it. And if I don't make it , well I won't be crushed. It's the first time for this race. We start in Crandon Park run out over the Rickenbacker bridge - turn around go back over the bridge and then do a zillion turns around the park to add up to 13.1. It would be the bridge that might crush my time goal- and that its 80 in the dark already - and that I've done one 10 miler as my highest mileage run since January. Eeeeek. But,I have been doing weekly speed work And it's a small race with only 1300 runners so I won't be able to blame the crowds and I'm not going to let myself coast. I may go out too fast and not be able to hold it but then I'll know I wasn't ready. We'll see. So,tune in tomorrow and see what happens. Target: 1:57 - 1:59.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Honey, you have kale chips in your teeth"

My husband actually said that to me recently. It was true. Those kale chips get everywhere. Sadly, they aren't as popular with my kids as they were the first time I made them. So I had to eat almost all of them. That and other reasons are why I'm dropping out of the veggie share for the summer.
This is my husband eating Kale chips the first time. They are yummy.

Where have you been?
Well, uh ... where have I been? Just busy actually. Busy doing stuff and not writing about stuff. Here are some of the highlights.

My training group took a weekend trip to Clermont this past weekend. For those of you who don't know South Florida is flaaaat. The only hills are bridges and those are few and far between. Those who are truly crazy dedicated take a weekend now and then and head to Central Florida just on the other side of Mouseland to where there are actual hills. The main spot is Clermont.

Due to the ever present prior Gymnastics commitment we only went for one day not two but still we went.

I hit the bike with my training pals and the kids hit the amusement park with my husband. It was a win-win. I am not a big fan of amusement parks. Although I think I'd like them just fine if there were no lines and the food was free.

So, I was a little bit afraid of the hills and then it turned out it was a blast. Climbing up is hard work and Kike says I can't just go to the granny gear and spin easy up the hill ... I ignored him on the biggest hills (so there!). But then each huge up has a pretty matching huge downhill. Wheeeeeeeee!.

confession: I am a huge chicken on the downhills. 
The green solid part of this graph are the hils - up down up down up down.

But as it turns out I got much better on this trip. I stopped braking going downhill ... mostly. I may have also stopped breathing going downhill too. Just kidding.  At one point Diane said, "hey no braking" and luckily I wasn't so I could say back "I'm not." Zoom she was past me in a flash. Oh well. All my training buds were zooming down the hills in aero ... sheesh that might make me pee in my pants. We'll see.

The New Bike
Frigging finally I actually bought something. Seriously, even I was thinking this was never going to happen. But less writing more shopping led to the new ... dum dum dum... Shiv. 
She looks fast ... right!
I finally listened to enough people say it that I decided just to go with it. What did they say? This (in a nutshell) All the aero advantage on the bike comes from the front of the bike so if I can lose the aero bottle on the front and have the aero - research bike design work for me then that's what I should buy. Also Gunther of EBP said, "Buy the Specialized it will fit you best." So, I did. I almost didn't because I thought it was white but when they brought it out it was black and I said ..."gimme"

She is extra small which means among other things she doesn't fit on a standard bike rack. EEEK! Luckily I was out of love already with my existing bike rack and had already ordered a new one. It's backordered - should be in next week. So, after everybody in the store confirmed (after everybody had to personally try to put it onto the existing rack) that no, the shiv does not fit on a standard rack I took her home in the back seat. This is when it pays to have a gigantic car.

I have taken her on one ride and tomorrow another ride. I'll be back with more pictures and more details. 
In this picture I'm trying to take a picture of me on the bike but it turned out to just be a picture of my arm. I took a lot of these if anybody wants to see more :-) Ahem ... fail. But do notice the cute new TradeStation Bike Jersey - Thanks Boris!

In other news
It is confirmed that I will not be racing Haines City 70.3 as my daughters gymnastics meet is the same exact day. Lance will just have to get by on his own (hee hee). I used up all my upsettedness when I first found out this might happen so I'm not actually bummed. But it's time to pick the next tri.

The next race is actually this Sunday I'll do the Key Biscayne Half Marathon ... am I ready ... I don't feel ready but we'll see.

What you should be wasting time on the web looking at:
This is my new favorite running blog Shut up and Run - she is really entertaining. So when you need some entertainment ... I recommend it.   

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Triathlon Training Thursday - the recovery week

Let me just say that I put the "Amy" in "Recovery."  Ahem ... okay you clearly can't spell Amy with those letters.

This past week has been busy but not with training. With recovering and baseball and with holidays.

Wednesday instead of doing the track workout with my group I went to the opening night of the new Miami Marlins stadium. Actually the stadium was open a few nights before but this was opening night for the season. It's a spectacular stadium and the hooplah was all great. Well Mohammed Ali is more old and legendary than great. It was a beautiful night and well they lost. Lastly as you know if you've been watching the news the new team manager has already managed to irritate his Miami fan base and gotten himself suspended. Well, it is Miami - what can I say? In another note I did actually run my 5 miles but I didn't even have the umph to do a tempo run I did a recovery run (which is to say ... slooooow).
Opening Night at Marlins stadium - the biggest flag I've ever seen.
 Oh Thursday instead of biking I got a fitting on my road bike and measured for a tri-bike by the well-known Gunther at EPB Cycling. Regarding the road bike he lowered my handlebars and raised my seat and spun me around on his crazy little fitting pedestal. He also adjusted my shoes and told me I need knew cleats for the shoes. Good to know. I'll admit they were looking pretty worn down.

As to the tri bike: he confirmed that I'm not very tall.  He also confirmed that people of my awesome, astounding height are underserved in the tri-bike category - which is to say that there just aren't many options. So, he said I could go with my selection of Felt but I'd be on the small side of it's range and that Quintanaroo would be a good fit but Specialized will be the best. So I'm off today to test ride a Specialized and buy a bike rack that I meant to order last week.

I have a multi-traditional house which is to say that Friday we were off to the in-laws to eat chicken soup, gefilte fish and hunt for the matzoh and then Sunday we ate ham, potato salad and had not just one but two egg hunts. So I did a short solo Saturday morning run and skipped the Sunday ride all together.
dyeing the eggs. well not the older folks in the picture they were microwaving peeps but Jack and Dylan were dying the eggs and they did a great job!
 This week I'm back on track and as has already been mentioned in an earlier post I've started swimming in the mornings with a "masters" group. I use this term "masters" loosely because there are only a few of us and well most of us are doing our own thing. There is a coach present but she's really working with the 3 High School seniors who are there doing their early morning workout. I am welcome to join in but so far I've done my own workout as given by the coach. It's only been two days and so I'm just feeling it out. Yesterday they were doing a sprint workout ... sets of 500 fast up and slow back. I maybe could have done that ... not sure really like I said, feeling it out.

And that is all. I'm also trying to figure out the schedule for the rest of the year. On the table race-wise are the following races. There are way too many 70.3s on here to be practical so I have to make some choices and pick a target.

4/29 Key Biscayne Half Marathon. I feel soooo undertrained for this.

5/20 Florida 70.3 I'm probably not racing this but in the off chance I can I'll do it since I've paid and I have a hotel room. The goal for this one would be to finish.

6/17 Key Biscayne Trilogy

6/2 there is a 70.3 in West Palm Beach called Motivation Man. It's new ... Melissa wants to do it. It's June in Florida so I'm sure the weather will be sunny and humid. hmmm.

7/22 Chisago in Minnesota. This is a 70.3 and I could do this with my brother. I'm currently figuring out the summer camp schedule and I have to discuss this with my husband and consider how I would get the bike to Minnesota. I think drive it but I'm not sure anybody else in the family will agree with that idea.

8/19 Key Biscayne Trilogy #3

9/9 Key Biscayne Trilogy Bonus Race (why do they still call this a trilogy since there are always 4 races ... hmmmm)

10/28 Rev3 Sarasota 70.3

11/11 MiamiMan International or 70.3

Thoughts and suggestions welcome.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Early morning swimming

This morning I got my lazy self out of bed and went to early swimming at Gulliver.

To be completely honest I have to give credit to Melissa who met me there. I am learning that having somebody meeting you for an early workout is critically important to actually going to said early workout. We also met another swimmer Kevin who said the magic words: see you Wednesday thus increasing the odds that I'll go on Wednesday by about 1000 percent.

So this program is at this awesome, fantastic, beautiful pool and I may refuse to swim anywhere else for the foreseeable future. It is a whopping two-minute drive from my house. It was also set for long course which I love. Due to daylight savings time it was dark for the first 45 minutes ... Which is bizarre but also a little cool.

There were only about 5 masters swimmers there this morning. And I think each of them was doing their own workout. So while I have this fantasy of finding an awesome masters program where a swim coach will boss me around and help me improve this may not be that - yet.

I think that the reason I crave this so much is that my brother and his sister-in-law are part of a pretty awesome masters swim program in Minnesota. They do things like move up into a faster lane as they make progress and I am a little jealous of that. Among other things I think that it gives you a sense of your swimming progress and quite frankly measuring your progress by the occasional open water triathlon swim is a little frustrating in my opinion.

Also in the land where we eat crow for breakfast I have to admit that having my workout done by 7 in the morning is pretty great. I am currently wearing non-workout clothes and even make-up (gasp).

So, I plan to go again on Wednesday.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nautica South Beach International Triathlon - Race Report

It has been so long since I've written a race report that I've forgotten how they work. I had to go back and look at one from earlier on the blog. Ha!
After the race - feeling pretty happy.

Nautica the Race location, and packet pickup
The race has two distances a classic which is longer than a super sprint and an international distance which is the same as the other international I've done (1500k swim, 40k bike and 10k run). The race is held in South Beach which is a terrific beautiful location.
The expo and packet pickup are on the beach which is nice. Hot but nice.

Packet pickup was only available Saturday from 1-5 and then before the race. I really wished that there had been a Friday pickup option just because my life was a little crazy this weekend and personally it would have been easier for me. Our training group chose to run and swim Saturday morning a little later than usual on South Beach - go for brunch - and then pick up the packets. It was a good plan and we picked up our packets right before 1:00 on the beach without hassle.

Well, mostly without hassle. I had accidentally taken ALL the car keys for the family truck which left my husband and kids stranded at home with no way to get to the Saturday morning birthday party. Oops. Luckily, my step-daughter wasn't too cranky to get up and come over and drive her. Thank you Alex :-)

I did hear from some folks that trying to get the packet later in the day was a little frustrating but it didn't happen to me. One of the girls in our group chose to get her packet race morning. I was too nervous to do that. I like to have all my stuff the night before.

Race Day
Up early. Out the door early. My step-daughter thought my morning to do list was hysterical. Eat Breakfast, Drink Coffee, Get Bottles from freezer, Load Bike. My husband on the other hand took it in stride pointing out that nothing should be left to chance when you're getting up at 4:30.
breakfast ... oatmeal with craisins, coffee to go and water

 I left the house at 5:05. I was alone but I actually saw two people I knew on the way there. That was fun. There was a traffic back up getting into the garage on 7th and Washington. It wasn't too bad just people getting their tickets. Also the guy in front of me almost went in with his roof racked bikes but I tooted at him and other people walking by pointed out the disaster that would have been becausehe wouldn't have cleared the ceiling. So, I was glad I had left early.

Then when I got to look at my bike one of the bar ends had come off during the drive. CRAP! Then I hustled to transition to find the bike store to get a replacement.
Bike racked in the garage at the race. About 5 seconds after I took this photo I noticed the missing bar end cap and stopped lollygagging around.

That left precious little time to set up transition. So I was feeling rushed but not too bad. I didn't find my group before the race because I had to walk to 14th street (from 7th) for the International Swim Start. Foregoing the Hammerhead team photos I listened to the announcement for all international distance atheletes to get to the start and went my own way. I ate my 1/2 luna bar and 1/2 a banana on the way to the swim start. It seemed like a long walk.

The Swim 40:30
During my practice swim Saturday the surf was rough and I went to sleep praying...wishing for calm waters the next day. I got my wish. I got to the start and the water was calm as a lake. It was fantastic.  Also just as a note I think they started right on time.

There was a pre-race meeting which was incidentally actually more than just keep the buoys on the right.  It detailed a change in the bike course so it was actually helpful. Then the anthem and then we zoomed right through the waves start, start, start.
I was in the purple wave which was by the way the very last wave of the international distance. All girlies over 35 there were about 60 of us. So I had plenty of time to size up the wet suited competitors.
 On the other hand somehow they had measured the water temperature as 75 degrees and so it was a wet suit legal race. I am not exaggerating when I say that I was the only person in my start wave without a wetsuit. The only. So, I knew how warm the water was from the day before. But I also knew that this race has always been wetsuit legal and I was pretty sure they would make that call. I actually thought about bringing my suit but I decided against it because I thought that the time I would make up I would lose getting out of the suit in transition. Also, I was pretty sure I would be hot inside my suit by the end of the swim.

I have mixed feelings about the swim results. I'll be honest that when I saw the results I was surprised and not in a good way because I felt great during the swim. I was passing people consistently, I swam a straight line and I had no anxiety. So given that the other swim this distance that I did was clocked at 30:51 I was surprised at first but I have learned to not be too hard on myself on race day.

First let me add I learned that the time includes the run up to transition from the beach in the sand. So that's maybe 2 minutes.  I'm estimating that based on another swimmer who had the presence of mind to wear her watch AND look at it as she got out of the water. Smart girl.

The rest of the difference in time I guess is probably a mix of the effect of the surf which while it wasn't significant was surely there, I don't think the swim distance was off by much but the swim courses from race to race are always a little different, not wearing a wetsuit and in the end I just didn't swim as fast. 

Evaluating the swim results today I was 20th out of the water in my age group. And remember - the only one without a wetsuit. In hindsight I feel pretty good about that. I was warm getting out of the water and other swimmers have confirmed that in the wetsuits they were hot towards the end. Even still, if I do this race again I'll take my wetsuit because if everybody else is wearing them it's just too big of a time difference to give up.

One more thing I'm going to stop waiting around at the start for people to go first. It was a mess getting to the first buoy so I just need to woman -up and get out into the front earlier to find clearer water. I say this after many races and yet I rarely do it so apparently I have issues.

Last comment. I actually saw a mom I know from preschool as I got out of the water. I see her about twice a year now so I am so impressed that she recognized me in my tri suit, swim cap and goggles. I barely recognize my relatives in that outfit. It was great to hear somebody yell my name.

T1 - 3:07 only 1:30 faster than Trinona where I had a wet suit on. Hmmm food for thought. This transition was HUGE so I think that may be a factor.

Transition spot. I took this photo during set up. I did not pause during transition to take the photo. I did carry my camera on the bike but didn't take any pictures.
The Bike 1:21:20
This is 28 minutes faster than my bike time in Trinona. 28 minutes! I'm very happy with that. My goal was to not slack on the bike. So I concentrated on staying focused.

It was a crowded course but not too bad. I did have one bonehead pass me on the right ... saying kindly, "on your right."
I replied, "passing is on the left" kindly leaving out the bonehead :-) and was relieved that there was nobody super speedy going past on the left because that would have been crowded. Then I noticed that he was sporting an aero helmet.
So when I passed him back in the next minute I added, "nice aero helmet" again the "bonehead" was simply implied. Not so nice of me but, whatever. I'm not a fast cyclist and since he never passed me again in my opinion the aero helmet was overkill for him and also the passing rules are for safety so, also in my opinion, he should know them. Also what is the deal with people passing and then slowing down ... I hope I don't do that.

I had a GU in transition and another 45 minutes into the bike. I also drank Gatorade out of the aero bottle and I felt good so I think nutrition was pretty solid.

A friend saw me get off the bike and said I looked tired. I felt okay so I guess that means I was working hard which is a good thing.
I didn't take this photo. I grabbed it from a friend on Facebook but here I am getting off the bike. What in the world is happening with my helmet? Perhaps I should not be so judgmental of others helmet apparel?

T2 -  2:57 a little slower than Trinona I think only because the transition space was bigger. Also, I had frozen a bottle of water the night before with the express purpose of dowsing myself with cold water in transition. I did this and it was wonderful. There was still ice in the bottle. Totally worth the extra 15 seconds.

The run 57:23
I'm very happy with my run time. But here's the deal. My fastest 10k is now this one which is the last leg of a tri. The previous 10k pr was the first 10k split of the NY marathon. So then here's the question - what could I run if I ran a stand alone 10k?
It's out of focus but this is the start of the run right on the beach. Really pretty but not a lot of shade.

This is a nice run course out and back on the boardwalk. I had 2 goals. First to go out quick not slow and then get faster. This was good advice from my brother. Next I wanted to keep it around 9:30 or faster. I mostly did that: (9:16, 9:34, 9:26, 9:36, 9:13, 8:52, 1:56 is the .2).
required self portrait on the run. Notice that I picked a red hat to go with my new red kicks. But pink shades. Styling all the way (snort).

I think that for the next race I need to be a little more ambitious with the speed goal. I think it is good to go out faster and then try to hold on to the speed. I was tired at the finish but I had plenty of kick toward the end. About 100 yds of the finish is in the sand and that was slow. Also I was eating cliff blocks along the way and I did walk two times to do this. In fact the pockets in the one peice smurf Team Hammerheads tri suit are totally hard to reach into so I had to walk to get my shotblocks out of the pocket. I'm guessing that was the 9:34 and the 9:36 splits so that has to go.

Total Time 3:05:19 personal record. 27 out of 40 in my age group. 531 out of 787 in the international distance which is a worthless statistic because only 200 women raced the international distance.

The winner in my age group finished in 2:25:09 she's fast. Sarah Haskins won the women's race is 2:00:13 super fast!

Wrap up
It's a spectacular venue and it's a big race. So that brought a few minor issues but overall I think it was a great race and quite honestly really well organized. I'm pretty sure I've never said that about a triathlon. My only comment to the organizers would be that the water stop where the international runners rejoin the classic course needed more staff which is not a huge deal I just reached over and got my own water.
Self portrait cleaning up transition.

The medal and actually the shirt - (not pictured) are very nice.

Lastly - today I'm ordering a new bike rack. I keep losing these bar ends. One gone after the metric century, one gone on the way to this race and then the other gone on the way home. It happens because the aero bars weigh down the front and the bar ends hit the rack and woosh - goner. What a pain. Also I think the replacement bar ends are obviously crap because this did not happen with the original bar ends. But, whatever. My rack is as old as the car itself so it's served it's time.

After the race we met at a friends house for a bar-b-que and we all chatted and my kids exhausted themselves in the pool with other kids. A good day - all around.

Last Race Story
If you've read this far thank you. Those of you who know my family know that while my husband is uber supportive of my triathlon habit he's not the biggest fan of coming to the races. He gets hot, the kids get cranky and so on. So I don't force him to do it for the sake of a happy marriage. Also without the help of my sister-in-law he never makes it in time. And with this race I did not see how it was even possible to do it and for him to make it to the Tennis finals in time. So I didn't even ask.

In fact, the night before the race while putting my son to sleep he said, "mommy we have a surprise for you tomorrow (giggle giggle)"
and I said "are you coming to the race?"
and he said "no" but I didn't believe him because he's five and he's a bad liar.
So I told him, "Jack if Daddy is trying to surprise me please tell him it's going to be too busy and crowded and he'll be unhappy."
And then he said, "no mommy, we're not coming to the race."
But as it turns out he's a better liar than I thought and my husband and kids did get up and head out to see me. But unfortunately I didn't see them. The traffic was such a zoo that they didn't get to the finish area until about 20 minutes after I finished and then they couldn't find me in the crowd. Bummer. But they get cool points for trying and I felt loved anyway when I found out.

For your amusement here is a video I shot while running. Because I'm a bonehead it's sideways. But you can clearly see what the run looked like and for extra fun I'm actually passing people.