Monday, June 1, 2015

Going Old School with New Classes and a Cousin

Long time, no blog. Mostly because I can be very lazy. I do a lot of writing in my professional life and sometimes the thought of sitting down to type out ONE MORE WORD is the very least thing I want to do during my free time.

Also not blogging much because I don’t have a lot of free time. Even with this being a year I’m not training for an Ironman, I find I have very little time to just sit. Training takes time (yes, less time than training for an Ironman, but time nonetheless); then there is golf, travel for work, travel for fun, errands and hanging around with the hubby. Oh, and let’s not forget the time to do-stuff-to-take-care-of-the house-which-includes-yardwork. (I will candidly fess up to that last one being the one that probably sucks up the least amount of time. Warren and I are not the types to do much yard work, much to our neighbor’s dismay, I’m sure.)

I really can’t complain, though. Every day I feel lucky and blessed that I have the luxury and health to be able to spend my time doing things I love (and avoiding things I don’t love as much).

I’d much rather spend my time outdoors than inside. I’d much rather spend it with a bike under my tush than with a rake in my hand. I’d much rather be racing than sitting, even though the my pace at both is just about the same (ha!).

Race season is under way. I’m very split between missing the rigor of Ironman training and enjoying having a lighter training and racing schedule this year. I am trying to savor having a bit more time available for other things this summer and being able to go back "old school", and take another stab at racing some events very familiar to me like Grandma’s ½ marathon on June 20th, Timberman Triathlon on July 11th and SuperiorMan ½ Iron on August 30th.  

This weekend, I’m going back to where my outdoor tri life began in 2005 by racing Buffalo sprint. I can’t believe it has been 10 years since I started triathlon. Shortly after I finished my first indoor tri (Tri U Mah) in 2005, my friend Marcia and I signed up for Buffalo sprint. Buffalo is a really fun, well run event. The race generally attracts a pretty big field and there are always lots of newbies. The early date for the race is always a bit of a factor. Early June and open water in Minnesota are not always the warmest of friends.

I still vividly remember parts of that first tri: being totally freaked out about the ¼ mile swim. All those people! The cold water! The weird-but-fun duck and swan buoys that marked the course! I treated T1 like it was a picnic. I took a whopping 8 minutes and 30 seconds to get out of my swim stuff and to get on the bike. I remember Warren standing on the other side of the fence that separated racers from spectators. He was giving me the Whatcha doin’ there, Pokey?” look and I was all like “huh?”.

Eventually I got out on the bike and made it through the ride on my trusty, aluminum Raleigh. I finally got back to in to T2 (a whopping 4 plus minutes) and then it was time for the run. I got out on the course and ran what felt like foreverandaday. I finally caught up to Marcia as we were coming in for the finish. I was beyond thrilled. Crossing that finish line was quite the high.

Ten years and 58 triathlons later (according to Athlinks), including 2 Ironman races, 10 ½ ironman distance races, 11 olympic, 19 sprints and 14 indoor tris, I’m going back to Buffalo for a fourth time. I expect shorter transition times and will be riding a much lighter bike!

I’ll also be racing some new events this year, including Graniteman oly on August 8th and Ironman Tempe 70.3 in October. (If I can hold it together physically this year, I’m hoping for one more Ironman next year. Debating between Wisconsin, a course which I know and love (and hate), and Arizona, which, with its flatter bike course, may be a bit nicer on my ailing hip. Doing the inaugural 70.3 distance on much of the same race course this year may help me decide if I am really up for one more go at 140.6 and if it should be in Arizona).

The new race I’m most excited for, though, is Heart of the Lakes sprint on July 19th. My cousin Cindy is going to race her very first triathlon that day. I’m so proud of her for taking on this challenge.

She decided to do the race last summer. We were talking triathlon and I told her that if she wanted to do one, we could do a one as a relay team. She could pick which ever leg(s) of the race she wanted to do and I’d do the parts she didn’t want to. I half expected her to say she’d do the bike and the run, thinking that she – like most—would not want to do the open water swim.

She proved me wrong in a big way. A couple months in to her training, she let me know that not only did she want to do the swim, she wanted to do the WHOLE RACE on her own.

You go, girl!

She has been taking swim lessons and getting her cardio up and ready for race day. She had a minor setback, twisting an ankle a few weeks ago, but in her recent email to me, she sounded excited, upbeat and nervous. Just as she should sound while training for her first triathlon.

I am so thrilled and honored that we'll be racing side by side this coming July. Well, not exactly side by side so as not to incur the wrath of the USAT refs during the event. But close enough that I'll be able to give her a huge after we cross that finish line.