Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The formation of Team Badass

I decided a while ago that I wanted to do another Ironman next summer.  Decided on the full Vineman in Napa and Sonoma Counties.  This year, however, I don't want to train alone and that's where Team Badass comes into the picture.  I started riding with a friend from Team You Got Chicked (YGC) and then another YGC chick decided to ride with us.  From there, friends asked friends and now we have a regular bike gang put together.  Several are planning on competing in Vineman, a few in Barb's Race (an all-womens half-Ironman on the same course as Vineman on the same day.  On a side note, this was my first ever triathlon in 2006), and a couple are just into cycling.  It seems to be a pretty good group.

We had our first official ride last Saturday.  There were 5 of us total.  We did a 38 mile loop from Solana Beach out into the hills and then back along the coast.  It was one of those perfect, perfect mornings: crisp, sunny and gorgeous.

The ride was great.  In fact, it was the best ride I've been on in a long time.

Coming down the Del Dios Highway

At the end of the ride, we took some pics of Team Badass:

Yes, that is the ocean behind us. What a gorgeous day!

And, here's the whole group who showed up. Please disregard the fact that I look like a pig in this picture.  No, I'm not talking about my size, just my face and snout.

I'm looking forward to spending lots of time with my fellow Team Badass members on long rides and long runs.  It's going to be fantastic!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ragnar Vegas

Since I've started training again, it's time to start blogging again.

A few months ago, my tri club sent out an email from a team looking for a runner for their Ragnar Vegas Ultra team. I responded and said I would love to be a part of it. Keep in mind, I have no idea who these women are, if they're crazy, and I hadn't been running much. So, a few questions you may have:

What is Ragnar? Ragnar is a series of relay races in which a team of 12 (usually, unless you're an ultra team like us and only have 6, which means we're more badass than everyone else) runs about 200 miles from one destination to the other. Here's the course overview:

Vegas? Isn't it hot in the desert? Oh, hell yes! It was over 95 degrees and I thought I was going to die.

If you're on an ultra team does that mean that you're more badass than everyone else? YES! 'nuff said.

What was your team name? Team You Got Chicked. Yes, it was meant to be.

Now that all of your questions are answered, back to the story. Luckily for me, my email was better than the other respondents, or at least the online stalking they did proved that I wasn't a complete nut...or at least I'm just nutty in an acceptable way, and they invited me to join the team. Imagine my joy to realize that it's a team made up of SuperBadAssNerdJocks. Really, a fantastic group. We had a couple of organizational meetings and it turns out they're all OCD, too. Most excellent!

Finally, the day we had to travel to the desert had arrived. We left on a Thursday afternoon in a giant van, with a second car leaving later that evening, and drove from San Diego to Lake Mead, Nevada. On a side note, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the US. We arrived after dark to the lake, where we would be staying on a houseboat. The houseboat was super cool and I don't think I was the only one who considered firing up the grill, opening some adult beverages and playing on the boat slide instead of running the next couple of days. Finally, we went to bed since we had to wake up early for the excitement that awaited us the next day.

The next morning (Friday) we awoke early and began decorating the van:

Our van was definitely the best decorated, though we found out later that we did not win the best van contest. Team You Got Chicked was robbed!

We made our way down to the start to take some pictures:

Our team was sponsored by the Running Skirts store ( and they provided us with our super cute matching outfits. We heard a bit of smack talk, such as groups referring to us as the cheerleaders. Too bad we then kicked their 12 asses with our 6 chick ultra team. There were 36 legs to this relay. As an ultra team, we each ran 3 times, so we would do 2 legs back to back. For example, our first runner, Leslie, ran legs 1 and 2, then Ashlee ran legs 3 and 4 and so on. I was the third runner and, by far, the slowest runner out of the group.

My first leg was right during the middle of the day and it was crazy hot. I vomited a couple of times but survived.

Just trucking along, trying not to barf or pee myself. Unsuccessful on both counts.

Just FYI: the desert is NOT flat.

First leg complete: handing the team slap bracelet off to Lauren (who was seriously insanely badass and ran 37 miles)

Here are some pics from the halfway point, from Loew's Resort:

We're all wearing reflective vests, because they were required between 5:00 pm and 7:30 am.

After running 189 miles (yes, the course overview says 188, but it was 189 at least) over 31 hours, we waited at the finish line for our 6th runner, Tammy, to bring it in:
We ran to the finish line together
and posed for some pictures. Still looking surprisingly cute after running and not sleeping for 31 hours

Then we drank some beer with an all-men's ultra team. They were drunk and the one who looks like Bradley Cooper was really obnoxious. 2 light beers and I was feeling it.

Our awesome drivers

Afterward, we headed to the Vegas Strip for burgers and supposed revelry.

I was able to surprise my friend, Danielle, at her bachelorette party. Wenchi and I had it planned for months. I wasn't a pretty surprise and I probably smelled bad, but I was happy to see them!

After my surprise visit, I walked back to the hotel, where I showered and fell asleep. The hotel seemed very luxurious after not sleeping, using porta-potties and eating bagels with pb for 3 days. The next morning we got up and drove back to San Diego.

Overall, I ran over 29 miles, up and down huge hills (like hills that were 4, 5, 6, 10 miles long. Seriously, my last leg was 10 miles uphill), fought some GI issues, survived on bagels and pb, peed on myself, in the desert, and toughed it out. It was a truly awesome and super fun trip with a great group of people. Looking forward to doing another, though not in the hot desert!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Paleo update

I feel so amazingly good! Granted, I'm not too crazy about it. For instance, yesterday I ate wasn't even good. I wanted a nice fillet of fish and some grilled veggies. This morning I did P90X shoulders and arms and I was shocked at how much stronger I felt. And, I was able to lift more weight with less effort. Then, I had so much energy, I jumped on my bike and did a tabatas routine. Tabatas is an evil interval workout in which you go full-speed for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and then repeat. Try to hit 8 fast intervals. Your booty should be exhausted! A crazy awesome workout in less than 5 minutes. It feels SO good! Followed it up with a protein shake and I've been going full speed ahead effortlessly all day.

For a delicious protein shake, I mix chocolate protein powder (today I used 2 scoops) with a straw of instant coffee (I used hazelnut), ice, water and blend. Tastes like a frappuccino...but with lots of protein and without the fat. Technically, it's not paleo, since there's whey protein in the protein powder, but I don't care. It's awesome and speeds recovery.

Last week, I ran a lot and it felt great. Unfortunately, however, little Hanky split the pad on one of his paws, so he can't run until it heals. I didn't run at all this week because it kills me to leave him behind. Shooting for my first outdoor bike ride since the Ironman this weekend.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lazy Friday

No training for me today. I sat in bed with the pig ninjas and read. So nice! Since my training is nonexistent today, I will give you a very nice story from Saturday. Saturday morning we decided to go to brunch, but I wanted to get a run in beforehand. I decided to start running toward the restaurant while Luke finished getting ready and he would pick us (us= Ash + pig ninjas) up on the way. Well, I was trying to run fast since I didn't have much time. Made it about a mile and then I was suddenly airborne and then on my belly. Full on eating pavement. I made a loud OOOOOF sound and a group of pedestrians in front of me screamed. No joke! One lady had her hands to her cheeks and was screaming, Home Alone-style. A couple of cars stopped. Nice fall, Ash! Anyway, I got up eventually, after I got over the daze and kept trucking. Luke picked me up on the next block. Bloodied and bruised knees and elbows, but I didn't break anything or hit my face. Success! I used to fall down all the time when I was a little kid and always had bruised and scraped knees. Why does it hurt so much more now? Maybe because I have 80 pounds on my 6 year old self?

Last night I was very not-Paleo. I had two sangrias (normally I love sangria. These were not so good) at the museum function, then we went to an Italian pastry shop and I ate an eclair. It was divine! There is nothing better than an excellent eclair or cream puff. Unfortunately, they are frequently dry. Not this one! Woke up this morning feeling super dehydrated. Not sure if the sugar and/or alcohol was a factor but ugh. On the sleeping front, however, I've been doing really well. No insomnia. Weird, weird dreams, going double date camping with Luke and his ex-gf and her bf.

We go to the farmers market and grocery store (if necessary) every Saturday morning. Usually we have plenty of produce left over on Friday for lunch. Not this week! The fridge was totally empty today because I have been scarfing it! Had to stop by Whole Foods on the way to work. I had a tough time decided what to get. Hit up the salad bar, grabbed some fruit, some sushi (with brown rice. Not paleo but not terrible), and some more Larabars. Have I discussed how delicious Larabars are? They're amazing. Whole Foods had a ton of flavors, so I picked up a few I've never had before. Also picked up a bar of super dark chocolate. Not paleo but the chocolate cravings have been calling. This was a good lesson in how important it is to prep food at home. I spent way more money than I would have had I been prepared. Farmers Market tomorrow.

We get a big CSA (community supported agriculture) box each week from a local, organic farm. It has usually 12-15 items. Only $25! We've had a hard time eating all of it, since it's for a family of 4 and there are only 2 of us and only 1 of us eats the majority of it. I had decided a while ago to drop our subscription to once every other week, but now I'm thinking about keeping it every week since I'm eating so much produce. Except cabbage. I hate cabbage. Anyone want the cabbage I always wind up getting? Anyone? Bueller?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Paleo chow of the day

Last night I went to swim practice with my team. Instead of doing the masters' swim, like I normally do, I went to the technique class. I thought I could pick up some tips. Uh, no, it was worthless. Back to masters' swim.

This morning I didn't have much time, as I relaxed in bed and read for a while (so nice!), but still wanted to get outside and have some exercise with the pig ninjas. We did hill repeats for about 30 minutes. Kicked my butt and the doggie butts, too. It was funny watching people walk to their cars. Some of the ladies are going to have really sore feet. I like rocking heels just like the next girl, or maybe more, but I know how to walk in them. If you're stumbling down the sidewalk in your heels and it's not because of injury or overconsumption of adult beverages, you probably don't have any business wearing those shoes in public.

Here's what I have eaten:

3 egg whites
apple sauce

Will eat (at least I have it with me, which usually means it will be consumed):

enormous salad
grilled chicken breast
nut mix

I'm not sure what will happen for dinner. We're going to a culture and cocktails event at the Museum of Art, so I definitely won't be paleo. I'm thinking lots of canapes and a cocktail or two. It's important not to be too uptight about a nutrition plan. Life is fun, food is fun, enjoy yourself a little bit!

Ironman Coeur d'Alene Race Report


I arrived in Spokane the Wednesday before the race. It was a bit of a homecoming, since I grew up in Spokane. Unfortunately, though, my little sister had undergone knee surgery earlier in the week and it had become infected, so she was stuck in the hospital for the first week of her summer break. I went to Coeur d’Alene on Thursday morning to register and catch a glimpse of Ironman village for the first time. Amazing! I was surprisingly calm and very excited. Friday my honey/tri-sherpa extraordinaire and I met up with some of the super awesome BT people for pre-athlete dinner drinks. So much fun! Then it was on to the Athlete Dinner. Bonnie brought a fantastic honey badger sign along and people took pictures with it. My friend “the other Ashley” was there, too. We’re currently maid and matron of honor at our mutual best friend’s wedding. The banquet was fun.

My tri-mentor Harvey/Clyde/Blaze/Phat/Cool dude!

Race morning I was up at 1:30, though I tried to sleep until 3:00. Then I ate some mini powdered sugar donuts. Great for energy! Tried not to freak out on our way to CDA. Pumped bike tires, hung out near the water.

Uh, do I look terrified? I'm trying not to cry/barf/pee my pants.

Realized I didn’t have the ankle strap for my timing chip. Freak out! Volunteers told me just to head to the beach and they would have a table with them. It was super hard to make my way through the crowd of spectators and took over 30 minutes to make it to the beach. I was in a big crowd of other athletes, all of whom were freaking out about missing the swim start. Made it with 3 minutes to spare! Got my ankle strap and didn’t have time to worry as the swim began.


Check out this awesome video Luke took of the swim start. Men are in green caps and women are in hot pink. This is what happens when 2430 people start swimming all at once.

Swim time!

Ugh! F! I am not a great swimmer. This distance takes me 1:20 in the pool and I suffered for 2 hours in the lake. It was f-ing freezing(54 degrees) and crazy wild. Arms, legs, bodies everywhere. I was kicked in the mouth, scratched across the face by what I hope was a hand and not a foot (ewwww…toenails scratching across my face!) and eventually dunked intentionally by an evil BEE-otch. Drank about a gallon of lake water that I chucked a bit later. Lake water + donuts = barf. After the first lap, I got lost since I was wearing ear plugs and couldn’t hear where the volunteers were telling me to go. I ran all the way to the wetsuit strippers before figuring out that I needed to turn around and go back the other way. Duh! Jumped in for my second lap. A few minutes later I received the intentional dunk from the BEE-otch. I silently prayed that she would soil herself during the run, preferably in front of a photographer. I’m evil like that. I started worrying about the cut-off time, since the first lap took me just under one hour. My sighting is terrible. I zig-zagged all over the place. Finally got a grip at the end and powered through it. Hit the beach and woo hoo!!! I was out of the water in 2 hours and 58 seconds. So happy to be done!


I was so cold I couldn’t take off my swim cap or get my wetsuit off my arms or shoulders. Awesome wetsuit strippers took care of me, though they had some trouble getting my wetsuit off my ba donk a donk. Another nice volunteer grabbed my bag and my arm and led me to the tent. Put on my bike gear, including my arm warmers, grabbed a bag of gummy bears and off I went. Saw my honey on the way out. Nice!

Oh yeah, must grab bike. Notice that there are very few bikes left on the racks. I'm a slow swimmer.

Yes, I was confused. That's what 2 hours in a 54 degree water slugfest will do to you!


Gorgeous day for a bike ride! I was slightly stupid—I blame the cold water anesthesia for this and couldn’t figure out why it seemed so hard to pedal. I checked my tires. No flats. Checked the front brakes. Fine. Pedaled 30 miles, up into the hills and really struggled. Felt pretty gross and did a bit of chucking. Lake water + gummy bears = barf. Made sure I got back on track with my nutrition plan. Finally my brain began working again and I checked the back brake. Totally rubbing on the tire. Tried to fix it but it was messed up. Wound up disengaging the brake all together and just hoped I wouldn’t regret that. Fun, fun bike ride. Around mile 40 my shifter starts to get loose and I can’t shift out of my small ring. Very thankful I was in my small ring. I try to get mechanical support, but they’re busy and I’m worried about making the cut off now after my stupidity for the first 30 miles. Keep trucking along. The shifter has now almost completely fallen apart and I’m pulling on the tape on the handlebars to try to hold it in place. Some dark thoughts started to seep in but then I reminded myself that I made it out of that f-ing water and I would f-ing finish! Around mile 85 I see a mechanic. Yippeeeee!!! I pull over and he’s quite shocked that I’ve been riding like this for 45 miles. He manages to take everything apart and fix it and I’m back on the road. Feeling much better now, I start cranking to make sure I can make the cut-off. This was the one section of the race I never thought I’d have trouble with. Just shows you never know what can happen on race day. Just got to keep going. Vroom! I finish the bike with time to spare. My dad and my honey were there waiting for me and I get high fives. I felt pretty fantastic at this point.

Does it get better than this?

I'm having so much fun!

I love riding my bike!


Put my fabulous tutu on, donned my bejeweled nerdjock visor, stuffed gels in my jersey and set out to become an Ironman.

All done with the 112 mile bike ride! Hi Dad and Luke! Fist pump!

Must go pee!

Starting the run. Oh, heck yes, I will become an Ironman today!


The announcer just said I was the best dressed athlete of the day!

There were tons of fans cheering as I started the run. The announcer called out my name and said I was the best dressed athlete of the day. That made me chuckle. I felt good, but my legs were pretty fried from all of the bike excitement earlier. I did a run/walk. Figured out what I needed to do before midnight and vowed to do so and not kill myself in the process. I had plenty of time and wanted to enjoy the journey. I thanked every volunteer I saw, gave high fives to everybody, interacted with the crowd and had a fantastic time. Wearing a tutu was pretty fun and I was able to get a lot of energy from the crowd. Around mile 3 I met up with a man named Bob, who was 61 and doing his 6th Ironman. He was impressed by my speed walking (thank you, Mom, for always making me walk fast) and asked if I would pace him. No problem.

Delirious? Possibly. Walking with my new friend, Bob.

Yay! Luke walked with us for a bit after the first lap. Only 13 miles to go!

Nice legs!

By the end of the run, I was pacing an entire group of people and that made everything much more fun. The last 6 miles were pretty tough. My feet hurt, I was tired, and I had a wicked case of monkey butt. I never doubted I would finish, though. Finally came up to the home stretch on Sherman Avenue and ran it in. Amazing feeling! Fans line the street, cheering, and giving high fives. I tried hard to soak it all in. YMCA was playing and Mike Reilly said those unforgettable words: “From San Diego, CA, Ashley Horton, you are an Ironman!!!”

SOOOO happy to finish!

Two nice men caught me, gave me my swag, helped me to the picture area and, after assuring them I was fine, I was on my way. Super tired but so proud and so happy. I think having the bike mechanical issues and a tough day made this even more rewarding.



My honey met up with me afterward and took my tired butt back to my mom’s. My stepdad, Ed, made me a super awesome sign that said, "Ashley, you are an IRONMAN!" that was posted on the gate in front of the house. Thanks, Ed! We stayed up all night replaying the race and caught a 6 am flight home. I couldn’t have done this without the awesome support system I had on BT. Great group. And my honey Luke made this all possible. He was on the course all day, taking pictures, cheering and offering support. Tri-sherpa extraordinaire. In the best news ever, Luke caught the IM bug and we’re planning a 2013 return to IM CDA.

Wetsuit hickey: OUCH!!!

I'm totally hooked. Can't wait for the next one! One of the coolest things about Ironman is how supportive and excited people are. Along the course volunteers and other athletes are constantly encouraging each other. I don't think any other sport is that way. What an amazing experience!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Paleo for Athletes

I've been a healthy eater my entire life. Not much processed food, lots of healthy stuff. However, I've also had severe acid reflux and insomnia periodically for years. I can remember being 5 years old and still being awake when the alarm went off in the morning. That sucks! It still sucks and makes me cranky. I refuse to take medication for acid reflux or insomnia for the rest of my life and I've been searching for solutions. Perhaps I have a food allergy or intolerance that I've never really known about? In any case, I'm going "paleo" from now on.

WTF is Paleo? You've probably heard about the Caveman diet: meat, fruit, vegetables, no grain, no dairy. That's it! Of course, I'll focus on lean protein (mostly fish and seafood) and will still have occasional dairy. I'm not going to be a Nazi about this. The goal is to feel great, fuel my body, and hopefully get rid of this f-ing acid reflux! As an endurance athlete, I won't be "strict paleo," and will make special exceptions during and after workouts. So far, it hasn't been much of a stretch, though last night I really wanted a steak. We haven't had any meat in the house except poultry and seafood, so this was weird. Whatever. I ate the steak. It was delicious.

There are some variations/versions of paleo in which people eat tons of fat or raw meat or all kinds of stuff. That's not for me. I'm also not going to play fetch with stones or crawl around in bushes or hunt wooly mammoths. I'm going to eat clean, greatly reduce grains, and focus on lean protein and fruits and veggies and train like a triathlete. Also, I'm still going to eat vinegar, occasional cheese and I'm going to imbibe delicious adult beverages from time to time.

You might be curious what I'll be eating, so I'll check in periodically and list my meals. I eat a lot and frequently. As a scientist, I like to crunch numbers, so I've been keeping track of calories, protein, carbs, etc. for the past several days. It's amazing how many carbs I eat, even without consuming any grains. Plenty. I'd much rather eat raspberries than wonderbread.

3 egg whites

huge salad with mixed greens, spinach, apples and a dijon balsamic vinaigrette
salmon with orange

Lara bar (only contain fruit and nuts, no crap): necessary before swim practice

turkey and some vegetables. Not sure because I have swim practice tonight and that messes up my eating.

Yes, it's a lot. I bring about 10 tupperware containers to work every day. Can't wait to see how this affects my training!


Yep, I haven't posted in months. Yep, that's bad. But...


I'll post a race report later. And, I'm changing the blog up a bit :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Just for Fun

Yep, I've been training. Ran 8 miles on a trail today at lunch. Moving to SD next week. These last weeks have been insane so I haven't been blogging. Hopefully will have more time starting soon.

To make up for it, I present pictures from the Bullipedes race I did last year. It was a one mile race in Old Folsom, in which teams of 5 people had to be tied together. My team was farm-themed. We had a farmer (with rather obscene shorts), a rooster, a cow, a pig and a sheep. I was a cow and was also going through a chubby phase. Pay no attention to the belly, please. It no longer exists. We had a blast.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Yes, I've been bad about posting. I'm not going to go through all of the workouts I haven't posted about. Let's just say there has been a lot of biking, a lot of running and not nearly enough swimming. This week is pretty crazy since I'm trying to finish all of the revisions for my dissertation. It should start getting better next week and then get better each week after that. I will have several weeks in SD before starting my new job with pretty much no work to do, so that means lots of time for training. Woo hoo!

The plane tickets and bike transport have been booked, drinks and meet ups with fellow IM CdAers have been planned, it's getting really, really REAL. Cue nightmares and anxiety. F that! I'm going to do this! Must get in the pool. I just bought a really neat waterproof shuffle case that attaches to the strap of my goggles on the back of my head and has waterproof earphones. I've been listening to music and podcasts to get around my ADHD boredom while swimming. When I was a freshman in college, Nelly's Ride Wit Me was huge and played at every frat party I went to. It always makes me laugh. So, I was swimming and that song came on. I literally shook my booty while swimming. Serious skills :) though I can only imagine what that looked like for spectators.

Saturday ice breaker swim and long bike ride:
Last Saturday, I did an OWS/race with my friend Mel. We were in the non-competitive division. The race was a 0.5 mile triangle in Folsom Lake. Swimmers could do one or two loops. The water was 55 degrees and everyone cried. Mel and I thought that was pretty awesome because we've recently been swimming in 46 and 47 degree water. For once, I actually got into the water ahead of time to acclimate to the temperature. Normally, I'm so freaked out that I have to pretend I'm not swimming until it's time to actually do it. I think it helped. When the horn went off, I ran in and put my face in. Only a couple of minutes of brain freeze/ice cream headache. My sighting was still terrible. I was all over the place and my stupid goggles were leaking! Crap! Decided to only do one loop since I didn't want to screw up my contacts for my bike ride later. Finished. No Big Deal. Felt easy, though the entire time I was in the water I was thinking about getting out. Need to train my brain a bit. The good news: OWS is definitely getting easier!

Afterward, they fed us pancakes and sausage. Yum. Then I grabbed my bike and set out on a ride around Folsom Lake and down the American River Bike Trail. It was a windy day and that made me much slower than normal. It's a hilly course, which I like, and it's getting easier. Here are the highlights of the ride:
  • I saw the man from my STFU A-Hole post "counseling" another rider. This is about 60 miles from where I ran into him. He's everywhere. I zoomed past so as not to fall onto his counseling radar.
  • As I rode up to another girl on a bike, I called out "on your left!" She didn't move over, so I assumed she didn't hear me or maybe had earphones on (BAD! but that's another issue). So, I yelled louder and louder and she didn't get over. When I pulled up along side of her during my pass, she snottily said, "I heard you." Bitch! I replied, "Well, then you need to get over." Then she tried to bitch me. Honey, please, I can outbitch you with a single glance. I then gave her said withering look and sped off.
  • There were two couples riding next to each other on tandems. The men were in the front (captains, maybe?) and the women were in the back (strokers? It's just too funny). The men had one conversation and the women the other. It looked like they were having fun.
  • Came around a corner and almost ran into a...HORSE that was on my side of the bike path. Yikes!
  • And, the ultimate highlight: I saw a woman walking along the dirt part of the path (there are lots of side trails. Nice area) wearing a backpack. However, the chest strap, which goes above the tatas, was firmly wedged beneath them, so it looked like her breasts were trapped inside this small open-topped rectangle that squished them. I guess she was confused...or wanted more support. It was weird.
continued along the bike trail until the flooding started then called Mel for a pick up. Rode about 70 miles total. Felt strong. Legs were golden. Ready for longer and harder rides.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SuperSeal Olympic 2011 Race Report

I woke up around 4:45 am, ready to go. Put on my DeSoto Forza tri suit that squishes my normally lovely curves into a not-so-attractive sausage shape, threw my bike in the car, ate a couple of mini powdered donuts and then got in the car with Luke and my friend Carrie, who came down to see me race (awesome! Thank you!). We drove from our place to Coronado, maybe a 20 minute trip. The parking lot was already closed, so we parked on a residential street in a nearby neighborhood. It was a bit overcast and there was talk of rain. I set up my transition among a bunch of rack hoarders and I was ready to go. We walked down to the beach and watched the Sprint racers swim.

The swim

This is always my least favorite part of a race. Blah. I've been practicing in the pool and have also done some insanely frigid 46 and 47 degree OWS, so I was well-prepared for the 62 degree water. Everyone else cried but I was overjoyed. Surprisingly, I felt very zen before instead of super nervous, which is how I normally feel. My wave was the second to start. I was ready when the horn went off and ran into the water. I immediately put my head down and started swimming. There was a bit of contact, but it wasn't too bad. EEEEEWWW salt water! I've spent lots of time surfing and snorkeling in salt water, but never straight swimming in it. I felt completely gross by the end of the swim. My sighting was very poor and I zig zagged all over the place, but I still felt calm and relaxed. When I wear my wetsuit, it's almost as if I'm floating on top of the water and hardly kick. I like it but it feels weird. There was one man who kept bumping into me (he was swimming in an even more insane zig zag pattern than I was) and at one point he positioned himself so that when I reached forward with my left arm, I wound up grabbing a bunch of wetsuit-clad man junk. At least I think it was his junk. My hand was firmly between his legs and grabbing stuff and I can't think of anything else it might be. Ooooops! Sorry, dude...and yes, you're welcome. Not everyone gets groped during a race. Then I laughed for the rest of the swim, which made me swallow more water. Worth it! Finally finished the 1500 meter swim after 37 minutes. That is really, really slow. Much slower than I normally swim and I'm normally slow. Probably the extra distance because of my poor sighting.

I was so happy to get out of that f-ing water! Felt fine and not at all exerted. Ran a ways to T1. Had trouble getting my wetsuit off, like always. I sat on the ground and wrestled with it, hoping the man I groped wouldn't recognize me. Got my helmet and bike shoes on, grabbed my bike and took off. Trotted in my bike shoes to the mount line and got on.

The bike

Woo hoo! My favorite part! I love biking. The course was two "loops," really just an out-and-back twice but the start was in the middle along Hwy 75, along the ocean. I hauled ass (for me), averaged almost 20 mph. I only got passed by elites but I passed a whole bunch of folks. So satisfying. I thought lots of nasty thoughts about good swimmers (just kidding, kind of). There were several stupid men who refused to be chicked. When I came up on them I would say "on the left!" As in, get the F over(!) and they would move over more to the left so I couldn't get around them or they would speed up. I had to teach them a lesson. Boom! Around them. Then, just to be extra annoying, I would say, "thank you" in my sweetest, highest-pitched voice....then in my head I followed it up with "you fuck face." That made me smile every time. Finished the bike in 1 hr 14 min. Totally satisfied and happy and I didn't crash at the dismount line. On to T2: quick, took off my helmet, put on my visor, changed into socks and running shoes and put on my race belt. Vroom!!!

The Run

The first few miles were on sand, either packed or not, so that sucked, but the run was fine. I wanted to walk, but stopped being a bitch and ran. I definitely didn't push hard enough, just kind of lollygagged along. I need to push myself harder while running because I wasn't even out of breath at the end. Sprinted to the finish and got my medal with a seal on it. The seal looked like Rudy RuDizzle, the original pig ninja.

Luke and Carrie were waiting for me at the finish line and received sweaty, stinky hugs in return. It was great to see them throughout the race and definitely gave me a huge mental boost. Carrie will be a triathlete soon and I have a not-so-secret plan to turn Luke into a triathlete as well. Then we could go on tri-cations. Fun, huh?!

Finished in 3:00:58. 20 out of 5o in my age group. Firmly Middle of the Pack...but I think if I did some speed work and pushed it I could do pretty well :)

I was very happy to be done, but not nearly as tired as I should be. I waited a bit, then collected my bike and transition stuff and we headed back to the car. I ate the rest of my donuts and drank some gatorade. We dropped Carrie off, I showered (you're welcome, Lukey) and then we went to get some greasy pizza and cheese-covered garlic bread. I also drank lots of root favorite post-activity drink. Then we went home and napped for a while (well, I tried, I'm not a good sleeper). Then we went to an awesome dessert place in Little Italy and I had bleu cheese with a fig and apple relish and we split strawberry shortcake and a lemon bar and I drank a lovely glass of wine. We went back home and then I had to prep for my interview the next day. Nailed the interview. Got the job. Great weekend.

I forgot to mention that we saw a bunch of dolphins in the ocean when we were leaving the transition area. So neat!!!