Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Active Dog Looking for New Home - HOW TO PR THE RUN NEXT SEASON

Hi Blog Followers -

A good friend of mine in San Francisco has to give up her one year old dog, Toby, and wants to find him a good (and active) home. I've copied her email into this blog post, along with some pictures of Toby. If you are interested (regardless of WHERE you live), send me an email (laurenharrison00@gmail.com) or comment and I'll put her in touch with you. Toby would be a GREAT way for you to PR your run next year. I guarantee it!


I am writing with sad news and because I need to ask for your help.

Due to personal circumstances, I need to find a new home for my 13 month old puppy, Toby.

If you know anyone who might want to adopt a 13 month old, incredibly energetic but also incredibly funny, smart, and loving dog, please let me know. I am more than willing to pay to fly him or drive him or whatever if you know anyone out of state (or just not nearby) that would take him.

I have put all of the breed, medical, temperament details about Toby below, and attached a few pictures.

Thanks for your help,


He is a mix, but the vet’s guess is that he is part Flat Coat Retriever and part Border Collie. I buy it. He looks just like a flat coat (I know I am partial, but I think he is gorgeous), has the energy and instincts of a border collie, and the intelligence and sweet personality of both breeds

- I adopted him from the San Francisco SPCA when he was about 3 months old. They had only had him for about 5 days before I adopted him. They don’t know his history before thato I do not want to give him up, but my circumstances have changed and I can’t afford him anymore·

- He is 13 months old and healthy, strong, and happy
- He has been neutered (all rescues from the SPCA are neutered before they can be adopted out)
- He has had all of his first vaccines, but will be due for his next set when he is a year and a half, which is in March
- I give him Frontline and Interceptor, so he is covered for heartworm and flea stuff
- He weighs about 45 pounds
- I can provide full medical records. My vet is Pets Unlimited on Fillmore St. in SF
- He has never been sick but was recently bitten badly and needed surgery and stitches on one of his hind legs. I was really scared, not so much for his physical health because I knew that he would get better since he is so young and healthy, but that the incident would change his personality. Thank goodness, it has not. He is physically 100% better and his temperament is as wonderful and hilarious as always. Which leads me to…

Toby – Force of Nature
- He is an incredibly great dog, but he is also a force of nature. His new owner needs to be ready for a really, really high energy dog. Toby is the first pet that I have ever had, but even seasoned dog owners tell me that he is truly one of a kind
- He is loving and loyal beyond belief. He keeps close tabs on me
- He wags and wiggles his entire body upon seeing someone because he is so happy
- He loves and is great with kids. He loves and is great with just about everyone and everything, for that matter (except pigeons… I think his goal in life is to one day catch a pigeon)
- He gets along with other dogs, no problem, despite the biting incident I described above
- He loves – and needs – to play and get a lot of exercise
- During the week, I have a dog walker that takes him out for 2-3 hours during the day, and then I take him out for an hour to an hour and a half when I get home from work
- On weekends, I take him to the beach for about 2 hours in the morning, and then out again in the afternoon / evening for another hour or so
- I take him out for short bio breaks as well, but they take all of about 3 minutes
- He loves to swim, chase, tussle, etc.
- He barks – A LOT – when he plays, but only when he plays. He is totally quiet in the house unless he is really startled or worried about something outside (which I actually don’t mind… makes me feel safe)

- I don’t want to sugarcoat this, so I will admit – Toby has been known to chew shoes. This is largely my fault, since my house is a mess and I leave shoes lying around, but still – beware. If you do take my baby boy, put your shoes away!



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Throwing down the gauntlet in the deep end

While doing a bit of house cleaning on this blog, I recently came across a draft of a post Lindsey was writing while en route to New York on the "Bolt Bus" last weekend (this is why I live in California....don't particularly like 6 hr bus rides without bathroom stops).

Excerpt from abandoned purse post:

"Swimming: A RETURN TO EQUILIBRIUM! LAHP and I have comparable times when I'm SCM and she swims SCY... THIS Even though my swimming volume is below the 20k threshold and workouts are dominated by one-armed swim drills and 25s sprints,"

Perhaps she hasn't yet perfected her "tone" but do I sense a bit of cockiness in her story about how "little" she swims to maintain this so-called "equilibrium?" Granted, I will never quite know what was to come after that hanging comma, but what's a girl supposed to think!

Regardless, I shall print this out and post it next to a few other "memoirs" I keep next to my bedside table to motivate me to get out of bed and swim.

We'll see where this "equilibrium" goes with the launching of the LAHP "make every swim count" slog challenge today. While Lindsey is busy getting a tan in Maui, I will be focused on GTWD with every meter on my schedule in the frozen tundra outdoor pools of the bay area.

Happy Swimming.

NO...this is not a picture of me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Slog Race Report...

When not gchatting with Lauren about being down to my FINAL PIECE OF TRIDENT LAYERS STRAWBERRY/CITRUS REAL FRUIT (FLAVOR) gum, horror of all horrors, she and I gmail with pro: triathlete/pharma sales rep/half and full IM MEX race announcer Amy Kloner*.

Today's topic of discussion: race reports... and keeping it real. We like honesty at the slog, and if our race reports are any indication, year one of pro racing is no cake walk.

In a Lauren race report (RR), you'll see a combination of the following:

-extreme bitterness and focus on self... the only volunteer shout out she provides is to the guy who directed her off-course at Oceanside 70.3 (granted she volunteers at her husband's Xterra races)

-images of flames

-the words: hell, fire, blasted foot, tears, crying, drowning, shut up matt, shut the ___ up matt

-jpgs titled "run death march"

2.5 WEEKS into the 2010 season already, and Lauren is singing a different tune (out of key, just like her piano she promised would be tuned months ago) and foresees RRs filled with rainbows and sunshine... or at least less fire and brimstone.

And so as not to appear mean-spirited and one-sided, I'll provide Lauren's blanket statement about my RRs (that come to fruition 75% of the time):

Lauren: A PURSE RR consists of talking about with whom she came out of the water and then a digression into how to cook an egg bomb and where to shop for the finest ingredients

Below, Lauren having phun with her new IPHONE!

She pings me everytime she walks the dogs or breathes... Lauren left work 5 min ago and already emailed: "Did u miss me"

I'll post now so she has a 'present' to read before embarking on her evening bike ride in the training funhouse. GTWD SLOOT

*Amy and I met while waiting for Clearwater slot roll-downs after Eagleman 70.3. At the time, she was unfamiliar with the clearwater race, but my anxiety over 'receiving' the slot (i.e., the opportunity to pay $300 for a race 6 mos down the pipe) rated its desirability: EXTREMELY HIGH. The remaining slot rolllled to 8th (that would be Kloner... I was 9th). She gave a cutesy smile, told me she was taking the slot then BORROWED a blank check from someone (NOT ME, obviously, as I would not fund such an act) to claim her slot. She earned it... no hard feelings...

Friday, November 20, 2009

"One More Time" II

All SLOG readers in the DC area will be happy to know that KLIM and SNOW (author of the famed STUPIDBLOG) are co-hosting a slam-dunk dance bonanza to end all dance parties on Saturday night! Some of you might have come, and the rest of you WISHED you had come (like purse who did not attend bc she was tired and in heavy training), to "One More Time," named after the Daft Punk dance anthem from earlier this century. SNOW and KLIM and their KLIMTIEL co-hosts are piggybacking off this theme and calling their next fiesta "1MT2." They'll have great dance music and even better times. PURSE WILLLLL be in attendance! Why won't you?

If you want location deets, or need a ride, e-mail SNOW for the address: snizow@gmail.com

Start Time: Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 9:00pm
End Time: Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 3:00am
City/Town: Arlington, VA


Monday, November 9, 2009

I met the midnight pacific time deadline PURsssse.

Lindsey has called me out on my "empty promises" of blogging. I think her phrase was "broken record of broken promises". So, in her honor I will post a quick slog tonight, in lieu of doing a myriad of other activities, such as cleaning the cervelo that has yet to be removed from its power-gel infested nesting spot in the bike box, or putting ear drops in the dog's ear, or attempting to teach Matt the scale of G on the piano (he's getting into the sharps...EXCITING!!!).

Anyway, I am happy to report that the power of the blog is strong. Due to the incredible generosity of slog reader (and now slog hero), CARL, I have secured a google wave invite. Now, we shall break into the 21.1st century of virtual training communication with google wave. Check back for exciting developments.

Since we haven't been doing much organized virtual training together and thus don't need accountability in that department, Lindsey and I have moved this virtual accountability model into other arenas - namely nutrition. The rules for this game are as follows - Lindsey is not allowed to consume nut butters between the temptation-laden hours of 7pm - 6am (and since she DARES NOT keep liquid kryptonite at work, it's essentially off limits all day) and she has allowed me a very short window on when I may eat candy - between 6am-8am,...quite generous of her, indeed.

Here is an excerpt of one of our gchats (this will be considered an ancient relic soon as we are switching over to WAVE):

Lauren: so you won't eat nut butters past SEVEN pm and i won't eat candy...at all
Lindsey: I CAN GIVE A TESTIMONIAL for the slog
I FREAKIN ATE A BANANA LAST NIGHT (4:40.. nearly breakfast)
Lauren: awesome
Lauren: I WILL ADD that story to the post you are forcing me to do against my will. We should also take a hiatus from triathlon websites
Lindsey: it's amazing
on any other night i would have opened that blasted jar
Lauren: lol
Lindsey: well one of many jars
or potentially EVERY jar
but instead I didn't even open the cabinet
Lauren: how many jars do you currently possess
Lindsey: 3
but only 2 are open
Lauren: haha; v impressive that you can keep these things
i had to throw out any and all random candy we had lying around
Lindsey: throw out as in take to work?
Lauren: yes and let the vultures descend

Other than that, there is nothing much going on over here. Team Pataky recently moved closer to the often-mention mountain lion reserve. I'm currently in the process of building a training dungeon in the garage for the computrainer, tready, and assortment of balls with which I use to roll out ailing body parts. I've also been doing some mtn biking with Matt and "the Frenchman" and have discovered that what is even more enjoyable than passing roadies on the tri bike is passing them on the mountain bike. Tip of the day - If you are having an "off day" but still want to mess with them, once you pass them and start to feel tired, just turn off at the next intersection and go into the dirt. It works every time....just don't fall on the curb or something.

The "Frenchman" aka Benoit at the Halloween cyclocross race.

I think this is long enough to count as a post so I am going to go now.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween & GOOGLEWAVE Developments

Halloween affords us the rare opportunity to set pumpkins ablaze:

Undeterred by mother nature's wrath, the party host, SNOW (famed stupid blog author), revives the ailing pumpkin with the cohost/doctor.

Success. Pumpkins return to fire-breathing glory:

I brainstormed potential Halloween costumes ideas with my aunts hrs before the pumpkin lighting, resulting in this masterpiece:My last-minute costume research was thorough, however, a mild bout of dyslexia caused me to misorder the PLU code, resulting in MASSIVE confusion Halloween evening. I was incorrectly stickered as a small mutsu apple, rather than an eggplant (aubergine). Did you know that an eggplant is a fruit botanically classified AS A BERRY???

GOOGLEWAVE DEVELOPMENTS: Yesterday I accepted my googlewave invite, but am beside myself looking for the invite function so LAHP gets onboard and stops pinging me to INVITE! her. I DOn'T KNOW HOW.

Perhaps we can integrate the new platform into the slogosphere. The uninterrupted stream of slootbabble is pertinent to our training success and as Lauren already identified in her gwave request to the google team: we are a NEW BREED of athletes that HARNESS THE POWER OF THE INTERNET for training purposes. Or maybe someone can kindly add her?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lauren's Longhorn 70.3 Discussion

Race reports are so easy to write if you either have a killer day and destroy the field or are beset with a HUGE obstacle to overcome. Such situations provide great slog fodder and enable one to set up one's race report for a breathtaking climax followed by either a gentle denoument or perhaps an abrupt ending. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort happened at my race last weekend, so I'm once again, experiencing a bit of writer's block in putting together this report.

I flew into my ancestral home of San Antonio (REMEMBER THE ALAMO) late Friday night and met up with Purse…oh actually that is incorrect as she decided to go to bed early at my parents’ house rather than greet me at the airport with a large homecoming sign. We got up at the crack of dawn (which became the theme all weekend) on Saturday, successfully put my bike together without stripping the derailleur, and embarked upon our journey up to Austin for the pro meeting. Despite MULTIPLE GPS devices (I advise against getting the latest Garmin as the female speaker is incredibly annoying and wrong), printed directions, a previous history in driving to this very location, and my “instincts” we managed to get lost. Purse saved the day by forcing the Harrisons to pit stop at a Chevron and ask for directions. (note: most of this was copied almost verbatim from Lindsey’s thank you note to my parents)

Race day: In short, I swam incredibly slow, rode like I know I can, and just ran to finish the race. Nothing exciting happened, besides 2 "rabid' dogs running after me (which pales in comparison to mountain lions...speaking of which...recently a canadian folksinger was killed by COYOTES...which everyone has assured me do not bother with humans).

After my ridiculously slow swim, I managed to make up time on the bike leg and passed around 9-10 girls. This gave me a confidence boost, but I was unable to channel that into a strong run and did not manage to meet my run goal. I did not perform.

Upon reflection, perhaps I was more looking forward to this race as it signified the end of a season, and thus the possibility of a new and better start next year, rather than the culmination and channeling of all the hard work I've done this year into a great race day performance. I tried to argue with myself that such was not the case. I mean, SERIOUSLY, HOW WEAK IS THAT? Perhaps it is the truth, though, and this is my takeway for the race - yet another lesson learned.

I have alot of work to do this winter -both mental and physical. I used to hate the idea of a break from racing, but now I am excited to spend a couple weeks decompressing from this interesting season and preparing myself to GTWD this winter/spring. Rather than chalk this race up to yet another below top 10 performance, I'll use it. In fact, I just purchased an ASI photo of me emerging from the lake with almost NOBODY behind me in the water (go ahead, you know you want to look). This will be a great photo to laminate and paste on the pool deck for EVERY SINGLE swim workout I do next year. Should you be in the SF Bay Area, you'll know me as the weird girl who posts a picture of herself on the pool deck (as opposed to the weird girl that poses with yellow CPR dummies).

PS: I have a special shout out to Lindsey and my parents who filled in for Matt and supported me...and also to Ray for the photos that accurately depicted how I felt that day. Thanks!!!!

Sherpa Lindsey on wetsuit detail.

Motivation for treadmill running this winter.

Beginning of the death march.

Ending of the death march.

Super sherpa PURSE who was confused about the correct date of Halloween.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Longhorn 70.3 Eve

After an exhausting day sherpa-ing for LAHP, we concluded Longhorn 70.3 preparations with a confidence-boosting equilibrium swim and picked up dinner at Chipotle (Potal) with mom and dad Harrison. carbo-loading LAHP ready for a bowl of TEXAS Blue Bell ice cream. From wiki: "Blue Bell is one of the few ice cream companies in the United States to offer a true half gallon (64 oz/1.89 L) container; the company mentions this prominently in its advertising." Clearly, this is an effective marketing strategy with Texans. Assembling the EGGBOMB station before bed. I rise at 3:45 to make breakfast for the princess, I mean Lauren.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

East Meets West at LONGHORN 70.3

Lauren closes the rookiepros.blogspot.com season this wkd in Austin at the Longhorn 70.3. We will rendezvous in her hometown, San Antonio, where I can start the rapid fire on-site blogging about the season closer (best case scenario). Since I'm using my flight benefits from work and flying standby, arriving at my final destination is not guaranteed. If not in Austin, I'll slog LIVE from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

I mined my gchat archives with Lauren to find this QOTD from our 36th President, LBJ:

We can draw lessons from the past, but we cannot live in it.

We thought this was an appropriate running injury quote (apologies to LBJ for bastardizing his comment), but it also reminds us to apply what we have learned from this season's races. Heard from Lauren yesterday:

I had two killer workouts this afternoon...SO killer that at the end of each workout I just had to say "Hell YEAH." WOOT ready for longhorn.

MORE to come FROM TEXAS! Sherpa LJ will
- provide encouragement as Lauren builds her own bike
- simulate the craziness of the race start at the warm-up swim (in the danger suit)
- griddle the race morning eggbomb

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lindsey's Brush with Fame

Hello Blog Readers,

Since Triathlete mag is not busting down the door for interviews with us and we both forgot to submit our bikini shots for consideration for one of the swimsuit model positions, I thought I'd take this opportunity to post the 2 page centerfold of Lindsey in the November issue of Triathlete mag taken at elite nationals (pgs 18-19).

Check out her form (dark goggles) - a product of 21 years of swimming development.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Profiles in Courage--Caroline's 2012 Olmypic Marathon Trials Quest

Caroline White, my friend, former GRC teammate and fellow Costco worshipper, ran the Twin Cities Marathon last wkd and qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials in 2:45 fashion. Earlier this year she ran Boston in 2:55 and her first marathon before then was 3:09. QUITE a progression. I'm sharing her take of this journey--grab a cup of joe (venti-sized) and enjoy!

Family and Friends,

So here you have it; the long anticipated Twin Cities Marathon race report! It’s been a tough, exhilarating journey, and I’m excited to share the story with you.

Upon reviewing this and on the verge of sending, I need to say; yes, the race is obviously important. But this email would lead you to believe success is all about race day. It's not. It's about all the hard work leading up to the marathon, and there is NO WAY I could do any of this without your love and support. It's the understatement of the century to say, but I couldn't do this without you.....so thank you for what you've enabled.

At the beginning of each 4 year Olympic cycle, the Olympic Committee determines a standard potential athletes must meet in order to compete in the Olympic trials. 2:47 was the standard for the Beijing trials (which were held in Boston in April 2008). Shortly after Bejing, the Olympic Committee set 2:46 as the standard for the 2012 trials. So to compete in the trials, one must run a marathon in 2:46 at a USATF certified event. The first opportunity to qualify (and only opportunity in 2009) was in the Twin Cities Marathon, held on October 4th.

In February 2009, I competed in and won the Armed Forces Cross Country Championship. This win served as a leverage point for me to be assigned to the Air Force’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). Initially, after graduation from University of Maryland, I was scheduled to start pilot training right away. However, the Air Force agreed to delay my start date and let me train in Colorado for the Twin Cities Marathon. When the Air Force allowed this opportunity, I was very grateful, but understood the reality that this was an opportunity to qualify for the trials, and it would take some serious, grueling training to meet this goal.

Explaining the goal to friends, I frequently heard “ohh I’m sure you can do it, you always do what you set your mind to!” I would respond with, ‘I don’t think you quite understand how ambitious this is.’ Running a 2:46 is no small feat. It would require a big PR from my Boston marathon in April, giving me 6 months to drop 10 minutes. But I had my heart set on qualifying, so my tenure in Colorado consisted of running, running, and some more running. I averaged between 80-100 miles a week (my peak week was 114), plus core strengthening and cross training.

WCAP also allowed me the opportunity to race in the national road racing circuit, where high caliber athletes compete for national titles and large prize purses. This was great because one, I love racing. Two, I got to travel to misc places like Michigan, Connecticut, and Ohio that I would not otherwise be exposed to. Three, I got to spend time with some running legends (including individuals who competed in Athens and Beijing in various distance races). And four, it was great to be the military’s representative. When toeing the start line, athletes wore jersey’s for their various sponsors (Asics, Nike, etc.) and it was pretty cool to be the individual chosen to wear the Air Force’s blue and white jersey.

At my first race in Iowa, I met Magdalena Boulet, who ran the marathon for the US in Beijing. When shaking her hand, I couldn’t believe the situation…wow, I’ve been tracking your progress and watched you race on TV (in addition to the rest of the world), but I’m actually shaking your hand. Woah. Of course, all of this can out as, “hmmner nerm caroline white …”

But the races went well and I made some serious progress. For instance, in Michigan I ran the 10 mile race in 59:36, which was a big mile stone to break an hour. It was also sweet to spend quality with my running idols…the night before my Flint race, I ran into Magda in the hotel lobby, “Hi Caroline!” (oh my God, you actually know my name) “What are your dinner plans? You want to grab something with us?”....(with huge eyes and a gaping mouth) ‘uhhhh, YES…err, I mean, okay.’ When recounting this experience to a friend, I told him dinner was like watching running celebrities walk out of Runner’s World magazine and into this restaurant. His response to this was, “Caroline, you’ve got to understand that your idol is quickly becoming your peer,” which was an inspiring notion to me.

My Colorado training went fantastic, and generally injury free (with a few foot problems here and there, but nothing too serious). Before I knew it, taper week came and a message in my inbox read “United Flight 387; prepare for your upcoming trip”…..I hope I’m prepared! I put in a ton of hard work in over the summer, and it’s time to cash out.

My parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all traveled to Minneapolis for the event. I was grateful for the support and love being with my family (well, not so much with Uncle Mike), but at the same time, it built up the pressure of this event. In fact, the night before the marathon I was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been….I’ve competed at high levels before but nothing had such a black and white outcome. For instance, before the World Ironman Competition in Kona, I was nervous yet had a reasonable goal; to give it my best and see what I could do (and I achieved that, 12th wasn’t to shabby). With this race though, it’s really all or none. Not only had I set my own expectations, but I’d feel bad for having everyone travel to witness a let down. I didn’t want to dwell on this….or the fact that this is the only shot I have to qualify before or during pilot training…no, I need to shut out these thoughts, stay positive, and get to bed. Easy enough, right?

Well I did make it to sleep, went through my morning routine, and got to the start line. For this race I was considered an ‘elite athlete,’ so I got to start in the very front and not fight the masses. The race plan my coach and I created was to run 6:17-6:20 miles throughout the first 20 miles, and push it to the max for the last 6. The Boston marathon taught me the importance of not going out too fast and sticking to your strategy, otherwise it will (painfully) catch up to you in the end. So I was fixated on the number 6:17. My coach also warned me, “there will be a group of women trying to qualify just like you, stay with the pack if it works, but they are probably going to go out too fast and fade. Remember, your well trained and can do this, but you have to run it smart.” Okay, stick with you plan…6:17’s…stay calm.

The gun went off and I tried to keep my nerves under control, and find my pace. I tried to feel out my rhythm and waited for the first mile mark….6:03. Okay, your fast, the first mile is always tough but slow down…

Mile 2—6:07…Slow some more.

Mile 3—6:27…not so much!

Mile 4—6:04….Find the middle.

Mile 5—6:02…Nope.

Mile 6—6:48…Holy Hell, that’s not good...at all. Is my watch broken??

Mile 7—6:00….*$%#$**! What is going on?? In retrospect, it’s pretty obvious what was going on…my nerves were totally throwing me off. And it’s not as though I’m incapable of pacing a 6:17. Two week before TCM I ran a half marathon at goal marathon pace and was spot on….but the difference was the gravity of this event. So, I had a little heart to heart with myself, forget the last 7 miles, find your groove, you KNOW you can do this.

After that self talk, I found my efficient, effortless rhythm. I was nervous that I’d screwed the race with that initial nonsense, but got back to the plan and felt good. No, I felt great. Off in the distance I could see the pack of women hoping to qualify that my coach warned me about, but I didn’t chase them and stuck with my groove. (note: it’s not advised to find your groove this late in a race)

During races, I try to block out distractions and focus on my strategy. Despite this, two spectators seem to stick out in my memory...2 nuns dressed in traditional black habits holding a poster which read “Kick Ass, Sinners!” (since it was Sunday, and not being in church, I guess runners are default sinners). At no other city then St. Paul would you witness this...The sight made me smile; well I guess I’d rather laugh with the sinners then cry with the saints, because sinners are much more fun.

There was a race clock posted at the ½ way mark, which I crossed in in 1:21.22…A little fast, but this race is salvageable…stick with the plan. So I continued to knock out the miles at my goal pace and pressed through. Sure enough, the pack of women was thinning out; one by one, women were peeling off and out of my sight picture. When passing the faders I felt boosted confidence—I'm not going to die off like her, in fact I feel great, keep knocking out the 6:17s and you’ll finish strong.

Mile 15-19 directed us NW, back to toward Minneapolis and into a 10-12 mph headwind. Up until now, it had been negligible or a crosswind, but when I turned the corner at 15 the blast to the face wasn’t encouraging. Your doing fine, just push through it. Coincidentally, I found a broad shouldered male around mile 16 who was running right at pace. Perfect. This is my guardian angel. It was really nice to have a break, but short lived. Just past mile 17 my angel send stopped and literally sat down on the side of the road. Hmmm, someone seems to be sending me mixed signals.

About mile 18 the entire remaining pack of women was slowing down. I ran with them for about quarter mile and was tempted to use the massive wind block, but had to let em go to stay on pace, don’t sink with that ship, keep moving.

I made it through the headwind with a few miles just slightly behind pace. Soon enough, the turn East towards St. Paul at mile 19 relieved me of the headwind, and I was feeling strong.

When questioning TCM veterans, invariably you will hear “it’s a pretty good course, until you get to the end. There’s a substantial hill to deal with.” This hill had been haunting me all summer. The elevation profile indicated it was a gradual climb over three miles with varying grades along the way. I was curious how it would compare to the Colorado training, and how my body could deal with it so late in the race. Well, there’s one way to find out. The first mile of the hill (mile 21) I was exactly on pace—6:17. Perfect! Keep it up. But unfortunately I couldn’t; the next mile of hill took its toll on the legs—6:43. Uh oh, push it out. At this point, I also realized my destiny relied in the next 1.5 miles…if I can make over the hill feeling strong, I would have this thing in the bag. But if the hill drained me….good bye qualifying. Mile 23—6:37. Your almost there, just push over this last bit of hill.

My coach and I planned on not holding back the last 6 miles of the race and going all out. No more pacing, just 100% to the end. I knew some of the wind section and hills slowed me down, and I could not drop much below the 6:17 pace. But the last portion of the hill left me feeling tired, and there was just a smidge left in the tank. I hit the 24 mark in 6:23—you’ve got 2.2 miles left , and not much margin (if any) to spare.

Come on legs, take me home.

I was trying the best I could to keep my form through mile 24, but couldn't find my normal efficient rythm. It was getting harder and harder to get smooth leg turn over. I know this hurts, but you’ve got to push.

I ran mile 25 in 6:30. Next to the 25 mile marker was a race clock reading 2:37.47 Ohhh no, I better make this. I’ve got 1.2 miles left, so this next mile needs to be…..uhhh ……(turns out I’m not the greatest at mental math, particularly when my brain is oxygen deprived). After struggling, and loosing, to 3rd grade math skills I came to conclude it doesn’t matter what the margin is, continue to give 100%, but you can’t run another 6:30 and qualify. YOU HAVE GOT TO PUSH.

I made the final turn of the course and could see the finish line in the distance about ½ mile out. I couldn’t read the race clock, but kept on pushing through the escalating pain. I had no idea what is going on with the crowds, other runners, winds, scenery, etc. It could be midnight in the arctic for all I know….I was entirely fixed on the finish line and the illegible race clock. After what seemed like an eternity, I passed the 26 mile marker in 6:13 and could read the clock…2:44 and change. Oh my God, I’m actually going to do this. I’m going to qualify.

I’d like to describe that last minute and twenty seconds, but I can’t give the moment justice. Running the final .2 miles will stay with me forever. I crossed the finish line in 2:45.21 (6:18.66 mile average), and with 39 seconds to spare I met my goal. I qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials.

My family greeted me at the finish line shortly there after. Dad was shouting “YOU DID IT! I CANT BELIEVE IT!” and mom was speechless, gushing with tears. After barely surviving my parent’s jaws of death hugs, my dad told me being at the finish line was one of the most nerve wrecking moments of parenting. Apparently watching the clock tick pass 2:43 and no sight of Caroline about killed mom. “Well what can I say dad? I wanted to make your day interesting.”

My coach and I could not be more excited about future racing. A few things to consider; most every elite runner I’ve met raced in college; I competed in my first road race less then 2 years ago; I am 24 years old; and women tend to peak in the marathon in their mid 30’s. Basically, there’s a future in these legs and I can’t tell you how motivating the idea of finding their potential is.

So what happens next? Tomorrow I leave my Colorado utopia for Sheppard AFB, TX to start the next chapter of my life; pilot training. Leaving Colorado is unfortunate, but I’m excited to start the next challenge. Pilot training will be 13 months, and I look forward to find what the future holds, because right now possibilities seem endless. But the few things I know with certainty,

1) I only have one way of operating; go big or go home. And this mentality applies to pilot training. It’s exciting to have the chance to earn my wings and I hope to excel at Sheppard. Does success in athletics indicate an aptitude for being a pilot? Who knows….only time will tell.

2) I truly love running and want to see what I can do with it. I will continue to train as much as the demands of pilot training allow.

3) The Olympic Trials are scheduled to be held in New York City in November of 2011. Mark your calendar.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Promise, Mtn Lion Jersey & Pumpkin Consumption Tips

I PROMISE to do an injury post soon, detailing what I have learned and CONTINUE to learn as a result of two muscle strains incurred over the past 6 weeks. I haven't run trained during this time, which is frustrating, but it is what it is. I will share what I have learned on GETTING THE INJURY UNDER CONTROL by doing things, like active release therapy, trigger pointing on your own and aqua running to maintain run fitness (when it doesn't irritate the muscle strain!). Lindsey, are there things you should NOT do?   why YES!  Do NOT walk endless miles of DC streets with a backpack and whole foods paper bag crammed with heavy items (jars of nut butters, grapes, winter squash, etc.) without cash so you can't take a cab home. More on that later...

but first, 

SLOG JERSEY:  Lauren, a self-professed animal lover, sent me purchase details on the mountain lion jersey pictured below.  Roughly 25% of GTWD blog (slog) readers find this web site by searching for images of bob cats and javelinas on google.  These people don't linger here long--the avg duration of their visits are 0-1 second.  I think we can capture this audience for longer by offering mountain lion jerseys, of course with some kind of slog twist.  To appeal to the tri crowd, perhaps "slog reader" can grace the back of the jersey... or "Please don't draft me.  I'm trying to GTWD."  I am not at all surprised, but these jerseys are currently out of stock on amazon.  In the meantime, please comment below if you are interested and suggestions on how YOU would like the jersey customized.
PUMPKIN:  Pumpkin spice lattes are available at SBUX.  SLOG TIP.  Get the pumpkin spice misto, commonly known as a cafe au lait.  Compared with the latte, it is lower in cals... since it's 1/2 coffee and 1/2 milk and cheaper.  Alternatively, bum a couple sips off your visiting aunt's latte while on your morning commute to work.  No fashion tips, here.  I store my credit card/ID/costco card in a ziploc.

MORE PUMPKIN:  canned pumpkin is in season and I'm currently mixing it in EVERYTHING.  oatmeal.. cottage cheese (it just LOOKS gross)..  cranberry sauce is also a nice mix-in to give it some sweetness.  you're welcome.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yes, I did race Ironman Canada!

I have attempted to sit down and bust out this Ironman Canada race report for four weeks now, but am suffering from a huge case of writer's block. I'm currently sitting in the hospital waiting for Matt to get out (a story for another day, but yes, he is okay) and have nothing else to do besides write this thing, as Purse has abandoned gchat and left me all alone to my own devices. Despite my constant complaining about crap coverage at Kaiser, their wireless coverage is indeed second to none. Move over Palo Alto Medical Foundation!!!

Anyway, here is how I "remember" IMC:

Ahhhh....the "high desert" of Canada......beautiful venue, people, and terrain.

We arrived Thursday before the race and met up with Paulo and Khai and settled into a soon-to-be-familiar-to-lauren "chill" pattern throughout the rest of the week. I felt mentally prepared and as physically prepared as I could be, and was ready to "race" my second irondistance race and my first attempt as a pro.

We stayed in the guest house of an awesome couple near Skaha lake. Upon hearing that the AC window unit died the afternoon before the race, they took it upon themselves to purchase a new one. I eagerly set Matt to the not so small task of assembling said window unit....yet another of his unpredictable sherpa duties.

Race Day:

After I unsuccessfully attempted to shove down a bowl of rice and eggs (note to self: take Purse to all races as her egg bombers are edible), Matt drove us to transition where I sat around in the endless porta potty lines. Count down ensued and we were off...or once again....everyone was off but me. I took it out WCS hard but apparently not hard enough as the feet I found were actually slower than mine. Unfortunately, I didn't figure that out until halfway through the swim. The swim was a big disappointment for me, but I tried to put it behind me as I came out of the water and prepared for the bike.

Bike was solid for me and was another exercise in mental toughness as I attempted to follow The Plan. My typical 70.3 bike plan consists of just riding hard, but I learned at Kona that this is not a good ironman strategy. Jonny and Paulo gave me some bike course intel, but apparently my listening skills were suspect as when I thought I was at the second of the seven "bitches" (these are hills, mom) I was actually only at the top of Richter pass. I started passing people slowly throughout the course, and blocked out the bad mental moments with a few key phrases. I ended up gaining ground and passing a number of girls and was excited to face the unknown: the 26.2 mile run.

The run was what I unfortunately but realistically expected it to be. I felt as good as one can feel during an ironman for the first hour and then, as Matt would later confirm, I began to crumble and explode. I paid for my lack of run training on the first hill (dedicated blog readers will remember the foot saga). I knew I had ridden conservatively and had been relatively smart with my calorie intake, so I tried to hold out as long as possible and finish without getting delirious and yelling at loved ones. After I was passed by a girl with less than 3 minutes to go, I saw Paulo throw down an exasperated pirouette in the air, and this gave me the energy to make it to the finish line with a new PR, but not a time or place about which I was particularly proud or happy.

I definitely see this race as a building block for next year. I've learned much about the mental side of racing this year and will take all of what I learned and apply it to an INJURY FREE 2010. I have a couple more races this year and then plan to settle down and GTWD this winter, after a couple weeks of non-triathlon activities...KEEPING FINGERS CROSSED FOR AN EARLY SNOW SEASON.

Race video and lots of photos to follow when I get home tonight. This is Lauren speak for next month.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

USAT Elite Nationals - 9th

On August 22 I raced USAT Nationals in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home to the Univ of Alabama and city where you can get a turkey panini packed with green apple slices, gouda and cranberry mustard with side salad and bowl of fruit (upon presenting your USAT membership) for $3.81. SICK.

I earned ITU points for my 9th place finish seeing that nationals also served as an ITU Continental Cup. Why do I care about accruing precious points? Your points determine your ranking in the ITU points list--the more points you have, the higher your ranking. USAT, the governing body for USA triathlon, is inclined to send athletes with good results (thus, more points) to bigger races, like a World Cup. By consistently racing, placing well & s/b/r-ing faster, I have the potential to attend said races. If you get mediocre results (like ninth) and do 2 ITU races/yr (like me in 2009) you'll painstakingly move up, but it's better to race MORE and place HIGHER so progression doesn't take a LIFETIME. That's the goal here.

Background: Coach Paulo resides in neighboring TN and trekked to nationals to watch me and his other athletes race. I suspect the Chipotle presence in Tusca made the trip a SLAM DUNK.

The women athletes were introduced individually and jogged past the crowd to select a spot on the pontoon for the dive start. After brief deliberation, I placed myself between Hayley Peirsol and Margie Shapiro. I figured I'd get clean water on the Hayley side as she is her own front pack. Maybe 200 meters in I noticed packs forming on the ends of the field. Who can remember precisely what happend 2.5 wks ago, but I found myself on Jenna Shoemaker's feet who wore a conspicuous, red race suit, and thought to myself I HOPE PAULO IS WATCHING THIS (3 consecutive wks of 28k meters/wk in the pool is good for something). I came out of the water on her feet (first out was Hayley, a pack of 3, then me and Jenna) and she BLAZED through transition--I have never experienced such an intense transition before--like LIFE OR DEATH to hang with her. On that day: DEATH.

BIKE (6 loops): It was a sad affair as I was alone and did not hang with the 3 women who passed me in the early laps (being dropped/passed by all on the HILL). watts/kg. blast it. Paulo knew what was going on in my head (as he has received colorful post-race texts from me) and reminded me to FOCUS & STAY IN THE RACE. Me: yea, he has a point, stay with it. At the half-way mark, it was clear I was no catching the front pack (who had likely settled down the pace now that they were a bigger group of 8ish--boo), I slowed down, per Paulo's suggestion, to complete the ride with the pack behind me. Instead of dropping off completely in my slow-down-and-join effort, I made sure I got up that G-D hill on lap 4 and we merged around the top of the hill. Our group of 6 'pacelined' like a carousel the remaining 2.5 laps and we found our way...

OUT ON THE RUN. The motor home in background indicates I am in fact in BAMA:

The run included 4 loops, passing a total of 8 aid stations stocked with COLD gatorade and water BOTTLES--great race support. I ran most of loop 1 with Amanda Hahn (effort level quite high) but I fell off our pace and slogged through the rest solo. The best I could have placed was 8th since the front pack started the run WAY in front of us (and I have not yet approached a 30 min 10k time). Paulo kept me honest with encouragement throughout and I crossed the line in 9th--it was a different to race with him on the sidelines. Reality is he won't be at every race, so I must keep myself in check from start to finish.

I have lots to take away, namely s/b/r faster, but ALSO, I over-indulged Saturday night with EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF FOOD--too much for MY stomach to handle. The following week I felt nauseaus after EVERY meal eaten. To my dismay, I found little compassion as everyone just told me to not eat so much all the time.

My dad sent me this lovely basket of flowers the following Tuesday as congrats/bday tidings since I turned a landmark 25 on race-day, celebrating by paying adult prices on my rental vehicle.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bike Safety (elite nationals race report on the way)

My race report on elite nationals which took place in Tuscaloosa, AL over the wkd is ON THE WAY. CHILL OUT.

I'm following my typical post-race schedule which involves a few light days with a Costco trip thrown in the mix due to the extra LJ time. SNOW (owner/driver of SNOWTAXI--contact me if you're in the DC area and interested in a SNOWTOUR) and I are coordinating logistics for tonight's costco trip, or 'slutco' as some of you would correctly assume we call it. Tentatively, from work I will bike to Hains Point w/ backpack (loaded with empty tupperwear, work clothes, this morning's swim stuff and blank checks for Costco purchases) to meet Snow (ON TIME) who will pick up said bag, and meet me at Costco roughly 1:40 later. I will SOMEHOW navigate a labyrinth of new-to-me pedestrian paths in Northern Virginia and hopefully arrive at COSTCO where I will meet SNOW (ON TIME).

SNOW prompts a Lindsey/Lauren tirade on bike safety after suggesting we "lock down LJ bike before entering Slutco" on SNOWTAXI roof.

Lindsey: Would you leave your cervelo on a roof rack? with your race wheels on*?
Lauren: hell freaking NO
Lindsey: exactly
that's the response I was looking for
Lauren: race wheels - 1800
cervelo - 4000
srm stuff - 1500
Lauren: YESSSS
Lindsey: even if the frame is locked down, the rear wheel with PowerTap is NOT
Lauren: yeah those can just be stripped off the bike quickly if peeps know what they are
looking for!
Lindsey: lollllll THAT'S what people are looking for in slutco parking lot
Lauren: hahahah. i know
peeps don't know the difference between a huffy and a TREK TTX at costco
Lindsey: or that the bike sitting atop SNOWTAXI is worth twice as much as the car
Lauren: LOL
Lindsey: hell, I am preventing SNOW from car theft
Lauren: YES...an expensive bike is a GREAT car alarm... it encourages only BIKE theft..as in they take the bike but not the car. only good for cheap cars though, if we are talking porsche carrera with P3 on top with powertap wheel, they'd take the whole shebang
Lauren: bonus bike. haha

LESSON: don't leave bike 'securely locked' to the top of the car while Costco shopping--stick it in the trunk. Only AFTER Costco purchases are made can the bike be stored on the roof rack for the trip home as there will be NO SPACE in trunk for the bike. You just went to freakin COSTCO.

*my powertap is in my race wheel so for TRAINING purposes I MUST train on the rear race wheel

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back to Nature: Mountain Lion Therapy

Lately I've been doing the majority of my running around a dirt track across the street from my house, as my foot had decided once again not to cooperate with my mind. This is more boring than watching Formula One or the painting channel. But, not to be deterred from the end game, I view this track running as mental prep for Ironman Canada. Clearly, if I can run around this track a trillion times, passing the same people over and over and over again (to the point of knowing the growth patterns of the hair on the back of their heads), then I can run longer with great scenery to keep me company.

Monday, though, I had had enough. I broke up with the track. Bay Area temps had SOARED into the 90s (THE HORROR) and the previous day's bike ride had left me dead tired and crabby. I needed diversion...new scenery….something to take my mind off my blasted foot. I decided to go BACK TO NATURE. I put aside all my fears of foot injuries on uneven terrain and pointed my car in the direction of Rancho San Antonio Park, my old favorite place to run until last fall when I saw THE Mountain Lion.

Mountain Lion - big, scary, LION looking creature.

Bobcat - overgrown house cat.... NOTE THE DIFFERENCE.

Note to slog readers: This mountain lion sighting is a sore point between me and my husband. I came across this creature hiding behind some rocks examining dinner (deer) while I was running at dusk. I KNOW the difference between a bobcat and mtn lion as I am adept at using google images, have multiple degrees in relevant fields (i.e. poly sci and int'l relations), and spend lots of time surfing the web for inane factoids. My husband, however, seems to think that if this truly was a mtn lion sighting, I would not be here to write this post and complain about phantom injuries.

Anyway, this “back to nature” run ended up having a great effect on my mind and body. Despite the horrific uneven terrain (these are fire roads people, but uneven for me) I had no pain. After a few minutes of shuffling at a really slow pace I got into a rhythm and dropped back to normal pace. Perhaps the pain went away because I was so focused on all the random noises and bush movements that clearly indicated a rattlesnake or mtn lion was prowling about stalking me. WHO KNOWS and WHO CARES. I’m cool with running in fear of mtn lions as I now realize this REAL and clearly rational fear will take my mind off the irrational fear of pain and injury.

If I posted this info on a highly-trafficked website, I’d probably get flamed by all the medical people. However, we are talking about “the slog” here, so for anyone interested, I’ve been reading some work by Dr. John Sarno about the mind-body connection and pain – pretty interesting. I first read about him last year when I found myself lying flat on the ground icing my spine with a frozen chicken breast only days before my wedding. I won’t attempt a book report, but will just say that I have found his work quite helpful. Feel free to hate on the guy if you want!

Anyway, I’m done with the track and am enjoying living in the rational fear of a Mountain Lion attack now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Transit & Tribute

My camera is prone to saying 'change batteries' on most occasions when documenting my exciting endeavors, such as the Eat a Peach Challenge Bike ride I did "with friends" on Saturday. The guys I rode with dropped me a few miles into the 68 mile journey--they opted for the 100 mile ride! Ryan sold me on the affair:

"Are you going to do that Peach Ride on Sat? Sounds right up your alley. They have a farmers market at the finish."

On rare occasions I carry with me a camera with fully charged batteries and HAVE PROOF of, something... oddly enough the following pictures were sent to me via email so it looks like they were not taken on my camera?

So how does a girl without a car get to early morning races without metro accessibility??? Let's consider the Pike's Peek 10k I ran earlier in the year. This is your standard podunk race in suburban MD where Olympians show-up and a 37 something places you in the double digits among the women.

Here I am hailing the SNOWTAXI driven by SNOW, famed author of the stupid blog.

LJ: Snow, can you take me _______?

SNOW: NO! What? Yes.

I'm getting in the gov't contract engineer's "dependable but staid (aka 'bulletproof') Camry that has served SNOW so well for 180,000 miles."
LJ offers SNOW coffee in roomie's SNOWMUG.
I'm hastily compiling and burning PP10k mix CD. Note, this picture was taken before my July trip to California as the Timex Ipod watch is worn on my left wrist. One of LAHP's dogs took a liking to the watch and BURIED IT for safe-keeping in the Harrison-Pataky backyard. I stand by that story no matter what LAHP says...
Here comes the KLIMSLOG portion. At the race, SNOW and I spot the man known as the RED FOX. Jake Klim is the beloved captain/leader/viceroy of the Georgetown Running Company Racing Team.
Here we are, closer. Nice jacket, Klim - guess it only comes in men's sizes.
GRC is very generous is supplying me with running shoes of my choice. When I first joined the team in December, they were short-handed on singlets. Klim had me wear this monstrosity for my first race: the men's white singlet, size extra short. FUN FACT: This picture appeared in the Washington Running Report article covering the Jingle Bell All the Way 10k between the photo of Mayor Fenty and the pic of the woman running in a hot pink Mrs. Claus costume.

...it's also my mini-tribute to the bubble-popping small hands woman from the SNL skit
I'll end on a stupid note--a screenshot of SNOW's work inbox. Yep, that's just stupid.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Slog Hero

Kelly Jaske--a 3:03 marathoner in 2006 runs a 1:12 Half marathon, today

Kelly Jaske: You can make time for what matters.


Scintillating and inspiring interview here: http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=15469

AFTER reading her interview, get back to work or GO TO BED

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rookie Pro Season Take Two: Lauren's First "RACE" Report.

Last weekend Purse and I raced the Vineman 70.3. She'll report later on her end, but from my perspective, I am happy to report that I survived the race, foot intact, and more importantly, LEARNED WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO ACTUALLY RACE!

I love the Vineman course..the bike course, that is. In years past, Matt has watched me repeatedly self-destruct on the hot and hilly run course so I wasn't so psyched about that...and I'm not one to rave about swim courses.

I was a bit worried going into this race as I'm still recovering from my foot issues and haven't done mad amounts of running. Both the god of all podiatrists in the Bay Area and Paulo gave me the go ahead, so I trusted that if Paulo said I could race, that I'd be trained enough to not die out there on the course.

For those dedicated blog readers, you'll know that I haven't nailed the whole mental thing yet, so I decided to use this race as an opportunity to work on mental stuff...such as staying positive and "in the moment" rather than exhuding my typical negativity.

Anyway, the gun went off, the fast swimmers went off, and apparently I did not go off, as after 200 yds of swimming I Iooked up to see a speck of dust on the water which was the first two packs. I did manage to stick with a pack of girls for most of the swim and got out of the water in a time significantly faster than my wetsuit swim time from my previous Vineman attempts. This is progress.

Leading (the third pack) out of the water.

The bike was a good time. I kept a girl I know to be a killer strong cyclist in sight for awhile until she dropped me on a downhill. (Who gets dropped on a downhill?). After surviving an exploding vanilla powergel episode, I focused on keeping up with my nutrition. Amazing what calories can do for you in a race. Around mile 30 I started passing people and this is where the fun began. For the first time in my triathlon career I was RACING. I wasn't just slogging along the course hoping not to embarass myself. I was focused on executing my strategy of riding hard.

TEAM PATAKY in action...matt practicing not being chill.

I came off the bike in 7th-ish place and prepared for the sufferfest that is the Vineman run. I took Paulo's pre-race advice to heart and just tried to focus on performing my best at each moment and each mile. I forgot about all of my issues and pushed it and tried to stay in the race. Unfortunately, I was passed by 2 girls around mile 9ish and then another 2 girls with less than a mile to go, but I did what I could with what I had on that day and am happy with the results. I finished in around 4:35 and change and had a faster run split here with heat, hills, and minimal training, than I did at Oceanside, with perfect conditions and lots of training. MORE progress.

I really don't know what to say about my form here.

RACING as opposed to "participating in a race" is a good feeling and I plan to use the motivation I got from RACING last weekend to fuel the big IMC training block that looms.

PS: I want to thank my nutrition sponsor, Lindsey Jerdonek, for providing me home cooked meals the entire week prior to Vineman, as well as race day. She went so far as to purchase a mobile GRIDDLE for our race day breakfast, which she promptly installed at 3:30 AM in the bathroom of the Holiday Inn Express Windsor.

The famous bathroom griddle.

Post race "shock therapy" with Purse and Tracy. They promised the shock therapy would prevent soreness. Why am I still sore on WEDNESDAY?

Ronin did not get Paulo's memo declaring July 18th a "chill day."

Lindsey's post-race "nest" in the back of our car.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

San Francisco Triathlon ITU Pan American Cup

I raced my first draft-legal ITU event on Saturday and finished second--hooray!  I earned some cash and ITU points... catapulting me from "not ranked" to 199 in the ITU points list.  With the gazillion-loop race format and drafting on the bike, it was quite different than a non-drafting event.  You MUST be focused and in the race at all times so you don't lose the swim pack or bike pack...  In a congratulatory email from my mother she acknowledged Paulo's coaching efforts:

"He has worked a long time and finally earned a few bucks.  I bet he is down on his knees thanking God for a payoff to come his way."  I don't know what she's getting at, but yes, it is nice to get a good result.  This is a sign that THE TIDES HAVE TURNED and I'm looking forward to getting out there on Sunday at Vineman 70.3.

The 1500m swim included 2 loops in the SF bay--9 women started - small compared to the 30 or so in the men's race... my ITU guru, Dave Kuendig (also raced and stayed at LAHP's house), said it's typical for the size of the men's fields to dwarf the women's.  We had an in-water start and tapping into my sprint speed, I took it out too hard and kind of died exiting with the second pack.  I biked the first 1.5 laps (of 6) on my own, then worked with Chris Tommerdahl the rest of the race... I exited T2 in fourth and ran my way into second.  Feel free to email me if you want more detail (I'm tired and going to bed).

Working with Chris on the bike--Golden Gate bridge in background... platinum Trek + white Timex + white accented race suit = functional and stylish
My bike and Dave's jammed into the Jeep
SPECIAL THANKS TO LAUREN for announcing splits.  For the 2+ hours of racing, she walked in her husband's shoes, supporting my race efforts whilst suffering blows to her ego.  After struggling to hear Lauren's nearly-inaudible splits on the first few laps, I cocked my head to the side and cupped a hand to my ear like an old man to hear her as I passed.  I told her after she should have pretended she was yelling at Matt.

Lauren picking me up at the airport in her part-time pro uniform, "business cas"CHAMPAGNE?!?  no... sparkling cider.  Did the trick as I could finally supply a drug-testing sample after the awards ceremony.  And yessss that is gold and silver medalist Simon Whitfield in first whose presence motivated me to GET ON THE PODIUM TO STAND WITH SIMON 
MORE PODIUM: Andrew McCartney (men's runner-up) starts the sparkling-cider wave:

Tri-Cal race coverage: