Monday, January 21, 2019


I've been thinking a lot about GRIT lately. For a year really. A fellow triathlon teammate commented on a photo of mine in early spring. He said to embrace the suck. He is a badass and rides in conditions of all kinds. I will run in anything. Riding on the other had; I suppose I am a bit of a wimp. But I embrace the suck a lot. I have a lot of grit simply because I am a womyn. Because I am a female athlete. I've been thinking about just that. The things that female athletes have to go through that our male counterparts do not. I've been debating sharing this story, cause....well cause it's graphic. But ya know what; it's part of being a womyn and I am tired of hiding it. Womyn menstruate every month. Get over it. It's part of being a badass womyn. And yea it does make us stronger every damn month. So here it goes.

Last spring I headed out on a long run like I do every week. It was a two hour run if I remember correctly. I had started my period, but I still ran. It's what we do. The run was to be my commute to work that day. It's a lovely way to start the day. I felt fantastic. At some point I needed to stop to pee. So I found a spot in the woods. It was at this point that I discovered that I'd bleed through my tampon and all over my orange shorts. Not just a little. A LOT. At this point I had a decision to make: walk into work with blood all over my shorts OR take off my shorts and wash them and my legs in cold stream water. I choose option number two. It was embarrassing but it build grit. It helped build the critical "ah crap something unexpected is happening during a workout and I need a solution now". It's not a big deal really. But stripping down in the woods during a commute time can put a womyn in a compromising situation. 'Cause that was also something I was thinking about. What if someone stumbles upon me. What if a school bus drives by or anyone really. On a monthly basis I my workouts are slightly less optimal because I've just finished my cycle and am slightly anemic. Not because I'm not busting my ass every day, not because I didn't eat right or sleep well. But because I bleed monthly and am always slightly anemic. Sometimes more than others.

And that is why it rubbed me the wrong way when my teammate told me to embrace the suck. Sure I can embrace the cold on the bike a little more. But I embrace the suck monthly in a way men will never understand.

It's the middle of the winter here in New England. This past weekend I had to do a three way split for my long run because of the blizzard and because of other life stuff. I build GRIT on Saturday. I'll use it when things get hard: on and off the race course. That's what we do when we're endurance athletes and we have other commitments. We find a way to make it work. By doing that it's easier to find a way to make other life stuff work when it's not so easy.

I'm on week half way thru my Boston Marathon training. A mere 13 weeks left. I can pretty easily run 13 miles and am sure I could do 15 if need be. I am feeling good. Building grit every day. Becoming more of a badass.

Monday, September 3, 2018

The great Keto experiment

Ironman season is done. Time to do some obstacle racing with my family, running races, and hiking. With each triathlon season I try to take away things that I need to work on. To get stronger, faster, and able to endure more. IMCA brought out more badassery than I knew I had. I knew I was a badass. But I rose two more levels with that race. I challenged my ability to endure and surpassed it. I can get stronger on hills. I can get faster. I will work on my bike strength in the off season and into next season. I need to get better at swim starts. I freak out and lose time. I need more swim starts to improve on that....maybe independent swim races in 2019?? My run is solid. My run performance was indicative of the heat not my abilities. My strong run is what allowed me to finish! But I can always get stronger!

One big thing that has been lacking is my nutrition. It's gotten better since using Generation UCAN and Clif Shots; and then this year Tailwind and Huma gels. But I've still felt like I haven't had enough in the tank. Not the "I'm not fit enough" but the "I don't have enough gas" feeling. What I was doing this year was OK, but it could be better. Amy and a few other friends have been doing Keto for a while now and had very good success with it. I made a promise that I would at least try it after Ironman.

One week after Ironman, after I had my chance to eat all of the things I started dabbling. Trying to eat low carb, high fat, moderate protein. I felt sluggish day to day and even sluggier on short runs. Was that the keto OR simply recovery? I dabbled for a few weeks and this week I committed. If I am going to become fat adapted now is the time to do it. I'm training, but nothing TOO intense. I am going to blog about it weekly so that I can look back and really decide after 8 weeks if this is helping me. Do I feel better day to day? Do I have more energy in the real world and in workouts? How do I feel on long runs (no long rides right now)? Does that belly fat finally go away 100%? Is all of the GI distress gone? Is the bloating gone?

Week one: 50 g Carbs, 99 grams of fat, and 67 grams of protein. No grains, no veggies from the ground (this makes me a little sad), and no sugar.

The first few days of for real trying I could only get my carbs to 77 grams. My gawd I must of been eating a ridiculous amount of carbs. The last few days I've really upped my fat and my carbs have stayed low. I've had a steady level of energy despite being active with chores and workouts. I haven't had as many super hungry moments as is normal day to day for me.

I did a 9 mile run on Sunday having a bar with 31 g of carbs and coffee before hand. I had a high fat meal the night before. I felt great on my run. No bonking and pretty steady energy level. Today (Monday) I did a 3.3 mile hike at a fast hike-run pace in high 80's temp. Good energy through-out and the rest of the day.

I'd call week one a success. I LOVE Bullet Proof coffee. Eating high fat goes against everything I was ever taught and makes the old overweight Kristi twitchy, but there is some good science behind is being a good thing. I miss potatoes. It is worth continuing.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Ironman Canada Whistler

This 2018 Ironman journey was one of the best yet. Not because I've been smashing PRs or winning. But because I am having fun. I've continued where 2016 and 2017 left off. I am enjoying the journey and all of the people I meet on that journey. I am also totally fine being a little slower than I have been in years past. This is where I am at this year. End of story. As a result, I have not dreaded one long run, long swim, or long ride. Sure there were a few times that I was tired, but as soon as I started moving I was excited to be training and playing triathlon.

As soon as we left Vancouver Airport we were greeted with spectacular mountains! Enormous mountains at the edge of the ocean and in the distance as far as one could see. I've not seen much of the West Coast or mid West for that matter and I am in awe of the beauty of the Whistler-Vancouver area. I am fairly certain that my mouth was gaped open for the first 8 hours that we were there.

Ironman teaches us how to adjust in life and in races. The Whistler Ironman Canada had several hiccups. Number One: No pedals. As Carole and I went to pick up our bikes from Tri Transport I discovered that I didn't have my pedals! WHAT!!! Now that I am home I've discovered that they must have been taken out of my bag somewhere along the journey. No idea why or when. They're not home and they were not in my bag. The important thing is that I could either buy a new pair OR borrow them. Carole took a chance and asked Tri Bike Transport if they had any I could rent or borrow. They DID!! Pedals put on bike. All is good. Minor freak out and crisis averted. We went for a little shake out run and I went for a little solo shake out ride.

Saturday was bike and gear bag drop off. This went very smoothly. And then I did a little shake out swim in Alta Lake. The lake was the absolute perfect temp, 69 degrees, and clear. It is surrounded by, yup you guessed it, stunning mountains with glacial ice and snow. The rest of the day I did my best to relax and do some dynamic stretching and foam rolling. And eat and hydrate.

I never got nervous for this race until the morning of. Carole and I trudged over to T2 to hop get body marked and take the shuttle bus at the wonderful hour of 4:30 am. BONUS: I've gotten up at 4 am nearly every week day (and some weekends) for months. I felt pretty good that morning. Some butterflies but super excited to play. As we drove into T1 the nerves got a tiny bit out of control, but then I remembered why I'm here. How lucky I am to do triathlon. At this moment in time I am healthy enough to put my body through a ridiculous amount of training and stress. Races are scary and shit can go wrong. But shit can go wrong walking across the street. I am not going to win. So there's no pressure. It was a fully supported long day in the hot sun with 1900 (plus the 70.3 athletes) friends. A sly smile crept over my whole body as I stood in line ready to jump in the lake. I was surrounded by beauty and a bunch of crazy driven people.

The race was self seated slow pile into the water. We were all in by 6:30. I think I entered the water about 6:15 am, about 55 degree air temp. Calm cool and collected. Until my face hit the water. Heart rate accelerated and my usual freak out moment happened. But I did a few breast stokes followed by free until I calmed down. By the time I crossed the second site buoy I was in the zone and swimming in a fairly tight line. I felt great! I tried very hard to draft, but couldn't find someone at the right speed. I need to work on swim drafting. Definitely a goal for next season. Nearly every breath revealed a gorgeous view. The swim course was two laps and then into the beach.

Amy was volunteering as a wetsuit stripper! She didn't take my wetsuit off, but I got to see and squeeze her in T1. It bumped my already good mood. One leg done. By this time it was starting to get warm, but still pleasant. I moved fairly quickly through transition and hopped on my bike. I felt absolutely fantastic on the first leg and 3/4 of the bike. I was thinking "I'm good at climbing, all that work really paid off, o hey look I'm on target for a 6 hr bike split, this is a tough course but doable!" And then the sun rose and was beating down on us and the road, and oooo my GAWD it was hot. I've ridden in some hot humid weather this year, but this was far worse. There was little to no shade on the bike course. Fortunately there were some very long fast descents to cool us down a bit.

The aid stations on the bike and the run were phenomenal. Each time I rolled into one the volunteers were right there to fill my bottle, put ice down my back, squirt me with cold water, put sunscreen on, or hold my bike while I used the port-a-potty. I was in very good spirits on the bike until the last 1/2 of the last lap. I was so hot that my arms were dripping with sweat and it felt like I had a hot pack on my back. Water was warm and even hot very quickly. I was starting to get nauseous. I stopped caring about a time goal (not that I had a huge one anyway). I stopped at every aid station and filled my bottles with ice cold water. I stuffed ice in all the places to cool my core. I stopped at the bottom of one hill because I needed to. Because it seemed too much to conquer. I stopped at a turn around because I felt like stopping. Each time I kept going. I kept going because I don't give up. Because I could still pedal and I may not be able to tomorrow. I thought about all my friends and family who helped me get to the start line on Sunday. I thought about all the kids I treat who never had the opportunity to play triathlon. I thought of Amy who supports me 2000% even tho I am a pain in the ass because she knows triathlon makes me tick. I kept going and made it to T2.

Part of me hoped they'd cancelled the run cause it was so damn hot. The other 99% of me didn't because I came all the way to Whistler to a damn Ironman, not skip a marathon. So I did what I'm supposed to. I cried a little walking into the changing tent. I slowly put on my run gear. My stomach churned. I started running out of T2, stumbling, dizzy, and nauseous. I walked. I tried running. I got to the first aid station and drank some Pepsi. Within 60 seconds I threw up. I sat on a stump and again, for what seemed like an hour, thought about giving up. Then I stood up. I had 7 hours to complete a marathon. I could walk it if I had to. It was at that moment that I decided I was going to finish. Even if I had to give the officials my chip and bib. I was walking across the line.

I met some fantastic people in that 26.2 miles. We small talked. We laughed at the heat. Strangers cheered for me like I was a rock star. I kept taking in small amounts of Pepsi, water, and chips. Slowly I felt better. I could run from one telephone pole to the other. Then two, then three. Then for a quarter of a mile. Eventually I was able to run for almost a mile before walking. My legs felt pretty damn good but by the time I reached mile 6 or so on the run I was so behind on nutrition that I was weak. But I kept going. Sometimes I ran for longer than I thought that I could.

When I came through town heading into my second loop I found a new wind. I started picking up the pace when I ran. I knew at this point that I'd finish legitimately. Only problem was I left my timing chip in T2. I realized this fairly early on and did notify officials. I'm still waiting to see if my official time will change from a DNF to a finish time. I saw Carole and Kristof each twice on the run. Both KILLING it and looking strong!

When it got dark, for me a bit past the final turn around with roughly 6 miles to go that it became magical. We all had lights and glow somethings on us. There were lanterns every bit for sighting, but you couldn't see much. Far ahead you'd see bobbling heads and tiny lights. Suddenly a fellow runner would appear and we'd cheer for each other. Suddenly there'd be cheers in the near distant and spectators were cheering for you. I kept smiling and shouting "Best Day Ever". Best Day Ever not because it was a PR, but because I pushed so far past the limits I thought I had so many times. I reassessed and found a new plan more times than I ever h
ad. I climbed more feet in hotter weather than I've ever done.

When I ran through town at my final turn onto the path my arms spread out to my sides and if I'd not been so dehydrated I would have cried. A mere mile from the finish, if that. They loop-de-looped us through town. At one point myself another racer thought we were there. We reached out for each others hands and both said I'm going to cry. It was a tease, just a few more turns-damn Ironman. And there it was. Ironman finishers shoot. Still lined with spectators. Families. Friends. Maybe locals. Cheering. I flew down the shoot, taking in every last high five. I crossed the line and stumbled into someones arms. That someone was my badass, gorgeous, kind, supportive rock star of a girlfriend. She'd been there since 2 pm at the finish line. Volunteering since 6:30 at T1. This Ironman was special for so many reasons. And that was one of them.

Ironman number three is in the books. There will be more. But for now I'm still on cloud 9.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

First ever 40 day running streak

Inspired by several friends and triathlon acquaintances I decided to embark upon a running streak in January. My body was feeling good in late fall-early winter. I am feeling the way I did heading into 2011 and Vineman 140.6. My body is responding to the stresses I am putting it through, getting stronger, faster, and building endurance. So what the hell....I jumped into it.

I ran at least a mile every day from Dec 25 through February 1. I did miss one day because I strained something in my back (lats...parapspinals...both) while putting up metal roofing. This is the longest running streak ever for me. Prior to this I don't think that I ran more than 3 or 4 days in a row. By the time I ended my streak I was ready to be done! I ran in rain, snow, blizzards, several below zero days, wind chills in the -20 range, mostly dark, with my puppy, with friends, and by my lonesome. I learned that I can run 40 days in a row. I learned that even on days when I didn't think that I could run; I did and I did it well! When you run in wind chill -22 degrees; 10 degrees doesn't feel so cold and 32 degrees feels warm! I haven't ran since Feb 1 so I will be very interested to see what happens when I get out there next week! I am looking forward to lacing up my Newton's and playing on the road!

Willow and I have started running together! We're up to 1.5 miles at a pretty decent pace! I have to hold him back a bit. He's a bit too young to run fast and long distance. This week we'll start to do a long run-walk interval style. It's a whole different experience running with a dog. He's good company and will likely keep me at a decent pace.

For the past nine days I've been doing the Tour of Sufflandria with the online biking app, Sufflandria. I have LOVED it! It was tough riding several days in a row. Today I rode for 2 1/2 hours. I did cut today short, three hours felt a bit too much of a stretch (I probably could have done it!). I also skipped yesterday, too many commitments. I plan to do Day 8 at some point this week. But riding seven days in a row, taking a day off, and then doing a long ride definitely ramped up by bike fitness VERY fast. According to my speed sensor I am riding at a steady pace averaging around 16 or 17 mph. If I start outdoor riding at that pace I'd be very happy. I hope to be around 18-19 this year. Only time will tell....

Now I jump into Endurance Nation Run Durability Out Season plan for the next several weeks. If the past six weeks are any indication; this is going to be a kick ass season. I am going to need bike endurance, climbing endurance, run endurance, and a whole lot of badassness to finish Ironman Canada! I feel it rising in me. And that my friends is a good sign.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Patriot 70.3 Take Two. BEST DAY EVER. EDIT: whoops its now September.

Yesterday I completed by ninth 70.3 triathlon. It is by far one of my favorite distances to race and train for. The training doesn't completely suck up your entire life, but it is challenging and really tests endurance and will. This year I took my friend Carole's advice and joined Wheelworks Multisport team. I've also been training with Squanacook River Runners and Masters in Groton. I've realized that one of the reasons that I fell out of love with triathlon was that I was lacking community. When I'm racing and training with friends or simple teammates I feel a sense of belonging that I have never felt in any other group. Triathlon is a solo sport and can get very very lonely if all of your training is done alone. Long bike rides and cold winter runs are far more enjoyable when you've got a gaggle of fellow crazies with you. In addition to my local teams I have the honor of being a member of Ambassador team again this year and am being coached by Endurance Nation. Both of these teams add virtual support.
I stayed over night this year about 20 min from the race with Mare and Petra. This was so fantastic as it allowed me to register on Friday and get up at 4:30 versus leave at 4:30. An extra 45 minutes of sleep is key the night before a race. I was feeling pretty excited and ready for the race a week prior. I was not at all nervous until the morning of the race. I knew that I could finish, it was just a matter of how fast. And, like I've been saying, I found the love again. The day was about pushing myself to my limits (and a bit beyond), but also taking it all in, being thankful that I could do this sport, and thankful for my community; triathlon and non.

The pre-race nerves hit me as soon as my feet hit the ground. But my years of racing experience with new found wisdom allowed me to stay grounded and really enjoy the moment with my new found teammates. We arrived separately at the race and began our race prep. My head was in the game and a huge smile crept over my face. I was thinking about all the cold dark mornings over the winter and into the spring. It was raining, but I was SO happy to be racing! As soon as I walked into registration I saw a familiar face. This happened over and over again that day. It occurred to me how many people I know in the NE triathlon community. It had been two years since I'd done a race in MA and it felt like a coming home. I've simplified my transition and prep so was ready to go after about 15 minutes. Now to stuff some food into my nervous belly.

Before I knew it it was time to race. We all lined up in a big mass in front of Long Pond. With a big bang we were all off two by two into the water. Some for a prize. Some to prove a point. Some for fun. Some because that's just what you do on a weekend day in the summer. Me? Because I love it. I love waking up stupid o clock in January to schelp into a cold dark pool, hop on a trainer, or throw myself into the cold dark morning. I love how amazing and proud I feel after those workouts. I love the look on my coworkers faces when I tell them that I've run 13 miles before work or 3 killer miles before a big ass snow storm. I love finding just a little more of me to give. I love finding my zen in the middle of a long run or ride.

The water was a bit choppy from the beginning, but I quickly fell into a rhythm. Unfortunately I was at the back of the pack and had to fight my way thru a lot of swimmers. I was pretty pleased with my swim, but still can't break 40 minutes in a 1.2 mile swim. I swam until my belly scapped the bottom, hopped up and ran the wetsuit strippers. BEST THING EVER.

9/11/17 THIS WAS THE LAST LINE I entered a few months ago. What can I say; it was a busy summer. I trained for Cranberry Sprint and Oly. Raced. Kicked some decent ass. Had fun and smiled.

I did not PR in 2017. What I did do was continue having fun racing and training. Which is why us mere mortals do it. I don't get paid to get up at 4 am on a work day to run 2 hours before I walk the dog and work. I do it because of what I get out of it.

I improved my run and swim. I am stronger on both. I got into zones on all my race swims and runs this season. I did have a decently fast 5k during Cranberry Sprint. I ran ran continuously during Patriot. Something I've not ever done during a half. I was steady and strong. Two weeks ago I was feeling strong and at a good place to put a tack in the season.

And then I got sick. I've been unable to work out for about 10 days. I made the hard decision to drop out of the 13.1 I signed up for. I've missed two long runs and feel very deconditioned from being sick. It's insane how quickly it happens. I maybe able to pull it off but at what expense. I'm doing a 140.6 next year and I need to enter 2018 in a good place. I've learned over the years whe to say when. A quitter I am not. A smart athlete I am.

Here's to a great 2017 season and an even better 2018. Every day that I get to train and race is the BEST DAY EVER.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 Racing Season is on !

I am three weeks into my official training season. This years racing schedule: Patriot 70.3, Cranberry Oly, and Cranberry sprint.I may also do a fun century with Charles River Wheelman. I am feeling good and am excited about this season.

I have joined Endurance Nation for the second year. I was pleased with my progress and there coaching last year for Cedar Point. This year I joined as a member instead of a flat plan. It is nice having feedback from the coaches and encouragement from other members. Locally I plan to rejoin Northeast Multisport and join Wheelworks tri club. I am also a member of Squannacook River Runners and a masters team in Groton. I am also a sponsored athlete thru Team Trisports. I have a lot of club affiliation this year! It is an honor to race and train with so many great athletes!

I am working on the outseason plan with EN right now. It focuses on run and bike endurance and a bit of speed. I am really liking the plan so far. It does not have any planned swim, though it is optional, until about week 10. Instead it has two swim focused strength and core strengthening sessions. I am having lots of fun and am already seeing results. After taking about three weeks off of running longer than 4 miles I ramped up to 17 run mile weeks without any issue. WOOT!


Finish Patriot faster than in 2011. Hoping to podium!
Podium Cranberry-I'll be happy with either one but ELATED if I podium with both.
Finish the season healthy and faster than I did in 2016.

Here's to a great season!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Rev3 Cedar Point 70.3

It's a wrap!!! I've completed my eighth 70.3 ! It has been a long year of triathlon and health ups and downs. I had enormous hopes for my 2016 racing season. On paper things looked perfect. But stuff happened. Life happened. On the way to Ohio I sorta started writing this blog post in my head. I planned to outline the various ways that 2016 set me up to not have a good race. Excuses why I was unable to do the full and bumped down to the half. But then something clicked in me when we pulled up to the race site on Saturday morning. Something amazing, something that hasn't happened for several years. But...I'm jumping ahead.

Amy, Cort, and I piled in to my jam packed Toyota Yaris hatchback and left Ayer, MA around 11:30 on Friday morning. By the grace of all the gods and goddesses of road tripping we made it to the Comfort Inn in Sandusky, Ohio at 12:30 am on Saturday morning. And we were all still speaking to each other, laughing (mostly), and loved each other still. It was actually a beautiful road trip and fun.

There was a sprint and a kids race on Saturday morning so we arrived at Cedar Point Park around noon on that Saturday to register and drop off all my gear. Turns out that due to impending storms bikes and gear were not to be dropped off that day, but in the morning. I was a little grumpy and nervous when we drove over to the park, but as soon as we pulled up and I saw the roller coasters and Rev3 signs I got excited. Really excited! I had trained so hard all year long. Dealt with some silly illnesses and injuries, that were just big enough to put dents in my training. But I was there! I was there walking on two legs, with two arms, a good head on my strong shoulders, money in my pocket, a girl on my arms, and a good kid in tow. I am a lucky womyn and have been given the privelage of racing and training. Year after year.

My beautiful partner, Amy, and Cort always volunteer for my races. Even though I did't have to be at the race site until about 7 am, they needed to be there at 6. So a 5:20 wake up time it was for all of us. Thank you Starbucks for being open! I had more than enough time to set up my bike and transition area before the race. I was nervous, but more excited than anything else. The last three races I have been filled with more dread than excitement on race morning. I had forgotten what it felt like to love to race long distance triathlon.

The swim was switched from Lake Erie proper to the bay due to high winds. HOLY crap Lake Erie is HUGE! I've seen Lake Michigan once or twice, but not since I was a kid. I felt like I was looking at the ocean when I looked at this lake! WOWZA! This meant that there was an 800 m run from the swim to transition. The course looked pretty simple on paper and from shore. What I did not realize was that there was a right hand turn for an out and back. For the first time in my tri career I got wicked off course during a swim. And it was a bit foggy on the water due to warm water and cool air. My swim time was pretty slow, BUT I felt strong throughout and swam an extra yards. With the exception of swimming off course I sighted like a pro! I popped out of the water, got my sneakers on and jogged over.

It was a quick T1 onto the bike and off I went. It was a bit windy, but not terrible! When I first got on the bike I could feel water sloshing around in my stomach. The water was a bit choppy and I think I swallowed a ton of water. The first four or so miles was on this gorgeous road along the lake. One one side gorgeous homes and on the other side an span of beautiful water with only the sky on the horizon. Around mile fifteen I was averaging close to 19 mph!! This was not what I had been training at, at all. BUT I was feeling fantastic. I said fuck it and decided to see what I could do. The course was a mix of gorgeous farm land, cute communities, and lake coastline. It was nice flat terrain mixed with fast ups and downs. There were so many people along the course cheering us on. Due to the wind, I was unable to get down into my aeros as much as I would have liked so my back was a little achy by the end. BUT I averaged just over 18 mph! WOOT! And I was smiling most of the time. AND I chicked about 18 guys on the ride. Never under estimate a short girl with a lotta gusto! I hoped off my bike in T2, sneakers on, port o john visited and off I went.

As soon as I started to run I knew that I had pushed it a little to hard on the bike. But I was still having fun. And that is the most important thing. The run was a mostly flat course with two little blurbs at mile 2 and again at mile 11. We ran down the Cedar Point causeway, through cute neighborhoods and the center of Sandusky. One of my favorite moments was running past a cute bar on the corner right in the center. On the first loop I screamed out that I wanted a pint and the whole patio erupted with cheers. One the second loop there was a hilarious interaction between drinkers of beer and a guy wearing a Spiderman kit. It provided a distraction and smile that I needed!

It should have been a super fast course. I stayed in line with my plan: run with the exception of 20-30 steps at mile markers and drink every 10 minutes. I felt pretty good for the first 6-8 miles and then. Then the nausea took over. There were no pretzels on route and I did not have any. My muscles felt really good and I think had it not been for the swooshing in my belly I could have had a killer run. But Lake Erie was still slooshing around in my gut. Lesson: always keep something solid to eat on the bike and run, just in case I take in too much water on the swim.

I had the privilege of being on the Champions team this year, as well as last year. I was given the opportunity to race Cedar Point at no charge because of this. The team is comprised of folks from all over the country with varying degrees of speed and experience. Throughout the year I've seen the team virtually support each other. And seen the achievements of all. It's been a pleasure to be part of this team and I hope to be for years to come. I was also a member of Northeast Multisport this year. There was not a lot of group training sessions, but I did some great open water swims in and met some cool folks.

The REV3 staff and volunteers were amazing! Each volunteer station and road crossing were full of energy and kindness! The folks of Sandusky, Milan, and other surrounding towns sat on their porches and lawns to cheer on us crazy athletes. I could not ask for a better race experience. I'll be back at this venue and other REV3 races for sure.

Overall I am very pleased with my race. There have been points in the last year when I've "raced for others" to push myself past crappy races. I still find myself thinking that, but I am also racing for me. Not selfishly, but to make myself a better person. To be happy more. To be able to take the ups and downs of life better. To be a better partner, step mother, PTA, friend, daughter, and sister. To find myself again. I pushed myself beyond my limits and kept going. Even when I was bent over trying to vomit I was loving the day. I thought of everyone that I loved, everyone that has touched my life, all of my kids at work. I remembered why I do this sport. Why I get up at 4 o stupid in the morning to train. Why I kept going when it was fun. To eventually get to this point again. PLAY ON!