Tuesday, July 31, 2007

FU addition

*In my "lost on FU campus report," I almost forgot this detail: The picture above displays the famous Bell Tower, which stands tall on a peninsula in Furman Lake. I was so desperate... I actually thought about climbing the winding staircase to the top. Maybe trying to ring the bell... yell for Noel, or locate my car from a birds-eye-view?! It was under serious consideration, as I passed it for the 3rd time on that now infamous run.

ps. tonight, I'll be running a very familiar route.

Monday, July 30, 2007

FU weekend report

Last Thursday feels like it was about a month ago. And, considering my typical "social calendar," activities from this past weekend just about fulfilled my monthly quota! There's just so much to report. The following entry could be random and disorganized - deal with it, I'm tired.

Sally did get here on Thursday (after some serious competition/foot racing at the airport in Chicago... her original flight was cancelled... thank goodness she's been doing speed work! Her sprint to a airline rep allowed her to get 1 of 2 spots on another flight). Unfortunately, her bags did not get here... nor was anyone at my house to sign for her bike upon delivery. Well, searching for the luggage and bike gave her something to do on Thursday and Friday. She's always enjoyed a good scavenger hunt.

Although her luggage was still MIA on Friday morning... I outfitted mini-Sally in a swimsuit and goggles. There's no excuse for skipping a swim workout ;) So: Sally, Noel, and I formed a little swim team and held a private practice at the outdoor pool. Even though we'd probably get our butts kicked in an 8 & under heat, we had a blast splashing around in the morning fog.

So, not much real work got done on Friday... Sara & I were most unproductive at MDA. Don't think Noel was any more on top of her game at the clinic. I used my lunch break to go grocery shopping with Mom. We stocked up on camping food: wiener shaped meats to cook on a stick (turkey, beef, brat), trail mix, marshmallows, fruit, beer, chips, etc... And then, while I wasn't getting work done at the office... Sally located her missing bags/bike.

Along with Sally's Stuff... we found Sister Sarah on Friday!!! Not that she was lost, but it did add to the excitement. She drove up from Auburn, AL for our girl's weekend. Sarah would like to report that she still hasn't learned to avoid Atlanta traffic in her journey from AL to SC &.... she's in the process of moving into a new place... so, her "packing" for the weekend consisted of shoving any bags which might contain appropriate gear/clothes into her car (which is why she looked like a long-lost relative of the Clampett's).

After everyone got their possessions in order... Friday night was fun! Peter, Sally, Sarah, and I went to Barley's for dinner. Mmmm mmm good pizza. Good stories too: Peter recounting hilarious happenings from his trip to Switzerland; Sarah filling us in on college life and a recent trip to Florida to go scalloping (hey, I told you her boyfriend is a serious fisherman!); Sally told us about Nationals in Oregon. That night, we all went to bed anticipating the camping trip....

In my last report... the Saturday plan was to forge deep into the jungles of South Carolina and roar "Woman Power." yeah, uh.... so it was raining on Saturday morning.... and, you probably know where this story is going....

Well, it was early in the morning when I rolled out of bed to discover the rain. Noel and I had made plans to drive over to Furman University to do our long run together. Not afraid to run in the rain, we got in the car and headed to F.U. (appropriately named, which you'll learn about here in a minute).

Still in a sleepy haze as we started the run... I let Noel dictate the route. (She is very familiar with the campus and surrounding area, while I am NOT). We began our warm up by locating the start for their campus 5K... and following the markings on the pavement. From there, we did out and backs, made turns, went off campus, passed by the same spot a few times... and... sorry for writing about this Noel, but details are crucial to my story... she was having some GI "issues." Therefore, we made some bathroom stops.

So, with about 10 min left in the run... she asked to stop again. I really just wanted to finish, so told her I'd meet her at the car. She gave me an inquisitive look, "do you know how to get to the car?!"
"uh, not really," I responded
"well, just go that way... go around the round-about, then straight, you'll get to another round-about, take a left... and you should get to the parking lot," said Noel.

why, oh why... did I just assume I'd be able to find the car. Normally, I'm decent with directions / finding my way. However, I had no idea where I was going, I did not know the name of the building I'd parked by, it was still raining, I had no water, and I was beginning to get hungry. Off I went.

Yup, you got it. I got SO LOST. I began running by buildings/structures we'd passed, I saw familiar roads... then, 15 minutes later... I was RIGHT BACK where Noel and I had split. WHAT?!

So I tried to go a different way. Suddenly, I was at the 5K FINISH. Well, at least I knew the car was near the START. I kept running... doing the route backwards. REALLY not wanting to do another 3 miles, I began searching for someone to point me in the right direction. Wouldn't you know it... everyone I asked was there for flipping Band Camp. Yeah, they were NO help. Then, hallelujah, a person with a Furman shirt on.

Completely soaked from rain/sweat, I begged this lady for help. "Do you know where the start of the 5K is?!"

"Oh, my... huh, I really don't. Let me radio Public Safety. Maybe they can tell you," she pulled out her walkie talkie. "yes, hi... I have a runner here. She's looking for the start of the 5K race. I didn't know there was a race today. Can you tell us where to find the start?"

Oh no. Now I was spreading rumors that there was a 5K race on campus!

I tried to clear things up. She pointed me toward the Athletic Center. Here's what I thought about while running there:
  • I don't want to be running any longer
  • Walking is nice, but it is much slower than running
  • Why won't the rain STOP?
  • If I don't find a water fountain soon, I'll be forced to take off a sock and wring it over my mouth for hydration
  • Noel, why did you leave me (yes, at this point it was most definitely HER FAULT)
  • Lost, really, who gets lost on a college campus that is approximately 3 square miles?!
  • I miss my car
  • If I stay put, will she find me... answer: NO, she's waiting for you at the central location... your car, stupid!
  • Furman University... that makes them FU. Darn right, FU Furman!
  • And, as an added bonus... I remembered Kate telling me that the original FU mascot was the Christian Knights. ha ha ha. The F.urman U.niversity C.hristian K.nights ;)
  • NOEL, where are you?!
  • ok, I'll admit it... my eyes filled with tears. I was wet, tired, and SO DONE with the run
  • finally, finally... I saw Noel off in the distance.

"WHERE have you been?!" She called to me.
"I was lost!" I yelled back.

I wanted to run to her, and hug her, and hit her for letting me run off on my own. And, being a true athlete... she made me run with her for another 60 seconds to get to an even stopping time!!!!!

It was a traumatic run.... one which resulted in about 25 extra minutes of run time. Ouch. Sorry Noel. ps. don't EVER leave me again. The answer is NO, I don't know where the car is. And, NO I won't be able to find it on my own.

To smooth things over, I got us Starbucks. It helped a little.

Once back at my house, I quickly showered. Sarah and I jumped into the car and drove to my grandma's assisted living facility to meet Mom. It was great to catch up with family. But, the rain didn't let up. While in my grandma's little "dorm room," the text messaging began. As ring leader of the camping trip, people were contacting me... wondering what we were going to do.

Day of the trip - it was raining - and we called it off. Even if we were to go, everything would have been soaking. To salvage the night, I told everyone to come over to my house.

Saturday night ended up being a lot of fun. We went to see "No Reservations" (good movie, predictable, but... ah, Aaron Eckhart is yummy). And, it wasn't as cool as sitting around a campfire at Jones Gap... but, grilling on a miniature Weber on my front porch is a good time! We did still grill up the dogs and roast the marshmallows. To simulate real camping, I made Caroline pee in the bushes... ha ha, just kidding.

Saturday morning, we said bye bye to Sarah Bear. Mom and I got things ready for a bike ride. I was excited about showing her the best of Moore, SC ;) (those of you who are familiar with Moore know the joke). We had a good ride! She took it easy during my intervals... and when she tried to bail and ride back to Peter's by herself, I suddenly had flashbacks to the FU run. Oh no, no no... there will be no splitting up.

I made her circle my TT loop and wait on the steps of a nearby church while I finished the hard efforts.

We wrapped up the weekend with a nice dinner & wine on Peter's back porch: Great food prepared by Chef Peter himself. I think I've found his calling for post IM racing employment. Funny point in conversation... while telling Peter about getting lost on FU campus, he stopped me when I told him about getting to the finish of the 5K. Evidently, the FINISH and START are at the same complex... just on opposite sides. Duh, I'd retraced my steps... even though I was literally 50 yards from the parking lot where my car was located. Nice.

Even thought the weekend didn't unfold the way I'd expected... I had so much fun. And, you know why... because my friends are Amazing! Rain, shine, plans, no plans, changed plans, lost, found, hungry, thirsty, tired.... we made it work. Thanks everyone!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wilderness, Watch Out!

Here we come... I've planned an all girls camping outing for this Saturday night! The mountains are so close, but we never seem to take full advantage. So, we're doing it... packing up the gear, and heading to Jones Gap State Park. Only 25 miles from my house! *See pics for where we're going.

Using advise my mother gave me many, many years ago... I only invited FUN PEOPLE! A rule that has proven to be very valuable over the years. It's ended up to be a random group; many people will be meeting for the 1st time - but, it's a mix that will produce some hilarious stories!

Ana: Friend & college student. Just got back from studying abroad in Australia. Super smarty pants... studying something like aeronautical-bio-mechanical-genetic-engineering. Ran CC and Track in HS, which is how she knows Noel.

Noel: My roommate. Also an official smarty pants... currently working as a clinical research tech & studying for the MCAT, which she'll take in Sept. Awesome runner! Super nice. Enjoys Goldfish crackers and texting the Dr. in California.

Sarah K: My friend, G's wife, and mother of Cutie Pie Grace! VERY gifted in the art of interior design... seriously, I suggest inviting yourself to her home for a tour. Avid outdoors-woman, runner, swimmer, and Kayaker.

Sarah L: My lil sista. Coming all the way from Auburn, AL for the camping trip! I'm hoping that her boyfriend, Vaughn, has taught her how to fish like a pro. I mean, his name's not Vaughn Trout for nothing! Let's see the new skills Sarah ;) and ps... I'm already looking forward to hearing you laugh.

Sara W: My counterpart at the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She's pretty much the reason my job is fun. Multi talented... training for a marathon, cooks like a chef, mows her own lawn, goes antiquing & restores furniture (another member of the "my house looks like it could be in Southern Living Magazine" club), hosts amazing parties... there's nothing she can't do.

Caroline: My friend & Sara W's cousin. This girl is a Fashionista! You know the type... always wearing the latest trends, with super cute matching jewelry, and fantastic shoes... probably a matching purse too. Always looks great. Let's see what kind of outfits she puts together for a night in the woods?! No doubt, she'll have some sweet camouflage get up on... making the rest of us look like Pauletta Bunyan's.

Sally: My mom. Oh, what can I say. She's trying to get here via plane right now! Not the only mother in the group... but, will be the oldest. To make her feel better, lets call her "the most experienced." Even though she's got some years on the rest of us... I expect her to be the life of the party. fyi - she snores like a bear, so I say "not it" to having her in my tent ;)

We're waiting on last minute additions. Requirements to join this trip: must be a Girl, must be adventurous, must have comedic stories to share over the campfire, and must be FUN!

Monday, July 23, 2007

so thirsty

I didn't know how much sweat a human body could really produce, until I moved to the Southeast (1999 - Athens, Ga). Most people perspire when they get hot... beads of moisture appearing on their brow. People get embarrassed when their shirt reveals underarm dampness.

Well... these little tell-tale signs of a rising body temperature are NOTHING compared to the SWEAT that streams from your pores when you're training in 1,000% humidity! Sometimes, after running, my clothes are so saturated (as though I took a dip in the lake... clothes, shoes, and all) when I finish a run... I don't know what to do with them. I've gotten to the point that, when it gets this bad... I simply get in the shower with my running clothes on. *NO - this is not my substitute for actually laundering the running attire! I just like to give 'em a good initial rinse.

Peter, on the other hand, removes his shirt by his front door. He actually strips the soaking article from his torso, and wrings it out. And get this: he squeezes the dripping shirt over his plants.... and calls this "watering them." Seriously?! I wonder how they like the salty solution?

This past weekend wasn't the most severe humidity I've experienced, but there was extreme sweating involved. I'm sure the sweating began in the pool on Friday afternoon (yes, I'm not-so-happy to report that I, once again, achieved loser status by visiting the Y on a Friday evening). However, when you're swimming... you don't notice the sweating.

Then on Saturday, during our ride... the dehydration monster attacked. We tried to recover with fluids after the ride, but sometimes it's hard to come back from such a deficit! Water fails to make up for the loss. In getting ready, and going to a friend's birthday party (HAPPY 40th CHRIS!!!) I didn't pay attention to my parched system.

*I would like to report that the party was a blast... and I'm sure I wasn't the only dehydrated person in attendance! It was tri-geek city ;) No joke: I even caught a pair checking their heart-rate.

After more super-sweating on Sunday morning (running)... Peter announced that he was going to get "fizzies." His term for soda, pop, coke, carbonated beverages, etc... I was horizontal on the floor (on a towel, in an attempt to keep his carpet dry). I responded with a weak, "I can't make it." So, he took one for the team and left for the store.

I heard him come back into the house... and I expected to see him carrying a few liters of pop. Instead, he had bags of every imaginable liquid. Peter had bought: bottles of Coke, lemonade, ginger ale, raspberry soda, mixed berry soda, beer, gatorade, lemonade powder mix, and my favorite Fruit2O hydration drinks. "The check-out kid asked if I was thirsty, ha ha."

btw... a great post run mix is 1/2 lemonade, 1/2 coke. Very quenching.

So, we drank... and drank... and drank some more. I think I ended up looking like one of those Ethiopian kids with a bloated belly. If you can judge the success of a weekend by the amount of sweat produced -- I had an AWESOME weekend.

Friday, July 13, 2007

the little things...

Of course huge, exciting things make you smile (or scream, jump up and down, cry w/ joy, call yo mamma, sing... however you express personal happiness!). But, sometimes it's the little things that just make you feel good. Since it's Friday and I need help getting through the work day... I'm going to list my favorite "little things." Just thinking about 'em and typing the words kinda makes me feel good! Hopefully, you'll enjoy reading... my list of little happy things
  • having a full tank of gas
  • receiving something other than bills/junk in the mail
  • finishing a tough work-out... one that was mentally & physically challenging
  • standing under a COLD shower after running in HOT weather
  • standing under a HOT shower after training in COLD weather
  • driving while listening to a new CD
  • Noel always having goldfish crackers when I'm hungry
  • popcicles (new pineapple flavor)
  • sleeping on fresh sheets
  • eating at MOE's
  • running with new tunes on my iPod
  • laughing so hard my stomach hurts and tears are streaming down my face
  • looking at pictures of my best friend's new baby, Ava!
  • shopping at Target
  • feeling sunshine on my skin
  • Peter making coffee, espresso, cappuccino, mocha chino, or chai latte (all sooo good)
  • curling up in bed when it's raining
  • watching people perform on the tv show: So You Think You Can Dance
  • coffee, ice cream... or coffee flavored ice cream
  • looking forward to a fun trip/vacation
  • a nice, long hug
  • looking at pictures from a fun event
  • sitting down after really cleaning my house, admiring the sparkle & shine!
  • watching the colors change in Fall
  • being in the lake, on a boat
  • getting into a good book
  • bonfires - making s'mores
  • having all the laundry put away
  • chocolate chip pancakes (especially if they're made by Dad!)
  • crossing things off my TO DO list
  • road trips
  • floating down the Current River on a HOT, sunny day
  • Artic Shatter flavored Powerade
  • finding something I thought I'd lost
  • free samples (of something I'll use)
  • PB&J
  • Pretty Woman coming on tv (I'll watch it every time)
  • double sided tape
  • getting my hair cut (well.... having someone else wash my hair)
  • calling Mom... she always answers the phone with an enthusiastic HEY!
  • enjoying a gorgeous view of the mountains, ocean, sunrise, sunset, city lit up at night...
  • getting a massage
  • text messaging
  • the theme song for the Olympics
  • hearing my sister, Sarah, LAUGH
  • seeing a new movie at the theater
  • flying somewhere, anywhere
  • sitting with my family in my parent's living room (in our assigned seats... you guys know the spots... even better with a fire in the winter)
  • remembering life is GOOD... I am so lucky!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

gotta mix it up

Triathlon training (as in many other sports) involves SO much repetition. Swimming back and forth in the same pool, watching the same clock, tasting the same nasty chlorine... riding the same roads, being attacked by the same wild redneck dogs, timing the same intervals... running the same routes (until you don't even have to think about it anymore, your running shoes make the turns for you), fighting the same hills... etc... Not only does the difficult training wear you down, but the monotony of routine can break your spirit.

I hadn't even realized my boredom w/ training... until multiple opportunities to "spice things up" presented themselves.

On Thursday night, I found myself sitting on the couch, chatting with Noel. Nothing of major importance... I got to hear about the guy she's "texting and talking" with. A doctor she met at a conference in Chicago. Unfortunately, he lives in California.... wait... not so unfortunate, he wants her to come visit! She told me all about it while braiding my hair. Hello, I needed a new 'do for the morning swim workout.

She was talking, and I was already dreading my morning swim. Thoughts of sleeping in and pushing the workout to the afternoon began to fill my mind. But, you know how it is. If I procrastinate my Friday swim... it forces me to go to the pool on a Friday night... officially making me a 26 yr. old loser.

We finished gabbing about Dr. McDreamy California Edition... and I revisited one of our repeat conversations. A favorite topic called "Noel, you should be doing triathlons too!!!" She is an outstanding runner, would be a phenomenal cyclist, and well... she won't drowned. Bottom line: she's an awesome athlete, and great friend, and we'd have a blast training together. So, let's get this party started!

After the braids were complete, I began moaning about my Friday swim. Like a little kid, I pouted and probably said something along the lines of... "I don't wanna go." Then, like an angel sent from above, Noel offered to get up extra early... so that the two of us could go to her dad's neighborhood pool before work. (the neighborhood pool situation down here rocks!)

She had to be at work by 7:30am... which meant we needed to leave the house at 6. And here we were, like hs girls having a slumber party, watching tv at 11pm. Off to bed.

5:40 came much too early. Miraculously, we both found our way out of bed and into the kitchen. "are we really going to do this?" she asked. YES! Get your bags, we're leaving. The streets were empty... and as we pulled up to the pool, the moon was still out.

It was calm, quiet, peaceful... looking over the 25 yards of glassy water. I hadn't swam here before, or with Noel for that matter. We got in quickly and pushed off the wall. I had a workout in mind, while she was going for 30 min straight. How awesome! I actually felt like I was having fun... swimming outside, experiencing different sights/sounds... it was nice. And, Noel did really well. Seriously, this girl is bound for tri-greatness. Once she gets the form down, I say Watch Out!

After the long workout, I made it home with just enough time to shower, change, and get to work. Pretty slow day at the office (don't worry... just calm before the storm, next week is going to be nuts). At 5:00, I found myself shuffling to the car. Noel and I had agreed to an easy 4 mile run after work. I began wondering WHY we decided to do this?!

I walked into the house, and immediately put on running clothes/shoes. If we were going to do this, we were going to do it asap. Once she got home and saw me on the couch, running shoes already on... I think she began laughing. It wasn't a ha ha, this is funny laugh. It was of the more, we're on the verge of insanity nature.

She was changing when I yelled, "you are the tour guide for this run... start thinking about a 4 mile route."

Saved, once again by Noel, she planned a 4 mile trail run. Leaving the house, we both loudly groaned and complained. However, after the 1st mile... I think we both felt better. We took turns leading on Eagle trail through Cleveland Park. We didn't run fast, but we ran! Usually, I don't stop until I hit the corner at my house... but, Friday was a different story. Our watches hit 30 min... and we STOPPED. Walked our tired selves the rest of the way home.

****right about here is when I began wondering about my Saturday ride. I was scheduled to do a 70 mile ride in the mountains with my friend G. Where was I going to find the energy to do 6 mile climb repeats?!****

On Saturday morning, my alarm was going off at 7am. I got up... and thankfully felt refreshed after sleeping. Ate a PB&J sandwich (the 1st of 4 for the day) and collected my cycling things. You know it's humid when you break a sweat getting your stuff into the car. Grabbed an extra water bottle to drink on the way.

The plan was for G's wife, Sarah, to drive us about 25 miles north of their house (ride would start in the mountains and then continue home). We found a good spot on the side of the road, and unloaded. For the first 10 miles, I was distracted by the gorgeous surroundings. It was a beautiful day (muggy as sh!%)... but, WONDERFUL to be riding on new roads. We road through the hills, and then arrived at the bottom of the Greenville Watershed climb. With all the other cyclists out there, you would have thought that's what the road was intended for.

G and I climbed, pushed, stood, reminded each other to breath... it was not an easy 6 miles. I found myself thinking about riding down, just to turn around and go up again. Would I make it? I tried to shake off negative thoughts. I focused on my pedal stroke, breathing... remembered to drink... caught sight of a waterfall just off the road. When I thought I couldn't take anymore, G said, "last turn." AH! Let the fun begin!

Sailing, cruising down the road 35-40 mph. What a rush! Heart in my throat during the sharper turns. It made the whole climb worth it! So we did it again... this time we went harder. Sweat streaming down my face into my eyes... little streams flowing down my legs. And again, a roller coaster ride on the downhill. After 40 miles, we stopped at a gas station for water. Not the wimpy individual bottles... we opted for the 2 gallon tank (and almost finished it).

Once we got on our way, you could look back and see the climb we'd done. Great feeling of accomplishment! Fun ride home, new sights... different roads. After the 70 mile ride, we put on running shoes and hit the pavement. Those 4 miles were less than pleasant... but after a long ride, I can usually talk my body into going just a few more miles.

It had been a long training day -- but exciting and new! A cold shower saved my life... followed by 2 PB&J sandwiches. Later on that night, some friends called to announce that the group was headed to Barley's (a local hang-out, bar, pizza place... downtown G'vegas). Normally, I would have declined the invite... but I rallied, put on some jeans and met them for drinks (and by drinks, I mean my friends sharing a pitcher of beer while I sucked on my Gatorade bottle).

By midnight, I was falling asleep at the table. My friends took me home (I was more tired than they were drunk... trust me, it was a good idea). After downing one more PB&J, I crawled into bed and fell asleep in under 2 seconds.

During my long run this morning, I did go along the usual route. But, it gave me some time to reflect on the previous days of training. I think I discovered why I train, why I like triathlons.

The friendships I've made in the tri/athletic world are priceless. Without Noel, I would have been at the YMCA on Friday night... simply getting through the workout. Instead, we had a great time swimming at dawn in a beautiful outdoor pool. Our run was torture, but we suffered together... which oddly enough, made it enjoyable. Thanks to G. and Sarah, we pushed ourselves to ride in the mountains (into NC, might I add) and home!

I might have completed the yards/miles without them... but, it wouldn't have had the same intensity. This week, I'm sure I'll find myself doing the same 'ol, same 'ol... but, I'm not worried about it. We are creatures of habit; there is comfort in training on familiar routes. However, this weekend was a breath of fresh air. Thanks guys!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Lindsay is a Mom!

Lindsay (aka my Best Friend from high school) is a Mother!!! Yesterday, she gave birth to a BEAUTIFUL baby girl. Ava Ruth came into the world via C-section around lunch time... weighing in at 7 lbs 3 oz., measuring 21.5 inches.

Congratulations Lindsay and Michael. You guys are going to be such wonderful parents... I mean, many couples in this world should not reproduce (evidence: Christina Aguilera, Brittney & K.Fed, etc..). But, you 2 are on the other end of that spectrum. I think you guys were meant to be parents. Ava is a lucky girl!

Check out the happy family. Love ya Lindz!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

No, no... this is CRAZY

Are you guys ready to hear about something totally insane?! Here it is: the Gigathlon.

As triathletes, we're often accused of having a screw (or 2) loose. I know you get the same questions:
"you're going to ride your bicycle how far?!"
"why would you want to run right when you get done riding your bike?!"
"can't you just skip it today and come to happy hour?"
"why is your hair wet when you get to work every day?"
"do you regularly lay-out in shorts... what's up with your tan lines?"
etc.... etc...

Well, my tri-friends, let me provide you with new ammo to combat these inquiries:

"At least I don't race Gigathlons!"

I dropped Peter off at the airport on Wednesday morning. He was flying to Switzerland to act as support crew/coach for his athlete, Shanna Armstrong. Tomorrow, this crazy lady will begin 7 days of straight-up insanity. She's won Ultraman (3 times), solo RAAM (twice), done every tri distance... so I guess, she found a new challenge. But, really... this one seems over the top. She has bigger kahunas than me, for sure.

Sitting at the computer, when Peter opened the event website (here), it was one of those - eyes WIDENING... jaw DROPPING... "holy $#!t" moments. Just reading the daily distances / elevation changes was enough to make me bonk. Seriously, a clif shot was needed to get through the online race description.

7 Days -- 5 disciples EACH day (run, swim, mountain bike, road bike, inline skate) -- 1,432 km total (shortest day = 150 km... longest day = 237 km). And... it all starts with a 12.5 km swim on day 1. See daily schedule here.

Shanna, to you I say GOOD LUCK! We're all pulling for you. Just keep this in mind: When you have triathletes calling you totally NUTS, you are for sure CRAZY.

Peter, have fun in Switzerland. Hello to your dad, Jiri!

Some pics from the Race Course (at least it's scenic):

Map My Run

So my friend, Sara, introduced me to one of the COOLEST sites EVER! www.mapmyrun.com.

Where has this website been all my life?! It is amazing... very user friendly. You can map your route, search for routes other people use. Check out popular running routes in other cities (handy for travel planning). It calculates calories burned, gives you elevation gain/loss, etc... You can even put in a destination (ex: TCBY), and it'll give you a route there!

Here's my favorite G'ville route. I'm a new mapmyrun.com addict!

max: 1013ft
min: 843ft

My old stomping ground: Oh, I do miss running in St. Charles sometimes!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

My friends are WINNERS!

AG Nationals...
YEAH! Congrats! Job Well Done!

Way to ROCK Oregon. I am so proud of you all, wish I could have been there too! From reading all the race reports, which I have enjoyed, it sounds like an amazing trip.

MOM!!!! Wowza! Having not run since May 20th... honestly, I was a bit worried about you. But, 4th place AG finish?! (you must have a pretty good coach, love ya Karyn!) Fantastic. You are such an inspiration. I wish you could see the reactions I get when I tell my friends you race tri's... and then the jaw drop when I mention your results at Nationals! I just love bragging about you.

JEN H!!!! You made it w/out Jerome!! Good for you ;) AWESOME race, especially coming off Eagleman. Dang woman. So glad to hear (read) your excitement about the race... and how good you felt during/after. You are such an AWESOME competitor.

ELIZABETH!!!! Same goes for you coming off Eagleman... what kind of drugs are you two on?! And, where can I get some? Hummm, you both raced Eagleman... you both scored a 1st... you're both from Illinois... you traveled together to Nationals... and both got 6th?! This seems very coincidental, and I'd like to jump on the bandwagon please!! Way to go chica. Congrats to Chris as well.

ALICIA!!! Thanks for bringin' it home to the SOUTH! I do love Illinois, and the people there, but someone's gotta represent! Sounds like you had an amazing day. Great Race!

EXCELLENT... I love having such FAST FRIENDS!