Wednesday, August 27, 2008
My 2008 tri season has been wonderful. Great races, fun new friends, training weekends, a family relay... and this past weekend was no exception - well, until I crashed.
Monday, August 18, 2008
What began as a very stormy morning - with threat of changing the race to a duathlon - ended up being a great day. Doug started the race out with a phenomenal swim, Mustang Sally sped through the super wet/slick/hilly bike course, and I tried to uphold my end of the deal by busting it on the run.
This race had, by far, the most relay teams I've seen on a Set Up Events participant list... so, I had no idea what to expect. I couldn't have been more proud to see our team listed in the second place position. For full results, click HERE.
(sorry, I have to mention... it was a 2 loop run course. There is no way someone ran an 11:36)
Mom & Dad: Thank you so much. You both inspire me - each and every day. Love.
Friday, August 15, 2008
. I'm the bike leg of Team Long in the Greenville Sprint Triathlon.
. Weighing in at 100 lbs and standing almost 5'2"! I come in a small package, but have lots of competitiveness and passion.
. I grew up in Greenville, SC and attended Greenville High School before going to Converse College in Spartanburg.
. Following graduation I joined the global team at Caterpillar - most recognizable as the maker of the large, yellow earth-moving machines.
. Caterpillar is a wonderful company. It's where I met Doug and has been our employer and "family" for over 32 years. It allowed us to travel and experience people and cultures around the world.
. While living overseas in the Philippines in 1980 Doug and I had our first daughter, local triathlete, Ashley.
. Five years later living in Peoria, Illinois we had our second daughter, new Spartanburg teacher, Sarah.
. In January I retired from my job as Public Relations Manager after 32 years with Caterpillar.
. Growing up I loved playing all sports. My favorite memories are of playing basketball on the team with my sister, Libby. Our team never made if very far in the tournaments, but for four years straight we won the Best Team Attitude award. This is an award I hope to keeping winning each year I compete.
. Right after starting my career at Cat I joined the large number of adults who took up running. For years I ran daily distances of 3-5 miles. Even when living overseas I continued this trend. After moving back to the states in 1981 I started to compete in 10K races. I never remember winning or even placing in any of these races, but I absolutely loved the challenge it provided me to know my own pace and to try and improve on my own times over the season. This is how I exercised for the 20 years when I was busy working and more importantly being a wife and mother.
. Jump forward to 2000 and my introduction to triathlon. While most people know Ashley as a triathlete, it was Sarah who got me started in the sport. Sarah, her high school swim coach (Jennifer Heyer), and another friend urged me to join them in a local triathlon. This was my first tri. After the first race I knew this was something I wanted to do again. It brought back the excitement and challenge of those earlier 10K races. The four of us had so much fun we did two more triathlons that season. The last being the Chicago triathlon - the largest tri - in the world. I fell in love. Competing, racing, pushing and doing it in three disciplines.
. Swimming is the discipline I have to work the hardest on. While Doug, Ashley and Sarah grew up swimming, I grew up having fun in the water, but never learning to swim with form. Running has been the place I can find comfort and gain a few seconds over competitors. It wasn't until starting triathlon that I took up cycling. Today cycling is my favorite sport. I love the feel of my legs powering up the hills, the wind on my skin and being a part of nature as I pass along the roads.
. Triathlon has brought me great self confidence and self discipline.
. One of the best things I found through triathlon is the close relationship and new performance levels I've enjoyed after working with triathlon coach, Karyn Austin. Karyn is part of Robbie Ventura's Vision Quest Team. Karyn's is one of the best coaches in the business and Robbie is known internationally as past member of US Postal and now commentator for the Tour de France.
. After winning my age group in regional races Karyn and I decided I should enter the USAT National race last year in Portland, Oregon. To our surprise I came in 4th, qualifying me for the 2008 World Championships in VanCouver, Canada.
. Since retiring from Caterpillar in January, I focused on all aspects of triathlon preparing for the World's competition - from form and strength to visualization and nutrition. This training has been intense and gratifying. I love the learning. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with dropping a second in my swim, and getting more aero on the bike, and of improving my form in the run.
. This season has been short and focused. I won my age group at St. Anthony's in St. Petersburg, Florida, at Memphis in May in Tennessee, and came in 3rd at Worlds and 1st American (AG). After crossing the finish line in VanCouver - I called Doug and said - I did my best at Worlds - now it's time to move South. From June 7th - that's what we've been doing.
. Since landing in Greenville, Doug and I have joined multiple gyms/pools, run with the guys from Run-In, and attended the Tuesday bike rides at Donaldson. Greenville is just full of athletic opportunities!
. Living here also allows me to visit my mom more frequently. She is about to celebrate her 90th birthday. If sports were as open to females as they are today, I can guarantee she would have been one terrific athlete. Mom, thank you for encouraging me to get involved in sports.
I'm so proud of Greenville and the city's ability to meld tradition, culture and athletics. I think Greenville is a place with a strong heart, open arms and a vision of where it needs to go.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I have enjoyed Masters Swimming for many reasons:
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Doug Long - swimming
Sally Long - biking
Ashley Long - running
Dad took over the meeting and voiced a goal to break his swim-seed time by :35 (fyi, the swim is a 400 m pool swim), he's asked me to run a PR in the 5K, and somehow he gave my mom 30 min to ride 15 miles... obviously, he's not a cyclist. When I told him Mom probably wouldn't avg 30 mph, he told me that we'd just have to take the time off my run (ok, I'm probably not going to run a 12 min 5K). He'd like for us to break an hour (the pro men didn't go sub 1 hour last year).
Fun numbers our Team leader calculated:
- our team's average age = 46 years
- our team's average weight = 125 lbs
- our team's total weight = 375 lbs
- our team's average height = 5 feet 3.6 inches
- our team's average shoe size = 7
The rest of our meeting minutes are highly sensitive. There are 29 total relay teams, so the competition is out there.
Team LONG -- Bring it ON.
(wow, I think I just wrote our team cheer)
Friday, August 8, 2008
All things biking, cycling, pedaling, shifting, spinning, and cranking along in the World of Bicycles. Road cycling, Mountain biking, Triathlon, BMX, etc... Check it out, let me know what you think!
I did a quick post on our Olympic Athletes, 3 of whom ride Orbea. There are some good pictures of the bike (and it's cool pointed head-post), but I'm still trying to get them on the site.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
This was taken after the "Horribly Hilly Hundred"; an annual ride in Wisconsin. My mom had told me we were meeting some friends (who were training for IM Wisconsin) to do one loop of the course. WRONG.... instead we ended up riding FOREVER, in 100+ temps, up and down the WI hills. I actually came close to divorcing my mom that day.
Jen and I in Boulder, CO for a friend's wedding. I guess triathletes just shouldn't wear backless dresses.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
On Saturday, I did the Lake Logan Triathlon in Canton, NC. Gorgeous site, perfect weather, and fun course - albeit lacking some lake water (the pictures are priceless - coming soon with a race report). Gail killed the ladies division (and almost all of the men, actually), it was GREAT to finally meet Bri & Marty Gaal (Congrats on a strong 2nd Bri!), and see so many tri-friends. Awesome job:
-Kristen & Mike Klepfer
-Jimmy & Heather Brehm
**Thanks to my sister, Sarah, who camped out with me at the race site on Friday night. That's right, we threw up a tent about 100 yards from the finish line. Nothing like waking up, unzipping the tent, and walking your bike over to transition ;)
**Also, thank you to our camping neighbors: the Smutzer Family. They were livin' large in their tow-behind camper... and were nice enough to share a pasta dinner. Chris, Set Up Events should be proud to see our dedication to the SCTS team and the events they produce. We are Hardcore.
**Thank you Mom & Dad for coming over to cheer me on! Mom, although you're teeny-tiny... you are the ONE spectator/cheerleader I can always pick out. And Dad, thanks for using the infamous Doug Long whistle. I always know when you're in the crowd.
Like I said, more on the race later.
But, in case you're into checking results... please know this: the swim was over a 1/2 mile away from the transition area. Due to drought, they're siphoning water from Lake Logan. We actually ended up with 3 transitions. Swim, T1: put on running shoes, run .7 of a mile; T2: strip wetsuit, get bike equip, ride; T3: run, finish.
Since then, I've been at MDA Summer Camp. Swimming, fishing, watching power soccer (an adaptive sport for kids in power wheelchairs), canoeing, singing campfire songs & making s'mores, arts & crafts, and hanging out with the kids. An amazing experience for sure - the perfect work fuel.
But, like I said - it's back to my bed tonight. Ah.