Tri Time

It feels like a lifetime ago, but now that we are back from our cruise (details forthcoming), here is the rundown of our triathlon, which happened the day before we left. Kristen and I will be sharing our thoughts separately.


On the day of the race we got to the venue early to set up our transition area, check out the course, and use the bathroom. I was so worried about needing to use the bathroom mid-race that I bought a tankini that I could wear to make potential potty breaks less stressful. Just before starting time, they had everyone line up according to their estimated swim time. I had been swimming the 25 yard pool (300 yards total) in about 6 minutes, so I lined up behind the 6 minute sign amid several large men. Dave lined up with the 9 minute folks. Apparently Dave underestimated his swimming abilities and I overestimated mine. Several swimmers passed me and my time in the pool was 7:17. I think that if I would've started further back, I would've gotten a faster time since I wouldn't have had to wait at the wall for others to pass me. Next time I'll know better.

After the swim, I climbed out of the pool, managing to scrape my knee in the process, adding another wound to my colorful array of scabs and bruises. I nearly forgot to put on my shorts during transition and had no idea that putting socks on wet feet would be so difficult. Eventually, my bike and I were on our way.

I knew that the running portion of the race would be the hardest for me, so I made sure to pace myself on the bike. I got passed by a lot of people, but felt like I was riding steadily and not wearing myself out too much. I guess I overestimated the need to pace myself because I came in at 50:54, slower than I expected to be.

I continued pacing myself on the run. The beginning of the run went down switchbacks on the Jordan River Trail. I took them slow because I really didn't want to fall down and hurt myself when I was only 3 miles from the finish. Even though the rest of the run was fairly flat, I was pretty tired by this point. I took lots of walking breaks, but made sure to run into the finish. My run time was 33:51, just about what I expected.

Unfortunately, my family (who was waiting near the finish) didn't realize I had pulled on a shirt over my swim top during my bike/run transition. So they were looking for a black and green top, but I was wearing pink. By the time they realized that I was me (despite my waving at them), it was too late to get any photos of me in action. My total race time was 1:35:54, which was 7th place in my age group.

Final Results

Swim - 7:17
Transition 1 - 2:44
Bike - 50:54
Transition 2 - 1:08
Run - 33:51
Total - 1:35:54

7th among females 25-29
129/170 Overall


I was pleasantly surprised that I completed my swim faster than expected–only 5 seconds behind Kristen. This can probably be partially attributed to adrenaline, but mostly because I never stopped at the walls to catch my breath like I typically do in my workouts. Instead, whenever I needed some air I would stand up to "run" in the water for a few seconds. One of the benefits of swimming in a pool as opposed to a lake, I suppose.  

Overall the bike portion went pretty well, though I nearly bought the farm at one point, as Doc Brown would say. We were on a rural road, and the edge of the asphalt was raised about 6 inches from the gravely shoulder. As I pressed onward I was kind of spaced out and drifted off the road's edge. I quickly snapped awake as my tires dropped, braking hard and recovering my balance just before going over the handlebars. My time of 46:52 was right about where I expected. The week before the race I swapped the tires on my mountain bike for some slicks, which certainly helped. I'm hoping to invest in a road bike at some point down the line which I hear makes a world of difference.

After all of Kristen's agonizing about having to go to the bathroom during the race, I ended up needing to go for most of my run. I considered finding a discreet bush or tree off the trail, but managed to hold it. By this point of the morning the sun had fully risen and was starting to really beat down on me. I wasn't really in the mindset of holding back during the swim or bike to save myself for the end, so halfway through the run I was pretty spent. It felt like I was moving in slow motion, but I attained my goal of running the whole distance without stopping to walk. My final time of 28:21 was right on target with my training. 

By comparison, take a look at these photos of me finishing the triathlon (right) and the only other race we have ever done—the Daybreak 5K in 2007 (left). Not only is there a major difference in my physical appearance, but check out the pained expression on my face after struggling to jog/walk the same distance in 40:44 (and that was without swimming or biking first). At least I earned my pained expression in the second photo. My total race time was 1:25:56, also good for 7th in my age group.

Final Results

300 yard swim - 7:22
Transition 1 - 2:32
11.5 mile bike - 46:52
Transition 2 - 0:49
5K run - 28:21
Total - 1:25:56

7th among males 30-34
95/170 Overall

Kristen and I both had a great experience preparing for and participating in this event, and have already started thinking about what our next race might be. Of course with all the money we've spent leading up to it (exercise apparel, swim goggles, running shoes, a bike for Kristen, a new wardrobe for me as I've shrunk, and the list goes on), we've invested enough in this active lifestyle that it feels like we need to keep doing triathlons just to get our money's worth.


Down I Go

Dave and I have made it to the last week of training for our sprint triathlon. We race next Saturday and will celebrate our survival by taking a vacation to the Bahamas.

Our training has gone really well. Dave continues to shed pounds and buy increasingly smaller clothes. I continue to remain the same weight and wear the same size clothes. Sometimes being a woman really stinks! On the bright side, I have lost several inches off my waist and I can tell that I am in much better shape than I have been for a long time. We have managed our training with no big setbacks and are both feeling fairly well prepared for the race.

Of course, since the race is only days away, it would be a really bad time to get sick or injured. So, being me, I chose this last week to start being ridiculously clumsy. On Tuesday, I dropped a folding chair on my Achilles tendon while setting up for cub scouts. A friend asked me how I could drop something on the back of my ankle, and I have to admit, it takes special skill. As I was setting up chairs, I pulled one from the stack against the wall, turned around to unfold it, and the next chair in the stack fell and hit me right on the back of my ankle. It turned all sorts of colors, swelled up, and really ruined my running plans for the week. Luckily, it seems to be on the mend. Here is what it looks like after 5 days:

Still a bit swollen and really ugly, but not painful any more

Thanks to my ankle injury, I took a couple of days off from training. Once I could stand to wear shoes on Friday, I decided to try a bike ride. I felt great and decided to do my full 9 mile ride and even contemplated a short jog afterwards. I was making pretty good time when I got to mile 8 and came upon a stop light. Cars were stopped in all directions, so I thought the light was about to turn green. As I coasted up to the intersection, it was taking way too long to change. I was almost stopped when I tried to remove my foot from the strap on my pedal and couldn't get it out before I tipped over, landing on my right side on the road. Then the light turned green. I scrambled to my feet (trying to get out of the way of traffic) and jumped back on my bike. A block or two later, I started noticing pain in various places -- mostly my knee and my hand, which were both bleeding. I slowly made my way home. Once at home, I was better able to examine my injuries. In addition to my already bruised ankle, I now have a badly bruised hand, two big bruises on my knee, and two big bruises on my thigh (one is seat shaped).
My lovely purple hand makes holding things difficult
I really hope I've gotten all the clumsiness out of my system so that all these bruises will have time to heal before the race. If anyone wants to cheer us on, come out to the South County Pool in Riverton next Saturday around 8:30 AM to see us finish. 


Darth Vader and Son

A few months ago, I heard about the new children's book Darth Vader and Son from a friend on Facebook. The book explores the hypothetical scenario of Darth Vader raising a four-year-old Luke Skywalker. I picked up a copy at Powell's Books in Portland as a trip souvenir for Eddie, who coincidentally just turned four himself.

Instead of a formal narrative, the book consists of a series of single panel comics. Each page presents Darth Vader confronting a parenting scenario with predictably humorous results. In an interview with the author/cartoonist Jeffrey Browne, he talks a little about his personal connection to Star Wars and parenting. One of my favorite excerpts:
I think what I tried to get at was that your kids do these things that are so unbelievably frustrating, and you just have to bite your tongue or you just have to put up with it. So I just tried to put Darth Vader through that. I think the difference there is that for him it's got to be even more aggravating because he's this powerful Sith Lord ruling the Empire and yet he has this four-year-old and he's just got to kind of take it.
Here's a little taste of what you'll find in the book:

Even poor Darth can't win an argument with a four-year-old.

On a semi-related note, Star Wars has enough of a presence in our home that Violet has subconsciously learned the theme song, and will start singing it whenever she sees anything Star Wars-related. Herein lies the video evidence.