Sunday, November 16, 2008


Just got an email about the Danskin details...just a notice that they will be posting info soon....keeps the excitement alive!!! Run/bike/swim/move...because it will come and it seems far off but time will fly!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

fall fallout

So, its fall. The time we wear baggier clothes and eat halloween candy and mashed potatoes and snuggle deeper into our beds......and of course with that comes the winter fat layer which we then FREAK over in January. Does this ring a bell? As the days get shorter..its so tempting to skip a workout. I find myself a bit frightened while running at 5:45 am in the pitch black..but hey, I do run faster when I hear a noise I am certain is an attacker. So...its time for a treadmill. I keep my trisuit (not pretty...think 1920's bathingsuit crossed with a modern day girdle) out where I can see it. Its a reminder...July will be here before we know it. So dont wait for spring....keep up the workout over the winter any way you can. i promise the Halloween candy wont accumulate so much in the places you don't want it to...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nikki's View

I've been wanting to share my take on race day, so here goes!

The night before the race, I am so excited and nervous that I can't fall asleep.  I also can't stay out of the bathroom!  I finally fall asleep after midnight....zzzzzz.

4am, there is a flash out the window, quickly followed by a horrendous rumble of thunder.  I am not a fan of thunderstorms (snowstorms on the other hand!).  I immediately think "great, I'm going to get struck by lightning before I can even get my chance to drown in the lake."  I try to go back to sleep since our wake up call is coming at 4:45am.  I am still awake when the phone rings at 4:15am, our wake up call 30 minutes early!  ugh.  Vicki is now awake and says, "It's storming!".  My reply?  "Ummmm, yeah, I noticed that."

We immediately put the TV on and check for local weather forecasts.  The storms are gigantic and not going anywhere anytime soon.  Back to the bathroom I go!  

The night before I packed my bag for the race but I am so nervous that I unpack and repack it all.  

2 towels - check
2 water bottles - check
1 garbage bag - check
protein bars/gummies - check
helmet - check
sneakers - check
sunscreen - check
sunglasses - check

Deep breath.  Okay.  Can't put it off any longer, must squeeze into the trisuit.  Done.  I feel kind of official, until I look in the mirror.  That at least gets me to laugh!  Then another flash of lightning.  And the rumble of thunder.  ugh.  Really, am I going to risk my life for this?  YES!

Yes I am and my inner confidence comes out.  I'm ready to take on the world.  I can do this, I've been training (2-3x per week).  I've told many people about this which is helping the accountability factor.  Another flash of lightning.  Never mind, I'm scared out of my wits!!

We grab our gear, check out of the hotel, pile into the car amidst the pouring rain.  And lightning.  And thunder.  Vicki and Ross are nervous too but they are able to disguise/deal with it through laughter and chit chat.  I, on the other hand, turn my i-pod on the highest volume setting (which doesn't seem nearly loud enough!) to tune out the storms and my nervous thought process.

We park the car.  Unload our bikes and then, miraculously, the storms pass.  Just like that.  No more rain, no more lightning and no more thunder.  Suddenly I'm feeling confident again!  We're so going to do this.  We're going to kick butt.  We're going to be celebrities!  Okay, a little bit of over compensating there.

We bike to the race site (no parking on race site on race day).  We load our bikes onto the bike racks.  We begin to 'set up' for transitions.  This includes laying out a towel to step on after the swim, powder to soak up any moisture missed during towel dry off.  Attach helmet to bike.  put out protein bar/gummies.  Sneakers and socks (with a small amount of powder inside, very small).  

Next step, to get 'marked'.  We are each assigned a race number.  We have this number marked (in permanent marker) on our arms and legs to help identify us when the ambulances arrive.  Kidding.  

Once, we're all marked, we make our way to the lake to check things out.  Suddenly my confidence is gone again.  The elite group take their mark and you can hear some kind of announcement being made but I am too busy trying to "find a happy place" and chanting my mantra "3 DAYS 2 HOURS  (I was in labor with each of my kids for three days, surely I can race for two hours, or at least that's what I'm telling myself!).  

The elite group takes off and they look amazing!  I am kind of excited again.  Ross and Vicki are wishing they could get into the water NOW.  I on the other hand, feel like, 'oh, it's okay, I don't mind going last, go right ahead, the more the merrier, I'll just wait until you all go'.  

We find our group (divided by cap color, ours happened to be purple).  The purple caps were the mixed age group.  The grouped age groups got to go ahead of us.  So more waiting.  Which I was fine about.  I was still contemplating backing out, so I didn't mind waiting at all!  

And then suddenly, Vicki and Ross move to the front of the line of purple caps.  The announcer is pulling 50 purple caps to the starting line.  She says she has room for three more.  I get yanked by Ross or Vicki, I'm not sure who.  And there it is, the starting line.  Is it too late to turn around?  

In the water, Sally Edwards (official last place finisher!  You CANNOT come in last in this race!) is pumping us up.  The announcer begins the countdown and it feels like she forgot the numbers between 9 and 2.  All I remember is 10, 1, GO!  

Deep breath.  I'm walking in, women are diving in, sprinting off.  Including Ross, who is an amazing fish!  Vicki is even ahead of me.  The woman beside me says, "I'm with you, walking in until I can't touch".  Yep.  I begin swimming and Vicki is still ahead of me.  She looks back at me and I say "You're doing great!".  Then she slows down.

The look of distress on her face sent me into 'crisis management mode'.  She's still swimming but her breathing is getting the better of her.  I tell her to flip on her back and just float.  I flip too, grateful for the rest as my breathing isn't so hot either.  We flip over to swim mode again.  She looks okay and then she stops, and the panic sets in.  She says the heart wrenching words "I can't do it!".  Before it's completely out though, I say "Yes you can!  The rescue board is right in front of us, C'mon.".  There are a lot of lifeguards sitting on boards waiting for folks like us, who need a little rest before swimming the next leg.  We make it to the first board, the lifeguard was so very supportive.  Really encouraging.  

We move on to the next board where Vicki says she doesn't need another break.  Okay, so off we continue.  The third board we stop.  We are approached by an angel swimmer (check out the angel swim program on the Danskin site who offers us noodles.  We decline, we're more than half way there, we can so do this!  We catch our breath and go!

I look up at one point and can't see Vicki.  I'm convinced she's under water.  I frantically start searching all the people in the water but we all look alike!  Round heads covered with a purple cap and goggles on our eyes.  "Vicki?!"  "Vicki?!" I'm ready to approach a lifeguard.   And then, I spot her, only because she turns around and looks at me.  I am six people behind her!  She is doing great and no doubt will finish just fine.  I try to step it up a notch and realize that pool swimming and open water swimming are so very different.  I can't get a good rhythm with my breathing and the water is quite choppy.  I reach Vicki and we finish the swim together.

So while, she credits me for talking her through the panic in the water.  It is her I credit for taking my mind off of my own water issues and allowing me to focus on something else, something I can help with:  talking a lifelong friend through an amazing life challenge!

I feel good now that the swim is behind me.  I assumed it would be the hardest part for me and it was.  But it was completely achievable.  I run into the transition area where, looking back at my timing, I took a nap and ate a snack.  Not really, but I did take my time and drank some propel and powdered my feet and socks and sneakers.  I walk my bike to the chip mat and cross over it.  Off I go!  I check in with Vicki to be sure she's okay if I go ahead.  

My adrenaline rush kicks in and I hit the pedals hard!  1 mile into the course, my chain falls off.  Great.  Now I'll have to wait for the bike attendants.  But wait!  I was a tomboy, my chain used to fall off all the time, I can do this!  Suddenly I feel like I'm 12 years old all over again.  I grab the chain and the box connector (how's that for improper bike lingo!?).  Slide it forward, it loosens the chain some and allows me to feed it back onto the teeth on the gears.  In the meantime, two women bike by and ask if I'm okay, whether I need help.  This race is really supportive.

Back on I go, greased hands and all.  I'm feeling good.  Then I reach mile 4.  phew.  It's a hill 1 mile long.  or at least it feels that way and if it isn't a whole mile it sure is close to it!  Lots of women are walking their bikes.  I shift to a lower gear.  Still another lower gear.  I try to shift to another lower gear only to discover I'm in the lowest gear possible.  

My thighs are burning with fire.  My breathing is deep, like Darth Vader.  People are sitting in their drive ways cheering me on.  Women on my left and right are cheering me on.  I start to pay it forward as I pass other women telling them how awesome they are, how they rock and how they can so do this!  Then something amazing happens.

I begin telling myself these same things.  I am gaining huge confidence.  I am doing this!  Right now, right this minute, all these months of training and taking time for myself and my body, is paying off!  I am so proud of myself.

I reach the top of the hill and fly through the course, really having fun!  Shouting "Left" quite often but almost always giving a compliment to the woman I pass:  "You rock!  We're awesome!  Way to go!".  There are people on the side of the roads, yards, driveways clapping, cheering and blasting music to boost us.  There are picket signs along the road with pictures of women surrounded by words of love and encouragement like:  "We're so proud of you mom!"  We love you mom, way to go!".  Even though they aren't for me personally, I get choked up.

As I approach the race site again, I am frantically looking for Ross, knowing she is off the bike and into the run.  I want so much to see her, to cheer her on.  To tell her I love her and thank her for pushing me to do this.  I don't see her though.

I finish the bike (Dismount to you too!).  I get my helmet off but forget my race bib.  I drink more propel and stretch.  My calves are really tight.  Suddenly they feel like they're on the verge a muscle cramp.  I walk around some before crossing the chip mat.  I cross it and the initial course is lined with hundreds of spectators.  

I run but it hurts.  Somehow having all of these people watching is driving me to run anyway.  About a half mile into it though I have to walk, if I don't my calves are going to cramp and then I won't be able to walk let alone run.  

I start to search for my family amongst the crowd.  I am needing  a little boost of some sort.  My confidence is down again.  I can only walk and search.  I cross over a bridge and there she is!  Ross!  She's more than half way done the run!  I'm so happy to spot her I shout "Keepin' it real!  You're my people" all the while holding up the ASL for I Love you!".  I am choked up and happy all at once.  I start to run again.  

And then there is this pain in the middle of my foot.  OUCH!  It feels like powder bunched up in my sock.  How much powder did I dump in my socks anyway?  Geesh!  I stop, take off both shoes and socks and dump out what seems like a pound of powder!  That is why I noted earlier to use just a 'small' amount of powder.  Okay back in business.  Back to running.

When I am just more than half way done the run, I see Vicki!  We embrace and bawl like babies.  She is worried I am mad at her for the swim, I am worried she is mad that I left her on the bike.  LOL  We laugh and  cry more and say I love you and continue on.  

As I continue to run, I am still crying.  You know, like the blubbering cry.  I am so happy, it really is a happy cry.  I finally get it together and I'm 3/4 of the way done running when I spot my family.  They see me.  I see them.  I start the blubbering crying all over again!  I can hardly get a word out as they are cheering me on.  My 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son see me too.  I'm so happy that they get to see me doing something other than just being their mom.  Setting an example for them to strive, and challenge themselves, no matter what.  I am so proud with these thoughts.  So proud of my family cheering me.  I say "I am so doing this!  I love you guys"!  They tell me they love me and suddenly there is another boost of adrenaline!

I feel like I'm flying, I don't even feel my feet hitting the pavement, I think it was the longest sprint I've ever done!  Crossing that finishing line and hearing my name being called by the official Danskin Announcer and high fiving Sally Edwards, is one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life.  

And then, there is my friend waiting for me at the finish line.  Ross!  I am finally able to embrace her, thank her and love her!  

And then I see my ultimate best friend.  My husband.  He is crying just as hard as I am.  He is so proud of me and it feels amazing.  We embrace for a long time before I get pulled down by my kids who want to see my medal!  Everyone gets a medal, how cool is that?

Ross and I, both wait anxiously for Vicki.  Then we spot her, across the finish line and into our arms she comes!  We scream, laugh and cry all together in the most amazing friendship hug ever!

It was an emotional roller coaster but you know what?  It was definitely easier than giving birth, so my mantra (3 days 2 hours) worked just fine!

I can't wait to do it again next year!  Won't you join us?  I promise it'll be one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Missing exercise

So I went on vacation this week w/ the girls at Rye beach. I chased them on the beach. Outside of that my only exercise was bringing the spoon (of chowder) to my mouth...
I have never seen so many people bike and run as I did in Rye...and I found myself actually missing exercise!?!?!?!
Never before in my life...
anyway, back to it tomorrow...and back to protein shakes...I'll miss you chowder

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Getting Started

So, if you are entertaining the idea of joining us in 09...

You have lots of time to get started. Everyone has different backgrounds of fitness and strengths/weaknesses. I started w/ all weaknesses and still can do it.

If you are a 1st time runner:

Get good sneakers (strongly advise you to check out this place. they spent 1/2 hour watching me run in sneakers to decide which one was best for me)

Go to this website, great tips for 1st timers and training plans
Find a friend. Through this site you can post your available times and where you live. it would be great to pair up people to train with.

Get a helmet (not a skateboarding embarrasing)
Dust off your bike and go!!!!

DO NOT wait until the day of the Tri to step foot in open water.
If you have access to a pool (ie at the Y) start training.
next spring/summer, get in a lake!!!

We will post probably every few weeks, different websites of interest or tips.
As it gets closer, we'll post registration and hotel info
You can do it.
I PROMISE you will be glad you started this journey.
You are worth it!!
You will be so happy you carved out this time for yourself

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Danskin website, 2008 races

Answers questions, gives basic info

Should I or shouldn't I?

Reasons not to do the triathlon:

Im out of shape
I cant run because of my...knees/big boobs/asthma/shin splints
I dont have a bike or I have a crummy bike
I dont have time to train
I dont like the water/swimming/have an irrational fear of lake creatures
I dont do spandex
I dont look good in goggles/swim caps
I have commitments every weekend next summer
Port -o-potties scare me

Reasons to do the triathlon:

Not getting younger
Forces you to have time for yourself
Better metabolism...smaller butt
They have really good sports bras/inhalers/better sneakers
Spandex does hold in a lot
You are strong
You will be proud of yourself
You get to have a girls weekend
You will inspire others
You will make your children proud