Women's Triathlon Recap

FORGIVE ME BLOG READERS FOR I HAVE SINNED. I allowed too much time to pass before posting this recap. Almost a month.



I need to start by thanking the Hartford Marathon Foundation for offering me a complimentary entry into the Women's Sprint Triathlon in Farmington, Connecticut on September 8th. But as you all know I do not let a complimentary entry sway my thoughts on a race!

It was pretty clear after finishing my first triathlon - Boston Sprint Tri on August 4th - that I was hooked. So I was happy to get another triathlon in before the season came to a close.

Now I registered and got all excited and THEN realized the race would be a good 2.5 hour drive from Boston ... on the day of the race.

The race began at 7:30am.

I will let you take a moment to do the math.

Got it?

If not, that meant a nice 3:30am wakeup that morning.


Not. :P

Okay it wasn't the ideal pre-race conditions, but we had no other choice. We couldn't leave the pups the night before so day of travel was our only option.

The alarm went off at 3:30am, I leaped out of bed and immediately the pre-race jitters set in.

Thankfully I am a tad OCD and everything was already packed and ready to go the night before to help make the morning a smooth transition.

We hit Dunkin Donuts for some much-needed caffeine and we were on the road.

Shockingly we hit zero traffic. ;)

We arrived at the Winding Trails in Farmington, CT with plenty of time to pick up my packet, get numbered and set up my transition station.

My transition area worked so well at Boston Triathlon that I decided to duplicate it at the Women's Triathlon.

The transition area was set up by bib #s, but in each lane you could put your bike wherever you wanted. So I just picked one as close to the front as I could, but I pretty much ended up smack in the middle of my lane.

I did a once over and headed out of the transition area to hang with the wife until it was time to suit up.

It was amazing to walk around and see a race entirely made up of women. It felt great, comforting and welcoming.

There were women of all shapes, sizes and athletic abilities taking part. For many, it was their first triathlon. There were women wearing just bathing suits, women whose bikes had baskets/bells/kickstands and some who were clear Ironman finishers. It was a wide variety, but everyone was cheering each other on.

I also throughly enjoyed that during all the announcements when they talked about spectators they mentioned wives of competitors. Yay for being super supportive of the lesbian racers. It just made me smile. :)

Before I knew it it was time to head back to the transition area to pick up the wetsuit and head to the beach.

While standing on the beach, a blog reader came over to introduce herself and say hi. It was such an awesome feeling. I love meeting people who actually read these posts. :)

I decided to take a quick dip into the water before heading to the Start area.

And it was time.

The nerves were high. I was so busy doing Dopey Challenge training that I hadn't been on the bike in over a month or in the pool all that much so I had no idea what to expect. I just wanted to go out there and give it my all.


Swim - 1/2 Mile

For this race we started IN the water. I was in the first corral of ladies in the water. I tried to put myself farther up in the pack since I learned at the last tri that I needed to do that. I was a stronger swimmer than I gave myself credit for.

The gun went off and we were in.

But from the get go something was wrong. I couldn't breathe. It felt as if someone was trying to choke me. I tried to loosen the neck area of the wetsuit slightly to see if that would help, but I couldn't get in a groove.

I felt as if I was swimming in place. I had no idea what was going on so I just kept trying to move forward.

I ended up breathing almost every single stroke, but I figured I would do anything to try and get to the Finish.

Thankfully we were in a calm pond which I can say helped.

I got to the halfway mark and wondered how the heck I would make it the rest of the way. I just thought about my wife on the beach and swam towards her.

I could tell my sighting had gotten much better from the first triathlon to this one. My wife said I was the only swimmer in my group that came straight towards the Finish Line after the halfway point. Woo! I think I was probably the 10 or 12th swimmer out of the water so I guess I was moving faster than I thought.

After coming out of the water, we had to run all the way up the beach, along the outside length of the transition area and THEN entered the transition area. It was a long way to run barefoot, but I did the best I could to get that wetsuit down to my waist as quickly as possible.

There were a good number of volunteers (lifeguards) out in kayaks on the water which put me at ease in case I really couldn't breathe at any point.

Total Time: 17:42 Overall Place: 44/442


Transition 1

Time: 2:07

Since I was still trying to catch my breath, I took my time during the transition. I was worrying about that so much that I fell right over while taking off the wetsuit. Yes I need to focus on one thing at a time. :P

I was able to grab some Gatorade, some pieces of KIND Bar, switch into my Team Refuel singlet and lace up my sneakers. I also made sure to really dry my feet off before putting my socks on since I ended up with very wet feet last time. ;)

(See how we learn something from each race!)

I slapped my helmet on and I was headed out of the transition area.

Yes this should've been faster, but I was just happy that my breathing had started to return to normal.


Bike - 12 miles

Now for some reason I thought this was going to be a flat course. Not sure where I got that impression but boy was I WRONG!!! Holy hill Batman. I am a weak biker anyway, but throw in hills and I wasn't sure what I was doing.

I definitely know I will be getting some clips for my bike so I can wear my Spin shoes before my next race because I was losing some force having my sneakers on.

All I could do was push forward though. I had the cyclometer on my bike and my goal was to try and stay between 17-19 mph the best I could.

I pushed faster than I had before and tried to use the downhills to my benefit. The roads were open to traffic so we had to stay as close to the right of the road as we could.

I was actually able to pass some people, but was definitely passed my more. :)

It was one amazing experience coming back towards the transition area as both sides of the course were lined with spectators. The cheering was loud and the faces made my smile grow. I felt like a freakin' rock star. All these people were cheering for lil old me. It was awesome!

Plus just as I was about to dismount the bike, I caught a glimpse of the wife - just what I needed to see since I hadn't seen her when I left the water earlier.

I know that the bike is the portion I need to work on the most, but I was pretty pleased with how I handled my first hilly bike course.

I didn't really see too many volunteers out on the course itself for some stretches, but they were there at key turns and when we exited and entered the lanes near the transition area.

Total Time: 40:09 Overall Place: 88/442 (can we tell it’s my weakest area)


Transition 2

Time: 1:07

Much more respectable transition time the second time around. But really all I had to do here was ditch the bike/bike helmet, throw on my visor/sunglasses and put on my race belt with bib.


Run - 5k

As I left the transition area, I ran by the wife and said "I can't breathe." Not sure what was going on with me that day, but as I headed out for the run - I once again just tried to focus on my breathing.

Since triathlons don't allow headphones, it was really easy to tune into my breathing and correct it.

I had just a 5k between me and the end of my second triathlon.

Now again I somehow was under the impression that this would be a flat easy run.


As I rounded the second turn, there was a large trail incline in front of me.

It is at that point, that I realized I was in for a rough terrain trail 5k rather than an easy run.

I stopped to retie my sneakers, buckled down and focused on trying to pass any runners I could pass in front of me.

I got my breathing under control and just tried to enjoy the scenery around me. We were in one glorious forest.

Every volunteer I passed, I said "I was lied to about this being a flat course" and all they could do was laugh.

Thankfully my GPS was pretty spot on and before I knew it we were less than 1/2 a mile to the Finish.

I tried to speed the body up as best I could.

With a few hundred yards to go we emerged from the trees and there was the Finish Line.

I gave it the rest I had and it was over. The 5k was done.

Water stops were well covered, but other than that it was really just the runners on the trail. Not sure what I would've done had I gone down with a cramp or injury while in the woods since I didn't know where the next water stop or volunteer would be.

Total Time: 24:45 Overall Place: 15/442



I completed the course in 1:25:48 and couldn't have been happier.

As soon as I crossed the Finish Line, they announced my name (Ahhh I love when races do this) and was given a gorgeous wooden medal.

Cool, right?

I found the wife and she presented me with an actual cycling jersey for me to use next year during training rides.

Can I pull it off?

We then headed over to refuel with some chocolate milk. It was like they knew I was coming! ;)

After my chocolate milk and water, it was obviously time to grab a celebratory beer courtesy of Old Burnside Brewing Company! I love when races are sponsored by local craft breweries. Drink local friends! :)

As I walked away from the beer area, I noticed a massage tent with no wait. YES!! Whenever these are at races by the time I finish there is a huge line so I had to jump on this opportunity.

It was GREAT to get stretched out by a professional! I wish I could have this treatment after every workout.

Thank you Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Centers for providing this service!

Before I go any further I want to thank my wife for being my #1 supporter, calming me down along the course, getting up at 3:30am, driving hours to the race and being an overall wonderful sport in this crazy racing world I am in. :) I couldn't do this without her.

We had planned on meeting up with my friend Martinus from 300PoundsAndRunning.com for lunch so we headed back to the transition area to get my stuff and headed back to the car.

I wouldn't find out until hours later that I had actually placed in my division. Whaaa??? I KNOW!!

I had finished 31st overall out of 442 and 3rd in my division.

How cool is that? I was shocked and amazed. Since I had left, I missed receiving my prize. A prize? Yay!

So I actually sent $8 to the Hartford Marathon Foundation and they sent me the prize. An amazing hand-painted marvel.

Overall, I was extremely happy with how the race turned out. Do I know exactly what happened with my breathing during the swimming portion? No, but that is something I will work through on my training in case it happens again.

I really loved the Women's Triathlon atmosphere and would highly recommend this race to any of my friends.

I hope to return next year to take on those rolling hills of Connecticut again! :)


So when can I do my next triathlon? ;)

Boston Triathlon ... aka My First Tri


Oh did you want more of a recap?

Well then let's do it! :)

I think everyone knows I was a tad wicked nervous for my first triathlon. I mean check out my T-minus 12 hours post for the jist.

I mean Hello look at all the numbers attached to this one race.

So let's get right to it!!


5am - Alarm Goes Off

I sprang out of bed. I knew I had laid out all my clothes the night before, but there was still so much to do before we had to leave the house. I let the dogs out so they could take care of business while I hectically got ready and attached the bike to the bike rack (which I thankfully put on the car the night before). Sometimes being slightly OCD can help one out on the morning of the race.

After leaving the house without my Garmin on the morning of the Boston Marathon, I made sure to check that I had that about 17 times before we left the house.

I had my big bag of stuff for the transition and I made sure the wife had her back-up ready with extra clothes, snacks and any other odds and ends we would need that morning.

We met my dad on the porch and...

5:40am - We are out the door

I was told by my Triathlon coaches (and fellow Tedy's Team members) Jackie and Cat to be on site by 6:15am for the 7:45am start time because there is so much more to account for before the race than a regular running race.

Since my dad and wife were getting up so early for me, I made sure we stopped at Dunkins on the way to the race. They deserved and needed the caffeine. :P

In the car I felt oddly calm. This is extremely weird for me before a race, but I was hoping to take it as a good sign. Also I knew as soon as I was on the site of the race, it would be a whole different ballgame.

6:15am-ish - We pull into a parking space

Annddd cue the butterflies. As we pull into a parking space, I start to see the other athletes with their professional bikes and looking like they knew what they were doing. In my head panic. I wanted to turn around and leave. But wait a minute. Not happening. I freakin' worked my butt off to be there too so self pull up your spandex shorts and get out there.

(Timing after this is a blur so time to go general with titles ;))


The air was crisp, the sun was shining and the water looked calm - one gorgeous Boston morning! We really couldn't ask for better weather conditions.

I headed over to the transition area to get my bike checked and to set up my area. Thankfully I had watched some transition videos on Youtube the day before so I had a better idea of what I was supposed to do. I also took a picture as people suggested so I could go back after the race and see what I would change - if anything.

After racking my bike and getting everything in place, I realized that Ace Wheelworks (where I bought my bike) had tents set up and were putting air in people's tires for free. So I went back in and got my bike. I didn't want any chances of getting a flat just because the tire wasn't filled up enough. Tires perfect and back to the transition area Roxie went.

I stopped a volunteer to ask exactly how the transition would work - where do we enter from the swim, how do we exit, etc. I wasn't taking any chances of doing something incorrectly and getting slapped with a penalty.

Well by this time there was still well over an hour before the race so I went with my dad and the wife to find a location for them to set up camp for awhile. Since Tori was two weeks post-knee surgery, we needed to make sure she could sit as much as possible.

I nibbled slowly on my KIND bar, which was delish (Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt)... Mmmmm!!

I went to hit up the port-a-potty and finally ran into people I knew. Yay! Chelsea and Ally, who I both knew through twitter but had just met on Wednesday in person, were also first-time triathlete folks so it was great to share this experience with them.

Chatting with them and seeing familiar faces calmed my nerves before heading back to see my crew.

The transition area closed at 7:30am so I needed to make sure I got back in there in plenty of time to get my wetsuit, swimcap and goggles for the swim. I also had to pop my ENERGYBits then or I wouldn't have them and that wasn't happening.

Around 7:15ish, I bid farewell to my dad and wife (trying not to cry) and headed into the transition area. I was walking over to my bike when I noticed a familiar face. It was my friend Howley, who I probably hadn't seen in a good 6-7 years. She was there doing the tri relay as friends needed someone to do the bike portion. Again, seeing a familiar face distracted me from the nerves.

I made it back to my bike, grabbed my necessary tools, gave the transition area one more check over and was off to the beach for the pre-race meeting with the officials.

I decided to walk through the water to get to the pre-race meeting. It was starting to get hotter while in the wetsuit and I wanted to see how the water temp felt. It was calming to be in the water. I was ready for the race to start, but we still had a good 40 minutes or so until my wave would set off. I was in the women's 25-34 heat which was Wave 5 of 10.

Thankfully I found Chelsea, Ally, other Zoom Multisport friends and Cat from Tedy's Team on the sand near the start area. It felt good to be near people I knew. Are we sensing a theme here?

Before I knew it, the National Anthem was playing and Wave 1 (Elite Athletes) was getting in position. There would be 2 minutes between Wave 1 and Wave 2 then 6 minutes between the rest of the waves. There were 10 waves in total with novice being the final group.

I thought about putting myself in the novice division, but felt I was a strong enough swimmer to be with my age group.

Swim - 1/2 Mile

Robin had told me to line up near the front of the wave because of my practice swim times, but I ended up being about 1/3 of the way back. I readjusted once I saw the division included the mid-to-late 20s as well. I assumed they would all be faster than me so I wiggled my way back. (Hindsight? Stupid decision)

All of a sudden they were counting down, in my head I just said: "Like Tedy said - it's the party! Have fun!" and we were off.

It is a running start, which means you run from the sand into the water to about your knees/low thighs then start swimming.

As soon as I started swimming, I instantly got kicked in the face. I thought - okay got that out of the way - let's get it. I had remembered Robin saying in the Ironman she swam on the outside to avoid getting kicked so I did try to find myself a little niche in the water to avoid people ... which was challenging.

I felt as if I was swimming in place. I didn't feel like I was making good time. I tried sighting as best I could, but still found myself drifting while swimming.

But, at no point did I feel tired. BONUS!

I am thankful I did a test swim in the water before the race so I had an idea of what to use for guide points.

Before I knew it we were making the final turn (we swam in a trapezoidal pattern) to the shore. I kept reminding myself to swim until my hands swept the bottom of the water THEN get up and start running.

My dad was able to catch me "gracefully" exiting the water. Man those rocks felt like needles under the feet.

Total Time: 16:35 Pace: 1:53/100 yds Overall Place: 175/630 Division: 12/52


Transition 1

Time: 1:51.1

This was my first attempt at taking the wetsuit off quickly (should probably practice that more for next time).

I tried to make the switch as methodical as possible. I used my mini towel to wipe off my wet/sandy feet and quickly put on my shoes/sneakers. Yes I raced sans clip medals/bike shoes because I wasn't comfortable enough on the bike yet.

I also made sure to click my bike helmet on as soon as I put it on since you can be penalized for an unclicked helmet.

I actually more my bike/run outfit under my wetsuit so I didn't have to do any wardrobe change. It was actually a great idea because the weather was heating up but the damp singlet kept me cool on the next two legs of the race.



By far this is my weakest part of the race and the one I dreaded the most. The goal for this leg was to not fall off the bike. Do you like how I set big goals for myself. ;)

But seriously after talking to Robin (sensing another theme with this ;)) we decided that my goal was to keep my bike pace around 17-19 mph.

The bike portion was 9 miles, which is short for most sprint tris - but perfectly fine for me.

I merged onto the bike portion (it was a loop which you had to complete twice) so I had to be aware of other bikers completing their second loop.

The bike portion and run portion were on the same road with the runners separated on the right by cones. There are so many rules about passing and not drafting on the bike that I felt like I had no idea what I was doing.

I remembered them saying if you were going to pass you had 15 seconds and had to get 3 bike lengths ahead of the person/person being passed had to drop back 3 bike lengths.

I did my best to follow the rules, but really I was just focused on not falling.

I slowed down on the turns as those scare the crap outta me (again fear of falling). But I felt pretty comfortable out on the course since it was nice and flat AND I was able to cheer for some people I knew already on the run portion.

I just kept looking down at my cyclometer to make sure I was staying on point ... and shockingly I was!!! WOO HOO!

I also had to wipe my nose/mouth still from the swim, but I haven't mastered that taking the hands off the handlebars thing yet so I finally wiped my nose as I slowed for a turn. Sexy I know. :P

As I finished up the second loop, I was instructed to go to the right back to the transition area. I realized that my friend Cat was right in front of me.

They even had a line drawn on the ground telling you where to dismount the bike. Score!

I know I would've biked faster with 1) more practice and 2) actual bike shoes/clips - but that is for later events. (foreshadowing?)

Total Time: 28:57 Pace: 18.2 MPH (just what we wanted!!!) Overall Place: 388/630 (can we tell it's my weakest area) Division: 30/52


Transition 2

Time: 1:21.2

I followed Cat right into the transition area...

This was a pretty simple transition for me since I didn't have to change shoes like most people. I just made sure to put my race belt, which displayed my bib for the run, on first because you NEEDED it to finish. I popped a couple sport beans, fixed my hair, put on my Sparkly Soul headband, took a hit of Nuun Hydration water I had mixed, put on my running shades (thank goodness I made the last minute decision to bring them) and was off.



I started my Garmin late because I had no idea when the run was actually supposed to start. Oops. Thankfully I asked someone once on the course what they had and realized I was about .1 mile off from everyone else. Okay doing that math would also help distract me during the run.

I had been looking forward to the run all day (did I seriously just write that? :P) and felt great to be on the pavement.

There were cones separating the runners and the bikers on the street. The cones seemed to leave a really narrow running area so I ended up passing people on the left and entering the bike area. Thankfully bikers were giving enough room for runners to do this successfully.

It was great having the run be and out and back set up because I was able to high five some friends on the course, while simultaneously cheering for friends doing the bike portion.

Win-win-win! :0)

My goal was to keep a sub 8:15/8:20 pace. I didn't know how the legs would feel for the 4.4-mile run and the weather was getting warmer and warmer so I wanted a realistic pace. (Also how is this my "realistic" pace? How times change!)

My shoes and socks felt damp still from my not-totally-dried feet so it felt a little heavy lifting the feet. Also the timer that goes around your ankle felt like a police ankle bracelet (not like I've ever worn one). I could feel it on my leg, but tried to zone it out.

There are no headphones on this course so I had been training without music for a couple weeks and it paid off. I was really able to zone out on the mileage and focus on taking the whole experience in.

SouthBoston is a beautiful part of the city and it was a perfect day. I had a great time cheering on other runners as we moved along.

There were two water stations on the course so I made sure to drink water at both AND take an additional cup to pour on my head.

At the turnaround point, I started getting sad - the race was going to be over in less than 2 miles. Wow! My firs triathlon would be in the books. I had no idea of my time, but I knew I was having a blast and didn't want it to end.

So I soaked in every step I took.

Around Mile 3, I thought I wasn't going to make it. I saw a lot of people walking and thought I could too. But my inner voice screamed HELL NO! I was not about to start walking.

I was going to give it everything I had on that course then I could walk. So I just kept trucking along. I smiled at other runners, I cheered for people struggling and I freakin' ran. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

There it was - the Mile 4 marker. We had just .4 left.

It was time to give it all I had. I just willed my legs to keep moving forward and to NOT let anyone pass me. I was going to pick people off it I could, but I would hold strong.

Total Time: 36:16 Pace: 8:15 min/mile Overall Place: 255/630 Division: 15/52



As I approached the Finish Line, the announcer said "Dani Holmes-Kirk from Somerville, MA" and in my head I said "is officially a triathlete!" :)

I couldn't stop smiling.

I swam. I biked. I ran.

Final Stats

It was everything I could've imagined and more.

Could you tell I was a little excited?

I can't even put into words how excited I was crossing that line and picking up my Finisher's Pint Glass. Not a medal, but better than nothing!!

I immediately started thinking about how I would do things different the next time, but quickly banished those thoughts. It was time to relish in the now.

I owe a big thanks to my dad and wife for getting up at 5am and coming to watch me in person. Bigger thanks to my mom who stayed back home to make sure someone was with the pups.

I spotted my favorite sign from the course and the designer let me take a pic.

Please note I am smiling because I love the sign NOT because I did what is written on the sign. :P

I was able to get some water in my pint glass right after receiving it, but then bottled water was nowhere to be found. Are you serious? I grabbed a banana, but looked all around and no water anywhere. Planning FAIL!!

The post-race celebration was sponsored by Michelob Ultra (BOO!) so we decided to head home. I would recommend a local race go with a local brew (Harpoon, Sam Adams, etc) to celebrate rather than a blah beer like Michelob Ultra. I bought Slumbrew so I could have my own party at home. :)

I headed back into the transition area to clean up my stuff. I was really pleased with how I set up my transition area.

I wish I had been able to meet up with more people afterwards - thankfully I did see some ZOOM folks and Tedy's Team folks - but I forgot to take any group photos. Oops!

I really can't thank ZOOM Multisport enough for welcoming me into their group. I thank Robin, Hank, Tara, Darcie, Jackie, Cat, Greg, Lisa and so many others for letting me text or FB you with numerous questions/pictures/thoughts during training and race prep.

So the question remains: will I do this again?


I'm ready for the next adventure as I go from morbidly obese couch potato to Boston Marathon Finisher to Triathlete to ???

My Makeshift Monday Morning Triathlon...

On Sunday while driving home from Suzi Storm's wedding in upstate New York, I was tracking my friend Tara from A Life Changing Journey OWN her first Half Ironman. At the same time, Krysten from The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail was ROCKING her first Triathlon. How could I not be pumped and inspired by all of that awesomness?

So what did I decide to do yesterday morning?

Attempt my own personal Sprint Triathlon at the gym.

On March 3, I somehow landed on the Boston Triathlon (Sprint Tri) website and registered for it (happens August 4). Don't remember, check this out to refresh your memory!

Training has been slow. I finally bought a bike on May 5, but getting the running-biking-swimming training schedule down has been tough. I am trying to train for the Sprint Tri (1/2 mile swim, 9 mile bike and 4 mile run) while also keeping up with training for a slew of half marathons, marathon and Dopey Challenge - which are all on the horizon.

But with all the awesomness that happened on Sunday, I woke up yesterday morning and committed to attempt to do this whole Sprint Tri at my Boston Sports Club location.

I didn't really want to tell anyone what I was going to attempt in case I failed. I confided in Dacia from Run. Ride. Repeat. since she is a non-judgmental cheerleader! :)

I made sure to get #PoweredByBits before embarking on this endeavour thanks to ENERGYbits!!

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I got to the gym about 10am dressed for the swim with a backpack of clothes for the bike/run.

Thankfully between google and my math degree I was able to figure out that I would need to swim 32 lengths of the pool or 16 laps in order to reach the 1/2 mile swim the Boston Triathlon has.

I popped my X-1 Audio waterproof headphones on the back of my goggles, started my timer and I was off. I was going for nice and even strokes and hoping not to go out too fast.

Boy did the music help keep me focused on the swim and on the correct lap number. :P

I finished the 32 lengths in 15:04.

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Can you tell I was excited?

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My arms felt GREAT! And I owe a huge thanks to my wife since the bathing suit, swim cap and goggles were all borrowed from her. :P

I quickly headed into the locker room to change for the bike.

It has been AGES since I used a regular gym bike...

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... since I normally get my bike on either outside with Roxie or in Spin class!

It was an awkward bike experience, but I was determined to finish the 9 miles on the bike no matter what.

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I definitely know the bike section will be better 1) in the moment, 2) with more practice and 3) on a more comfortable bike!

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My legs were feeling a little tired - I think from the awkward motion from the oversized bike ;) but I was ready to hit up the treadmill for the 4 mile run.

As I was running, I decided to keep myself at a nice 8:30 pace. I obviously was not doing this little experiment for time, but to prove to myself that I could.

But, as the run got to the 5k mark, my legs were feeling good so I started upping the pace a little each tenth of a mile. Because why not, right?

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I ended up with a 8:31 min/mile pace and I was A-ok with that!!

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I DID IT!! I successfully completed a swim-bike-run in that order and with minimal time in between each one.

I know the actual Sprint Tri will be a whole different experience, but boy did completing each distance within a 2-hour timeframe make me feel a tad more prepared!

I ended up finishing my challenge in 1:21:33.

At least now I have a jumping off point for the rest of my training. I have about 5 weeks before actual race day.

Now I need to work on getting outside and swimming in the open waters, bike on the street and put the sneakers on the pavement.

But for now, I will bask in my own awesomeness and inspire myself to get out and do more!

Weekly Workout Wind Up (6/13-19/13)

Weellll I wanted to return to swimming this week, but apparently the pool had a different idea and it was closed everytime I headed to the gym. But, I am going to get over my fear of swimming outside and embark on that endeavour next week! Eek! I hurt my ankle at the Ruckus Boston race on Saturday so I took it easy on Sunday and Monday and made sure to have an ankle brace on. But, starting Tuesday I was brace free and feeling okay!

Thursday, June 13: Day 25 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred

June 13

Friday, June 14: REST DAY


Saturday, June 15: Ruckus Boston (4-Mile Obstacle Run)

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Sunday, June 16: Walk/Stairmaster/Elliptical with Lindsey

June 16

Monday, June 17: Day 26 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred, 3.2 Mile Run, Bike To/From Work, 5k Run and 50-Minute Spin

June 17a

June 17

june 17-2a

june 17-2

june 17-3

Tuesday, June 18: Day 27 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred, 2.5-Mile Run and 45-Min Stairmaster

june 18

june 18-2

june 18-3

Wednesday, June 19: Day 28 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred, 4.1-Mile Run and 10-Mile Bike Ride w/ my dad

june 19

june 19-2

june 19-3

Feelin' STRONG this week!! :)

Weekly Workout Wind Up (5/16-22/13)

I have had one amazing week workout wise. I am loving adding variety to my workout and starting to really add strength training into the regime. I know that I am starting on the ground floor, but at least I am starting! I was in a car accident in 2006 that left my left shoulder pretty weak. BUT I am done allowing that to hold me back. I am also done letting my fear of the weights floor at the gym stop me from starting to lift. Thank you Jillian Michaels DVD for allowing me to break out of my comfort zone in the safety of my own home gym. :)  

Thursday, May 16: Day 6 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and 4-Mile Run

may 16

may 16-2

Friday, May 17: Day 7 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and Walking Around Boston

may 17

Saturday, May 18: Walking Along The Beach/Ogunquit Beach and Day 8 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred

may 18

may 18-2

Sunday, May 19: 12-Mile Run, 45-Minute Walk With Friends and Day 9 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred

may 19

may 19-2

Monday, May 20: Day 10 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and 5-Mile Run

may 20

may 20-2

Tuesday, May 21: 3.15-Mile Run, Day 11 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred (Day 1 of Level 2) and 30-Minute Swim

may 21

may 21-2

may 21-3

Wednesday, May 22: Day 12 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred and 5k Run

 may 22

may 22-2


I can’t wait to add more swimming to the mix next week… :) :)

Have You Met Roxie?

Soooo remember that time I signed up for a triathlon? Oh you don't because I haven't mentioned it on here... ;)

Well, in case you need to jog your memory you can check out the fateful day here.

Don't worry I will wait here until you are all caught up.




Well you are a fast reader.


... after completing the Boston Marathon on April 15 and taking some time off (okay not really as much as I should have, but there was some time off) it was time to come up with a triathlon training plan.

And that's where we hit the snag of ... oh you need a bike to complete a triathlon!

Say whaa??

So before coming up with an actual training plan, step one became: buy a bike. :)

Thankfully I have amazing friends and social media folk to steer me in the right direction. I had a long list of shops to check out.

Since I never shop alone (and my parents were kicking in some money as a belated christmas present), my dad and I headed out to a local bike shop - Ace Wheelworks - on Friday May 3 to start this whole process.

It brought back flashbacks of when he and I went to buy me a car as my college graduation present. <<shiver>>

I walked into the store like a blank slate! I was definitely going with the suggestions from the guy at the store. I trust the experts.

He steered me towards the Specialized Women's Road Bikes. They looked great. :P

Well he wanted me to try a Specialized Dolce Compact, but they didn't have one ready for me to ride.

My dad had to get to a dinner thing so we set up an appointment to go back to Ace Wheelworks the following day after 3pm to road test the bike.

We went back on Saturday, May 4 and had a different person helping us. But she quickly won be over with her knowledge of the bikes and especially how a woman would feel on the bikes.

It was weird to be back on a bike. I don't think I had ridden a bike since maybe high school? But, just like they say it, it was like riding a bike. The mechanics came back to me as soon as I got on there. Yes, I was still a little nervous, but it was great to feel the wind in my face.

I love that bike shops have you take the bike for a ride to find the right fit ... just like I do with running sneakers!

I test road 3 different styles ranging in three different price ranges and even tried a Trek Bike as well...


Dolce Elite Compact Equipped

... but felt most comfortable on the Specialized Dolce Sport Compact. They only had the red option in stock and I was hoping for the charcoal and teal. The woman made a call to Wheelworks other location and they had one in stock! SCORE!

may 4 actual

Isn't it pretty?

I wasn't ready to pull the plug on the sale yet, so we set up another appointment the next day to test ride the charcoal/teal Dolce Sport Compact. Woo!

After the bike shop, the wife and I headed to KMart for some shopping and I found THE bike I would use for my triathlon.

may 4



On Sunday morning (May 5), we headed to Quincy so I could run the Half of Quincy then it was time to get back to the task at hand.

My dad, wife and I headed over to Farina's in Watertown to see what they had to offer. Their featured brands are Cannondale and Giant. The guy had me try a Giant. I took it around the blocks a couple times, but it was over my price point (cheapest option they had in stock) and just didn't feel right.

We finished up right on time to head back to Ace Wheelworks to see if it was in fact the bike of my dreams.


How could it not be?

I took the bike for a test ride and as soon as I pushed off I knew it was right. :) We were a match made in Heaven.

Boy are bikes expensive!! I know I could have taken more time to look at used models, but friends kept stressing to get the right feel and I am such a bike novice I wanted to trust the experts.

My crew and I pow-wowed and it was a consensus that this bike and I were made for each other ... and it was under the price point. I had been hoping to spend less than $1k on this bike since it is my first bike.

may 5

The Happy Couple

I went with the basics for Day One by just adding a water bottle holder. I can go back within the first month of purchase to pick up other essentials - like a bike lock, pedals with clips, another water bottle holder, etc.

I signed on the dotted line and the bike was mine.

There was just one little issue...

We rolled up in my Jetta. Yeah no real room for a bike in there with the three people.

So I had to make a date to pick the bike up on Tuesday (May 7).

Once the bike was selected, it felt like ages before I could pick her up.

With work schedules and weather, I've gotten out on the bike twice so far:

may 10

A quick 8 mile ride with my dad (May 10)

may 15

A solo trip around the Mystic River before a downpour (May 15)

It was crazy for me to see how much farther you get on a bike in the same amount of time I run. Yes, I know that should be obvious, but still. My first ride was a 2-to-1 ratio of bike miles to run miles. I hear the correct ratio should be 4-bike miles to 1-run mile. Eek! I have to work on my pace.

This week I am heading back to Ace Wheelworks to pick up a lock and an odometer to record my mileage/pace so I can start riding this baby around the city. :)

Oh and how could I forget!

Remember to call her Roxie ... she likes to be referred to by name! ;)

*** Do you have a bike? Did you name it? Are you hooked?

Really Self A Triathlon?

TRUTH! I went so far out of my comfort zone on Friday and signed up for my first triathlon ...

2013-03-03 12.53.13

... and immediately made this face:

2013-03-01 13.49.30

Yup - exactly. :P

This is the face expressing:








If you told me four years ago, that I would be training for the Boston Marathon, that I would be attending a 9-hour class on Saturday to try and get certified as a Spin Instructor or that I would be constantly going outside of my comfort zone ... I would've told you to stop dreaming!

But thanks to Weight Watchers and shedding 60+ lbs - it is happening. It is the truth.

In December 2012, I was thinking back about how I had set out my goals for 2012 and completed them all, which I was proud of on it's own. But, it got me thinking about what I wanted to see happen in 2013.

And a little voice in my head kept repeating "triathlon ... triathlon ... triathlon" over and over and over again. So I took that little word and stored it in the back of my brain for safe keeping since clearly it wasn't something I would ever really do.

I mean I'm not built to do a triathlon.

Plus, I was focusing on my Boston Marathon training plan and making sure I could follow through with that.

Then a few weeks back I started thinking - what am I going to do after the Boston Marathon? What do I want to do next?

I've been toying with the idea of trying to qualify for Boston (aka take 24 minutes off my current marathon time), but then that pesky little word crept back into the front of my mind: triathlon.

Now, I'm not sure if it was a high power or fate or destiny or dumb luck, but on Friday I was wasting some time on Facebook and up posted a status update from Boston Triathlon. I really don't remember ever even liking their page.

So I had to click through to their Facebook page, which led to clicking on their webpage, which was followed by reading through the event details, which somehow ended with me pulling out my credit card and registering.

Do we see how this all happened because of Facebook. Can I blame them? ;)

I was gchatting with the wife while I kept clicking through from page to page and asked if I should really do this. But, before she could really say yes - I had already hit SUBMIT ... and the rest is history.

It's like the stars aligned and it was just meant to be as I was looking for something to train for locally so I'm excited that my first tri will be in Boston so my family can come cheer me on. :)

So now once I run the Boston Marathon on April 15 I will take a couple weeks off and then begin Tri training.

The Boston Triathlon is on August 4 and looks to be a Sprint Triathlon (or closest definition of a tri I could find). It features a 1/2 mile swim, a 9 mile bike and a 4 mile run.

I know I can complete all of the components now I just need to make sure I can do them consecutively on the same day. :P

I am currently shopping around for Sprint Triathlon training plans so if you know of any, please pass them along!

Now that the registration is complete - it's time to buy a bike and a wetsuit.

I am excited to share the training process with you all ... since this is completely new to me!

Let's Do This!