Sunday, November 12, 2017

Silver Falls Half Marathon 2017

Silver Falls weekend was a great time as always.

This year we rented one of the lodges at the Silver Falls Conference Center.  It had six rooms, each with two twin beds.  There was a big common room with couches and a table and chairs.  We filled up all six rooms with fun people that were going to be participating in events or people that were coming to cheer runners on.

Friday we showed up and got to meet Mike Hale.  I have been friends with Mike on social media for a few years now.  My husband and I connected with Mike through our good friends Josh and Wendie.  Mike lives in Arizona so we haven't met before this weekend.  He was going to be doing the 50k on Saturday.

It was fun to finally meet Mike in person.  He brought his mom along so she could cheer for him for his first 50k.  They were both a lot of fun to have in the lodge for the weekend.  I love meeting new fun people!!

Kyle and KaLynn were also in the lodge with us and their adorable baby Landon.  I personally appreciate them bringing the baby because it was so fun to play with him and watch him hanging out and being busy in the way only a baby can be.  He was seriously adorable.  His parents were pretty cool too.

KaLynn's mom and dad, Terry and Charlie, came along as well to cheer on Kyle and help out with Landon.  Again, really fun people to get to know.

Robin and Searainya were there as well.  Robin was signed up for the 7 miler and her awesome wife was there to cheer her on.  We had met them both last year and it was fun to get more time to get to know them better this year.

The amazing Josh and Wendie were the ones that helped me fill up all the rooms in the lodge and I appreciate that they have fun people in their lives and that they are willing to share their friends with Joe and I.

Joe and I had the final room.  I always like having adventures with my best friend.  He's my favorite roommate too!

Josh, Mike, Joe, Tony and Kyle were doing the 50k.
Wendie and Robin were signed up for the 7 miler.
I was doing the 1/2 Marathon on Sunday.

My job on Saturday was to be the support crew for Joe.  He had marked out four places he wanted me to be and had a list of what fuel and liquid I needed to have ready.  The 50k race started at 7:00 a.m. which was a little dark but not too bad.  The racers started out doing a shorter loop and working their way back to the parking lot where we were a little after three miles so we hung out to be able to see the guys early on.  While the weather was on the cold side, the rain was holding off which was nice for both runners and spectators!
Race Weekend Selfie.  He rolls his eyes when I ask but then lets me take it anyway. 😁
I always enjoy cheering for people.  It's so much fun!  I know that I appreciate it when I'm running.
Early morning start for the 50k group!
Had to get a picture with Mike in it!!
Once we saw Tony, Kyle, Joe, Josh and Mike all go past I headed to the truck so that I could make my way to the first spot to crew for Joe.  I wanted to make sure I got there in plenty of time.  I wouldn't want to be late and miss Joe and have him not have something he needed.
Wendie, me and Robin waiting to cheer the guys at mile three.
Josh, Joe and Mike at mile three.
I was hanging out and cheering for the runners that were going by.  I made it in time to see Tony go by.  A bit later came Kyle.  Next Josh and Mike were running by and a couple of minutes later came Joe.  He was looking good and feeling pretty good.  We swapped out hydration packs and he took off.  I headed back to the Conference Center.  The next spot that Joe wanted me to be at was at the parking lot of the Conference Center.  I had enough time to get back, fill up the empty hydration pack with fluid and food so it was ready to go, take a potty break, visit with people at the lodge for a bit and then head back to the parking lot to wait.

This time as people passed me and I was cheering they recognized me from the last two times they saw me. lol  One guy said, "There you are again!  You are everywhere!  How did you get here so fast?"  I laughed and told him that I ran faster than he did.  😉  Pretty cheeky for someone that hasn't run farther than a 1/2 marathon talking to someone doing a 50k.  lol

Missed seeing Tony, aka Sir Speedy.  But I did see Kyle, Josh and Mike again.  I also got to see my friend Chad who was doing his first marathon go by.  He was smiles and thumbs up, and doing well.  Joe was a bit farther back but not outside of where he thought he would be by this point of the race.  We swapped out the hydration packs again and off he went.

The next meeting would take a bit longer since they had about a 10 mile stretch out in the back country of the Silver Falls park.  I was supposed to meet Joe at the North Falls.  I had plenty of time to get the hydration pack set up for the next swap and just hang out for a bit.

Wendie had done her 7 miler while I was out and about crewing for Joe.  I was bummed to not get to cheer for her because she is ALWAYS an amazing cheering section for everyone else.  Unfortunately, crewing for the hubby trumps cheering for a friend.  Luckily, she is married to an long distance runner too so she totally gets it.

Robin has been dealing with an injury most of this past spring and summer.  She was hoping to be healed enough to do the 7 miler but decided that it would be best to not do it and risk making things worse.  I know she was really bummed but it was still awesome to have her and Searainya hanging out in the lodge with us all weekend.  I'm glad they came anyway!

I met up with Wendie, Terry, Charlie, KaLynn (with baby Landon) and Kristy at the North Falls.  Kristy had come out to cheer for her guy Tony and for everyone else as well.  Loved getting to see her and get a big Kristy hug!

Tony had gone by before I got there.  I got to see Kyle go by.  Not too long after that we saw Chad again, looking solid at about 20 miles in.
Chad taking a quick refueling break before heading off for the last leg of his first marathon.
Mike and Josh still smiling at mile 25.
Later Josh came running in, followed by Mike not too much later.  They walked up to the parking lot to get a quick adult refreshment from Wendie before they continued on.  This was about 12:45 p.m.  If Joe had been able to maintain his pace then he should be arriving around 1:00 p.m.  However, he told me at the last meeting that his knee was giving him some issues so I wasn't totally surprised that he wasn't there at 1:00 p.m.   The cutoff to be able to continue was 1:30 p.m.  By 1:15 p.m. I was getting a bit antsy so I walked a little ways up the trail.  I knew at this point that his knee must be bothering him quite a bit.  I finally went back and Wendie and Kristy let me know that they were heading to the South Falls.  I walked back up the trail again for quite a ways but didn't see anyone.  I went back to the aid station and asked if the sweepers had found anyone injured.   I was told that they were about 1.5 miles out and didn't have anyone with them.  So I knew that Joe was still moving along.  He just was moving slow.
Pretty area while I was walking about waiting for Joe.
About 2:00 p.m. I saw Joe coming down the trail.  The first thing he said was "I'm sorry!"  Seriously!!  Whatever for?  He said he knew I would be worrying and he felt bad.  I was worrying, it's what I do but he didn't need to be sorry for it.  I just felt bad that he wouldn't be able to finish the 50k.  He made it 25 miles before he had to stop.

I'm so proud of him!  That's a long way to go and not be able to go on and reach the goal you have been working towards for months.  I felt bad that he wasn't able to keep going but I was proud of him for being smart and not pushing it to the point where he damaged something seriously.  We walked to the car and headed back to the finish line so that we could cheer for the rest of the guys.  Poor Joe, he was so cold he was shaking!!

We got back in time to see Kyle finish and not long after we saw Josh and Mike finish.  Everyone felt like they had good races and were also bummed for Joe not being able to finish.  Chad finished his marathon in solid fashion and his wife was waiting to celebrate with him at the finish line.
Chad getting a big hug from his #1 fan!
I love the support that people have for each other.  Celebrating the successes and supporting each other when the day doesn't turn out quite like we had planned.

We had a big dinner back at the lodge.  Everyone had brought things for the dinner.  There was baked potatoes, salad and all kinds of yummy things to eat.  We had all changed into warm clothes.  They guys had taken showers, which we all appreciated!  It was so fun to just sit around and talk about the day and how it went.  There was a lot of laughter, teasing and just fun.  There was a TV in the lodge and no one turned it on the entire weekend.  We were too busy just enjoying our time together.

I was the only person racing the next day so I spent some time getting my clothes ready and getting Joe's hydration pack ready for me to use.

It wasn't long before I headed to bed.  I was pretty wiped out.  Work was a bit nuts the week before with Halloween on Tuesday, the after Halloween ugh with students (if you are a teacher you will know what I'm talking about) and the full moon.  The kids were a bit wild and crazy all week so I was a little more tired than usual heading into the weekend.   Not a good thing since I operate on a certain level of over tired on a good day.  With the time change happening that night I was getting teased that I was actually going to bed at 6:30 p.m.  They didn't think I would sleep all night and would wake up super early in the morning.  lol  Nope!  Woke up at about 5:30 a.m. (new time) and I was so glad I had gone to bed early!

My race didn't start until 9:00 a.m. and since we were so close I didn't have to hurry to eat or get ready.  I had showered the night before and braided my hair so that I didn't have to deal with that in the morning which was nice.

It wasn't long before it was time to load up.  Check out time was 11:00 a.m. so Joe and I had decided to pack up so that he wouldn't have to deal with it while I was running.  We said our goodbyes to everyone since most of them were going to be heading for home.  Loved making new friends and getting to know other friends even better!!

Joe and I got to the park and bugged Josh, Wendie and Mike since they were volunteering at packet pick-up.  Then I got my stuff organized and got ready for my race to start.  About 15 minutes before the race, it started to rain hard.  Up until then it had only been drizzling so I was hopeful that it would stay that way.  No such luck.  I had one of those $1 ponchos in my backpack so I got that out and put it over me.  I didn't want to be soaked to the skin right off the bat.  That would make for a very long, cold run.
I had signed up for the first wave that started at 9:00 a.m.  There was another wave starting at 9:15.  They encourage the faster runners to start at 9:00 a.m.  My thinking was that I would be at the back of the pack for the first wave but wouldn't get stuck behind a bunch of slower runners in the second wave. I'm faster than I used to be but not speedy.  I thought this was a reasonable game plan.

Turns out not so much.

At first it went about like I thought it would.  I was at the back of the first wave but not at the totally back of the group.  It took me a couple of miles to get warmed up and feel like I had a good pace going.  I took the rain poncho off once the rain went back to being a drizzle at about Mile 2.

I saw Joe after the first three miles near the South Falls parking lot which I expected since it is so close to the start line.
Three miles done.
Now it started to be more hilly.  I had to climb up to the Rim trail.  Once I got up to the top of that it leveled out some and wasn't too bad.  But the trail is narrower and it is harder to pass people.  It's also harder for people to pass me.

And there suddenly was a LOT of people trying to pass me.  My plan for being able to stay in between the two waves didn't work out to well.  There was so many people in that second wave that were really fast and they were all trying to get past me.

I also think that most of them are not experienced trail runners.  There are certain things that are important when running on a trail to keep people safe.  You have to tell the person that you are trying to pass that you are coming on the left AND you have wait until they have a safe place to move over.  Running on a trail is not about running on one side.  There are so many rocks and tree roots that you have to be watching where you are running and taking the steps that are the safest.  I had so many people not say anything when they passed me and didn't wait for a safe spot.  I got grumped at several times because I got in someones way trying to avoid bad terrain.  I had people push on me because they chose to try and pass me somewhere that it wasn't wide enough.

I started getting frustrated.

I started feeling like this wouldn't happen if I wasn't so slow.

I started letting my chimp brain take over.

Why do I think I can do trail runs?

Why did I start with the first wave?  That was so stupid.

I should have started at the back of the second wave.  Why did I think I was faster?

Maybe I should just quit.  Joe might be at the North Falls and I could just call it a day there.

I moved to the side several times and long lines of people would pass me.

I felt stupid.

Then I started smacking myself on the back of the head.  I knew what I was doing and it needed to stop.

There are a couple of parking areas along the Rim Trail and I was running up to the first one and I saw my husband standing there waiting for me.

That was a big boost.
How can I even think about quitting when Joe gave his all for his race and wasn't able to keep going, even though he wanted to!

So I smiled at my best friend and #1 fan and kept going.

At the next parking lot, there he was again.

I thought I wouldn't see him until I got to the finish but he kept going to the next spot he could park and cheering me on.

I was still struggling with frustration and there were tears a couple of times.  But I knew I was getting in my own head when I was actually doing just fine.  My professor brain told my chimp brain to shut up.  It took awhile, that darn chimp brain is stubborn!  (I got the understanding of chimp brain and professor brain from the book "The Brave Athlete".  I'm about half way through the book and I am learning a lot and it SO applies to me and how I think of myself as an athlete!  I recommend it!)

By the time I got to the North Falls I was doing better with the mental part. Still getting passed, still a little teary but not quitting.  Joe was waiting for me at the North Falls and was cheering for me the whole time I was coming down the hill.

The trail starts getting trickier at this point.  There is a lot of bigger rocks on the trail, tree roots and more up and down.  I walked where I had to but kept up a pretty good pace where it was flat or more downhill (as long as the path wasn't too technical).

I stopped worrying about the people behind me and just ran on the trail where it was safest and moved out of the way when it worked easy.  I got back into the mindset of doing MY race and not being so aggravated with comparing myself or getting frustrated with other people and what they were doing.
The last six miles of my run were harder physically but much better mentally!

When I got to the Lower South Falls I had to walk up a lot of stairs.  I mean a lot of stairs!!  I can testify that I had been doing a good job of engaging my glutes when running because I felt them protesting on every step.

It doesn't take long to get from the Lower South Falls to the South Falls.  I came around the corner and there was my friend Josh waiting for me with a big smile.  Then I hear shouting and I look up and can see Joe and Wendie at the top of the falls yelling for me.  By this time I've got my mental issues under control and am having fun with my race.  Having my husband and my good friends cheering me on just solidified that.

Josh was going to trudge up the trail with me to the top of the falls but then a young woman stopped us asking if we had any water and if there was an easier way to get to the top.  She hadn't carried any water or fuel on the run and was feeling dizzy and shaky.  There is only one way to get back to the parking lot and it's going up the trail.  I gave her a Cliff bar and then we started walking with her up the trail.  She definitely wasn't steady.  Josh told me to go ahead and he would walk with her.  I appreciated that.  If he hadn't been there I would have stayed with her, she was in no condition to be alone.  When I got to the top I had big smiles and high fives from Joe and Wendie.  They asked what was going on because they had seen us talking to the girl and that Josh was still with her.  I told them what was up and Joe got some water and electrolytes from the aid station and walked down the trail to get them to the young woman.
Made it to the top of South Falls.  Less than a 5k left to do.
This is another thing about events like this that I love.  When it comes down to it, people look after each other.

I got some more water and then headed out again.  I still had about 2.5 miles left to go and one big hill right at the end.

The last time I did this race I really struggled to finish.  I walked from the time I got to the South Falls until I got to close to the finish line.  This time I was able to run all the way from the South Falls to the bottom of Nut Cracker Hill.  That was a big win for me and I was pretty happy with myself for that part alone.

I slogged up Nut Cracker Hill.  It wasn't too slippery and muddy going up this year.  Definitely could tell that all the 50k runners, marathon runners and 7 miler runners all had already been there the day before!  Coming down the other side was much harder.  It was much steeper and was really, really, really slick.  It was all slippery mud and I was walking down sideways, kind of like you do on skis when you don't want to slide down the slope.  It took a long time to get down that hill.  I had a couple of guys behind me doing the same thing I was doing.  We were laughing about how ridiculous this last hill was, especially at the end of the race!

I was worried about falling down and sliding all the way down the hill.  I thought of the movie "Romancing the Stone" where the main characters, a man and a woman, are arguing in a rain storm in the jungle when suddenly the side of the road gives way and she goes sliding down the hill.  He slides down after her and ends up landing with his face in her lap. lol  I really didn't want to go sliding down the hill and I most definitely did not want one of the guys behind me to do the same and land the way the guy in the movie did!  Gave me a chuckle at the end of the race.  So nice to be able to entertain myself on long runs.  😄

Once I got to the bottom of the hill I had to run across a grassy area, head across the bridge and make my way to the finish line.  I was running, partly because I always have finished a race running, no matter how good or bad the day went and also because I didn't want those two guys that had been behind me on the hill to pass me at the very end.

Joe, Josh and Wendie were all there at the finish cheering me on.  I know I have said it all through this post but it is so great having people I love cheering for me during events.  Seeing their smiling faces and hearing their support makes the day so much better.
On the home stretch. 
Getting it done.
Another 13.1 race done!

I got a PR for the 1/2 Marathon.  The last time I did this race it was in 2013.  I was hoping for a huge PR because I've come a long way with my running and general fitness since then, especially the last two years. In 2013 my time was 3:28:42.  My time this year was 3:19:59.  That is an improvement of 8 minutes and 33 seconds.  I had thought it was more around a 5 minute improvement so this is pretty cool.

At first I was bummed that I didn't get my goal of 3:15 or less.  I worked super hard and pushed through in spite of the frustrations and chimp brain activity.  But the more I reflected on the day and how I did the better I feel about it.  I am my own worst critic!  There's a lot to celebrate and I need to give myself a break!

We said goodbye to Josh and Wendie because they needed to head for home.  Then Joe and I went to the truck to get my backpack.  I had a change of clothes ready because I knew I was going to be cold and wet.  I went into the bathroom and got changed.  I didn't realize how wet I had gotten because after the initial downpour the first couple of miles it had just been drizzly until the last hill.  I had taken off the rain poncho off when it had turned to just drizzle.  But 11 miles of drizzle can get you more soaked than you think.

Getting on the warm and dry clothes felt so good!!  When I came out of the bathroom Joe was waiting for me and it had started to hail.  We dashed out to the truck and just watched the hail come down.  The ground looked like it had been snowing.  I was really glad I wasn't finishing the race in the hail.  Would make for a good story but an experience I could live without.
Glad I was done running before this happened!
 Joe and I shared a post-race beverage and just enjoyed sitting in the car and having the heater going.

Soon it was time to head for home.  I was looking forward to a nap!

I wonder what I was thinking sometimes when I am doing a trail run.  Why do I do this to myself?  It's hard and I'm not naturally good at it.  I worry about falling down so I'm cautious and I won't go full tilt down a hill like a lot of people seem to be able to do.  Breathing is hard going up hill.  But I keep signing up.  I guess it's a weird kind of fun.  The motivation to start running revolved around being able to do a six mile trail run.  While I'm not the best at them I still get a kick out of being able to say I got it done.

Funny, when my co-workers or friends have mentioned the run nobody asks what my time was or if I was fast.  They only say good job and that it was awesome that I ran 13.1 miles!!

Oh ya, I ran 13.1 miles!

In the woods.

With 1,200 feet of elevation.

In the rain.

In November!

Ok, that is pretty cool.

(You should be really proud of me for not downplaying it by saying it isn't a 50k or a marathon.  Because I totally wanted to.  😉)

**Photo credit to Joe and Wendie.  I was so busy crewing and then running that I did a poor job of picture taking.  So glad they were willing to share!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Self Challenge

Facebook has a cool thing that allows you to see what you posted in the past on that day.  I always go check because it's fun to see what was going on.

The last few months have had a lot of pictures of my sweet puppy, Bailey.  This is bittersweet since she has been gone since last April and I still miss her.  But I also like seeing the pictures because they are great memories of my girl.

I also love the pictures I have posted of my kids.  First day of school, choir concerts, random adventures.  The two oldest are all grown up and not living at home anymore.  The youngest is in her junior year of high school and is growing up fast.  Middle school pictures are the best because they change so much after that stage!

It also has been fun to see where I have been in my journey to a healthier me and really how far I have come.

Today is a great example of this.  Four years ago today I did my very first triathlon.  It was a sprint triathlon called the Last Chance Tri.  You can read all about how it went from the point of view of that day here: Last Chance Triathlon 2013

It was a very good day and I was very proud of myself for accomplishing a triathlon.

Then I didn't do another one for almost three years.

I got busy.

I was running.

I had other goals.

Sounds reasonable, right?

All of those things are true.  But there were some other things in there.

I was too large to "really" be a triathlete.

I was too slow to be a triathlete.

I was still scared of riding a bike.

I wasn't good at swimming.

So I kept avoiding talking about doing a triathlon and doing my best to be very busy with other things.

Eventually my husband caught on to my avoidance and started pinning me down on what was really going on in my head.  Totally fine if doing triathlons wasn't my thing.  Totally not okay if I was letting fear keep me from doing something.

Worked on getting back on the bike.  Practiced stopping and starting and not falling down.  Always a good thing.

Worked on improving my swimming.  Started swim lessons with my daughter and started feeling like I could actually swim longer distances and not be struggling the entire time.

Then I worked on the mental side.  Seeing myself as an athlete has been difficult.  I have always equated my size and my speed with my athletic ability.  If I am fat and slow then I can't really be considered an athlete.  More of just a athlete wanna be.

This will be something that I think will always be something I am working on.  But I am much better than I used to be.

Today showed me how far I have come since that first triathlon.  Both in my ability as an athlete and in how I view myself as an athlete.

In the last two years I have done 10 triathlons!!  Six have been Sprint triathlons and four have been Olympic triathlons.

6 miles of swimming
168 miles on the bike
43 miles of running

And that's just from the racing!  That doesn't include the many hours in the pool, on the bike (outside and on the trainer) and running that I did to get ready for these races.

I have not only accomplished things that make feel like an athlete, I have also taken some big steps with how I view myself as an athlete. I still have my times that I am totally frustrated with my weight, my speed, and my being tired all the time.  But I'm doing a better job of celebrating what I can do and how hard I work to make these things happen.

I started a new job at a new school this fall.  I'm always a bit insecure when starting out with something new.  New people, new procedures, new expectations.  That's a lot of new.  It was a bit overwhelming.
I gave myself a challenge.

The idea for the challenge came from last summer when Jon challenged me to take the word heavy out of the subtitle of my blog.  That was really hard for me.  It was also really good for me.  It has really made me conscious of my self-talk and how I speak about myself, both internally and out loud.

The beginning of the school year, before students are in the building, is about school norms, expectations and letting new staff have opportunities to get to know people.  This was no exception, the only difference was I was the new staff.  Totally unknown to my new co-workers.  I did not have anyone that I already knew in the building.  They knew nothing about me other than their impressions of me from my interview and sample lesson.

They didn't know me 70 pounds ago.

They didn't know me before I started running.

Or before I started doing triathlons.

Whatever I presented was how they would see me.  How I spoke about myself would give them a foundation of how they would see me.

So the challenge I gave myself was that I was not going to bring up the fact that I have lost weight.  That one wasn't terrible hard, a little difficult here and there but doable.  But I also wasn't going to say that I am still heavy or that I feel fat now.  No conversations about my weight at all!

The hard one was that when I shared that I run or do triathlons I was not going belittle what I do by saying that am slower than everyone else, or heavier than everyone else.

If it came up I said, "I do triathlons and it is so much fun!!" Nothing else other than talking about events or what I do to get ready. No qualifying or downplaying what I do.

Sounds easy.

It was much harder than I expected it to be.

My new co-workers don't know my journey.

They are meeting the triathlete.

Not the woman of seven years ago that started out struggling to make it around the track.

My race bibs are up above my white board.  I got to talk about events I've been in, share some of my adventures, and share how much fun I have had along the way.
Planning on getting race bibs all across the front of the room!
I had to stop myself often from adding to the stories the other aspects.  But I managed it.

Six weeks into my school year I have done the same thing with my students.

I have come a long way since that first triathlon.

This is who I am now.

I am a triathlete.

I'm learning to acknowledge the fact that I have been since the first triathlon.  I need to give myself more credit for how far I have come and appreciate the work to get me to where I am today.   Love the woman I was because she was strong enough to get me moving me down this road.  Embrace the woman I am today and all that I am able to do now.
Me and Miss Meighan at my first triathlon
Me and my coach Jon at my most recent triathlon.  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Best in the West Olympic Triathlon 2017

What a weekend!

This weekend was the Best in the West Triathlon weekend.  There were events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Joe and our teammates Ron, Mike and Rebecca and our friend Chad were all participating in the Half Ironman distance triathlon.  Our teammate Ruth and Rebecca's son Bradley were doing the Sprint Triathlon.  Janelle, friend and coach's wife, and her son Logan did the Sprint Paddle, Bike and Run.  This was a new event, what a great idea!

I had signed up to do body marking first thing in the morning.  This is where you get to write on people with a big black sharpie.  Bib number on the left shoulder and left hand, what race they are doing on the left calf and their age at the end of the year on their right calf.

I decided to bring our new puppy along because triathlons are a great place to get puppies socialized both with people and other dogs.  We brought along his crate so that he could hang out in the car while I volunteered and then he spent the rest of the day running around with me.

I had a blast volunteering.  But then I always do no matter what race I'm helping at.  People are just into it and excited and nervous and it is so much fun to encourage and be a small part of their experience.  I even got a cool Best in the West tank top to keep and they gave me a bandana for Finn to wear.

It wasn't too long before it was time for the action to start.  I made it down to the beach in time to see the start of the swim for the Half Ironman.  So cool to see them taking off.

Everyone came out of the water pretty close together and looking really great.  It wasn't long and they were all off on their long bike ride.
Mike coming out of the water.  It looks like he's eating his swim cap. 😁😁😃
Ron had a fantastic swim! 
Joe is looking good. 
Chad has his game face on!  😑
James finishing his swim. 
Rebecca had her wet suit off in the water in no time and was all smiles (and tongue) as she came out for high fives. 
Most of the day involved heading to different areas of the park trying to time it so we could see people finish the bike, start the run, pass by on their run or finish their races.  It was a blast cheering for so many people doing so many different things.  It was also a blast to watch my teammates see the all their hard work pay off.  We have put a lot of miles in the pool, in lakes, on our bikes (both in the trainer and on the road) and running.  Not to mention strength training!  All of that work made for a pretty spectacular day and loads of smiles from all of our friends.  It was a very good day!!
The fabulous Booth family before Janelle and Logan start the Sprint Paddle, Bike, & Run
Jon helping Janelle get going. 
Ruth was telling Joe to suck it up and go faster, made Joe finish the bike with a laugh!
LOVE this lady's smile!!!! 😀
My battery was dying on my phone so I missed getting pictures of everyone on the team during the rest of the day.  But they all looked awesome and like they were having a ton of fun.
Joe coming by after his first lap of the run.  
Rebecca getting ready to give us high fives as she starts her second lap.

Pretty cool to hang out in the Pure Endurance tent with some of my teammates while we waited in between racer sightings.  Your logo looks good Coach!  😄

Mike finished the Half Ironman
Ron had a great race!!
Joe had a great race in spite of the interruptions in his training the past few weeks. 
Chad looked great and is well on his way to new goals coming next year!
Rebecca finishing like she started....Smiling!! 😃
The hard work is done, time to relax a little.
Finn was quite popular, being such a handsome puppy!  He had a blast meeting people and other dogs and did a good job learning that jumping on people was not okay but butt wagging and licking was.  By the time we loaded up the car and headed for home he was one tired little guy!!

Joe was happy with how he did with the Half.  I was impressed, especially since his training has had lots of interruptions the last month as he went to work on wildland fires in the state a couple of times.  I'm always proud of my guy!!!  But watching him doing his workouts around his crazy schedule the last month and then kick ass during the triathlon was awesome!!
Pure Endurance athletes for Saturday events.  Awesome job everyone!!!!
By the time we watched everyone finish their races, got food, took pictures and cleaned up to head home it was almost five o'clock.  It was a very long day!  Joe and I headed to bed around 8:00 p.m.  Partly because we were both tired and partly because I had my race the next day.  The puppy didn't complain about going to bed so early either, he was one worn out puppy!

I crashed hard!  Spectating is hard work!!!

Sunday we got up and loaded up the car for round two.  This time teammates Marcus and Kathy and I were all doing the Olympic triathlon.  Melissa was supposed to be doing the Olympic Aquathon but got pneumonia and wasn't able to do her race, dang it!! Hopefully she gets better fast!  But she was feeling enough better that she came and cheered everyone on both Saturday and Sunday!!
Me and my guy, both triathletes (and isn't that a kick in the pants?) 😁
We arrived at the park at Foster Lake around 6:30 a.m.  I like getting there early because then I don't feel rushed getting my body markings and setting up my stuff.  I also have more time to be nervous which isn't good.  It was definitely the morning of nervous pooping.  If you do events of any kind you probably know what I'm talking about.  Seriously, it's so annoying!  And pretty stinky! lol
Third poop of the morning.  Geesh!  lol
It wasn't too long before it was time to put on the wet suit and head down to the lake.  I got into the water in the swim area and did some warming up.  We had a delay of the start of the race as there was a volunteer on the bike course that had a medical emergency.  The race directors wanted to make sure the bike course was all set with volunteers before we got started.  I appreciate that they put our safety first.

There was a cool moment while I was in the water.  They started the National Anthem.  I love how a crowd that is talking and laughing will quiet down for this song!  I always sing along when it is playing, Just something I have always done.  I'm standing in the water, up to about my waist, with my hand over my heart and singing along and pretty soon the lady next to me started singing too.  Then another person started, then another.  By the time it was done there was probably 10 or so people singing while standing out in the water.  I thought it was a special moment before we began our race, one that gave me goosebumps.
Pre-race chit chat with Kyle.
I was in the last wave to go in the water.  First it was the collegiate teams, then the men 39 and under, then the men 40 and over.  Next was the women 39 and under which the announcer called the Babe group.  lol  Then came the 40 and over women and anyone doing the swim for a relay.  The announcer called us the Super Babes group.  Ha!!  Nice save!  One of the guys that was doing a relay looked at his friend and said, "Don't think I've ever been called a babe before, let alone a super babe!"  Fun to start the race off with a giggle.
Kathy and I ready to head in to the water.
Getting counted going in, got a high five from Jaime which was a bonus!!
Wasn't too long before it was time to start.

I had the same problem that I had at Cottage Grove.  I couldn't get away from people!  lol  This can be rather frustrating while swimming but at the same time it is kind of cool because it means I have become a faster swimmer.  I used to be behind everyone and would maybe pass a few people along the way.  Now I'm more at the middle of the pack and I pretty much stay there and still pass a few people along the way.  It's just hard when people don't swim in a straight line!  I think I have gotten passed them and then they are cutting across in front of my again.  I am learning to not stop for them, I basically just swim over the top of them.  Seems a bit mean but I know I am swimming in a straight line, it's one thing I do really well.

I got into a pretty good groove after I was able to get out of the initial crowd and then get past the zig-zaggers.  My daughter Bri (aka Swim Instructor) has been working on fine tuning my stroke and I have seen big improvements almost immediately.  Kind of fun to be able to fix little things and see what a difference they make right away.
Marcus came out of the water so fast he ran right by before they could get a picture. 😉
Great picture of Kathy finishing her swim.
 I came out of the water and I hit the button on my watch to end the swim and start Transition 1.  I finished about the same as Tri at the Grove which was good considering the difficulties I had at the beginning.

I was pretty happy coming out of the water.  There is a long jaunt to get up to the Transition so I took off my goggles and swim cap, unzipped my wet suit and then pulled it down to my waist.  All while trotting along to get to my bike.
Joe got this picture of Coach taking his own pictures.  😀
My transitions are getting faster.  Pull the rest of the wet suit off, dry feet and put on socks and shoes.  Then bike gloves, sunglasses and helmet.  Unrack the bike and head for the bike mounting area.  I was getting lots of encouragement from my husband, my coach and my teammates.  They kept me smiling all through transition.
Getting the wetsuit off. 
My husband took this one, go figure.  I think he didn't think I would use it.  lol  
Heading out to start my bike ride.
I headed out on the bike.  The plan was to work on eating a PB&J during the first few miles.  This is so I can get more calories in me during the first part of the ride and will be better able to handle both the ride and the run without getting shaky because I've used up all my energy and don't have enough calories to keep me going.  I ate the sandwich pretty easily and washed it down with water.

The bike ride went well.  One advantage of living close to the course is being able to ride it often.  I knew all the up hills were doable and wasn't worried about going to fast on the downhills since I knew where the curves and corners were.

I started getting frustrated about getting passed.  I had a good swim and came out of the water before quite a few people but I was getting passed a lot.  I had to really concentrate on being okay with how I was doing and having fun with the fact that I was doing better than I had done this race before.  Comparing myself to others wouldn't keep me smiling.  Knowing that I was kicking my own butt did keep me smiling.

A young man that we have known since he was born was also participating.  He had done the race last year as well.  Last year he was finishing his bike ride when I was starting mine.  I saw him when I was about one mile into the ride.  The same thing happened this year except that I was almost six miles in before he zipped passed me heading to the finish of the bike.  I got a kick out of that, especially since he ended up being the overall winner!  We both had improvements!

I saw teammate Marcus when I was at about mile 11 as he was heading back.  Always fun to smile and wave at my teammate during a race.  At some point I must have passed Kathy as we headed out but didn't realize it.  She passed me when we were going up the last steep hill going to up to the dam.  I passed her again after we were past the dam.  I was pretty sure she would pass me on the run so I enjoyed being in front of her for a little bit.  😁

Coach should be proud that I'm in my lower bars!!  (For almost the entire ride!!!)  😄
I finished my bike ride with a pretty great time drop over last year so I was a pretty happy camper when I got to the dismount line.  I had a shorter walk to get to the transition than the year before which was nice.  I racked my bike, took off my helmet and gloves, grabbed my race bib and water bottle and headed for the exit.
Heading out for my 10k. 
The clouds were breaking up and the sun was starting to shine.  It didn't get terribly hot but there were a few stretches on the run where we were directly in the sun for a stretch and it did get hot!

The game plan Jon and I had come up with for the run was that I would run for a mile and then walk for one or two minutes, repeat.  I worked at trying to be consistent with my effort so I might go a little slower uphill but then I could go a little faster downhill and not necessarily be using more energy.  I felt pretty consistent so that was good.  Kathy passed me after the first mile, when she passed me on the way back from the first turnaround we got to give each other cheers and smiles.  I was able to keep her in sight pretty well for the first three miles so that was fun.  At one point I could see runners that were coming back from the second turn around and heading back down the road towards the finish.  I could see Marcus (the Pure Endurance kits have orange bands on the shorts which helps me spot teammates!)  He passed Kathy and I saw them cheer each other on.  Next thing I know I hear "GO LISA!!!" from the trees.  Marcus had spotted me down the road and was giving me a shout.  I gave him a "Whoop, Whoop, GO MARCUS!" back.  That made me smile for a long time.

The run was hard, lots of hills and the sun had come out.  But I felt so much better than I did during the run at Cottage Grove.  No side aches, no upset stomach, no jitters.  Just tired legs. 😉

I poured water over my head at each of the aid stations.  The last two aid stations had cold towels to use as well which was awesome.  The last aid station I stopped at, about mile 4, I asked for ice.  I pulled out my sports bra and started dumping the ice in.  The high school students that were manning the aid station were looking at me like I was crazy.  I figured it helped when I ran at Cascade Lakes Relay it certainly wouldn't hurt doing it now.  I put about three small dixie cups of ice down my sports bra.  That helped keep me cool.

When I got to the spot on the road where I turned onto the trail I only had 1/4 of a mile to go.  Joe was waiting there for me.  He had been volunteering for the Try a Tri and just waited for me to show up at the end of my run.  He ran with me for a ways which was nice.  He told me that if I kept moving I would finish under four hours.  I was pretty sure I had that goal down solid.  Which meant that I was pretty sure that I would have a PR for this race since last year it took me just over four hours.  What I wasn't sure about was if I would be able to get a PR for any Olympic distance triathlon. You know, out of the two events I have done. lol
Almost done!!  Breathing two out, three in all the way to the finish!  😃
Joe ran up ahead so he could get pictures of me coming into the finish.  That was kind of a good thing because it helped me speed up just a little so I could keep him in sight.

All of a sudden I am coming over the bridge and I can see the finish line.  I come around the corner and I hear Joe and Jon cheering for me and all of the people hanging out in the Saloon as well.  Jon yelled, "Quick feet, stand tall!!"  Which I did I think and then I tried to use the last bit of energy I could to go down that last chute fast.
Focused on finishing strong all the way over the line!
Wow!  That was hard and SO MUCH FUN!!!

I looked at my watch.  I knew that if I had any time under 3:55 I had PR the Olympic distance as well as this course.

Official time was 3:54:38.
Sunday's athletes with coach before the race.  Another good day!
Now for some comparisons, the good kind.  (And yes! I know that I will not always PR but I'm enjoying it while it is happening. 😛)

Here's my official results for 2017:
Compared to 2016:

Swim improvement: 1:20
Transition 1 improvement: 22 seconds
Bike improvement: 10:10
Transition 2 improvement: 22 seconds
Running improvement: 42 seconds

Total improvement: 12 minutes and 55 seconds over my time from last year's race!!!!
And bonus improvement for any Olympic Triathlon: 34 seconds.
My AWESOME Coach and me after the finish!
I love this picture of me and Jon!!  I think our smiles say it all!  It was a very good day.

Here's the funny thing.  I rocked my race and personally kicked my own butt in a pretty solid fashion.  Joe always says how you place depends on who shows up on race day.  Last year I came in third in my age group (out of three lol).  This year I came in 7th in my age group (out of seven).  Last year I came in 162 out of 168 people.  This year I finished 120 out of 121.  Joe kept saying there was a bunch of people still running but I was pretty sure I was only ahead of one guy the last couple of miles.

This shows that it is so important to look at how I am doing compared to myself and not anything else.  Getting an age group award was cool last year.  Beating my own time on a pretty hard course by over 12 minutes was way cooler and I came in 7th in my age group this year in spite of the better time.  Perspective!!!

Another fun thing was that they organized where we racked our bikes in transition by age groups.  This meant that I got to visit and have fun with the ladies that I was "competing" against.  Everyone was fun and encouraging.  There were several ladies that this was their first Olympic triathlon and they were so excited and nervous.  That was me last year!  Actually, this was my fourth Olympic triathlon and I was still excited and nervous!

Take-aways from this race:
  • I've worked hard and it has paid off. 
  • I need to work on having more confidence that the hard work is paying off.
  • I really love doing triathlons.
  • I have gained a whole bunch of teammates that are seriously, so much fun to hang out with, work out with, encourage and support.  My circle of people that have come into my life through exercise just keeps growing and I love it!
  • I have a fabulous husband that always cheers for me and I am so thankful that I can share doing these things with him.  Spectating is a complete blast but being able to be a participant with Joe is just really special.
  • I love getting to cheer for people!  Especially people that I know first hand the amount of time and effort they put in before race day.  Makes it even more cool to watch them do their thing. 
  • I love volunteering.  It's fun to be helping out and cheering for people, putting a smile on their face and in general just getting to be a part of the day even when I'm not racing.  
  • I have an amazing coach who pushes me to do things out of my comfort zone and taught me things so I am stronger and more confident.  I am so blessed to have a fabulous coach who I call friend as well and who gets me.  (That's a little scary! lol)
BIG shout out to Best in the West.  Once again, you put together an amazing race.  Every event you look for ways to improve so that the experience for athletes, volunteers and spectators is as fabulous as possible.  We look forward to being in any event you are running but this one is my particular favorite from start to finish.  Check out their website to see what fun things they have that you can sign up for.

Next up is the Silver Falls Half Marathon in November.  Got some work to do for my running this next year.  Always something to work on.  The fun just never stops.  😀