Sunday, April 14, 2013

Marquee Race Recap- that time I got stung by a bee!

Last night we had way too much fun with friends at a BBQ and stayed out a lot later than we typically do before a race. We had a small, pretend culinary festival at a friends house (so we all didn't have to drive and pay a ton of money for the real culinary festival that was going on). It turned out REALLY good.

The weather was perfect! 
I made 2 delicious kinds of cupcakes. Cannoli cupcakes and 'beer and pretzel' cupcakes (sounded more 'manly' for the boys). They were both so good! We also had 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter's' pork belly and wings, jalapeno poppers, chips and salsa, cheese plates, potato salad, and burgers and bratwurst. Everything was so, so delicious!

Cupcakes with a side of Jeffe
 I didn't eat my usual pre-race meal either so I was a little worried how today's race was going to go. I was pleasantly surprised when I had a great race and even PR'd!

Since the race consisted of 3 different races: a sprint, Olympic, and the Leadman tri we got there really early to see our friends off at the start of the Leadman race (which started first).

I asked 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' to take a photo of us and this is what I get.... 
 It was weird to get there so early and wait around. It was kind of nice to not have to rush with anything and just hang out.

Then it was time to line up in our waves and before I knew it we were jumping into the water! I was so excited for this race and as soon as I hit the water I could not stop smiling and my heart was racing. The swim went really well, no problems with my swim cap and I felt really good with it. For the entire swim the only thing I could think about was whether or not I was going to use the wet suit strippers (people who help you remove your wet suit- REALLY fast!) when I finished the swim. Everyone I know always loves using strippers and highly recommended it versus' trying to struggle and get it off yourself. The only thing I can think of when I think of laying on the ground and having someone yank off my wet suit, is the possibility of my shorts coming off with it and being completely 'striped'. (Seriously, this is my biggest problem- rough life, I know! ;))

Getting out of the water, there are volunteers who grab  your hand and pull you up. I grabbed hands with two people and before I could get my footing on the steps- they were pulling me up and out of the water. In that process I hit my left big toe (is there a proper name for that??) and cut it open pretty good. Nothing I could do about it at the time, so I began taking off my wet suit and headed to the wet suit strippers- I know, I was terrified too. When I laid down I made sure to grab the top of my shorts so they wouldn't come off and they didn't! The wet suit came off so quick and easy and I felt like I was majorly stressing out worried for nothing.

I headed into transition and immediately started eating a Honey Stinger cookie as I dried off and started putting my bike shoes on. I quickly got my shoes, helmet, and race belt on and took off out of transition. I saw 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' leaving transition- love seeing him throughout the course.

The bike course was pretty eventful! When I was trying to spin my race belt around so my number was in the back- I ripped my number so it was flapping along, hanging on by 1 corner. Just about every other racer that passed me told me I was about to lose my number. (That is one thing I absolutely LOVE about the triathlon community- every body looks out for every body else and tries to help if they can.)

So there I am flapping biking along, doing my thang. All of the aid stations had themes (Hawaiian, Jamaican, etc.) I was coming up to the 'disco' themed bike aid station when I felt a sharp poke on my side. It felt like I forgot to cut the plastic tag off and it was poking me- but I've had this tri-top for over a year and was pretty sure there was no tag. I kept feeling it and began to feel around to see if I could find the tag.

A male biker came up beside me and said "You got a bee too? I just had one fly in my mouth." In that split second it all made sense and I panicked. One of my biggest fears was getting stung by I bee and it may-or-may-not have just happened. I told him yes and slowed down so he could pass (and not see me freak-the-funk-out!) I felt another poke but this time it was more on my chest-which confirmed it was not a tag indeed a bee.

I began shaking the living daylight out of my jersey, quickly lifting it up and down, and feeling around on the inside trying to get the bee out. At this point I was on the verge of hyperventilating. As I came up to the aid station with several disco-dressed volunteers, they saw me and began cheering for me "Ya girl! Shake your grove thang!" and "Disco dancer comin' through!" They thought I as dancing!!! I tried to say "No, I have a bee in my jersey"  but I realized there was no way they could hear me and what did they care anyway? Plus, I had more important things to take care of- LIKE THE BEE!

After I flashed everyone passed by the aid station I was fairly certain I felt something (the bee) fall out. With all the extra adrenaline I really began to push the pace to hopefully make up some time from slowing down for the whole fiasco. I knew the bike portion had took me longer than I wanted and was fairly certain I wasn't going to PR like I wanted.

Back into transition, I racked my bike and immediately began taking off my bike shoes and putting on my running shoes. I was just about to leave transition when I heard 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' shout- "take off your helmet!!" How embarrassing would that have been?! I quickly took it off and headed out on the run.

I really wanted to push it on the run but the whole time I kept asking myself if I was really giving it everything I could an the answer was always 'no'. (I really need to work on getting outside of my comfort zone.) Once I knew I was getting close to the finish line I really pushed it and finished with an all-out sprint.

I finished and found 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter'. I discovered the bike was an extra 4 miles long (which is why it took so long) and I still ended up PR'ing! Woohoo! I got all of my stuff and we went and met a friend and got lunch. Then later that night, finished the day with some amazing fro-yo! It was a great day!

What did you do this weekend? Anyone else race?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Splash n' Dash!

Yesterday was my first ever Splash n' Dash! I did the 1500meter swim followed by the 5k run. ('Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' was supposed to do it too, but he had an appointment with a foot doctor yesterday who put a wrap on his foot. Bad news- he can't get his foot wet for a week. Good news- the doctor actually told him to run! He was happy! (he hasn't ran since the Tough Mudder way back in February!))

I was stressing that we weren't going to make it on time since I get off at 5 and had to run home to pick up 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' and it takes us about 20-30 minutes to get down to Tempe Town Lake. The freeway was crazy with traffic too. Luckily we made it with about 15 minutes to spare. 

Being the procrastinator that I am, I still had to register. So I immediately got in line, signed the waiver, paid, and quickly went to get my wet suit on. (At this point, there was less than 10 minutes to the start.)

I went into the transition area and found our friends David and Maria and immediately started getting my wet suit on. They gave me a blue swim cap- but I decided not to use it and to use a grey one from a swim race we did on Sunday since it worked so well and kept my hair completely dry. Once we had our wet suits on and transition area ready, we headed down to the water.

Swim caps are hot
The water was a LOT colder than it was on Sunday. I seriously don't know how people do these things without wet suits! I was freezing (IN a wet suit) just waiting for it to start.

They counted us down and off we went. Once again, I had NO clue what the course was so I just followed the massive amount of people in front of me. When we got about half way through our first loop I went to take a breath and swallowed SO.much. water! I was coughing, I was choking, I thought I was dying. I kept 'doggy-paddling' forward as I tried to dry out my lungs after about a minute I was able to start swimming again.

Once I started my second loop, I felt like I had something on my head- something other than my swim cap- like a huge hat or something. I touched my head and realized that my swim cap was practically falling off and was just a huge bubble on my head. I quickly pulled it off and shoved it down my wet suit and just kept swimming. Towards the end of the second loop, my goggles had fogged up and I still couldn't see anything because the sun was directly in my eyes off the water. But that didn't really matter, because my hair was all-up-in-my-face and covering my goggles anyways. I must have looked like a swamp creature when I got out of the swim (which I almost missed the exit for!).

This is what a hot-mess looks like! 
I hurried to the transition area and started stripping off my wet suit on the way. I got to my 'area' and tried to quickly get my wet suit of as fast as possible. I was trying to pull one of my legs out and slipped and fell backwards. I was trying my hardest not to laugh (at myself) and continued to take my wet suit off and then put my running shoes on-- still sitting down. That way it maybe looked like I meant to do that. Maybe? 

Once I had my shoes on I grabbed my cookie-monster shades and took off out of transition. I felt like I was holding a pretty quick pace and decided I was going to try to hold onto it for as long as I could. The run went by really fast and before I knew it I saw 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' right in front of the finish line. I sprinted to the finish and felt great the entire time.

I'm not sure what's with the leg jiggle look here...? 

This swim/run really was another good practice for the race this Sunday. I think I'm more excited than nervous now for the race!!

Have you ever done a 'Splash N' Dash'?