I’m a Triathlete Baby!!!


We’re shaking things up a bit this post!  Normally I do food first, but I’m so excited about the Tri today, that I have to do Fitness first. 

This morning I woke at 545am.  I slept well, and felt great when I woke up.  I took a quick shower, and dressed in my (already laid out) tri suit and outer layers.  I spent some time poking around a bit to make sure I had everything I needed, and left at 7am.

I picked A up (friend from the Tri club), and we headed down together to Smithfield.  She had coffee for the both of us, bagels, bananas, bottles of water, and Clif Bars!  I was so excited, and not at all nervous.

We got to the parking area, ate our bagels, and took our time getting our bikes and gear into the transition area.  We were lucky that the weather was looking good – sunny and high 50’s.  Perfect racing weather. 

A’s and my bikes in the back of the van

We are assigned racks based on race number.  6 bikes go per rack, and there is a limited space to set up your gear.  Based on the weather, I wasn’t sure if I was going to need my windbreaker or not, so I left it in my bag, but on top.  I put the towel out, an extra wash cloth to wipe of my muddy feed, my two sets of shoes, rolled down socks full of baby powder (and a spare set if needed).  The helmet was fastened to my bike, and my glasses in the helmet.  My race number was on my belt for the run, and I was as ready as I was going to get.

my bike on the rack, and ready to go!

my shoes on the grey towel – and the black bag.  No fancy crate for my stuff!

I got a good corner spot on the rack – makes it easier to get out of transition.  Yeah for being super early!

We went to the area where we get our race numbers written in big black marker on our arms and legs, and our age (at what we will be at the end of this year) on one calf.  Then we went back to the van, ate bananas, drank water, and chatted until about 930.  Then we headed BACK to the transition area (it was closing at 945), double checked our gear, and then went into the locker room to put the essentials into a locker (phones, keys, sweat shirts, etc).  I ate half of the Clif Bar, and then we paced around.

There were about 500 participants, and quite a few kids.  It was really neat to see (kids as young as 10…and older adults that were 74+).  All I kept thinking was that I was going to get SMOKED by a bunch of kids.  No worries though…that’s actually pretty cool!

The race started at 10am, but individual start times are based on anticipated swim time, so my kick off in the pool wasn’t until 11:22:00 (we’re really timed every 10 seconds).  D was on his way down with the kids, as were my friends A and L (with their little ones) to cheer me on.  It meant so much that they were all there.

D and the kids were there by 1030am, and we all walked around to get oriented to the locations, my anticipated durations so they could time being at the right spot at the right time, and to just enjoy the 45 minutes before I had to go line up.  One of my oldest daughter’s best friends was there – turns out I bought my bike from her step-mom.  Talk about a small world!  They hung out for a bit, which was nice for both of them too.

at this point I was still excited and not yet nauseated

my two youngest…R and her big brother M!

By 1050am, I was nervous as all get out.  I felt light headed for a minute and just completely panicked.  I think I was worried most about the swim and holding people up who were behind me.  By the time I started lining up in the pool, I wanted to throw up. 

almost up!  Admittedly looking slightly hysterical….

Once I was in the water, I was fine.  I felt focused and pretty strong.  I was held up a few times by slower swimmers, but mostly I felt really good about it (especially since I didn’t start any log jams in the water!).  I did make a mistake though.  There is a ladder right at the end of the pool.  I followed the girl in front of me right to the ladder and out the pool (I was on her tail the entire time, but she wouldn’t let me pass her).  What I realized after the race was…I didn’t touch the far wall.  I’m anticipating a time penalty for that once the race times are posted.  Ugh.

What the pool swim looked like

After the swim (took about 7 min 41 sec), I ran out into the transition area to get my windbreaker on, my socks and shoes, helmet and glasses, and run to the start line for the bike portion.  I was totally happy at this point, especially when I heard my name being cheered by my own little support team.

running to my bike after the swim
getting on the bike gear

laughing with the girl next to me after D yelled “GO CRISSIE” and I yelled “THANKS BABY”

running out of the transition area with my bike

I got to the bike start, got on, got clipped in, and started going.  It wasn’t too cold, but it was REALLY windy.  Most of the ride was windy, but I was okay.  The first mile was really working the kinks out of my legs, but then I felt great.  There was no point in the bike where I wasn’t having a good time.  Even the hills and the wind didn’t bug me.  I felt like I was flying, and just owned the whole leg.  I ended up finishing this portion about 8 min faster than I thought I would.  Woo hoo for the bike!

I got off the bike, didn’t fall, and got back into the transition area to re-rack my bike, get my gear off, and get into my running shoes.  Then it was off for the run portion.

I quite obviously didn’t do quite enough bricks.  It took me nearly a mile to get my running legs working, and it wasn’t a fun mile, let me tell you.  I managed to get through it though, and crossed the finish line happy and giggling.  Can’t ask for much more than that.

So there it is.  My first Triathlon adventure.  And ya know what?  I loved every second of it (except maybe that first mile of running).  And I cannot WAIT to do more!  Oh and you know what’s even cooler??  My KIDS want to do them now too! 

beginning of the run.  That’s M running up to me with a video camera. 

heading out…

…and heading back in!


me and A right after the race

R, me, D, A, and M.  And a cool sign!  I was SO glad they were there


Okay, back to normal order!  I had to travel for a little more than half the week, so I don’t have a history of all the food!

I’m still a fan of “all things quesadilla”, and one for lunch on Tuesday!  Tuesday evening was a wine night outing with A (not Tri Club A – my other friend A).  We went out in downtown Norfolk for 1/2 off wine, had a bottle (or two), and some food.  I ordered their vegan winter squash soup and some sweet potato fries.  They were both very good.  We hung out until they pretty much locked up around us (1045 ish) and then headed home.  It was a really nice time. 

sauteed some onion, bell pepper, and mushroom

refried beans, sauteed veggies, and some spices; cumin, garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper

after the quesadilla maker!  Added some sliced avocado on each piece.  SO yummy!

winter squash soup

sweet potato fries.  And a nice Pinot Grigio 🙂

Wednesday morning was a smoothie (cranberry, apple, banana, and strawberry).   It was SO tart, that I poured it back into my Vitamix, added some liquid stevia (about 4 drops) and a bunch of cinnamon.  Re blend, and enjoy! 

Dinner on Wednesday evening was with a couple of the guys from the hospital in NC that I’m working with.  We went to a place called the Ruddy Ducks, and I had a cup of tomato soup, a salad, and some beer!  Another nice time.

beer in a mason jar!

Breakfast on Thursday was a bagel, banana, and coffee at Paneras.  I didn’t eat lunch (I was presenting and can’t eat before hand).  K snatched a banana for me from the cafeteria and I did eat that around 4.

Dinner was very late – about 830pm.  I was out with 3 VP’s from work (we were all at the hospital down there presenting).  I had about 1/3 of a salad.  I should have been hungrier – and I was much earlier – but I think I’m not used to eating quite that late, and didn’t want to fill up too much before going to bed.

Breakfast was a banana as I hit the road, and Subway when I was half way home.  Dinner was awesome though! D and I took the kids out to dinner at Fabbrizi’s Ristorante.  They even have a vegetarian section, which was wonderful.  I had the Vegetali Trifolati, which was a vegan dish (we checked) made with a white wine garlic sauce, sauteed veggies (onion, peppers, pea pods, and mushrooms), and pasta.  It was so very yummy.  First time we’d ever been there – and won’t be the last!

After the Tri today, D took the kids home, and A (the one I raced with – not the good friend that came to see me off) and I went out for sushi and red wine.  I had cucumber and avocado rolls, miso soup, and edamame.  And Pinot Noir too!  Her boyfriend is in Africa, and D had been wrangling the kids at the race site all day and wanted to go home, so it was a nice little get away to celebrate our accomplishment.


Yet another crazy week.  Work Monday and Tuesday and briefly Wednesday morning.  Picked up the rental car, drove the 4 hours down in NC for my work trip.  Got to the hotel (same one as last time I went down), but had a totally horrific experience.  Of course – this is me we’re talking about and things like this ALWAYS end up happening to me.

The hotel is under construction.  Okay, I get that.  Need to renovate to keep the customers coming.  I was bummed that the fitness center was closed – I brought my running gear, but since it poured the entire time I was there, running outside was a no-go.  No fitness center in the hotel meant running inside was a no-go too.  No Y’s nor Bally’s there, so I was pretty much hosed on the run-front. 

The entire first floor was torn up, and the check in desk was now the inside of one of the hotel rooms.  Not their fault though, so no worries.  I had to wait about 15 minutes before finding out if my room was ready.  I was informed multiple times that they were sold out all week. 

I get to my room – and it stinks!  It’s a smoking room (didn’t know those still existed).  I call down to switch rooms and am told too bad – nothing else open or coming open.  Then I was informed that my company’s Travel Services rep was told only smoking was available and she told the hotel “oh well, she’ll just have to deal with it”.  Had I been given an option, I would have declined the work pre-paid hotel room and made my own arrangements (and submitted for reimbursement of course).  The hotel tried being understanding – sent a near empty bottle of Febreeze and an ozone fan. 

I had a really hard time sleeping both days I was there because it smelled.  Even though they tried cleaning the room, people on the floor smoked so my room always stunk.  I noticed that they must not wash the carpet often, because my feet were dirty, and when I figured that out and wore socks, those were filthy too.  I was really happy to check out of that place, and you can be SURE that Travel Services at work will be hearing from my on Monday…

After a morning meeting, I hit the road around 10 for the drive home.  Darla must have been in a bad mood, because she took me some strange and convoluted way back home and it took me 5 hrs!  I went through Ahoskie, NC, Gates, VA, and through the side and downtown streets of Suffolk – all WAY out of the way from where I should have been.  Not sure what I did to piss her off, but she got her revenge.  Oh – if you’re a new reader and haven’t figured it out – Darla is my GPS unit.

I got home with enough time to unpack my suitcase.  I was totally mortified at the smell – my running shoes, my suits, my heels – all stunk!  I’m getting a voodoo doll for Travel Services….and they’ll get my cleaning bill too!

Shortly after getting home, it was time to leave again to pick up A (Tri Club friend), and head the hour drive to Smithfield to pick up our race packets.  By the time I was done for the evening, I had driven over 7 hrs Friday.  Oy. 

From there it was dinner, running A (daughter) over to the movie theater to meet up with her friends, and then back home so I could get all my gear ready.  I put my race bibs on my bike and belt, and the sticker on my helmet.  I packed my 2 bags (one for the transition area, one for after if I was cold and needed more towels, soap, clothes, etc).  Then it was bed, reading, and getting a good night’s sleep!

After the Tri and sushi today, I took a shower, scrubbed off the marker to the best of my ability, put my jammies on, and am just going to spend the rest of the day relaxing.  And possibly having a quesadilla…

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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