Saturday, July 18, 2009


By: Rebecca Bailey

This is my 5th Season of participating in Triathlon.
Who would have thought (not me!!) that I could take up a sport that involves endurance and enjoy it for 5 Seasons and beyond??
What inspires me? What keeps me moving even through this season when I can't run as I'm trying to heal my nasty case of plantar facitis? I have been very challenged by my time and energy constraints this do I keep going?
There are some though ts, things that inspire me this 5th Season of Triathlon:
1. New Triathletes.
-One of the major things that keeps me going is the ability to inspire others to do it. It is so fun to see my teammates take this on and be so excited when they get in shape, drop weight, discover their inner athlete, and most important, feel better about themselves.
-I created my Triathlon 101 class three years ago at the request of my employer who asked me to teach the class to other employees, and I've taken off with it, teaching it about 15 times. Every one of the class participants inspires me to keep going. They have no idea that as I'm standing up there teaching them and demonstrating how to do this, that they are all inspiring me to keep going too. They make me want to keep going so I can stand up there and inspire them. It is so wonderful when they find me at a triathlon, or event later and tell me about their races, so nice to see the excitement they experience.
-This year I am thrilled to have my coworkers at the ER joining me! Six women completed the 5 Mile Lake Triathlon with me. So far there are 10-12 others who have signed up to do a coed triathlon in Elma on August 2. The buzz and excitement around the ER about is great! Every day coworkers are talking about Triathlon, asking questions, contemplating it, trying to find relays, having a good time with this.
2. My Health & Family
I continue to keep diabetes away, and know with 100% certainty that Triathlon is the best way for me to keep it away. Mom died 3 years ago from that horrible illness at only 69, I just can't let myself go there. I have to stay healthy for myself and my family. I love knowing that even though I am an XL person, I am healthy and strong. If I could train more, I'd be healthier and stronger, but I am healthy and strong. I can complete any sprint length triathlon I take on. I have completed every race I have started.

The wise words of the very wise Patty Anderson keep going through my head. I sent out a whiny email one day about being frustrated not being able to join my teammates enough, not being able to train with the group much. Patty emailed me to remind me there are Seasons in life. She is so right, this is so helpful.
This is the Season for me to coach my son, to spend time with him, teach him to throw the discus and the season for me to work hard.
There will be other Seasons for me to get to work less and train harder.
Thank you for that Patty, those words have been very helpful, nice to remember that my life is long and good. I will be doing triathlon for a long time, there will be many more Seasons, some Seasons will be perfect, some Seasons will have challenges, that is life.
Life is a cumulation of ma ny Seasons.
There will be many more Seasons.

"Why I love being part of a team"

By Elizabeth McCarty

Well, nothing like waiting until the last minute to post a blog....but that's kind of how I've felt all season....rushing to get prepared. I was down on myself a lot over the year because of this. I thought I had decided not to be a triathlete. I wondered what I was doing wrong. Shouldn't I wake up EVERY morning ready to take on an 8 mile run, or cold dip in Lake Meridian???

The answer is a resounding NO! I realized that being hard on myself was taking the pure joy out of the sport for me. Once I decided I would do what sounds fun (like running a marathon or deciding to do Issaquah the week before the race), I enjoyed myself a lot more.

But what really made it all fun is being on a team. From strictly an accountability absolutely cannot cancel on someone who has gotten herself up at 4:30 in the morning to go swimming or running. I was just reminded of that on Tuesday, thank you very much Cathy (and we had a good time!). But what we do....what we've done this season.....that in large is because of our unit -- our team!!

On the morning I was supposed to do my 20 mile run for the Rock-n-Roll marathon, I was coming off a week of severe sickness. I think I probably had a total of 700 calories for 5 days. I ate some GU and hoped for the best. I was so thankful for 3 things that morning: cooler temps, good soft trail.....AND CATHY!!!!!! Honestly, if I didn't have Cathy I would have quit. It would have been difficult in heat or on hard pavement, but I absolutely needed Cathy that morning......and we actually pulled it off!!! I don't think I truly grasped the importance of a training partner until you get the pleasure of enjoying someone's company for 5+ hours. THANKS!!

The stories I have heard....the blogs I've read....they all say the same thing over and over. And that message is LOUD AND CLEAR: We are a team. And our team rocks.

Congratulations everyone on each of your milestones. We still have a couple more months left in the season. Embrace your status of being a triathlete. You do things that most people dare dream possible.

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

By: Rachel

Well, here I go, writing a blog and opening myself up to the whole world. This is unusual for me as I tend to keep my feelings close to myself. Yes, as most of you know I am quite the Facebooker but you if have noticed a lot of it is surface level thoughts or feelings. If you know me well enough then I’m sure you can read in to some of the status updates I have.

To give you some background about myself, I used to live in Spokane, WA. It was there that I saw my very first Ironman – 2004 CDA Ironman. I will never forget seeing the athletes come across the finish line and I was so moved (I’m a mush) by what I was seeing I stayed till about midnight and watched the last finishers come across the line. Watching this was the most motivating, inspiring thing I had ever seen. See, I didn’t participate in sports during K-12 (ask me another time) and figured I had lost my opportunity to be involved in something I loved, sports.

That night, watching the Ironman, I realized those were adults coming across the finish line and upon further research (google) I learned that they were all adults. Hmmm, I thought. I can do this, I can be an Ironman someday. I mentioned this to a couple of people later and was greeted with laughter and “yeah right” phrases.

Discouraged, I put my dream of being an athlete aside and focused on my Master in Business Program. In 2007, after finishing my MBA I moved from Spokane to Seattle and it was here that things would start to change for the better.

I started to train for a sprint triathlon, Seafair, that summer. Then, three months before the race I found out I had compartment syndrome in my legs and needed to have surgery or give up running. Well, running is part of a triathlon so I very well couldn’t be an Ironman if I wasn’t able to run! So, I had the surgery done and six weeks before Seafair. After the surgery I had to be in bed for two weeks and of course could not train, so I read books on triathlons and watched Ironman videos until I was able to walk again.

I didn’t train for Seafair, and in fact, didn’t even swim in open water until one week before the race. My doctor said I shouldn’t do the triathlon and well, I didn’t listen. I wanted the title of triathlete so bad, I didn’t care that I had just had major surgery.

Seafair came and it took me 3.5 hours to complete a sprint triathlon. You are thinking, what?? Yes, 3.5 hours. During the swim I used mostly my arms and not my legs. During the bike I would pedal and then coast as far as I could and the run, well I think I crawled. I crossed the finish line around 10:30 am – just in time to cross the line with the kids. Fun. But I didn’t care, I had become a triathlete. I accomplished something many people though was impossible.

I went on to do 8 other triathlons that season and several last season. But the Ironman still haunts me. For some reason I think crossing the finish line and being called an Ironman will magically make it where someone will want to date me or I’ll finally feel proud of myself.

I don’t know what my future brings, but I do know there is an Ironman in 2011. This year I decided to focus on my weight and swimming. I need to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year and swim 2.4 miles by the end of the year. I promised Patty I would do this and I’m not going to disappoint her. She has worked to hard with me.

So, as many of you know I swam the 1.2 mile swim race on Friday. And it took me 1:53 to finish the swim. I have the endurance like no other, I can go on forever and ever. But what I don’t have is speed. See in the lake I tend to panic. I panic so much that I swim the majority of the swim with my head up so I can’t see what is in the water. This takes up a ton of energy, more energy than a 3 mile race if I kept my head down. I wanted to quit many times during the swim race but I wasn’t giving up. I kept waiting for Bill to tell me there was no more time to swim and I had to get in the boat and the race was over for me. I probably would have told him no and kept swimming till I finished. This was my 1.2 mile fear fest and I was going to finish the race. And I did. And on August 19th I will finish the 2.5 mile swim I promised Patty.

Two people told me today that I was a superwoman. I’m not a superwoman. I have fears just like all of you. I push myself hard because I hope one day someone will love me. I don’t want to look the way I do and I want to be healthy. I volunteer with kids (students) so I can somehow help them that they don’t end up the way I did.

I think Pre said it all when he said, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

We all have gifts, every one of us. I think I went through so much in my life so I could help others and being involved in triathlons has helped me see this. Triathlons changed my life and I hope it does the same for your life as well.

"What would Kathy Morrisson do"?

By: Kathy Gendreau

I’m sitting here at the computer, my hair still wet from swimming. It’s not even 8 AM and I’ve already been up for almost 3 hours. It’s summer break, and the kids are still in bed. I’m looking forward to a run tonight, and Lake Meridian training tomorrow. Seafair is on Sunday. It will be my second triathlon, and my fourth race, counting the two 5Ks I did early in the season. Sammamish is on my calendar for August.

It’s hard to imagine my life being any different than it is now. I swim, I bike, and I run. Sometimes, my crazy hectic life gets in the way. Sometimes, it’s hard to get up for swim. Sometimes, I don’t want to finish the last mile. Sometimes, riding on the road scares me. But somehow training has woven its way into the fabric of my life. It feels like it has always been there, and I don’t want it to ever leave.

It’s hard to even comprehend how I got from where I was to where I am. It seems like such a long time ago, and when I was there, I certainly couldn’t see to here.

It has been a long journey, and I’ve learned a great many lessons along the way. I have a lot of people to thank for helping to get me here, especially my RTH teammates and coaches. That’s the first, and probably the most important thing I learned when I joined RTH: Don’t go it alone. In the past, exercise was always a solitary activity for me. It was something to endure and get over with. When I joined RTB/RTH, I had no idea how much of a difference it would make to be part of a team. The support, encouragement, and camaraderie I have found with this incredible group has had a tremendous impact on my life. I look forward to every team workout, and fitness has become a social event instead of just another obligation. I am surrounded by people who have similar goals – and similar struggles, and I am inspired by every one of them.

When I accepted Kathy Morrisson’s invitation to come to the RTH kick-off meeting in January, it was the third year in a row she had asked me about it. The first year, I was so out of shape that the idea seemed absurd. The second year, I had just signed up for a boot camp at a local gym. Triathlon training was for athletes, and boot camp was for people like me. I turned her down. I did boot camp for most of a year, and though I did get results, I really, truly hated every single minute of it.

The third time was the charm, and when she asked me in January I told her I would at least come to the first meeting. I immediately had second thoughts. Who was I kidding? After a year of boot camp I could still barely run a mile, my weight was heading back up toward the 200 lb mark, and I had no idea how I would fit training into my schedule when I had barely made it to 3 one-hour boot camp sessions a week. Train for a triathlon? From where I stood, it just plain sounded nuts. But I went to the meeting, and I decided after hearing all the wonderful stories from everyone there, that it would be even more nuts not to give it a go.

What I know now is that I didn’t need to be “ready” to start, I just needed to start. It was never my weight or my level of fitness that was the problem. It was fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. I’ve conquered so many fears since joining RTH that it sometimes makes me laugh. Now, when I am faced with a challenge, I don’t hesitate, because hesitation holds me back, and I want to keep moving forward. If I can’t do it now, I will be able to do it eventually, but if I don’t start, I’ll just sit where I am, and these days, I don’t spend too much time sitting still!

Another crucial lesson I learned early on was this: Behave like the athlete you want to become. When I first started training, I really struggled with motivation, especially when it came to running. I felt terrible doing it, and most days I just didn’t feel like going. With a kindergartener in half-day school, I had very little free time, and there were lots of things competing for that time, so it was easy to find reasons not to go. I was still getting used to the early morning swim schedule, and I was feeling very tired from the early mornings. Some days, after putting the kids on the bus, I just wanted to go back to bed.

One particular day, I found myself sitting on the sofa watching TV at 9:30 in the morning. It was raining, or maybe it was snowing, and I was unsuccessfully trying to convince myself to get my butt off the couch and do the run that was on my training plan when it occurred to me, Kathy Morrisson would not be sitting on the couch watching TV at 9:30 in the morning! She would go for a run! So, I got up and put my shoes on and went.

For the next several days, when I needed a little motivation, I would think to myself, “What would Kathy Morrisson do?” Would she let a little rain stop her? No! Would she run in the snow? Yes, she would! Would she stay up late to watch TV? No! It worked so well that I joked that I was going to print up little bracelets and T-shirts with WWKMD? on them for the rest of the RTH team. It made me laugh, but it also made me get up and go, which is what I really needed.

The point is, Kathy is a successful athlete, and if I wanted to be a successful athlete myself, I needed to act like one. Find an athlete that you admire (and there is no shortage of them on RTB or RTH!) and when facing an obstacle, ask yourself, what would that person do in this situation? T-shirts and bracelets optional.

Though I still look to Kathy for advice and encouragement, I’ve come a long way since then. I remember meeting with our RTH groups for the first time. I sat there listening to everyone talk about the races they wanted to sign up for: Escape from the Rock. Seafair Issaquah. Start with a 5K. Set some goals. Sure. Except that I can’t run around the block. Oh, and did I mention that I don’t own a decent bike? OK, maybe I can swim 25 yards, but ¼ mile? In a lake? Wearing a wetsuit?

It was someone else sitting at the table. It was someone else doing the workouts. I was just along for the ride. But here I am, just 6 months after my first swim class, 4 months after starting my run to walk training plan, 3 months after buying my new bike, and 2 months after getting my wetsuit. I am a triathlete, and I am no longer just along for the ride.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Choosing my "B" race

By Jessi Richardson:

The coaches challenge for the 26.2 Divas (for the record, I did not choose that team name) was to follow our marathon training plan. I know, seems obvious, but the challenge was to follow it exactly for two weeks to earn our points. Lots of mileage in those plans, so it was actually a pretty tough assignment! As it turned out, many of us ran into challenges along the way (work schedules, family illness, injury etc.) Although Karen was happy with what we did accomplish, we asked for another coaches challenge post-marathon…just to feel like we were honoring the spirit of the challenge. The new challenge was to pick our “B Race,” (the marathon being the “A Race”) and get moving on our training plan…and that is the subject of this blog…

My B Race hasn’t happened yet, and in fact it won’t. Well the race won’t happen anyway, but I do have a “Plan B.” It doesn’t really have a name yet, but it involves rest, recovery, relationships, family and fun. I guess that would be the R.R.R.F.F plan. Sounds like “ruff,” which is interesting because this plan all started with my dog.

My six year-old dog Kane is sick with terminal cancer. He has been symptomatic since sometime before the marathon, but the diagnosis wasn’t confirmed until last week. If you’re a pet owner, you understand…devastating news, especially for a dog that is so young. This also happens to be the dog I brought back from Hurricane Katrina. We’ve had quite a journey together in our four short years as a family, so this is certainly a tough one for me.

This blog really isn’t about the dog; it’s about my “B Race” and my decision ultimately not to do another “big race” until sometime next year. Training has been an incredible part of my life, but as Angela always points out, sometimes things can get a little out of balance. I think marathon training has a tendency to do that to you, especially due to the amount of training time required for this type of event.

So, my “B Race” is actually about not racing at all and I have Kane to thank for that. Hearing the diagnosis last week I sadly realized that we didn’t have a lot of time left together, so Mike and I packed up and took a spur of the moment weekend trip to Ocean Shores with the dog. We had a fabulous weekend, lots of outdoor activities and quality time together! It’s been a long time since we’ve done something like this and I realized how much I miss this part of life.

My “B Race” is really about getting things back in balance. I’m going to focus on staying active; in fact I still manage to work out on a regular basis and plan to get back to the gym to resume Karen’s torture training. I’m also going to focus a bit more on healthy eating and try to peel off that last 10 pounds. And I’m going to do things with my wonderful boyfriend Mike, my dogs, my family and my friends. In fact, Mike and I are taking off on a two week road trip in August. I have never in my adult life taken a two-week vacation, so this is quite exciting. And no, the laptop is not going with me! Along the way there will probably be a smaller race or two in the summer schedule, but I’m going to keep it real (no pressure), choose wisely, and focus on racing for fun with all of my RTB/RTH friends!

We’re out here training for a lot of reasons and developing healthy habits is one of them. When I got the bad news last week about my pup, I went to the gym instead of porking down a gallon of ice cream. And even though I’m not following a training plan right now, I’m still getting in a lot of workouts without even thinking about it. I can personally confirm that all of the hard work over the past 4 years has paid off and I can say with confidence that I am now living a healthy lifestyle and very proud to continue doing so with friends, family and the four-leggeds at my side!

So, there you have it ladies, my “B Race.”

Tri'ing to gain confidence

By Jackie Botsford:

In order to know how far I’ve come in my triathlon training, I feel I must share where I began. Prior to joining Raise the Bar and Raise the Hope, I can’t tell you the last time I was in the water. I was too ashamed and embarrassed of my body to get into a swimsuit, so I was resigned to sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else having fun. I refused to wear shorts because I didn’t want anyone to see my fat legs, and I would wear long sleeve shirts, even in the summer, because I wanted to hide my big arms. I’ve never exercised regularly and spent all of my adult life yo-yo dieting. I knew it was time to make a change and I called upon my good friends, Tina and Teresa, to help me out. They both had been doing triathlons for the past two years and not only looked great, but had amazing stories to tell about their experiences with Raise the Bar and Raise the Hope. I was inspired both by them and what they had accomplished, and looked forward to joining the team.
I wasn’t a swimmer, cyclist, or runner, and knew training wasn’t going to be easy, but I was prepared, or so I thought. I found myself getting discouraged because I had been swimming for months but not getting any faster. Coach Patty told me, on two separate occasions, that I needed to “pump some iron” and build some upper body strength. Did I listen? No. It wasn’t until she said it a third time that I called upon Karen Nolting to provide me a workout to give me the “swim muscles” Patty said I needed. A strange thing happened a couple of months later; I started swimming faster…imagine that?!? These coaches really do know what they’re talking about! Coach Kathy provided Team WeWillRockYa with a 5K program and then a triathlon training program. I plugged away at both, still unsure of what my first triathlon would be. I signed up for Danskin, but really wanted to get at least one in before that. A lot of people were doing the 5-mile lake tri, but that seemed way too soon. Tina told me I was ready and convinced me to sign up. The following weekend, I went to the 5-mile lake co-ed tri to watch my first triathlon and cheer on all the fabulous RTB and RTH ladies and gents. I watched my friends pedal and run past, looking so strong. It was a sight to behold and left me excited for my first race the following weekend.
The morning of the women’s 5-mile lake tri arrived, and I was ready. My nerves were getting the better of me, but my only goal going into it was to finish, and finish knowing that I did my best. Whatever would happen outside of that, I tried not to concern myself with. I showed up to the park and get to transition area; my nerves started to kick into high gear. Thank goodness Angela was there to help me out with racking my bike and guiding me through transition set up. I heard my name, looked up and saw Tina and Teresa standing there. I began to relax a little bit and heard my name again. I looked over and saw my mom. Seeing her, I got a bit teary-eyed and really excited. She wasn’t sure if she was going to make it to the race, and I am so grateful that she was there. I was going to race with my friends, for many of us this was our first race, I was surrounded by friends and family who I love, adore, and admire. At this point, I knew this was going to be a great day.
The race started and I began to swim. Someone swam over my back, I got a foot in the face, but I just kept repeating in my head, “stroke, stroke, breathe” which helped me concentrate on my pull and prevented me from panicking when I was pushed down in the water by the gal who swam over my back. As I got close the water’s edge, I thought back to Kathy Morrison’s words “swim until your fingers touch the bottom”. Done – now get out of the water and go! Thank goodness my body responded much faster than my brain. I kept moving and trying to think of what to do next. Again, thanks to Angela for being there, in her firm, authoritative voice telling me to “keep moving, keep moving, go, go, get your shoes on, keep moving”. She talked me out of the transition area and I was now on my bike. I looked up and saw Katy ahead of me, and for any of you who haven’t seen her ride – let me tell you, she is fierce on the bike and a force to be reckoned with. She is fast and was quickly out of my sight. I continue to pedal, and am still feeling pretty good. I get to the hill and am slowly climbing it. I hear “Go Jackie” behind me and what did I do? I turned my head back to see who it was – dumb move because when I turned back around I found myself heading toward the dirt shoulder and what looked like blackberry bushes. Panic, swerve, swerve, recover. Note to self: NEVER do that again. I get to the top of the hill and Diana blazes past me. She is another fast one and disappeared just as quickly as I saw her. The bike ride came to an end and as I get off my bike I almost fall. The cleats on my shoes are slick and my foot slid right out from under me. I managed to right myself and get to transition. Oh, and did I mention before that it was great having Angela there? I got to transition and I was all out of sorts. I couldn’t think of what to do next and there was Angela, my angel, forcefully telling me, “Get you bike shoes off, quick put on your shoes, lace up your shoes…you need those speed laces Patty was talking about…keep moving, keep moving…”. Seriously, I really do need to say thank you to Angela. I couldn’t concentrate when I hit transition both times and having her there helped tremendously. My body responded to what she was saying while my mind was somewhere else. So, Angela, if you are reading this – Thank You! The run started out slow, I had a difficult time getting my breathing under control. I walked for a few seconds and my calves felt like they were cramping, so I started to run again. Now I felt like I was wheezing, so I had to walk for a little bit more, trying to ignore the cramping in my legs. I was able to control my breathing and started to run again. I was feeling good, but started to get really tired. I forgot to eat my gel earlier so I gagged it down, hoping I would see the water station soon. I eventually got to it and I don’t think water ever tasted so good. I did have to do one more quick walk after the water station, but was able to run in the rest of the way to the finish line. I actually did it - I finished my first triathlon.
And as for those big arms that I talked about earlier? Well, the pulled me through a .25 mile swim in 8:23. And those fat legs? They pushed me 14 miles on a bike in 54:58, and then carried me 3.1 miles in 37:50. My finish time – 1:44:51. So, back to the beginning of my story and how I got to this point - I am no longer ashamed or embarrassed of my body; it has allowed me to do some pretty amazing things. I am still a little self-conscious, as you will see me tugging down my tri shorts and yanking down my tri top as it rolls up and over my wide hips, but I am a work in progress. Joining the team has changed my life, and my outlook on life. This wouldn’t have been possible if not for all the fantastic coaches and ladies I am surrounded by. Each and everyone one of them has inspired me in their own special way, and I will be forever grateful for their support and words of encouragement. Now, on to the next race…

Monday, July 13, 2009

Poor time management - friend or foe?

By - Tina Coleman

Editors Note - ok not editor - just blog poster (Teresa) - Tina in no way let her training partner aka "me" down on Sunday! She is being way too hard on herself but the blog message is awesome!

"The sound of my cell phone ringing woke me up on Sunday morning. I sat up from the couch in a panic. Blurry eyed, I frantically began scanning the room for a clock or watch; anything that might tell me I didn’t oversleep, again. I stumbled to the kitchen table where I had my cell phone laid out next to my iPod, Garmin and hydration belt. 9:03, crap. Missed call from Teresa Moffatt, crap. I did it again. Why do my friends even bother with me? I do this all the time, no really, all the time. I grab my phone and run to the bathroom, I am texting my training partner as I’m, well, using the bathroom. Partner decided to head out without me which means I would have to do the run on my own. Crap.

So what do I do now? On one hand, I am still groggy and don’t want to run. On the other hand, a 4 mile run is on the plan. ON THE PLAN. The Black Diamond Olympic Distance Training Plan. Of course there are times when you can’t stick to the plan, things come up; kids, illness, work, and schedule conflicts; oversleeping is not one of them. Plus my training partner is out on the Lake Wilderness Trail all by herself and what kind of athlete would I be if I skipped out on myself? So slowly I began to get dressed and I even got my husband and dog to go with me. Granted, they would only be doing a 30 min walk, but still he helped me get out the door. You see, I don’t even have to drive to get to a trail. I live on the North end of the Soos Creek Trail. No excuses.

The day before I had set my Garmin for a 2 minute run, 1 minute walk for 20 reps. That would give me 60 minutes to do 4 miles. I can do that, it will be hard but I think I can pull it off. I’ve never done the 2/1 for longer than 2 miles so the doubts start rolling through my head. “I can always walk more if I need to.” “This is my first training run so I’ll take it slow.” “Oh, what is that twinge in my knee? Maybe I should just walk for 4 miles; I don’t want to hurt myself.” On and on and on came all the reasons to not run or push myself. I get to Gary Grant Park and my husband stops and begins to turn around to walk back home. I tell him that since he will be home before me, he should start breakfast and get the bacon and potatoes going. I stop for a few minutes at the stretching post and actually stretch, I’m still stalling you see. I don’t know when I really decided how I was going to tackle this workout; I don’t think I actually did. Anyway, I go to start my Garmin and realize that it is only going to track my 2/1 and reps, not my mileage. The trail start at Gary Grant is right before the .5 mile marker, so I knew I had to keep an eye out for the 2.5 mile marker and turn around.

I hit start and was on my way. 2 minute run, 1 minute walk, 2 minute run, 1 minute walk; etc. I had no idea what my pace was because the face on my Garmin was not showing me. I was just going hard and hoping I was averaging a 15min/mile pace. I didn’t feel like I was; I felt so heavy and slow. When I hit the 1.5 mile marker I was trying to do the math to figure out my pace. I can’t do much else when I’m running, let alone math, so I still had no idea what my pace was.

Finally the 2.5 mile marker and I turn around. My Garmin says I’ve completed 9 reps. 9x3=27 minutes. That would mean a 13:30 mile/minute average. There’s no way. Stupid Garmin.

At about mile 3 I text my husband and tell him PLEASE BOIL ME TWO EGSS. NO BACON. I AM FAT. THIS IS REALLY HARD.

Still plugging along at my 2 run 1 walk, I am finally at the last .5 of my journey. I look back down at my Garmin and it says I have 4 reps left. How can this be? Maybe I turned around too soon? Maybe it was an old mile marker I was looking at. Who knows and I think to myself, it is what it is and I need to finish strong. Let’s see if I can do this last .5 in 6 minutes. I want to try and beat my Garmin so that I have 2 full reps/6 minutes left. So I run HARD for 2 minutes, walk for 1 and run hard for the last 3 minutes. I DID IT.

It was my own little victory. But I still didn’t believe that I had done 4 miles. I was just so excited that I did that last half mile at a 12min/mile pace. As I started my walk home/cool down it started to pour down rain. It was really coming down so I decided to sit under the covered picnic area and wait for the rain to pass. I played with my Garmin and found out the following.

I completed 4.06 miles in 54 minutes, average pace 13.18. WHAT??? When I looked at my lap details I averaged my 2 minute runs in the 10-11 min/mile range and my walks were in the 17-18 min/mile range. I love my Garmin. I was happy.

Several thoughts came to mind that Sunday.

Set your alarm and get your butt up when your friends are expecting you.
Even when you let someone down, don’t continue the trend and let yourself down too.
Do what your plan says even if you don’t feel like it. Just do it, you may surprise yourself.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for this team.
I am excited to do this Olympic distance in September. Like my training partner says “I know the Oly will be great…If we survive the training.”
13.18 min/mile may be slow for most but it was fast for me that day and that’s what matters.
I need to become a faster walker.
A chocolate Accel Gel is 2 points on WW.
I am grateful for the physical and mental strength as well as the motivation to keep at this.
Stretch AFTER you run as well as before.

The rain didn’t stop and was only getting heavier, so I called my husband to come pick me up. A swim was not on THE PLAN."