Friday, August 15, 2008


Cazenovia Triathlon

Sunday 8/10/08

I had been looking forward to this triathlon since the start of the summer, however, life turned pretty hectic and I wasn’t able to be as consistent with my workout and sleep schedule as I’d wanted to be. Oh well, life happens! Since the start is just a couple of miles from my house, I had planned on bicycling to the park. And typically, I prefer to arrive at the venue with at least two hours to spare (crazy, I know…pity poor Janet who frequently carpools with me!) However, upon crawling out of bed, I was immediately conscious of the very relentless rain coming down. I scratched the idea of arriving early and savored breakfast and coffee, even took a few minutes to check the weather forecast. The radar showed that the rain had already moved off to the east and with nothing behind it, I figured we might have a decent day. Having tortured my long-suffering boyfriend (Dave) with my tri-day exuberance (he’s not a morning person!) and since the rain had stopped, I decided I’d better get going. On my way past fellow cyclist Kate’s house, I noticed her car was open and she was loading her stuff for her trip to Auburn to compete in the Great Race. Forgetting that it was still early, I hollered out “Happy Tri-Day!” Pity her poor neighbors (anyone sensing a theme here…?) Sometimes my enthusiasm just can’t be contained. I did look pretty unprepared for a triathlon; since it was wet and rainy I had street clothes and a rain jacket over my tri outfit. I must have been a sight pedaling through Cazenovia! Kate snapped a quick picture, we exchanged wishes of luck and we were both off.

Registration, chip pick-up, body marking and transition set-up all went very smoothly. I had a bit of trouble deciding what time I wanted to put on my wet suit, as transition closed at 8:00 when the Olympic-distance athletes started. That left me with 45 minutes before my start. Ultimately, the weather dictated that I put it on earlier than later, because I was starting to get cold. I did manage to get a glimpse of Janet running from the swim finish to transition…she had a fantastic swim time and really hustled up the hill to transition. That would be the last I saw of her until the finish! Finally it was time for the first of the sprint waves. Wisely, I had seeded myself in the fourth and final wave. I spent the last few minutes conversing with two other women who were very nervous about the swim. One, doing her first ever tri, started sobbing a couple of minutes before we started. The support displayed from all the other women was very moving and once again, I felt tremendous pride in being involved in an incredible group of people.

The swim pace started fast and I rather surprisingly found myself sticking pretty well to the pace and feeling almost comfortable to boot. I settled into a somewhat steady rhythm and tried to maintain that pace. When I finally had the presence of mind to look for the first buoy, I realized I had strayed quite a bit into the center of the course. I corrected, slowed down and did fairy well for the rest of the swim. I sure wasn’t able to run up the hill to transition nearly as fast as Janet, though!

T-1. Well, what could go wrong, did go wrong. My wet suit caught on both arms and both legs, my socks didn’t want to go on my feet, I had trouble getting my bike off the rack and to top it off, I was a couple of paces away from my spot when I realized I forgot my race belt with my number. I had to set my bike down and go back for the belt. What fun.

Here’s what I look like when I’m trying to quell those evil voices that keep nagging me when I’m not doing so well. I was just thankful that the swim and T-1 was over and that I was finally able to get onto my favorite leg. In case you’re wondering, this bike course starts on a fiendishly steep hill out of the parking lot and onto the main road. Leaping onto the bike in traditional tri style is pretty difficult for most people (though I have witnessed Janet mastering it!) and impossible for me. I have to get one foot clipped in before I even think about moving forward. Once onto the main road, it’s mostly down hill or flat; then there’s a 90-degree right turn and you’re climbing another steep hill. To add some excitement, the race organizers offered a hill prime for the fastest time up the hill. Now, I had told myself before the race that I shouldn’t bury myself on the hill prime and I thought I was okay with that decision. Once the timing mats were in sight though, that competitive spirit took over and I was giving it all I had. To my great disappointment, the results of the hill climb were not posted, so I have no idea how I did (I do know that I didn’t win, though). I didn’t feel as good on the bike course as I usually do, but I did have a better swim and run time than last year, so I guess training is paying off and the three events are evening out for me. I purposely held back a little on the bike, hoping for something left for the run, but I don’t really think that strategy worked. I don’t think the time I made up on the run was worth what I spent on the bike leg. Oh well, each race there’s something new to learn!

The good part, though, was that I felt pretty strong on the run; I was even able to crack a smile when I saw Dave on the sideline with the camera! It turns out that I probably held back a little too much on both the run and the bike as I finished feeling better than at any of my previous triathlons. My biking and running could certainly handle the step up to Olympic-distance, but I’m sure my swimming couldn’t; so that will have to wait until next year, as I had originally planned. I will conclude my triathlon season in six weeks at the Finger Lakes triathlon in Canandaigua, NY. I’ve set a goal of 26 minutes or less on that run; lofty but I’m pretty sure I can do it. Now I’m off to go running so I have a chance of reaching that goal!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Here's one of the cutest video clips I've ever seen, sent to me by my mother. She never could keep me out of the water!

Friday, August 1, 2008

ICE your cell phone

A couple of years ago (maybe longer?), I started receiving e-mail messages about storing emergency contact information under ICE (In Case of Emergency) in one’s cell phone. Being a skeptic of all things delivered via e-mail, I didn’t act on it. I figured “someday” I’d get around to looking it up on Snopes. Today I researched it and it is indeed true that emergency personnel will check your cell phone for contact numbers. I now have the numbers programmed into my cell phone! There are a few things to remember, however. (For a full list of considerations, the Snopes review is here.)

1.) Many people have their phones password protected, so emergency personnel would not be able to access the information.

2.) Due to differences in phones, emergency personnel may not be able to retrieve information stored in a phone they are unfamiliar with (especially true if time is a premium).

3.) Cell phone may become separated from the victim.

4.) Cell phone may be damaged and non-functional.

Thus, Snopes advocates carrying additional means of contact information with you at all times (something I’m very lax about…but I will try to be better!)