6/18/16

Race Report: Escape The Cape Triathlon

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I ESCAPED!!!

 

The tag line from DelmoSports for this race is so on point: 1 Boat, 1750 Athletes, Unlimited Smack Talk

 

I signed up to do Escape the Cape again because…

1. IT IS SO DAMN FUN

2. For a 50yr old, pleasingly plump, old West Point Woman Grad, this race is my Ranger School of endurance, perseverance and overcoming obstacles.

3. It makes me feel absolutely BAD-ASS

 

I went with ONE GOAL – An under 4 hour International Distance Race. It didn’t matter how I put it together; just that I put it together and get it done. No matter what the day threw at me…and for those that have followed my escapades – having a drama free race would be like finding that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The key for me is to not let any one challenge trip me up.

 

I had The FireMarshall – one of the members of Team Spectathlete – with me who always ensures that I am ready & calm. We get up at 3am and are out the door at 4 to get to the parking area. Spectators can’t get on the shuttles till 6am, so after he throws me out helps me get my gear out the car, Princess Cara and The FireMarshall are back asleep for a two hour nap.

 

I get to transition and get all set up to wait and get in line to board the boat. Time for selfies and group pictures with some BTA and MMTC folk -

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Finally it is time to board and get ready to do the damn thing. It was a beautiful morning, a tad windy and you could see the white caps on the water…people were mumbling about it and getting antsy. NOT LISTENING. I’m going to stand over hear on the railing and dance to the music and eat my snacks.

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Finally, three horns and we are off!

 

We were out and anchored in record time and I made my way down to the deck to line up to JUMP!

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I made my way to the front and….SUPAH STAR!!!!!

I was in the water before I knew it and the current was so fast I was away from the boat about 100 yards without taking my first stroke. It was pandemonium from then on…2 ft swells, people were panicking, paddle board and jet ski people were trying their darndest to keep people close to the buoys. Plenty of support, someone always asking if you were okay if you stopped. “Just keep swimming, you are doing great.” when I asked if I was going the right way. With the swells, it was damn near impossible to sight a buoy so I found the Ferry building and went for that. I told myself to ride the waves and let the current take me. The ability to breath bilaterally was definitely a lifesaver, but I did drink a little salt water. Really couldn’t be helped…stay calm and GET OUT THE DAMN WATER!!!

 

I ended up on the beach about a 100 yards from the exit and had to run down to the timing mat. WHEW. I looked at my Garmin and started laughing. I averaged 1:04/100yrs. ARE YOU FRIGGING KIDDING ME!! That was a fast but hellacious ocean swim. I’ll take it!

SWIM – 1 MILE: 29:13

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Transitions are LONG. From the swim out, it is about 500+yards to the transition area – through the sand, across a parking lot, through a grass path into T1. Not as long as the swim out to T1 at Chicago Tri, but still…DAMN playa! Could you make it just a little longer??

 

I get it on and get to moving. It is a fast, mostly flat course with a bridge you have to go up and over 2x for the only true hill, but the headwind!!!! SERIOUSLY. Most of the wind was mitigated by the community we went through but there is about 4 miles of just grind through the wind. That is when I decided this would be the best time to get all comfy with my aero bars, drop down a gear (or two) so I’m not working so hard and spin that byotch out till I was through it. I felt like I was crushing it on every single segment (except the climb on the bridge and the wind tunnel sections). I was happy.

 

I passed some ladies on the course and I know that look. I know that body position – shoulders slumped, slow cadence. They are tired, they are thinking WTF, when will it be over. I know, sister. I know. I know that I sometimes HATE IT when someone passes me and says something encouraging – I’m in my feelings and don’t want to hear your “encouragement” even if I need it, so sometimes I hesitate…but I say something anyway. Maybe a little humor and truth like – “You DO have this, YES YOU CAN!” I hope it was received in the spirit I meant it…truly I know and still I bring up the rear most times. What’s the difference. I’m doing better FOR ME than the last time. LET’S GO!

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BIKE – 25 MILES 1:41

Whelp…that salt water I drank, hit me the minute I racked my bike in T2. I took a knee and waited for the hurl. I grabbed my water bottle and swooned from nausea and was sure here it comes. PLEASE…let’s just do this sick thing and be done with it so I can get out there to run from the devil. I slowly started putting on my run gear, waiting for the nausea to pass and remembered I had a carbonated water in my bag. I took a few sips of that and my stomach started to settle. I put my RIP IT hat on and made haste for the run through purgatory.

That is exactly what it was. HOT AS FUGGING HELL. No shade. I knew that I had to do my best on the front 2.5 miles because on the return you had three sections of sand dunes/loose sand to dig through to get to that damn finish line. I don’t think I made much haste. There was a lot of walking. I was not prepared for the heat AGAIN. That first split was a speedy 17min pace and the second half was…I don’t want to talk about it.

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Running…yeah…gotta work on that.

RUN – 5 MILES OF HELL: 1:32

BUT DID I MEET MY GOAL? HELL YEAH!!!

Total Race Time – 3:59:08

YES I CAN! YES I DID! Knocked 6 minutes off my race time from 2015!

…AND THAT’S HOW WINNING IS DONE ~ Rocky Balboa

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Next up…the RIP IT Duathlon Challenge (Sprint/Oly Du back to back). YES I CAN.

 

P.S. Notice my lipgloss is still poppin’

5/17/16

Columbia Triathlon: Lessons from a DNF

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It’s been a long time since have DNF’d a race. I have some “drama” filled races in my tri life, but not a DNF before I even got really started.

 

Sunday was just not my day. Hind sight is a mofo; however, I am blessed to have a coach that refuses to hear the negative before I can rattle off some positive. I don’t know if I can say anything positive; but I did learn some valuable lessons…

 

1. Respect the Weather & Water

Mother Nature is a straight up BYOTCH and she will kill you if she can in the midst of creating such beauty. It was going to be cold the morning of the race (45 degrees and slowly rising) and to add insult to injury, the water temp was 62. Brrrrrrrr.

 

I came prepared. I had my neoprene cap, ear plugs, neoprene booties, wet suit, change of shirt & jacket for the bike. DO NOT think that you are even remotely prepared to endure a race of any distance without the proper gear for the air/water temp. YOU ARE NOT. Unless you get 10 bags of ice and put them in your swim spa, practice in an ice bath or swim regularly in a frigid body of water ALL THE TIME ( and NO, your pool is not that cold), then you best bring the gear. IJS.

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Unfortunately, they did not let anyone get in the water before wave starts. No acclimation. The race start was different than I’ve ever done. It was a timed start, run in 2 at a time in your wave and start swimming. I didn’t even think much about it. – BIG MISTAKE. HUGE. I am accustomed to in water starts (or jumping off a ferry and treading water for a min as I move away from someone jumping on my head). With an in water start, yes, it is crowded, but I get to tread water for a few minutes, get used to the water, center my self and start swimming when I get good and damn ready.

 

Naw – this knuckled head, just ran in the water and started swimming. HOLY COW! THAT WATER WAS SO DAMN COLD. My breath was just sucked from my body. But I can do this…I swam in Lake Michigan for gawd sakes at the Chicago Tri…but OMG!!! I started panting. I tried to get my breath. I grabbed a kayak and tried to get my breathing under control. I knew the longer I messed around, the colder I was getting, so get going. I’m shivering and I tried a few strokes, but my heart was pounding…I couldn’t catch my breath. Kayak #2…I was so cold…BUT I CAN DO THIS. I’VE DONE IT BEFORE. DA HELL IS HAPPENING. I try again…and I just can’t. I can’t breath, my heart is going to come out the top of my head and I’m flailing in the water…OMG I’m gonna drown.

 

Another swimmer grabs me and holds me up (can I really sink in a wet suit?) I had no more energy, I’m shivering, panting, my chest hurt. Next thing I know, I’m in a boat…and then there are 5 others in the boat. Me and 4 men. I’m bawling. How did this happen to me? What went wrong. The man sitting in front of me starts talking to me – he was 71 years old and done 60 triathlons. He says, don’t be upset. This was not our day – this won’t be the first setback and it won’t be the last.

 

2. Listen to your body – Live to Race Another Day

Okay. Something was wrong. My body was reacting. I needed to get out of that water…and THANK GOD I did.

I get to the med tent and my blood pressure was 189/90. I was in hypertensive crisis. What might have happened if I had not asked for help? I sat in the med tent for almost 30 min until my blood pressure was at least high normal.

 

It is not worth it to push on (SHUT UP – I’ve done it – I know – DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO), especially if this is not your A race. Is it worth getting injured to the point of not being able to race at all for a long while…or getting DEAD. NOPE.

 

LIVE TO RACE ANOTHER DAY!

 

3. Remember your WHY.

Why do you do all of this swim, bike and run madness? My why is I do it for me. It is my personal accomplishment that is all mine – my challenge to be a better me each and every day. AND I do it because it is fun and to collect BLING. I’m a BLING Ho! PERIOD. DEAL WITH IT.

 

I wiped my tears and pulled myself together because THERE ARE NO TEARS IN FUN!

 

4. Transfer the negative energy into POSITIVE.

I had over 30 MMTC members and almost 10+ BTA members out on the course. My race was over. I could have pack it up and went home. NOPE. I can stand and wait and cheer then home. So many of them have been there for me, in training and in races. The least I can do I stand at that finish and wait and cheer. To get to see my Coach win – OUTSTANDING! To see all my friends make it, through tears, fears and struggle (some less, some more than others) and hug them at the end was the best, most rewarding use of my time…and FEELZ

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5. Every setback is the setup to the comeback!

When I got a little down in the dumps about my DNF, I took a look at my racks of bling. My confidence was restored. I CAN! I HAVE! I WILL! I didn’t get them by not living, learning and toeing the line again and again.

FOR GRINS, GIGGLES and BLING!

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5/8/16

A “Do Epic Shit” Weekend

What does a “Do Epic Shit” Weekend look like? It starts with a drive to the Poconos for CIGAR FEST followed by going to West Point to the Athena Arena: 40 Years of Women at West Point and sealed up with a 40 mile bike ride through New York City at the FiveBoroBikeTour. Whew!

 

Thursday morning (April 28th), The Queen Momz and I leave out to go to CigarFest and attend some of the free events at the Cigar International Stores. We went to the Drew Estate event in Hamburg and then over to the Perdomo Event in Bethlehem.

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We met up with some other Lodge members for the Loyal Order of the Water Buffalo Cigar Club, hung out for a while, spent a lot of moolah and then we hooked up with Lodge 19 (I am the Grand Poobah of Lodge 19) member, IlaGator. Lodge 19 moved the party to Split Rock Resort where CigarFest was being held and attended the Daniel Marshall “Modern Day Campfire” Event.

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I was sure that one of us was going to win one of the awesome prizes, but alas, it was not meant to be. I still have my Daniel Marshall Gold Cigar and plan to take it to Puerto Rico with me to celebrate my 29th anniversary.

 

Friday, Momz and I were up early to get to the breakfast for the VIP CigarNUTs (yep, that’s us) and scored one of the nice large ceramic ashtrays, although I thought I was going to have to build a defensive perimeter around it or go all ham on some guys who thought that two women smoking cigars would need an ashtray. Beat it, bub. MINE!

 

We picked up our great military style back packs filled with CigarNut goodies and made our way into the “tent” to go around to meet, great and pick up a cigar from over 50 different Cigar-makers and brand owners. IT WAS AWESOME!

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So, after we made all of our rounds and had spent all of our monies, we loaded up and made our way to West Point to meet up with the Class of 87 Women for a get together and then the conference on Saturday.

 

It was fantastic to spend time with women grads and to hear from some phenomenal speakers including hearing from the 1st Women Ranger Graduates – all of whom are West Pointers. It was a glorious day for a conference, a parade, Spring Football & Class of 87 Tailgage. Just Simply The Best!!!2016-04-30 11.38.12 2016-04-30 12.00.122016-04-30 12.15.00  2016-04-30 12.44.152016-04-30 16.31.57

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After the tailgate, we (me, ConnieB and Momz) drove down to NYC…and that was an adventure itself – missed a turn and ended up having to go across the Brooklyn Bridge where I made a U-Turn where I probably was no supposed to causing a tad bit of havoc on the road, but I got back across and to our hotel which I would say was not really in Chinatown but actually China. It was GREAT! We picked up dinner at a carry out (yes, Val…it had an A on the door) and Connie and I had to spend a little time reading over the menu and trying to figure out what to get – there was no General Tso Chicken or Schezuan Beef anywhere to be found. What we did end up getting was SLAMMING though. Connie and I pulled our stuff together, debated on whether we should even do the race as it was calling for some serious rain, decided we would play it by ear, and went to bed to get ready for our 40 mile FiveBoroRide.

 

We decided to go since it was just cloudy and misting a little, picked up some gloves under the Manhattan Bridge from a street vendor (they were Clutch!) as we rode to the start line – we grinned and kept each others spirit and humor up. I couldn’t have picked a better person to ride with in such miserable conditions. Mark Twain once said if you want to know if you really like or hate a person, travel with them. Not only did I travel with my classmate & friend, but we survived 40 mile in the freezing rain together with laughter, good humor and comradery. I wouldn’t have done it or kept going without her there with me. I HAD A BLAST! A perfect end to an EPIC SHYT WEEKEND!

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I have been asked would I do this ride again. Probably not. It was so crowded – 40K people on almost as many different bikes and with so much various experience – mostly a lot of people who don’t have the faintest idea of the rules of the road. People would come to a sudden and complete stop in the middle of the road. Stop on the left side blocking people from passing and weaving erratically in and out of the people without saying a word. I saw a lot of unnecessary and/or preventable accidents of which I had no interest in being part of. I was pretty much over it when I saw a guy bite a jersey wall. Yep. No.

 

I put together a little slide show from the ride. Enjoy

4/17/16

Diva Review: Resistance Bands by Live Infinitley

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I was recently offered the opportunity to try Live Infinitley’s Resistance Bands and it came at an awesome time as I have several exercises given to my by my awesome physical therapist. These bands provide varying degrees of resistance and are in a loop style that you can use for a variety of exercises.

 

If you are looking for a resistance band then look no further. For the price point and the variety you get in the pack, you are getting a lot of bang for the buck.

 

Product Information:

✦LARGER SIZE✦ At 14" long & 3" wide these loop exercise bands are designed longer and wider than others to provide more versatility and boost comfort! No more scrunching up and cutting into your skin! Easily combine any combination of bands to achieve the exact resistance amount your personal fitness level needs!


✦PROFESSIONAL GRADE✦ This set of resistance bands includes five 14" x 3" loop bands ranging from Light (3-7lbs), Medium (5-9lbs), Heavy (9-15lbs), X Heavy (15-22lbs) & XX Heavy (22-35lbs). Made from the highest quality all NATURAL latex available. These resistance bands are durable, eco friendly and remove the need for any synthetic additives. Enjoy years of total body workouts knowing these are designed for rigorous exercises and will retain their elasticity.


✦PORTABLE✦ With the included traveling case and the compact size of the workout bands you can achieve your fitness goals at home or on the road. Excellent for all types of at home workouts, strength training, stretching, endurance training or physical therapy treatments.


✦ALL INCLUSIVE✦ Every resistance band set includes a FREE eBook with detailed pictures outlining numerous workouts to get the most from your new Live Infinitely product. As well, you get lifetime access to our how-to video collection explaining how to workout your arms, legs, abs and more to sculpt the body you have always wanted!


✦RELIABLE CUSTOMER SERVICE✦ Every purchase is backed with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If your not thrilled, simply contact our reliable customer service team and know you will receive unmatched personal assistance.

 

You can get your Live Infinitely Resistance Bands by click on the link above. #LiveInfinitely

4/9/16

Diva Review: Live Infinitely Muscle Stick Roller

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Here we go with another Diva Review. Today we are going to talk about the 18” Live Infinitely Forever Massage Stick.

 

 

I have had a massage stick for quite some time now; however, it was always hit or miss in its use until the past couple of months. After a 10 mile run in January, I had some significant knee pain (mostly focused behind my knee and more pronounced when I sat for a long time and then stood up). It forced me to see my Orthopedic doctor. I was sent to PT. I started using a stick on the regular.

 

I was already a fan until I got the opportunity to try the Live Infinitely one. The one I have is longer than this one. The Live Infinitely one is shorter and I am able to get a better grip with the handles and apply more pressure since it is not as long.

 

Here is a short video of me using the Live Infinitely Muscle Stick Roller…

 

Stop Letting Muscle Aches, Fatigue & Cramps Slow You Down
As a runner or anyone who puts consistent strain on your muscles you begin to encounter shin splints, muscle fatigue, aches or cramps. To some degree these obstacles hit every active person. It begins to slow you down or makes it difficult to continue a workout. By using a massage roller you boost blood flow, break down lactic acid and increase flexibility. You can consistently relieve your muscles, which is critical to maintaining a healthy body and continuing to stay active!


What Makes this Massage Sticks Different From Others?
Live Infinitely massage sticks are the highest quality muscles rollers available which are guaranteed to meet and exceed your expectations.
✦ Durable flex resistant stainless steel core, allowing you to be as aggressive as you need without the fear of bending it
✦ ABS plastic rollers, which are squeak free, durable and BPA free
✦ 18" design, giving you the ability to work those hard to reach muscles – easy to take with you and fit in your gym bag
✦ Ergonomic soft rubber handgrips
✦ Dependable and long lasting for everyday use in recovery or pre/post workouts


What's Included with a Purchase of the stick?
✓ Professional grade muscle roller stick
✓ Lifetime access to how-to videos and use guides. As well as a FREE downloadable eBook outlining preventative massages and everyday uses of your muscle roller
✓ 100% satisfaction guarantee backed by our reliable customer service team

 

Where do I get one? Click here --- Live Infinitely Muscle Stick Roller.

 

#liveinfinitely

4/6/16

The TravelDiva’s Totally Tremendous 2016 Race Schedule

Well, I’m a little late getting this out, but I keep getting asked what running, skipping, jumping, flying – completely cray cray adventures I am on in the 2016. Since it is also the year of the HALF CENTURY CELEBRATION – I couldn’t just half step. So, drum roll please….

 photo BannerAnimSBR.gif April 2016

SWHM_logo_pms_colors_2I’m doing this one because I’m doing the Inaugural Disney Paris Half Marathon (my Bday Present to ME!)  and I want the Castle to Chateau medal.

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May 2016
ALL_5BORO_LOGOS_FOR_USE_RGB         Team GLORIOUS GRADS will be rocking NYC

 

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I will be kicking off the KING CRAB CHALLENGE on May 8th with the FREDERICK HALF MARATHON (the other races are the Baltimore 10 miler and the Baltimore Half)

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Followed up the next weekend with BEAST OF THE EAST --- Those hills are just DISRESPECTFUL
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Closing out the month with a little more OWSwimming -
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JUNE 2016

The second race in the KING CRAB CHALLENGE SERIES is up first…

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ETC-VitargoAnd then it is time to jump off the ferry again as I attempt to get some redemption on that Dante Inferno Sand Dune Run in Hell at Escape the Cape…

 

JULY 2016

I’m taking on a new challenge with the DUthe2 Challenge with RipIt Events. That is both the Sprint & Olympic distance Duathlon (Saturday/Sunday) Da Hell was I thinking.

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AUGUST 2016

I’m going back to where I had my first ever podium finish to reclaim my title and move up the podium at the 27th Annual West Point Triathlon.

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SEPTEMBER 2016

I best have my shit together by now as I conquer the Patriots 70.3 Triathlon in Williamsburg, VA

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The I’m off to PARIS for the Inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon (and other shenanigans with my Top Mafia, Pattey)

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OCTOBER 2016

sgc-logoFor grins and giggles and with my friend and Fitboo, Misty… The Seagull Century!

 

Maybe the Metric. We will see!

 

Followed by the last in the King Crab Challenge Series – The Baltimore Half Marathon..

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…and if I can do all of this, I can wrap this thing up with a little jog at the…..

 

 

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NOVEMBER 2016

I wrap up the madness with races I have done every year they have been run…

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I think then I will sit my azz down someplace. WHEW!