Thursday, July 31, 2008

Our first team swim at Tates Creek Pool the title indicates, tonight was our first time swimming as a team at Tates Creek Pool. For those of you who have been following my blog throughout this experience, this is the pool where I had a very bad swim with Janine early on in our training. It was after that particular swim that I decided it was Lancaster Aquatic Center swimming or no swimming at all. Well, now we don't have that luxury because the UK pool is closed (can't remember if I already mentioned that or not).

I am happy to say that tonight's experience at Tates Creek was much better than the first. There were a lot less people and they had more lane lines open for swimmers. Practice consisted of drills and freestyle swimming with different amounts of rest between each set. We did have about 6 people in our one lane though which made it a little crowded. I hit the swimmer in front of me on more than one occasion and so the coach and mentors were yelling "pass him/her". say that passing heightens my anxiety a bit is a MAJOR understatement. After multiple times of passing I finally kind of got the hang of it but wouldn't consider myself prepared for passing in the future. Susan had more time to provide individual attention and pointers so that was really nice. I feel like I learned some real fundamental things that I was not doing correctly so that is an awesome thing.

After we were done swimming I was chit-chatting with Susan and I learned something about her that SHOCKED me! Susan - our hard core, super buff, super triathlete coach wasn't always a swimmer/biker/runner. Do you want to know what she spent most of her time doing as a youngster through college? CHEERING - yes, I didn't stutter - I said CHEERING. WHAT!?!?!?!? I am totally shocked and surprised by that. I just assumed she had always been doing this. It was a great story how it all started. She has been swimming most of her life but not really competitively - more for practical purposes of knowing HOW to swim rather than swim any distance or speed. Once she finished Cheering for UK and got married she took up playing tennis with her husband. Her husband encouraged her to run because his advice was that it would help her be a better tennis player. So - run she did and through running she met John of the local run shop - John's run/walk shop. Once John learned that she could swim and run he encouraged her to try a triathlon. She said she thought he was crazy because she didn't own that kind of bike. He helped her get a bike and she registered for her first event in which she ended up winning the women's division. She said from that point forward she was hooked and now look at her? AMAZING! I just figured she'd been doing this for forever. She now spends time coaching the UK masters swim team, coaching TNT participants and she even has her own event named after her. She went from not having a bike to now riding a bike that was custom made for her and even has her name written on it. ha! I just can't get over it. It was nice talking to her though. I feel like I know her better now and its just cool.

Anyhow - I am beat but happy that the swim went so well. I have officially swam 400 meters without stopping. That is 1/2 way there. Yay!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's been a while

Well...I am blogging after a couple of off days (off from blogging that is...not training). It has been insane for the last several days. Sunday we swam at UK during a mile swim some others were participating in. Obviously we didn't swim a mile - the thought actually amuses me a little. Anyhow - we have finally graduated from drills only to the actual workout that the masters swimmers do. Janine and I were feeling a little ambitious so we thought we would attempt the entire workout rather than half like we have been doing. Well....we didn't finish but we did get a great workout and I have posted some pics for you below.

This is me during my dreaded pull buoy lap.

Still smiling close to the end of our workout.

This is the only team mate that joined us on Sunday - GinaThis is what our work-outs look like. We stick them on the side of the pool at the end of the lane and do as much as we can before time runs out. If it goes into the drain - watch out because it does not make Sargent Susan happy!

Remember me writing about the difficulty of pull buoys? Well - just to give you a little more perspective I am posting a video of an experienced swimmer doing a pull buoy lap and then a video of Janine doing one. I promise I wouldn't throw Janine under the bus but the video of me doing it didn't turn out right. Janine looks pretty good on the other hand...whatever!



Last night was another brick at Coldstream and we just increased biking by a lap and running by two minutes over last weeks workout. Tonight the UK pool is officially closed for draining and cleaning so we are on our own at the public pools until it re-opens. Janine and I plan to swim on our own tomorrow afternoon - should be interesting because its long course and outside - two things we aren't used to.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


So...yesterday I set out to swim on my own (like I said I would) to get in another practice session during the week. After all my years of experience as an athlete one thing has never changed- practice is the only way to improve. I decided I would run by Walmart prior to my swim to pick up a kick board so I could warm up with that before doing some laps. I would just like to share with you all that the only kick boards that were being sold at Walmart were either Spider man or Finding Nemo. All I could think while I was walking the aisles was "boy does this have something to say about my swimming ability, I am being reduced to swimming with a Nemo kick board for crying out loud and FYI I am not ten years old!" Oh well - Nemo it is I thought, because there is no way I am going to the local swim shop to drop 20+ bucks on a friggin' kick board. Whatever!

I decided to swim at Shilito and the Lord was looking down on me (most likely with pity) because there was NO ONE at the pool. It was crazy because the last time Janine and I went to Shilito, it was packed like sardines up in there. Anyhow - I got to work and although I don't have any amazing report to make I feel better knowing that I got in that extra day. I was mainly trying to work on relaxation stuff in the water. I tried to think about Kennedy or running or something that I am comfortable with and or makes me happy. So sad, right? It did work a little, however, if someone had been kicking up a storm behind me it may have ruffled my feathers a tad. I swam for about an 40 minutes and I plan to possibly get back out and do some more this weekend too. Funny that Nemo seems to be following me throughout my experience, huh? "Just keep swimming...just keep swimming......just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

Although this whole process continues to be challenging in ways I never dreamed, I am so glad I am doing it for this cause. It stormed yesterday morning and I was so tempted to just throw in the towel on the whole swim idea for the day because I knew it would be challenging. Although my swimming difficulties are nothing like the pain a cancer patient spurs me on to think of them and what they might go through. I am raising money for those people so their suffering can be less and if I don't complete my goal and continue to train and fundraise this will have not been a successful experience to me. I am proud to say that as of today I have $400 left to reach my goal and lots more swimming to be ready for the event. Thanks for all of your support, prayers and encouragement. I know I can do this!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our first brick

What is a brick you might be asking. Taken from, the definition of a brick is as follows: Bricks are a very important part of triathlon (and duathlon) training and they are sometimes overlooked. Bricks refer to training on two disciplines during the same workout, one after the other with minimal or no interruption in between, just as you would do in a race. Usually when people talk about bricks they refer to a bike/run workout, but bricks could also refer to a swim/bike workout or to a run/bike workout (if you are training for a duathlon). These last two are often overlooked but still important to fit here and there in your training plan.

Our team did our first run/bike brick last night out at Coldstream park. We first practiced running along side of our bike because in the actual event you cannot ride out of the transition area - rather you must run by your bike and then mount it once you have exited the area. That is a little awkward - especially when you don't actually have on tennis shoes because of a clip-in pedal system (like mine). Anywho, once on the bike, the point was to familiarize ourselves with how our legs and body would feel dismounting the bike and beginning the run. We rode 3 laps (@ 3 miles), jogged 5 minutes, rode 3 laps, jogged 5 minutes, etc. etc. It was challenging but Susan gave us some practical tips on stretching our legs prior to dismounting for the run and it did seem to help. Man my running shoes have never felt better (and I need new ones I might add) after running with my bike to change to my tennis shoes. Right now it seems like I will be at a disadvantage because people who were biking in their tennis shoes were leaving me in the dust, but I know come race day the fact that I can pull and push in my bike shoes will give me advantage over those biking in tennis shoes.

We had a really good time just figuring things out and laughing at ourselves - trying to run with our helmets, feeling like jello legs and so forth. I don't have a lot of funnies to share, although I will say that the first question out of "drill sergeant Susan's" mouth was "So...who fell on Sunday, I heard someone fell". Yours truly! Thanks for sharing with the team Coach! ha!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Training Tri Day = Bruised Ego & Bruised Knee

Today was our training tri day. The Lexington TNT group and the Louisville TNT group got together and did a practice run through the course that we will run through on our event day in October. Today was also Janine and Josh's moving day so it was a CRAZY DAY! we will on race day, we started with the swim. Susan and her son Clifton explained how the heats will be released for the tri - you will be in sectioned groups of people and each swimmer in that group will be released 10 seconds apart. I had been mentally preparing all day, or at least I thought I had. My self talk went a little something like this: "Don't freak - breathe - this is practice - no one is in a hurry and you don't have to prove anything - this is practice - go slow - etc." For some reason, my self talk didn't produce the result I was hoping for. When I jumped in the water, I totally lost my breath because it was cold and then I had to start ASAP because the person behind me was coming in 10 seconds later whether I was ready or not. So...I pushed of the wall and hoped for the best. I made it about 1/2 way down the 50 meter stretch when I started to feel as though I couldn't catch my breath. This horrid feeling just kept building and building until I felt like I was taking in zero oxygen and unable to put any out either. It was awful! I had to stop at the end of 50 meters and catch my breath and the return lap was just as severe. When I started the next lap and got to the end I was freaking out. Everyone was past me and swimming like trained swimmers and there I was suffocating. All I could think was "Why, why is this happening to me and not anyone else?" I had to stop and hang on to the wall (one of Susan's pet peeves I might add). Ann-Maria and Treacy saw me and I am sure were concerned by the looks on their faces and I am sure they were concerned because of the look on mine - (blue and faint). Ann-Maria came to my rescue - literally! She asked me what troubles I was having and through gasps for air I described it to her and then I am embarrassed to say - the tears came. Frustration and anger combined can't even begin to define what emotions I was feeling. Why can't I do this!? Why, why, why!? Ugh! She talked me down and said "Take your time, do your thing and I will be right here beside you." Thank goodness for her because I could not have done one more lap without her. THAT my friends is what TNT mentors are for. I don't know how many laps I did after that or how many times I had to rely on breast stroke to get through it, but I was happy with what I had done when I was finished. I know now I need lots more work before my event and admitting my weaknesses in this case was the best thing I could have done.

Before continuing on with the rest of my juicy details about today I would like to take this opportunity to say that I am once again humbled by swimming children and this time the swimmer is under 10 years of age. My niece Catherine Page swam this week in her teams "swimathon" to raise money for new suits, and other gear and the dear sweet child swam enough laps to equal 3/4 of a mile. WHAT!? I know! How insane is that? My 7 year old niece is out swimming me - that is a longer distance than my actual event. When asked repeatedly by her mother throughout her swim if she needed a break she replied "I'm not tired". Love her heart. Oh if I could only have half her energy. Go CPV. I am going to attach a picture of the little swimmer I can only aspire to be. Love you Ca!

I wish I could look this good in a Speedo

Once the swim was done and the quick change was made I picked my ego up off the Lancaster aquatic center floor and headed toward the "transition area" to get on the bike.

The bike was wonderful - gorgeous route and gorgeous weather (hot, but gorgeous). There were lots of hills to climb and we climbed them well. Props to team mate Erin for keeping up with us road bikers - on her hybrid - KUDOS girlie because that is no easy feat. Once we got back from the bike Janine and I had ants in our bike shorts because we knew there was packing left to do. Rather than dragging the details out I am just going to lay it out there for ya - I bit it. Yes, once again - fell....attached to my bike as before. I mean, the ride was over for crying out loud and I fell! Ugh! I just laid there flat on my bike and Janine came running over to see if I was okay. "I'm okay" I said, "but why does this happen to me". Janine had nothing but love for me and she picked me up off the floor and we rode off to finish up with packing their place up. I am proud to say the house got completely packed and I am okay - just banged up and a little bruised.

Taking a water stop at the 1/2 way point (Coach Susan)

Mentor Treacy

This is Eric - I am going to affectionately refer to him as "The Bike Boss"

Here comes Ann-Maria!

This is my team mate Erin and I at the water stop.

This last image is just for giggles. This little blue dolphin sits on none other than Susan's bike: ha! Mind you, we were asked to take our reflectors off because they are "extra weight". Supposedly this dolphin squeaks so that Susan can get every one's attention if people are getting a little too chatty. hee-hee.

Next up on the training agenda: a bike ride tomorrow evening at Coldstream Park - we are breaking out of Beaumont Circle y'all - watch out.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Thank God it's Friday y'all! It has been a crazy week and it's nice to have a night that I don't have a training commitment of some sort, you know? It has been a supremely busy week. Courtney and I ran Monday and then I had biking at Beaumont that night, we ran Tuesday AM and then I had volleyball in the PM - I took Wednesday off and then we ran yesterday and I had swim last night. Craziness! Courtney was up a lot last night because her man is off to Canada to fish so we didn't make it up to run this AM, however, Kennedy and I took a brisk walk to the duck pond to feed the ducks and back to the house so I did get my heart rate up a little. Kennedy was most amused with the ducks but then when the geese started to come over they stole the show. She was more interested in having some bread for herself honestly. Tomorrow I am planning to run 6 miles at the Arboretum with Billie and Janine will join us for 4 before she jets off to class. I am planning on going to the bike shop tomorrow to get some things I will need prior to Sunday's training tri. We are going through the whole course on Sunday as a practice for our event. No one is obligated to complete each activity, but we are encouraged to participate in some capacity. I think Janine and I plan to swim around 200 meters and then do the full bike - 14 miles I believe. Once we are done with that it is off to load the Owens Uhaul. It is a bittersweet thing because it means Janine is moving in with us but it makes her ultimate move date all too close for comfort too. Reality check! We are going to be some tired chicas come Sunday night. Courtney might not be able to join me next week because her man is out of town and their Rhodesian ridge back baby "Gunner" will need tending too before she could get back from a day of work + rising early and leaving for our runs. Boo-hoo. We all know how poorly I do without accountability so my fingers and toes are crossed that someone volunteers to help out or something. ha ha. Well - have a super weekend everyone. I should have pics and stories to follow this weekends events. Until then........

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Baby brain

Well, it's been a good weekend. Saturday I got in a 4 mile run at the Arboretum with Janine and Billie. I will say, however, that Billie got in 4 miles of her own before she wrapped up her last two with us. She is a rock star for sure. Unfortunately we didn't get to do all our miles together. I am claiming major baby brain because I told her to be there at 7 but somehow convinced myself that I had told her 7:30. Sorry Billie! Oh well! It was a good run and way to go Janine completing four for the first time in her triathlon training - Go Neenie! I am so proud I could just burst. =)

On Saturday we ran into Tracy who recommended that Janine and I come out today to do long course at UK. We have not done long course yet. We have been swimming the width of the pool rather than the length so its about double the distance we are used to. I was a little leery but Janine and I agreed because we needed the workout and practice. It was awesome! I don't know why we didn't go before today! I mean....yes, we started with flippers but the flippers came off and we were really swimming. Today was the closest I have come to looking/feeling like an actual "swimmer" since this whole thing started. It was exhilarating but ridiculously exhausting too. We are going to be some sore chicks tomorrow. We had some good laughs too. We had to use some apparatus during our drills called a pull buoy. It essentially forces you to use your arms and rely on balance to get through the water rather than any kick. Well - I have obviously been relying on my kick because it was back to gulping water and dogie paddling for me partly through that drill. I tried to re-collect myself and start over but it just kept happening. I was able to laugh because it was happening to the others too - oh well. You win some, you lose some - we will get better. To see a picture of the little buggers or evil floaties as I prefer to call them hop on to Janine's blog @

There isn't much entertaining to say except for that I got all the way from Nicholasville to Lexington and out of my car and all the way into the Aquatic Center before realizing that I had on two totally different flip-flops. Again - baby brain. I had to just laugh it off.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I start this blog posting with the title boo because I deserve a boo unfortunately. I was so excited to have my little one back from her stay with grandmommy that I didn't run on Wednesday morning, I chose to snuggle with her in my bed instead. No biggee - I walked for about 55 minutes at a brisk pace so I figured I did something, right? happened..a sleepless night returned to our house last night, its been a while since we had one - those blasted teeth! They are wretched little things when they make their first appearance. So, after being up from about 10-3 with a crying, inconsolable child I decided there was no way I was going to be able to get up this morning. I figured I might try if I got to sleep through until my usual wake up time but then I was awakened around 4:00 AM and again around 5:00 and I thought - "who am I kidding, I have a million things to do today and I will be a zombie if I wake up to run". I called Courtney and cancelled and apologized profusely as usual when I have to cancel. I felt like crap not only for cancelling but for missing a run too - sucky! Oh well I thought - I have swim tonight so at least I will get some calorie burn today. Well, that didn't work out as planned either. I had tons of errands to run, one of which had to happen because we needed food for our sweet girl. Because of a late nap, I didnt make it to Kroger until late and before you knew it it was 5:45 as I was on my way home and I had yet to eat or get things ready for the sitter tomorrow. In order to make my swim lesson at UK @ 6:30 I have to leave my house by 6:00. I had a car full of groceries, I needed to change, I needed dinner, aaaaaaaaaaaagggggggggghhhhhhhh! I hate being rushed! Forget it! I am not going! And so it went - no swim for me tonight. Now you know why I labeled it Boo. Boo on me!

I am hoping for a good run tomorrow, a good run on Saturday at the Arboretum and maybe a catch up swim for me at a city pool on Sunday - Lord knows I need it. Pray that my childs mouth stops hurting her so badly. We all need some sleep.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Blues

We had a scheduled ride at Beaumont this evening. I was really looking forward to it all day today at work and then I had a semi-detrimental event prior to my departure for the ride. I left work at 5:30 and the ride was at 6:30 with a 30 minute drive to get there so I had 30 minutes to pump up my tires, load up my bike and gear, eat dinner and change clothes. Anyhow - Tim pumped my tires up and put my bike out by the car and when he came in he said he wasn't sure on the function of my rack so he sat the bike next to it. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off and trying to get the baby gates we bought last night to childproof our house in my car because - THEY DIDN'T FIT! ARGH! Back to Babies R Us they go. In all the hubbub we said our goodbyes and off I went so I wouldn't be late and then I heard it. There is no mistaking that awful noise when your car hits something it shouldn't. That something......was my bike. OMG! Did I just hit my bike. Breathe.....count to ten.....don't hyperventilate was what I was chanting in my head. Road bikes are not even remotely inexpensive so the thought that I might have damaged it beyond repair was enough to make me nauseous. Tim went running back and picked it up and I didn't even want to get out of my car because then there was a way to kind of pretend it didn't happen. I got out.....shaking and inspected it - scuffed up seat, scratched pedal and a couple other minor dents but no big damage - PRAISE THE LORD! Once my heart beat returned to a normal rhythm I left to meet the team.

The ride went well. We did some speed intervals and that was fun and challenging but nothing too intense. James, Jennifer, Janine and I were all there and James told us he had made a debut in the newspaper this weekend. He ran in the local 10 K (dressed like a Blues Brother) and had his picture put in the paper - he's famous! Anyhow...I thought I would share that with you all and tell you to keep him in your prayers. James has hernia surgery scheduled for Thursday and he will be unable to train for the next three weeks so he is bummed out but plans to come and watch us train when we have sessions. That's love, huh?

GO JAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lastly, I want to ask that you all keep Susan in your prayers as well. Her cousin Buck who has been fighting Leukemia lost his fight this weekend and she will attend his funeral tomorrow. She said she felt as though in 5 years someone like him will be able to live longer because of what people like us are doing right now - so inspiring! Anyhow - she was really close to him and I know she has had a difficult time with her loss. I just admire her for being out riding with us tonight - being positive - encouraging us and just moving forward in the effort to find a cure: amazing! Janine had her camera with her tonight and we got some shots with Susan and Tracy - Enjoy!


from L to R: Tracy (mentor), James Pelfrey (DC Nations Tri Trainee), me, Janine, Jennifer (tri trainee), and Susan Bradley Cox - the coach herself in all her glory! If she looks tough its because SHE IS!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

You gotta laugh

The weekend is almost over and I realized today that I needed to do a post about my swim lesson this week. Susan (our tri coach) has an ill relative and therefore was not at our swim lesson this week. Ruth - my mentor was there and helped get us in the pool and get to drilling. I (as usual) became frustrated about midway through the hour lesson and expressed my frustrations to Ruth. I feel like drills are sooooo hard! I know, cry me a river, right? I am happy to report that Ruth confirmed my feelings and admitted that drills are harder than swimming, but just like acquiring all new skills - this one takes practice and drills are the way to get that practice. It is an understatement to admit to you all that I am ready for practice to end, however, I want to be a good swimmer. The end result - just keep swimming. I felt encouraged after my pep talk with Ruth though because she empathized and told me to be encouraged - I had made great strides and it would only get better. So....I missed Janine because she wasn't there but got in a good hours worth of practice and I have to keep telling myself - I am improving even when I don't feel as though I am. Susan is encouraging us to sign up for a training tri in August and right now I CANNOT imagine completing it but they all say I will be ready - we'll see about that!

This weekend was pretty uneventful training-wise. There was a run at the Arboretum on Saturday at 7 AM but my Friday night fourth celebration kept me up a little too late to make that. In addition to being up late I planned a surprise bday party for Tim yesterday evening and there just weren't going to be enough hours in the day. We were supposed to have a bike ride today but it got cancelled so we have one tomorrow evening at Beaumont and I am looking forward to that.

For your entertainment-I am going to post a you tube video I discovered recently thanks to my mother in law - it makes me laugh and every now and then - YOU GOTTA LAUGH - RIGHT?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Why Not Tri?

This week has been a good one so far: busy, but good. As most of you know my little pumpkin Kennedy is with her grandmother this week so I have actually had some free-time which I am completely unfamiliar with. Janine and I went and checked out Shilito pool yesterday and it is much better than the place we have been swimming on the weekends when we have time. I would love to say we did a really hard work out yesterday but that would be a lie. We totally just scoped out the locale and soaked up the sun. It was awesome. Everyone needs a little R&R, right? Anyhow, when we are ready to swim outside of the UK pool, we know where to go!

Tonight is a group swim and I am glad to be getting back in the pool after a week off but a little nervous. The days are flying by which makes me realize how close my event is - it's a little nerve wracking. Thank goodness for good coaching because hopefully I will be more ready than I can even imagine right now.

My running buddy Courtney sent me an interesting article that I want to share. Most of you won't be interested in reading it but those of you who are intrested in doing a tri at one point and those of you who are working with me on training for this one will enjoy the read. Here is the link:,7120,s6-238-244-260-9801-0,00.html

At the end of the article, there is a training calendar which really puts into perspective what goes into training for a tri. I am going to paste that too:

As ususal - I should have an interesting post tomorrow following my swim. As I log off I am humming "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming....etc."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Around and Around and Around we go

We had our very first team bike ride last night at Beaumont Circle. Despite that we rode in a 1.0 mile circle for 6 laps it was a good time. Susan wanted to see us all on our bikes, watch how we signaled, watch how we dismounted, etc. Eric checked all our bikes out - the fit, the tire pressure, etc. Eric also taught us how to change a flat - invaluable in my opinion because I have never accurately been taught before. Let's just say I hope I never get a flat because that is no easy task! The weather was a little weird (cloudy, cool, and windy) but comfortable nonetheless. A fun little factoid I picked up during our session - in triathlons drafting can earn you a penalty. Who knew! I thought drafting was like pacing as a runner. Nope! You must keep 3 bike lengths between you and the person in front of you and if you cant you must pass and you only have 15 seconds to do so. Penalties dock your finish time and if you get three you can be DQ'd. Did you guys know that? Pretty cool stuff but Thank God they told me because as person who has group cycled a good bit I totally would have assumed drafting was fair game. Now I know! The only downfall to last night was no Janine - she had class. I missed you Neene! It always feels good to be on my bike so I am looking forward to our next ride whenever it may be.