Friday, October 30, 2009

And the winner is . . .

ShirleyPerly wins the Dog-Lover Giveaway! Yay Shirley and Yay! regifting!  Go ahead and drop me an email (addy on my Profile page) and I'll mail it out on monday. 

Managed a yoga class today (and yesterday!), a little running here and there, and later today am off to the Bay Area for the Marin Tri.  We're meeting up today and saturday with some great friends, so that oughta lead me into the race with a better mindset than I have right now, which, like my training, is poor poor poor. 

I'm very apprehensive going into this race with the crappy training I have devoted to it.  I think I'll interpret this lack of interest as a sign that I should focus on running (interested) and therefore feel less guilty about all the swimming (not so interested) that I am not doing.  And the biking.

I'll have fun at this race -- I always do -- but any goal I had of an under-four-hour finishing time is being shelved for now.  Goals: Don't Drown.  Don't Die.  Don't Quit.  Finish with a Smile.  In that order.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Same old, same old

I think I have said ALL of this before . . . darn.  Just got home yesterday from my week of work, where once  again I did not manage to sneak any runs in among the 12 hour night shifts.  I have GOT to figure this out or I will never manage a marathon in May.  This is laziness pure and simple and there's no reason for it.  Better today with some rest under my belt, got lots of chores done today and am headed out to yoga in an hour -- this will hopefully jumpstart me into more activity.  I'd like to get another run (for sure), bike (would be nice) and swim (omg) in before this weekend's olympic tri down in marin.  I'm little miss broken record, but I am even more undertrained for this than I was for the Donner Lake Tri this summer, and I paid for that really hard.  I think I need to have a little come-to-Jesus moment with myself and figure out if I really have the stick-to-it-iveness to do these triathlons.  I feel like I've already let myself down by my lacksadaisical training, though I think I have enough underlying fitness to pull through.  Just. 

I am looking forward to having this race over with, and would probably bow out if it weren't for the $$ I have already paid for registraion.  Plus all the talky-talky I have done. 

I am looking forward to just focusing on running.

And oh! Tomorrow is the date for my drawing in my give-a-way, and so far it looks like you all have a 1 in 6 chance!  Good luck!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dog Lover's Giveaway . . .

 Last week I ran a race and got lots of schwag.  Not being a dog owner, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it.  Thus, the first Back of the Pack Giveway!

Let's see, here we have a ziploc baggie of dog biscuits, another bag of treats, and the Hydro-Go, which bills itself as a Pet Canteen with a Fold Out Bowl.  Comes with a plastic carrying strap, too, and is a neat little item for the active dog.  Or something like that.

Alright, I've seen this done, and I think this is the general procedure.  Leave a comment here on this post, you get one entry.  Link back to this post on your own blog (and mention it in your comment) and you get two entries.  Reply by October 29.  Check back here on Friday October 30, prior to which I will have picked my favorite person randomly drawn the winner from the entries, and you just might be the recipient of free stuff!!  And, while you're here, look around a bit and see if you're interested in reading about my slow running adventures (yeah, nothing's really that free).  Or, just leave a post and hope you win!

In your post, tell me what's your favorite dog breed, and why.  I happen to be fond of Border Collies, 'cause of their smarts and their obsessive personalties (making my running partner in the above-mentioned race all the more interesting).  If I ever get a dog, I hope it's got a little border in its blood.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

While I've been running

I used to do a lot of Bikram yoga. 4-5 times a week.  This was something like 5 years ago.  I was never very skilled at it, mostly 'cause I'm quite klutsy and things like balancing on one leg do not come easy to me.  However, I benefitted from it in so many ways, not the least of which was that it REALLY helped me get over a relatively serious back injury, *plus* had me about 15 pounds lighter than I am now.  I stopped because I moved to a place that had no hot yoga studio (and regular yoga just bores me for some reason).  I was happy to find when we moved to Truckee that there is in fact a Bikram studio here, but we had just bought out house and  those damn classes are NOT cheap.

I still really can't afford it, but the other day I found myself in a class and OH MY WHY HAVEN'T I BEEN DOING THIS FOR THE PAST 4 YEARS?  And one class, that's all it took, and I am obsessed again.  I've done 2 classes in 2 days and, as I leave home for my week of work, I'm wondering When can I go again?  (Ohh, there is a studio in Marin, sure I can't manage to fit any running in while I'm there, just not enough time and I'm too tiiiiired, but I betchya I could find some time for yoga . . . thus is my obsessive personality).  Oh yeah, how am I gonna afford it?  I dunno, but I will!  2 classes a week, coming up!

Of interest, the one thing I have always been is pretty flexible.  Even without regular yoga exercise (or ANY exercise, for that matter), I have always been able to, say, reach down and put my palms on the floor, knees locked.  Imagine my surprise when doing my first Welcome Back class I found I could barely reach my toes, even with my knees slightly bent!  I laughed out loud to find how stiff I've become.  Thanks, running!

I have been running, did 5 lovely miles last evening along the river and got a little blissful.  I really do love to run, though it's taken me a long time to reach this state of mind.  I'm glad I got started.  As far as swimming, I've done nothing for over a week -- bad bad, considering I've got a tri coming up in a week and a half.  An olympic.  That oughta be interesting, though I am ready to take it super easy and just enjoy the experience.  Given the lack of focused training, that's about all I can hope for, and that's fine by me.  As far as biking goes, well, yesterday I actually changed 3 tires, from start to finish, and now feel as though I can change a flat if I need to, if not with any great speed.  It's about time!  Before I just had the theoretical knowledge, I'm much more confident  now that I've actually done it.

Also, I baked a couple of nice Key Lime pies.  I've sacrificed probably a dozen eggs to figuring out how to make a meringue (fucking up simple procedures, the bane of the self-taught cook), but think I've worked out the kinks.  Egg whites: room temperature, and not a trace of yolks, even a drop is a catastrophe; Bowl: tall and glass;  Beater: beat those damn things until they're SUPER foamy and soft before adding the sugar.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Last night was the awards banquet potluck marking the conclusion of the Underground Race Series of my local running club.  I was so lucky to stumble into this group of people earlier this year; this series of 9 very casual races really helped me at points where my motivation was lagging, and I met some great people, too.  Ultimately, the greatest lesson I learned through this series is that of Being Consistent.

I am not athletic or physically talented, nor graceful, adept, or swift by any means.  Truthfully, I don't really bring a lot to the running table.  However, surprising myself probably most of all, since I started running 2 years ago I have been pretty much consistent with it (with some notable exceptions).  Running hasn't been too far from my mind at any time since I began, even if I was only asking myself the question When am I going to start running again?  Certainly, my pace has remained consistent, and that, my friends, is slow indeed.  During this entire series, I have always been in the back of the pack, always the very last female finisher, and probably more often than not absolutely DFL.  So?

Look at all of the freakin' schwag I scored, just for showing up!

Perhaps I'm a little childish for reveling in these little victories but Hey!  Free stuff!  Not only did I win my age group (you had to participate in at least 6 races to be eligible to win, and I must've been the only 40-49 woman to do so 'cause we all know I suck), but also won for Most Races Completed.  Far out!

Not wimpy little prizes either, check it out: $20 certificate at a nice local restaurant, $25 certificate at a local wine shop, 3 pairs of running socks, a really nice klean kanteen water bottle and 2 tshirts.  I especially like the green one on the left; on the front it says Runners Own Up To It . . . and Who Fartlek'd on the back.  Hee!

I'll remember this little consistency lesson when I'm in the back, choking on everyone's dust.

No choking on dust yesterday, as it was raining/snowing/fucking cold and I found myself running my little run on a treadmill at the gym.  How do you people *do* this?  2.8 miles and I thought I'd give running up forever.  I was so unexcited not only did I not reach my goal of 4 miles, but I couldn't even do the 2.8 all at once, instead breaking it into 2 (before- and after-the-workout) sessions.

Winter is going to piss me off.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Truckee River Day

Yesterday we decided to pay a little back for all of our trail use, and we participated in Truckee River Day.  Tom's done lots of these community-service days before (though not in the mandated, criminal way that "community service" conjures up) though this was my first foray.  We were assigned to a small group working on Sage Hen Creek, about 3 miles out of downtown Truckee.  Our target?  Lots and lots of barbed wire.

The wire was left over from ranching in the area years and years and years ago, and was spread out all along the trail.  About 7 of us hiked in around a mile, and got to work.  Here's Tom securing some bundles to one of two wheelbarrows.

We must've bundled up at least a mile of the stuff, maybe more.  Initially a little clumsy with the wire (as evidenced by my scratched-up forearms), I think I can say I'm now an expert in barbed wire rolling.  We'd each roll up maybe 20 feet of the stuff, secure it, then toss it off to the side, later to be gathered into wheelbarrow loads. 

The hardest job was probably running the loaded wheelbarrows the mile back to the cars.  The trail was mostly flat, but did have some difficult spots.  It was, however, a beautiful day and the colors bright yellow and very fall like and yay! Sage Hen trail looks like the PERFECT running trail, like I said mostly flat and running right along this lovely creek all the way out to Stampede Resevior.  I think I will find my feet there soon.

We filled a whole truck up with rolls and rolls of wire. 
The day ended on a dissapointing note, though.  As volunteers, we not only got Tshirts (this was a banner weekend for tshirt collection) but were promised a big ol' after-work meal catered by Cottonwood, one of the better restuarants in town.  After finishing our day of work right on time, we headed to the site of the feast only to find . . . all of the food gone.  Bummer!  We had both really been looking forward to the food (we do just about anything for free food these days!), and were starving!

No big deal, really.  It did feel good for me to give back to all the trails I've been running lately, and better still to find a new trail all ready for the exploring!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Trails and Tails Ruff Ruff 10K

Allow me to start off by admitting that this morning I did NOT feel like running in this event at all.  I was warm and toasty in bed having a solid sleep, warm flannel sheets and a snuggle partner.  The race was an hour's drive from home, I had not yet paid the entrance fee, and I was still feeling the lingering effects of the 40+ hours of Lack of Sleep.  Mmmmm, bed.  However, I had made arrangements with a friend from the running club to meet him there and borrow a dog! for the run (this being a very dog-themed event -- see title).  This vague commitment was compelling enough for me to avoid the bedsuck and hit the road.  I'm so glad I did!

I didn't really wake up until I was nearly there.

THERE is Spooner Lake, scene of the Ruff Ruff 10k (and 2 mile scenic run/walk around the lake, which looked beautiful this morning in the mist) put on by the Carson City Sheriff's Office, with proceeds benefitting the local Search and Rescue -- a cause I can get behind!  All participants were encouraged to bring a (leashed) dog along for the race.

First off, the swag (schwag?) bag was, forgive the expression, off the chain . . .

So much cool stuff in there!  The race shirt is of a really fine quality -- custom embroidered no less, there's some dog treats and some human treats, a very interesting canteen/drinking bowl contraption for the active dog*, and yet ANOTHER tshirt.  Pretty impressive, especially given the event was so small.  Maybe there were 100 people participating, but there was probably way less (most were doing the 2 miler).

Here's some folks getting themselves registered.  It was a beautiful morning, all cool and misty.  Dogs everywhere.  What a nice fall day.

I was bummed to see no sign of my running buddy, and re-adjusted to the idea of running without a dog.  I was disappointed, though.  Even though I have only run a couple of times with a dog as a companion, I've always thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

It warmed up a bit, and as the start time became SOON I jettisoned my warm clothes and froze my way on down to the line.

First out of the gate were the runners (all 2 of them) in the kids' run, 300 meters I think.

Next up is us, the 10K group which I'm astonished to see seems to consist of 3 people, really?  As the time winds down, no one else shows up and it really seems to be just me and two other guys.  I'm all like, wow!  I could WIN this thing (and that kind of opportunity does not come along ever very often!) Right about this time, a minute or less before the start, this wonderful woman says Hey!  Would anyone like a 10K dog? which I am all over, of course, and that's how I came to run this race with Chopper:

(This pic is actually from the middle of the run, taken at one of the aid stations)

So yay! I have a dog -- huge thanks to Sally! -- and the sun is shining and they count down 30 seconds and I shit you not in 29 seconds we go from the three of us at the start line to maybe another 15 people come out of NOWHERE to join us including a bunch of women and any brief fantasy I had (the first place female award goes to . . . me!) is quickly dashed, and I gotta laugh at myself.  The horn goes off and everyone, I mean EVERYONE! is just gone, whoosh, like that, and I assume my role as the leader of the very back (aka last), a position I manage to hang onto until the bitter end.

This was just a really fun run.  The temp, once I got moving, was perfect, nice and sunny and all the aspens are turning golden and OK I guess I'm ready to say goodbye to summer.  Chopper was the best running companion, though he was a little nervous, especially at first when he kept looking back over his shoulder for his human.  He got used to me soon enough, and was happy to trot right at my side.  The whole run (the whole EVENT) was super well organized, marked all over the place even though it mostly just was along a fire road.  There were policemen-type dudes at every possible juncture, but they were happy police.  OK.

I think running in Tahoe will, in the end, make me a much better runner.  I mean, check out this elevation profile, y'all:

Is that shit NORMAL? Granted, this is only the first half of the race, after which we turned around and ran downhill.  But still.  That is a LOT of climbing!  One of these days, I'm moving to Kansas. Until then, I guess I keep trudging on up these hills, slowing down to 17 minute miles (Gary kept beeping into autopause even while I was ostensibly still running, which was a little humbling).

The atmosphere, again, was just stunning.  I've actually been up this road (North Canyon, I believe) many times, on bikes, hikes and skis, but I have never run it before.  I was so pleasantly surprised at how easy it was, even though (or perhaps because) I was taking it at a very slow pace.  There was a time not long ago where I would have had to walk quite a bit of the first half.  I'm happy to say I ran every step.  And it was just gorgeous, all blue skies and lots of mt bikers on their way to the Flume trail and a happy dog and then, yay!  I get to turn around and run downhill, by far my favorite running activity and an hour and twenty minutes (yikes!) after we started Chopper and I cross the finish line, whoppee!  I don't think the dog minds, and I sure don't, that my suspicions are true and we are DFL!  I'm beginning to take a certain amount of pride in this position, and am thinking that perhaps this is the start of a trend.

And then, o wow! the best post-race meal I've yet seen in my nascent racing career:

The french toast was perfect (and I'm not a huge fan), the eggs were tasty tasty good, and the sausage was turkey.  Yum freakin' yum.  Gone in about 2 minutes.

I stuck around for the awards ceremonies, and the prizes were off the chain too.  Each male and female winner (2 mile and 10K) not only won ANOTHER tshirt, they got this doggy fountain drinking water dispenser thingy (I dunno, but the box was huge and impressive!) and a year's supply of Nutro (read: fancy) dog food.  Damn.

All in all, a day I was glad I got out of bed for.  Very Good.  I'll leave you with a couple of shots of Lake Tahoe, looking mighty fine:

*Stay tuned, all 5 of you, 'cause I think I'm going to be offering this in my very first blog giveaway, coming soon

Friday, October 16, 2009

More future-oriented thinking

I'm not quite sure what has gotten into me.  Last night, after the final TRC race of the year, I got to talking with other members -- all super fast, super accomplished runners, mind you -- about  . . . marathons.  Typical me, I get an idea in my head and the next thing you know BLAMMO! it's all I can think about.  As evidence, I present Exhibit A: Reno Rock n' River Marathon, May 2, 2010 and Exhibit B: Hal Higdon's Novice Marathon Training and Exhibit C: My iPhone, specifically the Calendar app, which is now filled with training runs (from B) all culminating in (A).  Got that?

Yes, I've all but bitten the bullet in my heretofor tentative plan to run a marathon next year . . . now I've got the event, the date, the training plan and I guess I'm committed.  Alls that's left is to actually sign up for the thing, which I'll work up to shortly.

Oh, yeah, and all the running.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Got out and did the final run of the Underground Race Series, this being the week for the 4 mile trail run. What a nice run, it had recently rained and the trail was all packed and not dusty, the weather was perfect for running the timing coincided nicely with the sunset. I felt like I was running super fast, just really light and easy, yet every time I looked at Gary I was running at my regular pace. No worries, the run felt great and it was wonderful to get out there and race with my new friends one last time. There's an awards ceremony pot luck (and another little fun run) on Monday night, so I'm looking forward to that. My times:

Mile 1: 11:39
Mile 2: 12:40
Mile 3: 12:26
Mile 4: 11:40

Which makes my finish time pretty consistent with all the other runs I've done in this series.

And, oh, lest I forget in my Upcoming Races list, on December 5 (or 6?) I've got the Borax Death Valley Half Marathon . . . what a beautiful run that is!

Upcoming races

I returned home last night from Marin (where I did NOTHING, no running no swimming, nada -- I have GOT to learn how to sneak a run or two in amongst my 12 hour nights. I have successfully done this in the past, but can't for the life of me revive the habit), after being awake for over 36 hours due to a hasty mandatory class and the drive home, then proceeded to stay awake till 3 am, then spent most of the next 18 hours in bed. I've really knocked my circadian clock for a loop this time!

Anyhow, I MUST be motivated to really get out there. I have lots of little (and big) events coming up in the next few days and weeks. Tonight I have the last of the series of races with my local running club -- this oughta really kick me in the pants, a 4 mile trail run on the day (after) I return to altitude will really have me gasping to a back of the pack finish for sure, if not (once again) DFL. I always do much better if 48 hours pass before my return to altitude and my first run, but here we go.

This saturday I am picking up an improptu 10K down at Spooner Lake, on the opposite corner of Lake Tahoe from where I live. This should prove to be an interesting run, 770 feet of elevation gain in the first 3 miles, then a turn around back down to the finish. The theme of the day is Run with Your Dog, and the prizes are dog-themed, and I don't have a dog to run with! Unfortunately, the lack of the dog makes me ineligible to win the 1st2nd3rd prize, but I really don't think that'll be much of an issue . . .

On November 1st I have the Marin International Triathlon, which will prove to be a big challenge for me, as once again I am undertrained and could be a lot more ready. However, I think it'll be easier than the DLT that really kicked my ass, 'cause this is at sea level and I don't think there's a ton of climbing either on the run or the bike (I need to do a little course recognizance to really make sure), so perhaps I can beat 4 hours? I think it's a reasonable goal. I won't be broken hearted to come in over 4 hours, but to reach the goal would make me feel at least slightly athletic. The run and the bike look like they follow the seashore (bayshore), so I'm thinking FLAT, but the website refers to the course as "challenging" so I guess I should get out there and check it out myself . . .

Lastly, I have a Turkey Trot 7 miler around Donner Lake on November 14. This is a race I have done before, way back when I first started running, so it'll be interesting to see if I can beat my time of, lemme look it up, wow! 1:12 -- that's remarkably fast for me, I would've thought it would be slower, given that I remember taking a number of walking breaks. A 10:28 pace? That's GOT to be some kind of misprint, doesn't it? I do NOT run that fast. Maybe it's more like 6.5 miles, but that's still fast for me. Hmmm. Well, I guess 1:12 is the time to beat in any case, so there's that.

Anyhow, I've got to get out of bed and on to tonight's little fun race. And then keep on running . . .

Friday, October 9, 2009

A happy Tahoe home . . . .

. . . has a lot of wood stacked up by this time of year.
This represents maybe half of the wood that Tom and I have gathered, split and stacked over the summer. We've been burning wood now for just over a week or so, and I am more mentally prepared for the coming winter than I was, say, 3 weeks ago. I've still got a way to go, but having a nice warm evenly-heated house, and having lots of wood within reach, makes it all a little easier.
Yesterday I topped off my busy physical week with my favorite point-to-point trail run, the 10.5 mile Emigrant Trail, and really enjoyed the run and the opportunity to soak up some of the last of the warm weather (yeah, ok, I'm a little obsessed with the change of seasons . . . silly). Right off the bat some women on mt bikes stopped me as I ran along to make sure I saw some of the wildlife . . .
Here's a kinda crappy photo of one of the two fawns accompanying mama doe out for an amble. Of interest (for deer are not a rare sighting around here) they seemed totally relaxed, and mama actually came almost within touching distance, and showed no fear. I wanted to whisper in her ear, Don't eat my flowers next year, ok? I don't think it would have helped much, though.
Anyhow, I felt great the first 8 miles or so, actually thinking Hey, this is easy now! and being happy with loose legs and the feeling that I could run forever. Or, more like 8 miles, because the last 2.5 miles were KILLER and all I wanted to do was stop and walk the rest. I kept it together, though, and finished the run running, and didn't walk at all (though for some of the climbs, my running speed was probably slower than if I had walked).
I pack up today for my week of work, and am really hoping I can fit in some runs among the 12 hour night shifts. That hasn't been working out too well for me lately, and I'm really going to try to get out there at least once or twice in the next 6 days.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Triangle Ride

Yesterday I went out on a ride that I've been threatening to do for a long while . . . the "Triangle" Ride. So named because:
. . . well, it's kind of obvious. The three points of the triangle are Truckee, Kings Beach and Tahoe City, making for a scenic and challenging 38 mile ride. Yes, 38 miles . . . I do believe this is my longest bike ride EVER, certainly since I was a teenager. By the end, it really felt like it, too. We elected to ride clock-wise, to get the huge climb over Brockway Summit (7200') completed early on.

That shark fin shape in the beginning represents a 4.5 mile climb which I tried to deal with by just being slow and steady. Hell, it's easier (if longer) than Donner Summit, so I think I did ok.

The ride was a nice mix of road, bike path, and construction. EVERY LEG of the triangle had some huge construction project going on, giving truth to the adage that Tahoe has three seasons -- WINTER, summer and construction (also, June-uary). This made for some tricky riding and detours onto bike paths. It was really nice being on a bike and not driving, 'cause the delays were looong.

Tom joined me for the ride, though I took a 20 minute head start -- he thought he'd catch me somewhere around Kings Beach (10 miles in), but I actually stayed ahead until Dollar Point, something like 18 miles in. I guess I have improved as a rider, at least a little bit, this summer. Maybe someday I'll actually improve enough to ride with a group . . .

Anyhow, the ride was 38 miles long (though Gary only recorded 36 of them, operator error for sure), completed in 3:01, for an average of just over 12 mph. Not bad for me, and I was happy to remain strong through most of the ride, though I did lag a bit at the end -- thankfully it was mostly downhill at that point. Interestingly, my legs felt very strong; I really suffered in the low back and especially in the neck -- if I had ridden much longer I think I would have spasmed out in those places. My guess (based purely on, um, guessing) is that this neck and back pain would go away if I spent some more time on the bike and just got used to it.

Also, I wouldn't mind building up a vajayjay callous, either.

Is that too much information?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This is amazing!

I just . . . wow.

Avalanche Skier POV Helmet Cam Burial & Rescue in Haines, Alaska from Chappy on Vimeo.

River Run

It's a little odd to discover a hitherto unknown running trail lying right under your nose. This happened yesterday, as for the first time I ran along the Truckee River -- running right through the heart of my downtown. Perhaps I had vaguely known of this trail, which for a time runs alongside the much more established (and now regretfully paved) Legacy Trail, but it wasn't until we floated the river on tubes (another story . . .) that I actually SAW it and said, Oh, I gotta run that. Then, it took another 3 weeks for that memory to resurface and WaLa! however you spell it yesterday I found myself with this awesome feast for the eyes:
I got as far as the sewage plant (perhaps negating the 'feast' designation for the run), then turned back, making this an almost perfect 5 mile trail run arrow to add to my quiver of local runs. Mostly flat, a little technical, great river views and sounds, and very close to home.

I ignored the artfully placed rocks along the trail telling me which way to go, sure that I knew better, which led to some unnecessary route finding, which led to me taking a tumble down a little hill, which led to this . . .
. . . which did NOT lead me to the Emergency Room, though over the weekend I saw a patient with "injuries" only very slightly more traumatic than this. Really. It's amazing what people think constitutes an emergency, but that too is another subject all together. Meanwhile, I'll just blog for attention . . . ;-)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Winter's, uh, here . . . again

Yes, I have not posted in forever. I'm a little (ok, a LOT) ambivalent about this blog and sometimes (often) wonder, what's the point? Yet, I keep coming back months later telling myself, THIS time I'll stick with it. It hasn't worked so well in the past, leaving me with few, if any, readers, but here I am again. Why, I'm not sure . . .

As one might imagine, lots of things have been happening since my last post forever ago. I did another sprint tri in Grass Valley, with my friend T, who basically got up off the couch (with a little swimming and even less running thrown in) and came in 5th in her AG. Why do I hang out with these people! We had a great time, and I think this is my newest favorite venue. Women's only (not much of an issue for me), extremely supportive crowd and spectators, very interesting course, not ridiculously far from home. Random pics of the event:

T and I, way early, pick out our HUGE transition spots.

Yeah, super early, like the first ones there. This fills in quickly!

After another hour, everyone else showed up!

Now, that's a crappy race report! I really enjoyed the race, and my time was something like 1:55, give or take 5 minutes. Of interest, I did NOT almost die during the swim . . . this represents a huge change. I wasn't fast by any definition, but usually I'm all freaked out and waterlogged by the end of the swim, and this time I just got out of the water, fell down (some things never change) and . . . kept going. No drama. Nice!

In other news, I guess the biggest deal is yesterday there was a knock on the door and Who's there? It's fucking WINTER! We've been dealing with our 4 cords of wood, moving it from the back yard to against the house now that fire season is over, purchased a cord of oak, I cut down my fledgling garden in preparation, but yesterday, wow! Tom and I went to the gym together, he finished earlier than me and drove on home. I worked for another half and hour or so, then started to run my way home, about 3.5 miles. It was a little chilly, in the 40s maybe, but I run very hot so no biggie. About 1/2 way home it starts getting a LOT colder and then Snow! and Wind! and holy shit winter has arrived! I was doing ok with it, but then stopped for a 5 minute phone call. Still ok, I took a right turn and found myself running right IN to the stuff, and suddenly it was too much. Lots of snow flying, 10 degree drop in temperature (my guess, anyhow, it felt like more and might have been less) and 30mph winds. For the first time in my little running career, I caved and called for a ride home. I thought my skin might freeze.

If I'd had a jacket, I would have fared much better. Note to self for next time.

Hello, winter.