Monday, September 13, 2010


6:40 am
Sept. 12, 2010
Jamestown Beach, Williamsburg Virginia

I am mentally preparing myself for the big event. Please notice the only tattoo is my number 172. I should have done the others, especially the Iron Man one to psych out my competition. I think they seemed pretty scared of me however when they see my huge muscles.

7:05 am
Sept. 12, 2010
James River, Williamsburg Virginia

I am trying to beat the pack into the water. Once there, I realize how stinking hard it is to swim in murky brown water, no sunlight, with foggy goggles. Oh, and every time I try to breathe on the left, my strong side, I inhale another pint of the James River. And oh, is it yummy.

7:20 am ish..
Sept. 12, 2010
Transition area, Virginia

I decide that running in a wetsuit is actually terrible. Please note the old men walking that appear to be moving faster then me. But Whit is standing there looking cute so I smile, sort of and keep running, hoping my legs won't collapse. Praise God, they don't.

7:23 am ish
Sept. 12, 2010

Route 5, Williamsburg Virginia

My bike and I are ready to go... REALLY ready to go - and so we are off for 12 miles which was actually kind of fun. I liked the bike part. I really liked the bike part, surprisingly. I was worried my outfit was not covering what it was supposed to, but apparently no one was offended so the ride went well.

8:00am ish
Sept. 12, 2010
Some greenway - Williamsburg, Virginia

I am off the bike , ready to run! My goal was 1:45 minutes. If I can run my 3.2 miles in under 30 minutes, I will beat my goal by 15 minutes and finish in 1hour 30 minutes. For me, a decent time.

8:35 am
Sept. 12, 2010
Random parking lot near transition area, Virginia

I race the 5k in less than 29 minutes - and so I finished in 1 hour, 30 minutes and 13 seconds. A new world record. Ok, that's a lie.

But I did have fun, felt strong, and enjoyed the whole process.

I also wanted to thank my friends and family that said prayers, read my silly blogs, sent encouraging notes and emails - and asked me how the training was going.

It was a fun process. Although I am walking with a slight limp today, I will likely do one of these again - and won't bore you all with the details. I do however, appreciate your encouragement and kindness. It meant more than I can say.

In the end - my first TRI was great fun! Thanks for joining me. And thanks to this guy, who wasn't rude when he passed me right before the finish line.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Yesterday in a conversation with a friend at work, I was reminded of an old unfortunate nick-name I acquired in Middle School.

Virginia Ham.

The origin of the nickname is as shameful as the name itself. A swim coach (we'll call him Dick Smith because that's his name) was commenting on my weight. No, not a nice thing to do but a topic Coach frequently brought up with his female swimmers. I will not comment on the appropriateness of this - you would just have to know Dick to not be totally bothered by his commentary.. anyhow,  having just moved to Florida from Virginia, Coach commented that perhaps I should lay off the Virginia Ham.

The name stuck.

And last night, as I was trying on my wetsuit for Sunday's race, I actually felt like a Ham for the first time in my life.

Please note, I don't eat Ham. I am not a ham.  I just felt like one.

Have you ever been squeezed into a casing of sort? A fabric so tight you actually have to bend and pull it across your skin. I'm not sure I like the feeling, but it I will like the benefit of the slick black suit Sunday morning.

In fact, I'm thinking of resurrecting the name this weekend. Rather than draw fake IronMan Kona tattoos so the other racers think I know what I am doing, I might sharpie Virginia Ham on my back. I'm not a chubby brace face wearing 13 year old anymore - praise God... but the name does make me laugh, especially when stuffed into a wetsuit. It may also make the other race participants smile which is good mid race.

After all - this event on Sunday is supposed to be fun.

Coach Smith - Virginia Ham will be thinking of you during the swim. Too bad you won't be there to yell  VIRGINIA HAM when I come up to breathe.

Monday, September 6, 2010


In 7 days I will be back at work with sore legs and my brief brush with athletic greatness will be over.

In the meanwhile, I have much to do. No really. Its going to be a very busy week.

1. Call and speak harshly to wet suit company who apparently thought my order was for year 2013 or beyond since it has not arrived yet.

2. Run 5 k this morning and avoid the pukers. Perhaps you recall my earlier run in with Roanokers who jog and puke at the same time in the early summer. Anyway, in 1 hour or more from now, I will run the first annual Roanoke Donut Dash where people (not me) run 2 miles, eat 1 dozen donuts, then run 2 more miles. I will be running but not eating, or puking. I hope. I intend to get out ahead of the pack on the way back for obvious reasons. Elected not to bring the dogs, also for reasons I need not explain.

3. Shave so I look like a real athlete by next week, not just some lumpy 31 year old who saw her husband do a triathlon last spring and said "Hey, I can do that, hee hee hee."

4. Begin work on temporary tattoo that says Kona 2009. You see, Kona is where the real Iron Man competition is and I really want all the nice people in Williamsburg next week to think I am awesome so a wee bit of fake body art may be just the ticket. I am also hoping to paint muscles on my stomach and arms. Will keep you posted.

5. Swim today if our pool is open - federal holiday and all.

6.  Ride my bike tomorrow.

7. Swim again on Wednesday.

8. Ride again on Thursday. Perfect the grimace face while on bike so it looks like I am working really really hard while peddling. Also learn to ride with awesome sippy cup husband installed on bike last night so I can have water without having to move my face from the grimace position.

9. Travel to Williamsburg - buy tricorn hat and fake musket to fit in with locals.

10. Eat pasta for 5 days (actually, I think this is the most important element of the race taper)

11. Put all of stuff including lets hope and pray a wetsuit, in a bucket so I can change during this crazy little race. I would hate to have to bike in the wetsuit or run in bike shoes so bringing all the right gear may be important.

12. Pay photographers to keep pictures of the event off the interwebs.

It will be a busy week, which I hope starts by avoiding throw up this morning and ends by avoiding throw up next Sunday. Will keep you posted as the countdown begins.