Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ragnar Relay NW Passage 2012

Friday I will join my team, "Smells Like Team Spirit" for my 3rd year running Ragnar Relay.  The first year I had just ran a Marathon and wasn't scared of the distance at all, last year I had only ran a half marathon but weighed less and was a lot speedier than the previous year.  Like went from a 9:30 pace to running an 8 minute pace, WHAT?!?!  I was shocked that I ran that fast for as long as I did...never been done before and has yet to be done since.  Ragnar makes you do crazy run faster than ever.  This year...well you know, running hasn't been my focus so I am a little worried, but also I know I will do it.  It will just hurt and be a tab bit harder...but it will all be worth it.  It's a great team and I love spending a crazy, sleepless 24-hours with them.  I figured I have 2.5 hours of running but the rest is a breeze!

Smells Like Team Spirit
Smells Like Team Spirit
I am in Van #2 and runner #9 (same as last year).  Sometimes ignorance is bliss, right!  Knowing what I have to run is good and bad.  Having my last leg be the longest and hardest, NOT GOOD!  But I'm trying not to think about that, right now!  Maybe being slower will make leg #3 easier since I pushed so hard last year or maybe it will still suck and make me question why the heck I do these crazy things.

Want to see what I will be running?  Of course you do!

Run #1
6.1 Miles
Any run that starts downhill is always a treat and gives me a speedy start (thank you adrenaline)!  It's beautiful to run by the lake and then flatten out until the finish.  It will be hot, but it will be my first run and my legs will feel fresh and I will be pumped up.  

Run #2 
(Middle of the night)
2.7 Miles
This runs ok.  It's flat and short and very quiet.  Last year I was solo the entire time, no one passed me and I saw no one!  Strange.  Night runs are really cool, but this one is through town so it's not as peaceful as my first year night run, read here.

Longest, Hardest and the last one...NICE!  No, not really...
6.8 Miles (lovely up-hill)
This is the mother of all runs!  It wouldn't be if I was only running this one leg, but this will be my very last.  I will be exhausted, my body will not want to run at all and it will have to.  Last year I got passed so much on this leg and I felt slower than molasses.  Luckily I have the STEEP downhill to look forward to at the end where I will be thrilled to be done.
See look how excited I was after leg #3 last year!  
Ragnar is a blast!!!  The running can be hard, but it's all worth it in the end (I think).  Can't wait to show you our team picture for 2012 and the bling to go with it!  Ragnar does give the best bling!

 *Check out my post with TIPS for packing and training for a relay that I wrote after my first Ragnar Relay here!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Aqua Gear Review

As you know the last 7-months I have been swimming with my local Masters Swim Team.  Just like need stuff.  I have looked around for fins, goggles and other things that help me with my Masters workout.  I was thrilled when Aqua Gear contacted me to check out their website and order something.  You don't have to ask me twice.

Aqua Gear is a family owned and operated boutique with a focus on fast, responsive, and helpful customer service.

Founded in 1992 by Joanne Bullock, an Aquatic Personal Trainer, Life Guard, and Swimming Instructor, the company has gained a substantial following in the aquatic community for it's unique selection, and commitment to handling each customer's order personally, as if the customer were right there in the warehouse with us

And their mission...

To provide outstanding customer service, fast and efficient order fulfilment, and the best Aquatic Exercise, Swimming, and Water Therapy Products at competitive prices.
They are great to work with and make you feel like you're the only one they are working with.  They are very quick to respond to questions about products and help in anyway needed.  They have tons of great, diverse products at great prices.   I had really wanted to try a Swimming Snorkel like this:

Finis Center Mount Swimmer's Snorkel
I love supporting family owned business's!  I placed my order and in no time I got a confirmation email, my package shipped and my Finis Snorkel was here the next week.  I love my snorkel and am so glad I was given an opportunity to review Aqua Gear .  

Please go check out their website here, their Facebook page here and you can even Tweet with them on Twitter here!  

They would love to hear from you.  Go tell them that Jill at Running to Sanity sent you!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Finally, REV3 Olympic TRI RECAP! (long)

I love REV3!  They put on an amazing RACE!  They have plenty of staff that are fun and so helpful.  Their volunteers are just as amazing.  They have an information booth that is always staffed so if you don't know where to go or need a question answered...they can help.  Very organized as far as packet pick-up and timing chips.  Their transition area is the best I have seen and the finish line makes you feel like a PRO!  The bike racks aren't even racks, they are on the ground and give you plenty of room for your bike and your stuff and even have an official name plate for every participant, you the PRO's!
Yah, on the end...right by the exit!

Walking into the expo area was fun!  Great atmosphere!  I immediately saw Harmony as she was walking her bike into transition and said hello and headed over to get my packet which had tons of stickers with my number for the bike and everything else, plus tattoos for my body markings.  Headed over to get my timing chip and change into the Athena division (figured there was a better chance to place).  They also took my picture for the the finish line, they show your picture as you're coming through, FUN stuff if you ask me.  Got my bike are stickered up (I hate putting stickers on m y bike) and set-up in transition...this made it REAL (you would have thought the registration fee would've done that)!

Having a friend do a race with you is way better than tri'ing SOLO.  Harmony joined me in this adventure and I was thrilled to have her and her family there on race day.  It meant that our families could hang out while we rocked our TRI!  Great plan and I highly recommend it.  Our families did the "Little Rev" Race together which was HOT and FUN!  And way further than I ever imagined.  Thankfully my 6-year old has a little competitive streak in him and ran to all the check-points and didn't even want to wait for the rest of our family at the finish because he wanted to be first!  Really?  He still thinks we were first because we were the only ones running through the chute!  I won't tell him... 

Cole is MORE than ready!

Max and Harmony's kids leading
the "Little Rev" race
Love that they give the kids medals!
After the expo we headed back to my mom's house for the night and I hadn't realized how exhausted I was. We walked over to Spaghetti Factory and ate dinner.  We headed back home and I got all my stuff ready for the next day.  Figured out my outfit and fuel and hubby helped me put all my tattoos on. Nuun and water was ready and chilling in the fridge.  I relaxed with a nice bath and headed to bed.  I was ready!

RACE MORNING!  I woke up before the alarm and felt great.  Took my time with breakfast and just took it easy and wasn't feeling rushed which I prefer for race morning.  Dropping the bike off the day before made everything a ton easier.

My family dropped me off and I headed to finalize my set-up.  Walking into the transition area felt amazing and I loved the energy.  It got my so excited for what we were about to do. Harmony was just 2 spots down but wasn't there yet.  You can learn a lot from watching people get their transition area ready.  Everyone has their thing they do!  Putting powder in your socks, placing your helmet a certain know!  Before I knew was time to get the wetsuit on.  I saw Sonya, my friend from the Dilettante Tri who was doing the half and we chatted as we walked to the lake.  It was go time...

My Transition area and my Amazing TRI bag!
The GYST Concept Backpack 2-10 (HERE)

The Swim
I was hoping to get a good practice swim in the day before the actual race, but that never happened.  I was glad to get few strokes in before my wave started which was better than nothing.  Most of the people racing were doing the Half distance and a small amount were doing the Olympic.

The water was 73 degrees which meant I didn't have to wear my wetsuit but I opted to since all my open water swimming had been with it.  The extra buoyancy really helps.   

I was in the last wave, which seems to be typical.  Why do they make Athena's go last?  I was happy that all Olympic Women were going in the final wave so Harmony and I could start together.  My wave started around 8:30 and had about 40-50 people in it (aqua-bike and relays were with us).  Not too bad!  I started in the middle front, which I never do, but the beach was long enough for everyone to spread out.  They counted down and I got in the starting position.  Honestly I was glad to just get this race going...waiting around is no fun...I hate all the nervous energy, so I was happy to get the show on the road.

Getting the low down on the swim!
Important stuff people
Yah, this is happening!
I felt tired pretty quickly and I did a few breaststrokes to calm myself.  Why does this happen?  It took me a while to find my groove, but I finally did after a the first 100 yards.  I made the mistake of wearing my clear goggles instead of tinted ones and I couldn't see anything with the SUN glaring on the water and my goggles got fogged up.  I had to clear my goggles which I have never had too do... frustrated.  Luckily the swim cleared out pretty quickly and I was only in the mix of people for a minute or so.  There was tons of room so it allowed people to spread out.  I made sure to keep sighting so I wouldn't swim off course and add to my goal was to get in and get out.  The last half I started running into the slower swimmers from previous waves and had to swim around people.  I rounded the last buoy and headed towards the beach!  Was excited to get on the bike!

I was disappointed in my swim time, but who knows what the actual distance was?  I had read on a pro's recap that it wasn't her usual time, took her longer...which makes me thing it was longer than .90.  Plus they include your time running to transition.  My goal was 28 minutes and I felt like I swam well.

Swim Stats
Distance: .90
Time: 33:27
Division Place: 1/4
Wave Place: 11/49

Transition #1 
Swim to Bike
Headed out of the water I started taking off my wetsuit, ran up the steps and saw my family!  Ahhh...I love that.  REV3 had a hydration station set-up as we headed to T1 and I had some water then got into transition and tore of my wetsuit, ate a Honey Stinger Waffle (first time), got my helmet and gloves on...made sure my sunglasses were on and headed out for the bike!

Time: 3:48

The Bike
The bike was a FLAT, out and back.  The bummer is that Portland had torn up part of the road which made for a long stretch of BUMPY road, probably a good 7-miles.  The view was beautiful as we rode along the Columbia River and out passed the Portland Airport.  The bumpy road slowed me down a's hard to go fast when it's that bumpy.  I went from 18 mph to 16 mph on the rough road.  A few people on the course kept saying how they need to stop on their dentist on their way home.  Lucky for bike rocks and it handled it pretty well.  It was time to turn around and head back which is always the best part!  Finally I got to ride on smooth pavement again which allowed me to speed up.  Beautiful Mt. Hood in the distance on such a clear day...made for more great views.  I got to see Harmony as I was headed back and was so glad she had her yellow tank on...easy to spot.

I worried how my legs would feel after the bike ride since I had never biked this distance followed by a run...I would soon find out.  Biking flat is nice, but it means you are moving the ENTIRE up means no down to rest your legs at all.  I started seeing some runners on the course I couldn't be a bit jealous that they were almost done.  Couldn't wait to be there soon at the turn around for the run and heading back to finish.  Mentally I started preparing for the 6.2 mile run since I knew that would be the toughest part for me.  I made sure to hydrate well the entire time on the bike so I would be ready for the HOT run.  They were setting up all the run, water stops as we were biking so it was good to see where they were.  I came into the finish and saw my family waiting and they were shocked to see me come in so early.  Also got to see the Davis fun.   A gal passed me as we were coming into the finish, bummer.  The first 17-miles my average pace was 17:73 mph and the last 7.80-miles was 21.60mph!  I will always wonder what I could have done had the road not been torn-up?  Oh shoot...I had to go to the bathroom...clearly I was hydrated.

Bike Stats
Distance: 24.80
Time: 1:19
Pace: 18.80
Division Place: 2/4
Wave Place: 14/49
Loved seeing my boys!

Transition #2
Bike to Run
Took my bike shoes off, got my Mizuno's on and took some more nuun and grabbed some Power Gels to take with me.  I wore the REV3 visor which is a HeadSweats...AMAZING!  I was ready to go out and finish!  I still had to go to the bathroom, but there was no WAY I was stopping and the trisuit I was wearing would take so long to get back on.


The Run

Headed out for my 10k!
I was worried for the run.  Though I have been a runner it isn't my strong point right now.  I had a 6.2 mile, out and back that was on the same course as the bike.  I decided to mentally break it down...only 3-out and 3-back...I can do that.  It was HOT, really hot!  We have not had nice weather in the Pacific NW so that means no TRAINING in the heat...not cool!  The first mile was hard and I felt slow, but wasn't as slow as I felt, which is typical when you come of the bike.  My family watched me in the park which boosted my energy a bit...then I ran past the Davis's!  It's all a mind game at this point, especially when you see how far you have to go on a flat, straight out and plays games with your mind and you have to fight back.  After the first mile I was feeling good and was grabbing water at each water stop.  My legs felt good, but my core and lungs felt heavy...does that even make sense?  Not sure how to explain it.  I came to a water stop that had food and salt tablets and grabbed a salt tablet.  I wish more races had these at water stops!  I kept a few people in sight and tried to stay with them.

Headed back and
still smiling!
I kept getting passed, story of my life....ha!  I kept reminding myself that this is my didn't matter what everyone else was doing.  I started walking through the water stops which was VERY nice.   Still had to pee, but didn't want to stop!  Came to the turn around point and was so happy to be headed back!  I was over half way and was STOKED!  I knew at this point that I was doing well and was going to finish!  I got to see Harmony and she was looking strong.  I started pouring water over my head at the water stops and this was AMAZING!  At this point the PRO's for the half distance were starting there Half Marathon, wow they looked amazing.  I got to see the first place guy and everyone after him.  I couldn't believe how great they looked and fast...that's when I told myself I will never do a half!  But we all know how that is when you are about to finish something...the idea of going further is of no interest.  I felt bad for all those people having to run 13.1 miles and how far they had to go.  I was glad to only have a mile left.  One lady came along side me and said...we are going to make the 3-hour mark!  Woohoo...I really had no idea of my time since I didn't wear my watch for the swim.  Was very happy to hear this!
Hello Davis FAMILY!  Almost done...
I was happy to see the finish line from the road and come into the park and see the Davis family again.  The gravel and grass in the last part of the run wasn't easy, but that point I was just happy to be almost done.  I turned down the chute and was the only one finishing at that time.  I heard them say my name and where I was from and my face was on the big screen...I put my hands up, smiled, saw my family and FINISHED MY FIRST OLYMPIC TRIATHLON!  WOOHOO!!!  It was the best FEELING and having my family there was so exciting.

Run Stats:
Distance: 6.2
Time: 1:00
Pace: 9:39
Division Place: 2/4
Wave Place: 21/49

FINAL Stats:
Time: 2:58:35
Division: 2/4
Overall: 58/96
Gender: 21/42
Wave: 21/49

Oh shoot, I forgot to tell that after the race I went and checked my final time and I had placed 2nd in the Athena category!  I was totally STOKED!  So I got a 2nd medal!  I had to keep apologizing for my TWO medals clinking was rather noisy...It was sweet music to my ears!  I have never placed in any running races so it's super exciting to me to place in my last 2 triathlons!  Woohoo...super fun!

Sitting, shade, water...BEST FEELING!
Having my FAMILY be there supporting me was the BEST

Harmony...WE DID IT!

It was a beautiful day and a wonderful race!  The entire day went better than expected.  Anxious to see what the future holds for more triathlons.  I am loving it!  Can't wait to do another and get better!  Thank for reading the LONGEST post ever!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

SnuggBuds Winner

The WINNER of the SnuggBuds Headset is 


CONGRATS, ASHLEY!  I know you will love them.

Please email me with your contact information!

Time to write my RACE RECAP now!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Tomorrow at this time I will be done with my first Olympic Triathlon!

After the "Little Rev Adventure" race!
Max totally carried our team "Ninja Warriors"
It's going to be scorching hot, for us here in the Northwest! I'm excited, nervous and anxious to get the show on the road. Due to the weather I am wearing a tri suit (this was not the original plan) that I have never worn and shoes I have only worn once...I don't usually do that, but I'm being rebellious. I will let you know if the rebellion pays off.

We had a wonderful day today and I'm totally impressed with Rev3, they are awesome. Our entire family got to partake in fun activities and for me...that's impressive for an organization to think about the family. I'm thrilled the boys will be there to spectate my race.  I was so excited to meet new friends today and run into a gal that I met at the Dilettante Tri (we finished the race together) who is doing the HALF tomorrow!  Great day!  Hot Day!  FUN DAY!

Sharpie and great meeting her!  She is a ton of fun!
Harmony, me and Sonya from Dilettante Tri!

 I'm packed, my bike is in transition (at the end, sweet location) and now it's time to get my NUUN water bottle ready, rest and mentally focus or just go to sleep! Talk to you all on the flip side...

 Feel free to track me at Rev3 (here) and I'm lucky Bib #477

Friday, July 6, 2012

I'm so glad I'm not doing that...

Yah, those were the words I stated walking out of my first SPRINT TRIATHLON 3-years ago and I was referring to the Olympic distance.  As I was walking back to the car having enjoyed my first sprint tri, many of the Olympic participants were still running!  I remember thinking, I'm so glad I'm not doing that.

FAST FORWARD to present day and I'm 2-days out from my FIRST Olympic Tri.  Never say never.  I did the same thing after finishing my first half marathon by saying, "I will never do a full Marathon" but a year later I crossed the finish line to my first full, HA!  Clearly my words mean nothing at times? 

The work is hard, the pain can be great...but there is nothing better than the finish line to a hard race.  Medals, finish lines, they don't come easy, they take work and determination.

Sunday I will swim .90 miles, bike 25 and run 6.2!  I'm nervous, excited, and looking forward to what I can do.  The bike and run are FLAT, which seems nice...but with have UP and DOWN...not so much with FLAT.  I will let you know afterwards how I really feel.

For all my races I have always been trained and ready! Not so much this time...Maybe knowing that I KNOW I can do this, though it will be hard since I'm not as prepared as I feel I should be? I'm honestly looking forward to seeing what I can do, experience the distance, see if I would like to do a further distance and just get a feel for it.

The bike and run course

When I signed up for this race I swore I would do BRICK training...again, my words clearly mean nothing because I lacked in this.  Of course this week while I should be tapering I did 2 brick workouts...GO ME!  This training has lacked.  I really underestimated how hard it would be to find the time to train.  I'm not someone who wakes up early to train and envy all of you who do!  I would rather sleep, I wish this wasn't the case. 

My swim course

I did swim, I did bike and I ran...but nothing like I had planned, envisioned or hoped to do.  This has helped me to realize a half ironman and a full ironman will have to wait until both boys are in school full time.  I'm glad I learned that while training for an Olympic and not a Half!  I can get through the Olympic...but a Half would have been painful.  That's my realistic, rational side...we will see if I listen to it?

My goal is to finish FIRST overall, run a record braking 10k, become a PRO and win cash money and get sponsored so I can do TRI's for free around 3-hours!  Here are my specific (approx) goals:

.90 mile ~ 28 minutes

25 miles ~ 1-1/2 hours

6.2 miles ~ 1-hour

Feel free to Go to and click the “Live” link. 
You can catch my splits and results in real time! 

I'm just excited to do this!  I love showing my my kids that when I'm training, I'm doing something, I'm setting goals and going after things I love!  One of the reasons I love REV3 is because they are family friendly.  Saturday they host the "Little Rev Adventure Race" that we do as a family and there will be awards and medals for the kids and they get to run through same finishers chute that I run through Sunday.  The kids can also join me as I cross the finish line for my tri.  I know my boys are going to love it.

It will also be great to be doing this with Harmony!  Thinking about everything her and her family have had to deal with in the last year...running with that in mind should put a lot of things into perspective.  THANKS, Harmony for going out of your comfort zone and doing this!  I needed a push and you did that...and now look at us! 
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