And the chapter ends. Triathlon season is done. 2015 Xterra Mission Bay Triathlon & Duathlon – USAT race report: First, thanks to Andrew Gutowski & Kristina Antipoff for letting me couch crash right near the start. I had butterflies in stomach feeling something would happen with the bike…. as I show up to race start and my tube blows, thus another thanks to Gene from Pulse Endurance Sports for saving me to be able to race. The swim went well, my best 500m ever (7:09) near the front pack! Onto the bike were it was lightly raining (this case makes an AG podium ok, since elites had a different race… no rain!) . As I am doing well to finish up on the final mile… clank clank… my chain gets stuck in the frame. At least I was able to roll down the bridge to finish the bike, but pretty much I am out of podium. Go on the run to cruise in the 5k at 19:10, which was important for me as a marathon work out, after running 21 miles yesterday. This is a key workout that Kimberly Mueller does. Post race I put in another 5 at tempo pace. They had good german bier at the end, but it started pouring that i took off on the bike back home to a hot shower and hot chocolate. Having bike issues all year really burned me out with tri, so this maybe my last tri for a while. Overall, I am happy I had a SAFE race.
The first time we visited Brussels we took a speed train and missed the full experience of crossing the country border. Wanting to find a fun way to literally cross the border, we found a dedicated bike route to Brussels on the map. It would be the longest we had ever biked: 112 miles! Is it possible??! Another couple we hung out with had a 2 yr old daughter that loved the bike as well, so we thought it would be a double/triple date weekend! 4 bikes, and one with a toddler & her teddy bear. It’s not crazy if other people will do it with you… right?
Four months into meeting, Roger invited me to move with him to The Netherlands for his new job. New boyfriend, new apartment, living together, one bank account, new country, new continent. All in.
Roger had a few bucket list items he wanted to do while in Europe and one of them was ski in Italy. Roger played ice hockey and had skiing season passes with his family since he was a toddler. I had never even touched skis or been to any slopes to avoid breaking limbs. I only rode my bike to work, I was no athlete like him! He really wanted me to share in the thrill of the experience with him. I did like the idea of learning new talents, instead of sitting at the lodge just because I hadn’t learned how to do something.
The 2015 Tijuana Marathon & Half Marathon was a success with the post-race highlights being free Dos Equis XX Beer stand, local massage academy with 25 tables, and the coolest feature was Pic2Go live-posting of race photos to social media profile during the race! (at the bottom)
When Roger and I run a race together, we kiss at the start and see each other at the finish. I was fortunate to have my friend and run leader David Martinez who was running the full as a personal pacer to guide me to my hopeful goal of 1:29. I hung into the plan until mile 8 uphill, then could not regain the cadence anymore. The heat was the same as last year, but I was able to hold onto form and will to finish at 1:36, which was a 4 minute PR from last year. The way they organize it, both the half and the full start at the same time. The full course runs with the half until mile 13 then it rears away to the 2nd half.
Since only one woman passed me on the last few miles, I decided to check the results. Last year after the finish line, we ate breakfast and just left. We had to wait 2 hours for the result sheets to be posted. I got 2nd in my AG and 7th overall female! Although this is a free-entry race, there are many sponsors including Coca-Cola and Dos Equis XXs beer. Podium winners win prize money in an awards ceremony on stage!
Solana Beach Triathlon race report: First time doing this, didnt know what to expect. Slept night before on the parking lot of the beach cause it was damn nice out. Bike slept in the car, with a leak, tried stans no tube sealant but no luck.
To the swim…. cause i knew I had the leak, I had to finish fast. As I was passing people, especially buoy #2, I had to start swimming on top of someone slower than me who wouldnt let me pass. What did he do? He stopped, turned and intentionally punched me in the head. Eventually pass that point and break away from him.
Onto the bike were me and brian were out of t1 at same time, but we both had problems mounting our bikes, as it was uphill… one of those situations worth having a benny hill soundtrack playing near by.
The bike went smooth, the 10 minute waves spread things nicely so there were no beginners weaving in my way. The run went much better than I expected, i snuck in a sub 19 (18:57) which is a PR for me in triathlon, and helps me as I felt I was in a running slump last month. (this equates to a 30-60 second faster up 5k). For a sprint triathlon great competition came out so no podium spot… but it pushed me. I ate too many garlic buddies at Pizza Port Solana Beach so I ran the course a few more times, where I did get a slight headache from that punch. Was fun seeing Kurt Braeckel on the course where I tried to keep with his fast pace.
Seeing the awards pictures, you get a super stein of Erdinger Weißbier to dump on each others heads. Perhaps some motivation for next year…
Today was the emotionally-tugging day that the film crew interviewed us about our relationship before/during/after ironman distance training. When I meditate on my feelings I put them into words so that I can explain them to myself if I ever doubt. Roger meditates by feeling and actions; when he does put into words it’s a summary of hours of feelings into a phrase. It was hard for me to watch the film crew wanting him to explain more, but since I know him, I understand he just explained a lot. Being expats together in Europe for 2 years & again transplants in the West Coast (away from family/childhood friends), I had plenty of focused time to get to know how he displays his affection and love. When you’ve been together for 7 years, married for almost 4, there are many layers that define how and why you feel a certain way about someone that it’s very difficult to put into words. Especially on camera, for a movie, for strangers.
How do you describe in an interview that we’ve grown together so much from who we were when we first met? How do you shape the audience understanding of why you love this person with every fiber of your being?
Marrying Bessy, I essentially gave her half my heart, like wise she in return….. together it makes a whole heart when two souls are as one.
The only time both of us set our personal best efforts is when we both raced / trained together. If she is not there I show up physically ready but mentally missing, thinking why am I doing this? Recently I did the Bonita 5k, a decades old race on a PR style course. She had to work, and as usual people ask me “where is she?” – yea that doesn’t help. I didnt meet my goal… in fact I ran the same 5k time as I did in our tri club aquathlon 2 days ago. The swim really beat me up – but she was there, with me, and seeing her on each turn around of the run my pace picked up for some nice negative splits. So I should be faster in an open 5k, but because she was not there, I mentally was not either.
When not having a great race, I know she is pushing hard, so I push harder. Even if she passes me – which happened in Chicago – I do my best to support her in that push for the PR. Now I am not going to use this as a complete excuse, as I have seen one partner in certain couples having absolute polarized fitness efforts from their significant other do well. It makes me ponder what is it that they have?
As for the couple effect, I am pretty sure this is not only with us… local San Diego runner soul mates “MoBert” can be seen running their best when they are both on course. How about other local pros, where recently Eric Lagerstrom’s win at Escape from Alcatraz (2015) with his girlfriend Maggie on the course coming in 5th. Here is a video of their post race experience:
Another local pro couple who happens to be a part of my tri club – I see perform well together is Luke McKenzie and Beth Gerdes. I seen Luke run well at silver strand half marathon in 2014 and that day Beth happened to set a PR of 1:22. Come 6 months later, Ironman Cairns, Beth flatted out but was at the finish to see Luke take the overall win. She has a great blog on family life and racing around the world: http://bethgerdes.com
It is kind of exciting and I am sure one day it will happen, that both a couple will take the overall wins.
Bessy and I will be on target to train and race together for a big race: the New York City Marathon. We as a couple will be doing it for the Breast Cancer Foundation, so even if we both don’t do well – they win (along with those dealing with the illness), but it will require your help via a small donation: