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Finished the triathlon!

20 Jun

Well, this certainly was an eventful Father’s Day this year!  We began our morning at about 4am.  It was storming outside, but I had a feeling the storms would pass by the time the triathlon began.  Yes, that’s right, I participated in a triathlon this past Sunday!  My girlfriend, Leslie, and I had been training for it last couple of months.  Neither of us have done one before so it was certainly nerve-wracking!

My husband, Brett, dropped me off at Leslie’s condo at 5am.  At that point, it was only lightly raining, so we knew the race would go on.  We loaded up our bikes on her rack and headed to the St. Peters Rec-Plex, who was hosting the event.  Well, when we got there, we noticed that Leslie’s bike rack busted on the way there.  Whoops!  Not exactly a great start, but the bikes survived and so did her car…just need to fix the rack so not too bad. 

The area wasn’t marked the best for where to go, but we were able to follow others and eventually found the transition area and where to go to get our bodies marked.  It was beginning to feel more real by this time!  Everything was soaking wet, but fortunately, Leslie had some plastic bags for us to put our shoes in, and I had an extra towel to lay on the ground and a bucket to cover our other stuff. 

The race was a 500 meter swim, 21 mile bike ride, and 5 mile run.  However, due to flooding, they had to reduce the bike ride to only 16 miles.  We were set and ready to go by 5:50am and the race started at 6am, but because the swim was in a 50 meter length pool, they were individually starting people every 15 seconds.  Leslie’s start time was 6:25:30am and mine was 6:28:45am.  It was nice because we had time to watch the other participants start their swims.  I felt better because I could easily see I was a stronger swimmer than some of the other folks. 

And so the race began….  I wanted to get a quick start, but the first two lanes were divided in half to make 4 lanes (very narrow) so that the pool could have 10 lanes across.  There was no room to pass anyone.  Finally, when I was in my 250 meter length, I was able to start passing.  I think I passed 5 people total, which isn’t bad since everyone of those people before me!  I had one guy pass me.  Here is a photo of me in my first 50 meters (I’m the swimmer at the bottom of the picture with the black and green suit):

I finished the swim strong, now that it’s all over, I know I could have pushed it harder.  I was so worried about being able to finish the run at the end though that I didn’t want to overdo it on the swim or bike. 

Leslie was waiting for me at the bikes so we quickly put on our shorts, helmet, and tennis shoes.  I popped an energy bite and off we went.  The bike ride wasn’t too bad.  There were hills for the first couple of miles, but then, mostly flat.  Of course, we had to tackle the same hills at the end of the ride too.  Still, it was overall not bad.

Then came the run!  Yikes!  I was nervous about this leg of the race the entire morning.  Thankfully, Leslie stuck by my side the entire time and wouldn’t let me quit.  We weren’t allowed to wear any sort of headphones so Leslie talked to me almost the entire run to keep me distracted from feeling so tired!  At about the 2.39 mile mark (I have a GPS watch so am able to keep track), I thought I was going to die.  Had she not been there, I would have slowed down to a crawl!  She kept pushing me though, which I am so thankful for, that’s for sure. 

Fast forward to the end…I knew I had started my watch a little late, but I guess I hadn’t realized how late because I thought we still had another quarter mile left when the next thing I know we rounded a bend and there was the finish line.  I still had some left in me so I was bummed that I didn’t finish a little stronger, but hey, I finished!  AND IT FELT AMAZING!  Overall, it took me 2 hours, 1 minute, and some seconds, but I don’t remember how many. 

Next time, and yes, there will be a next time… I plan on shedding a minute from my swim time, shooting for several minutes off the bike ride, and several minutes off our transition times.  For the run, I’ll be happy to shed 20 seconds off of my per mile pace, but we’ll see!

Special thanks go out to my parents, Brett, and our friend, Sean who all came out that morning to watch the entire race.  Thank you all!  It meant so much to me!  And thank you to all my other family and friends that showed your continued support throughout my training period.  I couldn’t have done it without your motivation!

Wish I had more photos, but that was the one thing Brett forgot to do!  Oh well…NEXT TIME!

If you’re interested in competing in the fall triathlon, visit:  http://www.stpetersmo.net/rec-plex-triathlons.aspx

Memorial Day Weekend!

2 Jun

Ahh!  The first 3 day weekend of the summer!  Like every other year, we spent our time on our boat with good friends.  We had the perfect weather this year – sunny and hot every day!  Brett and I took the day off work on Friday so that we could wash the boat and prepare for an entire weekend out of the dock.  Saturday morning, we both got up early, me to go for a run and Brett to decorate the boat:

We definitely showed our patriotic pride with all those flags!  Brett did an awesome job!

We arrived in the Kentucky Lake Rock Quarry around 10:30am to claim our spot.  Fortunately, our good friends had rented a houseboat and had already set a great hook.  We tied up to them and were able to run our shore power cords off the houseboat’s generator.  Yep, we had air conditioning and charged our batteries the whole weekend!  There was no roughing it, that’s for sure!

The party had officially begun by noon on Saturday and didn’t end until the early morning hours of Monday.  It felt great to be on the water the entire time.  When we got home Monday evening, I swore our condo was rocking!  Felt like we were still on the lake!

Thanks to everyone involved for the fabulous time!  Let there be many more weekends like it throughout the summer!

Love these running shoes!

18 May

Alrighty, much of the time, I’m posing questions to the folks that read my blog.  Well, this time, I’m changing it up.  I want to promote something this time around!  As I’ve briefly mentioned before, I enjoy running.  I’ve never been a top contender in any races, but I’ve been running in races (mostly 5k’s) since college.  I also ran the 2 mile in track….way back in high school, for a couple of years.

All that said, I have many years under my belt of testing out different running shoes.  For a little while, I was a fan of Adidas, but for a longer period of time, I chose mostly Nike running shoes.  Then, came my ultimate favorite shoe in my late college years, Asics

I am a HUGE fan of the Asic Gel Kayano series.  Check out my collection, and note, I’ve actually donated many of my past Kayanos:

From left to right, the series developed from the Gel-Kayano 13 to my current pair, Gel-Kayano 17.  I am prone to shin splints when I switch shoes.  These allow me to switch from one pair to the next, without any problems. 

Here is close up of my current pair:

Again, I can’t say enough good things about these shoes.  The laces are actually diagonal across the top of the shoe so that they don’t sit right on top of your main foot bone…whatever the heck that’s called!  My feet are able to breathe well in them.  They hold up very well and the cushion and support is perfect for my needs.

Let me know if you have any questions!  I can’t wait to slip my feet in them this evening for a run!

Purchased a new road bike!

9 May

Saturday was an exciting day!  After receiving guidance from our good friend, Alyn, I made the leap and bought a new road bike!  Wait, I should probably back up a few steps.  I’m not sure I mentioned the fact that I’m signed up for a triathlon in June.  Yep, you read that correctly!  I’m doing a triathlon in St. Peters, MO on June 19th.  This will be my first one so I’m just hoping to finish, without coming in last place.  It is going to be a 500 meter swim, 21 mile bike ride, and 5 mile run.  Needless to say, I needed a bike!

Based on the fact that I’m completely new to cycling and not sold on the fact that I’ll end up loving it, I didn’t want to get carried away and buy a top of the line bike.  Everyone I’ve spoke to agrees that the one I decided on is a solid bike for an entry level experience.  It is a 2010 Trek 1.2 (http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/sport/2_and_1_series/1_2/#/us/en/model/details?url=us/en/bikes/road/sport/2_and_1_series/1_2).

Here is a picture of my new baby:

We had a great experience at Momentum Cycles (http://www.momentumcycles.com).  The staff was very friendly, informative, and didn’t rush us.  They fitted the bike to me exactly and when you buy a bike from them, you get free tune-ups forever!

I took my first real ride on Sunday.  It was stressful for me because it was so different than my mountain bike and I was by myself.  I’m hoping I’ll relax and feel more comfortable after a few more rides.  The best part is that I can easily lift the bike in and out of my Jeep without any assistance.  I love that!

Wish me luck!

Welcome baby Jackson!

3 May

Yesterday was quite the exciting day for me!  As an only child, you’re never certain if you’ll have the opportunity to have a niece or nephew.  Fortunately, for me, my husband has several siblings so I had a feeling my chances had increased!  Well, yesterday, my husband’s older brother and his wife had an adorable baby boy, Jackson Thompson.  The middle name is still TBD. 

The entire experience was new to me.  I somehow managed to stay at work, relatively focused, the entire day, knowing that the other Christine Thompson had been induced that morning and would be giving birth sometime yesterday.  Thankfully, my brother in-law sent me updates via text message so I didn’t feel like I was in the dark at my desk all day.  Things were progressing along very well so at 4pm, I hit the road to meet up with Brett to go to the hospital.

By the time we arrived, we were told that Christine was in the “pushing phase” already!  Sure enough, at 5:47pm CST, Jackson arrived, healthy as can be!  He weighed in at 8 lbs 12 oz and is 21 ½ inches long.  Big, beautiful boy!

While Christine (did I mention my brother in-law’s wife is also a Christine?) recuperated and had some dinner, we rushed up to the nursery to see the cutie pie through the window:

Wow, I had no idea how much they put a baby through right out of the gate!  Jackson was so cool, calm, and collected though.  He only cried a little bit when they pricked his foot for blood and a little during his first bath.  However, as she measured him and gave him a thorough overall inspection, he was about as easy going as can be!  I just watched quietly, trying to take it all in, for what seemed like an hours.  It was so much to learn and absorb.  Good luck Brad and Christine!

Before we headed out, we were able to see the lucky mom and dad.  I see where Jackson gets his calm attitude.  Both parents were so relaxed and so happy.  I’m anxious to check up on them in a week from now to see if that’s changed from the sleepless nights!  Ha!  No, I know they’re going to be a fabulous, loving family.  Congrats to Brad and Christine!

And before you even ask….Brett and I say, “Never say never, but children are not in our 5 year plan!”

Learned to buff!

25 Apr

Yea!  This weekend was very exciting for me!  I love to learn and try new things, especially when I’ll feel a sense of accomplishment afterwards.  Saturday, after washing our boat, our very generous friend, Alyn, came by to lend me his waxing/buffing supplies and teach me how to do it.  In the past, we’ve either paid for someone to wax/buff our boat, or Brett has done it.  Brett has enough chores with maintaining our boat though so I have been anxious to learn this chore, in hopes of doing it for us in the future.  Actually, Brett tried to teach me a couple of years ago and gave me my own buffer, but the handle on it just wasn’t working with my small hands so it was a lost cause.  Fortunately, Alyn’s buffer has a much better way to keep a good grip so I’m back in the game! 

I have to admit, I didn’t get much done this weekend, but with the weather and time constraints, I’m happy with the progress.  Alyn recommend the wax in the picture below:

I’ve seen him use this wax on his boat and it looks amazing!  Our boat used to sit outside, in Michigan, prior to us owning.  The fiberglass isn’t in as great as condition as Alyn’s boat, but a couple of coats of it definitely helped!  I’m excited to keep working on this project a little bit at a time, each weekend that I’m at the boat from here on out.  I thought I may be a little sore from the work, but surprisingly I wasn’t!

I forgot to take a “before” photo, but here is an “after” photo:

Alyn, thanks again for your help and generosity this weekend!  I really appreciated it, and I’m sure Brett does too since it’s something he can now remove from his honey-do list!

Business Trip = Exhaustion!

15 Apr

The last couple of months, I’ve had to go on a few business trips.  Fortunately, I’ve been able to travel with co-workers that I enjoy spending time with outside of the company.  It definitely makes the time in the airport and rental car less awkward, but it also makes the trip that much more exhausting!  Why is it that when we’re out of town we feel the need to act like we’re in college again?!  At home, I very rarely go out during the week, but if I do, I’m usually home before the ten o’clock news starts.  Yet, these last couple of trips, for some reason, I feel like it’s no big deal to close down a bar, not once, but each night out!  When I get back in town, the exhaustion hits me.  WHAT WAS I THINKING!?!?!

Oh well, it’s in the past now, and I must say that I had a blast.  Plus, I have this whole weekend to recover, right?

Here are a couple of cool spots that I visited most recently:

In Palo Alto, CA (outside San Francisco) – Nola Restaurant and Bar:  www.nolas.com

Another one in Palo Alto, CA – The Old Pro:  www.oldpropa.com

Orlando, FL – Orlando Ale House: