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Photo Journal: The day before #IMKona!

12 Oct

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Day 2: Media Credentials, Expo, and Parade of Nations!

9 Oct

For all of the action from Day 1, click here.

03:15AM HST
Ugh. Its so early and I am wide awake, thanks to the 6 hour time difference. I tried so hard to fall back asleep, but it just wasn’t happening. In typical form, I decided to get up and do some squats and lunges. Yes, I did strength training at this hour. What else am I supposed to do? I can’t play on Twitter…no one else in the world is awake yet! I also sent a few e-mails and looked over our itinerary for the day! Today is going to be a big day and I can’t wait! I also checked out the list of vendors that will be at the expo. Y’all know how I love me a good expo!

06:00AM HST
Heading out for a run with Jackie Arendt, a Timex triathlete! Yeah, so I know she can run like 5x faster than me sooooo…yeah, not intimidating at all. Pray for me!

07:00AM HST
Run is done! I gave my new Saucony Kinvara’s a try and I like them! I have been running in Brooks Pure Connects and Pure Flows for the last year or so and I had almost forgotten what Kinvaras feel like. I was able to hang with Jackie for a couple of miles, but finally I just told her to go on ahead. I got in 4.75 miles though, so I am pleased with that. Sarah finished her run shortly after I got back and we bonded over planks in the living room of our condo. Good times.

Feet up!

 

Seen on my run!

 

I found my strong this morning!


09:15AM HST
We are all piled up in our super fly Chrysler Town and Country and headed to breakfast! Yep, that’s how we roll! First, we are heading to Lava Java for breakfast and then we are heading to a book signing by Chrissie Wellington!!

Chrissie Wellington

Me and Chrissie! She’s so awesome!

10:30AM HST
We are headed over to the expo to find the media check-in and pick up our stuff! So exciting!

Ironman Kona Swag

Swag, baby! Can you guess what is in there?

Our credentials were not ready to be picked up, so we have to return tomorrow at 8:00AM to pick them up. No worries! Just another excuse to visit the athlete check-in area! Now we are off to do some shopping!! Like a complete moron, I managed to get all the way to Hawaii without a freaking bathing suit. Yes, really. Who does that?? Me, that’s who. Oh well, that just means I need to go buy a new one!

12:00PM HST
Bathing suit purchased! Surprisingly, I managed to find a bathing suit that makes me feel almost cute (shocking, I know). On that note, if you are ever in Kona and need a swimsuit, go find Carrol at Mermaids Swimwear and More on Ali’i Drive! She was so helpful and friendly and knew a lot about finding the right cut. The whole group met up and we headed over to the Ironman swim start to hop in the water for a little while! So fun!
Kona Beach
01:00PM HST
We needed grub. BADLY. Chicken quesadilla from a hole-in-the-wall beach restaurant for the win. There may or may not have been deliciously seasoned waffle fries involved. Heading back to the condos to catch up on e-mails and get ready for the Parade of Nations tonight!

05:00PM HST
The Parade of Nations was wonderful! I know this is a world championship event, but I was surprised just how many countries were represented. There were even athletes from Gibraltar! (Should I admit that I don’t even really know where that is?) The Timex jeep rolled through and all of the athletes were handing out cowbells. You know this made me happy. I love me some cowbells.
Timex Jeep

As the Parade of Nations ended, the expo opened and it was buzzing! We spent some time at the Timex booth, where we met Keith Meyer!

I also spotted Scott Rigsby in the Timex tent! If you don’t know who he is, check out his site. His story is AMAZING and you can’t help but be inspired by his level of determination. “Can’t” is not in his vocabulary.

I saw Scott Rigsby!


We didn’t spend a ton of time at the expo, but I did get a chance to visit some of my favorites! I spent some time playing hanging with Rachel at 110% Play Harder, Lacey at Oakley, and Rich at B.o.B. Running Strollers. I also visited blueseventy and LifeProof! I definitely want to spend more time at the expo tomorrow. I didn’t get to see even a quarter of what I wanted to!

Rachel and me!

07:30PM HST
Time for grub…again! The Timex crew headed over to Kona Brewing Company for dinner!

Kona Brewing Company

Highly recommended!

I had the pepperoni rolls and Pipeline Porter (made with Kona Coffee!) and both were DELICIOUS!

Day 1: I am off to Kona for the Ironman World Championships!

8 Oct

Today is the day! I am off to Kona, HI for the Ironman World Championships! I am so excited to be able to share all the action from the Timex tent and beyond with you. We received our itineraries in the mail last week and our days will be jam-packed with activities, time at the expo, conducting interviews, banquets, etc. We will be busy, but I am not complaining! Since the next week will be hectic, and since I don’t want to miss sharing one single thing with you, I plan on live-blogging as much as possible for the whole week. Each day I will start a new post, and chronicle the day’s activities, updating the post as often as I can throughout the day. That being said, if you check my blog first thing in the morning, there probably won’t be much action posted, but later in the day, you can catch up on what’s been happening! And of course, you can always follow along on Twitter or “see” what I’m up to with instagram (@katieRUNSthis)!

So, without further ado…

03:00AM EST
Alarm going off. I am grumbling curse words in my head and hurling myself into the shower. Let me just say, it is just not right to have to be awake and functioning at this hour of the day.

04:00AM EST
Throwing last minute items into my bag, zipping it up, and hitting the road. The Charlotte-Douglasville Airport is about an hour and 45 minutes away, and I want to get there in plenty of time. You never know how long it will take for the shuttle from long term parking, security, etc. The last thing I want to do is miss my flight!

05:45AM EST
Parking at long term parking, catching the shuttle, and heading to the airport. Of the 30 or so people on the shuttle, I notice that I am the only female. I am assuming that most of the people traveling at this hour are doing so for business, but don’t chicks travel for work too? Huh.

06:20AM EST
Made it through security, grabbing a coffee at Starbucks, and finding my gate. Okay, so I am WAY early for my 07:41AM departure, but again, I would rather be early than late. I find myself spending the time at the gate pouring over the latest issue of LAVA and Inside Triathlon. The total geek-out set in! I am really about to get on a plane to go see some my triathlon idols from all over the globe compete in the pinnacle event for the sport of triathlon!!! Say whaaaa!?

I’m on a plane!


09:15AM MST
Landed in Phoenix. The journey to Kona is half-way over…well, almost. I spent the first flight (4 and a half hours) reading every word of my most recent running and triathlon magazines and making a list of all of the athletes I wanted to watch and a few “fast facts” about each. I know that sounds tremendously absurd, but I know that if I have the fortune to meet any of them, I am totally going to lose it. I don’t even really know why I made the list. I know if I meet anyone on my list, I will be doing good just to remember my own name, let alone anything interesting about their careers or any questions I have for them. Ugh. I’m going to look like such a dork, I know it. Seriously, there is no I’m going to be able to maintain my composure if I am able to meet Chrissie Wellington or Mirinda Carfrae. NO WAY. I also spent an hour watching the DVD from last year’s event that Timex sent in our packages. The athletes’ stories…the famous athletes and the regular Joe’s…are all amazing. Some of them even made me teary. The reasons that people race. The sacrifices they make for training. The personal obstacles they are conquering. All of it, nothing short of INSPIRING. Watching the DVD took my “level of PSYCHED” from a 2 to a 10! There is no doubt that the spirit of the Ironman competition is palpable in Kona and I am ready to feel it!

10:05AM MST
Boarding my flight for Kona! It is absolutely insane to me that when I get off of this aircraft, I will be in Kona, Hawaii. I can’t even handle this right now! This is going to be the longest flight of my life! Two of the other Timex social ambassadors, Ryan and Sarah, are also on this flight. I was hoping to give them a quick high-five and hello before boarding, but all of us were cutting it so close from our previous flights that we had to just board and get in our seats. SUCK. I’m in a window seat. For 6 and a half hours. Well, I try my best to stay hydrated when traveling, so if I have to go pee 37 times during this flight, the nice couple to my left is just going to have to be understanding. Ryan and Sarah’s seats ended up being in first class (LUCKY!) so I didn’t even get to see them as they were boarding the plane. Sarah did, however, walk back to wave and say hello!

On a side note, I am super excited to meet Sarah and get to know her better. I am looking to start eating better and I am looking forward to picking her brain on some healthy recipes. She used to work at Diets.com, but now she is a full-time blogger. Plus, I know she will want to work out while in Kona too. I have the Runner’s World Half Marathon coming up in less than two weeks, so I will have to do a couple of long runs. I am glad to know that I won’t be the only one of the ambassadors who will be fitting fitness into the itinerary. Be sure and check out Sarah’s blog, Sarah Fit, and YouTube channel!

I have now made all the small talk I can with the couple next to me. She seems pretty cool. Him, notsomuch. No worries. I am breaking out a book that Timex sent me, called Iron War. It is about the 1989 Ironman World Championship and how the men’s title came down to Dave Scott and Mark Allen. As another side note, Dave Scott has trained Craig Alexander in recent years, so he is definitely going to be one of the competitors I will be watching. He is a seasoned Ironman Kona athlete, and I think he just might win (again) this year!

03:30PM HST
Touch down in Kona! This airport is SO small. Even the baggage claim is outside!

Photo courtesy of Ryan Hudson


We made our way over to the condos! I got paired up with Sarah! Woo hoo! This is the view from our patio…I mean, lanais! This is going to be a very rough week!

05:30PM HST
We are heading out for dinner…FINALLY! Even though it seems like an early dinner, most of us are from the East Coast so it feels like 11:30PM to us! We are starving! We are heading out to Huggo’s On The Rocks for dinner!

Check out this amazing sunset! What a beautiful view for our dinner! After dinner, we watch three adorable girls do some hula dancing! I loved it!
Huggos On The Rocks
07:15PM HST
We hit up our local Wal-Mart…that’s right, I came all the way to Kona, Hawaii and I still went to Wal-Mart…to grab a few snacks for our condo. Water, KIND bars, Clif bars, and unsweetened apple sauce for the win!

Essentials.


09:10PM HST
LIGHTS OUT for this girl. Today has been surreal, to say the least. Sitting over dinner, we talked about the “greats” in the sport of triathlon, many of who we will see compete in just a few short days. We talked about all of the fun stuff Timex has planned for us too! You are going to want to stay tuned! The next few days are going to be PACKED! I’ve now been awake for right about 24 hours and I have hit the wall. Its time to get my beauty rest! After all, tomorrow begins with an early morning run down Ali’i Drive! ‘Night!

IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, HERE I COME!

1 Oct

So, here it is…I have teased this announcement and I have held my breath until I thought I would nearly pass out. Are you sitting down? You should definitely be sitting down.

I AM GOING TO THE IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN KONA, HAWAII.

Me and M-Dot. We’re gonna be like peas and carrots.


Okay, before you get *too* excited…no, I am not going as a competitor. (Whomp, whomp. Sorry to let you down.) However, I will be spectating as an Ambassador of Timex!

TIMEX
I know, I know. You can’t even handle this right now, can you?? I am excited too!

A while back I saw that Timex put out a call to arms, seeking socially saavy endurance sports enthusiasts to represent them at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. After I read the job description, I immediately knew that I was the right person for the task! I hurriedly sent in my application. And then I waited…and waited…

Was this a total long shot? Yes, indeed.
Was this my total dream assignment? Yes, indeed.

Long story short, yours truly got selected as one of the finalists! WOO HOO! So, what does this all mean??

This means that I will be onsite in Kona from October 8th through October 15th spectating the Ironman World Championships like, well…a champ! This will be my first time at an event of this magnitude and I simply cannot wait to share all of the events, excitement, and happenings with you. Thanks to the great world wide interweb, I will be able to fill you in via my blog, Twitter, facebook, and instagram (@katieRUNSthis), so be ready for some posts, photos, and videos! And if I am really feeling frisky, I might just hope on Ustream during the annual Underpants Run so that you can see what is going on…in real-time! And don’t forget…to see all of the other action and to find out what the other ambassadors are up to, be sure to LIKE the Timex facebook page!

This is going to be so much fun! I. AM. PSYCHED. I never, never thought this would be happening, but alas, here it is. I am so ready!

I have to give a huge, HUGE shout out to Timex. I mean, massive HUGE. I am so thankful for this opportunity to see this event and, more importantly, share it with all of you! I already know that I will get inspired to pursue my goal of being an Ironman 70.3 finisher!

Immediately, I suppose this means two things…

I need to pick out a decent alternative to “next to nothin’” skivvies for the Underpants Run. This mama will NOT be out there running in a thong. (Yeah, yeah…call me a poor sport. Trust me, it would not be good for anyone!)

Photo Credit: EveryManTri.com


I’ll have to add some sweet tunes by Iz Ka’ano’i Kamakawiwo’ole to my running mix to start getting me in the mood!
Iz Hawaii

I seriously love his music. Baby Key is a huge fan too!)


Many, many more details to come over the next couple of weeks! As soon as I know them, you’ll know them! I promise! Stay tuned, boys and girls!

In the meantime, I need some suggestions! Which competitor would you have YOUR eyes on? Which triathlete would YOU love to meet? What should I see while I am there? Where should I eat? Any advice for traveling that far?

I am a Rocketchix TRIATHLETE at 26 weeks!

31 Jul

Yesterday was a celebration! I celebrated carrying my baby boy for 26 weeks (which, according to The Bump, makes Baby Key a nearly 2lb, 14in hothouse cucumber), and I also celebrated FINALLY becoming a triathlete!

This was such a surprise!


Last fall, I set a goal for completing a half Ironman competition by the end of this summer. When we found out about Baby Key back in February, that goal (for this year) went right out the window. Being determined, I consulted my doctor for a “work around,” if you will. What can I say? If there is a loophole, I will find it.


We agreed on no open water swims and a short, sprint distance triathlon. Having been a runner and cyclist pre-pregnancy, all I would have to do is add the swim. I had read that it isn’t necessarily good to take up new sports during pregnancy but my doctor said that swimming could actually be good for me and the baby. (By the way, having a doctor who supports your craziness is super important.) So, I quickly ran home, scanned my race calendar and selected this year’s Rocketchix II Triathlon as the winner. At the time, it was 5 months away, which gave me plenty of time to find a swim class/coach, learn to swim, and at least get somewhat comfortable in the water.


So…fast forward to yesterday…


My morning started at 4:45PM. I wanted to be out the door by 5:15AM, and since I had packed the night before, this was plenty of time to get to the opening of transition at 5:30AM. Surprisingly, by the time yesterday morning rolled around, the nerves that had started settling in on Friday were subsiding. My whole mindset had changed. In other races and duathlons I had participated in or trained for, I had a bad habit of letting my nerves get to me.

This race, however, was different. In my head, I assumed that because I am pregnant, people would expect me to be slow. So, if things didn’t go well, and I actually came in last, it would be okay. I would not have disappointed anyone else, even if I secretly disappointed myself a little (after all, I didn’t *actually* want to be LAST.) Mentally, I set my goal for this 350m swim/12mi bike/2mi run competition as 01:45:00.

I got to the event, set up my gear in transition, ate one of my Picky Bars, and met up with some friends. Seeing my girls helped squash the last little bit of leftover nerves from the day before. The goal was to just finish. Before I knew it, the competition us under way and swimmers were entering the natatorium. The swim portion was self-seeded and I sandwiched myself in the 12:00-12:59 group. When my group was called and we lined up along the pool, I took a deep breath…knowing that I just HAD to do this. No backing out now. I was dressed, I was there, and it was “go time.” All of a sudden, I was the next swimmer up so I crossed the mat, heard the beep and knew it was time to dive in.

As soon as I was in the water, I started to freak. For one, the pool was twice as long as the pool that I had learned to swim and practiced in. The pool at the fitness center was 25m and this pool was 50m. Without realizing it, I must have come to depend on the 25m turn-around because the first length of the race seemed SO long. I tried so hard to get myself back on track physically and mentally. Also, it wasn’t until I was surrounded by so many other swimmers that I actually feared getting accidentally kicked in the stomach. Throughout training, different people had mentioned it to me, but I suppose I did not take the threat seriously enough because I was used to swimming alone. It wasn’t until I was in the water, surrounded by people all scrambling to get out of the pool, that it really made me nervous. By the second length of the pool, I decided the backstroke was the way to go for me. My racing heart decided to slow down, I was able to control my breathing, and, most importantly, I could keep an eye on anyone getting too close to my bump. And, you know what? I passed someone! That gave me a little bit of confidence and all of a sudden I realized that I only had one length left to go in the pool! AAAAAAAAAAMEN! Since I knew I would be strong on the bike and strong on the run, the goal was just to make it through the swim. JUST GET OUT OF THE POOL. I watched the overhead flags as I swam and when there was about ¼ length left, I flipped over and swam to the end. (It definitely didn’t hurt that the LSU men’s swim team was there helping us out of the pool.) :)


After getting out of the pool, I had planned to walk over to the transition area. With the slippery tile of the natatorium (even the wet mats get slippery), I wanted to take it easy. But, I was feeling frisky, so I jogged. Not going to lie, my T1 time SUCKED. It took me FOREVER to get out on the bike. Being pregnant and obviously not my regular size, I did not want to invest the $200+ in a new tri suit. I ended up wearing a Nike speed swimsuit with the intention of putting on my cycling shorts over it. This was a perfect plan…in theory. Once I got over to my bike, I had the HARDEST time wiggling my wet body into my cycling shorts. But it was my only option so I just had to deal with it. Before hopping on my bike, I ate half a Clif Mojo Peanut Butter pretzel bar and two Clif Bloks. I threw on my helmet, sunglasses, and shoes and was ready to go. At this point, I was just psyched that none of my muscles in my abdomen were pulling weird and I was not even feeling tired. I jogged my bike over the mount area and away I went.

Fuel for the race machine!


Getting out on the bike immediately put me at ease. I LOVE riding my bike. The bike course was out on River Road which is wide open and has no trees. Although it was HOT, the wetness from my body and suit kept me cool. It was really nice. The bike course was also really flat so I considered it pretty easy. I seriously must have passed at least 20 people on the bike portion. According to my Garmin, I rode the 12-mile course in about 47:30…not too shabby for a pregnant lady on a “fat tire” Trek hybrid! Woot!

I really expected to start feeling tired by the end of the bike route, but I wasn’t AT ALL! I think it must have been the adrenaline. After dismounting the bike, I did walk my bike back over to the rack instead of jogging. I want to give my body a chance to find my “sea legs” to avoid any chance of my legs bricking. After I re-racked my bike, I took off my helmet, threw on my visor, grabbed my race belt, and pulled my “Running For Two” tank over my swimsuit. I was determined to finish wearing that tank top. :)

Trying hard not to think I look fat in this picture. :)


Getting out on the run, I was so proud of my legs. They didn’t fail me or start acting wonky AT ALL. In my head, I was already on that runner’s high! I was thinking, “Dude! I’m already out of the pool and done with the bike! Its ONLY 2 more miles! I do 2 miles ALL THE TIME!! I have SO got this!!!” And I did. My goal had been to walk ½ mile/jog ½ mile…twice. I didn’t even need to do that though. I got through the first mile, walked about a ¼ mile, and then jogged the rest of the way. My time goal for the run portion was 25:00 but my Garmin had me coming in at under 22 minutes. As soon as I saw this, I knew I would be my original time goal…I just was not sure by how much.


When I turned the final corner and saw the finish, I could see and hear my mom, husband, and #RunLA fam cheering me on! Having that kind of support when you are about to accomplish something so important to you is truly priceless. They helped make the experience even more special and memorable! I ran into the chute, throwing my arms up, breaking the invisible tape! The announcer said, “Katie Key…you ARE a Rocketchick!” (You know, in his best Maury “You ARE the father!” voice.)


Then he jokingly suggested that I count as a team since, technically, I was running for two. :)

I love this!

Putting this race bling around my neck felt AWESOME. I ran over to my mom and husband and gave them hugs! I then made my way over to my fellow #RunLA Rocketchix and we shared proud sweaty hugs! We were all triathletes now!

That half Ironman is still in my bucket list but I definitely want to keep easing into it. I plan on doing a couple more sprint triathlons and duathlons (to really master my transitions) and then move on to an Olympic distance triathlon before making the jump. Given the time, I know I can do it!

After all, I AM a triathlete now….at 01:31:35!! WOOT!

My family is growing, in more ways than one.

20 Jul

Last night at Happy’s Running was fun, despite being able to only complete 2.25 miles of the 3.1 mile route.

0.00 miles – 1.28 miles: Run
1.28 miles – 1.50 miles: Walk
1.50 miles – 1.76 miles: Run
1.76 miles – 1.85 miles: Walk
1.85 miles – 2.25 miles: Run
Total time: 27:03.

Obviously, I am struggling. Everyday that I go “slow” humbles me more and more. I am still fighting with my emotions over my “slowness” but I really am thankful that I can still get out there and run.

After the run, Brent and I handed out some of the #RunLA shirts and they were a HUGE hit! I was so excited! Everyone seemed to love them! SportScience makes amazing shirts and I think everyone was intrigued that they while they have the soft feel of a cotton t-shirt, that they are actually dri-wicking! BONUS! When I ordered the shirts, I tried to think ahead and ordered myself a medium AND a large…thinking I wouldn’t have to be putting on the large until much later in the summer. WRONG. I wore the medium last night, but I was seriously pushing MAXIMUM DENSITY in it, so I might be rocking the large from here on out. The large size is still a little big, but no worries. These days, I would rather wear something a little roomy than something that makes me feel like a sausage. Here are some pics of the other #RunLA shirts:

@RivsHughey at the Napa Half Marathon!


I am really enjoying watching the growth of the use of the #RunLA hashtag on Twitter. It is doing amazing things for the runners in this state. I love that we can watch and keep up with runners running ultramarathons to those training for their first 5k. When I first got started running, I know that I often felt overwhelmed and frustrated…or that I would never “get there” (you know, that point where I really felt like I could call myself a “runner”). I am thrilled to see this supportive community growing! Social media is here to stay, so we might as well maximize it find others with the same interests! Do you use a hashtag to connect with runners in your city or state? If not, get one going! You would be amazed at the awesome people you can connect with.


In other news, I also gave my new GO Sport ID band a whirl last night. I have an officially review of it coming, but all signs point to –> LOVE IT! It was super comfortable and it is so light that I did not even remember I was wearing it. I even wore it to work today!

GO Sport ID!


24 weeks and 4 days! Still running!

Oh, and how about this nugget of awesomeness! Since I was selected to be a Mommy Blogger for Woman’s Hospital, they are going to let me go to any and all of the prenatal fitness classes (held at my local Destination Maternity store) that my little heart desires! Woot woot! Bring on the prenatal yoga, prenatal step aerobics, and strong mamas classes! I am looking forward to trying different ways to mix up my exercise routine (now that I can’t run like I used to) and to meeting other like-minded fit mamas-to-be!


Lastly, there is a mini-camp tonight for the Rocketchix Triathlon at Woman’s Fitness Center. I just heard about this morning, but since I will need all the help I can get to get through this triathlon, I better make sure I am there! Plus, its FREE!

2011 TRI New Roads

18 Jun

Tri New Roads this morning was wonderful! While I was only spectating, I was still really excited to go and see the competitors. Every triathlon I watch only makes me more and more motivated to try my best at the Rocketchix Triathlon next month. Plus, it never hurts to watch people transition…there are always tips and techniques you can pick up just by studying others.

I woke up at 5:00AM (which was as early as I was getting up since I didn’t sleep good AT ALL), but lucky for me it was already starting to be a beautiful morning! I arrived to False River as the sun was coming up and the sun and water were beautiful. It made me appreciate being able to be healthy enough to get up and go out there this morning.

Most of today’s participants were either first-time triathletes or at least first-time open water swim triathletes. Everyone seemed really excited about getting in the water. The swim portion started at the boat dock at Satterfield’s Restaurant on False River. The boat dock made for a slipperier entry for the swimmers but they just took extra care not to fall. Because it was so slippery, the swim started in the water at a waist-deep level. Personally, I’m still enjoying being able to push off the wall in the pool so I’m not sure how I would have liked a waist-deep start. There was a strong enough wind coming off the water, so even though the swim portion was only 400m, the swimmers definitely had to push it.

Beautiful morning on False River.


Sun coming up over the water!


Swimmers are ready!



All of the swimmers did well and made it out of the water! Success! Before I knew it, transition was bustling and all of the racers were out on the bike route. Each portion of the 400m swim/12mi bike/2mi run were out and back courses. The start of the bike and run routes started uphill. I think that gave some of the racers a bit of trouble gaining momentum in the short distance between the bike mount line and the base of the hill.

Going into the run, all of the participants looked strong. There was a great representation by Venom Multisport Racing, Fitbird Fitness, and BR Tri. I even saw a few children of racers sporting Rocketkidz t-shirts! It is always fun to see a whole family involved in running, triathlons, or just being active in general.




While the official results have not yet been posted, I look forward to checking them out as soon as they were up! These racers finished FAST!




At the end of the event, finishers were greeted by cheering family members, friends and volunteers, cold beer, water, or sports drink, and some seriously delicious-smelling jambalaya! Satterfield’s was very gracious to host the Tri New Roads event and Multisport Fitness and Fleet Feet of Baton Rouge did a great job of organizing and managing it! It certainly seemed as if all of the finishers had a great experience. I look forward to making this event my first open water swim triathlon next year!

To see all of my photos from Tri New Roads, click here!

Groups Doing Good: Rocket Kidz Foundation

11 Jun


This morning I had the extreme pleasure of volunteering for the Rocket Kidz Rookies Triathlon! This triathlon was open to all kids ages 3-10.

The Rocket Kidz Foundation started in November 2006 to help raise money for kids’ programs in the Hurricane Katrina ravaged Mississippi Gulf Coast area, as well as the rest of Southeast Louisiana. The primary mission of the Rocket Kidz Foundation is to fight childhood obesity and encourage kids fitness through education, programs, facilities, and scholarship development. Many of their programs focus on multisport events, though any event that gets kids moving will be considered for support by the organization. In addition to setting a good example for our children, we all know that encouraging kids to stay active and eat healthy are the best ways to help reduce the instances of childhood obesity. I mean, really, who wants to live in a world like Wall-E?

Today’s big event was held at the ExxonMobil YMCA. I had never been to this YMCA and was built in the time while I had moved away. It is a REALLY nice facility and I am glad that area of the community has access to it. Brent and I arrived bright and early at 6:15AM. Before we knew it, our other #RunLAvolunteers showed up to keep us company! The more the merrier!

Beautiful morning!

Jeremy, Jamie, and Brent ready to volunteer!

Kids started arriving with their bikes and gear and starting getting it all set up in the transition area. Some of these bikes were TOO CUTE…we are talking handlebar streamers, baskets carrying little stuffed animals, flags, etc…the whole nine yards! And I loved the kids with fun helmets! Some were from the movie Cars, some had shark fins on top, and I think I even saw a few Toy Story helmets!

Transition!

Jeremy, Brent, and I were assigned to the bike route so around 7:45AM we went to our stations. The bike route for the older kids (ages 5-10) was a 1-mile out and back course so we basically had to just keep them going down the straightaway, turn them around, and get them to come back.

Here are a few of the best photos we got of the kids! I love it!

Cool recumbent bike!

Jeremy fixing a bike chain!

Too cute!

Overall, the morning was fantastic! The weather was a nice 90 degrees (hot, but a nice break from the ~104 degree temperatures we have been having) but clear. Even though I saw a couple kids fall off their bikes, a few chains got dropped, there were a few trips and falls, overall there were no massive meltdowns and all the kids seemed to have a really fun time! And who better to help the kids cool off than the one and only Ninja Snowballs! HELLO red cream soda snowball!

To see all of the photos that we have from today’s triathlon, click HERE!

The next events held by the Rocket Kidz Foundation will be the Rocket Chix Triathlon on Saturday, July 30th (this is the sprint triathlon that I am currently training for) and the Rocket Kidz Triathlon on Sunday, July 31st (for ages 6-14). And this coming January, the same great team behind Rocket Kidz will be presenting the inaugural Louisiana Marathon! It is going to be awesome!

I am eagerly looking forward to these fun events and hope that if you are in the Baton Rouge/South LA area that you would consider participating or volunteering. You won’t regret it!

Cancer Runner, Tchoupitoulas Barathon, Athleta IronGirl, and Weight Watchers Walk-It Day Challenge!

23 May

Friday morning started early, at 6:00AM. Okay, okay…I know that for some of you, you’re already done with your run by then, but that’s early for me. I was there to see Paul Sibley (@CancerRunner) get started on his 50-mile run around the LSU lakes. Paul undertook this journey in order to raise money for Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. In 2006, Paul was diagnosed with a rare form of squamous cell skin cancer. Though he has faced many invasive surgeries and radiation, Paul was finally declared to be cancer-free. Within 6 months of his return to running, Paul completed the HURT 100-mile trail race in Oahu, HI. In addition, he has gone on to compete in IronMan competitions, ultramarathons, and multiple other adventures. Paul Sibley is an incredible man and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet him. If you are interested in supporting his efforts, you aren’t too late! Please visit his website for more information about his running and fundraising!

Paul Sibley - CancerRunner.org


Wear your sunscreen, kids!


On a side note, while Paul was out on his first lap around the LSU lakes, I got the chance to visit with his sister Wanda. We got to talking and it just so happens that she has a Baby Jogger stroller that she is looking to get rid of. HEYO! Granted, its not brand new, but its FREE and we’ll take it! Yay!

I wanted to run a lap or two around the LSU lakes with Paul, but 1) even his warm-up was faster than my comfortable pace, and 2) I didn’t want to be too worn out for the Tchoupitoulas Barathon. Since I was up and itching to get my sweat on, I opted for the bike. I went out for 16 miles (which I did in a little over an hour). I wanted to do a little more, but we had to pack and get down to New Orleans.

We got into New Orleans just in time for a riveting game of Lego Star Wars on Wii with my nephew. Talk about a kid who takes his Wii games seriously? (Was I ever like that with my Nintendo? Probably.) We visited the family for a little while and then headed over to Le Bon Temps Roule on Magazine Street.

The Tchoupitoulas Barathon has been on my list for years as one of those “must do” fun runs. 6 miles…6 bars…6 beers. Sound fun? IT WAS!! Although I couldn’t partake in the 6 beers, Brent picked up my slack and we had a great time. For runners in Louisiana, I would highly recommend this run. A totally fun, out of the ordinary way to spend a Friday night!

Tchoupitoulas Barathon - Beer Stop 2

Saturday I had originally planned to run in the Academy of the Sacred Heart Heart and Sole 5k. However, Baby Key decided it would be fun to give mama some wicked heart burn around 2:30AM. We were staying in a smaller bed at my brother’s house and I just could NOT get comfortable. I moved to the couch where I couldn’t really get back to sleep because the only thing that seemed to help was sitting straight up. There was no way I could get up and run a 5k with any level of seriousness with 4 hours of sleep. Instead, I played with my niece and nephew, ate pancakes as a family, and took a trip to Lowe’s with Brent. Kind of a slow morning, but sometimes that is just what I need.

In the afternoon, I went over to UNO Technology and Research Park to volunteer for the Athleta Iron Girl New Orleans. I worked packet pick-up and had a FANTASTIC time! Seeing the excitement on all of the participants’ faces made me REALLY wish I was going to be competing. I know my swim isn’t strong enough, and that doing an open water swim while pregnant could be unsafe, but my competitive nature still made me wish my name was on that roster. I tried my best to give out high fives and encouraging words to everyone who came through my packet pick-up line…especially for the triathlon virgins. Overall though, everyone seemed really excited and the fact that the Lake Pontchartrain swim was still going on as planned made all the ladies happy!

All the ladies' gear! Ready for Sunday!


After the volunteering, Brent and I went to eat at Zoe’s Kitchen on Old Metairie Road. We had never been there, but I would definitely go back! It was super delicious and food tasted really fresh! Highly recommended!

In my efforts to encourage my mom to walk/jog (eventually run) more, I signed us up for the Weight Watchers Walk-It Day Challenge (sponsored by Fleet Feet Baton Rouge) on Sunday afternoon. This was my mom’s 4th 5k ever and she did really well. I’m really proud of her. She walked the first 5 minutes as a warm up and then did 60 seconds jog/90 seconds walk for the next mile and half. She then said she felt a headache coming on, and as hot as it was (94 degrees!), I didn’t want to push her too hard and we walked the rest of the way. I’m still proud of her! That’s more than she’s ever run at one time before! Baby steps! Wehe then said she felt a headache coming on, and as hot as it was (94 degrees!), I didn’t want to push her too hard and we walked the rest of the way. I’m still proud of her! That’s more than she’s ever run at one time before! Baby steps! We also saw my running buddy, Theresa, out there, so that was fun!

Our post-walk/jog victory was followed by a delicious Muscle Punch Plus (no turbinado) from Smoothie King! Once home, I was thrown back into the “real world” and had to pack for my work trip to Nashville.

I HATE packing…especially when getting dressed these days is a battle with the wardrobe. I never know what is going to fit day-to-day so I packed enough for at least three weeks! Oh well, at least I won’t be nekkid!

Despite having a crazy busy last few days, I actually made it to the airport (showered, dressed, and made up!) by 5:15AM! Woot! I made it to Nashville about noon today and have been in engineering meetings all afternoon. Let me just say, it’s been a thrill a minute. Mechanical reliability? Grounding and bonding? I mean, c’mon, how much more exciting can it get!? I have another meeting this evening, and then after that, I’m hitting up the hotel fitness center DREADMILL. Wish me luck!

So, what have YOU been up to??

Black cloud over New Orleans triathlons?

16 May

As the water continues to flow down The Mighty Mississippi, I am concerned for the overall effect it will have on the triathlon season in New Orleans. Don’t get me wrong, I know good and well that the quality of Lake Pontchartrain wasn’t that of a bottle of Dasani, but the dirty Mississippi River water flowing in through the Bonnet Carre Spillway can’t be helping, can it?

The 5150 Olympic Distance Triathlon yesterday in New Orleans was turned into a 2mi run/40k bike/10k run duathlon after swimming conditions in Lake Pontchartrain were deemed unsafe. This comes right on the heels of the cancellation of the swim portion of the Ochsner IronMan New Orleans (technically making it a 69.1 event). From what I understand, a cool front that caused extensive wind and wave action coming in perpendicular to the Gulf of Mexico caused unsafe swimming conditions for both events.

And now we have the wide-open Bonnet Carre Spillway to be worried about. Will the influx of water bring more pollution or alter the water quality? Even worse, will it bring more critters to the lake? Swimming with snakes? No, thank you.

The IronGirl New Orleans is set to take place this coming Sunday and I really hope it is able to go ahead as scheduled. If for some reason (wind, whitecaps, lake zombies, etc.), it doesn’t, I fear that New Orleans will unjustly have a black cloud over it and the triathlon season will be finished. Competitors who travel from far away will be gun-shy for events this year and maybe even next year. This saddens me…especially for the two inaugural events…the 5150 and the IronGirl New Orleans. New Orleans is really making a name for itself on the competitive racing circuit and I hope that momentum continues to build. However, I can understand hesitation on behalf of the participants…why train and spend all the money on traveling when Lake Pontchartrain is so unpredictable? After all, they have trained for a triathlon, not a biathlon and not a duathlon.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the Athleta IronGirl New Orleans.

What do you think the fate of this weekend’s triathlon is? How do you think it will affect future triathlons in New Orleans? Would YOU swim in Lake Pontchartrain right now??

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