Category Archives: Moving Forward

I Don’t Know What I Am But I’m Not An Athlete

How do I describe myself post two sprint triathlons. Well I’m a heck of a lot healthier than I was, fitter and for sure I feel a sense of accomplishment but am I an athelete? I don’t think so. Athletes run marathons, do Ironman Triathlons and swim long distances. That isn’t me for sure.

According to Free

“Athlete: a person possessing the natural or acquired traits, such as strength, agility and endurance, that are necessary for physical exercise or sports especially those performed in competitive contexts”.

Well okay so I don’t have a lot of strength or agility but doing something for 2hours and 59 minutes says I certainly had stamina.

So okay if you call me an athlete I may answer.

Slow, Easy Walk in the Park


Yesterday for only the second time since my September 7, 2014 triathlon, I put on my sneakers and went for a walk. I decided to take my time and just enjoy the park without the pressure of a training schedule. It was nice. I actually did the track which we call the red carpet which goes around a very pretty lake.

Weequahic Lake - picture by  Jennifer Brown/The Star-Ledger

Weequahic Lake – picture by
Jennifer Brown/The Star-Ledger

I was able to spend time thinking about random thoughts and not worrying about how fast I was walking. Spoke to lots of folks. We are a very friendly group, looked for turtles ( they are very big) and decided whether to go all the way around which involves climbing a very steep hill lovingly called Dead Mans Hill. For the second time this year I decided to go all the way around instead of turn around like I usually do and with a lot of huffing and puffing I climbed the hill. When I got back to my car I realized that it had been a very enjoyable walk. Slow for sure but who cares. I stretched the legs and I’ll be back tomorrow. Good day in the park.

Training Makes the Difference

Today some of the members of a Facebook page I follow did and Iron Man triathlon. For those of you who don’t know that entails a 2.4mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a marathon run (26.2 miles). I believe that most have a time limit in which you have to complete it. Anyway people ask you do you do that and the answer is the same as the one for sprint triathlons like I do, you train for it.

Being the best swimmer in the world doesn’t help you on your bike. Being a marathon runner does not prepare you for the swim. You have to put in adequate time in each sport to stand a chance of completing the entire event.

I know of a few people this year that were not successful in their triathlon attempts  and several of them had medical issues that arose and kept them from being successful. I think that if you talked to the rest of them you would find out that they just didn’t get the right amount of training in. It’s a delicate balance and other than doing the distances in training you are always unsure whether what you’ve done is enough.

If you watch your elite athletes, they are constantly training to stay in the game so to speak. So when you are getting up in the dark to get your training in visualize the finish line!




OMG the Post Season Lazies have struck!!!

I can barely get off the couch. I am waking up between 7:30 and 8:00 am. Not even sure I remember the way to the park. Good grief. Just a month ago I was setting my phone to wake me at 5:45 am so I could get to the park and start my ride/walk. I was at the pool by 10:00 am daily like I was getting paid. Now making coffee makes me tired. I teach online so I don’t even get dressed for God’s sake.  I know that I have to adjust and get back in the swing of things. I can’t afford a season off for a variety of reasons. Weight control, arthritis, boredom all come to mind. Today though I’m going to sit here and contemplate my garden and enjoy a pretty fall day. Check back with me later.

Out of my garden

Out of my garden

Who Did Another Triathlon? Oh Yeah That Would Be Me!

Two hours and 59 minutes later and I had my second triathlon metal ever! Someone pointed out that this was my second in 35 days. Sounds impressive to me. I have begun the critique and see lots of room for improvement but hey I did it. Who would think that I could keep moving for hours. Did I mention a 15 minute walk to where the competition began and a return walk at the end?  So the breakdown was 32 minutes in the water, 1 hr and 24 minutes on the bike (two loops riding a few miles into a killer wind each time) and a 3 mile run (walk for me). Well I quit again yesterday like I had done in August. But this time I’m serious. That was the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done. Hmn a week off and then I begin training again for next year. Even though I’m not doing it again I need to be ready. Just in case.

Left to right Roz Kelley, Debra Smith, Terrell Holliman, Maisha Amen and yours truly after we finished.

Left to right Roz Kelley, Debra Smith, Terrell Holliman, Maisha Amen and yours truly after we finished.

These ladies swim with me and were my inspiration. We range in age from 30’s to 60’s not telling their ages. I’m the oldest just short of my 63rd birthday in October. Iron Girl’s all.

First Triathlon – The Swim

I was pretty calm when we approached the water. I grew up swimming in the Atlantic and even though it was a bit rough, I didn’t have any trouble getting in. My strategy however wasn’t great. I thought the slower the better because I wanted to save my energy for the bike and run/walk. Well that’s okay but I was in the water long enough to swim three times the distance. Life Guards kept approaching me and asking if I was okay. I was. Just incredibly slow. The next time I want to relax an swim my regular swim.

Advice, if your triathlon involves open water swimming and you haven’t done this before (splashing around in the surf doesn’t count) please see if there are training swims on location so that you know what to expect. If you are uncomfortable with the swim, do several training swims. Then swim, your swim don’t let anything change your style.

2:22:57……First Triathlon done

Jersey Girl Finish

Jersey Girl Finish

My First Triathlon:  2:22:57

Not sure where to begin this story. Yesterday I completed my first (and I vowed) my last triathlon. I was not a happy camper to be coming in near the end. I know that the time shouldn’t have been my priority but I was bummed out. Any way that’s not the beginning.

Thanks to the encouragement of my Brick City Masterswim pals, at the beginning of this year I signed up for Jersey Girl and Iron Girl. And in the spring I began training sans the bike because I didn’t own one. I think I bought my bike in the end of May. I was so fearful of the bike that it took weeks to get on it. It’s a hybrid and lighter than the mountain bike I had borrowed. Riding is not my favorite activity by far.

So, to yesterday. The rain really caught me off guard. I had thought of all sorts of conditions  but not that. It was cool, dreary and rainy for the first hour in Long Branch. Tovah (Triwomen volunteer) had run a great seminar called Transition 101 for us newbies I had packed and double checked to make sure I had everything I needed.

Fast forward to yesterday, the transition area was as I had expected. My husband had made me a flag so I could find my bike and stuff. We were also at the edge of the transition area so we could clearly see everything. The rain kept me from laying out my event items even though I had plastic bags. Just seemed to complicated. So I pulled my helmet, shirt and glasses and put them on my bike seat and covered the whole thing with plastic.

The swim was okay. Pretty strong breakers. I was so slow in the water that people kept trying to give me noodles. I was fine but called myself saving my energy for the bike. I was in the water a very long time for the distance. But lesson learned. Did I mention the water was warmer than the air temp waiting to get in?

T1 was a bit of a mess because of the rain. Everything was wet and I didn’t have time to dump my Home Depot Bucket to sit on it which was my plan. Took me a while to change shirts, and do a balancing act to put on socks and shoes.

The bike ride was an 11 mile nightmare.  My new friend Nancy rescued me at about mile six and rode the rest of the way with me talking to me the whole time. I was ready to stop. That course wasn’t what I’d call flat and we were riding into the wind coming back. I had on an open jacket which was like wearing a sail I’m sure. People have suggested that I might have done better with a road bike but one, I just bought my bike and two I swear people went by me on what looked to be the old Schwin bikes I grew up on. I just needed more training rides.

T2, I couldn’t feel my legs or hands. I asked my rack mate to take my helmet off because I couldn’t feel my hands. The legs were gone but I expected that. Again a shirt change and I started my walk.

The walk was not my fastest but not bad considering I had done swim and bike already. It took 53 minutes and the first mile or so I was just getting over “brick” legs.

I was bummed when I finished and saw the time clock. Duh! That was event time not my time. Today I saw my time broken down and I didn’t feel so bad. Except for the swim, the rest was about what I expected. Now I have room for improvement. Oh yeah and as of today Iron Girl is back on. I think!

My First Triathlon Is Eminent

I haven’ written anything here for months. The summer is moving so fast. Well okay time is time but it just seems that I always have something to do. I have spent the last two months training for this Sunday August 3rd. The Jersey Girl sprint triathlon. I am not sure that I am ready but on Sunday morning before light my husband and I will be heading to the Jersey shore. Long Branch to be exact. I just picked up my package and numbers for me and the bike. 452, that’s me so if your there let me know.

I will chronicle the day in detail so look to hear from me.

How Much Gear Is Too Much Gear?

I promise you that when I bought my bike a few weeks ago I had a conversation with myself about not buying unnecessary gear. Swimming is my first love and okay I have five or six bathing suits and about six pairs of goggles, two different types of flippers, ear plugs and several bathing caps that I don’t even wear. All essential stuff. But now comes the bike. Two weeks in I had to get a more comfortable seat and riding gloves. Now I am contemplating new pedals because my feet keep slipping off of mine. Oh for goodness sake, I do not want to buy bike shoes and pedals. Did I mention that I am riding in my baggy tee shirts and running pants. Don’t say it! Riding clothes? Where does one draw the line?


Memorial Day Ride

My third ride this month after a twenty year layoff. Better than the last but I still get numb, cold fingers and that makes riding tough. I am not sure how I can rectify this situation. I had on my new bike gloves not sure of their benefit actually.  I did six miles but just couldn’t feel my fingers any more. Oh did I mention that I’m as slow as molasses?

Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day 2014

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