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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.

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!

Where Do I Begin? — Tri 101


So I just read Leah’s comment to me and I do have to remember that I am not competing with those ladies that are setting their watches and running like hell into the water. I cannot promise yet that I won’t let them fluster me. In the end of April my buddies and I entered and indoor Triathlon at Montclair State University here in New Jersey. This was just for fun as far as we were concerned. I didn’t even know that the “winners” were getting prizes. So the deal was swim for 10 minutes, ride spin bikes for 30 minutes and run(in my case walk) on the treadmill for 20 minutes. Keep in mind that I swim three to four days every week.

We had to swim two in a lane. I was in the lane with Debra who is one of our teams best swimmers. When the man said go I began to swim and by mid length I had lost it. I couldn’t breathe and was convinced that I was going to swim in to Debra who was at least a half-length ahead of me. I would be embarrassed to tell you how few lengths I did in 10 minutes.  The bike and treadmill were fine.

So what’s my point? Most of the Triathletes that I have met so far did one of the three sports when they signed up for the Tri. In my case swimming is my sport. That doesn’t mean I’m good but I’m consistent. So I was extremely upset when it was over and I had gotten so psyched out that I couldn’t do the one thing I am counting on in the Tri.

I must get control of the mental game to finish this thing. Some of those ladies can be pretty aggressive when they are doing their Tri’s. That coupled with open water (I am a pool swimmer) has me pretty nervous. Not to mention that I am incredibly slow in all three at this point.

At least I can swim with my age group not that there aren’t competitive, aggressive 60+ women but maybe they’ll be nicer? We’ll see won’t we.  Jersey Girl Triathlon, August 3, 2014, Long Branch, New Jersey will be my first!

This Healthy Stuff Takes Effort


So this morning on the news the reporters were talking about a half marathon being held somewhere that was very cold today. They mentioned that runners say they can pick their race but not the day. Okay I get it. I’m still concerned about my February 8, 2014 5K because it has been cold as all get out here in New Jersey. I went online looking for long underwear and I was reeling by the time I finished reading customer comments. So here is my current plan. First I’m going to rub and wrap the 62-year-old knees, then tights, then leggings then my Danskin pants. On top the necessary undergarment, an undershirt, tee-shirt, sweatshirt and vest. Hat to top off all. Did I mention hand and foot warmers? Okay this may be overkill but I’m getting ready. Remember I don’t run I walk so while my buddies are getting real warm I’m still gearing up.

What would happen  if I was doing a long distance race. Lol. We’ll never know!!!!

February Challenge – Cupids Chase 5K


It’s done.  Signed up for the Cupid Chase 5K in New Jersey on February 8, 2014. This  5K supports people with disabilities and is fundraiser. Donations can be made in my name (Karen Hilliard Johnson) at the Community Options, Inc website. All gifts are welcomed. If you’re local come cheer on participants or join in. The website says runners, joggers, walkers and those with wheels are welcomed! This is my next goal for the year. I’m praying for moderate weather but will do it short of bitter cold!

This Year Is About Duty To Self


I don’t mean to ignore those that depend on me like my Mom and remaining Uncle in Georgia and Aunt in New York. I just mean that I have to prioritize my time and goals this year. My husband and our sons are grown-ups with their own agenda’s. I have to focus on mine. Henry Ford said “If you think you can or you can’t you are right either way”

I think I have tremendous reasoning capabilities. Generally though I can find more reasons why I can’t and not can. I have to change that thought process so that I can do things this year. I want to sign up for this 5K for next month. I may have mentioned it. Well I spend time every day saying suppose it’s really cold. I walk slowly and may take too long. I wonder if anyone else in my crew will do it. On and on. Wow! The power of negative thinking. Got to turn that around. This morning my friend Roz and three of her friends went to the park. The two ladies ran and the two men walked. It was 5 degrees! So what was I saying? Oh yeah “If you think you can or you can’t you are right either way”