Good Natured Mom

We are all just walking each other home. -Ram Dass

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Belated Race Reports…Racing Season 2014

This post has been  long in the making…since April!

I finally added the last piece of this season’s bling (a participant ribbon) to “Joan’s Wall of Achievement”, aka the bulletin board in my office where I display all my race related treasures. As I did, I remembered some cool and not so cool things about racing season 2014 that I wanted to write about.

Fort to Fort 10k: Okay – April5, 2014 (53:26)
One of my personal goals this season was to learn how to run. After training in some truly nasty cold weather this winter I was ready to race in early April. The Fort to Fort 5k/10k are  fun races put on by The Roman Runners, a local running club that knows how to do it right. Starting at RFA high school, we ran down hill to Fort Stanwix, through the fort, and back up the hill to the school. #Fight Club, my training partners, ran with me  and we all had some personal successes. The post race party was held inside the school where it was warm and cozy. Plus – there were homemade cookies at the finish line for refueling! Memorable moment was hearing Coach Matt holler at me as I finished hard on the uphill “best uphill form of the day”. Really?? Okay – cool!

Running pals #fightclub

Running pals #fightclub

Vernon Duathlon and 5k – April 27, 2014 (26:25)
Super hilly bike course sandwiched by an out and back flat 5k was too much for me on this chilly day. I ran the 5k because I hadn’t been out on my bike much this spring and because the weather was freezing cold and windy. I ran hard and had good race and was so happy not to be freezing my cheeks off on the bike. Tim did the duathlon  and got some bling – he’s such a stud!

Tim was a winner at the Vernon Downs Duathlon 2014

Tim was a winner at the Vernon Downs Duathlon 2014

Hamtrek – May 2, 2014 (01:15:47.93)
This nice little tri season opener is through the Wellness program at work.  Lots of my co workers get involved  by racing or volunteering. I obsessed about the cold weather all week and obsessed even more about what to wear to stay warm. Nice warm pool swim, two 4.5 mile bike loops and a 5k run through the muddy pasture land and golf course…its a tough first race, but definitely helps get the kinks out – or shows you what you need  to work on.  Super fun to do this race with my work buddies!

Cold day, muddy course...triathlon racing season 2014 is underway

Cold day, muddy course…triathlon racing season 2014 is underway

Cooperstown Triathlon – May 25, 2014 (1:23:46)
I was excited to have another early season tri on the calender even if the weather was unseasonably cold and the water was barely warm enough to swim in (55 degrees).  I was determined to have a go at this race after bailing out last year (the week before) due to cold weather. And while the water was cold, the air tempts were not much better.  The frigid water numbed my feet, which became more frozen on the bike and finally thawed enough for me to feel the road terrain about halfway through the run.  Another learning experience, another challenging race, another goal set and accomplished. And I would do this race again in a heartbeat!

Summer Sizzle 5 miler – June 15, 2014 (45:12)
Partly on roads, partly through fields and trails, this race had some hard core age group competition. The weather was crisp and sunny – no June heat to deal with. Part of the Utica Road Runners race circuit, so it’s well run and fun. Tim and I won some sweet coffee mugs. Love this kind of racing!

Cazenovia 4th of July 5k (25:23)
Well established race and a good alternative to the Utica Boilermaker. I ran the short course 5k while Tim ran the 10 miler. Hilly start  turned into a long down hill. Surprised myself and PRed this one so it’s a new favorite! (Also, after this race I did a quick OWS at the beach while Tim was running. Memorable, in part, because I left my Garmin in the bath house after a the swim and had to drive to Syracuse later in the day to pick it up from the race director). My husband is a saint for all the driving around he did for me that day while we frantically hunted for my watch.

Mini Mussel Sprint Triathlon – July 12, 2014 (1:34:16)
Most memorable moment was being passed in the chute by someone in my age group. (picture below)

The lady behind me passed me in the shoot!

The lady behind me passed me in the shoot!

Booooo! Shame on me for not finishing stronger. Lesson learned. But some cool things happened too. I met Mary Eggers and got a pre race hug. A triathlon blessing of sorts…and it meant a lot to me. The race has been around for a long time and has several community based green/sustainable efforts attached to it. Add to that – a channel swim with a little current to keep you going in the right direction; rolling hills on the bike course; and a run along the lakefront.  Note to self:  next year – don’t wear the bike shoes in transtion! The pavement was slick and I could have saved some time if I ran into and out of the bike transitions without cleats on my feet.


Lake Delta Triathlon  – July 20, 2014 (2:43:59)
Olympic Distance – first one of the season. I was getting pretty comfortable with the sprint tri distance, which = go hard all the way. Olympic distance means you have to go hard, but have enough gas in the tank  to finish…which is not so easy to do. But – the weather was great (not too hot) and leader of the Swim Bike Mom army, Meredith Atwood, was on hand to meet and race with us. I biked strong, thanks in part to my friend’s (magical) aero helmet…my bike split was even faster than Tim’s (what??)!And how could I not mention that I lost my contacts (somewhere behind my eyeballs) after the swim. They miraculously reappeared 9 miles on my bike. Yikes!! I was riding with super compromised vision …the good thing was that I knew the course very well and was careful, careful, careful. Special thanks to Jeremy for screaming at me to pick it up on the run. He totally kept me focused and fast! (Last year’s time was 2:56:07. Solid improvement this year!)

Delta swim 2014

Note the magical aero helmet

Note the magical aero helmet

Delta Run 2014


Bolder Inspiration of Trenton Falls– 5 Miler – August 2, 2014 (45:23)
Gorgeous setting in Trenton Falls, small race field, running in the shade on hard packed dirt roads…some of the wonderfulness of this race…plus, cool shirts, great post race food and super friendly and attentive race directors. My goal for this race was to stay ahead of the guy running in the golf shirt…and I did! I love this race!

We came home with some bling.

We came home with some bling.

Cazenovia Triathlon August 10, 2014 (2:54:17)
Tough course, but I mastered some pretty big hills and felt amazingly awesome about this race. See my race report in an earlier post.

Yeah - I finished...hardest race to date.

Yeah – I finished…hardest race to date. – August 23, 2014 (28:49)


Utica Roadrunners XC meet – August 23, 2014 (28:49)
Super small field, comprised mostly of high school runners. Got lost on the course, had to off road it through some tall grass, but still had a fun chasing down and trying to keep up with the young ‘uns. After this race I feel like I can officially use the term “bad ass” to describe myself.

Pete Gavin XC Series – September 14, 2014 (27:26)
Pretty hard core group of XC crazies at this race. Jamesville Beach has always been one of my favorite race courses; it loops around a grassy field, through some woods and back again. Super fast first mile…finished at the back of the pack, but still had a fast 5k…love this XC racing! Wish I had worn my #fightclub race tank. Totally would have fit in with all the other cool racing singlets I saw that day. Beautiful day and tons of fun!

Falling Leaves 5k – September 28, 2014 (25:42)
Always a good race, but even better when the weather is sunny and mild (50s at the start…80s later in the day).  Foot issues, namely plantar fasciitis, surfaced in the last few weeks making this little 5k more painful than it should have been. I was going for a PR, and missed it by a few seconds. But I ran my first mile ever in the sevens – pretty awesome!

Syracuse Festival of Races 5k – October 5, 2014 (26:17)
So many good things about this race. Easy to get to, moderately priced, excellent competition, fast and flat course. The weather was perfect – chilly, but clear and sunny. After obsessing about race clothing on Saturday, I changed from my long sleeve compression shirt minutes before the start into Tim’s, newly raced in and just removed, Utica Road Runners singlet. I was glad I did. The sun warmed me up quite nicely. Once again, my first mile was in the sevens – which is very exciting. No PR this time ( my goal) but I continue to improve as I learn more and more about running and racing.

And that wraps up Racing Season 2014. Such a good season. I’m grateful for all of Tim’s help and support and Matt’s thoughtful training plans and encouragement. I’ve been resting and recovering for a few weeks. No workouts – not even walks about town or yoga; boot, ice and tennis ball therapy for the foot, and sleeping in and dreaming about 2015. 🙂






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Cleaning out the closet

Cleaning the closet during a down time is cathartic and a workout all its own.  I looked at the piled up mess in the basement storage room and was reduced to sighs and a sense of impending doom. Never have I let my belongings over take such a space as I had these last few years. We haven’t moved since 2005 and our build up of clutter is apparent. I am ashamed to accumulate this much stuff… and I know it’s not all mine, but that of 3 or 4 other family members who hang onto old clothes, weird relics and undefinable objects “just in case.” And I sigh again…
But here’s the thing… and I know I can’t directly relate all of my recent growth experiences to triathlon training, but I looked at a shelf and decided to work on sorting through and clearing out that one little area. Then onto the next shelf, and so on…The experience is very similar to looking at the 17 pages of work out material my coach just sent me for winter training and remembering that he doesn’t expect me to do it all in one day. Or that I do each triathlon as a series of 3 events with two transitions.. but one at a time…not all five segments at once. Obvious, I know, but it’s taken me a long time to get a handle on “slow and steady”. Gosh, I think back to when the kids were little and I tried to get EVERYTHING done in one day, just because… you know, I must “clean all the things” ( see blogger  Allie Brosh’s post  in her blog Hyperbole and a half .) In the past I have been hyper and completely consumed by multi tasks and my ability to go hard for 11 or 12 hours in order to finish what I started. Really – get-outta-my-way-or-you-will-get-run-over-by-me kind of thinking. I’m mellow these days. Let’s blame triathlon for that.
So last night, as I continue my break from Type A, perfectionist, triathlon training, I cleaned a storage room. That’s how I relax. I pushed heavy boxes across the floor, emptied them out and sorted their contents. I piled up bulky arm loads of old coats and dresses for shipping off to good will. Looked at boxes of fabric and curtains and table cloths that I’ll never use. And I stopped to look at some pictures of my first born, now newly married.
I’m half way to being finished sorting this mess. I will take my time and enjoy good feelings and try to remember why I saved all these things in the first place. Then they will be given away to be stored and used (or not) by someone else.