Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gulf Coast RR by DS

Before my coach spits tea all over her computer (after reading the title of the post), let me explain that the race report mentioned in the header is not my own. And unless my back has decided to miraculously heal and my name is Donna, then I can't take credit for a race well done.

As my fellow Panama City Beachers - Mary and Ashley - have all posted their race reports, my blog was feeling a bit, er, left out.

Is that even possible?

Yes, I've decided that it is.

As I am unable to race in my current state, the race reports have been a bit lacking. Unless you want to count race walking other spinal patients of the 4th Floor Recovery Ward at Scripps La Jolla Hospital. Which, I might add, I did with a passion. But let's face it - it's just not the same walking down another person using a walker, even if you are also using a walker.

Perhaps I'll write about that one day...

I think my nurses were at first concerned, amused, and then concerned when I was still walking after 50 minutes. I am totally serious here. This was (by the way) 2 days post surgery.

Anyway, here's Donna's race report! Enjoy!!

Last weekend was the Gulf Coast Half Iron Distance Triathlon in Panama City Beach, one of the big tri's I've been training my heart out for. And it was wonderful, worth it, and I'm ready to go again!

Joanna and I leisurely drove over from Pensacola Friday afternoon, stopping along the way in Destin to grab sandwiches and soup from Panera and hit the Shoppes. We met Marit, Mary and Ashley, (three amazing athletes, and very cool women) at the hotel that they graciously shared with us! After introductions, Joanna and I went to scope out the race site and I picked my packet up. Lots of vendors and LOTS of people and TONS of really cool bikes!!! (especially when compared to my purple handlebarred dinosaur) Then we went back to the room, I did my quick bike/run pre-race brick workout, showered, and went to drop my bike off in the transition area. Carrabbas was next for a De!- licous pasta dinner- and then to bed!

3:30 a.m. Breakfast number one, clifbar. back to bed.

4:00 a.m. Awakening to the chorus of 5 cell phone alarms, and shortly after, Marits excellent french press coffee. She really knows how to do this whole triathlon thing!

4:45 a.m. Second breakfast. Chocolate boost and banana. Leave for race site.

5:00 a.m. Set up transition area and hit the port-o-potties 5 to 10 times. Pre race nerves. WOW. ;-)

6:00 a.m. Head to swim start, shimmy on wet suit and get ready to RACE!!!!

6:30 a.m. Swim start for women 25-29 age group. 1.2 miles in the choppy Gulf of Mexico. Off to bike 56 miles and then to run 13.1.

5 hours, 27 minutes and 12 seconds later, I crossed the finish line. 45 minutes faster than my last time at this distance one year ago. I guess the 'if you want to quit your job but can't, then this is the training program for you' training program worked! Awesome! I made the podium for my age group. The awards went 10 deep and I was 10th which is wonderful- a lot more than I was expecting.

My swim was solid, the bike was very smooth, and the run while hot, humid and sunny was ... well... I finished! And even with a sprint at the end. Details and pictures soon to be up at

There you have it!

In her second half ironman, Donna did fantastic! It made me so happy to see her race: diving fearlessly into the surf, wizzing by on the bike (could spot her because of the bright purple handlebar tape - a great help to two sherpas desperately scanning the crowds of bikers - comes strongly recomended. Your bike may look a bit, er, bright. But it is easy to spot. Trust me!), and storming out of T2 on the run.

As for me, well, today I'm heading home to St. Paul, MN for a few days with my folks. Right now, as I'm not racing - but getting back into training - is a perfect chance to spend some quality time with The Folks. Mom even looked into a weekly pass to the local YWCA, so I'll be able to continue with my water running, swimming, physical therapy, and (now! hooray!) biking. My goal is to NOT spend a lot of time at the gym, but as my recovery and rise to triathlon fitness grows, I know that I'll need to put in some good quality work.

And trust me, I am super excited about that.

In general, it'll be wonderful to see my parents. Last time I saw Dad was out in California. I hope that he's stoked about the difference. (I know he will be). Mom was here in Florida in April, and hasn't seen the swimming-water running-physical therapy workout-biking gal that I've become. My scar, while not as puffy, is still there, still as prominent as ever.

And I'm glad about that.

Because I'm looking at it as a battle wound - a badge of honor. Yes, it still looks like a butt crack - but that's beside the point.

Because let's face it: things on the surface are very different then how they are deep down. But not in a freaky bad-sort-of way. You just can't judge a book by its cover.

So when I get to the airport and get searched, wanded, patted down, and everything short of giving up my firstborn (no - not happening YET), I'll have a great story about the scar on my back. 8 weeks and 4 days Baby! (Not that I'm counting!)

To St. Paul and Mom and Dad - here I come!


Pedergraham said...

Have a wonderful time at home with your family. St. Paul should be beautiful at this time of year.

Anonymous said...

Have a great time in MN!! And, posting your friend's RR was super...I enjoyed reading it. She did great! :) Jen H.

Amber and Eric Rydholm said...

I'd tell you to eat some lutefisk, but I don't think your Norwegian.

If you stick around there for a week, you could Sherpa for Amber and me at the bike races in Duluth.


TriGirl Kate O said...

Enjoy the time with the folks.

rr said...

Have a wonderful trip Marit!! I'm so glad you're back on the bike some too - makes life so much better :)

Enjoy the fam.

And congrats Donna on that incredible improvement!


Sarah said...

Save travels, Marit!

And I'm so glad to hear you are already getting back on the bike. You really are amazing!