Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Letters: It's almost over

I cannot believe the day is finally here!  It is the last school day with the seniors.  Summer vacation doesn't start until June 9 but the next few weeks shouldn't take as much energy out of me.  I haven't done Friday letters in a long time because my life has been run by a long work commute and I finally have a few seconds to sit down and write these, so here they go.

Dear Friday,
I am so happy you have showed your face once again and it is such a glorious thing!  I am excited for the many activities this weekend including tonight's little happy hour for Carol for her pre-wedding!

This picture made it into the senior yearbook :)
Dear Seniors,
Even though you will never see this (most likely) I want to wish you luck!  You have really grown up over the last few months I have taught you.  Not only did I get the privilege to teach you but I learned many lessons along the way from you.  Each one of you has the ability to succeed as long as you put your mind to it.  Show good energy.  Remember to be a good person.  I am excited to see you walk across that stage in a few weeks at gradation.  I am excited to see you all dolled up and excited for prom.  I hope you remember the good times you had in high school and learned from the bad.  Good luck and enjoy life:)

Dear House,
I love you!  We closed on our house a few weeks ago and it is coming along slowly.  There are a few big pieces of furniture we need in order to finish unpacking so there are still some beautiful boxes laying around.  If anyone would like o come over and help us that would be great, or give us a bookshelf or two, DVD holder, or ever put together a bed that would be great!

Dear Florida Weather,
I wouldn't mind if you cooled down a little or weren't so humid.  I know I shouldn't be complaining because there are some states have it so much worse but I am warm, very warm, and having a classroom in which the air conditioner isn't working right now is not fun.. AT ALL

Do you have any plans this weekend?
mine consist of Prom, Alumni Get together, and joining a new running group! Ahh wish me luck:)

Friday, April 25, 2014

It's almost show time

... and by showtime I mean raceday

I still here writing his and it is just about 36 hours until I get into that water to start the 1500 meter swim for St. Anthony's Triathlon.  

So many thoughts are going through my mind right now I don't really know where to start nor am I going to put them out here.  My anxiety is elevated but I do know however long it takes me to finish.. I will finish.. Unless there is a flat tire then I really do not know what I am going to do, besides cry.

So here are my goals

1.  Finish
2.  Not die
3.  Be able to function on Monday :)

Ok, so here are my other goals.


I want to make it out of the water and not be the last one out.  I have never done a tri before so I ideally have no idea how long it is going to take.  1500 meters, can I be out in 45 minutes?  I hope so.  

The Bike

Not fall or break the bike.
The Bike is 40k which is about 25 miles.  I am not a strong biker (yet) so I am hoping to finish under two hours.  There are turn on the course and well, knowing me, I will fully unclip for those and slow down.  Better safe than sorry in my book.

The Run

I am looking forward to this run.  I am looking forward to being done with the swim and bike and just going.  The temperate has been on the rise for the last few days and by the time I am ready to run it will probably close to 11:30?  My original goal was sub 11 min miles but with the temps being close to 90, I really don't know what will happen.  I will still strive for that goal..

so Final goal.. Finish around 4 hours.

And there you go ladies and gents, my very high goals for my first triathlon.

Also, thank you to everyone who has donated and supported me along the way.  This was NOT an individual effort.

What are your tips for my first tri?
How much am I completely forgetting?

Thursday, April 24, 2014



Too Inspired By What's Transpired.

This is Michelle.
Picture from facebook 

Michelle is a local runner (Tampa) who just completed her first marathon in February.  On March 14, 2014 she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The prescribed 42 days of chemotherapy and 33 radiation treatments started on April 16th. During the week between brain surgeries Michelle realized that there was only one way to face this challenge and it is the same way she has approached her life: with a positive and selfless attitude focused on using her experiences to help others.  Just one of the many ways she inspires and is a FIGHTER is by providing daily insights and inspirations throughout this journey @ 

Michelle is part of the running group I joined a few years ago when I was training for the NYC Marathon (the first time) .  The group of people I have met through this organization are remarkable.    Her husband Ryan created a Miles for Moffitt team for the Miles for Moffitt race here in Tampa on May 10th.  Anyone can join to show support for the fight and I encourage you to do so and if you can't, feel free to make a donation. They have banned together to try and make the largest group and raise the most amount of money as a team.  There are distances for everyone to join.  8k, 5k, and a fun 1 mile!!!  I already signed Behn up for this race because I committed to another team previously (#TeamJudy for Steph's Mom).  We are excited to do the 8k this year.  

They are also selling shirts, news channel 8 will be there featuring Michelle before the race.  Gaspars grotto in Ybor is sponsoring the after party.  (They pulled out all the stops)

Barre Fitness-Friday, May 2- all classes will be donations classes only IF you will BE the change! If you attend class this day and decide to donate a minimum of $20, your account will be credited a free class! Donations will go to Michelle Boyd DeJong John's location will donate 20% of total sales between 3-9 tomorrow, April 25 for the Miles For Moffitt team.  (Downtown Tampa)

Team Webpage to sign up here

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My First OWS..My First Triple Brick

As you are aware, I am currently training for my first triathlon.  Ok, well maybe my second but I consider my first one to be a "baby" one!  It was in the pool and it was reverse and it was HARD!

I am training with a private coach as well as one with Team in Training.  Training with TEAM is important for me.  I fundraise to eliminate cancer.  Unfortunately we have all been effected with cancer in one way or another.

Saturday was my first triple brick.  We arrived at the beach at 7 am and it took us, well me, about an hour for us to get out wetsuits on.  I had to try on more than one and was lucky enough that Andi brought a few extras.  Coach Gene showed us how to set up transition, how to position helmets, socks. I learned about a water basin for your feet.  Who would have known!  Around 8 we went into the water.  We were only to go waist deep and swim back and forth between two poles and use a building and some trees for sighting.  Yup, Definitely did NOT get the sighting down as I was everywhere.

The Swim

When I first put my feet into the water I was surprised how warm the water was.  I have no idea the temperature but I was expecting COLD, like New Jersey water cold!  It was pleasantly nice.  I started to freak.  One of my biggest fears is the ocean.  When I go to the beach I do not go past my waist because I do not even like to get my hands wet.  I don't like them feeling sticky.  (come to think of it, I don't even remember them being sticky after exiting the water- magic I guess).  I mumbled to myself, "Why did I sign up for this".  I think we were all nervous but knew we had to dive right in.  I looked around, watched everyone else go it and I was off.  I was surprised I couldn't see the bottom of the water.  I was shocked.  I just assumed it was something I would see.  One lap was very scary, I had no idea where I was going, which direction I was swimming in, was I going to hit anyone, was anything going to eat me.  Ok, so maybe the whole is anything going to eat me wasn't going through my head.  While I tried to focus on my stroke I would try and sight.  At some points I would stop and just try and figure out where I was, which direction I was swimming in.  It helped having a wetsuit because I never once felt like I was going to drown.  After the first out and back I got into a grove.  The only scary part was was I going to hit anyone so I kept looking up.  When our 30 minutes was up it was time to practice transition.  I also noticed my Garmin as very off!  It told me I swam 1.3 miles, clearly that is very incorrect!

We ran out.  I attempted to strip my wetsuit.  That didn't work.  I may have almost had a breakdown right there and then.  I had a long sleeve on and it just wouldn't go past my elbows.  I had to sit down and pull this thing off me.  I had to take my watch off so I can get the other arm out.  I was a mess!  I cleaned my feet got all my stuff ready and was off to the bike.

The Bike

I had no idea how long or far we were biking, I assumed a few miles.. I was wrong.  I did 23.5 with one bottle of water.  I wish I brought some fuel with me.  I didn't know the route.  Luckily I just followed people and then got into a grove.  My teammates all caught up to me on the bike.  I am not the fastest biker out there.  There is lots of room for improvement in the future.  Because we were riding in heavy traffic, I was concerned about getting water from underneath so I pulled to the sidewalk to get water.  Any teammate that passed by made sure I was OK.  Coach Gene caught up to me, made sure I was ok.  This was about mile 6 and I asked how much further.  He said about 2 miles or so, no it was more like 6 more.  DAMN!!!  Teresa and him were waiting at the turn around and as soon as I made my way there Michelle was right behind us!  The way back I was a little quicker than the way there.  I also manages to bruise my ankle on the pedal.  At one of the bridge crossing I unclipped to cross the road.  The cars had the green light but the cross walkers did not, I tried to cross and a car came, because I was unclipped and trying to clip in quickly, my ankle went right into the pedal.  It is nice and cut up and bruised today.  Luckily I have only fallen off the bike once, while I was at the store but I have fallen onto or into the bike more times that I can remember and have the battle wounds to show for it.  I managed to ride 23.5 miles at a pace of 14mph.  I was pleased with that because we were on roads!  Once We were down, my butt was so happy to be done.  It was time to run.  I was not looking forward to that.  Quickly back to transition, but my bike away, got some water, ate about 1/4 of a bonk breaker and the run was about to begin.

The Run

At this point for the run I was beat.  I was hungry.  I hadn't eaten yet and didn't take fuel on the bike.  I got done just about the time Teresa was ready to run.  We decided we would run the bridge.  I had to use the restroom quickly and shortly followed behind.  I went up that bridge nice and slow and boy were my legs hurting from the ride.  Once up the bridge I ran about a third of a mile flat and up the bridge I went.  I had to play games with my mind to finish this run.  First I said, ok, 1.5 miles or 15 minutes, whichever comes first is when you can turn around.  Once I made it over the bridge the first time I actually felt OK.  Once over the bridge the second time my watch hit 20 minutes and new I could keep going.  Most people were doing a 30-60 mile run.  This was my fist time doing 1. an OWS and 2. a triple brick and didn't want to over do it.  I told myself run 10 minutes out and 10 minutes back and then you are good!  When I hit 30 minutes I started to chafe.  I started to chafe right where the butt cheek meets the leg on the left side.  Is it from the salt, new shorts, and running, is it the salt and biking?   Who knows!  On the way back I realized the faster I run the faster I am done.  I negative split the miles (minus the second bridge).  When I was done I was elated!  I finished my first triple brick, OWS, and felt confident with the miles put it!

I am just thrilled for the next few weeks.  This really gave me the boost I needed.  I was really nervous and doubting my ability to complete this event!

Also, thank you so much to those who have already donated to my fundraising efforts!  I am less than $350.00 from my first goal!!!  If you haven't, please take a minute to donate here.  Even something as little as $5.00 would mean so much to me!

THANK YOU for all the ongoing support!

Questions for you!!

Recommendations for chafing???

How the hell does one get their wetsuit off??

Struggling to get the wetsuit off

still struggling

breakdown about to start