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Sunday, August 4, 2019

Just thought I'd TRI something new

This summer has been quite interesting for both of us. As mentioned in our last post, we had some upcoming goals. We didn't end up doing a half marathon this spring like we were hoping to do, but we have found plenty of other things to keep us busy. As I mentioned in our previous post, I got a bike! And I actually enjoy riding it! Since I got my bike in April, I started riding more and more, and I also decided to start swimming again. All of this cross training has been really good for me since I had hurt my ankle twice in the past 10 months. I feel like I'm mostly recovered from it, but it's been a nice change of pace to swim and bike, and I've been building my running miles back up in addition. 

We've been swimmin'
We've been bikin'
We've been runnin'

Anyway, you can probably see where this is going.... I was toying with the idea of doing a triathlon at this point. Alfredo had done several within the past 5 years and I never thought I'd be able to do it because I was terrified of the bike. So I was thinking maybe I'll go for a sprint. I was too scared to sign up, though. I was thinking about trying the High Point Sprint, which is a little over an hour away from us, and it was going to be far enough out (it is coming up on August 10) so I could train for it.

But Alfredo had other plans for me. Back in June, I was surprised by how my training had taken off. I was able to complete more than enough swimming, biking, and running, and I was doing bricks and everything. I felt ready for a sprint already?!?! So SURPRISE! As an early anniversary present (our anniversary is August 14) he signed me up for a sprint scheduled for July 20- the New Jersey State Triathlon. And he just signed ME up. Even though he wanted to sign himself up too, he decided to let me have this race for myself. And HE was MY Sherpa again for once.

Race day has come and gone now at this point, but I'm finally sitting down to type it all up. We traveled to New Jersey the Friday before the race on Saturday. We got there with plenty of time to pick up my packet and walk through transition and see a little bit of the course. I'm glad I was able to do that, because I was really nervous about my transitions. I felt ready in each area, just not so much the transitions. I got a feel for the course and I knew what to expect. Oh, and by the way this was when the entire east coast of the United States was having a heat wave. So unfortunately, they did announce that they were cutting the distance, but it was better than the races being canceled. For the sprint, the swim and the bike were the same, but the run was cut down from a 5K to 2 miles. This way, the hope was that everyone will be done before it gets dangerously hot.

Found my transition area! Number 795!

I woke up on Saturday morning and it was already like 80 degrees, no joke. I set up my transition area, and I was feeling prepared. I made my way to the swim start, and I was able to watch the other waves start at 7:30. I didn't start until 8. I took off in the swim, and I was thankful that I had done an open water practice swim FOR SURE. Other swimmers were out there panicking, and I can totally see why. I couldn't see anything, and I kept getting kicked. But after a couple hundred meters, it wasn't so bad. My Garmin map of the swim looks like I was having some issues though....

Preparing to swim!
This is supposed to be a perfect rectangle....
Anyway, then I came out of the water feeling good. I found my bike in transition easy peasy because I had practiced it the day before. I took off goggles and swim cap, put on helmet and bike shoes, and away I went! I was really happy with my transition, but the distance from the transition area to the mount line was longer than I expected so I was ready to just get on my bike. I was nervous about that too because I get anxious when people are watching me and I have a hard time getting started on my bike. I had a minor freak out trying to get on my bike, but then once I got started, I was off! The bike course was flat and fast like the website said, so I was really glad. I was able to hold my own, and I even managed to average 16 mph! That was my fastest average ever! I came back in, dismounted at the line, then took the long walk back to transition. 

Ridin dirty

Helmet off, change shoes, hat and race belt on, and I was out like a flash. A slow, sweaty, awkward flash. I was excited about the run, since that's where I'm most comfortable. I took off waaaaaaaaaaaay too fast, but then I managed to hold on pretty good. I was able to pass several people who were probably from the New Jersey area or further north, because they weren't used to this weather. But at this point it was close to 90 degrees, and that's what we'd been dealing with in southern VA for the past 2 months already... ew. It was a quick 2 miles, and then I came through the finishing chute.

At the risk of sounding narcissistic I love this picture of myself.

Finish line pictures and videos ALWAYS give me goosebumps, or make me cry, or both. It's always emotional to watch someone cross a finish line. But let me tell you what, nothing compares to doing it yourself. The race announcer called out my name (he even said my last name correctly!) and he added that it was my first triathlon and everyone was just cheering so loud I 'bout near lost my mind. 


Final reflections: I had a blast doing my first triathlon. I was able to finish the swim, the bike, and the run with confidence. My transitions weren't as terrible as I thought. And most importantly: I figured out which anti-chafing solution would be best for an event like this. No chafing! Oh, and I was concerned about my hair holding up going from swim cap to a bike helmet to a hat during the run. I French braided it and it held up too. All in all, I would say this was a great success. And now I'm still swimming and biking in addition to my running.... So maybe, just maybe, I'll want to do something a little longer...?

After the triathlon, we stayed and explored New Jersey and New York city too. It was such a fun little weekend getaway!

Just one of the many pictures we took in NYC

Oh yeah, Alfredo has been training hard and putting in a lot of speedwork to do the Martinsville Mile, coming up on August 17. He's excited to see how he can do then! As for what else is coming up, we don't have anything set in stone yet, but we have a few ideas.

Oh, and Fat Harry helped me practice my transition set up
before the NJ tri. I owe my success to her.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Blog Check, Blog Check 1-2, 1-2

Hey hey hey, where y'all been? Wait, you guys have been here this whole time? It's us that disappeared? About that.... YIKES. Well guess what? 

Weeeeee're baaaaaaaack!

And now, I am challenging us to update you on all the crazy things that have happened since our last post that was on June 21, 2018. The kicker will be- I challenge us to post one picture with a one-sentence caption about each event/day in a visual timeline-like format for your viewing pleasure. Ready? Here we go!


7/9/18: A's 12-week Ironman training plan kicked off.
7/12/18: A&E run DC on an unofficial running tour around
the city after jamming out to a TSwift concert!

8/14/18: A&E celebrate 8 years of mawwiage!


9/8/18: A completes the Claytor Lake Sprint Triathlon
to get his tri-legs ready for 
Ironman Maryland coming up.

9/27/18: A's big weekend is finally here as we travel to Maryland for his full Ironman.

9/29/18: A celebrates his well-deserved Ironman finish,
with the flag of his new country of citizenship
draped over his shoulders (he got his citizenship earlier this month).


10/6/18: A makes his Podcast debut with the
Like A Bigfoot Podcast about his Ironman experience.

10/31/18: After several months of struggling
with running-related motivation for
her upcoming marathon scheduled for 11/10/18,
E rolls her ankle on a run and
damages her peroneal tendons (self-diagnosed).


11/10/18: A finishes Richmond with a PR of 2:56:44,
and E barely crosses the finish line in one piece.
11/18/18: A finishes the Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra
for his first 100 mile race!!!!!!!!!!!

12/24/18: Jingle for Jesus 5K group run has its
highest participation yet with around 50 people!


A starts Blue Ridge Marathon/Boston Marathon training,
while E tries to walk/run because...
...E is still hurt.


A continues Blue Ridge Marathon/Boston Marathon training.
E is still hurt, but getting better and she got new shoes for her bday!


3/30/19: A completes the Martinsville Half Marathon
for the 9th year in a row.

4/2/19: E rolls her ankle and gets hurt again!

4/13/19: A places 2nd overall in the Blue Ridge Marathon
in the 10th annual running.

A&E go to Boston and fun was had.

E gets a bike!

5/5/19: E decides 10 months is too long to go without a blog post
and finally sits down to complete this.

Now some spoilers of what may be coming up for us...

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summertime Catch-up Post

It's happening again, friends. We have fallen behind on our blogging, but our running just keeps on going and going! So here we are, this summer has already been incredibly eventful, and we are falling behind on our posting. Because of this, we have decided to do a quick and dirty recap of all of the happenings thus far in the summer season. Buckle up, because we're going to go fast!

Georgia Peach Jam Half Marathon

We went to Georgia to visit my family for Memorial Day as we frequently do, and I stumbled upon the Georgia Peach Jam Half Marathon that was actually on Memorial Day. It was close by to where we were staying, and it was flat and fast and perfect! Alfredo didn't have any major goals besides to finish strong, but I wanted a PR and I wanted it bad! 2:12:33 was the time to beat, but I secretly wanted to go under 2:10, because I managed to hit 2:11 on a training run so I felt like it was totally possible. Fast forward through a rainy, but still somewhat cool race, which turned out to be pretty perfect, we both pushed pretty hard and did indeed finish strong. He finished in 1:25:59 which put him finishing in 3rd place overall! This was a pleasant surprise, as there were some strong competitors out there. I managed to finish in 2:07:14! So I met both of my goals! And I finished in 8th out of 23 in my age group, which was also extremely competitive so I will totally take it. I'm usually comfortably in the middle of the pack, so being closer the front was SUPER EXCITING! Oh and then later that day, I got stung by a scorpion. Crazy right? Anyway... moving on-- NEXT!

Our finish line photo!
My scorpion friend....

Martinsville Speedway Mile

This was such a fun event that both of us did: The Martinsville Speedway Mile. This was an inaugural event in our hometown on a real NASCAR Speedway! Two laps around the "half mile of mayhem" was all we had to do for our first official mile distance road race. We had big goals (his: finish sub 5:15, hers hit a mile PR of sub 7:16). We turned it out and kind of met our goals. Alfredo finished in 4:59 (!!!!!!!!!) and I finished officially in a time of 7:17 and was fairly bummed, but I guess I didn't take the shortest path along the route, and my Garmin said I hit the mile at 7:06. Big difference, so I don't know who to believe. Oh well, there's always another mile! MOVING ON! NEXT!

Coming into the finish line

I'm #1 ;)

First place age group for both of us!

Jamestown Olympic Distance Triathlon

Alfredo did the Jamestown Olympic Distance Triathlon on June 9th, so a couple of weeks ago at this point. I did not participate, obviously, since I still have the whole fear of bikes thing going on. Anyway,  we traveled to Williamsburg/Jamestown that Friday for him to race on Saturday morning. He practiced his transitions the night before, then when he arrived Saturday morning he set up shop in the transition area and headed over to the swim start. The goal for the swim was to survive, and he did with a time of 33:39 for the 1500 m swim. He made his way to the transition area (which was quite a long haul from the swim finish) and quickly completed his swim to bike transition. He took off on the 40K bike course and felt strong. He finished in a time of 1:09:28, which was right on his goal of maintaining 20 mph. He had an even faster bike to run transition of just 58 seconds (!!!!!!) and then took off on his 10K run. His goal was 40 minutes for the run, and you'll never believe what his time was.... 40:00. Like, 40 minutes and no seconds. Exactly his goal. Cray-cray right? This brought him to a total time of 2:26:39, 29th overall, and 2nd place in his age group. ROCK ON! MOVING ON. NEXT!

Out of the swim

Coming back from the bike

Finishing the run!

Proud finisher!

2nd in his age group out of 16

Run for Justice 5K

I was able to run the Run for Justice 5K just last weekend on June 16. There was a 5K or 10K option, but due to the hot weather and the level of my training, I figured I'd stick with the 5K distance. I was really really hoping for a PR (under 27:30) which I thought I'd be able to do based on my recent mile time trials. But I didn't quite consider that I'm not quite acclimated to the heat. It was a warm, humid morning, and the race didn't start until 9 AM so the sun was in full force by start time. I pushed throughout, but my Garmin lost satellite reception and made me angry and confused, and I kind of just gave up halfway through. I managed to finish in 27:45, so really close to a PR. I was happy to finish 2nd overall female though! That's definitely a bright side! Enough of that, moving on! NEXT!


It's that time of year again! I am once again participating in the Runner's World Summer Run Streak! (Read about last year's streak and the year before) It started back on Memorial Day and is going through July 4th. I am doing at least a mile every day, and I am 25 days in and going strong! You can follow my posts about the run streak on my Instagram. (I am doing most of my #rwrunstreak posts on my stories.) Alrighty, NEXT!

Oh wait, what is next? That's it for now, and we don't really have anything immediately on the docket as to what comes next. We are starting to think about our fall season and our big goal races, so stay tuned for that I guess?