Thank You!!

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Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far.  Because of YOU I am 36% of the way to my fundraising goal of $5,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Because of YOU we are that much closer to finding a cure for cancer.  Because of YOU this lady – my grandma, my first dancing partner and swimming (among countless other activities) cheerleader – is still remembered and alive in our thoughts and actions.  (She rarely got in the pool and when she did she made sure to NEVER get her hair wet, but she loved watching us splash around!)

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If you haven’t already, please consider donating to my LLS fundraiser.  http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/nyctri15/meredith

In other triathlon news:  Swimming is about to get kicked up a notch – Boyfriend and I are going to take it to a whole new level!  Wait until you hear about what is going to happen over the weekend.  All I can say is that I am SO excited and will take a ton of pictures for you all.  It is just what we need to prepare ourselves for the first team open water swim at Coney Island that is scheduled for June 13th. (Yikes – that is coming up quickly…!)

Stay tuned!

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Little of This, Little of That

Yikes! It’s been a while since the last time I wrote! Don’t worry – my time has been training-filled and full of learning experiences. Since my last blog entry – the NYC Half – I have done 2 more half marathons! Last month was the More Shape Women’s Half Marathon, which was 2 laps around Central Park. Great race, boring route.  I know, calling Central Park boring makes me sound like a brat, but after the scenic-filled NYC Half, that park just seemed uneventful.  And 2 times on Harlem Hill was no walk in the park.  (Bad pun?  Is that even a pun?  Whatever, it’s staying.)  Here are some highlights:

IMG_2565-4 The race was sponsored by Shape Magazine, whose parent company is Meredith! It was nice to see my name plastered all over the place during packet pick-up and I pretended to be a celeb – the Meb Keflezighi or Deena Kastor of the race.

IMG_2579-1 Just me, my race, and my Nathan.  (Not that Nathan, sillies.  My other Nathan – the cool little running belt I got from my mom!)

IMG_2587 Here I am debating what to have for brunch when the race was over.  Tofu scramble with all the fixings? Toasted sesame seed bagel dripping in (tofu) cream cheese and Earth Balance?  Definitely a Bloody Mary.  Or a Mimosa sounds good.  I always want mi-more mimosa.

CP3 Done!  Apple in my hand and brunch on my mind (still).

CP4 Not bad for a “boring” course, right?!

 

Ok, all caught up on the Women’s Half?  Good!

Now on to the next one:
Last Saturday, over 26,500 of us tackled the Brooklyn Half Marathon – the biggest one in the country! Another spectacular event put on by New York Road Runners. The humidity (76%) and 15 minutes of rain could have thrown us all into a frantic state of disarray, but we pulled through!

Actually, I really hate to say this, but this race had a lot of casualties – many more than I am used to seeing. Probably because of the humidity?  I saw so many people fainting.  A seizure, maybe even 2.  AND heard that there was a heart attack right behind me.  I (along with some guy who was running near me) had to veer off couse one time to flag down a police officer for someone who needed serious medical attention, and helped to wave down EMT on at least 2 other occassions.  It was scary.  BUT all that, the humidity, and the rain aside, it really was a good run.  The Brooklyn Half is one of my favorite races and I had been looking forward to it for a while.

BKprePacket pickup.  No sleep ’til Brooklyn!!

BK1 DADA DADA DADA DADA BATMAN.

BK2Champions.  Warriors.  Winners.  (or just 3 people ready to go back to bed.  We had gotten up at 4:45am to get to the starting line for 7am.  By 9:30am we were far from home, tired, sore, and maybe a little delirious.  But we were done!)

What’s next on the agenda? A lot of swimming. It’s time to step up my game a bit and show that water who is boss. TNT group training sessions in swimming have continued to be extremely helpful and valuable. Even though I did most of the swim practices last year, I am still learning tips and tricks that have helped my form and overall execution of the stroke and I feel surprisingly calm, cool and collected in the water (a welcome change from this time last year). Regardless – there will be plenty goggles, open water swims at Coney Island, and Body Glide in my immediate future, and I am perfectly fine with that!

Although I have a high commitment to my training, I still need some motivation to keep me going sometimes. Your donation to my Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) fundraiser is just what I need to push me through rainy days and mental blocks, to get me pounding the pavement, into the water, and spinning those wheels. Your donations helps me to realize that this is all for something bigger, and I thank you!

http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/nyctri15/Meredith

Click on my fundraising page and please consider making whatever contribution you can. No penny is too little, and no dollar is too large- everything will help to make a positive change.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”  – Anne Frank

Runs and Waterfalls

A new training post on a Monday morning.  If that doesn’t brighten your day, I don’t know what will!! 😉

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far – I really appreciate it – but I still have a long way to go.  Please don’t forget to visit my fundraising page (http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/nyctri15/Meredith).  Every little bit helps the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society get one step closer to finding a cure for cancer, and also helps provide patients and families with much needed treatment and support.

The last month has been full of training… some swimming, some biking, some running.  Oh my!  March 15th was the New York City Half Marathon – known as one of the most prestigious half marathons in the country. Who knows though. I haven’t run  all the half marathons in the country (or anything even close to that) so I’m no expert on the topic. I can say, however, that it was one of the coolest ones I’ve been a part of!  And it was the first half marathon of 2015 so that’s always exciting.

I’d had a cold for the last few days leading up to the race, so this half started out strangely similar to my first half of 2014 – except this time I resisted the urge to chug DayQuil before I left the apartment. Live and learn, right? I’ll only (hopefully) make that mistake once.

It was almost 45 degrees when I arrived to the starting line at around 7:30 in the morning, which was like a heat wave from the frigid cold and rain from the previous few days. Somehow my expected pace got messed up and I was slated to begin in Wave 1, Corral 1 – right alongside the elite athletes who were predicted to run around a 6-min mile. Yeah right. I know I am competitive and always up for a challenge, but no thank you – not today, New York Road Runners! Instead I tried to sneak into the first corral of the second wave but was told it was closed and ended up in the Wave 2, Corral 2. Not bad. We were off in no time and I was running with people who were much more on my level – which was good because I would have probably tried to keep up with the super fast people and totally exhausted myself by mile 2.

The race began in Central Park in the 72nd street transverse and we ran counterclockwise, first tackling the Cat Hill before going to the east side.  I loved getting that hill done right at the beginning and I was so amped up and full of adrenaline that I barely even realized I was running on an incline. I waved to Boyfriend’s bro-in-law and nephew around 101st street and kept chugging along.

Central Park is not known for being a flat course, and I was beginning to notice the hills; after having trained all winter on a treadmill those hills (and the cooler air) took some getting used to! We exited the park at the northernmost part and went in a loop before re-entering just before the Harlem Hill – the worst part of the park!  The part that really lets you know what you are made of.  The part that could make or break the rest of the race. (That might be overly dramatic.) It seemed much longer than it had the last time I ran it and I wondered how NYRR managed to add what seemed like an extra half a mile of hill to Central Park without making the local news.  Sneaky bastards.  Once the hill was over (which turns out was its usual length. My bad. 😉 ) I knew that it was relatively smooth sailing from then on and there were no more major hills.

We exited the park at mile 6 at the south side and it was the coolest feeling ever. Times Square was in front of us – colorful, flashy, iconic Times Square – and both sides of the street were full of cheering fans with signs, cowbells, everything. Some of the better signs said things like “If a half marathon was easy it would be called ‘your mom’.” (no offense, Ma, but I laughed at that one), “Less Walken” (with a picture of Christopher Walken) “More cowbell”, and the usual “Run now, wine later”. The race was live-streamed and televised, and the media was out, along with huge TV screens so we could see ourselves, which was very cool.  Some people stopped to take pictures of themselves on the big screens, but I knew taking out my phone and snapping a pic would mess with my time.  Stupid competitive streak.  (But I did love seeing myself on tv.)

Here I am totally loving every second and taking it all in:

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We turned onto 42nd Street and headed west to the Westside Highway and I got cold from the wind off of the water.  I had my gloves on and was happy that I didn’t take my jacket off earlier when it ws a little warmer in the park.  Once we turned on to the Westside Highway, it was pretty much a straight shot down to the end.  I had read that once we saw the Freedom Tower we would know we were practically done, so I when I saw it a wave of calm spread through me – until I realized that whoever said that was wrong and I still had about 4.5 miles to go.  (Although I guess in the grand scheme of half marathons, 4.5 miles left is almost over, right?)  We continued down, through the Battery Park Tunnel (where I got a little claustrophobic for some reason and sped up just so I could be back outside), and down through the seaport.  One more turn and I would cross the finish line!

People always tell me to enjoy the moment when I cross the finish line and not worry about my exact time, and I usually think to myself something along the lines  of “Yeah, I know. I love that moment – I’m totally into it.” But I guess this is proof that I am all about stopping my Garmin. Damn it, photographic evidence! (This also may be the exact moment I realized I missed running a personal record by about 37 seconds.)

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It really was a great race and a pretty awesome way to officially begin training season.  Check out my bling!

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I have the More Women’s Half Marathon coming up on Sunday, and there have been some pretty great bikes and swims thrown in – including the first outdoor bike adventure of the year and some swims in the Carribean, near some waterfalls, and an essentially private lap pool in the middle of paradise (which I didn’t take advantage of nearly as much as I should have)!

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Not a bad way to train, huh?

It’s About That Time

Official kickoff for the Team in Training’s (TNT) NYC Triathlon team is in just about two weeks, which means one thing: the triathlon is just about 4 months away!!  While I cannot wait to jump into the Hudson again (and even more – I can’t wait to step out of the Hudson after!), I am excited for the opportunity to be able to once again fundraise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).  Since I first came into contact with TNT and LLS last year, I’ve been pretty open about what sucked me into their mission.  I was only fourteen years old when my grandma died from non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and I wanted to make sure that she was still remembered, that what she went through was not forgotten, that it could be used to someway, somehow, change someone else’s life for the better, so that maybe some other little girl somewhere could have more time to spend with her own grandma.  And so here I am!

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But I am not doing this on my own.  I am just a small part of a team with the same goal of eradicating cancer once and for all so that our loved ones could live fuller lives and stick around with us for a bit longer.  Not a bad goal, right?

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Training for the triathlon will be just as eventful as last year, so you don’t want to miss any of these updates!  The NYC Half Marathon is coming up in less than 2 weeks, followed by a couple more awesome runs, some epic bike rides, (hopefully less traumatizing) swims in the ocean, and so much more – and you can have a front row seat to all the training successes, mishaps, and lessons along the way.  This winter has been way too cold and long, and adventures are calling my name.  Treadmills, stationary bikes and indoor pools: get ready to take five – I am heading outside!

Now, what can you do to help?  Every penny that is fundraised goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Want to see the impact of your donation?  Well, here you go:

TNT

Here is my fundraising page: http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/nyctri15/Meredith

Thank you so much in advance for your donations, your support, encouragement, words of wisdom and everything else you all throw my way.  I really appreciate it all.

Alright, let’s go!

Did you miss these?

Awwww yeah. It’s almost that time again! I woke up to this pretty little email yesterday:

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Ok, almost time to stop slacking off.  Almost time to pick up where I ended in August.  Almost time to refocus and get back into training mode. It’s real again. (Seriously – they charged my credit card for the entry fee yesterday.  If that doesn’t slap you in the face, make it real and force you to feel that triathlete beast mode power slowly return, then maybe nothing will!)  I’ll officially get back into the pool in January, and the rest will follow shortly after.

So what have I been up to since the last triathlon, you ask?  Oh, you know, just taking it easy.

10 miles here…

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A half marathon there…

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A few epic bike rides…

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Lots of Muay Thai…

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And some hiking adventures to unknown corners of the world (ie: Vermont) 😉

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Since I got into the triathlon through the lottery, I’m in – I don’t have to go through a charity like I did last year to get entry.  But that would be selfish, right? That would be a waste of doing what I can to help better the life of someone in need.  And so I am going to team up with Team in Training again and, just like before, raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Last year I raised over $6,500 and am hoping to do the same in 2015.  Together, my TNT triathlon team raised over $1 million for LLS and had an amazing time doing it.  Let’s see what 2015 has in store.

Stay tuned – the ride is just beginning.

NYC Triathlon, Part 2: The madness

… And then the horn sounded.

Ok. Let’s do this, New York. Remember that TNT mantra: I am strong. I am alive. I will thrive. Not just survive.

Next thing I knew I was in the Hudson River. Leg one on the road to triathlete.

I am strong: The first 30 seconds or so were crowded, but people began to spread out pretty quickly and so there weren’t nearly as many close call encounters with other people’s various limbs as I had expected. I started swimming way too fast, too urgently, and soon realized that my legs were kicking in overtime. I needed those legs for the bike and run so I made myself relax, slowed down and tried to simply enjoy the swim – maybe even trick myself into thinking that this was just another day in the pool. Easier said than done, but I started to get into it and found the groove that felt so familiar.  I used the spectators on the shore to help me sight as I went along.  Before I knew it I passed the 600 meter mark. Almost half done! (Although I do remember thinking “What!? Not even halfway done yet!? WTF, Hudson!?)

My goggles had started to slowly fill up with murky Hudson water and became super foggy after I emptied them out, so I flipped over on my back and swam like that for a little bit to figure out what to do, wanting to panic, but then realized that it didn’t really matter how foggy my goggles were – it’s not like I could see anything in that water and I had just enough vision to see the shoreline, which I was using to sight.  I liked seeing the line of people watching and it helped me to not swim super crookedly. I flipped back over and kept going.

Stroke, breathe, stroke, breathe.

I continued to use the spectators as a sighting point -specifically focusing on 2 people who were running alongside the course. A buff little girl in a red tank top with familiar blonde hair and a guy who I could just tell was super cute and probably vegan. It was Twin and Boyfriend!! I wondered if they could see me, if they could tell that I was right there staring at them with every breath. (God that’s so creepy.) They couldn’t – they had lost me in the anonymity of pink swim caps and wetsuits, but seeing them reenergized me and I continued to navigate my way through the filth of the Hudson.

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I am alive: Literally, I was alive! Hallelujah! I could have quit right then and there and considered the triathlon a success. Stepping onto that ramp leading out of the Hudson was a fabulous moment. Volunteers were there reaching out to yank us out of the water and I grabbed one of their hands and stepped back onto the land. My legs wobbled and I walked for about 30 seconds before running the quarter mile back to the transition area to get my bike. My head was a little dizzy, my legs a little shaky, and I needed those seconds to breathe before I was able to think about the next thing.

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One of the coaches had kept reminding us during the last week to not let our bodies get in front of our heads and vice versa. Be in the present, one thing at a time. If I started running before my head was in the right place I’d be setting myself up for disaster later on, and so I shook my legs and walked while unzipping my wetsuit and pulling the top part down to my waist, and breathed deeply a few times before starting to run. As I ran I heard my name called out from somewhere above me. Jesus? Is that you? Maybe I hadn’t survived the swim after all. I looked around for the bright white light and instead saw my aunt and uncle looking down at the course from the Boat Basin. Cue sigh of relief, which was immediately followed by more excitement. Yea! More fans!! More energy! I got to the transition area, wiggled out of my wetsuit, had some Gatorade and poured about half a bottle of water on my face to make sure I didn’t have the “Hudson mustache.” Nobody has time for that – especially when I knew there would be cameras along the bike and running routes!  I should have eaten something but I had snacks in a pouch attached to my bike, so I figured I would eat on the ride.

I will thrive: I jumped on my bike and headed up Hot Corner – a super steep hill that leads out of Riverside Park and to a traffic circle that would take us to the West Side Highway. My bike was already in a low gear and I had practiced the hill several times so I knew what to expect. I smiled at my mom as I turned the corner leading up to the hill and, a little further down, tried to look cute as Boyfriend snapped a picture.

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A girl in front of me was struggling with Hot Corner and began to wobble. She was clipped into the pedals and starting to panic – temporarily forgetting how to unclip – and the whole situation had disaster written all over it. I saw her tip over and swerved around her as she crashed to the ground. A few people behind her became tangled up in the crash and I heard a lot of carefully chosen curse words. A lot. I looped around the traffic circle and headed up the highway to the Bronx. It was only then that I realized it was still drizzling. And it was super cold. I biked faster on the open highway trying to warm myself up but the chill of the air and splashes from the puddles on the ground made it hard, and I was literally shivering while riding.  Being cold is the highest form of torture for me and I was desperately wishing for long sleeves.  The ground was very slippery, and so I rode a little slower than I expected, especially after seeing some more crashes.  People also seemed to be getting flat tires left and right.  I was really surprised to see riders pulling over to help other riders change flat tires (or whatever else was wrong with their bikes).  Sportsmanship at its finest!

Because of the rain and slippery street, I was afraid to take a hand off the handlebars for long enough to grab a snack or drink, and so I rode without food or water.  Not the best thing to do, but I figured it was better than crashing!

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There were no mile markers on the course, so I wasn’t really sure how far I had gone or how much I had left to do, but I kept chugging along knowing that every pedal rotation was getting me closer and closer to the run.  At one point I saw a girl on the side of the road fiddling with her bike, tears streaming down her face as she threw her hands up in exasperation.  I slowed down and considered helping her, but I didn’t have any tools with me and know next to nothing about bikes.  If I stopped the only thing I would be able to do would be sit on the curb and cry with her.  I send good thoughts her way and kept going.

I circled back down to 57th Street and then back up to 79th where I reentered the park and saw my aunt and uncle.  Perfect placement – I was happy for the cheers right before I got off my bike!

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I got back to the transition area and realized that someone had put her bike in my spot.  C’mon, really?  I tried to fit my bike in on the rack and accidently knocked hers down.  “Good, serves her right” I thought (in a much less G-rated way) as her expensive bike crashed to the ground and I easily raked mine up in the correct spot.  I ate half an energy bar, threw down some water and started to leave the transition area as my Nike+ watch linked up for the run.  It only took about two steps before I stopped, had a moral debate in my mind, and turned around to pick up the other bike.  I struggled to re-rack it in such a tight space but also didn’t want any bad karma.  (Also, I knew I’d be pissed if someone else left my bike on the ground, even if I did leave it in the wrong spot like a dope.)

Not just survive: Once the bike situation was sorted out I started to run. And it was one of the greatest runs ever. I can seriously say that I loved every single second of it. I ran up a steep hill leading out of the park, similar to Hot Corner where most people walked, and smiled.

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I ran down 72nd street to Central Park (past some of my friends yelling my name and holding pretty amazing signs) and smiled harder.

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I ran past Twin, Boyfriend, and Sister somewhere in Central Park and flashed my muscles to show them I was just fine, and did the same for my mom, who was about half a mile ahead of them.

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I got to the Harlem Hill and passed some of my TNT team members.  We exchanged a “Go, Team!” and I realized just how close I was to finishing the triathlon.  My legs felt great and I began to wish it wasn’t so close to being over.  The last few hours had been a whirlwind and the run was where I was finally able to really start to comprehend everything that my body had just done!  About 5 miles into the run, I saw one of the head coaches and he yelled something encouraging at me, and I just kept going.  A little bit before the 6 mile mark another coach saw me and ran a few seconds with me.  He grabbed my shoulder and told me I was almost there and that I was doing great.  I saw a TNT friend, who had already finished the tri, with his GoPro camera and smiled for the video he was filming, and high-fived a few other friends.  I was almost there!  Mom and Boyfriend were right there by the finish line (although I don’t remember if I saw them there or if I know they were they were because I’ve seen their videos and photos a million times), and I finished strong.  It was like I hadn’t even done a total of 32 miles.  I wanted more.

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And there you have it.

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My goal was to finish in 3 hours and 15 minutes, and I crossed the finish line in 3:08:48!

Here are my splits:

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I found my crew somewhere on the other side and realized that I had even more people there then I had thought! After walking around the post-tri festivities and having brunch with family and friends, all I wanted was wine and a bubble bath.  But I settled for just kicking up my feet… in the best “Congrats, you did it” shoes ever, which were a triathlon present from Boyfriend.  How hot are these shoes?  AND they’re 100% vegan.  What a guy, huh?

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After a few hours of recovery time and a nap, I was ready to party with my TNT team at the Boat Basin.  Total triathletes 🙂

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This was one of the best experiences ever and I can’t wait to start training for the next one.  Swimming taught me that it is okay to jump in the deep end and hope for the best.  You might surprise yourself with what you’ll find out there.  Biking helped me with forward momentum, and running reinforced the fact that I just love to run and am going to keep doing it for as I can.

Overall fantastic first triathlon.  When can I do it again!?

NYC Triathlon (part 1): The Build Up

It took me a while to write this because I didn’t even know where to begin! The triathlon is over and I not only survived it, but had an amazing time doing it.  It was so much fun and I kind of can’t wait to start training for next year!!  The weekend started on Friday with the Team in Training Inspiration Dinner where we gathered together one last time and basically patted ourselves on the back for getting through the training and making it to race weekend.  When we walked in to the banquet room all the mentors were lined up in the doorway with cowbells and cheering for us, which was actually pretty awesome. We heard from a cancer survivor (and fellow triathlete) who reminded us just how important the nearly 1 million dollars we had raised were to patients and their families.  And then some awards were given out. I was one of the top 10 fundraisers (which was a surprise to me!) and got a certificate and a TNT visor. At that point I had raised $6,320, but donations are still coming in and I am now up to $6,475 and counting! Thank you to everyone who donated. Seriously – it means so much to me. I have until the end of September to stop fundraising, so let’s get to an even $6,500! (You can donate here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/nyctri14/meredith)

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On Saturday I went to a mandatory briefing where we were told pretty much everything we would need to know for race day.  I thought it would make me a little more relaxed about everything, but by the end of the briefing my stomach was in knots.  And where there weren’t knots, there were butterflies fluttering around.  And where there weren’t butteflies, there were feelings of anxious uneasiness.  I picked up my race packet (which made the anxious uneasiness change over to excited anxiety), bought a triathlon t-shirt that had the names of all 4,000 participants, and went home to grab my bike and bring it to the transition area. I got some good advice to stop in at the bike shop before checking in my bike, which turned out to be a great idea because my front wheel was really loose and a bad pothole could have been disastrous!  It seems one can’t ride without a front wheel.  Live and learn, I guess. 😉  I also got some more air put in my tires by a shocked employee who could not believe that I was doing a triathlon with such an old bike.  He wished me luck and told me to stop in sometime to try out some “real bikes.”

My transition – yellow transition – was in the same place where we had met for alot of TNT group training bike sessions and where I’ve played wiffleball a few times so I was very familiar with the area. The field was pretty unrecognizable, though.  There were hundreds of spaces for bikes – most of which were already filled with the bike of a corresponding race number, and people were rushing around getting last minute things in order. I racked my bike (with help from a seasoned triathlete and super nice stranger who actually knew what he was doing and could tell I was clueless about the whole thing) and walked home with adrenaline building with every step.

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I had been too busy and overwhelmed with all the pre-triathlon stuff to really be excited before, but now it was real. Now there really wasn’t much else to do aside from putting my number tattoos on my arms (which I had almost forgotten about), making sure all my stuff was packed and ready to go (which it wasn’t) and going to bed early (which I didn’t).

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Ok – fast forward a few hours. Dinner was eaten, last minute supplies were picked up and I was excited, feeling like I could bounce off the walls and not the least bit tired. It was Christmas Eve x 10. My birthday x 50. The last day of school before an epic summer vacation x 100.  Time for number tattoos, which were carefully stuck to my arm like tattoos from a Cracker Jacks box.  I also wanted names on my arm so that I could look down at them in case things got hard during the triathlon – names that had inspired me to do this in the first place with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and TNT.  The cancer fighters.  The survivors.  The victims.  My grandma.  Her name was first, followed by three more, and the list ended with initials of a good friend – a survivor who helps motivate me every day.

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(I also tattooed this guy. 20140811-105715.jpg Check out those guns. 🙂 )

 
Then I set my alarm for 3:30am so that I could get to my transition by around 4:15am and tried to sleep.  Much easier said than done.  I slept for maybe 3.5 hours, jumped out of bed at the sound of the alarm and headed for yellow transition with one hand squeezing my boyfriend’s hand while my thumb on my other hand nervously played with a ring I had on. (Props to him for everything – for getting up so early, for making my tattoos and the names on my arm perfect, for just being there.)   We made there just around 4:30am and I ran into the transition area to make sure all my stuff was set up and ready.

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I got my stuff situated, met a few of my teammates, and we started the mile walk to the starting line.  I was in my corral with 2 of my teammates by 6am, and kept going from excited to nervous as we pulled on our wetsuits and talked about who knows what for the next 40 mins.

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One thing that kept me calm though was my fan club of 7 (and counting!) who were already assembled right on the other side of the fence cheering me on with posters and everything right at 6am!! I didn’t expect that – especially so early and in the cold drizzle.

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Ok – now it was around 6:40am and the line was moving.  I was freezing and ready to be in the water, but was really wishing that the rain would stop and the sun would come out.  There were 15 people in each 15-second wave, and so the line was moving quickly.  We were told to put our goggles on and make sure we were ready before even stepping onto the barge.  I was so happy to be with my 2 teammates because I think I would have been freaking out if I were in a wave where I didn’t know anyone.  Now we were on the barge – and waiting.  Waiting for the horn to sound.  Waiting to officially get this triathlon started.  Waiting for the plunge into the Hudson River.  It couldn’t have been longer than 10 seconds, but it seemed like forever.  I was ready, I was excited, and I knew my fan club had my back every second of the way.

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And then the horn sounded.