29 September 2008


Tri season is over.

Marathon training for National hasn't started.

And I, my friends, am in a funk.

I don't do well with downtime. I'd rather be too busy than remotely bored. I'd rather be running around with ten items under four projects on todoist.com than sit sill.

My workouts have been sporadic which is not my style, and I need to get back on track and back into my groove.

[and sit patiently until training for National starts. and then training for Cozumel. and then I will be a happy girl!]

22 September 2008


A lot of people hear about tris (esp about HIM and IMs) and ask why? ... why, on Earth, would anyone willingly put in 8, 10, 15, 18 hours a week, give up a social life, work out before and after work, long bike on Saturday, long run on Sunday, sore muscles, tired bodies, always hungry, life on hold --- to race for 7-16 hours at a time?

It's personal to each athlete, I think, so I can only answer why I do it:

the sense of accomplishment, meeting goals, having deadlines, following through a training program, doing what you set out to do, even when it isn't pretty and it isn't easy.

the high after a hard workout, mcdonalds after a hard workout, audiobooks on a long run, the views on a beautiful bike ride, streching out during an easy swim, discovering something new in my city -- ducklings, the trapeze school, Fifi the kinetic scupture race poodle, a 100 year old building that I've just now noticed. running in the rain, running in the snow. all workouts, even when they suck and are hard and boring because I did them and that is what matters.

race numbers, race metals, race tshirts. the sense of community, the kindness of strangers willing to lend a Body Glide or give a GU or advice.

spectators, who make you feel like you are a world class athlete, even when you are shuffling along at a snails pace. high fives from little kids. volunteers, who tell you that 'you look great' even though you don't, and wake up at 6:00 a.m. to pass out electrolyte pills and water to tired athletes --- sans pay. the volunteers who asked me my name at the bottom of a big climb and chanted TRI-CIA! TRI-CIA! while I struggled up the hill.

crossing the finish line.

I do it because I have to do it, because I could not and would not stop for any amount of money, because it's like being a wife, a daughter, a friend, an attorney: it's part of who I am.

the soreness fades and amazingly so do the memories of how painful it was, how badly you wanted to stop and the only thing you can think about after a race is

what's next?

I am Savagewoman - hear me roar! (the whole story)

1.2 mi swim * 56 mi bike * 13.1 mi run

Friday evening:

I got home from work around 5:30 and started to get everything together. I did laundry and packed my tri bag and my suitcase. I blogged. I freaked out. Aggie the cat really wanted to come:

It all fit in here! This really is the world's greatest tri bag!


My dear husband didn't get home until 4:00 a.m. (work) so I tried to let him sleep as long as possible. We loaded up the car and left for Deep Creek Lake at 10:15 a.m.

The drive was pretty uneventful. It's almost completely a straight shot west. James and I stopped for food (graham crackers for me, cheetos for him, although I did eat a fair amount of his cheeeeesy poooofs). We got into the town of Deep Creek lake and found our motel

Awesome, huh? AND it's for sale! Our room was pretty low tech (I don't remember the last time I was in a hotel with an actual key and not a room card) but it did have a kitchen and a tv, so all was well.

After we checked in we drove to packet pickup at the Lake. I got my chip, cap, race number, badass tshirt, and tons of samples and coupons, etc. After packet pickup we went to the mandatory pre race meeting -- safety safety, when the sign says no aero we mean it, no we probably can't enforce it but its for your safety, watch the hairpin turns on the decents, the wall is steep, the climb to the wall is steep, the 8 miles after the wall are all uphill, it's going to be cold when you get out of the water, it might be foggy and we will have strobelights on the buoys, the kayakers are there to help, safety is paramount, this is a hard race.

Then J and I got my bike and went to the safety check (for my bike and helmet)

Yay -- both passed! I bought a back up CO2 cartridge (but hoped, prayed that I would not need to use it) and then racked my bike. Then back to the hotel where James took a nap and I watched Meet the Parents and ate and fidgeted and unpacked and layed out clothes for Sunday (mine and James'). Then we went to dinner at Uno's where I had onion rings and bbq chicken pizza. We came back to the Alpine Village Inn Motel and passed out around 10:00.

Race Day!

I woke up (on my own at midnight and three, and then by my cell phone alarm at 5:00) and ate a bowl of oatmeal. I got dressed in my tri suit, and then put on a long sleeved shirt, jacket, and sweatpants. I woke up James and we left for the course at quarter to six. Transition opened at 6:00 and we were one of the first people there.

Then I got marked: 111 on each arm, and a 26 on my right calf:

Then to transition to set up everything at my bike.

At this point it was 6:30 and we had an hour and a half to kill. James and I wandered around for a while and walked out on the floating dock. I was nervous and excited but more of the latter and I was so ready to get started.

I went back to transition and put on sunblock, Body Glide, and my wetsuit. I bought a skull cap (don't laugh, I look awesome in it) to wear under my helmet for the first 18 miles of the ride.


The swim start was delayed 30 minutes, so all the athletes were standing around - barefoot - and shivering. I struck up a conversation with a woman who was doing this race to redeem herself after DNFing at IM Lake Placid this year due to hypothermia ... nevermind that she's completed 5 IMs before that! We finally walked over the timing mat and got into the water. I was in the first wave: women and elite males (note: I am a woman, not an elite male).

And.... we're off!! It was a little foggy but not too bad, and I had no problem spotting. The course was straight out and back so it was pretty easy to keep track of where I was. I could see the bottom at points and there were a lot of water plants that came up high and I kept thinking about Harry Potter being in the lake during the tri-wizard tournament but fortunantly I just had to swim 1.2 miles and not save anyone from mermaids.

I rounded the halfway point at 18:00 which was pretty much on schedule for me. The way back was a bit bouncy due to the boats but the waves weren't too high. I came out of the water, looking and feeling drunk and stumbled up and out of the water.

Swim Time: 38:51


I crossed the time chip mat right out of the water, so my transition time includes the long run up to transition -- hill AND stairs (of course, what else could I expect from Savageman?). I took my time in transition -- got my wetsuit off, dried off with a towel, put on my skull cap, helmet, arm warmers, and gloves and left for a very long and very painful bike ride.

T1 Time: 8:07


Okay, have my gloves, my socks, my cleats, nutrition, hydration, helmet, arm warmers jacket ... at mile 2: WHERE THE EFF ARE MY SUNGLASSES? Oh well, couldn't do anything about it then. The first 18 miles are a net downhill. It's an absolutely stunning bike ride -- through the mountains, through farms, next to a stream. Perfect weather, too -- could not have asked for a prettier bike ride. My Luna Moons were frozen and extra chewy, and I almost fell off my bike trying to get them out of the package.

At mile 18 I hit the town of Westernport (the bottom of the route elevation map) and began a steep steep climb. The three blocks up to the wall are at a 15-20 deg. incline, so when I finally got to the wall, I was exhuasted. I DID try the wall, but fell over about halfway through and was pulled to the side by a nice lady who also grabbed my bike. I walked up the rest of the wall (the first time I walked my bike ... but certainly not the last!) and then went on to climb Mount Savage (the first big peak on the elevation map).

On this bike course you are either climbing or free falling -- there really isn't a lot of inbetween ground. The course was well marked with helpful SLOW: SHARP DECENT signs to prevent riders from flying off their bikes and a hilarious NO DRAFTING! sign on a 10 deg. climb (near the top of Savage Mountain). I got to the top of the mountain and was met by volunteers in devil costumes, telling me that I was in HELL (like I couldn't figure that out from the pain in every muscle in my body).. and refilling my bottles with Heed and Water and giving me electrolyte pills.

A nice 3-4 mile decent follows the peak of Savage, but it's short lived. I did talk to a cow (I was getting a little delicious at this point) and was paced by a jack russel that ran out barking at me and ran besdies my bike for 15 feet. There were a few people (locals) out on the course, cheering and waving, which was very nice.

I thought I was lost more than once -- although the course is well marked, there were a few miles were I didn't see any people or any signs and I was sure I was off the course... and was thrilled when I was passed because at least it meant that I was on the course.

After coming around a very sharp left turn (really, it was a u-turn) I looked up a Killer Miller (the second big peak on the map) -- a 1.2 climb of about 9*. Yeah, right. My legs were SO fried at this point that I just hopped off and walked up the entire hill, and was relieved to see a few people doing the exact same thing behind me. I was greeted at the top by angels and some more water.

The rest of the course, I was told, was "flat" but these people have such an effed up defintion of "hills" that I should have known that flat = not HUGE hills. The last 10 miles took forever and the thought of running 13.1 mi was making me ill... well, that and the several GUs and Luna Moons I ate. I was so sick of sugary sweet foods and drinks and my stomach was not thriled with me. Finally, mile 55, and then, a couple minutes later, I was finished.

Bike time: slow. oh okay, real time: 4:58:38, 11.3 mph.


I almost cried when I came into transition. Almost every single bike was back and it was SO disheartening. Still, I saw James, got off my bike, and re racked it. I changed from cleates to running shoes, turned on my Garmin, and put on my hat, and was off to run/ shuffle/ walk/ crawl 13.1 mi.

T2 time: 4:01


The run is evil -- you cross next to the finish line TWICE before actually running through the finish. I set off at around a 10:30 pace -- a far cry from my usual 8:10s for a HIM -- and took several walk breaks. My carefully planned nutrition plan was shot to hell as I ate a cookie and drank some coke at each aid station. At this point, it was about one thing: survival. I was going to drag my broken body across the finish line if it killed me (and it almost did). I finished the first lap and set off to do the second. There was almost NO ONE on the course at this time -- everyone I saw while I was on my first loop was on their second, and they had actually crossed the finish line while I was running next to it on to lap 2.

My ego was almost as sore as my butt -- I am not, by any means, a fast runner, but I normally place in the top 25%ish of women. What was I doing in the back of the pack? I reminded myself of my goals: finish and have fun, and I sucked it up and kept going forward. One step at a time, one mile at a time. There was this horrible run up a fire hill... and we did it twice. I met up with a woman and we walked the last 4 miles together. We did walk them at about a 13:30 pace, so it's not like we were strolling, but I couldn't believe how slow I was moving. We turned a corner and picked up a pace fast enough to call a jog, I think ... and booked it - as best we could - to the finish.

Run time: 2:41:45, 12.19 pace (compare that to my HIM PR of 1:47, ha!)


I crossed the finish line to a cheering group of people (I was shocked anyone was left, but it turns out they were waiting for their awards. Yeah, me too.). I got a metal and a coke and some pretzels and my James.

Then we went to McDonalds, where I had a McFlurry (m&m), quarter double pounder with cheese, fries, and a coke. Oh, and I changed into the race tshirt, and yes, I wore my metal.

I could not have done this without my wonderful husband, who drove to and from Deep Creek, stayed with me at a shady motel, came with me to packet pickup and sat through the pre race meeting, woke up at 5:30 with me to go to the course, carried my bike, cheered me on, took pictures, told me I could do it, told me he was proud of me, and made me laugh when I felt like crying.

Oh, and finishers:
Number of female athletes: 41
Number of DNF female athletes: 8
Number of male athletes: 182
Number of DNF male athletes: 20

Crazy amout of DNFs + not a lot of females that even attempted it = one happy Trish for even starting this race and crossing the finish line.

21 September 2008

I am Savagewoman - hear me roar!

Just the quick and dirty details, because:
1. I hurt
2. ... like hell
3. I'm exhuasted

tomorrow will be a full report with pictures and details, such as:
- talking to moo cows
- our motel
- ow my legs
- ow my arms
- ow my shoulders
- my jack russel pacer
- "killer miller"

- my husband, the world's best
- cookies, coke, and bananas
- sunglasses, or lack thereof
- and so, so much more

Number of female athletes: 41
Number of DNF female athletes: 8
Number of male athletes: 182
Number of DNF male athletes: 20

My finish: 08:31:01
My swim: 38:51
T1: 8:07 (included a long run up a hill)
My bike: 4:58:38 (so very very painful ... do you have any idea how steep 5-31* climbs are?!)
T2: 4:01
My run: 2:41:25

19 September 2008

two days two days two days!

two days two days two days!

I've been checking out the results from 2007 --- it looks like I'll finish in about the middle of the women (if this year is like last year). I'm predicting a finish of around 7:30-8:00:
swim: 35-40 min
t1: 3-4 min
bike: 4:30-4:45
t2: 3-4 min
run: 2:00-2:30

However. I have two goals for this race:
1. Finish
2. Have fun

I am so excited and nerves I can barely sit still!

I took a half day on Monday so I can sleep in a little. (we'll be getting home really late on Sunday night -- around midnight or later).

17 September 2008

oh, good.

Email from yesterday, titled: 2008 SavageMan Triathlon Festival Athletes Guide.


The weather in Garrett County in mid to late September is typically very cool in the mornings. Average low is about 50 and average high around 70. All participants and spectators should expect cold temperatures early in the morning and dress accordingly. Last year's chilly morning in which athletes had to scrape frost from windshields was cooler than normal, but not extraordinarily so.

SavageMan Half participants start the bike with a long, shaded descent into Westernport. The cool temperatures, long descent, and wet clothes from the swim can combine to severely chill an underdressed athlete.

All SavageMan Half participants are strongly encouraged to put on excess clothing for the bike, including socks, gloves, arm warmers, and vest or jacket. A clothing drop will be provided in Westernport so athletes can shed excess clothing before the climbing begins in earnest. Please label/write your last name inside, or on, your clothing to be dropped - you will be able to identify and claim your clothes post-race in pre-sorted piles.


Very cool about the clothing drop --- I didn't want to discard a (pricey) jacket or long sleeved shirt and now I have more options for clothing.

I am excited and nervous and cannot WAIT for this weekend!

Also on my 'to pack' list:
  • jacket
  • long sleeved tech tee
  • charger for Garmin
  • charger for camera
  • photo ID/ wallet
  • cell phone

16 September 2008

jlo and other celebrities.

You may have heard: Jennifer Lopez (nee JLo) did a sprint triathlon in 2:23:38.

I am thrilled to anounce that I am now faster than: JLo, P Diddy aka Puff Daddy aka Sean Combs, Oprah, Katie Holmes, Mario Lopez, Freddie Prinze, Jr., David Lee Roth, and Al Gore.

[for the record, I am slower than: William Baldwin, Dubya, and Dana Carvy]

[and Will Ferrel and I have almost the same PR!]

But I digress.

Yes, I think it's great that she finished it.

(I had my doubts).

(and why did she wear those stupid goggles?)

Yes, I think it's great that she raised money.

No, I don't think it's the world's most impressive accomplishment.

No, I don't think she's the only woman who has given birth and then raced.

Yes, I do think she's one of the few with nannies, coaches, etc.

Lopez … was overheard saying after the segment that she “couldn’t understand why everyone is talking about that swimmer,” according to a GMA source. “She couldn’t come up with (eight-time gold-medal winner Michael) Phelps’s name, and then she yammered on about how she was the one training for a triathlon just six months after giving birth, and how that was the big story right now, not ‘the swimmer.’”

I mean, really?

Bottom line: good for her, but let's not get too carried away with ourselves.

15 September 2008

neatness, completeness, and organization.

to pack

  • two sweatpants
  • four short sleeved tshirts
  • two long sleeved tshirts
  • jeans
  • 2 tank tops
  • 3 pairs underwear
  • 2 bras
  • two pairs of socks

  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • body wash
  • razor
  • shaving gel
  • face wash
  • deoderant
  • body lotion
  • face lotion
  • medicine


  • directions to hotel
  • hotel confirmation
  • race confirmation

race day

  • tri top
  • tri shorts
  • ponytail holder

  • wetsuit
  • goggles
  • cap


  • bike
  • extra CO2 cartridge
  • extra tubes
  • water bottles (2)
  • air pump
  • gloves
  • helmet
  • bike shoes
  • socks
  • arm warmers
  • (bike jersey)
  • sunglasses


  • running shoes
  • nike hat
  • garmin
  • race belt for number


  • body glide
  • sunscreen
  • camera
  • flip flops
  • post race clothing
  • towels (2)
  • Nike watch
  • Transition bag

nutrition and hydration

  • Accelerade
  • Luna Moons
  • GU
  • salted peanuts
  • electrolyte pills

anything else?!

13 September 2008

taper madness.

I slept horribly last night .. my nerves about Savageman are really starting to set in! T minus 8 days, yeeps!

I started tapering last week, but the real taper starts Monday. Next week I have a bunch of bricks but they are really short (i.e. 15 swim, 15 bike, 15 run).

Yesterday I bought blue arm warmers. The swim is in a chilly lake (definitely wetsuit legal!) and the first 18 miles of the bike have a net downhill. And the race is in the moutains of Western Maryland in late September ... as of right now, the high in that are is 76 and the low is 53 (I have been obsessed, lately, with accuweather.com!). I'm debating throwing a bike jersey over my tri top for the bike, but I'm afraid I'll be too warm and I don't want to just chuck a pricey bike jersey. Thoughts?

Ack I am getting butterflies just writing this! For so long I was thinking that this "just" a half ironman. Well, based on my bike performance at the course a couple of weeks ago, I'm predicting my finish at 7:30-8:00.... that's a long time to race!

On todoist.com (the world's greatest website), I have a "project" for Savageman. Right now I have four things left to do:

1. get bike checked out, cleaned, etc. at Maryland's Campus Rec Center (my husband works there so all my bike maintenance is free. sweet!)
2. make a "to pack" list
3. make a "to bring" to race list
4. pack!
(5. chill out!)

Okay, off to set up my bike trainer and get to the pool. Today is a 45 min swim (continuously, at race pace), and a 90 min bike at RPE 3-4. Tomorrow is an 80 min run.

05 September 2008


Last night's workout was supposed to be a 30 min swim/ 30 min bike/ 30 min run, but I was too lazy to drive to the pool AND I had ANTM DVR'd... so who better than Tyra to motivate me to be a FIERCE biker? The run felt pretty good, especially toward the end (which is a long uphill!). I feel like I'm ready to tackle Savageman, as ugly, slow, and painful as my finish may (will) be.

59m 13s
18.00 miles
18.24 mph
6:10 PM
Trainer (brick/run)

32m 08s
3.44 mile
09m 20s/Mi
7:20 PM

Aside from a bigger butt and legs that can no longer fit into some of my pencil skirts, another wonderful side effect of HIM training is the constant exhaustion. I set my alarm for 6:30 this morning and swear I did not hear it. J woke me up, "Trish, it's 7:55, don't you have court this morning?" Yes, I do, at 8:30. I was showered and out of the door at 8:10, and to the courthouse by 8:39. Things worked out (thank goodness for late defendants ;)) but my god if I could get 10 hours of sleep a night I would be a very happy girl.

I need to get in some pool time ... probably a short 1500m after work tonight.

01 September 2008

believe it.

caption: ow.

Part of me wanted to think that the Saveageman bike course was ... a little bit of hype. Of course, I KNEW it was a tough course, but I thought - maybe - that some triathletes were puffing our their chests. Maybe it was a wee bit exagerated? They weren't, and it wasn't.

Believe. The. Hype.

This morning at 6:00 a.m., three triathletes left Catonsville for Deep Creek Lake. We were on the course at 9:20. The first 18 miles are rolling hills... certainly not easy, but doable. Oh, and gorgeous... the beauty of this course is unbelieveable -- lakes, blasted out mountains, creeks, tall trees. Amazing. So the first 18 miles were okay. I felt okay. The decent was a BLAST - I hit 40 mph... oh, and I swallowed a fly.

And then we hit the town of Westernport, home of the famed Westernport Wall.

The climb up TO the wall was brutal -- so much so that I had to hop off my bike ... and getting back on it was no picnic. I didn't make it up the wall - I bit it about 3/4 of the way up - but I'm not worried about it. The wall is so short -- if I make it, great, and if I don't, well, there's another 36 miles of climbing where I can prove myself. Haha.

The next part of the course was a climb up a gravel road -- the dust was really bothering my eyes. There were some more sharp decents, and then more climbing -- there are Seven Big Hills (excluding, of course, the smaller hills on the rolling hills).

I did pretty well with nutrition and hydration - I had a Gu, Luna Moons, or Sport Beans every 45 minutes, and alteranted Accelerade, Gatorade, and water. We stopped at a little store and I got salted peanuts. Good call on my part -- they were just what I needed.

And then, after hill number... 4? 5? I was separated from my group. They had been really great about stopping and waiting for my slow ass, but when I reached a fork in the road, they weren't there. I rode around for a while, called around them ... but no such luck. Finally, I knocked on someone's door and called my mom, who checked my email and gave me the phone numbers of my riding buddies. I got a hold of them and finally caught up.

What did I learn from this?

1. Bring my OWN cue sheet!
2. Carry my cell phone!

The hills were KILLER ... I was in my granny gear and huffing and puffing all the way up them... I had to stop and walk a couple of times. Total climb: 5940 feet.

Final stats:
4h 45m 44s
58.60 miles
12.31 Mi/hr

The average MPH is really funny (and, um, really slow), because I was going 4-7 mph on the hills and 20-30 mph on the decents. Only 2 people last year went over 20 mph on the course. It's seee-low.

We stopped at an Unos and all four of us had a giant burger and fries and beer. Mmm. Beer.