Karel and I added a new edition to our home last weekend. NO-I'm NOT pregnant! We got fishies! 7 of them in our new tank. The cat is loving them just as much as we are and who knows what Smudla (our cat)is doing to the fish in the middle of the night. It is fun just to watch the fish swim around and play with each other. I love the water and although I have been asking Karel for a turtle or dolphin (my two favorite creatures!) he compromised and we got fish.
I'm so happy it's Friday. I find myself glued to the computer screen 8 hours or more a day and even more on the weekends. I think my job is so rewarding and I love helping people with their nutrition. I have some videos posted on BeginnerTriathlete.com and you can check out nutrition for 1-hour or less workouts. I also have a smoothie video on the website and finally, all my days of watching the food network paid off! It would be a dream of mine to have my own cooking show for athletes so maybe one day all my work on BeginnerTriathlete.com will pay off! Working with BT.com has been a blessing and I just love the tri-community on that website.
So I'm living vicariously through everyone racing in Clearwater this weekend. My mom volunteered on wed. and I went with her to check out the expo. Then, on Thurs. I went to registration with my friend Hunter who is racing in his third 70.3 race where he qualified in Cancun with a PR by over 50 minutes! Sadly, I found my name on the participant list but didn't pick up my stuff. They have a lot of great swag there but as a tradition of mine, I only buy 1 special thing before a race and wait until everything goes on sale weeks after the race. I've been calling everyone I know and wishing them good luck in the race this weekend. I have lots of friends racing at Miami Man and I'll be rooting them on as well. The Silverman is also this weekend and that is a race that is on my list of future races. I'd like to do the relay portion of the Ironman distance w/ Karel and find a runner so that I could swim and Karel could bike. That would be fun.
The thing I love the most about racing is the whole experience before the race. I am still a total Newbie to the sport and I race for a t-shirt and medal. Who cares about your time when you have a cool medal around your neck and a nice tech shirt to flaunt around the race venue after the race. You won't find me complaining about my race packet bag cause I haven't done enough races to compare anything. I love swag even if it is a water bottle, energy gel or sticker. I don't like to waste all the flyers and coupons in the bag so I try to use those papers for scrap paper when I make things. Since I have been known for running into things in the transition area in addition to running right past my bike on the rack, I spend lots of time reading course maps and checking out the layout of the transition area. I enjoy racing far beyond the race itself. I feel the race is something I do to keep me competitive but the days leading up to the race are filled with so many emotions. I hope all those 1st timer World championship participants are really enjoying this experience. Although I was super excited in Kona, I was pretty overwhelmed at St. Anthony's and the Morton Plant Mease Triathlon. I think it is good that I still get excited and a bit nervous for my races (Especially the short ones that REALLY hurt). I just find a first-timer to hear his/her story and that always makes me feel so much better.
Just a couple suggestions for those racing this weekend, the weather will be cool and nutrition isn't going to be as important. However, saying that..don't forget to hydrate! The body will not need as many calories due to the great weather conditions but the tendency to forget to drink is likely. I would suggest sports drinks and hold off on the gels until the run in order to ensure that you are getting enough fluids in the body before the run. The body will be warmed up and feeling great on the run so Gel's will be necessary if you choose to hydrate with water. You won't feel like you need to stop at every aid station but to be prepared, hit every other aid station even if it is just a sip. As far as dressing for the event, have a dry pair of clothes in your T1 bag. That outfit under your wet suit will get wet and it is no fun jumping on a bike in 50-60 degree weather, let alone with wet clothes. Take 30 extra seconds and put on a dry jersey and shorts for the bike and put on those arm warmers. The course is filled with rollers and the weather will be cool. You will get warm by the end of the bike portion but you don't want to spend the first half of the bike trying to get warm. Be sure the blood is flowing to the working muscles and not to the skin for heating...this can be done by overdressing for the first hour of the bike. You can always pull a Joe Boness and wear long socks on your arms for "arm warmers" and toss them at an aid station bottle drop zone (just be sure you get rid of trash in designated areas in order to avoid a penalty). I'm sure everyone will do great and I'll be riding my bike to the race venue around 6am tomorrow morning. I'll be taking lots of pictures and cheering loud. At least I feel I can be apart of the race since the volunteers and specatators are the true reasons why athletes can push harder than they ever imagined.