I Passed USAT Level 1! & An Ironman Collage

I was thrilled to take USA Triathlon's Level 1 Triathlon Coaching course this summer in Minneapolis.

USAT had a great mix of topics and presenters including:
- Bob Seebohar, Triathlon Nutritional Strategies
- Bobby McGee, Sports Psychology & Mental Skills
- Krista Austin, Exercise Physiology
- Fiona Lockhart, Cycling Skills
- Loryn Cozzi, Communication, Ethics & Risk Management
- Scott Tripps, Swimming Skills & Economy Training
- Hector Torres, Triathlon Specific Training & Key Workouts, Periodization and planning
- Dan Cohen, Periodization and Planning, Practical application
- Bobby McGee, Running Skills & Economy Training
I loved the clinic! I hope to share some snippets from it here in the future.
I recently mailed my take-home multiple choice & essay exam to USAT. My certificate came back today! I passed! I hope to take the Level 2 exam in the future. Thanks USAT--you've put together a great program!
I also wanted to share a collage I made from my hubby's Ironman Cd'A this year. What an exciting summer it's been!

Alaska! & Popsicles

I'm back from my first visit to Alaska -- amazing!! My parents took several of us on a cruise out of Seattle to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. We had an incredible trip, tons of sunshine and memorable experiences. Thanks Mom & Dad!!

Some pictures (taken by me):
(left) Glacier Bay, Alaska

We cruised on the Norwegian Pearl, my first time cruising on Norwegian Cruise Line. We flew into Seattle and stopped in Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and Victoria.

We all enjoyed a whale-watching tour and were fortunate to find a frisky Humpback whale splashing around!

My oldest son & I panned for gold. He brought home more gold than I did, it was hard. Twice we stopped to watch different groups of Salmon run (very cool.)

On the ship we tried bowling, my son climbed the rock wall and we learned how to juggle. A group from The Second City & comedian David Naster entertained us throughout the week.

pictures: My son & I at the Mendenhall Glacier. right - My sister & I on dress-up night.

Again, THANKS Mom & Dad! The trip was fantastic!!!

I also want to thank my hard-working Village Bootcampers! We're a crazy fun group. Keep up the good work Bootcampers!!!

picture: We enjoyed Popsicles after this summer-hot workout.

"I'm Amazing--I Finished a Triathlon!"

I love crossing the finish line! Yesterday, I had another chance to do so. My hubby and I drove to New Glarus for their 2nd annual Alphornman triathlon.

It was small, about 140 people from 6-7 states. No timing chips. No T1 or T2 times (they were added to bike/run). The event served Spotted Cow beer, fresh cheese curds and polka music at the post-finish festival. Yum!

We've done many triathlons, but this would be our first with an outdoor pool swim. Ken was coming off a year of iron-distance training. I was coming with a few weeks of prep phase training. It was an incredible morning and we were excited to discover the course. Actually, I don't like going in blind, for any distance event, but I'm working on that.

I wanted to connect well in the swim, keep my cadence over 80 on the bike and use my new "light" running form on the run-walk-run. My target time was 1:50, not a PR, but what I thought might work given the hills and my fitness. Ken was secretly hoping to be Top 10.

We arrived about an hour pre-race (great parking), checked in and set-up our gear. I wore my SUGOI Velocity tri tank and tri shorts (Big thanks to SUGOI & Outside PR & Sportsmarketing. I call it my Elastigirl suit from The Incredibles.) Ken swam in his Zoot tri shorts.

The swim went well. I was in the 2nd wave of swimmers and we had 4 swimmers in my lane. I lost count of my lengths, but they had a volunteer helping us know how many we had left. Once done, I threw myself out of the deep end and jogged across the marked route to the transition area. Swimming in tri tank/shorts made T1 quicker. It was so fun to be racing again.

The bike was good. It was windy and hilly. But the road quality was excellent and I saw fewer than five non-race support vehicles the entire time. For me the climbs were challenging, legs burning, crazy breathing, doing my best. Ken stayed aero his entire bike except five minutes.

My run-walk-run was OK. I think my second half was faster, so I was pleased with that. I smiled crossing the finish and was grateful for the opportunity to race again. Ken was in the last swim wave, so I waited to see him come in on the bike and start the run. Then I packed up our gear while enjoying the gorgeous Wisconsin morning.

As I waited, I struggled with my finish time (1:51:45). I'm an IM triathlete, I should be faster right? I'm getting my USAT Level 1 Coaching Certification, I should be faster? I have a tattoo, I should obviously be fast. While I'm being somewhat silly here, I do have these nonsense discussions with myself post-race. I want to be faster. I'm just not there yet. Some things I can't force. (I had PF for 6 months last year.) For me it's a mix of strength, confidence, aerobic capacity and mental skills, all coming together.

Ken finished strong with a 2nd place agegroup and 11th place overall. He missed Top 10 by 1:47. He immediately thought of one place that ate time. We moved on, overall very happy with the race and being able to be there together.

We walked over to the food tent and enjoyed our post-race meal: hotdogs, fruit, chocolate, beer & cheese! It was great. As we ate, a lady doing her first triathlon approached the finish line area. As she ran down the street she called out, "I am amazing!!! I'm finishing my first triathlon!!!"

I immediately teared up, the way I do when watching the Olympics. At the same moment I was both happy for and envious of this woman. She knows she's amazing and she was able to shout it out as she became a triathlete.

Question for you:
Have you had a finish-line moment like this? As an athlete or as a spectator?

p.s. If you missed Steve in a Speedo?! Gross!'s post on his SUGOI Velocity tri suit, check it out here. WARNING-this post gets somewhat intimate!

p.s.s. The New Glarus Brewery was amazing! We stopped after the event. I don't think Ken liked this sample, the Dancing Man maybe.

photos: by me/us.