Paging Dr. Leo Marvin - Devil's Challenge Race Report

photos: Ken and the boys ate breakfast by the lake. Me - go time! It started raining during my swim. I was in wave 10 of 12.

You can't control the weather. You can control how you respond to the weather and train to improve your performance in various weather conditions. This last weekend, during my last sprint tri of the season, it rained.

I'm happy to swim and run in the rain, it's fun. I'm working to enjoy riding in the rain. I've trained and raced in the rain, cold, heat and wind. The previous weekend it rained during my fourth tri. That bike course is flat with long straight stretches and I'm comfortable holding a strong pace in a straight line in the rain.

photos: This is me on my hotwheel and me on my two-wheeler next to the annoying next-door neighbor kid. These are the faces I'd like to make while riding my bike in any weather condition.

I'm working on the downhills. The Devil's Challenge Triathlon is known for its challenging bike course filled with climbs, descents and turns. Throw in rain, cars on course and gravel, and I'm using every mental trick I can to stay relaxed and in control.

Like Bob Wiley's fish Gil, it's easy for me to get all locked up inside. I had two moments of pure panic on the bike course, I recovered but chose to let go of my bike time and finish without the screaming wet downhill pace. I climbed each hill and felt stronger technically and physically on the uphills but my overall bike time was several minutes slower than the previous year because I let go of the free speed the downhills deliver. It's where I'm at. And, as a triathlete I see value in the big and little moments training and racing, not value based only on finish time.

Great things did happen:
- I had my fastest OWS (shore at 8:26, timing mat at 8:50) and caught up to the slower men from the wave in front of me.
- I had the fastest T1 and T2 of the Athena category (any woman over 145 pounds can register for Athena)!
- I cut over five minutes off my run time! I spend the least time running this year. I do strength and agility run work, but have focused instead on the swim and bike segments.

DCT 2009 swim: 9:57, T1: 2:58, bike: 1:10:37, T2: 1:49, run: 33:12. Overall: 1:58:30.
DCT 2010 swim: 8:50, T1: 2:20, bike: 1:14:41, T2: 1:20, run: 28:00. Overall: 1:55:09.

photos: my wave enters. Ken caught me moving in T1. Bike dismount line.

photos: The muddy path to transition. The timing mat for T2 (notice the huge mud puddle right before the mat.) Me early on the run course, I like the crazy look my foot has in the picture.

photos: I'm the second woman in this picture chasing the lady in front of me. I caught her right before the chute and Ken therefore missed me in the picture, you can see a silver of my bottom and my shoe right next to the right edge.

photos: Leaves are changing. Cute hay bales. A drizzly day.
Questions for You:
- What About Bob? is one of my favorite movies. What's your favorite line?
- What are your tips for cycling in the rain?

What About Bob? trailer

What About Bob? the dinner scene. I eat corn on the cob like this.

What About Bob? quotes

A Tri Weekend! Youth, Adult & Ironman Wisconsin!

We had a great, fun, full, triathlon weekend! Our oldest did his third triathlon, his first one in our village. It starts with a 100-m pool swim, 1-mile bike and 400-m run around the track. Truitt took second in his agegroup (8:44) and tied for second overall of all the boys. He wants to race again next year. :-)

Most of my family competed in the local adult triathlon the next morning. It was cooler and wet, but we all crossed the finish line. I had my fastest pool swim (cut 1:43 off my swim) saving eight minutes from the previous year's time 1:32:36 (slightly different course this year).

It was my sister Sue's first race since being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. She finished cutting over 10 minutes off her last sprint distance tri time. And our friend Ally and her friend Ozzie became triathletes -- great first race experiences. My husband, brother-in-law and younger sister ran a relay, team Viper Dogs, taking second in relays. With so many of us out on the course, we have few pictures, but, I believe we're all in for next year's race.

left - me swimming (green goggles). center - me almost done, reaching. right - I led a 30-minute bootcamp session as part of a fundraiser about 25 minutes after finishing my race.
The following night Ken, my sister and I drove downtown for the final finishers of this year's Ironman Wisconsin race. In 2003 my husband finished his first IM there, and his brother finished in 2004. The finish experience is SO much fun. If you have the chance, definitely go.
left - this is looking up the race chute, the finish is directly to my right in the opposite direction.
center- Mike Reilly keeps the crowds entertained and makes the finish line magic with his famous line, "YOU are an IronMan."
right - Ken and I
On Topic:
- Check out Focal Flame Photography's pictures from the near-perfect day of IM racing.
-'s coverage of IMWI: Gambles and Crawford set records at Wisconsin.
- Last week my sister, Ally, Ozzie and I went for a pre-race ride. We talked about nerves and issues like chafing, etc. And now they are triathletes! :-) Congratulations!

Questions for You:
- Have you done a relay?
- Have you attended or raced in an Ironman-brand event?

photos by me and my family

Birthday Butterflies & Zinnias

I love taking pictures, especially of plants, flowers and animals in our garden or up at the farm. To celebrate my birthday week I took these:

Questions for You:
- How do you celebrate your birthday? This afternoon my oldest son is doing a local youth triathlon. Then over the weekend most of my family is doing the adult tri, followed by lots of screaming and cheering along the Ironman Wisconsin course on Sunday.
- What flowers are in your garden?
pictures by me

A Country Ride!

This last weekend I rode with a small group of friends along the bike course for this coming weekend's local sprint triathlon. It was windy and cool, but a great midday ride.

Joining me were:
Ozzy - this weekend will be his first triathlon! He's most nervous about the swim segment.
Ally - this weekend will also be her first triathlon! Ally ran a 5K event over the weekend too.
Sue - is my sister and it's her first triathlon back since we raced together in a sprint triathlon in 2008. While we sprinted to a tie at that finish, Sue wasn't feeling herself and was later diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. This weekend's sprint triathlon is my sister's first race back.

left -Ozzy, me, Sue & Ally pre-ride. right - Sue

left - Ozzy right - Ally

left - Ozzy, Sue & Ally. right - Sue

The route is a gorgeous ride through the country, a few hills, several horses, an orchard and a few farms. I was excited to see my first wooly-bear caterpillar too!

Questions for You:
- City or country rides?
- Do you like wooly-bears?
- Please wish Ozzy, Ally & Sue a great race experience!
photos by me