Sunday, November 05, 2006


A funny thing happens when you don't look for stuff.

You find it.

When you forget how much you love competing against yourself, you remember at the strangest times. When you don't think about being a triathlete, you realize again and again that that's what you are. That's who you are.

I got in the pool yesterday for the first time in a month. I just simply couldn't sit and stare at my computer screen of IronmanLive anymore...I knew my friends were out there, and I knew I had to wait. No sense in wasting any more time. I'd already done all the random little tasks I needed to do. So, what do I do?

Head to a pool--on the other side of town--because I just really felt like I needed to swim.

All that IronmanLive-ing woke up the TriSara spirit, and it was like I was on autopilot.




So I did, and didn't really expect much--first time in a pool since late September! But I put on my Zoot suit and my goggles, and walked into the pool....and got the stupidest smile on my face.

You know you're a triathlete when you SMILE as you go underwater in the pool.

Man, I love this stuff.

So I busted out my first 100 warmup. Not expecting much, of course. Looked at my watch....


It said I just swam it at a pace that, last January, was my 100 yards all-out pace.


Kept going, and did 1000 yards. Checked the watch, and did it faster than most of my time trials from last year.

"Um, hi, guard? Is this pool 20 yards long?"

*looks at me like I'm nuts, since clearly this is a pool used for teams to swim, as all the records are posted on the walls*

"'s 25 yards...we have teams race in here."

*stupid grin* "OK! Great, thanks!"

I then ended with 100 fast and hard...just to see.

Looked at the watch...and wouldn't ya know it? Faster than any 100 I did during IM training!

It kinda reminds me of the time at Miami U, when my senior year, I had 2 exams on Green Beer Day. Green Beer Day is the Thursday before Spring Break, and the bars open at 5am with insane beer specials that increase every hour. My grades were good, I knew I was going to graduate with honors in 2 months, so I decided, "You know what? I'm going out on Green Beer Day. And that's that." So I did--went out at 5am, had some green libations, stopped consuming around 7, had some coffee, took my first exam (The European Union) at 8am and my second (International Politics) at 10. Went back to the bars after exam #2.

Got the tests back: A and B+.

So, I remember thinking, WHY did I waste all that time stressing about these exams, when I just got my two highest test grades in these classes on Green Beer Day?

Moral of the story? Don't sweat it. Sometimes good stuff happens when you relax and trust your abilities.

Today, I went up to a little race. I knew nothing of what my body would really do, since I feel like I haven't done much fast stuff since MC Hammer was on the charts. So, I found BuckeyeRunner, DaisyDuc, CanadaJenn, and my awesome Mom.

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TriSaraMom, CanadaJenn, and I suit up for the race

We wished each other well, and then took off!

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TriSaraMom looking strong! Yes, folks, that's my MOM--not my sister

In my head, I really just hoped I could hold sub-8 minute pace for this race. I was pleased to see I was doing so until Mile 3...huh? Really? Did that time dude just yell what I thought he did?

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DaisyDuc, kickin' butt, grabbin' the hardware in AG!

I saw the finisher's chute and kicked it into high gear the last (what I thought was ) 0.1 mile.

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Look! It's a BuckeyeRunner on my tail! I'd better move or she's gonna SMOKE me!

I was bummed at the finisher time, but oh well. You know what? I had a blast. Who cares if it was not close to the time I had hoped for. I cheered for CanadaJenn as she came in and out-kicked some dude....."Get him! Get him! GET HIM!" I yelled.

She got him.

Then, I waited for my Mom. She came through very strong and kicked it at the end. I swear she gets stronger and stronger with each run she does!

Finally, I actually checked my Garmin.

3.19 miles.

Wait a minute......maybe it IS CLOSE to the time I was hoping for...

Daisy Duc came up to me and said, "Hey, did that feel long to you?" I showed her the Garmin. I then saw another girl with a Forerunner on and asked her, "Hey, what does your's say for distance?" She laughed and said, "3.2. It's definitely long."


Pretty soon, the race director came on the PA and announced what my friend Mr. Garmin already told me: the course was a bit long--about a tenth of a mile. Adjust your times accordingly.

What a nice little surprise!

I then asked Mr. Garmin what my laps and pace were.

7:55 pace! YahoooooooooooIDIDIT!

The last 0.1 was really closer to 0.2....and I did that at a 6:41 pace! So I definitely could have ran faster, if I had that much gas left in my tank. But again, who cares? I had a blast, it felt great to be out there, and now I have something to gauge myself against for a few more little 5Ks here before the season ends in December.

So, to "adjust" that to 5K time, I did 24:32. Not anything earth-shattering for me, but hey, not too shabby. It felt good to be back. And I definitely finished strong.

Sometimes, when you just chill out and relax a bit and just GO, you realize you have fun. You realize why you do this. For the friends, the fun running in the finisher's chute with your Mom, the coffee afterwards at Panera. The time's just the icing on the cake.

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What will most likely be ANOTHER PR for the TriSaraMom!

I definitely am excited to try and chase my PR down here in the next few weeks. I think I can get it.

You can take the girl out of the triathlon....but you can't take the triathlon outta the girl.


Pharmie said...

I seriously wish I had your fish skills. Great job on the 5k (+) too!

teacherwoman said...

Nice job in the pool! I wish I had more time to swim!

Great post!

RunBubbaRun said...

Great job on the 5K, pass some over that swim speed over this way. I also watched IMFL all day, great times for all of them. But I think our day with all that crazy weather made looking back a little more special.

Wes said...

I just wanna know when you are going to change your nick to IronSara :-) Cause you "topped" the last one :-)

DaisyDuc said...

Always great to get the chance to run a race with ya lady and the coffee with friends afterwards definitely was icing on the cake!!!

jbmmommy said...

Nice job on all accounts. Wish I had some speed like that, ever. Some day maybe.

Eric said...

Sorry couldn't make it out there to watch you run. Up too late and sleeping in will do that to ya.

Great pics from Matt and great job overall.

Curly Su said...

awesome, sara. it's nice to hear you're doing so well.

Jodi said...

Dude, you are in such great shape right now! Take advantage of it- Maybe this can be PR November!



ps. Great to see you today!

Habeela said...

That just has to feel sooo good!

BuckeyeRunner said...

Hah! Great photos! You and Daisy were smokin today!! I couldn't catch you for the life of me! Thanks for being my rabbit! It felt good to work hard today. I am sorry I missed you guys at the end - I was so cold at the end, and was meeting my husband for brunch (he did an NCN race out in Elyria this morning) Next time, for sure!

bunnygirl said...

You are one sick puppy to smile when you get in the water! :-)

Yay to TriSaraMom! Does she blog, too? What a special thing, that you can run together!

Rae said...

Great job at the race!! Your mom does not look old enough to be your mom!

Keep up the fast times!!

Kate said...

Great work on the sub-8s! You really will be PRing in no time. Speedy short course Sara will be a force to be reckoned with.

Kewl Nitrox said...

Great job! I am sure the swim speed came with heaps of determination and training. Kudos!

walchka said...

Congrats on your race and getting back into the pool. I'm headed back to the pool after month+ break this week. Hopefully my swim will go as well as yours.

qcmier said...

Awesome job. I'm living my post-IM life vicariously through you, so keep on rockin'!!!

a.maria said...

NICE job on the PR!!! i just realized today i have a 5k thanksgiving day.

i'm going to *actually* train for it i think!

what a novel idea?!?!

and reading your post today kinda got me excited for it, so...


E-Speed said...

great job at the pool and at the 5k!!! Glad you are having fun and getting fast again!

TryAthlete said...

Congratulations on a good run. Now go get that PR!

Siren said...

You're a total fish AND you can run sub-8 miles?! You're my new tri goddess.

I'm doing my very first local 5K soon - if I work really, really hard and everything goes well I'm hoping to break 40 minutes. Pretty sad, huh?
: )

Lana said...

Congrats!! I'm a little behind on blogs, but I'm getting there...Great race, way to meet your goal!