Courage to Tri

23 08 2013

So, it’s kinda sorta been awhile since I’ve raced a triathlon. I did an early season sprint to kick off my season, but I’ve spent what most people would consider prime racing season training.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely wanted to hit the “register” button-but most of the time I just couldn’t bring myself to dish out $90+ for a sprint triathlon in the blazing summer heat of Florida. I’d rather train with my friends so I can go into my 70.3 as prepared as possible.


Two weeks ago, I did an open water swim with Beth, Meghann, Meghan, and Dee at Sand Key Park in Clearwater. Beth mentioned that she would be doing the Courage to Tri sprint on this beach at the end of August. Curious, I asked how much it cost to register, and she told me they just had a registration “party” at the Outspokin stores and you could register for only $50! Now that’s definitely a price I’d pay for a sprint. So I went home and began to fill out the online registration.


When I got to the payment page, the race fee was $95, not the $50 I was hoping for. Wah wah. So I scrapped my plan to register, and started considering Crystal River #3.

A few days later, I received an email from one of the many local running/triathlon email lists I’m on, advertising the $50 registration for Courage to Tri if you registered at one of the Outspokin stores. HECK YEA! I live two minutes from their south Tampa location, so after my long ride on Saturday, I popped in and signed up.

So, this weekend I’ll be racing the 1/3 mile swim, 13 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run in the Courage to Tri! I’m excited to race- it’s been too long!  Catch ya later with a race report!


{Guest Post} Triathlon Training by the Beach

20 09 2011

Hey friends! We’ve got one more guest post for you before we’re back to our regularly scheduled posts! I (Steph) was actually supposed to start my vacation today, but unfortunately plans fell through and I’ll have to hold off until this winter to travel. Anyhow, I had already started lining up some guest posts in my absence, so I’m sharing one with you today! This one is from my friend Chris, who I met through my friend Steph. He’s a serious triathlete and ultra runner who hails from Wilmington, NC. He and I share a love of beach living, so I really appreciate his thoughts on training by the beach. I hope you do too!

To everyone training for a triathlon I hope your training is going well. I used to live in Washington, D.C where I met Stephanie through a friend and since she is out of town for a bit, she asked me to do a post for her while she is away. I gladly accepted and want to thank her and Chloe for asking me to post for them. Since I do not live in D.C anymore I had to think of something that would relate to triathlon training but with a twist. I hope you enjoy and it makes you want to come visit.

Triathlon training while living on the beach. Sounds perfect huh… Oh, if you only knew. So many times we go out and train and think, Man I wish I could be near the beach to do my training, it would be so much more peaceful and relaxing. While this is sometimes true, the wind, the sea creatures, and the hot summer temperatures here in Wilmington, North Carolina get brutal. But the beach and training go extremely well together and I love every minute of training at the beach.

Swimming at the beach

Training at the beach has more benefits than any other place to train in my opinion, except for the lack of hills but that will be talked about later. Swim time at the beach is totally different than living in a city and only swimming in a pool. Swimming in a pool you get the pleasure of following the black line back and forth for a long time. This helps you stay on track and see where you are going. Here in Wilmington, most, if not all of our swims are done in the ocean or the channel. If we want a long swim with no currents we head over to the ocean side and swim pier to pier, 1.2 miles one way (If y’all are interested there is a race here in Wrightsville Beach, NC from pier to pier). The ocean does have sharks, dolphins, jellyfish, man of wars, and other sea creatures that are fun to look at. On the flip side of things, if you are looking for a hard swim, almost like an all pull workout, head over to the channel. With the channel you get the current either coming in or going out. This is pretty fun, when you are going with the current. To put the current into perspective, this morning (Steph added: This was written at the end of August) we did a swim and we swam into the current for 17 minutes to the turn around. We got back to the dock in a total of 28:30. So as you can see you get the ability to build and push harder one way and have a bit of recovery on the way back.

Biking at the beach

Wrightsville Beach has a perfect 10 mile look. The island is only 3.5 miles long but we can get a 10 mile loop around the beach. This helps for getting the mind right for hours of riding. Then if you want a country ride, it is only 5 miles away. Crazy how you can go from the beach to a long country road good for over 100 mile rides only 5 miles away. At the end of a long hot ride, the ocean is usually calling your name. Even if it is cold outside, we head to the ocean. Free recovery when it is cold; it’s an ice bath at your backdoor.

Running at the beach

Running at the beach is flat. Seriously, the biggest hills we have are bridges. It sounds funny, I know, but when we are going to be racing away from the beach we have to do hill workouts, and the hill workouts consist of running up and down overpasses. Other than those overpasses and bridges, there are no other hills here. If you are looking to get stronger legs, no need for the gym here, we go run on the sand. You can run on the hard sand barefoot, or if you want a killer calf workout, you can do a soft sand run. That’s extremely hard, but after it’s all over with, you get to go swim in the ocean. What a way to end a run on the sand or on the road! (Steph added: I would LOVE to end my runs with a dip in the ocean! I’m so jealous!)

Cross training

Cross training is a must down here. While the miles and miles add up, you need an outlet no matter where you are at. Some cook, some read, but at the beach we surf, bodysurf when the surf picks up, Stand up Paddle board, fish, mountain bike (yes we do have two mountain bike trails here), or anything on the water. The life down here revolves around the ocean, whether it be training or having fun, when summer hits, the water or on a dock is where you can find most triathletes. It is a close knit family down here, you know everyone training or racing so any time you want a workout, just post it on Facebook and you will have a swimming, biking, or running partner in minutes.

With the season coming to a close most places, we still have a lot of races down here coming up. If you are wanting a beach vacation that you can still train at, come on down to Wilmington, North Carolina and have some fun in the sun and get some beautiful training in while you are here. Thanks again Stephanie and Chloe and have a great day everyone. Aloha from North Carolina.

Question of the day: Where’s your favorite place to train?

Jersey Shore: By the Numbers

16 08 2011

No, no, not that Jersey Shore. I (Steph) went home to my part of Jersey- the southern part- far away from Snookie and J-Wow. I had an absolutely wonderful time hanging out with family and friends, and of course, racing! There’s much too much to share, but I thought I’d give you some fun facts about my weekend.

4: The number of months that passed since I had last been home. Easter was the last time! Regardless of the month, this is one of the things I miss the most:

(no, not the man, the ocean!)

72: I attended the 72nd annual South Jersey Lifeguard Championships on Friday night. This was one of the reasons that I was really excited about going home for the weekend. Where I’m from, Friday evenings in July and August are spent on a beach watching lifeguard races. Locals and tourists flock to the shoreline after their day at the beach to watch local guards row, swim, paddle, and run against other patrols in the area.

When I was a guard, I competed in the women’s (and sometimes men’s) competitions, and had an absolute blast.

this was me several years ago in a women’s competition

Watching the races on Friday brought back so many great memories from my time on the beach. I got to see a lot of the people I used to work with, as well as former teachers, coaches, and friends who had come to watch the races.

Unfortunately, my patrol didn’t win 😦 But I was still glad I had the opportunity to watch the races.

20: the number of years (at least) that I’ve been friends with Gina, who spent Saturday on the beach with me. It was great to see her and catch up!

2: the number of races I did while I was home: one ocean swim and one triathlon

2: the number of races where some part was completed in the rain.

Unfortunately, it rained pretty much throughout the swim, and it rained at the start of the triathlon. But it didn’t matter, both races required me to get wet anyhow!

2003: The last time I competed in the Harry Yates Memorial Swim. This year was the first year since 2003 that I have been back in Jersey to compete in this open water swim. It is a 1 mile ocean swim and all the proceeds go towards a scholarship fund for someone (or more than one person) on the ACBP. I was a proud recipient of this scholarship one year, so I was happy to give back, and of course do an ocean swim!

The swim was a box course, which aren’t my favorite, (I prefer out and backs) but the good thing about racing in Atlantic City is that there’s lots of these for helping you sight:

The conditions were pretty good for the race, besides the icky rain for the spectators. There was a little bit of a swell out at the flags, but not many waves for catching on the way in. I definitely prefer days when there’s a bit more surf; I think it’s more fun that way! There was also a bunch of these guys in the water:

The clear ones are harmless, but there were a few red ones floating around. I felt a tiny sting on my ankle right after the start, but it wasn’t a big deal at all and I kept going.

The race was lots of fun, and being the only 25-29 year old, I won my age group 🙂 I think I was the 4th female overall and 19th overall.

Best part about racing close to home? Mom, dad and friends can come watch (or volunteer to work registration and the finish line, as was the case with my parents!)

1/10 (of a mile): The distance, I think, from the swim exit to transition for the tri I did on Sunday.

What do you think?

The water is at the very end of this walkway, off to the left. The transition area is behind this picture, about 25 yards to the left.

I guess the run from the swim to transition made up for the short run at the end of the Tuckahoe Triathlon (The run is only 2 miles!)

This was my 2nd time doing this race, and I had a great time! It’s a really flat course, and I love that the run is only 2 miles! I went in this race just looking for a good workout and hoping to have some fun, which I did. I ended up having a pretty good race, slightly faster than last year, but I can’t really compare times because the bike and swim courses were different this year!

Something’s funny about this award…can anyone see what it is?

One thing that’s sort of nostalgic about this race for me is that it takes place in the park right in front of where my dad used to work. Transition was in the old baseball field where there’d be an organized softball game during his company picnic. And, I used to take swimming lessons at the now non-existent pool that use to be just behind the field. Guess those swimming lessons did me well?

1: the number of delicious dinners my mom made (we ordered my favorite pizza one night)

Turkey burger with gouda cheese, guacamole, and mango pineapple salsa.

Black bean, corn, and mango salsa

Salad with heirloom tomatoes, fresh summer corn, and red peppers.

SO YUMMY! And healthy too! Recipes to come Thursday!

16: How old I was when I worked at the ice cream shop where I stopped and ordered this to eat:

A twin treat from Custard’s Last Stand. Vanilla soft serve layered between banana chip water ice (bottom) and peanut butter chocolate chip (with chunks of Reece’s PB cups) water ice. (Please pronounce as “wudder ice,” if you are really from south Jersey or Philly)

All in all, I had a fantabulous weekend. I’m looking forward to the next time I can stick my feet in the sand and jump in the ocean!

Tell me something fun you did over the weekend, with a number associated to it!