Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sometimes Weekly Roundup - 9/17

Soaking up the sunny weekend with some lovely rides along Lake Washington.

Apple season is here in the state of Washington. I picked these lovely Gala's at Gerry's parents' house in Orondo over Labor Day. There were too many to eat plain, so I baked a Smitten Kitchen apple cake and shared it with my co-workers.

Also taken from my bike this weekend - Husky football fans on their way to "sailgate" before the game. It's a popular way to enjoy UW football. Although I really enjoyed how Sydnie and I got to the game this weekend - rode our bikes and then used the UW bike valet. Fast, secure, and we basically had all of Montlake open to us as we rode home.

Action shot from the slip and slide relays over Labor Day at Gerry's cabin. The childhood favorite, now enjoyed by adults, has evolved from an actual slip and slide purchased from Wal-mart to visqueen, tarps, and snow tires, to what we are now using: visqueen, a tarp at the end, and pool noodles to funnel the water. I was really hesitant to try this, but it ended up being a ton of fun. And I'm not sure how much of a workout it was, but my abs were really sore the next day. Totally worth it.

My new favorite morning snack: homemade granola from the dahlia bakery cookbook (birthday gift from my friend, Sarah).

Action shot from my favorite race not to race: Starcrossed! It's fun to watch and cheer from the beer garden. And it's also a good chance to catch up with cycling buddies. One of my friends who raced in the women's elite race AND the single speed race (where she placed 2nd) said she'd teach me some skills and let me borrow her bike someday. I said, "not until my tri season is over." CX looks like a blast, though I'm afraid it would take away from the lazy off season I'm planning.


I hope you're all having a wonderful week as we transition into fall. And although I try not to gush over my sponsors too much (to the point of it sounding insincere), I have a true sense of pride today in seeing the enthusiasm Oiselle has created garnered for women's running.
 
With Heart,
Cathleen
 
PS - something for October and November: coffeeneuring

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Why Penticton?

Tomorrow after work I leave for Challenge Penticton, a race I’ve been looking forward to ever since I decided to apply for my professional license. Amid the craziness that is the lead up to a race (scrambling to finish work items, packing snacks for the long drive, and fitting in a pre-race pedicure somewhere…ya know, the important stuff), I wanted to mention a few things about why I chose this race.

Run along Skaha Lake
As a Seattle triathlete, Penticton is a special place. It’s close enough to drive and often a wonderful capstone after sunny months of summer training. For years it’s seemed that as soon as Penticton was over, I struggled to find training partners unless someone was lucky enough and fast enough to get a Kona slot. If you talk to any Seattle based athlete who has “raced Canada” they’ll get a bit nostalgic and agree that Ironman Canada will always be the race that takes place in Penticton the weekend before Labor Day. If you want to read some of the background about the ownership of this historic race, check out the articles here and here.

Last year I had the opportunity to crew for an Ultraman team in Penticton. I drove up with my friend John Bergen, who took 2nd in the event, and he talked about his years “racing Canada.” He went on and on about the community support. And he mentioned the time in 2003 when they almost cancelled the race due to forest fires. Several of the volunteers were firemen who stayed up all night fighting fires and showed up the next morning to help with the race so the event could take place. I find it hard to believe that many other small communities could pull off something like that. I remember getting chills when John told me about it.
As part of an Ultraman crew, I got to know some of the biggest triathlon supporters in the city. I remember Steve Brown, Ultraman Canada Race Director and 2014 Challenge Penticton Director of Race Operations, talking about how Ultraman was made up of athletes who really loved to do crazy things (obviously). But the way he talked about it, I could tell he did his work not in the name of registration fees or branding. I got the sense that he just “got it” when it came to the love of the sport, and doing a race in this city would be something special. Not only that, I got to enjoy the stellar announcing by legendary announcer Steve King. I can only hope he’s back at Challenge Penticton this year. Check out this interview with Steve King on Breakfast with Bob at Challenge Roth in 2013. He has a resume unlike any other announcer in the sport – fast, intelligent, and entertaining. The interview is worth a listen.
And for all triathletes, Penticton should be special. It was the second Ironman (behind Hawaii) and a place where many of the sport’s legends raced for years – Peter Reid, Faris Al-Sutan, Thomas Hellriegel, Paula Newby-Fraser, Lisa Bentley, Erin Baker, Paul Huddle, Team Hoyt, and Sister Madonna Buder. The list goes on and on. I found this article about some of the other notable events over the years this race has taken place, as well as a good course description.

One of the rollers off Richter Pass
I never had the chance to race in Penticton when it was a WTC event. As my times improved I would try for Kona qualification in CDA versus a late season race. I somewhat regret not having raced it in its heyday. But that's part of the reason I chose Penticton for this year. I want to see this event gain back its traction. I want to experience it firsthand and be able to speak highly of the event. I’ve seen the course and it's challenging and scenic. I gave up my Hood to Coast spot with Puke and Rally in order to race Canada, so I better take full advantage of making it the “weekend of the year.” And beyond that, I’m excited to become part of the Challenge Family. I can’t think of a better place to do so than in Penticton.

Best of luck to all the athletes this year and thank you to everyone for making this event happen!

With Heart,
Cathleen

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sometimes Weekly Roundup - end of June, July, part of August edition...

It's been a very busy summer and although there have been a lot of opportunities for fun photos, I'm often not the type to slow down, stop what I'm doing, and capitalize on documenting the moment. Here are a few pictures from fun memories this summer and a glimpse of what I've been up to:
 
Prior to CDA, my friend Jill hosted dinner at her house to celebrate Susan's birthday and get "the divas" together. These girls have been friends through thick and thin and it was extra special to have Susan's daughters, Ellie and Lucy, join us for the night.

Two beverages I've been slurping on all summer are iced coffees known as shakeratos, based on the recommendation from Orangette. I use homemade cold brew coffee and sweetened condensed milk. It's such a delicious treat. The other frosty beverage I like to make, much easier now that I have a Ninja blender, is frozen coconut limeade from Smitten Kitchen. I feel like the lime is a very underrated fruit. Also, I tried this with light coconut milk last night and it wasn't nearly as good - stick with the full fat option. If you've stumbled upon my blog, you're probably working out a bunch anyway.

Shortly after CDA, I enjoyed a local beer tasting with my friend Elizabeth (first timer at IMCDA - she did great!). I swear these little tasters look bigger in this picture. Anyway, it was nice to enjoy some good beer outside with a good friend on a school night as we rehashed our races.
 
Obligatory Golden Gardens summer sunset shot - doesn't get old.

The last weekend in July I traveled down to Santa Rosa and played Sherpa as the BF raced the full Ironman at Vineman. He's  one of the red caps in the Russian River in the picture above. Gerry raced well and placed 3rd overall. I was able to get in some fun Ironman workouts and check out the great riding around there. The day after his race, we joined some friends and spent time on Lake Sonoma. It was hard to leave.  

Last week I went and watched some super fast ladies at the local all-comers meet. They set up a high performance women's 1500m and I was able to cheer for Oiselle teammate, Kate Grace.

 
Over the years I've attended a handful of cooking classes at The Pantry, a community kitchen in a beautiful space behind Delcancey restaurant. This shot was from their Summer Farmers' Market Class. Amazing. I finally inquired about becoming a kitchen assistant and am now part of their team. Last Sunday I helped with a sauces and condiments class and this week I'm helping with a class on Pacific Northwest cuisine. The instructors are very knowledgeable and even famous (this Sunday I'll be cooking with Kari Brunson, ballet dancer turned chef). It's a great chance for me to learn a few things in the kitchen and I get to try some delicious food.
 
I'm a real sucker for Starbuck's treat receipts. And I went for a big one ($2 for an expensive coffee drink - yes, please) on this particularly hot summer afternoon. I'm sure there is a health magazine somewhere telling me not to "drink my calories," but the chocolate whipped cream made me weak in the knees.

Two weeks ago I lost my keys on a long run (left them in a Starbucks bathroom and had to run extra long to retrieve them) and then last week I "lost" my phone (it was in my lunch bag). After feeling particularly stressed out and loopy, I broke my rule of "no drinking on a school night" and treated myself to a cold one on the deck. It was also a reminder that I need to chill out a little, especially as training and racing build.

My patio was transformed into a bike shop the other night. Just add Papa Murphy's pizza and Sydnie as the supervisor.

I'd like to get back in the routine of posting on a weekly or at least semi-weekly basis soon. I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful and safe summer.

Best of luck with all your training and racing,
Cathleen

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Race Report: Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2014

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while. On one hand, my race in Coeur d’Alene wasn’t anything special. My time was about 15 minutes off from how I raced in 2011 and it didn’t unfold into any spectacular finish like my amateur win in 2013. But on the other hand, my first professional Ironman is a big effing deal (for me at least). And if I didn’t document some of the memories from such a special weekend, I would regret it years from now. Let me start off by saying “thank you” to my coach, teammates, friends, family, boyfriend, host family, competitors, and all the people in Coeur d’Alene who either supported me in getting to the start line or were there on race day. Without this support system, triathlon wouldn’t be nearly as fun or rewarding, and my life would be quite lonely.

I'm the third from the left, thankful I blend in with the other pros. Picture credit here.

Onto the race…as I lined up to race last month in Coeur d’Alene, I thought about how doing this was one of the scarier things I’ve ever done. It wasn’t the distance or the conditions that frightened me - my 11th Ironman and I’ve seen my share of windy days. It was the exposure of racing up front and against some of the best athletes in our sport. “Everyone would be watching” is what I told myself. All the spectators on the beach and athletes waiting to start were watching my start and would be able to see how quickly (or slowly) I’d make my way through the first loop of the swim. Thirty-five minutes *should* be enough to get through 1.2 miles, but I worried about getting dropped before the first turn and swimming solo the entire way. As I watched the men start, I seriously wondered if any professional athlete had ever had a panic attack before even getting in the water. I took some deep breaths and knew I couldn’t set that stage for the age groupers watching. Besides, get it together, Cathleen, you prepared for this! Be courageous and trust the training and years of experience that have basically been a gift in getting you here.

Part of the reason I was a bit intimidated. Photo credit here.

Backing up a bit, Ironman Coeur d’Alene is one of my favorite race weekends. I get to meet up with some old and new friends and I usually know the best spots for dinner, a cup of coffee, or a post-race beer. I’ve had pretty good results here several times and I like the local feel, being only a long drive from Seattle. I often have a handful of teammates toeing the line for their first Ironman, which is always fun to see. This year I had the pleasure of getting to know the CDA community even more by staying with a generous host family – the Pinkertons, who fully immersed themselves in volunteering. My race weekend started out well and everything was pretty much stress-free in getting to the start line. I had the usual pre-race routine and met with my coach to zip up my wetsuit and get final good luck hugs from friends and teammates.

With my friends Helen and Cecil.
As I mentioned above, I was a bit scared at the beach start, but when it all came down to it, I had the BALLS to dive in and start racing. With a strong wind all day, we had some pretty serious chop on Lake Coeur d’Alene. After the 8 pro women went off it was basically swim as hard as you can and don’t get dropped until you settle into a rhythm. I remember thinking it was sensory overload as I kicked and stroked and breathed. Every breath to the right, I could see the flashing lights from the police boat as the waves bobbled us up and down and up and down. Finally, I settled into a pack with Olesya, Ali, and Jennie. I stuck with them until the second turn buoy where I got a mouth full of water. It was a big enough gulp that I needed to cough it up and lost their feet. Luckily, I swam hard enough to catch back up before we were back at shore to finish our first loop. We made it through the first loop in about 32:40, ran on shore, and were back in the water to start loop 2. Two minutes into our second loop the age group wave started and my pack of four pro women was quickly swallowed up. I’ll admit, it kind of sucked getting swum over by the fast age groupers, but it’s motivation for me to keep working harder in the pool and eventually crack the hour barrier in an Ironman. I made it out of the water in 1:06:37.
Starting loop 2 - I'm second here.
I was quick through the empty transition tent, much different than the crowded T1 tents in my age group days, and ready to bike. We all knew it’d be a slower day on the bike with a strong headwind on the up hills and tailwind on the down hills. My time goals were readjusted and I tried to focus on power. I knew I was in 7th place after the swim and I quickly passed Jennie Hansen, who it turned out was having mechanical issues all day. Not long after that, Ali Black passed me and we all held our positions the remainder of the ride. I struggled quite a bit on the bike. At some point during our first loop I could tell I was having stomach problems. I figured I’d be fine and would just use a honey bucket in T2. But as I started the second loop, I felt so bloated I thought I might crap my shorts. I don’t know if it was some seasickness from the choppy swim or the amount of lake water I swallowed or something that went wrong in my nutrition plan the days prior. But my stomach ached and it was getting to the point where I was struggling to eat. I figured a quick stop in a porta potty was a safer bet than no calories and I also thought briefly of this post from Jordan Rapp. There are worse things that could happen with stomach issues. All the bike times were slower than past years, but I rolled in with a 5:49 – ouch.

 
Two shots - not sure if the second pic is just a bad angle or if my
stomach was starting to bloat in the bottom picture.
That's how I felt most of the day. Super attractive.
 
Based on my run training this year, I was ready to lay down a solid run. I had hoped my stomach settled and based on my lackluster bike knew I didn’t ride too hard. And I actually felt pretty good out there. My pacing was where I wanted it to be to have a run split I could be proud of and I was honestly having a good time. I got to see several of my friends and teammates cheering, volunteering, and racing. I was passed by speedy runner Jennie Hansen about 7 miles in, but I kind of knew that was coming. At the halfway mark, my coach yelled words of encouragement to catch 6th place (Ali), but with 4 bathroom stops on the run (yes, I know), I came up short by less than 2 minutes. There were parts of the run that were super uncomfortable and not because of my legs. In the end, I ran a 3:30 marathon and finished with a total time of 10:30:43 and 7th place for the pro women. I consoled myself knowing I wasn’t the slowest swimmer, biker, or runner, even if I was the slowest finish. Plus, with a small field and purse that paid 8 deep, we all made some cash, which was definitely something new.



As I turned down Sherman Ave to run toward the finish chute, it was truly a special moment. And it wasn’t because I had laid down a blazing fast race or won anything spectacular. But I knew I had followed through on my goal of racing as a professional this year. Yes, I was the last finisher of the pro women, but it took some guts and a hell of a lot of dedication to get to this point. I’ve chatted with a few other pro women who’ve reminded me that it takes some getting used to when you make the leap from amateur to professional. My new competitors have been nothing but nice and inspiring and I’m fortunate that I can consider them my new peers (even when they finish way the hell in front of me…Heather Wurtele). The hours and days after the race I was left on a high of only wanting to work harder and get faster. It helped me realized that “going pro,” as I contemplated for years, was the right decision in keeping this sport fresh and exciting for me.



I learned a lot over Coeur d’Alene race weekend including that in reality I don’t think “everyone” was watching the beach start or really paying too much attention to my race all day. Athletes worry about their own races and spectators sometimes don’t know what’s going on. I know starting with the pros and having a “P” on my calf all day makes people think I’m going to race fast, and that is what I hope for every day. I can use that expectation to push on when things get tough. My boyfriend, friends, teammates, and coach watched as I ran on the beach to complete the first loop of the swim, but I’m the one who put the most pressure on my day. This Ironman made me excited for the rest of the season and future years. There are more races to come. Again, thank you to everyone who made is so special.

Until the next one,
Cathleen

Other random thoughts from race day:
  • It was another fun weekend of racing with my friends David and Adam. We travelled to St. George in 2012, had a blast, bought matching sweatshirts, and take advantage of wearing them together in public when we can. It was great seeing these guys race, but we’ve decided that the three of us often have bad luck with the wind.
It's like they're taking this picture with me!

We LOVE our St. G sweatshirts and leftover pizza.
 
  • I nerded out at the pro meeting and told Heather Wurtele that she won Ironman CDA the first year I did an Ironman (2008). She was really cool about it.
  • Race morning I asked some random male pro to borrow a bike pump. That random pro was Andy Potts. I was totally star struck. Geez.
  • My host family was awesome! I was very lucky to be paired with such a fun and supportive family. I hope to keep in touch and visit them the next time I’m in CDA. All four of them also volunteered in T1 and had some hilarious stories from the changing tents.
  • Major thanks to my friend Kevin Tu for many of the great pictures above. He takes excellent race day photos.
  • Mike Reilly still pronounces my name wrong. Instead of K-newt-son, he says NUT-son. At the swim start, Jess Smith leaned over and laughed and told me “that’s why you marry a Smith.”
  • I got to know both Jess and Ali Black a little bit during over the weekend. I hope to run into them at other races, as they are both very down to earth and kind.
  • I also got to meet up with Haley Chura who was in town for SMASH. Both she and her mom were really sweet. I was impressed by her dedication to squeeze in a swim workout, which made me understand why she’s so fast. I hope to see her again at some races.
  • I have yet to decide on my 2015 season, but I do hope to race again in CDA. I need to break that 10 hour barrier and doing so in CDA would be really special.
  • Finally, a belated Happy Birthday to my boyfriend. June 29th (race day) was his birthday and he spent it as my Sherpa. :)
Many more races together...hopefully a little faster and not on your birthday.
 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ironman Coeur d'Alene Through the Ages

I've been thinking about this blog post a lot lately. In fact I would have posted earlier, but I’ve been preoccupied this week with the typical race week distractions – packing, last minute purchases, pre-race massage, focusing on getting more rest, etc. It’s a delicate balance of getting your shit done and staying calm. Or maybe I’m the only one who struggles with this? For me race week, especially when it's a race with so many memories, churns up nostalgia and I feel the need to reflect on how far I've come since I started racing Ironman. Here are the “Clif's Notes” versions of race reports from the past five times I’ve toed the line in Coeur d’Alene:

The year was 2008 and I had signed up approximately 365 days prior (this race used to sell out back then) thinking it might be a "one and done" type of experience. My training consisted for running a couple half marathons and marathons, buying a TT bike (that I rode until April of this year), swimming solo at the gym near my house, and way too many late nights and early mornings lifting weights or on a stationary bike (before I understood the benefits of a bike trainer and when I worked too many hours in public accounting). I actually stumbled upon my training plan the other day while I was cleaning out a closet. It was something I found on the Internet and printed out and put in a 3-ring binder. I don't remember much from the day other than it was really a lot of fun. My friends and family were out on the course and I remember the crowd was really supportive. I finished in 11 hours and 49 minutes and was pretty much hooked after crossing that finish line.

Support crew - Malia, Sherry, Andy, Jill, John, Lane

2008 Finish line with Jill, Lane, and Sherry
In 2009 I decided that I didn’t want to put in that much time and not get faster, so I hired a coach. Kainoa, who still coaches me to this day, whipped me into shape and prepared me to be more competitive in my age group. The weather that afternoon was cold and gray that day; it rained a bit on the run. My goal that year was to bike under 6 hours and run under 4. I succeeded in both and finished in 11:11:01, which was good enough for 5th place in my age group. Unfortunately, the Kona slot only rolled down to 4th place who finished about 90 seconds ahead of me. The girl who finished fourth, Lilia, and I are now good friends. Being that close and not getting a Kona slot was motivation that would help me through training the following winter. 
2009 Race morning with my friend Lindsay
In 2010 I knew I had a better chance of getting a Kona slot than the year prior. My run times were getting faster and I was showing improvement on the bike and in the pool. I swam okay, for me, got through transition quickly and got to work on the bike. I remember telling my friends and family that if I had a perfect day, I’d bike around 5:35. I biked 5:32 and was leading my age group as I started the run. My run was less than stellar – it was hot and I paced it poorly, but I held on to finish in 10:42 and got my first age group win in any distance triathlon. I had friends, family, and teammates at the finish line. When I was digging through pictures to post for this blog, I noticed the Facebook album I posted for this Ironman was titled, “Race of My Life.”


2010 - when I learned how to ride a bike

2010 - holding position on the run

I could probably argue, however, that 2011 was the race of my life (up for grabs this weekend, I hope). I put a lot of pressure on myself that year to qualify for Kona. I knew a couple fast girls from Seattle in my age group (Lilia mentioned above and Sam Mazer), not to mention all the fast girls who could show up from other states. Plus I felt like I had something to prove after winning my age group the year before. My training had gone well – I had a new stand-alone marathon PR that year (3:05) and I had also done well at Oceanside 70.3 that spring. And when race day came, I executed it almost perfectly. I posted a real race report here. The icing on top was that I had so many friends and teammates there who also raced well and that was really special.


2011 podium with Lilia in 2nd and Sam in 3rd - an honor to share
 the stage with such talented friends

2011 run
Last year was special for me in a new way. I learned to calm down a little and focus more on what I could do as an athlete versus worrying about how others were racing or what it would take to get a Kona slot. At the end of the day, I won my age group and was the first amateur female, something that would eventually lead to my decision of going pro. Racing CdA last year was a good reminder of how much I love racing and that I love Ironman. I got to experience racing up near the front and head to head with another competitor. It gave me a confidence boost and was a good stepping stone for this year.

2013 run -  hoping to improve on last year's race.
I'll likely have this same dorky smile.
So when I arrive in Coeur d’Alene this week, swim in the lake, and stroll up and down Sherman Ave, there will be a lot of memories giving me a lump in my throat (because sometimes I’m a total sap). But there will also be a ton of positive energy on the course for me on Sunday. Apart from the hustle of getting ready to race, this week has been awesome in terms of getting so many wonderful messages from friends and family. I have some fears about my first Ironman as a professional and the usual nervousness I get before a race, but I’m looking forward to writing about a new year and new experiences.
Best of luck to all athletes on Sunday! Have a safe and memorable race! This could be the start of something amazing!
-Cathleen


Monday, June 16, 2014

Sometimes Weekly Roundup - 6/16

First off, Happy Birthday to my best friend, training partner, and one of my most loyal readers - Sydnie!

Here are the ramblings from the past week:

I took this shot last weekend in Central Washington on my final over distance ride of my Coeur d'Alene training block. 120 mile bike + 1 hour run all solo. Last weekend, my friend Heidi asked me if I ever get bored training by myself and I gave her an indifferent answer. But then two days ago when I had a much shorter ride, I was bored out of my freaking mind. So it goes, the shorter stuff is sometimes harder than the longer stuff. I'm pretty sure we've all been there.

I posted this picture to "the Grams" this week after picking some delicious produce in the urban gardens near my office. Seattle U is all about sustainability and has gardens around campus free to harvest. By the way, this is what strawberries should look like, not the huge, overgrown ones you see in grocery stores. I then whipped up these Smitten Kitchen bars.  
 
Friday night was one of two graduation parties for the weekend and I was showing up empty handed, so I picked up a dozen cookies and growler of IPA. Taking advantage of not having a seven hour training day on Saturday, I had some bevs and it kind of made me think about this article. In terms of food and drink, it was B+ nutrition.
 
 
The second graduation party of the weekend was at a place called Sound Spirits, a distillery in Seattle with really delicious gin cocktails. The bartender had really funny candor and it was a fun place to tour, hang out, and raise a glass to our friend Annabelle to congratulate her on her grad school graduation.
 
I've been slightly obsessed following RAAM this year as my friend John Bergen crosses this epic adventure off his bucket list (picture taken by John's crew). John has been a friend and mentor of mine since 2010 when we both raced Ironman Kona. I sometimes call him my "Ironman big brother" and had a chance to crew for him at Ultraman last year. There was a great write up by one of his sponsors, nuun, written here. And if you like to geek out on this type of stuff, check out how Christoph Strasser is doing compared to the rest of the field. Incredible!


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sometimes Weekly Roundup - 6/5

Training is in full swing which means a) creativity wanes and b) I don't really take much time to post pictures or blog... c and d) I'm a little grumpy trying to fit everything in and I'm pretty much eating all the time. So, here is round-up that spans the last few weeks. My taper for Ironman CdA is just around the corner, so hopefully I'll soon be able to spice up the blog posts.
 
I spent the past three weekends in Coeur d'Alene, ID, Central WA, and Seattle, respectively. I packed in the miles, but also enjoyed some quality time with good friends. Here are some ramblings from the past few weeks.
 
The Student Center at Seattle U has become a new friend. I go there daily for some fruit-infused water, Thai iced tea, or to grab a breakfast burrito (stuffed with tator tots!) after hard training weekends. I was recently there for lunch and got asked if I was looking for a summer job. I'm glad to know I still (kind of) fit in as a student.
 
Saturday was the final broadcast of "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" with Carl Kasell as the official scorekeeper of the show. Nerds around the country, including Barack Obama, bid adieu to our favorite voice in radio.
 
I went over to CdA with my friends David, Adam, and Julie. The three of us in this picture are all racing IMCdA, just like we raced St. George in 2012. Since St. G was changing from a full Ironman to a 70.3 that year, all their merchandise was really cheap and the three of us bought matching sweatshirts. We never miss an opportunity to bust these out together. Though I will admit, I felt a little self conscious wearing a sweatshirt with the M-dot plastered all over it.   
 
Also on my CdA training weekend, I rode the old course. Anyone who raced her prior to 2012 will recognize this junction. I miss the old course - it was more technical and scenic.
 
This past Friday night I ran 20 miles after work (not at a 4:18/mile pace), followed by stuffing my face with salty teriyaki chicken and then watching the Pre Classic online. Galen Rupp set *another* American record with his blistering 10k. If you don't already follow track and field, there is some really good stuff out there. He ran 1:57 for his last 800 meters! So impressive!
 
 
A couple weeks ago, I attended an event at SU that included a successful alumna, Robin Wehl Martin, who talked about her new cookie shop in Seattle. I tasted the habanero chocolate chip and the snickerdoodle - both amazing! Definitely worth a stop for good coffee, delicious cookies, or an ice cream sandwich.

This picture says so many things. You can read about it here. I love Oiselle for being bold and pushing the boundaries - in business and in sport. Congratulations to Heather, Katie, Kate, and Brenda on an amazing race at the World Relays!
 
And finally, a picture from Golden Gardens in Seattle . I felt like garbage (energy wise) on Tuesday, but rallied to finish my bike workout. It's sights like this that really turn my mood around. I'm entering my final push of IM CdA training. It hasn't been easy, but I feel like I'm strong and healthy and will be able to put down a good race on June 29th.
 
 
Best of luck to all to those pushing their limits in training!
xo,
Cathleen