Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vegan Wedding!

Trimazing! is excited to announce that we've updated our website and the Trimazing! blog is now integrated into that site!

The post you're looking for is now located at:

Please redirect to and go to the form to subscribe to the Trimazing! blog to get new posts delivered to your email.

And while you're at it, check out the new site. It has more information and even a free downloadable e-cookbook, What's for Breakfast? full of my favorite breakfast items.

Thank you for all of your support over the years and I look forward to seeing you at!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Vegas Post-Race Recovery!

A little post-race recovery!
So I'm settling in to post-race season recovery better than I thought I would! I've been having a blast!

Knee Update
I've been to physical therapy twice now, and this seems to be helping a lot. The physical therapist seems to think that my knee issue is probably a flareup of my IT band due to systemic inflammation. She believes that my post-Vineman immune system just wasn't able to deal with the inflammation from my sinus infection and   strep throat and allowed my little "tweak" of an injury to my IT band to become inflamed during my convalescence. The knee is not unstable at all, but the area around the distal end of the IT band had fluid in it. She's been using ultrasound and Graston® (just like the treatment I had for my ulnar neuropathy last year, see post), and it's getting much better. I'm also using the foam roller and doing some exercises to work the IT band. The swelling is down, pain has decreased and sometimes disappeared, and I've not had the "squeaky rub" condition for several days now. I do have a referral to a sports-medicine orthopedist in October, and I'm going to keep that appointment to see what things I can do to prevent future injuries to this area as I start up my full Ironman training this fall.

I'm slowly adding workouts in. I did a 1.5 mile swim last week and my knee was great for the first half; it got a little achy, not painful, so I just pulled the last half. I did a five minute stationary bike warmup at PT this morning with no pain at all, which is the first cycling I've had pain-free for a month. Tomorrow I'll do a 2-3 mile treadmill run and see how that feels. I'm really looking forward to getting back into training.

Vegan Vegas!
I went to Vegas last week for the first time in years. Believe it or not, it was soooo relaxing! I've never gone anywhere and just vegged at the pool...but that's exactly what I did and turns out, exactly what I needed! We spent four days at the pool, lounging, swimming, relaxing, enjoying drinks with little umbrellas in them, of course...ahhhhhh!

We stayed at the Wynn, which was beautiful, and, turns out, has outstanding vegan food at all of their restaurants and room service! The Wynn brought in vegan chef, Tal Ronnen, to develop wonderful vegan fare, and he hit it out of the park! Check out their menus.

The first night we ate at La Cave outside on the patio overlooking the pools. It was a beautiful setting. La Cave is a wine bar/restaurant that serves small plates in tapas style, although it's not Spanish cuisine. There was a whole section of vegan selections...and we ordered them all! Our favorite, which we ordered a total of three plates worth, was the Creamy Mushroom Tortellini, made with cashew cream. OMG! So fantastic! I'm going to have to figure out how to recreate that dish!

Room and poolside service was terrific too. Over the four days, for breakfast, we had the fruit plate with vegan soy vanilla yogurt, granola and soy yogurt parfait, and tofu scramble. It was all excellent! At the pool we had salads and a terrific roasted red pepper and avocado hummus.

The second night we ventured to the Bellagio to Sensi. While not a vegan restaurant nor one with a vegan menu, I had read in the Vegas Vegan blog about the amazing food they had there, and as it was one of my friend's favorite restaurants in Vegas, we were very intrigued to see what they had along the vegan lines. We had the BEST waiter--he was English and so much fun! We asked about a vegan menu and he got all excited and said he was go talk to the chefs to see what they would come up with, because "they really do love to create new exciting things!" He came back with a list of wonderful menu items...and we ordered them all! We had a fantastic Veggie Sushi Platter with a Ponzu Yuzu dipping sauce and a wonderful risotto for appetizers, followed by Tofu Scallops with stir-fried vegetables that were outstanding and a dish of seasonal vegetables that included a variety of summer squashes, carrots, green beans, etc. And a bowl of fresh berries with the most amazing lemoncello sorbet I've ever had in my entire life!

The last night we went to the Mix Lounge at the top of The Hotel at Mandalay Bay. Stunning! We ended up having drinks and dinner outside on the veranda on the 64th floor; it was a beautiful night with an orange harvest moon. The lounge is dark, sleek, and sexy...the restaurant is etheral and light, making for an amazing evening. Note...if you ever go here, you HAVE to check out the bathoom! Sexiest bathrooms on earth!

Mix is not a vegan restaurant, but they were more than happy to come up with a list of items they would make for us. We'd had so much food the other nights that we simply kept ourselves to two entrees this night! We shared a Vegetable Hot Pot with Wild Mushrooms and Potato Gnocchi with Morels and Asparagus. We did enjoy fresh breads for starter, which included four varieties of bread accompanied by fresh chunky peanut butter they make on site--I thought this was very original!

For dessert, we had a variety of sorbets which were amazing, and a warm madeleine, all served up on a beautiful platter scripted with "Happy Birthday" in chocolate and a candle!

My next blog will cover the adventure that followed Vegas...a Vegan Wedding (no, not me!!)! Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

You Like to Think that you're Immune to the Stuff...

Me and Chrissie Wellington...WOW!

Oh yeah!

I was driving home this morning from work and Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" came on Pandora and it seems so fitting right now, in the context of triathlon for me.

And believe it or not, the line that caught my attention was "You like to think that you're immune to the stuff" not the addicted to love [tri]...

Let me explain...

Sadly, race season 2012 is done for me...and I'm having a really hard time about it! Mostly because I wasn't mentally ready to be done, but my body has different plans. I'm actually registered for a long course tri at Black Diamond in Enumclaw, Washington, the Portland Olympic Tri, and the Portland Marathon, and been registered for them for months, but I'm not going to be able to compete.

First it's been a full frontal attack by strep... The day after the Wahine relay I did as part of "The Afters" team I developed a sinus infection. Miserable. I really didn't think it was going to be a big deal, figured it was a little swamp water effect from Blue Lake, but it really knocked me on my butt. I couldn't sleep, worked my firefighter shifts and I know my crew made voodoo dolls in my likeness and tore them to pieces for keeping THEM up all night tossing and turning and coughing. But I took one shift off, got back on my feet and figured I was fine. Then...full on strep throat. The nurse told me, "No one gets strep in summer, after this test comes back negative I'll tell you how to deal with a sore throat." Well, I proved her wrong! I was in bed for a whole week, penicillin and the works. This was all four weeks post-Vineman.

Finally, when strep was clearing up, my left knee decided it really didn't like what I did during Vineman, riding on a flat for all that distance. Now I have developed pain in that knee with walking and especially up and down stairs or when carrying heavy objects. It comes and goes, sometimes feels so sharp that the knee feels unstable. I can feel a rub through the skin when holding my hand over the lateral knee and out of curiosity, auscultated it with a stethoscope and I have a pleuritic-like rub sound when I articulate that knee. It's like I'm the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz and I need an oil port in my knee.

I saw my primary care who was certain I had a lateral epicondyle stress fracture, but this did not show up on x-ray. He gave me a knee sleeve to wear, but that increases the pain significantly, more than without a brace, so I’m not wearing it. I have a PT appointment tomorrow. He does not think it is from my IT band, does not think it’s meniscal, but doesn’t know what it is. So now I'm in an email debate with him over whether or not he will refer me to an orthopedic physician who specializes in endurance athletes.

I'm pretty devastated about having to quit my season. I realized it when I got the strep throat diagnosis. And I started GRIEVING! Seriously, that day was awful. I felt miserable, I got into a hot bubble bath and cried my eyes out. Friends and family helped a lot, but I'm still sad about it, although I've accepted it now. But, as I told a tri friend the other night at a reception for Chrissie Wellington, it's taking a lot to keep my spirits up at the moment, especially with this fight with my health provider over my knee. And really, I just want to be ready to start training for Ironman Tahoe. I know it's over a year away, but my mind is ready to start.

The thing is, even though I'd heard about athletes getting really sick after long endurance races, I really "felt immune to the stuff" and that it wouldn't happen to me. And that's really ridiculous as pretty much all of my triathlon friends who have done half and full Ironman races have gotten strep, bronchitis, and other infections the weeks following their events--and we've talked about it at length. Here is an article I found about this:

Why do I have to learn so much the hard way? My friend, Wyatt, said, "I think it doesn't stick otherwise." And then I also forget I'm new at this. This is only my second season, and I don't know what to expect. So I'm taking the rest of my season off, resting, healing, recuperating, enjoying time with friends and family and doing some traveling, things I wouldn't have time for otherwise. In my lowest of lows when I lamented to one friend, "I don't have any races to look forward to now.." he reminded me that we have an upcoming trip to Vegas..."You have THAT to look forward to now."

And, somehow, people come into your life at the right time to help you through rough patches. Chrissie Wellington came to Portland this week and I had the great opportunity to see her at Athlete's Lounge. She showed up in a walking cast on her left leg due to stress fractures. She's not racing Kona this year. And she's not sure what she'll do for next season, not sure she's racing even. What is she doing? She's spending time with family and friends, traveling. I think she was sent just when I needed her.

So in tribute to my Addiction to Tri...a little celebration of where I've come in these two seasons! Sing along!

Addicted to Tri

Your lights are on, but you're not home

Your mind is not your own

Your heart sweats, your body shakes

Another kiss is what it takes

You can't sleep, you can't eat

There's no doubt, you're in deep

Your throat is tight, you can't breathe

Another kiss is all you need

Whoa, you like to think that you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah

It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough

You know you're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to tri...

You see the signs, but you can't read

You're runnin' at a different speed

Your heart beats in double time

Another kiss and you'll be mine, a one track mind

You can't be saved

Oblivion is all you crave

If there's some left for you

You don't mind if you do

Might as well face it you're addicted to tri!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Afters! Wahine Sprint Relay Tri Race Report

"The Afters" Pam Johnson, Cindy Thompson, and Cindi Morrow

This is a very special race report! I'm so excited to share this story!

Isn't racing great? I mean, don't you just meet the most amazing, inspiring people? I'm constantly blown away with people's stories, how they started, what they've endured, obstacles they've overcome, achievements they've made, how racing and this community has impacted their lives. My friends, Cindi and Pam, are two of those people.

The After's team was born from my friendship with these two remarkable women. Pam and I met during my first triathlon season, when we kept bumping into each other on the podium and decided we needed to get to know one another. We've become great friends and training partners, and had teased each other that we should do a relay together some day and be on the same podium step! I met Cindi, a runner, a couple of years ago and really developed a friendship after unexpectedly bumping into each other at a vegan potluck put on by NW Veg. Cindi has been a great supporter and inspiration, coming to races, sharing race reports, and I've been threatening to take her over to the "dark side" of triathlon! While getting to know these ladies, we discovered that we had each undergone transformations of fitness and weight loss, and often talked about this in the context of "before" and "after." During a dinner last winter, one of us called ourselves "The Afters" and a fantastic idea emerged...we should form a triathlon relay team and celebrate our "After" selves! We chose the Wahine all-women's triathlon as our event.

Below are our stories.

Cindi Morrow

Cindi "After"
On June 1, 2009 I weighed 312 pounds. In five months I would turn forty. I'd tried scores of times to lose weight. Some of those attempts lasted a few days some for months but none of them took. This time though instead of one more failed attempt to lose weight I succeeded in gaining my health. 

There's a big difference between not wanting to be fat and wanting to be healthy.  More than losing 141 pounds I've grown as a person and as a citizen. I've learned that my food choices impact not just myself but my community, the environment, and animals that in the past I saw not as sentient beings but as food.  I've gone from being someone who took the shortest path between to points to a recreational athlete who has run three marathons, six half marathons, and countless races of shorter distances.   

Cindi "Before"
Between June 2009 and early October of that year I was a dedicated walker. I walked to shed weight. One night when I was out exercising after work it began to rain. I was tired after working a twelve hour shift. It was dark. I was a mile from home. And, now it was raining. Instead of walking, I figured, I'd run home. I'd be home that much quicker. Well, my first attempt at running lasted about a minute and left me grasping for breath, my heart pounding, my legs burning, but my spirit determined. How was it that I couldn't run? How was it that I'd allowed myself to become so incapable? I tried again the next day. It was no better. Same for the day after that one, too. I stuck with it and a month later I was able to run that mile without stopping.  It was a 14 minute mile but it was running! 

I was a new person. I was becoming the person I always wanted to be. Confident instead of unapologetic. Making things happen instead of making do. Controlling my body instead of my out of control body controlling me. I'm was a runner. I am a runner! Not a gifted one but a dedicated one. I'm slow (32:22 5K PR) but I finish. Sometimes I race against the clock, sometimes I race against my personal best, sometimes I race just to cover the distance. Each day I run I'm a healthier and happier person. Each step is a joy. Even the steps that are ugly and difficult on an uphill course on tired legs. Sometimes my standard four mile run on my home course starts like a punishment and ends with me wishing I had miles still to run. Running changed somewhere along the way from exercise to a passion . . . it influences what I eat and when I sleep . . . it's earned me health, friendship, and pride . . . running makes EVERYTHING else in my life easier.

Pam Johnson

Pam "After"
I'm one of those people that should "know better." I've done active things all my life (skiing, snowboarding, swimming, triathlon, mountain biking, etc.), but I've also had issues with my weight all my life. I seemed to always go through phases of all or nothing when if came to my weight and fitness level. I was either super fit and training for an Ironman or being overrun by stress at work with no outlet of physical activity and eating totally unhealthy. As I was approaching my 40th birthday though, I knew something had to change. I realized that I needed to get healthy in both body and mind...and for good this time. After all the turmoil of the down economy, I decided that no job was worth dying for. I wouldn't let my drive to excel at work cause me to lose drive in other parts of my life. I decided that as a gift to myself for my big birthday, I would finally take responsibility for my own health and happiness. 

Pam "Before"
So I made a plan. I set a realistic goal of one year to lose 90 pounds (with a provisional 80 pound stopping point if I felt good). I started exercising daily, which was difficult at first. And I decided to use's calorie tracker to keep track of all my food intake and calorie burn. I started running on my lunch break, since we have showers at work, and went to the gym near the office after work. Running at lunch was a super stress reliever. I'd come back from a run ready to tackle the world. Going to the gym near work served 2 purposes. One: I had no excuses. I had to go to the gym. None of the getting home and losing motivation stuff. Two: I avoided the rush hour traffic on the highway. By the time I headed home, there was no traffic. This also served to ease my stress levels. Bonus!

After a very tough year with lots of ups and downs, I had lost 65 of the 90 pounds I had planned on. Ironically I wasn't disappointed in myself. In the past I would have been bummed that I failed at my goal. It took another 6 months to lose the last 15 pounds for a total of 80. Finally, I realized during all that hard work how to find balance. Balance at work. Balance in my fitness. Balance in my relationship with food. Balance in my personal life. I figured out that taking some time to better myself made me better at my job. I found that I dealt better with the pressures and things followed suit at work. I figured out that you really do have time to fit exercise into your life….even when you're busy. And you notice it more when you don't make time. I found that eating healthy makes me happy. I feel good when I eat the good stuff, but also figured out that an occasional ice cream cone isn't going to kill me either. I also started to like myself again. I wasn't doubting myself anymore and I stopped putting myself down. I like who I am, which means that my heart is open. Open to limitless possibilities. Open to love?

Me, Cindy Thompson

Me "After"
You may not remember February 2010, but it really was a pivotal time for me. I was the heaviest I had ever been in my whole life (I actually didn’t even know what I weighed, was afraid of the scale!) and other than just starting to change my diet, was very complacent about my fitness. I wasn’t really happy about my situation, but was pretty resigned to it. 

My Fire Department had received an Assistance to Firefighters Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop a fitness program along the guidelines of the Firefighter Wellness Fitness Initiative developed by the International Association of Firefighters and International Association of Fire Chiefs. This program was not mandatory. The first step involved an initial fitness assessment, including lipid panel labs, body fat composition testing, and a physical fitness evaluation, and  I was very uncomfortable about this! I knew I was not in the best shape, but it was very important that I be a role model as a Captain in my department, and step up and participate in this voluntary program.

Me "Before"
I had my fitness assessment and it really encouraged me to make some changes. I started doing P90X  (on- and off-duty) that showed up at the station and participated in a firefighter-specific health program called PHLAME (Promoting Healthy Living; Assessing More Effects) with my crew. 

Since February 2010, I dropped 60 pounds, 7 uniform pants sizes, 3 uniform shirt sizes, and dropped my cholesterol and blood pressure readings. Beyond looking better, my fitness level soared, and gave me new athletic outlets I never even dreamed of:  the Seattle to Portland bike ride, Portland Marathon in 2011, a two-day team adventure race this summer in Central Oregon called the Wild Canyon Games, 2012 Open Water Swim National Championships, and an addiction to triathlons.

In March, my department asked me to head our Wellness Fitness program! What a turn of events! I'm now a certified Peer Fitness Trainer through the American Council on Exercise and excited to share my story and experiences with others to help them succeed and be inspired myself by their success.

Wahine Sprint Relay Triathlon, July 28, 2012, Blue Lake Park, Fairview, Oregon

In all, "The Afters" team was 281 pounds lighter than the Befores! It was a thrilling day, celebrating our health and watching Cindi participate in her very first triathlon!

Pam and Cindi setting up transition with Race Monkey!

Me finishing the swim
Pam returning from the bike to set Cindi in motion for the run
Cindi bringing "The Afters" home!
So how'd we do? Third place! And we had such a great time doing it too!

"The Afters" after!

But, the amazing thing was sharing the story of "The Afters" when people asked us about our team name. And you know what? We heard more inspirational stories from amazing women who are Afters too! I knew Kelly from the tri club, but I didn't learn her story until after the race while we were waiting for awards, when she shared with us her "Before" picture that she was carrying with her. Here is Kelly's story!

Kelly Johnson 

Kelly "After"
I don’t know where to start my story. I got married July 31, 1988 and I was at that time very fit from running and eating good portions and making good choices.  Then I got pregnant a year later and was told to hold off on my extreme exercise.  I then at that point started eating more and more. I gained 85lbs; let’s say baby fat.  

After my daughter was born, I was a yo-yo. I couldn’t lose the weight, added running then I figured I was in the best shape in the world and I could do anything ~ without proper training. I entered in the Hagg Lake Run. It was a 10.2 mile hilly race and I didn’t even think twice. After a mile and running uphill, I saw my daughter and husband I stopped and said take me home.  It was the first race that I did that I didn’t finish. 

Kelly "Before"
This was the start to my weight gain that up me over 270 lbs. I was so depressed that I let my family and mostly myself down. I started to have the job I had and I did what every person did, right? I went to the kitchen and ate everything in my path. I was angry and very sad at the same time. I kept turning to food and what a way to live. 

 I finally decided one day to stop and make changes in my life. It took me over 18 years to make that decision.  I started to walk a short distance, then longer then started to jog/run again. Having such a great support from my husband, I closed my business and returned to College. I was getting better with my weight loss but it has taken over 2 years to totally drop the 110 pounds and I still have 30 pounds to go. I am a work in process, really. I love to eat food; good and bad but it’s really a state of mind now.  I have goals and I still have to learn about portion control. 

In 2011, I started to do triathlons and I currently am working to be an Ironman. My goal is to do the Ironman Wisconsin 2013 and finish standing upright and fit.  

Are you an "After"? 
Doing this race, sharing our stories, was just an incredible experience! I know there are others. Would you like to share your story and join "The Afters"? Please, male or female, send me your story and photos and we'll share them on our new "Afters" Team Page I'm developing on the blog and on the website. Let's celebrate our success and fitness together!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Wheel-ly Happened!

Vindication is mine!

This morning I headed in to Athlete's Lounge (AL) to have them check my rear wheel. As I noted in my last blog (Ironman Vineman 70.3 Race Report: Going Flat Out!), I suffered two flats in my rear tube during my half Ironman and these were the 4th and 5th flats I'd had in 2 weeks in this wheel. The last couple of flats I changed, I noticed that the rim tape inside the wheel had folded over and Maddie Oldfield, the Australian pro triathlete who stayed at my house during Rev3 Portland, had been really concerned that this was causing my flats; in fact, she sent me an email about this after reading about my Vineman race on Facebook. Since I hadn't been able to find anything in my tires, I was pretty sure I was having some sort of malfunction with the wheel itself.

Circled area is rim tape bunched up against valve stem
Boy, did I ever have a problem! I hadn't messed with the tire at all after the second flat because I wanted AL to be able to see exactly what was happening. The tech removed my tire and started removing my tube until he reached the valve stem where the rim tape was all wrinkled and bunched up so badly against the valve stem that he couldn't pull the tube out--the valve stem was completely pinched between the tape and the pass hole through the rim! My rim tape was all dry rotted and cracked! He took the wheel to the shop so he could check the tube to confirm this is where they tube failure was and to cut the tube out of the wheel to remove it.

He returned from the shop again saying, "You never would have found this other problem!" The pressure on the tube pulled the nut threaded on the stem to pull through the top hole in the carbon section into the rim. So it was all kinds of screwed up! I'm very glad I made the decision not to take the wheel off and try to change out the tube with the second flat as I probably would've had trouble getting it back together and certainly wouldn't have gotten the old tube out.

Fortunately, none of these things caused any damage to my carbon wheel, which is still less than a year old. Riding the flat did not damage the wheel either and the tire was actually in great shape other than a little split on the sidewall that they superglued together.

To fix the issue, they removed the old rim tape and installed new cloth rim tape, which the tech said he automatically does when he gets new wheels himself as factory tape tends to have these kind of issues. I got a new tube with 60mm long valves so I won't have to use the thread nut on the valve stem in order to get my tire pump to fit on the stem--no more valve nuts for me! I will bring my front wheel in next time to have the rim tape replaced on it, as I didn't bring that with me and it certainly will have the same issue.

The best part of the whole trip was having Gary, the shop owner, say that he would've done the same thing in that situation--ride the flat the last 12 miles. It meant a lot to have someone with Gary's triathlon experience confirm that I made the right decision! And totally worth the razzing I got from him about "someone needs some lessons in changing flats!" when I walked in the door! :o)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ironman Vineman 70.3 Race Report: Going Flat Out!

Trimazing! is excited to announce that we've updated our website and the Trimazing! blog is now integrated into that site!

The post you're looking for is now located at:

Please redirect to and go to the form to subscribe to the Trimazing! blog to get new posts delivered to your email.

And while you're at it, check out the new site. It has more information and even a free downloadable e-cookbook, What's for Breakfast? full of my favorite breakfast items.

Thank you for all of your support over the years and I look forward to seeing you at!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Revving it Up!

It's T minus 6 days to Vineman 70.3 and I've been revving it up!

Several months ago, The Revolution3 Triathlon contacted me to see if I would be interested in hosting a professional triathlete coming to the area to participate in the 2012 Rev3 Portland. I had offered to do this last year when they contacted the Portland Tri Club for assistance with this, but was unable to host because it was the same weekend as the Seattle to Portland bike ride. This year, however, I was free, AND, was already scheduled for vacation to prepare to head to California for Vineman, so when I got the email, I responded with an enthusiastic YES! Late June, I heard back from Rev3 that I would be hosting a tri pro from Australia, Madeleine "Maddie" Oldfield.

I picked Maddie up from the airport Friday afternoon when she flew in from Boulder, Colorado where she trains while in the US. Maddie, who is 24, is a petite, soft-spoken, and very polite young woman and I was immediately impressed by her. We got her bike at the baggage carousel and headed to Vancouver to get her settled and figure out the game plan of what she needed for the weekend. 

After getting her settled, we headed to Portland to Athletes Lounge for a reception. Athletes Lounge was hosting a meet and greet for Terenzo Bozzone, a five-time 70.3 World Champion from New Zealand, and Meredith Kessler, an American who recently took first place in Ironman New Zealand, St. George, and Coeur de'Alene. Terenzo and Meredith were in town to race Rev3 as well.

While we were there, and really my primary focus, I needed to get new tires for OJ, my road bike. I recently had a long ride, got a flat...changed the tube, forgot to check for embedded objects in my tire before installing and riding on a new tube, and immediately had a second flat a mile later. I realized I'd forgotten to do that about two pedal strokes in and thought, well, maybe it'll be ok...not! Well, I dug out a chunk of glass from the tire when changing the second flat and figured that was it, I even finished the ride without a problem, but the next morning--another flat. I took OJ to work, checked the tire, dunked the inflated tube in water, but could not find anything. I decided the fear of having a slow leak and something sharp in my tire wasn't worth the mental anguish for Vineman and wanted new tires. Maddie even helped me in the decision and I ended up with some great road racing slicks without tread and are super fast! They are what she uses. Maddie examined my old tire while we were driving back to Vancouver later and finally found another hidden chunk of glass...brown, presumably from a broken beer bottle...grr!

We left Athletes Lounge and headed for VooDoo Doughnut, Portland's iconic "keep Portland weird" doughnut shop in OldTown Portland. I'd asked Maddie what she ate before races and she said "donuts!" so, off we went! We wandered down to Waterfront Park snacking on doughnuts and gave her a quick walking tour of downtown and the Willamette River. It was getting late and we needed dinner after our dessert, so we headed to Camas to have dinner on the Columbia River at the floating Puffin Cafe. When we returned home, Maddie assembled her bike, and we called it a night.

Saturday morning we headed out and drove the bike and running courses for the Rev3 Half. The 56 mile bike route is incredible, a complete change from last year, with 2500 feet of climbing! The majority of this route is in Gresham Fire's response area so I was very familiar with the roads and route. We then went to Blue Lake Park so Maddie could pick up her race packet, go to a mandatory pre-race briefing, and have the bike mechanics from Athletes Lounge adjust her gearing. I ran into one of our Deputy Fire Marshals checking out the site for their fire permit, and got to visit with the Rev3 Race Director, who was a very charismatic individual! He told me about some special things that Rev3 does, including:
  • They take your picture at packet pickup and display it on the Jumbotron and announce your name and stats when you cross the finish line
  • Provide childcare at the event so single parents or both parents can race
  • Allow family members to join you crossing the finish line, and will even bring your kids out of the childcare area to you for this. "If you want to carry a baby across the finish line, Cindy, you can totally do that here at Rev3!" He was a hoot! (Note: This is not allowed at Ironman events, apparently.)
We headed home, stopping quickly at the grocery store. Maddie went for a quick run, I made dinner, then I went out to do a 2 hour brick workout. The weather here has finally turned into summer, giving me only a week to do heat workouts to acclimate to hot weather in preparation for California. I was really concerned about how I would do, but my brick went fantastic, starting in 84 degree sunshine for a 1.25 hour bike and ending at 75 degrees with a 45 minute run.

I guess technically I'm old enough to be her mother...
I got Maddie to the park by 0630 Saturday morning. We asked someone to take our picture together and the woman exclaimed, "Oh, how wonderful, a mother-daughter tri duo!" We laughed and corrected that we were a "host-pro duo"! Crazy funny!

I caught up with Portland Tri Club friends and we watched everyone get set up in transition. The pros have their own area in transition, opposite Age Groupers, and each pro's spot is designated with a banner with their picture and race number on it! It was really awesome!

Women pros started in the second wave. There were 18 pro women competing in this event. Here is video of their start:


Maddie looked great coming out of the water, but I was terrified for her because the "Scary Stairs" of Blue Lake that I crashed on practicing running to transitions last year at the Open Water Clinic awaited her! (see Is that Poop or Pudding). The transition route wasn't marked the day before when we scoped it all out. I never dreamed they would have to run up those stairs to transition and had even told her the story of my crash up the steps the day before, and as soon as I saw them I was so worried that my story was going to psych her out heading to transition! She did beautifully though...she's a pro!

Maddie flew out of T1 like a gazelle! I wish I looked that good running WITHOUT a bike!

I stood and watched several more pros running their bikes out to the bike mount area. One woman took a horrible spill right behind Maddie, catching her toe on the edge of the asphalt roadway from the grass, losing her bike and sliding on her shoulder. It was horrible to watch, but she got up, brushed herself off and kept going. A male pro lost one of his shoes that had been clipped onto his pedals about 25 feet from the bike mount area and had to run back for it. These things happen to all of us, not just Age Groupers, and you have to roll with the punches.

I went back and cheered athletes coming into and out of T1, including five Portland Triathlon Club members doing the Olympic and HalfRev events. They looked GREAT!

Then I reported to my volunteer post on the Marine Drive overpass at 223rd Avenue, the Aid Station for 1.4/3.6 mile of the run course. The Portland Tri Club staffed a water station last year as well, and it was such a great experience! We handed out water, Gatorade, ice (very popular), gel, salt tablets, bananas, grapes, and power bars (not a single one taken). We also sprayed Age Groupers with super soaker water guns (we didn't think the pros would appreciate this!). It got super hot during the run, in the upper 80s/90 and everyone, pros included, was getting toasty and needing water to drink and to splash.

Portland Triathlon Club members at Aid Station mile 1.4/3.6 of the run course

This was a great location to be situated at. Athletes in the HalfRev came north on 223rd, under the overpass we were on and headed west down Marine Drive, turned back at 122nd Ave., and down the exit ramp at 223rd to finish the bike course in the park. The OlyRev athletes did a loop on Marine Drive and also exited down the ramp to 223rd, so we got to see everyone finishing their rides. The view off the overpass was spectacular and the perfect place to cheer and cowbell everyone from.

We all watched for Maddie and then we saw her fly beneath us. I tried to run to get a picture of her coming up the on-ramp to Marine Dr., but she was too fast! It was the same when she exited. But I got a picture of her running through the aid station. So exciting!

Maddie finished as the 8th pro woman with a time of 04:48:37.393! She needed to finish in the top 10 in order to earn points toward the 2012 Rev3 Pro Championship Leaderboard--her placement gave her 410 points toward her standings. They haven't updated the Pro Leaderboard yet, but I'm anxious to see if she moves up in the standings with this.

So how do you celebrate an 8th Place Professional Triathlon finish? With ice cream, of course!

Two scoops from Ice Cream Renaissance!
And, with a 12.75 mile bike ride! The highlight of my whole weekend was having Maddie join me for my training ride Sunday evening so she could do a "spin down" after her race. I was on cloud nine the whole time--I'm sure she didn't realize how awesome that was for me!

After our ride and dinner, we sat down and recorded a little interview. She and I had chatted a ton over the past two days but I wanted to capture some of that conversation to share with you all, because it was fascinating to get a glimpse into the life and training of a professional triathlete. I had intended to write the Q&A out on the blog, but we recorded 30 minutes, so I think it's going to be easier and better to share the audio (plus, she has that great Australian accent that doesn't carry over through text!). So the interview starts rather abruptly as it wasn't intended to be a podcast...but, here's my FIRST Trimazing podcast!

I am still trying to figure out how to embed a player in this blog, so please bear with just having a link. I also need to learn how to edit audio files, come up with intro music and introductions! This happened before I was prepared for it, but there's no time like the present to get this going!

Hosting Madeleine was just a joy! I learned so much from her and really, really enjoyed getting to know her personally. She is a class act, humble, sincere, polite. Maddie left me with some really special parting gifts, that really meant a lot and were completely unexpected. 

Orange BlueSeventy Swim Goggles--my signature color! I'm hitting the pool with them tomorrow to see how they fit and if they do, I'm TOTALLY wearing them at Vineman for good luck!

And her Rev3 Medal!!!! Completely blew me away and is something I will treasure always. I asked her to sign the ribbon. It says "To Cindy, Thanks for all your support! <3 Maddie" 

Maddie, you are always welcome back (and not because you gave me the medal!!). I look forward to hosting you again next year if you do, indeed, do Rev3 Portland again and, yes, I will join you in that an Age Grouper! Congratulations on a great race and I look forward to following your progress in the professional circuit.

Now it's off to California for my first half Ironman event...Vineman 70.3! I'm ready!