Friday, August 30, 2013

Volunteering, Spectating, and Working at Ironman Louisville!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to volunteer and then spectate at Ironman Louisville.  I had hoped Cristina would come down to race so I could be her Sherpa, but she opted to stay in Michigan and race in the Grand Rapids Michigan Titanium full distance tri, and she WON it.  Like first place female WON it.  So, it was a good call for her that she stayed there.  Her kids got to break the tape with her too.  I had gotten a call from Kari around dinner time that she was getting text updated from Cristina's husband, and that she was in first on the run, and held onto it!

Back to the race at hand...  I had wanted to work the swim start so that I would be down at the start, give back and be part of the event, but then be done early so that I could go out on the course and do what I wanted to do.  Also, I couldn't completely abandon my family responsibilities for a race that I wasn't even doing. 

I got up early to go to the transition area to pick up my shirt before going to the swim start.  The thing about Louisville is that the transition is about a mile away from the start.  Last year, since I was racing, I was able to get a ride to both transition AND the swim start.  True valet experience thanks to Jen's husband driving us both down there.  I was glad I parked over by transition, because I knew I would want to head back over there after the swim was in progress anyway.  Before leaving it, I saw Becky getting her bike worked on.  I also met Julie, a woman from MI who knows a lot of people I know, and I saw her at the Triceratops Tri but didn't introduce myself or get introduced because I think everyone thought I knew her already.  I also saw Sonja.  This would be her first IM.  I had a real mix of very experienced friends and friends new to the distance racing today.  As the day played out, I found it easier to track my MI friends around my family's schedule.

I headed down to the swim start,  Working swim start was super fun because I pretty much got to see everyone racing that I knew.  The only people that I missed where people that were in the bathroom lines or having spots held for them by other competitors when I was in their area, but for the most part, every athlete except maybe 50 walked right by me.  My job was to keep the athletes separate from everyone else, so that the line wouldn't have lots of gaps in it.  For the most part, it was really easy, however it did get difficult when lots of people decided they wanted to be in this grassy area on the other side of the line.  There really should have been fencing up to keep people out of there if that is really want they wanted.  We couldn't do it ourselves, and just tried to keep the line of competitors tight so that people couldn't break through and cross them, and eventually gave up.  Wetsuits were allowed for people who didn't want to be considered for awards or Kona slots, and there were a several people that chose to go this route.  They had to start at the end, two minutes after everyone so that they could be kept out of awards.  I had to pull a few people out of the line and send them to the special wetsuit only area.  What really surprised me were the people that were just getting there as the line was dwindling.  They made a last call for athletes, and a couple people came out of no where running to get in line.  I am sure these people didn't plan for this, but wow, I couldn't believe how stressed it would be to be in that situation.
Here are my pictures:
 Debbie and I
 Heidi, Erin and I
 Me and Jillian.  Her race report is here
 Me and Mark
 Terri and I, both volunteering this time around!
 Rhonda and I!  She was the first lady I rode with after moving here!
 VO2, Rhonda, Jeff, and Heidi
 MI crew- John, Mark, and Julie
 Me and my ironsister, Jen
 Becky and I
TA teammate Guadalupe and I
Once everyone was in the water, my job was done, and I walked to transition.  I didn't stay to long, and headed home. 
I did take these pictures on the walk:

Then, I discovered our internet was out once arriving home. WHAT??  Internet CANNOT be out on the day of the Ironman!  Thanks to 3G, I was able to figure out who to call and get it fixed before heading out on the bike course.  It was super hard to take pictures here.  Everyone was just going to fast, but I did get to see a lot of my faster friends go by on their first loop, plus the pros were fast enough that they went by twice before I had to head home to resume my regular Sunday responsibilities of getting the kids ready for church and teaching Keira's primary class. 
This sign is where I decide to do more IM course or go home.  Everyone today headed to LaGrange :)
 Rhonda getting ready to make the turn.

After church, I made a quick dinner on the grill and we decided that the whole family would go down to the finish line.  I had mixed feelings about this. We all had to get up early on Monday.  Keira had school, and Soren needed to be up early so I could work in the Ironman Store.  However, we did go down and I didn't hear as much complaining as I thought we would from everyone.  We saw my friend Mark cross, but the iron trac app stopped working (which is typical, I  guess, this was the first time I used it), so we didn't know when anyone was going to come through.  He kind of surprised me.  I just looked up and he was right in front of me.  Of course, Ryan had just walked away and said to not go anywhere.  Fabulous.  Thankfully we didn't lose any of the kids as I walked down to the other end of the finishers chute, but Mark was super sick after and got taken to medical for an IV, so I didn't really get to chat with him at all.  After that, there was a decent amount of complaining, but we got ice cream while we waited for Becky.  The kids were really struggling, but we got a text from our friend Dave who told us that it wouldn't be long for Becky.  I really wanted to stick it out.  We moved a bit further away from the 4th street live area, right before the turn to do the second loop because the barricade ended and the kids could at least see something from their level.  We saw Debbie finish, and a few people we knew on the other side starting their second lap, while we waited for Becky.  She did a great job!  I did get a text from him saying he was all good now, but I didn't see him again.
 Debbie finishing strong!  Her bright shirt really helped her stand out.
 Becky coming into the finish!
 Becky looking fabulous. Someone on the course saw her in her team gear and asked her if she was me!  That was funny.  They must be someone I don't know super well, but enough to know that I always wear my blue TA shirt like that!
 Becky and I post race

It was so fun being out on the course.  I sort of wanted to go back downtown to the finish at midnight, but it had been a long day, and between working for Ironman, the underpants run, a volunteering, I had already been back and forth so many times, and needed to be up early again the next day still.  One of these years I will make it for midnight.  As a mom, I can't do everything, and I was thankful I was able to be as involved as I was with the day.

Also, I thoroughly enjoyed working for Ironman.  First, it is pretty cool to be an employee of Ironman (WTC).  I know some people like to hate on them for being a big company, but hey, I used to work for Ford, and Ryan still does, so you really don't get much more big business than that.  I was treated really well, the pay was decent for what I had to do, and the hours were flexible enough for me.  Monday's work was different than Wednesday's.  Monday was operating the store and selling the finisher gear, as well as packing up the store.  I couldn't stay until the completion of it due to the kids, but it was fun to be on the sales floor mingling with the athletes and helping them find their jackets and other finisher's gear.  I got to see several people I didn't see finish last night, and I was on lunch with my tri club when they announced that they won the largest club for a club their size.  Packing up the store was much easier than unpacking.  Sort of like when you go on a trip, it takes forever to decide what you need and where it will go, but once you have it all out, it just goes back into the suitcases (bins, in our case), and that's that.  Hopefully I can do this again because it was a fun change.  Everyone was pleasant to work with, and I was able to get new shirts for the kids with my discount.  They needed them since they had been wearing the same shirts since 2011 and they have grown a lot since then!

Congrats to everyone that finished!  Sorry I didn't include everyone.  Sonja and Heidi both finished.  Heidi finished alongside of Rhonda, who had a PR as well.  Becky had her second fasted IM time. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

2013 Louisville Underpants Run Race Recap, plus Ironman Expo fun!

The Louisville Underpants run prior to Ironman Louisville was this past Saturday.  I have done it the past two years that I have lived here, even though I did Ironman in 2012.  I almost put an "only" in there, except it was such a huge accomplishment for me, I didn't want to diminish it.  What I am trying to say is that this race is fun even if you are not racing Ironman.  This year since my core group of training partners wasn't racing Ironman, I felt a different vibe when I arrived.  I didn't have Jen, or Terri there like I had last year. I declined going on the news this time around as well due to a school conflict and it just didn't feel the same.  Thankfully, Erin was there with Rhonda (who has raced this and Ironman all three years), and Heidi, a newer friend of mine, plus a few other newer friends.  I also had Jascia from Team Aquaphor in town to spectate.  Probably the most interesting person who showed up was pro triathlete and 2008 Ironman Louisville winner Max Longree who was in town to promote his coaching business.  I had the kids with me this year due to a communication misunderstanding on my end.  Thankfully, there weren't really any people in really poor taste that I saw.  The kids didn't ask too many questions.  When I told them what we were doing, they  laughed hysterically and said it would be gross.  Then after it was all said and done, they asked when we were going to the underpants run.  Apparently the costumes attracted enough attention that they didn't really realize that everyone was still in their underwear! 

Its really not a race, but a fun 1.5 mile jog.  This year they had water bottles and tees for participants that donated over $30 for the entry fee, and the money went to the Kids Center for Pediatric Therapy.  Its really a wonderful cause.  Otherwise I wouldn't be doing it!

I had a big debate over what to wear.  I couldn't find anything that said "Fabulous" on it.  That's what I really wanted.  I went to Pink!, Meijer, and Target, and still wasn't impressed.  I finally purchased some wonderwoman underpants, but they had a picture of her on them and said "KaBoom", not the stars and belt or cami to look like her.  I also got a black pair with a pink sparkly batman logo.  Ryan wasn't impressed by either pair.  So I went back with what has always been a crowd pleaser.

 Me and Jascia from Team Aquaphor!
 Landshark Group Photo:
 Me, 2008 Ironman Louisville Champion Max Longree, and Erin
 Erin and I
 Me and Rhonda
 Heidi and I (first Ironman for Heidi!!!), and a photobomb from Erin
 Heidi and I minus Erin
 Action shot of me, the kids, and Erin running together, taken by Max
 I really liked this action shot that Max took.  Its really cool with the bridges.  It might crop into an interesting picture for a fb cover, but I really love my current one.  I don't need to be in my underwear on the cover of my fb.  However, this is the top I wore for the entire run.  And the same socks...The only difference was that I had on shorts for Ironman.
 Me and the kids.  Since Keira was in front of me, Active used this picture as one of their weekend warrior posts. 
 Looking fast!  My signature silly pose of a fake action shot.  I would never look this good in a real action shot because I am purposefully trying to flex everything for the camera!  This was taken inside the Galt house visiting with Becky (more on that later).
After finishing up at the underpants run, we headed up to visit with Becky, another Aquaphor teammate that I have know since 2011.  She raced at Racing for Recovery, my first 70.3, and helped me get through that time before the race starts.  We've been in touch ever since.  She raced Louisville in 2011, and I saw her on the course, then, and then helped me with advice and training questions a lot last year.  We hung out a bit and talked about her training and the race.  She is poised to have a great day.

After we finished our visit so she could finish her preparations, we headed down to the expo (also in the Galt House) to check it out.  It isn't a huge expo, and since it was Saturday and athlete check in was over, it was really low key.  We stopped at the Vitamix booth for some smoothies, and got a photo op at the Louisville Sports Commission Booth! (yes, I changed clothes 4 times today, including my actual workout gear I wore before underpants that is not pictured)
We also stopped at the Refuel with Chocolate Milk booth.  I made a video and submitted it for sponsorship consideration.  I am not sure if anything will come from it.  They also made a super cute picture of my kids with their logo, but I am not sure if they had a tech issue on their end, my email ate it, or what.  I received an email back from them stating they had my application video, so I know my information was correct.  I'm just not sure if two emails close to the same time from an "unknown sender" would have both gotten through or if there was some other problem.  I hope they are able to track it down because it was a lot cuter than mine.

Soren also is incapable of seeing a microphone and not speaking into it.  He didn't make a video, but they let him get in the chair and talk. 
I wasn't able to get checked in for my volunteer position on Sunday while I was there today, so we just headed home from there.  It had been a long day.  I ran 7 miles at the gym before heading to Underpants, and we hadn't been home since.  Sunday would also be a long day, even though I wasn't racing.   I'll go into my day spectating and volunteering as a separate post in case people are interested in that but not underpants or vice versa.  I may move this expo part to the post about Sunday if the Sports Commission prefers it, but mentally it seemed easier to keep each day on its own post.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ironman Louisville is Coming! Don't worry, I'm not secretly racing!

This week is very exciting here in Louisville.  The Ironman is coming!  Yay!  Its funny, because this is my third time living here for the event, and I have been so excited each year.  It has been interesting this year to reflect back on what the race has meant to me over the years. 
2011- Awe, inspired, desire- After spectating, I knew I had to do this race.  I was crying because I was so pumped up and just wanted to be out there.
2012-determination, fight, will-  I was going to do this race no matter what.  It was a constant battle to get through the training and get to the start line.  It was hard, but I was living a dream, and how often does that happen?  I loved every bit of pain.
2013- Excitement, peace, contentment.  I will be volunteering and working for Ironman for this race.  I don't have the desire to race.  However, I also know how I felt in the past when a race comes around and I am not racing, and I feel left out, despite thinking I would be OK in advance.  This year is different.  I really do think I am going to be OK.

I was thinking about how blessed I was last year, and how I really am thankful that I did the race last year and not this year.  I had a few people close to me try to convince me to wait, but I just knew that last year was the year.  Do it now, don't wait! 

-Support- I had close friends, Cristina and Jennifer racing last year.  I had Amy and others to advise me, I had people like Terri, Rhonda, and Erin to train with me here.  I had events lined up that prepared me well to keep me on track.  I had the swim practices, babysitters, neighbors, friends, and family to help me get it done.  Of all these people, Rhonda is the only one racing this year.  My network wasn't there.  I probably could have created one, as there are a record number of people from my tri club entered this year.  But not my bestie or my neighbor.  Mindy thought about it, but opted out, as did Cristina.

-No Injuries.  I did get pneumonia last year, as well as fall off my mountain bike, but the crash in May was bad.  It was really bad.  I am amazed that I was not hurt any worse than I was.  I cannot even believe I was able to finish Muncie.  It maxed me out training for it this year with my job and my injuries.  I feel like if I would have signed up a year in advance, it wouldn't have worked out.

-Weather-  You can't plan a race around the weather.  You just have to deal with it.  I dealt with it last year.  It got all cool here last week, and a few people I chatted with were starting to wish they were racing.  Then, the weather got all normal and back to being hot.  I am so glad I didn't let this be a factor in my decision.  I knew it would be hot and was well prepared.  With the earlier part of the summer being more mild, it might have been harder to prepare this time around.  Rides that I did last  year in boiling heat were done in sleeves this year.

I feel good and excited going into this weekend.  I have a temporary position with Ironman!  Doesn't that sounds cool?  It really is more exciting sounding than it is.  My job yesterday was to set up the store in the ballroom.  It was kind of crazy how things went from an empty room to a fully stocked store.  When I arrived, most of the grid panels to display merchandise were already standing, but completely bare.  They needed to have hooks installed and all the products placed.  I opened bins and boxes and sorted them by type, and then got them arranged with one item on each hook, and then others came and filled them in.  The big task that I was given that had some creative energy was organizing the fuel belt products.  There are a zillion different kinds of fuel belts, boxes, and bottles that you could get.  I felt like it too forever to get them organized, but it was really fun to be able to organize something the way I wanted it, and have the space to put everything.  It was a lot different than home organization, where I run out of bins, hooks, ect.  This is Ironman, so they had everything you needed to make an awesome display.  I didn't take a picture of it because I felt weird, but I am pretty proud of the way everything came together.  It was remarkable, and I know that a ton of people will go through that area.  I'm sure they won't think anything of how great everything is organized, but hopefully they will be able to find what they want without thinking too hard about it.  I'm not working again until Monday, because of the kids and my schedule.  I probably won't make much money, though, because I do get a discount and they will just get all their money back!  The kids need new irongear, they have been wearing their same shirts since 2011! 

Saturday I am hoping to go downtown for the underpants run again.  I've always had fun.  Due to a communication error, I do have to bring the kids on my own.  This is not ideal.  I thought the whole family was going to go down.  I paid the money to the charity, so I am now debating what I want to do.  Should I find a sitter, take the kids and run it, or just take the kids and pick up my stuff and observe? 

Sunday is race day!  I'm volunteering at the swim start, hoping to head out to the bike course before church, teaching church, and then hoping to go down to the finish after.  I'm expecting the swim start to have me lose it.  I mean, I can't even hear the song, "My Old Kentucky Home" without tears when I think of last year's start.  I am just thinking they will be more tears of nostalgia, not those of being left out or regret.  Volunteering should be an experience on its own.  It will be a busy day. I hope I can fit everything in.  I guess the good thing about not having anyone super close to me racing is that if I don't make it to see everyone finish, no one is going to think less of me.  Spectating is exhausting, so hopefully I don't wear myself out too much.
Finally, I am really looking forward to Monday at the expo.  I will be selling the finisher gear!  The picture above is my work shirt.  I think it will be really fun to see my friends coming back to get their gear.  I know it is hard to track everyone down, so hopefully it will be fun.  I'll also get to buy whatever I want at this point.  Funny, looking at the gear at the expo, I realized yet one more reason that I was excited that I raced last year and not this year.  I LOVE my race kit from last year.  I put a fleur de lis on my bike, and the race kit from last year has a big huge fleur de lis on it.  This year it did not!  I never regretting doing the race last year, I have always felt like it was my time, and these things have cemented it.  I feel like these things are making me content with the weekend.  I do not need to do this race.  I'm sure I'll choke up about it on Sunday, but I'll have no regrets.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

First week of school and some other ridiculousness

Since I've pretty much abandoned my personal blog, I didn't want to completely get rid of a first day of school post!  Also, it has a big impact on my training too.

Here is my big 2nd Grader!

Poor Soren was so sad that she went to school without him.  He has one more year!  I love our time together, but I bet next year is going to be life changing having them both in school on the same schedule.  Until then, I plan to enjoy the one on one time I have with him.

Since it was the first week of school, I felt like a zombie the whole week.  I think it was rougher on me than the kids.  Keira was up and dressed well in advance of her 7:02am bus pick up every day this week, and Soren was hit or miss on getting up by then.  Since I usually take them to work by 8:00am twice a week, we were used to be up and out of the house somewhat early, but I felt like it was definitely harder for me than them to get up.  I'm amazed we made it through this first week, especially when you factor in some crazy things we did this week.  Also, I am not sure if it is crazy that I am NOT considering my 11 mile treadmill run to be one of these crazy things.  Its pretty normal for me in the summer to have to do that with the kids both out of school.  I will move on to 3 of the things that I think are a bit on the crazy side.

The Kentucky Derby Festival Mini/Marathon recently opened their registration for the 2014 race.  It is April 19th.  I am completely distraught by this date.  If you notice, this date is the same weekend as the Boston Marathon on my birthday, April 21st.  I have completed the KDF race (either for myself or borrowing a bib) every year that I have lived here, and it has been a cool tradition.  With it this weekend, it makes is pretty much impossible for me to do both races.  Theoretically, I could do both if I had flight out on Saturday afternoon, but really, who wants to do 13.1 miles right before the Boston Marathon?  Not me!  If it was the Saturday after, I would consider doing an extremely painful mini, but Boston is hard enough.  I'm not going to make it harder.  Also, traveling to Boston costs and arm and a leg, and if I go, I will need to drive and not fly, which means it is completely not happening.  Ryan doesn't want to go back, I do, and I also have no clue if my time is even fast enough.  Its been one of those things bothering me in the back of mind on what to do.  I feel like the decision will be made for me almost, if that makes sense.  Like, I will get into Boston and go, or not get in and do Derby.  So, The KDF people have been doing these secret locations for 3 weeks where they give  you clues and you have to show up at a specific time interval and you might win a free registration, or have the chance to spin a wheel for other free stuff.  I need new shoes really badly (maybe a gift card from one of the shoe stores would be a prize?), and if I had a free registration to the KDF race it would certainly help in the decision process.  The past two weeks I completely forgot about it by the time it came to the day where I was supposed to show up (although I figured out the location each time), and this week, I remembered and knew where I was supposed to go when.  The kids were excited because they LOVE spinning wheels at the race expos.  We arrived exactly on time, and they had already given out the 5 free registrations to the first 5 people there, and getting them lined up to spin the wheel.  I was the 7th person to spin the wheel, and the lady in front of me got a $10 SWAGs shoes coupon.  I got two t shirts of my choice from what they had in my size, and the kids each got a water bottle, and a $5 off registration code good for a week, but the price went up so it needed to be used that day for the lowest possible price.  It was a bit disappointing; we got a bunch of stuff that we already have a ton of.  I really don't need another tech shirt or water bottle, but I'm sure we will use them.  Here is what we got.  The blue shirt is the mini marathon shirt from last year.  I already had the yellow marathon one.  I figure it is OK to wear the mini marathon shirt since I did the full, right?  I mean, I ran practically all of the mini course doing the full.  It will look really nice with my white skirt too, which I will review shortly.  At any rate, my gut feeling is telling me that I should NOT sign up for this race yet.  I should still hold out an see what happens with Boston.  Also, if I don't get into Boston, I will need to run another full next year (crud) and qualify again because a ton of my friends are working on Boston 2015 at this point, but that won't be on my birthday.

Second crazy thing we did was for Soren.  While Keira was at school on Friday, Soren and I went to the BMX track at Tom Sawyer park to check it out.  Soren played soccer the last several sessions and enjoys it, but doesn't have a passion for it.  He is a good little cyclist for the age of 4.  There BMX club here that he can join called Derby City, and I just wanted to try it out with him before committing to anything.  The track appears to be open as long as an event isn't in progress or it is wet.  He was a bit afraid at first but quickly overcame it. 

I also had a good time riding and it helped me a little with my bike handling on the dirt.  With Iceman looming in the distance, I am starting to freak out about it.  My bike, which looks so tiny at a mountain bike race with its 26in wheels and S frame, looked ginormous compared to the adult BMX bikes with their 20in wheels.  My full suspension bike was a squishy tank going over those whoopties, but it was a blast.  I can't wait to take him again.  We might even sign him up because he will be able to go to practices on Wed night with some instruction and use a full face helmet instead of the regular kids helmet.

The final bit of craziness was my workout today.  I rode on 1694 (the out and back section of the IM course) on my mountain bike as Iceman training.  I must have looked entirely deranged out there today.  I put on my IM kit so that people would know that I knew what I was doing (and was just that stupid, I guess).  That ride kicked my butt!  I had been all pumped up to try to get Ryan to want to do Leadville 100 next year and he had said no way, and doing this ride, I can't even imagine how sucky that must be.  At least I was on smooth roads, and I was dying!  My legs were hurting after the first couple miles.  I know my nutrition wasn't the best before the ride because I missed lunch (Ryan got back from his ride around 11:30, and I left right after that just eating bars after my breakfast), but still, its been a long time since I have been this worked over on the bike.  I had previously been limited by my arms hurting me, but I think I've backed off the bike enough that my legs screamed at me, pretty much the whole time.  Check out my Garmin connect stats.

I had over 800ft of elevation on this (the tree farm relay had 100ft).  It was so tough!  The good news is that it will just keep getting easier.  I have two more weeks until Soren starts preschool, and then I can ride my bike on Tuesdays and run on Thursdays while he is there.  Hopefully that will be enough time to prepare me for Iceman and have me ready for my half marathons in the fall two.  I'll be ready somehow I am sure. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gear Review- SOAS Triathlon Kit plus plan for the week

I would like to welcome any of my new readers that found me from the Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon f/b page!  Yay!  For those of you that are new, I thought I would explain a bit that I have been thankful to be a sponsored athlete with for the past 7 years.  As a result, most of my races are done in a "uniform" of sorts.  This means I don't usually spend a ton of money on clothing for training or racing.  I usually spend the little money that I allocate to clothing purchases on socks, shoes, and winter apparel (it is rarely provided anymore), and things that are more considered running "needs" compared to running "wants".  Wants would be things like properly fitting shoes that are replaced on a regular basis, socks that don't blister your feet, a good sports bra (for the ladies), and weather appropriate gear.  Needs to me are things like the latest gadgets, cute coordinating outfits, destination or racecation races, and things of that nature. If you have good shoes and socks, there is a lot you can do with those things alone.  Running and triathlon (especially triathlon) can get super expensive, so in order to do a lot of races, I try to utilize my sponsor's kits as much as possible, for both racing and training, as well as the shirts from races (wish they would give out shorts sometimes though!) However, after year and years of wearing something that someone else picks out, sometimes it is nice to pick out some things for me that I get to select.  You know that if I pick something for me, it is either something that I want very very badly, it is just so reasonably priced that I can't pass it up, or one of those items that you HAVE to buy, like a Boston Marathon jacket or Ironman finisher's gear.

This year, I decided for my birthday, I wanted to get a SOAS tri kit. (photo from

I like a shorter short and I prefer a top with a built in sports bra, and no zippers.  The SOAS kits fit the description of this, and my friend Amy is one of their ambassadors, so they came highly recommended.  They also have a very steep price tag.  I haven't ever spent this amount of money on a tri kit ever before!  I had been looking at them online, and I loved the designs and all the technical features that they offered.  Between the top and bottom, there are 5 rear pockets.  Three are small on the shorts, and two are large on the top. I have lost things out of my team kit pockets before on the bike, so the roomy rear pockets are great.  Since I am small, I ride a bike with 650cm wheels, and frequently need to pack additional tubes if that size is not supported by the event.  I can pack a rolled up tube and cartridges easily in one pocket.  I can also fit my phone and bars in the other.  I usually wear a fuel belt with my GUs in it even when biking, but I do like to have pockets to put my empties in after I have used them.  I can do this easily with this top.  (sorry for the bad picture!)
Here is a better picture, but I have it covered it partially.  This was before my crash (as in maybe an hour before)

The tri top:

I already went into the pockets, but it has an internal shelf bra.  Even though the tops are light colored on the outside, the bra portion is black so that it does not get see-through when it is wet from swimming or sweat.  I have not had any problems with chaffing from this top at all while running, and I have run pretty far in it while marathon training.  I think I did at least one 20 miler in it, but I can't remember.  I ran 11 in it today.  I ordered a size small since I have a broader back, and it fits very well.  It isn't super tight through my waist, which means it stays down and doesn't ride up like some of my more snug tank style tops.  It is also plenty long to meet up with the short.

The tri bottom:

I got an XS in the shorts.  They are a bit snug through the thighs, and I feel like the fabric gets stretched more on my legs than it does on my top, but the waistband of the shorts fits perfectly.  I felt like if I went up a size on the shorts, the waist would be way too big.  The great thing about these shorts is that the waistband doesn't squeeze you.  It isn't some tight elastic band cutting into your midsection, but a wide flat fabric band at the top of the shorts.  It helps to avoid the unattractive muffin top look that you get when from elastic.  The leg openings have grippers inside them to keep them in place, and the chamois is fairly thin, but sufficient.  I use Aquaphor with them, and all is well.  I like that I can put a little sample tube of Aquaphor into one of the short pockets for a ride and have it if I need to reapply.  I had planned to ride my 100 mile rides in them, but due to my crash, that didn't happen.  Also, similar to the internal bra, the rear panels of the shorts are lined in black fabric for additional privacy.  They are a 5 inch inseam, which is shorter than some people may like, but I really like this length since I am short in the first place.

This is my go to outfit to wear when riding or running.  I have not had the opportunity to swim in it, but I think I would prefer a wetsuit swim with it because of all the pockets.  I don't like anything that causes extra drag when swimming because I am already so paranoid about swimming.  Both Ryan and I were amazed at the durability of it after my crash.  Up until the crash, I had always washed it on either normal or hand wash cycle of our machine, but with the level of dirt and blood that I had on it, we washed it on heavy because of the theory that it couldn't be damaged much more than it was by all the stains.  We soaked it in resolve stain remover, and for the most part, once it came out of the washing machine, there was very little evidence that it had been in an accident.  There was one seam that had gotten scuffed on it, and one small spot that remained on the white, but it was completely wearable!  Also, through continuing to wear it and wash it, that small spot is pretty much gone now too!  This was a very expensive outfit, but it is holding up very well.  I have been careful to make sure I wash it right away after wearing it since it is white, and I have been fortunate to only get one additional spot on it since (chain grease!!!).  I am very happy with my purchase and would love to purchase an additional outfit in the future.  They also make running singlets, shorts, and cycling jerseys.  The running singlets do not have a built in bra, but they are a fraction of the price of the tri top, so I definitely see one of those in the future.

Also, so far this week I opted to run the same workout from last Tuesday again this Tuesday.  I did 1 mile warm up followed by 6 miles at 8min/mi pace intead of a track workout.  With the grand slam race over the weekend, I wasn't ready to push the pace hard.  I also felt really tired during it.  Yesterday was a trainer ride, and today I ran 11 miles, 1 mile warm up and then 10 at 8:20/min.  It felt hard in the beginning, then I got all warmed up and great for the middle.  The last two felt hard.  These were all indoors at the Y.  Thankfully, I only have a couple really long runs scheduled for indoors, and Soren will be at preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays after Labor Day, so I can get outside more.  He asked for me to push him in the stroller today, but 11 miles just seemed too long for the stroller.  I think I would have struggled, and he would have been bored.  Hopefully during the month of September, I can do several longer runs, and build up to 16 miles or so before I need to taper back down for the Iron Horse Half Marathon, and then get a couple more long runs of 12 or so done between that and the Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon.  I'll also need to be biking while Soren is at school, so I may drop the running back a little, just to get my biking in.  Usually, if I can run 10-11 miles for a long run, I figure I am good to run a half.  I haven't been as fast lately with this method, so I am just hoping to be a little stronger this time around.  Both of these races have some hills in them, so if I can go in stronger, then that is a good thing.

Thanks for reading and I hope you are having a great week of training!