Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sno Valley CrossFit

For all my TeamFastt members....
Want to be stronger and faster for the 2011 Triathlon Season?

Sno Valley CrossFit can help you! Learn to lift weights correctly.  Get a kick butt work out and make next years tri season the best ever! 

Sno Valley CrossFit  will give TeamFastt members 1/2 price on classes. (regularly $10) You can't get that price at a gym and you WONT get this kind of work out!

If you would like to come to a class, please e mail me at
And Louise, you are no longer the double under QUEEN!  When will you defend your title?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10/ 2010 Austin 70.3 Blake B

Good morning, everyone!

Now that I have the benefit of a week of hindsight on the Austin race, I think
it's time to get some thoughts written down to tell y'all the story.

What a fantastic race! Very, very well-organized, in a distinctively different
style from anything I've seen in the Northwest. It was really fun to see how
they do things down South. It was also a different model for transition than
I've used before, as there were two separate transition areas, which was new and
amusing for me. Also, if you're looking for a race to PR in, this is a great
choice - it's really, really, REALLY fast.

The swim in Dekker Lake is very nice, but a little bit crowded. Swim out and
swim in areas are very small, so they start in waves of roughly 150 or so
swimmers at a time. I was in 40-44 men last names starting with A-H, just to
give you an idea how finely broken up this thing was. Which, I should mention,
was wave 16 out of a total of 17. Which started roughly 90 minutes after the
pros, somewhere between 8:45 and 9:00. Not that I'm bitter or anything :).
Nikki started in wave 6, so about an hour ahead of me, which was kinda fun,
actually, because I got to think about chasing her around the course all day.
The water is WARM, but we were still wetsuit legal at 72.4 degrees.

T1 was interesting, though not necessarily in a good way. The soil in that
area, as the race organizer explained to us when talking about road conditions,
is mostly clay. When it gets wet, as it does after, say, 15 waves of swimmers
come out of the water (did I mention that they started me in the next to last
wave?), it looks just like you're walking on materials for a pottery class -
very, very firm, impressively sticky, and very, very dark, almost black. If
you're going to run this race, the most important thing you can bring with you
is cleat covers, because after you've gone about 5 steps in this stuff, you'll
need a pick like for a horseshoe or something to get it all out of your cleat so
you can clip in. Nikki didn't really have to deal with any of the wetness
(hello, wave 16 over here!), but by the time I exited T1 I had to take a couple
of minutes to even sort of get clipped into my pedals. It took really about a
mile and a half to get my right pedal in securely, and the left wasn't totally
in like it should be for almost 10 miles(!).

A few words about the bike course: flat flat FLAT! It's a single loop, which by
the way is AWESOME! And the elevation profile, according to, goes
from 410ft to 656ft. That's right, folks, a whopping 246ft of elevation gain on
the entire ride. Check out the profile at For
comparison, Lake Stevens has approximately 4x the elevation gain, and the
longest climb is approximately 3x as long as Austin:
We kept running into people who were local, or from places like, say, Kansas,
who would tell us "Oh no, this is Texas hill country, we hear the course is
totally hilly, it's not a piece of cake, so be prepared". These people will NOT
be racing Lake Stevens any time soon :).

I mentioned the road conditions a little while ago, and I should really give you
some detail on that. According to the race official, the soil underneath the
roads tends to shift and break down, so you get these big cracks and crumbling
on all the rural roads around there, and trust me, this bike course is rural!
When we drove the bike course the day before the race, we were both a little bit
freaked out by the condition of the roads, because they're all kinda rough,
bouncy, and all patchy-looking. It turns out not to be too much of an issue,
actually, because at bike speeds it's a very different experience. Still, I saw
four racers on mountain bikes during my ride, and it didn't seem like such an
awful idea by the time I was done.

T2 is very straightforward, and mercifully on asphalt instead of in a field
(mud, blech - wave 16, remember?)! T1, by the lake, is about a mile away from
the Expo Center (T2), where you finish both the bike and the run. This is where
everyone sets up their tents outside and gathers to spectate. The run course, I
thought, was a lot of fun, but it is decidedly NOT flat. It's a double-loop
course, and the loop is about half on pavement and half on trails next to the
lake. Basically you run back out towards T1, up down and around on the trails,
then back onto the road and up to the Expo Center, twice. Almost all of it is
either uphill or downhill, with only a short spot along the paved part of the
lake trail that's flat. On the bright side, there are way, WAY more aid
stations than at the Lake Stevens run course - one per mile, as it turns out.
All were very well-stocked with sponges, ice, water, gatorade, gels, and Coke.
Halloween appears to be a much bigger thing in TX than it is here, BTW, and lots
(if not most) of the people at the aid stations were in costume, which was fun.
One guy in a penguin costume was offering to do pushups if you let him squirt
you with a water pistol - he had a lot of takers :). There was also a live band
playing near one aid station, which was a lot of fun. By any measure, this race
is a great party!

I loved the finish of this race! The expo center has two buildings, an
exhibition pavilion where they have the Ironman village before the race, and a
rodeo arena with a few thousand seats. At the end of the second loop, you run
INTO the arena to the finish, with a ton of people in the stands, etc. It's
very cool.

So, how'd I do? For me, the day was really uneventful, and that was a good
thing. I PR'ed by roughly 20 minutes, finishing 6:29:37, here are my times:

Div. | Swim Place | Swim Time | T1 | Bike Place | Bike Time | T2 | Run Place
| Run Time
191 | 213 | 0:44:50 | 7:34 | 201 | 3:08:06 | 4:35 | 166
| 2:24:32

I'm very pleased with this, actually. My improvement over Lake Stevens was
good, and I felt good after the race, which was a nice change of pace :). 6
hours remains elusive, but I am determined to go under 6 next season(!), and
where I need to do my work in the off-season seems pretty clear.


10/ 2010 I LOVE THIS TEAM... Nikki B Austin 70.3

Thank you, everyone, for the thoughts and prayers sent our way! Despite the
heat, Blake had an awesome day out there despite being in wave 16 of day
started out great, but I had trouble on the bike at mile 30 that affected my
nutrition and, subsequently, my run (ha, it was really a walk with some jogging
in there). I will post a more detailed race report (as will Blake) soon...


8/ 2010 Black Diamond 1/2 Ironman Shawn M.

"Tell the aid guys to come pick me up. I'm at mile 5.5" I yelled to my teammate Douglas as he trotted up and passed me on the run course of my first ½ Ironman Distance race. My dear friend and teammate Paula Popp had told me earlier "be careful, you don't want to hurt yourself" when she heard Thursday that I was going to tackle this event. To that I sarcastically replied "yes mommy, I can always walk on the run". I had the whole thing planned out in my head, had my goals broken down for each leg of the event but had not factored in "the unexpected". What happened was Not what I had envisioned or hoped for on my first ½ Ironman race. Silly rookie!

The whole thing started about 3 days ago……
Teammate Steve Wick and I were out on a leisurely ride around Mercer Island on Wednesday when he said "so you're doing the ½ Ironman race in Black Diamond Saturday right?". I said "Noooo. I'm done for the season". I had finished strong at my race in Elma 2 weeks prior and was switching gears to train more on running for my first ½ marathon in October at Lake Sammamish. Being new to this sport and having so many "firsts" the past 5.5 months, I was not wanting to have my first ½ marathon be after 1.2 miles in the water and 56 crotch hurting bike miles. To date, I had only swam 1 mile, my longest bike ride was 42 miles, and the longest I had ever run/jog/walked was 8 miles. "I'll just work hard over the winter to lose more weight and train hard for Boise in June" I said. Steve and I have a little weight dare going on right now and he asked how I was doing with that. The past week on vacation in Idaho with the family was hard and I had only lost about 4 or 5 pounds since he and I started our weight loss trek about 2 weeks prior. We were planning to ride around noon on Saturday and I told him that I was also going to go running with Paula Saturday at 8 am. He commented "wow all that in one day that's quite a lot, might as well do the race". I'm not sure if those were his exact words, but that is what my mind heard. I could just hear all the voices in my head saying "that's too much, too soon, Shawn. You've just started and need to build up to that". But I was already planning on working out for 4+ hours Saturday and figured why not just have a nice long workout and do the ½. I don't know how in the heck I talked myself into it, but somewhere in my lunacy or passion for the sport I declared "what the heck-I'm doing it".

I found myself strongly wanting to back out on Friday after I had been thinking about it for 2 days. After writing that email to the team trying to rally up some more takers for the event, I said "you've got to do it now silly, you just sounded the horn and everyone is counting on you to do this". Isn't our mind so easily fooled with itself? That's hardily a good enough reason to stick to something so rash and sudden. I'm sure everyone that I told would have understood if I changed my mind and didn't follow thru with doing the event. I am not a man who says he will do something and then backs out. Except for the time that I promised Patty B that I would beat her someday, unless she gets any faster then my manly challenge would be off. Other than that, I am a man of my word and I was going to do it. Also when I challenge my teammates and try to encourage people to push the limits of what they think they can do, I feel deep down inside that they are watching me to see if I'm going to be able to do it myself. I wonder if they are saying, "Well, if Shawn can do it then maybe I can do it?" Then I tell myself that I can't back out now. I must do it. People are counting on me".

Up to that Friday afternoon, I had been relatively calm, with minimal anxiety about racing the next day. I guess the reality of it had not yet set it. Plus there was still the chance that I might have backed out. Committed I was and it was time to plan for race day. My wife did not even hesitate when I said that I was wanting to do the race. She just said she was coming. My 8 year old daughter had a soccer game Saturday at 10 am so I talked her 6 year old cousin, that also had a soccer game at 11 am, to invite my daughter Chelsea over for a sleepover. Problem solved!

You all know the "night before" preparations for a race. Where's my goggles? What socks do I want to wear? Is my Garmin watch charged up? Does my wetsuit smell like pee? Etc. So I get everything prepared, packed and all I have to do is put myself and my bike in the car the next morning. The race started at 9 and my plan was to arrive at 7 and get checked in. Since I'm wasn't caring about anything but a finish, I didn't really care about bike positioning in the transition area. No need to be first one there at the butt crack of dawn for nothing.

Race Day is here! It's 5 am and we're up. Cathy (my wife) and I load our 3 remaining children into the car and strap my bike on the back. Having eaten a bagel with peanut butter and some fruit already, I was able to justify finding a Starbucks for my routine Mocha Frappachino before the race. I get one after too, but that one doesn't count. That's for congratulating myself, not for good luck. "See how that works? Yep."

Nolte State Park. Here we are. It's a beautiful peaceful morning and I'm just excited to get this thing going. Cathy drops me off with my stuff and leaves to drop the car off and ride the shuttle bus back to the park. With my duffle back on my shoulder and walking my bike in with my hand on the seat (like Kris and Lisa taught us to do), I come strolling in to registration. Filling out the registration form I always look right away for the "Clydesdale" category and complain that it starts at 198 lbs. That's still a freaking "skinny" in my book. That's like 2 legs and ½ a torso to me. Oh well, that's my group, those are the competition. After getting my bike racked and all my gear laid out, I do the "triathlony" thing and walk down to the water, stand there and stare at it for some reason. That's what everyone else is doing so I guess I should go do that. That's done so back to transition to start pounding, I mean hydrating, with Gatorade. Walking back into transition I heard a guy say to one of his fellow volunteers, "wow do you see that guy? He looks like he could be a football player". His buddy goes "what guy?". "That big guy walking thru the tent right there. He's big enough to be a football player" he says. I don't know if he was complimenting me on my Tom Cyr like guns or making fun of my weight. I took it as a compliment, kept walking, and said to myself "looking good there stud man-you got other dudes checkin you out". Um wait a minute that didn't sound good. You know what I mean.

"All Racers head to the beach in 5 for our mandatory pre-race meeting" announces the race director over the sound system. He interrupted a really cool song too, darn it. So it's to the beach we head. I'm hoping for anything under 1 hour for my swim goal. First and foremost I am hoping that I don't have another panic attack from my wetsuit choking me out like has happened 3 times this year. Previously in Martha lake I literally thought I was going to drown and barely, I mean barely, made it to the nearest dock with the aid of Camila. That was because that suit was way to small for me. So during my search for another wetsuit, I was having trouble locating one that was rated for a man of my height and massive girth at the time. 6'4" and 246 was the biggest it was rated for and I'm 6' 3" and 284. It fit ok, so I bought it. It has worked great all summer and gotten me thru several other races and I have only had 2 episodes since then, but have now figured out exactly why it was happening. So now I wear a long sleeve, "underarmor type", skin tight shirt that my wetsuit can slide over easier. It has worked great that way.

So I throw up a quick prayer as I stand hip deep in the water counting down with the announcer..5,4,3,2,1. Now that I'm repeating it, I don't know if the announcer says go or what he says. I usually just dive right in and guess that he said go. We're off. It's a two loop clockwise swim which I was thankful for because I breathe to my right and it helps with sighting. I was happy to be in the first wave because I knew that there would be 2 other waves behind me and that improved my chances of not being the last person out of the water. It's embarrassing enough to have a brand new fancy TT bike, with my name on it, to be the lone bike waiting for me coming out of the swim. Everyone else has already left on their bikes and there's one shiny race bike waiting for it's trusty owner to get his butt out of the water. I can just imagine my bike saying "come on boss, we got a lot of people to pass to catch up" as I come walking in stripping off my wetsuit. "No, no we're not gonna push it today Betsy. We're just out here to finish today" I said. Am I really talking to my bike? I totally should've sat this one out. People are gonna talk.

It's been a great swim so far. Not too much kicking or straying off course. The water is nice and I'm feeling great. I come around to buoy number 4 to start my second loop and I hear a bunch of cheering. I'm like "oh how kind of them to cheer me on like that. Everyone is so kind out here it's awesome." Then I hear "here come our first contestant out of the water" over the loud speakers. Oh! so that's what the cheering was for. Curses. Well I'm just plugging along, glad that I haven't drowned yet and push my pride back and head out for loop 2. I know I'm slow but I felt good and it seemed to go by faster than loop 1. From my earlier pounding of the Gatorade, I mean hydrating, I didn't manage to get a pee in each loop. "Oh gross Shawn, you could've left that out. Really?" Just saying what we all know happens out there. J

Loop 2 is done and I'm coming down the home stretch. Happy to have swam 1.2, feeling good and ready to straddle ole' Betsy. I can hear my oldest daughter cheering "yay daddy" as I make my way up the hill to transition. I'm in and I'm out of transition in a blistering 4 minutes flat. Hardly fast. All I could hear was myself saying "slow down we're just here to finish".
The course has a nice little 1 mile or so of gentle uphill coming out of the park to get your legs warmed up. How kind of them. It's nice coming back in but no-one never thinks of that as they head out having just swam 1.2 miles. I concentrate on a smooth pedal stroke and trying not to pound the pedals to hard. I really had no idea of what to expect after a couple of hours in "race" mode. I had to force myself to back off and stay consistent. I wore my Garmin heart race monitor watch to keep an eye on my heart rate but actually only looked at it twice for some reason. I just went off of feel. I felt that a good groove would be anything that wasn't chugging air. So as long as I wasn't breathing hard (except for the few hills) I would fair well. And I did.

"These people will probably pass me on the second loop" I muttered to myself as I started passing people early in the first few miles. "But I'm not pushing hard to pass anyone I'm just going at a smooth pace", I justified. Oh well this was my first and we would see if I made the right choice later on. Having had a chance to do the Olympic Distance race there earlier this year, I was glad to remember the course and plan my energy accordingly. After a few miles I remembered that I had no clew what my swim time was, so I looked at my watch and it said 10:08. Race started at 9 am and I had already been going for a little while. Sweet! I was sure that I accomplished my goal of a sub-hour swim. It's gonna be a good day.

After about 12 miles I had still not been passed by anyone and was continuing to pass people and was really starting to wander if they knew something I didn't about riding 56 miles or what. But I was feeling good and could hear Stacy in the background reminding me to "gu every 30". I started, and I felt fine so far. I was cruising right along and hit 40mph several times. It was going great. Bottle exchanges were a new thing that I had yet to encounter in a race and was definitely awesome. A little tricky balancing your bike while your trying to refill containers but I needed some water and it came at just the right time. Weird how they kind of planned that huh?

The first loop had an out and back of about 6 miles added on to the end of it prior to starting the second loop. Heading past the cheering crowds lining the street, I pedal off to start loop 2. Mentally it was kind of cool because you know that you are half way done, but really you are more than halfway done because of the added distance that was only on the first loop. Starting the second loop I knew that I only had 25 miles left and I was still feeling great. It was a nice surprise to come around a corner to see my wife standing on the side of the road midway thru the bike course standing out there with the camera and kids clapping. A few miles later they were following me in the car taking some pictures and exchanging a few "I love you"s. I felt like an Ironman. I felt important. Truth is I felt cooler than an Ironman. I felt like a loved Dad and husband. I am!

My energy was fine, my legs were fine, but my neck and shoulders were starting to bother me. My new race bike has a much more aggressive geometry to it than my road bike and the longest that I had spent in the aero position on my new bike was a little over an hour in my last Olympic distance race (which I was sore afterwards now that I remember it). I was wandering how I would fair being on the bike for an expected 3.5-4 hours on my race bike. I was feeling it. I had to sit upright quite a few more times the second loop and those spots in my crotch weren't numb like everything else, so that was bothering me when I was upright. I had to go back down to the aero position to save my saddle bones, but it came at the expense of my neck and shoulders.

Swish, Swish, Swish….."What is that?" I listened closely. Then a very nice fellow sporting a #45 in black marker on his right calf goes pedaling past me. I look down it was mile 38. "That's not bad" I said to myself. Getting passed once in 38 miles. I'll be fine. I hope this isn't going to become a habit. So I picked it up a little bit. I didn't want to lose sight of him, but I did after a couple miles. Swish, Swish, Swish…."NOT AGAIN" I yelled at myself. Oh this is not cool. "Calm down Shawn" I reassured myself. Don't race their race or else you may not finish. So I let them be. Thankfully they slowed down at the next hill and miraculously I was able to overtake both of them right away at mile 42. And "is that who I think it is?" at mile 42.5. Mister #45. Sure enough. Well I passed him and never saw him or anyone else pass me for the remaining miles. Coming back the last gentle downhill mile back into the park, I was stoked because, not only had I just ridden 14 miles more than I had ever ridden before, I had gu'd every 30minutes like I should, consumed plenty of water and Gatorade, had not been passed (technically) in 56 miles. I was feeling awesome…except for my nagging shoulder sockets and neck. "Oh well, that's done with. It shouldn't bother me anymore now that I can be upright for the rest of the race" I told myself.

Dismount and trot through the tape waiting and looking for my cheering section. I was sure they would be there. "Yay Dad, you did it. 4 hours for the swim and bike" they said as I was running by. After racking my bike and heading out for my run I looked at my watch and sure enough. It had just turned 1 pm and I was already heading out on my run. That means that I had got my sub-hour swim and that meant that I "killed" that bike course in 3 hours or less. 2:59:16 to be exact. Hot dang, I'm feeling great (except for my shoulders) and I've got a great chance at not only finishing this in less than 7 hours but I was shooting now for 6:30. I headed out strong, too strong actually. I looked down at my watch and it said 8:55 pace. I was like "oops that's adrenalin, I better slow the heck down pronto or else". So back to a 10:30 pace which is what I had planned on and kept it at that. My legs were feeling good, my heart was feeling good, and my breathing was under control. My hopes were high. I kept saying "I've got 7 hours or less in the book. It's cake walk now. Even if I have to walk". Silly ole' me. How little did I know.

My shoulders hurt. They really started hurting. A couple of miles go by and I'm really running out of places or angles to hold my arms in such a way that didn't hurt my neck and shoulders. It was now starting to affect my ability to stay fully upright and my ability to breathe fully. Obviously resulting in a decrease of pace and a crippling effect on my morale, I was sad. I was also feeling quite upset in my stomach. I was afraid to drink or eat anything. So I sipped on water occassionaly. 4 miles had come and gone. My shoulder sockets felt like someone had just ripped my arms off of my upper body, like on a cheap horror movie, and stuck them back on in the left over hole in my torso. There was an Alpaca Farm ahead with a nice tall wooden fence. I would see if resting my arms on the fence for a minute would re-leave some pressure and let me keep going. So I stop and rest my arms on the top rail, to no avail. It didn't help. I then heard Stacy again. "keep moving forward, keep moving forward". So I walked.

The next mile and a half I struggled so much with not only the pain from my arms, but from the thought of failure. "I knew he was biting off more than he could chew" or "I told him to be careful" and several different variations of similar thoughts kept coming into my mind. What will people think? What will people say? No one person or one voice in mind other than my own thoughts and fears of anyone thinking that. I wanted so much to finish. Everyone has been so supportive and not a single person tried to discourage me from this event. So why was I trying to "prove them wrong". There was nothing to prove. My Teammates are awesome. I am sorry for thinking pessimistically but I am just being honest and telling the story exactly how I felt it. So many thoughts and emotions come out when you're at this stage of a race this big. A lot of you know what I am feeling to some extent.

I had resolved to quit. I was going to be a "DNF". It took me a mile and a half of unsuccessfully being able to walk without severe pain, I had to stop. I am in the middle of the road and look back to ask the next person to relay a message for me. To my surprise and comfort it was teammate Douglas looking strong. I said "I can't finish. My shoulders are killing me.
At the next turn around please ask for the aid guy to come pick me up. I'm at mile 5.5".

I took off my race belt and laid down on some grass like I was going to make a snow angel. It felt so good for my shoulders not to have to support my arms. I rested for a few minutes and decided "well I might as well try to walk while I wait for the aid guy". So I got up and plodded on. As I approached the next turn around at a slow walk, the 2 volunteer girls asked "is there a guy back there that needs an aid car?"
"That's me" I said. "but I'm gonna keep walking till he shows up".
I walked and walked and found that if I wedged both of my hands tightly inside my fuel belt, that it supported my arms enough to not kill me. Then I could concentrate on not throwing up. If it's not one thing it's the other, I know. I couldn't walk fast, but I could walk. A little while later the aid guy shows up and asked how I was feeling. "I'm walking ok now, don't go far. We'll see how I do. Come check back in a little bit please" I asked him.
Mile 6, mile 7 and so on pass. I had been able to keep trudging along and started having more realistic hopes of actually being able to finish. Then came a descend and I tried to jog a little downhill. Bad idea. That set me back a little. I just couldn't jolt my arms. I was so frustrated, but determined to not run because I had to finish. Finishing was more important than trying to run and make up time lost.

Mile 8 came and went and I made a mental note of congratulation myself on being in uncharted territory. That was farther than I had ever traveled on foot in any one of my exercises or workouts. I was doing it. I was still in a lot of pain having just tried to jog down that last decent and told myself that I would have to lay down again for a few minutes to let my arms recharge. Mile 9 was a good spot. I found some nice grass and did the whole snow angel thing again. I was kind of surprised that out of the 7 or 8 people that walked/jogged passed me that only one of them asked if I needed help. Oh well they were running their race and I wouldn't stop them for anything other than to ask them to ask for help next time they saw a volunteer or official. I was fine. After resting for a while, I said "come on. Only 2.5 more miles till you can see the park and finish line and only another 1.5 ish around the lake then you can be done." I just knew that I could hang in there for another 4 miles. My feet hurt. It felt like the top 2 or 3 layers of skin on the bottom of my foot were separated from the rest of my foot. It really sucked. Note to self: run more, train more, build up your body's resistance to this stuff. At least I was learning what I need to train for as I prepare for Boise. That mission I accomplished. Train to finish!

There's the Park! I know I can do it. I tried to jog. It hurt like the dickens. An M-dot (Ironman Finisher for those of you who don't know) fellow spectator ran beside me for about 50 yards cheering me on, saying nice things, and gave me a lovely slap on my ailing shoulder. Ouch! He didn't know. It was cool. I headed past the transition area down the trail that looped the lake. The finish line was right there. I had made it. 1.4 miles left. Two other racers passed me on the trail. I didn't care. I had been used to it for the past 2.5 hours. I was just happy to be almost done. I fought my emotions. What emotions? Guys don't have emotions? "Come on shut up Shawn" I told myself.

I was close. I could hear the crowds and the music. I said it is now time to "Finish Strong". I started to run. Around the corner I came and there it was. The most beautiful thing in the whole world that day. The Finish archway. I was just a few hundred yards away and knew that my wife and kids would be there waiting for me. I was going to finish. I would win!

Bells are clanging! People are screaming cheers! They are so kind to make me feel like I was coming in at first place. The announcer says my name and I cross the line. I was done. "I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me" I finished. 7:34:09

I cried.

8/2010 IM Canada Stacy W

Well, eventually i will get around to blogging...but i wanted to share a few
"IMC moments" with my team :) but before i do, Congratulations Stephen for
finishing strong your first Ironman!!!!! Well done! Also, Ben, i sure enjoyed
hanging out and training with you and coach Scott. I know that i have been
inspired once again to take things up another notch:) Thank you for letting me
tag along...prior to Nikki and Clarise getting in town :) Now, to the race....

after a few days in town doing the pre-race routine the big day finally arrived!
(so did the butterflies in my stomach the night before :) I did everything
according to plan. I ate my pasta in my room with my two ironman sisters (nikki
and clarise :) they left me to wind down..i headed for the hottub to relax a bit
then crawled into bed at 7:45pm. didn't fall asleep quickly this
family came back to the hotel a little earlier than instructed! Oh well :) I
woke up before my alarm again (was set for 3:45am) began trying to eat a big fuel for the day. i managed to get down a 2 eggs, 2 pieces of
toast with apricot jam, (1 packet of oatmeal and 2 plain pancakes with a couple
sips of coffee. this was an improvement over last year) headed for transition at
5:00am. hubby dropped me all my stuff, location of gear bags
and mentally ran through my transition strategies, then headed for the swim
start. positioned myself in the water near the front. (probably 500 in the
water, 1000+ on the beach) prayed my prerace prayer with my friend faye then gun
went off and ironman had begun! a mass of bodies created a "giant washing
machine" for the first several minutes i was very nauscious. I needed to swim to
stabilize my self and the problem with being in the front is that there was no
room to do that as the "horde" of swimmers kept advancing from the beach! I
wondered at one point..."am i going to be able to do this today?" I used my head
and told myself...just relax enough to breath, get my heartrate and stomach
right then it will be fine. It was rough until bouy #4...about (lesson
learned....start a little further back :) after that my mantra is "Swim, Swim,
Swim, this an ironman swim, I am Enjoying it, I am swimming another ironman
swim, praise God, I rock :) I savored the last mile of the swim, knowing that i
had conquered my swim challenge of the day and had won! I was happy when i
looked at my watch and despite my challenge had trimmed 4 minutes off my times.
whoo hoo! i was feeling great and on my bike in 4+ minutes. i flew for the first
40+ miles while keeping my heartrate in check (advise well rec'd from Ben ) I
climbed Richter and still had a 18.5 mph average! I easily passed every female i
saw and many of the guys :) My goal was to pass those fast swimmers:) then
about roller #3 around 60 or so miles in the winds picked up...and i had to work
harder to keep pace. I felt my muscles burning with fatique even though i was
guing on a every 30 minute schedule. It was a exhausting 20 or so miles to the
turn around. (this was my bike "WALL") I knew i needed to face the last big
climb up yellowlake (and still run a marathon) so i stategized to keep cadence
high but lighten up my gear a bit to save some leg. the climb up yellowlake was
windy and rainy but i was much stronger. (the 1/2 PB and J also helped) when i
got to the final crest of the climb there was a tunnel of spectators us,
cheering us on, (in the rain! Way cool :) after mile 95 the decent begins and i
flew once again (44mph!) had to make up time :) i pushed a little too hard on
the way back into it took my to mile 9 to get my legs! to be
continued.. that i have some time i will continue where i left off....legs were burning
from the bike (hard to keep a 10:30 pace) usually this wears off...i am patient
till mile 5 then i start to worry...21 more miles like this? !!! mile 8 i am
definately needing to focus and keep pushing thru. i am waiting to get my legs
and my motivation (to pass by the aid stations...i had my gu and electrolyte on need to stop and my strategy for this race was to limit my walking thru
aid stations to as few i could! but to get to mile 9 i needed the mental carrot,
ice cubes and pretsels:) That's about where the hilly portion of the run begins
and strangely enough i begin to feel my legs (in a good way) i chug up the hill
and pretty soon it's mile 11 with 2 to go to the turn around! I see Steven on
his way back from the turn around and am happy to see a fellow teamfastt member!
high five!!! i make the 13 turnaround and then climb back up the hills with a
consistant chug. I am the little engine that could! I know i need to keep going
consistantly because i still have a 13 miles to go (out of 140.6 i remind myself
the bulk of the miles are done...what is a mere 13 more :) at mile 17...I
remember that when i get to mile 20, I can slack off the gu :) it's the the
final stretch where i can feel the pull of the finish line. I also tell myself
at mile 21 that now "just a 5 mile fun run" with Greg :) then with 4 miles
left....It's a run with my 2 miles i am totally locked on the
finish...I have crowds of people sharing their energy with me as i run by and
smile and receive their "way to go's and great pace, you make it look easy," i
give them a thumbs up! I have it sewn up....I am finishing strong...i am offered
gatoraide at the final aid slowing down...I see Nikki and
Clarise as i go out for the final mile (out and back)...someone say's from the
side lines as i am cruisin back in (about 200 meters from finishline) you can
catch him... I know i can and i do--i blaze in with a stong finish! It was a
Challenging day. I did Ironman Canada! and a 13:03 finish is a PR of almost an
hour! Romans 4:20 "I am strengthened in faith giving glory to God."

8/2010 IM Canda Stephen O

Pheeew Glad that is over. Till next year.
The day started out picture perfect. The water was calm the sun was out and it
was not to warm or to cold. It was interesting watching all 2700+ competitors
getting ready to start the race. The lake was 66 degrees as we entered the
water. When the cannon sounded the chaos ensued. It was like an extreme rules
cage fight. I was only not fighting for my space in the water for a bout 10
minutes of the hour + I was in the water. About half way into the swim the wind
started to pickup and the lake got choppy. I had several mouth fulls of water
in stead of air. NOT so much fun. I caught an elbow in the mouth and have a fat
lip, oh well next year I will wear a mouth guard or learn to swim faster so I
will be in the front and not the middle of the pack. My swim split was a
respectible 1:12The swim to bike transition went smoothly. Now the long part of
the day had begun. The first 40 miles went by in a flash. I was passed by a
ton of bikers, I was thinking to my self I will see you later on the run course.
The wind was at our backs and was getting stronger by the minute. I made the
first big clime and still felt ok. Legs where starting to tire. Not a good
sigh as It was just half way. That is when the wind got tough. I struggled
keeping pace. I was in the little chain ring and was having a tough time
keeping my heart rate down. So much for a 6 hr bike, The wind just kick my
butt.(note to self MUST LIFT WEIGHTS over the winter). The second big clime was
slow and painful and I was very happy to see the top of the hill. I was lucky
to have been slow in the bike as I missed the hail storm and rain. The decent
back into town was a blast. 50 mph on little skinny bike tires is a bit scary.
By now my hamstrings where telling me it was going to be a very long run. 6:47
bike time, not great but not to bad given the weather. Now for the fun part. I
started the run and held my self to 9 min mile pace. Boy did my hamstrings
hurt. I thought to my self it is going to be a tough run. 6 miles in I was
able to find a better gear and was running well. At the turn around I knew I
was in trouble. The wheels had fallen off. I was able to keep my turnover high
but had no push left. So with my HR just high enough to keep me warm I settled
in a nice 9:45 pace and kept on trucking along. I was forced to walk up all the
hills to keep from cramping up. Yep running is fun. I was able to hold on till
the last mile and 1/2. Then the world went all kitty wampuss on me and I
started to weave all over the street. So I walked for 1/2 mile or so and was
able to trot the last mile to the finish. WOW was I glad that was over. I got
my space blanket and made for the Pizza! That was the best Pizza I have ever
eaten in my whole life. Of course I could have been made of skunk and still
would have been the best. The run time was 4:23 not a great run but respectable
considering I blew up on the bike. Again note to self WORK ON STRONGER LEG
My total time was 12:31:08. It was a good day and am very happy with my effort.
That being said I have a lot of work before next year.

10/2008 Rich B. Portland Marathon

Just wanted to let you all know I finished the Portland Marathon yesterday and overall had a pretty good race. My finish was a bit more of a struggle than I would have hoped for but I'm glad I hung on as long as I did. In true fashion I was able to squeak in under the Boston qualifying time for my AG of 3:20:59 by a "cushion" of about 5 seconds(!)

Weather was great for running; overcast skies and dry (but kind of breezy too). I was on track to run about a 3:18. I was hoping to go through 20mi. in 2:30 which would give me 50min. to run the last 10k. I actually went through 20mi. in 2:31 something. Sure, I can do that, I would have to run slower than an 8min. pace to lose it. Somewhere around mile 22 my legs started to fade really fast. I had the energy but they just weren't turning over very quickly anymore. I got really nervous when the 3:20 pace guy who I had last seen around the halfway point passed me with about 2mi. to go. I tried to go with him but couldn't keep up. I thought for sure I was going to blow up; and didn't this pace feel slower than 8min/mi.? When I crossed the line it was over 3:21 on the clock but my watch was at 3:20:52. I didn't really confirm my time until my friends Angela and Trent checked it out online while I was headed back home. I was so relieved! I figured out my last 10k was an 8min pace.I'm looking forward to running Boston but probably not next year. One thing at a time, right?



6/2007 Patty's New Balance 1/2 Ironman Report

Hello Teamfastt ~

Thanks to all of the Teamfastt members for thinking of me and sending out your well wishes and congrats before and after the New Balance 1/2 Ironman in Victoria, B.C. on Sunday.

For those of you interested, I've compiled a short but hopefully sweet race summary:

Time: 5:09.59 (this 1/2 Iron is a bit short -- the swim is the same at 1.2 miles, the bike is a little short at about 50 miles and the run is 12.4 miles (20k))

Age group finish: 7th out of 50 women in the 35-39

Overall Women finish: 27 out of 226

Number of times doing this race: 2
Number of times doing the 1/2 Ironman Distance: 3

Weather: Cloudy and fairly cool. A bit choppy on the water and a slight cross wind on the bike. The sun peeked out for the run.

Swim: I felt good. It seemed long (but don't they always).

Bike: My race wheels zoomed down the hills. Unfortunately there was also lots of climbing. I started getting cramps in my quads the last 7 miles.

Run: Beautiful run around the lake twice. However, my quads were quickly turning into rocks due to severe cramping. I kept the cramps at bay but my run was a bit slower than it should have been.

The Best Part of the Race: My new tri bike felt awesome!

The Worst Part of the Race: The cramps. I also didn't get adequate sleep the two nights prior to the race. My three and one year old sons did not sleep well in the hotel. Therefore, I got 2-3 hours of sleep on Friday and about 4 hours of sleep on Saturday.

What I learned: Don't sleep in the same hotel room with your young children one-two nights prior to a race (ideally). Also, I need to work on my nutrition. Most likely I need more sodium to prevent future cramping.

What I'd bring next time: A towel to specifically wipe my face off after the swim so that my sunglasses on the bike don't fog up right away. Also, bring extra end caps for my handle bars and/or black tape. This is the second 1/2 Ironman that I've lost an end cap and risked being penalized by the officials.

Best post race food: Snicker bar and Coke

The Best of the Worst: Not getting a spot for Ironman Canada (I am on a waiting list for a possible left over spot). I am not so sure I am ready for that distance anyway.

Kathryn Klepinger also did the race. Hopefully she will share her thoughts too. If anyone would like more of the gory details I would love to share them with you. I highly recommend the race. Those Canadians know how to put on a good quality race!

For additional results and more race information you can visit:

Congratulations to all of you that did 5 mile lake. Teamfastt made a great show!

God bless,


Sunday, August 1, 2010

I Can't Sleep....what am I 8 years old again or what?

"I feel like I'm 8 years old or something. Here I am a grown man, struggling with the sleep demons cuz I'm so excited about my race tomorrow. My 5th wheel is sitting in the 5 mile Lake Park, graciously allowed by the race director, with my wife and kids fast asleep. I am running through the race and my transitions for the 312th time in my head. My heart beat rises with every thought of a mad dash from the beach or a sprint up the hill into the transition area shedding my wet suit. I can't control it. I've driven the bike course and have already practiced (in my head of course) the gears I'll choose and how hard I'll breath with each of the memorized inclines, and how fast I'm gonna fly by all those people who are gonna pass me on the run. My new TT bike is sparkly clean and my Zipps are ready to turn this large mass of a man into a flying blue smurf smear sizzling down the road as I try to listen for my little cheering section yelling "go dad" at hopefully 25+ mph. Every time I get close to falling asleep I get more excited because as soon as I fall asleep, I know the next thing is me waking up to run my crazy race with all them skinny peoples. I can't sleep, I can't decide on breakfast for tomorrow, and I still can't for the life of me remember what made me go from 345+ lbs to taking on an endurance sport. But Oh am I hooked and I LOVE feeling like a kid again. Yay me! To all my fellow Team mates, I know you share my feelings somewhat and that makes me feel a little less weird. But I'm okay with being weird. After all I wear little stretchy shorts:)"

These were the words of my late night email from my blackberry lying there in my bed at 11:15pm in the parking lot of the 5 Mile Lake Park. It was a great idea to bring the 5th wheel so that we didn't have to get the kids up at 4:00am and hit the road. Or so I thought. Things I didn't think about were; the Park is on a popular road and is right across the street from a 24 hr lit convenient store. I don't know if the owners of the store know it's a 24 hr store but there are quite a few of the local youth that do, and they apparantly meet there on friday nights to show off there new car stereo systems beneath the road lights. Wouldn't you know it the only window in my trailer that doesn't have curtains or blinds is the one facing the darn store. In my defense how was I to know it was the "happening" place for the youth to congregate?

I expected for the crews to be working setting up the event and didn't think that would be a problem. I could sleep through it, I told myself. I figured it was worth it to be able to sleep close enough to walk to the event, be on time, and have my stuff visible and safe. I didn't take into account the possibility of me behaving like a kid and not falling asleep when I should have. What does one do? Take a sleeping pill the night before and risk the groggy after affects the next morning? This wasn't even my first event. It was my 5th! Well it was going to be my first event with my new Tri bike but I didn't think it would affect me that much. Plus it's not even like I'm going to come close to winning or even placing anywhere close. At my size I'm lucky to finish one of these things. But I have my goals and I have my dreams. I figured my bike is my strongest, my swim is my scariest, and my run is...well I can walk if I have to. My goal was 3 hours flat. I figured my swim to be 40-45 min, my bike in 1:15, and a 1 hour run. All of which would have been PR's for me. What the heck you've got to set goals for yourself. My other goal was to do both of my transitions in less than 3 minutes combined. "If I could just get to sleep."

I figured I would be first or darn near first in line when transition opened so that I could take my pick of racks and get my dream spot. So I asked the director and he says that the TA would open at 6am sharp. I set my alarm for 5am and plan my morning accordingly. Alarm goes off and I said to myself "i feel like i just fell asleep". Well dodo head that's cuz you just did! I swear I didn't get more than an hour or so of sleep. I was so pissed at my giddy self for not getting more sleep. I walk outside to welcome the day and to my suprise I see a line of about 4 people entering the transition area already and "what the Heck!" Douglas is already in and got his bike racked! Holy Crap my evil plans are being thwarted. I must hurry!

So out the door I rush with my backpack and Tri bike inhand and hurry to get set up. Curse that race director. 6am sharp, my fat fanny! My dreams have been foiled. I get checked in and have to wait while the kind lady s-l-o-w-l-y marks my rippled tight calfs with her marker and both of her hands gripping all of my calf gently. I'm not sure if she was sweating or if that was a drop of drool, but whatever, I've gotta get to my spot. The best 5 spots were already taken and I could not get to the next best spot quick enough. Yay me.....I got it. I love my spot. If you drew a straight line from the "swim in" to the "bike out" then you would cross right over my bike. It was great. Not as good as Douglas's but oh well.

Gordon Gray and Lucas Montgomery show up and get settled in shortly thereafter. It was going to be a good day for TeamFastt. There were 5 of us racing that event and one of them was none other than "Lady Lightning" Patty Bredice. No one told me that girl was that fast. She had to have skipped the 3rd loop of the bike leg or something. That gal is speed! She was so fast that I didn't even see her at all in the event. Actually it was because she was already done with the first......and maybe second loop of the bike by the time I got out of the water. Did anyone tell her that you had to swim around all the bouys "twice"....maybe she missed the announcement. I'm kidding Patty. You're incredible. Both she and Gordon smashed the, what felt like a longer than .9 mile swim, with a 27:37 and a 28:50. I'm glad because I kind of need them and the other "lappers" to get out of the way so the water would calm down and I could get in my groove.

Finally I come around bouy number 4 finishing my first lap and see my cheering squad anxiously trying to recognize me in my swim cap. I give a little wave as I head out to start my second lap. I was finally feeling good and comfortable in the water. I had one lap left. I was definetely ready to get some moving going on and try to catch up a little after what happened to me about 200 yards out from the kick off.

I decided that I would do a little of a "mad dash" sprint from the start the first couple hundred yards and try to get around the first bouy somewhere in the middle of the pack. So I decided to go hard and breathe every other set of strokes instead of every set of strokes like normal. Result-I'm taking larger breaths when I come up for air right? Actually they're more like " oh my gosh i need air now-gasps". So it starts 10,9,8 and so on. We're off. Start went well and I was holding middle of the pack. Ok now I'm starting to slow down and need that air. Boy I'm out of shape. So as I'm coming up for a breath/gasp of air it just so happens that a wave of water was being propelled straight from another racers arm down my throat to my now open lungs yearning for that much needed air......aaaaaaah. What the Heck? that's not air, Oh my gosh I can't breathe! Where's a kayak? Not again, Drat! Dad Gum it I'm gonna have to drop out of this race cuz I'm gonna die!

Thank God I was able to hack it up and spit it out while steadily loosing ground to the middle of the pack. My trusty default breast stroke kept me slowly easing forward and all I could think about was "Im not even to the first bouy and I'm this choked up" I'll be lucky to finish. It took me about 200-300 more yards before I could even really get my face back in the water and swim correctly. I'm such a beginner. Thankfully it passed and I was able to finish my second lap without any more issues, other than the 3 or 4 people climbing over me towards the end of my first lap. Thanks Patty and Gordon. hehehe

I was feeling pretty anxious as I passed that final bouy of the second lap heading for the long home stretch. I felt good. I had no idea what my time was but to be truthful I wasn't worrying too much about it. I was thinking more like; breathe, stroke, roll, stroke, breathe stroke, oooh what was that in the water, stroke, roll, darn I forgot to breathe that time...kind of stuff. So I come out of the water, crowd is cheering like they do for that final finisher of an IronMan at midnight. I wave thank you and start heading up the hill for the transition area. My kids are on the ribbons yelling and waving to me. I look up and see 55:15 or something like that on the reader board and thought "drat, so much for my 45 minute swim goal. Oh well I'll have to make it up on the bike".

So I run into TA and out in what felt like a super sluggish 1:03 and take off on my bike. I knew that the first part of the bike leg was a little down hill and then a little uphill before the first turn off so I said I'm gonna power it right from the get go and start making some hay. Translation for all you Non-Hicks is "right from the get go and start kicking butt". So I put my head down and start stomping it. I'm crusing right along and I pass about 4 or 5 people and I'm thinking "oh yeah baby". Then all of the sudden the last guy I passed decided to swerve right and head down that other road. Then Oh that's weird theres a bunch of orange cones going down that road-hey everyone is turning there. Crap! actually I said something else but don't tell my mom. So I had to do a U-turn and head back to the course. See what happens when you don't get enough sleep. I even drove the stinking course. Oh well. So it just meant that I had to pick it back up and go get 'em. After I pushed it a little on the first loop and figured it out, I formulated my plan for the remaining 3 loops then promptly disregarded it because "there's no crying in baseball" quote from Tom Hanks popps in my head. Get to work. You just got a NewTri Bike and it's down right embarassing to fly by someone at 30+ on the down hill then be going slow enough on the hills to read each and every one of their sponsors on their jersey as they slowly pull away from you on the next hill. Bad Form Smee. So I just had to push it the whole way. I'm such a rookie. The rest of the bike leg went well and I enjoyed hearing my fan section each time I went screaming by.

Coming down the final stretch of the 4th lap, it was time to prepare for the dismount. I had yet to practice undoing my 3 strap bike shoes from my new Tri bike and was curious how my balance would be with the more aggressive geometry of a Tri bike. I would soon find out. Just as I start to bend over and reach for the straps, the guy on the P3 Cervelo that I had been playing hop scotch with for the last lap and a half was bending over to unlatch his shoes as well. Darn, I thought I was going to be special coming in all prepared and such. Oh well we both successfully unstrapped our shoes and did the half dismount as we come coasting in to the dismount mat. My family right there waiting for me, cheered me off the bike and into the transitiona area. Again I felt like I could've transitioned faster but I eaked out of there in a not to shabby 00:54. I didn't know it then but I had acheived one of my goals, with a combined transition time of 01:57. Which I thought wasn't that bad till I saw the Pro Chris Tremonte's combined time of 00:53. Wow he's fast. Something must be wrong with his timing chip-don't worry I've already notified the race director to check into that. :)

So I take off out of transition and head off on my run. I thought I was feeling pretty decent. That feeling would pass quickly. Actually it passed before I exited the park. But I wasn't going to let it show. I would run with my head up and proud. I am a "Triathloner" (not worthy of being called a Triathlete, I have coined a new word). Wouldn't you know it the run starts with a gentle incline, and unlike a bike, it's pretty hard to get momentum into the hill at 6 mph. So against my own desires, I did have to walk a few times on the run, but that was ok.

Not really. It's actually pretty wimpy, but that is what I told myself on the run. One side of myself is saying "there's no shame in walking to catch your breath, no one will fault you. you're still 290 pounds. It's crazy that you're out here doing this at all...while the other side of me is saying "you can't walk you sissy-that girl is gonna pass you-don't let them see you like this-you can do it-it's just pain-I'm so embarrassed at you (talking to myself remember)"

So I would squeeze another gu and trudge onward. It was nice to hear the encouraging support of my fellow teammates Gordon and Lucas on the run. Unfortunely they did not maintain my crazy pace and we parted ways. I won't say who pulled away from whom. They were on their second lap already, loosers!, but whatever. :)
I was doing okay, and was able to run the majority of my run and managed to pull out a 1:06 for my run. I was okay with that.

So coming into the park gearing up for the finish line a guy had just passed me and grouped himself with another runner lady that I had been chasing the entire 2nd loop of the run. I decided to stay on their heels and suprise them with a mad burst of "oh my gosh where'd he come from" speed across the finish line. Both of them had been running at my pace the past loop and I knew I had a little left in me to Finish Strong! So we come into the park and "what the heck?" they both picked up there speed considerably and were thinking the same thing I guess. Drat another one of my plans beginning to unravel before my eyes. So I said to myself "well there's two of them running side by side that should be about wide enough for me to try and run in their draft" :) So I have to kick it up a notch to maintain their pace and we weave through the final loops and there is the finish line about 40 yards away. I floor it! Blasting by the guy, at what felt like a 13 mph sprint but was probably only 6mph by this time, I come up next to the gal and was not able to overtake her but managed to land on the timing mat simultaneously and then came the chore of slowing this choo choo train down from my sprint before I knocked someone over. There were alot of spectators waiting at the finish and I just had to vere left miss the little ones.

Race Complete! I had done it. I had finished. I was depressed to see the 3:16:12 lit up as I crossed the mat but was later re-encouraged when I remebered that they started it when they let the women go first so my real time would be a few minutes less. It was. I finished with a 3:09:15 and was so stoked. I was already scanning through my memory of what events were coming up so that I could start preparing for my next one.

Catch my breath, return my timing chip and find my family. It was about time to find my lovely wife and get my well earned smooch. She's so great. She loves watching me do these races and I am so so so greatfull to have such a supportive family. My girl made a custom T-shirt just for me and especially for the race. who needs Sugoi?

I find my teammates and we swap congratulations. Where's the food? I want chocolate milk. They had none. Poop! Oh well some name brand energy drink and hot dogs would have to suffice. It was a great day. We raced, we finished, we dined, we left. We all return to our meager lives and little do all those other people that see us at work, or at Starbucks, or at the drivethru know that we are all Supermen! We are Triathletes! The crem de le crem of sport enthusiasts. And we the apprentice "Triathloners" bask in the glow of our fellow Team mates and dream of one day giving them a run for their money.

To all who read this and stay around long enough to follow my progress -"Patty, I am calling you out. One day girl I will beat you. Unless you get faster then my manly challenge is off" hehehe


Remember to thank the Lord Daily for keeping me safe in my work outs and rides.
Pray for the safe return of my missionary friend Dave Ferris who introduced me to this sport.
Be a healthy and active example to my wife, kids, and overweight extended family.

Swim: Don't almost drown next time-spend more time working on my swim stroke and overall swim conditioning.

Bike: More time in the saddle, general conditioning, and hit the weights. What was that sound? That's the sound of Shawn's thunder thighs (the good kind)

Run: Again just more weight loss and aerobic conditioning to help me maintain a good pace.

Upcoming Events So far that I have found that I will be doing:

August 21 Finish Strong Triathlon Lake Tye Monroe Sprint Distance
Sept 11 Olympia Black Hills Olympic
Oct 23 Lake Sammamish Half-Marathon (already signed up)
June 11, 2011 1/2 IronMan Boise (already signed up)

To sum up, I want to thank Lisa and Kris for founding this team and providing me with a bunch of new friends that share this new passion of mine, and an outlet for my feelings via this blog and email. To all my fellow team mates. God Bless You and you are "Triathletes" ( I totally used my Ironman announcer voice when I said that".

Go TeamFastt!