Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Iron Girl :: Race Recap

It's official...I can now call myself a triathlete. I finished my first race and even lived the tell the story, which is quite impressive if I do say so myself. Here's my race recap of the 2012 Iron Girl.

Saturday -- Day Before Race
Headed up to Lake Lanier Islands (site of the tri) with my other 3 training partners and friends (Hil, Nic and Meg) just before lunch time to get checked in, check out the expo and rack our bikes. The line to check in was kinda long and the sun was beating down, surely a sign of what tomorrow would hold. We perused the expo, which was smaller than I had hoped and then headed up to transition to get our timing chip and rack our bikes. After we all took a look around, checked out the swim start and made sure we knew where to meet the next day, we headed off to finish our day and get a good nights rest.

Mike and I drove the 19 mile bike course, in true race fashion, so that I would know what to expect the next day. While a few of the hills seemed attainable, the one at mile 9 seemed like a doozie and I wasn't 100% certain I could make it, even in the car, let alone on the bike. Only time would tell. Post the drive of the course, Mike and I headed to his parents house where we would set up camp for the night. My good friend, Amanda, came to stay with us as she would be racing too. We hit up Provino's for a good pasta dinner, got some frozen yogurt and then headed home to pass out. Little did I know sleep would be the one thing I didn't get that night.

Sunday -- Race Day
4:30AM and the alarm blares loud reminding me it's time to jump out of bed and get my body moving for today was the day I'd remember as my first triathlon. Post morning routine and some quick breakfast, Mike, Amanda and I headed over to Lake Lanier to get this day started.

Hil, Nic, Meg and I pre race
Once we got our transition areas all ready to go, we headed down for one last bathroom trip and to set up shop on the 'beach' and wait our turn. Meg, Amanda and I were in the 25-29 age group while Hil and Nic were in 30-34, making them start 5 minutes ahead of the rest of us. 

Swim -- 536 meters (1/3 of a mile)
my start wave in the swim
As we waited with our colorful swim caps, the thought "I can't do this" resounded in my head. I actually cried for a minute and told myself to quit now or die trying. Nonetheless, I pressed on. I heard them start Hil and Nic's group and got the sick feeling in my stomach, but they were off and looking good. 5 minutes later (which seemed like only 3 seconds), it was time for my age group to enter the water. With our bright green caps, we waded in. 10, 9, 8, 7 ..... then GO! Holy Crap it was time. I put my face in the water and started to swim. Hil, Nic and I have been training at LA Fitness for months now. We've done this distance a handful of times, however...never in a lake. The experiences is 100% different and 100% terrifying to realize a few things. 1) you can't see except for your hands as they sweep through the water ahead of you. 2) there are bodies ... EVERYWHERE you look and turn. Kicking, struggling for air, moving at lighting pace...3) you can't touch. HOLY MOLY where's the bottom. Needless to say about halfway though I panicked...big time. I couldn't get in my zone, I couldn't get a stroke in without sucking in water to save my life. I considered quitting but then remembered 2 things. 1) My husband, an Ironman, was watching and waiting to cheer me on at the finish line and that no matter how long it too me, he'd be proud and 2) the movie Nemo.... as in .... "Just Keep Swimming". While it took me longer than I wanted, I made it out of the water and up that nasty hill to transition

headed out of T1
Bike -- 19 miles
As I entered transition, I knew I needed to get out fast. I grabbed all my stuff and my bike and headed out. Helmet was on, sunglasses too and I was ready to roll. Even got at "Great Hustle 1272" from one of the volunteers that made me smile. As I headed out, I remembered driving the course which let me conserve energy where needed. I made it up the first two hills no problem and at mile 4 encountered another 'first timer'. See, when biking, you say "On your left" to let someone know you're coming and passing them. The rider being passed should then move to the right to allow the faster rider to pass....not this chick. Instead of moving to the right, she looked left and locked handle bars with me as I was pushing up the hill...knocking me into a car nonetheless. Since I use clip in pedals, I had to get off my bike and am lucky I didn't get run over. I had to walk up the rest of the hill...adding a few minutes to my time and some fuel to my fire. I later passed her and relished in that moment. As the hills drug on and the sun rose, I kept telling myself "push and pull" to get through and keep going. Mile 9 came at my like a freight train and I had to dismount my bike halfway through to get up that bad boy. Once at the top I mounted my bike and pushed on, determined to make up some time and pass some girls along the way...success. Mile 11 brought another site...a crash and a bad one at that. I've later found out through another tri bloggers site what happened and have since kept up with Kirsten's progress on the Facebook page they created. It was a gnarly crash and I hope and pray she makes a full recovery. Once at Mile 12 I knew I had this in the bag and that all that lay ahead was a 5K run. I hustled into the final miles and in true Melissa fashion, puked when I got off the bike (don't worry...this is normal). 

Run - 5K (3.1 miles)
almost there!
After racking my bike and a quick change of shoes, I was off for the run. I got a wicked cramp in my left leg but tried to run through it. I saw my family, friends and awesome hubby as I started the 5K knowing in a mere 30 or 40 minutes I'd see them again as I crossed that finish line. I settled into my stride as my IT Bands came with vengeance ... both legs. I backed off my pace and walked a bit of mile one to ease them back down. By mile 2 I was ready to roll and strutted down the hill and into the home stretch. While I was coasting I came across a couple more first timers and chatted with's always nice to have company along the way, even if you never talk to them again. As we rounded past the last turn and up this final hill, I could see it like a beaming light from above. There it was, the finish line. I walked a few minutes knowing I wanted to bring it home in full stride and that's just what I did. 

While I didn't meet my goal of 2hrs and 30 min ... I wasn't far off either finishing my first race in 2hrs 43 minutes. I was welcomed at the finish my all of my friends who raced along side me as well as those who came to support. If it wasn't for my family, friends and Ironman of a husband, I wouldn't have ever been able to finish this race...let alone sign up for 3 more (yes, I'm serious). 

with our signs from our support crew! 

my awesome husband and #1 fan!

Until my next race ... in a week! 

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Food for Thought

Saw this today on a blog written by Jeff Dauler, a morning radio personality on Q100. He is currently training for his first triathlon (as am I) and thought this was great motivation. 
Photo Credit and Blog
Make the time to train. Other things can wait, especially the internet and emails!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This About Sums It Up!

Thanks to my girl, Kim, for sending this over this morning! This about sums up most of my Saturday mornings post workout and well, any other day for that matter!

Happy Tuesday!

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Friday, January 6, 2012

NOLA Bound

photo credit
Sunday afternoon my BFF and I will board a Delta flight and be on our way to Cajunland to cheer on our beloved Crimson Tide. To say we are excited is a complete understatement. Our crimson, white and houndstooth is all packed and ready to go. We've got a full itinerary (thanks, BB) of stuff to do including some big NOLA hot spots. On tap for cheering the TIDE on is a VIP event at The House of Blues since we currently don't have tickets for the game, but you never know that could change. Either way, it'll be awesome to be in NOLA with tons of devoted fans...even if some of them will be wearing purple and gold. Since my BFF hasn't been before, this should be quite the adventure. Here's to hoping we leave NOLA with some BAMA National Championship gear and that the Tigers drown in their own "hometown".


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NYE Cabin Style

9 of us headed up to Talking Rock, GA (yes, that's really a town) for a fun cabin weekend to ring in 2012. We had lot of dance parties, game time, booze time and even s'more time!

Amanda's solo dance party #1
Happy New Year from the Morris clan
NYE shots
Thanks for the ride, Jackson
the guys being silly
champagne for toasts
building us a campfire
sleepy pups
Kerri and her cuddly buddy, Hudson
Amanda and I making s'mores in the cold!
Hope you NYE was one to remenber. Happy 2012!
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Big Year Ahead...New Years Resolutions

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Every year in the final days before the next year approaches, I write down things that I'd "like" to do in 365 days ahead and typically I rarely accomplish at least half of my list! This year I'm putting my foot down and I'm going to get my list all checked off. Here's what I've set aside for myself for New Years Resolutions in 2012. 

1. Lose weight and feel confident in my body again. I would like to drop 10-15lbs and 2 dress sizes. To do this I'm going to have to be consistent with my eating habits and work-outs and overall, not beat myself up if the scale says one thing as far as a number but my clothing size says another. 

2. PR my half marathon time. I finished my first half in 2:56. Not exactly stellar but I did that without training hardcore and proper nutrition. If I increase my training and make it effective as well as be consistent with my eating and training (see #1), I am bound to cut my time down. My goal is to finish Rock and Roll Nashville in 2:30! 

3. Finish my first triathlon (Irongirl on May 20th in Atlanta) with a great time! Since my hubby is a rockstar triathlete, the training plan will be strict and intense but not lacking fun and excitement. I can't wait to race alongside some of my friends and few hundred other athletes! 

4. Be more confident in my job! This one will take some time but I know in the next 365 days it'll happen. This past year I went from a supporting role to being the main role in my gig as a Product Manager. It's been a lot of stress and a strong learning curve but nonetheless, exciting and challenging. I can only hope to be more effective in my job and become better at what I do.

5. Invest in my friends and family. Even though my parents and brother/sis-n-law live a short 20 minutes away, I need to be better about going to visit and hanging out with them. On top of that I definitely need to keep investing in my friends and making sure that the right people are in my life.

Overall, think all of these are going to be checked off at the end of 2012, perhaps even before! What's on your list?

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Year in Review

As the final days of 2011 are upon us, I have found myself thinking about all the stuff that's transpired in the last 365 days. I started 2011 as a stressed out Bride to Be and am finishing 2011 as a married woman who has accomplished so many things with a much more enriched life!

The biggest change of 2011 was going from an Evans to a Morris. Mike and I have been married now for almost 8 months. So hard to believe that perfect day  and party was such a while ago. All the planning, stressing and joy ended in bliss. People always ask "So, how do you like being married" and I graciously answer,'s no different for us! Things fell into place just fine post our amazing honeymoon in Hawaii and we've really been in the "married" groove ever since. I couldn't ask for a more supportive, thoughtful, encouraging and fantastic husband and I certainly wouldn't trade being a wife for anything in the world.

On top of getting married, I got to watch some of my favorite people tie the knot and get engaged. To all my friends who share 2011 as their newlywed year, congrats and to all of our friends who are engaged and have dates set for the future, we can't wait to celebrate with you!

Also this year, Mike and I took some fun trips with friends and I went on my first cruise! We had an absolute blast and can't wait until 2012's adventures with this group of friends!So far we've already got a trip to go skiing, gambling and another big trip ahead. But before we can get into any of that, we have to close out 2011 and ring in 2012 with 10 of us and 4 dogs at a cabin in the mountains! Can't wait to see what else 2012 brings!

I also had a fabulous year with some great friends. I made further investments in my friends, 2 of which I've had longer than 16 years, as well as made some great new ones who have added such fun and joy to my life. I've not only made friends who make me laugh, teach me about wine and everything else under the sun but also encourage me to be healthy and get my run on! I'm beyond happy to say that I far exceeded my expectations of running and completed one HUGE accomplishment.... I FINISHED MY FIRST HALF MARATHON! I loved it so much that I have even already signed up for another half in 2012 as well as considering at least one more to round out next year. Who knows, maybe in 2013 I'll even run a full...but don't get set on that! Not only did I complete my first half marathon, Mike finished his first Ironman and he did FANTASTIC! All his hard work definitely payed off!

Queen K can't be left out of this update, she actually turned 1 this year! So sad that our puppy baby is growing up! She brings Mike and I so much joy and we can't imagine life without her. On top of her turning 1 this year, she also underwent some surgery a few weeks ago. She had to have major knee surgery and attend doggie physical therapy, yes, it really does exist...but she has really come out on the other side and is almost 100% healed!

On top of all of this, work has kept me super busy with a lot more responsibility. Our health has been great, both of our families are doing well and 2011 was a pretty darn good year. I'm so excited to see what 2012 has in store for us!

Cheers to a healthy and prosperous 2012!

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