Monday, December 17, 2012

Anyone want $15 to RoadID?

I have a $15 certificate to RoadID won this year and I'd like to pass it on. I'd like to email you the code or mail you the certificate for Christmas purposes by Wednesday, so post a comment and tomorrow, Tuesday night I'll choose a winner. Simple and sweet.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Leslie's Birthday Challenge


A fun video running partner Craig made of our urban birthday run yesterday.  4:39 running time

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

29 for my 29th


I finished my 29 mile run today for my birthday accompanied by good friend and great ultrarunner Craig as well as my husband for the last 6. 4:56 total, and somewhere around 9:30 pace when you take out wildlife sighting and picture time. We started at 5am, wasn't super cold but was a headwind for the first 13 or so. We ran a big canal road loop. I would have loved mountains but couldn't be away all day.  Stomach didn't feel good the whole first half basically then eased up, my pelvis hurt bad around miles 15-20 (can't put off core work any longer!) but the eased up as well (I did take 1 200mg ibuprofen which I've never done during anything but packed just in case, maybe it was that). Outside of my left knee was tight for a little bit and a funny sharp pain in my right knee for a few minutes.  Probably not stretching enough.... My husband met us around mile 23 after playing dad to 4 kids including taking the oldest to early morning choir practice, then our youngest 2 to preschool and the sitter, then our boy to school as well. Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it...oh wait, I do it everyday :) Anyway, he met us with a bottle of coke that was nice to sip a little of too. Then the 3 of us ran the last 6 which actually felt really good! My 2nd farthest run ever. We went out to Kneaders after and I even got a nap, great day so far!

I LOVE llamas!








Sunday, November 25, 2012

Another great video - determination

Saw this on Facebook, had to share.  I think what impresses me most about this man is his determination.  I am lucky to get 3-4 workouts in a week these days, seriously, for a few reasons.  It's the off season, life is busy, I'm not triahtlon training really and have never run every day, but mostly just because I come up with an excuse or am just too lazy.  I don't plan my days out well enough, and I'm not following a schedule which is really key for me (I want to blog about that soon), and it just doesn't get done.  When I do get out it's great and usually long, but I'm just not as committed as I should be.  I probably take my currently good health and fitness level for granted.  All that said, I am so impressed that a man with struggles so big as this, not just not having time or motivation, but having so much work to do, did it.  He put in the time and energy physically and more important mentally, and look what he accomplished!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ultra running at it's best - a must watch video

A fellow ultrarunner friend of mine made this AMAZING video.  Seriously, it's awesome.  My mom doesn't understand why I want to do this ultra stuff. 
She clearly needs to see this video.  Enjoy!

And yes, I'm very behind on blogging and have every intention of catching up....sometime
 

 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Antelope Island 50k!

My first ultra!  As I said earlier it has been a goal of mine this year to run a 50k, so yesterday I did!  The Antelope Island 50k/100k.  Was lucky enough to have good friend Matt Williams to run most of the race with.  He talks like he was my pacer even though he was entered in the race too.  Thanks so much Matt for getting me through the hard stuff and teaching me a lot in those hours together. 
It was a neat experience.  I was glad to only be watching time and not distance, I think that would have distracted me more.  I simply listened for a 15 minute timer when I'd take more nutrition and that's about all I knew about where we were other than glancing at the overall time occasionally.  I was unfamiliar with the island so even more thankful for Matt who could kind of prepare me for what was next.
Speaking of nutrition, I took 7 gels, 2 cups of Coke (probably 4oz each), 6 salt pills (Salt Tabs I think, they were whatever my husband put in the pack last since procrastinator me was late getting ready and forgot to put any of my own in, haha).  I used 5 Vi gels, a new brand we've been testing and using and I'm happy with them.  Peach cobbler is the best!  Also took 1 Hammer for something different and 1 Roctane at 4:05 for the caffeine. Took the other gels at :40, 1:20, 2:00, 2:40, 3:20, 4:05, 4:35 and took a salt pill at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, 4:20, 4:40.  Drank probably 60oz of water from my Ultrspire Surge pack.  I was torn there because I figured why carry the extra weight when I can fill up water at aid stations (in which their bottle pack would be awesome, or a handheld), but I was used to carrying all my own water so just went with it, and it was a good plan.  I always had enough and had it when I needed it.
Didn't run into any buffalo, saw a couple dozen of them, but never close enough to make me worry.  I did however consider riding one to the finish when I was about a mile out  :)  My friend Dianna had to wait 5 minutes or them to pass out of her way though, she took video of it if you're interested.  Also saw a herd of antelope and a few big black ravens.
My stomach didn't have any serious issues, but felt kind of hollow pains the first couple hours for some reason.  I left the race with a light vest, arm warmers, gloves, and a beanie and decided to shed it all about 2 hours in because I was feeling kind of clammy.  I think that helped.  My right hip flexor bugged me a little around that 2 hour point to, but went away eventually.  I was curious to see what it would feel like going that hour longer than I'd ever run (1:12 actually).  My hips and hamstrings were very tight like at the end of a road race and quite sore at times, but I luckily just got into a rhythm that last 8 or so miles and plugged along.  Only stopped to walk twice and skipped the last aid station because I was too afraid I wouldn't get going well again.  My legs for the first hour after the race were more sore than I think I've ever felt.  I just had to sit down, even took a couple ibuprofin's which I don't usually do.  And today upon waking up it's my back, shoulders, and triceps surprisingly enough that are the most sore.  My legs, not too bad.  I have however been eating everything in sight  :)
I finished the last mile or so really strong (thank you flat and downhill last mile) and that felt great.  I don't have any negatives coming out of this.  Yes it was hard and long, oh how long miles 25-28 were, and I'm very satisfied with my 5:12 time!  My goal was to be under 5:30, and 5:12 is closer to 5 so that's great.  I was 3rd place woman.  I was a little surprised at that because neither Matt nor I ever saw any other women in front of us and there are some looong open valley stretches you could see far.  Maybe it's because the lead woman beat me by a little over 30 minutes!  Wow!  Results and pictures (I'm hoping there's pictures) aren't actually up yet, so I'll post those if I see them. I'll also post more specifically about splits and times and such, but wanted to show my photos and experience. 

Driving in on the causeway was really cool.  It was dark, all I could see was the narrow road in front of me and the lake out to either side.  I could also see the sunrising in back of me and the mountain we'd run around to my left.  It was cool thinking there were already runners an hour into their race there for the 100k.
Buffalo crossing! 
Did I mention how cold it was at the start?  I mean not snow cold, but really chilly with a breeze.

Great friend Matt Williams on our first walking climb
This first side of the island (which I thought was west but may be north actually) was really cool scenery wise!  Big mountains off to the left with sweeping hills down
with the beautiful Great Salt Lake off to our right.  Love these long open valleys with the trail able to be seen the whole way
This was after a probably mile long section low on the shoreline with either big cobbly awkward rocks to run over, or loose deep sand to run on, not the funnest section.  Then we'd climb up high above the water, several times.
This side of the island is one people aren't typically allowed on because it is breeding ground for the animals.
This was the middle I believe of a long 1000 ft climb up to the second aid station 13.5 miles in.
Don't know if you can see them but there are 3 round bare dirt patches here.  They are where the buffalo roll around!
Thought of you here Sis :)
A mile or so after the top we headed down a steep long hill to the ranch where I ran off the trail to the bathrooms, which of course resulted in nothing except having to run fast to catch up with Matt over a mile, and pass 2 ladies that had passed me during my stop.
Once on the east side of the island the scenery wasn't amazing, kind of barren with the city in the background here).
And while the last 10 miles were flat, that doesn't necessarily mean easier.  They were monotonous on the legs and mind.  No real reason to walk, and no coasting down.  And everything was sore by this point.  This is about where I went on ahead of Matt at the 4th aid station because I was too worried I wouldn't keep moving well if I stopped long.  At this point I put music on to help keep me moving too.
Then finally I saw the fence I knew we went up along to the finish.  It was longer than expected, but we were finally headed in the right direction so I was positive and happy.  This was a neat view at the top of the hill before descending to the finish of the mountain we went around at the start and the beautiful lake.
And then finally my first glimpse of the finish line (all those cars and white tent down there)
Halleluiah!
I did it and was so happy to be done!  I came into the finish line all smiles, very happy with the day.  It was nice to have a small group cheering too, sometimes finish lines in ultra's can be pretty dead. 
Instead of a medal they give a mug.  Something new and useful.  Also got a tech shirt of course.
Probably the closest I got to the big furry beats...in the car on the drive home





Volunteers were great, race director is a hoot and does a very good job.  Sat at the finish with Matt in a nice comfy camp chair for about an hour cheering others in enjoying all the aid stations had to offer that I didn't partake of (fruit, chips, candy, cookies, soda), as well as some of the huge pot of buffalo chili they cook after every race.
It's so funny, my mentality.  I of course had a little bit of racing mentality when I thought I might be in first.  When I had to stop for that break I was really pushing to catch those ladies and was quite satisfied when I got back in front of them.  Even though I felt kind of wiped out when I caught up to Matt, it felt good to open up and go a little faster for a mile or so.
The other part of me that's funny, strange, masochist is wondering if I should really consider this a long race, an ultra (even though by definition it is).  Yes it was my longest run ever, longer than a marathon, yet I didn't get the night time, pacer, etc experience that I think of when I think of ultras.  But don't get me wrong, it was great and I'm proud of it!  Gotta start somewhere.  I'll just have to get a few of those additional ultra perks next year  :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My first 50k!

It's been my goal this year to run a 50k.  I've run 4 marathons (and Ironman of course) on the road, and have raced 14 miles on trail twice along with a few shorter trail races, and have run almost 20 on trail while training.  I really feel like this 50k/31 miles is a good goal for right now.  I don't worry about not finishing, but it's enough new that gives me the satisfaction of accomplishing something I haven't yet.

I've been really happy with my training.  I really have only ridden my bike once (for a race) since the Utah Half the end of August, and have only swam a handful of times since then as well.  But I've ramped up my trail miles and have done some true up in the mountains climbing/power hiking runs, not my usual canal roads or flat-ish trail along the side of the mountain trail runs.  They've been amazing!  I really need to get photos posted for you.

My plan was a race called the Elk Run 50k in 2 weeks which goes up more than flat.  That's how I've trained.  Unfortunately the race isn't happening this year for some reason and I just found out last week.  So with only 1 other 50k in the state before the end of the year I finally talked myself into committing.  I was going to go to Michigan to see my sister but then finances didn't make that possible.  So I toyed with taking the kids down to St George with my husband while he works the St George Marathon expo.  They love hotels and it's nice when the company pays for it of course, but our 3rd grader who's in a gifted program in school is really being challenged this year and I was fearful of giving her any more work than she already has.  And yes, I really wanted to get this goal.  Of course I could just run the distance, but you all know it's just not the same.  Antelope isn't very hilly, but I'll take what I can get.

So Antelope Island 50k, here I come!  On Saturday.  Yes, this Saturday.  Figured I'd at least post this preview even though there's only 6 days to go, it's nice to have some hype leading up to a big race, and this sign up last minute - fly by the seat of my pants racing I've been doing since we started trying to get pregnant almost 2 years ago doesn't always give the satisfaction of the mental build up and excitement one should feel from big races.

To close this post I thought I'd paste in the waiver I signed to sign up for this race.  Trail/Ultra racing truly is a whole other breed of sport I am thrilled to be entering  :)
Ok, you know the drill.  This entry contains limitations of your legal rights, so read it. If you get hurt, it’s your fault, you shouldn’t have been here.  I know that there are hazards associated with running this race. These hazards can include, but are not limited to, bikers, hikers, horses, very large wild animals, roots, rocks, trees, other assorted wildlife, flora and fauna, and other crazed runners. Having read that last sentence, I am certifying that I understand these risks and I am properly trained to participate. By running this race I, and my estate, will hold harmless anybody or organization officially associated with the race. This includes Antelope Island State Park, the State of Utah, the Race Director and his minions, Buffalo Run Adventures, LLC, and any of our sponsors. I also agree to abide by the rules of the race and acknowledge that the Race Director’s word is final. I also agree that by running ultras, I know I’m nuts and should know better than to do something like this, but, hey, it’s fun and impresses the opposite sex. If you are under 18, you can run any race, with your parents and the race directors’ permission.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Jubralee Winner!


Congrats Reb!  You are my winner for the Jubralee!
Email me for info on how to claim your lovely new bra  :)

Thanks to all for entering!  Even if you didn't win one, find a way to welcome a Moving Comfort member to your family.  If you're a B cup or larger (or even an A), I promise you won't regret it!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Moving Comfort Jubralee + giveaway!

I love this bra and photo of my 4 year old and I that was a random catch when I was just trying to get a photo for this post.

So I already wrote a bra review on the Moving Comfort Juno bra, but they have another great bra I have been using and she deserves attention too.  So here it is.  The Moving Comfort Jubralee is a soft, smooth, pretty bra that supports great and is easy to put on.

From the company:
Jubralee
combines the best features from Moving Comfort’s top selling styles to create a state-of-the-art, high impact bra featuring hidden side and under bust support, front adjustable straps and, subtle-contour cups. 
Jubralee utilizes a unique combination of encapsulation, compression, and elevation to deliver unmatched support and comfort in a flattering, streamlined, and sporty design.
Consider this:· In one hour of aerobic exercise, an unsupported 34D breast moves about 1,000 vertical feet. Jubralee reduces vertical motion by roughly 450 feet, the height of a 45-story building.
Source: Moving Comfort Biomechanics Testing Research, 2011
The acceleration (how quickly the breast stops and starts) of an unsupported 34D breast is approximately 2.9g. Compare this to airplane take off and landing accelerations ranging from 1.7 to 2.1g. Moving Comfort’s Jubralee cuts breast acceleration in half, minimizing pain during exercise. Source: Moving Comfort Biomechanics Testing Research, 2011

The fabric is really soft.  A thin and smooth outer layer and a cool mesh on the inside.  Not a bad, too loose mesh, it's sewn really well, but just a mesh that breathes and fits well.  The actual inside of the cup is another very smooth and soft fabric and the mesh is above and between the cups.
It has a great firm band which is so important in sports bra support, and buckles in the back like a normal bra making it easy to put on.  I used their great fitting room part of the site (which I highly recommend using) and went with the 32 band they suggested and while I worried it was too small, I appreciate how firm it is now.  Cup wise I think the Jubralee might run just a tad smaller than my Juno.  I have a D in both, but I feel like the Juno is a little bit bigger.  I don't think the size discrepancy is enough to go up or down a cup from what I have, just something to keep in mind if you're in between sizes, I suggest going with the bigger cup size in the Jubralee.  D sounds big to me even though I am nursing, but that's what the fitting room said and that's what fits.
The Jubralee has the same style straps that thread through the bra and have smooth not scratchy velcro in the front making the bra easy to adjust and another nursing friendly bra!  The fabric of this bra like I said is smooth and thinner than the Juno so it doesn't thread through as easy when I undo it to nurse, but for most women who aren't nursing with it, that isn't a concern.  The velcro doesn't seem quite as strong as the Juno's and has come undone a few times when I didn't want it to, but ironically not when I'm running, but mostly right after I fasten it again and get up to move around.  So one shouldn't worry too much about the velcro coming undone, it was just something I noticed.

The support in the bra is just as good as the Juno, high impact (and I am a C-D cup right now so I do have something to support).  Something I wear to run and teach my water aerobics classes that involves jumping and plyometrics and such.  Moving Comfort does actual bio-mechanical testing with this bra.  I remember seeing them debuting the testing and the bra at summer Outdoor Retailer show last summer (they're actually kiddie corner to our Altra booth).  So the Jubralee keeps me from bouncing, but still looks very attractive.  I'm vain sometimes, but we'll just call it building my confidence beacuse I like the way I look ;)  If I ever choose to run in just a sports bra and shorts, THIS is the bra!  It's just so pretty.  They have several other awesome color choices I love too.  This company run by women really does a great job aesthetically as well as functionally of course.

I don't have any complaints with this bra.  Haven't had any chafing or rubbing, and the velcro has only slipped a few times, but not when I was actually running.  I'll take it for the ease of nursing and adjustment access it gives me.  The bra breathes great and has good shape.  The traditional style straps don't bother my shoulders in back at all like I wondered if they would since it's not racerback style.  I find the Jubralee being my go to bra lately because it's so easy to put on and supports great!  Definately check it out.  Moving comfort is priced similar to other high quality brands and is totally worth the money.  I tell you ladies, you spend the $50 (they have some colors for $32 right now too - that's a deal!) on a bra like this and it will not only support you way better than your $15 Target bra, but it will be more comfortable because it breathes better and will surely last longer.  I've given my Moving Comfort bras a beating this last 6 months running, biking, racing, and teaching in them all week and undoing and pulling them up and down all the time to nurse and they're holdilng up great!  Like any other important piece of equiptment like running shoes, you really need to pay for quality.  This bra and any Moving Comfort bra really (I have 3) are worth the money, worth the money, worth the money.  I am not sponsored or paid at all by Moving Comfort, just a happy customer.  Check em out!

Or how about winning one?!  Leave me a comment telling me which Moving Comfort bra you think you'd like the best (or which you already like the best if you have one) and I'll enter you in once to win a Jubralee!  You can have a second entry if you like their Facebook page and mention my blog on their wall, and then let me know you did here in a comment.  I'll draw a random winner on Saturday September 15th, so enter by 11:59pm Friday September 14th. Good luck!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Catch up time!

I have several posts I need to catch up on, but a baby and 3 other kids that need me and a hubby that gets grumpy when I spend all day on the computer, so I'll do them as soon as I can, but here's what's to come.

Utah Half - last minute half ironman
Alta Peruvian Downhill Dash - 5:40-6:04 pace?!  Yep!
Ogden Valley Tri
Trail Running

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ultimate Relay Equipment

Just thought I'd throw a quick post out about some of the equipment I used for the Ultimate Relay.  I may not list every little thing, but ones that I think should be mentioned.  The 'stuff' of that day was almost as important as my training.  Bonk, get a blister, saddle sore = not a fun day!  So here goes

Swim:
Sable goggles - yes these babies are pricey but I love them!  I try to be extra careful with them and try to save them for open water only.  They calm the sun and glare and their water clarity is amazing!  I love letting friends try them to hear their reactions.
Xterra wetsuit - I used a old full sleeve (possibly a Vector Pro, but it's at least 6 years old, so not sure) on the first swim and my newer sleeveless Vortex on the last swim.  I know and believe full sleeve to be faster, but I haven't found one yet that fits my bicep well, and I love the feel of the water, I am falling more and more in love with racing in sleeveless.  Xterra makes good quality affordable wetsuits.

Bike:
QR CD0.1 Ultegra - Ya'll have seen my bike plenty, and I still like her, mostly now because of her trademark color that so many people recognize me by, the color I hated when first considering bikes.  Funny eh?  The only complaint I have with the bike is the difficulty in adjusting the rear brakes mostly because of their position.
GU bike flask mount - simple, cheap, effective.  It's just nice having the gel securely in front of you within easy reach, especially when I wear a top that may not have great pockets.  Saves me the few seconds it takes to put it in a pocket in T1 too ... terribly crucial, I know ;)
LG Trilite shoes - wider, comfortable, cool zebra print on the bottom, and lighter than their carbon shoe but less money
Garmin 105 - nothing new or fancy, and I really only used it for a 15 minute timer to remember my nutrition.  Did not carry it on the run.
Pjur Original Body Glide - haha, you all will love me here.  So while I also used regular saddle creams like Chamois Butter, I took this from, um, another room in our house and tried it out on the very top inside of my thighs (bikini area basically, where my legs meet the saddle) and nether regions.  It's a liquid, not a cream, and it lasts a long time!  Really keeps things friction free which I worried about being on and off the saddle so many times.

Run:
Altra Lone Peak - wore this trail shoe on the first and  third runs and loved it.  Zero drop, rock plate, fully  cushioned, foot shaped (you don't know what that really means till you've tried Altra by the way).  Not that heavy either.  Wore it once without socks and once with, no rubbing.
Altra super secret prototype - yeah, that's all you get  :)  But it was lighter and great and of course zero drop and foot shaped
Nathan 4 bottle belt - not sure which one as it's several years old, I'm guessing the Trail Series.  Anyway, I like the flat back 10oz bottles and large rear pocket.  Also stored my run sticker and pills in the small front zip pocket.  I usually carried 2 bottles with me, 3 on the 3rd run.

Clothing:
CEP compression tri shorts - wore them for everything except the last run.  No rubbing, no chafing, and based off of more recent races I have to wonder if their compression really did help me, I never really tightened up or got sore till the last run, just tired.  The higher waistband in back is nice for aero and has a small pocket
Moving Comfort Juno bra - I've written a review on this one, it's my go to bra when there's swimming involved since it's racer back and my Jubralee while equally supportive has traditional bra straps.  Again, no rubbing, and I like it's padded straps.  I just have black but they have some really fun colors!
CEP compression sleeves - I wore them until after the 3rd run and I'm sure they helped some.  No noticeable drag at all while swimming in them sans wetsuit
Speedo swim suit - I debated what to wear to reduce drag on my non wetsuit swims as my bra and shorts let in a bit more water than I liked.  Didn't want to take the time or effort to change, so I pulled my training suit up over my shorts and bra and I liked it.  And these polyester, PBT, or Endurance fabric suits, I tell ya, they last forever!  The one I wore is 3 years old and I train in it every week!
Headsweats visor - love the elastic back

Nutrition:
First Endurance EFS drink - love this brand.  Reviewed it here. LOTS of electrolytes in their products (way higher numbers than most products).  Tropical punch and grape were my flavors of choice and they're great cold, so I had a new bottle prepared for each ride in the cooler.  I concentrate my bottles with anywhere from 1.5-3 scoops/bottle.  I usually do about 100cal/hr
First Endurance Liquid Shot 'gel' - it's not a gel at all though, but a thick liquid (which I usually water down just a little).  I carried it on the bike and run in flasks and usually consumed 100cal/hr
Sportlegs and Metasalts -  I usually go EFS and Liquid Shot as my only electrolytes because of their high levels, but it was a very long and hot day so took these as prescribed for extra electrolytes mostly as precaution.
Prolytes - love this stuff in all my water in the 3 days before a race.
Coke - drank about 6oz on the last 3 runs for flavor, a little caffeine, and to keep my stomach calm

Husband - my rock that day.  What a guy!  Best support crew ever!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ultimate Relay SOLO: Race day!

Here it is, full of details and pictures  I'm going to try to remember everything.  I'd love to have the GoPro footage, but that will have to come later.

Race started at 7am.  I was up at 4am to eat my traditional PB&J (all natural everything, whole wheat bread).  Finished packing the car and the cooler and we were on the road late of course, at about 5:30am.  I drove the first half of the hour drive as Jer was out like a light.  Then we switched places and I really was a Triathlon Mom.  Sat in the back with the kids as to not expose myself to the whole world and pumped.  I was really stressed about not having enough time to do it because it had to be done.  I could not go a whole day with very full breasts.  My stress didn't equal a relaxed pumping session and being jostled around in the car doesn't help either, but I finished up just as we pulled into Pineview's parking lot.  From there I litteraly ran across a field to get checked in because I had less than 30 minutes before the race started.  I hadn't checked in, I hadn't set up, I hadn't used the bathroom, I wasn't even dressed in my race attire.  I was totally stressed, Jeremy totally wasn't.  He should have been.  This is where that list of what I needed where equiptment and transition wise would have been key.  I was scrambling to explain everything while running round like a chicken with my head cut off.  it's a good thing the pre-race meeting was broadcast loud and i was already familiar with everything course wise so i could set up during.  Jer stood in check in line while I waited for the bathroom and went and changed, got marked super fast and smeared sunscreen on.  Threw my bike into transition and the wetsuit on and ran to the water.  Asked a stranger to bring my wedding ring to the man in the parking lot up there with the white Sienna :) and started about 2 minutes later.  Whew!

Just for reference, there were 4 swims, 4 bikes, 4 runs.  Swims were 1000 meters, a double out and back, bike lengths varied from 13-41 miles, runs were 6 miles each, also double out and back except for the last run that was a loop.

Swim #1, Pineview - warm water!  I totally could have done without the wetsuit temp wise but they were legal and are faster so I just went with it.  That swim was choppier and more crowded than I expected and seemed a lot longer than 1000 meters (the story of every swim that day it seemed).  We got to get out and slap the finish banner before diving back in for a 2nd loop which is something I've never done but always wanted to.
Such a beautiful venue.  Big smooth sandy beach, green mountains, warm water, ahhhh

T1 - There were 3 solo women including myself, and I came out with the 3rd woman.  Hustled through that first T1 because that's what we're accustomed to and left in 2nd place.  The transition area was small compared to typical because most people are just tagging someone all ready with their bike or run shoes, so they don't need a rack.  Unfortunately a lot of people used them unnecessarily and it was crowded for us soloists.
T1
And we're off!
Bike #1, 41 miles - What a beautiful ride.  Sun was still early morning not roasting sun, people were happy, the day was new and so were my muscles  :)  I really like the farm scenery through this loop too.  We climbed up a mountain toward Snowbasin ski resort where I passed the lead solo woman.  I was conservative but passed a fair amount of people on the way up just feeling good.  Not sure if that was smart or not though as many passed me on the way down.  Thoughts?  Near the top I saw Jer and the kids for the first time after they had pulled over and my 4 year old was out with her cow bell.  It was so fun every time I saw them to smile and wave and see them.  They stopped 3 or 4 times on this first ride.  I really looked forward to it.  The down hill was not super steep so I didn't freak out at all, that's always nice.  Probably 20 miles in I went over a little ridge in the road, nothing major at all, but thought it my head, I hope I don't flat.  A few seconds later I looked down to a deflating tire.  Darn!  I pulled over in someones shady lawn, texted Jer and got to work.  Turns out us having to have our phones with us on the bike was a good thing.  I had the tube changed and tire back on getting ready to use my CO2 when Jer pulled up.  He jumped out with the floor pump and pumped the tire up quick and I was back in buisness.  Maybe a 5-10 minute stop?  I wasn't stressed, it was a long day and this wasn't a huge deal overall.  I was now in 3rd place though as the other 2 solo ladies had passed me during my stop.  The climb up to East Canyon's dam is fairly steep and my head started to hurt from my sunglasses so I took them off.  Thankfully that was the only ride that happened on.  Passed a solo lady on the way up.  Finally rolled into T2 to get ready to run.
Heading up toward Snowbasin
BIke #1
We started in Huntsville
T2 - This was the first time I had to put my bike in transition after the beginning and it failed to occur to me that I should look for my run stuff Jer set out for me.  Duh.  So I racked my bike about 5 racks away and then ran back looking for my things.  Haha, oh well, no big deal.
 

Run #1, East Canyon - I was looking forward to this first run.  I knew it wouldn't be flaming hot yet and it was a good trail.  We left the campground and ran maybe 1/4 mile on the road before getting onto a somewhat hilly rocky atv road.  It was pretty running along side the lake, and had some shade, but mostly exposed to the sun.  The hills were close to walking grade but I don't believe I did.  Every run but the last was a double out and back so approaching the turn around I took note of where the lead lady was when we passed.  I left my sticker they gave me 1/2 mile into the run on the turn around board (their way of making way sure we did both out and backs, they'd give you another one on the second lap), and headed back.  I found the first out and back of every run always seemed way farther than 1.5 out, but at least on the second lap it seemed a little shorter because you knew exactly where you were and where the turn around was.  Upon approaching the turnaround again I noted that I had made up ground on the lead lady.  Very nice.  I was running fast but not too fast, it felt good.  Headed back toward transition hot but moving well and ready to jump into the cool water.  Made a quick stop in the bathroom building before finishing the run.
I ran sockless in my Altra Lone Peaks because Jer forgot to set socks out and no problems at all.  To all those  'I will only run sockless in my .5 ounce triathlon specific shoes' - I ran 6 miles in trail shoes without socks and came away unscathed - take that ;)  Ran with 1 bottle of water in my Nathan and forgot to bring my gel flask.
Waving high to my babies heading out on run #1


Run #1
T3 - Still in a hurry, yelled to Jer things I'd need for the next ride.  Grabbed my suit, cap, goggles and flip flops and ran the several hundred yards down to the water.  Every lake had low water levels, all but Pineview were crazy low.  This made things interesting and usually very muddy getting in.

Swim #2, East Canyon - I was excited to get in the water as I was starting to heat up and was curious how it would feel.  I mean I'd simulated it in practice, but still.  The water temp was great and I pulled my swim suit over my CEP compression tri shorts and sports bra to help reduce drag, worked well.  I didn't like the way my sports bra and shorts held water in practice swims.  My arms didn't feel as awful as I thought they would, but it did seem to be a long 1000.  I did do just a little bit of breaststroke and backstroke, but just for fun to break up the monotony, I was feeling fine.  It was peaceful to turn over and see the blue sky and warm sun while backstroking.  The water was very dark and I'm guessing shallow, but smooth and without wake at all.  Upon finally getting out I made a mess of my white CEP compression sleeves sinking a good 8-12 inches in thick mud.

T4 - Jer had everything ready to go and I suited up, grabbed some pills and was on my way.  The one thing they could definitely improve for this venue is parking for the solo support cars.  My husband and kids were parked a long ways away from transition when they were they ones that had to bring all my stuff down, teams could carry their own swim bike or run needs individually.

Bike #2, 21 miles - Felt fine heading out of the campground and swim and headed north along the lake.  Realized I didn't have a tube with me so yelled out to Jer, he pulled over a bit later and handed me my Pitstop (CO2 and sealant in one) just in case.  Then we proceeded up this beastly hill.  I mean I'd ridden it twice before, but it was so steep approaching it and it just kept going.  It was brutal, I was barely moving at times.  I didn't want to seize my calf up or anything.  Once finally to the top it was a nice handle-able but fast and fun long 5 miles downhill.  Through the little town of Henifer then a long barren boring remaining 10 or so miles before coming to the next lake.  I didn't see Jer or the kids at all on this leg and I missed them, but they had to get gas and were worried with how short the leg was they wouldn't make it in time if they stopped.  On those last 10 miles to the lake my neck really started hurting, I'm guessing from all the time in aero, but I'd ridden farther than this without issue.  Not sure what was up.  My butt about had it by then too, but I think I was still in aero most of the time.
Jer handing off the Pitstop
T5 - Happy to be time to get off my bike, had to carry it 20 yards or so on big rock gravel though, that kind of sucked.  Must have still be in go-go-go mode as I yelled a little bit at people around me because no one was there to point how to get to the run course and no one seemed to be helping me at all, just looking at me.

Run #2, Echo - This is a flat, fairly smooth, fairly straight wide dirt trail that follows the road and lake and is very exposed.  Now I was really feeling the heat.  I did ok that first 1.5 miles (finally figured out to put that sticker they give you in my Nathan belt front pocket, no way to keep it sticky with sweaty hands), but was dumping water on myself at the turnaround aid station and drinking more than I probably should have from my bottles.  I seemed to be about the same distance from lady #1 approaching the turnaround.  The second 1.5 was worse.  I lost a bit of ground on her.  I was roasting out there and feeling the bonk.  I think I had mentioned to Jer in the previous transition that I wanted my Coke and was expecting it when I hit 3 miles before turning around again.  He wasn't there (he was actually out in the van along the road trying to find me to hand it off to me, sweet guy) and I melted down a little but only for a second.  Did I mention I also forgot my gel flask for the second run in a row?  Ugh.  It's only 6 miles, but 6 miles as part of 134, gotta keep fueling.  Grabbed a Hammer Gel from the aid station which isn't what I was planning but it was smart.  Had to get something in me.  Headed back out on the death march and looked through my Nathan pocket and happened upon 2 white pills.  No idea what they were.  But I took them.  I'm sure they were probably some kind of electrolyte pill, they were capsules not like pain meds or anything, but I didn't really care, I needed whatever I could get and that would do.  It may have helped a little but it was the big picture I was after.  I started walking a little bit here and there on this second 3 miles but tried to just keep moving.  I always say to myself and others that you can always keep a slow jog going even if you're tired.  Heat is a whole other monster I guess, because that just wasn't true for me finishing up this run.  I ran in some prototype Altra road shoes for this one.
Look how low the water level is!  This is running south from the North Beach toward the usual Echo swim venue.  Literally, more than half the lake is dried up.  It's crazy.
My Mckayla waiting for me at the end of death march....I mean run #2
And my precious Talmage with my precious Coke....finally! 
T6 - Thankfully Jer and the kids were waiting at the end of the run with my Coke which I promptly drank all of (well all of the 6oz or so he had in my bottle).  He headed down to meet me in transition and I went for the bathrooms.  Womens had a line so I headed over to the mens.  I asked a few guys I saw from the doorway if there was a stall, they said yes and I started in, then I asked if anyone was naked.  Smart, I know ;)  I was fine with it so went in and did my thing, thanked the men and back to transition I went.  Gotta do what you gotta do right?  I believe it was this transition, but maybe the next one after the swim where I asked Jer for reassurance that it was ok to 'just' complete and not compete right?  He said of course.  He and I both knew I was suffering.  Grabbed my swim stuff and now more slowly wandered down to the lake.

Swim #3, Echo - The water again felt good to get into but as I started swimming I realized it was colder than the previous 2 lakes.  That or my body was just getting stressed enough to not be able to handle the cool water well anymore.  There were difficult waves to deal with both ways, but mostly on the way back of each out and back.  Waves combined with the cold water wasn't pretty.  We would go through thermoclines where it was so warm I thought about stopping to warm up but had to keep moving.  It would get so cold sometimes.  This was a swim that scared me.  I was without my wetsuit and I'm a confident swimmer, I came from a competitive swimming background, but this was spooky to me.  This was where I thought that someone in future years attempting the solo HAS GOT TO BE a good swimmer or wear a wetsuit, for safety reasons.  It felt long and cold and hard and I knew my body wasn't dealing with it well.  I did more breaststroke and backstroke than last time just to keep moving.  I tried to be smart and be willing to pull out if I needed to but thankfully I finally finished that swim.
Walking up from Swim #3 with Jer.  Walking, not running.
T7 - Jer and I definitely knew now that I was tired and the heat was getting me.  I still wanted to keep going and to help me mentally I thought about the fact that I only had 1 more swim, and I could and would hike the run at Jordanelle.  I decided to pull on my bike shorts on top of my CEP compression tri shorts for more padding (didn't really work but was worth a try), and changed into a new bike jersey because I was cold.  It's good too because it had the 3 big pockets in the back of which Jer filled up with 1/2 PB&J I packed as well as pills (Metasalt and Sportlegs), had filled up my Liquid Shot flask, and bike hydration and said to finish it all by the time I got to Jordanelle.  That was an order.  He also fed me a fun size Almond Joy and made me drink a lot while getting dressed there in transition.  I remember saying before that swim that I wanted to sit down afterwards but I never did.  Maybe a good thing, I may not have gotten back up.  You kind of had to keep moving for physical and mental reasons.
Packing up.  Notice where I had to 'rack' my bike.  A relay team member put their bike right on top of where Jer left my run stuff.  Uh, thanks.
Heading out to bike #3, carrying my bike 20 yards over gravel
Bike #3, 33 miles - I like this route.  It's pretty and not too hilly.  I was optimistic.  Difficulties set in quick though.  I couldn't get into aero, too uncomfortable in the saddle.  Fine, I'll ride sitting up, not the end of the world.  Oh look, a headwind.  Yay.  Made me feel like I wasn't going anywhere.  I joked with Jer and a friend's team that drove along side me to give me a ride.  The first 20 miles felt like they took FOREVER.  So discouraging to be pedaling with zero power and feel like it's going to take you so much longer to get there than you thought.  I was even doing the math about cutoff times in my head even though I knew I'd make it.  I texted Jer once with my frustration and telling him I'd be there way later, to stop somewhere to eat if they needed to.  Got stuck at a stoplight for 3 or 4 minutes.  About 15 miles in near Rockport reservoir I was almost out of water.  There are no gas stations or water sources anywhere until the next real town of Oakley which was still probably 10 miles away.  I thought to myself that I could make it there and meet up with him if I couldn't find anything.  I got about 2 miles further and started freaking out a little.  I had just had my last sip and while I still had warm EFS left, it's not water, and it would be gone soon too.  I texted him and said he had to turn around and come refill me.  I kept riding on until we'd meet up and got this " close to asking some random farm house for water.  It was bad.  My lungs even pulled some weird asthma feeling for a couple minutes.  I never would have guessed I'd run out of water so fast, but with the time elapsed and heat and wind, they have got to have an aid station there or make a mandatory support vehicle stop around there to refill athletes.  We finally met up and I pulled over and just laid my head down on my aero bottle while he pulled over.  He had a can of pineapple and made me drink the juice, shoved a couple pieces in my mouth, ice down my bra, refilled my water, twice, after I drank some, and after making sure I was ok sent me off with a chocolate Creamie in hand.  It made a mess of my bike and I tossed the tail end of it, but it was good while i had it.  The stop was probably 10 minutes and of course I'd never dream of such a thing in typical races, but this was no typical race.  Finally caught a bit of a non head wind (I dare call it a tail wind) to help me on the long straight stretch past Oakley and into Kamas and then Francis, went down the big hill and into Rockcliff park in Jordanelle State Park.
Shortly after leaving Echo.  "Please let me in the car??"
T8 - Surprise surprise, moving slow again, but not quite as bad as at Echo.  Put my Lone Peak's back on, ditched the jersey, questioned Jer about the 2 water bottles and 1 bottle of Coke in my pack (he didn't let me argue long, he was smart, I used it all) and off I went with full intentions of just hiking this 6 miles.
Kiddos hanging out at Rockcliff.  I asked Jer several times if they were doing ok and he said yes.  I'll just take his word for it.  What troopers
Run #3, Rockcliff - This was a wide single track, sometimes double track, real trail.  Pretty, but rocky at times, uneven, and very up and down.  Some big ups and downs at times, not much flat.  That was kind of a good thing though.  I would always hike the ups, but let the momentum carry me to a run on the way down, and on most of the flats.  It was super hot out and remote.  This was the one course that I find dangerous that no one (race staff or volunteer) was out along the course, not even at the turnaround (actually none of the 1.5 and 4.5 turnarounds had people there, just a sign to stick your sticker on).  That's a long way to have a runner run back in if there's an emergency.  And this was a hot and very hilly trail, it could have happened.  I was grateful to have all the fluids I did, and I used them.  They were almost out when I turned around at 1.5 and I was sure someone would let them know by the time I got back but I said something anyway at mile 3.  They had no idea.  Yikes.  They got a great volunteer out there on a 4 wheeler quickly, but still, they had no idea and people were drinking that water like camels.  The lead solo lady and I past by each other again and she definitely had more ground on me, but competing just wasn't in my mind anymore, this was about finishing.  I did figure out though by this point that she had a pacer with her on every run.  I wondered how it was she had the same guy running along side her every run, how could a team possibly be that in sync with her?  Yeah, he didn't have any numbers on his body.  He had to be her crew.  I don't know for sure that pacers weren't allowed, but I thought I remember reading something to that effect.
Coming back to the 3 mile turnaround I asked Jer for my flask thinking I'd forgotten it again and he informed me it was in my back pocket the whole time.  Nice  :)  Found a really nice guy, Dennis, to run with the last 3 miles.  We agreed to walk the steep ups but pushed eachother and kept a run on the flat and down.  He was great to talk to and we suffered together, he was so helpful.  Thank you Dennis!  I came out of this run feeling better about it than going in.  I'm happy with it.  Yes there was walking, but smart walking, and only on the uphills.  Mentally I was doing ok.
Heading out on the 2nd lap.  This was probably the flattest part of the course
My running partner for the last 1.5.  Great guy!
T9 - I told Jer after the swim at Echo that I was wearing my sleeveless wetsuit here no questions asked.  It was a safety thing at this point.  I, a confident swimmer, did not trust myself without it.  It wasn't super easy to put on all sweaty and such but we got it done.  We also pulled my CEP sleeves off before putting the wetsuit on.  They were nice, but I was feeling a little squeezed and knew it would be worse with the wetsuit on too.  Used the bathroom again, asking a few people if I could go in front of them.  I wasn't particularly discouraged like I was during Echo's run and swim and bike after, but I wasn't in racing mode at all really.  Wandered down to the water with my oldest 2 kids and took off yet again.
Last swim!  Another example of low water.  Typically the water level is right where I'm standing
Swim #4, Rockcliff - Water temp was good, again murky and water level again very low.  There weren't waves like Echo, but it wasn't smooth.  Still surprising my arms weren't total jello, they just weren't that strong.  I did some backstroke which I swam surprisingly straight, but mostly freestyle.  I was just ready to get this done.  Just like all the other swims it seemed to be way longer than 1000, but I'm sure it was just me.  Was pretty lonely out there, maybe only 5 swimmers in the water while I was.  I remember being a little worried that I was basically the last person out there, that everyone else was finished.  I was also worrying about my parents already being to the finish line with our baby.  I told Jer to text them when I started my swim there so they'd be up in time, and they were already there!  I wouldn't be there for at least a good 1-1.5 hours and then still had to run one more time.  I also worried about Jer and the kids, hoping they weren't too bored or hot.  Told them to go to the nature center there for AC but he said no and that they were fine.  He was so great that day.  Everyone was so great that day, my parents weren't upset at all, they just went and got some food while I got there.  Sorry, getting sidetracked.
Look at that water visibility!  ;)
Not sure why my body position looks so weird and angled like this, hmmm
T10 - Swims were done and only 1 more short bike to go.  The sun was starting to get lower and I worried again that I was like the only one still out there, that everyone else was long done, but off I went.
Walking up from the last swim with my girls
Bike #4, 13 miles - There was no sitting in aero as my tush just wouldn't allow it.  Bummer (haha!).  The winds were kind and although this was uphill for several miles I didn't mind.  The downhill is steep and a little spooky and I held the brakes more than I have before and more than I wanted to, oh well.  Once I got off the mountain and into Midway on River Road the riding was fast for a while.  Not sure why, false downhill flat I guess.  I appreciated it though.  Even though I had my Garmin and knew how far away mileage wise the finish line was it seemed to be taking FOREVER!  There were very few course markings and I just assumed a couple times I was going the right way because there were no more racers or cars with the race around me.  After finally getting to where I could see lots of cones, I had to ride 2 blocks past the finish line to rack my bike and start the run.  Not so cool.

T-11 - Was so great to see my parents and baby (and see them happy, not like "where the heck have you been?!" like I worried they might be) and Jer of course.  I put my bike up and everyone was asking me how I was.  I was ready to be done and I said things to that effect.  A race guy was like "you can be done now if you want to".  That was very nice of him, but uh, I can't quit now!  I was just whiny and wanted to be done.  I wasn't really sore, just tired muscle wise, sleepy wise, and mentally.  The sun going down didn't help.  I mean I was grateful for the lower temps, but it's interesting to say that, that the sun going down discouraged me a little, because I've always been just a little bit envious of those Ironman athletes who get to run in the dark.  Just looks cool.  Anyway, changed out of my tri and bike shorts under a towel and into my run skirt and Altra tech shirt.  Had to look somewhat put together for the finish line right?  ;)  And it just sounded more comfortable.

Run #4, Midway - Here's where I'll be really honest.  I waned to put on a good front, be prideful, show off, I don't know, whatever, but I ran the block or two out of transition out of my family's sight, then started walking.  I have never walked more in a race than I did in this 6 miles.  I was just out of gas.  My back hurt around a kidney every time I'd start running too.  Maybe a dehydration thing, maybe just a muscle thing.  Either way it hurt.  I'd try to start running/shuffling from time to time and could get a block or two, but then would get back to walking.  The course was pretty, all road, a loop and took us up, up, up to the eventual turnaround I though would never ever come.  It was kind of cruelly placed around a big corner so you couldn't see it till you were there.  I would've like to have run down that big hill and tried at times, but again, it was just so uncomfortable.  I was pretty comfortable with my position as 2nd solo woman, but the gal in 3rd was never walking when I saw her that day and came into Rockcliff off the bike closer to me than I expected.  I just dreaded the thought of her catching up and me having to fight even harder for the finish.  Not that I didn't want her to do well of course, she was super sweet and positive, I just wanted to finish in 2nd and not have it come down to the wire.  I finally saw her and felt pretty comfortable with where I was.  There was only water and Heed out on the course, I was really hoping for some food, gel, trail mix like they had on the other runs.  About a mile or less from the finish line my bowels started grumbling and I got that "oh no, gotta find a bathroom, NOW" feeling.  The kind of feeling where you're afraid to run.  Well, uh, we were on a neighborhood street.  No businesses anywhere.  I almost jumped into a bush in front of someones driveway (I know, gross) but I didn't.  I was really close to doing it though.  It really would have been indecent exposure.  Finally finally finally saw some cones in the distance and figured it was the finish.  Heard the sweet Jason Crompton who had finished hours ago (SOLO mens winner and like 5th overall! such a great all around guy) cheering for me.  Saw my babies and husband waiting for me before the chute (was hoping for my baby but oh well), grabbed their hands and finished.  Finished.  Completed.  Done!  All 134 miles!
Hard to see but Jer has his arm up cheering running in. Cute  :)
Look at my beautiful girls, and my handsome men of course
Love to see my Jer's smile in this one
The finish was unfortunatley nothing to write home about.  Yes there was a big inflatable arch to go under, but that was about it.  They barely announced my name, there were litteraly maybe 20 people there including race staff and recently finished teams and spectators.  Picked up my medal off a table still in the bag, and got a bottle of water and plate of grapes and trail mix.  Kind of pathetic.  I think the organizers did a really good job overall for a first year, with yes a few things I'd change, but the finish line was lacking, and that coupled with my exhuastion kind of bummed me out.
Thank you Mom and Dad for having Ella all day and especially for coming up, it meant a lot!
But my parents were there smiling with our sweet baby who survived without me, and my great super supportive amazing crewer husband and kiddos were there for me, my most important people.  I did it, I completed it and 5 months after having our 4th baby, as my mom liked to point out to anyone who would listen :)  I feel like I was in the best shape I could have been after Ella and while it probably wasn't quite Ironman shape like in 2010, it was pretty close.  I was only 30 minutes behind the 1st solo woman in a 12+ hour race, a lady who does 2-3 Ironman distance races every month.  I won't take any credit from her, but that's quite the endurance base, one that I just don't have so soon after baby. 
I finished without any health concerns like a pulled muscle, cramps, or head pain that I get on occasion that I feared would put me in a position to pull out.  I didn't want to be in a position to have to drop out or run into an emergency. Thankfully I didn't.  My body held up well, my nutrition went well, my equipment did well, much in thanks to my amazing crewer my husband Jeremy.  He was so positive, so supportive, so mentally into that day.  I know he gets stressed at my races hanging out forever and wrangling kids, but he was amazing today.  I never once sensed stress from him about following me around all day in the heat.  Thank you love!

I'm still analyzing the whole experience 2 weeks later (and will probably do another short post about my feelings about the whole thing as well as an equipment and nutrition summary) and a question many have asked me about whether this was harder than Ironman or not, I think it probably was.  I didn't struggle to finish Ironman St George, didn't ever walk, was able to stay in aero for most of it.  I think the having to repeatedly use the 3 different sets of muscles over and over is quite fatiguing.  I said that no, I didn't want to do it again for sure next year, but just like childbirth it just takes time to forget the hard part and I'm already thinking about next year.  I do however hold to the fact that if i am not at least in as good of shape as I am in right now, I won't.  It was too hard.  It was satisfying of course, but I definitely think it is a funner team event.  There is something about a challenge like this though, it was different and new and epic and I was all about that.  I'm proud of myself.  I/we did it!
Not the best picture of all 6 of us, but the best people!

Ultimate Relay SOLO: Preparation

Well there was a lot of training prep, obviously.  I don't know that doing this solo is really something you can train completely for unless you have 8-10 hours/day on weekends, but I did my best and tried to do lots of bricks and double bricks.  I rode and ran on every section of the course, something I found really helpful.  I can get apprehensive about steep descents (which this didn't really have), so it was nice to experience it first in a controlled environment.  It's also nice to have and know landmarks so mentally you don't feel like "are we there yet? are we there yet??".  I did manage to get a good amount of time training on the course, especially at East Canyon.  I was time efficient and have had to pump a lot to have milk for baby girl, and my husband was good about giving me a morning most every week he could stay home till noon. 
Swimming I just treated like normal, 2000-3500 yard workouts, Master's when I could, and some good open water time. I also spent several sessions swimming without my wetsuit to prepare myself for that.  Was good to see how my tri or bike shorts and sports bras did while swimming too.  Led to some equipment decisions for race day.  On the bike, my long rides were 40-65 miles and I feel pretty good about that.  Yeah my legs got tired, but I felt pretty well bike prepared, they were mostly tired from the running and transitioning.  It would have been nice if my butt were better prepared, but getting on and off the bike a lot actually makes it more tender race day I think than just staying on the bike for 6 hours straight.  Running is where I probably could improve the most for a next attempt.  I never ran longer than 13 miles for several reasons.  First, I couldn't run the last 3 months of my pregnancy because of pubic symphysis pain and then didn't return to real running till about 2 months after her birth thanks to a bad hemorrhage after her birth.  So I wanted and needed to be smart in building up my miles, but I figured where these are only 6 miles runs, running double that should be fine.  6x4=24.  I really should have incorporated marathon style long runs.  My last 2 runs suffered because of the lack of 16-20 mile runs I think.  Live and learn.  I just didn't have the time this go around.

Stuff wise, here it is.  I got everything packed up Friday, fairly nonchalantly, but I found a good method.  My husband Jeremy would be doing all my transitions and I didn't want him to get stressed about where everything was (considering how much stuff I had to bring, extras of things) and what I needed so I packed everything in separate cloth shopping bags.  Swim stuff in a blue one, bike stuff in a green one (to match my bike), and run stuff in a red bag.  I tried to keep these bags very simple and basic.  My tri backpack had all my nutrition and extra clothing in it (bike shorts, new jersey, run skirt, tech shirt, socks, sports bra).  Swim bag had a couple caps and goggles, wetsuits, 2 swim suits to put over my shorts and bra (will explain more later), and a swim top to put over my sports bra if I wanted.  Bike bag had chamois creams and lubricant, a couple tubes and CO2 and our spare bike bag with basic tools and flat change stuff.  Run bag had the 2 pair of shoes I would wear, socks, and baby powder.
Nutrition wise I froze 4 water bottles pre mixed with my EFS, dosed appropriately for how long each leg was.  Much easier to tell him I need a certain bottle (they were all different colors/designs) than 1.5 or 3 scoops and of what flavor as I changed between tropical punch and grape each bike leg.  Only thing I should have done different was to have frozen them several days in advance, overnight didn't have them frozen solid.  The first bottle you only want to freeze halfway though so you can fill it with water that morning to get it melting.  The others will melt in time or he could have set the one out I needed if it wasn't thawed enough. We had 2 large bottled water jugs in the van for refilling my aero bottle, kept one and the water bottles, jug of Liquid Shot, Coke, and snacks and food for Jer and the kids in the cooler with 2 bags of ice (wasn't sure the family would have time to stop anywhere for long and wanted to be sure they'd be happy and fed).  Definitely needed the 2 bags of ice.  I would have him fill the aero bottle full with ice before putting water in, right before I was ready to ride.
Another thing I would change would be to have not procrastinated writing down what I needed when.  I had planned to write down what bottle, what equipment, what pills I'd need at each stop, but didn't have time.  I tried on the way up but just didn't have time so I ended up having to tell him what bottle I needed, what pills I wanted, what run shoes I wanted along the way.  He adapted well though and ended up just pouring some Metasalt and SportLegs pills each in a ziplock bag labeled with their name and dosage and would leave them in transition so I could grab what I needed.  I didn't do so well with reading and thinking about what I needed and how long it'd been since I'd had some though, so he kept on top of it for me and told me while I was in transition how many of what to grab.  Worked nicely.  He was a lifesaver the whole day!
So it was time to drop my sweet baby off at my mom and dad's for the night.  Fed her and put her to bed there about 7pm Friday, wrote out her whole instruction manual which was probably way more than my parents needed, left her a nice supply of pumped milk and every toy we own and pried myself away from watching her sleep and went home.  Cleaned out (procrastination, I know) and packed most of the van, and ate a reasonable plate of spaghetti.  Didn't get to bed too awfully late, 10pm maybe?