Monday, December 10, 2012


I have not been the best at staying committed  to my off-season triathlon plan, but I am working to change that. The Masters swim team that I belong to requires us to attend at least 2 swim sessions per month. I was so burned out from this triathlon season, that it's been a challenge to make it to the pool that frequently. I am actually honored to be a part of this team and would hate to get kicked off, so I have been trying to be better about making it to practice. Also, the USAT Club Challenge is ongoing and Tri Unify has a team of 13, so I am trying to do my part and get in some swim miles to put up on the board this month.

On Saturdays, the team practices in the 50 meter lanes. We are reduced to only 4 lanes and this makes it more of a challenge for the slower swimmers. This past Saturday, I showed up and noticed that there were a few people that were waaaaayyyy faster than me in the "slow lane". I realized that it was probably because the other lanes were just too crowded, but I got nervous. My paranoia for being "the slow girl that swims like the water is molasses and slows everyone down" started to creep in immediately. Everyone in the club has always been very nice and welcoming. I realize that my discomfort with my speed and ability has caused me to shy away from most of the faster swimmers. Sometimes I even get in a lane all by myself while swimming at another pool with this team. I know that when it comes to this swim team, what I think about myself probably has caused me to come across as anti social or unfriendly, but the truth is that I really am  just intimidated and not comfortable with my speed.

The swim coach on Saturday is usually in the slower lanes, so I was happy that she was coaching... until I found out that we were working on pacing. UGH! I got in the lane last, behind the old guy that told me that I was too slow when I first started. But the first person in the lane repeatedly caught up with me and swam past me. I noticed that I was swimming every other lap, as I had to wait until all of the faster swimmers went on to another lap, while I was just trying to  finish my first one. I got discouraged really quickly and contemplated leaving the pool after only 10 minutes of swimming. My thought was that I was just too slow to swim with the team on Saturdays when we have fewer lanes and that I would just come back on Tuesday. I was cool with that. I know that I am slow and these things happen... well that is what I told myself to feel better with my decision to quit swimming on Saturday.

When I went to climb out of the lane, I remembered that I had brought my fins! I remembered Lisa saying that her fins made her faster. So, I thought that I would give the fins a tri for just one more lap and see if I could keep up with the swimmers in my lane. This was my last ditch effort before calling it quits.Not only was I able to keep up, but before long, 3 people were in the lane BEHIND ME (including the old guy!). I was pumped! I was okay with the fact that I need a swim crutch  fins in order to keep up. I was ecstatic that I was not getting lapped in the pool any more! I felt like I was finally a part of the team!! This lady asked why I was using fins and I told her that I was about to quit, until I realized that the fins helped me to go faster so I could keep up. I don't think she really understood how close I was to quitting and my delight to finally be able to keep up, as she proceeded to tell me that, "fins give you a false sense of confidence..." yadda yadda... She was probably right, but I needed to know that I could keep up. I needed something to help me to not be a quitter. I needed my fins on Saturday!

Even though I have completed 10 Triathlons, to include two Ironman 70.3 events, I still have doubts about my ability. There is always room for improvement. I am sharing this story for anyone that may be easily discouraged or for someone that may be quitting before they even tri. I just want folks to know that even those that have completed triathlons in the past have insecurities and moments when they want to quit. I guess the message is to never quit before you tri and sometimes you may need a "crutch" until you can keep up all on your own.

I can't wait to swim with my fins again next Saturday!!! I won't use them on Tuesday or Thursday, but on Saturday, they will be my treat!!

Tri Becca

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tri Unify Holiday party (w/Elections)

You are cordially invited to the Tri Unify Holiday Party (w/Elections)

featuring the Baltimore Metro Wheelers Cycling Club & the OC's

Saturday, December 15th, 2012
True Blessings Estate
5135 Sheppard Lane
Ellicott City, MD 21042

Come out to enjoy some good food, great drinks, awesome stories and maybe even find an off-season training buddy or two.
This is a pot luck event
Please bring something to share according to your last name and the list below:
Last Name
A-I : Appetizer/Platter/Side Dish
J-R: Beverages (w/one bag of ice) - it can be of the adult variety or not
S-Z: Dessert

***RSVP's are MANDATORY:***

Monday, November 5, 2012

There comes a time...

In 2010, I spent a small fortune on swimming lessons, a new carbon road bike and everything to go on/with it, cycling gear, running gear, swimming gear and race entry fees. I didn't break the bank as much in 2011, but I did register for 5 Triathlons and a few running races. In 2012, I signed up for 2 Ironman 70.3 races (at $300 each) and two running races. I have not added up how much I have spent over the last 3 years, but I am certain that it is in the thousands. Especially if I include race nutrition, nutritionists, physical therapy, acupuncture, travel expenses, etc. I am at a point where I have to really focus and buckle down in order to achieve some financial and personal goals. After making financial cuts in many other areas, I realize that I need to take more drastic measures to reach my financial goals. So, it is with great sadness that I have decided to take the 2013 Triathlon season off and not spend any money on race entry fees.

It is the most heart wrenching decision, as I feel that being a Triathlete is now woven into my soul and makes up a part of who I am now. Since I know so many Triathletes and others that swim, bike and/or run, I plan to keep my fitness up by training with others for their races. I want to take 2013 to not only work towards my financial goals, but to get more fit, lean and faster. I would love to make my Triathlon comeback by completing a full Ironman in 2014. I have thought about raising money to race or to volunteer in exchange for free race slots in 2013, so I don't have to take a break from racing. I may have to get creative in order to race without paying the entry fees, as I am positive that not racing in 2013 will be extremely difficult for me.

If anyone reading this have any ideas or suggestions of how I can continue to race without incurring the expenses,  please let me know  (rwilliams2500 at gmail dot com).

Thank you for following me on this Triathlon journey and please know that I WILL be back! I see that I am getting better with time and I will not stop here. I vow to come back faster and stronger than ever before.

Tri Becca

Monday, October 22, 2012

Getting better with time

Yesterday, I completed the Army Ten Miler. In 2010, I couldn't run this race due to an injured ankle, last year I finished in 2 hours 13 minutes and this year, I finished much, much faster. I had a bit of dejavu from 2010 on Monday after rolling my ankle while running down stairs in boot camp.  I took the rest of the week off to rest and ice it, so that I wouldn't be sidelined again for this race. It was very painful to be on the sidelines in 2010 and I enjoyed it so much last year that the thought of not being able to run it this year brought me great sadness. I had only run a few times in the 4 weeks since my Ironman 70.3 Cozumel and after hurting my ankle again, I was a extremely nervous on race morning... but I was committed to try.

We met up with several ladies that morning for Team Usual Suspects photos, decided on a post race meet up spot and we took off.
Team Usual Suspects!

Me and Tania

Lisa, Me and Tania
About to get it IN
My friend Tania got a bib at the last minute to run with me. She really helped to pace me for the first 3 miles and then she had to take off at her usual speedy pace. Pier was being her usual Spectator Extraordinaire self and showed up at mile 1 and mile 5. I was so surprised to make it to the 5 mile mark before 1 hour (it usually takes me 1:05 to run 5 miles). The bands and spectators were amazing and some of the runners were mind blowing! There was a guy running and playing a piccolo the entire time! The 14th Street bridge kicked my butt again this year, but I got across it by taking it light post by light post, alternating running and walking. There was a lady who told me that I was pacing her the entire race and I couldn't stop now. When I started to walk in mile 9, she was right there with a positive message to get me going again. I started to think about how my friends would be at the finish line when I finished. I decided to push through my exhaustion and try to achieve my stretch goal, which was to finish in under 2 hours. My goal was 2 hours flat, but with that lady pacing me in Mile 9, I knew that my stretch goal was possible. My legs hurt, I was exhausted and thirsty, but I kicked up the pace and finished strong in 1:55! I cut 10 minutes off my 10K time and finished the entire 10 mile run 18 minutes faster than last year!

Me and Pier

If I do this race again next year, I will push for 1:45 with a stretch goal of under 1:40. I may not be racing at all next year (more on that later), but if I do, I will try my best to meet these goals.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ironman 70.3 Cozumel

We traveled to Cozumel on Friday before the race. This was the travel day from HELL! We all tried to go with the flow and we held it together quite well despite all of the travel snafus. We were supposed to get in at about 4pm but did not make it to the hotel until about 9pm. We flew into Cozumel, took a shuttle to Playa del Carmen, was denied access to the 3pm ferry, although it was right there, waited for the 5pm ferry which sailed off and left us on the dock, discovered that it was the last ferry of the day with that company, had to return/purchase more tickets for a different company that made us bring our bike boxes up a flight of stairs instead of storing them at the bottom of the ferry like the luggage and then finally arrived in Cozumel and took a cab (which we had to pack our 4 bike boxes and 6 people into by ourselves, as the cab driver watched)  to our hotel.  I think our little stop over at Playa del Carmen's Senor Frogs and the shenanigans that took place there, made our travel woes a little more bearable. By the time we made it to our hotel, I was tired and in pain from dragging my bike box with one missing wheel. 

We FINALLY arrived!!

On Saturday morning, we went out for a practice swim that was absolutely amazing! The water was calm and warm with beautiful fish, turtles, dolphins and scuba divers. We were approached by a guy who screamed out, "ENGLISH!" when he heard us talking and he immediately became a part of our crew. Philly Joe was his name, he fit right in and never left our side. He was a hoot. Race preparations were confusing and time consuming, but we got it all done. 
About to hop in for a practice swim

Planning to take on the island!

Showing off our Tri tats!
Philly Joe!

We were rushing around right up until the time when Dawn and I had to make a mad dash to meet our swim wave that was on the deck waiting to jump into the ocean on race morning. We had a few minutes to spare before jumping in. There was a dolphin show and the Military band played for us before we started our Ironman 70.3 Cozumel journey...

Awesome dolphin show before the race!
These girls were PUMPED UP!

1.2 mile Swim:
My goal was to finish the swim in under an hour. The average time to complete this distance for someone in my age group is 46 minutes. I am a slow swimmer and finished in exactly 1 hour the last time I did this distance, so I wanted to beat that... and I DID!! It was a great swim minus a major issue with a buoy that fell over and a kayak guy that was trying to steer the swimmers around the buoy. There was a huge pile up and I found myself surrounded by about 6 men that were literally swimming over each other and one had his forearm on my lower back. I thought I was going DOWN. All I could do was scream PLEASE! PLEASE! Eventually, we all were able to swim around the kayak and toppled buoy to finish the swim. I felt strong the entire way and was overjoyed to finish the swim in 55 minutes!

56 mile Bike: 
My goal was to finish the bike in 3:30 or better. That meant that I had to keep my speed at 16 mph and no slower. I knew of the strong cross winds for 9 miles that would probably slow me down, so I would have to make up time for that by going faster, like 18-20mph. The last time I raced this distance, I lost about an hour due to GI issues and being too stubborn to stop at a porta potty. My goal was to race smarter this time and stop if I needed to. It appeared that the winds were tough for much longer than 9 miles. I picked up my speed after the winds died down and really enjoyed riding through the little town with the kids shaking water bottles with rocks inside. They were cheering SI SE PUEDE!  (YES YOU CAN!) at me and that helped me to keep my speed up. I think that I did a good job with eating and drinking very 15 minutes and had just calculated how fast I needed to go for the last 20 miles to make my time goal. I made a few turns and before I knew it, I was being waved down and told to get off my bike. That was the end of the bike course. I was so confused, as I thought that I had further to go. I walked into the little staging area and saw what looked like a million run bags and I was so confused that I just held my head and started screaming (translation: I had a panic attack and a mini melt down due to confusion). The next thing I knew, someone was in front of me with my run bag and lead me to the area to sit down to change into my run gear. I really don't know how I finished that bike ride so fast! I know that I sped up in the little towns with the kids cheering me on, but I am usually not that speedy. I am thinking that perhaps I was guided the wrong way or something. My official bike time was 2 hours 21 minutes. I will take it!

13.1 mile Run: 
My goal was to finish in 2:30 doing a 3:1 run:walk ratio. The first time I did this distance, I did it in 2:39. The last time I raced this distance, I ended up walking the last 8 miles due to my feet feeling blistered, so my time was off. I planned to leave it all on the course and really give it my best. The spectators were amazing! They were cheering and playing music for us and there were many aid stations with water, ice, Gatorade, Vaseline, pretzels, Pepsi, etc. I started my run 3 minutes:walk 1 minute plan, but my watch died, so I had to alter that. I saw Tania's friend Tony on the course and ran with him for a while. I also saw Francy, Philly Joe, Dawn and a few other people, but I never saw Lisa. I started to worry about Lisa. It started to get really hot and I was getting tired and was walking way more than I was running. The course was brutal and mentally challenging in that you had to do 2 loops and pass the finish line chute at the halfway point. I made the best of it and really got into the crowd support and before I knew it, I was running through the finish line chute, high 5'ing the kids and pumping my fits at the adults screaming SI SE PUEDE and VAMOS REBECCA VAMOS (our names were on our race bibs)! I felt like all of those people were out there just to support ME! The little girl who put the medal around my neck made me tear up when she told me that I was her hero. She went through the trouble of asking her friend how to say it in English, which made it even more special to me. 

I found Dawn and Philly Joe in the finisher area. We had to escort Francy to the medical tent after she crossed the finish line (her knees buckled and she looked faint) and we learned that Lisa had taken sick on the bike and was pulled from the course. It was a brutal race and I am glad that everyone turned out to be okay. I really hate that Lisa took sick, as she trained so long and hard for this race. I truly feel like we are all winners just for toeing the line. We all lived to race another day.

My overall time was 6 hours 45 minutes. I feel like I gave it my best in the swim, struggled with the wind on the bike course, yet finished way too fast despite my chip time and I struggled on the run due to fatigue. There were just a few Americans racing and I did not see another black American woman on the course, so I felt like I had to represent. The Mexicans gave me so much energy to power through the rough moments and I felt blessed to be able to race on such a beautiful island. Finishing this race was a very proud moment for me. It was only second to me finishing the swim in my first Triathlon. I am excited to say that I am an Ironman 70.3 FINISHER again! I really want to do a full Ironman one day, but I want to improve my fitness and buy a Tri bike first, so it may have to be in 2014.


Lessons learned:
  •  Ride more hills to help prepare for windy courses
  •  Go on more long runs after long rides to get used to running on tired legs
  • Treat myself to another destination race in a beautiful location

Post race:

I planned to wear my medal and finisher shirt for days on end after this race, but with Lisa getting sick and not finishing, the desire to do that had faded. I was filled with joy for finishing, but was very sad for Lisa. I'm just very happy that she did not end up in a medical tent like so many others. We all posted up by the pool and enjoyed multiple libations and relaxed. The next day was a good day of more drinking, relaxing on the beach, short swims with in-water photo shoots and chilling in hammocks and in the hot tub during a rain storm. There were some moments to remember, like the big ass bird that stole a quesadilla  right out of my hand, getting my head patted down by a man in a bear outfit and "Mr. Willy" on the 3rd floor that kept making naked appearances on his patio. We went out for a very nice traditional Mexican dinner on our final night. The restaurant was nice, the food, libations and musical entertainment were good and the 2 dogs in the restaurant were just chilling. Great times.

Me and Dawn

In route back to Cancun to catch our flight, I met a cool couple, Kyle and Andrea, from Utah. I remembered them helping me to get my bike box off the ferry when we arrived and them telling me that they would be on the course to cheer us on. They shared how they rented a scooter to ride the bike course to look for their friends and they could not find me, but they captured a really great finish line photo of me with my hands in the air. When they asked how I got into Triathlons, I really surprised myself with the words that came out of my mouth and realized how inspiring those words could be. I shared with them how I started running 5k's and when I first learned of Triathlons, I dismissed the idea, because I could not swim. But when I had to have abdominal surgery, subsequently developed double pneumonia and could not breathe well enough to climb a flight of stairs, I was motivated to run again and learn to swim. I told them that "because I could not do anything, I wanted to do everything". This is so true. My dream of becoming a triathlete came when I could not take a shower without getting winded. I did not have a bike, did not know how to swim and could not walk a block, let alone run one. My story is a true testament that if you put your mind to something and invest the time to be able to achieve it, anything is possible. That just happens to be the motto for the full Ironman, which I will tackle one day: ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!
Me and the cool Tri guy, Kyle Lambson

Thanks to everyone who sent positive vibes, prayers and thoughts my way. Your support is immeasurable. Thank you to Lisa, Francy and Dawn for traveling and racing with me and to Erin Steptoe and Queen Mum for travel support. You ladies ROCK! We must do this again and invite Philly Joe.

Post dinner at Casa Mission

Tri Becca

Friday, July 6, 2012

Masters Swimming

In September of 2010, I was looking for a Masters swim club to join and signed up to be on the waiting list for the District of Columbia Recreation and Parks Masters Swim Team. It was so long ago that I forgot all about it until I received an email on June 5th saying that my name had reached the top of the waiting list. I was preparing for EagleMan, so I decided to not start until after the race. I came up with every excuse possible to not go in the 4 weeks after the invitation came. I was nervous. I was scared. I even wrote to the coaches and told them how I was nervous to come out because I am slow and I don't know how to do flip turns and I don't want to slow anyone down... yadda... yadda. Their response? See you at practice.

I went for the first time on Tuesday and I got in the slowest lane with an 81 year old man. I thought that I could at least hang with him. Nope. There was another lady that got in our lane and this old man was literally swimming over us. Eventually, he told us that he was tired of swimming into us, that we were too slow and that he was going to find another lane. An 81 year old man told me that I was too slow. Wow. This was after the coach told me that the warm up was 600 meters. SIX HUNDRED METERS! My longest warm up to date has been 300m. By the time I got to 500 meters, he told me to just stop and he moved me on to the next set/drill. After 1 hour of him modifying the workout for me, I decided that I had enough for one day. The swims are 90 minutes long, but 60 minutes was all I had in me.

As expected, I was slow, I couldn't  flip turn and I did slow someone down, but I survived and I went back today. Today was a better day. The coach gave us all drills that most people were unfamiliar with. They still did the drills faster than me, but we were all at the same starting point, which didn't make me feel at that much of a disadvantage to start. I am glad that I joined and I know that this Masters team will make me faster and a more efficient swimmer. I will keep showing up and just keep swimming....

Monday, June 11, 2012

EagleMan Ironman 70.3!

About to get it started with Tania!

I can proudly proclaim that I have completed an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon! I swam 1.2 miles in the Choptank River, cycled 56 miles through Cambridge and Dorchester, Maryland and ran 13.1 hellish hot miles for a grand total of 70.3 miles. This race was one of many lessons. Due to some mistakes and race day conditions, the race was hard as hell, but I'm a FINISHER!!

1.2 mile Swim: Lesson - Make sure that I study the course and don't bring leaky goggles

I had a complete panic attack after dipping my head in the brackish water, which burned my left eye. My goggles were leaking! No bueno! This was followed by my second panic attack when I realized that I didn't study the course to know which way to go and could only see out of one eye. Tania was with me and told me, "You don't have time to go back! You just have to use your good eye! You can't see too much in this dirty water anyway! Just follow everybody else!". I quickly realized that I was already out in the water and I just had to buck up. The beginning of the swim was very panicky for me. I thought of asking a kayak person to lead me back to shore. I thought about how many people have a DNF (Did Not Finish) on their Triathlon record, so it would be no big deal if I quit. I COULD NOT SEE! Those negative thoughts were thwarted once I thought about all of the people who got up early to come out to cheer me on and to follow me on-line. I reminded myself that I had over 30 people on FB who wrote that they would pray for me and send good vibes. I thought about how I have done this before and how I have practiced swimming in the pool with my eyes closed but only opened them to see, when I turned my head to breathe. I practiced that in order to prepare myself for something like this. I combated every negative thought with a positive one and I made it through the swim. However, I did have a near accident when I thought that the yellow kayak was the yellow buoy, so I tried to swim around the kayak... just as the guy in the kayak was about to take off! I am so glad that he saw me, as that could have been a very bad accident. I made it through the swim in my expected time, despite the panic of only having one good eye. It was nice to hear Maddy screaming my name as I ran into transition.

56 mile Bike: Lesson - Stop when needed, as trying to push through will cost you time

I had some Tart Cherry Juice with breakfast, but perhaps I had too much. My stomach was in knots even before I got in the water. After ingesting a little too much river water, my stomach was not happy. I tried to keep it moving and started the bike ride. It was great to see Heather cheering me on as I took off on my bike. I just knew I was about to smoke that ride!There were porta potties on the route but I just kept moving, hoping my stomach would settle down. I started off super fast with my fancy borrowed ZIPP tires from Arrow Bicycle, but I noticed that my pace got slower... and slower... the more I tried to ignore the stomach pain. I just wanted to finish. Finally, when my speed dropped to something ridiculous and I could not be upright any longer, I stopped at mile 46. I was able to return to my planned speed for the last 10 miles and quickly regretted waiting so long to stop. I could have finished that bike ride about 45-60 minutes minutes faster, if I had not been too stubborn to stop. Lesson learned.

13.1 mile Run: Lesson - Remember the tips

Shelly told me to put some Body Glide or Aquaphor to my feet before the run. I had both of these, but I forgot to slather it on.  Truth be told, I simply forgot once I saw my teammate, Mylah, in transition packing up her stuff. She said that she was done, that she was not going back out on the race course to finish. I asked her if she needed anything like food or drink or if she was injured, but  she was fine. When I realized that it was just mental, I literally grabbed her by her wrist, pulled her off of the ground and we ran out of transition together. The poor girl didn't even have time to put on her socks; she had to stuff them in her shorts. I just could NOT let her quit.  We shuffled together until she gave me her commitment that she would not quit and then I took off. I initially had a little Achilles pain and had to stop to stretch a few times in the first 3 miles. I thought that if the pain continued, I may have to quit. The pain eventually went away. I wore my ankle brace to protect the ankle, but could not wear my compression socks due to some new rule. I thought I needed the compression socks to ward off shin splints, but my shins never bothered me this time. It would have been too hot for them anyway. My feet started to feel like they were covered with blisters after mile 5 from my socks being so wet and all of the friction. I did not think to wear moisture wicking socks. My feet hurt so bad to run, that I just walked the last 8 miles. It was over 90 degrees and there was no shade. About 90% of the athletes were walking. There was plenty of ice and snacks on the course, which was great, although they ran out of snow cones at the turn around point. I made a new friend, Kristine with the DC Tri Club, and we kept each other company until we approached the finish line. The Tri Unify cheering squad was in full force! Cassandra and her friend Sharlimar were waiting for me as I made my last turn to finish the run. Rian was there to give a high five as I made my way down the finish-line chute. Maddy, Diane and Adrienne were not too far away. It meant the world to me to have them there to cheer us on. It was a proud moment to see Mylah cross the finish line after she nearly quit the race. Next time, I will be sure to remember the tips and to wear proper socks.

Tri Unify Cheering crew!

Me and Mylah (those are Mylah's socks stuffed in the legs of her shorts)

 In hindsight, the race was not bad, with the exception of the heat. I was properly trained to complete the distances. I just need to make sure that I remember some key things next time, so I can be better prepared for what race day may bring.

I will do this all over again in Cozumel on September 23rd. I just hope to do it a little faster!

Tri Becca

Friday, June 1, 2012

Winning = earning the medal

Training for a 1/2 Ironman has been one of the most mentally challenging things that I have done so far. It has taken more than just training and learning how to fuel properly. More than ever before, I have had to have the "you can do it, if you really want to do it" talks with myself. There were days when I just stayed in bed or on the couch, because my mind believed that training that day would not make me any faster or more fit. On many days, I thought "What's the sense? What does it matter? What will this ONE training do to help me?". There were days that I went out to swim and could not get my heart rate to come down. Today I went for a run and the ugly shin splints returned. The shin splints decided to return just NINE days before the race!?!? WTH???  I was determined to not let it get me down. I came up with a plan after realizing what could have caused the shin pain to return. It has been HARD. It has been harder to just get my mind right, than it has been to complete any 56 mile ride, 2000 meter swim or 13.1 mile run. But, I am stronger as a result of training for this race. Mentally stronger.

I know that I can finish this race on June 10th. I know that I can finish all 3 legs of the race before the cut off times. I know that if I keep my heart rate low during the 1.2 mile swim, keep a manageable pace, eat and hydrate on the 56 mile bike and if I consistently do a 4:1 or 3:1 run/walk for the 13.1 mile run, then I can finish before the total race cut off time. I KNOW this. I BELIEVE this. I don't have doubts, per se, I just don't feel as fit as I want to feel going into the race. Am I excited? Absolutely not. I'm nervous. I'm nervous, because I don't know what to expect since I have not done this distance of a race before. I'm nervous because I won't have my usual racing buddies with me or my usual cheering squad out there being my "race day stalkers/paparazzi". I have been trying to get used to training alone and racing alone and being okay if there are no familiar faces out there on race day. But it has been tough. Mentally tough.

I am going to race on June 10th. I am going to follow my race day plan for pacing myself, hydration and nutrition. I am going to WIN, which in my mind, is earning that medal when I cross the finish line. I will pretend that every cheer I hear is really just for me. I will be fine. I will be tough. Mentally tough. I will have the mind of a Champion... because, in my mind, I am a Champion.

Tri Becca

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Time to press play

Last night was the first night that I had a good night's sleep without coughing all night. I finally feel rested and really able to train at close to 100%. Bronchitis is no joke, especially if your lungs have been compromised by double pneumonia in the past. It had me down, but I'm BACK! I thought long and hard about filing for a refund for my upcoming Ironman 70.3 (it's a 1/2 Ironman), but I decided to let the April15th deadline pass. Since I started with Triathlons, I have always had challenges to overcome. I feel that this setback with Bronchitis is no different. I still feel like I can do it and I will.

Eagleman 70.3 (My 1/2 Ironman) is in 7 weeks. I will train hard and make sure that I am as ready as possible. I have another 1/2 Ironman in September in Cozumel, which I will make my A race. My prayer is to stay healthy and injury free, so that I am more prepared for that one.

Thanks for your positive thoughts, prayers and motivation,
Tri Becca

Friday, April 13, 2012

What an honor!

I have the distinct honor of announcing that my colleagues with Tri Unify have elected me as their club President! I am extremely humbled by this appointment and will strive to do all that I can to continue the mission of Tri Unify. Thank you to all of the members who voted for me. I promise to not let you down.

Tri Becca

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My first 1/2 Marathon

On yesterday, I completed my first Half Marathon (13.1 miles). I awakened on race morning feeling rested, hydrated and prepared for whatever the day would bring. I smiled upon rising thinking about the support that I would have throughout the day from friends, near and far. My friend was here to pick me up 15 minutes early and I was on my way. I wanted to get a picture before I started to share on Facebook.
I stuck to my plan to have fun, take in the scenery and pace myself. This was the most FUN race to date! There was a different type of band every mile, plenty of cheerleaders and dance squads out, spectators with funny signs/positive words and awesome costumes to keep me entertained! I looked for Francy, who was supposed to find me on the route and ride her bike as I ran. I also looked for some other people that I knew who were running, but I never saw anyone familiar. My friend who dropped me off, took the metro to the half way point/Dupont Circle to surprise me with some extra cheer. I managed to run all the hills and was more than happy to see Tania at mile 8! She ran the last 5 miles with me and did a great job at keeping my mind off of my legs. We were sure to take in the scenery and stopped to take a picture of this on H Street, NE:
Mile 11 was tough and mile 12 was a BEAST! I kept it moving and eventually brought it across the finish line, where Francy finally caught up with me. I handed Tania the medal, so she could put it on me like she did after my first Triathlon. She totally rocks!

I thought that I could realistically complete this race in 2 hours 45 minutes, but I registered my estimated time as 2:30. I had hoped that I could finish in 2:30, but it wasn't until Travel Diva told me that she thought that I could finish in 2:30, that I believed that I could really do so. After running with Tania last week, I secretly hoped that I could finish in 2:15.  My official finish time was 2:39 and I am very happy with that. Thank you Travel Diva for believing in me and know that, as I ran my last 2 miles, I was really pushing for the goal that you helped me to set. Sometimes, it takes us hearing what others believe about us for us to really believe it ourselves.

I truly have the best support network of friends and it really makes all of the difference to me on race day. Thanks to everyone who tracked me via text, came out to support me and those who sent positive thoughts and vibes my way. I am a better athlete because of you.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mind over Matter: Preparing for my first 1/2 Marathon

I have put in the miles in preparation for my very first 1/2 Marathon on Saturday, March 17th. I got a late/slow start on training after having to recover from yet another ankle injury, but the miles are in the bank. It has been quite a journey with an eventful 8 mile run, a beautiful 10 mile run in Chicago and a 12 mile run that was a true measure of fortitude. Now it is time to start mentally preparing myself for race day on Saturday.

I think that the keys are to remind myself that I have done this before (in training), that it is supposed to be fun and that I am blessed to have the physically ability to run 13.1 miles. I know that I can do this, I will do this and I hope to have many pictures to share after I have done this!

Please keep me in thought and prayer on St. Patty's day, as I conquer yet another fitness goal.

Tri Becca

Saturday, February 11, 2012

8 miles

I ran the last 5 miles of the Half Marathon course earlier this week and today I set out to run the first 8 miles. Sure, the forecast called for snow and rain, but that didn't deter me. I figure, I have to be prepared for any type of weather, because you never know what it will be like on race day. Besides, rule number 1 is:  There are NO EXCUSES!

Me and Francy (who is not running this Half Marathon and just wanted to offer support) decided to meet at the Metro close to the start of the run this afternoon. We both had that look of "what the heck are we doing out here????" look in our eyes, but we are equally crazy committed and we took off. We decided to run the first few miles to warm up and then throw some intervals in the mix whenever we got tired. In the first mile, I realized that perhaps I had hydrated too much and we had to take a detour to find a bathroom. The first 4 miles were uneventful. It was after that that our run started to fall apart.

At exactly 3pm the wind picked up and it started to snow/hail and pelt our faces. We passed by a store and the sign that was outside was picked up by the wind, headed towards us and landed right on Francy's foot. She started to limp after that for about a half mile, but then decided to just run through the pain. The course wasn't bad at all, minus a couple of moderately steep hills. It started to get colder and more windy at about mile 7, but we knew we could get through the last mile. That is right when we had our second incident. At 14th and Harvard Street, NW, we had the crossing signal, but this genius decided to back up after he had pulled out too far into the crosswalk. We tried to hurry and run behind the car before he hit us and there was a car coming up on the side of the road and it hit Francy. She tumbled to the ground in what seemed like slow motion and then started to crawl out of the street. It was the worse feeling ever to see it happen and not be able to help. The nice couple got out and talked with us while we determined that she was just scraped up and bruised. She was able to move her shoulder, elbow and hip, so we walked the last mile home. Whew! What a run.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My first 1/2 Marathon!

It just dawned on me today that I have less than 6 weeks until my first 1/2 Marathon. I will be running 13.1 miles around Washington, DC in the Rock and Roll Half Marathon on Saturday, March 17th and I am nervous!! I feel like I am behind in my training due to another ankle injury. Most people that are running this race ran 8 to 10 miles this past weekend and I am only up to running 5 miles. I plan to increase my mileage this coming weekend, but I am still a little nervous about it all. After my 5 mile run today, my legs were tired. I can't imagine how they will feel after running 7-8 miles this weekend, but I guess I will find out.

Wish me luck, say some prayers and as always, I hope to have some folks out there to cheer me on! Having friends on the course always gives me a reason to keep moving and smiling.

Tri Becca

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The scale

I took the last two weeks off from work in December and decided to have a stay-cation. Well, that turned into me sitting on my couch buying myself way too many Christmas presents. The one that I am most excited about is my new Ironman Tanita scale! This thing is awesome. It measures not only weight, but body fat %, body water %, muscle mass, and about 10 other things. I have committed to weighing myself and recording all of the data on the 1st of each month and just weighing myself daily. I have read and overheard friends say that weighing yourself daily helps to shape the way you eat and your physical activities for the day. Yeah right. This can be mind torturing!

I was all excited when I noticed that the scale crept down to 5 pounds lighter, but twice in the month of January, it changed it's mind and decided to tell me that it was just kidding. Since I didn't check for body water % daily, I just chalked it up as having something to do with my hydration levels. Well, today I hopped on and recorded all of the data and while I was sad that I am only down 1 pound (which could have something to do with having the need to take Midol today), I have lost 2% of body fat! ....2%! I was so freaking exited that I wanted to kiss the scale. You know, there may be some truth to the saying "You are what you eat"! I have been watching my diet and lifting weights ( along with swimming, biking and running) and I think that it is working!

While I do have a long way to go to in my plan to decrease my body fat% and my weight, I will take my measurements today as WINNING! 

Tri Becca

Monday, January 30, 2012

Randoms of a soon to be Ironman 70.3 FINISHER

  •  My first outdoor bike ride this season was a challenge! Lisa and I were tired at the first rest stop. It felt like  we had already gone like 15 miles. Uhm, yeah, it was only EIGHT MILES. My resolution to clean up my potty mouth while training went out the window. I cussed so much on those little hills.
  • The scale is playing tricks on my mind. I thought I was doing really well when it slowly crept up to 5 pounds lighter... and then it just ego slammed me days later, with a big ol' "SIKE!!!". I will have to try something different starting February 1st.
  • I have been running consistently, but it is not easily coming back to me. The thought of going to a music festival in Miami on March 17th is starting to look more appealing to me than this 1/2 Marathon that day.
  • Weight training twice a week is not my favorite thing to do, but I know that it is key to helping to burn fat and to help me to get stronger for the bike. Actually, 3 days of lifting may be even better for me, if only I could fit it into my schedule.
  • The bike trainer is soooo boring! I have to figure out something different this week to make it more enjoyable. Last week, I discovered OnDemand music videos and tried to go hard for a whole video and then recovered while I searched for another one to watch. Whatever happened to MTV videos that used to play all day???
  • My diet is good, but I need to change it up a bit to get different results. I am reading a few books and will try something different soon. I need help!
  • I am taking a Total Immersion class and I can tell a difference in my swimming already!
  • I need to go ahead and sign up for Ironman 70.3 National Harbor. I know that I can do it. I just need to sign up.... maybe tomorrow. We'll see.
  • I have somehow gotten infatuated with the thought of getting an Ironman tattoo after I finish my first full Ironman race. The infatuation is weird, as I will not be completing a full Ironman until 2013 at the earliest.
  • I am hoping to get an outdoor bike ride in again this week. I miss riding outdoors!
  • I have no ankle pain when I run as long as I wear a stiff brace. I have learned that I should wear compression socks if running 5 miles or more to help ward off shin pain. It works for me.
  • I am going to read up on those Newtons running shoes and may go try try some out soon. I am thinking that they can help me to stop heel striking when I run and maybe I will have fewer ankle issues.
  • I want to run faster than my "slow as molasses" 12 and a half minute mile. I have started to incorporate some interval running and will get some hill runs in soon to help with me speed. It's so funny that people think that you are super fast just because you go out to run 5 miles. They just don't know that they could probably keep up with me by walking. Ha!

Tri Becca


There are many misconceptions that are held about Triathletes and the sport of Triathlon in general. I try to educate folks and let them know that NO, I am not running marathons, I also swim and bike. I try to inform folks that no, you don't have to be Olympic competitor-like fast to do this. And then today, I read a post by a fellow Triathlete that is intimidated, because I guess we make it seem like we are super good at all of this and she can't hang. Boy, is THAT the furthest thing from the truth.

Here is a little information to help clear up some of the most common misconceptions:

  • No, this is not easy for us. We are just committed to training and pushing ourselves beyond our pre-conceived limits. It is hard. We throw out 4 letter words on tough hills, we fall, we cry, we whine, we battle the alarm clock, we even question our sanity at times.
  • No, we are NOT all running marathons. A Marathon is JUST a running event. Triathletes swim then bike and then run. We do all 3 sports. We are Triathletes. There is a difference.
  • No, we are not all super fast. This is an endurance sport. We are not all sprinting through the water, sprinting on our bikes and then sprinting through the run. We have to conserve some energy during the swim and the bike for the run.
  • There are 4 different distances of Triathlons (Sprint, Olympic/International, Half Ironman, Ironman distances). We are not all out here completing Ironman distance races. There is a huge difference.
  • No, we are not all super skinny/lean. The reason for this is diet. It is hard for us to consume enough calories to give us the energy to complete this AND loose weight. There is a lot of information out there to help us with diet and we are all striving to be as lean as we can be. This is a great challenge for some of us.
  • If you can't swim, you can still complete a Triathlon one day, IF you are committed to learning to swim. I took my first lesson in January of 2010 and completed my first Triathlon in June of 2010. 
  • If you don't own a bike and you still want to complete a Triathlon, you can still do so. I know an Ironman Triathlete that trained for his first Triathlon by only taking spin classes and then he borrowed his female cousin's bike on race day. You can always rent a bike for race day. While it is better to have your own bike, you can still do this IF you want to.
  • If you are not a great runner and you can still walk, you can complete a Triathlon. Yes, you will be done faster if you run the last portion of the race, but plenty of people walk or do a walk/run.
I hope this was informative and helps to clear up some misconceptions.

Countdown to Eagleman Ironman 70.3: 131 days!!

Tri Becca