This was probably the busiest weekend I've had in a LOOOONNNG while!
And I know, I know...I missed a TILT (Things I Love Thursday)...I tried, really I did...but there was just way too much to do!
Just to recap the weekend a bit...Friday was Mike's pinning (pinning anchors on him as he made CHIEF!!!). Saturday morning was my race (Nautica Malibu International). Saturday night was the Khaki Ball (back in San Diego). And Sunday morning I did swim buddy for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF...also back in Malibu). It was a lot of coordinating and driving...and not much sleep. But it was all worth it and it was a great weekend overall!
Alright, that was the Cliff Notes version...here are the more in depth deets (plus a race report) if you are interested...and there is also a little recipe (plus my racing nutrition strategies) in here too!
Friday morning started out hot!! It was definitely a precursor to the warm weekend we had in So Cal. We all headed over to the USS Carl Vinson at 9 am. Our support crew (besides myself, my kiddos, and my mom) included all of our best friends and we were sooooo blessed to have them all with us on this special day (with senses of humor in the heat fully intact)!!
The ceremony was long but so amazing...the kiddos and I got to pin Mike's anchors on his collar. Both Mike and I had to choke back tears...there aren't enough words to describe what that moment meant to both of us. We have been married for over 9 years now and every important career decision we have made has been in preparation for this moment...to get him to this point. Every separation...every lonely night...every missed moment of our children's lives...every deployment...they have all been for his love of our country and to bring him here. The last 2 months since his selection have been hard...very hard...on both of us. He has been tested in ways I'm sure he never imagined.
But it's done.
And he is a CHIEF!!!
It was a fabulous moment...and a beautiful day...
After we headed home, changed, and packed the car we headed up to Malibu!! I had signed up for the Nautica Malibu international distance race back in March (long before we knew he was selected for Chief)...so we had to do a lot of coordinating once we got the news. It was a long, hot drive in traffic but we had a beautiful two bedroom suite right next to a Trader Joes...totally worth it!
For dinner I had roasted potatoes, veggies, black beans, and a balella salad (a TJ special with lots of protein packed beans!). Then it was off to sleep to be rested for an early race morning.
Woke up at 3 am on race day...oy...always feels soooo early!
I ate my special race ready muffins (recipe is at the bottom and made busy life friendly as they are based off a mix that I doctored to be nutritious and vegan) and drank some coconut water for breakfast.
I have a hard time putting too much in my stomach on race morning. I have to rely more on my overall nutrition and fueling on the bike to make up some deficits. I'm still tweaking this...and I'm sure it will always be a work in progress.
We headed over to Zuma beach in the dark and I checked in and set up my transition area. I was feeling tired and really not wanting to race (which I'm learning is a good sign for me). I also had awesome stomach issues (always) despite taking a bunch of immodium. I visited this little beauty 8 times total before the race!! Thankfully it all worked itself out in the end (literally)...
But as I stood on the beach waiting for the race to start I tried to simply enjoy the day and the beautiful course.
My wave went off at 7:35 and the water was thankfully not too cold. I settled into my pace after clearing some waves and rounding the first buoy. It really felt like we were swimming close to the break and I remember having a thought of feeling bad for those that only trained in the pool as this would probably be rather challenging (that thought would bite me in the behind on Sunday). I really did end up zoning out (or having tunnel vision rather) on this swim. I felt good, I was putting in a good effort, and I was happy...all negative thoughts were gone and I was actually enjoying the swim. Suddenly people started cutting me off and swimming in front of me. I picked up my head to see what was going on and was shocked to see the last buoy and people rounding it to head into the beach! Holy crap! I was done!
The worst part of Malibu is the crazy long transition area...no matter where you rack you are running a long distance one way or another to your stuff. I ran, changed, and was gone...no issues in T1.
I felt great as I headed out on the bike and got a boost as I passed my family early on. As I headed out onto the road I hit a speed bump trying to be a rockstar and pass someone...huge mistake. My only water bottle went flying off into the brush. Ummmm...hmmmm. Can't see it, can't stop...now what? I kept riding. I quickly remembered an excerpt from Scott Jurek's book Eat and Run where he talks about what he does when things go wrong...
"[The] first step is to allow myself to feel hurt, and bad, and sad, and all those emotions that unexpected loss...inspire...My next step was to take stock. Was I going to die?...Step three: What can I do to remedy or improve the situation?...Then the final step: mentally separate all my alarmed and distressed thoughts and emotions - Why did this happen? How will I continue? - and plop them someplace where I wouldn't dwell on them. One way to do that was to focus on the tasks at hand and on the benefits of the situation..."
So that's what I did. I allowed myself to be angry and freak out for a few moments (seconds really). I took stock. I knew I could do the whole bike without water. I didn't have water in transition, but it was out on the run. I'd be behind on my fluids...but I'd survive and be fine. I also then vaguely remembered an aid station around the halfway point in the bike. I had some nutrition with me and I figured I'd be fine until then. So I put the thoughts away and kept riding.
I unfortunately had one more mishap when I went to open my flask of homemade gel (chia seeds mixed with tart cherry juice) it exploded everywhere!! If you don't know the benefits of chia seeds check out this post from Purely Twins.
Again, had to stop, think...breathe...and move on. Oh well, worse things had happened. Up side? I was feeling great and enjoying the views as I sailed into T2.
Again another smooth transition...better then last times...still feeling great though starting to get hot!
I had hoped to PR this run (as I had already PR'd the swim and bike)...but I wasn't able to. I was hot and just didn't have the extra gears needed to accelerate. I've also been focusing alot on my swimming as well as biking and have neglected my run training a bit (probably since I went so run heavy at the beginning of the year). Unfortunately you can't hide a lack of proper training and I was slower then I wanted to be. I took water at the aid stations to throw over my head and drank sips of gatorade. I also took one packet of Clif Shot (90% organic!) at the turnaround as I was feeling a bit lacking in the calorie department. I only missed my PR by 2 minutes though and felt fine...just hot. I love this run course and I flew into the finish line to the cheers of my family with a 6 minute PR overall.
I love this race and will for sure be back for more...but at that point I was already a happy girl and ready to get a shower and some rest!
After cleaning up we headed back to San Diego to prep for the Khaki Ball! It was a great time and I'm so happy we got to be a part of it!
We ate, drank, sang, and danced our way through the night...we were so tired but it was the party to end the pain of induction. It was wonderful to feel so accepted by the Chief's mess. I seriously am already looking forward to next's years ball!!
Then I jumped back into the car and made my way back up to Malibu with the best chauffeur ever! Keep in mind this is an over 3 hour drive each way...so it was a lot of driving this weekend!! We made it back to the hotel around 1 a.m. and had to be up by 3:30 a.m...talk about tired!!
The next morning (Sunday) I was up and over to Zuma beach again by 5 a.m. I was supposed to be helping my friend Jamie from CAF...
As his leg handler...
But plans changed and CAF knew I had experience as a swim buddy for athletes with spinal cord injuries. There was an athlete racing that had never swam in the open water before (much less the Pacific Ocean at Zuma Beach!!). His name was Edwin and he needed my help.
Luckily we had the help of 2 other handlers to get Edwin into the water...then it was up to me to get him through the half mile swim. A lifeguard graciously helped me get him past the break as it was a struggle. Not only do I need to keep myself upright I have to keep Edwin's head out of the water so he can breathe. Every wave that hits I have to hold onto him and not let him get swept away...it's a daunting task. But we made it.
The swim was long...Edwin ended up on his back as I sidestroked in front of him alternating between pulling him, steering him, and blocking other swimmers from hitting him. It took almost an hour but I have never seen someone so darn determined to finish. He just gutted it out and I was in awe. Another CAF athlete, Travis Ricks, came to help block with me after the final buoy. As we came in and I gave him over to the handlers I was relieved and proud. I helped him into his bike in transition and was so happy to have been successful at helping him through his first open water swim in his first triathlon!!
That night we chilled at the pool and soaked in the hot tub...and went to bed SUPER early! This morning we headed home in time to get the kiddos back to school. Now I'm prepping to take a longer nap as I work the next 3 nights. It truly was a whirlwind weekend, but it was a total blast!! I wouldn't change a thing...and I'm so proud all around of everyone and everything! Hope your weekend was awesome! Here are those muffins I promised...may they power you through your life too!
Race Ready Muffins
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Ingredients (30 mini muffins)
- 1 box gluten free muffin mix (I used Gluten Free Pantry mix)
- 2 scoops protein powder (I used Life's Basic unflavored)
- 1/2 C chia seeds
- 1/2 C sliced almonds
- 2 bananas mashed
- 1 C almond milk
- 3 Tbsp applesauce
Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Spoon into mini muffin tins and bake according to box directions. Can eat hot or cold (or just rewarm on race day!)
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