Friday, April 23, 2010

A little Rumpass in Bumpass!

Well it was a great weekend for my season opener. With several things on the agenda for the weekend, I couldn’t have asked for the whole To-Do list to have gone much smoother!


The weekend started on Friday afternoon (after school) with the Boss going and renting/picking up our hotel for the weekend. See, primarily we were heading down to Bumpass, Virginia (about 90 minutes south of Washington, DC) for the Olympic distance race on Saturday morning, BUT we were also signed up for the USAT Officials Certification clinic Friday night and Sunday morning (sprint distance race). Both the Boss and I decided that it would be crazy stressful to try to drive back and fourth each day for the different events…instead we decided that RV-ing (for the first time) would be a better idea for the race weekend!!!

IMG_6450 The Boss slash “Driver” for the weekend

In my opinion, sometimes the most stressful part of racing is making sure that you ACTUALLY make it to the start of the race! You I spend over half of my night’s sleep waking up every 20 minutes wondering… “is it time to go?”, “$%&! what time is it”, “should I get up now and try to go to the bathroom?”, “go back to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeep”. By staying over night in the RV, it was near impossible to miss the start of the race… heck we were parked right where all of the athletes driving into the race were going to park; we could hear the cars as they filled in and athletes un-racked their bikes.

YUP, our plan was genius. Not only did we cut out the early morning commute, but we all enjoyed cutting out some of the other “race morning stresses”- including packing up the car, the dreaded “did I bring everything?”, mixing nutrition, parking, AND let us not forget… having your very own Porta-Potty!

IMG_6365 Ahhh morning light…

IMG_6367Race morning accommodations

IMG_6370 800 x 533   Bike setup

I have to say, it was REALLY awesome laying in bed  on race morning, all cozy under the covers, and being able to hear outside the other athletes’ cars pull up, doors opening an closing, athletes stretching out a LONG drive from DC, Maryland, or Richmond. HA, I think that sleeping in that late the morning of a race is a close to cheating as I’ll ever let myself get! “Oh, I’ll just hit snooze one more time!”

Finally I did pull myself out of bed and decided it was time to wonder down to the packet pick-up (a mere 100 meters away) to set up transition.


Transition is all set up! Which I think now is a great time to insert a quick note about transition setup:

One of the more functional rules I picked up at the USAT officials clinic was regarding transition setup. This is an area that clearly freaks people out when a USAT official is coming near, and to be fair this is a section that is not a clearly defined as some people might like. The BEST way to know where all of your crap should go is to remember “Wheel down, Gear Down”. Here when I say “Gear” I’m talking all of the gear that you need to complete the race. Bike shoes, running shoes, race belt, race nutrition…. and for some of you… hair brush, lip gloss, sun screen, PB&J sandwich, and wash bucket!!!

I even put together a little diagram for you… do NOT hate on my bicycle! Please note that it does NOT matter what wheel is touching the ground. AND unless there is a sticker or tape on one side of the bar that has your name/ race # on it, it does not matter what side of the rack your bike is positioned on.

Transition set upyes those are shoes and race belt on the towel

Back to MY race! Where was I?…. right, transition is all set up, and I’m heading over to the water for a dip before my wave start. Also this put me in a good position to swim out and see the start of the Boss’s swim start.

Over all I was really happy with my swim and bike, although the swim was a little bumpy and I did swallow a good helping of nuclear water… we’ll refer back to that during the “run” portion of the race… the race up until T2 was pretty successful!


What happened in T2 you might ask? Well remember that nice looooong sleep I had the night before, and casually getting up and wondering down to the race site, and how everything was a little too nonchalant for a race morning? Yeah, well I didn’t realize that I had actually left my necklace on during the race. A white gold, diamond pendent necklace that my parents gave me for graduation. Not exactly something that I would rip off and deal with finding later. Yep… it did what any necklace would do during a bike ride when leaned completely forward in aero position… yep… it tangled itself into my helmet strap clip… YEP I found this out when trying to unclip the aero helmet. For any Non-triathletes reading this, transition is a wild exchange between sports where you try to go as fast (and smooth) as you can to take off the equipment from the last sport and “transition” into the new gear for the next sport… also an opportunity to pick up time of slower athletes who like to sit down and dry their feet! So now I find myself having to find the clasp, get my hands steady, undo the clasp, untangle the chain…wooop don’t drop the pendant… find a place to put the necklace so I can find it later… and run out to the run course!

THEN, I finally depart T2 to start my run… the first 1mile was okay. Then miles 2-4 were God awful as my stomach decided that it didn’t want to play anymore. Let me insert here that my legs were feeling GREAT! There is nothing worse than getting a bad stitch/ cramp that you can’t run out. I guess I took in too much “hydration” on that swim course… it is nuclear water after all, what did I really think was going to happen! Then, as I come to the water station at the last turn around I had a saving moment when a simple movement of turning my head brought about projectile pukeage (still running of course!). After that I ran a few more steps, then a few more, and finally I thought “Wow I feel GREAT”. From here I ran as fast as my little tootsies would carry me back to home plate. I even heard one man that I passed say to the guy next to him “where is she going?”. I think I averaged around 6:10 the whole way back! I was really hoping to finish the 10k portion of the race with an average of around a 6:35 pace… instead I was just about a minute off with a 7:24 pace…OUCH! But at the same time on that last home stretch I managed to pick off 7 other girls in my age group! (Yes I counted!)

IMGP0392 800 x 451 Almost to the finishers shoot!

After the race the Boss came to congratulate me… I was kinda peeved at the time with how the run went, and I’m sure I wasn’t super friendly with him at first. But I also knew that he had a great race (I saw him on one of the turn around loops… did the math, and realized he was in the lead pack) so I turned the attention to him as we went to eat and wait for his award!

Well I guess it was a good thing that I sucked it up for that last spurt on the run… because that ladies and gentlemen was the difference between 10th place…. and 3rd!!

IMGP0416 Delightfully surprised picking up my award!

IMGP0420Then of course there’s the Boss on the right with his 2nd place age group finish!

That’s about all folks… I had a great weekend! I highly recommend the RV strategy… I think it was the great nights sleep that gave us both the edge on our competitors!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Buy 1 get 2 Free!

On Monday, I was perusing at the near by Harris Teeter and found a strawberry aisle that said “1lbs California Strawberries, buy one- get two free”…. WHAT?? My first, and logical, reaction was “Are they still good to eat? Why would they give me 3 pounds of strawberries for the price of one?” Then, my second and most important reaction was “Strawberry Short Cake”!!!


So onward I went with my 3 packages of strawberries left to scratch my head on how can I put a twist on my strawberry shortcake? So I went straight to one of my favorite cupcake books to look up a recipe that I have wanted to try for some time now. This is a recipe for a edible cupcake bowl; originally geared toward an ice cream cupcake, but I figured with all of the whipped cream and strawberries this would be good for holding it all together!

Here’s how it starts:

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Then, after just a short time in the oven, you get the honors of pulling and peeling the hot sugars off of the parchment paper and then trying to shape it into a bowl before it takes on its incredibly fast, world record, “hardening ability”!

IMG_1039 800 x 533 Hot HOT Hot!!

IMG_1051 800 x 533The “bowl” did not work out quite as planned 

Then it was time to get the cupcakes made… plus I really just want to take this opportunity to show off the picture of me mastering my 1-handed egg break! Yeah… I got that down on the first try! And there were zero egg shells to be found in the batter!

IMG_1036 800 x 533 Voila!

Once all of the cooking was done it was time to decorate the cake!

IMG_1061 800 x 533 Yummo!

And here I present to you Bertie’s Bakery’s first attempt at a contemporary approach to Strawberry Shortcake. I know it may look a little blah, but it sure tasted good!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Trip to Home Depot!

After 1 year and 8 months, The Boss and I are going to be sharing mailing addresses! Since I’ve basically lived at his place for the last year, we’ve decided that it only makes sense to make it official. So I’ll permanently move my junk over in a month or so when the lease it up… but before that can happen, we need to make some more space! Doing this will involve BOLT CUTTERS!

home_depot 800 x 600

Side note: The conversation that took place that spurred the “let’s move in together” started when of a mean neighbor at my apartment complex taped a really obnoxious note to my car. The neighbor was cursing at me for taking a parking space when in their mind “I didn’t even LIVE there”. Our Conversation went a little like this:

Me: “Read this note some jerk pasted to my car. They didn’t recognize my vehicle, so they assumed that I don’t live at the apartments”.

The Boss: “But you don’t don’t live there anymore.”

Me:”What? I do live there. I pay rent each month!”

The Boss: “Yeah, but you don’t actually live there”

Me: “$850 a month says I LIVE THERE! and I don’t officially live here?!?!”

The Boss “I kinda forget that you have another apartment since you’re always over here. Sorry… do you want to live here?”

Annnd that is as romantic as it gets in these parts folks! Back to “Making space”.

IMGP0258 450 x 600 Original state of the closet

IMG_0049 800 x 600Everything OUT of closet!… “Keepers”.

IMG_0064 450 x 600 Garbage from closet…Destination Garbage!

Of course you have to get everything out the closet before you can build anything good inside of the closet!

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Then it takes a little bit of elbow grease and teamwork to make it all come together in the end!

IMG_0063 800 x 600


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And the finished product!

I know that about now you are awing in my success with this closet. But before we get too far gone in day dreaming about the ease of “spring cleaning”, let me show you a little bit of the back work that went into clearing out stuffy debris that has been brewing for, I’d say, about 6 YEARS! Do you know what builds up over six years? let me show you:

IMG_0067 450 x 600The Boss… not too enthused about getting sucked into my Spring Project!

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Off to the Recycling Center!

After a long day of hard work, we did something that we haven’t done for years (we actually both did the math…it’s been 6+ years)

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Yes we did!…

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