The year kicked off with a bunch of different races (Jan-Apr).

Over the summer, it got all triathlon and splash and dashy up in here, minus two running race. (May-Aug).

Now, for the epic conclusion – two new distances, one new huge PR, and lots of fun!

Sept 3 – Austin Tri Rock (Olympic Distance – 1500m swim, 25 mile bike, 10k run)

Time: 3:25:52 (Huge PR by almost 40 mins)/ Zliten: 3:36:21 Race Report

Coolest thing about this race: A well executed race with a HUGE PR.  Can’t get any cooler than that.  Solid swim and bike legs, and kept my head in the run and didn’t walk even though it was so so so so so hot and I wanted to, and thus, met my run goal pace!  Also, the angel lady giving out ice around mile 4.  And running with a frozen water bottle between my boobs for the first 3 miles.

Lessons learned about this race: Need to figure out how to not let heat affect me so much.  I can run a 11 min/mile 10k in my sleep but in 90+ degree heat and humidity it was all I had.  Also, it’s hard to not draft on a 3 loop Olympic course with ~1000 people, but you just do your best.

Zliten notes about this race:  Hot, hot, hot, and not in a good way. So our friend Justin also did this one with us along with Brian, but Justin and I were in the same start wave, so that was strange. It was a jump off the end of the pier and tread water until the start horn is sounded. we were in the back, and by the time everyone got in the horn sounded as soon as we jumped in the water. Not ideal but it works.

We swam up river, turned and then went down river past a band playing on a house boat thing. Really cool, then under congress bridge where ten gazillion bats live. Eww the water stunk like crazy. Next was up and out of the water. I was ahead of Justin most of the swim, but at the end he got a little ahead, by I think 3 seconds. In transition and out on the bike! First race in clips.. Oh boy, at least it was 3 loops of hills, because you know hills are easy. Had a great time.

Saw the tallest man I have ever seen ride by on his bike. My shoulders on the bike were where his knees were on his bike. Although drafting is not allowed I kinda fell into a pack with some guy from south Texas, Justin and one other guy who would pedal real hard get ahead, die out fall back and do it all over again. Oh well. Bike finish and I didn’t crash getting out of my clips!

Run start… its at least four hundred degrees and the run started on a dusty part of a trail, blah hot run that’s ok. There were some angels up near the corner with Jack and Adams and jack in the box. They had a cooler full of ICE and were handing it out. So down the shorts shirt and I held a handful on my head. It was divine. When I crossed the finish line I did everything I could to see straight and not toss cookies. Nutrition on this race I did poorly. Except for a little on the bike I couldn’t eat well. But I finished a new distance and it was great. Not only was it another race with Quix, but again a race with Brian, and Justin’s very first tri!

September 30 – Kerrville Triathlon Festival – Half Ironman Distance (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run)

Time: 7:24:13/ Zliten: 7:54:12 Race Report

Coolest thing about this race: Finishing a HALF FUCKING IRONMAN!  All the work this year went to this one moment.  A solid swim (and first with earplugs).  A very respectable bike leg – hitting my A goal pace even though I slowed on the last 1/4.  Staying happy and positive on the run and crossing the finish line without puking and with a smile.

Lessons learned this race:  You cannot take Ibus on the last leg of a 70.3 no matter how much you think you’ve eaten on the bike, it’s not enough and it will sour your stomach immediately.  Keep trying to eat even if you don’t think you can stomach anything.  If you get lightheaded, that’s the point in which you must slow down.  This might possibly be the length/distance of a race where you can’t really party after (had a little champagne and food, but didn’t have interest in getting drunk, just TV and bed).  I cannot wait to nail a 70.3 nutrition strategy next year and take many minutes to an hour off this time due to how slow I had to go on the run.

Zliten notes on this race:

We made it! So excited to be here! I had a good swim, although when I left the water I figured it took me 20 min longer than it really did, so yay for that surprise. Next the bike, I stopped at mile 17 to use the porta potty. Had to I kept slowing down cause well when you gotta go you gotta go. Did great until mile 43ish. I couldn’t see anyone else on the course, it started to rain hard to the point where it hurt and I forgot to eat anything for 10+ miles. It really got me down. I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish.  Ate some got back in it, passed a few people and got off the bike before the line at t2 without crashing.

The run was, well, getting warm and I made a game time call of ditching the camelbak in t2. I have never run more than 5 miles without my camelbak, but I was so chafed from it on the bike that there was no way I could keep it on. Thank goodness there was such great support on the course. I could have used the extra storage for gels and would have liked my nuun.

Its ok, so all is good and about mile 5 or so I end up running the same pace at the same time with a guy who is 1 lap ahead of me. We start talking and it ends up he is out there racing it on his own. He and his wife were in training for it the previous year and she ended up passing a few months before due to some issue. So neat guy, big downer on my mood as he is talking about losing a loved one for about 3 miles before I just kind of let him get ahead a bit when I took a little slow at the water stop.

Next run event was about mile 10-11, it was the last down hill bridge section and I got a bad cramp in my right leg. I tried to run through it but ended up stopping for a 10 count then walking until I had it in me to move. It was only a few more miles to go so I pushed through as hard as I could. All the volunteers were asking if I was ok, but darn-it I was going to make it. at the 11 water stop I downed a cola and an aid and started to pick up again. Hit the turn around and headed back where Quix was waiting to run me in. Of course my first question was where can I go HURL. But thankfully I crossed the finish line, then went and hit the medical tent before I even started to see straight. 2 ice bags 1 for my legs and 1 for my head. We did it though, so happy, I can’t wait to do it again and do it Better faster stronger! 7 hours 54 minutes of awesome!

October 13 – Showdown Half Marathon

Time: 2:25 Race Report

Coolest thing about this race: Using this race as the middle of my first 20 miler and feeling great after!  Fastest half marathon this year, and thus, helped set Zliten’s PR.  Loved the course, and awesome schwag (cool medals, magnets, etc).  And, most importantly, got to meet Libby, who race directed, in person!  If I can justify the timing next year, I’m so in.  Especially because In N Out is right across the street from the race finish.

Lessons learned from this race:  Eat before showering after completing 4 hours of running or your tummy will sour.

Zliten notes about this race: Great course, Awesome volunteers and even better.. In N Out afterwards! I had a good time on this one, I wasn’t racing it to set a PR, I wasn’t racing it to keep up with anyone. I was just out for a run. Quix was going to do her own thing and I was going to do mine. At least that was the goal. What ended up happening is I was setting the pace for Quix and pushing to keep us going until about mile 11, that seems to be my drop off point, but I kept her in my sights and then sprinted the last few hundred and came in right behind her getting myself a PR at the same time. I would for sure go to another Active Joe event. It was one of the nicer organized small races I have been in.

October 28 – Dash for Dad’s 5k

Time: 29:44/Zliten: 30:20 Race Report

Coolest thing about this race: The weather.  Brrr!  It was in the 30s!  Also, it was pretty cool to only finish ~30 sec slower than last year when this was just the middle part of a 15 mile long run.  Also, the 5k was well executed – I started slow (and even let Zliten pass me which was HARD) and built.  At the halfway point, I took off and rocketed past him and continued to kick ass.  So, the speed isn’t there yet, but the strategy is.  Also, the finish line food was EPIC, lots of different things from wraps to queso to scallops.

Lessons learned at this race: To get better at 5ks, you need to train for them.  Not marathons.  Also, awesome finish line food is kinda torture when you have to run 7 more miles after. 🙁

Zliten notes about this race:  Cold but fun, this is a challenging 5k course and it has some good hills that need a certain determination to run up. This year I did very well at this race, and had a good time supporting a great cause. Its also a nice bright red tech t that gets worn a ton.

November 11 – Rock and Roll San Antonio Marathon (Half Marathon for Zliten)

Time: 5:23:34/Zliten: 2:34:06 (half) Race Report

Coolest thing about this race: OMG EVERYTHING!  I FINISHED A FUCKING MARATHON!  High points: running the first half with Zliten.  Splitting off from the half marathoners and finally being on the marathon side.  The point around mile 16 where I started feeling good again (thx 303s) and Lady Gaga Born this Way came on and I was just running my heart out and singing (sorry everyone on the course).  The cheerleading squad that I promised I would go faster if they did backflips.  The realization around mile 18 that I *WAS* going to finish.  Mile 24 when I realized I had it in me to run it in faster than I had run the whole race.  Coming around the bend and up the hill grinning ear to ear, shouting at Zliten, pumped as hell, and feeling like a rockstar getting through the finish line.  Feeling good enough after the race to eat and drink beer immediately!

Lessons learned from this race:  More long runs and miles next marathon.  Basic endurance got me through, but to run the whole time, I need to do a few 20+ runs and more upper teens and basically become BFFs with the run nonstop for 4 hours thing.  Also, not signing up for a race the day I normally want to curl up in a ball and die due to woman cramps if I can get my crystal ball working properly.

Zliten notes from this race:  The race was good again until 11. I gotta work on that part. But the real fun of this race was after I was finished I went to the hotel packed everything in the car, checked out then headed back to the course to cheer people in while waiting for Quix. I brought a cowbell and stood under a bridge where it would echo like crazy and rang away while shouting at people that they had less than .1 miles until the finish line. Yeah that was awesome!

November 22 – Thundercloud Turkey Trot (5 mile run)

Time: 50:03/Zliten 50:11 Race Report

Coolest thing about this race:  Running 5 miles with 20k+ of my bestest friends before eating a bunch of food later.  Also, parking in a different spot so we didn’t have to sit in traffic for 3 years both ways.  Zliten got a huge 5 min PR and I only beat him by seconds!

Lessons learned about this race: You are not going to PR anything (or even not PW anything) 10 days out from a marathon.  The gas ran out around mile 3 to even try for it, and that’s ok.

Zliten notes about this race:  A good solid run, great weather, better parking, the 5 miles felt short compared to what we had been doing.

December 15 (8am) – Vern’s No Frills 5k

Time: 29:46/Zliten: 30:42 Race Report

Coolest thing about this race: Wearing a tee and capris to a mid-Dec race (it was high 60s).  Love the Vern’s course.  Zliten used his Go Pro and recorded the whole race.

Lessons learned from this race:  There is no need ever again to race a 5k a month into offseason when you are fat and untrained.  There are no magical PRs here.  The gas ran out around mile .5 and just like Turkey Trot, this was ok too.

Zliten notes from this race:  Got to play with the new video camera strapped to my chest. I swing my chest around a ton, its hard to see whats going on. Verns is always good to run. If we lived closer I think I would run it once a week.

December 15 (6:30pm) – Trail of Lights 5k

Time: 40 mins and some change Race Report

Coolest thing about this race: Pretty lights – best mile 2 of a 5k ever!  Mid-Dec tank top run!  Two 5ks in one day!

Lessons learned from this race:  Worst organized race ever.  Started 20 mins late and was overcrowded (they sold almost double what was supposed to be their cap and didn’t cut it off).  While mile 2 was awesome, mile 1 and 3 were through areas in the dark that weren’t as well lit as they could have been and narrow – so most people walked (and I did too so I didn’t twist an ankle) and it was a cluster fuck.  First potty stop in a race (minus century rides) because I decided I didn’t care about the time.

Zliten notes about this race:  Way too crowded. Between the morning race and this one I went and bought the camera’s head band attachment. Way better video of a race that way. Lots of fun getting hit and kicked and run over and what not with the crazy number of people. I don’t think I would do this one again unless they did it as a real 5k race.

And, with that, it’s time for the 2012 24/12 race awards show! (We agreed on these unless designated)

Best Organized Race:

Any Jack and Adams Triathlon.  They go off on time, and like clockwork.  They know how to run a race.  Honorable mention to Showdown Half – it went off without a hitch too and Libby puts so much heart and soul into her races.

Best Medal:

So many cool ones this year!  Kerrville wins it because it’s also a belt buckle which is awesome, but honorable mentions to RnRSA, Showdown, 10/20, America’s Finest Half, and Tri Rock.

Best Race Schwag:

The visor from Kerrville, the shirt from Austin Half Marathon, and the pint from Austin Half.  Visors always > hats.  Nike Dri Fit shirts >all, and a silicone pint glass with your race logo means I will think about it every time I drink as it’s my preferred cup.

Race I’m Most Proud Of:

Quix: Man, this is hard.  Honorable mentions to RnR SA Marathon, Kerrville 70.3, and Tri Rock Olympic, but I’m going to have to go with Lake Pflugerville Triathlon.  I chased my unicorns and I caught them.  I’m very proud of the new distances I completed this year, but I’m going to have to give it to the race that was well executed from start to finish and I never gave up or in, and which I met every A goal I set out to do.  Still get chills thinking about this race.

Zliten: Kerrville Half Ironman!  I finished!

Race I’m Least Proud of: 

Quix: Jack’s Generic Triathlon. I failed to give anything here, just went through the motions, and had a bad attitude about the whole thing.

Zliten: RnR SA Half.  I didn’t stay properly hydrated, so gels made my stomach go bad.  I got some mad chafing.  Just not a good finish at all.

Worst Organized Race:

Trail of Lights 5k.  Starting 20 mins late for a 5k with no weather issues, sending us into peril in the dark, huge line for food and one little station for it for 5000 people… no bueno.

Most Fun:

Quix: Aw man, I have so much fun racing, but just to pick out the one I had the most fun on the course just loving the day… goes to 3M, pacing Zliten through his first half.  Honorable mentions to both the century rides, Kerrville, and RnR SA.  I guess I just have more FUN with distance than speed, I didn’t even consider 5ks on this list.

Zliten: Running the beautiful San Diego course was awesome, but so is triathloning on home turf.  So it’s a tie – America’s Finest City Half Marathon and Lake Pflugerville Tri.

Races We’re Repeating in 2013:

Indoor Tri, 10/20, Entire TX Tri Series. POSSIBLY Showdown Half and RnR SA.

What a great experience racing so much – though I’m glad to probably do half these races next year.  I’m tired just recapping them.  Now the time looking backwards is done.  Onwards and upwards to an amazing month of pre-season training!