Sunday, December 18, 2011


It's that time of year when everywhere you turn you are reminded of what you are thankful for.  Every year I have so much to be thankful for.. However this last year I have even more to be thankful for.

I have the best parents anyone could ask for.  They are so supportive.  They supported me going to school for my Master's degree.  Trying to be a college coach and setting an example of being in a loving relationship.  I took for granted how lucky I am to have my parents.  A few weeks ago I was out with my dad and sisters looking for an anniversary present for mom.  And people would ask him how many years.  Dad would reply 28 years.  Every person who asked seemed shocked at the answer and would reply you just dot hear that anymore.  Made me sad and then I realized how lucky and thankful I truly am to have there love and  support in all my endeavours.

I am thankful for my siblings who are my best friends.  They never cease to amaze me and I find them absolutely amazing!! To have gotten to experience so much with Brooke in San Diego.  To have spent all summer at home hanging out with Sean and KK.  To have my little brother headed to Diego in 2012. To get to be living near him and be a part of his college experience.  To be able to watch KK ball it up.  Have her allow me to be so involved even when I am living away from home.  

I am thankful for my entire family- I have one awesome family! To all my relatives that are supportive and the amazing emails that we send each other.  A big thanks to grandpa Vessey who has feed me a lot in the last 5 years.  Without him I would have possibly starved at times! 

I am extremely thankful to have found Brennan.  To find someone that supports me in everything I do.  To be supportive in my search for a job and all his help in getting me a job!  Not only is he my best friend and the love of my life- he made it official earlier this year by asking me to marry him.  I am so thankful to know that he loves me as much as I love him.  That we will have a lifetime of adventures!!

Thankful for my new family in the Cassidy's.  I could not have found more supportive in-laws (well they will be eventually).  You are very special people and I thank you for being so amazing to me and welcoming to your family.

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to graduate with my Master's degree last May! For all those that helped me in those 23 long months.

Thankful for the opportunities I had at San Diego State as a student, an athlete and then as a coach.  To have meet such great people.  And to have coached amazing young women.  To have been a part of school history and win a conference title.

I am thankful for the non profit organization Insulindependence that holds such a special place in my heart.  The group of friends it has helped us find as well as the healthy lifestyle it is helping Brennan to live.  The organization has helped me reach personal goals.  I am running another half marathon for them.  I will also be raising funds.  If you would like to donate click on my fundraising page.

Thankful for all the families and little swimmers I had this summer.   For starters they helped me survive financially.  But more importantly allowed me to be such a huge part of there children's lives.  Teach them a life saving skill of swimming and being safe around water.  As well as helping me believe in myself personally as I was starting to search for the next step in life.  A huge thank you to the Fillman family- who have swam with me for 5 years and sent me numerous other families.

I am beyond grateful and thankful to all those who are organ donors.  You are truly thinking about others when you added that sticker to your drivers license.  To the individual and his family who were our organ donors 3+ years ago.  Your gift is invaluable and will never be forgotten! For what you gave is truly priceless and I am so thankful.

I am thankful for a man who works in Brennan's building for allowing me to work for his online gift shop.  As well as Brennan for giving him my resume.  I worked for  Without him I would have struggled to survive financially.  Also for him introducing me to my current employer. To my current employer for taking a chance on a volunteer college coach (who has no business skills & has done nothing away from the pool- that's what multiple places told me) So to them I thank them from the bottom of my heart. I am so fortunate and love my new job.  My job includes many different roles. Check out the first of our many products the PEAR Square One, launching the start of the new year.

To have great friends who are so supportive of my life.  To have them be excited for me as I attempt to get into racing triathlon.  To be excited and supportive that I found Brennan and looking forward to helping me plan my big day.

There are very descriptive things I am thankful for.  But like everyone I am thankful to be in a good financial situation during this very rough time.  For the support system I have.  For my health! And to be loving life to the fullest!

Life is an adventure and I am living it!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Road to Ironman Arizona

Let it begin.. Our adventure to the Arizona Ironman. 

 The weekend before Thanksgiving.  Brennan and I ventured out to Phoenix to volunteer at the Arizona Ironman.  We worked at the first bike aid station.  It was a great experience.  Being able to see the pro's race by going so fast to the age groupers that were working so hard and fulfilling a goal.  It was a great experience.  And like always Brennan and I made the most of our experience of being at an ironman soaking up the experience and finding time to have a ton of laughs.

For as much fun as we had volunteering we did it for one reason.  A slot for the 2012 race.  Since the race sells out within minutes on the Internet, if you volunteer you get to register before anyone else. So we wanted to make sure no matter what Brennan was going to get a spot to race in 2012.  So it has been done.  We are are registered ok ok Brennan is registered to race in 2012.  I am so proud of him for signing up and I cant wait to be a part of the adventure and experience of training for an ironman.

Next November there will be no one more excited than me to see Brennan race.  I will be there with our families ready to watch Brennan crush 140.6 miles!!!  It has begun the road to Arizona!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just another adventure

Life is an adventure but when you are engaged to Brennan Cassidy not sure adventure does my life justice.  Everyday is something new and exciting.  A few weekends ago we went hiking in Elfin Forest.  We always bike through it on Saturday's.  I have mentioned maybe more than a few times that I would enjoying going hiking there..  Well two weekends ago we did just that and this is what I have to show for it.. At least he cut out the video of me running from this huge black bee.  However it was so funny on film I might just have to post that clip!

We had a great day!!! My life is an adventure and I have Brennan to thank for much of that!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

If there is a will there is a way!!!!

I managed to do it again. If there is a will there is a way. It would seem to be my matto lately.  Always find a way!!

It was no different last weekend.  I had known for weeks that Brennan would be racing his second ever half iron-man in Tempe Arizona on October 23rd. I was conflicted from the start not wanting to miss a friend's wedding. But not wanting to miss the race either. I had been home early in September one weekend and was talking about it with my mom. The voice of reason right. Haha. She told me to check one-way flights for late Saturday night. I could take one of the last flights and that way be able to attend all of the wedding and most of the reception and not miss the race.  I was getting my advice from the queen. I have a mother who misses nothing!! Who once again if there is a will there is a way. She was willing to fly back and forth from Oklahoma last year to watch Brooke swim in her last college meet and not miss any of KK's high school playoffs.  So I took her advice and started my search. After finding an incredibly cheap ticket. I then figured I better figure out some other logistics just in case. Brennan's dad was coming to this race. Originally since his dad would be going I was fine with not being able to make it. So I called and asked if he was all right if I came. I didn't want to take away from the father/son weekend. He was more than happy to hear I was coming especially when you think the race lasts about 6 hours. Nice to have company. He also helped me work out the logistics since I wanted it to be a surprise for Brennan. So it was decided I was headed to Arizona.  The hard part was keeping the secret for the next month or so.

As the race weekend approached Brennan's dad made a great a point. For a race this big, it takes a ton of planning. And a surprise probably would not go over so well. So about 4 days prior I casually asked some questions about the race and things. Saying better make sure to pack my heels and running shoes. Had mentioned I was taking the metro home Friday instead of driving. He asked why I didn't just drive. I told him I only needed to go one-way cause I was flying to Arizona Saturday night. He was so confused.  He then replied what time do you get in I said around 9:00pm.  He quickly replied I will not be picking you up at the airport.  All I could do was laugh and say that's why I have been coordinating with your dad.  He said he doesn't mind getting me.  He then responded that he was so glad I would be there! Not only cause I go with him to every race but also so his dad had company.

So the weekend would finally arrive. Rode the metro home even with all my fear it worked out great. Well except for when I got off in riverside. I just followed the crowd assuming they were headed to the exit. Well they were but there were more than once exit. So mom was on one side of the track and I was on the other standing in the dark. After figuring it out I headed back the other way at a quick pace. Saturday would fly by. An amazing wedding which you can read about in my previous blog.  It was extremely hard to leave the reception. But I had stayed as late as possible. My dad picked me up and dropped me off at the airport. After a quick flight I was in Phoenix.  Brennan's dad picked me up and we headed to the hotel. It was a good to see him. He was excited to see the race. I told him to prepared for a very long day!!!

The night would go quick seeing that we got up at 3:45!! But like always I rallied and was ready to go.  We headed over to the race location. Upon arrival like always Brennan headed into transition to get the last few things set up. Taking a bit longer than usual. Brennan's dad headed out in search of coffee.
We then do the dreaded waiting game.  We got the sun block on knowing that it was going to be a lovely 95 or so. The hottest race on record for Brennan.  Then like always helping him get into his wetsuit. Once in the wetsuit, I did one last check. We headed over to the swim start. This course was great because it would have a ton of options for us to see Brennan.  The swim would run parallel to the shore. The bike course would loop 3 times and the run would loop twice.

As we headed down to the shore my nerves like always starting to kick in. Seems weird since I am not competing at all. But when things are important they weigh on me as well. We would say our last few words and he would head for the start. This was an in the water start meaning I lost him before it even started. We positioned ourselves along the shore and watched the group head out. He was somewhere in the mayhem. As time went on I start to panic like every race. I also know that swimming is the worst part for him. I would finally spot him coming around the last buoy. He was out of the water. Not our best. I say our cause we are a team in this.  But he was out and still had a ton of racing to go.
Transition 1
We would see him run from the water into transition, he was quickly out of his wetsuit and on the bike.  Again we would wait. We walked to a spot in which we could see him come by 3 times per loop.  Making watching much easier. We always joke cause when the racing is over Brennan is exhausted. But so am I. For starters you spend all day standing, running to another spot, doing all kinds of math and just focusing on every person so that you don't miss the 10 seconds in which he will be in front of you.

The bike course was great for us spectators, about every 20 minutes we would see him. I managed to get in a lot of video and found a nice woman who took some great pictures for us. Brennan was always able to spot us and gave us a little point.  He was looking great on the bike. The bike is really his strongest leg. So he was shaving time and looking good! 

In most races I do a ton of running which this huge bag so that I can see the most of his race and be there for support.  So I had devised a plan with Brennan's dad that after the last bike loop. I would leave the bag with him and run the quarter of a mile to the transition area.  That way I could see him get off the bike into his run gear and out onto the run course.  Then meet back up with at the loop area of the run.  I got down in time. He was a bit slow transitioning but he was looking ok.  If I could only read his mind!! Turns out he was sick to his stomach and not excited to run a half marathon. First off who is excited to run a half marathon?! So away he went, for feeling badly he looked good to me for having already swam 1.5 miles and then biked 56.

Away he goes
I then headed over found Brennan's dad and we found some shade.  By this point it was very hot. Which had me worried Brennan trains in San Diego along the coast it is never Arizona hot. So I knew this would test him. As we stood in the shade we had a laugh when we got pooped on. Needless to say we moved. We also knew that he was running about 6 miles and would be back in about an hour. As we waited we chatted about all kinds of things.  I mentioned how great triathlon is cause its about just accomplishing it. More about competing against yourself.  You see families so excited cheering and parents who run some with their kids. Stop to give hugs.  His dad was noticing that as well.  To train for these events you have to have support cause training 100 miles on Saturday makes so that you might not do something else. As a supporter those training days stink but on race day it is all worth it. I feel like I just beam with pride of what he is doing.

It was soon time again that he was coming by. As he grew closer we started cheering and of course I was taking pictures and getting film.  I could tell he was hurting. I knew right away when he made a beeline for us.  He gave me a big hug and just stopped. Brennan always acknowledges me but this is when the fiancĂ© fear kicks in. Every possible thing started going through my head.  To try and keep myself from freaking out I turned into my coach mindset. Just said everything positive "your doing great, half way". Those types of things.  Then he started back up again, I was worried cause he never totally stops.  But he was headed off again and a wave of relief washed over me. As I watched him run off I contemplated catching up to him and giving more support.  I made a quick decision and I went running off.  It was not to long before I had caught back up to him jogging along.  Once I caught up I saw a look I had never seen from Brennan before.  A look that he needed me.  That I was making everything better. It was the second time in the weekend that I had a surreal feeling.  It was the feeling that I was with the perfect man. I had never felt closer to Brennan than in that mile. During the mile I just kept reminding him how proud I was. That he was doing amazing.  To just keep pumping his arms, that every step he was closer to the finish.  After about a mile I told him I loved him and would see him at the finish.  I then headed back to find his dad and head to the finish line. 

We would then do the waiting game. This time really unsure how long it would take him.  He stayed on his pace and soon he was headed up the hill to the finish.  He would raise both his hands as he crossed the finish.  It was another amazing feeling to watch him finish his second half-ironman race in less than a month. This time he would again finish looking amazing and in under 6 hours.  Yea 6 hours for all that. I again was overwhelmed with what Brennan is capable of. 

The finish is around the corner!!
Here is the race record

Once the race finished we then headed to find Brennan.  Once we found him he looked worse than I had ever seen.  I knew he had pushed himself to the edge.  He would later tell us that in every race you hit a dark moment in the race but it will eventually go away.  But the whole run was in that dark place.  As an athlete myself it is absolutely amazing that he was able to push that hard for that long in such a dark place!! We would take a while to allow Brennan to cool his core temperature and hydrate. 

By the time we left it was about 1 in the afternoon. It felt like it had been a few days already since we were up at 3:30.  We would head over to visit Brennan's grandpa for a few hours then hit the road.  Turns out it was a good thing I was with the Cassidy men on the way home because they got very lost on the way to Arizona so I helped make the trip a bit quicker on the way home.  We would stop in Yuma for dinner then have to push the rest of the drive back to San Diego.  Arriving at about 12:00pm.  Being up almost 24 hours!! What a day..  It was another great weekend backed full.  

I tell you if there is a will there is a way!!! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hillary is MARRIED!!!

There are moments in your life that just do not seem real.  They are hard to comprehend.  I had one of those moments last Saturday when I watched my friend Hillary Clarendon now Blumenthal get married. I was sitting with my other friend Kelly O'Reilly.  I became friends with Hillary and Kelly in the 7th grade at Cope Middle School.  I knew Hillary a little before middle school because of club water polo but became great friends starting in 7th grade.

I was so thankful for knowing Hillary that first day at Cope.  I was changing schools, one of the more gutsy decisions I have made in my life.  Going from private school to public.  Had I started in 6th grade it would not have been so bad everyone was new to middle school.  But in the 7th grade you were not the rulers of the school but you were not the annoying 6th graders either.  However I was all together the new girl!!  And it is not the best feeling.  I can remember my mom dropping me off at school and me thinking what in the world am I doing.  Public school- middle school. I know 3 people.  Thankfully Hillary instantly became my friend.  She soon introduced me to Kelly and we have all been friends ever since.

In middle school and in high school we did most everything together.  We have some great memories and some not so great. I mean it was high school.  Once we left for college things changed.  I went to San Diego, Hillary stayed near home and Kelly moved to Utah.  We did not see each other as much.  A few times here and there randomly.  Once in a while around the holidays.  But we never lost touch. I think those are true friends, you may not speak all the time.  However you know they are always there!!

I have included some random pictures of us through the years.  Sadly I do not have any photo's on my computer from middle school or early high school.  That was before digital camera's were a common thing to own and cell phones had camera's. Oh wait I did not even have a cell phones till I was in the 10th or 11th grade. So maybe another day I will look for even more photo's!! 
Some dance

Water Polo

Some of our friends. Hanging out at school!!

Homecoming senior year


My going away party

Senior Awards

Hillary's Birthday


Graduation Day
One of the few times we got together during college

So when Hillary got engaged I could not have been more excited for her.  We went out a few weeks later. To Baker's of course and sat for hours talking.  I knew instantly that she had found the man of her dreams and I could not have been happier for her.  We even drove past where she was going to get married at the Mitten building.  I had never seen it but heard a lot about the building.  What a place!!

I had a great time attending her lingerie shower and meeting some of her other friends from college and other walks of life.  We spent time laughing and playing funny games.  Her sister even made these great cake pop's as prizes.  Needless to say I will not mention what they were shaped as for Katieanne's sake.. But they made us all laugh!!!

The big day would finally arrive.  I was in contact with Kelly a few weeks out and since we were both going without date's.  We decided no better date then each other.  I headed over to Kelly's about an hour before the ceremony.  Said hello to her mom.  Then we headed to the Mitten building.  It was set up beautifully. As we waited Mrs. Clarendon came in and seemed a bit flustered.  Rightfully so her little baby girl was getting married today.  She looked at us and seemed so confused.  Kelly and I both said hello, and then she replied "my gosh".  "I just didn't recognize you."  Your both so grown up.  We laughed and it was the second time I was thinking I cant believe we are at Hillary's wedding.  She then thanked us for coming.  How much it meant to her and Hillary.

After that we headed for our seats.  Being that we could not remember which side the bride's family and friends were supposed to sit, we opted for the last row on the isle.  That way since I am so short I could still see.  See funny thing I always had tall friends.  Hillary and Kelly played club volleyball and all through high school.  They used to laugh at me in middle school cause we always dominated volleyball tournaments in P.E. But I could only serve underhand and I always complained that the ball hurt my wrists.  So needless to say Kelly let me have the end seat.

The wedding started.  Kyle entered and stood at the end of the isle.  Of course we were sitting on his side.  That made us laugh.  Then came the wedding party.  The poor ring bearer saw us all and panicked.  He was not heading down that isle.  His mom who was a bridesmaid came and carried him down.  Then Hillary's nephew's were the bell ringers.  They were supposed to announce the bride.  They also panicked. Rang the bell a little and never made it to the front. However they were both just so darn cute!!

Then came the big moment.  The doors opened and out walked Hillary.  She looked absolutely amazing. I started to cry, so did Kelly.

The ceremony was beautiful.  I was again still in shock this was my goofy friend Hillary.  I told my mom later there are moments in your life that you just cant believe what is happening.  This being one of those, I could not believe that we are old enough to be getting married.  That we are not in the 7th grade messing around in the locker room.  That we are no longer in high school wearing our game day shirts.   That we are adults!! It is crazy.  I guess she is one of the first of my childhood friends to get married.  So it was very surreal.  Then I had a wave of panic thinking that I have to plan a wedding. For those of you wondering we still have not picked a date but thinking Fall 2013.

During the ceremony I was quickly reminded that we may be adults (or so we think).  But that we may never truly grow up.  And I think that is a good thing.  When Hillary was saying her I do's.  She made some funny comments that were just totally Hillary.  That made us all laugh.  And I thought wow she has not changed a bit.  But while she said her I do's you could see the excitement and the true love she has for Kyle.  A look I had never seen before on Hillary's face.  It was such an amazing moment to be a part of. To see true happiness and joy.  Also made me realize just how much I love Brennan.  Once saying I do and Hillary finally getting to kiss her husband they headed back up the isle.  It was a great moment to witness!!

The reception was to be held at the Clarendon's house literally about .25 of a mile down the street from my parents.  It was a beautiful October day.  Not a cloud in the sky and so clear.  I have to admit it was a bit hot about 90.  So I did my fair share of sweating. However I did manage to get a seat with my back facing the sun.  The early bird always gets the worm.   Hillary had always dreamed of the wedding much like that of the movie Sound of Music.  I have never seen the film but Hillary has gone through multiple VHS tapes and has upgraded to having it on DVD.  So that was the theme even in the backyard and it was so cute!!  The backyard looked lovely and held to the theme perfectly. They say pictures are worth a thousand words so here are a few!! Sadly I did not get a picture of this beautiful vanity they had out full of old pictures of Hillary's parents, grandparents and family members on their wedding day.  It also had lovely photo's from Kyle's side and was draped with the Vail that we think her mother and grandmother wore on there wedding day. Such amazing history and fit the wedding theme amazingly!! 

The head table

The cake on a beautiful vanity 
The table with beautiful flowers, old books and mugs for your drinks

Once the bridal party arrived the evening began.  They had a lovely entrance for the bride and groom.
 They sat at there very cute table and it would seem that Kyle has learned how to be an amazing husband so quickly.  Shading his lovely bride from the hot sun.  

They then made the rounds to all the tables. When you arrived you found what table you were at by looking at these old window frames and your name was written on the glass. It was so cute.  Kelly and I suspected we would be seated in the back corner.  I mean were friends from high school and middle school.  Well turns out we had the Time Square of real estate.  Dead center right on the dance floor.  Dinner would be an amazing buffet fitting the theme perfectly!!
Speaking to some of her guests

I would like to point out that I had taken off my heals as not to get stuck in the grass. Bad idea for this picture!! But so great to all be together!!!

Me and Kelly at the table

The evening would then go through the normal wedding things.  Kyle and Hillary's first dance.  Very cute!! Kyle would dance with his mother.  Hillary did the waltz with her dad and then broke it down to some other great hits. I uploaded the video up of that!!
Kyle and Hillary
Mr. Clarendon and Hillary Waltzing.  Look at that concentration. I can tell you Mr. Clarendon has it down!!

Then the speeches would be given and not a dry eye in the whole backyard.  After Kyle and Hillary both took a moment to thank everyone for there help in preparation for the wedding and for coming.  And the evening would continue on!!

I have to say it was so surreal the entire time and absolutely amazing to see true love.  To see Hillary just gleaming.  Hillary has always been one of the most beautiful people I know and her wedding day was no exception. She looked absolutely stunning.  Loved her dress and Hillary when you read this wearing that brace all through middle school was totally worth it.  You had a straight spine in your beautiful open back dress. I only hope I can look half as beautiful as you when I get married. It was also such a thoughtful wedding and reception you could see just how important family is and that it was never about what things cost.  It was about being in love and wanting to start a new chapter of being husband and wife.  

Kyle and Hillary I wish you all the joy that love can bring!! I wish you health and happiness!! And I thank you for allowing me to be a part of your very moving day. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My First Olympic Distance Triathlon

Mark another crazy race off my list.  I completed my first Olympic distance triathlon.  I am sure some day I will look back and laugh because an Olympic is so short.  But everyone has to start somewhere. 

An Olympic Distance is: 
Swim- 1,500 meters (.93 mile)
Bike- 24 miles
Run- 6.2 miles 

I have to thank Brennan!!!  First because over the summer he surprised me by buying me a road bike.  And for taking the time to teach me how to ride!! I would still be riding around in the apartment parking lot!! Most likely with many more skinned knee's.  I also want to thank Brennan for convincing me to sign up for this race and supporting me all the way though it!!!  At the end of my post you can even see a video Brennan made from everything he filmed.

So as Brennan told me about two weeks ago I did panic training.  I laughed and then had to admit he was totally right.  I was not worried about the swim or bike portion of the race.  Since moving back to San Diego I have been swimming 2 days a week for about an hour and a half.  Usually getting in about  2+ miles.  Plus I figured I have been swimming my whole life and my bad swim would be many people's best.  I was worried about the bike, but not nearly as much as the run.  For starters over the course of the summer I logged a good amount of miles on the bike.  Especially Saturday's which is when Brennan and I go on our long ride.  This ride is usually somewhere between 40/50 miles up huge hills.  So when it came to panic training it was totally with running.  I ran 4 times in one week.  I started my week of training by going out and running 5 straight miles.  Basically to just convince myself that I could  finish the run portion of the race.  I also ran a few other days about 4 miles a piece.  So Brennan was totally right I did panic training.  But it eased my mind.  However next time I plan to set a training plan and stick to it!! 

So it was finally the weekend.  My nerves were really starting to get going. On Saturday we had to drive out to Chula Vista and check me in.  This triathlon was much different in that it was not an out and back course.  Meaning that the start and finish was not in the same place.  So the swim would be at the bay in imperial beach in "transition 1" I would have to get out of my wetsuit and into my biking gear.  Then would head off onto the course for my 24 mile ride.  The ride would end in transition 2 where I would get out of my bike gear and into my run gear.  Then head out for a 6+ mile loop and finish back near where I transitioned from my bike to running. So this course sucked in terms that Brennan did not get to see me race much at all.  It also made checking in much more difficult.

  So when checking in I received three different bags with my number on it.  I had to give them all my running stuff so they could make sure that it was at "Transition 2."  In that bag I had my running shoes, hat and my race bib.  After checking in and dropping off my transition 2 bag.  We headed down to the water, where the start and "Transition 1" was going to take place in imperial beach.  Once down there I got my bike all set up in the rack.

After checking in and getting my run bag dropped off and my bike set up we headed home.  Once home we again went through all my stuff again that I would be taking with us.  Making sure I had all my nutrition, water and the gear that I would need.  We also laid out all our clothes to wear for the next day.  Since I had just ordered my first wetsuit and had yet to even try it on.  So when we got home I got suited up.  Brennan went with me to the apartment pool and like an a complete dork I went swimming around in the pool to test it out!  After my quick swim, we then had a nice relaxed evening.  Eat an early dinner and were in bed by 8:15.

Sunday would come very early.  The alarm went off by 4:45 and we were moving.  I got my race clothes on and then some sweats.  Went and grabbed my multiple bags and breakfast and we were headed to the race.  In the car and driving by 5:10.  We arrived in Chula Vista at the race venue around 5:45.  My wave was supposed to go off at 7:06.  So once we arrived, I headed into the transition 1 area where I set up my helmet, sunglasses, shoes, and my watch.  I also made sure I had my wet bag ready.  Then I headed out to hangout with Brennan.  I was trying not to get nervous.  About 40 minutes before my wave and 4 trips to the bathroom later.  I head in and got my number written on me.  Then headed back to Brennan to get my sunscreen on and start getting into my wetsuit.

This is me not sure I am ready for this...

Once in my wetsuit we headed over to the start line.  At this point I was really starting to get nervous! Brennan like always calmed my nerves. I said goodbye and headed over.  I made my way to the very front of my wave.  I started a conversation with a nice woman next to me.  Who wished me good luck. I did the same to her and then I thought what the heck am I doing.  Can I finish this, will I embarrassed  Brennan if I am not out of the water first.  Then the announcer was in the countdown 10, 9, 8 and then the Buzzer sounded and we were off.

I was into the water quick.  And surprisingly it was not even cold.  It very quickly became a race between me and another woman.  I held with her till about half way and then she just started to pull away.  I was very tight swimming and was trying to stretch my shoulders out.  Some of that may have been the issue of being in a wetsuit.  Since I have never raced in a wetsuit.  I also quickly learned maybe I should have stretched or done a bit of warm up swimming prior to the race. However I did manage to pass a ton of men who went out in the waves before me.  I was the second woman out of the water.  It felt good to be racing again and to know that I was doing so well.  As I got out of the water and was running up the beach toward the transition area I was getting out of my wetsuit.

Here I come!!
Getting out of that wetsuit

 Once in "Transition 1" I found my bike and got fully out of my wetsuit.  There was a great volunteer who took my wetsuit, goggles and cap and put it into my "wet transition" bag so I did not have to worry about it.  That bag would then be put into a truck and taken to the finish line so that I could get it after the race.  I was very slow in transition but it was my first race and I thought that an extra minute was not going to make or break me.  In transition I tried to get dried off as much as possible, get my helmet on, sunglasses and chugged a whole bottle of water. Then I was off!!!

 Out of transition

 Trying to get to the mount line

Getting on the bike

Once onto the bike I realized that I was still dripping wet.  Not cool :/.  It was still overcast so that was nice, I did not get over heated biking.  Since I had such a great swim there was not many people on the bike course yet.  I had some goals in what I was looking to do on the bike.  So I just went to hammering away and trying to remember everything Brennan had taught me.  So I was a bit stiff at first but got going and was feeling pretty good.  I headed away from the ocean and toward the hills.  About mile 6 I hit a huge pump and lost a purchased water bottle.  This very nice motor cycle cop went and picked it up and raced toward me so that I would have it.  Being new to biking we were unable to get the hand off.  I then had to inform him I have only been biking about 3 months so he could keep the unopened water and I thanked him for his work.  The bike route passed by Cricket wireless amphitheater where I have seen multiple concerts through the years.  A funny little liquor store that we stopped at before the last Rascal Flatts concert that I went to with my favorite people (Brooke, Nik, Brennan & Me).  Then it started to get hilly.  I did a ton of climbing.  It felt good to see some very good cyclists not pass me till late into the bike course.  Also to have some of them laugh and joke if the hills ever ended.  Made me feel better that I was not the only one thinking that.  I just kept after it and stuck to my goal.  I knew that I was a head of my goal which felt good.  I was finally headed into the last mile and looking forward to hearing Brennan cheering for me.  There he was!! Made the pain disappear.. At least for a little bit!

I survived it... 24 miles later I showed up!!

 Getting off..

Go Go Go...

Handed off the bike and off to get my running stuff

So once off the bike as I ran into the transition area people were yelling all kinds of things.  Yelling about giving my bike to someone, then yelling my number. Which I did not understand why.  So I figured out who to hand my bike off to then ran forward where another volunteer handed my my running bag. I sat on a chair for all of 10 second to get my cleats off get my running shoes on.  Hand them my helmet clipped my race bib on and I was off again.  The nice volunteer again put my helmet, and cleats into my bike gear transition 2 bag and set it with my bike for when I was finished.  As I was running out of transition I was able to get my hat on and then get some water.  I was about a quarter mile out and realized that I did not tie one of my shoes. So I quickly stopped and fixed it and started pounding away at the run.  I just kept thinking that every step I was closer to the finish line.  At this point the sun had come out and it was starting to get warm.  The run path ran up above Otay Lake and then into the Olympic Training center.  That was probably the coolest thing.   I have been to the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs more than once but never to the one in Chula Vista.  So as I was hurting you could think of all the amazing athletes that had bleed, sweat and cried at the facilities there.  Where dreams were started.  We even ran right by the Olympic torch that was lite.  That helped me to speed up at least for a while.  Soon I was rounding the corner and coming down toward the finish.  It was such a great feeling to know that I was about to finish my first Olympic Distance in under my goal time!!!  Plus before the swim they said the run was a bit long. So it was about 6.5 miles!!

 I see the finish line!!

I am a finisher!!!

I finished and it was amazing.  I mean like any race and competition it had its dark moments.  But you come out of them.  It was overall hard but I seriously enjoyed it.  Having three different disciplines while racing was challenging and exciting.  I also realized that if I did more training it would become much easier and I could really better my overall time.  So during the winter I will start building a better base and then next summer hopefully race a few times.  I am not sure I want to move up in the distances to a half ironman or even an ironman.  Might just leave that up to Brennan for the time being and stay as his supportive fiance.

Here are my results:
*I won my age group!!! Woohoo
*15th overall Woman
 *110th overall

Swim: 21:07.5
T1: 2:42.9
T2: 42.7
Run: 58:20.2
Overall: 3:02:22.7

Check out this great video of my race that Brennan took and edited for me!!!

After the race... Sunscreen & Salt was burning my eyes!!!

All in all I think I might be hooked on this whole triathlon thing!!!
So Brennan you can totally say I told you so. Thanks for being so supportive!! Also huge thanks to my family for not thinking that I am crazy. As well as being excited and happy for me!!