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Horses, Gamblin’ and a PR? (A Delta Lake Triathlon Race Report)

Delta Lake Triathlon  &  Tough Kids Syracuse
Sprint, Intermediate, Relay and “Delta Double”
Kids Race (to be discussed on Swim Bike Kid)

WHEN: July 19 & 20, 2014
WHO:  Race by ATC Endurance;  Bike support by Bike Loft East
WHO AGAIN: Me, at the Oly/Intermediate Distance (0.9 mile swim, 24 mile bike, 6 mile run)


On the Road Again

A (29 week preggo) Sweet Red and I hit the road to Rome, NY by way of Syracuse on Friday morning.  Someone showed up and we had an episode of “Three’s Company” right out of the gate.


(Who IS this guy?)


Todd (our Swim Bike Kid blogger) was heading up to root on the kiddos with the Tough Kids race on Saturday and work on the Swim Bike Kid stuff for 2015.  He had us laughing right away.

Landed in Syracuse. We rented a car.  We left Todd with the bags (for like 4 minutes) and hit the Budget Rental Car, only returning to find this:


Clearly, we had some adjustments to make, traveling with this new friend.

(“Wake up, Todd!”)

About an hour later (after stopping at a pub in Syracuse), we arrived at the Vernon Downs Hotel–which turned out to be a casino AND a horse track. Who knew!?

But again????



More… (“Wake up, Todd!”)

Horse Racing

Sweet Red and I took a righteous nap (about time!), and then later, we were wandering around trying to find some dinner…

And of course, we settled in at the horse races. (I’m not kidding.)  What fun.


Me, being highly allergic to real horses, settled to touch this one.

We were all hungry.  Sweet Red might have been the one who was the LEAST hungry… but she loved when the hostess pointed her (being pregnant) to the buffet.  She LOVED that.  Ask her about it next time you see her.  Better yet—point her to the nearest buffet.  🙂


She’ll slice you.

Todd was excited to be with two women who are best friends and talked around him for two straight days.

(I think he was highly regretting being a part of the Army once this trip happened.)


Or maybe not. ^^^


The (horse) race was pretty cool (and pretty strange at the same time due to the interim beauty pageant between the races), but we had lots of laughs.  And some apple pie and cherry cobbler. Nom. Nom.

Saturday morning came early, and we were up and at ’em with a stop at the Dunkin Donuts.


Kids Racing

I’ll let Todd write about the kiddo race in detail, but what a great race. I teared up few times. Kiddos were so brave and full of heart and love. It was amazing!


And lawd… those cute little bikes!

Meets & Greets

After the kid’s race, Three’s Company headed to packet pick-up, and to hang and meet with some of the SBM Army members who came to see us.   I was scheduled to give a talk around 3:00, and when I realized that everyone who came was physically carrying a copy of my book—I decided to throw a “talk” out the window.  (They had read it all anyway 😉 )


We just headed over to a patio and sat and chatted a bit… was so nice to meet all the gals:   Nicole, Bonnie, Kristen, Lindsay, Cindy, Precious and Julie. ( Whooop! And we can’t forget Pudge. The pug.)


Lindsay was the cutest… when she first came up to meet us.  Awwww. Loved her.



And Precious (who I have been coaching for a long while now… we finally got to meet in person!!!) (She’s the SBM twinsie in the picture).



4:00 came quickly and we were hungry.

Everything is about food (for me, at least)… so Precious, Sweet Red, Julie and Swim Bike Todd and I headed to the local place, Teddy’s, for what someone told us we “had to have” —the “Chicken Riggies.”

[None of us ordered the Riggies. I think we were intimidated.]

But we had a grand time.

Before we knew it… bedtime, with a 5:00am wake-up call for ….you got it… RACE DAY (for me, at least!)

Race Day

Race morning is always so early. I woke up every 20 minutes the night before.  “Oh hello 2:10… 2:30.. 2:50.”

Awful!  And trying to braid yourself some pigtails in the AM when you are so tired…

Three’s Company made a stop at the Dunkin Donuts again… where I ate 5-6 munchkins with some coffee. I had some gels for the bike, and this was an intermediate course, so I figured I’d be fine–nutrition wise.


Wait! Where’s my bike?

I decided not to ship my precious Quintana Roo, Andie, all the way to NY… so the great folks at ATC Endurance hooked me up with the fine folks at Bike Loft East

They put me on a road bike, fit me up in the morning, had some Look pedals ready for me… and boom boom – I had a bike!


They brought in bikes, Tour de France style – and I am told by some of the folks at the race that Jeremy, from the Bike Loft East, was a bike guru on the Tour… #howcool!


Andy (a fitting name!) from Bike Loft East got me fixed up on a Fuji, and I was ready to rumble.  (Or something like that) 🙂


I’m usually not scared of a race.  Any distance. (Really, it’s true.)

Whhhy???  Okay, so races are “scary” – but here’s my rationale:  The race doesn’t own me. I can leave the race at any time… why would I be scared… I can say, “Screw you” and make a hard right, call the wagon, and be done.  So.. that’s why I’m never per se  “scared” of a race.)

Also, like I have said before, I ignore the fact that I am racing on race day… until like 10 minutes before–and then it’s upon me, and I’m like, “Well, too effing late now!”


Then I go.  10-9-8-7… crap! Time to race! 

This particular race was different, for some reason.

I had sort of obsessed about it. I think because I had not raced the Oly/Intermediate distance in 3 years. It is NOT my favorite distance. I don’t like it. I didn’t like it.


I haven’t swam much in the last few weeks.  Not like I “should” be doing. And if you do an Oly swim, you might as well do a half Iron swim… so it’s no small task.  And this was a wetsuit swim.  Me and the wetsuit haven’t danced since April. Lots of stuff going on.

So I was kind of thinking about this race more than usual.  I did some pre-race “hyping” and praying and talking… like old school style. Which I haven’t done since Ironman. [Lesson:  Should ALWAYS do pre-race hyping and praying and talking!]


Whoa nelly.  Oly is still a long ass swim.

This was a good swim course… but lawd, two loops is always tough.  To do something once, say to yourself, “#^$% – that was hard” and then be forced to repeat it.


I hit the turn buoy on the second lap and said, “Woot, halfway home!”

Power of ridiculous positive thinking!

Out of the water… trying…to…reach..wetsuit…strap:


Go go go…

Out of the water in 37 minutes.  Not my fastest, but was okay considering it had been awhile since I had an open water swim in a wetsuit (April).



I was heavy and huffing and puffing like a freight train getting to T1. Any out of the water about gives me a minor heart attack.

Still, I moved pretty quickly and was out on the bike before I knew it.




No matter how great the actual, physical bike may be… it’s tough to ride a bike that’s not yours. I felt like I was dragging.  Then I realized I had absolutely no nutrition and I was running on 4-6 munchkins.

Just a single bottle of water for 24 miles, after a 37 minute swim?  Hmmmmm.  Still, I thought I’d be alright.  I mean I have about 50 pounds of fat to live off of…


The course was pretty fast.  A few gradual climbs, but nothing alarming–never came out of the big gear.


At the first turnaround, there was an aid station—but only water was available. Technically, I knew I should be fine. But I was still nervous.


So I pedaled faster and tried to get back to my gel in transition.

After a pretty decently speedy bike (18.46 on a road bike), I was back in transition.  Feeling the need for that gel.


Grabbed my stuff and my Huma Gels (2 of them), and headed out.  I sat down in transition, but still booked it out pretty fast.  I mean there’s always time to laugh, right?





And I was off. Speed of light!


Okay. Maybe not so much. Sucked down a Huma gel immediately, and headed out.

The run course was three loops – 2 miles each … a little jaunt through the woods on each loop, then mostly flat and fast road running.

I have always been able to hold a decent clip on a run for oh… about 5 minutes.  So a 10k?  Trying to ‘hoof’ it… well, I was suffering. But I was also determined to keep a good pace, and it was painful.  And I was loving it. And hating it. All at once.


My first two loops were faster than the last, which wasn’t my goal–but thrilled with a 10:57 minute mile pace.


End of the last loop, I was hurting and ready for a beer.  Whew… I was looking rough.


Results & After

Still… had a blast!  Really a fun course, and great people. Famous last words that I spoke to Sweet Red:  “Intermediate  distance?   My new favorite distance!!”


To which she just shook her head.


Swim:  (0.9 mile) 37:50
T1: 1:16
Bike: (24 miles) 1:18:58 (18.46 MPH)
T2:  1:34
Run: (6 miles) 1:05:41 (10:57 min/pace)
Total:  3:05:19

Oh, and this was a massive PR at this distance by 20 minutes.  Woot!



Thanks for a great time, ATC Endurance, Bike Loft East, Swim Bike Sell… and of course, Sweet Red and Swim Bike Nap (Todd) for a fun trip!


  • Lindsay

    July 22, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    I’m so excited that you came and raced with us CNYers!! It was so fantastic to meet you finally and I think I am still grinning from ear to ear! I just sqealed and kicked my boyfriend when I saw that Pudge and I made your race/trip report!!! I already gave one of your books to a friend who is struggling with some health issues but has the goal of getting involved in triathlons. I’m sure she will find you as inspiring as I have! It was go great to meet you and have a chance to talk with you and see you race! The highlight of my triathlon journey, without a doubt!

  • Courtney

    July 22, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Aww, I’m sad we never got a picture! Had a fabulous time meeting you and feel honored to have gotten to race with you. Thanks for doing what you do for the sport. You rock!

  • Karen Seevers

    July 22, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    It was great to meet you and talk after the Delta Lake Tri! And it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels that donuts and coffee are perfectly acceptable fuel before a race!! Love the pictures!

  • Lisa

    July 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    That’s a good time! I’m interested in knowing the speed difference you experience between your tri bike and a road bike. Did you notice a huge speed increase when you moved to a Tri bike?

  • Laura

    August 1, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    The long swim for an oly is one of the reasons i decided to go ahead and do a 70.3. haha. Great rationale. i figured if I was going to train for .9 miles of swimming why not just go all in and do 1.2 miles?!


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