Congrats Tyler!

Congratulations and Good Luck

Just when I get all cocky thinking I'm the star athlete of the family. Tyler outshines me as the scholar athlete. Superintendent Denny Chartier presented the Izzo-Mariucci Student-Athlete Scholarships to Brittany Newberry and Tyler Yake. The award recognizes academic (both above 3.5 gpa) and athletic (both play three sports) achievement plus college participation (Newberry will play volleyball at Lake Superior State; Yake football at Albion.) Scholarship is worth $5,000 to each senior..... That is in addition to already having a full ride to Albion. How about a loan Tyler ???? (That's my Dad's famous line)

More Memorial Day Photos

Typical: Tim and Jen self photo. (2 miles left to run)

Atypical photo shoot. Tim and I clean up.

Tim and I with Matt and Matt. Both are preparing for life changes. Matt in center prepares for married life. Matt far left prepares for two years of medical missions in Niger. Um, that's not a vacation. For more info click

Weekend in New Hampshire

This weekend Tim and I headed to New Hampshire for Tim's friends Matt and Jen's wedding. This was an exciting weekend because I got to meet Tim's friends and see their old stomping ground Dartmouth. Tim wanted to show me around his old hangouts so when our delicious breakfast finally settled we headed out for our 10 mile run. I think New Hampshire maple syrup is a secret training food. I sure felt like I had some extra spring in my step. Maybe they should market it to triathletes. I have heard lots of stories of things Tim did in undergrad. For example swinging from a rope Tarzan style and letting go flying through the air into the river. I was able to see where Tim spent most of his free time,the boat house. I suspect he may have spent more time kayaking the rivers near bye than studying?????

New England is really pretty. I enjoyed running the rolling hills, the trails along the river, and most of all running on the sidewalk where Tim once rode his unicycle. Yes, even though Tim is a relatively new triathlete he has a secret advantage. He used to ride a unicycle. There are signs up everywhere along the side walks : No Skateboards. No Bicycles. No Rollerblades. There was no mention of a unicycle. Leave to Tim to outsmart the system. I'm sure the Hanover police loved that there was no law forbidding unicycles on the sidewalk. I even got to go running on the trail Tim ran in college. It was especially fun when we discovered via my Garmin that what Tim thought to be 5 miles in college was....well a little short. Tim then grunted he hated the Garmin.

Saturday we were kindly invited to the rehearsal dinner. I had a great time meeting Tim's friends. It was great to see the characters in Tim's stories and from Christmas cards on Tim's fridge come to life. Tim actually sent the address of my blog to his friends when he announced our engagement. Blah, Blah, Blog. They already knew a lot about me. People were actually surprised to see us so dressed up as on the blog site we are usually sporting three layers of salty sweat.

Many of Tim's friends are also medical residents. We had fun exchanging work stories and exchanging Doctor vs. Nurse stories. One of Tim's friend mentioned he couldn't tell I was a nurse by my blog. He asked why I might not include that. I mentioned if I blogged about nursing with the same humor I tell other stories I'd probably get fired :0) I wouldn't want to admit on my blog that I once helped convince an intern that all orders needed to be in by noon. Orders received after noon would be processed the next day. I thought it was a good lesson in organization and time management. Also isn't that what the bank does with deposits. Sometimes I get seated by elderly people on the plane who like to tell me there ailments. Such as the rash that they've had for the last six months. I'm starting to think I should keep things simple and tell them I'm an Internet writer. That wouldn't be lying would it.

Thanks for reading!

I wasn't kidding

Yes. I was serious about the pink shoes.
Thanks Tim

Memorial Day Weekend

So after a long day of travel we arrived last night to a really cool B&B. The Shaker Hill B&B advertised a never empty cookie jar. Tim's bound to put it to the test.  The lilacs are in bloom and the New England air is crisp and clear. 
The resident dogs are waiting for Tim and I to take them for a run around Lake Mascoma. Unfortunately they'll have to wait a few hours while our breakfast settles. Who could pass on the fresh fruits , homemade scones, and homemade french toast topped with New Hampshire maple syrup the Shaker Inn has to offer. Just a tip: don't call it Vermont Maple Syrup or New England. There is a big difference:)  

On the road again!

May 23

This week will go down in history as the first week in two years I have ran more miles than I biked. Tim and I are off to NH for a friends wedding. I am packed and ready to go. Dress check, heels check, running shoes, I-pod, Garmin ...check, check, check.
Have a good weekend everyone and thanks for reading.

What else do we do?

So you have all heard enough stories about training. What else do Tim and I do other than train, eat, and plan our wedding? Friday, May 16, we went to Santa Monica for the evening. Well it was after a 50/5 brick workout. The purpose of our trip was to celebrate Tim's cousin Emily's graduation from USC. We had a lot of fun. The triathletes in us did calculate that we could have ran the last 5 miles of the drive faster. Tim actually offered for me to hop out and run. The killjoy I am declined since I was wearing high heels. Despite not having my pink bike with me I did have something fierce high heels. A birthday gift from Tim:) Stuck in the traffic jam, we decided we were glad not to live in LA. We started to worry we would be late for the dinner. It turned out though that the rest of Tim's family was stuck in traffic too. We were actually the first to arrive so we decided to go for a stroll along the beach in Santa Monica. I grew up on the beach but let me tell you it was nothing like this. There are basically huge jungle gyms where adults go to play on the beach. I got a kick out of watching this and told Tim I really would have liked this when I was a kid. He kindly offered to hold my purse while I took a turn. He said he was sure I could still do a few flips. Once again I was a killjoy and declined any inversions while wearing a dress. Boy, I'm not real fun in this blog, am I . Anyway, we watched some adult males perform on the rings. It was apparent many of these people had rehearsed this routine many times. I began to wonder about these people. Who were these people? They look like adult children. I began to imagine what their real life consisted of. For example, does this man tell his wife he is stuck at the office while he really is playing on the jungle gym. They seem to take this so seriously even though it is just play. I wondered if this was a parallel to me training for Ironman. Soon Tim's family arrived and we enjoyed a great dinner.

Wildflower 2008

The race report is out. 
It was quite a weekend. 
We were all pleased with our performances.
  I couldn't get over was how fast Val ran. 
She ran like a women being chased.

Scroll down for the race reports. Sorry my blog became a book.
 Blah Blah, Blog
Win with wikipedia;)

Marriage Prep

With all the wedding day preparations discussed readers are probably wondering what if any thought Tim and I have given to marriage. Remember marriage is a lifetime a wedding is a day. In respect of this Tim and I decided to undergo some premarital preparation. In fact we've completed about 50 hours of it. We are taking the teachings very seriously and implementing them on a daily basis. Tim and I are enjoying the practice of our new roles.

To honor and Cherish

To have and to hold

To serve each other

Wildflower Sunday : THE RACE RESULTS

The Neuschwander Men's Division
Bruce: 2nd place (age group) 5:21
Tim: 11th place (age group) 4:59
Seth: Fastest family swim split  26.30, 5:41 overall

Cindy finishes a fast bike
For the ladies results:
Val and Cindy: 13th relay
Me 13th (ag) 5:38

Wildflower 2008

Sunday, May 4
Cindy and Val's time to shine
Olympic Distance

Cindy rides her shiny red bike to T1

Former nationally ranked swimmer Cindy disguises herself as a 3rd grade teacher.

Ladies you look fabulous simply fabulous!
After cheering all day yesterday it was time for these ladies to get down to business!
Seth, Tim, Bruce, and I enjoyed our post race glow and were happy to cheer Val and Cindy on. 

Wildflower 2008

Wildflower 2008

Saturday,May 3

Long Course

Saturday morning the alarm went off at a time too obscene to share with all viewers. Despite the darkness Seth and Val's home was buzzing with activity. There was a flurry of coffee brewing, water bottles being filled, and oatmeal being eaten. Of more suspect there was use of a the crack pipe, the passing around of little white pills, and an expensive white powdery substance. Honest officer, I can explain....... The pills and powder are my nutrition. The CRACK PIPE. It's not really a crack pipe; it's the valve adapter so I can inflate my deep dished super aero dynamic race wheels.  Now those should be illegal.

After breakfast we headed to Lake San Antonio for the big day. Tim and Seth would start an hour before my wave. Bruce would start 10 minutes before me. We rode our bikes slowly down the hill from the parking lot to the course start and check in. This was the first of three times we'd head down the long hill today. It was a chilly descent early in the morning but I knew that wouldn't last. The four of us checked in and headed into to the corral. We intended to stake out our spots in transition and get body marked. Body marking is where you stand in line to have somebody write your number on your arm, calf, and swim cap with a permanent marker. They also write your age on your calf. This is how Tim first found out my age. Well first he googled me but that was unsuccessful in identifying my age.

I had a great spot near the end of a row and right by the bike out exit. It would be easy to find my spot in transition. Knowing where you are in transition is important. There are thousands of bikes in the corral at Wildflower. In my first race I returned from the bike leg as fast as I could. I ran proudly up aisle 9 sighting for the Mickey Mouse Beach Towel marking my spot. Where was Mickey and why were there men in this aisle? I realized due to my EEID (Exercise/Excitement Induced Dementia) I had run up aisle 9 instead of 6. Oops ... rookie manuever. My thoughts on transition are get faster at 'em or go longer. I am signed up for two Full IM's this year. I guess you know which path I chose.

Most of my friends skipped Wildflower this year. There were no familiar faces in the transition area. I arrived at the spot marked 2092 (my #) only to find another girl's bike in it. I stared at the spot for a moment. I wondered if I should ask for the owner to move it or if I should move it myself. I didn't want to move some other gals stuff. I was of what drama might arise. I needed to focus on my own race. Lord knows some females have claws and on race day...they'd be sharpened. I didn't want to waste my energy on that. Another girl (whose own race wasn't enough for her) told me I could put my bike anywhere. She went on to explain to me it wouldn't matter where put my bike because we'd all come out of the swim at different times. I tried to nicely dismiss her unsoliceted and incorrect advise. Given the pink bike, wheel disk, and aero helmet this was especially ironic. Thankfully the participant who had misplaced her bike finally got it. She moved her bike and I racked my bike. I stood motionless and stared again. My bike is so tiny it dangled in the air. The other bikes had one wheel touching the ground. I began having visions of my beloved pink bike tipped over with the gear I strategically placed scattered in a yardsale-like fashion. I paused and pondered what I could do differently. During my pondering time the helpful girl started giving me more advice. Somehow I felt like this was an episode of Seinfeld. I'm sure this gal's intentions were good. I just have this thing about unsolicited advise from strangers. Did she have any clue who she was talking too? I'm from San Diego.... ... and sporting the Tri Club San Diego kit. San Diego is the triathlon mecca of the world. I'm also sporting a pink bike and pink running shoes. Did she not think that just maybe this was a passion of mine? I'm probably the last person she should be giving advice to especially since I've solicited the advice of a coach and I'm soon to be a member of the most athletic family on the face of the planet: the Neuschwander Family. Lastly I am the president and founder of I reminded myself to stay focused and avoid negative energy. The flying Nun, Madonna Buder said not to allow any negative energy. I was struggling not to focus on creaming this girl. I also started wondering if we were assigned numbers based on are expected finish times or last years time. I hoped I would lambaste this course and share a transition area with more normal triathletes next year. I decided to put my wetsuit on as I was a little chilly and head to the swim start. I needed to distance myself from this prattle. Another overly helpful women raced over and insisted on helping me zip my wetsuit. Although many people so need help into their wetsuits I can zip mine myself. I really didn't want to accept her gracious offer but there are a few different ways to fix the zipper and its cord. She was about 50 and seemed a little unstable. I could just imagine the cord wrapping around my neck as I swam. Midway through zipping up my suit she started to freak out about her glasses. They were prescription and she said she didn't know what to do without them in the water. How did I answer this without sounding snide? "What do you normally do?" I wore glasses or contacts for years and there are a lot of options. None fun, but the first day one thinks about this is usually not race day. I asked her calmly if she swam without them in the pool. She said yes . I told her if she could see well enough in the pool she could follow the pack. She said she was worried she would fall off the pack and not see the buoys. My heart went out to the volunteers in the boats and kayaks at this point. I mentioned there often is a table where athletes are allowed to leave their prescription glasses near the exit of the swim. The helpful girl piped in again "yeah they do have a table where you can leave you glasses, it's the ones the challenged athletes leave their limbs on while they swim." Ok if I have one thought to keep things in perspective this would be it. No matter how tough things may seem today, I have all of my own extremities. Sometimes you forget how great you have it until you see somebody restless to get their prosthetic arm on or leg on.

Time passes quickly. My wave is 10 minutes from the start and Bruce's wave is in the water getting set to swim. They announce what a competitive and tough age group it is and who to watch. It is announced that Bruce was 4th last year and is a threat to win this year. Yeah, I think. He said he wouldn't place this year. The competition is too deep. I think differently. I am excited from hearing this announcement. His wave leaves. I feel a little choked up. I want to do better than last year. Not so much by time, but I want to enjoy the race. I start thinking about what I did last year to prepare vs. this year. It seemed like I did a lot then. I also want a solid half IM finish before the full in June. Oceanside would have been the place to build confidence but I messed that up. Today is my opportunity to build confidence or to destroy. I start to breathe a little fast and feel a knot in my throat. I force myself to take a deep breath and exhale deeply. I decide to "have a good time" today. I will accept whatever the day brings good, bad or otherwise. That is my job, that's life.

Jen's Diesel Fuel

I jump into the water to warm up and feel strangely calm. I know I can handle whatever the day brings me and I am ready. I head back up the dock and take my place near the back of the pack. The horn sounds and I feel like everyone is in slow motion. It seems like the back half is waiting for Christmas before entering the water. I hear swim coach "Sickie's" voice and see his smile. "Jump in, the water's nice" I run down the dock and enter the water. Forget the back of the pack. Today IS the race.

The first few hundred yards are mass chaos. Interesting because you see those overhead shots of Ironman with all the caps in the water and it's so beautiful. It looks peaceful. In the water it is anything but. Arms and legs flailing. People trying to move up. People trying to give up. I swim head up for a while an with my hands outstretched in a "stop right there" position. It seems strange but it fairly efficient in protecting my face and goggle from somebody else's feet. This is what makes a lot of people panic. This is my advantage. Having two older brothers has taught me not to get bent out of shape when you get knocked around and pummeled. I waste no energy panicking. I focus on moving forword out of the chaos of arms and legs. The swim goes by relatively fast and soon I am passing brights green caps from the wave that started 5 minutes before me. This was a very good sign. I start to get excited as I head towards the swim exit. I am almost done with my weakest link. I strip my wetsuit down to my waist as I run towards my bike. I glimpse at my watch delighted to find I was six minutes faster than last year. I use Jenny math to determine that is the equivilant of a down hill mile. In my head I have shortened the run to 12.1 miles instead of the actual 13.1 miles.

I struggle to pull the wetsuit off over my chip. It takes me three tries to rid this suit. I grit my teeth and it finally gives way. I throw on my helmet, shoe, and sunnies and say sayanora to T1.

The ride start out with some immediate up and downs. There is a cluster of people at all abilities everywhere. It seems nobody is giving any respect to staying right side. I don't want to get caught up and crash so I force myself to be patient. Patience isn't something that comes easily. We start to climb and I pass a lot of people. Mostly boys:) I'm careful this year to listen to my breathing and not go too hard too early. We get close to the top and somebody is ringing a cow bell. I like this. We crest the top of the climb. I drop into my aero bars and get down to business. This feels really easy. I hope I am going hard enough. I was told to be patient until Nasty Grade at mile 42. Soon we are climbing again and it doesn't seem too easy again. For a while it seemed like all I was doing was climbing. I remembered the e-mail from my coach stating he remembered Wildflower to be relatively flat with the exception of a few climbs. I think he made this statement on the pretense that I was a drama queen and exaggerated how big the hills were. I think he wanted to help me keep things in perspective. I realized that it seemed like I was climbing all the time because the other sections of the course flew by so fast. In less than two hours of riding I rolled through mile 40. Yee Haw!!! That was fast. I decided. I hoped I hadn't gone to hard too soon. Now I was so excited I couldn't stop smiling. I hoped my smile wouldn't create some sort of drag in the wind. Mile 42 started the climb up Nasty Grade. I eased into the climb knowing exactly how long it was. I was now a little concerned. I was also to have consumed most of my calories before this climb. I just couldn't. My mom told me oatmeal would stick to my I think she was right. I took in what I could but didn't want to force it. I hoped I wouldn't bonk on the run. I guessed if I did I would just have to dig myself out of that hole. Today one thing was for sure. I wasn't going to give up. About 3/4 up Nasty Grade I heard the drums of the Energizer Bunny. Last year I was suffering here. I wanted to pin that pink bunny with a water bottle. This year, when I heard him I stood up and unleashed my quads. It was time to hammer it in until the run. This was fun. I started singing various songs in my head as I passed the boys of the 40-45 division. They looked fit but I think I had less mass to lug up the hill. Also I changed the words of "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine I" to "This little bike of mine, I'm gonna let it shine." I alternated that song with the one my friend Elaine gave me "I'm not here for your entertainment" and "You belong among the Wildflowers" only I changed it to "You belong racing at Wildflower". As I came down the last mile of the bike towords the finish the pros were finshing the run. I saw Samantha McGlone headed to the finish. She spoke to the tri club. She's really funny. Now that girl, she drops men. That's "Fierce."

When I came in to T2 there were lots of people cheering. I love the crowds when I race but sometimes when I'm going really hard I have tunnel vision and I only see what I'm focused on in front of me. I know I smiled but I couldn't see the crowd. I will say thanks though for all the "Go Girl" shouts. Those cheers really fired me up. I knew I needed to have a strong run and legitimize myself. Anyone can be a one event wonder. I happened to finish as the only gal in a mob of guys. Not that there weren't ladies blowing my doors off out there. There are lots of them. There are just fewer females and I think the crowd gets a kick out of the token female in the midst of a bunch of men with shaved legs and little body fat.

T2 went by pretty quick. On with the running shoes and hat. I shoved my e-caps and Jelly Belly sport beans up the leg of my shorts (two weeks later I would still have a scab on my thigh from the wrapper) Emergency inhaler in jersey pocket, along with a few Shot Blocks. I wasn't planning on needing all of this nutrition but if I got into trouble it would be there. Also I could quit worrying and focus on the run. With my water bottle in my hand I was off. I ran toward the steps and started up them. The 40-45 boys were walking the steps two-three abreast. I wanted to some how shimmy through them but slowed for a second until the steps were clear. The competitor in me wanted to yell"MOVE RIGHT" but that would have taken too much energy. Despite holding back a little on the bike I wasn't feeling so great right now. All this up and down I couldn't find a "cruising" pace. My legs and lungs burned. I was working and not quite done with mile one. Oh..... this could be like last year. I looked at my Garmin 7:20 pace. Ok ....time to slow down a hair. I am not Samantha McGlone and I was instructed to run the first couple miles around a 9:00 minute pace then to pick it up. I slowed a little and it was amazing how great I felt. It was a bit hot and I enjoyed pouring water on my head. I was done with mile three and pretty convinced that no matter how hard the climbs were this year I would fare better than last year. I ran swiftly around the lake and reminded myself that I said this race was for my Mom. She loves Wildflowers more than anybody else. I knew the hardest part of the race was coming. I was going to refuse to let my attitude get ugly while I was surrounded by this beauty. It's funny how fine the line is between being the toughest athlete and the biggest baby. As an athlete, when things don't go our way it is easy to lose perspective on the real world and feel sorry for ourselves. I finished the section around the lake and started the climbing. This section isn't that long but it is super steep. It also has a few false summits. Running has become much easier for me. I could run on a smooth flat surface forever. However over the last four miles I don't think my foot struck level ground once. I realized if I had done more core work this would have been easier. I needed to be stronger to maintain correct biomechanics. It was a little late for that now. I was going to have to gut it out with brut force. I worked my through the carnage of now 30-35 year old guys. I know dropping guys is my MO. Honestly .....when I see them walking and looking so demolished it's hard for me not to let up on myself. It seems like the majority of people who pass me were well trained women. Thank goodness for this. The ladies sent the message that if you train right and race smart you can finish strong. They looked hot while the men looked hot. I muscled my way to the top of a climb and rounded a corner only to see another climb. The trail was obstructed by 4 men walking for abreast. I did not have enought extra energy to yell to them to move. I stopped and walk behind them for about one minute. My legs felt pretty blown up from the intense climbing I had just done and were cramping a little. I tool an e-cap and a sip of water. I remembered the advice my coach had given me. I asked him if it was smarter for somebody like me to save my energy and walk the hill instead of running it. I told him last year I blew up running it. He reminded me that I was stronger this year and if I started out walking the hill I would probably walk the whole thing. I realized I was on pace for the race of my life and if I kept walking I would let it go. I started to run again. I started to sing again. "This little bike of mine, I'm going to let it shine" I wasn't going to give up. There was another short but steep climb. I grunted and recited the Hail Mary because that's what you do when you're in trouble. That's what the priest told me to do when I went to confession. I confessed I let my brother Tom take the blame for messing up the footstool when I fact it was me doing flips over it. He told me to say three Hail Mary's and to try to do my flips outside. The Hail Mary's must have worked because soon I was back on the pavement running through the campground. I love trail running but I was glad for my feet to hit the pavement. My legs felt pretty helter skelter and I trip a lot when they feel like this. Tim's actually threatened putting me on a kid harness. I didn't want do a header. That would really slow me down. I ran efficiently through the campground. My Garmin said I was running around an 8 minute mile. I wanted to "make bank" while I could since I would be climbing again. A man from NYC started to run with me. He commented that it was like my own party as everyone was yelling "Go San Diego" and "nice pink shoes." I don't know how I would ever race withouth the TCSD logo. Everybody cheers you on. A 3000 member club that feels so small. I tell the man he could always buy a jersey....they'd cheer for him too. He stops at the next aid station. He says he's done. I give him the peace sign and keep moving along. I don't want to waste energy talking. I see a tall lanky man with a TCSD jersey and black shorts. He looks like Tim. Oh crap! I think as much as I would love to finish with him. It would have meant something went wrong. I hope to someday be as fast as Tim so I don't slow him down in training so much. That's a pipe dream. Today is not that day and I am really worried. After his flat tires at Oceanside I want things to go just right. I pass the guy, relieved it is not Tim. Oh. Thank God. I tell this guy good job and to hang in there. I run on. I don't know if this guy appreciates this comment. I don't mean to be annoying. During my first 1/2 IM, Superfrog, I was running in the sand. It was hot and I was struggling. One of the fast older TCSD guys put his hand on my shoulder as he passed me (lapped me). He said good job and to hang in, it meant a lot. It made a difference to me.
 Now I am at the out and back. This is the section where you basically run out down hill for a mile then back up it. I remember walking up this hill last year. It's not very steep, just a long grade that you can't get any momentum on. This is more than a race, it's a test. I look at my watch only and only focus on the math that tells me to keep moving. I could have walked up the grade this year and still fared better than last year. I knew if I just kept on I could have the race of my life. I kept going. Three girls passed me up the grade. Next year, I will take the challenge and hang with them. I was only 2.5 miles from the finish. I was not confident enough to try to hang with them. I worried something would happen like I would cramp or bonk. I trudged on up the hill. I didn't want to risk a personal best to stay with these girls. I look at their ages marked on their calves. 30, 32, and 50... I got dropped by a 50 year old women and honestly nothing makes me feel better than that. Look what I have to look forward to. I make it back up the hill round a corner and remember that I have to continue to climb until mile 12.  I just have to hang on until mile 12 because then it is all down hill until it flattens out 500 yards before the finish chute. Ugg. Everything had been easier than I had remembered until this point. I forgot about this last half mile of uphill. I don't want to climb any more mentally I thought I was done with the hard stuff. I start to feel discouraged. "This little bike of mine. I'm going to let it shine," I sing in my head. I see the mile 12 sign ahead and I dig a little deeper. If I can just make it to that sign I'll have done it. Nothing can stop me from meeting my goal then. I make it to the sign. I'm ahead of my ETA. I run down the hill. I try to run as fast as my tired and crazy legs can go with out falling. I think to myself if something happened I could probably crawl to the finish. Wooosh .....a female cyclist from Team in Training goes by me. Crap. I didn't even hear her coming. I wish she would have yelled as I would have moved to the right. I was slightly left because I was passing lots of guys on this home stretch. I feel for the rider who has still has a challenging run ahead. It's going to be a long day for that girl. Maybe next year will be better for her. I am at the bottom of the hill. I see a lady waving flags and directing the athletes. Cyclists left, Runners right. Ahh... I think to myself how great it is to finally be the athlete getting directed to the finish. I used to be the athlete going out for lap 2 when others were finishing. I have come a long way from where I started. I feel a lump in my throat again. I worry I may choke up and act a fool. I pass the lady with the flags. 300 yards and you're done. The lump in my throat is gone and I am like a drunken fool. I high five people as I turn in the shoot. I don't know what my time is only that it's much better that I dared myself to hope for. I start sprinting in the chute. Blah, blah, blah......if you can sprint the chute you could have gone faster. Save that advice for somebody who cares. At this point I didn't. I was now singing "Celebrate good times, come on." I hoped Tim would be on the other side of the finish. I was ahead of my scheduled time of arrival.  The clock says 6:53 and some change and I started with 1:16 on the clock. My exercise induced dementia  kicks in and I can't figure out what my time is. I see Tim and Cindy on the other side of fence and want to celebrate with them. I want to run to them but I am accosted by the chip timing police. They cut my tether off, give me a wet towel and set me free. I hug Cindy and Tim. The photo of me above is taken there and I feel drunk with happiness. I have done it. I got it right this time.  I ask Tim how his race went and he says he went under 5 hours. Wow, that's fast. I am happy for him. We can celebrate together. I am very excited. I tell Cindy I just wanted to be done by 3 o'clock. She held up her watch and it's not yet 2:55.  Now it sinks in. I have gone sub 5:40. I know you are probably thinking I should have known this but I didn't wear my Garmin in the swim or even on the bike. I didn't use a stop watch. I was just focusing on my splits. That way if the day was long I wouldn't get discouraged. Tim tells me to get some food and drinks and he'll take me down to the lake. With this much excitement my dementia is flaring up and I am glad to have Tim to guide me. Tim walks me down to the lake. I am so hot I can't wait to get in. I start handing Tim my stuff to hold while I soak in the cool water. Out of my pocket comes an inhalor, sport beans, and individual packet of biofreeze (like icy hot but less smelly) . I had it just in case my friend IT band syndrome came to visit. A coin purse full of e-caps, oh wait another one and my Garmin watch. Tim looks at my pile. 5:37, 5:36, 5:35 he say out loud as he lifts the items. You never know I said. If I didn't have them I might have wasted all my energy worrying. I floated on my back. A few others were doing likewise. A couple dogs were loyally swimming around their owners. It was classic bliss. I dragged myself out of the water. 
Tim and I headed over to the transition area and gathered our gear. Now is where the hard part starts. We have to lug are stuff up the monster hill again to the parking lot. We put our aero helmets on so we don't have to carry them. They don't work so well with a back pack. Tim turns his around so the beak is in front. A few people comment. I loudly interrupt that I find his aero helmet sexy that way. Soon I turn my aero helmet around backwards too. Ugg... Tim groans as we push our bikes up a steep off road trail (the main road is closed as people are still racing). "Stick a fork in me" Tim quotes our friend  Shannons Ironman Blog. Tim grabs my bike from me and pushes it up the hill. "Thanks" I say. I know exactly how good I have it. Backwards helmets and big grins we leave the park. I guess we are well suited.

"This little bike of mine. I'm going to let it shine"

Stay Tuned

Every Dog Has His Day

Wildflower 2008

Friday, May 2

Wildflower Preparation Day

This year I was determined things would be different than last year. I had a lot of fun with Tim, the Neuschwander clan. The Bellas were awesome. Listening to Mykl tell stories around the campfire was more entertaining than any movie I've ever paid for. The race for me however was sheer disaster. I would never had signed up for Wildflower again if it didn't mean so much to Tim. Wildflower of all the races was his favorite and I wanted him to enjoy doing the race again. I suppose I could have done the short course on Sunday......but thankfully Elaine told me she did that once and it was the worse. I believe she used the term "sucker" to describe what she felt Saturday night. The majority of the gang was relaxing post race. Drinking beers and telling stories and she had to worry about what time her alarm would be going off. No.... I would take on the beast again but this time I hoped things would be different.

Tim's Version of Race Prep

Wording off the Bonk
1 scoop = 120 calories.
No artificial or natural flavors present.

Seth's pre race routine

I had major goals this year

a) To not be munched by the course
b) Remain positive and have a good time :) (time is subject to interpretation)
c) Not drop the transmission in my car like I did during last years travel.....although this year the repairs wouldn't dip in to the time trial fund:) That's already been covered
d) Absolutely No bonking........ No, No, No

Last but not least
e) Drop a few boys

Tim and I decided to capitalize on his relatively open schedule this year and make a real weekend of Wildflower. Thursday night we drove to San Luis Obispo (SLO) to stay with Tim's brother Seth and lovely wife Val. Seth would be doing his first 1/2 IM this weekend. It would be the second triathlon of his life ( He's pretty brave Huh?) It was kind of Seth and Val to put us up for the weekend.

Friday morning we got up and fueled with some waffles. Carb loading :) Then we headed out to test our race rigs. Yes I rolled my pink Guru with a Zipp disk all over SLO at a really SLOW pace. The wind was blowing which pleased me as I wanted to test my disk in the wind. My bike felt rock solid in cross winds. Yee Haaw. I was going to be a chick with a disk. I love the noise my disk makes. It's so much fun. We finished our ride and did a short 2 .25 mile run. We were only supposed to run 2 miles but I got distracted and forgot to quit for a minute. I hoped this 1/4 mile wouldn't be deleterious to my performance.

After our run we had lunch with Val at the High Street Deli and spent some time getting prepped for race day. More importantly we spent sometime looking at wedding invites. Tim pretended he didn't care but really he was all about it. I did make him take his aero helmet off in the stationary store. That evening we had a nice dinner and I probably stayed up later than I should have discussing wedding details with Val. It was time for bed and soon Wildflower would be here.

Friends for a visit

Friends and Family

April 13-22

So you maybe wondering with all of Tim and my training details if we have a normal life. Do we hang out with family and non triathlete friends? Absolutely. I still wouldn't venture to say that we are normal. Our friends and family tend to come with their own sense of adventure and humor.
I was very excited to hear one of my best childhood friends Kristi would be coming to visit. She and her husband Brian would be flying in April 18-22. My brother notified me as well that he would be in town April 13, 18, and 19 on business. Let the games begin. This sounded like fun.

Tom flew in the night of April 13th. I worked until 7:00 p.m. and he found his way to my place in the village via his GPS enabled Blackberry...commonly referred to as the Crackberry. We walked to Wahoo's for a casual and quick dinner. Wahoo's is home of the California specialty fish tacos. This walk spurred the question "what is a Wahoo?" Not willing to settle for group consensus Tom consulted his Wikipedia via his Crackberry. He was successful in finding out what a Wahoo fish was and he learned that Wahoo's taco was only 0.4 miles from my home. He also identified that I was NOT leading him there in the most direct fashion. After dinner we walked toward the cove and stopped by the "Living Room" for after dinner coffee and desserts. Tom again identified that I was not leading him on the most direct route. I remided him of the Yake family tradition of an after dinner walk before dessert. This is when Judi Yake (my mom) laces her running shoes and "walks" an 11 minute mile for 5-6 miles. During the interim a the delicous homemade dessert she made earlier that day sits on the counter. It's beautiful and untouched. Those who didn't join her wait impatiently for her return.

Kristi and Brian arrived on April 18th around 11:00 am. I look normal as I wait for them except that my hair is wet. 45 minutes ago I was busting up Torrey Pines so I wouldn't be late. Tim met me for a ride this morning. We had to roll early and I don't think he was quite awake yet. I was so wired in anticipation of my friends arrival I busted up Calle De Oro and dropped Tim. I had to circle back for him. "Uruh" That's Tim' s grumpy morning groan. Dropping him up the climb was probably not smart, like playing with a hornets nest. Which reminds of the time Kristi and I were kids. I was probably 11. It was a hot summer day and we started shooting rocks at a wasps nest with the slingshot Kristi recently got for her birthday. We were sort of dissapointed with the slingshot. The little pebbles slingshot slung didn't seem very effective in destroying the nest. I remembered what a pain wasps and hornets nest were for my Dad to destroy from the garage. I proudly picked up a large rock, moved closer to the nest threw it squarely on the center of the hornets nest. I can still hear the buzzing as every one of those wasps came out of the nest and after me. Two of them started in incessently stinging me above my left eye.(which had a slight scar for years) . Luckily we were playing near the water and I ran into the lake (with my shoes on). I dunked my head and drowned the wasps. A little while later I felt a bit toxic and sick as I pedaled my bike (with sloshing shoes) home. I confessed to my mom that Kristi and I were playing the at the beach and accidentally encountered the nest. She was very concerned for me as my eye had swollen shut and I felt sick. The next day she took me to Dr. Hawkin's who I gave the same abbreviated version of the events to. He smiled knowingly as he wrote the prescription for Atarax. I think I was sedated for the next three days. He probably figured my mother needed a break.

Anyway I picked Kristi and Brian up and we headed to my place in La Jolla. They quickly settled in and we headed down to the cove. Kristi and Brian had fun exploring the tide pools and looking at the salt water creatures. I was careful not to go to close to the edge of any of the cliffs. I didn't want to worry Brian that Kristi might have to rescue me if I fell in. You see when I was in about 6th grade Kristi, another friend Shelley, and I were playing a usual childhood winter game. We were pretending we were explorers of the artic and were playing on the ice in front of my parents house. When ice forms on Lake Michigan berms form and they make really cool formations. On the far side of one were chunks of ice that looked like shards of glass. We were picking them and pretending they were popsicles. I had reached one for Shelley and was in the process of reaching for another one when I slipped off the top of the brim and plunged through the ice. This was sort of a freak thing because at this time of the year the ice was deemed to be safe. A lot of good that proclamation did me as I floated. How I floated with my snow pants, sorels, and jacket soaked with water I don't know. I remember treading water. Kristi had to use one hand to steady herself and the other to pull me out. To this day I still don't know how Kristi was able to pull me out. Our other friend Shelley was hysterical. She thought I was a going to drown and her parents didn't want her on the ice in the first place. Uh -oh. We hustled back to my house and snuck in the door. Kristi helped me get out of my now 100 pound snowsuit. I yelled up stairs to my mom that I got a little wet and was going to shower and that we would be paying Monopoly for the rest of the afternoon. That was a nice try "What .... you got wet" she shrieked. I knew when my Dad got home I was going to be in trouble. The next morning, we saw Kristi's Aunt Annie in church. My mom, who had already grounded me, told Annie that Kristi was a hero and acted as my guardian angel. Annie of course told Kristi's mom Debbie who immediately sentenced Kristi to similar punishment as mine.

Friday April 18th

I rose with the roosters and hit the 0600 pool workout after that I ran the trails at UCSD. I showered and reconnected with Kristi and Brian. We went to Torrey Pines and did some hiking. We probably walked 5 miles. They were glad I trained that morning:) I was hoping we would see a dolphin and to my suprise we saw a lot of dolphins. They were really close to shore. I've never seen so many of them at Torrey Pines or visualized them so close to shore.

That afternoon Tom met us and we made dinner plans. Tim literally ran into us as he ran from his place to mine. We sat outside and chatted enjoying the nice weather. We were all entertained by the neighbors cat who curled up on the sun roof above my bed. Imagine my shock when I woke up one morning looking up and seeing a cat. I kind of like that cat. Tom kept busy coming up with ways to try to get the cat off my sunroof.

I left my cell phone on the outdoor table. Kristi and I were inside my place reviewing wedding details when Tim rang my mobile. Tom and Brian were sitting outside. Tom decided to answer my mobile and informed Tim "Jenny and Kristi are busy in the shed" I can only imagine the thoughts that must have gone through Tim's head at that moment. "The shed" is now the common term for my village of La Jolla Dwelling. After dinner that evening Tom headed out but not before leaving his mark on my dwelling. I have a habit of writing my goals or motivating sayings on my bathroom mirror. Beneath my Ironman goals read "BLAH,BLAH, BLOG" and "WIN WITH WIKIPEDIA". I still haven't erased what he wrote. There is nothing in this world like a little sibling rivalry to keep you humble and to keep you from taking yourself to seriously, and sometimes drive you towards your goals.

April 19th:

Tim and I have an all day long marriage prep class. We leave Kristi and Brian a map detailing how to get to Pannikin (the all important coffee shop), Wind and Sea , La Jolla Shores, and even the top of Mt. Soledad. We leave them my car as well but they have too much sense of adventure to drive. They use their feet. When I arrive home that evening they are still exploring. They cover over 13 miles of ground that day. That evening we get fresh fish and Tim gives us all a sushi making session. Yum and fun.

April 20th: Happy Birthday Tim

Tim and I do and 11 mile run this morning. I tell him he should enjoy a bike ride today. He has a lot of work to do to prep our race wheels for Wildflower so he's stays home to tend to these things. I head downtown with Kristi and Brian. We take the ferry to Coronado. We walk all the way to the other side of the island to the Hotel Del. We sit by the beach for a little while then head towards the center of town. I have great memories of Coronado. It is where I did my first 1/2 Ironman. It is also where Cindy, Tim's mom grew up. As we walk back we encounter a classic car show. Brian and Tim view this as a sign Brian should restore the Cadillac he's been eyeing. Kristi's eyebrows raise. She is very wise. I realize the world I am about to enter of shared decisions regarding disposable time and money. We take the ferry back to San Diego and head to Balboa Park. There is a huge traffic jam and people walking with what looks like snakes in their hair. We realize it is Earth Day or Earth Fair and hop on the freeway, deciding to hit Balboa park tomorrow. My phone rings. It is Tim. He had a flat tire on his bike and his spare was flat too. He could bum a tube off somebody as their are a lot of other riders around but I tell him not to worry and pick him up. We load Tim's bike on to the roof of the car and Tim into the car like a rider who has pulled out of the tour. I feel bad for him. All he wanted was a good bike ride for his birthday. He's had enough flats lately. I take him to my place and give him a new tube. I tell him to at least ride home. He climbs Soledad and at least enjoys the view.

April 21 st

I swim again this morning at 0600. Coach Sickie notices I am again at 0600 swim practice. I'm typically a 7:30 swimmer. After that Kristi, Brian and I head to the zoo. Tim has to work. We have a good time. The polar bears were really active and fun too watch. After the zoo, we had a picnic at Balboa park. Actually that would be the shee shee way of saying I pulled three pb&J's out of my back pack along with a left over piece of Tim's bananna bread (yum) We enjoyed the parks then returned to my place. Kristi, Brian and I headed down to the cove one last time.

April 22:

This morning I've used my crockpot to make pumpkin pie oatmeal. Umm Yumm Yumm. We all enjoy the oatmeal before taking Kristi and Brian to the airport. We say good byes and I am happy we had such a fun visit. That afternoon Tim and I head to East County and ride the Great Western Loop.

Ladies Day in the City

April 11th

Ladies Lunching

Ladies Shopping

A Day in San Francisco

As fast as I am on my bike I am equally as slow in making any wedding decisions. With only 6 months to go I still had no dress in sight. The problem is I’m such a true triathlete my whole life is like a transition. I’m always scurrying around between work, workouts, and fun adventures with Tim. I needed to find the ultimate wedding day detail: The Dress.

At the rate I was going I was likely to show up wearing white Assos bike shorts. I think others around me had the same fear. The groom actually might have appreciated them. In true fairy tale form we could have gone riding off on our bikes after the ceremony. You know like a Knight in shining armor whisking his bride off on his horse.

After my brief dress shopping experience I was relieved when Val and Cindy offered to go dress shopping with me. Lord knows I needed feedback from people who appreciated swimmers arms. I was slightly perplexed about this dress hunting. The thought of driving all over San Diego county to different bridal stores sounded more fatiguing than completing a full Iron man. I had seen some dresses I liked but the idea that one was going to magically jump off the rack and declare itself was highly unlikely in my idea.

Now that's hott!!!!

Val and Cindy suggested taking a look at a botique designer in San Fransico. I logged on to the website and to my delight I liked these dresses much more than any of the others I had seen. The catch was I would have to go to SF to check them out. I told Val and Cindy I’d have to talk to Tim about that. Hmmmm……drive all around San Diego and be overwhelmed by all the choices or spend a day in SF shopping, chatting, lunching, and enjoying the sights of a magnificent city. Hmmm……it’s a tough choice. Tim thought going to SF for a day was a great idea. (I think he liked the geographical distance from the wedding details. I booked the appointment form Amy Kuschel for 1000 April 11th. I double checked the appointment three times. After my Oceanside debacle I was relieved when I listened to the voice mail reminding me of my next appointment. Tim and I actually thought about flying up with our bikes for a mini training camp/dress shopping combo. It was not meant to be though. (ticketing snafu….ask Tim about that)

Some of you may be wondering what is wrong with this blog. Usually it is full of athletic adventures and now I’ve gone all GQ Fashionista on you.

Don’t you worry

A) I’m multi dimensional.

B) This is the Jenny Blog, there is always adventure.

My flight out was at 0730. Tim dropped me off at the airport early. I had my ticket. I was armed with my purse and glossy magazines, oh and the directions for using the BART. I would meet Val and Cindy at the Embarcadero at 0915.

Uh –oh. I soon encountered the longest security line I had ever seen. I slugged into the back of the line and it didn’t seem to be moving forward very quickly. If I was a fingernail chewer I would have gnawed all of mine off. I began to think about how if these people were triathletes the line would move a lot faster. Triathletes frantically move through transition without wasting a minute. T1, T1, let's get moving I wanted to yell as the minutes ticked away. I started thinking about the 10 mile run I wasn't going to get in today. Well I was certainly getting my heart rate up in this long line.Knowing that walking around the city wouldn't be challenging enough to equal a 10 mile run I wore heels. One mile walked in heels must equal 5 miles of running in Newtons. Right?

Luckily I made it through security and to my gate. Everybody else had bored and when I got on the plane the only seat left was center front. Like a rock star too cool to wait in line I slithered into my front row seat. T1 accomplished.

My plane arrived in SF a little early and I followed the signs to the BART as Tim instructed. I boarded the train (headed in the right direction) and headed to the Embarcadero. I let out a sigh of relief. Country girl in the city was going to do alright. That sigh didn't last long because when I exited the subway at the Embarcadero there must have been 4 different streets I could have exited onto if I took the wrong exit I might be blocks away from Cindy and Val. I read my yellow post it note over and over again. Tim directions didn't include this part. I took a guess and climbed the stairs out of the station and into the excitement of the city.

The sun was shining and even at 9:00 am it was warm. Highly unusual for San Francisco. I took this and my front row seat as a sign that things were going to go right today (I put the Oceanside debacle another step behind me). Thank goodness for cell phones because I was on a different street than Val and Cindy. We soon connected were off. They say all brides should have a ladies lunch before getting married. A day in the city to do girly things. A chance to discuss very important details that everybody else will forget about and the groom doesn’t care about. I had a lot of details to attend to and I needed a chance to discuss them.

We arrived at Amy Kuschel on time and the assistant asked me if there was any thing in particular I was looking for? I replied that my one request was that I didn 't look like the top of a cake. I'm not sure what they thought of me then but I figured it was my dress and I didn't want any cake top look or the muffin top look. Thank goodness for my swimmers arms :)

I loved just about every dress they showed me. After trying a couple on I became nervous. They were all so nice. The sales assistant kept placing the dresses into the maybe pile. Then I tried on the fourth dress and I felt something different. The sales assistant asked if I wanted to try a veil with it before moving on to the next dress. As she went to fetch the veil I realized I didn't want to try any of the other dresses. This dress was the one. In the spirit of a true triathlete I had picked out my dress in under an hour.

After the dress shopping was complete. The three of us were famished. We refueled at a side street cafe. It was so nice to sit outside and enjoy lunch knowing the dress was taken care of. After our nourishment we moved on to shoe shopping. This didn't take long either. It was pretty easy for me to narrow down the shoes into two categories. Can walk vs. Can not walk in. The can not category was pretty big. The shoes are so super they will appear in their own blog some day after the wedding.

Since we were in the city, on a roll and ahead of schedule Cindy slipped on a few gowns that looked fabulous. I thought it was great fun to watch her but she refused to seriously consider the dresses because she didn't want to upstage me "Bridezilla"