Another week under my belt.

I am starting to feel some of the aches and pains associated with Ironman training  -- other than the left foot issue I had when I started up.  It's a funny thing... I seem to forget about the left foot when my right hip aches and right heel stings and burns!!  I am pretty sure it's all about tight muscles, at least the heel/plantar fasciatis is for sure.  The hip is still a mystery, but I am hoping it is just some allignment issues over the period of time I have been running since my Boston Marathon injury.  Whatever the cause, I am constantly managing the aches and pains, making sure I roll through them carefully so they don't tun into something bigger and untimately stop me. 
This is the dance of endurance training.  We all do it and it's a slippery slope. The main goal is to get to the starting line healthy and ready to go.  It becomes a lot more difficult the older we get, but it's all doable so long as you pay attention and fork out the $ for the appropiate thearipies...like massage.
So, this weekend brings me back to Destin for the Sandestin Triathlon.  (do I hear an "aw shucks"?  LOL, maybe not) This is by far one of my all time favorite races - fun, sun, beach, drinks, and good times...the race is just a good excuse to come back to the beach and take part in a crazy post race pool party.
Dinner at Stinky's
We arrived Thursday, grabbed and awesome (and let me repeat this - it was AWESOME) grilled chicken sandwich at Maguire's then it was time to get checked in and hit the beach for a 2.5k swim in the Gulf of Mexico.  The water was absolutely gorgeous - calm and not too cold, LOTS of fish, a little seaweed, and a few stingrays.  It's  pretty cool to see these guys cruising along the sandy bottom...
After an awesome dinner and and a few drinks at Stinky's on 30A it was time for a dip in the hot tub then off to bed.  Finally a chance to get some good sleep to cure what seems to be a bout of insomnia over the past few days....I slept for 10 hours.  ahhhhh
Friday morning.... Nicole and Deb took off for a ride and I decided to stay back as today, get this, is a DAY OFF!!!!!  LMAO!  My legs are so tired, I have been looking forward to this day for a while.   I was able to get some work done while they were gone, but it wasn't long before we made our way to the beach again...only to be run off by major rain storms after an hour or two.  So, what else is there to do in Destin when it rains?  Shopping at the Outlet mall of course - so that's where we headed, apparently along with everyone else in Destin..  It was a good way to move my legs around, and they did feel sooo much better after walking around for a few hours..
After that, it was off to packet pick up, then a chill dinner and a saints game on the tube.  I was pretty bummed to see how the Saints played, but in their defense - it is still preseason, so I'll give them a break.  I still didn't like it.

The Race:
I woke up early and got situated as normal and we all got set up nice and early before the mad rush of newbies and late comers hit the scene.  Nothing really crazy happened except this one guy tried to put his transition spot on top of and in front of mine right as transition was closing....what a mess, but it all got smoothed over, and we were off to the beautiful Gulf waters for the swim start.
I was in the 4th wave with all of the other 40-44 year old men and women - this race lumps us all together which can become a bit brutal at the swim start, but I have learned by now where to place myself and who to avoid.  The start was crazy- guys running and jumping all over the place - I just rolled in calm and ez, thinking to myself "I'll let them all blow up, then when they are exhausted, I'll cruise by them later.  As usual, that played out beautifully.  By the first turn, I was with 2 other guys, then not soon after that, it was just me in my green cap cruising along.  Such an awesome swim, the water was cool, calm, and we could see the bottom the entire way!  By the time I rolled into the beach I was feeling pretty warmed up and ready to go.  I knew I would have to ride pretty fast if I was gonna win this race again at 41, especially since my run would no doubt suffer with my tired legs.  So I was up the beach, into transition, and off with a smooth transition and onto what seemed to be a ridiculously fast bike.  The first thing I thought was "oh no....this tail wind I have now is gonna suck on the way in...lol"  I had a strong bike, and the head wind on the way in wasn't bad at all.  I managed pretty well, got into T2 smoothly and off to the run in a jiffy.  All I can say is I felt like crap on the run.  I felt heavy and slow...but my splits suprised me, so I just kept the effort up.   In this race you can never tell who is ahead or behind because there are fast people embedded in every wave.  So, you just need to go all out and get to the finish and hope it was good enough...  When I got to the finish, my initial thoughts were that I was 2nd or 3rd....

I felt that rotten.  But when the results were posted, I saw this 41 year old chic was on top again!  Another year in the Sandestin Tri Roll!  It was good enough.  Now it was time to collect my stuff, head to the room, change into my bikini, make a stiff drink, and hit the pool party for awards and FUN!

All I can say is that the pool party never disappoints, the pictures say enough.  I managed to miss the mayhem on the beach after the pool, which is probably a good thing.  I think we were all cooked by 2 or 3 pm - back in the condo in bed!  Let the hangover begin!!  LOL!!  Do you remember college and your 20's when you could drink like that and bounce right back?  This is ridiculas...

Later that day, Mel and Rob showed up with pictures and video from the pool and beach that had us rolling in our headaches at the mayhem.. Oh what fun when you can be silly stupid with friends and enjoy laughing at yourself!!

Needless to say, that evening was low key.  I was up early for a bike ride in the rain along 30A.  I entertained the idea of not going since the weather was sooo bad, but I needed to get my blood flowing, and I couldn't sleep, so i went.  Made another friend along 30A about 25miles in, we rode in the rain for another 25 miles and I was glad to have the company in such bad weather.  Thanks Ryker for the ride!   He is training for his first Ironman In Florida in November!  Hard to believe I did my first Ironman there way back in 2003.
After the ride, the girls had everything packed up and ready - so we were off to breakfast at The Donut Hole then hitting the road for home.  Still have a headache, but also still laughing about the fun...

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