I am now 50!!!!!!

All done and in front of the Furman University Paladin statue!

June is my 50th Birthday month. When I was born, I was happy and appeared to be healthy. As I have written several times, that fact of healthy was far from the truth. This week is a week I can't imagine what it was like for my Mom, Dad and 6-year old brother, Pat. The healthy appearing baby was far from healthy and declining fast. Thankfully, in just a few days I will be celebrating another 50th milestone. The day I entered the doors of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The day that my life and my family's life were saved and changed forever. This is why I am fundraising for CARES Foundation Comprehensive Care Center for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia at CHLA (CAH Clinic), which is housed in the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism. To learn more, please follow this link: http://connect.chla.org/goto/tri-ingby50.

The fun of my 50th Birthday continued...

The 50th Birthday Triathlon Blitz came to an end on Saturday, June 22 at the Tri the Swamp Rabbit at Furman University. As a 50th birthday comes along once, I think doing four triathlons in four weeks should only come along once, also. Notice I did not not say NEVER come along. With triathletes and runners, NEVER say NEVER!

If someone came along and said, "I'll give you the chance to do four triathlons in four weeks," would I say, "No, I have done that before and it was crazy?"

Heck no! I would say, "Sure, bring it on!"

I have learned a lot from each of the races, especially the last two; Three Little Pigs Triathlon (June 16) in Smithfield, NC, and Tri the Swamp Rabbit at Furman University (June 22).

The only picture from Three Little Pigs Triathlon.

Smithfield, where the Three Little Pigs Triathlon put on by FS Series is held, is 3 hours from home. Preferably, we would have gotten a hotel room the night before, but this was my birthday weekend. On Friday (June 15), I went to dinner and a musical (Grease) with M1 and M2. This was so much fun. Unfortunately, it meant that I did not get to bed until around 11 p.m. We needed to leave the house by 3 a.m., so the alarms were set for 2 a.m. All of that means, not much sleep! This was a major lesson learned from the Blitz...sleep is extremely important.

After getting the van packed with two sets of triathlon gear, bikes and all, we headed out in the dark of the morning. Yes, two sets. Merrill did the race, also. The swim was in a pool, 250 yards. I had a decent time. The bike was a nice course that unfortunately had a good amount of traffic along it. The run did me in. I have not been able to master the run, yet. Part of the problem is that on the bike I take in too much fluid and I slosh at the beginning of the run. I think I solved that at Tri the Swamp Rabbit.

I felt my time was pretty acceptable when I finished, but I saw Merrill on the bike and the run. In my mind, I knew what that meant, but I was not mentally ready for what happened. She beat my time by about 11 minutes. She had cruised on the bike going a whole mile an hour faster than me and she was killer on the run. When she told me the final times, I was not the most pleasant person. I was not angry at her at all, but frustrated with myself. Yes, I was a little jealous. When the adrenaline, hormones and emotions wore off, I was extremely proud of her! Tri It for Life had prepared her well. Plus, she has a pretty awesome bike. She's a BEAST!

Breaking it down afterwards...sleep deprived me of my complete energy and that is why my bike time was lacking.

A little pre-race motivation. F is for Furman University.

Sometimes a little bribery helps bring the middle girl child, G, to a race. Tri the Swamp Rabbit was held at Furman University. When the middle child has an interest in attending a college with a great music program you entice the trip with a college tour. We began the day doing that before packet pickup.
The fountain and chapel at Furman University.

I was excited to do the race. It was a shortish pool swim (250 meters/yards), longer bike ride (16.5 miles) and regular 5K. It is put on by Setup Events as part of the South Carolina Triathlon Series

I used some knowledge I gained in the three previous races and decided to skip the bottles of INFINIT on the ride and instead use the Hello Kitty Camelbak with INFINIT in it. This would control my fluid intake and hopefully, limit my fluid intake and not have the sloshing I had in almost all my other triathlons.

The swim started and I felt good...until about 150 yards. That's when my shoulders started really aching. This had me stopping for a few seconds to regain my stroke. Amazingly, I hit transition with a faster time than I have had. If only I hadn't needed to stop. There are no pictures of me coming out of the pool area, because, well, as Merrill says, "You were not happy!" She's right. I said no pictures. I dislike when I get that way.
It is amazing what can be captured in a photo.

I also thought through some changes for transition. Those worked and I was off with a quick for me time. Unfortunately, one of the straps on my shoes came loose so I couldn't tighten it. That change didn't quite work.

Overall the ride was good. My time wasn't great because I had to stop right at Mile 4 and catch my breath. This added a good amount of time to my result and affected my overall outcome. It was a beautiful ride through country and the little town of Traveler's Rest. Traffic was handled well with one lane being blocked off in the town. My plan with hydration did work!
HELLO KITTY!

Transition 2 wasn't as quick as I'd have liked, but it was better than it has been. Took off the bike shoes and helmet and replaced them with running shoes and hat.

Immediately, I knew that the run would be better. I had more energy and could maintain my intervals better. PLUS, no sloshing in my belly!
Downhill start, really?

The namesake of the race, the Swamp Rabbit Trail is a beautiful trail in the Greenville, SC area. Merrill ran a half-marathon along it a couple months ago. The problem with this race...the first half of the race was UPHILL!!!!! Going back downhill was nice! I finished with a happy time.
A great finisher pic from Merrill!

My overall time was not what I wanted...at all. Saying that, I finished and I am quickly realizing that may be what it is all about. JUST FINISH! There were quite a few positives and the changes I have made truly helped. Learn and Finish! That may become my new mantra.

What is next? The work Tri-ing By 50 is doing does not end. Not at all! There is so much more to do and keep doing.

Merrill and I will be traveling to Fletcher, NC, for the LPC Throwback Triathlon on July 8. Then I will be traveling to Lombard, IL, to speak at the MAGIC Foundation's Convention. I had thought of going to a triathlon near there, but it is not looking like I will able to do that.

For now, I believe that is everything! Take care and thank you for coming along on the Tri-ing By 50 journey. Someone told me I should change it to Tri-ing At 50, since I celebrated on June 17! NOPE!

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As always, you can help me personally by visiting my Go Fund Me page. I am going to donate 20% of all funds back to the CHLA CAH Clinic!