Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lake Sammamish Sprint Triathlon August 2009

My first ever Triathlon! A few months ago, Mark and I decided to do the Sprint Triathlon just down the road from us in Lake Sammamish. For training, we were already both swimming and Mark found a 13 week running course that we started following 3 days a week. I rode my bike a few times up to Marymoor Park which is 14 miles round trip on a flat gravel path.

The sprint triathlon was a 1/4 mile swim (equivalent to 16 laps in a pool), 14 mile bike ride and 3 mile run. I was sure I could finish, I was just paranoid I'd be last. The bike ride was going to be the hardest because I didn't really train for it plus I was using my 15 year old mountain bike that weighs 33 pounds. A serious steel monster. On the day of the race, we got about 3 hours sleep then were up at 5am to get to the park by 6am.

This photo is of Mark pumping up my tires in the parking lot.

This is a picture of my bike in the transition area with all the various gear I'd need for the three events.

Here's a shot of the transition area before the race begins. The transition area is where you come after the swim and get on your bike. You then return there after the bike ride and head off for the run.

This is the before photo. It's 6:30am in the morning. Anyone who knows me is probably shocked I'm even up.

This is the fancy timer chip on my ankle. It will track my racing times and how long I spend in the transition area each time. (And before you ask Linda, No, I didn't run in flip flops)

Here's another shot of my bike surrounded by my competition. You'll notice all the other bikes are hanging off the top bar. That's because racing bikes don't have kickstands, it adds unnecessary weight. I'm the only disco one that could use my kickstand.

Before I headed off to the swim start area, I spotted a woman spraying her underarms with an aerosol can. I was very nosy (nobody told me to bring spray!) and caught a glimpse of the can. It was PAM. I thought only body builders oiled up! Oh well, I didn't have any PAM at home anyway. But I did start to wonder if I was taking all this serious enough.
It was pretty cold waiting for the swim to start. It was raining, just before 7am and we're in triathlon swimming gear. Lots of people had wet suits on but Mark and I opted not to. The swim was pretty hectic for the first time. Lots of limbs everywhere, people to watch out for, waves from all the commotion as well as having to continually track where you were and the direction you needed to go. It was a lot longer and harder then I thought but I made it through (and I wasn't last in my group!).

Mark went in the first swim wave at 7am with all the macho guys. They break the 700 participants into groups of about 80 based on age and sex. Mark was really fast in the water and I saw him come out before my wave went in at 7:13. I also wore a swim cap for the first time which wasn't too bad though a bit hard to put on with long hair.

Here's photos of Mark and I coming out of the Lake. I look pretty tired!

From the swim it was into the transition area to get the bike gear on. I was in a bit of a fog at this point from the swim and having serious sensory overload. There was just so much going on. I don't really remember the start of the ride. I just kept thinking steer and pedal, steer and pedal. The 14 mile ride was very well marked with loads of volunteers and cops directing traffic along the way.

There was one hill going out on the ride and the same one coming back. Going out was a bit hard but nothing compared to coming back over that hill. Some women in front of me got off their bikes and walked it. I saw them in the distance and said, forget it!, your butt is staying on this bike. I went really, really slow up the hill and actually realized towards the top that I have never pushed myself (my heart) that hard before. I was amazed at how much I could do when push came to shove. And I did it! I pedaled all the way to the top and smiled all the way down the other side.

Here are photos of Mark and I along the bike ride. You can see my steel monster in action.

I made it back to the transition area and switched my bike helmet for my running hat and I was off again. My legs felt like jelly. The bike ride, notably the hill, really zapped my power. But after a few minutes I started to get into the running groove. I was planning to do walk/run iterations but decided to run through the first walk break and ended up running the whole way. I ran slow, but I did run the whole way.

Photos of us during the run. The photographer shouted at me to smile otherwise I seriously doubt that was the expression on my face.

When I got near the finish line, there was Joey with Mark! Mark had finished 40 minutes before me and went to get Joey. I sure was happy to see them. I did it! I completed my first sprint triathlon in 2 hours 4 minutes.

Here's a photo just after the finish line.

Here's a breakdown of the times for Mark and I:

Kerry's Overall Place: 600 (out of 632, I wasn't last!)
Swim time: 12:28 (12 minutes 28 seconds)
Transition time: 4:16 (how long I was in the transition area)
Bike time: 1:09:50 (biked 12 mph)
Transition time: 1:51
Run time: 35:44 (ran 11:32/mile)
Total time: 2:04:11 (2 hours, 4 minutes, 11 seconds)

Mark's Overall Place: 287
Swim time: 7:31 (he ranked 68 overall for swim time so super fast in the water)
Transition time: 2:19
Bike time: 49:16 (biked 17 mph)
Transition time: 1:31
Run time: 27:44 (ran 8:57/mile)
Total time: 1:28:24

We really had a great time and look forward to doing more next year. We're planning on training for an Olympic triathlon next summer which is twice the distance of the Sprint: 1/2 mile swim, 24 mile bike ride and 6 mile run. Of course I'll be getting a new bike for that one. The steel machine was ok for the Sprint but forget it over 24 miles.

And finally, the post recovery photo of Mark and his furry friends at home.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Buschart Gardens in Canada

My parents, Burt and I took a drive up to Victoria on Vancouver Island to see the Buschart Gardens. It's a bit of a trek from Seattle involving 3-4 ferries, a few long drives and lots of ferry food. But WOW! it was completely worth it as the gardens are amazing. The pictures don't do it justice. The end of June was a terrific time to go with all the flowers in bloom.

Mom and Dad hanging out in the parking lot garden

Mom and Burt next to some seriously big flowers

Front garden when you enter the park

Beautiful hanging garden

Video I made for Mark showing him all the "doing much better than ours" hanging Fuchsia

The amazing Sunken Garden that used to be a quarry

Video of the Sunken Garden

Mom, Dad and Burt in the Sunken Garden

Side garden view in the Sunken Garden

Pathway through the Sunken Garden

Fountain in the back of the Sunken Garden. The trees were planted to block the view of the cement factory located behind Buschart Gardens.

Video of Fountain in Sunken Garden

Even the trash cans are pretty

Concert area with a very cool looking Monkey Puzzle Tree

Mom, Burt and me in the Rose Garden

The Rose Garden with lots and lots of different rose species

Rose Garden Video

Rose covered arches in the Rose Garden

Mom and Dad in the Japanese Garden

Entrance to the Italian Gardens

The quaint Italian Gardens

Video of Italian Gardens

Doorway to the Italian Garden

Cute awnings in the Italian Garden

One of the walls in the Italian Garden

Indoor "Photo shoot" garden setup for awesome photos

Nice garden just outside the park exit

View of the Victoria wharf from the ferry

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Seattle Moonwalk

A local radio station organized a Moonwalk down Jackson St. in Seattle on Sunday to honor Michael Jackson. My parents, Mark, Burt, Joey and I joined in on the fun. We started on 4th and Jackson and moonwalked on down to 1st street. It was a great turnout. Check out the cool photos of us struttin' our stuff.

This is a view of the crowd.

Video showing the start of the Moonwalk down Jackson Street

This is Kerry and Mark moonwalking!

Mark and Burt doing the moonwalk.

Video of Mark moonwalking. He spent hours and hours learning how to do it as a kid.

Even the bicyclists did the moonwalk

After the moonwalk, everyone was chanting...

Confederation Cup 2009

Today the USA national soccer team played in it's first ever FIFA final cup against Brazil and at halftime led 2-0. The second half proved to be tough with the USA team losing 2-3. But now I'm even more excited about the World Cup next year as the USA team has become a real contender. This is a photo of Mark and Joey watching the game.