Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wedding Weekend!

We got back on Monday, far far too early...from what could not have been a better weekend. The family, friends and 'events' were just perfect. My sisters and I had a little 'girls evening' on Thursday, as I drove up to Indy and we had pedicures and drinks/apps ('Beautiful Girls' reference there), which was great to catch up with them. I woke up a bit foggy Friday AM (this became a regular thing the next 3 days!) and drove to Trafalgar, where I met my mom, Aunt Sandy, Derick's mom Donna, his twin sister Kristin, my sisters Cori and Robin and good friend Laura all at 'Muddy Boots' cafe for a brunch. They gave me little gifts that I was embarassed to open at a coffee shop and we ate some good food...I think 1/2 of us had the grilled cheese. Then Friday was the 'No-Rehearsal' Dinner at my parents place (as we did not 'rehearse' anything...what's there to practice?) which went into the wee hours of morning, as Martha Berner got out her guitar and we all sat around the campfire, drinkin' and talkin'. Saturday was busy but fun, I got up for a solo-run (just 40 min or so) and then made some eggs. I figured I may not eat much as the day went on and I did not want to be a sloppy, drunken bride! ha! Myself and my bridesmaids (Robin, Cori, Emily and Laura) got our hair done at the only place in Trafalgar ('The Place for Hair') where they did an incredible job. Then it was off for the big event! The Story Inn was stunning, the weather was perfect and it turned out better than I had imagined....thank you so much to everyone who came to be there, it would not have been the same without you. Now back to 'real life', as I said, far too early...but with so many good things ahead moving forward...

Now for some pictures! Enjoy. :)
~ Kelly Marie Williamson

...this was at the bar, late late at night...notice Derick drinking water at this point? Um, I was too. And the one a couple above is when our friend Jonathon Vetato 'brought the flowers' to us (our boquets) to the was so good to see him, has to be one of the nicest and most fun people you'd ever meet. And he has a beautiful 8-month old named 'Rowan'. Good times, good times...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Malibu Triathlon,...and some more important things...

Photos Courtesy of Daniel Derkacs

I am back in Austin, unpacked, bike built and laundry going from my trip to California. I even had a couple of margaritas and some good mexican food (my favorite, Polvos), since Emily Strong Wenger (yes this is her real name, she got married a week ago and Emily Strong became Emily Strong Wenger...prefers to go by Emily S. Wenger)...picked me up and took me out. Derick got 'swept away' to a little boys night/batchelor party.

I come back with a bit of 'smugness', as I am pretty unhappy with how my race played out. However, having been at this sport for 8 years, I know that each and every race cannot go perfectly and if it does not, then the best thing we can do is learn from it and move on. Meaning, note to self: Suck it up Kelly and stop moping.

It was an incredible setting, as we swam at Zuma Beach in Malibu, a beautiful ocean swim (another note to self, should have taken Zoot Zenith wetsuit as water was a bit chilly), biked up and back the Pacific Coast Highway and ran down along the ocean and back. This was the first year for this event (Nautica Malibu Triathlon) and one thing I will give them as feedback is do not start the professional men, professional women and men 18-24 all together. Our wave had to consist of 100+ people, and thus I had not clue who to 'stick to' and try to stay witn on the swim. Not to complain, as I was 2 minutes back from the lead woman!, but a bit frustrating as I feel this was really where I lost the race. However, I had no idea of this coming out of the water...I loved the ocean swim! You feel so bouyant and the waves are so large and rolling, I may have enjoyed it so much I found a Zen state and forgot about racing...but anyway...

The bike felt strong and I passed a few women, but I realized that a good 5-6 were ahead of me. I wanted to be Top 3 here, but as any race plays out, you learn to just do your absolute best and hope to catch people along the way. Coming off the bike, I saw many women heading out running. I did not like this. :) I knew I had a few mintues to make up. I bolted out of T2 and the run felt fantastic. Downside of this is, seeing the splits, it was 'solid' but far from 'fantastic'. I ran into what I thought was 5th place, however was told 6th...UGH! What do they say? A 'tie' is like kissing your sister? So is getting 6th when the prize money goes 5 deep.

However...there were many highlights to this trip. #1, my homestay. Tina Sathoff and her husband (she is part of the LA Triathlon Club) were beyond accomodating, made me feel so at home and bent over backwards to make this a relaxing and wonderful trip. I mean, she and I had drinks on Rodando Beach pier on Thursday night, and we spent Saturday night at her house watching Ohio State get pummeled by USC (not good) drinking good beer and eating grilled steaks...what more can one ask for? :) I also got to see and race in an area I have not before.

As odd as it seems, I feel very good about my personal race this weekend...I feel like I put it all out there and did not make any mistakes. That is tough to say seeing on paper that I got mashed like a bug by many other women, but I have to be honest...maybe I just got in a bad position on the swim, but I am not one to make excuses...I think all in all this just was not my day. I had a solid run time, but compared to the others, not quite as fast as it felt. But, I am thankful for a safe trip and having met some incredible people along the way...Thank You again to Tina and Blake and the organizers for having set up up in LA!

NOW, I can actually take a week and forget about good or bad training or racing and enjoy something so much bigger, getting married to an amazing person and spending a week with family and friends. As I often say, it is ALL about balance....
Thank you for reading.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Busy gal these days...

Yes I am right now. I am writing from Malibu, CA (well, technically Rodando Beach) right now. I arrived yesterday into LAX airport for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon on Saturday morning. I'll return to Austin Sunday 4 pm to then leave for Indiana on Tuesday at 2 pm for le'wedding next weekend.

You just gotta love those Saturday AM races. Before the weekend really gets going, you are done! Especially when it is a short are done even sooner. I have a great homestay here in LA, a woman opened her home to me who is part of the LA Triathlon Club. Thanks to Desiree Friedman at MESP for setting these up, this trip has been so seemless for me! I was picked up at the airport, shuttled to her home, where I went to Albertsons to pick up some groceries and veg out all afternoon. We then went to Rodando Beach for a glass o'vino on Thursday night (right over-looking the water), heard some great singers and songwriters songs from a guitar-man at 'Old Tonys' (a little local joint) and came back home to make grilled chicken salads. As Derick says, "Sounds like what you'd make at home!"

So all is good here, though I have to say I am a bit nervous for the Houston-ites right now. I know that often times these hurricanes are over-blown, and I love severe weather, but I sure hope this one is being feared more than is necessary. It seems Austin will get some good rain out of it, I am hoping all on Saturday as I fly back in on Sunday afternoon. But most of all, I just hope that it fades down once it hits land...

It also looks like this rain will dump in Indiana, thus clearing it all out and cooling it down for next weekend...

10-Day Forecast for Indianapolis, IN

SatSep 20

Wow! Looks like party weather to me!
Ya'll have a good weekend, send me good vibes from 7 am-9 am PST Sunday morning. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Savor the 'Good' Days....

Photo by Mario Cantu

...because they are not all good! Today was the Austin Triathlon, put on by Jack and Adams and to top it off they offered a $4999 prize purse! How cool is that...why all the 9's? Because they wanted anyone, not just professionals, to have an opportunity to win it. Those nifty smart.

Well I'll get right into this one, I hear some people (..ahem, derick..) say they do not read my blog because my race reports are too long. I woke up to a lovely 80-degree Austin day, this is typical...not alarming in any way. Took my nice 20-min walk down to transition area (we live 1 mile from the start) which I called 'warmup'. Set up my things, and headed to the swim start. I opted for a wetsuit this year, the sleeveless Zoot, desipte the toasty 78-degree water, since last year I won by about 50 seconds and did not wear one. There was money up this year, needed all I could get! We were off right at 7:00 and the swim felt great. I caught a lot of people by the turnaround, and then as we rounded the last buoy, I passed the lead woman which was nice considering there was a $500 swim prime courtesy of TYR that I was unaware of! Luckily, I snatched that up and had a very good swim today. Going strong...

Onto the bike where it was all Kelly Hammerfest Time. This weekend, however unlike Chicago, I actually felt strong! I think that the couple of long, gradual climbs today worked in my favor, as hills are a strength of mine. My mantra today was 'don't get caught, don't get caught, don't get caught'. However, Michelle LeBlanc out of The Woodlands was stalking me and finally caught her prey 2 miles into the 3 loop course. I got a nice few words of encouragement from good friend Paul Terranova, and just gritted my teeth and kept pushing...minimize the gap! I have to say, unlike many bikes; I thoroughly enjoyed this start to finish! Maybe it was taking 2 gels; it likely allowed me to feel strong and not see the energy fall off.

Off the wheels, on to feet. I transitioned smoothly and took off on our short cross-country jaunt. They changed the run to where we probably ran on grass for 1/2 mile or so. Fun. I saw Michelle out there and I think she yelled for me?! What a nice girl. Or perhaps it was someone else. I started out and wanted to catch! But about 1-mile into it, I realized I was kind of tired. Go figure. This course has 5 out and backs on each loop, so a lot of chances to see the competition. She looked strong and while I felt smooth, I felt tired and a bit wobbley. First loop down and yikes, one more whole loop to go. This is where you just think '10 more minutes, 10 more minutes...' or whatever it is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I managed to run a 37:30, however it was not quite enough as she still had a little less than a minute on me at the finish. HOWEVER; I was still pleased with this race, as I had a very strong swim, VERY strong bike for me (1:04 which I think may be a PR split) and still managed a 37-min 10k. Michelle deserved this win, she did a 2:02 overall and put out a whopping 1:00-bike split. Scary fast. And she has 2 kids nonetheless...I hear that makes women faster. Maybe I should just pop one out to help out the speed? Hmm...not likely.

All in all...a really great day of racing out there. This was a huge triathlon for Austin. The whole crew at Jack and Adams did an incredible job of putting this together, and seemed to be a fun time had by all of the participants. And, I have to give a huge congrats out to SE Athlete James Cotter, who had a stellar performance, winning the mens race by 2 minutes! James is a 'newer' pro but he has big things in store, and he deserved this win congrats James!

Thanks for reading, I hope you all had a safe and happy Labor Day. Ah, and the title of this post...I don't mean to say that this was a 'bad day' by any stretch, but oh boy did that run hurt. There are some races that you can finish smiling and sprinting and feeling like you are on air. Today, for me, was not one of them. That being said, it is supposed to be hard and I love the fact that I feel like I worked for every ounce of speed I had today! That is what racing is about. Savor the good and learn from the bad! (was this short enough?)