But before I get to that, let me give a quick wrap up of what's been going on since I last posted. After the Turtle Marathon I did the Ride for Ronald metric century with Dave end of September.
A week later, I tackled the Health First Olympic Tri (1500k swim, 42k bike, 10k run) on October 3. This was the second of two "A" races for me this year ("A" race means I was targeting it for a peak performance with a specific goal in mind). I'd done this race twice before in 2006 and 2007 but had always had a hard time on the swim and a disappointing run. This year my goal was to knock off 15 minutes and get under 3 hours.
Unbelievably, I ended up finishing in 2:39! This was helped by MUCH nicer weather this year than we've had in the past (2006 was super hot & humid; in 2007 we raced in a thunderstorm). Still, I will not complain about a 36-minute PR or a third place finish (3/13 F45-49) in a race distance that has always been tough for me because of the relatively long swim. Booyah!
The next two weeks I headed north to run the Hartford Marathon in Connecticut on October 9 and Green Mountain Marathon in Vermont on October 17. Both were "C" races so the main goal was to just finish and have fun. But I've had a streak of sub-4 marathon finishes going this year, plus I'd never run to sub-4s back to back (closest was 3:59:38 and 4:00:21 back in 2006). Would this be the year I do it?
YES! 3:51:48 at Hartford (12/92 F45-49) and 3:45:40 at Green Mountain (9/62 F40-49). I think three things really helped with that: 1) good running weather at both races, 2) not a lot of downhill running on either course, and probably most importantly 3) working with a coach and training with a group. I really haven't been running much mileage at all compared to before but did a lot of very focused speed work for the oly tri and am much stronger mentally it seems.
So with all these races that went well why would I lose my marbles???
For those of you who don't know, Bree Wee's has a special project where she's planning to bring Christmas to a group of Marshallese people on the Big Island living in third world conditions. These folks are originally from Bikini Island and were forced to move 56 years ago because the U.S. decided to use their island for bombing tests. To show support for them, she asked her friends to send pictures of themselves yesterday in bikinis for a bikini photo contest. This includes men and women, at work, at school, wherever they are, doing whatever they do on a Friday.
Now I'm the type of person who usually AVOIDS photo contests. Believe it or not, I pretty much avoided cameras altogether until I began blogging in 2006. Very camera shy! I don't usually wear bikinis except to the beach, pool or jacuzzi. I most definitely do not wear them to be voted on by the public!!
But then I thought, wait a minute, this is just another challenge, no? If I can run marathons, do ironman triathlons, jump out of planes, jump into lakes with gators, why can't I do this? So what if everyone just laughs or gasps? I'm not expecting to win, just like I'm not expecting to win races. This is to support a good cause and to help a friend.
Well ... submitting that photo took probably more courage to do than any anything else I've ever done before. So SO SOOOO NOT ME! I was actually relieved when the album was first released for voting without me in it. I figured Bree had gotten her goal of 56 bikini photos and I'd just missed the cut. But, it turns out that a few photos had just been inadvertently left out. I am actually now in it. YIKES!!!
PS - If you want to vote and are friends with Bree on Facebook, click here and just click Like for the photos you like. You can also vote by leaving a comment on her blog post if you have a Google account or OpenID account. Just mention the name underneath the photo you want to vote for (more than one is allowed). Only one day of voting - ends Saturday, 10/30, at midnight Hawaii time!