Category Archives: SUP

Whats up with all the knitting?

UntitledFirst I am going to start with a THANK YOU. Like HUGE attack hug (and you guys know how I am with hugs) mega thank you for all your support. I don’t know if I am in just an emotional state but with every email and message I have received asking for a hat…

Well, I kinda cry… LOL. HAPPY TEARS!

I am so overcome with how many people actually want something that I have personally made, and want to support me in my next crazy endeavor.

IMG_0795Seriously, my heart is bursting, and I have tears in my eyes as I type this. Not only are you supporting me getting to a race, but you are all helping me emotionally. Knitting is not JUST a hobby, but something I do to help calm and center me. There is something about the repetitive movements, pretty yarn, and CREATING something that just soothes me.

Every hat has been made me love. I love knitting, I love yarn and I get nervous (and love) the fact that someone will get to wear it, well heck that they WANT to wear it blows my mind.

For those that are wondering what I am talking about, I am knitting up a whirlwind of caps and asking for donations. It is not for personal use, well kinda? Its to getting me to the 100 MILE PADDLE in NYC next September.
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I really don’t know what made me even think people would want to wear my caps. All I know in that emails back and forth worth Mark, it came down to me deciding to NOT do the race. At that time next year, Mark will just be home from a 9 month deployment, and I decided that HE needed to do something. HE NEEDS a vacation. That being said I would have to NOT do a race as big as that one.

Registration alone for the 100 MILE PADDLE is $365, with having to fundraise $500 for Autism Charities and Clean Water Initiatives. Then add in traveling costs, food and lodging (though apparently I have some bad ass NYC friends that have offered up a place to crash).

IMG_0802So budgeting wise, its just not something I can do, and still be able to do something for Mark. I told Mark that I would NOT do the race and plan something special for him. He felt pretty bad about it, but I’d do just about anything to put a smile on my grumpy cat husbands face…

But I couldn’t let it drop. I budgeted EVERYTHING …
If I choose a race , Mark expects a budget plan (totally fair), so I am a semi pro on putting together a rough estimate on costs. So while sitting here knitting away, I thought, What if I just put up what I knit for donation?

IMG_0673If I can knit myself there, then I deserve to be there. It excited me, and gave me a challenge. I love challenges. Plus I would be giving something BACK. Its hard to just ask for money, I DONT want to ask for money. I don’t even like asking my own husband for money. But if I could give a part of me back for the support to get me there, well that made my heart calm.

I shared my plan with Mark. I think he was a little doubtful, he said “Good luck with your little knitting ‘enterprise‘ “…. <—- Insert “so you don’t think I can do it face” …. “little”…. psshhh.

IMG_0806**BIG SMILE**, again, the support I have received is unreal. I cant wait till Mark gets home before I leave for Ironman Arizona and I can say “My ‘little’ knitting enterprise its 2 steps away from getting me to NYC.”.

Im so excited. Every cap excites me. Paddling excites me (the California 100 MILE paddle is actually going RIGHT now, I’ve been watching, knitting, getting jazzed out). The love & support, well it calms me.

I will have a dedicated page up by mid next week going into details of what EXACTLY is entailed, and a donation link (I know some of you have asked, promised I was on it). Please follow along on Facebook and Instagram with all the caps I am making! Plus I have Chattajack31 NEXT weekend (31 mile SUP race), and then Ironman Arizona 3 weeks after that… It might be entertaining the next couple weeks with all the crazy… Oh throw in Mark coming home for a couple weeks, AND a move…

AHHHHHH!!!!

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You Just Kinda Want It

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Yesterday morning I hit the snooze button one too many times. Sleep, sleep, need more sleep. My little Chloe sounds like Darth Vadar and she invades my room at night, silently slipping under the covers, but once she falls asleep I feel as though the house is gonna come down she is so loud. I ended up slipping into the guest room at one point, only to have her sneak it 5 minutes before the alarm went off.

Damn, I was tired. After dropping off the kids I came home, did my same morning routine: eggs, bacon and caffeine. But I felt like a zombie, face felt puffy, I drank a little more water. Just wasn’t mentally there. I decided to cut internet time and read a bit, but 2 pages in I had no clue of anything I just read. Could I sleep? I just had a red bull, I won’t be able to fall asleep. Oh, but I did.

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Was smart enough to set an alarm before dozing off. I told myself, only 1 hour, because I need to make it to the gym in time for a swim. That 1 hour felt only as if I slept 5 minutes. I didn’t want to get out of bed…. Get up!. No, just 5 more minutes. I lay there and reevaluate the time I have to make it to the gym, swim, shower, then pick up the kids. I cant magically add minutes to the day. Wake up! My body wasn’t tired, I was just in this weird mental fog. Man I could probably sleep for days right now.

Then laying there like a schmuck, I thought of a line from one of my favorite motivational YOUTUBE videos. I love this video (click), I’ve listened to it on repeat for an entire 3 hour trainer ride once. One of my favorite lines from the video is from Eric Thomas : “You just kind of want it. You don’t want it badder than you want to party. You don’t want it as much as you want to be cool. Most of you don’t want success as much as you want to sleep. Some of you want sleep more than you want success. And I’m here to tell you today that if you want to be successful you got to be willing to give up sleep.”
IMG_0584IMG_0582You’re gonna be tired 10 hours into an Ironman. How you gonna wake up and be able to paddle another 45 mile day? Learn to work tired. You just KINDA want it don’t you? Get the heck up! <— Me talking to myself as I threw myself out of bed. It was hard to get up. I bitched (sorry for the language, but its really what I did) around looking for my backpack, clothes, food, water and more food. I got my headphones in and my jams going, and slowly woke the heck up.

You cant just kinda want it. You have to make sacrifices.

No this is NOT my job. Yes, you need to rest in order to recover (but this wasn’t the case here, I slept 8 hours the night before). And for the people that I have to say that to, well zip your trap, because YOU only kinda want it.

What happened was pushing through MY excuses and getting things done. I needed to swim yesterday. It ended up being a great swim. I fought a little inner battle. Seriously, Ive thrown myself into some hard things. I’m limited on time. I actually think of Mark in situations like this, I don’t know how many times he’s said “how bad do you want it?” <— Not exactly like that, because if he did I would probably throw a shoe at his head, but he slips it into conversations, and it pisses me off so bad, I usually go and get whatever it is done.

Make a choice. Just decide what it’s gonna be, who you’re gonna be, how you are going to do it. Just decide.” – Will Smith, again from THIS VIDEO <— Just watch it… On replay for 3 hours… It’ll change your life.

 

100 Miles, In one day?

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100 mile paddle (SUP!!) <—- Click the link, and check that madness out.

Ok, so its my birthday week. Who cares? I don’t. I could really give 2 craps its my birthday. This only means I get to be in the big girl age bracket, I survived 29 years of life, and a reminder to my mom that she is getting old. Same phone call every year “So you’re ** old?! Jesus Christ, stop getting old Chris, it only means I am getting older” <— Sorry Mom, tis the circle of life.

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This paddle race wasn’t something planned into my 30th year festivities, but it has fallen under the amazing HARD bad ass adventures for the year. It came to me on a bike ride. A looooong trainer ride. I sat there about 70 miles deep and thought, “100 miles on a bike isn’t really anything anymore.” <— When you kinda have been training for 2 Ironman races all year, it really isn’t. For ME it isn’t, but its still tough to get through one. I am not DOWN playing 100 mile rides.

What would 100 miles be hard in? Running? Hell yes, but honestly I don’t think my legs could stand the training for that, I know my limitations to injuries, and I really have no interest in RUNNING 100 miles (I say that now, who knows in the future), I’ll throw a 50k in there though…

But what else? PADDLEBOARD! So while in aero, I start googling things on my phone, and WHAM BAM there it is! 2 day event in New York (there is a California option available) SUP covering 100 miles. I kinda got the chills and thought “OMG OMG OMG, happening” <—insert evil voice on the “happening” part.

I actually called my friend Joe and asked him if he thought it was crazy, “In ONE day?“, “No No No, 2 day event!“, THAT idiot (never on a paddle board at that point), was hesitant then asked if he could do it <— I cant ask another crazy person if I am crazy, need to ask someone with a head on their shoulders. So I patiently waited for Mark to come home, and said “So theres this 100 mile race in New York, on a stand up paddle board, I think I am gonna do it…”. Now I want you to picture Mark sitting in bed next to me, he’s got his old man face on, and he is reading through the current Bassmaster magazine. He’s not much for excitement, but I got a little rise out of him for him to drop his magazine just a tad and ask “In ONE day?“, “No No No, 2 day event!“….

Mark put his magazine up, and I waited, and waited. He replied with (while still looking at the magazine) “Well Babe, if you train for it, I really believe you could do anything”. Yes-uh! For some reason I need his approval, and reminder that I am not reaching for another galaxy.

IMG_0591IMG_0604Now I am on a crazy high. I’ve spent the past month locating races building into New York. I’ve spent hours researching long distance SUP racing. Signed up for Chattajack (31 mile SUP race NEXT MONTH). Joined the Facebook groups, WHAT UP 100/100 peeps! Books, read em <—Written by a triathlete, this is meant to be.

But honestly first thing I did after get the “ok” from Mark was have a minor freak out. What the hell? Where do I start? This is possible, right? So I emailed my strength/tri coach, and what she replied with was perfect  “Break through the normal. Go for the unusual and unknown. Who we are is a product of the willingness to truly do what we desire. When we don’t go for it we are not being authentic. Forget all other’s ideas of what you should do and do what it is that fills your thoughts and dreams.

Stepping out of the comfort zone. Its going to be hard and beautiful (the race, training and the races building into it). Plus its only ONE of the few extremes I’m going to be getting into this coming year.

Totally psyched!  But I’m gonna need a bigger boat board <—Anyone get that?

Key West & Race the Reef

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Wham Bam! The Knitty Triathlete has been down, which sorta mentally put me down, but that doesn’t mean I am not recapping on the adventures the kids and I have been up to.

It pretty much starts with planning a training trip to down to Key West with my friend Tori, then I found a SUP race, then Mark told me “NO”, then I said “What if I can get someone to drive with me?”, he says “Good Luck”, I call Utah Joe and say “Hey, wanna drive down to Key West and do a 6 mile SUP race? They take us out in a catamaran and just dump us 6 miles off the island, and we paddle back in. It will be bad ass”. Joes reply “I’ve never been on a SUP before, but sounds fun, when will I ever go to Key West?”….. Now that I think about it, this was a video chat with all three of us, I turned to Mark where he is just shaking his head and says “You guys are crazy.”

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Now, I didn’t really think about what a pain in the ass it is to go into Orlando. It was an additional 2 hour trip getting in and out of the airport where I picked up Joe Friday morning en route to Key West. It was a LONG drive. iPads were dead, we might have all been hungry. Kids turned NUTS. Though we look all grand and happy… Well the happiness was pulling up to Tori’s house and seeing her face!

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I’m not going into to much detail (probably because that was a week ago, I am exhausted, and cant remember crap). There was CUBAN food, JETS, long bike rides, home cooked food by Tori, long chats, apple juice , OH and MORE Cuban food… Plus kitties, cant forget the kitties.

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This beach above, is the SOUTHERN MOST point of Key West, it just happens to be on a base, where we got our sun on and nearly killed ourselves on a coral beach.

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I’d like to thank both Tori and Joe for dealing with my kids. Both of these people fit under the super cool Aunt & Uncle catagory, and thank goodness because sometimes those kids… *teeth clenching*… Yeah, you fill in the flipping crazy that they can take you to. Also I a big thank you to Lisa for ALSO falling under that category,  Holy crap, really don’t know what I would do without friends that understand that “they are just being kids”. Also doesnt help that you are completely off your crazy pills and are constantly on the verge of a panic attack.UntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledUntitledNot going to do a complete race report (because Kay might kill me), but a couple things:

  • They took us out 6 miles on a catamaran, where they threw our boards OVER BOARD, you then had to jump in and swim after them.
  • I saw an eel, school of jellyfish and the paddlers right next to me saw a sea turtle, which I DID not see because apparently I am blind.
  • The water was choppy… no wavy… no INSANE. We barely paddled, you spent most the time trying not to fall off. You know its bad when the race starts and all the bad asses stand up then fall straight into the water (time after time). We were pretty much riding waves.
  • I finished 5th overall, and 1st in age group (apparently there aren’t ANY OTHER people in their 20’s that paddle down there. Oh, and Joe placed 3rd! <— Got on a board ONCE before flying in, then he gets dropped off in the middle of the ocean (now that I think about it, damn, good job Joe, ahahahha the madness).

Last but not least, THANK YOU TORI , for hosting us! For dealing with kids, my crazy, and us just interrupting your normal flow. The food was great, and it was fun having us all kick back with apple juice and have an adult conversation. You are going to kick some ass in Augusta come 2 weeks!

The Great Ponte Vedra Paddle 2014

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Lets start with a wave to the face. Thats how I started The Great Ponte Vedra Paddle. Followed up by a McDreamy surfer saying “Man, you just got an ass beating, you’re going to win though!”. I can remember looking at him, feeling my mascara run a little (leftover from yesterday, why didn’t I remove it?), and think “Man, this is gonna be awesome, if I can get away from these breakers”. It was a bit of a mad dash entering the water to make it to the first bouy, was lucky enough that the waves stopped for a moment, giving me time to get on my board and paddle out safely.

The bouy. I stood there staring out at the first bouy, just like in every other triathlon I mentally go over “I’ve done this”, but I stood there thinking, I don’t think I’ve paddled 3 miles, and if I have Im not sure about it. Holy crap. This will be a first. *I hear the start of the race*, mentally I get back to the distance, I’ve swam this before. So I can paddle it. When dem’ bitches be? <– don’t think Im mean, but you know you scope the competition.

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Along with keeping my eye on the first bouy, I scope 2 women in front of me. One in sleeves and the other with the ass hanging out. They are my focus, everyone around me doesn’t matter. Just paddle and chase em’ down.

Again I flashback to words of wisdom from Dan the Man, “You can either win or lose at the start and turns”, well I lost at both. I just didn’t start out strong enough, first stroke in I knew I was tired. <— insert mega eye roll. Sometimes you know how your day is gonna be, and I knew right away, but thought “screw it, go until you can’t”. I picked one women off and was slightly on the tail of the “ass” girl until the turn, I totally fudged it up (anyone like to go and practice turns with me?).  After clearing the turn, you just know when a gap is created and there isn’t much you can do about it.

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Cool thing though, I made a friend. Hi Jennifer! The chick in the sleeves just happened to be a fellow triathlete! “All Im trying to do is pace myself, and the other women are far enough behind, we ARE placing today!”. So pretty much after the first turn I had a paddling buddy. We tried to chase down that ass (all I can say is ass because she had one of those bikini bottoms where most of your ass hangs out, YOU KNOW what I am talking about!). In the end it was a pacing game the entire way, oh and add in a couple rounds of bummer paddle boards 🙂

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Last turn bouy I lose Jennifer. She had a better turn, and the swell is so big I was positive I was gonna flip over before turning to the shore. It was just a ride in, a ride with trying to not fall off, while at the same time making sure I am heading into the finish line. Right as I am about to hop off, I look over my shoulder and see a big wave coming in “Oh shit!”, I was in such a weird position that I just sat down on my board and rode the wave in, hoping I didn’t eat sand on the way in. **I just looked at more photos, was NOT a big wave at all, but it sure did seem that way when I was out there .**

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Boom! I run in at 3rd place. It was a FUN great race. I see husband as I cross the finish line, and you know what he says “Don’t get mad, but I figured out how to get you a new phone”, I am staring at him, exhausted, confused, and it hits me, “You went swimming with my phone!?!”. So *note* to readers: I now have a new phone, it actually rings, and I finally receive phone calls AND the internet works when I leave the house<– I feel like a classy lady now.

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I want to first point out the first photos in this post,  that of my little man standing up on a surfboard! Came like second nature to him, he got better over time, he is so dang cute! Also HUGE thank you to Laura for snapping photos for me! Laura said she had the same camera, I looked over and told Mark, “Laura is now in charge of taking photos”.

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Big time high five to the race directors of The Great Ponte Vedra Paddle! Couple of reasons that make this a cool event;

  • Snacks/water/food provided: It was all donated 🙂 I got to chow down on sandwiches, GF cranberry muffins and rice krispy treats- There were other options but that was what I was grubbing on.
  • Cool location! Micklers landing seems to be a hot spot for Ponte Vedra. Near the end the place was PACKED.
  • Competitors: Only my second event here in the JAX area, but I do enjoy the people so very much!
  • Vendors: All local vendors, and all so friendly! I’ve been to plenty of racing events, and right now I think being handed free stickers by dudes & chicks half naked seems to be a happy time. Beach people are just happy!
  • The hardware: Just look at the trophies! So cool!
  • Raffle: The raffle was AMAZING! Raffled off SUP boards, skate boards, gear, clothing… EVERYTHING.

Definitely will be back next year, thinking that the 5 mile race sounds fun!
What more can I say? Happy time! A I am kinda happy that I got in a semi-race report!

P.S Don’t ask for an IMCDA report, if you wanna hear about it we just might have to meet in person, I started it, but the swim portion was a small book….Ill stop there.

Her Endless Summer

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What can I say? I live at the beach, and refuse to let go of summer. You know usually my birthday (September 21) falls on the last day of summer. This year (2014) the last day of summer falls on September 22. So my birthday always brought in the closing of something great, but to be honest I was always ready for Fall (*Sigh* Pumpkin Spice Lattes anyone?).

This year I am not letting go. Not settling back into cookies and sugar laden lattes (sorry Starbucks). Though we all need to kick back, have a down period, well I am somewhat skipping mine. Heck, I still have Ironman Arizona in November, so I really can’t take the Fall off. <– That all didn’t sound right. Of course my coach will secure my recovery time. But what I mostly mean is that I am taking control.

Yeah, selfishly doing the crazy crap I’ve dreamt of. CRAZY adventure. Not just the typical. No, I kinda want the near death experience, and something that maybe only 2% of people will do. I feel as though I need to be pushed to the point of giving up, I mean TRULY being pushed to all limits, and having only my mind fighting with me to shutdown.

Beautiful things need to be seen. For the past 8 years I’ve told Mark “I want to see beautiful places. Places that not everyone sees. Places I would have to physically exhaust myself to see”. As a proud subscriber to Backpacker magazine and Outside magazine (subscription expired, and I still go to the store each month and purchase the magazine, only because we move so much and I just haven’t resubscribed…. I just need to do it), I live in the world of adventure through others. I dream, and put up barriers, telling myself I just don’t live that life or have the means to do something so amazing.

Thats all BS. You can have and do whatever you want if you set your mind to it. <– Yeah, sometimes I need to smack myself in the face, or just tell Mark “Im going to do it. You coming or what? Peace out!”

My life will be an ENDLESS SUMMER. Also I am coming up on a deployment. This leaves the kids and I free to the world. Yep, I’m taking my crazies with me everywhere I go (there will be some trips without), so its not only myself in need of something to look forward to or to keep my mind occupied. Its also the kids that need to experience the world, the wild, LIFE.

Please follow along on Facebook, my Instagram, and Twitter  . The Knitty Triathlete Endless Summer poster on the right links over to my future EVENTs, so if we are in the same area, lets meet up or say hi!

Happy thoughts my way please 🙂 Also know that YOU dictate your life, not others. So make it happen. Go crazy.

“To live would be an awfully big adventure.”- Peter Pan

“Think of happy thoughts, and you’ll fly.” – Peter Pan

What to wear & expect at your (my) first SUP race

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Before I get into my first race experience I want to cover TWO things I had to google the night before my first SUP race. Ya know, sometimes you throw yourself into certain situations, and not till the moment right before (of night prior) do you stop and think “What the hell am I supposed to do tomorrow and what am I supposed to wear?!”. I shall take on duties of clearly this up for you.

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What to expect at your FIRST SUP (stand up paddle board) race:

  1. You aren’t the only newbie– Hell I was cool enough for 2 ladies to come up to me and say “You look like what you are doing, what do we do next?”, I only laughed, thanked them on the compliment and explained I was glad I even made it on time. SUP is a new sport, kicking off really in 2005, though its been around for a LONG while. According to WIKIPEDIA, a recent report stated the SUP as an outdoor activity had the most first time participants in 2013. So smile put on a hat, and roll with it, you aren’t the only one.
  2. Make sure you have a PFD and LEASH– My dumb ass couldn’t find my PFD in the morning, and didn’t realize you HAD to have a leash. We are paddling on a river, is there some wave coming to wipe me out and I have to be attached to my board? Egh, probably not, but rules are rules. Don’t be THAT guy. Though I was totally that person. Great thing though, I WASNT the only one (thank you other newbies), and SUP organizers are surfer laid back/friendly. “No problem, we got you! Just pull that leash off that guys board”.
  3. Surfer Friendly– I actually just looked up the definition of Surfer Friendly (SF), apparently it means things are idiot proof. But in this post it means IDIOT friendly. The most chill, happy people out on the water today. You know the dude with the bleach sunned hair that comes up with a dopey smile and just thinks its totally rad you made it? Yes, these are the people at SUP races. You can see the appreciation of people just happy to be out on the water. Its like an adult skate park. The funny teasing back and forth. The “Hell yeah!”s. Its a happy place.
  4. The Surfer & The Newbie–  There are only 2 kinds of people out there ; The Surfer & The Newbie. One thing I learned the other night at my first SUP meet up was “Either they have been doing it forever or they JUST started“. Completely true. There are NO in-betweens. You can usually tell between the 2, and again the surfer is glad you’re there and the newbie is as nervous as you are.
  5. They are serious about there sunscreen– Everyone reaks of it, and if you don’t, well you might as well have a cigarette hanging from your mouth as you are walking down the aisles of Whole Foods. Just wear it. Please.
  6. You will fall off your board– Yep, it will happen, and if not you, someone else will, and if YOU do, someone is glad that they aren’t the only core challenged person. When you do, pretend it was hot as hell and you needed to cool off. Because it probably is hot as hell.
  7. This is a RACE– Though it is all fun and games, and people can state that they are just out there for the experience, its STILL a race. Even the sweetest of old ladies will cut you off. Also who knows, according to a SUP pro (ok, maybe not pro, but pro of information, Dan the Man of WUT SUP), winning a race can start from the START. You get the right lead, you better keep it, you might be going home with some bling.
  8. Doesn’t matter what kind of board you are on– Yep, you don’t have to have the fastest thing. Trust me, there are things out there that look like they should be illegal, cause how can you compete with that? Most races actually have different classes/heats for different kinds of boards. The majority of people might actually be on rentals. So don’t be scared to rent, borrow a friends (kinda a big deal for someone to loan out their board), and or roll up on your foam board.

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What to WEAR to a SUP race: (yes, this was actually a minor freak out for me)

  1. Your bathing suit– Your on the water. You WILL get wet. What are bathing suits made for? TO GET WET <— again something so simplistic and I still have a panic attack about it.
  2. Sunglasses– I want to say don’t wear the nicest sunglasses you own, but I saw some classy ones today, just have a sunglass leash on them, so it they DO fall off, they only fall off onto your neck.
  3. Sun block– Don’t be stupid. Put it on. You are out on the water, and for who knows how long! Protect yourself from a burn and from skin cancer.
  4. Hat– Im a total classy lady and am ALWAYS rockin’ a hat. Well truthfully I don’t believe in washing my hair everyday and hide behind hats. But the purpose of a hat is to provide shade from the sun. AGAIN, you are out on the water, protect your face and give yourself some shade. Plus you can jazz up a boring outfit with a hat, get crazy, there are so many selections of hats out there.
  5. Rash Guards– I actually saw quite a few people with rash guards on. Not only to protect your chest from a RASH made by the boards, but to provide you with protection from the sun. See the trend with sun protection?
  6. Camel Packs– I did not wear one, but there were some of the guys doing the longer distance that had one. Makes sense, I was sweating like a whore in church, and was desperate for water and only paddled for 20 minutes! Its hot out there, and you don’t want to drink the lake/ocean water. There are NO water stops in a SUP race. So bring your own nutrition, and don’t be a douchebag and litter.
  7. Something Comfortable– There were plenty of people in just shorts and a tank. Wear something you don’t mind getting wet in. Something that breathes (it gets HOT out there). Wear something you would wear to the gym, again this is a SPORT and you do get a workout in.

All those tips my be common sense to some, but others it may help. Again, last night I was googling for help. In the end DONT freak out. People are happy you are there. This sport is ruled by beginners, and in the end race organizers want you there, so TALK to them. UntitledUntitled

My race experience at the St Johns Sup Rush was great. Again with the sport & community just building up here in JAX it was a pretty low key grass roots feel of a race. Everyone said hi, truthfully everyone had more to say than hi. It was nice to have small random conversations, and make new friends.

As with most races you start with walking up and checking in. There I picked up my race t-shirt (which is a sweet ladies fitted North Face tech-tee, VERY NICE), got my number marked on my arm, and was redirected to the map, start times and informed that there would be a captains meeting at 8:15. This is also where I quietly asked if I could rent a PFD because I couldn’t find mine, then asked if I HAD to a have a leash on my board. Though I was embarrassed to ask both, they replied quickly and sweetly and hooked me up with BOTH to borrow.

After mingling for awhile, and listening to when & how we would start, we all slowly started entering the water. I have to say that I had the best little crew with me (Mark, Chloe and Little Mark), they were my handy helpers, cameraman and cheer squad. They wished good luck as I entered the water. Now normally I am nervous, but I told myself “its only for the experience”. I kept calm, talked to the guy paddling out next to me, and then we waited.

Once the race went off, it was the fastest 20 minutes of my life. I knew within the first 30 seconds, that this was a RACE and not an experience, plus the Smith Optics rep told me that they were giving away a pair of sunglasses to the winners of both groups (beginners & intermediate). So my ass took off. I took Dan the Man’s advice and went out strong. Since we all went out together I had NO clue who was in which group. I based it off of athleticism, yep I was totally checking everyone out.

The only people in front were surfer dudes that were hauling ass and an asian guy that had just slipped by me. I only had to get to the first bouy, and pay attention to who was hitting that bouy as well, and the only people that were headed that way was me, asian dude, and a 17 Liard Hamilton. I was positive that the Liard look alike had to be a race organizer, and was only showing the beginners where to go, because that kid was HAULING ass. He as so far in front….yeah, he was so far in front.

3/4 of a mile to the bouy. Pssh, I SWIM farther than that, so I can sure as hell slip a paddle with some strength for that distance. Paddle, paddle, paddle, and WHY THE HELL IS IT SO HOT!??! Thats all I thought for 20 minutes, oh and “That kid better not be a beginner”. I was on a mission, those sunglasses were mine. I was feeling strong, I had passed the asian dude at the turn, and no one was getting by. Hell I felt as though I didn’t even have time to look over my shoulder.

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I came across the finish line happy as a clam, and asking the mini-Liard if he was a beginner, and apparently he was. DAMN! Oh well, at least I was first female, and second only to Billy Bad Ass over there. So happy. Felt strong. Just having the feeling of strength made the race amazing. I thank my strength/Tri coach Audra for all the work I’ve had in the gym, because without that I know it would haven’t taken me longer, and that would have NOT been fun.

After I set up my board, we stayed with everyone else on the dock and watched the rest of the paddlers come in. I was in a happy place sitting there watching everyone glide in. It helped that the kids were somewhat enjoying themselves on the dock. Once the last of the paddlers were out of the water, the award ceremony was held in the Rudder club. First drinks were on Blackcreek Outfitters (main sponsor of event), and awards were given out swift & sweet.

Check out that swag for placing!! Crazy amazing! What neat is that all paddlers went home with a goodie bag full of amazing things! Coming from running/triathlon racing, you have almost given up on anything great coming in swag bags anymore, so to get this, WOWZA! Registration was only $25! Big thank you to the race organizers and volunteers. Everyone was super helpful and sweet. Best first time experience, and the other paddlers made it amazing as well. I think I am hooked!UntitledUntitled

So yeah, sitting on the dock watching the paddlers come in, Mark starts shaking his head, I turn and ask whats wrong, he tells me “Your going to have to get a full time job….. because your going to need a faster board”

“I was pretty bad ass huh?”
“Yes, but not as bad ass as that board there” (points to guy in a sleek fast looking board)

I then start shaking my head…
“Your right Mark, I do need a faster board, and a surfboard”
“Oh shit”

Right then and there I thought he was going to pass out and fall off the dock…. This is my life.