Swim-Bike-Run: 2013 in Review and Race Plan for 2014

13 was a very lucky number for me.  This year was, without a doubt, the best year ever for me athletically.  I'll get into the stats shortly, but to sum up by the numbers:
  • 3 -- number of times I placed at a race*
  • 5 -- number of triathlons I did
  • 6 -- number of running races I did
  • 1 -- number of marathons I did
  • 3 -- number of half marathons I did (I include the half marathon in my Half Iron in this)
  • 24.25 -- number of miles I swam from February** to December
  • 820.19 -- number of miles I biked*** from February to December
  • 845.30 -- number of miles I ran from February to December
  • 5 -- number of PRs I attained
[*2nd place age group Adoptions from the Heart 5K; 3rd place age group Parvin State Park Sprint triathlon; 3rd place age group Quakerman Half Ironman triathlon]

[** February because that's when I got my Garmin 910XT watch]

[*** as reflected on my watch -- the numbers are much more than that because I didn't wear my watch on my bike trainer when I rode indoors]

It's truly been a banner year where I achieved every single one of my goals and/or surpassed what I thought was possible.  Lesson learned: never, ever, doubt the possibility of anything.  Here's a sort of recap.


I swam 42,690 yards (i.e., 24.25 miles) this year.  More than the distance, I am proud of the improvements I've made with my comfort level in the open water.  I am a decent swimmer, but certainly not the fastest.  My goal in the water is always to hang in, stay strong and not exhaust myself for the rest of the race.  Right or wrong, I treat the swim like a bit of a warm up - I know that pushing myself too hard in the water will bite me in the butt later on (and might even make me panic and elevate my heart rate too much).  So strong, steady, and kinda on the slower side is the key for me.  I have been taking swim lessons with a coach who does triathlon herself.  I've noticed a definite difference.  

My goal for 2014 with swimming is to continue to improve and make my swimming more efficient.  My goal for Ironman in July is to come out of Mirror Lake feeling warmed up, proud of my swim, and ready for the remaining 138 miles of the race. 


Biking Schmiking.  My watch has me biking 820.19 miles in 2013.  It is definitely far more than that because it does not take into account any of my rides on the trainer ... and there were many rides on the trainer. Late this year, I upgraded the components on my bike and got a new fit and made it more triathlon specific. And in January, I'm having a power meter added to the bike, which is a great way to train and to measure progress and, well, power.  I'm pretty pleased with my performance on the bike this year - I've definitely gotten faster and my goal is to continue to get faster and stronger on the bike. The bike is where you stand to lose the most in a triathlon.  My MO for tris has been to make up the time on the run, but that's not ideal.  So I am going to work hard on the bike.  It will be good to ride and train with Amy (and Bill) this coming year because Amy crushes the bike.  So I will try to keep up with her, which I think will help me improve.  

My goal for 2014 with biking is to get stronger and faster.  My Ironman bike goal is to do the 112 miles in about 7 hours.  


My love is running.  There is no real surprise that my running miles are as much as my biking miles in 2013.  I ran 845.30 miles!  That's a lot of miles.   I've gotten faster and stronger in my running this year.  I've also incorporated more speed work, which I think is the primary reason I've gotten faster and stronger.  I'm thrilled with my running PRs this year: 

My goals for 2014 are to continue to get stronger and faster ... my ultimate goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  My Ironman run goal is to have as strong a marathon as possible - to prepare my legs, mind and tummy for a really good 26.2 miles.  And, of course, to finish the Ironman in less than 17 hours and hear Mike Reilly (the voice of Ironman) say "Shanna O'Neal ... YOU are an Ironman!"  Also, I really hope he pronounces it correctly.    

The easiest part of my race and training plan for 2014 is that I am not in charge of it.  I've (well, we [Amy, Bill and I]) hired a coach for Ironman, and he sends us all training plans each week.  I just do exactly what he tells me to do.  It is really nice to take any guess work and self-doubt out of the equation and solely rely on someone else's expertise.   Ironman is so huge and the distance is so daunting that even if I could take off from work and just train every single day all day long, I would worry that on race day I'd show up and fret that I didn't do it right. That's why we hired a coach.  Our coach's focus is injury prevention - he wants us to get to the starting line in good shape, physical and mental.  We've been training for over a month now, which has been good.  My mind is far more at ease.

2014 is going to be Ironman specific and training intense.  And you can bet dollars to donuts (mmmm, donuts) that I'm going to share every nitty gritty detail here on the blog.  Lucky you!  

Happy New Year! 

See you swoon,

2014 Home Resolutions

Happy happy merry merry cough cough sigh. :(

I have been totally MIA from the blog for awhile and with good reason.  Work is off.the.hook.crazy. As in I have never, in the history of my career, had a confluence of deadlines and stress and personal heath issues like I do this year - even to the point where it prevents me from returning or reading emails from my friends and family.  Without going into specifics (um, more than I just did), I've been struggling with getting everything done that needs to be done and battling a cracked back tooth (root canal soon - woo.hoo.) and over this past weekend, the freaking flu, which laid me out with a fever, severe chest congestion and just overall ick for days.  I am on the mend, but can't help but be a little resentful and upset at all the time I lost with my kids (or that I could/should have been working) because I was sick.  Not to mention all the time off from training.  Bah.  It's not been very merry around here.  

All this to say: that's why I have been away from the blog.  I think that once January arrives things will lighten up a bit and I'll be able to turn back to projects.  And just like I share every year, here is the list of resolutions and projects around my home that I'd like to tackle in 2014.

1.  Blue Bathroom

This one is first on the list because it involves safety: I need to tear out the shower doors in the kids' blue bathroom and replace them with a rod and curtain. The track on the bottom of the doors is gone, so the doors just swing out when you pull them.  This was more of an annoyance when the kids were taking baths, but now that they are big kids (sniffle sniffle) and taking showers, it's a big time safety concern for me.  I've done this before in my first house and it's super easy. I just need a few hours for the job.  I'm also excited that the addition of a white curtain will tone down the blue in the bathroom, if only a little bit.

outta here. hasta la vista.

2.  Master Bedroom

I have a handful of little projects that I'd like to finish in my bedroom.  I want to silver leaf my jewelry box, paint and hang a mirror, hang more pictures, and style the tops of my nightstands and dresser.  This will take hardly any time.  I just need to do it.

3.  Playroom

This area needs the most work.  I need to make the TV area more of a, well, little TV area by bringing in some more furniture and accessories.  I also need to hook up the cable box and DVD player so I can watch TV and DVDs when I bike on the trainer this Winter.  I have to put up bookshelves and bring in some storage furniture for the kids' toys.  I also need to hang art and probably go through the kids' toys after the holidays and cull through and donate the stuff that they no longer play with.    This is an old picture of the TV area.  I've since added a small navy sofa.

4.  Laundry Closet

I'm very excited to tackle this space.  I'm going to paint it with the Sherwin Williams Rainwashed color I have on hand and just make it more organized and pretty on the eyes.  It will probably take an afternoon, but I think it will end up looking great.  I'll have to buy some storage pieces (baskets probably) and painting the space without moving the machines will require gymnast-like abilities, but I am up for the challenge.

5.  Basement Storage Room

Oh boy.  I have a nice size storage room on the lower level of my home.  It has the furnace and hot water heater and a ton of space for storing things.  I'm making it into a storage area/work area but first I need to organize it.  I need to do the playroom before I do this though because I am waiting to transfer some of the playroom furniture into this space.  It's like a house of cards.  Or dominoes.  This picture is embarrassing.

6.  Little's Room & Closet

I need to paint Little's mirror and the backs of her bookshelves, just to tie in some lavender.  I have a slew of painting projects to do, so I will do the mirror when I do them.  Little's closet is pretty much organized.  I just need two bins for the top and a nice rack of hooks for the wall.  And maybe a little plastic chest for extra storage.

7.  Stairwell

I want to add artwork to the stairwell. I have a ton of art that I've been collecting, and frames too, for this purpose.  I still need more though. That stairwell is huge.  I'm thinking of a gallery wall all the way up the steps.  

8.  Half Bath

The half bath is in great shape, but I want to tweak it a little.  I'd like to add molding (which I have on hand) around the builder grade mirror.  And maybe add shelves over the toilet for a little open storage.  I have a small stool in the room now too, which I need to paint as well.  

9.  Dining Room

The dining room needs a little boost as well. I bought some really cool candle holders last Black Friday at Crate and Barrel (as in 2012) to flank my two oversized frames in that space. I need to hang them.  I'm also interested in bringing in a tall mirror for one of the big empty spaces on that long back wall.  I have to decide whether to DIY or just buy off the shelf.  Finally, I need to paint the dining room table.  I hate the current finish (and it is in bad shape), so I would like to do something to make it a little nicer.  I'm going to wait until the weather warms so I can open the house when I paint.  I'm toying with either a chalk paint or a sort of two-tone wood/white treatment.

10.  Painting Projects

I have sooooo much furniture to paint. I don't know what my problem is because I usually love to paint furniture, but I have been procrastinating like no one's business on these pieces.  I have to paint: the small IKEA Rast chest for Big's nightstand, the IKEA two step-stool in the kitchen, two mirrors (one for me and one for Little), and a few small tables.  I just need to bring them down to the playroom and start priming.

11.  Paint the House

This one is last for a reason.  I really *want* to paint my place because I think I have bemoaned the fact that the color is horrible and cold and just plain bad pretty much since I got here.  A warm white would look amazing in this space and frankly, the place absolutely needs a fresh coat of paint (and needed it when I moved in, even though I asked the landlord to repaint b/c it looked a little rough).  My hesitation is the time it will take to do it and whether it will be worth it in the end.  I'm probably going to end up moving back to where my kids are in school (rather than buy the place here), so I need to be mindful of that.  Still ... this one is on my mind.  

And there you go.  My big ol' list of to dos for 2014.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!  

See you swoon,

Speedy McSpeederson part II

Happy Friday!  What a week this has been ... trial, deposition and other deadlines all happening all at once.  I am ready for the weekend like no one's business.  

I recently read a great article on how to improve your speed as a runner and, in particular, how to improve a marathon time.  I touched on this topic back in March here on the blog.  And frankly, the similarities between the author and me are really pretty freaky: she ran her first marathon around 4:59 (mine was around 4:39) and she just completed her most recent marathon in 3:56 (so did I!).  Here is the link to her article and my thoughts on her recommendations.  

1.  Add Speedwork.

Yes.  I think, above all else, this is the key to getting faster. You teach your body what it feels like to run at a faster pace.  The speedwork is also crucial to a cardio perspective: your body learns how to work hard and then how to function when recovering from that effort.  Sure, you won't be sprinting during a marathon, but the concept works.  I joined a local running club and it has weekly speedwork every Wednesday night.  A coach (incidentally, my Ironman coach!) leads the workout at a local track and it is always well attended.  It is a great motivator: I find that I push myself harder when I am around other people.  That alone is worth the annual $15 dues for the club. If that isn't an option for you, a treadmill is a great place to do speedwork because you can control the belt speed.  Or, you could hit the local track yourself - just search online (Runners World is best) for track workouts.

2.  Log Race Pace Miles.

This is pretty important and somewhat obvious: you need to get used to running at the pace that you want to race.  Cool Running has the *best* pace calculator I have found - I use it all of the time.  You can plug in your information: distance and goal time to get your average pace per mile.  This is what I followed for my marathon training this year.  I knew I needed to run a little faster than 9:09 per mile, so I kept my training runs around 9:02-9:10 per mile.  It's important to understand what that pace feels like so you can get used to it and knock it out on race day.  Remember: if this is a marathon, you will need to sustain it for a few hours.

3.  Up Your Days and Your Mileage.

Yes.  In order to get faster, you need to run more.  You need to run 3-6 days per week and you need to make those runs count.  A long run each weekend, and a handful of other shorter runs, varying between 3 and 7 miles.  At the height of my marathon training this year, I was up to running between 4-6 hours per week and 35-45 miles.  Obviously that is at the peak of training and I don't do that much on a regular basis.  But the increase in running days and miles helps your body get used to running on tired legs.  On that note, I am a huge proponent of the recovery run: I always try to run the day after a long run.  Those runs are hard and demoralizing because they are slooooooow.  But that's the point: you want your legs to learn to function when they are fatigued.  Those last 6 miles of a marathon are all fatigue.  

4.  Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

Can I get an amen?!?  This, along with tip 1, are my top two.  I had run for ages at a "comfortable" pace: I could breathe easy, I could run easy.  It felt good, but it wasn't hard.  Once I started to push myself into a pace that felt really hard and really uncomfortable, I got faster.  The discomfort lessened and that pace that was once my sprint pace became my new normal.

5.  Never Set Limits.

Yes yes yes.  I always say that running is mostly mental.  Sure, it's physical, too.  But so much of running depends on what you tell yourself, how you handle set-backs, and how you look at challenges.  Never say "I'm going to try to finish the marathon."  As Yoda said, "there is no try.  Do."  Instead, say "I'm going to finish the marathon." Failure is not an option if you don't let it be.  I can't tell you how many times before I thought "Oh, I could never do that" - whether it was a sub 2 hour half-marathon, a sub 4 hour marathon, a triathlon, a half-ironman triathlon, a 5k with a pace in the 7s.  When I changed that conversation from "I could never do that" to "I can absolutely do that", it happened.  It took work and it took a bunch of races or runs where I fell short of my goals, but it eventually happened.  There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- that you cannot do.  Believe that.

I have a couple more tips that were not included in the article.

6.  There is No Off-Season.

If you want to get faster, you have to keep training in the Winter. That means cold, dark runs.  Or treadmill.  I would pretty much rather run anywhere, through any conditions than on the treadmill, so I have a ton of winter running gear that keeps me safe and visible in those conditions. I also treat those runs where the weather is really cold, really windy, really dark, etc. as excellent training runs.  Hey, if I can run 10 miles in 25 degrees and wind, I can run in anything.  It's also important to keep training year round.  If you typically stop running in the Winter, you will lose a ton of fitness when you resume it in more temperate weather.  Don't waste all the hard work you've put in.  Keep on running.

7.  Visualize your Goals and that Finish Line. 

This is an important one for me.  At least once a week (but probably more), I visualize myself crossing the finish line that is most important to me.  This year, it's Ironman Lake Placid.  I've never competed in an Ironman, but I watched the finish lines via live feed this Summer.  I imagine myself in that same spot moments away from a dream and goal attained.  That image inspires me to keep going because I know soon enough, July 27 will be here.

There you go!  A handful of tips on how to get faster.  Do you have any big goal races or times on the horizon? 

See you swoon,

What I Wore {post 29}

Happy Hump Day!  How is your December?  How are the holiday preparations and shopping and merriment?   Are you decking your halls?  We are but a sleigh ride to Christmas.  

* Orange Printed Dress & Brown Riding Boots *

This dress was a steal from the Banana Republic outlet at $22.  I need a new dress like I need a hole in the head, but at that price and with the fit and look, I just couldn't say no.  I wore it with my brown riding boots.  It would look smashing with my open toe bow heels.  

* Tan Pencil Skirt, Brown Blouse, Teal Belt *

I wore this to a deposition in lieu of a suit.  The skirt is a pencil skirt from the Limited around 2012.  I've had this brown blouse (the sleeves fold up to reveal white cuffs, which I love) forever - I think it's from Lands End of all places.  The outfit needed a bit of color, so I wore my skinny teal belt.  Since I was in a more formal setting (and I would be sitting pretty much all day), I wore my taupe patent heels.  Happy happy day.    

* Cobalt Cardigan & Cream Wool Skirt *

I can't take credit for this outfit.  I saw it on one of my favorite fashion blogs (which I need to do an entire post on!) and decided to give it a try myself.  The cardigan is from Talbot's, which is a store in which I never shop.  But I loved the color and the look and the price!  So I went for it.  I bought the cream wool mini skirt (which isn't really that mini on me) from the j.crew outlet.  You can't really see them, but I wore pale gold ballet flats, also from the j.crew outlet.  I like this outfit.  Flats and all.  

Have a great day!

See you swoon,

DIY Glittery Christmas Tree Star Tree-Topper

Happy Happy Holidays!  I have an easy craft today - a DIY glittery star Christmas tree topper.   Here is the finished product right up front:

It had far more humble beginnings:

I bought this paper star at Target's after Christmas clearance last year.  I figured I would do *something* with it, but at the time, I had no idea what.  I just liked the style and the shape and the price, which was $2.50 on clearance (originally $10 and I snagged it when everything was 75% off).    

I thought the easiest thing to do was to paint right over paper and then use some glitter on top.  And hey, if the experiment went awry, I was out only $2.50.  So I bought the supplies at Michael's and went with a champagne craft paint and white fine glitter, plus glitter glue, all Martha Stewart.  

It was very easy.  First, I used the craft paint to cover the star.  It took approximately one hundred thousand coats.  But it was very fast going and easy because I could use the little base to hold it while I put the coats of paint on.   My helper in all things art and crafty, Little, took this action shot.  It's a little blurry, but forgive her, as she is five.

The metallic champagne paint covered the purple and green and everything else. 

Then I added the glitter with the glitter adhesive.  Little helped with this step.  We just painted the adhesive on the star and literally dumped the glitter on top.  We used the box that the start came in (seen above) and then transferred the excess glitter back to the jar (Little is in love with glitter. I am certain we will find more uses for it).  

And that is it!  Here it is again:

It took just about an hour to do and looks super cute on top of my tree.  Plus, I love that it was a craft that Little and I worked on together.  What's on top of your tree? Are you are star or an angel person?

See you swoon,

Race Recap: 2013 Medford Lakes Turkey Trot 5K (with a playlist designed to race)

Hello!  Anybody else run a turkey trot on or around Thanksgiving?  I did.  And let me tell you, I raced that sucker like I have never raced a 5K before.  It was freezing -- literally.  Check out this picture pre-race of me and my friend.  It was the coldest Thanksgiving in 13 years.  I was wearing my hat, a long tank bra, a long sleeved running shirt and my half zip.  And I was just warm enough.  

I've often said I'd rather race a half marathon than a 5K.  5Ks, at 3.1 miles, are all sprint.  I am much more of an endurance athlete: I usually settle into my good running rhythm around mile 3, which is when the 5K ends.  So warming up is key for a 5K where I don't want to die immediately. 

This race was great.  It was fast and flat, and I mean it: it was fast ... and it was flat.  No hills.  And it was a fun course through pretty neighborhoods and was well marshaled. The course was crowded in the beginning.  It started 15 years ago with 21 runners and has evolved and grown to have nearly 700!  But it was fun, well organized and well done.   

My prior best time for a 5K was 25:39 (8:16 pace) just last December at a New Years Eve 5K. It was also cold that day - probably colder than the turkey trot. So for this race, my goal was to run it at a pace in the 7s. I didn't care if it was 7:59:99. I just wanted to see a 7 as my pace. I've been doing more speedwork this year, so I thought I could do it. And I did. My time was 23:15, which is a 7:29 pace. Please indulge me and let me repeat that: seven minutes twenty-nine seconds per mile pace. That is crazy. Crazy like a fox! A fox who is insane! And I geeked out even more when I realized that I was 64th overall of 620 runners and 12th of 334 women. YEAH!!!

I used this race as an experiment to run with music designed to run fast. You know that I like playlists with slower music. For my long runs and races, I tend to do well with a mix of slow and fast songs. But for this race, I wanted to target all fast music. My friend Ava swears by running to music with certain beats per minute, and since Ava is a professional opera singer, I figured she knew her stuff. I just googled searched and figured out that I wanted songs with 160-180 bpm. So I google searched again: "5k playlist 160-180 bpm" and up came a bunch of song suggestions. Here is my 5K playlist that got me my crazy fast PR (note: just because the songs are fast does not mean they are still not questionable):

Tell Him (The Exciters) Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) (Beyoncé) Oh How Happy (Shades of Blue) Love Is a Battlefield (Pat Benatar) Why Do Fools Fall In Love (Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers) The Happening (The Supremes) Footloose (Kenny Loggins) The Longest Time (Billy Joel) Party In the U.S.A. (Miley Cyrus)

I absolutely ran to the beat of the songs, which I think helped me run faster. I will say: running at this pace was hard. It was work. There were a few moments where I kind of wanted to die or hurt people or even small animals. But I pushed hard and made it. I never, ever, thought I could run a race where my average time was in the 7s. Let alone mid-7s. Woo to the turkey-trot hoo!

Have a wonderful weekend! It's my birthday on Sunday. And I will celebrate with cake and fried chicken as is my most favorite tradition.

See you swoon,

What I Wore {post 28}

OMG. December.  De-cem-ber.  I can't with this.  I also can't believe that on Sunday I turn 38 years old.  I have to say ... now that I am really into triathlon and more competitive running, turning 40 has a huge bright side: a new age group!  Here are a few more outfits.  All with flats.  

* Blue Printed Skirt, Navy Sweater, Emerald Buttondown *

This skirt was a great find from Target in the Spring.  I wore it this Summer and decided to try in the Fall.  I think this worked!  I wore the skirt with a navy j.crew crew neck sweater and a pretty emerald green short sleeved buttondown from NY & Co.  I don't think I can get away with this skirt in the Winter, so say goodbye until the Spring.  Oh.  I wore the outfit with my silver flats.  Poor flats.  I want to like them, but it's hard to muster up excitement for them when my beautiful heels are looking so forlorn in my closet.  

* Black pants, Turquoise Buttondown and Grey Sweater Vest *

These were the one pair of pants I had in my closet that worked with flats.  So I wore them with my black flats.  I paired them with my turquoise buttondown from Banana and an old grey sweater vest from NY & Co.  The vest has seen better days.  It may be time to retire it. 

* Teal "Jeans", White Cardigan, White & Tan Scarf *

Yet another flats outfit.  I got these teal pants/jeans at TJ Maxx earlier this year.  They were so inexpensive and I love the fit.  The top is a white cardigan from Gap outlet.  And the scarf was a find in a really cute store in Franklin, Tennessee that I bought when I had a girls' weekend a few weeks ago with my friends.  Silver flats.  <--- (see? no excitement)

Maybe if I buy some more flats, I will like them more.  OK probably not.  

See you swoon,

Rave about Philadelphia Bikesmith and Meet Tiny Ma'am!

Today's post is brought to you by the letters B-I-K-E.

Two years ago when I first got into triathlon, I remember thinking I would just buy a bike from Target or a used bike and give that a whirl for my first sprint tri.  One of my friends who knows me well suggested, respectfully, that that was a really dumb idea.  Knowing me, I'd get hooked on tris and then have to buy a nice road bike anyway, and I'd be stuck with this other bike that I did not want or need.  So, I followed his advice and got a road bike from the start.  I was not a biker and had no real aspirations to be a biker, aside from what I needed to do in a tri.  I shopped around at a few local bike shops and ended up buying my Trek Lexa at a local chain store and the experience was fine.  When the bike came in, the "fit" took about 10 minutes and consisted of me sitting/standing over the bike and the guy adjusting the seat.  After being in the tri world for awhile, I realized that I needed a more custom fit, and it was time to add aerobars to the bike (more in a second).  Friends suggested I check out Philadelphia Bikesmith in Philly, and so one late October afternoon, Amy, Bill and I spent a few hours there.  As dumb as this sounds, I knew by the logo that I'd love it.  For a font geek like me, this was a very good omen.

One recurring theme with my experiences at other bike shops prior to the experience at Philly Bikesmith was a sort of air of smugness and bike-snobbery -- it almost felt like the guys at the other shops felt like I was wasting their time and was kind of an idiot who had no business being on a bike.  It was obvious that I was/am a newbie (or "noob") and I definitely felt that way and out of my league.  Bikes are pretty complicated, at least in my opinion, and riding and maintaining them isn't exactly simple.   Now, granted, one time I was kind of  completely dumb when I went in thinking my tire had a slow leak, only to learn that I was not actually pumping air into it.  But that experience aside, I always felt a little judged.  

Enter Philadelphia Bikesmith!  From the moment we walked in to the moment we left, they were awesome. Fun, really smart, totally cool and non-judgmental and extremely helpful.  And awesome. And I'm not just saying that because they gave us free Hop Devil at the end of the fitting (did I mention Victory sponsors their shop? Hello!)

the guys: Richie, Max [who did my fit], Lucas and Sam
It was a three hour process to get fitted, which shows me how inadequate/non-existent my prior bike "fit" was.  In those three hours, I got a new seat (and it was like Goldilocks and the Three [hundred] Seats ... I must have tried on at least ten before finding the seat that was just right), a proper fit, new tape on the handlebars (to match the bike!) and aerobars.  Aerobars, for those who don't know, are handles that stick out of the front of the bike that triathletes use to improve their aerodynamic position on the bike.  Most seasoned triathletes have them, and with Ironman Lake Placid not so far away, it was high time I got them too.  Here I am getting fitted.  

I whole-heartedly recommend Philadelphia Bikesmith to anyone looking for a bike or to get fitted for a bike.  They know what they are doing and their service is tremendous.  Max, my fitter, told me repeatedly if something did not feel right, bring the bike back and they would tweak it.  The price you pay for the fit is a one-time deal, which is great.  And they mean what they say: Amy has been back to get a replacement for something and they were great about it.  

I've named my bike.  And her name is ... drumroll ... Tiny Ma'am. The name was also a product of Philadelphia Bikesmith.  At 5'1", I have a very diminutive bike.  It's 47 cm, which is probably not much larger than a kid's bike.  I take a lot of chiding from pretty much everyone about the size of my bike. Bill calls it the "adorable" bike.  Bill and Amy joked that when we do tris together it looks like the bikes belonging to parents and their kid are on the rack (this is true).  My adorable bike was not large enough to fit on my other friend/coworker's bike rack when we did the City to Shore bike ride (agh - I need to blog about that!).  So when we showed up at Philly Bikesmith, it was of course hilarious when Sam walked over to my bike and said, "Ok, let me get started on this tiny bike."  Throughout the afternoon, they called my bike the "little bike" "petite bike" and even "dainty bike".  I took issue with "dainty" - tiny, small, little I may be, but dainty, I am not.  But mostly, they liked Sam's "tiny bike" the best and used that one the most.  At the end of our fit, I approached Sam to ask where the trashcan was and he said, "yes, Ma'am?" at which point I said, "No.  Please do not call me that" and without missing a beat he said, "I'm sorry. Tiny Ma'am."  Hi.lar.i.ous.  Whereupon, I named my bike "Tiny Ma'am."  And here she is!

I've ridden Tiny Ma'am (ok sounds dirty) and I love it.  The seat feels great, my position on the bike is so much better and more efficient.  The aerobars make a huge difference too! I am getting used to being more forward and higher up on the bike, but it seems to be getting more comfortable each time I am on the bike.  

I really love the blue tape on the handlebars.  I figure if I'm going to be on the sucker for 112 miles, I might as well like what I see.  

See you swoon,