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TNT Leukemia Lymphoma Society Event -- Mighty Mermaid Sprint Triathlon October 6, 2012

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi All--

    Four years ago I did the Nike Women's Half marathon with Team in Training (TNT) in San Francisco.  It made me feel as if I could accomplish anything.  Once again, I have signed up to do a TNT event.  This time it is the Mighty Mermaid Sprint triathlon in Capitola, CA on October 6, 2012.  


   Below is a photo of the Silicon Valley Fall 2012 Triathlon team (taken at one of our crazy "costumed" practices).  The team is preparing people for several different events (Big Kahuna half ironman, Pacific Grove and Mighty Mermaid olympic & sprint distances).  I'm the woman mid-right in the blue jersey).




The funds that are raised for LLS are needed and well used.  They are used primarily to fund research for a cure to blood cancers and also to improve the quality of life for patients and their family members.


I hope you will be able to help me with my fund raising.  Each donation assists in the fight against blood cancer, assists me in completing this goal and is tax deductible.  No amount is too small.  If enough people contribute $5 or $10, it will make a difference.

Donations are most easily processed by credit card at the following web site:




Thanks for your help!

post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to Sugar Bowl for generously contributing 2 Sun-Fri lift tickets for a fund-raising raffle I'm holding!  THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Also, just a quick FYI.  A sprint triathlon may seem easy to a lot of you.  I know I'm looking forward to the cycling section and the run portion I'm certain I'll get through.  But among my various fears is fear of deep water, so an open water swim of 700 yards is not a trivial matter for me.  But I can say the training so far has been amazingly good and good for me.  A lot of you know I have Parkinson's Disease and exercise is like medicine.  In my case, it's helping a lot!


Before I forget, I want to thank CharlieP, who was my virtual mentor for the Nike Women's half marathon four years ago and for his current support.  Also, to ski friends and mentors in general, thank you!

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

One last thing for now - I have a blog I'm writing on training and life overall.  If interested, it is located here:




Also, even if not able or inclined to donate,, this is your opportunity to offer encouragement with a "Go, Marlene,"

"Knock 'em dead girl!"  etc etc.  All encouragement very much appreciated!

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Here is a poem video I made based on my feelings on completing the Nike Women's half marathon:


post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

This Saturday will be our first open water swim practice at Coyote Point (San Mateo, CA).  I am a wee bit nervous about it however the fact is that I can actually swim and we'll be getting our wetsuits on top of that.  You may be wondering why I would put myself through this since I'm uncomfortable in deep water.  Partly, its because I know I can do it and mainly I think it's a Parkinsons' thing.  It's me staring at PD straight on and saying "I won't back down."  It is something I must do (whether it's pretty or not I don't care about).  But I cannot not do it.  It means that much to me.

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

I will be nailing tomorrow's open water swim one way or another!.


To read about an organization that operates with a stunningly admirable set of values, check out my blog here:




It's about the Santa Clara Swim Club, an organization that aspires to train people to be excellent swimmers

(I'm under long term construction, but I'll get there.) and far, far beyond that seeks to inspire them

to be the best people they are capable of being ......

ok, I'm getting off my high horse now.  All the best to each of you........



post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Just a note to say success on open water swim - completed 1/3 of a mile.  My event involves 1/4 mile swim.  Feeling great!

post #9 of 22

You go!!! Congrats to you!!


Is this your first tri? Even as a former swimming instructor/lifeguard, I know that being in deep water and in the craziness of the competition, it can get a little hairy. Just train the best you can and stay safe. Don't push yourself so hard that you tucker out during the swim - you'll just get more panicky. Think calming thoughts! 


What a wonderful thing you are doing, and so great that you are able to help yourself AND help others!! I help with the neighborhood campaign for LLS - would much rather be doing your version! My only distance has been a super-sprint tri, and I had to give that up a couple of years ago due to some orthopedic issues which I have been having. My latest mantra (and I keep meaning to get a T-shirt saying this) is "Every Day is a Triathlon". Keep that in mind, and remember that if you can do a tri in competition, you can push through do the triathlon of life!


Best of luck to you!

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you kiitygal!  Looks like we will be getting a fair amount of open water practice prior to the event (which should help).  Next Saturday, we preview the course in Santa Cruz.

I like your mantra a lot and think it can definitely be that way at times.  All the best to you too!!

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 


post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Second open water swim next Saturday in Santa Cruz. Should be significantly cooler. I never realized that visibility in most (?) ocean water is zero......
Feeling good overall...some stroke improvements but most significant is the commitment I've made to do it.......that and the support of the team I'm with.
Pretty fantastic being a part of this great team !! (Team in Training Silicon Valley Triathlon Team).

post #13 of 22
May this event be successful :) Cheers!
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you!

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

Just an update ---4 open water practice swims in the ocean so far.  The first at Coyote Point in San Mateo, the second in Santa Cruz, the third in Capitola and the fourth at Lover's Point in Pactic Grove.  Not totally elegant but getting more used to it as time goes by.  Next weekend, we are doing a practice triathlon at Stevens Creek reservoir.  The actual triathlon is October 6, 2012.

Here's a photo after yesterday's practice swim at Pacific Grove.  I am the third person from the left!




post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 

Practice triathlon yesterday at Stevens Creek Reservoir and surrounding area.  Wow!  In comparison to the ocean, the open water swim was so much nicer (water quality!).  Hilly bike ride and the coaches threw in a diabolical hill for the run portion!  I survived!

Needless to say, definitely still working on form!   Here is a photo:



post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 

Fundraiser garage sale today - raised $24.  Fundraising deadline approaching.  Any and all donations (no amount too small) very much appreciated.

Website to donate here:



post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 

Approximately 2 weeks until fundraising deadline.  Need approximately $200 (including funds missing from website).   Many, many thanks to Sugar Bowl, Eileen, Chris, Susan, Wade, Mermer, anonymous donor and all well wishers!  Your help very, very much appreciated (and your supportive spirits!).


Training continues.  Two thirds of our team will be doing their triathlons the first week-end in September.  The remainder of us are in the Mighty Mermaid on October 6.  Have done four or maybe five open water practice swims and will do at least one more.  Freestyle in pool has improved quite a bit.  Hoping to translate that to ocean swimming.  I was telling a friend the other day that in some of my practice swims, my right leg will stop kicking (not sure if it's PD, the cold or something else).  I keep moving and try to focus on the troublesome leg and it usually starts up but

I don't think I will ever have a symmetrical stroke - my right side is weaker (due to PD).  My friend was asking if other people in the event had the same issues; I said no - not to my knowledge.

But, this aspect is one of the things that makes doing a sprint triathlon highly meaningful and rewarding.  The summer has been great though a bit one-sided with so much focus on training....still, I would do it again, without hesitation.


All the best to each of you-



post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 

Many thanks also to David!

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

Triathlon successfully completed.  Here is the letter I sent to friends/supporters:



Dearest Loved Ones/Friends/Supporters/Teachers & Coaches,


            On Saturday, October 6, I had one of the most magnificent experiences of my life.  I completed the Sprint event of the Mighty Mermaid Triathlon.  I am so proud to let you know I am now officially a triathlete


            I chose to do a triathlon because I was afraid in water and because completing it would be a personal statement to Parkinson’s Disease, “ Get out of my way.  I have no intention of standing still!”


            I could not have done it without your support and I want you to understand just how much this means to me and how grateful I am to each of you!  Your help allowed me to participate and to complete this event!


            It was far from perfect (as my swim coaches/buddy will attest).  I did the open water swim doing backstroke.  But it was my best open water swim to date and I wasn’t afraid at all (though I’ll admit to doing multiple takes of all those swimmers around me……especially the ones so close to me!!).  Other than completing the swim, I set a goal to climb to the top of the steepest hill of the bike course without stopping----which I did (discovering just how mental some obstacles actually are!).


            While the event felt like a landmark in my life, I have to tell you that the training leading up to it was exceptional!  Team in Training is a very impressive organization and their coaches reflect that!!  They are not only great at what they do, they care and they give of themselves over and over again!  When my head coach, Larry Prensky, gave me a bear hug in Transition 1 (after the swim) telling me how proud he was of me, tears of gratitude and joy were my response.  I share that gratitude with all of my swim teachers, Masters  and TNT coaches.!  I know you know how much all of your efforts have meant to me! 


            I am already planning another triathlon for Spring 2013 and am daydreaming of other possibilities.  To all of my teammates on the triathlon team,

I am also so grateful to all of you for the love and support you have shown me!  It is returned!  Thank you for teaching me what it means to be part of such a cohesive team.


            To each of you, thank you for being a part of my life.


With love and gratitude,



post #21 of 22

Congratulations and thank you for sharing your achievement and good works with us here at EpicSki, Ski Spirit (well-named, too!). 

post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks Nolo!

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