Ironman Santa Rosa + Some EXCITING NEWS!

WATCH THIS VIDEO FIRST! THEN READ BELOW!!

Hi!!!! Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!! #operationdontdie begins in a few hours! On July 29, 2017, Ironman Santa Rosa will kick off at 6:10 am PST! I will have 17 hours to complete the race from the time I enter the water! You can track me HERE!

My bib number is #616. 

I’ll turn on the tracking notifications to post on Facebook as well! Hopefully, it works. I won’t be allowed to Snapchat during this race because we are not allowed to have our phones. Booo! They have good reasons for that though.

FYI, I’ve been fighting a sinus infection all week. I’m praying to finish and to not fall off my bike at any point. I’ve definitely been milking it a little bit, but I’ve also been feeling terrible for the last few days. Sometimes it’s okay to be a big baby! I’m SUPER excited for the swim though! I’ve been working so hard with my coach, Bryan Mineo, aka The Swim Mechanic! Check him out HERE! The bike and run should be interesting! Ha!

Sorry, I sound like I have a clothespin on my nose in the video y’all!

Also, click HERE for be a part of my exciting news! Click HERE to donate!

I’ll have another write up of my triathlon experience at Ironman Santa Rosa like the one I did for the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon! Don’t forget to hit SUBSCRIBE on my YouTube channel! I’m going to be making some fun content in the next couple of weeks! Stay Tuned!

Thanks for stopping by!  See you in about 24 hours! haha

Xoxo

Britt

 

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LIFE UPDATE: My Quarter Life Crisis

Hiiii everyone that made an active decision to read about my life crisis. Shame on you for being so nosy! Haha JUST KIDDING!! I’m the BIGGEST Nosy Rosy I know! I wanted you to be here. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have wanted to share this story with you in the first place! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to listen to me talk about mine.

Okay…I’m going to be completely honest with you, I have absolutely NO FREAKING IDEA what my future looks like! Zero clues! I would have gotten kicked off the Blue’s Clues show for sure y’all! At times, my life feels a little cray cray! Hence the title, “Quarter Life Crisis.” Do you ever feel that way?

For the last few years, I’ve been pursuing acting in New York City and Los Angeles. It has been so much fun, and I was fortunate enough to book my first co-star last year. I definitely want to continue chasing after my dream of being a series regular on a television show, but I’ve decided I REALLY want to chase after something else in conjunction with acting.

It has been hard to verbalize, but here it goes; I want to make creating and sharing content that inspires people and promotes a happy and healthy lifestyle into my JOB through blogging (aka writing, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, etc.).

I love fitness (marathons, triathlons, workout classes), shopping (dresses, swimsuits, gifts for other people), and traveling. Hopefully, my blog will be your go-to spot for information about all of the things I mentioned. I know it will take some time to establish trust. I feel like I’ve said I’m going to blog a million times before, but I am ready to commit to this as a business venture and not just a hobby.

I want to share my marathon, triathlon, and volunteering journeys. I want to share my travels and experiences with you. I want to inspire a positive place full of love and encouragement with the occasional cuss word. I want to be your virtual friend turned real life friend! I want us to run races together and cheer each other on from wherever we are in the world! I have a TON of wants!! Greedy little sucker I am!

If you’re wondering if I live in a fairytale in my head, you’d be correct! I like to see the world in rainbows, and I believe together we can do stuff like this! We truly are better together than we are by ourselves. It’s taken me awhile to admit that though. I don’t like to be a burden to people or ask for help, but asking for support is something I’m working on.

Unicorns DO exist! Also, I love to dress up for races! 🙂

I know it isn’t a traditional career path, but luckily for me, I’m not much of a traditionalist. It is something that I believe will give me purpose. I’m not sure how in the world I’m going to make money doing it, but that’s okay. One day and one step at a time. My first step has been to decide. Decide what you’re passionate about. Be passionate about it. Actually, DO whatever you’re passionate about. The money will eventually follow.

Purpose and passion are two things I’ve lost or misplaced over time. Has that ever happened to you? I will start new things, then three months later I’m over it. I know runners that have this burning desire to get up every day of their lives and run. That is NOT me! Haha, I wish it was though! I legit have to sign up for races and pay the money in order to hold myself accountable. Even then, I struggle to put those running shoes on! It feels like everyone around me has their sh*t together, and I’m over here just trying to figure out what to eat for dinner! Know that feeling?

Acting can be a lonely and self-satisfying endeavor sometimes. You are not directly helping people other than yourself every day. Two of my three sisters are nurses, and they literally get to keep people from DYING. I’m not sure me making YouTube videos will ever do that, but maybe they will give someone a laugh or teach them a random tip. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to act! Working with wonderfully creative people and auditioning for roles bring me so much joy. However, I think I can also find joy in sharing bits and pieces of my life with you. If you will have me?

The thing is, what I have wanted to pursue has seemed too silly or too hard to me. I’ve been embarrassed to admit I want to write and create content. I don’t know why I’ve felt like this either? I mean blogging is basically marketing. I know I’ve been failing to do it for the past few years because I let myself listen to that little-wretched voice inside my head that was telling me I couldn’t do it. It’s called ego. It’s called being afraid to fail. It’s called negativity. It’s called being my own worst enemy. Being a perfectionist isn’t always a pleasant journey. I have made excuse after excuse about why I haven’t followed through with my goal to make this into a paying job.

How many of you have been your biggest roadblock, preventing you from finding your spiritual, emotional, or financial happiness? It’s not too late to get out of your own way though! That’s what I’ve been telling myself anyway! Haha

Listen, I completely understand if you want to quit following me, and think I am the most annoying person you’ve ever met. I get it! I get on my own nerves at times! I don’t want to be that crazy self-promoting jerk always trying to get you to pay attention to me. I want to be the person that gets you to pay attention to yourself! I want to see you posting more bikini and workout pictures than I do! You guys know I have a bathing suit buying problem. Right?? Just checking.

Full disclosure, I’m a jack-of-all-trades and master at absolutely NOTHING! Have you read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell? From what I remember, he theorizes, that you are a master of something after 10,000 hours or 10 years of experience. (I read that book 5 years ago, so if I’m wrong, please send me an email). I’m lucky if something can keep my interest for longer than one hour! Being mommy to Sadie and Benny has been my longest job, and I forgot them on the porch the other day, and they got out!!! I’m lucky nothing happened to them! #epicmomFAIL Thank goodness, they were saved, and that they seem to love me still.

 

I’ve always been so jealous of people that have always known what their passion is and have followed through with it even from a young age. I’ve NEVER been that person. I played basketball, volleyball, softball, cross country, track, and cheerleading because I couldn’t decide which one I liked the best. I have a biology degree and am now an actor. Talk about varying subjects! I have bounced around from Arkansas to Las Vegas to New Jersey to New York City to Los Angeles. I have no idea which state or country I’ll end up in! My point is, I’ve never known what I want to do or where I’ll be. Maybe I won’t ever have an absolute answer, but I can promise you I will always be searching and learning and trying to figure it out!

I realized the other day, for those of us “Jacks,” our GIFT is being able to learn a little something about everything. We are experts at trying new things and obtaining as much information as we can in short spurts of time. Additionally, we are the BEST teammates for trivia games! We are testing new ideas and wanting to experience the unknown. I would like to share the ups and downs of my exploration, travels, and fitness adventures with you to hopefully give some insight into things you may want to experience for yourself. I want to be your Guinea pig! Have you seen hairless Guinea Pigs??

You’re welcome!

I’ll be your red headed GP! hahaha Sorry, I crack myself up!

What I have discovered about blogging is, it is not the easy task I thought it would be. It’s much more than writing an article, adding pictures, and posting. If you want to be your own little news outlet for people, you need to continuously provide content. Creating content, by the way, is a FULL-TIME job! It can take hours upon hours to get one picture! I don’t know how some of these girls and guys are constantly emailing, commenting, posting, sharing, etc.! They make it look so easy! Like, when do they sleep? Also, when I am referring to creating content, I mean taking pictures for Instagram, writing scripts, filming YouTube videos, editing said YouTube videos, learning how to use the editing software, making picture art for Pinterest, writing, and the list goes on and on and on. I’ve been editing this post for 3 weeks because I’ve been finding reasons not to post it.

I keep letting myself get overwhelmed with the “NO’s” in my head. The “I’ll do it tomorrow’s.” The, “I’ll never be able to figure that out.” The “No one will read it, so I won’t post it” thoughts. I got embarrassed that my content wasn’t good enough. So, I haven’t shared it. Geezzz…for someone that prides themselves in being a “YES” person, I sure have told myself NO A LOT!

When was the last time you told yourself no to something you were too afraid to say yes to? Are you ready to say yes to it now? What are the things that are holding you back?

Here’s the thing, I’ve jumped out of a plane twice! Twice! I didn’t have any fear when it came to skydiving, scuba diving with a coral snake (one of the deadliest snakes in the world), or moving across the country to pursue a risky career. However, I have been paralyzed by the fear of failure to share my own content. I’ve been terrified to allow myself to try something that I am solely responsible for. Small business owners are so brave! I want to be brave. I owe it to myself to be consistent and follow through with something I’m passionate about. Consistency has been the MOST difficult obstacle in my life. I’m ready to turn it into one of my best qualities.

Is there a skill or quality that you want to work on? Maybe it is making an effort to be early, to eat less sugar, to spend more time with your loved ones? Whatever it is, are you ready to commit to making the change? JUST START! Don’t put it off any longer. Let us hold each other accountable.

I’m DONE letting fear dictate my life! I can’t do it alone though. I need your help. I need your accountability and your feedback. I need you to share your knowledge and your gifts. I need your friendship. I need your honesty. I need your love.

Hopefully, our life paths will collide, and when they do, let’s hug it out and have a good laugh! If our paths have already crossed, don’t be shy, let’s reconnect! My email is bb@brittbowman.com. Feel free to email me if you want! I’m here!

Forewarning to all of my family and friends, I will be posting a lot more. I hope it will be informative, and I hope that you will learn at least one thing from the content or at the very least be entertained! I will be doing some fun giveaways, will have places on my website you can shop my outfits and gift ideas, and I will have some live videos through Instagram and YouTube for you in the very near future.

Events I have coming up: IRONMAN SANTA ROSA…I am praying I have the strength to finish this one in under 17 hours! I will be posting lists of gear I use, things I pack for races, and reviews of products I’ve tried. Click HERE for a breakdown of the first triathlon I did!

If you felt inspired to join me on my journey, subscribe to my blog. Follow me on Instagram. Subscribe to my YouTube channel. Send me a message or comment below. If you weren’t that impressed, come back soon! I promise I’ll keep trying! That’s all we can do in this life!

Sending you all love and light from Los Angeles!

Xoxo Britt

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20 #Goals for 2017

Peace out 2016! Welcome to 2017!  I made this list in January FYI even though I’m posting it in March. Better late than never. Right?! Let me know in the comments what some of your goals are for this year!

Here are 20 of my goals for 2017:

1.) Finish a Full Ironman race– And not just finish it, CRUSH IT! I’m always training to have fun, but this year I want to push myself harder than ever. I want to know what it feels like to give it 100% while training, not the 60% I usually put in. The Ironman Santa Rosa has my name written ALL OVER IT! I’m signed up and marked my calendar for July 29th! 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run-I’m coming for you! Anyone want to join me?!  🙂 I’m also hoping to find an awesome tri-group to train with along the way and a swim coach because I’m a TERRIBLE swimmer! lol

I had the pleasure of competing in my first triathlon in 2016 at the Escape from Alcatraz race (click link to view blog post) and later in the Austin 70.3 Ironman race (which is half the distance of the full Ironman). I can’t explain how much joy I get from the running/triathlon community. It gives me purpose and something to look forward to. Training keeps my mind engaged and my body in check. You don’t have to run in the races, you can also volunteer! Volunteering is something I want to do as well this year.

2.) Volunteer– If that means helping a family or friend move out of their apartment, watching their kid or fur baby for a couple hours, spending time with the elderly, caring for animals, raising money for good causes…I want to make this a priority this year. It should always be a priority and had been in the past when I was a Big Sister in the Big Brother Big Sister organization for a couple years. It is selfish, but I probably gained more from that experience than my little sister or brother did.

It is easy to ignore those around you suffering or in need of a hug or hand. I want to be a stronger person myself so I will have the capacity to serve others this year, and I will gladly welcome your help and love this year. I’m not the best at accepting assistance from others, but it can be exhausting trying to do everything on your own. Remember to put your mask on first before you help those around you. A little airplane talk for ya! ha 🙂

3.) Start my own Race– I had this bright idea about a year ago. I want to put on a race that will bring people together and will encourage kids and adults to get active. If you have any suggestions/want to help me accomplish this goal or have been thinking about it yourself, let’s make it happen! I think it would be the COOLEST thing to host a race and set up cheering sections! Let’s make this dream of mine a reality!

4.) Finish my 5th NYC Marathon-I made this goal 4 years ago, and I am so close to checking this one off the list! I’m not sure why I had it in my head that I wanted to finish 5, but I did. I can’t imagine not being in NYC for the marathon to be honest. The entire week feels like a modified Christmas celebration. All the love, the people, the hope, the charities, the athletes…it is positively wonderful! I’ve entered the lottery and will find out in March if I made the cut. If I don’t get in through the lottery, I will run for a charity again which is always fun!

5.) Write– It is daunting to expose your inner thoughts and feelings in a public forum, to not hide behind a picture. Writing in this blog offers me a way to connect with my family and friends all over the world, but it has also been hard to share. I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve started, but I never published them. This year will be different.

I want to create. Sometimes to create means to fail, but I am a huge fan of trying and landing on my face or my a&*! I don’t believe in failing though. I try to learn something positive from every experience. Do you feel like you’re always looking at the negatives or the positives in your life? That negative energy can really weigh you down!  I’m not saying I don’t have crap days. We all have those, but after you have flushed the sh&% down the toilet look for the equivalent of the air freshener in your life! haha

6.) Get my emails under control aka become more tech savy– I have 65, 148 emails at the moment. What the what?! Should I be on the show Hoarders? Does anyone else have this problem? That is too much clutter in my life. Confession…most of them are shopping emails.

Using WordPress and my iPhone are at the top of my list of tech items to conquer. Learning how to utilize technology will help save me some valuable time, I hope.

7.) Book more TV shows/Films/Commercials– My major goal is to be a series regular for a respected show. Okay, so this one is not completely in my hands. When I audition for things, I obviously try to bring my best self, but it is not always in the cards. HOWEVER, I’ve decided that this year I need to start taking the reigns on things in life I can control…go to next goal…

8.) CREATE!- I want to connect with more of my peers to create! Pictures, videos, blog posts, YouTube videos, Instagram content…I want to make things and not wait for them to come to me. Shout out to my friends Ana and Aaron for including me in your creative process. You guys are the BEST!

I pride myself in being a proactive person, but I’ve struggled to find the courage to release content that I haven’t had the chance to perfect. This year is all about trying, learning, and growing. If you want to make a project, please let me know how I can help! Let’s collaborate! And honest feedback is always welcome! I promise, I have ridiculously thick skin.

9.) Start a Birthday Card tradition- A couple years ago, I set out Valentine’s Day cards and candies to friends from Facebook. V-Day is one of my favorite holidays! It’s seriously a day of celebrating love! You don’t need a significant other to celebrate that! It was a BLAST making the cards and sending out stuff in the mail.

My #1 favorite thing, is getting stuff in the mail! I would LOVE to do this with birthday cards this year! If you would be interested in getting a little HBD love this year, please leave your email in the comments so I can message you for your address!

10.) Embrace failure– If you get sick of me posting this year, sorry I’m not sorry. If I look silly doing something or write things with a ton of grammatical errors, oh well, life goes on. If I embarrass myself with terrible acting or make a dumb joke, hopefully the next round will be better. If I crash and burn meeting a new group of people, maybe they will find in endearing. This is a pep talk to myself by the way. Lol

11.) Live in the moment– PUT YOUR FREAKING PHONE DOWN FOR A FEW MINUTES!!! People watch, read a book, breathe, enjoy the rain or the snow or the sunshine…just BE. I’ve been called the iPad police on more than one occasion by my nephews. Seriously, they fear me when they’ve been seen with their contraband. haha Just know, if we are at dinner and you are on your phone, I’m secretly judging you. Honestly, I’ll probably be sending you menacing looks, so you will certainly know I’m thinking not so nice things aka how rude you’re being.

12.) Learn to speak Spanish and play the guitar– I have either made excuses or didn’t make the time to practice. I am a HUGE fan of learning and experiencing new things, but I need to make this a daily habit instead of an afterthought. My friends, Jeremy and Jen, already said I could borrow their guitar! Score!!

13.) Become a more experienced photographer with my new camera/document my travel experiences to share with others– My camera is allowing the creativity to ooze out of me. Hopefully, I can turn this passion for capturing images into something fun. If you want to model for me, let me know! I’m taking submissions! Haha

14.) Love harder, complain less, and stop being impacted by others’ expectations of what my life should look like– You are engaged, married, pregnant, have 10 kids, have zero kids, have 10 cats/dogs, have a normal job, have a house, are religious, hate religion, live in the city, live in the country, you’re vegan, you hunt, you love politics, you hate politics, you’re in debt, you have a million dollars saved up, etc…I get it, you think your life is amazing, and I am SOOOO happy for you! I think your life is great too! But just because our lives are different, doesn’t mean they aren’t equally wonderful!

I know you think having kids will make me happier, but you don’t hear me telling you how great it is to not have that responsibility yet or how crazy you are for having them in your 20s do you?! And on that note, how do you know I can physically have them or if I even want them if I could? These are personal topics that so many people discuss freely. It’s kind of weird and personal to me.  I feel like I could write an enormous post on how as women we are pressured to have kids/get married/look a certain way by other women and men. (Maybe I will at some point) For the men out there reading this, I know you have your own set of expectations as well. I’m only using this as one example of people not being empathetic. I will try to be more understanding of the close-minded people that only see their way of living as the right way though, and I will also try to be more open minded myself. We are all entitled to live our lives how we see fit. We can all hug it out!

15.) Encourage, embrace, accept other women- For some reason, I’ve found women are harder on each other than men have ever been on us! Why do we do that to one another?? Why are we body shaming other women? Or mom shaming? (Is that what it’s called? ) Why aren’t we encouraging women to be leaders? I seriously saw a post this year from a woman explaining that she didn’t believe women should ever be in leadership positions. #mindblown Why can’t we support women who decide to go to work in an office AND also support women who decide to work in their homes to support their families? Can we give each other a freaking BREAK?!

I’m not a jealous person. I am thankful I was raised to appreciate the strengths of others. I want to learn from you if you are more knowledgeable or more experienced than me. Teach me. Show me. I’ll STFU and listen. Please and thank you! Can we all try to do a little more of that? Instead of tearing each other down? Everyone is always so quick to judge, but would you be saying any of that stuff to that person’s face?

Also, can we please stop using the B word? It is offensive and degrading to me and other women. I sometimes slip and say it, but I’m actively working on removing it completely from my vocabulary. I encourage you to do the same. Your words are powerful. Choose them wisely.

16.) Start a bookclub/tv show/film club- Who’s in? I read and watch A TON of content. It would be fun to make this a monthly thing or even a long weekend type of event. I’m a decent cook and love hosting events!

17.) Do one of those 100 days of fitness challenge things- My friend Carson recently did this, and I thought it was a great idea! I was thinking about trying something like that in a daily video blog to show body progress, talk about my daily food choices, and training I’ve done during the day. What are your thoughts? Would you have any interest in seeing or hearing about that type of thing? —-I’m starting small, all of March, I will post on IG, workout, or post on my blog…or all three. 

18.) Get better at responding on social media- I tend to have weeks where I’m a full blown crazy social media person. Then I have times where I’m MIA for months at a time. I want to be more consistent with communicating with those around me. I don’t always see comments or messages because I’m usually on my phone not my laptop, and for some reason FB isn’t as iPhone friendly. That, or I’m just really bad at navigating the app.  I’m trying to get better though.

I appreciate when people take time out of their busy days to show me love. I want to make sure I do the same in return. I will say that I am more likely to respond to people I have met personally. I also want to point out that I am not interested in sharing my love life on social media and haven’t been for a very long time. I like to keep some things private in the age of over exposure. I hope you will understand and respect my decision to keep that to myself.

19.) Participate in races across the country/world with other women (and men too!)- In 2016, there was a group of us girls that ran a 20k together in Dallas. Honestly, it was one of the best weekends of 2016! I got to spend time with old friends and met some new ones along the way.  I also met some awesome girls at the Austin 70.3 race that I would love to connect with at future races as well!

Does anyone already do this? Wanna include me in the email list? I’m always up for a race weekend. I will be posting my race schedule in the next few weeks when I have a more concrete idea of what I’m going to do.

I want to encourage more girls to be involved in these races. You CAN do it! I promise! We can walk a 5k together or run a marathon side by side! I’ve heard so many women tell me they could never run this or that. I have witnessed a close friend in her 50’s finish her first 5k running through that finish line! She never thought she could do it, but she did! Let’s do it together! If I can’t physically be there, I will try my best to be your cheerleader from afar!

20.) Continue making new goals! –That’s a given

Okay, If you’ve read my post this far, WOW, you have stamina! And you will hopefully help me hold myself accountable this year for completing this to do list! We have to rely on each other because we can’t do it all by ourselves. I like to write my goals down as a gentle reminder of the things I want to accomplish. Otherwise, I will forget and three years will pass by before you know it!

What are some of your goals/dreams you want to make realities in 2017 or beyond?  I would love to know! 

Ready to jump in and get to work!!

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XOXOXO BRITT

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Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon 2016

THE ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ TRIATHLON 2016

img_9267   THE RACE AT A GLANCE

THE SWIM: 1.5 Miles in the San Francisco Bay

The 1st Transition: 1/2 Mile running

THE BIKE: 18 Miles of hills

The 2nd Transition

THE RUN: 8 Miles + a sand ladder

The FINISH LINE!

But first a little back story…

It all started after an 18-Mile Warm Up race in NYC (I know, I already sound like a mental person). Makiko, Dave, and I decided to grab some lunch after our rigorous long run. Sitting in the Whole Foods cafeteria, Makiko, expressed her concern about running her first marathon. I asked if she had done any other long races. I myself had finished two NYC marathons at this point in time, and wanted to offer moral support or any advice I could provide that would help her feel more at ease for the race that was coming up. She told me she finished a little race known as the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. There was running, biking, and swimming in the San Francisco Bay!! Say What?! I told her she would be perfectly fine for the marathon, but thought to myself that maybe my friend was slightly insane!

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Makiko, Dave, and I in Central Park after finishing the 18-Mile Warmup Race.

But lo and behold, Makiko planted a little seed in my brain. I was in awe of her accomplishment. One day, I went to the website for that crazy race. Don’t ask me what compelled me to do it. I’m still trying to figure that one out myself! haha And what did I do when I got online? I signed up for the dang lottery to get in the race!

If you know me, you know I LOVE any type of drawing! Tell me there is a raffle at your party, I will be there! Even the one where the prize is literally hours of torture! 😉

My name was in the hat! A few weeks later, I received an email stating that I had in fact WON a golden ticket to Escape from Alcatraz! I felt like the luckiest person in California on that day! I contemplated signing up. There was a hefty $800 registration fee. I asked family and friends to donate to my entry fee for birthday and Christmas presents, and I paid for the rest. Because when you win a lottery, you have to claim your prize!

Literally, the day after I signed up, someone sent me this link of a great white feeding at Alcatraz. It was too late to get my money back. I was in it to win it…well to finish it at least and hopefully with all my body parts intact!

Even though I knew in October that the race was on June 12th, I didn’t start training until May. Whoops! I tend to wait until the last minute for things.  (Come back soon to see a post about what I do to train)

Okay, we are finally to the juicy part…Race Weekend!

Me cheesing it up with Sally (my bike) with the San Francisco Bay in the background.

To prepare for the 6 hour drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco, I purchased a cool bike rack. It folds up and is easy to install. Although, it is probably safe on its own, I added extra support with jumper chords for peace of mind. You can also rent a great bike at local bike shops in the city you’re racing in if you don’t want to ship your bike or travel with it. It usually costs around $400-$500 to ship your bike based on what I looked up if you’re not driving your bike.

Got the guns out to show how proud I was of the only type of tattoo I’ll ever have, a temporary one! lol
Processed with Snapseed.
The race had a hefty price tag, but we got some AWESOME gear: water bottle, t-shirt, backpack, towel, swim cap, and a Cytomax drink (not pictured because I devoured it after the race!). Well worth it! We got all of this when we checked in the day before the race (minus the medal).
The Athletes’ meeting was a MUST! The speaker did a great job on the stage and in his videos on the official website   informing us about the race. Watching the videos again the day before the race made me so nervous though!
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Me modeling my new gear! I felt pretty cool, not gonna lie!

I obviously had to visit the Alcatraz Prison before the race. I highly recommend doing that if you have time. It wasn’t the most exciting place in the world, but it felt like a necessary race stop. It made me feel like a real bandit for competing in the race! haha

Alcatraz Prison looking all cute! Fun fact, it was closed in 1963.

We had an extremely early call time for the race. I think our bikes had to be checked from 4:00-6:00am, and we had to be on the shuttle bus to get to the ferry by 6:30am. The ferry left at 6:30am on the dot. Do NOT be late for this ferry if you compete in this race. They will leave yo a$$!

Can you believe people were going to swim in that water?! AKA ME?!

The night before the race I took a bath, shaved my legs (TMI? I find it therapeutic! lol), laid out my race clothes, and went through my checklist of the things I would need for race day. I ended up going to bed around 1:00am and woke up at 4:00am. I repeat 4:00AM.

I wanted to check my bike in early because it was my first time racing, and I didn’t want to be rushing to the start line like I am for every other race I’ve ever competed in. This time, I was prepared and early! My bike was set up by 5:30am! Yay for being on time!

There were a lot of people riding their bikes to the start line, but mine hitched a ride. In an SUV. A warm cozy SUV. I wasn’t trying to bike in the dark in a new city y’all! I wore a pullover and pants over my tri suit. I don’t like to be cold, but I ditched them before I got on the ferry. We were given clear bags we could check at the ferry.

When I got to Marina Green, I found the number spot assigned to me and parked Sally. Then I set up my little towel. I had my hair brush (because have you ever tried to brush your hair after swimming in the ocean then getting blasted by the wind? It hurts!), conditioning spray for my hair (I care about my hair okay?!), sunscreen, Glide (it helps with chaffing), a drying towel, socks, running shoes, bike shoes, running bib, gels, water, helmet, and sunglasses. Did I forget to mention I had my own store at the race? Lol I brought a lot of stuff, but I wanted to be safe instead of sorry for my first triathlon.

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At the Sports Basement, the sporting goods store I rented my wetsuit from, the guy helping me (I think his name was Alex) told me to use PAM cooking spray for the wetsuit application. lol Apparently, it is a great lubricant for getting the wetsuit on and off easier and is a cheaper alternative to Glide. I purchased some, but I couldn’t bring myself to greasing up like I was food. lol I used Glide instead all over under my wetsuit.

The PAM I bought has helped me cook some eggs and cupcakes though. Lol I wore swimming socks, a trisuit, two swim caps, wax ear plugs, my Garmin watch, the race timing chip band around my ankle, goggles, and wrapped an extra pair of goggles around my ankle in the event I lost mine along the way.

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The bus ride was really short. I recommend using the restroom BEFORE you get on the ferry. They had restrooms on the boat, but it was hard to get out of my wetsuit! Lol

We were on the boat for what seemed like an eternity. I think it was about an hour real time. It was a hurry up and wait situation. I’m use to that in my line of work. So I was relaxed and excited at the same time! I met some fellow Escapees and had a great time chatting away! I’m long winded you know!

There were several people that couldn’t believe I had chosen this race to be my FIRST! You could tell they thought I was cray cray! haha

My ferry buddies! Can you believe he swam WITHOUT wetsuit?!

Before I knew it, people were jumping overboard on purpose! Haha It was time to take the plunge into 62 degree water, with the sharks, sea lions, the current, and two thousand other competitors for the 1.5 mile swim!

WATCH THIS VIDEO from the Escape from Alcatraz website. There is terrifying music, and it gives you a better view of what the swim portion looks like. I could not take pictures from the boat or in the water. I thought about bringing my GoPro, but I decided that would be silly for my first time. Maybe for the next EFA! 😉

The pros dove off the ferry to start the race. The rest of us were required to jumped off feet first. I was totally okay with that. We had one hour to complete the swim. For this particular race, you are not disqualified for not finishing the race within the one hour cutoff. There are other races where you will be disqualified for not meeting the cutoff. Make sure to look for that when you sign up for your next triathlon!

When I initially hit the water, I was surprised by how warm the water was. I thought it was going to feel like ice. The wetsuit and swim socks were life savers!

Photo Credit:Marathon Foto

I swam as hard and as fast as I could! Which by the way, WAS NOT very fast. lol My head was above the water. My body was straight up (Not the position it should have been in). I’m sure I was aggressively flailing my arms looking like I was about to drown! The waves were big and the currents were strong. My heart was beating so fast, and I had a hard time catching my breath. Everything I knew, went out the window! I was panicking. I’ve never panicked in a race before, not even in real life situations where I should have been freaked out.

An idea popped into my head! The same guy that helped me with my wetsuit, told me to lay on my back when I needed to catch my breath and to take in Alcatraz. To enjoy it for a moment.

I did just that for about two seconds before I swallowed about a gallon of nice clean bay water and almost threw up! Some guy rode up in his kayak to ask if I was okay. That’s how bad it was. #epicfail #ihadmymoment

It was much easier to put my head down and attempt to swim like a normal competitive swimmer would. By the way, I did not turn over on my back again.

They had a strict one hour cut off time for the swim. I’m a runner, not a swimmer. Have I mentioned that before? The most swimming I have done was in high school. Also, I had an ear infection for 3 weeks before the race and couldn’t get into a pool.  I knew I wouldn’t make the cutoff time.

The pros finished the race 10 minutes slower than what they were expected to. The current was that strong. Heck, if the Olympians were having a slow day, you know you’re in trouble!

It was like I was on a treadmill in the water. I was trying to spot the shore thinking I’d be getting closer,  but I’m not sure I moved. They talked about spotting different buildings to locate where you were and to avoid getting stuck in the “river”. Yeah, all that went flying out the window. I was just trying to avoid drowning!

I prayed for a shark to come get me at one point. Then I heard a little voice in my head go off…JUST KEEP SWIMMING…JUST KEEP SWIMMING!!! Shout out to Dory! So I did. (I also, repeated “Just Keep Swimming” in my head for the majority of the swim portion! lol) For 55 minutes to be exact before…

I caught a water taxi aka a volunteer police officer driving his magical jet ski!  I told him I only needed to rest for a moment, but he told me to hop on. Thank you Mr. Police Officer for being assertive and for telling me to do that! Oh, and for the ride! haha You were my hero in that moment! He dropped us off closer to the shore, but not close enough. I swam for another 5 minutes before I hailed another taxi begging them to get me closer. I was spent!

Let me tell you, I had no shame. NO. SHAME. I swam for the allotted hour I told myself I would. You should never be ashamed to admit when you need help. I gladly admitted I needed the assistance.

Note to self: get in the pool more than three times before you decide to jump into the ocean full of creatures and currents.

Feeling hard core after that swim!

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The volunteers were absolutely WONDERFUL!!! They helped me walk up the stairs to the transition area, and one lady helped me take off my wetsuit. We couldn’t get it off for a second because of the goggles I had wrapped around my ankle and forgotten about. She was the sweetest and kindest person for helping me! HUGE shout out!!

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I’m in my old running kicks, and you can see the time chip band on my ankle in this picture.We had to run about half a mile from the swim exit to the bike start.

The transition is a great time to eat a gel and to warm up your legs after the cold swim.

We had bags we checked the day before with the stuff we would need for the transition. I packed my old running shoes and some socks. I put the wetsuit in my empty bag for pickup after the race. Then I took off!

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I LOVED this guy’s costume! How cute is that?! I was jealous I didn’t have one of my tutus on!

 A lot of people ran with no shoes or socks. No. Just no. I always like to have shoes and socks on, even in my house! I’ve got tender feet! If you can run barefoot, you’re a maniac, and I love you! I will not be joining you though!

When I got to my bike, I brushed my hair and pulled it back into a bun, dried off a little more, applied sunscreen, ate a bar, attached my race bib, then put on my helmet before mounting the bike. You can get in BIG trouble for not having your helmet on! Make sure you put it on ASAP to avoid forgetting it and getting a penalty!

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Jogging my bike to the bike starting point.

The biking portion was 18 miles of riding up and down hills! It was my second favorite portion behind the swimming. I wore the clip in shoes, and I practiced getting on and off the bike with them as much as I could. I would highly recommend doing that somewhere flat and to take your time!

My biggest fear before the race was about the biking. Crashing was the biggest concern. I had not rode in a group of bikers before. I kept a safe distance from everyone, and I felt very comfortable on the bike throughout.

I was nervous about wearing the tri suit. I bought it the day before the race, which is a big no no! It was sooooo comfortable though! It felt like I was naked! I had to look down a few times to make sure I wasn’t! lol

The tri suits are unique because they are designed for all the components of a triathlon. They dry quickly after your swim and fit comfortably under a wetsuit if you need to wear one. There is a padded part in the seat region called the chamois. I don’t know how to pronounce that. Just know it adds comfort for your Queen and King! hahaha The suit is also comfortable for the run. My suit didn’t have any elastic around the legs, but my shorts did not ride up at any point of the race.

I found it difficult to eat gels during the bike ride. I’m need to figure out a better way to do that for the next race. I think a gel holder near my handle bars would do the trick.

I passed a few people going up the hills. Going to thank my running legs for that! I didn’t get to do very many hill workouts on the bike before the race.

The hills were enjoyable because you knew when you were at the top of those monstrous things, you would get to fly down them!  

The bike portion went a lot faster than I thought it would at 1:33:41. I was nervous I was going to finish closer to the two hour cut off. It was finally time for the portion I was the most comfortable with: the run! I put on my fanny pack with my gels and lip gloss and grabbed my water bottle to take off on the run!

Little tip: I always run with Victoria’s Secret lip gloss to keep my mouth from getting dry. I’ve tried other lip products, but VS works the best for me.

My phone is always zipped up in my water bottle case, and I took multiple pictures and videos along the way. Snapchat is one of my favorite apps! You can follow me at: bowmanbs. If you have the app, you can hover over my picture and it will add me to your contacts. I post A LOT on there! It’s so much fun to use the filters!

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ADD ME!!! @BOWMANBS

I snapped throughout the running portion. People couldn’t believe it! lol It wasn’t like I was going to win the race, and I wanted some pictures to share with everyone! I enjoy going on other people’s journeys and wanted to take them on mine!

It also makes me feel safer knowing I have a way to communicate if an emergency arises. On that note, I usually pack my photo id, a credit card, a $10 bill, and pepper spray on my runs. Call my paranoid, but I like to come prepared. The $10 comes in handy when you need to buy a drink from a drink stand that doesn’t accept credit cards. Learned the hard way on a very hot day.

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Golden Gate Bridge Selfie!!
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The MarathonFoto photographers are great! I’m smiling in almost every picture they took! I was JACKED UP ON LIFE that day y’all! haha
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I had to take a quick pic of this along the way!

The notorious Sand Ladder!! It was fun! I enjoyed it! I liked that we were done with the beach running! Running on sand is not great for my chins.

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The moment you’ve all been waiting for! The finish! I passed two people at the end, like a jerk! They never saw it coming! 😉 Actually, they were holding hands, and I didn’t want to be that one random person messing up there picture perfect photo opportunity!

The finish line is always bitter sweet. All the months of planning and training for one event, and it is all over so fast! After big races, I tend to go into a mild state of depression. Which is when I sign up for another race. lol It is also why I am going to compete in the Ironman 70.3 Austin race October 30th in Texas and the New York City Marathon the weekend after that on November 6th in New York.

An Ironman 70.3 consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 half marathon run. A marathon is 26.2 miles. A full Ironman is 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles biking, and 26.2 miles running.

Look out for more blog posts about those races! My goal is to finish a full Ironman race in 2017! I wish the name was IronPEOPLE though or something that included everyone. Just sayin! I also realize my last name has man in it, but you know what I’m trying to say here right?! 😉

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They had awesome post race activities that helped me get over my sadness quickly! haha Like food, massages, and free medal engraving!

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BUSTED! Documentation of me devouring the awesome food they had after the race! There was salad, pasta, bread, chicken, and other yummy items. Best race food I’ve ever had!

 

There was a medal engraving tent that engraved our medals for FREE! It took about 5 minutes to have it done right there in front of you! So cool! I wish the NYC Marathon had this option! HINT HINT if you are reading NYRR!

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MASSAGE HEAVEN!!!!! They offered free 10 minute massages to race participants. Make sure to tip if you ever have this opportunity at a race. People need to be compensated for touching your sweaty stanky body! haha

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One tip if you are going to swim in a wetsuit. Make sure to apply Glide or PAM at the base of your swim cap and at the top under your wetsuit to avoid chaffing like I encountered. You live and you learn. This picture was taken the morning after the race. Those red marks are NOT hickeys! They are from skin rubbing against rubber! OUCH!!!

A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL THE RACE VOLUNTEERS FOR A SAFE AND FUN RACE!! AND TO MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOR THE LOVE AND ENCOURAGEMENT ALONG THE WAY!

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I did it! I Escaped from Alcatraz! You can too!

The 2nd drawing for 2017’s race is up! Here is the link.

I’ve entered again, because just like my friend Makiko, I’m a little insane in the membrane! 🙂 UPDATE: I received my 2nd Golden Ticket this week for the 2017 race!! Should I sign up for next year’s race?!?

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my small novel. Do you have any races coming up? Do you have any questions about the race, gear, training, etc.? Or would you like to see any posts on particular race topics?

Do you have any advice for me? I’ll gladly take it! haha

Just let me know in the comments! And follow me on social media for more updates about races and other fun stuff! Click on the icons at the bottom of the post! The digital love is always appreciated!

Wanna race together? Let’s make it happen!

Until next time!

XOXO Britt

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