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Wildflower: A Race Report
May 07, 2013 by Julia Quirk

I’ve been excited/nervous about wildflower since I made one of my coaches look me in the eyes and tell me I was capable of finishing this race despite my newbie status. In January, I recommitted to my cause, and added a second race, one of the hardest half ironmans in the country. I’ve spent these past months working my butt off to take on the hills, heat and mental exhaustion I knew I would face on race day. Just a little reminder – a half ironman is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.1 mile run.

The day of the race I was trying to keep my calm, and doing a pretty good job, until I couldn’t find my electrolytes. I was panicking, and asked Ian, one of our coaches, when the vendors would open so I could try and buy some more. After a little more frantic searching, I found it, and upon telling him he said that would be my one little snafu for race day -- this will be funny later. Another upset that day was the announcement that the race was not wetsuit legal under the USAT rules. What this means is that the water was above 68 degrees, the first time in race history that this has happened, and if you wanted to officially place you could not wear a wetsuit. I didn’t wear mine, not because I expected to place, but because I’d rather be a little cold than a little hot.

Upon entering the water and getting a pretty aggressive trampling from the swimmers around me, I found a good rhythm. The temperature was perfect and the rolling hills that surrounded the lake were gorgeous. Unfortunately, the back of my left knee/calf began hurting like it had almost 2 weeks ago. I finished the swim in a decent time (considering my hardships) at just over 44 minutes. I ran up the boat ramp towards transition and yelled to my coach that my knee was giving out. I’m not quite sure what I expected her to do for me. I saw a few more familiar faces as I neared transition and it pushed me to keep running. I threw on my bike shoes, helmet, gloves, and chamois butter, and stuffed my face with a banana and my pockets with Larabars and Shot Blocks. Unfortunately, I AGAIN forgot my electrolytes. The two bottles on my bike had already been filled with an electrolyte drink, but I had planned on 4 electrolyte drinks during the bike. During a last minute strategy session at our sendoff last week, my coaches reminded us to always plan to use what we know works for us, but to adapt when things don’t go your way. I knew I would have to forgo my Hammer drinks and take the risk of sugary Gatorade not sitting well in the hopes that I would maintain a proper sodium level and be able to stay healthy during the race.

The first 28 miles went so well! I was passing some pretty fast people, including quite a few on fancy tri bikes. I was also eating and hydrating well and using coach BP’s cooling strategy of dumping a bottle of water on myself at every aid station. At the second station a girl commented that it was a great idea, and she’d have to try it at the next stop. I told her I have awesome coaches, and BP always says it’s free speed if you can keep yourself cool. I even swapped out a water bottle at several aid stations while still moving! I’m always very cautious about reaching down for the water bottles, it makes me uncomfortable to be in that position -- I feel out of control. At mile 28, exactly half way through the bike ride, I swapped my water bottle out for a new one, and as I was putting it back in my cage at the top of a hill I hit a bump…

I was in a compromised position with only one hand on the handlebars and my body bent down to reach the cage and couldn’t recover. My chest hit the handle bars and my legs were slammed into the top tube of my bike and I slid on my stomach down the hill. I got up and tried to get back on my bike and a woman ran to my side to help me. She was riding in the opposite direction, and told me she was not racing and would help me. I told her I just wanted to go, but she said I was bleeding profusely and needed to be bandaged before I went on or I’d never make it. We ran back several hundred feet to the aid station where some Cal Poly kids poured bottle after bottle over my arms trying to get the gravel out. They kept drying it and putting Band-Aids on but I’d bleed through them before I could even get back to my bike. Finally we smeared petroleum jelly all over it as an artificial clot and it helped enough to get me on my way.

The most sinking feeling of that day was when I pushed my pedal down and nothing caught. I was sure I’d broken my crank. Luckily, it was only a dropped chain. I was able to unjam it from under the crank and get it back into gear. I bombed down that hill in tears. I couldn’t even count how many people had passed me trying to get myself back up and running. All I wanted was to finish. When I got to the bottom of the hill I realized a few things were severely wrong: the pain in my knee had increased exponentially, my handlebars were turned at a 45 degree angle and I had no tools to fix them, my front tire was now an oval and every rotation brought the feeling I was on a bucking bronco, and finally, something was slowing my down that shouldn’t have been. I looked at my wrist and my “I overcome adversity” bracelet stared right back at me. I had to keep going. I knew I had about 12 miles until nasty grade and I spent that time visualizing getting up that climb, making that turn, and taking it all the way to the top despite my mechanical and physical shortcomings. Another thanks to BP for killing us in our spin classes by making us learn to pedal with one leg. I don’t think his intention was to ride through injuries, rather to build a more efficient and full pedal stroke, but it worked for me here. I realized that the pain in my knee was made worse when I pulled up on the pedals, but not when I pushed down. I rode getting 80% of my power from my right leg and mashing down with my left leg. After about 6 miles, I was lucky enough to come across a SAG vehicle. SAG is an employee of the race, and only employees and other competitors are allowed to help you. I knew my handle bar was a simple fix, and could not have been happier when he told me he could fix it. He also opened up my brakes and I reangled them to stop them from rubbing and slowing me down as much as I could. By then I’d bled through another Band-Aid, and he didn’t have a first aid kit, so we made what he called a “man’s Band-Aid.” Basically, he put electrical tape over my bloody Band-Aid to keep it on, and just wrapped a bunch of electrical tape around one of my fingers which I hadn’t realized had a flap of skin hanging off of it before. Needless to say, I have some pretty interesting tan lines.

About 10 minutes later I heard another rubbing sound on my front tire… and then a flat. My tube blew out the side of my tire. Luckily, I got a few minutes out of the sun as it happened right under a shady tree in the middle of a long hot stretch of road. Did I mention it was in the high 90’s all day? A super nice woman from LA stopped to talk to me as I changed my tire and I noticed her knee was skinned as well. She had been taken out by someone who cut her off leaving transition and had crashed as well. I thanked her for keeping me company, got my tire changed and headed back on the road. At about mile 40 there were 2 girls on the side of the road asking for help. One in particular had the same defeated, helpless look in her eyes I knew must have been in mine. They needed a tire. Usually when you get a flat tire it’s because the tube inside popped. She showed me her wheel and as it spun around there was a HUGE hole in the actual tire, not the tube, the size of a nickel. I knew my race was over, and if I couldn’t put the training my coaches gave me to use I’d at least help someone in need and maybe the race karma they always told us to practice would grant me a miracle. I had never had this problem, and I’m a newbie myself, but I remembered something that a much more experienced friend had once told me. (Thanks Brian) I told them I was going to try and fix it for them based on something I was told but had never tried. I pulled out my last Larabar, scarfed half of it down (and forced them to eat the rest), pulled the tire and tube off and stuck the wrapper over the whole and down to the rim. The moment of truth came when I filled the tire with CO2 and it was hard and actually holding all of the air! I was pretty stoked. I helped them get the wheel back on the bike, and they couldn’t stop thanking me. One girl even tried to give me the $5 she keeps in her saddlebag for emergencies. It was a sweet and totally endearing gesture, but I told her to keep it and just try and finish.

Another thing I haven’t mentioned yet is my feet. Remember a couple of weeks ago when my feet were in terrible pain and I had to stop and raise them several times during my long ride? Well, that was back. Right at the foot of nasty grade I couldn’t take it anymore. I stopped laid on my back with my feet raised, and drank for a moment. I got back on and went on face one of the most feared 2 miles of the race. I made it up the first stretch of the hill a bit out of breath and beat. My calf felt like it was being torn from my leg. I stopped at the water stop on the small flat stretch before the second climb, and they were out of water. I was grateful I had stocked up earlier, took a few sips and decided if I wanted to finish this I needed to walk. I pushed my bike up the last stretch of nasty grade and tried to cheer on the people struggling on their bikes. At the top of the hill I could see two people who I thought might have been my coaches. I was so embarrassed for them to see me walking. As I got closer I saw it was them. I told them I’d been in an accident and hurt my leg. They asked if I was going to finish or if they should take me back. I told them I had to try to get to the end. I got back on my bike, and got ready for the descent.

I knew that not long after nasty grade were a few more hills. My friend Barbara had done the training camp a few weeks earlier, and told me that they were more difficult by far than nasty grade itself if only for the fact you think you’re done climbing only to have to do it again immediately. I carried as much momentum as I could into that hill to try and get up, but had to get off and walk again because of my knee. At the top of one of those hills were 3 people who had been in an accident. They didn’t have serious injuries, but quite a lot of road rash. The man in particular had the entire side of his shorts torn off. He was furious; they had been waiting for almost 2 hours to be picked up. Right when I reached him he decided to bike, bare-assed, to the end. He said he was done and wanted to quit, but no one had come to get him. He went about a quarter of a mile when a SAG vehicle finally pulled up and picked him up. I have to say, I know there’s no way he had TNT coaching, he was angry, swearing, and not particularly nice to anyone. I guess that goes to show that your perspective completely effects your race experience. To him, he would no longer meet a time goal so he might as well not even try. All I can say is yikes…

We hit another water stop, and again there was no water. I rationed what I had with about 15 miles to go. Not far ahead of me a woman looked like she was really hurting, and a man pulled up next to her and gave her a spare bottle. THIS is the kind of triathlon I signed up for.

I pushed myself as much as I could within the parameters of an injured leg and janky bike, trying to gain speed on hills without getting too out of control since I wasn’t entirely sure how my bent wheels would react to turns and brakes, but still having to get off once more to walk up a hill into the park. As I entered the park gates I saw a friend on the run and knew I was in trouble. I tried to fly down Lynch Hill, the last stretch of the bike and the homestretch of the run and saw another friend about to finish. A car passed me and I realized they had opened the roads. I had missed the cutoff. All I could do was pray they’d be flexible and let me run. I thought about what I’d say to everyone who had supported me and had faith in me that I could do this. I thought about my mom who had flown all the way from Chicago to watch me finish my first half ironman. I thought about how many times my coaches told me I could do this and gave me extra help whenever I asked. I thought about how it was Ceil, my honoree’s, birthday weekend. And how I had let them all down. I started bawling as I pedaled as fast as I could through the park. I couldn’t breathe. I neared the dismount line going way too fast. The volunteers were screaming at me to stop and I skidded to a halt right before the line and ran towards the bike in gate. I was met with a woman blocking the entry as another pulled the chip from my leg.

As I slowly trudged back to my spot and wept I saw the two girls I had helped earlier, they were so happy they had made it to the end of the ride. I saw two of my team mates who had missed the cutoff as well, and one of them came to hug me and comfort me. I feel terrible that I couldn’t do that for anyone else. It was such a hard race and so many people had problems. I later found out that well over 100 chips were pulled on the bike alone. When I got back to my slot I heard my mom. I was still crying and told her they wouldn’t let me finish and that I’d crashed my bike. She said she knew something wasn’t right and that I’d been out too long. I guess it’s a mom thing, they always know. I showed her my cuts and she walked with me as I limped to the medical tent.

Once there, I told them what had happened and they set about cleaning my wounds and icing my knee. Since it had been several hours since my fall, they couldn’t tell what parts of my wounds were scabs, and what was gravel. That meant they had to literally scrub them with a brush and pour peroxide on them. At least this time my tears were justified. While I was in there I saw quite a few of my teammates. (Thanks for holding my hand while I cried like a baby, Timmy!) They had all finished, but pushed hard and were light headed and dehydrated. It was comforting just to have some familiar faces around me. Remember the flap of skin on my finger? Well, the nurse told my mom to get ready to catch me, and told me that 90% of the time they scrub fingers the patient passes out. At that point after everything I’d gone through I was kind of ok with risking it, avoiding the immediate pain, and maybe losing it to gangrene later. She told me there was another option: if we dipped it in peroxide and it bubbled enough we didn’t have to scrub it. We did, and luckily it bubbled like crazy. She still pulled and poked at it which was nearly unbearable, but I can’t imagine having that nerve filled wound scrubbed out.

I guess I don’t have much more to say about the race. I’m sorry I couldn’t do better. I will be back to Wildflower and I will beat it. Assuming my doctor clears me and I’m healed up by then, I would like to take on Barb’s Race, another half ironman in July to benefit cancer. I would like for that to be my vindication race and show that I can do this and I will be successful next year.

Thank you so much to everyone who supported me throughout the season. Thank you especially to my team for all of the hugs and kind words, I can’t tell you how much I needed them this weekend. You’re all amazing and I am so proud of you! And thanks Mom for coming out to take care of me.

I didn’t get many pictures since it wasn’t exactly a full and successful race -- no bike over the head victory shot this time -- but here’s a pre-race shot with my friend Barbara, and my honorees on my legs.

It's almost Wildflower!
Apr 30, 2013 by Julia Quirk

First of all, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who’s supported me thus far through donations and well wishes. I’ve been a little lax on keeping my blog updated lately, so here’s what has been going on in my Team In Training life.

I was recognized as a “VIP.” This means that I’ve raised over $5,000 for our team. In fact, I’ve raised $7,908.26. That’s a lot of freaking money. When I started out I didn’t think I’d make it to $1,000!

I’ve had a lot of adversity to overcome the past few weeks. It all started with a captains’ ride that broke me. I’ve never had a workout do that to me. The plan was to bike 60 miles with a TON of climbing (6,000 feet, basically biking up mountains), but we all know how good I am at following the course, so I did 65. We all started out as a team and did pig farm road (and I was keeping up with the fast people until I missed a turn,) followed by 3 bears (where I missed yet another turn,) and a loop down near Pinehurst/Skyline. The ride took me almost 5 hours. Yes, I said 5 hours. On top of missing two turns, I had gear trouble multiple times where I had to stop, get off my bike, inspect and readjust my chain, and try to start up on a steep incline, and I had immense pain in my feet: I had to get off and rub my feet 3 times because they ached so badly. Nearing the top of a particularly rough climb to Skyline about 45 miles into my ride, my bike skidded on a leaf and I fell. I wasn’t hurt, no one was there so I wasn’t embarrassed, but that was the moment that broke me. I struggled to get my cleat loose, dragged my bike to the side of the road, put my head between my knees and cried. I thought there was no way I could do this, Wldflower was a pipe dream and I was an imbecile for ever thinking it was possible. As I sat there a man in his late 60’s came chugging up the hill, asked if there was anything he could do to help, and asked if I was praying. I realized then that I needed to keep going. I talk to myself a lot while I train, and this time my inner coach told me (this is verbatim) “Man the fuck up and get back on your bike! You are better than this!” So I did. I was still a little hot-eyed as I ground my granny gears up those last 500 feet. I can’t tell you how happy I was when I saw one of my coaches, Ian, standing at the top of that hill. I stopped and told him about all of the trouble I was having and how my feet were definitely not ok and how I didn’t know what to do with the race being so close (you should always follow the “nothing new on race day” mantra.) He gave me some advice, but told me to ask the other coaches who would be more familiar. Right about then another coach, Nancy, pulled up in her car with Anne, one of the mentors. For those of you who haven’t seen my Facebook, We were all terrified for Nancy and her husband Skip when we found out she finished the Boston marathon at 4:05, mere minutes before the bombs went off. Nancy had still done the Olympic distance bike ride that day, over 30 miles after something that traumatic, and was still there to keep us going. She thought my shoes were too tight, and I needed something roomier to keep them from going numb and aching. She dropped Anne with us to finish the ride and told me I could still do this and that Wildflower was nowhere near as hard as this ride from hell, that I was prepared and would do well on race day. I was really inspired to finish, and finish strong. It was a rough ride, but I got my last 20 miles in and I did finish strong with a renenewed sense of strength. It did make me feel better to know that my whole team struggled and that I wasn’t the only one who doubted herself.

The next day we had a 40 minute open water swim followed by a 14 mile run in Livermore. The swim was delightful besides leaky goggles and underwater trees, but the run was murder. Lots of TOUGH hills in extreme heat without shade. At mile 10 I started getting intense pain in my hip and knee. The coaches told me to stop running, and stretch my IT band like there was no tomorrow. Needless to say, my rumble roller has been my best friend for the past week and a half.

After that, Nancy sent me to Livermore Cyclery to talk to the guy she likes, K. He was amazing. He could talk until he was blue in the face about everything and anything you could ever want to know about biking. He recommended I try a new cleat position before new shoes, but warned me that it could exacerbate the problem. (It did) He also talked to me about tri bikes and gave me a basic analysis of what my bike was good for. Then, he sent me out for a test ride on a $6,000 Shiv. OH MY GOD. I’m in love. I was so enamored by that bike, in fact, that I totally forgot my bike in the shop. I called the next day and decided to leave it for a tune-up and they told me exactly what was going on with my bike without me even needing to tell them about the problems I had experienced the day before. They even told me I didn’t need a full tune up, just new shifter cables and I’d be fine. YAY!

Last week I had the following race items give out on me: tri shorts, gloves, bike shoes, shifter cables, goggles, and run shoes. I’ve also had knee pain biking, and IT band pain running. I’ve been instructed not to do those workouts, and to swim without using my legs. That’s quite the core workout. I did get new bike shoes that are meant for ironman distances, so they account for swelling from being on the bike for such long distances. I’m going to ride on Thursday and make sure they work, but I think I’ll be ok.

As I was walking to work today I realized that I am 4 days out from my first half ironman. 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, followed by a half marathon (13.1 mile run)... 4 DAYS OUT! How scary is that?!?! I’ve been training for over 6 months, and I know that I’m ready. Even so, I’m terrified. I’m fighting the taper blues hard, but all of my coaches have told me I will do really well on Saturday. Here’s hoping!

Although I’ve met my fundraising goal, I’d always love a little more for cancer research. Don’t forget, everything you donate is 100% tax deductible. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU again! I’ll see ya on the other side!

Apr 11, 2013 by Julia Quirk

Hard. For this sport. Jesus. I got my bike back last night and it was like I was being reunited with a child. I'm an odd duck. I know. I need to win the lottery so I can get a super fancy new tri bike. Mkaythankxbai.

I'm a tri fiend!
Apr 10, 2013 by Julia Quirk

I've had such a great experience with Team In Training this year that I've signed up for a second season! I'll be training starting in mid-May for the Big Kahuna Half Ironman in September. AND this time I'm a mentor! I hope I can make this next season as great for my mentees as everyone on the Lavaflower team made it for me. I do know there are a few of my friends on staff for the fall season as well, and I'm pretty stoked about it!

If you feel like you're up for the challenge you should sign up and train with me!

Go Team!

Lavaman was AMAZING!
Apr 10, 2013 by Julia Quirk

I had a rough trip getting to Hawaii, with about 13 total hours of travel and 3 roommate changes, but I made it in one piece. The resort was sprawling, and a little strange, but pretty nonetheless. My first full day in Hawaii was so busy. We had a 6 a.m. open water swim at the race start location with a little walk over to scope out the transition area and a 2 mile run back to the hotel. Before the swim we talked about strategy, the course, nutrition, etc. AND I got the sportsmanship award! I knew not crying through all of those flats would pay off. Haha! I’m so lucky to have a team who makes it easy to take things in stride and succeed in the face of adversity.

The rest of the day was mostly ours to prep and relax except for the inspiration dinner. When you walk into the inspiration dinner you’re greeted by the staff of every team in training team competing in the race dressed up, screaming, clapping, ringing cowbells and going basically insane. You eat dinner, and laugh with your friends, and then there are speeches. They talk about how many people are there and how much you’ve raised (444 and 2 million dollars!) and the top fundraisers. They had an honored teammate speak to the group, and it was so moving. I can’t imagine fighting the fight they face every day. Finally they had Dave Scott (6 time Ironman world champion and TNT national coach) speak and do a Q&A session. One of the questions was “What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?” His answer was “Do whatever you’re capable of in this moment.” I’m not going to lie, I sort of dismissed it, but I cannot tell you how much that sentence helped me in my race 12 hours later.

We woke up at 4:30 a.m. the day of the race. Kim (my roommate) and I sauntered down to the lobby -- late, as to be expected -- and rode down on our own to transition. I have this thing that I do; it’s the Quirk gene, where I’m elusive the day of a race or competition. It’s made it tough for me in horse shows and races my whole life. It came on hard in the morning; I put my headphones in and ignored everything. After a while it eased up – I think Team in Training has helped me bring down my walls a bit, I was able to feel driven and motivated, but still happy and able to talk and joke with my friends. Much to my amazement, despite having a random number (158) I was on the end of a bike rack, which was amazing since it would be easier to find in a rush coming in from the swim and bike. Even better than that, is when the person across from me strolled in. Chris. Freaking. Lieto. I fan-girled hard. I can’t even lie. I went running to tell my friends, and Katie was sweet enough to talk me into taking a picture with him. He was beyond nice. In case you’re not a nerd like me, Chris Lieto is a professional triathlete. He’s known to be nearly unbeatable on the bike. Seeing as our bikes were basically touching, I asked him if his bike could loan mine a little speed while we were swimming; he told me I could take as much of his speed as I wanted. Spoiler alert: Chris Lieto won the entire race.

Here's one of my honorees. I decided to keep them on my legs to remind me to keep them moving steady and fast.

Here's my transition area (Icky is the black, red and white bike on the left, and the black and blue bike is Chris Lieto's):

I was lucky enough to start the swim out with two of our assistant coaches, Jen and Ian. I got right down in the front, and got some great last minute advice on how to navigate the swim and a little reassurance. I'm 90% sure I'm staning up on the right in the front of this picture. It's either me or one of them.

The gun went off and I started swimming. I was in the front(ish) and holding and I avoided getting kicked and trampled like people often do. About a third of the way in the water started getting nasty. Really nasty. By the time I reached the half-way point I was actually pretty scared. And I don’t get scared of open water. I couldn’t see anything or anyone. There were 3 foot waves knocking me around and I couldn’t see the buoys. That is when Dave Scott popped into my head. I decided to do what I could in that moment. I took a couple strokes, calmed down, popped my head up, spotted someone in front of me, took another stroke, took a wave to the face, took another stroke and another wave to the face. I repeated this over and over until I could see a buoy. It was unlike any other swim I’ve ever done. I could have cried getting out of that water. I know a lot of people struggled and a lot of them got pulled from the water. Luckily, everyone on our team finished the swim. I guess that’s not luck, that’s having amazing coaches. After hitting the ground 3 times with my strokes, I stood up, ripped off my cap and ran for transition. I was so happy that Coach HB was the first person I saw exiting the water.

I ran for my bike (over rocks and barefoot, who planned that?!) ate my banana, chugged some water, rinsed my feet, threw on my glasses, shoes and helmet and ran. I couldn’t get my gloves on because my hands were wet, next time I’ll take the time to make it work. I was pretty mentally beaten from that swim. And for the first 5 miles I felt like more and more defeated. It was really windy, and there were so many people passing me. I wanted to cry. I was beating myself up in my head. Again, I decided to do what I could in the moment. I started feeling a bit more positive, throwing out a “Go team!” or two helped as well. On the first downhill I felt like I found my groove. I started passing people, and really only the people on fancy tri bikes were passing me. I started feeling pretty unstoppable. I was passed by Trey, BP and Maddie and it was a great boost to see them – it means more when your coaches, captains and mentors tell you you’re doing well. Despite one little issue with a guy trying to push me into the road and flying down a rumble strip (don’t worry, I spun out and still passed him) everything went extremely well from there on out.

I got back to my transition spot, threw on my run shoes and number and hit the road again. The first thing I saw was the clock and I couldn’t control the smile on my face when I saw I was on track to beat my goal. Immediately after the clock on the run was HB again! She was a pro photographer yet again.

The run was rough too, some bad terrain and the fact that everyone seemed to be passing me again. I kept going and just trying to set a solid pace I could maintain. I drank and shoved Ice down my shirt at every aid station and it kept me strong and cool. I popped a few blocks and saw a ton of familiar faces: Coach Pete offered me a handful of ice, Barbara was the first person I saw ahead of me, not far behind her were Trey and Timmy. The end of the run course is through the hotel, around the pool, down some lava rocks above the ocean and through some trees to the beach. Coach Skip blew by me right before the finishline, that was pretty impressive. As I approached the finish I saw the time: 3:04. Did I mention my wave started 5 minutes behind? I ran as fast as I could that last stretch trying to finish in under 3 hours, and just barely missed it. My official race time was 3:00:06. I creamed my goal of 3:10:00, and just missed sub 3 by 7 seconds. I’ll take it for now, and next year I’ll come back stronger. I did, however, kick BJ Penn’s butt! He’s a pro UFC fighter. I’m pretty stoke on that. AND I think Chris Lieto did loan me a little speed. My bike time was superfast! 1:23:39, which means I had an average speed of 18.12 miles per hour.

On top of my badassery, 5 people from our team podiumed. Barbara took 4th for our age group, Kit took 3rd, Nick took 1st, Chad took 2nd, and Lance took 3rd for men 20-24.

I did get a couple of workouts in including a swim at the start of the Ironman World Championships in after the race while I was still on the island. I’m going to go ahead and leave the rest of my vacation to your imagination beyond that fact, just know that it was fueled primarily by lavaflows.

I’m gearing up for Wildflower, I’m ready to crush it.

We're getting close!
Mar 13, 2013 by Julia Quirk

On Monday I dropped my beloved Icarus off at Sports Basement to be shipped off to bigger and better things: HAWAII! I’m bummed to be without him for 11 days, but I’ll live. I spent an hour and a half cleaning and oiling the chains and gears and cleaning and polishing my Icky. We’re going to blind the competition with the glare coming off Icky’s sweet body.

I’m really excited. I fell down a k-hole watching videos of Chris Lieto (a pro I’m racing against) and Kona (maybe someday, but next week I share a part of that course) a couple of days ago. I can’t wait to test my limits in that heat, and I’m hoping for headwinds! Yeah, I’m weird.

I’ve got my race number (158) and my start wave (7:25) and I’m just raring to go. I think this is the first race in a long time I’m not terrified. It’s really rather odd. Maybe that will come closer to race day. I know that I’m prepared and well equipped and that I can really thrive. I’m feeling more competitive than normal too. Usually I want to beat a goal I set for myself be it a time, obstacle, or just to run the entire time -- this time I’m out for blood. I want to beat you. I want to beat everyone. I think having people who are much faster than me on the team has really pushed that. I want to come close to Trey, Barbra, Timmy, Chad, Maddie and Sam. If I beat any of them I think I’d cry. Ha!

Anyhoo, I’m starting to gather my bags, I’ve got my pedals, gloves, new goggles, spare tire kit, water bottles, race outfit all ready to go. Get me to Hawaii already!

What a success!
Mar 07, 2013 by Julia Quirk

Beauties Beating Blood Cancer was a huge success! Everything went off without a hitch, and everyone had a blast. Most importantly, we raised $3,273 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I cannot thank you all enough! This puts me WELL over my goal of $5,900 for the season, and maybe that $20 bucks you spent for a night of fun will be what finds a cure.


  • Dottie Lux of Red Hots Burlesque for getting the whole amazing performance together, and also for donating passes to a show at El Rio to everyone who donates to me from now until race day
  • Danny Quirk Artwork, San Franpsycho, Pier 39, Nature Box, San Francisco Playhouse, rol Epstein, Panacea, e San Francisco Opera, Escuela De Tango De Buenos Aires, Alex Hernaez, Toast, Southpaw BBQ, WAG Pet Hotel, Body Matrix, Reactt bootcamp, Mud Factor, Fox Rothschild, and AEGlive for all of your generous donations.
  • all of you who came! Especially those who rounded up a friend or two and/or bid on my silent auction items.

You seriously have done an amazing thing.

Here are a few shots that my friend Billy took. (Thanks Billy!)

Today is the day!!!
Feb 28, 2013 by Julia Quirk

Beauties Beating Blood Cancer is tonight! Come on out and watch some shimmying and shaking for a great cause. Tickets are $20 available at the door or by credit card on the eventbrite page:

I'm so excited!!!!!

Just a little 6:45 a.m. jaunt in the bay this morning. No biggie!
Feb 22, 2013 by Julia Quirk

Don’t forget to get your tickets to Beauties Beating Blood Cancer! It’s going to be a ton of fun, and the silent auction is out of control

  • 2 gorgeous prints from Danny Quirk Artwork
  • San Franpsycho clothing
  • A Pier 39 Family Fun Pack (4 Blue and Gold Fleet Bay Cruise or Rocket Boat Tickets, 4 San Francisco Carousel Ride Tickets, 4 7D Experience Tickets, 4 Aquarium Of The Bay Tickets, 2 Hour Validation for Pier 39 Parking- $264 value)
  • 3 month subscription to Nature Box
  • 2 Tickets to any San Francisco Playhouse performance
  • A sweet pair of fox footie pajamas that I encourage you to get into a bidding war with my boss over
  • 4 tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Chiropractic services at Panacea
  • 2 tickets to the San Francisco Opera ($188 value)
  • 4 packs of 4 tango lessons at Escuela De Tango De Buenos Aires
  • Unlimited yoga at Funky Door Yoga
  • Toast gift certificate
  • Southpaw BBQ gift certificate
  • WAG Pet Hotel boarding ($486 value)
  • 5 personal training sessions at Body Matrix
  • Unlimited month and 10 class pass to bootcamp with Reactt
  • 8 entries to Mud Factor
  • 2 tickets to Night Life at California Academy Of Sciences
  • 2 tickets to Gaslight Anthem

Now for Weekend update...
Feb 19, 2013 by Julia Quirk

First of all, Beauties Beating Blood Cancer is next Thursday! Come on out! We’ve got a great lineup and a wonderful silent auction! For more information and early bird tickets (they’re almost sold out!) visit:

On to an actual update!

So, this weekend was a double coached workout. On Saturday we did a 50 minute run and a swim. Nothing too crazy, just practicing downhill run form and finding our most efficient stroke. I think I’m at the right place for race efficiency, so that’s good.

Sunday, on the other hand, was epic. It was a bike/run brick up Mt. Tam. I biked 30 miles up a mountain. 3,909 foot elevation gain. 2 hours, 51 minutes, and 56 seconds. 1,926 calories. And a new max speed of 41.4 miles an hour. I’m pretty sure I’m going to kill myself on a downhill, but I LOVE them. When people ask me what my best sport is I always tell them downhill biking. A few months ago I remember my body locking up and clamping down on the brakes like my life depended on it for even a slight downhill. Now there’s nothing more exhilarating to me. I think it’s the closest I’ve felt to having Monty open up at full speed in an empty field or that amazing feeling of losing my stomach with every lead change running poles.* After our ride, we went for an easy little 5 mile run. No biggie.

My hip is reminding me how much it hates me and wants me to replace it with a robojoint, but I’m ok. I think the biking has really been targeting the muscles I need to maintain to stay mostly pain free, so it’s a good thing.** I had a hot date with a rumble roller last night; mmm hurts so good!

I tried going to Aquatic Park this morning for another shot at open water swimming before our open water practice tri on Sunday, but it was raining, and that apparently causes all kinds of nasty biohazards to drain into the bay. A few friends and I are trying again on Thursday.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I hope I see you all next Thursday!

*For those of you who don’t know, I lost my horse in a car accident 5 years ago and have had an unfillable void since I lost the ability to ride.

**I have hip dysplasia. Like a dog. Basically, I have a malformed hip joint and was told a year ago that I’d need a hip replacement at 26 and couldn’t stay active without it. Get a second opinion. Always. Do it. I’ve been vigilant about maintaining the muscles that need to work harder to keep my joint in line and I’ve been mostly pain free all year.

Holy open water, Batman!
Feb 11, 2013 by Julia Quirk

We had our first open water swim yesterday!

First of all, at the beginning of every coached workout we dedicate the workout to a person who is fighting or has lost a battle to cancer. Yesterday we swam for Ceil. That means there were over 80 of us braving one of the most mentally difficult workouts we’ve ever had keeping Ceil and her family in mind. I think that’s pretty awesome.

Moving on…

Like I said, this workout is one of the most mentally challenging we’ve faced so far. Everyone had their own fear be it dark water, currents, cold or sharks. Graciously, the staff members offered to pair up with anyone with serious concerns and act as a pacer, coach, and moral support. We suited up a little tentatively, and took a group shot before charging in.

The water was COLD. I mean REALLY cold. 48.7 degrees. It doesn’t sound that bad when you think of a winter day, but being bare footed, bare faced, and bare handed in water that cold is like a cold version of hell, a Tough Mudder Arctic Enema that I had to stay in for more than the one minute obstacle. We had to dunk and wait in the water until our bodies started to go numb. It was awful. Then we got out, ran for a second, and began our swim.

I started out a total train wreck: swimming with my face out, taking shallow breaths, and not staying horizontal. I’d say that lasted 25 meters before I got my head screwed on straight and remembered my training. Once I started swimming correctly it was much less panic inducing; not fun, per se, but manageable. As I rounded the first buoy I was sure I was lost—there was no one ahead of me. I looked back and saw everyone behind me, I was going the right way, and in the lead! I know it’s not a race, but it felt pretty damn good. I think I’m on the speedy side of intermediate in the pool, and can occasionally hang with advanced if I’m really ok with “blowing my wad” (Coach BP’s favorite tri term) but I am by no means the fastest swimmer on the team.

Check it out! First one out of the water! WOOT!

After each lap we had to do calisthenics. Fun! First was sit-ups and pushups, second was squats and burpees, and last was a wheelbarrow down the beach. (I’m on the right)

When we were wheel barrowing, I didn’t get down very gracefully at the end. Some of the staff made fun of me as I went to put my clothes on because my face was so numb I had no idea I looked like this:

I still don’t understand how I did so well yesterday. Maybe it’s that whole “mental grit” thing I’ve been working on, maybe it was thinking about Ceil, Ray, Kirby, Leonard and the Cronks. Who knows. I’m proud of myself and my team. Everyone did extremely well and overcame a ton of diversity. GO TEAM!!!

Don’t forget to buy your tickets to my burlesque event on February 28 at El Rio! It should be a lot of fun!

Practice Tri Dominated!
Feb 06, 2013 by Julia Quirk

Before I tell you about Sunday, you need to check out my event! Beauties Beating Blood Cancer at El Rio on February 28, 2013. It’s a burlesque show and silent auction with items from Southpaw BBQ, San Franpsycho, Funky Door Yoga, Escuela De Tango De Buenos Aires, Toast, Wag Pet Hotels, Reactt Bootcamp and Personal Training, Mud Factor, California Academy of Sciences and MUCH MUCH more! Tickets are $20, or $15 while early bird supplies last! Tickets are available at

On to the practice tri!!!!!!!!


First, we tried out our wetsuits for the first time. Holy cow, they are hard to get on! Way harder than surf wetsuits. They definitely assisted with buoyancy though. I didn’t have to try at all to stay horizontal. Sweet.

We got out of the wetsuits, set up our transition areas, and headed back to the pool for instructions.

I don’t know why, but I really like this picture.

Here we are getting our instructions from the coaches. They laid everything out really well.

To simulate a group start like in an actual triathlon we’ve been traversing the pool. They line us up against the wall, slowest to fastest, and we swim up and down each lane. This causes the people faster than you to end up on top of you and squeeze past you, and the slower people to kick you in the face and make it difficult to keep momentum going as you try to pass them. I started wayyyyyyyy in the back. Fighting your way through everyone is exhausting!

Check out that sweet hip rotation in the bottom right hand corner. Yeah, I know I’m awesome. And humble too!

Then it was on to the bike. I threw my shoes, shirt, helmet and gloves on and had to run to the mount line. We biked 14.3 miles, with a MURDEROUS mile with a 5.2 grade climb. I was told to expect that times 3 at wildflower. Yowza. Here I am coming in from the ride.

Finally… the run. Here I am heading out for about 3 miles. No, I’m not texting. I swear. I track my speed on my Nike+ app!

This was really a huge gauge for how far I’ve come. I would have never imagined I could have come this far after starting out a wobbly, terrified mess.

…46 days until Lavaman!!!!!

Blam! I’ve got my wetsuit!
Jan 29, 2013 by Julia Quirk

It's pretty sexy. It's totally ok for you to be jealous. Traversing the pool on Sunday kicked my behind! We also swam with our eyes closed to test how straight we swim with out visual corrections. I did pretty well, but a lot of the team looked like bowling balls at a 6 year old's bumper bowling birthday party.

I'm also pretty sure I’m going to bump myself up to intermediate bike riding this weekend! What?! Who?! Where?! WHY?! Because I’m making leaps and bounds. I was at the front of the pack despite starting 10 minutes behind my entire beginner group on Saturday.

We’ve got our first practice tri on Sunday!!! DO YOU KNOW HOW EXCITED I AM?!?!?!?! SO EXCITED I AM PHYSICALLY INCAPABLE OF TYPING A SINGLE LOWERCASE LETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I stole this from Mariana, she won the sportsmanship award this week! I love her, she's such a doll!

It’s starting to get real!
Jan 23, 2013 by Julia Quirk

I had some trouble recently with staying motivated, but I’m back at it. Part of what’s got me hooked is biking. (I know, right?!) I’m really starting to enjoy it. If you follow me on instagram (MsCoolia) then you know that pretty much every time I ride I’ve been hitting several PRs and pretty high speeds (for me). I’m stoked as can be. If I could, I’d ride every day. I did my first city ride on my own on Monday! I rode to work and then went for a jaunt through the financial district and up the embarcadero and home. I didn’t die! WOO HOO!!!

Also, I get my wetsuit Sunday. OHHHHHH my. We’ve got our first open water swim on February 10th. Everyone is really nervous, but I can’t wait!

Veganism and dry January are still going strong, I think I might keep them around a bit longer than this month. I’m going to have to throw a few cheat meals in there, I do miss cheese…

Finally, I did something pretty scary yesterday: I sent in a tissue sample to This means I’m now in the national bone marrow registry. If you know me, you know I’m TERRIFIED of needles, but at the same time, how can I say “no” to potentially saving someone’s life? I’ve been lucky, I’ve got all kinds of fun internal quirks: hip dysplasia, an enlarged pancreas and tear ducts that don’t work right, but I’m proudly the last (wo)man standing in my family with out diabetes, I am cancer free despite so many occurrences in my family, I can get up, out, and moving every day. Some people aren’t that lucky. I talked to a couple people who have donated, and said it wasn’t painful and it was pretty rewarding. I don’t know if I’ll ever be called as a match, but I hope I can help someone.

Jan 18, 2013 by Julia Quirk

When I think of Ceil, I think of Christmas. That isn’t the only time we saw her of course, our family is pretty tightly knit, and geographically close, so there is usually a full on Quirk family get together once a month or so. I say that she reminds me of Christmas in that she embodies everything good about the holiday, and that was a season she always shined. She was always smiling, always happy, generous, giving, and nothing was more sacred to her than her family.

It was a tradition since I was a kid to open presents from Santa and the pets (to this day I can’t figure out where they got the money) at home, eat brunch, play with our new *insert cool toy here*, and drive out to Leonard and Ceil’s house. We would usually be the last people walking in (we’re fashionably late like that) and Ceil would be bustling around the kitchen, but she’d always come running out to greet us at the door with a huge smile, kiss us and get us a pop. Pop (not soda) is the key to any Quirk’s heart. She was always the last to sit down at the dinner table, running food in and out of the kitchen, back and forth between tables, making sure everyone had everything they needed before thinking of herself. She would sit down, eat a few bites, tell a story about Kirby and Richard’s camping adventures, or Ray scoring at his basketball game, and pop back up to get us dessert. There was always too much dessert.

After dinner, we’d all sit in the living room and open presents and talk. We would always gush about the tree (which was always spectacularly decorated) and instead of taking credit, Ceil would usually just thank whoever had helped her put it up. I don’t think I can remember a Christmas where after we had all opened presents Ceil didn’t disappear come back with a lighthouse sculpture, painting, or ornament from her boys that had melted her heart and was too beautiful for her to find the words to describe it.

I don’t think I ever understood her love of lighthouses until now. To her, I think they were beautiful, strong, and watched over and cared for their people. They guide you and bring you home. Ceil was a lighthouse to her family.

I moved away from home when I was 18, so the past 9 years I would mostly just come home for Christmas and Thanksgiving, and I didn’t get to see the family much. When Ceil was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma I was living in California and didn’t get to see her. My mother, on the other hand, stepped up and became the family manager as she is want to do. She made sure she was at the hospital with Ceil at every opportunity, helping translate doctor speak to the rest of the family, and trying to keep things running smoothly. This is what she had to say about Ceil throughout her battle:

“I spent a lot of time with her during the last year of her life. What I found was an extraordinarily strong woman who fought her disease without complaint. She never complained or whined and she approached each day with new resolve. She desperately wanted to get well for her two boys whom she loved and defended fiercely. During the many months that she was in the hospital, she continued to show uncompromising strength. I was at the hospital when the nurses convinced her that it was time to cut the straggling remains of her beautiful, long red hair. That was a difficult day for her, but even though a tear leaked out, she did not complain – she sat in a chair, with a towel around her shoulders, and a very kind nurse cut it short. Ceil had me take pictures of before and after and she even smiled when she saw how silly she looked. She asked me to send the pics to Leonard so he could see the “before” and “after” shots before he came to visit. I brought her a knit hat to help keep her warm and the nurses all reassured her, but she didn’t really need it. Even that very difficult moment she took in stride – without complaint.

She was adored by her family – both the Cronks and Leonard and the boys. If I could come up with single words to describe her they would be: strong, spectacular mother, devoted wife, sister, daughter and aunt.”

Losing Ceil has really upset the family. I think everyone is still grieving in their own way, and a little lost without her. There is no doubt that we all miss her, and that she loved her family until her last breath – they were everything to her, and she was everything to them.

Kirby: I hope you don't mind I took these pictures from your Facebook.

Sorry I haven’t updated in a while, I’ve had a REALLY rough couple of weeks.
Jan 15, 2013 by Julia Quirk

I’ll start it out by saying last week after a long ride up in Sonoma I got a flat 2 miles from my car. Guess who didn’t have a spare… Luckily some teammates helped me out and I changed my tire all by myself. Go me.

Last week was some weird emotional post relationship stuff that kind of blindsided me. I’ve given myself a week to grieve, and do the easy beginner workouts, eat takeout Indian food every night, and to be emo in general, but I’m back at it. I had an amazing bike ride Saturday hitting 12 PRs hitting almost 35 miles per hour at one point. It’s not much to most, but it’s a lot of progress for me. I think it’s a really good thing I have a no drinking rule in effect and can’t fall down that rabbit hole. Now taking applications for Hawaiian travel companions. I can’t wait to go surfing.

I also officially recommitted to Team in Training this week. If I don’t raise this $6,000 it is coming out of my pocket. HELP!

Finally, we had an honoree lunch on Sunday after practice. It was particularly emotional. There were 3 people my age who spoke. One facing the reality he had been saved by a drug funded by TNT and LLS, but may never be able to have children. One recently married and living across the country from her husband. And one who refused to listen to his doctors. All three of these people have really inspired me, all in full remission, celebrating children’s first birthdays, reuniting with loved ones, and cultivating successful lives of their own. One of the mentors’ father spoke, he was diagnosed weeks after she signed up for TNT last year and said that while he promised her he’d be at the finish line of her marathon, he wasn’t quite sure he’d make it that far. He too is in full remission, happy and healthy today.

Hanging behind all of this was a banner honoring the official honorees for the Bay Area Tri Team, and we were asked to add our own honorees. I’ve added quite a few honorees to my list, but it all comes back to my aunt Ceil who passed away from Multiple Myeloma. I know I need to write about her, I just haven’t really known what to say. If you knew Ceil please drop me a line and let me know if there is anything you’d like me to say about her, or if you have any pictures you’d like me to include. For now, here’s her name on the banner.

Enough with the tears. Cyclists click here and I guarantee you’ll smile.

To booze, or not to booze, that is the question:
Jan 07, 2013 by Julia Quirk

Okey dokey ladies and gents, I’ve got a challenge for you: 20 of my fellow teammates and I have made a sober January pact where the first time off the wagon is $10, the second is $20 and the third means you don’t get a share of the pot at the end (a potential $600 in my fundraising pocket). I challenge you to buy me out and shame me to my team. If I can raise $1,000 (not including the event I have in the works) by the end of January, I will throw in my $30 bucks for some other brave, sober soul, and succumb to the temptation of sweet, sweet bourbon.

Alternatively, if you’d like to bet against me making it to the end let me know. I’m open to all forms of embarrassment and manual labor if I lose, and your hard earned cash if I win.

This is really a win/win for you guys: You get to see me make an ass of myself no matter what, and we get a step closer to curing cancer.

Get me to $4,658!

1…2...3… GO!!!

Jan 03, 2013 by Julia Quirk

Man, this is gonna be a big one for me…

As you know, I’ve been toying with the idea of training for the Wildflower long course (a half ironman), becoming vegan for a month, and quitting drinking.

Due to a very generous donation from my family, it put me over the edge and I’ve decided to go for it. On May 4, 2013 I will essentially be competing in a half ironman. Ohhh it’s scary. Wildflower is renowned as one of the most beautiful triathlons in America, and, unfortunately, one of the most difficult due to hills. I talked to Brian who is the coach I think is most familiar with my biking, and he told me if I’m true to the training plan and bike hard two days a week at least on top of my basic skill practice I’ve been doing on my own I will be ready. Have I mentioned it’s a 56 mile bike????? Yikes. I’m not worried about the swim, and the run will be rough, but nothing I haven’t done before. I know I can do this, but I might be gushing blood and crying by the end. I’m trying to get some family to come out and cheer me on. If not, I’ve always got my TNT family! If you can make it though, come watch me torture myself with some beautiful scenery in the background.

This new triathlon goal also means I will be bumping up my goal for fundraising to $5,900. So PLEASE, if you haven’t already (or would like to again – I’ve got multiple two time donors, Tacos, Alex, and Susan are rad) donate to my fundraising. You can donate online, send a check, or even hand me a wad of cash. Every penny helps, seriously.

On to the veganism! My refrigerator stopped working while I was home for Christmas, thus making my decision for me. All of my dairy has gone bad. I’m going to be vegan for the month of January, maybe longer. I’ll miss you cheese, you were my greatest love. I’m sorry it had to end this way.

Finally, the booze. I’m actually not much of a drinker anyways, but I figure stopping completely won’t hurt. Some of my teammates have a pool going and anyone who cheats has to donate to the standing members’ fundraising efforts.

Finally, I’m a bit behind on my thank you’s…

Thank you SO much to Marissa for collecting money at your holiday party! I’ve known this girl since we were teeny tiny and she’s one of the most wonderful people I know. Come visit me damnit! Also, thank you to everyone who donated at the Totally Tacky Christmas Spectacular 5. You guys are so kind to help someone you don’t even know fundraise.

Also, thanks to Noel from my team for doubling my cash donation!

Thank you to my anonymous donor from last week. I love when people donate, but hate it when I don’t know who to thank!

Thank you to my family, the madre and the padre have been quite supportive of my joining this fitness cult and doing what I thought would be impossible. Yesterday my dad’s words of wisdom were “You’re father was a solid biker, so you will be one too.” I’ll take it. Also, thank you SOOOO much to Aunt Nancy, Uncle Mark and Jenny for your super supportive donations. Now come get drunk and watch me hurt myself at Wildflower.

Thank you to everyone else who has been supportive emotionally, physically or monetarily. I couldn’t do any of this without you.

Don’t forget! This is the last day of the year if you can donate for 2012 tax write-offs. Everyone loves a tax write-off!

Happy Holidays!
Apr 10, 2013 by Julia Quirk

Santa was GOOD to me! Santa (A.K.A. my parents) got me everything a triathlete could ever need. I got sweet Pearl Izumi attack bike shorts, pro elite bike shorts, a tri top, a bike top, a bike jacket and bike gloves. They ALSO introduced me to the Pearl Izumi outlet back home and I added to my tri haul with flashing bike shoe covers, a tri suit, tri bra, t shirt, bike capris and a bike jersey. And they all match my lovely Icky. It’s official, I’m a gear junkie.

I spent some time off of training (boo!) to go home and visit my family for the holidays. My little brother graduated from U of I (Yay Adam!) and I got a decent workout in cleaning his apartment. I don’t know how boys live like that… I also spent a lot of time with my dad who was in a rehab center for a knee replacement. He was pretty positive about it, and made a ton of progress in physical therapy, but it definitely made me grateful that I’m in relatively good physical condition. Hopefully I’ll need that hip replacement later rather than sooner.

While I was on the airplane coming home I read an interesting article in Triathlete magazine (who knew that was a thing?!) about Rich Roll, a man who was a middle aged, overweight, man struggling with alcohol abuse who changed his life and started competing in ultra triathlons. A major change he made (besides quitting the drink and exercising) was starting a vegan lifestyle. So while I’m not one for new years resulutions, I am contemplating trying a month without animal products this year. Hey, maybe it’ll get me to that bikini body I’m craving for Hawaii.

ALSO, I’m toying with the idea of uping my fundraising and doing the wildflower long course with TNT as well. For those of you who don’t know, Wildflower is a half ironman distance (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) that is renowned for it’s beauty and muerderous hills.

…Oh god. What have I gotten myself into?!

I did a little backsliding with the bike…
Dec 18, 2012 by Julia Quirk

So I’ve been doing really well! Not falling at all, squeezing my way into extra spin classes on Friday nights and going on extra rides practicing clipping in and out. Pretty much feeling like a badass. I’ve said it before, but there’s always that pavement to bring you down to your level. This time it took a bite out of my knee, clawed my shin and sucker punched my thighs.

Let’s pretend this was intentional sympathy pain for my father and his knee replacement. (Everyone go harass him while he’s recovering.)

Brian gave us a booster class before the workout, and Troy, one of our captains, basically rode the whole time with me after I ate it. Hard. Twice. And I did it again with him by my side. All of the help they and everyone else on my team has given me is SO appreciated. Even when you’re hurting it’s hard not to want to get back up and keep going with people like them and a view like this:

Moral of the story, I’m going to keep injuring myself, my team is awesome, and I’m going to keep untangling myself from my bike, dusting myself off and trying again.

Older posts

Supporter Comments

    "Hi Julia, I've been swamped at work this week, sorry for the delay. My address is 537 Duncan St. #102, San Francisco, CA 94131 Good luck! Paul Ryan"

    Paul Ryan

    Sat Mar 16 04:19:55 EDT 2013

    "We're proud of you."

    Sally Saltzberg

    Wed Nov 14 11:44:29 EST 2012

    "GO GIRL!!!"

    Susan L

    Tue Nov 27 03:20:18 EST 2012

    "Good luck and keep up the great work!"

    Brandon Wai, Esquire Deposition Solutions

    Wed Dec 26 07:49:07 EST 2012

    "Good Luck!! I always wanted to do a triathalon. Maybe some day =)"

    Fiona Dalin

    Mon Jan 14 04:30:51 EST 2013

    "Love your enthusiasm and commitment to the cause and the training Julia!"


    Mon Feb 25 11:36:33 EST 2013

    "Enjoy the show!"

    Sally Saltzberg

    Mon Mar 04 01:07:37 EST 2013

    "Super fun event! "

    Elizabeth Rothenberg

    Thu Mar 07 11:29:39 EST 2013

    "Go Julia Go!!! Good job!!!! I always enjoyed reading your blog!!!! You are awesome Amazing!!"

    Mariana Sierra

    Fri Mar 15 04:17:57 EDT 2013

    "In Loving Memory of Matt Ihle. Go Julia!!!!!"

    Douglas Garay

    Fri Mar 08 02:18:52 EST 2013

    "Sorry this is a bit late. I'm excited for you! Good luck :)"

    Fatima Ab

    Sun Jan 20 11:59:39 EST 2013

    "This organization is near and dear to my heart. My son became ill in October 2003 and, initially, doctors thought he had leukemia. I dove into increasing my knowledge of it and became very familiar with LLS and their part in research and support services. Though, ultimately, my son was diagnosed with ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura), still a not-so-fun disease, in the grueling months leading to the revelation of his ailment, my family saw how children and their families are impacted - physically, emotionally and financially - by leukemia. My family is a regular donor to LLS, but I still wanted to join in your fundraising effort! Good luck to you, Julia!"

    Aurora DeVilbiss

    Wed Jan 16 02:03:21 EST 2013

    "Get it gurl! "

    Noel Kirmse

    Sun Dec 30 05:51:14 EST 2012

    "Also in memory of Elizabeth Coolidge. You're doing great Julia."

    Alex Forman

    Sun Dec 30 01:03:07 EST 2012

    "You are my idol!! Keep up the hard work.. Miss ya! You know I'll be back in SF to visit one of these days! Proud of all u have become since the shy horse girl lolz <3 such a strong lady .... Dolla' dolla' make me holla!!!! I wish I wuz as awesome as you, seriously! :)"

    Soupie , k dawg, supa K!

    Sun Dec 30 12:36:01 EST 2012

    "Go Julia, go! Keep up the great work. "

    Mari R.

    Thu Dec 20 03:14:35 EST 2012

    "Good luck, say hey if you want a training buddy! Should be back to swimming at Aquatic Park in a couple months."

    Jackson West

    Wed Dec 12 01:50:55 EST 2012

    "Good Luck with your first Triathlon! Happy to support you and this great cause :)"

    Melissa Lincoln

    Tue Dec 11 06:47:13 EST 2012

    "GOOD LUCK!!! You are my hero :)"

    Ryan Blunck

    Tue Dec 11 06:42:02 EST 2012

    "Julia, Best of luck in your training. My nephew died of brain cancer just before his 3rd birthday. While not exactly the same illness, I know the toll cancer of any kind takes on a family. I am supporting you 100%! - Rachel Silverstein"

    Rachel Silverstein

    Tue Dec 11 05:40:09 EST 2012

    "Kick Asphalt! "

    Jackie Pampinella

    Tue Dec 11 02:20:06 EST 2012

    "Julia, I admire your stamina and wish you the best! Sincerely, Mary Pat Cross"

    Mary Pat Dailey Cross

    Wed Nov 14 06:48:46 EST 2012

    "I want that god damn high five."

    Tacos With Cheese

    Tue Nov 13 09:40:42 EST 2012

    "Good luck!! "

    Megan Taylor

    Wed Feb 20 07:39:12 EST 2013

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $7,958.26 | Goal: $7,908.26
101 %

Make a Donation

We are sorry donations are no longer being accepted for this participant for this event.

In Memory of

Ceil Quirk

My Thanks To

BlackRock $1266.13
BlackRock Donation $1266.13
Joe Rizza Ford Porsche $500.00
Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien ... $250.00
Babak Soltanian $225.00
Karen and Kirk Dizon $150.00
Tyreen Torner $150.00
Elizabeth Rothenberg $130.00
Anonymous $110.00
Richard Dunn $100.00
Salesforce $100.00
Lauren Baugh $100.00
Michael Sweet $100.00
Noel Kirmse $100.00
Alex Forman $100.00
Alex Hernaez $100.00
Anonymous $100.00
Paul Ryan $65.00
Mariana Sierra $63.00
jim clark $50.00
Kerri Nelson $50.00
Megan Taylor $50.00
Robin Levin $50.00
Fatima Ab $50.00
Aurora DeVilbiss $50.00
Dandan $50.00
Matthew James Photo $50.00
Brandon Wai, Esquire Depo... $50.00
Melissa Lincoln $50.00
Rachel Silverstein $50.00
Jackie Pampinella $50.00
Garrin Sax $50.00
Nancy Merrit $50.00
Becca Voight $40.00
Joyanne Saltzberg $35.00
Alex Hernaez $35.00
Rich Mixsell $25.00
Anonymous $25.00
Soupie , k dawg, supa K! $25.00
Anne B. Fisher $25.00
Mari R. $25.00
Aptus Court Reporting $25.00
Ryan Blunck $25.00
Mary Pat Dailey Cross $25.00
Tacos With Cheese $25.00
Vince Burgess $20.00
Richard Stern $18.00
Beverly Levin $10.00
Fiona Dalin $10.00
Susan Lindsey $5.00
Douglas Garay  
Mary Casserly Arora  
Katie Phetteplace  
Sally Saltzberg  
Lorraine Harris  
Todd Rodriguez  
Marc Saltzberg  
Jenny Reifel Saltzberg  
Nancy Reifel  
Cristina Armstrong  
Amie Morelli  
Alexander Saltzberg  
Jackson West  
Elisabeth Paulsen  
Susan L  
Sally Saltzberg