Friday, May 28, 2010

swimbikerun

Yo, take a listen to this catchy Rev3 tune.......

Swimbikerun swimbikerun

My favorite lines from the song???

See ya at the finish line


Swimmin' like Phelps
Runnin' like Usain


Thanks to Nic at Rev3tri!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday Fun-day!

There has been a whole lot of swimbikerun going on lately.  And, lots of it has been on my own since main training PIC flew the coup a couple of weeks ago.  I'm not even sure she's back or coming back....but that's a whole 'nother Oprah.

It's not that I mind training alone.  I don't.  In fact, I believe that good quality training happens when you are by yourself.  It is those times when you are in the midst of a test on a track alone, or in the middle of a TT effort in the wind, or blowing up a swim on your own that you learn the most.  At those times, you only have yourself to fall back on.  Your own experiences, your own logic, your own truths.  And only you can pull yourself through that particular journey.  And when you get through a particularly difficult workout on your own?  You gain strength from it. You gain knowledge about yourself.  And you can draw on this strength and information when you need it the most.....RACE DAY.  

But I digress yet again.  After all my alone training lately, I was facing a 4 hour ride with some specific work.  Alone.  And this prospect I couldn't deal with.  I needed a training partner.  I emailed, I texted, I called.  I emailed again, and texted again, and hoped and hoped and hoped someone would answer.  It was looking bleak and I even considered a paid training day in Boulder to support Davis Phinney's foundation.  And finally, at 7 on Saturday night I got a return text and a training partner for the ride.  Immediately my mood lifted.  All of a sudden I couldn't wait to get on my bike.  Clearly, I needed company.  The weather looked perfect and I was ready to go.  So at 8am Sunday morning, I rolled out with Matt for a little ride.  He was going 5 hours as Ironman Lake Placid is his big race coming up.  

We headed out from Chatfield to Sedalia to Palmer Lake, one of my favorite routes.  We chatted, we rode, and when we turned around and had a tailwind?  Well, Matt took off.  And since I didn't want to ride alone the rest of the way, I found his wheel and hung on for dear life.  At one point, he yelled back something to the effect of.....you OK with the speed?  I yelled back YYYYEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!  But I didn't know how fast we were going, I didn't want to look at my watch and take my eyes off his back wheel.  Anywho, he was a machine pulling me along and when we reached the stop sign I asked him how fast we were going.......28-32mph for the last 30 or so minutes.  And let me tell you, it was a blast.  

So, 4+ great hours in the saddle, good company, solid ride, beautiful day.  I even learned some good nutrition tidbits about myself that I will be able to put into use coming up in my next race Rev3 Quassy!

Oh, speaking of worthy causes, check out Matt's foundation C Different.  As someone who has had vision issues since 2004, I find this foundation simply amazing.  C Different is a non profit foundation that was created to enable blind and visually impaired athletes compete in athletic events, with their main focus being on triathlons in general, and Ironman distance triathlons in particular. C Different pairs sighted guides who complete the triathlons with the athlete in all phases of the race: swim, bike, and run.   It's a fabulous organization and if you have ever witnessed a visually impaired athlete competing with a guide, well....it's just inspiring.  

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rev3 Race Report


The Rev3 tri in Knoxville served as the tri season opener for me this weekend.  Once again, I went to the south and absolutely loved the city and the people.  What's not to love about that accent y'all?  My second family was in Knoxville racing and spectating:  Sonja and her family, Tyler, Beth, Anthony and Michele, and all of my new Trakkers teammates.  My athlete Jay, his wife Sarah, and  their baby Cale were welcome additions to our pack!


Rev3 treats the athletes so well - check out our numbers and our named transition spots!  



The race had an elite amateur division and after much discussion with Sonja and CV, I went ahead and put myself into that wave also meaning that for the first time Sonja and I would be in the same wave!!  I was definitely nervous about it when I made the call about a month ago but hadn't really put much thought into it since then.  

Waking up on race morning, I was not nervous.  At all.  It was a bit strange.....I still couldn't eat but got my nutrition in the form of my favorite pre-race meal mix1 and half a pack of Justin's Maple Almond Butter.  I had excitement butterflies, not nervous butterflies.  We all headed down to transition and I was just excited to see what the day had in store for me.  I was confident in my training going into the race but a bit leery of the bike course and the hills.  

The elite amateur wave had the advantage of starting right behind the pros and as I dove into the water I knew I felt good.  It was so great to have PIC right there at the start, we just kind of floated along waiting for the start.  Of course, this wave not only had really talented women.....but really talented men.  That's right, swimming with the boys.  Again.  This usually never works very well for me and this race was no different.  But I put myself right up front and in between 2 cute fast boys and about 30 seconds before the start I realized that this was not a great place to be.  Oh well, too late now! The horn went off and the madness commenced.  This may very well have been the toughest swim start EVAH for me.....yep, worlds was tough all the way through and nationals was just a beotch of a swim....but this start?  Whoa.  Within seconds I had been hit in the head a couple of times and my googles nearly taken off.  It was a washing machine of white water madness.  People, ahem MEN, were trying to actually swim over me.  I believe I got a well placed kick in there.  Anywho, after sprinting for a minute I realized quickly I was anaerobic and had better settle into my rythem.  I ended up trying to follow a guy but kept hitting his feet so I went around him.  I think he ended up in my draft.  And I was swimming stroke for stroke with another guy.  Our threesome swam together until the end.  The swim exit was a bit "exciting" as it was on a dock - no stairs, no ramp, you just had to hoist yourself out of the water!  I got out and took off my googles and......couldn't see a thing!!!!  My googles had filled half way with dirty scummy river water at the start and the water had created a milky film over my eyes!!!  I kept blinking trying to clear them as I was running up towards transition.  It wasn't until I was on the bike that I finally could see!  


Blindly running off the dock.  The clock says 18:18 for the swim......I think it may have been a bit short!  Eric (PIC's dad) is an elite amateur photog and had a media pass so had access to all the great picture spots on the course.  Love these pictures.

The first tri of the year is always interesting - you know there are going to be some cobwebs to dust off but you just don't know which ones.  Well, for me it was on the bike coming out of and into transition.  As I left transition, my powertap CPU fell off and I had to retrieve it. Duh.  I put it back on and got on my way.  Feet in the shoes but darn it I didn't clip my troublesome left shoe in!!!  Crap!!  OK, settle and pedal.  Foot in and clipped in.  Phew.....now let's get on with this course!  

Rev3 did not go wimpy and flat with the bike course.  Nope.  This is the toughest bike course I have had the pleasure of riding!  It was awesome!  Hills, hills, hills, steep descents, sharp technical turns.  You had to be on your game.  But my legs were bitching and moaning a bit.  Blah blah blah I said back, let's just ride.  Another advantage to the elite wave?  There was not a soul around me.  I was passed in the first 10 minutes by a couple of girls and a couple of boys but that was it.  I literally did not see another rider around me, I had the road to myself!  I could really work the turns and not worry about anyone behind me, or in front of me for that matter.  Everytime I passed volunteers on the course they cheered their hearts out and made me feel a bit like a rock star.  Nutrition on the bike consisted of my fav, First Endurance EFS Fruit Punch.  Yummy, I got down about 100 calories on a cool day.

The other set of cobwebs?  Yeah, that would be taking numb feet out the bike shoes and attempting to pedal on top of my shoes with NO feeling in my feet (it was a cool morning).  It wasn't pretty.  I couldn't get my feet and the shoes to behave, what a nightmare.  Fortunately, I didn't leave a shoe and it didn't slow me down too much.  Apparently I also lost the darn CPU again on the way back to transition. (thanks SK for picking that up)  First and last time racing with that thing.  Numb feet also make for a tough time putting on the racing shoes.......


Heading back into transition.  I was passing (on my bike) all the pro men bustin' a move running to the finish, it was cool to witness on the bike


I headed out from T2 and felt good from the get-go.  I just thought about my turnover and getting my feet off the ground.  I looked up and saw PIC heading into T2 on her bike.  Uh oh.  I felt the target on my back and wasn't sure I had enough of a lead on her for the run!  She's such a spectacular runner and with us in the same wave I knew I was the carrot she needed to really push it!  Focus!!  Run. Breathe.  Run. Breathe.  Keep up the pace.  That was my mantra.  I hit the turnaround and for the first time of the day, my tummy turned.  I ignored it.  I just had 3 more miles.  That's it!  And there was PIC again - we gave each other our customary slight lift of the hand - I absolutely love seeing her on the course!  I saw Tyler too and Bethie just screaming her head off at me as she was coming in on the bike.  Man, these peeps are awesome.  Of course, Trakkers mama bear Carole was out there too going crazy and I had just 1/2 mile left up the hill.  

And that was it, the 2010 season had gotten off to a great start!  I had no idea what my time was nor did I know any splits.  And I still don't know except for my swim time.  And I think I had a stellar bike.  I feel good about my run too even though I may be disappointed in my time. But I don't know it yet.  I ended up 6th in the elite amateur category, Son was 7th.  I believe we were 19th and 20th overall females too including all the pros.  I call that a solid start.  

Congratulations to Jay M. for his 1st place age group finish, he is well on his way for a great come-back year after a major illness last year!  Bethie placed 1st too and Anthony was 2nd in his age group.  Tyler was psyched with his solid race.  All in all it was a great day.


Running to the finish 


PIC and I at the finish


Post-race with Son and Jamie


With Biggest Loser star Tara Costa after the race

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Trakkers Showcase



Team Trakkers photo (courtesy of Eric Willis)

Tomorrow is Race Day here in Knoxville!  And the great news is that Trakkers will be showcasing their GPS device too.  AND, I will be wearing one!  What exactly does that mean, you ask?  Well, the Trakkers device is the size of a pager and after the swim I will put it in my back pocket and forget about it.  I won't even notice it.....but if you want to, you will be able to track me on the course.  Here is the link to the site.  I did a test for Trakkers back in October for the Denver Half Marathon and y'all (I am in Tennessee) had some great comments for the folks at Trakkers.  So, once again.....let me know if you have any comments tracking me during the race.  Oh yeah, my number is 1375 and my wave start is 7:55 (eastern time)!!  (Disclaimer.....the swim time will NOT be accurate thus the overall time will not be accurate since I will put the device on after the swim)

Sonja, Jamie and me checking out the course


And speaking of the race, I had the opportunity to drive the bike course twice yesterday.  Wow.  What a course.  This is not an easy course and about halfway through it I knew that one of my season goal times of x:xx:xx will probably not happen.  Some great climbs and some screaming technical descents.  Yee Haw.  The run course is straightforward and the last half mile will be uphill.  Ouch.  It'll really make you want to see that finish line.  Of course, there is a GIANT TV screen behind the finish line so if you are watching the live streaming video at Rev3 you can see me and everyone else sucking wind after climbing the hill and stumbling towards the finish.


Team Trakkers had a dinner last night at Calhoun's and PIC and I did a great job polishing off a full rack of ribs ate a fabulously healthy dinner of grilled chicken and broccoli...plus it was great to finally meet our teammates - the people we have been emailing/reading blogs/tweeting for the past 5 months.  Trakkers Pros Michael and Amanda Lovato and Richie Cunningham stopped by to say hi too.  We also had a photo shoot this morning and a little run to shake out the legs.  Then it was off to the river to get in the water.  It was actually much better than I thought it would be and best part??  I didn't see any snakes:)

So now I am sitting in my hotel room with my feet up and chillaxin' before bike check-in.  Then dinner and bedtime.  This is gonna be fun!!!!  Good night y'all from Tennessee!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Race Week

It's race week!!!  Finally, it is time to kick-off the 2010 season with the Rev3 triathlon in Knoxville, Tennessee!  And because it's race week, I have been BUSY BUSY BUSY trying to get a weeks worth of personal/business stuff crammed into the span of 3 days.  Visits to the chiro, massage, packing, quick trip to the bike shop, lunch with mom (since I'm gone mothers day), swimbikerun, car service.  Phew.  Not to mention schedules.

The race is Sunday morning and I will post tracking info later in the week if you are interested in following. Team Trakkers will be in force in K-Ville and I am looking forward to meeting some of my teammates.  Oh, and speaking of fun races Rev3 is heading to Costa Rica in February 2011:)

Check out some great pictures from last week's long ride.....




Beautiful day in Boulder although the wind was blowing howling!  Team Trakkers Mama Bear Carole was the tour director for the day for Sonja and me.  We started off riding to Eldorado Springs and then to Carter Lake and back.  It was an absolute blast (well, literally with the wind) to share the ride with these ladies.  And check out our awesome kits!