Tag Archives: swim

IRONMAN TEXAS #IMTX 2015 Race Recap

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FRIDAY

Pre-race day. Head to venue for practice swim. Water was announced at 81 degrees and wetsuit optional. They were trying to sell skinsuits at the swim practice like as if all the cool kids had one and I had better get one too…. Funny, considering the one consistent thing you hear about racing is, “nothing new on race day.” I decided to swim in my fullsuit and the water felt good. Daily thunderstorms had not made the water too murky. It wasn’t the clearest water, but you could still see your hand in front of you in the water. I swam 200 meters out to second yellow buoy and back. Felt like I was out there forever. At least I knew what the start would be like – narrow entry into water and then a hard right.

After the swim, we parked near transition and I rode my bike for about 15 minutes along the waterway to ensure that nothing came loose on bike during travel. Pumped my tires up to 10 pounds below normal pressure (per the advice of friends who had tackled this race before). After the ride, I put my gear back in my gear bags, took my bike and two gear bags to transition. I forgot to leave my water bottle in my running gear bag. I should have left it in there with just the powder mix in it – I did not know there would be ice and water in the transition tent during race day. A volunteer carried my bike over the muddy bike racks and racked my bike. I left my elbow pads and computer on my bike. Almost regretted it because the late afternoon brought about 4 hours of thunderstorms.

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After dropping my gear off, we headed to the hotel so I could be off my feet the rest of the day. We stopped at Firehouse Subs on the way back to hotel, I ordered an Italian on wheat fully loaded with banana peppers — which ended up being my lunch and dinner. I tried to catch a nap throughout the rest of the day as everyone in my family seemed to pass right out, but I struggled to get any cat nap action. I ended up writing some e-mails for work, downloading an inspirational movie – Seabiscuit, took a shower, prepped my nutrition for bike, and actually stayed off social media. Damn nerves. Snacked on Target popcorn all afternoon – smart sodium decision (I think so, at least). Drank one serving of H24 Hydrate throughout the evening to help with hydration.

Nutrition included: Bike – 2 bottles of Herbalife H30 with H24 Hydrate mixed in, one bottle of water, 6 Bonk Breaker Bars, 1 pack Bonk Breaker chews, and two pieces of gum. (I did not use a Special Needs bag for the bike).

SATURDAY – RACE DAY

Up at 4:00 am, really it was like 3:00 am, just didn’t let myself move until 4:00 am. First task at hand was to hit the bathroom, why must I always diarrhea the day of a race (Ended up visiting the bathroom only 2x before the race, which is actually a huge improvement)? Transition opened at 5:30 am. We got there at 5:30 am and it was a freaking madhouse. Since we couldn’t leave my 4 yr old and 6 yr old in the car, we made them walk the half mile to transition at 5:00 am, they were not happy. Neither were lots of the triathletes in transition. I heard one lady almost rip somebody’s head off because apparently they were in her walking path. Sheesh… hope I am not like that. I quickly placed all my bottles on my soaking wet bike, borrowed a bike pump to double check my tires, and got out of transition. The amount of mud in transition was so gross I was covered up to my knees. They had kiddy pools at the exit to help rinse feet off.

The next step was to walk to the swim start, which was .8 miles away. Knowing that the kids would not want to walk that far, we headed back to the car and tried to find a closer spot, which was right at the Pier 1 Imports parking lot, along with the other 500 spectators who knew about this “secret” parking lot. By the time we walked to the swim start, I had just enough time to get my body marked, and attempt to get my full suit on over my muddy legs. I remembered my BodyGlide, which of course made a huge difference and saved my neck as well. A few other wetsuit wearers spotted my BodyGlide and I was glad to come to their rescue! Never show up without it.

I had tried to eat a Bonk Breaker bar and a banana before the start, but I almost threw up when I was chewing the Bonk Breaker bar. I was able to eat half the banana and take a sip of water.

Headed to the start line and told myself…. no matter how hard it gets, never, ever quit… just keep moving forward no matter how slow it is…

SWIM

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Being in a wetsuit, meant starting last, and I was actually very grateful to be at the back. As we entered the water, there was a strong smell of urine and I imagined the 2,000 other triathletes before me getting into the water and peeing right at the start so I kept my head out of the water for the first several strokes. Nothing feels as good as when you finally get to start… all the stomach churning anxiety is behind and all you have to focus on is moving forward. As we got into the water, I started off slow, after passing the first yellow buoy, the swimmers opened up a little bit and I felt like I was at the very back of the wetsuit swimmers and almost started to panic. This made my stomach fill up with air and I started burping, which felt awful. I concentrated on calming down by reminding myself what my friend Melissa had told me, “everyone out there is going through the same thing you are.” For some reason this was very comforting and I actually enjoyed when other swimmers bumped into me. Before the first turn, I was breathing bilaterally every third stroke and felt pretty decent with siting. Throughout the entire swim I didn’t ever feel like I zig-zagged too much. After rounding the first buoy, you swim perpendicular for about 100 meters before making another left turn to head home. After rounding that buoy I began to truly settle into my swim and concentrated on form. I remember Coach Annie talking about keeping my elbows bent, not starting my pull too early, and to think about my pull through the water. At this time, I actually stopped kicking and really started to focus on form and found myself passing non-wetsuit male and female swimmers and I was a little giddy. I also concentrated on going pee, which proved harder than expected. During the swim I also remembered what my friend Renee said to me, “the swim is the only part that doesn’t hurt, when you are not in the heat, and not burning up the legs. So, enjoy it.” This statement made me enjoy every stroke of the swim because I knew the Texas heat and humidity was waiting for me.

After the third turn, I managed to get kicked in the head pretty good and my goggles were pushed off my eyes. I was able to recover quickly. The last part of the swim bottlenecks into the waterway for about 1000 meters, but it feels longer. The bottle necking caused crowded swimming conditions and I had to keep moving around people, which was a new experience for me. Lots of people line the waterway and it’s fun to spot them as you swim. The canal does create a bit of a washing machine effect and you deal with more chop here than at any other part of the swim. At the exit, volunteers reached for my hand and yanked me out of the water and it is an awesome experience. They said there would be no wetsuit peelers, but that was a LIE. Those amazing volunteer peelers were anxiously waiting for me and ripped my wetsuit off within seconds. I checked my watch and thought it was wrong, surely I could not have done that swim in 1:39:56! I was expecting 2:00:00 finish.

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T1 – 11:59

As I ran passed the bags, I called my number out and was given my bag. Once I got to the transition tent, I realized it was not my bag and hurried back out. After getting the right bag, I ran back to transition and got on my cycling gear. I ended up wearing cooling wings, the tri top I swam in, cycling shorts, helmet, gloves, and my favorite glasses (my cycling glasses had broken on the crash a few weeks ago and I still invested in another pair). There was so much mud everywhere that putting my cycling shorts on proved very difficult. I took a few gulps of water while in transition and then carried my socks, cycling shoes, and a towel out with me. I visited the sunblock angels and then found my bike. I put my bike over my shoulder and carried it out of transition because I did not want mud to get stuck on my brakes, which I saw a lot of.

Near the exit there were kiddy pools again. A spectator held my bike while I rinsed my feet off, dried them and got my shoes on. Thank you! I grabbed my bike and headed out of transition to the dismount line. The sheer amount of spectators along the fenced edges yelling and cheering for the athletes is simply awesome. It is impossible not to feel energized from it all.

BIKE

1045_056192Watching the weather report and after reading several posts, I prepared myself for a few things: 14-20 mph headwind from mile 50-112, lots of short rolling hills miles 40-80 and 105-110, and no tree cover miles 80-100. Aid stations were located every 10-15 miles. I did not expect the roads to be so rough on the second half of the ride, which required lots of extra effort. I also was thinking about Coach Jeff’s advice, “Don’t worry about your pace on the bike, if it feels good go with it.”

The beginning of the ride is beautiful along the tree lined streets of The Woodlands. I started my ride with a 14 mph pace, as most of my rides begin. I did not drink water for the first 20-30 minutes of the bike as the bottles on my bike had my nutrition mix. 45 minutes into my ride I opened my first Bonk Breaker bar and took a bite. The first aid station came quick, I grabbed a bottle of water, took a few big gulps and doused my sleeves before tossing the bottle.

The first half of the ride was awesome, I tried to stick to eating a bite of my Bonk Breaker bar every 15 minutes, and took sips of my nutrition mix every 10 minutes, grabbed a water bottle from each aid station and took a few gulps and doused my sleeves to keep me cool. I stopped at the third aid station to refill my torpedo bottle: I dumped my powder nutrition mix and then emptied a bottle of water into it. Since I did not shake up the mix, the first few drinks were more concentrated (I think I can attribute this to stomach discomfort on the run). Without an alarm on my watch, and being distracted by the beautiful sea of cyclists on the course, I knew I was not as diligent with my nutrition on the first half of the ride.

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The left turn at mile 45 brought on a nasty side wind that almost blew me off the road a few times. This is where the work began. Between mile 55 and 60 was the bike special needs point and the yellow school bus that would be picking up riders that missed the cutoff. I did not check a special needs bag and was glad I didn’t – the previous century rides had prepared me well to cover 100 miles without a special needs bag. When I passed the yellow bus, I checked my watch and I was glad to see that I was more than 80 minutes ahead of the cutoff.

I stopped at the next aid station (mile 60) to refill my bottles and use the restroom. I had not been able to find my small tube of booty butter that morning, this is the point where I would have reapplied. Miles 60-80 were slower, much hotter, were very windy. Somewhere along the way it had rained and the sun came out to bake the pavement and cause steam to rise, which reminded me of the miserable rides I had done in Georgia the previous September.

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I stopped at mile 70 to eat a quick banana and stretch my legs. I stopped and talked to a gentleman from St. Louis, who quickly began to upchuck and I took that as a sign to get back in the saddle and on the road. I was pretty diligent about eating a bite of my Bonk Breaker bar every 15 minutes for the remainder of the ride. My liquid nutrition was not as well executed. I added water to my bottle to dilute my mixture, which proved a good idea and refueled again and mile 80 with a fully concentrated (not well mixed), which I would again dilute around mile 100.

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Seeing the mile 100 sign was pretty exciting. That was the moment I wished I had a camera, not so much to take a picture of the sign, but to capture my goofy smile. I took a moment at mile 100 to survey how I was feeling, my neck and back were tired of being in aero, but my legs still felt pretty good. It was very hot and sunny and I knew what that meant for the run. I made sure to eat the last of the open Bonk Breaker bar I had and drank more water since I knew the bike was ending. The last 12 miles is full of turns and quiet roads and I only saw a few riders along the way, so it did get a bit lonely. Spectators start to line the streets along the last 5 miles and they yell how much further each time you pass them, this made me smile. I also got a glimpse of the marathon course and the swim course that I had already conquered.

I finished the 112 mile journey, grabbed a bottle from my bike for the run and handed my bike off to a volunteer before walking through 200 yards of mud in cycling shoes to get to my running gear bag.

Total time on bike: 7:08:24

A few things that got me through the bike when things got tough or lonely… All I had to do was think about the swim, the mere fact that I got through my first IM swim made me smile every time. I placed my bike computer at a different spot on my handle bars so it was harder to read, this allowed me to enjoy my ride more and ignore my pace. Tackling Clermont 70.3 in March with the infamous Sugarloaf Mountain made the hills on this course easy to climb and keep my butt in the saddle. The challenging Tour de Tifton Century ride (both hilly and windy) was the best training ride for this course. All the Century rides I did the previous months helped prepare me for those lonely miles that happen somewhere after mile 70.

T2 – 13:58

I had hoped to get full service catering when I got into the tent, but the volunteers were busy helping women in much worse shape than myself. My arms felt a bit weird, probably from spending most of the past 7 hours in aero. It took me longer than expected to peel off my wings and to change into a running skirt and running top. The small container of BodyGlide had come close to melting in my bag and I smeared all over my feet – it felt sooo good. I put on a fresh pair of socks, running shoes, running lights for the when it got dark, hat, race belt, put some ice in my bottle and headed out of the tent. I tried to get out of the tent as fast as possible, the faster I got through transition the longer I would have for the marathon. I visited the sunblock angels at the exit and ventured out for what would be a very long walk.

RUN

Pretty much how I felt the entire marathon.

Pretty much how I felt the entire marathon.

LAP1

The marathon was hot and humid, like a Tallahassee afternoon after a thunderstorm. I had hoped to ease into 1:1 run/walk, 2:1, and eventually 3:1 for the marathon, but that is not what unfolded. As soon as I started the marathon, my stomach started to cramp up. I walked the first few minutes and then ran for a minute. I carried this routine for the first several miles. The heat didn’t bother me much but whenever I did run for a few minutes, I would feel stomach cramping when I resumed my walk sometimes with a hint of nausea and would have to slow my pace before finding my groove. Halfway through the first lap I backed off running and concentrated on what was going on with my body. I realized I had enough time to walk the marathon and the run/walk interval might prove too exhausting for 26.2 miles.

LAP2

The second lap was the worst. Every step of the first lap is new so the second lap is known territory and you know you still have a whole lap to go. The second lap I was able to resume a little running again. There were a few sections that cut through a path in the trees and it made me feel like I was running on St. Marks trail back home. For some reason this was comforting and I enjoyed running this section. I stopped at every aid station on the first and second lap and got ice and water. I put a few pieces of ice down my shirt, under my hat, and then ate a few pieces. I was still drinking the nutrition in my water bottle at this time. On the second lap I started eating pretzels. I also kept a cold sponge my neck and traded it out at aid stations along the way.

LAP3

I walked the entire last lap, except for the finish chute. The last lap was pretty lonely as most folks had already finished and it was dark. I stopped at every aid station for coke, ice, and pretzels. I tried some grapes at one point and a little bit of the chicken broth that everyone raves about, but the chicken broth proved to be a bad idea (led to instant stomach discomfort). I started to chat up anyone that I was walking with. Some athletes were open to talking, others were not. While walking over a bridge, I asked a few walkers if they would be back next year and they both replied, “never again. Never again.” It was at this point I realized I was a little crazier than they were since I had spent most of the marathon thinking about what I needed to do for the next one, how do I make sure I don’t have tummy troubles? I had also started to think about the short races in my future and how training would change after today.

Around mile 23 things got tough. I stopped at a port-o-potty and felt like I was on a boat. Pulling my running skirt back up made my skin burn and I wished I had not forgot the booty budder on my ride. I wanted to sit down and take a break but I kept thinking about what my husband said, “just keep moving forward.” There were a few moments where my stomach cramps got pretty bad and I had to slow down to a snail’s pace. I knew the rocking boat feeling was from dehydration and made it a point to get some extra pretzels at the next aid station.

The last half mile is pretty surreal. You know the finish is right there and I did take time to slow down and enjoy it. As I came around the last turn I saw the finish chute and it was lined with spectators cheering. I even saw some guys in suits. I gave hi-fives to everyone that had their hands out and took my time. I looked for my minions and did not see them, I found out later that they were at the last turn behind people and that my oldest daughter got to see me finish.

Total Marathon Time: 6:45:32

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POST-RACE

Immediately afterward I went looking for my family. As soon as I found them we headed to the car. I did not stop at the post-race food tent. My 4-yr old was completely passed out and my 6 yr-old was hanging on by a thread. After getting to the car, we drove as close to transition as we could and retrieved my bike and gear bags. On the ride back to the hotel, we stopped at the only place open and got some chicken nuggets, not what I was wanting to eat, but I needed to get something in my system. My tummy troubles did not persist long after the event and subsided pretty quickly.

Once we got to the hotel, I took a lukewarm bath, made it to bed and fell asleep just after midnight. I got about 2 hours of sleep and woke up thirsty as can be. I fell back asleep a few hours later and slept until 6:30 a.m. We had breakfast in the hotel and all I could eat was bacon and drink apple juice. We loaded up the car and were on the road by 8:30, I am not sure how we pulled that off or how I was able to move.

I had some nausea on and off on the ride home and was very tired but only managed to nod off for a 30 minute nap. The only thing I craved on the ride home were Slim Jim’s and unsweet tea or water. I did drive for about 3 hrs. It took almost 5 days before I had a decent night of sleep. I also noticed I was super hungry every few hours but I could only eat a few bites of anything when I did eat.

Am I dreaming of another IM….. of course I am.

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IRONMAN 70.3 Austin, Texas Race Recap

IRONMAN would find the only hills in Texas!

Results

Age Group: 56/121 , Gender: 334, Overall: 1,413/2,634
Swim – 46:48, Pace: 2.25/100m (Age group: 68/121, Gender: 414, Overall:  1,548/2,634)
T1: 5:33
Bike – 3:13:18, Pace: 17.38 mph (Age group: 42/121, Gender: 241, Overall: 1,215/2634)
T2: 4:11
Run – 2:53:24, Pace: 13:14 (Age group: 56/121, Gender: 334, Overall: 1,413/2,634)

Overall: 7:03:14

IRONMAN 70.3 Austin, TX was my first IRONMAN trademarked event. I have completed an event earlier this Spring at this distance.

Tri Bike, Training & Taper

I used an 18 week Half Ironman – Intermediate  plan by tri-newbies, which I had used for my previous race. The plan recommends three workouts per discipline each week, which ramps up to four workouts each week per discipline when you get closer to the race date. Due to life, work, mommyhood, and such, I rarely completed all the weekly workouts. Knowing that my knees and IT band needed a little extra frequency, I decided to amp up the running at the end of the plan so that I would peak at a 14 mile long run prior to race day. Continue reading

THANK YOU! 10 Things This Tri-Momma is Grateful For

Thanks to SITS Girls for challenging me to share 10 Things I am thankful for. I am so grateful for each and everyday I have on this planet and all the things that cross my path. For today, I am going to share what I thankful for as it pertains to triathlon… hopefully you will find some humor in a few of them.

Triathlon quote

10 Triathlon Thank You Moments!

  1. THANK YOU to Fitness magazine for writing an article and providing a training plan for a sprint triathlon. Your colorful pictures, cute gear, and realistic training plan for all women has led me down a road in which my husband never hears me complain about the cost of his golf rounds anymore.
  2. THANK YOU for putting the dreadful swim first and the run last. As a runner, I spend the race waiting to get to the run.
  3. THANK YOU triathlon for the cute and stylish racing gear….. yeah, right. No matter how you design it, trisuits have to be just about the most unflattering outfit in my closet.
  4. THANK YOU for the police escort. I’ve been first in my age group in a race and last in a race. At least when you are last, the motorcycle cop is there to talk to you for the rest of the bike section.
  5.  THANK YOU for energy gels and chlorine in pools which have made my dentist more money.
  6. THANK YOU to all the women doing triathlons! You keep me inspired!
  7. THANK YOU for Bodyglide! (No further details needed).
  8. THANK YOU to my two little girls, who motivate me and inspire me to be better everyday.
  9. THANK YOU to all the trimomma’s out there and to a good friend of mine that I get to go on long rides with, which gives us time to talk about mommyhood, training, life, and so much more!
  10. THANK YOU to my husband who does not do triathlons. I could not imagine what two of us in a house would be like.

ENERGY GELS GALORE GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)

Winner: Sadie B.

What is THAT? Have you ever been asked that question as you whip out what looks like a super-sized ketchup packet, tear it open and squirt something colorful with the texture of honey into your mouth? If you answered “yes,” then my guess is you have been introduced to the world of energy gels!

My first energy gel experience took place while on a summer bike ride a few years ago. About 20 miles into a bike ride, I whipped out an Espresso flavored Gu Energy Gel. I was not prepared for what I was in for….. warm, flavorful, and gooey!

Here’s where I get to show I’m not as young as I once was…. back in my Army days, we used to use honey packets before a timed physical fitness test or during long workouts. Honey packets either came in the form of a ketchup packet or what looked like a straw (similar to Pixie Sticks candy).

You will often find energy gels in goody bags for local road races – everything from 5ks to marathons, at local cycling events, and triathlons. I have even seen endurance belts designed to accommodate up to six gels at a time. While watching Ironman Kona (from my living room couch of course), I saw one triathlete tape over ten Gu packets onto her bike frame. Energy gels are indeed going to stick around (pun intended).

Energy Gel Giveaway includes:

Gu Energy Gel – Salted Caramel
Gu Energy Gel –   Salted Watermelon
Gu Energy Gel – Root Beer
Mud Energy – Chocolate Truffle Rage
Accel Gel – Vanilla
2nd Surge – Pina Colada

Gel Giveaway

Leave a comment below answering: What is your favorite energy gel brand and flavor?

 

  Click on the link to enter!

ENERGY GELS GALORE GIVEAWAY

Giveaway ends 9/26

10 Triathon Tidbits This Mother Has Learned in Two Years of Triathlon

In May 2012, I was reading through a copy of one of my favorite magazines, Women’s Running. At that time, I had my leg propped up on my desk drawer, my slacks rolled up and ice on my shin. Yes, I was battling through another shin splint. I stumbled across an article and training plan to do your first sprint triathlon in eight weeks. Needless to say, I was sucked into the article and came home that day and told my husband I had a great idea….. I was going to do a triathlon. I’d love to tell you his response or his facial expression, but I honestly didn’t pay attention long enough to see his response…  I was already off writing a list of stuff I needed and found a calendar to start mapping out my training plan.

In August of 2012, I did my first triathlon. This month marks two years of my love for the sport. Over the past two years, I have learned a few things…

GA Veterans 2012

1. Race Day… To wear a sports bra under a tri top or not?

Before my first race, this question had me stumped for months. When I decided to do my first triathlon, I knew no one who enjoyed the sport and therefore no one to direct this question to. So, I decided to look up race photos of the race I was doing from the year before and check out all the pictures of the ladies who had raced. After searching photos of mid distance finishers and back of the pack finishers, I noticed lots of ladies raced with a sports bra under their tri top. I decided to do my first triathlon with my favorite running bra under my tri top and have raced every race this way. I like compression with NO bounce.

2. Race Day… Swim will not go as planned.

I grew up in Southern California in a surfing family. I have swam in shore break in Hawaii and this stupid confidence carried over into my first lake swim in my first triathlon. No matter how many laps you swim in a pool, and no matter how many years you jumped and played in the waves, none of that prepared me for a grimy, warm water, lake swim. During my first race, I panicked after the first buoy, panicked more as I saw the other swimmers getting further away, and panicked even more when the people were cheering from the dock at the end of the swim. Clearly they were yelling at me to hurry up because they had seen an alligator and were not just merely clapping and cheering. It took five more races before I learned to swim calmly and to stop worrying that I would be last out of the water. Being last means I still made it out of the water. Being last doesn’t mean I can’t be happy. Continue reading

Tri and Recover… & Recover Some More

Prior to March 31st, I had no plans on racing in the Madison Sprint Triathlon on May 4th. In fact, I had planned on going out to support my Tri club with a camera in hand. However, my dismal bike ride at Red Hills on March 31st left me determined to prove to myself that I could ride faster than 11 mph, not that 11 mph is bad, I just knew I was capable of better.

So, after the Red Hills Triathlon on March 31st, I signed up for the North Florida Sprint Triathlon in Madison, Fl. This race also offers an Olympic distance option. Part of me wanted to sign up for the Olympic distance, but the thought of swimming out twice as far, instead of swimming two short loops quickly helped me make up my mind about the Sprint distance.

I maintained the same training schedule that I had up to the Red Hills Triathlon so that I wouldn’t try and bike too much. I didn’t want to change my training much because I wanted to get a true gage of where my cycling actually is.

As race day neared, I realized that this race was going to be a little different from the previous triathlons I had done. For the previous three races all I had to worry about was getting me and my gear ready. For this one, I would be taking my little girls with me and they would be watched over by some amazing mom’s in our tri club. Still, I had to get their gear, diaper bag, snacks, and sleeping arrangements ready in the car.

RACE DAY

North Florida tri

I was up at 4:00 a.m. and hoped I could make it out the door by 5:00 a.m. with gear, two little sleepy girls, and a cooler full of food. My 4 year-old was up at 4:30 a.m. and decided she needed to wait in the car while I finished getting everything ready. I sure do love that girl. We somehow managed to make it out the door by 5:00 a.m. and during the entire drive I kept thinking I forgot something (I didn’t forget anything and triple checked before leaving the house). When you do a race and take young kids with you, the amount of stuff you are accountable for is ridiculous and I think I had more anxiety about forgetting something than actually racing. Continue reading

Red Hills Sprint Triathlon Recap 3.30.2013

A Bike Lesson: How to make a hilly 16 mile bike loop much, much harder

RedHills Logo

Results

Age Group: 12/15, Overall: 254/266
Swim – 15:25 (Age group: 13/15, overall:  229/266)
T1: 4:08
Bike – 1:25:02 (Age group: 15/15, Overall: 266/266)
T2: 1:32
Run – 27:44 (Age group: 8/15, 171/266)

Red Hills was my third sprint triathlon, so I am definitely still a freshman to the sport. Before I get into what happened on race day, I must set the stage for the race day bike adventure/disaster… or the just plain bike faux pas.

I got a new Trek Domane 4.3 bike for my birthday in January. Up until this time, I was riding a base model Trek Lexa, which was a still quite an investment for me considering I did not know if I would even like road cycling or doing triathlons. So, last summer was the first time I gave up a mountain bike and snowboard for a road bike; it still took months for me to admit I was a road cyclist.

Trek Domane 4.3My new Trek Domane 4.3 arrived in a box in February, ready to be put together. Once assembled by a friend and local bike doctor (sounds good, doesn’t it), I was ready to take it for a spin around the neighborhood. I did a 6 mile loop around the neighborhood and then it rained, and then it rained some more, and then my kids were sick, and then I was sick…. Fast forward to two weeks before the triathlon and I started to panic as I still hadn’t put in any quality riding time on the new bike. But, boy did she look pretty sitting in my office. During this time, I logged many hours on the stationary bike at the gym and on my Trek Lexa attached to a trainer in my living room. During February I logged 132 miles of training and 150 miles of training in March.

The weekend before the tri, I carved out a little time to mess around with my new bike at the local high school parking lot. My four year-old scooted alongside me on her LaLa Loopsy bike with training wheels. I now realize I was paying much more attention to her and her safety than to my positioning on my bike.

RACE DAY

My alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. and I hit the snooze button 3 times. I had been battling a nasty sore throat for a few days, and I was hoping the cold that my kids had would hold off for one more day. I woke up a little achy and the sore throat was there with an inkling of head congestion. I was up by 4:15, got myself ready, and filled up a gallon jug with hot water which I planned to rinse off with after my tri, before changing into clean, dry clothes. I loaded up my two gear bags and went back in the house for my pretty new bike. Once I put her on the bike rack, I made sure to secure her tightly to the rack, perhaps a little too tight I would figure out later.   Continue reading