Last weekend I drove to New Orleans expecting to race on Sunday. Race morning we were driving to transition and it started pouring rain. We were all setting up our transition with squalls of rain coming through. About 45 min before swim start I heard some thunder. It started to get closer and lightining was starting to get more frequent. I sat under an overpass next to transition for about 45 min waiting for any further notice on when the race would start. Finally I heard an announcement... they said the storm was going to be passing but there was another storm approaching within a couple hours with high winds, lightning and lots of rain. They decided to cancel the event.
About an hour later it did clear up, I ran the run course then went home, disappointed there wasn’t a race but no one can control the weather. It’s just one of those things that happens. Even though registration for Austin was closed, Ironman said they would register me for the race considering this one had been cancelled. My aunt and uncle live in Austin and said I could stay with them for the weekend, everything seemed to work out on a short notice for me to race in Austin. It was very cold when arriving in Austin and the forecast for race morning was 39 degrees. I have had issues with my fingers going completely numb in cold weather and was a little worried about the cold on the bike. I did find some hand warmers to put in my gloves and planned to put on arm warmers as well, after the swim.
Florida girl forgot what cold weather felt like and race morning I was shivering setting up my transition. I went for a warm up run but it didn’t make me any warmer. I put on my full wetsuit which did warm me up. The water temperature was 69 degrees. It was finally time to start. I took off my shoes and socks and ran through the cold grass to the waters edge. Fog was beginning to settle on the lake. For a few minutes the buoys disappeared. Just before the men started the fog dispersed enough to see at least from one buoy to the next. Once I got in the water I began to warm up. It was an in water start, no countdown just waited in silence for the gun which caught me by surprise. I began swimming and passed a small group of girls, found one girl going the same pace as me and followed her. I could hardly see anything with the fog and rising sun. I started getting really warm in my wetsuit. As soon as I exited the swim I began taking off my wetsuit and running up the hill to transition.
Trying to put arm warmers on wet skin was a process. I felt like I was in transition for 5 min. I knew I would regret it if I didn’t put any extra clothes on. Finally I got my wetsuit off, arm warmers and gloves on and left transition. There was no one in sight when I started off on the bike. I pedaled in silence on some county roads. I made a few turns, went up a few hills and with every downhill I got colder and colder. I was starting to feel numb. After about 10 miles I began shivering uncontrollably. My hands were numb. My legs were not wanting to move very fast. I felt like my whole body was slowing down. The roads were so rough at some points I felt like I was going to fall off my bike. I kept telling myself it was going to warm up but it didn’t for at least 1.5 hours. After about 40 miles I could tell the air was getting a little warmer. I started to warm up and could finally start drinking and eating some calories. I passed one girl and one girl passed me and other than that I rode by myself. A cold, lonely ride. Towards the end a few groups of age group men passed me. I was really looking forward to running, I knew that would get me warm! (Plus, I love running :)) As I ran into transition my feet were numb, it took about 3 miles until I could feel my feet again but that didn't bother me during the run, I was just so happy to be warm again. During the run I really started to enjoy the race.
The run was 3 loops. One section there were a lot of people cheering everyone on, the other side of the loop went through a park. It went by quickly. There were a lot of rolling hills on the run course and the finish line was indoors at the Austin Rodeo arena! It was pretty cool. Different than any other race I have done. I have been working a lot on my run and really wanted to have a strong run. My goal was to run a 1;28-1;29. I ran 1:30. I am grateful I did get to run one more race before calling it a season and finished in the top 10! This is def the coldest race I have ever done. It was quite the experience.
My husband was able to come with me to Austin and we were able to spend some time with my aunt and uncle. It was a good weekend! Thanks to Xterra Wetsuits for keeping me warm in the swim and thanks to Epixgear for the awesome kits they give me so I can look good racing! :) Thank you Flying Fish for keeping my bike running smooth all season, new machine coming soon! Thanks to my coach and everyone who trains with me, I have really had fun this year!
Before Augusta, it had been a few months since I've raced a 70.3. After Chattanooga 70.3 I decided to do Eagleman but leading up to that race I had been sick and didn't recover well from Chattanooga. I thought I would be better by the time I raced Eagleman but I was still sick. I raced anyway and it didn't end well. Getting sick has been one of my big problems in the passed few years. I just couldn't stay healthy more than 3-4 weeks and I seemed to always get sick before races. After Eagleman I decided to go to the doctor. I ended up having a sinus infection and my ears were halfway filled with fluid. My immune system was very low. They put me on some anti biotics, which helped my sinus infection but I was still getting dizzy, had no energy and felt very tired. I got some blood tests done and most of it came back great except for my sugar levels were very high, my a1c levels were almost to a diabetic level. I talked with a couple doctors and it seemed as though I was not getting enough protein and healthy fats in my diet and my sugar levels were up and down without enough protein. My immune system was low and it seemed that my body was having a hard time getting better after each time I got sick. I've changed my diet by adding a lot more protein and healthy fats and have been paying close attention to things that contain sugar. I try to keep sugar to a minimal.
I slowly began to feel better a couple weeks before racing in the New York City Triathlon. I had my energy back and felt alive again! My goal has been to stay healthy even through weeks of hard training. Just recently I had my blood re-tested and all my levels seem to be back to normal. Leading up to Augusta was the healthiest I've felt for a very long time! I was happy to get to the starting line healthy and had some good training behind me even with Hurricane Irma disrupting my life for a week!
Race morning I wasn't nervous, just excited and ready for the race to start! It was supposed to be a hot day but the morning was pretty nice.
I did a 10 min warm up run, stretched quite a bit and warmed up in the water. The water was 77 degrees (non wetsuit legal). I had a good swim start. I knew there were a few super fast swimmers and I let them go, I was somewhere between the front pack and a group of girls behind me. I swam by myself the whole swim. As I ran out the swim exit I saw the lead girls running out of T1 with their bikes, so I knew I wasn't too far behind at this point. I was around 7th or 8th out of the water.
My coach and I had discussed a plan for me to execute on my bike. In the passed I've started out too fast and faded quite a bit towards the end. He gave me some power numbers to stay around within the first 25 miles with the goal to stay consistent or pick up the pace on the back half. Starting out I could see some girls up the road and wanted to take off and reel them in but I didn't! I stayed within my power numbers and tried to keep this first 25 miles under control. A few girls passed me and I let them go. I tried to stay with them for a little bit but it was taking too much effort this early in the ride so I focused on my own race. Eventually a few girls slowed down and I passed them and another girl was going about the same pace as me so I did have a few cyclists to pace off of more towards the middle and end of the race. I kept my power more consistent this time, for my average power it was a little lower than it pry should have been, I will have to work on that next race. I came off the bike feeling good.
Once on the run I tried not to go out too fast. My legs and energy level felt good. I was around 6:45-6:55, which was about where I wanted to be. I moved into 8th place on the run. I took some calories and drank water through the aid stations and somewhere around 6 miles things started to fall apart. I took some more calories and then a side ache started to creep up. My side hurt so bad I had to slow down. It made breathing hard. I walked through a couple aid stations, drank some more water and took some salt. I was a little frustrated, the race had been going well until this. Around mile 10 my side ache started to feel a little better to where I could go a little faster and still breathe. Last couple miles were better. I finished in 11th place. (4:33)
Thanks to my coach and sponsors for keeping me on the right track and as always to my husband who is the most supportive, wonderful person I know!! :)
My next race will be New Orleans 70.3! I will be racing for charity and helping to raise money for the Girls On The Run scholarship program. If you are interested in helping me meet my goal amount, the link is below. I am looking for 70 sponsors to give $10 each, one sponsor per mile! Thanks so much for reading and for the support!
Already Looking forward to racing next month :)
I had never been to NY before this weekend and I was looking for a race in July a few months back. I had seen this race before and wanted to do it and this year it fit in my schedule!
The female pros start first at 5:50am, they had an "equalizer timing format" which was a time of 11 min 30 sec the guys would start behind us and whoever crossed the finish line first (1st place girl or 1st place guy) would get $3000 bonus. Kept the race interesting.
Morning of the race I woke up at 3:30am, ate breakfast and headed over to transition. It was at least a mile walk from the transition I was in, (since its such a big race they have two transitions) and the swim start. Our transition closed at 5:15. Around 5 I began walking to the swim start. They wanted us to be there by 5:20. The weather was great this morning, I heard for passed races it has been very hot and humid but it had rained on Friday which seemed to cool things off.
This race is very well organized. It has been a race for 15-20 years. The swim is in the Hudson River, the bike course is on the West Side Highway, the highway is completely closed to cars during the race and the run is a mile from transition to Central Park, 5 miles around the Park, to the finish line which is also in the Park.
In the pro meeting on Saturday they did mention the swim start for us was a dive start. I'm not a diver and most races are, in water or beach starts, I can't say I practice my dive starts often....This dock was higher than I expected and once we were on the dock I just kept thinking this isn't going to be pretty! I was hoping my goggles wouldn't come off. The race started, I gave it my best dive, which was very ugly, but my goggles didn't come off and I was in the river, laughing to myself about what that just looked like! The water was 74 degrees. No wetsuits for us but the water felt great.
There were no bouys to sight off but the swim is straight, you swim right into the ramp out of the water. You can't miss it.
From the swim exit to our transition it was almost a half mile run on the concrete. Once out of transition on the bike there is a short, steep hill to go up which puts you on the main highway. Make sure your bike is in the right gear for that hill.
I had a good group of girls around me starting out on the bike. We did spread out after a while, I was feeling good on the bike and picked up the pace the last 5-8 miles putting a little time between me and the girls behind me. The bike course was a little long and there are a few hills, but nothing too crazy. I loved the bike course, very pretty.
My coach and I discussed a plan for my run and I tried to stick to it even though I didn't expect the run to be so hilly. Right out of transition there is a short punchy hill, takes you out to 72nd St which is shut down for the runners. Once in the park the hills begin. I had biked the run course the day before and ran some of it Friday, I had an idea of what was coming. I knew I had some girls not far behind me. Coming off the bike I was in 8th place. With a mile to go I heard I had a girl back 1 minute. I tried to push the pace to the finish line and I kept my 8th place spot. Overall my race went well, I really enjoyed this race and if you ever get a chance to do this one, go for it!
New York was awesome. We did some "sight seeing" Sunday & Monday. Unfortunately our flight was cancelled as was a lot of other flights that evening due to some "traffic control problems". It was a mess trying to get home with all the Southwest flights from the NY airports booked for the following day. We had to get up at 2:30am to catch a 5:30am flight Tuesday from a airport far away. I had a great time in NY and racing but it took me a few days to recover from the early mornings and traveling!
Thanks to my sponsors, Epixgear, Flying Fish Bikes, Xterra Wetsuits, First Endurance and my coach at Tribal Multi-sport, my family, friends and husband for the support along this journey in triathlon!
I alway look forward to this race in Chattanooga because not only did I use to live near there but some of my family still do and I get to visit with them on race weekend.
My husband took the road trip with me this year and we stayed downtown near the river which was very convenient. Saturday was hot and it was supposed to rain on race day, which made me happy because I'll take rain over hot and sunny any day. At the pro meeting they let us know because of the storms there could be some changes to the race or delays but they thought the storm would pass overnight. Fortunately, it did and race morning I woke up to dry, overcast conditions.
Saturday evening we met up with my aunt, uncle and cousin for dinner. Always great getting to spend some time with family, also takes my mind off the race! :)
Race morning I arrived at the swim start early enough to get in a good warm up and stretch before we were called out to the docks. We weren't allowed to warm up until the men started which didn't give us much time in the water. I was actually not ready when the gun went off, there wasn't a countdown as there usually is and because of the current I wasn't quite to the start line. They didn't have a problem with us starting in front of the bouys this time since the current kept pushing us back!
The water temp in the river was 72 degree, we were not allowed to wear wetsuits. We had to swim up river about 400 meters, across 100 then head down the river to the swim finish. (They did cut the swim short for the age groupers cutting out the swim up river). Once I made the turn to go down river I started to pick up the pace and pass some girls. I felt great swimming and ran into transition in 8th place. It was great to see so many bikes still on our rack.
Heading out on the bike I had a few girls around me and a couple not too far ahead. I don't particularly like hilly bike courses, I know a lot of people do, I would rather sit in aero at one pace for 56 miles than go up and down and all around. I didn't look at my watch during the ride, just put in a good effort and tried to hang on until the end. Went out a little too fast and paid for it in the second half of the ride.
This bike course is very scenic. I looked out at the mountains at one point and with all the clouds lifting off the mountains it really did look like they were smoking. I took some mental pictures! I was riding alone for part of the ride which can get boring and unmotivating.
A few girls passed me within the last 15 miles and I couldn't pick up the pace. I was looking forward to the bike ride being over and onto my favorite part, the run! Oddly enough, I do like running hills and always enjoy this run course. I came off the bike in 10th place.
Onto the run my legs felt pretty good. I didn't look at my watch during the run just ran off pace and I had a pretty good idea what pace I was running. I focused on racing and keeping up with hydrating and nutrition. My goal was to be under 1:30 for the run, I ended up being a couple minutes off but I still had a decent run and overall it was a good race for me. It was 4 min faster than I've gone on this course before and 11 min faster than last year.
Each event went well and while all my goals weren't met, I was happy with the improvement and I know I will meet my goals soon enough!
I finished in 12th place, 4:35.
It was great seeing my family and husband at the finish line! Thankful to have such a supportive family.
I am very lucky to have an amazing husband who encourages me, trains with me and keeps me company on road trips to races! (did I mention he cooks dinner for me on days I come home late after working 10 hour shifts?!)
Thanks to my coach and team, Tribal Multi-sport also, my sponsors (Epixgear, Xterrawetsuits, First Endurance, Flying Fish Bikes).
Next up will be Eagleman 70.3 in Maryland, June 11th.
Sorry I have not written anything in a while. Since my last blog, I got married! (in Vegas at the Valley of Fire) then went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. I took a few weeks off structured training and have enjoyed the winter. My niece was born on Valentine's Day and it's been amazing seeing her grow over the passed month. I have been staying very busy to say the least.
For the last couple months I've been dealing with a foot injury and have had to be careful about how many miles I'm running, I have had to take some days off and just run every other day, until it finally healed, just in time for my first race of the season, Puerto Rico 70.3.
I wanted to do an early season race, considered Oceanside 70.3 but my coach and a few other teammates were doing Puerto Rico. I had never done this race and it is closer to home than CA. I decided to try it, even though I have heard about how hilly and hot the run can be on this course. I looked at this race as a challenge for me. I have had issues staying hydrated in hot conditions and really tried to work on my nutrition these passed couple months to make sure being dehydrated wouldn't be a problem. I made some small changes to my race nutrition plan, I felt like I had put in all the work I could, with low running mileage because of my foot. The week before this race I got sick and had to miss a couple days of work. I felt so awful I wasn't sure if I would be recovered enough to race, but what can you do? I just rested a lot and tried to get better as quick as possible.
Puerto Rico is about a 2.5 hour flight. I arrived on Friday morning and wanted to do a easy training run on the course and check out a couple of these hills I had heard so much about. It was around 10am and it was already very warm. I got burnt on my run which surprised me- the sun is very strong there!
Race morning I was a little nervous. I went for a warm up run, stretched and got in the water for a swim. The water was 82 degrees. I started to get a little more relaxed after swimming a little. All you can do is your best, nothing to worry about... but the first race of the season always gets me!
I had a good swim start, stayed relaxed and the first 500-700 meters seemed to be with the current but after that we turned and it was against us. It was a little frustrating, I felt like I was swimming slow. I also miss judged a buoy and swam a bit out of my way. :(. It happens...I just tried to get back on track and move on. This wasn't one of my best swims but I was just a couple minutes out of the main mix of girls.
The transition between the swim and bike was very long. About 500-600 meters and once in transition we were on the far side which made it farther. I exited the swim with a couple girls and started out on the bike with them.
The bike started off on the interstate. I love it when the interstate is closed for the race! I really enjoyed the bike ride. I had my target power numbers I wanted to hit and was staying pretty consistent. The bike is 12 miles out, then 2 loops and 12 miles home. I thought the 2nd loop may be a little cluttered with the age groupers but it worked out pretty well. There was plenty of room on the road for everyone. It was nice having other cyclist on the road, felt more like a race then some of my solo bike rides in the past.
We rode next to the coast for a little bit and through some less populated areas. It was very hot and they did have lots of aid stations available. I picked up a bottle at almost every one of them and poured it on me and drank as much as I could before throwing it to the side. My focus on the bike was staying hydrated and hitting the power numbers I train to. I had a good bike ride (2:25) and was off the bike in a good spot.
I made a few changes to my bike, I changed my saddle and I am a lot more comfortable than I was all last season. Also, thanks to Flying Fish Bikes for making my bike ride like new again! :)
Getting off my bike in transition my legs felt very heavy. I took a small water bottle with me on the run, since it was so hot and I was told there were no water stops for the 1.5 miles into the fort area. I was glad I did have some water with me.
I did not come close to my goal run pace. I did know this was a tough course but I was a bit slower (like 10 min!) than I had planned. There was an immediate hill (bridge) starting the run which lead into another hill. I knew after that hill was the big hill, then a downhill and a slick brick road which leads to the area they call the "microwave" out and back next to the coast on the side of the fort. It was very pretty but no aid stations on that stretch. I also noticed a lot of random cats out there! Coming out of the fort was a steep uphill on the brick again. It was never ending and a two loop course. I could not wait to get to the finish line. It was a painful run and I actually felt accomplished crossing the finish line. They did have lots of water, ice, cola, Gatorade at all the aid stations. I feel the hills were more my downfall than anything. I felt like I did stay hydrated and my nutrition plan seemed to work.
This was a good start to my season! Getting back in the swing of things with my running, I am looking forward to see how I can do in my upcoming races. I finished in 14th place OA (4:44).
Next race will be St. Anthony's Olympic triathlon in St. Petersburg. No traveling needed! :)
Until next time...