Sunday, May 25, 2014

FL 70.3 Race Report

Pre-swim I caught up with Lisa Smelser and her husband Luke. I also was fortunate enough to catch up with my good friend Jocelyn Cornman. After that, Flex and Scott were there to see me off :)  Although relatively calm wind/waters the heat on top of heat created a cluster out there for sure. I knew I was close to the front of my pack but not too specific. As a exited the water in the longest transition ever, Scott informed me I was just over 30 minutes. (Later to find out he really had no idea but didn't want to mess with my psyche) I was excited to see none of the bikes from my AG rack had yet been touched.

I  hit the bike super positive thinking I just swam in 30 minutes and knowing I had to be in top few in my AG. The bike was rolling and a bit windy in spots. I went out hard and kept my HR in the low 160s. I definitely went over at times with some of the tougher climbs. I saw a few girls here in there but really no one in my AG that passed me. (Except for one girl who was right on the A$$ of some dude...who later I found out won our AG. Huh.) Nutrition on the bike was 3 PB gels, a 5hr energy, and 3 bottles of Ironman Perform. As I finished the bike in the 2:30s I knew it was going to be a good day. Hello 8 minute bike PR!

Despite a solid start to the day, things never really clicked for me on the run. After fumbling with my Garmin to switch from bike to run mode-- I ended up just doing the math in my head. The 3 loop course was hot, hilly, and overall a cluster--F as far as congestion. The first mile of the loop included a few tough rollers with a narrow side walk in loose grave sand that is barely big enough for one person let alone a race of this size to pass through. Despite a slower start to the run, I was super stoked to find out in the first lap that I was 4th in my AG! I was able to hold my position for the first 2 laps. After that, things went south as I was passed by two AG girls. In the end, I finished with a 5:09 and placed 6th in my AG. Unfortunately, in the last lap I not only gave away a podium spot but also a WC slot.

Tough day out there but I gave it my all, got a huge pike PR, and a 2 min 70.3 PR. You can't complain too much when you perform the best you ever have :) Thank you Coach Chad and to my super supportive husband for putting up with me!
And as for the World Championships, I will get there someday!

Gulf Coast 70.3 or 69.1: Sub 5 of Bust

As I checked out the Panama City beach Friday afternoon after my pre-race workouts, I wasn't too optimistic about the swim happening. I visit Panama City frequently. Minus a hurricane that I experienced from evacuating New Orleans, the waves were a little bigger than the usual calm, blue-green gulf that I'm used to. I opted to skip my pre-race swim.

Like I predicted, late the next day we all later learned the swim was cancelled. This being a smaller race and not a qualifier my only really big goal for the year was to break 5 hours in the 70.3 distance. With the cancelled swim and 20mph+ gusts, today was not going to be the day.

I tried to re-focus and just go out there with a positive attitude and enjoy the day. I went out hard on the bike averaging 24-26mph and knowing that I would be fighting a beast coming back. With being the 2nd wave to start, it was nice just having ladies to pass. At the start, I was picking off girls left and right. It was also very easy to see where I stood in my AG. The first half of the course was a breeze mostly because of the killer tail wind. The other half let's just say was demoralizing. After being passed by another Jax girl, I figured I was 2nd in my AG.  There were a few other ladies that I went back and forth with from other age groups and towards the end a few guys who passed me. Nutrition was my usual 3 gels, 3 bottle Perform, and 1 bottle water. The last half of the course going back down 79 and then back along the beach along the huge hotels was just plain brutal.

I went onto the run thinking I was top 2-3 peeps. Unlike Haines City, the I cranked out the first few miles in 7:30's with ease. I did pass one girl in my age group. Despite early success, the battle with the wind set in my legs and my pace slowed dramatically.  I continued to slow more and more and more. The last mile yet another girl came along that I passed earlier.  I had no fight mentally or physically left in me.

In the end, I was 2nd AG after one girl placed OA and the other landed some pretty heavy drafting penalties. Going into the race less than a month after Haines City was probably not the smartest thing either more mentally than physically.

Although no WC slot for me and no sub-5, I know that I'm not in the right place mentally to continue to push through with the long stuff. After Haines City, I came to the realization that I CAN qualify for Worlds. I am finally performing at THAT level. I know I can. I seriously tossed around the idea of giving it one more shot to make it to Canada. In the end, I'm listening to my heart and mind and giving myself a break from the longer stuff for now.

There will be a time to go to Worlds and crush 5 hours. The time is not now. But now more than ever, I believe in myself and know that I am closer than I ever have been before. As for now, bring on some short stuff, CrossFit, and bring back life into living!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

BFAS Race Report

Usually the normal recovery for me for a 70.3 is 1-2 weeks. After the swim was cancelled last weekend at Gulf Coast, I felt shorted! I checked the weather forecast, made sure my recovery was going well, and decided last minute to sign up for the 1st of 3 for the BFAS sprint series in Mayport, Florida. What's a sprint triathlon compared to the normal weekend hours logged for a 70.3? Walk in the park right? Racing 1 week post 70.3 was not the smartest idea I've ever had but in the end things worked out quite alright! With my long season coming to a close, what did I have to lose?

Without going into too many boring race report details, I went out hard and went to have fun! The day started with one of prettiest sunrises I've seen in awhile:

Despite the swim being washing machine-esque with chop/difficult sighting and some intense winds on the bike, the race was perfect! I exited the water with one pink cap or other woman in front of me who I later passed in T1. After that I was passing the boys! I wasn't sure how the legs would respond but there was definitely some gas left in the tank after 6 months of heavy 70.3 training. I felt some residual fatigue toward the end of the whopping 16 miles but otherwise was good to go. Going onto the run, I caught a glimpse of my friend Betsy who I figured was about a minute behind.

Just drop a quick 5k and you are done I told myself! Again-- I wasn't sure how the legs would respond. With logging lots of high mileage-slower stuff, I had no idea if the fast gear would work. Thankfully the legs responded nicely with 6:45s-7s. I caught of a glimpse of Betsy and another girl near the turn around who looked really strong. With less than a mile to go, I prayed I could hold on. Thankfully I did with a minute to spare.

Wattie Ink (Drew) and Betty Designs brought home the "W" and looks like Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute PTs representing!

Sigh.... Oh does it feel good to be back to the short stuff :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Adult Spring Break : Triathlon Style

Everybody needs a spring break right? Just because we aren't in college anymore doesn't mean we shouldn't get some beach, frosty beverages,  a tan, and some sunshine? I wish it still worked that way.  Getting old sucks! Either way I had my little piece of spring break in Panama City Beach. Amidst heavy half IM training, I definitely needed a change of training scenery and figured a little sunshine/beach time wouldn't hurt.

I headed to PCB to spend the weekend with one of my favorite spring breakers and girly triathletes

We spent Saturday rocking out a 63 mile ride at the Tour de Ranch with some solid rolling hills that included about 3000 feet of climbing. Not bad for Florida right? We were nice enough and even pulled some boys along for the ride :) It turned out to be a beautiful day and fun ride that included minimal mechanicals, bike short tan lines, and frosty electrolyte beverages. We thought we would be crazy add a little T-run too. So out of control right? 

Then the real spring break began! The day was topped off with some beach time and then official adult beverages. I'm not going to lie... I did feel pretty old amongst a bunch of 20-something year olds.  Either way both Chloe and I were rocking our bikinis way better than the college girls were rocking their freshman 15.  I'm thankful for that ;) 

Despite our attempt to hang, we were both done after one cup of frozen daiquiri and after a few free samples. Rookie mistake.

The next day Chloe and I woke up super early to rock out our long runs. Our long run was a very educational for sure. We learned a lot of spring break lessons. A few include:

-If you get super drunk and your friends can't find you and you have no idea where your hotel is.... the beach access makes for an AWESOME place to sleep:
-We later learned that running or "cardio" is the shizit..... (after being hit on by some college kids drinking natty light) at 6 am. At least we still look like we are in college right?

And that is a wrap of 2 days of solid training and spring break! Definitely not the spring break I used to have, but not bad for being a thirty-something weekend get away right? I'll take it :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tropical Trails

Although my first "Florida winter" has been a little disappointing with lots of days below freezing-- over the past weekend I was lucky enough to head a few hours south to Melbourne, Florida. My husband had a work thing for the weekend and I figured I would tag along to get in some warmer training.

Like most places I go, I love to get in touch with whom Scott calls "my internet friends" before hand to set up some training. It's always way more fun that way! What better way to meet new triathlete friends and explore new places? Lucky for me I was able to set up a solid ride with Emily Nelson along the beautiful eastern Florida shores.

It was a fun 40 plus miles together with lots of girly chatting, sunshine, and palm trees. I was so thankful I had some fun company! Per coaches orders, I added another hour on and traveled along a gorgeous road called the Tropical Trail with a some speed intervals and lots of wind :) Luckily the breathtaking views kept me distracted through my power intervals and I nailed my wattage goals.
I don't think it gets much better than this! 

Post ride I napped some beachside and woke up to this! Hello best rainbow ever!
Sunday, I cranked out a slightly chillier 10 miler along the coastline solo.

And that my friends is a solid training weekend wrap! I'm so thankful for new friends, beautiful creation, and time away with my best friend. Cheers to many more tropical trails and travels in 2014 :) 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013: Lessons Learned and What Lies Ahead

I love as the year ends and we all get a little down time to reflect on the the good, the bad, and the ugly of the past 365 days. For me, some of my favorite highlights include:

1. Traveling to Scottsdale to work for MLB and experience all of the awesomeness that Arizona had to offer.

2. A few days later, flying to Boulder to spend the weekend with my awesome Rev3 teammates :)

3. Moving to the sunshine state!

4. Snowboarding with the family in Utah and introducing Scott to real powder.

5. Trying out the dark-side and experimenting with CrossFit in addition to the old swim-bike run.  And seeing the benefits of pay off via short course racing!

6. Spending lots of beach time with my other half!

7. Getting a new orthopedic job.

8. Making new friends and still being able to catch up with old ones.

9. Winning my first local CrossFit competition (5k gone bad).

10. Crushing my olympic distance PR and placing top 3 OA in several races.

Despite so many blessings, 2013 ended on a rough note for me. Not to focus on the negative, but more importantly to learn from the past... some of the tougher times included:

1. Geo-bachelorette-ing it again for 3 months during the summer to move early for a job that in the end didn't pan out. Worst idea ever by the way :)  I had a tough time being away form this guy:

2. Moving again and of course the challenges that come with it...

3. Suffering through a nasty, nagging Grade II gastroc tear and missing 2 big A races.

4. Starting over once again at a new job.

5. Surviving the holidays alone without family and vacation. I won't lie many tears were shed :(

I will keep those to a minimum :) For me, the challenges painfully teach me far more than the good times. And as much as it sucks to go through the rough patches, they somehow always make you that much better of a person. Your perspective through these trials, will ultimately make or break you.... 

Some of the lessons that I ultimately learned the hard way were:

1. Family should always come first. Jobs will come and go. Family is constant.

2. Despite what we may all think, there is far more to life than triathlon. Scott has to remind me all to frequently, that I am not getting paid to be a triathlete. (despite all of my awesome sponsors). I continually ask myself, what would I do if this were taken away? Happiness should not correlate with one's success or failure at the sport. Instead, we should cherish and enjoy what our bodies are capable of. Training should never feel like a chore or job.

3. Cherish the awesome people in your life including family, friends, co-workers and never take them for granted. Positive people will make or break your day :)

4. Hard times will show you who your true friends are. I have to thank everyone that reached out to me over the holidays. There is no way I would have survived without you.

5. And I'll end with one of my favorites~This is something I continually remind myself when times get tough. There is somebody up there with a plan.... (Jeremiah 29:11)

With that said, I'm heading into 2014 with lots of faith, hope, and a refreshed perspective. I hope 2014 brings you many blessings!

Friday, December 6, 2013

2014 Plan

Ragnar Ultra Relay Miami-Key West

Wildman Triathlon-March 15th

Florida 70.3-April 13th 

Gulf Coast Tri 70.3-May 10th 

Tri Jax Series 

Siesta Beach Triathlon-June 29th

Destin Tri 


Will I see you at any of these races? 
As for sponsors, I unfortunately won't be rocking the Rev3. Although I have thoroughly enjoyed representing what I believe is the best race series out there, I wanted to give the torch to somebody new. With my new job, my husbands deployments, and physically being far away from most of the races, I didn't want to commit to something that I can't deliver 110%. Talk about a tough team to leave :( The rev3 peeps will still always be near and dear to my heart. 

In other news, I will be representing a new brand that I've been a fan of for years....

Betty Designs!!!!
So excited to be part of such a bad a$$ group of girls who are both stylist and fast! 

And as for coaching, I am stoked to back with one of my high school friends and now pro triathlete-Chad Holderbaum. 

I am getting excited for next year, how about you?