Friday, November 24, 2017

2017 Ironman Arizona

T minus 3 days
Arrived in Phoenix around 9:30, didn't have time to eat anything so I just had a Rx Bar before going to bed.

T minus 2 days
Today is the day that I have to pick up my bike and gear bag from Tri Bike Transport (TBT) and do athlete check in. Daniel and I went to Ncounter for breakfast. I stuffed myself with a pb&j smoothie, breakfast sandwich and half of red velvet waffles. I barely had enough room for my coffee.

Next stop was athlete check in. This was seamless. On the way over there, you have to walk through the expo where I spotted OrangeMud. I finally got to meet Josh Sprague. He's just as nice in person as he is on Facebook and through email. I definitely recommend their hydration packs for long training days. when you want to stop as little as possible, and/or when you are in a new place and don't know all the water stops. I recommend the gear vest or the endurance pack when traveling because they pack down smaller.

Anyway, back to the race. After athlete check in and the obligatory race memento purchases, I was just in time for the athlete briefing. Nothing really new, but it's always good to listen in just in case the race has some nuance that isn't done at the other races.

TBT was next. I didn't want to pick up my bike since I didn't plan on riding it until the next day and  our hotel was a little over a mile away. Thankfully I was able to just grab my gear back and get my bike the next day.

After all that, we headed over to The Cabin to meet up with some other Moxies. After grabbing a snack and hanging out for a bit, we headed back to the hotel before meeting up at the Moxie store to meet more teammates. I hadn't really exercised in a couple of days so I went down to the hotel gym and ran 4 miles and did a quick 10 minute strength workout (push ups, squats, sit ups). During the run, my foot started hurting at the balls of my toes. This is from some minor metatarsalgia that started back in August. Whenever my shoes wear down, it hurts more. When I finished my run, I checked the bottom of my shoes and sure enough, they were worn down. I wasn't expecting them to be since I just bought them in September and have no more than 100 miles on them. I knew if I couldn't get through 4 miles on a treadmill that I wouldn't get through 26.2 miles. I had to make sure to get new shoes the next day. There were no running shoes at the Moxie store, but I did get 2 extra Wattie base layer shirts. Those things are awesome. Expensive, but awesome.

Pizza was for dinner. We went to NYPD on Mill Ave. I wish we would have gone to Mellow Mushroom, but oh well. I can't say it helped or hurt me that I didn't have my normal Mellow Mushroom pizza for T-2 dinner.

For every big race, I get a cupcake or big sandwich cookie to have half the night before the race and half after the race. There are no nearby cupcake or cookie places in Tempe open. At least nothing close to Mill Ave. We took an Uber to a grocery store near our place and the bakery was closed.

With the time difference (2 hours from Florida), we were in bed by 10.

T minus 1 day
Woke up around 6 AM without an alarm. Rolled around until 7:30. We needed to leave to get back to the expo and TBT as early as possible so I could get a new pair of shoes and get my bike before the practice swim at 10. I did get a new pair of shoes, Hokas. I have worn them before, so it's not like they were completely new.

As an FYI, the other shoes were Brooks Ghost. I really enjoyed them and I do love Brooks. I had the same wearing problem with the Hokas which is why I was in the Brooks. Apparently they have the same wear time. So, I plan on training in Brooks and racing in Hokas.

I was about to suit up to go in the water when I heard an announcement that you have to have your timing chip on. I did not know this because it was only listed on one place and I didn't read that one line. Thankfully I had my bike, shoes, and helmet so I was able to kill two birds with one stone. Test ride my bike and get my chip. I made it to the hotel and back in about 15 minutes and then took another 5 to put on my wetsuit. I bought a Helix Thermal specifically for this race because I had read that the lake can be in the low 60s for this race. I had put it on 3 or 4 times and just jumped in the shower to try and loosen it up and swam in it 3 times at the pool. It felt very comfortable and I didn't have any issues with it during the practice or actual swim. The water for the practice swim was 64* but it felt fine. It was chilly, but I was able to put my head under the water without freaking out. I really, really, really like that they allowed an official practice swim with lifeguards. It was perfect prep for the actual swim.

With the practice swim done and technically my bike too, I was all set to drop of my bike and run bags then head out for some lunch. I forgot to put socks in my bike bag so I was on a hunt for socks. 2 things: 1) surprisingly there were a lack of sock options at the expo. I was weird and 2) you have access to your bags in the morning, so you don't have to buy last minute things that you left in your hotel room.

Lunch was ramen at a place called Umami. We also had vegan hot wings. The ramen and wings were great. I probably shouldn't have had the Ramen for lunch though. Too much liquid and not enough carbs and sugar.

Dinner was of course sushi as a place called RA. Food was good, no complaints. After dinner I was still on a hunt for a cupcake or cookie for my pre and post race dessert. Still nothing. I had to go to Starbucks to get a whoopie pie and a cookie. I asked for pb and he gave me chocolate chip :(.

Race Day!
I woke up at 4:30 am with an intention on being out the door by 5:00 and at the race site by 5:30. There was a shuttle from the hotel so I had to factor that all in. I had overnight oatmeal with almond milk and nuts to start. Then finished with 3 mini powdered donuts. I took a banana for the road. I made coffee, but forgot it. Thankfully they had some downstairs. Everything worked out timing wise and I was a the race site shortly before 5:30. I went to my bike first and put my bottles on, then set up my Garmin, and put my shoes on my bike. I was all done and looked around and realized no one else had their shoes clipped in. I asked someone and they confirmed that shoes had to be in the bags. OK-then. Shoes came off and I walked over to my bike bag to put them in there. Made a mental note of where my bags were and then stood in line for the bathroom. By this time it was a little after 5:30 so I ate my banana and took an Imodium. After the bathroom and walking around a bit, it was about 6:20 so I figured it was time to put my wetsuit on. Got it on pretty quickly, dropped off my morning clothes bag, left my ear plugs in the bag on accident and headed to the swim start. I figured if forgetting my ear plugs was the worst thing to happen, then it wouldn't be a bad day. After the pros went, I looked around and noticed a lot of wet spots all over the ground. Yup, people were peeing in their suits. No judgement, just an observation. I was going to wait until I got closer to the water or in the water. I should have gone then.

Swim - 1:10:12 18th a/g
I started in the middle of the 1:00 - 1:10 group. I really, really, really like the rolling start. At least on this course. I don't know how it is on others, but this one is great. The rolling start and the stairs force everyone to take it easy getting into the water which means you start off more relaxed. I got in and didn't freak out at all. It was amazing. I was told the water was 68* - perfect for a full sleeve thermal wetsuit. I didn't overheat at all. I did, however, have to pee about a quarter mile into the swim. I came to a full stop to try and go but couldn't. I tried 3 other times when I was able to get on someone's feet and stop kicking to try and concentrate on peeing. Didn't work. So, the stopping, slowing down, and not being able to really push myself for fear of getting a side stitch made the swim a little slower than I was hoping for. I stayed to the left so I was close to the buoys and didn't have any issues. You can't see in front of you, but unless you're not paying attention, you can generally tell when you're coming up on someone. I didn't get punched or kicked. Most people were actually nice. I actually heard a guy say sorry to someone else.

T1 - 7:20
Like I said, I had to pee. I grabbed my bike bag and went straight to the bathroom. I was in there for a good 90 seconds.

As I mentioned earlier, the Wattie base layers are awesome. I wear my tri shorts and the base layer to swim in. Then I have a bike jersey that I zip up and have all of my extras already in the pockets (pit stop and 3 honey stinger waffles). I like the base layer because it dries quickly. So, when I start the bike, at least I am pretty dry up top, except for my sports bra.

Bike - 5:37:20 9th a/g
This bike course if pretty flat... there are no rollers. Just a slight incline going out and a slight income coming back. The incline is the easy part, though. It's the wind that gets you. Some years it's really bad. This year, it was not horrific, but it wasn't great either. Winds were supposed to be 3 - 5 mph, but instead turned out to be more like 8 - 10 mph. I just tried to keep a steady pace, a little bit higher wattage on the way out (into the wind) and more coasting with a little bit of pressure on the way back in. I had 2 Honey Stingers, one at mile 30 and another at mile 60. I was supposed to have the 3rd at mile 90, but after the 2nd one, it was almost instant that my stomach said 'no more!'. So, at mile 90, I had a banana instead. Additionally, I had 3 bottles of Infinit and took water at every aid station to drink and pour on myself to get rid of the crustiness. It is so dry out there.

Bike hiccups -
1) When I initially tried to clip in, it wasn't working. So, I had to get off my bike and see what was wrong. At first I thought it was a bunch of grass/dirt but there is a piece on the top part of my left bike cleat that at some point broke off. I tried to at least position it in the right place and then got back on my bike. I was able to clip in but was worried that if I unclipped, I wouldn't be able to get back in. So, the u-turns were fun - not.
2) After the first turn around, you get to go down and also have the wind on your back. So, I think I was going around 29 or 30 and was downshifting so I could keep some pressure on the pedals. Well, my chain came off on the back cassette. I had to come to a complete stop, pull over and put the chain on. Trying to get back in the race felt like trying to merge onto a highway. That was also fun - not.

T2 - 6:16
I admit, this was a little slow. But, I also changed my shorts and used the bathroom again. I made sure to put a bunch of Vaseline between my thighs so they wouldn't chafe - WIN! Here's where the base layer comes in again. I was able to quickly unzip the jersey and then I was left with a nice breezy base layer. With the nice dry shorts, it was marvelous. I took another Imodium and 2 Advil (for my feet, just in case). I did forget to take off my HRM. This isn't a big deal, I just don't like wearing it on the run because of chafing.

Run - 4:26:59 15th a/g
I started off around 9:15 and knew it was going to be a slow run. I usually bust out of T2 around 8s and have to force myself to slow down a bit. I stopped at every aid station and I only walked outside of the aid stations twice. Once because I needed to go to the bathroom (around mile 21) and wasn't sure if I would make it to the bathroom and the other time was because my quads completely locked up on me (around mile 23). At this point, it hurt just as bad to walk. So, I just kept running. If it was going to hurt either way, I wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. I had 6 GUs and coke at every other aid station. The run course is pretty flat. There is a hill that you have to go over twice. It's not steep. Just long. It's easy for spectators to cheer you on as there are a lot of places for them to just kind of camp out and lounge while they wait for you.

Overall - 11:28:07 11th a/g, 58th female, 313 overall
Not my fastest IM, but it wasn't because of the course. I sprained my ankle 3 weeks before the race so I missed out on a week and a half of race focused running.

If you can train for a windy bike, then the rest of the course is easy. I would recommend this course for others if you're looking for a fast time and nothing too technical.

Doing an IM is no joke. You can spend almost half the year barely seeing your non-tri friends and family. Once you actually make it to the race, the whole weekend is dedicated to one day of racing. I want to give a big shout out to my husband, Daniel, and all my friends and family that had to hear me say so many times that I'm sure they've lost count "I can't, I have to get up early tomorrow."

Obvs thanks to my coach, Aidan, and my Tri support group for keeping me company on so many training sessions - Katie, Bryan, John, Eric, Mike, Chris, and Jamie.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ironman Chattanooga 2015 Race Report

Ironman Chattanooga 2015 Race Report

This was my first Ironman race as a pro and I didn’t suck. At least, to me I didn’t.  Other people may think otherwise.  I didn’t come out of the water last, I didn’t have the slowest bike, and I finished, beating out 6 or 7 girls who quit.  I know for pros it’s a little different and they sometimes choose to quit because they have another race coming up that is more important to them to be healthy for.  But, I guess I still have an age grouper’s mindset that if I put in all that time and sacrificed so much sleep, I’m going to finish the darn thing. 

Daniel and I met in Chattanooga on Friday.  I got there in the AM, went straight to the hotel, Chattanooga Choo Choo, where I was able to check in early.  After dropping off all of my stuff and taking a little nap (I was up at 3:30 AM) I headed down to the race site to get my packet, bike, and gear and then attend the pro briefing.  After the briefing it started raining a little bit and there was nowhere for me to go with my bike and bags.  So, I had to walk back to the hotel with everything.  This was pretty miserable.  I made it back to the hotel and the worst part of the weekend was over.  LOL.  I waited for Daniel to meet me at the hotel and we went to the Brewhouse next door to the hotel to get a late lunch.  Afterward we went to Publix so could get bagels, bananas, peanut butter, Gatorade, water and my yo-yo cookie (tradition to have half the night before the race and half afterward).  We got back to the hotel and hung out for a bit.  Around 7 I went to the gym to get in one last run session to flush out the legs a bit.  For dinner we went to Mellow Mushroom and split a pizza with jalapenos, spinach, and pineapple.  After that, it was off to bed with no alarm!
Saturday we went to Tupelo Honey CafĂ© for brunch.  Good place.  Make sure to get a biscuit!  I got an omelet and goat cheese grits.  Pretty tasty.  Afterward headed to the expo to drop of my bike and run gear bags. 

Bike gear:
Fuelbelt race belt (specifically to hold the gps tracker that pros have to wear for Ironman races)
Swiftwick socks
Chamois cream
*Rudy helmet and Giros bike shoes were brought down on race morning with my bike and allowed to stay on my bike

Run gear:
K-Swiss Kwicky Blade Light shoes
Quarq race belt (specifically to hold the gps tracker.  I switched belts hoping the Quart wouldn’t bounce around as much, but it still did)
2 EFS Liquid Shot bottles
Orange Mud hat

We walked through the expo and Daniel bought me an overpriced sweater that I love.  After this, we went to the movies and saw Black Mass.  It was good timing too because the movie started 15 minutes after we got there.  Nice way to put your feet up (if not one is in front of you) and really relax and get your mind off of the race for a few hours).  After the movie, we went back to the hotel and hung out for a bit before going to dinner around 6:30.  We got Sushi from Sekisui and it was also quite delicious.  They had a dessert that looked amazing, but I really wanted my yo-yo cookie J.  I got to bed around 9.  Yes, I was super nervous and barely slept.  But, that’s why I don’t set an alarm the night before!

Race morning
Alarm goes off at 4:30, I get up and go to the bathroom to put on my Moxie tri kit, brush my teeth, and take my beet elite.  Breakfast was a bagel with pb and a banana.  I mixed a scoop of GQ6 Energy in my Gatorade and sipped on that until 45 minutes from the swim start time.  Around 5:15 I was ready and left.  I made it to transition, set everything up, got my GPS tracker from the Quarq guys, then went over to check my bike and run bags to make sure I had everything and that everything was still dry (it had rained a little the night before).  I wasn’t going to calibrate my pedals, but decided I should just do it and save myself a possible headache later.  When I tried to do it, there were too many other PMs around so I had to walk my bike over to no-man’s land to calibrate.  Glad I did though.  After re-racking my bike and double checking that I had everything (2 nutrition bottles, from hydration system full with water, extra gu gels, CO2 cartridge, spare tube, and one Pit Stop) I got in line to get on the bus to the swim start.  Once at the swim start, I stood in line for the port-a-let.  I didn’t have to go all morning and finally while I was in line it hit me (maybe TMI for some).  YAY!  Started walking to the front and I had so much extra time that I didn’t know what to do with myself.  So, I just walked up and down the line looking for Jessica and Katie.  Couldn’t find either.  With about 45 minutes left to start, I decided I should try to go to the bathroom again.  I walked back to the bathroom lines.  All of them were long now and I was super nervous I wouldn’t make it back in time.  I was able to make it through the line in time and very thankful I did.  I had to run back to the front though.  I did get to see Katie on my way back.  It was really nice to see a familiar face.  When I got back, they started the national anthem and then it was time to line up on the dock.  Go time!

The Swim
Time – 59:15
Place – 36/38
The swim was pretty uneventful for me.  I started off strong but started to get a side stitch and had to slow down.  Slowing down messed up my rhythm and I had to keep reminding myself to keep good form – keep the hips up, try to be long, high elbow, follow through on the strong, oh and breathe!  I was happy to see that there were 2 other bikes still racked when I got mine.  On the swim, I used my Roka Pro Swimskin.  It’s comfortable and really easy to get out of. 
T1 – 3:53
The Bike
Time – 5:41:59
Place 35/38
So, I wasn’t the slowest on the bike.  This makes me happy too.  There were 2 other girls with slower times.  On the bike, I had 2 nutrition bottles each filled with 2 scoops of Infinit custom mix, one scoop of Carbo Pro, one scoop of GQ6 Endurance, and one scoop of GQ6 Energy.  I grabbed a bottle of water at every aid station except for the last one and grabbed a bottle of Gatorade at the half way point.  I was glad I did because I ran out of nutrition with about 10 miles to go, but still had some Gatorade left.  My left quad started to cramp when I stood up to stretch around mile 80.  After that, I tried to stand up every 10 miles to stretch it out so it wouldn’t be too stiff for the run. I did not have a special needs bag and did not need to go to the bathroom at all on the bike.    

T2 – 2:37

The Run
Time – 4:22:10
Place – 29/38
This run is hard.   The last half mile of the first mile is a 2.5 ish incline.  The rest of the run is all up and down and false flats.  Take a look at the elevation if you don’t believe me.  After about mile 3 I had to break each mile up to ¼ and ½ mile segments.  Like, walk .05, run .2.  Or, walk .1, run .4.  Every once in a while I was able to go a mile or a little over a mile.  Thank goodness there was overcast almost the whole time.  For the run, I had 2 EFS Liquid Shots each with 1 scoop each of GQ6 Endurance and Energy.  I also took Base salt prescribed, 2 licks at every aid station along with water and rotated between oranges, coke, and Gatorade at every aid station.  I had a shot of EFS every 2 miles.  This is the first time I’ve ever used Base and it is awesome.  I totally recommend it if you cramp.  There were a couple of times towards the end that I forgot to take it and almost a ¼ mile after each time I was supposed to I would start to cramp just a little. So, definitely recommend it.  The salt is actually a nice change from all the sugar of everything else too.  There were cold sponges about every 2 aid stations.  I shoved one under each short leg and at the back of my neck.  For me, this also helps with cramping in my quads.  I did not have to go to the bathroom at all during the run either.  I didn’t feel dehydrated, so hopefully this means I was keeping a perfect balance the whole time.        

Time – 11:09:52
Place 29/38 – I was actually last, but all the other girls that started quit

Other minor details about the race, the city, where we stayed…
I did have a good race all things considered.  This race has a great swim (point to point with a slight current) and challenging but doable bike.  There are lots of ups and downs with two big climbs on each loop (2 loops) of the bike course.  If you can train with some hills, you’ll be good on this.  For the run, it is all up and down and false flats.  There are no more than a handful of flat areas that can’t be longer than a ¼ mile.  So, do a lot of hill work for the run if you are planning on doing this race.  This race is at the time of year when it’s usually cool and rainy or overcast.  Last year it was rainy.  This year it was overcast. 

The city is very supportive of this race and the racers.  All of the restaurants, hotels, and cab, uber and shuttle drivers are fully aware of the race.  They have a free shuttle that runs all through downtown that makes getting around very easy.  One of the drivers saw that I was a finisher and pulled the handicap ramp down for me so I didn’t have to step up to get into the bus!  And, another driver later that night stopped with a full bus for Daniel and me and then asked everyone to scoot over and make room so we didn’t have to stand up.

We stayed at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, a converted train station that they sent out soldiers from WWII.  They have some of the old train cars and converted them to rooms.  We had a normal room and the hotel overall was nice.  It’s a little far from the race site for back and forth walking (1.3 miles), but the Shuttle is right next to the hotel and drops you near the Aquarium (right next to the race site).  Not a big deal except when you have your bike with you.  I actually rode my bike down on race morning (perk of being pro). 

I used Tri Bike Transport to ship my bike there and back and it made my life so much easier, especially after the race. If you ever have to fly and it’s going to cost you $200 or more to take your bike on the plane, just pay the extra money and ship through TBT.

One other mentionable, I only ended up with 3 blisters and minimal chafing.  It didn’t even burn when I got in the shower! I have one blood blister on my left pinky toe, a regular blister on the right pinky, and a blister on the arch of my right foot.  I coated my feet in Aquaphor before the race and also sprayed them with TriSlide before the swim start.       

Thank you to:
Outspokin of Tampa, especially Mike, Andres, and John, for all your help with my bike  - Garmin vectors, fitting, rusty bike cleats, and a trainer wheel  for the lonely indoor sufferfests.

OrangeMud – No way I could have done my long runs as well without my HydraQuiver pack.

My teams -
Outspokin Multisport team

TRIBAL Multisport team and coaches

Moxie Multisport team, especially Bryan Palas and Katie Waters.  Thank you for the multiple 100+ mile rides and running torture in Clermont and San Antonio.  Definitely contributed a lot to my race not being a suckfest!

And of course, my super supportive husband and awesome sherpa, Daniel.  

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ironman Chattanooga 70.3 Race Recap

This was my first big race of the year and my first race as a pro.  It didn't go as well as I had wanted.  Main goal was to not finish last.  I did accomplish that.  But, my time should have been at least 10 minutes faster.  I did enjoy this race though.  Everyone in the town is very nice and the course is great.  The swim is not as fast as it could have been, but it was flat and smooth.  The bike had beautiful scenery and fun hills to make things interesting.  The run was, well, something to not take lightly.  The sites on the run course itself was nice.  You run through a pretty park though half of it, part of it circles around near the finish line so you see a lot of spectators.  When you don't see spectators, you get the nice quiet calm from the park.  The weather was great for racing.  Overcast the entire time with some sprinkles of rain. If the sun had been out the entire time, the run would have been a lot worse.  I would recommend this race to anyone.  I think I might do it again next year  :).
Thursday night dinner - Mellow Mushroom custom pizza with pesto base, spinach, jalapenos, avacados and tofu:

I stayed at the Days Inn Rivergate on Carter street about .6 miles from the main race site.  The hotel was nice enough and there was a 24 hour diner attached so that was a bonus.

On Friday, a group of us went and did a 20 min swim in the river, then I got on my bike for about 20 minutes and did a 20 minute run.  Everything was good to go.  Pro briefing was at 12:00 and afterward Kari and I went to see Pitch Perfect 2.  Nice way to sit and relax for a bit and let out some stress with laughs.

Here's a group shot of the awesome friends I was hanging out with all weekend and my yummy breakfast from the diner Saturday morning.

My standard pre-race cookie sandwich.  I got this from the Chattanooga Cupcake store on Broad St. Half before, half later  :)

I forgot to take pictures of dinner, but I had Trout with kale and cheese grits.

Onto the details of the race:
For breakfast I had a bagel with pb and Infinit Mud with water about 2 hours before start time.  Then ate a banana about an hour before start time. If you have not tried Infinit Mud, you should.  It is awesome.  Check it out here.

Swim - 32:10

The water temp was 71.9.  0.4 degrees higher than allowed for pros to wear a wetsuit.  I was actually happy about this.  I got to use my new Roka Viper Pro Swimskin which is much more comfortable than my wetsuit.
I was last out of the water.  By 2 minutes.  This isn't as bad as I had originally thought.  The swim had little to no current.  I was able to keep up with the girls until the first turn around buoy.  Then I just settled in and tried to finish before the age groups caught up to me.  Which didn't happen either.  I got passed by 3 or 4 guys and one girl.  I knew my swims weren't going very well.  I just couldn't pinpoint what I was doing wrong.  So, back to the drawing board on that.  I will give a better showing at Williamsburg.

T1 - 3:31
No issues.  It was a sad sight to see only my bike on the rack.

Bike - 2:40:04
As usual it took me a few miles to get settled into the bike.  I tried to keep my power around 170.  The first half was a little more challenging to keep my speed up because it was slightly uphill. I passed two girls on the bike although I only remember passing one. The back half was a lot of fun since it was going back down. On the bike I had my Infinit customized mix.  I had to take my sunglasses off after a while because it was so misty and they were all fogged up.

T2 - 2:04
When I was running with my bike my shoes were still clipped in and they kept catching on the ground and popping my bike up. Not sure how to prevent this in the future.  Any ideas?

Run - 1:52:20
Yup, not a good run.  I started off steady around an 8:15 - 8:30 pace.  Then the last 4 miles I ran 8:48, 9:29, 9:46, 9:25.  There is a lot of climbing. I used my Orange Mud HydraQuiver pack and had a bottle of GQ6 Flooid, Endurance, and Energy.  This stuff is great as well.  You can get it at GNC.  I did not have any stomach issues on the run.  In fact, I have not had any stomach issues using GQ6 on any of my training runs either.  This is pretty amazing because I have tried just about everything.  Given how bad my run was, it probably would have been worse if I didn't have the GQ6 on the run with me.

Overall I felt pretty good about this race.  I think I need to take in more calories though.  I had 280 on the bike and 115 on the run (+ some oranges and Gatorade that I took on the course).  Williamsburg is in 3 weeks and Atlantic City Full is 2 weeks after that.  Again, this race wasn't as good as I was hoping for, but I will use it as a base starting point and go from there.

Glad to be supported by Moxie Multisport, Outspokin, and TRIBAL Multisport.

2014 Recap, Thoughts on 2015

2014 Training Totals:
361,218 yards (205.23 miles), 117 hrs 51 min

3,597 miles, 212 hrs 47 min

1,121 miles, 157 hrs 26 min

73 hrs 16 min

2015 Goals:
Rose on my tri team posted a question to the group asking everyone to list one athletic goal for 2015.

My response: My 2015 goal is to win! EVERYTHING! Meaning, win my training sessions and win MY races (not necessarily the actual race).

I'll be racing 2015 as an elite and it's kind of scary. The thought of it and getting to talk about it is cool. I blush a little every time I tell someone. But, when I think about actually being on the beach for the swim start in a group of girls that are going to be on their bikes by the time I get out of the water is terrifying. I know I'm going to get out of the water gasping for air, wanting to bend over with my hand in the air, like "give me just a minute". But, I won't be able to do that. Hopefully I won't feel so defeated I'm like this: 

Nah!! I'm not that much of a quitter! But, that's ^^ pretty funny, right?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2015 Race Schedule

This is what I have lined up for this year.  Think it's enough?  I do  :)

2/7/15 - Best Damn Race Safety Harbor Half Marathon
3/15/15 - Rock n' Roll DC Full Marathon
4/11/15 - Escape from Ft. Desoto - First tri in the Elite field!
4/20/15 - Boston Marathon (x)-  -- I am skipping this to focus on tri training.  Looks like I'm skipping it next year too because I didn't requalify and I don't have any other marathons this year to qualify at. 4/25/15 - TPA 5K -- Pretty excited about this race.  It's on the Tampa International Airport Runway!
5/17/15 - IMChatt 70.3
6/14/15 - Challenge Williamsburg 70.3
6/28/15 - Challenge Atlantic CIty
8/1/15 - Siesta Key Beach Olympic
8/15/15 - Courage to Tri (sprint)
8/16/15 - Sea Dog Brewery 5k
9/13/15 - Hooters to Hooters 10k
9/27/15 - IM Chattanooga
10/12/15 - Pretty in Pink 15k
10/25 - Miami 70.3 --> still need to register.  Waiting on WTC to send the link
11/8/15 - Challenge Venice 70.3
11/15/15 - Shipyard Brewery half
11/29 - Cozumel full --> still need to register.  Waiting on WTC to send the link
1/26/16 - Hot Chocolate Run (Atlanta)

Catching Up - Gasparilla 15k, BDR Half Marathon, RnR DC Marathon

My first tri of this year is coming up this weekend.  My first tri as a pro.  Scary stuff.  Before I get into that race, let me recap what I've been doing.

Gasparilla 15k - 1:09:04
Best Damn Race Orlando Half Marathon - 1:38:57
Rock n' Roll DC Marathon - 3:36:38

I guess I have developed allergies because I had serious congestion and sore throat before Gasparilla and wasn't 100% for BDR either.  I had the option of not doing Gasparilla but did it anyway because I needed a race. It had been almost 4 months since I did any racing.  It felt good even though I felt like I was going to die in the last mile of 15k.

See the progression yourself:

Here's some BDR:

This was a great race! The course has a lot of straight away's, very few turns.  This is great for me because I am still working on following the tangents.  I didn't feel any hiccups during the race. Donuts, bagels, coffee, and hot chocolate were available in the morning and after the race.  I was really appreciative of the hot chocolate at the end.  There were great food selections and beer at the end as well.  Around mile 8 - 10 I lost the energy to keep running.  I wasn't necessarily tired or hurting anywhere.  I was just mentally done.  Thankfully around mile 10 I was able to get my motivation back and finished strong.  This mental fatigue/check out reared its ugly head during the Rock n' Roll DC as well starting at mile 14 and in full effect by mile 16.

The way the weather is in the photo is how it was all day.  From mile 1 until 3 or 4 in the afternoon.  I was soaked and cold.  Thankfully running kept me somewhat warm, but about 2 minutes after I crossed the finish line I was freezing.  This course was good, but challenging.  The sites were nice.  There is a HUGE hill at mile 6 and mile 22.  I definitely messed up and spent too much energy trying to make up time lost climbing the hill at mile 6.  Lesson learned.  Just skip the mile and continue on until I get to the last 5 - 10k and then try to pick up the speed if the energy is there.  Instead of losing 11 minutes, I would have only lost 90 seconds.  I enjoyed the rest of my time in DC hanging out with friends and seeing the memorials, museums, and a couple of breweries.  

I would recommend any of these races.  They are all well organized, great courses.  I wouldn't recommend RnR DC for someone trying to BQ unless you can train with hill.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Quintana Roo PRSix Review

I got a super(bike) Christmas present, and Santa came early!  Long story short, I was interested in getting the new QR PRsix and somehow the stars, moon, sun, and planets all aligned so that I could get my butt on one and early to boot as I was originally told that I would have to wait until the end of January 2015.

Quintana Roo PRsix, Dura-Ace model

I picked up my bike and did a fitting on Tuesday and was able to ride the next morning.  This post will cover the different rides that I had over the week and how I felt on the bike and how the bike performed.  Not a lot of technical specific talk about the bike.  Little disclaimer, these are my own opinions and no one asked me to write this.  I will not be going over the specs as there are plenty of other blogs and articles already out there for that.  If you want, you can start at the QR site -> here.

Getting the bike set up the night before the first ride:
I had to switch my water bottles over.  I was able to get the back cages on.  I was unable to get the cage on the down tube off of my other bike.  I will have to continue working on that.

Here's the current set up, Profile Design Aero HC will go in the front:


Notables before I discuss the rides:
The saddle is an ISM and I decided to give it another shot.  I hated it when I had it on my Dulce. I tried about 5 different positions and was never able to get comfortable for more than 20 or 30 minutes on it.  But I didn't have any issues during any of the rides this go-round.  I'm not sure what is different that is allowing me to enjoy the ISM saddle now, but I'll take it!

This bike is a size 50.  The 48, 50, and 52 come with 165mm cranks.  The bigger sizes come with 170mm. Just an FYI since this isn't explicitly mentioned on the specs on the website.  I had been doing some research on different crank lengths and really wanted to try 165mm as the Dulce and the CD 0.1 had 170mm. These are the main benefits of a shorter crank (for short people, ie. under 5'5").  A shorter crank is better for faster cadence.  So, no more mashing the pedals to keep up with everyone else and being able to save your legs for the run.  For those who like to get low, 165mm cranks are great because they allow us to get in a lower position without cutting off the space between the upper thigh and hip.  So, less nerve pinching and less getting kneed in the chest!

More technical reasoning:
"Propelling a bike forward involves turning pedals around in a circle. For maximum efficiency, and minimum impact on the body, the diameter of the circle should be in proportion to the length of your legs. The leg is strongest at pushing when it is closest to being straight. If the cranks are too long the circle is too big for your legs, your knee will be bent too much at top part of the stroke, and you won't be able to put as much power into the upper part of the stroke. This will prevent you from spinning the pedals as fast, and will also put more stress on your knees. If you have long legs you can make a bigger circle with your feet and still keep your legs in the high power zone, and you won't have your knees too bent. If your cranks are too short for you, you won't be able to apply as much torque with them as you could with longer cranks." Source here.

Ride #1 - Flat, open road, lots of turns:
15' easy warm up
3' @ 75% FTP, 1' @ 105% FTP X 15
5' easy cool down

Do I dare say 'easy peasy'?  I probably could have done another 15 sets if I didn't think I was going to crash from boredom first.  I was out at Davis Island so I did the same loop about 7 times, not including the warm up and cool down.  At first I was a little scared and wobbly because I was nervous about falling.  It's like when you get in a new car.  You know how to drive, but you're still nervous about anything and everything that could happen to hurt your new ride!

The bike was very smooth and after the warm up I felt settled in and comfortable.  Obviously I had to make a lot of turns and they felt easy.  Even though the handle bar can only turn so far before it hits the frame, I didn't encounter any issue when I was making u-turns.  I actually only noticed when I was off the bike and trying to steer it back into the house.

I didn't have any issues picking up speed and gears changed smoothly (as they do on the all the QRs).  The brakes are not as powerful as I thought they would be. But, I was warned they might feel a little weak until after a few uses.  This goes into a territory on brakes that I don't know.  So, you will just have to take someone else's word for it!

Ride #2 - Indoor trainer:
15' easy warm up
(1' @ 130% FTP X 1' @ 60% FTP) X 5
(30" @ 150% FTP X 30" @ 50% FTP) X 5
(1' @ 135% FTP X 1' @ 50% FTP) X 5
10' easy cool down

I did this ride on my indoor trainer, the Kinetic Rock n' Roller.  I normally hate getting on the trainer because I am uncomfortable almost the entire time, I get distracted very easily, and the pain/burning in my legs would start almost instantly after any warm up. That didn't happen today.  It took a little bit to wake my legs up (it was 6 AM after all), but I didn't have any issues hitting the power numbers I was prescribed.  It was definitely hard, but it wasn't painful like it was on the other bike.  I would get this numbing pain in my thigh and down to my knee when I pushed past anything easy.  This isn't to say there is anything wrong with the CD 0.1, but that bike was a little bigger and therefore I don't think I was ever in a good position.

So, Ride #2 on the trainer was a success.

Ride #3 - Long ride, hills:
I was supposed to do a 3.5 hour steady ride @ 70% FTP with 2 - 20 minutes sets at 80 - 85%, 1 at 90 minutes in and 1 at 3 hours in.  Buuuuutttttt, when you ride in San Antonio or anywhere with a lot of up and down hills, trying to go steady is really hard.  I don't want to say impossible because I'm sure someone out there could do it.  Anyway, I ended up with an average power of 80% FTP and NP at 85% FTP.  I blame it on the bike!  I got to use every single one of the gears.  Up, down, up, down, click, click, click...  It was a lot of fun and the gears shifted so smoothly.  It took me a few down hills to get comfortable taking them at full speed.  I was able to stay in my saddle for most of the uphills.  A handful of times I had to stand.  No issues with the saddle either.  I was able to get off the bike and run 8 miles pretty comfortably.  I didn't start breaking down until the last 1.5 miles and it was just from overall fatigue.

Overall verdict:
I want to ride every day.  I may be biased as QR is all I've ever had for a tri specific bike.  But, I really do enjoy this ride.  It's comfortable, shifts smoothly, feels sturdy under me, and picks up speed quickly.  I haven't had a chance to test it in heavy cross-winds.  Braking could be a little better.  I love that I can take it apart and put it back together by myself with 2 Allen wrenches (4mm and 5mm).  I'm actually looking forward to my TT ride on Wednesday!        
Any suggestions on a name?