Thursday, November 20, 2014

Oh, The Irony!

Not sure if any of you remember my post on getting better at swimming.  If you don't remember or you don't know what I'm talking about, you can check it out here.  There's some good tips in there. It's kind of funny that I put so much time and effort into getting better at swimming, specifically for IMFL.  It turns out that 2014 just wasn't my year to swim.  I signed up for the Hurricane Man 2.4 mile swim earlier in the year and it got cancelled; I signed up for the Daquiri Tropical Splash 5K in early October and it was almost cancelled but got cut to a 2.5K instead; and IMFL was cancelled.  WTH!?

The good news is, my coach and I have agreed that I will be spending less time on getting better at swimming and more focus will be spent on maintenance.  So, now I will have more time and energy to work on biking and running, which I wanted in the first place.  But, I'm paying someone else to tell me what I need, not to give in to what I want.  We'll see if next year I am able to hold onto my swim and maybe get a little better, but really improve on the bike and run.

Sweet Bike!

Yay! Running!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Quick Updates In The World Of Maria

What's up ladies and gentlemen?  Anyone thinking about 2015 races?  I know quite a few people who are, myself included.  I like planning way in advance.  It's funny that no one really wants to think about Christmas, but we'll start planning 2015 on January 1st, 2014!  LOL.  Even Daniel started thinking about my 2015 season by getting me started on some new tri and running gear.  Now, just need to work on funding for a bike upgrade  :).

I <3 SOAS!  I applied to be a part of the Moxie Multisport team and if that goes through I will have to wait to show off my new stuff in public.  I haven't tried on the Moxie gear, but it looks cool!  And, I like what Moxie is about.  So, sporting their gear will not be a problem.

So, which races will I be sporting any new gear I get?  As far as tris go, my sights are set on local sprints and olympics and Challenge races - Knoxville, Atlantic City (Full), and Venice.  I have not signed up for anything yet as I was waiting on my pro card and now I'm waiting for the appropriate links to register.  

Registered runs:
2/7/15 Best Damn Race Half Marathon in Safety Harbor
3/15/15 Rock N' Roll DC Full Marathon
4/20/15 Boston Marathon

Other runs past April have not been decided yet.  I would like to throw in a few shorter distances, like 5k, 10k, 15k.  But, nothing confirmed.  Any ideas?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Ironman Florida 2014 Recap

I haven't posted a lot because I've been busy with a new job and training for IMFL.  Well, now that I'm done with one of those I will share my recap of the big race and have some more time to post to this here blog.

This is pretty long.  So, you may want to grab some popcorn or coffee.

Let's start with the training.

5/8 - 11/1 Totals:

Swim - 206,386 yds, 65 hrs 37 min.
Bike - 2,428 miles, 127 hrs 23 min
Run - 680 miles, 95 hrs 15 min
Strength - 36 hrs 22 min

I got in 1-100 mile ride in July, 1-100 mile ride in September and 1-112 mile ride in October.  My longest brick was a 70/17 three weeks before IMFL.  This was also 2nd longest run.  I had 1-20 mile run in mid-June.

  • Clermont Summer Series (June race only)
  • Scenic 17
  • Courage to Tri
  • Siesta Key
  • Harvest Moon
  • Augusta 70.3
  • Great Floridian Tri AquaBike Full
  • Daquiri Splash 5K swim that got turned into a 2.5K swim

My training was good for the most part.  The trip to Brazil in July is what set me back the most.  When I came back, it took me a couple of weeks to get back into the swing of things, even though I did a hundred mile ride the weekend that I got back.  I only had one meltdown during training that I can recall.  It was the weekend of September 13th, 7 weeks out from IMFL.  I did not feel ready and I didn't think I had enough time to get to feel ready.  So, I had my little meltdown and did my bitching to a few people - Bryan, Eric and Lindsay.  Thank you for being my victims.  I had one meltdown during a race, the Great Floridian Tri Aquabike.  I was in the middle of my second loop and I could not hit my goal power to save my life.  It didn't matter if I tried mashing or spinning my legs faster.  Nothing worked.  This was the first time I almost cried on that bike ride.  The second time was when I was a little into my 3rd loop and realized I would not make it under 6 hours.

Onto the race.  Time for the most part are approximate unless otherwise stated :).
6PM - The adventure starts.  I left work with my car packed and Daniel next to me.
11:30 PM - We made it to Panama City Beach (PCB) around 11:30 PM (Central Time).  Daniel and I stayed up for about another hour and talked with Pete.  I didn't set an alarm for Thursday morning and woke up around 7:30 anyway.

8:30 AM - I headed down to athlete check-in then walked around the expo until about 9:30ish

Kari and me 
10:30 - Hugo and David picked Kari, Daniel and me up and we went to First Watch for breakfast and Publix afterward for last minute items that we needed.  For breakfast I had an egg white omelette, fruit, and an english muffin.

2:00 - 30 min (6.5 miles) Sanity check bike ride.  Everything ran nice and smooth
3:15 - 30 min (4 mile) shake out run

7:30 - Head to Mellow Mushroom for some magical pizza (and one magical beer)
Magic Hat #9 Not Quite Pale Ale

Magic Mystery Tour Pizza
10:30/11:00 ish - went to bed.  I set my alarm for 7:00 to meet up with Bryan and Ken to do a pre-race swim

7:30 - Kari and I got our wetsuits on and headed down to the swim start to meet up with Ken and Bryan to test out the wetsuits and make sure everything with hunky dory.  Turns out, it would be the only swim I would get that weekend, a whopping .4 miles back to our condo.  Wetsuits were great, water were great, sea creatures were not great.  Kari saw jelly fish and hopped out about .15 miles in the swim and I felt one.  It scared me and I stood up (the water was very shallow) and ran.  Then I looked back, didn't see anything and realized that anything that was there was going to out-swim me running.  So, I just finished my swim since I was so close.  Once we were back at the condo, I put on my running shoes and did one last shake our run.

9:30 ish - headed back to the host hotel/expo/transition to check in our bikes and bags, stuff our faces with pancakes, do another round at the expo, and attend the last athlete briefing at 11.  All in that order.

Bike and Run gear

Bike Checked In


Sitting at athlete briefing reading the manual for my new Rudy helmet (Thank Daniel!)

1:30 ish - Got picked up by Jamie and Mike GR and headed to Backyard Burgers for lunch.  I got a chicken sandwich with french fries -- sorry, no picture

2:30 ish - Made it back to the condo.  Started working on my nails

5:30 ish - went to dinner at Fin's Sushi

Obviously the cookie at the bottom did not come from the sushi place.  It is a yo-yo cookie from Publix.  My signature treat (for now).  Half now, half after the race.

9:00 - bedtime!  Alarm set for 4:00 AM

Now for what you've really been waiting for.
Gear and nutrition for the race:
  • Zoot Ultra trisuit with Tribal logo
  • Tyr earplugs
  • Tyr Special Ops 2.0 goggles
  • Nike dri-fit socks
  • Nike sun visor
  • Louis Garneau x-tri-lite bike shoes
  • Tifosi sunglasses
  • Rudy Wingspan aero helmet
  • Xentis Mark 1 race wheels
  • Profile Design aero bullet bottle holder 
  • 2XU X2 Project X full wetsuit 
  • Scott T2C running shoes
  • Fuel Belt race belt
  • Scott T2C running shoes
  • Chapstick for the bike and run
  • SkinSake anti-chafe ointment
  • Bike nutrition: 1524 calories
  • 2 bottles each filled with 2 scoops Infinit mix and 1 scoop Fluid - Passion Fruit Tea 
  • 3 bonk breakers
  • 4 SportsLeg pills and 1 electrolyte pill 
  • Run nutrition: 600 - 700 calories
  • 1 - 10oz bottle with 1 tab of regular Nuun and 1 tab of Nuun Energy
  • 1 regular Gu, 2 Gu Roctanes, and 2 2nd Surge gels
  • oranges, water, and gatorade from the course.  Also took a couple cups of coke and 2 small sips of chicken broth
  • 2 SportsLeg pills and 1 electrolyte pill

4:00 AM - alarm goes off.  Get up, get dressed, go out to the kitchen to eat breakfast.  I had a Picky Bar to start.  Gathered my nutrition bottles and Bike Special Needs bags and headed down to transition with Jamie and Kari to drop everything off.

5:00 - Back at the condo to relax for a little bit before going back to the start to get a warm up in the water (pre race swim was from 6:15 - 6:45).  Pete made breakfast for Kari and me.  I had some egg whites, grits, and half a biscuit.

Other pre-race necessities taken at 6:00 (1 hr before race start):
Immodium, Mucinex, and SportsLegs

6:15 - I headed back to transition a little earlier than everyone else because I forgot to open the nutrition bars on my bike.  I walked down to the beach with Daniel and could feel myself getting excited.  I took a my X2 Performance and a GU Chocolate PB gel once we were down there.  I was hesitating getting in the water because it was so cold outside and I knew I would be standing out in the cold for 15 minutes before the race started.  With about 5 minutes left, I decided to just get in.  I had to pee anyway ;).  I swam around a little bit, tried to get some water in my suit and warm up a bit.  The water was way warmer than the outside air.

I'm not sure what time it was, but it was probably close to 5 or 10 minutes before the pros were supposed to go and the announcer came on and said that due to safety reasons (said in a lot more words than that) they were cancelling the swim.  I just looked at Daniel and was saying "What? No way!".  No one really knew what to do, but we were told that we would go off in TT fashion starting with the pros at 8:00.  So, we had an hour to do... whatever.  Figure out what we were supposed to do and then do it.  So, after some confusion, we found out that we were supposed to go get our Bike bags, change and then wait by our bikes until it was time to go.  By the time I got changed and went to the bathroom (again) it was around 7:45.  I figured, it can't be that long until it's time for the regular people to go, so I headed outside to stand near my bike.  Turns out it was a long time.  After standing in the cold for about 35 minutes I couldn't take it any more and went back to my Bike bag and grabbed my Gasparilla long sleeve dri-fit shirt.  I also grabbed my other gel and took that.  I didn't get on my bike until 9:00 AM.

Time - 5:50:16
Cat Place - 12
Gender Place - 48

Course - flat, minimal turns, unusually high winds (20 mph steady with 30 mph gusts).  There is one 8 mile stretch starting at mile 50 that is kind of bumpy, but nothing compared to what I had to endure at Harvest Moon.

My experience - The first 7.5 miles were almost directly in the face with a slight bit of cross wind.  Plus, it was mostly in between buildings so the gusts were extra special.  I was sitting up holding on to my brakes pretty much the entire time during those first 7.5 miles.  It was also unable to feel my legs except for the pins and needles this entire time.  I had no idea how hard I was pushing the pedals.  I just knew I was going slow.  The next 15 miles were more directly into the wind.  So, we weren't getting blown around as much, but we were going slower.  Mile 22 - 33 was nice.  The wind was still coming in a little cross, but at least it was at our backs.  33 - 55 weren't too bad either.  Miles 55 to 85 were back into the wind.  YAY! Not!  I had to pee since mile 20 but was able to hold it until mile 70.  Don't ask me how because I have no idea.  Mile 85 to the finish were nice.  Except that around mile 80 I stood up to stretch out my legs to get ready for the run and my left quad started to seize up.  Ouch!.  I immediately thought about how this would affect my run.  I tried to not worry about it and just stay in the moment.  I was on the bike leg and that's all I was going to worry about right then.  I made sure to stay within my goal power even though it was easier to go at a decent pace at a lower power.  I wanted to try and make up some time even though I knew I wasn't anywhere near my low goal time of 5:30.  HAHA!!!

Time - 3:03
I got into the changing room, asked the volunteer to dump everything out and sat down to get everything organized.  I grabbed everything I needed and asked the volunteer to put all my stuff back in the bag for me.  She was very nice.  Thank you volunteer girl!

Time - 3:47:12
Cat Place - 10
Gender Place - 38

Course - flat, still windy.

My experience - I knew my legs were going to cramp at some point given what happened on the bike.  It was just a matter of when.  Guess when 'when' was.  Come on... .5 miles in!  Thoughts to myself: "OK, what do I do now?  I don't know, just make it to the next aid station".  And, so I did and so became my backup strategy.  Just make it to the next aid station.  Run as hard as I can without cramping to each aid station and walk, pour water on legs, grab nutrition, continue running.  My paces between each aid station were between 7:40 and 8:15.  I don't have much else to say about the run.  There was still wind the entire time.  6.5 miles out were good, 6.5 miles back were not so good.  I mentally took the course 6.5 miles at a time.  I had a 10oz water bottle that I ditched (I held on to the holder) around mile 7.  The bottles are pretty cheap to replace.  For some reason, my runs were going pretty good when I was starting out with some form of liquid nutrition instead of going straight to gels and water.  I don't know if it was a slight distraction from running that I got every .5 miles or if it was taking nutrition every 4 to 5 minutes that helped.  Maybe a little of both.  There were some great moments.  Like when I saw Bryan and got some updates from him, when I saw Melissa and Josh at the turn around point and coming in to finish, and best of all, when I saw Daniel in his pink onesie with a pink and white wig with curls.  It was crazy and funny.  Jamie and Kari's son Mac were also dressed in onesies.

Mike GR, Jamie, Daniel, Mac, and Pete

Just getting started

6 miles in

6 miles in

12.5 miles in
About 20 miles in, starting the last 6.5 miles back!
About 20 miles in, starting the last 6.5 miles back!

Time - 9:40:31
Cat Place - 10
Gender Place - 38

I can finally get out of the wind!

So happy to see friends at the end. 

The crew that didn't quit!
I saw Jessica at the end and it was such a nice surprise.  I really did enjoy seeing all the familiar faces at the end - Josh, Jessica, and Pete were all in the finisher's area.  When I was able to get out, Daniel had my chocolate milk ready in hand  :)

After thoughts:
I would recommend this race to others, but not as a first time race.  It is a very large race and it can be a little overwhelming.  There was actually a person in the athlete briefing that was during this race as their first triathlon!  Can you believe it?  That should not be allowed.  Or, I somehow want that person clearly identified as a first timer so that I can stay far away from them.

I was upset that the swim was cancelled, but it didn't devastate me.  Some people actually pulled out of the entire race because of it.  Thinking it's not a true race without the swim.  The way the rest of the race panned out was worse than what the race would have been with the swim.  Standing around in the freezing cold for over an hour is not any way to start a race.  Also, it was TT so you're starting with people racked around you, not people racing at the same pace as you.  I was planning on being out of the water around 8:10 and be on my bike by 8:15.  Getting that pushed out by 45 minutes just changes the whole dynamic of the race.

Some people don't think that it's a true Ironman race.  But, I still do.  The challenge of starting the race the way we did coupled with the cold and wind made it way more challenging of a race than a a full distance race that you plan and train for that goes the way you expected, aside from personal mistakes made during the race.

I'm also not that upset about how I placed because it made the decision to take my pro card that much easier.  So, I am going to race pro for a couple of years.  Meaning, I'm going to be hanging my head down in shame for a little while.  Hopefully I will make some improvements and by the end of the two years I will at least be able to come in top 10.  But, if not, at least I get to race a little more without hurting my wallet so much.

Bonuses -
1) I think walking through the aid stations helped me recover faster.  I was only a little sore for a couple of days.  Sunday from the waste down I was sore.  Monday it was just my calves.
2) I didn't chafe, didn't get any saddle sores, and no blisters.  Amazing, right?!

Thank you everyone who supported me over the last 6 or 7 months.  You know who you are.  Main crew in no particular order: My TRIBAL team, my A-Train team, and Daniel.  Supporting crew in no particular order: Erica, Chris, Marcus, and the guys at Outspokin.