Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Join the TEAM

It's that time of year!  Time to recruit for the next season of Team in Training.  We already have 83 athletes signed up for the season, which kicks off on December 1.  Read on for more info!

Do you want to race your first or fastest Olympic distance triathlon next year?  Do you like to travel?  Do you like to do good things for others?  If you answered yes...TNT is for you!

We are the largest endurance training organization in the country.   Our athletes raise money to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  We are currently recruiting a team to race at the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Petersburg, Florida in April.  This is one of the premiere races in the country drawing athletes from around the world including top professionals.   Here’s what we provide the team:

  •   A detailed training schedule with several ability levels to choose from
  •   Options for true beginners all the way to experienced athletes
  •   Awesome coaches - Charley Perez, Mary Carey, Khem Suthiwan & Nicole Drummer
  •   Coached run on Tuesday nights - one option at Wash Park and one in Lone Tree
  •   Coached swim workout on Wednesday nights
  •   Coached rides and/or runs on Saturday mornings
  •   Clinics on topics such as gear selection, stretching, Triathlon 101, etc.
  •   Hotel acommodations in Florida for three nights
  •   Bike transporation to your event
  •   Entry into the race
  •   Two group dinners in Florida
  •   Mentors and team captains to help you every step of the way
  •   An Honored Hero to inspire you all season
  •   A TNT wetsuit that is yours to keep

So, what’s the catch?  All we ask from our participants is that they have fun, train hard and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.   Come join this amazing team.  Make a difference while you train and race triathlon.  Information meetings are taking place this month.  To find an info meeting near you or to sign up for our team, please visit www.teamintraining.org.  If you have questions, you can also contact any of the coaches listed above!  Hope to see many of you on this awesome team.  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Race Report - Ironman Canada 2012 - Bronchitis, Flat Tires and Medical Tents...Oh My!

Executive Summary:
Swim - 2.4 miles - 1:23:35
T1 - 4:11
Bike - 112 miles - 6:28:54
T2 - 43:48 (yes, you read that right)
Run - 26.2 miles - 4:59:17
Total - 13:39:42

Long Version:

Training for an Ironman is hard.  It’s especially hard when there are two little girls in the house and both mommy and daddy are training.  But, it’s doable.  And, I was really proud of the training that Brian and I got in this year.  I felt like we were both ready for a PR!  Usually my race reports are pretty boring.  For shorter races, I often don’t even write race reports because they would usually read, “Had a decent swim, really good bike, OK run.  Nothing else of note happened.”  Not this time.  As the day unfolded, I found more and more to write about.  Stick around for the surprise ending...a surprise only if you’re not friends with me on Facebook!

We got to Penticton on Thursday before the race.  What a beautiful area.  It’s like a more laid back Napa Valley.  Wineries and orchards everywhere.  I had the best peaches I have ever had in my life!   I really do love that part of Canada.

Thursday night I had a really bad sore throat that kept me up most of the night.  I chalked it up to allergies.  I should have known better!

I skipped the practice swim on Friday.  It was REALLY choppy and as someone who gets really seasick, I couldn’t see ruining my whole day just for a 30 minute swim.  It was a pretty nasty morning, but the clouds and wind blew out of there by afternoon.

Friday night we went to the athlete dinner.  They put together an amazing video piece to celebrate the 30th anniversary race and because this would be the very last Ironman Canada in Penticton.  Turns out that the three years I’ve been in Penticton for the race all had some historical significance.  2003 was the year of the terrible forest fires.  After seeing the video, we were able to see that the decision to hold the race really took place at THE last minute.  When I raced in 2004, it was the first year that a Penticton resident won the race - Tom Evans.  And, 2012 marked the very last Ironman Canada as we have known it!  Bagpipers...check.  Adorable little boy playing guitar and singing O Canada...check.  Excited for the race...check!

Saturday, I started feeling a little congestion in my chest.  I continued using my usual inhalers and even used my rescue inhaler as a preventative measure.  Hmmm.....

Once we got the bikes checked in, we just relaxed a bit.  We went to the little casino inside the host hotel and I won $400!  That should just about cover our finishers gear on Monday!  Sweet!

Sunday morning was perfect.  The weather was perfect.  There was no wind.  The water was calm.  The water temps were ideal.  Only one thing was not perfect...my lungs.  They were tight, and I started with the coughing.   I decided to use my albuterol inhaler right before the swim and then carry it with me on the bike and the run.  As soon as the gun went off and I started swimming, I knew it would be tough.  My chest was just so tight.  So, I backed off the pace a LOT.  I decided if I just swam slow, I could keep my heart rate down a bit, which might help.  Over the years, I have also mastered the cough-under-water type of exhale, so that seemed to work.  Inhale.  Cough under water.  Repeat.

Once I was out of the water, I figured I would just try the bike.  The first many miles are fairly flat, so I knew I could just go easy and keep my heart rate low.   I passed Gretchen and she looked great!  Orrick looked strong as well.  And, Heather, too!  It was so great to see so many friends.  I really started to think that the race was salvageable.  I loved the climb at Richter Pass.  I had to back off a bit on it, but it is so beautiful and the spectators were great!!   I even said hi to some random girl named “Tracy” - some of you know what I mean!  Then, the descent is a blast.  Stopped at the porta potty at the bottom of Richter - only had to wait a few minutes for one to open up, so that was good.  I was first in line!

The rollers after Richter were great!  Lots of leap frogging with the same cyclists.  One girl even had a very similar Guru with similar paint job, so we had fun seeing each other out there.

Then comes the out and back at Cawston.  Ugh!  I remember hating this part last time.  And, yep...hated it again!  Passed Orrick who was on the side of the road fixing a dropped chain.  About 3 minutes later he would pass me fixing the same darn thing!  Yikes!  By the time I got into the out and back part, my lungs were really, really tight.  Here is the TOO MUCH INFORMATION part of this race report that is really only suitable for other triathletes because with triathletes, there is no TMI.   I started coughing up chunks of green stuff.  That’s normal, right?!  Another porta potty break at special needs...this time I was about 4th in line.  Oh well.  

Finally got out of the Cawston area and headed toward Yellow Lake. This is usually my favorite part of the ride.  A relatively hard climb because it starts so late, but it’s beautiful and once you’re done, it’s a downhill finish into Penticton.  Dropped my chain again at some point.  Seriously, I promise that I know how to ride a bike!  Saw Charley and Patty at the top of the climb - so great to see them!!    As I climbed, though, I really started to wheeze and had a tough time getting anything to break up in my chest.  I was really suffering.  I made the decision on the way up that I would stop at medical once I got off the bike at T2.   I was using my albuterol inhaler throughout the bike, but it just didn’t seem to do the trick.  For those of you with asthma, you know that using an inhaler without the chamber attachment really just doesn’t work as well.  But, it was all I had.

Started down the descent when suddenly my bike had that “uh-oh, this is not right” feeling.  Yep.  Flat tire.  I was about 12 miles from the finish at this point.   As bad as I was feeling and given how close I was to the end, I decided to try the Vittoria fix a flat stuff.  It seemed to work for a while.  Then, a little further down...same bad feeling.  Yep.  Flat.  Pulled over and changed the tube this time.  Brian passed me as I was doing this and was a bit surprised to see me.   I had nothing left to fix a flat after that, so I was just hoping I could get to the finish safely and without any more flats.

I finished the ride, and as soon as I got off the bike, I really struggled to breathe.  There was an officials’ tent right as you got off the bike.  I went in to ask if I could just chat with a medical person.  I really just wanted to know if there is any harm in using THIS much albuterol throughout the day.  With my coughing and wheezing, they insisted that I sit and have the paramedics come over.  They did and were so nice.  They were worried about my wheezing and wanted me to check in with the doctors.  I was crying at this point.  I didn’t want to DNF (Did Not Finish) this race.  They assured me that if I didn’t cross the timing mats, I could still possibly continue based on the doc’s opinion.  So, off I went to the medical tent with the paramedics and my own personal race official.  I was the only one in the tent.  I kept thinking, “Who ends up in the med tent in T2?!”   They had me lay down and took all my vitals, etc.  The doc said I was really tight.   They decided to do a dose and a half of albuterol using the chamber this time.  

If you’ve ever used albuterol, you know that it raises your heart rate a lot.  It also made my legs, arms and hands tingle and buzz as well as my lips.  My heart was racing!  My resting heart rate is about 43-45 or so.  As I was lying there, my heart rate was 99.  It’s a terrible feeling.  They wanted me to lay down until those side effects wore off a bit. I was shaking and felt like crap, but I could slowly feel stuff breaking up a bit in my chest.   

The whole time I was in there, I came up with a long list of reasons I could not DNF.  
  1. It’s the 30th anniversary and I know the medal will be cool.
  2. It’s the very last Ironman Canada to be held in Penticton.  And, I’m a little emotionally attached to this race.  
  3. I bought a t-shirt on Friday that says 30th anniversary.
  4. Tomorrow, everyone will be telling their race stories and mine will be a DNF.
  5. I have $400 free dollars to spend at the finishers tent.
  6. Amanda crashed her bike at mile 5 of a half Ironman and still raced with bruised ribs, etc.  I can be tough like that, right?!
  7. No one I have coached has ever DNF’d at a full Ironman.  And, now I’m going to be the first?! 
  8. Brian will worry if he doesn’t see me at some point on the run course.
  9. I have plenty of time to walk the marathon, worst case scenario.

I head the doc say to a volunteer, “Go ahead and get her bag.”  Oh, wow.  They are going to go get my T2 bag with my run stuff in it?  That’s nice.  Um.  No.  The volunteer  brought my dry clothes bag - the bag that has all your stuff for the end of the race.  The doc came over and said, “I’m sorry.  But, I think you’re done.”  Now I’m sobbing.  I can’t DNF.  Please let me try the run!  I asked the doc, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”  He looked at me with THAT look.  OK.  Seriously, I’m not going to die...what else could happen?  The doc explained that with the amount of albuterol I had in me, my heart rate would be really high, I would probably get dehydrated much faster and the bottom line is that I would feel like crap throughout the whole run.  We made a deal.  I agreed to run/walk (he wanted run 1 minute/walk 1 minute) and carry my inhaler.  I also agreed to stop at an aid station for help or to drop out if things got too bad.  And, I’d let someone call 911 if I was really in trouble.  With that, my own personal official walked me back to transition.  He also gave me a Canada sticker for my bike and a little Penticton pin.  So nice, these people!!!

I stopped crying, kept wheezing, changed clothes and headed out.  A mere 43 minutes and change after I’d gotten there.

As I headed out on the run, I decided to bag one part of my agreement with the docs.  I was not going to walk until I had to.  I was going to run really slow, walk aid stations, walk hills and walk when I absolutely had to.  My legs felt like they each weighed 100 pounds.  But, I shuffled through town.  I saw some RMTC people out there, which was great!  I got to see Matt coming back into town on his way to qualify for Kona - and Molly cheering with her beautiful smile!  Got a high five from Michelle in an aid station - she was just killing it!  Ran with Mare for a few minutes, which was cool!  I think I saw almost everyone I knew throughout that run.   It was so nice to see them all!!

I felt sorry for all the people who had to hear me on the run.  I was hacking with my seal cough and wheezing like a two-pack-a-day smoker.  Seriously, it was embarrassing.  But, I just had to suck it up and ignore the looks I was getting.  Several people asked if I was alright.  I plugged away until I finally saw Brian.  He looked awesome.  I told him that I would either finish late or if I got in trouble, I’d get a ride back to town.  He headed back to town and I headed out to the turn around.  

I saw Dave on the side of the road with leg cramps.  I stopped a bit with him.  When I stopped running, I would go into coughing fits that sounded just like a seal barking.  We were quite a sight on the side of the road.  Him doubled over with a cramp and me doubled over hacking.  Nice!  Finally I continued on.  

Throughout the run, several ambulances came through bringing runners back into town.  I just knew Brian would be worried that I was in one of those.  I just put my head down and kept moving.  I walked the hills, the aid stations and when my coughing got to be too much.  I saw Khem, Amanda, Gretchen, Danielle, Orrick all on the run course at one point or another.  Finally saw Millie who always looks so beautiful and peaceful at Ironman.   She’s so graceful out there!  Saw Becky at some point who just banged her hand on her head - some of you know what we’re talking about!  It was funny, but I had nothing in me to respond.  Then, I finally saw Tori.  So proud to see her out there running strong.    As I came over to her side of the road, she yelled, “GET ON YOUR SIDE!”  An inside joke.  I had nothing.  All my funny comments had disappeared, and I just told her she looked good and that I was going to get that stupid medal!

Keep running.  Keep wheezing.  Gotta get there so I can be done and so Brian won’t worry.  As I got into town, I looked up at mile 25 and thought, “Wait.  Is that Brian?!”  Brian and I have never finished a race together.  With wave starts in most triathlons, we just never end up at the same place at the same time.  And with Ironman, we are usually just not together at the finish.  I ran with every little ounce I had left to catch him.  He was so relieved to see me!  We hugged and walked the last aid station together. Then, we jogged it in.  Brian had a rough second half of the race.  We were both really happy to be done.  We saw Kelly and Elizabeth cheering and screaming before we hit the finish line.  And, we saw Brook and Damon after we got through the chute.  It was so nice to see friendly faces.  We were ushered through the finishers stuff and found some chairs near the med tent.   We sat there and regrouped with friends throughout the night.  Once I felt well enough, I found the nurse who had helped me in the medical tent.  I thanked her and let her know that I made it.  She gave me the biggest bear hug and I cried...again.  Which made me go into a coughing fit...again.  She was just so sweet!

I am proud of this effort.  It was my slowest Ironman. But, I could have easily given up at any point.  It was painful.  The bronchitis was painful.  Letting go of the idea of having the race I wanted was painful.  But in the end, I raced with great friends, RMTC teammates and sweet Brian.  And, we finished together safely.   All my clients finished beautifully and I could not be more proud of each of them.  Lots of first time Ironman athletes.  A couple great PRs and impressive race performances all around.

I won’t race another Ironman for a while.  Too hard with the girls being so little.  It saddens me that my Ironman racing will end on this note for a while.  But, I am blessed to have family and friends who support me and make this possible.  And, in the end, it’s Ironman.  It’s a crapshoot.  It’s not always fun or pretty.  But, it’s rewarding, and I really do love it.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Remember When?

Does anyone else remember the days when you ran a marathon and there was no chip timing?  The only way you knew your time was to look up at the clock as you crossed the finish line.  Your time was from when the gun went off regardless of how back you started or if you were still in the porta potty when the gun went off.  Unless you were the FIRST guy at the start, your time was your race time plus some extra.  But, we didn't know any different, so it was OK.

Then they would mail you a paper certificate with your finish time and placing.  Then, later they would mail you a results book.  I was clicking around the White Rock Marathon site (now Dallas Marathon or some such) and found that they actually scanned the results books from back then so you can see the results, etc.  I had so much fun reminiscing!

1997 - it started sleeting at about mile 15.  Miserable!  In the results book, they list the temps and humidity percentages for each hour of the race.  Humidity was 100% and it was cold!  I tried to drop out around mile 20 but Brian wouldn't let me!  1999 - bad day.  Really bad day.  Had to convince the guys I was running with to just leave me behind.  It was better for the group!  2005 - went back to race it after moving to Colorado in 2004.  Of course, 2005 had that new fangled timing chip thing!    They have results listed all the way back to 1971 - before I was even born. How cool is that?!  Wish I could track down things like this for other races I ran a hundred years ago!  Kudos to the Dallas Marathon for this.  Kinda makes me want to go back and race it again!

These days, I get really annoyed if I can't pull up results online within 12 hours of finishing a race.  To think, we waited weeks for results back then!     A band at every mile?  Nope.  Your local running club would yell at you at mile 20 at the aid station.   And, no one wore headphones.  I mean, really...you would have had to carry around one of those yellow Sony tape decks or CD players.  That's right, kids!   Maybe that's why I have never done a race with headphones.  It just still seems too foreign to me.  Back in the day, we talked to each other.  About our race goals, the races we had done, the weather, current events...whatever.

So, now I just sound like a grumpy old man.  There are things that are WAY better about racing today.  But, it's fun to look back on the things that made racing "back then" so much fun.  And, just think..."back then" for me wasn't even that long ago...I started endurance sports in 1996.  I have plenty of friends who have been racing since the early 80s.  Imagine their "way back when" stories!

So, enjoy your iPods, Garmin GPS watches, chip timing, shoes that don't weigh 85 pounds and technical running wear.  But, don't forget to just get out there and ENJOY running!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I've been racing and coaching for Team in Training through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for 14 years now.  It's a cause I believe in, and it's a GREAT group of people.

What is Team in Training (TNT)?  It's the largest fundraising branch of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) where men and women train for endurance events and raise money for the cause.  The program has been around for 24 years.  It's perfect for beginners and intermediate athletes alike.  SO, whether you're currently a couch potato or an athlete looking to improve, TNT is the way to go.

Join us this fall for races in either Washington DC or Tempe, Arizona outside Phoenix!   Kickoff for the team is this Saturday, May 5, but you can sign up for our teams through May.
More info about the races is below...

What Do You Get from TNT When You Join?
Professional coaching from three coaches including me!
A detailed training schedule with day-by-day instructions and a variety of levels to choose from.
A group run workout on Tuesday evenings.
A group swim workout on Wednesday evenings.
A group workout every Saturday morning - rides, runs, multi-sport workouts, etc.
TNT gear to wear while you train.
Clinics on a variety of topics from gear to changing a flat tire to race-day rules and strategy.
Open water swim workouts.
Either a full wetsuit ($200+ value) that's yours to keep and/or a triathlon racing suit (top and shorts worth about $100).
Entry into your race.
Optional airfare to your race.
Three nights hotel accommodations at the race.
Ground transportation as needed.
Two dinners on race weekend.
Bike shipping to the race.
A mentor to lead you in fundraising.
A TNT staff member dedicated to your team.
An Honored Hero who has battled blood cancer to inspire you throughout the season.

That's a lot of stuff, right?!  And, I'm sure I'm forgetting things!

What Do You Do for TNT When You Sign Up?
Have fun!

That's not so bad, right?!  Especially when you have coaches and team captains to help you with training each week. And, a mentor who has been through the program to guide you through the fundraising!  Tens of thousands of people have been through this program nationwide and have successfully fundraised and raced in endurance events.  Brian and I have raised over $30,000 total in the years we have participated in the program since 1998.  Last year I raised $3,500 in 2 months.  It's totally doable!

So, which race do you want to do?

Nations Triathlon in Washington DC - Sept 9, 2012
Olympic Distance - just under a mile swim, almost 25 mile bike and 6.2 mile run.
This course is perfect for beginners - it's flat and fast on the bike and the run.  It's also great for those looking for an Olympic distance PR!  And, of course, it's at sea level - a great benefit coming from Colorado.  Washington DC is an amazing venue for a race and a fun weekend.

Soma Triathlon in Tempe AZ - October 21, 2012
Half Ironman Distance - 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run
To do this race with us, you must have a little triathlon experience and a little bit of a training base coming into training.  This race is a lot of fun!  It's flat and fast - perfect for your first half Ironman distance or to set  new PR.  Being at lower altitude is a big plus, too!  Tempe AZ is home to Arizona State University, so it's full of restaurants, bars, and shopping all walking distance from our hotel.  Very fun weekend and great race course!

We will accept new participants through the end of May, but join as soon as you can to get the most out of the program!  It's a great way to spend the summer - get in shape and help cancer patients through fundraising.

Contact me for more information or visit...

Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Moab Training Weekend 2012

Rocky Mountain Triathlon Club hosted a great training weekend in Moab.  For my Dallas friends, it felt kinda like Easter Hill Country.  A great way to kick off the spring training around here.

We decided to bring the girls with us.  So, this meant we would be tag-teaming the training.  I often get more riding in than Brian, so we opted to have him ride more throughout the weekend.

Thursday, we left Denver around 3pm.  Stopped for dinner in Glenwood Springs and got in around 9:10 pm.  The girls were great in the car and went straight to bed when we got to the house we had rented.  We missed a great ride in Grand Junction on Thursday afternoon that I'd definitely like to hit next year!

We skipped the team swim on Friday morning.  Brian rode 55 miles with tons of climbing through Arches National Park.  He said the climbs were worth it for the amazing views.  The girls and I rode bikes on the path near our house and played at the park.  Once Brian got home, I headed out for a run with a couple other RMTC peeps at 4pm along the river.  It was HOT!  We are definitely not used to heat yet.  But, it was a fun run and good to get out.

Back at the host hotel, RMTC had set up massage therapy, the big compression boots, and coolers full of Mix 1 and Sierra Nevada beer.  We have great sponsors!

Saturday, I rode 83 beautiful miles through Canyonlands.  We got to see Dead Horse Point and Grand View point - both spectacular views.  I felt pretty good throughout the ride, but my shoulders were so tight by the end (unrelated issues) that I was ready to get off!  When I got home, Brian headed out for a run while I munched on some yummy greasy food from Milt's, which was just around the corner from the house we were in.

Sunday Brian got in another 40 miles or so on a flat, easy beautiful ride.

Overall, it was a great weekend.  Lots of great riding, fun people, etc.  The girls really did great on the 5.5 hour drives each way and all weekend in Moab.  They had a great time.  Can't wait for next year!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Lavaman Triathlon 2012

Lavaman Triathlon - Olympic Distance - April 1, 2012
Swim 1500 meters:  31:38
T1: 1:59
Bike 40k:  1:10:10
T2:  1:25
Run 10k:  52:01
Total:  2:37:13
First, thank you to all the generous people in my life who donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for this event.   Thanks to people like you, patients have more treatment options and help in their journeys.  And, thanks to Brian, my in-laws, and Millie - without them I would not have been able to do this race and be part of this amazing team!  Thank you all!
This was a great TNT event!  We brought 33 athletes from the Rocky Mountain chapter.   We got in Thursday night.  Friday morning we woke up to hurricane force winds.  Uh oh.  I started revising my race goals pretty much right away.  We bagged the idea of a ride since we were afraid of being blown off the road.  Instead, we hung out by the pool again.  Saturday was windy again.  We did a short ride and it wasn’t too bad.  Not great for racing, though!  Saturday night we had our Inspiration Dinner.  It was amazing to hear some of the stories of leukemia & lymphoma patients who would be out there racing with us.  Very inspiring for sure!  One guy from the NYC chapter had relapsed at least three or four times in the last 7 years and yet, here is was...racing a triathlon and surprising his doctors once again!
Sunday morning there was VERY little wind.  It was amazing...as if the race directors ordered the weather for THAT day.  It was fun hanging out on the beach before the race start.   I was in the second to last wave.  So, there was a lot of waiting!  
Swim:  Finally my wave took off.  This is a swim unlike any other.  It’s like snorkeling the whole time.  Lots of coral, tons of fish.  I saw four huge sea turtles in the last half of the swim!  I was shooting for 30 minutes and that was the time when I stood up out of the water.  The mat was way up near transition, though.  Oh well - not fast, but enjoyable!  Maybe I was a little TOO distracted with the scenery!  The run up to transition was a lot longer than I remembered!
T1:  I almost missed my turn into my row until a volunteer told me where to go!  Other than that, it was pretty fast without a wetsuit.
Bike:  This was way too much fun!  The upside to being in the second to last wave is that I got to pass a ton of people on the bike. The downside to being in the second to last wave is that I got to pass a ton of people on the bike.  I don’t race with a Garmin or bike computer, so I just go by feel.  When I feel good, I hammer.  When I don’t, I ease off a bit.  It was fun seeing so many friends on the bike.  It gave me lots of energy to see friendly faces.  For the most part, people were really good about moving to the right so I could pass, so the bike seemed to go along smoothly.  When I got to the turnaround, I was about 2 minutes slower than my goal.  But, I had been told that the course is a little easier on the return.  So, I just continued to work hard and have fun.  The whole ride, I just kept thinking, “I’m riding part of the Ironman Hawaii course!”  The views are amazing, too.  My goal was 1:10 and I knew it would be close.  Toward the end of the ride is a no passing zone.  I definitely got bogged down there, but I felt sure I would make my goal.  I just hung out in my spot behind a couple other guys until we rolled into transition.  1:10:10 - made my goal!  21.25 mph.
T2:  I promise this was not my first triathlon.  But, I missed my row until a volunteer pointed it out.  Too late to go back.  Ooops.  I headed down another row to the other end and then back up my ACTUAL row.  Geez!   Fairly quick transition after that.
Run:  I was really looking forward to this run.  It’s got all kinds of interesting pieces!  The first quarter mile is on black, loose lava rock.  A little tough to run especially straight off the bike.  My race plan was a little different than usual.  Usually I like to ease into the run in the early miles, then pick it up a bit, then hammer the last 2 miles.  This course doesn’t really work well that way.  So, my plan for this race was to hammer the first 4 miles and see what happens in the last 2.2.  I ran as hard as I could.  The best part of the run was seeing my teammates out there smiling and working hard.  The first couple miles are on black pavement with no breeze.  HOT!  Once we hit the turnaround, we actually had a great breeze that made things much easier.
At about mile 4, we run IN the resort.  “IN” as in on the sidewalk past the pool near my room etc.  It’s kinda weird to have people on lounge chairs with Mai Tai’s out there cheering you on!  Then, the drop down onto the lava rock trail.  This thing is narrow, so it’s a mandatory no-passing zone.  Honestly I was hoping for a little breather here.  My wish was granted.  The girl in front of us apologized for slowing us down.  We were all in agreement that we were all COMPLETELY fine with it!  You have a lava rock cliff on your left and the ocean below on your right.  The trail is probably a couple feet wide with one super skinny section.  Nothing treacherous but you definitely want to watch your footing!  Then, back up into the resort, past more pools and people drinking Mai Tai’s.  Then, drop down onto a trail made of big loose lava rock.  This part was really pretty tough to run.  Very uneven.  Not very fast.  I was running with a couple guys and we were all talking about the beer tent that was waiting at the finish.  Then, onto a nicer packed trail under some trees with amazing ocean views.  Next up - deep sand.  Ugh!  This is between miles five and six and makes for some tough running.   I asked the guy behind me if he wanted to pass.  He said, “No.  Just keep talking about the beer tent!”  So, we plugged on.  Out of the sand onto a windy narrow paved path along the beach.  Then, back into the sand for the finish.  This finish line is gorgeous.  Right on the beach.  Decorated with flowers, etc.  My goal for the run was 55 minutes.  Actual run time...52:01.  Yea!!  
My goal was 2:40, so coming in at 2:37 was exciting.  And, it was good enough for 5th out of 86 women in the Female 40-44 age group.  Yep, that’s right!  I’m only 39, but have to race as a 40 year old ALL year.  Thanks USAT!  I would have a nice award to put on my desk if I had actually attended the award ceremony.  But, a) I don’t usually win things and b) they have free unlimited Kona Brewing Company beer after the race.  Sitting on the beach with great friends drinking a great beer is better than any award anyway!
This was a great race all the way around.  It’s fun, beautiful, somewhat challenging and very well run.  I know we will field another amazing team for 2013.  Can’t wait!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

An Indoor Tri...and I don't even like the Indoors!

Really.  I don't like the indoors.  I don't like swimming in an indoor pool.  I don't like riding inside or doing spin classes.  I don't like the treadmill.  I don't like any of it.  So, today I did an indoor tri!

And...I had a blast!  I have to say that the only reason I loved it is because my TNT teammates were there.  It was so much fun seeing them work hard and seeing how the months of training are paying off.   Go Team!!

So, for the swim, I shared a lane with the famous Tim Farnham.  Yes, that Tim Farnham.  Super speedy swimmer Tim Farnham.   He lapped me several times, but I think I managed about 525 meters in the 10 minutes.  I had a lovely foot cramp for the second half of the swim, so I got to do the weird flexed foot kick trying to work it out.  Oh well.

I thought that MacKenzie and I were quite quick in our transition to the spin studio for our ride.  Apparently not.  They were starting our group as we walked in. Oops!  I threw on my old crappy spinning shoes without socks to save time and hopped on the bike, missing about a minute or two of valuable spinning time!  Seat too high.  Handlebars too high. Made a few adjustments on the fly and started spinning.  Apparently no one told me that the secret to this crazy indoor ride is to spin super fast with little or no resistance on the bike.  I don't ride spin bikes except when I'm pregnant, so I really had no idea what I was doing!  And, that awesome bike seat caused some serious chafing in some unmentionable spots!  But, I got it done.  16.5 miles in the 30 minutes.  As you can see the computers they use are NOT accurate, but we all use the same ones so it's all relative!

Having learned my lesson about transitioning quickly, I headed off to the treadmills.  But, Lifetime Fitness is a big place.  And, I have a tiny mommy bladder.  So, after a quick pit stop, I figured I probably still had plenty of time.  Nope.  Got to the treadmills as the guys announced we had less than a minute to the start.  Yikes!  Threw on some socks and my running shoes and hopped on with 10 seconds to spare!  Started out OK, but had a side stitch almost from the start.  Had to turn the speed way down several times to try to breathe it out.   But, I survived.   Got in 2.48 miles in 20 minutes.

Learned some great lessons on this one and actually plan to do it again next year.  And, I'm dragging Brian with me next time.  Now, don't be thinking that I'll turn into some gym rat.  I still hate being inside,  But, I would highly suggest that everyone try this out.  They do them at Lifetime Fitness around the country.  We had a great time and it was the perfect way to start my Saturday...alongside my TNT family!