Wednesday, August 16, 2017

HUUB Axena Triathlon Wetsuit


Talk to most lifelong swimmers and you hear the same thing.. “I don’t like wetsuits.  They are restrictive, don’t allow full ROM in the shoulders etc.”  I have tried nearly all top of the line wetsuits- sure some are better than others but when I first put on the HUUB Axena I knew it was different.  



It is by an easy on and off wetsuit but is tight as every once zipped up.  The flexibility is o outstanding with no tightness in the upper body, chest, shoulders, arms, neck or the back of the knees. The construction of the suit allows for the wearer to easily get it past ankles and wrists. It is the only suit that does NOT feel restrictive in the neck and chest when you initially put it on.  Breakaway Zipper, the quickest in Triathlon (it takes  a few tries to figure it out). The zipper needs to be started before you put the suit on and cannot be zipped to the top or you activate the quick release which I did about 5 times in practice, yes I did practice pre- race.  When someone is zipping you up, make sure you explain this.  As you exit the water you pull up hard and the zipper releases and opens up down the back. Zero chafing for me without any lube or glide- I have done 3x 70.3’s, an Ironman and an Oly – no issues!   The soft material allows easy removal as well.     



I have a WM. According the Huub size chart, a medium fits women 5’2” – 5’9” of medium build who weigh 122-142lbs.  I am 5’8 138 LB and the suit fits me perfectly!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

how an 83 mile ride takes 9 hours and costs $127

Some days are epic riding days.....and then there are days that are NOT

Saturdays 80 mile ride plan was roll at 5:45 to knock out the ride early and get on with the day!  I had lunch plans with an athlete and allowed PLENTY of time for any unforeseen issues, or so I thought.

5 min into the ride Lil realizes she has a snapped cable and cannot get into the big ring, ride killer for sure.  So she had to bail and was back in her car by 6am.

Les and I rolled along making 2 Garmin stops as her Garmin was "misbehaving"  Should we have been wary?  No, because during a garmin repair stop when I hopped in the bushes I found this card (see below)  and thought it was sign.  I gave it to Les and said " we are good for the day"  One time ticket...


Well it seems we were NOT good

At Garmin stop #3,  I realized my aero bars were loose, well one of them was. 2 or 10 minutes later after I remembered righty tighty lefty loosy we were ready to roll out of the prickly bushes and gravel that likely had glass in it and I realized I had a slow leak.  Lets make this 15 min stop a 20 min stop and change it.  Instead I decided to use Pitstop which may have been 1 or 3 years old and was rusty and nipple kept flying off. The Pitstop  was mostly in the tire and my wheel looking like I rode through snow, I spun it around to "distribute the sealant"  Tire a bit low so I top it off with C02 and BOOM.  Tube #1

Quick(ish) change after I threw my tire levers in the bush and then picked them up so I did not litter,  after using Les' levers and new tube filled and ready to go.

On we go up the 79 and BOOM - Tube #2 (lots of possible reasons why, one being operator error and many others being from above)

We pull over again and change it again, with Les's levers and now her tube as mine are used up.  Fastest change yet and we are good to go for 30 sec and it goes again. WTF!  Tube #3

Clearly there is something in the tire, which we take off, again, turn inside out and lick the entire inside, okay not really, but thoroughly clear and check and check the wheel and Les now gives me a tube but the valve is too short, so I steal the extender off my front wheel and inflate and nothing.  Okay do we try one more, sure maybe I screwed up for the 10th time, and the CO2 goes in and out.

So Les now has 1 tube and no C02 and I have pile of gear and we are 40 miles from Nytro or home and John is working so I call Lil who is free due to her bike mechanical but she is 50 min away.  I try uber/lyft and find a driver 12 min away, which really is 30 min because the lyft map pings me 6 miles from where I actually am because I am jinxed on this day I send Les away as the driver is on her way or not.   I am in a safe place, reasonably so and Shannon, Lyft driver calls and says she is at the gate.  What gate, we then realize Lyft has picked a random address 6 miles away.  At this point I start to lose it, Shannon is very nice and patient as I drop a pin and text here.  30 ish minutes later she arrives and I get in her white car with white leather and I am covered in grease, tree sap (no clue) and dust and dirt from sitting along the road.  
Yes I cleaned this up 

She happened to be in Ramona, thank you lord (see he was looking out for me) but she lives in Oceanside. She was up early picked up a guy in Oceanside who needed a ride to Ramona.  Apparently he got in her car and said "since we have nearly an hour drive, I may as well tell you, I went out last night in Poway and woke up in Oceanside and I'm not entirely  sure how I got here"  LOL... thank goodness he was drunk and far from home as she was THE only Lyft/Uber options.  She used her Reiki on me, I guess she could feel a lot of my energy and let's say it was not the best and she gave me a great sunscreen tip, as she is also an estthetician.

I arrive at Nytro by 10, I have been up since 4:30 and ridden 28 miles.   30 min later  I am done.  Nothing wrong with the tire - the last tube had 4 tiny holes but no clear reason why.  Restocked and started my ride again.....  Found Les near Rancho Sante Fe, she only had 90 min left and I had 3.5 hours....  I was finishing in Elfin and deciced to  call it a day and go home and then I realized my car was off Lomas Sante Fe...nearly 9 hours later I had forgotten so I pedaled along back to my car.

4 x bike tubes @$8.00 =$32
5x C02 @ $3.00 = $15
1 x Pitstop @ $15
1x Lyft ride from (nearly in) Ramona to Nytro Multisport $52
1x waterbottle launched and run over later in the ride $6
Normal ride food/beverage $7 which may have included powdered sugar donuts at 2pm

For the record.....I am not a complete idiot about my bike.  I am actually pretty good- I can change ac a cassette, my brake pads etc- and I thought a tube. I better practice 5 more times. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Boulder 70.3

 
HIGHLY Recommend this race!!  here is my rundown

1- its FAST, partially because there is only 1700 ft of elevation on the bike and partially because the bike course is only 54.4 miles.   Funny how NO one mentions that on FB as they are boasting about their amazing splits, but when Ironman Boulder was 114 miles, EVERYONE had to mention it and some people even had 142.6 stickers made.  Yes it is a PR course but if you compare this bike to future races...you will likely be disappointed.  If it's your PR, I'd put an * next to it, but that is just me.

2- It's mostly easy logistically, as in it all takes place at the Boulder Res vs split transitions, which my last 2 70.3's have been.  So registration, check in and T1/2 all in the same location.  Registration and bike drop off were not an issue but race morning...holy cow!  miles of traffic backed up to get to the Res, with one road in and out, it takes some planning.   Transition was open 5:30-7 and my place was to arrive around 6, with my wave not going off until 7:53.  I allowed 30 min for the 15 min drive and arrived at 6:05, but those who were later were in horrific traffic jams.  Plenty of parking at the Res. Race was delayed 15 min due to traffic delays- plan ahead!

3-  Wave starts vs rolling swim.  While I have been quite vocal about disliking the rolling start I was eager for the wave start so I would know where my competition was.  But that being said it makes the swim a shit show.  Wave 14, at least we were the first women's wave, but I must have swam over 500 people. I just don't think elementary backstroke is the right choice for an Ironman swim as you cannot see where you are going and the up/out/together with 2300 people you are likely to kick 1 or 100 people in the gut.  If you are struggling on the swim, get out of the thorough fare and roll on your back, but around the turn buoy is not ideal.  While the swim was a challenge i did like knowing where my competition was - legitimately not with any delay.

1 loop swim and the res is murky, water temp 72 so wetsuit legal.  There was cloud cover so we did not have to swim into direct sun.  Easy in and out with time to warm up.

4- Big transition area so you can bring a back pack and set up your area, but again not big enough for a bucket or costco size beach towel.  I was in the rack of misfit toys as I signed up late so it was the rack that was added and almost in Denver vs the AWA racks near bike out and bike in.  You exit transition and run up a hill with your bike, I had bike shoes on and no issue there and off you go exiting the Res for the bike.

5-  Note the roads are not closed and there are not cones blocking the lane so be mindful.  And please for the love of GOD ride on the right side   There are a few areas where you maybe at mile 3 or 18 or on your first loop or finishing so please pay attention.    When you ride to the left, it makes others have to go into traffic to pass.

6 -  Run is flat mostly but on gravel and not a fast run- look at the times.  For the Coloradans and other mountain goats I would think a reasonable run but this is where the altitude killed me.

As for my race....

swim was uneventful, other that than the obstacle course of people and lack of of 02.  I held more of an Ironman pace as pushing too hard simply gassed me.   27:26 right about where my other 70.3 swims have been,

T1 uneventful other than I could not find my bike-  duh!

Bike as noted mostly flat with a few false flats and the Nelson climb from IM Boulder. Temps were warm but not hot and my plan was to ride harder than usual.  The watts were a bit lower but if you take the altitude into consideration they were quite high.  I felt great, strong and fueling was spot on all with Gatorade, 100% new on race day.  3 1/2 x 24 oz bottles of Gatorade for total of  630 calories or 250/hour based on 2:30.  2x 24 oz of water.  52 oz/hour.  I wanted to try the "new" Gatorade endurance, less sweet, to how I would tolerate it. Taking nutrition from the course is so much easier.  It worked okay I think.  I tried it as this was a B or C race - if I puked then so be it - good place to try something new.

So I have been chasing a sub 2:30 bike split for a while and at 2 hours I had 10 miles go and I was riding 20.5 mph so I knew I would make it. I was super excited at mile 53 I was at 2:19 so 3 miles to go and 11 minutes NO problem ! And then boom at mile 54 we were turning into the Res, I figured a hot lap around the res to 56 miles but nope .4 miles later we were at bike dismount.  WTH?  Well I am still counting it as a legit sub 2:30 as I had time in the bank for another 1.6 miles.  2:22:57  23+mph

Run - legs were stiff coming out of T2 and I'm thinking oh boy.... the idea of riding harder than usual sounded like a good plan until now.  What if my run split is slower than my bike split?    Mile 1 is great,  all the tri club tents, I see coach and wave and am asking am demanding intel, where is she, how many minutes back???  .5 of a mile and your are out of civilization and onto the dirt/gravel for a short downhill and then a not so fun mile ish up hill-   My legs are not cooperating and I am not happy.  At mile 3 the garmin is turned around I just run by feel, because looking at the pace was really getting me down. So I  taking it 1 mile at a time, enjoying the downhills and trying to keep my form.   It was not pretty and the pace was slow but I stayed steady.  I got some intel that 2nd place was 2 min back and running well, at mile 11 she blew by me and there was not even a choice to go with her.  She beat me by 1:16 - not a lot BUT a lot with 2 miles to go. From there it was bout holding 2nd and i was hurting.  At mile 6 and 12 there is a sharp left, steep downhill and u turn and back up, all on gravel, on the uphill I saw 3rd and nearly panicked, okay fully panicked. She is a MUCH better runner than I and I had one choice, bury myself for the last .75 of a mile and I did, panicking and looking back in the chute.    I beat her by 1:10.  1:53:03- my slowest run of my last 5 70.3's but it was enough to hold off 3rd and 4th.  The altitude is where I really felt the run, trying to push the pace and I just could not.  Fueling:  2 cups of water at mile 1/2/3 with 1 shot block each mile, 4/5/6 1 shot block and 1 gatorade, 7-11 screw the shot blocks,  1-2 cups coke every aid station with water+ ice over my head. At 1 hour 1200 mg salt stick + with caffeine.  11-13 fueled on adrenaline and determination- #notstopping. That adds up to .... you do the math.

4:47:50 - I'll take that a YES!  solid race with little specific prep or taper.  So find the positives, don't dwell on coulda shoulda ... and look forward.   5 weeks to 70.3 Worlds and 11 weeks to Kona.

While Boulder is not a  home town race it is close with my sis and family living there and D3 based there. Having coach on the race course is motivating and just plain fun!   The D3 tent and support of the team was amazing. Follow that up with  a BBQ at Coach's house and call it a fun weekend!

The Ironman train is leaving the station.....
Why NO pictures.... I was solo - but promise you I was there :) 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Mixing it up a bit

One of the reasons I chose Ironman Boulder to try and KQ was its timing, With the goal or racing in Kona in October I wanted to see if I could have some time between the IM's versus last year's 3 Ironman races in 11 week scenario, which I recommend to NO one. 


I was fortunate enough to punch my ticket and then have a bit of breathing time before the IM build. In theory that could like like a solid mid- season break, shed fitness, eat / drink and relax and then rebuild.  But you know me and well that lasted about 7 days and I was itching to train.

Had a "summit" meeting with Coach and he came up with a great plan.... massive swim block for 3 weeks - as in 25k/week of swimming with lots of aerobic biking  and then upping the riding for a month, as in ride your bike as much as you like, no power guidelines, no trainer, no pressure, meanwhile keeping a modest run base (which scares me a lot, it's not like I have run fitness to lose, but I know, trust the process and the coach which I do 100% of the time)  

Give me a number, 25K and I am good to go.  Funny how 6k workouts became the norm and a 3K felt like a dip and dash, it's all about perspective.   After the block I was ready to dial back the swimming a bit and let my hair and body de-chlorinate.  Did I see big gains, no not really, but looking at this through the rear view window it was a good way for me to satisfy my " I want to be training" but allow my body to recover from Ironman. Good thinking Mike! 

The biking was great - hours of biking with the occasional review of power, and when I did review it, it was low, crazy low.  I was feeling great, rolling with a lot of volume until I wasn't...  and it all hit me like a ton of bricks.  Tired, sluggish, not sleeping, eating all the time and not really having fun. 

Eat more lemon thingies
What was it?  Too much volume?  Needed recovery?  NO, what changed was I started looking at my power meter and lost sight of the "just ride" and I started working towards a number, a goal and wanting to see my power back up.  That DOES not work!  Intellectually I know that, I needed rest before working on intensity, but well that is why I have a coach, I lose all perspective when it comes to me.  #followtheplan 

So we rested, hard!  With my brother and family in town it was time for a break- as in 4 days off of training and easing back into it.  I feel a bit like I am starting over, but know the fitness is there someplace.


I did the Solana Beach Sprint- ooff, short and hard!   The swim was a sh&t show, with a broken zipper on my speed suit (dusted that off from last year and clearly did not try it on) suit so I was swimming with an open back.  The broken zipper debacle did not allow for a warm up swim so I could not scope out the uneven entry thus fell in a few holes, nothing like running into the surf and poof face plant. Add the the long transition up a hill barefoot, which is a challenge for my wonky foot, and it was not my best.  Onto the bike.   Crushed the bike, all 9 miles of it- LOL- dug deep and had a ton of fun. Onto the run, sockless for a still not really fast transition and around mile 1 was regretting that.  The run was 20 sec/mile off where I wanted to be, just did not have it-  So tried to stay steady and around mile 2.3 when the blister opened up, hold cursing tyraid, I slowed and then did all I could to pick the pace back up and finish.  Amazing how and hour can be so painful. It was ton of fun with so many friends and racing along side one of my athletes- good stuff!  Les and I rewarded our selves with delicious toxic, chemically filled lemon thingies- seriously we could have eaten the whole box.  Purchased at Costco, they just maybe in our condo for consumption on October 15! 

Onto Boulder 70.3 .... because?  well I am in Boulder for Training Peaks Endurance Summits and the race is happening and Mike suggested it and well why not?  A lot of reasons actually 1- stiff competition as in 2 Kona podium girls racing, 2- my run fitness is not there as I have not been running much 3- bike is iffy, we are good for volume but the power for a 70.3? we shall see and 4- altitude.  But for the why? 1- I am there 2- my swim is good 3- I am health and can race 4-  I will not shy away from the fast girls even though I want to.

So we shall see what Saturday brings.... Post Boulder will be a bit of recovery from the race and then onto the Ironman build, with another 70.3 9/10 in Chattanooga!    Even though the post IM block was not a break perse, I am feeling eager and ready to get back to the Ironman build!


Friday, July 7, 2017

I want to swim faster


If I had a nickle for every time I hear this..... in all seriousness, I think it is the # 1 goal  I hear from any triathlete that not a swimmer from childhood.  Because frankly from my perspective, the swim is a frickin hour and the run is much longer....so can I dial back the clock to when I was 5 and swimming on the summer league team and put myself on the track.  WHY couldn't I have logged those million miles on the track? Well..... I did not and suffice to say that if I had been running track it is not likely I would have earned a scholarship to LSU for track.  I loved swimming and I loved growing up a swimmer.  I have been getting up at 4:30 since I was 12, I have had damaged hair (often green) and smelled like a bottle of beach most of my life.  I did take a hiatus from swimming from the age of  21-38, other than when I was pregnant, because I was SO burned out. Let's just say my last collegiate swim was the 1000 at SEC's, I hopped out of the pool, did not warm down, threw my cap and goggles in the trash can and said peace out to the pool, chlorine the lifestyle.

I became a competitive drinker and eater and was as successful as I was at swimming. Gained 20 lbs and felt just as poorly, but was hungover vs over trained.  18  months later I recognized this was not a sustainable lifestyle and went back to the pool, tried masters. The 2nd workout when coach gave a set I did not feel like doing I hopped out of the pool... because I COULD.  Again I said peace out and I decided to try and get fit on land.

I started running and loved it. It was a whole new world. 1- music 2- chatting with friends 3- I could go out my front door 4- no chlorine damage 5- no historical data to compare it to.

I was a recreational runner for years but somewhere around 30 I started to take it up a notch, sign up for races, go to the track, buy a giant GPS watch and then the cycle of injury began. See in swimming from Sr Age Group to College every workout was nearly to failure, puking was fairly common and pushing yourself to a limit of white lightening was common. So I applied a similar approach to ruining.  And I learned bones break, tendons tear, all pain is not good pain. See I did not know the difference.   Years of injury and recovery led me to triathlon...

So I digress that is my history!    When triathletes some of whom  I coach, others are friends - either in real life or on facebook, say " I want to be a better swimmer"

Here is my response

1- do you have the same commitment to swimming as you do biking and running
2- What does that mean?
   - if you are training for Ironman - are you logging a minimum of 15K per week
   - you are are training for 70.3 are you logging a minimum of 9K per week?
   - NOTE minimum and that is NOT because I am swimmer, it because that it what it takes to swim well.
3- Assuming you are logging that much (which most are not) how are you logging it?  ez swims, independent swims, OW swims without efforts?  Junk miles in the pool or OW are not helping you reach your potential.  I see so many just swimming along without using the clock, working hard efforts etc-  would you just ride your bike ez every workout?
4- think about what you do on the bike and run? Intervals, efforts, hill repeats- do you apply the same stimulus in the pool
5- Masters Swimming -  assuming you have access to a good program (which many do not I realize) you need to get your arse there.   I cannot push myself as hard as I do when Hux or Hillary is on deck at the Y.  It's hard, uncomfortable and sometimes down right miserable, but that is what it takes.  Ther are days post  swim I can be found on the bench, head in my hands trying to recover.   If you don't have a program that works, find  a buddy, commit to workouts and use the clock to dig deep and go hard.
6- Just because I am a swimmer does NOT mean I hardly swim- I swim a LOT and I swim hard to maximize my strength.

Questions....message me!  happy to help. Happy to explain what a base interval is and WHY you need to know it and how to use it.  Happy to explain why NOT to stop and start the fricking garmin the entire workout.   You want to wear it- no problem but start at the beginning and stop at the end!  You should be working so hard that you CANNOT be managing a watch.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Ironman Boulder

Ironman #13 ! Go
having my sis and nieces and JD along the course was
fantastic


The Why... early race, June 11, my sister and family live here- great accommodations, my Coach lives her and I've never done it.  

The Why (not)  Its at 5430 elevation!  Nuff said
my happy place

But I committed and signed up...training went very well, finally hitting some solid run paces, had 2 good 70.3's and was feeling really optimistic going into the race.  That is until the taper started...yes we all feel crappy tapering but I think this was the crappiest ever.  I kept waiting for my legs to come around, for my swim to pop and I was coming up empty handed on most workouts and finally quit using a watch.  I was still holding out for the race day adrenaline.

Arrival here was a shock!  Encinitas has been 64 and cloudy for 3 weeks, which I personally love btw, but not ideal training for heat. My 5 days of sauna training was not seeming to be enough!  But who was heat training, it snowed in Boulder 2 weeks ago. We landed Friday and it was 93!  Yowza...I arrived as late as possible to try and "beat" (LOL) the altitude.  Ideally I would have come Saturday but that is not an option for Ironman so we came Friday with the goal of racing before my body figured out it was at 5430 feet.  I could not afford a month to acclimate so went with the 48 hours.  
why I love triathlon- amy, fellow HPB
fast camp camper

Not a lot of time to stress.... build bike, test ride, D3 party, sleep, pre- race running around, eat,  try and sleep 3:15 alarm - Race Day! 

Swim:  Boulder Res.  Wetsuit legal, although Friday night it was rumored non wetsuit and I left my skin suit at home total rookie move, so I panicked called Les at 4:30, she flew in her car, booked to my house, got the suit to fedex at 4:59 and I had it Saturday by 1pm. Meanwhile seems they opened up a damn or valve and let some icy water in and it was back to 69.  Reminder, come prepared for anything.
Another fast camp camper

1 loop swim- YES- love this as there is no lapping anyone on the 2nd loop.  It makes for a LONG swim but clean and nice.  I could feel the altitude immediately and backed off the effort, I let my O2 intake dictate the swim effort. Focused on long and strong and swam with loose group of 5 swimmers. Swimming in fresh water is preferable to me any day. Again I cannot say enough about my HUUB Axean Wetsuit- most comfortable wetsuit I have ever worn, with generous flexibility in the shoulders I hardly feel it. At 69 degrees i was warm but I will always go for a full wetsuit (vs sleeveless)up to 73 degrees. More buoyancy = faster swim, plain and simple.   Swim time 57:55, with my swim fitness I was hoping for a 55-56 but the altitude dictated my efforts, and overall, am happy with the swim.

Long transition but mostly on grass and with the wetsuit strippers it is fairly painless. Raced in my D3 Betty Designs kit with the Castelli Aero top (wore this under the wetsuit) Definitely NOT a fashion statement but I believe it's worth it-  reduced  drag on the bike and nice coverage from the sun.  There is some pretty solid data that really it gives you free speed.  
my sis! post race


Bike - 3 loops which was not bad and a solid course.  Not easy by any means AND 2 miles long- yes 114 miles.  4367 ft of elevation.   We adjusted my power targets for elevation and lowered my FTP by 7%  and I held to that, riding the course at 71%  (or 68% of my sea level FTP)  I am not going to lie, the bike was not all the comfortable after the first loop. My power dropped a few watts each lap and I was in more pain then should be that early in the race. And despite the flat aero rides i did in training my neck, shoulders and triceps were screaming in pain.  I am thinking it is the hard swim effort prior to the bike that is the added pain. So will talk to Mike about a few long swims pre long bike. 

Boulder has some beautiful riding and this course does no capture much of it- with 2 sections on the 36 highway you don't see a lot of stunning scenery.  The 3rd loop was definitely congested and if this race had 3000 ppl it would be a mess.   Roads are not closed so there are cars to contend with and had one near miss with a guy who passed and then pulled in front and stopped to turn right.  You need to be vigilant out there.  

Stuck to my nutrition plan
of course a selfie with Jay
10 x 24 oz bottles consumed- in 5:42- peed 5 times so stayed hydrated
2x bottles of Osmos  @105 calories each
3x bottles of Glukos @ 230 calories
2x Glukos bars (which the quit making so had to stock up off of Amazon) @230 each 
1 x bottle  Gatorade endurance  off the course @  180
1x cliff gel @ 100 calorie
1405 calories = 250/hour 

I was hoping for sub 5:30 bike but riding for time in an Ironman never makes sense... 1- course was long 2 - if its windy you lose time and are chasing speed over power and that will hurt the run and 3- ride with what you have

T2- even longer and painful on concrete, across a wooden bride and then 200 meters on the track, up the stairs and to the tent. Barefoot running aggravates my left metatarsal that did heal correctly and add a marathon on concrete and my foot is still angry today.

Run- I cannot remember the the IM I started running feeling great and this was no different.  I never asses how the run with go until mile 3, as sometimes it takes that long to settle in.  Let's just say by mile 3,  I knew it was going to be a slow really difficult run.  Add some serious GI distress and it was going to be tough. The support was  amazing and really what got me to my 2nd place finish and KQ.  #1 fan my devoted husband was all over the run course, I saw him at least 10 times and each time he was motivating and know what to say, just keep moving, run aid station to aid station.  #2 my family- sister, bro in law,
This is a MUST have- sold only in europe but
I can tell you it worked instantly.  3 porta potie
trips and got this and "it" stopped
nieces and my son- again popping up in random spots with signs and shirts. 


They all saw that deep in the hurt locker side of me, no expression and sheer pain look.  # D3 teammate and local support- being a home town company everyone knows D3 and much support and #4 my coach Mike-  having coach on the race course is such a bonus and he is tough, encouraging helpful.  I cannot explain how deep I dug and how much this race hurt. I new 1st place was a long shot as she is a 15x KQ with multiple podium finishes and local here in Ft Collins so it was about holding 2nd place. 

 It is so easy to justify walking to ease pain and let go of the dream- I walked the aid stations only and broke it up to 10 minute sections and took the course 1 mile at a time.  I quit the sport 10x , took up knitting and Kobucha brewing, visualized giving away all my running shoes and then I would visualize Alii Drive a just keep moving.  I reflected on " How Bad do you Want it"  " The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occassion"   Both are great mental toughness books.
Honored to be heading back to the Big
Island for #6 

Run was a 4:20 with a goal of 4 hours...but considering the altitude and how I felt I will gractiously accept this run - AND be happy.  Tough course...not sure when I dug this deep and suffered for so long. With only 5 amateur women going under 4 hours it was definitely a tough run course. 

All worth it.... punched my Kona ticket.  So onward to Kona for # 6 on that crazy island. 









Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Pet Peeves (of the week)

Taper time..more time to blog :) 

1:  Masters swim and leading the lane.  We all have our respective lanes and most lanes have a few people who are the leaders most of the time (thank you) Either they just love to lead and/or they are fast enough to swim in a faster lane but choose not to.  They respectfully take the lead and pull us all- on a few occasions when they fatigue or are not feeling it, one of us but not all lemmings steps in to lead.  Then there is the day that NONE of the leaders show up. During warm up I know I am not the only one practicing my sighting to see if by chance a leader is lingering on the pool deck.  But alas..the first set starts and no leader.   We are left with a lane of no one wanting to lead.  I will generally start leading, it only seems fair, and it only seems obvious to me only apparently  that each of us non leaders will take a turn. But it never fails to surprise me when I say, "okay I lead that set, who is next?"  And the lane is slipping further and further back along the lane line, avoiding eye contact so I am the only one on the wall.  I could play the game too but I no I cannot do that so I continue leading with pent up aggression clearly.  Sometimes I rock it , others times I have to put on paddles to get it done.  Sunday I was fricking dying and literally bailed 2/3 of the way through the set.  Jumped out and said peace out.  Rant done!   And THANK YOU to the frequent leaders of lane 2 at NCMS! 

2:  Dog Beach:  If your dog loves to steal other dog's ball's please make sure you can get the dog to release it.  It is frustrating to no end when  said dog steals Roo and Mako's ball and runs away.  I try to get the ball and when I have no luck I go to the owner who is generally clueless and phone surfing.  "hey can you get your dog to drop the ball?"  Floors me when they say "no Fluffy just loves squeaky balls and won't give it up. If I chase her she just runs away"  followed up an annoying laugh and a blank stare.  Seriously?    I always bring 2 balls in case of dog theft or strong current.  But my spoiled dogs like the $3 squeaky balls so it gets expensive.  Or the people who come to dog beach with a ball obsessed dog and no ball and expect their dog to run and chase Roo and Mako's ball.  I get that Roo and Mako cannot expect exclusivity ok not really but play with your dog and get OFF your GD phone!    Seriously - I've been there. Zen was obsessed with various toys including little kids stuffed animals  and had lockable jaws so I carried treats for such occasions.  MANAGE your dog!   I will admit that when Zen stole an Egg McMuffin off the beach I could not bribe that away from him -but seriously  if you leave food on dog beach, seems it is fair game

3: The Y lockerroom.  The benches are for your gear NOT your naked butt!  Unless you are 75+ years old and NEED to sit down, please don't sit on the benches and get changed.  If you MUST please use a towel.  RE: real estate.  Yes it is Murphy's Law that if there are 6 people in the locker room we will all be in the same row using lockers on top of each other, so plan on that.  In the event you get to your locker and no one is there but the parking lot, pool and weight room are full, expect people to come.  You cannot take the entire bench to lay out, sort and deal with your gear.  Pile it up and be respectful.   If my swim bag happens to be in front of your locker it's okay to move it or politely ask who's bag this is vs harrumphing loudly and saying " I cannot get to my locker"  Yes you can get to your locker it may take a little maneuvering.  Remember this is NOT a $300 a month exclusive club.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Ironman Taper

If training is going well as in you are crushing workouts and barely surviving taper is all you can think about.  A few weeks before it's taper time do you find yourself counting how many hard workout are left, the last long ride, last long run etc.  And then you finally put the nail in the coffin finish the last big week and it's taper time!
You are elated for about a day and then begin to wonder if you have done enough, too much, wished you had nailed that 5th interval on the trainer ride last Wednesday  and more.... The volume has dropped off but your appetite has not, the grey area of not depleting your glycogen stores but also not packing on 8lbs in the final week so the new Castelli very tight aero top will not zip up.

Waiting for the spring in your step but your legs are actually getting heavier each day, you wake up with what feels like a hamstring strain from sleeping, all the phantom niggles and aches are running abound and you still want to sleep 9+ hours a day.

The short workouts you expect to be crushing but the watts are not coming and the garmin must be broken?  Let's not even start with the mood swings.  Sorry honey.

How many days to Ironman Boulder?

What is so funny is that I coach my athletes through this all the time with great clarity, reflection and good feedback as to why this is happening. "Perfectly normal, if you were feeling great now we would have messed up your taper, your body is adjusting, yes you should feel that way, trust me, trust the process"

As me the athlete you should see my training peaks panicked comments.  The what is wrong with me question to my coach, I will not be ready, I suck, when can I start carb loading for the race,...

T-6 days to Ironman Boulder!  

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What motivates you?

The fact that I have started this blog 3 times maybe telling....


In any case, in my Santa Rosa 70.3 race recap I was clear what motivated me that day.... nacho's and wine. While that worked for race day, as a parent, I know food bribery is not a good idea on a regular basis although I seem to use it a lot lately. 

Most of the time when I am not dead tired from Ironman training,  I wake up before my alarm at 5 ready to knock out some work and my first workout of the day.   And I carry that with the help of caffeine into the 2nd workout of the day.  Note, the most....

These past few weeks have been tough.  After a short 4 day recovery from Santa Rosa I hit it hard again.  I admittidely often bribe myslef with X food group to get through a transition run.  During my 2nd run on Sunday it was Fro Yo-   1- hold this pace and 2 - finish the run and reward is Fro Yo.  I did both!  But when I finished I dove in the pool and than laid on the floor for an unknown amout of time and the idea of getting int he car to drive to Fro Yo was overwhelming so I opted for some quality recovery food and was in bed by 7pm in the Normatec's.  So sometimes just the idea of the rewward is enough.

My least favorite workout, and this is putting it nicely, is the trainer.  I sometimes feel like it has an aura around it that says #suffer.  Maybe I need to do more easy spins on it to adjust my feelings, but ez spins are social time for me, so no.    I was struggling last week and thinking up many reasons as to why I could not do the workout, none of which I actually texted to Mike.  I even went so far as to think of a better workout on my bike outside, but alas did not suggest that either.   So I looked up my competitors recent race results and whamo I was motivated!  Along with a new playlist, I crushed the workouts.

So what motivates me...

1: Success
2: Food rewards or just the idea sometimes
3: My Coach(s) -  I include my swim coach too as he is HIGHLY motivating when giving what seem like impossible sets.  I appreciate the fact if he expects hard swimming he is all in to.
4: My competition- I feed of their success and may or may not panic train a bit 
5: My athletes. While they often think I give them BSC  worrkouts, 99% of the time I have tested them first so I know the pain and suffering. When I see their success I am motivated.
5: My friends- it's fun to train with friends and teammates
6: A new playlist - don't discount music when you are digging deep

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Santa Rosa 70.3 recap

Nytro Girls hamming it up 
I loved Vineman and was really sad to see the race go away...but was optimistic that Santa Rosa would be just as epic.  And it did not disappoint.

For me it was a good day, I came up short on my goals for each leg but considering the short taper and fatigue I was carrying into the race I will graciously accept the results and I found my happy place on the top of the podium.

Swim: 28:29 Off  by over a minute.  Rolling start and while I dislike this from a "where is my competition" stand point it made for a nice swim with 3500ppl and for an early start.  AG start at 6:25 so I was in the water a minute later.  Lake temp 63- ideal and water is murky but feels clean.   I just did not have the extra gear and swam a steady pace and tried not to get upset knowing I was not digging deep.

T1: worst part of the race.  The run up the boat ramp was fine, less than .1 of a mile on carpet but the next .25 is up hill on chipnseal and it was treacherous and cold. Air temp 43 to feet were painful and running barefoot nearly killed me.  I dropped the F bomb about 1000 times.  Dear Race Director with all $$$ you pulled in for registration fees, drop a runner of padding.  I had socks on to keep my feet warm but did not put them on, nor would I stop to put on socks to run back up.  But I HIGHLY recommend some slide that you leave off to the side and jump in and run up.  If you have any feet problems this could be the death of your feet.  There were at least 100 smart people who lined up their shoes, it looked like the entrance of a temple.  Anyway that was COLD

Bike: 2:37:42 I was hopingfor 2:33 and on fresher legs I could have done it.    My power was dropping at mile 40 and the fatigue set in.  But it is a great course!   But, you know there is a but as I am not all about rainbows and butterflies.  Remember the crappy roads of the old Vineman, ruts and potholes and rough roads?  Remember how they finally repaved the entire course and how awesome that was?  Well forget that and re-remember the old course. The roads are mostly crappy, makes for a rough ride and lots of lost nutrition.   BUT the scenery is stunning.... all you think about is drinking wine, ok maybe that was just me.
always honored to be up on stage

Temp- it was cold.  43 degrees and I elected to not use my genius sock arm warmers, because i am an idiot and learned nothing from St George 2016, and I dropped my gloves and was too focused lazy to pick them up.  So I was cold, shivering cold for at least an 90 min or actually 93 minutes when I realized I was not shaking.  Not the smartest plan.  At 30 min I went for my glukos bar and my hands were like claws and I hit a bump and dropped it.  Ok so there goes 200 calories.    For this time of year- you want arm warmers and a vest and gloves!   I had toe warmers on which were helpful.

Nutrition:  1 glukos bar, as I donated the other one to the pothole  2x bottles with 100 calories of OSMOS, 1 glukos liquid pack gel , 1/2 bottle gatorade  = 650  calories.  I backed off on the sodium as as I figured I was not shivering out salt, so I took in 1600 mg for the entire ride vs 3200 as planned.

There are NO steep climbs although I was still happy to have a 28 cassette on there.  Mostly aero riding - just watch out for the giant seams in the road, as in 4 inches high and 3 wide and 2 feet long in the middle of your side of the road, most were marked, a few were not- if you hit that it would really bad.  I rode at 81% but the power was dropping the last 10 miles vs Oceanside where I was holding strong, so I knew I was struggling.  VI 1.03 so pretty even on that front.
D3 crew having fun post race

Wind- all kinds, tail, head, and cross winds- a bit squirrely as times.  I had a  Enve 6 in the front and was fine with that, but if you are tentative in wind I would not go deeper than a 404.  Disc in the rear and no issues.

T2  with 3500 bikes and only 4 rows of bikes it was a LONG transition, as in there were 3 traffic lights in the row, 3+ city blocks.  More running with bike in hand

Awesome to meet athletes face to face :)



Run:  1:47.14 I knew from the beginning the run was going to be a challenge. Plan was start at 8:00 min pace and the drop from there. In Oceanside those first few miles we so easy, hard to run "that slow", where as here it was not easy.  As the miles ticked by the pace was increasing a few seconds each mile as the the pain increased.  Coming off Oceanside where the run is packed with people this was  different run. After the first mile you left town, but not have hard right turns, stairs and a few weird loops all slowing the pace.  Once out on the river it was nice, shaded and crushed gravel but lonely and when you are hurting it was even more lonely.   The first loop is about 9 miles with too many hard turns and up and down curbs but I was taking it one mile at a time.  I hit the low point around mile 8 and had a serious chat with my inner voice to suck the F up and stay in the race.  1- thanks to whoever shouted to lean forward and 2- Andrew Shore who smacked me hard on the ass- that was what I needed!    I would not call this a fast run course and that is not because I ran slowly all the turns and ups and downs take away time, but that is my humble opinion.
D3 in the house

Without John to give me intel or not being able to see my competitors  I was racing blind.  The deal went like this " Julie if you want to drink wine and eat Nacho's you have to hold your pace. If you slow down, give up or think about walking you are eating carrots and drinking water for diner"  Around mile 11 I added a chocolate bar to the deal and was heading for home.  Nutrition was good 3x Huma gels and a few mint Shot Blocks- new and yummy!  Water or gatorade every aid station and 4 motivators at the 1 hour mark to stay caffeinated - 250 mg of caffeine for the race.

It hurt but that is racing...It's easy to reflect today, I could have run faster, but alas, I did what I did on that day.
Ah the benefit of racing in wine country 

The trip was great...with Liz, Bud, Courtney and Mike as housemates and so many D3 athletes and SD Tri Clubbers around, it was almost like a hometown race!   The topper was racing along side Jen and Teri my 2 athletes.  And we had a great post race party at our place with D3 and Nytro Racing Team.

Love this race and recommend it!




                                
                                  DIV      GEN      OA      SWIM           BIKE              RUN                FINISH

Dunkle, Julie    USA     1        40        255       00:28:29      02:37:32        01:47:14          05:03:01

Friday, May 12, 2017

Santa Rosa 70.3

Nytro Women running in the middle of CA

Eve of race #3 this season, Santa Rosa 70.3, the "old" Vineman,  New course, new venue and over 3500 people registered.  Biggest 70,3 in the US.  Wowza...

I am nervous in a different way for this race. Oceanside is the first big race of the season and can set the tone so the nerves there are big and real for that reason alone.  This should be auto pilot coming off a great Oceanside.  Notice the should be...

With Ironman Boulder in 4 weeks the taper for this race has been, well, what taper?  5 days of taper, where as I am a 10 day 1/2 Ironman taper kind of girl.  Looking at my biggest run week this past week and a full Ironman fatigue on Monday of this week I wonder how tomorrow will go.  Add as stacked AG with 3 Kona Podium Women  in my AG and I have my work cut out for me.

I'd love to say this is a training day in my build to Ironman Boulder, but let's all agree that is a big fat lie.  I like to stand in a certain place on awards day and I'm not sure I my legs have what it will take.   Sometimes we are cramming for a race, as in piling on workouts to get ready with limited time.  I am cramming my taper.  I even impulsively bought compression tights yesterday and tried to sleep in them, because surely that will heal my tired legs in 48 hours.  Normatec boots, check, I would have worn them driving up the 5 but just not sure that would have been the safest idea.

I had a full day off on Wednesday. Wow... that freed up 2 1/2 hours so I had a morning with the husband, drank 10 cups of coffee and buzzed to dog beach and let the pups chase balls until they decided it was time to go home.   I took great care in cleaning my bike, a clean bike is a fast bike, and getting it all ready to go.  With John not going, last minute change, it was just me to the car was packed and ready to go early on. Work was relatively calm so pre- race travel was a breeze!

On the road by 5 and up here by 2 with a 3 mile run in the middle of no where  with Liz.  We were on the road together, in separate cars  due to post race plans, but manged to meet up and run. Great way to break up the drive and shake out the legs.

Today is all the pre- race logistics, bike check 35 miles away, run gear check etc... gear all packed and sorted before I left so should be easy.

6:40 tomorrow and we are off.  With the rolling start, a point to point bike course and a run without any turn arounds and no John for intel, it will be me doing what I have on the day.

Lots of friends up here and 2 of my athletes racing so it shall be a "party" for sure!   Post race even better... 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Magic at the gas station

I have noticed that when my legs are tired or the ride is really hard my $ spend at the gas station stops goes up.  I carry enough nutrition for whatever ride length I am doing - calories that is and plan to stop to fill up with liquids.    When things are going well I am in and out filling up with water and usually a Red Bull or Rockstar with caffeine for the longer rides.  I carry the RightStuff for sodium and I am good to go.

But when I am dying struggling, not hitting the watts  and have calibrated my power meter 5 times  I start to think that there is some magic leg mojo in the convenience store.  Maybe it it taking advantage of the 2 for $4 on the Rockstar's, more caffeine will help.  Or maybe the calories I have is not right.  Today I had 2x Glukos Energy bars (which they have discontinued??WFT)  , a Lara Bar,  Phive bar,  and an RX Bar - so a pocket full of good clean energy.  


But at 3:30 into the ride the watts were not coming and I was cursing Mike Ricci dying...so I stopped at the San Elijo mobile and went "shopping"  $7 later and bag of Frito's, Organic Gummy Bears and Red Bull Purple Edition.  I sat down and had chat with myself about the remainder of the ride.  With all that sugar and salt ( no I did not finish the bags) and caffeine I had #noexcuses and hit that last 20 min interval spot on (almost)   From there it was about getting home and at then I started to think about the 1 hour run OTB.

And before I get the "must be nice to ride mid-week" " you are so lucky you don't have a real job" comments......

1- I have 2 "real" jobs they just have flexible hours - I was up at 4am on a conference call with a client in London and will be working well into the evening
2- this is the USA we all have a  CHOICE.  20 years ago I had a "corporate" job working 8-6 or sometimes longer, entertaining in the evening and traveling and I made a change to I could still work the corporate job but from home.  After a few years of that I started seeking out ways to make a living and set my own schedule.   It too research, planning and a giant risk of walking away from a salary/benefits etc.   I built the business, lived off savings and now have a pretty sweet life.

My point is....if you want a flexible schedule- make it happen, don't spend your energy telling others "it's not fair" 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Prioritizing your races

I was speaking with a prospective athlete today and one of his major frustrations is that he does not feel he races to his potential. He trains really hard but comes up short.  This is an issue for many and there is not likely an easy answer but as we delved further into the conversation I learned he ran 1/2 Marathon the week before Oceanside 70.3,  6 days later did a 17 mile run as the final long run for Boston and then ran Boston.   He is 50 and that is important as a 24 yo could likely pull this off well.

I asked him to prioritize the events and he said both Oceanside and Boston were A races- tricky yes but definitely doable with the right ramp up, rest and race prep.  When I asked about the 1/2 M 6 days before Oceanside, it was a "social thing" and the 17 miler " the running group was doing it"  (Right but did the running group just race a 70.3?)

My point is I see this a lot.... wanting to do it all and wondering why you are not fresh on race day.  If your goals are to collect medals and hoodies- then fantastic!  If your goals are to peak for races then it takes planning (ideally with a coach) and sometimes saying NO to all the fun-  you can do your workout and support your friends at the finish line or post race gathering.  

I realize we are not professionals but jumping into every race is not the way to race to your potential.  Following a marathon training plan while training for triathlon does not work either, that plan does not take into account swimming and biking.

 Planning a race season is a key part of coaching.  I do support A/B/C races but they need to be timed well and fit into the plan to peak for your A race.

If you jump into any and all races- good on ya' but please don't then complain how "slow you are" or that you are injured.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Skipping a workout

Seriously it feels like this sometimes 
Don't' skip it!  End of blog post...

In all seriousness,  the question of when to skip or bag a workout comes up for me as a coach with my athletes and presented it to myself today for me as an athlete.

There maybe valid reason, work emergency, family emergency - you get the point emergency that prevents you from being able to do the workout.  If that is the case you skip it and handle the emergency.  But I challenge you to decide is it really an emergency or do you really just not want to do the workout?  Could you make it happen  or are you missing it due to poor planning?   This is one of the reasons I am a big advocate of training first thing in the AM, less excuses for not being able to get it done.  Really the only excuse is you, too tired, wanting to sleep etc-  And if that is the case, then look at the night before?  No clear answer here just thoughts....

The other reason is you are tired, sore, not motivated...this is when you need to start the workout and give it a solid go.   If after 10 minutes you are still not feeling it, give it another 10 min to warm up and see how you are. When we are fatigued we often need a longer warm up.  Then start the first interval/set etc.  If your body is simply not responding I like to encourage my athletes to go by feel and get it done, ignore the numbers and go by effort.   But if it is that occasion, not regularly, but you just cannot get it done then stop or do an ez swim/spin/run.  Give it some thought and communicate with your coach if you have one, if you don't have one - this is one of the times a coach is invaluable. Did you get enough sleep, food etc-    Once you tank the workout, address it and move on.   Don't just try it again the next day, unless you coach moves it to another day, which I  may do depending on the reason the athlete skipped it.   The moral here is you cannot just skip the workouts you hate and hope the will go away.

For me today...I am tired, not sure why this tired as I have been sleeping well and think I am recovered from Oceanside.  Tue was a tough bike day + strength and Wed was a long bike/run day and today I am sore and tired.  Swim was a struggle, when I can barely make base I know I am in trouble.  Post swim I fueled and hydrated well and hopped on the trainer.  5 min, 10 min and legs are heavy, slow and not responsive.  Give the intervals a go and just was not happening....after 10 min of effort I made the call to put on an episode of 24 and enter and just ride for an hour.    We will see what MY coach says but I know my body well enough to know this was the right call for today.
Zwift

Looking at the weekend of solid training I am planning for the execution of those workouts!


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Hometown racing




Even though Oceanside 70.3 is not the 1st race of the season it is the first big race of the season in N America and always very competitive. With over 3400 registered it is a biggie with a deep pro and AG field alike. 

The big change this year was a rolling self seeded swim start.  Gotta love Ironman for pimping how great this was going to be...safer, calmer and better swim for all.  Why is Ironman continually looking to make races easier?  AG wave starts is what I know and is how we race against each other.  With the rolling start and a tracker that works 50 11% of the time, it is impossible to know where your competition is.  Why is it that Avocado 1/2 marathon can text out splits along the way and have finishing time/place in seconds but Ironman only shows splits in kilometers and then completely shut down. Really all I can say is WTF!  Where does the money go?  With the race mostly run by volunteers I am flummoxed. How about a tracking system that works...please.  I am sure I am the first one to complain about this system.... LOL

As you can tell, not a fan of the rolling start.  Last I checked this is a race and thus racing would mean you need to have your competitors starting at the same time.  And I also understand not everyone is racing so how do they "appease" the masses...rolling start I suppose.  I am curious if you did race, what do you think?  Like it ? Love it?   Would love to hear.   

Have no idea what I am talking about, stop reading this post as it is very triathlon focused. 



Swim...lined up early as usual in the cold- at 48 degrees with chilly wind it was a mass of shivering vertical seals.   I was thankful to start within the first few minutes and am even more thankful to HUUB who finally make a wetsuit for swimmers.  So flexible in the shoulders and armpits it is like swimming in a sleeveless-  really!   fellow swimmers who hate wetsuits- check this out-  LOVE it.  And a quick release zipper to boot, not that you saw that  in my transition time. The run out of the swim and into transition was easily .3 of a mile, on asphalt, no carpet, thank you Ironman for cutting beginning to toughen up my feet.   My swim was not epically faster 27:29 but I will take it.   I was eager to see my "lightning" fast transitions as i had practiced, however practicing in your driveway when it is 70 degrees is quite different than in 50 degrees with a HR of 170. Next time- do a few hill repeats, in your wetsuit, put hands in ice water for a minute an then try the transition.  My fluid, speedy transition included some hopping, inadvertent clapping or so it appeared as I tried to buckle my helmet and a few F bombs for color. 
Super proud of Cecily for a solid race

Onto the bike shivering, shaking and thinking is this going to be St George all over again.  Really, how stupid am I ? But there was no storm rolling in and it did warm up.  I changed up my nutrition well in advance of the race, the night before, and went with 2 bottles of Glukos liquid and 2x Glukos bars.  Added water at each aid station for a total of 115 oz fluid in 2:45:42.  Successfully peed 3 times on the bike- lots of fluids and cold temp... I was definitely hydrated.  Anyone want to steal my bike now?  Or borrow my shoes?  In 8 years of this race I always ride 2:41-2:48 except for the first year on my road bike the clip on aero bars and the year I was still learning... so right in the middle.  Loved the bike- felt great, had a ton of fun and the last 10 miles were spot on with power and my energy was good!  I was loving racing, which is not always the case.  My PSA for this last 10 miles....I saw at least 5 people riding on $8000+ bikes with race wheel and an aero helmet sitting upright?  All the money "invested" lost by not taking advantage of riding aero. 

Onto the run, after the million mile transition, with what I call an aggressive terrifying run pace strategy, texted to me from Coach Mike  I stuck to the plan, for 4 miles.  I decided to keep the pace steady because I could not go any faster to ensure a solid finish.  At the turn around I was hurting yes but feeling strong and knew I could hold the pace or close to it.  

With the accurate data, said no one, I did not  know what my actual lead was. At one point John said 12 min and then he said keep the pace you should be fine.  Um big difference. Here is the deal- it's race, dig deep and leave it all on the course.   The hometown race is the best on the run, there was support on 90% of the run and even on some of the far away places.  A few fellow triathletes who were not racing found ideal spots to hang out - Becky, Darcy/Leah and Maureen were in key spots- thanks for supporting us out there. The middle of the run course is awesome- so many familiar faces, tri clubbers etc that it's  enough to take some of the pain away.  

With 6 of my teammates racing in our badass Betty Design kits there was a lot of pink on the course. We asked for visible kits and we got the for sure. Thank you Kristin Mayer for the exceptional design!   It was great to see so many friends and competitors on the course as well and my athlete too.  A coaches dream is racing along side someone you coach.

So it was a literal win for me- winning the AG and finally, finally running well again. Not my best but I am back in the zip code of respectable running with a 1:45:55.    And a bigger breakthrough is that I was able to pee while running...TMI for the non triathlete crowd (who will quit reading now if you did not at the earlier warning) but that was epic!  Don't lose a second!  Hey wanna borrow my running shoes?  

I am still a bit over the moon and sad the day is over.... we  ate and drank the night of the race and it was a blast.... I was stiff and sore but feeling ready to get after it again now.   

Thank you John for still being my #1 fan and for being all over the race course as usual!   Mike for the coaching, guidance and friendship.  Skip and Nytro for keeping this amazing team.  Digging my new Smith Podium TT helmet - cannot say it looks cool but it feels light and no headache (which I usually get).

On we go to Ironman Boulder with a stop in Santa Rosa for another 70.3,