Monday, May 31, 2010

Cap Tex Tri Race Report

Why do we sign up for these things again .... ?

Today i definately asked myself that question many times. i might have prepared for the answer to this had i known that the conditions would affect me the way they did, and had i known that for the whole race i was going to feel like i had just been hit by a bus or had just fallen off my bike teaching a T3 cycle class :) ( yes that did happen, dont laugh too loud )

I had a great pre race warm up yesterday, a ok nights rest after the endless hours of visualizing , which i honestly wish that i had not learnt that skill at all since it seems like it is a neverending story that goes on in my head. But woke up ready to go and in good spirits.

Today my goal was to have fun, be encouraging , excited and kind to others and just trust that all my hard training would show up for me and see what happens. I also wanted to race for Steve's Aunt Nelda , who raised him and is 80 ( dont let that fool you , she is sharper than i am now, and could ever wish to be ) , who came down from San antonio with Steve's cousin and their daughter to watch me race for the first time. She is one of those woman who brings out the best in you , and also shows you the impact that someone can make on anothers life. i remember the first time i met her, after Steve has been gloating about her for ages, i was silent all the way home, just still trying to take it in and feeling like i had this spark relighted in me .. so definatley a good reason to race hard..

Funny thing is - i almost crashed into them as i was taking a turn on my bike. that would have sucked..

I was excited. i felt ready , i have had some great races and some amazing workouts recently for me to feel really confident going in. i also had this new nutrition plan that would hopefully stop me from cramping and give me the energy i needed.


Swim i thought went really well. I got totally banged around by the boys for about 200 m. i remember getting hit in the jaw, and thinking, wow - thats a first. but then i got into a nice little pack for nearly all the swim. i was always behind someone or right next to someone, since i read in the latest Triathlon magazine that being a bit back and next to someone was the better draft zone. I was working as hard as i could, knowing that i dont have much time to make up the swim deficit on the collegiate swimmers ahead of me, and i think this is the main reason i officially dont think olympic distance is for me.. the swim to bike ratio is not in my favor, unlike the 70.3 distance. Got out in 29 min .. ouch.. and i heard Steve shout 6 min back.. holy cow. i am going to have to book it..


was pretty good. i hate having to take my wetsuit off by myself, and usually fumble quite a bit, but this time it went off smoother than usual. the running with the bike was another story. we had to go over all these wood chips and my bike hit something and i lost grip and almost fell face down, but thanks to my "tiger like reflexes".. just kidding. i was able to recover.

Steve told me that as soon as we were mounting bike, two guys behind me did the "flying squirrel " onto their bikes, and then collided into each other - must have been quite a sight, but they missed me by inches.. phew..


Well, i was hoping to really get after it , but right off the bat, it was bbaaaaddd... my legs felt like bricks and if i had a heartrate monitor on , i think it would have shown 100 percent max , and i was struggling to breath to top it. when i tried to stand and sprint, there was nothing. so to my dismay, all the hills and turns i had to sit up and pedal as if i was on a paper route.

The encouraging thing was that i was going back and forth with some guys from the elite wave, and ended up dropping them, aswell as the fact that it looked like i was dropping the gals behind me aswell as catching the two infront of me. yes the ones 6 and 4 min out infront.

I finally caught Suzanne , who i know is a strong cyclist , so that gave me a glimmer of hope. now i was in 2nd. i remember passing her and instead of trying to increase the gap and keep pushing , i backed way down, just to try and recover, as if i had it now and i was going to lose her. but right as i let off , there she came again and tucked infront of me. i knew i had to suck it up and really pass her now on this 2nd attempt , and i did , right before the big turnaround on 1st street. I had so much speed going into that turn that my tire skidded and i missed the fence by inches hearing all the gasps from the sideline. what i sight that would have been. nevertheless , as that happened and i was digging myself out of the back corner, Suzanne had snaked in and passed me again with a smooth little inside turn..

right after that , i passed her up again, and was able to stay infront for the final loop . i think at this point we were stil 3 min behind the leader. and no one close to us from behind. so we were racing for 2nd and 3rd.

The last few races, i have started the run and felt great, legs were there, and i was composed.

This race didnt happen like that. as i got off the bike, i knew it was going to be a long day since i was struggling to run through transition.

when the run started , i had no idea how i was going to make it to the end. not good thoughts to have when starting a 10k run. i was immediately looking for shade that i could go and collapse under and call it a day.. i was not ready to run today. Suzanne and i ran a mile together,until she left me and i had no response. my first thought was Dang - i had no idea she could run like that, but also thinking, i must be going at a snails pace. my 2nd thought was -i'm done. time to lay down on the side of the road and get wheeled out of here. i can honestly say that i had the most negative self talk i have ever had in my head . ever. and i was starting to feel really dissapointed with myself. Nevertheless, i put one foot infront of the other, just knowing i will get to the end eventually and knowing that i would be more disappointed with myself if i had to quit for the first time, especially when i am coming in 3rd in a big race. Crossing the bridge for the first time i actually got sick on the side of the road, i kept running, then i really wanted to stop. But then i thought of Aunt Nelda and the rest of the family all here to cheer me on, i couldnt quit. not today..

to finish it off, Suzanne ended up dropping out, with about 1.5 miles to go, while i was concerned for her , i knew that if she was hurting , it was ok for me to feel as bad as i did, and so just kept moving foward , determined to finish, and now i was in 2nd. Right as we were about to turn for the straight away on BSprings and Riverside. Leslie passes me with a sounded like a grunt but i think was a c'mon to me. Easy for her to say, as she looked like she was floating across the road, and my feet were getting deeper into the cement. i had played out this moment in my mind and how i was going to respond and kick it in if it had to come down to this, but my mind would not let me put any of that "wishful thinking " into action..

So ran in 30 sec behind Leslie, for a 3rd place finish..

I thought , i did it !! i got my pro card. i was ecstatic. and i was super proud and happy for Leslie too. we had both done it .. We sat and waited to see if any age groupers had bettered our times.

30 min - none , 1 hour - not so far, i thought it was done. Hammer ( Scott H ) then came over to me and said , i think someone just went 2:16 which beats our times.. no........
went to go and check.. it was true. i was out of top 3 .. and i wont deny it , that sucked.

to feel as if i had done it, and go through all the emotions, and then lose it, and go through all those emotions. yes, i do realise that me just sneaking in at 3rd today with a terrible race, means i really shouldnt be pro anyway, but to have a big dream accomplished and then lose it like that . well just plain sucks.. i really wish that those gals had entered the open wave so that i could have known that i was going to be sprinting in for the actual 3rd place. dont know if that would have changed anything, but i would like to think it might have...

anyway, Kansas 70.3 on Sunday. lets try again...i will be hoping to report that i didnt cramp...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nutrition - when you think you know what you are doing...

I am going to go ahead and start with saying that i feel i have a good grasp of everday nutrition , but when it comes to eating for endurance events - i had no idea ....

Here is my 2 cents in everday nutrition to start and what i have learnt....

With everyday nutrition and when it comes to general weightloss ,most of us all know what to do in order to lose those unwanted pounds, it is doing it that is the hard part. I feel i have found the key for me. It was finding the right motivation !! Running is SOOOOO much easier !! And i am doing this to be more competitive and faster, and not to fit back in those skinny jeans which i have kept in your closet since high school.

Being 13 lbs heavier just 4 months ago, and having trained at that weight compared to now burned fresh in my memory. i know i dont want to go back there. As the weight starts to come off and you feel lighter and quicker, and workouts become easier not to mention not injuring myself, it is much easier to continue on the weightloss plan then it ever was to start in the first place. when you feel blah, it is hard to be gung ho about being diligent with eating well and exercising . When you feel great, it is easy. But honestly it only takes a week or two of feeling on the fence before it all clicks and becomes easy. yes, skipping the snacks you eat every night like clockwork become a distant memory.

So for all those on this everlasting struggle ( it seems ) , i encourage you to A -find the right motivation for you , just trying to look good doesnt usually work - a goal to be a better athlete and PR on that next race you do,might work , so give that thought process a try.
Why this worked for me is because when i am just trying to lose weight to be skinnier i tend to take on all these crazy diets. the no carb one is a good example. All of a sudden you have this crazy obsession with food and that is all you can think of because you are worrying about not being able to eat the bun of your burger.

When you are eating better to perform better. You cant cut out a certain type of food. your body needs it to function. The mindset of FOOD = FUEL and that is it, is going to help you make the right choices everyday. I eat so that i can fuel for my workout , then recover for my workout. If i know something is going to make me feel blah for a later workout or tomorrows workout, i dont eat it. enough said..

Another thing i have found is that cutting out my favorite foods that are not good for me, is the only way to go. You lose the taste for that food after a week or so, and all of a sudden your favorite treat is oatmeal and fruit instead of ice cream. We are creatures of habit , and whatever you eat day after day , you will end up craving. so give it up already. If i can give up chocolate and bread , which i honestly thought i would stop breathing without, so can you ...

Onto the nutrition, i thought i knew about, but really didnt - FUELING DURING ENDURANCE TRAINING AND EVENTS ...

Go see a good sports nutrionist - NOW .
I have worked my butt off to go into big races, and then blow up because of stupid nutrition issues. Think about all the sweat and tears, early mornings, early evenings, hard workouts till you want to puke, missed nights on 6th street ;) with your friends. All to be gone in the blink of an eye because you didnt nail nutrition. I have learnt that not only what i do on race day , but everyday until race day - matters !! yes , every morsel. Now i realise all of you dont want to be professional athletes, but honestly, if you are investing as much time and money as you are getting to that ironman race at the end of the season, why not eat right and make the whole process even easier on yourself.

But seriously, go found out how many calories and how much sodium you need to train and race efficiently.. and say hello to PR"s galore.. i have no doubt. Just from training on this new nutrition plan, i feel so much better, and have been able to push myself harder and longer to reach a new level.. and this is only week 1. world watch out ;)....

I am doing my first race this monday , with the correct nutrition and i will let you know how that goes but i feel really good about it . i can't believe that i have done as many races as i have, weekend after weekend, no joke, on water alone.. Be curious how it will feel not to suffer like i have in the past.

Nutritionist in Austin i would suggest :
Meredith Terranova ( endurance athlete know all and my nutritionist )

Christine Marquette - ( if you want to eat all natural all the time, have food allergies, and are vegeterian )

Jess Kolko - T3 nutritionist - , new to the nutritionist scene but sure to be a headliner soon.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lonestar 70.3 race report - warning - long again

A few good quotes that were in my mind going into this race :
As Sam Wariner quoted to me“ I was born to be an athlete, this is all I know “ .
Another quote that my husband’s good friend , Chad sent – Don’t try to please other people, do what makes you come fully alive. The world needs people that come fully alive”
“ I don’t want to be standing at heavens doors and tell God that I didn’t use up all the talent that He blessed me with “
The reason I got into triathlon is because I feel that God has led me to be doing this and has opened every door possible. I am here to bring Him glory and point people to him – through my actions , my attitude, and trying tolove on people .
I feel I didn’t do this as best as I could this weekend.
My attitude – I feel ,was not the best. I was so self focused and then disappointed that I didn’t realize all those around me, some that had not even been able to finish the race , had a bad race, etc. and here I was complaining because I was leading then lost , yet set a personal best time of 4:57 , which most people dream of breaking 5 hours.
I was really hard on myself after the race, yes, tears and all, and I am sure to many out there, it seemed as if this is all that mattered to me, etc. yes, I am hard on myself when I don’t achieve my goals but personally I think this is what make me work so hard and makes me the athlete I am .
So ,me laying this all out there for you all to see , is because I need some accountability with my friends and fellow triathletes. If anyone sees me like this again, slap me upside the head. Please !
My goal for the rest of the year – to do what God has gifted me to do in an attitude of gratitude that I am able to race and be out there with all my friends. And my focus needs to be on others , not myself. That is what brings the most joy ! truly !! In the past when I have had down times, the first advice I get given is that I need to go and do something for someone else and get out of myself. And it works everytime.
Now to the race if you are still reading after all that rambling……
So the mindset from my coach Siri, was to have no expectations and just try my best. I don’t know if this mindset worked for me. Last year I went into each race wanting to win and by a lot, and mostly I did, and I had that fire that I felt was missing from the race. It was almost as if I was my best friend out there saying “ you are doing great, so proud of you “ when really what I needed to hear was “ get your butt up to the front and win this thing” …
Swim –
The bay, the wind , the speedboats going by made for really choppy water. I started out in front of the pack next to Carla Uribe, who I know is an strong swimmer. I thought with all the time in the water and with my improvement on my times in the pool ,that I would be able to stick with her, but I unfortunately found out that no matter how fast I am in the pool , if I cant swim in open water and sight properly, I am still going to be slow. So note to self – more open water swimming and learn to sight. Immediately once the gun went off I was probably in the front pack for 50 m before I lost any feet that were in front of me. And then if you can believe it, I swam completely solo for the rest of the way. The good news is I swam straight in line with buoys and most people were getting pushed too far to the right because of the current and waves. I swam as hard I could for that day ( again that “kind” voice was holding me back a little knowing I had a long day ahead ) , so it was really about at 80 %.
Came out of the water in 35 min or so . Brutally slow . But I didn’t let that get me upset since I had that feeling that everyone had a bad swim because of the conditions. And I was being my “best friend “,remember .
Bike –
Got out of T1 quickly and started passing people immediately on the bike. There was some head and side wind going out , but not too bad. I was still holding around 21 mph. My hope was too average out around 22 or 23 mph, so I was thinking that on the way back with some tail wind , I would make that up .
After the turn around .Tailwind ? Where had it gone ?? so I was averaging about the same on the turnaround. I was thinking with this slow bike I was going to start getting passed up, but didn’t , so everyone must have been having a hard time out there? I felt pretty good about that coming into T2 but had no idea how many gals were still in front of me because I didn’t have Steve to call that out like he usually does as I come out of T1. I usually like to know how many girls are in front of me out of the water So I know how many I need to pass on the bike, which gives me that extra motivation.
I had taking in my nutrition religiously so that I would be ok for the run . I had Lime Puresport and Carbo Pro mix with Nuun for some extra electrolytes, and then I was taking in salt stick tablets every 20 min. The goal for this race was to not cramp up like I did in Longhorn 70.3 last year.
I wanted to push and go harder on the bike, but I had something holding me back. I kept on having this fight in my head – do I hammer the bike – my strength, or be conservative because i kept on thinking that I still had to run 13.1 miles and that is where it will be won. The second thought won and I kept it rather conservative on the bike. I think it was also this voice in my head being kind to me and saying just to try my best, instead of it saying “go, go , go, no matter what it takes “
So into t2 I come, no cramps so far, except for some minor hand cramps I had throughout which was followed by me popping some salt.
Got to the end of the bike and didn’t take my shoes off on the bike as usual , I bent down to try but felt myself starting to cramp up in my back – oh no.. so I just left the shoes on , flaps open.
I got off and ran with them as fast as I can – which was slow. Next time I have to get those shoes off no matter what .
Racked my bike , grabbed a gu and one more salt tablet and took those immediately as I got water heading out for the run.
I heard Logan on the microphone saying that I was the 3rd age grouper to head out on the run. And I could see two woman just 100 meters in front of me, and they were moving slowly. I passed the first girl that was in my age group at the first corner, and I felt effortless. All the t3ers were on the side screaming and all excited. i was going to do this. By the next turn I had already put 100 meters on her and was feeling good. The next lady had left in the wave in front of us and I passed her at about mile 1. When I looked down at my watch to see the mile 1 split. 6:20 . whoa – I thought. Seriously ?I thought I was running 7:15’s at best .I got so excited. Right after the first water stop I could feel my quads starting to cramp up . please ,please ,…no…. I kept on, just not picking my legs up like I was for the first mile. Mile 2 – 6:35 and feeling great except for those quads which I could feel tighten every step of the way.
Still holding the lead, I could see one girl closing in. Mile 3, 4, 5 I checked my watch. Was holding 7min miles all the way, which I could not believe because I was really feeling my quads now, knowing that at any moment it would lock up. I kept my steps small and short , so that I would not encourage a full blown cramp. At Around mile 5, I finally got passed up by girl 1 .crap …..
I kept on thinking , pick It up , you are not working hard enough! Especially since I really wasn’t breathing hard. So I tried to surge and go harder but the body would not respond at all. I was starting to feel cramps in my feet and at one point my left foot locked up and I hobbled for a few steps until it released again. This happened a few times after that . I got water and Gatorade at every stop, but nothing was helping, I was starting to fade ,and fast, and there was nothing I could do about it . My mind wanted to go harder, but my body was not agreeing.
Right at the end of the 3rd lap and 4 miles to go , 2 more girls passed me , I wanted to cry right then . I was out of the “top 3 – pro qualification”. I tried to put on a surge and stay close to girl number 3 , but that is when full on cramps started happening. My surge ended up with me having to back way down. I was going to stop and stretch but I really didn’t want to walk so I kept on with a slow crawl.
Last lap to go, and I was slow close. Still in 4that this point. I was praying that I could somehow pick it up and selfishly I was praying that someone ahead of me had blown up. Both didn’t happen. I ended up getting passed by two more girls with about a mile to go. At this point I looked at my watch once more as the new goal was to break the 5 hour mark that everyone talks about breaking. Please let me at least do that. I was able to hold steady and deliriously picked it up for the last half a mile. I remember thinking how ridiculous I must look because my head and arms were flailing everywhere as I ran then hobbled because a cramp would overcome me, then run into the end.
4:57 … so close yet so far. A 4:48 would have got me top 3. 9 min !! - A little harder on the bike , a steady pace on the run with no cramps and I would have had it..thats what I am telling myself anyway.. Next time
I couldn’t Thank to Lindsey Holtkamp ( my Steve replacement as she put it ) for taking care of me as I was in the medical tent for 2 iv’s and hyperthermia( No wonder I couldn’t pick it up during the run) She held my hand , as I am seriously scared of needles , and she really went above and beyond to be kind and loving as I was beating myself up over the race.
Thanks to Matt connor for speaking some truth into me as I lay there with tears in my eyes, Phil for trying to stretch me out before he carried me over to the medic tent. Kelly for getting my bike when I couldn’t walk. And Jennifer for being the driver to and from Galveston , and for the great conversations we had.
Thanks to Red licorice events, jack and adams, under armour,Puresport, Sweet leaf tea, and T3 and all the teammates, and of course my husband who keeps on believing in me and supporting me.