Firstly, i would just like to say that my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to those lives affected by the Boston Bombings on Monday. I am heartbroken and sickened someone would do that, and pray that God would comfort all those involved the way i know only He can.
With that being said,i will be embracing every moment with loved ones while trying to live life fully, with hapiness and while continuing to pursue my role and dream that God has set before me. Life is short. Do what you love, what makes you come alive, and puts you in a position to love and serve others.
Secondly i would really like to Thank all of my 2013 Sponsors that allow me to pursue my dream while hopefully inspiring others to do the same in the process. Tri4Him being my title sponsor once again which allows me to outwardly proclaim my Love for Jesus and drive for racing. Disclaimer - it may come across "Nascar" at times as i mention my sponsors throughtout the blog, but without them, all this wouldn't be possible. I am very fortunate to have the support of many great companies with great products and people that out of kindness have dedicated their time and expertise to keep me on this path. It is a slow moving one, but it is moving forward, as i continue to realize that continued hard work but more importantly patience is required in this sport. The Last few years i have tried to force fitness and results, trained or raced too much, finding myself injured or sick early on in the season just as things were progressing. With the guidance of my coach Jeff Booher and the Tridot training system, we are taking things slow this year, building fitness little by little and racing less with the goal of being as fully prepared and healthy as i can be for every start line. Next up is Ironman Texas and i am very excited to finally and hopefully toe the line at an Ironman prepared, uninjured and not on a last minute excited whim. 4 weeks to go....
So.. back to Galveston 70.3, the first race of the 2013 season. I have been training a little less but very purposefully and with more intensity and consistency than ever before so i was excited to see what kind of results that would bring. Jeff always lays out a pacing plan for me and guesses what my splits would be based on fitness,and besides the swim being slower he was pretty much spot on as usual. We were able to pull off a 4 min 70.3 PR and a 17 min improvement from this race last year, so got to be happy with that.
Swim - 31:45 ( Wore my new Xterra Vendetta wetsuit - the most comfortable and flexible wetsuit i have ever worn )
My goal for the swim was to try find some midpack feet and stay on them. Unfortunately the front and mid pack disappeared pretty quickly and i found myself leading a little pack. The encouraging thing about that was that i knew there were girls behind me. The Frustrating part was that tap tap tap on the toes i had for the next 1200 m as well as knowing i was enabling them to an easier or faster swim than they would have had. At about 1200 m in i had caught up to someone infront of me and instead of swimming past them i decided to take a little break and stay on their feet for a while. The bad news is once i did that, the girls behind me decided that the new pace was too slow and went on ahead, 2ndly this pair of feet could not swim a straight line so i found myself zigzagging for a few minutes until i decided to swim and catch up to the group that had just passed us. I stayed on their feet and felt i could have swum passed them again but then i would be just wasting unnecessary energy for the last 400m while i make their swim easier once again. So i decided to stay put and cruise into shore with them. The swim split ended up being slower than Jeff and I predicted but i wasnt too worried since i had come out of the water with a strong group of cyclists that i could keep my sights on and pace off of for the bike portion.
Bike - 2:25
Grabbed my Blue Triad SL bike, Rudy Project Wingspan Helmet and sunglasses and bolted out of transition with the group. I started the bike with Jessica Jacobs, Stephanie Jones and i knew Jennie Hansen was right behind me. All of the girls i had raced with before and knew were strong cyclists. I found myself riding the 28 miles to the turn around about 50ft behind Stephanie who seemed to be keeping the same distance behind Jessica. Score. I worked that first part of the bike around just trying to keep the same distance, so if they sped up, i did, if they grabbed for nutrition and slowed down, so did i. I must say, a super fun way to race since in the past it is usually been me, solo, cycling way to hard trying to play catch up from the swim. I had two packs of Lemon Generation Ucan
( find out more here - http://generationucan.com/blog/3-26-2013-pro-triathlete-how-she-uses-ucan/ )in a bottle and i have to say it made a huge difference to have to only reach down and take a big sip 2-3 times during the ride as compared to trying to open and gulp down a gel packet every 20 min. With that being said, I could just stay in aero on my ISM Breakaway saddle as i sipped my 50 oz an hour out of my Torhans Hydration system. I continued to take 2 Saltstick every 15-20 min or so and depending on if i felt a cramp coming up, which i did a few times in the hands and quads and would proceed to pop 1 or 2 more.
We hit the Turn around at 1:10 with most of the womens pack just right ahead of us, and i fully expected ( dont know why in hindsight ) that we would have a a bit of a tailwind and would just cruise coming home. Not so, and it honestly took the wind out of my sails a little bit. Before i knew it both jessica and Stephanie were making there way down the road well over 100 then 200 ft away from me. My next goal became to try and catch the rest of the field just ahead of my but to also not let Jennie pass me, who was about 200 ft behind me at the turn around. I was able to hold her off until we had about 8 miles to go, where she then whizzed by me saying some words of encouragement. A brief moment of frustration was followed by a 2nd wind as i just focused on keeping her in my sights as i passed 3 girls on the homestretch.
Run - 1:35
As i got off the bike, i found about 5 girls in transition just starting their run. I was able to beat one or two out of transition due to the fact that i dont have to wear socks with my Karhu Flow Lights(which i cant speak highly enough of - awesome shoes and wish i had found them earlier ). I grabbed my Go Mitch Go hat, race belt and shot flask of Berry Ucan and headed out of transition. Jeff and Steve let me know that there was another small group of girls about 2 min up. It was awesome to hear how close i was but also frustrating to watch them all run away from me immediately as i stuck to my pacing plan that Jeff had given me. Watching 7:15-20's tick off on my Soleus watch was unfortunately alot slower than i would have liked to be racing at but i knew that it was in line with my current run fitness. That and my lower back was hurting a lot due to being in aero position for 56 miles, So 7:15's was really all i was capable of at the time. the Last few years at this race i always start out a little too fast and end up paying for it later in the run as the heat, humidity and fatigue kick in, and knew i didnt want to make that mistake again. The only hope of me getting back in the race was hoping i could have a serious negative split as the back released ( 8 miles later ) and some of the girls up ahead would make the same mistake i have made in the past ( not that you ever want to wish that on anyone, but in this situation, you kinda do ). But it wasn't so. They all had very impressive runs, majority at 1:22-1:25's, which seems to be the new standard. It's great to be in the mix and in contention for a podium position off the bike, but not so great if you can't back it up with a great run. We are heading in that direction as long as i have no injury set backs and able to stay consistent for a good period of time.
Also a big congratulations to athletes i coach through the Tridot System, Ashley Andy( finishing her first 70.3 ), Robin Campbell (fantastic, strong race ) , Troy Bertram, Brian Austin and Adrian Barrosa ( fast guys, all with big PR's ).
A Big thank you for all those out on the course that cheered me on out there, while i may not have showed it at the time, i was really appreciative for all the support and it goes along way to keep me plugging away. Hope to see you all at Ironman Texas.
Sponsors not mentioned in above post:
Thank you to Jack and Adams and their amazing staff for getting my bike race ready and for their continued support.
Team Beef for their amazing support. I am a big Beef Advocate and can attest to its health and welness benefits while relying on it to keep me fueled, recovered and topped off with vitamins and minerals.
Boundless Nutrition for keeping me topped off with their gluten free and omega 3 infused bars and cookies. They are delicious, super healthy and light on the stomach if you havent tried one.
Ibike Powermeters - Training with power was all i needed to keep me motivated throughout the off season and key in my bike improvement. A much needed investment for anyone who wants to get faster on the bike.
110% for their compression gear.To be able to compress and ice at the same time while going about my day is just plain genius.
Pure Austin Gym, Healthy chocolate, Core Power, Genuine Innovations, Gemini Lights - Thank you .