Saturday, March 21, 2015

Icebreaker 2015 Race Report

First race of the year!  What can I say?  I love this race!  It is a classic and it is one of the few on my yearly "must do" list.  This is my 4th year back and it didn't disappoint.  As I have said before, this is a great blow off the cobwebs race, and a great way to start the season.

Some of my new friends and team mates with Salt Lake Tri Club

I insisted on getting down to the race as early as possible even though my tri club had priority racking.  I got things all set up then touched base with my friend Alicia, who is back for her second year.  A year ago this was her first ever triathlon, so it was fun to have her back.  I set up my stuff, visited with team mates, and got to know some new people.  We then attended the pre-race meeting where the race director Aaron even gave me a shout out wishing me good luck in my first Ironman!  How cool is that??

Uh.  I hate the "fresh out of the pool" pics

This is a 300 meter pool swim, in an Olympic size pool.  It is time trial start with a serpentine style swim.  It works beautifully, especially when people seed themselves correctly, which for the most part, they do.  While I was waiting in line for my start a guy behind me asked me about my new watch.  I told him I had it a week and for the most part I like it.  He asked me if I had raced with it before and I told him no.  He looked at how I set it up and fixed a few things for me, that would have really thrown me off today!  So nice of him!  By the time I was done with the watch set up stuff, it was time for me to jump in the water.  It was a nice smooth start and I was off! I was able to keep a good pace, passed one person and got passed by one other.  That is a good sign I seeded myself just right.  My pool time was 6:28, a 2 second improvement from last year.  It is good to note that the swim time includes about a 100 yard run from the actual edge of the pool to the gate of T1.

I tried something new today in regards to racing, knowing that it may bite me in the butt, however, it was worth a try to me as I wanted to shave off any seconds I could from my race.  I decided to go sockless. It really was a snap to get my shoes on, my helmet and glasses and be on my way.  T1 final time was 1:06.  Not bad, but not as fast I was hoping.

I clipped in much easier than last year and was on my way.  I immediately noticed I could feel a breeze on me.  Funny the things you notice on the bike when you have been on your trainer all winter! I went down the hill and was passed by a kid, probably about 12 doing a flying mount then putting his shoes on.  WTH?  It was crazy and cool at the same time.  He buzzed off and I didn't see him again.  As soon as you round the corner at the edge of the cemetery, it is just straight up.  The hill is gradual at first, then more steep, then more gradual till its done. I geared down and just tried to find a good rythym.  I was glad to get to the top so I could get into aero and hit a good groove.  It felt good!  I passed many people on the second half of the loop, but also got passed by a certain team who shall remain nameless.  I have no problem with being passed, but 3-4 of these people were straight out classless.  They would speed up behind you, almost buzz you, never saying "ON YOUR LEFT" while they are supposed to, and then one had the nerve to spit after he passed.  Yeah, my shin really needed a bath, Jerk!  This happened with a few of them from the same team.  Way to keep it classy, folks.  I hope they get a penalty some day for it!  I have debated emailing the coach, but probably won't.

The second half of the bike course was much of the same.  I think that I probably did it faster, but who knows.  It was a ton of fun and I LOVED the second half the loop when  you are flying down the Alpine Highway.  Pure fun, especially for this trainer bound gal! I did come into the bike dismount area too fast and had an issue unclipping and fell.  Total rookie mistake.  I felt pretty stupid.  However, it was just a scrape and I recovered as fast as I could, but gladly handed Belle off to a volunteer and prepped for the run. Final Bike Time was 40:22. 

Totally uneventful.  Switched shoes and hats and was off.  I knew if my sockless experiment was going to backfire at any place, it was going to be the run.

I started off feeling pretty good, but I saw a friend who is in my age group leave T2 before I did and I wanted to at least keep her in my sights, so I ran harder than I may have normally. I skipped the aid station both at the T2 exit and the one mid course then even ran that nasty hill.  I won't lie, this run hurt.  I felt so winded because I knew I was pushing harder than I might have normally, but I wanted to see how hard I could push it.  The first half of the run was awful because of the hill.  The second half was more fun, and because it is a down hill as well, I really booked it.  When I turned the corner to the finish I did a full on sprint and finished the run in 28:08.  Meh.  Not thrilled with this at all!

My final race time was 1:17:11.  Dangit!  I missed a PR by 14 seconds.  Not sure what I could have done differently, other than not fall on the bike, but that is it. I really think that in the future I need to work on my run.  It is still my nemesis!!

This is Meagan!  Super cute friend I met at last year's Icebreaker. 


-Short course racing is painful.  I think I really am a distance gal.  I love this race, but sprints are hard!!
- There is some serious talent out there.  F35-39 was the biggest age group of the day.  Last year with my time of 1:16:59 I was on the podium in 3rd.  This year coming in just 17 seconds slower I was #15.  Dang!! 
-Going sockless for short distances is the bomb.  I seriously shaved at least 15-20 seconds off my T1 time. I always struggle with getting socks on wet feet.  It was seriously not an issue at all.

Now just 8 weeks till IMTX!  When you put that into reality, it is only 5-6 weeks of hard training then a taper.  I will be ready if things keep going as they are.  I am way excited to tackle the next few weeks and kick arse in Texas :)

In the meantime, Happy Training and Racing all!

Thursday, March 19, 2015


It's race week people!  I have the Icebreaker Sprint Tri on Saturday.  This is my fourth year doing this race (1 year is was by Women of Steel, the other two Racetri, but exact same course).  I love this race as I always use it as a progress measuring race to see how my winter training has paid off and where I stand.  I have PR'd it every year so far, so let's hope the same holds true this year!

I actually picked up my packet on Tuesday.  They offer packet pick up all week at the local running store, and since we were down there for a funeral, we stopped by to get the packet.  Cool shirts and they showed us the finisher medal....HUGE!  I always love how Racetri outdoes themselves on these things!  It is "just" a sprint, but they always go above and beyond.

My goals are pretty simple...race so hard I puke at the end.  With that being said, I hope that racing in such a manner results in a PR and I would like to qualify again for Age Group Nationals at this one, like I did last year.  Even though I can't attend this year if I did, I just want to be able to say that I did :)  The AG Nationals goal totally depends on who shows up to this thing, but I can hope right?

I really think my niche in racing is for longer distances, because I don't naturally have speed, but I can go on forever at the same pace.  I am definitely a distance gal, but I love a good sprint tri.  In so many ways they are harder than a long distance one!  They hurt more!  My own philosophy is the shorter the distance, the more it should hurt. I really like pushing myself harder.  I have done speed work consistently with all three disciplines as part of my IMTX training, so I am really excited to see how this all plays out. 

In other news, I have had my Garmin 920 for almost a week.  It is so dang cool.  I mean, really.  I never thought I would start using it as an every day watch, but I am.  I love it.  The smart features are awesome.  I love, love, love the Bluetooth capabilities.  The second I hit the stop button on any given work out it is sent directly to my phone and shows up in Garmin Connect and Training Peaks.  So freaking cool.  I also love being able to see who is calling or texting when I am on a ride or run to see if it is important enough to stop, without having to pull my phone out of my pocket to do so.  I will usually only stop for my kids and husband, assuming it is an emergency. It is also ridiculously easy to use, which is helpful for a tech idiot like me.  I am super excited to race with it on Saturday :)

In IMTX news, they have changed the swim start to a rolling start where people self seed by expected finish time.  I am slightly disappointed because I really wanted to experience the mass start at least once.  However, I have done rolling starts at the 70.3s I have done and loved how smooth they are, so no worries.  I am so excited about this I can't stand it!  I was looking at my training schedule in Training Peaks last night and realized that I really only have 5 weeks of hard training left with a 2-3 week taper.  Gulp.  The time has flown so ridiculously fast since I hit the "submit" button on registration I can't believe it! Only 58 Days till race day!  Less than 2 months and just a day over 8 weeks away! 

Happy Training/Racing all!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Every Triathlete Needs an Amazing IronSherpa!

When I was making my decision to register for Ironman Texas, I wouldn't have done so without the full support of my family.  I have read enough and talked to enough people who have trained for an Ironman to know that it is a decision that impacts the entire family.  When I am also a full time teacher, wife and mother, this means that the much of the burden falls on them.  Though my whole family has been supportive and stepped up to the plate, lately I have been extremely grateful for Ken, my IronSherpa, in my Ironman journey.

Ken was immediately on board.  He did think I was crazy (and still does) but he has been beyond supportive.  I told him from Day 1 that Friday nights were just completely off limits until after May 16 because that is my long ride day, and after work, I come home, get on the trainer and pedal away.  He has made sure he is home to take Thing 1 to swim team and then pick him up so my rides aren't interrupted.  He has gone to several events solo on Friday nights that we normally would do together if I wasn't training.  And he has yet to complain!

Ken has also gotten up early on Saturday morning and driven me a half hour away from home and dropped me off for my long runs so I could run a point to point run as I have grown tired of loops and out and back courses.  All the while he is dropping me off early on a Saturday morning, he is also missing his own pick up game of basketball with his friends.  He also knows that by Saturday afternoon and evening, I am pretty wasted from my long ride on Friday night followed by the long run Saturday morning, so he has taken over the official Saturday grocery shopping and has put himself in charge of cooking dinner Saturday night so I can lay on the couch and drool on myself the rest of the day :)

Ken has planned for a Spring break camping trip where he is taking the kids and disappearing for a few days so that I can get quality training in.  He knows that April is peak IMTX training month, and I can't miss it.  So, he is taking the kids and letting me train hubby and kid free for a few days.  He. Is.  Incredible.

He hasn't complained once about any of the above or the little every day things that come with being married to an IM in training.  For instance, he hasn't complained about the fact that the only day he really sees me done up is Sunday.  During the week, he leaves for work before I am done getting ready for work and then comes home to see me, make up free, hair in a sweaty messy bun, and in spandex something from my after school training.  That has got to be dead sexy...but he never complains.  Instead he just asks me how the ride/run was.

He listens to me yammer on and on...and on...and on about things I know he couldn't care less about triathlon related.  Whether it be how I have adjusted my run nutrition, to how should I ship my bike, to anything and everything else Ironman related, he just listens and provides what feed back he can.  He's awesome that way!

Ken has come to my defense when some pinhead has some derogatory commend about me training or spending the time I do with this hobby.  He has often told them how proud he is of me and complimented me to others about it all.  Yep, he's pretty great!

All of this and we haven't even made it to Texas yet or even through the worst of the training! I just know that I couldn't do this with out him.  He's my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, and toughest critic.  How people do it with a less supportive spouse/significant other is beyond me. 

I am one lucky girl!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Six Things Sunday

Here are my recent thoughts, totally random, in regards to my training and life 10 weeks out from IMTX:.

1)  I am still alive.  I have not fallen off the face of the earth, and even though this blog has been silent, my life and training is still in full swing...sort of.

2)  This last week was a "recovery week" according to my training plan.  Which is probably a really good thing seeing as I took "recovery" very seriously and only did 3 of the 8 work outs this week.  Work was crazy busy, family stuff was all over the place, and I had a series of headaches that got in the way of training.  Not legit reasons really, I suppose I could have worked in training, but just didn't.  I was just glad it wasn't a build week.

3)  I sucked it up and registered for Netflix.  I have run out of shows and my own movies I want to watch and the long rides are only getting longer.  In doing so I have rediscovered Friends.  I'll be honest, I never watched it religiously when it was on, so I am enjoying starting all over at Season 1, Episode 1.  So.  Dang.  Funny.  I got through the first 6 episodes on Friday's long ride.

4)  The Event Schedule is up for IMTX Race Week.  Yet another sign that crap is getting real.  Only 69 days left!  It's looking like a fun week!  I think I will really have a coronary when the actual bib numbers come out!

5) I totally splurged and bought myself an early birthday present (my actual birthday is just under a month away).  My Garmin 920xt will be arriving this week from Amazon.  Can. Not. Wait.  I have loved my 310xt, but there are just a few more details on the new one that aren't on the 310 that I can't wait for.  Mainly the swim data and the "smart" features.  I already have sold my 310 too! And of course, I bought the red one :)

6)  I have been re-reminded of the need to train my own way and for my own race.  I have to stop comparing my training to anyone else's.  In the end, it is just me and the course and no one else is going to get me to the finish line but me.  I keep reading online or talking with friends also doing this race and see that there long runs or rides are longer than mine are already, or they are putting in more hours than me, or what have you, and I start to wonder if I am doing enough.  I always feel good about my training and my plan until I start talking and comparing mine to others. I know in my heart that I will be fine with the plan that I am following if I just stick to it and stop comparing myself to others.  I picked my plan for many reasons with my life and goals in mind, and I have to remember that along this crazy journey.

That is it for now!  Happy training and racing all!