Thursday, December 27, 2012

Home for the Holidays

The holidays this year have been different. Flying home for Christmas without James wasn't easy. Although we are both moving on, it still feels a little empty and I guess just really different. And hard. You always hope in life that when you change your course, you get it right... or at least point your boat in the right direction, to get it right next time. But sometimes I guess you have to sail on a bit to find out.
Philadelphia Christmas
Coming "home" to Philadelphia for Christmas always reminds me how lucky I am to have such and amazing family and its also a good reminder that it is not really all that cold in San Diego this time of year. I got to spend time with my sister Erica's 1 yr old twin babies and just lay around with the family. Emphasis on lay around especially with the "surprise" flu that Santa brought me. Christmas day morning, I felt a little off. I struggled through a run and was thankful I had no GPS with me to document my lagging. I went to an afternoon matinee of Les Miserables with the entire family and 5 minutes in, made a mad dash for the bathroom. Poor Dad had to leave the movie and drive me home. Where I proceeded to sleep for oh, about the next 20 hours.

Headed to the movies w/ sister Jen..This may also be where I transferred the evil flu to her

Me & Ellie

Luke & Ellie
Today is my last day in Philadelphia and I head back to Cali tomorrow. With one more week off before I head back to school, I'm excited to get in a big week of training and have a mellow start to 2013, hopefully well-organized and well-rested. Hope you had a wonderful holiday across the world and spent time with the ones you love.....

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas is coming....

Here's my list of things I'm wishing for as well as tried and true faves that keep me going in this swim, bike & run day after day. Hope you find this helpful when shopping for that crazy sporty girl in your life!

I really want this print...but can't remember where I found it.... Let me know if you know!

First, I had to start out with one "dream" gift. Just one. Because it's nice to dream big, right? Cannondale Women's SuperSix EVO. Equipped with new SRAM Red, of course. This bike was ridden by six awesome women this summer who completed the Rêve Tour and rode all the stages of the Tour de France one day before the boys. It's on my personal wish list. I'll have to be extra nice and not so naughty to get this one! (And don't forget to include a Retul fit at Studeo DNA or another highly qualified fitter. A bike this nice deserves a perfect fit. Oh yeah, and an ISM Saddle  boys, you will thank me!) 


Zoot Sports Ultra Kane 3.0 These are my go-to pair of Zoot training shoes. Much more substantial than the race models and fit for long miles and trails. Whenever I want a cush ride and head out the door on a long run, these are my choice.
Betty Designs Graffiti Trucker hat . Maybe no coincidence that it matches my Zoot Ultra Kane 3.0s, but I tend to grab this hat before all my long runs and clip my ipod shuffle onto the brim. Everyone else out there givin' it to 'emselves is in a visor, so be a little different and go with the trucker. makes me feel tough.
truck yeah
Trying to motivate for some winter riding adventures together? Every girl (or boy!) needs a pair of Zoot Sports Thermomegaheat Arm + Knee warmers . I wore mine today and they're super furry and plush. I also like how the knee warmers have a snug yet "forgiving" band around the thigh so you don't get double butt sausage leg.

Peanut Butter 'n Jelly High Protein Bonk Breakers . Party in your mouth with a protein punch to boot. I like to take 'em on long slow winter rides where a balanced nutritional profile (15g of protein!) is good because I'm burning fat and not all my glycogen. They're also a nice recovery snack if I have to run to my desk at work or am anywhere on the go. Stuff 'em in stockings or buy a case!

The ipod shuffle...For endurance sporty types, there is no substitute. I have a fancier nano now, but nothing compares to the ease of this lil guy. Clip n' go....

musical rainbow 

 Give the gift of a race! Sure, may be nice to jet off to Ironman Brazil, but you can always stay local and give the gift of a neighborhood race. Round here, the  San Diego Petco 5k9 is perfect for dog lovers or anyone looking to start the year off right. If you can't make it to San Diego, think about giving your favorite triathlete a "gift certificate" for a race registration (maybe in a tropical destination if you want to earn sherpa of the year!) If you do decide to do the Petco 5K9 on January 13th (I'll be there! Come!) Use the code DMGERDES when you register for $5 off. Nice way to kick off 2013.

Bustin' out the cobwebs in on 1/13/13

Oooh...I forgot one fave. I got this for my dad (also a cyclist) last year and I use one myself..The BC Speed Fold. Perfect for holding your phone and money and junk when you go riding so they don't get all sweaty. Because the Ziploc baggie is SO 2012

Happy shopping! And be creative! For me, the ultimate gift (besides that Cannondale EVO of course) would be a weekend adventure on bikes. Maybe pick a hotel in a cute town 80-90 miles away. Ride out there (FedEx a change of clothes to hotel desk), book a massage & dinner, then ride home the next day. Anyone else have any great ideas? 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Hard to believe it's been just 10 days since Ironman Cozumel ....I've quickly replaced this type of situation:
IM Cozumel- photo Jay Prasuhn .. yes that is a water bottle down my shirt

With this type of situation:

11am brunch with the girls.  Me + Kirsten and a Manmosa (Manmosa= big jar of champagne & OJ sidecar)

True to my word (to myself as I don't think I wrote words about it here), I haven't taken a swim stroke or step of running since the Ironman. I believe in a full two weeks off of anything you may need a mental or physical break from. Last year, I (involuntarily) took 12 weeks off running over the winter due to injury, and I actually think that the time off helped me rather than hurt me so I'm not scccrd of a lil time off the hoofs. I told myself I'd take a few weeks completely run-free after Cozumel to let my body recover from the 10 months of running 4-5 days per week it just did. Thank you, body!
Swimming, well, I may not physically require two weeks completely chlorine-free, but mentally, I know this is the best move for me.  I need to be ready to hit 2013 fully committed to my swim program and I know that the time off is now or never. I began to feel a touch burnt out these last couple of months on the swim front and I'm just looking to get that itch back. I've already had a couple "maybe I should go dunk n float for 30 minutes" moments, and then realized that...well, just NO.

Overall, I've been super happy just doing a bit of lifting, yoga and the occasional spin with friends as long as it ends at the coffee shop. I've been focusing on work (and there is a lot of it right now) and cherishing every morning I can sleep in until 6:30, because starting in a week or two, they will be few and far between again.

I hope everybody out there does something this time of year to treat their body good. Sure, it might result in an extra pound or two, but that's just insulation and motivation to dive in the cold pool at 6am or get on the bike when its 50 degrees out in January, right?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ironman Cozumel: the end of the beginning

Readers guide ;)....If you only have a couple minutes, skip the swim, bike, run ish and scroll down to where it says Read this part...  for a bit of a summary and parting season thoughts.
"The cure for anything is salt water: Sweat, tears, or the sea" Isak Dinesen
Writing this post is bittersweet as it's my last race report of my first year competing as a pro. This year has had its fair share of ups and downs and my last race at Ironman Cozumel was honestly somewhere in between.

Going into this race, I knew I was ready for a break. I've been working hard and racing since March and I think its time to treat my body to a little RnR. Being healthy for an entire season is wonderful, but it sure allows you to stack up a lot of "work".

Although Ironman Arizona is a much closer year-end race for me, logistically, Cozumel was more do-able because I have Thanksgiving week off of from my job so I didn't need to take any time off. I also felt Cozumel was a better course for me, where the heat and wind allow the race of attrition to play out a little more dramatically.

I arrived in Cozumel Wednesday night (for a Sunday race) and spent the first few days trying to not act like I was on vacation. All I wanted to do was lay around in the sun and drink fruity cocktails, but I tried to reign it in a bit and do my best impression of "serious athlete". The island is beautiful and pretty easy to navigate by scooter (by far the best way to get round town & p.s the cool kids wear the helmet backwards).

safety first!

 Luckily, I was bunked up in a condo with Amanda & Luke McKenzie. The McKenzies arrived a week ahead so they were super helpful in helping me get my bearings and were pretty much a Cozumel Clif Notes in general. If you need to know where to get the best Churros, rotisserrie chickens, dirt cheap tacos, or deals on scooters...Amanda is your girl. But do not expect to be anywhere near the beaten path- the girl forges her own trail & sniffs out all the best local stuff.

Ok- the real deal.....RACING.
Photo by Jay Prasuhn/LAVA... Dolphin show at swim start! (way cooler animal feature of the race than the tiny jellyfish that sting your whole body during the swim)
The Swim: 2.4 miles (1:11....OUCH)
Race morning we were faced with some wind and some really strong currents on the swim. The swim is a rectangle where you start in the bottom middle of the rectangle, swim 800 meters to the right along shore up current, turn left and swim down current for about a mile, then make a final left and swim about 1,000 meters back to shore (upcurrent). kind of like this....
swim situation

I managed to hang on a nice pack for the first 800 meters to the first turn buoy but then I lost the feet. I swam alone, but still felt like I slayed the back downcurrent section (um yeah, i think those were everyone's thought's i'm sure- it was fast!) and looked at my Garmin as I made the final turn...It said 41 minutes- I was killing it!!!!! Yeah, killing it until it took me 30 minutes to swim the last 1,000 meters. Holy moly. A super strong current made it slow going and despite picking up my efforts, I felt like I was going nowhere. Looking back, I really should not have followed the buoy line on the last stretch as it seems as though those that stuck closer to shore avoided the currents a little better. Liz said she passed me during that stretch swimming closer to shore - and put 5 min on me by the finish) Anyway, I exited the water in 1:11 - that would be over a 5 minute personal worst for me. I tried not to get discouraged though as I saw lots of pro women bikes still on the racks (I was 17th out of 28 pro women starters) and I knew it would have been a tough swim for most.

Amanda had written me a note before the race that said, "Never ever give up". I mentally repeated it through T1 and moved onwards.

The bike: 112 miles - 5:21 (20.1 mph) 
I was quite excited for the bike course. It's three laps and they're all flat, but include one loooooooong brutal headwind section on the back side of the island.
ok, not that you can read this, but you get the idea...

My Slice looking good...
I had an idea of the kind of watts (power) I could hold for the race and set out to do that by watching my SRM. Right away my heart rate was pretty high, so I let the watts drop for a bit to try to gain some control. My heart rate dropped, but my watts weren't coming back up as I hoped they would. On the second lap, I started seeing black spots and at one point an official came by to ask me if I was ok. That's never a good sign! I eased up for a bit and crammed in some food and drink and kept pedaling. I eventually came good, but never had any real high points on the bike. It was HOT. I was TIRED. It was also frustrating to see trains of AG men and some pro women cruise by like it was a group ride. Anyway, I reminded myself to Never ever give up and trucked on to the bike finish.

The run- 26.2 miles- 3:02:39 (6:58/mile)
In T2, I  prepped myself for the 26.2 ahead. I threw on my Zoot Ultra Tempo 5.0s (I would marry these shoes!), threw my hair on top of my head in a bun and charged out of there. Amanda and Rockstar were there cheering and giving me splits to the next girls ahead. I was in 18th place....OUCH. The run is 3 laps of 14k each and I set out at a pace that felt comfortable. I found a pro man on his second lap and began running with him. We clicked off 6:30s/6:40s and felt good. I knew it wouldn't feel good forever and I prepared for "the fade". I belive that "the fade" in Ironman is inevitable, it's just how you manage it. Many will disagree with my Ironman approach- some people like to go out at their projected IM pace and "hold back". I prefer the "go till you blow" approach...I bank seconds and minutes every mile by going "fast" and then just fight not to slow down once it starts getting really hard. I KNOW I will slow down. But I have planned for that ;). I wouldn't exactly call this "sharing my secrets" because it definitely falls into the "don't try this at home" category. For the most part. But, I do believe you've got to go with the flow. If it truly feels easy...go with it.

Lap 2 things started to get hard. Really hard. I was hot and tired and my legs were complaining. I had picked off only 1 or 2 girls on lap one and was disappointed I'd likely not make it into the top 10. I thought my legs were cramping but I think I was mostly just making excuses in my head. Somewhere halfway through lap 2 Amanda & Rockstar gave me splits to a few girls ahead and I turned my head around. I remembered what Linsey had told me...Be Stubborn. And I added that to my mental mantras. I thought that if I gave this run literally everything I had, maybe, just maybe I could squeak into the top 10.
Where's Beth-o?

It would be a huge ask, but I had nothing to lose if I blew up. Never Ever Give Up. I started talking positively to myself (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....repeated over and over 1,000 times along with my cadence) and trucked along. After mile 18, I took my "bull in the china shop" approach. The course got really really crowded and I was getting dizzy looking up and around. So I literally got tunnel vision under my visor and just plowed through people. Never Ever Give Up. Be Stubborn. I was picking off girls nearly every ten minutes and it felt good. I was redeeming what had, up to this point, been a pretty subpar race for me. I was fading to 7 to 7:10 minute miles, but I knew I was still on track for something around 3 hours if I didn't blow up. I knew the run course record was 3:02 so my personal goal was to beat that.

Read this part....
9 hours and 39 minutes after I took my first stroke in the water, I crossed the finish line in 9th place (of 28 pro women starters) and finished my 7th ever Ironman. With the all-star field that started, I was proud of myself for trucking it up to the top 3rd and for never ever giving up. It's not easy to be ridiculously far off the back after the bike and keep your head in the game. But I did it, and I'm pretty proud of that. Turns out I had the fastest run of the day (by one second..) and now hold the fastest female run ever on that course. If you can't win the big things (yet), take pride in the small accomplishments.
Thanks to Liz Lyles hubby for all these pics...

Finish! (with men's pro time still up there...)
Finish line with one of my favorite competitors- Liz Lyles- Badass Ironman Wisconsin Champion.

As I head into the off-season and reflect on the race and my season, I feel lucky that things are so clear to me. I had a bad swim (as did many) in Cozumel, so I'm not going to dwell on that. I am however going to make it my mission to find 10 to 15 minutes on the bike over this winter/spring. My weakness is glaring and for that I'm pretty lucky. I don't need to agonize over whether to hone in on the bike or run and wonder where I should spend my time. Until my bike improves, there is no real point in trying to become a better runner. The good news is, there is TOTALLY hope for my bike situation. Remember that Never Ever Give Up part? I'm ready to give it what I've got and make some big changes. I know its not hopeless...And if any of you saw me ride a bike 4 years ago, you would understand and maybe even put your money on me that it will happen. Four years ago , going 14 miles per hour was a big ask. Yes, seriously. I've come a really really long way with the help of so many people and I know there is still a really really long way to go. A friend said to me this weekend, "I will never ever be a 3 hour runner...." But me, I know that I can be a 5 hour (okay, maybe 5:05 ;) rider on a course like this. And  that, my friends, would put me in the game. From my first year in Kona (2010) to my 2nd year in Kona (2011), I improved by bike time by 30 minutes. Sure, the faster you get, the more dear each and every minute becomes, but I know it's possible. 

I'll be the first to admit it. At the start of this season, I did not believe in my heart that I had what it takes to be competitive as a professional triathlete. I knew I could be "ok" and get by and just prayed I didn't get beat by too many amateurs. Eight months later those thoughts are very long gone. I don't just believe I can be a top Ironman athlete...I know it. But it will take some big changes, some leaps of faith, and a lot of freaking hard work. But knowing, and truly believing in yourself, may be half the battle. Maybe that's the extra 1% I've been missing - well, rather one of the extra percents because I believe there are about 5. My only regret of 2012 is that I didn't believe in myself more. Don't make that mistake yourself. 

Post race photo album...

Peace out 2012!

Post-race dinner with Amanda B. & the one and only Samantha McGlone
When in doubt, scoot it out!

Or follow Luciana & Luke's post-race is very necessary.

All the proper thank yous to come later....but here are the quickies...
Thank you to Zoot for taking on the local girl and supplying the best gear & shoes out there. Raced for the first time in the Ovwa 2.0s and they carried me to another fastest ladies run split- couldn't do it without the shoes. seriosuly.  Cannondale- my Slice is the perfect ride decked in SRAM, & Race Day Wheels ,and my SRM powermeter.. Thanks to Nytro for keeping it all in working, blinging' order (Russ, Chris & Matt are my heroes... Thank you to them for being my "bike fairy", I know I'm high maintenance. Thanks to Studeo DNA for my bike fit & so much more. Thank you to Tri Bike Transport for getting my bike here so nice and easy and for taking it off my hands right after the race- no better feeling!!! 
*Thank you to  Dan SelstadRehab United, & MRM for helping me build my chassis, recover quickly and stay healthy-.I use so many MRM products, but I couldn't function without my Hydration Factor & Reload. Rehab United- functional strength 2x/ week, ART with Selstad every other week...the secret sauce! 
*Many gracias also to ISM saddlesBetty Designs, & Beaker Concepts  for making sure I'm comfortable, stylish & fast. I never race without my Adamo racing 2, my betty designs wrist band or my Beaker Concepts Blaze.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Whlep, after a long day of planes, trains, and automobiles, I arrived in Cozumel, Mexico Wednesday night for this weekend's Ironman. Cozumel is a tiny island off the coast of Cancun and requires a plane, a couple taxis and a ferry to arrive in one piece. I was also given the task of transporting several bottles of good wine for princess Amanda McKenzie (apparently Cozumel doesn't live up to her vino standards).

view from our condo
I'm getting excited to race and feel like I could have a really good day out there. There's quite a field amassed (40 or so girls on the start list with a lot of talent) but I'm ready to have fun and give it my best and whatever I have in me. After all, it's the last race of the season. Time to burn the barn to the ground!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stay Strong

I'll be the first to admit I'm having a tough time adjusting to the "fall" after our seemingly endless SoCal summer. Squeezing in my runs before sunset at 4:45 pm and heading out on the bike for 40 degree mornings is not my cup of tea (mmmm....tea...maybe I should stay inside and drink some 'stead of heading out to ride now). Luckily, I'm less than 2 weeks away from my final race of the season- Ironman Cozumel. I'm ready, time to finish strong. In fact, I wish it was this weekend.

I might be so excited for Coz that I already packed. One week before I leave.

Okay- that super early pack job was 50% excitement, 50% "If I pack this now then I won't wear it and have to do laundry again"...

Although most of my training partners are entrenched in "off season" mode, I've been lucky to have company for the most part because my friends all just like to ride.
look at me...trying to lead the charge ;)
Even if they are all trying to slack & stop for pancakes (or hot dogs) & coffee & I'm trying to be all serious.
not to mention Mr. B who brings Poptarts & cupcakes on every ride to share. (no joke- today he brought funfetti cupcakes with Poptarts baked INSIDE. How can you say no?)
Rocket fuel? Mitch followed that hot dogger up with a sleeve of powdered donuts. Nutritional execllence lessons by Mr. Hall
Other than that, just been hanging around doing the usual....Work, workouts, and as always, functional strength at Rehab United twice per week.
I swear I go  to Rehab United for the workout, not just to gossip with these 3 (Courtney, Andrea, Katya
As I simmer down and put the lid on for the last race of the season, I am extremely thankful to my Rehab United family for keeping me in working order all season long (along with Dan Selstad my ART hero). Bryan & Lisa at RU have kept me strong and injury free throughout my entire first pro season- and from watching others, I know that this is definitely not something to take for granted. If you're bored (I mean really bored- it's pretty long) the Tri Club of San Diego just put out an article that you can download here on me and how I got involved in the sport and some of the things that keep me progressing. Not surprisingly, I talked about RU a lot. you head into your own version of an off season and think about how you can be a better athlete in 2013, consider a consistent functional strength program- not only to make you stronger, but to make you healthy and able to complete your workouts....

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Coming home...

Nothing beats coming home. With the craziness and destruction of Hurricane Sandy on the east coast, I felt even luckier to return (on time) home to north county San Diego. Too bad my poor Dad wasn't so lucky and his flight back to Philadelphia was (obviously) cancelled. He got to enjoy a little bit more of Austin, but I wish I could have stayed with him.

I flew home Monday afternoon in time for a sunset spin on the coast to clear my mind and my legs.


Tuesday morning I woke up at 5am to head to masters swim. I was feeling kind of lame & unmotivated  since I swam so poorly in Austin, but my favorite lane mates (John & Kiernan) were wasting time waiting on deck and made me feel not so bad about myself. They're not triathletes, John & Kiernan are swimmer swimmers. Very good ones. They only swim in lane 2 (1:20) base (as opposed to 1:15 base lane 1) because they are lazy and just trying to keep in shape and they like to sit on the wall for 20 seconds every interval.. Haha...I hope they read this. Anyway, I'm the opposite and I only swim in lane 2 because I'm desperately trying to fake that I'm a fast swimmer and hope it rubs off one day. When, truth be told, I belong in lane 3. But, so long as I'm eeking out the intervals and they let me stay, I'll stay. No matter if John & Kiernan are hanging out on the wall for 45 seconds after a 400, I'll get there in time for the next sendoff. Anyway, they (and everyone else at the pool) are one of the reasons I love coming home. Not because they congratulate me on my races (even when there is not so much to congratulate), but because day in and day out they are there and they don't seem to mind that I am just always hanging off the back and squeaking by. When the interval is tight, they let me start right on their toes so I kind of get a "free" 25 until we flip turn and they get oh, about 10 yards on me in 5 seconds since my flip turns look like what happens when you get tumbled by a wave in the ocean. Anyway, I don't think they (or coach Patty or coach Hux or Jane or Susan or any of the other people I love to see at the pool) realize how much they help me just keep swimming along and dragging my butt out of bed every day.

Anyhow, this was all just to say that its not all about the sunshine and sunsets around here. There is so much more that always reminds me that there's no place like home.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Austin 70.3

Let's do this a little differently.

Results: 10th of 20 pro women. 4 hours 34 minutes. Results here

The Good
  • My nutrition was perfect! Bike: 3/4 bottle Skratchlabs (60 cal) [Just drank water otherwise], one Bonk Breaker (250), One pack of Gu Chomps (190), 2 Gus (200) (I go for 1 Jet Blackberry, 1 Peanut a PB&J ;) ...Total: About 700 calories. Run: 1/2 pack Gu Chomps (90), 1 Gu (100), some coke... Maybe 400 calories. So basically, I load up on the bike and then ease up on the run
  • I ran a 1:22 which was the fastest female run split of the day. The run is good to go. I feel like I have my run training dialed and it's not too complicated or crazy. Just maintain until IM Cozumel. 
  • Me & Princess Jess at the finish (you finish inside a Rodeo barn which is interesting! ) 
  • Since the pro field was stacked, this meant seeing A LOT more friends out on the run course. I loved cheering for some of my favorite girls: Beth Shutt, Jess Smith, Charisa Wernick, Rachel Challis, Elizabeth Lyles... 
  • And Keith Butsko, my go to training partner at home cruised in for a cool 4:04 and 7th overall/top amateur. It's pro card time, Butsko!
Keith & I at the finish. Hey Keith- I think you owe your run coach a beer . 
  • Lap 1 of the run I ran "ok". Lap 2, Ian Mikelson & Thomas Gerlach blazed by me all of a sudden. I had a choice and decided to take a risk. They were running 5:55 - 6:00 miles and I decided to join them for a mile, then 2....then 4. It. was. awesome. Ian cruised in for his finish and I started lap 3 alone. They definitely gave me a huge boost and remind me how much running "tactics" can matter. 
  • The water was warm and a nice temperature. 
  • my DAD, the one & only Dr. G, was there to cheer me on and I got to spend some quality time with him this weekend. I love my Dad more than possibly anyone in the world and whenever I'm around him (and also when I'm not, I guess), I constantly think how lucky I am to have such a cool, fun, easygoing and supportive father. I'm his #1 fan although sometimes in my pre-race stress I forget to show it. 
Post race dinner date at Lambert's with Dr. G. Had to replenish my electorlytes/salt stores 
The Bad (going to keep these to a minimum because I'm not interested in wah wah wah-ing myself through this race report but I do want to keep my learning experiences so eventually hopefully I may learn from them.)
  • Oh dear. My bike ride was not impressive. Just didn't have it today. Started out ok, but with temperatures in the low 40s all morning, despite taking time for arm warmers & gloves, I was still cold and for some reason have trouble keeping my heart rate and effort level up when that happens. I started w/ my HR in the 160s and after 20 miles could barely keep it in the 140s...
  • Made some dumb mistakes in the swim. Put my googgles over my cap and I guess they didn't seal properly because one eye was over the plastic of the cap on my forehead (you following me here?). Anyway. They filled up with water, oh, about 20 times. Good times. And I wore a pair I had never openwater swum (?) with and had some crazy fog/lenses too dark and couldn't even see the feet or caps less than 2 feet away from me let alone the buoys. Total rookie mistake. Not happening again. I was about 30-45 seconds behind a solid pack of girls. Need to stay with them. 
Pro swim start in Lake Walter E. Long
  • Dear Austin, WARM UP! That is all. Low 40s on race day made 

The Takeaways 
  • My run is there. Time for some #headdownwattsup the next 3 weeks for Ironman Cozumel. The thing about my riding is that sometimes it's there, or closer at least. I have ridden well in some races this year (Hawaii 70.3, Timberman 70.3, Ironman Wisconsin)...just haven't figured out exactly what makes some good days and some "off" days. I'm going to work on this. And try to consult with some folks about an approach until Cozumel. 
  • Even more motivated now for a seriously winter cycling focus and to finally (after what will be 8 months self-coached) work with someone I believe can help me become a cyclist. I have 2 people in mind and I'm hoping one of them will be up for a "challenge" ;). 
  • Practice open water swimming with your race goggles. Seriously. 
  • I'd say that I need to do some more open water swimming, but with the recent shark attacks in SoCal and the really cold water in the Pacific, this is just not going to happen in November in Cali. But, I'm not giving up on the pool. You hear me? Even though it seems I'm not getting any better, I'm still going to put in the yards six days a week and I know that one day it will come together. 
  • No matter what, even on a bad day, I love being out on the run course and cheering for  friends (even when they are beating me). I love talking to people after the race and hearing about their highs and lows. I love feeling like I gave what I had on that day, even when what I had wasn't awesome or what I had hoped for. I love looking on the bright side and planning how to be better and believing I can get there. I know I'm such a geek for triathlon, but if you don't love it, why do it? #Livewhatyoulove , right? 
Thank you to all of my supporters and sponsors. Rehab United was integral in making my Austin trip happen so a big super thank you to Bryan, my friend and supporter- THANK YOU!
2012 isn't wrapped up yet and I'm looking forward to a fun finish, Mexico style! 
Thank you to Zoot for taking on the local girl and supplying the best gear & shoes out there. Raced for the first time in the Ovwa 2.0s and they carried me to another fastest ladies run split- couldn't do it without the shoes. seriosuly.  Cannondale- my Slice is the perfect ride decked in SRAM, & Race Day Wheels ,and my SRM powermeter.. Thanks to Nytro for keeping it all in working, blinging' order (Russ, Chris & Matt are my heroes... Thank you to them for being my "bike fairy", I know I'm high maintenance. Thanks to Studeo DNA for my bike fit & so much more. Thanks to Sonja at Zipp for the whomp whomp Super 9! Thank you to Tri Bike Transport for getting my bike here so nice and easy and for taking it off my hands right after the race- no better feeling!!! 
*Thank you to  Dan SelstadRehab United, & MRM for helping me build my chassis, recover quickly and stay healthy-.I use so many MRM products, but I couldn't function without my Hydration Factor & Reload. Rehab United- functional strength 2x/ week, ART with Selstad every other week...the secret sauce! 
*Many gracias also to ISM saddlesBetty Designs, & Beaker Concepts  for making sure I'm comfortable, stylish & fast. I never race without my Adamo racing 2, my betty designs wrist band or my Beaker Concepts Blaze. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I started this post last Monday.....hmmmm...and now its Saturday. Busy week, I guess...

saw (& loved) this on TJs instagram. Sums up how I've been feeling lately. 
Well, we're getting nailed over here in SoCal for constantly posting Instagram photos of sunny skies, palm trees, bikinis, and sunsets. This weekend was gloomy at best and stormy at worst, but we keep on keepin' on. Sometimes it makes me feel like a real cyclist to tough it out in the rain, so Saturday my 90 miles + 5 mile brick run had me feeling gritty (figuratively and literally as I was covered in dirt by the end).
Dirty bikes, thanks for the pic, Courtney!
Courtney & John through the drizzle. 
Things ended up clearing up by mid-week, but fall is definitely in the air. Cool, dark mornings are making it tough to listen to that 5am alarm and get my butt to the pool. But the afternoons are sunshiny, so long as you get your ride done before dark...
"Fall" in SoCal

Now it's Saturday, I'm in Austin for the 70.3 this weekend. So far it's, well...Let's just say I need to explore the town more because all I've seen so far is highways, lots of traffic, a bit of farm land and it is REALLY COLD! I did not pack appropriately for this weather, so time to get creative on the race day kit today. The start list is massive. I'll have my work cut out for me!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kona 2012 short & sweet

Note to self: 4 days in Hawaii is not enough! In case you were busy, over the first two days, we had a fine time at the underpants run and then rode the entire Ironman course to Hawi. I felt like the whole trip was kind of difficult to balance training with all of the spectating and hanging out with the folks I only get to see at races. Being 6 weeks out from Ironman Cozumel, I knew I had to log some training miles & be serious, but wanted to also maximize the non-training good times. Basically, I don't think I ever really sat down unless it was to eat (and the eating was GOOD! Poke, acai bowls, sushi, Lava Java coffee & oat bran muffins, fish tacos, and maybe a Pina Colada "lunch" or two).

Saturday was the big show. I can't tell you how excited I was to finally spectate the World Champs. And it completely lived up to expectations.
Ironman swim start. Nothing like it. Photo by Thierry Sourbier
I stayed in town for the most part- watched the swim, went on a 2:30 run - Did the first half with Amanda and then swapped 'er out for the Cannondale guys. Lots of miles hoofed on Ali'i drive that day while the bike portion of the Ironman was underway.
Lonely road to Hawi- Photo by Thierry Sourbier
Later on, I took my (well, Cody's) bike out to the Queen K to watch the suffering in person during the back half of the marathon. It's amazingly quiet out there and I got a chance to see and cheer for many of my faves- Sarah P., Linsey, Reilly, Kelly, Jen S. and others as they climbed out of the energy lab and started the final 10k trek back down to Ali'i drive. The race was a tough, hot day with a super windy bike and it was truly impressive just to witness the fitness.
Female Ironman (AND 70.3) World Champ 2012: Leanda Cave

Although I want to race there next year, it looked so tough that I certainly didn't have any race envy watching them the last hour of that thing. Wow. And the midnight finish...spectacular. Nothing like it.

The rest of the weekend is kind of a blur. I managed to meet up with a bunch of friends but still there were a few more I really wanted to see but saw hardly at all (Kerrie, Sue & Chloe, Hailey, Sarah), making me wish for even just one more on the island. Sunday night, we met up with Hillary & Samantha for a final dinner and it was such a buzzkill to tear myself away from the margs and head to the airport for the long red eye back to Monday morning work. I'm already looking forward to my next Hawaiian adventure which will hopefully be at Honu 70.3 in June.

A big thanks to Cody for not only putting me up for the weekend in his beautiful house, but for loaning me his bike to cruise around and for helping me out in every way possible (and you too, Tati!) . I feel so fortunate to have met you!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Monkeying around in #KONA

I was lucky enough to make my way to the Big Island for som big spectating at the Superbowl of triathlon this weekend- the Ironman World Championships. Next year, I'll be on the start line (explicit use of The Secret, exhibit A), but this year I'm happy to cheer, train, and do all of the things you can't do when you're racing this Ironman thing.

So far, it's been a lot of catching up with friends, some solid training, and of course, the Underpants run. This year, our "Team" raised money for Hawaiian charities by charging folks $ to take a photo with us. Is that so wrong?

Thursday started with the Underpants run....

Kristin, Angi, Rachel, Caleigh, Me, Laura, Donna
Then a quick ride and done in time for coffee catch up (ok gossip & scone eating session) with Hillary and Rachel - two of my favorite reasons I love going to races (because I get to see them!)

Parking lot documentation of H&R rendezvous. 

And finished with a Zoot photo shoot out in the Energy Lab

Friday, Tatiana and I headed out to ride the Ironman course. The first 90 miles were awesome. The last 20, not so much. A borrowed road bike that doesn't quite fit, a flat tire, and a stiff headwind are not ideal in hour #6 of a ride. But onwards we rode.

Hawaiian #ridesnack Tempura shrimp handroll at mile 85
 Tomorrow is the BIG DAY! I can't wait to watch my friends shine and am hoping especially for an amazing day from my favorite American girls Linsey, Meredith, Sarah P., Hailey, and Kelly. I am getting 3rd party butterflies just typing this! (Edit: And Kerrie! How could I forget that lady? She's unforgettable! watch out for her pac-man-ing ladies on the run)...oh, and sonja and michelle, and everyone else I forgot....oh jeez.)