Thursday, March 29, 2012

Accessorize!

Hot and heavy in the middle of race taper week and it's time to accessorize my Slice (and myself) for a 70.3 ...Over the past few years, I've figured out what works for me and my own preferences. Race day bike (& run!) accessories are very personal and depend on what distance you are racing and your own comfort (e.g. disc wheel or 808?, aero helmet or traditional?, bottles on the bike frame or bottles in front/behind?,  etc.......) SO many decisions. If you happen to be susceptible to decision paralysis like me, maybe I can help you and share some of what and why I do. 
My front & back end solutions. 
First, the bottles....For a 70.3, I'm starting with two bottles: One in between my aerobar extensions for easy drinking, and one behind my seat for backup. I like this setup because it is convenient for me and I think (definitely no expert but the people who help me are and I just listen) it's pretty "aero". I have no bottles on my actual bike frame. The front end bottle was set up for me by my friend Andrew at Beaker Concepts and he consulted with me on the whole situation. He's been around a LONG time (old man! haha) and I trust his expertise..He has this new little tiny gadget that attaches to a bottle holder that hovers above your aerobars yet leaves PLENTY of room for your forearms on the bars (something I've had a problem with with other front-end drinky things. I'll let you know when it gets to production- because I don't see it in his store yet. HURRY UP, ANDREW!

The back end....everyone's favorite ;
 On the back end, I use the Blaze from beaker concepts. I like the Blaze because it is fully adjustible, light, and has special spots for your Co2 or to attach tires. Also, James likes it because he deems it far easier to get on and off than other behind-the-seat thing-er-dy-doo holders I have used.

For a 70.3, I also accessorize the bike with a snack box on the front ;). I pour little treats in here (powerbar gel blasts, bar pieces) and can grab them easily on the move. 

Whooshka!
Oooh, can't forget the wheels. Having Race Day Wheels as a sponsor this year means I get to pick any Zipp wheel set for each race I do. If I want a disc, disc it is! For each race, I give it good consideration....and then 90% of the time settle on Zipp Firecrest Carbon Clinchers - a 404 front and 808 rear. Even with all the options Race Day Wheels gives me, I stick with this combo because a) it's fast, b) it's easy to handle, c) i like riding clinchers since i'm not as practiced with changing tubular tires, and d) it's fast ;) . Mark of RDW knows basically everything there is to know about wheel speed, combinations, and aerodynamics, and for ME, he almost always recommends this combo. For Oceanside, 404/808 is a great choice for the course because you will be faced with wind in all directions and a bunch of hills...For me, I'd choose a disc on a flatter course that had a more predictible headwind/tailwind type situation...

I also put on a brand new ISM Adamo Racing 2 Betty Designs saddle on- even saddles wear out after you've put thousands of miles on them. If you are having any issues, consider how long you've had yours on!

Shoe of choice: Zoot Ultra Tempo 5.0 - its a stability shoe that's light enough for racing but sturdy enough for the Oceanside course- 13.1 miles on mostly concrete- ew my calves just cringed!

And lastly, my good luck Betty Designs wristband...Okay, forget about the good luck, this thing is really for wiping the sweat and snot from my face so I can look super glam for finish line photos...

I hope this was helpful! And with that, I'm off for two more days of work, mini workouts, and the race-check in on Friday afternoon. I can't believe it's almost here! See you on Friday... xo, B

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cruise control....

I'm finding a great rhythm between balancing things in my life. I've really let go of the "volume monstress" I used to be and now take each day to be the best I can.

Previously (2010 & 2011), I would take each day to do the most that I could. I 100% believe that was the right recipe for me at the time- I needed to truly build (from the ground up) the miles of swimming, cycling, and running in my legs that I had never done before. But, holy TIRED! All...the...time...

Now, I feel like I'm able to build on those 2 years as volume queen of my block and I truly see things coming around to what feels like faster than ever. I have more energy than ever and I'm pouring it into my workouts and seeing better results. And for the first time, I'm actually loving going hard! I take the easy days EASY and then give it all on those hard days....Being surrounded by the best people makes my job easy. The sunshine and scenery never hurt either....

The hard work is done, and it's time to cruise because it's T minus 8 days until California 70.3....SO freaking excited.

2 weeks after Oceanside,  I plan on giving that Cannondale Lexi mountain bike a little ride out in Vegas for the Xterra West Championships. What kind of moron would enter the pro field at an Xterra champs race when she has never done an off-road tri before?

THIS KIND OF MORON! 

Or maybe it's just an excuse to go places like this on a random Thursday afternoon. you know, "training". 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Saddle Up!

Hey There! I'm holding down the fort over here with the last few weeks of training before California 70.3 my first BIG pro race.  I'm already getting nervous and I just looked at the pro start list and I totally shouldn't have. D'oh! You mean you want me to race THEM?!? This is really happening! I keep telling myself, "you never know..." You NEVER know what may happen on race day. At the very least, my pro adventures should make for some good blogging. You know you were getting sick of reading my same old race reports, "Oh  hum-dee-doo, I was 5th off the bike and ran and ran my way to the podium and then I puked the end." [and you maybe wanted to poke my eyes out]. As a pro, I can guarantee that it will no longer look like easy street (it never was) and that should definitely spice things up 'round here!

Anyway, back to Califrornia 70.3 (which by the way is in 17 dyas) and the training leading up to it. Of course in these last important weeks, my day job decided to turn the screws on me a bit and has made fitting in all the life/work/training tight. But, the plan is to plow through and make the most of the time I have. Luckily, "making the most" is easy around here....

Last weekend was fun-filled all things Cannondale....3 days, 3 bikes to ride!

On FRIDAY afternoon, I got to test out my new Lexi Mountain Bike on the dirt in Del Sur!
Well, hello Sexi Lexi! (Check out the fork-no, it's not broken,  it's called a Lefty)

Aside from not being able to figure out how to remove the front wheel or shift into the little ring, things went very smoothly (thanks to my tour guides JC & Blaize).

Happy Hour Friday!


SATURDAY was a "typical" team ride with our sqaud on my Slice TT bike. The only thing "un-typical" was that I rode much stronger than usual...Here's to breaking the mold! 4 hours of hills later, I banged out a nice 6 mile t-run and later a lazy swim....
Ok, this is a neighborhood, not one of the "hills" but you get the idea...Ok fine, this isn't even from Saturday ride but I did wear the same kit & helmet & glasses. 

Although my SUNDAY key workout was my long run (which got completed late afternoon on the trails with my iPod), I first spent the morning on my comfy SuperSix roadie  along the coast for a good cause. I joined the Cannondale team (complete with 4x Ironman World Champion Miss Chrissie Wellington!) for a 40 mile charity ride benefitting the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Amazing opportunity, amazing group, and again made me feel so proud to be a part of the Cannondale family.
PR man with a plan Bill & Miss Wellington


I'm realizing more every day that I have found myself much more than just a "bike sponsor". We've been working on lots of other things behind the scenes to empower women in cycling and triathlon and I can't wait to see where the year takes us!

My goal is to reach out to as many women as possible and encourage them make that scary jump from "I can pedal a bike" to "I know how to ride a bike" (regardless of the brand of bike they purchase/borrow/steal). Cycling for fitness and triathlon has changed my life and I want to take some of the "scary" that I felt out of it and encourage women saddle up. From traffic to clipping-in to bike maintenance, it can all be a little very intimidating- and 4 years ago- I was that woman totally overwhelmed by it all.  Hopefully, with Cannondale this year, I can help more women experience some sweat & sunshine on a bicycle....after all, look at my view from two wheels in just one weekend!

P.s. Skinny Runner gave a shout out to my abs. I HAVE ARRIVED, PEOPLE!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Desert International Triathlon- race report


It's nice to start every race season with a little kick-off race where you bust out the cobwebs and make sure you remember how to do swim-bike-run in "GO!" mode. I'm always amazed at the amount of "things" you need for a triathlon and I spent my free moments the days before the race scavenging around for said things. Of course, I integrated my errands into workouts...Stopped at Nytro for some new cleats for my tri shoes during a spin, ran into the swim store for some goggles (& shoved in my sports bra) during my T-run.

After some short workouts on Saturday, Kristin and I drove out to Palm Desert, CA for the Desert Tri. I feel like everyone in San Diego goes to this race and somehow, each year I have missed it for one reason or another. So, the race was new to me, which is always fun...Turns out that this is an awesome season opener for anyone- Great venue, low key, great weather and a fun (but not too challenging) course.

Let's get to point, here. The race was good to great! The distances are 3/4 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6 mile run. It's all basically flat. The run is two loops on dirt/sand/gravel/pavement around Lake Cahuilla.

I dusted off my Zoot Prophet and pulled it on for the first time since August. Felt as good as ever and I lined up for the 7:30am elite (& Men 25-29) wave. The entire first leg of the swim, you swim directly into the sun and can't see a thing. I tried to follow swim caps and just tried to get to the first buoy/turn as fast as possible. After rounding the buoy, I could see! Unfortunately, I could see two swimmers about 10yds ahead of me, but no one else. I tried my best to catch them, but was unable to close any gaps. So, draftless, I nagivated to the swim exit uneventfully. My wetsuit cord was tangled, stuck, so I lost a few seconds trying to get it off, then running to a spectator and asking her to pull down. Pretty sure I scared her, but once she understood what I was saying, she got the job done. I ran through T1 and was stoked to see both Lesley Paterson and Heather Jackson (my training bud & Zoot/Cannondale teammate) still in transition.

 HJ was on her way out and Les was still getting it together. I T-1d as fast as I know how and followed about 75yds behind Lesley onto the bike course.
Chasing (thanks MJ for the bike photos) 
That 75yds slowly increased, but I kept her in (distant) sight for about the first 10 miles. Other than that.....crickets! not a soul in sight. I reminded myself that this is what I need to get used to now that I'm racing at the front of the race.

By the time we reached lap two of the bike course, the course filled in and there was a lot of people dodging, and I got passed by a few elite men I had swum faster than. I tried to get & stay in a groove but I just waffed between "oh, i'm pushing too hard" and "go harder you are just pedaling". I could not find that sweet spot. I knew my bike ride was nothing to write home about, I still need to work a lot on flat time trialing. My bike and position, however, were awesome. The Cannondale Slice fits me SO well, its just amazing and such a great feeling to know I'm on the right bike.

Anyway, I rolled into T2 and was excited to see how the run would go. I began ticking off the miles (and the men who had passed me on the bike) and was pleased to see my garmin check off right about 6-min miles.
Running- photo thanks to Wattie- although I'm not officially a Watti Ink-er, I still like to rock the W.
Don't get me wrong, it was hard, but I felt comfortable in pushing the pace and going hard. Lesley is a phenomenal runner, as is Heather, so they were both holding position way out in front of my. My mission was to a) not get caught and b) not slow down- I wanted to go as hard as possible to get the most out of this "workout" before Oceanside. My run time was 36:01 for the 6 miles- 6 minute pace, I'll take it for now!

Mission accomplished. I crossed the line in 1:59, 3rd place woman overall, 4 minutes back of Lesley. Heather made a clean sweep of the field beating all of the women and all of the men.
Finished! (photo by Wattie)

SoCal Podium girls: Lesley, HJ, me
*Thank you to all my family , friends, and supporters who make it possible for me to chase my dreams. Coach PJ, thanks for taking me on and believing in me.  To our Champion Factory squad - thanks for being the best training partners around- I am SO happy & lucky to be surrounded by greatness. And James- I love you, my chef, bike fairy, & hot husband!
*Thank you to Zoot for taking on the local girl and supplying the best gear & shoes out there. I'm swimming better than ever in the Prophet wetsuit. Cannondale- my Slice is the perfect ride decked in SRAM, & the perfect Zipp firecrest carbon clincher 808/404 pair of Race Day Wheels. Thanks to Nytro for keeping it all in working, blinging' order and Studeo DNA for my bike fit & so much more. 
*Thank you to  Dan Selstad, Rehab 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 saddles, Betty Designs, Beaker Concepts & Bont shoes for making sure I'm comfortable, stylish & fast. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

What TIME is it?

So....How much TIME do you have?

If you have "quick shot of espresso" time- read my 10 questions with Kiet interview! In his words, "some damn original responses folks". By "original" he means its just me trying to be funny.

If you have time (to kill) to sip a super hot venti coffee- read my interview "Eight Days a Week" with the lovely Jen from LAVA magazine on balancing my day job with professional triathloning. [Disclaimer- We were gabbing over lunch and I thought she'd use a few small snips...but turns out you got darn near the whole conversation...good luck with that]

But you really stopped by to hear about the Desert International Triathlon, right? Tomorrow! If you read the Lava magazine article, you'll know that right now,  it's my bedTIME. G'night!
Desert Tri 2011 photo by Michellie Jones

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Surprise!

This week has been full of fun surprises:


1) Although I didn't win, I was surprised and excited to find that USATriathlon had given me Honorable Mention for female amateur triathlete of the year in 2011. USA Triathlon has over 140,000 members, so it was an honor to even be mentioned...hmmm...maybe that's why its called an honorable mention. Regardless, it was one of those things I found out about on twitter. Yet another reason I love twitter... The full article is here.

2) Another pony has posted up in our stable...Any guesses?


3) A different kind of interview with Intelligent Triathlon Training- a british website with great interviews on several olympians and coaches- I loved the recent interviews with Gwen Jorgensen & Jarrod Shoemaker. Although I'm not yet frying any Olympic sized fish, they were kind enough to ask me some interesting questions about psychology and triathlon. My full interview is here.

Any how. I hope the surprises are not over because I'd LOVE to surprise myself at the season opening bust-out-the-cobwebs (And the wetsuit- speaking of, hope I can find that thing....) Desert International Triathlon in Palm Desert, CA. James is away business racing his bike, so I'm excited to road trip with the ladies!

Just gotta get through a busy Friday at work, pack and then we're off!