Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Sleeping In...what a concept!"

I have been enjoying this down time after racing ironman. I am normally always itching to get back but I know as of Monday my schedule will pick up again. So I have not done anything more than I have to. Easy one and a half hour bike rides, half and hour swims and runs. This is the way the average fit person it is great to have time to actually do lots of stuff other than train. My mind has not really been off triathlon though as Paulo and I have been contemplating a new race plan for the rest of the year. I had qualified for the Worlds Long Distance Elite Team in Almere which I turned down. The day after Lake Placid I was already formulating ideas of what I wanted to do next. Paulo has been very supportive of my decisions and we shall go from there. First step is to make sure I recover well.
Next thing I have been working with Paulo and Clarence from Brielle Cyclery on a new position for me on my bike. I have not been to happy with that and I did not want to change things up before LP but now I am ready after looking at all my new race pics. I shall be sporting a more aero position my next race...yay!
I too was contacted by Adam the sports writer of my local paper to do a Post Lake Placid story! They had heard I qualified for Hawaii which I sadly told him was not true...but he still was interested in an interview so I look forward to seeing the piece!
Well I shall make a point of not posting for a few more days...and enjoying this time with my family and friends!

Sydney,Tanner and I enjoying the beach!

The memories of cold wet rain and blue lips are fading away thanks to days on the beach like today!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Podium Finish at Lake Placid

Thanks guys for all the good wishes. With constant rain it was one tough day out there on Sunday for most. Especially if you don't hold up well in the cold like myself! I was happy to keep it together despite getting hypothermia and ended up with a 5th place pro finish. This was not my fastest race by any means but it was my most challenging of all. I had to fight with myself to keep the focus that got me through so many hard preparation days. In the end my body won the battle over the mind and surrendered to the cold. I had to run the last few miles in with not much left in the tank and was very happy to run through the finish line and hear that I was an Ironman for the 9th time.
I shall write a full race report soon. Congrads once again to Will Ronco on an amazing race. 1st American and 5th overall. Impressive!

Lake Placid Ironman Race Report

My goal for Lake Placid was to get a Hawaii spot! I knew entering this race that we had three spots which would mean top 3 to 5th place finish based on who showed up.
Unlike my last three IM which have had 30 pros at each race this was turning out to be a small pro field. Thus the day before the race they had already taken one of our spots away leaving us with only 2 spots. Right away the race changes to knowing you have to make top 2 or three if you lucky to qualify...NO PRESSURE!
My training had gone well and I was feeling ready for a great breakthrough race!
The days leading up to LP I was focused despite trying to get over a sinus and ear infection that would bother me up to race day.
Due to the impending storms in LP they had warned us at the pro meeting that there was a possibility that the race would become a bike/run if there were thunderstorms in the am. But as the day would turn out we had no thunder only HUGE amounts of rain ALL day.
Race morning went perfectly and I was calm and ready for what would come my way...or that is what I thought. Nothing quite prepared me for the day that was too come at all!
The pro's would start 10 minutes before the age groupers. We funnelled into the water and I was excited to get the race going. I got next to a small group of women and swam hard as the gun went off. Within seconds I was getting kicked and arms were over my head. My goggles got knocked was rather hectic and I tried to keep calm waiting for the guys to spread out. I was left behind two pro guys who were swimming at a comfortable pace. I decided to try swim around them as the group had split up and we were getting left behind but I could not make up the gap. I decided it was better to try swim in a small group than to do a whole Ironman swim by myself. I could not get on anyones feet though and swam next to my friend Danielle.At the turn around I saw my split was around 29 and I knew it was going to be hard to go under an hour. I swam quick around the Pier to get on the guys feet so I would beable to draft the second loop. It was a very comfortable effort and at the turn around I felt like the pace was slowing so I decided to swim up front and push the last 800 meters.
I exited at an hour and was ok with that. My friends Bernadette and Amy were there to strip me of my wetsuit. I felt great heading up to T1 and transition went smoothly. It felt awesome to be on the bike except it was now raining pretty steadily. This was not how I wanted to be racing the LP bike course. All I COULD DO WAS LAUGH AND SMILE ALOT! I was really trying to keep a great attitude. The bike was feeling good and the watts were comfortable to ride. The first section of hills went quickly and the downhill was a little scary and slower than usual. I however got extremely cold on the downhill and developed a rather big headache. Anyone that knows me knows I do not like to be cold! I passed Marie Danais on the straight away and she too was freezing. We both were shaking and she ended up dropping out. At the turn around I got to see that I was holding 5th place and I was pretty excited about that as the girls were not to far ahead. I was feeling very strong just super cold. Going up WhiteFace Mountain was a breeze and I had the guys on motorbikes filming me and we were joking back and forth. I was asking them for warm clothes and telling them that I needed to wear something more than a sportsbra when racing. I was also asking if everyone had dropped out of the race as I was constantly alone on the course. I was still smiling! The hills went by so quickly and I was excited to ride through town. My half way split was right where I wanted it to be and my watts were on target. I headed out of town and the reality hit that I had to stay cold again for another loop. There was no sign of sun. The rain came down so HARD and I had to put my sunglasses on as it was stinging my eyes. I did the second downhill and at that point my body got so cold and stiffened up so badly. My head, arms,chest,neck even stomach ached. The age groupers were starting to go by in small groups and I did not respond. I saw an awful accident on the out and back. A guy came down a hill and skidded off the road and flipped right over his bars and hit a tree. He disappeared into the bushes and I prayed for him and myself. I was torn as I really felt like I should stop and see how he was. Mentally that really tore me up and I yelled at the next aid station that they needed medical back a mile. I had seen that I was really right near Desiree Ficker at the turn around but I totally lost my focus. I rode the hills staying within myself and was happy to come back into town.
At T2 the girls told me that Desiree was a few minutes in front of me. I ran out HARD and my first few miles were 6.45,6.55,7.15. I could not feel my feet but my legs actually felt very good. I had seen Paulo and he was yelling to go get Desiree. I had a renewed energy and I pushed. I knew I had to get calories as my nutrition on the bike was very low. I grabbed a gel and my stomach did not want it. I had to stop at the bathroom. When I came out Caitlin Snow ran by me. She was really moving and I tried to stay close but she pulled away. She was running 6.50's and my next two miles were 7.35.and 7.20 and she was still pulling away. At this point it started raining again and my body was not happy. I had hit the hills and I had seen that Danielle Sullivan was running pretty well and was right behind me. My energy was very low but every time I tried to take a gel I felt lousy. I saw Paulo again and he yelled at me to push. I held 7.45's through town and saw that Desiree was pretty close to me. I would have normally been very excited to pass her but I knew that she was battling the cold just like I was. The last ten miles would be a mental struggle. With very tight cold muscles, a very short stride and a stomach that had shut brain was starting to fry too. My focus had switched from racing to just finishing. I just wanted to be warm again.
I ran into the finsh chute and was happy to be the 5th women pro. I got to hug my kids and I was then taken straight to the medical tent. I had a body temperature of 91 and was shivering uncontrollably. I had lost 7 pounds and they started a warm fluid IV right away. The guys in medical were awesome. They fed me warm chicken broth and after 3 IV's I started to feel much better.
This is the third race of my season that I have been mentally tested with crazy weather conditions. Both Arizona and Eagleman with temps in the high 90's and now this cold crazy rain in LP. I hope to get a normal race day soon!
Thanks to all my friends out there on the course for the good support. Congrads to Will Ronco,Tom O Neil and Laura Demeo for qualifying for Hawaii. You guys really deserve it! Congrads too to Danielle Sullivan,Mike Villane, Jason Gehrs, Grace M, Barry, Eugene, Betsy, Mike and all those who stuck it out on that tough day!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Can we just race now!

I have been enjoying the taper and having some extra time,but I am ready to get this going now! Lets race! I feel like I have been training for this race since last year April when I got my heart set on racing in Lake Placid but had to pull out due to an injury. I have waited a long year and a half and thought about this race often. I don't want to wait any more! I am one week out and I leave for Lake Placid in 2 days. I am very excited to get in my car and start my journey. I like how everything is coming together.
My taper week went well. I did my third ocean 1 mile swim race this week and was really proud of my self constraint. Accidents always seem to happen doing silly things so I was very nervous about running in or out of the ocean and pulling a muscle with the cold water.I decided I would gently make my way over the long sand bank into the deeper water. I watched 200 people run ahead of me across a huge sand bank and dive threw a few bigger than average size waves. I walk/jogged slowly in and once in the water swam as hard as I could to try catch them. I caught at least 150 people (half were 12 and under and very afraid. ) Then on returning I let a few repass me as I walked back out of the water. After the mile swim I went right back in the water and did a second loop. I was quite surprised and happy to be escourted on the way back by a kayaker. When I walked out the water I was quite surprised as people were cheering for me and were yelling to me don't I want a finisher stick. I was the final finisher they were waiting for. I guess the life guard I had told that I was going back in for a second loop forgot to relay the message.
The rest of the training went well. I am really starting to feel some life come back into my legs. YaY!
I picked up my bike from the shop today. Considering I also dropped it off today I am very grateful to Clarence from Brielle who went out of his way to make sure it is race ready!
Lastly before I sign off I want to congratulate Tara Norton for having another great race in Ironman Switzerland...4th overall!
Awesome job in Rhode Island 70.3. I am proud of you guys, Scott I knew you could pull off am amazing race. 4.16 1st in your age group! Dave 4.10 11th overall in your 2nd half ironman. Both had stellar runs under 1.20! Christine 4th in your age group in your first half ironman..amazing! Another solid race Joe 7th in your age group!
Great racing!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Last night was the JSTC expo and Brielle Cyclery did an awesome job of bringing together a great group of people all eager to support the local sponsors of the club and learn more about the latest in the triathlon industry. It made me very proud to be a part of this sport. It was so good to meet some of the new members and hang out and catch up with good friends. Thank you all for the good wishes for Ironman Lake Placid. Good luck to all of you guys racing in RHODE ISLAND this weekend. Joe,Dave, Scott,Christine you are all going to have great races. It looks like it shall be a really good half ironman.
Thank you Freddy from OAKLEY for getting me ready to race in some awesome womens frames! I love the new style...the enduring pace. They are the best Oakleys I have had yet! It was great to get a run in with you today and hear about the great times you guys have had in Kona. It got me even more fired up to race hard in LP and to put it all out there. Also thanks Bruce from Miles Ahead for the new Avia's. Took them out for a little run light,comfortable and stylish! Its great to have you guys supporting me!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The work is done!

I am very happy to say that I have finished my build and I am now officially in taper mode! YAY! What a relief! Since last years incident of injuring my calf three weeks before Ironman Lake Placid and having to drop out when I so badly wanted to race. I have been especially nervous about getting through the last two weeks when the volume is highest and the body is most vulnerable to injury! I had a few scary moments of muscles getting to tight or pain staying a little to long that got me concerned during the week. I probably drove Paulo crazy as I was seriously panicking about doing my last 20 mile run on tired legs. I really wanted him to tell me that it was OK not to do it or that I would be fine if I did! But I think he was unsure himself! I just had to suck it up and do it. I put that run off all day and driving to the resevoir I actually felt quite sick. It ended up going very well and I am so glad I got it in as it really solidified to me that my run fitness is good! Todays 5 hour ride was the end of a good strecth of endless bike miles. I feel I have nailed all my long rides and look forward to having a solid bike at LP.
The next week although cutting back the volume will still be some work. I am not completly out of danger yet as speed work can be hard on the body too. So I just hope that the next two weeks go according to plan. This two weeks of taper is always tough as I just want to race. But I also look forward to day by day feeling my body recover and watching the speed come back. It will be nice to beable to walk down my stairs without holding on the railing and going down sideways again too.
I am really getting excited to race!