Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

My daughter suggested picking up trash at the bay beach for Earth Day...

...Lucky us found a rainbow doing it...

Kestrel Fit Number 3 Brielle Cyclery

Clarence from Brielle Cyclery worked with me yesterday to dial in the Kestrel fit. I am loving the feel of the new bike and think I am pretty close to nailing the best position for me right now! My neck still bothers me from my bike crash but hopefully I will beable to get even more aero as time goes by.
The new fit seems to be everything that Zane from Jack and Adams Retul Fit had recommended prior to racing New Orleans. It's amazing how small changes can make a huge difference in your power and comfort level.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Some pics from New Orleans

My pre race ride along the Mississippi! The wind was howling off the water!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Racing in the "Big Easy"

New Orleans from Rooftop!

After 11 days on the road. I am HAPPY to be home back to my loving family and warm comfortable bed!

New Orleans is such a unique town with so much history ,and I thought it was a really fun place to have a race. The fact that Bill Burke got the race finish to end running into the French Quarter was amazing and is up there with one of the coolest race finishes. Spectators lining this area were really pumped up (or drunk) and cheered loudly. It was really a nice way to end the race.

But let me go back to the start.
The Nola race experience reminded me alot of Eagleman. If anyone reading this has done Eagleman you know choppy water, windy bike and flat hot run and this was everything that that race has! The good news is I happen to love the Eagleman course!

The day started for me at 4am after a very restless sleepless night....nerves had really kicked in and I dragged myself out of bed wishing I had a few more hours to actually sleep. Nevertheless I reminded myself that the most important sleep is two nights before the race and put it out of my mind. I got breakfast in and left the hotel early to give myself plenty of time to get down to the race site as I was staying a good 20 minute away. Despite it being my first race in 9 months I felt very calm and prepared race morning. I got a warmup in and then headed down to the water. A big disappointment was the announcement that the pro field would not be allowed to race with a wetsuit on. Even though swimming is not my strongest event this does not bother me terribly, but the cool air and cold water really bothers me. Warming up in the water was impossible and I almost would have been better waiting on the shore and not warming up at all. That 10-15 minutes waiting for the anthem and the guys to go off put me into an incredibly stiff state with uncontrollable shaking. Alot of the girls were shivering and I really don't think this is a fair rule at all.
But nevertheless despite all my complaining to myself the race was to go on and the gun went off on and we headed into the water. I got a good start dolphin diving and managing not to hyperventilate in the process. The wind was really making a mess of the lake and we were swimming into a big chop. Once we turned the first buoy was when I realised it was going to be a long swim. There were waves of 1-2 feet which made sighting quite difficult and I watched a small group of girls ahead of me head for the wrong buoy. I made the choice to stick to my own line and break the water by myself. But unfortunately I was left in no mans land with nobody around and the big spacing between buoys and the sun and the waves pushing me to the shore made it very difficult.
Well after what seemed like an hour I eventually left the battlefield and was happy to exit the swim. I was so ready to get on my new Kestrel and start the race.

On the road I quickly realized that it was not going to be the easiest bike. The new bike position was not feeling great and my legs were not happy right from the start. I could not get my power going and the wind was not helping. The first hour and half would pretty much be into a head wind. I had hoped to pass a few girls on the bike but I only passed one. So I settled into a steady effort ride reminding myself to stay in the race and to keep pushing.In efforts to keep drafting to a minimum the age groupers were kept well behind us and this made for a very fair pleasant race for the pro's on a flat course :-) At the turn around I was thrilled to have a nice tailwind which made for a very fast ride back home.

After a very rusty and quite comical T2 I was happy to be running . My husband was out there on the first mile and I mentioned to him that I was racing for time as I hadn't seen anyone for so long. Nevertheless I pushed hard on the run. My legs came around quick and I was feeling pretty good. At one point around 6 miles I got to see that I was making some ground up on the girls ahead of me. So I dug deep and was happy to finish with a 2 minute run PR.

I always like to take some positives away from races. Racing keeps you sharp and I needed to get things rollin to see where my fitness was and to shake off the cobwebs! I had no expectations for this race so the PR run on a hot humid day was a bonus!

Having Hank,John Fell, Lauren Harrison who placed 5th(AWESOME RACE ),Linsey Corbin(2nd Place),and Trakkers teammate Dede, and other friends at the finish line was great and the energy downtown in the Quarter was amazing!

Glad I made the decision to race in NOLA and I would definitely like to go back there again next year!

This is what my husband got me to eat post race.....what"s up with this...we're in New Orleans and I just raced a half Ironman. He said he was trying to keep it healthy!

Post race on Bourbon Street!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lots to blog about!!!!!

Trakkers Camp 2010 Austin Texas

My time in Austin ended today as I have resettled in New Orleans...but I have many thoughts I want to share on the week there.

Firstly, the launch of Trakkers was very successful and I am so excited to be part of this dynamic team. It was so good to spend time with this great group and really get to know each other better.
Camp was a whirlwind of photo shoots, product education, bike fits, meet and greets and lots of fun and good laughs.
Jack and Adams Bike Shop based in Austin was our home base for camp and they graciously helped us every step of the way from putting my new bike together, to fitting me twice including dialing me in for New Orleans with the Retul 3-dimensional motion capture technology. Zane from J&A's has given me a setup that I shall work towards, after New Orleans that will make me super aero and much more efficient. The Retul fit was quite fascinating and definitely worth while!

I am excited to have Kestrel as my bike sponsor this year.I am riding the Kestrel Airfoil and I think it's a beautiful bike. With only a handful of rides on it, none longer than 2 hours I shall be interested and really look forward to seeing how it feels over the 56 mile distance on Sunday in New Orleans.

Krista Baker from Trakkers was there at the launch with a handful of Trakkers GPS devices (other known by me as her little chicks!) She gave us some good insight on how they are going to work while racing and eventually in training. Loved ones will be able to get live gps on race day to know exactly where you are and how you are racing. The group bike ride we did was a test run for them and it went off without a glitch. Later it was so cool as you could see exactly where and how fast we were going every minute. This will make spectating for my husband and kids so much easier, especially in the longer races.
Love these girls! Krista, Carole and myself!

Richie,Amanda and I heading out for the group ride!

We were so fortunate to have some amazing photographers with us all week. Jay Prasuhn originally from Triathlete magazine now at the new Lava Magazine) and Elizabeth Kreutz well known Lance Armstrong photographer..) took some fantastic pictures of the team while biking, running and having fun! It's impressive watching these guys in action and they were awesome!

We also got the chance to meet Carrie from Saucony, our clothing and sneaker sponsor. The new products that they had to show us are cutting edge and I am so looking forward to their arrival. The girls of course looked stylish all week as Saucony makes a huge assortment of training and casual athletic wear. I have my favorites!

We were fortunate enough to have Robert, the scientist behind First Endurance, our nutrition sponsor. Not only a great guy but one that was happy and eager to answer all our questions for four days. He knows his stuff and I am so thrilled to have them as my weapon for success this year! Nutrition has often ailed me in Ironman and I will be working closely with Robert to figure this out. Their product range covers all your needs, from daily vitamins,training drinks and bars to recovery drinks. Their new product Optygen HP is the one that I am most looking forward to trying.

With all this excitement going on I can't forget all the special people I got to meet this week.
Two in particular...I had the greatest homestay Vicki.....everyone in Austin knows Vicki as the giving wonderful athletic superstar she is and her cute doggie Izzy who has made me want a dog really badly!

Another giving homestay who helped me immensly was Scott. He also races and took me on a bike ride that covered every hill in Austin, He went out of his way to take make sure I was fed,had transport, a place to swim and a great mechanic too.. You both made my stay extra special and I thank you!!!!

So all in all I was quite sad to leave this beautiful city. Austin has an amazing vibe. People really relish in the outdoors and healthy living. I will especially miss the run around town lake and the Whole Foods. Austin Whole foods shopping heaven!!!!!!

Amanda, Michael, Carole, Dede, Richie, Brian, Mary Beth....this shall be a great year for us!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Trakkers Pro Team Launch in Austin

Come join Trakkers Pro Team and Jack & Adam’s Bicycles for a weekend of Triathlon fun. Team Trakkers is kicking off their year with multiple happenings at Jack & Adam’s on Fri., Sat., and Sun., April 9th, 10th, and 11th. Come join us for a happy hour, swim, bike, run, or just stop by the mini expo and try to win some free stuff. Other guests will include Rev 3 Events, High Five Events, Trakkers GPS, Saucony, First Endurance, and many more. Mark your calendar now so you don’t miss the fun. Below is a schedule of events for the entire weekend.
Friday April 9
8:30 AM Group Swim at Barton Springs – Knock the dust off your wetsuit and come take a swim with some of the best in the sport. (Meet at Barton Springs, bring cash for entry!)
6:00-8:00PM, Happy hour for ALL to attend – Come meet the Trakkers Pro Team, drink beer, eat catered food, kick back and listen to some live music! (Meet at J & A’s.)
Pro Team includes Michael Lovato, Amanda Lovato, Richie Cunningham, Dede Griesbauer, Brian Fleischmann, Mary Beth Ellis, Jacqui Gordon, and Carole Sharpless.
Saturday April 10
8:30 AM Group ride from J & A’s – 30 Mile Hilly Loop, presented by First Endurance ANYONE welcome – Free First Endurance product provided pre- and post-ride.
First Endurance nutrition talk immediately following the ride: learn the ins and outs of fueling and recovery. Breakfast tacos & coffee compliments of First Endurance.
12:00 PM- 4:00 PM – Trakkers Pro Team & Jack & Adam’s Season Kick-Off
Catered food from Whole Foods – fruit, sandwiches, and more, compliments of Team Trakkers and J & A’s.
Trakkers device test run and demo set to view at J & A’s.
High Five Events, Rev 3 Events, Trakkers, Saucony, First Endurance, and more will be on site with product samples and displays.
Lots of Free stuff to be given away!
4:30 PM Group Run from J & A’s – Take a jog around Town Lake. 4 and 7 mile loops available. – Pros split off for photos on Auditorium Shores
Sunday April 11
8:00AM Optional Capitol 10,000 event.
8:00AM -12:00PM Pro athletes receive Retul Bike Fits with Zane Castro
12:00: Trakkers product talk and wrap-up.