Monday, May 17, 2010

Florida 70.3 Race Report and a new attitude!

Well I am home after a quick two and a half days in Orlando.
I am happy with my result from the Florida 70.3. I managed to finish 5th Pro in a time of 4hrs29min and a new Half Ironman PR. ( well besides Florida 70.3 Worlds but that doesn't count and we all know why).....My splits were Swim 31 Bike 2.24 Run 1.29.
Now I don't mean to be overly enthusiastic by my result as 1-4 would have been even better. But a solid performance and a pay day(especially with the new 8% rule) is always a reason for excitement!

Leanda Cave, Amanda Stevens, Migali Tisseyre,Ayesha Rollinson and me!

So to recap my day....

My day started at 3.30am, as this race starts literally as the sun peeks up over the water.With a 6.20am start means an early breakfast if you want to play by the 3 hour to digest your food rule! Also I was staying just outside of Disney property and needed to give myself plenty of time to get to the rather difficult but pretty race site at Fort Wilderness!

Breakfast for this race was a gluten free bagel with jam, vitamins(Optygen HP and Multivitamin) and a small bottle of EFS.

The morning went smooth and I had enough time to lay out my gear, make a few bathroom stops and do a little run as they were not giving us any swim warm up.(not good for me)

At 6.23 sharp the women's pro field gun went off and I high kneed into the water followed by some dolphin dives. This enabled me to stay with the lead pack for 20 seconds longer than I would have normally as running was involved.
I settled in to a nice pace that was obviously a little too comfortable looking at the time. My swim went relatively fast and I was happy as the water was warm and calm and the buoys were well set up well and easy to see! I knew I was pulling at least one girl as she constantly touched my feet which was kind of a reminder to me to keep pushing hard. I felt good on the swim and actually caught one of the girls that was swimming on her own ahead of me....I guess all the 5000 meter swims are paying are off....just not in the speed department.

T1 is always fast and a little hectic but I was pleased to see about ten bikes still in the transition area.

But most of those girls were right behind me and it was a sprint to see who could get out of transition fastest. So race on and I did a good job getting out onto my bike. I went out with Tamara, Heather Jackson, and a few others. The lead pack of Leanda Cave,Nina Kraft,Sara McLarty, Amanda Stevens and Migali Tisseyre were already a few minutes ahead. So I knew I had to do my best to stay with the girls around me. After biking alone in New Orleans and in Tennessee I really wanted to feel like I was in the race. So I chose to push harder than I normally would early in the race.
A few miles into the race Tamara passed me. I know she is a solid biker so I decided to let her get no further than 400 meters ahead of me. My plan was to always have someone in sight. A few miles later Heather Jackson passed me. I know she got the fastest bike split in New Orleans and I knew if I could keep her in sight for a while I would be gearing up for a good bike. I went into this race with goals and a new attitude...something I did not have my last two races. I had specific times I wanted to do...they weren't set in stone as I know you have to adapt according to what the day throws you ...heat, wind etc but I made myself a plan and it gave me something to focus on.

I felt great on the Kestrel and was thrilled to have my power back. I think the fit that Coach Paulo did in Tennessee really helped me get comfortable and I felt the best I have all year!
Throughout the race I was happy to see that the drafting officials kept our pro girls (well the ones that I could see at various times) racing very clean for a flat course. That made me HAPPY and at one point I thanked them for it! This was my fastest bike split in a few years and I did feel like my legs were fatiguing near the end. I rode my own race though and had to eventually let some of the girls out of my site as they were pushing a little out of my comfort zone. I also made sure to stick to my nutrition plan of 3 bottles of EFS and that seemed to work perfectly.
I was thrilled when I came into T2 and saw my 2hr24min bike split. I was also a little nervous as I was not sure how my legs were going to feel. Well there was no time to think about it as I had some girls to go try catch. Another thing I really liked about this course was the ability to see your competition over and over as it is a three loop course. This is very motivating especially when you see the girls up ahead starting to fall apart. For this race I decided to race with a heart rate monitor so I knew how hard I was pushing. I knew it was going to be hot and I had to pace myself early on. So I kept my heart rate steady and ran controlled. This course has about 8 miles of uneven grass running that gets very hot...95 degree hot! When you are tired and getting dehydrated it can be very tough! But I kept my mind so positive this race...I reminded myself about how much I love racing in the heat and how forgiving the grass felt. I was passing girls and that felt good. When Ayesha passed me around mile 7 I tried to keep her close. I dug deeper and managed to bring my miles back down to 6.40/6.45 pace. I could see the speedy Kim Loeffler working hard to catch me...she was running fast and making up time and I knew I had to give it my all! With one mile to go I was told I was in 5th place 40 seconds behind 4th. I pushed as hard as I could making up 10 seconds but just not enough to catch 4th.
I was thrilled to be 5th on a day like this with such great competition.

Last Thursday I was very undecided about racing. My knee had been bothering me for weeks and my chiropractor was strongly suggesting that I take it easy. I was thinking that I may just stay at home or do a small local race. My friend agreed with me that it was a far way to go when I wasn't feeling 100%. Instead just when I was about to not go it became very clear to me that I really wanted to race! I actually had forgotten why I race... the challenge,the excitement, the energy and...the competition. I could take the easy way out or I could go and test myself,race hard and do the best I can.
My son Tanner was going to be in his own competition while I was racing His first Tae Kwondo full contact sparring competition. I explained to him my decision to go...that the better the competition the better you feel when you do well.

I thought of my son often while I raced. I raced for him....I raced hard as I felt the need to make the most of my day...I did not want to feel like I had anything left over. He was doing the same. He took a challenge...he faced the big boys and he got beat up ....but he hung in there and proved that he had heart and that he deserved to be there. He won his round against a boy 2 years older and a foot taller than him who kicked him in the head and stomach repeatedly. Tanner was tough and I was racing to show him that you have to be tough to do well. I am so proud of him and the athlete he is becoming and I was proud of myself on Sunday and the athlete I work hard to be!

So all in all a good positive weekend and some good lessons learned. Next up Quassy Rev3 race in a few weeks!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Good,Bad and the Ugly of my race in Knoxville!


Well as I expected Knoxville was going to be that tough Oly challenge that I like to throw at myself at least once a year. Short course racing is very intimidating for me especially knowing my swim is not my strongest event. Looking at the stellar women's pro field prior to the race start I knew that this was going to be a hard day for me and I was going into this race to support and represent the Trakkers Team at the First Rev 3 race of the year. What Rev 3 is doing is incredible and I wanted to be a part of it! It's an exciting new race series and it is first class. Next event I shall definitely bring the family as they had so much set up for the kids to do prerace and during the event itself. The race was well organized,clearly marked, and a nice scenic challenging course. The details that Rev 3 showed from the flowers for moms,to the boxed lunches and big slides set up for kids are superior to any other race I have done and a real nice touch!

Well to the race...all went smooth race morning. I had a great night sleep....rather unusual for me...and awoke at 2 in the morning to realise I had not even set my alarm. I was relieved to see it that I still had a few hours sleep and set 2 alarms and fell right back to sleep. I awoke at 5am to eat my new breakfast prerace routine of gluten free oatmeal, apple sauce and half a bottle of Ultragen which I sipped right up until race start.

My Kestrel all ready to go...

My name in lights...No 66

I headed out at 6am only to find out that it was in the 40's and freezing. We had found out at the pro meeting that it was going to be another non wetsuit swim which I was dreading. Being the eternal optimist I took my wetsuit down to race start anyway hoping that they would take the cold air temperature into consideration but they didn't.

So sadly we all headed down to the waters edge. I decided after shaking uncontrollably in New Orleans prior to race start that I was not going to do a warm up in the water as it looked to cold. I was not alone and a bunch of us waited on the deck until a few minutes before race start. The swim was pretty uneventful. The group split into two right from the start....I as expected ended up pulling the second group to the finish only to have everyone sprint by me at the swim exit. This was a very fast T1 and I realise I definitely have to remember that T1 and T2 is actually part of the race and not a time to catch my breath.

By the time I got onto my bike the 4 girls that had come out of the water behind me had taken off. I too also noticed that Olympic distance means pushing hard right from the start of the bike not just easing into a nice steady pace. Right from the start of the bike I was freezing. Now being in this position a few times before I am definitely learning that this cold racing and I just don't work together very well. As much as I tried to think warm thoughts my mind was not prepared for this scenario and it refused to co-operate. It wanted no part of this race and the result was extreme shaking, numb hands and feet, and loss of power. I was too distracted to even notice how hilly the bike course was. To those few age group guys that may have heard me moaning out loud I apologise as I forgot I was racing at times as I contemplated which sunny spot I was going to stop and sit and wait for a ride at. I decided it was going to be best that I just rode my bike back into town. In all my races I have ever done I am yet to DNF and I pride myself in that and yet the thoughts going through my head were exactly that. Entering T2 I was still thinking about stopping but then I saw Coach Paulo yelling at me to hurry up and I figured I had to try suck it up. So T2 was a blur I ran out yelling to Paulo that I could not feel my feet....of course he told me to run faster....and that's how it went. I ran as fast as my body would let me while running on stumps and by mile 3 when my feet thawed out I realised I had something rather large in the toe of my shoe. Ended up that it was a whole gel pack that I am very happy didn't explode in their but did make for some squashed toes. By mile 4 I realized I was going to make the finish of another race...even if not a perfect one! I was happy to run through the Rev 3 finish shoot in 11th place...sadly once again just out of the money!

All in all a great experience. Bonus of the day was that Team Trakkers pulled out a big win in the Trakkers versus K-Swiss Challenge!

Thanks to Fred my home stay for these great pictures....

This is a classic finish between second and third place....Terenzo and Lieto

I thank my wonderful home stay Fred and Ali for all their hospitality. They are two great people who opened up their beautiful home to me and Dede and they made my stay in Knoxville that much better! I look forward to seeing you both again and good luck with your racing Fred and your new baby!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

First Endurance

I am the luckiest girl to be sponsored by First Endurance. This is nutrition products at their best. I am so impressed by all the information you can get from their site and the research that goes into their products and finding the best solutions for us athletes. It is unbelievable. There is a wealth of knowledge on the First Endurance site and I encourage you all to go and look as" knowledge is power". All the time we spend swimming, biking and running only to let a race slide because of poor nutrition is such a waste. A few simple changes can make all the difference in your training and racing.
Go to and see what they have to offer. They talk about gluten free diets,race day nutrition,electrolytes,sodium....and much more!!!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Gearing up for Rev3 racing!

Well this weekend I will head to Knoxville to the much anticipated inaugerel Rev 3 Olympic race.
I am looking forward to this race for many reasons.
1. I get to re-unite with the Trakkers Team and am looking forward to meeting Charlie.
2. I get to meet all the cool age grouper Team that have sent me nice messages.
3. I get to see Heather G, Tom O, Eric B and my buddies Scottie and Brian will be there.
4. I get to race out of my comfort zone...Olympic races always scare me as they are SOOO short and fast unlike Ironman....but I am always up for a challange.
5.I get to visit a new town and meet a new homestay.
6.I get to see how Rev 3 puts on a race...looking forward to the excitement of race day!

I was hoping to drive down with my family but we decided to save the family trip for Rev 3 Conneticut where the drive is much more managable. Rev 3 is really looking to keep the families busy with big screen movies at night, cool adventure racing for them the day before the big race and computers set up so families can track their athletes race day.
It's going to be awesome!