Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflections on my years in Triathlon!

It has always been very clear to me and I have always expressed how much I love to race! The feeling I have always got being on a start line is like no other. Excitement, anticipation,satisfaction, appreciation, gratitude, love of life...I can go on and on. So there is no doubt that I still have an enormous passion for being out there.

Ironman South Africa
Triathlon has tested me in so many ways.

Most people don't know this but I started competing in triathlon back in 1998. 14 years ago WOW!!!! At first it was just the local sprint races. I have to see if I can find some photos.  I had moved from NYC and was intrigued by a small group of triathletes at my gym. In NYC I had a pool on my roof so I would swim daily.  I was fit as I was a trainer and would run around Central Park. I even commuted via mountain bike...yes I was one of those crazies riding around Manhattan dodging cabs and open car doors.  Little did I know that this was my early training for triathlon.

Upon moving to the Jersey Shore this handful of triathletes (Jamie Carey, Bruce Robinson, Jack Meyer (RIP) convinced me to try my first triathlon. I forget if the first one was the Brigantine triathlon or the Monmouth Park Sprint. But it was new and exciting. Everybody was fit and I fell in love with it.
It was ugly back then. With little actual training and it was all about survival. Getting through the swim, riding my bike as fast as I could without crashing and then trying to overcome the hyperventilating and jello legs on the run. I loved every minute and I remember thinking those first few races I could get on the podium.  As with any new sport there was a learning curve,  and the guys like to remind me how I used to break down crying when I failed to unclip at a stop light and would come crashing down.  I remember my first ride with local roadies Christian and his Thursday night hammerfest thinking I could ride with the big boys and then getting dropped in the first 5 miles. Yes I cried again but I was determined to get faster. It did not take long and I was winning my age group all the while still riding in my small chain ring as I did not know how to work a road bike and only swimming junk miles.

I knew I could be good, but how good I was unsure.  What was apparent was the more I trained the better I got. This sport does not come easy. It takes commitment, dedication and passion and lots of time.
In 2001 I was taken in by Geoff Schroeder (The General) and his group and for the next 4 years I would develop into a real triathlete. We worked out HARD. It was a great group and we would go on long 100 mile rides, laughing and making jokes the whole time we pushed each other. We had our Tues/Thursday/ Sun long runs which people used to joke that when you showed up you had to bring a number as they were like races. This group and especially Geoff Schroeder got me to placing 2nd in my age group in Hawaii in 2005 and 7th Amateur in the world! Geoff had a knack for realizing talent and he pushed me daily with his rigorous schedules and belief in me. This was probably the most fun I had in triathlon and I am very thankful to him for getting me to Hawaii as a top age grouper.

In these early years it was all about FUN! I loved to train and looked forward to each and every workout. There was no pressure, no heart rate monitors, no power meters.  Just Geoff yelling out our pace per mile, or us seeing how hard we could go on the bike for as long as we could. There was satisfaction when we dropped someone on the ride or some laughs when we saw someone had pushed too hard and was starting to crack. Back then after Hawaii we would pack our bikes away for the winter and would not bring them out until the weather broke in March. In the meatime we would focus on our running and swimming. It was simple yet very effective. I miss that group very much and those early years.

Once I turned pro in 2006 things changed a bit. I got a new coach, Paulo Sousa, and I took my training to the next level. I was a lot more focused and I stopped doing the group workouts as I was now on a schedule. During my early years (1999 and 2002) I had had 2 children where I took a year off after each child. So my schedule being different to others I really had to do a lot of my workouts during nap time, then school hours and normally on very little sleep. As my kids got a little older I got to race a bit more and even go to training camps where I got the feel of the old times and training with a group and of course racing!!

With a new coach I made improvements and after a year or two started cracking the Top ten and then the top 5 in the pro field. I knew the training worked and I kept my will to succeed and work ethic. I never missed a day of training and I put in 100%. In the mean time I watched triathlon grow. What started out as a handful of people racing in my area had now had become a hundred more.
I was always thankful to have a small group of hard working athletes to train with a couple times a week that were willing to do my ride, or swim my workouts with me and support me in what I was doing!  Big thanks to Maggy Guinco, Joe Donahue, Laura DeMeo especially!!!

 I have learned many things over the years.
If you want to be really good you have to put in the work.  It helps to have people to push you and to share the accomplishment of a hard days training with.

Celebrating with QT2 Teammates Jennie Hansen and Jessie Donovan at IMLP
I love to train and be outdoors but it is not always fun, sometimes it is really miserable. But if you can wrap your head around it..what you have to accomplish that day. Whether it be a solo 5 hour ride on the trainer or 5 hours out in freezing conditions with wind blowing 20 mph or getting caught in down pours. Training when you don't feel well or pushing through when your body is fatigued. If you can find the positive in it...if you can ask yourself what is right about what you doing and come up with an answer then you have already accomplished alot. You see people ask me how I have managed to only DNF one race in my life after 22 Ironman and probably 40 70.3's and many more. You see I don't give up as I have taken my mind to those ugly places in training where you are miserable but have endured and ultimately find great satisfaction in doing that.

Back racing on the Timex team in 2007
What I have noticed in the last few years is that I am becoming softer. I opt for my trainer if the weather gets too bad. If I feel sick I listen to my body more and take the time off. My kids sports take priority now more than ever. I will work my schedule around there's. Sometimes life gets in the way and I just can't get the training in.
 Crashes twice over the last 4 years set me back and have hindered my performances repeatedly. You work so hard get fit, start getting results then crash you are out! You mentally and physically take a hit but yes you come back, you work hard, your build back your strength and you return stronger. Another great life lesson..that you can lose everything but you can come back rebuild, and be better if you want it. Sometimes you are forced to start over...

I have always believed I can win an Ironman and that drive has kept me going for the last 10 years daily. But as this sport becomes saturated with talent and athletes willing to make the extra sacrifices I know that this goal becomes more difficult. With that being said I was very happy with my 3rd at Ironman Lake Placid this year  and I continue to work to that goal!

Coming back strong after my 2011 crash but disappointment when I double flatted early on the bike in Panama!
I chose to finish the race and PR on the run! 

To be the best these days means you need to have the best support system around you, you need to be selfish, you need to make sacrifices, you need to be mentally strong, you need to want to win, you need to believe in yourself and your capabilities. To give anything less is to cheat yourself of being your absolute best.

With that being said I feel I have given all I can for as long as I can with always believing I was keeping the balance in my life and being the best mom I could be. I am so thankful to my family who has shared me with this sport for so long and have been so proud and supportive.

Heading into 3rd place at IMLP. A highlight of 2012!

Huge satisfaction and a huge comeback for me after my crash!

This race was done on pure will. Probably the hardest and most mentally taxing race of my life coming off a downhill crash and then arriving in Phuket to see these 22% grade hills. I wanted to cry and to not just enjoy being with my sister but I knew I had to do it!!!

This sport has been so much more for me. It has got me and my family to travel the world. It has exposed my kids to what you can do if you commit yourself and work hard to achieve a goal. It has shown me and them that "Anything is Possible." Yes cliche but I honestly believe that racing Ironman has taught me to never give up...if I want something I can achieve it. Nothing is beyond my reach. You just have to have a dream and have the will to work.

For 2013 I will continue to work hard and enjoy my time racing. I am still looking for the WIN. I am still looking for PR's but I am taking some of that self imposed pressure off of myself. So I can just enjoy my time racing. I tried to keep this thought process this whole year. Racing a lot, being in the moment,  and just having fun. Just enjoying the process and trying not to worry to much on the results!

So I look forward to 2013 and hope you all do too!

Triathlon is an incredible sport and I am grateful to all I have met along the way and all those I have had the opportunity to race, to the friends I have made, to the sponsors that have supported me and to my coaches that have played an integral part of the last 15 years.

My dear friends and family after IM NYC!
Thank you Coach Jesse Kropelnicki for believing in me and working with me and getting me through this last crash and back ready to race. It was an amazing comeback year of racing! I know it was not your idea to race so much but when it gets taken away from you temporarily it makes you want to come back stronger and race more even if it was not the way to go!

Thank you Rev 3, Charlie Patten, Eric and the rest of the crew for putting on a great series!!! You guys are the absolute best! Its been an amazing 3 years as Part of this team!

Many thanks to PowerBar for a year of fueling! I went through boxes and boxes and am so thankful to them! What a great product!

Big thanks to Blue Seventy, Kestrel, NormaTec , Louis Garneau, TorHans Hydration Systems, Brielle Cyclery, Dr Goldberger and Advanced Orthopedics Institute and Sports Medicine, Dr Liz Perez and ART, Shelby and her amazing massage and acupuncture.

Its been an amazing 2012 and I am wishing you all the best 2013 where you take big steps to achieve all your goals!

Find your rainbow in each day!

South Africa Ironman 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Escape to Paradise! Ironman Cozumel!

As I arrived in Cozumel my stress of the last few weeks started to disappear!  I still wanted to race as I had put the training in....even if the focus had not been there. I had felt my run improving and my bike and swim seemed solid.

With every beautiful sunset or sunrise I felt thankful and blessed!

I was staying with the QT2 system pro girls and they really motivated me and got me excited to race.

Trying to get a little tan before the race!
Cozumel is beautiful and the swimming in the turquoise ocean amazing. I felt so lucky to be there!

Coach Jesse had warned me that nothing about this course was going to be  easy...and to add to that, last minute, about 15 amazing girls had signed up on top of the already stellar field of girls. Every girl on the list seemed to have an IM title to her name! This was certainly not the ideal race to be racing when your head is not in the game.

But I felt so lucky to be there...doing what I love...with hot sun and beautiful sunsets, clear water and friendly people.   I can do this...

 I posted this picture and quote the night before the race..
"What would life be like if we did not have the courage to attempt anything?" Van Gogh

I was feeling very unsure...but as usual Coach Jesse reassured me I was fit and ready!!

Jessie Donovan and Stephanie Jones race morning!
Race morning I am always quite confident but I was feeling a little uneasy as my stomach was upset. All week we had been a bit paranoid about drinking the water and getting sick! I was not sure if it was nerves or if I was in fact getting sick! 
The wind was blowing as I knew it would and I was still a little concerned about my deep dish front wheel as it seemed to be blowing heavy off shore which meant strong crosswinds! Oh well there was no changing it now.

 Before we knew it we all headed down to the start. The ocean swim was meant to be into a current, then a long stretch fast section with the current at my back and then back into the current to finish.
The gun went off and I sprinted hard. I was with the group and I had feet to swim on. I was swimming hard and felt strong. I kept saying just push until the turn around buoy then you can settle down with the current at my back. But it never happened. The group turned and the girl in front of me stopped to sight. That was enough to lose the group and I surged by her trying to catch up but I could not. The water was still rough and it  was immediatly apparent there was no current behind me. Instead it was an offshore current that was pushing me ashore. The result was a slow long swim as you fought against the constant current to get around each buoy. As there had been no pro meeting I was unsure whether we had to go around the buoys or not. So to play it safe I constantly headed around every buoy probably swimming 2.8 miles. This was extremely annoying.  The last stretch back into the current took forever. I decided just to swim on the the girl behind me's feet and save myself for the bike. This would mean I would not have to site as much and swallow as much salt water.  I had already swallowed a gallon and the salt was burning my throat. I came out in a 1.07 which I thought was terrible until I saw after the race that over 300 people did not even finish the swim. 

Onto the bike. It was apparent right away that my stomach was bloated and felt upset but I tried to eat half a Powerbar and settle it down. Within 5 miles I could see three girls up ahead. They were biking in a line. I pushed hard to catch up to them as I knew it would be easier if I could have girls around me by the time we hit the super windy section.  But when I reached the girls it felt comfortable so I pushed to the front.  But they would keep passing so it became a bit of a game. It made the time pass quick but it was getting a bit frustrating after a while. It seemed that this race had no officials and the ones that came by did nothing. A pro girl came by fast directly on another guys wheel. Her blatant drafting was incredible. They were flying.  I did not realize that a group of about 6 girls were now like a big train behind me. On the second loop teammate Jessie Donovan passed me and told me and I knew I had to try breakaway from the group.   Another guy and pro girl were riding right on Jessies wheel and probably stayed that way the whole day. I could not stay with them for long but instead I kept pushing hard and when I turned to see if the girls were still there I could not even see them. I was now biking totally solo for the last loop. I was convinced they would catch me as the last loop was the windiest and toughest but I managed to keep a 3-4 minute gap by the end of the ride.  I was happy with my 5.11 and 8th fastest bike split considering how much time I seem to waste.

Things I will remember for next year if I do this race!
1)The bike is tough!!! Spend as much time as you can in the aero bars in training as this is how you will be for 112 miles. By the third loop I was uncomfortable  and constantly stretching my legs!

2) Peeing on a flat course is not easy!!! I always felt like I needed to pee and I kept trying to stand and ride but it would not happen so eventually I would have to just coast. This is not good for your avg power.

3) I don't usually take salt tabs as I don't have a high sweat rate. This race I carried mine in a Nuun bottle. Not a good idea as they all came flying out as I flipped the lid on the bike. I was left with 2 and my plan was to take one with every bottle as they only serve Gatorade on the course. On the next loop I saw a guy stopped picking them all up. Hah..those were mine!!!

4) The gatorade bottles are super thin and the first time I grabbed one and put it in my cage it slipped out and almost caused me to fly over my bars as it got caught in my wheel. From then on I could only grab one bottle and fill my aero bottle at each stop. Once again alot of time wasted in this process!

5) The course is spectacular along the windiest section..

One of the shrines you see on the run course

Onto the run...Coach Jesse had told me to go out stomach was bloated so that was a good idea.  I decided not to take my watch out  of my back pocket until the first turn around which was mile 4.  But when I got there I decided I would just run on feel (Another example of how I was not focused)  My stomach was acting up and I could not find a porto john so eventually I had to stop behind a wall. After that stop around mile 7 I started to feel a little better and could take in more fluids. The run is a 3 loop course that takes you along the waterfront area. It is very spectator friendly. As you head into town it becomes louder and louder and it really is an exciting mile.  The wind would be in your face going out which actually felt good and then it would get really hot in sections on the way back.  The craziest thing about the run was the aid stations would only have one person and one table handing out gatorade. In each cup was one sip so by the time it hit your mouth it was gone. This meant I would have to drink alot of water which was not great!  I heard there were some pro's who's coaches were handing them bottles of sports drink.....mmmm Unbelievable!  A lot of rule breaking going on!

By the second loop I did not feel bad but I just could not get out of the steady pace I was running.  I passed a few girls and a few passed me. Somehow I slipped from 9th place to 15th by the end of the day.  I would have liked to make top 10 but I did not put up a fight and for that I am disappointed in myself. Instead I just enjoyed and finished the race.  

I was happy to see a 9hr 55 min split as I finished as I had no idea what I was running. Last year that would have put me in 6th place but the field was so strong and deep with over 35 girls and a lot of solid runners.

Post race fun!

Post race Brunch and Pina coladas

Cozumel was a great fun race to end the season off! I definitely recommend it!

Big thanks as always to Coach Jesse from QT2 systems! I am always proud to represent Rev 3! Pearl Izumi,  Powerbar, Kestrel,  LG and too all those that help me along the way!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rev 3 Florida Blows into Venice Beach

My last race leading up to IM Cozumel!

My few weeks leading up to Ironman were hectic to say the least.

I had finished up a series of 3 half Iron distance races in 4 weeks. The last one of the three being Rev 3 Florida! As this was right around the time that Hurricane Sandy hit I came back to devastation back home and I never actually got to write my race report.
As this race was the last of the Rev 3 series and really quite a gem I simply need to share my experience there before I can move onto IM COZ!

I arrived in Venice Beach FL on the Friday of race week. Sadly my bike did not arrive with me. This was the start of an unforseen 3 weeks of trying times and stress!

 Without a bike I continued to go ahead and proceed with race preparations.   I drove though the charming town seaside town to swim but the ocean at the beach was really kicking up some waves as hurricane Sandy was approaching and I knew the possibility of a cancelled swim race day was high. Instead I found a nice YMCA right by the highway a few minutes from where I was staying. It was wonderful to get an outdoor swim  after the cooler temps back home! 

Thankfully after many calls to United I found my bike in Las Vegas Sat morning and I urged them to get it on a plane as fast as possible. It arrived just before bedtime the night before the race!

Race morning they made the very smart call to cancel the pro swim as the currents were way to strong. I was relieved as I was not looking forward to the mosh pit of angry waves but with the new run/bike/run course I knew it was going to change the race a bit. 

The girls went out very fast. 5.15/5.30 pace and I was working hard. Thankfully it was only 1.5 miles and soon enough we were rushing into T1. I was 15 sec off the back of a main group of girls. I pushed hard on the bike. It was going to be a very windy 56 mile loop.

I managed to quickly catch and pass a few of the girls. With a strong tailwind and a pancake flat course we were flying and averaging 26/27 miles an hour. Somehow about 25 miles in we all ended up in a group  but the stagger rule kept things fair. Unfortunately the road was not closed to traffic and on a turn I followed a car not realizing that it was a U turn not a left turn.  I went left and followed the car and everyone behind made the turn. I had gone into a one lane one way road and had to follow it until I could turn around. But that point I had lost the pack of girls and about 1 minute.  So I headed back into the wind pushing really hard trying to catch back up. 
I finished the bike off in 11th close to the girls but I had put down my biggest power of the year and paid for it on the run. My run had been improving every race and I was hoping to run strong off the bike. But the heat and wind and fatigue made me feel like I had lead in my legs. So I just  put my head down and got the race done! I got a 40 min post race run in which was a good quality effort in my build for IM COZ.

Highlight of the race were the Rev 3 crew. As it was just pre Halloween they were all in costume cheering loudly and really cracked me up on the course.  Their is no greater race series for feel good fun than with this group.  I am always proud to be representing them!!

After the race, the reality hit that I would not be getting home for a few more days as all flights were being cancelled. This was really tough as the eye of Hurricane Sandy was going to  be hitting the Jersey Shore and I would  not be there with my family. Our house is surrounded by water and they called for a mandatory evacuation. All I could do was watch from afar and wait for the storm to pass to see what kind of devastation was left behind. I stayed glued to the tv really quite sick to my stomach.

Our boardwalks all broken up!

When I finally got home it was like a war zone. The Jersey Shore was destroyed. Our home was spared but many friends and neighbors lost there homes. I just could not validate training when so many people needed help. So Coach Jesse gave me some time off to help friends and even when I went back to training I felt guilt and a lack of energy. With no power the pools were closed, roads blocked, trees down, power lines all over the roads.  Biking and running was not easy.
 In the mean time my daughter had got pneumonia, my husband was sick, the schools were closed... people were getting sick from all the dampness around and I was feeling really run down.
The remainder of my rides would be on the trainer going into Coz.
I contemplated just not even racing Ironman and calling it a season. The desire was not there.

I was overwhelmed by the support from all        over the world who were concerned for myself and my family during this time. Thank you!!
Sydney looking at the dock now missing!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Recover,Train, Race, Repeat...

Racing, racing, racing my way back into shape, is my motto for October!

Three half distance races in 4 weeks! Pocono's 70.3, Rev 3 Anderson and Rev 3 Florida.

After my nice little 2-3 week vacation after IM NYC I was left not only feeling unfit, but still with a few nagging issues.  My achilles had been acting up since IMLP and IMNYC had not helped the problem. I also seemed to have done something to really aggravate my sacral muscles.  Probably too much time spent sitting behind the  I was carrying a few extra pounds due to my coach giving me the green light to eat as much ice cream and pretty much anything I wanted!

Running was brought down to the bare minimum with quite a few water running days in there.  Training times were slow and my runs were all trail runs. The goal for me was just to be happy to get through them without my achilles getting worse.  My awesome ART practitioner Liz Perez strongly suggested no racing and limited training for me for a while but we both knew I was going to stick to the plan. So with one real week of running under my belt and some descent but painful bikes (none spent in the aerobars) I headed for the Pocono's 70.3.

It was cold, and the morning of the race I texted Coach Kropelnicki saying my achilles was really hurting. The cold seems to tighten it up really badly. He assured me, just as he had done before IM NYC, that I would be ok. The achilles would warm up and by the run I would be fine! He once again was right.  I was able to run, I was able to bike and I had a good swim thanks to a REALLY short course giving me my second fastest 70.3 swim split ever of 24min. I think I recorded a little faster in Panama 70.3 this year with a 22 with the help of a super strong current!  The bike was really hard for me and the run I had one speed...slow! But I was happy to be out racing, especially so close to home,  so I just rolled with the 10th place result!

I recovered, I trained, I tapered and this weekend 10 days later I headed down to Rev 3 Anderson.  I was very excited as I have missed the Rev crew and the feel good atmosphere of these races.
I welcomed the first class event that Rev 3 puts on!

I like catching up with everyone and seeing all the familiar faces around. Anderson was charming and the Southerner's were "darling"! I was excited to race! I had realistic expectations. My goals were A) See a small improvement in fitness B) Get through the run without achilles issues C) Have fun!

I am happy to report that all of these happened.

The swim was in a calm lake. It was a wetsuit swim and my sprinting efforts in the pool seemed to have been paying off and I managed to stay with the lead group for about 300m. Then the uber swimmers swam off and left me stuck in no mans land.

 I was completely on my own finishing up 2 -3 min behind the lead pack and 2-3 minutes in front of the slower girls.  Unfortunately this time difference is huge...when your lead pack is in a group and its so hard to try catch them. Especially when they are all strong bikers too. So I put my head down and and tried to stay mentally focused. The roads were quiet and at one point I was so focused on my power that when a car passed I forgot to check for a marker and I thought I had missed a turn. Now I had driven the course the day before but if you miss a turn out there on these farm lands you are done! I soft peddled for what seemed like 5 minute losing power and wandering if I should turn around. Just then to my relief the video guys pulled up to me on the bike. They laughed as I immedietly sat up and said "Did I miss the turn?".

When you are out alone for 2 hours on quiet country roads it really starts to feel like a training day. It's just you against your power meter. Thankfully I had a few pro's husbands out there so I always knew the girls were coming and Erin Spitler's husband Rob was so kind as to give me a split that I was catching up to the girl in front of me. First two minutes, then 1 minute and then I could see her . By the end of the bike I had caught her and we ran into transition together.  I was happy as this was a more solid bike with higher power numbers than in the Pocono's.

The run was hilly and coach Jesse wanted me to push harder than the previous race. But I started to feel my chest close and my heart rate was going crazy. It was recording numbers in the 180's and 190's and while my garmin had to be wrong  I was forced to back it down. My 6.30 pace slowed to 7 minute pace and after 3 miles I was feeling under control again.

 I had to settle for a run that was consistent but average. It was really nice to have some pro girls around to keep me pushing on the run. I just wish I could have found an extra gear. But with no running speed work in probably 5 months...that's all I had. I was happy with the small improvement from two weeks ago and I look forward to hopefully being able to push even a little harder in 2 weeks at the Rev 3 Florida!

So for now, back to recover, train and for this next race a very short taper.
A couple thanks go to Rev 3 for a fantastic race from beginning to end!

The lovely Erin Spitler! A big thanks to her husband Rob for these awesome shots!

 Big thanks to Dr Laurie Glasser for getting me a few sessions with her EPAT machine.  A revolutionary new machine that heals based on pulse activation therapy. This machine is the bomb. If you want to see quick results this is the way to go. It take 6-10 minutes...shockwaves/pulses are sent to the worst part of the injury and it causes inflammation, circulation and an expedited recovery process in as little as one treatment. After each of the weekly treatments I had I would feel no pain for the next few days. If I was able to rest this achilles issue would have probably been healed alot quicker.  I am so impressed with this new technology! For more info about this machine go to or if in NJ make an appointment to see the wonderful Dr Glasser at ORTHOPAEDIC INSTITUTE OF NJ! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A character building kind of day!

So with all the racing going on this weekend I am definitely feeling a little left out! So what better time than to write a quick blog on whats been happening in my life! I see I am getting a lot of views to my blog from Ohio! Sad to say that even though I am on the race list I will not be competing in the Rev 3 Cedar Point Full tomorrow! My body is just not ready...plain and simple!

 I completed the double IM...IMLP and IMNYC within 3 weeks of each other. The 2 weeks post race were very easy. One week of catching up on a lot of things that had been put on the back burner for months and 2 weeks of enjoying summer with one of my best friends from London and her family. My heavy training days were replaced by easy bike rides, long walks

 through NYC, paddle boarding and catching waves. Every night seemed to end around 12pm and I don't even think I woke up before 8 am. Yes, this was not ideal recovery regime but it was fun for sure and after a jam packed racing season this was a welcome break. On the 3rd week I started itching to get back into some sort of a routine. My achilles had been quite calm the inactive weeks post IM but was now acting up, and on a trip to  NYC I went for a run in Central Park that turned into 1hr 20 run. I  ended up walking in a little pain after. Coach Jesse and I agreed I would take a full 10 days off running to nip this before it began an injury.

Doing two IM back to back is hard on the body and my body definitely was not happy. On my weeks off I also proceeded to jump off  my paddleboard before I was going to get slammed by a wave ...the result was my back and sacral muscles  really tightened up. So hence instead of feeling rested I have been feeling a little beat up!

With that been said today was my first long ride since IMNYC. Actually it was yesterday but I opted to forgo my long ride for a much needed trip to Dr ART and chiro extraordinaire!
She strongly suggested that a long ride would not help my tight back and after today I can say she was 100% correct!

Nevertheless I was excited to get back at it! I love riding long and after a week of riding everyday in the rain the projected forecast was SUNNY and HOT!
I was on the road at 6.30. It looked a little dark but nevertheless sunglasses on I was ready to rock the ride. By 7.30 I had picked up my friend Christine and we both were happy and commented how beautiful it was out. By 7.45 it was looking even darker and I commented that I did not think it was meant to rain but it was looking an awful lot like rain again. By 8am it was drizzling. We were pumped saying the rain felt good as it was nice and warm. By 8.15 it was pouring!!! We stopped at 8.30 at our usual pit stop. We were soaked! We stuck around pondering our situation...40 miles out and soaked to the bone.I asked Christine if she wanted to head home and she said she was up for anything! Love that Christine! She threw her drenched socks away and I let out the Quote of the day " Well these bikes aren't going to ride themselves" Lets get rolling!! We stared at a little blue patch in the sky and the rain seemed to be tapering off.
We decided to keep heading out further. Heck we were wet already! We were a minute into the ride and sure enough the rain let out even harder! It hurt our eyes and we laughed so hard! I yelled its a straight road for the next 5 miles need to look up!  Days like these are a true reflection on your character. How you handle things when they don't go your way. Well we were champs!! Not only did we ride but we pushed the pace in the rain and puddles....laughing and making jokes all the way!  We passed a guy who was moping in the could just see how miserable he was...he looked fit and capable of riding with us..but the rain had got to his head and he let us go. Three hours into the ride and I was starting to really feeling my tight back and glutes. The wet conditions and clothes were not helping. Our second pit stop of the day would be just for the sole purpose of me needing to stretch. I found a bunch of crates and I lay down. Christine...who is a personal trainer was up for helping me loosen my glute. She started sticking her elbow in my glute. My response made us laugh so hard! We must have been a sight as two old men came wandering up asking if we were ok? Did we need help..? Had I crashed? We explained that I had a cramp and figured we best get going. The elbow trick had helped and the rain had passed. Things were looking up.  We pushed back home. With the passing rain  and the sun that had come out so too came the wind. I joked to Christine that I would drop her at home and my last hour would be directly into a 20mph headwind. Well guess what! Thats exactly what happened! Work all the way. My glute was still holding strong but my back now was so tight. I had to pull over half an hour away from home. To anyone that saw me doing yoga poses on the side of the street on Allaire Rd....this was essential for me to get home!
So 5.22 hours later I rolled in and ever since then I have gone from medicine ball to tennis ball to foam roller  and now I sit and type this blog up with a massager  on my back!

Its good to be back...but looking forward to to getting strong again!

Lifetime friendships!
Cindy and I at Blue Man Group

The NYC Ironman girls! Celebrating our finishers!

Christine...always with a smile!