Tuesday, January 31, 2017

One sport wonder

So if you've been following along with the #blogsquad themes, last week, we assigned a topic to another gal and this week, we are to chose one of those 7 questions and answer it ourselves.  I'm not sure if there's a rule against answering your own question, but if so, I'm about to break it.  Last week I asked Liz, "if you could do one (tri) sport for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why.  Also, what have been your fave event that you've done in that sport, and what is still on your list to do. Liz and I must be total opposites, as she had great reasons to love each sport and landed on jack of all trades, master of none.

Check out these lovely ladies' blogs and see what they chose! Erin Klegstad, Laurel RichardsonLizzie CullenChristine CoggerCaitlin ConstantineJennifer Ward and Elizabeth Rich

I've thought about this one a lot over the years, and hands down, it would be biking.  I think swimming is the easiest on your body and might have better longevity, but it's not that social, and my husband doesn't swim much, so it won't ever be something we can do together.  Running has always been my weakest link and is always the sport I will neglect the most in the off season.  It beats my body up the most (Achilles issues, hamstring, etc...), and it is the sport that honestly, gives me the least pleasure.  I have never run an open marathon in my life and have zip, zero, zilch itch to do one.  But what about seeing how "fast" I could run?  Doesn't really interest me.  I don't put much value on folks' open mary times, as they very rarely correlate to a post 112 mile ride marathon time.  I know there is value to running shorter races, but I will only do those in an effort to get faster overall in triathlon. 

This leaves us with biking.  I think there are lots of reasons it's my favorite.  It's the sport that we grew up doing as a family.  Riding a bike over long miles will inevitably bring out what is on your mind.  I've had some of my most meaningful and honest conversations on bikes, and I place a lot of value in that.  I've also had some big fights on bike rides, but they re usually long enough that there's time to make up ;). I dream about taking my bike all over the world with Mark and seeing beaches and countryside via two wheels.  I love my time spent both solo and with friends on the bike.  I'll always choose company, but sometimes a bit of alone time on the bike is just what you need to work out the brain. 

230k's of FUN!
I think my fave bike memories/routes can be whittled down to two trips.  When I was young, we used to go on TOSRV every year.  This is a 210 mile, 2 day event in Ohio and you sleep overnight in a gymnasium.  We would do this as a family, and I think my first ride was when I was 12.  I did it on the back of a tandem with my sis manning the front and my mom and dad along side.  It's a flat ride, and even then, I was competitive and we tried to hammer as best we could, while of course stopping at the many aid stations where you can consume more food that you were burning off!  The other bike ride that I would say is a must do, is the amateur Tour of Flanders.  This event takes place the day before the Spring Classic that the pro cyclists compete in and you can do the full course of 230k/142miles.  Mark and I did this in 2011

When in Belgium...waffles!
Pave and steep hills!
and it was amazing.  We got lucky with amazing weather, and the amount of cyclists was just awe inspiring.  Europe, really takes cycling seriously and I love that.  The route is challenging with the wind, hills and pavé and there are extra bragging rights for those who stay out of the smooth gutters and ride all of the pavé...I was making guttural noises by the last section of cobblestones, and Mark and I decided it might be a good time to ride with LESS pressure!  I was one of a small handful of women doing the whole route, so I got extra cheers, which made it extra fun.  The course is already lined with spectators on the famous climbs who are there in preparation of the next day.  The aid stations were filled with sweet Belgian waffles and frites at the end.  I would be remiss to not mention my back yard.  Although I don't really love climbing, I do enjoy the views it affords, and Northern California has some of the best riding in the world.

What is on my bucket list for cycling?  I would love to do a week in Italy or France and see some of the tour routes and even ride at the same time of the Tour de France and do a ride/spectate combo.  Also, the wine tasting wouldn't be bad, so I suppose I could be talked into that too!  I would also like to cycle parts of Australia and South East Asia. Both of these sections of the world have been high on my would love to visit list for a long time, so this would be a great way to see the world and get my bike on!

Friday, January 27, 2017


Our assignees
This week the #blogsquad decided to do something different and instead of all writing on the same topic, we each picked a topic for another gal.  No control, say what?!! Elizabeth gave me my question and asked "has there been a time in your life where you have failed {fallen flat on your face} and now you're thankful for the lessons you have learned? And what were those lessons? - my challenge for you is to pick something non tri related".  Ummmmmm, seriously, you throw this question at me and I can't use a tri example?!!  Elizabeth may get the award for hardest question this week.  

Writing about failure is hard? That can't be possible right?  It's not that I've never failed, but one of my superpowers is that I forget.  I mean I really forget bad experiences. You can remind me of them, and then I'll be like "oh yeah, that WAS terrible!" But then I just laugh about it and get back to whatever I'm doing.  This particular skill of mine (I say skill, you say shortcoming, same dif, right?) lands me in some hot water with my husband and coach, Mark.  Example:  
HM- what should I be doing for training, I really want to work on speed this year since I'm not doing an IM until Kona?!
MM: running races, the local Saturday ride...  Same things I've been telling you for years...I swear, I'm a broken record.  

Got it now?  Same things happens with crappy experiences.  I think it's because I like to see the sunny side of life.

This got me thinking about failure.  I don't think I like the word, failure.  I don't really think you fail if you gave whatever it is you were trying to do, your biggest and best effort.  How can that equate to failure?  It might mean you didn't hit the mark, and I'm not trying to give us all participation trophies here, but how is that failure?  If you give something your best, fall down and get back up again, I see that as success.  If you fall and can't be bothered to get back up, then yes, we can say that's a failure.  

What I'm about to say, please don't take the wrong way.  I can't remember a time that I have failed. Maybe others have seen me as failing, and maybe this is what it boils down to, is perspective.  I choose to keep a perspective on life that rolls with the punches.  I have had hiccups along the way, a few rough spots in my career early on, but thus far, life has been incredibly kind to me.   Maybe "remember" is the key word, but when Elizabeth asked me this question, I was like, how am I going to answer this?! Do I have days at work, in life and in training that absolutely suck?  Yes, of course, and sometimes I fail to hit intervals during a session, fail to get back to people in (what I consider) a timely manner, fail to be my 100% best.  But after that happens, I wrap up my day, tell myself the next time will be better and I move along.  That's one of the best things about life, you get to wake up every day and try again. 

What these things have taught me:
1. No one can do it all.  Full stop.  Maybe you can do a lot of things, but when I try to do it all, I can't do ALL THE THINGS to the level I expect from myself.  Something has to give.  
2. Just keep going.  Get up, brush yourself off, and say what's next?!
3. Figure out what is the root cause of your failure.  One of my tri related failures was IM Texas in 2013 I think?  I stopped for almost 40 min and had no idea what was wrong with me.  Turns out, I had super low iron.  I fixed it and got back to being my normal self.  
4. Failure can teach you a lot about what is important to you.  I believe that if you truly want to do something in life, you can do it if you value it enough.  The success may not come overnight, but if you stay the course, you will be successful.  Maybe sometimes when you fail, if you're really honest with yourself, it's. because the goal wasn't that important to you.  

How do you view failure?  Check out these lovely ladies' blogs for the rest of the theme from this weekErin Klegstad, Laurel RichardsonLizzie CullenChristine CoggerCaitlin ConstantineJennifer Ward and Elizabeth Rich

Monday, January 16, 2017

Number one scarcity...time

The "Blog Squad"...oh yes, we have a name, is at it again this week.  We're talking time management and I have not managed my time well this week and am LATE in posting this.  But that means that I've had the opportunity to catch up on all the other gals' takes on this topic and have taken some notes and laughed out loud at others.  Check out the other reports here LaurelErinChristineLizCaitlin, Jen and Elizabeth’s 

As I was reading all of these blogs, I got to thinking about time.  When we're little, it can't go by quickly enough...you want to be old enough to do X and a day takes FORever.  Then as we age, suddenly time seems to shift and all of the sudden, I can't slow it down.  I want to savor the moment longer, but alas, time waits for no triathlete.  So here are some of the things we do to keep doing what we like as often as possible.

  • Outsource.  Yes, outsource everything you can possibly afford.  Some things like grocery shopping are so commonly done now (Amazon Fresh, Instacart, and your local market) that they don't even cost anything.  When folks OPT to go to the store instead of freeing up an hour by having it done, I can't comprehend (again, it's free).  Yes, I like picking out my produce too, but not more than I value that hour.  The other night, I was on the trainer exchanging texts with my Instacart shopper and just feeling so damn happy that I use this service.  My dad always says do whatever puts a smile on your face. Triathlon does that, so I try to make sure I'm doing what makes me happy as often as possible.

  • Divide and Conquer.  This is where the "we" above comes in.  Mark and I don't do a lot of chores or house stuff together.  If I do want to go to the grocery store, he doesn't come...he stays home, works on house projects or maintains my bikes.  Or he goes and exercises on his own.  I would love it if we cooked dinner together more, but often, it's just me making dinner while he does X/Y/Z for us.  We're a total team and by doing tasks separately, we create more time for the things we really value like time together, time with friends, and training.

  • Always pack your gym/work/food bags, pump tires/lay out kit the night before. I've yet to end up after a masters practice with two discolored shoes/no pants, etc since I get it done the night before....although those posts make me laugh so much!  And kudos to those that can get it done in the morning, but I really like to sleep!  I wake up 10 minutes before i leave for the pool, so it's literally wake up, brush teeth, GO!  Most of the time, my bags are already in my car and I just grab my food and go.  

  • Find supportive co-workers.  I am incredibly lucky that my closest colleagues are BEYOND supportive of triathlon.  I have some that will run with me and others that will bring me back lunch from wherever they've gone so that I can get my lunch workout done AND eat when I get back :)  While I'm good about packing breakfast, I do rely on lunch out nearly every day.  

  • Socialize in training.  I'm lucky that most of my closest friends, also do triathlon.  This means I never feel "cheated" because we don't go out often, because I likely have just spent all day long with my buddies on the bike, or just did a tempo run with them.  Yes, we lead what most would consider "boring" night lives, but I'd rather be swim/bike/running than out on the town most of the time, so it's worth it.

  • Try to become OK when shit doesn't go to plan.  You miss a workout, you had a meeting, whatever comes up, sometimes life just doesn't go to schedule.  I've tried to become more OK with that, and that can create- less worrying/stress, which can create more time, right?
That's it...hoping this is somewhat helpful!  Onto the next topic...what will we think of next?!!  

Friday, January 6, 2017

7 in '17

Wow, twice in two weeks, right?  We'll see how long I can keep this (regular) blog thing going.  Our little group of bloggers has me inspired and also gave me a due date so this week, we're moving on from 2016 and jumping into 2017 with 7 things we're looking forward to.  If you haven't already, check out these other ladies' blogs, it's great to see how we all put our individual spin on the different topics.  There's Erin, Jen, Christine, Liz, Caitlin, Elizabeth and Laurel.

Now 7 things...doesn't seem like a lot, but it took me a while!

These are 7 things I'm looking forward to in 2017...

My only impressive yoga pose
Beach yoga!
1.  More yoga.  I've always loved yoga and did it a lot before getting into triathlon, but it's time for a come back.  I had a lot of problems with my back and hamstring last year, so I am hoping to manage it with yoga, strength and daily mobility.  My fave type of yoga is HOT (of course) power yoga.  I got a flashy new mat and everything, so I better stick with it!

2.  Less racing.  What?!! Over the last 13 months, I raced 5 Ironman races, as well as 3 (maybe more) halfs as well as other smaller, local races.  That's a LOT.  For the mind and the body.  I'm not planning on racing an IM until Kona, and will race shorter races to build speed, but am looking forward to a few less races this year.  I've been exercising for the last 6 weeks since Arizona, but I'm still not really ready to TRAIN.  And for now, I'm OK with that.  It's not time yet and I think after LY, a bigger rest is A-OK.  Does it suck not being race fit?  Absolutely, but it's not time to be race fit.  Do I get grumpy on group rides when I am the lanterne rouge?  For sure, but again, it's not race day, is it?

Experiences AND Hawaii!
Can you see "Aloha"?
3. More trips to Hawaii.  This place feeds my soul, and my sister also happens to live on Kauai.  And being with her and her family also feeds my soul, so I plan on heading to the islands more this year than I did last.

4. More experiences and less things.  This year, when Christmas rolled around, I couldn't think of anything I wanted save one pair of shoes.  Thankfully and luckily, we have everything we want, material wise.  So now, it's time to seek how to carve out more time for experiences with those I love the most.  Whether it's long rides or runs with friends or trips to see family, I'd rather spend my discretionary $$ on being with those I love than a material possession. Editor's note...not that I don't enjoy shiny, new things...I CERTAINLY do.

Ohio and my parents
5. Two trips to Ohio in 2017 to see two of my longest standing and best friends get married.  Brandy and I used to roll around our small town BUMPIN' Biggie Smalls and The Fugees and were lifeguards t.  She's come to see me race in Hawaii and now it's time for me to see her on her biggest day.  And Sam, my college BF (yes, we're still good friends).  He came to a remote island in the Caribbean to see me get married and now I will trek to the great land of Ohio to see him wed his amazing bride.

Riding down the coast w/these two
6. The Coast Ride.  It's looking like rain next weekend...thank the good lord, as asking this butt to ride 375 miles next(!) weekend, would be a major ask right now...see #2.  However, we will arrange a summer coast ride like we did last year to make up for the rained out/cold version.  This is always a highlight of the year, endless (almost) hours of gal-pal talk time and views of the California Coast.

Smiles on Alii Drive
7. Ironman Kona.  You had to know this would be on the list, right? This will be my 8th one, and I already dream about it!  Whenever I'm feeling blue, I just whip out my phone and scroll through pics of Hawaii.  Acai bowls, swimming with friends and dolphins, hot sun, and RACING!  What's not to look forward to about all that?

And there you have it.  Here's to your more's and even your less's...let's enjoy 2017!

Friday, December 30, 2016

16 in '16

When Jen first mentioned doing an end of year blog, sort of along the trend of 100 Things About Me (how was that nearly two years ago?!), I was immediately IN.  It's fun to look back over the year, combing through pics of memories created, and taking some time to, in a society where we just get to a place and then say "what's next?!", reflect and be grateful for the past 12 months.  This is a mix of things that happened in 2016 as well as the highlights...with pics of course to make it much more fun!

Happy New Year!! 2016 UK
  • the first fun thing of 2016 was spending New Years Eve and New Years Day with friends and family in the UK.  It was cold and dreary, but seeing Mark's friends and family always makes me wish we all lived closer...in a much sunnier and warm environment ;)

  • Throttling around the English Countryside in Mark's other wife, a 1974 Min Cooper that he restored with his mate Duncan.  Her name is Polly and he goes to visit her in the UK as often as possible under the guise of business trips to Europe!
Her name is Polly

Rally bar and seat belts...

    Kona Finish #7
    Kona waters with my sis and bestie
  • Ironman Kona...duh, of course this would be close to the top ;)  This year was my 7th Kona and it was my third year of swim, bike, running myself onto the Kona podium. From swims in the ocean with friends and family, to getting blown on the Queen K, Kona remains one of my most beloved places to be.  

Ending the year as the #1 ranked All World Athlete by Ironman for the 2nd year in a row :) I know it's based on how much you race, but I am pretty proud of it.  
Overall AWA Ranking
  • Qualifying for my 8th Kona this past November at Ironman Arizona.

Focus on Sonja's words...GO!
  • Taking the 35-39 North American Champion Title at Ironman Texas in May.  Ironman Texas has been on my list for a long time, with me racing it all but one of the years it's been in existence.  
Just missed the downpour and now we have shakes!
    Sherpa's gotta EAT, and me too...
  • Claiming my VERY FIRST overall amateur win at Escape From Alcatraz.  This is not my typically jam as it's COLD and SHORT, which makes it an even more awesome moment of 2016 for me.  
Weird arms that I do post race...TGI OVER!
  • Celebrating 7 years of marriage to Mark.  No one tells you that being married is different to living together and that it isn't always easy.  You've been warned!  But it is awesome, and I can't wait to continue this life we've created together.

Does he look aero?
  • Swimming 100x100's...OK, so I'm doing that tomorrow, but 100x100's is always an EPIC event.  Pic to follow tomorrow morning...

just this.
  • Swimming. With. Dolphins....TWICE in one trip. This was something that I had been gagging to do every time I've been in Kona.  I was only ever going to swim with them if it happened in the wild as I don't believe in paying to swim with them.  And it finally happened.  Thankfully the first time was by myself of of the Kona pier as when I saw them, I literally couldn't stop laughing with excitement.

  • Taking a helicopter tour of the Big Island.  It more than solidified that it's my favorite place on Earth and was just awe inspiring.

The other side of the Big Island...lush
  • Getting to race in my home town of Delaware, Ohio at the Ironman 70.3 Ohio.  There's something about KNOWING a course and being back home on the race course with friends and family.  I got cheered on by my BIGGEST fans and longest time friends and family and it was just awesome. My dad has never gotten to see me race as traveling is tough in a wheel chair, so having him out on the course was the cherry on top.

Hometown goodness and another 2nd place :)
  • I celebrated my 5 year anniversary at my job.  I can't imagine working anywhere else and my team mates and colleagues are beyond supportive of my outside of work pursuits and I cant explain how grateful I am for that.
The support I get from my colleagues post IM...just WOW

Coastal Bliss
  • Riding down the California Coast for two days with three amazing friends, Pia, Kayla and Erin. We missed the true Coast ride over MLK weekend due to rain so we made up for it with a GLORIOUS two days in June, complete with lots of mid-ride treats at Big Sur Bakery!

  • Christmas in Tahoe.  The cold may not be my jam, but my family is and the only thing missing was my dad.  But it was AWESOME to be with my sis, my nieces, my mom and the rest of our family over Christmas.  Baby girls even have #heartandcourage and can make a heart better than their Aunty.

Best Nieces evah
Good Friends and vino!
  • Last but not least and maybe not the most exciting, but it's always a highlight to spend another year doing what I love, and being surrounded by those I love.  So cheers to a sturdy (for the most part) body, and friends and family that I can't imagine being without.  
This was a group effort so please see these lovely ladies' blogs for the rest of the theme!  Erin Klegstad, Laurel Richardson, Lizzie Cullen, Christine Cogger, Caitlin Constantine, Jennifer Ward and Elizabeth Rich

Happy New Year's to you and yours and can't wait to see everyone on the course in 2017!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The driest place on earth

Wow...so I wrote this blog and then POOF tried to save more pics to it (#yourewelcome) and it just disappeared.  All of it...except the pics of course.  So I've been sulking and trying to recover the post to no avail.  So here goes attempt numero dos at this blog that will wrap up 2016.

Coeur gals in their Smith sunnies!
Last year when I arrived in AZ, I got a nose bleed every day I was there but race day (due to figuring out my issue).  This year I vowed to be pro-active and not re-active and was ARMED with Aquaphor.  Didn't you know it's best use is for lubing the inside of your nose to protect against nose bleeds?  Works well at altitude too ;)  See why I love humidity?  All of the heat of the desert, but NONE of the dryness.  If I lived in AZ, I would have to get even more serious about my moisturizing game, and I already moisturize with straight up coconut oil, so not really sure where I would go next?
Post race smiles at Snooze

I got into town on Thursday night and was lucky enough to stay with Coeur Teammie, Kristin for the first two nights and then with Sonja, who had flown in from CA to be my Sherpa.  Mark was in the UK working and let's be real, he only likes to come to IM in tropical locales ;) Pre- race was fun as there were SO many Coeur teammates racing that we got to have a dinner before the race and breakfast after.  I got to catch up with old teammies and meet new ones. 

I ended up staying at a hotel on Mill street so was able to walk to transition race morning which was nice...post race walk=not so nice!  Sonja and I walked down to transition and I met up with BFF Jess who had made a BIG 'ol batch of salty balls so was giving me half a recipe.  I planned on eating half balls, and half Gu wafels with PB smooshed between it (it has become my new training food LOVE).  I walked over to my bike after meeting with Jess put my stuff down and get to work on setting up my nutrition and pumping tires.  And then I go to get the salty balls and they are GONE.  Just gone.  I saw a gal walk by and pick up a bag, but thought she must be picking up her own stuff as it never crossed my mind that someone would pick up MY stuff that was oh so close to me and obviously not trash or abandoned.  Cue the panic.  I had packed about 600 other kcals so would be way short and depending on on-course nutrition if these things didn't reappear.  I found Jess and we searched and Sonja was on stand by telling me not to panic and that we would figure it out.  Jess and I gave up and then all of the sudden, Jess had them in her hand, saying they were next to the dumpster at the end of the row.  Awesome.  OK, well at least I had my nutrition, but it didn't have me in the most relaxed pre race mood ;)  See pic below with me middle right with eyes closed, cheeks blown out to the max while everyone else is smiling...
Current status is...Pic by John Nickerson

Pre-Race nutrition- 2 eggs, rice, half avocado, cold brew coffee, bottle of BT Nutrition Hydration, and bottle of pre-load 30min before the start.  Total was about 800kcals.  I had a banana and OB but I just couldn't.  

Swim: 58:36 vs 58:19 LY
After pushing my way to the front of the start queue, I found Kristin and a few other familiar faces and it was time to go.  Though we started at the front, they were really restricting the flow into the lake with barricades and letting about 2 people in at a time.  I found clean water immediately and just wanted to stay ON it as I knew that I would need as much of a lead as possible coming out of the water if I wanted to have a chance at winning and qualifying to Kona.  Each time I found feet I asked myself if this draft was fast enough and if not, swam around and found the next set.  The sun didn't come out the entire swim hell it didn't come out ALL day so I was pumped with my choice of the jade tint Roka F1's.  I was able to spot each buoy perfectly.  Kristin and I exited at the same time and got to head out on the bike together.  She's a stellar cyclist so I knew we could push each other all day.

Bike Nutrition: half recipe salty balls, 4 Gu Wafels with PB in-between, 7 bottles of BT Nutrition Hydration and water....oh the water in that dry environment...you can ALWAYS drink more in AZ.

Bike: 5:14:56 vs 5:14:21 LY (notice the theme yet?)
Pic by Nick Weiler
Pic by Nick Weiler
I REALLY wanted to go under 5:14 as I think that's my PB on any IM course and thought if there was no rain, really that should be possible right?  Maybe it was the wind, oh the WIND, or maybe it was racing 5 IM's in 13 months, but it just wasn't going to happen.  The wind was pretty strong on the way out which not at all surprisingly seems to encourage drafting.  I kept telling myself I just had to get to the top of the Beeline and then I could scream back into town.  The first two laps went pretty well but I definitely felt the slowdown on the third loop.  I was leading the amateur race until sometime in the third loop when Emily from 30-34 passed me like the freight train that she is on the bike.  So strong!  I was racing blind so not sure if it was just perception or if I really did slow (looking at splits looks like lap 2 going up the Beeline was actually the slowest).  I don't ever look at power when I race but record it and usually go by HR and perception.  I forgot my HR monitor at home and so that was it, perception it was! I'm really glad that this didn't throw me off.  I asked Sonja if she had one and once she said no, that was it, time to just RACE. Small rant...why is it that NOT ONE dude gave me an "on your left" when passing me?  It's safe and courteous...and BTW, if I pull out at the same time as you pass me that I didn't know, we're both going down...not just me, so really, it benefits us ALL if you just open your mouth and utter those three little words.  I rolled into transition in 2nd place for the amateur race and was still leading the AG.  I knew I would need to continue to build my lead if I had any hope of holding Emily K. off as the girl can run (ran a 3;19 in the end).  Unfortunately, I lost a minute to her on the bike and only had an 8 minute buffer.

Run nutrition: one scoop of pre-load as I hit the run and then 5 gels, coke and water at every aid station, a 5hour energy around mile 13 and then glucose tabs during the last 10k.  Total kcals using an estimate of 2oz/coke per aid station (let's say 20 of the 26) is 966 or 276/hour.

Running to the finish. Pic by Sonja
Run: 3:35:26 vs LY of 3:29:35 wah wha...
I think we all feel like this, but I'll still say it.  Why is it that what I can do in training doesn't materialize on race day for my marathon?  I can do my long runs at IM HR averaging 7:40...so why can't I even just seem to manage a 7:55 pace?  I'm not asking for 7:40's (yet...don't get greedy), but come on Hailey.  Maybe I just don't push hard enough?  I didn't have a HR monitor so no idea what my HR was and I was comfortably uncomfortable.  Mark always says I hate being uncomfortable so maybe that is the next things to work on.  Being uncomfortable running for long periods of time.

COKE! WATER! Pic by Nick Weiler
look at those high knees...not mine! Pic by Nick Weiler
The run course in AZ seems so desolate to me.  I think Texas and Kona spoil you, but truly the run support and volume of spectators is so high in TX (3 lap run) that it seemingly never ends.  The Coeur team had an AMAZING cheer section in the middle of nowhere along this course so that was so helpful, but if you do this course, be prepared for some serious YOU time where you will need to rally your positive self talk.  Speaking of self talk, I feel like I had a successful race mostly due in part to my mind on the day.  When I slowed, I assumed that so was everyone else and I told myself NO walking even through aid stations.  At one point, Emily was charging hard and Robin had shrunk my gap down to less than a minute.  But I did not panic and just kept telling myself that I am the durable athlete and that if I just keep WORKING MY PROCESS, I will have the success I am looking for.  Yes, I wanted to qualify for Kona and I knew that meant I had to finish in the top two as there were only 40 slots at this race.  But each time that thought would come into my head, I pushed it out and focused on the moment I was in...eat, drink, lean forward or at least try listen to the info Sonja gives you when you pass her and soak in the cheers.  On repeat. ON the 2nd lap, Emily made the pass and I moved into 2nd in our AG.  I had begun to open up a gap on Robin and was comfortably in 2nd.  At mile 24, a gal was coming from the 40-44 AG and Sonja asked me I had to decide if I wanted 2nd OA amateur or 3rd.  I couldn't rally my mind or body to hold on to 2nd and that is OK.  I think you can only go so deep a few times per year and I had already gone there in Kona.  I started to feel really rough from 24-26 and don't remember ever having to really will myself to the finish like I did here.  But then, there it was and poof, just like that, another IM is over and my season was done.  How does a nearly 10 hour day just go by in the blink?  I guess that' what happens when you're having FUN.

Kona Love
After the race, Sonja and I walked back to the hotel, showered up and wen tin search of pub food. The next morning after the usual, up until midnight on caffeine, girl talk and social media, sleep for three hours, picnic in bed, sleep another two hours, we were off to breakfast with the team at Snooze. I love going to this race for the sheer amount of Coeur teammies there.  It's such a special team, I really don't know where I'd be without these ladies.

Then we headed to awards and I accepted my Kona slot.  I can't believe this will be my 8th time on the island.  There's no place I'd rather be on the 2nd Saturday in October.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tri Holiday Guide

So it's Black Friday/Small Biz Saturday/Cyber Monday and maybe you're wondering what could you ever get that triathlete in your life?  Or you're looking for a list to give to folks buying for you...or maybe you just need to treat yo self! Look no further...these are the things that I use day in and day OUT to get me through my triathlife and maybe they can work for you too!  Look for the discount codes too!

Kits...be they for tri, bike run or swim, Coeur Sports has me covered.  We're also doing a Black Friday sale for 30% off so use code BF1630 to get you some as this stuff is rarely on sale!

Wheels, handle bars, stems...all the trimmings to make your whip fast and aero.  Hand made in Utah by the great folks at enve composites.  These wheels have NEVER let me down and I feel oh so stable in them, even in the mumuku winds of Kona.  And if you buy more than $75 right now, you'll be entered into a drawing for a set of wheels or a handlebar.  #treatyoself

BT Nutrition keeps me fueled day in and day out without all of the sugar of powerade.  Keep the hydration, ditch the sugar.  Use code WELOVESNBS for 10% off and see for yourself how much better your GI system behaves once you put the hydration in your bottles and keep the food in your pockets.

Strength...now enough of us pay attention to this and it is CRUCIAL to staying injury free (my new fave word is DURABLE) as well as keeping bone density high for the ladies.  The team at SBT Extreme has THE suspension trainer and right now you can get 25% off using code BF2016

Real Food..I live for it during training so that come race day, my fave race nutrition tastes fresh and like a treat.  Barnana is the perfect training food or pre/post workout snack to refuel with a good amount of carbs and fiber.  These tasty bites are organic and non-GMO.  My fave flavors are coconut and peanut butter. BOOM!

Race food- race day is a whole 'nother ball game and for race day I use a combo of my salty balls and Gu Stroopwafels with a little PB squished in it sammy like on the bike and then switch to gels on the run.  My fave flavors from Gu are the Caramel Coffee and GF Chocolate wafels and then I love the caramel macchiato and espresso love.   Right now Gu is offering 20% off site wide, no code necessary.

Just keep swimming...Just like Dory, we all need to keep swimming and the off-season is a great time to work on that swim stroke with pool toys by ROKA.  They also make the best wetsuits.  Full stop.  I get no neck chafing, and my shoulders feel unrestricted.  My go-to goggles from ROKA are the F1 in the jade tint for overcast days and the dark amber mirror for sunny days. These guys are offering 40% off for Black Friday (no code needed) so get some before it's GONE. 

What to keep all of your dirty clothes in while traveling, or put that wet swimsuit in instead of using yet another plastic bag and wasting things?  Aloha Collection offers bags that I use for everything...toiletries (even if they explode in the bag, i can just wash the bag and nothing else gets ruined), clothes, race day nutrition....the list goes on.  They're offering 25% off for this weekend with the code ALOHAFRIDAY!

Sunnies...for race day or post race looking casual chic, Smith Optics has you covered and looking on point.  My go to's for race day are the Arena for biking and the Asana for runs. For casual glasses, the Sidney is my jam. They also make amazing aero helmets (coming in March) and an incredibly safe road helmet, the Overtake which I've been using for 2 seasons now. 

Protein.  Say it with me, 30min window.  That's what you have after each workout to refuel properly to get your body kick started on recovery.  My recovery shake that I make is so good that I sometimes train just so I can have one! My recipe is 2 scoops organic chocolate Muscle Milk powder, 1c almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 1 serving peanut butter, ice and Voila!  If you like chocolate and PB, you will love this.  Sometimes i add a shot of cold brew and it's like a mocha. 

This might be on the bigger end of what you're asking for for The Holidays, but hey, a gal can dream, right?!  I've been riding Argon18 bikes for 6 years now.  I can't say enough for how well they handle, how well they are built and how amazing the Argon Family is.  For day to day riding since it's so hilly here in NorCal, I ride the Nitrogen Pro road bike.  I also raced Escape From Alcatraz on this since it's such a technical course and the bike is so aero.  My race bike is the E119 tri+ and it is amazing and so easy to take apart/build for races that include travel.

What are your fave things that make triathlon easier?  I hope you enjoy and have a great Holiday Season!