Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Boulder 70.3 race report

Leading up to Boulder 70.3 I was super excited about the race because there was a lot going on.  From an old client visiting from Sarasota racing with his son, to meeting my IRONMAN Foundation Newton Running Ambassador teammates, my friend Jennie from Arkansas racing and I had 2 athletes I've been coaching racing their 1st 70.3.  With all this going on, I still had to remind myself and get myself organized into race mode.  I think sometimes I stay so busy, which is a good thing, and calms the nerves.

Boulder 70.3 course ride w/Andy & Jennie
The week leading up to race week my brother in law was in town for the week from Miami.  This was the least amount of tapering I've done for a 70.3, which made me a bit nervous.  Jennie got in town Monday before the race, so Andy, Jennie and I decided to ride 30 miles of the course so I could show her a bit.  After that we did a swim and hiked Eldorado Canyon State Park..... was a blast.  The rest of the week was work, short workouts, dinner with friends, fuelery massage with Geoff Hower (amazing) and NormaTech boots to top it off!

Welcome to Boulder, Tommy!!
The expo was a blast.  Saw a ton of friends and teammates.  I met up with Jennie at the Newton Running tent where my hubby, Nick, was working.  Ran into a couple clients from Lifetime Fitness who wanted to see what a triathlon expo was all about and checked out some newtons too!  YAY!  Always converting them one by one.  As we were walking up to the packet pickup, I ran into Tommy & Kris Klauber!  SO excited.  Tommy is a former client of mine who I trained in Sarasota.  Lost a ton of weight and got into the sport of triathlon over a year ago.... 50+ lbs later and 2 70.3's under his belt, he pulled the trigger on Boulder 70.3 to race with his son, Kris, who lives here in Boulder and is the manager of Mtn Sun Brewery on Pearl (yum!).  The expo is where I start to get super excited about the race and it all sets in that it's here!  Time flies when you're having fun.  
We workout! :)
TEAM lunch at the MED
I had to work a few hours that morning, plus a LTF TRI Team swim before we had our IRONMAN Foundation Newton Running Ambassador team photo shoot out at Coot Lake.  I was super excited for our Colorado area teammates and Larking (from Mississippi) to all get together.  It's crazy that we are from all over the place and when we get together it was like we just all hang out all the time.  Super fun.  After the shoot, I still had to get in a little run.  This was about 11am and super hot....but still managed to get in 20 minutes to flush out the legs.  Went to the expo to say hi to Nick, Ryan and Tori til I met up with our team for lunch at the MED.  Delicious!  The rest of the night was spent organizing race day items.... pack fuel, fill up water bottles, morning clothes, race day clothes, helmet, sunglasses, wetsuit, glide, shoes, etc....  almost forgot my cycling shoes til Nick found them later that night!  

Nick, Tori, Jennie, Ryan and I had dinner at Empire in Louisville that night.  Delicious food... had shrimp risotto, calamari salad and Dales Pale Ale :) well and some other apps everyone else ordered too!  We knew the weather was going to be crappy, but didn't realize the extent of it until our waiter asked if we wanted to go outside and see the twister forming to the NE (Erie area).  Holy smokes.... all of a sudden the sirens came on blaring down Main Street in Louisville to seek cover.  Our waiter reassured us that they had a basement and we would be ok.  The weather calmed down after about an hour, so we headed home.  Later that night Nick received a call that he and Ryan had to go back to the expo because it wasn't looking pretty.  I was curious why we were not allowed to drop our bikes off the day before the race, like every other race I have attended, but I was happy that my bike wasn't there that night!!  Minus all the craziness that night, I was still off to bed by 9pm!!

SUNDAY - Race Day!  
Race morning with Jennie

Wake up call came quick @ 4am.  My hubby rocks and already had coffee pre set to go off when I got up.  Sipped on coffee, ate english muffin, peanut butter, banana and water.....checked email, FB, and foam rolled.....typical morning routine :).  We left the house around 5am to get there before it was too congested to get into the Rez.  We came the back way, so it wasn't too bad.  Being with Nick race morning, since he was working the event, we got to park by the vendors, so it was across the street from the finish line.  YAY!  One great thing too about not having to drop off your bike the night before is that you can pump up your tires and fill up bottles/nutrition on your bike and leave the rest of your crap in the car.

Transition area seemed calm and people were just getting there as I was too.  I had the best transition spot ever.  It was within 10 feet and the 1st rack coming into T1 from the swim.  I felt like a pro! :)  I checked out my bike, set her up facing the bike exit, laid out my transition set up and out I went.  I ran into Jennie, friends, a few teammates and Lifetime TRI athletes while there too.  Always fun to see familiar faces pre race!

I met up with Tommy and Kris at the Newton tent to put on wetsuits and take a few pre race pics too!  One more potty stop and into the Boulder Rez for a little pre race swim with Jennie.  Love that we get to have a little warm up before we race.  Calms the nerves, gets the blood flowing, loosens up the muscles, joints and race ready!!

The new SwimSmart applied to this race as well.  Racing the Sprint and the Peak, I had a good idea of where I wanted to place myself for this race.  I wondered over to the 34-36 minute area and ran into some friends (Hannah & Marco Hintz, Alan Greening, Steven Katz and Scott McAnish) and teammates (Scott & Larkin)....always fun to talk trash pre race with friends.    I like the new swim start because we are funneled into the beach one by one, which allows for a smoother start.  I was able to get into the groove as soon as I hit the water.  One thing I didn't know was there were floating docks on the course (2 of them) and I almost ran into the first one.  No real issues on the swim, felt great and finished in 35:25...super happy!  Scott Taylor ran passed me in T1 saying.... oh you did beat me out of the water...HAHA.... later to find out he beat me by 3 seconds.
Heading into T1

Running into T1 I was so excited that I didn't have to run on that much concrete once I got into transition cause I had the best spot ever.  I'm a huge baby when it comes to my feet. HA!  I was testing out a new AquaSphere phantom wetsuit Ryan from Kompetitive Edge.  I had an old crusty one for about 3 years and the zipper has been an issue for a while.  So, I loved the new wetsuit.  It even had a back panel thing that fit like a girdle that helps low back support.   I totally forgot about it when I was trying to take the darn suit off, chalk up 30 seconds to figure out.  Where were the wet suit strippers when I needed them?

Let's start this bike
Onto the bike.... I was excited about the bike cause I knew the course like the back of my hand.  Home field advantage...and I have been working hard on my cycling and excited to see how it's paid off.  Leaving the Res, I knew I was just going to sip on some water and IM Perform as I start to get the legs warmed up.  Heading out on Jay and onto 28th St and 36, I knew it was a false flat and my goal was to warm up the first 20 minutes and hold back a bit.  I felt great until I turned past the church and felt bouncy.  Thinking it was just the road, I kept going....then it got worse and worse.  Shit.  So I pulled over in front of the miniature golf place, looked down at my rear wheel to notice that my tube was bulging out the side of my tire.  I have this love/hate with race wheels and valve extenders.  It took me a second to realize what I needed to do.  Take out the valve, deflate my tube, get my tube in there correctly, pop my tire on properly, make sure it's on and then hit it with CO2.  Almost pulled out the valve totally.  Minor panic attack, jk, and then I was off.  Think it took about 3-5 minutes, not sure, felt like forever, but when I got back on the bike I felt like I had turbos kicking cause I was pretty pissed at this moment.  I've raced since 2004 and I have yet to ever have any mechanicals IN a race.  I know, knock on wood, but I've been pretty lucky.  I am still blaming Ryan for this one....jk Ryan!
Fun bike course!
I love the scenery going up 36 and into Lyons.  The temp was great, the wind was cool and the ride was awesome.  I was so excited when I turned onto 66 and saw Tim, Tory and Devin there cheering me on....Hi Friends...right when I needed a little kick!  Then we head north on 75th, through some beautiful neighborhoods and back to 75th and to the Rez.   Somewhere between there I felt a sting on the inside of my left calf....damn...stung by bee!  Went numb after about 20 minutes, but was annoying!  One of the coolest things about this race was the fact that some of my athletes from Lifetime Fitness were out there volunteering.  From bike course, to water stations (You rock, Sabrina), run course and finish line!  You guys rock.  I got to see Tom at aid station #3 on the bike and it was awesome having one of your athletes hand you your water and give you some encouraging words to boost you when you need 10 more miles to go!!  Thanks, Tom!  I finished the bike in 2:41:41...pissed about the tire issue, but super excited about the bike time.
Happy to be coming into T2
Starting the run
Now onto the run.  My fav.  As I was leaving T1, I saw my co-worker, Jeff, and my athlete, Ali, there cheering me on!  Loved it.  The run was 2 loops....out the Rez entrance, up the rolling hills of gravel and rocky roads and then leveled out back into the Rez.  I like 2 loops so you know what to expect on the next loop, you get to see more athletes and friends/family.  About mile 3 I ran into my IMF teammate, Christi.... told her looking good and went on.  A few minutes later I feel someone getting close to me and Christi tells me... let's do this woman.  I need to be pushed and let's rock this run! We ran together for another 6 or so miles until the final few.  Running with a teammate and going through all the same aches, pains, mental and physical toughness, made it that much easier.
Starting our 2nd lap
Happy to have that one in the bank!
Thanks for running with me woman!  I felt pretty good on the run minus the hills the first half of the loops. I paced where I wanted to be, walked a couple aid stations to get all my fluids in and followed by fueling/nutrition plan (water every aid station, ice down the top to cool off, coke every 2-3 miles and had 1 gel half way through).  Finished strong with a 1:58...not my best but happy considering it was a tough run for me.  Coming close to the finish line, I saw our Lifetime Fitness TRI Team & Newton Running friends cheering me in and had chills all the way to the finish.  I was so excited to see Kaira at the finish line with a medal in her hand...big hug and all smiles!  Thanks, Kaira!!!  Finished my day with a 5:19:18!!

Thank you to my amazing husband, Nick, for your love and support!  My biggest fan ever!  LOVE!  Thanks to my amazing Lifetime Fitness TRI TEAM, IRONMAN Foundation Newton Running Ambassador Team, Kompetitive Edge and Newton Running corporate team for the cheers and support all weekend long!!  You guys are the best!

Our cheering squad!  Lifetime Fitness & Newton Running
Kristen's 1st 70.3.  So proud to watch athletes check off their bucket list.
Congrats woman.
Next up... Boulder IRONMAN baby!
Sabrina was rocking that cow bell for the runners!
Thanks to all the amazing volunteers who spend their day helping others reach their goals!
Shirley's 1st 70.3!!  Can't say how proud I am of this woman!!  Most determined and passionate woman I've ever met!  Full of smiles!  Congrats, Shirley!  2013 was awesome....2014 will be epic!
Nuff said.... true that, Jennie!  This woman rocked this race and had a new PR!!!
Whoop!  Whoop!
SO proud of Tommy!!  70.3 #3 in the bank!  Can't tell you how inspired I am by this man!
Love to see clients reach their goals and continue on the path of
health and fitness!  You make me proud, TK!

We finished the awesome race weekend with dinner at The Rev in Louisville with friends.  Love you guys! XO

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ironman Foundation Newton Running Charity Night at Lucky Pie

The past 2 years, my husband and I partnered up with a local restaurant, Lucky Pie in downtown Louisville, Colorado.  Last year we raised money for PCF - Athletes for a cure and this year for IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Henderson, Las Vegas.  The owners and managers know us by name since we moved here last May.  Well....with amazing pizza and beer specials (like pitcher of Avery IPA and a pepp pizza for $15 on Sundays and Mondays!!) who wouldn't go there.  It's a chill vibe and great food.  Also, next door is Sweet Cow....delicious ice cream.  The line wraps around the building every day!  It's nuts.

I approached the manager, Tony, about the IRONMAN Foundation silent auction raffle night again this year and he was so excited to have us.  One of the most amazing things about being involved with ironman, triathlons in general and being part of the newton running family is the people and connections we have made over the years and it grows and grows each race venue.  To coordinate the raffle items, I emailed out to all my clients, family and friends....and this came together....

Gift Certificate for 2 pair of Newton running shoes/socks/water bottles.  Thanks Wendy Lee & Nick Clark
Newton Running Visor (2) autographed by Craig Alexander
Fuelery (Massage) Gift Certificate ($75 value)  Thanks Geoff Hower

FuelBelt - 4x 4 pack hydration system plus iPhone holders  (Thanks Chris & Sarah Legh)
Lifeproof iPhone cover & iPad cover
Mavic helmet with Bolle sunglasses

Autographed Under Armour Chris MACCA kit (thanks, Dave!)

TriBella:  (Thanks Liz)$50 gift certificate, Goody bag with TriBella visor, socks, and water bottle (value $45) & a Retul Fit from Denver Fit Loft (value $299).

Kompetitive Edge: (thanks Ryan Stedeford)Louis Garneau/KE TR-40 Transition Bag - $1001 Free “The Fit” Bike fit by FitandTri - $1751 Free Race Tune Up - $1201 KE Headsweats Visor - $151 KE Trucker Hat - $251 KE T-Shirt - $251 Pair of Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 - $1202 Pairs of running socks - $20 (value - $595)

Lifetime Fitness - 1 month membership, 1 private pilates session and personal training session

IRONMAN World Championships backpack  (thanks, Zach)

3WRaces - (Thanks, Michelle & James Bettis)1 entry to the Prairie Dog Half Marathon/10k,2 entries to the Costumed K-9 Canter 1mile and 10k. (Dogs must be in full costume to participate)a 3W Races T-shirt, and a $15 Road ID gift certificate

Larkridge Dental - teeth whitening package  (thanks, Tara Carroll)

TIMEX watches (2) plus 2 black TIMEX Headsweats Hats - (Thanks Sara)

SkinStrong package (SLIK, SLATHER & SLIK DUST) - Thanks Stephanie Abernathy
- LifeProof iPhone 5 cover- LifeProof iPad cover- Mavic helmet- Bolle training glasses- 4 x FuelBelt Revenge belts (one pink, one orange and 2 black)

LB ACTION Photography - 1 free professional photo session ($350 value, doesn't include prints). Can be used for a sporting event, family shoot or lifestyle action shot) - Thanks Louis Bednar

Amazing fun night of friends and family....and new friends together!  It was a huge success and even more important, the mission IRONMAN Foundation was in full force.  Thanks to all my family, friends, co-workers, teammates, KE, 3WRaces, IMFNR TEAM and Lucky Pie for making this happen!

More about our team.....

"The IRONMAN Foundation-Newton Running Triathlon Team was created to leave behind an influential legacy through philanthropy, volunteerism and grant making by supporting various athletic, community, education, health, human services and public benefit non-profit organizations in the communities where IRONMAN events are held. The Tri Team will help spread this mission and help change the paradigm of triathlon from a selfish sport into a selfless sport. In order to help change this concept of the sport, team members not only train long hours for their race season, but they act selflessly in serving others within the IRONMAN communities and within their own communities. By participating in community service projects, athletes create  a "greater good" throughout their 2013 race season."  Check out:

Raffle items

KE package.  Thanks, Ryan!

Awesome raffle items

Best hubby and supporter ever, Nick Clark!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Race recaps

I've been slacking in the blog department.  Lots going on here from work, training, fundraising events, husbands IRONMAN Coeur d'Alene to family/friends visits and building a house!!

We kicked off triathlon season last month with the Kansas 70.3 race, followed by Boulder Sprint and just competed in the Boulder PEAK yesterday.  Being from Florida it is so weird to have only had a kickoff race in May.  Triathlon season starts, well you could race year round now, in February with a duathlon race called the Chilly Willy in Clearwater/St. Pete area.  It's been kind of a challenge to be inside, cause I am a wussy in the cold, during the march/april months, but Nick and I sucked it up and created a sweet set up in the living room with our trainers.  Actually, most of his long rides were on the trainer for him leading up to CdA.  He got the job done and did well!!

Here's a recap of my last 3 races....

Working the Kansas 70.3 Expo 

Kansas 70.3  - What a fun race venue!  The race takes place at Clinton Lake State Park.  It's a cute little park with lots of trees, nice lake and awesome people.  Nick and I got in on Thursday for expo set up.  My husband works for newton running and needed some expo help that weekend.  What a great way to taper, right?? :) So it was just him and I along with UltraMax out of Overland Park... fun group of guys!  Expo was pretty chill, but one thing I like about working expos is that you get to meet all of the athletes racing.  So during the race you know a ton of other familiar faces that push you along the way. One of the coolest things about this race was meeting up with my IRONMAN Foundation Newton Running Teammate, Liz, Pam and Khem....and hanging out with Craig Alexandar and Hines Ward!  Awesome!!

Taking on the Kansas bike course.

Kansas 70.3 Finish
Race day was a test to see where my fitness was.  I hadn't raced since the end of Sept last year at Branson 70.3.  I was pleasantly surprised at how great I felt.  Race started down at Clinton Lake (T1) and T2 was a couple miles up this little climb that was next to the finish line.   The race kicked off at Clinton Lake a nice calm, one loop swim at 36:27.  The bike course was all through the hills of Douglas County, over the beautiful Clinton Lake Dam, with a single loop back to the state park.... did I mention that there was a nice little climb about 50 yards coming out of T1?  That will wake up those legs...bring on the bike course.....  I was happy with a solid bike time of 2:50 because there were some serious climbs, heat and lots of wind!!  I always tell myself....get to the run...this is where your race starts.  The run is my strength and always happy to get there.  I've been training in Colorado for a year now and wanted to see what all the hype was with training with altitude.  Let me tell you.... I really felt the advantages of training in Colorado on this run.  This was my fasted half marathon during a 70.3 race.....a 1:45...awesome!   The fun thing about this run course was that is was a 2 loop through the campgrounds of the park and I got to see my husband numerous times out there....always awesome!  There was never a dull moment on the run course and cheers all around!  I was happy with my finish of total time of 5:17:23 with 15th in AG.  My hubby kicked some serious butt too with a new PR of 5:15.  I will definitely be back to Kansas again.  Great venue, awesome people and lots of fun!  I think it would rock to camp there too, if the weather cooperates. :)

Nick finishing strong with a 5:15 race at Kansas 70.3

IRONMAN Foundation Newton Running Ambassador TEAM

Sprint Finish
LifeTime TRI Team Westy @ Boulder Sprint
Boulder Sprint - So this was my 1st triathlon in Colorado.  Talk about intimidating!  When you toe the line with other pro/olympic athletes it definitely gives you butterflies!  I haven't raced a sprint triathlon in a few years since I have been mostly focusing on half/full ironman distances the past 3 years, but when I saw the Boulder Tri Series, I couldn't resist to check it out.  This was my 1st of 3 races of the series and I was ready to test out to see if I had any fast twitch fibers left in there.  Oh, did I mention that I raced Kansas 70.3 last weekend?  HA!  The Boulder sprint consists of a 750 meter swim in the Boulder Res, followed by a shortened bike (due to construction) of 14 miles and a 5k run around the Boulder Res. Dam.  IRONMAN was practicing their new "Swim Smart" swim start at this race, which means athletes no longer start in their age waves, however, we were to start in a corral of our average 100m time.   I started in between the 1:40-1:50 group, which is where I usually am during other races, so I placed myself appropriately.  The gun went off and it was like a free for all as the athletes were funneled into the water in their selected paces and it was pure chaos.  I felt like it was an ironman swim start the entire swim.  My goal was to just keep myself from being kicked/punched and head above the water.  I've never seen so many athletes holding onto buoys before.  Every buoy had at least 3-4 athletes holding on.  Weird.  I managed to get out of the water at a descent time, but it was rough out there.   Considering I raced the weekend before and worked the expo (again) with Kompetitive Edge - Denver, I had a great race.  The weather was perfect, race conditions were great and had lots of fun out there!  My overall time was 1:21:23, which placed me 9th in AG. (swim: 14:21 (1:48/100), bike 39:21 (22.8mph) and run 24:23 (7:52/mi).  Beautiful venue and great support!
My awesome support team... Nick and Tori!!

Boulder Peak (Olympic) - The 2nd of the Boulder Tri Series is the Boulder Peak.  Do they name this the Peak due to it's killer of a bike course?  Maybe?!  The race starts out at the Boulder Res for a 1500m swim, followed by a solid 42k bike that goes up Old Stage/Lee Hill Rd that says this "Approximately 6 miles into the bike portion, the course will ascend 15% grade at Old Stage Hill (600’ vertical climb in 2/3 of a mile). From Old Stage, it is a beautiful descent down Left Hand Canyon. **A 35mph speed limit will be strictly enforced on the major descent on the backside of Old Stage Road. There will be Police Officers, and Course Marshals monitoring the speed of the athletes on this section of the course.**"  Crazy....and the run course is a gravel/trail run with some small rollers around the Boulder Res.  Leading into this race I haven't felt 100%.  Just an exhausted, run down, and fighting something off crappy kind of a feeling.  My last 2 weeks of training have been blah too, so I was unsure of what race day would feel like.  
Ready to rock the PEAK bike course

Swim Smart Boulder PEAK

I think ironman learned a ton about the swim smart from the sprint and then they implemented it at IRONMAN CdA a few weeks before.  They realized that they needed some time in between each wave to get athletes moving forward and less congestion.  The Peak was a similar set up, except they had your overall finish time for the 1500 on the signs and gave athletes about 30-60 seconds in between each group....much better set up!  Race starts and we were funned into a 1 person at a time type start, which I thought was great.  I felt great the whole swim, not clustered and got into a groove...came out of the water at 28:19.  Onto the bike I was excited to get up and over that climb.  I loved the climb because there was so much support going up the entire hill.  There were people cheering and running next to us.... I was laughing quite a bit too!  I've never raced where a police officer was checking with his radar gun how fast we were going and there was a sign with our mph too!  It was awesome.  Also on course was a Bear Crossing Sign, seriously!!  I guess a few years back a cyclist hit a bear during the race, which is nuts!!  I felt great the whole ride and the temps were cooler out than they have been in the past few weeks, which helped a lot.  My bike time was 1:15 for the shortened 23 mile loop, due to construction again.  Out on the run course temps started to rise, but I was ready to kick it in gear and run.  Usually when I just get off the bike my legs feel heavy from the bike, but I am always able to push through and stay consistent and negative split the run.  As soon as I started to run, I felt heavy and lethargic.  I tried to give myself positive pep talks and nothing.  My run splits went from 8:10s to 9:30s...ouch!  I did all I can to get to that finish line.  What kept me going were my awesome lifetime fitness athletes, KE and IMF teammates, friends and family..... you guys were the ones pushing me and keeping me smiling.  I also thought about my kick ass co-worker, Brent, running the 50 miler in Leadville at the same time....I kept saying to myself, I only have a 10k and she is out running 50 miles at some serious altitude.  I was so happy to get back to the finish line area to high 5 everyone out there cheering us on the whole guys SO rock.  My run time was 53:50 and total race time was 2:41:26.  Not the race I would of hoped for, but happy to toughed it out, finished strong and with a smile!  

Our LifeTime Fitness TRI Team - Westminster, CO!

Glad to have that under my belt and ready to rest.  Next up is to build back up for the Boulder 70.3 in August and the 70.3 World Championships in Vegas in Sept.  It's all about working hard, being consistent, staying healthy and having fun!!!

Thanks to everyone for all the love and support!!!  Thank you....Ironman Foundation Newton Running Ambassador Team and all of our sponsors, Kompetitive Edge, Lifetime Fitness Westy, Timex Factory Team, Nuun, SkinStrong and my amazing husband, Nick!!!

Pics from IM beautiful race venue.  On my plan for 2015!!

Awesome family & friends post race!

My mom & brother.  It was Josh's 1st IM and he rocked it with an 11:15!

The Clark's!!!

Finally got to meet, Dave, our Team Director.  Thanks for all you do!
My amazing husband, Nick, at IM CdA Finish!!  :)

Last, but not least...... our future house in the works.... we are SOOOO excited....

Coal Creek Village.  ETA beginning of Oct.