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.