Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Chattanooga 70.3: Swimming like a donkey!

Remember my last blog where I spoke of neutral bike starts and how Ironman should adopt this rule?

Well, apparently I took that to heart at Chattanooga 70.3

Except none of the other pro girls got the memo so I was the only one partaking.  This was undoubtedly my career worst swim. It could have been the wallop to the head and the goggle mishap. It also could have been the fact that I can't tell my left from my right when I have race adrenaline careening through my veins. Regardless, I discovered that when you swim like a donkey you have to run your donkey ass off to get back to the top.  (Thank God I love this sport)

Let me briefly back up and say Chattanooga, TN is beautiful! It is green, and lush, and chock full of trails for running and biking. It also has some pretty rad coffee shops, ice cream shops and donut shops. (If you don't judge a town on the donut quality then you clearly don't have your priorities straight.) 


Chattanooga will be a fantastic venue for the 70.3 World Championships in 2017 and I can't wait to return.

This is what you do on taper



I figure I will start this race report with a little diagram of where the swim went wrong. The triangles are the buoys and the arrows show you which way the course runs. Pretty straight forward, right? Except I am out in left field. Doh!

As you can see I am not even on the map. Doh! But I made sure to depict the girls going the correct way in a very plump fashion to make me feel better about the current situation.
I sprinted into transition and yelled to Ryan, "oops!"

I was 13th. Time to get to work! I knew I was pushing hard during the start of the bike but it was only after I checked the power meter file did I discover I pretty much set 2 back-to-back 20 min efforts.   At around mile 30 of the bike I found myself in 6th.  I took a second to reset, eat, chug the Infinit and focus.  And then I continued to charge up the hills and ride smooth and strong on the flats.

Before I knew it, I was flying into transition on the speedy Felt and I saw Ry jumping up and down telling me I was in 6th and giving me splits to the next 5 girls. Unfortunately, the 5 girls up the road were 70.3 champions, Ironman Champions and the World Champion - the best in the sport! Quite the list of girls to try and run down!

The beautiful, rolling terrain took my mind away from the pain of chasing and being chased. I knew I was cruising along and could feel the excitement building.  It was turning into one of those races where I could keep pushing and pushing and pushing. This is the best kind of race!  The last 10K I clicked off 6:16 per mile to have one of my fastest run splits off the bike. After having a difficult swim I was pretty stoked to finish 6th among some of the best girls in the sport. This is all good news for the upcoming Ironman in Austria!

Look at those ups courtesy of Hoka One One!

Massive Thanks To My Team:

Delta Dental
PBM Coaching
Velocio Apparel
Rudy Project
Beet Juice
Infinit Nutrition
MC Cycle and Sport
Ry GUY!!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

About The Bike

In honor of bike to work week (May 16-20th) I thought I might discuss my last bike endeavor/race: Quabbin Road Race.  In short, bike racing looks romantic on paper but really it is one of the most physically and emotional demanding things.  

And here is why: You have to THINK! You actually, have to be really smart while pedaling really fast. And you have to be sneaky.  I am none of those. Well, maybe I am a little sneaky while tip-toeing to steal the last cookie from the cookie jar - but definitely not smart.

To excel as a bike racer you also need: fearlessness, speed, astuteness, tactics, raw horsepower, patience and the bravado to take risks. I only have a few bike races under my belt and in this short time it is very apparent that bike racing also stimulates the brain to produce norepinephrine.  This production  allows you to process much more information on a subconscious level, leading you to perceive an elongation of time. So the burn in the quads bike racing elicits is perceived and duly etched in your brain.  Yet I am come back for more! (See, not very smart)

I started the day with my normal smoothie of Infinit Nutrition, Beet Juice, lemon, jalapeno, ginger and spinach (Disclaimer: May require a stomach of steal but it is very energizing) and did a 15 min warm up on the Felt roadie.  The race started with the normal neutral start and we all lollygagged and rolled down hill for about 3 miles. Can I suggest Ironman adapt the neutral start? It is a much more relaxed way to get the day going. No jockeying for position - just smooth sailing and chit chatting.

But as soon as the lead moto gave the command I was all business. Straight to the front like the fearless leader dumb dumb. I tried to set a good pace and cover all of the moves initiated by the girls with raw horsepower.  And then I got really, really tired. So I sat back for a bit and tried to think smart thoughts but before I knew it some quadzilla made a super move and I got antsy and fought my way back to the front. At the halfway point there were sneaky attacks coming from all angles including one massive attempt through an aid station! I am a triathlete and require at least 2000 calories per hour so I was a little slow to cover this move but I eventually did.  And then another attack! I thought for sure this one would stick as 4 of us were charging hard up a large hill but a few others latched back on to make for a robust 15 girl pack going into the final 3 mile climb to the finish.  Full on norepinephrine and quad burn. I battled to 2nd overall but took first in the pull-for-as-long-as-you-can category so I considered it a win. :)

Thumbs up for dumb dumbs!

Obviously it is ALL about fashion. @VelocioApparal

Female Cat 1/2/3 Podium

Getting beat for the win due to my lack of tactics.