Thursday, September 15, 2011

80 degree water, 95 degree day, 50 degree racing

This past Sunday, the BEST of the BEST gathered just outside LasVegas, in beautiful Henderson, NV.  Beautiful might not be exactly the right word, but it was indeed an epic event.  I arrived on Friday and was staying with my fellow teammate Jess and a few other friends.  Friday saw us very busy, registering, building bikes, catching up and talking about the course.  We woke up early Saturday morning as there was only going to be one practice swim.  Jess, Sarah and I got there just in the nick of time to sprint to the swim start and get in a nice 10 minutes in lake Las Vegas.  10 minutes was all we needed to get a feel for the warm temperature (def no wetsuit allowed) and see how the buoys were set up.  After we got out, we quickly saw fellow age group star Beth and of course had to stop and catch up.  What fun would racing triathlon be without gabbing with your girls?!!

The 30-34 gals, Sarah, Beth, Me, Jess (current world champ tiara holder)

After the swim/gab session, Jess and I met up with our fellow ambassadors and headed over to Hotel Holden where Kebby and Reg, AKA super sherpa (who all of our husbands will be taking classes from in Kona) had whipped up an AMAZING gluten free breakfast...I ate more than my fair share of muffins, strada and fruit.  Pre-race fueling?  DOUBLE check!  WE had a great time meeting the other team beauties...and did I mention these women are fast?  2 AG world champs among us (out of 6 team mates).  Note to self...step up run game next year so I too can be badass!

Team ladies hamming it up for photog Reg!

OK, so enough of the fun stuff right?  Wrong!  All Saturday I got to hang with Kebby and Reg talking about all things NOT triathlon, UFC and our mutual love of GSP, tennis- there was a marathon of the US Open on that day and I kept thinking to myself how I love to watch tennis as you can totally see the mental attitude and strength of each athlete, and sometimes you can see when they are mentally loosing there stuff.  Gotta love Hi Def TV.  Lots of eating ensued as is my pre race tradition. Like clock work, the day before a race, I can pack it in like a linebacker.  Truth be told this may be one of the reasons that I will always have to be an endurance athlete, I LOVE to eat.  Later in the day after prepping our bags, Kebby and I headed down to T1 to drop off our gear.  This time always makes me giddy, you get to parade your bike (at world champ races) in front of the industry reps and show 'em what you got.  Argon 18 on a FAST set of Gray Wheels baby...mark it down!

Kebby and I looking hot!

Onto the race.  See how much I have been avoiding talking about it?  Sheesh lady, get onto the goods!  Going into this race, I have had one of the best seasons a girl can have.  I had qualified for both world championships and landed myself on the podium at each race I had entered (save for one where Jess and I took a 7 mile detour add on to the bike course).  My times kept getting faster and things were going smashingly.  So one can reason that this race was bound to happen and all have said better at Vegas than in Kona next month.  I take this all to heart but definitely am disappointed with my performance last Sunday.  I KNOW that I could have been at least in the to 10 of the age group and had that expectation for myself. 

So, what went wrong you may ask?  Absolutely nothing.  I can't tell you that X happened or I had a massive mechanical on the bike or that my nutrition sucked.  Nope, all of these things were in check.  I hydrated properly, got in my usual amount of calories and had a super pre race breakfast of Puffins!!  My bike was in great shape and I had put it together myself, making Mark a very proud coach in the process.  No excuses for the day that happened, I just didn't have the magic that was needed to mix it up with the best of the best on the day.  I ended up with a time of 5:06 and finished 18th in the age group and was the 11th American...almost a top 10.  No pity party for me, I know this could be a dream race for some and I truly am grateful for what I have achieved...I just always want more...just ask Mark ;)  This is part of what keeps me loving triathlon, there is always more to do.

After the race, I found a kindred spirit in Jess as she also loves Chipotle and Dairy Queen!  We hit both up after our post race massage and made sure to properly replace ALL of the calories we had just isn't easy to do, but we managed to get down a blizzard in the name of recovery.

Jess enjoying her DQ...a MUST post race treat!

The course was pretty phenomenal though, the ride and run were in one word: unrelenting.  It was either up or down, there was absolutely ZERO flat.  And you needed to WORK those downhills, so there was no letting up.  It was a perfect training day for Kona and with less than a month to go and the day light shrinking every day,  I can tell the end of the season is near.  So onward and upward I go. 

I am SO looking forward to going to Hawaii, for the race for sure, but maybe even more so to connect with all of the amazing people that I have met along this journey.  It will be a fun time for sure and the race is guaranteed to be epic.  I feel a USA domination coming for the those other gals had better run like they stole it.

THE best sponsors a girl could ask for:

A HUGE thank you to all of my supporters, for making the most comfortable kits that keep us looking better than all the other girls on course, Gray wheels for making my ride fly like the wind, nuun for making me WANT to drink all day long with the delicious strawberry lemonade flavor, TYR for keeping me as fast as possible in the water, and to ALL of my friends and family for always being there for me and being my biggest fans.

See you all in Hawaii!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

What Happens In Vegas...Triathlon Style

This airplane is full of the usual Vegas crowd, girls wearing birthday girl tiaras, boys getting ready for a raging bachelor party weekend and then you see it: a sprinkling of your not so typical Vegas crew...the compression wearing, fit triathlete.

This year the 70.3 World Championships have moved from Clearwater Beach to Las Vegas. It's also a month earlier than Kona instead of a month after making it the perfect prep for those of us also headed to the Big Dance next month. It's been 100+ for the past week and is now "cooling" down to the 90's. Making it another perfect prep race for Kona. We get to get out in the desert on a potentially windy, hot course. I'm excited!

My co-workers keep asking me if it's really healthy to be out in this kind of weather pushing myself so hard. I tell them my sodium load started already and I should be OK :). I hope to be by the hotel pool alternating nuun and mojitos before Sunday afternoon is up.

I'm also excited to hang with my crew of team mates. These ladies are some of the toughest in the field and all possess an amazing attitude to boot! Who could ask for a better team? As I keep on in triathlon, it seems to keep getting better and better by the year. Not only my results, but I keep meeting more amazing women and these events become so much fun. Not just the race, which is always awesome, but the before and after. Meeting up in Vegas this weekend and in Hawaii next month seeing all of my ladies will be two of the highlights of the year.

I'll be staying with two of the BEST athletes in the 30-34 division Jess S. and Sarah P. I've been training with Jess and am pumped to meet Sarah. I know that these ladies, along with a few other buddies, will push me to new limits come this Sunday and I couldn't be more excited to see the results.

I had a fantastic day at Vineman in July, mentally having a breakthrough. I told myself that I deserved to be at the front and that I needed to do everything possible to stay there. That'll be my mantra for this Sunday's race as well. The season is almost over and for now as all the work is mostly done, I will look back on the seasons successes, all the training that I have put into the bank and get rallied for Sunday!

I have plenty of Nuun to keep me perfectly hydrated for the weekend as well as my speedy speed suit from TYR. The team kit is ready to rock, perfectly matching my trusty steed with it's beautiful and FAST Gray wheels...who said color coordination was't important out on the course? You can take the girl out of fashion, but not the fashion out of the girl (says the gal wearing full compression tights)!

So as the rest of the 6:30AM flight is sipping on cocktails, I will sip my nuun and get ready to rock!