4/5/07

A whole new rider!


Yes...that was me just 2 years ago at my first triathlon. Oddly enough, I was loving it! I did wonder why my bike didn't look like everyone else's though :( This current post is a MAJOR eye-opener that anyone can make dramatic improvements with their training. Even though I was a college swimmer, I can't tell you all the improvements that I have made with my bike and run training during this past year. I can remember a little under 2 years ago when I was falling over on my bike cause of those stupid clip pedals and silly aerobars. Ok-stop the laughing at the picture already! :)

Last night I had one of my BEST rides to date. It was with the gearlink group in Landsbrook (6:30 pm), which is always a FAST ride. 2 loops warmup (a loop is around 3 miles) and 5 laps FAST! The first fast loop was around 25 mph and then you try to hold on at 28 mph for the rest of the laps. For most of the guys on the team, this ride is only tough if you can win the sprint at the end of the 5th loop. Other than that, the riders rotate so there can always be a bit of high intensity. Believe me..these are strong guys that ride! IT sounds fast and the group is really strong, so even when I ride during the warmup at 20 mph I know I am not going to hang for the rest of the ride. Last year I barely made the warm-up cause I was not strong enough to even draft and stay on someone's wheel. Last year I rode two loops of warm-up and because my cornering was so bad also, I would sometimes get dropped during warm-up on one of the 4 corners. Then once i got dropped I would ride on the other side of the road in the opposite direction just wishing I could have hung on a bit longer. But....this year I saw more butts than I ever have! Because I rode up to Landsbrook around 5:30pm (12 miles) I was thinking I would only do the 2 warm-up laps and then ride home. Well, during warm-up I felt so strong on my road bike that I had to at least try to test my endurance and skills that I have been working on since last summer when I rode with them for the first time on my b-day May 31 Until Sept. I figured I would get dropped during the first 30 seconds of the first lap like last year and then ride my 12 miles home. I was shocked....I made the first lap! I kept trying to stay at the back and hang on to a draft as everyone was rotating. And I couldn't give up. I kept saying "OK, 1/2 more lap and see if you can hang, ok 1/2 more laps, etc." I survived 3 1/2 laps before getting dropped!!!!!!! I was totally amazed. I think some of the guys were a bit shocked too that I was still in the pack when last year I wouldn't even rotate during warm-up. My ride home was tough cause I was DONE after my 5 laps !!! As I was riding home in the dark around 8pm I was thinking to myself how far I have gotten in this short amount of time. Even with teaching my spin class and running 6 miles in the morning, I was still having a blast out there with an average 148 heart rate (high for me on the bike!) and lots of lactate in the legs during the ride. A total of 45 miles last night and a ridiculous 23 mile high intensity workout! Boy was I huffing and puffing. I was even getting pushes on my butt so I wouldn't get dropped. Those gearlink guys sure look after me! But in less than one year I am now able to draft off some of the best cyclists in Florida... and to have only been riding a bike for 2 years??!!! This post would make a lot more sense to those who saw me riding last year. It was pretty pathetic. I'm not trying to boast about myself at all. I want to show people that with enough determination, enjoyment in what you are doing and hard effort during training, you can turn yourself into the best triathlete you want to be. Maybe you want to do your first triathlon but are scared to be out there with the veteran triathletes. DON't BE afraid! Istarted as a newbie with a hybrid bike at my first 3 triathlons before investing in better equipment. Most of all..I didn't give up. I asked questions, I read articles and I submersed myself into this sport! I can't tell you how many swims, runs and bike rides I have done with others and have gotten my butt kicked. I could have gotten myself in a rut and tore myself apart by not being able to keep up with others but I kept hanging in there. I worked on skills, technique, endurance...you name it and I did it! Think about YOUR goals and dreams and when it comes to training and racing, the only person you have to compete with is yourself. I am a tough cookie when it comes to training, so it doesn't take a lot to get my competitive side going....especially if I am training with guys! Well, if I plan to race in Kona and pursue my dream of turning pro, I guess I have to keep stepping up the training. Swimming is going unbelievable with 4 x 400 pace set this morning (holding 1:22 per 100 yr), followed by 3 x 100 on 1:25 (held 1:15) and an easy and enjoyable 47 min run on the trail. 3 days of running this week and no treadmill!!! According to some of the elite triathletes I have spoken with, I know I am doing the right thing by not running on the treadmill. Oh Cybex treadmill..I do miss you!
It's going to be a great weekend of training as I step up the intensity and volume. As I get myself ready for the last couple of weeks of solid training before st.anthony's.... I'm feeling so good...OK one last look at the picture.

4/3/07

Virgina Tech

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families, friends and loved ones of the Virgina Tech Students. Please remember to enjoy everyday like it is your last, always treat people with love and kindess and enjoy every moment for what it is worth.

Virgina Tech

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families, friends and loved ones of the Virgina Tech Students. Please remember to enjoy everyday like it is your last, always treat people with love and kindess and enjoy every moment for what it is worth.

Shooting

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families, friends and loved ones of the Virgina Tech Students. Please remember to enjoy everyday like it is your last, always treat people with love and kindess and enjoy every moment for what it is worth.

Shooting

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families, friends and loved ones of the Virgina Tech Students. Please remember to enjoy everyday like it is your last, always treat people with love and kindess and enjoy every moment for what it is worth.

Shooting...

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families, friends and loved ones of the Virgina Tech Students. Please remember to enjoy everyday like it is your last, always treat people with love and kindess and enjoy every moment for what it is worth.

This is great!

Everything is going well right now. Training is great and I can tell big improvements in the pool and on my bike. Started running outside now, instead of the treadmill, and I am falling in love with running again. OK-enough of the fast stuff already! I Just want to swim, bike and run for long hours...and no more of this anaerobic stuff!! Errr...oh well, I guess it is necessary to make me faster. I just want to train Ironman specific but of course it is too early to start. Plenty of time!
April is a busy month for me. With "my business" really starting to grow and getting more and more clients for nutrition consultations, I am absolutely loving helping people. Luckily, I have had GREAT success with the people who I have helped and I'm looking forward to helping more people in the triathlon community. Coaching is going well and Sarah did her first long ride today as I pulled her for over 30 miles. GO sarah..I'm really excited to see her at Ironman 70.3 Florida!
This morning's pool workout was ridiculous! Matt was crazy, the pool was packed and everyone was lively and a bit on the edgy side. With the main set being 4 x 300 PULL on 4 min (For me!!!) I just laughed and missed the first cycle and missed the second and finally for the last two I was on a 4:30 interval. Come on now...4 minutes for pulling a 300!!!! CRAZY. I did a little extra after the workout was finished and totalled 2800 yards today. I know I need to do more and I will be swimming with the HS swim team soon.
My run afterwards was great and I ran along my favorite trail-the Pinellas Trail.
As I said, April is crazy! I will be gone EVERY weekend starting next weekend. This weekend I will be spending Sat at Karels Webster Cycling race, helping him at the feed zone as he "Races" 112 miles! Now try running a marathon after that Karel!!! Hehe-I like to give the cyclists a hard time :) I am heading to the Tour de Georgia on April 18-April 23rd with some of the Gearlink guys for some cycling and tour watching. I can't wait for that trip. The week before I will be in Penn. at Penn State cheering on my bro for his LAST gymnastics meet. Hopefully it will be a repeat of Big Ten's and he will have a wonderful NCAA meet. I Head to michigan for the last time to see my brother graduate from Business school on the 27th, with an early flight back on the 28th to work the USAT booth at St.Anthony's. Then...the month ends with my FIRST Elite race (Have I mentioned that I am extremely nervous!!! COuld you tell?????) at St.anthony's.
Anyways...things are great and I just love it! Gotta get myself ready for tomorrow. I love teaching Spin at the Y...I can't believe they put up with me week after week.

4/1/07

Great Genetics!




This post will be short due to a lot of deadlines for the USAT Florida region. I want to give a special thanks to my parents for all their support. All my life, I have had my number one fans at almost all my races and meets. Dividing the time between my brother's gymnastics and my LONG weekend swim meets, was very time consuming for my parents and VERY Costly. From hotels to dinners to equipment, my parents always helped my brother and I out in our sports. Being a swimmer all my life, suits are expensive and you go through them fast! When I graduated college, my parents were a little excited that they didn't have to sit through swim meets anymore and then next couple of years could be a bit more relaxing. Well, that is far from the truth! My brother went to University of Michigan on a full Gymnastics scholarship, while studying Business. As he approaches his last meet of his life, my parents have traveled to every one of his meets this year. Not just the big ones like in the years past. My parents know this year is special for my brother and they want to spend it with him. Due to my busy schedule, I will be watching him at NCAA on April 14th at Penn State and really looking forward to it! My parents had the opportunity to see something that will be a highlight in my brothers gymnastics career. My brother won the high bar last night at the Big Ten championships in Minneapolis!!!!! As a career score and the highest score for UM Gymnastics in 2007, my bro is the 91st BIG TEN champion from Michigan. CONGRATS Aaron. Some stats on my brother and the team can be found on the bottom of this link...




As far as my side of competitive sports, my parents have been totally supportive of my triathlon career. Unfortunantly, my races don't last for 1-2 minutes like in swim meets, but more like 3, 4, or 11 hours! What great parents to keep me going as I train intensly for my endurance sport. This morning I ran the Iron Girl 10K race in beautiful Clearwater. Ok, so it is no fun running over and back on the Memorial Causeway, but I do the race for the medal, the performance shirt, the wonderful people there and the post-race catered buffet. I wouldn't miss this race for the world! I wasn't at my best this morning cause the running isn't there yet. After I hurt my foot I took the required time off to let it heal and since I am running less than 20 miles a week (3 days a week) my running speed and endurance isn't there. Although I consider myself a much stronger cyclist now (due to a tight ITband and lots of active recovery on the bike) I am looking forward to adding more mileage to my running..pain free!


It was great seeing soooo many familiar faces this morning at the race. I saw my best friend Kelly (who seems to race well with little training!!! :) hehe) and my other family, which is the Iron Girl and Ironman team. Judy..once again you put on a GREAT race! Even though the time wasn't good, I was 9th overall and 1st age group 20-24. Thanks everyone for the kind words for my race. Next race..St.Anthony's!