4/12/08

Escape from Ft.Desoto Race Report





Last night was great. Checking USAT cards and saying hi to everyone. Wishing the veterans good luck and telling the newbies encouraging words to rid them of nervous looks. I helped out for about 3 hours and headed home around 6:30 for a pre-race dinner. Right now I am enjoying french toast (egg beaters and Nature's Own High Fiber bread) w/ yogurt on top and cottage cheese with scrambled eggs (leftover from the bread). I still love my sweet potato and bread from Outback but with shorter races, I like a lighter dinner. I wasn't really tired around 9 but I made myself get into bed at 9:45. I must have fallen right asleep because the next noise I heard was my phone alarm. 4:40 am I was up and packed up the car with my bike and Zoot transition bag. I prepared my one water bottle for the bike of powder amino acids and Heed in water and filled up a bottle of water for the hour trip. I prepared my coffee and made a little oatmeal with a little protein powder, a few fresh banana slices and raisins (I put it in a coffee cup so I could eat it as I drove). Just something small to keep me satisfied and get the body ready to go. As i had mentioned in a previous post, I followed the LONG line of cars with USAT stickers and bike racks to Ft.Desoto and I arrived to the race around 6:10am. First a bathroom stop then to the transition area. I saw so many people and still the nerves didn't get to me. I was just enjoying everything from setting up my transition area, getting my chip to walking around in my new zoot tri suit. I didn't feel like I needed to compete or prove anything but when I saw a couple of the HerSports girls around I knew there would be competitive girls out there looking for a top place. I was a little nervous for the water being 74 because I am not a fan of cold water and then getting on the bike. So, wet suit or no wetsuit??? Since i've only worn a wetsuit 3 times in my tri career, I decided no wetsuit and glad I choose to go without. The BEST part about my morning, besides seeing all my friends, was having a First Timer (a few bikes down on my rack) come up to me and ask me if I have done these things before. I said yes and he had so many questions. Well, there was nothing I'd rather be doing, as I wait for 30 minutes until the start, than to help a newbie. I helped him line up his helmet and running shoes (no cycling shoes), told him he didn't need 2 bottles of water on his towel, in addition to the two bottles of water on his bike and showed him where to get on and off the bike. It really made me feel good to help someone out. I made my almost 1/2 mile walk to the swim start with the 1000 other athletes and waited for the start. No warm-up for me since the water was a bit cool for me to just stand around for 15 minutes before my 7:36 wave start with the 39 and under ladies. Ready GO! The run in the water seemed to last a few minutes and finally the ground was deep enough for me to start swimming. I still saw people walking in the water but lucky for me, I have short arms :) I followed the lead girls and tried to chase down their maroon caps. Unfortunately, we caught up with the heat before us (men 39-49) and even a few of the first wave (34 and under men). I came out of the water as one of the top swimmers but I was definitely out swam by some fast girls! I had a few "go Marni" cheers from the crowd and I ran to the transition area. Another long run to my bike and then from the end of the transition to the other side of transition to mount my bike. When I started the bike i was passing a lot of girls. Then I started passing the guys and I was passing and passing and passing. I didn't get passed by any girls and I kept thinking "Karel is going to be so happy". I always talk about my swim and run and now I had a good bike to tell him! I hammered out the bike and I really felt the wind coming off the ocean. It is an out and back course so you get wind in all directions since you are riding parallel to the water. My quads were burning but I pretended like i was doing intervals. I was in the big chain ring but I would shift up to losen the legs after I passed a group. I picked up the cadence for a little in the lighter gear and the pounded again for a few more miles. I got off the bike and didn't hurt but I didn't really expect anything amazing from myself from the run. I started out on the run and wasn't really sure of my pace. I felt good, breathing was steady and form was solid. I passed a handful of guys and approaced a set of stairs that we had to climb to get over the Fort. Then down a bunch of stairs to start the run on the sand. At that point, I was passed by Sharon (who won the race) and then passed by another HerSports Girl. Of course I am cheering for the girls "go get 'em" as I was running and chatting with people along the course. Oh, what fun we had just running on the sand. I finally finished in 1:11.53 and I felt great. I did work hard for my 2nd place age group finish




and 10th overall female but I didn't push to the limit to make the race not enjoyable.
I socialized after the race and waited for the awards to get a nice plaque. I was sad to have my party end and i guess I will have to wait until Ironman Florida 70.3 to really show what I look like
when push it to the limit and I leave it all out on the course.



But today, it was all about the party and enjoying my morning as a triathlete.
A big congrats to all my friends (and future tri friends!) out there and to all the first timers who are hopefully addicted after today!
The pic above is of Gary who is 60 and is a superstar (in my eyes)!! I have been coaching him with his swimming for over 5 months and today he had a PR race, placed 5th and pulled out some really fast splits. I guess it shows that you can be competitive at any age...and still love triathlons!
  • Results
  • 4/11/08

    READY TO PARRRRTYYYY!

    Karel is heading to Chattanooga, TN today (LOOOONGGG drive!) for a race this weekend. I called him this morning after my morning swim and told him that I was so excited for this triathlon. No expectations, no big goals. I just want to get there and see everyone. I feel like I have gone a whole year without seeing all my tri buddies. Ok, so I don't know everyone by name but isn't it true that if you race local races you see the SAME people at all the races. The same people placing top 5 and the same people smiling no matter how they finish. You feel like you have family at the races because everyone shares a similar passion. Everyone loves triathlons! Since this is one of the premier races of the 2008 season, I'm sure people are anxious to show off their upgrades from last year (wheels, helmets, wetsuits, shoes, glasses, etc.). I just feel like i am going to a party tomorrow and I can't wait to get there. I'm volunteering at registration today for a few hours at the USAT check-on so I am sure seeing people check in with get me even more excited to race. This morning I swam at the Y with the usual fast guys and I am loving swimming in the "slow" lane. There is nothing swimming in the slow lane if you can still make cycle with guys who are almost lapping you....I don't mind, I like the push. And because I don't like much rest when I swim, it is just perfect for me to touch and go. The swim set went by really fast today. 500 warm-up and then a series of 400's: 400 swim. 300 swim with 15 sec rest and then 100 swim. 200 swim, then 2 x 100's with 15 sec rest. 4 x 100's w/ 15 sec rest. After those 4 x 400's, we did 8 x 50's on :45. I thought i wouldn't make the cycle cause I wasn't feeling really speedy this morning but I made them all with around 4-7 sec. rest (less rest towards the end).
    Well, I tried out the race wheels and cleaned my bike up (without Karel). Seduza is ready to go. I see nothing wrong with trying out my race wheels on the street outside in my t-shirt, bib shorts, cotton socks and helmet over my pony tail. It is a new fashion statement. If Karel was here he would have laughed that I had my helmet on to ride .5 miles down the road. Well, safety first everyone! And enjoy the party if you are racing!!!

    4/10/08

    Racing


    A lot of people are getting into the beginning of racing season. Ironman Arizona is this weekend and i have a handful of friends who I will be watching on the internet this weekend. The Escape from Ft.desoto is also on sat and I will be racing with MANY of my local tri buddies. I wanted to wish everyone luck this weekend and EVERY weekend for all upcoming races. When I am getting ready for a race I get really excited. I do get nervous for running races but triathlons are a different story. I still get the nerves in my belly the night before the race and as I'm eating my pre-race snack I get a little less nervous..but still nervous. When I get in the car to drive to the race, so that I get there right when transition opens (I like getting to transition early!) I start to relax. Living in Florida, we are surrounded with great races. Therefore, I follow the line of bike racks, tri license plate frames, USAT stickers, M-dots and 26.2 stickers (isn't it great that we love what we do enough to stick it on our cars..My hyundai is proud to have an Ironman Finisher and Kona sticker on the car!). When I get to the race venue I am totally calm. Of course I set up my transition, walk away and then go back just to check, re-check and check one more time if i can quickly slide my shoes on, my brakes aren't rubbing and that my cat eye is set on zero. Also, I walk up and down transition because I am notorious (not so much anymore) for running PAST my rack. I was lucky to race Elite most of last year but that doesn't validate me running to the other side of the rack when my stuff was set up on the opposite side. Anyways, I am usually full of smiles, talking and jokes when I get to races. But that is how I get myself ready for a race. Some people are extremely nervous but they work well with the stress of uncertainty. Some people don't like to talk before and some people don't mind the rush (literally) of getting to the transition area right before it closes (I don't recommend that for the newbies). Then there are people who get into a deep zone for all races, no matter what the priority of the race. They don't want to be bothered, everything is thought about ahead of time and they want to be alone. It is hard for me to not want to talk to everyone before a race because I get so excited that I have so many of my friends around. It is hard for me to not say something positive because that is what i have to do for myself to get myself ready to race. But I think it is important that everyone be comfortable doing their own thing before a race. Ultimately, it is your race and we all prepare differently. Aside from nutrition, when I would love to be of assistance if you are having troubles, everyone has their own pre-race routine. Most of all, be sure to stay calm, enjoy the moment and have fun. If you arrive to the starting line un-injured and you are able to race with a goal in mind you have so much to be happy about to have a great race.
    I found this quote on 100%runner.com and I thought it was just perfect for people looking for a little motivation....
    MOTIVATION: Become your own cheering squad. Others can wish you luck and cheer for you, but only you can truly motivate yourself. You are the only one that can motivate yourself to get up for morning workouts, run your least favorite event, or go outside in the freezing cold weather to train. Try to keep your thoughts positive and never be afraid to test your limits. Even when things might not be going your way, continue to find ways to stay inspired. Your mind can energize you, keep you focused, and provide you with the discipline you need to reach your goals. Your inner drive will give you an extra push when you are feeling tired and encourage you to finish your toughest workouts. The mind and body needs to work together. This balance does not come easy. You must first get to know yourself and make the proper adjustments in your lifestyle that will allow you to stay positive and focused. Once you are able to do this, you will look forward to your workouts, and testing your training in time trials and competitions.

    4/9/08

    The elephant is off my back


    What relief! My biology exam is overwith. This exam wasn't even a final but I am feeling the pressure of the last 3 weeks of school. Gotta keep the grades up and there is no slacking by me. I am so glad that my last exam of the week (2 total) is over and now I have just one quiz tonight in my medical terminology class. I just can not wait until Thursday! To me it feels like the weekend cause I can actually catch up on emails, do videos for BT.com, do nutrition work and write, write, write. My mind goes a mile a minute and it stresses me out not writing. I have all these thoughts in my head about nutrition and when I'm trying to study for an exam I just can't do both. Unfortantly, school wins most of the time since I am getting this degree TO be able to speak and write more. I guess it is the life of a writer when sometimes you get a mental block and sometimes the thoughts just flow. The thing with me (as a passionate sports nutritionist) is that when I read a concern of someone in a blog/forum or hear someone talking, I just want to write an article about it. I have a feeling if one person has a question about weight loss, supplements, nutrient timing, etc. there are a hundred other people who probably have the same question. Well, enough of that. I think this random blog just confirms that I needed to write. Training has been going well. I have my first tri of the season on sat (Escape from Ft.Desoto) and I couldn't be more excited. 1/2 mile swim-10 mile bike-4 mile run. I just want to get out there and give it my all and leave it all out on the course. I had a great spin with my FULL class this morning and I had loads of energy. I followed that spin with only a 3.5 mile run (30 min) since I was feeling the elephant on my back. I needed to get home and put in a few more hours of studying before my 11am bio exam. After the interval workout on tuesday and a 3 hour lab of standing on my feet doing DNA stuff (yes, it is just as boring as it sounds), I hit the pool with no question. Luckily the elephant jumped off my back so I could get in a quick set in the pool. 500 warm-up. Main Set: 2 x (300, 3 x 100), 300 cool-down. The first set I held a 1:30/100 yrd. pace and the next set I held 1:25/100 yrd pace.The 100's on 1:25 we ok but my arms were sore from the morning run!! Oh well, as usual it was great to be in the water.
    I think I'm done writing until tomorrow. 2 more hours of learning for the day and when my 5:30-7:30 class is over I will retire the elephant until Mon :)
    OK..I didn't throw away my biology book but I would love to see it stepped on by the elephant!!!
    Here's an update on Karel's last race..it makes you feel like you are right there racing (or cheering!)...

  • Linder capital team Tallahasee Race Recap
  • 4/8/08

    Interval Tuesday!!!



    Another tough Tuesday of intervals. Yes, I woke up at 6am so that I could kick my butt only for YOU (my blog readers) to read about my pain. Once again, the heart was pounding, I could barely see straight and my breathing was so loud that all the walkers on the trail were starring at me. But all I could think about was pushing hard for my oh-so-fast, get it done, it goes by so fast, oh it hurts interval tuesday workout. I got one email in before I headed out for my run as I drank my coffee. I had my amino acid powder in about 6 ounces of water and I was ready for my run. I walked to the end of the street and started my stop watch. 10 min warm-up as usual but I really had to stay focused. Perhaps the Iron Girl 10K + 3.2 mile run home on sat, in addition to the 62 windy ride along the water I did on sun wanted to get the best of me. But NO! There is no stopping me on my interval tuesday. I extended my 10 min warm-up to 15 minutes and reminded myself of my set today (which I thought of last night in 7-10pm global marketing class, before I took an exam). The wind was blowing at me so I knew the first part of my set was going to be tough. On the way home, even with the wind at my back, it was even tougher. I started pushing harder and I wasn't ready to slow down until the set was over. Here is the set today: 15 min warm-up, 4 x Main Set: 3 min @ 10K pace with 1 min jog, 3 x 1 min. @ 5K pace with 30 sec jog. 10 min cool-down This was a tough morning because I am thinking about my first tri of the season on sat. It is a 4 mile run which is just perfect for me. Just long enough to get my rhythm without feeling like the race is over before I start feeling good. I am started to lengthen the intervals because I'm a little over a month away from Ironman Florida 70.3 and I am ready to run my heart out for 13.1 miles at that race. As I mentioned, the first two sets were ok but I felt it more in my legs than anything. My GI system was telling me that i needed to go to the bathroom so I made a quick stop at the McD's at my turn around. I mean...out of all places for me to go to the bathroom I have to go to the McDonald's!! Vegetarian, athlete, sweaty 25-year old and I have all the old guys trying to talk to me when I walk in to the place. Oh jeez..of course i have to be nice and tell them that I am training for a race to validate coming into the McD's and Only using the restroom. My dad will get a kick out of this because he thinks i secretly eat Big Mac's when I tell him I make bathroom stops at McD's. Alright, I do like the parfaits but not this morning. Back to my run and I was heading home. I took a quick glance at my watch and noticed that I ran about .3-.5 miles longer than last week in the same amount of time. Now on the way home i picked up the pace with the wind at my back. Now the heart was pounding, breathing was heavy and I was looking forward to the 1 min. walk I gave myself after every set. I kept telling myself..."Ok body...if you work hard for the 8 1/2 min. set you get to walk" Oh the walk felt so good but my 1 min walk could have easily been a 2 or 3 min walk before the last set. I was hurting all over. I pushed hard for the last set and stayed focused. My out and back came to about 7.5 miles in 57 minutes, incluiding my warm-up and warm-down jog. What a great morning and I finished with core exercises on my ball. I provided a nice sweaty picture of my convincing look that I enjoyed my morning workout. Oh, and my smoothie post-workout was amazing. So now I will study for my big biology exam (which is tomorrow) and then head to my bio lab at 2-5. Afternoon swim is going to feel great today!

    4/6/08

    I feel Strong!

    I'm not afraid to admit it. I don't feel incredibly fast like I can whip out a sub 20 min. 5K or 40 min. 10K but I feel strong. I think we (as triathletes, newbies included) don't really understand or appreciate how strong we are until we are recovered from an injury. When you are injured or take a break from serious training (off-season) you feel unfit, not fast and weak. Then when you get back to training, you all of a sudden think of where you want to be. Fast, strong, lean and powerful. I guess sometimes we miss the steps to get where we want to be and don't really recognize how amazingly strong we are inside. Our muscles are contracting and we don't even realize how fast we are moving. We just think about where we were (pre injury for example) or where we want to be (A-race, months down the road). Even if you haven't been injured, perhaps you stepped up the distance and started training long. Maybe you are focusing on speed right now and cutting back on distance. Or maybe you are doing your first triathlon or road race and you are running your first mile or 2 miles without stopping. All these great things should be appreciated. Your body responds to stress and overtime it will get stronger. My post-kona injury (yes, I talk about it a lot) took forever long to heal. I don't even know what happened to me but it took almost 4 months for me to be able to actually run. And even that, i was running at 6.4-6.8 miles per hour. But I didn't give up and I tried to stay motivated and positive. Same with newbies, you must realize that running continuously for 3 miles or running after you swam and biked is a big deal. It means your body is strong..each muscle fiber is working hard and your heart is pumping blood all over the body and your respiratory system is being challenged. Take a moment and recognize how strong you are..right now. Then think of your last hard workout and if you ever thought (prior to that workout) that you would be able to complete something like that. Maybe you think speed, distance or time but regardless you are strong! Now use that excitement and bring it to every upcoming workout so you CAN get to where you want to be.
    *This morning I did 62 miles on the bike and felt awesome. I road from clearwater to st.pete beach by the water and I had the wind to my side and face for almost 20 miles. I did a massive distance set since my muscle fibers from Iron Girl weren't ready to go all-out fast for a short period of time. Set was 5 miles (not minutes!) hard, 1 mile recovery, 4 miles hard, 1 mile easy, etc. 15 miles hard and I was amazed on how I felt. I could feel my quads contracting even as I coasted. I challenged myself on every "climb" in florida (bridges) and didn't loose focus. No run afterwards since I put in my hard miles yesterday. After I got my award, my mom drove home and I ran home after the race. I wanted to just think about things and my legs weren't ready to just sit. Another 3.2 miles after the 10K...I guess I wasn't ready to get rid of the endorphins..But yes, I did run all-out during the race. I had my post-race death look, red face and shaky legs. My run home was more like a 9 min jog and I used those 30 minutes (just me and the running trail) to reflect on how much I appreciate my strong body.