RacECAP: Towne Lake Olympic Triathlon 2015

I signed up for this race because my dad wanted to do it.  Sadly, he’s still not back in the triathlon game since his accident back in July, so I was on my own for this one.  As a side note, he did ride his bike for the first time the day before the race.  He’s been making such amazing progress!  So proud!  Thankfully there were a lot of people racing from the Tru Tri Sports team, so I wouldn’t be alone!  One of my riding buddy’s wife was also kind enough to be sherpa for the day and hang on to extra clothes and shoes for after the race.  Always so awesome to have a great sherpa around!


From the time I walked out the door I knew it was going to be a hot race.  By 5:00 AM it was super duper humid.  Yuck.  The race site is close to my house, so a quick drive down the road and I was there.  Not even enough time for a decent song to come on AltNation and pump me up!  Upon entering transition I pretty quickly realized I wasn’t going to like my transition spot.  While I was near swim in and run out, I was a whopping 17 rows from bike in/out.  That’s a long way to run in bike shoes on muddy grass (I’m not fancy with the flying mounts and dismounts!).  I got my transition area set up long before the sun even began to come up, and went out for a 15 minute warm up run.  It was so freakin humid.  I was thoroughly damp by the end of it, and knew I wasn’t going to dry off or cool off anytime soon.  So ready for fall.  Legs didn’t feel particularly great, but not bad either, so I really didn’t know what to expect for the race.

Go TruTri!

Go TruTri!


All of the Olympic waves start first at this race, so it was nice to get an early start since we’d be out there for quite a bit longer than the sprint racers.  I was in the last of the Olympic waves, and in the water at 7:22.  I lined myself up a the far right of the very front row of the beach start.  It’s just so much fun to be right there in the middle of everyone as they sprint towards the water!  The swim start was surprisingly calm and clean.  I never got punched or kicked or slapped or anything.  Pretty surprising considering our wave was all women under 40!  I decided to wear my Roka Viper Swimskin since this was a decently long swim (1500m), and I’m glad I did.  Two years ago I did this swim in 33 minutes.  I figured with the skin and all the Masters practice I could do about 30 minutes this year, but I ended up finishing in just over 26 minutes.  I think the course may have been a bit on the short side, but I’m still really pleased with how I swam.  I think it just may be the straightest I’ve ever swam in open water.  Overall it was just a really solid swim.  I got out of the water looking forward to the ride, but a little sad that the swim was already finished!

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I really wasn’t sure how to pace myself for this ride.  I’ve only done the Oly distance once, and that was two years ago.  I knew I needed to push, but just not sure how much.  I had averaged just over 20mph on the same course before, so all I knew was that I wanted to beat that this year.  The course is a simple 2 loops.  The first loop is pretty boring since none of the sprint distance racers are out yet.  I pushed, but not super hard.  A girl in my AG passed me early on, but I knew I would seriously wear myself out if I attempted to chase after her (I’m pretty sure she went on to win my AG).  I settled in and just rode at a slightly uncomfortable pace, and judging by the 5 mile splits I was easily holding 20+mph.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 1.35.29 PMBy the time you make it around to the second loop, there’s a ton of sprint course riders out which means non stop passing.  So much fun!  There were a few points where the riders would get all bunched up and block the entire lane, but most of them were pretty good about moving to the side when I’d scream, “Left side!!!” from a ways back.  All of the passing really gets me motivated, and it just makes it so much fun out there!

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Just like the swim, the bike was pretty uneventful.  The time flew by, and before I knew it I was back in transition with just a 10K to go.

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If you know me even just a little bit, you know that the run is my weak link.  I only saw a couple of bikes on any of the racks near me in T2, so I felt I was doing decently well in my AG, but wasn’t sure exactly where.  I spent the entire run worrying every time I heard footsteps behind me that it was someone in my AG passing me.  It was so damn hot and humid that there really wasn’t much I could do.  The run course was 2 loops like the bike, so I tried to take the same approach.

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At least I’m not the only one that looks like they’re on the verge of death!

Comfortably uncomfortable for the first loop, then hang on for dear life on loop 2.  Our race packets had come with a container of Base Salts, so I decided to give that a try on the run since I didn’t plan on carrying OSMO with me.  It seemed to be working well until about mile 3 when I pulled it out to get a lick.  I closed the cap, but when I attempted to get it back in my shorts the cap came open.  I pulled it back out, and it had gotten damp and there was now powder caked all around the opening.  I tried closing it, thought it was close, but when I tried getting it into my pocket again the entire contents dumped out all over my shorts!  Gross!  I was so pissed!  So much for that strategy…  From then on I just took in a little bit of gatorade and chased it with water at every aid station trying to keep the electrolytes flowing in.  If it was available I was also shoving ice down my bra, back, face, and holding it in my hands til it would melt.  Did I mention I’m ready for fall?

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I had done a little bit of analysis before the race, and the goal time I had come up with was 2:45.  I started the run knowing that if I could go anywhere near an hour for the 10K I would smash that.  My PR for a 10K is around 58 minutes, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen considering that was a standalone race and about 40 degrees cooler!  Having that goal in mind really kept me going.  Just one more mile.  One more mile.  By mile 5 I was really ready to walk, but I kept it going and even passed a girl from my AG.  Although I’m always dissapointed by my run paces, I’m pretty pleased with how I executed this one.

So happy to be done!

So happy to be done!


The biggest surprise was when I checked the results.  About 30 minutes after I had finished, results still hadn’t been updated and there was no one from my AG up there yet.  Twenty minutes or so it had finally updated, and to my surprise I had come in 3rd in my AG.  Holy crap!!!!  I didn’t think I had a chance in the world to podium at this distance!  So awesome!

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1500m swim – 26:13 3/22 F30-34
T1 –  1:56.5
24ish mile ride – 1:06:51.3 3/22 F30-34
T2 – 1:37.7
10K run – 1:01:04.1 6/22 F30-34
Total – 2:37:42.7 3/22 F30-34


RacECAP: Cypress Sprint Triathlon 2015

This is usually one of the bigger local sprint races here in Houston.  I’ve raced here a few times, and the best I’ve managed was in 2012 with 11th in my age group.  Since this is the last sprint of my season before going into heavy endurance training, I really wanted to perform well here.  I’ve put in a ton of speed work on the bike and run, consistently swimming with Fleet Masters, and I’ve really noticed a lot of improvement in general.  I had a goal of coming in top 10, and I figured there was no way I could snatch a podium position here.  It’s a hot race, and I have a history of totally blowing up on the run.

Race Morning

One of my favorite parts of this race is that it’s so close to home.  Now that we’ve moved, it’s literally down the street.  I had initially planned to sleep in a bit, but changed my mind right before I went to sleep.  I wanted to have some time to chill out, drink my coffee, and not feel rushed.  First thing after waking up I went out to put my bike on the roof rack, and immediately remembered that I had dropped my chain last weekend, and was too lazy to fix it then.  So happy I gave myself the extra time!  Since my dad’s still out of the triathlon game since his accident, I was on my own for this one.  Luckily I knew some people from the Tru Tri Sports Raceteam were going to be there, so I got to meet up and hang out with them before the race.  Always nice to have some friendly faces around to get through a race morning with!



550m OWS
4/61 F30-34

The order of the waves seems to change a lot for this race.  The last time I raced here I was in the very last wave, which meant a very hot race.  My age group got lucky to be placed in the 3rd wave along with the relay swimmers meaning we were in the water before 7 am.  This year featured a beach start which I was all for as it meant less time wading in that nasty nasty water!  The water in the neighborhood retention ponds, aka “lakes”, is truly disgusting.  It’s murky and brown, and once you’re in the water you can’t see your hand 3″ in front of your face.  I’ve found it’s best to just not think about it, or I’ll end up so disgusted I just might not get in at all.  The swim course is straight out, with a slight right turn, and then straight to swim exit so we were instructed to stay to the left of the buoys with the exception of the 3rd one which had somehow gotten placed off course.  I positioned myself in the front row to the right side, so closest to the buoys.  I almost always prefer to swim on the outside as there’s typically less traffic out there, but with the exception of the first 50m or so I had a really clean swim.  The swim was uneventful.  I found a good breathing/sighting rhythm, and just settled in.  It was hard to tell how I was in my AG due to all of the relay swimmers with us.  As I got out of the water I noticed another girl that I felt confident was in my AG getting out just ahead of me.  I started running through the chute to transition with her, and shot past her when she decided to rinse the sand off of her feet in the kiddie pools.  I never saw her again.


Bike 13 miles
35:45.4 / 21.8 mph

I felt really focused coming through transition.  I felt quick and smooth getting socks, shoes, helmet on.  This all feels like it’s become so routine that I really don’t think about anything outside of not falling over while putting on the gear.  I didn’t notice until I was already on my bike that I hadn’t looked at my rack at all to see how many bikes were already off it, so I had no clue what kind of place I was in other than passing the chick in the chute.  I mounted my bike a little more carefully than usual, making sure I didn’t have a mishap like my dad, and was on my way.  I found a hard but steady gear quickly, and settled into aero.  This course is about as flat as possible with minimal turns, and 2 fairly wide U-turns.  My dad’s fastest sprint bike split is on this course from a couple of years ago, so I knew I should go out pretty hard.  My legs felt pretty tired from the beginning.  There was a lot of “shut up legs” going on!  The ride was once again uneventful as I never saw anyone in my AG, and only got passed by one person (a guy) so I figured I was either doing really well, or all of the super fast ladies were just miles and miles ahead of me.  My secret goal was to finally hit 22mph average on the bike, and I came so close!  My splits are set for 5 mile increments, and according to the Garmin I hit 21.9, 21.1, and 22.0.  It felt like there was a bit of a head wind while we were heading west, and I think that’s why the second split was a bit slower.  Still, I can’t complain with what I did.  Same course 2 years ago I was only capable of 20.6mph, so I’ll take it.  22 mph, I’m coming for you!


Run 5K
27:24.7 / 8:50 per mile

I once again didn’t take any stock of how many bikes were back on my rack, and was totally focused on getting my shoes on and getting out of transition.  I knew the run was where I was most likely to lose positions.  I tried to focus on my form over the first mile, and make sure I didn’t just settle into a comfortable pace.  I’d feel myself slow down a bit, and then force the pace a bit faster.  I’m just so horrible at running in general.  Add in the heat of summer, and it’s just not pretty.  Every time I’d hear footsteps coming up behind me I thought for sure it’d be someone in my AG, but no one ever came.  Around mile 2.5, we make the turn back towards the finish.  From there you can see a decent chunk of the course behind you so I took the opportunity to see who was coming.  Not a female in sight!  At that point I let myself just relax into the pace, and continued to check behind me every few minutes to make sure I didn’t need to kick it in gear.  I saw some friends along the road headed to the finish line, and that gave me the extra push I needed to finish the race strong.  I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been passed by a dozen girls in my AG!


About 30 minutes after I had finished, I went to check results and was incredibly surprised to see that I had placed 2nd in my age group!  Crazy!  I honestly thought I had no chance of placing that high.  Looking back at the results, it’s a bit crazy that I did finish 2nd.  I was 4th, 3rd, and 12th on the swim, bike, and run respectively.  I lucked out on how the other competitors around me mixed up their strongest sport.  The girl in 3rd place was faster than me on the bike by just a hair, and 1.5 minutes on the run.  I just barely edged her out on the swim and transitions to end up beating her by less than 30 seconds.  I was thinking about it yesterday, and I think a lot of the success I’ve been having this year is attributed to more than just getting a bit faster on the bike and the run.  I mean that’s obviously a big part of it, but what I’ve done better this year is putting together a solid race as a whole.  My transitions have become pretty fast, and definitely competitive.  I guess that’s what happens when you do this over and over and over again.  It just becomes second nature.  Also, in previous years I’d have a great swim, and then my legs would fall apart on the bike.  Or I’d have a pretty good bike, and then the run would be horrific.  I feel like I’m learning how to race, and it’s been a ton of fun.


RacECAP: Texas Star Sprint Triathlon 2015

I’ve done this race every year of it’s existence, since way back in 2011.  This race has grown so much since that first year, and it continues to be one of my favorite local races. Pool swim, short but slightly hilly ride, and a shaded cross country run.  Not things you’re very likely to find around Houston.

There was some confusion about the bike course in the week leading up to the race.  We first received an email saying that a portion of the normal course had been damaged by some of the recent torrentialrains we had had, and that there was a decent chance an alternate wouldn’t get approved and the bike would be cancelled.  At that point I was seriously considering skipping the race.  It’s a pretty good drive for me to be up that early and only race for ~40 minutes.  Especially when the bike is my best leg these days!  We then heard that an alternate had been found, just a simple out an
d back down 105.  I was looking forward to this as 105 has a pretty nice road surface, and this would be a straight forward and hopefully fast course.  Then at packet pickup we heard that construction on a bridge on 105 had begun a week before it had been scheduled to, so they had to find yet ANOTHER alternate.  Luckily the race staff is amazing, and they got everything sorted out in time for race day!

300 yd Pool Swim
2/11 F30-34
19/147 Total Finishers

I’m a little confused by the swim time from results.  My Garmin has me at 4:36, but all of my other splits match up for the most part, and total race time is the same.  4:23 is so much faster than I’ve EVER swam that I find it hard to believe, but who knows if the error was in my button pushing or theirs.

In the past the swim has been my best event in comparison to the rest of the field, but I think my cycling ability is finally catching up.  I love a good pool swim in a sprint IF everyone seeds themselves correctly.  I was bib number 26, and the pool is split up into odds on one side of the pool, and evens on the other so there were only a handful of people starting before me.  I had passed two women in the pool by the end of my 3rd length, and caught up to another guy near the end of the swim.  I think he saw me catching him and sped up though, because I never got the chance to pass him.  I felt really good on this swim.  I could tell I was swimming at a decent pace, but my breathing felt totally under control.  I just kept a solid, steady effort and consciously told myself I didn’t need to push any harder.  What’s a few more seconds on such a short swim anyway?  I exited the pool feeling fantastic, and passed another guy on the way into transition.

T1: 1:11.3

10 mile (?) Bike
1/11 F30-34
12/147 Total Finishers

Because my training focus for the first half of the year has been on shorter sprint distances, I’ve gotten in a lot of really great interval training.  Every week my coach was giving me an interval ride between 1:00-1:20 that I’d do on the trainer.  They’d range from 1 minute intervals out to 10 minute time trials.  I think these rides are what has really made a huge difference in my riding this year.  I’m seeing paces I’ve never seen before, even on longer distance rides.  This race was no exception.

Having never ridden this course before I didn’t have any clue where to push or conserve.  My dad and I drove the out portion of the course, and noticed a few longer climbs that would be on the way back but other than that the only thing I noticed were some areas with pretty rough pavement.

I tried to settle into a solid effort early on that I could maintain for 10 miles of rolling hills.  I got passed by a guy around mile 1, but I quickly passed him on a downhill and never saw him again.  I then got passed by another guy who seemed to be going much faster than me.  However, he got about 6 or 7 bike lengths in front of me, and never pulled away.  I stayed with him on the ups, and caught him some on the downs for the next couple of miles.  We hit a little bit of traffic (I’m thinking relay riders), and I finally made it around him.  We hit the turn around much sooner than I was expecting.  I saw mile markers on the course when we drove it the day before, but I never noticed them on the ride.  My Garmin GPS also screwed up, so I had no idea what my splits distances were, and I never clicked off of the screen that shows overall time.  It wasn’t until mile 8 or 9 on a decently long climb that the same guy came hauling past me again, but once again he didn’t pull away.  I held on to his pace all the way back to transition, having no clue what kind of pace we had put down.

The fastest speed I’ve ever had in a sprint tri is 21.4mph on a very flat course last year right after IM Boulder.  With the Garmin screwed up it measured 9.71 miles which gives me 21.4 mph again, but on a hilly course so faster than last year.  But if I go off of what the course is supposed to be (which I think is 10 miles) my speed was just at 22mph.  I really wish I knew the exact distance of the bike course!

5K Run
1/11 F30-34
37-147 Total Finishers

As usual, the run is where I lost my lead.  I held the fastest female bike split, so first back into transition.  I got passed about a mile into the run by one of the women that passed me in almost the same place last year.  At least the run course was the same as previous years so I can really track my progress!  I took almost a full minute off of my run time, so I’m pretty pleased with that, considering what happened during my run…

The course runs around the stadium and batting cages into the cross country course.  The course loops around to the parking lot where transition is, and then takes you back behind the natatorium and ultimately dumps you on the track for the finish line.  When I came out of the cross country area and made my way past transition I saw the race director, Michelle, get off of a golf cart and come running towards me.  “I’m just going to run with you for a little bit, if that’s okay.”  Ok.. that’s a little strange, but maybe she just has somewhere to go on the course, and she recognized me and it it was just weird timing.  “I’m going to tell you something, but don’t freak out.”  Umm… WTF is going on?  And then she proceeds to tell me that my dad had an accident on the bike.  Of course my head immediately sees him hauling ass down one of those hills at 30mph and has a horrific crash!  Luckily that wasn’t the case!  He had a mishap with a pedal when he was mounting his bike at transition.  He’s one of those fancy mounters where he clips the left foot, pushes off, and swings the right leg over.  His pedal was upside down, but he thought he was clipped in.  When he went to swing his other leg the plastic on plastic slipped, and he came crashing straight down on his hip.  She let me know that he wasn’t in pain if he was still, but trying to move around was pretty bad.  They called an ambulance just to be safe, and she let me know which hospital they had taken him to.

I really don’t remember the last mile of the run.  Michelle ran with me all the way almost to the track giving me info on him, and then she decided she might as well finish too.  I have no idea what my effort was like over that last mile.  Maybe I could have pushed more?  I suppose it doesn’t matter as I didn’t lose any positions, and I cannot begin to thank Michelle enough for letting me know as soon as was possible what had happened!

1/11 F30-34
2nd overall female
14/147 Total Finishers

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Podium finish with race director, Michelle

There are not enough good things that I can say about the race director, her assistant, and all of the volunteers at this race.  I’ve this race from day 1, and now I have even more reason too.  The assistant race director was kind enough to walk me into transition before it was open to get my phone.  I knew I needed to call my mom, since I was pretty sure she still didn’t know what had happened.  I had numerous volunteers asking me how he was, giving me hugs, and telling me they hoped he was okay.  Michelle was amazing through the entire process, and even came to visit my dad in the hospital that afternoon.

I waited around and got my award, because I had some friends that were doing the race as well and I wanted to wait for them to finish.  I knew that if I worried about speeding home it would just be to go sit in a hospital waiting on a diagnosis.  It wasn’t life threatening, so I think I was pretty calm in general.  My mom and I made it to the hospital not too long after my dad had been moved to a normal room, and the doctor was there explaining what had happened.

He broke his femur, but unfortunately it broke at the neck where the bone narrows before it goes into the hip.  The doctor explained that this area doesn’t receive enough blood flow so even if they used plates and screws to reattach everything, it would never heal.  That meant a hip replacement was his only option.  Had he broken it just a bit further down they would have been able to let it heal on its own.  The plus side of the hip replacement is that recovery time is far shorter than had he had to wait on the bone to heal.  The downside is obviously that the hip could wear out, and it will never quite feel as good/normal as his own hip.

The hip on the left is the normal one. You can see the break on the right side.

The hip on the left is the normal one. You can see the break on the right side.

He had the surgery Monday afternoon, and is doing surprisingly well.  Every time I’ve seen him, he’s been in really good spirits.  Yesterday morning he was already walking around (with a walker), and seeming to be a lot stronger than any of the nurses expected to see him.  But then again, how many 64 year olds do you know that can run half marathons, and win their age group in a triathlon?!?  I think his fitness is really going to help this process go quickly and smoothly.

I’m so so so thankful that this was the only injury he had.  It could have been so much worse.  We face these risks every time we hop on our bikes, but if you’re going to get hurt better to be doing what you love, right?  I just know I’ll be counting the days until I’m able to ride with him again.  Until then I’ll be pedaling for two, and trying my damndest to kick major ass at my upcoming races!  Love you Dad, and I cannot wait for you to be back at it!!!!

Still managing a smile!  ...could be the morphine

Still managing a smile! …could be the morphine

Week One of Self Restraint

I’m going to attempt tracking this process.  I doubt I’ll stick with an every day thing for long, but for now I want to document the process for myself in case I should want to look back.

Tuesday – didn’t have much of a lunch since there was no food at the house until I went to the store, and then everything had to be cooked.  Tried a new etouffe recipe for dinner, and it was delicious!  Got in a really good speed workout on the bike trainer.

Wednesday- tons more rain ruined any hope of an early morning Masters swim.  Felt like I had a bit of a headache all day.  Came home from work and did a tough interval run in the heat.  My legs were shaking after the second of 9 intervals.  Did I mention it was hot?

Thursday – woke up with some pretty damn sore quads.  Made it to swim practice, and my body was not having it.  Sprints were a serious struggle.  Maybe the sugar cutback had something to do with it?  Somehow clawed my way through 2400m, and off to work.  I’ve decided to *try* doing the New Rules of Lifting for Women program.  I’ve been so super spotty with my strength training.  I get sick of Body Pump, and I always walk into the weight room, and just look around for the piece of equipment with the least number of big dudes around it.  That or I just end up doing body weight exercises at home.  Boring.  So, I’m hoping with a plan and a way to track progress I’ll actually be more willing to go suffer in the daunting place that is a weight room.

Friday – woke up in time to swim again.  4:30 AM two days in a row hurts.  I checked the radar and saw there was yet another storm system headed our way, but the hourly forecast showed it wouldn’t hit until about 8 so I got up and started getting ready.  I took my bags to the car and noticed some lightning far off, then went inside and the thunder started.  It was pretty frequent, so I decided to not chance swimming.  I didn’t want a repeat of two Mondays ago (15 minutes in and had to get out *shakes fist at sky*).  I had already had some coffee and a bite to eat, so just got ready for work instead of going back to bed.  Getting to work at 6 AM also makes for a long day.  I met up with a friend after work for a quick 40 min on the treadmill, followed by a much needed yoga class.  I hadn’t gotten a good stretch in awhile, and I could really tell.

Saturday – I was so exhausted by Friday night I went to bed about 9:30, and didn’t wake up for nearly 12 hours.  That was some solid sleep.  I immediately changed into running clothes, and headed out for my 1:20 HR restricted run.  It was hot and humid, and my legs felt like bricks.  Slowest run I’ve had in a loooong time.  Getting through the weekend without drinking is usually the hardest part of this for me, but it felt pretty easy this go around.  No temptations really helps!  The hubby and I picked up some paint to redo the master bathroom, and went to the grocery store to get all the grub we need for the work week.

Sunday – woke up nice and early to meet up with some friends to ride.  This was the best ride I’ve had in awhile.  I took a good 10 minutes to really get warmed up, and then went for it.  I kept it within my prescribed HR range, and it ended up being my fastest non-drafting training ride to date.  Got home and immediately did food prep for the week.  Chicken enchilada bake, shepherd’s pie, and ribs ready to go!

Monday – I had trouble getting to sleep, but once I did I was OUT!  I snoozed my alarm for at least 20 minutes without even knowing it.  Just barely made it to swim practice!  Masters was tough today.  The coach often forgets that there are slow people in the water too, and sets some crazy intervals that I really struggle to hit.  I know it’s good for me, but that’s the way this whole swim felt.  I was totally spent at the end of practice.  I’ve been plagued with calf and foot cramps while swimming for as long as I can remember.  If I try to swim hard at the end of a session, it’s pretty much inevitable.  Today, none of that.  Not a smidge.  Not an inkling.  I’m thinking the lack of booze, and addition of more hydration just may have played a part in that.  I had a dentist appointment in the morning, so I decided to try out a new routine.  I changed into gym clothes at the pool, and hit up the closest YMCA for my strength workout.  It was really nice to workout there as the weight room is sooooo much bigger and nicer than the one near my work.  And less crowded.  Win!  I think I may try to make that happen more often.

Seven days of healthy eating, no cheats, no beers, no booze.  How do I feel?  Better in general, but tired.  I really hope the tiredness passes soon.  I’ve been sleeping a ton, and it feels like I just can’t get enough.

I’ve attempted this clean eating thing a couple of times before, but without much success.  The first time was about 2 years ago, and I almost passed out on an interval run.  It was bad enough that I went to see a cardiologist to make sure there wasn’t something wrong.  The second time was last January when I attempted a Whole30.  I started feeling light headed about a week in, and then on day 14 I cut my finger chopping carrots, and ended up passed out on the bathroom floor.  I’m not a person that is bothered by blood or wounds or whatever, so this came as a real surprise.  We took my blood pressure, and it was waaaaay low.  Now that I’ve been through this a couple of times, I think that it’s caused by a drop in electrolytes.  When I cook at home I don’t add much salt to my food, so there’s a drastic difference when I stop eating out.  Also, with the Whole30 I cut out Osmo from my workout routine.  Mistake!  I started feeling that way this past Sunday.  I noticed my urine was a little dark, so I drank a good amount of water, and ate some salted plantain chips.  Within a few hours I was back to feeling normal.  I just need to make sure I stay on top of things if I feel that way, and not just accept it as a “normal” part of cleaning up my diet.

“No one saves us but ourselves.  No one can and no one may.  We ourselves must walk the path.” –Buddha

Adventures in Healthy Eating

I realized sometime last weekend that as of next Friday there’s a short 5 months until Ironman Florida.  It’s time to get serious.  I wanted to start this year focusing on health and nutrition, and I did for all of oh…. a week or so… and then things got hectic and it all went to shit.  Fast forward to this week, and it’s time to refocus.

Last weekend was a long weekend (Memorial Day) which equalled waaaaay too much junk food.  And beer.  Let’s not forget the beer.  Friday drive to Waxahachie eating yummy strawberry Twizzlers from Woody’s, Five Guys for dinner.  Saturday Scarsborough Rennaissance Festival aka beer and fried food, followed by German food and cocktails.  Sunday drive back home and immediately head to two parties with practically unlimited food and beer.  Monday hosted a rare beer tasting with some awesome people.  Only 19 bottles between 6 people…


Needless to say, I was ready for a salad by Tuesday.  Tuesday morning presented us with some insane amounts of rain.  We were pretty safe out on the northwest side, but many parts of Houston were not so lucky.  My office ended up being closed, so perfect opportunity to get ready for the week.  I headed to the store, and spent the entire afternoon prepping food.  I just love having everything made for the week ahead.  It makes the work week so much less stressful, and I’m so much more likely to actually adhere to eating well.

I was really hoping to be further along with this process by now.  I’ve already had to sprint triathlons this year.  They went well (a 2nd and a 1st in AG), but the run is still killing me.  In the first race I lead all the way through T2, had a decent lead, got toasted on the run even though it was my fastest 5K to date, and lost out on 1st by about a minute.  My coach still said she was pleased with the result considering the lack of speed training I got in early in the year due to illness and minor injuries, but it really sucks to know I was that close to winning and couldn’t pull it off.  I just keep thinking to myself that if I could discipline myself and get down to race weight, I’d have to work so much less hard to hit the same paces I’m struggling with right now.  And that was a cold weather race… let’s not even touch on what’ll happen when it gets hot.

6 weeks until my next sprint
18 weeks until IM August 70.3
23 weeks until IMFL

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” –Alexander Graham Bell

2014 in Review

Let’s start with the things of an athletic nature.  Training totals:

Lap Swim: 1.56 miles – 61:53:55
Open Water Swim: 2.2 miles- 1:03:07 (Does not include IM Boulder)
Outdoor Bike: 1113.83 miles – 69:54:17
Trainer Bike: 754.25 miles – 63:38:06
Spin Bike: 8:29:05
Run: 706.87 miles -134:56:29 (25.69 on the Dreadmill)

Throw in some random strength, cardio, yoga stuff at the gym, and we come to a grand total of: 3108.85 Miles and 389 hours 53 minutes 49 seconds of time being active.  Phew.

In 2014 I became an Ironman.  It was a hot, tough race.  Especially with that elevation.  Good lawd.  But, I finished and was on top of the world.  That finish line really is one of the best places on Earth, and I can’t wait to be there again!!!


David and I decide to build a house in 2014 as well.  We signed our contract on Valentine’s Day, and they finally broke ground on October 2 (oddly enough, that’s the day David proposed in 2013).  The design and build process has been a tough one, and it’s taken far too long, but I’m sure it will all be worth it in the end!


…and the biggest, and best event of the year?  David and I finally got married!  It was such an incredible day.  I’m so happy to have married my best friend, and can’t wait to see what 2015 holds for us as a married couple.  We haven’t gotten our pictures back from the photographer, so one of the ones taken by friends will have to do.


I’ve got some big plans for 2015, but I’ll save that for another post.  I really need to start blogging more.  Only 3 posts in 2014 is pathetic, but it was an insane year.  I’m hoping to catch my stride now that some of those things are complete.  Time to focus on new endeavors!

RacECAP: Ironman Boulder 70.3 – June 15, 2014


I did this race with a couple of friends from Houston.  One is Tanzi, a guy I know from beer club Wednesdays at Rockwell, and the other is a coworker of mine, Mike.  The four of us (David couldn’t miss out on the beer drinking opportunity!) left out around 4 am Thursday before the race.  We arrived Thursday night in Parker, and had our fingers crossed that a little over 2 days was long enough for us to acclimate to the altitude.  I’ve done workouts in Denver before, but never raced so I really had no idea how this was going to work out.

Friday morning we woke up and headed out for about an hour ride.  Make sure the bikes were still in one piece after the long ride in the back of the truck, make sure our legs still worked after the long ride in the cab of the truck, and make sure the lack of oxygen didn’t kill us.  Erin gave us a couple of route options and me (being the moron that I am), chose the harder route.  Those hills were pretty darn big!  But, we survived, and then Mike and I did a 25 minute run.  The rest of the day was spent running around buying beer to take home and food to eat for the weekend.  It was so so so hard to not hit up every brewery we love in the area.  Must wait until after the race!!!!

Saturday I got up and did another easy run, and after a quick shower and some breakfast we headed to Boulder for packet pickup and bike drop-off.  Packet pickup was quick, and all of the volunteers were super nice.  I dropped my bike off at the maintenance tent to have my shifter cables adjusted, and we walked over to the water to check out the temperature.  Felt awesome!  After waiting around for well over an hour, my bike was finally ready.  Put it on my transition rack and we headed out of there to get lunch and rest up before the big day.


Race Morning

The worst part of race morning is always getting up super duper early, and this race was no exception.  We had an hour drive to Boulder, and needed plenty of time for breakfast, packing up the truck, and setting up our transition areas.  Luckily we all started in later waves, so we had plenty of time to relax and potty before our races started.  I was in the wave behind Tanzi, and Mike was in the very last wave (ick).

I got in the water for a quick warmup, and I’m so glad I did.  The water was only 67 degrees, but damn did it take my breath away when I put my face in.  If I had waited til the race start for that, things might not have gone so smoothly.  The water felt great once I started swimming, but that initial shock was more than I expected.



We waded out into the water about 5 minutes before our start time, and I positioned myself at the front to the outside left.  Usually with these types of starts, the girls are pushing their way as far forward as possible, and usually get told to back up behind the buoys.  Total opposite at this race.  I wasn’t even up to the start buoys, and I was a good 5-10′ further out than anyone else.  Weird.  The gun went off, and I pushed the pace until the first buoy making sure I had nice clean water to swim in.  No problem.  The first length of the course was super easy.  I didn’t have an issue with traffic until I started catching up with earlier waves.  By the time I hit the final stretch there were slower swimmers everywhere that definitely slowed me down to weave through them.  I still managed to PR the swim though, and got out of the water feeling strong.

Swim Time: 35:03
AG:  11/92
Gender:  72/563
Overall:  293/1466


No wetsuit strippers!!!  Definitely cost some T1 time having to pull my wetsuit off, but it came off easier than I expected.  I also got to see Coach Michelle on my way into transition.  I heard someone calling my name and saying, “Good swim!”, but I don’t think it really clicked that it was Michelle until I was past her!  Smooth transition and out onto the bike!

T1 Time: 2:31


The bike.  Oh the bike.  I was scared of this course.  The first 10 miles is pretty solid climbing, so my goal was to not push too hard, and then reap the benefits when we started downhill.  I only averaged 14.3mph for my first 5 miles, then 18.3 for the next 5 miles, and that’s about when this course got really really fun.  My next 20 miles had 5 mile splits of 24.2 (!!!), 20.2, 20.6, 20.2.  The course threw in some smaller hills here and there, most not too steep, just enough to test the legs over the full distance.  My HR monitor decided not to work, so I rode 100% off of feel, and I kept my Garmin display on my overall bike time.  I just saw the splits coming up every 5 miles, and kept thinking holy shit!  My legs felt awesome.  Just freaking awesome.  I had a smile on my face the entire 56 miles.  It’s by far the most fun I’ve ever had on my bike.  The course is gorgeous.  I love mountains, and I love Colorado.  I PR’d my 70.3 bike by a solid 10 minutes.  I really just didn’t want it to end!

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Bike Time: 2:57:17; 18.95 mph
AG: 27/92
Gender: 179/563
Overall:  787/1466


I don’t remember much about T2, other than being super happy about my bike split.  I was super stoked that I had gone under 3 hours, and I was really hopeful to break 6 hours for the race.

T2 Time: 2:03


The run started out pretty well.  I knew that it was mostly gravel trail with little to no shade, and there were 2 pretty big hills at the beginning of each lap.  I just wanted to run for as long as I possibly could.  The first lap was going pretty well until I hit about mile 5.  I started to get a headache.  Weird.  It just kept getting worse and worse.  Bad enough that I finally gave in and started walked because I literally thought I might puke.  This continued on for another 3 miles.  Suddenly I had a thought.  I was wearing a visor, which I almost never do.  I lifted the visor up off of my temples, and the headache almost instantly went away!  Fortunately I figured it out when I did, but unfortunately it took me a good 3 miles for it to click, and by then the heat was starting to get to me.  The rest of the second lap was a series of walking and running when I could.  When we got on the back part of the res, the wind had picked up significantly.  I’ve never run in that much wind.  It was ridiculous!  I tried running in it, but that just went really poorly.  I was really near the finish, but I knew my sub 6 dreams were gone by that point, and I was pretty much still guaranteed a distance PR.


Run Time: 2:29:00; 11:22/mi
AG: 54/92
Gender:  329/563
Overall:  1020/1466

Post Race Thoughts

I was pretty happy with my swim, really happy with my bike, and pretty disappointed with my run.  I managed a PR, but I know I could have gone under 6.  At least I know about the visor issue now.  That won’t be happening again!

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Race Time: 6:05:54
AG: 34/92
Gender:  212/563
Overall:  815/1466