Friday, October 28, 2011

Athlete Tracker for Beach 2 Battleship

Last night, I ran screaming into the ocean in the dark. Naked. There wasn't anyone around and I knew it would give me luck for race day. The ocean and I have a relationship. And I'm going to swim 2.4 miles in the salty ocean water tomorrow morning.

I am already highly impressed with PPD Beach 2 Battleship. We arrived (after an 11 hour drive) just in time for the expo and athlete dinner. They had everything we needed along with friendly and funny volunteers. The food was spectacular.

This morning looks like this:

-wake up, no coffee
-sit on balcony in chair swing, no coffee
-freak out a little about the crazy wind gusts, drink plain hot water
-a short run to loosen up and shake off the cobwebs, yoga
-a 20-30 min spin on the bike to check in and to make sure everything is in tip top shape
-come home, set everything out for tomorrow
-perfect pre-race dinner
-walk on the beach

And here is your link to follow the race tomorrow:

I am bib #3, John is #1, and Augie is #133.

Oh, and the photo is of my race face.

AAAAAAHHHHHH!!! One more sleep! I can't wait to race!
Sent via hovercraft

Monday, October 17, 2011

Race Taper Nutrition - how not to mess it all up

Here is the latest podcast with Big Sexy Bobby (now bigger and sexier after going a bit crazy after his ironman - I'm gonna have to smack some sense into that boy).

Bobby rules.  Did I mention that he's coming all the way to North Carolina for my Beach 2 Battleship 140.6?!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Final Prep for Beach to Battleship

(Photo: My podium photo from Hightstown)
My final prep for Beach to Battleship 140.6 started with Savageman. That was a pretty serious brick workout and I was surprised to have recovered relatively quickly from it. I'm sticking with the prep then taper plan that John gave me and I feel faster and stronger than ever. I also have too much energy, which I don't understand. I should be exhausted! Maybe its because my diet has been spot on. It's also likely due to the fact that training A TON makes me HAPPY and HAPPY gives me buttloads of ENERGY. I did miss a few days because I had a cold, but I recovered quickly and pushed things back, giving myself a bit of a shorter taper (which may be better for me). John helped me adjust my plan by calling me immediately when I started to send him ironman freakout texts.

So, here it is:

Week #1 (easing into it with 2 races)

Sunday - Savageman as my 4 hour ride/ 2 hour run brick
Monday - DEAD
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - 6 miles of walking/ 45 min run
Thursday - bike 45 minutes
Friday - swim 2000
Saturday - bike 45 minutes

Total: very low numbers for a prep week but it was also a recovery week

Week #2

Sunday - Hightstown Tri = 1 hour 21 min with 15 mile bike and 5 miles of running
Monday - Death Brick #2: 7 hr /100 mile hilly ride to Bear Mtn then 6 mile/ 52 min run
Tuesday - 50 min run/ swim 3000 yards
Wednesday - 18.5 mile run with tempo
Thursday - swim 2500 meters
Friday - 2 hour 45 minute bike with intervals
Saturday - 1 hour run

Total: 18 hours

Week #3

Sunday - 2.5 hour ride
Monday - sick
Tuesday - sick
Wednesday - 90 min run with tempo
Thursday - rest (murdering the last bit of sickness to prep for a big weekend)
Friday - 20 mile run in 2:38!!!
Saturday - 30 min bike commute

Total: 7 hours 45 minutes (LOW!)

Week #3 re-do

Sunday - 4k open water swim
Monday - 121 mile hilly ride/ 30 min run
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - 2.5 hour run
***official taper start***
Thursday - 30 min swim
Friday - 45 min swim
Saturday - 30 min ride

Total: 14 hours 45 minutes

Looking at these totals makes me think "uh oh. I trained with a lot more volume for IMLP last year". BUT I'm feeling more fit than ever and I got all of my key workouts in. So we'll see how it pays off on race day!  I am so excited for this race and I'm really looking forward to hanging out in North Carolina in October!  I'll be on a beach in warmer weather. It's okay to hate me. I'll make it up to you by telling you how the race is so you can sign up next year!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hightstown Triathlon Race Report

The morning of this sprint race was the first time I ever said "I'm looking forward to getting in the water. Its already hot out!" And then we got word that the swim was canceled because the water was too cloudy to be safe. I always appreciate when an RD makes a safety call, especially in the swim, and I was happy to race a duathlon because running is my strength. This race was only 6 days after Savageman, though, and I was cooked. I didn't expect any major breakthroughs, I just wanted to have some fun doing what I love.

When we arrived I took a look at the water and saw that it must not have been a tough decision to cancel the swim. It looked like mud from the recent hurricane. We set up transition and did a bit of a ride then run on the course. The event was very well organized, the RD had a great sense of humor and was nice and bossy and straightforward during the mandatory meeting. Just the way I like 'em.

I was in the 4th wave with Sarah Leshner and was happy to have another girl I knew to hang with before the start. John, Steve, and Rooney all started in the waves ahead of us. Our wave went off and Sarah and I took off in the front to start the 2 mile run. Soon, 2 women passed us. I considered staying with them, but checked in with my steady breathing, thought of Savageman and the miles of riding and running still ahead of me, and I decided to let them go. Otherwise I would burn myself out too early, especially with such heavy legs. By the end of the run, I had caught a lot of the guys who started 2 waves ahead of me and I ran into T1 with Rooney, in our matching kits, like a collective BOSS.

I RACED the bike. I really pushed. The course was flat but I was feeling pretty confident because I had recently learned how to do a bit of bike maintenance and that had somehow also made me feel like a BOSS. I was flying. People kept yelling to me "I think you're the first female!" I thought they were wrong. They were, but that's cool. One guy was hanging onto my wheel and was drafting. We came to a corner and I, thanks to my killer bike handling skills, gracefully and swiftly made the corner. The silly man tried to pass me and wiped out. I thought "Oh no. My powers!" I asked of he was okay and then continued along. Soon after that, a group of guys who were riding in a pace line surrounded me. I was all "where'd you guys come from?" Then Rooney, the superhero, came swooping in out of nowhere and gave them heck and shot lasers through them for being dirty cheaters. Rooney said something like "go get 'em, finish strong". And I tore outta there into t2, feeling thankful for my homies.

I started the 5k run having no clue if I was really in first or second. I wanted to run hard but was a bit conservative because I expected to drop dead from "The Savage" at any moment. I kept my breathing pretty steady and started to pick people off, one by one. After about a mile I was on my own, for the most part. I hadn't seen another woman since the very beginning of the bike. It was then that I thought to myself "I'm kicking ass whether I run hard or not today". I knew that by telling myself the other women were too far back, I was risking learning a lesson the hard way... But I put it on cruise anyway. I was knackered. I had just done one of the HARDEST races of my life less than a week prior, so I relaxed the pace a bit to the finish. It turns out I was second woman overall! My first run split was really fast and my bike split was on FIYAH. That bought me some time for my slight laziness on the second run. I finished several minutes behind the first woman. There was no way I was catching her.

It felt good to be 2nd overall woman. I'm super happy with the result! And I'd definitely race at Hightstown again!
Sent via hovercraft

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Choose-Your-Own-Fall-Cleanse Adventure: Teleclass

(Pic: One of the reasons I need to do a Fall cleanse)

Join me for an interactive teleclass! This will be as awesome as my previous podcast appearances, but with the added benefit of being able to participate and ask questions in a conversational style.

Our first topic will focus on writing the perfect personalized fall cleanse. We'll answer the following questions:

* What are the benefits to doing a fall cleanse?
* Which cleanse is right for me?
* How should I expect to feel while I cleanse?
* How long should I plan to cleanse?
* And of course, any other questions that will come up...

From there, I will go over a step-by-step plan to create a cleanse that is perfect and personalized to address your specific needs, concerns and lifestyle. YOU will decide exactly what you want to focus on and the duration of time that you want to plan (with my help, of course).

Cleansing does not have to be incredibly complicated or painful. We're NOT talking about FASTING. The goal is to release toxins; improve health, vitality and energy levels; improve immunity to fight off winter cold and flu; and to reset healthy eating habits in a lasting and effective way.

Teleclass Details:

When: Sunday, October 23rd from 6:30-8pm ET

Where: Once you sign up, you will receive information in a confirmation email that includes the dial in number and access code for the call

$25 (paid via paypal)

Includes: Complete plan for creating a personalized fall cleanse with guidance, an opportunity to ask questions, and a full set of notes from the class

Sign up: All you have to do is email me at and I will add you to the list!

** Spaces are limited because the conference line only allows for a certain number of guests. If enough people become interested, I will investigate larger call volume lines.

*** For people who are interested, we will definitely be incorporating an #i8this challenge for added support during the cleanse

Monday, October 3, 2011

Savageman 70.0 Race Report

(Photo: John tackling The Wall on his ERC bike)

Don't let the fact that this race is .3 miles shorter than the usual half-iron fool you into thinking its easier. Its actually so insane that I spent the last 1/4 mile of running feeling incredibly grateful that the race wasn't .3 miles longer. By now, you've probably heard the talk about the "Westernport Wall" and "Killer Miller". They are insane climbs, at miles 20 and 40 respectively, on the bike portion ofthe race. Check out this video for a taste of the ridiculousness of The Wall. Even worse, no one really talks about the run. Well, that's only because the crazy difficult run is overshadowed by the bike. All together, this race was one of the top 3 hardest events I've ever done (and ironman is on that list forever because of the distance). The day before the race, our super fast friend, Kristoph, who has done this race several times and wouldn't shut up about it the day I met him, took us to The Wall to try a practice run. I didn't make an attempt. If I was gonna fall over on that thing I only wanted it to happen during the race.

Race morning was chilly but manageable. I knew the water would be warmer than the air and I felt confident that I brought the right gear for the bike. I put on my wetsuit a bit early and didn't dare get in the water to "warm up" ahead of time. I was grateful to have our lovely friend Noelle at the start to cheer us on. She had done the oly a couple of times and had some helpful pointers. She also kicked butt in her race the day prior. The gun went off and the water temp wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared. I had a pretty decent swim for the amount of swim training I had been doing. We swam to a giant, inflated turtle, around it, then to a giant swan boat, around it, and back to shore. A lovely swim.

I spent a few extra minutes in t1, getting bundled up with gardening gloves, arm warmers, and the sexiest skull leg warmers you ever saw. The bike mount is at a hill and I had watched people struggle and fall over right at the start of the bike in the oly the day before. It was a funny mess and no one was very upset. This crazy hard race tends to attract people who see that type of struggle as a fun, added challenge. They're also saying to themselves "I'm the idiot who signed up for this". So I had calculated my bike mount and practiced the day before. It worked well and I looked like a superstar. Once over that first "hump" the smaller climbs and signs to go with them started right away. The first climb was called the "toothpick" and there were signs set out to heckle you about how small it would feel in retrospect. It was short but very steep. After that climb there is a technical descent that goes on for 17 or so miles, complete with switchbacks and winding turns, and no aero bars allowed to be used. I have to say, I passed a LOT of people on the descent because I have wicked bike handling skillz from SLB. I wasn't being wreckless. I was just GOOD. As you approach the end of that portion, you can hear the cries. The voices of the spectators who came to watch you attempt, and most likely fail, the climb up The Wall. Most of them aren't encouraging. They don't think you'll make it anyway. They're pointing and laughing. Its the MOST AWESOMEST THING EVER.

I rode closer and saw The Wall in front of me, in all its painful glory. Kristoph told me that Desiree Ficker went around it the year before (there is an option for that) so I thought "I'll never make it". And John told me I can do it, so I knew I had to try. There are 2 sections to The Wall. The first is a wildly steep, paved road. Then it "flattens" out for a few feet before you have to dig in for the wildly steep (31%) cracked cement portion. There's a sign right smack in the middle that adds a bit of an obstacle. The trick is not to end up with your tire in a deep crack. This is hard because you can barely control where your bike is going with much accuracy because you're desperately trying to keep all your weight over your front tire so you don't flip backwards. I made it up the first section, focused on steady breathing, and I felt MEGA STRONG. I knew I could make it all the way to the top. I got over the "flatter" section, ready to muscle up that thing. I almost rode into the sign trying to avoid a crack, but I straightened it out. My legs were pushing through and I was filled with a sense of gloriousness. I was 1/4 of the way up, then halfway up. I was focused on the prize and hardly distracted by the screams from the crowd in their crazy, scary costumes. Then...

The woman in front of me started to slow. I was all "don't slow down! We'll fall over!" I couldn't get around her because the road was a mess on either side. Then she went sideways. I went sideways to avoid hitting her and rode into the curb and was caught by one of the "catchers". They pulled me and my bike quickly out of the way. I walked the last 4 feet or so on the grass to the top. I wasn't upset. I wanted to know if I could climb something that steep and I convinced myself that I could. I felt incredible.

The rest of the bike was mostly UP. There were lots of painful climbs that weren't even noted because they weren't crazy enough. If the same climbs were near home, it would be THE CLIMB to train on. Here, it doesn't even get on the list. A "climb to the climb" ride was very SLB, which was also why I was killing it and loving every second. That camp gave me thicker skin. The weather was beautiful and the signs had me laughing through the entire bike. You couldn't wipe the grin off my face. Some of my favorites were:

"I was told this wouldn't be a hilly course!"

"Is this a false flat???"

"Course Architect (name of RD). Please call (phone number) with comments"

Then there was a series up a tough climb that said:

"Aero helmet $400"

"Lightweight racing wheels $1500"

"Triple chain ring, priceless"

Super fun. I never rode so hard in my life.

Then I had to run. Usually I'm excited to get out on the run. I was exhausted and my legs were screaming. I said "shutup legs" and took it out slow and easy to get into my rhythm. I was passing people right away. The run goes through a camp ground with a climb to get to the turn around. A slow and steady effort and I made it without walking. Then its downhill for a bit until you get to this off-road, steep section. Its the kind of steep where you walk or you run but you have to dig in with your fingernails. I ran it and people cheered like crazy because everyone was walking. Coming back down after the turn around had to be done with care to avoid rocks and roots in the trail. This is my kind of running. It was very Am Zof. Then we did another loop of the same.

I finished! I wasn't sure I could. The bike took me about 4 hours. And the run was just under 2 hours (I'm pretty proud of that). I was 19th woman, and with so much strong talent, I can even brag about that. Just to give you an idea, my 70.3 PR is 5:34. This 70.0 took me 6:50 and I felt stronger for this race than the PR. SO INTENSE.

You need to do this race next year. You all do.

A week later I raced a sprint and got 2nd OA woman. Don't ask me how that happened. I'll get to that race report soon enough.