Thursday, September 26, 2013

VEGAS ....without triathlon

I recently traveled back to Vegas on a Friday night after work just for the weekend. I just barely missed all the big happenings in Vegas that week such as:

1. Interbike: huge

2. SSTriGP: HUGE AMAZING congrats to Ben Kanute who finished 3rd ! I remember teaching him functional strength as a junior!

3. CrossVegas!: a chance to race CX at night in Vegas!...YES Please!  I REALLLy wanted to do that but couldn't pull it off

While everyone else was packing up and heading out of Sin City I was just arriving late Friday night. The purpose of my trip, none really other than some RnR, hanging with AZ, and going to the Motley Crue concert Sat. night. I spent much of the time doing what most people do there,  and I usually don't do while in Vegas. 

Friday I worked at the Fox Valley Marathon Expo at the Dreyer/Advocate booth. Where I work now  is a big sponsor of this marathon and the Chicago Marathon. I rushed to the airport still dressed like a runner and boarded the plane Friday  A flight to Vegas on Friday night is entertaining. I overhead guys talking about cheating on their girlfriends, people who had just lost their jobs, and there is always a token bachelor party on board.

AZ had to get up very early Sat morning to go ride bikes for a really long time. I slept in. Never do that. Then I went to the health club/fitness center at the hotel. Don't do that either.  I don't even have a gym membership anymore other than a masters swim pass and right now that is expired!  I did a little tempo run on the treadmill and lifted weights, something else I haven't had much time to do.  I watched college football in the room while working on the computer finishing schedules for my athletes, then headed to the pool. I sat still in the sun for about 20 minutes before they were telling everyone to leave due to high winds. It was pretty windy up there and things were blowing around. They closed the pool and made everyone go to the other main pool on a lower level. #Vegasproblems. To get there meant walking through the casino and getting through security line that was worse than the airport. They ID'd me (thank you!), searched my bag, threw out my cough drops and aleve, and finally I could get into the pool. 

This was like a night club for 20 somethings, but poolside. The music and DJ was loud, people were drinking heavily and it was noon. I sat behind my big sunglasses tried not to look out of place and soaked up a few rays.

I went shopping and got some really sassy high shoes bad for toes and walking but super cute.   

We ate an awesome dinner then went to the Hard Rock for this:   
hard rock!

 the show was loud, with crazy people including us. I mostly liked dancing in my new shoes.

Sunday we drove out to Henderson and ran the 70.3 course. AZ still had kind of a big race and I got to experience it all over again.
was this there race day? didn't see it

 I hadn't run long since race day but my goal was to just enjoy and get some miles going again.  My calves were sore from dancing in those shoes, but it was a good run. I want to run a 1/2 marathon this fall along with CX racing.  And yes, we did end up eating at Whole Foods on the way to catching a flight back home. Probably not too many people that were at the concert spent Sunday morning like we did. A transition back to my real life. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Vegas 70.3 World Championships> Highlights and Lowlights

5 days post race, the soreness is mostly gone, but the fatigue and tan lines are still there and the brain is stuck on what now?, why?, what if, and whew! (It almost sounds like my documentation at work: 

5th day post op, swelling is down but the incisions and scars are still healing, and toughen up …….just kidding on the last part)

I'll be honest I am not completely thrilled with the outcome of this race, but have come to accept it.  I have a lot of mixed feelings about it (both good and bad) that have been hard to describe to... the people I work with, family, my coach, and friends.  For my fellow employees they think 28th in the world is amazing and want to have their picture taken with me (LOL, its true! love them), for my close friends or even myself I know I am a better athlete than the results show. Just 2 years ago I was 12th, in a younger AG and on a much hotter day. WTF. But this is a different year with much different circumstances. My training going into the race had been going well and I was excited and motivated to race, but deep down I know this course. I've done it 3 x, and trained there multiple times. I know what it takes and I know what I had been able to fit in amongst a bunch of craziness and it just wasn't enough to get me where I wanted to be.   So many people close to me say just have fun, enjoy not having pressure to perform. But part of the fun,  for me,  is performing to the best you can…to your full potential. Its a frustrating feeling to not be able to do what you are capable of. But, is 28th in the world as good as it gets for me,  now,  with working full time, developing programs,  shuttling kids, coaching athletes, and being a good wife to an amazingly fast husband who knows how to take his racing training and business to new levels. I don't think so, and isn't doing your best part of what makes you get out the door to train? fit the training in around life? Its part of what still gets me to sign up for races, have a coach, and get up early, skip hair appointments (its obvious!) to train instead. 

I just don't do detailed race reports, but like to give highlights and lowlights on my race day.  But first,  I have to say it was so fun to have so many Wattie Elite team members out on the course racing and supporting. They were simply awesome and made a little suffering at the that much better !!!  Being part of such a supportive team throughout the past 2 years has been such a fun experience. Even though most the pictures that have shown up show pain, grit, a muddy face… I was smiling out and high 5ing my teammates out there! 

I also have to give an enormously huge THANKS to the Elite team sponsors who surprised us with an AMAZING super pro package of World Champ surprises!   A new WATTIE INK World champ race kits and a super sweet tank, new KSWISS shoes, BlueSeventy Goggles, sweet towels from Speedfil and ISM, Fuelbelt bottles and race belts, Spidertek tape and my last POWERBAR shipment came the day before I packed to leave. Seriously how awesome is this! They totally went all out for us and it was like Christmas morning! :)  
I love new kits for race day!
pre ride with a lot of fast Treks!

Race Day Recap:

We walked out of the hotel and felt rain! Say what? I hadn't packed any rain gear and could only think about the stuff getting wet and that T1 being a mudslide!  Guess CX was starting early.  It kept raining even after it was suppose to stop. Nothing new hear. Can't tell you how many rides I did this summer in the rain.  

Swim: Best part of the swim was my BlueSeventy swim skin to help me slide through the muddy sludge that was Lake Las Vegas. It seemed worse than the past 2 years, maybe it was the rain stirring up who knows what from the bottom. I had a good start, swam a straight line and passed a number of girls in the back half of the swim. The frustrating part is a slower time than last year, despite working harder on my swim, 4:20 am. wake up calls to go swim with fast people. I was shocked, it was still raining when I exited the water and was running through T1. 

Bike: My new bike was a dream! I can't thank Trek,  Nes/Studio DNA enough for dialing it in to perfection. It fit perfectly. I was so sad it was going to get dirty though! The rain continued the entire bike! I chose not to wear sunglasses, which is good because I got pelted by packs of men coming from behind. I rode strong the bike was perfect, it was just missing some bigger riding miles in the legs by the person pushing the pedals.
Thank you Kevin Koresky for this pic!

Run: The rain stopped, and the sun came out which I loved. My team was out all over the course in the race and on the sidelines cheering. I am one of the few who actually like this run course. When you are on,  you can run strong uphill then hammer the downhills. This worked for about 1 1/2 laps for me. I had trouble with cramping in my feet and calves which I had to walk out some, well more often than I would have liked. I'm guessing I didn't get in enough salt/ hydration because it wasn't as hot, or more likely just not strong enough this year. 

Finish: 28th in the World.  I'll take it with a smile.
big bling

Many athletes just dream to be at a World Championship event, and I have been in at least 5 that i can remember and feel lucky to have fit enough training to be there again this year. 2 days after coming home I picked Jack up at football practice to find out that he had won that weeks game ball;  of course I was mom of the year for missing that game, but the coach said he won it because he executed 90% of his snaps and even though their team lost he never gave up and kept playing hard. Maybe he's learning something!

And thats a wrap on the 2013 tri season! Except for 1 trip to Kona for an underpants run and to cheer for so many friends and my athletes racing this year.  But as 1 season ends another begins! My CX bike has already seen the dirt a few times :)
good bye Vegas World Champs

Sunday, September 1, 2013

LONG Overdue>>Vegas Prep

My lack of posting updates to my blog means one thing, I'm in survival mode. The final push to Vegas, plus back to school and 10U football,  amongst Hawaii build up for fast husbands and me working full time has put me in full spin cycle.  After Sept 8, put me out to pasture, with an adult beverage, sun,  lawn chair and bikini.  Since Mid July, I have been focusing all my workouts and training for  Vegas.  After last year's saga, my main focus for this year was to be ready to race in Vegas. Qualify early, then set the rest of the season up to do well there this year.  For many of the above reasons in the first sentence, I am not sure how much longer I can keep this  crazy routine going.  So I skipped some races, flopped out of others to have a solid block of training to be as ready as I can Sept 8.  Tough choices, but when you've raced around the world, in so many different events you can do that.  I'll admit I have had some mental and physical ups and downs along the way to a point to accept where I am and I am doing the best I can fitting everything in. 

Ingredients of my Vegas Prep:

Racine 70.3:  stepped in a pothole and jammed my SI joint that  already wasn't very happy to begin with  thanks to an incident running fast on trails in May.  Thankfully Dr. Turner at Turner Pain and Wellness helped put me back together, pointed out my weaknesses (gasp, yes they are there).  

USAT Nationals: Milwaukee  Originally had planned to do the best I could here on "Vegas" training knowing very well I would not have Olympic distance speed. Nationals is always competitive, and you better show up with all you've got, or it will be handed to you on a silver platter.  And yep, I was served  a plateful.   The combination of Vegas training plus a pothole incident left me with no speed. I  came very close to not to racing,  but in the effort of it being close to home, more fun than a regular training day, Watties on loose, it was hard to pass up. Plus it was an excuse to get out of work early to make a Friday afternoon bike check in.

Mad to the Bone 1/2 Marathon: This local 1/2 marathon is put on by our triathlon club, my  coach, Scott and close friend Danny.  I raced on very tired legs following a great training block ( finally, ) Going into the race I had done some big workouts and Saturday did one of my favorite killer versions of a triple brick. I nailed it. The race the next day would half to be with whatever was left. I typically don't like to train through races or toe the line not ready to race, but knew this would be more fun and tougher course than the same long run route I usually do.  This race has some solid hills in the back half…( um Vegas like 0 flat sections), so doing it on tired legs I though was ….strategic.  I felt good for about 1/2 the race, stopped to tie my shoe and visit a porta potty along the way and finished with an average effort. 

Dreyer/Advocate: This is my daily routine, I am here on my feet 40 hrs a week treating injured, and building a fee for service training program to evaluate and train athletes coming back from injury. I spend more time here than with my family I think. 1 year later, I think I am still adjusting to working full time again.

10U football: my dad coached high school football for 35 years. My 3 brothers played and now Jack is playing on 10U team. While it buys me some time because practices are about 2 hours now, with it comes more commitments.  And, yes I get fired up to see 10 year olds get excited about a sport, being part of a team and committing to the effort.

These fashion boots are the bomb! and come in handy after lots of hard training. There is one issue  for me though, you actually have to sit down with your feet up to get the benefits. So therefore I don't use them nearly as much as I should.  I managed to sit in them once in the past 4 weeks.

Oh yea then there is this: a new Trek Speed Concept has moved in.  A complete in total surprise, I had no idea it was coming, especially for Vegas! (I love surprises!)   I feel lucky and totally spoiled my some really great people.  It fits like a glove, is light and fast! He is my new boyfriend names SPEED.

1 Week from today I'll be racing in Vegas at the World Championships! Good Luck to all my friends and teammates racing there and IM Wisconsin!