Duathlon Nationals Race Recap

I have to start my race recap with some huge thanks:

Kevin-without my supportive husband I would have never got to the start line of the race, he drove Katherine to gymnastics every sat am so I could go train, he supported me going to the race despite having an event I should have attended with him the night before the race and tons of little things along the way. he loves to come watch my races but stayed behind to attend to family and work commitments. Thanks so much I love you tons!!

Coach john-he has been coaching my running for a few years now and does not have the cycling background but helped me put a schedule together for Sept and Oct that would get me ready for the race (without thinking I was crazy)

Ken Lewis- I like to refer to him as the seed planter (he planted the seed that lead to me qualifying in 2009) and again this time around. he offered tips, advice and generously gave his time to help me get my bike setup (tearing off extra weight, convincing me of things I did not need, and putting on my race wheels).

siblings and their families-they traveled from out-of-town and out-of-state to come cheer me on and be my race supporters, photographers and motivators. I am so blessed to have had them there to celebrate the day.

Post race with niece Claire and sister Kathy

Post race with niece Claire and sister Kathy

Mid August I got the crazy idea to get back on my bike and race at Duathlon Nationals since it was practically in my backyard. I had been off my bike for 4 years!  There was dust and cob webs on the bike that had to be cleaned before even riding it. I only rode 1-2 x per week while combining my running. Physically I felt in about 85% of my running fitness and only knew I could go the distance on the bike. I knew I would run my heart out and get passed on the bike by women with better, faster more sophisticated (expensive) bikes than me and then try to catch as many as I could by the finish line. Here is how it all went down!!!

Start line of Duathlon Nationals women under 50 wave.

The announcer was trying to motivate us but actually made everyone more nervous! Saying “are you ready to go anaerobic for 2+ hours?” We just ignored him and cheered in excitement. The first 5k started up hill then made a nice turn for a downhill then back up. We had another great downhill (which we would get to run back up) so I let loose trying to gain speed. I was in 6th place after my first 5k in a time of 19:56 (this is what I ran 2 wks ago in a single 5k). I flew into transition put on bike helmet, changed shoes and I was off. I took a moment at the bike mount area to carefully mount my bike and get going. It would be easy to rush and wipe out here! My family was there cheering me on and taking photos.

In transition getting ready to bike.

Easy does it getting on the bike so I don’t crash.

Bike started uphill and then had a nice climb at mile 2. After about 5 minutes on the bike here came all the girls with the “fancy tricked out bikes”. I have a nice road bike but no aero bars; essentially mine is heavier and not as aero so really makes you go slower for this kind of race. I knew this would happen so did not panic and made a game of counting the # of girls that passed me and then see how many I could pass on the run. I was passed by 26 women on the bike. All had aero bars, many had disk wheels most were tri-bikes or time trial bikes. I am not a huge bike geek but if you are you know what this means for me and my road bike! The bike was a 2 loop course. After the first loop we made a complete u-turn and headed back out. I was approaching the u-turn and could see my niece cheering for me. As I was approaching the u-turn another women with a very tricked out bike pulled off to the side and unclipped her bike shoes. I figured she was stopping or dropping out of race. No she was going to push her foot on the ground through the u-turn. I started yelling “don’t stop” since I had 2 bikes behind me and we were all about to become a huge pile up. This chick had no business riding that kind of bike without even knowing how to make a wide u-turn. I was fuming since I almost crashed. I somehow manuvered around her and hit the pedals hard firing up the hill for loop 2. My butt was really hurting now. I need to get a new bike saddle, fit or something. I was just going to have to grin and bear it, standing when I needed a break. I feel like I went about 90% effort on the bike saving just a bit for the run.

I flew into T2 racked my bike and quickly changed my shoes. I had some women to catch! I started to run and my legs were absolute jello legs. I really could not believe how dead they were. It was all mental as I waited for my legs to catch up to what was going on. I fired out of transition passing one women like a steam train.

starting 2nd and final run.

The run was the same, up hill to begin with, not so much fun with dead legs. My lungs were at full capacity gasping for air. Before mile 1 I had caught 4 women. At the u-turn I saw a great shade tree and briefly thought about laying down under it. My body was alive and racing hard, I have not felt this way in a long time! Between mile 1 and 2 there was a lot of downhill so I just fired down that hill as fast as I could looking for more people to pass. At the bottom of the hill there was a turn around and then it is up 2 hills to the finish. The last hill was brutal I passed a 23 yr old and just kept going. I ended up catching and passing 10 women total on the run!

My goal before the race was a loose sub 2 hours, I was not sure about my biking or how the course would be. I finished in 1:56:05. I really thought my 2nd run would be much faster. I really thought my bike would be much slower. I felt great the whole race. Nutrition was spot on. I drank 20 oz of Recharge with 1 scoop Carbo Pro and 1 Honey Stinger gel on 2nd loop of bike. I took in about 650 calories prerace (we did not start until 830am).

run 19:56 pace 6:24

T1 1:06

bike 1:13:10 speed 17.8 mph

T2 :49

Run 21:08  pace 6:48

My family was there at the finish and it was awesome!!!! I quickly caught my breath and raced back about 400 yards to see my friend Melissa come in and cheer her on. She was hoping to go under 2 hrs also so as the clock was 90 seconds to go I spotted her turn the corner and started screaming like mad. “Go Melissa you only have 30 seconds run as hard as you can” She made it in 1:59:43.

Enjoying the misting machine celebrating our sub 2hr finishes and that we both qualified for Team USA world team.

We celebrated with a huge Indian Buffet lunch with my family.

Part 2 of the weekend was about to begin. My friend Michelle and suggested a trip to the Biosphere 2 and staying overnight there. We rented a casitas for all of us and explored all day. There was  a special evening Halloween themed program for the families and then after everyone left we had our own private flashlight tour of Bioshpere2. It was really awesome!!!!!!!!!! We traversed through the rain forest in the dark, mud, damp and cockroach infested trails, visited the Ocean and hung out on the beach. Our tour guide Kevin made it rain in the desert.

Our crew getting ready for flashlight tour of Bioshpere2.

Our crew getting ready for flashlight tour of Bioshpere2.

Josh and Kevin were totally freaked out by the massive amounts of cockroaches crawling on ground and walls. I chose to ignore and plus since I had my glasses I could not see them in my peripheral vision. We spent a few hours walking around (up and down lots of steps) seeing the Biosphere and learning about the people who were sealed in for 2 years. You can learn more at http://b2science.org/.

Cool picture. Looking up through top of Biosphere seeing reflection of the boat in the ocean.

Cool picture. Looking up through top of Biosphere seeing reflection of the boat in the ocean.

In the library looking through the glass down several floors. Mom is hoping the glass does not break.

In the library looking through the glass down several floors. Mom is hoping the glass does not break.

We sat around the dark library talking late into the night with our tour guide. I finally had to pull the plug after 11pm or campout in here for the night. In the morning I decided to go for a short run around the grounds. How often do you get to run somewhere cool like this!!

Post run in front of Biosphere2. Showing off race tattoos that may never wash off.

Post run in front of Biosphere2. Showing off race tattoos that may never wash off.

We enjoyed a final breakfast and lecture with our tour guide Kevin. Katherine has learned that University of Arizona is a top science school in the country. Her gears are clicking away, hmm we are big Sun Devil fans but Uof A would be cheaper than Stanford!

scenic breakfast at Biosphere2

scenic breakfast at Biosphere2

It was such a fun weekend with friends and family.

I have officially qualified for Team USA World team for Duathlon to be held in Pontevedra Spain May 31. I am not sure how this aligns with my goal of qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials, also the trip to Spain would be pretty costly. I will keep you posted on my goals and racing plans!

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Running the beaches.

My kids had fall break last week so we decided to take a trip to San Diego to visit my brother’s family in their new home. I was really looking forward to running at the beach and finding a race to run.

We arrived Tuesday afternoon and after picking up my niece headed straight to Del Mar beach. I was feeling stiff and tight from the airplane ride. My sister in-law Carren and I started doing yoga poses on the beach while we watched the kids boogie board. Before long we had several people joining in our yoga. It felt so good to stretch out and view the ocean.

Wednesday I headed down to Del Mar beach for my run. I had 8 miles with 4 at 620 pace. A big storm was moving into San Diego that day. Possible rain and wind. I headed north running towards Enicintas, the tide was too far in to run on the beach so I ran on HWY 101.  My pickup miles ended up being uphill straight into a huge headwind on the way back. I gritted my teeth and charged on, hey you never know what will happen on race day. I was around 640 pace for all of them but the effort was there. Took the kids to the Birch Aquarium since it was indoors. Then we had gluten-free crepes in downtown Del mar. Josh had never had a crepe so he got a meal and dessert crepe. We visited the cute little library and bought some books. Finally it was off to Mesa Rim Climbing gym, my niece Claire is on the rock climbing team. My kids got to climb for a few hours while she practiced.

view from Birch Aquarium

view from Birch Aquarium

Thursday Carren and I headed to her gym Pacific sports Resort http://www.pacsandiego.com/. This place is awesome. We attended 545am spin class then headed to the cafe for some free tea/coffee. Upstairs we played with TRX, foam rollers, slide boards and much more. 3 hours later we finally left. It was  a great workout and a fun day. Carren has embraced many fitness and health changes since moving to San Diego she has lost a ton of weight but more importantly looks and feels really healthy. I could not be more proud of her.

I took the kids to Torrey Pines State Beach and we had a beautiful hike along the coast. We capped it off with more boogie boarding. The waves were fast and furious from the storm we had the ocean to ourselves. I was happy to borrow my brothers wetsuit to keep warm in the ocean.

Josh found this large kelp at Torrey Pines State Beach. Dinner?

Josh found this large kelp at Torrey Pines State Beach. Dinner?

Friday I got a short run in at the beach before taking Katherine to the airport. She had to return home early for gymnastics. Josh and I were excited to stay through until Sunday. We stopped by Old Town after the airport and toured the Whaley House (America’s Most Haunted House). Friday afternoon we were running errands and driving about town when I started feeling some painful twinges in my left hamstring. Yikes I hate when that happens. dilemma we are supposed to run a 5k tmrw. Well I just decided to stretch, roll on tennis ball and see how it felt.

Carren and I at Whaley House. She is rockin' her new jeans!

Carren and I at Whaley House. She is rockin’ her new jeans!

Saturday was  a perfect morning for a 5k. Moonlight Beach Fest would be held in Encinitas just a short drive north. There was no sign of the hamstring twinge but I kept it in the back of my mind.. Josh and I lined up at the start and chatted up some other boys. We asked one young man if he had done the race before, his “reply yes no hills totally flat”. Next announcer greets us with “Welcome to the 1st annual Moonlight Beach fest”. When we started there were definitely some rolling hills. I saw a few ponytails up ahead but reminded myself to run my own race and that I am not in my fastest shape at the moment. In other words dialing back the competitive juices. There were 3 full u-turns so good to check how close I was getting to the other ladies and check on Josh (he was just a short bit behind me). I could see the gap closing between the 2nd place girl and me so decided to give it a little extra the last mile to try to catch her. The lead women was quite a ways ahead. I ran down the last hill to the finish line happy to still see 19 on the clock. My time was 1950, 2nd female and won my age group.  I was happy with that but ecstatic the hamstring was absolutely fine. Josh came in next at 2041 and the 2nd kid under 15 to finish.

We took some pictures enjoying the view while we waited for awards to start. I was dissapointed to hear the awards would only be for ages 15 and up. Josh ran a PR and was 2nd in the 12 and under. Great reminder about how we race not for awards/prizes but for fun and our own personal goals.

getting my award at Moonlight Beach Fest 5k

getting my award at Moonlight Beach Fest 5k

Josh running hard to the finish line.

Josh running hard to the finish line.

Strolling down the street we found a Whole Foods and got some lunch before heading to the San Diego Wildlife Zoo. We spent the rest of the day seeing animals at the zoo. My favorite was the Lemur exhibit that you could walk right in with the lemurs.

up close and personal with the lemurs

up close and personal with the lemurs

On our final morning I had a 12 mile run to do. I decided to start at the north edge of Del Mar by the race track and see how far north I could go and how many beaches I would pass.

Beaches: Del Mar, Solano Beach, Cardiff by the Sea, San Elijo State Beach, Encinitas, Moonlight State Beach

Almost made it to Carlsbad. I think next time I will take money and run north, grab some food and take the Coaster train back down. It was a pretty run along HWY 101 the tide was in so sand was too dry to run on.

Do you have a favorite beach to run on?? Know any great places to run in San Diego (for my next trip)?

Duathlon National Championships here I come

I decided to give myself one month on the bike and see how it went. The verdict is in Sept was successful. I consistently trained without any injuries/pain/frustration, etc. I was able to 5x wk and cycle 2x. My run times have been slowly getting faster. The surprising thing is I can really fly when I get off the bike. I have done 3 bricks with the same run mileage before and after the bike and my 2nd run is avg 30 seconds a mile faster despite the heat. It is just nice to see my training moving in a forward direction after a year of ups and downs. I am officially registered for the race and it looks like I may have some out-of-town family as spectators (my favorite).

I have reached out to several of my triathlon friends and gotten some great advice. 3 years off the bike has made me rusty for sure. I have some awesome Zipp wheels for my bike but staring at them I was confused, did I put those on does the bike need adjustments, how do I change them, what if I get a flat. Running is much simpler! I called on my friend Ken Lewis, he is a great coach and has a lifetime of experience with fast running and triathlon. Several years ago he was the person that planted the seed to qualify for my 1st duathlon world championship race. I will be meeting with him to get my bike race ready. I have the attitude of “it will be what it will be no pressure”. Only being back on the bike 2 months will be a disadvantages but I have my secret weapon, fast running. I know I will be dropped on the bike but some of the competitors and the run is not long enough to catch them all but I will be doing my best to chase them down all the way to the finish line.

I decided to race a 5k last weekend to get back in racing mode before duathlon nationals. Grasshopper Bridge 5k was a local race several friends where running so I decided to give it a whirl. Since my post bike running has been going so well I decided to haul my bike with and ride about 10 miles before the race. I was a bit nervous driving over there since it was still dark (vision problems continue) but no traffic all freeway and the sun was coming up soon. Bike warm-up was beautiful through a nice neighborhood and chilly (left my long sleeve stripey in the car). I rode 10 mile put away the bike and jogged around a bit added some strides and got to the start line. I was estimating slow end 645 pace fast end 630 not were I want to be but it is the reality of where I am. Speed does not come back overnight! Our infamous Stripey shirts!

Photo: Allison DeLanceyDelaney and I in our stripeys at grasshopper 5k. Can't wait til she is racing with me

Several of the kids my son ran track with were running in the race, these kids are seriously fast. I assumed I would get passed by a few 10-12yr olds which I would handle by cheering them on. Sure enough 1/2 mile in one boy zipped past me (he is 10 and ran 18:40). I felt great in the cool weather first mile 6:26 not bad. Next mile another boy zipped past me, this time I stayed with him cheering him along. Mile 2 615 (impressive) pushed hard the last mile since I felt strong and nothing was hurting (626). i ran under the finish clock in 1955. Wow shocked I ran under 20 minutes. Very happy with results. Happy to see all the guys, gals I run with had finished ahead of me.

We had a nice cool down run on the course discussing the race, seems I was the only one really satisfied. I think as runners we are really hard on ourselves sometimes. I did not really know what to expect and was encouraged by the race. We took some pics and stayed for awards ceremony. As usually Bandidos swept the podium in top spots. Several of the girls beat the 1830 time they set and won $50 each. Later I found out it was the 5k State Championship and got a medal in the mail for being 1st Master. My friend JT won the Mens master. I always love those surprise awards.

Dana and I with our awards.

Dana and I with our awards.

Photo: Did not realize my race last wknd was state championship! I got 1st place masters medal in mail today. Love surprise awards!

I have been doing hot yoga 2x wk and strength train a min of 3x wk along with cycling and running. My goal is to make my body invincible. I have been able to incorporate more upper body work since my elbow is healed (after 9 long months). Here is a new thing we tried at the gym “the shifter” has you move on an unstable surface.

Photo: Workout fun on the shifter trying not to fall off. I love this thing. Followed by crazy adventure run with Susan Loken

Josh continues playing soccer for his school team. He is having a lot of fun but they have not won too many games, lots very close.My favorite long sleeve stripey shirt saved the day at last soccer game. The goalie needed a different shirt than the team and coach had not arrived at start of game. I pulled out Stripey and he was able to use that the first half.  Katherine has her new music for floor routine and choreography. She is practicing that routine all over the house and everywhere in public. Cant wait for her 1st meet in Nov.  We are actually all home a few nights a week for family dinners. It has been great to have some more family time and not be as busy as we were last year.

Katherine learning her new floor routine.

Katherine learning her new floor routine.

Josh soccer game for Tempe Prep

Josh soccer game for Tempe Prep

I look forward to Oct to enjoy some training in cooler weather, fine tuning for my race and celebrating my birthday! I am taking the kids to San Diego during fall break. I plan on some great beach runs and we are doing a race in Encintas.

I continue to struggle with finding the solution for my vision issues. I have been diagnosed with keracatonus and now it is a fine dance of getting the right custom-made contacts to work with my eyes. Everyday I am hopeful the solution is around the corner. The 1st set of contacts did not work, 2nd set was sent wrong from the lab (after 17 days of waiting) and this am the right lenses broke in half. I am thankful I can manage with my glasses but the side effects are less than ideal. I know I will have good news to report soon!

Watch for upcoming news about my new women’s elite running group!!! Cant wait to share.

WHAT ARE YOUR FITNESS GOALS FOR OCTOBER? ANY RACE PLANS?

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