Monday, June 29, 2009

Buffalo Springs Race Report

The weather in Lubbock on race day was not what I had been expecting (upper 90s) instead it was cool, wet and windy – very windy in fact. Nonetheless I always learn a lesson from my race experiences and knew that this would be no different.

I wasn’t feeling well at 3:30am when I woke up and couldn’t eat much either. I still felt nauseated at 6:15am – the pro women went off at 6:32am. I had done a small warmup and felt very sluggish so when the gun went off I was very pleased that I had a great start getting on Jo Lawn’s feet quickly.

I pushed hard and had a good swim – the overall time wasn’t stellar but there were some super swimmers in the field and the pack I was in came out about 2:30 down and I was happy with the pack and excited about where I was at – until I got into transition and couldn’t find my right bike shoe – panic set in. Earlier I decided not to clip my shoes into the pedals as immediately after exciting transition was a huge climb and I thought my strategy would be safer. Ha – not safe after all – did someone take my shoe? Well it must have gotten kicked as I found it 3 bikes down from mine, (I have never been so happy to see my bike shoe) It was now off to the bike.
Unfortunately the women who I came out of the swim with were long gone.

I must have felt like I was riding hard but clearly was not as I still couldn’t see the women ahead and the pro’s behind were catching me (that woke me up!!). It’s nice to have others in front and back to gauge off – it keeps you honest and pushes you. From that point on my ride felt good. There were a few switch backs and I rode those slow as it was wet and there were people coming up in the other lane.

Off the bike and onto the run. It was not hot and the rain felt good but it was still a tough course with some big climbs. I passed a few women on the run but definitely learned that I need to go back to some treadmill hill training or get out to Vancouver to train with the Lifesport Team. There is no lack of hills there!! I am Thankful to all of those who helped me along the path to race day. Also to all of my sponsors: Trakkers, K-Swiss, Quintana Roo, First Endurance, Fuel Belt, Gu, Village Bikes, Zipp, Oakley, Lifesport and the Center 4Massage – you are the Best!!

Got home Monday into Tampa at 12 noon and was home by 1:30pm – I was scheduled for a massage but the kids really wanted to go see the new Transformers Movie.
“Mom we waited to see it with you”
“We knew you liked the first one”
“You said you wanted to see it with us”

I was gone three days and missed those words M – O – M / so the massage will wait!!

I love this quote a friend shared with me years ago “How do kids spell L-O-V-E ? They spell it T-I-M-E”

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Buffalo Springs 70.3

Today I am in Lubbock Texas here at the very beautiful Buffalo Springs Lake for a pre-race swim and jog before Sundays Ironman 70.3

I believe I am recovered from Ironman Brazil and was getting antsy to race, especially after working and doing all the commentating for our Rev3 Race in Connecticut. Man it was hard to watch all my friends and fellow competitor’s race (couldn’t wait to race again myself).

When the Race Director here at Buffalo Springs asked me to come down and race I couldn’t turn it down. I have never been to the Buffalo Springs 70.3 or even Texas for that matter and felt like this hilly, hot race would help in my preparation for the World Championships in Kona as well as helping to build my strength for overall racing.

Yes, I even had some rare time to blog as this will be a quick weekend trip for Todd and I. The summer has been great thus far; we have had some nice quality time with the kids now that they are out of school and have been busily planning our 2010 Rev3 Race Series so the quick break from a busy life has been nice. I have watched more TV in the last two days than I have in the last two months.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Team Louisville Camp

This past weekend was a quick trip to Louisville to put on an Ironman Training Camp for Team Louisville, a Team of athletes Monica Murphy and I put together that are all training for the Ironman. We send monthly workouts to all athletes and those living in the area have the advantage of Monica’s weekly workouts.

We opened the camp up to additional athletes who were training for the Event as well and we had a great total turnout. Athletes flew in from Wisconsin, Illinois and various parts of the Midwest while many hopped in their cars and drove down for the weekend.

On Friday we met at Bluegrass Bicycles located just outside the Ironman Loop. They are a Sponsor of our Team Louisville and Bob the owner was going to provide sag for us.

We did a lecture and Q & A and headed to the Ohio River for a swim talk to go over the logistics, the start and a few tips – then off we went !! Some were concerned about the river water quality. Our two lead swimmers were able to move the large tree limbs out of the way (Thanks Aaron and Brian) That was the biggest workout for them. Everyone did great! You have all been in, no worries now !!!

From the swim it was on to dinner at the Spaghetti Factory. Monica was smart to pick restaurants downtown where athletes may want to go race week. Plus, we needed to carb up for the big course ride Saturday.

Riding a course before the race is a huge mental boost and confidence builder. We headed out shortly after 7:00 am and re-grouped periodically. Many rode the full 112 miles !! For several athletes it was their longest ride followed by a transition run. Many lessons were learned about hydration and nutrition – I gave a perfect first hand example of bonking on the Transition Run !! Ha, I didn’t take any nutrition and was suffering !!

I love doing camps but was glad to head home on Sunday morning to be with my family for Father’s Day. Todd is such a great, great dad and we wanted to celebrate his day :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rev3 - What a Blessing !!

Our recent Rev3 Triathlon was the culmination of several months of hard work and preparation. It’s hard to believe that only nine months ago three of us were sitting in a hotel room in Boulder Colorado, I my husband Todd and Charlie Patten (more on Charlie in a minute). We were talking about our sport, how fortunate we were to be involved in something that we loved and what we might do different if we had an event of our own. We both have families and we discussed at great length how events could do a much better job integrating the family into the experience.

Triathlon can be a very selfish sport. The simple fact is that families give up a great deal so that we as athletes can pursue our passions. When it comes to race day we wanted everyone to be part of the experience which was one of the reasons we chose Quassy Amusement Park for our first Venue.

Before I go any further I want to acknowledge Charlie Patten and his wonderful family as they are the true reason for the existence of this Event !! Without Charlie and the support of his family there would be no Rev3. Together we all brought various talents to this venture but to Charlie a big thanks for making this dream a reality.

Race Day was awesome, a true blessing !! So many things that we integrated were new to our sport in many ways. Degrees of technology have been used in Triathlon but nothing on the level of Rev3. This will be something that only improves over time and lends itself to broadening “the experience” for athletes and families alike who are partaking in our events.

I had a great time doing commentary all day with Stu of “Simply Stu” and Luke Bell (after some unfortunate bike trouble knocked him out of the race). And I know that spectators had a blast following the race whether it be from the Jumbo Screen in transition or following loved ones through the use of Trakkers GPS units (an incredible new technology). If you want “true” real time updates then Trakkers is for you – just ask any family member who used it – it’s the BOMB !!!!

And for the 37,000 people who followed the event live on our website – I hope you enjoyed the show. I am happy to report that this has been the first of many future Rev3 Events. For more information and continual updates check out

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ironman Brazil

Off to Ironman Brazil but first the roller coaster of life. Our family, Todd – I and the kids had a great weekend which included a beautiful rehearsal dinner for our friends Ryan and Mary, Sammy’s Run and a wedding (see previous posts). Sunday afternoon I was supposed to leave for Brazil. Todd and the kids drove me to the Tampa Airport. I hurried in line all excited to go (my friend Morgan was going to meet me in Atlanta) and we were going to fly the rest of the way together to Brazil.

So I handed the clerk my Passport (I have been to South America 5 times previous to this trip). Just this past January I won the 70.3 in Pucon Chile – I love it there!! Well, the clerk looked at me and asked if I had a VISA. I replied, “no, just a Passport” She left, came back and told me I could not travel without a VISA. WHAT !!! Ok, I asked quickly how do I get a VISA Sunday night? The quick answer – YOU DON’T!Ok well Monday happens to be a Holiday – NO Go there either. I was told that the normal process takes 7-10 days but if I went to Miami to the Brazilian Consulate – it may be quicker. “MAY be quicker did they not realize I wanted to try to get a Kona spot and this was the race I had been training for now for MONTHS!!”

What can I say – I was in shock and at the same time mad at myself for not knowing this. How did I not know this? Why didn’t any of the race officials mention it? I was terrified that I may not get to go. I was so bummed, as I was looking so forward to this. Tears began to well in my eyes as I talked things through with the clerk about my options for the VISA. I was so stressed, stomach in knots, I just had to get there, this was the IM I had planned. Meanwhile, my sweet son Joshua over-hearing this entire exchange went to my wallet, pulled out my VISA card, tapped me on the shoulder and said “Mom, here’s your VISA” Kids can be so sweet. It made me smile and was a quick reminder as I looked into his sweet eyes of what’s important in life.
We pulled my luggage to the side, got out the laptop computer and logged on to find out quick info on the Brazilian Consulate. Apparently Brazil is the only South American Country that requires a VISA and the application process usually takes several days – UNLESS there are “special circumstances” unfortunately competing in an Ironman was not listed !!

I was so disappointed and sad but it was time to give a life lesson to my kids. We talked about how life throws you curve balls and things often times do not go as planned or how you would like them to. Life can be a series of ups and downs but it’s all about how you handle it that matters. I think the hardest part was continuing to feel that way as I was back home , kids in bed and I was staring at my luggage and packed bike box sitting in the living room in Florida when I was supposed to be in Brazil.

Well I must move on as we made plans to get me to the Miami Consulate(4 hrs away) so I could be there when the doors open to try to get a Visa quickly. Unfortunately, Monday was a holiday so I would have to wait until Tuesday, so the bags and bike box sat waiting to hear if they would get to go to Brazil or not. The nerves of not knowing if I would make it was killing me but I had my friend Eric Kahl who lived in Brazil and my brother in law Michael Egge who’s law firm works a great deal in South America on the task of getting a hold of someone and explaining the situation, in hopes of getting a visa in two days versus 4 or 10!!!

Thankfully things worked out and I eventually got to Brazil as most of you know from my results.

Latin sports and Ken Glah’s Endurance Sports Travel took care of the rest. The transfer from the airport, the hotel, they had a bike mechanic… all the little logistics making it easier to arrive much later than planned.

Well onto the race…

Race morning was dry but very windy, the water was by far the roughest I had seen in awhile. I got up at 3:45 and ate the usual breakfast I brought from the states and took an early bus over to the transition with plenty of time. It always seems that no matter how early I get to the race venue, somehow I always seem to be rushed. Is it my nerves? the Adrenaline? Or my endless port o potty stops. I saw some friends and we walked over to the start, the chatting seemed to calm my nerves. The gun went off and the swim was tough!! The waves were rough for everybody but my body did not feel great. Usually within a minute or two after the gun goes off, you get a feel for how your day may go, how the body is feeling that day and how it will let you perform. The swim is in the shape of an M and you get out and around the main buoy on shore and head back out. At this point I saw a few athletes I recognized but unfortunately ones I am usually ahead of at this point. But I forged on and back in for another part of the M shaped course. I exited the water in about 9th for the women and over 4 and half minutes back. I was happy with the time being just over 56 min for how bad I felt.

The swim was over and it was time to concentrate on the bike. My legs felt good right away, and usually within a few minutes you know how they will perform in that discipline. They were not heavy like the days prior and I was off to catch some of the women in front of me. I kept cycling hard passing one girl and then another but up ahead the race leaders Dede Greisbauer and Charolette Paul were riding very strong and putting time on me. It did rain on the bike, but it was not a really hard or cold rain. It was a fast bike course and with all the work Coach Paul from Lifesport has had me do on the bike I was pleased with my new Ironman bike split PR (5:07)

I came of the bike in fourth and was looking forward to the spectator filled run course. As I said within the first few minutes of a discipline you get an idea of how you will do based on how your body reacts right away. “oh please don’t be true!!!” I didn’t feel great but I am fortunate I can usually push through it mentally. I practice these scenarios in training, getting off the bike in fourth I knew how hard I needed to push. My goal was to be top 3 and get that coveted Hawaii Ironman slot. Once finding myself in third place I was able to relax a bit and enjoy the race. Dede won the race with a 9:10-she was so strong in all three disciplines. I was really happy for Dede. I did not know her real well before the race but as I got to know her more this week she is a extraordinary person and athlete that is humble and sweet ( and normal-she even ate chocolate with me) so I was happy for her and thrilled I got my Kona slot-I am Thankful to all of those that helped me get to Brazil or along the path to race day. Also to all of my sponsors: Trakkers, K-Swiss, Quintana Roo, First Endurance, Fuel Belt, Gu, Village Bikes, Zipp, Oakley, Lifesport and the Center 4Massage – you are the Best!!

NOW… onto the BIG RACE-the REV3 triathlon in Connecticut which my husband Todd and I are involved in. Watch for a fantastic race on many of the popular tri sites including Triathlete Magazine, Slowtwitch and of course