Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pre Kona Training

Last weekend was my last major training weekend before Kona. I drove to San Antonio (Florida) with some friends about an hour plus away from my home. We go there to get in some great riding. They have beautiful roads and rollers (yep rollers) around Sarasota where I live it is dead flat – you need to head two hours north for any type of hills. Anyway, we made a day of it riding for over six hours and running after (and eating) it was a blast.

The following day I did a 4 mile cross country race with a friend of mine Bob. The kicker was that Todd dropped us off there in the a.m. and after the race we had to run home. My legs were already feeling it in the deep grass sections around mile 3 of the race but by the 20 mile mark they had loosened – thanks to the long ride the day before – and I was feeling great!!

(BOB and I before the Race and Long Run)

This coming week was a bit more difficult as all my training mates are gone competing at Augusta 70.3 (Go Nick and Nicole, Regina, Andy, Melissa, Marco, Hannah, John L., Steve and Agnes) and if they are not competing they are there watching (Morgan – Tracy – William !) so that left me alone to train which is always a challenge. Knowing that every other pro is already in Hawaii – I am now anxious to get there as well. Having a family always adds an additional wrinkle to these types of trips. It’s a real challenge to balance being a mother of three and a professional triathlete (who at times would like to live the life of the typical pro – train, rest, eat and sleep.) I will be leaving for Kona soon and begin the process of focusing on what I can do to have my best day – I am looking forward to the challenge.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We Love the Underdog !!

Why is it that we cheer for the underdog ? It seems to be one of the things that make a Sporting Event Special and dramatic, the chance for someone to pull off the big upset. Yesterday was such a day – The Finals of the US Open Tennis Tournament. I don’t usually watch (or follow) Tennis but my son Joshua has been playing quite a bit lately and is getting good (and loves to paly mom as he can spank me !!) We watched together as the favorite Roger Federer tried to secure his sixth straight title. It was not to be however as the underdog Juan Martin Del Potro dug deep to pull out the perfect weekend of Tennis, beating Nadal and Federer and claiming the title of US Open Champion.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Very Special Weekend

This past weekend I had such a wonderful experience - I was invited to be the feature guest at an All Women's Sprint Triathlon in Kansas. I absolutely love these types of opportunities, to see the excitement of the first time athletes as they anticipate what they are about to accomplish, it is a special feeling.

Friday night prior to the race I was able to speak to all the athletes. Talking to fellow mom's and the first timers, sharing my experiences with this great sport and answering a myriad of questions - what a great time. After competing at the level I have the past several years you sometimes overlook the simple pleasures associated with just completing the task at hand and the great sense of accomplishment that is shared by so many competitors when they ultimately cross that finish line.

I got to see this first hand and it energized me. After finsihing my race to a chorus of "You go Girl" from fellow athletes I went back out on the course to cheer on as many women as I could.
I had the distinct pleasure of running in with Christine Tanner who was the final "winner" of the day !! A big shout out to you Christine - be very proud of your accomplishment. And to all the women who crossed the Finish Line Saturday - keep reaching for your dreams whatever they may be and thanks for the opportunity to share in your special day !!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Special Appearance in Kansas

This weekend I am traveling to Kansas for a special appearance. I love the opportunity to be a spokesperson for the sport that has given me so much . What makes this event extra special is that it is an All- Womens Triathlon. As a mother of three I look at this as a special opportunity to share with other women the value of leading a healthy lifestyle and some of the strategies I have learned when it comes to having a balance of family and sport. If you are in the area stop by - below is the Press Release pertaining to the Event.


Heather Gollnick - OMC Women’s Triathlon Professional Triathlete

The Olathe Medical Center is pleased to announce that one of the top professional female triathletes in the country, five time Ironman Champion, and full time mom of three - Heather Gollnick will be the 2009 OMC Women’s Triathlon Professional Triathlete. A special thanks goes out to Tri KC and Don Herron in providing this year’s triathlete professional.

Olathe Medical Center's Women's Triathlon and ExpoOlathe Medical Center is proud to sponsor the Women's Triathlon and Expo, the first of its kind in Kansas. We are dedicated to improving the health of our community, including providing state-of-the-art medical care and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

The Triathlon Course:

The women’s triathlon event featuring a Sprint Distance triathlon in Kill Creek Park, operated by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District. The swim (500 meters) is an out and back course with a standing water start. The bike course (10.6 miles) is a partially hilly loop course, held both within and outside the park boundaries. The run (2.6 miles) is routed on the Kill Creek Trails which adjoins Kill Creek Park. This route provides some of the most beautiful natural surroundings in the region. Aid stations are at transition and every mile on the run.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Rev3 Cedar Point

We are super excited about the Venue for our Full Distance Rev this coming September at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky Ohio. I have been at the park the last few days doing some filming of the course and the park itself for the preview videos that will be available soon. This is going to be an awesome venue with activities galore for the family. If you are looking for the perfect race to include your family look no further !! Continue to check for all the details.


Tuesday September 8th Revolution 3 will be hosting an information session about next year's Cedar Point triathlon. Following the session will be a special Q&A with 5x Ironman Champion Heather Gollnick.

The event will start at 6pm on Tuesday, September 8th at the Sawmill Creek Resort in Sandusky, OH / visit for all the details

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Brazil 70.3

I wanted to race again this season for many reasons....

(1) I have been riding a new bike, the Quintana Roo CDO1 for a month and really wanted to race on it ( how fast would I be on the bike? How would I run off the bike?)
(2) Also, during my last half in June (Buffalo Springs) I was still tired from IM Brazil and did not perform well in my mind. I have not raced as much this year - to be honest it has been a bit overwhelming at times balancing family, training, coaching and Rev3 - so I was eager to get out there in a race situation and see where I was at.
(3) Brazil is an amazing country and the people are very friendly.
(4) I have known the race director for some time, so when he invited me to the do the half I decided to go. Carlos is the same Race Director that puts on the full (IM Brazil) and his team does a phenomenal job with race production.
(5) Coach Paul has me racing with a Heart Rate Monitor which I have never liked – I just like to go on feel with nothing telling me to slow up or go faster.

Traveling to Brazil for the second time this year proved to be a much smoother process than the first go around (I had a Visa this time – haha - read my past blog post....) The flight was smooth, my friend Ana Borba picked me up at the airport and we were on our way - of course you can’t seem to travel these days without any mishaps ! The airline lost my bag in San Paulo but and were supposed to deliver it to Florianopolis where we were staying for the night before the long drive to the city to Phena some two hours away where the race takes place. I speak enough Spanish to get by but most of the people in the very small town of Phena speak portugese - thankfully Ana was there to translate for me. I must say having dinner with a group is interesting when you don’t have any idea what they are saying but pick up on body language and laughing.??

Amusement Park Race Venue !!

Fun Atmosphere all-around !!

(Ana and I - thanks for all your Help interpreting !!!)

When Ana was not around, I would try to get by with a few Spanish words, lots of random pointing and few gestures. I learned a few things are considered universal, the biggest of which is a smile!
If we could not understand each other a smile would often work .... or if that didn’t seem to get the job done I would just take the empty toilet paper roll to the front desk and motion for more !!!! Sometimes you just need to be creative.

In many 70.3 races the pro’s start ahead of the field, yet here in Brazil it was a mass start and a mass smash fest !! The positive thing I will take away is that the Hawaiian Ironman start should feel easy compared to this. I swam well for me against many ITU girls – exiting the water 3 minutes back/ mid pack. I felt great on the new CD01 and was putting the hammer down trying to track down the women in front.

It was basically a three loop bike course with six out and backs - and you could see your competition which I love. As I moved in to fourth I could see second and third place in front of me, Vanessa Gianinni and Pamela Tastets working together. I couldn’t believe it – was this an ITU Race? I shouldn’t have been shocked as I have seen drafting before but this was wheel to wheel not even trying to look semi spread out with a few bike lengths. They continued to take turns pulling and when Vanessa was behind she got pulled over for drafting and received a five minute penalty. As I passed Pamela she jumped on my wheel. Its hard to drop a decent rider when they are on your wheel so I slowed up, dropped back 15 meters and waited until I could sprint by, gapping her. I was pleased as I eventually passed Carla Moreno on loop two (she beat me at Buffalo Springs in June). I was happy to be leading the race but knew I had two very fast ITU runners behind, so I kept pushing the pace.

I was not sure how I would run off the new bike (I had done several bricks but nothing is the same as a race) but my legs felt pretty good. I did not see Carla at the run turnaround and Vanessa was 4:30 back so she had made up a minute plus after serving her drafting penalty. Calculating the distance I thought to myself I had better get moving – in the end Vanessa simply had the better run today. I was disappointed that I eventually got passed in the last mile of the run but I felt great on the bike and learned a lot today – things I can apply to my upcoming Ironman in Hawaii. I plan to do lots of bricks and get used to running off the new bike position before Kona.

One of many Post Race Interviews

I am Thankful to all of those who helped me along the path to race day including my great sponsors: Trakkers, K-Swiss, Quintana Roo, First Endurance, Fuel Belt, Gu, Village Bikes, Zipp, Oakley, Lifesport and the Center 4Massage – you are the Best!!A special note of appreciation to my interpreter and companion Ana and the Race Director Carlos for having me !!