I’m Back on the BLOG Wagon!

I know it is been a WHILE since I have posted on my blog. I had some issues with the blog and my old computer, but no worries…all is in good order. I just added some new posts from tri season 2010. I had been posting on Facebook when my blog went down. I am not officially caught up seeing I have nothing post Kona 2010. I have to admit my 2011 season was my break season… it went a little something like this:

Going into 2011 I wanted to have an easier season as I was a bit burned out from the ironman training and full time job. I decided to focus on half IMs and the Boston Marathon. I had an early start to the season racing in Puerto Rico 70.3… great race with a brutal run. I made it to the podium with a 2nd place AG finish and a Vegas slot. A few weeks later I ran the Boston Marathon. I always find Boston to be fun until I hit mile 21 :) It was a decent day. I also had Mooseman 70.3, Providence 70.3, AG Nationals, a FIRM olympic, and Vegas on the docket. It was a packed schedule! Needless to say, I did not race again after Boston Marathon. I decided to take a new job and move out west to Newport Beach, CA. I must say, I am so glad I took a break. I so needed it!!

I am officially a CA resident since July 28th…so crazy! I do miss Boston, but SoCal is the place to be for training and nice weather year round. I am so ready to start training for 2012. In another week I will start training for Ironman Texas and Oceanside. I am super excited to get back at it and train/race with QT2 Systems. I am working with Coach Jesse again, which I am super psyched about :)

I definitely have my work cut out for me, but I am ready to do it up! Stay tuned for my pre-season training blogs and some funny road race stories.

Ironman World Championships 2010

This was my second go round of the IM World Championships, and I must say, this year was a bit tougher. It was a somewhat typical IM race morning with the super early breakfast and a nap before heading down to transiton. The morning scene is pretty intese at IM WC’s. My favorite part is the body marking … big fat stamps for numbers. So cool!

After body marking, I headed to transition to find a pump and get my bike ready to roll. As soon as I was done, I jumped in the port o potty line and waited for quite some time. Before I knew it, the cannon went off for the pros, and I was in the water waiting for the age group cannon to sound. For some reason I was not nervous, which could be because I knew what to expect. Last year I remember the swim to be very brutal and I couldn’t get any open water. I really got my arse kicked out there.

I was hoping this year’s swim would be a bit different. Once the cannon went off, I just put my head down and swam. I actually had some clear water for the first few minutes. This didn’t last, but I took what I could get to settle into a groove. Eventually, my space was gone and I was swimming on top of, close to, or under the other swimmers. I did what I could do to make it through. As I rounded the first buoy, I knew I was going to have a similar time as last year. It just seemed as though I was out there forever. On the way back into the bay, we had the currant against us with some decent swells. I drank a ton of water on the way back in. Yuck! I finally had the pier in my sights. Once I made it to the stairs I saw the clock… 1:13. Yup just what I thought.

This year I remembered exactly where my T1 bag was with my bike gear. I made it to the tent quickly, changed, got lathered up with sunscreen, and was on my way. I got to my bike and noticed there were a lot of bikes gone. Usually the case seeing I am not a fast swimmer out in Kona. The plan was to ride hard until I got to the airport, which would allow me to catch up with some of the other female riders and hopefully beat some of the winds. Well, I was able to ride hard, but not sure it helped much. My ride out on the Queen K wasn’t bad, however, I did have an upset stomach. I think it was that salt water.

Once I turned off the Queen K I saw TIm and Brian on the side of the road. It it was great to see two friendly faces, and of course Tim had the camera. It wasn’t until I hit the climb to Hawi that I actually thought I was going to die. I knew this was the breaking point of my race. The cross winds were so bad. I regret having the race wheels and aero helmet. I was getting blow all over the place. I hate to admit it, but I did cry at one point. I need to work on riding in crazy winds. Anyway… I made it to the turnaround and then took my time getting out of Hawi. After I saw someone get picked up by the winds, I was very skidish. At that point I decided to just take it easy and make it out of Hawi in one piece. Finally, I was done and turned back on the Queen K where I could finally ride and get into a groove. I did make up some lost time, but not enough. My bike time was 6:17, which was 10 minutes slower than last year, and around 20 minutes slower than my target. Truthfully, I was just glad to finish without taking a spill.

It was time to get the running shoes on and hopefully run down some peeps. Coming into Kona I knew the run would be a gamble. I hurt my ankle a few weeks prior and hadn’t run for about a month. Two weeks prior to the race, I hat a cortisone shot as a last resort. I was hoping it would hold through the marathon, but that wasn’t the case. I felt great at mile 1 and then once I hit mile 2, the ankle slowly started to fail me. The 7:50 pace eventually went downhill and turned into a power walk/ run. I walked more than I would have liked, but it was all I could do. The pain was creeping and it didn’t let up. Later on the run I saw Tim and Brian with the camera, and yeah they gave me some motivation and yelled at me to keep running. I only had a few downhill miles left, so I was trying to walk less and run more. I was also starting to get hungry out there seeing I was out on the course a lot longer than I had anticipated. It was dark!

After I made the turn off the Queen K, I was home free. I pushed as hard as I could the last mile or so. Once I hit Alli drive I was psyched. I crossed the finish in 11:49, with a 4:10 marathon… not bad with all the walking. Oh and I did play the air guitar with my leg once I crossed… hahaha! Not sure where that came from.

My second IM Kona in the books… awesome stuff! Thanks to my family and friends for dealing with my crazy training schedule. Thanks to Coach Jesse and the entire QT2 team for a great season.

Congrats to all the QT2 athletes that rocked IM Kona 2010!!!

Kona T-2

I made it to Kona with no travel drama, which was nice given I did head out here quite late this year. The BIG Island hasn’t changed much and the pre Kona scene is just as intense. There are folks walking around in the their race kits, running around in their undergarmets (anual Kona underwear run), vendors pushing their products, athletes buying into crazy products, and mile long lines at Lava Java. Yup, the ironman world chamiponships are here people!

After my arrival, I got my rental car and headed to the grocery store to stock up on carbs for the next few day. Before heading to the QT2 house, I made a brief trip to Ali’i Drive to grab my new BlueSeventy swim skin, which I must say is fabulous :) This year’s house is a lot nicer than last year’s. We are right on the ocean, have air conditioning, and huge rooms.

I haven’t done all of much since I arrived. I forced myself to stay awake until 8 PM Kona time, which is 2 AM Boston time. Not bad for getting up at 5 AM Boston time. This morning I woke up at 5 AM, had some snacks and then headed off to the beach for a quick swim. We saw a cute sea turtle just chilling close to the shore line. So cool! I didn’t see anything as cool on my bike ride after, however, Cait and I did see this one young girl (maybe 12 years ols) running hard up and down Ali’i drive. She could blow me away, hands down!

Team QT2 hit the Powerbar Elite Team breakfast for a bit. Of course we were given some free products, or should I say it was a free for all and we took all we wanted. Oh well, it was free :) The food wasn’t bad either. I hit the expo after and got some free stuff, but nothing like last year. I did get a cool PowerBar backpack at registration and some goodies. I should just be happy to be here for a second year :)

I decided to skip carb lunch. Yeah, call me crazy. I just get too full and I really don’t need it as I could have used to lose a few more pounds before race day. Tonight the food fun begins. Tomorrow is the big breakfast and then it is just a taper of food throughout the day. Wow!! Can’t believe it is almost race day!!!

Ironman Lake Placid 2010

As most of you know, my plans to do Lake Placid came after a failed attempt to complete the inaugural IM St. George (Utah). After my first ever DNF, I had my heart set on racing an IM as I wanted to use all the training I had done since post Kona 2009. To sum it up, I wanted to race prepared with my HEAD in the game. Let me tell ya, I so did this time around, and it paid off… Kona 2010 is in my future ;)
The day I got back to Boston I contacted everyone and their grandmother to find a my way into Lake Plaid It is quite a challenge after the race sells out and the community slots are gone. I did luck out and was able to get into LP. I have to give a great big shout out to the person that delivered… you know who you are! THANK YOU!! The next day I was back on the wagon and training for LP.

It took me about a week or so to get back into the swing of things, but once I did, I was on fire. I made it through the days and weeks no problem. Training weekend was solid; I had a quasi Olympic race (Mooseman) and managed to squeeze in Providence 70.3 before LP. I was on lockdown and I was in now way straying. I got plenty of sleep and stuck to the core several weeks out from the race. I have to give another shout out to my friends and family who didn’t get to see much of me those few weeks. Thanks for your support and for dealing with my diet obsession ;)

I headed to Lake Placid the Thursday before the race with my friend Nancy. The 5+ hour ride went by fairly quick and before I knew it we were passing the Olympic grounds. Pretty cool! After we made it through a hotel glitch, we settled in, registered and then headed out for a swim, bike, and run. So, my second fiasco on the day, a flat tire! I was a bit stressed as I changed the tire and it flatted instantly. Not a good sign. Thanks to Nancy for riding 650 wheels, we were able to use her spare. Another thanks to teammate Pat Wheeler for taking a break from his LONG day of riding to help change the flat. He did a fabulous job as usual. We were finally back on the road and my tire was holding up. I was a bit nervous seeing it wasn’t me that successfully changed the flat. Oh well, if I flatted on race day I would just have to cross my fingers

My next, and last, fiasco all started when I got back from my run. I went in my car and noticed one of my race wheels was missing. Yeah, I totally forgot to put it in the car after my ride. I put my bike in the car, however, in my absent state, I left the front race wheel leaning about against the car. How could I be so stupid?!?!? I totally freaked out, cried for a minute, called my coach in tears and left a pathetic voicemail, and then just stood there in complete shock. Two minutes later, a guy came over to me and asked if I was looking for my race wheel. I was like uhm yeah. He then told me that he took the wheel and put it inside as he didn’t want anyone to steal it. Oh my lord, there ARE good people out there! He returned it to me unharmed. Wow! OK I was happy again… off shower then eat my last core meal before the carb load!

Friday morning was the usual routine, get the workouts in first thing, pack all my race gear up and then start carb loading. My quick swim was refreshing, my easy spin on the bike and run were both super duper chill (with some bad arse pickups). Time to EAT… and that I did for the next day and a half. Big lunch and dinner Friday and big breakfast Saturday with an semi big lunch, and then it was all about the food taper. This time I did it right and did not eat any unnecessary junk like I did pre Kona.

Saturday afternoon I went over to where Coach Jesse was staying to have the pre race chat. I got the quick pep talk reviewed my pacing, and I was off on my merry way to put my feet up and rest. Not so fast. I actually offered to take my teammates down to drop their bikes off as the parking was tight down b the Olympic Oval. Tim wanted to take his car seeing there were three bikes. My mini SUV wouldn’t work given I don’t have a bike rack. It all seemed like a good plan until I went to start the car and broke the key in the ignition. Yup, you read that correctly. The key was no longer attached to the little black gadget with the automatic door and trunk opener. So, that called for some pliers, which Cait retrieved from the house. That fixed our problem and then we were off. We actually found a spot down by the lake so I did not have to drive in circles. Great! I would just sit in the car and wait with my feet up.

Well, nothing could go as planned this weekend. When the crew returned, the car wouldn’t start. We found a fellow triathlete to jump the car, but that didn’t work. Luckily Chrissie saved us and brought us to lunch while Tim hung back with the car. The good news is, the car started about 30 mins after and Tim got home safe. We got the lunch and everyone was happy… especially with the sweet honey mustard I picked out for our turkey sandwiches. SOOOOOO GOOD! Anyway… I made it back to the hotel and all I did was snack and watch TV. It was nice to just chill for a few hours. When I started to get antsy it was time to get dinner, so I took a brief walk down the street and grabbed my kid’s pasta chicken meal. That would be it and then it would be lights out.

Race morning came quick and it was the usual 3:30 am applesauce delight topped off with a banana and protein, and washed down with Powerbar Endurance. Yum! I always attempt to go back to bed, but I just end up laying down with my eyes shut thinking about the race. 5 am the alarm sounded and I sat there for a bit and chatted with Nancy. It was show time. I never feel nervous, but I do act nervous. I guess I was power walking down Main Street at 5:30 am. Nancy told me to slow down. Ha! We did see an interesting group of kids in their early 20’s (if that) wasted out of their mind walking around town. Quite the opposite of where I was at, which made me chuckle.

I made it to transition to get my bike in order and get body marked. I was done in all of 20 mins. The rest of the time was spent saying hello to fellow triathletes, waiting in the port-o-potty line and getting in the zone. The morning passed by and it was time to head down to the swim. Holy cow…this was it! I paced the swim area a bit before getting in the water, which is typical. I don’t like to take the plunge until 10 mins before the start. I had my PowerGel, stretched, and then made my way in. There were WAY more red caps (men) than white caps (women), which was frightening. I was told to go about half way over and 2 rows back. Yeah I was with all the red caps thinking to myself that I was going to get killed. A few minutes later I heard my name and it was my teammate Molly. Good to see her as I knew I was in the right spot and she was in the same boat as me. The countdown started soon after the pros took off. I was ready to roll. The cannon went off and it was show time. The last 8 weeks were going to be put to the test.

My first 400 yds or so was pretty clear. I just kept my head down and swam hard. I was wondering what was going on and why I wasn’t getting wacked from every angle, but I’ll take the clear water for as long as possible. Soon after the other swimmers cramped my style and the mad dash to the first turnaround started. I made it OK and just headed back towards land on my own. I stayed away from the line as it was a cluster F. I finished the first loop in 32 mins…right on track. I went around the doc and got back in the water for round 2. I took the chance and jumped on the line. What a great choice I made; I got a free ride the whole way to the turnaround buoy. I made it around and attempted to hop on the line, but this time I got the crap kicked out of me. I decided to swim out far on my own and work the last stretch. It was a bit longer, but I made it. I was out of the water with a 1:06 swim. Right on track.

I ran quick to transition and grabbed my bike bag. It was an easy transition, as I was very calm and there weren’t many people in the tent just yet. I ran off to get my bike for 112 miles of saddle time. The plan was average 145 watts and then if I had some juice in me after mile 80, push up to 200 watts as much as I could. My first lap went well. As soon as I got out of town I spazzed and dropped my chain. It was a 30 second fix, but it is still a pain to get off the bike. I white knuckled my way down the 5 mile descend because I was scared as heck and it was raining. I knew I lost some free time, but I was putting my safety first. The short trip on Haselton almost resulted in a crash. Some guy stopped dead at a water stop and I almost ended up in his back tire. I somehow managed to avoid that mess.

A few miles later I witnessed another female rider pass a guy on the right, causing him to fall into my front tire. Again I managed to get away unscathed, but I can’t say the same for the guy. I felt bad his seat was totally broken off, which means his day was over. The aggravating thing was the girl just rode off. She did not stop to check on him or apologize. Some people… anyway… I continued on with my ride and battled the winds ok on the back end of the course. After the bears I made the turn to head back into town and that is when my chain dropped again and the rear derailer had caught my chain as well. Time to pull over and check out the situation. I put the chain on and then could not pedal past a certain point. That is when I realized the tangled chain in the back. I panicked for a second and then talked myself through the mess. After a few minutes I had it under control and I was back on the bike pedaling away.

I saw my friends in town and coach, which was a great boost. The second loop I was able to just ride. I had no issues and just focused on my power and nutrition. As Coach Jesse predicted, I passed several people on the second loop of the bike. I was able to push the watts after mile 80 as well. The wind was definitely a lot tougher the second time around. I just stayed aero and talked myself through it… I may have been talking out loud at some points Well it helped and I ended up with a 5:58 bike. Again, right on track with my targets.

T2 was just as painless as T1. I grabbed my bag from the volunteer seeing I went down the wrong isle. Thanks to the volunteer who saved me from having to go ALL the way around. In the tent I made the quick change from bike to run gear, grabbed my blocks, banana, and headed out. The banana was a nice treat. As I ran out I felt awesome. All I had to do was hold a 7:55 pace for as long as I could. I saw Coach Jesse and the QT2 crew right when I made it out of transition. I got the usual “slow down”… yeah I always want to run super fast. I listened and brought it down to 7:55 and then I was running between 7:40 and 7:55. I couldn’t help it. The run seemed so easy for the first 13 miles. I was just waiting for the legs to start getting heavy. I flew up the hills into town, waved to the crew, and headed back out on the course. I started doing the walk run at mile 15. I would walk through all of the aide stations and then run as hard as I could to the next station. It was exactly what I did in Kona. Let me tell ya, this works awesome! I was still feeling tired, but I was able to gain some wind when I tool a short power walk break.

The second set of hills into town were freaking tough. I managed to run up all the hills with no walking. I saw the crew one last time with 1 mile to go. Coach Jesse gave me the “keep it steady” shout out and gave me a time check saying I was close to 10:40. My target for the day was 10:45 – 11:00… I was ahead of schedule. As usual my un ended up being stronger than anticipated and I finished the marathon in 3:31. The turn into the oval was such a great feeling. I knew at that point I was finishing, and most likely up there in my age group. I was in shock, but I am not sure why seeing I put in all the training and was in the game mentally.

It was nice to be greeted at the finish by my friends Nancy and Marybeth. Thanks for taking care of me ladies! It was also great hanging at the finish with my teammates Custie and Jay, who both had amazing races. Overall a great day… I came out of the water in 21st in my AG, biked my way to 8th, and ran my way to 2nd … 10:42:23! Michelle Joaquin you are an IRONMAN!

The road to Kona has started and I will be sure to post updates along the way!!!

Thanks to my family and girlfriends for being supportive and putting up with my crazy schedule and diet; Coach Jesse for the guidance and extra push; Team Qt2 for being such great athletes and training pals; Cait for letting me stay on your wheel on those really LONG rides; Kitty for giving me swim guidance; Nancy for being my race Sherpa; and Brian Hughes for all the bike help

Ironman Utah

Well, this will be the shortest race report to date. I woke up and did the ususal race breakfast 3 and a half hours before the race. My teammates and I then headed down to get bussed to the start. The entire way all I could think about was how cold the water was going to be. I was not that worried about the bike and run for some reason. I mean yeah it would be a long day, in the mountains, but I was prepared.

Getting to transition area it was still very dark at 4:45 am. The good thing was I had plenty of time to get my bike in order and stand in the port-o-potty line multiple times. I was hanging with my friend Lauren all morning and all we did was go to the bathroom and then get back in line. It was quite funny. As it got closer to race start, it just kept getting colder. I was bundled up to the max, which was very smart of me. Unfortunately, the layers had to come off, as I had to get in my wetsuit and head down to the ice bath..aka Sand Hollow Spring.

I got in the water about 5 minutes before the start. The plan was to get in and get used to it before the start so I would not panic when I actually had to start swimming. My face gets really cold usually and my feet and hands, but other than that my BlueSeventy wetwsuit does a fine job at keeping me warm. I believe the water was close to 55 degrees. Now that is the coldest water I have swam in to date. I recall Mooseman Olympic two years ago when it was sub 60 and I only had a sleeveless. Yeah I was a rookie back then. Anyway… this time around I was smart as a seasoned triathlete :)

I eventually moved my way up to the middle in the second row back where I found my teammate Molly. Lauren was with us as well. We chatted a bit and then bang… it was time to swim. Now this is where the downward spiral started. As most of you know, I dropped out of the race after 20 minutes. I had a tough start in the swim and got a little beat up. I tried to take a few breaks, however, it just made it worse as I was getting more cold. I definitelly struggled and was hanging on to the kayaks not once, but twice. I was at the point where I just could not feel the water and get into a swim groove. It was quite painful, so I decided it was in my best interest to pull the plug for safety reasons. Getting on the life boat was devastating, and the ride back to land was even worse.

I have to say it was a VERY tough decision. Yeah, I cried once I got on the life boat for a brief moment. However, I snapped out of it and told myself that I could do another race. This is just one ironman and I should not get too worked up over it. Yeah I put in a ton of training juggling a full time job, coaching, and trying to maintain a social life all at once, but I would be OK. Don’t get me wrong, I am sad. I am just trying to stay positive and come to terms that Utah just wasn’t my race.

With every life experience (in this case IM Utah), we learn something. Although I may have trained and came to this race ready to go, there is way more to it than that. You never know what the day is going to bring and sometimes you can’t be prepared for everything. When you are the least bit doubtful of survival, panic quickly sets in and takes over, and the game time decisions may not always be what you really want.

So for me, it is off to use some of this fitness to do another race. You may see me at Lake Placid in July. If I do another IM, it isn’t because I am chasing Kona. It will be because I want to put the training to the test. If I get a Kona spot, great and if not, will enjoy racing on the 70.3 circuit for my 2010 season.

Thanks to all of my friends and family for supporting me through my training for Utah. It was one heck of a long road! XXX

I am off to Vegas for a little fun… Yipppppeeee!

A whole lot of eating

In the past two days I have eaten more than I have in the past month! Carb loading started yesterday at lunch and contines on today. My past meals went a little something like this:

Lunch: larger turkey sub, sun chips, and about an hour later a PowerBar
Snacks between
Dinner: several pieces of pizza (not sure I will eat pizza for a LONG while)

Breakfast: Ihop Style- two french toast, home fries, 3 pancakes, and two egg whites (stuffed)
Post Breakfast: Bagel, rice cakes, pretzles
Lunch: turkey sub, pretzles
Post Lunch: Zone bar, more pretzles, pita chips, fig newtons

It is pretty much a food taper after breakfast to dinner, which is a small piece of chicken and a cup of pasta. Lucky me I get to go to bed hungry. Tomorrow I will be eating PowerBar gels and bars, along with Clif Blocks. That will be washed down with sport drink. My teeth will be paying the price with all that sugar!

Well, from here on out my feet are up and I am just resting. My next post will be a race report. I am going to head out there tomorrow and have some fun! Well, as much fun as I can in 50+ degree water for over an hour, biking up and down mountains starting in 40+ degree weather for 112 miles, and then running VERY hilly marathon when it finally warms up :)

Let’s do it!

Made it…

to Utah that is. The trip wasn’t that bad from Boston. My first flight out of Boston landed in Denver 30 minutes early. Wow! That has NEVER happened. The plane ride from Denver to Las Vegas was pretty uneventful as well. Again, Southwest managed to arrive early, which is pretty darn good. The first thing I saw when I stepped foot into the terminal were slot machines. Yup, I am in Vegas. I did resist temptation and just kept moving on to get my bike and luggage. All I can say is that the Vegas airport is like no other.

I met my friend Mark at baggage claim and we headed out on our adventure to St. George, Utah. We stopped for a quick salad at a restaurant becuase it was not good. Let’s just say they served us microwaved chicken. Yuck! So when I got to my condo I did some snacking and chatting with my teammates, and then hit the sheets.

Waking up in an unfamiliar place is always tough, especially when there is a time change. The first order of business was to put my bike together and then head out to check out the ironman swim. The water was freezing. I actually felt like my face was going to turn into an ice cube. I did my easy swim and got the heck out of there. I am not quite sure how I am going to swim 2.4 miles in the ice box, but I must deal as I don’t really have any other option.

After the daily workouts, we headed out to drive the bike and run courses. This race is going to be pretty challenging given the hills and wind. There is one hill along the course that is a pretty steep grade along a cliff. I am just praying for no cross winds up there! The run starts with a 3 mile climb. Yowsa! And not to mention each is a double loop. Saturday is going to be one heck of a day.

I will share some pics once my computer allows me to upload into my blog…

IM Utah Training Weekend

The past weekend I was up in NH with my teammates getting ready to hit our last peak/overlaod weak hard. The weekend schedule was as follows:

Friday: 7 hour bike ride, 30 min t-run
Saturday: 3 hour recovery bike ride, 1 hour t-run, 1:40 pool workout
Sunday: 1:40 recovery bike, 2:20 t-run

That does not include the bike and run I did when I arrived on Thursday. Yeah, it was a VERY LONG weekend. The fun part was going out to dinner and being around people in the same boat! Let me tell ya the training for this Ironman has been pretty toughh (mentally) this time around. I have had some tough battles out on the open road while running and biking the past few weeks. Needless to say, I got through all of them. I am just pleased that I did not have any meltdowns over training weekend. I guess with Utah being so early in the season, you don’t realize what you sign up for until you are around mid february doing 5 hour trainer rides indoors solo, or if your lucky, at Fast:Splits with the team.

Anyway… just a few shout outs for training weekend toughness:

Coach Jesse, Cait, and Molly- awesome way to finish the ride in the freezing rain up the Kanc. Insane!

Molly- for kicking my arse during the 400 set in the pool. Way to stick it out. You still can’t catch me on the 50’s though. Ha!

Pat- props to you for being sick and training all weekend.

Tim- impressed with the solo 7 hour ride up the Kanc and back down in slush. Glad you made it back to us alive!

Mark- props for driving 3+ hours to an from NH on the long bike day. You are an animal!

And for me… I made it! I also got on a plane to California after Sunday’s workouts. Yowsa!

Less than 3 weeks until IM Utah! This course is going to kick my arse… http://www.ironmanstgeorge.com/course.php

Can’t wait for the cereal party the day after the race… best idea yet! http://www.cereality.com/main.php

There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream. ~Author Unknown

Oceanside 70.3

Oceanside Pier - along the run course

Oceanside Pier - along the run course

This was the first race of the 2010 season for me, and I have to say that I have mixed emotions about the day. Of course I had a blast with the team and fellow triathletes out in Oceanside leading up to the race and post race celebrating our finishes. I went into the race trained, fueled and hydrated well, but I was missing a key component… my head. I just wasn’t mentally dialed in, which is a big part of this sport especially on race day.

I had some pretty decent targets to hit on the swim, bike, and run, which I was very capable of hitting no problem. I was projected to do a sub 5 around 4:50ish on a fabulous day and just around 5 on a good day. The race started off just fine with the swim. The water wasn’t as cold as I expected, but it was still brisk. I started off on the outside of the crowd so I wouldn’t get wacked. It seemed to work out just fine. I came out just at 34 minutes… the higher end of my target, but I’ll take it as this swim is always harsh.

Looks pretty, but it is COLD!

Looks pretty, but it is COLD!

Hitting T1 I was in a scramble to get the suit off and get on my bike ASAP. I was to average 170 watts on this ride, so I wanted to get right to it. I went out fine and within the first 15 miles I was doing OK around an average of 166 watts. The course was fast in the begining so I should have taken advantage a bit more… oh well. Once I hit the hills on the bike it was starting to get a bit tougher. The winds were going nuts and on the downhills, I was holding on for life. No joke! After I got through that mess I was cruising right along. I finished the bike string. My watts were around 164 average according to my SRM and my time was 2:42… after I finished the race I realized my SRM speedometer was not in tact so it did not record my true time, which was really 2:51. Oops… still decent given the conditions.

I made it out of T2 no problem and I was off to settle in at 6:50 and hold on for as long as I could. Now this is where the mental mind games got the best of me. Given the course I could hold that no problem. Well, it wasn’t that easy this time around. A nagging hip/glute injury got the best of me, along with some stomach issues. Now on a typical race day this would not be a issue, as I would just block it all out and deal. I am not sure what happened out there, but my legs just came to a major slow down and all I wanted to do was take it one step at a time. I ran by my teammate Molly and yelled at her that I was running my training pace. So not a good place to be on race day. Sure I had great form and my cadence was kicking, but really I wasn’t pushing as hard as I could. Looks like I had a mental toughness meltdown. Minus the bathroom stops, but including the walking through all the water stops, I managed to pull off a 1:38 (true race time 1:40 with bathroom stops). Not that impressive for me, but it was my own doing. Note to self: don’t let that happen again!

Oceanside Sunset

Oceanside Sunset

Overall, I ended up with a 5:12 and 9th in my age group. Well, I guess it wasn’t a fabulous day, or a good day, but it sure was a kick in the arse day :) The head is back in the game for IM Utah… less than 4 weeks to go. Here are some candids…

Carb load dinner with Phoenix, Molly, and Mark (taking pic)

Carb load dinner with Phoenix, Molly, and Mark (taking pic)

pic from the QT2 team pancake breakfast... yum!

pic from the QT2 team pancake breakfast... yum!

Coldstone post race for a sweet treat :)

Coldstone post race for a sweet treat :)

[caption id="attachment_354" align="alignright" width="300" caption="My buddy Scribs posing for a pic with me :) "]My buddy Scribs posing for a pic with me :)[/caption]

Fabulous February

Another February, and another Hyannis Half Marathon & 10K with the team and other local tri friends. The only difference this year for me was not racing. I know I had said I was doing the 10K, but it didn’t quite make sense given my hip and hammy tightness and just good plain stress from my day job. I was a bit backed up with my workouts, and at this point in the game, it is more crucial for me to get in my training volume. I do have a half iron in three weeks :) Better to be safe than sorry…

Overall the day was very rewarding for QT2 athletese. I believe everyone PR’ed and we had several ladies and gents at the top of the pack. Very cool! It was a fun day to go and run, but not race, and cheer on my teammates and friends. Congrats to everyone on fabulous race performances!!

Here are some candids from the day…

SMILE... you're taking home some hardware! Rock on Nancy!!

SMILE... you're taking home some hardware! Rock on Nancy!!

The Snows... super speedy!  Yeah that's Cait, the fastest female of the day :)

The Snows... super speedy! Yeah that's Cait, the fastest female of the day :)

Posing with two VERY fast QT2'ers... Coach John and Tim Tapp... Yowsa!

Posing with two VERY fast QT2'ers... Coach John and Tim Tapp... Yowsa!

Trent refueling before his 4 hr bike... he wasn't too happy with Coach Michelle :)

Trent refueling before his 4 hr bike... he wasn't too happy with Coach Michelle :)

Congrats Coach Jesse on a fab day for you and the QT2 athletes!!!

Congrats Coach Jesse on a fab day for you and the QT2 athletes!!!

* Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
~ Ralph Vaull Starr