Saturday, October 17, 2015

2015 - Our baby is an Ironman!

This is a blog I've started many times.  Turns out I was just too tired to finish it and now I finally understand why!  In my last blog I did a nice recap of my summer of racing just before racing Ironman Mont Tremblant.  Let me do a quick recap of what I'd call my best Ironman to date and our surprise pregnancy story!!


I was in a good place heading into this Ironman, despite being very tired the last few weeks of training, I felt like I had a good race in me.  I traveled to this one alone since I had raced there before in 2013 I had a good feeling for the race venue and logistics.   Since the race was already a couple months ago, I don't even remember all the details to bore you with!

What I do remember is truly feeling good all day. I was relatively aggressive on the swim, starting with a group and then leaving them when some age group men came by and came out just under 55 min.  I got out onto the bike and knew if I just rode smart and came off within reach of the front I could keep it together on the run.  Despite a couple frustrating issues with my chain getting jammed, causing me to lose the girls I was riding with, I finished up ok with a 5:15 ride and 8th off the bike.

It was my goal to run under a 3:10 marathon, with my previous best on that course being a 3:14.  With my half Ironman runs being my best ever I knew this was a doable goal.  Like all marathons, I just went out and ran!  I always check my watch a couple times in the first couple miles to make sure I'm going a reasonable pace (not too fast) and then just go off feel the rest of the way.  I came by most of the girls within the first 8 miles and found myself in 4th place.  After that I just kept on the liquids and nutrition. The last couple miles were a little tough and slower, but I knew my placing wasn't going to change at that point, so that might have been part of it :)  I finished with a 3:04 marathon!  I was proud to finish with a 9:20 in 4th behind Mary Beth Ellis, Liz Blanchford (3rd in Kona this year) and teammate Lisa Roberts.   What a day!

PREGNANCY?!  (some details, and maybe a little personal, sorry!)

After the race I was abnormally very ill with a horrible stomach ache.  Ugh. So much for post race celebrations.  After returning home it was a lot of sleep and I was struggling to have any good recovery.  I had planned to be in off season after the race, but my body was exhausted.  After a few weeks I started to wonder if something was going on...

It wasn't until Friday, Sept 25 when I called my doctor concerned about my lack of energy and weight gain that I was encouraged to take a pregnancy test.  So as we were getting ready to head to a Garth Brooks concert that night I took a pregnancy test and it showed a positive!! WHOA we were in shock. We cautiously enjoyed Garth Brooks wondering if this was real.  Monday I called the doctor and they brought me in for a blood test.  Yep. It was real.

You may be wondering how the heck I had no idea....well, let me tell you.  With the training and weight loss I had over the spring and summer I was not getting my period (not since Feb, also when we went off birth control).   So we had NO idea how far along in this pregnancy we were.  So they brought me in the next week for an ultrasound where they said we might not even see anything.  To my huge surprise there was a full on baby in there!  They dated it at 13.5 weeks!!  Whoa.  Goodbye first trimester.

We have a due date of April 6, 2016, which is Mark's Birthday!!  We're almost at 16 weeks and just last week I finally got my energy back!  I'm enjoying working out again and luckily can still fit in most of my clothes :)   We are finishing up all of our home projects and need to have these done before our big winter fun with the Snowshoe Scurry Series.  So far:  living room = done!  Basement workout space = half done....maybe finish today, guest bathroom = next up!

So HUGE thank you to all of our friends and family that are offering support and excitement with us for entering this next chapter of our lives.  With an early spring baby, I'm aiming to stay healthy and fit and hopefully be back at it end of 2016!!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Time flies

Well, I haven't blogged all summer because, let's face it, time flies!  Summer especially flies!  I have been having a blast racing this year, being married, and having a fun pup to keep us busy.  I am loving my life and am so happy to be in the place I am today.  Racing (and life) really has it's ups and downs, and times of doubt, but this year it has been a very clear path.  I'm thankful for Mark in my life who always keeps me laughing :)

Here is a little recap, of the summer racing which has landed me at this moment in Mont Tremblant, Canada preparing to race my first Ironman of the season on Sunday.

June:  I raced a sprint tri, and olympic distance, and a Buffalo Springs 70.3 and managed to win all 3!  Wahoo!  I truly never thought I would win at the half distance as I have always been an Ironman gal, but with my run coming around this year it worked out.  I am swimming well, biking ok, and have found that extra gear on the run (combined with my good suffer-ability from all the Ironman racing) that it helping me actually be competitive at a distance I rarely ever saw a podium for before.

July:  I raced an Intermediate distance (btwn sprint and olympic) and posted my fastest ever run split (even causing me to ask if the results were correct) with a 5:44/mile for 4.5 miles.  Wahoo!  Confidence builder for Racine 70.3 where I knew there would be a tough field.  All of Mark's family was there and I knew so many I really wanted to have an awesome run!  I was totally in the zone and was happy to run my personal best half split and finish 3rd.

Full season results:

I'm happy to be racing, but also LOVE my other jobs....I'm happy to report our swim race Big Swell Swim had an awesome turn out this year and we are excited to keep growing this event.

My athletes are racing SO WELL this year and I am looking forward to many of them approaching their A races healthy and happy :)  Check out Hering Coaching

I transitioned junior tri team  to a non-profit and joined with other coaches this it is definitely a transitional year, but I'm looking forward to working out the kinks and working with and developing some of the young athletes in our area.

SO....this Ironman on Sunday!!  Yikes!! I haven't raced the distance since last year Hawaii and there are some VERY talented women on the start list.  My goals include:  Race smart, run with everything I have.  If I do that I will be happy regardless of where that puts me on the podium.  I'm looking forward to it!  If you'd like to follow, I'm number 39.  They have some live coverage HERE

Thanks for reading.  Sorry no pictures :/  gotta get to bed!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Chatanooga 70.3 Race Report

Well, where do I start!  Let me say I really wanted to win this one and I learned a good lesson about not holding back.  I came into this race after having a great season starter with a 3rd place and strong race in Puerto Rico followed by a solid month of training in April.  I am certainly in shape and was ready to go for this one.'s how it went down!   
Swim:  pretty uneventful, non-wetsuit and no crazy fast current like they had in the Ironman!   I swam pretty controlled on Ashley Clifford's feet and came out of the water in 3rd (Ashley just ahead and Anna 40 sec. or so up).   

Bike:  We saw Anna in transition so Ashley and I headed out and worked together to catch up to her.   Like Puerto Rico I was trying to race off feel (although I was collecting power data) so I was constantly taking an 'inventory' on what type of effort I was doing.  We caught Anna pretty quick and then all 3 of us ended up riding together the rest of the bike ride.  This is where I think I learned a lesson.  I was riding comfortable and (looking back on data) very conservatively, for a half IM.  I was telling myself to trust in my run when I should have been telling myself to trust in my bike AND my run and ride a little harder!   I tried my new 'clean bike' nutrition plan, only having a strong bottle of Skratch Labs and another bottle of 6 gels diluted in water.  This seemed to work well! 

Run:  OK, wow!  Ashley and I took off out of transition, I think both of us thinking we could win this thing on the run.....and she did just that!  I couldn't hold pace after a quick first couple miles.  The gap just slowly grew to just over a minute by the end of the race.  On the plus side I finished with a run split that I'm happy with and my highest ever 70.3 finish!  

Thank you to Mark for being my #1 supporter and helping me believe I am actually in shape and can do well :)  Also to Team Timex for the continued support and the gear that made my day: 
Blue Seventy - Swim Skin and goggles
Rudy Project - Wing57 helmet
Trek -  Fast Bike
Shimano -  Fast parts, wheels and bike shoes
Castelli - very comfortable kit
Newton - Distance Run shoes and luckily having a visor for me at the expo
Feetures - best socks out there
Powerbar - gels

Thursday, March 19, 2015

2015 Spring Update

Hey all!  I'm getting a quick update out before starting one of the funnest time of year, Team Timex camp!  I'll hopefully have some fun camp updates over the weekend.  But for now, here's what I've been up to.  

Off Season recap, training and Injury free
Snowshoe Women’s Half Marathon National Champion
Puerto Rico 70.3 3rd place

After a VERY busy Iron distance racing season last year, ending with a pretty slow and super tough time at Kona, I took some time off.  I got married.  I slept a TON. I did plenty of hot yoga and just did ‘normal’ things.  Now I (along with most triathletes) have always struggled with off-season, but last fall was a totally different story.  For the first time ever I was completely DONE.  Mentally and physically, I had nothing left.  For the first time ever I didn’t even feel like working out.  This lasted for 6 full weeks.  It was actually a little concerning to me and I really started to wonder if I had done some serious damage.  Turns out it was just after the 6th week of rest that I started to come back around.  

In December Mark and I tried a 30 day run challenge to jump start our fitness and get motivated to work out again.  Since we were both coming from nothing, we started with 1-2mile runs and built up from there.  I didn’t do anything too long or fast that entire month (longest run was 12 miles) and was diligent on maintenance (rolling, icing, stretching, yoga).  This really worked for me.  I kept it going through January, and even pretty much all of February....I think I’ve only missed 4 days.   This is just crazy to me since I have always dealt with little nagging things.  Somehow committing to running MORE has actually gotten my body to adapt.  

Anyhow, I only rode bike during my coached classes at Speed (1 hr m/w and 1-2hr Fri) and was seeing the power numbers actually come up.  I was well rested and not training at a volume that was wearing me down.  Consistency without burning the candle too low.  We mixed in snowshoe running when we could (with our low snow year) and had fun out on the trails each week marking our Snowshoe Scurry Courses. 

We ran our first half marathon snowshoe on Valentines morning to see how it felt....OK for me, maybe not as great for some.  Regardless, 2 weeks later we (March, Justin D. and I) headed north to the Snowshoe National Championship in Eau Claire, WI.  I was the only one for sure going to race, but by Sunday morning the guys were in!  It was a nice day and fast snow conditions (not much of it).  Mark and I ended up running a little together (he waited for me) and I ran better than I ever had on snowshoes, finishing the 13.1 miles in 1:46....enough to earn the National Championship title and a sweet chalice!  The guys both also finished very well - all happy to come out with no injuries!  

After that it was 2 weeks until Puerto Rico, my first tri of the year and in complete opposite conditions to what I’d just raced in.  This race was good for many reasons, but the main thing was that there was such a large group from the Madison area.  Having support out on the course, and knowing you have a ‘team’ is a great feeling.  I was racing hard knowing my athletes and friends were out there doing the same.   As for the race itself, I can give a little report! 

Swim:  Non wetsuit, beautiful!  I lined up right next to who I knew to be the fast swimmers and was just going to try and hang on some feet.  I’ve worked a lot on race strategy the last few years and I am getting better :)  The gun went off and instead of barreling ahead I started steady and moved right behind some feet (either Kelly or Dede’s) as we took off.  I knew Sarah Haskins would be way ahead of us all, but I knew being in the first group out of the swim was VERY important for this race.  So I hung on and swam a little hard through the first couple turn bouys and was happy to have the pace settle for the long back stretch.  I just hung in and conserved to get ready for the bike ride.   I was surprised to see that when we came out (group of 5 or so) most of the other girls had lost their timing strap - theses were a new thing, HUGE, and apparently didn’t work well in water (duh) hopefully IM didn’t order these for all the races! 

Transition:  It was a long run to get to our bikes and these girls weren’t messing around!  So I ran a bit quicker than I wanted to not loose to T1 and nailed it through there! 

Bike:  This is a flat ride, but got windy the last 20(ish) miles....windy and my legs died a little, so the wind probably felt worse than it was.  Anyhow,  I was racing off of feel here and I quite enjoyed it. I rode conservatively the first 10 miles, staying with the group, then one got let off the front and I went after her.  Very soon it was all spread out for us and we were on to the VERY congested second loop.   There was plenty of AG pack action going on, but I just kept hammering away, thinking (or pretending) that I saw the next girl right up there.   I finished the ride really excited to get out for a run, I think coming into transition 4th or 5th off the bike, but with the next 3 girls within minutes of me. 

Run:  OK.  My time goals were out the window as I could tell I was in an oven.  This was a survival activity and a run of attrition.  I didn’t look at my watch a single time, just listened to breathing and kept my eyes forward and focused on getting to the next ‘pick-up’ (aid stations, friends, music). Overall it went pretty well and I happily ended up coming across the line in 3rd with the 2nd fastest run behind Sarah Haskins.  

After the race I was surprised to hear of of the events during the race, but am very thankful everyone is ok!  

Thanks for reading and happy training!