Sunday, August 20, 2017

Race Report CDA 70.3

A whirlwind summer has left me catching up on race reports. It's now mid august and CDA 70.3 was almost 2 months ago. Where has time gone?

Before I even go in to detail about this race I have got to say Coeur D'Alene is probably my favourite 70.3
I am so deeply saddened that the Full will no longer take place after this year. 

Leading up to CDA I was unsure how this race would go for me. After a terrible attempt at my first stand alone marathon (you can dig into my previous post for that doozy) and having to take some time off of training and missing a good chunk of essential training I really had no idea what I was going to pull off. 
I worked a full week of work leading up to the race and headed out on the Friday for our big drive out east.
I grew up just north of CDA and we frequently holidayed in the area. Cocolala was our go to camping spot where I even learned how to water ski. Sandpoint is our stopping point whenever we head home for a little holiday. So to say CDA is a bit nostalgic for me is an understatement. I truly love this part of the world.

After a very long drive we pulled into IM village at around 4pm where I went over to get my race pack and to connect with some Base teammates.

I have to say going in to this race I was more excited about connecting with my Base and Soas teammates then I was about actually racing.
I knew I was going to have some fun.

After some hellos we headed over to our overpriced 2 * hotel to checkin and get settled. At least our room was clean. That was all I could ask for. 
We got some dinner and settled in for the night. Tomorrow was going to be busy.

Saturday was a bright and early start to the day with my big girl turing 10. So we opened presents in the hotel and took her out for breakfast. We returned to hotel so I could ride my bike down to bike check in, do a little flushout run and get everything settled and in order so I could get back to celebrating my daughters birthday.

At bike check in I ran in to one of my fabulous Soas sisters Heather.

We had a quick little catch up and confirmed our plans to meet up later on with some of the other ladies from our tea. 

I reconnected with the family and had a quick dip in the lake to test things out. Water temp was perfect!
Back to some family time of exploring a bit of CDA. The vibe in the town was over the top amazing. All of the local business's were so welcoming. The weather was gorgeous and I was starting to get excited to race.
I met up with the rest of my Soas sister crew right before we headed off to the birthday dinner.
These ladies are seriously amazing. So genuinely friendly, kind, open, and honest. I am just thrilled to be a part of such an amazing group of strong women.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel so I could do the final touches on my race prep. Nutrition was in order, alarms were set, gear all laid out. I was ready!

I woke up feeling great on race morning despite a super early rise. My little birthday girl wasn't feeling well so my mind was a little preoccupied with her well being rather than me going to race. 

We had our coffee and oatmeal and wondered down to the race site where I left the family to do final touches in transition. They patiently waited for me as I came back out ready to start.
The swim was fantastic! The course was set up by a friend of mine who's I've worked with on another race. He puts everything in to his swim courses to ensure they are the safest they can be. 
Tim, you did a great job! Loved the rolling start, siting was easy. 

Swim was okay, not my best but not my worst. I came out 20th in my age group. Felt great and was ready to ride.

Bike course was tough. CDA has some good long climbs. I am not a climber. Add in some crazy heat on fairly fresh asphalt and I was feeling bad things. I carried on and saw plenty of my teammates. I was having so much fun out there. Despite the extreme heat I was doing pretty good.
I stayed on top of my nutrition. I made sure to finish my 2 bottles of Nuun as well as my combo calorie drink of Carbo pro and Endura as well as a Munk Pack oatmeal squeeze. I also had Base salt which I took every 30 minutes.

Once I handed off my bike I headed out on the run course only to discover I left a spare bike tube in my back pocket. Doh! It was so friggin hot I really did not like the idea of carrying anything extra that I didn't need. There goes a perfectly good tube into the trash.
I continued to stay on top of my nutrition using Base Salt as well as Base Rocket Fuel. I knew the heat could potentially bring me to me knees so I had to race smart. 
I was so thankful I had my awesome new 1 piece speed suit from Soas. I can't recommend this kit enough. I absolutely LOVE it. 

I slowly picked off a few ladies in my age group to move me up into the top 40 in my age group.
 The last 6km were starting to feel tough. People were looking pretty rough. Thank goodness the locals were so awesome that they were hosing us off at a few points on the course. Wow, the Coeur D'Alene people are seriously amazing. With only 2 km to go I threw my Base Salt at some poor soul who was dealing with some wicked legs cramps. He obviously needed it more than I did. I really hope it helped him.

I was so happy to finish this race. It was the hottest weather my poor white body has seen this year. It was hot!
Immediately after crossing the finish line, I made my way back to the lake and dove in. It felt so good.

I have to say there were no PR's for me today but I really had a great race. I had a few hiccups this year in my training since the marathon and missed a large chunk of essential training. I had to go in with a mindset that if I don't get a PR I needed to be ok with that. 
Honestly, I was pretty happy with my day. It was hot, I wasn't as fit as I had hoped and I place in the top 20% of my age group. I'd say that's a pretty good day.

To celebrate me being done my race and big sis's birthday we spent the next day at Silverwood. Best theme park in the Pacific Northwest. We love the water park.

After some good racing, some great theme park adventures and of course some fabulous coffee we ended our trip on such a great note. Coeur D'Alene I am so saddened that you won't be hosting the full Ironman anymore because it was always my dream to do it. Regardless we will be back.

Big thanks to my fabulous family who always support me. My fab coach Dusty for keeping me honest. My awesome training partners, you know who you are, and of course my amazing friends who continue to inspire and support me. Love to you all.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Don't Quit

Well it's been 1 week since the BMO Vancouver Marathon. It's taken me the whole week to reflect on what happened and to move forward. What I thought I was most ready for turned out to be one of my worst nightmares.

I started my saturday morning feeling excited and ready to race. My coach, running partner L and I all met at my house to do 1 last easy effort run before L and I headed out to catch the ferry.

The weather was fabulous. We were so excited. 
We got to Vancouver checked in to hotel and headed down to the expo to have a little fun.

Spent some money, wandered around and headed back to the hotel to put our feet up. 

After some rest we went out for pasta dinner. We had all of our kids with us so we hit up the Gastown Old Spaghetti Factory. I stuck with my usual veg lasagne. Sticking to my usual plan.
We walked back to hotel for an early night. I wished L a good night sleep and planned to meet her in the lobby at 7am.

After a restless night I woke up around 6am. Stuck to my usual routine of Stocked oats and coffee and took a banana with me to eat 30 minutes before the race. Again sticking to my usual plan.
I always get nervous so I spent a lot of time at the port-a-potty. I knew I was doomed with no turning back when I pulled up my pants and my transit card fell down the hole. 
No turning back now!

L and I had plenty of time to get ourselves ready and to the start line. We were in separate corals so I dropped her off at hers and continued on to mine. I got put in the sub 4 hours which is exactly where I should be. All of my training was bang on. There was no reason I couldn't hit a sub 4.

The gun went off and I started off nice and easy. First km was a 5:40 min/km. Exactly what I had discussed with my coach. Ease in to things. That's exactly what I did. I eased in to my 5:15-5:20 pace by the second and third km. I felt pretty good but I did feel like my legs seemed a little heavy for having a once proper taper. I kept going. 
I saw L on our out and back. We were both on track. She looked great! She claims I too looked great. We gave big smiles and waves.
When I was 40 minutes in I decided to take a swig of my Gu. That's when things felt a little off. My stomach was not happy with my Gu. Again, nothing new. These are the same flavour of Gu that I have been training and racing with for the past 2 years. 
After I hit the 10km mark I thought I would try some of my mint Run Gum. It's got caffeine in it and always seems to perk things up for me. Again, I just wasn't feeling it. 
After I hit the 20km mark I really started to feel off. My stomach was not happy, my legs felt like lead. There is no way I should be feeling this way before the halfway mark. Something was off. 
Luckily I saw a port-a-potty up ahead before I really got sick.

I ducked in unsure of what end bad things were going to happen. My stomach revolted and I threw up in a discussing poop filled port-a-potty. 
At this point L more then likely passed me because we never saw each other again. I decided to keep running but I had to significantly slow my pace. I ran another few kilometres and threw up again. I decided to try and walk for a bit. 
I finally aw my husband and kids around 26km. I threw all of my stuff at them. Gu, salts, Run Gum. None of it was helping and I couldn't bare to carry anything. At that point I was so sick. Should I have pulled the plug then and there? Probably, but I didn't. My mind said don't quit.
I trudged along crying and suffering. My lovely friend Ellen (she sold me her amazing P2) caught up to me and saw how wrecked I was. She was so kind to comfort me and see if there was anything she could do for me. I told her not to worry and that she needed to keep going.
The rest of the race consisted of my walking a lot. I tried to run when I could but my stomach bubbled up and then I would throw up. I did 22km solely on water. It was the only thing I could stomach. 
I have not a single photo of me running the marathon which is probably for the best. I'm sure I looked like something from a zombie apocalypse. 
Even though I have done Iron Distance, this race broke me down like nothing else ever has. Usually if I'm fatigued or not feeling well simply walking gets me to the finish line. That day the simple act of walking hurt me so badly it made me cry out in pain. 
You never know your true strength until you put your body to the test. 
I managed to run the last 3 kilometres. One of my Soas team mates was out cheering on that last stretch and I was so weak I couldn't even acknowledge her. 
Don't Quit.
I tried to push myself the last stretch collapsing at the finish to one of the medical volunteers and again throwing up. He tried to take me to the medical tent but I said I was fine. I really wasn't fine. 
Luckily my husband was right there and got me out of there. I just wanted to go home and go to bed.

But, I finished. 

It took me a few days before I started to come around. I suffered from involuntary muscle spasms for 3 days. After lots of Nuun I finally was able to shake those. My immune system was weekend as well. As I sit here and reflect I take another dose of Advil for my sore throat. 
So what happened? Food poisoning? Caught the flu at the wrong possible moment? I really don't know. 
Now that I've had a chance to reflect on everything I look back to see what I would do differently. Would I have pulled the plug before it got so bad? I don't know. I just don't quit. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Where have I been?

Well it seems quite some time ago since I last posted. I thought I better check in and let people know where I have been. This winter I had to make a big life decision. I was offered a really great job opportunity, one that does not come around too often. It would give me consistency, work close to home, long term employment and good money. I felt I wasn't quite ready to take on full time work although over the last few years with my 2 jobs I was working close to full time most weeks. It just wasn't consistent. I knew it was going to be a big change because I would no longer have control of my own hours. My days will be longer and it would mean way less time spent with my family. That alone was the hardest to give up. 
However, I want other things for myself and my family. This job was going to help us with that.
So January 1st I started my transition to full time. The only problem is I still held on to my other 2 jobs. So to say we (as in me and my family) it is such an understatement. 

I'm happy that I took on this new job but it has not been easy. I know many others share this same path. We have had bumps along the way and it is making training a lot more difficult. The stress of changing jobs and having to relearn how to do things takes its toll. Luckily I have a pretty awesome coach who has gotten to know me well and spotted right away that work stress was taking its toll on me. He pulled back the training for me despite my stubbornness. 

Now that I have finally balanced life, family, work and training things are starting to look up. 

This year I am representing some pretty amazing teams and companies. 

This will be my 3rd year on the wonderful Team Soas. I have met and gotten to know so many fabulous strong women from this team. They continue to inspire me every day.
Stephanie the owner treats us like gold. Check out our team gear:
This is my 2nd year on Team Nuun. I have been using their stuff for years and cannot do a swim workout without it. Again great team members and always honoured to be a part of it.

This will be my 1st year with Base Performance. The main reason I applied to this team is because their Base Salt saves me in every single hot race I have done. I even shared at Calgary 70.3 last year. Again another fantastic group of like minded athletes. 

This is only half my gear there's more on the way! If you want to try out any of their products let me know and I will share the goodies. Especially the salt.

Last but not least this was my most exciting surprise. Blade Carbon Wheels invited me to join them for the first time this year. I am thrilled to be on this team because first and foremost they are Canadian. I love supporting my country in any way I can. 
These guys make amazing wheels. I can't wait to race on my new wheel set this year.
You should check them out HERE:
and for a little discount plug in: ANDREAMAC

So what are my racing plans for the rest of the year? 
This weekend I am during my first stand alone marathon. I'll be racing in the BMO Vancouver Marathon. I have no idea what to expect since I've never done a marathon without swimming or biking first. I hope to run a strong race but more over be at the finish line for my amazing friend Leslie who embarked on this journey with me to also complete her first marathon.

We treasure our weekly Sunday long runs together supporting each other in tough times. It's amazing how therapeutic the training becomes.

After that I have Coeur D'Alene 70.3 end of June.
Whistler 70.3 end of July.
ITU Worlds Long Distance and aquathlon end of August. 

I'm not going to lie, I do worry about getting enough training in to get me where I want to be but that awesome coach has my back and I know he will do what it takes to take me as far as I can go without throwing me off the deep end.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things 2016

Welcome to this years These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things! Every year around Christmas I share with you things related to triathlon that I love so much. 
This year I have been lucky enough to actually try out or now own most of these products that I am so excited about.

First up on my list this year it the Lumo Run. 
The Lumo Run is a pod that goes in your shorts/pants during your run. It uses algorithms to measure your running biomechanics. I have been wanting to get my hands on one of these babies since I first heard about it. Coming from many running injuries I had to re-learn how to run and I guarantee this little gadget will most definitely keep me in check. You can check out all of the infer HERE.

Next up is for all of you avid readers out there. The much anticipated book by Sir Lindley was even better than I expected. This book was so popular when it got released that I had to wait several weeks before I could even get my hands on a copy. 
I seriously read this book in 2 days and it wasn't because I had nothing better to do. This book goes through Siri's life as an athlete and how she later transitioned to one of the best triathlon coaches in the world. This book is definitely worth your time.

I don't know about all of you but when training and racing I have a hard time eating solid foods. So far bananas have been my go to along with my nutrition in a bottle. There is a new game changer for me now. My local running store brought in these fabulous Gu Stoopwafel and OH MY GOD! These are soooooo good. They are tasty and actually go down quite nicely and the flavours are delicious.  
Although I am a Nun Ambassador, that does not change how much I love Nuun. I use Nuun daily for all of my training. I especially love it for swim workouts. I used to get foot or calf cramps during swim workouts but if I have Nuun on deck I have no issues. With a ton of great flavours to choose from and a little bit of fizz it is my favourite drink to have around.

If you are in Canada make sure you order your Nuun products HERE. Although most sports stores do carry Nuun.

I'm pretty sure everyone loves how much I love my Soas gear. I have made the Soas racing team for my 3rd year. I am so excited because this year they have released their 1-piece racing suit. This suit is so sleek. I'm loving the look and function of the longer sleeves. I'll have nice coverage over my back and shoulders so I don't have to worry about exposed skin that might not have sunscreen. They have 2 styles to choose from and when you order they will add your name to your suit!

Soas has some other new kits as well to check out. Head on over HERE.

Another team I am proud to be on and makes amazing products is Base Performance. I was introduced to the salt and Aminos this past year by a fellow Soas teammate. I couldn't believe the difference in racing in the heat with this magic. I now carry the salt with me on bike and runs in all of my races. I even saved another athletes race at Calgary 70.3 because it was unexpectedly hot and aid stations were way too far apart. I shared my salt with her and she was able to finish. 
Base has many great products to help in your training and racing. Check them out HERE.

Last but not least on this years Fav Things is the Tacx Neo. I was lucky enough to try out my brother in laws set up this summer when we were visiting. I got one ride in and fell in love with this amazing training tool. This year for my birthday, my amazing husband actually got one for me and I have done every single ride since October in my garage.
What is the Tacx Neo? It is a smart trainer. This trainer does automatic grade adjustments, road feel, measures watts. It is seriously the coolest thing around. I've got mine set up to Zwift but I know there are other programs you can ride to. 

These smart trainers are total game changers. There is nothing better then riding in almost lifelike road conditions in the safety of your home. I can push harder without worrying about traffic around me. I can hammer up hills without the worry of what might lie ahead. This is by far my most favourite thing of all times in the wonderful world of triathlon.

I hope you enjoyed my favourite things. Let me know if there are any products you absolutely love and can't live without.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

When things fall into place

I did it! I qualified for Worlds... twice!

For those that follow me closely you know this year has been filled with way more downs than ups. I had my first DNF at Victoria 70.3
I ended up having my chainring go though my leg and had to take a month off of training. Then when I did finally get back to training it was too soon and I ended up with plantar fasciitis on my good foot. I continued on persevering through these injuries and did Calgary 70.3 I finished but with a disappointing time.
Feeling frustrated with my outcomes I had no idea what Penticton 
would turn out for me.
Turns out perseverance pays off.

I have had a very busy work schedule this summer. Logging lots of overtime I still was unable to take an extra day off of work. So August 24th I left for Penticton after work.
While trying to get the 6pm ferry I got an email from the Challenge Penticton crew saying they had 30 spots open up for the aquathlon the following day... my birthday. 
I texted my coach to see if I should do it. What the heck I had a scheduled swim and run anyways, why not?

What better way to celebrate your birthday. 

Penticton really knows how to host athletes. The duathlon was the previous day.
Aquathlon was today, Cross was the following day and my big day the ITU Long Course was Sunday.

So we pulled into Penticton around 1pm. Got settled and wandered down to the race start to see if I could snag a spot to race. 
It turns out the swim was going to be a non-wetsuit swim. The problem with this is my 2 piece tri suit is not so great in the water on its on. I love my Soas trisuit and for all of my regular triathlons it is seriously the best trisuit around. Unfortunately it has a bit of drag to it. Normally I'd wear a skin suit but the ITU rules for shorter swim distances state that you must wear it for the entire race. 
So I decided to race in a swimsuit. 

So as I seem to like to do so much I punished myself for a great birthday present.

I had a marginal swim thanks to the crazy waves out there. I was hoping for an 18' or less but ended up with 21'
I quickly transitioned to the run which was an out and back 2x for a 5km. I raced without and tracking. No Garmin, no HR monitor. I was essentially naked. I ran trying to hold a good solid pace without going out too hard. I was instructed to keep things easy since this was not my big race.
I ended up with my fastest 5km ever. 22:16
I was thrilled with my results. I thought for sure I had podiumed.
Well, turns out I wasn't quite fast enough but I still qualified.
I came in 4th in my age group next to Pro Triathlete Karen Thibodeau, Former Olympic Swimmer Jessica Deglau, and former Pro Triathlete Tenille Hoogland.

After seeing who I was up against I couldn't have been more please with my results. I couldn't wait until Sunday!

Friday we laid low by driving the bike course to refresh my memory, check out some fruit stands, go to the beach and then I joined my friends and took part in the pasta dinner (which was fantastic).

I had the pleasure of meeting Sister Madonna Buder (the Iron Nun). Unfortunately there is no photo because we were in the ladies room and I thought it might be inappropriate to take a selfie of us in there. I just have to say that she is absolutely lovely and a total card. Such a great sense of humour.

In our group there were 3 of us racing individually and we also had a threesome doing the relay. They were called the Hot Flashes. I so love these ladies. They are so much fun.

Saturday was again filled with more relaxation. After I racked my bike and dropped my bags we hit the lake again. I can't thank my family enough for taking such good care of me.

Sunday morning came quick as usual. I felt like I didn't sleep a wink. However I was feeling so calm. I was so ready for this.
We got to the race site for 6am. I checked my bike, set up my nutrition. Used bathroom, hugged the girls and got my wetsuit on. 

I stuck together with the lovely ladies of Duncan. They really seems so calming to me. 
Before I knew it the gun went off. I took off keeping a relatively easy but steady pace. It wasn't long before I caught up to the men who had a 2' head start.
Going around the buoys was tricky. That seemed to be where most of the congestion was. Second lap I thought was better until I had some guy totally push me out of the way. It wasn't like he was trying to swim, he actually pushed me to his side. This of course put a little fire in my belly to push a little harder to get to the swim exit as quickly as possible.
55:10 for 3km
My friend Bob was my wetsuit stripper and got me out on the course fast and efficient.
The weather was great. Sun was shinning and wind was not too bad.

We had 2 laps of the bike course which I really enjoyed. 120km seems so much shorter than the Ironman 180km. 
Bike- 4:08:44
*after the race I noticed my front break had been rubbing my front wheel the entire bike portion. I thought my downhill was a little slow.

I was feeling great going in to the run. It was only 30km to go until the finish. I can do this!

Heading out on the run Coach Jasper Blake was on course cheering all of the amazing b78 athletes. His enthusiasm is infectious. He put a big smile on my face and I was pulling off a great run. I was ahead of my goal!

The family patiently waited for me to run by. These kids are seriously so patient and supper supportive. 

After a great first 15km lap I was ahead of my goal so I took a minute to stop and hug the family. They are the ones that help get me to the start line day after day, year after year. They mean the world to me.

On my second loop I was really starting to catch those that passed me on the bike. I started looking for my competitors. at the 18 to 20km mark is where the wheel s start to fall off. Bit by bit I passed someone who just could no longer hold a run. People start to linger at aid stations. To be fair it was hot out on that run. One of the aid stations ran out of water and sports drink. This is where people can get in to trouble. This is why I do long easy fns with as little fuel or water as I possibly can. I know I can get to the next aid station without consequences. Some people can't. 
With only 5km to go I finally caught a lady in my age group. I knew I could sustain my pace for another 30' or so no problem. I passed easily and continued on to the finish line.
Run 30km 2:44:36

My final time was 7:54:19
My goal was 8 hours.
I was 8th in my super tough age group needing a top 10 to qualify for Worlds.

This was my race! Do I still have work to do? Absolutely! I know where I can improve significantly. 
Compared to last years Ironman distance I can honestly say I executed the perfect race for me. I stayed calm, happy, mentally strong.
I finished with minimal consequences...

This little blister was the only carnage from almost 8 hours of racing.

I am thrilled of how well I did. I'm so excited to represent Team Canada next year at Worlds! I promise to work even harder this year to make next years race even better!!!

A big shout out to my fabulous Soas Sisters. The lovely Tracy was on a relay team and we ended up running the first lap together. I loved that she chatted away to me. It kept me happy and on track.

Thank you to Soas for believing in me and continuing to let me be a part of such a wonderful team. Your products are absolutely amazing. I couldn't imagine doing triathlons in any other trisuit.

Thank you to Nuun Hydration. I train daily using this awesome electrolyte. Another awesome team that supports me as well as keeps me hydrated. For Challenge Penticton I used Nuun Active Grape along with Nuun Plus. I find it is the perfect combo to keep me going in the longer races.

Thank you to Oofos. The best recovery sandal/shoe around. With my battles with the Plantar Fasciitis I have been living in my sandals day in and day out. If you don't have a pair you ned to go out and get yourselves some. They are soooooo fabulous.

Thank you to b78 coaching. Jasper is seriously the coolest guy I know and Thalia has kept me in line for the entire year. Their support and guidance has been wonderful.

Last but not least thank you to my fabulous family and friends. They say it takes a village and it really does. My husband and kids support me to no end. My friends that continuously support me, train with me and listen to all of my boring stories. You all mean the world to me and I can't thank you enough for all that you do. 
I really would not be where I am without all of you.
Here's to big dreams and great results!