Wednesday, September 29, 2010

REV3 Cedar Point! DISCO PARTY!

Friday had been a long day, so I was looking forward to Saturday being a day to get my race plan/stuff together and relax!
mmmmmm thank YOU awesome volunteer!
Saturday morning, after sleeping in a little and getting some breakfast, I headed off the the swim start to get a feel for the CHOPPY-LOOKING WATER that I would be tackling on Sunday.  I was up for the challenge though.  My team (TRAKKERS) was also at the start letting participants try out TRI-SLIDE, a great product by one of our sponsors, SBR Sports!  It's an aerosol lubricant that helps you get in and out of your wetsuit in a cinch, and it also helps prevent chafing (i.e. wetsuit hickies!)

On to getting my gear bags and bike ready... I was SO EXCITED to finally see my new KESTREL 4000 race-ready!!  I took a test ride to see how she would hold up in the crosswinds... I initially had put a HED3 Tri-Spoke on the front.  NOPE!  The disc felt fine, but my ride was very "twitchy" with the Tri-Spoke.  Putting the Mavec wheel back on solved the problem! 
I LOVE the bucket racks!!
I also tested out the NEW Trakkers device - you can see how small it is here, but you can't see how lightweight it is!  During the bike portion of the Aqua-bike, I kept it in a jersey pocket and forgot it was there!

My bike was racked next to my teamie Megan Killian!!
 Aaaaaahhh isn't she pretty!!
After dinner with some friends on the Evo-Tri team, we headed back to Hotel Breakers....  So Chris and I were walking down the hallway to go to our respective rooms, and we passed this "activity room", which had been empty Friday and Saturday.  NOT NOW!  There were lights flashing, disco music playing, and LINUS from Peanuts was doin' his thang out in the middle of dance floor... by himself!  there were 2 hotel employees off to the side...texting/playing on their phones, not paying attention to him!
Look what we saw after dinner!!
We decided that we must join this party!  Chris w told one of his roomies JP about the festivities (Kati was about zonked out - she had to get up EARLY to get the timing rolling for the race!!) and the fun BEGAN!

I figured the employees could get paid for SOMETHING, so I asked them to take pictures with my camera!

We were glad to see that a little family joined the party!

The Mom was a FREAK!  She was pumpin' it out and working it like CRAZY! (As was Linus!)
See the Momma doing the "Charlie Brown"??
After about 20 minutes of Cha-Cha slide, Brickhouse and some other fabulous songs, we called it a night!  Way to taper!! :)  Hope this dance is on NEXT YEAR!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I cried at the gym today

...only a little. I was so frustrated.

My foot has been feeling a little better- still sore, but not painful during daily living activities. I even wore cute shoes to work today! flats, no heels yet.

I thought maybe it was time to try to jog again...I was wrong :(

After 20min on the elliptical (I HATE the elliptical, it's so "gym-rat"-ish), I had a goal for a 30min walk/jog workout on the indoor track- 1min jog, 2min walk.

3 cycles in I felt the familiar pull on the arch and sharp pain in my heel. I teared up, hobbled along, and cut the workout at 20min. Fml

So I headed to the pool for 20min of aqua-jogging. Maybe the 2nd time I've tried this in my life. In one pool, a swim team was practicing, in the other, swim lessons were occupying every lane except 2, where little kids were jumping off the diving board, old ladies were floating on noodles... Uggghhh.

So I put on the belt and went back and forth back and forth on the deep end. It didn't feel like a great workout- I couldn't get my heart rate up, I felt like I was just flailing around (a trend in the water for me...)

Was there REALLY a time when I qualified for the Boston Marathon? Ran a 1:39 half marathon? Consistently ran 30-40 miles a week? Felt light, quick, and pain-free? Sweated out some FAST tempo runs while jamming out to my tunes?

Was that me??? Seems like a distant memory...

one day Winston...

More Rev3CP coming soon!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

REV3 Cedar Point! pt. 1

Great venue, great event!

What a FUN race weekend!  I was so excited to head over to Sandusky, Ohio to compete in my first ever SWIM, then BIKE...then you are DONE!  This was a PERFECT way for me to get my "race on", despite not being able to run due to plantar fascitis.  I competed in the "Full" Aquabike.  I swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, then headed to the post-race party :)
part of swim-bike transition...not too shabby

Fortunately, my friend Chris Sweet's team EvoTri was hosting their team race at REV3 (he was competing in the HalfRev) so we made the 6 hr. drive on Friday from Bloomington together.  The ride went pretty smooth - no significant traffic, no significant scenery...flat roads and cornfields.  He has about 7500 songs on his ipod, so we certainly had the tunes for a roadtrip!

We headed straight to the race site to pick up our packets- no lines, very easy!  There was PLENTY of nearby parking (i.e. right next to the expo and transition area) in the Cedar Point amusement park lot.  Got our packets, talked to Chris's teammate Stu, who was doing some announcing and live coverage for the REV3 series, then headed over to my Team Trakkers booth to listen to Robert Kunz answer our questions about First Endurance nutrition.  Robert REALLY knows his stuff about sports nutrition and can explain the DETAILS of the metabolism and physiology behind FE products.  Not like I needed any convincing, but he DID explain how First Endurance:

  • EFS and Liquid Shot products use a blend of simple and complex carbohydrates to allow for optimal absorption during exercise
  • EFS and Liquid shot contain a blend of electrolytes lost in sweat, not JUST sodium.  They also contain potassium, chloride, magnesium, and calcium...these minerals are ALL important during the neuromuscular process of muscle contraction: one serving of EFS contains a 1000+mg blend of these electrolytes!
  • Pre-Race contains specific ingredients (Nitric Oxide) that improves cardiac output (pumps more blood to the muscles per heartbeat).  It also dilates blood vessels to allow more oxygen-rich to get to the muscles!  It also contains a blend of stimulants that will keep athletes physically and mentally focused and ready to race!
  • Optygen HP reduces the build-up of cortisol, a hormone that your body releases in response to stress (in this case, exercise).  The greater stress (i.e. volume, intensity), the more cortisol is release.  It prepares the body for "fight or flight" response (increases glucose in the bloodstream, stores fat, reduces inflammation), which is great during exercise, but during hard training blocks, a build-up of cortisol is NOT good, since it KILLS your body's ability to recover.  Your immune system is weakened (how many of you get colds or coughs after races or hard workouts??), and if you don't replenish your glycogen stores properly, cortisol will also start pulling amino acids from your muscles to use as fuel.  With Optygen HP, you will be able to recover MUCH faster after hard workouts during that tough training block!
He also gave us samples of the NEW Berry flavor for the Liquid Shot.  I'll tell you what I thought of it later!  For more information and details about their products, visit the FE website!  It is so detailed and interactive!
Checking out the swim start!
pretty beach!

Friday evening I went to dinner at the Thirsty Pony with Chris, Stu, and fellow Tri-Shark Ross Monks, who was participating in the FULLREV!  
mmmmm had some sort of grilled veggie and chicken melt!

Then I was able to catch up with my Trakkers teammate Kati D., who kind enough to let me share a room with her!  She was working the REV3 Timing- she is GOOD at what she does! :)

The BEST part of Friday night?  EXCLUSIVE ACCESS for REV3 participants to the PARK!!  No lines!  Our dinner ran a little late, so we didn't end up getting to the park until 8:30... in 30 minutes, we rode 3 rides!!
you can't see the straightaway, but you get shot out at 120mph..then up and over!!

coming soon....Part 2 Saturday pre-race (DANCE PARTY) and Part 3 (RACE DAY!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tour De TAP!

So Monday was the THIRD ANNUAL Tour de Tap...

Ladies in the front: Emily, Laura(me), Carolyn
Boys in the Back: Mick, Joe, Julian, Geno, Bruce
This is a favorite time-honored tradition among Bloomington-Normal cyclists! The ride starts in town, and from there we ride from one po-dunk small-town bar to the next! I have NO idea why, but it gets harder and harder to stay upright after each stop! :)
awesome sign...
ESPECIALLY with the 25-30mph winds this year!! Luckily, I had NO problem staying upright and aero in the crosswinds on my new Kestrel - stable as can be!
There she is!!
I was kicking some serious booty and working hard to keep superstar Emily in my sight (she JUST won the Great Illini Half-Iron 2 days before!). It ended up feeling like a 6-10 mile time trial between each "stop". Great ride, ended up with about 50mi by the end of the day!

1st stop: Cooksville!
2nd stop: Merna Tap!
check out Geno's annual Miles of Smiles 100 ride next year!
Irish beer...Mick's happy place
before the greasy bar food...
3rd Stop: Towanda
Yes, we are on Route 66...Get your KICKS!
Company was GREAT on the ride, but we sure missed the crowd from last year...SO many people are racing this weekend at Ironman Wisconsin and REV3 Cedar Point and just aren't as hardcore as us :P !

I'm SO looking forward to my AQUABIKE race at REV3 and the riding the rollercoasters with my Trakkers Teammates!

Hope you are outside enjoying beautiful weather being active with great friends! Until next time!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My favorite time of year almost here!  Not quite yet, but it will start on September 22nd @ 11:09PM ET according to

FALL is my favorite season for several reasons:

1.     Temps are cooler!  I don't fare well in the heat, so 50-70 F is perfect for biking and running!  Plus I have lots of cute capris, arm warmers, and hats that I like to wear :)  I can't wait to show off some of the fall/winter Saucony gear I bought on sale this summer!
2.    The foliage is beautiful. I LOVE running on Constitution Trail in the fall- its like you are going through a tunnel of swirling colors - when the leaves fall off and twirl around you, it gets really trippy  :)
"My" trail during the fall - leaves haven't blown off the pavement - beautiful!
3.  Workouts are so enjoyable.  After training all spring and summer long, athletes are in the best shape they are all year.  Workouts seem so fast and effortless when cooler temps arrive, and PR's tend to drop like flies!
4.   RACE SEASON!  It seems like EVERYONE in the midwest has their BIG race during September/October, in particular, Ironman Wisconsin and the Chicago Marathon.  If I'm not competing in one event or another, I'm almost always there spectating, as these events tend to be a "reunion" of sorts for my midwestern family, friends, and training partners!

One thing that is making me SAD about fall though...I'm not running :(

A few months ago, my right heel starting hurting while I was running...I thought maybe it was "bruised" from some downhill running I was doing at River to River and Triple T, so I trained on.  However, it persisted, and got worse and worse.  It started hurting when I was walking.  It started to hurt when I got up in the morning and was walking around the house.  Did some research, talked to some people with similar symptoms, then finally saw a foot doc - yup, plantar fascitis.  I thought that only happened when the actual "arch" of your foot hurt, but that's not the case.  The connective tissue "attaches" to the heel, so when it is stressed, it pulls on the heel,  thus creating pain.  YUCK.

I cut back my mileage, I reduced the intensity and pounding.  I took days, a week at a time off to no avail.  I iced, stretched, took ibuprofin.  Still pain.  The doctor gave me super-strength anti-inflammatory drugs, and 2 cortisone shots in my foot.  Didn't help.  The pain was still "bearable" so I continued to run, a few miles at a time, at a depressingly slow pace.  Well, one day, I felt a "snap".  It hurt like hell, and I did a 20-minute hobble walk of shame back home.  The doctor put me in a boot the next day.  The last time I ran was Tuesday August 10th.

NOTE:  Do NOT run or stress injured muscles/connective tissues when you are on super-strength anti-inflammatories .  They reduce inflammation (duh) around the injured site, thus leaving the site unprotected, and more susceptible to further tear or injury.   I learned this the hard way.

A week later, I was helping my brother move in, and I was not wearing the boot so I could help carry stuff up and down stairs.  Sure enough, I almost stepped on a puppy(!), and jumped onto my toe to avoid the disaster - OOOUUUCHHH!! Another "SNAP", which brought me to the floor in tears.  I couldn't put ANY pressure on it for 2 days.  However, an MRI showed there was no real tear, which is good news (?) but  I can't explain the "snap" feeling or pain, but it was bad.
my hubby and our baby!
...and my brother who's going to live in our extra bedroom
while he's in grad school! My Boys!
It's been getting more bearable- I'm not in the boot, but I am ALWAYS wearing supportive shoes (i.e. my Saucony Hurricanes) and custom orthotics, even in the house.  It totally limits my "cute" wardrobe at work, until I can wear fall boots (ANOTHER REASON I LOVE FALL!!).
Not running hasn't been terrible, as I have been able to spend some quality time with my NEW triathlon friend, my BRAND SPANKIN' NEW KESTREL 4000TT!!  She's a beauty, and she's FAST!! the following pictures are not of my actual bike, but will put some up soon...
my chick bad, my chick hood...
***listen to this song while reading the following paragraphs!!***

She's ALL carbon, light as a feather, and she's outfitted with SRAM RED R2C (return to center shifters).  They were really stiff at first, like HARD to shift, but they've loosened up (or my forearms got stronger) and I LOVE how quick and smooth they are!
my chick do stuff that your chick wish she could...

I also have a MASSIVE 54/42 crankset...I immediately dropped almost 2 minutes from my 20K time trial effort! daaaaaammmnnn....
my chick bad, badder than your's...
I was previously on 650c wheels, but now I'm riding 700's - it takes a little more effort to "get rolling" and accelerate, but once I'm going, I feel like I'm just enjoying the ride!

I also feel a lot more stiff and stable on this frame - I am usually such a BABY when it comes to crosswinds, sharp turns, and downhill riding - its amazing what a difference I am feeling!
One thing I am sad about - I don't have gears to climb with.  The bike came with gears intended for flat, time-trial riding (54/42 crankset, 11-23 cassette)... so I wasn't able to bring her to IMOO (training) or Dairyland Dare .  So I'm definitely in the market for a SRAM compact crank and (10 speed) xx-27 cassette...if anyone wants to trade goods (I have  brand new Fizik carbon Arione Tri2 saddle and an FSA 90mm carbon stem) let me know!  :)

Carbon Fizik Arione Tri2 Saddle

FSA 90mm carbon stem

I haven't been swimming much (what else is new) but I am SO psyched for REV3 Cedar Point, which is a week from TODAY!!  I'll be doing the FULL Aquabike (the KESTREL is coming with me!) I can't wait to see my Trakkers teammates, and our manager Carole's Trakkers GREEN cast!  Poor girl got in a mountain biking accident a few days before her birthday, send some love her way!
Her swagga don't stop, her body won't quit

Whew!  It feels good to blog again, hopefully I'll keep it up!  I love this weather and riding my bike!

 But on weekends like this, 65 degrees with a breeze, I stare enviously from my porch at the b*tches running effortlessly and happily on the trail around MY LAKE across the street.  not cool.