Miami 70.3 in Pictures

On October 25th I competed in Miami 70.3. Here are a few pictures from the trip…

The team on bikes Miami

Jaybird Pre-Race Photo Shoot #1

Hanging out Miami

Jaybird Pre-Race Photo Shoot #2

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Jaybird Pre-Race Photo Shoot #3

Before Transition Miami

A quick picture outside of transition on race morning with my teammate and roomie, Lesley Smith.

Pre Swim Miami

What you can’t see in the water are the JELLYFISH!!! (That was a first and hopefully a last!)

Miami On the Bike

Outta T2 and onto Black Beauty…

Miami Run 2

The bike course was flat and fast. The run… not so much.  It was a bit warmer and a lot hillier.

Finish Line

I finished the day as the 9th female PRO. Considering a mechanical on the bike and losing a little bit of training after my bike crash not a bad result in the end.

Miami TBT

Easy Peasy! After the race I dropped my bike off at TriBike Transport and they loaded her onto a truck to bring her safely back to VA.

Miami After Race Team

It felt sooooo great to be back Miami! There really is no place like home.

miami

My view from the plane window as I flew home Sunday after the race. Isn’t Miami beautiful?

Many thanks to: Maverick Multisport, Argon 18, ENVE Composites, Cobb Cycling, Blueseventy, Sugoi, Jaybird, Catlike Helmets,  VO2 Multisport, Rotor Bike Components, Occupational Kinetics, Swiftwick Socks, Infinit Nutrition, BSX Insight, and Primal Sport Mud!

Patriot’s Half: Race Recap

On Saturday September 12th I raced the Patriot’s Half Iron distance triathlon in Williamsburg, VA. Here are a few highlights from the day…

Early morning

Early morning start… Transition opened at 5:30 and I couldn’t wait to get in!

In transition

Setting up my transition area… I had a pretty good spot, but more importantly I had the BEST gear. I stand by my Argon 18, ENVE Composite wheels, Cobb Cycling saddle, and ROTOR Q Rings.

Drinking Infinit

One last bottle of Infinit before the gun went off. (I like how my race number makes my 5Q tattoo look like 55(!) women to Kona.)

Speedsuit

On the beach admiring my Blueseventy PZ4TX speed suit.

Swim warm up

One last warm up swim complete… Headed to the start line. (I came out of the water in 2nd!)

Into t2

Getting flagged into T2 in first place in my Catlike helmet aboard my Argon 18 and ENVE Composite wheels. (I had the fastest bike split of the day!)

running

Starting the 13.1 mile run near the Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg. (I carry a flask of Napalm by Infinit Nutrition during the run. It helped me to score the fastest run split of the day!)

finish

This is me, excited to be done, but without a lot of energy. (First female and 8th overall)

after the finish

I was a little tired…

podium patriots

Rocking my Sugoi Maverick jersey on the podium!

Many thanks to: Maverick Multisport, Argon 18, ENVE Composites, Cobb Cycling, Blueseventy, Sugoi, Jaybird, Catlike Helmets,  VO2 Multisport, Rotor Bike Components, Occupational Kinetics, Swiftwick Socks, Infinit Nutrition, BSX Insight, and Primal Sport Mud! You guys rock!!!

Eagleman 70.3: Ouch!

On Sunday I raced Eagleman 70.3, for the first time in five years or so… As I was running in 95+ degree temps (real feel of 108!) with NO shade I remember why I hadn’t booked a return trip in so long. It was a hot one! Here’s what race day looked like…

Prerace selfie

Early morning selfie with my best race bud, Jemila!!!

Number

Finally! I got to race with my favorite number! Yay, 37!

Kiddie table 1

You can see my trusty steed parked at the end of what I can only describe as the “kiddie table” rack…

Kiddie table 2

All of the mature pros were parked on a rack behind that group of people on the left. (On the other side of that big pile of dirt.)

By the kiddie table

All kidding aside, I had a great spot in transition.

EMan blue seventy

About to get in the Choptank River… Loving my Blueseventy speedsuit!

T1 Eman

Out of the swim and into T1, looking for Black Beauty.

Eman bike

There she is! All racked up and ready to ride!

Getting the bike

Reunited and it feels so good!

Tracking

LOVE the Eagleman bike course! I met two large turtles along the way and a Canadian Goose who wasn’t too happy with me because I rolled between her and her smallest (and slowest) gosling.

Eman run

I survived the run with the help of Napalm from Infinit Nutrition.  (It saved my life!)

Podium pic

I finished the day in 5th. I felt incredibly honored to share the podium with Jessica Chong (not pictured), Lauren Brandon, Sarah Piampiano (not pictured), Heather Leiggi and Sarah Haskins.

Eman awards with Jem

Oh… and Jemila crushed it as per usual. (Superstar!)

Many thanks to all of my amazing sponsors: Maverick Multisport, Argon 18, ENVE Composites, Cobb Cycling, Blueseventy, Sugoi, Jaybird, Catlike Helmets,  VO2 Multisport, Rotor Bike Components, Occupational Kinetics, Swiftwick Socks, Infinit Nutrition, BSX Insight, and Primal Sport Mud!!!

Raleigh Rundown

Ever have one of those days where things just didn’t come together? That was my day on Sunday. It was so bad that at one point while I was on the run I contemplated DNFing. I didn’t. I don’t know why, but I didn’t.

A few hours later as I was driving home from Raleigh, flipping through stations, when I found “This American Life” on NPR. The show’s theme on Sunday? “Game Face”. After a race that I can only describe as disappointing, it was exactly what I needed to hear.

The ultimate

The ultimate “Game Face”. Hockey player Terry Sawchuk wearing fake scars and wounds applied by a make-up artist to simulate all of the injuries he accumulated as a goalie in 16 years of professional hockey. He played WITHOUT a face mask.

The show chronicled three individuals who developed and/or struggled with creating and maintaining a game face and the second vignette really resonated with me. In it, comedienne, Tig Notaro, spoke about a recent gig she had in Las Vegas. Oftentimes when comedians book a show like this, they are the featured act at a particular venue for a week – seven nights with two shows each night. So what does Tig have to do with the “Game Face” theme? Well apparently she bombed in Vegas. Not one show or two shows, but FOURTEEN shows. Every single show – two shows a night for seven nights straight! She got on stage night after night, show after show, in spite of the dearth of laughs and lackluster feedback. She put on her game face and she kept going. But why? Why would anyone do that?!! Because even though the audiences were staring blankly back at her and the venue manager made it clear he would not be offering her another gig, she LOVED doing stand up.

My Game Face

My Game Face

That’s kind of how I felt on Sunday. Even though the stars weren’t aligning, I love triathlon. I’m lucky to be able to compete. I’m lucky to race in these amazing cities. And I’m lucky to have a great community of friends and supporters who make triathlon even more enjoyable. Sunday wasn’t my day, but I’ve got my game face on and I’m ready for more!

Julie Patterson and I in transition on race morning. I was lucky to race with some amazing friends in Raleigh.

Julie Patterson and I in transition on race morning. I was lucky to race with some amazing friends in Raleigh.

Thanks to my incredible sponsors: Maverick Multisport, Argon 18, ENVE Composites, Cobb Cycling, Blueseventy, Sugoi, Jaybird, Catlike Helmets,  VO2 Multisport, Rotor Bike Components, Occupational Kinetics, Swiftwick Socks, Infinit Nutrition, BSX Insight, and Primal Sport Mud!!!

New Orleans 70.3 Wrap Up

On April 19th I competed in New Orleans 70.3.  Here is my race report in pictures…

NO 1

Stop number 1? Bourbon Street! No trip to New Orleans would be complete without it. So many people “hydrating”…

NO 2

It’s all about the engine! It rained off and on the day before the race so there was plenty of time to check out the Stennis Space Center. Pretty cool stuff!

NO 3

Signing a poster  at the very packed pre-race pro meeting…

NO 4

Mavericks!!! Fellow Maverick Multisport pros Mike Hermanson and Leslie Smith were also competing in NOLA 70.3

NO 5

Unloading the car… Storms on Saturday meant the lines to get into transition on Sunday were really really long. (This would eventually cause a delay in the start time.)

NO 6

My trusty Argon 18 and speedy ENVE 8.9s. It’s hard to make out, but all of the saddles on my rack were Cobb Cycling saddles. Coincidence? I think not.

NO 7

Prepping my transition area and making sure my Napalm from Infinit Nutrition was ready to go when I got to T2.

NO 8

Triathlon… Bringing people together! I was really excited to meet Andrew Hayes, another member of Maverick Multisport.

NO 9

The three Mavs… One last group shot before heading to the swim start.

NO 10

I was really excited to use my BlueSeventy Helix; luckily the swim was wetsuit legal.

NO 11

Such a pretty wetsuit… Right? This was my first real swim in the Helix and I was super happy with the fit.

NO 12

Alligator eyes… Trying to stay on course.

NO 13

The run back to the transition area was pretty long, so I had plenty of time to strip off the Helix.

NO 14

And I was off! The bike was a closed course so I don’t have many pictures, but to sum it up I’d use the words “flat” and “WINDY”!

NO 15

The run course in New Orleans is a long out and back with several bridges to traverse with a stiff headwind coming off the water.

NO 16

Oh… And NO shade. ABSOLUTELY. No. Shade.

NO 17

10th place; 4:32

NO 19

And the best post-race feature? Baby pools filled with ice cold water!!!

Thank you to all of my AMAZING sponsors:  Maverick Multisport, Argon 18, ENVE Composites, Cobb Cycling, Blueseventy, Sugoi, Jaybird, Catlike Helmets,  VO2 Multisport, Rotor Bike Components, Occupational Kinetics, Swiftwick Socks, Infinit Nutrition, BSX Insight, and Primal Sport Mud! New Orleans 70.3 was a great race and I know the next one will be even better!

Panic and Pacing

There is a scene in Blackfish, a documentary about the effects of captivity on killer whales, that will stay with you long after the credits have stopped rolling. In it Kenneth Peters, a trainer at Sea World San Diego jumps into one of the marine park’s huge tanks to perform the finale of one of the day’s Shamu shows with Kasatka, a twenty-something female killer whale. As soon as Peters jumps into the water, the killer whale grabs the trainer by the foot and drags him down to the bottom of the deep tank. Luckily, the narrator of Blackfish notes, not only does Peters have experience with animals, he is also an accomplished diver. When the killer whale brings the trainer back to the surface, Peters doesn’t scream or panic or flail about. He simply pats the killer whale as if to say, “It’s okay” and he starts breathing very methodically in an effort to pack his lungs with more air in the likely event that he would be dragged down again. Sure enough, a few moments later Kasatka takes him back down to the bottom of the tank and holds him there for what seems like an eternity. The whale finally pulls Peters back up and the trainer shows the same forethought that he did before, even though the situation is becoming more dire. Over the course of the next few minutes the killer whale continues her routine of burying and resurfacing. She eventually lets the trainer go only to grab his other foot and continue the dangerous cycle. Toward the end of the clip, the trainer’s expression becomes more and more desperate; the audience can tell simply by looking at his face that Peters knows he is going to die. Thankfully after almost fifteen minutes, Peters was able to escape with the help of a momentary lapse of focus on the whale’s part, a large net, and his incredibly fast swimming (given the little air and two broken feet he was working with). The most incredible part of this story, aside from the fact that Peters survived, is the forethought and sense of calm the trainer had throughout the entire incident. That of course got me thinking about triathlon… (Thankfully training and racing are nowhere near as dangerous as Peters’ ordeal.)

During a race we all have those little moments of panic when we wonder if we paced ourselves correctly. Did I go too hard on the first part of the bike? Did I burn too many matches on that hill? What if I get off the bike and I can’t run? I hope my legs can carry me through the back half of this marathon. In triathlon the opportunities for over-pacing, impatience, and self-doubt are endless. With a background in endurance sports I think I’ve always known this, but my last two triathlons made this fact abundantly clear. This year SavageMan 70.0, undoubtedly one of the most difficult triathlons around, was held on September 15th, one week after the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas. I decided to do both. The uncertainty leading up to my second long distance triathlon in eight days was unlike anything I had experienced before. Several days after Worlds, my body was still feeling the effects of the race. Luckily toward the end of the week my bike and run legs had returned just in time to drive to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland for SavageMan. I knew that if I wanted to do well, I had to follow my pace and nutrition plans to the letter. During a race when things are moving so fast I find it easy to get wrapped up in what’s going on around me. My swim was so slow, maybe I’ll push it a little harder on the bike. I can’t let her pass me… I hate these road conditions. Getting caught in the moment like that could cause me to sacrifice the latter stages of the race because I’ve let panic, lack of focus and self-doubt seduce me away from my plan. “Bike for show; run for dough.” “Bike how you should, not how you could.” These sayings are everywhere but the truth in them is undeniable. Without forethought and proper pacing early on, an entire race could be sacrificed. During SavageMan I had a lot (and I mean a lot) of time to think about this on the bike. Cyclists who were having faster, better, more powerful days than me rode past, one after another (after another). I wanted to follow, but pursuing them at their pace wasn’t an option. I had to hold back, race within myself and trust in my training. Like Peters who relied on his experience with diving and animals to stay composed, endurance athletes must rely on their pace and nutrition plans to execute their races correctly. A little focus and forethought go a long (long) way.

There’s only one finish line and it’s at the finish. Happy training!

Finishing the run at SavageMan.  First pro and fastest run of the day.

Finishing the run at SavageMan 70.0.  First female pro and fastest run split of the day.

People Who Need People

One of my favorite things to do besides training and racing is watching others train and race.  I can spend hours in front of the TV watching Jonathan Brownlee dominate a race.  (Okay less than two hours in that particular case.)  Or spend the better part of a Sunday refreshing Ironmanlive.com for the latest updates and blog posts about that weekend’s races.  Last weekend was no different.  Between my own bike and run workouts of the day I snuck in a fair amount of time on the internet stalking the competitors of Timberman 70.3 and Ironman Mont-Tremblant.  It was on the website featuring the latter, that a little less than ten hours after the start, a picture was posted on the live blog.  The picture was taken in the finishline area and as such there are a lot of people milling around, but the main subjects are clearly Jesse Kropelnicki, the head coach of QT2, and Jennie Hansen, a QT2 athlete who had just come in sixth, with the second fastest marathon split of the day (only three short weeks after her win in Lake Placid).  The picture itself is breathtaking.  Aside from pure joy, you can feel Jennie’s exhaustion and Jesse’s utter elation.  I’ve never seen anything like it and I think it captures something truly amazing about our sport.
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Every pre-race athlete meeting you go to features a head official reviewing the rules regarding clothing requirements, warning people about the consequences of littering, and going into great detail about what constitutes drafting and the penalties for doing so.  “Triathlon is an individual sport,” they always say.  Only on race day…  Only on race day.  Behind every triathlete is a significant other, a coach, a training partner, family, friends, and teammates who make triathlon possible for that athlete.  Without these people devotion wouldn’t be feasible, excellence wouldn’t be achievable, and training wouldn’t be enjoyable.  The picture of Jesse and Jennie inspired me to think about all of the people without whom I couldn’t do this wonderful thing that I love to do.
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At the end of last season, when I decided to get my elite card I came up with a crazy goal of making it back to the Ironman 70.3 World Championship as a pro.  Qualifying as an age-grouper is hard.  What I didn’t fully comprehend was how difficult it would be to get back to Vegas as a professional.  But, here I am months and months later and I have qualified for the World Championship as a first year pro.  I am over the moon, but more importantly thankful.  I wouldn’t be going to Vegas without the amazing people in my life.  Thank you for everything…
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Thanks for supporting me when I took a leave of absence from teaching.
Thanks for flying to my races in San Juan and Vegas even though you HATE to fly.
Thanks for tracking me from afar and analyzing my results.
Thanks for wiping away my tears.
Thanks for always picking the best triathlon houses.
Thanks for coming to the hospital.
Thanks for listening to me complain.
Thanks for making me smile.
Thanks for helping me make tough decisions.
Thanks for letting me stay at your mom’s house for my first homestay.
Thanks for eating what I want to eat the night before the race.
Thanks for driving the course with me.
Thanks for extending your workout even though you didn’t have to.
Thanks for making amazing playlists.
Thanks for getting up really really early.
Thanks for pretending my pre-race OCD is normal.
Thanks for getting really bad bad songs stuck in my head.
Thanks for racing me to see who can get the lowest heart rate.
Thanks for looking over my transition area.
Thanks for taking really bad pictures.  (The subject is flawed not the cameraman.)
Thanks for drafting my nutrition plan.
Thanks for listening to my really bad jokes and super long stories.
Thanks for telling me to go to bed early.
Thanks for reminding me about life outside of triathlon.
Thanks for giving me a FB shout out.
Thanks for writing letters on my behalf.
Thanks for being my sounding board.
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Thanks for the hugs, the kisses, the well-wishes, the high-fives, the spanks, the advice, the workouts, the sympathy, the empathy, the songs, the texts, the calls, the pancakes, the bike, the company, the drills, the critiques, the encouragement, the time, the prayers, the support, and the love.

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