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!

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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!

Lessons from Sochi*

I spent the first eighteen years of my life in Miami, Florida.  The result? I was pretty adept at running in scorching temperatures with 100% humidity.  That and… Winter sports were lost on me.  I did learn to be a fairly proficient downhill skier thanks to a very well off best friend whose father owned the biggest travel agency in South Florida, but I had no access to most winter sports.  The funny thing? For a person with a very limited history with cold weather, I have a huge affinity for the Winter Olympics.  This year I found myself watching a lot of the coverage just to see the competition play out.  Our DVR had very little available space thanks to this obsession, but I gained a few insights from all of that avid TV viewing.  Athletes regardless of their native land and regardless of their preferred sport display some amazing similarities.  The cold weather athletes in Sochi taught this fair weather triathlete a few things…

Sochi

The Importance of Control:
Marathoners, cyclists, curlers (Curlers?!), and alpine skiers all exhibit amazing amounts of control.  One of my favorite examples of control and self-awareness in sport is biathlon, an event that combines cross-country skiing and shooting.  I can’t imagine racing toward a shooting range, red-lining it on cross country skis, then stopping briefly and controlling my breathing and heart rate enough to hit a target the size of a golf ball.  The ability to race at just the right speed to quickly cover the course and still be able to shoot accurately is incredible.  Like biathletes, in triathlon we’re lucky enough to call on different skills during the same race, but a biathlete’s breathtaking sense of control inspires me to think about pacing and transitions in a whole new way.  In a race it is so easy to forget restraint, let loose, and let go, all the while risking the latter portion of the competition.  The mental focus and forethought biathletes exhibit would serve us all well.

The Importance of Resolve:
In triathlon we’re fortunate to have wave or mass starts; you and 500 of your closest friends all toe the line together.  While this might make for some scary swim conditions, it makes for great racing.  You know exactly where you stack up and where your competition is.  Many athletes at the Winter Olympics don’t have it so easy.  Long distance speed skaters race head-to-head two at a time but the real competition is most likely not the one other athlete he or she is on the track with.  The real competition could be in a heat far removed from their own.  Bobsledders have to compete ONE team at a time. They are constantly striving to have their best run because even a head-to-head match up isn’t a luxury their sport affords.  The resolve these winter athletes exhibit, always racing against the clock, is admirable and could teach us a thing or two about pushing ourselves to the limit without an audience, without competition, when no one is looking, and when no one is beside us.

The Importance of Support:
One of the best moments this year was American Noelle Pikus-Pace’s medal winning skeleton run.  When she crossed the finish and saw her blazing-fast time she literally jumped off the track and into the stands, all the while letting out yelps of joy and “We did it!  We did it!  We did it!”  Her elation was palpable.  It’s impossible to refrain from smiling when you see her reaction.  As you watch Noelle kiss her family members and soak up their love you get a sense of how important support is for every athlete.  Four years ago, Noelle placed a heart-breaking fourth place at the Olympic Games in Vancouver.  With the support of her family and friends she persevered and trained and worked tirelessly to return to this world stage.  As a triathlete it’s so hard for our family members to continuously and consistently support our hobby.  Our sacrifice usually means their sacrifice.  Having the support of those around you can change EVERYTHING.  (Just ask the three Russian men who rallied in the final meters of the men’s 50k cross country race with the help of the home crowd to sweep the podium in Sochi.) It’s important to nurture the relationships we have with our loved ones to keep that support structure strong and resilient.

The twenty-second Winter Olympiad was full of harrowing stories and important lessons.  I suspect wherever two or more athletes are gathered comradereie, competition, and learning experiences are created.  If you’re in the market for more life lessons and a healthy dose of inspiration, the Paralympics start March 7th.

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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