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!

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.

Small Fish

In his new book, David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell theorizes that sometimes conditions traditionally perceived as disadvantageous can actually be advantageous.  At first glance a fight between David and Goliath is a no-brainer.  Goliath is a giant who can crush the tiny shepherd with nary a thought, right?  Maybe not.   We initially fail to consider David’s speed, agility, and resourcefulness.  The small shepherd used the disparity in size to his advantage – to fight Goliath on his own terms, not the giant’s.  The book goes on to ponder the good that can come out of other less than desirable circumstances like large class size, dyslexia, being the underdog going into a game, and even losing a parent.  All of Gladwell’s chapters present fascinating data in a new light, but one chapter in particular stayed with me.  In this chapter, Gladwell tells the story of a woman, who while growing up, wanted a career in the sciences.  Through grade school, middle school, and high school she excelled in math and science, but when college rolled around something interesting happened.  She floundered.  She registered, attended, and studied for college-level science courses and she could not hold her own.  After a few semesters she completely changed her track, dropped the science classes, and ultimately majored and obtained a degree in a completely different field.  Why the change?  This woman who wanted to be a scientist for as long as she can remember, who admittedly still dreams of what could have been had she stayed the course, succeeded in the field she loves until she got to college and then everything fell apart.  The reason for the change, Gladwell theorizes, is this woman’s choice of college.  Instead of choosing a large state school, she chose to attend an Ivy League university.  And with that choice she went from being a very big (successful) fish in a small pond, to a very small fish in a very big pond.  Was she still smart and driven?  Sure, but no more so than everyone else around her.  She didn’t stand out at Brown or have the feelings of success or accomplishment that she would have enjoyed had she attended a school with a less prestigious student body.  When she looked around her organic chemistry class she felt inferior for the first time in her life.  Would she be a scientist today if she went to the University of Maryland instead of Brown?  Probably.  In her case, attending an Ivy League school, something almost all of us think of as being an advantage, turned out to be a disadvantage.

This season, I, like the woman Gladwell introduced to us, went from being a big fish in a small pond to being a small fish in a very very big pond.  This change was not lost on me.  Going into the 2013 season I was quite worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle the stress or the expectations of racing as an elite athlete.  My first race as a professional triathlete, the women’s pro field included Leanda Cave, Mirinda Carfrae, ITU superstars, and past Ironman champions.  Not only was I worried about my race, I was worried about my performance compared to these women’s performances.  I was worried about my swim, my bike, my run, and my ego.  Going into 2013, I thought it would be fun to race as a professional for a year – experience the perks, rub shoulders with the big dogs, check the box, and move on with life.  Not surprisingly I found myself toward the middle or bottom of many race results.  Surprisingly, even though my ego took a hit, my spirit wasn’t dampened.  Unlike the woman in Gladwell’s book, as the season went on, I became more emboldened, more motivated.  I might have been a small fish, but I was a small fish with big dreams.  After competing in nine half ironman distance races and qualifying for Worlds 70.3, I decided to add one more race to the 2013 calendar – Ironman Florida.  The last time I did an Ironman I was burnt literally and figuratively.  Soon after the race I told my coach that the full distance wasn’t for me and I would never toe the line at one of these races again.  But racing my heart out this season as a small fish changed something. I wasn’t going to let anything intimidate me – not a pro start list, not a hurtful comment, not one bad race, and certainly not a race distance.  The result?  A huge PR.  In Florida I covered 140.6 miles in nine hours and thirty-eight minutes.  (I am happy with the time but never ever satisfied.)

Changing ponds can be pretty amazing… And this small fish?  She’s gettin’ bigger.

My good side... Bringing it home.

My good side…
Bringing it home in Panama City.