Sunday, September 27, 2015

Love Fosters Hope 5k

This race was for a great cause. It was awesome seeing and hearing from some amazing children who were fostered into great families. 
I went out hoping to PR with a faster time than 22:24. Between the humidity and tired legs I gave it my all and finished in 22:35 with a pace of 7:16. I got a 2nd place finish in my age group, but I'm still reaching for that PR!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Small Victory in the Swim

What a difference a few weeks makes! The picture on the left was taken on July 25, 2015 at Cypress Sprint Triathlon where the swim was 550 meters. It ended up being more like 600 meters and times were adjusted to reflect that. As always I struggled. I ended up doing breaststroke almost the entire time. Which is frustrating since I can triple that distance in a pool no problem! My pace ended up being 2:45HM. It was hard not feeling defeated coming out of the water.
Fast forward to the picture on the right taken at Towne Lake Olympic Triathlon on September 7, 2015 just six weeks later. The distance was 1500 meters. The start was rough and consisted of you guessed it more breast stroke. But I pulled it together and was able to finish strong! I cried getting out of the water I was so proud of myself for tackling a swim that was almost a mile! My pace was 2:44 HM! My pace was one second faster when the distance was 900 meters longer! It still wasn't a perfect swim or even what I would like to have done, but it is an improvement! I'll take it!! The picture says it all! Yay for a small victory!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Professional Pics from Towne Lake OLY

I love these pics from my first OLY! Frankly I feel like a bad ass!! It was such a tough race and I feel like these pics really capture how much pride I felt out there on the course and crossing that finish line! And I really appreciate that Bayou City Triathlon Series offers the pics for free!

I came out smiling and crying!
 I was so excited I conquered the swim!!
I've come a long way on the bike
since my accident!
But I still ride gripping the brakes! 

18.3 mph for 25 miles! A PR for me!
You can really see my scoliosis in this pic.
But I still love it because it shows just one
more thing I won't let get in my way!
This is one of my favorites!
 I feel beautiful and strong!
Reaching the finish line knowing
 I have to be close to my goal!
So happy! Pure joy on my face!
I did it! A strong FINISH!
All time favorite finisher pic!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Towne Lake Olympic Distance Race Report

I love this pic! It made the Towne Lake Triathlon  Highlight Reel!
I DID IT! I completed my first Olympic distance at Towne Lake Triathlon! It was a 1500 meter swim, 25 mile bike ride, and 6.2 mile run! And it was the most challenging race I have ever done! The weather was probably one of the things that made it so difficult! It was extremely hot and humid!

SWIM:  The swim started like every other swim. It consisted of complete panic, drinking lots of water, and breast stroke! A lady stopped a little ways in front of me screaming for help. So I had to move out of the way for the lifeguards to come rescue her! It was a struggle out there, but I definitely pulled it together for the finish. My pace was 2:44 for 1500 meters where at my last tri my pace was 2:45 for 550 meters!! I improved my pace slightly but it was for a much longer distance! I got out of the water with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes! It wasn't the perfect swim, or even the swim I'd hoped for, but I was so proud I swam that distance! It was FAR!
This was the swim start for my age group.
BIKE: The first loop of the bike the guys were on their second loop and flying past me! The good thing about that was it pushed me to go faster! The down side was YIKES they were going so fast past me! There were a lot of 90 degree sharp right turns which I took so slow I was almost stopped. It was also not flat at all! Small bridges and a bigger bridge that you hit towards the end of first loop and then again at the end of the second loop. I wasn't prepared for that! In the crossroads for the second loop the volunteer was yelling Olympic to your left and I thought he said Olympic turn left. There was no where to turn so I ended up having to turn around in a circle to set myself straight! Ugh! Since I was one of the last waves in the Olympic, on the second loop I ended up with the Sprint athletes coming out. I had to work hard to pass a lot of riders. Their pace was not as fast as the Olympic men, so I no longer had that push. But I finished the bike with an 18.3 mph pace for 25 miles! That is same pace I did at Cypress for 15 miles! Woohoo! While I am getting stronger on the bike, I definitely learned I need to get off the trainer and on the road more!!
It  was so humid my hubby couldn't get a good pic on the bike without the lens fogging up!
RUN: Both leading up to the race and during the race I kept telling myself if I made it to the run I was golden! I initially thought I'd aim for an 8:30 pace but then thought maybe 9:00 was a little more practical! Ha! I had totally underestimated how tough that run was going to be! I was tired and it was HOT and HUMID! I spent the entire run trying to play catch up on hydration. 3 aid stations + a double loop = 6 stops I made on the run! I have never stopped during a run before but I needed to this time! I passed many walking or stopping. Along the course there was also a memorial with pictures and flowers where a man had died last year on the run course from heat exhaustion. This was definitely an encouragement for me to stop when I needed to. My pace ended up being 9:21 and I don't think I could have done any better unless I had done things differently with hydration/nutrition on the bike. I definitely learned a lesson!

Finishing strong!
TRANSITIONS: Transitions went fine. Running in from the swim I went down the wrong aisle, but  it wasn't that big of a deal. I didn't realize I needed to push a button on my new Cat Eye to get it started, so I didn't have that for my ride. Coming in from my ride we needed to lift our bikes up a curb and I was so weak I almost fell! Lol! I also ended up behind a lady who was walking her bike in when I wanted to run and I couldn't get around her. But all in all transitions were pretty good and I don't feel like I lost too much time in transitions.

HYDRATION/NUTRITION: This was by far my biggest weakness and where I learned the most! I knew I needed to hydrate on the bike so I bought a hydration system that I could use up front with a straw so I could be hands free. I should have practiced! It wasn't tight enough and angled down so it hit my left leg the entire ride. I also couldn't reach it with my mouth so I had to use my hands anyway. I ended up not drinking much and that was my downfall. By time I got to the run I was already dehydrated and feeling it. I stopped at the first aid station and loaded up my bra with ice, drank water, and drank gatorade. I had a base salt sample, but I had never used salt before. I was desperate. I took a lick. I stopped at the next aid station to refill the ice in my bra and doused myself with water and guzzled more water and gatorade. I hadn't planned nutrition, but grabbed skittles just in case, so I pulled those out. They didn't work so well for me because I felt like I was chewing forever. I continued to stop at every aid station every time. I tried another lick of salt. I ate dirty ice out of my bra! I was approaching my goal time of 3 hours, so I knew I needed to kick it into gear. I thought I would push thru the last aid station to save time, but by time I got there I stopped anyway. I was hot, thirsty, water logged, bloated like crazy, and not feeling so well! I have a lot of work to do on hydration/nutrition!

THE FINISH: I saw that finish line and started to cry again for the umpteenth time this race! So many tears of pride and exhaustion along the way. These tears were for both! I ran in hard and finished strong! After I finished I was so shaky and nauseous. I hugged my kids and parents and sent them home out of the heat. Rick went with me to get more to drink and find my teammates who came out to cheer me on. After that I just wanted to go. I didn't even check my results. I am so proud to finish and to finish in 3 hours! I was hoping to to get close, but wasn't sure if I could do it! But I did! Woohoo!

SPECTATING: I feel like this is a very important aspect to include! For 3 hours my husband, four kids, my parents, and teammates Chris and Kim and their son Alexander ran around in the intense heat and humidity to cheer me on! I am so blessed with their support and encouragement! When I crossed that finish line and saw my family they were red faced, hot and sweaty. I was so worried about my mom I offered her my water! But what a difference it makes when you are out there giving your all and wondering if you are going to make it and you see and hear people cheering you on!