Mooseman Race Pictures

I seriously probably have the worst race pictures ever, but here are a few from the day…

Coming out of the swim freezing my butt off…

Worst picture ever! Not only do I look fat, but my helmet is crooked. Awesome! But, you can see how wet the roads are…

Running (The orange lens on my glasses look pretty sweet. Elton John anyone? Ha)

Why did they have to put the copyright thing over my face?

Real finish time 6:26:XX (And I totally “chicked” those guys behind me FYI)

The goodies

Race Goal: Finally get a good race picture on the bike!
~Happy Training!

Mooseman: The Aftermath

My body is still pretty beat up from Sunday. I take this as a good sign because it means that I pushed my body hard during the race. I had a massage by my favorite sports massage therapist in town which definitely helped alleviate some of the soreness in my body, especially the left side. My right hip and gastrocnemius (calf muscle) have been continuously sore. I see my chiropractor tonight luckily because I’m about 95% sure that my pelvis is out again. But, after that course, I would be seriously impressed if my hips weren’t out of whack!

On Wednesday evenings I lead a women’s all-abilities road ride from the best bike shop in Southern Maine, Allspeed Cyclery & Snow! My ride last night was pretty rough. Luckily, there were a couple new riders who were riding at a slower pace so I didn’t get left in the dust in my own ride! I made sure to take a route as flat as possible because my quads were screaming at me at every little incline or hill. I’m sure every car who drove by me in the opposite direction got a good laugh at the faces of pain I had and also my fabulously mis-matched outfit last night. Generally, my cycling kits match each other. I have taken styling tips from Bike Shop Boy who must match his entire kit to his bicycle (including the socks). He would have disowned me last night. I was a hot mess. I was wearing my baby blue and black PVC shorts, pink & black Giordana team jersey, gray arm warmers, and my new black, white, and red 110% compression socks. Too bad I didn’t take a picture…

Seriously, the best compression socks! I have been living in them since Tuesday when they came in the mail!

So what’s next? I will be embarking on a long ass drive to Lake Placid in 3 weeks for the PBM Coaching/TriMoxie Coaching IMLP camp! I just got my training plan from my coach for camp last night and I’m super excited for the long weekend! I have a feeling that my body will be beat to shit by the end of the weekend, but it will be cool nonetheless. I met a couple other athletes who will be at camp this past weekend, but I’ll be super excited to meet some more crazy souls. Perhaps I’m a bit bias, but triathletes are definitely the coolest people around! Who doesn’t love talking about compression wear, powermeters, peeing on your bike, taking a big poo before races, etc.?

My next big race is REV3 OOB, which isn’t till the end of August. I’m super excited about that race because I believe the course is best suited for my strengths. My goal is to go sub-6:00 and I believe that it is fully possible as long as I don’t have any mechanical or nutritional troubles. I also plan to swim Peaks to Portland again, although I haven’t officially signed up for the race. After that race, I will be quickly showering the salty water and pee off of me and hopping in my car for a 6+ hour drive to Lake Placid to volunteer on race day so I can secure one of those coveted spots for 2013!

Other than that, I don’t have any other races planned. I have to drop $650 on July 23rd so my race budget is very tight. Tuesday night I sat at my computer with my credit card in hand staring at the registration for Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island, but I resisted. I think I will probably sign up for the Norway Tri in July. I’d like to do another sprint this summer just to redeem myself from Tri for the Y last month. The Pirate Tri is this Sunday at Camp Sebago and I’m sad that I’m not racing it this year. It was the first triathlon I did three years ago and I have done it the past two years. I love the race, but my body is not ready to race again. I have a bunch of friends doing it plus a couple other TriMoxie athletes are doing it so I’ll go cheer everyone on! And then spend the afternoon riding a newly cleaned and tuned Azul!

~ Happy Training!

Race Report: Ironman Mooseman 70.3

This race was the most physically and mentally challenging race I have ever done. The course, especially the bike course, is a very hilly and technical 56 miles with one famous 3-mile climb of various grades ranging from 4-16% (with the last 200 yards or so at 16%). I thought the 70 mile Dempsey Challenge Ride I did last October was bad. That was a total cake walk compared to Mooseman!

Originally my plan was to the Patriot Half in MA in the middle of June, but the day I went to register for the race the Women’s AG had sold out so I panicked and emailed my coach to ask her what I should do. She suggested I do Mooseman because she would be there. I knew Mooseman was a very hard course (and usually bad weather) so I was a bit reluctant to sign up, but I coughed up the $300 to register for the race. After Ironman had charged my credit card I learned that there was a computer glitch with the Patriot Half and the women’s AG category was not really sold out. Too late! I was dreading Mooseman for a long time because I was discouraged by my lack of bike fitness. However, as the race was approaching I was getting more excited for it and actually looking forward to conquering the course. And then… the dreaded weather forecast earlier last week. Now, if you live in the Northeast region of the country then you know exactly what I’m talking about. RAIN. Like 6 inches of rain within a 24 hour period. I don’t mind a little 4 mile race in the rain, but 70.3 miles of swimming, cycling, and running did not sounds very inviting. BUT, I had paid the $300 entry week, $150 for a hotel, and did all the training so I was committed.


I had emailed my coach on Friday to get her opinion on what I should wear during the race because I was very worried about getting hypothermia and frostbite. Frostbite in June? Yes. Last winter I got pretty severe frostbite on my right big toe from an overnight winter camping adventure in the White Mountains and came pretty close to losing that toe. Since I had frostbite previously, my toe is now more prone to getting frostbite and thus I have to be careful with it. I decided that arm warmers and toe warmers should be fine for the bike portion. I wasn’t worried about the run since I tend to get hot while running. While packing on Friday night I could only find ONE arm warmer! I just about torn my room a part to find the second one but no luck. I left early Saturday morning to head to Newfound Lake, NH. I took a minor detour to hit a bike shop in Concord that opened at 9am compared to every other bike shop that opens at 10am to pick up some arm warmers. I got to the race site around 12:30 and checked-in and purchased a Mooseman hat to wear during the run. Normally, I prefer visors, but if it was going to pour buckets then I’d rather have a hat. I then walked around transition to find my spot where there was huge puddle right smack where my stuff was suppose to be. Awesome.

Saturday night I had dinner with my coach, her family, and several other of her athletes at Unos in Tilton. It was nice to finally meet her in person! I was in bed at the Super 8 Motel in Tilton by 9pm. I had a good pep talk with Bike Shop Boy via text. I was really nervous about the rain and wet roads during the bike portion of the race. He told me to suck it up and go for it. I slept quite well despite the crappy pillows. I had a dream that they cancelled the swim and bike portion of the race and that we had to run a marathon instead. I woke up around 2am to go to the bathroom and then I managed to fall asleep again and finally woke up for good at 3:30am. I ate my breakfast at 4am and got ready to head to the race.


THE RAIN HAD STOPPED! Thank goodness! The huge puddle in front of my transition spot was also gone! I was so happy! I got my bike racked and my transition set up with plenty of time. There were still puddles on either end of the bike racks, but I could live with it. My rack was across from all the pros, which was pretty cool. I didn’t really recognize any of their names. I would have loved to have seen Cait Snow there. She’s amazing! I had a banana in transition and then got ready for a quick warm up swim. The water temp was about 65 degrees; whereas, the air temp was in the 50s. The race started promptly at 7am with the Pro waves.

The Swim

My wave was number 4 starting at 7:08am. My wave was small… like about 50 women so that was super nice! As we were lining up at the Ironman arches before we were allowed to enter the water, I had an “Oh Shit” moment. I mean that literally too. I think all the sudden I got super nervous and thought I was going to crap my wetsuit. I’m sure you now have a wonderful picture in your head now… Once we were allowed to line up at the official start in the water I felt fine. I lined up in the front on the right side. Since my wave was so small, I seriously had about 8 feet of water around me at all times. Then the count down…10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO…. We were off. I tried to find some feet to draft off of, but there were some seriously fast swimmers in my wave and they just took off and left me in the dust! I consider myself to be a fast swimmer and have always finished in the top few places of my AG in the local races in Maine I have done, but these girls had to be former collegiate swimmers cause they were FAST. I had plenty of room to swim and I swam about 10 feet away from the buoys so I constantly had good clean water. Sometimes someone would grab my feet and I’d give them a kick or I would start to swim into someone so I would have to move around them. Once we reached the far buoys the water got a bit choppy, but wasn’t bad. This was the point when I started to swim into the other men’s wave before us. The remaining men that I was swimming around were pretty ungraceful. They looked like dead fish flapping around and couldn’t swim a straight line for the life of them. It was a pain in the ass to swim around them, but I did on more than one occasion. Then, the blue caps came! These are the speedy men in the wave behind me. At this point I was getting worried. I didn’t see any red caps around me and the blue caps were coming like a bat out of hell and surrounding me. I thought “Crap, I am having a horrible swim!” Then I saw the finish line and picked up the pace. I exited the swim and headed to the wetsuit strippers. Some big guy ripped my suit off in a matter of nanoseconds (I guess it helps that my suit is now far to big for me!) and I was off to transition!

1.2 mile Swim: 36:55 (1:54/100m) 12/20 AG (W25-29) 63/232 Females (w/Pros)


Before the race began I told myself not to care about how long my transition time was from the swim to the bike because I knew I wasn’t going to win the race and thus I’d rather be warm than save a minute or two in transition. I found my bike and surprisingly there were quite a few bikes from my AG still in the racks. I put on my arm warmers, socks, bike shoes (with toe warmers on the shoes already), sunglasses on (I had to wipe them with my towel first because apparently it rained some during the swim), and helmet on. There was a giant ankle-deep puddle at the end of my rack. Since the girl next to me was gone already, I lifted the seat of my bike off the rack and pushed my bike out to the other side. I ducked under the rack and left to the bike out from the other (DRY) side! I thought I was pretty brilliant for this move.

T1: 4:27
The Bike

Oh, the bike! I was dreading it before the race and now that the weather forecast called for rains and lots of it I was definitely not looking forward to it. I didn’t really have any time goals for the bike. Mostly, try not to look like a complete idiot and horrible rider on my fancy, expensive tri bike. My worst fear is having a fancy bike and not being worthy of it. I got on my bike and was tempted to start hammering it. My coach told me NOT to do this so I didn’t. I knew it would be a very bad decision if I did, but it was soooo tempting. Now I drove the bike course (or what I thought was the bike course) the day before so I kind of knew what to expect. I passed quite a few people on the way. The nasty hill mountain was early in the course. As I approach the Shaker Village to make the turn to the hill, I was very surprised when the volunteer said turn left! WHAT?! I went right yesterday! Oh shit. Now, I had no clue what to expect. Soon enough I approached the beginning of the 3+ mile climb. The beginning sections aren’t bad. You go up a bit (probably about a 4% grade) then it flattens out a bit and then starts climbing again. Further into the climb it gets steeper and then at the end it shoots up to a 16% grade. I was huffing and puffing and my heart rate was in the danger zone. I got off my bike and walked up the last 200 feet of the hill. It was the LAST thing I ever wanted to do in a race, but I had too and I don’t regret the decision. I wasn’t wearing my HR monitor but I knew my HR was through the roof. My legs (mainly my left knee) were cold. The only sensation I could feel from them was pain from the grinding and the cold. I quickly hopped back on my bike and began the crazy, steep descend of the numerous hills. This part of the course is very technical. I’ve never ridden anything like this before so I was very timid, especially since the roads were wet. One part of the course had a 30 mph speed limit because it was so dangerous. I rode my brakes pretty much the entire time through this section like a total pansy, but I’m okay with that. You could even smell the burning rubber! Pathetic, I know. After one crazy steep downhill there is a 90 degree turn where you come to a guardrail next to the river. A man was sitting on the side of road with a very messed up looking arm and mangled bike. I could hear the sirens from the ambulance coming for him. I learned afterwards from my coach that two people went over the guardrail at the section and at least three total were hospitalized! Crazy! Once you get out on Route 3 it flattens out some and the roads are in better condition. I used this section to make up some time, but there were large sections of false flats and some hills. I have been whining, complaining, and just plain bitching to everyone (well, mostly my coach and Bike Shop Boy) about my sub par bike fitness and climbing abilities this season so far. Well, apparently they are not as bad as I thought they were. I passed A LOT of people on the hills. I guess I’m not such a bad climber. I just suck at descending hills! Towards the end of the first loop I was beginning to worry about the second one. Two times up that damn mountain! I was determined to stay on the bike this time! My body was still pretty cold, but my muscles started to warm up a bit by this point and I was able to find my cycling legs again. I was also beginning to have doubt about doing IMLP next year. If this course is tough, am I tough enough for that?  

As I was beginning the second loop of the bike course I heard someone yell “Go Katelyn!” It turns out that it was Denise and Doug from The Sustainable Athlete. It was so nice to see them out on the course! There was also a couple people with a TriMoxie sign cheering all of us on too! I don’t know who they were, but THANK YOU! The second time up the hill was better. It still sucked, but I concentrated on spinning my legs and breathing. I passed quite a few men this time up the hill. It felt good! And then they all flew by me on the downhills. Oh well, I didn’t feel like becoming road kill today. By mile 37 my crotch was starting to hurt so I would stand in my pedals every once in a while for relief. At one point a man passed me while eating some nutrition and we chit chatted a bit as he pulled ahead. I wasn’t paying attention and was riding a little too close, but then I snapped back to my senses and backed off just in time. A race official on a motorcycle rode up right next to us and I immediately thought “Crap! I just got a penalty for drafting! Dumbass…” But he quickly waved his driver forward and we were fine. The headwind picked up a bit in the last 15 miles and the roads were starting to dry. I was beginning to wonder of my legs were going to be able to run after that crazy bike course!

Throughout the ride I made sure to stay within my power zones that my coach gave me, but it was hard, especially on those climbs. I did my best not to burn all my matches, but I know I burnt some! In retrospect, I’m actually glad I got off my bike on the first climb. I have a feeling that I would have lit all my matches and then some and had myself a pretty little firework show because I pushed too hard on that tiny little section when I had 56 miles to go! Overall, I’m happy with my bike performance. I was slow, but everyone was slow this year. I definitely know that I could have had a better time if the weather conditions were better and I was familiar with the course. Nutrition wise I was very good too. I could have drank more, but it wasn’t hot so I felt fine. I took all my gels, expect the one I dropped. It just slipped through my hands and aero bars and right on to the ground. It seemed to happen in slow motion too. My only thought was “There goes $1.50…”

Bike: 3:33:35 (15.7mph)      10/20 AG       75/232 Females (w/Pros)     


Getting off the bike was a little rough, but I managed. I ran through a giant puddle with my bike and found my spot. I had to pee, but I just couldn’t get myself to go on the bike. So, I sat down, put on my shoes and peed. It was glorious! I also took off my arm warmers and put on my hat and Garmin and ran through a couple puddles and out to the 13.1 run!

T1: 2:26

The Run

In the days prior to the race and on Sunday I was most looking forward to the run. Partly because I knew the worst would be over and also because I really enjoy running now. My Garmin finally found a satellite about 0.3-0.4 miles into the run, but the timer started as soon as I ran out the “run out.” My Garmin miles were off compared to the mile markers, but my Garmin at least gave me a sense on how fast I was running. I hit the first mile marker at a little over 9 minutes. I ran a half-marathon back in April at this pace and secretly I was hoping I could run off the bike at this pace, but I knew that it was a rather ambitious goal. I decided to back off a bit and find my stride. I felt really strong throughout the run even though with each step my glutes (and later my calves) were screaming at me to stop. I watched the pro women come flying by me as they were finishing their races. Crazy fast! I took water at just about every water station and walked through them each time since I am not capable of getting water into my mouth if I attempt to run through them. There are two big hills on the run course, one at about mile 2.5 and then other around 3.5. I walked each of these at their steepest points since my power walking pace was about that of my jogging up hill pace. I crossed the 3.3 mile timer at a 9:34/mile pace. I felt good heading back to transition to begin my second loop. I was passing people and a lot of people were passing me, but I kept reminding myself to run my own race. At one point I looked down at my watch and saw that I was cruising at my 5k pace. I felt good, but I still had another 9 miles or so to go so I backed off. Around the turn-a-round point and start the whole loop again. I felt good, even though I was hurting. Mentally I was doing super! I never once thought about giving up and I managed just to zone out and keep running! I hit the turn-a-round mat going at a 9:55/mile pace. Slowing down some, but I still felt good. My feet had thawed at this point and my body temperature was starting to rise. I hit mile 9 and a girl in my AG flew by me. I thought about trying to check her but she was flying! I hit mile 10 and was happy to think I had only a 5k left. At this point I actually thought that I could run a marathon at this point. Bring on IMLP 2013! I hit mile 12 and I picked up speed. As I was approaching the finishing line I started to pick it up more and started passed more and more people. I wanted to be done. One woman spectating made a comment to me that made my day! She said I had the true look of grit on my face and I sure as hell wanted to be done. I wanted a strong finish and I had one. I was so happy to cross that finish line and hear them say my name! I got my medal, space blanket, hat and succeeded to find the food tent. I was hungry! And that was an understatement. I actually ate chicken for the first time in probably 6 months. I needed food and whatever was on that table I was going to eat. I found my coach afterwards and discussed my race a bit before I changed and got my stuff to go home.

Run: 2:09:10 (9:51/mile)    11/20 AG    82/232 Females (w/Pros)

Overall Time: 6:26:33    11/20 AG     480/950 OA

Overall, I am happy with my performance. I went into the race dreading it, but ended up having a strong race. I believe if the weather conditions and if I had ridden the bike course previously then I would have had a much stronger and faster bike time and overall a PR for the day. I PR’d in the swim by 2:40, which is huge! I was hoping to be close to 35 minutes, but such as life. I also PR’d in the run by 20 minutes! That is a HUGE accomplishment for me! The bike courses are NOT comparable and thus I’m not even going to compare my times to Pumpkinman. However, I missed an overall PR by 48 seconds! I’m not complaining because I feel I PR’d on Sunday due to the difficultly of the course and conditions! The girl who won my AG ended up being the 3rd amateur women to finish. There were some crazy fast women in my new AG! If I was still in the 20-24 AG, I would have won my AG by about 10 minutes. It just goes to show you that as you age up, people get faster… Also, the caliper of competition was much higher at this event. I’m happy that I was able to finish in the middle of the pack in my AG! Someday I hope to be back at the top!

PS – In case your wondering, I found my missing arm warmer in my laundry basket last night even though I looked through it Friday night. Go figure…

It Must Be Race Week….

There are always a few ways I can tell that it’s race week:

1. The date is circled on my calendar in red marker.

2. My coach has provided me with my race plan for the day via Training Peaks and I have read it a million times.

3. My gastrointestinal tract has been off this week. I’ve been focusing on eating lots of good foods and staying hydrated to ensure my energy levels are at their maximum and my body is ready to race. However, my gastrointestinal tract has been a bit off this week, probably because of the nervous/anxious/excitement energy that I have been feeling all week. Plus, Aunt Flo decided to visit a few days early and thus explains all the bloatedness. Hopefully, I won’t have any gastro issues on race morning.

4. I have very weird dreams/nightmares. I’ve always had very weird and vivid dreams growing up. Most of the time it was due to my insomnia and/or eating specific foods before bed. Dairy always gives me bad dreams (plus I shouldn’t eat much of it because of my lactose intolerance and the fact that dairy is just not good for you anyway). I had a little bit of ice cream last Friday night for my father’s girlfriend’s birthday and I had major bad dreams. The worst part about the dream… I had it twice! I don’t remember much of the details, but there was one girl in my dream that I can’t stand and that’s why it was a nightmare… on repeat! Grr… I had another Wednesday night too. That one completely woke me up in the middle of the night. In my dream, I was in trouble at work because of my blog. My co-workers don’t know that I keep a blog and apparently I had mentioned something about work in some posts and they found out. Then the Federal Trade Commission, but in my dream it was called WTC showed up saying that the blog was mine and I was in trouble (I really have no clue why my dream involved the Federal Trade Commission). I kept denying it and denying it, then I realized that I had posted pictures on my blog and thus they would know it was mine! I decided to confess that it was mine and face the consequences even though I had no idea what I was really in trouble for. When I confessed, the WTC officials told me I was in trouble for using the word “genotype” because it was patented and I wasn’t allow to use the word. But, they would let me off the hook. WTF?! I clearly have some issues (and a total science nerd). I wonder what Freud would say?

Last year before Pumpkinman I had a nightmare a few days before the race that I broke the fork of my road bike. I brought it to my bike shop where I got into an argument with the owner about fixing it. Apparently, they couldn’t get a replacement fork and Scott wouldn’t send me a new frame. The shop had one of the new foils in stock that I wanted to ride for the race but they wouldn’t let me. I told them I would buy it and they still wouldn’t let me ride it! I remember waking up very angry with the bike shop owner about the issue. I later told the boys at the shop about my dream and I’m pretty sure they all think I’m weird, but they keep me around because I bake them pie.

Anyway, Mooseman is on Sunday! The weather is looking not so good with rain and more rain. I’m really hoping the weatherman is lying to me! So, Mother Nature, if you’re reading this… PLEASE, PLEASE no rain! A few showers during the run portion will be nice, but no downpours! Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Happy Training!

Weekend Rap-Up

So last week “grammar nazi” The Midnight Baker pointed out that I spelled “Weekend Rap-Up” as “rap-up” instead of wrap-up. I just want to point out that clearly I did that on purpose because you are all suppose to rap my blog posts out loud like some famous rapper! Duh! Ha, I wish that was the reason, but nope. I do spend time spell checking all my blog posts before I publish them, but obviously I need to spell check my post titles too because it should be “weekend wrap-up.” However, I will still continue to call them “Weekend Rap-ups” just because….

Anyway, this long holiday weekend weather has been beautiful! I spent 6 hours on Saturday working my new job. I recently became employed as a “health enthusiast” at the Vitamin Shoppe part-time on Saturdays. Come and visit me! Apparently, I need to be watching Dr. Oz because it appears everyone who comes into that store is looking for something he talked about that week on his show. Then Azul got a nice little tune-up at the bike shop and now she is shifting smooth as butter! I also got my new book “Developing Endurance” in the mail and I have been reading it the past few nights. The book is written by the NSCA and shows “how to achieve optimal stamina to race your best through science-based aerobic, anaerobic, and resistance training.” I purchased the book for several reasons. The first being that since I’m an endurance athlete I like to understand the rhyme and reason (no pun intended 🙂 ) of why my coach assigns certain workouts and what my body is doing during those workouts. I also am developing bike shop boy’s training plan for Beach to Beacon and hopefully (the key word) he will listen to me and follow it (but I have a feeling that will not be the case). I recently just learned that the USAT is having a Level One Coaching Certification clinic in September in Providence and I’m pretty sure I am going to attend it and thus I think I shall get a head start studying. 
I had my first open water swim Sunday morning at Crystal Lake. The water was super warm! It was also the first day I have put my wetsuit on since Pumpkinman last September. It went on super easy, but mostly because I’ve lost a lot of weight and thus it’s actually too big for me now. It will work for now, but I will have to get a smaller suit later this summer. We swam from the boat launch to the point and then back, which is about a 1.2 mile swim. Many of the camps have not put out their docks or floating rafts yet so there was not much to spot off of, but I just used the shore line to spot. The other girls used me to spot off of because I just took off from them. I finished the total distance in about 32 minutes and I actually kicked most of the way too! 
Can you tell we are excited to swim?!
I was suppose to ride with someone Saturday afternoon but he ended up having to work. I understand his need to work, but I will admit that I was disappointed. I look forward to our Sunday afternoon rides because that is to only time we ever get to hang out. I told my new employer that I can’t work Sunday afternoons because he and I usually ride together. Now I’m questioning if that was such a good idea… Anyway, I ended up riding solo from my house. Between my coach and I, we can’t do math. My ride was only suppose to be two hours, but ended up close to 2.5 hours instead. She provides my training in two week blocks through Training Peaks. She will give me the total time for the workout and then in the notes will provide the breakdown of each workout. She had edited my long ride workout, but apparently forgot to edit the details. As I was uploading the workout into my Garmin, I didn’t even think to double check her math. I headed out on a 40 mile route that I knew would take me about 2 hours to complete. About three quarters into the ride (mileage-wise) I realized that I wasn’t even halfway through my actual prescribed workout and started mentally adding the numbers. Yup, my workout was more like 3 hours so I stopped doing the workout out after my second 15 minute power interval and just rode easy the rest of the way home. My ride wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. I spent most of the time avoiding the vast array of dead animals on the side of the road, bad drivers who came close to hitting me, and avoiding an 18-wheeler water tanker that almost ran me over on a really crappy country road with no shoulder! 
Now that I have a powermeter my coach gives my intervals in terms of power zones. Apparently, I can’t hit a power zone if it was right in front of me! It was a rough workout. My Garmin computer kept beeping at me because either my power was too high or too low. When I uploaded my data this morning for my coach she informed me that I need to change my settings on my computer from one second to 30 seconds power reading. It will be a much smoother power reading and hopefully my Garmin won’t beep every 10 seconds at me! I had a 30 minute transition run after my bike yesterday. As I was riding up the hill to my house, I was really dreading the run. My crotch hurt because I finally decided to commit to the Cobb Plus saddle this week and now I have to “break in” my new saddle. I probably should have just kept the test saddle till after Mooseman because I was use to it, but I would have felt really bad if I actually did pee on it… (my coach also informed me that I need to learn to pee on my bike. Poor Azul…)
The first 200 yards of my run just plained sucked! However, I started to settle into an easy pace and felt really comfortable and strong! I kept the pace easy, but my legs wanted to go faster. I just kept reminding myself that next weekend I will have to run 10 more miles in addition to what I was currently running! This morning was another swim at Crystal Lake. Today it was full of pollen, but the water was still warm! I really LOVE open water swimming. I’ve always been very comfortable with it since I spent most of my summers growing up living in the water at our camp on Sebago Lake. It’s practically second nature to me.   
Mooseman is in less than a week. I have mixed feelings about it. I have learned that the water temperature at Newfoundland Lake is 65 degrees! That made my day! I guess the lake is notoriously cold and I was kind of dreading the water temperature. Mostly, I’m dreading the bike portion. Secretly, I have a time in my head that I want to beat; however, I know this course will not get me the time I want. I hope to PR at this race, but again, from everything I have read and heard about Mooseman, it is not the course to PR on. So, we’ll see. My goal is really to just finish (in one piece)! There are a few people I know doing the race whom I have a target on their backs. I want to beat them, mostly for my own ego. I think the main reason I’m dreading the race is that I will going to it solo. My coach will be there and some of her other athletes whom I will probably meet, but really, I will know no body and have no race support. My father is not really supportive of my sport and I know he will not come to my race. I practically had to beg him to come to Pumpkinman last year. I already told him about a month ago that I will probably be doing Lake Placid next year and that he will be coming. He argued with me a bit about it but I kindly reminded him that I will be picking his nursing home someday and that he should be nice to me! Just kidding…. but I did tell him that doing an Ironman will be one of the biggest days of my life and I would appreciate the support. Last year I had great support from my Tri ladies at Pumpkinman which was awesome! But this year they are all racing the Dynamic Dirt Challenge that day and of course I don’t have a significant other so I guess I just need to suck it up and race. I’ll get through it, but it’s always nice to have supportive friends and family there to cheer you on! 
Happy Training! 

Weekend Rap Up!

I took a long weekend this past weekend because I had a very busy Friday schedule. On Friday May 18th I got hooded a la Harry Potter style (I have never read or seen any of the Harry Potter books and movies. It’s not my style, but have you ever noticed that graduation garments, especially in the graduate degree fields look very wizard-like?). I don’t actually finish my Master’s in Public Health until December of this year but I was able to attend both the Hooding Ceremony and the Graduation Ceremony. However, I chose not to attend the graduation ceremony on Saturday because I preferred to race a triathlon and I also did not like the chosen commencement speaker. The Hooding Ceremony was actually kind of exciting because a) I did not attend my undergrad graduation so this was my first college graduation, b) I got a cool hood that I paid $55 to wear once (must find other uses for it. Ideas?), and c) I got to meet in person some of my classmates since my degree program is online.

A few of the 32 MPH graduates from the class of 2012

On Saturday I raced the Tri for the Y at the Freeport YMCA. It was a 325 yd swim, 13 mile bike, and 5k run. I’ll have a full race report later this week, but I did not do as well as I was hoping for. I missed 3rd in my age group by almost 30 seconds and it was mostly due to the fact that I couldn’t get my darn watch on and I stood there playing with it! Stupid mistake! However, it was nice to get the first race over with for the year. It was a beautiful day, many of my tri group members were volunteering, and bike shop boy was able to come watch (and pass out flyers for my Women’s road ride out of Allspeed Wednesday nights at 6pm) so overall not a horrible day.

Sunday was spent doing an easy recovery swim in the pool, an awesome self-butt kicking strength training session outside in beautiful weather in my front yard, and also doing a lot of reading for my personal training certfication. It was a super productive day!

Who doesn’t love a little TRX?

Yesterday I had an appointment with the chiropractor who I have been seeing for over six months about my pelvis that was unaligned and also my super tight calves. She was very pleased that my pelvis has remained in place for the past couple of months and that my calves were not very tight even after racing on Saturday! She was especially impressed that my body is relatively injury free. She told me that many of the athletes she treats tend to become injured or their body’s are more broken down going into taper for the big race. Mine body is in great shape going into taper for Mooseman in 12 days! I guess I can’t use that excuse for my race… But, I’m pleased and I feel great!

I’ve complained many of times recently about my lack of bike fitness and confidence this year. A friend emailed me yesterday to ask how my race was and I told her my bike was okay, but I was still disappointed by it. She asked me if it was due to fatigue from the intensity of my training. No. I know it’s not because overall I feel great and I make sure that I focus on proper recovery and nutrition in my training. I told her that I believe it’s due to the fact that I have always muscled my way through my rides with lower cadence and grinding gears. Through working with my coach I have learned that riding this way is actually very bad. It’s best to push lower gears while maintaining a higher cadence because it will save your legs for the run. My coach also emailed me Monday after analyzing my powermeter data from my race to inform me how to ride in my future workouts and also in Mooseman. I need to be more consistent in my riding. This is very important in riding long course triathlons. I tend to have power spikes in my data, which is not good. As she put it, I only have so many matches to burn. If I burn too many then my legs are toast on the run. My goal is to remain consistent and also pedal the whole damn time. No coasting, expect whenever absolutely necessary. I feel like I’m learning to ride a bike all over again. I’ve been very frustrated by this because I don’t have the strength I use to have, but in the end, I know it will pay off because I will be a stronger and more efficient rider.

I use to have extremely strong legs, which I think is the main reason I could always muscle my way through tough rides. The reason my legs were so strong was growing up riding horses. I had a riding instructor who use to make me post without stirrups and hands on the reins for my entire hour-long lessons. BELIEVE ME, that is no easy feat! It hurt like hell, but it gave me a super strong seat and I could ride just about any horse and stay on, including my off-the-race track Thoroughbred who seemed to think he was a bucking bronco at a rodeo. He never dumped me! Ha!

This is what a posting trot without stirrups looks like, except I would be on a lungeline and have no use of my hands. You definitely learn balance very quickly!

This is Mystery Knight, my crazy Thoroughbred. His grandsire was Seattle Slew, who is one of the last horses and the only horse to win the Triple Crown while remaining undefeated. Myst was a dud on the track, but man did he love to jump!

Happy Training!

I have the POWER!

Yes, I know I don’t have pedals on Azul. They are on my road bike (perhaps someday I will actually buy a second set of pedals!)

Two weeks ago Azul (my tri bike) got an upgrade, a SRAM S975 Quarq powermeter! A powermeter is something I’ve always wanted, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen earlier this year due to extensive car repairs, but I received an unexpected (well, maybe not really so unexpected) bonus at work and I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the powermeter. What also catalyzed the purchase was my need to switch from a standard crank (which came with my bike) to a compact crank due to my cadence issues and also I ride a lot of hills. BEST DECISION EVER! I feel much more comfortable and stronger on my bike now that it has a compact crank!

So, I got my Quarq about two weeks ago and my awesome bike shop put it on Azul for me. I got her home and put her on the trainer and tried syncing the Quarq with my Garmin computer. FAIL! No connection. Would not read at all! So, on Saturday I brought Azul back to the shop for troubleshooting. No bueno. Then I thought why not change the battery, even though this is a brand new powermeter and the battery should be fine, why not? I went to the store purchased the battery, replaced it in the Quarq, and BEEP “powermeter detected.” Seriously?! A new battery? Urgh, why did it have to be so simple!

Once Azul and I were home I put her on the trainer for my pre-long run easy spin. I made it 45 minutes before the new battery in the Quarq died. WTF?! Next morning I went out and purchased two new batteries at the grocery store. I put a new one in, the powermeter was detected for about 5 seconds, my Garmin succeeded to tell me that the battery in the powermeter was low and then finally died. Awesome! My Quarq was clearly defective and I was super upset. I tried calling Quarq, but of course, they are not open on Sunday. So, I emailed their customer service department to tell them about the issue and that I will be calling first thing on Monday morning! Later that afternoon I got an email back from Quarq (on a Sunday!)! On Monday they called my bike shop and decided to send me a new spider (the electronics part of the Quarq) because a Quarq that does not hold a battery charge is clearly not normal. I got the new spider in a couple of days and my bike shop put it on Azul by the end of the week. The new Quarq works flawlessly! I was very impressed with the Quarq/SRAM customer service. They were very professional and super fast! Thank you!

I’ve only ridden with my powermeter a handful of times so far, but I really like it. I’ve been reading various articles and watching webinars from TrainingPeaks about training with power. It is extremely effective to train with power on the bike and I know I will become a much stronger rider over time. My coach will now start giving my bike workouts in terms of power intervals compared to heart rate. This past weekend on my long ride I had some tempo and VO2 max intervals that were all written pre-powermeter and thus set to HR. I finally learned how to input my workouts into my Garmin Edge 800 so as I ride it just tells me what I’m doing so I don’t have to memorize my workouts. I set all my intervals for my HR zones, which turned out to be rather annoying because my Garmin would beep about every 5 seconds to tell me my HR was too high. Well, no shit, I just climbed a hill! But, I must admit, that I really love when I end a workout. My Garmin will “sing” a tune to let me know it’s over! It was rather amusing I thought.

I have my season opener triathlon on Saturday! I’ve decided to forgo my graduation ceremony to race the Tri for the Y in Freeport. It’s only a 325 yard pool swim, 13 mile bike, and a 3 mile run. It’s a short one, but my coach told me to go all out. I’m interested to see my performance. I have not done a sprint tri in almost a year and most of my training has been focused on long course, but I feel ready and I’m definitely itching to race. Two weeks from this Sunday is Mooseman 70.3! I’m still super nervous about this race. I think the main reason I’m nervous about this race is because I have high expectations for myself. I want to do well and I want to PR; however, from everything I’ve read and heard, this is not the race to PR on. At this point, my goal will be to finish in one piece and have fun. I definitely plan to push myself during this race, but my real “A” race is going to be REV3 OOB.

In other more exciting news, I have officially signed up to volunteer at Ironman Lake Placid this summer! You know what that means… 🙂

Happy Training!