Monday, October 26, 2015

Off season, Injuries and Crowie's Ball

Ah the off season...
It's been 2 and a half months since my Ironman 70.3 finish at Steelhead but it feels like years ago.  My MBA classes started back up, Ben and I did a road trip through northern MI and WI and a lot of cool things have been happening at work as we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Holland Center.  With all this activity, you'd think I'd be more than pre-occupied.  However, my free time often wanders to researching races for 2016 and planning trips around those races.  The tri tan lines have faded, a little weight gain has set in and yep, I have a slight case of the off-season blues.

The Injury...
I had been struggling with my right hamstring pretty much all summer, but I muscled through to be able to finish my A race.  Immediately after, I decided I'd take 2 weeks off from running to let things come back to normal.  Things didn't come back to normal, though. It felt like it got worse.  Sitting for long periods of time was really uncomfortable and I switched to a standing desk at work to see if that would help.  Running was nearly impossible.  My right leg would begin to drag after about 15 minutes because it hurt so bad to drive me knees forward.  At the end of August, I saw a PT who diagnosed me with hamstring tendonosis. 

Hamstring tendonosis is an advanced tendonitis in the high part of the hamstring (near the insertion point at the glute).  Essentially, the hamstring muscle fibers begin to break down due to weakness (from lack of strength training - I never train my legs) and not being able to heal (overuse in training). After obsessively researching it on the internet, I learned that this particular injury takes a long time to long as 3-6 months.  The PT gave me a rehab exercise regimen that he said "will require a lot of patience and consistency."  That does not sound like my idea of fun.

The Recovery
The regimen requires me to do 12 sets of 12 hamstring curls 5 days a week for 12 weeks.  In my case, the issue is exacerbated by the way my pelvis is tilted so I have to do a prep exercise to re-set my pelvis alignment before I start do the strengthening exercises. In addition, I have added upper body training at least twice a week and supplemental lower body (quads and glutes) twice week.  My cardio has really only been swimming which is not nearly as consistent as it should be.  I am finishing up week 8 of 12 and just within the past week or so have I noticed an actual improvement.  Last week the PT suggested I try to run a little bit and see how things are progressing.  I've only done about 2 miles at a time and so far, so good.  It's still a nagging pain but not 100% debilitating like it was 8 weeks ago.I have also started doing spin and indoor riding again.  I have been super consistent with my rehab exercises so hopefully I can fix this. I'm also seeing a chiropractor once a week to re-set my alignment and massage about every 10 days to 2 weeks. It's taking forever, but I'm feeling optimistic.

If anyone has had any experience with high hamstring strains, sprains or tendonosis, I'd love to hear suggestions or rehab/treatment that worked for you. 

"Crowie's Balls"
One other suggestion the PT has made was to increase core strength so I've been incorporating core strength training in between each of my hamstring curl sets.  When I do both abs and hamstring, it takes almost 30 minutes.  Because planks and crunches get boring, I started researching some alternatives and came across this gem.  The amazing triathlete superstar Craig "Crowie" Alexander has this fantastic series of core exercises that I have been using.  He affectionately refers to some of these exercises as "crowie's balls."  Behold...Crowie's Balls below...

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Race Report for Ironman 70.3 Steelhead: A Perfect Day

Approximately three years ago, I watched my husband complete Ironman Wisconsin.  I had always been enamored with the Ironman.  I'd watched the race on television and read a book or two on people who have tackled the monster of endurance races.  Ben did an incredible job, finishing in less than 10 hours.  Watching this race was really the moment I decided I wanted to become a triathlete.  I couldn't swim one lap in the pool, I didn't own a bike and I wasn't a very good runner.  I had completed a number of running races but at the end of the two marathons that I completed, I didn't really feel good about them.  I felt like I just "got through it."  Today was the longest endurance event I have ever experienced and it was by far one of the most amazing feelings I've had in a race.  With that said, on to the race report...

My Finisher Medal
FRIDAY - I left Omaha on Friday morning at 6:45am.  It was a LONG drive.  I arrived at the race site at 6:02p and they had just closed athlete check-in.  Grrr.  Headed to the hotel, checked in, found a Qdoba and settled in for the night.  I really like to stick with food that I know pre-race and Qdoba, Chipotle and Panera are basically my favorites.
SATURDAY - Headed out to the Ironman Village around 9:30.  After check-in, my plan was to attend the athlete meeting and then get a quick swim in Lake Michigan.  It looks really intimidating at first but it was a lovely swim.  The forecast predicted pretty outstanding race conditions.
Swim finish chute
I met with parents-in-law around 6p to show them the race start and have dinner.  It was really nice to have them around for the race and to know someone would be there in case the day did not go as planned (translation:  in case I ended up in the medical tent).  We had a nice dinner and I was in bed by 9:30p. 

I didn't sleep very well, waking up at 2:30a and tossing and turning until I had to get out of bed at 4:30a.  Gulped down some Gatorade, coffee and oatmeal and I was at the race site around 5:30a.  Set up my transition and connected with my in-laws.  Ran into Paul, a Team Nebraska Triathlon member, and we had a nice chat.  We both commented on how AWESOME the race conditions were compared to what we're used to in the Plains states tris.  Susan, Richard and I walked down to the swim start and I got in the water for about 10 minutes of warm-up.  My shoulder had been bothering me a bit since my bike accident so I was a little nervous about that.  My plan was to just swim the hell out of this race with the thought that I won't need my shoulder again for a while :-)

My wave went off at 7:12a and it was right on schedule.  There were A LOT of woman in this wave as it included age groups 40-44 and 25-29.  I've never been in a wave with so many people and it was a bit rough to start.  I was super calm and started swimming right away.  The conditions were outstanding.  Water temp was 72.8 degrees, winds were calm and there was really no chop at all.  The water was crystal clear and lovely.  I must admit that it's a little disconcerting to look out and see a sea of nothing but water ahead of you but I stayed surprisingly calm.  When I got to the alleged half way point, I was at 25ish minutes and I was like, huh? I started cranking a little faster and made the final turn around 35 minutes. The course was busy pretty much the entire swim.  I was blowing past some folks, though.  My swim coach Jim has been working with me on picking up cadence for these instances where you need to get out of a clump of people.  Definitely paid off today.  On the beach and although it wasn't my best, I was happy with the result.  My GPS read 1.57 miles so I would say I did pretty damn well.    SWIM SPLIT:  47:58

TRANSITION 1:  I took my time here.  Didn't run through the sand for fear of turning my ankle.  Made my way down the long aisle to my bike and was out of there pretty quickly.  T1:  5:50

Have I mentioned that race conditions were near perfect?  Overcast all day, hardly any wind.  Temps in the low to mid 70s.  This bike course is FAST.  I wasn't event killing myself, trying to make sure I was functional for the run, and I rode my fastest miles-per-hour average ever for this distance.  Actually, it may be the best EVER ever.  I swear this course felt like it was all downhill.  There were two little hills but nothing like I've experienced in other races.  One new thing for me was the bottle toss/bottle pick up.  I was terrified I would crash.  I lost two bottles during the course of the bike but I was able to maintain my nutrition schedule really well.  Excellent bike split overall.  BIKE SPLIT:  3:40:11

TRANSITION 2:  A lot slower.  By this point, I REALLY needed to use the bathroom.  No point in going into the nasty details, but I was in there for a little bit.  Still, no real stomach distress.  T2:  8:31

Although I had a good bike, I was glad to be off of that damn thing.  the run kicks off with a nice little uphill which many people were walking (including myself).  I struggled through mile 6 and then actually picked up the pace a bit for about 3 miles.  Coca Cola - WOW.  This is like a miracle drug at this point.  Other than the coke, I stuck to my normal Powerbar energy blends, which is essentially pureed fruit  - kind of like baby food.  I had absolutely no gastro distress or dehydration.  I drank every stop and was fine.  The last 2 miles were rough but funny enough, I ran this bad boy slightly faster than I ran my disastrous Lincoln Half Marathon.  RUN SPLIT:  2:45:31

I cannot describe the joy I felt to cross the finish line.  I could never have imagined that I would be able to do this.  I'm by no means fast or competitive, but what I have personally accomplished with this training was really pretty incredible for me.  This is the first race plan that I actually stuck with the entire 20 weeks.  Even through a nasty bike accident.  One thing I realized is how I am no where near ready to finish an Ironman but I also said the same thing about the half Iron 3 years ago.  We'll see what the future brings.  For now,  I look forward to rocking my M dot and I even want to do this again.  Thanks to all of you who have supported me this year and I'll come back to the blog when my new season starts in January.  Until then!

Race Finish

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Race Report: Lifetime Tri Minneapolis - It was a good day...

Swim Start at Dawn
 Ah, Minneapolis!  How I love your awesome bike lanes and running trails, your better-than-Omaha shopping, your awesome indie rock public radio station, your super nice people and your surprising cultural diversity.  It's a wonderland, this place called Minneapolis and it was a delight to make my way here this weekend for the Lifetime Tri Minneapolis. A little out of my way just to do a race, you may say.  Yes, true, but I won a free entry seven months ago so I thought I'd give it go.  I had a really good time here and I will definitely want to do this race again.  So on with the race report:

Left Omaha around 7:30a on Friday to drive out here.  Ben wasn't able to make it because of school so I had to drive up here by myself.  I don't enjoy driving, but I loaded up with some good podcasts and music and did A-OK.  Thank you, Terry Gross and Marc Maron.

When I arrived in Minneapolis, I drove right to the race site so I could pick up my packet and hang out for the athlete meeting.  The race allowed for early bike check-in so I wanted to dump the bike, attend the meeting and then drive the bike course.  They told me at check-in that you could only transport your gear in a clear transition bag.  Wasn't thrilled about that (I have a system), but fine. Drove the bike course after the meeting and I was pleased to see it was fairly flat.  A few little rolls but nothing crazy.

The swag is pretty good for this race.  The t-shirt is underwhelming but wow, you get so much stuff in the swag bags (yes, 2 bags).  I estimate they probably gave away nearly $75 in products. 
Massive Swag

Alarm went off at 4:25a.  I had been up until 11:30p the night before watching "Gone Girl."  I was not planning to stay up that late, but it sucked me in.  Needless to say, it was rough waking up.  Ate some oatmeal and coffee.  Out the door at 5a and arrived at the race site within 10 minutes.  Surprisingly, there was a lot of street parking available and transition was not busy.  Note to self:  arrive early for all races going forward. 
I set up my transition area chilled out by the swim start.  It was really calm and quite lovely at dawn.  Race officials announced that the water temperature was 76.1 degrees - wetsuit legal, so I headed back to transition to get my wetsuit.  I did a quick warm-up swim and felt good.  I was ready.
The swim start was a time trial start which is awesome.  I really prefer this over the wave start.  Ran into the water and start swimming.  And I kept swimming.  It was an awesome swim.  No fear, smooth sailing.  I flew past a bunch of people and started catching folks in earlier waves.  Crossed the swim mat and was like, "yeah, that was good."  SWIM SPLIT:  00:33:50
T1:  Could have been quicker but it was fine.  The transition area was HUGE.  T1 SPLIT:  4:52
Transition area
BIKE:  Bike course is awesome.  Relatively flat, scenic, even a bit shaded.  I was averaging 15.7 mph until about mile 17 and I had a slight chain malfunction.  That cost me a few minutes. Happened again around mile 22, but so it goes.  I rode strong and had fun.  BIKE SPLIT:  1:41:06

T2:  I had been thinking about the porta pottie since around mile 12.  I was able to go right before the swim but the urge returned.  Killed a little time in the porta pottie so this transition kind of sucked.  T2 SPLIT:  7:05

RUN:    The run was meh.  I wasn't struggling but I wan'ts pushing either.  I need to get a little more serious about the run because there was really no excuse for me to take it easy.  The course was not hilly and the temps were not bad.  It was a little overcast and didn't feel too warm.  I heard some athletes commenting on the heat and humidity and I was like, "um, yeah.  This is nothing.  Race in Kansas and then let's talk."  In any case, not my best run.  RUN SPLIT:  1:11:30

Even with the bike chain issue, slow T2 and sucky run, I still managed an olympic distance PR by about 2 minutes.  Can't hate on that.  OVERALL FINISH:  3:38:22

So that's all she wrote.  This is a great race.  Really nice course, well managed, fun.  I highly recommend and may have to do it again next year.  This was my last race until the big dance on Aug 9:  Ironman Steelhead 70.3.  Four weeks out so it's getting real.  Stay tuned!

Beach at swim start

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Legendary Race Report: The Chop, The Wind, The Heat...

Today marked the official start of my third triathlon racing season with the Legend Triathlon in Lawrence, KS.  Before I get into the nitty gritty of this race report, let me first give some background on this race.

A Brief History
For a good number of years, Ironman hosted a 70.3 in this location:  Clinton State Park in Lawrence, KS.  Ben has done the Ironman Kansas 70.3 twice and I volunteered at the swim start both times.  There have been some amazing athletes who have raced the course including Ironman champion Chrissy Wellington and Craig "Crowie" Alexander most recently in 2013.  I had the honor of handing him a swim cap and telling him he couldn't warm up in the lake that year.  In 2014, World Triathlon Corporation added a race to their 5150 series on this same course.  I raced the 5150 last year and had a very good race, which qualified me for the non defunct Hyvee Championship.  In 2015, WTC announced that it would discontinue Kansas 70.3, and their 5150 Series basically got the ax as well in this same year. 

And so was born the Legend Free State Triathlon.  Managed by the same race company(Silverback) that managed 5150 and 70.3, Legend boasted a number of different course options including a Sprint, Olympic (almost identical to the 5150 course), a 70.3 half iron distance and a weird 100 mile distance that included a 2 mile swim, 80 mile bike and 18 mile run.   Great incentives for early registration (I got a free sweatshirt and a $75 race entry) and lots of course options resulted in really strong races entries.  Someone told me there were approximately 1100 athletes racing today.

And now, to the race report...
After my not-so-great Lincoln Half Marathon, I really wanted to focus on pre-hydration and sodium intake.  As always, I get such amazing advice from friend and pro triathlete Alyssa Godesky and she had given me some tips for making sure I had enough sodium and hydration before I even got on the course. I have been working on that for about a month and have had some good practice runs including a really strong Bolder Boulder race and training weekend.  I felt pretty confident going into this weekend. 

Ben and I arrived in Lawrence around 3p on Saturday.  It was pretty hot but this is not unusual.  I checked in and took it easy the rest of the day.  Ben and I did our traditional dinner at Free State Brewery and I was well-hydrated.  I had been drinking a lot of water and sports drinks for several days prior and I felt pretty good.  In bed by 9:45p.  Fairly restless night which is typical for me the night before a race.

Race Morning
Up without an alarm at 4:30a, slapped on some sunscreen, braided my hair and made myself some oatmeal.  We were on the road at 5:07a.  I usually do coffee pre-race, but I've been using an energy drink that's really great (XS - an Amway produc,t strangely enough) which goes down easy and sits well with me.  We got to the race site at 5:30 and it was jammed.  Parking took a while and then you have to walk literally 1.5 miles to the transition and swim start.  I got there with 5 minutes to set up my crap before they closed transition.  No worries, though - I have a system and it was fine.  I had 40 minutes until my wave started so I had time to lube up (ASIDE:  for non-triathletes, using body glide lubrication on shins/arms helps to get the wetsuit off easily and around wrists/neck/ankles to avoid nasty chaffing), have a wee (pee) and even do a little loosen-up swim.  I noticed the chop but it didn't concern me.

Gun went off for my wave and the water was incredibly choppy.  This was my ninth triathlon and I've done countless open water swims including a 4000 meter swim in Tempe and I never experienced anything like this.  I seriously thought I was going to drown.  It was a total panic/freakout and I really had a difficult time recovering.  About ten minutes in, I couldn't see the people in my wave any longer because they were so far ahead of me.  I breaststroked (which I don't really know how to do) to a kayak.  I got my breath under control and thought, "Ok, just a little hiccup.  I can do this." Started out again to the next bouy.  Within 2 minutes I was panicked and unable to properly do my breathing without getting slapped in the face with a wave.  I just kind of hung out for a minute considering what I was going to do.  A boat came over and asked if I was OK.  "Do you want us to pull you out?" they said.  I couldn't believe this.  "No, I got it."  Swam to the next kayak.  Break.  Breathe.  Chill.  This went on like this for 40 minutes until I got to the half way point.  As a point of reference, I swam the entire 1500 meter course, this exact same course, in the 5150 race last year in 36:05.

By the time, I got to the turnaround, I was able to properly freestyle without taking in gulps of waves.  The second half of the race took me about 19 minutes.

swim time:  1:00:31

At this point, I am seriously just happy to be out of the water.  The swim is typically my favorite event but today was all about survival.  I took my sweet ass time in transition, thanking the gods for getting me to dry land.
T1 time:  4:00

Uneventful and slightly slower than my 5150 time last year.  It was a lot windier than last year but I felt like I enjoyed the bike more.  I solidly stuck to my hydration and nutrition plan and felt pretty good getting off the bike.  Alyssa told me once that I should ride "like I don't have to run after."  I did not really do that today but I was kind of just getting through at this point.
bike time:  1:50:46, 13.2 mph average (CRAP)

After ingesting half of the Clinton Lake on the swim, I had to PEE.  Took my sweet time again and used the Porta John.  NO toilet paper?  NO problem - I have grit.
T2 time:  5:01

Although it was about 8 minutes slower than last year's 5150, I felt pretty good.  At this point, I wasn't really busting my butt because I kind of felt like the race was shot, but my legs were really fresh and it was HOT OUT THERE.  90 degrees when I finished.  Very little shade on the course, but I stuck to my hydration and nutrition plan and felt fine.  Note to self:  do this again.  As I was hitting the 6 mile point, I thought, "Yeah, if I had to do another 6, I could do it."  This made me feel so happy. 
run time:  1:15:52

Official race finish:  4:16:07
  • Things happen.  I'm really proud of myself that I kept going.  Me, 2 years ago, would have turned back at the first kayak.  Now that I've had this experience, I feel like I could better manage a similar experience in the future.  I pray that Steelhead 70.3 swim in Lake Michigan is not as choppy.
  • Hydration/nutrition planned worked.  This may be the first race where I didn't want to just quit when I got off the bike.  I really felt decent and I have to think it was partially due to sticking to the plan.
  • Overall, these are probably the most brutal race conditions that I have experienced in a triathlon.  It was also my slowest time of any of my Olympic races, including my very first one. 
  • BUT...I really can't believe I didn't quit.  I am gaining some mental toughness and grit.  and I felt so happy with myself for that.  It also gave me confidence that I can do this 70.3.  I have a lot of work to do in the next 9 weeks, but I know it is achievable.
Next up:  Lifetime Tri Minneapolis - 7/11. I won a free entry so I'm there.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Race Report: Lincoln Half Marathon - you win some, you walk some...

After a half-way decent performance last week at Omaha Duathlon, I was feeling good about Lincoln Half.  I wasn't super well-trained for it, but my running base was solid and relatively consistent since January.  I had a good 15K race a few weeks ago and Lincoln is WAY flatter than San my expectations were measured, but positive....

Pre-race day:
Ben and I traveled down to Lincoln yesterday afternoon.  It was a busy day for me and we got a late start.  Checked in at packet-pick up and it was 85 degrees in Lincoln.  Not a good sign the day before a long distance race.  We went to Lazlo's and it took forever to get seated.  I was supposed to see a high school musical that night but it took so long to that I ended up skipping the show.  On the bright side, I was able to get to bed early.

Race day:
Up at 5:45a, half a bagel with peanut butter and a small coffee for breakfast.  We left the hotel at 6:15a and I felt ok.  I had a little water to drink and I started to think around 6:30a that maybe I should have drank a little more water.  Not a good sign.  Said good-byes/good-lucks to Ben and lined up between the 2:15:00 and 2:20:00 pacers.  I ran about a 2:18:00 in 2013 for this race and I felt like I would end up somewhere around there this time.  Maybe a 2:23 or 2:25 worst case. 

Race started at 7a, but it was around 7:35a before I went through the start.  I typically have an empty bladder at race start but I had the urge so ran over the porta potties with plenty of time to start.  Ok.  I'm good.  I proceed through the start and feel good.  Running a 10:15 pace or so and feeling fine through mile 5.  I get this crazy awful cramp in my left foot which is highly unusual for me.  Had to stop for a minute to just stretch my plantar and arch of my foot.  The cramp subsided and I was good to go. Ran through the 10K mark in around 1:06:00 so I was doing OK.  Felt fine. Around mile 8, I had to pee.  What?  This NEVER happens.  Stopped at a porta potty, in and out quick but my pace slowed to a 10:45.  I'm sweating like a hog at this point.  Not good. 

Back at it and cramping starts again.  I start walking around the 15K mark and my stomach is churning.  REALLY not good.  Get to the water stop, pick up Gatorade, water and down one of my energy gels.  Immediately after, I run to the porta-potty.  Let's just say, I'm in there for about 10-15 minutes.  Massive GI distress.  I leave the porta potty and I have the chills (and sweating) and feeling a little dizzy.  I try to run, I walk, I try to run, I walk.  Basically at this point, I knew I was done.  I only kept going because it was only 3 miles away and I figured I could walk that.

I finished in 2:46:23 - my worst half marathon time ever.

 - I was SUPER dehydrated.  I could tell even at the beginning of the race.  When I thought back on it after the race, I realized I hadn't really taken in any water of note for the last 2 days.  I also had a few drinks on Saturday and Friday.  I have never experience such bad dehydration at a race and it was a valuable lesson as I prepare for the Ironman 70.3.  As Ben said, I need to respect the distance and make sure that I hydrate regularly throughout the day and week.  It needs to be as much a part of my plan as training and nutrition.
 - Heat - It was very warm to run that distance.  The sun was direct with no clouds.  I need to figure out a way to deal with this because it will only get worse in the summer and my 70.3 is in August.

Check out the article about the race and "runners going down:"  Tabut, Herrick win Lincoln Marathon crowns; many runners 'down'

In other news...
I swam a 550 yard time trial yesterday with my swim guru, Jim.  I dropped my time to 10:25!  A 46 second improvement from 2 months ago.  This is huge.  I'm feeling so good in the water and I'm curious to see how this pays off at the Legend Olympic next month in Kansas.  Stay tuned...   

Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Sometimes it pays to just show up.."

It was a great day for me today at my first multisport race of the season:  Omaha Duathlon.  I did this race two years ago when I first started down this crazy multisport road.  I had no expectation of making it to the podium today so you can imagine my shock to see my name in second place for the F40-44 category.  Not exactly a competitive field today, but as my friend and neighbor Gerald Kubiak said, "Sometimes it pays to just show up.  You can't win if you're not there."  So with that, I give you the race report:

Pre-race day:
I had an early start on Saturday with a swim session with my swim guru Jim.  Really good (tough)session followed by a very easy spin class.  The class itself wasn't easy but I went easy on myself to stay fresh for race day.  It was a fairly light run week - I had a bad day with my Thursday run but all in all, I was in decent running shape. 

After my workouts, I went home and fell back asleep for two hours!  Lil' Mama (she's one of our cats) and me resting comfortably on the sofa.  Next thing I knew, it's almost 1p and I hadn't even really eaten lunch.  Grabbed a quick lunch and headed to Trek Bike Store to by a toe thingy.  You may think I'm making this up, but apparently, that's what they call it on the package.  Race time temps were supposed to be in the high 40s/low 50s and I did NOT want cold feet.  After my 2 hr ride on Wednesday in 50 degree temps, I had learned a lesson.

Headed over to Scheels to get a windbreaker for the bike (no, I didn't own one) and some bike nutrition.  My evening race bag preparation was not as thorough as usual, because I preferred spending my time watching the 2-hr season finale of Downton Abbey.  Kicked the cats out of the bedroom, got in bed around 11:30p and slept soundly.

Race Morning:
Up at 6a, with a light breakfast:  1 Power Grain Waffle with almond butter and a gallon of coffee.  My friend and neighbor Niki Kubiak came over around 7 to load her bike onto my car since we were riding together.  Quick aside: Niki won the overall female division of this race.  And her husband Gerald (previously mentioned) crushed some fools in the 800 meter masters race at the Drake Relays on Friday.  So between them and my husband who is also an elite runner and triathlete, we have the fastest block in Omaha.  I slow down the collective time of our block but I get an "A" for effort.

We arrive at the race site around 8a with plenty of decent options to drop our stuff in transition.  If I have a choice (which I did for this race), I prefer to have my bike close to the "bike out."  Niki warms up and I basically hang around for a while.  Two trips to the porta-potty and I'm ready to roll.

The race is a 2.5 mile run, a 14.5 mile bike and a 2.5 mile run. 

Run Split 1:  I start off easy and pick up a pace which I ended up maintaining for the entire distance:  9:10 pace.  This is my first race using my TomTom GPS multisport watch and it's awesome.  It has an average pace function which was incredibly helpful.  Knowing that I was actually running a 9:10 really kept me motivated. 

Bike Split:  Winds were initially light but picked up out of the ENE.  I struggled to maintain a 15 mph pace through about mile 4.  At that point, we had a tailwind and I was flying, averaging around 20 mph.  Of course, all good things must come to an end and the course was out and back...which meant headwinds and crosswinds.  SUCKED.  My average mph dropped to 14.6, which is not great.  I didn't kill myself on the bike which is probably why.  My friend Alyssa Godesky who is a pro triathlete once told me that I should ride like I don't have to run after.  Unfortunately, I did not follow that advice on this  a little lazy on the return.

Run Split 2:  After the initial wobbly jello leg thing, I was feeling pretty good.  My goal was to average sub 10:00/min miles and I averaged around 9:38.  So pleased.

Final time:1:49:26 - Run1 00:22:46 - T1 00:01:43 - Bike 00:59:58 - T2 00:01:04 - Run2 00:23:52 Podium finish:  2nd place for Female 40-44

Reflections:  Great run performance and I felt so strong. Transitions were pretty tight. I could use a little more brick work and I think I can really improve the bike to run.  Bike needs A LOT of work.  After my Lincoln Half Marathon next week, I start shifting my hours to the bike.  I plan to have the bike make up 50% of my training time and I think that will make a big difference.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Setbacks and Steps Forward

Formal triathlon training has begun and today marks the end of week 4 of my 18-week 70.3 training.  Some pretty cool stuff is happening for me physically and I feel like I'm coming into the main tri training season with a decent winter base in all three disciplines.  A few steps forward to celebrate:
  • Volume - this was my first 10-hour training week, which is a lot for me.  I put in 2:15:00 in the pool, 4:21:00 on the bike and 3:22:00 of running.  Feeling good and my main goal is stay consistent and average 10-12 hour training weeks through my A race of 70.3 Steelhead in August.
  • My swim technique is definitely improving.  My swim coach Jim has really helped me over the last few months and the pesky high elbow catch is starting to come into focus.  My left arm still sucks but it's improving.  Today we did 100yd repeats and I was pretty pumped to clock a 1:46 and a 1:47.  Pretty much all of my 100s were faster than 1:50 which is amazing for me. 
  • Consistent running base - I have really tried to maintain the 3-runs-a-week plan since January.  I work towards a short, medium and long on the weekend each week.  Doesn't always work out that way, but it's the most consistent I've been with running during the winter in a few years.  My Hot Chocolate 15K performance was not too shabby (sorry no formal race report for that one) and the course was not easy.  Lots of major climbing and punishing downhills but I still maintained a 10:44 pace which was somewhat surprising.  And I did this tough race the day after a 32 mile ride so that's positive.
And a few setbacks unfortunately...
  • A minor bike incident - So I tend to be a bit accident prone.  Not generally a great attribute for someone who participates in a sport that is ripe with accidents waiting to happen.  Honestly, it's amazing I haven't had more 'incidents.'  Note that I will not refer to it as an accident because this situation was somewhat intentional on my part. 
I was enjoying a lovely lunchtime ride from downtown Omaha to Lake Manawa in Iowa.  Gorgeous day, light winds, lots of sun.  So, of course, everyone and their brother was out walking, running, biking, etc. on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge that connects Iowa and Nebraska.  I'm coming back to the office and approaching the bridge towards Nebraska.  This dude with his weiner dog and two kids is oblivious as I'm coming up about 100 yards behind.  I keep yelling out for him to move and that I'm approaching, but he just kind of looked like a deer in headlights.  In an effort to avoid running over this precious dog who was put in harms way by no fault of his own, I veered left hard.  Couldn't dismount quick enough so I crashed into the bridge railing.  Nothing broken or seriously injured but I had a nasty patch of road rash.  A little education for those of you who don't 'play' in this world.  Road rash is not a rash.  It's a patch of abrasions where your skin has hit the pavement and basically ripped off.  One patch on my knee was pretty deep.  Good amount of blood and gravel, but with the help of hard core antibiotic ointment and Tegaderm bandages (greatest invention EVER), I was able to continue training that week.
  • ....but I was not able to swim.... - The "weiner dog incident" was bad enough and within a few days of my open water swim meet that I had to withdraw.  I really seriously considered doing the Tempe Town Lake Swim until the day I left for Arizona.  At 4:30am, as Ben was getting ready to drive me to the airport, he says, "Honey, you can't do this swim."  and I'm like "OK, you're right - not worth getting a Staph infection."  So he took the wetsuits out of the ensure that I wouldn't be able to change my mind.  I had been reading a lot of triathlon forums about swimming in open water with road rash and the risks were just too high.  Boooo!
So that's the latest.  My first multisport race is next weekend:  Omaha Duathlon.  This race consists of a 2.5 mile run followed by a 14.5 mile bike followed by another 2.5 mile run.  I haven't been doing a lot of brick workouts so we'll see how this goes.  I'll try to get a race report published sometime next week.  Stay tuned, friends!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Aging up: A Meditation on Turning 40..

On the eve of my 40th birthday, I find myself completely baffled on how I have arrived at this place in time.  I have often heard people exclaim "where did the years go?" and "oh how time flies" but never imagined that I would be thinking in those terms.  But here I am, on the precipice of what is commonly referred to as "middle age." It's a funny space because you're by no means old but by you're no longer referred to as young.  I'm no longer "up-and-coming" or a "young professional."  I'm a Ma'am not a Miss, a Madame not a Mademoiselle. 

Instead of many who wear black and mourn the loss of their youth on their 40th birthday, I embrace this new distinction of maturity, and in some ways, have looked forward to it.  Although  I have many flaws, I also have a few things about which I can boast as a middle-aged person.  I have not one strand of grey hair.  Seriously, it's weird.  I think my mother started greying in her early 30s.  I have very few wrinkles and if I am blessed enough to inherit the genes of the black women in my family, the wrinkles shouldn't be a noticeable issue until my late 50s.  Although I can stand to lose some more weight, I've dropped about 10 lbs in the last few months and I have no major health problems.
So all things being equal, this 40 thing isn't too bad so far.

One thing that hits me right in the face is the concept of "aging up" in racing.  Age 40 is one's official entry into what is called the "masters" racing category.  Basically the over-the-hill competitive category.  What does that mean for me?  Nothing really, since I was never in the competitive category to begin with, but it's still weird.  This week I race my first race in the F40-44 category in the Hot Chocolate 15K in San Diego.  Again, I don't really feel any different (maybe even a tad bit more fit), but it's just strange to see the 4-0 after your name in race results. 

Last week, I was at the pool one morning and was chatting with a  women in the lane next to me who regularly swims at this particular pool.   We were talking about triathlons for this season: 

Me:  What races do you have planned for this year?
Her: I have a few in Omaha and Tinman in KS, but I'm aging up this year so we'll see what the competition is like.
Me:  Me too, I age up to F40-44 this season.
Her:  That's a competitive age group.  I age up to 75-79 and I'm not sure what to expect.

Yeah, female age 75-79.  Racing several triathlons this year. That is so amazingly kick-ass.  Did I mention that she smokes me in the pool and she is in incredible shape?  So all this to say, age is just a number.  Let's embrace it and keep moving until we can't.
Kendra's first major race:  The Crim 10 mile, age 29

First Marathon:  Detroit, age 30

First triathlon, age 38
Best Olympic tri, age 39

Monday, February 16, 2015

Racing Weight, The Death of HyVee Triathlon...and yet another race schedule change

It was announced last week that one of triathlon's premium races, HyVee Triathlon, would be discontinued this year.  Known for its incredibly rich and deep prize purse ($100K a piece for top male and female) and an amazing field of professional triathletes, the race will unfortunately go away this year as HyVee plans to change their focus to more "family-focused" events (whatever).  For those who liked the course, Premier Event Management (race management company that also managed HyVee) will be offering a triathlon on the same course during the same weekend.  Facebook and Twitter were a-buzz with the news, particularly for those of us in the Midwest who really like racing that event.  But for me, however, the death of HyVee is particularly sad news.  One thing you may not know about me is that my race schedule is HIGHLY influenced by swag.  Yeah, that's right:  what kind of free stuff am I going to get if I do your race?  I'm not kidding...I registered for Legend Tri this year over Omaha Women's Tri primarily because they were giving away a cool sweatshirt to people who registered on Christmas Day.  Yes, it was that easy for me shift.  I did want to race an Olympic distance that day anyway and Omaha Women's Triathlon only offers a sprint distance, but that was a somewhat of a secondary concern.  It's all about the swag, man.

HyVee was, by far, the best race for swag of any race I've ever done.  I mean, better than any marathon, chick run like Zooma or other triathlon I've raced.  As part of your $99 race fee (which is pretty reasonable for an Oly distance), you get a bike jersey, triathlon transition bag, race visor or cap and lots of free food, drink, snacks, etc.  It's incredible.  In addition to the rich prize purse for pros, the amateurs who competed in the 5150 Championship race could also win even more stuff.  Last year, I cam in 3rd in the Athena Category for Kansas 5150 which was a qualifying race for the HyVee Championships.  Anyone who came in the top 5 of their category in a qualifying race got a FREE entry to HyVee!  Are you kidding me?  And the top 10 folks in each category of the HyVee Championships got gift cards to use a triathlon store.  I came in 6th at HyVee and got a $300 gift card!!!!  Are you KIDDING me?!  It was truly the most awesome deal in triathlon...and the race was actually a nice course and well-managed.

One of the conditions of racing Athena is that you have to weigh 165 lbs or more to qualify for that category.  Now let me just say that 165 lbs + for females is not very big for normal people, but it's on the bigger side for triathlon.  No judgement...just is, in the sport of triathlon.  Mind you, there are a lot of fierce athletes in the Athena category who are really fit, but carrying more weight is not an advantage in triathlon (or any endurance sport for that matter).  The male equivalent category in the sport is called Clydesdale...I think they weigh in 220 lbs+.  Last year, I came upon a really great book called Racing Weight, which gives a lot of practical advice about nutrition for fuel and performance.  It also helps individuals calculate what their ideal racing weight should be for peak performance in different types of sports.  As a 5'8 female triathlete with a slightly larger frame, the book's extensive mathematical formulas placed my ideal racing weight somewhere between 140-155 lbs.  My weight last tri season?  184lbs. exactly racing weight.

So I used this whole "Athena" thing as an excuse to not drop any weight and honestly, it's been holding me back.  I know that being lighter will help on the bike and definitely on the run.  And my most fit weight of my life was around 155lbs so that would be an ideal place.  Back in November, I started on a slow but steady process to start dropping lbs without feeling like I'm going to starve to death.  My initial goal was 10lbs.  Right now I'm hovering close to 175 lbs which is not so bad considering the holidays and light training schedule. With the death of HyVee, I'm really on a mission to get to "racing weight" by the time of my A race of Steelhead Ironman 70.3 in August.  I'm putting it out there to all of you help keep me honest.

In other news, I started working with a swim coach again to get myself on track with the swim.  Jim Kueffner is helping me every week and I'm really enjoying it.  With my reignited enthusiasm for swimming, I've decided to add an open water swim race to the schedule.  It will be my third annual Tempe Town Lake swim, but just the 2000m this year.  My revised race schedule posted below:

Sunday, March 22 - Hot Chocolate Run 15K - San Diego, CA

Saturday, April 4 - AZ Open Water Swim( 2000 meter) - Tempe Town Lake, AZ

 Sunday, April 26 - Omaha Duathlon - Memphis, NE

Sunday, May 3 - Lincoln National Guard Half Marathon - Lincoln, NE

Sunday, June 7 - Legend Triathlon (Olympic) - Lawrence, KS

Sunday, July 11 - Lifetime Triathlon Minneapolis (Olympic) - Minneapolis, MN

Sunday, August 9 - Ironman 70.3 Steelhead - Benton Harbor, MI

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Winter Cycling Training: The good, the bad, the ugly, the music...

Last year was year 2 of my adventures in triathlon and my bike training, in general, was the most neglected.  My swim performance dramatically improved after solid work with a coach throughout the winter and my run didn't get any worse.  The bike-to-run transitions improved slightly.  My bike times were definitely better than the previous year.  All good news.  However, I was still lagging significantly behind my peers on the bike split.  Even folks who had slower overall times than I did (in my age group) would still out-perform me on the bike. 

After evaluating my performance last year, I decided that I really need to get serious with my bike training.  However, when one lives in a place with nasty winter weather, winter bike training is not quite as fun.  I bought an indoor trainer in January 2014 and guess how many times I used it?  Oh...maybe twice (I know, I know).  I teach indoor cycling so I thought that would be enough, right? All you triathletes reading this:  feel free to judge me right now.  In any case, I totally recognize that the only way I will improve on the bike is by putting in time (and quality workouts) on my bike.  Not just spin class (sigh)...Some of you may ask, what exactly is an indoor trainer? The indoor bike trainer is a contraption onto which one positions their road (or time trial or mountain) bike.  The contraption then allows one to ride the bike in a stationary position.  You can also adjust resistance to make the ride more or less difficult.  Like everything else in triathlon, you can spend A LOT of money on these things and get uber fancy.  I spent a whopping $60 for mine and it's plenty fine for my purposes.  However, the real challenge is gathering up the enthusiasm to ride one's bike indoors for 1-2 hours (or more!) in a sitting.  SUPER boring.

Hence, this blog post.  Cyclists and triathletes have many different ways to beat the boredom of indoor training.  I've heard a lot of people watch indoor cycling videos like Spinervals or Sufferfest.  Some people will watch their favorite TV shows or movies.  For any ride over 90 minutes, TV or movies make sense to me.  However, shorter rides usually have a more specific focus and honestly, I have a tendency to zone out if I don't have a specific purpose.  As a spin instructor, I plan all of my class workouts around the music.  The music is an integral part of my class and every song has a specific purpose: tempo, mood, genre...all of these things help to make our 45-60 minutes on the bike more enjoyable and motivating.  So my plan for shorter workouts (60 minutes or less), is to build a playlist, just like I would for a spin class, to motivate me and keep me focused on the workout. 

Last weekend, I attended a very informative cycling clinic lead by pro triathlete, Morgan Chaffin.  She did an excellent job and I really learned a lot.  She also reinforced some concepts I had read or heard about from other athletes.  Particularly, Morgan's explanation of heart rate zone training made a big impact on me.  It made me realize that in order to get the best out of all my bike sessions, I really need to incorporate zone training. In order to figure out my different heart rates zones, (WARNING:  TECHNICAL ENDURANCE LANGUAGE APPROACHING) I need to do a zone test to establish my lactic threshold heart rate (google it).  So my inaugural indoor trainer playlist has been built to accompany the LTHR Test that Morgan outlined at the clinic. Thank you, Morgan!

I plan to create a new playlist every 2 weeks so that I have a complete repertoire of workouts for the trainer by the end of the winter.  Morgan gave us a lot of ideas at the clinic, but feel free to send me your favorite trainer workout and I will build a playlist for it. DISCLAIMER: this is Kendra's taste in music so there will be some "out there" stuff on these lists.  Also, there may be a song or two with adult language. Let the indoor cycling begin!


Warm-up – easy spin; 85-90 RPM (15 minutes)
Big Show – Baby Mammoth (7:03)
Hungry Ghost – Mehliana (5:01)
Stutter – Deleted Scenes (3:48)

3x1min @ 100+rpm (w/1 min ez spin recovery)
Put Your Hands Up For Detroit – Fedde le Grande (6:33)

5 min Z1/Z2; 85-95 rpm
Paradise Circus – Massive Attack (4:57)

Main Set:  5 min all out effort!
Runaway Lover – Madonna (4:46)

10 min ez spinI Know – Rakim (4:04)
Body Work – Morgan Page and Tegan and Sara (3:59)
Kids – Sleigh Bells (2:45)

20 min all out!
Touched – VAST (3:58)
Fast Lane [E] - Bad Meets Evil (4:09)
Zak and Sara – Ben Folds (3:11)
Gold Guns Girls – Metric (4:05)
Uh-Huh [E] – Sims (member of Doomtree) (4:45)

Cool Down – easy spin; 85-90 RPM
Doin’ It Right (feat. Panda Bear) – Daft Punk (4:01)
Calls (feat. Jill Scott) – Robert Glasper Experiment (5:42)


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Travel and Training - Race schedule change!

For me, the beginning of a new calendar year is always full of ambitious goals and optimism about the year ahead.  As evidenced by this blog, I love to plan, so this time of year is typically when I lay out my schedule for the next 5-6 months.  Between my concert duty schedule, training, travel, volunteer commitments and MBA class schedule, my schedule is packed so the uber-planning relaxes me.  The one thing that becomes the biggest challenge is travel and one of my longest work travel trips of the year happens at the beginning of January:  APAP. 

APAP stands for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and the conference that this organization presents is the largest in our industry.  It's always held in early January and always in New York City.  In a nutshell, APAP is non-stop shows, artist agent meetings and industry sessions.  This year, I tried to keep the schedule to a manageable 10-12 hours a day.  I saw a lot of shows (Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man is amazing and definitely Tony Award-worthy) but I decided to skip out on the late-night shows (11:30p sets at Village Vanguard!!) this year so I could actually get myself out of bed the next morning to work out.  I also had to present at one of the sessions on the last day so I did not want to be too run-down by day 5. 

New York Workouts
My goal was 4 workouts over five days.  I ended up doing three workouts: a 4 mile run, 7 mile run on the treadmill (I should get mad props for that) and one 45-minute Flywheel class, which is one of my favorite indoor cycling programs.  I am not a Flywheel instructor and I receive no payment for my endorsement of this format, but let me tell you, it's awesome.  Flywheel is an indoor cycling class that an outdoor cyclist can embrace.  Each bike has an individual dashboard which monitors RPMs, power and torque.  All of the individual dashboard flow to a leaderboard which is projected on screens in the front of the class.  Periodically throughout the class, the instructor will turn on the leaderboard and you can see how you measure against others in the class.  Again, awesome.  Also, your class fee includes a pair of cycling shoes (so you can clip in), unlimited bottled water and towel.  Have a mentioned I love this place? 

There are a number of Flywheel locations in Manhattan, all within two miles of midtown.  They also now have locations in Chicago and other major cities.  I like to turn this workout into a brick workout.  Typically, I attend class at the Flatiron location, which is about 1.5 miles from my Times Square hotel.  I'll run 1+ miles to the studio, ride and run back to my hotel.  However, for my APAP trip, I stay at the Sheraton at 7th Ave and 53rd and I discovered that Flywheel recently opened a new studio near Lincoln Center (1.1 miles from my hotel). I had a little 2-inch snow surprise when class let out, but in a display of true grit, I sucked it up and ran back to my hotel in the snow.  I like the Flatiron studio better primarily because of my run course.  I take the 6am class which means leaving my hotel around 5:30a.  There is nothing more awesome that running down Broadway in the early morning.  It is an amazing run and a completely different way to see NYC.  If you are traveling without a bike and have to get a ride in, this is really one of the best options that simulates the outdoor ride.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Flywheel.
NYC run in the snow - somewhere near Columbus Circle

My swim got scrapped on this trip.  I typically swim at Manhattan Plaza Sport Club, which is on 41st between 8th and 9th. It's a nice club with a very nice pool and usually the pool is not very busy.  I had great intentions.  I packed my paddles, cap, goggles and nose clips.....and forgot my swim suit.  So I was able to protect my straight hair for one extra day and sleep until 8a one morning.

In other news...
I got a surprise in my inbox last week.  Lifetime Fitness emailed me and said I had won a free entry to the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis.  I was totally surprised and had to contemplate whether or not I should stick to my original race plan or swap out Omaha Triathlon for LTF Minneapolis.  After surveying the TNT community, I decided to do it.  So now I'm traveling for pretty much every triathlon this summer.  New race schedule below:

Sunday, March 22 - Hot Chocolate Run 15K - San Diego, CA

Sunday, April 26 - Omaha Duathlon - Memphis, NE

Sunday, May 3 - Lincoln National Guard Half Marathon - Lincoln, NE

Sunday, June 7 - Legend Triathlon (Olympic) - Lawrence, KS

Saturday, July 11 - Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Minneapolis (Olympic) - Minneapolis, MN

Sunday, August 9 - Ironman 70.3 Steelhead - Benton Harbor, MI

Sunday, September 6 - Hy-Vee Triathlon 5150 Championship - Des Moines, IA

Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Indoor Tri Race Report/Reflection and details on my 2015 race schedule


Alarm went off this morning at 6:45am and I have to say, I almost didn't get out of bed.  From the comfort of my bed, I checked the weather:  temperature in Omaha was -1 degree...literally.  Probably the only thing that got me out of bed was my realization that quitting on day 4 of the new training season was probably not a good indicator for a successful season.  After  a quick bagel and coffee, I drove to Lifetime Fitness for their annual Indoor Triathlon.  LTF Indoor Tri was my very first "triathlon" 2 years ago.  Two years and eight triathlons later, I'm no longer a "newbie."

I arrived at the gym and it was nice to see some familiar faces. My fellow Black Triathlete Association members Shayla and Travis Withers were in the race wave before me and pro triathlete and coach Morgan Chaffin was counting laps for the swimmers.  TNT member Deb Bahr was also on hand to count swim laps.

Today's indoor tri was really a time trial for me.  Test fitness, see where I am at this point.  Swim was fine - 19 lengths (475 yards) in 10 minutes.  It was a major improvement from my first time (12 lengths - 300 yards) but not nearly my fastest.  I've been fairly consistent with  my swimming in the off-season, but I've been slacking in distance and drills.  The bike was also fine.  It's hard to compare to my event 2 years ago because LTF is using different bike computers now.  However, I think my ride was definitely stronger:  10 miles in 30 minutes (20.1 mph average), decent power for me (averaged about 160 watts).  The run was not good:  2.08 miles in 20 minutes (9:36 per mile pace).  I have not been doing any speed work and I was really struggling with 5 minutes to go. 

Overall takeaways:  add speedwork into running, get the drills back into swim workouts, get comfortable with that uncomfortable feeling in all 3 disciplines.  And most importantly, consistency, consistency, consistency.

2015 PLANS

My plans for 2015 are ambitious.  Ben is developing a running and half ironman training plan for me and it's a little daunting.  The number of training hours per week are really going to push me.  Last year, I averaged 6 hours a week with a  few 8-9 hour weeks.  This year, 8-9 hour weeks become the norm and we'll have some 10-12 hour weeks as well.  Here's the basic rundown:

March - Hot Chocolate 15K - This race is in San Diego and I'll use it as a midpoint race-pace test, working towards Lincoln Half.  It's also spring break for Ben and me!

April - Omaha Duathlon - Fast and flat, this will be a 2.5 mile run-15 mi bike-2.5 mile run.  In some ways, I think the duathlon format is almost tougher than triathlon but it will be a good excuse to get on my bike outdoors.

May - Lincoln Half Marathon - I haven't had a good half since 2010 when I was training for the Chicago Marathon.  Hopefully, Ben's training plan will get me to a good place with this distance.  The main purpose of this race will be to force me into decent running shape for my "A" race - Ironman Steelhead 70.3.

June - Legend Olympic Triathlon - I'll be in full training mode at this point for my A race, so we'll see how this goes.  I've done a different race on this exact course (5150 Kansas) last year so I know what to expect. 

July - Omaha Triathlon - I've not done this race before but since I will have to miss Omaha Women's Tri this year (conflicts with Legend), I thought I'd give it a shot.

August - My "A" race - Ironman Steelhead 70.3 - my first half iron distance.  I was hesitant at first about taking on this distance in 2015, but I had a good race year in 2014, and I know I can do it with consistent training.  This is a race distance that will be completely unforgiving if you don't put in the training, so I really have to focus.

September - Hy-Vee Triathlon 5150 Championships - This might just be the best value race in the sport of triathlon.  Tons of free gear, awesome race support and management, decent course and opportunity to watch the best pros IN THE WORLD compete.   I earned a spot in the championships last season in the Athena division and my performance at the 2014 Championships qualified me for this season.  This will be my last tri of the season and it's all about having fun...and maybe winning another awesome gift card!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 Race Schedule

Sunday, March 22 - Hot Chocolate Run 15K - San Diego, CA

Sunday, April 26 - Omaha Duathlon - Memphis, NE

Sunday, May 3 - Lincoln National Guard Half Marathon - Lincoln, NE

Sunday, June 7 - Legend Triathlon (Olympic) - Lawrence, KS

Sunday, July 26 - Omaha Triathlon (Olympic) - Omaha, NE

Sunday, August 9 - Ironman 70.3 Steelhead - Benton Harbor, MI

Sunday, September 6 - Hy-Vee Triathlon 5150 Championship - Des Moines, IA

The very first post...

As we begin the year 2015, I have embarked on a new venture:  writing a blog.  I never thought I would be one to write a blog but after reading my husband's well-crafted blog over the years (you should follow it:  Ben's Running Blog) and numerous rather crappy blogs by other folks, I figured I should jump on the bandwagon.  My posts will primarily focus on my training and adventures in triathlon, but occasionally I will venture into other areas.  More to come!