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2014 Team Tough Chik – Meet Jessica, Michelle and Sue!

20 May


Name: Jessica S.

Location: Miramar, Florida

Sport of Choice: Running, Triathlon

Hobbies: aside from my life hobbies of Running and Triathlon, my family enjoys boating, model airplanes, RC cars, bike riding, and any other outdoor activities.

2014 Race Plans: 2014 is a big year for me as I embark on many new adventures. I plan to continue in my new Triathlon endeavors with more Sprints, and potentially an Int’l and Oly distance. I will be continuing the HM’s with at least 3 on the schedule, and my biggest planned accomplishment is to complete my first full marathon next December

What makes you a Tough Chik? BELIEVING in my physical abilities. I have only been in the running sport for 3 years and my 1st tri this year and the only thing holding me back is me. I am a full-time out of the home working mom with a police husband working nights. I juggle the school nights of our 2 kids and their swimming mostly alone, but have made it a priority to fit in time for me to be healthy to inspire them.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? none i thought i couldn’t live without my running watch until it broke

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? When you need something to Believe in…. start with yourself.

Fun Fact: I was born at 30 weeks at 4lbs 4 oz and my parents were told to have very low expectations. At 34 years old I have a Bioengineering Degree, have an awesome job designing/developing Heart Pumps (LVADs) and continuously exceed my fitness goals for running and now Tri-ing. Eat that dr’s in 1979 🙂


Name: Michelle V.

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Sport of Choice: Running, biking, triathlon in that order. But I love riding my cruiser bike anytime!

Hobbies: Cooking, traveling, hiking, drawing, crocheting, anything fun and creative.

2014 Race Plans: Surf City Half
San Diego Medio Fondo
OC Half

Fall racing not yet determined

What makes you a Tough Chik? I don’t give up easily

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My phone. It connects me to family, friends and the internet.




Name: Sue S.

Location: Gettysburg, PA

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: Running
My kids!

2014 Race Plans: April 27, 2014 -Run Like A Diva Half Marathon Myrtle Beach
May 31, 2014 – Zooma Annapolis
June 21, 2014 – Spirit of Gettysburg
November, 2014 – Richmond Marathon (Hopefully!)

What make you a Tough Chik? Life makes me a Tough Chik! I had three little girls in FOUR years, and then was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. I had surgery, radiation, and today still deal with it. Having kids to care for though doesn’t give you an opportunity to hesitate. Life goes on and you need be the best example to your children that you can.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? IPOD Nano

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? We Create Our Own Tomorrow By What We Dream Today

Fun Fact:I love anything with flowers, or plaid! Mornings

2014 Team Tough Chik – Meet Andrea, Maria and Katharine

1 Apr

Name: Andrea T.

Location: Jacksonville, FL

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: motorcycle riding

2014 Race Plans:

The Gate River Run
Wolfson’s Children Hospital ultra marathon
The Donna Full Marathon

What makes you a Tough Chik? being a strong runner yet not having a “runner’s body”

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? gps

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? suck it up buttercup




Name: Maria L.

Location: South Lyon, MI

Sport of Choice: Running, skiing, bike riding.

Hobbies: Gardening, reading, sight-seeing.

2014 Race Plans: Marathon Maniac in May!!! with Flying Pig and Rite Aid Cleveland
Hollywood Half
Chicago Women Rock Half
Martian Marathon
Whatever comes up and sounds good.!

What makes you a Tough Chik? I’m a Tough Chik because once I set a goal I do whatever I have to reach it. I don’t give up easily!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? NIKE GPS

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? You only get ONE life so LIVE it!




Name: Katharine R.

Location: Texas

Sport of Choice: Running, Triathlon

Hobbies: Girl Scouts
Weight lifting

2014 Race Plans: Galveston Marathon
Seabrook half
Austin Triathlon
Sugarland Triathlon
Fort Worth Marathon
Firecracker 4 Miler
BCS Marathon

What make you a Tough Chik: I may not be the fastest or smartest, but I am the most dedicated and I succeed by my sheer determination.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Iphone 5

Pool Problems…AGAIN!

17 Mar

Nothing like some inconsiderate boobs in the gym pool to bring me back to blogging.  Yes, I have been slacking…BIG TIME and I honestly have no excuse.  I wish I could say that I have dedicated my free time to helping out at a soup kitchen or walking dogs at a shelter, but no, I am not spending my free time helping man (or dog) kind.  And it isn’t even that I don’t have anything to say.  I have written several posts in my head on long runs or ride, trust me…they were AMAZING and very insightful.  If only I can get an assistant to follow me on my runs and rides to dictate posts to!  Wouldn’t that be awesome?

I digress…

As you have read (or can see by my links below), I have little patience poor pool etiquette.





I am not talking about lane etiquette or actions that only an experience swimmer would know, I am talking about good ole consideration of others and awareness of those around you.  Last week we got to the pool and there were 2 teenagers play fighting each other in a lane.  This is the pool at my gym, that is completely roped off for lanes.  So they are taking a lane to put each other head locks.  So I have to share a lane (which is not a huge deal, but still) so you can play WWF water-style?  WTF?

Then last night I was swimming in a lane alone and there was an empty lane next to me.  A guy jumped into that lane and kind of started to swim.  Then his wife/girl-friend joined him in the lane to play and round of grab-a$$.  Of course, another swimmer shows up and shares a lane with me.  Again, not a big deal, but I have to share a lane so you can piggy-back each other and flirt.  Really?

Is it just me, or does this happen everywhere?  Do people at your gym treat the pool like a hotel pool? Shouldn’t a gym pool be considered a place to work out and not socialize?

2014 Team Tough Chik! Meet Jodi, Jenifer and Angie!

11 Mar


Name: Jodi G.

Location: Rockford, IL

Sport of Choice: Triathlon

Hobbies: Photography and cheering on the Cleveland Indians

2014 Race Plans: 6/8/14 – Esprit de She sprint tri Naperville, IL
7/14 – Rock, Roll ‘N’ Run sprint tri Janseville, WI
8/16/14 – Dirty Girl Mud Run WI
9/6/14 – Rev3 Cedar Point sprint tri
10/26/14 – Marine Corps Marathon!!  My first!!

What makes you a Tough Chik?  Being out there and staying active.  Age is just a number!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My phone

Fun Fact:  I deal with criminals all week as a Probation supervisor and spend my weekends volunteering with some awesome kids who were blessed with an extra chromosome.



Name: Jenifer O.

Location: West Covina, Ca

Sport of Choice: Running… But actually I call it “wogging” which is in between walking and jogging.

Hobbies: I love crafts. Knitting is my favorite; I am a big time volunteer and my kid’s school. I love “glamping” which is glamorous camping. I am not going to a port o potty in the middle of the night.:)

2014 Race Plans: As most of the girls know I completed my 1st sprint tri 2013 on a cruiser and it was not easy. I want to conquer that course again on a real bike. I plan on toning down the half marathon and maybe focus more on some fun runs with the kids. I would also like to hit some trails.

What makes you a Tough Chik? I think I am tough in a lot more ways than I considered last year. I am a more confident person. I really feel with the right mindset I can conquer anything. At 37 years young I never thought this would be where I am at. I am a much happier, confident person because of this team.

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Nike sportswatch

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? My last half my friend told at the last mile to “push my brave”. It was a rough mile and I think I cried to the finish line.

Fun Fact: I really am silly fun living gal. I “wog” so I can drink beer and eat ice cream. I love tennis shoes. I still feel like I am 16.



Name: Angie Z.

Location: Lincoln, NE

Sport of Choice: Triathlon

Hobbies: Photography, show jumping (jumping horses over fences)

2014 Race Plans: Lincoln Half Marathon (May 2014), Omaha Women’s Triathlon-Sprint (June 2014), Omaha Triathlon-Olympic (July 2014), Hy-Vee Triathlon-Olympic (August 2014)

What make you a Tough Chik: When I make up my mind I am going to accomplish something, I do it.  I have set some lofty goals in my life and have completed many of them.  I continue to set high goals for myself as I try to reach for the stars!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Garmin 910XT

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fun Fact:  I usually read a couple of thousand pages worth of books each year!

2014 Team Tough Chik – Meet Amy, Xanthe & Valerie!

18 Feb


Name: Amy S. – 1st year member!

Location: Fullerton, ca

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: Racing, traveling, shopping, reading, spending time with friends and family.

2014 Race Plans: Oc half, Huntington Beach half, LB half, Nike in Dc (fingers crossed)

What makes you a Tough Chik? I’m dedicated! Through injury I keep
Coming back!! I am always trying new runs to push myself and keep motivated!

What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Nike plus

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Run your own race!

Fun Fact:  3 years ago I started running and my goal was to complete a 5k. This weekend I am running my 8th half marathon, rock n roll in Vegas!


Name: Xanthe – 2nd year member

Location: Campo, CA

Sport of Choice: Triathlons

Hobbies: Geocaching, animals, reading, softball, triathlons, hiking

2014 Race Plans: Jan:
5-Kendall Webb Triathlon
18-Stagecoach Century
19-Carlsbad Marathon
2-Surf City Marathon
8-Tour De Palm Springs
9-Palm Springs Half
16-Run 10/20
22-Race the Base (maybe)
23-San Diego Women’s Half Marathon
1-Desert Tri (Sprint)
2-Desert Tri (Oly)
9-San Diego Half Marathon
16-Superseal Oly Triathlon
23-Zion Half Marathon
13-HITS Napa 140.6 Triathlon
20-Mustang Half Marathon (maybe)
27-La Jolla Half Marathon
4-OC Half Marathon
18-HITS Colorado 70.3 (maybe)

What makes you a Tough Chik? I have been last and didn’t quit.

What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.  -Eleanor Roosevelt

Fun Fact: 20+ military Veteran, retired.



Name: Valerie D. – 1st year member

Location: Arlington, VA

Sport of Choice: Running

Hobbies: Running

2014 Race Plans: Dopey Challenge January 9-12, 2014
GW Parkway Classic 10 mile – April 14, 2014.

What make you a Tough Chik: I may not be fast, but I hang in there until I get the distance covered.

Iron Girl – Lake Las Vegas Triathlon

31 Oct

On Saturday I broke my 6 month race hiatus (which lasted 2 months) with Iron Girl Olympic Triathlon at Lake Las Vegas.  After “only” racing 2 tris this year (although both were 70.3s) I thought I would try a shorter distance and see how I shaped up.  I had a few factors working against me.

For one, I only trained 4 weeks for the race.  Typically a training cycle is 8-12 weeks and although I wasn’t starting from scratch, I didn’t feel as prepared as I wanted to be (but I rarely do!)  The biggie was I was working the expo the day before.  Working an expo means standing all day, a lot of heavy lifting and poor fueling/hydration.  I rarely get a chance to eat lunch and since I typically work solo, bath room breaks are a luxury (so I don’t drink as much as I normally do).  So I pulled on some compression sock (and my big girl pants) and grabbed a big bottle of water and hoped for the best.  Luckily the expo was relatively short and I was packed up by 6:30.  I was also lucky that Marc was there to help me load and unload, a HUGE help.

This was the first year for the Olympic distance, although Iron Girl has had the Sprint race at Lake Las Vegas for many years.  The course was pretty much just 2 laps of the sprint course, easy enough.  The swim was a little odd in that after out first lap, we had to physically get out of the water, cross the timing mat and swim a second lap.  I heard that it was the only way they could ensure that we swam 2 laps, which makes sense, but was a pain!  I think they could figure out a better way.  I had never heard of that before.

Race morning – 4:30 AM – UGH why do I do this again?  Really who pays to wake up at 4:30???

The night before the race I slept like sh!t.  I woke up about 20 time in a panic looking at the clock.  Don’t you just hate that?  This had happened to me before ITU last year and I had one of the worst swims I could remember, so I wasn’t feeling too confident.  I got up and got ready, ate some breakfast and Marc drove me to the start.  I told him that he didn’t have to stay and I would call after the race for him to pick me up.  I was secretly hoping he would say, “No, it is ok.  I will come watch.” But he eagerly accepted my offer and slowed down enough for me to get out of the truck before he speed off back to bed!  (I joke)  You know you have been racing a while when your significant other doesn’t even show up anymore.  But I was OK with that.  I knew that Lauren and Helaine were going to be cheering me on, so that helped.

Since I was a vendor at the expo, I was able to pick up my packet before the expo opened and rack my bike first.  So I had the very first spot, right at bike out, SCORE! So I set up my transition spot and was chatting with the girls around me.  Everyone was excited and nervous, but generally nice and inviting.  That is what I love about the all women races.  Everyone is so supportive and positive.

I walked down to the beach and found Lauren.  She was unable to race this year due to injury, so she was volunteering as support on the water.  Keeping the swimmers safe and more importantly…on course!  It was nice to see a friendly face and have someone to talk to while we waited to get in the water to warm up.  This race had a time trail start, meaning only 5 racers would go out every 10 seconds.  I had never participated in a race like this, but my guess is because the lake is narrow at the start, the didn’t want us all to go out together.

SWIM – 1.5K

I am not a great swimmer and I didn’t want to be in the water when the let the Sprint race start.  I really wanted to get this part over, so I jumped in at the front of the line.  I was in the 3rd group to go and I went out WAY too fast for me. I was about 100 yards in and I felt exhausted (just like ITU).  I was getting passed right and left and I felt like I was never going to get out of the water.  At that point I reminded myself that I was here to race my own race, not beat this girl or that girl.  I wasn’t going to win, so just HAVE FUN DAMN IT!  So I started to swim at a comfortable pace and actually look around when I can up for air or to sight.  The sun was rising and the lake was beautiful (man-made but beautiful).  I finished my first lap, got out of the water and did it all again, this time at my own pace.  I kept a look out for green swim caps (Oly was pink, sprint was green) and I was able to make it out of the water before the green caps.  Out of the water we had a 1/4 mile run up hill to transition.  This was part of our swim time, which is a bummer because I would like to compare it to my past swim times.  But it probably would have been longer either way with getting in and out of the water. Time – 40:44 13/20 (div) 57/88 (overall)

Lesson – I need to work on my speed and not worrying about everyone else.  Getting a good night sleep is beneficial to the swim for me, but that won’t always be a given.  I was good with my sighting, I felt like I was improved there but I don’t have the speed.

TI – After my hike up hill I made it to T1 with no issues.  Found my bike easily and was able to get on and go…no problem.  Half of the bikes were gone when I arrived and I was surprised I wasn’t the last one, even if I was one of the first in the water. Time – 2:44 9/20 (div) 24/88 (overall)

Lesson – Buy expo space at all races to ensure early bike racking! 🙂

BIKE – 40K

If you follow my blog or know me from Team Tough Chik, you know that I LOVE THE BIKE.  This is my sanctuary, where I feel at home, where I should shine.  Gordy (my bike) had been making a clicking sound on and off for the past few weeks.  I couldn’t locate the sound and Marc had been traveling and unable to look at it.  I was hoping that it would magically disappear for the race, no such luck. So there was a click with every tire rotation the entire bike.  SO.FREAKING.ANNOYING. But I tuned it out the best of my abilities.  The portion of the bike in and out of the resort area was pretty hilly, so we didn’t get much time to warm up before we were climbing.  There were quite a few ladies already on the course by the time I go there due to my less than stellar swim.  I passed a few, but for the most part, I rode the first lap solo.  By my second lap there were a lot more women on the course and some of the sprint athletes were on the bike as well.  I saw 2 Tough Chik jersey out riding and that made me smile.  A lot of women were walking their bikes up the hills to get out to the main road.  I have never seen so many people have to hike a bike in a race.  It was a tough course. Time – 1:32:51 8/20 (div) 33/88 (overall)

Lesson – I could have done better, bottom line.  I am a strong cyclist and I don’t feel like this reflects my true ability.  I think this is were I suffered from standing 8 hours the day before.  My quads were burning for nearly the entire first lap.  So buy expo space for early racking but just sit in said space to ensure fresh legs.

RUN – 10K

I am not the strongest runner.  I feel like a lot of triathletes start off as runners, so they are stronger runners than I am.  I could be wrong, but that is my impression.  This run was a B!%*#.  It was hilly, very hilly.  The hilliest run at a tri I have ever seen.  Again, so many people were walking that is was not the exception.  I knew that if I stopped to walk, it would be way harder to start to run again.  I never looked at my Garmin for my pace, I just ran as fast as I could.  My friends and teammates Lauren and Helaine were on the run cheering us on.  It was fantastic and so up lifting.  I saw them at the beginning of my first lap and the beginning of my second lap.  Here is Lauren’s sign…

1381390_840780787183_1606706633_nI ran with a gal for the last quarter mile, I was running to the finish and she was running to her second lap.  I felt so bad for her because she had another lap and I was DONE.  It was a very hard run.  This was so many women’s first tri and it was such a difficult course.  I ran across the finish line and there was Lauren and her sign, I almost cried.  She stayed with me to the bitter end.  All of our friends raced the sprint and were done an hour before me, but she stayed out there!  She is amazing!   Time – 1:00:23 11/20 (div) 37/88 (overall)

Lesson – I was very happy with my run time.  11/20 is mid-pack but I am happy with that.  That was a hard 10k and I did it in an hour, I am please.  The lesson is that my hill running is help and to keep moving works for me.

My final time was 3:18:35 9/20 (div) 38/88 (overall)

Final thoughts – I am going to be honest, I knew that this race was going to be a small field and there was a fleeting thought that I might, just maybe, get lucky and place.  Obviously, I wasn’t even close and looking at the times of the top 3…not even in the ballpark.  My goal was 3 hours and I didn’t get there.  I didn’t expect the course to be so difficult but we all raced a difficult course.  I went though so many emotional places during this race, from not sure if I could finish the swim, to actually feeling competitive on the run.  I was all over the place.  i would LOVE a do over and see how I would have done without working the day before.  To see if that played a role or if it is an excuse.  I am proud of my race, yes I can improve and I have room to grow, but it was a good way to end the 2013 season.

Me, Toni, Helaine and Lauren

Me, Toni, Helaine and Lauren

The Dark Side

3 Oct

Hi there, remember me??  Sorry about the spotty blogging, but if you haven’t heard, we have this little thing called Team Tough Chik registration going on and it has kept me busy.  BUT I am trying to continue to train for the Irongirl Lake Las Vegas Triathlon.  Since I signed up late (5 weeks out), I am playing catch up with training.  I broke my “6 months off of racing” after TriRock because I was so jealous inspired by all of the racers.

So over the weekend I had my first brick since Barb’s Race in July.  My husband has been trying to get out and run (although he hates every minute) because he want to try a tri.  Hee hee…welcome to the DARK SIDE.  The poor guy has terrible asthma and running really acerbates it.  He is a very, very strong swimmer (no…i am not jealous…I am proud…really…..even though I have been swimming 2 years longer and he kicks my ass…no seriously…totally happy for him…) and he pretty much grew up on a bike, so running is the missing link.  We have started out slow and short and we are working up to 4 miles this weekend.

When I told him that I had a brick on the agenda for Saturday and invited him to join me, I was sure he was going to blow me off.  Surprisingly. he was game.  It was a short brick, 10 mile bike followed by a 2 mile run.  Easy peasy, right?  I knew he was thinking, “this will be cake, am I even going to get a work out??”

We have a bike/run path by our house where I do all my bricks.  I can park the truck and ride up to 20 miles with out lights (which is HUGE here) and then lock my bike up in the back of the truck for my run.  It is perfect, although I know every curve, crack and mark on this trail by now!

Truck prepped for a Brick

Truck prepped for a Brick

So we went out for the ride and the first 5 miles are downhill and we were smoking.  Then we turned around for the 5 miles back.  It is a slow gradual climb (the kind that kills poor hubby) and I noticed that he was falling back.  The is a sprinter, he can blow by me in a sprint type situation, but the slow climb is where I shine.  So I made it to the truck first and waited a couple minutes and he was right behind me.  We did a quick switch and headed out for the run.  He took about 4 steps and said “Um, yeah…this is different”.  Yup, you think a little run after a short ride is nothing, but the first few times you do it back to back….it is “different”.

He told me to go ahead and run, just let him know where to turn around (I was wearing the Garmin).  I know when I am slower that my running partner, I want them to go ahead.  Nothing worse than struggling to run next to someone who is barely putting out any effort and is purposely slowing down to stay with you.  So I went.  When I got back to the truck, I pulled out my camera…he hates this!

Hubby's first Brick

Hubby’s first Brick

He did great!  I mean 10 mile bike followed by a 2 mile run is almost the bike/run distance of a sprint.  Most sprints are 12 mile bikes and 3.1 mile runs!  And he has been running for 2 weeks.  I was so proud, he was so surprised as to how difficult it was.  Our course was hilly, but we live in a hilly area!

1368814_10201370138912795_802357460_nWelcome to the Dark Side honey! (insert evil laugh here)

AND in case you haven’t heard…2014 TEAM TOUGH CHIK registration is open NOW!!!  We hope you join us for an awesome 2014 race season!


TriRock San Diego Race Report – Exhibitor Addition

25 Sep

Many bloggers post race reports, I thought it might be interesting to my readers to hear about a race from the “other” side.  The view of one of the exhibitors.  You know the guy or gal sitting in a tent handing out samples or selling you t-shirts with cute saying.  I have been selling at expos all over California, Arizona and Nevada for 4 years now.  Some are great experiences and some are not.  Just like races, some are very well organized and some are just not (or cluster Fs as I like to say).

TriRock is an international races series that is owned by Competitor group that is known for its very popular Rock N Roll Race series.  If you have only been to the Rock n Roll expos, then you would be a little disappointed by the the Tri Rock expos.  They are much, much smaller which is GREAT for me!  Less competition, there was only TYR and the official merchandise there as apparel competition.

TriRock is also an outside event, which if you have good weather, is great!  It is much easier to load and unload if you can pull up to the spot.  At TriRock we could not drive up to the spot on the grass, but we could park along the road, which was very close to my spot.  When you have an event inside, you have to put everything on a hand truck and wheel it in, which takes a lot longer.  So set up was easy!

TriRock San Diego Tough Chik Tent

TriRock San Diego
Tough Chik Tent

Of course it is a total crap shoot when you have an outdoor expo, if you have bad weather, it can ruin your event.  Luckily in So Cal, we are usually blessed with nice weather and last weekend was no exception.

The event was 2 days, day 1 is packet pick up, from 10 – 6 and then on race day, 8-12.  Packet pick up is typically your big sales day and since packet pick up was on a Saturday, you can get traffic all day long and just not the lunch and after work rush.  This was also a good spot because we are set up in a very touristy part of San Diego, so I even got some sales off of visitors who had no idea the race was even going on.  BONUS!

Day one, Saturday, was a beautiful day and I had a nice stream of customers most of the day.  It can be hard to work by yourself, especially if you need to go to the bathroom!  Luckily I am like a camel, if you know what I mean, and the tent next to me kept an eye on the “store” while I made a pit stop.  So if you ever walk up to an un-manned tent at an expo, they might just have to take a nature break.  Please stick around, we will be back soon!

I love introducing new athletes to the brand and getting the opportunity to explain the benefits of my product in person.  It is very hard to show the quality and thought that goes into an article of clothes on-line.  I also love seeing the same women returning year after year, telling me what items the already own and what they want to add to their collection.  You don’t get this kind of feedback on-line.

It was a long day on my feet and only a apple here or handful of trail mix there, so I left pretty tired and hungry.  Since it was a 2-day event, I added the nylon “walls” to my tent.  The expo has overnight security and I have been very lucky to have never had an issue leaving my tent and product in the tent over-night.  Even so, I always hold my breathe the next morning, hoping that everything looks like it did when I left it.  I only had on instance when 3 of my grid walls were knocked over, but nothing was missing or damaged.  Just a mess.

Day 2 can start very early, sometimes we need to be there the same time the atheletes arrived due to road closures or parking issues.  This can be a very cold a lonely time, because no one is at the expo, the are at the start and/or racing.  We had a parking garage that we could enter without hitting any of the road closures, so I was able to arrive around 7:30, which is way more palatable than 5:30 when transition opened!

I have to admit that I was SO jealous of the racers.  I wanted to be out there in the mix.  It felt like years since the last time I strapped a timing chip around my ankle!  Then I did the math and it had been a month and a half!  HA!  I was jonesing to race.  During the race I had a few supporters stop by, wives who also race but were supporting their mates, families of first time races, etc.  But the big rush is when the main field finishes.  You get to see women who you sold a kit to the day before, race in it!


Tough Chik Zoom Zoom Kit takes 1st!

You get to talk to women who didn’t want to buy the “I TRI” tee until they TRId and see how happy and relieved they are that they finished thier first TRI and I get to be apart of it.  You get see how one of your sayings makes to a cheer poster.

"Proud of our TRIATHAMOM"

“Proud of our TRIATHAMOM”

And you get to see your friends and teammates after they race and hear the triumps and tragedies that can occur during a race moring.  This is one of my favorite parts, the sweaty, salty hug after a race!


My friend and teammate, Sara, post race!

Then once the awards are handed out, the beer is drunk and race numbers are peeled off, the crowd dwindles and we pack up.  I was so lucky that my husband drove to San Diego early Saturday AM to help me set up and then again on Sunday afternoon to help me load up.  It is so much quicker with 2 people.  I am a lucky lady!

Overall, TriRock is a great race to expo.  This year we were set up in a new grassy field that was much easier to access than years pass.  It was very organized and tons of port-a-potties.  The atheles were excited and energized.  We had great weather and little competition.  On the downside, TriRock is very expensive to exhibit at, just like it is to race.  On top of that we had to pay $15 per car to park on race day, although we did have free parking on packet pick-up.  I will most likely be back to TriRock if they don’t raise the pricing and if you are new to triathlon, this is a great first race!

I am dialed in!

20 Aug

On Friday I went to my not-so-local bike shop, Out-Spoke-N in Huntington Beach, for a bike fit.  You should really get a bike fit every year, as our strengths and flexibility change, your riding style evolves and all of these slight changes need to be accompanied by changes to your equipment.  When it comes to a bike, millimeters can make the difference in 5% power output increase or waking up with a huge pain in you neck (literally).  Bike fits are important and often overlooked by even the most serious cyclist.  So when I bought Gordy, I should have been fitted on him right at delivery.  BUT, my hubby picked him up while I was out of town to surprise me.  Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome to come home to a new bike, but I was robbed of my shop fit.

So when my neck started to bother me, I wanted to cross Gordy off the list of possible offenders, I knew it wasn’t him…he is to cute! LOL  So I decided a bike fit was way over due and I contacted Derek at Out-Spoke-N.  You see, this is not your mother’s bike fit.  Out-Spoke-N is one of the few shops with this is a state-of-the-art bike fit, the GURU Bike Fit.

In layman’s term, GURU is a stationary bike of sorts that is hooked up to a computer.  This way the fitter can input measurements and the computerized bike will adjust.  You can make the slightest adjustment with the click of a mouse.  If this sounds confusing, I copied the websites explanation…

“The GURU Experience makes real-time adjustments to your riding position on command – allowing you feel these changes while pedaling. In addition, the system’s integrated power unit allows you to test your power output and pedaling efficiency.

GURU’s proprietary software captures individual riding positions – which can be compared to one another at the push of a button.

The GURU Experience optimizes your performance to deliver the perfect balance of comfort and efficiency – allowing you to ride longer and faster on your perfect bike.”

guru bike fit

Before I got on the “bike”, Derek took an inseam measurement as a baseline.  There is a small monitor that you can not see from this photo, but it is a read out of your speed and wattage.  He had me adjust the resistance to a pace that I could easily ride all day and from there it was a lot like an eye doctor visit.  “Does it feel better to ride in position 1 or 2? One or two?”

So after about 45 min of easy spinning and playing with seat height, handle bar height and tilt, saddle distance from the handle bars, etc Derrik generated a report.  With this report, I can go to any bike shop and have a bike sized to my specifications.  Why would you need that?  Well, if you ever have to travel with your bike and basically take it apart, it is nice to know where everything belongs.

Below is page 1 (of 6) of the report and gives the basic info.

2013024000085_Page_1So Derrik took these measurements and compared them to how my bike is currently set up.  My bike is set up right now by the very scientific EH method, as in “EH, that looks about right”.  Marc had just eye balled it.  Well, he was exactly and I mean exactly-on-the-dot-right on my seat height, down to the centimeter. (Don’t tell him, we don’t want him to get a big head and start walking up to strangers adjusting their seat height)  Derrik moved my seat forward and according to the fit, I should have a shorter stem.  I decided to hold off on changing the stem since we moved the seat forward as it is and this would put me even closer.

Will this help with my neck issues, probably not.  According to Derrik, usually if it is a mechanics issue you will feel it on both sides (i.e. both knees will hurt, not just your left) and I have significantly more pain on my right.  But we did notice that I tend to ride with my right hand further away on the hood, than my left.  Maybe because your right hand controls the rear derailleur and that is where you do most of your gear changing.  Could that be it?  Who knows but I am happy to know that Gordy is dialed in to meet my measurements and preferences.

I am not suggesting that everyone go out and get a pricey GURU bike fit, but I do suggest contacting your local bike shop and seeing if they do bike fittings.  Usually they use standards according to your height and inseam along with riding styles (are you racing or riding with the kids in the park) and can set the bike up, let you get on and see how it feels.  From there the fitter can manually adjust your bike until you are comfortable.  I really, really strongly recommend that if you bought a pre-owned bike, that you especially get a fit.  You could save yourself a lot of pain and suffering.

Race Hangover

7 Aug

Barb’s Race was 11 days ago and I have yet to set foot in the gym, sit on my bike, jump in the pool or strap on my running shoes.  I am hungover…race hungover.  I am having a very hard time getting back into the swing of things and this is the point where I typically sign up for my next race to motivate myself to get moving.  But I am officially putting it out there, I am taking a break from racing (expect sprints) for 6 months.  I have been training for over 2 years straight and I my body is begging insisting on a break.  I hurt….everywhere.  It isn’t fun.  I want to go out and just ride, ride with out an agenda.  So I am giving myself a self-imposed “off-season” since they don’t exist in So Cal.



But, I am struggling because for over 2 years I have had some form of training plan.  They have ranged from very rigid plans to basic outlines, but I have had some guidance.  Now, I am lost.  I know that I need to work on strength training, especially in my hamstrings, glutes and core. I want to keep up my swimming and running fitness.  I need to get back to yoga because I am so tight and my back is SO sore that I need more stretching and I have failed in that past in “doing it on my own”, plus it will help with the core strength.  I will continue to ride, because I LOVE it and it something that my husband and I do together, plus I have promised him and many other friends to get back on my mt. bike.

So here is what I am looking at:

  1. Strength training
  2. Swimming – preferably 2 x week
  3. Running – preferably 2 x week
  4. Yoga
  5. Road Cycling – preferably 2 x week
  6. Mt. Biking

I am not really sure how I will fit all this in, something is going to have to give.  I really don’t want to be working out 2 x day for my “off-season” but I don’t know how else to make it work.  I guess all of my swims don’t have to be 2000+ yds and runs don’t have to be 45+ min, but it is so hard to pull back. Especially if you are a mile whore like me.  I LOVE to collect miles, junk miles…I don’t care…I love watching that number grow.

What do you do in your “off-season”?  Do you find it hard to come up with an action plan for the off-season?