August 25, 2008

Chicago: They don't call it the WINDY city for nothing!

Chicago was fantastic! My visit was so wonderful thanks to Gloria and David of Magellen Development. I had the opportunity to stay on the 37th floor of the Regatta http://http// with some fellow triathletes, Jimmy Archer and Kristen Peterson. The view was incredible: from my bedroom I could see the beautiful water and harbor full of boats and the Navy Pier along with the huge ferris wheel. I arrived Friday evening and was still feeling the fatigue in my legs from last week's 70.3, so I headed out to explore the neighborhood and get the circulation going again after my flight. I walked thru Millennium Park and that's when I discoverd the WIND!!! On Saturday I met up with Mary Beth and we rode on the bike path. There were gazillions of people out on the trail, runners, walkers, cyclist, skateboarders, rollerbladers, you name it, we saw it! I also got in a short run and went to swim at the Ohio St. beach. Then it was time for the race meeting, pre-race dinner, and getting stuff together.

Sunday was race day and the pros were able to sleep in since we didn't start until 11:00! At the race meeting the day before they told us the water temp was 76...but to bring our wetsuits just in case. I was like, just in case what? there is no way the temp will drop below I entered the transition area, Joanna told me it was a wetsuit swim. 'Ha Ha, your joking, right?' 'Nope, they said it 71 this morning' 'Yah right!' Well, we ended up wearing wetsuits and the water was HOT!!!! I came out with the lead pack and on the 600mtr run to transition my legs did not want to go. They were screaming pretty loud to just stop the torture! I pushed on through, hoping I would feel okay on the bike. No such luck! We faced a tough headwind on the 10K out (2x20K bike loop) where I tried to keep the girls in sight. At the 20K mark, I was right with Liz and then she got about 1/2 mile on me and I stayed there the rest of the bike. I'm not sure why, but at about 25K I started throwing up...not so much fun on the bike! Kinda gross really! But what can ya do? So I pushed the end of the bike and slipped on my running shoes ready to see what my running legs had to say. Surprisingly, they felt good the first 2miles. The spectators and volunteers were awesome, providing much needed encouragement and cold water. The last 4 miles were pretty much a death march as I just tried to keep it together. I finished in 9th, which was pretty respectable considering the field and my condition. So I was happy with it and I finished in the money, always a nice bonus! I talked with Andy Potts after the race and he asked if i felt as 'great' as he did out there. We decided we'd done the races in the wrong order, Olympic distance following a 70.3...not the smartest thing, but lesson learned! And in addition to my awesome homestay I was able to have fun and hang out with some good triathlon friend, yeah!

I actually flew back last night after the race. It was quite the rush, rush whirlwind getting packed up and to the airport. I decided to take the train to the airport (2 bucks vs 30+ for a taxi)...which meant carrying and manuvoring my bike up 4 flights of stairs and through several gates and actually onto the train. I had my bike wedged against a seat and was trying to launch my oversized backpack over the top of it just as the train started to pull away. It was the exact timing to throw me completely off balance as my bag went flying one way and me the other. I was laughing at myself...but those around me didn't seem to find my humor in it and I'm sure they were wondering what the heck I had in my huge box! Luckily, no damage was done and I made it back to COS in one piece!

August 19, 2008

My first 70.3

I just got back from my first 70.3 race! I decided to give the 70.3 distance a shot a few weeks ago and found the Timberman website...when I saw the pictures I just knew I had to go :) I haven't been that far NE, so it would be an exciting adventure. On Thursday night I packed up my new TT bike, my Cervelo P3C. I just got the bike about 3 weeks ago and was able to make a quick trip home to Oklahoma to have Steve at Schlegel Bicycles fit me. Thanks Steve!! I must admit I was a little hesitant to make such a change (all I've ever riden is a road bike) and the bike felt so different. Amazing the change I've seen in the last three weeks as I've come to love my bike and was excited to see what I could do on it in a race. So on Friday evening I arrived in Manchester and found out my bike decided to have separate travel was hanging out in Chicago! Since there wasn't too much I could do about it, I got my rental car and drove 1.5 hour north to check out the race-site. And then headed another 30min north to my hotel. After a long day of travel, I was glad to hop in bed and fall asleep while watching the Olympics. Saturday was pretty low key, basically just getting ready for the race: race meeting, building my bike (which arrived at 4:45 in the morning :) ), pre-race workouts, a pasta dinner, and watching more Olympics.

I woke up EARLY on Sunday feeling good and ready to race. I had a 20 min drive to the parking lot I'd found to park at and then a 4mile ride to the race site. I got into transition to set up and found out it was a wetsuit swim. Now how in the world does the water temp drop from 73 for three consecutive days before the race to 70-71 race morning??? But what can ya do, and anyways I've got my super speedy Aquaman Gold Cell! I finished setting up transition, did a run warm up, took in all the excitement and headed to the start. The start was so much more low key than ITU racing, it was great! Simon Lessing picked up an orange con to make an announcement to all the pros "No one is to pass me from now to the finish, understood? one touch me on the swim!" Andy Potts didn't follow his directions, but don't worry I did :) So I expected to have one of the faster women's swims and hoped to catch some of the guys feet...however there was a strong current and as the guys went wide in order to use the current later...I didn't' know this was going to happen, so I had some clear water to the first buoy. Rounding the first buoy I met up with Pip Taylor and we swam together the rest of the way. I had a good transition and started up the gradual grade out of transition feeling good. Since this was my first half I didn't know what to expect on the bike or exactly how hard to go. I just put my head down and went. It was definitely different riding in no-man's land for so much of the ride. Chrissie Wellington passed me about 40min into the ride and I did what I could to keep her in sight. Thank goodness there were still some of the guys behind me, so about every 30min someone else would pass me and give me another target. I cruised into transition with the 2nd fastest bike split and broke 2:30 on a tough course with over 4600 feet of climbing, so I was pleased. I've really been working on running fast off the bike, which paid off because I felt great! I was cruising along and passed the 5K mark in 19:30, my HR was below my target zone so I thought I was doing okay at that pace. I backed off a little bit and was still feeling strong through the end of the 1st lap. As I ran through transiton the crowd was awesome and I heard that I had a 4 min lead on the next two girls, sweet. My legs kept on moving and I was holding a solid pace through 9 miles, and then my legs decided they were done. Oh, I started hurtin! The run course was pretty tough too with little to none flat stretches and 3600 feet of I started up a hill my pace was 8:20, uh oh! Needless to say miles 9-11 were painful. But when I passed the 11 mile marker I knew I only had 2miles left, 14-15 min. I took it one minute at a time and as I neared the finish line I could see the clock at 4:29, I tried to push it to break 4:30 but crossed in 4:30.03. Not to bad for my first 70.3! I ended up 2nd to Chrissie and earned a spot to the 70.3 World Championships, yee haw! The post race festivites were amazing: great people, great food, and lots of fun. And a huge thank you to all the volunteers and to Keith Jordan, race director, for putting on such a fantastic event!

August 8, 2008

Racers Against Childhood Cancer

Dear family and friends,

Our 24 Hours of Triathlon Team, Team Powerbar/TriOkies, is taking on the 24 Hour challenge again this year! This event is held in Aurora, Colorado August 30th-31st, and is a contest of fight, will, and survival for 24 hrs. as each team tries to complete as many 1/10 Ironman distance loops as possible. A.24 mile swim, 11.2 mile bike, and a 2.6 mile run complete one loop. Last year we competed in this event and actually held the world record for about 2mins, before being passed with just 21 seconds to go: the clock said 23 hours, 59 minutes and 39 seconds. This was hard for us to deal with all year long. We are shooting for the world record again this year so watch out!!!!!!!!!

This year we are also raising money to Help Defeat Childhood Cancer as part of RACC: Racers Against Childhood Cancer. We wanted the opportunity to make this event something special for Kid's with Cancer. Our fight and will to survive for a 24 hr. Triathlon is nothing compared to the fight, will, and drive of these incredible kid's who have cancer. Childhood Cancer kills more children than all other diseases combined and one out of every 330 children will develop Cancer before they are 20 yrs. old.

Please help us is fighting this horrible disease while we compete on August 30th. Donating to the effort is easy and would be greatly appreciated. Not only is my Team competing on August 30th but we are also competing to be the # 1 fund raising team for the event. Our fundraising goal is $5000 or more!

Last year my team (myself, Randy Sadler, & Luke Hooper) covered 327.6 miles. This year we hope to break 350 miles!!!! To donate just visit my personal web site page by clicking here: donations are Tax Deductible. If you would like to donate based on goal mileage, use 350 X (your donation) ...... $0.01 per mile would equal $3.50 total donation. Any donation is great, you do not have to meet the status they have set, donations under $25.00 are perfectly fine!!! Any donation is appreciated, every $1 helps in the fight against cancer.

Please pass this on to others who might be intersted.

Thanks for your help and please cheer us on!!!
Train hard and fast!
Amanda and the Team :)

August 3, 2008

Copper Triangle

Yesterday, Randy and I rode the Copper Triangle bike ride. It was an 82 mile ride over 3 mountain passes...Fremont Pass (elevation 11,318’), Tennessee Pass (elevation 10,424’) and Vail Pass (elevation 10,666’). We climbed over 6,000 feet and had some fast fun descending too (my max speed was 47mph!) You could start the ride between 5:30am and the time we arrived, got registered, and got our bikes and equipment ready it was 7:45. As we rolled out it was still freezing! The sun hadn't peaked over the mountains yet and the temperature was in the low 40's...brrrr! Right out of the parking lot it was a 45 min climb, so by the time we reached to top we had warmed up considerably and I was able to really start enjoying the ride. The day turned out to be absolutely beautiful! They had aid stations set up about every 20miles and it was great to stop and get some yummy food rather than the normal stuff ya carry with you. We had fruit, oreos, trail mix, bagels, cookies, and pretzels.

After the race, we headed to Salida for the night. On sunday, I got up and ran along the river in Salida and it was pretty warm out (mid 90s) with the sun beating down. Towards the end of my run I could see the storm rolling over the mountain and the thunder in the distance. I jumped in the truck with Randy and we headed towards our next destination, Nathrop. On the 15 min drive the temp dropped 40 degrees!!!! Rain was pouring down and it was super windy, pure craziness! The storm passed pretty quickly so we were able to enjoy the Hot Springs at Mt. Princton. These hot springs are really cool because not only are there hot springs pools but there are warm spots in the creek. It took us awhile to find a perfect spot and right when we did another storm started rolling in. We were able to sit in our small hot springs while the freezing water roared by and the thunder rolled. We got to watch quite the lightening storm, which was amazing. What a perfect afternoon :) and weekend!