Friday, January 7, 2011

My 2nd Triathlon Season - Summer/Fall 2010

My very first triathlon season last year began with the New England Season Opener in May. That is the only tri race in the area with an open water swim prior to the Mooseman weekend on the beginning of June. I won my AG last year, but I was so freaking cold, that this year I decided against it. I was going to run my first ever ½ marathon back in February (Hyannis Half) to give me little more confidence for Mooseman 70.3 and to at least eliminate one of the unknowns! However since I couldn’t run for 2 months leading up to it due to injury, Hyannis didn’t happen. That meant my first race of the 2010 triathlon season was going to be Mooseman Half Ironman! The race of many firsts! 

I have to say, I had a great experience! The weather didn’t exactly cooperate but at least they let us race. I would hate to wait another 2 months to race my first half ironman. It rained, it poured from the minute we stepped into the water till we cross the finish line! The swim was brutal and seemed forever, the bike was super challenging and wet with 2 super long and steep climbs that felt twice as hard with what felt like a river coming down it, and run was a 2 loop fight for survival with what felt like 10 lb shoes on each foot as the water just kept making them heavier and heavier!  In the end, I managed to hit my secret goal and qualify for Clearwater on my first tri! It was time to get serious!  My competitive bug was 110% back and I was ready to get back to training the next day – okay maybe the next week as I was quite immobile the next few days! Ouch!  I guess this is how one feels when you push your body to places you thought it could never go!

Right after finish - OUCH!

That's one hard earned medal!!! :)

For those interested in details, czech out my Mooseman race report in the “My 2010 Race Reports” section on the left hand side.  This was quite the race, and I know that the crazy wet and cold ride I did a few months ago with my Dreamfar peeps was one of the reasons why I was able to be so successful  on race day!  Thanks guys!
Pre race dinner with few Dreamfar folks, Veronika, Colin and the support crew! Thanks guys!!!!
So now knowing I was going to Clearwater, I wanted to take it up a notch and of course make sure I do well there. I didn’ t want to be the last person out of the water, I didn’t want to be last, I wanted to be competitive and see what I can do against the best of the best. It was now obvious to me that in order to make the next step, I needed some one on one attention, and I decided to work with coach Jorge Martinez of Personal Best Multisport Coaching (  I can tell you know, it was the best decision I could have made!  If any of you reading this are looking for a coach, I highly recommend Jorge! He is extremely knowledgeable, super fast to respond to any possible or impossible questions you may have, super detailed, and competitive just like me! I could write an entire post on selecting the right coach, but since this post is about my 2nd tri season I will only say one thing. I believe it is extremely important to find a coach that will understand you, is willing to get to know you, and knows how to motivate you! Since I am writing this in retrospect, I must say again, I made a GREAT decision! If you are competitive like me, I recommend you visit my team's website mentioned above or follow Jorge’s blog - … you never know what you can learn! J  
My 1st day following Jorge’s training plan, which is sent to me every Sunday of every week was on June 29th and it started off with a 20 min bike test! Ouch! I now finally learned how to properly use my power meter!  He also did a swim analysis with me, and we set out a plan for the rest of the season with the main goal and my A race being Clearwater. 
I had 2 other races before Clearwater, and that was the Mass State Olympic distance triathlon on July 18th , 2010, and my 2nd half ironman – Timberman on August 22nd , where I had a chance to meet and race in the same race as Chrissie Wellington!!!!!!! J
The Olympic race went well except for the swim part! I am sure you all are noticing a pattern now!  It was really hot, the water was way too hot as well, so it became a non wetsuit swim, and another first! I didn’t feel all that bad in the water, but I sure was soooooo slow! Ouch! Full 10+ minutes behind the 2 girls that beat me. I killed the bike and had the fastest female bike split of the day thanks to my new bike training and the new bike. I rode Jorge’s Felt DA which rocks! The run went really well as well. It was hot, my first mile sucked, but I was able to get it together and post the fastest female run as well! Thanks swim! U lost me my race! I guess the saying that swim won’t win you races, but can lose them is true!  I learned another thing about myself during this race! I learned how to dig dip, and dig even deeper. I was about half a mile from the finish, super hot, super tired, when I spotted a girl in front of me.  I kept closing in on her, and made up my mind that there may just be enough room before the finish line to catch her. I could have let her go, but that’s not me! Let me just say, sprint finish after swimming, biking and running 6 miles is no joke, and it hurts. It hurts even more if you don’t win it, ha! I came in tied for 3rd overall female, and 1st in my AG. More details about the race and the sprint finish can again be found in the race report section.
You can see me closing in ... :) ... ignore the face - I was "dying" 

Spent!!!!!! I think I need another bottle of pick me up! 

Team Czechchick and my buddy Jim
Now, Timberman 70.3, my 2nd 70.3 but first one under the guidance of coach Jorge.  We worked very hard together to improve my swim, bike, and run in the short period of time we had, but all the hard work definitely paid off. I had a superb race plan, that I was able to execute almost perfectly, which allowed me to break my secret goal of 5 hours!  I am not kidding when I say, my race plan was about 5 pages long, and included about every single detail you can think of what to do the day before the race, during the race, and after the race!  I told you he was KNOWLEDGEABLE and DETAILED! J My final time was 4:54:54 more than 30 minutes faster than I was back in June at Mooseman and even more importantly I felt so much better the entire race than back in June! Sweet!!!!!!  I also got to see Chrissie Wellington in action and guess what! My 2nd transition was faster than hers! J Baby steps …. Ha! I made the podium and most importantly I beat all my times including the swim time from Mooseman! Yay!  Timberman details and my race report are again in the 2010 race report section of my blog.

Feeling good heading out on the 1st loop of the run! 

I got my maple syrup! Yum! :)
The last race of my 2010 season was the 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, FL and I believe the race and the preparation for it deserve its own blog post! J

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