Friday, July 22, 2011

From my coaches perspective - Part 2 & 3

I know I am a bit behind, but if you read Part 1, and didn't end up reading Parts 2 & 3 on my coaches blog, czech them out! Definitely some useful info for those looking for some advice for your next races.

Part 2:

Part 3:

And if you like what you read, are looking for coaching advice, don't forget to czech out E3 Training Solutions at ... There are various types of programs out there that I can guarantee will fit your needs. Plus you get to be on the same team as me! :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Providence 70.3 and Ticket to Vegas

It has now been almost couple of weeks and I have had some time to reflect on the race. The race, that granted me the spot in this years World Championships in Vegas. I must admit I was quite nervous in the days leading up to the race, as this was the one and only qualifying race on my schedule this year. Last year, I qualified for the Worlds at Mooseman, which was my first half ironman ever. Back then, I had no expectations but to have a blast, and see what I can do at that distance.  I qualified on my first try, and raced at Clearwater last year. This year was different minus the blast part. If you don't have FUN racing, don't do it!  I had high expectations of myself, and made Vegas my goal from the beginning of the season. All my preparation, the American Zofingen Duathlon, the Quassy 70.3, and the numerous weeks of hard work were towards this race and ultimately Worlds in Vegas.  
Since the  Providence course has been changed from previous year, I didn’t know much about it. I knew it was going to be “easier” than Zofingen or Quassy, but the bike included bunch of rolling hills, which suit me well. I got a super duper race plan from my coach few days before the race, and I couldn’t wait to get the show started.
I drove to Providence on Saturday morning the day before the race. I registered, got my calves taped up so they didn't feel like BRICKS again, got all my stuff ready, and headed out to set up my transitions.
Me and Hana (Also from Czech) at the expo on Saturday:
The awesome tape job! It really works!

Since this was a point to point race the logistics of this race were a bit more difficult than usual. I dropped my bike off, and drove the bike course. I always like to either ride the bike course few weeks before the race or at least drive it the day before so I have an idea if what I am going into, any uphills and downhills, sharp turns, potholes etc. Knowing the course makes me ride that much more aggressive and comfortable without really playing any guessing games. Knowing there isn’t a sharp 90 degree turn at the bottom of the long downhill, makes me not so “afraid” of hitting 50mph on my “Fireball”!
By the time, we finished driving the bike course, it was time for dinner. Bri was my Sherpa for the weekend, and drove me around all day! Thank you! We met up with another czech chick currently living in NYC, her friend Sam, and ran into another friend of ours for dinner. We had a blast and before I knew it, it was time for bed.
Dinner with everyone:

The race started super early so I had to be up by 3 am to eat my pre-race breakfast, and catch the 4:15 shuttle bus to transition. The $8 shuttle bus to transition I must add! I think we all paid almost a $1 for every minute on that bus! The rest of the pre race morning was quite uneventful; until it was almost go time and I found out I couldn’t wear my blueseventy skinsuit courtesy of my coach. Apparently the $200+ suit he bought 2 years ago isn’t legal anymore! That was a huge bummer, but I didn’t have a choice! Of to the water pre race warm up I was in my tri shorts and top.
I found out the day before the race, the water was way too warm, so this was going to be a non wetsuit swim, in a bacteria infested lake! The lake was closed for at least a week due to high level of bacteria that were all of a sudden brought down to normal the day before the race. Hard to believe, but it was what it was! Without going into too much detail (you can see a detailed race report at the following link:  the swim was what it was. I have been swimming quite a bit this year, but my OWS times have yet to translate that. I am starting to sound like a broken record, but I have every intentions of changing that! I did pretty well during the first half of the swim, but when we started swimming into the sun, I had issues sighting and found myself all over the place. I couldn’t wait to get out of that water!
I really shouldn't be looking at that watch!

Fairly long run up to transition, but I was in and out of there pretty fast. As fast as one can put on a pair of bike shoes, put race belt on and nutrition into shirt pockets!
Knowing the course from the day before, made me a bit more comfortable about making up all the lost time out of the water! What didn’t make me all that comfortable was the fact I couldn’t keep any nutrition down for the first 45 min of the bike, but my legs were still moving! The bike course consisted of lots of rolling hills for the first 48 miles followed by a horrendous 10 mile stretch to get back into downtown Providence. Just to give you an idea, I avg. 190 Watts for the first 48 miles, and only around 150 Watts or so for the last 8 -10 miles ending the bike ride at an avg. of 185 Watts, which is still the highest it has ever been in a race, and actually right on target that my coach had given me, but it could have and should have been higher! My power dropped so much due to the conditions of the roads rather than my legs. Between all the potholes, scary twists and turns through ghetto Providence, 3 sets of railroad tracks, I was willing to give away a bit of power and get to the run in one piece rather than losing the race in the last 10 miles due to a mechanical or a crash. Needless to say I biked my way from 36th in my AG after the swim to 2nd place, posting the fastest bike split in my age group by 4 minutes, and posting the 4th fastest overall bike split including pro’s. Thank you “fireball” for getting me back into the race! I continue to wonder where my bike would be, if I actually made that my priority! I tell my coach all the time that we should just try to making me an even faster rider, but he is quick to assure me he will turn me into a swimmer! Scary thing is that I have honestly only biked half as much as I have last year, but yet I am considerably faster!
The "Fireball" that got me back into the race:

Thanks to yellow ribbon I tied to my transition bag, I saved the day by not running right by my running shoes! The rack was essentially empty so I knew I was doing good. I was in and out as fast as I could!
Now you know why my yellow ribbon was essential!

It was getting quite hot out there, and I didn’t know much about this course besides that it was a 2 loop course, and it had some sort of a hill in it. I took off on a mission to secure my Vegas ticket, and not be a one loop hero! It was getting quite hot, and the run course offered absolutely no shade, so I made sure to grab 2 sponges at every aid station and stick one in my bra, and the other behind my neck. Water, coke, and 2 powerbar gels did the trick to keep me cool and get me through this run. Again, without going into too much detail that you can read on my BT post at the same link as mentioned above, I was passed by 3 girls in my AG on the first loop, and they all flu by me pretty fast. I didn’t like it, but I also didn’t have the speed to keep up with them at that point in the time. Come the 2nd loop, I ended up seeing the 2 out of the 3 girls, and was able to pass them in the last 2 miles of the race. The last girl I passed with about .5 mile left, when she went to grab some water/coke at the last water station. When I saw that, the “Macca” Kona move popped up in my head, and as much as I wanted 2 more cold sponges, water, and coke, I picked up the pace and never looked back. My finishing sprint was nonexistent because I had absolutely NOTHING left in my legs, and my finishing picture wasn’t very cool either because I was just trying not to die. I don’t know how the pros do it, looking so fresh when going across the line!

I am very happy with this race. I had put a lot of pressure on myself, and was able to deliver. I PR’d the run, that’s getting better with each race, and for the first time in any race, I was able to re-pass girls on the run, and in the closing miles of the race. For the first time I was really able to make myself speed up when I was hurting the most and turn my coaches favorite sentence “It’s going to hurt, but when it hurts, just pick it up and run faster” into reality. I ended up finishing 3rd in my age group, with a fellow Czech chick coming in 1st so it was quite the Czech podium. We’ll both be representing our tiny little country at the World Championships in Nevada on September 11th.
Top 5:

Top 3:

Again THANKS to ALL of you who make my dreams possible, and allow me to race to the best of my abilities. You all know who you are. I even had my own sign! :)
Now if any of you out there want to “sponsor” me, message me! J My next purchase and already on its way is the TYR speed suit, I could always use another bike – FELT preferable as my Felt DA repeatedly carries me to a top bike split in any race, race wheels – whether it be HED wheels or Zipps, Louis Garneau aero helmet (I love the way it fits, and my coach won't let me borrow his forever), and of course PowerBar goodies that get me through each and every race. Without PowerBar I would be visiting Bonk Central in no time!
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more! Vegas is just around the corner! 
Detailed Race Report can be found here: