Monthly Archives: October 2012

Our First IM 70.3 @ Austin

The time finally came, it happened last Sunday. We left to Austin on Friday with some teammates, one of them had done it last year so it was good to have him with us as he knew the routes and what to expect. So on the way down he gave us his honest download of what would be ahead of us.

We got to the Expo before close time, so we had plenty of time to pick up our packages and check out some goodies at the store… yes… it is almost impossible to not get something. Then we went to the hotel to check in and dinner with friends.

Her bike ready to roll
His bike ready

Saturday was a not so early start, got the bikes in the truck and down to the expo again for bike check-in. It was all starting to settle in. As we were walking the bikes one our friends got a flat, so needless to say, it wasn’t going to be a “walking” of the bikes, it was more like carrying the bikes to transition. Checked the water, it was so much warmer than the air, so it was good to know that the water was going to be nice. Then we had plans to drive the bike route. Map in hand, our friend giving us ins and outs on the course was very helpful. Noticed the hills, the pavement, the turns, all the details, so it gave us a good sense of security that it was going to be doable, might looked a bit tough but overall doable. Dinner with the team, off to finish packing, setting up transition bags and get in bed to rest… rest yes… sleep was limited.

Mercedes and Cristian before me hitting the water

Alarms off at 4:30 am, we got up and did our morning rituals, oatmeal breakfast, bananas, a bit of juice and a bagel. Then by 5:30 we were getting to park the car. Transition bags in hand, dropped off the transition 2 bag first, got in the bus to take us to T1. It is a bit overwhelming having 2 transitions in a race, but overall it went fairly smooth. Got to T1, body marking, and setup. It was a clean transition, only a few items were allowed outside the bag, nothing touching the ground except 1 tire of the bike. Check the tires for air and got out of transition. By then it was almost 6:30 and we had long ways to wait, some of our friends had early waves so they left to their swim starts. Res and I had an 8:10 and 8:40 (last wave) wave times. We hang out with some friends from the team that came to cheer us on and our neighbors and friends as well. Res went to her swim start and I went to drop our morning bags. needless to say I started to freeze. It was cold, 40’s and all I had on was the wetsuit. Then it was finally 8:40 and I was then up for my swim.

Res getting to the strippers

My swim went fairly well. Water was nice and warm, I had an uninterrupted swim, I did what Coach M had told us, count until 10 (not really more like until 5) and the start, by then I had no traffic to fight. I stayed close to the bouys as I wasn’t planning to swim more than I really needed to considering that my shoulder had been bothering me from the accident. I was really concerned about the swim as I didn’t want to ruin the bike by not being able to go aero. I didn’t have any pain on the shoulder, but yet I think I wasn’t pushing as hard as I would normally do, it was a slow swim 50:54 (2:37 100/m) that’s a lot slower but I’ll take it, I came out of the water. T1 was pretty interesting, being cold and wet don’t mix well together, neither does the fact that we had to put on some more layers than usual for our 56 mile stroll :). After almost 9 minutes of T1 finally got out and started the bike ride.

The bike looked good

It was cold, don’t think I warm up for maybe 20 miles. The hills came and went, turns, the pavement was actually better than we had seen on the car. No tech problems, saw a lot of people on the side of the road changing flats or simply just hanging by the side of the bike. Res got to see a few accidents, luckily for me no accidents. All I did all day was pass people, being the last wave I had a chance to pass a lot of people, had only a few passed me. The wind started to pick up as we were approaching mile 30 or so, it was not the 5 mph North wind that the weather man had promised… it sure felt like 15 mph from all directions, no matter where we were turning. Nutrition on the bike worked well, I think I had a bit too much Infinit at one point so I felt a bit full, managed to get more water and not that much Infinit at that point. I then saw I was getting close so I had one powerbar energy gel, that was the plan. I had a few other snacks on the bike but nothing too big, had my uncrustable but didn’t eat it, wasn’t that hungry at all. Then came in, had a few sips of Infinit towards the end, and got off the bike. T2 was a bit more reasonable, only 3:43, considering had to take the long sleeve shirt and put on the singlet and off I think it was ok.

I had a feeling she was close by
There she was a few miles ahead of me

The run started good, as it always does, legs went for a few miles without knowing what was really going on, it took about 3 miles for them to catch up. By then I saw Res at the distance so I just set my goal to catch her and run/walk/jog/stroll/ the rest of the run with her. We did the first loop (4.3mi) running, slowing down at aid stations, then the second loop came and the slowing down became more of walking a bit longer at the aid stations, by the time the 3 loop came it was a lot more walking and less running, but we managed to at least finish it running. Our times 6:50 and 7:20 respectively, considering the elements thrown at us, we consider it a great success. 

Told ya…. I was going to catch you eventually

Overall it was a great race, yes we were in pain at times, but it wasn’t too unbearable. The training that included 29 miles in the speedos, 770 miles on the pedals (which included 8 miles of an ambulance ride) and 213 miles with the kicks definitely paid off.  Thanks to Coach M, for his patience, wisdom, and words of advice during our training… oh and also for picking us up at the hospital after our crash :). We are very happy with our results, and being our first 70.3 it definitely is a journey to our next official crazy adventure Woodlands 2013 – 140.6 – Full IM. Are we ready now? not really… we are definitely sore, will we be ready? you bet!!!.

Stay tuned for our updates of that journey, I’m sure we will have ups and downs, good times, bad times, pains, glories, short races, a half a marathon, a full (maybe), another 70.3 maybe… so we will keep you updated. For now all we can say is… we finished our first 70.3 and we are happy!!!!

Finishing together… priceless đź™‚


7 days and counting

Today marks our final week countdown before our first 70.3. After our episode from last Sunday has been a slow week recovering, cleaning up wounds, trips to the drug store and short workouts as recommended by Coach M. Yesterday we got on the bikes, we haven’t been on since Sunday, bikes were also being checked and tuned up at the shop. It wasn’t too bad a little stiff and sore in a few places but luckily there was no wind (surprising) at the speedway so it was actually a fun, fast ride, we were supposed to get 1:30 on the bike but since its getting dark so early we only were able to get 1:00 before it got dark. Today we were ready for the speedos (more for the wetsuits) but Coach M recommended us not to hit the water as my wounds were still a little fresh, Res didn’t push the issue and decided not to get her feet week. Considering the 58-deg outside temperature and 77-deg water, I would’ve preferred to be in the water. Instead we decided to get our run in. We had 1:05, we did 1:00 (6.2 miles) and walked the last 5 minutes to the car. Note that we shortened our 10k time by 3 minutes, not too bad.

Now we just reflect on our workouts for the week, seem to be easy workouts nothing too stressful or long, just anxious to get out there and hit the course in Austin. Anxious to know what is waiting for us, have had a few friends give us reports of the bike course and it seems not to be so bad just have to be smart to reserve some legs for the run.

Res and I think we are ready, ready to get our minds over our body and ready to get this accomplishment, we have trained hard over the last 4 months putting a lot of laps in the pool, miles on the wheels and miles on the sneakers, we will leave the totals for a later post when we compile them.

All and all, just bring it on Austin, we are ready.

Time for Mind over Body

This week’s training was the start of our taper before Austin, we had a nice 3 hour ride last Sunday on the trainer, by nice I’m being really sarcastic because it was not nice at all, but albeit the 40-deg temperatures, I guess it was a bit nicer. This week overall was ok, I had another trainer ride, this time only an hour long, Res was able to do it outside and she was really happy with it, she felt so strong, had a couple of short runs, not too bad, and an open water swim which was a good one because it was a 1.1  mile distance and I was able to do the time I want for Austin, in the mid 30’s. Yesterday we had another open water swim, it was ok, water was choppier than we like but we were good. We had a 30 minute run, but we came home and watched Kona, when the pros came in we went for our 30 minute run, it was funny…. I was feeling faster, I guess pumped up after watching Kona all day.

It was all going well until today, we had our last group brick, started with a 20 min run, then 1:45 on the bike and supposed to finish with a 25 min run. Did the first, was nice, weather was nice a cold, went back to get on our bikes, headed to triple threat by Trophy Club. It is our 3 hill repeat in less than a mile stretch. We were at mile 10, right before we turn to hit triple threat and my front tire got caught in the pavement joint and I lost control over the bike, I went down, rolled for about 30 feet and Res who was behind me goes on top/over me hitting the ground face first. Luckily we were with Coach M, and 2 other girls from the team. I got up to try to run over to Res because she wasn’t moving much, but my nose was bleeding so they stopped me from moving. Res was able to get up but when she got up she started collapsing. A few good samaritans stopped and probably called 911 because a few minutes later the showed up. Res helmet, again was broken, and she was white as a wall. Paramedics insisted to take us to the hospital which we accepted so they would check us up. Our wounds were cleaned up, our heads checked, we were cleared.

We were in pain then, we are in pain now, and probably will be in pain for a while. The road rashes on me are in places where I know are going to hurt and hope they get better in 13 days, otherwise it is going to make it for a long painful day in Austin. Res’ wounds are also in places where they will hurt with a long day.

Here is where we go back and read Chrissie Wellington’s Mind over Body Battle blog and get inspired by her story. I know we can’t compare a World Championship on the line vs. our Austin 70.3, we are not trying to get there first, or try to set any records on the course. We are trying to just finish it and be able to enjoy it. We know it is going to be a quick recovery, and what we do in the next 13 days will highly impact our performance on the 28th. We have trained hard for it and certainly think we are prepared, but putting our mind over our body pains and aches is what its going to take us across the finish line. Not the way we wanted to taper down into our first 70.3 but it wil be a test to our mind… and our body to recover… also to the post office to deliver our new helmets and the new lenses for my Oakley’s. As long as we stick together like we have always done it, we will do just fine. Like Chrissie says: it is “The race within myself—where I gave absolutely everything…. The “war” that my competitive spirit craves. I couldn’t have done it on physical strength alone. It was a true test of mind.

For now….

Good night!!!!

I guess it just hurts….

Last week was a so called “recovery” week, we took it really easy. Our schedules were pretty hectic traveling for work all week and limited time for training. I (Puli) was able to get a few workouts in, a swim and run in Oregon, didn’t get the bike in because the bike at the hotel gym just sucked. Res was able to get hers in the same way, her bike suffered too because of me arriving on Wednesday so she came to pick me up at the airport. Of course, she didn’t need an excuse not to do the bike. Thursday we had an early flight to FL, so needless to say swim and run that day were not an option, Friday was work for me and Res was able to get her long run, 6 miles along the intracoastal in hot Miami. Me, on the other hand, in a conference center locked up all day. Res was able to book a 5K on Saturday, she was all ready, well she was able to PR her 5K, under 25 minutes. 

This week, we got back into it, Monday catching up after the flights and all the home duties, and Tuesday we hit the pool and the trails. It wasn’t too bad, Wednesday a nice bike ride around White Rock Lake, haven’t done that one in a long time so decided to stay in Dallas and got it done there. Weather was great, so it felt really good. Thursday, our “speed workout” day was due. Read Speed Workouts blog and you will see. This time Coach M had a few new treats for us. Started by going up our beloved Elaine 4 times, with the instructions to charge at it on the way up and recover on the way down, so we did, even though we thought to ourselves, these 4 can’t be it, so we saved some energy for whatever he had in mind at the end. We went back to him after our 4th one, and he had planned do sets of lounges, grapevines, and single-leg squads. Well, like I said… It just hurts… overall was a 4.5 miles workout in about 45 minutes (not including the squads and other core workouts) but we knew we were going to hurt on Friday. 

Friday came, and so the pain, it was a slow start trying to get up, legs were sore, from the glutes down. Our Friday ride, didn’t happen, instead we went to see the Rangers lose the wild card game to the Orioles, not a good way to end the week but it was a lot better than trying to deal with the wind from the cold front trying to roll in to town.

Saturday, the weather was as promised, nice 51-deg, 15mph winds, the water was actually 80-deg but he allowed us to use wetsuits, being the 1st time since about April in it, it was good at the beginning but then the hard breathing and was getting too warm inside of it. The fact that we were dealing with 1′ and 2′ waves didn’t help the situation, but we managed to do about 0.6 miles at the lake. The 1:30h run, happened at home, it was a good one, nice, chilly and we bundled up enough. Did I mention…. slow? yes it was slow, we are still sore. 

Tomorrow’s 3 hour ride got cancelled due to the nice cold temperatures and 40-deg temps with wind, so it is going to be a 3 hour trainer ride. Better find some Netflix movies so it can be entertaining, not looking forward to ride while watching football… not my idea of fun either.

For now, we’ll just say.. it just hurts, this couch has been our friend almost all afternoon :)))