Category Archives: swim bike run

Another race in the Caribbean in the books…. Ironman 70.3 Cartagena

So finally getting around writing my race report for our last adventure in Cartagena, Colombia. Two years ago while walking the streets of Mexico City we heard that Ironman had opened up a race in Colombia. What was even better was that it was in Cartagena, which is one of the most beautiful cities of Colombia. It didn’t take long after the announcement came out for Felipe’s brother and sister to start texting us and asking us to do it with them. Before we knew it, we were committed to it and we were anxiously waiting for registration to open. Surprisingly it didn’t sell out on the day it opened, but regardless we all signed up on that day. We didn’t want to risk it. The rest of this report is about our trip planning and what went down once we got there. Hope this is helpful for you if you are considering to jump on this wagon this year. 

Our Trip

IMG_2652.JPGWhen we started looking at our plans for the trip, we soon realized that JetBlue flies direct to Cartagena from JFK. This was a pretty good option, since JetBlue is one of the airlines that have the best prices when it comes to flying with bikes, and even better, they honor Active Duty Military when it comes to baggage fees no questions asked (other airlines tend to give us a hard time since USPHS isn’t usually considered a military branch which it is). Earlier in2016-11-26-14-36-43-hdr the year my sister in law had moved to Medellin and had told us to start our trip there. JetBlue also goes to Medellin after a short stop in Fort Lauderdale. We then planned our tri
p starting in Medellin. It was pretty nice to be in another city which I had never been and Felipe’s last trip there was more than 20 years ago when he was a kid. Felipe’s parents actually met us in Medellin so we were able to spend more time with them since they usually only get us for a short time on our trips. It was an added bonus to them.

2016-12-01-10-49-09After a week in Medellin we then all took the same flight to Cartagena. This time we flew Avianca which is one of the local airlines. It was only about $100 per person (one way) so it wasn’t too bad and it is a short 45 minute flight from Medellin to Cartagena and the bikes were flying for free since it was the official airline. Once we all got to Cartagena since we were meeting 2 other friends (one of them doing the race) we had gotten a bigger van to take us to the condo. It was about $20 for that trip. We did the math later and having 4 bikes would’ve made us have 4 Ubers which was probably $40 for the whole thing. That worked out great. We had decided to get a condo instead of a hotel since originally it was going to be just our family. Our friends, Margo, Shayla and Brian with his wife were going to rent another one. At the end, due to shuffling of trips and last minute cancellations we all ended up in a bigger condo where the 9 of us fit just ok. The condo for all of us for the 6 days was about $1000.

Race mode….  Friday

2016-12-02-06-55-19We all got up and since we (Felipe and his brother) just had put together all 4 bikes we wanted to go and ride them a little as well as check out a little bit of the route. The condo actually had the route going in front of us so it was just simply get on the road and we were on it. Leaving the condo was a little sketchy because it is only an undivided 2 lane road but a couple of miles north it converts to a 6 lane divided. The first few miles had me super nervous, trucks, motorcycles, cars, you name it passing us. We had a car as an escort but still some people don’t respect. Once we got to the divided road, it was a lot better. We were able to get aero, try the gears a bit more and about 9 miles up the road we made the return. I felt great, the heat for sure was hitting hard. We left at around 10 am so figured that’s how it was going to be on race day… only one word HOT!!!!. We made it back to the condo and made some minor adjustments to the bikes.

VIRB Picture

img_2954Packet pick up was on Friday too, so we got ready after the ride and wanted to get the packet pick up stuff out of the way as soon as possible but it seems like everyone else had the same idea. The convention center was packed and we stood in line for about 2 hours going through the checkin. Then we did the store stuff and bought our race gear. International races usually don’t make it to the online Ironman store so that’s why we bought it all there. Didn’t want to risk our chances of not getting anything. After about 3 hours of being in lines we went to get some food and then back to the Condo.

Saturday… pre-race day

We tried to go for a short swim in the ocean, we knew the swim was in a bay but wanted to get a swim in. We swam for about 10-15 mins before a little storm passed by and we got out. After that, we got ready to go get the bikes to transition. We were able to get a bigger group with Angela, Margo, Maria Claudia, Maribel and the two of us to go. Maribel’s hubby followed us so we had some protection going towards the convention center to drop them off. Still it was scary at times because of the same trucks, buses, motorcycles, and everyone just trying to “share” the road. Bikes were dropped off and then we met up the rest of the family to do dinner. After that, it was just time to put the legs up and go back to the condo to set up for the next day.

Sunday…. race day

15799978_10154606341935783_387664569258036848_oSunday came pretty quick, by 3:30 am our alarms started to go off. We all got up and got ready for the day ahead. We had set up 2 vans to take us from the condo to the start. That trip was about $15 for each van which we pre-negotiated the night before. We got to transition and the setup started. Felipe and I went first to my bike to set up my transition. Felipe’s brother went to help their sister to set up hers since he wasn’t setting up transition. Margo set hers while I did mine and lastly Felipe set his. Then we were all ready to get going. Only problem is that we ended up waiting for about 2 hours or more to start. Some of the buoys had moved so the organizers had to re-set the swim course before the gun went off. The heat was really starting to climb while we waited. We were all getting worried because we had no water and the race people weren’t giving us any updates. Once they started things got moving pretty quick.
The swim went pretty uneventful, I felt strong however the swim is into the sun at first from the start to the first turn. I tried to sight as good as I could but it was hard. The Rokas did a great job but still the sun was in our eyes. I ended up swimming a little longer than I expected. My garmin called for a 2300 yd swim and not the 2100 yd. My time was 47:36 which was a bit longer than I expected. Considering that I swam 200 yds extra I think that was about 4-5 min extra that I ended up swimming. That is closer to the 40:00 I wanted to get for my swim so I consider it a success.

112_3rd-559250-digital_highres-1605_017235-5780061Once I got out of the water I felt the heat, I got into transition and tried to get all my stuff quickly and get on the bike. The first part of the bike was getting out of the city, the road has a little cheapaseal and then about 5 miles out there was a little rough because there was some construction which was cleaned up for that day but the roads weren’t in the greatest conditions. After that rough patch, it was a lot better, so for about 21 miles we were able to cruise. There wasn’t any major wind, just heat. Then the two short climbs came up towards the end. I’m not a big fun of any of those but got my way up those. The turn around came and those same climbs became downhills, that was fun getting a little push going back to transition. At about mile 40 or so, Felipe came up and the right after him Angela came by. I managed to finish my bike in 3:27, I compare this bike course with Atlantic City 70.3. It has about the same elevation gain. One thing that is true is that I was able to control my power and stay in the zone that Coach Mike and Felipe had told me to stay in. I’m hoping to understand the whole power training a little better but the result of keeping the numbers where I was told made me manage my legs and have some left for the run.

122_3rd-559250-digital_highres-1605_042809-5780071Once I got back to transition the heat was already up there. There was a short shower while we were on the bike so that brought our temps down on the bike. When we were on the run, it just made the walled city a cooking pot. We had no wind, sun was beating down and the humidity was high too. Luckily for us, the beauty of having an aid station every kilometer meant that instead of the usual 13 stations we had 20 instead. All I did on those was pour water on my and drink a little. I had lost my Base Salts vial in transition but was able to get Felipe’s when he was on his way back. Running in the walled city was surreal. The energy of the people from the volunteers, cheering squads (including ours) and the tourists walking the streets. The heat was pretty brutal and at one point it was matter of surviving and not doing anymore damage but needless to say I enjoyed every minute of it. At the end, the run ended with a 2:25, not as fast as others, but considering the heat I take it as a win. At the end, I finished with my usual big smile. Felipe had finished ahead of me and he was already waiting for me at the finish.

As a whole, I am glad we did this inaugural race. The whole experience of racing in Colombia with your family cheering is simply amazing. Cartagena is such a magical city that you have to visit once if not many more times in your life. This was my second time in the city and under two totally different conditions. The city caters to the tourists and if you are smart while traveling you get to see and do a lot in the city. We are glad we rented the condo, we got to spend time with Felipe’s family and also didn’t have any pressures of being with all the tourists either. It was pretty fun to do it that way. We got to enjoy a lot of the gastronomic awesomeness of Cartagena. Got to eat at so many places we’ve been wanting to go for years and honestly it wasn’t that expensive once you did the exchange to dollars. I definitely recommend this race to put on your list of 70.3s to do. Registrations are actually open now for 2017 so go on and sign up. It’s a great way to end a long season with a vacation. 
 

 

A new found love… trail running

Since I started this whole thing of running, considering that I am not a real big fan of running I didn’t really see a point in it. If you hang with me for a second, or two, maybe I can get my point across. Sometimes when I run, I just looked at my TrainingPeaks workout and usually roll my eyes and then figure out how to get it done. A lot of times I simply just go for a run, more often than not I don’t execute the workout and simply hit the trail or the treadmill and get my time and finish it up. I know that’s not the way to get faster either, and of course that didn’t help to enhance my relationship with running. It didn’t get any better.

We have a nice trail by our house, an old rail road line that got paved and became an 11 mile trail. We can get it pretty much by going about half a mile into town and jumping on the trail. Well, the trail after numerous runs got old too. It just didn’t do it, it was just not helping the situation. We have the NYC Marathon coming up and those long runs simply were dreaded long runs. After checking in with the coach, and going over that running flunk we were in, he suggested a couple of things:

 

  1. Run without any devices, forget about those and go about it just by feel, more on that later.
  2. The second and best suggestion was go on trail runs, it was towards the end of the summer when we asked him and the heat was still out there so he suggested to take our runs to the woods.

Now, getting to the woods and no devices kind of freaked me out. It was one of those that I wanted to have a safety blanket that I could track back with my Garmin back to the trailhead, particularly since probably our run was going to be a brand new place to us. So No. 1 above wasn’t really a good option if we wanted to explore No. 2. So we started then looking at trails. To our surprise, we have a ton of trails around us. We kind of knew about them but didn’t really explore them because it was one of those things I was always afraid of. What if I tripped? Where are the trails? How hard are they? Do I need new shoes? all those questions of entering into the unknown. Well… Felipe one day after going to the pool and finding out it was closed said, “let’s go to Minnewaska“. I was like “for what?” He goes, “we need to get 2 hrs on our run, there is not way we will do it here on the trail, it will suck” so he proceeded to get the address on the GPS and off we went. We knew more or less the area, since we had done a few rides that take us around that area of New Paltz, so we knew it wasn’t that far. I was just a bit nervous since I didn’t know what it was going to be. We get there about 30 min after leaving the pool, and we enter the park (note it is $10 to enter the park). Then we asked the guy at the booth what would be the best thing to do, he said to go to the top to the Lake and then take it from there. We followed his direction and headed to Lake Minnewaska. Once there we headed to the trail, into the woods. We clearly didn’t know what we were doing, we looked briefly at the map we got at the entrance, but luckily there were markers and maps along the way. We used those and kept going. While it has been one of the hardest runs I’ve done, and we didn’t get nearly as close to the miles we would’ve done at our trail back home, it was priceless to be out there. The views were incredible and we know we hardly scratched the surface of the trails out there. We headed back to the car and while we pretty much were done with a mile to go, legs pretty much toast, we took it all in and we sort of crawled back to the car. Needless to say, trail running exceeded my expectations and I’ve been hooked since. We did another sort of long run at another trail near us, the Black Rock Forest Park  in Cornwall, NY. It was probably harder than the first one, but still loved it. Can’t wait to do it again and to keep exploring trail running. Even now I’m to the point that I want to do a trail run race (half marathon or something like that). My whole point is what I always say about this crazy triathlon and endurance sports is about. We need to continuously get out of our comfort zone, explore new venues and enjoy each moment, each trail, each path we are put in front of us. We don’t know when or how we would not get a chance to do it again and we are always grateful for it. Nothing beats enjoying nature, lakes and pure air. Wouldn’t change this life for anything and definitely will continue to explore our local/non-local trails in the off season to continue the mojo and keep getting stronger and better each day. For a few tips on Trail Running you can check here

 

On Ambassadorships and representing…

I’m pretty sure you have read or have seen on my social media that over the last couple of months I’ve become an ambassador to a few movements and brands. Always towards the end of the year typically, movements or brands come out with their ambassador or team applications. Sometimes it is overwhelming because there are so many to choose from and that are so cool that it makes it hard to pick or even to start thinking about applying.

I’ve taken the back seat for the last couple of years, observing what type of people these movements or brands pick. A lot of times, they pick the top athletes, or people that have something that really makes them stand out. More often than not, you find the weekend warrior as myself on those lists. Of course, as a brand, you want to be represented by the top athletes (be it Age Grouper) or someone that has an interesting story. While my story, in my own eyes, is interesting, it might not be as interesting to others, and it has lead to deceptions because there are a couple of brands which I really love and would be more than happy to represent but haven’t made the cuts. Of course, you move on and use those to learn and help you make your story more interesting (without lying) and also try to make it so they see in you an ambassador for their movement/cause or brand.

This year I decided to apply to the following movements:

Sweat Pink and The Mermaid Club, these two I think are pretty awesome movements which without being the same these 2 have very similar vision/mission statements:

TMCbadgeThe Mermaid Club is a diverse and vibrant community for women. We promote good health, fitness, well-being, inspiration, motivation, positive vibes and positive change. Our goal is to provide a fun and safe environment for women to connect with each other across the globe to empower, motivate, and feel alive. Our stories are real about real women who train hard and race, both for fun and competition.

Our mission to is to…

  • Empower, motivate, and feel alive
  • Promoting good health, fitness, well-being, inspiration, motivation, positive vibes and positive change
  • Participate in local and globe events and give back to the community
  • Connect with each other across the globe

IMG_3147In Sweat Pink we believe that kicking ass is best done in pretty shoes (who doesn’t like shoes). We’ve learned that real women sweat, and sweat hard. We know that assertiveness, strength, and ambition are the ultimate feminine qualities. We concede that sometimes it takes hours to get ready, but we’re also no strangers to just rolling out of bed and going. We’re convinced that we run faster in pink shoelaces. We believe in pushing ourselves, and we believe in giving ourselves a break, too. We’re all about the rush of endorphins and the thrill of the challenge. We’re all for looking great and feeling even better. We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick.

SweatPink UndepantsAs you see, these two movements have something in common, kick ass while empowering and motivating others. That also is in line with the vision I had of my blog when I first started. I wanted to motivate other women, and particularly Latinas to start living a healthy life by simply trying to be active. I am not saying everyone has to do ironmans to prove it, getting off the couch and living a healthy lifestyle is enough. It is something magical that happens once you start that…. it’s like you always want more and end up pushing your limits… the hardest step is always the first one. 🙂

When it comes to brands, it isn’t any different, the only thing that is added is that you of course need to be a user and enjoy using it. it doesn’t make sense to be a brand ambassador when 1. you don’t use the brand, 2. it doesn’t work for you. In my case (well our case with Felipe) I’m a brand ambassador for a couple of brands, clothes and nutrition. Of course, the brands also want something in return for being an ambassador, you buying and using the product and getting a discount code isn’t just that, you have to be a spokesperson for the brand. Today with the use of twitter and instagram is a lot easier to do that, so you probably will see some of my posts of the brands we use. donalogoFor example, I use DonaJo Fitwear, love these pants and how they fit. They don’t only have pants, they have skirts, shorts, headbands, and other cool stuff. You can use code Adrilene20 when buying from them for a 20% discount.

Boom Nutrition Ambassador

We started using Boom Nutrition back when we were training for Challenge Atlantic City. We found out that they were going to be the nutrition provider during the race and also we were looking for something else. We were getting tired of the GU’s, PowerBar gels and others that are out there. Don’t get me wrong, those are awesome too, just weren’t working for us anymore. So we ordered a sampler to give it a try, before we knew it we were hooked and they are as awesome if not more than the other ones.  They are made with real fruit and have a high ratio (11:1) of complex carbs (maltodextrin) to simple sugars, superior taste, and no added sugars, and no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, which makes them pretty easy on the GI system, on top of that they are GLUTEN FREE – DAIRY FREE – SOY FREE – VEGAN – for instance Felipe can’t consume much dairy during a normal day, much less during race day, so having that dairy free gives him peace of mind that he won’t have any GI issues. If you want to give them a try, you can get a $5.00 discount when ordering by using code YATCNH.

BASE_AmbassadorLogoWhiteThe last one we just got, is Base Performance, not only they are super cool and supportive, they hooked us up at Ironman Arizona. they were giving their Electrolyte Salt Samples on the run and they did wonders. At that point of the race that day our bellies wouldn’t take much of anything, soda and some solid but at that rate you are not recovering the electrolytes, so when Matt gave us the tubes it was like let us give it a try… what’s the worse that can happen, a few hours later we were using them every mile like he instructed us. When they opened the ambassador program we were excited to apply. We totally stand behind the brand and like with Boom we know it works for us. We are really excited to share it with everyone else. I owe you the code for another post… haven’t received it so as soon as I get it I’ll be posting it.

So of course, I think I’ve got enough branding to make through the year. However I believe in these causes and brands and will be glad to do it. Of course there are some perks but more importantly is try to make these brands successful. They create these to help us during our training and races and why not help them back. Yes, we pay still for all of our nutrition, we are not pros and we are far from it, we like the jobs that pay for all of these, so we are not quitting those anytime soon, but we know we need any help we can get when it comes to performance and nutrition.

While I was sad I didn’t make the cut to some brands or movements, I am happy to be with the ones I am with right now, I wouldn’t change it for anything and I’m looking forward for the 2015 season representing them and continuing to be badass with them. 🙂

Till next time

3rd time is a charm… Well maybe

OK, so it’s been a couple of weeks already since we finished our third 70.3 Ironman. In a sense it was a race that we were kind of looking forward to but not really if it makes sense. Yup…. Confusing we know. Maybe you have seen my previous post about motivation or lack thereof and how the winter was keeping us from training. So that’s the “not really” part of it. We felt a bit unprepared, and maybe were underestimating the distance. It kind of happens… But don’t let that fool you it is still a big race and a long day. We went in with our training as much as we got in, one thing for sure we were rested. We did our long workouts and hit them hard but we felt strong on them, long swims were great, long rides didn’t really bothered us so much and the runs…. Well the runs suffered but we had some miles in the running shoes that made us think we were going to be OK.

IMG_5704The week leading to it was of course crazy busy with work. We didn’t do our typical day off before the race. We typically leave Friday as a day off and since the race is on Sunday it leaves us Saturday to “rest” more. Well… If you know what happens at the Expo day then you know you do anything but rest. So our approach this year was leave the house on Saturday, go in to check-in, eat, rack bikes and leave… It actually worked out pretty good in our opinion. It eliminates the amount of walking you do trying to walk to places you don’t really need to be at. Also it helped with the nerves, which were pretty high due to the weablogger-image--201752111ther conditions we were going to have so the less time we spent at the expo and around athletes the better for us… Yes… Antisocial mode helps sometimes.

We were able to see the coach, he gave us some last minute weather related tips and off we went. We went to the hotel with K (our Sherpa of choice for the weekend). She wasn’t doing the race since she got sick but still offered to come down and help us with cheering, and also for the drive back home after the race. Anyways we went to the hotel and stayed there until the next Sunday morning. Did the usual pre race stuff.

blogger-image-21273471Sunday came, we enjoyed the benefits of being in the club village this year. It is pretty nice to have that since we have a place to camp near transition. We just got there while the team people got ready. We chatted a bit but not much, usually we are not too chatty without being rude. There were a lot of nerves because of the bad weather which at that point we had nothing else we could do other than let Mother Nature take her course with our day.

This year our waves were different than last year, I went in maybe 30 min before Felipe. The swim was rough, chop and current took at beat on us and it was not fun to see people taken out as we were getting off the dock. The bike while uneventful we were being very cautious as the roads where wet. A little of a tail wind on the way out and cross wind on the way back made it for a fun bike. Galveston is an out and back bike which it’s cool because you see everyone and we saw pretty much the whole team. Getting off the bike we hit the run. Puli didn’t feel well, he was getting belly cramps after probably taking too much salt water on the swim, Res keep pushing forward with her awesome steady pace.

blogger-image--1918549458blogger-image--39903413It was a great day. Felipe managed to have a PR on this course and a sub 6:00 70.3 with a 5:59. I managed a 6:40 which wasn’t a PR but knowing our load over the next months a number I can work with since we don’t want to get injured nor push too much too early as the year will be long and this is just the beginning. We definitely have learned to read our bodies, our fitness and endurance are there, we need to put longer hours and get some speed but other than that we have a tough couple of months coming up and want to do well without breaking apart.

We were also glad to spend time with almost all our teammates and our cheering crowd who were awesome. One more for our 70.3 distance… Again one of our fave races and we will probably do it again, being so close to home.

IMG_4941

Time to get motivated so we can get the peak of our Challenge Atlantic City training in and work on our weak points. Other than that… Let’s continue having some fun. 🙂IMG_0136

We are off to the races…

You might wonder, what does that all mean. Races??? yes many of them… last year Felipe and I did 13 races, actually signed up for 14 and one got cancelled. It was a bit too much, even though not regretting any of it. I got to learn so much about myself that just that made all the sweat, blood and tears all worth it.

This year has been a bit of a slow start. My in-laws are still here visiting and we feel bad just leaving them in the evenings to go workout, and honestly getting up at 4 am doesn’t sound appealing at all. So while our workouts are still happening, our focus this year has been different. For once, I personally want to make sure I take it easy and not overdue it, avoiding injures and allowing recovery is more important to me. No… I’m not slacking, if anything last year I learned to listen to my body and let me tell you, you better listen to those signals.

Felipe and I have set what we call our 2014 season, look at us trying to be all pros…:) but here is an overview of things we (note I say “we”, I’m not doing this alone) will done to stay on track and our races:

  1. Our training schedule will be focused on our 2 iron distances and longer races. Staying healthy and injury free is key for the success of our races.
  2. not adding short races, we want to keep it simple…and cheap… see No. 3
  3. Financially, limiting our races since we have to travel for all of them. That makes it probably more fun so we can plan mini vacations for them.

Among a few others, those are the 3 main reasons of why we will keep our 2014 simple. In case you wondered, here is our plan for 2014:

  1. 20140126-225258.jpgCowtown Half Marathon in February
  2. Half Ironman Texas, Galveston in April
  3. MS150 Bike Ride from Frisco to Fort Worth (Training ride for Challenge)
  4. Challenge USA – Challenge Atlantic City June 29th (140.6)
  5. Ironman Arizona – Tempe in November (140.6)

We will have a few 5ks probably here and there, but most importantly we will have F-U-N. We are not going to kill ourselves, yes we are going to train because we know better not to underestimate the distances and to respect them.

So there you have it, my (our) 2014 season… hope you enjoy the journey, will try to keep you entertained and looking forward to your support 🙂