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A couple of weeks ago I shared my version of the day and days leading up to our race. Well, Felipe put this video together. It is too good not to share it. Hope you enjoy it

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A day to remember: Challenge AC recap

It’s been couple of weeks since Felipe and I finished our second 140.6 distance triathlon at Challenge Atlantic CityΒ at the Jersey Shore. We’ve been back to reality and our regular routines, but I find myself always thinking back to our experience in Atlantic City, especially when I need a mental vacation from stress. So Rather than keep thinking about it, here is my recap. (for Felipe’s recap click here)

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With my parents and nephew

The days before the race had been great. We had the chance to have a different experience to Ironman races and for It being an inaugural ChallengeΒ event in the US, I must say I enjoyed it and it had a different feel, more laid back and family oriented than Ironman. Felipe, my family, and our awesome friends who came to support us at the race enjoyed spending time on the shore, people watching the many special characters on the boardwalk, and being true triathletes as we met pros including the power ironcouple, Rinny and T.O. It was an amazing feeling to be surrounded by so many triathletes overlooking the jersey shore.

 

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Pic with Rinny and T.O.

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Suited up and ready to go

Race day came quicker than expected. We went by our regular early “getting ready for a race” routine, gathered up most of the troops, and headed to transition. The morning weather was great, the water looked calm, and the normal race jitters could be felt, but Felipe and I were so excited and enjoying the moment….until panic hit me for a sec as it was announced that water temps were in the 80s and “no wetsuits.” Ahhhhh I’ve trained with my lava pants and wetsuit in OWSwims, but not sure how I felt about NO security blanket! Time to breathe, stay positive, and engage in mindfulness! Felipe gives me reassurance it will be ok and says, “I’ll do wetsuit with you!!” Love him to pieces! Within minutes, the Announcer comes back and says they will have a later wave for wetsIMG_5796uits! Sigh of relief! Maybe a European thing since Challenge races are in Europe, but my humble suggestion would be to say “wetsuit optional” instead of “no wetsuits.” The race was off to an amazing start by three Navy seal military officers, two of whom were participating in the race, parachuted into the transition area. What a rush of emotions watching that and pride everywhere!! Bid our farewells to my parents and headed over to the start with our friends. Have I mentioned how amazing they were and so glad they were there to be our IronSherpas!!!

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Only 2 min behind Felipe πŸ™‚ glad I’m out of that treadmill swim

Felipe and I make it through the crowd of fancy wetsuits and by the time we hit the dock, the gun goes off. No time to stall, but just jump in and swim with the crowd. Going out to the first bridge. about .5 mile, seemed fast, no current, and for the first time enjoyed drafting off people. We hit the second buoy and make a turn, and that’s where the fun started. I was in a rhythm, but when I sighted, it felt I wasn’t moving far. Well that’s because we all had a strong head current for the next 2 miles. I used other swimmers to sight off of since there weren’t that many buoys and we had sun glare the entire time. Half way through my swim, I hit a turnaround and because the current was so strong, I couldn’t manage to get around one of the buoys. I swam and it seemed to keep moving away from me. Later found out that the buoy was moving because it was loose due to the current. I freaked out a bit as I noticed I started getting tangled in the cords and fought to get out of there. Another swimmer had stopped to make sure I got out as she had the same issue. Now all I could think about was where is the finish and I so ready to get out. I look at my Garmin and I’m at 1.8 miles. I felt so disoriented in the water due to the many turns we had to make and the current. Breathe, focus, and swim Res! I remembered wise words from our coach, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” Finally saw the dock and headed for it. Gathered myself to get on some fancy floating decks, which volunteers helped with and went to transition. Our friend yells at me as I go to transition that Puli is ahead of me by 2 min. I thought he was kidding at first, but as I run out to get my bike, I see our team bike jersey and got super excited. I yell at my love and we are both relieved to see each other. We bike out together and start our 112 mile journey together. At about mile 10, Felipe goes off and tell him I’ll see him on the run. I felt strong and realized we had a tailwind while riding on the AC Expressway and the weather was great.

Starting the bike together...

Starting the bike together…

Enjoyed the first half of the ride and rode through some scenic blueberry fields in Hammonton. On my second loop, at about mile 70, pulled into special needs and again saw our IrontexΒ jersey at a distance and couldn’t believe Felipe was there. But quickly I realized something must be wrong as Felipe is strong and me catching up to him isn’t typical. As I get closer, I worry as his jersey was torn and his compression sleeves were bloody from his knee. What happened???? I’m so amazed at his strength, focus, dedication, and endurance as he has ridden like this since having had the bike spill at mile 28. That’s my bad ass hubby! He was determined to continue and finish! Off we go again and keep a comfy pace with him behind me. It wasn’t the best feeling to know he was hurt and in pain, but knowing we were together helped and I knew I had to stay strong to get us back safely to T2. Easier said than done. We hit the AC Expressway back and smack in our face is a ridiculous head wind…for about 30 miles. Talk about mental strength needed! I felt I was barely moving and the heat wasn’t helping, but knew I couldn’t give in. We finally make it back to bike transition and we are so happy to see our friends at bike in! We head to the medical tent to get Felipe checked out and I’m hopeful that they can tell him he can continue on the run. The volunteers were awesome, clean his wounds, and bandage him up. I knew our run was going to be more of a walk, but I was going to stay with Felipe and finish this together. He wasn’t giving up!!! We figured out what we needed to do to make it to the finish and I knew my speed walking would get us in, but wasn’t sure how Felipe would do. Nothing else to do, but to move forward.

IMG_5930We were off to the boardwalk and on a mission to finish. Being on the boardwalk was different than most of our previous races as there were so many people to watch, but also became a bit stressful. It was amazing to see the ignorance of some people as they were clueless about the race, gave us weird looks when they found out what the athletes were doing, and felt like an obstacle course as at times it felt as we had to weave through people. Nonetheless I stayed focused and kept Felipe going. I could feel him fading as it got later and did anything I could to pump him up and give him energy. I thought about ways to distract him from the pain and seeing our family and friends on the boardwalk helped! On our last loop, we talked about life, our plans, travels, and our craziness in doing Tris together!! Wouldn’t change it for anything. We knew we were close to the finish and pushed together! We crossed holding our Colombian flag and relieved to have made it! I am so proud of Felipe for his mental and physical strength! This was definitely an experience and a memorable race for us, but soooo blessed and happy we finished together. So thankful and glad to have had our family and IronSherpas – Becky, Jenny, and Brian there for support! The night wasn’t over as I knew we had to most likely go to the hospital to get Felipe checked out. It was all good though as we accomplished our goal together and are proud to call ourselves 2 x Ironman distance finishers! Ironcouples rock!

Priceless Finish with the love of my life....

Priceless Finish with the love of my life….

It’s a Race-Cation

It’s funny now when we hear people talk about vacation we just laugh because our vacations now have turned into race-cations. Since we started triathlons I guess, we started this thing that if we go on vacation, we would look for a race. A couple of years ago we did a short sprint tri when we went to New Jersey, loved the experience of racing out of state and more importantly sharing with my family our newly found hobby, and what better than coming home with a podium… πŸ™‚ can’t beat that. It was funny because one of Felipe’s friends made so much fun of me when I posted my podium hardware on Facebook. He commented “Most people come back with a shirt or a shot glass… Not a podium award” hey… That’s how I roll πŸ™‚

Now of course, all our trips or majority of our trips include some sort of race event, or simply training for something. It is interesting to travel for business… It feels like our workout stuff takes more room that actual business clothes.

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Well… This vacation is not the exception, actually we planned our vacation around a race. This time not just a sprint Tri or a 5K like we had done before. We went all out toma Full Distance Triathlon or what some call Iron distance (note I’m not calling it Ironman).

Last year, around September/October timeframe we found out that Challenge Family Triathlons were going to have their USA inaugural race event in Atlantic City. Immediately when we found out we thought to ourselves that it would be a great way to come up for our yearly vacation, race and also spend more than just a weekend with my family. After much debating and consulting the coach about our plans of potentially doing 2 full distance tris this year, he pretty much gave us the ok so we jumped both feet in. We signed up for it, knowing that a few months later we were volunteering and potentially signing up for Ironman Arizona. Fast forward 9 months are we are now at the end of the first chapter of our 2 Full distance Tri journey for 2014.

This journey has been definitely different than last year’s journey to Ironman Texas. You would see from my previous posts or lack thereof, I haven’t really posted much on our workouts like we didn’t last year. This year has been a different type of journey. We haven’t lost respect for the distance, as it is here we are starting to get nervous for it, but we are training smarter. Listening to our bodies more while focusing on our endurance and not just hitting 100% of our scheduled workouts. I’m focusing for instance a lot more in my form during my swims and as a result I have reduced my times by about 30″/100 yds which is amazing. My bike feels a lot stronger and but I’m letting my body recover and I’m focusing more on stretching and core workouts. In my running department, while probably I haven’t gotten any faster but I’m enjoying my runs a lot more and have learned to run on heart rate. I used to hate running with hear rate for a few reasons, 1. Hated the strap (chafing issues) 2. Wasn’t sure what I was doing. So I started doing research and 1. Started using a wrist band hear rate. MIO Link 2. Now understand a little bit more and with that I have been able to run smarter. I think speed will come eventually. For now I’m happy with my progress.

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So, we are starting our racecation and we will be doing it with a road trip to New Jersey… Stoping at my parents home for a few days before heading with the family down to Atlantic City for the race. Truck is packed, bikes are loaded, dog is ready, and let me tell you, it feels like we are taking half of our closets with us. Packing for 2 weeks is a lot to begin with, add a triathlon and workout stuff…. Things pretty much double. Now, add bikes, dog, crate, dog bed, etc… Glad we have a truck… πŸ™‚

Stay tunned to our road trip adventures… Hope I can post something when we get to Jersey and definitely when we get to AC and the expo… Hope we can catch up soon πŸ™‚

Til then… Keep Tri-ing….:)

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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.

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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. πŸ™‚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 πŸ™‚

 

Cheering is fun too

On Labor Day, we had a chance to go cheer on our friends M and G while they were doing their first sprint tri. Looking back a couple of months ago, we got them hooked shortly after we came back from our Ironman. M had mentioned that she had started running but we think they got to consider doing tris after talking more and more about it to us. We helped them go and check out bikes, talked them through the basics, helped them work on a training plan that was doable, and then they signed up for their first tri.

G coming into T2
G after a fast T2, getting on his 5K

Their first tri was the Blackland Sprint Tri. They were a bit nervous that week, asking the normal questions and we helped them plan the race, and help calm their nerves. They were ready and wanted to have fun. We had told them we were going to cheer them on during the race, so we planned to get there for the start, but a storm rolled in so it pushed us back a bit as we had to drive about 30 miles to get to Plano, TX. We had calculated their times and figured we would catch them coming into T2. We actually had a good place as we set up right at the dismount line. We got to see others before them come in and cheer everyone on. We saw G and M and then headed to catch them at the exit of T2. they looked great and seemed to be enjoying the race. We headed to chase them on the run. While we were waiting, we were able to see a few of our Instagram and Twitter friends and that was cool too, to get to cheer so many awesome people on our rest day πŸ™‚

All smiles from M, it must have been a good ride πŸ™‚
it wasn’t too bad, she was still smiling 

Cheering made us think about our beginnings, also made us think of why we do this, which is one of the big reasons of this blog. We remembered how our first race was, our nerves, excitement and all the different emotions that go along with simply racing. Now, even though we have moved to longer distances and we have gotten more experienced, we haven’t forgotten that we do this for other reasons. First and foremost it’s to have fun, we push our bodies and want to do well, but we want to have fun. Although at times, pain comes with racing, the feeling of accomplishment at the end is amazing! We also do it because we want to become better individuals and better as a team. Team Res-Puli that is!  We’ve grown so much as individuals, not only physically through this process, but also mentally. We are tougher mentally, which makes us better on the personal and professional fronts. As a team, being a couple that tris has taught us so much, tri-ing as a couple, being married, pushing each other, building a stronger relationship, and having fun together. 

So while we had a lot of fun cheering and had a great time seeing M and G become part of the triathlete world and being proud of them, we also had a chance to look back and think about our tri life. We think that we’ll be triing for a while, we love it, enjoy it and best of all… we still have FUN!!. 
  
That’s it for now… our next post will be probably be after we take on Trifecta for the 2nd time. Should be a fun race.