Tuesday, May 8, 2012

TRI-Anasaurous Rex Attack! AKA Rev3 Knoxville Race Report

Shakin' in you boots, aren't ya?

That's what I thought......in fact, that is EXACTLY the reaction we were going for with our ferocious team name for our half iron relay!

So this weekend, Sparkles, George and I hopped in the car to head up to Knoxville for the Rev3 Race. George was planning to race the half, and Sparkles, Jill, and I had plans to dominate the relay division.

We drove up to my parents house to hang out with my awesome family, and steal food.

Here is my little sister's cat. Yes, that is a lion cut.

After our overnight relaxing at my parents, we got up, and headed north to Knoxville!

We headed up to the race site for check in, practice swim, and such.

I got my awesome new kit!

Got my bike all checked in! Pepper has her own name tag with our awesome team name on it!

Since we were doing so many things with my team, we had dinner with George's team from All3 Sports at a yummy place called Oodles. Honestly--I was really impressed with what a cool town Knoxville is!

After dinner, we headed back to the Holiday Inn. It was right by the finish, which was SO convenient! Then Sparkles, George, and I laid around feeling really full from dinner and getting tatted up for the race. George showing his guns off.

The next morning, Jill, Sparkles, and I met in the parking garage/transition! Then, we sent off George and Jill to the swim! 

While Jill was swimming, I had time to make sure my nutrition was right, and to get really nervous! Sparkles and I got to play with her awesome kids, and have a picnic breakfast. Right before my leg of the race, I had about half of a cookies and cream powerbar. I am kind of obsessed with these. I mean....I might have a problem. Sometimes, I think that getting to eat one of these is the only thing that gets me on my bike! Just posting this picture makes my mouth water.
Ok ok--I'll move on with the race report!

Jill came out in an excellent 37 minute (with a long run up to transition!). I struggled to pull of the timing chip because I was excited!

Then, I hopped on my bike and was gone. This course is legit. There are a couple of climbs, twisty descents, relentless rollers, and then back to the climbs again. I am SO glad that I have been climbing. And watching my food intake (except cookies and cream powerbars--move ON kacie). And keeping my climbing attitude good.

This was the first race I have ever done entirely on my bike. I was really nervous that I would not give it enough. My big fea in this race was holding back too much. I have always ridden knowing I had to run. 

George gave me some advice going into the race:
1. Push over all of the hills. You don't have to run.
2. Keep power on the pedals all the time. Particularly when it would be easy to coast. A little power in the pedals with speed up those "would be coasting times."
3. Turn yourself inside out in the last 6 miles.

The first half was hard. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to hold on to the pace. Then from about 30-45, I was having a BLAST. I mean, I was grinning like a mad woman. I was just So happy to be on my bike, and I was working hard, moving fast, and enjoying every hill.

For nutrition, I took a powergel at 30 minute, 1 hour, 1.5 hours, 2 hours, and a last one at 2:15. I alternate between raspberry cream and kona punch. Both are YUMMY. I love how thin they are that they just slide down and I don't have to think about it. 

I started to really push on those last climbs, or as Jill called them "baby gaps" coming back into the city.

The final stretch had lots of turns in it and a couple of serious punchy hills. My dream time was 2:45, and I came in at 2:44:40!!!! SO SO SO happy with that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think I actually surprised Sparkles a little bit, since I told her that 2:45 was my reach time. Sparkles has quite literally been a dancing machine lately, and warned us that her half marathon would be slow. She looked great when she took off, but it was hot. She told me to expect her around 2:45. I told her to have FUN!

In the meantime, I went to cheer for George's finish. It was SOOO exciting. George was the first guy across the line. I completely lost my voice screaming for him! 

He crossed the line and told me that there was a guy behind him that was one wave behind. So we watched the clock. And waited. And then the guy came across 2:30 later, so George took second OVERALL (in his second ever half ironman, having learned to swim less than a year ago!). SOOOOO proud of him!

George took home some really amazing winnings! I am still so proud of him! 4:33 with hills and heat!?! We'll take it!

As I was walking to get my bike, expecting to have about 30 more minutes until Sparkles comes up, what do I see? A streak of fast cuteness fly by me! Sparkles came in in 2:22!!!!! Yeah she did!!!! I am just SO proud of everyone this weekend!

We got our cool finishers medals:

And then, we got our awards! We were announced 3rd, but since they corrected the results, it looks like we might have actually won the relay division :-) Still waiting for final confirmation though.....

One way or another, we are all really proud of our results. We also took home some of the Powerbar Recovery Bars, which look dangerously good. 

As a team, we are totally going for a return performance. The TRI-anasaurous Rexes will be ROARING again in Quassy in 4 weeks! I am trying to convince the team to race both races ;-)

Sadly, after the event, we had to head on home....

On the way back, we stopped at a gas station, because George said that he would get second overall in a 70.3 for a Klondike Bar. ;-)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Road Bike Makeover!

Since joining my RAAM team, I am spending a LOT more time on my road bike.

The tri-bike's name is Pepper. In the Ironman comic, Pepper is Ironman's assistant, and in my 140.6's Pepper is my assistant! She has been great to me! I bought her used about 5 weeks before IM Louisville, and I love her!

But, RAAM isn't just about the tri bike! I need a good quality roadie to climb those mountains! So, Bella is out of her resting period, and she is back in business! I bought Bella about 4 years ago, and she is an excellent bike. She has not had much ride time since I got Pepper though....

So I brought her in to the good people at All3 Sports, and told them that I wanted a Bike Makeover!

Give it a week, and they replaced my handlebars for better climbing, a lighter stem, new white cable housing, new PINK chain, new handlebar tape, a new saddle! She's like a whole new bike!

Ok--so the wheels are loaners, but man, I would love to have them!

Check out this pink chain! My phone camera does not do it justice! It is SO cool!

I am so excited about this makeover! I bought her a few more accessories! I decided that a houndstooth saddlebag would surely pull the look together, and my my my it is CUTE!

                                              White Houndstooth Saddle Bag

And THEN, I needed a few new socks to really pull the look together....I might actually be developing a sock problem. We have bought a TON of swiftwick socks, which we love. And now, I need anything with this general look too:
Wild Child Socks 
and these 
Bonnie Socks
(the skulls have little bows on them!)

So, you see, I've got this whole LOOK going on now with Bella.

When I got up to the top of Neel's Gap for the second time this week, there was the usual group of motorcyclists were hanging out at the top. One guys said to me, "we saw you coming up the mountain, and we all think you are one BAD woman." It was said in the most complimentary of ways! 

I think my bike makeover look is working!

RAAM Training is in Full Swing!

After the big training weekend, we got right into the (less than) weeks of good training time I have until I go on a trip with my students.

Here's the general idea of it starting from last week:

 I was supposed to go to masters, but after that whole "no sleep" thing, I slept right on through it. In the afternoon I did my strength work.

5 am 1.5 hour trainer workout with some intervals, some power drill, and some climbing drills.
Evening was a 2 hour ride with hill repeats.

5 am 1.5 hour trainer workout just like Tuesday
Evening 2 hour ride with 20 minute intervals that were harder efforts

5 am 1.5 hour same workout
Evening was a 2 hour ride, and George and I joined in on a group ride in Roswell to add some efforts into this ride. We both had a blast!

AM Masters, and my worst swim in a really long time. Told coach how terrible my swim was, and he told me to skip my evening workout and go to bed early.
Laying in bed by 7:30 pm :-)

5.5 in the Gaps, and managed 75 miles (these are gaps miles people, I understand that that is half an hour slower than my last century), and 8000 ft of climbing.
Dinner with Jill, Colleen, and Kristin! Got in bed after midnight.

Up before 4 AM to go to George's race! He was awesome!

Then, we had a lovely lunch at R.Thomas, shopped for food, and cooked a bunch of Dani's recipes for the week!

It's coming up really soon! We are just trying to cram in as much quality training as possible in the next few weeks, knowing I am going to have to miss some time for work. I will be as ready as I can  be!