Monday, September 30, 2013

IMLP 2015

Sorry for the delay - it was a CRAZY weekend, which will be a blog entry unto itself. However, a quick word about my decision on doing IMLP again in 2015.

Training for and racing my first Ironman (IMLP 2012) was a life-changing experience. It taught me that I was stronger than I thought and able to do things I thought were impossible. (And I don't just mean the training sessions - balancing 20 hours a week of training while my job was going haywire was a balancing act of such epic proportions I literally used what I learned to give a presentation on time management to my organization.)

When I originally approached Ironman, it was with the "One and done" bucket list mindset. Even when I first finished, I was thinking in terms of half-Ironmans as my longest distance. While I enjoyed working on getting my speed back this season though, I found I missed the long, patient hours of Ironman training. In a sick way, I even missed how Ironman training by necessity takes over your life. (And the automatic weight loss while eating everything in sight doesn't hurt either. *G*)

I made the right decision spending 2013 and 2014 at the shorter distances, mainly working on my ride - my making the bike cutoff at IMLP by less than four minutes shows I was BARELY ready as a cyclist - but after taking a whopping 27 minutes off my Tinman bike split from two years ago with a mechanical AND downpour this year, I think after one more season my bike will be where I need it to approach IMLP again, this time with more than a "Let's pray to make that bike cutoff" approach.

So, in other words, IMLP 2015?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


As you may have noticed, I have completely changed both the design and title of my blog. Let me explain.

This summer, my friend Rachel showed up at one of the Mini-Tris wearing the baddest, awesomist tri suit I had ever seen - pink and black with skulls and butterflies. I asked her wear she got it, and she told me Betty Designs, a company that makes totally AMAZING S/B/R and surf clothes.

Shortly after, they launched their annual "Are You a Betty" campaign for their 2014 team.

I responded THAT DAY with a resounding "Heck YES I'm a Betty" e-mail. I probably should have taken more time to work on my pitch, but was SO EXCITED about the opportunity that I just couldn't wait.

Well, after a couple months of going nuts waiting, they released their 2014 team roster yesterday:

I checked over and over, and unfortunately I was not there. Boo!


That made me realize just HOW BADLY I want to be a Betty and represent this amazing company. So, after consoling myself by ordering a whole bunch of new Betty swag, I decided on a plan of action, because I want IN for 2015.

Why 2015 aside from it being the next opportunity? Because, and here's my second Big Announcement: I'm going for it again and doing Ironman Lake Placid a second time in 2015. In awesome Betty gear whether I make the roster or not. (An entry on this tomorrow.)

So, first of all, both this blog and my Twitter handle (now IWannaBeABetty) have been changed to reflect my determination to be an ambassador for Betty Designs.

Secondly, and most importantly, I am also going to use the next 365 days to "Live Betty" to best of my ability - be it while working, playing, or training. I will also be doing weekly reviews of Betty gear, from water bottles to hats to triathlon tops and everything in between.

So here's to 365 Days of Betty, and many more, hopefully.

Also - Betty? I hope you don't mind that I borrowed your logo for my background and the images for this entry.  It's all from a place of love and admiration and not from a place of copyright and trademark infringement. I promise.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

2013 Lake George Olympic Race Report

Here it is, the race report for the last triathlon of the year - how did we get to Labor Day weekend so quickly? Summer is sweet but very short around here, especially this year with the unusually rainy and cold spring/early summer.

So: Friday after work, Dr. Z. and I drive down to the fine resort town of Lake George. Registration and bike check-in (a nice perk) go without a hitch and before we know it we're sitting at a nice microbrewery enjoying some fine beer and cheeseburgers.

We check in at our hotel and my stomach starts hurting. Like, REALLY hurting. Not queasiness from race day nerves but burning-on-fire severe heartburn. Dr. Z. offers up some Pepto, but it doesn't help and I am up ALL NIGHT in agony (but not enough to think that I needed medical care.)

So 5:00 comes and I get up (already awake anyway). Stomach is STILL killing me and I'm not sure what to do - I've never gotten sick before a race before and here I am two hours before the gun unable to even sip enough water to take my morning medications. Dr. Z. convinces me to get my stuff together since we're here anyway and I have two hours to feel better.

Even at the race site, we're now down to one hour and I'm wondering how I'm going to manage to set up transition, forget RACE. I get my chip, get marked, transition in place, and it's time to wetsuit up. I still feel queasy (though not QUITE as bad) and have not had so much as a sip of water since dinner the night before.

My sassy pre-race face, which is really my "Forcing a grin because my stomach has me about to puke" face
The Swim:

My wave about to go off.

I started off REAL easy since I wasn't feeling well. I was in a "let's just SURVIVE this for now" mindset. I had a MUCH better start than two years ago, where I lost the pack right at the beginning after inhaling a bunch of water, but still ended up way off the back as usual. This also meant NO feet to follow. There was an interesting cross-currant that made it hard to stay straight, but I was pretty happy with my lines.

I had trouble sighting after the last buoy since it was so dark and overcast, but found feet for the last few hundred meters that helped me get back to shore. I was SHOCKED when I looked at my watch and saw 37 minutes. THREE minutes faster than two years ago!

Staring at my watch in shock as I come out of the water.

I was so elated I actually RAN the long run to transition, passing several people. Wetsuit came off like a dream, shoes slid on, and I was out of there. FASTEST IN MY AGE GROUP AND SIXTH FASTEST OVERALL FOR WOMEN. Yep, even when I step down to the Oly distance, my transitions are SWEET.


So I get on the bike, elated over being out of the swim and transition so quickly, and this time I'm mentally prepared for the long climb at the start.

Big grin heading out. And yes, a huge hank of wet hair OVER my sunglasses and my inhaler is sticking out of my top. Sexy and I know it.

The first thing I do is put a couple chews down the hatch now that I'm finally hungry. I realize that I'm already in the hole and the rest of the race will be staving off The Bonk, but I simply couldn't get any calories in earlier. I get to work, keeping it comfortably hard so I can really run people down.  Unfortunately, I have nothing for the climbs - I'm a small rider and was still getting passed on the uphills and passing on the flats and descents. I actually do great on the flat section, averaging around 19-21 MPH and passing people like crazy. Too bad the OTHER 22 miles were hills.  *G* I do something I usually wouldn't do and slow at the aid station for a fresh bottle of water since 1.) it's humid as my crotch and 2.) I started the race dehydrated. First time I'm able to do a moving hand-up! Yay! Bike handling achievement UNLOCKED.

I don't have the searing split/time improvement I had at Tinman, but take three minutes off my previous time, coming in at a coach-predicted 1:30.

My ass and I coming into T2. You're welcome.


My running shoes fold a little, making me only the THIRD-fastest one in my AG, but otherwise smooth transition. I do grab my cap (a mistake, but I'm self-conscious about my helmet hair), stuff my Garmin down my top, and boogie.


Heading out on the run and putting on the Garmin
Ouch. Like the bike, it starts with an uphill. Unlike the bike, I was unprepared. The run course was way hillier than I remembered. Also, I was really starting to get that woozy feeling you get when you're really close to bonking and hitting the wall. Unfortunately, the extra bouncing I was getting from running made the tummy unhappy again so I was unable to put anything other than water and Gatorade down the hatch. I just stubbornly told myself I did the damn IMLP marathon on fluids only and I could do it again. (And ignored the fact that at IMLP I had eaten a buffet on the bike to prepare.) In the kerfuffle of illness I had forgotten to put on my HR Strap, but the pace numbers were unkind. I was expecting 8:45-9:00 pace and 9:18 was where it was.

Preparing to toss my cap to Dr. Z. Also a great example of my "PLEASE KILL ME NOW" hurt face.

I tossed my cap to Dr. Z. and started throwing water on my head, but it didn't help much since it was a humid heat with still air and overcast. The minute the water warmed up, it ceased helping since there was no evaporation.

Steep downhill on the last mile = WORST RUNNING FORM EVER.

So, my run was a definite disappointment, but while I can't do anything about the weather or getting sick, I need to get serious about hitting hills before I do this race again.

Heading to the finish line in the Park.

I crossed the line in 3:08 - a TEN MINUTE improvement from two years ago. On an empty and upset stomach on a muggy, sticky day. DAMN. Still not even MOP, but I came in about 50 places further up overall than last time. I do feel the need to go back because I know with better training (and with luck better weather an no illness) I can do better. I have a fire in my belly now, in a good way.