Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Florida 70.3 recap

Post-Race Report......

This was one of the hardest races...mentally and physically, thanks to the run, that we have ever competed it.  The weekend started off great by picking up our buds from the airport and headed straight to Orlando.  First stop...food!  We carb loaded it up at Olive Garden for lunch.  I think we all ate about 1000 calories each....hey we have a half ironman coming up, we need to fuel the muscles.  From there, we checked into our sweet condo for the weekend.  We used our timeshare so we were able to have a full kitchen, dining/rooms and 2 bed/baths.  It was perfect because we wanted to be able to eat most of our meals at home, so we can be somewhat healthy and know how many calories we are taking in.  After we were all settled in, we went to Whole Foods to stock up the place.  holy moly.....Dessert Bar?!?!  They dont have that where we live.  Jen, feeding for two, eats gelato while we are shopping....and I snag a bite or two!  :)  We all picked out what we wanted to eat for the weekend:  english muffins, oatmeal, greek yogurt, soy milk, coffee, fruit for breakfast....chicken, wraps, salad for lunches.... pasta, couscous, veggies and chicken for dinner....cant forget the most important meal of the day for the Banks/Clarks...dark chocolate for dessert!  Work hard to play hard right?!
Jen and Dean...dinner at the Hilton!

Florida vs. Mass tan!

Friday night workout...the "Gerry Shuffle"  and some ping pong....and I beat Dean!!  Nick wouldn't play me!  scared! :)

Saturday morning comes too quickly.  We head over to the Magic Kingdom parking lot to shuttle us over to packet pick-up and bike drop-off in Fort Wilderness (where the race was held).  We gather all of our things we need for our pre-race practice into transition and head over to start our pre-race workout.  We lay everything out just like we would for race day....only to find out that we could not practice in  Bay Lake because there is too traffic in the water.  ok change of plans, lets run into transition and pretend we are coming in from the swim (T1)....bottle of water to get sand/dirt off feet, socks on, cleats on, helmet on, sunglasses on, race number on, take a shot of GU, grab your bike and head out.....T2) from the bike-run....make sure you keep helmet on until you are in transition, helmet off, rack your bike back on transition rack without knocking anyone elses off, take bike cleats off, running shoes on, visor on, fuel belt on and start running!  Nick, Dean, Josh and I had a nice little practice....15 min bike through Ft. Wilderness and a 15 min run with 30 second pick-ups...stretch/cool-down...then legs up for the rest of the day.  We chilled at our place the rest of the night, made dinner with the Banks and enjoyed a nice relaxing pre-race meal before hitting the hay about 9 pm.

Saturday:  Dean and Nick setting up their transition areas...

The boys leaving the transition area....headed home to eat and rest up! :)

Sunday morning is finally here!  What we have all been training hard for and anticipating for the last 6 months of our lives!  We all woke up pumped and ready to start the race.  We all ate our own pre-planned pre-race meal...I ate oatmeal, with protein, banana, peanut butter and coffee.  Nick has his usual english muffin with peanut butter, cereal with almond milk and (always) coffee!  Dean got up at 3 am and ate his english muffin with PB and banana (coaches orders)... 4 hours before race start.  After we were all fueled up, car packed...we headed to the race.  It felt like it took forever to get there...the shuttles buses taking us from the parking lot to the race was a little backed up, so it felt like we were never going to get there.  We tried to time it perfectly, so that we were only in transition setting up for about 30 minutes.  Just enough time to get everything where you want it and no down time to start getting nervous and feel like you are going to pee your pants or puke!  :)  There was a little controversy about what time transition was closing when we got there.  We arrived to transition at 6:10 and the announcer woman said it was closing in 5 minutes!  We start to FREAK out!  Everyone else did too!  The info packet said that transition closed at 6:30 and she said it said 6:15...after a LOT of complaints, they let us stay in til 6:30...but let me tell you...it was the craziest race start set-up ever!  We had to give Josh the pump first because his wave was the first to go, then me, Nick and Dean.  I couldnt find Josh to get the pump, but thank goodness he gave it to Nick and then Nick gave it to me!  :) ahhh ok we are all better.  We head to the swim start to begin our race.  Run into the family!!  It was soo great to see family and friends there to support us!  Thanks guys it was much needed!  The swim was great!  The bike was fun (and the rolling central Florida hills kept in interesting-Thanks Jen!)  The run was brutal.  From the beginning, I thought I was going to die....either puke or cramp over.  The run was a 3-lap course through the park and into a dirt road path that never ended!  It was tough seeing everyone struggle, but it made me feel better that I wasnt the only one out there hurting.  After the first two laps, I started feeling better and was able to finish strong.  The whole time you are thinking to yourself, what the hell is going on, you're telling your body to do something and it just shuts you down.  It is the weirdest feeling ever not being able to function.  We were all smiles at the finish line!  Yeah!  Put that one in the bank....ready for more!

Here are some fun pics from race weekend:

Bags ready to rock...
Pre-Race Game Face!  So exited! 

Awwww....Wolavers! :)  The best reward (besides reaching our goal)!  We are thankful to have finished the race, healthy, injury-free and with great family and friends!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Triathlon is a sickness

I ran for the first time today since the Florida 70.3. A "short" 7-miler that felt like 10 in this brutal Florida heat. I guess I can't complain considering it didn't rain today.
What is it about training for triathlons that is so addicting? Maybe it's the constant desire to be better and to improve. Whether it's nutrition or swim stroke, their is always something I am analyzing.
I can remember last weekend during the half marathon portion of the Half-Ironman, saying to myself, "what the hell was I thinking," "this sucks!" Not great positive self talk. I am working on it.
Yet, soon after I had crossed the finish line, (once I started to get feeling back in my legs) I couldn't wait for the next one. Yep...Augusta, GA 70.3 in September.
It really is a sickness!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Taper/Recovery week....

5 days til the BIG DAY!  I am so excited, nervous, anxious and totally pumped for Sunday.  For one, our bestest buds ever are coming down to race with us from Boston.  Well, Dean is racing and Jen, his wife, is expecting Baby Blanche in August...We already named her for them.  So no race for her.  She is our water girl (aka B***H)  for the weekend!  Thanks Jen- you know we heart you!  Nick and Dean have been crap talking to eachother for the past couple of months.  We have been trying to psych Dean out, but we still know he will dominate.  He says he hasnt been training, has only been on a trainer the whole training time, working too much, prego wife and many more excuses.  But we know Dean and know that he will do really well.  We're not competitive at all huh?!  HA!  We are just really excited to be with our friends and family and have a fun race!  Cant wait!  

Nick's new aquaCell Profile Design super tanker aero drink for his bike.  Maybe a tool that might beat Dean and Josh???  It's all about the little things!  
Nick spinning out those legs after a tempo run.....GAME FACE!  
Me, on the other hand, legs up!  I stole Nicks new ZOOT compression socks that are supposed to increase blood flow, decrease lactic acid and aid in muscle recovery!  Let's give em a shot!  Feels good to me so far!  :)  And this is Nick's idea of recovery...theres nothing like a delicious cold IPA after a hard workout!  What better way to replenish those carbs!  Nice watch tan line babe...that's hot!

Another great perk for all this training...check out the bods!  It has surely paid off!  If only we dont overdue it Sunday after the race with our BeanTown Buds!  :)  The Wolavers will be calling our names!!  

Countdown to Taper Week....

Well lets just say that this is the most training that we (Nick, Josh and I) have ever done.  Even before when we were collegiate softball and baseball athletes, triathlon training is completely different than anything we have experienced.  It has been the most fun meeting new people in this sport and has allowed to to train and grow together as a couple.

Last weekend we did our longest brick with a couple of friends; Sara, Lizzy and Andrew.  They totally kept us motivated and pushed us on our first half of our 60 mile bike and 8 mile Trun.  Its great to have friends at your side cheering you on towards your goals.  I would have to say that was the toughest, mentally, workout I have ever done.  It totally made me doubt myself as to whether or not I could even accomplish, or even finish a Half Ironman.  But once I was looked back at how hard we have been training, how far we had come and how much we have changed our lives to accomplish these goals....Im totally focused on staying healthy and finishing strong!
My awesome husband pumping up my tires before our long ride...and Josh putting on his SPF 100 for his fair skin!  He always says that I stole his pigment!  And he stole the tape worm!  BRAT!  Below is Sara (farting around) and Andrew getting ready before our long ride.

Every weekend we met up at Lakewood Ranch Starbucks in our usual parking spot.  Our usual routine:  pump up tires (thanks Nick), fill up aerodrink and water bottles, strap on the fuel belt pocket and fill it up with my banana HammerGel (yummy), pee inside the bucks, make sure we have spare tubes/CO2, lather up with SPF, cleats check, helmet check, IPOD check, pee again :)  and we're off.... 

St. Anthonys Pics

Josh at the Finish!
2nd Triathlon...2nd Bike Crash!
Me w/ Bree Wee post race!
Andy Potts starting the 10k
Bree Wee starting the run!
No swim...too windy....so here was T1
Josh waiting for his wave to start
Saturday practice swim.  A bit choppy?!
Swim Start...well only for the Pros!
Josh checking out the water...trying to swim!

Overall the race was great, besides having to start like you were coming out of the swim (without actually swimming) and into transition to the bike.  So, this was Josh's 1st Olympic Tri and didnt even get to swim.  So this was only his 2nd triathlon and still hasnt finished a swim.  Last one was the sarasota sprint where he cramped up, swam 5 minutes and got out of the water.  He waited for Nick to come out of the Gulf...ran into transition and ended up finishing 3rd in his age group! HA!  So Florida 70.3 will be his first official triathlon swim experience!  Lets hope he (and us) stay hydrated and do well!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just one of those days...

Nick and I have been totally pumped for the weekend in St. Pete for the St. Anthonys triathlon.  Because my little brother, Josh, and other friends were competing in their first Oly tri.  We were excited to do the expo, meet the pros, watch the transitions and get totally motivated for our upcoming race in a few weeks (Florida 70.3).  Well the Saturday morning we were going to leave we had a pretty tough workout, thanks Monica, that we wanted to complete before playing the rest of the weekend. A friend of ours that we met in Miami at the MIT last month was down from NY to come train with us so I was super excited to train with another female since I am always training with Nick and Josh and being left in the dust on the bike....I can hold my own on the run!  :)  Anyways, a local bike shop started group rides at 7:30 am, which so happens to be the same time that we have our Saturday morning boot camps at Summerfield Park every Saturday at the same time.  My super amazing husband let me play hookie from boot camp to ride with my friend from out of town and with Heather and the rest of the group riders.  So that morning comes, I'm so excited (and nervous to ride with superstars) and realize I have a flat that I have to deal with first thing in the morning.  I sweet talk Nick and he fixes it for me, while I make him breakfast and take care of Abby (our 5-year-old chocolate lab) good trade off right!  Nick and I are off...he heads to the park for boot camp and I head to Village Bikes to do my 55 miler with a 6-mile transition run.  YIKES!  When I get to Village Bikes, everyone seemed to be running late, not a problem, we will catch up with the group.  A few of us start our ride, I forgot to mention one of the women in the group is a pro cyclist and is a rockstar!  For some reason about 10 miles into my ride I look down and realize I have a flat!  You've got to be kidding me.  Same tire, 10 miles later!  What the french!  Well, I couldnt of gotten a flat at a better location though. It happened right in front of our personal training studio, so I walked it in and luckily my dad was there training with my brother.  When my dad finished he drove me over to Nick in the park where boot camp was still going on.  I was so pissed because I didnt have a spare tire because I already had a flat this morning.  Really, who has 2 flats in one day!  Oh I did! I tried not to let it bother me.  Also, my friend riding with the group didnt realize that I dropped back and she took off with the group.  I was worried about her because she didnt know her way around here and I was hoping she would just go back to the bike shop.  Which she did!  Nick changed my tire for me again!  Thanks babe.  I swear I know how to change one, but he likes to do it for me!  :)  I headed over to the bike shop where my friend was to see how she was doing, which she thought I was dead on the side of the road.  From there I rode with Nick a few miles, when I started to feel something weird going on with my left cleat.  I felt like it was going to fly off my pedal.  I had to stop, felt the bottom of my cleat and realized it was coming off.  Great!  Now I'm riding with a loose pedal.  The wind starts to pick up on top of that!  Great going 10 mph, loose cleat and pissed off.  Nick and I plan on calling it quits early.  I head back to the bike shop (AGAIN) for the third time this morning.  I was so frustrated, I told them to take my bike and my cleat and I would be back in an hour after my interval run.  Our upcoming race is partly on trails, so I had to start training on some trails.  I decided to train out behind the bike shop where there are a ton of grass around the ponds.  So I take off.  Its hot, but I feel great, I like the hot and humid weather!  I stop off at the community college to get some water and take my GU at mile 4 and start to head back to the bike shop.   To top off this amazingly horrible training day, my IPOD dies in the middle of my run.  Wonderful!  I just kept singing that song, then I started counting gators until I was back at the bike shop.  Thank goodness I was finally done.  I finished strong and was glad to be done with that workout.  Not all workouts are going to rock, but the days when everything that can possibly go wrong does thats what makes you stronger!  I learned a lot from today...be prepared, be patient, focus and stay positive!  I went home and made myself and Nick the most amazing post-workout PB Blueberry Banana shake ever!

After we recovered from the workout, we showed up, packed the car and headed to the parents house to take Abby there for the weekend.  Then we were off to St. Pete for a great fun filled triathlon weekend!

The picture above is at the SWIM START of the St. Anthonys triathlon, next to the pier.  We were feeling great after a long day!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt....well kinda

Well to add to Nick's blog from our wonderful Easter weekend, one reason I had to ice my legs was due to the fact that I was exhausted from my not-so-successful attempt at our Easter Egg Hunt.  My parents are total dorks (well Jeff is anyways) and designed a map for an easter egg hunt for Nick, Josh, Christine and I.  Yeah a map!  Hey did an outline of our house, which we have a wooden deck around most of it, so he said all eggs are within the circle of the house.  We didnt have to leave the circle.  There were a total of 8 big colored eggs and 4 small grey eggs.  Jeff described that there were 3 levels of difficulty: hard, harder and hardest!  haha! My parents even arranged baskets from when we were little for each of us to run around with and we had to hold them....yes Nick tried to get out of running around the house with his pink basket!  haha.  So the rules of the game, free for all, then we have to meet back together after all the eggs were found to open them up to see whats inside.  There was one "rotten" egg and whoever finds that egg has to give up all their eggs and divide it up with everyone.  Ok, so we are off.  Everyone goes their own way.   Of course Josh finds the first, the second and then the third.  Finally Nick finds one, and then Christine.  And me, still haven't found anything.  Abby is chasing us all around and thinks we are all running around to play with her.  So we are down to the final egg...the money ball!  I know that thing has a lot of money in it!  Jeff isnt cheap!  So, who do you think finds the darn thing??  Josh.  That little brat!  He had a total advantage since he helped Jeff build the deck to know that there was a small piece that was replaced and was able to come open!  And the hunt is over!  Josh found 6, Nick found 2, Christine found 4, and I found a goose egg....zip, ziltch, nada!!  I sucked it up!  So, we all meet back up and Jeff tells us the yellow egg is the rotten egg, which Christine (my brothers GF) found it!  Nick thought it was him since he found a puke looking egg and almost just left it there for Josh to find since he had all the eggs and he would have to give them up! haha!  So Christine didnt mind giving up her eggs because Josh hit the jackpot and got $125 bucks!  But thanks to Christine I got a whole $10!  Thanks!  I think Josh had some advantages...1.  He lived at home longer since I went away for college and havent been back and knows all the secret spots!  2. I'm old  and 3. I  haven't done an easter egg hunt in probably 15 years.  So to make a long story short, we had a great Easter with the family.  My parents made an amazing brunch with yummy buckwheat/banana/flax pancakes, veggie fritatta, fruit salad and a tangerine glazed ham! Yum-O!  Thanks for the leftovers ma!  Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend and if you did an Easter egg hunt, I hope you at least found more eggs than I did!  :) Nic