race report // chisago 70.3

Chisago Lakes 70.3 on Saturday was my first race of the season – and, with a shiny new PR (for Nick, too!), it was a good one! I knew if everything went well, a PR was gonna happen, but no one was more surprised than me about the sub-five(!). 

PRE-RACE
Chisago is about an hour drive from our house, so Nick and I were up early (earlier than we were for Ironman Canada!) and out the door around 4:40a. We arrived with the sunrise, and following packet pick-up – and me swapping from wave five to elite – set up our transitions next to bike in/out. We milled around for a bit, talking race strategy with coach Andy and catching up with friends who were also racing. Around 6:50a, we headed to the beach for a super quick warm-up swim (maybe a minute) to shake off the butterflies. 

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SWIM // 34:23, 1:38/100, 2nd AG. 
I was a bit apprehensive about the swim, as I’ve only swam open water twice this summer – the options are limited near our new place in the ‘burbs – and given Chisago was my first race of the season, the buoys looked far. I also felt a little out of my league starting in the elite wave… because the elite wave! 

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Nonetheless, the swim ended up being great and set the tone for the day. I positioned toward the right front of the beach start and more or less swam just to the left of the buoys for the clockwise one-loop triangular-shaped course. Zero issues with mass start craziness, and I quickly settled into a nice rhythm. About a quarter way in, Nick popped up to my left, and we swam stroke for stroke for a minute before he veered off. The rest of the swim was uneventful unless you count the weeds; they were out.of.control on the stretch back to shore… as in clumps so massive I had to adjust my stroke so my hands didn’t get tangled in them. Gross. With about a tenth to go, I caught super triathlete Suzie Fox and kept the pace to exit the water in fourth female, just ahead of her (and ahead of Nick… ha!). 

A run up the beach and a big hill, and I was in T1 (this added about a minute to my swim time). (Below, I’m in the yellow swim cap.)

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Gear: TYR nest pro goggles in smoke (brand new and no fogging!) and ROKA Maverick Elite wetsuit (no chafing!). 

Nutrition: Banana around 6a (~100 kcals) and one salted caramel Gu 10 minutes before go (100 kcals).

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ironman canada // course preview

I almost asked coach if I could race Ironman Canada this weekend. Because FOMO.

As my first 140.6 distance race, Whistler holds a special place in my heart, and I’m a little sad to not be toeing the line there on Sunday. It’s a magical place… the mountains, the ocean, the woods, crisp clean air (maybe we should move to the Pacific Northwest, Nick?!). No doubt about it, I’ll race there again… who’s in for 2015?!

With that, here’s a quick rundown of the course :) 

SWIM.
Surrounded by mountains, the two-loop swim in Alta Lake is nothing short of spectacular. The deep blue-green water is crystal clear and because it’s mountain fed, it’s clean and the perfect wetsuit temp (it was about 68 degrees last year). For the in-water start, I got in the water about 10 minutes prior to go and positioned midway back on the left. I swam just to the left of the numbered buoys – it’s a counterclockwise swim with sunrise to your left during the first straightaway – and had zero issues with anyone swimming over me, kicking me or ripping off my goggles. The turn buoys are a bit of a cluster, so be prepared to fight for position a bit. In 2013, racers were allowed to stay in the water between the two loops – much preferred (for me) rather than running out on the beach and back in.

For more on the swim, see my race report.

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BIKE.
Oh, the bike! There isn’t a much more scenic road to bike than the Sea-to-Sky Highway (which was closed to traffic on race day)… water on one side and mountains all around. It starts from Rainbow Park with a longer run across train tracks and around a corner before crossing the line to hop on. Almost immediately, you’re smacked with an uphill followed by some rollers, so be sure to start in an easier gear. The first 30 miles are an out and back to Callaghan Valley, with the first half mostly climbing. After biking through Whistler again, the course winds north, up and down, toward Pemberton. Bike special needs is downtown Pemberton right before the 30-mile flat stretch on Pemberton Meadows Road. There were many pelotons here in 2013, and while it’s tempting to join them or hammer it, conserve a bit for the big 22-mile climb back to Whistler and T2. There’s a wicked S-curve descent on the climb back, so be cautious and slow down; it’s quite precarious, and though I love bombing down mountains, this one turn was terrifying (driving this section before the race is a good idea). 

Remember: What goes up (and there’s a lot of up – 6,000 feet or so) must come down. My top speed was 46 mph, so be prepared for some flying descents. I was quite glad to have a 12-27 cassette.

More bike info on my race report.

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training weekend in the wisco woods.

 Wisco didn’t disappoint this past weekend. 

After a 13.5-mile run along the Mississippi on Friday – it’s fun when you PR on a training run – Nick and I packed our swimbikerun gear and headed to friend D2′s cabin on Little Round Lake near Hayward, Wisconsin. A bit later start than we wanted, so we missed an evening open water swim, but arrived in time for a delicious dinner and good convo in the screen porch.

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After a bit of a lazy Saturday morning (blackout shades!), we got rolling on our century ride around 10:30a. At the first stop sign 15 miles in, there was a hiss. My rear tire (why is it always the rear tire?!) had a complete puncture. What the…?! It was my lucky day, though: Coincidentally, D2 and Sarah happened to be at the bike shop in Hayward picking up a new tire for Sarah’s bike. Twenty minutes later, they arrived with a new one – THANK YOU! – and after a quick change, we were on our way. 

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race report // tuesday night time trial, 07.01.2014

You know you biked your legs off when you say, “I think I may die,” at the end of the race.

Not much to say about last week’s Twin Cities Spoke Tuesday Night Time Trial, other than it was a painful 13 miles punctuated by a few eff bombs and laser focus on all the watts.

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Human bike stand while Nick swapped out his brake pads to work with his Mavic race wheels.

It was arm warmer temp – not what you’d expect for July 1 in Minnesota – and I shivered through my eight-mile warm-up and the 10 minutes I waited in line to start (number 39 this go-round). But, once I was racing, I was roasting. Per coach’s instructions, I held back a bit the first couple miles (to the first pothole-riddled corner or so) and then let my legs rip. 

It hurt – a lot. About halfway through, I started some positive self-talk and really zoned in on my target watts. So fun to see what your body can do when you quiet your mind. 

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my 10 simple + fresh beauty picks.

Since starting triathlon and logging big training weeks, my morning beauty regimen has been dramatically simplified. Because who has time?! That, and I really like lollygagging over my morning double shot espresso for far longer than I should.

Gone are the blow dryer and flat iron days (and shaving my legs every day!). Not only has it been incredibly freeing to ditch the lengthy (and super annoying) beautifying process, I’ve learned that less is more – and, that I actually like my air dried hair! 

Here are my top 10 beauty must-haves for my quick morning routine… start to finish in 15 minutes flat (20 with a shower!)! beauty products [Read more...]