Thursday, July 28, 2016

Race Report: Ironman 70.3 Calgary

About 1.5 years ago, on Feb 23, 2015, I woke up after having knee surgery. For whatever reason, when I woke I cried, violently, and even started screaming. The doctors had a hard time controlling me. I still am not sure why I cried so hard...but I think that it was all the pent up tears that I had held back during the struggles of the year before: being injured and not knowing what the injury was, being frustrated, watching girls I had beat win Ironmans and qualify for Kona, feeling lost and out of control. I tend to hold everything inside until I burst. So, perhaps it was the effect of the anaesthetics that made me lose all inhibition and react the way I did. Unfortunately, the struggle was far from over on that day. My prognosis was grim. The surgeon said that if I was lucky, I might be able to run again, but never over 10km.

People have asked me if I'm happy with my performance in Calgary. I will be honest, at first I was disappointed. The Miranda from 2013 would have run faster, placed better, been a podium contender. But then I think back to that day of my surgery, when I never thought I would compete in triathlon again, and I think, "yes, I am so HAPPY!" To be able to finish a half-ironman was a dream on Feb 23rd. And I came 10th and clocked a 4:35 for a competitive 70.3, with a top 5 swim performance, a bike performance comparable to pre-surgery and a run that I did with a strained peroneal muscle! So, I am really freakin' happy :)

Unfortunately, the after effects of this race have left me with a lot of aches and pains! Apparently 31 year olds don't recover as quick as 27 year olds :) I'm currently dealing with a peroneal strain, medial knee pain on my left and a possible strain in my right lateral quad and hamstring! Not sure where the season will go for here, but I will take it one race at a time!

Next up (hopefully): Bracebridge Olympic Triathlon!

Normally, I leave my thank-yous until the end of my post, but the following deserve a HUGE thank you early on in my report:

- One Capital and One Sports: One Capital Management has included me on their team of elite age group triathletes and supported me so much in the past few years. I've been able to train in California in the past and I got to visit and compete in beautiful Calgary for the first time.
- Bobby Libin: Thanks for opening your home to us and being such an amazing host and keeping the house supplied with lots of carb and good food pre-race.
- My parents for their continued love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine. They travelled all the way to Calgary to be with me on my race, and that's just a small example of what they do for me every day.
- My health care team of David Lamy (RMT), Bill Wells (Chiro) and Michael Hong (Acupuncture). I wouldn't have been able to race this one without you.
- Adam, my coach and partner, for being designated sherpa and driving everyone everywhere this past weekend.
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- MultiSport Canada for getting me race ready for this event!
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially those at WattsUp!
- My other coaches: Kim and Nigel from NRG
- My sponsors: High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

1. Pictures:

3. Interview with another participant: TROY

Q. Name (first name only is fine), Age (or age group):

A. Troy out of San Diego. 55-59 AG

Q. One word to describe yourself?

A. After asking several people, the best word to describe my self is "Determined", it was a toss up with "obsessed" and " Plain Crazy" coming in Third.

Q. How long have you been doing triathlons?

A. 20 years this month

Q. What was one highlight of today's event?

A. going out of T2 and the announcer saying I was down by one minute on the leader in my AG. I thought I was 4th or 5th with a bad swim, but glad to hear I made it up on the bike. I caught first place guy (Miles out of Calgary) at 17k, and went by as he was walking aid station, at 19K I heard footsteps and pushed harder thinking he was about to pass. My left hammy was going into a cramp and did not know if I could hold on for 2K. He stayed right behind my until the last K when I started up the slight hill and ran like I was on fire to win by 16 secs. I collapse at the finished and went immediately into cramps. I was taking to Med since I could not walk and my competitor, Miles came over and stayed with me which showed great sportsmanship. We will see each other again in the 70.3 World Championship 2017

Q. What did you eat for breakfast?

A. I always have my Bagel with Nutella, 2 Ensure drinks with Beta Aline, and a salt pill mixed in. Us old folks don't eat much.

Q. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in a triathlon?

It’s not why you may think. On the morning of IM AZ race with little time to go until the start I realized I forgot my salt in my car so I needed to run about a mile back to get it. By the time I got back the pro's were just talking off so I hurried to fill my dry clothes bag, put my wetsuit half way on and started to run towards the truck to drop off my bag when mother nature routed me to the nearest porta potty. I set my after race bag next to me while I did my business. When I stood up the bag fell over and my cap and goggles dropped into the forbidden hole. YES!! I was HORRIFIED to say the least!! I looked down and stared at my bright green cap on top and quickly retrieved it throwing it out the door with no sight on my googles. At that time I heard Mike Reilly announce 6 minutes to race start. It was still dark out and even darker in the potty. Basically I could not see anything. So for 2 seconds I started thinking of options and came up with only one that made sense. I went for it.....I plunged my arm down the hole and started fishing. They always tell you to expect the unexpected in Ironman, but this was ridiculous. I finally found the goggles in the bottom right corner where I quickly grabbed them, grabbed my bag (with the other hand) and open the door with about 50 athletes waiting to use the potty. You should have seen the look on their faces when they saw me opening the door standing there with one blue arm all the way up to my shoulder. I quickly ran to drop my bag off when a volunteer said they would take it to the truck. I immediately used water bottles lying around the ground to clean myself and the goggles off the best I could while running to the water’s edge. I made the front line within 30 seconds to the start!!! All I could think of was some disease I would have in my eyes by the time I started the run, Haaaa! Note to self: Never take your race bag into the potty!! Woohoooo!!!

Q. What is one of your top achievements, either in triathlon or in the rest of life?

Have been fortunate to have several achievements in life including bat boy for the LA Dodgers, my Pro card in Supercross, Free ride Pitching for San Jose State Spartans Baseball, but the biggest achievement was getting to the start of Kona 2013. In Feb of 2013 my father received news he had stage 4 lung cancer. I was getting ready to do Los Cobo Ironman in March. We were sitting together on a Sunday and he mentioned how proud he was with me throughout my athletic career, but would really like to see me race in the World Championship before time was up for him. I told him I will try my best to qualify to get him and Mom over to Kona Well I Finished 4th in Cabo with only 2 spots given so I signed up for Kentucky to see if I can still qualify for 2013 race. I had to take Dad in for a check up on a Sunday which was weird, and we were sitting in the waiting room on April 14th 2013 and I get a text, "Man, couldn't happen to a nicer guy" Huh? From a good friend Ron Anderson, I asked him if he was drinking or what? He text "congrats, in getting chosen in the legacy program of going to Kona".....WTF???? I forgot I signed up for the legacy program several months before so this came out of no where.. Well needless to say I am looking at my dad with his oxygen mask on, in a wheel chair, thinking, boy old man do I have some news for you.... and tears started to roll. I am going to Kona... for HIM!!!! That night I took out the family to dinner and wrapped up the email I received inviting me to Kona and gave it to the old man. He just said, I knew you would make it there with a tear in his eye and yelled, right on!....Woohooo!! Months went by and in Sept dad started going down quickly, He no longer could make the flight to Hawaii, but sent me off telling me he will be tracking me all day. Nothing can stop me from starting Kona, Not the double hernia I managed to sustain 9 days from the start, nor the Bee sting I received 4 days from the start while on a training ride. My face was swollen for 30 hrs with 103 body temp. Race day morning I felt tired and lethargic but nothing was stopping me to get that medal around dads neck..... The race started and by the time we were heading back on the bike I felt 100% Even the duct tape around my hernia wasn't hurting...Ha!! I finished in 11:20 and as soon as I crossed the line, My daughter handed me the cell with dad on the other line, we cried together that both of our dreams were achieved together. When I got home I placed the IRONMAN Medal around his neck and it was the last picture we have together. Dad died one month later.... So Kona 2013 was my biggest achievement and always will be. Woohooooo!!!!!

Q. When is your next event? Q. When is your next event?

A. Next Race is IM CDA followed by Kona followed by IRONMAN Cabo Oct. 30th to see if I can get a spot for 2017 Kona

4. TrainingPeaks/Quantitative Race information for those interested

WARMUP: 550m swim warmup with 3x40 strokes fast, then 3x20 strokes fast

SWIM: 1871m, 26:35 (~1:25/100m),

BIKE: Speed - 36.6kph, NP - 175W (3.25W/kg, 85% of FTP)**forgot to calibrate power meter, so this may not be accurate**, Avg HR - 160bpm, Avg Cadence - 85rpm

RUN: 21.1km, 1:39:10 (4:41/km), Avg HR - 174bpm, Elevation gain ??

Lastly, I'm going to close this blog with the lyrics from "Try Everything" by Shakira:

I messed up tonight | I lost another fight | I still mess up but I'll just start again | I keep falling down | I keep on hitting the ground | I always get up now to see what's next | Birds don't just fly | They fall down and get up | Nobody learns without getting it wrong

I won’t give up, no I won’t give in | Till I reach the end | And then I’ll start again | Though I’m on the lead | I wanna try everything | I wanna try even though I could fail | I won’t give up, no I won’t give in | Till I reach the end | And then I’ll start again | No I won't leave | I wanna try everything | I wanna try even though I could fail

Look how far you've come | You filled your heart with love | Baby you've done enough that cut your breath | Don't beat yourself up | Don't need to run so fast | Sometimes we come last but we did our best

I'll keep on making those new mistakes | I'll keep on making them every day | Those new mistakes


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Here we go!

My first half ironman in about 2 years is just 10 days away! So, I thought it a good idea to post a little update...

I'm not the same pro triathlete as I was 3 years ago when I was at my peak fitness. Since 2013, I have been battling injuries, recovering from surgery, going back to school full time, working more, struggling through the stress of significant life changes and trying to be the best stepmum I can be. This is markedly different from being the (mostly) care free triathlete I was. Back then I got to head south in the winters to train and my biggest worry was how to best recover for the next training session or whether my Garmin was working :) As a result, I know my fitness is not as good as it was - but I think it's still good enough to compete at the Pro level. I get to put that to the test on July 24th in Calgary and I'm looking forward to it!

So - what has my training been like in 2016? Well, I've been lucky enough to get some local races in! I placed second female in both Multisport Woodstock Sprint and Multisport Welland Long Course. We are so incredibly lucky to have the Multisport Canada series in Ontario. They put on the best organized races and ensure that everyone, from the beginner to the elite athlete has a great day. Since Welland, I stepped it up to 20 hours of training/week. Whether that was a good idea remains to be seen. It's always tough to find a balance between overdoing it and under doing it.

My swimming endurance has definitely improved (I'm swimming 5-6 days per week instead of 2-3). I get in 1 OWS with NRG on Wednesdays where I try to stay on the feet of speedy Brandon and Nigel. In the pool, I was even able to do 10x100@1:25 pace time again!

My cycling seems to have gone up a notch based on my last training session, where I held a NP of 183W over 55km (within a 105km ride) on the hottest day of the year - and split a PB for 40K of 1:03! This has largely been due to consistency. I built a strong base with regular training over the winter at WattsUp, without overdoing it. All the short, high intensity work on the trainer helped to develop my top end power. Now that school and exams are over (3 weeks ago), I have been able to get in some longer outdoor rides and develop better endurance. I'm hopeful this will allow me to put together a pretty strong 90k in Calgary!

My running, however, has taken a small step back. I have had some lower leg issues recently, possibly stemming from a stuck talus and fibula, that then caused all my lower leg muscles to tighten up. As a result, my running hasn't been very consistent. I did run a 4:20/km for 15km in a descending run on Monday - but have paid for it! I've been unable to run since. So let's hope all is well for Calgary.

So that's where life is at! Thank you for following along.