Polar Bear Triathlon 2013


The Polar Bear Triathlon happened last weekend and boy did it come with a fury!  We have had awesome warm weather ….and all of a sudden the morning of the triathlon, it decided to turn to winter!

As we were driving to the range, we were getting rained on as we went through the pass.  A little rain doesn’t do any harm, right?  And as we were prepping, they postponed it a half an hour because of the slick roads and I could tell it was going to be a windy one too!


The run started at 8am.  Everyone took off like a shot.  With my training, I felt like I would be ok on the run, but I soon realized I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.  Mike did pretty well and stuck with the front crowd, while I just kept a pace and made it in under 30 minutes (Thank goodness!).

We didn’t get a lot of pictures, but here is documentation of the ice that we came back to when we transitioned to the bike.


When I got to my bike, I had a sheet of ice on my seat.  I couldn’t put my bike shoes on with my gloves, so I took them off.  I hurried and transitioned and found out that my shifter was so frozen that I had to keep hitting it twice to shift up.  Then my brakes were acting shady.  As I rounded the corner, guess what I noticed was not on my hands?You guessed it. My gloves.  I decided just to keep going and told myself I have mountain biked in worse. I grew to regret it about a mile in.

Meanwhile, let’s talk about where Mike was…

Since he was in the front of the group, he shot out on the transition.  The cop that was directing traffic decided not to direct the bikers and they took off on a course that was not part of the real course. Long story short, Mike ended up going six miles more than he needed for the race (and still got first place in his category). A bunch of people got really jipped!


This is what it looked like when we went over the pass.

So now back to my story…

While I was riding, I was deciding whether to quit or not.  I kept picturing me getting to the pool and the paramedics having to treat my hands for frost bite.  Let’s just say a saint of a biker came by me named Jason McClure (a friend of ours), who found out I didn’t have gloves, and then waves his in the air and drops them in the middle of the road for me.


I had to finish now so I started hauling! I passed a lot of people at this point.  It kind of disappointed me that I never got to see my legit time considering the whole glove incident. I would love to have seen the showdown at the end because the top three people in my category (with me included) were all a minute apart.  I like to think that by stopping on the road and putting the gloves on might have cost me.  (It’s what every person does post race. …the shoulda, coulda, woulda.)

Mike was able to try to get back as much time as possible, while we went through some terrible head winds.  People were complaining and I heard a few girls crying out as I went by…no joke.  It was dang cold.

As soon as I got to the swim, I hopped in the pool and it felt awesome and warm!  I knew I was going to be crappy…and I was, but I didn’t stop.  I think I was around ten to eleven minutes. My goal was nine. Ha!


The other sucky thing was that we didn’t find out our results the day of the race because they weren’t able to record the bike times (which is a HUGE bummer because that is the only portion where I felt awesome and wanted to see how I did).  They did give out the Southwest Series Champion trophies for 2013 and Mike won!

We later found out Mike got first in his category and I got third.  I’ll take it! It was such a hard race, but I am so glad I did it.  Seven months ago I had a baby…so I’ll use that as an excuse. Hehe. Mike and I are always making fun of the excuses we make after a race.

It is what it is!

Iron Soldier Triathlon 2013


Triathlon time again!  Mike was able to participate in the Iron Soldier Triathlon at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas back on Saturday, September 28th.  It was a 400 meter swim, 15.5 mile bike, and ended with a 5 kilometer run.


I was stressing out because I signed Mike up for his race, instea dof having him do it.  When you sign up, you are supposed to give them your swim time so that they can put you with the same people at the beginning and I totally forgot what I told them!  So Mike went in with a surprise and thankfully I chose correctly! He was able to swim in the 7 minute time frame I chose for him!


As for the bike, Mike went out on transition and found out his chain was off his bike.  He had to fix it really quick and then hop back on so it was off to a rocky start.  He was able to have the fastest time in his category and third fastest time overall. To think what his time would have been without the chain drop!


He felt good on the run.  He felt a little deceived because it went a little further than a 5k, so he was mentally done before it was officially done!


The whole “triathlon” gang that does the usual triathlons in Las Cruces were there to join in on the fun too, and as you can tell, they all received medals for their achievements! So proud of them!


The Color Run El Paso

Last year Mike and I did the Color Run in Albuquerque with his brothers (which ended up being a fiasco of losing our car keys and spending two days trying to get them remade…meanwhile, finding out I was pregnant).  This year, we found out it was going to be a little closer to home, so we had to go try it out with my good friend Stephanie and her husband Bill.


We had to have Olivia try out the shenanigans too, so we brought the jogging stroller and put a weather shield over it to protect her.


We had to stand at the start for a while because of the congestion.  It was a pretty big crowd.  Meanwhile, people were already busting out with the paints in the air!


Pre-Color Run cleanliness.


Olivia was already getting bombarded!


Mike took the stroller for the first half of the race.  He looks so cheesy in this picture!


I love this shot of all the “haze” left over from the pink portion.


Mike being Mike….again. Poor Olivia.  FYI…she slept the whole race!


I took over mid-way and was trying to find a way to avoid the colors with the stroller.  That was not happening!


I was kind of bummed because the end was so congested, you really couldn’t run it!  It was more like a walk from the 1.5 mile mark.  I wish they had more street space on this one.


And this is what happens when you wake up a sleeping stroller child.  (Yes, she got a little warm.)


Overall, it was fun.  I would say that if they changed the venue that I would do it again in El Paso. Otherwise, I am willing to go back up to Albuquerque next year.  What a fun way to get people out running.

Thanks to the Kellys for joining us!

Yucca Triathlon 2013

We are now starting to repeat triathlon races!  It was time for the Yucca Triathlon at White Sands Missile Range this past month.  Considering this was Olivia’s first triathlon last year (I was five weeks pregnant when I did it), we had to go do it again!  This was also the triathlon that got Mike interested in competing in triathlons too!  I was bummed to not do it this year, but it was fun to watch and take pictures with the jogging stroller!

(I will be hopefully doing the Polar Bear Triathlon in December to make up for lost time.  My body needs to heal a little more before I feel confident enough to try it again!)

Mike came in third overall and first in his category.  The weird thing that happened that day was that there was a gas leak in the pool area.  While Mike was out on the bike, I could hear a bunch of fire trucks coming (which could send anyone into heart attack mode) and then they made us stay away from the building.  So it ended up being a duathlon!  No swim!


Olivia was a trooper.  I wanted to run part of the running coarse, so I did it backwards and met them at the halfway mark and took pictures.  I ended up getting some personal records on my Strava so I was pretty happy about my stroller jog.


Here is Mike at the starting line…being Mike.


I loved the pictures of all of the people running because the back of the Organs are in the background.  Of course, the only close up picture of Mike didn’t have the awesome mountains.


Mike makes fun of me because I always get shots like these, where he is halfway in the shot.  I guess if you look at my shadow, I look like I’m not trying really hard. 🙂


It was fun to hang out as a family on a race day.  Beautiful weather too!  Overall, it was a success.


2013 Ironman Boulder 70.3

The long-awaited Boulder Ironman 70.3! We had been waiting for this day for a long time.  Mike and his buddies signed up for this in January (because it sells out SUPER FAST) and were training in the winter and summer to get ready for this competition. They were really into triathlons and wanted to have something big to work towards.

The biggest thing that Mike looked forward to was riding in Colorado and the competition that was going to be there.  He was really excited to learn about the pros and to see and hear about them in person.

The Ironman 70.3 consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run.


When it came to the swim, Mike trained at the local swimming pool as well as in the ocean in San Diego to make sure he was prepared. He swam 4 times a week and always swam a mile and a quarter.


Mike felt pretty good about the bike portion of the race before hand because he had been training on his own. His training consisted of riding in high altitude locations (like Cloudcroft) and long distance riding. He really enjoyed the course.  It was fast and beautiful.


To prepare for the run, Mike ran his own half marathon courses as much as possible.  He made sure to run at least 3 times a week.  Mike didn’t feel too good on the running portion, but we found out later he was on the verge of a really bad cold/flu before the race began.

When Mike hit the finish line, he was cramping pretty bad.  He felt like he couldn’t stay hydrated.  It was super hot out and very humid that day for Colorado.  This finish line pic was so awesome to see.  He finished!


We took Olivia up to this race because Mike wanted for her to be there at the finish line.  She did an awesome job riding up there, as well as waiting around for the results.


Mike was able to ride around Fort Collins, Colorado the few days before.  He tried to be really careful not to go too crazy, even though it was tempting to ride like crazy in such a beautiful place!


The day we showed up, we went down to get Mike’s race packet.  They had so much merchandise that we wanted to get.  Mike bought a visor to use when running and we were able to meet up with his friend Norm who was also doing the race.  He was able to give some great advice since he has done it before.


This is where Mike did his transition.  He had a great spot to get in and out! Considering transitioning has always been hard for him, he rocked it!


Here’s Olivia cheering him on before he went out for the swim!


The race started at the base of the Boulder Reservoir.  Mike lined up with the swimmers that were marked for 37 to 38 minutes.  And Mike did just that.  He swam the 1.2 miles in 37 minutes!


After Mike came in from the swim, he had to change immediately into his bike gear.  He felt like transitions went pretty well.  His swim to bike was the best out of the two.

I am so proud of him and look forward to watching him compete in more triathlons!!!

Howling Coyote Triathlon 2013


On Memorial Day Weekend, White Sands Missile Range held another triathlon for the Southwest Tri Series called the Howling Coyote Triathlon.  In New Mexico, most triathlons are running, biking, and then swimming.  In other states, it begins with the swim, then bike, then running.

This triathlon had a 5k run, 18k bike, and then a 400m swim.

These pictures are a little out-of-order so bare with me!  Mike came in pretty quick on the bike portion with three other people.  I love this picture of him coming into the transition area.  He said it wasn’t his strongest bike portion, but I still think he looked pretty good!


Mike was using this as part of his training for his upcoming Half Iron Man in Durango, Colorado (which is in August) and the XTerra Triathlon the following week.  I love the WSMR triathlons because the people are so friendly and it is such a good way to introduce yourself to becoming a triathlete.  There are people of all ages and abilities that come to this so you don’t feel very intimidated (unless you are super competitive!).


I was loving the patriotic uniform at the starting line.  Mike was ready to go!  He did awesome on the run!


I am amazed at how people can remember where there stuff is during transitions. Mike was saying transitions are key.  They can make or break your time.  When he participated in the Fort Bliss Armed Forces Triathlon the week before, they actually timed his transitions and he found that he needed to fine tune it a little more. Some people can win by seconds and a lot of time it was the transition that you could make up time on. I love the idea of having a milk crate available to sit and put your shoes on and take them off during transition.

howling5Most swims are open water, but this one takes place in a lap pool. On this race, you have to go up and down a lane and then switch lanes when you return.  Some lap pools are long enough where you only need to swim down it and then transition to the next lane at the end.


Congratulations to Mike on winning his category and getting fifth overall!  He said his run was the strongest portion of this race.  He told me that each race he feels like there is one strong portion and that its nice to see what you are excelling at and what you need to work on when it comes to practicing and preparing yourself for other races.

Great job Mike!


Trifecta Omnium March 2013


Every year Las Cruces (and the Zia Velo team) hosts the Trifecta Omnium race for the NMRS series. It starts the season off with some good grudge matches and gets the legs all warmed up for the road series ahead.

The first day consists of a Time Trial that is 20k and takes place out by the Las Cruces airport. The picture above shows the road they take out and the turnaround point. I was lucky enough to be the volunteer at this point, so I was able to see the action!

Don’t let the bright sun deceive you, Las Cruces had to show its “true colors” when it comes to the month of March. Even though we are told we have one of the best weather places in the country, the only draw back is the wind. These poor riders were fighting off 50 mph winds!


This is a picture of Mike coming up on the turn. He thought he was doing terrible because of his time coming up the road with the wind, but on the way back he was able to have the wind in his favor. He podiumed for this race! He was able to get third place out of 35 riders in his category! I am so proud of him! If you recall our previous post on long-term goals, one of Mike’s goals was to podium on the Trifecta TT.


We weren’t able to get any pictures of the Criterium race (where they lap for a half an hour) because they had to cancel it because of the weather. It is usually held the same day of the time trial. The next day the Zia Velo crew headed up to Hillsboro to race in the road race.

Hillsboro is located about an hour and a half from town. The weather was beautiful and there was a lot of hill climbing. Mike was able to stay with the pack and even made it to the final sprint! He launched his team mate Phil Simpson to win second place!

See last year’s post: https://bikingcouple.com/2012/04/22/trifecta-omnium-in-las-cruces/

Overall, Zia Velo did an awesome job representing!

El Paso Bandit Races #1

Bike season is back in force!  We are so excited for two reasons. One, that means that spring is here and that there will be more daylight.  Two, biking season is here and winter is gone!  

el paso 

El Paso has a “bandit” series on the weekends once the racing season starts.  Last weekend they had their first bandit race in El Paso.  Mike was able to go and represent Zia Velo and see some old friends from El Paso that like to road race too.


Mike is checking out the competition on this turn.  The race was about 60 miles long (which is good because the upcoming Trifecta race will be about the same distance..pictures to come!)


Mike was able to stay with the main group and was able to make it to the end with them.  The last part of the race was VERY close.  Mike came in fourth place!

Here’s to the start of the bandit season and some awesome pictures that were taken along the way!

Valley of the Sun 2013




Mike participated in a three-day bike challenge in Phoenix, Arizona over President’s Day weekend in February.  He competed in the Category 5 race last year when he was starting up road riding and switched to Category 4 this year.

We drove up the night of Valentine’s Day to stay with Mike’s sister in Tucson, which is only an hour and a half away.  We spent the whole car ride playing trivia games about each other.  It’s amazing what road trips have done for us to get to know each other throughout the years.  We should go on a game show!



Friday was the time trial on the west portion of the Phoenix area.  Last year, Mike placed fourth in his category with a 33:45 minute time.  This year he knew he was going to have more competition, so we made it a goal that he would get under 33 minutes.  And that is just what he did.  His time came out to be 32:20.   With that great of a time, he still made 12th place!  This year the competition was fierce.  Considering the first place person was only 50 seconds from Mike’s place, we will take it!


Saturday was the road race in Casa Grande, Arizona.  We stayed at a hotel in that area so it was nice to not have to get up as early.  Mike’s race was at 11 am.  We showed up to watch the other racers take off around the bend.  Mike was dropped on the hill the previous year and made it a goal to stay with the pack.  And he did!  Unfortunately, they put his group on hold at one portion of the race because the racers behind them were catching up with them.  I guess this is called “neutralizing” the group (which I think is a little unfair). They had to ride at a slow pace for about five minutes, which hurt their chances of getting ahead.  He still was able to stay with the pack and did well!


Sunday was a beautiful day to end the racing weekend.  Mike participated in a Criterium race, which means they do many short laps around a block in a half an hour.  It is an intense race and it makes me very nervous because of the high speeds and the short corners.  His race actually had a really bad crash!  Luckily, Mike was not a part of it!  He was able to make it with the group at the end.


Overall, Mike had a very successful race.  He placed 15th overall out of about 75 people.  He was able to stay with the group of riders and learn more strategies for his upcoming Las Cruces race.

2013 Goals


I know I have shown this before but for the ALMOST four years we have been married I have found something we actually stay pretty consistent on.  It’s kind of a rip off of Oprah’s Vision board, but instead of pictures we just put exactly what goals we want to do.

Watching Mike train for triathlons has been awesome.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous at all, but I would say that being pregnant is just as awesome.  (Let me just admit that it has taken the last two weeks for me to realize how AWESOME it is to grow a baby.  I seriously was thinking nothing of it until you actually start feeling the baby.  Anyway!)

I LOVE how I can look ahead and mentally prepare myself for things to come and it gets me so excited! Most of our goals are physical this year, but we mingled the goals with spiritual, educational, family, financial, and other types of goals too.  At the end of the year, we check off the ones we did and put it on our “newsletter” and include all of the things we did that year with it.  It’s pretty sweet to reminisce.