Joker Duathlon 2014

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My “fan” playing with her car while I was out racing….

It has been a while since I have updated our races around here on the blog.  Unfortunately I haven’t raced a lot since we are down to one paycheck right now while I stay home with Olivia.  Only one of us can race at a time, so I usually push Mike to race!

But, I was so excited to do my first duathlon back in April! Last year Mike signed up for the Joker Duathlon knowing that Olivia’s due date was the same weekend.  We figured she wouldn’t be on time….boy were we wrong! I started going into labor that morning.  Mike and I were trying to decide whether or not he should just go since we knew it would be a while, but we didn’t want to chance it.

Now a year later….in honor of Olivia…mom had to give it a try!

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Considering I am still twenty pounds up from my pre-pregnancy weight, I knew I would have some difficulty, but I really had a lot of fun.  This was taken at the starting line at Holloman Air Force Base.  I was so nervous! I had never done a duathlon before.

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And we were off.  The first run was an 8k and we took a path out to a cone and turned around.  I actually liked how flat it was and was holding a pretty steady pace at around 9 minutes per mile. I didn’t want to overdo it because I knew the bike was coming up.

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Transitioning was a little hard for me because I couldn’t get my shoes on and I was worrying about Olivia (which I shouldn’t have!).  But I was soon off and on an awesome bike route of 18 miles.  We went around the super nice roads of the base and then turned around and came back the same way we came so I could see who my competition was ahead of me.

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The road was a little windy going out and I was super hesitant about going fast.  I made it my goal to do the bike in under an hour.  I really wanted to beat all of the girls!

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I passed a lot of people on the way out.  I give Mike the credit of coaching me on how to TT even without a TT bike.  I was in the middle of the pack on running but was catching up to some of the faster runners on a bike.  By the end, I was around two girls that I knew I had to get on the run.  All three of us came back on the bike at the same time.

I took off running for the next 5k making sure to watch the girls.  We all kept a pretty similar pace out and then made the turn around.  I was able to pass one girl, but the other one was pretty fast and was gaining speed.

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I made it to the finish line….seconds…behind the girl and got 2nd place because of that!  I was really happy with my effort and glad I was able to do it.  I also was able to bike in just under an hour. I definitely will race this again!  It was awesome!

Back In The MTB Saddle Again

The New Mexico Off Road Series is looming in the future (March 2014) and I am currently trying to get back on the mountain bike to race.  The last time I raced big time was in 2011.  I’ve been riding since four weeks postpartum, but I will be honest and say that it took about six months to feel normal and even now, I still don’t feel completely 100 percent.

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I think my saving grace right now is the road bike, believe it or not.  There was a time that my husband would have laughed out loud at the thought, but I am a true believer (and he is too) that if you want to be a great mountain biker than you get in some miles on a road bike too.  I have seen it happen to my husband and I can see it happening to me now. It’s funny how 15 miles on a road bike is so little, but on a mountain bike that is a Cat 2 mountain bike race!

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I can’t go riding without my lucky charm.  I’ve had this Hen in my Camelbak since my first race in August 2009.

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UPCOMING RACES

Here is a list of Southern New Mexico races in the next month or so (road and mountain) to help with training:

January 26    El Paso Puzzler (El Paso, TX)

February 1   12 Hours of Old El Paso (El Paso, TX)

February 1 Missile Man Duathlon (White Sands, NM)

February 21-23 Valley of the Sun RR Series (Phoenix, AZ)

And here are some running events too:

January 20 MLK 5k Run (White Sands, NM)

January 26  The Biggest Loser 5k/Half Marathon (Las Cruces, NM)

February 8 Cupid’s Chase 5k (Las Cruces, NM)

Polar Bear Triathlon 2013

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

Lifesaver.

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!

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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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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Here is Mike at the starting line…being Mike.

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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.

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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. 🙂

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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

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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!

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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

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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!

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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!).

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

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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.

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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!

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