Saturday, November 16, 2013


Three weeks ago, I did my mega PR in the Austin 70.3. Two weeks ago, I did a half marathon in the winning women's relay. Since then I haven't did much and I am okay with that! After Ironman Texas in May, I took two weeks off. At that point, I was pretty much not sure what I would do next. The whole reason why I got into triathlons was to do do an Ironman. So I progressed slowly towards that goal in a year's time. So when it was over, the thought came about..."um so I just did an Ironman. What else should I do?" For two weeks I slept on it and for those two weeks, so many people asked me "what's next"? I swore I would never do another Ironman, maybe another half here and there but why do another one? Well, I planned another race for myself, a 5k. It was a pretty hot one on July 4th but, for it being a pretty popular race, I came out pretty good with 3rd in my age group. And then I figured, I would fully re-commit to this whole triathlon thing, get a new coach, eat better and try harder. I know, I know, I just did an Ironman, how much harder could I try? The answer is a lot. And after that I podiumed a couple times and then had a mega PR. So obviously the right decision was made. :D And I honestly can say those two weeks off were the first couple weeks I took off since starting running again in 2010. And I partially think I had these better results due to taking that break and time to refocus. So after Austin, I have done a couple recovery swims and runs and bikes. And I am not sweating it. I am paying attention to my body and am going to do some off season work. And finish wedding planning and maybe actually clean a little more often... So, this off season, it is time to work. Next up, the Woodlands Half Marathon March 1st and then New Orleans 70.3. Other than that, I have decided to give another go at this whole Ironman thing and plan on Ironman Cozumel 2014. Happy training!

Friday, November 1, 2013

My Austin 70.3 Recap

So, most people don't know this but I lost my Grandmother on the Monday before the race.  She was always such a strong supporter of sports and athletic programs and I dedicate this race to her.

We (finace, Ryan) drove over on Saturday morning and went straight to athlete check in at the expo center.  Lines were not too long - we were there around 12pm.  Got through all that and drove straight to the bike drop off.  The lines for cars there were longer.  Dropped off my bike, ate some food, relaxed in the hotel room and laid out my stuff for the following morning, ate some more food and early to bed.

I got up before the alarm went off (I have that weird skill) and threw on some running clothes and went for a slow jog on the treadmill to wake up.  Worked.  Got some coffee and hot water which we stayed at the Hampton Inn and they were nice enough to have some hot coffee ready along with bottled waters, bananas and muffins.  Ate my loaded oatmeal, woke Ryan up and off we went. 

You arrive to a long line of cars (we entered the line around 5am, transition opens at 5:30am) and then are escorted to the parking lot via traffic directors. At this point, there was some lightning in the skies and it was raining a little, so it was a little cold for this Texan girl, but quickly dropped tied my run bag to my spot on the racks and got on a school bus (wow been a while since doing that) and was driven to the first transition spot at the lake.  I had plenty of time to set up my stuff considering transition was available until 7:15am.  Now while there, the announcer said that the morning clothes drop off will be available until the last wave goes in the water.  Ryan was off running somewhere so I needed to check my stuff but it was a little chilly so I waited.

Now what I hate about Ironman branded races is that you can't have your shoes on the bike clipped in already.  Unless you are a pro.  And of course my bike was racked on the complete opposite end of the bike out spot.  And it was raining and a little muddy.  They had some mats out but those only help so much.  

I was in the wave with other 30 - 34 females and we were scheduled to go off at 8:30am, an hour after the pros started.  They delayed the start 15 minutes.  I was standing at the top of a hill, conveniently located next to the port o potty ;), watching the waves go off, waiting for the first male pro to go to transition.  I noticed them starting to grab the morning clothes bags and put them on trucks and then they made an announcement that you have 20 seconds to get your stuff to the volunteers or your morning clothes will not be checked.  So I hurried over there and dropped this off.  I was still kind of cold at this point but knew it wasn't more than 20 minutes left so I put the bottom half of the wetsuit on and then heard that it was first call for my waive so I shuffled on down the hill to the water.  And then got a mud bath for my feet while we shuffled forward until it was our turn to get in the water.

The water was definitely wetsuit legal.  I need a new wetsuit.  I have the base TYR model and it does all right ... but I am like gear obsessed like everyone else.  Anyways, my last half ironman swim was sad to say it honestly.  I swam 47 minutes.  Swimming and I are not friends.  I do many laps in a pool but mess it all up in the race.  I need someone to fix my open water skills and all of the other things that need fixing.  I am not a natural swimmer. 

This is the first time too where I have not worn a watch in the swim.  So all day, I had no idea what my race time was until the finish line. :)

We get in the water and I position myself in the front right (bouys to the left) and 3 - 2 - 1 GO! I went out pretty fast for me and then about 100 meters in, I was kicked hard in the face.  Caused a slight freak out/pissed off moment and then got over it and found a groove.  Ya know, even though I swam some 4,000 yards days in the pool, this silly half ironman swim seemed to take forever.  Need to work on my mental game for the swim...and my shoulders don't like my wetsuit.  So the whole time after the last turn, I was obsessing with finding that last orange buoy.  Anyways, land ho or whatever and I get out of the water.  39 minutes and some change.  While I thought I improved a little more, I will take my 7 minute improvement.

This was the most interesting run to T1.  Up a hill.  So not bad enough that I am a bad swimmer but now that you made, it swim up the hill. Quickly put the salt in the pocket, sunglasses and helmet on, grabbed my shoes and bike and ran barefoot to the line.  Glad I did that.  All these people were running up to the line and then causing congestion due to trying to get the mud out of their cleats.  Would have made sense for everyone to have the shoes on the bike....anyways I stopped right before the line, balance my bike and strap the shoes on and off I go.  Saw someone wipe out at the line. Avoid them - check!

Set up my garmin 910 that morning to be ready on bike mode.  Amazed that the thing will stay on for 3 hours with no use and still have plenty of battery life.  Austin is a hilly town with some crappy roads.  Wow. I have never seen so many ejected/dropped bottles in my life on a course. Which brings up my next point.  All of my nutrition was loaded into one bottle on the back of my bike. And I set my garmin with an alarm to go off every 20 minutes to remind me to take a shot of the bottle.  Well 20 minutes in, I reach back and no bottle!  Crap.  I felt like crying and hey not ashamed, I did.  I was so pissed at myself at that point.  My goal for this race was not really a time goal as I knew I was going to PR but to race the best of my ability with no mistakes.  With that, it wasn't going to be my dream race I was hoping for.  So they had four aid stations and this meant I had to get calories at all of the stations as I need like 300 calories an hour.  Found this out the hard way in Ironman Texas...  All I had left, due to the nutrition being ejected, was water on my bike and salt in my pocket.  So I get to the first aid station and miss the Gu but got the Perform and water.  And then I reach back to take my salt and the bag goes flying.  Just rolling my eyes now. 

Hey, I actually got to use my small chain ring.  Wow hills.  Living in Houston is not a good preparation for this.  I am glad I don't live in Austin..those roads were rough on the shoulders.  There was a lot of passing and hitting bumps.  In fact, on the process of passing yet another guy, I didn't even know this was possible, but my front bottle in my aero bars, flew out.  So now I have a pretty naked bike like 20 minutes in.  In all the aid stations I managed to get 2 GUs, 3 Performs and 2 water bottles.  And hey, lets open the bottles first.  The last few miles were pretty much no passing zones or pass at your own risk as they coned off a small section of the road on the left.  At one point, a guy goes to pass me and says "slow down" jokingly.  And then what does he do? He slows down.  I had to wait a while to pass him, trying to not tail him for fear of a drafting penalty, figuring my luck. Up the last big hill, round the corner and to transition 2 I go.  Last bike was 2:49 on flatter terrain.  Today was 2:40.  Thought I was going to be faster but with the hilly stuff I encountered, I'll take it!

I ran past my rack.  Even though in the morning I walk where I rack my bike, I never seem to get this right.  I have done this 3 times this year.... find my spot on the rack and rack the bike, rip open my bag and put on the socks and shoes and manage the rest in my hands.  Gu was in this bag so woohoo for calories.  As I am running out of transition, I am putting on my belt, visor and garmin.

The goal was to run 7:45 per mile pace and then speed up the last lap with whatever was left.  Well that went out the window.  I am the type of person that finds a pace and stays there, well minus on the hills!  There were two pretty substancial hills out on the course and we had to do three loops. Nice.  So a consistant pace was not possible.  So I look down at my garmin, 7:11, slow down, running up a hill 7:49, run down a hill 7:22.  Jeeze.  So I run on perceived effort.  First two laps I did stay fairly consistent for average pace.  As I run the loop to start my third lap, I think to myself, let's make this hurt! So I pick up the pace a little bit and then a little bit more and then a little more.  And then I come up to the exit to the finish line, see two girls who looked to be in my age group in front of me and then give it all I had for the last 400 meters to finish inside.  Pretty cool.  The clock said 6:02 and I barely noticed it.  I just ran a new PR for the half marathon in a half ironman.  Previous PR was 1:43 and I just ran 1:36.  Nice.

I get my medal and water and round the corner.  Run into my coach who was way more excited that I was at that point as I just wanted to complain about my issues and then I ask her my time and she points out I did 5:02:25.  Nice.  My other half iron race one year ago almost exactly I did 5:55 something.  A 53 minute PR.  So then I am curious where I rank. 13 in my age group.  Not rolling down that far.  If you would have asked me a year ago if I thought I could post this time, I would have smiled and said maybe but thinking um no.  Well over the course of a year, I have improved my mental game with staying my zone and telling that voice that says this is too hard or you can't do this to shut up.  And then tri on.  Which this is an expensive sport.  Anyone want to sponsor me? :D  To chase my further goals, changes and further sacrifices will have to be made!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Houston Towne Lake Triathlon

I have only done now 6 total triathlons ever.  I skipped right over the Olympic distance in my quest to  be an Ironman.  So since May 2012, I have now done 3 sprints, 1 Olympic, 1 half iron and 1 iron. Today was my first Olympic distance, and second in my age group isn't that bad...

This race was put on by On Ur Mark Productions. They do a very good on their events. Lots of giveaways, nice awards, and overall very supportive, smoothly ran events. I would definitely suggest this race to anyone that is interested. What would have made the event even better was if, like Ironman races, they would have a few volunteers doing sunscreen (at the really long T1).  Another improvement would be doing the awards ceremony under the tent.  Could've moved the results post or food out from under the tent and put the podium there.  Can you tell I got burned?  :)

Here's the details from my race today. Finishing time of 2:31:40. Swim 36:07, T1 4:10, bike 1:04:30, T2 1:49, run 45:05

Oh, the swim.  Its what has kept me from doing this distance as this race length favors the swimmers. And a good swimmer I am not. I have been putting more time in the pool and getting faster. In the pool. Not yet translating to open water.  Sighting drills in my near future :) I opted to wear my speed suit. Not sure if it helped....more on that in a minute. Swim was an L shape more or less. What sucked was when you rounded the last buoy to swim to shore, the sun was blinding. I couldn't see the buoy where the shore was until I was like 100m away.

Up a rather steep, sandy hill, a .10 of a mile on sand, a quick splash of the feet in a kiddy pool, a run to find my shoes I left to run to transition, whoops, ran past them, circled back and even though I had hot pink ribbons on them, ran past them again! Double whoops! Found them, slid them on and darn near sprinted to transition. I quickly slide on my helmet and sunglasses and off I go. And off to catch as many girls as I can. One problem though, I had unzipped my speed suit, but in transition, totally forgot that I had it on.  Ha ha! I realized this a mile in.  Whoops!  Sorry coach. Anyways, put the hurt on, passed a lot of guys. That's always fun. Two loops, no problem. Second in AG on this.

Roll up to transition, rack the bike, remove the helmet, quickly slide my feet in my shoes, grab the visor and race belt and off I go. I didn't see that many girls on the bike and knew I still had some work to do. Mind you, I have only ever raced two 10ks. It was HOT out there on this part. Very nice volunteers hosed me down at every mile. Awesome. Ran out and around a loop twice and then to the finish line. And got a new PR in the process. :). Progress!

I was 4.5 minutes behind the girl who won the age group.  But to get second, I made up a huge amount of time on the bike and run. Obviously my better sports.

So now I am sitting here, rehydrating and sporting compression socks. Happy Labor Day!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

2013 Bridgeland Race Report

Today was my first triathlon since Ironman Texas. I am more of a trainer than a's a little cheaper this way. :)

Got up at just after 4am to get ready and had my oatmeal and coffee. Loaded up the car and arrived at the nice Bridgeland neighborhood in Cypress around 5:30am.  Walked to the transition area and started to panic.  My goggles were not in my transition bag! I went back to my car and checked out the whole car - no goggles!  I normally bring an extra set, had every other race, but didn't today. Well I was walking back to transition and the announcer mentioned that he had a nice pair of aqua sphere goggles and I knew they were mine.  Whew!

I ran into some fellow SBS girls and we chatted a bit. Then time for a light warm up jog.  My wave started 45 minutes after the first wave.  The first wave was elites and then they had the guys go first. I think it's great that the guys go first.  I am not a fast swimmer and it sucks having the guys in the later waves swim over you.  Deflating a little.

We waited on deck for about five minutes and then, after the wave in front of us went, time to hop in the water. Couldn't quite touch the bottom so I threaded water a bit. Then the count down and we were off!  And the worst thing happens.  I get boxed in by three, possibly four girls. One doing the breath stroke (mind you she was doing it pretty quick) and three on my right. It messed up my groove for a few seconds and then I had to re get into a groove. And then we approach the first and only turn to the right.  At this point, my goggles decide to leak, a lot.  There is a good bit of water getting into my left eye. But my thought is, just get through it!  Some nice volunteers help me get out of the water and off to T1. Swam the 550 meter course in just over 13 minutes. And I swam more than 550 meters. Need to work on a lot of things here. 25th in my age group.

My T1 time was okay, have to work on running out of the water. It takes me a few seconds to get into the grove.  I had my shoes on the bike already, set up with my Tri Clips and hopped on at the line, strapped the shoes down, and off I go.  And then, after making the first turn, I realize somewhere in T1, I had lost my straw for my aero bottle. And that was my only bottle/source of hydration since before the start.  So I held back a little on the bike as I did not want to end up regretting it later on the run.  I passed all but like four girls from my age group on the bike. One lady passed me, not in my age group, but I kept on her tail when she passed near the end. Just before the end, I undid the straps and slid my feet out of the shoes.  I ranked first in my age group, at 22 mph, 13 miles in just over 34 minutes. To improve, different aero bottle, and just more work/time on the bike.

My T2 time was better, could still shave off a few seconds. Need to figure out that rolling dismount.  My bike was next to the run out and off I went.  I passed the girl that passed me in the bike, and found a groove and kept with it. It was hot! Took Gatorade at the two aid stations, poured water over my head and passed a lot of people. And a lot of guys got chicked. :) I ran up on one of my JSC teammates and asked how many girls were in front of me. He said three, and I ended up passing them all.  I sprinted to the end, 5k in just over 22 minutes. First in age group on the run...and first in my age group overall!  What could I do on the run?  I guess I could push the pace even more.

Overall a good day and won a sweet trophy to add to the collection. :). Next up, Houston Tri...and more training!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Today's 5k

What's a better way to spend your independence than by running a 5k! This morning my fiancĂ© and I ran the Run Wild 5k in uptown park in Houston. Registered on site and were there nice and early. Sat around and took in plenty of water (it is destined to be a hot one!) and then did some dynamic stretches.  Did my2 mile warm up with 4 pick ups and a couple high knees to get my mind ready for my first true 5k since March. As I was warming up, me and a guy and a girl seemed to be in a race for who was going to run faster. I went VERY slow for my warm up. Wanted to be cautious as I have not been hitting my previous 5k PR paces in training. In my defense, I did an Ironman 1.5 months ago and then took two weeks off. And I haven't been training as seriously as I should be. But I need today's reality check to see if I still had some speed in my legs

Lined up fairly appropriately considering I was 80th or so overall. Grabbed some water and Gatorade that was at the front, and boom, go time!  I don't know why but I like to start off fast, too fast sometimes.  So today I made sure to look at my watch the first 400m to settle into my pace. And then I just ran the best I could from there, keeping that same perceived effort, just glancing at my watch a couple times really to check distance. Grabbed two cups of water,at mile 1 and another at mile 2, would have been nice if those were cooler.... Passed a good handful of people that started too fast and was only passed a few times.  I kept my eye out for girls and didn't see any pass me after a couple miles in. The last mile felt long and I ran the last quarter mile in 6 minute mile pace. I unfortunately a gained positioned split.  As I got hotter out, I got slower.  Oh well. Good enough for a comfortable 3rd in my age group. And just 30 seconds off my PR. Now the real training is to begin. And that means faster times.

And the running cool down consisted partially of running some kids through the mile kids fun run.  If the look of determination on a 5 year olds face doesn't make you remember the joy of running, I don't know what does.  Happy 4th. And time to hydrate ;)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's Hot Out There!!

Yesterday when I got out of work, my car said 106 degrees. As I was on my way to workout. On the schedule was a 30 minute swim with a 300 warm up with drills and 3 sets of tempo swims. The plan was to do this inside (read: temperature regulated) but the pool was closed for repairs. So I drive to my next swim option which is outside. And sits in the sun most of the day. Have you ever did a swim workout in bath water?  Makes it a little more challenging.

This swim was followed by a 30 minute easy run. Let me tell ya, when its over 100 out, no run is easy.  I have been doing some experiments, trying to see what works best for me, running in the heat. I have been worn just my sports top and shorts with sunscreen of course. The sun beating on my skin makes me feel even hotter. So the last few runs, mind you I almost always wear just the sports top and shorts, I have wore a redshirt, performance material of course. Not cotton blend. Covering up my shoulders and stomach, letting my shirt absorb the sweat versus it just evaporating keeps me nice and cool. I still am not calling the running in the heat easy, but this makes it more tolerable.

Just keep drinking water and wear sunscreen!

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Runner's Motivation

I ran past someone the other morning and today they gave me the best compliment. They said, "I hate you. You barely were sweating and you make running look easy."

This past weekend I ran a 5k on a relay team and we won second. But I ran my slowest 5k in months. I am just wishing I could have my speed back.   Well apparently other people see me running differently than I see myself. I was thinking post 5k "why was I not faster? Is this a trend? Am I on a downward spiral?" But then, someone newer to running looked at my running like I was a rock star.  And yes, I was sweating, I live in Houston! And I was finishing up my tempo run, 800m from my apartment.

So yeah I will continue to work on my speed work and continue to try to run like a rock star.  :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ironman Texas Recovery and what's next

Monday after IM TX, I went to the tattoo parlor and got the tattoo I spent many hours working on earning. I have a red m dot with black outline on my right shoulder. It recovered well and gives me great sense of pride in my accomplishment.

But in hindsight, I am not satisfied with my performance. My race predictor that did not factor in heat or humidity predicted a 11:35 finish. I was quite a bit off at 12:58. That's what 90+ degrees and 90+ humidity does to you I guess.   But these temperatures are normal for Ironman Texas. So knowing that I hate heat pretty much and was not born and raised, why did I chose this race as my Ironman debut? Well, I am cheap. :) the Woodlands is only an hour drive from my house and this required no traveling really. I also think that I would be a nervous wrech with traveling to my first ironman as I would be so so worried that I would forget something that I would wear myself out with just that. So that's why I chose the hot Texas ironman. Wish they would move the race to April! Seriously!

After the race, I took two weeks off. I would have swam but they say no swimming for two weeks with a new tattoo. So no swimming, biking or running for exactly two weeks. I did start doing more yoga, did some Pilates and strength training during those two weeks. I think part of the reason my run was bad was that I only did strength training for one day a week. And leading up to Ironman Texas, I haven't taken  many days off of doing one of three sports in over a year. So I felt that finishing an ironman earned me some time off.

Sunday I hoped on my trainer for an hour of biking in front of the tv. No gadgets, just pedaling. Then Monday, my new Tridot plan began. I did an easy swim for 30 but noticed a decline in my previous fitness when it came to breathing. Tuesday I did some speed work on my bike. I felt fine during that with slightly heavy legs. Wednesday was not good. I ran after work, it was hot and was not hitting my prescribed paces. Left my legs feeling spent. So I took Thursday off. Friday I did my 800 meter time trial and well not as fast as my previous PR but not far off. Today I did some speed work and couldn't hit my paces again. Healing looks like it will take a while.

So what's the plan for the future? I thought about doing a race at the end of this month but I am not wanting to race half a**.  So I have a lot of recovery to do in the next few weeks. I plan on doing Galveston 5150 at the end of September. I have yet to do an Olympic Tri so would like to see how I do with that distance. And then will probably do Oilman on 11/2/13. I also plan on going "easy" at the touh Mudder on 10/5/13.  Now the plan is work on getting faster!

Ironman Texas 5/18/13Race Report - part two

Anyways, made it to the end of the bike, quickly dismounted and unwrapped my watch. Bike done in 6:08.  Re racked my bike and then  ran barefoot down a very very hot side walk barefoot (I don't wear socks with my bike shoes) and quick stepped to my run bag.  Went to transition and took off my bike stuff and put on my socks and shoes. And more sunscreen. I made a quick bathroom break as my tummy was still killing me.  And ran out the tent the wrong way. Fail...

Started the run feeling crappy and thinking how am I going to do a marathon.  Well, one foot in front of the other on repeat. I ran/shuffled to each water stop. At this point at each stop, I drank two cups of perform, a cup or two of water to our on myself and ice to put down my singlet   Well I had never wore my Tri shorts running this far nor in the heat. Nor wore my Sportsbra this long.  Had some serious chaffing issues in places I can't talk about.

The run was miserable. And I was very upset with myself on e second lap thinking very negative thought.  But mostly I was miserable as I am sure I was dehydrated.  I made a couple of bathroom stops that were pointless really as none made me feel better. My tummy felt like it was going to explode. Can't say I want to run another marathon like that. But I'd be damned if I trained all of those hours to wimp out.  I didn't stop the last water stop and somehow had the adrenaline to run in up the finish line hill at a good clip. I finished in 12:58. My goal was definitely to be faster but looking at the results, I finished 31 in my age group and beat the average woman and man times. Obviously everyone else suffered as well as there were a lot of did not finish.  And Mike Riley said to me "Claudia Behring from Houston, you are an Ironman!" So my journey is over, or is it?

Ironman Texas 5/18/13 Race Review - part 1

So, I realize that most people do their race recaps soon after their races. But I am new to this whole blogging thing.

Ironman Texas was my first attempt at an Ironman distance race. Leading up to it I did a half iron triathlon November 1, 2012, a sprint in August 2012 and a super sprint in May 2012. I never was much of a swimmer (still am not) and started in January 2012, struggling to make one length.  I had bought a beginner road bike back in September 2011. I ran my first marathon in 2010 and have since run 5 (and qualified for Boston).  I signed onto triathlons after watching the ironman world championship in Kona and saw a man like 70 years old finish and thought if he can do it, I surely can do this. So as crazy as it seemed at that point, I started triathlons solely with the thought that I would become an ironman.

So I had to come up with a plan.  I joined a group in August to train for the half. November. Before that I just swam and biked whenever I felt like it and didn't have a plan. My schedule had me doing three swims, three bikes and three runs for the half. It was a hot day and I finished in 5:55. The group I had belonged to closed/stopped and I joined a group called Sportsbra Slingshot SBS.  The group is semi sponsored and the title sponsor is Johnny from Powerhouse Racing. He is a Tridot coach. I did the Houston marathon on 1/13/13 and started my tridot schedule the following week. This plan had two swims, three bike rides, two brick runs and three other runs on the average week. Tridot incorporates a lot of speed work and overall is less of a time commitment compared to other plans I have seen.

Race morning started around 4am. I got up, got dressed and loaded n SPF 100 and had breakfast. Breakfast consisted of two servings of old fashioned oats with almonds, honey, raisins and soy milk and grabbed a cup of coffee with cream. My fiancĂ© Ryan and I landed up my special needs bags and got in the car.   We parked at the HEB right across from the transition. I loaded my frozen bottles of UCan on my bike. And then walked the mile going to the swim start.

I got to the swim start and wow the lines for the port o potties were long and slow. Next year they need more for sure! I stood in line and realized that I forgot to put myBento box on my bike. My bento holds salted almonds and my salt tabs. I didn't have time to go back to my bike put it on there and drop my special needs. What a rookie mistake.

I finally was done in the line and dropped my special needs and zipped up my speed suit. The water temp was above 77 degrees so people had the option of wearing a wetsuit but they wouldn't be able to qualify for Kona. I figured I was going to qualify but I wanted to see how I did following the official rules. So I headed to swim start and the cannon went off before I could get in the water. That's how long the ports lines were... Anyways I was the last non wetsuit athlete in the water. My garmin and I were not agreeing with each other. I have the 910 and bought I had it turned onto multi sport but realized as I got in the water that it was not ready.  Another rookie mistake...

Sometimes at the beginning of race starts, I get a little bit of swimming anxiety. Even though I have logged hundreds of open water swims I just forget how to breathe. Can't really explain it. Well I dipped my head in three times and breathed out a full lung of air and then push off to swim. I kept to the right for maybe 50 stokes and then slowly angled to the left all the way to the turn buoy. I started out with a stroke, sight, stroke, breathe and then switched up the sides of breath. And yes it was super crowded. There were many more green caps (men) than pink caps (women) and for the whole swim, I probably was kicked over 20 times and was punched or elbowed many more times. Just when I got in a rhythm, I was running someone down. There were very few people that swam over me, which was due to me being the last person of the first wave to enter the water.  Oh and the water, you can't see sh*t when you put your head in the water. Very brown water and well who knows what bad bacteria is in that water...and unfortunately I somehow swallowed a lot of it. I think at caused some issues
later on.

Made it to the first turn buoy and this woman directly in front of me stopped, threaded water for a second and started yelling.  She said something like "whoever is f-in hitting me needs to f-in stop." I laughed in my head and thought "we'll swim faster then" and also thought "maybe you should have not signed up for this if it really bothers you". Anyways she slowed me down big time.  Made the "u turn" and then swam on to the next turn buoy, made the right turn and started the swim down the waterway.

That waterway was awesome. People were lining the sidewalks that were right next to where we were swimming and were cheering loudly. It was great. However the waterway path was a lot longer than I had thought. Definitely deceiving   And at this point the men and some women I wetsuits caught up with me. But I saw the end and made it out if the water and clocked a time of 1:38.  Not what I was hoping. In the pool I had clocked 1:19 and in open water 1:24. Oh well.

I ran on the very hot side walks, seriously feet burning, to my bike bag. Ran to the tent and reapplied
sunscreen and put on my shoes, helmet and sunglasses.  Ran up to the people that had sunscreen and has them coat my smiley face zone on my back and my shoulders. My transition time was terrible. For sure

Ran to my bike and realized as I was about to hop on that my garmin was still on my wrist. Ring 112 miles with a watch on your wrist with the aero bars =not comfy. So I stopped and strapped my watch to my aero bar. I need a better bike mount... And yes, another rookie mistake.

The plan was supposed to be easy heart rate for an hour and then stay I zone 3 for the rest of the ride. Having done my longest ride leading up to the race of 140 miles and seriously getting bored and having my butt hurt, I knew I had 112 without any issues. The being bored part really goes away when in a race. The whole road closed part is super nice and I always had people to pass, I didn't get
passed that much.  People would pass me hammering up a hill and I would pass them down the hills.  I surely didn't have weighing more on my side to roll down the hill faster. I just geared up and pedaled down all of the hills. And these hills were really rollers, nothing to be afraid of. I biked the course 3 times and was pretty familiar with it.  However what I wasn't familiar with was the heat.  Oh man, it was HOT on the ride.  Biking on pavement with zero cloud coverage on a 90+ degree day with 90+percent humidity is hot and I don't know how some people prepare for that.  Oh yeah, forgot to say that I took the salt and almonds out of my special needs bag and put them in the back pocket of my Tri top in a zip lock bag.  And you wonder how it faired in the swim? Almonds were definitely fine and the salt, well most were fine. One exploded or something. So every time I took salt, I tasted it.

I took a salt every 45 minutes and then every 15 minutes I took a gulp of my Ucan.  I drank water when I felt like it.  And with my salt.  So I passed the first station because I had all my nutrition loaded on my bike.  Each aid station was 10 miles.  When I saw the second aid station, I decided I wanted cold water, bad.  I took the bottle hand up and poured some in my aero bottle, some in my mouth, and some over my head. I did this for every stop to the end. And I didn't miss a bottle hand up once. However, half of them were not open....slightly annoying to open the water while pedaling. And one water stop, some guy had his blinders on and forgot about everyone else.  Thank God I am quick to react as the guy cut me off big time as I had just grabbed the bottle of water.  Quick jerk around him and went back on my way.   Social needs came up and I didn't plan on stopping so I kept on going.  Didn't stop the entire ride.

I had some serious tummy issues going on. I think I swallowed too much lake water. I had some serious gas issues and bloating going on. I had never had that issue before. I thought about stopping to go to the bathroom to see if there was something else going on, but didn't. I usually pee a lot while riding 112 miles but well this day everything was off even though I followed my plan.  I only peed once only a quarter of the way in the ride.  Thinking I need to experiment on nutrition in the future... Another rookie issue...