What A Triathlete Does In Vegas

21 10 2015

Last week, I spent 4 days in Las Vegas for a conference. I’m three weeks out from Challenge Florida, and though my training generally hasn’t been as stellar as I would have liked, I didn’t want to totally throw the race away by not doing anything while out in Sin City. So, I did what any normal triathlete would do, and rented a bike (**sarcasm**). Yes, you heard that right, I rented a BMC road bike with 105 components and walked my fully-geared up self out of the casino I was staying at at 6:30 in the morning to go for a bike ride. Totally. Normal.

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(In case you were wondering, yes, there were people gambling at 6:30 in the morning.)

Let me back up a second. One of my colleagues who was also going to be at the conference is a bad a$$ and is a semi-professional cyclocross racer. She races in Belgium representing the US. Yeah, she’s legit. Anyhow, Corey had a race coming up and was planning to rent a bike to get some saddle time in while in Vegas. Though quite scared about being royally dropped in the desert, I asked if I could tag along. Thankfully, she had an easy ride scheduled for Friday so I was confident I could hang. I called up Bike Blast Las Vegas, where she was renting from, and reserved my bike.

Quick review of Bike Blast: When I tried calling from home on Tuesday and Wednesday, I had a bit of difficulty getting a hold of someone there. I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to get a bike and would be stuck at the hotel gym. Thankfully, I was able to talk to Matt on Wednesday afternoon when I arrived in Vegas to secure my bike. The great thing about this company is that they have an option to deliver the bike to the hotel where you’re staying. And, it’s $69/day, which is, in my opinion, a great deal. Sign me up! They dropped our bikes off the afternoon before we planned to use them, and they helped me put on my pedals because I didn’t have the right sized allen wrench. Whoops. You don’t need to bring your own though- they have clipless and regular pedal options that come as part of the standard rental! The rental also included a helmet if you needed it, water bottles, and a local bike map. And, when you’re all done, they come pick up the bike! How awesome is that!? I would totally rent from these guys again- just make sure you call often and early to make sure you get your bike!

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On Friday morning, we met up at 6:30 to attempt a ride Corey found online from someone who at attended InterBike. We got a little lost at first, but then rode down the strip for a bit before turning off and then heading towards the mountains. Of course I had to grab a selfie while we were stopped at a traffic light:

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Once we were out of the craziness of the strip, we found a nice bike lane and made our way to a quieter part of town. We rode out about 45-50 minutes before turning around. Unfortunately, it started raining on the ride home. The way home was all downhill, so there were a few times where I was a little nervous about stopping. Thankfully, we weren’t going to fast, and we made it safely back to the hotel.

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I didn’t realize how dirty I had gotten from riding in the rain- I got in the shower with all my gear on in order to wash my kit!

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I debated whether or not I was going to keep the bike another day because Corey was planning a more intense ride on Saturday. I was definitely scared. But, I absolutely loved riding in a new place and I really wanted to make it out to the mountains to do a little climbing. So, I called up Bike Blast and thankfully I was able to keep the bike another day. Ready or not, my legs would be up for a beating tomorrow!

On Saturday, we met up at the same time and now that we knew exactly where we were going, we got to the bike lane about 15 minutes sooner than we had the day before. Corey asked if I would rather ride out to the mountains at tempo/endurance pace, or if I would rather do some intervals when we got to the quite streets. Uh, mountains please! So, I got on her wheel and we headed out. Thankfully, our pace wasn’t anything too crazy. I was riding hard, but I wasn’t struggling to hang on. Phew.

We ended up riding out to the Red Rock Canyon Visitor’s center, which happened to be an entirely uphill ride. I kept looking down at my watch and wondering why the pace we were riding felt so hard. Oh, it was because we were slowly climbing the entire way.

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 (elevation listed in meters)

It was cool to be out there in the valley, with mountains rising up all around. It was pretty out there; a welcomed change from the trail along the highway where I normally ride.

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About a mile and a half from the visitor’s center, the sky opened up and it started raining pretty hard. We booked it to the shelter of the entrance to the canyon, where we waited a few minutes for a break in the rain. The staff checking in cars warned us that we shouldn’t go up the mountain, since it was pretty muddy/flooded thanks to the rain. You don’t have to tell me twice!

When the rain slowed we decided to head back to the hotel. The way back was great! I was a bit cautious because of the wet roads, but we could pretty much soft pedal the entire way home (see elevation chart above). I would love to do this ride again when it’s dry out and see how fast we could actually make it back.

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#teamSOAS in the house!

When it was all said and done, we had ridden 60.6 km in 2:20. Not super speedy, but I’ll take it!

Later in the afternoon, the nice folks from Bike Blast came to pick up the bike as scheduled. I’m so glad I opted to rent a bike- I had a blast checking out new scenery and riding in a state I’ll likely not ride in again (however, there’s always Silverman…). It was fun to ride with a colleague and talk about things other than work. I definitely want to ride with her again- I’m sure I’ll get my legs torn off- but I would love the challenge! I didn’t let the time away from home put a damper on my training, so let’s do this Challenge Florida! I’ll see you soon!

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Last Week’s Workouts {4/21-4/27}

29 04 2014

I’m back with weekly workout recaps! After Gator, I took a good week off and I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things. Last week was pretty low intensity- no need to kill myself when my next big race is a good 7 months away! Here’s how my week went down:

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Monday: Yoga + Run/Swim

I was still on vacay with Bill, and Monday was a sea day, so we headed up to the gym and did a little yoga. He’s got a yoga app on his iPad which has some decent workouts. We did an hour-long “Advanced Flexibility” practice. After, Bill kept practicing some of his even more advanced moves, while I ran on the treadmill for 20 minutes. I felt pretty darn good (must have been that yoga warmup!) and stopped while I was still enjoying the ‘mill. Makes it a little easier to go back to:-) Then, I hopped in the pool and swam for a short bit in the infinity pool, which was like a swimming treadmill. Once I finally got the current adjusted properly, it was pretty fun!  I felt like I was in open water (especially since the ship was moving!) and could see myself doing this again if I had an opportunity. Oh, and just because I like to show off my boyfriend, check out this photo, courtesy of Cheri Root Photography:

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Tuesday: Swim, 2500 yards

Back in Tampa, I planned to meet the team for a swim. Unfortunately, it ended up being a solo swim, as work called for my friends. I putzed around for 45 minutes but still managed to get in 2500 yards.

Wednesday: Bike, 30km, Run, 2km

I was itching to get back on my bike, so Courtney and I met up for a nice 30km ride around Davis island, followed by a short 10 minute run. We kept the pace nice and comfortable, chatting the whole time.

Thursday: Swim, 200 yards

I was running late, so I went to the pool closer to my house (Bobby Hicks!) and got in 40 minutes of swimming before the pool closed. I did a bunch of 200s, nothing too crazy as I was battling a headache. I’m super excited that Bobby Hicks is open (with limited hours) and I can’t wait until it’s open more regularly with long course!

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Friday: Run, 4km

I had plans to get up early and run with Courtney, but I still had a touch of a headache in the morning, so I decided to sleep in to kick it. It was gone when I woke up for work, so at lunchtime I went for a RUNch:-) I did my usual loop and thought it was hot and only my second short run since Gator, it was surprisingly speedy, averaging 5:05/km.

Saturday: Ride, 47.75 km

Chris and I went up to the Suncoast for an early morning ride. We took the first half relatively easy. Well, at least our speed would indicate we were going easy. I think we were averaging about 18mph on the way out (I think even a little slower) and it felt like my watch should have been reading a quicker pace for the amount of effort I was putting in. (I guess I would really know for sure if I had a power meter…wish those things weren’t so dang expensive!) Anyhow, we picked it up a little on the way back, and then REALLY kicked it into high gear for the last 15km. We took turns pulling for 2 minutes each and averaged 37km/hour for those last 25 minutes! My legs were TOAST and I actually was dropped for the last km, but still maintained a decent clip!

Sunday: Run 5K, open water swimming

Chris, Heather, and I headed to St. Pete before the sun rose to volunteer for the St. Anthony’s triathlon. This is one of the biggest tris in the southeast, and it’s right in my backyard! I definitely need to do this race sometime! Anyhow, We manned the run out/sprint swim in area of the course, and got up close and personal (sort of) with some of the speedy pros.

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We also got to cheer on some of our friends. Great job out there Beth, Meghan, Genna, Jamie, Pete, Kari, and anyone else I’m forgetting!

After our shift was over, we headed over to the finish line for a bit before deciding it was time to get in our own workout. At this point it was close to noon and the sun was blazin! We decided to do a short 5km, nice and easy, following the back half of the run route for the race. We stayed off to the side of the course and was able to cheer on some of the runners still on the course. Afterwards, we headed down to where the swim start had been earlier that morning and swam a few laps parallel to the shore. I don’t know how long we went or for how long, but it was nice to get in and move around in the cool water, after such a hot run! It was nice to have such a laid-back Sunday workout. I know I won’t get many more of those in the next few months, so I enjoyed it while it lasted!

Welp, there you have it! That’s what a low intensity week of workouts looks like for me!





It’s Race Week!

8 11 2013

Hi All! Sorry I’ve been a little MIA! If you missed my tweets and Instagram posts from over the weekend, you know I spent Saturday up in Panama City Beach cheering on Meghann and the #IRONSIBLINGS as they competed in their first Ironman. It was an awesome weekend and Meghann ABSOLUTELY KILLED IT! 13:05!!! She was super inspiring, and it was so fun to watch. I would HIGHLY recommend spectating an Ironman. I owe you a post with some tips!

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Spectating the Ironman certainly got me jazzed about my upcoming 70.3. I can’t believe it is this weekend! The people doing the IM were doing twice the distance I’ll be covering on Sunday. If they can do 140.6 miles, I can certainly do 70.3!

We’re in full on taper mode; practices are barely an hour and I’m starting to get antsy. For most of this week I’ve had a nagging thought in the back of my head that I’m going to miss my taper. I think part of it stems from having a light training week last week, due to a random swollen knee after swim practice last Monday. I stayed off of it pretty much all last week, and ran for the first time on it Saturday afternoon during the bike leg of the Ironman. It feels fine now, thank goodness, but I definitely had a mini freak out last week!

I was still fighting those bad taper thoughts until last night, when my friend Chris sent me a picture of my bike:

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That’s right folks, those are some snazzy Zipp wheels being put on to my bike! I decided to rent a pair as we were driving back to Tampa from Panama City. Why not? I’ve never ridden race wheels, so I’m really excited to try them! This was the thing I needed to really get me pumped to race. I’ve been waiting on this race for almost two years (I registered for last year’s race but deferred because of my foot injury) and it is FINALLY here. I’ve done my training, my body is resting up, and I’ll show up on Sunday ready to dominate 70.3 miles.

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I’m going in to the race with low expectations- to be honest, after my ugly brick workout two weeks ago, I just want to get through the race on my two feet with no tummy troubles! But, if we’re being really honest, I do have some rough goals for each leg:

Swim: This is definitely my strongest leg of the race, so I want to get out there and absolutely have a fantastic swim. Unfortunately, my wave is the fourth wave, so I’ll be running down the swimmers in front of me. My goal is sub 30. How far under 30 minutes? I’ll have to find out on Sunday!

Bike: I’ve been incessantly checking the weather report for Sunday in Venice, because with such a flat course, I think the wind could definitely factor in to how I perform (how much it will factor in, I have no clue!). Right now, it says winds will be 12mph. At least the race isn’t Saturday, when winds are predicted to be 17mph! The bike has a bunch of turns and not a ton of long straightaways, so at least it will be interesting and the wind shouldn’t be in my face or pushing me along for too long of a time. That also means there’s not really a good place to just put my head down and go. That being said, I’m hoping to ride it in about 3 hours.

Run: I think the run is my biggest question mark right now. I’ve had some stellar short runs, but all of my longer runs have been much slower than what I should be going for how fast my short runs are. My knee’s feeling better now, but the fact that it was swollen and hurting two weeks before race day worries me. I would love to go 1:55, but I think a realistic goal is 2:00.

Total time: 5:30

So I know I didn’t take in to account transition times, but I’m hoping I’ll come in a little under each of my goal times to make up for the transitions. 🙂 We will certainly find out soon!!

These are certainly rough estimates, and I’m not really in this to see how fast I can go. I’ve never done a HIM before, so I really don’t know what to expect. I’m nervous. I’m excited. I’m anxious. I’m ready to put myself to the test for this distance, to overcome the physical and mental challenge it will present to me. Bring it on Rev3!!