Saturday, February 28, 2015

Road Rage Duathlon ~ Olympic distance ~ St. George, Utah ~ 2-28-15

Wes and I raced in the Road Rage Duathlon, Olympic distance, in St. George, Utah. We drove up on Friday after the boys were finished with school. St. George is about two hours away and it is an easy drive. We went straight to our hotel and checked in so we could unload the bikes and gear. After that, we went to packet pick-up. It was located in a local bike shop. I was able to try on my race shirt to make sure it fits (which is always a bonus). The shirts were a yellow short sleeve tech shirt with the race design on the front. We ate dinner at Firehouse Subs before heading back to our hotel for the night. The race was scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. so that allowed us to get a good night's sleep before the race.

We woke up at 6:30 a.m. and began getting ready. Our hotel offered a hot breakfast so we ate there in the morning. We had prepared our gear the night before so that made for a smooth morning. The weather had been questionable for that morning but before we left the hotel, we looked up the day's forecast and it said there was 0% precipitation. With one step out the door, we realized they were wrong. It was dark and overcast and had recently rained.  We left the hotel at 7:45 a.m. so we could arrive at the transition for it's 8:00 a.m. opening time. As we drove, a light rain began to fall. We easily found the race location and unloaded the car. We took our bikes to transition and were the first two bikes there. This allowed us to get the best bike spots right near the bike in and out location. Once our gear was set up, the rain really began to fall so we went back to our car to wait till closer to the race start. At about 20 minutes to race time, we made our way back to the transition area.

When we were 5 minutes to race time, we made our way to the start line. It was cold and we were wet but we were excited to start our race. They were offering two distances for the race: sprint and Olympic. The sprint course was a 1.5 mile run, 10 mile bike, and 1.5 mile run. The Olympic course was 3 mile run, 20 mile bike, and 3 mile run (two loops of each sprint course). Right before the start of the race, the Race Director announced that due to the rain, the Olympic distance bike course was going to be shortened to only one loop, 10 miles. I had been worried that they were going to cancel the bike course all together so I was okay with the change. 

They announced that we were 1 minute from start and started a countdown at 5 seconds out. Then we were off. I started near the front of the crowd which leads to me being passed by lots of people in the beginning. I pick a steady pace and stick to it. I have learned that going out too fast will burn my legs out so it's better to not get carried away by the crowds. As I finished the first loop and began the second loop, I started to pass people. As I always say, "A steady pace, wins the race." At about this point in the race I also began to finally have feeling in my feet since they were like bricks for the first loop. I was finally warming up even though I was soaking wet. As I was about a half mile from the end of the first run portion, I saw that Wes was a little over a minute ahead of me. I was excited to see this since he is a faster runner than me. It showed me that I had kept a good pace for the first 3 mile run. 

As I was making it into transition, he was heading out. While I was still running, I took off my hat and neck gator so I would have a faster transition. I got to my bike and immediately put my helmet on. I had ran with my bike gloves on over my running gloves, do I didn't need to worry about putting them on in transition. I had placed my bike shoes under my gear bag to keep them out of the rain. It worked but was pretty much pointless since they were about to be soaked anyways. I quickly untied my running shoes and put my bike shoes on and headed out of the transition area. 

I started off on the bike portion in the pouring rain. I was nervous about crashing due to the slick roads so I wasn't going to push the ride too hard. I planned on slowing down before each corner as a precaution. If I thought I was wet before the bike ride, I was wrong. Once I picked up some speed on the bike, it began to throw water all over my legs and into my shoes. Now I was wet. I starting passing people and soon even passed Wes. I ended up riding most of the course with a group of 3-4 women who were riding at my speed. We went around one corner where someone yelled, "Way to go, guys!" I yelled back, "We're girls! Girl Power!" The girls around me laughed at that. I know that I could have gone faster on the bike if the conditions were better but I have my first half distance triathlon in one week and couldn't risk a crash. I finished the bike and made my way into the transitions area.

I took my helmet off and reached into my gear bag and pulled out my visor. I was too warm to put my cold weather hat back on plus I wanted something dry. I took off my two layers of gloves too because I knew that I was not going to be able to tie my running shoes with the gloves one. I forgot to undo the velcro wrist straps so it was a bit of a process to remove them but they finally came off. I tied by shoes and was off. As I exited the transition, a friend of mine who had raced the sprint course cheered me on. That's always nice to hear. 

My legs were tired and a little heavy at the start of the run. I had to tell myself that I only had 30-35 minutes left and that I could push through it. I started passing people almost right away on the run. I passed one guy who I could tell was really upset that he was going slow. I felt his pain because we have all been there. At about the one mile mark, I saw my "white whale". I always try to find someone in front of me to try to pass. She was wearing a white jacket so I thought it was fitting that she be my target. I ended up passing her at about the 1.25 mile mark. After the turnaround at 1.5 miles, I really tried to pick up my pace. I once again had to self talk and tell myself that I only had about 15 minutes left and that I could do it. Shortly after that, I saw Wes. He was a little bit behind me and heading to the turnaround. We waved to each other as we passed. Once I passed the 2.5 mile mark, I picked up my pace again. I no longer had anyone in front of me so I just had myself to race. I made the final turn into the finisher chute and tried to sprint but my legs were not going very fast. I gave it what I could and pushed through the finish line. After I was handed my medal, I saw that my son was there and he took a picture of me with my medal. 

The volunteers took my timing chip which was nice since I really didn't feel like bending down to undo it myself. I took the camera from my son and sent him back to the car so he could warm up and stay out of the rain. I knew Wes was just a few minutes behind me so I waited to watch him finish. 

He was cold but finished strong. 

We took our customary finishers picture together and then went to the snack tent. I picked up a water and a string cheese. We then went over to the transition area and packed up our gear. We loaded up the car and went back to hear the awards ceremony. My friend, who cheered me out of T2, won first place overall male in the sprint distance! After the awards were given out, we made our way back to the car. We then went back to the hotel for some nice warm showers and to pack up our luggage. We had asked for a late check-out and I'm so glad we had. 

Overall, this was a great race. It cost us $25 because we used a Black Friday special last November. For that we received a tech t-shirt, a finisher's medal, during race water and Gatorade, post-race food and drink, a beautiful race course (even if it wasn't the best weather for a race) and free race pictures. We will probably sigh up to race this one again next year. Final results were: Run 29:36, T1 1:10, Bike 38:05, T2 1:28, Run 31:21 for a total time of 1:41. I placed 33/56 overall, 12/27 female and 2nd in age group female 35-39.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

USAT Athena National Championship Half Distance

Well, I did it! I registered for the USAT Athena National Championship Half Distance race on June 14th in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This year is my year of the half distance triathlons so I might as well dream big! 

I raced in last year's USAT Athena Championship in the sprint and olympic distances. I had a great time and ended up placing 2nd and 3rd respectively. This year they are offering the half distance as well so, staying true to this year's goal, I picked that distance to race.

I am super nervous but also excited. A friend of mine told me, "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go!"

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cauliflower Pizza Party

I went to a Cauliflower Pizza Party last night at one of my friends's house. Another friend had ordered 24 pounds of green cauliflower and was wondering what she was going to do with it all. Her question quickly turned into a party being planned. I've never had cauliflower pizza and was curious to see what it was all about. 

Nine ladies came to the party and we all brought different toppings that we'd like to see on our pizzas. We also had finger foods, chips, and desserts. My friend (and instructor for the night) had pre-made several pizza crusts that were ready to be decorated and baked. She also had two cauliflower heads that we were going to prepare from scratch so we could see how it was done. 

With one of the mixes, I made a thick crust pizza. All the others were original crusts. I decorated my pizza with Canadian bacon, black olives and pineapples on one half and sausage on the other. I used red pizza sauce and a white "pizza" cheese blend. I cooked it for about 10 minutes and then it was ready!

It turned out great and I was super excited to give it a try! I used my friend's cool pizza cutter to cut my pizza and then headed over to the table for a taste. I had one piece of each type and tried the sausage first. I was pleasantly surprised! I couldn't taste anything but the toppings and it was so good!  The crust was thick enough and strong enough to be picked up and eaten like a normal piece of pizza. Once I got to the end of the piece, where there were no more toppings and could taste the crust, I didn't like it as much. I then had the Hawaiian piece it was also really good! If I had to pick my favorite, it was the sausage. 

Here is the recipe we used. My friend modified the recipe and used one head of cauliflower, two eggs and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella.

It was a great night! We had so much fun that we have decided to get together once a month and try other healthy food recipes!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The importance of a brick

I went to Lake Mead National Recreation Area today for a brick workout. In case you are unfamiliar with triathlon terminology, a brick is when you perform two or three disciplines in a row (swim and bike; bike and run; swim and run; or swim, bike, run) in one workout. It was a beautiful day that was scheduled to be in the mid-60's with no wind. I went with a friend because it's always more fun with someone else.

We are both training for a half distance triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run) so we really needed to get a long workout it. We arrived at the lake at 9:35 and got in our wetsuits, neoprene caps, booties, and gloves and headed towards the water. We both swim with a personal rescue can/buoy for safety and additional visibility. The entrance booth said that the water was 60 degrees. We entered the water, which was still really cold, and started our swim. We completed about 2200 yards in 40 minutes. That is a little farther than what we will be swimming for our half distance triathlon.

We then made our way back to her car so we could get ready for the bike portion of our workout. As I was preparing my bike, by checking the tire pressure, my tire valve broke off. Since I hadn't been able to complete the check and I was nervous about my tire pressure and if my tire would hold air with a broken valve, I decided to change my tube while still at the car. It was the back tire and I have only change two tires in my garage, I was really nervous about doing it right. It took about 10 minutes but all went well. I ate a mandarin orange, got all my biking gear on, and started the climb out of Boulder Beach.

We rode on the River Mountain Loop Trail which is a 34 mile loop that circles the River Mountains connecting Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Hoover Dam, Henderson, Boulder City and the rest of the Las Vegas Valley. We didn't have time to do the entire loop so we rode out 45 minutes to the north and then turned around and headed back to Boulder Beach. We ended up completing 17.92 miles in 1:24. 

We arrived back at the car and quickly changed into our running gear. We had wanted to do a 20 minute run but with the tire change, our time was a little limited. We ended up completing 1.15 miles in 13:42. 

This was the first triple brick I have done in a while and as soon as I started the run, I remembered why they are so important in our training. I wasn't too tired from the swim and bike but my legs still didn't want to cooperate on the run. It took at least half of the run for them to wake up and start working properly. Running on tired legs is something we do as triathletes but sometimes we tend to forget about it in training. I have just over 5 weeks until my half triathlon. Today's workout reminded me that I need to do more bricks before then. They are an important part of training and a key factor to our racing success. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Still trying to eat clean.....

I have been really working on my clean eating. I wanted to share a few recipes that I have tried that seemed to be a hit!


Asparagus on the Grill
serves 4
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon butter or coconut oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Lay a 18" piece of foil down on your counter. Spread the asparagus and onions evenly over the foil. Cut butter into 4 pieces and distribute evenly over the veggies. Sprinkle Worcestershire, paprika, pepper and salt evenly over the whole thing. Cover with another equally-sized piece of foil and fold up the edges to form a packet.

Heat your grill to about 500ยบ
Place the foil packet away from the heat and close the lid. Grill for 15 minutes.


Baked Sweet Potato Chips
  1. 2 large sweet potatoes
  2. 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  3. 2 tsp dried rosemary
  4. 1 tsp sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel sweet potatoes and slice thinly, using either a mandolin or sharp knife. In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes with coconut oil, rosemary, and salt.
  2. Place sweet potato chips in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip the chips over and bake for another 10 minutes. For the last ten minutes, watch the chips closely and pull off any chips that start to brown, until all of the chips are cooked.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Big Game 5K, 2-1-15

I ran The Big Game 5K in downtown Las Vegas this morning. My husband and I had been given the race entries from a friend and her husband who were no longer able to run the race. It started near the Container Park on Fremont Street. I had several friends from Run Grrrls Run that were running this race so we all meet up at the front of the Container Park for a group picture. 

After the picture, we made our way to the start line. The 10K started at 8:00 a.m. and the 5K started at 8:05 a.m. We cheered on our friends as they started the 10K and then lined up for our start. I stood by my husband, gave him a quick kiss and told him to race well. The course was going to be very flat and the possibility for PR's were high so I knew we weren't going to be running together. When the gun went off, so did we. 

I ran with my Garmin but it's strap is broken so it was tucked into my top so I was unable to see it. I could hear it buzz at each mile but I decided to run by feel and not look at the watch until the race was over. I was running on tired legs because I had a hard workout yesterday so I was not sure what my results would be but I pushed it as much as I could. There were 285 people running the 5K so I didn't feel too crowded. I had started towards the front and didn't have too many people pass me so I knew that I was holding a pretty good pace. Whenever I would feel myself slowing down, I'd tell myself to "run like I stole it" or "run like I'm on fire". Those seemed to work because I would pick the pace back up. 

The 5K course was shaped like a "W" so I was able to see many of my friends. It is always nice to hear my name called out and to see a wave from a smiling face. It gives me a little extra boost. By the first half mile, I began to catch up to some of the 10K runners. We ran along the same course for most of the race. They did a U-turn where we made our last right turn. After I made the final left-hand turn, I could see the finish line about 200 yards ahead. I knew my husband had finished before me so I started looking for him. He was about halfway down that road and saw me at about the same time. He yelled out to me as I passed him,"Run, Sarah, Run! Start your sprint!" When I was about 100 yards from the finish line, I started my final push. I crossed the finish line, received my medal, got a cup of water, and stopped the Garmin. I knew right away that my time was good and that I possibly had a PR. I walked over to the timing screen and saw that my official time was 27:16! I ended up placing 45/285 overall, 17/182 female, and 3/33 in my age group (35-39). I am really pleased with my time and effort. The t-shirts were pretty nice but the medals seemed a little cheap. Today offered the perfect conditions for a perfect race!