2012 NOLA 67.3

DUDE!!!! I don’t even know how I’m going to blog about this weekend. I think it was the most fun I have ever had at a race weekend. NOLA is freaking awesome, so much fun fun fun fun, I can’t even explain it. So many amazing stars aligned this weekend and it was more than just the swimming biking and running.

Mama Willis (my maiden name) came with Michelle and I on this trip, we shall call her mama PIC. We also enveloped M into the fold, she’s officially PIC 3 or Trouble 3 or my favorite…Dr.PIC.

I’ll admit, I got a long pep talk from the Dirkinator before the race and it rocked so hard core. I got off the phone feeling like a beast and I felt so ready to put it all out there. Also, since I chopped off my hair, my alter ego has come out. It’s mostly a Justin Bieber, 16 year old, teenager sort of attitude. I’m not sure Michelle is so fond of it, especially after a tweet from Mac that said “It looks like Michelle is dating a rapper” (best tweet ever).

I was really not taking things very seriously before this race, which is good for me, it’s definitely not my norm. Ususally I am sorta Type A planner, organizer Sonja, but this trip I was 16 year old, hat on backwards, whatevsssss, Sonja. The awesome part was that because my mom was there, there was no fallout from my lack of organization. I feel like I can be a kid when my mom is around, she is seriously the most nurturing woman you will every meet.

Friday morning and we woke up and put our bikes together caught a cab to get beignets. They were everything I always hoped them to be. Sugary, fried, dense, totally wonderful. I think I had 4, maybe 5 of them.

We visited the French Market after that and picked up souvineers for the kiddos. PIC and I also found shirts that we had to buy immediately. This PIC thing has really gotten out of hand. WAY out of hand. But that sort of thing is allowed in NOLA, believe me here! Everything is way out of hand, and I love it!

Packet pick up, race meeting (swim canceled and replaced with a 2 mile run), bikes put together, nap nap nap, eat eat eat, bikes dropped off at transition. It was so windy things were blowing around like crazy. This was one of my favorite transitions due to this awesome and photogenic lighthouse in the middle of it. It was a good marker to run to.

We were settling into bed and getting those last minute things taken care of when PIC realized that her heart rate strap didn’t seem to make it into her bag. Crapitty Crap Crap. I could tell she didn’t want to inconvenience anyone because heading out at 9pm to procure a heart rate strap in one of the most dangerous cities in America was not her idea of a fun time. No worries!! We all hopped in the car and went on a heart rate monitor hunt in our jammies. Luckily we were successful!

Race morning was cold, and windy, and cold, and I had to poo. We got that taken care of and then I was in a great mood. Michelle and I ran the 2 mile run course as our warm up and I think we were the only ones. I’m glad we did recognizance on it, it was good to see it. It was quite windy on one section and I’m glad I wasn’t surprised.

The really cool thing about the DU format was actually seeing all the Pros take off together in one group running. You never see that, and it was really cool. Hard to explain but it got me super hyped up. I got to see the PRO men come in and go out on the bike, and the women as well. I tried to cheer for every one that I knew. I saw Michelle go out on the run and she was right with Dr.PIC. With the AGers they were letting us off two at a time in a time trial format. So you started with a buddy.

When I got in line for my turn I found Hailey. I knew going into this race that Hailey and Libby would be the ladies to watch. Libby is coached by Dirk and is insanely strong. Hailey beat me in Kona by several minutes. See, the 30-34 women have this special bond. Twitter/blogging has really helped it, but we have this really cool thing going on. We are fierce competitors on the race course, but afterwards we follow each others blogs, we train with each other when we are in each others towns, and we have deep respect for each other. That’s why it was extra extra special when Sarah P. won the PRO race at NOLA, because she’s one of us, she raced 30-34 last year and we are really supportive of the ladies that were 30-34 and are now PRO. Might I mention we are so so glad they turned pro…

With the TT start Hailey and I just slipped in the front. We were the first two to go off in the AG, and we went off together. It was a bad idea on our part. We should have gone last, but we ended up racing off the front the whole day and then wondering if anyone snuck in there.

How do you run 2 miles before you know you have to bike 52 (course shortened due to storm debris) and run another 13? I don’t know, you just run your ass off. There’s no great way to put it other than…RUN!!!

Hailey and I came into T1 about :20 seconds apart. I was leaving as she was entering. I got on the bike and took off. Hailey caught me 10-15 minutes in and I just consider her a stronger rider than me. When she went by, a switch flipped in me. Usually I am very into “race your race” “don’t let others dictate your pace” “etc etc etc” but a switch flipped and I thought about the fact that this was a duathalon, and that none of it really mattered and I could take some risks. So I went with Hailey. I sat about 5-10 bike lengths back, and when I say “sat” what I mans is…”I biked so insanely hard I thought I was doing an olympic distance race”. But I figured, why not!? Go for broke. Hailey had me against the ropes for the better part of an hour before I got comfortable in the pain. The good thing was that my legs were 100% ready to go, and while they hurt, they also didn’t want to let up either.

If Hailey lost her focus and I saw my heart rate go down, I would pass her, and try to set a harder tempo until she passed me back with an even harder tempo where I would have to fight to hang on. Also, having never ridden like this I was concerned with the drafting. I wanted to make sure I was riding 100% legal because I usually spend most races continually passing people, not sitting behind. I was actually really stoked to be passed 4 times by course marshals and each time they had nothing to say about my position. I was like “Sweet, you are doing this right”.

Hailey set a hard tempo all the way back to T2, and we came into T2 together. Like literally we ran across the timing mat side by side. I could feel both of our competitive juices flowing. We had the fastest female T1+T2 of the day…pros included. We were racing!

Out on the run, we ran shoulder to shoulder for some time. The course was challenging with some causeway type hills, several on each loop. There were two turn arounds per loop and one roundy-round…you know, like in Europe. The “hot corner” was essentially the “hot circle”. I found a way to somehow slowly drift in front of Hailey, she was fierce, and tough, and it was such a highlight to race her neck and neck.

I made my way through the first lap getting passed by all sorts of PRO women, and age group men. I tried to go with all of them. I heard the announcer saying that Sarah P was winning and then I saw her race by on the other side of the road with the 1st place female lead biker. I was so jazzed and inspired! I saw Beth Shutt out there too, she looked so strong and solid, I was happy to see her in her element. My mom was all over the course and it was so great to have her there cheering, and cowbelling. The second loop I started looking for Michelle at the out and backs. I saw her once and she wasn’t too far ahead, but she wasn’t coming back to me very quickly either. She ended up running 2 minutes slower than her open 1/2 marathon PR that she set 3 weeks ago. PICs running is soooo BACK!

In the final mile I saw her in front of me and I picked it up. I wanted to run in with her. But with every step I realized I wasn’t catching her. I tried harder and harder to pick it up. My legs were beat, I tried to pump my arms faster and faster, and I made a small gain on her. As we were probably 100 feet before the finish shoot, I meekly yelled “Ford” and SHE PICKED IT UP. I was hoping for some mercy! I picked it up as hard as I could and coming into the chute we were side by side. I asked if she wanted to hold hands, and she said yea, and that’s how we crossed. What are the odds??? Time trial start, and yet we found each other in the finish chute. I will add that she was 3rd in her AG by 2 seconds…I’m going to go ahead and take credit for that one (just kidding Ford, that was all you honey).

I was really happy with my race. I didn’t know the result. I didn’t know if someone starting behind me had gone faster, but without knowing any of that I was happy. I RACED in the truest sense of the word. I took chances and I gained confidence and I surprised myself with those risks. I have more work to do, it’s April, but I learned that I can go a harder and still survive. I was really happy. I also had a lot of fun. Sure it hurt super bad, but it was really fun too!

Syd, PIC, Dr.PIC, me, Hailey

Mark, Brandon, PIC1, PIC2 = KE CREW!

My racing yielded an Age Group win and also and overall Amateur win. That was icing on the cake really. Or powdered sugar on the beignet! Mmmmm beignets! Oh, and my Kompetitive Edge teammate Mark Hillers, he won the amateur mens title. KE was in full force!

run: 13:29, bike: 2:18, run: 1:33, overall 4:07

Womens 30-34 podium, and the only girls that posed with their arms around each other. Mad respect for each of these ladies, Jocelyn, Libby, and Hailey.

That night we went out and CELEBRATED! We had a twitter/Womens 30-34 REUNION with lots of friends that involved food, drinks, jazz, Gelato, and awesome conversation with great people. I think there were like 13 of us, and we ate like champions! It was such a treat to celebrate Sarah Ps win that evening, so happy for her! After ice cream it was time for Bourbon street. Oh my lanta. There are no words. What happens in NOLA stays in NOLA, but here are a few photos….a la Hangover style!

Dr.PIC, SarahP, Hailey, Stephanie


Hand Grenade!!



First off thank you MOM! Not every mom will hold your drink while you….what happens in NOLA stays in NOLA….

Thank you to my sponsors Kompetitive Edge, Punk Rock Racing, First Endurance, Quintana Roo, who are all probably a bit disappointed with some of those last photos!! Also, thank you Troy and Annie for being you… love you both!

Sport Science


Have you received any of these crazy Sport Science shirts in your race packet lately? You can tell because they have the little bright yellow tag on the sleeve. Last year our Phidipides shirts were Sport Science and I found myslelf working out in it a lot. At first glance it looked like your run of the mill cotton t-shirt. The first time I put it on I couldn’t believe how well it fit. They make women’s and mens shirts separately. The other track club members were pretty jazzed about it too.

A little about their philosophy:

In 2003, we launched sport science™ smarter performance™ for the fun-having, sport-playing, running, walking, hiking, commuting, climbing, training, traveling, going, doing active people of the world.

Our mission is to create products that do more so you can do more – clothing that can go anywhere and do anything, not just in regards to function, but to comfort and style as well. When true technical performance fuses with incredible comfort and versatility, smarter performance™ is the result.

Then I worked out in it and I knew something was different about it. The fabric that Sport Science uses feels soft and nice like cotton, but it wicks. Normal race shirts are either cotton, or tech. I never feel like I can wear my race t-shirts that are tech shirts around town because they are a little thin and breezy, and somewhat see through. I definitely can’t wear the cotton race tshirts to workout in. Not for any considerable workout at least. But these sport science shirts really bridge the gap. Practical Coaching used this company for their shirts this year…I bought three!



Cruising through their website it looks like they make all different cuts of shirts. I would love to try out a sleeveless and a long sleeve, I definitely see a tied dyed shirt in my future, and the wool line looks really enticing.

Oh, and this isn’t just a chick thing. Troy has a habit of wearing things he likes over and over again until they die (usually beyond when they die). Despite the fact that our 17 hour training day shirts are pink, he wears it every other day (when he’s not wearing the grey Practical Coaching shirt). I haven’t told him it’s pink (he’s color blind). He hasn’t worn them out yet, and he said that if it was his choice he would wear only this brand of t-shirts. Pretty strong feelings from my mellow-smellow hubby!

If you haven’t raced a race that has Sport Science shirts you’ve got to find one! You wont be disappointed. If you know of a race that is putting Sport Science in their packets, leave the name and link in a comment below. And if you are Sport Science and you are reading this, I really love your product!

Sonja’s Christmas Picks

It’s December 2nd, the year has flown by, and Christmas is upon us. Wondering what to get the rock star athlete in your family? Here are my top picks for this holiday season…with a few perks along the way.

yhst-40534594257474_2031_81234.gifCore Concepts Clothing: Cadence Hoodie, Midtown, Carve, you name it and I love it. If fashion+function is a must have, these clothes hit the mark. AND, if some of your friends, or family members are a little TOO outdoorsy and a little LESS fashionista, then this is the perfect “hint hint”. Friends of my blog receive 20% off!!! Use coupon code at the online store: FF20OFF (that’s “20” as in the number, and “OFF” as in how much your saving)

beyond.jpgBeyond Technical Shells: Not everyone fits in normal sizes, especially lean and long (and hot) climber dudes (uhhh, and dudettes??). If you have an odd sized duck in your family, or need superb 100% guaranteed perfect fit, travel over to Beyond Clothing and design something for that odd duck…or duckette.

sigg.jpgSIGG Bottles: Now-a-days you gotta be using reusable water bottles and SIGG’s are the way to go. Especially for those kiddo hikers in your family, SIGG makes great children’s sippies. Right now they have free shipping on orders over $30, and they make the perfect stocking stuffer.

moons.jpgLuna Moons: These are really what every kick butt outdoor diva wants to train with. But, sometimes we just can’t rationalize blowing through 6 bags of them in a workout. So what do we do? We settle. We settle for other products, wishing all along that we had moons in our pocket. If you have a dirt diva on your shopping list, grab some moons for her stocking. She will smile, and you will see a little glint in her eye as she envisions her next trail run. Beware: do not stick Luna moons in your favorite dudes stocking unless you are the practical joking type, or your trying to hit on his girlfriend.

bpep.jpgZingermans Fantastic Bread: Mmmm. Bread! I was given a loaf of this YEARS ago as a Christmas gift and to this day it’s the most memorable gift I have ever received. They will actually ship a loaf of the most awesome bread to anywhere you need it to go. The Parmesan Pepper Bread is my favorite! Can anyone say “Carb-loading”?

Tufo Tubular Clincher Tires: They fit your normal clincher rims, you can stop dealing with the whole tire tube thing, and they are so stinkin’ resilient. I rode twenty miles on a MTB fire road on my road bike in these things. Say goodbye to flats, and build some muscle while you stretch these onto your rim for the first time. These tires are Ggrrreat!

pink.jpgZensah Pink Compression Legs: The recovery benefits of compression attire are proven. BUT, has it ever been this cute? These pink compression socks will make the endurance athlete that you snuggle up at night squeal with delight. Because seriously folks, the white medical ones you get from Rite Aid, well, they just don’t cut it.

left_bottles.jpgMix1 Drinks: These have saved my life. Okay, maybe I am stretching things a little bit, but (true statement) they have saved my workout. Some of those saved workouts have been quite extreme. 41 miles running on the Colorado Trail, 34 miles running in the Moab desert, 32 miles running on an Ultra Relay Team, these are “stay strong or suffer severely” events. I am a firm believer of incorporating protein into endurance events and Mix1’s are palatable and shelf stable. Besides, a case of them comes in a box and is easy to wrap.

Take care of your loved ones this season. Remember, when you have the right tools to train, you can chase your dreams. Give someone a gift this season that will encourage them to get outside. Cool Breeze, Fresh Air, that’s a happy life!

Core Concepts Wins the Apex Award!


Let me be the first of many to extend a HUGE congratulations to Core Concepts! Every year Polartec awards several high tech garments their prestigious Apex Award. This year Core Concepts Carve Full Zip jacket is sharing the podium with other stellar companies including Patagonia, Marmot, and Merrell.

As an avid wearer of the Carve Full Zip jacket let me just say this coat is top notch and extremely deserving of the Apex award. I have been product testing it for the last few months and have yet to uncover a flaw. It fabric is divine for us women, and the stylish details will leave your friends drooling…like my friends are! Right friends? Don’t worry, the Carve Full Zip goes on sale in September.

Congratulations to the Core Concepts crew and especially to owners Noah and Erin! You have been such a joy to work with and I know that as the years go by Core Concepts will become a household name in outdoor apparel. Keep up the great work and I can’t wait to see the Carve Full Zip walking around the streets of Boulder, or on the slopes in Vail. Because, when it comes to ‘Active. Life. Style’ you guys nailed it!

Core Concepts Clothing


Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to introduce to you an AWESOME new company that I am going to be doing some product testing for. Core Concepts Clothing. Their products arose out of Idaho from a fundamental desire to get outside and play whenever time exists to do so. They have bridged the gap between function and style and I can’t wait to get to wearing their base layers. Core Concepts will be releasing their 2008 women’s line in Fall 2008 and you can bet your bananas that you are going to want to be first in line to pick up some of their hot-chick clothes (especially after you have to trounce around with me all summer wearing their cute new stuff).


Like check out the Spellbound Soft Shell. You just don’t find technical jackets using Wind-proof Schoeller-WB400 fabric that look this hot on a girl. It’s like totally P-Coat style.

What excites me even more about Core Concepts is that they have taken the challenge of environmental consciousness seriously. They contribute to 1% for the planet which can be super tough for a newer company. Also, they use Bamboo and Recycled Products, along with purchasing bluesign products. All of us outdoorsy folks know that when you buy a piece of technical clothing it’s a very conscious decision. The folks at Core Concepts take your decision very seriously.

I will be reviewing some of their products throughout the summer so I urge you to come out and hike, bike and run with me to check them out too.

Drooling in Green

It matches my blog!

Tell me that the new Garmin Forerunner 405 isn’t absolutely awesome looking. Go ahead…try, yea, that’s what I thought, you can’t even say it. The new Forerunner is HOT HOT HOT! The last two versions were a bit more lets say…large…maybe clunky is the word. But we still bought them, and we wore them, and we used them. Why? Because WE LIKE DATA. And there is nothing like knowing your pace and your distance.

We were set free by the Garmin Forerunner. No longer did we need to run routes that we “knew” the distance. Nor did we have to just “Run for Time”. Oh no, we could now step out the front door and just start running, letting our feet and heart take us were they may. And boy have they taken me places.

When we got home we knew it all…where we had gone, how far, how fast, how many calories. It was all there. Yet we just got to run, to let loose.

I was very lucky to have trained with a Garmin Forerunner 201 this past year, and I have loved it. It’s especially awesome to get back on the computer and review past runs and rides from months back. However, during the Beaver Creek Snowshoe Race #2 my Gamin suffered an injury. It got torn from it’s wrist strap during one of my many falls. Ever since I have been forced to train with it in my pocket (or sportsbra) b/c it’s doesn’t have a strap any more, nor does it have the pins to hold a replacement strap on. So needless to say when I saw this new one on the market, I started drooling green. The only problem…

Suggested Retail Price: $318.74


Cabbage Head Duathlon – Mile High Duathlon Series

The Cabbage Head Duathlon is a 5K Run, 30K Bike and 5K Run Event. Super Fun!!
Photos by Roger Wieck

Today was the final installment in the Mile High Duathlon Series. I really enjoyed the previous two races so I was excited to finish off the third with a bang. They give away a series award to the person in each age group who accumulates the most series points. You are awarded points for how well you finish in each race. I was tied with another lady going into this race. This makes things particularly dicey. I have a bit of a competitive streak in me, so let’s just say I was gunning to beat a “certain someone” today, and she shall remain nameless.

I like duathlons b/c I don’t have to swim :). It makes transition easy :).

After a beautiful drive up to Wiggins (again BFE) Colorado, I decided to give our friend Chris a call. After all, it was 7am on a Saturday. I woke him up and convinced him to get in his car in the next 20 minutes and drive to Wiggins (40 minutes away for him) to come cheer me on. He totally did it and even got here in time. Roger, my FIL, also called us on his way out of town saying he was heading out to watch. You have no idea what the support of Chris, Roger and Troy means to me. I can not put it into words. I was one of the only people there with a cheering section, and I am always so humbled by the fact that my friends and family get up early in the morning on a weekend to come and watch me race. By the way, at the end of this race several people were asking who “Sonja” was, and they were even called the lady who won “Sonja”. This was all because everyone heard my cheering crew. That’s how AWESOME they are!

The first 5K was fast, fast, fast. It was a hot day and the ladies in the lead were duking it out! I kept wondering who the girl in the lead was. She looked so familiar, but I couldn’t place her, and it was more than just a normal “seen her at a race” familiar. Humm. I finished the first 5K in fifth place, BUT I CAME OUT OF TRANSITION IN THE LEAD. That’s how smokin fast I was! My first transition time was 28 seconds and there were several men who had a faster first transition, but no women…not a one. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I don’t know what but this just makes me laugh, b/c it’s like free time!

The bike was THE BOMB. I got passed by Heidi who is just the best person to race with b/c she says all these nice things to you when you pass her, and when she passes you. AND she always thinks of a new nice thing to say. She is like the Hallmark Card of Triathlon. I loved it. Plus, she’s just a super cool stud chic! Two months ago, at the Barkin Dog Duathlon, Heidi beat me by almost 3 minutes on the bike so I really wanted to stay with her today. I have been working so hard on my bike that I really wanted to push it here. We passed each other back and forth, back and forth. Always, a nice comment from Heidi…did I say how much I love this girl?? Somewhere in there Sabrina passed us like a bat leaving purgatory. Sabrina is the “familiar chic”. Again…where do I know her??? I continued to push hard. I knew that both girls are great runners and I needed to stick close to them if I had any chance in the run to get them. I biked like I have never biked before :)

Transition #2 was studly fast as well, but not as exciting b/c I didn’t pass 5 girls in it! I just put on my shoes and took off my helmet. Kinda basic.

The second run hurt. I couldn’t get my legs to return like they usually do. Even at the one mile mark, I still felt icky. It was hot, I was hot, I just didn’t have a lot left. It was a-okay though. I was happy.

I finished in 3rd place for the age-group women competitors. If you add in the Elite women (who go in a special wave ahead of the age groupers) then I was 6th overall woman. I had a better race than the lady I was tied with for the series award so I ended up winning that. I got a gift certificate to a Boulder bike shop…woo hoo! Heidi is in my age group so I ended up with 2nd in my age group :)

So after the race Heidi, Sabrina and a few other ladies were introducing ourselves and I remarked that Sabrina was rocking the house on the bike. I asked if her bike had a name and she said yea ‘The Bear Basher”. SUDDENLY it all became clear. Like two days ago I was reading an article about a triathlete who hit a bear on the bike course of the Boulder Peak Triathlon. Yea, she totally hit a bear and crashed her bike. The Boulder Peak triathlon is in two weeks and I am doing it this year. So now I know why she looked so familiar. HAHAHAHA! Here is the article


Total: 1:34:42
Run (5K): 20:36
T1: 0:28
Bike (30K): 49:36 (22.55 mph…I was going zoooooom)
T2: 0:32
Run (5K): 23:32
2nd in 25-29 women
3rd age-grouper woman
6th woman (including Elites)
55th finisher out of 250


Big Sky Duathlon

This morning we headed out to Bennett Colorado (BFE-Colorado) to race in the Big Sky Duathlon. The race sold out this year at around 300 competitors, which I guess is like 100 more than last year!

The race was a run/bike/run format with 4K’s on the Run and a 25K Bike. The run course was a two-loop run through a delightfully popular Bennett neighborhood (insert sarcasm). The ladies went out fast! At around 6:20 for the first mile I was in 9th. The Elite women had started in a separate heat (#1) and in the final heat (#4) was all the rest of us ladies. So yea, they went out fast, but it didn’t hold for most of them. By the second loop I was in 4th/5th…somewhere in there. As we headed into transition I was ready to get on the bike. We had all run a fast first run and the bike always makes me recover from the run. I had a really quick transition and came out of transition in 3rd.

The bike was a long out and back course with rolling hills. I passed a lady and was into 2nd. Then I got passed…twice, so back in 4th. This all happened by mile 4 on the bike. After that I settled into the bike and just tried to focus on keeping the ladies ahead in sight. By the turn-around point they had one minute on me. The bike back was like a bad stint in solitary confinement. The ladies ahead were out of sight. I wanted to catch them but they were clearly faster than I. So I just tried to stay mentally tough, stay in my zone, spin the legs hard, and think “go-go-go” “faster, faster, faster”. I took a glance behind me and didn’t see anyone back there either, so I was truly ALONE!

I came into transition…Troy was cheering, telling me I was in 4th. He was excited…I felt lonely! I had another quick transition and was off on the run. I didn’t have too much trouble this time getting the running legs going again, the first mile was around 6:40. BUT the girls ahead were out of sight. I didn’t see a single one of them, not even on the open stretches. I asked Troy where they were when I ran by him…he said about a minute, but it was actually about 2. There was just no way. Apparently the picture was the same behind me…no one!

The finish was uneventful as I was all by myself and since I was in wave #4 all the men were done and snacking, no cheering, just sort of boring. All in all I was happy with my performance, this race was a real mental test for me. To try to stay in the game when you are all alone is tough, but I know this will happen again in the future. A funny note…If I had been in the elite race I would have been 3rd, and I would have won a whopping $10.

Final Time: 1:19:02
Overall Place: 57
Female Place (non-elite): 4th
Female Place (with the elites added in): 6th
Age Group Place (25-29): 2nd
1st Run (4K): 15:45 (6:20 pace)
Transition #1: 0:48
Bike (25K): 44:45 (20.8 mph pace)
Transition #2: 0:46
2nd Run: 17:10 (6:54 pace)

The Weekend in Races


I had two races this weekend, the Barkin’ Dog Duathlon and the Title 9K for Mothers Day. All pictures above were taken by my FIL at the Title 9K race today.

Barkin’ Dog Duathlon. It was to be a really warm weekend, and it started off HOT. The Barkin’ Dog Du was a 5K-run/30K-bike/5K-run event. Kinda like a triathlon but replace the swim with a 5K run. Arriving at the race site was a bit intimidating, it felt like everyone had such fancy bikes and they all looked like they were in such great shape. I found what I thought was a good spot in transition and racked my bike and set out my bike shoes, helmet, and water bottle. The race was to start in waves with the Elite competitors first, and then all the men, and relay teams, then the 35 and under women, and then the 35 and over women. After about a 25 minute late start we were off. I didn’t want to run too hard in the first 5K because I knew that I had so much more of the race to go. I had forgotten my watch so I had to go off how I felt. I felt good, I raced hard, but I felt like I left quite a bit too. I came out of the 5K somewhere around 9th in the heat. I tried to make my transition as quick as possible, off with sunglasses, off with hat, throw hat on ground, on with helmet, on with glasses, off with running shoes, on with bike shoes, grab the bike, run out of transition…it took about 1:07, not too shabby.

Onto the bike and cruising’. The bike was about 18 miles, and went around cherry creek and up and over the Dam road and back. I got passed by a few ladies, and I passed a few myself. I felt like I really held my own on the bike, especially for my first time. I learned a few lessons, I need a hydration system. Being on the aero-bars the whole time makes it hard to drink from a caged water bottle, I need an aero-bottle. Also, I need a better system for tying on the race number to the bike. After a mile or so the wind hit my bike race number and made it hit my leg every pedal stroke, ouch, so I had to rip it off. Probably not a legal thing to do in a bigger race.

After the bike it was back to transition, quickly into running shoes and off, but this time it felt horrible. Your legs feel like lead weights after the bike and it’s slow going to get them moving. After about a mile I was back and going. I managed to pass many men and one woman. Coming down the finish stretch a guy yelled to the dude ahead of me that he better speed up or he was going to get passed by a girl…but to me the funny thing was that if he was a man, he had started in a heat AT LEAST 7 minutes ahead of me, so really…I had passed him LONG AGO. All in all it was a great first race, a few lessons learned and a really tough effort.

First 5K Run: 21:38
First Transition: 1:07
30K bike: 51:57 (average 21.528 miles per hour)
Second Transition: 1:06
Second 5K Run: 23:07
126/479 in the race
13th woman (non-elite)
3rd in 25-29 age group (women – not elite)

Mother’s Day Title 9K. I was having a bit of trouble getting going this morning. I had a rough night last night trying to recover from the duathlon. It took a toll on my body and I needed a nap and lots of food to get things on the healing side. I woke up this morning with no appetite, and felt sick to my stomach. We got to the race site really early and had a rice walk around before anyone got there. Once people started getting there and I met up with some Mountain Mamas I was feeling better. I got Annie loaded up and with a little bit of a late start we were all off. There were TONS of women in this race and the start was really slow. It felt like eons before I was able to get around people and get going with my pace. Once in the clear I was off. It was hard running with Annie, I haven’t done it in awhile. She fell asleep for a bit. Troy was riding his bike and so I saw him many times on the course. Even Roger and Marla (FIL and MIL) showed up to cheer and take pics. I started picking off baby jogger after baby jogger and finally got to a place that I was amongst runners of my pace.

In the end there were three of us baby joggers battling it out for what we thought was the first baby jogger spot. I ended up second in the group after a long hard push to the finish. Little did we know there was a baby jogger like 5 1/2 minutes ahead. So I finished as the third baby jogger. I think my official time was 45:02, they said like 8:04 min mile pace. Here is the data from my watch, it’s pretty funny!

Overall in Race: 47th out of 1627
Official Time: 45:02
Category: Jogger: 3rd of 111
Time to get to the start line: 0:58
Mile 1: 10:18
Mile 2: 7:22
Mile 3: 7:18
Mile 4: 7:49
Mile 5: 7:44
Last 0.52: 3:35

Yea! So…pretty wild! We had a great time after the race hanging out with Mountain Mamas and their families, it was great to meet some of the husbands of the women I adore. Also, after the race I felt like a whole new woman, I felt recovered from the previous day, like this was just what I needed to get rid of my funk. Good Times.

Chilly Cheeks Duathlon Race #3 – The Finale

Today was the last of three races in the Chilly Cheeks Duathlon series. When we arrived at Cherry Creek state Park the temp was about 25, but it quickly warmed up. By race time it was probably in the mid 30’s. We started in heats A-Z, I was in G. First off was a 10.8 mile bike ride, it was the same course as the other duathlons. I forgot to switch back to my clip-less pedals, so I was in my running shoes, with pedals with toe clips. Less than ideal, but worked just fine. Transition was interesting, you racked your bike and then had to run to the end of the transition area, tag a poster that said “Tag Me”, turn around, run back through transition and out the same way you biked in. I guess there was too much snow to have a normal transition, so that was what they came up with. The penalty for not tagging the sign was 30 minutes on your time! Eek.
The start of the run was TOUGH, I felt like a brick. It’s a very strange feeling to get off the bike and try to make your legs run. It doesn’t quite work. So I trudged along, waiting for my legs to wake up. I downed a packet of HammerGel, and things started feeling better, I passed a few ladies, and then a few guys, and FINALLY my legs came back to me. Whew. Then I flew, I flew as fast as I could. The race officials had shortened the course to 2.5 mile run due to some crusty snow drifts that they didn’t want us running through. So I knew I could haul tail and I wouldn’t bonk, b/c the distance was short enough. So I went. We had a long stretch of snow, which was crusty enough that I was able to cruise through it. Then we hit the road for the last mile and I was able to let it all loose. The finish was on an uphill which made things less than spectacular, but it was still a great race and a really nice course.

The stats: Time 59:06…felt good to be under 1 hour! I won the fat tire division for the ladies. That made 3 fat tire wins in a row, so I “took” the whole series in that division! I was the 6th female, regardless of division (so in competition with the road bikers). I was the 6th fat tire overall (so including the men). They gave away series awards at the end and I scored a whole bottle of hammer gel, and big tub of HEED (high energy endurance drink by HammerGel) for my win in the 0-39 fat tire age group.

A special thanks to Troy and Annie for being my ever constant “cheerers” and “supporters”.
Also a big thanks to Racing Underground Events and Timing. They did an absolutely wonderful job at putting this very successful series together. These events run like clockwork, but with a very relaxed, easy going feel to them. They think of everything, and have become familiar faces. Awesome job to them!