Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rev3 Wisconsin Dells - Part 2 (Dusting off the cobwebs!)

I am happy, but not satisfied.
Free finisher photo!
The venue and course was amazing. The majority of Wisconsin has gorgeous views and smooth roads mixed with a lot of rolling hills. Both the bike and run course were challenging, but perfect in every possible way. You couldn't of asked for better racing weather either; nice temperatures with overcast skies. My expectations were pretty low going into the race. I hadn't raced a triathlon since September of 2010 and hadn't raced an Olympic distance triathlon since June 2010. I also was going into the race with a big week behind me and a lack of sleep and any relaxation time. It was kind of nice knowing there was no pressure, but I was a little nervous about being quick and/or forgetting something in transition. 

3/64 Overall Female; 22/170 Overall
Photo: Nils Nilsen / N2PHOTO Services
Swim (21:54; 2/64 Female; 6/170 Overall): The swim felt way better than I thought it was going to. It was my first time trial start where they let two people go at a time. Very spectator friendly with huge grand stands to watch everyone go off. I started pretty much last in the wave and of the entire race which was awesome because I love catching people and working my way up. Sighting was pretty easy and I didn't run into anyone super aggressive. My main challenge for the swim is pushing it for the whole way and staying focused. I really need to take advantage of the swim since it is my strength. I was cruising along and passing green caps and even caught some blue collegiate caps from the first wave, but I was still shocked when someone told me I was the first green cap out of the water. I think I actually turned out to be second but still stellar. I was not really impressed with my time though. Always room for improvement!

This was right after I passed my parents and Aunt and Uncle pulled off at an intersection trying to figure out when I would be coming along. I was just too fast for them. :)
T1 (1:24): I was pretty nervous about these and thinking the thickest of the cobwebs would be here. There were. I forgot my nutrition here. Good thing it was short. This was also the first time jumping on my stead with shoes connect to the pedals. It worked for the most part but struggled a little with breaking the rubber band.

Bike (1:14:24; 2/64 Female; 23/170 Overall): The bike was interesting. I am still working on dialing in my fit so I had that nagging pain on the inside of my left shoulder, but also to my surprise my right quad was spazzing. Not really cramping but ceasing up. That lasted for about half the bike, but once that stopped I was cruising along and kept a decent attitude. I passed the girl who came out of the water in front of me, but got passed by speed demon, Maggie. I tried to hang, but couldn't. This was incredibly frustrating. Need more power! I have already put in some epic strength building bike sessions to fix this and will continue until November!
Photo credit to my Mom!
T2 (2:39): I don't understand how this is always slower than T1. I need work on this.

Run (47:08, 3/64 Female; 22/170 Overall): Whoa. I have no idea where my legs came from on this one. I really hadn't put in a solid run of more than 5 miles since my marathon so I wasn't sure what was going to happen here. I came out the gate hot and surprisingly stayed hot with the two large climbs. Slowed down a little in the last mile or so but I am going to blame that on me needing to pee. I was hoping to hold my position and had dreams of moving up. That did not happen. I got passed and couldn't go with the girl, but considering what I expected from my legs I was happy to be moving.

This is my "I have to pee" face. Should of went before the swim. 
Overall the race was great to see what exactly needs work and get a good idea on how I was feeling. A podium doesn't hurt. I was proud to be a part of Rev3 as Maggie and I went 1-3 in the Olympic while Alyssa and Tara went 2-3 in the Half. I have a lot more work to do, but this race made me even more excited for it. Next up is Rev3 Cedar Point and its coming up quick!

Here is a bonus picture of Aaron and John coming up the finishing shoot. Tough day for both of them with a flat and some nagging injuries but finished with a good attitude.
Happy to be done, but still putting on a show.
Huge thank you to the support of my parents and Aunt and Uncle. I was able to see them on the course multiple times because of their extensive knowledge of the area and the course. All of the pictures my Mom took turned out great except the one below. Not sure what she was going for here.
Clearly, I get my humor from her.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rev3 Wisconsin Dells - Part 1 (Everything but the race!)

What a weekend! It took me until Wednesday to take my tattoos off and actually get back into the swing of things. I think it was a combination of some Aaron Scheidies and John Paul Severin craziness, the excitement of my first Rev3 race (Yes, first and primarily why this post is in two parts.) some post Wisconsin State Fair cream puff haze, and the long exhausting drive, but I was drained when I got home at 11:30 PM Sunday night. It took me a little bit longer than I expected to have the energy levels back up and get my life together, but with taking Wednesday off of work I got some extra hours of solid sleep and am back at it!

Last Friday late afternoon I rolled out of work and started my lonely drive to WI. I made it just in time to meet my wonderful, awesome, fantastic parents at an exit off the highway who brought me delicious cream puffs from the State Fair. With a quick bite to eat and some never ending hugs from my mother I was off to the Madison airport. Once Aaron and John were in the car it was another 45 minutes to my Aunt and Uncle's. Full of energy and trying to keep quiet we snuck into their house at around 1:30 AM. A quick late night snack of the cream puffs and then it was off to bed.
Wake Up! 8:00 AM. Fueled up with some homemade yummy raspberry muffins and lots of coffee. Aaron and John consume coffee like its water and I should have taken this as a warning of the day to come. Rolling up to the expo gave me butterflies! Balloon arches, vendors galore, and awesome staff!
I was amazed and floored at what kind of service I got. We rolled up pretty early to the expo and I don't think it had officially opened yet, but they were set up and ready to go. Everyone was soooo friendly and happy to be there and actually knew what they were doing. John and Aaron made the rounds with some of their fellow Evotri team members which actually have some close ties to Rev3 and I think we might need to start up a new rivalry. :) I introduced myself to as many as I somewhat recognized as this was the first time meeting anyone from the team and staff in person. If they had a Rev3 staff shirt on or was wearing a Rev3 kit I was saying what's up! This included me walking up to Malaika Homo and not realizing it until we exchanged names. I played it off well, but damn that women looks so young and is in such good shape I barely recognized her.

Over at Tommy Bartlett's where transition was set up we got in a quick practice swim. The water was the perfect temperature and amazingly clean. I actually felt real good in the water compared to what I have been feeling like in the pool that past week so it was a happy surprise. After meeting some more 'mates and talking with the amazing Rev3 Race Director, Eric Opdyke, it was time to get our bikes ready for check in. Once checked in it was time to get down to business. This was also Aaron's first race with Rev3 and they got some great taste of both him and his guide, John Paul's personalities and friendship. Aaron does any amazing job of letting his attitude and personality define him, rather than his limitations. Watch the video below and find more about Aaron at

Exclusive photos of Aaron and John talking to Stu.

Again, I was floored by the service Rev3 provides when we received ART, massage, and NormaTec Recovery Boot time! All free and within in minutes. Everyone was so happy and the energy was amazing. It was just a different vibe in the expo. Although the entire staff was busting their butt to get things together for the race they were taking time to talk to everyone and thoroughly help people with questions. Amazed.

At this point in the day I am exhausted. We have been running around out in the sun and didn't get lunch until 2:00 PM. Aaron and John wanted to drive the Half Ironman course as its technical and super hilly. Holy hills! I was relieved to being doing the Olympic and if you want to challenge yourself on a course this is where to do it. I can't imagine how Aaron and John did this on a tandem. With a pit stop for more coffee for Aaron and John and a quick jaunt to the local Wally World we were off to my Aunt and Uncle's for some R&R!

My Aunt and Uncle live about 10 minutes from the race site and are on the other side of the freeway from the strip of resorts and waterparks. This was ideal as they live back in the woods and we were surrounded by quiet nature. My Uncle is an amazing cook! We had delicious pulled pork sandwiches with cinnamon  in it and fried zucchini and squash. I will be back to this race whether its to work, spectate, or just watch.

It was quickly time to get tattooed up and ready for an early morning. Before I fully made it into slumber I had some time to reflect on how genuinely fortunate I am to be a Rev 3 Team Member. I am not a cheesy flowers and rainbows kind of person. I am a no BS, critique every small thing, and expect the best in everything. I have worked in customer service since the age of 14 in many industries including event management so let just leave it as my expectations are high. The passion that drives this company is the root of its success. They cross every "T" and dot every ""I and will bend over backwards to make you happy. They give, give, give and truly want what is best for the sport. Happy finishers! Doing a Rev3 race should be on your bucket list, along with getting a WI State Fair Cream Puff so go sign up for next year!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

On the move!

On my first commute of the season to work I got stung by something. I know it took me awhile to get my stuff together since my first ride was in July, but I was ready to rock.  I was really enjoying myself and then BAM! I thought I got hit by a rock at first, but I heard it buzzing and quickly brushed it away. I stopped to see if I was bleeding because I thought I might of broken something it hit me that hard. I started to feel tightness and was thinking I was going to have black eyes for the wedding I was going to that weekend. By the time I got to work I knew I was going to be a little swollen. I could see in the glass doors that indeed I was and I quickly dashed into the basement so no one would see me. In the mirror I looked like a human dinosaur mix. At that point I was thinking I would get a ride to a minute clinic or bike myself. I didn't want to go all sweaty so I hopped in the shower. FAIL. I found out later warm water is not good when you are going into anaphylactic shock. Within seconds of the lukewarm water hitting me and sweat settling in I quickly broke out into hives head to toe and started panicking I was itching so bad.  My face also doubled in size. The next 60 seconds went like this: Out of shower, dress on, sandals on, hair tied back, upstairs to my coworker, my coworkers look of horror, grabbing her purse and getting in the car. Luckily since I work on UM's campus the emergency room is really close. By the time we were turning into the parking lot it felt like my chest was being stepped on and breathing got really difficult. All turned out fine and I have an upcoming appointment with an allergist to narrow it down. Although I am happy I am okay I am annoyed that I have to carrying an Epi Pen. What a hassle! If this ever happens again I am making sure to get a picture because I was not even recognizable. Below is a picture of me about 10 hours after. Most of the swelling dropped into my cheeks and chin. I am lopsided! 

Since then I have been doing my fair share of traveling with some long rides in between.
75 miles in Traverse City, MI

A quick trip to Utah to hang with some Olympians

More  sight-seeing at Olympic Park

40 miles of riding at 8,000+ feet was eye opening

And a brief stop in Wyoming
Some epic hiking

 Sunny fly fishing

Champion size fish

And a couple long rides at home all ending with some of this. So good! Whole milk is a must!