A Time Trial and Strength Training

07/18/2014

Whoa – two posts in one week!? I must be getting wild!

I have been jealous every week I’ve seen the results and people talking about the time trial up at the speedway, which I’ve done quite a bit in the past, so I wanted to make it a point to get my butt out there and do at least one this year. After doing it, maybe “jealous” was a bit of a stretch.

I had to take my dogs to the vet on Wednesday 😦 so I took a half day at work which helped motivate me to do this particular one. Trying to leave work to get ready and get up to Concord at 5:30 is normally a huge buzz kill. It was nice to be a bit more relaxed about this one. We arrived with plenty of time to warm up a little before Derek’s start at 6:30. It was his first event and I was more nervous for him than myself!! I like when the pressure is off me. 🙂 He did great for his first time ever and I know he’s got more in him next time. Part of time trialing is just figuring out just how hard you are capable of going for that exact distance – no more and no less. He rode at his exact goal speed and had “fun” doing it!

After watching Derek finish his ride I started my own a little before 7:30. I hit it hard the first lap and tried to get settled into a good groove that I could sustain for the next 6. I didn’t actually watch my power this time because I didn’t want to be discouraged if it was significantly lower than I’m used to seeing in past time trials. Head games. 🙂 So I set a goal speed (26.5) and just watched it and my distance the whole time. And tried to not to puke.

I wish I could say I felt awesome but after about 2 laps, I did not. By the 6th lap, I saw 7.25 miles and was delirious about if this was my last lap or my 6th. I came around the 4th turn on what I had hoped was my 7th lap, but looked down and saw 8 miles and almost quit. I take full responsibility for this. I had a really small lunch that day since work was very busy (read: cup of soup) and nothing but two hard-boiled eggs before we left for the track. I was starving before the ride so I knew energy would be an issue but I came unprepared with any gels or food. By lap 7, I was seriously out of gas. I pressed on as hard as I could and kept telling myself, ok, pick it up at the 3rd turn. Then I’d try, and I wouldn’t go any faster, so I’d think, ok pick it up at the 4th turn, and the same. The finishing stretch was all about not falling off my bike, honestly.

I was shooting for 22:40 and I finished in 22:39- not too shabby a time prediction on my part! The craziest/best/funniest part is that this was actually the highest 20 minute power test I’ve ever done!? After I’d caught my breath and caught up with Derek, I checked out my average watts and lo and behold, my jaw hit the floor. Given my time was over a minute slower than my best there at the speedway, I figured my watts would correlate (since it wasn’t super windy)…but surprise!

I’ll get on a little soapbox now for just a brief moment. The past year and a half since my foot injury has taught me the importance and benefit of cross training and, more importantly, strength training. When I was knee-deep in swim bike run, I used yoga as my sole method of strength training – which is not a bad form I’ll say. These days however, I do TONS of burpees, short 100/200 meter sprints, tons of pushups, planks, squats (body weight, jump and weighted), lunges, side shuffling, and in general just a significant amount more strength training. I continue to be surprised to see some of my results this year not be too dramatically off where they used to be when I was solely focused on swim, bike, run training, which is definitely attributed to my overall increased strength. Now there are definitely workouts I could / should do that are swim, bike, run specific, that in conjunction with my strength training, would net great results, but I’m not into being all too focused right now – more just doing what feels good, having fun and staying fit. I will say though, less is more!

My time was good enough for 2nd female as I was edged out by another great rider Sarah by 4 seconds. Makes you look back and think “doh, shouldn’t have let up that time” but I did the best I could and she also had a great ride! Congrats Sarah!

If you are around uptown during the week and want to join our little group sessions during lunch, anyone is welcome! We work super hard but have tons of fun! I’m also happy to plan such workouts for anyone who might be interested!

Happy Friday all!


Jimmie Johnson 5k and LKN Excursion 65 mile ride

07/17/2014

This past weekend I decided to run my first stand-alone 5k in about 4-5 years and my first organized bike ride in probably 2 years! I love the LKN Excursion and have done it a few times in the past when training for Ironman, and this year (or maybe last?), they added a 5k before the ride. I was gonna be up there to do the ride I might as well get a run in too! Efficiency at its finest.

JJ 5k

The 5k was up first and it certainly reminded me why I don’t tend to do them very often – they’re REALLY hard. My overall lack of fast twitch muscles also doesn’t bode well for short distance, fast run running but I work with what I have. 🙂 I tried to remind myself that the run was primarily a workout, but in the back of my mind it was also as a little “test” to see how well (or not well) all my cross-training / athletic conditioning type workouts are doing for my fitness vs. solely swim, bike, run.

I lined up about 4 people back from the front behind a few speedsters with the goal of running a little below or right at 24 minutes. I thought that would be a push, but feasible given I haven’t been running much. The first mile I felt good (you usually always do), the second mile I felt not-quite-as-good, and the third I felt like complete dog doo. My mile splits went from fast, to fast-ish, to slow-ish. I found some speed for the first ~15 minutes, and then it slowly escaped me but I pressed on despite a massive, overwhelming urge to walk about 2.2 miles in. There is something to be said to just knowing how to suffer, I suppose. I finished in 21:54 which was enough for 5th female / 1st age group. Small field 🙂 If only I could have stayed on pace mile 3 with mile 1 and 2…but overall I was pleased to achieve my goal for the day! 5k – check!

LKN Excursion

In years past, any opportunity to ride a 100 mile supported, organized ride, I was all over it. This year, I was not – I opted for the ~65 miler at LKN Excursion. I had a bit of trepidation about my 60+ mile bike ride fitness as the longest ride I’ve done in quite some time is about 50 (without a 5k sufferfest beforehand) but figured why the hell not give it a try! I expressed my 65-mile trepidation to my friend and his response was “you’ll be fine, we’ll just sit up front and hammer”. Welllllll ok. 🙂 Definitely not the “we’ll just ride easy” response I thought I’d get – time to put on my big girl pants!

The weather was great, hot and humid which I’ll take any day on my bike over windy and cold (side rant: people – it’s July, it’s North Carolina – it’s hot, it’s humid – fact! If you don’t like the heat, this is likely not your state. If you’re surprised by the heat “this year”, I don’t understand – it’s hot every. single. year! Complaining doen’st make it cooler. End rant – back to business). I set out with the front group and felt great riding their pace and even doing a little work upfront myself. After 10 or so miles we got organized into our small-ish group and were able to do some really fun pace lining, put out a nice fast pace, and enjoy riding hard at times, and not quite as hard at others. I had forgotten (with all my due respect) just how awful some people handle their bikes and how awful they are to ride in groups with, but overall, it was a safe, fun ride with great people.

Sadly, about 25-30 miles in, that humid 5k started to take a toll on me. I forgot my salt tabs (which help with cramping) and tore through my 2 bottles of water/nutrition on my bike within the first 60-90 minutes so I was left scratching my head about what I was going to do with ~90 min of riding left to do an no fuel. For a 60 mile ride, most people will have enough nutrition on their bike so they don’t have to stop. And if you actually get in with a good group of people to ride with, you don’t a.) want to ask the whole group stop (cause they won’t – especialy when timing chips are involved) and b.) want to stop because then your group will take off. With my great group surrounding me, I blew past the rest station at mile 30 but by mile 45 my calves were cramping so terribly on every pedal stroke I knew I had to get some fluid and nutrition. THANKFULLY, three awesome guys said they would stop with me, I guzzled a whole bottle of Gatorade, crammed two salty crackers in my mouth, topped off and we were back on the road. We didn’t have the big group we had before but at least there were 4 of us to share the work. We still managed a decent pace after the stop and still had just as good of a time for the last ~20 miles. I felt very thankful they stopped with me – riding alone is the pits!

If you are training for something or just like to ride, I highly recommend this ride in the future. Great course, great support, and great people! I’m glad I decided to do this event and will likely be supporting in the future!

I wrapped up my day after a coma-like nap at the Justin Timberlake concert where I danced myself into the ground, had entirely too much to drink and had a really awesome time with my three favorite girls! It was quite the day – needless to say, Sunday was “less awesome” but totally worth it!


And That’s a Wrap

03/03/2013

I am officially tapering! Thank. God.

My race is 2 weeks from today! At this point, the money is in the bank, as they say. I’m not going to get more fit between now and the race and the only thing there is left to do is REST and let my body recover from the bloodbath I have put it through for the last 5+ months.

By signing up for an Ironman in March and training through the winter we’ve had (particularly January and February), I’ve proven to myself that I am a pretty tough cookie. I have endured some pretty ridiculous conditions on almost all of my long bike rides and runs, and I owe a HUGE thank you to Leigh-Ann and Jim, primarily, for gutting out many of these workouts with me. I’m pleased to report only one minor meltdown mid 20-mile run a few weeks ago and Melissa, thank you for handling my near-teared, physically exhausted and mentally depleted state with such grace. 🙂 The wine after made it all better.

Compared to some of these workouts I’ve endured (and everyone training for Ironman endures), I almost feel like race day should a “breeze.” I spent 5 hours and 30 minutes riding on a computrainer without going postal…I think can handle just about anything! I do realize race day can also pose its own interesting scenarios and mishaps (most glaringly are weather-related) that I now feel 100% prepared to withstand. Wind? Pft, I’m not sure I remember what it’s like to not ride in wind. Or even run. Heat? I’ve been sitting in the steam room, taking hot yoga or riding my bike indoors in full winter gear nearly every day for 2 weeks now. Cold? Well, certainly got that covered given the unusually cold temps here in Charlotte lately. Rain? Doesn’t stress me out. It is what it is. You get the point.

My heel and feet continue to be an issue but they will be fine on race day. That’s all I’m gonna say about that. I owe a gigantic thank you to Dr. Greenapple and Dr. Maul who have treated my foot 2-3 times a week for the last several months. I am not sure I’d still be walking right now without you guys, nonetheless, about to do an Ironman. It is so comforting to have caring, knowledgeable doctors taking care of me, reaching out to me on weekends and staying after hours to make sure I’m feeling good. So nice to have people like that on your side!

Next weekend includes a little fun on Saturday night and a “good luck” dinner with two awesome friends who I adore before I jet set to Cabo on Tuesday bright and early. I’ll have some time there by myself before family and friends arrive to get my mind right, get my ducks in a row and do a little R&R on the beach (while guzzling water, of course). If you’re looking for me after March 17th, I will be in a lawn chair, slightly comatose (either from the effects of the race or perhaps a bit too much tequila) until I come home. I am looking forward to the downtime just as much as I’m looking forward to putting all of my training to good use.

You can download the Iron Trac app for Apple products or go to http://www.ironmanlive.com if you want to track on race day.

Off to recover 🙂


The Windy City?

02/03/2013

I don’t have much to report on other than the fact that I’ve been swimming, biking and running…a lot.  It’s been a wonderful few weeks of training and my 2013 mantra is really paying off given the weather has been somewhat challenging the last few weeks.  I’ve put on my big girl pants and just accepted it…its February – its cold, it can be windy, and it can rain, period.  I signed up for an Ironman in March knowing this!  🙂

Here are a few lovely examples.  A few weeks ago, it was pouring, windy and cold on the day of my ~90 mile ride so I was forced to ride the computrainer – and yes, I rode every bit of 4 hours and 30 minutes.  I understand you should cut down ride time to account for being indoors, but I didn’t.  The time was, however, broken up nicely between a metabolic test to start which lasted about an hour, an hour with a computrainer class that came after my test, some time by myself, and the last 2 hours with 2 wonderful friends who agreed to ride with me.  So overall, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been had I hopped on and just peddled away for endless hours alone!  The best thing about the computrainer is that you can hit your intervals without outside factors (i.e. traffic lights, cars, turns, etc).  So that was that…rainy day ride averted.

There was some beautiful weather in between and then this week came.  As all of those who live here know, it’s been COLD!  It has also been slightly windier than usual or maybe I’m the only one who thinks that.  The long run we did on Friday and the long ride today were certainly spiced up a notch by the wind.  I’ve been proud of myself for never letting it really “get” to me, as I have in the past, though its has definitely been tempting at times to curse Mother Nature and quit.

Here’s a good one.  Miles 16-17 of our run on Friday were straight down the Greenway towards 7th Street – dead into the wind.  We turned left onto 7th and headed up the hill to Tryon, which also included a nice bit of headwind to boot.  A very challenging mile.  We were all very excited to hang the left onto Tryon so we could have a tailwind and a slight downhill all the way back for miles 19 and 20!!  Not so much!  Two left turns and headwind in all directions?  HOW this is possible hurts my brain so I quit trying to understand.

Today’s 100 mile ride started out quite lovely.  I did a few laps on the Booty Loop starting around 8:45 by myself before meeting up with some friends to ride the Spencer/Cramer loop.  There was a breeze, but certainly nothing to talk about.  Just as the weather forecast predicted, it definitely got windier as the day progressed.  About 75 miles into the ride, Jim and I crossed over a bridge after passing the botanical gardens and I had instant flashbacks of riding in New Zealand with Sandy before Worlds.  Death gripped and white knuckled on our handlebars, it was all we could do to get over the bridge where it was “less windy”.  The kind of gusts that whip from all directions and toss your bike in whichever direction they chose.  Scary!  I was glad to hear that Jim, who outweighs me by at least 40 lbs, was also tossed around and scared!  🙂

Despite the wind, all workouts are going as planned and I’m continuing to hit paces/watts/intervals that I’ve never thought I could.  Yes, even in the pool.

Speaking of the pool, I’m at the point (6 weeks out) where I feel like my swim is what it’s going to be for this race.  I could spend countless hours over the next few weeks trying to improve my swim slightly, which may net me 1, 2 maybe 3 (?) minutes in the race.  And during those countless hours of swimming, I would be border-line suicidal.  😉

OR

I can continue a balanced training plan and really work to strengthen my run off the bike, which could ultimately net me 5, 10, 11, 12, 15 (?) minutes on the day if all goes as planned.  Even on my best possible day, I’m not going to “win” the race in the water.  But my best day of riding and running after a modest swim could certainly make me competitive in the field.  At this point, I’m choosing option B and I’m happy to have a coach who agrees with my philosophy.  There will be a time and place in my training to focus on my swim for sure – but right now is not it.

I’ve said it a million times in the past few weeks, but I’m so very thankful for the support system and network of training friends that I have.  It has made training for an Ironman in the middle of winter, oddly enough, really enjoyable.  There have been absolutely zero instances where I’ve questioned my decision and I can attribute that 100% to having friends for every single long workout I’ve done to date.  That’s pretty awesome, if you ask me!  So thank you – you know who you are.  🙂


2012 Year in Review and Some Totals for the Number People

01/03/2013

I think I’ve been kinda of dreading the whole recap post because when I think back on my 2012 race season, it wasn’t one of my best. I had a few good, shorter races / results here and there, but as a whole, all of my “bigger” races did not go as planned. Despite wishing my races had been more successful, I managed to take each “bad” race with a grain of salt, learn something, and move on. Hence why I’ve been a little less excited to reflect back on races I’ve vowed to move on from. 🙂

il_570xN_293989420

Looking back, I had three big races planned for 2012 starting with White Lake (and I only consider it big because of its distance, not necessarily its importance), Eagleman 70.3 and Worlds. Each race left quite a bit to be desired on the results front (or lack thereof) but I can confidently say that each race taught me a very valuable lesson about either myself, my training, my nutrition, course selection, etc.

White Lake: Long and short of it was, I woke up ~25 min before my swim start and then my left adductor starting absolutely killing me 1/2 way through the bike ride. I headed out on the run in pain and unable / unwilling to suffer through 13+ miles in 90+ heat. DNF’ing at any race, big or small, A, B, C-race, long course or short course, pretty much sucks. But, I made the decision to call it a day with fear I would further injure myself and I’m proud that I was able to do so. I never really got to the bottom of what exactly caused my leg to hurt so badly, but I imagine a lot had to do with a new bike and a new fit. So I learned a lot at this race – 1.) set two alarms 2.) that it takes quite a while to get adjusted to a new bike fit 3) that my new bike fit (little did I realize) was pretty darn aggressive for a longer distance racing 4.) that you shouldn’t attempt a 56 mile ride, on a new bike, with a new, aggressive bike fit, on a pancake flat course, when the longest you’d ridden on the bike prior was ~45 miles and lastly, 5.) that its possible to wake up, down an eGel for “breakfast”, sprint to a race site on your bike, set up your transition, get your chip (thanks to my sister), get in your wetsuit and get to the start of a race in less than 25 minutes. Hopefully I won’t need to be practicing that ever again!! I think the bike issues have worked itself out as I have zero plans to get a new triathlon bike for at least the next 47 years and I’m more than comfortable at this point.

Eagleman: I stretched at mile 0.25 on the run only to have my entire hamstring tie itself in a ball. What I learned / confirmed is that I don’t do well in the heat. Period. I learned a lot about salt intake for 90-100 degree temps and confirmed I don’t like pancake flat races. I finished here in ~5:40 I believe (truly cannot remember), my slowest 70.3 race by a lot after the longest 13.1 mile death march of my life….but I gutted it out and earned my medal and I’m happy that I did. 🙂

Worlds: Well, I think of all the races that didn’t go so well, I learned the most at Worlds about preparation, mental toughness and changing your race day plan / expectation on the fly, which we so often have to do in triathlon. From the minute we arrived in Auckland, my race day plan needed revision and so did my bike set up. I had only brought along my deep dish wheels and with winds of 40-50 km/hour, I learned to come more prepared. Given my bike bag can hold two sets of wheels, going forward, I’ll be sure to take advantage of this. I also learned after the first 400 meters of the swim that I was going to have to revise my race result expectations and even more so, after about 10 miles into the bike ride after pulling over two times for various mishaps. Instead of giving up, I used the bad swim and crappy bike ride to fuel me for a great, “enjoyable’ run and vowed to smile the whole time. Turns out, smiling is infectious! Adjusting your expectations on the fly is a crucial part of this sport.

Though I didn’t have the day I’m capable of, or that I hoped, in any of these bigger races, 2012 did have a lot of ups that I am truly proud of! In no particular order…

1. I raced my first year in the “open” category for the NC series (huge tail between my legs moment) and was delighted to finish as the 5th overall female for the year.

2. I joined MAC Masters – a program I’ve heard about, been encouraged to join, been tempted to join for over 3 years, but never had the courage.

3. I came within a minute of an Olympic time trial gold medalists time at the Lowe’s TT and posted a top 3 female times ever (21:49).

4. I led two Olympic distance races for the first ~2 miles of the run and despite getting passed, managed to hold on to 2nd in both. (There will be no getting passed in 2013!) 🙂

5. I won the NC State Time Trial Championship.

6. I upgraded from a Cat 4 to a Cat 3 road cyclist.

7. I ran a 5k PR (20:10) and a 13.1 (1:36) PR.

8. I hired a new coach whom I adore, is understanding and truly my friend.

9. I got an new awesomely sweet bike that makes me go really fast.

10. I got a great promotion at my “real job”.

And, last but maybe the most gratifying of them all…

11. I coached 18 amazing athletes to PR’s, new distances, and great seasons of their own!

All in all, I’d say 2012 was a very successful year!

As I do every year, here are my totals for 2012 as compared to 2011.

2012 2011
Swimming: 355,939 yards – 127 hours 323,707 – 128 hours
Biking: 4,533 miles – 235 hours 5,113 miles – 257 hours
Running: 1,188 miles – 150 hours 1,113 miles – 148 hours
Strength/Yoga: 86 hours 56 hours

As a whole, it was a great year for me training-wise. Given my focus on shorter distance, my volume is lower than it was in 2009 and 2010, which is to be expected. I suspect 2013 will include a lot more swimming and quite a bit more of everything, which makes me happy. I credit 86 hours of strength training, which is primarily in the form of yoga, for keeping me generally very healthy and injury-free despite training hard with little down time for 5 years now!

I hope everyone takes the time to reflect back on their race season, their big races, their good races, their not so good races and pats themselves on the back – regardless of the results. Whether you finished 1st or 101st, you trained day in and day out, you had the courage to toe the line and you got yourself to the finish line – and that’s what really matters!


Doing What you Love

01/02/2013

Happy 2013 everyone! I’ve been somewhat quiet on the blog front which as we know, only means one thing…I’ve been really busy! I’m currently ~11 weeks from my Ironman (I sound like a pregnant lady speaking in terms of weeks) and with that comes hours of training, lots of eating, lots of sleeping and less exciting stuff to write about. Throw in Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years and you have one hectic schedule!

My training could not be going any better, aside from my still nagging heal pain. It continues to be manageable, but has definitely stepped up into the “not wanting to manage this pain much longer” category as of late. My entire foot and lower leg are increasingly sore after long runs, to be expected, but I’m finding that my heel generally hurts all the time now vs. just after I run as it was. Nonetheless, I’m doing every possible treatment I can for it to get me through March, some days it feels better than others, and I’ll do everything in my power to not let it affect my race.

Aside from my heal, I couldn’t feel any better! I am hitting paces with ease on my long runs that I’ve never seen before, my power numbers are steady and strong on my bike and my swim times are also improving, though very slightly. Such is swimming.  🙂  The biggest gain I’ve seen in this IM training vs. the last I did in 2010 is my ability to hit strong power numbers on my bike post hard swim workout.  Even if my swim times aren’t quite setting any world records, exiting the water substantially less fatigued than I have in the past is going to be a huge benefit on race day. I did my first long run post pretty short, intense (2 hours) bike workout last weekend and I was beyond pleased to be holding an ~8:00/mile pace with my HR in zone 1, as instructed. So all in all, I’m feeling more and more confident as the race approaches!

I spent this past New Years day doing something I love and I hope you did too! A friend of mine has organized a 100-mile bike ride for the last 8 years which ends at his mom’s house in Lake Wiley where she serves a wonderful Southern New Year’s feast. When he sent the email a few weeks ago I knew it was exactly what I wanted to be doing! I was also “challenged” to be the first estrogen-filled human to complete the ride this year…and I’m always up for that! There were tons of emails and offers to partake in absurdly long swim sets (100×100! 13×500, 213×50) and even though that’s what I probably should be doing training-wise, I refused to spend the first day of what is going to be a great year, doing something that makes me (generally) miserable.  I want to be a better swimmer, but I have limits.  🙂  Despite pretty chilly temps, pretty hard rain at times, a flat tire which took entirely too long to change resulting in 8 literally soaked, freezing cold riders in silence for the next ~10 miles, we truly had a great time. The group was just the right size, our pace was very reasonable and I even got in some good IM efforts riding up front but also rode very easy at times, the food was wonderful and I go down in “history” as the first ever female New Years day 100-mile ride finisher. All in all, I can’t think of any way I’d rather have started in my new year!!

NYE ride 2012
Over the past ~5 years, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what truly makes me happy. I know this will be an ever-changing cycle over the course of life, but I know one thing that will never change is my love of challenging myself, my body, and my mind to new, different, exhilarating endeavors. I spent my youth and my high school days dedicated to my sports (volleyball, softball and cheerleading) striving to be the best athlete I could be; I spent post-volleyball college days (I only played 1 ½ years) and the early /mid part of my 20’s dedicated to having fun, partying with and making new friends, making memories, and maybe a few bad decisions. Now in my early 30’s, I am at a place in my life where I’m comfortable being at home on NYE alone, in bed at 9:30pm with a good book and my dogs so that I can feel fresh and ready the next day’s endeavors. I have finally let go of the guilt and the feeling that “because I’m young and single, I should be out getting wasted in a bar.” I’ve been there, I’ve done that, I loved it while it lasted and I’ve now come to terms with that’s just not who I am at this phase of my life. Sure, I hope to one day have company other than my furry friends on NYE, but it’s comforting to know that I can still be pretty darn happy without it. 🙂

Whether you were on your couch alone, in a bar getting saucy, on a quite trip with friends, with your family, your grandma, or your dog, I hope everyone rung in 2013 doing something they love! I know I did!


Lowe’s Time Trial #4

08/19/2012

If you actually go out to race a TT, they’re all pretty much the same….an all out effort that makes you want to stop peddling and catch your breath.  I’m not sure I’ve ever done a time trial or power test of any sort where, during it, I thought “oh this is so fun”.  It’s pretty hard.  My 4th week at Lowe’s proved nothing different.

In the previous 3 sessions I’ve done, we’ve had some pretty tough wind on the 2nd turn and down the back stretch, but this was the first week we saw wind on turn 4 and through the front stretch.  Given there is a slight downhill coming out of turn 2, when there is wind, you’re still working really hard.  This week, with the tailwind and the slight downhill, my power numbers kept dropping on this stretch despite putting out, what felt like, the same hard effort.  The good news however, was that despite the reduced power, my speed would improve due to the tailwind.  And vice versa on the front stretch where you worked hard into the wind, saw your power numbers tick back up, but your speed start to dip.

I will say this week was the first time I truly came within a fraction of a second away from stopping my pedals and taking a quick break.  I pretty glad I didn’t.  It can be very hard to fight that urge when you’re maxed out effort-wise.  I seem to have mastered managing this discomfort much better on a bike than I have in my running and swimming; I’m not sure what’s up with that.

I rode 22:22:23 which was an 18 second PR for me!  Despite, I still managed to get my tail handed to me by two other girls who laid out some seriously impressive times.  Fortunately, these two girls are Lauren, one of my Pain Pathways teammates who rode an amazing 21:57:33 in her FIRST Lowe’s event, and Addy Abershardt who races with national pro team NOW and Novartis for MS, also riding a really impressive 22:01:54.  Excellent work ladies!  I’m okay with finishing 3rd to these ladies; I gave it all I had for this day and I’m pleased to see my times continue to improve!