Muncie 70.3

Qualifying for the 70.3 World Championship race was my goal this year, and I’ve thought about it in my training sessions since January. I was disappointed to not get a slot in Puerto Rico, but didn’t want to give up. In Puerto Rico I got 2nd place in my age group, but there was only 1 slot, and it was taken by the winner of my age group.  My awesome friends Sandra and Alberto were up for an adventure, and we all signed up for the Muncie 70.3. I was able to find a very cheap house for us to stay in through airbnb. I was feeling really awesome going into this race.  My training sessions have been going well, and I was able to bounce back after taking close to 2 weeks off for my wedding in Mexico. For the past month I’ve been on summer break from school. I’ve been able to sleep 9 hours a night, and not wake up at 4 a.m. to train. This race would be my last chance to qualify for World’s this year, and I really wanted to reach my goal!
Our bikes were ready for "Le Tour de Corn."

Our bikes were ready for “Le Tour de Corn.”

We left at 5 a.m on Thursday, and had a blast road tripping! No one slept, and we chatted the entire time. We saw a lot of open roads, cornfields and interesting people at the rest stops. On Friday we did a practice swim in the lake, attended the pre-race meeting, packet pick-up and racked our bikes. Friday was such a perfect day, it felt like fall compared to the humidity in Maryland. For dinner we were really adventurous and had chicken, sweet potato and avocado, which we all eat almost every night!
The day before the race , with my amazing friends Sandra and Alberto.

The day before the race, with my amazing friends Sandra and Alberto.

I'm even aero when I sleep!!

I’m even aero when I sleep!!


Mental preparation!

Mental preparation!

Racking my bike

Racking my bike

pre- race

Sandra and I after packet pick-up


It was announced in the morning that the water temperature was 74.5, so I was able to wear a wetsuit. I rented a sleeveless one, and was excited to use it. The swim was nice and there were 8 buoys on the way out, 2 turn around buoys and 8 on the way back to the shore. The start was a bit rough, I got smacked a few times, but nothing that I am not used to by now. To keep myself occupied and focused, I made up rhymes for each number, they were incredibly stupid, such as “number 2– I’m coming for you”, and “three- you ain’t got nothing on me.” When I passed it, I would make up a rhyme for the next number. 

Time: 34:30


My swim wave

My swim wave


The bike course was fast and flat with a few inclines, which made for some faster speeds on the way back from the loops.  I just stayed focused and pushed hard. Maybe a little too hard, I threw up 3 times, the type where you burp and a bit comes out–super gross! This was around mile 40 and happened up until the end. I got off the bike feeling really dizzy, and was nervous that I would have a horrible run.
Time: 2:40:44
I calmed myself down and settled into the run. At this point it was really humid, hot, sunny and there wasn’t a lot of shade. It was an out and back course, I was counting down to the half way mark. I took water on the course, sponges and tons of ice when I could, and put them in my hat and down my sports bra. The course was really tough and it felt like it was all uphill. I caught a few females, but none from my age group. On the way back I tried my best to stay positive, but I was suffering. My goal was to stay focused and not get passed. I pushed hard and dug deep, especially those last 3 miles.  I saw Sandra when I had 2 miles left, and seeing her gave me small burst of energy. I finished with a 5:02, which is the same time that I did at the Kinetic Half in May.
Time: 1:42:24
Final time: 5:02:37
I got brought into the medical tent after the race because I wanted to sit down, and there were no chairs at the finish line. My vitals were fine, I had some powerade and made myself eat a banana. My AG was fast, and I got 4th place.  I found out there were 2 slots for my AG. I saw the 2nd place girl in transition and asked her if she was taking a slot, and she was not. I hung out for a few more hours waiting for the awards. I found out there that the top 3 girls weren’t taking their slots, or had already qualified. I was SO excited to claim my spot! My goal this season was to qualify, and Muncie was my last chance!
post race 2

Team Orange! It was really fun to race and hang out with some new friends from Virginia- Jeff, Joey and Valerie, who all had great races!

Three hours after the race, I still wasn’t hungry, but made myself east some pretzels.  The rest of the afternoon and evening I was not hungry at all and had an awful stomachache. I knew I needed food to recover properly, and forced myself to eat dinner. I woke up at 2 am ravenous, snuck into the kitchen  and had a large snack. I always have trouble sleeping after my half’s.. must be all the caffeine! I made up for it the next night and slept like a champ 🙂
I am beyond pumped to be racing in Mt. Tremblant in September, I am motivated more than ever to train hard and kick butt!
Awards ceremony

Awards ceremony

Awards ceremoney

Awards ceremony

Claiming my slot for World's!

Claiming my slot for World’s!

Post race photo

Post race photo



Before leaving the wonderful state of Indiana we had to take a picture with all of the corn!

Before leaving the wonderful state of Indiana we had to take a picture with all of the corn!

Getting lost in the corn fields!

Getting lost in the corn fields!

Total distance traveled! Amazing weekend! :)

Total distance traveled! Amazing weekend! 🙂


My First Half Marathon- DC Rock ‘n’ Roll

I will racing my first 70.3 in April, and I thought it would be a good idea to run a stand alone half marathon before. I had a lot of good workouts in December and January, until I pulled a muscle in my groin running 400 meter sprints at CrossFit. I was worried that the time I took off from running would really impact or prevent me from racing. Luckily this was not the case, and I healed up pretty quickly thanks to Dr. Kempe at Airrosti!

The afternoon before the race I gathered my clothing and nutrition and put it all in one place. I couldn’t decide between shorts or capri’s and I ended up going with the capris, a tee-shirt, arm warmers, and thin gloves that I would throw away during the race. I slept really well two nights before, but the night before I was a bit restless, waking up every hour anticipating my alarm going off. When it did go off, I eagerly got out of bed, and had my usual pre-race breakfast of applesauce, protein powder, a banana and sports drink (Sktratch Labs- lemon lime). 

I timed everything out so I didn’t have to wait on the metro platform for 15 minutes, and arrived at the station with 4 minutes to spare. The metro was packed with enthusiastic runners, and I became even more excited and couldn’t believe that race day was already here! Time flies!

I got to the race at 6:30, checked my bag, used the porta-potty 3 times, and got in a good warm-up. I found a table full of hand warmers, and shoved them in my gloves. It was hard to warm-up because there were so many people, but I found a good side street to run on.  About 10 minutes before the race started I found my corral and was ready to go!

Good morning DC!!! (Photo courtesy of Sandra)

I have a tendency in races to go out way too fast, and this is something I’ve been working on. I felt really good, but didn’t want to push it too hard in the beginning of the race. I ran into my Ignite teammate Dawn at mile 2. It was fun seeing her on the course, and I stuck behind her until mile 11.5 when I lost sight of her at a water stop. Thanks Dawn to pulling me through the course, it was really helpful!

The first 6 miles went by pretty quickly, and I had been anticipating the big hill that everyone talks about. I made it up the hill and felt pretty strong, those hill workouts I’ve been doing have paid off! After recovering from the hill I was still feeling pretty good, and focused on running with good form.

As the race went on, I was feeling a lot better than I had expected! Miles 9,10 and 11 were all at 6:51 pace! I was really surprised. After mile 11.5, the fatigue set in, and my pace dropped to a 7:08. I kept repeating in my head “strong body strong mind.” My 12th mile was faster at 6:48, which was my fastest mile split of the day! My mantra worked! The last 2.5 miles were the toughest part of the race for me, but I pushed as hard as I could until crossing the finish line. The time on my watch was a 1:34:20, and I ran 13.29 miles. (Splits are listed below) It must have been all the weaving especially in the beginning of the race when it was crowded. 

After the race I found Dawn and chatted with some other triathletes. I enjoyed my post race recovery shake that I made the night before and checked with my bag. I met up with the Super Athletes, and we drove back to Rockville and enjoyed some Pho. 

Going into the race, my goal was to run under 1:40, which seemed reasonable. I can’t believe how great I felt racing, I really surprised myself! It must be all the awesome workouts and advice from Debi! I am really excited for the triathlon season to start, and I want to race at least one other stand alone half marathon this year! I really loved racing this distance! 


Avg Pace
Summary 1:34:20.6 13.29 7:06
1 7:41.9 1.00 7:42
2 7:12.8 1.00 7:13
3 7:06.7 1.00 7:07
4 7:08.3 1.00 7:08
5 7:08.9 1.00 7:09
6 7:07.8 1.00 7:08
7 7:37.8 1.00 7:38
8 6:57.5 1.00 6:58
9 6:51.1 1.00 6:51
10 6:50.9 1.00 6:51
11 6:51.3 1.00 6:51
12 7:08.0 1.00 7:08
13 6:49.0 1.00 6:49
14 1:48.4 0.30 6:07

Hanging with Dawn and Ryan after the race.



















Celebrating after the race! I didn’t even drink the beer, but thought it would be a fun photo!

Super Athletes tackle the Rock & Roll Half…󾌳…M_______F_______’s!! Ha,ha!

2014 – A Year of Firsts

It’s been a while since my last blog entry. After my two week break in October, I hit the ground running with some great workouts focusing on technique and building my base. I ran the Turkey Burnoff 5-miler over Thanksgiving weekend,  which has become an annual tradition to celebrate my best friend Sara’s birthday. Going into the race, I thought for some reason I had lost all of my speed because I hadn’t used it since mid-October. I was pleasantly surprised, and ran my way into 3rd place! My fiance Marc ran his first race since high school!


Winter break hit, and I was able to get in some more training hours since I wasn’t working. I decided to be ambitious and run a 5k on New Years Day! My training still didn’t include speed workouts, but I thought it would be a nice and refreshing way to kick off 2014. When racing 5k’s I always go out too fast. I followed my coaches advice and had one of my smarter races. I did not get a PR, but it was the perfect way to ring in the new year, and set the tone for 2014. It was a hilly course, and I ended up being only 9 seconds off my PR from last fall.

I’m naturally a very motivated person who loves the thrill of a good workout.  Between teaching, tutoring, and training my lifestyle is pretty hectic. I wake up most mornings around 4:15-4:30 to get my training in before work, but I absolutely love it! While most think I am crazy, there is nothing better than completing a kick ass workout and showing up to work with tons of energy. I might scare some of my students with my enthusiasm while they are barely awake, but its all good! 🙂

This year will be one of firsts.  I joined Ignite Endurance, and I am so pumped to be a part of this awesome team! Everyone that I’ve met has been really friendly and welcoming!  I will be racing my first half marathon in March. Over spring break I will be traveling to Puerto Rico to race my first 70.3, and a month later I’ll be racing the Kinetic Half.  Over Memorial Day weekend I am getting married to the love of my life in Mexico!!!  I anticipate 2014 being epic!

It’s a Lifestyle

My mom thinks I am pretty crazy for my daily training regimen. I always tell her “it’s a lifestyle.” It has become a joke between the two of us. As I take my 2 weeks off, it is now more than ever that I realize how much it is a part of my daily routine. I have come home from work at 2:45 every day with nothing to do. It has been weird, almost as if I am doing something wrong.

Over the past two weeks I have managed to meet up with friends for dinner and have eaten Thai, Mexican/Spanish (more than once), and Lebanese food. I’ve been to numerous happy hours, brunches, did a Halloween bar crawl, attended a wedding, and went on an easy bike ride on the C & O Canal with Marc.   I’ve indulged a bit more than I usually do. I’ve reorganized my closet, updated my blog a few times, done some wedding planning, and cooked an awesome dinner in my crock-pot (which I have never used).

I realized that I LOVE filling my time with triathlon training, and without it I am lost and without direction. Being the Type A person I am, I always need something to do and a new goal to reach; I just can’t sit still!!  As fun as it is eating out multiple times a week and having more than one beer or glass of wine, I couldn’t maintain that lifestyle, I would be overweight and poor! I would rather fill my time with training to reach my triathlon goals. I am SO excited to get back to what I am used to, and can’t wait to train and work hard this season. The break was very necessary, and I am ready to return to the lifestyle that feels normal to me!

Celebrating the end of the season with the Super  Athletes. We ate A LOT of Chinese food!

Celebrating the end of the season with the Super Athletes. We ate A LOT of Chinese food!

Marc and I at a wedding!

Marc and I at a wedding!

Mountain biking with Marc. I just can't stay away from bikes!

Mountain biking with Marc. I just can’t stay away from bikes!

Extended Happy Hour with the Super Athletes!

Extended Happy Hour with the Super Athletes!

More pics from the bar crawl

More pics from the bar crawl (she is not really smoking!)

wedding photo booth

wedding photo booth

Marc and I celebrating Halloween!

Marc and I celebrating Halloween!

Halloween bar crawl!!

Halloween bar crawl!!

End of the Season Wrap Up

Last Sunday  I completed my 9th and final triathlon of the season! On my hour drive home, I reflected on this season, and it has been an awesome journey! I competed in 8 Olympic/International distance races, and ended the season with a sprint. I have raced all over parts of Maryland and Virginia. Being from this area my whole life, I discovered some pretty cool cities! I had a blast racing at Savageman and Maritime with the Super Athletes (Sandra, Alberto, Guillermo, and Annette).  I had so much fun racing with Sarah at Nations, where we exited the water at the exact same time, and yelled at people on the crowded bike course to move out of our way! I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in the 2013 World Maccabiah Games in Israel!

I managed to podium overall in 4 races, win my age group in 4 races, and get 2nd in my age group in 1 race. I am SO pumped about my results! I worked incredibly hard this season and made some sacrifices. I woke up many mornings between 4:00-5:00 a.m. to train before work, teach an entire day and train again in the afternoon. It was never a chore, but it was fun and motivating to be training with goals in mind. The mornings I didn’t workout, I felt more sluggish than when I did! I know it is SOOO cliche to say, but hard work does pay off!!!

I had a blast training with new and old friends!  I am incredibly excited to see what next season will bring! I am extremely thankful for the sponsorship of District Hardware- The Bike Shop. They have provided me with a kick ass bike, helmet and have been so quick with my repairs and tune-ups.  You guys are the BEST!

Thanks to amazing coach Debi, your training has been really spot on, and your advice has been so valuable!  Your success in the sport of triathlon is really motivating to me!

Last but not least, a huge shout out to my fiance Marc! He has put up with my early morning alarms, my bike on the the trainer in the middle of our 1 bedroom apartment, and my equipment taking up most of our storage closet. No joke, my stuff is everywhere! I couldn’t have done it without your continuous support! Right now I’m taking 2 whole weeks off, and after week 1, I am pretty antsy to start training again, but I know my body just needs to rest. I can’t wait to train hard in the off season, and set new goals for myself in this awesome sport!

After Savageman!

After Savageman!

Team USA!

Team USA!


Training ride in the Golan Heights after my race!

My first ever win at the Waterman's Sprint!

My first ever win at the Waterman’s Sprint!

Awesome training ride in Israel! We rode on the shoulder of the highway!

Getting a tune up at District Hardware- The Bike Shop after Nations Tri and a week before Savageman

Getting a tune up at District Hardware- The Bike Shop after Nations Tri and a week before Savagemant!


Got a pretty wicked sun burn at Rockhall!


Finishing strong at Rev3 Williamsburg


Before Savageman! It was SO cold that morning!


Had a blast racing with Sarah! We were in the 31st swim wave!


Eating pie with Alysia 25 miles into our 75 mike farm ride!

Getting Ready for the Maccabiah Games


Some of my Team USA gear!

I found out in October that I was accepted into the 19th Maccabiah Games! WOW was I excited! I thought to myself, July is just SO far away!  The Maccabiah games are an international Jewish athletic event, held in Israel every four years, also known as the “Jewish Olympics.” This year there will more than 1,100 American athletes and about 8,500 athletes from 82 countries. I didn’t even know there were Jewish people  in India, Zimbabwe, Mongolia, China, Japan, along with a few other surprising countries!

Since finding out I have thought about the games during every workout and it has really motivated me to train hard and give it my best daily. During the school year I woke up anywhere from 4:15 to 5:15 in the morning to train, and most days completed another workout after teaching all day.

My students thought I was pretty crazy, but my first period class got used to seeing the goggle lines on my face three times a week, and would always ask about my workouts and upcoming races. My 6th period class was pretty good at distracting me from my lesson by asking questions about my training and triathlons. I told them I could talk about it all day, and we had to get back to math! A few kids even made up a song about me to the tune of Gangnam Style. It went something like this “Ms. Dana style, swim, swim, swim, swim,swim, swim, bike, bike, bike, run, run, run run, run, Ms. Dana style. They even had hand motions!

I will be leaving in 2 days, on July 10th,  and I can’t believe how time just flies! I am REALLY excited and feel well prepared. I have done 5 triathlons this season and gained more racing experience. I have been training hard since January and been extremely dedicated (didn’t miss any workouts). No matter what happens, I know there is nothing more I could have done! I need to remember everything I have learned and endured in  my 2 years as a triathlete. I need to remain confident that I am prepared and ready! The trip will be an experience of a lifetime, and I will have the opportunity to meet other Jewish athletes from all over the world!


Marc is the best


Finishing strong a few weeks ago a Rev3 Williamsburg


Super Athletes!!

A huge shout out to my fiance Marc who has been SO incredible supportive throughout this journey! He let me keep my bike on the trainer in the living room of our 1 bedroom apartment, and dealt with my alarm going off hours before his!  Thanks SO MUCH  District Hardware- The Bike Shop for my awesome bike, helmet and continued encouragement! I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for all that you have done for me! Thanks to Coach Debi for your advice and awesome workouts! Lastly, thanks to the Super Athletes (Sandra, Alberto, Guillermo and Annette) for being amazing training buddies and even better friends! I hope to make you all proud at the games!


Thanks for being an AMAZING sponsor!

Race #5 of the Season: General Smallwood International Triathlon

I am really behind on my race reports, and this one is completely out of order! General Smallwood was my 5th triathlon of the season. I have been racing almost every other weekend since May, and loving every second of it!

This was my last race before the Maccabiah Games, and I thought it would be a good idea to simulate the heat I would experience in Israel.

I woke up at 4:15 this morning and was out in the door in about 10 minutes. I felt really well rested because I went to bed at 8:00! I listened to nice calming music in my car and thought about each part of the race. Before I knew it I had arrived at the race site. Waiting in line to pick up my race packet I met a really nice girl who lives around the corner from me. I love making new friends at races! 

I had plenty of time to set up my transition area and check out the swim course. I heard that the water was 87 degrees, it went up 5 degrees from yesterday. I jumped in for a nice easy warm-up and was feeling good. I was expecting a bath tub, but it was actually pretty refreshing!

Before I knew it the horn went off for my wave. I didn’t want to start out too fast, but I was feeling great! There were no major currents or waves, and the course was very well marked with sighting buoys. I usually just breathe to my right side in races, but every time I took a breath I got blinded by the sun, and it became hard to sight the buoys, so I did more breathing on the left side for the first part of the race. I felt smooth and great, and before I knew it I could see the squiggly yellow man indicating the swim exit. I thought I definitely got a swim PR!! Looking at my watch later on, I did not get a PR, but instead of swimming .93 miles I swam 1.02 miles. Guess I need to work on swimming straight!

Swim Time: 28:42

The transition from the swim to bike was about a quarter of a mile. I ran confidentially up the path while ripping off my cap and goggles, quickly transitioned and set out on my awesome bike!

T1: 2:16

The first 10 miles of the bike course was filled with hills. There was a 29 year old guy that I kept going back and forth with, but I passed him for good at around mile 9. There weren’t many people around, but I managed to catch one female in the first few miles. I kept focus and pushed hard on the bike. I am slowly getting over my fear of picking up speed on the downhills, and my max speed was 35 mphs!  The volunteers were awesome, and I didn’t miss any turns. I got lost last year at the Columbia Tri and did an extra 4 miles, so I always fear doing it again!

Bike Time: 1:13:05 (Averaged 20.3 mph)

I came into the transition area and they announced I was the first female back from the bike from my swim wave. Hooray! 

I have been trying to improve my transition times, but I realized that it just takes race experience. It also depends on the size of the transition area. Today marked my 12th triathlon, and I think I finally got it! I just bought a pair of Newton racing flats, and raced in them for the first time today! I was able to slip them on pretty quickly, throw on my visor and head out for what would be a HOT run!

T2: 58 seconds 🙂

Now onto the run. I started off pretty slow to allow my legs to wake up. Doing brick workouts has really helped, and my legs don’t feel like they used to last year! About a mile in a girl from my age group passed me. I just couldn’t keep up, and thought to myself “who cares, run your own race.” I could have maybe pushed super hard to keep up with her, but then I run the risk of crashing and burning out a few miles later. 

I thought this course was flat, I thought to myself going up a pretty large hill! I kept calm and collected and watched my HR go higher and my average pace drop. I was able to pick up some speed on the downhill portions. I rocked out my signature yellow sunglasses today, and got comments from the volunteers on the run. I was hoping to pick up speed after that first hill, but I just couldn’t go any faster! I was telling my legs to go faster, but it just wasn’t happening!

I tried to dig especially deep the last 1.5 miles and caught a few more men, some who cheered me on. I really could not wait to be done, and all I wanted to do was sit in a huge tub of ice! It was HOT and humid out! I ran through the finish chute with good form and a smile, even though I was out of breath and beat up! I finished my 5th triathlon of the season! 🙂 

Run Time: 47:12 (My worst run of the season)

Overall Time: 2:32.21 (My worst time of the season) 1st in my AG and 5th female overall 

I sat in the shade with some other athletes, chugged my water and talked to them about the race. We all agreed that it was hot as hell on the run. Before I knew it Debi had finished the race, we walked down to the water where it was cooler and caught up about the race. We jumped in the water which was SO refreshing! 

When the results were posted, I saw that I was 5th overall and Debi beat me by .10 seconds. Pretty crazy!!! 

I learned today that every race is really different depending on the weather conditions and course, and that I can’t beat myself up over a bad time. Just two weeks ago I ran a 42 minute 10k at Rev 3 Williamsburg, so I know I can do it again! I also need to loosen the elastic shoe laces on my new racing flats, they felt really tight and I got some new blisters! The joy of being a runner, more blisters! 🙂

I leave for Israel on Wednesday July 10th, and my race is July 26th. Follow me on twitter @trihardblog for updates on my travels!

Thanks to District Hardware – The Bike Shop for the last minute repairs and for being so supportive! I love my Quintana Roo bike!  Also big shout out to the Super Athletes, the hills on this course were nothing compared to what we did at Skyline last weekend! Lastly, thanks to Coach Debi! I’ve improved this season, due to your awesome training! I’m glad we could race together today! 


1st in my age group and 5th overall female! A good day 🙂