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

Swim:

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

Bike:

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
biking
Run:
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
running
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

Celebrating!!

Celebrating!!

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! 🙂

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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! 

 

Split
Time
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!

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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!

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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!

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Got a pretty wicked sun burn at Rockhall!

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Finishing strong at Rev3 Williamsburg

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Before Savageman! It was SO cold that morning!

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

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

Last race of the season and my first win!

My first ever win at the Waterman's Sprint!

My first ever win at the Waterman’s Sprint!

On Sunday I raced my 9th and final triathlon of the season! I hadn’t done sprint all year and thought it would be a fun way to end the season! Although I was training,  I waited until the week before the race to sign up because I was monitoring the weather. When I registered on Wednesday, the forecast for Sunday was perfect! It changed by the next day, and it looked like it was going to be a rainy race!

I woke up at 6:30, but waited until right before I left to have my pre-race breakfast of apple sauce and protein powder! If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it! When I stepped outside it was raining pretty hard, I kept telling myself that it would stop and that I was traveling about 55 miles away, hopefully the weather would be different in Indian Head.

I arrived nice and early and had more than enough time to set up my transition area, and chat with others racked near me.  I wrapped my biking and running shoes in trash bags, put on my wetsuit and headed down to the water. It was raining,  I was SO cold that my lips were purple. I went to the ladies room and warmed my hands up under the hand drier for about 10 minutes.

The rain stopped about 5 minutes before the race started. As the race director was describing the course, one of the turn buoys got unhooked and was blowing away! I was in the second wave, at 10:04, and jumped in the water right after the first wave went off.The race director announced in the morning that the water was 68 degrees, but it felt SO much colder than that! Right before the swim, I was treading water talking to my friend Jenna, and she said “you are going to win this race.” I said “nahh, I’ve never won a race before.”

The gun went off, and before I knew it I was at the first buoy. The swim was pretty awful! It was choppy, cold and there was a pretty decent current. It went by so quickly because I am used to racing 1500 meters. My swim time was one of the worst, but considering the conditions, I am fine with it! My swim times have been inconsistent this season, and my faster times have been when I am not wearing a wetsuit… strange! I thought they were supposed to make you faster!

Swim time: 15:06

The run to the transition area was longer than most races. I quickly threw on my shoes and helmet, and I was off! I passed a few women at the beginning of the bike. It was 16 miles, and I worked hard and pushed it the entire time.  There were some hills, but for every hill you climb, you have to come back down! I had to be more cautious on the down hills  because there was a lot of debris on the roads from the 5 days worth of nasty weather.  One of my biggest fears in this sport is falling on the bike and breaking a bone or getting a concussion. As I was biking into transition there was another girl right next to me.  As we came into the transition area it was announced that we were the 2nd and 3rd females.

Bike time: 49:28 (19.4 mph) I’m happy.. it was a hilly course! 🙂

She ended up beating me out of transition! Within the first 1/2 mile I caught that girl! I was really happy! I felt awesome on the run! All of my brick workouts have made me stronger runner this season. About a half mile later I caught the next girl.  I was screaming with excitement on the inside! Although I was in the lead, there were other swim waves that started after mine, so it was a race against the clock. I have been beaten out before by women in later swim waves.

I felt really smooth and strong on the run. It was 2 loops and there was an evil hill I had to run up twice. Before the race I thought it would be pretty awesome if I could break 20 mins. I kept my focus and was passing men, some who cheered me on, and others were probably pissed they were getting chicked. I love passing men on the bike and run, some will try to speed up and catch me, and then I will really turn it up and notch and drop them. Not always, but its pretty sweet when I do!

The run went by SO quickly, because I am so used to the 10k distance.  I had to run over a wooden bridge at the end, and it was really slippery so I had to be carefully. I wasn’t completely dead at the end, which means I probably could have gone even faster, but ohhh well! I was the first female to cross the finish line! I knew I would have to be patient and wait for the results to be posted, because there were women in other swim waves.

Run time: 21:03

Overall time: 1:29:44

I made some friends near the picnic area because we finished the race around the same time. They were serving BBQ ribs and pulled pork sandwiches, which really grossed me out after a race! Setup events had a tv screen with the results scrolling. I anxiously waited, and saw that I actually won the race!!! It was my first win!!!!! I was beyond excited to end my season on such a positive note! I called Marc and my parents right away to tell them the good news!

THANK YOU District Hardware- The Bike Shop for your continuous support this season!! I am so thankful for your sponsorship, its been so much fun riding on my Quintana Roo bike, and racing with my Lazer helmet!

I’m now taking a 2 week break from training, and will probably go crazy in another few days! Since I have more time on my hands, look out for another post soon summarizing my season. I am going to spend the next 2 weeks relaxing, meeting up with as many friends as possible and filling my calendar with fun activities! If you know me well, I can’t sit still!  I will also enjoy a glass or two of wine, knowing that I don’t have to train the next day with a headache!

Maccabiah Games Triathlon

Before I give my race report, I want to tell you a little about my trip and what I did leading up to the race. I arrived in Israel on July 11th exhausted and pumped! After I awkwardly lugged around my gigantic bike box, and was questioned by security, I was finally in Israel!  As soon as I arrived at the hotel a few of my teammates along with some of the cyclist put our bikes together outside of the lobby area. People were walking by very intrigued by what were were doing. Our bikes were everywhere!  After putting the bikes together we went for a ride! I was SO exhausted from all the travel, but really wanted to bike. We explored some of the roads around our hotel and got many dirty looks, and honks from drivers. I soon learned that the drivers in Israel are one of a kind! Of course I had to go on a short run afterwards.  By the late afternoon I met the rest of my teammates! Everyone on my team was awesome!! We had a welcome event with all members of Team USA, by the time I went to bed that night I was probably awake for close to 40 hours!

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Official Team USA Open Triathlon Team

Over the next 5 days we trained every morning and went touring through the Israel Connect program in late morning for the rest of the day. Some of the highlights of my training were swimming at Wingate, which is where the Israeli national swim team practices, and biking with Israeli’s and having a support vehicle. They took us on the highway!!! It was no big deal for them! The touring in the afternoon was incredible, some of the top moments were go to swimming/floating in the Dead Sea, visiting the Western Wall, and eating a traditional meal at the Bedouin Tents.

Dead Sea!!

Chilin’ in the Dead Sea

Training ride

Training ride

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Tri team on top of Mt. Masada

I got to swim in the main competition pool!

I got to swim in the main competition pool!

OPENING CEREMONY

The opening ceremony was by far one of the coolest life experiences. A few hours before it started we got to walk around, mingle and take pictures with athletes from other countries! We then marched into a stadium with 35,000 people screaming and chanting “USA”! I took a zillion pictures and really soaked up the moment. I got the chills! It was so unique to be able to walk out with my fellow Jewish athletes all representing the US. We sat and watched the other countries march in. There was a concert and the President and Prime Minister of Israel spoke. Everyone was trading clothing. I traded my USA hat for a super cool green hat from South Africa!

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USA!!

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Cuban jews!

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I found the jews from India

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THE DAY BEFORE THE RACE

We arrived at Lake Tiberius just in time for the pre-race meeting. It was by far one of the MOST ridiculous meetings ever!!!! SO sketchy! We were told they would not be providing swim caps. HUH? When someone raised their hand and said they didn’t have one, the race director replied in broken English- “I get my cousin to come sell them.” What triathlon doesn’t give out swim caps based on your wave?? Luckily I had a few extra caps to lend out to my teammates. We also found out we had to do our own body marking too. Other questions were asked, and the race director did not have a lot of answers. I left the meeting a bit worried, but knew that everyone would be okay on race day.

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Getting my things ready the night before the race

RACE DAY

The race was on Friday July 26th and my wave went off at 5:55 A.M. When I found out in October that I would be going to Israel to compete I was so excited and knew that I wanted to give it my all with my training! This was by far the biggest and most important race I had ever done! I’d never left the MD/VA area to race, and to have the opportunity to travel to Israel made me step up my training. When I was in the water anxiously waiting for the gun to go off, I told myself that I had done everything possible to prepare and I had to believe in myself and my training and give it my all!

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Ready to race!

Before the race I previewed the swim course with my teammates, and everyone was confused on where the turn-around buoy was located. As the first wave was starting they were putting out the last few buoys! How disorganized!

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Trying to figure out the swim course!

I started off the swim nice and easy, made it to the first buoy, and then the turn around. After the turn around back to shore there were NO buoys to be seen! All I could see was a huge field of different colored swim caps. What was a cap and what was a buoy?? I knew I had to make it back to the shore. I was following people and then realized they were heading back to the start, not the swim exit. I even popped my head up, and said “where do we go??” There were other confused swimmers and someone pointed out the finish to me. I was pretty pissed because I knew I swam extra distance and gained time on the 1500 meter swim.

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Coming out of the water

Coming out of the swim, we had to run the entire length of the transition area on the outside,  it was about 300 meters, and then into the entrance, and I had to run all the way to the end. I grabbed my bike and had a quick transition. The bike course was fairly flat, and was 2 loops. I managed to catch a few girls who had beat me out of the water. It was SUCH a unique race because I knew so many people on the course that I had met during my trip. I had met the most interesting people from all of the world! During the race I reflected on my training, hard work and thought about some of my tougher workouts. It made me go ever faster and give it my all!

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STOLEN PHOTO

I pushed hard on the bike, and before I knew it, I was almost done! I had to run the entire length of the transition area again on the outside, and had a quick transition and was off my run. Our team doctor Brian told me I was the 3rd female! He also yelled out something that really motivated me throughout the 10k, “it all comes down to the run.” I knew that I had to run a smart race, and not let anyone pass me. I was hoping to catch up to the 2nd place female, but most importantly, I didn’t want to burn out. I started the run portion slowly to allow my legs to wake up. The run course was unique, it was 4 loops. There was tons of crowd support, and I passed the water station 8 times! Each time I drank some water, and dumped the rest on me! It was pretty hot out! I thought back to some of the hotter triathlons I had done this season (General Smallwood and Rockhall), where I had  runs that were far from my PR. I didn’t want to screw this one up! There was a girl from Canada that was in 4th place. I knew she was a strong runner, and I saw her throughout the run. My goal was to maintain my distance from her. I had an awesome run and felt strong! I ran through the finish line with a HUGE smile!! All my hard work since October had paid off. Not only did I have a great race, but I have never had SOOOOO much fun in a race! I cheered on the rest of my teammates! Although I was the 3rd female to cross the finish line, you never know if someone from another wave had a better time. The results were posted, in Hebrew, so I had to wait until the awards ceremony at noon to find out how I placed.

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Finish line!

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At the finish line with Ryan, Chad and Ari!

At the finish line with Ryan, Chad and Ari!

USA Triathlon Team

USA Triathlon Team

At the awards ceremony I got called up for 3rd place overall female and was SO excited!!! A few minutes later I got called up again for 1st place in my age group! Only in Israel can you double metal!! I was beyond excited! I had to wait a few hours to be able to call my fiance Marc and my parents, because of the 7 hour time difference!

1st place in my age group! With Adriel Young who also won his AG.

1st place in my age group! With Adriel Young who also won his AG.

My metals

My metals

3rd place female :)

3rd place female 🙂

Being the crazy person that I am, I wanted to train the next day! I went with my friend Ryan, and we both agreed it was going to be an easy chill ride. We are biking along, and saw a HUGE mountain, we looked at each other, and said “lets do it!!” It was a 7 mile climb, the hardest of my life!! I was going about 4-5 mph in all my lowest gears! So much for a recovery day! 🙂 It was really rewarding to make it to the top. Later that day, I took a trip to the hexagon pools in the middle of the forest with some teammates. We all crammed in the team doctor’s tiny rental car, and had an off roading experience!

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“Recovery” ride

At the Hexagon pools

At the Hexagon pools

I spent the rest of my trip enjoying the sites of Tel Avi. I ate amazing food and hung out on the beach. I continued to meet other athletes! I also went skydiving!!!

SKYDIVING!

SKYDIVING!

The BEST hummus of my life!!

The BEST hummus of my life!!

A HUGE shout out to District Hardware- The Bike Shop for your amazing sponsorship! I am so grateful for everything you have done for me! Another big shout out to my fiance Marc, for being SO supportive of my crazy habit and training regimen!  Also, a big thanks to the Super Athletes (Sandra, Alberto, Guillermo and Annette), you guys are the best! I am so lucky to have awesome training buddies! Lastly, thanks to my awesome coach Debi, for helping me improve this year! Your workouts are the best!

I am SO thankful for everyone who donated!  I had the experience of a lifetime, and I am very thankful for all of my friends and family who helped make this dream come true!!!