Friday, August 24, 2007

Vineman 70.3

July 22, 2007
Santa Rosa, Ca

I know this race report is long overdue and because of that it will definitely be a short recap!

A mass start of men and women professionals started the early morning half ironman in the Sacramento River. After some debate the day before whether or not to wear wetsuits, the morning of the race saw all the pros wearing one. The water was a bit too warm to be honest for them, but I was glad nonetheless to have a bit more protection on.
I had a decent swim and exited the water in a pack of men and women. I wasn't sure exactly where I was in the mix of things so I just did what I normally do and try to go as fast as I can. I struggled a bit trying to get my wetsuit off and lost a few precious seconds I'm sure. I ran the long exit out toward the mount line which happened to be on a slight up hill. There was one woman just in front of me and I managed to pass her as I rode up the small incline. For the next two miles are so I felt pretty good. During this time however the woman I passed on the hill came by me and slowed to put on her shoes so I again passed her. Then a few minutes later two men go flying by and the woman is right on there wheel drafting them!! I saw this for the next mile or two and was hoping that an official would see her and give her a penalty as this was a non-drafting race. To make a long story short on this subject, the woman ended up getting 3rd but drafted the entire way!!! I, along with a few other made complaints to the head referee which to took seriously although could do nothing about it since the officials said that by the time they caught up to her, she wasn't drafting! Oh well, what can you do; except now she is branded a CHEATER!

So, back to the race, I had a strong bike although I wish it could have been stronger. I didn't see another cyclist for the duration of the 56 miles! Rolling hills, slight wind and beautiful scenery made the time go by. I was in 5th place coming in off the bike and was determined to run myself up at least one place and ideally 2 places!

I took the run out hard and was surprised at how fast I was running for the first half of the run. I was on a mission to catch a girl or two and thought I could catch the first one by mile 6. By mile 9 1/2 I had a lock on Dede Greisbaugher, but it wasn't until mile 11 that I was finally able to catch her. It took everything I had to run up to her. I saw her just ahead of me for about a mile and a half and I knew as soon as I went through one of the last aid stations at mile 11 or so I would catch her. But as I was running through the aid station, three age group men where heading towards me, not looking where they were going and on the wrong side of the street. I ducked underneath a volunteers arm who was holding out water and just then, one of the age group men ran right into me knocking me backwards into the arms of the volunteer!! Thank goodness I didn't go all the way down and that the volunteer had caught me and stood me up right. I cursed at the athlete who wasn't paying attention and tears started to fill me eyes...I was tired and so close to catching Dede! A guy on the side of the road saw what happened and apparently knew me and said, "Don't worry Alexis; you're all right, get it back together and you can catch her." Thank goodness that person was there or I don't know what I would have done. It really helped and I got back into a rhythm and ran up to Dede. As soon as I was beside her, she said, "You're KILLING ME!!" I was too tired to say anything and made a run for it, not looking back. I knew that there was a look of pain across my face, but my friend who was watching said that my form looked good when I was about 800m to the finish! I did it, I placed 4th!

I crossed the line and went directly to a shaded tent, took off my shoes and socks and lied down for almost 30 minutes. I don't think I have ever been THAT spent after a race!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Poker Ride

Monterey Bay Multisport is proud to announce The Poker Ride on September 16, 2007 at 8am. This fun 50 mile bicycle ride through Carmel and Salinas and the 25 mile Fun ride will begin and end at Chamisal Fitness Center off of Laurelos Grade (hiway 68, Salinas/Carmel Valley).
Please go to and look under cycling events to register.
For the Poker Ride, there will be 5 aid stations where you will pick up a playing card. Once the ride is over, you'll take your cards to be verified (no swaping cards with anyone else on the ride) to see who has the best Poker Hand!! The winner will recieve $100.
The entry of $40 (no matter which ride you choose) will culminate with a BBQ of Chicken or Hot Dogs, Beans, Salad, Bread, Soda and a no host bar at Chamisal. If you'd like to partake of the BBQ and not the ride, you may purchase a BBQ ticket for $20.

We will also be holding a raffle with the grand prize bein a two night stay at Squaw Valley family cabin. Raffle tickets are being sold by Monterey Bay Multisport team members or you can contact Laurie McLennan at for more details. The raffle tickets are $5 for 3.

All proceeds go towards the Monterey Bay Multisport Junior team to help with uniform and entry fee costs.

For more information, please email me at or Laurie McLennan at or Christina Brigantino at

We look forward to seeing you on September 16 for The Poker Ride!!

Lane Lines to Shore Lines

A new DVD on open water swimming by Gary Emich and Phil Digirolamo is out on the market. It's called Lane Lines to Shore Lines. The website is Please check it out and when you watch the video look for a guest appearance by yours truely...can you find me?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tri 101

Lakeport, CA
June 10, 2007
A new series began this year called the One O One. If you add the distances of a 1.86mi swim, 80.6 mi bike and 18.6 mi run, the total equals 101, clever, isn't it??? Not only are the distances unique (3/4 IM length) but the prize purse is one of a kind in our sport. I skipped out on the first race in Bradenton, Fl; but when I looked closely into the race, the June event in Lakeport, CA looked pretty appealing. After researching the course and the participant lists I decided to sign up. It's been about 2 years since my last IM and about 6 years since I've completed this 3/4 IM distance.

I should also mention that I have decided to terminate my quest for the 2008 Olympics. Briefly, my motivation was low to train for the specific races (ITU & World Cup) as were my funds to chase these races around the world. I was in debt after the 2004 Olympic Trials and with my wedding a few months away my goals have changed. I do not regret my decision as there is always the possibility of an Olympics in a different sport...

Race morning in Lakeport saw clear skies and a small participant field. It's also been a long time since I've raced a small race and it was great!! The race organization as well as the plethora of volunteers through out race day and the the entire weekend was absolutely superb!

I was a bit more nervous than usual probably due to the fact that this was a long race and I was a bit under-trained. I was out to race this race and not merely to finish (although that is always the first goal, no matter what!)

The men and women pros had an in water start and a 5 minute lead on the amatuers. It was a wetsuit swim, but very quickly into the start I wish it wasn't as it got pretty warm as we swam the two loop course. I felt as though I couldn't quite get my rhythm together but managed to get in with a pack. I tried to keep it comfortable as I knew the swim was only the beginning of a long day. My time for the swim was 40:05 with a T1 time of 1:00.

I came out with a pack of men and women and was pretty quick upon exiting T1 as I eventually found out within a few miles of the bike course that I was in 3rd place. The bike was advertised as a flat course done three times. I don't know where these reports came from but it wasn't all that flat of a course. I'd actually call it rolling hills! It was a nice course although the roads were quite rough in spots and with each consecutive lap the wind began to increase. During the second lap, I noticed that the velcro that was holding my spare tubular had come loose and the tubular had slipped out of it's velcro grasp. I fiddled with it for about a minute and knew that I had lost some time on second place; but I couldn't afford to loose my spare, just in case.

These long races are always a learning experience no matter how many times you've raced. So, my learing experience during this race came on the second loop when I knew I needed to eat. I had started to feel sleepy during the ride. If I could, I would have stopped and taken a nap on the side of the road. It was the most bizzarre experience. I knew at that point that I needed food desperately if I was to hold onto third place. I missed food at a few aid stations and had eaten all of my gel that I had taped onto my bike. I was finally able to pick up my special needs bag as I rode through transition on my way to the third and final loop. I had a bit of trouble getting my goods out but eventually was able to. While digging around I was passed by a women. I tried to keep my eye on her for as long as I could, but my main concern was getting in the nutrition.

After eating and drinking I felt much better and was now focused once again to keep my mph as high as I could keep them...oh and not to get passed again!

I could tell that my cycling miles were not enough in the weeks leading up to this race. Note to self: Ride more in the months leading up to a long race!!

I came into T2 in fourth place after riding 80.6 miles in 3:51:23 (20.9 mph) and was glad to get off and start running. After my :43 transition, I was on a mission to run some girls down!

The only flat section of the run was in the beginning and it only lasted for a mile at the most. The rest of the run was either up hill or down hill! I kept a strong pace and at the only out and back section (maybe a mile each way) I was able to see how far ahead the women in front of me where. I didn't see first place who was minutes ahead of me, but I did see second and third place probably a minute ahead of me and as I made the turn around I saw fifth place like a bullet train out of control. How long could I hold Kim off??? Maybe a little over a minute. She eventually came up along side of me just long enough for each of us to say "good job" to one another and then she moved ahead. We were on a gradual up hill where you can see a good distance in front and there about :30 ahead was second and third place. I was now in fifth place, but that would only last for two left hand turns as I passed Karen Holloway and Heather Wurtele (Kim had ran into second at this point). I was now back in third place by mile 7 of the run. Now all I had to do was at least keep myself in this position for the second loop of 9 miles.

I should mention that as you complete the first loop of the run, the course takes you the outide of the transition area by the crowd of spectators before heading out on the undulating course. The mantra that I remember saying to myself for the remaining loop was "top 3 for me, top 3 for me!" Over and over I kept repeating this little saying until it was a constant hum in my mind. At the turn around I kept a watchful eye on who was behind me and how far away there where. But to my surprise I saw no one. I was safe for now. Towards the end of the run, even though I knew I was tired and I'm sure my pace had slipped, I had a renewed burst of energy as "Top 3 for me" was now a solid reality! I looked one last time as I rounded the last corner and saw no one...I had finished in 3rd place with a run time of 2:18:21 and an overall time of 6:51:31. I was approximately 12 minutes behind 1st place and 9 minutes ahead of fourth place!

I had forgotten how long these races lasted but I know what I do a half IM it will feel least I hope!

After this fantastic race, the organzers and the volunteers I am contemplating on signing up for another 101.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Articles about the Accenture Escape from Alcatraz

For full results go to

For pictures of the race go to:

For articles about the race:


Accenture Escape from Alcatraz

San Francisco, CA
June 3, 2007

This year's race started an hour earlier, 7am, due to the projected fast currents. It was an early morning, but I was wide awake at 3:30am (or as wide awake as one can be at that hour!)
Once again I decided to drop off a pair of shoes for the long run from the swim exit to the transition area.

Jay in our hotel room

After getting my transition together I got a ride over to Pier 3 where after body marking I boarded the San Francisco Belle...our ride out to "The Rock." This will be my 7th time "Escaping" and every year I have placed higher and had an overall time that was faster than the previous year. I am always excited for this race as there is really nothing like. If you have any inkling of completing or competing this race I highly suggest it!
Linda & Dan at dinner

With about 15 minutes to race start the pros were escorted outside and were lined up according to numerical bib order. The horn blew signaling for us to jump off the small ledge where we were standing about 5 -6 feet from the water. I began swimming as soon as I hit the water. Now most people think that the water is cold here, but I always find it to be just right!
It took a bit of navigation to finally keep my eye on the lead boat, but it wasn't very long until the chop of the water started. I felt jostled and tumbled for most of the swim and was having trouble getting into a real rhythme. You could only see the lead boat if you were on top of the wave and nothing when you were in the trough. It definitely made sighting a bit of a challenge. I ended up swimming by myself for a short period, but then some of the age group men came by me and I tried to stay with a pack. With about 5 yards to go to the swim exit the water temperature got drastically colder and I was glad that it hadn't been that cold for the duration of the swim. The swim took me 28:38 and only 2:10 back from first place.

Jay & Me at awards

I ran the 800m from the swim exit to transition, got my bike and headed out onto the course with the second fastest T1...I was on a mission to catch the women ahead of me. I was able to pass at least one girl on the way into T1. I headed onto the first part on the course...a straight road that paralled the ocean and quickly found out that I could not shift my big chain ring; it was stuck! I saw my dad on the side of the road cheering and I yelled out "I can't shift to my big chain ring!" Luckily he heard, but there was nothing he could do. For the next 4 miles or so I tried with all my might to get the darn thing to shift but eventually made the decision that I'd have to spin like Lance Armstrong and do the "super tuck" on the down hills. That would be my only chance to catch a few more girls on the ride. Just prior to the Legion of Honor I was able to pass Gina Kehr while Joanna Lawn and I where playing leap frog. If there was any chance at all for me on the bike, I had to ride as quickly as I could on every up hill; if I was not to have the use of my big chain ring, then I'm glad that this was the course I was on because there are more up hills than flats or down hills. My bike split was 54:52 only 1:06 behind Becky Lavelle's split (which was the fastest of the women).

Sprocket, Jay, Mike, Erin, Lauren & Mike at Awards

I rolled into T2 and now with the quickest transition I headed out onto the run to see if I could catch any more women. I had an idea of where I was but wasn't sure until I got to Baker Beach and the turn around. There I could see Leanda, Pip and Becky just ahead of me. I quickly formulated a new immediate catch Becky before the top of the sand ladder. I pushed harder and tried to run up the majority of the sand ladder. For the second year in a row, I had the fastest sand ladder time...this year it was 2:08 and :08 seconds faster than the second woman!
Once I ran past Becky, I didn't look back, I just kept on going in hopes of maybe catching Pip. I got to the top of the sand ladder and made the left hand turn onto the single track trail that continued to climb. Running on the road in the opposite direction I caught a glimpse of Erin Reed who yelled "Go!" But quickly realizing that Becky was behind me and not knowing (most likely that I had caught her) yelled again and this time it was long, loud and drawn out, "Gooooooooo!" I knew exactly what she was refering too and it make me laugh a little; not too much though, or I wouldn't have been able to run!!
After the trails and steps leading towards the Golden Gate and back on flat ground again I briefly saw Pip ahead of me and tried to pick it up even more. The crowd was yelling and cheering and so I kept on running. I had the fastest run split for the women in 51:34. I made the turn into the finish chute and gave the crowd a few waves before crossing the line in 2:20:29; less than 2 minutes from first place. I finished in 3rd place, the best finish so far for me at this race!
My next race is sunday June 10 at the Tri One O One in Clearlake, CA.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wildflower Olympic Distance

Lake San Antonio, CA

May 4-6, 2007

I had a great day on sunday watching our team members from Monterey Bay Multisport have a great showing. My younger sister, Erin completed the course in 3:36 and that is with having a flat on the bike and riding it in with three miles to go!

We had many other team members who had great races and congrats to all of them!

Wildflower Triathlon

25th Anniversary of Wildflower Triathlon Festival
May 4-6, 2007
Lake San Antonio, CA

The 25th Anniversary of Wildflower Triathlon festivals brought a lofty goal to mind; to win the long course race. I had won overall female as an amatuer back in 2000 but since turning pro in 2001 I had yet to win this coveted race.

Our race started at 8:05am only 5 minutes after the pro men. I started to the outside left just behind Linda and Becky. The gun went off and I think I stayed with them for maybe 25 meters but that was okay as there was clear water in front of me and no one to get tangled up with. I made it to the first buoy and shortly after found myself leading the second pack. I felt strong and actually swam in a straight line! Once we made the turn around I think it was Miranda who passed me and took the lead for a while. I tucked in behind her and let her do some of the work while I settled in. I was vigilant in making sure that I did my own sighting as it was a good idea because she ended up vering to the right towards the start banner while I kept to the left and made it a straight shot directly to the finish ramp. We exited about the same time (in 4th place) though and as I struggled just a bit to get my wetsuit off, I was able to run though T1 and mount my bike and head out onto the 56 mile hilly bike course. It was too terribly hot, probably mid 70's throughout the day but the wind on the other hand was hellacious!! A nasty head wind all the way out on Interlake Road. I stayed in my aerobars for much of the race as it was so comfortable! I passed Linda at about mile 6 and then another few miles I was able to catch and pass Mirinda. I felt extrememly strong and even though the wind was crazy I was relaxed and able to push a big gear comfortably. I must attribute my bike to Jim Felt and Felt Racing ( If it hadn't been for him and the bike I wouldn't have finished the bike course in second, just 6:30 down from Becky!

My T2 was a bit slower than I would have liked, but I did take some extra time to put on socks and make sure there were on straight and not crinkled. I felt good heading out onto the run with everyone cheering for me. I had a decent pace for the first few miles. Mirinda quickly passed me though within the first mile which now placed me in third. I didn't know where anyone else was on the bike or in relation to where I was. I just kept running. I saw one of the male pros in front of me and keyed off him. I tried to stay with him but on one of the hills at mile 4 he slowly pulled away and I couldn't keep up. The wind on the run was also strong and in some spots almost felt like it was pushing you backwards. Just prior to reaching mile 9 I heard someone behind me...Kate Major. She passed me and kept on going. I tried to stay with her, but there was nothing in my legs to propel me up the hills. I stayed as strong as I could rounding the turn around just before mile 10. I think it was then that I tried to really push the last up hill in hopes of trying to catch Kate and to also hold off Erin Ford who was behind me. In the end I was unable to reach Kate who placed third only 26 seconds ahead of me. AAAHHHHHAH. It was a great race!

My overall time of 4:43 was a 12 minute PR for me. I must say that I was extremely happy and couldn't contain my emotions as I cried when I saw Jay, Sharon and my family and friends waiting for me at the finish line.

I had the second fastest bike split and I can attribute that to my new Felt DA TT bike! It made the cycling almost effortless...I said "almost!"

In addition, Wildflower also served as the USAT Long Course National Championships and I was the runner up!

Sea Otter Classic

April 12-15, 2007

Once again the Sea Otter Classic returned to Laguna Seca. Not only do I volunteer every year at the VIP tent I also race the Road Race and Circuit Race (which is the only time a cyclist has the opportunity to ride on the race track!).

I finally was achieved my cat. 3 upgrade, so these two races would be my first in this new category. I was a bit nervous, but knew that riding with this new group would be beneficial to my overall training.

The circuit race was held on friday in the afternoon. It was too windy and there seemed to be a large group of women with whom to ride. The race is 50 minutes long and I think we were able to get in about 7 loops. The pack mostly stayed together for the entire race. I made a few small attacks to see what would happen but otherwise stayed as close to the front as possible. On our final lap one girl broke away on the first gradual climb. I tried to go with her, but didn't quite have it. A small group of us however got together and managed to work together down the cork screw and up and around the final climb. I saw the girl in front on the flat section just before making the final right right hand turn; I decided to go for her as she seemed to be slowing just a bit. I rode up on her right and kept hammering for a sprint finish with my taking my first cat. 3 win! It was a difficult race but worth it!

Saturday saw dark clouds, heavy rain and gusty winds. Lauren, Erin and I wondered if we would even race. We went to the officials who were hiding under the bridge to keep from getting soaked. They said they weren't sure but to suit up just in case!

I was surprised when I got down to the start and we actually had quite a large field. The road race was 5 loops in the former Ft. Ord with an up hill finish. The weather conditions make it extremely hard to see especially when descending. The rain would pelt you so hard that it actually hurt your eyes and face. By the second loop or so there was a small break away of about 9 women, myself included. It was hard to work together because of the conditions but we did try our best despite one women yelling at us to get organized and work together. Eventually Patty yelled at her and that was the end of everyone yelling! The course was quite difficult and I think it wore people down.

After the 5th loop we made our way back down a nice long descent to a sharp right hand turn and the final climb of the race. With just about 200m to go, one of the girls jumps. I go right after her and kept pushing until she cracked and I got to the line about a wheel in front of her! It was definitely close and very hard.

I was glad to win both races and I look forward to more bike racing in the future.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

70.3 California

March 31, 2007
Oceanside, CA

The first race of the season is usually just a test of fitness to see where I am at and what I need to work on. I found out this weekend that there is much work to be done! I must say that I am quite pleased on my swimming as I was able to exit the water just behind a very strong swimmer and in front of some other strong swimmers. My cycling however needs some work and I think that will come along just as soon as I build my new Felt DA time trial bike! My running was steady, but I know I can be a lot faster. So, without too much whining, the race went like this....

No matter how often I wake up before the crack of dawn on race morning, I always wish I had more time to sleep! I stayed with my friend Rachel Sears and am glad to say we were pretty much both on the same morning schedule. After a quick stop at Starbucks for a bagel and water, (yep, I brewed my own Peet's coffee at the hotel) we were on our way to Oceanside (we stayed about 15 minutes north.)

After driving around anxiously trying to find a parking spot (we were misdirected for parking) we eventually found one and rode as quickly as we could amongst all the other athletes trying to make their way to the transition area. After setting up, I did a quick jog around to try and warm up, it was pretty cold despite the clear conditions. Yes, I said clear conditions as opposed to the two years prior when it was rainy and overcast. I believe however that it was much colder due to the fact there there wasn't a cloud cover.

I must say that the night before the race while getting my gear bag together I had completely forgotten to buy elastic laces!! The one most important thing on my list (yes, I even had a written list of items that needed to be taken care of) and I forgot. What was I going to do???
I luckily had a pair of lace locks that I could use, so I put those on and just accepted the fact that I had to race old school! There was nothing else I could do. Thank goodness I had the lace locks or I would have had to tie my shoes...heaven forbid!

This year there were double the number of women pros racing...36 of us on the line. We swam out in between the start buoys and waited for the gun to go off. I really need to work on positioning myself better as I was squished between the hordes of women all vying for the pole position. I was surprised at how rough this swim start was and quickly found myself in a slower pack than I had wanted to be in. I was able to maneuver around a few women and get on the inside and saw a few women ahead of me and chased them down. I stayed with them for a while, but noticed that I had a lot more in me so decided to attack again and go after a smaller pack. This time I moved to the outside and finally caught up with them. I stayed there for a bit and then I noticed there was still more women ahead of me and they weren't quick that far so I decided to make yet another jump. I was now in front of my little pack just prior to the turn around buoy. I tried as hard as I could to catch the women in front, but I was unable to and swam the rest of the way by myself; there was however one woman who went by me and even though I wasn't able to stay on her feet (she weaved too much) she was only a few feet ahead of me for the duration of the swim. I exited the swim and ran the approximate 600 meters to T1 where I quickly took off my wetsuit and grabbed my bike to head out. After mounting my bike and riding not more than a few feet I heard people yelling that my tire had fallen off. I stopped and notice that two guys were running past me as my tubular tire lay on the ground. I spun the bike around and ran back to grab my tubular and stuff it into my rear pocket on my singlet as two girls rode past! I had used electrical tape to secure the tubular but unfortunately it wasn't strong enough to hold it in place. I had lost about 25 seconds, but it was enough not to be able to catch Malaika on the bike. She had a great ride out there!

It took me just over 20 miles to finally get warm. I can't believe how cold I was and I think that it hampered the beginning of my ride. I did however start to feel much better towards the end of the ride once we started a bit more climbing. My back was also starting to hurt so I had to keep making adjustments to my position as I rode. I was happy to be pulling into T2 and after a not so speedy transition; I forgot to put elastic laces on my shoes so only had regular laces with lace locks...what a difference! I felt pretty good for the first couple of miles but with about 3 miles to go I noticed that I was slowing down. I kept an eye on the women behind me in hopes that I could hold them off but no such luck as one women passed me with about a mile and a half to go. I was however able to hold on to 9th place. My total time was the same as last year's which was disappointing, but it was the first race of the season, so it was nonetheless a good marker of where I am and what I need to work on for future races.

Monday, March 26, 2007

First Tri of the Season

My first triathlon of the season is this coming weekend in Oceanside, CA. The 70.3 ( race consists of a 1.2 mi swim, 56 mi ride & 13.1 mi run. This will be my 3rd year competing down there and my goal is top 3. The previous two years I've placed 4th and am looking to improve on that this year.

Looking at the start list, there are more women competing this year than the last few years which will make it a more interesting race!

Check back next week for an update on how the race went!

Cycling Upgrade

Yippy!!! Just a quite note to let you know that I received my upgrade...I can race as a Cat. 3!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Cantua Creek & Pine Flat RR's

Me, Lauren & Erin warming up for Cantua Creek
February 17-18, 2007

In my quest for upgrade points I decided to compete in back to back road races, the first in Coalinga.
I left for Coalinga on friday afternoon in hopes of getting down there early enough to have some time to relax before going to bed. Erin and her husband Mike got to the hotel before I did as I ended up taking the LONG way!

Lauren arrived a few hours after I did as the three of us were going to race saturday morning at 8:50am. Both Erin and Lauren are getting used to bike racing and are having a good time and are doing very well.

It was an early morning on saturday and a little drive to the local Starbucks before arriving in the middle of nowhere for our 52 mile bike race which actually ended up to be only around 48 miles approximately.

The course was mostly flat and two loops with an up hill finish. The pace was pretty slow for almost the entire ride which made it seem to take a long time. I had to pee so bad and one of the women, Jessi, tried to organize a stop. We were all almost in agreement as I wasn't the only one who needed to go, but one women didn't want to stop, so we all kept going. The night before the race in Coalinga

I jumped at one point up a small incline to see what would happen and the pack jumped also. I slowed down at the top of the rise and let them catch me and we rode together for the final loop. I saw the sign for 1k to go and so I took a chance and went for it. I glanced back a time or two and no one was with me. I pushed as hard as I could and ended up finishing first! Lauren was right behind in second and Erin I believe placed 6th! Overall it was a great race and warm up for the next day.

We got back to our hotel and changed into running clothes. Erin and Lauren ran for about a 1/2 hour while I ran about an hour. It was so warm out and the terrain was rolling hills that it was great Wildflower training.

I got back with just enough time to shower, pack and grab some food before Erin, Mike and I left for Fresno. The drive wasn't too bad and we arrived at our hotel in time to relax for a bit, take a dip in the pool and then go grab dinner. We got to bed early as tomorrow would be yet another early morning.
Since we don't have matching jersey's, Erin
bought us matching "Team Heart Socks."

We made our way to the start of the Pine Flat RR; approximately 62 miles of rolling hills in the misty morning. Erin and I warmed up on our trainers and talked excitedly about today's race. We both felt pretty good on the trainer, but the true test would come as we start the race with an up hill. I'm not exactly sure how many of us there were, but we did have a pretty good group who actually worked together. Erin was having some trouble during the first half of the race with the down hills; she is getting better, but was still a bit nervous. She is strong on the flats, she if there was a gap, she'd always catch us...pissed her off she said, but she's a tough girl and I know every time she gets on her bike, those down hills will get easier!

My finish at Pine Flat

I felt really good and did my fair share of pulling especially toward the end. There was one other woman who was pretty strong on the up hills; she used to race Cat. 2 in Canada but hadn't been racing for quite some time. She and I rode away from the pack towards the end when the climbs got a bit steeper. We worked really well together (she was crazy fast on the down hills and I worked extremely hard to stay with her) and rode almost all the way to the finish. It was probably just over 200m to go when she jumped from behind but just didn't have quite enough to keep her momentum and I saw my chance...jumped and rode as hard as I could on the up hill finish for the win. I can't believe how good I felt and it was great to have Cara to work with. Erin finished in 5th place and she felt great!

My next bike race won't be until Sea Otter Classic in April.

Sport Beans/NTTC Camp

February 8-11, 2007
Fairfield, CA

I walked into the Tangerine Room at the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield and what an amazing presentation! I met Mark, our team director and Stephanie from Jelly Belly. Then moved right along to meet some of my team mates who had arrived earlier. We proceeded to take head shots in our polo's and in our singlets and got a chance to talk with each other. The other half our team finally arrived after getting stuck in traffic and after more introductions it was time to head to our hotel and get ready for dinner.

We met downstairs at our hotel to have dinner with Stephanie and Deborah from Jelly Belly. What a great dinner it was too. After dinner we made plans for an early morning swim or run. I decided on the run! My room mate was Kathryne Bertine from Arizona. We had such a great time getting to know each other and chatting about everything under the sun. It's great to click with another female athlete with similar goals. Like I said, it was an early friday morning waking up at 5:30am to get a quick 45 minute run in on the treadmill in the small, stuffy fitness room of the hotel. Those two treadmill's were a hot comodity too!! Jenna & Mark Wendley

We got to the Jelly Belly factory at 8am and just in time for the factory tour!! I can't believe all that it takes to make a Jelly Belly! It was such an amazing thing to watch. How much time and energy is needed to produce this candy and also the Sport Beans. For those of you who don't know or haven't tried a Sport Bean, it's larger than a Jelly Belly and is fortified with electrolytes and vitamins. It tastes great and is used similarly to a gel. You must drink water with the Sport Beans and 14 beans are 100 calories. Our Factory Tour outfits!

Friday was such a busy day. After the tour of the factory, we had a nutrition talk by Dr. Liz Applegate followed by lunch; then a media talk by Tomi Holt. After a day at the Jelly Belly factory it was time to head back to the hotel, relax for a bit and then it was off to dinner.

Saturday morning was scheduled for more photo shoots, but because of the non-stop rain the entire weekend, it was cancelled. So, what do athletes do...train. Half of us decided to go for a run and the other half for a swim. I met 3 of my team mates down stairs in the lobby at 7am. Lauren, Alison, Kirk and myself left for a run in the cold drizzling rain. We had an idea of where to run, but pretty much made it up as we went along. Lauren and Alison ended up running for an hour and 20 minutes and Kirk and I continued on for another hour!! It was a bit longer than I had planned to do, but I had a great time. After having a huge breakfast Kirk and I headed to the YMCA for a swim. We had about an hour and a half and eventhough the workout was easy for Kirk, some of it was hard for me. It was nice though to have another person to swim with.

That afternoon Stephanie booked a Wine Tour for us in Napa. After the tour we headed to a nice Restaurant for dinner and met up with Rob (also from Jelly Belly) and his wife. What a dinner...I ate so much, I should I have been rolled out of the restaurant!

It was nice to sleep in on sunday! We met in the hotel restaurant for breakfast and then goodbye's. I drove home that afternoon thinking about the wonderful people I met and how excited I am to be a part of the Sport Beans/NTTC triathlon team!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Patterson Road Race

January 27, 2007
Early Bird RR


I've been bicycle racing for quite some time, but only as a cat. 4 (beginner). I know what some of you are thinking, beginner???? I tried to get my upgrade last year but missed it by two points and even tried to request an upgrade only to be denied! So, this year I've decided to do a few more bike races than normal to get my cat. 3 upgrade. The first one was yesterday in Patterson, which is near Modesto.
Lauren, Me and Erin the night before

Two friends of mine who've never raced bikes before were going to race and I was glade that there were people I knew and that maybe we could work some technical majik!

My friend Erin and her husband Mike had invited me and Lauren to stay with them at their hotel which was awesome because I wouldn't have to wake at the crack of dawn to drive 2 hours to race. Lauren and I arrived in the evening and chatted before going to bed.

We woke up early, 6am , got coffee at Starbucks and then had a bagel and almond butter for breakfast before spinning on the trainer for about 20 min. Lauren warming up
I was a bit nervous and I think I made Erin and Lauren more nervous than they should have been! Sorry girls.

We got down to the start line about 10 minutes prior to our send off. There seemed to be about 10-12 women racing in cat. 4. There were no other women competitors though.
We rolled out at 8:45am to crisp clear skies with little wind (or so I thought). Our entire group cruised for quite some time and even sang Happy Birthday to Bobbi who turned 50 that day!
Me, Erin and Lauren before the race
Lauren was very ansy and when she'd get in the front to take a pull (we eventually got organized and picked up the pace slightly after about 10 miles) she's start to pull away and at one point one of the girls got jumpy and raced after them (they were maybe 10 yards away!) only to be caught in a few seconds!

Lauren, Erin and I had a plan though...we were hopefully going to break away about mile 18 or 19 (when the climb started to get steeper). Well, we kept waiting for an opportunity to present itself and it eventually did. It was just prior to getting pretty steep when Lauren was in front and I was right behind her. Erin was a few people back and I was unable to see her. Lauren and I gapped the others by just a bit but it was enough that I told her that we had to go now. I pulled around her and she got on my wheel and
we made our move. I'm bummed though that Erin wasn't near us; Us before the start
I couldn't communicate with her that we were going. I later found out that she was blocked by two other riders and she was unable to get around them and chase us down.

Lauren and I made steady gains and eventually I looked back and couldn't see the rest of the womens field.
Start of the race
There were many cattle guards that we had to cross and I almost slipped at one point but I was lucky and recovered. The climb continued to get steeper and steeper and I eventually pulled away from Lauren. I wasn't sure if I should wait for her or just go on ahead. I decided to keep going and hope that she'd be able to catch me at some point so that we could work together on the way back. Me after the race

I crested the top of the climb and started on a long downhill and finally the turn around. There were a few men spread out in front of me and it was nice to catch them and/or key off them at least for a while. As I was climbing back up the downhill I just cruised down, I was able to see where everyone was. Lauren was a ways behind me then Bobbi was a ways behind her and it was strung out like that with the entire womens one was really that close to another person.

I was now on my own and it was approximately 24 miles to the finish with a slight downhill and horrible head wind! I proceeded to ride as quickly as I could in hopes that the women behind me wouldn't get organized. I maintained approximately 23-25 mph for the duration of the ride. It even started to rain a bit and I thought that'd be good for me as I'm used to riding in the rain and that maybe it might slow some of the girls down!

Erin says "I did it!"
The advertised distance of the race was 48 miles, but I think it was a few miles short (~45-46 miles total) which was fine for me because my legs were screaming! I crossed the line in 1st place by about 15 minutes or so! I hope I receive points for my upgrade for this race!

I was waiting to see Lauren come across in second, but it was two other women who finished together and then a fourth woman came across the line and no Lauren or Bobbi? I hoped they were alright but didn't know why they hadn't finished second and third, respectively. I eventually found out that Lauren had a rear flat and that Erin came upon her and decided to stop and help. They worked together and Erin finished just in front of Lauren who rode the rest of the way with only 25psi in her rear wheel!! Lauren, Erin and I after the race

We all had a great time and for Erin and Lauren, their first bike race, they learned a lot and are looking forward to the next one as am I!

Rio Resolution Run

January 1, 2007
Rio Resolution Run

It's been tradition to run the 10k race every January 1st. I can't think of a better (or sometimes painful) way to start the new year than a running race.
It's the competitiveness in me that makes me want to win this hometown race every year; although I know that someday there will be some young girl who'll fly past me, but I'm trying to hold that moment off for as long as possible!

It was a pretty chilly morning, but of course I got warm during the course of the race. I wanted to win this race, but didn't know who my competition would be and wasn't sure of my fitness. I had been putting in some good miles but hardly any hill work.

I took it out fast as usual and I felt good. I eventually found myself running alone and could barely see the next person in front of me. The course wasn't marked all too well and eventhough I've raced here before it's always nice to have direction out there. I was only past by a few men along the way and my legs were screaming up the last few hills! Note to self: start more hill work!!

I finished 11th person overall and 1st female overall in 39:33 an improvement from last year on the exact same course! (Results can be found at

I hope that there is more of this to come this year!