Monday, September 26, 2011

Race Day!

running to the finish
Sunday I did the Las Vegas Tri.  I had several clients and friends racing so it was bound to be a fun day.  I was doing the sprint race.  I love doing sprints because they are fast and short!  You are done before most people are getting out of bed.  After doing Ironman events a sprint is a walk in the park......well maybe a sprint in the park.  I went into this race very relaxed and just wanted to have fun.  I got right into the front on the swim.  I was prepared to push myself in the swim which I rarely do.  I didn't see anyone ahead of me heading out to the buoy so I felt pretty good.  At the buoy we started catching some of the men that started 5 minutes ahead of us.  Turning at the buoy I only saw a few red caps (red was the female color).  I still felt great and thought I would keep this pace.  At the beginning of the swim I saw Marie who I swim masters with.  She is one of the fastest swimmers I know.  I thought if I could get out of the water even close to her I would be doing good.  She didn't have a wetsuit and I did.  Wetsuits will make you slightly faster in the swim.  Sure enough as we exit the water she is right ahead of me.  I think to myself "I must have had a good swim if Marie is right there."  On to the bike.  It is only 13 miles but it will be all out for 13 miles. I pushed hard on the bike and at the turnaround I thought I saw one girl ahead of me.  Sure enough at the second turnaround I saw her again.  She was far enough it was going to be hard to catch her.  We get to the run and I knew I had to have a good run to maintain 2nd or even attempt 1st.  The run starts out up hill for about 1/4 mile which was tough.  Once I got up the hill I was doing good keeping a 7:20 pace.  I see the girl ahead of me at the 1.5 mile turnaround.  I begin to realize she is too far to catch on a sprint race but I still try to maintain my pace.  I start to get a side cramp and tell myself to run through it with only 1 mile to go.  I slowed to about 7:40 pace until mile 3 because of the side cramp.  I finished and thought I was the 2nd place finisher.  Come to find out the girl ahead of me ran out of the bike out exit and not the run out exit and was disqualified!  OK I will take first place even if it is by default.  I must say the girl was fast and I am not sure I could have pushed any harder. 
Hollie, Jeff and I
Post race talk with Vic
I had a number of clients and friends racing yesterday.  Some did the sprint and some did the Olympic.  I am happy to report everyone did awesome! Jeff G. did his first sprint and won his age group!  Hollie got back into the tri world by racing for the first time since having a baby! Vic is a client that I have who will be doing his first Ironman next year. Sunday he did his first sprint.  Brent, Shawn, Jeff E. all had great races improving previous race times.  Jeff E. will be doing Ironman Arizona in November. My boyfriend Michael got 2nd in his age group, this was the first time he placed in any event!  Nancy Dickenson raced the Olympic and won overall female!  Coach wins sprint, clients wins olympic.....I would call that a good day! She is amazing and will be doing Worlds ITU in November.  She told me she chased down two girls on the run yeserday to win first place!  I said better to be the chaser than the person getting run down! Overall we all had fun and it was a great day. Thanks to Vic and his wife for taking the great pictures of the race!  The race was done and now it was off to work for this girl! 

I had another client Derrick who completed his first Ironman on Saturday.  He completed the Redman Ironman in under 16 hours!  Excellent job Derrick.

Getting my eagle award (very ugly first place award)

Gary, Michael, Vic

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Experience at 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas

Recently I had the privilege to volunteer to help physically challenged athletes at the 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas; it was truly an amazing experience.
My good friend Mike who is the founder of Getting2Tri, an organization that helps challenged athletes participate in events through clinics, training, support, and education, headed up the volunteers for the PC athletes.  
You can read all about them at
Each of the volunteers was assigned to an athlete that they were responsible for helping throughout the day. Nancy and I were assigned a single leg below the knee amputee named Karen, she told us what she would need throughout the day and we were there to help her in any way we could. Karen actually qualified for this race in the age group category NOT the physically challenged; she is an amazing athlete and person! She was so calm race morning with only a few concerns, I had to laugh at my race morning jitters which seem silly in comparison to hers. A challenged athlete has to worry about who will be there to help them into the water, who will help them out of the water, who will help them get off the bike, and who will have their prosthetic limb/s or chair at the end of the race and many more concerns. These are important things to be concerned about when racing, my silly race morning jitters seem meaningless after seeing what she has to go through!
For her that day there was no need to worry because Nancy, Mike and I had it all covered, we eagerly watched for her to come out of the water. We were all on edge waiting for her as any one of the white caps out on the swim course could be her! She made it to the swim exit and we carried her to her prosthetic leg that she would use to ride the bike. The long walk to transition area seemed forever. We got her into the tent and got her transition bag and she was off for the hilly ride. After seeing her safely out of T1, we made our way over to T2 at the Henderson events center and waited for her to come in so we could help her transition into her running prosthetic leg. The transition from her riding prosthetic to her running prosthetic was uneventful and soon she was out onto the very challenging running course. The run course was made up of 3 laps so we were able to see her often and cheer her on. In the end she finished in 8hrs and 11minutes.
All of the PC athletes were amazing, one truly gets a sense of the drive and determination of these amazing athletes - there was an amazing guy who was a double amputee, who had no right arm and only half a left arm. You can see a picture of him in my post; he wanted to do everything on his own, truly amazing!! I am not sure how he does it, many able bodied people would not be able to do a 70.3 with BOTH ARMS!!
The ITU World Championship for long  course will be in Las Vegas on November 5th.  We will be looking for PC volunteers for this race so if you are interested in volunteering please contact be.  It will truly be a life changing experience!

Here is a volunteer video from the 70.3 World Championships.  You can see me and a few other PC volunteers at about 2 minutes 17 seconds into the video. 

Nancy, Karen, and I at swim start

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Injuries, 70.3 World Championships, and The Life of a Trainer

It has been a long time since my last post so be prepared for some random thoughts that have been on my mind!  I am happy to report my training is going good.  I am preparing for the Miami 70.3 at the end of October.  After that a little break then the Arizona Rock and Roll Marathon in January (which I hope to PR at). Then 2012 will start off strong just like 2011 with the Rage Half Ironman in Las Vegas followed by Ironman Texas once again. 

My hope for all that training is to stay injury free.  The goal of most triathletes is to be able to continue their training without any injuries.  I have been really lucky through the years and not had any major set backs.  Not to say I don't have little bothersome problems here and there but nothing that has kept me from training completely.  The great thing about being a triathlete is that you have 3 sports.  If you are unable to run for a short time then it is likely you can bike or swim.  So you can still maintain some fitness while you recover.  I have worked with athletes that have had injuries that prevented them from running and I always suggest deep water running.  If you can't run then don't feel like it is over for you.  You can get many of the same benefits from deep water running as you can from regular running.  I know people that have trained for triathlons doing only deep water running as their run training.  The only thing you need is a pool with a deep end and a water belt that will help keep you floating. 

Here are some tips (things that I do) to keep injury free:
  • Listen to your body and your coach.  If you feel anything slightly out of the norm for you then talk to your coach.  Maybe they will suggest a few days of an alternate workout depending on your problem.  Don't just modify things yourself without getting  advice.
  • Swimming, biking, and running are great but don't forget about 3 other things that are equally important
    • Stretching   ( I stretch by myself about 3 times a week and have someone who stretches me once a week for an hour)  Nancy Dickenson is the best at stretching and you can find her contact information at
    • Foam roll
    • Strength training
  • One or two times a month get ART! Active Release Therapy has really helped me in my training. Make sure you find someone qualified in ART Therapy -  I personally use Dr. Satterlee at BioMechanics of Las Vegas -
  • Massage is another way to keep your body healthy.  Find a great sports massage therapist and try and get it done at least once a month.  In Las Vegas Ashley Godfrey and Jessica Wheeler are the best.  Contact me if you live in Vegas and need a good sports massage therapist.
  • If you are experiencing continued problems with injuries then you might need someone to evaluate you when you are running, swimming, or biking.  Running with improper form can lead to injuries.  Biking on a bike that is improperly fit can cause injuries (and you may feel these injuries when running only not even when you bike).  Biking on a bike that is not fit right can absolutely cause you problems on your run! If have bad form swimming it could lead to shoulder problems. Get help if you have ongoing injuries.  The Chi Running Clinics are very beneficial for beginning and advanced runners.  Chi Running is all about running injury free -
This coming weekend we are lucky to have the 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas!  It will be amazing to see most of the top triathletes in the world compete here in Vegas.  I will be helping my good friend Mike Lenhart the founder of Getting 2 Tri -  G2Tri provides service and support for any challenged athlete that is looking to get into the sport of triathlons.  Mike is helping to coordinate the volunteers for the physically challenged athletes that will be competing at the 70.3 World Championships on September 11th.  I will be one of those volunteers along with many of my clients. 

It is my life and I wouldn't have it any other way.......that is how I feel about what I do.  I am one of the lucky people that get to go ride bikes with clients, swim with clients and get paid to do it!  Many people are working at jobs that they really don't LOVE or even like and they are not sure how to make the change.  For me it was not something that happened over night.  When working in retail as a district manager I made the decision to get my personal training certification.  I didn't plan on using it, I just wanted to do it.  So I did and I maintained the certification for many years before making the leap to do it full time as a job.  I did it for a year in Atlanta.  I didn't make much money but I was doing something I really enjoyed.  After a year I decided to return to  the retail world and earn significantly more money.  I was 2 years back into the retail career and I knew this was not what I wanted anymore.  The extra money was not worth the stress.  This time I was going to start my own personal training business.  I moved back to Las Vegas and started networking my butt off!  I contacted people I knew when I lived there three years ago.  I struggled for about 6 months.  Then things started to fall into place.  At that point I knew I could do this and make a pretty good living.  I am able to be successful as a personal trainer and triathlon coach and I am so thankful for that.  To be successful as a trainer you have to be successful in business.  A trainer needs to know about the body and have the skills to train people but having people skills and business skills are just as important.  You can be the smartest trainer and know more about the human body than anyone but if you can't get clients what good does that do for you.  You can know how to get clients but if you don't have people skills to keep those clients then what good does that do for you.  Many people tell me they want to be a trainer or a coach and I always tell them its not just about being a trainer.  You have to be a smart business person and you have to have good communication skills.  Many great trainers lack both of those skills. 
That is a few things that have been on my mind lately.  I will try not to be such a slacker in updating my blog.  Check back next week and I will recap my adventure volunteering at the 70.3 World Championships and Interbike!