Friday, August 29, 2008

Chicago Tri Update

Deep water. Run-in. Dive. There are three different types of starts to a triathlon and this is just one of the aspects of the sport that keeps it interesting. This past Sunday in the Accenture Chicago Triathlon I got to experience a deep water start for the first time in quite a while. It's actually sort of a rush- you float in the water while sculling for a couple of seconds and then the starting horn sounds. After a minor injury kept me out of the pool for a week prior to the race, I was pretty pleased with my swim time in the race. I was able to swim with a pack of about 5 girls and was able to draft almost the entire way (which helps out a bunch).

After about a 600 meter run from the swim exit to transition, I hopped on my bike and headed out to start the 40 kilometer bike loop on Lakeshore Drive. It was a picturesque setting with the buildings of the big city in the background, however, I paid them no attention as I had to concentrate on maintaining the highest speed possible while still avoiding the many potholes out on the course. I came off the bike in 15th place and knew that I would have to chase on the run (which is usually the case) to reach my goal of top 10. I was able to pick off one girl in the first mile and would only pass one other competitor in the race, right at the 5 mile marker. I ended up 13th place in a field stacked with former Olympians, 2008 Beijing Olympic alternates, Ironman World Champions, etc. I was pleased with my performance, but realize that I still have lots and lots of work to do before I can do only triathlons for a living... until then, back to the drawing board!

I'd like to send a huge THANK YOU out to:
A) My parents, for driving my car all the way across the country to Colorado so that I don't have to bum rides off my friends
B) My Aunt Deb and Uncle Bob for being my homestay for the Chicago race
C) My roomie in college and her parents for housing me while I finalize a place to live in Boulder
I truly am blessed by the support crew of family(parents, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) and friends I have around me. I love you all so much!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Windy City Bound!

The Olympic rings, a popular camera spot for tourists at the OTC I know I haven't updated this thing in awhile... but there's a method to my madness. To tell you the truth, since the Olympics have been on I have been trying to avoid technology(especially the internet) as much as possible. Why you may ask? The answer: every website wants to tell you the results of the Olympic events which I don't get to watch until I see the "live" (aka it was live for someone in the world watching it just not Colorado)broadcast at 8pm. Since I didn't want to spoil the results, I have spent a lot of my time between training by catching up on some good books I snagged from the OTC (Olympic Training Center) library and working on some stories of my own. :)

Monday was the last day of training camp at the OTC and honestly, I was sad to see it come to an end. Although all weekend Colorado Springs was bombarded with rain showers and frigid temperatures (there was SNOW on the mountains), I was able to make it out for a solo bike ride early Sunday morning and take in all the natural beauty of Colorado Springs one more time before I headed out. I really enjoyed the experience as a whole and the group of people I trained with and firmly believe that you will see some of the people I trained with in 2012 in London.

Tomorrow I head out to race in my favorite big city in America: Chicago! This is my 2nd pro race of the year and also the 2nd race I've done in the Lifetime Fitness Series. I am excited to see what the training at altitude will do for me. Hopefully I'll feel like I'm running with an oxygen mask on the last leg. The race is Sunday morning, 11:04 am. Check back soon for a full race report!
*** Congrats to all my Seminole teammates competing in the Beijing Olympics!***

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Photos from CO Springs

The gorgeous view I see every morning walking across the street from the OTC dorms to the cafeteria :)

L to R: Jessica Broderick, Me, and Lauren Goldstein-Kral exploring the "garden"

Garden of the Gods in the background

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Olympics= Now!

A view from outside the OTC Athlete Center

I've been at the Olympic Training Center for a little over a week now and am finally acclimating to the altitude in Colorado Springs. This past week has definitely been a productive one, as I've had a schedule jam packed with training, lectures, meetings with coaches, and recovery(stretching, ice baths,etc). Overall, it's been an amazing experience. The group has been educated on everything from swim technique to proper nutrition to how to read our lactate threshold tests (which help determine which heart rate zones we should be training in).

Another high point of the week was the amazing routes we biked and the views once we biked up certain hills and mountains. My favorite ride of the week was through the Garden of the Gods, a park filled with breathtaking rock formations, just one of nature's masterpieces in Colorado Springs. Hopefully I'll get to take some pictures there before I leave Colorado Springs...

On another note, I can't believe the Olympics start today! It seems like just yesterday I was in Athens, Greece, participating in the Olympic Youth Camp in 2004. And although the Olympics are the big event, I want to encourage everyone to also watch the Paralympic Games(also taking place in Beijing). It didn't take me long to train beside the paralympians to realize something: they are AMAZING! I feel that the amount of time and dedication they must put into their individual sport is the same if not more than Olympic athletes and I respect the amount of skill and coordination they must have to maneuver their bodies around.

Well, it's time to do a short stretch cords workout (for swim strength) to end the day. More to come soon!