Friday, December 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Round 6

When you stop and think about it, most of our holidays revolve around the same theme: giving thanks for something or someone in our lives. Christmastime is definitely no exception to this rule. Whether or not you’re affiliated with a religion that celebrates Christmas or Hanukkah, chances are you still give thanks during this time of year and partake in some kind of celebration and/or holiday traditions. So, in reality, Thanksgiving is really “Thanksgiving Round 4 or 5” if you count the holidays in the year preceding Thanksgiving in which we give thanks…which technically makes Christmas “Thanksgiving Round 6.”

This time of year and always, I have a lot to be thankful for. I could blog on and on forever about why triathlon is a team support and how an athlete would not progress without the help from its sponsors, friends, family, etc. But for now I’ll just say thank you (you know who you are!!)

Thanksgiving Round 6 is my favorite time of year for many reasons. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that gives me this euphoric feeling. Although, I think part of it is the fact that people seem to be more open to helping others out. That being said, if you missed Black Friday or Cyber Monday (have they had this before??) and still have holiday shopping left to do, I’d like to help you out by giving you a couple of alternative gift ideas to the iPhone or Wii that will bring joy to both the loved one on your Christmas shopping list and a complete stranger!

Feed 5 bear -$60, For the child on your list, buy a stuffed bear and help support Industrial Revelation to promote the fight against child hunger in East Africa.

Personalize a pair of Converse sneakers - $62 – For anyone on your list who could use a new pair of sneaks… 5-15% of the proceeds go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

This holiday season, don’t have a cow, give one! At the Oxfam America Unwrapped website, you are able to choose what gift you want to give – and the choices range from animals like sheep and goats to chairs/desks, which help to create a better learning environment for children. The gifts start at a mere $10 and best of all, your friend or loved one gets a free card with details about how the gift is being put to use!

UNICEF – And last but not least I had to include the gifts you can buy at the UNICEF store. In 2004, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with UNICEF representatives from across the globe while attending the 2004 Athens Olympic Youth Camp in Greece. UNICEF’s main mission is to give children healthcare and reduce the number of deaths by preventable causes. At the camp, each country’s representative discussed the obstacles for lowering the child mortality rate and what legislation needed to be put in place to promote change. By purchasing things such as water purification and first aid kits, you will be helping children to begin their lives in good health and hopefully stay that way. I strongly believe that health is the most important thing a human being can have… how neat that we have the opportunity to share it with others?

So, although it’s been said many times, many ways… Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/ Happy Kwanza/Happy New Year to you!

Check back in a couple of weeks when I will unveil my support team of amazing companies for the 2010 racing season along with my racing schedule!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Denver ½ Marathon Recap… 09's Officially a Wrap!

All smiles doing what I love!

Chicago Triathlon 1995

My sister Heidi and I before Mrs. T's Chicago Triathlon, 1995

This past weekend, I competed in my final race of the season, the Denver ½ Marathon. Although the race was at altitude, I figured it would be a good way to gauge my progress from last year, when I competed in a ½ at around the same time of year.

A 7AM race start meant a 4AM alarm, something I hadn’t experienced in quite awhile with all the late ITU race starts this year. Luckily (or unluckily), I’m always somewhat of an insomniac during taper weeks and would’ve been up and ready to go at 2AM if need be. Since this was the most populated road race I’ve ever competed in (close to 10,000 competitors in the half marathon, marathon, and marathon relay), I wanted to make sure I got to the course with plenty of time to warm up, change shoes, and secure a good spot on the starting line. Mission accomplished!

The race started promptly at 7AM, just after sunrise in Downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park. I knew it wouldn’t be very bright for the first half of the race or so, and decided to wear my rose-colored Rudy Project Rydon glasses. This was a perfect choice as my vision was never compromised during the race. My main goal for the first couple of miles was to keep a steady and comfortable pace, and make sure I had enough “ammunition” to get me through the last half of the race. In hindsight, I probably went out a little too conservatively as I slowed myself down a couple of times in the first 4 miles to keep right on 1:25:00 pace. I was able to hit 6 miles right at goal pace, and then dropped off a bit from my pace for the 2 uphill miles that came just after the halfway point in the race. Once the race flattened back out, I was back running 6:30 miles, just not feeling as peppy doing so as I had at the beginning of the race. I finished in 1:26:53, a PR from last year’s race at sea level! In addition, I was the winner of the 18-24 age group and the 7th woman overall.

I’m so glad I decided to do this race as my season ender – it was so much fun! Simply put, there is no better feeling than running stride for stride with hundreds of people surrounding you. Having the support of thousands who lined the street to cheer was just icing on the cake.

This bodes well for my upcoming season, as I plan to try out the 70.3 distance in addition to the Olympic distance races I already do. I can’t believe this is the end of the season – time has absolutely flown by this year. I’d like to send a great big THANK YOU to my: family, friends, training partners, coach, sponsors (Rudy Project, GU, Newton), homestays for the year, and you (for taking the time to read my posts!) for all the love and support shown throughout this year. Thanks for helping to make my 3rd year as a professional triathlete a memorable one!

I look forward to continuing my progression in the sport in 2010 and beyond. But more importantly, I hope to spread my love for the sport with those around me. If I can inspire at least one person to live a healthy lifestyle, it will be worth my time and efforts! 2010 will mark my 15th year in triathlon. I started the sport when I was 8 as a way to a) follow in my big sister’s footsteps because I thought she was the coolest and b) trade in Saturday morning swim practices for trips to the beach… never did I dream that it would lead to this… enjoy the pictures of triathlon yester-year above and check back for sporadic updates on my life and to see who I’ll be partnering with in 2010 and beyond!

Of course I have to end the year with a quote for you to ponder...
“I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life's greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve. This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent. As simplistic as this may sound, it is still the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live in regret.”
~Anthony Robbins

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pics from Australia

Whale watching in the seas surrounding the Gold Coast

A gorgeous Australian sunset from my hotel balcony


Gold Coast Recap

Apologies everyone…I know I said I would post regular updates on my trip to Australia but time flies when you are race prepping and I rarely used the L.A.N. down under…

ITU Under 23 World Championships

Pre-race: I think I was prepped as well as possible going into this race. I'd been doing workouts specific to this race for months and made sure to get an adequate amount of rest leading up to the race. In addition,the USA coaching staff made sure our team knew the ins and outs of the course, who our main competitors were, and what to expect from the race in general. Also, we were fortunate enough to have an amazing team of massage therapists, chiropractors, and a bike mechanic to make sure that both our bikes and bodies were ready to go on race day. I raced on Friday, the 11th at 10 in the morning. *Random fact: I have now raced on every day of the week except Thursday. It was a gorgeous day for a race and had it not been for the accents and the traffic driving on the other side of the road, I would’ve mistaken Gold Coast, Australia for a beach in Florida. There were about 30 girls in the race, and each of us was introduced in order of our number and then allowed to pick our spot on the mat in preparation for a beach start (run in the water start).

Swim: The swim consisted of a 2-lap course, 750m per lap. The start was pretty brutal with elbows flying everywhere as I ran into the water, but after about 20 seconds of fighting I was able to find my own space to swim and get into a rhythm. At the end of the first lap, I was able to take a quick peek and check out the competition – it looked like I was right around 20th place. This is where I stayed for the second lap and I exited the water with a group of about 8 girls, a couple of whom I was able to pass on the carpeted ramp up to transition. After a pretty quick transition, I was running full speed with my bike towards the bike mount line to put myself in as good of a position as possible when a calamity occurred… while executing my flying bike mount, I completely missed my bike seat and nearly lost my balance. Complete disaster! I ended up having to stop and mount my bike very carefully, losing me lots of time and more importantly, the pack of girls I’d worked so hard to swim with.

Bike: At this point, I could still see the pack of girls still in sight, only about 10 seconds ahead of me. So, I surged to try and catch up to them. I gained some ground on the first turn around which was only about a ½ mile into the course, but ultimately was never able to catch them. So, I ended up waiting for the girls behind me to form a bike pack because I figured it most likely would be better than working by myself and killing my legs for the 10k run. However, the pack worked very poorly together and we were losing a lot of ground each lap to the leaders. Although they were gaining ground on us on the 8-lap criterium-like course, I knew we were never in danger of being lapped by them, as I knew we still had about 3 minutes between our packs. However, one thing that had slipped my mind is the first runner/last biker rule. If the first runner reached a certain point on the run course before the last bikers reached the transition area, they were pulled out of the race. This is what happened to my pack. Although we were not technically lapped, it was said that we were “lapped out” because of this rule. My initial reaction was one of shock and disbelief. I had no idea our pack was in danger of having this rule apply to us. I didn’t feel I had worked that hard and was of course, getting my legs ready for a quick 10k sprint off the bike. So, there you have it, the story of the DNF.

Obviously, a DNF at the World Championships is not the way any athlete wants to end their season. Don’t feel too sorry for me though… in this roller coaster of a year I have seen more improvement than I could’ve hoped for at the end of my 2008 season and was able to accomplish some of the key goals that I’d set out to obtain this year. If anything, this will keep me driven and focused for my races next year. My favorite quote of the moment is “Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it’d be worth it.” I think that pretty much sums it up.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Follow, Follow, Follow!

The day is finally here... in just a couple of hours I will be headed to the land down under for the U23 World Championships! My race is on Friday morning the 11th (Thursday back in the US) at 10am, so that means... Australia = 14 hours ahead of eastern time, 15 for central, 16 for mountain and 17 for pacific. Most of you will probably be sleeping while I'm racing but for those of you who want to track me there will be live timing splits available at, as well as live video at the finish line. Also, you can follow me on twitter @TriMandaPanda7 and I will try my best to post an update or two. :) Have a g'day!

Friday, August 28, 2009

USAT Elite Nationals Recap

My coach, Barb Lindquist, informing me I would need to swim for my life to fight the current pre-race

Swim start practice off the pontoon

This past weekend I competed in the Elite National Championship in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “Why Alabama of all places?!” many have asked. Well, for one, this was the site of the 2008 US Olympic Trials, boasting a course similar to the one in Beijing. Although the course was slightly changed from last year due to construction, it still served up enough challenges for one race…

Swim – As I dove from the pontoon into the warm waters of the Black Warrior River, I realized pretty quickly that I would need to push the pace of my swim turnover for as long as I could to stay on feet and have a shot of being in a bike pack once I exited the swim. For a little over ½ a mile I swam towards the first buoy, trying to stay in the draft of as many feet as possible and maintain contact with a pack ahead of me. As soon as I made the left hand turn around the buoy, I was able to confirm the rumors I’d heard pre-race about a wicked current on the way back (think water shooting out of a water slide). Although at times I felt like I was going nowhere, I kicked extra hard and was able to stay in the draft of a couple of girls in front of me. Once I turned for that final home stretch of the swim, I picked up the pace to an all-out sprint as did my competitors. As I reached the swim exit and forced myself out of the water, I immediately saw 3-4 girls right ahead of me and started sprinting up the ramp/stairs into the transition area.

Bike – This is the part where I started to get nervous. Thoughts of yester-year started to creep into my head. Since you probably have no idea what I’m referring to, I’ll give you the cliff notes version of my Nationals race from last year. Great swim, stayed with chase pack for 2 laps on the bike and then got shelled off the back on the hills and eventually lapped out by the lead pack. My first DNF ever. Gulp. But anyways, back to the present… as I left transition, hopped on my bike and headed up the first hill, the same 4 girls that exited the swim right ahead of me remained within sight. I knew if I wanted any chance of having a decent race I needed to catch their wheels and be in their bike pack. So, I red-lined it for about 30 seconds and was fortunately able to catch them as some were still getting their feet properly positioned in their bike shoes. Once our pack formed, we were able to formulate a rotation and eventually added another girl to our pack halfway through the 6 lap bike course. There was a pretty significant hill on each of the 6 laps but the lesson learned from last year is that I needed to be near the front of the pack to ward off any potential attacks/gaps that might occur. The pack stayed in tact the entire bike and there were just enough girls in the group that I was working hard yet still had the feeling that my legs would be able to function once I started the run.

Run – Once I got to the run I was able to stop worrying and just go! I wanted to push the pace right away to sort of break up our group and see who would come with me. One other competitor did and we both ran a very quick 8:40ish for our opening lap (2.5k). At the beginning of the second lap, I pushed even harder and was able to open up a little gap on her by the turn around. My legs were hurting and the sun was beating down on us at that point, but I was able to find a rhythm, get my breathing under control(finally!), and just focus on being in the moment. From there, I just thought about trying as best as I could to close the gap on the next competitor up the road who had been in a bike pack a couple minutes ahead of mine. I could see myself making progress each lap on the looped course but realized by the last lap that it wouldn’t be a close enough gap to close. I had a girl 600 meters ahead and another one 300 meters behind me.

Therefore, there was no sprint finish for this race. No camera bulbs flashing at the finishing line. No fans to wave to (they’d all moved on to other parts of the course to watch the men’s race unfold). But none of this mattered to me. The thrill of having a solid race was enough for me on that day. I ended up 8th place overall and 3rd place in the Under-23category. This is an improvement on my 10th place overall, 3rd place U23 finish at the 2007 Elite Nationals and obviously my DNF from last year. Jasmine Oeinck made a remarkable comeback from injury to win on the women’s side and for the men, Matt Chrabot ended up taking the national crown.

Something else I feel compelled to comment on is the electric atmosphere at the race. There are not many sports out there that allow age group athletes to support the pros and vice versa. The fact that the age group race was held immediately before the pro race allowed me to cheer for some athletes while I was setting up my transition area and many reciprocated the favor by sticking around to cheer for my race. I feel that the sport of triathlon forges an innate connection between all participants. We all understand the long hours of training, the sacrifices made, and the mental and physical struggles it takes to even make it to the starting line. Even though our goals may be very different (from winning to just finishing), we are bonded by the three sports that compose a triathlon. I am grateful to have met so many great people/athletes this past weekend and also to have had the opportunity to catch up with some of my Floridian triathlete friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile.

The day after the race, I had an early 5:45am wake up so that I could participate in the mini-camp that my amazing coach, Barb Lindquist, was offering to her athletes as well as some of the athletes from the collegiate ranks that she had helped recruit to the sport of triathlon. I hadn’t seen my coach since the San Francisco race last year (10 months ago!), so it was nice for her to be able to critique my technique in both swimming and running and give me some things to work on for the future. Just because I’m a professional doesn’t mean I’m perfect by any means!

My next race is the Under-23 World Championships in Gold Coast, Australia on September 11th. I have about a week of solid training left and then it’s taper time! Once I’ve figured out how you can follow me and what the time difference is, I’ll let you all know. Also, I did an interview last weekend for the Stay Tuned Report, which should be available to download on ITunes in a couple weeks time so keep an eye out for that.

To read a recap of the race from USA Triathlon, click here.

Hope everyone has a happy and healthy transition into the fall season!


Friday, July 24, 2009

An Early Birthday Present!

I am excited to announce that as of Wednesday I have met all the qualifying standards (race results from Pan Am Champs, Austin race, fitness tests, etc.) and will be adding another competition to my race schedule… I will be representing the US at the Under 23 World Championships in Gold Coast, Australia in early September! Thanks to all of you who have supported me up to this point and to God for giving me the strength and motivation to get out the door this winter and hop on the treadmill/ trainer in my garage when the all the Florida girl (me!) wanted to do was sit inside by the heater and sip hot cocoa. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you all!

At the beginning of this week I drove down to the Olympic Training Center to complete a couple of fitness tests (swim and bike to run) to make sure that a) I hadn’t been slacking off since the qualifying races in May and b) that I had maintained a level of fitness that would allow me to contend for a top-10 spot at the World Championships.

I had a lot of down time in Colorado Springs and was able to see the new Harry Potter movie in IMAX! I’m a huge HP fan and thought that although the movie made good use of cinematography and acting, the book was way better and HP and the Goblet of Fire is still the best movie in the series.

One final early birthday gift – When I was out biking last Sunday I got completely soaked (something that is becoming somewhat routine) and was obviously a little annoyed. However, on the drive home I saw the most gorgeous sight ever – a triple rainbow!! I had no idea they even existed but was awestruck for the rest of the day and suddenly didn’t care that I was soaked or would have to clean some serious dirt off my bike when I got home. The saying goes that the best things in life are free and I couldn’t agree more… I don’t need/want anything more for my 21 +? birthday in a couple of days!!

Don’t Stop Believin! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Catching Up...

Hello all! I hadn't realized how long it had been since I updated this until a couple days ago and I figured I should post something to keep my loyal reader(s?) happy. :) So, here's what I've been up to the past month.

- I raced about a month ago in Canada, a race that I now refer to as the "Canada-saster"... I thought I was just having a really really bad off day and that my legs were really tired until I realized after the race that my brake pads were rubbing against my back wheel... not sure if my bike was knocked in the transition area or what but I do know that having wheels that actually spin makes a huge difference...

- I traveled down to Florida to attend the wedding of a good friend from college (Kara Newell)- one of my 10k/cross country friends. It was basically an FSU XC and Track reunion and it was great to catch up with everyone and get in a little sea level training. Speaking of training in Tallahassee, FSU just opened up this amazing 50 meter outdoor pool that is also open to the public... if you are ever in the area I highly recommend checking it out!

- I came back to Boulder for exactly a week before I traveled out to San Francisco, California for a race this past weekend (July 11th). This was supposed to be a draft legal race, however, the field was so small that I ended up riding most of the bike solo. My legs were toast by the time I approached the running portion of the race, so I moved along the best I could and ended up finishing 7th. Besides the race, it was a fun weekend. The day after the race, I was able to meet up with a friend and bike along the coast of California for a couple of hours. I wish I'd had a camera with me for the ride, but I believe this is one of those situations where a picture would do the scenery no justice. After rushing back to my hotel, packing up my bike in 11 minutes (new record I think), and getting out of my hotel before they charged me a $50 late fee, I had a couple of hours to roam around and explore before my 8pm flight out of SFO. I ended up parking by the Fisherman's Wharf, getting some lunch, and eating it down near the seals by the pier. Afterwards, I walked past a ton of Michael Jackson impersonators to Chinatown and Ghirardelli Square to take in all the sights there. I absolutely love the cultural melting pot that is San Francisco - each race, religion, and culture delivers something special to the city.

- That's all the racing I'm doing for awhile. Next up is Elite Nationals in Tuscaloosa, Alabama the 3rd weekend in August. Til then, I'm training, acclimating to this heat, and of course...watching the Tour de France! Go Lance!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Parlez-vous fran├žais?

Bonjour everyone! Just wanted to check in for a quick update. Tomorrow I leave for an ITU draft-legal race in Coteau-du-Lac, Canada (near Montreal). I'm guessing I will be headed to French Canada... the website for the race is mostly in French, the people at the motel I'm staying at speak French... I think I need to learn some French!

This is a big weekend for triathlon in North America as the third leg of the Dextro Energy Triathlon World Championship will be held on Sunday in Washington D.C. If there's nothing good on tv, you're bored, or you're interested in seeing what ITU-style racing (most of my races) is all about, you should tune in for the live internet broadcast of this race which can be found at:

Speaking of Sunday, since I'll be traveling most of the day and probably won't make it to a computer in time, I'd like to wish an early Happy Father's Day to two of my biggest supporters - my dad and grandpa. I love you guys! :)

Update to come later!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cap Tex Tri - Austin ITU Continental Cup Race Report

Mellow Johnny's -Lance Armstrong's bike shop in Austin!

This past Monday (Memorial Day) I competed in the Cap Tex Tri in Austin, Texas (which I’m going to coin as the “Boulder of the south” – so many active people there). I’ve never raced on a Monday before and I usually don’t train that much on Monday either because it’s always my recovery day, so I was very interested to see how this race would go…

Swim: We started the race with a deep water swim start, not one that I get to do too often. Basically what happens is that you get to pick a spot in the water based on your starting number, a rope is held in front of you as you tread water and you duck under it and take off when the horn sounds. For the first part of the swim I just hammered to try to get into a group. This worked well and for the first half of the swim as I had a draft to swim into. Eventually, I wasn’t able to hold the pace of the girls in front of me, but I still managed a low 19 swim, a huge improvement for me from last year! I ended up exiting the water right behind Kate Mcllroy from New Zealand, the eventual winner of the race.

Bike: Just like last week, the larger pack was in front of me. I traded off pulls with Lauren Goldstein-Kral (right behind me in the swim) for the first 2 laps and we were able to bridge up to Taylor Cooke who was a little ways up the road. By the start of the third lap, Annie Warner and Jocelyn Petrella had caught our group of 3 so we were now up to a pack of 5. Once Annie and Jocelyn caught us, the pace of our pack quickened and our group worked well together for the remaining two laps of the bike.

Run: The best way for me to describe the run course to you would be that it was a 1/4 mile steeplechase and 6 mile run. The run out of transition included hopping up 3 large stairs and I was quickly reminded why I’d avoided hurdles my entire life/track career and just stuck to running… once I got out to the road, I was able to push the pace for the first mile and put a gap in between myself and the other girls who had been in the bike pack. The heat and humidity were definitely factors on the run and I felt like mentally I was trying to sprint as fast as I could to each aid station where I would be able to grab a towel that had been soaked in ice water (total lifesavers!) and some sports drink as well to get some relief from the heat. As I got to the final lap of the run, I did a time check and saw that the girl in front of me had about a minute gap on me and I was at least 2 minutes ahead of my next competitor so I just focused on good form for the final section of the run. I finished up with a 36:19, 3rd fastest run of the day and a 9th overall finish!!

Right at the finish, I was greeted by a USADA (US Anti Doping Agency) rep. Turns out that the 9th place finisher had been selected for drug testing. At that point, I had an hour to provide a sample for them and I used every last minute of it drinking 3 bottles of water and 2 bottles of Gatorade. Unfortunately in this day and age, random drug testing is a necessary evil of sport but I was more than happy to comply – anything to keep our sport clean! :)

Many thanks to my Austin homestay, Mike and Lindsay Rosenthal and kids (even though they'll probably never read this)! Thanks for drawing me maps to everywhere in Austin, feeding me, and making me feel at home! :)

I’ve traveled and raced quite a bit this past month and now I get a little bit of a break to get a good block of training in and rehab a couple minor injuries. Next up for me is the Coteau du Lac, Canada ITU race in a couple of weeks.

Happy summer everyone!

Friday, May 22, 2009

OK in OK - The Oklahoma "Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Plains" Race Report

Heading out on the bike

Last lap of the run - notice all the dirt on my face from the river! Yuck!

Pre-race: It was a 1pm start for the pro women so I was able to sleep in until 9am the day of the race. Those of you who have ever seen me before 9am know that later in the day race starts are definitely a good thing for me!

Swim: We had a pontoon dive start into the crystal clear waters *sarcasm* of the Oklahoma River. I was able to get off to a pretty good start and after jockeying around for position for the first 75 meters or so was able to find some open space to swim in before I rounded the first buoy. As the swim progressed, I pretty much ended up in no man’s land with a group directly in front of me and a group a little bit behind me. I entered the first transition out of the swim with the closest women 22 seconds in front of me and a minute and a half behind me.

Bike: Seeing that I was completely by myself and knowing that a large group was behind me, I decided not to push the pace on the first lap and hydrate as much as possible while I waited for the pack to catch me. They caught me right after the turn to start the second lap and I picked up the pace a little bit to hop on the back of the pack. Because of the intense winds, there was really no set rotation within the pack and a lot of the girls (myself included) sat near the back for a lot of the ride, took pulls for a couple seconds, settled back in the middle of the group and sprinted up to the front for every turn around (which came about every 3 miles). Unfortunately for me, I got caught in the middle of the pack at the turn around with 1.5 laps to go and the girl in front of me overshot the turn and braked (a big no no in draft legal racing). I was forced to brake as well not to crash into her and lost all momentum as the rest of the group surged out of the turn. I tried to sprint to catch back up, but wasn’t able to do so. From that point, I decided I could either push it and have my legs blow up on the run or go as fast as I possibly could while keeping a high cadence. I went for plan b and came into transition about a minute and a half down on the pack that I rode with for most of the bike.

Run: From the time I stepped off the bike, my plan was to hammer, hammer, hammer! I was basically sprinting the first lap, just to see how close I could come to the girls that had over a minute lead on me and then I settled in once I had perspective on who I would be able to chase down. The run was an out-and-back course, similar to the bike, which was very helpful from a mental perspective in that I was able to see my competitors about every 6 minutes or so and kind of gauge how much time I’d gained/lost per ½ lap. I was able to chase down about 12 girls, and ended up with the 5th fastest run of the day and a 14th overall finish.

I'd like to send a huge THANK YOU out to Amanda Jordan, my former teammate and friend from FSU for being my homestay for the weekend! Amanda devoted much of her weekend to showing me around Oklahoma City, driving me to the pre-race meeting, grocery store, ice cream shop, and being cheerleader/photographer for the race. Thanks so much Amanda - you and Pete were great hosts! :)

But although I had a big race this weekend, what I'll probably look back and remember about this weekend for years to come is how I was able to pull off flying to Oklahoma City and back without a photo I.D. to show in security.... whoops! Good thing I was able to locate it when I returned back home to Boulder because I fly out for another race on Saturday! I race again on Memorial Day in Austin, Texas so another update will be coming soon-ish!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

St. Anthony's

Swim – The water was so choppy that the pros were the only division of athletes allowed to complete the swim portion of the race. For everyone else, the race was turned into a time-trial start duathlon (bike/run only). I got off to a great start in the swim and was working well with a handful of ladies about halfway through when I turned to breathe and ended up basically drinking a wave. I tried to continue swimming but was choking so I had to stop, tread water, and clear my airways before I could continue on with the remainder of the swim. I’m not sure exactly how much time I lost when I stopped, but my swim ended up being about 3 minutes slower than usual. Yikes!

Bike – For the first part of the bike I felt drained (most likely from all the coughing) and struggled to find my racing legs. However, at about mile 15 I suddenly caught a second wind and was able to increase both my cadence and speed for the remaining 10 miles or so and do some damage control on my bike split.

Run – For the run, my aim was to stay as relaxed as possible, build the first 5k, and negative split the last 2 miles. While I feel I was a little bit too conservative for the first half, I was happy with my overall effort for the 10k and excited that I was able to run my last mile in 5:42 after over 2 hours of racing. If nothing else, I have that one positive to take away from this race.

Although this is not the result I’d hoped for after so many hours of training, I am excited just to be racing again and to be injury-free. In 2 weeks time I will be competing at the PATCO PanAm Champs in Oklahoma City so be on the lookout for me there.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Countdown to Florida!

This is what I'm seeing right now...I have a feeling the scenery will be a bit different when I hop off the plane in Florida in a couple of days. The start to my 2009 racing season can't come soon enough!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Ace of Base

If you read my last post, most of you probably realize that I definitely jinxed myself by commenting on the weather. 15 inches of snow and a week full of treadmill runs/trainer rides later, I am happy to report that I am still alive and well. Although at first I was not a happy camper, I always try to look for the positive in everything and here's what I came up with. Snow means: a free car wash, pretty scenery, an opportunity for me to make snow angels after my long run in the snow plowed roads, and a chance to get in an extra strength workout while scraping snow off my car and shoveling a path out my doorway. Yea!

This past week marked the end of my 3 month long base training phase (hence the title of this post) which means that the high-intensity workouts will slowly start to creep into my training and increase throughout the season. In a month from now, I will be in Florida recovering from my first race of the year - time is flying!

Until then,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

March Madness: The Final Four!

Wendy, Angelina, Max the dog, and I after a long run

Wendy and I at Garden of the Gods

Don’t be fooled by the title of this post... I’m not going to waste your time by telling you how poorly my basketball bracket is doing right now or lament over the fact that the team I picked to win it all barely escaped in the first round of the tourney. Rather, I intend to give you an update on recent happenings in the life of Amanda Hahn.

1) Following an off-season from racing that has spanned approximately half a year, I will finally toe the starting line next month for my first race of the season: St. Anthony’s! St. Anthony’s is an Olympic distance race (non-drafting) that takes place in St. Pete, Florida at the end of April. Besides a sprint triathlon that takes place each year in Gainesville, this is about as close as it gets to me having a “hometown race.” I have competed in St. Anthony’s 5 times to date (it was my 1st pro race) and the atmosphere, fast course, and great competition make it one of my favorites!

2) It has only snowed two days this entire winter since I’ve returned to Boulder! I am in complete amazement and it seems I am not alone. Everyone I talk to says we’re due for a blizzard sometime before the end of April, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this amazing weather continues because we all know my tolerance of trainers/treadmills... somewhere around zero.

It had been three months since I’d seen my best friend from high school, Wendy, and she decided to spend the first part of her spring break to come visit me in Boulder. Luckily, she was a good sport about being left for three to four hours at a time while I did my longer bike/run workouts. On my recovery days, I had a little more time to show her around the area, and we even had the opportunity to drive down to Colorado Springs for the day. She was able to see The Garden of the Gods (I showed her the route for my bike/run bricks from this summer), Downtown Manitou Springs, and a somewhat close view of Pikes Peak (we missed the last train that headed up to the top of the peak). It’s always good to see a familiar face and catch up with friends I rarely get to see anymore.

4) Four months! After countless years of track workouts, I took a four month hiatus from the track following the end of my racing season last year. Of course I wasn’t exempt from all running workouts in general, just ones that involved running in circles. I must confess that when I finally stepped back on the track last week, I was a bit nervous/excited. The workout went better than expected and I am happy to say I am back on track! There's something about that oval that brings a curve to my face... :)

There you have it: the final four. Consider yourself in the loop!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thank You!

I'd like to send a big THANK YOU out to Newton Running for supplying me with my racing shoes for the year! These shoes are absolutely amazing and are designed to promote a forefoot strike (as opposed to heel strike)when running. Just by wearing the shoes, I have seen a significant change in my running form. Also, I am happy to say that I've been able to get rid of my chronic knee pain since switching to these shoes!

This is my 3rd week back in Colorado and I must say it's been an adventure...everyday I wake up wondering whether it will be 65 and sunny or 20 and snowing. I am beginning to select my races for the 2009 season, so stay tuned for more details!

Friday, January 30, 2009


A very important part of both racing and training for any distance of triathlon is proper nutrition. That is why if an athlete doesn't take in enough calories while exercising, they will most likely either "bonk" or have a tough time recovering from the effort. That being said, I am excited to announce GU as my "nutrition" sponsor for 2009. GU offers energy gels and a high performance sports drink (GU2 0). As a competitive swimmer in the earlier stages of my life, I fell in love with the chocolate outrage flavor of GU. GU provides a quick energy boost without the cramping that comes with some other energy gels/bars. In addition to the GU energy gel that so many have become familiar with, GU also recently created a new product called Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel which helps mitigate lactic acid buildup in the body. Both the original GU and the Roctane are great tasting and most importantly, keep me fueled and feeling peppy for my training sessions and races. To learn about how you can get some GU for yourself, please visit:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rudy Project

I'm pleased to announce Rudy Project as one of my sponsors for 2009! Rudy Project is absolutely tops when it comes to sunglasses and helmets. I've worn their sunglasses for quite awhile now and am absolutely in love with how comfortable they are. At times I even forget I'm wearing them (no joke!). The glasses include side panels which are useful in blocking wind, water, and any other debris that may come flying at me while I'm exercising. Their helmets are also designed to be comfortable and aerodynamically sound. If you would like to experience the Rudy Project difference, click here!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Back to Boulder

Yesterday marked the end to my time training at my parents' house in Florida as I returned to my home in Boulder, Colorado. One of the main reasons I stayed in Florida for most of January was to take advantage of the warmer weather and escape the harsh winter of Colorado. So, you can guess how excited I was when our captain relayed that it was 60 degrees as the plane pulled into the runway of Denver International. :) I'm biking outside this complaints here!

But before I can even think about training, I've got a bike to put together and suitcases to unpack...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Twas the Week

Twas the week after New Years and throughout the US,
You could find stressed faces; the economy was a mess.
The holidays were over and much to my dismay,
All the Christmas lights had been taken down and packed away.

The stock market continued its woes,
And kept many businesses on their toes.

But over in Gainesville the town was aglow,
Because of a man who promised change and delivered; not Obama, Tebow!
The chants of the Gator faithful could be heard everywhere,
From Archer Road to the Downtown Square.

I can’t wait to see what ’09 has in store for me!
Maybe a tropical vacation, a check from Hy-Vee?

But for now I’ll go train in the Florida sun,
First a swim, then a bike ride, then maybe a run.
So Happy New Year to all, hope ’09 is bright!
But now I must go, so I bid thee good night!