Monday, October 31, 2016

Race Report(s!) : Winja's Trick or TRI and Rock N' Roll Half Marathon (October 29 and 30th, 2016)

This weekend passed by WAY too fast. I feel like I didn't get enough time to catch my breath and when I did, it was time to go to work again. This weekend was a big one - It marks the last few races I'll do before we head down to Arizona for THE BIG ONE.

I'm sure there will be at least one more post before then, but in the meantime, lots to cover in terms of the two events that I did this weekend!

TRIck or TRI! (October 29th)

My heel has been bugging me lately (Plantar Fasciitis works in mysterious ways - as in, it doesn't like to heal the way it should) and I've been hesitant to work myself out too much in fear that I'll hurt myself before the race. Does this count as an injury? It's definitely a developing one.

I got up rather early on Saturday morning (around 3:30) and got to the Santa Fe Dam around 4:30. Since transition wasn't going to be open until 5, Marcos and I spent time in the darkness talking  about his Ironman (IM Maryland) and race prep. I've found that over the course of the last few months, talking to people who have done a full really helps in terms of calming my nerves.

Transition opened and we were allowed to set up wherever we wanted. I chose a rack closer to bike IN because I didn't want to run with my bike whilst tired. It turned out to be very beneficial, as it meant finding my pace for the run while still in transition. :) So many of the Disney Tri Team came to represent, and we were all able to rack together!

Thanks for the picture, Harrison!

Thanks for the picture, Abel!
The race itself was straightforward: An Oympic distance - one mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6.2 mile run. I was in the third wave and started my swim with women aged 40 and below. The water was murky but warmer than the air was outside, and I couldn't complain because there were no waves in the water. It was a perfect swim at 29:20.

Thanks, Abel! Running out of the water with my wetsuit half off already.

Transition was quick, and I left on the bike a few minutes after. The ride was nice: 3 loops along the San Gabriel Bike path - fast and quick with a little headwind on the ride back each time.

Thanks for this gem, Harrison!
The ride was probably the fastest consistent ride I've been on: I averaged 18.1 mph for the three loops. Probably a good thing that it was flat :)

Got off the bike, and transition this time around was even faster - I was probably only in transition for a minute or so. 6 miles isn't too much, and the run was quick. Sometimes I wish I could run a little faster, but I was consistent and finished without feeling tired at all. Goal achieved.

I finished!
Thanks for the picture, Chan!

Thanks, Kien! My legs look SO ripped in this picture :)

Thanks, Kien!

We had pancakes after (Colette and Emily were on pancake duty and I got to make one of my own), and left soon after to pick up my race packet for RnR LA.

Alice and I took the metro to the LA Convention Center - it was surprisingly easy and we had no issues - though it seemed like EVERYONE was there for a different reason: Stan Lee's Comic Con and League of Legends were taking place at the same place. I'm never opposed to people watching, so I had a great time.

Picked up my packet and headed back. I knocked out early - triathlons take a lot out of you!

Rock n' Roll Los Angeles! (October 30th)

Alice was planning on bike-leading the half, so I hitched a ride with her and we got to LA Live by 5:45. The race was set to start at 6:45, so I met up with Patrick and we grazed over a game plan. The funny thing is - for every half marathon we do together, I tell him I want to target a 10:30/mile plan. We never hit 10:30. Like clockwork, I suggested we do a 10:30, and like clockwork, Patrick laughed and agreed, knowing 10:30 was out of the question.

We were in corral 6 (of 22 corrals) and had a rolling start - the waves were so fast that within a minute we were already on the course. The first four miles were very steady - mid 9s - Patrick was trying to stay consistent, but I think whenever I run in races with others, I get super competitive and always want to run ahead of the people I see. Patrick threatened to hold me to a 10:30 pace, but we did really well - He kept it very consistent and I... I was very spastic. I tend to push myself harder on hills (I have a backwards sense of rationalization), so every hill it was a "bye, Patrick" and I would meet him halfway up and keep running with him.

Around mile 8 my heel started acting up. I'd pause and try to stretch it but by mile 11 I was kind of hobbling and putting more weight on my right foot to lay off my left. (At the moment I have a splint on my leg to allow for the scar tissue to form correctly.) We finished strong (Patrick and I have a saying when one of us starts to fall behind), but Patrick told me that we'd hang back and not speed up, and AT THE LAST SECOND speeds up, blows past me! - and finishes ahead of me. Not cool, Patrick!

The half was GOOD. Really good. I felt strong and I didn't feel tired. I felt like I could do so much more, which is saying something considering I did an Olympic the day before. I needed this weekend to prove to myself how prepared I was, and I'm glad I did it.

We headed over to the beer garden, where Michelob Ultra was serving up after-race refreshers.

The Mowglis were playing the after-race show, and while I'm a fan, I didn't think I would know as many songs as I knew!

 Everyone was still running, so they played to a mostly-empty crowd. I'm gonna call it "intimate" because I literally had the best time dancing by myself. Technically it wasn't dancing because I was seated on the floor with my legs strewn and wiggling the upper half of my body.

Jared saw me from the distance, and his reaction?

Had to stop dancing to save face. :)

Great friends, great fun, great race.

10/10 would do it again.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Wiping down my bike after IMAZ 70.3 (race report IS coming, promise), a crank tooth took a chunk out of my finger, which naturally I then scraped on the lane line this morning while swimming.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Send us Good Vibes for Arizona!

IM Arizona is on November 20th and we've been training for the better part of a year for this. Patrick had a great idea - to ask people to write encouraging notes for when we're off the bike and doing the marathon!

We won't be reading the notes beforehand - we have some people who will be compiling everything for us so we have the notes for when we get there. 

To partake:

Email anything you want to say to GOODLUCK (at) WHATAREWEIRONING.COM

Just a reminder that the full Ironman is a 2.4 miles swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 miles of running crammed into a 17-hour (or less) timeframe. The notes will be picked up in transition before the run and again in our special needs bag at mile 14.
Looking forward to your words of encouragement! 💙💙💙

Monday, October 17, 2016

Race Report: Winja's Ironman 70.3 Arizona (October 16, 2016)

Yesterday, I became a 4-time half ironman. It was the third half-ironman I completed this year, and a big "training day" test before the full in November.

Overall, I did better than I thought I would, but was disappointed with my run and very impressed by my bike.


I took this race more like a weekend workout to see how well prepared I would be for the full. With that said, there was no taper for this race. I woke up bright and early Friday morning, swam with GRA, and rode the river trail with Patrick before I headed out to Arizona.

Guys. The drive from LA to AZ is quiet. Without stops and with some minor traffic, I made it to Tempe in six hours.

Best part? I averaged nearly 55 miles per gallon. All the way to Arizona with 3 gallons of gas left to spare. (The little things in life make me happy!)

Arizona is dry. I started sneezing as soon as I got to Tempe and couldn't tell if I was sick or just allergic. I think it's more allergies than anything else now that I'm back home, but it's not very ladylike when you're on the bike and snot runs down your face and hits your shoulder during a race. 

Saturday morning Patrick and I met up to pick up our packets and sign our lives away. 
I can't take nice pictures.

We sat through an athlete briefing after we dropped our bikes off, and then scouted the course for the full. Guys. We didn't anticipate hills on the course. THERE ARE HILLS ON THE FULL COURSE. It's time to get some hills in for training. It's late. I know. I just wasn't expecting anything outside of a flat course for the full. (Insert sad face here because I was really sad to find this part out).

When we finished the drive for the full course, we figured we would tackle the course for the half. Now, when Patrick mentioned that the course looked like a little kid took a crayon to paper and drew the course, he wasn't kidding. Three loops of right turns, left turns, and u-turns. Over 40 in the race alone. It took us longer to drive the course for the half than it did for the full. 

I spent much of the weekend worrying about whether or not this race was feasible. To top it off, the weather was supposed to be 93 degrees and my wave wasn't set to start until 7:56 am. My emotions were out of control. 

Race Day:

Those who know me well know that I worry a lot. As in, I overthink things and replay scenarios in my head way too much. I couldn't sleep, and woke up at 3:30 without my alarm. I was only a mile away from transition, but I hate being late, and even though my wave wasn't set to start until 8.. well, I showed up 4 hours early. 

Just kidding - Transition opened up at 5 and everyone had to be out by 6:20, so I had to find something to do for an hour and a half. I watched the swim start, including Patrick's 6:30 (lucky duck) start, and by 7:56, we were in the water and the cannon was going off. By then, the sun had risen and my tinted goggles came into play. With the mentality of taking it slow, the swim was nice and smooth - a few of the girls tried to swim over me, but I was able to get away and managed to get into a rhythm by the time I hit the fourth buoy. 

1.1 miles, done. 

A volunteer pulled me out of the water at the end (it's a staircase with rails) and wetsuit strippers helped me out of my wetsuit. 

Swim time: 41:46. My slowest swim ever, but hey - practice, right?

The bike I was expecting a 4 hour time - turns have been hard for me since my bike accident, and I always unclip and brake when I do, so I figured I'd be about 20 - 30 minutes slower. The turns weren't as hard as I thought they would be. I still unclipped and I still braked, but I took advantage of the straightaways and went into aero whenever possible. 

The result? 8 MINUTES FASTER THAN MY FASTEST TIME ON THE BIKE. I averaged 17.2 mph and made up the time I lost on the swim. My sunburnt face and shoulders were a worthy sacrifice.

Two coats of sunblock later, I started the run. It was torture. In my head I was trying to figure out where Patrick was. I figured when I finished my bike, he'd finish his run, but in reality, he was only half way done with his run and probably miserable. 

Try starting a half marathon at 12 noon. Insert 92 degree weather. Insert haphazardly sprayed sunblock over already sunburnt skin. Insert already exhausted legs not ready for a run. That was me. 

I started to develop plantar fasciitis a few weeks ago and had to get new shoes to try to repair the stabbing pain in my heel. My new Hoka One Ones had never seen a run over 4 miles, but I couldn't risk exacerbating the pain even more, so I broke the golden rule: Nothing new on race day. 

My gimpy run started off fine - my first mile clocked in at 9:38, but soon after, my mile time slipped to 10s, 12:30s, and even hit 15+. It was so hot. I was trying not to dehydrate, so I held a cup of ice while I ran, and I walked during the aid stations. Mentally, I was all there. I was so excited to finish. Physically, my body was shutting down on me. The run course was unforgiving and had no shade. My lips were chapped and no amount of water was quenching me. 

But, I finished. I kept asking myself if I would be able to handle the full, but I think the conditions were a little different. The heat was a big factor. The new shoes.

I want to say that (for the most part) I am ready, but who knows? 

I downed 2 bottles of water as soon as I finished. I headed over to the athlete food tent to get into the shade, and I sat there for 15 minutes without talking to anyone. I needed to cool down. 

4 halfs is a big accomplishment in my eyes. We're a month away from the full. Fingers crossed. 

Garneau was nice enough to repost my photo on Instagram!

Results here.