Thursday, December 30, 2010

santa was good to me

even though i was naughty, santa really paid attention this year. he knew my favorite store and exactly what i was drooling over. so without further ado, here’s what i got:

k-swiss 140.6 i have to thank Chloe at Running with a bottle of wine for her post with all kinds of very cool christmas gift ideas. i had no idea this must have apparel even existed but as soon as i saw it, i knew i had to have it and how convenient that the only store that has it, The Ironman 360 Store is a hop, skip, and a jump away from my casa … lucky me!

the next item was also bought at The Ironman 360 Store.

k-swiss front front

k-swiss back back

and let’s not forget the early christmas present that i got right before thanksgiving:

Mandy-after not the bike, but the Spinergy PBO’s with the carbon spokes. i love them so far. i have had a few requests to write up a review of these wheels and i certainly will as soon as i have had a chance to race them at least once or twice … so around march/april be on the lookout for a review. even if they don’t make me faster, i won’t be heartbroken, or bankrupt, plus, they look more badass than the crap wheels that came on it.

thank you santa! i hope you love the stuff you got as much as i love mine.

i am so ready for this year to be over. not that it was a bad year because it was a GREAT year, maybe the best year of my life and i will review the year in tomorrow’s post, but i am so ready to get focused again and have a routine. all of this free time since the ironman distance race in october is making me CRAZY as hell. i can’t stand myself anymore … uugh!

oh yeah, i almost forgot, santa also brought me a bad cold. i woke on christmas morning with a sore throat and then the rest ran its course. still have a cough but nothing to stop me from training, no way! the worst part, between blowing my nose a thousand times (and i was using Kleenex aloe tissues too) and the wind/cold outside has left my poor face so chapped. it HURTS, so i’ve been lathering on the aquaphor. i’m so shiny!

i hope all of my blog friends had a lovely christmas too. much love and peace out!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

1 year ago today...

wow! one year ago, i started this blog and what a year it has been. so happy blog-a-versary to 140.6!

to say i have been busy is an understatement but that's the nature of this time of year. i hope to be able to start catching up on my favorite blogs starting this weekend, specifically starting on saturday, christmas day. friday, christmas eve is my christmas. growing up in a hispanic family and marrying into one, we always celebrate on christmas eve, so  when christmas day rolls around, it's just another day, nothing special, therefore, i will have lots of free time to read blogs. i'd also like to start revamping mine a bit. i have a vision of what i'd like it to look like but haven't quite figured out how to format it. i'm challenged like that but come hell or high water, i WILL figure it all out.

i thought it would be fun to re-post my very first post. back when i had one follower, LOL! it is raw and unedited, copied and pasted, as is. i titled it the calm before the storm because i was enjoying the laziness of the end of the year, not much training going on but i knew that was about to come to an end, thus the storm...and what a good storm it was. enjoy!

december 23, 2009

the calm before the storm
after all these years of day dreaming about doing an ironman (or just an official ironman distance event), i've finally started to put all the pieces of the puzzle into action. i turn the big 4-0hh next year and wanted to do something special to commemorate/celebrate it since i believe in getting better with age. slowing down is not an option here. my goal is to do the great floridian race on october 23, 2010. this race is an ironman distance and in a very hilly part of florida too!

a little bit about me: i love to challenge myself and i'm my own worst critic. i expect the best out of myself. i was always very active as a child but once i got into the teen age years, it wasn't "cool" anymore, so i followed the crowd and became a couch potato. i didn't play any kind of sport in high school but was eventually talked into doing cross country my senior year so i could have something else listed in the yearbook besides just a class picture. needless to say, this couch potato could barely run 3 times around the track without gasping for air. so sad! i even remember my first c.c. meet and i think i finished 2nd to last and back then i believe that it was a 2 mile distance and if my memory serves me correctly, i finished in about 28-29 minutes. disgraceful! did i continue to run after that? hell no! back to couch potato status. eventually, i had an epiphany of sorts thanks to the most important person in my life, and decided to make some serious changes. i did not like the unhealthy road i was heading down. i joined a local fitness club on valentine's day 1989 (yes, i remember that day very well) and i have never looked back. i have worked out ever since and it has evolved widely. started out with just weight training, added a little stairmaster for cardio, bought a fully rigid mountain bike, started riding the trails at flatwoods before anyone hardly knew these trails existed, went to the university of south florida and got a degree in exercise physiology and made it my life's work. all of a sudden i found myself running a little, bought my first roadbike a steel lemond-alp'd'huez, started dabbling at north shore pool in the mid to late 90's and felt fit enough to do St. Anthony's a couple of times and a few sprint distance tri's. eventually, i lost my way to the pool (no secret that i'm not fond of swimming) and started really hammering out the marathons. to this day, i've done 4 boston mary's, 3 ultra marathons, and about 25 other marathons. but enough of the marathons already. i need more! and that leads me to now. with such a solid base of running and cycling (11,000+ miles to date for the year 2009), i am ready to add the swimming weakest and most loathed activity. i sound negative about it but really, i'm looking forward to it very much and can't wait to get started. the love of my life asked me what i wanted for christmas and i asked for a year membership to the Y by our house so i can really work on the swim. i am determined now more than ever before to get it down this time around. i want to embrace swimming like i do the running and cycling. i will begin my swimming on January 4th and will be blogging about the good, the bad, and the ugly as i go along.
Much love and peace out!

merry christmas, happy holiday to all of my blog friends and stalkers!

Friday, December 10, 2010

running into the sunset

just a quickie post this evening. the picture above is me running home as fast as i could. the sun was setting quickly and i was getting cold!! i was so happy that the battery for my camera arrived yesterday so i was able to take it out on my run today without having issues with it shutting off within 3 seconds after turning it on. by the way, have any of you bought a camera battery lately? you know, the lithium ion one's? they are expensive!! but, i never, ever pay full price for anything, so to google i went and found the battery with shipping and handling included for just under 15 bucks. if you go to target, walmart, best buys, or any of those types of stores, you can find the battery for between $30-50. hells no, i'm not paying that much for a battery!! that's crazy. the company that i bought it from also ships very quickly so i was pleased. if you need a battery for your camera or any kind of special battery, go HERE.

ok, back to my run...i had a glorious 10.5 mile run this evening. it was pretty desolate out at the park today; i didn't even see one deer. however, i did this happy camper coming out of a trail as i was running by:

and i caught up with him at the water station. meet Robert who loves flatwoods park and the most beautiful surroundings in this area, just as much as i do. we got to talking and he mentioned that he canoes quite a bit in the hillsborough river which is right nearby flatwoods park. talk about a nice get-a-way from the hustle and bustle. there is something to be said about the peacefulness when you are running, mountain biking, or canoeing in this area. you often forget that just a stones throw away is a major highway system (I-75) and traffic jammed roads under going construction, with lots of pissed off people sitting in their cars.

even though my commute to work isn't all that great, having this disney land in my backyard is well worth it. i wouldn't chose to live anywhere else. plus, and this is the best part of all... it NEVER snows!! so this is year round bliss for me. amen!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

christmas...kc style was between the Charlie Brown Christmas tree...

 or this very beautifully, lit up palm tree with one Waterford ornament (not included). afterall, i'm in florida and we have palm trees, lots of em'. i couldn't be more pleased with this choice. i love it when it's all lit up at night; it makes me smile when i see it. and, it only took 5 minutes to put together!!

this weekend, although it was cold, we managed to get in some pretty good miles on the bike. yesterday we waited it out a bit and started around 10:30am, with a nice starting temp of 66 degrees. no arm warmers! in fact, i went sleeveless! we got in a solid 51 mile ride.

this morning was another story. i think we kind of experienced all 4 seasons on our ride today. actually, we ended up doing 2 rides. here's what happened. we started at 8am, a little cloudy (arm warmers on this time) and got in a very solid 65 minutes before it began to sprinkle, then rain. we waited the rain out for a few minutes and during that time, it began to get colder. we decided to head back home and get the rest in later. fast forward 2 hours later, we are off for round 2. now it is super windy and super sunny, not a cloud in the sky. overall, ended up being a great day and a total of 60 miles for the day.

i know there were lots of blog buddies running marathons or half marathons this weekend. i hope you all did well and i will be looking out for your race reports.  

much love and peace out!

Friday, December 3, 2010

my little secret

running away1 i’m running away…that’s my little secret. i’m always running away. from what? i don’t know. work? the rat race? just the everyday hustle and bustle? stupid people? unsolicited drama? silly rules? the list goes on. but, i’m also always running towards a goal, a dream, something that maybe at one time was unimaginable to me. my favorite way to “escape” if you will is to head out for a run on a trail. i have never felt more at peace than when i’m running alone, down single track or a wide open fire road. there’s just something about it that i can’t put into words so i took a few pics along the way this morning. the above pic is me “running away” towards another trail.
deer up ahead1 click on pic to make it bigger. there is a deer up ahead to the right. very cool!
Dogs and runners12 runners and 3 dogs doing their morning run together. fun! i need a that can run fast.
bird on pond1ahhh, the sun! it was 36 degrees here this AM. i was happy to have the warmth of the sun just in time for my run.
happy kc1dorky looking but a happy kc!! welcome to my nirvana…can’t get any better than this.

please take a moment to watch the trailer below from the documentary Bicycle Dreams. this documentary chronicles one of the most grueling endurance races in the world, the Race Across America, which by the way, i have no desire to do…yet. as you will see and hear in the trailer below, the narrator quotes a comment from Lance Armstrong, where he states,  “Endurance Athletes are running away from something inside of themselves, and that is one of the reasons they do what they do”.
is that true? i say, yes it is. what do you think my blog friends??

take a look and listen and see what you think…
so far, this friday is turning out to be a great one. no work, all play. started off with a 25 mile ride on the trainer and finished it off with a 7 mile trail run where i snapped all of the picture in this post. it was so much fun stopping to smell the roses, taking pictures, except my camera is acting all cranky lately…battery life issues. gotta figure this out. have a great weekend everyone!

much love and peace out!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

last minute 2010 goals & a preview of 2011

goals wow! 2 back to back blog posts for me!! i’m not a slacker anymore…according to Matty O at Staying Strong and Positive. this morning i was looking at my training stats for the year on my workout log, at buckeye outdoors. are you like me? do you play a numbers game sometimes where, for example, you are on the treadmill or trainer and you keep telling yourself, ok, just one more mile and then you get to the mile and then you look at the time and you see that you are 2 minutes from making it to an hour so you tell yourself, 2 more minutes and then you get to the hour mark and the distance is an odd number that you just can’t bear to see, so you repeat this crazy process until all of your numbers are nice and even. before you know it, you’re at 90 minutes. i do that a lot, so when i jotted down my totals this year for running, biking and swimming, i had to set a few short term goals to make my numbers “even.”  here are the short term goals for the rest of 2010: i have 29 days to reach 1400 miles of running, 9700 miles of biking, and 120 miles of swimming. weather will probably try to derail my last minute efforts but i will do my best to even out my numbers cuz that’s how i roll. good thing i have the next four fridays in a row off because i’m going to need all the extra time i can get to chip away at these last minute goals.

here is a list of races that i’m planning on doing in 2011 barring any unforeseen circumstances:
  • 2/27/2011 – Gasparilla half marathon in Tampa, Fl.
  • 3/20/2011 - Gator half iron distance race in Sarasota, Fl.
  • 5/14/2011 – Florida International Olympic distance – Siesta Key, Fl. (website hasn’t been updated yet)
  • 9/??/2011 – Florida Challenge half iron distance – Clermont, Fl.
  • 11/5/2011 - Ford Ironman Florida – Panama City Beach, Fl. (side note: Velma at Running with Boys left a comment on my blog post from yesterday and totally nailed my goal for this race, even though i’ve yet to mention this ultimate goal to anyone in the blog world yet. how did she know?? so YES, my goal is to qualify for Kona, period!)
i’m pretty sure there will be a few other events here and there, thrown in for fun but nothing else set in stone…YET! 

meanwhile, back to 2010. i had an awesome trail run yesterday evening as the sun was setting. it was eerily peaceful and i felt one with the universe…don’t laugh!
flatwoods sunset
i’m planning on doing about the same run tonight but this time i’m taking my camera with me because the cell phone cam just doesn’t do it justice and of course, i will be posting them here for your enjoyment. oh crap! i gotta get ready for work now. work gets in the way of my blogging…how annoying!

have a great day everyone….much love and peace out!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


don’t hate!
yep, that’s me chillin’ out. don’t ask me where i got those very cool slippers cuz i ain’t tellin’. since my last, less than chipper post, i’ve been trying to just appreciate the time off that i have but it isn’t easy. i’m not used to taking it easy, taking time off, or resting and honestly, relaxing doesn’t make me happy, training does. i make no apologies for that, it’s how i’m wired and i accept that…the good, the bad, and the ugly black clouds that go along with it. i was talking to a good friend of mine recently about having signed up for the 2011 ironman florida (oh yeah, i forgot to tell you all about that-so now you know!) and what my ultimate goal is for that race (more on the little gem later, much later) and her response to me was, “so basically, you’ll possibly be training for the next 2 years? my response, “oh yeah, i didn’t even think about that.” looks like 2 more solid years of blogging material folks!
i want to personally send big hugs out to all of you who left such kind, positive comments on my last post, to all who sent me emails, and those that called me. i know a lot of you have been there, done that and it’s always good to know, we are not alone. i knew that there would be some feelings of blah after the race but didn’t ever think it would be as long and profound as it was…a solid 4 weeks of blah. it also took a solid 4 weeks for me to feel completely recovered physically. i really thought i had it all figured out, how to avoid the ironman blues, so as soon as the race was over, i decided i would do a marathon. it made sense to me, i was already trained, the race was in 5 weeks, perfect! but, that was not to be. a week or 2 after the race, all the little aches and pains started to creep up and the doubts started to set in. i had to wave the white flag and say no to the marathon. was i a little disappointed? hell yeah but i know how important it is to stay healthy, uninjured, and i realize there will be plenty of other marathons to do in the future…and a lot more ironman races.
okay, time for some randomness…
  • i hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving with family and friends. mine was interesting in that, for the first time ever, thanksgiving was at my house. for those who know me, who just read that, that was not a mistake and you may now pick your mouths up off of the floor. for those of you who don’t know me, I DO NOT COOK…ANYTHING. it isn’t that i can’t cook, i just chose to spend my time doing things that i enjoy more. life without a microwave would be a living hell for me. anyway, special thanks to PUBLIX supermarket for coming through big time with their awesome thanksgiving feast in a box. i would highly recommend this to anyone who is low on time and motivation to cook for a holiday feast. for $45.00, i got a pretty big turkey, fully cooked, mashed potatoes, stuffing that was to die for, potato bread rolls, apple/raspberry cobbler and pumpkin pie. the only thing i had to do was heat it all up in the oven. this is the tricky part. i had to make a little flow chart for each item’s heating time since there would be 3 items in the oven at the same time. all in all, everything turned out lovely and it was delicious. we had way too much leftover though and unfortunately, this was the smallest amount we could order. now that i know what a success this was, i will have to invite a few more mouths next time.
  • i think that since there are blogger awards for beautiful blogs, versatile blogs, creative blogs, amazing blogs, etc…don’t you think there should be an award for deadbeat bloggers? i know, deadbeat and award don’t go together but you get the picture. i’d certainly be honored to receive that award or whatever you want to call it and perhaps it will spur me on to blog on a more regular basis. i love blogging, i certainly have the time, i just think my creativity is on vacation but i can feel it coming back, albeit slowly. dang-it, i have to be ready to celebrate this blogs 1 year anniversary soon (december 23rd!).
  • i got an early christmas present last week. actually, mandy got an early christmas present. first picture is mandy before and the second picture is mandy after. for those new to reading my blog, mandy (named after the character on cartoon network) is my tri bike.
yes, new wheels! who cares if they don’t make me faster, they look cool! afterall, it is better to look good than to feel good, right? just kidding.
  • i had a really nice 15 mile run with my favorite running buddy Amy on saturday. here is a picture of us after as we chug down our ice cold powerade zero’s. thanks Amy for remembering how much i love zero’s and for remembering my favorite flavor. you rock!bottoms up
  • lastly, i’m looking forward to some much needed time off from work these next 4 weeks. i feel like i haven’t been able to catch my breath with the high volume of work lately. it’s making me pissy!
my next post will be about next years goals and races. can you believe we will be in 2011 in 1 month?? thanks for reading.
much love and peace out!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

black cloud be gone

i feel the need.... the need for speed to blog! what an interesting 3-4 weeks since the 140.6 race. i can honestly say that the ironman blues really exist and it sucks. i admit that i can be moody but these past few weeks have been downright depressing. i don't remember feeling like this after a marathon except for maybe very early on after my first and second one but it was short lived. how do you top an ironman or iron distance race? seriously? i did a little research on the subject and found this great article: post ironman blues. i think it pretty much sums up how i've been feeling. i do feel like i finally turned a corner this week though and things are feeling a little more back to normal.

i didn't think it would take me this long to recover physically. in fact, after the soreness wore off about 2 days after the race, i was back out on the bike. it took me about 4 days to finally be able to run comfortably. however, week 2 and 3 were not so nice. i started feeling my left hip hurting, my shins were killing me, i was having to stop 2 and 3 times within the first mile of my run to stretch out because of the burning shins and tight hip. thankfully, based on past history (usually after running a marathon around this same time each year), i remembered these aches and pains i was experiencing were "pre" injury signs, so i knew i had to back off a bit and that's exactly what i did. this week, i was finally able to run without having to stop and work out the kinks. i had planned on doing the palm beaches marathon on december 5th but decided that this just isn't a smart idea. even though i know i can do it and could probably very easily throw down a boston qualifying time, i don't think that i would come out of it without some consequence (ie. stress fractured hip and/or shins). at this point in time, i'm not willing to sacrifice not being able to run for 2 months just to run a marathon that wasn't even on my list of to do races. i would just be doing it for the hell of it and that's not a good enough reason right now.

during my little down time recently, i've been thinking about my goals for next year. i made a list of races i'd like to do and specific (and realistic) goals for each one and will share those on a later post. i signed up for IMFL too! i'm very excited about that, yet it seems a million years away...349 days away to be exact (i may have to do the daily blog countdown like Caratunk Girl).

i finally got the official race pictures this week from the great floridian 140.6. i posted them on facebook so some of you may have seen them already but i'll post some here for those who haven't seen them. click on the pictures to make them bigger. i did have them set at a larger size but when i originally posted this blog post, the pics were enormous and completely off the page so i had to decrease the size so they would fit.

  much love and peace out!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

shout out to my IMFL peeps!

just wanted to wish you all the best of luck this weekend. tear panama city up yo! i really don't like to use the term, good luck, because i feel that there is really no luck involved. luck is just a residual of all the hard work you put into your training. simple as that! so without further ado, here is an inspirational poem for my pals:

In my world,
The water is cold,
The wind is hard,
And the road never ends.

In my world,
There are no losers.
Only competitors still on their way,
And spectators waiting to be inspired.

In my world,
Victory is not weighed in gold,
But in determination and courage.

In my world,
There are no boundaries,
No limits,
There is no end.
Every day is the last day of my life,
And the first.

In my world,
The word “can't” does not exist,
And nothing is impossible.

author unknown

sending this shout out to:
~ Chloe at Running with a bottle of wine - bib#2254
~ Heidi at Swim. Bike. Run. Blog. - bib#2225
~ Bob at One hour ironman - bib#1994
~ Michael Ervolina - no blog but a tri-buddy nonetheless - bib#1334

i'll be following all of you on Saturday!! race smart and finish strong!

much love and peace out!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

k. i. s. s… approach to nutrition/hydration for a successful 140.6 miles



“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”

~Charles Mingus

i can pretty much say that in the 17 years that i’ve been cycling, 14 years of running and less than 1 year of swimming, i have always tried to keep the training as simple as possible. i seem to enjoy the process so much more that way. i can remember back when i had about 2 or 3 marathons under my belt and started to research training programs and techniques and how i began to not love running anymore. following the workouts and the heart rate zones and all the scientific bull crap became a chore rather than something pure and simple; something that i loved. the thing is, i understand all the bull crap because i learned all of that stuff in college and some of it i buy into but a lot of it i don’t.

old school

that’s right, because i’m old school and i’m an old fool (who knows that song?). i will admit that i love training with my garmin and heart rate monitor but i will say this, i do not live and die by it. my rate of perceived exertion trumps what the garmin tells me anyday. i know my capabilities more than anyone else or any gadget. so where am i going with all of this you ask? well, this simplicity i speak of, transferred over nicely to how i tackled the hydration and nutrition before and during the 140.6 event. because so many people have asked me to share what i did with them, i will and i’m more than happy to do that, but please keep in mind that everyone is different. we all have different sweat rates and calorie needs so ESTABLISHING this and NAILING it before hand is KEY! no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.

let me start with the night before and here is where the old school takes a back seat. i don’t carbo load. never have, never will. i had a 6 egg omelet (no yolks), turkey, a powerbar, powerade zero w/nuun and lots of water. yummy, right? same thing for breakfast on race morning at around 5am but this time with a half cup of coffee (i have eaten this same way for the last 3-4 months so i knew it worked for me). got to the race at around 6am, got body markings, sat around chatting, pee’d a couple of times, then put my wetsuit on and off i went at 7:30 into the lake. by the way, this lake we swam in really was pristine. it said so on the website but i usually tend to not believe the descriptions that florida tourism websites give bodies of water in florida….they are usually not pristine, but rather gross, but this one was very nice. i had water after the first 1.2 mile swim loop and then back for the last 1.2 mile loop. once i got thru transition and onto the bike, i pulled out my first treat.

fig newtons

i scarfed down 4 fig newtons within the first 15 minutes of being on the bike and from then on, i had a half of a powerbar every half hour and a powergel the next half hour and alternated like that the entire time i was on the bike, which was just a little over 6.5 hours. for hydration, i kept

aero bottle my aerobottle filled with water and the bottle on my frame filled with gatorade and nuun. i made sure to drink one or the other every 10 minutes. the bike course was 3 laps, so after each lap, i refilled both, as they were almost empty, but thankfully, never ran out of fluid. i was fortunate to have ridden this exact course a month prior to the race with pretty much the same hot and windy conditions, so i was able to get a good feel for how much to eat and drink and i can say now, that my calculations were dead on.

powerbar on the run, i just couldn’t stand the thought of anymore powerbars, so i relied on the hammer gels provided on the course. after about 2 or 3 hammer gels, i wanted to puke, especially after the orange one that didn’t taste anything like orange to me. perhaps after swimming and biking as much as i had at that point, nothing tastes right. pretty much the entire run course, i had water and gatorade at every other mile and splurged at mile 16 and 23 with some defizzed coke-a-cola…something i never have drank(drunk?) in training but i threw caution to the wind and chugged it down. i will say that i think it helped. my legs were starting to get a lot of lactic acid burn and who knows if the coke helped or not but i chose to believe it did, as the burn subsided and i was able to kick it in for the last 2 miles.

so there you have it kiddies, the k.i.s.s. approach to 140.6 race nutrition and hydration. nothing special, right? nothing you can’t buy at your local walmart, except for the nuun and i buy that by the box from performance bike. if you have any questions for me about any of the above, you can email me.

have a great weekend everyone. much love and peace out!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

the great floridian – 140.6 race report

GFT logo
first things first, i want to sent a big happy birthday shout out to my j-man and an even bigger shout out of thanks for all of his help this year with my training and especially this weekend...i couldn't have done this without you!

before i give my perspective on the race and the course, i want to share something that Bill Floyd (, a Level 2 USAT Tri coach in the Tampa Bay area had to say about it in his weekly email:

Few people worldwide have ever trained and completed an Ironman distance race.  After all, here are the distances, and they are not easy, even by themselves: 2.4m Swim-112m Bike-26.2m Run.

When a person decides to do one of these distances, it places them into a category of people on earth who have shown to be unbelievably strong, courageous, capable of withstanding pain, resolve beyond reproach, mental strength, emotional strength, spiritual strength, tenacity, and and "never give up" attitude that only one can see when they are placed into a testing situation that is tough, and sometimes perceived as possible death around the corner.  A person's body temperature goes up to over 104 - 105 degrees, sometimes you throw up on the course, sometimes you urinate blood, and sometimes you are really cranky, and other times, really, really relaxed and enjoying each moment.

The Great Floridian Triathlon, located in Clermont, Florida, and where the city is known as the World's Triathlon Destination, is held by Fred Sommer, one of the premier Race Director's in the World.  This particular Ironman distance triathlon is known throughout the triathlon community, worldwide, as one of the top two to three toughest triathlons in the entire world.  Even most of, and some of the best conditioned triathletes, shy away from coming to it. The best can not stay away from it.

Well, Tampa, Florida, has a new triathlete to add to this distance -  in the Top 5 Overall Ladies at the Great Floridian Triathlon, Kristine Mondello-Concepcion!  And, she did it in a really fast time on a course that has big hills (including the famous "Sugarloaf") and hills on the run, with a blistering time of 12:31:42, burning it in the marathon with a 4:08 time! Congratulations is always in order when one reaches into their heart and soul and pulls out a completion of a distance this large, and still manages a smile after the race!  Great race, Kristine!
smileyi said before, that i never chose this course because it was one of the hardest, i chose it because it was close to home and didn’t cost an arm and a leg. although i knew i had trained really hard almost the entire year for this race, i didn’t expect to do as well as i did or feel as strong as i did the entire time. honestly, i didn’t know what to expect since i’ve never done anything like this before. i can predict my marathon time within about a 5 minute window but not with something this long. many things can go wrong so it is hard to predict a time, but thankfully, everything went according to plan. i couldn’t have scripted the outcome of the day any better.  

so here are the numbers and my thoughts in red about each part:
Swim - Round 2Swim: 1:30:34 – the swim was wetsuit legal so i was able to finally test out the full Xterra Vortex i bought in May and had yet to use. it was wonderful and worked like a charm.  i predicted this swim time to the exact minute. i swam very relaxed, never freaked out or felt anxious. i just got into a good groove and pretended that i was in the pool doing a long morning workout before work. funny how the mind works like that. this swim was 1.2 miles so we had to exit the water, cross the timing mats and head out for the second half to complete the entire distance. i had to assert my kick a few times when i felt someone grabbing me or about to come over me and it worked every time. i claimed my space out there.
Swim done
wetsuit woesT1: 8:39 – uneventful transition. had to get wetsuit off but wetsuit strippers wanted me to sit in the dirt and i wasn’t about to get my butt dirty…not with as much white as i had going on with my tri shorts so i had them help me take it off while i was standing up. once at the changing tent, i took the time to rinse my feet that were covered in dirt and grass and apply sunscreen. also, i felt a little drunk coming out of the swim which always happens to me, so i sat for a minute to put my shoes on and then i was ready to go.
bike out
Video 11 0 00 05-05Bike: 6:38:33 (avg speed 16.9) – lots of wind and hills (3600+ ft of climbing). having done the exact course a month ago, i felt very confident out there. it was a 3 loop course so i came back to the park where the race started 2 more times to refuel. too many people assume that Florida is flat but i will tell you that this course is an ass kicker of gargantuan proportions. i think knowing the course was a huge advantage and my goal was to not kill it so that i would be able to run most of the marathon. mission accomplished! yes, i could have gone faster on the bike but at what cost? in other words, let’s say i had done a 6:15 on the bike (approximately a 20 minutes faster), trashed my legs, then completed the run in 5 hours, where is the logic in that? so anyway, very happy with the bike.

T2: 5:46 – had the changing tent all to myself. by the way, i wore my IM K-Swiss kit the entire time, so i never had to “change” out of anything. had some defizzed coke and some water, threw on my running shoes, poured cold water on my head, grabbed 4 hammer gels and off i went.
Video 14 0 00 07-17Video 13 0 00 10-10Run: 4:08:13 (avg 9:29/mi.) – i just held a steady pace the entire time. this was an out and back course x 3. the way it was set up, we passed thru the main park where everything was centered around, 6 times. so i was able to see some of my friends that were there, which was really cool.  it was somewhat hilly, not very shady but i just continued to pace myself and ran steady. i drank some water and g-ade at almost all of the aid stations and maybe had 3 hammer gels. i just couldn’t take anymore of them after i had the orange flavored one. i thought i was going to puke…the taste was just awful. never buy orange flavored hammer gel, you’ll be sorry.  i also had 2 defizzed cups of coke within the last 8 miles which really seemed to help me keep pushing along. the tour de france riders swear by defizzed coke!
Run to finish

Final time: 12:31:42 – very pleased with this time. i was done by 8pm, at the hotel, showered, and home in my own bed by 10pm.

31 OA

5th OA female

2nd AG (they didn’t do age group if you placed overall but had they, i would have been 2nd)
Team KCmy personal team of cheerleaders…they rocked!

the next post will focus on the nutrition and hydration i incorporated before and during the race. until then, much love and peace out!

P.S. it is almost 3am. this race totally messed up my sleep and i’ve been getting up the last few days at about 1am and feel like i’m starving! how crazy is that? thank goodness i’m still on vacay.

Monday, October 25, 2010

great floridian pre-race report

Race Blinggosh, i don't even know where to begin so i guess i'll do a 2 parter here and do a pre-race report today and then the real race day report tomorrow. friday, the day before the race was almost as exhausting and mind draining as race day. it isn't just a physical feat, it is one where a lot of thought, planning, strategizing, and organizing is just as important. thank goodness my wonderful coach, J-man, was there to help me calm my mind and think straight. i'll tell you, getting my run and bike gear bag felt like rocket science but i'll chalk that up to being a first timer. now i totally get it, so next time (and yes, i’m already for a next time) it won’t be so daunting. it is hard to comprehend how much planning goes into what you put in each bag, and that's not including your special needs bags, which i decided i did not need and, as it turned out, i really didn't need them at all-good call on my part. i've always tried to keep this 140.6 deal as simple as possible, that’s how i roll. speaking of keeping things simple, there are several things i want to point out from the get go that really helped keep things into perspective for me:
  • this article written by endurance nation: The 4 keys to a Successful Ironman distance race. i came across this article about 4 months ago and as i read it for the first time, it made complete sense to me. i made several copies and kept one at work and one at home. i read this article at least once a week because i wanted it to become burned into my mind. i knew this is how i wanted to tackle this race. now that i have, i swear by it and highly recommend reading it and most importantly, applying it.
  • another thing that i always kept fresh in my mind was a comment left on one of my blog posts back in july by Mike at Hungry like the wolfgram. he wrote, "Nutrition is tricky, but people also make it a lot more confusing than it needs to be. Take in as many calories as you can handle, especially on the bike. Also, play around with different things and don't get too hung up on the 'rules'. thank you Mike for that sound advice as well as your awesome great floridian race report from 2009 – you can see it HERE. one more thing that stuck with me was that when Mike did the GFT last year, it was super hot, even hotter than this year and he mentioned that had he known it was going to be so hot, he would not have used his aero helmet, since they tend to not have as many air vents. i remembered that and decided to go with my normal road bike helmet. i’m so glad i read that.
  • and lastly, the squirrel whisperer, a wise man that i ride with who has completed 7 ironman races left me with this sage advise: “Come Saturday it’s all about getting into a rhythm and maintaining it, even through the transitions.  Do your visualizations of the order of everything so that each step is methodical and goes smoothly.  Be quick but don’t hurry especially if something unforeseen occurs.” And of course his most famous words, “you take what the day gives you.” Thank you Jeff!! I’m happy to report that nothing unforeseen happened and all went as planned, but more on that in tomorrow’s post.
ok, back to the pre-race drill. the first thing i did when i got there was go check-in, pick up my race packet and do the weigh-in. i felt like i was getting ready for a boxing match. i weighed in at a hefty 122 and 55% hydration, whatever that means. the guy said that it meant i was well hydrated. then i walked over to some of the different vendors that were there. i finally got to meet Mike Brady from Trinity Multi-Sport. Mike and i have been corresponding via email and we were finally able to connect. he totally hooked me up with a cool kit that you see in the picture below. it may or may not be a coincidence that the outfit matches my bike…
Trinity1the outfit above is from their Virtuoso series and you can check it out HERE. i will be using Trinity gear for all of my 2011 races. Thank you Mike for sponsoring me. if you are interested in purchasing tri/cycling apparel from Trinity, you can go to their website by clicking on my picture above and join the website to receive a continuous 20% discount on all clothing everyday in the future. you can also LIKE them on Facebook by clicking HERE and you will see yours truly on their page.
so after walking around a bit and getting a feel for the lay of the land,  i got my gear bags all organized, took them to their designated resting spots where they would be spending the night and also left Mandy Q. Roo in her comfy spot…she really enjoys hanging from a pole. went back to the hotel, took a calgon bath and fell asleep. i kept waking up every hour and one time had a dream that i was swimming really fast, like never before and when i was done, someone said the reason we were swimming so fast was because it was a downhill swim. crazy!!!
until tomorrow my friends…stay tuned for the real race report. this was just a little warm up so to speak. also, a big thanks for all the awesome comments before and after the race. it meant so much to me.
much love and peace out.

Friday, October 22, 2010

last post before 140.6

this one will be a quick, somewhat silly post. i made myself laugh out loud with this on Wednesday night so i had to take a picture of it. first a little background to make sense of this post for those of you who don't know me that well. as fate would have it, many of my good friends are virgo's, like myself. birds of a feather flock together i suppose. anyway, they will understand how my brain was working when they see the pictures.

but first, an accurate description of a virgo:

You are hard-working and carry out your duties efficiently and conscientiously.
'I ANALYSE' is the motto for Virgo. You have an eye for detail and a discriminating mind. You like order in all things and are neat, clean and precise in your habits.
You are modest and don't like to draw attention to yourself. Where others seek the limelight, you get quietly on with the job, doing it as well as you can. You get a lot of satisfaction from making yourself useful and enjoy being of service to others.
Outwardly you are cool, although inside you may be seething with nerves. You have a sensitive digestion and you're careful about what you eat and drink.
You can also be overcritical and have a tendency to worry too much.
You are the perfectionists of the zodiac.

so here is one picture:
i had to make my own special needs bags here at home complete with labels. it was bugging me to have everything in piles and unorganized. i just couldn't take it anymore. so now the only thing i have to do is tranfer them over to the official special need bags later. easy peasy!
and my transition bag with a label on it. i had to do that because if not, i'll go thru it a million times to make sure everything i need is in there. so i listed all of the contents on the label you see on top.

alright, this crazy virgo is over and out. gotta take the bike out for a quick spin to make sure everything is sound. i changed the back tube this morning...I CAN FIX A FLAT all by myself. it wasn't flat but j-man thought it was losing air a little more than normal lately, so better to be safe than sorry.

i want to thank all of you one last time, who have emailed me, left comments for me on facebook and on my blog. you all are the best and all of your encouragment and kind words mean so much to me. more than you could ever imagine.

not sure if i will have any internet access or even have time for it, so until later, much love and peace out!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

my first vlog

i'm not too shy when it comes to taking a picture but a video? that's another story. miraculously, just overnight, i came over my shyness and put a little video together for today's blog + blog = vlog!

many of you have asked about the tracking for the race. there are several options to pick from and here they are:
Then click on the Community tab at the top
Then click on GFT live – 2010!


They will be utilizing facebook and twitter before, during and after the Great Floridian. Click HERE to view the Great Floridian facebook page. Click HERE for the twitter feed from The Great Floridian. If you are on twitter and want to post about the Great Floridian please include the hashtag #GFT20.

for those of you (my wonderful friends/fans) who are going to watch, you are the best and i can't wait to see you all at the finishline. Click HERE if you still need directions.

i'll probably get to blog one last time tomorrow and then we are heading up to Clermont on friday early afternoon so i can catch one of the mandatory pre-race meetings, get settled in at the hotel and start getting all my stuff together. i hate the thought of leaving my bike overnight and it isn't mandatory but...we'll see.

thanks for reading...much love and peace out!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

it’s better to look good than to feel good…NOT!

Fernando Lamas

LOL…i can’t get Fernando out of my head…this is for all you SNL fans:
Fernando: Saludos, my friends. How are you, darlings? It is so lovely to be back, here in the Hideaway. And, as you know, my friends.. as you can see, the booth is empty, and I am very upset. I don't feel marvelous. I look marvelous, but I don't feel marvelous. Which is hokie-dokie for me, because, as you know, my credo is "It is better to look good than to feel good." You know what I am saying, and you know who you are!

so with that said, here is the outfit i am wearing for the entire race on saturday. and yes, it looks and feels marvelous dahlings.
Outfit1   here it is kiddies, THE OUTFIT! sorry i cut my head off on the front view.
Outfit2                                                  the butt shot!

oh my god, i’m so bored right now. i feel like i’m a punished child because j-man gets to go ride at flatwoods and i don’t. i had to take a little break from making lists. i have a lot of lists all over the place…in my purse, on the desk, in my car. lots of lists of the things i don’t want to forget, the things that go in this bag, that bag, the other bag, all those damn bags. i’m going to take the minimalist approach to the special needs bag though, more on that tomorrow in my special blog post…here’s a little hint, i’ll be the star of the show. i’ll also be posting race info for those that would like to track me throughout the day.
i’m officially on vacation now until next wednesday…yippee! much love and peace out!