Your Triathlon Headquarters

Wednesday, June 8, 2011






THANKS!!! =)))

Thursday, January 13, 2011

AM 1400 Sports Talk Radio Interview with Mac McDonald

Thank you Mac McDonald for a great interview on Sports Talk Radio AM 1400- I loved being on the show!! Click on this title to hear the interview!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lessons from a rookie season....

Lessons I Learned As A First Year Professional…Lessons Not Just For Professionals…

A month and a half ago concluded my rookie season as a pro triathlete. The Princeton web dictionary defines a “rookie” as- “an awkward and inexperienced youth.” I get that. I learned a lot of things this year and I hope some of them can help someone else’s transition to triathlon be a little less painful than it is supposed to be……

*"I don't believe in the danger of overtraining, but I do believe in the danger of under-resting”
-Deena Drossin Kastor

The debate about overtraining aside, I think Deena makes a great point here about how the training benefits of rest are often dramatically undervalued. Building rest days into your program is just as important in preparing you for your race as building in hard workout days. I would put myself out there to say that appreciating the value of rest is the single biggest factor that helped me make the jump from age grouper to professional. It is incredibly ironic, but to be faster- you have to learn how to rest more.

*Don’t give into intimidation

Before my first professional race in Philadelphia this year, I thought my guts were going to explode from nervousness before the gun went off. I thought I seriously didn’t belong in a field of athletes ripped right off the pages of Triathlete magazine. I didn’t have a professional looking uniform- I was wearing a sports bra and some tri shorts that didn’t match- I even looked like I didn’t belong. My goal going into the race was just not to get last by too much. The gun sounded, I raced within myself and ended up on the podium. All that worry for nothing; I should have been enjoying the race from the start.

*You can’t be successful if you are not having fun

Self explanatory. For most of us, triathlon is supposed to be a source of enjoyment, fun and friendship. When triathlon becomes stressful and a burden- it is really hard to be successful. Keep it all in perspective and have fun!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Super Sprint Triathlon Grand Prix in Oceanside, CA

WOW!! What an AMAZING race!

Certainly the most exciting event I have ever been a part of. The Format was a 300mswim, 5mi draft legal bike, 1.5mi run- Repeat. The swim was in the Pacific Ocean with what to me, coming from Central Virginia, looked like quite large waves. The spectators gave off incredible energy the entire time, the motorbike TV cameras did a great job with coverage and didn’t crash anyone around a 1/2 mile lap, the announcer was Greg Welch- amazing, the lap counter was Paula Newby Fraser- amazing, pretty unreal atmosphere!

I did a good job staying in the race until surprisingly the first run- which is so weird cause I usually never worrying about my run. I had a slow transition out of T2 and my body just felt totally rocked and I couldn’t get up to speed, then I got rocked some more in the second swim with googles full of water after getting busted by a wave on the way out- unable to see back to shore I got badly split from the back and had the second bike to tackle myself ( I was the only one solo as those behind me had each other). It is amazing how a small mistake or failure of your body to respond for a split second can drop you instantly out from a race in an event this like this- but that also is what makes it so exciting!! My last run felt awesome though and I was happy to finish strong in 8th place. Even though I got rocked a bit and it certainly was not my best race of the season- I still had so so so much fun- by far the most fun I have ever had in a triathlon…totally amazing!! I am also very motivated now to work on my transitions and quick speed- as this was definitely exposed as a major weakness that I knew about- but now I really know =) I think the spectators had even more fun, although that is hard to imagine…

My dad came to watch and it is the first time he has seen me race triathlon professionally. He is not that familiar with the sport nor is he a triathlon fan- however, he still had an AMAZING time and got so caught up in the race, I have never seen him so excited for an athletic event. It was very clear to me that this is an event with huge potential for a general audience and might just bring triathlon into the general consciousness of many Americans. I am so incredibly excited to follow the future development of this race series. Anyone who has the opportunity to should definitely go watch one of these events next year- Words can’t describe the atmosphere and excitement. I can’t think of the last time I felt so much pain and excitement at the same time. Simply brilliant – new – exciting – innovative – and so so awesome!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Half Full Triathlon- Much more than just a triathlon...

This weekend I had the honor of participating in truly the most special event I have ever taken part in. The inaugural Half Full Triathlon drew over a 1000 participants and 400 volunteers (do the ratio on that!) this past Sunday in Columbia Maryland to raise support and awareness for young adults battling cancer. I can guarantee that there has never been a more impressive inaugural event. Headlining the event were Rebecca and Laurel Wassner (the only pro triathlete who has beaten cancer) as well as Eric Shanteau (also a cancer survivor, 2008 Olympian and American Record Holder in the 200m breast stroke) and Doug Ulman (the CEO of Livestrong). This event was run by the Ulman Cancer Fund, a young adult alliance organization with Livestrong, and 100% of race registration went directly to their cause of advocating for and supporting the largely marginalized and under-served population of cancer patients that are young adults in this country.

The Triathlon itself cannot be captured through words on paper. From the incredible major media coverage, the nicest most helpful volunteers on the planet!, amazing gift bag, impressive expo, free chipotle, free McDonalds, free lace locks, Oakley raffles ect, ect ,ect It had EVERYTHING and even more that you would find at the largest, most well-know triathlon in the country. This event has obviously inspired major support from all directions. This is going to be a HUGE event in the future and an important movement in the triathlon world. The distance was a 70 mile race with a .9mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 run. The distance is significant in that it represents the 70,000 young adults diagnosed with cancer in the US each year. What I really want to talk about is exactly what that means at this race and why this race is different.

I woke up Sunday morning looking forward to helping my relay team with the swim portion of the race, but I was mostly excited because I knew I was about to witness triathlon in a new light. I was right about that. The swim was gorgeous, pancake flat, smooth water. And our relay team won the relay division as well as had the fastest overall time of the day- owing not at all to my swim but by an insane 1:17 half marathon by James Linville and an impressive bike by Scott McAims. And 3 of the top 5 relay teams were from UVA (out of 100 relays!). So UVA had an incredible day. But what was different about the race had nothing to do with the performances of just that day.

Standing at the finish line I witnessed cancer survivor after cancer survivor cross under the large finishing banner, past the photographers, announcers and TV cameras. Most of them would stumble a little after the line as they dropped their faces into their hands and started to weep. These were often very young people. And even more often, these were people that had never done a triathlon before and now had just completed a 70 mile race after battling cancer. Could they have ever imagined being in the finishers ring of such an event the months or years before when they sat in a stark hospital room with a line of chemotherapy streaming into their veins or confronted their mortality in quiet hours alone somewhere – all at such an unimaginably young age? Looking around, people all along the course carried signs with photos and memories of loved ones lost too early- and yet there was hope there too. I was not the only one that noticed. The event was permeated with a hope that cannot be destroyed. Everyone felt it together.

This is one of too many examples to cite during this sacred day. To recommend this race like I have others would not be doing the event justice. This is a race for anyone who has ever doubted that triathlon could change the world or anyone who wants to witness what that change looks like in full display. I hadn’t ever seen it before; but now I have- and I know now that this sport is much bigger than I realized.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

USAT Elite Nationals Race Report...

This weekend was certainly one I will remember for the rest of my life. Before the race, I had been anxious about the draft legal format; this was my first real ITU race. I knew the swim would be really tough- in the draft legal races you have to make a pack of cyclists out of the water or your race is over. This year, there were also a lot of big names in the race, which would also make everything faster and harder for someone with little experience like myself. Going into the race, I tried to put these thoughts aside and, being a person of faith, reminded myself that things are not really in my control anyways so really why worry about it too much. On race morning, we paraded down to the dock. When the starting horn went off, it was 90 degrees outside. Things might be even tougher than I imagined….

The swim started and it was pure violent, explosive, white water madness. I was able to stay with the main pack for about 500m…then had to do some work on my own for a while in a small pack of three. After about 1000m I left my pack of three and bridged up to another girl who had come off the main pack with about 300m to go. We got out of the water together- 45 seconds down from the main pack…

I nailed the flying mount! Woohoo!

We made our way to the main pack in less than a lap and a half, that was the much easier than I expected. There was a descent 300m climb on the bike course that I knew I could use to my advantage later in the bike. Our pack was very disorganized and we weren’t really pushing a good pace- the lead pack put a lot of time on us. I tried to sit in as much as possible but I ended up pulling a bit more than I should have because I was worried we might get lapped out. On the second to last lap I made a move on the climb- where all good road racing moves are made- an instantly put 50m on the pack. I slowed just a little to let two girls catch me and we were off. We worked together great and put about 30 seconds on the pack in a lap and a half- If only we had gone earlier we could have probably made a go at catching the next pack- but live and learn….

The run was miserable but I went out extremely conservatively because I knew the heat would be a major factor in the race. It was in the mid 90s and the run was very exposed. It was a great battle with the mind demons, but I kept them at bay long enough- it gets a little easier to keep them down each race. By the middle of the run, people were starting to roll back to me but it was getting tough. I started to break up the laps into 2 sections by making it a goal to get to the next water station (which was every half lap) and not think about the remaining portion of the run- the only thought I allowed myself was concentrating on getting to the next water station. This is a marathon strategy that works great for distance events. I went from 8th off the bike (then to 10th after transition- dah!) to finish 4th overall and 3rd American at the end of the day. This was a big result for me, one that was way beyond even my “reach” goals. Right now I am just trying to process it all. Days like that are the reason why triathlon is such a tremendous sport! I really hope everyone in this sport gets a day like that, whatever that means for you, every once in a while =) Tremendous thanks to Fast Forward Triathlon, InsideOut Sports, Computrainer, American Bicycle Group and Ragged Mountain Racing for all their tremendous support of development athletes like myself. This support is vital to driving the sport of triathlon forward.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Elite Nationals Preview

This weekend in Tuscaloosa, AL is the USAT Age group and elite national championships. I have been in town for two days now and the thing that has struck me the most is how supportive and friendly the town has been towards all the smelly, legg-shaved, ridiculous compression sock wearing triathletes that have bombarded this small southern college town. I think the Elite race will be fun and it is a big USAT event. However, I think this best part of this weekend will be the Age Group race. I would highly recommend people putting this race on their calendars for next year if they qualify. It is truely the best of the best in short course Age Group racing. The amatuers I have seen here have all the focus and drive of the pros I have seen at other races. In age group racing it is really difficult to know exactly how you “stack up” becuase racing is so regional. I think this is a great opportunity for age groupers to really get a sense of where they are competing on a national level. The age group race is also awesome becuase it goes off early in the morning and then they get to chill out and watch the elites suffer in the mid day heat if they want to.

Anyways, enough promotion. As far as the elite race goes, I am excited; this is my first ITU race so I really have no idea what to expect. The bike is 8 laps instead of 6, so that is a little rough on the “less fast” swimmers like myself becuase it makes it easier to “lap out” on the draft legal bike (you get pulled from the race if you get lapped by the front pack). However, there is also a descent hill on the course which should play to my advantage because I am a strong hill climber. My focus is really just to swim 100% and see what happens after that. My swimming keeps getting faster and faster each month so this will be a good benchmark. Draft legal racing seems to be a lot less predicitable and more reactive than non drafting racing. I am pretty comfortable with the tactics of road racing so I think I’ll know what to do whatever happens after the swim. It is going to be in the 90′s by the time we start at 12pm so that should affect the race significantly too. All the big names in short course triathlon are here this weekend, including 4 olympians from 2008 so it should be a great race up front. You can check it out on Versus TV channel on Oct 14 from 4-6pm with Tour de France announcer Craig Hammilton. Good luck to Brian Duffy who is racing the AG race this weekend- look for a seriously dominant performance from him, cant wait!!

Lastly, here is an interview I did with Competitor Magazine that came out yesterday if anyone is interested….thanks!

Off to practice a few more flying mounts…