Wife, Mom, Coach & Co-Founder of Jenny's Light

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-Anatole France

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J O U R N A L




my brother randy, me, graham and jenny

Oct 30, 2012

Rev3 Florida Half Ironman – 1st!!

This past weekend was my last race of the year. I went into it intending to put it all out there and not hold anything back. I was excited, but a bit nervous, to end with a half IM as I had raced a lot (18 times!) but I put in a few weeks of solid training beforehand… hoping it would all pay off.  And it did!

Unfortunately with Hurricane Sandy going past FL we were greeted with very strong winds and a big ocean current that caused them to cancel the swim. Instead we did a 1.5 mile run to start! Not what I prefer, but I didn’t let it get to me and just ran a steady opening leg, starting the bike with most of the front runners. I quickly made my way into second and held it for about 30 miles until a couple of other women came up. We all battled nasty headwinds the last half of the bike. By about mile 45 I took the lead and tried to stay comfortable but pushed the pace. I was second out of T2 but took the lead back within a mile. I was a little conservative the first 5 miles or so, but tried to stay steady, focused and properly fueled. It was hard to know how I would feel from mile 10-13, given I’ve only done one other half IM since 2009, but I felt surprisingly good at the last turnaround. That’s also when I saw second place (Kelleher) chasing hard about :20 back! After leading for that long I was not about to let up…I picked up my pace and really kicked in that last mile (pretty much ran as hard as I could!) and I held on for the win. J

It was such a sweet hard-fought victory and the icing on the cake was that I moved from 5th to 2nd overall in the Rev3 Series! I could not have been happier! The only things missing were Brian and Caitlin, but they were cheering for me from CA as they watched the online coverage.  There will also be a 1 hr TV broadcast in the next couple of months so I’ll keep you posted on that.

Here are a few links to a video and articles…

http://www.xtri.com/features/detail/284-itemId.511715046.html

http://www.slowtwitch.com/News/Thomas_Lavelle_in_Florida_3198.html

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20121028/ARTICLE/121029609/2076/NEWS?Title=Gusty-winds-toughen-challenge-for-triathlon-competitors

What a year it’s been… action packed with lots of training, racing, traveling, moving to a new house, and keeping up with my 2 year old daughter! I’m looking forward to taking a nice break now and actually getting settled into our new place.


October 11, 2012

Rev3 Half Full Triathlon  (Columbia, Maryland)– 4th place

Well, after the race this past weekend I can honestly say I have never been so cold in my life! Race morning temps were in the mid 40’s and the rain began to come down just after the start. I definitely prefer cooler weather to hot, but this was a new extreme I had never experienced in my 18+ years of racing. I exited the swim in the lead and held on to that for the first part of the bike, but then the shivering/numb hands & feet/goosebumps/etc began to kick in. I just could not warm-up and I was really uncomfortable, thinking I wouldn’t even be able to finish at several points. The ride was 32 miles over hilly terrain (no real flat sections, just rolling hills the whole time), so you can imagine how the faster speeds made it feel much cooler. I only took one small sip of water the entire ride because my hands were too numb to hold the water bottle. I even thought my shifting was broken because I wasn’t able to shift properly a lot of the time. I came into T2 in forth and was just glad to be off the bike. Although the run didn’t feel much better! I never felt even remotely ‘warm’ and I couldn’t feel my feet until about mile 5. I had to keep looking down to make sure they were actually hitting the ground properly. I managed to hang on for 4th place and was just happy to finish.

I must say it was an inspiring event for a great cause, raising money for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. Several cancer survivors raced (even Lance Armstrong!) and it made me reflect on all of the people I know who have been affected by cancer, most importantly my mom who is a 2-time breast cancer survivor. I felt like I had to ‘fight’ just to finish the race, but that pales in comparison to how hard cancer patients fight for such a tough battle. It’s so admirable and inspiring. Hopefully this race will help the fight and bring us closer to finding a cure.

One more race to go this season, Rev3 Florida, a Half Ironman in Venice FL on Oct 28th. This will be race #18, so it’s been an action-packed year! I’m looking forward to finishing the year strong and then taking a nice break in the off-season.


Sept 24, 2012

  • Olathe All-Women’s Sprint Triathlon (Kansas City)– 1st
  • Beijing International Triathlon – 3rd
  • Galveston 5150 – 1st

Well, I wasn’t exactly planning to do 5 races in a row, but I did! The weekend after Hy-Vee I was invited by Don Herron (of KC Tri) to be a guest at the Olathe All-Women’s Sprint Tri in Olathe, KS. It was my first time doing an all-women’s race and it was great to see so many first timers and very enthusiastic women competing. I also spoke to a group of competitors about my career, Jenny’s Light and my top-10 training & racing tips. It was a fun little trip!

 Just a few days after getting back from Kansas City, Brian and I were on a plane (in Business Class) to Beijing, courtesy of IMG. What a great trip and a fun race! It was the inaugural event that was very well-organized and went off without a hitch. IMG took such good care of the 5 men/5 women who were invited to compete. Brian was invited to be a guest commentator for the TV production, airing on NBC SportsNet on Oct 6th.  After a mediocre swim and a ‘slow’ T1 (that included a ½ mile run!), I tried to make up lost ground on the mostly flat (with a climb/descent in the middle) bike course. I managed to catch the leaders before the climb, but couldn’t seem to drop them. I was first into T2, but fell to 3rd by mile 2 of the obstacle course-like run (dirt, stairs, windy trails, etc). I pushed hard to maintain 3rd as I was almost passed with 2k to go. I was really happy to get on the podium with 2 Olympians (Groff & Samuels).

A day after getting back from Beijing I booked my ticket to Galveston 5150. I had only recently heard the race was on (last year it was in Oct) and I thought I would go and try to defend my title. Good thing I went, I won! After exiting the swim in 3rd, I worked my way to lead the bike by mile 12 and never looked back. I felt strong on the run even though it was heating up fast and I finished 2:30 ahead of the next woman.  Always great to get a win & feel good doing it! J

Next up is a weekend off from racing and then I go to Columbia Maryland for the Rev3 Half Full Triathlon on Oct 7th. I’m currently 5th in the Rev3 Series but hope to move up into the top-3.

Sept 5, 2012

 

Rev3 Portland Maine – 2nd place

Hy-Vee Triathlon – 16th place

It’s been a busy couple of weeks with 2 races and a visit to my hometown of Minnetonka MN.

Rev3 Portland Maine was an event I was really looking forward to as I love that area and Rev3 always puts on a fun race! Unfortunately I was met with some misfortune when one of my bags didn’t show up at the airport… the one that had my seatpost/saddle, pedals and several other parts needed to build my bike, as well as my wetsuit, swim suit, goggles and all of my clothes! Long story short, I had to borrow a bike, wetsuit, swim suit, goggles. Not to mention I spent about 3 hours the night before the race trying to track all of those things down! Race morning came quickly and after a descent swim I was about :20 down from the leader and managed to catch her by about mile 10. I pushed the bike, even though my fit wasn’t quite right, and actually ended up having the fastest bike split. However I didn’t feel as good going onto the run and lost some ground but still hung on for 2nd place so I was really happy with that given the circumstances. I’m now top-5 in the Rev3 Series and I hope to move up with the last 2 races of the season in October.

Hy-Vee was one of my main focus races this season and is of course a pretty high pressure race with so much money on the line. Race day saw temps in the upper 90’s and we started at 1:30pm so it was HOT, to put it lightly!  I had a great swim coming out with the lead pack and held strong on the bike, at least for the first 3 of 4 laps. Then I started to really feel the heat… I was definitely overheating, feeling weak and a bit light-headed. I came off the bike in the top-10, but had a tough time getting my run going. I was just focusing on putting one foot in front of the other and trying to cool off as much as possible at each aid station. I actually started feeling a bit cooler and like I could actually ‘run’ on the last lap of 4, but it was a little too late. I finished up in 16th, but fortunately still had a good payday. 

In between those 2 races, Brian, Caitlin and I had a great time visiting my family and spending some time at their cabin in Northern Wisconsin. Only wish we could have stayed longer! This weekend I’m heading to a small all women’s sprint triathlon in Kansas City. They’ve invited me to speak, do a radio spot and be a part of the event. I’m really looking forward to it! Then next week I head to Beijing China for the Beijing International Triathlon on September 16th.

AUGUST 1, 2012

1st place – Columbus 5150

This past weekend I made a quick trip out East for the Giant Eagle 5150 race in Columbus OH. It was a beautiful venue starting at Alum Creek State Park (Lake) and finishing in downtown Columbus after a point-to-point bike and a run along the river. It was a fun race!

The 2-lap swim was average for me and I exited about 1 minute down from the leader. I put my head down and went for it on the bike catching her around mile 10 and tried to put as much time as I could on the girls who exited close behind me on the swim. I came into T2 with around a 1 minute lead. There was only one point on the run I could see my competition and they weren’t far behind so I pushed hard on the entire run, especially the last 3 miles, and earned my second win of the year! I was really happy with my performance and was very excited to be on top of the podium again!

I’m looking forward to a few weekends off from racing. I plan to get in some good training in preparation for a busy end of Aug/Sept.

July 20, 2012

I just finished up  back-to-back weekends racing. First it was REV3 Portland Half IM on July 8th. This was my first half since August 2009! I’ve always liked the distance but have had a hard time fitting one in with all the Olympic Distance races I do. I love Portland Oregon though and I thought this was a great opportunity to do a west coast race and improve my ranking in the REV3 Series.

 

Brian and Caitlin joined me as well, which was a blessing and a curse. Caitlin decided to be awake from about 2-5am the night before the race, but thankfully I had a good night sleep the night prior! Anyway, it was fun having them there cheering me on. J

I had a solid swim exiting in second right on the heels of the leader. The bike was extremely challenging… lots of technical descents and some major climbs.  I felt pretty strong but I did suffer a bit on the hills and my descending was definitely weak.  I was able to push the flats really well at the beginning and end of the bike and came off in third place. I felt good on the run too, seemed to have gotten my nutrition just right, but I knew those last few miles were going to hurt. And they did! I finished up in 4th and felt good about my performance overall.

Photos here: http://www.slowtwitch.com/News/A_Rev3_Portland_gallery_2911.html

Just 6 days later was the Lifetime Fitness Minneapolis Tri, in my hometown! I didn’t want to miss this one as I’ve done it 10 out of the past 11 years and I always have family and friends there to support me. I knew it would be tough after the half, but I just rested all week and hoped my legs would come around.

I had a great swim, my best of the season, coming out in 4th just down from the leaders. The bike was okay for me, but I did have some mishaps… first I lost a water bottle (with electrolytes!) going over railroad tracks in the first 5 miles, then a bee stung my face, then to top things off I got a drafting penalty (first one ever I believe!?!). It was a 1 minute stand-down at about mile 20. That was pretty frustrating, but I pushed through and did everything I could on the run even though my legs were definitely heavy and feeling some effects of racing the half. I finished 5th and put myself in an outside position to finish top-5 in the Lifetime Fitness Series.

Next up is the 5150 Columbus race on July 29th. Then a few weekends off from racing… time to put in some mileage in preparation for a busy September.

JUNE 25, 2012

 

 It’s been an interesting few weeks since my last update. I raced Escape from Alcatraz and finished well behind where I thought I would be, in 5th place. I just didn’t feel like myself, my legs were flat and I felt like I couldn’t ‘push’ the way I wanted to. After finishing I immediately started coughing, A LOT! Basically I couldn’t stop coughing but for brief periods, my chest got really tight on and off and I was wheezing too. I had to take my inhaler about 8 times the rest of the day/night so I could breathe okay. I researched a bit online about my symptoms and it appeared I was on the edge of an asthma attack! {Quick note, I have had a cough, mostly at night and after workouts, that has lasted about 3 months… I just kept thinking it would go away.}

                The next day I made an appointment with a pulmonologist. Thank God I did! I went through several breathing tests, the most alarming one was ‘exhaled NO’ (Nitrous Oxide), which should be low and if elevated indicates inflammation in the lungs and asthma. A normal number should be under 30, mine was 146! Off the charts high, the doctor couldn’t believe I actually finished Alcatraz. I was also breathing at 56% of my capacity, not good.

                He immediately put me on several medications and an inhaler to bring down all the inflammation. At a follow-up test last week my eNO dropped to 47, but was still a bit high. He advised me not to race New Orleans 5150 this past weekend, but I was feeling better at the end of last week and it was just a really important race. Good thing I went… it was my first big WIN of the year!! AND I felt like a completely different person racing. It was a huge confidence boost and just a great feeling to know there was something holding me back and now it’s going to be taken care of and get better. Of course I’m kicking myself for not seeing a doctor sooner, but I will just have to try to make up for lost time. ;)

                I’m excited about what’s ahead and I look forward to racing Rev3 Portland on July 8th (my first half ironman since 2009!). Thank you again for your support.

Have a great 4th of July week!

http://www.nola.com/running/index.ssf/2012/06/lsu_graduate_becky_lavelle_dom.html

June 4, 2012

 

 

 

Hello hello! It’s been awhile and I apologize for my lack of correspondence since the races started this year. Life is quite busy these days with active little Caitlin (turning 2 on the 15th of June!), selling our house and relocating to Aptos, training and now traveling quite a bit for races. I’ve also been dealing with a nagging leg pain on the outside of my ankle/calf that thankfully finally seems to be getting better. J

I kicked off the 2012 season with a small race in Kemah TX at the end of April. It’s a race that helps raise money for Jenny’s Light and the race director, Aaron Palaian, is just a great guy. I didn’t feel very good there, as my first race of the year is always a bit ‘off’, but I still finished 2nd and it felt good to get in the mix again.

The week after that was Rev3 Knoxville, a great race venue and a very well organized event. My swim didn’t feel the best, but I had a decent ride/run and finished up in 4th, just missing 3rd!

The following weekend I didn’t race, but that was our official ‘moving day’… no rest for the weary! ;)

After that I was off to Kansas City for the 5150 race there. I was really happy with my performance and how I felt as I finished 3rd and earned valuable ranking points for Hy-Vee in September.

Memorial Day weekend was CapTexTri in Austin, part of the Lifetime Fitness Series. I was 50/50 on going there as I knew by that point I did need to start putting in more training instead of racing but I wanted to give myself a shot at being in the series so I decided to go. Unfortunately it was not a good day for me… swim was good, but I had nothing in my legs for the bike or run and felt very flat. Lesson learned. After a disappointing 10th place, I decided to forgo doing the LTF Series this year and focus now on the Rev3 and 5150 series, and of course Escape from Alcatraz coming up this weekend. 

 

Oct 23 - GALVESTON 5150

2011 season ends on a high note!

This past weekend brought me back to Texas (where I started the season too!). It was my last race of the year, Galveston 5150. I felt good going into the race knowingI had put in a few weeks of solid training (no racing!), and knowing it was the last race of the year gave me more incentive to really push hard. My swim was average and I exited the water in third, but further down from the leaders than I hoped to be. I wanted to use the bike to my advantage and make up as much ground as I could. There was a stiff headwind going out on the flat & straight course along the Gulf that made it extra challenging. I never let up and eventually made my way to the front by mile 17 or so and had the fastest bike split. It was starting to heat up and I really felt it on the run! I ran strong and dug deep to maintain my lead. I even managed to put more time on therest of the field and crossed the line in 1st!

I was ecstatic to come away with the win and also earn some valuable qualifying points for the Hy-Vee race next year. That was my fourth win of the year and I couldn’t be happier with my performance! Part of me wishes the season was just beginning as I feel like I’m the fittest I’ve been since having Caitlin. But part of me is also glad to end on such a good note and now enjoy some downtime.  :)

I’m feeling more confident than ever looking ahead to the 2012 season. Thank you so much again for your loyal support during my ‘comeback’ year, it means a lot! I couldn't have done it all without my amazing sponsors... TYR, TRIBIKE TRANSPORT, FELT, FSA, OAKLEY, ISM, WATTBIKE, SYMMETRY SPORTS, NORCAL CYCLING and CONTINENTAL. Thank you!
Until next year...

Oct 4, 2011 – LTF LA,  LTF Dallas & Toyota Cup Series

 

I just finished up another 2 races in a row in the Lifetime Fitness/Toyota Cup Series.

LA TRIATHLON was the first stop, a race I have won twice in the past and one that I really enjoy doing as it’s a great course and a fun ‘urban’ event. I drove down from Los Gatos the day before and made it door-to-door in exactly 5 hours, no traffic at all! I also stayed with a very nice family that made me feel right at home.

There was a pretty strong field of women to contend with this year, some coming from ITU racing so I wasn’t sure what to expect from them but I knew they would be tough. The race got off to a great start as I exited the swim with the main pack of women . Once on the bike there were about 4 of us that were going back and forth trying to catch the 4 other women ahead of us. I felt okay on the bike but wished I went with my disc wheel as it was fairly flat with moderate winds. I pushed the best I could and came off in about 7th place. I had a solid run but was passed by one woman and finished up in 8th. I was a bit disappointed with the result but my splits were good, my bike was just a bit off of what I think I’m capable of riding. I used this as motivation to make Dallas that much better! http://onlineraceresults.com/race/view_race.php#racetop

This past Sunday was the US OPEN DALLAS, the last race of the Toyota Cup Series. I hadn’t raced there since 2008 so I was excited to go back and race on the new and improved course. My goal was to move myself up from 5th to 3rd in the overall series rankings and I felt with a good solid race I could do that, but it did depend on how others finished as well. This race also had a strong field of women and there were actually more women racing (21) than men (13), which rarely happens! I had another strong swim (exiting in about 6th place) and knew I had to really push the bike to make up some ground on the faster runners. I felt great on the bike and I think riding the Shimano disc gave me even more confidence. It was a pretty tough, rolling and windy course that I really enjoyed. I made my way up to 4th coming off the bike. For the first 4 miles of the run I had a woman right on my heels, but with less than a mile to go I knew it was now or never and I made a surge to go by her, pushing hard to the end and crossing the line in 5th! I also knew in the back of mind that every place counted for moving up in the series and my perseverance paid off as I ended up finishing in 3rd in the TOYOTA CUP SERIES. I was really happy with my performance and so excited to get on the podium again! http://www.slowtwitch.com/News/Europeans_take_U.S._Open_2365.html

I was also one of 5 athletes competing for the Janus Charity Challenge People’s Choice Award. I was representing Jenny’s Light and money was awarded to the charity based on the number of votes received. I had the second highest number of votes and earned $5,000 for Jenny’s Light! That money will go a long way in fulfilling our mission to improve and save lives by increasing awareness of all perinatal mood disorders including postpartum depression. This also made the whole Lifetime Fitness Series that much more meaningful to me and I am so grateful for what Janus has donated to a cause so close to my heart.

I actually feel like I have been getting stronger and faster as the season is coming to an end, but that gives me great confidence looking ahead to the 2012 season. I feel really good with what I have accomplished just a year after having Caitlin and I know things will only get better after all of this racing and some good winter training. But to finish things up this year, I’m planning to race Galveston 5150 on Oct 23rd and potentially Clearwater 5150 on Nov 12th to secure some qualifying points for the Hy-Vee race next year. 

 

SEPT 12, 2011

It’s been a busy few weeks! I have 3 races to report on… Chicago, Hy-Vee Championships and Pacific Grove. Chicago is one of my favorite cities and Brian and I always love going there to race. My family also drives in from Minneapolis so it’s fun to have them there too. And this year they got to babysit Caitlin for us! Chicago lived up to its name, the Windy City, as the winds were really strong making the swim extremely choppy and the bike more challenging. I didn’t have a great swim and came out in about 8th place but I was able to make up some ground on the bike coming off in 4th. The run was tough as I just didn’t feel very good and had a hard time finding my rhythm but I pushed on. Unfortunately I didn’t look back in the last 100m stretch and was passed by 2 women, ugh! I can’t remember the last time that happened… but hopefully it won’t happen again! I finished in 7th.

Hy-Vee Elite Cup Championships was a very exciting and fun event to be a part of! It was a top-notch very professionally organized event. The river we swam in wasn’t dammed so there was a very strong current we had to fight for half of it (3 loops!) and that made it very challenging but I think it favored stronger swimmers. I came out in about 12th place and got onto the bike intending to push it as hard as I could, despite the really strong winds and somewhat technical 4-lap course. I quickly passed a few women and made up significant ground on the lead group of about 6 women, coming to within :20 or so of them starting the run. It was great to finally feel like my old self again on the bike! (I have to thank Jeff Myhren at NorCal Cycling for setting up with a great bike fit a few weeks ago.) I tried to keep a good steady pace going on the run and was able to pass a few women, but also got caught by a couple of others so I finished up in 11th place. I was really happy with my performance against a tough field of (30) women… and was also happy to get a nice paycheck as the total prize purse was $1 million! Only wish there were more races like that! ;) http://hyvee_women.onlineraceresults.com/

 

This past weekend was the Triathlon at Pacific Grove in CA (only about an hour south of where I live).  It’s always been one of my favorite races and I’ve also won it 6 times! I was looking to get back on top of the podium but I knew I had some tough competition. The swim is referred to as the ‘kelp crawl’ as we had to navigate through thick, slimy sea kelp for most of the 2-lap swim in the 55 degree water! I was able to stay with the 3 lead swimmers, coming out in 4th. On the 4-lap draft-legal bike I tried breaking away a couple of times in the first 2 laps but to no avail. Halfway through lap 3 I surged and ended up getting away with one other woman. We worked together and came off over a minute ahead of the next woman.  I knew I was with a fast runner (Vodickova) so I just wanted to stay with her as long as possible… we ran the first of 3 laps together and then she slowly gapped me and I ended up finishing in 2nd. I was really happy with this race as the draft-legal racing doesn’t really suit me but I pushed very hard on the run (my fastest run this year!) and held off some fast runners behind me as well. I was also really proud of my husband for coming in 4th!!

http://raceresults.eternaltiming.com/index.cfm/20110910_The_Triathlon_at_Pacific_Grove.htm?Fuseaction=Results&Class=Elite+Professional~Top20

I am looking forward to having this weekend off from racing so I can get in some more training before the next 2 races in LA and Dallas. Thank you again for your tremendous support and loyalty!

AUG 21, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

This past weekend was the San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz put on by Tri-California. The course is slightly different from the Escape from Alcatraz (in June) as it has a longer bike (25 miles instead of 18) and the run is 7 miles instead of 8. The swim was choppy, as to be expected, but the current was also tough and made it feel like swimming in an endless pool! The shore just never seemed to get closer! There was also a nice long (1/2 mile +) run from the swim to transition. I came out of the water in 2nd and went onto the bike knowing I had to push it hard to try to pass the leader and maintain a lead. I really liked the bike course as it was a great mix of challenging hills and flat to rolling straight-aways. I passed the leader about 6 miles into the bike and came into T2 with a lead, but I really wasn’t sure how much of a lead?? I knew I had to push the run just as hard to stay in front as there were some good runners chasing me down. I always have a hard time maintaining my pace on the winding trails, sand, sand ladder, stairs, etc so I really tried to make the most of the 2 flat miles at the beginning and end of the run. I also should have looked back at the top of the sand ladder to see if any women were close, but I was focused on going forward as fast as I could so I just pushed it to the very end and came across with the win! I was told afterwards that the second place finisher came within 50 y of me but I held her off. ;) Another example of why you should ‘never give up’! I was really excited to get my first ‘big’ win since having Caitlin last year and returning to racing. I hope to use this momentum going into my next few races… Chicago Triathlon this Sunday and Hy-Vee Championships on Sept 4th.

http://www.slowtwitch.com/News/Zaferes_Lavelle_top_Alcatraz_2279.html

AUG 16, 2011


It’s hard to believe it's the 'end of summer' already?!?! It's definitely not the end of my tri season though. I have a string of races to finish up the year and I just completed 3 in 2 weekends!


Aug 7th was the last qualifier for Hy-Vee, NYC 5150. I was very close to not being able to go to this race as I tweaked my lower back pretty bad the week prior and wasn't able to train for 6 days leading up to the race. It came down to the fact that I had to at least finish in NYC in order to secure my entry to Hy-Vee. If I didn't race, I wouldn't qualify (I believe I would have been 26th and only 25 qualify!). To make things even more difficult… with 30 minutes to race start I noticed my rear tubular tire was flat! I thought my day was over right then and there, but thankfully a nice man (member of NYAC) gave me a spare tubular and awesome mechanics (Toga Bikes) were able to glue the new tire on with 15 minutes to spare, whew! I then had to ‘run’ a mile to the swim start since it’s a point to point swim downstream in the Hudson! Luckily the start was delayed 40 minutes so I got to catch my breath too. ;) I made it through the swim and bike okay with minimal back pain, but I knew the run would feel the worst. And it did! I could feel my low back seizing and my hips getting very tight but I held a manageable pace and finished in 6th…AND earned my spot to compete at Hy-Vee on Sept 4th… mission accomplished!
J


This past weekend both Brian and I competed in a couple of local races… a sprint tri on Sat and an Olympic on Sunday in Santa Cruz. Caitlin had her first overnight with the grandparents on Sat so we could focus on the races… and it paid off! I won both days and Brian was 3rd in the sprint, 1st in the Olympic! The race director has always been supportive of Jenny’s Light and we wanted to support her as well. She was also generous enough to put up some prize money, so it was well worth doing a deadly double! http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/sports/ci_18683066

Thankfully my back held up as well and is feeling better. I’ve been getting it worked on a bunch and trying to be better about picking Caitlin up using my legs and not my back! ;)


Next up is Tri-Cal’s San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz on Aug 21st, then Chicago Triathlon Aug 28th and Hy-Vee 5150 Championships on Sept 4th.


 

JULY 9, 2011 – Mpls Tri

 

It’s always fun racing in my home state and having friends and family there cheering for me. And it was extra special this year as my daughter Caitlin was also on the sidelines cheering me along. J This year was the 10th anniversary of the race so Lifetime Fitness brought back the ‘equalizer’ giving the women a 10:43 head start over the men. With my husband Brian racing as well, it was my goal to beat him to the line! I knew that if I had a good day I should finish at least 3 minutes in front of him, but as it turned out I didn’t have my best day and wasn’t feeling great (especially on the bike). With less than 2 miles to go on the run I saw that Brian was gaining ground on me. I tried to pick it up to hold him off but with about 50m to go I looked back and saw him coming so I slowed down and we crossed the line together! J We don’t get very many opportunities to do that so it was fun and made it a much more positive experience. I ended up 5th and Brian finished 9th
              

After spending a few extra days with my family we are back in CA now and taking a little mid-season break to recharge the batteries and get ready for the next few months of racing. Next up is NYC 5150 on August 7th, the last qualifier for Hy-Vee.


 

JUNE 20, 2011

 

This past weekend brought me to the great city of Washington DC for my second 5150 series race of the year. It was my first time racing in DC but I think it’s already one of my favorite races! It was so cool to swim in the Potomac River and bike/run near the White House, the Washington and Lincoln Memorials, Arlington Bridge, the Smithsonian (to name a few iconic landmarks!)… and finally to finish in front of the Capitol Building!

 

I came out of the swim with about 6 or so women about 1 minute down from the leader. Once on the bike I moved my way up to the front pretty quickly, but a couple of women managed to stay within legal distance of me for the whole ride and I came off in second. My legs felt a bit heavy riding but I was hoping they would spring back on the run… I passed the leader but was eventually caught by 2 other fleet-feeted women and finished up in 3rd, exactly 1 minute out of first place. I was happy with my effort and my overall performance, I just still hope to get all 3 disciplines to feel good and come together on the same day… and hopefully I can break this string of 3rd places soon! ;) 

 

This race was a qualifier for the 5150 Hy-Vee race in Des Moines on Sept 4th (with a $1 million  prize purse!). 30 men and 30 women will qualify to compete there. After this race I am in 18th and may have to do NYC in August to secure my spot.  First I will focus on Lifetime Fitness Minneapolis, July 9th… my hometown race!

 

June 9, 2011

 

2 more races down! On Memorial Day I raced at the Cap Tex Tri in Austin which is part of the Lifetime Fitness Series. Race morning greeted us with strong winds, overcast skies and some pretty high temps (90’s and humid!). I came out of the water in about 7th but within sight of some other women. I tried to make up as much ground as I could on the 4-lap rolling bike course and managed to come off in 5th. I was wishing the bike course had a couple more laps as I started feeling better on the second half, but onto the 2 lap run course again I wasn’t feeling great the first lap and slipped back into 6th place. Then suddenly with about 2 miles to go I found another gear and started to pick up the pace…with less than ½ mile to go I had moved myself into 3rd place and didn’t let up until finish line! I was really happy with my performance and so glad I was able to dig deep and make it on the podium. J

 

Just 6 days later I was in San Francisco (just an hour drive north!) for Escape from Alcatraz, one of my all-time favorite races! Brian and Caitlin joined me at this one and my in-laws babysat Caitlin race morning so we could both race. It was really fun racing together again, especially with the same start time and being able to jump off the boat together, which we did! The frigid water (53 degrees!) didn’t seem to bother me too much but I wasn’t sure if I still had lips, they were so numb! Anyway, I felt strong on the swim and came out in 4th. It took me a little while to get into a rhythm on the bike, but I managed to come off in 2nd. As much as I love the run on this course and it seems to go by fairly quickly for 8 miles, it’s very challenging to keep a good pace going with all of the changing terrain (stairs, hills, windy narrow trails, deep sand, packed sand, sand ladder, etc, etc)! I felt okay but I knew it wasn’t my best run there. I still gave it everything I had on the day and ended up in 3rd, another podium spot so I was happy with that! It was also fun bringing Caitlin up on stage with me at the awards ceremony.  J

 

I can’t believe it, but Caitlin turns 1 next week!! We’re having a Birthday party for her this weekend and then the following weekend I’m off to Washington DC for the 5150 race on the 19th. After that… a few weekends off from racing then Lifetime Fitness Minneapolis on July 9th.

MAY 16, 2011

It’s only the middle of May and I have raced 4 times already! My goal going into this season was to start racing early, hopefully race myself into shape at the same time, and try to use that momentum to build on throughout the year. Although I think I underestimated the effects of travel and recovery from that as the races I’ve done have been mostly near the east coast… Texas, Florida and Tennessee! For some reason I’ve been having trouble adjusting to new time zones so sleeping has been challenging, but maybe that gets better with practice. ;)

 

St Anthony’s Tri a few weeks ago didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped. Having won this race twice (2005, 2006) I always feel like it’s a good course for me and I ‘should’ do well, however this year I was up against some really tough competition and I just didn’t have what it took. I felt sub-par in all 3 disciplines and really lacked the ‘speed’ I needed to be competitive. I ended up coming out of the water pretty far back, passed a few girls on the bike, but wasn’t able to make up much ground on the run and finished in 13th. I learned a lot though and hopefully with more speed training and racing under my belt I will be able to get back to where I’d like to be.

 

This past weekend was the Rev3 Olympic distance race in Knoxville. It was first time doing a Rev3 race and my second time to Knoxville (the first time being in 1996 when I won SEC’s in the 200y breastroke!). It’s a beautiful city and the people are very friendly! I had a great homestay and really enjoyed doing a race I’ve never done before. It was the first wetsuit swim I’ve done this year and I loved my new TYR Hurricane! I’ve been struggling with getting my swim back, but my goal was to come out with the lead girls… and I did! So that was a big relief and motivated me to push hard and try to stay in contact during the bike. I was lucky to be one of the girls who stayed on course, as many ended up going off course and that cost them some time.  Toward the end of the challenging bike my quads were pretty shot so I knew the run would be tough. I came off the bike in 2nd and felt okay on the run but got passed by a couple of women and finished in 4th. I was still happy with my performance…but realize I need to continue putting in some hard work!
 
Next stop, Austin TX for the CapTexTri on Memorial Day and then Escape from Alcatraz on June 5th.

  April 13 . 2011

Where has the time gone?!?! Our daughter Caitlin is almost 10 months old already AND I finally toed the starting line again and my 2011 racing season is in full swing! I must say it felt great to get back into the mix and start racing again…it definitely didn’t feel like I had not raced in over a year and a half. I am guessing that is due to the fact that I have now been racing professionally for 14 years! ;)

I decided to kick things off in Kemah, TX at the Memorial Hermann Kemah Triathlon on April 3rd (www.gatewaytothebay.com).  This was a first class event (and only a second year race!) that was very well organized and a lot of fun! Race director Aaron Palaian was also generous enough to make it a benefit for Jenny’s Light and put together a charity dinner & silent auction and several pros hosted a tri clinic the day before. I can’t thank him enough and also Karen Smyers, Terenzo Bozzone, Tim DeBoom and Chris Lieto for giving their support to the event.

We started much like Alcatraz with a jump off a boat into the waters of Galveston Bay. My swim is a bit slow to come back, but I came out in 3rd about 1:30 down from the leaders. I put my head down on the bike and tried to make up as much ground as I could on the flat, but windy, course. Going into T2 I was less than :20 from the leader and managed to take the lead by mile 2 on the run. Shortly after that I was passed by a speedy Angela Naeth , but I stayed strong and held on for 2nd. The best part of the whole day, crossing the finish line holding Caitlin! We were both all smiles and it was a moment I will never forget.

Just one week later I headed down to Miami for the Nautica South Beach Triathlon, first stop on the Lifetime Fitness Series. I was excited to race there for the first time! Unfortunately I started to feel a bit under the weather a couple of days before I left (I have already been sick more times since Caitlin was born than I have been in the past 5 years!). I didn’t feel 100% but I gave it everything I had that day and ended up 6th, earning valuable points for the Series.  Next stop, St Anthony’s in Tampa, FL on May 1st.

I would also like to say a huge THANK YOU to my 2011 sponsors who are making it possible for me to continue doing what I love to do! www.tyr.com, www.feltracing.com, www.tribiketransport.com, www.ismseat.com, www.oakley.com, www.fullspeedahead.com, www.wattbike.com and www.shimano.com.


October 23 . 2010

I’m a mom! Our daughter Caitlin Jenny was born on June 15th at 5:55pm…she was 8 lbs 12 oz and 21 inches long. We absolutely love parenthood and we are amazed every day by how much she is growing, learning and changing. She’s super sweet and a great sleeper so we feel very blessed.

 

I ended up delivering her a week past my due date via c-section. She was making no movement toward my pelvis and I had no dilation at all so it seemed likely she would have stayed put for several more weeks! The recovery from that was pretty tough as I felt very weak and basically incapacitated for the first 2 weeks, but things got better each day and we started to figure things out.

 

I wasn’t able to exercise at all for about 8 weeks after she was born but by mid-August I started slowly getting back into some light training. I am finally maintaining some consistency and I hope to start my comeback with a 10K run next month. I have renewed motivation and I’m really looking forward to racing again next year…even though it may be a long road back! ;)



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Spectating at Escape from Alcatraz

May 30 . 2010
(39 weeks down, 1 to go!)

Wow, the time is finally very near! I have had a pretty interesting last month which was mostly consumed by having a migraine headache. L Apparently this can come on at the end of pregnancy for about 10-15% of women, lucky me! It was really bad for about 2 weeks… I even went to the ER one day to make sure everything was okay with baby (and my head) and all tests thankfully came back fine. The only explanation was hormones from pregnancy. I was put on vicodin, which caused me to be nauseous and I felt terrible on it, so after a week I decided to go off all medication and just tough it out. The headaches didn’t seem to get much worse and overall I did feel better. I also tried a few acupuncture treatments that seemed to help keep the headache and nausea at bay.

 

I wasn’t able to do much exercise for a few weeks but now I’m trying to walk or swim a little bit each day. Moving around, getting up and down from a chair, or getting in and out of bed is becoming more difficult and I feel like I have really ‘slowed down’.

 

I can now finally see the light at the end of tunnel and can hardly wait for baby to arrive! The cradle is in place, the car seat is installed, the diapers are in the drawer and the clothes & blankets are all washed and folded. Our little bundle will be here soon…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


34 weeks pregnant

APRIL 29 . 2010

(34 weeks down, 6 to go!)

 

Suddenly it seems like our baby will be here before we know it! I now have a Dr appt every 2 weeks instead of every 4 and next month it will be every week as my due date quickly approaches.

 

Last week I finally had to stop running… it was just too much pressure on my bladder. I would feel good for about 3-4 minutes and then feel like I had to pee, even if I didn’t! I figure at this point I can almost walk faster anyway so I will continue to hike in the hills. Swimming still feels the best and I’m still doing flip turns even though they take a bit more effort now. I’ve been swimming 3000-4000y three times a week and hanging on to 1:20/100y freestyle base (at least for most sets). You would think this big belly would be a good floatation device but I do have to work a little harder to keep my feet up…it’s more like a rudder at this point! ;) So pulling sets are much easier and I will probably stick to that more in the coming weeks.

 

My appetite has been good, but I definitely can’t eat the same quantities I used to, there’s just not enough room! My sweet tooth seems to have escalated… I wasn’t sure that was possible, but I guess it is. ;) I hope baby likes chocolate because I sure do!

 

I have also noticed I’ve been running a little hot these days… I no longer complain that it’s too cold in our bedroom at night and I seem to be a bit more bothered by the heat. Good thing I will be missing the bulk of the summer heat! ;)


31 weeks pregnant on Easter Sunday

April 16 . 2010

 

 

 

Less than 8 weeks to go! Time sure seems to be going by quickly now and we can hardly believe we’ll be parents in less than 2 months! We are both growing more and more excited each day… we just can’t wait to meet our little creation.

 

The latest development is that I can now say I SNORE! I have never snored in my life… it must be a pregnancy thing and the fact that I’m constantly switching from side to side while I sleep and sometimes find myself on my back, snoring! Let’s hope that goes away after I deliver. ;)

 

Baby still continues to be very active and likes to move around, a lot! It’s about 4 lbs now so space is becoming tight in there! I’m still staying as active as possible too… running is getting tougher but I’m still able to run some as long as I alternate with some walking. Swimming is still the best although flip turns are getting a little tricky. I love hiking and yoga as well.

 

We have also finished up our birthing classes and learned a lot in the process…most importantly we know which entrance to go to at the hospital! I’m slowly starting to organize some of the baby gear we’ve received and cleaning things out to make room for all of it.

 

I’m really starting to embrace my expanding belly, even though it does get in the way from time to time. One of my favorite things to do is put my hand on my belly every morning when I wake up to feel baby’s kicks.


7 months prego in Santa Cruz

Mar 31 . 2010

30 weeks down, 10 weeks to go! Things are going well in pregnancy land… everything except the ‘restless leg syndrome’ that doesn’t seem to be getting any better, but the good thing is that once I’m asleep I do sleep pretty well.

 

I am also glad that I can still work out... although it’s getting tougher and tougher to fit into my swim suits and to find workout shirts that are long enough!  I am trying to swim 2-3 days a week (2500-4000y), hike 1-2 days a week and run/hike 3 days a week. I also started doing ‘gentle yoga’ on Mondays and that always feels good, although I definitely still need to work on some flexibility. ;)

 

This past weekend my friend Eileen and my aunt-in-law Peggy threw me a really nice baby shower in San Francisco. It was great because my mom was able to be there too. I can’t believe all of the things that baby will need…he or she is spoiled already!


Mar 14. 2010

I am officially in my third trimester!! 28 weeks along now and due June 8th. I’m still feeling surprisingly good… I’m sure things will change a bit once my belly starts taking on a life of its own. ;) Brian and I started our ‘Birthing Classes’ a couple of weeks ago. We’ve had 2 classes and there are 3 to go with the last one being a hospital tour to see where I will deliver. So far the classes have been good… we just figured it’s best to be as prepared as possible for labor and delivery. After all, it’s all new to us! In the back of my mind I am going to ‘expect the unexpected’ as I know anything can happen when the time comes.

 

Last week I had the most wonderful day of pampering… Brian treated me to a “Maternity Spa Day” that included a massage, facial and pedicure with chocolate fondue. It was awesome! I had been looking forward to it since Dec when he gave it to me for my Birthday. It was perfect timing with all the work for the 5K being over and my transition to now being able to focus on baby… and its impending arrival! J I may have to go back from another one after the baby is born… ;)

 

I will post a belly picture soon!

Mar 4. 2010
Week 26...Sorry for the delay in updates, time slipped away from me! These past few weeks I’ve been working a lot on getting things organized for the 2nd Annual Jenny’s Light 5K & Kids Fun Run I’m putting on this Sunday March 7th. It shaping up to be a great event with over 400 people already entered!

 

On the pregnancy front I’m still feeling pretty good and the baby is still as active as ever! I’m starting to get used to having a belly and having it get in my way from time to time. ;) Putting on socks and pants is not as easy as it used to be, I need to sit down for that! I took a blood glucose test yesterday to check for gestational diabetes…keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t have that…it would be tough to give up sweets!

Sleeping has been a bit of a challenge lately… at least ‘falling’ asleep. I’ve had ‘restless leg syndrome’ the past few nights where I constantly have to move my legs and it’s hard to get comfortable (20% of pregnant women experience this). I even wear SLS3 compression socks, which feel great, and I rub peppermint lotion on my feet and legs to relax them. I’ve found that going to sleep on the couch also helps so I can elevate my legs on a pillow. Then I move back to bed after my first of 2-3 pee breaks in the night. ;) Hopefully this is just a phase and it soon will pass. Although I remember a similar feeling when I was in heavy training… maybe my body feels like it IS in heavy training! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 11 . 2010
Week 23... It's a girl, it's a boy... actually we don't know since we're waiting to find out but we have mostly been referring to our little 1.5 lb baby as he or little guy for some reason, or most recently little jumping bean! It's been SO active the last couple of weeks... lots of kicking and maybe even swimming in there! ;)

I am really starting to embrace my growing belly and I feel really good lately. My appetite seems pretty much back to normal, although I get 'full' much quicker! My energy levels are good and I'm able to do some sort of workout every day, even if it is slow.

We are also working on picking out a name... girls names are coming easily, boys names not so easily. We'll be keeping that as a surprise too.

Our friends keep telling us to go on litttle trips while we can... so a babymoon may be in store for us this weekend.

 


February 1 . 2010
The kicking has begun! We felt our little baby move for the first time last week and it was amazing, almost surreal...to think a little person is growing inside of me! Now I can't stop putting my hand on my belly. :)

I am also officially out of my 'pre-pregnancy' pants/skirts/jeans and even many of my girl fit running tops. I'm not really into crop tops so I think I'll switch to my longer tops. ;) I will need to go up one or two sizes in my swim suit too... still can't find a nice training maternity suit. I will have to get on TYR about that one. ;)

I'm still managing about 3 runs at week, 30-45 min or so at about 9-9:30/mile pace. It feels okay and not too uncomfortable yet, I just have to pee every 15 min! I really enjoy hiking in the hills near my house too. Besides having to wake up at 5:30am, swimming is still great and I think I will continue to do it through my whole pregnancy. Nothing beats the feeling of weightlessness! 

Here's to more kicking and growing!


January 25 . 2010
Week 21...it's so nice to be past the halfway point of my pregnancy! In some ways it's going by fairly quickly, but in other ways June seems like it's still a long way away. A couple of weeks ago we had our 20 week ultrasound and everything looked good and the baby looks healthy. We're waiting to find out the sex, as hard as that will be, but it will be a nice surprise when baby Lavelle is born.

I've been pretty lucky in that my nausea seems to be getting better over the past few weeks. I had a rough patch for about 3 months before Christmas that made eating dinner very difficult! Nothing tasted good and I just felt like I had a bad hangover for weeks on end! I feel like I have a little more energy now and I'm trying to run 2-3 times a week and swim 2-3 times a week as well. I've started walking the hills which has been a nice change of pace. ;) No more biking though... i've been off the bike since October!

My belly is also starting to expand, sweatpants are my new best friend! I'm hoping to feel the baby move soon... should be any day now.

January 17 . 2010

I have some exciting news to share... I am pregnant! Brian & I are very excited and can hardly wait for parenthood! It's something we have both always wanted and we feel that this is the perfect time for us to start a family.

I will really miss competing this year but I plan to still be very involved in the sport with the help of my amazing sponsor TYR (as well as ISM saddles and Oakley). I plan to come back to racing in 2011 with a new purpose and a new focus!

In the meantime, I will continue to 'blog' about my pregnancy, the changes I'm experiencing and how I'm staying active. We are at the halfway mark now, 20 weeks, and due the first week of June.  

To the adventure of a lifetime...wishing you all a very happy & successful 2010!


**********************************************

oct 27 . 2009
The season is winding down...

It’s hard to believe the ’09 racing season is winding down…where did the time go?! My last race in LA didn’t go as well as I had hoped it would and I ended up out of the top-10. It just seemed to be a very off day for me and I found myself struggling in all 3 disciplines. After that race I had to make the decision on whether or not I would finish the Toyota Cup Series and race Dallas or  go to Hawaii to watch Brian race in his last Ironman. It was unfortunate that those races fell on the same weekend but it was more important for me to be in Kona to support Brian. It was a brutal day in Kona but Brian toughed it out despite not having much in his legs to really push (he did IM Canada just 6 weeks prior!). I was still so proud of him! J

 

I have decided to end my season a bit earlier than I originally planned and I will not be racing 70.3 Worlds. I have a pain in my left knee that has kept me from running for the past week or so and I’ve also lost some motivation for training and racing. I think a break (both physical and mental) is in order for now and I plan to be back full strength and recharged for 2010! I can still look back at this year and feel very pleased with my performances…

 

Alcatraz . 3rd

San Jose Pro Challenge . 1st

Hy-Vee Elite Cup . 2nd American (12th overall)

LTF Mpls . 3rd

LTF Nyc . 2nd

Lake Stevens 70.3 . 1st

LTF Chicago . 3rd

Malibu Tri . 2nd

On Nov 1st (what would be the 2nd birthday of my nephew Graham) I will  be attending the Marin Country Triathlon. www.marintriathlon.com
An amazing eco-friendly event that is graciously donating proceeds to Jenny's Light for the second year in a row. I will be swimming on a "Team Jenny's Light" relay with Olympic Gold Medal cyclist Kristin Armstrong and good friend/mother of 2/multiple top-10 Kona finisher Gina Kehr. 
 I will also have a Jenny's Light booth set up at the expo on Sat and Sun. It will be a great way to finish up another triathlon season racing in honor of Jenny & Graham.

A huge thank you to my sponsors, family, friends and fans for supporting me and believing in me. Until next year...

sept 12 . 2009
Malibu Triathlon ~ 2nd
I had a great time in Malibu this past weekend… racing the Olympic Distance Pro race on Saturday and the swim on a Celebrity Relay on Sunday. I felt pretty good going into this race. I felt like I had some speed back after training for the 70.3 race in August and I was ready to race hard. I had a great swim, caught a couple of waves coming in, and exited in about third close to a few other women. It took me a little while to warm-up on the bike (seems to be a recurring thing!) but once I found my rhythm I felt strong and built up a 1:10 margin over second place coming off the bike. I was hoping this would be enough to hold off Olympian Laura Bennett with a solid run, but unfortunately she passed me with a mile to go and I couldn’t quite hold her pace. I finished in second, just 12 seconds back! I felt great all day and gave it everything I had… it’s nice to add another podium finish to my results this year. J

Sunday was a fun day mingling with the ‘stars’. I was put on a celebrity relay, Team LOST, that included Carlton Cuse (executive producer of LOST) and Mike Benson (top marketing/advertising guy for ABC)… both really nice guys AND they were fast. We won the coed relay division! It was also cool seeing Jeremy Piven, Teri Hatcher, Toby from The Office, Mario Lopez, Felicity Huffman and William Macy. I hope to go back next year to defend our title!

(carlton cuse, mike benson, me & jeremy piven)


Back to training for a few weeks with my next race being LA Triathlon on October 4th.


august 30 . 2009
Chicago Triathlon ~ 3rd
Whew, the last 10 days were a blast! I spent time in New Hampshire, Minnesota and Chicago. I was in New Hampshire for 4 days doing a photo shoot/product review for TYR's 2010 line. I had so much fun hanging out with all of the great people that work for TYR as well as Andy Potts, Chrissie Wellington, TJ Tollakson and Magli Tisseyre. We stayed at a cabin on a beautiful lake in the middle of New Hampshire with no cell coverage, which was actually really nice. :) The days were filled with different photo shoots, testing out new TYR products, helping design future TYR products, going for swims in the lake and runs along the country roads, doing beach relay TYR Olympics (I was sore for 3 days after doing the wheel barrel race on sand!), picking fresh blueberries and eating great food. They took good care of us!

From there I went to my hometown of Minnetonka, MN to visit my family and friends. We also had a Jenny's Light board meeting and talked about our latest project... reviewing grant applications for postpartum depression awareness initiatives that we will be funding. Saturday morning I drove from Minneapolis to Chicago with my parents. What should have been a 6 hour drive turned into a 8+ hour drive! Gotta love Chicago traffic! I made it just in time for the pro meeting.

Chicago is definitely one of my favorite cities... if not my favorite city to visit! The weather was perfect all weekend (65-70 degrees & sunny and windy of course too!) and I stayed with my parents and brother in an amazing condo right off Lakeshore Dr near Millenium Park. I believe this was my 12th time racing in Chicago and I've enjoy it each and every time. I got off to a pretty good start on the feet of the leaders during the swim. Unfortunately I lost contact about halfway through and came out of the water in 4th, about :20 down. The first lap of the bike was tough as I had a hard time finding my rhythm. The second lap felt much better and I picked up the pace a bit. I came off the bike in 2nd, about :30 down from Sarah Haskins. I felt okay on the run but I seemed to be stuck in my half Ironman pace and couldn't go much faster. I think it's time to work on some more speed! Anyway, I was really happy with a podium finish. I am also still in the running for the Toyota Cup Series.

While I was racing in Chicago my husband Brian was racing IM Canada. He finished 8th and earned a coveted Kona slot! I'm so proud of him. He had a great race in some tough conditions... hot, windy and hilly! Now he gets to do it all over again in just over 5 weeks! ;)

Next up is the Malibu Triathlon on Sept 12th.

august 16 . 2009
Lake Stevens 70.3 ~ 1st
Coming into this racing season I wanted to do a few more half ironmans since I was stepping away from world cup racing. I had a few in mind for the year but wasn't able to squeeze one into my schedule until this month. Washington is one of my favorite states, the Seattle area in particular, so Lake Stevens seemed like a perfect first 70.3 race of the year.
It  was a chilly morning, low 50's and overcast, and they actually had to delay the start because of fog over the lake. Once we started I settled into the lead on the swim and thankfully the course was marked by a rowing line that we
could follow underwater so we didn't have to sight too much. I exited the water a little over a minute up on the next woman.
I have to say I was pretty 'numb' the first loop of the 2 loop bike course... I could barely feel my hands, my toes or my quads! I gradually warmed up and felt better as I went but my lead slipped away as I came into T2 about :15 down from the leader.
I left T2 on her heels and took the lead back within the first mile of the run. She stayed right with me though for the next 6 miles or so. At around 7 miles I was feeling pretty good so I decided to start picking up the pace. In the past those last 3-4 miles have hurt pretty bad so I wasn't sure I'd be able to keep up my speed but I was amazed at how strong I felt as the race went on. I definitely didn't want a sprint finish so I just kept the pressure on and felt great all the way to the end, crossing in 1st, about 1:10 up from second place. I ended up running my fastest 13.1 miles in a half ironman, 1:24.29.
What a fun race to win... the crowd support was great and the venue was beautiful!
Next up is LTF- Chicago on August 30th.

July 26 . 2009
Life Time Fitness . New York City . 2nd
NYC is a fun place to race, but logistically it can be a nightmare. I still don’t know how the race directors manage to pull it off! My mom joined me on this trip and it was really nice to have her there for support. We woke up to pouring rain but it managed to stop just before I had to ride the 2 miles or so from the middle of Times Square to transition by the Hudson River at 4:30am! The rain stayed
at bay for the whole race but it made for very humid conditions and wet roads. The swim here is a point to point ‘with’ the current so my 13 minute 1.5k swim was not really a world record ;), but I did manage to come out of the swim first and after the long (almost ½ mile) run to T1 I was on the bike in a close second. I felt strong along the rolling hills of the West Side Hwy and I was able to take the lead about halfway through the ride entering T2 about :20 ahead of the next woman. I took the run out pretty fast and just tried to maintain my speed through the hilly Central Park loop. Unfortunately I was passed at mile 1, but I held on for 2nd place and was really pleased with it! I am now tied for first in the Life Time Fitness Series… next stop in the Series is Chicago on August 30th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Before that I have a couple of other races planned… Santa Cruz Sprint Triathlon (benefiting Jenny's Light) on August 9th and Lake Stevens 70.3 on August 16th.

I also made an interesting discovery last week. After the race in Mpls I knew something just wasn’t right with the way my new bike was set up. I had never felt so tense and uncomfortable racing on both the bike and run leg of a race (I felt the same way at Alcatraz) . I just felt like I was having to put forth much more effort than I normally do and my legs ached the entire time. I’ve been trying all season to get my new bike set up to match my set up from last year and I finally found the problem… the saddle on my new bike is set an inch further back than my old bike! This makes a huge difference in terms of power output and the fatigue it can cause. I was amazed at how much better I felt in NYC racing on my old bike again (it was the first race this year on my old bike).  I am going to get everything dialed in now the way it should be and hopefully be on my new custom frame in the right set up.

July 11 . 2009
  Life Time Fitness . Minneapolis . 3rd
It was fun to go 'home' again and race on familiar territority with my family & friends cheering me on. We lucked out with perfect weather this year... sunny, low humidity and  a light breeze. I got off to a great start by staying on the feet of the 2 leaders on the swim so I was on the bike in third. I worked my way into second for most of the ride, but was passed toward the end so I went into T2 in third. I was hoping to feel a bit better on the bike and run but just found it hard get into a comfortable rhythm. I pushed through and finished in third. I was still really happy to get on the podium and earn some points for the Toyota Cup Series. Next up is NYC this weekend!


June 2009 Update
Alcatraz ~ 3rd
San Jose Pro Challenge ~ 1st
Hy-Vee ~ 12th (2nd American)
My last string of 3 races in a row started with Escape from Alcatraz on the 14th… this was a race I had been focusing on and really looking forward to since it IS my favorite race and having won it in 2006 makes it extra special. I also love the fact that there are always a lot of friends and people I know racing… including my father-in-law, sister-in-law and aunt-in-law! Unfortunately Brian wasn’t there as he raced at Boise 70.3 the day prior (and finished a very respectable 6th!) It was a perfect San Francisco Day with clear skies and a light breeze, even the water was balmy at 59 degrees! I ended up having a great swim and was the lead woman exiting the water. I was able to keep my lead until about halfway through the bike. I felt okay riding, but was definitely conservative on the descents and probably lost a little time on those. I still came of the bike in second, third was close behind and passed me in transition. I kept her in sight for the first few miles but slowly lost contact. I was hoping to feel a bit better on the run, but I gave it everything I had on that day and finished in a satisfying 3rd place. I can’t complain about a podium finish! J

 

Just a week later I did another local race in San Jose, it was the return of the “Pro Challenge”. It’s a very unique and fun format that was last held here in 2002. I won that year and was really looking forward to doing it again! It starts with a 40K bike time trial (racers left 1:30 apart). Then we wait/rest until all the age-groupers finish (about 3-3.5 hours) and come back to do a 800swim/2.5mile run/800swim/2.5mile run continuously, starting in the order we finished the bike so that the first one across the line wins. I had a strong ride and ended up with about a 2 min lead starting the swim/run/swim/run.  I was then able to build some more on that with a solid swim/run segment and came away with my first win of the season! I again had a lot of support at this race with many friends, family and athletes I coach there cheering me on. It also gave me some great confidence going into the Hy-Vee Elite Cup just 6 days later.

 

Hy-Vee was held in West Des Moines, IA. It’s the same race that served as our Olympic Trials last year where I qualified for the alternate spot, so I was really excited to go back! This was also my first world cup since this race last year. Of course it was very hot and humid in the low 90’s, windy, and it started at 12:30pm! I was stuffing my suit with ice, rubbing it on my neck and face, and also put a bunch in my swim cap right before the swim start, anything to try to keep my core body temp down as long as possible. The swim is always crazy at world cup races and unfortunately I wasn’t in the lead pack of about 8-10 exiting the water, but I found myself in the second pack about :30-:40 seconds down. I was hoping my group of about 8 (we dropped 3-4 women along the way) would work a little more to try to catch the lead group but that didn’t happen. There were about 4 of us doing most of the work and we stayed about the same distance back the whole time. I debating trying to break away but thought that probably wouldn’t be smart in the heat so I did what I could while still trying to conserve some for the run. I felt really strong on the run and the heat didn’t seem to bother me much. I just focused on staying steady and keeping my leg turnover high. I passed a few women and got out sprinted by another at the very end but still finished in 12th place and 2nd American. I was really happy with my performance!

 

It was especially rewarding because I knew this was going to be the last World Cup of my career. I have decided to focus solely on non-drafting Olympic distance and 70.3 races going forward. It was a tough decision to make since I’ve been on the US National team for 10 years and they have been a great support in my quest for the Olympics. Racing for the National Team has also allowed me to see so many amazing parts of the world, my favorites being New Zealand and Kitzbuhel, Austria. I will miss being a part of the team but I think my strength lies in non-drafting races and I need to make the most of this for the rest of my career.  

may 28 . 2009
The racing has begun...  

 My thought going into this season was to start things a bit later and focus on key races in June, July, August and 70.3 Worlds in November, but I still wanted to test things and see where I was at by racing  St. Anthony’s in April. I knew it would not be my best race by any stretch but it would be a good benchmark. Most of my training prior to that race was base (aerobic) work with very little speed so that is basically how I raced… steady but just not fast! I ended up 13th (might be the first time I have been out of the top-10 in a non-drafting race since turning pro!). Needless to say I was pretty upset after this race, but just knew I had some work to do and I wasn’t quite fit enough to be competitive with the women that were there.

 

So it was back to work, focusing a lot more on quality & speed and that seemed to make all the difference just 3 weeks later when I raced at the ITU Pan American Championships in Oklahoma City (may 16).  This was a draft legal race, not my favorite style of racing, but since I’m still a member of the US National Team I have certain obligations to race at ITU events and I wanted to get my ranking high enough to get into the Hy-Vee World Cup in June. Unfortunately my swim speed hasn’t come around quite yet and I was off the back exiting the water in 16th place, by myself. That made for a tough ride on the extremely windy 4 loop bike course. I biked the first 2 laps solo working my way up to the second pack, coming off in 8th. Once on the run I felt strong and relaxed… I slowly started making up ground on some women from the lead pack (who got off the bike almost 3:00 in front of me) and ended up finishing in 4th place. I was really happy with my performance… it’s always fun passing people on the run and feeling stronger as I go. J

 

I wasn’t sure if that finish would get me the points I needed to get a start at Hy-Vee (june 27), but I just found out 2 that I was one of five athletes that the race organizers picked to represent the US at the race. They also sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers with my invitation! I’m excited to go back to the race where I qualified for the Olympic Alternate spot last year… and where there’s a $1,000,000 prize purse! Before that I have Alcatraz (june 14) and Silicon Valley Pro Challenge (june 21).



march 9 . 2009

The start of another season...

Where has the time gone? It’s hard to believe it’s already March AND daylight savings time! I am finally getting back into a structured training program after taking a nice long off-season. After 70.3 World Champs last year I went to IM Arizona to cheer on Brian… he did great & went 8:43, but unfortunately missed qualifying for Kona since the field was so stacked! He will try again this year. From Arizona we took a much anticipated vacation to Ireland… a real vacation… no bikes, no run shoes, just lots of relaxing, sightseeing, eating and drinking. We had a great time!

We spent Christmas in Tahoe, New Years in Napa Valley, and have been enjoying having my parents close by as they are living near Santa Cruz for the winter.

I also attended the ENDURANCE SPORTS AWARDS gala in San Diego on Jan 31st where I was awarded the
'Toyota Triatlete of the Year'...what an honor & a fun event! 
Check out the May issue of Triathlete Magazine... cover shot & feature story! 
USAT has also awarded me with
"Elite Non-ITU Athlete of the Year" 
Thank you to USAT and the great support they have given me over the years!

I spent a big part of January & February organizing the Inaugural Jenny's Light 5K. It was on March 1st in Los Gatos CA and ended up being a huge success! All the time & energy I put in to it was defintely worthwhile and very rewarding. Thanks so much to my sponsors TYR & ZONE for donating the race bags and awards... they were a big hit!

Now it's time to focus on my training and start building up for the 2009 race season. I will kick things off in Florida at St. Anthony's Triathlon on April 26th.


november 8 . 2008
Marin County Triathlon (10/26) ~ 1st

Escape to Bermuda (11/02) ~ 3rd

Ironman 70.3 World Champs (11/08) ~ 3rd

 

10 months, 16 races, 11 podium finishes, 5 wins, a trip the Beijing Olympic Games, a Toyota Cup Series Win, a podium finish at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and my 2008 triathlon racing season has come to an end. I could not be more pleased with my results this year… I exceeded all of my expectations, I stayed healthy, I coached myself, I found a strength inside I never knew I had and I felt the presence of two angels with me on the entire journey. I could not have had the year I did without the love, support and encouragement of my sponsors, family & friends, and especially my husband Brian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finished the year with a string of 3 races, the first one being local in Marin County just north of San Francisco. Race director Mark Liebert put on this first time event and was gracious enough to donate 1/3 of all proceeds to Jenny’s Light and also award the top male/female pros with $5,000 each to be donated to charity. Brian and I both won and earned $10,000 for Jenny’s Light! It was a very well-run race on an amazingly scenic course, AND it was 100% sustainable and eco-friendly. I look forward to racing there again next year.

 

Next we flew to the beautiful island of Bermuda… nothing beats pink sand, turquoise water and the laid-back friendly atmosphere of Bermuda. It’s definitely a race that should not be missed! Brian and I both had very solid days with Brian finishing in 6th (in the middle of Ironman training!) and I finished in a close 3rd place.

 

Last but not least, I finished the year in Clearwater Beach FL at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. This was my first and only half Ironman of the year. I had qualified by being 7th last year and I was hoping to squeeze in another 70.3 race this year but just couldn’t do it.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but I knew I really liked the distance and have had some good results in the past so I was hoping for the best. I felt great on the swim and was first out of the water and first on the bike. A group of the top 4 women and about 4-5 pro men eventually formed somewhat of a pack (staying out of the ‘drafting zones’ as no one was penalized) and we all came into T2 virtually together. It took me a while to find my rhythm on the run… the first 3-4 miles were tough, I felt great from about mile 4-9, and then I quickly remembered how tough 13.1 miles is! Those last 3 miles were brutal, but I stayed focused and kept it steady, finishing in 3rd place. I was really happy to get on the podium at a World Championships…my first time doing it!

 

Now it’s time for the off-season and I am really looking forward to taking it easy for a while… at least a few weeks off, a trip to Tempe to watch Brian race Ironman Arizona, then a much anticipated vacation to Ireland over Thanksgiving week. I can already taste the pints of Guinness! ;) 

 

Until 2009… enjoy the holiday season, best wishes and thank you again for your support!

october 5 . 2008
Toyota US Open ~ Dallas
6th place
TOYOTA CUP SERIES CHAMPION!!
This past weekend was the last race of the Lifetime Fitness/Toyota Cup Series. I went into the race having already clinched the Series win with my win in LA, but there was still a lot of money on the line for my final finish at this race.
I felt pretty good in the swim and was able to keep in contact with the lead pack. Once we got through the first 3 technical miles on the bike I tried to assert my strength on the bike and make a push for the lead... Haskins was up the road about :30 and I finally caught her at about mile 12 (there were 3 others within about :15 as well). A couple miles later I hit a big bump on the course and my aerobars shifted down about 45 degrees... it made the rest of the ride slightly uncomfortable and I was a little nervous to stand and grab the handlebars, but I went into T2 with Haskins and Dibens (Norden was slightly in front of us). The run was tough... I didn't feel the same pep in my legs that I had felt in the previous few races and my breathing was pretty labored. I pushed as best I could and finished up in 6th.
I was really happy to get the overall Toyota Cup Series win... what an accomplishment and a nice paycheck too!
I am now going to take a little downtime (a few days off completely and an easy week of training) to try to recharge and get ready for the last few races of the season. I think all the travel and racing this year is starting to catch up with me and I could use a little rest.
The Marin County Triathlon, benefitting Jenny's Light, is next on Oct 26.

september 14 . 2008
LA & Malibu
2 wins!
I just got back from being in the LA area for 9 days... I drove down (5+hrs) on the 5th and met my brother Randy who stayed with me for a few days. We had a great time hanging out, going to a movie screening, an angels-yankees game, and hitting some LA hot spots too (the viper room, chaya, rodeo drive, santa monica, etc).

The race in LA went really well... I came out of the water in third just behind the leaders and made my way to the front within about 2 miles of the bike. I pushed the pace pretty good and came into T2 with Ellis close behind me, so I knew I had to work the first half of the run to try to build up a lead. I felt great the whole way and crossed the line in first solidifying my lead in the Life Time Fitness Series.

Just 6 days later I raced for the first time in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon at beautiful Zuma Beach. After coming out of the water in the lead, I went to work on the bike and was able to build up about 1:30 lead going into T2. Unfortunatley with about 5 miles to go, my chain fell off as I downshifted and it got jammed between the frame and the big chainring... not good! I had to get off and yank it out with my hand and put it back on! Then on the run I tried to push the pace early on and was able to finish 1st...making it 3 wins in a row!

It's good to be back home for a least a little while... Brian & I are off again in a few days for Portland, OR to race US Nationals.


august 24 . 2008
chicago triathlon
1st place!
It was a great day in the windy city this past Sunday... the city actually lived up to it's name as it was a beautiful sunny day, but the winds were strong! I came out of the swim in second with about 3 others right with me. I had about :20 to make up on the leader and managed to pass her around mile 5 on the bike. It was a stiff headwind for the first 6 miles of the 2 lap bike course on Lake Shore Drive... I felt okay the first lap but much better on the second lap so I tried to build as much of a lead as I could before the run. I knew I had to keep pushing on the run to secure a win so that's what I did and managed to win in 2:00.19... my fastest time on the course in the 10+ times I've raced there!
I couldn't have been happier, and it was great having Brian there racing as well (he finished a very respectable 11th even though he just started running again 3 weeks ago after being injured since june!), and my parents were cheering me on too. It was such a fun race to win again... and it puts me in the lead for the Life Time Fitness Series. On to LA in less than 2 weeks and Malibu Triathlon on September 13th.


aug 20 . 2008

It's nice to be back in CA now, but I had a great time in S. Korea & Beijing. My last night there I was able to see track & field and it was awesome! My seat was about 20 rows up for the corner of the track. I got to see... the USA sweep the men's 400m hurdles, a world record broken in the women's pole vault, a US woman win the discus, the men's 3000m steeplechase final, heats of the women's 100m hurdles & 400m hurdles, heats of the men's 200m (Jamaica's Bolt in action!) and men's long jump final. The stadium holds 91,000 people and is absolutely amazing both inside and out! What an experience... one I'm sure to never forget!


Usain Bolt in center of track before 200m...

aug 17 . 2008
Ni Hao from China! 
I have been in Beijing now since Friday evening and it's been great... the weather couldn't be better! We arrived to sunny blue skies and fairly low humidity. The airport was a site to see in itself...it's absolutely massive... I hear it's the largest building in the world! The whole thing is brand new for the Olympics. We then took a shuttle bus to Changping and I noticed the highway was almost completely empty... no traffic at all at 5pm on a Friday evening! It has been said 1.5 million fewer people are driving each day, and it definitely showed. I also now have much more of an appreciation for China's beautiful landscape because I can actually see it! The triathlon venue is in and around the Shisanlin Reservoir (Ming Tomb Reservoir) surrounded by lush green mountains. Unfortunately it looks like I will be in the stands for the race, but I'm getting excited to watch the action unfold tomorrow morning at 10am here (Sunday 7pm PST). 
 
I've had a pretty eventful couple of days. Saturday I went for a long run with Greg Bennett     on some trails behind the hotel that traversed across a bunch of rocky hills... there was a temple at the very top that we didn't quite make it to, but we could see tons of people hiking up to it. We then made our way to the race course and went about 3/4 of the way around it before we were turned around by security (everything is very tightly secured!)... it was more of an adventurous long run, but a nice one at that. I just missed a few other girls going into Beijing that day, so I decided to make the trek today instead with Hunter's wife and Matt Reed's wife.  It was about an hour taxi ride into town and again there was very minimal traffic. We were dropped off at the USA House (a place for US athletes, families, and friends to hang out, relax, enjoy free food, internet and live coverage of the Games). From there we went to the USA store...I found some great USA/Beijing Olympic souvenirs and I got to meet Bob Beamon... he holds the Olympic Long Jump record (today is the 40th anniversary of the record jump from the 1968 Olympics!). Dara Torres' parents and Gary Hall were also there milling about. Then we walked about a mile to the Silk St. Market...it's a slightly smaller version of the Pearl Market I've been to in the past... lots of great knock-offs... coach, gucci, jimmy choos, diesel jeans, north face, lots of silkwear, etc, etc. We only stayed about an hour as it gets tiring real fast....it's hard work trying to bargain with the sellers! ;)
 
The hotel we are at, Auspicious Business Hotel, is very nice... big rooms with comfortable beds and a TV that has at least one channel in English. There are about 5 channels that have been showing all different events too. Each night the nutritionist that came with us goes to pick up cooked dinners that have been flown in from the US... just to be safe I guess.We also get to take boxes of cereal, oatmeal, fruit, granola bars, juices, etc to our room each day for breakfast. I have yet to try any authentic chinese food, but maybe I'll try something on my last day here. ;)
 
After the women's race tomorrow I'm going back to downtown Beijing to see track & field. I will also be able to check out the Olympic Green...National Stadium (Opening Ceremonies/Track & Field), Aquatic Bubble, Indoor Stadium and all the other big venues.
I will then be on my way back to the States at noon on Tuesday.... arriving at SFO before I leave, 9am on Tuesday!
 
I must say I'm very glad I made the trip here and got to experience being a part of the Olympic Team. It's been fun hanging out with everyone too!
I hope you're all doing well. Enjoy the last week of the Olympic Games!


aug 13 . 2008
Just wanted to send another quick update from S. Korea. It's been a great few days here... I feel like I'm getting more acclimated to the heat and humidity. Yesterday I did a track workout from about 11am-noon and it had to be the highest temperature I've ever worked out in...heat index of 103 degrees! Running guru Bobby McGee was there watching Julie Ertel and I... he gave me some great tips to improve my running form and hopefully make me faster. :) I felt the differences pretty quickly and I'm excited to keep working on them. This morning I did a long ride and got rained on for about an hour in the middle of it! It was fun exploring the island though...I saw some waterfalls, a harbor, and a bunch of really nice resorts along the coast. All in all my training has been going really well and I've been able to do more than I thought I would.
 
The food has been pretty good too... although I'm getting a little burned out on rice! I've been enjoying some interesting combinations that I probably wouldn't think of at home... rice with strawberry yogurt, egg white sandwich with honey mustard dressing, and peanut butter banana sandwiches.
 
It looks like everyone is healthy so the chance of me racing is really slim...but it will still be fun to be in Beijing and take in all the hoopla of the Olympics. We leave tomorrow morning and we'll be staying in the Changping district about an hour outside of downtown Beijing.
 
I was really bummed yesterday when we were all together for a group picture and my camera stopped working!! UGH! I'm not sure what the deal is as the battery seems fully charged but I will keep working on it and hopefully get in sorted out before we get to Beijing.
 
I hope you are all well and enjoying all the Olympic events on TV... unfortunately the only events we've been able to watch are the ones that Korea is doing well in. ;)

08.08.08
It's the official start of the Beijing Olympic Games today!  I leave on the 9th for a training camp in South Korea (Jeju Island) with the Olympic Triathlon Team. I will then fly to Beijing on the 15th, staying until the 19th. Be sure to check out the women's triathlon, Sunday August 17th at 7pm PST.

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to my friends Kris & Mike Savini who hosted an amazing 'send-off' party for me last week at their house. Everyone had such a great time and there was not a detail to be missed...delicious chinese food, cakes decorated with a USA flag and the Olympic rings, customized fortune cookies (congratulating me!), red/white/blue flowers & balloons, etc, etc. Thank you to all of my friends and family for your support and encouragement through this whole journey!


August 4 . 2008 
Lifetime Fitness ~ NYC Tri ~ Zone Urban Epic
3rd ~ 2nd ~ 1st
I leave for Beijing in just a few days, but I have lots of races to give an update on... I recently got back from an almost 3 week trip to MN and New England. At the Life Time Fitness race I was very happy with my third place finish...and it put me in contention to place top-3 in the overall series. I was first off the bike and negative split the run as I felt much better on the last  3 miles of the run! It was so much fun racing in front of family and friends and just having the hometown support... thanks to all of you who cheered for me! I definitely missed having Jenny there cheering for me and holding up her big sparkly sign... but I could feel her giving me her strength.

The following weekend (july 20) I raced the second race of the Life Time Fitness Series in New York City. I was lucky enough to have my mom join me there too. After a very quick current-aided swim in the Hudson, I got on the bike in third or so and managed to push the pace at the front getting off tied for first. I had a very solid run in the heat and humidity and finished up in second...again very pleased with my effort.

From NYC, my mom and I drove throughout New England, making stops in Marblehead MA where we spent a couple of nights in a beautiful B&B on the harbor thanks to my very generous sponsor Zonediet.com. They really took care of us... taking us on a boat cruise and out to a great lobster dinner! I would love to go back to Marblehead!  From there we drove up the coast, stopping in Kennebunkport for lunch, then on to Portland Maine. 

Again Zonediet.com took great care of us there... excellent dinners, beautiful runs and rides, and a very nice B&B near the Eastern Promenade. At the end of this trip I raced in the Zone Urban Epic (july 26). It was a great race...we swam from an island in the bay to the shore of Portland (having to battle a crazy current just to get to the first buoy!), then we rode out of the city on some beautiful country roads, finishing with a run to Back Cove and back all along the water. I was leading for most of the race until I flatted with 1.5 miles to go on the bike. I didn't want to ride on my rear rim so I just walked the bike for about 1/2 mile until a nice guy on a bike came up to me and switched out the rear wheel for me.  I was then able to ride into T2... but I had about 3 1/2 minutes to make up on the woman in front of me. I decided to push it from the start and just see what I could do... I managed to catch her about 4 miles into the run and broke the tape in 1st! I definitely had to work hard for this one and run out of my comfort zone, but it was fun and I felt great! Zone had a huge booth at the expo that we hung out in and we listened to some live 'Barefoot Truth' tunes... that were really good!  

My mom and I had such a great time touring New England and we can't wait to go back. THANK YOU again to 'Zone'!


June 22. 2008
Hy-Vee World Cup ~ Des Moines
8th place
** US OLYMPIC TEAM ALTERNATE **

As of 2 days before the Hy-Vee Triathlon this past weekend, the race was actually going to be made into a duathlon due to the severe flooding in Iowa. Thankfully, the race director Bill Burke was able to pull it off and change the entire race venue so that it could indeed be a triathlon and an Olympic qualifier for the US Olympic Team.  I was so relieved, as I was debating even going if it wasn’t a triathlon.   

 

Going into the race, I knew my only chance to make the team was to get the alternate spot by beating a few girls who were close to me in the standings.  I was very relaxed about it all, as there was really no pressure on me and if I made it that would be a huge bonus! After all I have been through these last 6 months, just being there, feeling fit and able to race was the real accomplishment.

 

The 1:30pm start time worried me a bit since it’s known to get very hot and humid in Iowa, but luckily the conditions weren’t too bad… about 80 degrees, sunny  and windy.  I started the swim in very good position, felt great (the best I’ve felt in a swim so far this year!) and I was in second place toward the end of the first lap of 2. By the end of the second lap a few women had passed me and I was at the tail end of the lead group of about 8-10 women. I had a smooth transition and hopped on my bike just behind most of the group. There was a 3 mile section before we got to the start of the 8 lap bike and this is where I was in a ‘make or break’ situation… I was gapped by about :10-:15 from the lead pack that quickly formed and I had to hammer with my feet on top of my shoes for about a mile and a half. I thought to myself, “this is the race, I have to go now!”… and that’s what I did, managing to get on the group just before the short climb to the loops.  I felt really good the on the bike too and ended up taking quite a few pulls as many of the women weren’t interested in working together much.  That frustrated me, but I also thought that at least I might tire them out so they don’t run as fast! I was able to win the second lap bike prime and after a few unsuccessful breakaways, I came into T2 in about second or third position.  I have been feeling great in my run workouts so I was really looking forward to the run to see what I could do…unfortunately the first 2 laps of 4 I felt a little sluggish and I couldn’t quite close the gap of about :15 on the girl in front of me who I needed to beat for the alternate spot.   I gradually started feeling better and better though, and I started picking up the pace. Halfway through the third lap I passed the woman in front of me and never looked back… I got goose bumps during the last half mile knowing I had done it… I qualified for the alternate spot on the US Olympic Team and finished the race in a solid 8th place. 

I had a lot of thoughts going through my mind during this race… the most motivating one was the feeling that Jenny & Graham were angels on my shoulder pushing me along, helping me dig deep… and telling me “just run a little faster and pass her!” (as she always told me!).  She would be so excited to know I reached this goal, and I know I made her proud. J 

I still have to find out exactly what I will be involved in with the games, and will keep you posted. Triathlon is on August 18th. In the meantime, I have Life Time Fitness in just over 2 weeks and New York City Triathlon the week after that.  It’s back to training for now.

Thank you again so much for your support throughout all of this… it’s amazing to think that after 8 years and 2 missed Olympic Trials due to injury, I finally did it!

I must also thank my husband Brian for always being there for me... he has given me constant support and encouragement through all of this and I could not have done it without him!

June 8 . 2008
Escape from Alcatraz ~ San Francisco
2nd place

I felt really good going into this race… I knew I was much more fit than I had been in April (last time I raced) and I had put in some really good training sessions over the past 5 weeks. I felt rested and ready to go, and I was even more relaxed than usual going into it. The conditions couldn’t have been more perfect… sunny, a slight breeze, and not too much chop, although the water was about 54 degrees!  I had a great swim start and was able to get on the feet of the leaders pretty quickly… it was the smoothest swim I can remember in the 6 years I’ve done this race. I came out in third and was on my bike in third after the long run to transition. I felt okay on the bike, but not great… I found it hard to get into a rhythm, which is tough to do on that course anyway because of the all the hills, turns, and pot holes! I struggled a little on the climbs and was fairly conservative on the descents, but felt great on the flats… too bad there wasn’t more of that. I came off the bike in second, about :45 down from Leanda Cave. I was pretty excited about the run and felt great right off the bat…I was slowly closing the gap on her and came within about :10 of her at the turnaround on the beach… at which point she saw me. We stayed about that distance until the top of the last climb after the sand ladder. Then there is about a ½ mile or so of some very tricky downhill with stairs, trails, switchbacks, rocks, etc and lots of runners coming straight at us that we had to dodge around…this is where I thought I was going pretty good, but I lost some ground. By the time we hit the flat section with about 2 miles to go, Leanda had put about :20 on me… I gave it everything I had to catch her but I just couldn’t quite close the gap. I finished in 2nd, only :15 down, and had the second fastest run of the day!  It was so close and I would have loved the win, but I was extremely pleased with my race and how I felt the whole day. It gave me a big boost of confidence for the races coming up… AND I just had a lot of fun racing out there!

 We also had a booth set up for Jenny’s Light that I had worked at all day Saturday. We had a number of people sign up to get our newsletter and we felt like we definitely reached a lot of people that will hopefully help us raise awareness about perinatal mood disorders.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a little clip on the CBS 5 evening news… go to http://www.cbs5.com/sports and click on the Alcatraz video on the right.

Thank you again for your spport…I appreciate it more than you know.  Next up for me is the last Olympic Trials race in Des Moines on June 22nd.

In other news... just last week I got my haircut...8 inches were taken off! I donated it to www.beautifullengths.com where they use the hair to make donated wigs for cancer patients.
These were photos taken for a Sunset Magazine photo shoot. (August issue)
 

May 1 . 2008
St. Anthony's Triathlon ~ St. Petersburg, FL
5th place

Happy May Day! I am finally back at home now after 3 weeks of traveling and racing all over the country.  This past weekend I was down in St. Petersburg, FL for St. Anthony’s Triathlon. I always love doing this race…I guess partly because I have won it twice! I felt pretty good going into it, and just wanted to do the best I could given my level of fitness right now. I came out of the water with a group of about 4-5 women, then got out strong on the bike to try to gain as much ground as I could and make up some time on Sarah Haskins who was out in front. I managed to come off the bike in second, but unfortunately was still a minute or so down on the leader. I held tough on the run, but was passed by a few others and ended up finishing in 5th.  In comparing my finish times from the past 4 years, I was not that far off and was pleased with the result.  Looking ahead, I know I have a lot more fitness to gain and it will be nice to be able to put in some solid training volume between now and Escape from Alcatraz on
June 8th

April 22 . 2008
US Olympic Trials ~ Tuscaloosa, AL
7th place

I am back from Tuscaloosa and I must say I am somewhat relieved to have the Olympic Trials race behind me. It was quite a journey just getting to the start line, but I am so glad I was there and I gave it my best shot. Unfortunately I came up a bit short of making the team and finished in 7th. But it was great having my family & friends there to support me and cheer me on...and I know I had two angels looking over me too.

I felt great in the swim but I took a wrong line in the river swim and ended up getting gapped going into T1. I was then forced to ride with the second pack of 4 other girls. We never really got organized and we were unable to catch the lead group of 4. I also didn't feel like I had that extra gear to try to break away so I came off the bike with the second pack. I felt pretty strong on the run and was able to pass a few girls at the very end. I think it would have taken a minor miracle to win on that day... as I'm just not running as fast as the top 3-4 girls! I am still in a position to make the alternate spot if I do well enough at Des Moines on June 22nd. So I plan to finish out the Trials process and hope for the best in Iowa!

Next up is St. Anthony's this Sunday.


April 15 . 2008
Iron Girl Las Vegas
3rd place
This past weekend was a great tune-up for the Olympic Trials coming up on Saturday the 19th. I felt pretty good, and put in a solid effort to finish 3rd among a small but talented field at Iron Girl Las Vegas. The race will air on NBC on July 26th.

Going into the Trials I am just thankful to be healthy and able to get to the start line.  I think that's half the battle, especially since I was injured in both 2000 and 2004.  I'm looking forward to racing my best!
There will be live webcast coverage at
http://www.slowtwitch.com/News/Slowtwitch_to_report_live_from_Olympic_Trials_318.html

April 6 . 2008
Less than 1 week to go until my first race of year... the Afflac Iron Girl at Lake Las Vegas. I have had a good few weeks of training since being sick and having my parents and brother-in-law in town visiting in March. I didn't exactly do the base training I had hoped for, but I focused more on quality and making each workout count. Brian has been a great training partner and has supported me fully in everything I'm trying to do.  

I definitely have a new perspective on things since losing Jenny & Graham. I have learned that life is so precious and you have to make the most of each day and everything that you have been given. I think about them all the time and I try to draw strength from knowing Jenny is looking down and helping me carry on and pursue my dreams.

Olympic Trials are on April 19th in Tuscaloosa, AL. It will be tough to go back to where Jenny & Graham lived, but I know I will have a ton of support there and I look forward to making her proud!

I recently planted a Memorial Garden at our house in honor of Jenny & Graham. She loved hydrangea and ivy and it's something beautiful I can see everytime I go up and down our stairs.


March 1 . 2008
I first want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of my friends, family, and even strangers who have already generously donated to Jenny's Light. I've been overwhelmed by the amount of love, support, and concern from so many people.  This foundation is so new, yet we can see that it has already made a big impact and we know it will continue to do so.

I have finally started to get into some consistent training and it's been feeling pretty good... until today when I came down with a nasty flu bug that has been going around. I'm now resting a lot and hoping it passes quickly. I guess it's my body's way of telling me to slow down a bit.

January 25 . 2008
It is with terrible sadness that I am writing about the very untimely passing of my twin sister Jenny and her baby boy Graham. I cannot even begin to tell you the deep amount of loss I am feeling and grief I am having to endure. Jenny was my best friend, my confidante, my #1 fan, my inspiration, and so much more. Her radiant smile, infectious laugh, natural beauty, amazing creativity, and uplifting positive attitude were envied by all who came in contact with her.  I looked up to her in so many ways and I will miss her more than anyone can ever imagine. I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that she is gone, and her beautiful baby boy has gone with her. It is going to be a very tough road ahead for me, but I know that she would want nothing more than for me to continue pursuing my dreams and to keep competing in triathlon. There is not a day that will go by when I don't think of Jenny & Graham, and I will live the rest of my life in honor of them. I hope to keep the bright light that Jenny was, burning forever.

 Jenny was the one who encouraged me to get a website and she designed the logo and layout of this site. I plan to keep it up for a very long time to come.

I (along with many friends, family, and people just willing to help) am in the process of setting up JENNY'S LIGHT... a non-profit foundation dedicated to building awareness, detection, and treatment for postpartum disorders. Please visit the website and considering donating to:
JENNYSLIGHT.ORG
5021 Vernon Avenue . Suite 107
Minneapolis . MN  55436
Thank you.
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November . 10
70.3 World Championships
7th
For my last race of the year, I went down to Clearwater, FL to race in the Ironman 70.3 Worlds. It was my first time competing in it, and my seventh half ironman ever. I really like the distance though and was excited to compete against a tough international field. I felt ready to race and race well, but unfortunately I ended up having a very 'off day'. I came out of the water with 2 others, just :30 down from the lead. Once on the bike, I had a hard time finding my legs...I felt average, but I knew my legs weren't feeling the way I hoped they would. I just tried to be patient and hope that the run would feel better. I came off the bike in second, and felt pretty good for the first few miles, but I soon began feeling weak, my quads were cramping, my stomach was off, and my legs felt very heavy. I just did what I could to keep running and finish respectably. I can't be too disappointed with a 7th place finish and first American at a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS event, but I just wished that I would have felt better doing it and been able to compete the way I know I'm capable of.  I am focusing on the great races I had this year, and looking ahead to an even better season in 2008!  Now it's time for some R&R...

October . 21
Escape to Bermuda
1st place
I just got back from the beautiful island of Bermuda where they held the inaugural ‘Escape to Bermuda’ Triathlon. IMG hosted it as a qualifier for age-groupers to get into Escape from Alcatraz next year. For a first time event, they did a fantastic job of putting on the race… the volunteers were amazing and the whole country (of only 65,000 people) really rallied around the event and helped make it a huge success. There was a ton of media attention as well, and it will be airing on Versus on Dec. 7th.  I’m sure it will only get bigger and bigger each year!  I was also fortunate enough to be able to help out at a kid’s triathlon the day before… they were all so determined and enthusiastic, it was inspiring!  After the event I also had the privilege of meeting the Premier of Bermuda, Ewart Brown.



Early Sunday morning, we were dropped off from a ferry about a mile out from shore in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It was an in water start and I ended up coming out with 3 other women. After a quick transition, I was first on to the bike and never looked back. It was probably the most scenic bike course I’ve ever done! It was point to point… from The Dockyards on the northwest side of the island to the quaint town of St. George’s on the northeast side of the island. It was also very challenging with strong winds and rolling, technical terrain. I felt great though and managed to build my lead to over 2.5 minutes by T2. I knew there were some quick runners behind me and the run was a 2 lap course with some very tough steep little climbs… it actually ended up being about a 10.5 K run. I ran strong and knew I had to keep the pressure on to stay away. I ran in for the win and had about 1.5 minutes up on second place. It was a great win and so much fun doing it on such an amazing course!  It was also great having Brian there to share the experience with and to help support me. J   I will definitely go back next year to try to defend my title!
 
I have one race left this year… 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, FL on Nov. 10th. I’m really looking forward to having the chance to race there, since I missed out last year with a broken hand.




September . 29
Tinley's Triathlon
1st place
This was the fourth race in the Tri-Cal Series.I am currently in the lead to win the whole series, however I am not able to race Treasure Island on Nov 10th because it's the same day as 70.3 Worlds... and I will be doing that instead. I feel especially obligated to do 70.3 Worlds because I couldn't race last year after I broke my hand two days before the race! So unfortunately I will not be able to win the Tri-Cal Series for a third time... that will have to wait until another year. ;)  I was excited to race at Tinley's though... it's a great little event, much like Wildflower but much smaller. It's a beautiful rolling ride through the San Luis Obispo countryside and a hilly run. I came out of the water in third, and managed to take over the lead on the first climb of the bike. I pushed the bike pretty hard, but felt really good and comfortable. I had about 2 minutes up on second place starting the run and was able to just hold a steady pace to take the win. I am now looking forward to my last two races of the season...Escape to Bermuda on Oct 21st and 70.3 Worlds.

September . 15
Beijing World Cup ~ Olympic Trials
4th American



The Beijing World Cup was the first Olympic qualifying race for the USA. The top American finisher automatically qualified for the 2008 Olympic Team. Unfortunately the race in Beijing didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but I gave it a solid effort and did everything I could on that day. I just missed making the lead swim pack, which for me should have been a given to be with the leaders, but I was just off. My goal then was to bridge up to the lead pack which I managed to do by lap 3 of 6, but I also brought with me about 20 other women. Once we bridged, I was hoping to get some people to push the pace at the front, but I was really the only one doing that and to no avail. I did manage to win a bike prime on lap 5 for crossing the line in transition first. It’s frustrating for me though when I know I’m stronger on the bike than these women, but it’s hard to break away and no one wants to work on the bike… they don’t mind leaving it down to a 10K running race.  That’s not really a ‘triathlon’ to me, but that seems to be the way these draft-legal races go.  I was hoping to feel as good as I have the past few races on the run after a hard bike, but my legs just didn’t have it.The horrific smog probably didn’t help either!  I ended up 4th American and 28th overall.  I’m still in the running with 2 more qualifying races next year… Honolulu in April and Des Moines in June.    It’s great to be back in CA... it sure makes you appreciate living in the US after being in a country like China!

September . 8
Pacific GroveTriathlon
1st place
I always love racing in Pacific Grove, and it probably helps that I’ve won the race there 5 times, but it’s a beautiful venue and a fun race! It’s a draft-legal race but I usually end up riding solo after getting out of the water first.  I ended up leading from wire to wire with no real threat in sight, and made it my 6th win at the Tri-Cal event. I used this race as a good tune-up for the Olympic Trials race in Beijing on the 15th.



August . 26
Chicago Triathlon
2nd place
Brian and I both went up to race Chicago Triathlon this past weekend. It was fun to finally go to a race together again, and also to have my parents come in from MN and my friends from high school and college out there cheering for us.  I wasn't sure what to expect going into this race... I was coming off about 3 weeks of tough training after my 4 week European racing trip, so I felt a little tired. It was a beautiful day in Chicago... 80 and sunny (where just 2 days earlier there were flash floods and tornadoes!). It was a wetsuit swim with water temp around 64 degrees.

Once the gun went off, I found myself in open water after only about 20 strokes... I either picked the right place to start or had an amazing deep water start!  I held the lead for the entire swim and ended up getting the swim prime too! I was second getting out of T2 as there was about a 1/2 mile run to transition. It took my a while to find my biking legs, but by the second lap I was feeling pretty strong and was able to keep the leader within 30 seconds of me. The first few miles of the run didn't feel great, but I had a feeling I would come around... I was feeling better and stronger with each mile. I was passed by the speedy Snowsill at about mile 3.5 and was running in third place. By mile 4 I had second place in sight and I knew I was gaining on her. I moved in second place at mile 5 and never looked back! I felt great at the end and was really pleased with my overall effort. I have been focusing a little more on my swim and run and it seems to be paying off. :) I'm looking forward to going to Beijing in just 2 weeks, and may squeeze in a local race at Pacific Grove on Sept 8th.



August . 8
The past 4 weeks...
Drummondville . Quebec ITU Continental Cup (aug 5)
2nd place
Salford . England World Cup (july 29)
16th place
Kitzbuhel . Austria World Cup (july 22)
23rd place
Life Time Fitness (july 14)
4th place
The past 4 weeks have been quite a trip! I started things off with a 4th place finish at Life Time Fitness in my hometown of Minneapolis, MN. It was great to have a bunch of family and friends cheering me on the whole way. I came out with the lead group on the swim and worked my way up to 2nd getting off the bike. I was a little frustrated on the bike because I didn't feel like I had my biking legs until about mile 15! I was happy with my effort though.

From there I flew to Munich, Germany and drove to Kitzbuhel, Austria. It's a beautiful little alpine ski town at the base of the Alps. I was a bit off pace on the swim and ended up in a large chase pack but we managed to catch the lead group of 8 on lap 2. Toward the end of the bike I made a small breakaway so that I could get into T2 ahead of the 35 or so women in the bike pack. I felt descent on the run, but I didn't quite have the speed to place as high as I would have liked to. I came in 23rd and still earned some valuable ITU pts that improved my world ranking.

From Kitzbuhel, and friend and I took a train to Schaffhausen, Switzerland where we spent a week with another friend training in the Black Forest and swimming in Lake Constance... it was amazing! I love Switzerland! :)  From there I flew to London and drove with another friend to Salford. I came out with the lead pack on the swim... a short way into the bike our lead pack turned into 40+ women! I wasn't able to break away as it was very windy and technical. I came off the bike with group and ended up having the run of my life! I have never felt so good in a race! I ran my fastest 10K in a triathlon ever... 35:51. It was just one of those days were it almost felt effortless... the feeling I hope for with every race!  I managed to finish in 16th and again improved my world ranking to within the top-45.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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