Saturday, October 25, 2014

Frank Lloyd Wright 10K

Have wanted to do this race forever and finally signed up this year.  Jen and I signed up last minute for a decent price (it would have been $10 cheaper if we wouldn't have procrastinated so keep that in mind if you are going to race).

They had same day packet pickup and after a bit of a slow start, got to Oak Park to park about 2 blocks from the start.  The weather was chilly at the start and it was nice to be able to wait in the school till the gun along with using the bathrooms!

The race started on time and got the blood flowing quickly.  The course had a lot of turns and ran through mostly residential areas.  The roads were blocked off nicely and it was a safe course but amble water stops and some random cheer stations from sponsors. 

During the run, you pass 10 houses of FLW.  I caught 8 and somehow missed the other 2.  They are marked and I would recommend looking at the maps they provide to know where to catch them and avoid the rookie mistake i made!
My only goal for this race was to have fun, break in my new shoes for the marathon.  The weather ended up being perfect and there was an awesome pancake breakfast post race.  2 pancakes, milk and sausage patties.   You really cant go wrong with this neighborhood race and will hopefully be back next year!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2014 Tri Season ... that's a wrap!

Well, my friends... 2014 tri season comes to an end and what an amazing season it has been.  8 triathlons over 5 states (IL, IN, WI, OH, VA) this past summer. Even with all the back issues I had, this season was my favorite thus far.  Seeing my Rev3 teammates at the races and having amazing support beyond my little family .. even 900 miles away... to racing with my local friends and Crush Multisport teammates was simply the best!  I also continued to maintain and grateful for over 100,000 page views since I started it less than 18 mths ago.  Yet another group of amazing and awesome athletes to call my friends!

Some fav photos this year
Cedar Point - Photo Cred:  Les Schreiber
Dells Love
Crush peeps at Leon's
Jen at Ride2Recovery
Running and Tri Bestie Tia

Best Support Crew out there!

I am already planning out my calendar:  Challenge AC (70.3), Challenge Poconos (Oly), Challenge New Albany (Oly), Glenview Tri, probably Chicago Tri, High Cliffs and hopefully a Rev3 Rush event.  For those that know me beyond this blog, you know that another child has been on our radar for a long time but after some failed medicated attempts this year, I think we need to take some time off.  The reality is we might be a one and done family and frankly.. I am ok with that... at the moment :)

As the off season approaches, Rev3/Challenge Age Group Team are taking applications for next year.  With the merger of Challenge and Rev3, next year will be an epic race season!  Around July 4th, one of my Rev3 teammates started a thread on Google Groups about the 10 things we love about Rev3 AG Team.  Answers ranged from very serious (team members supporting others through death of loved ones, illness, divorce) to hilarious (shimmer love, crazy parties, etc).... I wanted to share with you some of my answers as they are the best way to describe why i love this team and why you would love to be part of it too! 
  • Quickly realizing after talking to Carole (Rev3 Employee in charge of the AG team) on the phone how much she truly loves this team beyond words.  Who ever came up with the term Mama Bear was spot on. 
  • "Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter." - Brad Henry. The team is truly a family.  I have seen this in so many ways in my few short months of being part of this group.  
  • Being at summit and seeing the passion Charlie has for his company and the rest of the amazing and dedicated staff. 
  • That Rev3's consumer is not just the athlete.  I have always felt that since my first race in 2011 but see it more and more every time i am around the group 
  • Having people recognize me at local races and say "i saw there was an Asian in Chicago that made the team.. you are her aren't you"  .. that exchange has happened 3 times this year.. almost verbatim. 
  • .... finally, a bit of a confession.... Carole gave me a disclaimer during the interview process that the team could be rowdy, liked to swear a lot and drink a lot and if I would be ok with that being a Mormon.  I said yes as most of my closest friends aren't members, a little crazy and make fun of me for joining my church when i was 21... (with love) However, I was a bit nervous at how this would translate to a team that doesn't see each other often and I might be tagged as the Lame-o that always is with her family at races, doesn't party and might not be able to really develop the relationships with others that I have been afforded with my close friends b/c of limited time to build a bond. But Summit and the 2 races I have attended have really made it clear that my worries were for nothing.  This team opens its arms to everyone that is on it and I have loved my friendships with you.  This means more than you know.  I am proud to be a Rev3 Team Member after my third year of applying. Each spot on this team is a coveted by many triathletes and feel lucky to be a part of it.  Have a great 4th everyone.  We will be celebrating going to see Dave Matthews and decided to bring our kid.  I traveled a summer in college following him around the country and we decided to relive our younger years and bringing a 9 year old will help us fit into the average age of the crowd. Love, Nic

So cheers to the end of my 2014 tri season... and bring on NYCMarathon !

“It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

... i am not sure when this was said during the book.. maybe Nick Carroway 
said it but i thought it fit well with the Gif image :) and my crazy awesome team

Love my team.. apply today!   

Also, i would be remiss to not thank my amazing sponsors that help get me through the entire season!  
Rev3, Pearl Izumi, Powerbar, SBRSports, Headsweats
Blueseventy, WavesGear, Sole Socks & Polar Bottle!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rev3 Cedar Point Sprint Race Report

Well, Scott did it!  He completed his first triathlon and made good on a bet he made last October when I applied to be on the Rev3 AG team.  As I was submitting my application, I said "if i make this team, you do a tri"...and Scott gave me a high five and agreed.  Both of us deep down, thought this was a long shot and didn't think this chip would be cashed... BUT, I MADE THE TEAM!  and Scott now was on the hook.
.... so does Scott, he also needed plastic too for registration fees :)

Leading up to the race, I kept trying to get Scott to train... as training is usually a good thing to do before the race.  His training log included:  one trip to the pool to verify his googles didn't leak and maybe 300 meters of swimming and a few times around the block on a borrowed Felt Bike and some runs.   He also got some tri shorts but complained about the "diaper" inside... however, he ended up appreciating the diaper/chamois during the bike :) 

Race Day:  
Bikes were racked the night before and we both made our way over to transition to get things set up.  It was dark but Rev had lights on transition so no head lamp was needed.  We set up our areas and then made our way down to the water with Tia and my teammates.  As we waited for the race to start, i realized that our mirrored goggle options weren't the best choice as the sun wasn't going to come out of the clouds and the water was dark.  But, too late.. and Scott was already making his way into the water for the mens wave (women went 5 min later). At this point I was nervous for Scott but thankful the waters were calm and there were a ton of SUP and kayakers out there to monitor the route.  I went off 5 minutes after Scott and made me way along at a slow place.  I went slow and stayed with a few ladies that were struggling for a bit (as I was deep down hoping I would find Scott along the course).  I got out of the water and didn't see him.  Later he would tell me the swim was pretty rough and he did a lot of backstroke due to difficulty breathing and water getting in the goggles. Don't feel too sorry for him as his outcome is pretty appropriate for his training methods (i.e. one 300 M swim in a pool!)

Made my way to transition to see his bike was still there.  I took my sweet time getting my socks on (hoping i would see him) and after a few minutes, decided to take off.  As I was walking out of transition, I saw him plopping out of the water... he made it!  I ran over to that area and yelled at him.  He made his way to his bike and started getting his stuff together and told me to take off as he wasn't in any rush.  So, i left and right as we got onto the main road, I stopped and waited for him there.  I talked with the two cops directing traffic along with the volunteer.  A few minutes later Scott came around the corner, he laughed I was waiting for him and I hopped on the bike and we were off.  He managed to hold a 15MPH pace and considering it rained on us most of the time and he was peddling off of Look pedals with sneakers... i thought he did well.  I stayed within a hundred feet of him (NO Drafting for me as 1. it is illegal and 2. the conditions were scary, i wasn't getting too close to Scott in fear of us both wiping out and 3. do i really know how to draft?

As we were making out way back to transition, the rain really started coming down and I thought that Scott was probably hating me by now... Once we transitioned to the run, he was hurting.  The run was along the boardwalk which was scenic and then a bit of stretch through the parking lots.  We did a walk/run and many of my teammates were working the race.  It was awesome to see so many people I know on the course.  Loved the cheers and encouragement.  At one point we were walking and my teammates rolled up next to us and started screaming at us to move it!  It was pretty awesome and Scott picked up the pace.. till they were out of sight and started walking :)

Crossed the finish line together and got some great pics.  One of my slowest sprint tris but probably will be the most memorable.  I honestly am not sure if Scott will do another so I will savor this moment and we can talk about "that one time Scott did a tri" for many years.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Team Rev3-Lay - Cedar Point 70.3 relay

My bike leg relay-er and Rev3 Teammate Rachel wrote an awesome race report about the race which is much better than mine will be.  You can find it here and if you want to still read on.. here is my write up.

Originally, i planned to do the 70.3 but due to some nagging back issues, i was very nervous about it.. specifically the 56 miles on the bike as that position has a tendency to really bother my back and I hadn't been training for the bike as much as I should.... so when my Rev3 teammate asked if anyone wanted to do a relay, i jumped on it!  We had a bit of change with our team but it ended up being three Rev3 Ladies and they were the best!  I did the swim, Rachel did the bike and Laura ran us home!
Awesome pic of my teammates from Sarah's dad!

My leg in a nutshell was:  Rough! 
We walked out to the starting bouy and although most were able to touch, I wasn't.  Blame it on being 5' tall and in a little hole i guess.  The waves were rolling us to and fro and I was just trying to relax and stay calm.  My zen moment lasted a whole 3 seconds and then panic set up.  The fast ladies got going and I was left to trying to navigate over the swells without freaking out.  Within the first 25 meters, i knew this was going to be a long day at the office. I kept thinking.. let me get to the turn bouy and it will be better.  Perhaps this logic was good b/c if I knew it was going to be rough the entire 1.2 miles, i don't know if i would have finished.  I had a few times where i popped up to catch my breath and a wave would hit my face and get up my nose.  I would cough a few times, wonder why i was doing this and then start up again.

This pathetic attempt at "swimming" lasted for 1.45 miles (what my Garmin said I swam- as i subtracted the .2 of running to transition i did from the 1.65 total).  I had to hold onto a kayaker a few times and they were amazing and supportive.  I have to say, i don't know if i would have finished if it had not been for my teammates waiting for me.  i saw a lot of people quit/tap out.  I found myself envious everytime I heard someone yelling for a boat but also at the same time.. nervous if i was going to finish.  But, I kept plugging along.. slowly... Swimming this time around was defined as:  front crawl, breast stroke and some doggy paddle.  Again, not my finest hour but I was so happy to finish.

The portion parallel to shore was actually just as difficult as breathing would bring you up and down on swells and sometimes I would slam into the water mid breath.  I even had my wetsuit unzip around the halfway point.  i asked a kayaker to pull it up and he said I was the second person that he had to help with a falling wetsuit.  I made the turn to the shore and just tried to go as fast as i could... which wasn't very fast but faster than the other two stretches.
Stolen from Rachel's blog
Exited the water and ran to transition to hear Rachel and Laura cheering me on.  They were so positive and awesome.  Laura switched our timing chip and the girls took over.  Rachel and Laura rocked their legs.  3 hours for Rachel on and a PR for Laura (1:41).   My teammates were awesome and definitely made up for my lame time.  Rachel and I waited for for Laura to come in and we crossed the line together.  Loved my first relay experience even with a rough swim.  It was fun to take in the entire event without taking on all 3 sports.  Definitely consider a relay if you are interested in checking out triathlons. 
Team Rev3-Lay

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rev3 Cedar Point Kids Triathlon

My son just completed his first triathlon at Cedar Point!  Rev3 has incorporated the kids triathlon series (AKA The Revvie) into their weekend events which gives kids an opportunity to be like mom/dad/other family member and!

Rev3 has two sets of distances for kids depending on their age.
Ages 7-10: 
  • 75 yd swim
  • 2 mi bike
  • .75mi run
Ages 11-14: 
  • 150 yd swim
  • 4 mi bike
  • 1.5mi run
With Josh being 9, i felt confident he would be able to do these distances pretty easily. When I first asked josh about doing the race I wasn't sure he would say yes, but he surprised me and jumped on board.. that was back in January... so, the only thing we needed to master was riding a bike.. Sadly, my 9 year old still hadn't mastered it.  I blame it on condo living and having no real place to practice.  But, since we moved to a house in February, Josh quickly mastered the bike within a few hours of riding on our street.  I did 2-3 brick workouts with him and practiced swimming 75 meters continuously and he was ready!

Race Morning:  Scott and I were doing the sprint so my parents got him ready for the race (getting timing chip and setting up transition).  We crossed the finish line in time to hear the pre-race talk and get josh all set.  He was pretty calm and didn't show any jitters.  The kids lined up and then they were off! 

I love that all the other kids played along when they asked them to get excited.. except my kid
Heading out into the water
The swim portion was in waist deep water which made for most of the kids (including josh) running through the water but for beginners at this age, made it safe and avoided any of the children having OW panic attacks.  There were also like 10 volunteers/lifeguards in the water which made for perfect conditions for the kids.

Josh was in go-mode when he came out of the water.  I chuckled to watch him try to pull off his swim cap as he tried to pull it off by pulling it from the top of his head.  He worked on that thing the entire way up the hill and finally popped it off!

Then, onto the bike.  For having a smaller BMX type bike, he managed to average 10 MPH for 2 miles and his little feet were going like he was in a hamster wheel. 

Hamster Wheel
He then finished strong on the run and managed to get 2nd in his AG. He got some awesome hardware and I think he was really proud of his accomplishments.  He also informed us that he needed a new bike.... spoken like a true triathlete.  For it being Josh's first Reevie, I was really proud of him and thought Rev3 did an awesome job creating a safe course for the kids with a "big feel" experience.  He was able to run through the finishers chute for his own race, get body marked, rack his bike in the same transition and got the same type of medal we did.  He loved it!

The post race- daze

Next Up  --> Sprint Tri report, Scott's first tri!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Rev3 Glow Run Cedar Point

Just got back from a fun and whirlwind weekend at Cedar Point. Originally, I planned to do the half iron but as I have been dealing with back issues all spring and summer, I opted for a easier weekend which included:  Glow Run Friday, Sprint Tri Saturday (Josh did kids tri) and then 1.2 mile swim on the half relay Sunday.  It proved to be an awesome and tiring weekend.

Friday --> we got cked into our hotel and then grabbed some food before making our way over to the glow run.  It starts right at the park entrance and pending the distance, you either run 1 mile or 5K through the park.  It was awesome to be able to run through an empty park but things were all lit up for us.  The course was well marked and easy to follow.  As we were in the car for 5+ hours prior, we opted for a 1 mile shake out run.  Sean (The MC for the weekend), got the crowd going before we took off.  The crowd had a great variety of people.  Some there for the race but many there just for the experience of a glow run which was awesome. 

Tia and I ran through the park, snapping pics along the way!  The mile went quick and we crossed the finish line dancing and they had lots of gatorade and water at the finish.  Afterwards, they had a little dance party and then families could watch Frozen.  We finished just in time for the storms to roll through.  Next write up --> Sprint Tri with Scott on Saturday!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Skokie Backlot Dash Race Report

For all the years we have lived in Skokie and I have been part of the running community, i have yet to participate in the Skokie BackLot 5K Dash.  I had seen some flyers and went to sign up during packet pickup but they told me i had to do it race day... at this point, i thought i might skip it but the night before Josh said he wanted to do it.

So, this morning came around and after it being his first week of school and football every night, josh had no interest in waking up and thought we were not going to do it but he rolled out of bed and was ready to go.  Drove a whole 1.5 miles to the race start, got out of our car and BAM... hit was sticky/crazy humidity.  Definitely the worst we have had all summer.  As we got over to the race area, I tried to convince him to do the kids dash but he wasn't taking it... "i wanna do the 5K... not doing the little kids dash"... fine, so we both signed up for the race and I was going to take Lucy in tow.  Josh lined up in the front while I stayed in the back with Lucy.  Didn't know how she would do with all the participants and shortened up my Kurgo leash so she couldn't go too far. 

The race course was simple, well marked and had 2 aid stations.  Normally for a 5K, you don't need 2 but it was super hot and I was happy to take in any liquids I could.  Josh took off and I went slow as I had Lucy and it was hot.  We stopped at every aid station and Lucy took in hydration at both courses.  We crossed to see Josh at the finish and they announced Lucy was the first canine finisher.  Everyone loved giving her pats and Josh was drenched with sweat.  We came home, showered and took naps.  Happy to support Skokie and look forward to next year!

ps.  The race goodie bag gave you 2 waterbottles (one regular and one of those collapsible ones) and the shirt was a soft unisex dark grey (a favorite color of mine).