MonticelloMan - Kicking off 2013 with some wine!

Racing in Thomas Jefferson's hometown...

Highlight: The hamstring injury is HISTORY! My leg is healed, and although yes, I'm still running with a heel-strike, the pain from my pulled hammie two years ago is no longer!

Grumbles: Asthma/panic attack on the swim (water temps were low 60s!), and frozen feet on the bike.

Cham-WOW: I absolutely, 500%, ain't-no-doubt-about-it, love love LOVE our 2013 gear sponsor Louis Garneau! My previously-prone-to-saddle-sores area was quite happy, and the kits look super sharp!

Ladies of the team jumping for joy in our Louis Garneau kits!
 Omimous Preface: My Attempt to Prevent an Asthma Attack in the Water

Three days before the race, I went to an asthma specialist to decipher what was going on with my recent gasping-for-air mishaps in the water. Last year, I had a panic attack in each triathlon except for the swampy-warm waters at Eagleman. I'd recently been feeling short-of-breath in the pool as well, and Bart diagnosed me with exercise-induced asthma (he is an MD sometimes).

I was so frustrated; I've always loved being in water and sometimes wonder if I weren't a fish in a former life. Now I feel like I couldn't even push the pace in the pool lest I die for lack of air.

Well, the doc confirmed that I do indeed have exercise-induced asthma because "when you exercise and your heart works really hard, your lungs are constricting and when you have your face in the water, this aggravates the situation and triggers your bronchospasm."
I nodded and patiently waited for him to just write me the prescription for an inhaler so I could get my evening swim workout in.

I was sooooo ready to kick these asthma attacks out of my life! Took two puffs from my inhaler in transition to keep the demons away before I headed down to the beach start...

Swim: Wherein the Asthma Attacks and I Drink a Gallon of Lake Water

Teammate Katie and I got in the low-60-degree water to acclimate to the frigid temps and warm up our (broad) shoulders a bit, but after only 3 minutes, we were kicked out of the water to make way for the men's start.

I gave Bart a good-luck kiss (spoiler alert: it worked!!), and shivered waited on the beach for the women's wave to start with Katie and Ellen. The women started four minutes after the men, and I made it a secret goal to beat Bart out of the water. I did not even come close to making this happen!

Sure enough, once my face hit the water after a very ungraceful dolphin dive, the asthma attack hit. I couldn't breathe and suddenly everything felt constricting: my sports bra, the wetsuit, the cold water, people are too close, get away, let me breathe!!!

Survived my asthma attack, which I'm convinced was triggered by my lack of a warm-up and the 64-degree-water, by flipping over and doing backstroke. I struggled to keep up with the rest of the ladies, but I quickly lost the leaders. About 500 yards in, I finally managed to calm my breathing and state of mind enough to stick my head in the water and resume free-styling.

I caught a few of the ones who had pulled away earlier, and found my groove a bit too late. I'm just glad I survived that swim and didn't have to backstroke into the beach exit!

1.2-Mile Swim:
30:32, 4th Female (and didn't catch Bart on the swim, he was long gone on the bike when I got to T1!)

T1: 2:31 - Opted to go with arm warmers and full-fingered gloves. Painfully slow to pull those things over wet arms, but worth it because the bike ride was quite chilly!

Bike: 56 Miles of Rollers and Nailed the Nutrition!

The Mindy-way of racing is to come out of T1 near the front of the wave, then to promptly hear "On your left!" and race wheels whoosh-whooshing by as I get passed by (what seems like) everyone.
Sigh. Such is the life of a double-digit power-wattage midget.

Well, happy to say that I was only passed by one female in the entire bike course! And I - yes, me!!! - actually passed a female!

Nothing much to say about the bike course, except:
1. My toes froze
2. I blew about 129 snot rockets.
3. Nutrition strategy: two bites (~60 calories) of a Clif bar (Coconut chocolate chip, yum yum!!!) every 15 minutes for the first 90 minutes. Switched to Shot Bloks and ate two (~65 calories) every 20 minutes for the next hour. The last 30 minutes I staved off and hydrated with water because I usually run best on a minimally-fed stomach. Oh, and I also had a couple bites of rice cakes that I had made earlier in the week, but those were really hard to eat with my full-fingered gloves!
No liquid nutrition, just good ol' agua.

56-Mile Bike:
3:01:10, 4th Female

T2: 1:30 - Thank the Buddhas for getting me off the bike! I'm always happiest in T2 because it means I get to take off my bike shoes and my dorky aero helmet.
I hit the port-a-potty on my way out, which was a relief.

Spermie on my head...
Run: Happy Feet, Sunny Skies and Rockin' Mizunos!

The run...I smile just thinking of those 13 miles of bliss. The past two tri seasons, I've struggled with a hamstring injury. I've done lots this past winter to ensure that 2013 is not a three-peat year. Lots includes aqua-jogging (I lasted 2 months!), elliptical (got to know Robin Meade quite well...), and physical therapy.

Adios, hamstring injury!

A quick shout-out to Snapple's shoe sponsor, Mizuno. My Mizuno Ronins were super-light and fit my feet like a glove. Hallelujah! Plus, they're bright yellow, so it makes me happy whenever my posture slumps and I catch a glimpse of the bright colors.

Took in three gels at miles 3, 6, and 10. The day was starting to warm up as well, so I took in water at each aid station. One cup for dumping on my head, one for drinking. The race volunteers started to notice a pattern by mile 6 :) and handed me 2 cups each time.

13.1-Mile Run:
1:38:52, 4th Female

Monticello Half-Ironman: 5:14:35, 4th Overall Female

Overall, an awesome day. Collected my wine bottle prize for 1st Age Group and crushed some ice cream when I got home, of course!
4th OA, 1st AG!
Lessons learned:
  • Figure out how to conquer my asthma attacks in the open water!
  • Learn to power up the hills on the bike. It's just pedaling, right?  
  • Bring salt tablets, even if it's freezing temps at the start. You never know when that sun's gonna shine and you'll be wishing you had some salt on the run!
The Snapple crew dominated MonticelloMan Tri!
And a huge Congrats to my Snapple teammates!
Bart placed 3rd overall in the Half (and I didn't catch him on the swim...)!
Katie won the Half, finishing 27 minutes in front of 2nd place!
Ellen finished 5th overall, and Chris Morales finished 2nd in his age group in the Olympic!

Next up: Quassy Rev3 Half - ready for some monster hills up in Connecticut!

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