Transcendence

Most people do crazy stuff when they turn 40 - the classic midlife crisis type affair. There's buying a snazzy new car (does a 4WD Merce...

May 29, 2009

New Sponsor

I picked up a new sponsor this week. Motor Tabs, a sports drink - electrolite replacement drink. It's a low calorie, but high electrolite tab. The really exciting part is that there are no artificial sweetners - unlike some of the other companies. I'm really looking forward to getting the first shipment. There's more varity of flavors with the Motor Tabs as well. www.motortabs.com

Motivation

I have had such poor motivation this week in the water! I just could not stand the thought of swimming and barely got through 2500 yards on Wednesday and 2000 yards today. Since the swim is one of my best legs, not having the motivation to get in the water isn't good. Hopefully, I'll get into a better groove when all these trips are done. I'm getting tired of traveling. The racing is fun, but...

May 26, 2009

Chile Challenge

Part of the fun of traveling to races are the stops along the way. On the way to the Chile Challenge in Angel Fire, Nick and I stopped in Cuchara to explore some of the trails in that area of Colorado. It's never a good sign when during the climb up, you see fresh bear tracks in the trail. Nick and I made so much noise on that ride, I think we scared ourselves away! But the trail was cool. We had almost an hour climb to the top, through snow drifts and mountain streams. My socks were soaked halfway up the climb. But it was worth it. The drop back to the car was on twisty, tree lined single track. Definatly worth a trip back to explore some more, this time with the bear bells and spray.

Chile Challenge is both Short Track and a Cross Country race. I hadn't done a short track race before, so that was worrying me. This course was fast - about 1:30 per lap. There were a few tight turns on loose gravel and one steep, punchy hill. This was 20 minutes of all out, red line effort. I went out a little too hard and started fading near the end. I really needed to work to hold my finish place. But it was a good pain and a jolt to the system.

Every time I race, I learn something new. Chile Challenge was an objective lesson in body position and proper braking. Too far forward or too much front brake and it was all over. You were either walking up the technical sections or crashing on the switchbacks on the descent.

The course was the most technically challenging mountain bike race I've done. And it was one of the most fun. It started raining half way up the first lap and never really stopped the rest of the race. The rocks were slimy, making the technical sections even more challenging. I did end up walking a few more sections then I wanted, but better safe then black and blue. There were also huge mud puddles in all the fire roads. Mud was then word of the day. I took a nice spill on the descent the second time around - they say mud is good for the skin!

This was fun trip. I got a lot of nice pictures from both the drive down and the race. Take a look
http://picasaweb.google.com/TracyThelen.triathlete/ChileChallenge#

May 19, 2009

Tomac build

Okay, I lied. We started working on the build on Sunday. Nick wanted to see how things fit and if we needed to get anything different then what we'd ordered. So far, not bad - only the front deraillure wasn't the right size. Easy enough to fix. So now, we have the fork, stem, handlebars, shifters, brakes and front and rear derailures on the frame. I still need wheels, grips, seatpost and saddle. After that, and several rides, it should be ready to race. I'm hoping that I'll be able to race it at the Indian Peaks Xterra on August 1st. - I've got a few photos http://picasaweb.google.com/TracyThelen.triathlete/TomacBuild#

May 17, 2009

Tomac Frame


I have my new Tomac now. The frame is hanging on the wall in the living room, waiting to be built. Most of the components are in boxes in the garage. We have a few more things to order, but should start the build process soon. I can't belive how light the frame is! I can't wait for the first ride, but it will take a while. I'd rather take it slow and do things right, then rush and have a bad race because of it. For now, staring at the sleek black and red frame and dreaming will have to do.

May 15, 2009

Compression Socks

Okay - I'll admit it. I've gone to the dark side and joined the compression sock craze. Earlier in the year, one of my sponsors, MarathonGuide.com sent out new running uniforms and a pair of Recovery Socks compression socks. I wore the socks a few times, but wasn't convinced about the effectiveness. I am now. I used those socks during the drive to Las Vegas for the Xterra West Cup and on the flight to Fargo for the marathon. I didn't have any of the heavy feeling or swelling that I normally get when I sit for a long time. My legs weren't as tired when I started moving again, either. I also noticed that my legs aren't as tired after work, espcially when I've done hard workout in the morning. I ordered a few more pairs of the Recovery Socks today - one in fusicha! Hey, if I'm going to look like a dork in knee high socks, I might as well go all the way.

May 11, 2009

Fargo Marathon

Fargo has been on the list for five years. I really liked the way the marathon played on the town's name (Go far in Fargo) and the comments on Marathonguide.com were also very positive. This year, we finally got up north to run Fargo and it was worth it. Everything about the race was organized and everyone was super friendly. The whole town knew that the marathon was coming and wished us luck when they found out we were there for the race. Everything was held in the FargoDome - the expo, pasta dinner, prerace, post race and awards. Because of the floods earlier in the year, the course was changed to a two loop affair. I had no issues with that - it's nice running two loops sometimes. You know what the last half is going to be like.

I wasn't sure what was going to happen at the race. I really didn't think that I had done enough training to run a decent marathon. I've only done a few long runs - focusing mostly on the bike for my triathlons. My goal was between 3:00 to 3:05, but more importantly to run a smart race. I started a little back off the line so I wouldn't be tempted to start too fast. My first mile was 6:50 and it just felt so comfortable. I decided to stay right around that pace until mile 10, then see how I felt. With the course as flat as it was, running even splits was easy. For the first lap, there were also plenty of spectator and other runners to share the work with the wind. At the halfway, I found out that I was in second postition, but there were two women right behind me. I tried to increase the pace a little, but the lack of training started to affect me. My calves and hamstrings were starting to get stiff. Miles 21 and 22 were over 7:00 and one of the women behind me bridged the gap. I tried to run with her for a mile, but I could not stay with her. Holding on to third was enough for me. I finished in 2:59:18.

I'm sore today - paying for running faster then I'd trained. But it was worth it. I'm really happy we did Fargo for our ND marathon. I'd recommend this race to anyone. www.fargomarathon.com

May 6, 2009

Operation Rebound Fundraiser

First, thank you to everyone who has alerady donated to Operation Rebound. Your support will help provide coaching, mentoring and equipment such as racing chairs or prostetics to disabled veterans.
I wanted to let everyone know about the next fundraising event on June 7th, the day after the Xterra Northwest Cup. I will be competing in the Mad Dash Eight Hour Mountain Bike Challenge, with the goal to raise money for Operation Rebound. How can you help me reach my goal of $2000 for OR? Consider making a per-lap pledge so the more 10 mile laps I complete in the eight hours means for money raised for Operation Rebound. Even a small pledge such as $5 a lap will go a long way towards helping American veterans disabled in the defense of our country regain healthy, active lives. I hope that I can count on your support in this event.
As always, you can also donate on line at http://teamorsilverman09.kintera.org/tracythelen
Thank you for your support

Xterra West Cup

Well, the first triathlon of the season is finished. That was a challenge. I learned some things to build on for the rest of the season and to get ready for next year. The swim was my best leg - I felt strong in the water. The start was a little bumpy, but we had a really narrow channel to swim through. I had no problems with sighting, even though I haven't practiced. My transition was slow - could not get the wetsuit off. It got tangled on my ankles and around my wrists. As for the bike, I knew when I pre-rode that I was going to hurt on this course. The course was like riding on the moon - blue arrows spray painted onto the gravel and sand. There were two really steep hills, with equally steep decents, a long, sandy wash, plenty of rollers and a fun twisty section along the lake shore. There really wasn't anything worth remembering except for the eight women who passed me! The run wasn't much better, which was surprising. I usually can run very well, but the heat did me in. I was not ready for 90 degrees, with no shade. Getting off my bike, I had a few cramps in my quads, but my calves were really tight on the first lap of the run. I was happy I had some chicken broth with me for the run. I finished in 13th place, some 24 minutes behind McQuaid. But hey - I did meet one of my goals! My finish time was faster then all of the age group women.

Seriously, I will have to sit down and evaluate my training - encorporate more brick workouts, strenght workouts and just focus on my bike and run. I have time. This season is about getting the experience I will need for racing at this level in Xterras.

My mother got a few shots -http://picasaweb.google.com/TracyThelen.triathlete/XterraWestCup#