Thursday, July 31, 2008

XTERRA Crested Butte Race Report

July 27th, 2008
1st AG, 14th Overall

It's never fun to elaborate on crappy races so I'll just make it short, sweet (or not so sweet), but to the point!

After arriving in the most beautiful place in Colorado on Thursday night, I was super excited to finally get that 'perfect' race together. However, after running and pre-riding the course on Friday, a totally different mindset kicked in. I was feeling beyond lethargic, had nothing in my legs and almost nauseas-like. Was it the altitude?!? I mean, we were at 10,000ft for goodness sake. Other than a short swim and picking up my packet, I spent the better part of the day in the hotel trying to rest up and let my body do it's thing. Even though I was being super optimistic about everything making a 180 before the race, it didn't happen. I felt just as bad race morning and definitely did not perform at any level of my ability. I was breathing out of my mind on the swim, delirious on the bike and crashing all over then walked the better part of the run because of an upset tummy :( BUT I FINISHED!!! Not a happy camper about the whole situation but I am learning that every race can't always go as planned and things that are out of your control happen. This is the first of 4 races in 4 weekends so I have plenty more opportunities to go out and prove myself that I AM a kickass athlete and that CB was just a fluke!

After the race, Will and I headed to Gunnison to hang out at Brian and Jenny Smith's place and do a little BBQ. Although probably not the greatest of ideas, we did an amazing and long epic ride the next day on the never-ending trails in CB and it was awesome! Check out the video below for more excitement :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

To the Butte I go!

Crested Butte that is...and boy am I excited. It's one of the most beautiful places in Colorado and the fact that they host an XTERRA race is just plain awesome!

I'll be traveling down with some friends from Denver then staying with Sasha and Val. Will Kelsay, Blake Voges and many other CO off-road folk will also be there making for a super fun weekend. I just need to get through this 6am masters, which I haven't done in years, and a half-year financial webcast conference at FRG. Then I'll be all set and hopefully on my way! I'll be attempting round 2 of the video madness so stay tuned :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

The first of many silly videos...

So these are both the very first attempts to create fun videos for people to see what it's like at races, sponsor's corporate headquarters, behind the scenes, etc. NO LAUGHING...I still haven't figured out how to put audio in the background, but I'm working on it. Also, I apologize for the shaky camera skills, I'm learning :) If you know anyone who is savvy in video production and wouldn't mind giving me a few pointers, hook a girl up! Alright, enough babbling. Enjoy.

Pat Griskis Sprint Triathlon

Timex Corporate Headquarters Tour

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oh the love of mechanicals...

After the back latch of my trunk got stuck and we had to dismantle my bike to get it out of the side doors, it's safe to say that my day was definitely not starting out as the best it could have yesterday! I just ignored it as there is a reason I hardly ever drive that piece and it's either getting sold or driven into the ground soon so might as well deal with the annoyances :)

At any rate, Melanie, James and I drove up to Nederland (8500ft) to escape the 100 degree heat in Boulder and get some quality mountain biking in. Right from the get-go, I knew something wasn't quite right with my shifting and chain but again, ignored it and kept riding so that I didn't have to make everyone else stop. After hearing the obnoxious noise, James told me to switch bikes so he could try to figure out the issue. He immediately told me that the pulley on the rear derailleur was totally worn out and that the chain was using the cage (which was also completely shot) to stay on the pulley instead of the teeth of the actually piece. Nothing we could do about it there so I told him it would be fine and to continue with the ride. About 15min later, the chain lost its path and I snapped the cage that was keeping the chain in line...crap. While Mel rode in circles, James switched the front and rear pulleys in hopes that it would stay on for the duration of the ride. It worked for a good 20min, then somehow my entire wheel popped off the bike and bent my rear rotor causing another 15min stop. Okay, back to the trail...After another 15min of riding, the rear pulley wasn't hanging on without the cage and kept popping biggie, I'd just hop off and realign the sucker ever 2-3min and not cause a fuss! Well that worked about 10 times or so until we went up a steep section where a little torque on the bike snapped the pulley and what was left of the cage right off!!! SHIT!!!! James did a little surgery on the bike and made it into a fixed gear so I could at least make it out of the trail and get to the car...THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! Could you imagine what would have happened had James not been there? Well Mel and I sure couldn't, we'd be an absolute mess.

After getting to the car, we made a pit stop at the Co-op so I could get James a huge muffin for his efforts and patience. He has since taken 'the carcass', which he has named my bicycle, home with him to rejuvinate and make ridable for another adventure today!!! What a rockstar he is :)


Friday, July 18, 2008

Providence 70.3 Race Report

July 13th, 2008
2nd AG 20-24
7th Overall Female

I'm pretty sure that I asked myself the following questions about 5 or 6 times throughout this race...What in the world am I doing out here? Where are the rocks, dirt, trees, people crashing all over? Man, I've been running forever, am I done yet? It wasn't that wasn't having fun out there, because I definitely was, it was just the first half Ironman/road race of the year and I just couldn't seem to find my rhythm. Luckily, nothing disastrous happened and it ended up being an alright day :)

The Swim - Let's just say that starting a race at 6am that is about an hour away from the finish doesn't really make for a good night's sleep. I woke up at 3am to walk down to Keith's hotel and drive to the ocean with him, Devon and Brooke. We got there in plenty of time, set up, warmed up, then tackled the crazy waves and current of the sea. The running start into the crashing waves was something I don't really handle well and ended up being washed up several times before making it out to the first buoy. Not exactly the best way to start a race, but I tried to keep my head in it, stay focused, concentrate on not swallowing the entire ocean and sight as much as possible between the giant rolling waves coming over my head. Again, not the best of swims, but considering my history of panic attacks in the water, I was thrilled that nothing completely horrible went on.

The Bike - Aerobars, TT helmet, shoes already on the bike, what's this?!? Just did take me a while to get into a groove though as I've honestly only been on my race bike a half dozen times before this race and it still felt a little foreign. I did manage to settle in a bit and start cranking through the masses of people (I started in the second to last wave). The roads were somewhat sketchy and the course was pretty crazy as well. It was beautiful riding along the coastline but the endless crossings through intersections was pretty scary and the people being held up for the race were not the happiest of people. In some ways, dodging the cars and riding over bumpy/uneven road surface was somewhat Xterra-like. Throw in some good hills like we had and it was definitely a good match :) Although I felt super flat (no pop whatsoever) and had some derailleur issues, I managed a decent bike (6th fastest) without feeling absolutely spent at the end.

The Run - My favorite part...usually. This time was a bit different. I started the run with super tight hips and figured everything would loosen up as it always does. WRONG. Within the first mile, we hit a super steep hill that required small shuffling steps in order to get up it and I'm pretty sure this locked up my hips even more. At this point, I was already off pace and just not feeling motivated. I made a point to stop at every aid station to give myself something to look forward to, but the unusually high volume of fluids I consumed/poured on me only lead to a sloshing belly and squishy shoes which is even more annoying! Focus chica, focus...yeah, not today. I went through the motions and completed the race knowing I hadn't won my age group which meant I wasn't getting my slot to Clearwater which was disappointing as that is what I came there for. Little did I know, there were actually 2 spots available for our age group! Clearwater it is...

The Aftermath - Seeing the entire Timex Crew at the finish line was the highlight of the day and definitely a huge attitude changer for me. Not every race can be perfect and go smoothly but knowing that you have a huge support group there no matter was happens is absolutely amazing. I only lucky girl to be part of such a spirited team with gratuitous amounts of energy and passion. This is honestly one of the most motivating factors for me in this sport and I couldn't be more appreciative :)


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Erin on the news!!!!

So it's a darn good thing I'm not a news reporter or interviewee as a living...I'd be one broke little girl :) Check out these 2 videos from news interviews I did while in Providence this weekend...and NO laughing...I've already done enough of that on my own!

ABC 4pm News

FOX SPORTS 11pm News

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Quick Recap

This past weekend in Providence was an absolute blast. I didn't have the best race of my life, but had a great time out there with the entire Timex crew. Having it be the first road race of the season, I guess I couldn't have too many expectations, right? I was, however, able to snag a slot to Clearwater after a second place finish in my age group, take 7th overall in front of several pros and turn in the 6th fastest bike split of the day which is huge considering how flat I felt out there. My teammates all had killer races as well! Richie Cunningham was second overall after being hit by a car, Chris Thomas grabbed the first overall amateur position, Keith Meyer broke his previous 70.3 time by 15min, Emily had an amazing finish after completing IMCDA and getting married 3 weeks ago, Ian Ray looked amazing out there and came flying by me on the bike after a killer swim, Oakes Ames (age 55) won his age group by over 38min and was 25th overall, and lastly, our East Coast regional sales rep for Timex, Devon, completed his first half ironman with the biggest smile ever on his face, it was AWESOME!

More details to come but as you all know, I'll be running around like crazy for the next few days getting all my clients squared away with quarter end reviews and half year reviews, etc. Check back in a few for a full race report with some funny stories, good pics and interesting video :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

My new toy!!!

Get ready for video because this girl's got a new mini camcorder that is not only small enough to fit in my bike jersey pocket, but shockproof AND waterproof!!! OH YEAH...lots of footage to come :)

Don't have time to get into details now, but let's just say that between the craziness of air travels, evening sprint races, truck driving, expo setting up, evening news videos, working, and a bit of training here and there, I've been running like a race horse. I've been having an absolute blast with the Timex crew and can't wait to race on Sunday! Stay tuned for lots of fun updates.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

3hrs of sleep and it's go time!

After getting all packed up and ready to go, I finally got into bed at 11:30pm last night. Just enough time to squeeze in a little 3hr nap before I had to get up again to drive to the bus stop to catch the 3:30am bus to the airport for a 6am flight to Connecticut. I always tell myself I won't take these early flights ever again while I'm doing it, but the arrival time on the east coast is just too appealing!!!

Anyway, I will be in the area visiting the Timex Corporate headquarters as well as helping out with a local sprint race this evening. I will then drive with our team manager Tristan to Rhode Island for the 70.3 Providence Half Ironman race on Sunday. Yes, first road race of the year...should be interesting! However, before the event, I will definitely have lots of fun media snipits to report on so stay tuned :)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Is it really July already?!?!

Guess time flies when you're having a good time!!! Between photo shoots with David Pahl (above pic) and working like a dog to get ahead of schedule before I leave next week, I really haven't had much free time at all so apologies on the lack of posting.

As my first road race of the season approaches, I've been switching gears a bit and getting back into the longer distance training as well as the TT bike riding. I'm not one to write about my workouts, power output and crap like that, but I do have to mention that riding and racing off road has made me a much stronger road rider and it's super fun to see the difference from the same time period last year! From my trainer session to the track, it's only been huge time and wattage improvements and today during a 3hr ride/90min run brick with several efforts, I couldn't believe how great I felt! JZ has got some serious props coming her way...especially if I can pull off a good race next weekend in Rhode Island :) Until then, enjoy the 4th and don't blow any limbs off playing with fireworks!!!