Ironman Boulder Trip

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Hello Summer! FINALLY, my favorite season is here. Mike & I have just returned from an amazing trip spectating and cheering on our Big Sexy Racing teammates at Ironman Boulder.

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I have to say, triathletes are some of the best people in the world. Not only can they do physically amazing things, but they have the biggest hearts. Completing a triathlon (no matter what the distance) can be an emotionally overwhelming experience. To have support with fellow athletes as well as sherpas on the sidelines makes it such an incredible experience.  You find the strength you didn’t know you had, and can push yourself as well as push others to complete a goal or dream that you have set for yourself.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Mike and I arrived in Denver and our good friends (and fellow teammates) Kris & Trent were at the airport to pick us up. They were both signed up to race Boulder and still were so kind as to let us tag along and stay with them. They both seemed cool as cucumbers as we made our way to packet pick up.

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We had fun at the expo checking out all of the tents. If you’ve been to an Ironman expo, you know it can be very easy to spend your moolah on all of the gadgets, apparel, etc. I had fun decorating a sign at the Base tent for Kris & Trent that would be placed somewhere out on the course.

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After the expo, we drove around a bit, and up a mountain. The beauty of Colorado in the summertime is breathtaking (as it is in the winter, as well). I did have a little bit of an adjustment to make to the altitude (hey, I’m a sea-level girl!) Afterwards, we made our way to the Big Sexy meet up dinner at Wapo’s Mexican restaurant.

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I was exctied to meet all of the teammates that I had only spoken to or seen through Facebook. As I was saying previously, triathletes are some of the best people you’ll meet. Everyone on our team was so humble and friendly. I also got to meet Big Sexy himself, Chris McDonald, and his wife Erika. They are the most down-to-earth, cool, and welcoming couple.

After dinner, we stopped at a brewery in Denver and Mike enjoyed some brews.

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Really getting that Colorado vibe going.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Woke up still on Texas time, so Mike and I looked up an Orange Theory Fitness class nearby. I seriously love those workouts. Felt the elevation while running on the treadmill, though.

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We headed back to Kris & Trent’s and had breakfast with them as they were getting all of their gear bags ready. I know what and ordeal this can be, but these two had it all down to a science. Once they were ready, they loaded up their bikes and we all drove back into Boulder so they could drop off their bags and bikes at Transition.

Mike & I had packed our swim gear just in case we’d get an opportunity for an open water swim, and since T1 was at the Boulder Reservoir, we were lucky enough to hop in the water.

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Let me tell you, it was windy when we got there and the water was COLD and CHOPPY. However, I appreciated it because it gave the feel of a real open water swim. There was only a 200×200 square roped off to swim inside, so it was a little tricky to get much distance in. We probably ended up swimming about 500m, but I was okay with that.

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Kris & Trent had taken their bikes out for a little spin while we were swimming, and met up with us afterwards. They still had to go to T2 to drop off their run gear, and since we were in separate cars (they graciously lent us one of theirs) Mike and I went exploring.

I had seen this beach/park with water skiers, stand up paddle boarders, etc, on the way out of Lakewood, and since we were already in swimsuits, we made our way over. By the time we got to Bear Creek Lake Park, it was packed with families (because it was a 90 degree day) but we still managed to rent a paddle board and paddle around for awhile. I had a blast.

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We got back to the apt and showered up. Kris and Trent got back from an early dinner and were going to wind down for the night. They recommended the Breckenridge Brewery, and so we headed out to find it. On our way we turned into a winery called Carboy and stopped for a glass of rose. That’s more my speed anyway ;).

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We finished off the night at the Breckenridge Brewery and enjoyed a delicious elk burger and a beer.

Then it was back to bed to get a good night’s rest before race day.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Since Lakewood is about 50 minutes away, Kris & Trent told us not to worry about waking up to make it for the swim start. We had arranged with the McDonald’s to meet at their place around 8:30am and help get the BSR trailer together and set up at the run course.

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During this time I got to meet all of the BSR cheer crew we would be spending the day with. Everyone was so nice. We had a perfect spot on the run course to set up; about 1 mile into the first loop and about a 5k from the finisher chute. We got to see each athlete about 6 times during their race, which was awesome.

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We had the music blaring, and some great kareoke singing from Erika (song of choice, “Baby Got Back”). There was so much energy and positivity; everyone was having a great time.

Before long, the pros started their run. Let me tell you, I was starstruck to see Tim O’Donnell come flying by, and not long after, Heather Jackson and Rachel Joyce! I have watched so many Ironman Kona NBC specials with them racing and now here they were right in front of me!

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And when Tim was rounding his way to the finisher chute, his wife Rinny (my favorite triathlete) came riding by on her cruiser bike! I didn’t have my phone ready for a pic, but I totally geeked out!

 

The rest of the day was full of cheering, laughter, and fun as we sang, danced, ate, drank, and encouraged all of the athletes on the course.

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There’s Kris with her big smile 🙂

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Both Trent & Kris are amazing athletes and had awesome times! As the sun began to set and the nighttime finishers began to run by, we had to pep up our cheering. These people have ben going all day and they need that encouragement. I’ve been there; everything hurts- it hurts to run, it hurts to walk. But when you’re so close to that finish line, your body can withstand it.

What an experience! The camaraderie and uplifting of others; that’s what it’s all about!

Monday, June 12, 2017

This was a day of relaxation and recuperation (and we didn’t even race!) When Kris woke up, she was a bit sore and stiff (as would be expected) but invited us to join her for a “shakeout swim”. We went to the local rec center pool and swam an easy 1000m.

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After we cleaned up, we all drove back into Boulder to the McDonald’s house for the team celebration BBQ. Turns out Big Sexy Racing team won first in their division! That’s some badassery there!

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After the BBQ, a few of us made our way into Downtown Boulder and walked up and down Pearl Street. Stopped at a couple of bars including The Lazy Dog. We all got to know each other better and share stories and each other’s backgrounds. I really enjoyed that.

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Drove back into Lakewood and turned in for the night.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What supposed to be our “travel back home” day turned into an extended stay. We were able to change flight tickets for Wednesday, and so more exploration was ahead for us this day!

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We got to visit the Coors brewery which was awesome! It was a free tour and ended with tastings!

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Then we headed down to the Red Rocks, which I’ve always been dying to see. Turns out there was a Doobie Brothers and Chicago concert going on at the amphitheater, but it was sold out, of course :(. We still enjoyed a rooftop deck and some delicious burgers.

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As we were heading back, the sun was setting and it literally took my breath away.

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What a perfect ending to our trip!

I am so grateful for this wonderful experience and for all of the loving and kind people God has brought into my life! I am so proud and happy to be a part of this team and am now pumped up to take on my next race in 10 days, Buffalo Springs 70.3!

TRI WITH JOY!

Jenna

 

 

Summer’s Coming

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Wow! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted. The spring has flown by and summer is on it’s way. I’m closing in on my 8th year of teaching music, and just had my final choir performance of the school year last night. I truly love putting on musical performances; I always get teary-eyed when I look up and see my kids singing their hearts out. It makes all of the practicing and hard work worth it.

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Some events/happenings since my last blog post:

We went to cheer on the athletes at Ironman Texas and it was an absolute blast! So much fun to watch it from the other side, and also to meet our Big Sexy teammates. Of course, many inspirational people to motivate me to want to sign up for it again….we’ll see about 2018.

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My sister graduated from college! We’re celebrating with a big shindig this weekend.

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This past weekend Mike had an Advanced TRX Instructor training in Austin. He went to work, I went to play. Was so happy to see my dear friend Jesse and get to spend a day with her gallivanting around. I treasure the time we get to spend together because she is such a close friend of mine. We were best friends in college and roommates our last year. So many hilarious memories were made, and now we’re all grown up and married, so it was special to spend time just us two.

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❤ her

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^^Celebrating Mike passing his TRX cert!

I’ve been trying to pep up my step in my training. We are about 5 weeks out from Buffalo Springs 70.3, and starting to hit the “high volume” training workouts. It’s been a bit tricky to fit in long rides and runs, especially with this Texas heat and South Texas winds! I’m trying not to get nervous about this race, but I have never done this one, so it’s the “fear of the unknown”. Actually, I don’t want to use the word fear, I’d rather put a positive spin on it and say that I’m “blissfully ignorant” about the course ahead of me. Sometimes its better to not know too much about what’s ahead of you.

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Happy to have a 3 day weekend, and then the countdown is on until June 7, our last work day until summer!

TRI WITH JOY!

Jenna

 

BISD Tri Recap 2017

So this past weekend I participated in the BISD Sprint Triathlon. This race is special to me because it was the first triathlon I had ever done back in 2011.  It lit the spark inside me and I had absolutely no idea back then how important triathlon would be to my physical, and more so, to my mental well-being!

You want to see some funny pics? These are the true definition of a tri-rookie!

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Did you check out the cotton shirt and mountain bike? 🙂

I was hooked on entering this race and have done so every year since (except 2016 when I was in the depths of Ironman training). So, this year would mark my 6th time to race this fun little race.

I was glad that I was able to convince most of my friends to sign up last minute; it’s always more fun to have your people there with you!

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I woke up from a very restful sleep and was excited to get the day started. Since this race is located in my hometown it was nice to have a 6:00am wake up call. I was also excited to finally be able to race in my Big Sexy Racing kit. This kit feels absolutely amazing. I love my Betty kits, but this one is actually comfortable. I never once had to readjust or even think about any discomfort from the moment I put it on.

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We arrived at the pool just as they were opening the gate to set up our transition area. Soon, all of our friends started showing up and everyone started getting ready. Once we were all set, we took a few pre-race photos and said a wonderful prayer. Then it was show time!

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SWIM:

I was seeded as the first female to enter the water for the sprint division (no pressure). I love this pool. It’s the same pool I used to swim/train/compete in with my high school team, so it is literally my comfort zone. As soon as Coach told me to go, I started my watch and I was off!

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The swim is a 400 meter distance where we zig-zag between all of 8 lanes (set at 50 meter length). Not too much to report about my swim other than I felt great and passed quite a few male swimmers as I made my way through.

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Out of the water and onto T1!

BIKE:

Living in Brownsville, it is a given that it will be a windy day every day in the spring time. I was not surprised to feel the wind coming in from all sides;  just your typical weekend riding weather. I had completely forgotten about my watch and figured I’d just use it to keep my pace when I hit my run.

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I knew the route of this bike course (13 miles), and so was not worried about getting lost. However, the roads that we ride on have a bit of unpredictable traffic and several traffic lights, so I spent most of my time praying to get all green lights.

Bike ride was over before I knew it and it was time to run!

RUN:

I knew I had worked my quads pretty hard trying to ride fast through the wind, so I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel during the run. What I did know, was at this point I was still the first female off the bike!

Keep in mind, in all of the years that I have done this particular tri, I have placed, but never won. I was always passed up on the run. I was determined to keep my lead this year.

I was surprised to find my legs felt good, I was not overheated, and almost feel light and bouncy as I ran (which never happens). When a race volunteer rode by me on his bike at about 1.5 miles into the 5k, he said, “You’re the first female I’ve seen on the course!” At this point, there was a bridge that allowed me to make a turn to see if anyone was behind me. No one in sight. This got me excited, “I think I can pull this off!”

Rounded up into the finish line and booked my butt through.

A wonderful little race to kick off my tri season 2017.

Once my own race was over, I got to cheer on the rest of my crew through their finishes. Of course Mike had finished way before me, and our friends who were volunteering told us they were pretty sure he and I were the first male and female finishers.

What do you know, when they announced awards the Gutierrez’s were first male & female! We knew this would be a moment that would most likely never happen again, so we took in our moment (even if it was at a little local sprint race, haha).

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My beautiful mother and other girlfriends flew through the finish line, and wouldn’t you know it, practically every one podium’ed!

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Of course celebrations were in order that evening!

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Up next: Ironman Texas is on April 22, and we are planning a road trip to spectate and cheer on all of the amazing people racing to become Ironmen that day. I can’t wait! We’ll be there in all of our Big Sexy Racing glory!

TRI WITH JOY!

Jenna

Bye bye Feb…

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Another month of 2017 done! Closed it out with my 5th time to run the Austin Half Marathon.

As predicted, I did not PR on this race, and even though I have run this course before, it is NOT a race to just “wing it”. I learned my lesson that I have to put in the training time to do well. That’s the plan for next year!

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Best part of the race was the finish line of course!

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Many of my friends from home participated and we all got to enjoy some celebration time.

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The following weekend kicked off Charro Days, and I enjoyed dressing up during the week.

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And then hitting up the Sombrero Festival with Mike and my family.

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A new month begins and I am feeling more refreshed and ready to start up a routine with my training. I’ve got a couple of local sprint triathlons in mind and then Buffalo Springs 70.3 in June. I look forward to riding my bike outdoors again, hopefully the weather can cooperate over the weekends so I can make that happen.

TRI WITH JOY!

Jenna

February Updates

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This month sure is flying by, and it’s been quite an eventful one!

Kicked off the first weekend of the month with Les Mills SPRINT training. Mike & I had both signed up in December, and were excited to take our cycling teaching to the next level. Another plus was that it was hosted in our home gym, so we didn’t have to travel.

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Let me tell you, Les Mills weekend trainings are no joke. I first got RPM certified in April of 2011. It was an all-day Saturday, and all-day Sunday training. I remember being so exhausted and sore when it was all over. It was no different this time. Here’s how the website defines what SPRINT is:

“LES MILLS SPRINT is a 30 minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout, using an indoor bike to achieve fast results. It’s a short, intense style of training where the thrill and motivation comes from pushing your physical and mental limits. A high intensity, low impact  workout, it’s scientifically proven to return rapid results.

The 30 minutes you put into a LES MILLS SPRINT workout drives your body to burn calories for hours. You combine bursts of intensity, where you work as hard as possible, with periods of rest that prepare you for the next effort. The payoff? You smash your fitness goals, fast.”

I am excited to teach it. The training was pretty tough, and we finished on Superbowl Sunday. I tried my best to stay awake to watch the game, but was sound asleep by 8:00pm.

The following week I attended my TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) convention in San Antonio. I traveled up with my dad, and then my mom joined us the next day (which was a nice surprise because we weren’t sure if she was going to be able to attend). I always thoroughly enjoy this convention and was overjoyed to be able to see my TLU choir director as well as my co-op teacher who I student taught with back in 2009.

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To top it all off, I got to see my Gamma girls and meet mi Raspita Lexie’s baby Korben! He is the most precious little thing! When I drove back home that Saturday, my heart was fulfilled to see so many people who mean so much to me. 🙂

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Back to work and started this week off getting into the routine. But on Wednesday morning at around 3:30am Mike & I woke up to quite a scare. We discovered masses amount of blood all over our living room and kitchen floor. Our poor Sandie baby! Long story short, Wednesday morning was a nightmare. Rushed her to the vet and thank God our veterinarian is so wonderful. She took care of her right away and hooked her up to an IV.

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It turns out Sandie got HGE, which is a bad bacteria that caused her bleeding, vomiting, drop of body temperature, among other scary things. They kept her on an IV overnight Wednesday. Yesterday during my lunch break I rushed over to check on her.

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She already looked so much better. They told me if she continued the way she was going, she’d be able to come home that night. Praise God, when I got home from work, Mike had brought her home. I am so grateful she’s going to be okay.

Because of all of this, Mike and I are/were on the fence about the Austin Half Marathon this weekend. As of right now, if Sandie’s doing okay when we get home tonight, we’re going to drive up to Austin tomorrow, run the race Sunday, and head back home that same day.

I am not by any means trying to PR this race. This will be the 5th year I run it, and I feel the most unprepared because I haven’t really dedicated enough miles and time in training. Plus, those hills are BEASTLY. But, I’m just going to have the mindset of running to finish. I’ll be happy to collect my medal and be on my merry way, haha.

So there’s February life updates so far. And the month isn’t over yet, we still have Charro Days coming up!

Jenna

 

 

No FOMO

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FOMO…by now you’ve heard this term. And if you haven’t, it stands for “Fear Of Missing Out”. When I first heard this, I laughed out loud. But it really is a thing (if you’re a sociable person, like myself).

I will be completely honest in saying that ANY Ironman sanctioned event I have ever signed up for was due to FOMO. In 2014, the only reason I signed up for my first half Ironman was due to FOMO. When I discovered that I could actually complete the half distance, the following race choices were based on which races my friends were doing.

Then, in May of 2015, my friends signed up for Ironman Texas. The FULL. I had stated several times that I had no interest in ever racing a full Ironman. I completely and utterly respected anyone who could or had, but I just didn’t think it was in the cards for me.

When my husband confirmed that even he was going to sign up for Ironman Texas, the FOMO kicked in. “I could totally just go to Houston and be a cheerleader for everyone.” That was my first thought. Then I imagined watching my husband along with my other friends getting out of the water with a smile on their faces. Hopping on the bike and riding into the sunrise. Hopping off the bike after completing a 5 or 6 hour ride and happily heading out into the run. Watching them complete loop after loop, getting closer and closer to completing an amazing feat. All the while, I’d be standing there dying because I was too chicken to even try.

So, because of FOMO, 2 months later I took the leap and signed up for Ironman Texas. And what a day that was. I’m happy FOMO pushed me into it.

The aftermath of the full Ironman was a weird feeling of almost depression/burnout. And though I didn’t completely quit triathlon, I resolved (to myself) that I would only sign up for 2017 races if I really wanted it, and not only if Mike or my friends were doing it.

know for certain that I’m sitting out a full-distance in 2017. That is completely my decision. I am beyond happy to train with and support my friends who have already or will sign up for a full this year. It’s an amazing accomplishment that deserves recognition!

But in this decision of mine, I think it will help me to refresh mentally and put the joy back into racing. I look forward to the smaller races; sprints and an Olympic or two. Those are completely fun for me. And yes, there are 2 Half Ironman distance races in the cards ;).

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So, after all this rambling (which I’m not really sure where my direction was) I have to say that FOMO can be a good thing. It can push you out of your comfort zone and help you discover things about yourself you didn’t think were there. But honestly, we control our own decisions (with God’s guidance of course), and we should choose to do things that make us feel fulfilled and give us joy. So…no (race) FOMO for 2017.

I said it, now we’ll see if I stick to it ;).

TRI (and LIVE) WITH JOY!

Jenna