TriGirl Sprint 2017 Race Report

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TriGirl Sprint was a blast. This was the third year for me to compete in this race, and I really recommend it because it is very well put-on and safe for beginners. It takes place in Victor Park in Harlingen, TX, and it is a 300 meter swim, 10 mile bike (5 miles out and 5 back), and a 5k run.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Woke up at 4:45am and got my water bottles together and bikes loaded up. I picked up my mom and we headed to Harlingen. Transition didn’t open until 6:00am, and we got there at about 5:30, so we had a little time to wait. I’d always rather be early and take my time setting up my area and not have to stress out.

Soon the other racers including most of my girlfriends began to arrive. We made our way into transition and set up. My mom and my numbers were right next to each other so we got to set up our bikes together. I was so proud of her, she seemed calm even though I know she was a bit nervous.

Headed into the pool and I jumped in for a short warm-up, just a 100 meter lap. Water still felt cool because the sun hadn’t come up, but I knew things would get warm quickly once it did rise.

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Race time! We lined up around the edge of the pool and seeded ourselves by 100m swim times, and then it was go time.

SWIM:

The swim was short and quick. Not too eventful, but I kept a comfortable pace that kept my heart rate down. Towards the end I got into a little bunch with a few other swimmers, but it was no big deal. Hopped out of the water and headed into transition.

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BIKE:

For some reason, I was a little bit flustered in transition, and when I mounted my bike and clipped in, I noticed I hadn’t even strapped my right bike shoe on! I was already clipped in and pedaling, so I thought, “Oh well, I’ll just ride like this!

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Yelling out to Mike, “My shoe isn’t strapped in!”

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The bike ride was pleasant. I was happy to not get any red lights and no loose dogs chased me. I found my way right behind Cristina, and soon we were passing the other racers until we saw the lead girl ahead of us. We made our turn-around, and soon after, passed her up.

We were the two lead females off the bike!

RUN:

The run was just as I had expected: hot AF. Luckily, it’s only 3 miles so I wasn’t having to bear the heat for too long. Felt pretty good on my feet; I’m really liking these Newtons I’m running in. Although the run was super hot and humid, it was fun to get encouragement from the volunteers and hear them say to me, “You’re the first racer!”

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Finally made my way towards the finish line and booked it through. Very second time in my life to be the first one through the finish, it’s a great feeling! It was a time-trial swim start, so I knew that crossing the finish line first didn’t mean I’d completed the race first, but I was hoping for a podium finish in my age group.

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Got to see all of my other friends and my mom come through the finish line and I was so proud of them! What a blessing that we get to do this, and that our bodies are able. Praise God!

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When it came time for awards, I discovered I got first in my age group! Along with my other two friends Carolina and Priscilla on the podium with me; that was awesome :).

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What a great day; I’ll definitely be doing this one next year.

This is my last week of summer; sadness. This weekend Mike and I are making a quick trip up to Austin to take a couple Orangetheory classes and stay with our friends Kim, Kane, and their two girls. Then Monday, it’s back to work to begin my 9th year of teaching!

P.S. I have a very exciting surprise coming up having to do with my “tri life” and I can’t wait to share!

TRI WITH JOY!

Jenna

Boca Raton, FL Trip

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Just got back from sunny, hot, and humid Florida (not any different from home). But it was a beautiful place. I have only been to Florida once, about 14 years ago when I was in high school for a choir trip to Disney. So this time around, I was excited to be able to explore.

The whole reason I was in Florida was because Mike and his business partners were there for franchise training to open up their own Orangetheory Fitness Gym. Very exciting new adventures ahead! Boca Raton is where the headquarters are located.

I arrived on Wednesday afternoon, and after a very long carpool shuttle from the airport, I arrived at our hotel. I settled in and soon was picked up by Mike, Eddie, and Jaime to have dinner. We went to a nearby Cheesecake Factory (and I love Cheesecake Factory) and had a nice dinner. Back to hotel to relax and get to bed.

Thursday morning they had to get up early for meetings, so I was on my own until 5:30pm. I had reserved a spot at an Orangetheory class and took an Uber over. My instructor was very good and friendly, and my workout was tough but fun. The hour flew by!

What I like a lot about Orangetheory is you can see your heart rate in real time. You wear a monitor and your name is up on a screen so you can keep track of what “zone” you are in. I definitely push myself more because of it.

When the class is through, you are automatically emailed your fitness report so you can see your results.

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I was recommended to check out Red Reef Park and Beach, so I took an Uber there next. It had rained that morning, but luckily the sun came out for my trip to the beach. The water was pretty choppy, but warm and beautiful. Also, there was a sea turtle reservoir right near me, and several little sea turtle nests were roped off all over the beach.

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I sat and watched the waves and enjoyed the beauty of the sea. It’s so calm and serene to listen to the water.

 

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I was getting hungry for lunch and stumbled upon a very cute place called The Boca Beach House. Had a delicious pesto chicken salad sandwich, then made my way back to the hotel.

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I still had about an hour to kill, so I went down to the hotel pool and swam, laid out, and read my book.

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Everyone returned and we cleaned up then found a place to have dinner called Fries to Caviar. Delicious appetizers and entrees. And of course, wonderful company!

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Friday morning their meetings weren’t as early, so we got to have breakfast together at the hotel. I returned for a second Orangetheory workout and it was a different workout plan, which kept it challenging and interesting.

After the class, I made my way to the Town Center Mall and did some damage with some retail therapy. 😉

The rest of the afternoon we bounced around town to check out the other OTF gyms. Then it was time to take Eddie and Jaime to the airport.

Since it was our last night there, one of Mike’s friends who was a local to Boca recommended that we make our way down to Atlantic Avenue. I’m sure glad we did because it was so much fun. Kinda reminded me of an Austin/6th Street vibe with a beachy feel. We came across an original Speakeasy and stopped for some delicious cocktails.

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We then went to eat at a restaurant called Dada’s which was in a restored historic home. A wonderful ending to our trip!

TRI WITH JOY!

Jenna

Tri For Old Glory 2017 Race Report

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Tri For Old Glory, one of my favorite triathlons. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to sign up for it this year due to a conflicting schedule, but since I had been talking it up so much for the past 2 years to my friends, (and many of them had signed up for it), I figured out a way to make it work. Sure glad I did, because this “racecation” did not disappoint!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Mike was unable to make it for the race (he was flying out to Florida for a training) so Jeremy & Cristina picked me up at around 7:00am. We hit the road early, and since packet pick up wasn’t until 4:00, we arrived in Gruene for lunch.

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Had a delicious meal at one of my favorite restaurants The Gristmill. If you are ever in the New Braunfels area, you absolutely must eat here. Three of our other friends from Brownsville, Ernie, his wife Ruth, and Ryan met up with us to eat. The two guys had also signed up for the Olympic distance. We actually recorded a hilarious podcast at the restaurant while we waited for our food.

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We all parted ways and drove into Canyon Lake where we would be staying with our friend and Big Sexy teammate Mike R. His family home was beautiful. Located in the beautiful central Texas hill country. He and his wife were beyond welcoming to let us stay. We got to sit and visit with them for awhile before we headed out to packet pick up.

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Made our way into San Marcos River Ranch where the tri would be held. J & C got to see where we’d be swimming and running. We headed back to Mike’s house where he had grilled us a delicious dinner of fajitas, elk sausage, and Mexican rice. We continued to visit and trade stories for the rest of the evening. Was in bed by 9:30.

Sunday, July 9, 2017- Race Day

Woke up at 4:00am. Got all my stuff ready and headed downstairs. I had advised Cris to freeze a water bottle overnight because I knew it would be HOT during the run and there are only 2 water stations which are very far apart. We packed up the trip bags and bikes and hit the road.

Transition opened at 5:30am and by the time we arrived several racers were already there. We got our timer chips, and were body marked, then were able to enter Transition area and set up our stuff. Before we knew it, it was time for the pre-race briefing, Star Spangled Banner, and prayer.

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We lined up by the lake and the Olympic swimmers would enter the water first, followed by the Sprint swimmers. Olympic distance is 1500m and Sprint is 500m. Right before we began, the race director announced that there would be a change of plans. Some of the lifeguard crew hadn’t shown up, and so he had to cut the Olympic swim down to a 500m. Many groans and not-so-nice words were heard in the crowd, but I put a positive spin on it and said, “At least we get to swim. Plus, we’d be out on the run earlier so it wouldn’t be so hot” (or so I thought).

SWIM:

The swim start was a time-trial start, meaning each swimmer would enter the water about 8 seconds apart. A much calmer swim start than Buffalo Springs had been. We self-seeded by our 100m swim times and before I knew it, I was in the water and swimming away.

Swim was pleasant; calm and quick. Each buoy came in no time and I was out of the water and into T1.

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BIKE:

As I was running into T1 I saw Cristina right behind me. Turns out we had the exact same swim time, down to the second (God, I love that!) We were out and on our bikes together and I planned to try and stay with her the whole ride.

I have to say, I am grateful that I had just done Buffalo Springs 2 weeks ago. Just as New Orleans 70.3 had given me confidence in the swim, Buffalo Springs had given me confidence on the bike. There’s no up or down hill I can’t handle <- is what I tell myself ;).

The bike was very enjoyable and we stayed together the entire time. One big accomplishment I made personally was not getting out of aero on my downhills. I’ve always been such a chicken going down a hill and sit up out of aero with my hands on the breaks. Not today! I had re-read my race report from last year, and remembered saying that I wish I could stay in aero on the downhills. So, I was happy with my little accomplishment this time.

Bike was over soon and we were into T2 ready to head out on the run!

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RUN:

There was not a cloud in the sky. The run course goes through the neighborhood centered around the lake. Although the homes are beautiful, the neighborhood is still fairly new and there is absolutely no shade to keep us cool. That’s where the frozen water bottle came in handy. I used it to spray my head and neck throughout.

I had decided not to bring my watch to this race and so I had no idea of my pace. Although I didn’t feel fast, I felt steady. It’s a 2 loop, 3 mile run, and so I was able to see my friends out on the course. As I ran out to start, Jeremy was already starting his 2nd loop and he breezed right by me like a gazelle.

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I saw Bob and Norma coming in on the bike, and saw Gracie as she was finishing her run. Cristina was just a few runners behind me and I was able to see her on the few turnarounds.

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The first loop wasn’t too bad, the second loop felt like I was running on the surface of the sun. Hot AF. But I knew if I just kept moving forward the finish line would come, and it did.

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I had no idea if I had placed at all, but I was happy to find out that I got 2nd in my age group! This race is fun no matter what, but placing on the podium made it even sweeter.

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We cheered everyone else into the finish line and celebrated one another’s accomplishments. There are so many amazing people I have met and made friends with through triathlon and I’m so grateful for it!

Post Race- Party Time

After we got back to the house to shower and pack up, we headed into downtown San Antonio. Jeremy, Cristina, Gracie, and I would be sharing a hotel room. And our friends Manny, Natalie, Bob, and Norma also got a room at the same hotel.

We headed down to the Riverwalk for some fun. Had a blast at several different places including The Original Mexican Restaurant, Pat O’Brien’s, and Howl At the Moon. The night ensued with stories, laughter, singing, and dancing like fools.

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All in all, a very successful & joyful weekend! Everyone says they’ll be back for it next year!

TRI WITH JOY!

Jenna

 

 

Buffalo Springs 70.3- Lost in Joy

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Another 70.3 in the books! Happy to say we all finished with smiles on our faces! You know it’s a successful race when you come through the finish line saying, “I’ll do this one next year.”

Friday, June 23, 2017

We were very fortunate to be lent an amazing vehicle for travel! Our friend Jorge Puig, who created the application Spornado, let us ride up to Lubbock in comfort and style. A huge plus was that all 4 of our bikes were able to ride inside the van with us. No worries about outside elements messing with our trusty steeds as we traveled!

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The drive, which by our maps projected to be about 10.5 hours, took us close to 12 hours because we were “hydrating” the whole way up. Plus, we stopped for lunch in Kerrville at this wonderful spot called Grapejuice.

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When we finally rolled into packet pick up, we were happily surprised to find a few more Brownsville friends who were signed up for the race as well.

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Checked into our hotel and then went to BJ’s for dinner. We went back to the hotel and relaxed, preparing to get a nice long sleep.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Woke up to a cool front that had blown in overnight. It was in the 60’s out! I wasn’t preparing for this weather and had not packed any clothes to keep me warm; only one long-sleeved top. We had planned to drive out to the race site and get a nice short practice ride on our bikes to get a feel for the hills.

As we approached the Buffalo Springs Lake park, the nerves started to creep up in my tummy. We were driving up and down some pretty steep and winding hills, so I started silently praying for confidence and courage.

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We parked at the “parking lot” which was located at the top of the first hill we would climb right out of T1 the next day. I was shivering from a combination of nerves and chilly weather. I told myself to suck it up, I’d be fine, and that I needed this practice to have confidence for the race the next day.

Without giving myself any more time to think or worry, we clipped in and pushed off.

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Climbing the first steep climb took all of my gears in the small chain. When we reached the top of it and came flying down the other side, I was no longer cold. It sure was fun! We ended up biking to the park entrance (about 3 miles out) and turned around to head back. Many other athletes were doing the same thing we were; getting a feel for the terrain we’d be tackling the next day.

When we got off our bikes back at the van, I was very happy we had done that practice. I felt much more at ease knowing what to expect (at least at the beginning) of my bike ride.

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Since we had brought our wetsuits with us, we figured we’d hop in the lake to do a short swim and get that “open water feel”.

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Cristina and I only swam out to the 1st buoy (which was probably 100m) and back, but we just wanted to feel the water temperature, current, and practice in the wetsuit. We were happy with how the water felt; refreshing, and calm.

Once our little bike and swim were done, we made our way back to the hotel to freshen up and then head out for lunch. We ended up eating at a good brewpub (even though we couldn’t enjoy any brews!) and then went back to the hotel to rest/ nap.

That evening we got to meet up with the rest of our Big Sexy teammates who would be racing. I was so happy to see Kris again, and Chris McDonald last minute decided to enter as a relay! We had a great meal at Chili’s and enjoyed each other’s company.

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The sun doesn’t go down til a little after 9:00 in Lubbock, and so it felt early even though it was getting late. I didn’t have a nervous stomach, I was just anxious that I wouldn’t get enough sleep. Luckily, I was able to close my eyes by 9:30pm.

Sunday, June 25, 2017- RACE DAY!

Alarm went off at 3:30am and I instantly checked the weather. No rain and a high of 80! God blessed us with a cool and cloudy day (ideal conditions for a race in the summer).

Got ready and made sure we had everything we needed. We were out and on the road at 4:30am exactly. Transition opened at 5:00, and we walked our bikes and all our gear down the steep hill in the dark.

I always say this, but I really love setting up my transition area. It gives me such a sense of peace and calm; I just focus on what I’m doing in that moment and that time. Then I take time to visualize my T1 and T2.

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Once we were all set up, we got our wetsuits on and made our way down to the swim start.

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Now this swim start was called a “wave start” which means you and your age group are to run into the water, theoretically “dolphin dive” in and begin swimming. I have never had a wave swim start, so this was going to be a bit out of my comfort zone.

SWIM:

Cris and I were in the same wave start (thankfully) and we were the 3rd wave to go in. We didn’t have much time to think as the gun went off and all hell broke loose.  At least that’s what it felt like to me. Imagine: being thrown into a washing machine full of smacking, punching, and kicking limbs coming from every angle.

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I instantly knew my mind could go one of two ways: have a panic attack and quit (like I did in Kemah 2014) OR remind myself that it all pans out and we will get through this and spread out and everything will be okay. I chose the latter mindset, and yes, after about the first 200m we were more spread out and things calmed down.

Unfortunately my goggles fogged up almost instantly, and I didn’t want to stop to try and clear them up, so I struggled to sight the upcoming buoys the whole time. In my mind, I was weaving off course and thought I had completely lost Cristina once we had started our swim. But as I finally made my way to the swim exit and took off my foggy goggles, there she was right beside me! I knew this was a good sign and hoped we’d be able to stay the rest of the race course together like we did at IMTX 2016.

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Ran up the ramp, stripped off my wetsuit and made my way into T1. My bike was located in a very convenient spot and I was at the mount line with my bike in no time.

BIKE:

We were told to have our bikes already set in the small chain ring because that first climb would come up so quickly we wouldn’t have time to make adjustments. I had heeded that advice and let me tell you, this first hill (which we had not gotten to practice on the day before) was no joke. Not only was it steep and windy, but it was LONG.  So I had to make sure I spaced out my gears to be able to make it to the top. Slowly, steadily, and breathlessly I made it up.

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The first half of the bike course was varied with smooth straight shots of road, followed by short and steep up and downhills. Cristina caught me around mile 6 or 7 and I was happy to have her take the lead because she paces me better than I pace myself.

When we hit about 23 miles in, we turned off onto a farm road which was full on chip seal (meaning, bumpy and uncomfortable). My seat and legs were vibrating and I started to see Cristina drift farther and farther ahead. No matter what I tried, small chain easy gears, small chain heavy gears, big chain easy gearsmy legs would not respond with enough power to catch back up with her. That’s when I told myself, “My race, my pace” and didn’t let it bother me that I would continue the bike alone.

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I will say, once we got off of that godforsaken chip seal road (which we had to come back on for 10 more miles, mind you) the sharp and curving up and downhills were a welcome challenge and change. It was so cool to see what my body and little bike could do.

My butt had had it with the bike and I was ready to get off. I was so happy to see the park entrance again and actually looking forward to getting out on the run, because I knew I’d get to see familiar faces.

I sped down the final hill into T2 and left my signature mark as I transitioned into my run gear. Read my past race reports and you’ll know what my “signature mark” is ;).

RUN:

My legs and butt and back were so happy to be off of that bike. Even though the temperature was creeping up to 80 degrees at this time, there was no humidity and so it felt nice and comfortable.

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I started trotting along and decided to look down at my watch to see what my pace was. As usual, I had forgotten to click something or other, and my watch was not tracking my run so, oh well. My HIM run plan is always to run until I hit a water station and then walk the station.

This run course was 2 loops of 6.5 miles. Since I had never done this run course before, I just took it as it came. The only thing I knew was there was some “crazy steep hill” I would have to conquer twice, and I was told to do my best not to walk it.

There was no way I could mistake that hill. I saw it in all of it’s glory (almost reminded me of Mile 12 in the Austin Half Marathon). And I was determined not to walk it. I’ll tell you, I bet I was passed by people walking it, but I didn’t walk once. When I reached the top, I was about 4 miles into the run, and finally saw Cristina. We still had quite a gap between us and I wasn’t sure if I’d catch her, but I was happy to know I’d get to see her at the turn arounds.

Before I knew it, the first loop was done and I was heading out into my 2nd loop. At about 8 miles in, I finally caught up with my girl. I was so happy to know that we were going to have another finish line pic together.

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The rest of our run defined my mantra, “Tri With Joy“. We run/walked, but we did every step together and were so happy that our race was almost done and that we’d accomplished another amazing goal.

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We had about 2 miles left when we spotted our Big Sexy family! That definitely put a pep in our step!

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And then there she was, the finish line!

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Crossing with the biggest smiles of satisfaction. That feeling and rush of adrenaline and energy and accomplishment and pride. That is why I love triathlon so much.

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We had crossed the finish line with the exact same race time; down to the second! Even though our bike, transition, and run times had been different. That soul-tri-mates right there.

We all attended the awards dinner that evening where Chris McDonald and Mike Ramirez (the relay team) took a 1st place award!

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I am so grateful to have met such amazing people through this sport, and more specifically, through this team.

Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3, I’m pretty sure I’ll be back for you next summer!

TRI WITH JOY!

Jenna

 

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!

first place

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.

BSR Boulder drinks

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

summer begins quote

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.

choir

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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first tri run

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!

BISD pre tri

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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