Monday, December 30, 2013

13 in 2013

A year in review. What a year!... we started this year with so many dreams and goals... actually was more like one dream and one goal and it was to become an Ironcouple. It was a dream to some extend but more than anything it became a celebration. A celebration of a journey of 6 months of training and hard work. So this year more than anything has been a celebration and continuing our journey to living fit, healthy while doing triathlons in the process.

But wait.... what about the rest of the year... :)?. For starters, we had planned our year when we were in Colombia last Xmas, but clearly weren't thinking straight. We somehow planned a whole bunch of races through the year that actually ended up being a total of 14 races (13 since Dallas Marathon got cancelled Puli's Elusive Marathon | Res' Elusive Marathon). Hence the 13 in 2013 title.

You probably have seen the blog posts and race recaps on some of them, which yeah we accept it, gets kind of boring at times for you the reader. For us, is a way to get our feelings out of our chest. Definitely as we plan 2014 we will try to do a better job at diversifying and also caring more about you the reader. Anything you want to hear about from our "couple" perspective feel free to let us know, sometimes we welcome ideas. With Res' new blog she plans to cover a broader public and she is planning something really exciting with her blog, it's just taking time to consolidate.

So our year came and went... and it was fast. Maybe the fact that we were so busy training, working, traveling, trying to have  a life just made it go by so fast. It just seems like it was yesterday when we were leaving to Colombia at the start of our Ironman training and here we are waiting for our family to arrive and reminiscing about our accomplishments, failures, lessons learned, and everything in general. Just in case you missed them, here is a list of all our races of 2013 (and some of the reports).

  1. Cowtown Half Marathon
  2. St. Patty's Sprint Tri
  3. Galveston 70.3 Res Report  | Puli Report
  4. Ironman Texas
  5. Disco Olympic Tri
  6. River Cities Sprint Tri
  7. Belmar Chase 5K
  8. DFW Lab Rescue 5K
  9. Trifecta Olympic Tri
  10. Rahr & Sons 5K
  11. Bourbon Chase 2013
  12. Friends of the River 6K
  13. No Limits Half Marathon

It was definitely a busy year to say the least, we probably could've done without some of the races but thinking back, it wasn't too bad. Maybe a little bit harder after May as we had probably hit the Triathlon Blues and didn't have motivation to do anything training related. It was going out to just go out and enjoy a workout. In retrospect, that was probably the best idea. We had a few races after Ironman and while we said we would "train" for them, we definitely didn't push as hard during training, we were burned out. We didn't hate triathlon or anything like that, we are still in love with it, it was just a mental and physical burn out and needed a break, we would've taken it but we didn't want the registration money to simply go to waste by not showing up. :).

With traveling for work constantly thrown in the mix it was pretty hard to keep each other motivated to go out and hit the trails, or simply go for a swim. We still managed to do the races and actually we both got to PR at our 5Ks every time we were doing them and that was a great feeling, just imagine if we were training a little bit more... :) unstoppable... just kidding.

In general our 2013 was a great year. As an IronCouple we are stronger than ever, 8 years and going and still running side by side (well not so much while running but you get the idea). We definitely got out of our comfort zone, 140.6 miles are enough proof of it, but our Bourbon Chase, tri-ing at different distances, not giving up on training and keeping at it, are a true testament to our love to tris and how we enjoy them. 
The Engineer had to create a chart for it :)

  • Swim: 117837 yards or 67 miles or 42 hours (the equivalent to 2356 laps in the pool)
  • Bike: 2330 miles or 141 hours (Distance between San Jose, CA to Savannah, GA)
  • Run: 705 miles or 134 hours (the equivalent to 27 marathons)

  • Brick: 217 miles or 16 hours

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year y'all!!!
Those stats don't count the racing stats but I'm sure you see that it sure looks and sounds like a lot. However, to us it has become part of our lives, it does look impressive but is not like we did it all in one week or anything like that, it was a process and as a process it takes time, dedication, sweat and tears. 
So as we celebrate Christmas and welcome the New Year we continue with our celebration of 2013 and wish you the best on 2014. Our 2014 will definitely be a challenging year in the tri world but for now time to enjoy the family, good food and we will retake it when the NewYear begins. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Volunteering and Diagnosis confirmation... we are C-R-A-Z-Y

Wow, it's been a wile since my last entry. Been a bit hectic with work, holidays, and work travel, hate when real life gets in the way of fun stuff :), just kidding.
Picture with the one an only Mike Reilly
When we finished our first ironman, and the weeks after that one when we made the decision that we would do another one we had said we will do Ironman Arizona. However the trick to that one was that you have to volunteer in order to get in otherwise you are leaving it up to the cyberGods and destiny to be able to get in and that your computer doesn't crash in the 45 seconds it takes to sell out. Yup, there is crazier people out there that camp online. So we decided that not only we were doing it but we were going to volunteer at it. June rolled in and the volunteer openings opened up. Even though these are free of charge they are very strategic. There are some that are called "speedpass" spots and others good ol' regular volunteer spots. So Felipe and I signed up for 2 volunteer spots each.
Bike handling and pointing runners. It meant working from noon until midnight straight, reason for this was that the pointing runners shift was a "speedpass" shift which meant that we would get especial treatment and a separate line on the day after the race to sign up. Fast forward from June to November and ironman weekend arrived. We decided to drive to Tempe, AZ which wasn't too bad. We left Thursday and the plan was to take Friday and Saturday pretty easy, getting to know the town, and being on vacation. Tempe is a pretty cool town and really welcomes the athletes. On top of that there was a ASU vs OSU game and my Beaver Adopted Fan was all happy (aka Felipe). He spent enough time in Corvallis and his company was founded by OSU alumni so he is a Beaver fan by default :). We attended a slowtwich party at Tribe which was pretty cool, they had some of the pros there, giveaways, food, beer, it was such a good tri community, we even got to meet some of our twitter and Instagram friends there and Felipe won a Cervelo cycling kit to match his Cervelo :). Were also able to run a portion of the run loop and got a feel for it, couldn't complain too much.
The calm before the storm... of bikes
Sunday rolled in, we got up kind of late since we knew it was going to be a looong day. We went to watch some of the bike before going to start taking bikes. Those guys were flying and of course we were getting so pumped. We saw some other twitter friends from Texas that had volunteered at wetsuit stripping and then headed to our post. We didn't really has much time down, pros got in like at 12:30 and we didn't stop racking bikes until 5:00, put in 7 miles according to the garmin. It was cool to get Jordan Rapp's bike or Amanda Steven or all the other pros and also support the "mortals" age groupers that hardly can get off their bikes or that simply want to sell it or told us to. Got to see Congresswoman Kirsten Sinema come in a bit wounded but in good spirits. We finished at 5 and promptly reported to our second shift. Of course after getting our volunteer wristband. The second shif20131213-181710.jpgt while physically was easy, emotionally was hard. It brought so many memories from last May and also was hard when the cutttoff arrived,we got to see the runners cut off at 9:30 and then at 10:30, it was devastating because we knew that it could've easy been us last May and we don't know how we made it. We also saw Danang our teammate that was racing, we then met him after he had finished. He was standing and looked tired, but he looked relatively ok. We had told him we would take his bike back to Texas so we had to get it from him before headed to the hotel to debate if we were going to jump on it or not.
So here is where the diagnosis became effective "We are CRAZY," and here is why. We get back exhausted after working 12 hours straight, and we knew we had our "speedpass" so at least we would get in, now the debate was if we could do 2 Iron distances in a year. Not only it sounds crazy to train pretty much 11 months out of the year, but we had to understand the toll it would take on our bodies, and life would be huge (Tri life 100% on 2014) We then said that we probably won't have an opportunity like that when we have an easy way of getting in, by easy we meant hard worked way to get in. To which we said... Let's do it. We knew they opened the registration tent at 8, and knew people were going to camp or get in line pretty early (by early more like hardly sleep to stand in line). We planned to get there at 7, worse that can happen is that we see a huge line and turn around to start our 14 hr trek back to Texas. To our surprise, they opened early, one of our teammates who volunteered too texted us as 5 am telling us the line was huge and that they were letting people in. While we worried we were also ok with the thought of leaving it up to destiny, if it was for us we would get in without a problem if not we won't push it. Well... People if you ever try to get into ironman Arizona, get your speedpass. We got there at 7:20 am by 7:45 we were registered for it.
Volunteering is always an amazing experience, you meet so many amazing individuals that really inspire you to do what we do and also is gratifying to see how people just like us do these with their many purposes, either to prove themselves, get healthy, prove others, payback bets, celebrate life or just celebrate a birthday, seeing that finish line at midnight gives you goose bumps no matter which side of the fence you are on, spectator, athlete, Sherpa, volunteer, it's just an incredible amount of energy that we are excited and scared at the same time that we get to live again next year.
So there you have it, my name is Adriana, he is Felipe and we are Ironman Crazy. :)
Yup.. even the cupcake store makes IM cupcakes

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Marathon No. 2 - Fail!

Not too far from reality
So it is no secret to anyone now that when Texas has some sort of winter weather it tends to really mess things up. We saw it a couple of years ago during the Super Bowl XLV when the Dallas/Ft Worth area got hit with an ice storm that pretty much shut everything down. Now, fast forward 2 years and we encountered a similar situation. I think Mother Nature must be mad at sport events in the Metroplex. Through out the week leading to the Marathon we had great temperatures, who would've believe it was even December. On Wednesday we had almost 80-deg weather, we knew it was going to go down significantly, but I don't think anyone could have guessed the magnitude of this one.
We were glued to the TV... it looked like a chilly run

On Thursday temperatures really went down, stayed in the 30's most of the day and there was rain and sleet on the forecast. 4 pm rolled in and it was all starting to go down, and going down quick. It rained/sleeted all night until almost noon on Friday. Friday rolled in and the temperatures didn't even go above freezing. By 10 am, marathon organizers had already pushed opening the Expo to 2 pm and they kept everyone on the edge as the future of the marathon was uncertain. By around 1 pm, the announcement came out, the Dallas Marathon has been CANCELLED.

That was today Sat. 12/7 at noon

it was official
We kept chatting with the girls from the team and some other people that we knew were doing it and it was more uncertainty. We were trying to figure out logistics of packet pickup. Roads were iced up, news were reporting accidents all over the place, trains were not working 100% and DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) was shut down too. Getting there by train which was an option at one point was becoming less attractive. We were just going to wait until Saturday to see what the the weather forecast called for, but it wasn't looking too good either. It was adding a lot of stress, not only getting to pick up bibs and the t-shirt but also the logistics of getting there on race day. We were saying that we could run in the cold, we had done plenty of runs in the cold and were actually ok with them, but going across the bridges on the route while frozen would've turned simply dangerous. We would've been forced to potentially walk through aid stations as water/gatorade mix would've become black ice and then you had hundreds of volunteers, friends, families and fans cheering runners out there exposed to the elements. Getting them to and from the race site was not an easy task and we are thankful the marathon organization considered not only the runners' safety but also everyone involved with it. We even knew of people that were flying in from out of state on Friday that couldn't get in because the Dallas area airports were shutdown and thousands of flights were cancelled.

couldn't say it any better
Even though we were disappointed that we had put a few months of training plus $100 registration fee, we were actually happy that it was cancelled. Training can always be done, $100 registration fees were donated to a good cause after all, but being safe and having the thousands of people involved with the marathon safe is something that you can't quantify or put a price tag on. We got an email today from the organization saying that they mail us our t-shirts and bibs and will do something special for 2013 runners when they open 2014 registration. Also if you run on 2014 you would get your 2013 medal too. We have to think that through very well, our 2014 year is taking shape and fitting a full marathon at the end will be hard and probably painful, so we are going to call it probably in about 7-8 months, so stay tuned for that.

For now, all I can say is that I'm happy I don't have to get up at 5 am to get ready to run in subfreezing temperatures. :). This marks the end of our 2013 official season, we are still going to run the 5k on New Year's Eve day or New Year's day but it will be for fun and to do something with my parents and sister.

Until then, hope you are a lot warmer than we are in Fort Worth and if you are in Fort Worth, hope you and your peeps are safe at home. :).

What really matters!!!! all we were missing was Res

All I can say is: "We will do the Dallas Marathon one day"... going on year 2, same as Res, it's starting to look like an Elusive Marathon

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Marathon No. 2 - Ready - Set.... Let's finish it

Still proud of finishing
A few months ago, around late June (or before the prices went up) we decided to sign up for what would become our Marathon No. 2. They say you can claim your IM Marathon as your Marathon, however our IM Marathons were not that pretty, Res had a 6:00 marathon and Puli had a whooping 7:00 hour marathon, or walk-a-thon, We'll let you call it whatever you want. It didn't change the fact that we was still an IronCouple but heck... 7:00 hours walking was way too long.

So our IM recovery came and went and some girls from the team registered for the Dallas Marathon. We had tried to do it last year but having signed up for IM Texas and upon our return from 70.3 Austin we didn't really feel it was needed. This year was a bit different, for us it was a way not to sign up for anymore races, but yet doing something instead of just the bare minimum. Marathon training with the endurance that we had acquired through the year seemed appropriate for the occasion and to close the year with a good one close to home.

We embarked on the so called marathon training, it didn't really feel like marathon training, we had a few weeks of all 3 on our schedules and the mileage wasn't too high, we had Trifecta Oly in the middle, the Bourbon Chase and the No Limits Half as training runs leading to it, the max mileage we hit was maybe 50 on our peak week and then it kind of went back down to a max of maybe 30 all the way to the taper. Long runs felt great, the lower temperatures really helped to make it more pleasant. There were a few days of warm temperatures in October and November but other than that nothing too bad.

It all was going well, we were both doing our training together, until Res had work orders to leave to DC right after Thanksgiving. This meant Res wouldn't do the Marathon. She had trained for it and had all intention to do it, but our Country comes first and she loves serving it, just sucks when it gets in the way of a marathon.. c'mon Uncle Sam!!! Just Kidding :)

So anyways, Puli is flying (running) solo this weekend. The temperatures for those who have not checked are going to be COLD!!!! Brrrr

So if you want to follow Puli's endeavor through his first marathon on fresh legs, meaning he won't be swimming 2.4 miles nor riding 112 miles on his bike, here you can follow him here.

Stay tuned for his post race report as he thaws from the cold run :).

Thursday, November 28, 2013

That elusive Marathon.... by Res

Some of you might think how come a marathon is elusive, you either sign up to do it or you don't. Well, here is a little story of my first full marathon on fresh legs (thats for another entry) that when I think is going to happen it doesn't.
It all started last year, we had finished our Austin 70.3 Ironman on October 28th, and after talking to our coach on the weeks prior to it (even prior to our crash) we had decided we were going to do the Dallas Marathon. What I didn't count with was that I was going to return from Austin with somewhat of an injury. My foot got swollen and really hurt, but after x-rays, dye CT-Scans and doctors nothing was wrong with it. By the it was already almost thanksgiving so there was no way for me to do that since the marathon was on early December. Felipe had thought of doing it but we had decided to wait to do it together as we always try to do things together. Even though we start together and 90% of the time don't finish together, just the fact of knowing he is around on the same course makes me feel like he is closer than if we was home or simply somewhere at the finish line waiting for me (it happens to him too). So we decided we weren't going to race after all.
Dallas Marathon Registration
Dallas Marathon Registration
A few months go by and we do our first ironman, yes it included a 26.2 mile run but since we seem to be doing things backwards, as we did a 70.3 half ironman before we did just the 13.1 run by itself, it seemed appropriate that we would do the 26.2 mile run after we did the 140.6 full ironman. We then signed up back in June or July (can't remember when) and we were all ready for our "running" season to start and be only running for a while. We started the training and I was called to serve our country with the Public Health Service in December. Guess what... The weekend of the marathon!!!. I love to serve our country don't get me wrong but thanks to our lovely shutdown a few weeks ago, they pushed my trip to December since November was out of the question. We were training, and to keep Felipe company on his long runs I continued training however was a bit bummed that I wasn't going to run it. Felipe will be running it while I keep track of him online and wait for him to tell me he finished his first full marathon. :(. It is a bittersweet feeling, while I'm proud of him for pushing his limits and wanting to do it alone, I am still sad I won't be able to do it with him, on top of losing the $100 registration fee.
Anyways... That's the story of my elusive marathon, not sure now when I will do it, next year we have to be smart with our training and racing since we are officially signed up for 2x140.6 distances, IronMan Arizona and Challenge USA (Atlantic City), don't want to be putting more than we need to as we know running a marathon will probably set us back on our progress since recovery probably take from our already busy training schedule.