Thursday, December 10, 2015

Mexican Vacation with an Ironman

IronTex Athletes ready to take on Cozumel
Part of the reason why we have been so quiet this year in terms of posts other than being busy adjusting to our new place, it was because we have been training for Ironman Cozumel. Two years ago when we volunteered for Arizona and after talking to a couple of friends we knew it was going to be our 2015 A race.  When we came back from Arizona last year, we knew we wanted to sign up. To our surprise a couple of our IronTex teammates had already been talking about it and before we knew it we were having a team meeting at Fuzzy's after a practice morning to talk with our coach about it.  It was so appropriate to talk about Mexico while eating tacos. What started with a handful of us ended with a total of 19 friends racing and total of 35+ counting the cheering crew. It was going to be an epic IronTex Cozumel takeover. Definitely one of the largest groups out there.

Had to have some fun on those long swims
summer riding around NY State
Anyways, the year went by with the typical training. We did our Challenge AC 70.3 and we then got with our coach to set up goals and a plan for Cozumel. We knew we had a tough one since one of the toughest things of Ironman training is the mental training. The physical is doable but it takes your mind to places where you don't even know you could go   We have had a taste of it during our IMAZ training when it was just both of us training since the majority of the team didn't have a late season race like us.  We are happy to report that we manage it quite well. A few things we did differently this year were getting together with our local cycling club. This served a dual purpose. We were able to ride with people and also helped us push a little our limits since we knew we had a group to keep up with. It made us definitely stronger in that department. The swim front we got lucky and a pool opened up 1 mile from our house. This meant no excuses and our focus was to do the prescribed swims. Proof is that we improved a lot on our swim. So our training was just the usual swim, bike, run, eat, rest, work, repeat. We didn't have any major setbacks. No injuries, illnesses or any other issues. It was rather enjoyable for a change. We were seeing good progress each week and our bodies were responding to what the schedule was calling for.

Our trip:
From the beginning a group of us wanted to be in Cozumel but didn't want to do the resort type of racecation. After doing Atlantic City where we stayed at a house we knew we wanted to go that route. We did our homework and found a company through a friend that lives there. Enjoy Cozumel is the name and they rent house/condos at reasonable costs. We had selected a house for 8 people near the center but during the summer the owners sold it. The company gave us a couple of options and we ended up at Villa Lloyd. Couldn't have asked for a better place. Ocean view, 3 bedrooms/3 baths. Everything we wanted and we had access to the ocean too simply by jumping off the dock. On top of that we didn't want to cook for ourselves or each other. We also found a chef service for all of us. Super recommend Emily and her team at Cozumel Chef if you are interested on something like this. Worked out great, they helped us plan our meals and the chef who was a local was awesome. So our trip planning took a few months which were totally worth the effort. 

Amy sending us off... good times
Getting to Cozumel was not a direct flight from NY. We used miles and also had a return from Mexico City which made things a little harder, however we got to see Amy Dixon who was working a gig for United at Newark the morning we were leaving and she sent us off on our trip, she is simply amazing and such an inspiration (you can learn more and support her at the link above).  Then we had a short stop in Miami to visit a friend and we were on our way. The entire flight (at least most of it) was ironman related. Was pretty cool to see the excitement on everyone's face. 

Arrival at Cozumel 
After doing customs and all that stuff we got with our house manager and we followed him to the house. We were then settled. The transportation is tricky but there are vans that take you everywhere. 

Packet pick up and all that was pretty easy. The convention center is the headquarters, bike transport is a few blocks from it so it works great. By Thursday (thanksgiving) we were set with packets, bikes and all.

Minions and Coach Gru take on Cozumel
Friday morning was the practice swim in Chakanaab. We got to see the swim exit and got to see everyone too. Then we participated in an underwear run. It was a Texas team that put it together and they had gotten together with an organization similar to the humane society so the proceeds were going to them. What better than running in your underwear for a good cause. Our team decided to do a Minions themed run, about 25 minions took over the run that's all you could see. It was a blast. Then we were off to lunch back in the house with our chef :). 

Saturday rolled in and we knew we wanted to keep it slow that day. All activities were done by Friday so Saturday was bike drop off, bag drop off and back to the house to rest. 

Race day
Sunday alarm went off at 3:10. We had a pick up scheduled for 4:00 am. We got our rituals done and off we were. First in transition, only first place of the day. We were mostly calm. Transition opened, check the bikes and everything else, group picture and off to the shuttle to the swim start.

Swim start (by Puli)
I knew I was going to be in the 1:10-1:20 corral (rolling start) I saw some friends from the team and decided to go with them in the 1:00-1:10 swim. I knew I would be in the back of that pack but didn't care I was starting with friends. I ended up swimming for a good chunk with a friend and I ended up with a 1:17 more like 1:13-1:14 because I almost couldn't get up the stairs. So I was was right on target with my swim. Left transition with 2 of the guys that I started the swim with. So it was good to see them leaving too. Transition was quicker than most of my IM transitions. I was able to get a kid and got him to do what I needed. Perks of speaking Spanish I guess. 

The bike.... Windy bike
so happy to be ready to get off the bike
We all knew the bike was going to be windy. The wind forecast was for later in the day so my strategy was try to get as much of it done before it sucked. Lap 1 I felt great, caught one of the guys and 3 of the girls from the team. One of the girls and I leap frogged almost the entire ride with me in the front for a good chunk of it (should've left her lead the way more) I was right on target at 1:54 the first lap. Got into town excited and started the second one. I knew as soon as I passed the bike start that it was starting to pick up, back into the wind and it was blowing. Got to town and I was at 2:15 for that lap. Then by lap 3 the wind started even earlier. Then I knew all I needed was to get through those miles and back into town to get the run going. Head down and put the hammer down as much as I could without blowing and trying to leave some for the run. Well that lap sucked, 2:30 for a total bike of 6:41. Far from my 6:00 goal (yet 2nd overall in our team of 19). All I kept thinking was about Res and her bike. I knew she would be hurting. Back into town the energy takes you in, the locals are awesome and seeing kids tell you "si se puede" (Yes you can) while cheering you gives you what you need to get through the last 6 miles. 

Transition was again faster than usual. I got one kid and he helped me get everything done. 

Oh the run. I left transition and the legs were somewhere between mile 80 and 112. I tried to jog a little but no response. I then started executing our plan to walk to the first station at the first km. I got some water, sunscreen and off I went. Started jogging a little then Will Vargas (brother's ex coach) passed me and I chatted with him for about 2 miles. He was keeping a nice pace but I could not hold it. He was on his 2nd loop. I had 23 more miles. Then I was walking and Jeff went by me. He had been behind me for the entire bike so we started intervaling 
1 mi/1:00. We did the first half in no time 2:40ish I was actually thrilled that I could go 5 hr and then have a 13:00 IM. Well that faded quick. We both started to feel the legs and everything else heavy. He couldn't jog because of his belly. I couldn't jog because the legs simply wouldn't respond. So we said lets just keep a constant 14:30' fast walk. We managed that at times. By mile 23 he was fading so I made him pick up a little jog to wake him up. Mile 24 and 25 were a blur, we saw coach Paul by SeƱor Frogs and he gave us that last boost to take it home. Then I told Jeff I was going in, I had told him otherwise earlier since he had 179 and was doing the Blazeman roll finish, I just got pumped and went in. Took my flag out, and into the chute. I couldn't believe going sub 15 much less 14:13 on my 4th ironman. I saw Jeff roll in and waited for him to hug him. We had done it!

Waving the flag and hearing my name correctly for the first time!!!! :) 

Seeing Matt at the finish was pretty awesome!

We got our medals and stuff and Bob (another teammate) was there too. We hanged out until almost everyone finished. I was able to wait for Res and gave her her medal. She broke into tears after having a sub15 day too killing it with a 5:30 marathon that I can only dream of at this point. I was super proud of her. She had an amazing day too that I will let her tell you and post of her blog. 

We then went to cheer our last teammates in and saw our last teammate finish at 16:57 which was super impressive. Her first and she managed a tough day like she had done it many times before. We had seen her and her husband do their first tri 2 years ago and now we were cheering her on at the chute of her first ironman, super proud of her too.

While this one was our 4th ironman it holds a special place in our racing, it was our first training alone without our team, learned a lot about ourselves through the months of training and also learned that sometimes having team support is great and we counted with them for our virtual accountability at the end of the day it is up to both of us to get it done. We held each other accountable, helped each other pushed through tough days and breakthrough workouts and also simply as moral support when we needed it. We love our teammates, miss them and wished sometimes we were training with them. Now we are a little more independent and have managed to get our training done, love our training grounds, our bike rides are seldom repeated, and our pool and trails are simply amazing. 2016 is turning to be a great year for both of us in the endurance sports world, more to come out in the next couple of weeks, you might have seen it already on our social media, but there is more to it coming.

Until then... hope you enjoyed it and hope to share more exciting news soon. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tri Tips and observations of a concerned Sherpa

A couple of weekends we had an opportunity that typically doesn't happen often. It was being Sherpa for one of our teammates. Not that we don't like doing it, on the contrary we have a blast doing it. Cheering and sherpaing is hard work too you know.

Anyways, our teammate had been accepted to the NYC Tri. So since we were so close to the city this year we told her we would Sherpa her. She has been a Sherpa for us before and she has done an amazing job with her Sherpa duties, even being in charge of our parents which isn't an easy task.  

Our job started on Friday, I met another one of our teammates who came from Texas to do the same (can't never have too many Sherpas), her an I met at my office and then we headed to downtown to meet up with J who had arrived from Philly, bags and bike in tow via rail transportation. We headed to the hotel in midtown, athlete check in and all that good stuff to get it out of the way early. Res met up with us after work so we could do the NYCTri underpants run... totally recommended.
After that we then just went to dinner and hang out in general. Our hang out ended up piling up 14 miles according to the AppleHealth app.

We went home exhausted. Saturday we knew it was going to be a bit easier so we didn't head down until mid day. Did the bike checkin and after a few beverages for carb loading and hydration we headed to dinner at the oyster bar in Grand Central. We then split as we were parked in uptown and they were headed to the hotel for an early wake up call. 

It was funny to see that it was the first time in 6 months in the NY that we have spent so much time in the city at once. Typically we go in and back out. Sunday came and we left the house at 5:15. Have to love weekend traffic. By 6:15 we were parked at 72nd and Riverside Drive. Right where they came out on the bike to get on 9A. Awesome spot. We saw the pros and waited for her to go out. It amazed me (here is where the observations and tips come in) how many people don't pay attention nor read the rules of the sport. Don't get me wrong, I know I'm not perfect and I know I was once a rookie but taking 5 minutes to go over the rules can save you a lot. I know we all start somewhere, so this is not in a way meant to sound obnoxious. Take them for what they are worth.

1. Know the rules of the game. It is a sport afterall and we have rules. Rules state that any electronic device (cell, ipod, ipad, any of those) is strictly prohibited. I know a few people that leave their cells in the bike spare tube bags as a safety in case something happens. That's not a bad idea. However, don't come out of transition looking at your phone like you are asking Siri for directions.

2. Headphones: same as above, it is a hard transition and it is understandable. Socially it might seem like the right thing to do, run with music because you get in the groove of it and feel better. Give running without them a tri. Can't use them on race day, of course you can, but if you get caught there is a penalty. Obviously there can be 1000 eyes for over 4000 athletes on race day so chances that you get a penalty are pretty slim, but.... again follow the rules and also enjoy the cheers and the moment. (From USAT most common rules: 8. Headphones: Headphones, headsets, walkmans, ipods, mp3 players, or personal audio devices, etc. are not to be carried or worn at any time during the race.  Penalty: Variable time penalty)

3. Equipment: Know your equipment. Helmets are to use with the buckle to the back, not the front. Unfortunately I didn't catch the pic, but a few folks had helmets on backwards. It doesn't have a penalty to have it backwards, but definitely is a safety issue.

All in all, definitely was a blast cheering and sherpaing. We enjoyed seeing our TX friends and getting to cheer on all triathletes out there enduring a very hot day. It was good for a change to be on that side of the fence where you can take pics, cheer on awesome people and hang out with great friends.

Well... hope this didn't come across too harsh... and if you do anything... just be safe out there and have fun!.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Challenge Atlantic City - Take 2

Can’t believe we’ve been so quiet recently on our posts. Really… not a lot out of the ordinary has happened since the move, just that we’ve been so busy that the blogs went a bit dormant for a bit. Hopefully now that Puli is getting used to his train commute he can maybe get back at it and keep us active, sometimes he just chooses to sleep on the train though.

This past weekend we tackled Challenge Atlantic City 70.3, you probably remember last year’s Race to remember when Puli had his crash. In a way we had decided to get on this one as a redemption from what had happened last year. We also wanted to try the changes from the recommendations we (the athletes) had made to the race directors after their inaugural events. There were quite a few and of course we knew going in that a new event had always room to improve and we were more than happy to be part of it.
trail riding

Move forward a year and we were toeing the line for what it would be our 4th half distance triathlon which is what is also known as 70.3 or half ironman however this isn’t an IRONMAN branded event. Backing up a little our training has been somewhat consistent for about 2 months. The move, winter, and new jobs really took a toll on routines. It is difficult to get back to it, particularly when you have to find new training grounds. Luckily we had signed up for this race so we had the pressure to get training and on the other hand we were able to get a pool nearby, our trail by the house is great for running and cycling and also we have plenty of cycling routes to do around. Some of the perks of living out in the country is the lack of traffic sometimes, which makes it for a safer way to train.  On top of that,  we found a great lake by the house which is making our open water swims super easy to get done and if we want to swim with our friends at Beacon Endurance we can always go with them too.

country side riding
They have been great too in terms of keeping us accountable and showing us around the area, and they are really nice too!

So while our training was probably not optimal, we were trying really hard to get it done, had about 6-8 weeks of consistent 75%-80% workout completion rate, which means maybe we were missing 2-3 workouts during the week. Which for the busy weekend warrior.. that’s pretty good. Of course the goal is the greens on TrainingPeaks and we had a few of those weeks but for sure wasn’t the all greens type of training that our coach would love and hope for.

Lake Walton kayaking after a long swim

So anyways… our race weekend started on Friday, we had a bit of a fiasco with our accommodations this year. We had gone to VRBO last year and found a great condo/house for our headquarters, however this year it wasn’t available and we wanted something near the boardwalk, so we went for it again. This time, of course some people got the best of us and stole our money. After a few calls to hotels around the area we found a Homewood Suites in Absecon which turned out to be a great location. So having solved that situation we headed to Exit 9 to pick up the inlaws. They were ready to go, so we packed them up and off to the shore we went. We knew we probably weren’t going to make it for athlete check-in but we were able to, got our packets and we were hanging around to get one of our friend J (Sherpa crew from last year) that was getting in from Philly later. We decided to go to the athlete dinner last minute with the inlaws. Best decision we made, for $20.00 per person (since ours was paid for) we had a pretty awesome dinner.

Saturday, the weather was pretty crappy. Cloudy, cold, rainy, windy, you name it. We were actually happy that it was happening Saturday and not Sunday so we weren’t complaining too much other than racking our bikes would’ve been messy. We got our Profile Design free demo TwentyFourSeries wheels and headed to rack bikes.

Pimping our rides
We didn’t stick around for the athlete meeting. Not  that we didn’t care but we wanted to go rack before the rain really hit hard. We made it just in time, we racked and when we were leaving hail broke loose… literally and figuratively. There was hail, rain, wind you name it. Benefit from it was that since there was ice dumped into the water, it made it wetsuit legal. We headed back to the hotel after getting the ritual hair cut for Puli and some shopping done for water and that kind of stuff. Another perk of the hotel… it had a Shop Rite right across from it. Then it was just the usual prepping of nutrition, bags, getting dinner for the sherpas, all that good stuff. Lights out by 9 pm.
Wake up call at 3 am, this race starts a little earlier than usual. Transition opens at 4:30 and since we knew the parking lot was going to get ugly we wanted to get there early. So the goal was to leave at 4 the hotel. 4 came and we were leaving the parking lot, sherpas in tow. By 4:15 we were entering the parking swamp. It was literally a swamp, water above our ankles but nothing we could do. Walked to transition, did our usual nutrition, bottles, Garmins setup, the usual pre-race rituals and then wait time. It was still dark, foggy and humid so we didn’t want to suit up until it was needed.

When the time came, we got the sherpas to their location and went to the masses. This year it was the first one to have a 70.3 (or 72.3 which we will get to later) and the full which we did last year. The half distance started first, it was a 6:00 am start, but Coast Guard had to clear it so we didn’t get going until almost 6:15-6:20 didn’t really paid attention. We were together and then when it was time for Puli to go in, we said our good-byes and wished each other good luck.

Swim (according to Puli with inserts from Res)

(PULI) The swim was a rectangle, the difference from last year is that it didn't have a million turns. This swim whenever you take it will have a current, it isn’t a closed body of water so if you are looking for an easy swim be ready to get into a current. I was able to keep a constant pace. Pushed a bit harder at the beginning knowing that we were going to go with the current after the turn so trying to even out the pace. The current got a bit stronger coming back to the dock where I felt I had to push harder there. Time (41:00 and change) in my defense it was 1.3 miles according to my Garmin.

(RES) Nothing out of the ordinary… just happy I had my wetsuit on. Managed to have a 2:01’/100 yd swim which is pretty awesome for me and coming in wasn’t too sure I could do it. Had taken my Lava Pants off at the pool last couple of weeks in anticipation of a hot swim without my safety blanket, needless to say I was so relieved when they announced a water temperature of 74-deg which was perfect for the sleeveless.  Time (43:00 and change)

Bike (according to Puli with editorial comments from Res)
Getting out of the water was tricky as the dock has some ramps that you swim up to and pretty much hope that someone can pull you up. I aimed for one and got pulled by one of the volunteers (they are always awesome). Went into transition, helmet on, nutrition to the back pocket and off I went. Didn’t noticed that when I put on my helmet my sunglasses had fallen off. Oh well… I managed the change and went on to ride. Getting on the expressway I tried to get the HR under control and get a rhythm going. All I kept thinking is don’t get to excited and control the nerves, I knew I wasn’t going to go over where I had crashed last year, but still the thought of being on the Expressway just brought too many memories for me. Once on the Expressway my goal was to try to keep a 20mph-21mph speed.
I didn’t find too much of a problem doing that, found more of a problem trying to keep it at that as I was feeling great but didn’t want to blow my legs so early. I give the credit to a slight tail wind and also the awesome TwentyFour Series Profile Design (78/58) wheels we were demoing. Those wheels are fast. Once off the Expressway I was able to calm down a little since I trying to stay within the HR and cadence and trying to slow down a little as I knew I was pushing the pace too hard at that point. Then I got with a group of guys which just kept a good pace and I didn’t want to blow pass them to burn out later, so I stayed behind no quite sucking the wheel but the referee did stay there for a little bit at one point so I guess we were a bit tight. It definitely is a fast course. Not overly complicated. Downfall is that it only has 2 aid stations for the half distance about 15-20 miles apart. Something that wasn’t too much of a big deal since it was cooler than usual so the heat wasn’t affecting as much.

(RES)… bike had tech issues the break started rubbing again I guess the wheels are wider than normal so that didn’t get adjusted and had a bit of a slowdown. Instead of burning my legs I managed my HR and cadence so I rather had a longer ride but had legs left on the run.  The aid stations really affected me, when I hit the bike it was already cleared up and temps were higher than Puli’s, so it made it for a close call on the bike almost running out of water. Not as a matter of rant, but it would’ve been nice going in that the bike wasn’t quite 56 miles, the route made perfect sense so I think that’s not the problem, the problem was that we didn’t know going in so it was one of those things that your mind is prepared for something and then something different happens and it has to adjust. One of the many things about this sport is that it always throws curve balls at you and your reaction time has to be quick and your mind has to stay in the game. It can be hard to not let that bug you for a little, but you move on.  Finishing the bike was to some extend the main goal of the day. Finish without crashing, getting a PR was just an added bonus, definitely was an accomplishment feeling to an extent, however the job was not done yet at that point. (Puli’s time 2:48, Res’ time: 3:38)

Over the Boarwalk
(PULI) coming into the run I knew I had left some legs on the bike, there wasn’t a chance I was going to have an easy run after going 21 mph on the bike. So off I went, I started to get a rhythm but I knew the legs were cooked to some extend so of course what do I do? Let’s see how far they get me… that didn’t last, at about mile 6 it just wasn’t maintainable to have a 9:30’/mile pace so I started slowing down and the boardwalk started to get hotter and hotter, aid stations seemed spaced out oddly so it was hard to know when we were getting water and I tried this time a new thing… not carrying my water bottle as I didn’t want to bother with it. At one point I also was starting to worry because I didn’t see Res on the way back and when I saw our sherpas they didn’t have tracking info on her, so the most horrible thoughts happened from mile 6 to mile 13. Saw the sherpas two more times and went in the shute to wrap it up for a 5’ overall PR on a 70.3 err.. 72.3 and a 5:55.52 time for me.

Once I got in and got my medal, I was able to pull her results that were more updated inside than those on the website. Saw that she was off the bike and that she had just gone by the sherpas. Went back outside and saw the Sherpas who told me she was on her way to Rebel which was the turn around. It was about 3 miles out and back so I just sat there and waited for her.

(RES) I was happy to see him all done but wasn’t too thrilled when he said that I still had one more loop. The watch was messing with my head because I was at 70 miles already on the watch and I thought I was done. I went to the half turn around and back to see them. I had ran out of water and the stations couldn’t keep water flowing so one didn’t have water when I went by, added to my frustration of wanting to be done but I just kept my shuffle and went on. He came to my rescue and gave me a cold towel with water to cool me off. I went back to Rebel and then when I was returning I was super surprised that he had organized my parents to come in the finish line with me. I have to admit… all my frustration and pain went away at that point. It was just happiness and smiles then knowing that for the last 3 years that we’ve done these crazy races, they have seen us finish 1 sprint (where I had a podium) our Rutgers Half Marathon earlier this year and a couple of 5k’s but they didn’t see us finish last year since we finished so late. Finishing with them side by side and with Puli has been probably the coolest finish of all times. I’m so glad that after our move they will be able to be now more involved with our activities and now “they get us” they get up with us at not even the crack of dawn… 3 am there is no dawn… to get ready… put on their Sherpa shirts and get to transition.

All in all, we accomplished our goal. Puli was able to redeem himself and not visit the ER this year, nor the medical tent on the way either. We knew our training was maybe not up to par but were confident that we would be able to do it without a problem. It was more like do it safe and get it done. Times are just numbers at that point. Sound great when you say you PR but sound even better when you say you didn’t crash, and that you finished with your family. This sport gives you sweat, blood and tears… but it also gives so many great moments when you are able to finish with a smile on your face and share it with your special ones. Now off to Ironman Cozumel training!.... Viva Mexico!!!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Want to go fast go alone... Want to go far... Go as a team

Saw this on an Instagram picture earlier and it reminded me of something that happened a few weeks ago that made me think about my own interpretation of what it means to us. 

A fun morning ride
Now you ask... What made you think about it? Well... We were doing a bike rally in New Jersey. We were having a weekend with Res' parents so we decided to go for a quick 63 mile ride around the New Jersey Farmlands. Funny how a 63 mile (metric century or 100 km becomes just natural) Believe it or not, New Jersey is such a pretty state aside from what you see on the Sopranos. Anyways it was a self start type of rally, kinda different as it didn't have the typical mass start which is nice to a point because you start when you are ready. We got there, picked up our lunch bracelet, tech shirt, bottles and got ready. Without much thinking we were on the road. I had downloaded the route to the Garmins and it was easy to follow as well as well marked. We were enjoying the cool morning and riding together. For Res was quite unique because in 23 years she lived in NJ before moving to do Gead School in Florida she had never been in that area. So we were just strolling and enjoying the scenery. 
closed bridge... not sure why she carried it

We were like at mile 10 or so and a big group came by, maybe 20-25 riders who were doing a nice 20-22 mph. (Note: They had gotten lost). I got sucked into the pace line but I knew Res wouldn't even try to keep up, she hates pacelines. So I stayed there a little bit and then two guys who were chatting were talking about a third guy who wasn't there. What caught my attention was one of the comments that went something like "He had an excuse, he is riding the 5-Boro NYC ride with his wife... Whatever that means." As you can imagine the jokes started among them, while I knew my wife wasn't far behind... Anyways I pulled over and waited for her and she was just behind the group our of the line. 

thought it was a cool background
seemed cool
The comment made me think about something that we've always talked about and one of the main reasons we do all these. We do it together and couldn't do it without each other. I was kinda ticked off at their attitude of trying to mock a guy whom like me was trying to spend quality time with his wife. I guess it is very difficult for some to understand that it is fun to do stuff together with your significant other.  So anyways, after that I was done with hearing them trash the other guy and stayed back to hang on for Res who wasn't too far back. Just keeping the distance from the paceline. 

of course a selfie
This then made me reflect on how we call ourselves Team Res-Puli. It's kinda funny because when I talk to coworkers or someone and I mention we do these together they get surprised about it. Like it is a foreign concept to hang out with your wife. We are known for doing everything together or at least try to. The move has made us make some adjustments to it but we try to do as much as we can. My commute to New York City is making me do my runs at the office but that means that we can spend more quality time not working out when we are together. It's a trade off that we've learned to manage now and understand is for own benefit. It also made us think about how we do this for ourselves and how far we've come. When she caught up to me I told her the episode and we joked about it, but I was thinking the entire way after that about this entry. We went off our way and enjoyed the New Jersey farmlands. It was an awesome weather day and we couldn't have changed it riding alone. We love what we do and love even more that we do it together. 

this isn't like the Sopranos showed it
Farmlands for miles

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ambassadorships and more

This is a crosspost from my own blog... But just in case you missed it it is here. Don't forget to follow me at Latina and Tri-ing

The Mermaid Club
I'm pretty sure you have read or have seen on my social media that over the last couple of months I've become an ambassador to a few movements and brands. Always towards the end of the year typically, movements or brands come out with their ambassador or team applications. Sometimes it is overwhelming because there are so many to choose from and that are so cool that it makes it hard to pick or even to start thinking about applying. I've taken the back seat for the last couple of years, observing what type of people these movements or brands pick. A lot of times, they pick the top athletes, or people that have something that really makes them stand out. More often than not, you find the weekend warrior as myself on those lists. Of course, as a brand, you want to be represented by the top athletes (be it Age Grouper) or someone that has an interesting story. While my story, in my own eyes, is interesting, it might not be as interesting to others, and it has lead to deceptions because there are a couple of brands which I really love and would be more than happy to represent but haven't made the cuts. Of course, you move on and use those to learn and help you make your story more interesting (without lying) and also try to make it so they see in you an ambassador for their movement/cause or brand. This year I decided to apply to the following movements: Sweat Pink and The Mermaid Club, these two I think are pretty awesome movements which without being the same these 2 have very similar vision/mission statements:

The Mermaid Club is a diverse and vibrant community for women. We promote good health, fitness, well-being, inspiration, motivation, positive vibes and positive change. Our goal is to provide a fun and safe environment for women to connect with each other across the globe to empower, motivate, and feel alive. Our stories are real about real women who train hard and race, both for fun and competition. Our mission to is to…
  • Empower, motivate, and feel alive
  • Promoting good health, fitness, well-being, inspiration, motivation, positive vibes and positive change
  • Participate in local and globe events and give back to the community
  • Connect with each other across the globe
Sweat Pink
In Sweat Pink we believe that kicking ass is best done in pretty shoes (who doesn't like shoes). We’ve learned that real women sweat, and sweat hard. We know that assertiveness, strength, and ambition are the ultimate feminine qualities. We concede that sometimes it takes hours to get ready, but we’re also no strangers to just rolling out of bed and going. We’re convinced that we run faster in pink shoelaces. We believe in pushing ourselves, and we believe in giving ourselves a break, too. We’re all about the rush of endorphins and the thrill of the challenge. We’re all for looking great and feeling even better. We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick.

SweatPink Undepants
Sporting my #SweatPink tank at the underpants run in Arizona
As you see, these two movements have something in common, kick ass while empowering and motivating others. That also is in line with the vision I had of my blog when I first started. I wanted to motivate other women, and particularly Latinas to start living a healthy life by simply trying to be active. I am not saying everyone has to do ironmans to prove it, getting off the couch and living a healthy lifestyle is enough. It is something magical that happens once you start that.... it's like you always want more and end up pushing your limits... the hardest step is always the first one. :) When it comes to brands, it isn't any different, the only thing that is added is that you of course need to be a user and enjoy using it. it doesn't make sense to be a brand ambassador when 1. you don't use the brand, 2. it doesn't work for you. In my case (well our case with Felipe) I'm a brand ambassador for a couple of brands, clothes and nutrition. Of course, the brands also want something in return for being an ambassador, you buying and using the product and getting a discount code isn't just that, you have to be a spokesperson for the brand. Today with the use of twitter and instagram is a lot easier to do that, so you probably will see some of my posts of the brands we use.

For example, I use DonaJo Fitwear, love these pants and how they fit. They don't only have pants, they have skirts, shorts, headbands, and other cool stuff. You can use code Adrilene20 when buying from them for a 20% discount.

Boom Nutrition Ambassador
 We started using Boom Nutrition back when we were training for Challenge Atlantic City. We found out that they were going to be the nutrition provider during the race and also we were looking for something else. We were getting tired of the GU's, PowerBar gels and others that are out there. Don't get me wrong, those are awesome too, just weren't working for us anymore. So we ordered a sampler to give it a try, before we knew it we were hooked and they are as awesome if not more than the other ones.  They are made with real fruit and have a high ratio (11:1) of complex carbs (maltodextrin) to simple sugars, superior taste, and no added sugars, and no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, which makes them pretty easy on the GI system, on top of that they are GLUTEN FREE - DAIRY FREE - SOY FREE - VEGAN - for instance Felipe can't consume much dairy during a normal day, much less during race day, so having that dairy free gives him peace of mind that he won't have any GI issues. If you want to give them a try, you can get a $5.00 discount when ordering by using code YATCNH.

The last one we just got, is Base Performance, not only they are super cool and supportive, they hooked us up at Ironman Arizona. they were giving their Electrolyte Salt Samples on the run and they did wonders. At that point of the race that day our bellies wouldn't take much of anything, soda and some solid but at that rate you are not recovering the electrolytes, so when Matt gave us the tubes it was like let us give it a try... what's the worse that can happen, a few hours later we were using them every mile like he instructed us. When they opened the ambassador program we were excited to apply. We totally stand behind the brand and like with Boom we know it works for us. We are really excited to share it with everyone else. I owe you the code for another post... haven't received it so as soon as I get it I'll be posting it. So of course, I think I've got enough branding to make through the year. However I believe in these causes and brands and will be glad to do it. Of course there are some perks but more importantly is try to make these brands successful. They create these to help us during our training and races and why not help them back. Yes, we pay still for all of our nutrition, we are not pros and we are far from it, we like the jobs that pay for all of these, so we are not quitting those anytime soon, but we know we need any help we can get when it comes to performance and nutrition. While I was sad I didn't make the cut to some brands or movements, I am happy to be with the ones I am with right now, I wouldn't change it for anything and I'm looking forward for the 2015 season representing them and continuing to be badass with them. :) Till next time

Getting our lives back... Finally

movers are here finally

It seems like getting settled took a lot longer than we expected. One thing we learned of this process is that patience pays off at the end.  Last time I wrote was about the entire process and how we were still in the works of getting us in the house. Well, we got news, we are in the house and finally moved in. It took a little long, not only our closing was delayed almost a month from our original plan (3weeks) but our moving truck showed up a week after we had actually taken possession of the house. So there we were in a brand new house, pretty empty since we just had a couple of bags, bins with important stuff, workout clothes and the bikes. Needless to say it looked like we were just camping inside the house.

JayJay enjoying the new living room
JayJay digging her new living room
As we moved in our stuff started to trickle in, we got our TVs, refrigerator, new couch, cable, all in that order. Felipe had to go back to TX the week after we "moved in" So it was just me and the pup in the empty house, all we needed was to make s'mores by the fireplace. Instead I rode by the fireplace. While he was in the comfort of a hotel room... He claims he rather be at home on those times, but as funny as it sounds, he pulled the same thing 9 years ago when we moved to Texas... I see a trend here :) but won't hold it against him. Our real stuff showed up on the following weekend, of course in the middle of a snow storm, but those guys worked hard to get unload that truck and get our stuff. In the meantime the fun had just begun for us, UNPACKING!!! Yay!!! We tackled it full force, that Sunday we worked until almost 2 am unpacking, it seemed like we had hardly touched the boxes and we were running out of space, how come we moved so much junk we asked ourselves. We de cluttered when we started the move, apparently not enough. There have been plenty of trips to the dumpster nearby to get rid of stuff. So we finally got in the groove of unpacking over the week and now our house is finally a home... OUR HOME!

enjoying the start of the good weather

Exploring some routes
exploring around some routes
So while our home is taking shape, we were getting out of it. Yeah, our typical training has been somewhat on hold, kind of doing it as time and life allowed it. Funny thing is that we were totally fine with it. First things first, as much as we were itching to go out and train we couldn't just do it. Finally we feel like our life is gotten back to normal enough to our TrainingPeaks constantly or at least it has been the last couple of weeks. I think since IMAZ our lives have been so hectic with the move, work, driving half way across the country, traveling with work, that simply you have to put some things in the back burner and go through your priorities. So with a half marathon coming up in less than a month (April 12)  we officially open our season, feels weird to say that, I'm pervious years by now we have already done at least one half marathon and would've probably have IM70.3TX (aka Galveston)  on  our sights. This year is a bit different. Our first half marathon will be the Unite Half Marathon (Ruthgers Half).  We had decided to do this one one day a while back, but wi Galveston always around the same time was hard to schedule it, excuses are over now, we only have to drive 2 hours and have free stay at my parents. Also, we convince my sister to do the 8k. We will start all together and she will hopefully wait for us at the finish, but we have been motivating her  and she has been doing the work, I'm super proud of her, and can't wait to see her run with us, hopefully we will get her hooked and we have many runs together.  Definitely stay tuned for updates on how that goes over the next couple of weeks since it is right around the corner.  For now we are trying to explore our new running grounds, found a pool near by and also excited to get to ride outside soon. This weekend hopefully we get to ride outside... the weather is turning the corner for us.

trainer rides are getting old
Trainer rides are getting old
On other news... I've gotten a few great news I've been meaning to share with all of you, I'm now ambassador for The Mermaid ClubSweatPink and Base Performance. All 3 are different, but with the same purpose, be badass and share your story while doing it... with the exception of Base that simply helps you by giving you that umph you need do be a real badass with your nutrition. I'll be sharing a little more over the next couple of days, now that life is back to normal, I hope blogging is back to normal. Until then... #livelifemakewaves and remember... #ItsAllAboutThatBase