Friday, September 25, 2015

i just want to ride

When it comes to all the gear, gadgets, and gizmo's of bikes I (use to) no nothing.  And really, I didn't care to know. I just liked to RIDE :)  I've always had the theory that you should put the time and money in training your legs in order to become fast; not spending time and money on the next best get-fast-product. 

The problem with not geeking-out on all things bike is when your bike breaks. 

I attempted The Ultimate Challenge the first part of August as a great training ride for Kona. Last year I had an absolute blast! This year I was not able to finish. At the time I thought 1) i lost my biking legs 2) i gained too much weight 3) i was not recovered from CDA 4) i lost a TON of confidence 5) i was not fit.

In actuality, Rocky was just a few bike rides away from retiring :/

A week after the Ultimate Challenge, I was 10 minutes into a ride when I wasn't able to turn my pedals. Got off.  Walked home.  Finished the long ride on a stationary bike at the gym and then took my bike into the shop.

Here is where I want to give some of those like ME some information to avoid my series of unfortunate bike events.

1- Take your bike into shops that know what they are doing:

That is a bottom bracket. Pedals connect there. Bearings go in that hole as well.  When you sweat, ride in dirty conditions, etc those bearing need to be replaced.

See that groove? It has a 'C' clamp. Shops that are not aware of that clamp, will have a hard time getting to the bearings when changing them out. Instead of using the appropriate tool, they will use a screw driver and crack your frame.

When assembling it back together, they will throw a bunch of grease in and add parts that do not belong on your Tri Bike so the pedals will turn and send you on your way. Nice temporary fix until you are pedaling along and it becomes harder and harder to pedal. Essentially creating a forever breaking bottom bracket.

2- Race Wheels Indoors & Second Opinions 

When you have race wheels and you ride inside on the trainer, MAKE SURE you use the trainer skewer. If not you will do what I did and ruin what is called the HUB.

If that hub is on Zipp wheels, your shop will likely tell you 'this will cost about the same to fix as it would be to purchase a new rim.' $$$$$  This would be where second opinions come in. Luckily I have an awesome coach who found out Zipp has an awesome Crash Warranty Program and got this wheel replaced.  

Before we continue onto the process of getting a new bike - lets finish with wheels

-Make sure you specify you want your cassette, tube and tire back.  Zipp sent me a refurbished rim, but no cassette, tube or tire. 
-After you get a new cassette, tube and tire, make sure there is tape in the rim.  Or you will go through about 5 tubes and wonder why they keep popping. 
-After you finally get a full wheel set ready to be put on your bike make sure that wheel is compatible with your new bike. 

FYI: Cervelo p5's with Magura Hydraulic Breaks are NOT compatible with any rim with a width larger than 25. The Magura breaks will not open wide enough to work with my 27 Zipp wheels. 
... Now I have an awesome pair of 404's with no bike to use them on. 

-Another wheel FYI: Wheels are cassette specific! I was going to put my original training tires (10 specific) back on Rocky with the new 11 cassette I had gotten.  Shop let me know 11 cassettes can only go on a 11 specific wheel.  
...Another pair of good wheels with no use for.   

3- Bikes..... Go with what brand you know and try to purchase at a local shop. 

When I found out I was going to need a new bike, I had to make a decision fast because I had Kona quickly approaching. I ended up deciding on a Cervelo which I would get in California; about 5 hour drive away. 

1- Building a bike takes TIME. Make sure you clarify with the shop when your bike will actually be ready. The shop had said the bike would be done, but we ended up spending the entire day at the shop while they rushed to get the bike together.

2- If you go with hydraulic breaks (as of 9/25/2015) you can not have duel shifting. This was disappointing news we found out when we arrived. 

3- Power Meter: If you change your power meter make sure you change your bike computer: I still do not have this new power meter figured out.  I went from a Quarq to a Pioneer and I still can not get it to read correctly.  The pioneer is also not compatible with my Garmin bike computer that I love. Pioneer with Cervelo's don't work smoothly together.  The magnets that are provided do not fit inside the crank arms without rubbing.  My dad was able to jimmy-rig the magnets to the inside box that covers some of the wires. Hopefully we can get this sorted out.  

4- DI2: Di2 is AWESOME. Di2 with a battery that will not charge is not.  Before you leave the shop make sure your charger is working! I found out that I was given a new charger with an old battery so they were not compatible with each other. Shimano was great to quickly (3 days later) get new battery out to me. 

5- I really wish I would have purchased at a local shop that could help me with all these adjustments when purchasing a new bike. Red Rock in St George has been great to help me, but now I have to pay them in addition because they were not the original shop of purchase.  I also wish I would have known to make sure ALL BIKE COMPONENTS were compatible.  I would highly suggest you go through EVERY piece of your bike before switching over.

It's been over a month now without a functioning bike. I am trying to be positive but it has been a very frustrating process. Especially with such an important race coming up.  As frustrating as it has been, I do feel incredibly lucky to even have the option to get another bike.  TODAY is 2 weeks out from Kona.  I am hopefully going to go pick up a functioning bike this afternoon.

She is pretty damn fast looking!! still needing a name for her... :)

Keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow I just get to RIDE!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ironman CDA!

i liked this surprise...

'life if full of surprises.challenges.emotions.  all of which can be confusing in even the most straight forward situations.'  what would appear as a simple solution is to remove as many variables from these uncomfortable situation as possible; restrict diets, limit relationships, laser focus on triathlon, cut out feelings, etc.  by controlling as many variables as possible we increase our chances to control LIFE. simple solution, right?

i'm finding out it is not that easy.  

even if you do strip down your life...  build yourself into this little, single dimension box where every single move is done with the utmost intention... controlled... fully analyzed...  you still can not keep the messiness of 'life' out.  in that controlled, stripped down world you can create for yourself, LIFE finds its way to get in.  injury, opportunity, disaster, love, hurt, will eventually get in.   

prior to this year i thought i had my box to the perfect size i wanted. sealed off. controlled. restricted. simple. no unknown surprises. exactly how i (thought) i wanted.  

prior to this year, as i started triathlon, things just seemed to fall into place.  i went into races undernourished and over trained (not because of my coach) and always seemed to pull off a solid race.  all of which lead me to believe this boxed in 'life' i was living was working.  living this way was dedication.  living this way was comfortable.healthy. the only way to achieve my dreams.

then life started to leaking in.  so the first of this year i committed to testing a new path.  one in which allows life in.  allows balance. allows stepping out of that box of old rules.  as i started to allow myself to relax, stop forcing control and obsessions, allowing 'distractions' to be a part of my life, and letting myself have fun:
i unintentionally gave myself a chance at one of my dream goals. Kona.

leading up to Ironman Coeur d'Alene, i had several people talk to me about taking so much focus off qualifying for Kona.  put the focus on enjoying the experience.  i remembered back to the absolute joy i felt crossing my first Ironman last year.  feeling that JOY was what i wanted my goal to be for Ironman CDA.

The heat forecast contined to get hotter and hotter leading up to race day.  i chose CDA because it was a 'cold' ironman.  i keep my house temp under 70... me and heat are not friends.  so my dad came up with this brilliant idea to wear a long sleeved shirt and a silly hat to keep me cool.  practiced the set up a few times, with mock aid stations, and it seemed like this was going to have a huge impact on me having a good race.  silly looking or not :)

we arrived in CDA a few days prior to the event to get settled in and rested.  those few days of doing nothing and taking a break from the stress of work help me a lot.  

the chatter of the race still happening because of the heat filled the air.  i tried to ignore it the best i could.  took in all the encouragement Clyde and my dad continued to repeat to me :) ♥ :) the night before the race Teresa, Mark, and Dior came over.  so wonderful.  it was nice to chat.. review the game plan.. and finally meet that darling little girl. LOVEHER! as i was heading to bed that night, T called to tell me game day was ON - all 140.6


 i set my alarm at 2:07am.  woke up to no race day nerves. which was weird. clyde helped me make breakfast, then we went back to bed for another hour.  before we left the house my garmin stopped working! got it fixed, got in the car, and off to the race start.  race morning went smooth.  still no nerves.  i was just ready to RACE. 


after Chattanooga last year, Teresa and i really wanted to put a focus on my swim.  the time and volume were definitely put in.  for some reason it did not today.
COACH T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i estimated i'd hit around a 1:15-17. wrong! as soon as i ran and dove in, there were people on every end of me.  the first loop went by okay... not great though.  getting out on the first loop, there were so many people just standing on the beach. taking photos. waving at the crowd.  that was a bit frustrating where i just wanted to make that a quick transition.  second loop was not pretty.  sighting was off on the way out leading to me swimming far off to the right.  people would stop in front of me, forcing me to stop to get around them. the further out we got the more clustered it was = drinking water! the entire last loop i just told myself to breath calm and get to Rocky!   figuring out what is going on with my stroke will be a priority going forward!


quick! in and out of there.


i've learned a lot from my races leading up to CDA this year.
2 specific things: 1) i can't push the bike crazy hard like i always get carried away with doing. 2) i HAVE to hydrate.  ESPECIALLY where it was going to be a very hot day. 

the entire 112 miles of CDA i told myself this should feel REALLY easy and drink.drink.drink!

the plan was to keep things feeling silly easy until the turn around point on the second loop.  this was SO hard for me.  i felt like i was just spinning on a casual ride.  especially at first when people were passing me.  patience Christie! NO heart rate spikes.  NO standing on hills.  no racing people.  i had to keep reminding myself that i want to have a good run so taking it easy on the bike was important!

usually i don't slow down for aid stations.  if i happen to grab and keep a hold of the aid great, if not, there is always another.  CDA i slowed down for EVERY aid station.  grabbing 3 bottles (1 gatorade, 1 water, and another water to drench myself).  i made sure i was getting in a constant flow of food, hydration, and salt.√  nutrition felt spot on.√  never was hungry.√ never bonked.√  was peeing consistently.√  felt good.☺

i really enjoyed this course. (other than that dang no pass zone... got behind slow people every single time!)  it was all very pretty, had climbing which I love, the 2 loops help split the race up mentally... all in all, great!

rolled into T2 feeling fantastic!


i knew getting off the bike i was ready to run. pacing the bike like i did left my legs feeling fresh with no real fatigue.  saw Rick and Clyde right out of transition and they told me Teresa was right up ahead.  it's nice seeing family/friends on the bike but the run you actually can SEE them :)  

having my support team on the course meant the WORLD to me!!!!!!!!!!! T wasn't sure my placing... but thought around 6-7th. typical Christie would have let this really effect my race. i didn't this time. onward, chase down the girls.

first out and back was not bad. the entire time i ran with a huge smile on my face.  it was HOT though!!!!!!! around mile 2 i saw Clyde again and he told me just nice and steady - don't push it! so that's exactly what i did. 26 miles is a long way so those first 20 need to feel easy! there were lots of familiar faces out there pushing through that heat! today was not about speed... it was about not falling apart and melting :) 

along the course whenever i had the chance i would completely drenching myself. saw my dad and T again on the second loop...high fives and smiles to see them both!!! i did not feel a real low point until the flat stretch on the second loop right before the climb. so i counted my steps over and over until i was up and over that dang hill. ready to head back to the finish!  at that point i made a deal with myself to make it to each aid station running, once i got there i could walk through getting in hydration and soaking myself.   
before i knew it, mile 24 hit. i turned the corner to see Clyde! he believes in me when i don't even believe in myself...and that gave me tons of energy!!  he told me he thought i was close to the third place girl and i had to move if wanted it.  this was a huge surprise to me.  after T2, i never saw any girls so i assumed i was still around 7th! as soon as he left, i saw her.  orange kit. same girl that passed me in St George!!!!! (good think this was a full marathon... i need those miles to catch up to the fast swimmers!) as i came up on her wondered if i should go for the pass or wait closer to the finish line.  i did not want to make the same mistake i did last year in St George 70.3.  i could tell she was hurting though and i was feeling stronger and stronger so i went for it and did not look back.  

the end of mile 25 i saw Clyde again and asked if she was there. he told me to JUST RUN!!! i was doing it!! i took off my silly cooling shirt and hat, and got ready to enjoy the best part of the Ironman - that home stretch.

as i got to the top of Sherman Avenue there was Coach T telling me no one is behind you, enjoy this, i am proud. Tears!!!!!!! it amazes me how all the pain, fear, insecurities, and doubts just vanish.  regardless of the place i ended up, i was happy that i did not give up.  not as in not finishing. i knew i would finish. but i did not give up fighting and just settle for 7th. ended up exited the water in 36th and finished in 3rd. the entire day i kept moving forward to finishing the race with JOY. 

awards came the following day and surprise...  KONA!!!! still on cloud 9 over it. so thankful and grateful to get to go race at Worlds in October.  freaking WORLDS!!!!  sharing that moment with my people was amazing. you bet i already have some goals for that race - at the same time, i plan to go with the main goal of experience that finish line JOY! 


after the race several people made comments to me that all my hard work paid off.  and yes, i agree, at CDA, the hard work did 'pay off.'  BUT hard work is not what earned me that Kona slot.  not letting struggles, set back after set back, under-performing at races, bad training sessions, and the uncomfort of this new way of 'life' break me down enough to just give up.  hard work is actually the easy part.  especially when you are excelling.  but it is during the times when you seem to be up against a wall, working your ass off going nowhere that you have to find some other gear to not throw in the towel.  a lot of times, for me, that other gear is my amazing support team reminding me to KEEP GOING.  

Since the race, i am really trying to make myself recognize the goal i achieved.  it's so easy for me to devalue my own accomplishments, unsatisfied with my current level wanting to quickly move to the next 'big' goal. 

so right now:
..i am reflecting back and being proud of the progress I have made since starting triathlon in 2012.
..remembering that progress = patience and patience requires trusting the uncomfortable.
..realizing uncomfortable situations is where growth and new possibilities lay.
..trying to trust my training, my support team, my 'new' path outside of my old box.  continuing down this uncomfortable, scary, unstable, uncontrolled path that every day i have more and more trust is exactly the road in which i need to be traveling down.

            Oh... and right now: some swim/bike/run'ing is going down. KONABOUND!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Ironman St George 70.3


My #1 favorite bike course in 70.3's. Gorgeous. Challenging. Fun! Rode a bike course PR today.  The bike felt strong and effortless and awesome.


I typically pee 2 times on the bike in a 70.3.  Today... 0. Possible hydration issue? (tmi ). I drank according to my race plan.  I don't know if I drank enough for the higher temp's.


Zoot! Rudy Project! Garmin! 3 amazing companies that I'm so lucky to be apart of.


Wake up time: 3:47 a.m. Time Goal: 4:XX.  Finishing Temp: 94 :(


 The # of gels taken throughout the day. 1: pre-swim 4: bike  0: run = 5  My stomach wanted nothing to do with any nutrition after the bike.


Mile  6 on the run was the worst.  To be honest, the run was a bit of a shit show from mile 2 to finish. As much as I tried to push, the 'Iamsofreakinghotkillmenow' voice in my head seemed to be on repeat!  Getting off the bike I knew all I had to do was hit a 1:45 to dip under 5 hours.  Was not in the cards today...Disappointing run.


My placing = 7th....  6 spots off of my goal.


After the initial swim as fast as you can to find some clear water start... 8 is the number of strokes I took between each sighting. Happy to report I finally managed to stay in line with all of the buoys!

I recently switched to Roka F2 goggles. Amazeballs.  Large, no leaking, and my favorite part is the various lens colors help accentuate buoy colors.  (big deal for my bad eyesight!) I went with the Dark Vermilion Mirror and had no issues with the sun.


I saw my amazing support crew throughout the race 9 times!!! My dad, Clyde and Bob drove me out to the race start.  Right before I got in the water, Bob gave me - The Best motivation/get-your-ass-in-gear/bring-out-the-beast speech!  Then they were able to get to spots on the bike/run course.  Means so much to me.


This was my 10th 70.3.  First one being in 2012. Fastest being in 2014.  oh the journey...

I allowed myself a few days to be upset over this race.  All the pieces are not there yet.  I still have many more hours of work to do; both athletically and mentally.  But thanks to my support crew, I can put this race into perspective.  I am nowhere near where I want to be.  But this is my journey Building My Machine and 
I KNOW that my best is yet to come!!!!!!! 


Friday, March 27, 2015

TT & Icebreaker Sprint

Rapid Cycling in St George hosted a Crit Series this year.  One of the stages being a Time Trail which I had to get in on!  What would be more fun than 10 uncomfortable miles at balls-to-the-wall effort??

I was a little nervous jumping into an event full of hard-core cyclists.  Clyde arrange to have his good friends help me get ready at the start which was aaaaaamazing! They helped me get the trainer set up to get my warm up in, gave me the perfect get ready to suffer motivation speech, and to top it off were out there during the ride! SO dang nice!!!

Success # 1 of the day was not tipping over while I was being held at the start line before I was sent off! I was probably most worried about this :)

From the first pedal stroke I went into suffer mode and was able to stay focused throughout the 10 miles.  We had drove the course prior, but those hills were felt in the legs a little more than I had anticipated.  The last two miles really hurt - which they should! I just put my head down and hammered.

***Note to all you newbies... when you hear 'put your head down and hammer,' you do NOT literally put your head down! First of all, you can not see where you are going.  Second, putting your head down literally creates a wall out of your aero helmet  #lessonlearned Keep your head up :) :)

When you can find an emotion that sets something off within yourself, it can be super useful in a race setting.  Find what triggers you and use it to your advantage!  Came across the finish line and headed out to finish off the rest of my workout.  Thanks Coach T!

Finished 1st in my Cat and 7th including the boys ---► Rocky was most excited about that part :)

1st AG
2nd Overall

I also raced in the IceBreaker Sprint Tri on March 21st.  I've done this race the past two years and it is hands down my favorite Sprint!  RaceTri knows how to put on a solid race.

Going into this race I had written down my goal of breaking my course time (0:59.57) and take the overall win.  Guess what?! In life, things don't always go the way you plan.

We drove up north early enough to pick my packet up, set up transition, and get in my warm up.  This year we brought the trainer.  I probably looked like an idiot with it.  Seriously loved having it though.  It was pretty dang cold first thing in the morning so it was nice to warm up on the trainer without that wind chill. 

I don't have too many details to share.  I felt really good throughout the race, my body just did not respond like I had thought it was going to.  Other than the bike split, I don't think that the times are indicative of what I am capable of.  

So with that being said ONWARD!

trusting in MY plan.




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dogtown Half

Dogtown Half Marathon was my first of the year, 'dust the cobwebs off the race legs' race.

About 30 minutes before the race was to start, it was explained to me that the first mile of the course was to start different than I expected.  Up a hill... Giddy Up time! :)  I warmed up nice and easy, did some drills, strides, and then lined up with just a few minutes to go.

First 0.6 was the climb, and then up until mile 9 was rolling/downhill.  A portion, around mile 5, had a pretty rocky/trail portion that I am happy to report I did not trip on.

The last miles of this course are pretty dang tough.  Your legs are already fatigued so the climbing at the end is not exactly something to be desired... especially Majestic Hill!

I knew going into this race it was not going to be a PR course - BUT, I have never run a stand-alone half where I did not lose focus in those last few miles.  That was my main goal.  Stay focused.  And I did :)

1:32:08. 8th Female. 1st AG

This race decided to 'go green' and not have cups at the aid stations. so dumb IMO. I was very lucky to have Clyde meet me in spots throughout the race to run with me for a minute to give me my Water/Gu's.  (Gu'd at 4.7 and 9 - H20 at 4.7, 9, 11).

After, I ran a little cool down, awards, and then headed for a recovery swim. I CAN NOT pass up swimming in the lap pools when I am in St George.  We then decided to go check out the new Crit Series Rapid Cycling is starting up this year.

Holy. Fun!

The entire time I wanted to be racing with Rocky!!  TT bikes are not allowed at the stage we watched BUT, in a few weeks, the next race is a 10 mile time trial that may need to be add into my schedule :) :):)

Sunday before heading home, I had a long ride on my schedule.  Weather did not look promising but decided to tough it out.


Lets just say badass status was EARNED on Sunday :)

Rule #9
// If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.


I can not wait for my tri's to start up!!!  First one will be the usual Ice Breaker Sprint Tri in March!


Monday, January 12, 2015


a few ♥'s

Elite Minds & Train To Win
must reads. i keep one of them on the dash of my car. quick motivation.

Winter Cycling
amazing how much warmth you get from shoe covers and a robbers mask.
Velominati Rules #5 & #9  
while reading those↑ rules... check out #20. it's a good one.

(the shoe covers I got are these. water proof & fleece = warm toes)

Soft HR Monitor
just pay the extra money for the soft HR monitor. besides the hard one always breaking, it hurts to wear... meaning i often would 'forget' to wear it.  this soft one is worth the $$

Swim Toys & Long Sets
this band! these paddles. loving my swim sets lately... up to 8000!

Closet Organizers
not just for closets! 
i basically live out of my car so these keep me somewhat less messy.

speaking of Shoes
Solanas: Zoot was on point with this one. perfect everyday trainer.

Ultra Race: my go to speed-work shoe.

Ultra TT's: best race shoe.

Reminders filled with little daily reminders & symbols ...

My GoalsSay YesBreatheHabitsFuelTheMachine 

onsie for the win! found this in the kids section for 4.99!!! 
perfect for post-freezing cold workouts. and... i mean the Grinch, awesome☺☻☺

i am determined to continue moving forward with my nutrition. MoreFuelLessFearFoodsEnhancedRecoveryEnergyyyySTRONGATHLETE 

Getting ready
longer swim sets in the AM = less get ready time. a few products that i've found to help speed up the process.  

Loreal BB Cream.  this BB cream hides my post-swim goggle lines, apply just with your fingers and doesn't need a powder.  add some mascara and you are good to go. super quick and easy! my skin has been clearer not wearing foundation every day too.   

between the chlorine water, running, and the wind from biking my hair is always a tangly mess! about a month ago i started using Bed Head After Party & Loreal Serum and it's been 100 times better.   

mean, disloyal people.
creating a positive environment is not only key for progress in sport, but life.
rid all negativity.

loving MY ♥♥♥Support Crew♥♥♥


Friday, January 9, 2015

its that time of year...

i want to put out into the universe my goals for 2015. 




share them to make them 'real.'

AG win STG 70.3
Umeke Bowl

Swim.Bike.Run HEREWEGO!