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Silverman 70.3 Race Report

Posted on October 26, 2014 | 0 comments

Silverman 70.3 is a half ironman triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run) that takes place in Henderson, NV, which is about 15-20 min outside of the Vegas strip. 

The event took place on Oct 5, 2014. I chose this event because my mom lives there so it was free lodging and an easy drive from LA. Basically one of the most affordable triathlons I have done! This race report will focus more on the course than my performance, although I will say, I executed each discipline exactly how I expected so I was very happy with the outcome.

The Course - This course is to be respected! It's definitely not one where you sign up last minute without preparing and hope for the best. Well, you can do that but I wouldn't recommend it...you will be miserable, unless you are already in super shape! Even if you are a strong cyclist or runner, do not take it for granted. The heat is a factor and if you are not used to running in it (wasn't really a factor on the bike), it can beat you down. And yes, it's a DRY heat, but it's still HOT!

The Swim - If you love open water swimming, you will thoroughly enjoy this swim course. It was at Boulder Beach at Lake Mead. The water temp was either 80 or darn near close to it. It felt so refreshing and I am glad I didn't wear a wetsuit just for that reason. I do not enjoy swimming let alone in open water. I pick races based on how comfortable I think I will be in the water. This was one of the most ideal conditions, warm, calm water. The reason I didn't wear a wetsuit is because two days prior during the athlete meeting, the water temp had read 80 degrees, which is not wetsuit legal. You could wear one, but you couldn't win any awards (no chance of that for me!) and you would have had to start at the end of the last wave (NO thanks!). Well....on race morning, they announced it was wetsuit legal because the water temp read just above 75 degrees which was below the wetsuit cut-off temp. Hmm...not sure how that happened since each day, the morning and daytime temps were getting hotter! Oh well, people were very happy that they could wear their wetsuits. 

The lake was pretty uneventful. No chop, other than the waves made by the swimmers entering the water. We were fortunate that the wind didn't pick up because when it does, it can create quite a chop as you round the first buoy. The swim was a wave start. My group (W40-49) started at 7:28. I started at the back of my wave although I knew the next group (M45-49) would be right behind me! I have to say, contact was at a minimum. Might be because I swam off side a bit. There was only a little bit of lake weed (aka tumble weed) during the last few hundred meters but I didn't care because the beach was in sight! Heading back to shore the sun was rising and if you breathe on your left, the sun was right in your eye so I just switched sides and all was fine. 

The Bike - I was well prepared for this course. I live in LA so we have lots of climbing options. If you train on hills, you will be fine. There are no steep pitches or long sustained climbs, just mild short ascents. If I were to guess, nothing more than 4% or 5% and no more than a few minutes. But this goes on and on so it can wear you down if you ride the course hard. There are some great descents were you can really tuck in and enjoy the ride! FYI - as you get closer to T2, there are some final ascents, just to mess with you!

The Run - If the bike course wears you down, the run course will break you down! If your legs are even remotely tired when coming off the bike, you are doomed! I was well trained for the bike and run course and the run was still quite challenging. It's a 3 loop hilly course. There are almost no flats, either up or down. There are also no steep pitches, just long gradual climbs, maybe 2% or just over, especially when you hit Green Valley Parkway which is a mile long. Well, there is one steep pitch but it is very short, but nonetheless, it is still painful when you are exhausted and it's the 3rd time you are going up that hill! There are parts of the course where the sun just beats on you! The temp hovered around 92 and there wasn't much shade. They had water misters around the course so that offered some temporary relief. You have to bring your mental toughness because it will be very tempting to walk, especially when you see the joy on other people's faces when they finally succumb to the desire to just stop running! It's sometimes hard to know the difference between needing to walk and wanting to walk! For me, it was a constant battle to only walk when I fueled up at the aid stations. No matter how slow I was running, I was just happy that I was still running! If I wanted to stop, I just asked myself if anything hurt. If the answer was no, I told myself keep running and be thankful nothing hurts! And as many of you know, the down hills don't offer relief on the legs. The only joy would come at the finish line, and that it did!

Overall Thoughts - I really liked this race even though there was almost nothing fun about it for me! But that had nothing to do with the race, the organizers or the amazing volunteers! For one, the swim always causes me anxiety, second, on the bike course I got sick so I couldn't eat, and third, I started the run in a caloric deficit which made for an unnecessarily painful run! I can't believe this course used to be a full 140.6. I couldn't image running that course for 26.2 miles! I highly recommend this race and if you train properly on hills for both bike and run, you will enjoy every minute of it, well, as best you can!. It is a very well organized race with the best supporters on the course! Oh and thanks mom for cheering me on in the heat, I know you think this sport is nutty! 

Oh and here is what you get in the goodie bag and when you finish the race! Goodie bag - shirt and drawstring bag. Unfortunately the bag doesn't have the name of the event on it. And when you finish, a medal and finisher's hat!

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Got Curly Hair?

Posted on December 06, 2013 | 0 comments

I recently had my hair cut at Devachan hair salon in Culver City, CA. Devachan is chain of hair salons located mainly in NYC (one location in CA) specializing in cutting curly hair. It was the first time I've been in a salon and not have hair envy from the girl sitting next to me with stick straight Pantene commercial type flowing hair! Everyone in the salon had some degree of curl or wave and we were all from different backgrounds. No one head of curls was the same. 

Their technique is to cut the curls dry. I wasn't sure how a dry curly cut would translate into a straight style. Although I wear my hair curly most of the time, I do from time to time like to blow it out straight. I asked for an asymmetrical cut and my stylist did exactly that. I LOVED it, even blown out! The blown out style wasn't perfectly even, but I was ok with it because it gave my straight hair an edgy look. Sorry I don't have a picture of it straight. I will remember to take a photo next time!

After the cut, they cleansed and conditioned it. I could have opted to have it blown out, but instead, I decided on their popular wet set style. They set your curls using whichever of the Devachan products is best for your type texture. They used the styling creme to set my hair.The wet set gave my curls perfect definition, no frizz what so ever, even hours after it had dried! The look is much flatter against my head than how I typically wear it, but I thought it was a nice change. I tried to duplicate the look at home, but I just ended up looking like an idiot. There's a technique to the wet set (using a dome hair dryer), and I have yet to master it, so until then, I will leave it to the pros!  

Devachan sells their own products and I ended up purchasing the styling creme. The only reason I didn't purchase their cleanser (called No Poo because it's sulfate-free) and conditioner is because I use Wen hair care and I am very happy with it. I have to admit, I am in love with the scent of the Devachan products.

If you can't get to a Devachan salon, I would highly recommend finding a stylist who knows how to cut curly hair dry, it truly makes a difference! 

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How To Stay Injury-Free

Posted on October 22, 2013 | 0 comments

No matter the type of sport or physical activity you participate in, dealing with injuries is a physical and mental battle. As a recreational triathlete, I tend to suffer from some common over-use injuries (IT band syndrome and sciatica) if I do not take the time to stretch and do some myofascial release on a regular basis. You don't have to be a triathlete to suffer these injuries. They are common, no matter your type of activity.

Over the past couple of years I have been working with Jessie, a neuromuscular specialist at In-Spiraling Movement. He has shown me some at-home techniques that I can do to help stay injury-free. Below are the six tools that I use to help keep my injuries from recurring.

  • Foam roller
  • PVC pipe
  • Lacrosse ball
  • Two lacrosse balls taped together
  • Softball
  • Miracle Ball Method

To learn how I use all six of these tools, please watch the below video.

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Find Your Inspiration

Posted on September 05, 2013 | 0 comments

I became aware of Diana Nyad back in 2009 while I was training for my first triathlon, an Ironman distance. On a random Saturday afternoon, I stumbled across a documentary about Diana on a show called "Art of The Athlete." You see, I do not enjoy swimming, so when I read that the program was about an endurance swimmer, I was glued to the TV! Finally, I was going to tap into someone's passion for swimming and figure out how to "enjoy" this insanely long swim. Well, that didn't happen! Actually, I felt ridiculous that I was complaining about a 2.4 mile swim when here was a woman who attempted to swim from Cuba to Key West. Needless to say, I still loathe getting into the pool counting lap after lap, but what I did learn, regardless of whether I was swimming, running, or starting a business, was to not give up when things got tough...as Diana would say...find a way.

I had the pleasure of meeting Diana Nyad a couple of years later in 2011. After our meeting, my colleague at the time asked me what I thought of her. I replied, "it's a shame not everyone will get to know her." Some people may only get to see Diana as an endurance swimmer. I got to know Diana as the woman whose inspiration is only matched by her wit (yes, she is very funny!) and whose passion in life is to help others achieve their dreams.

On September 2, 2013, at the age of 64 and after four failed attempts, Diana accomplished her dream of swimming the 110 miles from Cuba to Key West. It's a reminder to all of us that age is not an excuse to not do something. Age is a number we are all assigned to. It's up to us to determine what we are going to do with it. Diana did something with her number...something remarkable.

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Pack Your Bags

Posted on August 30, 2013 | 0 comments

Turks and Caicos

I took a trip to Turks and Caicos by myself. I highly recommend this spot even if you have no one to go with. You can always bring your tech gadgets if you feel you need to look like a high powered executive who is looking for a quick escape...maybe you are!

Since I didn't get to take a vacation this year, I often find myself reflecting on my most recent vacation to Turks and Caicos. I have been to many places in the Caribbean, but I've never seen water so clear as Grace Bay in Providenciales! This was one of the most perfect solo trips. A not-so-quick flight from LA, but well worth the effort. You can spend a ton of money on lodging (Parrot Cay) or spend very little, as I did, and still have a great time. My resort was located on Grace Bay and the rooms featured a washer/dryer, microwave and fridge...perfect for the budget-conscious traveler! I went during the off- season, which was perfect for me as I was looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation so I could catch up on my reading (I haven't picked up a book since!). Each day was filled with a little morning workout*, followed by plenty of beach time. I even went kayaking for the first time. I went out with a group (two couples, myself, and a local tour guide)...what fun! It has roughly a four hour tour; we even stopped for lunch on a deserted island.

Since it's a British territory, make sure you look the “other” way when crossing the street...it's easy to forget!

*Solo Travel Tip: if you are a runner, this is not the place to log your miles. If you do, beware of stray dogs...they have quite a few of them and they love to give chase...trust me, you will lose! Stick to a treadmill if you can find a hotel that has one, if not, swimming is a good choice...the ocean is as clear as a pool!

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