Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pre Race Excitement

From rookie to pro, tomorrow morning over 3100 athletes will gather at the crack of dawn to compete in South Beach Nautica Triathlon.
In the life of a triathlete (or any athlete), the day before race day is quite special!

The amount of excitement and exhilaration in my eyes spells it out. One of My favorite day in My life as a triathlete! I just love seeing so many people getting together to exercise, sweat, and most importantly exhibit their excitement of competition and pride!

Good luck to all competing tomorrow specially one of my closest friend and synchro partner, Sarah, for her first (individual) triathlon!!! Looking forward to competing with you again tomorrow! :)

It's all mental at this point! Kick butt Tri 2 One!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Great Start to a Fantastic Race Season!

March 18th: 1st race of the season!

What an interesting race I have to say. But most importantly what a fun race for Tri 2 One!
This race was different than any other. Small race with less than 250 participants. Definitely not as organized as many other races I have participated in, but let’s give FIU props for being their first race and let’s wish them many successful and better organized races in the future!

FIU Triathlon - First Race Feedback:

The pros:
- Full first race of the season
- Small race where you actually know people
- Great after party with lots of free goodies (ZICO <3, Muscle Milk, PowerBars, bagels, and pollo tropical)
- First race organized by FIU. All I have to say is Woot woot! go Panthers!!!

The cons:
- Have timing chips and caps ready during registration or check in
- Have boys set up way before the start of the swim
- Slippery timing mat start was definitely not fun!
- Better course:
     - Long transition run on cold cement was not appreciated. Along with alternating the course to run on the grass was not a good idea for our ankles.
     - 9.? miles on the bike instead of 10
     - Running on a parking lot is simply boring!
     - When one sees the finish line, one must go to the finish line (not do an extra .4 of a mile with a U-turn)… what a tease but what a way to push even harder!
     - And do I really need to mention: A better marked course!

Now about the actual race!!!

Start of the Race:

Thanks to all the supporters who were out there not so bright out yet and definitely early.
You guys were amazing!!!

The Swim:
Slippery mats to start a race is no fun but the race was so small that the start was not as crowded and no need for aggressive behavior. The swim was smooth: No waves. No current. No elbows in the face. Consequently, I could have definitely pushed harder.
Total swim time : 7:58.

Getting out of the swim and re-ajusting!

The Long Transition:
It absolutely was cold, painful, and not fun. But I took it like a champ and run through the cold cement and grass as a true transition. This was my first time going through a transition with clipped in shoes to the bike. I felt like a pro and going so fast until I almost fell… then I remembered that I had just learned how to transition the day before (thanks to Beto, Mickey and Andrew!). But seriously who doesn’t almost fall on their first try. I have to say it was fun to try something new and although I might look like a rookie at worlds without an aero helmet, at least I will have a smooth “pro” like transition. :) Looking forward to improving the speed.

The Bike:
The bike was quite interesting. I kept on playing catch up with this weird macho man with long compression pants and his belly folding over. It was not quite the ideal triathlete you want to follow. The man was riding on the left side of the course swerving as if he was ready to get a DUI. I kept thinking, who does he think he is and finally got off the saddle, made a few powerful strokes and kicked his butt! Didn’t he see he had a P3 blond chick on his back… Ah! Booyaaaa! ... Besides that "interesting" distraction, the bike was a lot of fun. I have been pushing hard at training and it paid off… Especially seeing 23/24/25 MPH against the wind.
Total  bike time: 25:29 (only 15 secs away from 2nd female overall… )

Transition #2:
T2 was smooth. I threw my bike on the rack, along with the water bottle that went flying to the next rack, put my shoes, race belt and visor on and popped in 2 ibuprofens while stretching my legs and off I was.

My life savior: Famous Ibuprofen (thanks Jesus for the Pic!)

The Run:
The run was strong. I remember seeing my awesome teammate Mickey right behind me and thinking she is going to kick my butt... Just keep thinking:  "keep going hard and you might just be able to finish with her." There was so many U-turns that we kept on cheering for each other. It was a real motivator! Let's not forget running the last stretch with Supermom! She was a real trooper... I pushed her to limits she never knew existed! Have I mentioned how much I love my teammates? Tri 2 one isn’t just about racing. This race was evidence!
Total run time: 21:37. Not bad for 3 miles while injured… I felt mentally and physically strong. I concentrated on long consistent strides while keeping power and a good posture (mainly to keep my back from hurting).
Happy with my performance.
Happy to see my cheerleaders and the finish line!

The After-Party!
Me and the super fast boys!
Tri 2 One was in full force representing!
It was great to see so many of us supporting each other. We took over the race with many podiums. Congrats to all of my teammates and especially to the newbies Oriana and Francine who podium-ed on their first race! Let’s not forget the super stars – Joey who in my book won the overall race, SuperMom Cristina who got 1st and Manny who got 3rd. Tri 2 One had so much energy during the award ceremony! We made our geicoach (Marcelo) extremely proud and happy!

One crazy Tri 2 One Family!!! :)

First race of the season results: 1st 25-29 age group / 3rd Female Overall / 39 Overall!
Not a bad start!
Finally big shot out to Isabel representing Alex Bike Shop and winning Female Overall... What an amazing athete! A true inspiration!
Podium with Newbie Orianna!

I love it!! I live it!! and it feels amazing! :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Beany Meal!

Yesterday evening was a success!!

Cheers to a healthy start necessary to help us last through the whole cooking process: Homemade  hummus, Homemade mustard dip, Homemade Greek yogurt dip, veggies, and multigrain low fat chips and wheat thins. - and wine of course… And as ironic as it is – New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc! :)
The Healthy Start

So here it is our awesome recipe:
        Bean Stew with Grilled Snapper

The ingredients:

-          1 Cup Organic black beans (Rec: 2 cups)
-          3 Tbsp Olive oil
-          2 Red onions
-          3 Garlic Cloves
-          ½ Tsp Ground turmeric
-          1 Tsp Ground ginger
-          2 Plantains (peeled, cut in ½ inch squares)
-          4 Organic tomatoes
-          2 Cups baby spinach
-          1 Tsp salt (Rec: To taste / optional)
-          1 Tsp Paprika
-          1 Tsp Fennel seeds
-          1 Tsp Coriander seeds
-          1 Tsp Red curry paste (we made our own! See below)
-          2 Lbs Fresh whole snappers (Rec: 4 lbs just as good!)
-          2 Jalapeno chiles
-          2 Limes (cut into quartered to taste - delicious on top of the fish)

“Our” Process:
-   Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, turmeric, and ginger and sauté until the onions are translucent (~4 mins). Add the beans and 4 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 mins or until the delicious smell catches your attention!
-    Add the plantains and 1 cup of water and simmer for another 20 mins (or so... if you want to skip, go ahead!). Add the tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes are softened (~ 20 mins). Add spinach (the recipe said fold the spinach… go ahead one by one fold the spinach… Ah! Not sure what this means either), simmer until wilted.
-   While the stew is simmering, combine salt, paprika, fennel seeds, coriander seeds in a blender and crush to fine powder. Transfer to a small bowl and add the red curry paste (yes, we made our own and it was amazing! Definitely recommend to live on the edge and try it – see below). Add the olive oil and mix until well combined

Are you hungry yet?
-   Prepare grill (or oven at 350F if you don’t have a grill)
-   Spread the spice mixture over both sides of the snapper. Brush Jalapenos. Place the snappers on the grill (or baking sheet) and cook through for about 10 mins on each side on the grill or 15 minutes in the oven. Turn Jalapenos every 2 mins for 6 mins. Remove jalapenos and thinly cut (remove the seeds if you don’t want too much spice)
-   Ready to serve! Spread the bean stew on the bottom of a serving platter. Lay the snapper on the top of the stew with sliced jalapeno to garnish.
-   Ready set go… Which triathlete will finish first?
(We were so hungry that we forgot to take pictures of the final product! Promise I'll get better!)

This was the perfect recipe for a great evening: Healthy Meal Fun Crazy Friends to share it with!!! :)

Shame on you Beto!! We have to swim in a few hours!!! :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The reason

For about a week, I have been wondering what my first post should be about… First tri training workouts? This year's expectations? The swim? The bike? The run? But yesterday morning after training, it all came together… The reason behind this madness of triathlon. The real motivation behind getting up so early to endure pain.

 After a tough workout and nice recovery swim, a few Tri 2 Oners decided to go to 100% Natural (recommended local Key Biscayne restaurant known for its delicious and healthy breakfast), and there it was: the reason for my first post… Triathlon is not just a competitive sport. It is a lifestyle. It is a way of life shared by many who desire a positive and healthy influence in their life. Most importantly, why is triathlon so important in my life: the people.

 I joined Tri 2 One a little over a year ago when life became tough and I was in need of some positive influence. Although we did not know each other at first, my teammates took me in with open arms and have helped me and been there through thick and thin. They listened and helped me with their positive influence. The constant reminder to keep going and look forward to what is most important in life.

This blog is about the road to the Worlds Championship, the trainings, the lessons learned, the experiences; but most importantly the purpose of this blog is to share the true triathlon lifestyle and everything that comes with it, especially its people!!!

Yesterday at breakfast, we all chatted away our workout accomplishments, our upcoming goals, and more triathlon madness. Alina and I talked about nutrition and how neither of us knew how to make a good “bean” meal… Of course we took the challenge and decided to get together the following day and learn how to cook beans!

Another passion shared by triathletes: Food!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

This is it!

March 3rd 2012 marked the first day of triathlon season - The start to a painful but amazing journey to the 2012 Sprint Triathlon World Championships. The memory of a lifetime. Unforgettable and inspiring stories to share.

Check out the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Series Video