Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vineman 70.3 by Bob Frein

Since my blog is mostly "I ran a race..oh look I ran another race" over and over I decided to ask my friend Bob if he would be interested in doing is Vineman 70.3 race report as a guest blogger. He was more then happy to help..so enjoy this great race report and don't forget to leave him a comment!

**Warning** This race report is rather long, so grab yourself a cup of your favorite beverage, sit back, relax and enjoy my Vineman 70.3 Race Report.

Let me preface this race report by saying that this was my first attempt at the half iron distance, I had previously done only Sprint distance triathlons. I decided last summer that I wanted to try a 70.3 race in 2011. After doing some research, I decided on Vineman as my first 70.3. I waited up until midnight on November 1, 2010 when registration opened and signed up...and got in

Let me preface this race report by saying that this was my first attempt at the half iron distance, I had previously done only Sprint distance triathlons. I decided last summer that I wanted to try a 70.3 race in 2011. After doing some research, I decided on Vineman as my first 70.3. I waited up until midnight on November 1, 2010 when registration opened and signed up...and got in!


We left Los Angeles at 5am and made it to Windsor by 12 noon. Since I wanted to get in a swim at the river before the race, we made the 15 mile drive out to Guerneville. Once we got down to the river, I put on my wetsuit and waded into the water. Temperature was very comfortable and I headed upstream. I decided to swim to the bridge and back (about 300 yds) and once I got to the bridge, the water was waist deep. I stood there and talked with a few other swimmers and headed back. I decided to do 2 more swims (both with and without the wetsuit) and we walked around Guerneville a bit.We headed back to Windsor, checked in at the hotel and then decided to go find a place to eat dinner.


Tina and I went for an early morning walk around Windsor, eventually walking by the high school where workers were setting up T2 and the Finish line. After breakfast, we headed to the school for the mandatory meeting and packet pick up. The "meeting" was nothing more than a 22 minute video talking about safety and rules including "drafting" (remember that for later). I got my race packet, timing chip and t shirt and headed for the Vineman merchandise tent to buy some hats, etc. I had to drop my running gear at T2, so I found a spot I thought I could remember fairly easily and claimed my space. We left the school and headed back to Guerenville so I could drive the bike course. Just a few miles into the bike course, I noticed that the roads were not in great shape. These are lightly traveled, county roads and with California's current financial crisis, they don't get a lot of attention. I knew I was going to have to pay attention on the bike and dodge a lot of crappy road. The bike course has some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. During this time, I was munching on a bagel and noticed something in my mouth that didn't feel right...I broke a piece of tooth off. Fortunately, there was no pain and I didn't think it would affect my race. The course took about 2 hours to drive and once we got back to the hotel, we headed out for an early dinner, then off to bed.

Sunday - Race Day

We were up at 4 am, so we could be on the road to Guerneville by 5 am. We made it out to Guerneville just as T1 was opening. On the way in, I got body marked and luckily, my wife was standing next to me as I forgot my age. I found some space and started to lay out my stuff. I was going through a mental checklist and hoping I didn't forget anything. I got into my wetsuit and waited for my wave to be called. I was in the 5th wave and didn't have long to wait...before I knew it, I was in the water waiting for the horn to blow. My strategy in the swim was to start in the back to avoid the "washing machine"and take it easy. The horn sounds and I let the group go ahead of me. I start swimming at a nice, easy pace. About 200 yards into the swim, I am now in the crowd...WTF? How did this happen? Either, I was swimming fast or they were swimming slow, in any case, I didn't want to be on someones feet and get kicked in the face. I slowed my pace a bit and headed towards the shore a bit until I got some clean water ahead. At the turn around, the water was about knee deep and it was easier to walk the turn than to swim it. On the way back, there was a bit of a current that made the 2nd half of the swim a little quicker. Before I knew it, I saw the swim exit right in front of me...out of the water I went.

Swim - 41:24


I grabbed a cup of water on the way in and decided to take my time. I didn't want to forget anything and I needed to pack up all of my swim items into the plastic bag so I could hand them to my wife on the way out. I saw Rebecca on the way out and stopped for a quick picture. I took the advice of every Vineman race report I read and ran/walked my bike to the top of the hill before getting on it. That was great advice!

T1 - 7:39


I started out at a comfortable pace while I got situated on the bike. I was really conscious of the drafting distance and I spent a lot of energy and time focusing on that. I made it to the first turn off which was pretty hairy and sure enough...someone had already crashed and was being tended to. The bike course was beautiful and I started passing people and increasing the pace while still focusing on drafting and potential penalties. About 20 miles into the course, a group of guys on tri bikes, basically forming a pace line, wheel to wheel, passed me and right behind them was a course Marshall. The Marshall didn't even bat an eye at them, so at that point, I decided to pick up the pace and not worry so much about drafting. Things seemed to be going well and I thought that a 3 hour bike was possible. I stopped at the last aid station for a potty break and then hit it pretty hard until Chalk Hill. It wasn't that it was that big or long of a hill, it was just at mile 45 and I was getting tired. I ate the last quarter of a PB&J sandwich (I ate 1/4 every 10 miles and supplemented it with Gu) and tried to pick up the pace for the last 10 miles. No such luck...I watched the 3 hour mark slipped by and then 3:15. I pushed hard the last couple of miles and reached the high school and T2.

Bike - 3:21:14 (16.70 mph/avg)


It was quite a distance from the dismount line to the bike racks and it seemed like it took forever to run that distance. I racked my bike and emptied my run bag onto the grass. I sat down and put on my compression sleeves and shoes. I talked with another racer who offered me some sunscreen, which was a reminder to grab mine and apply it liberally. I put on my water belt and visor and headed out with a quick stop at the porta potty before leaving transition.

T2 - 8:09


As I headed out on the run, I saw my wife taking pictures and seeing her smile gave me bit of energy that I desperately needed. The run course was made up of rolling hills (some challenging) and some flats. (I wish I would have driven the run course as well) The first 6 miles seemed to go very well, I hit every aid station (there were 12) and took on fluids and a gel. I also ate a few pretzels each mile from a bag that carried with me. The course was changed a bit this year, it ran around the perimeter of the winery and that was on dirt and gravel. By that time, the sun had finally made an appearance and it was getting warm. I started feeling tired so I started breaking down the last 6 miles by mile. I would run to the aid station, walk while taking on fluids and gels (about a minute or two) then run to the next aid station. It worked well and before I knew it, I was at the last aid station with 1.1 miles to go. My pace picked up a bit since I could sense the finish was near. I hit the finish chute and had the finish line in my sights. I crossed the finish line, hands raised! I finished!!

Run - 2:20:12 Finish Time - 6:38:38

I saw my wife behind the barrier and posed as she took a couple of pictures. The finish area had a lot op people mulling around and eating. Vineman puts on a pretty good post race meal (chicken sandwich, pasta salad, fruit, etc) all of which was fine and dandy, but how about some gatorade??? None to be found...they had water, iced tea and soda. I grabbed some fruit and a water and headed over to the transition area to meet my wife. I gathered my bike and we walked back to the off site parking lot where she had parked the car. Once back at the hotel, a quick shower and a beer and we headed out for some wine tasting. After all, we were in Sonoma and I could leave without wine tasting. One of my twitter peeps suggested Truett-Hurst Winery, so we decided to give them a try. They had some very nice wines, they specialize in Zinfandel's and syrah's. Since it was so late in the day and most wineries close at 5pm, we decided to go right to dinner. We tried KC Downtown Grill in downtown Windsor. Once back at the hotel, I decided to head down to the hot tub, where I sat and chatted with other racers about the race. It was interesting to hear what they thought about the race, course, etc

Since this was my first attempt at the half iron distance, I really didn't have any expectations other than finishing. In the back of my mind, I said I would like to come in under 7 hours, which I did. It was a great experience, one I will never forget, but the journey to get there was even greater. I have met so many wonderful and supportive people over the years. There are so many people I need to thank...my wife and family, my coach, my running/riding partners, my friends, my twitter/facebook friends, and A Runner's Circle family... I couldn't have done it without all of you....so from the bottom of my heart...THANK YOU!

So what's next you ask??? Nothing! Actually, I have the Disneyland Half Marathon on the schedule and that is it. I'm not going to do much the rest of this year, I need to give my body a break and I need to take care of things in my life that I have put on hold for the better part of the last year. In the coming weeks, I will sit down and figure out some kind of maintenance plan so I can try and stay in shape. I will also try and figure out 2012 as far as racing...at this point, I am leaning towards "not much", since I am shooting to run the Goofy Challenge in January 2013. I need to decide if I want to run the LA Marathon again, but at the very least, I will volunteer with Craig and his SRLA kids once again.

Oh yes...the broken tooth...I had it looked at on Tuesday morning and fortunately, it was only a wisdom tooth, but it was beyond saving and had to come out.

So there you have it, a great race report for something I don't think I will ever have the courage to do (never say never right). I followed Bob during his training for this event, and I can't tell you how proud I am of him for for accomplishment! Congrats Bob and I look forward to running more races with you!! - Kristy

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Giveaway Winner is...

I want to send a big THANK YOU to designer and friend of mine Denice from Flourish Salon for hosting my summer "Favorite Things' Give Away. We had tons of enteries but only one person will be lucky to own a pair of the handmade feather earrings!

We picked a winner and that person is....


Congrats!! Hope you love your earrings as much as I love mine! For those of you that didn't win please check out Flourish Salon for other feather earrings and tons of VERY cute necklaces, hair peices, and earrings!

You can find Flourish Salon on Facebook and Etsy.

I'll have a special guest blogger on my next post from Bob (@bfrein). He's working on a great race racap of his experience completing the Vineman 70.3. Check back soon!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Favorite Things...SUMMER GIVEAWAY!!!

My favorite time of the year is here...SUMMER TIME!! This means fun up do's, great makeup looks, mini vacations, hiking, and sunset running..I ABSOLUTELY LOVE SUMMER! I wanted to make things a little saucy this month with my favorite things so I'm sharing a few items I can't live without, a great new hair crazy and fun earrings from Flourish Salon!!

So here are my picks for summer!!!!

Dream Cream

I don't know about you but my skin is super dry during this time of year. Swimming in chlorine, and excessive sweating while running in this summer weather is all making my skin dry and ITCHY! I've always been a fan of Lush shops so when I ran the Pasadena Half marathon I had the opportunity to stop at the store located downtown. I explained my activities to the sales girl and she recommended the Dream Cream. I've been using it since May and my skin looks and feels so much better. It takes about a dime size of this to cover each leg, if you go more then you may feel a bit greasy. Its smells great and feels wonderful on! It helps with sunburns and is great for kids skin as well. The one thing I learned was don't use this before going to a hot yoga class, lets just say my sweat and the lotion made doing certain posses very challenging! HAHA! This cute container of lotion should last you about 6-7 months and it runs $24.95. They are a world wide company so you can order this product online, or in one of there local stores.

Fishtail Braid

Here is a little side fishtail I did for work the other day! Earrings by Flourish Salon!

I'm always looking for new ways of keeping my long locks away from my face during work, workouts, or running. Braids are easy and can be fun if your creative with them, but why not "flair your hair" with a fishtail braid. I absolutely love this look! Its super easy to do and can be done to your ponytail for a great race look! It's definitely the summer look this year. I learned how do it by looking it up on YouTube. =)

Feather Earrings

My earrings also seen the picture above!

Feathers, feathers, feathers!! They seem to be taking over the fashion world lately. Feather extensions, and now feather earrings!! I ordered these earrings from Flourish Salon and can't stop wearing them, I get compliments on them all the time. Flourish Salons online store has tons of handmade hair accessories and jewelry for pretty much any occasion. When I contacted my friend and designer Denice to see if she was interested in featuring the earrings on my "Favorite Things" she was awesome enough to give a pair for a give away!!

So if you want to win this cute little package with the "Cinnamon Buns" feather earring you can!!..(BTW the flower on the package is a hair clip)....super cute!!! Here's how you can enter.....

1. Retweet my give away, don't forget to add @kristypants.
2. Like Flourish Salon on FB by clicking here and leave a comment on my post of the give away so I can keep track!
3. Leave comment on this post telling me what your favorite summer products are!

A winnner will be chosen on Wedneday July 20, 2011..Good Luck!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

La Palma Fitness Run For Fun 5k

I'm really starting to like these little holiday 5k's! The races are small, fun, and it makes for a great holiday kick off! This year when I was registering for this race my mom asked if she could come along and walk the event. Most of my races are ran with my dad since he's the other runner in the family, so when she showed interested I got really excited! My dad had to work so he missed out which he wasn't very happy about, but he was so proud of my mom for registering!

The night before our little holiday 5k, Krissy and Paul came to our place to watch the firework show at the park near our house. Our city does the event on the 3rd so people can make plans with families and enjoy the 4th with loved ones! We BBQ'd and then rode our beach cruisers up and down hills to get to the park about a mile away. I have to say I don't recommend trying to ride a 3 speed beach cruiser in a hilly area with a full cut up watermelon in your bike basket!! It was heavy and I felt like I was peddling no where HAHA! The weather was perfect, and the fireworks were GREAT! We had a fantastic time!

Paul, Krissy, Me and Robert...Beach Cruisin 4th of July Extravaganza!!

I got home around 10pm and got all my things ready for the race, Mr G 2.0, after race shirt and flip flops! I told mom I'd pick her up at 6:30 so we had time to grab our shirts and bibs. Since this was her first 5k event and it was a holiday, I thought I would be fun if her and I had matching T-shirts! I had to cut mine to so I wouldn't overheat running in cotton...it didn't come out exactly how I wanted it but it worked!!


Call me the over protective daughter, but I was a bit worried about my mom doing this event in the heat. Since she had her treatments less then a year ago she still has slight side effects from it. I kept reminding her that if she felt fatigue at any time during her walk that she was to stop and call me. She just kept saying "I know, I know I will call you" What can I say, I worry!
After we grabbed our bibs and shirts I decide it would be best to take the shirt back to the car so mom didn't have to carry anything with her. I was half way to there when I heard someone say "HIIIII"...it was Danica! YAY a familiar face!

Danica and I with our finishers Popsicles!

When I got back to my mom she told me that she found a walking partner! Apparently when I was giving her "instructions" on what to do if she didn't feel well a lady was listening to us, so she approached my mom and asked if she wouldn't mind walking with her. She wasn't even registered and decided since my mom was there to walk at a nice and slow pace, there was no reason she couldn't. Just like that my mom made a friend, what a relief I had knowing she had someone with her!

Mom and friend coming into the finish!!

We headed over the start and I reminded my mom of the "rules of walkers" and told her once again "call me if you don't feel good" HAHA! She was all set so it was time for me to leave her with her new friend. The sun was getting strong and I knew this little 3 mile race may just be the death of me. I haven't been running much so I wasn't sure how well this was going to go. I had to really push myself the 1st mile and focus on keeping my pace steady, not to go to fast because it was now 84 degrees. As I was taking a quick little walk break I heard someone say "HEY" to my surprise my friend Krista that I went to elementary school with was there running with her family. I haven't seen her in years, so surprised she even recognized me!

Kristy and Krista, grade school friends!

I pushed through miles 2 and 3 feeling ok, it was hot but I was feeling fine. I only took one very fast walk break at the beginning then realized I just needed to stay at a comfortable pace. I finally hit the finish at 37 minutes! Not my best but I finished! The one thing that I love about this course..it was FLAT, no hills, just a easy peasy run. It would've been even better in cooler weather but hey I live in California we have amazing weather all the time, so I'm not going to be upset with Mother Nature for giving us a beautiful 4th of July =)

After I was done I got my congratulatory popsicle..best finish line food ever! Then went over to cheer my mom and Danica on. I saw Danica fly by me finishing her 10k 1st of her age group WOOHOOO!! My mom came in a little after her with her new walking friend with a giant smile on her face! I was SO PROUD of my mom!!

That night for the 4th I spent it with Robert's family, BBQ'ing, and lounging around. It was a perfect day, fun race and lots of family LOVE!!