Wildflower: Still the One and Only

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Christine's Blog |

Wildflower holds a special place in my heart. In 2011, it was my first half ironman distance race, and I’ve raced the long course every year since then. The race is located out in the middle of nowhere and just about everyone camps at the race site. Because of that, Wildflower has become known as the “Woodstock of Triathlon.” This year was actually the first time I camped at the race site, and I loved it. It was so much fun spending time around the campfire with friends (old and new), racing with my friends and teammates on Saturday, and sticking around to watch the Olympic distance race on Sunday. They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, so here are some pictures (along with a few words) to recap Saturday’s race: Exiting the swim, happy that my calf never materialized. 🙂 Running up the boat ramp in T1A didn’t seem quite as bad this year… probably because I knew it was coming. When your husband gets an entire group of volunteers to flap their arm-wings and make bird noises when you ride by, you smile and laugh and feel loved. My tired legs were happy to be done with the bike. My tired legs were slightly less happy to be starting the run. Haha. My support crew (husband) got two flats on his mountain bike, so I didn’t see him until the run was almost over. I was sure that he had crashed and was headed to the hospital. Thankfully, he wasn’t… when I saw him on the side of the course, naturally I started flapping my wings with joy.  The finish chute is a very welcome sight after the hot, humid Wildflower course. This is one of my favorite finish photos. I look like I’m flying! 🙂 W30-34 podium Even though the Wildflower course has been modified due to the drought the past two years, it’s just as fun/hot/challenging/hilly/unique as it has always been. There aren’t many other races out there where you can spend an entire weekend camping and racing with your friends out in the middle of nowhere. There is a reason why the race organizers have nicknamed Wildflower “The One and Only.” If you haven’t raced Wildflower yet, add it to your bucket list of races. You won’t be disappointed. —– Special thanks for the support this year: Freeplay Magazine, Rudy Project, HUUB, Salming Running, Fluid Sports Nutrition, Arts Cyclery, Temple Coffee Roasters, Nature’s Bakery, and Taco Works Tortilla...

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Triathlon + Ocean = Happiness

Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 in Christine's Blog |

Being a triathlete in California definitely has its benefits, and one of them is the abundance of small beach town race venues. I absolutely love racing by the ocean… it’s like a vacation and a race all in one! I kicked off my 2015 triathlon season with an olympic-distance triathlon in Half Moon Bay… and the venue did not disappoint. Even though it was foggy the entire time we were in town, racing by the ocean still put a smile on my face and made me extra grateful that I have the opportunity to train and race in California. We were fortunate to rent an amazing house right on the harbor where we stayed the night before the race. Not only was it by the ocean, but it was within walking distance to transition, which is always a plus! A little relaxing at our rental the day before the race For me, one of the best parts of racing is sharing the experience with others… and there was a lot of that at Half Moon Bay. I was joined in the race by my good friend Brittany, my Freeplay teammates Anna and Robin, and Robin’s husband Brian. Not only that, but Stephanie and Sean from Freeplay Magazine made the trip to watch us race and cheer us on. It was really nice to see so many familiar faces, to share Anna’s excitement when she ran a 10K PR by 3 minutes, to watch Brittany win her age group, and see Robin take the overall win! Enjoying the flat, fast bike course! (Photo by Sean Dulany of Freeplay Magazine) Running by the ocean…one of my favorite things! (Photo by Andy Jessop) At Half Moon Bay, I was able to execute my race plan to a tee. It was one of those days when everything fell into place, which is a great feeling. I felt strong from start to finish, and hit my run splits exactly as my coach and I had talked about before the race. Races definitely don’t always go that way, so it’s fun to enjoy the times when they do. Next up:  A weekend filled with friends, fun, and racing at the Wildflower...

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Back on (the) Track

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Christine's Blog |

This year, I began my season with a 5000 meter race on the track. I absolutely love running on the track. I don’t know if I can pinpoint what, exactly, makes the track so magical… it just is. The first time I raced on the track was in elementary school. The Hershey’s Track and Field Games hosted a local meet every year, and one year my brother and I registered to compete. I’m pretty sure we did as many events as we were allowed, ranging from the softball throw to the standing long jump to the 200 meter dash. We didn’t have a team or club to train with, so my parents made up workouts for us. We would go on runs with them, do “wind sprints” on the street in front of our house, and even run repeats around a paved loop in the local cemetary while my mom timed us. When the meet got closer, my dad recruited one of our neighbors (who was involved in Masters Track and Field) to give us some tips. We walked to the high school stadium, and slipped through the gap in the fence for our first track “practice”… I remember learning how to stand so you could get a fast start, that you had to stay in your lane during your race, and that a staggered start meant some people got a head start but it would somehow work out fairly in the end. Running the 400m dash at the 1993 Hershey’s Track and Field Local Meet (the summer after fifth grade) 400m dash podium in 1993 (L to R: Sarah, Lauren, and myself). I am extra proud of our awesome outfits. Those track meets in elementary school were the beginning of my running career. I ran cross country and track in high school, and (even though I was focused on swimming) I managed to run a few years in college too. While the focus of my running has changed quite a bit over the years, one thing that has stayed the same is my love for the track. Somehow, stepping onto that rubberized surface changes everything. Toeing the line and waiting with anticipation for the sharp crack of the starter’s pistol brings back so many memories of track races over the years. I think that’s partly why I’ve started racing on the track again. Last year, I signed up for my first track meet in 11 years, and I had so much fun that I decided to do it again this year. The venue was the Occidental College Distance Carnival, and the race was the 5000 meter run. Last year, I could barely contain my excitement to be racing on the track again, and I went out way too fast and paid for it later in the race. Oops. 🙂 This year, I came back to the same meet...

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