Monday, December 28, 2015


Wow, I don't think I've ever gone this long without a blog update!  It's been months!  I thought I'd better sneak in one last post in before the year is over and 2016 is upon us.  Okay, here goes...

What have I been up to since the summer?  It seems so long ago now and almost moot!  I ended up doing one more race at the very beginning of August, the Chinook pro-chase triathlon, which was an Olympic distance race where my legs somehow forgot to show up.  The women were against the men and had a good head start, like a pursuit race.  Super fun format! I had a good swim and led the women out of the water, then proceeded to crash while mounting my bike (#rookiehour) and the rest of the ride did not improve from there.  I had absolutely no spark that day and struggled through the 10km run, finishing way far back from the leaders and miles from my potential.

Race ready!  At least my bike looked fast...

We stayed in a little cabin right on Sylvan Lake - the views were spectacular!

Me and the mother in law post-race!

After Chinoook, I decided to end my season there, as I was still dealing with a sore heel and a hip problem.  The rest of August was spent biking for fun with friends, doing a bit of running and some track workouts, and I took about a 2 week break from swimming.  

Late summer ride in the hot sun

Late August ride with Ailsa, my awesome training partner

Monday evening track workouts

October was a busy month with travel the first three weekends (combination of work and fun).  On October 9, Ashley and I flew to Louisville, KY to meet up with Ailsa, Barry, and a couple of my athletes who were racing IM LOU.  It was a fun trip, and I discovered that spectating and sherpa'ing an Ironman is exhausting work!  Lots of logistics to maneuver around.  The finish line was incredible, though, watching the emotions of athletes running down the chute to cross the finish.  Made me want to do another one!  Our crew did awesome, with 2 PB's for the veterans, great race for Barry's first ever Ironman, and a Kona qualifier for Ailsa in her first crack at the distance.  She's a natural! 

IM LOU's electric finish line in downtown Louisville

The following weekend, I drove to Banff for my future sister in law's bachelorette party.  My lovely sister drove in from Prince George for the weekend as well, and it was so wonderful to see her.  We had fun catching up!

A long run in Banff - which had been good at this point but then it went south pretty quickly as my hip became very sore and I had trouble the entire second half of the 90min run. 

After the hip problem resurfaced with a fury during that run in Banff, I took a week off running to let it settle, then went to see a sports med doctor a couple weeks later.  He thought it might be a tendinopathy or tendinosis of one of the hip flexor tendons, and advised backing off and taking a rest from running.  So I took a whole month off of running, the longest break I think I've ever had from running.  To be honest, I actually didn't mind at all!  I quite enjoyed the break, eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted (I always have to plan what I'm eating carefully around my runs), and instead focused on hot yoga, trainer rides, strength work, and swimming.  My hip improved a lot.  

Geoff and I headed to Arizona on Nov. 23 for a week, for a little vacay.  It was awesome, as always:

My first run back after my extended break - I went stupidly slow and easy and it was great!  Was so happy to be back running again. 

Swims in an outdoor pool in the sun are the best!

Deborah and did a fun little race while in Arizona on Thanksgiving.  It was a reverse triathlon, which consisted of a 2mile run, 12mile bike, and 400m serpentine swim.  It was so much fun!  I didn't bring my bike down with my, so borrowed Gord's old road bike.  And obviously I hadn't run for a month, so just went easy keeping my heart rate at 145 on the 2 mile run and let everyone go.  The bike was 3 loops of 4 miles, so it was fun with all the turns and passing people.  My favourite part was the swim! It was a long course pool, and you went up one lane and down the next until you made your way across the whole pool.  It was fun doing flip turns and pushing off under the lane rope.  I must have made a lot of ground in that short swim as I ended up 1st in my age group!  Deborah won her age group as well!  It was definitely a unique format and I quite enjoyed racing from the back and moving my way up through the bike and swim, as it's usually the opposite!  

Age group winners!

Coming up... looking forward to the New Year, less than a week left of 2015!  Also looking forward to my littlest brother's wedding on Jan. 2.  We have a few relatives coming from Great Britain.  My aunt is staying at my dad's house, and it's been so great to see her as it had been 3 years since I last saw her when I was in Belfast! We had a wonderful Christmas with the family and lots of the usual delicious food and goodies.  

In other news, I am very grateful to have been chosen to represent the awesome Coeur Sports team as an Ambassador for the second year in a row!  This is a wonderful team and community of incredible, supportive, and encouraging women.  I'm so happy to be a part of it!  

Friday, July 10, 2015

IMCDA - no regrets

So IMCDA has come and gone in a flash.  It was an incredible experience!  Geoff and I drove to Coeur D'Alene on the Wednesday before the race.  My lead in to this race didn't quite go as planned, but when does it really ever?  It's the bumps in the road that keeps things interesting and your ability to deal with and manage them is what shapes you as an athlete.

About 4 weeks before race day, my hip problem that I'd had under good control resurfaced and 3 weeks out I had to cut my last long run short.  I got pretty worried and had some concerns that I may not even be able to finish the marathon.  As I had planned, I raced the first mid week tri series race on June 9 (250m swim/5km bike/1.5km run x 2) which was great for some speedwork, then I raced the Westlock sprint tri on June 13 in miserable conditions (i.e. 9 degrees and drizzly). Again I used this as a great speed workout, since speed training was next to non-existent from my run training this year due to the injuries.  My hip was okay during these short races, but my heel pain unfortunately worsened after, so I cut the running back (not that I was even running a large amount! I didn't get the run training in I would have wanted - longest run was 25km and my biggest running week was about 3hr 45min).

Due to the flare ups of my heel/hip, I ended up doing a massive 3 week taper leading into IM, which in hindsight worked extremely well.

 Beautiful morning for a run in the Post Falls neighbourhood where we were staying - you had to get out early to beat the heat!

 This river was only about a 10min run from our house - so pretty!

Race week I did very little training (less than 5 hours), and my body felt completely rested.  I have never felt that good going into a race before!  I did short little workouts each day and my legs were feeling awesome.  Wednesday was a rest day as we travelled to CDA.  About 10 hours later, we arrived at our cozy ranch house in Post Falls, in a beautiful neighbourhood, which was around 10min to the race venue.  Ideal location to stay, if you're ever planning on heading to CDA.  

Such a beautiful location

My lovely TT machine ready and raring to go!

With the extreme heat wave that blasted its way into CDA, race day was looking to be the hottest day at 41C, so race start was moved an hour earlier.  There was some chatter and concerns the race was going to be shortened.  I was happy that this didn't happen!  Pro's went off at 5:30am, AG's started at 5:45am.  It made for an early day!  Alarm went off at 3:30am, my earliest ever wake up call for a race.  Although for all of my other typical races, I normally sleep very well the night before, I have never been able to sleep the night before Ironman.  This time was different, and I actually slept the entire night!  It was awesome.  I ate my usual breakfast of a hard boiled egg, toasted bagel with peanut butter, glass of juice and small coffee. However, I was only able to eat half of the bagel so I just ate a bag of GU chomps when I arrived at the race to make up for it.

Geoff dropped me off at around 4:30, and I was done body marking, setting up my bottles/nutrition on my bike, and dropping off special needs bags by 5am.  I felt like I had so much extra time, it was so strange!  I had plenty of time to do a little swimming around prior to lining up in the corrals for the rolling AG start.  I lined up in the sub 1:00 group a few rows back from the front, as I expected to swim somewhere around or hopefully under 54min.  

Swim - 52:48 (2nd amateur female OA)

The rolling start was okay, but I found there were a lot of aggressive guys who started around me.  They went out fast and were in the way for the first couple hundred meters, but then fell back.  My swim felt great the whole way through. The first stretch to the red buoy where we made the first left turn was quite crowded, and it wasn't until we made the turn that I found I had some more room.  I made sure to swim at a comfortable pace, and to 'race my own race'. I swam with a few guys and noticed one female just ahead and one just behind me .  After Lap 1 we had to get out and run through the arch on the sand then back in the water.  Lap 2 was good, but we started to catch slower swimmers, as well as some pro's (who were permitted to swim to the left of the buoys, and just inside the course), so lots of navigating and passing was required.  My right hand/fingers went numb during the swim for some reason, which was really strange as that's never happened to me before.  I kept trying to make a fist and shake it out, to no avail.  Out of the swim, I had no idea at the time of what my split was, but knew I was happy with how the swim had felt and I knew where I was in terms of my placing.

Swim exit - sorry for all the finisherpix proofs, but I don't have any other pics! I have a couple videos but can't get them to upload!

Bike - 5:43 (top 3 split in AG)

T1 was smooth and I was off onto my bike as first amateur female.  I stayed in this position until about 20km when another female amateur went by.  I let her go and raced my own race.  The bike was awesome, I felt strong and comfortable during the 180km.  I made sure to dial back the effort, and keep it comfortable. I was cautious and conservative.  I kept repeating to myself 'Don't be a hero on the bike' (thank you Geoff for that one), and 'Don't overextend', and of course 'race your own race'.  I honestly felt pretty awesome that day and could have pushed harder, but didn't want to risk the chance of a massive blow up on the run.  My bike computer was messed up near the beginning, showing that I was going 58 or 60km/hr, then it stopped working altogether as the magnet fell off.  So I just went by the clock on the computer and used time of day to approximate my split after the first lap.

There were a few big climbs, with the biggest on the I95.  On the first lap, heading back on I95 toward CDA, my right hamstring started to cramp up as I was climbing a big hill! I nearly panicked but quickly grabbed some gatorade and a salt pill and luckily it settled quickly.  Never had that happen to me in a race before, but thankfully that was the only time it occurred that day. All that training in the mountains I did last year to prepare for Lake Tahoe must have helped, as I felt really strong on the climbs.  It started heating up quite a bit on the 2nd lap but I was still feeling good.  I wore a DeSoto sleeve/shrug top (Geoff got it several years ago for one of his hot races) under my Coeur tri top, and this totally saved me from getting burnt.  I am pleased to report that I did not get any sunburn during the race!  I poured water on my sleeves and head at all aid stations.  

For my bike nutrition, I drank 4 of my own prepared bottles containing Carbo pro and either Nuun's or GU electrolyte tabs (250 calories and about 750mg sodium in each bottle), 2 of these bottles were in my special needs bag and I'd covered one with tin foil, and by the time I picked it up around Mile 63 it was still cold!  I drank a lot of water at aid stations as well as some gatorade, more on the 2nd loop.  I ate 2x Power bars Mixed Berry Blast (one each loop), a roll of Clif shot blox, and 2 or 3 Powerbar Performance blends (yum!).  Total calories was somewhere between 1800-2000 on the bike.  

Run - 4:38 (not sure of place, but way down there)
I maintained my position during the ride and got off the bike in 2nd place female amateur.  T2 was smooth, made much easier by all the incredible volunteers in the women's tent.  They helped me get my stuff out of my bag, helped me put on my shoes, and gave me a cold wet rag to wrap around my neck.

I felt pretty good when I first started the run, but that didn't last long.  I was able to run the first mile or two, then I started walking the aid stations.  Then I started walking between the aid stations.  It felt so hot out there!  Within the 2nd mile, my feet became soaked from all the hoses and water spray.  The spectator and volunteer support on the run course was phenomenal!  There were so many people out on their lawns cheering, blasting music, with hoses spraying runners as we went by. They were awesome! The volunteers at the aid stations were amazing, every time I went through one I just wanted to just stay put but kept pressing on.

My absolute favourite aid station was actually an 'unofficial' aid station somewhere between mile 5 and 6.  A bunch of people had one of those wading pools set up filled with ice, and cold waters, cokes, and other stuff, music blaring, and tons of people cheering.  They were so supportive! They dunked my hat in the ice water for me, which was completely awesome.  The atmosphere was electric, and the community and support during this race honestly tops all the races I've ever done.  It was spectacular!

Coeur gals got heart! 
My Coeur team race kit was fabulous, very comfortable and looks great too!  Thank you to Coeur for your support this year!  Also, it was awesome to see a bunch of other Coeur team members out there in their race kits!

My mantra for the run was 'Run when you can, walk if you have to' (not sure where I heard this, but kept repeating it over and over), and 'Run the mile you're in', and 'Be Tough'.  The run was so tough and painful, and long.  Every time a female passed me, I just continued on with my own race and didn't worry about it, I had no idea who was in my AG as everyone's numbers were washed off their legs by that point.  I walked a LOT, but felt I was walking along at a pretty decent clip.  Once I hit the run special needs bag at halfway, I stopped and put on some dry socks as my toes were already blistering, but it was pointless as my new dry socks became drenched as soon as I put my shoes back on.  I started on the coke just after the halfway point, then it was coke/water/ice at every aid station from there.   My legs were SO sore and every single step hurt on the back half of the marathon.

Once I hit the sign for Mile 25, I felt some relief as anybody can get through a mile, right?  I think the sign must have been in the wrong place, as it felt like the longest mile of my entire life.  It seemed to go on forever.  My hips and quads felt like they were almost cramping up and the simple task of putting one foot in front of the other seemed so challenging and hard to do.

But finally:

Thrilled to finally get to that magical finishing chute!  What a feeling!  I was so happy to see my time on the clock, and about 10min later I realized the clock had started when the pro's went off, 15min before we did :)

Final time = 11:21 (huge PB of 75min) 

I actually didn't feel too bad after finishing, a bit faint but went and sat down for a bit in the shaded tents.  I didn't end up needing the medical support at all.  After some time I was able to eat a piece of pizza, chips, and some fruit.  My legs were so incredibly sore, it was difficult to walk!

I found out later I ended up 4th place in my age group (F35-39), which was a podium placing (top 5 at Ironman events get an award)!  I went to the awards ceremony, and stayed for the rolldown for Kona spots just in case, but unfortunately missed a qualification by one place, as there were 3 spots for my AG and all the ladies above me claimed theirs.  Damn!  I had been hoping one of them had already qualified, but no such luck.  Oh well!  It's probably for the best as I shouldn't be training for another Ironman while still managing these injuries/issues, but it would have been pretty sweet to have qualified.  Kona wasn't really even on my radar prior to this race, as I wasn't sure how my body would hold up during the marathon without the run build that is necessary to perform well.  But I'm very pleased with how things turned out, and I have:


That feeling of crossing the finish line after pushing yourself all day and getting as much out of yourself as you could ever imagine in tough conditions, is truly amazing.

Overall it was a fantastic experience and a great trip!  Congrats to all those who toughed it out that day, it really was a race of attrition.  And huge thanks to Geoff for being my super supportive race sherpa :) xoxo

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Change of Plans

Wow, June already?   Spring is flying by and we're pretty much into full summer mode around here.  Last time I wrote I had mentioned my plan to race IM Texas was sort of up in the air due to injuries.  At the very end of March, I made the decision to transfer out of Texas and into Coeur D'Alene at the end of June, to give myself more time to prepare and hopefully get past the injuries.  I chose CDA as Geoff will be able to go down with me and we can just drive to the race.  

This turned out to be a wise decision and since that time, my training has been pretty consistent.  I've spent the past 8 weeks slowly building my running back, not to the level where I would like it, but to a level where at least I should be able to get through the race.  I don't have a very big running base to draw from this past winter and early spring, but here's hoping all the miles I put in last year training for Lake Tahoe will carry through!  

My hip has improved significantly in the past month, and aside from the odd twinge here and there, it is not giving me a lot of trouble.  Mainly all I have been doing is a dedicated stretching and rolling routine every night before I go to bed, for about 10-15min including stretches for the hip, calves, heel, foam rolling, which seems to be doing the trick.  My hip is unfortunately not perfect, by any means, and for some reason this week has started to act up, a little different pain than it was previously.  Grrr!  My heel unfortunately is still always sore, but overall it is not preventing me from running.  It doesn't hurt too much while running, but later that day and evening it will worsen a bit.  I am doing a good job of managing it and monitoring it, but 7 months of this crap is pretty darn annoying.  

Runnin' down a dream, wearing my lovely Coeur Sports trucker hat 

This is what I have been doing on a daily basis with my heel for the past month or so, at least a couple times a day, which has really helped to improve the pain, it hurts like a mother-f while doing it but it's what needs to be done, and has been the most beneficial in terms of breaking up the bunched tissue.  You have to put a lot of pressure on it and really dig in.   I've also been doing this same thing with the Trigger Point therapy ball and it definitely helps. 


Getting through that marathon in one piece is really going to be tough for me, not aerobically but in terms of my musculoskeletal system.  It's tough enough as it is when you are healthy and not dealing with injury issues!  Obviously it will require a lot of mental fortitude and strategy to keep on keeping on when things start to get really tough.  I have been thinking about that a lot lately and trying to formulate a plan of where I am going to draw strength from when my entire body is hurting and the legs and lungs are screaming at me to stop.  I think if you can go into it prepared to expect that these things are going to occur, that you will go through some really dark places during the race, then you will be better equipped to deal with them when they arrive. 

Lots of running has been happening on the beautiful trails in St. Albert

Overall, I am simply happy and excited that I am going to be able to race another Ironman!  This will technically be the 3rd Ironman in the past year that I have been registered for/attempted, and this one is going to happen!  The first was Lake Tahoe in September, and we all know how that debacle turned out.   The next was IM Texas, which I was registered and training for but didn't happen due to injury.  So... 3rd time's a charm, right?  And this also happens to be my 3rd ever Ironman.  CDA was also my very first Ironman back in 2006, and I have fond memories of that race and experience.  It was definitely a crazy day, right in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures reaching 36-37C, but I enjoyed myself out there and got through it in one piece, not doing too bad (12:35 - Swim :54, Bike 6:27, Run 5:05).

First OWS of the year on June 1 with two of my charges - Jocelyn and Ashley

Right now it's less than 4 weeks to go till race day.  I've got two really big weeks of training - this week and next week, and then 2 weeks tapering off.  I'm going to do a little warm up/tune-up race on June 13 - a sprint triathlon in Westlock, as well as a couple of the Mid Week Tri series races on June 9 and 16.  These are very short races and it is a brand new race series so always important to support the local race community.  Looking forward to these short little bursts of intensity!

Happy training!

Monday, April 27, 2015

SKINS compression - product review

I recently had the opportunity to try out some really cool compression gear from SKINS and wanted to share a review.  I've been wearing the Compression Recovery Tights from SKINS for several weeks now and so far I'm liking them!  These are awesome for wearing after tough workouts.

SKINS compression recovery RY400 tights

The recovery compression levels have been designed to improve blood circulation, to accelerate the recovery process, to increase muscle oxygenation, and reduce exercise-induced muscle damage, among other benefits.  In essence, to help you to recover faster.  SKINS has a lot of evidence-based articles on their website in regards to the science behind the graduated compression, so it is clear they have conducted a lot of useful research in designing and testing their garments.

Perfect for recovering and while I'm stretching and rolling

I've been wearing the recovery tights after tough sessions, and frequently wear them when lounging around the house.  I've even worn them to the pool in the afternoon after completing a hard bike session in the morning!  They're very comfortable with flexibility of movement, and as soon as you take them off, your legs feel awesome!  I haven't yet tried sleeping in them, but I may be inclined to do this very soon as I get into some pretty big training days for Ironman.  I think my legs would feel completely amazing in the morning after wearing the tights for a whole night.  I'll be using these as a recovery tool more and more as my training load increases over the next 8 or so weeks.

These tights are tight!  

SKINS also has a whole bunch of other compression gear, including calf sleeves, socks, tops, sports bras, shorts, capri's, tri shorts and tri-suits, and even thermal compression tops for those cold, miserable, snowy run days in the winter (which are hopefully behind us for the next while!).  They also have active compression gear, which can be worn during training to improve blood flow and circulation to deliver more O2 to the muscles.  The next item of SKINS I plan to get my hands on is the A400 3/4 length tight, which provide specific compression over the ITB and TFL muscles, exactly where I need the help!  I think these would be great to run in.  I'll let you know soon!

Bottom line, this gear rocks for recovery!

Happy Training!

Friday, March 13, 2015

The injured list

I've been back a few weeks now from a short little trip to Phoenix where I did some training and a half marathon, which I was absolutely not trained for.  I was able to nail down a really solid week of training while away.  Geoff and I flew down on Valentines Day, and didn't arrive at his parent's house until about 9pm.  My brother Donald from Calgary also joined us for the week, and it was awesome to see him and catch up.

The next morning, Deborah and I were up at 5am for the IMS Arizona half marathon.  I have never been so unprepared for a race before, in terms of training prep!  Since November, I've done only a handful of 60min runs, and a couple runs longer than 60 - one run that was 70min and a 75min run a week before the race.  I've been dealing with some injuries since the fall, including a mild plantar fasciitis in my left heel and a right hip problem.  The race went according to plan, which was to start very easy and run a comfortable pace, and hopefully be able to finish!  I ended up running a big negative split, with the second half 2 minutes faster than the first.  We went out super slow, and at the halfway point I was feeling pretty good so picked it up a little.  My overall time wasn't fast (1:48), but I was pleased with it and ended up 4th in my age group. [ In hindsight, I probably should not have done this race, as I've had a setback with my hip since I've been home :(  ]

The next 4 days after that race, my quads were about the sorest they have ever been. It was hard to even stand up on the bike.  I think the shock of running 13.1 miles on the pavement on my musculoskeletal system combined with my lack of run volume wreaked havoc on my poor muscles.  Ouch!  

 Deb and I post race on a picture perfect day

a little shopping at the outlets following the race

Nonetheless, I had planned out my training for the rest of the week, which included a lot of biking on my new ride.  It's awesome!  It not only looks pretty sweet, but it has a built in motor and everything!  Ha.  I was really comfortable on the bike, and knocked off a 150km ride on the Wednesday, and still feeling strong by the end of it! 

Taking selfies pre-ride the day after the 1/2 mary 

Loving the AZ sunshine

Enjoying a glass of wine before dinner with the hubby

 AZ sunsets are the best

Since I've been home from the trip, my right hip soreness worsened and I was limping a bit.  On a run two weeks ago, I had to start walking and ended up limping/hobbling back home, completing an hour.  Not good.  So the past two weeks I did some water running, a couple hours a week to see if that would settle things.  I went to the doctor and got a requisition for an injection, which I had two days ago.  It sounded like it was a greater trochanteric bursitis, which is why I got the injection.  This seemed to improve things and it is feeling better, but definitely not 100%.  One good thing is that my heel pain has improved and doesn't really hurt much at all any more.

So I'm on the injured list.  My plan of racing IM Texas on May 16 is looking a little grim at this point.  I tried a 20min run today, and it felt better than it has in a while, but I haven't gotten in any significant run mileage, and the race is only 9 weeks away.  My biking and swimming has been going very well, and I'm actually in good shape in terms of those disciplines right now.  But I'll see how this weekend goes, as I'm going to try a 60min run tomorrow and see what happens.  I have until the end of March to withdraw from Texas with a small refund, or transfer my entry to a different race.  This is new territory for me as I have never had an injury, in the 12 years I have been in this sport.  I think the significant training I did last year in preparation for Lake Tahoe, plus trying to train for another Ironman this year may be part of the cause, and the big volume week I did in Arizona maybe was a bit much.

I'm blaming it all on the fiasco of the Lake Tahoe race cancellation.  I was ready and prepared for that race, then didn't get to actually race, then I started to train again for another IM when I wasn't even  planning to do one this year. It's totally frustrating as it is one Ironman disappointment after another.  Maybe it is a sign that I should not be doing an Ironman? Hmmm.

In other exciting news, I got my Team Coeur race kit in the mail from Coeur Sports and it is gorgeous!  I will definitely be looking sharp and fast in this kit when I get to race next, whenever that may be...

Loving the pink!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My new ride

Happy New Year!!  Just wanted to share the details regarding my new bike.  So....I've had my new ride for a couple weeks now, and it's pretty awesome!  It's a sweet superbike, and although I'm still getting used to it and tweaking the position every so often, it should be fast once I can get it out on the open road (in February!).

Sleek, fast, and pretty - and unnamed as of yet

Okay, here's the breakdown:

Frame: Felt IA4 
Size: 51cm
Aerobar: Felt Dagger f-bend with nano base bar
Saddle: ISM Attack (this is what it came with but I plan to switch to the Cobb V-flow plus, which is what I have on my other bike.  I can't seem to get used to the ISM, even though I rode one of these a few years ago).  
Pedals: Speedplay
Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra dérailleur; Shimano 11 speed chain and cassette
Crankset: Vision 53/39.  I will soon be switching the cranks to Ultegra 172.5mm, (I have those cranks on order at Element). The current cranks are only 167.5mm and I'm used to riding 172.5.
Wheels: Felt TTR3

Since this bike is an 11 speed, and my Zipps are from 2008, they are not compatible in their current state.  I do have a few options: 
-change the hub and cassette on the wheels, which would likely cost around $500-600.
-sell the wheels and upgrade to newer ones compatible with 11 speed
-switch the bike from 11speed to 10speed (least attractive option)
-rent a rear wheel from Race Day Wheels (for IM Texas) 

At this point, I'm not really sure what I'm going to do but my first race isn't until May so I have some time to figure it out.  Renting a rear wheel for the race sounds like a good option, but that doesn't solve any problems for future races.  Anyway. 

 Getting all dialled in at Element - looking aerodynamic in jeans, cardigan, and Uggs 

I'll be able to get the new bike out on the open road in February, which will include a trip to Arizona with Geoff for a 1/2 marathon and lots of training, especially biking.  I haven't been running much, so not really sure about this 'race', but we'll see, as there are still about 6 weeks to go.  It will likely be a train-thru race.  I hope to get some long rides in that week and some good volume in the saddle.  Can't wait for some sunshine and warmth!  

Crazy to think that IM Texas is less than 5 months away. Ahhh!! Time to get serious.  I've got a good outline of what I need to accomplish over the next few months, and that includes a whole lot of trainer rides!  Lots of swimming as well, and I'll be starting to build up the volume in the pool now that it's January, with one long aerobic endurance swim each week.

Happy training!