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Scam Sale

On Wednesday, August 1, we learned we were victims of a scam. We purchased equipment for our studio (3 Air Assault bikes and 1 Concept 2 rower) from a company that claimed it sold equipment that had been used in CrossFit competitions.

We thought we were getting a deal. We didn’t realize it would end up with $1,200 lost and no equipment.

As a small, family operated business, we pride ourselves on routinely saving money to pour it back into our gym. Our never ceasing goal is to improve the training experience. Not only was this stolen from us, it was stolen from our members and our prospective members.

This loss, as of right now, significantly delays our “Studio Improvement To Do List”. With your help, we can recoup the loss and continue to give back to our members.

When life gives you lemons you make lemonade. What was meant to destroy, you instead rebuild it even stronger. Help us make sweet lemonade.

How can you help? By buying a lottery ticket and playing the Alamo 180 Scam Sale Fundraising Lottery.

How to Play:

  • Purchase a $25 ticket. Purchase your lottery ticket by sending money via PayPal to bree@alamo180.com and selecting “Friends & Family” for the money transfer. Direct link to PayPal: PayPal.Me/alamo180. You can also send money via Venmo to @alamo180
  • 4 chances to win: 
    • 1 winner will receive the Grand Prize of a FREE 3 month membership for themselves and a 3 month membership to gift to a friend* (value of $900)
    • 3 winners will receive an Alamo 180 t-shirt or hat of their choice (value of $25). 
  • Winners will be drawn on Facebook Live on Wednesday, August 15.

Fine Print:

  • Must purchase the ticket before the expiration date of Monday, August 13 at midnight to be eligible for the prizes.
  • *The friend that is gifted the monthly membership cannot be a current Alamo 180 member. Select one friend for the membership that is intended to be gifted. You can choose to gift both memberships, with each going to one friend each (both friends cannot be current Alamo 180 members). 
  • Grand Prize Membership applies to studio classes only (not triathlon or running).
  • Grand Prize Membership must be activated by Feb 1, 2019.
  • You can buy several tickets for increased odds of winning.

Good luck and have fun! May the odds be ever in your favor!

P.S. If you wouldn’t mind sharing our first FB live video, we would be so grateful. Thanks in advance! 

#makea180 Athlete Spotlight (March)

#makea180 Athlete Spotlight: Cleve Wilson

Age: 69 years young

Occupation: Realtor with First State Realty, LLC

 

Read his transformation story:

“I have always been actively involved with sports and sport specific training from an early age. Process of elimination led me into track and racing half-mile, mile and cross country. During those college years I had excellent coaching and learned that focused endurance training was the key to excelling in whatever races I competed in. There is no ‘shortcut’ to success in any sport if you expect to win.

After college, I started to run in the local road racing events during the 1970’s and 80’s. I loved to compete! Total running mileage and speed work translated into success again. At the time I saw little to no value in weight or strength training. I was lucky enough to train with the most famous New Zealand Olympic running coach of all time, Arthur Lydiard, telling us, ” Have you ever seen a deer lifting weights? If you want to be a great runner you need to RUN and running hills will give you all the strength you need.” So, 99% of my early years training was road and track running. When you are in your 20’s that is arguably correct but after 40 not so much.

As I got older, especially after 55, I noticed that running was so much more difficult and I was getting more and more injuries than I ever had before, not to mention getting slower and slower! Running was always so easy, why was it becoming such a chore?

Finally, it occurred to me that I was a bit heavier and my legs were not as lean and muscular as they used to be. My son-in-law, Jeff Soileau, kept telling me that I needed to start coming to Alamo 180 gym and begin strength training with him. He said that he could help me regain the strength in my legs, core and upper body that I simply lost over the years. Could he be right? What did I have to lose? I soon realized I had REALLY lost a lot of strength all over my body which was just a natural progression of aging.

When I started, I could not even do one “pull-up” and 40 simple squats were enough to end my productive day! I would limp around like the old man I was for two days! I have been going to the gym regularly for a few months over a year and have been training seriously for about one year. I have come a long, long way and
have been doing it in a slow, sensible progression. I have to admit that Jeff has been really good at tamping back my natural tendency to ‘push the envelope’ and made sure I do not overwork.

Because of strength training my running has really increased in mileage, average training speed and even racing speed. I am not having all the injuries and I have slowly dropped about 15 lbs. I feel years younger. I have regained my waistline and I am enjoying running again. I wish I had started doing weight and cross-training several years ago but at least I am doing it now while I still can. Today, I am most proud of my ability to do weighted “pull-up” sets and more than I ever thought I could do at my age. My new challenge is “The Torture”, Coach Jeff (I have other names for him), was so kind to visit upon me: Five sets of The Bulgarian single leg squats AND the weighted single leg deadlifts with 25 lb. kettle bell. These are, at present, the end of my productive day again, temporarily. Soon this torture will be routine and Jeff will invent another for me to conquer. Progress.

LIFE is only as good as your ability to enjoy it the way you want to enjoy it. I am
convinced that what I am doing for myself today is going to allow me to truly enjoy
the most of everyday I have left to live. I refuse to surrender to the aging process
without a fight. Think of what you have to lose and what the reality of that means.

See you at the gym.”

 

****

Did you read our February #makea180 Athlete Spotlight? Read the inspiring transformation story here!

December Newsletter

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Alamo 180’s December Newsletter! Lots of great things going on in the month of December!

Read up… http://conta.cc/2gqc5hF
P.S. Not included in the newsletter: we had to buy more weights and bars because we were almost running out in classes!
P.S.S. We also got some nice foam rollers for your muscles to love…or hate…or both…

Why YOU Should Pump Iron at IRON Class

The off-season is fast approaching. This is where triathletes want to log miles and miles of swimming, cycling and running and build a solid base for the next season. And where runners log miles and miles of running for their next big race. Good plan. Yes, it’s all about consistency.

But what about strength training? Where does it fit in? And do you really need it?

Most runners and triathletes believe they don’t need it. And they don’t need it…they NEEEEEED it.

Alamo 180 Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, Jeff, said it best, “you’re not a pair of legs running down the road, or a pair of legs climbing a steep ascent, you’re a total body moving forward.”

So if you are indeed a total body moving forward, make that the strongest body possible. And it’s not going to come from swimming, cycling and running alone. You need to lift some weights. And the time to do it is in the off-season. That time is NOW.

Let me break it down and explain why:

Force:

Let’s talk about force.  The force allows Darth Vader to choke dudes from across the room. Oh wait, oops, wrong force!  Force is the ability to overcome resistance. In triathlon, force is the ability to move effectively through rough water, on the hills, and into the wind. Are your limiters the ability to efficiently and effectively climb hills? Or swim well in choppy water? Or run strong on a hilly course? Or keep it all together at the end of your race?  If so, keep on reading.

Get better at pull-ups to get better at swimming

Get better at pull-ups to get better at swimming

SWIM:

If you can’t do a single pull-up, what makes you think you can swim at your best in smooth or even in turbulent water? You’re pulling the water with every stroke you take. You’re essentially doing pull-ups underwater. And if you have noodle arms, you’re not going to get far with much force. And if your core is weak, you won’t be able to remain stable and in control. You’re a total body moving through the water, not just a pair of arms, so make your body as strong as it can be.

BIKE:

Spending time on your bike and riding hills is one way to get better at climbing, the other part comes from what you do in the gym. If you want to get better at climbing, you need to build strength in your legs doing squats and deadlifts, and other leg exercises. When doing a standing climb, you’re using your arms and torso to help lift and move the bike, therefore you better have some upper body strength. Noodle arms won’t cut it (and bicep curls aren’t the solution!) Chest pressing and deadlifting will help you develop a strong upper body and low back, reduce fatigue, and setting you up for a faster run. You’re a total body on the bike, make it as strong as it can be.

deadlift!

deadlift!

RUN:

If your legs are weak, how are you going to effectively and efficiently run up hills?

Strength in the legs propels you up hills as well as gives you the added strength for those tough runs off the bike. You’re not a pair of legs running down the road, you’re a total body. Make you body as strong as it can be.

Chest press to get better at cycling

Chest press to get better at cycling

The time to strength train is now. It’s base building period and this is where you focus on building your endurance and aerobic capacity. And by adding in strength training to this phase, you will begin to produce faster paces at aerobic efforts (read: you’re still in zone 1 and zone 2 but with a faster pace!). And when in-season hits, you can scale back on strength training, spend more time swimming, cycling and running, and reap the athletic benefits from all your hard work in the off-season!

So why am I preaching strength training? Because it works. And honestly, if Jeff and I didn’t believe in the power of strength training, we would not have opened a studio with strength training equipment. We would have never taken that risk. Alamo 180 would just be triathlon and run training offered around town. Strength training works and you cannot be your best without it. Period. Not everyone on our team strength trains, but our athletes that do outperform those that don’t. And not that it’s a competition of who is better on our team, it’s just an observation and a fact.

It’s a personal decision and it’s one we can’t and won’t force on anyone. We won’t shove knowledge down your throat or fill your newsfeed, but we will present the facts and hope that one day you consider that strength training is the missing link to becoming your best.

It’s amazing what happens when you start moving around some weights. We encourage you to give it a try this off-season and get ready for an awesome 2016 season! We offer drop-in classes, class passes and monthly passes. We have options to fit any schedule and budget!

Oh…and strength training is not only effective, but fun, too! See!

Having fun post-workout!

Having fun post-workout!

Disclaimer: Our strength training classes are open to ALL athletes, not just Alamo 180 triathletes and runners. And if you’re following your own training plan, or your coach’s plan, we won’t force or guilt you into joining our triathlon or run group training. We are passionate about triathlon  and running and want you to enjoy it and get better. It’s doesn’t matter who you are training with, all that matters is that you’re training.

Kinesio Health by Aaron

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Exciting news!!!

The small office on the side of our studio is now home to Kinesio Health by Aaron Haspel.

We are currently updating the room – repainting, sheet rocking, changing out light fixtures, etc – but it’s fully functional!

Aaron has a incredible gift when it comes to understanding how the body works. He’s smart and very professional. We HIGHLY recommend his services! So much so, we’re excited and honored that we will be neighbors!

Why wait for an injury to happen? Get preventative care! Make an appointment! Got an injury? Make an appointment! He also does body taping as well.

Aaron Haspel, LMT

(806) 290-6435

Check out his Facebook page, too!

Sweat from the Heart: Bree’s IMAZ Race Report

I survived my first Ironman. Yes, I am using the word “survived” because that is what I did through the swim, bike, and run. It was not the race I wanted, nor the one I planned for, but it’s one in which I am so proud of. I have to honestly say that I didn’t enjoy the race, and for two days after the race, I was upset about that. I love this sport, it’s literally my life, and I didn’t enjoy my first Ironman – the race I have been dreaming of for 17 years. But then it dawned on me, how can you enjoy a race when during the swim you are purposely submerged by men, forget part of your nutrition on the bike and in a nutrient deficient state have to fight 25 mph headwinds and 40 mph crosswind gusts AND get a flat, and then on the run have your leg lock up and force you to walk? It sucked. I entered too many dark places to count. But I came out of them. And in the words of a local triathlete, Herb Abrams, he messaged me before the race and wrote, “remember for every dark place you enter, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.” I took those words to heart. I used them in all my dark places. His words were true to the very end – the finish line was so bright and it was my light at the end of the tunnel. I could see the finish line lights a half mile away and not once taking my eyes off of them, ran my heart out and with every painful step, I kept moving towards my light at the end of the tunnel. I crossed the finish line and heard the words that kept me moving forward for 140.6 miles, “Bree Soileau, You. Are. An. Ironman.”

My race was full of what I like to call, “beautiful lessons” and I plan to share them with you in this race report. I’m a coach, I can’t help myself. My passion is to help athletes have great race experiences. My hope is that it can help you in your next Ironman, whether it’s your first or fifth.

In the days leading up to the race:  Liana (my Alamo 180 triathlete who ROCKED her race with a 12:30 finish time!!!) and I arrived in Arizona onThursday. Upon landing, we ate lunch, and headed straight to Ironman Village.

imazironmanvillage

We picked up our packets and checked out the expo.  That evening was the infamous Underpants Run put on by a local tri team, but we were too tired and ran out of time to make it to the event. Disappointed, we decided to create our own version at home. It was one of the highlights of our whole trip. I literally laughed so hard, I peed my panties. True story.

On Friday, we did a swim workout in a pool, as to avoid swimming in Tempe Town Lake and risk getting sick. Last year when we volunteered,  the locals made a point to tell us not to swim in the lake before the race. We did as we were told and enjoyed a swim in a nice, clean pool. Liana and I wore our matching swimsuits and felt adorable as we swam up and down the lane.

matchiesatpool

swimgroup

On Saturday, we picked up our bikes from TriBikeTransport and did a 30 minute spin out ride on part of the bike course. Our legs felt great, we felt strong and ready. We racked our bikes in transition and headed home to rest up for race day.

Beautiful Lesson – This might be TMI, but I know one of you will encounter this. I had a nervous gut on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – as in the toilet and I became good friends. I should have taken more electrolytes during the day, because I know this affected me on race day. If I get another nervous gut in the days leading up to the race, I will drink Pedialyte. 

Race day:

Staying in our rental property were 7 other athletes. Two of them, Crystal and Bud, were our sherpas. They woke us up at 3:00am and had breakfast made for us. It was amazing to just wake up, get dressed and walk into the kitchen with a huge breakfast already prepared on the table. Our sherpas spoiled us the whole day.

Beautiful lesson – I didn’t enough for breakfast. I was so nervous, I couldn’t stomach food. I could only manage to eat one egg, one piece of bacon and a bite of a waffle. I had a half of a banana before the swim start, but it still wasn’t enough. I consumed less than I normally do on race mornings and this race was twice the distance. I plan to look into other sport drink offerings by EFS (my electrolyte brand of choice) in the event I can’t eat the morning of a race.

drive

Our sherpas, along with Doug and David, drove us to the race start. They dropped us off and we began prepping. Pre-race nerves were making my brain fuzzy, so my To-Do list helped keep me organized. This was the first time I did this, and I plan to make it a staple. I suggest you do it, too!

Wetsuits on and time to get started!

wetsuitson

Swim:

Being a fast swimmer, I planned to position myself in the front. At 6:45am, they let us get in the water, so in I went and swam the 200yds to the swim start location. The water was colder than expected. By 6:55am, none of us could feel our feet. It was mostly men up front and a few women. I was already getting kicked with size 13 feet in my shins before the race started, and that’s when I knew it was going to be a rough swim. My athlete, Liana, said it best after the race, “I don’t remember a swim, I remember a brawl.”

massstart

Gun goes off and within three strokes, a man looks at me, puts his left hand on my head, completely dunks me and attempts to swim over me. Unsuccessful, because when I came up, he was still on my right side. What happens next, still to this day surprises me – I put my right hand on his head, dunked him with more force than he did to me, and when he came up gasping for air, I screamed in his face (our faces were an inch from each other) “YOU ASSHOLE!!!!!!!” My response was appropriate, but it upset me. He was being an asshole, and very unsportsmanlike, but so was I. I was just as bad. For half of the swim, I was disturbed by that moment. When I finally shook it off, I take a left turn at the first turn buoy, and a guy next to me decided he needed a better look at the next buoy, and put his arm on my shoulder, dunked me in an attempt to get higher. I decided against yelling, “you asshole,” and instead yelled, “REALLY!?!” and swam on. The pack thinned out on the return side (it was an out and back swim) and when I finally got into a groove and was picking up speed, my right calf cramped. I couldn’t point my right foot and had to let it drag. After a few minutes, it let up. Then, my left calf cramped. And then, my right again. I just pretended I had a pull buoy between my legs and was doing pull sets in the pool. That mental imagery helped, but I knew those cramps would stick with me the whole day, and sure enough, they did. However, considering my calves cramped up, I am happy with my swim time. It was 3 minutes faster than I anticipated. I was so relieved to know I survived my first mass start. And hearing my team cheer for me, amazing!!!

breeoutofwater

Transition 1:

I am not used to getting help in a race, so I wasn’t prepared to have a volunteer next to me as I put on my cycling gear. I have a system – socks, shoes, helmet, sunglasses, nutrition, GO! My volunteer was trying to help, but she was really getting in my way. When I am in deep concentration, I am not vocal, so as I’m trying to put on my socks, she’s giving me a helmet. We weren’t a good team, and that’s not her fault. My order was off, and as a result, I left my second bottle of EFS in the bag. I didn’t realize this until mile 20 on the bike when I sucked down my first bottle and was reaching for my second, which wasn’t there.

Beautiful Lesson – vocalize your thoughts during an Ironman transition. So now I will say out loud, “socks, shoes, helmet, sunglasses, nutrition…” as I do each and that will help my volunteer best help me.

Bike:

I settled into a comfortable rhythm, and let the fast guys go. I got passed a lot in the first 10 miles, and I was fine with that. Too many athletes go too fast in the first part of the bike only to fade in the last miles of the bike and/or run. At mile 10 I thought my race was over. A guy came up on my left to pass me, but somehow his front wheel hit a traffic cone, and at 20 mph he completely flipped in the air. He landed on his back, and he and his bike came flying towards me and I missed going down with him by inches. In fact, I had to move far right, almost riding off the road, to avoid him. An athlete behind me said how I lucky I was. I was!!! That moment shook me up a bit.

At mile 20, when I reached down to get more EFS liquid shot, I realized I only had 1 bottle on me. The other got left in my T1 bag. Bike special needs was at mile 66, so I had 46 miles to ride without my race nutrition. I tried eating my peanut butter and honey waffle, but my stomach didn’t want it. I ate a few bites anyway knowing I needed calories. At mile 40ish, I took a gel at the hand-up station, and it helped some, but not enough. It actually upset my stomach. By mile 50 I was fading. Then I entered a dark place and stayed there for 16 miles steadily climbing uphill, going 11mph, into a 25mph headwind. I began ugly crying. I had thoughts of quitting. I was getting dizzy. It was bad.

For nutrition: I have a timer set on my Garmin watch for every 15 minutes. I assess how I am feeling, and either drink water, sip on my EFS sport drink, or take a squirt of my EFS liquid shot. This method worked for the first hour in the race and then for the next two hours, it was just my water and sports drink – which were not near enough calories. I certainly paid for it later, and I had no doubt that it would. Once I got my EFS liquid shot, I was able to get back on schedule.

Beautiful lesson – train with other types of nutrition just in case your priority nutrition is left behind or falls off your bike. Maybe even test out course nutrition during long workouts. When I became desperate, I used course nutrition, but my body wasn’t used to it and it actually upset my stomach. 

When I approached the special needs station, I said a quick prayer, “God, please give me the right volunteer for the job.” I pulled up, and a volunteer held open my bag. I grabbed my EFS and told him I wanted to quit. I was still ugly crying. He said to me, “no, you don’t want to quit.” And the volunteer next to him placed his hand on my shoulder, and said to me, “it’s the weather that sucks, not you.” Those words were a light at the end of my tunnel. He was right. I didn’t suck, I had trained for this. It was the wind that sucked, not me. I thanked them, and once the EFS got into my system and began working, I was feeling so much better.

Pee! Most people don’t share this in a report, but I will. I peed four times on the bike course. I made sure to look back first and with no one behind, let it out. For me, I have to visualize my saddle is a toilet seat. It helps. The process starts off with one drop, and after pushing hard (like grunting hard), it begins to all come out. A few minutes later, I push it out again. Yes, it’s gross, but it’s instant relief. Ladies, you have to raise your butt off the saddle, so there’s two methods for that – put your feet at the 3 and 9 o’clock position, coast, and lift your butt, and let it out 🙂  You can also have your feet at the 6 and 12 o’clock position, and move your butt to either side of the saddle and let it out 🙂 I used both methods successfully.

Beautiful Lesson – I packed extra items in my T1 bag, it’s always best to overpack, but my “priority nutrition” got hidden among the extras. Next time I plan to put neon orange duct tape on my “priority items” so they stand out. I can even tell the volunteer, give me the orange items.

breebike74

Around mile 80, I noticed my front tire was flat. Fantastic. I pulled over to change it. To my surprise, two men stopped to help me. I asked them, “are you sure?” and they responded, “yes, we aren’t getting PR’s in this weather, so we welcome the rest.” I wasn’t about to decline the help, so I said, “yes, please!” But, where I got my flat ended up being right by the sag vehicle, so two bike mechanics hopped out and changed my tire. They forced me to eat my food and stretch while they took care of my flat. This flat was a blessing in disguise because it forced me to stop and eat. With 40 mph crosswinds, it became dangerous on some sections to grab food and eat. You needed both hands on the bars to maintain balance. I witnessed athletes wreck trying to reach for nutrition and bottles. This was when I knew my Shiv was the best bike for the job. It has a hydration system in the down tube, so even during the crosswinds, I could safely remain aero, reach for the straw, and sip water. Anyways, turns out I got a desert thorn in my tire. 4 minutes later and I was back on the road. Another 32 miles to go before I would get off the bike and out of the wind. Finally, after what felt like forever, I saw the bike turnoff point and was overcome with joy to get off.

Beautiful lesson – take your bike shoes off before attempting to walk/jog to T2. I hobbled for a few steps before I realized the shoes needed to come off. Once I did, I moved with ease.

Transition 2: 

As I ran in, I yelled, “I don’t need help” as to avoid a repeat of last time. I sat on the grass, and while putting on my run shoes, peed. I grabbed my hat and visor, my EFS bottle, and sat up. I asked the volunteer, who stood by me the whole time, to put my items back in the bag. I thanked her and took off!

Run:

I got my left leg taped the day before the race (the one with the nagging ITB/TFL injury) in hopes it would prevent my leg/knee from locking up on me during the run portion. In training, by mile 15, my left leg would lock up and force me to stop. I hoped to avoid this by having it taped.

The first few minutes were rough, but soon I began to feel my legs. I didn’t look at my Garmin to see my pace, I just wanted to make sure I was listening to my body. My plan was to use the first 6 miles to hydrate, take in nutrition, and run conservative. I walked through each aid station – my method is to take 20 fast steps while I fuel up and then start running again. I could tell I wasn’t 100% on the run (because of a nutrient deficient bike and tired legs from riding 112 miles in hellacious wind), but I was still moving forward stronger than I expected. I saw my teammates (Barbara, Crystal, Doug, Bud, Frank, Mary and David) all along the run course, yelling and screaming, and it brought a smile to my face. They really were amazing! Best team ever! Later on I saw Herb and it was perfect. I wanted to tell him I was using his words of encouragement, but that would have to wait. All that came out was a smile.

Nutrition: I carry my EFS liquid shot in my hand and sip on it before I enter each aid station, which is one mile apart. I trained with a handheld bottle on my long runs, so on race day, I actually missed it. I think I might race with it next time. There were many times that one mile apart wasn’t enough as the air was very dry and I was needing to play “catch up” as best I could with nutrition. I began taking sips of Coke at mile 15, and at mile 22, got my first taste of chicken broth and it was heavenly. Only in an Ironman will broth and heavenly go together in one sentence.

breesmilehand

Mile 13 – yes! Halfway! Let’s pick it up! Mile 15 – my right leg begins to lock up. I actually laughed. My left leg was the one with problems the whole season. Ah well! And then I entered another dark place. I didn’t know if I would make it, I wanted to quit, and my brain was too tired to do math in figuring out how many miles I had left.

I knew I needed to run for something. Mile 16 I ran for Danae – my friend/athlete that survived breast cancer. Mile 17 became running for Monica Caban – a local triathlete that was hit by a truck training for this very Ironman 2 years ago. Those two miles went by but then I needed something else to think about. Then, I saw a sign that said, “If you got a divorce, you trained hard enough….but if you’re still married, your spouse is pretty awesome!” I cried happy tears. Jeff IS awesome. Cora, too. They sacrificed so much for me to train and race. I kept moving forward for them.  Somewhere after this sign, I saw Kris Cordova and Orissa Loftin. Kris’ bubbly personality was just what I needed. She asked how I was doing and I told her I felt crampy. She said, “focus on the fun times we had at Worlds.” So I did. For a good mile I thought about all the fun times we had together. Then, at mile 19, mile right leg was pissed. Mile 23, it completely locked up. I had to walk more than I wanted. And by mile 24, I figured out a way new to run – if you want to call running. With 2 miles to go, I gave it all I had, sucked it up, and ran towards the light. I could see the finish line in the distance and my eyes were glued to it.

Next, I see Bud. If you know him, you know he rarely smiles. The grin on his face was from ear to ear, and he was yelling, ‘C’mon BREE!!!!” and running alongside me up to the finisher’s shoot. This image is glued to my brain. It was an awesome moment!

Coming into the finishers shoot is an experience I will never forget. It was euphoric. Spectators cheering so loudly it was deafening. Lights so bright it was blinding. I was overcome with happy tears. I could hear my team yelling my name as I ran past. I came up to the finish line and heard the words I have dreamed about for years, “Bree Soileau, from San Antonio, Texas… Bree, you are an Ironman!” Wow. Simple words that change your life.

breefinish

finishlinegroup

I persevered through this race. I never gave up. I am tougher than I thought possible. I accomplished one of the world’s hardest one day events – a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run. It hurt, parts of it were ugly, but in the end, it was beautiful.

breewinner

I love this picture. It fits my coaching philosophy, “the winner is not the one who finishes first, but the one who doesn’t quit when things get tough.” I was a winner on Sunday. I not only survived my first Ironman, I also “won” it. 

And I believe anyone can do it. I witnessed it. The athletes that tow the line – ones you would never guess could finish such a grueling event – cross the finish to become an Ironman. It’s beyond incredible! Train for it and you can achieve it.

ironmanfinishers

Shout-Outs: 

Here’s my amazing village!

breecorajeff

I came down the escalator to a welcome party by my parents, Jeff and Cora. My family, to include my aunt Karen, have sacrificed so much to help me train. My family watched Cora nearly every day while I was gone. No easy feat with my firecracker! And my grandmothers, Granny and Momee, with more love, support and spending money. It takes a village to train for an Ironman. My village is quite awesome. I would add my dear friends to that list, too. They have supported me through words of encouragement. And my team, athletes that daily inspire me, inspired me to keep going. What kind of coach would I be if I gave up? I knew I needed to keep going for them.

Bicycle Heaven: This bike shop is another part of my village. I am so thankful Beau and Matt talked me into getting a Specialized Shiv Elite. The Shiv has been the best addition to my triathlon endeavors. I believe every triathlete should have one. In fact, I was selling the bike to one of the bike mechanics who was changing my flat. He asked how much I liked it and I said I LOVED it. He said he was trying to convince his friend (the other mechanic) to buy one over a Cervelo. I think I sealed the deal!

We Run San Antonio: I called Edgar Gonzalez a week before the race asking if he had Hokas in a size 9. He didn’t, but quickly ordered me a pair. They arrived just in time and thanks to him, my feet were happy during the marathon. And these shoes are amazing for running on tired feet. They plan to be my Ironman staple.

Sherpas: Our sherpas were amazing. I cross the finish line, and Bud and Crystal already had my bike returned to TriBikeTransport, our race bags picked up and put in the van, so all Liana and I had to do was hop in the van and head home. They picked up dinner for us, had an ice bath ready, and spoiled us with love and champagne. This is our new Alamo 180 tradition!

champagne1

Liana Torres: My athlete ROCKED her first Ironman! Her overall time was 12:30!!! During training, I told her she would go 12:30 or faster, and she did. For months she didn’t believe me, but I called it, and I was right! She knew it, too, when she was about 6 miles away from the finish. After the race, she said, “yeah, Bree you were right.” The training plan I gave her was aggressive. We have worked together for years and have a great athlete/coach relationship. Her goal was to finish, but as a coach, I don’t want an athlete to “just finish” I want them to “finish strong.” I also knew she was stronger than she believed. In her plan, there were lots of miles, lots of bricks, and lots of speed intervals. All those speed interval sessions on the bike paid off when it required a lot of force to pedal through those headwinds. The taper was perfect, too.  She never felt flat, nor did she feel tired from being over-trained — ever! She was strong and ready to go on race day! As a coach, I am beyond proud and happy for her!

lianarace

So what’s next? 

With all my lessons learned, I can’t wait to put them into practice and sign up for the next one, but I plan to race full Ironmans every other year. My family is important to me and I need to make sure I am there for them. Ironman takes up a lot of training time, so I need to make sure I don’t keep taking from my family. I need to give back. Liana and I have planned to race Ironman Texas in 2016, but in the meantime, we will do some local sprints, Olympics and Half Ironmans. And during my 2015 season, I will work on my muscular imbalances to avoid another injury, and probably race Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs again to practice riding in the wind. I hate wind – with a capital H – so I need to toughen up and sign up for races that are known to have it. To get stronger, I need to face my fears – my fears of wind pushing me a foot or two to the side. For now, I plan to lay low, build my coaching business, and begin designing custom training plans for my athletes. In 2015, I have 5 athletes that will tow the start line of their first full Ironman. Another 10 will do a spring Half Ironman, and countless others doing sprints and Olympics. It’s going to be an awesome, busy year for Alamo 180!

Thanks for reading my very long race report. I hope it helped you! I welcome questions, so if you need clarification, or want to run ideas by me before your next Ironman, hit me up! I left out a lot because it’s hard to condense every single detail that happened over the course of an 11:23:02 Ironman. bree@alamo180.com or 210-371-6515.

Sweat from the Heart: Ironman 70.3 Worlds Race Report

Sweat from the Heart: Bree’s blog on Coaching, Racing and Life.

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Ironman 70.3 World Championships Race Report

I had the race of my life on September 7, 2014. I say this for many reasons: my mind was in the right place, my nutrition plan was solid, and I made an effort to enjoy every moment- even the ones that hurt. Having fun, fueling right and staying positive are all prescriptions for a good race.

I’m a coach, but also an athlete, so, this report will have two perspectives: sharing my experience as an athlete, as well as a coach. Annnd this report will be lengthy. Consider yourself warned 😉

How I Qualified: This is how it all started! I won a slot to Worlds from my second place finish at Buffalo Springs. There was one slot awarded to the Women’s 30-34 age group, and since the first place woman already qualified for Worlds at another race, it rolled down to ME!!! So there I was, two years since my last race, having just finished my second Half Ironman, and I was going to Ironman 70.3 Worlds!!! With financial support from friends and family, I was able to afford the trip. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your love and support.

Worlds Qualifier. What a blessing!

Worlds Qualifier. What a blessing!

Training: I feel this part is important to share because a race report has everything to do with the training and preparation leading up to the race. I especially want to share this, because I was injured going into Worlds.

For four weeks after Buffalo Springs, my training was going well. I was hitting my time goals, logging in lots of miles and feeling strong. During this time I was training for both Worlds and Ironman Arizona. My confidence was increasing and I was feeling certain I would get a PR at Worlds. I wanted to go sub 5:22 (essentially beating my time from Buffalo Springs). Then on a long run one Sunday, everything went south. And it stayed south. Four weeks from Worlds and I couldn’t run. My ITB and TFL were pissed and the pain was so bad that my left knee could not bend. I figured a massage would fix it and I would be back to running in a few days.

*4 weeks out: I took one week off from running and just swam and rode my bike. I also got a new bike fit.

*3 weeks out: I tried to run, but 16 minutes into my run, pain would set in and force me to stop. So, I didn’t run the rest of the week, just swam and rode my bike. I saw Aaron Haspel, an Active Release Therapist, as well as Dale Londos, another Active Release Therapist. Both are talented in their own way and both helped me tremendously! I also made an appointment with Savitri Frizzell  for Neuromuscular Therapy. She, too, helped me. She gave me stretches to do as homework and I did them religiously at home.

Aaron taped me after our first treatment

Aaron taped me after our first treatment

*2 weeks out: Tried to run again, and this time I made it 20 minutes until the pain would set in and force me to stop. I figured this was progress. {Honesty here: I was beginning to lose hope I could run at Worlds. It took A LOT of effort to remain positive and have faith. Especially when you have to walk back to your car feeling defeated from a run you couldn’t finish}. During this week, I did acupuncture from an Acupuncturist named Leslie, saw my chiropractor, Andy Moore, and bought new run shoes from We Run San Antonio. I was hoping I could do more training this week, such as swimming and cycling, but this week Cora didn’t have school, so I only got to workout TWICE. Twice. I was not happy.

acupuntrure

The needles didn’t hurt!

*Race Week: The last attempt to decrease the inflammation and pain, I tried CryoFit. This, too, helped and the pain was significantly decreasing. At this point I could run 30 minutes until pain would set in. Progress, but not 100%. Also, this week, I ran with the Solers group from the Broadway location, and as I was walking back feeling defeated because I couldn’t run more than 30 minutes and knowing I would be racing in 7 days, Paul Baltutis recommended I try a pair of Hokas. Now for a month I have refused this shoe. Edgar from We Run San Antonio encouraged me to try it, but I always refused. I am clumsy and with a shoe that has me several inches off the ground, I knew I would trip over my own two feet. But at this point, I was desperate and figured it was worth a try. I ran for 5 minutes, after my painful 30 minute run, with minimal pain at a sub 7 minute pace!!! I was amazed. Since the shoe was one that was returned from someone that didn’t like it, he said I could borrow it and give it a try. Eventually this shoe became my race shoe.

SO COLD!!!

SO COLD!!!

So during the month before Worlds, I ran 7 times. My longest run was 34 minutes. This doesn’t give one much confidence going in a triathlon race that includes a half marathon run.

Mental State in the weeks leading up to the race: I had moments of being positive and believing things would go well, and then moments of being negative and feeling like all was lost. I finally had a moment of clarity and realized that I would not get better if I kept focusing on the negative. A negative mind is not going to help my body heal. So, I focused on what I could do – swim, bike and walk – and made a race plan that included doing all three as fast as I could. And to enjoy the fact I was on the race course at Worlds!

Travel: My travel/race buddy was Kris Cordova. I first met her while waiting in line in a small conference room to register for Worlds. We made plans to travel together, share the expenses, as well as the experience. Smartest decision ever!!! Not only was it our first time going to Worlds, but we had so much in common, and had so much fun together! We laughed and laughed at just about everything. And this continued the whole weekend, and even after the race, in which we would get painful side cramps from all the belly laughs with sore muscles. I have never had so much fun traveling on an airplane and riding hours in a car. So. Much. Fun! I can only hope to do another race with her!

Too much fun! Seriously! We felt like kids!

Too much fun! Seriously! We felt like kids!

You never know when you need a helmet! ;)

You never know when you need a helmet! 😉

Pre-Race Preparations:

Friday: The day started with breakfast at the Mont-Tremblant Village. We ate at a quaint cafe that served delicious coffee. Upon ordering, we learned they had a coffee boat on the lake. Once we heard this, we couldn’t wait to swim to it! This will go down as my all time favorite swim. Seriously. We put on our wetsuits, snapped a few pictures of our cuteness, and jumped in the water and started swimming towards the coffee. Hanging on the boat and drinking the coffee was the coolest thing ever! The whole experience was amazing: clear water, gorgeous mountains, triathletes left and right, perfect weather, warm coffee in cool water, the list goes on. This was an incredible, unforgettable swim experience!

Ready to swim for coffee!

Ready to swim for coffee!

Friday Packet Pickup: The lines were long, but we didn’t care. It gave us a chance to meet people and talk about our favorite thing – triathlon. This was also our first chance to really check out the Village. It was so beautiful.

In the village, and on part of the run course! That hill was NO JOKE!

In the village, and on part of the run course! That hill was NO JOKE!

Friday Athlete Dinner: The food was free (it was nice to give our wallets a break) and surprisingly delicious. Salmon, chicken, salad, and steamed vegetables. The presentations were in French first, then English. It was so neat to hear French spoken as the primary language. All of this really made this race feel like the World Championships.

An Alamo 180 triathlete and dear friend, Mary Evelyn, made plans to come and cheer for me at Worlds. She told me that it’s important to have at least one person at a race cheering for you and offering support. She was right! She arrived Friday evening after the Athlete Dinner and I was so happy to see her face. She ended up being the best Sherpa any athlete could ask for. Love her to pieces!

Our Sherpa, Mary Evelyn!

Our Sherpa, Mary Evelyn!

Saturday Bike Ride & Race Bag Drop Off:  We picked up our bikes from Tri Bike Transport and took them out for a 20 minute spin. This loosen up ride was a little scary. Okay, a lot scary. It was raining, the roads were narrow, and there were so many cars coming into and out of the Village, that it made it difficult to safely share the road. Most of those drivers were distracted, so it made for a nerve-racking experience. Dawn told Kris to ride the last section of the bike course – the hilliest part – and to practice the descents. Good idea. I tagged along. We turned left after the traffic circle, as instructed, and headed down the road, which turned into “up the road” and then up, and up, and up. So far up, we stopped in our tracks. The hill was insanely steep and it kept on going. Our heart rates were through the roof and our legs were burning. And we figured this hill was one that we had to ascend AND descend during the race. We were not happy. We both have trepidation on steep descents with switchbacks. And on this day, it was wet. My tires were slipping as I descended the twisty hill. Cars were speeding up the hill and all I could invision was crashing into them as I came down. But I didn’t. I lived! However, this hill would visit me again race morning. Not happy. At least for me, this practice ride did nothing to boost my confidence (which was already low due to my running injury). But I had to let it go. We racked our bikes in transition and set up our T1 and T2 bags.

Stopping for a quick pic!

Stopping for a quick pic!

Setting up t2 bag

Setting up t2 bag

Mental state the morning of the race: As I stood on the beach, with two minutes until my wave started, my new race plan came to me like a bolt of lightning: “to live in the moment with confidence.” To me, it was so beautiful, tears swelled up. It was perfect! I didn’t need to worry about how my bike ride would go, I didn’t need to worry if I could run or not, I just needed to focus on the moment I was living in. This motto gave me an overwhelming sense of peace, and I was 100% ready for that cannon to go off.

Swim: I am pretty sure I was the only athlete wearing a sleeveless suit. I did feel a little out of place, but then again, I overheat in the water, so I wore my suit with confidence (again, my motto!) This suit choice ended up being perfect. The water temp was 65 degrees, and with the fast pace, I quickly began to warm up. If I wore a long sleeve, I think I would have overheated. The start was a running beach start. It wasn’t as aggressive as others I have done, but the pace was FAST from the moment the cannon shot. By the time I got to the second buoy, I was tired. At that moment I began to doubt if I could hold the pace. From reading the swim map the day before, I knew there were 16 buoys. With 14 more to go, and the fact I was getting tired, I needed a plan. To save energy I needed to find someone to draft off of. And then the opportunity struck: I kept feeling hands touch my feet. This went on for about 100m. I said to myself, “I need to be the one drafting, not her!” So I moved far right and slowed down a bit. She passed me on my left, and then I picked up the pace to stay on her hip. She was sighting and swimming straight, so all I had to do was breathe and watch her hips. I could settle into a rhythm and count down the buoys. All of this saved precious energy. When I saw the finish, I kicked harder to wake up the legs and ran out with a smile on my face knowing I had a great swim! This was my fastest swim yet, and my triceps were on fire. They didn’t let up until mid-way through the run. In my years of racing, I have learned that you can swim fast and still have energy to bike and run well. Don’t be afraid the push the pace.

The girl in front is who I drafted off.

I drafted off the girl in front of me. It was so magical I added her picture to my report 🙂

T1: This was the longest swim-to-bike transition I have ever done. While there was red carpet, we were still running on hard asphalt. We made our way into the tent to grab our bike bag (that contained your helmet, bike shoes, sunglasses, and any other bike clothing). Once you grab your bag, you have to run to the other side of the tent to the chairs to get prepped. I wore socks to keep my toes warm as the temperatures were in the high 50’s. The sun was coming out, so I knew I would eventually heat up,  so I wore just my tri suit. Kris and I talked all morning about what we would wear, and since we couldn’t decide, we packed the arm warmers, jacket and beanie in the T1 bag just in case. It’s always good to overpack and decide in the moment.

Bike: I love my Shiv so much that I couldn’t wait to get on it! 🙂 The bike course was either up or down. It was not flat. Many of the roads were narrow, and in fact, there were sections of “no passing zones” (that no one obeyed) and with thousands of athletes on the course, it became difficult to safely navigate, especially on the turns. I was the fourth swim wave, and out of the water in front of a lot of men, so I knew I would be passed by them on the bike. What I didn’t expect were the many pelotons taking over the course. These men, forming groups of 100+, sounded like a swarm of bees coming from behind with no regard as they engulfed you. My first experience with it was while making a sharp right turn at the bottom of a hill. As I was trying to make my way left to take the turn, a group of 100+ men passed me and shoved me so far to the curb, I thought I was going to crash. I became angry.  And again, when trying to pass a girl up a hill, I looked over my shoulder to see another group coming up behind me. I slowed down and waited for them to pass, before I proceeded to pass the girl. I must have had 4 different peloton groups, of 100+ riders, pass me. The drafting on this course was unbelieveable. It made me nervous and I had a hard time trying to stay focused. But then, I remembered my motto, and kept saying it over and over. In retrospect, what I should have done, and what I will do in the future, is hold my ground. I will not let them push me to the side, I will make a pass when I need to, not wait for them to pass me first. I need to ride more aggressively. And if I get stuck, I will use that as a time to fuel up, take a deep breath, and remain positive. I love all these lessons races teach you!

Riding through the towns was an amazing experience. Hearing the locals cheer for you in French makes you feel like a total rock star. I felt like I was in the Tour de France. And several times I was overcome with happy tears. I knew how much of a gift this experience was.

Gorgeous countryside!

Gorgeous countryside!

The last 10 miles were no joke! Up, down, up, down. Wow! You had to get out of the saddle for many of those hills. It was on this section I learned I needed to practice my descents. I would pass athletes on the hills, only to lose them on the descents. I didn’t let it bother me. I just told myself to add that to my training plan as it’s an obvious “limiter.” Ha! So in my trepidation on the twisty descents, I told myself, “live in the moment with confidence.” It really helped.

Oh, and that hill we rode the day before the race….was never part of the race course! Ha!!! We went the wrong way. Once I learned that, I became more confident 🙂 I also had to laugh at myself. How ridiculous!

I never had to pee on the bike. I peed while I sat in transition (on the floor, not the chair – that would be rude and gross).

As far as nutrition, I drank water and EFS drink every 20 minutes. I took my EFS Liquid Shot every 40 minutes. I brought with me gluten free bread with peanut butter and jelly. I also had a Snickers bar with me. I bring solid food at every workout and race just in case I cannot stomach my liquid nutrition. It’s always best to be safe and pack more than you need. Eating/drinking early and often ensures you don’t get into a nutritional deficit. Once you become dehydrated/hungry, it’s almost impossible to reverse it.

T2: Jumping off the bike and having a volunteer take my bike off my hands made me feel like a pro. I ran to my run bag, grabbed it, and ran over to the chairs to get prepped. I sat down on the astroturf and peed. I’ve done both methods – peeing while on the run course and peeing while seated in transition, and I have to say, peeing while sitting is the way to go! And my shoes don’t stink 🙂 I grabbed my Liquid Shot (a new, full one) and took off running.

Run: I knew going into the run that I was injured. I also knew that I had only run 7 times in the past month. I was having doubts, but I focused on my motto, “live in the moment with confidence.” My pace was fast from the start.  I was faced with a difficult decision: slow down and be conservative in hopes I can run the whole distance, or maintain the fast pace and live moment by moment. I decided to follow my motto. In that moment, I felt strong, so I kept going. Every few minutes I would begin to doubt, but I told myself to focus on the moment I was living in. The future was not in the moment. The future was also the unknown. I needed to focus on what I knew – that I felt strong and needed to keep moving forward with confidence. By mile 6, I began to feel my TFL and ITB, but this was also when everything hurt 🙂 I told myself, “the fastest way to end the pain and get off the run course means to keep running fast.” So I gutted it out and kept running. The run course was not easy. It was either up or down. My mind started to wander, pain was setting in, and negatives thoughts were filling my mind. At this moment, I knew I needed to focus on positive things. The run course was the route we traveled all weekend from our condo to the Village, and back. I decided to break up the course with special landmarks: running to Moore Lake where we took pictures, running to our favorite dinner spot, running to our favorite breakfast pub, running to the library, running to the boats were we took pictures on our bikes, running to the Village, etc. All the hilarious memories associated with each kept me thinking about the positive despite the pain.

My expression says it all. I was hurting!

My expression says it all. I was hurting!

Each time I ran over a timing mat, I could see faces of fans from back home. I knew I was being tracked, and it helped so much. It was like virtual cheerleaders. I imagined the cheers, the words of encouragement, and the jumping up and down. It kept me going. So thank you!!!

This was imprinted on my mind

This was imprinted on my mind

As far as nutrition, I sipped on my EFS Fuel shot every 10 minutes, or so, and drank water at each aid station. By mile 8, I began drinking coke. It was the perfect pick-me-up! I looked forward to each aid station after mile 8 as I knew I would get coke. To make my time most efficient, I sucked down my EFS Fuel shot minutes before each aid station, so all I had to do was grab water and drink while I was running. This method proved to MUCH better than trying to take my fuel and drink water at the same time. A few times, I would sip on the EFS Fuel shot only to have a hard time swallowing it. So I would just let it sit in my mouth until I could grab water to wash it down.

I loved seeing Dawn and Kris on the run course! I helps to see familiar faces and cheer for each other as you pass by. Coming through the Village the first time (we had to go through it twice) gave me a burst of energy when I saw Mary Evelyn’s face. She was so happy to see me and that joy gave me positive energy. Seeing her the second time was icing on the cake. She yells out, “Bree! You did it!! You’re done!!” And I was. I had 200m to go!

Finish: Running down the finish shoot was a moment I will never forget. That’s when it occurred to me I had the race of my life. I had let go of fear and doubt and replaced it with confidence. I had lived in every moment and forced myself to find the positive amidst the pain. I crossed the line and the first thing I wanted to do was look at my time. I saw 5:08:14 and cried. I cried so much that an athlete next to me asked, “are you okay?” I said, while crying, “yes, I am so happy. These are happy tears. I was injured going into this race and didn’t think I would finish, but here I am, and I beat my time goal!” We came up to the finishers medal section, and as I reached out to grab my medal, a volunteer told me, “no, I want to put this medal around your neck.” It was a beautiful moment. And the person I wanted to see was Mary Evelyn. I went searching for her and eventually we found each other. I fell into her arms. She congratulated me and kept saying over and over, “I’m so proud of you. You did it.” I kept saying, “I can’t believe I did it!” I’m sure other things were said, but I don’t remember. We were both crying. It was such a beautiful moment. One in which I will never forget. Thank you Mary Evelyn for being there for me.

Amazing moment!

Amazing moment!

We headed back to look for Kris and she was ROCKING it at she ran down the finish shoot! Gorgeous smile and looking strong!

Recovery: Kris and I both agreed, everything that we could have done wrong for recovery, we did it. The food after the race consisted of broccoli, celery, and cauliflower (how in the hell are we supposed to eat that!?) and pasta (I’m gluten-free). So I grabbed chocolate milk, a coke and water. I wanted food, but there was nothing appealing. We grabbed all our gear, and headed back to the car. We showered off at our condo, celebrated with champagne, and went to a pub in the Village. I had a margarita with a burger (with lettuce as the bun). Then, a decaf coffee with a shot of Baileys in it. We woke up hungry in the middle of the night, but there was no food in the condo. We woke up at 5:45am to be out the door by 6:15am to make the 2 hour drive with rush hour traffic to be on time for our flight (which included returning a rental car and customs). We didn’t have time to stop for breakfast. It wasn’t until 10am that we could eat something. This was a long time to go without food. And right now as I type this report, I still feel drained. It’s taking me too long to recover, too long, and I know it’s because we were nutritionally deficient after the race.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Welcome Home Celebration: 

I was floored, honored, and humbled to have my Alamo 180 family waiting for me and Kris at the airport. When we came down the escalators, there they were with flowers, balloons and cards to congratulate us both on a strong finish! I love my Alamo 180 family so much and this was the perfect way to end a perfect race/trip.

Best homecoming ever!

Best homecoming ever!

Bragging Rights!!

My hubs – Thankful for my husband Jeff supporting my personal passion for triathlon. I would be gone for hours and hours and he would watch our daughter so I could get in the miles I needed. He gave me massages, cooked dinner, took Cora out of the house so I could nap, and supported me in any way I needed. Thanks babe! He would have been at Worlds if not for having to teach classes at the studio. Love you!

Race Week – my parents, my aunt Karen, and Crystal and Doug Tomlinson, all took turns watching Cora while I was gone and Jeff was working at the Alamo 180 studio. This is huge because Jeff leaves the house at 4:45am to teach the 5:00am class, so Cora spent the night at their houses on rotation.

Cora – for enduring everything like a champ!

Mary Evelyn – for buying a plane ticket and flying to Worlds to cheer/support me. I thanked her so many times, she finally told me, “stop thanking me!” Ha! Having her there with me made the trip feel even more special. It was fun getting to spend some quality time with her.  Thank you Mary Evelyn (this is the last time I thank you – I promise 😉 )

Reflection:

Things I did right:

1. Rested when my body needed it. Even though I was getting treatment, the fact I stopped running and rested my body helped the healing process. It paid off better than I thought possible.

2. You can’t go wrong with a motto that forces you to live in the moment with confidence.

3. Wearing brand new run shoes in a race isn’t wise, but when the shoes you had before were causing problems, it’s the best option. The Hokas are the $%*#

4. Going into the race with a plan. Don’t make one up as you go. This is a prescription for disaster. It’s hard to come up with a solid plan when your body is tired and your brain is fuzzy.

5. Keep moving forward, even when everything hurts, because it’s harder to start back up once you have stopped. The faster you run, the sooner it’s over with.

6. Overpacked my T1 and T2 bags because you never know what you might need.

7. Put my both run shoes and bike shoes in ziplock bags inside the T1 and T2 bags to ensure the rain would not soak them throughout the day and night (it had been off and on raining).

Opportunities for improvement:

1. Practice descending. I lost a lot of time here.

2. If groups of riders blast by me, I won’t let it anger me, or event startle me. I will instead focus on my goals.

3. I will hold my ground on the bike course. I will watch my line and own it.

4. I will pack a post-race care package after every race. So if we wake up hungry, or I need a snack, I will have it.

5. Make sure I am going the correct way if I’m going to practice part of the bike course.

So what’s next? I am taking this week easy to ensure I am fully recovered. I will go back to the chiropractor, get a massage, and another acupuncture session. Beginning next week, I will pick my miles back up, but conservatively. Ironman Arizona is just around the corner. Race day is November 16th.

A the last bit of advice to leave you with: rest is hard to do. It’s hard for athletes to slow down, take time off, and heal. We don’t like being injured. We feel like failures. But, the only time we are a failure is when we don’t listen to our body. We are not invincible. If our body needs to heal, we need to give it the opportunity. I am living proof that taking time off, even a month, doesn’t mean your race is over. You can have doubts, that’s normal, but you can’t let them control you and negatively affect your race. Remain positive, live in the moment, and have faith!

Contacts: 

Here are the phone numbers to all the professionals that helped me get race ready. When I added up how much I spent, it was a bit shocking, but then again, you’re already invested in the race, so you have to do it. Each was worth every penny!

  • Aaron Haspel, ART: 806-290-6435
  • Dale Londos, ART: 210-860-2010
  • Savitri Frizzell, Neuromuscular Therapist: 210-558-3112
  • Bicycle Heaven (Alamo 180 sponsor bike shop): (210) 342-2453
  • We Run San Antonio (Alamo 180 sponsor run store): 210-698-7600
  • Leslie, Acupuncture: 210-967-4400
  • Andy Moore, Chiropractor: 210-525-9063
  • CryoFit San Antonio: 210-858-8487

Basic Beginner Series: Weight Training

Dates: Saturdays: April 5, 12, 19, 26  training right

Time: 12:30 to 2:00 PM

Location: Alamo 180 Training Studio

The Basic Beginner Series is a 4-week class series designed to provide a foundation on which to build your strength training practice. We’ll cover the basics of how to properly utilize your breath, find correct alignment, successfully lift and move weight, and how to properly and effectively modify common weight training exercises.

Cost: $75 (must purchase as series)

Each class is taught by Josh Sandoval, a CrossFit certified coach. He’s an expert in weight lifting, excellent at cuing proper form, and teaches in a supportive and encouraging manner. We LOVE Josh, and we think you will, too!

Learn the ‘WHY” and “HOW” during the Basic Beginners Series: Weight Training. Strength train with confidence!

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Sweat from the Heart: Quit or Conquer

Sweat from the Heart: Coach Bree’s blog on training, racing and life.

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I’m not just a coach, I am also an athlete. I think the very thoughts you probably think. I experience the fears you probably experience. Why am I sharing this? Because I believe that in sharing our weaknesses, we make others stronger.

I ran into a triathlete friend, Sanaa Cody*, at The Cove restaurant on Friday evening. I’m not sure if I invited myself to ride with her, or if she invited me, but either way, I was committed to riding 75 miles on Saturday morning at 7:30 AM.

(*If you have the honor of knowing, and/or training with Sanaa, you’ll know she’s a beast on the bike).

After the initial excitement wore off, doubts flooded my mind. The last time I rode that far was before I had Cora, so that makes it about 5 years. Would my butt hold up? Would I be comfortable considering I need to update my bike fit? What would I eat? I’m riding with a fast chick, what if I suck? Would I do something stupid and embarrass myself?

Why did I think these things? Because I’m just now getting back into serious training for events after having a child. And because the 50 mile ride I did the prior weekend hurt. It hurt my butt, lower back, and neck. I also did not bring enough nutrition, nor eat enough before the ride, so my athletic performance was compromised.

Despite my doubts and the painful 50 miler the weekend before, I was committed!

I prepped my things for the ride, prepared food (two peanut butter/honey/banana sandwiches, orange slices, electrolyte gels and drink), crawled into bed, and got comfortable. And I couldn’t fall asleep. I tossed and turned all night. Doubts kept flooding my mind.

Yes, I admit it. I slept like shit because I was nervous. {Can you relate to this?}

Alarm went off, time to ride! I met up with Sanaa and was happy to see her, but secretly anxious. She briefed me on the route and told me words that were music to my ears– the distance would be 65 miles. Phew! Awesome!

We start pedaling and I feel good. About an hour in, I take a few bites of my sandwich and drink some water. I continue to do so about every 45 minutes, and that made all the difference. I felt great! I felt a million times better than I did last week and I attribute it to my commitment to training, nutrition plan, positive attitude, and an awesome gal to ride with! Mile by mile my doubts were dying, and my confidence was building.

And around 60 miles we made a quick detour to enjoy kid-made “lemenade” and cookies! This was the best lemonade we ever had! It was the perfect pick me up.

Best detour ever!

Best detour ever!

I could have let my doubts take over and backed out of the ride. If I had, I would have missed out on a confidence-building ride (and delicious cookies and lemonade, and quality girl time). I am more confident today than I was Friday night. I am more confident in my nutrition plan for long rides than I was Friday night. I learned out there on the road that I am stronger than I know.

Moral of the Story: 

It takes putting yourself in uncomfortable situations to learn what you’re made of. We can quit, or we can conquer. We can doubt, but we can’t let those doubts define who we are.

When have you decided to conquer instead of quit? Share with me! I would love to know!

Construction Celebration

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You are invited to our Construction Celebration event!

Saturday, February 8 from 12 to 3 PM

312 Melrose Place, San Antonio, TX 78212 

Come by between the hours of 12 and 3 PM for your chance to see what’s going on in the Alamo 180 training center!

Come see the inside of our soon-to-be training center, the construction, our architectural drawings, pictures of the equipment we have ordered, and a preview of our class schedule.

We will have t-shirt sales, membership pre-sales, door prizes, and more!

This event is open to EVERYONE!

Hope to see you there!

Check out the event page on Facebook for more info!