Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011 and Beyond

As of today, 2/3 of the team will be in one location and while we will miss Nicole, it will be so great to have Kaleb and Lauren in one spot. With the support of Computrainer we have a full training center in my basement. With the help of Cobb saddles we can ride for hours in comfort and with the help of Hammer Nutrition we can go and go and recover quickly. I feel lucky to be working with such talented and dedicated athletes. I wont say exactly what our goals are but I don't feel restrained at all but their abilities. I have huge hopes to shock the world and take Team IE to all new heights in 2011. There are so many new opportunities to race in North America this year that I am hoping they don't cannibalize each other. It would be great if all the race series succeed and our team could actually make a good living doing something they love. We already have requests from promoters to commit to their series.With races starting in January it could prove to be a long season but we are already pr'ing at testing solely on base work. I want to thank all of our sponsors and all of the athletes that make Team IE what it is. A good friend once said that South Bend was the least likely place to ever make a coaching company work. As of today we have some of the most promising talent in the country!Coach G

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How to beat the holiday sweet tooth?

Well, I just graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Biological Sciences. I think my parents are more excited than I am, but I must admit it is nice having the stress of studying lifted off of my shoulders.

Now that I have so much time to train I automatically think it is OK to indulge myself with all of the Christmas goodies. Kaleb and I will be racing soon so it is probably a bad idea to gain the holiday pounds. Unfortunately, I am a woman. Today I was running with 2 local guys and they were asking me why women loved sweets. Hmm.. I do not know guys, probably because we were born that way! Anyways, instead of diving into the cookie jar I made a delicious shake post run/ride today. Here is is:

1 scoop of Hammer Chocolate Whey Protein
1/2 of a nice yellow banana 
1 table spoon of PB (gives it a nice thick texture-so you think it is a milkshake)
1/2 cup of Plain Greek Yogurt
Ice cups (personal preference)
Splash of 1% milk

Blend these up and enjoy! This drink is loaded with protein and really takes care of the sweet tooth. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Team IE- Thank you for welcoming me!! -Nicole Kelleher

Last summer I had the privilege of attending an elite development camp at the olympic training center where I met some seriously awesome athletes and coaches who I now call friends.  Upon meeting Kaleb and Greg, I was so impressed by the relationship they had- it was so obvious that Greg genuinely cared about Kaleb as a person, not just as an athlete, and had Kaleb’s best interests at heart.  It was obvious they were having fun-  a simple yet elusive dynamic in the elite triathlon world. Throughout the camp I got to know Kaleb, Greg and especially Lauren (my roomie!) better and I was honored to have the opportunity to meet such great people.
            Greg has such a great relationship with his athletes and makes the sport exciting and something to be passionate about- an indispensable element to success in my opinion.  Greg is a fantastic coach and I can’t wait until next season because I know it is going to crazy fun!
I am so excited about having Lauren and Kaleb as teammates, they are both ridiculously talented and pose genuine future Olympic Team threats.  Lauren is a time-bomb of young talent on the brink of exploding into ITU domination.  She is also kind of insane and fun- which is good for me as I am a bit of a stuffy, retentive medical student type.  Kaleb is the man. During my final race last year at the US open Toyota Cup, I was all alone on the bike and Kaleb came whizzing by me- he knew the perfect thing to say to me, “Keep on it Nicole!!”  I was so thankful he took the effort to yell at me despite being in the middle of his own racing (a race he would go onto win.) 
I will write more about myself soon enough, but I wanted my first blog entry just to express how excited I am about the upcoming year and thank everyone for welcoming me to the team!!
Some serious pre-run walk training in Colorado is clear from this picture-
Lauren is very tan. I am very pale. But she still lets me be her friend.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ride The World Indoors

RacerMate has supplied us with two CompuTrainers!!  This will be a huge benefit for us this winter.  Living in South Bend produces many challenges while training in the winter, but getting good workouts on the bike are one of the largest.  This will help us get the most out of training inside.  CompuTrainers not only take the boredom out of riding an indoor trainer, but they allow us to train on courses we will race on throughout the summer.  They really are amazing, and we look forward to using them not only in the winter, but also on some race prep throughout the entire year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Champion System

Team IE Elite has a fantastic clothing sponsor for 2011!  Champion System has agreed to supply us with clothing for the upcoming season.  Champion System offers the best tri suits on the market and top of the line clothing for training.  Their clothing can be sublimated so logos will not deminish over time.  We are very excited to have them on board and look forward to looking great while we train and race!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tis the Season!

Who knew running races were so much fun!? I never got to do any in college because I did not run XC or track. My family lives in Charleston, SC and there is a huge 5k on Thanksgiving that usually has around 6,000 runners. I thought I would go out and do it with my cousins so that I would not feel as guilty when I stuffed my face at Thanksgiving dinner. I ended up winning the female division with a time of 17:33. I was SUPER excited considering it is the off season and I have done 0 speed work...well 0 tempo work too. 

There was another 5k today called the Reindeer Run in Charleston. I decided to come down for it since there was a pretty nice cash prize. I felt awful when I woke up and I was late because I had to go all the way back home and get my race chip and number (yes, I forget them on my bed). After talking with Greg, I decided I was just going to have fun. But then I got to the start line and of course I immediately switched to race mode. I love racing. I started right in the middle of 5 Kenyan men. It was awesome, ran the first 400m with them. Why? Because they made me feel like I was in the Olympics or something. If you want to be the best you must be surrounded by the best. Well needless to say, I fell off that pace and just settled into my own. For 3k I heard someone breathing heavy on my shoulder but I did not want to turn around and look. I tend to turn and look back too much in races, so I really wanted to try and avoid that. I never could shake the mystery person off so with 800m to go I looked back...and it was a woman. A very fast Russian woman. I decided it was now or never and took off but she had a wayyy better kick than me. Oh well, got 2nd place and finished with a 17:02! That is an awesome time for me. I am so excited to keep running. I will be united with Kaleb in 24 days. Running with him is pretty much like running with a Kenyan so it should really help me get to where I need to be. 

Happy Holidays everyone!!! Eat drink and be merry.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Workout Wednesday

Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to spend some time with Karly, my sister, during her kindergarten class’ Workout Wednesday.  One Wednesday a month she talks to her kids about exercise and diet to promote a healthy lifestyle.  I arrived at her classroom as her class was returning from recess.  I brought in some of my gear to show them and explained how I have to do two transitions as part of a race.  After that we went outside to do 4 laps around the tennis courts to get warmed up.  It was cold out so everyone had to wear their jackets and hats, and limited the amount of time we could spend outside.  I then went through some simple run drills with them.  As we were going back inside I showed them a flying bike mount and Karly asked them if that is how they get on their bikes and they all yelled “NO” and laughed.  Right before we went back inside Karly had them line up on the sidewalk and I rode fast in front of them.  They thought it was fast but I could only get up to 25 mph in the short amount of room I had.  Once inside I went through a simple core routine with them.  The final activity of the day was for the kids to have a transition race.  The boy and girl champions both received water bottles.  They had to run across the room, put their shoes on, and then run back and give me a high five.  There were two heats for boys and three heats for girls.  The winners of each heat met for the championship.  It was a great experience and I am glad I got to help Karly with her Workout Wednesday.  I hope the kids enjoyed it as much as I did!
Karly's Kindergarten Class

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nicole Kelleher

Please welcome Nicole Kelleher!!  We are very excited to have Nicole on the team.  She is an outstanding triathlete and person.  She finished 3rd at USAT Elite Nationals and 3rd overall in the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Series.  She is currently balancing a career as a professional triathlete while attending Medical School at the University of Virginia.  She grew up in Seattle, Washington and excelled in Cross-Country and Track at Dartmouth College.  She finished out her collegiate eligibility while attending grad school at Southern Methodist University.

Nicole currently has her own blog at so you can read about her adventures from last season.  Nicole will be focusing on non-drafting races in the future, and we hope you enjoy following her as well as she dominates some of the largest triathlons in the US.

Nicole on the podium at USAT Elite Nationals

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Twenty Eleven

This year has been such an awesome experience. I have got to travel to places that I never thought I would have the opportunity to go to and I got to race some of the best athletes in the world. Someone asked me the other day why I do triathlon. I sat there and thought about it. Was it because I want to stay in shape? Or because I needed to fulfill the competitive drive in me? After racing as a professional for half of the season this year, I would have to say I am doing triathlon because of the truly amazing people you get to meet, race, socialize with, and connect with. Not everyone has the opportunity to travel around the US and even the world to do something they love. I am so lucky to have the support of my sponsors, family, friends, teammates and coach. Without them I would not be able to do what I do. Thank you! 

2011 has just kicked off. This week last year I randomly signed up for a marathon with no training and just did it for fun. I think of that race and laugh about how crazy it was and how I had no idea then where I would be a year later. I wonder what I will be doing next year this time? Well, what I do know is that Team IE will be dominating the triathlon world. So excited! And most importantly--welcome Nicole Kelleher to Team IE!

First ride back!
Good Luck to Lisa racing this weekend at 70.3 Worlds. Represent!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Exciting News

Greg has been hard at work locking up sponsors for next season and Hammer Nutrition and Nytro Multisport have agreed to pair with Team IE Elite.  Hammer Nutrition offers the best endurance nutrition on the market and was already a part of our race day nutrition and training recovery.  Nytro Multisport is a fantastic online multisport store offering great products for all your triathlon needs.  We are excited to bring these two sponsors on board and look forward to a long successful partnership.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Racing is a learning experience

A week ago I raced in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in the Pan American Championships. I was happy to get a spot in the race and I was looking forward to finishing the season off well. The race did not really go as planned, and I did not end up finishing. Sometimes I forget that I am a young college student just starting in the sport. Looking back I should have ended my season with Nationals, but I thought I could do it all so I held off for one more race. It is easy to get caught up in the triathlon scene and want to do every race so you can get points and gain experience. It is challenging to take 18 credit hours at school in Biological Sciences, train, travel to races, and figure out how to do it all on a tight college budget. At races I compare myself to girls who only train-no school, no work, no outside responsibility. I cannot forget that I am just starting and I need to have patience. This race I was just too busy thinking about everything else going on in my personal life and at school that I did not focus on what I came to do-race. Oh well, we live and we learn. I am looking forward to 2011. Hopefully I will be in South Bend this off season training with the IE crew! Good things to come :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Final Amateur Race

What a great way to end the season!  I pushed hard, I had fun, and I was able to come away with the elite amateur win.  The Toyota US Open Triathlon took place just outside Dallas, TX in the city of Rockwall and the swim was in Ray Hubbard Reservoir.  Since I have no vacation time left at work, and I have had about a week total unpaid so far, I fit my travel and race into a single weekend.  I hope I never have to do it again, but everything worked out alright this time. 

PRE-RACE – I enjoyed being early at Age Group Nationals so I stuck to a similar routine for this race.  I got to the transition early and got all my gear positioned just the way I like it.  As I was finishing up, Gavin Anderson came walking into transition.  Gavin is a very strong triathlete and I know it will be a battle whenever he shows up.  I chatted with him for a little bit and we scoped out transition to find swim in, bike out, bike in, and run out.  We were in the same area as the pros so we had a little transition area, which was a nice change from the previous races.  Once I left transition I went for a short jog to get warmed up.

SWIM – I did not get a very good swim warm-up but when I got to the starting line I was ready to go.  It was a wet suit swim so I was booming with confidence.  Wetsuits are supposed to be a big help for skinny triathletes like me!  It was a pontoon start, so we all dove in at the sound of the horn.  I started out hard and found myself on feet early.  I was on Gavin’s feet and feeling the hard pace (he put 2 minutes on me in the swim), so I backed off a little bit and let a pack go around me.  I got on their feet and held on like my life depended on it.  The water was very rough and it was one of the more difficult swims I have done.  I started to get hot in my wetsuit so I let some water in as I went around the final turn buoy at about 1000 yards.  I did not feel that great in the water, but there was no way I was backing off and letting the pack go.  I held on until we exited the water.  As I was coming out of the water, my little sister, Karly, let me know I was 7th and 2 min down to Gavin, who was leading the elite amateur wave.  That was about what I was expecting, so I felt good going into the bike.  The run from swim out to transition was about 400 yards but it felt like a mile.  I wanted to get on my bike to start chasing the athletes ahead of me.

BIKE – Coming out of transition was a monster of a hill.  I practiced bike mounts and getting in my shoes quickly the day before, but it is always different when I am tired from the swim.  I was able to get one foot in, so I drove hard with that foot and just pedaled a little with the other.  Karly told me after the race that there were numerous people falling over trying to get up the hill, and a lot of people just walked their bikes up.  Once I got up the hill I got my other foot in and I was off.  It was a little cold starting out on the bike so I stayed as aero as possible to keep the wind off my chest.  The bike course was technical at the start, so I tried to stay calm going around the turns so I would have some power left for the latter part of the race.  The race officials were out on the course and they were throwing out penalties like crazy!  I saw two people in front of me get standing penalties; they had to stop and wait instead of just getting two minutes added to their final time.  After getting through the technical start to the course, the race went out on country roads.  Overall it was a nice course, but there were some sections that were in terrible shape.  I caught Nicole at about mile 7 and yelled some words of encouragement at her as I went by.  At one point I had to sit up because the road was throwing me all over the place when I was aero.  There was a hard left off the bad road and that is what I was waiting for.  I had marked this area on the day before as a good place to start hammering the bike.  It was about 10 miles into the ride, the roads got a lot better, and there were very little turns until you got back to the first/last 4 miles.  As I was approaching the turn Hunter Kemper was getting loaded into an ambulance, so I took the turn very easy.  The flip was at about 14.5 miles so I took the opportunity to get a time check on Gavin.  I was 2 min down so I started to feel good about my chances of winning.  With about 2 miles to go I rode into a pack of 4 pro women.  The pros have to stagger in a non drafting race so things got interesting when I tried to pass them.  I finally got around them and I was on my way to T2.

RUN – I started the run in second place and Karly let me know I was down to Gavin.  The first half mile was up a different section of the monster hill and it was a little shock to the body after getting off the bike.  Also my toes were numb from the bike and I thought I had something in my shoe.  I almost stopped to see what it was, but I was on a mission to go out on top in the last race of the season so I decided to just run though it.  Once my toes regained feeling I realized it was just the numbness in my toes that made it feel like something was in my shoe.  At about 2.5 miles I caught Gavin.  Before I could sneak up on him he heard me coming and turned around.  I ran with him for a minute or so and we had a little chat.  It was a fun experience; I have never done that in a race before.  Most of the time I am really intense during a race, but it helped remind me why I do this crazy sport.  The people and the whole lifestyle really are wonderful.  The run flipped at about 3 miles and headed back to the finish.  I saw Nicole on my way back in so I gave her some more words of encouragement.  I gave it all I had in the run but it was nice being able to relax and enjoy it a little.  It was a lot different than Age Group Nationals, where I had to keep pushing all the way to the finish.  With 400 to go I saw Karly and she was yelling with excitement.  It was nice to see her as I was coming into the finish and I was able to grab my Rudy Project Noyz Sunglasses and my Team IE visor from her, so I would look good as I crossed the finish line.

The race was a lot of fun and the venue was great.  I hope I am able to make it back there next year to race in the Pro race.  Karly was a great spectator!!  She kept me updated on what place I was in, how much time I was down, and always had positive words for me.  I truly am blessed to have such a great support system behind me.  My family, coach and teammates mean the world to me.  I would not be able to do this alone.  Karly and I stayed for the awards and then relaxed in the hotel until it was time to go to the airport.  It was a good weekend, even though it was short.  Congrats to Nicole for finishing 3rd in the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Series!!

I am excited to get back to training but I know I will enjoy the next two weeks as I take some time off.  After that I will be hitting the swim hard.  Next year’s success hinges on my ability to get out of the water with a good draft pack on the bike.  It will be hard but I am ready for the challenge.

"Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty... I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well."
  - Theodore Roosevelt


Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Season Flew By

I can remember most of my seasons throughout my running career, and in most of them I could not wait for the end to come.  I got sick a lot and in a few I had to cut my season short because of injury.  This year I trained hard all season and did not burn out at the end.  It seems like I just started training with Greg, but that was a little over a year ago.  I have one race left and I am looking forward to it.  I hope my body responds one last time this season when I tell it to go.  It was a whirlwind of emotions over the last week and a half, coming down from winning Age Group Nationals.  My body was pretty beat up and it took me a little bit to get back into training.  I am heading to Dallas this weekend for the Toyota US Open.  It is the finale of the Lifetime Fitness Race to the Toyota Cup.  Nicole Kelleher, a friend of Team IE, is racing for the overall series victory.  Good Luck Nicole!!  There should be strong competition in the elite amateur wave, so I am looking forward to racing the best head to head.  Plus my little sister is meeting me down there, so it will be nice to see her and spend the weekend together. 

I recently found out that I was third place overall in the Rev3 Series.  This year it was three races, an Olympic in Knoxville, TN, a 70.3 in Quassy, CT, and an Ironman in Sandusky, OH.  When the series was first laid out early in the year, they had stated that an athlete had to do 2 of the 3 races to be in the overall series standings.  I only did the Olympic race in Knoxville, but I am guessing they did not have enough amateurs participate in 2 races.  This is good news considering the top 5 in the series get a cash prize.  Every little bit will come in handy when I start chasing ITU points next season.

After the race this weekend I will take some down time and I will start working hard on sponsorship stuff for next season.  Hopefully Lauren and I can get some help to lessen the burden of gear costs and traveling all over the world chasing ITU points.  If all goes well I am hoping to become a full time Triathlete!

I hope life is treating you well,

Monday, September 27, 2010

Oh hey, its really hot outside.

The race this weekend was by far the most challenging race I have competed in both mentally and physically. The Elite course was different than the Age Group course. Two days before the race I rode a lap of the bike course and immediately called our coach ,Greg, after to complain about how hard the hill was that I had to climb eight times on race day. Greg told me just to take the race second by second and I would be fine. Draft legal racing is so much different than non drafting. If you are mentally out of the race for just a few seconds the bike pack can drop you and your race is over. We raced at noon on Saturday. The day of the race everyone was complaining about how hot it was outside and how bad the run was going to be in the sun. I tried to stay positive and continue to chug water. The swim felt really fast. The pace was a lot faster than it was at worlds but thankfully I came out of the water with the girls I thought I would come out with. The bike was very hard for me. After the second lap I knew my legs were already trashed but somehow I still had to ride six more laps and run a 10k. Well, I made it to the run....I felt like death the first lap. I was thinking how nice it would be to pass out so I did not have to keep running. I had the cold lips and dehydration chill was crazy! A U23 athlete passed me on the run on the first lap and mentally I really did not think I would be able to catch back up. However, I wanted to win the U23 National Title..for myself of course, but especially for my coach. We have worked so hard this past month to get me ready to race the best in the nation and I needed to win this for him. The second lap felt the same as the, miserable, and painful. As I began the third lap I actually started feeling good. How? I do not really know. It must have been from all of my awesome friends yelling at me "DON'T YOU DARE SETTLE (thanks Brian)". My immediate goal was to get top ten, which meant I would have to pass two more girls. The U23 athlete was three girls ahead of me...29 seconds. I had 2.5k to make up 30 seconds. I passed two and then I sprinted up and passed the third to see her reaction. She did not sprint back, so I just carried my speed right into the finish line and became the 2010 U23 National Champion! This is a huge accomplishment for me. A year ago I just started toying with local sprint triathlons and now I am racing as a pro and won the U23 race. It is so awesome to see how much hard work pays off.  Thanks to all my friends, my coach, and my mom for supporting me! Next up is Puerto Vallarta Pan Am Champs in Mexico. Too bad the race is on margaritas for this chick.


The fast!

U23 Podium
Jessica Jessica

Age Group Nationals Recap

"We did it!"  This was the first thing to go through my head as I crossed the finish line.  I was thinking about all the time and hard work my coach and I have put in over the last 8 months.  I was not sure if I had won or not but I knew I had to be close.  I felt great the whole day and I caught a lot of the 20-24 guys, who started 6 min before I did.  I don't like to compare race to race or even the same race year to year, but I was 10 min faster this year than I was last year.  It is amazing what a difference it makes to have a great coach in your corner!  Thanks Greg, this victory would not have been possible without you!

PRE-RACE - Usually when I travel alone I get to transistion at the last minute and to the starting line a few seconds before the gun goes off, not this time.  I was with Greg and Lisa and they like to be early.  It was nice to be able to take my time setting up transition and I was even able to lay down for a few minutes before getting into the water.  Greg and I have a little saying that goes, "If you can stand, sit.  If you can sit, lay down.  And if you can lay down, sleep."  I got to the stating area about 10 min before my race start and they let us in the water 5 min before, so I found a place on the sidewalk, to avoid laying in a mound of fire ants which are very common in Tuscaloosa, to lay down and relax for a few minutes.  It was the first time in 3 days that I was not nervous anymore.  The bright lights were on and I was ready to roll.

SWIM - It was a chaotic start in the water.  The pontoon was full of people so I found a spot just off the end to tread water for the start.  I had practiced starts the day before so I knew there was little advantage to starting next to the pontoon.  It did not go deep into the water so you could not really push off.  The gun went off and I started out hard for about 100 yards.  I wanted to get in a good swim pack so I tried to place myself toward the front.  Finally the group settled down and I found some feet.  About 200 yards into it, I realized I was on the wrong feet!  This guy was slowing up and the lead pack was getting away quickly.  I had to go around and try to bridge the gap.  As I was sighting buoys, I was looking for a green cap, a guy in my wave.  I finally caught a guy about 400 yards later.  The pace was a little slow but I had just used a lot of energy to bridge the gap so I sat on his feet for a little bit to gather myself.  I touched his feet twice and each time he would speed up for about 4 strokes and then slow back down.  It was time to go around this guy!  With 400 yards to go I went around him but he did not want to get passed this late in the swim so he started going stroke for stroke with me.  As we were fighting through earlier waves he kept running into me, but I was too close to transition to worry about him.  I was doing my normal thing and thinking about transition, where my bike was and "Helmet on first!"  Thank you Blue Seventy for sending me a PZ3+, I had a great swim split and I am sure that saved me a good amount of time.  As I exited the water, Barb Lindquist, who runs the USAT Collegiate Recruitment Program, let me know I had lost 1:45 to the leader out of the water.  Things were going well!!  Last year I lost almost 6 min to the leader out of the water.  My swim has come a long way but I still have a long way to go to be competative in ITU racing. 

BIKE - I got out of my PZ3+ quickly and blasted though transistion.  I hit the bike mount line and went down!  It was a line of red tape that got slippery when wet.  I planted my left foot squarly on the line and it just washed out.  I caught myself with me left hand and knee.  In the process I slammed by bike to the ground.  I picked myself up and looked at my bike.  The bars were a little crooked but I couldn't see any damage.  Sorry to the officials and spectators standing right there, a few words slipped out in the heat of the moment.  I mounted my bike and started rolling. As I was getting in my shoes I could feel my hand throbbing as I gripped the bars.  I also noticed a nice scrape in my left shin and knee but I could not feel that yet.  When I went aero there was no pressure on my left hand so it did not hurt as much, I stayed aero as much as I could for the next 40k.  It was getting warmer so I made sure to drink before I got thirsty.  About 6 miles into the bike my knee started to get a little sore, but I was on a mission and this was not going to slow me down.  I squirted some water on it to try and wash off some of the dirt, and that made it feel a little better.  Either that or my quads were starting to feel the hard pace and my mind switched to that pain instead.  Overall I was very happy with my bike split.  It was difficult in some sections to pass since there was such a large number of people out on the road.  A few times I just had to sit up and wait, to avoid gettting a drafting penalty.  Thank you Rudy Project for hooking me up with a new Wingspan TT helmet and Noyz sunglasses.  The Wingspan TT is a great helmet, it is very aero and has large vents in the front that kept me cool as the temp went up.  I worked hard on the bike and I felt like I was going to vomit in the last 2 miles, so I backed it down a little to get ready for the run.  I took it easy at the bike dismount, I did not want to go down again.  As I ran through transition my legs were feeling the bike, but they felt better than they did in Chicago, so I was ready to run. 

RUN - Starting off, my knee was aching with every step but Barb let me know I was 40 seconds behind the leader, and all the pain went away and my mind turned off to allow my body to run.  The leader was in the earlier age group so I would not see him unless I could take 6:40 out of him on the run.  I was running against the clock.  I thought I could take 40 seconds out of the leader so I relaxed and just allowed my body to find its natural pace.  I did not want to press too much too early because it was hot and the run course had 3 good hills to climb before a net down hill the last 3 miles.  The hills were a swift kick in the pants, but I was passing people going up so I just kept pushing.  Once I knew the hills were over, it was on!  At around 4.5 miles I caught Nic Tautiva and asked him what place he was in his age group.  He did not know but I knew things were going well.  I had taken 6 min out of the Elite Amateur champion at St. Anthony's and I still had about 1.5 miles to go.  My confidence grew and my pace quickened with every person I passed.  With about 1 mile to go I saw Lisa going out on the run course so I yelled a few words of encouragement.  With less than a half mile to go Ben Weaver yelled for me as he was going out on the run course.  It took me a second to figure out where it was coming from and who it was, but then I yelled back and pushed to the finish line.  I gave a few high fives as I came toward the finish line but was careful because Age Group National races can come down to seconds.  I did everything I could in the race against the clock, now I had to wait for final results to come out.

I went to the med tent and got my shin and knee cleaned up.  After that I found my mom and my grandparents and gave them huge hugs.  They are great fans and cheered loud for me.  I wanted to go out on course and find the rest of the Team IE athletes, so I got my printout and headed out to the run course.  I saw Jason Smith finish so I did not get to yell for him.  As I was heading out on course I looked at my printout - 1st overall!!  There were still a lot of age groups that needed to come in, but I let out a small sigh of relief.  I found Greg out on course first so I yelled for him and then ran after him to catch him as he left the finish area.  I had to let him know that we did it!!

After the age group race was all over it was time for the pros to go after their national championship.  We stayed around to watch and cheer for Lauren.  Lauren won the U23 National Championship by showing how much of a fighter she truley is.  With 2k to go she was down 20 seconds, and went on to win by 50!!!  AMAZING!!

The awards were a great time and it was awesome to see so many Team IE athletes go up on stage.  Results from the races can be seen here.
Christina Person - 20-24 Champion
Lisa Mueller - 9th place 25-29
Adreinne Hengels - 19th place 30-34
Jason Smith - 6th 30-34
Greg Mueller - 3rd place 35-39
Ben Weaver - 24th place 40-44

Female Amateur Champion Mandy McLane and I with our hand made awards.

A big thanks goes out to my mom for driving Greg, Lisa, and I to and from Tuscaloosa.  She was a saint for driving, putting up with all the pre-race emotions, and getting anything we needed.  I love you Mom!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Age Group Nationals

All the hard work and preparation over the last 8 months comes down to one race.  With less than a week to go and the last hard workout over, I am already a bundle of nervous energy.  A big thank you goes out to Dr. Jerry of Hofferth Chiropractic.  He met me outside of work last night to work on me to get me ready for the race.
Greg, Lisa and I sweating it out on the pool deck Sunday morning to get ready for the Alabama heat.
Age Group Nationals is an interesting race, in the way it is set up.  It is the only large triathlon in the US that does not allow the best amateurs to go head to head.  Wave starts are arranged by age group and alternate men and women every three minutes.  The majority of the people in the race are after a top 18 finish in their age group so they can represent the US at the age group world championships next year.  For them the race is set up perfectly.  But for the people looking for the overall victory, it becomes a race against the clock. 

A good thing to remember is to never make last minute changes in gear or bike adjustments.  Whatever you are going to use at the race needs to be determined at least one week out.  You do not want your emotions for the race to determine what gear you use.  Stay with your old trusty flats and never wear a new pair of goggles without wearing them in a workout first.  Having your gear selected ahead of time will take some of the stress out of packing as well.

Good Luck to all those competing and go TEAM IE!

If you are interested in following the race, there are two links below that should offer coverage.


Monday, September 20, 2010


This weekend I will be competing in my first National an Elite! This is somewhat overwhelming but it doesn't get much better than toeing the line with the best women competing in the sport in the nation. I have just gotten my feet wet with draft legal racing and I am still learning how to  be competitive in these races. I have done three races and each one gets better and better.

So here are some things I have learned that can help others who are just starting to race:

1. BE CONFIDENT; someone once told me there are three parts to a triathlon, the mind, the heart, and the legs. Without confidence in yourself, you have nothing. This took me some time to understand, but now after Worlds I am confident going into Nationals, of course this is a process! It is so odd how it just takes one workout session or one small part of a race to get your mind right.

2. EAT; often on race morning I am a ball of nerves and I do not feel like eating much. Bad idea. Food is fuel for the body and it is so important to eat just the right amount the race demands. This takes time and trial and error. I have yet to figure out exactly what works. The best race I had I ate eggs, bacon, potatoes, toast. Most people would frown upon that, but hey, it worked!

3. Prepare for your race in transition; it is so important to have 0 stress on race day. Therefore, make sure your shoes are loose enough, helmet is tight enough, sunglass lenses are clean, bike shoes are rubber-banded properly, gels are properly taped, and water bottle is filled. The last thing you want is to be swimming and worrying about your transition area. This is something so simple to master, but people so often overlook these minor details. This is what separates 1st from 2nd.

4. HAVE FUN! If you aren't having fun then there is no point in competing. Bottom line.

5. The most important...look good. Here is a picture of the U23 team in Budapest, Hungary before the race.

I hope to fix the things I did wrong at Worlds at the race this coming weekend. I am so excited to race against the best and see what I can do. Kaleb will be racing in the amateur race. I am sure the Elite Men are happy he is not racing in their race. He is such a talented athlete and I am happy to have him as a teammate. Go IE!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hello World

Welcome to the website for Team IE Elite.  Current members include Lauren Goss from Charleston, South Carolina and Kaleb VanOrt from Waterloo, Indiana.  Lauren is a fifth year senior at Clemson University, finishing up her last semester.  She got started in triathlons about a year ago and has quickly become one of the best U23 triathletes in the nation.  Kaleb graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2006 and now resides in South Bend, IN, where he trains with Innovative Endurance head coach, Greg Mueller, and other Team IE athletes.  He got his start in triathlons about  2 years ago and has become one of the best amateur triathletes in the nation.  Both athletes will be chasing ITU points next year, in hopes of becoming a USAT funded Project 2016 Athlete, and one day maybe even representing the United States of America at the Olympic Games.  Lauren just missed a place on Project 2016 on September 11 in Budapest, Hungary.  With rainy conditions she was unable to take on calories on the bike and fell 4 places short of the top15 - automatic spot on Project 2016.  Still placing a very respectable 19th at the U23 World Championships.

Check back periodically for race recaps, training updates, and general happenings of Team IE Elite.  Hopefully you enjoy following these gifted athletes as they enjoy the highs and endure the lows in this amazing, sometimes crazy sport of Triathlons.