Monday, July 18, 2011

Irvine Lake Mud Run

"We're doing a mud run?!"
July 17th, 2011

4th in Age Group
16th Female

Final Time of 40:08 for a 5k+ Run w/ Obstacles!!!

There really isn’t much to say about this race, but it was MUDDY!

We totally signed up for this race on a whim the day before! Mama Nauman found an article about the race in the OCRegister and asked Garrison and Dad about. Apparently my Dad said that if I was interested, he was interested. So mom told me to be interested and that was it! Next thing I knew… Garrison, Dad, and I were all signed up and even Gavin (Garrison’s BFF) was tagging along for the ridiculous race!

It was really fun. I was using it more as a training run than anything. Told myself to keep the heart rate high for 40 minutes and have fun : )
I surprised myself with a top 7% finish out of all the women there haha but I was just running to beat Garrison and Gavin so I guess that placed me pretty well.

Here are some nasty pictures from the race:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Carlsbad Sprint Triathlon 2011

4th year in a row!

Wow, I can’t believe that 4 years ago I did my first triathlon. That seems so crazy and I definitely have come a long way since then. This Carlsbad race has been so good to me and it’s definitely one of my most favorite sprints of all time. The ocean swim is perfect, the bike is a perfect mix of flats and ups and downs, and the run is a smooth straightaway. Muy bien.

The exciting part about this year was that there were going to be 3 Naumans competing in the race!
Yup, Garrison signed up along with me and my Dad and he actually committed to doing it. Thus, the madre was going to be the chauffer and the videographer for the day!
We picked up our packet the day before at the Health Expo in San Diego, and that was a bit of an annoying drive just to get down there for our packets. But we got all ready and set up on Saturday night so that we were good to go early on Sunday!

Wakeup time (much to Garrison’s discontent): 5:00am.
We drove down to Carlsbad and parked in the neighborhood area like usual near the Tamarack State Beach. We got there at 6:20am and thought we had gotten there with plenty of time because transition wasn’t supposed to open til 6:30am. Well, it did open then, but just like last year there was a long line extending down the beach walkway with triathletes and their bicycles just waiting around to get into transition. We had to walk all the way down to the end of the line and double back just to get into the transition area and start setting up. From experience, I knew the drill with those port-o-potties and the long line, so I dropped my stuff down right away and stood in line for the bathroom.

I set my stuff up like usual and just hung around with Dad and Garrison mulling over the usual stuff and making sure we had all the necessary items for our area. Pre-triathlon moments are very boring and filled with anxiety. All the races I’ve done so far this year have been filled with a lot of waiting around for the race to start in the mornings.. what’s up with that.

Swim= 15:51

The swim this year was gnarly! The waves were coming in with some pretty big sets and everyone was pretty weary as we were leading up to the race start.
Garrison’s wave started at 8:15, Dad’s at 8:20, and mine at 8:30. Because I was so many waves back, I was watching all of the people ahead get smashed by some of the pretty big waves. Because I’m a crazy person and I love the ocean, I was actually psyched about the huge waves and the strong current because that totally plays as an advantage to me.

My swim time from last year was a 14:27 and it wasn’t even good for that course because the year before I did a 13:22 and the year before that was also in the 13 minute range. So it’s pretty clear that the currents were super strong and this year’s swim was much more of a struggle than the years before.

Regardless, I pushed through the current and dodged a lot of people to get into shore as fast as possible. My swim exit was a little sloppy and I think I stood up to soon to try and run out. But overall, definitely a struggle and not my most graceful swim.

T1= NA

Bike= 0:44:11
Average power = 184
Average speed = 22.67

There was at least one girl out of the water before me and she was at my rack when I got there to grab my bike. Lucky for me, she decided to take the time to put socks on before heading out on the bike, so I caught up in no time and we were actually off on the course at the same time.
Tip from last year that I remembered was putting my bike in the lowest gear possible to climb up that hill coming out of the transition area.

I ended up going back and forth with that girl from my rack and after the second time, I decided to just hang back and keep her in my sight for the first half of the bike, and then gun it home for the back half has hard as I could. If I passed her, so be it, and if not then it would just keep being annoying. The plan worked out very well because I had so much energy for that back half that I was able to speed by her and a few guys who were also playing around me and hold them off all the way to the transition area.

Last year’s bike time was listed as a 44:37 so I was just barely under that time this year. I actually felt really powerful like I mentioned and I was moving on that back half of the course like a bat out of hell. My average power for the whole course was 185. My average power for the last section that I booked it was 205! Hell yeaaaah.

Well now, I just went through my standings for this bike and I did pretty well! I had the 4th fastest female bike split! That means I’m moving closer to my goal of the fastest bike split at College Tri Nats next year! Wel… besides the fact that one of the women who beat me was 55 years old (she beat my by 1 second), I guess that was a good bike split haha.

I know I’m definitely in California when I have the 5th fastest swim time and the 4th fastest bike time…

T2= NA

Run = 0:25:41
Run pace = 8:16

Last year’s run was blistering at a 23:44 and the year before that was actually a 24:38. Which is really disheartening because that’s when I didn’t consider myself a good runner. I was in such a good position and in such good shape.. but I got a stupid CRAMP on the second mile somewhere after that steep hill.
Mile 1 was fantastic! It was right around 7:30, and I felt great running with some tall guy who told me to stick with him. At the top of that hill, the cramp jabbed into me and that was the end of my ability to sprint. It was in the worst spot where I couldn’t dig my fingers into it to make it go away. I just tried to control my breathing and ignore the fact that it felt like a knife was jabbing into my right ribcage while I was attempting to sprint.

When it finally went away I was back to sprinting up the hill to the finish and redeeming the slow pace from the cramp. Unfortunately it just wasn’t enough and I was bummed when I crossed the line out of breath.

Overall time = 1:25:44

Yep, just slightly slower than last year due to the run and the swim time. But that’s okay. This was just a little practice sprint race and it’s not like I was expecting much. I mean, actually I was expecting a good run time, which was disappointing because it didn’t happen.. but I can’t really complain with all the busy crap that’s been getting in the way of my usual training. I guess back to back trips to South Carolina and Alaska might have inhibited my normal training routine leading up to this.

Now we’re looking to the future and the upcoming hectic craziness that is the back half of the 2011 Tri Season!
I’ve got zero races for the rest of my time in California. I wanted to keep it more mellow this summer because of the job and the fact that I have so many races in the Fall with Stevens and whatnot. The new addition that just recently happened was my entry into the USAT Age Group National Championship in Vermont on August 20th! After a short-lived scare of thinking I wasn’t getting in because I was put on a waitlist, I got a confirmation email and I am now good to go for Vermont!

I’ll put up a post sometime later to highlight the upcoming NECTC Season and Age Group Nats!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 2 @ Felt Bicycles

I have just completed my second full day as a Felt employee, or a ‘Feltie’ as them call themselves around here. It has been a very fun and exciting experience so far and I am so grateful for how lucky I am to be in this position!

In my previous Alaska post I went into a little bit of the details about how I wound up here, so I won’t bore anyone with that again and you can just read it there.

The real reason why I’m posting this blog entry is because of the sick bike I had the opportunity to ride today. Y’all know I currently ride two Felts that have 650c wheels on them and it’s not a common practice because most people aren’t as short as me and/or require tiny wheels. So when I got here, I was instantly a hot topic of discussion because there aren’t many people who ride frames that require 650c wheels and it’s been a heated debate lately. This is because Felt has to determine which bikes they should make smaller sizes for depending on the demand and how likely they are to buy those bikes.

So for someone like me that is right at the in-between of the bike sizes that require a 650c or 700c wheels, I’m a perfect match to test out the difference in the frames and feels of the bikes. There’s another girl who works here named Eva who’s practically the same height as me and she’s got an F1 in the same size as my F75, a 48 I believe. However, she’s got 700c wheels on her bike!

My boss asked both of us to bring our bikes in so that I could throw my pedals on her bike and take it for a ride to see how it rides differently than mine. I was expecting it to feel a little different because the wheels were bigger. But there were so many other factors as to why it felt amazingly different.

First of all the frame was all carbon and the whole bike was as light as a feather. It seriously weighed nothing compared to mine. The components on it were SRAM and absolutely beautiful. It shifted buttery smooth.
I had such a blast riding it, mostly just filled with adrenaline because I was so stoked to be riding such a fast bike.

The only weird thing about the ride was climbing and standing up to pedal. It was totally different than my 2007 F75 and it felt so weird. I had to climb that first hill out of my neighborhood and it as super stiff and didn’t respond as well as my cheap road bike. But seeing as that was my only real complaint, the ride was pretty awesome.

 So awesome, in fact, that I stuffed up my crap in one backpack and decided to ride the bike to work the next day! I woke up earlier to do it so that I could get there with plenty of time to spare. It was just as awesome as I had remembered it the night before and biking to work was so enjoyable! I think I may start to make a habit of it because it’s so convenient.

So there you have it. My first experience with a ridiculously awesome and expensive Felt road bike : )

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ALASKA 2011: Anchorage, Denali, Seward

Alaska 2011

Before I delve into this Alaska post, take a look at this picture I took from the plane looking over Yosemite National Park and Half Dome!!!! Can you believe I’ve been on top of that?!!?!? Sooo cool to see it from the air.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summers! Summer is my favorite time of the year, and you probably knew that already if you’re a good friend of mine.
Ever since I was really little, my parents have always taken me and Garrison on vacations whenever we had a break. Because of swimming and school, that usually meant our vacations were after Summer JOs in August, and sometime during the Christmas break. This schedule has carried over still and those are usually the times we go on trips. Like last year’s Alaska trip was in August.
Well, this year was a little different for the first time. The reason why we ended up on vacation in June/July was because of me and fortunately it was for a good purpose!

I got a job at Felt Bicycles!

Yep, everything fell into place. Long story short.. I applied for a different job within Felt, my resume got passed to the Director of Engineering, and he called me up for an interview! I got the job for a position as a helping hand within the engineering department doing whatever they need help with and it was my Engineering Management degree and experience managing my Senior D project that sold me! Well that and the fact that I have two Felts and I love biking haha.
After that we discussed my availability and determined my working dates to be July 5 to August 12. Only 6 weeks, but 6 jam-packed weeks.
I was initially able to start work on June 27th, but Jeff, the guy who’s my boss and the Director of Engineering, was going on vacation. So he asked me to come in on the 27th to pick up a laptop, and I would get paid for 10 working hours that week to start reviewing their Microsoft Project timeline files.

Therefore….. that leads me to my blog post topic…….. ALASKA!
After that second time that I came in to Felt to discuss work and dates, I immediately went home and told my mom that if the Naumans were going on vacation this summer, it would have to be this free week that I had until work started on the 5th. So, being the loving parents they are, my mom and dad scheduled a vacation to Alaska very quickly. We were set to take off late afternoon on the 27th and come back home late on the 4th of July right before I started on the 5th.

If you recall, we went to Alaska just last year at the beginning of August to Glacier Bay National Park. We stayed in one place for that period of time and it was just a tease compared to all that Alaska has to offer. It’s the biggest state in America and we just had to go back and experience more of it. My mom’s obsessed with Alaska and she just wants to go everywhere. So when I suggested we go there since our planning timeframe was so short, she immediately jumped on the opportunity.
My dad scheduled the flights and stuff, so we were set to fly into Anchorage after a stop in Seattle and then move on up to Denali, then back down to Anchorage and take a train to Seward for the last couple days before flying out of Anchorage back home.

I try to focus my blog more towards fun things and training/racing reports, so I won’t bore you with the details of the trip. You can ask me more about it if you care and I kept a record of it along the way in my vacation Memos.

That being said, there are a few epic activities I would love to share about!

1)      Denali Whitewater Rafting down the Nenana River!

What? Rapids? Rafting? That has nothing to do with training, you are correct.
However, it was just too awesome to not post here. Most people probably don’t know this about me, but I’ve rafted down a lot of rivers in Wyoming and Montana and even New Zealand. That goes back to all those Nauman vacations I mentioned earlier. We’re an adventurous breed.

So this whole rafting thing wasn’t a planned activity until we drove into Denali on that first full day in Alaska and I saw a big sign for it. I had to do it and I was immediately so stoked. We signed up one of the days after a helicopter tour and woke up bright and early to suit up into dry suits.

Needless to say, it was awesome. We rafted for 2 hours through Class 1-4 rapids and it was just a blast. Our guide was great, and the couple we shared the boat with was very nice. That was the first time we had ever been down a river that was completely glacier-fed. All of the water was silty and gray in color because it was coming off the glacier after being frozen and stuck there for millions of years! My dad said it best when he mentioned that it looked like liquid cement just tearing down the river.
Perfect trip!

2)      Mountain Biking through Denali National Park

This was quite a special treat. The Denali National Park and Preserve is completely closed off from regular vehicular traffic and it’s like Zion National Park where you can only drive in on a big bus. The park runs these buses on a schedule every single day and there are varied lengths of the trip, with the longest being a full 12 hour day into and out of the full length of the park on the main road. But it’s really annoying because you can’t just drive through on your own.

Thus, when my Dad and I found a brochure for the Denali Outdoor Company advertising their rentable mountain bikes, we scratched our heads trying to figure out where you would ride the bikes.
That led us to asking the guy at DOC and explained how you can hop on one of the Park buses that has a two-slot bike rack on the front, head off into the Park on the bus, and get off wherever you want to bike back! Yes, please!
Shortly thereafter, my dad and I had bus tickets for the next morning at 7:30am and we rented the bikes and put them in our room for the night.

This was definitely an unforgettable experience for many reasons. 1) no one really knows you can do this; 2) no one we talked to had ever done it before, even the guy renting out the bikes; 3) it was pouring rain; 4) our bus broke down; 5) it took an hour to get a new replacement bus; 6) only old people visit Denali, so no one else was biking the road; 7) it was just me and my dad; 8) we were in one of the best preserved National Parks in the US; and 9) we found moose tracks in the road!

The rain was definitely annoying and I was just wishing it would go away the whole time. Grinding up the steep hills wasn’t bad, but having to speed down hills with mud and muck spraying everywhere just sucked. Overall though, the scenery and the natural wilderness just trumped all the suckiness of the weather and we were overwhelmed with how awesome the Park views were.

I would highly suggest any mountain biking fans to travel up to Denali and do that ride someday before it either gets too popular, or more people start visiting the park and they stop allowing it. I would love to go back someday for a longer ride if anyone wants to join me!

3)      Running around Seward

Seward, Alaska.
My new favorite little coastal town. I’m a sucker for American coastal cities and this one was absolutely beautiful. Picture a little town on the water with a big marina and towering snow-capped mountains surrounding it in every direction.

We took the train to Seward from Anchorage after we returned from Denali and that was a cool trip in itself because we saw a few huge glaciers that the train chugged right along on by. The plan was to be there only for a night and then return later the next day on the later train. So we posted up in the (generic) Seward Hotel when we got there and got ready to explore the town!

The funny thing we learned while we were on our way to Seward and the entire time we were there was that the Seward 4th of July celebration is apparently the biggest 4th of July party in Alaska. People flock to Seward leading up to the weekend in their RVs and motorhomes for a camping spot and a chance to celebrate Independence Day with fellow Alaskans. It’s pretty neat and we just happened to be there at the right time... minus the fact that we were missing the actual 4th of July there haha.

The other fun thing that happens on the 4th in Seward is the Mount Marathon Running Race, a tradition dating back to the first race in 1915 on the 4th of July. The basic statistics are as follows: 5km (3.1 miles), the race begins in downtown Seward, the halfway point is at the top of Mount Marathon, and it is a 3022ft elevation climb in a little over a mile and a half. RIDICULOUS.

Obviously there was no way were doing that, but we were in Seward for the two days leading up to the race and there were a lot of people gearing up for it.
Which now leads me to talk about my late night Seward run! Following a relaxing dinner at the Railway Cantina near the train station and some ice cream by the waterfront, I decided I needed to do a long run. I let my food digest, and suited up for what I thought would be a nice leisurely run.
Little did I know it would turn into a full on motivational run! I was getting cheered and high-fived as I ran by the camp sites by people who probably were just assuming I was doing a little practice run before the big day haha. It was so funny and I just played along with it the whole time. Alaskans are nice people for sure.

For now that’s my update from Alaska 2011. There were tons of other activities we did, but these were the most ‘active’ and interesting other than some hikes here and there : )
I hope you thoroughly enjoyed it!

Keep posted for anything interesting I come across at Felt!