Not really close at all to qualifying for a race that is not Kona

Email received from USAT – full text below. Basically, I was kind of not really close to qualifying for some AG championship race. They wants to let me know that I could try to qualify for the Olympic 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships by qualifying before July 11 (top 10% AG, I assume), or I get in the top 33% (why is it different at this race?) of my AG at one of these regional championship races. OR I could just drop $155 on the Sprint-Distance National Championships, which has open registration.

USAT. Ninja, please. I’m a little occupied. Training for Ironman Lake Tahoe (Don’t you talk to WTC? You know, your evil best friend? I gave them a lot of money. OVER A YEAR AGO). Ain’t nobody got time for this.

But… thanks?!? I think?

Edited due to my own stupidity. Thanks to Lara for pointing out that USAT and WTC are, in fact, two different entities.


Congratulations! You’re receiving this email because you’re one of a select group of triathletes in the U.S. who has finished in the 11-20 percentile of your age group in at least one USA Triathlon-sanctioned local race over the past year. But, as you may know, those who finish in the top-10 percent automatically qualify for the Olympic-distance race on Aug. 10 at the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in Milwaukee.

In other words, you’re sooo close.

USA Triathlon would love to see you in Milwaukee, so we wanted to let you know there’s still time to qualify. If you improve your performance slightly and finish in the top-10 percent of your age group at any race distance during just one sanctioned event by July 11, you’re in. So visit our online race calendar today to find a sanctioned event near you.

Or, simply lock-in a race slot for Milwaukee now! Yes, you can grab a spot on the start line by registering today for the USA Triathlon Sprint-Distance National Championships on Aug. 11. Unlike the Olympic-distance division, the sprint features open registration (no qualification necessary) and, based on your finish, you can even earn the right to represent the United States at the 2014 ITU Age Group World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Click here to register now.

If you have any questions about the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships or the qualification process, please (do not reply to this email) or visit the Age Group National Championships page.

Whether it’s the Sprint-Distance or the Olympic-Distance National Championships (some people even do both!), we hope you’re up to the challenge and we look forward to announcing your name at the finish line in Milwaukee!


Take care of your body!

Good thing I got about three solid weeks of no sickness, no excuses training in before…


I know. WTF? Apparently, that’s how long it took any and all fiberous tissue in my right leg, from my psoas (which starts in your abdomen) down to my ankle, to get really, really, really angry. Angry, inflammed, sticky… and just generally unhappy. All pain is currently centered in one spot on the lower, interior part of my knee, making it really tough to even climb stairs (so no bike/run since Thursday when the pain started after a hill workout on the dreadmill).

I am trying to take it all in (a painful) stride and use this as an opportunity to swim, which I had planned to add in to my schedule in February anyway. I’ve already met with a fabulous ART/massage therapist friend once and will see her again on Friday. In the meantime, I’m making friends with my foam roller, a lacrosse ball, rock tape, and will be checking out anything and everything on the site.

Let this be a lesson folks, don’t neglect your physical therapy needs! 

More Wisdom from Experts – Bike Nutrition and Weight

Despite taking 2012 off the bike, I maintained an e-subscription to Good thing, because I continue to learn from this great newsletter. Here’s a relevant column on riding and nutrition. My main takeaway? The importance of starting a ride feeling fueled. I will often start a little hungry already, and figure that I will just eat on the bike. According to Diane Stibbart, I’m setting myself up to be even more hungry upon finishing the ride.

9. CADENCE: Women on Wheels
How to Avoid Weight Gain While Training
Question: I am preparing for a 600km ride, and I find that I’m so confused about my diet
that I have been putting on weight instead of getting leaner. My problem is that I still can’t
stop myself from eating a lot after a ride. Any hints for getting the body leaner while staying
healthy? Some say I’m overtraining, and others say I’m overeating because I know that I
can burn the calories.

Diane Stibbard Replies: Nutrition for cycling is confusing: there’s a lot of unclear and
conflicting information. Most cyclists are interested not only in getting fit, riding faster and
being more efficient, but also in using cycling as a way of staying lean and in shape.
Muscle weighs more than body fat, but you can tell if you’re putting on fat versus muscle by
how your clothes fit. If you see the scale moving up, but your clothes are fitting looser, then
you are changing your body fat to lean muscle mass. That’s good. The more lean muscle
tissue you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest. Lean muscle mass burns
calories. Body fat does not.

However, total body weight does affect how effectively you can climb hills. The more you
weigh (whether it’s muscle or fat weight), the harder it is for you to climb, because you are
fighting gravity against mass (weight). So weight becomes a balancing act. To be strong
you need a certain amount of mass, but the lighter you are, the easier it is to climb. (It’s
the power-to-weight ratio at work; and that’s another topic for another day.)

Today, I’ll give you some tips and pointers on riding strong while maintaining a lean and
healthy body.

1. Always go into your rides well-fueled. Most of the calories should come from
carbohydrates, a small amount from protein, and few to no calories from fat.
Starting the ride well-fueled will prevent you from being too hungry when you finish. That, in turn, will help keep you from overeating.

2. If your rides are longer than 60 minutes, you’ll need to eat some food while on the
bike. In the first 45 to 50 minutes, eat a small amount. Do this every 45 to 50
minutes after that until the end of the ride. Eat energy bars, a banana or anything
that you can easily digest (100–120 calories, minimum, up to 200 calories). This will
continue to supply you with the energy you need to complete the ride, and prevent
you from getting too hungry at the end of the ride.

3. After finishing the ride, it’s important to have a recovery drink or some food within
15 minutes to top off your stores of glycogen (energy stored in the muscle). Again,
this will prevent you from becoming over-hungry, and overeating. The biggest
mistake I see cyclists make is thinking that they shouldn’t eat after their ride if they
want to lose weight.

To prevent weight gain and to set yourself up for tomorrow’s ride, eat a small recovery
snack after your rides. The following are examples of good post-ride-recovery nutrition.

Commercial Recovery Drink — Commercially available powders that are mixed with water
and stored in a sport bottle are a good and easy option.
Homemade Recovery Shake — Made from 2 cups of water, 1 scoop of protein powder (of
your choice), 1 cup of berries or 1 piece of fruit, and 1 teaspoon of nut butter. Blend until
An energy bar OR yogurt, fruit, and half a bagel.

The question of gaining weight and overtraining also comes up frequently, but the two don’t
necessarily go hand in hand. If you lack energy because you are overtraining (doing too
much without adequate rest), then you’ll reach for more food to compensate to offset the
lack of energy.

To determine if you are overeating because you are overtraining instead of being calorically
deficient, keep track of your morning resting heart rate (RHR). Your morning resting heart
rate is a gauge of your fitness level, as well as a fatigue monitor. If your morning RHR is
consistently 5 to 10 beats higher than normal, this could indicate that you’re overtraining,
or it could be a sign that you’re getting sick.

To establish your morning resting heart rate (RHR) upon waking, before you get out of bed
take your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply it by 6 (to give you beats per minute). Resting
heart rates vary for many different reasons, so track it daily for two weeks to get a baseline

The other way to ensure you aren’t overtraining is to periodize your training: allow for
recovery rides and recovery weeks. This structure will help you become fit and strong,
without getting sick or fatigued.

To summarize: Stay fueled, get lots of rest, and ride strong.

Diane Stibbard is a world-class duathlete who writes for, which
contributes the Women on Wheels column that runs each month in RBR Newsletter.

Four things to try in 2013

I subscribe to Chris Charmichael’s online newsletter (probably an accidental enrollment, but I haven’t unsubscribed, so he’s doing something right). His Happy 2013 message was “Weekend Reading: 13 Ways to Boost Fitness, Lose Weight, and Get Faster in 2013!” Who doesn’t want to do all of those things in 2013? Or, rather… today?

Points that I’m going to try to take to heart:


2. Get used to being hungry: Almost without exception, we can all afford to lose some weight. To do it, you’re doing to have to suck it up and go hungry. Stop gorging after long rides and workouts, eat smaller portions, skip desserts, etc. If you’re consistent, your body and brain will adapt to eating less.

*This sucks. But I’m working on it. Four days in bed with the flu and minimal exercise due to holiday travel and events means my stomach is already partially adapted to eating less. Need to keep this up as I re-introduce training (as the body allows with my flu recovery).

3. Commit to consistency: Training 4 times a week (ie. twice during the workweek and twice on weekends) is good. Five training days a week is great. Six may actually be too much for some athletes, and 7 is generally not a good idea.

*Getting in five to seven days of activity in a week is not normally a problem for me, but I’m out of practice. This is a good note that it’s okay for me to ramp it back up to five or six days – and that four is actually acceptable in the beginning!

9. Drop caffeine: Caffeine enhances athletic performance, but to get the biggest race-day impact from caffeine you don’t want a huge tolerance for the stuff. When you consume less caffeine on a daily basis, less caffeine is required to achieve an ergogenic benefit, so the relatively small amounts in gels and chewables will help you more.

* I knew it!!! I’ve been cutting caffiene from my daily routine in advance of big races for the past five or more years – and in 2011 switched to decaf for most of the year. I’m back on that plan and will try to have caffiene only when truly needed.


10. Fall in love with this workout: 3×10 SteadyState Intervals (3×20 for advanced riders), with recovery between intervals 5 and 10minutes, respectively. It’s not sexy or complicated, but sustained time-at-intensity increases sustainable power at lactate threshold. This the performance marker that leads to higher climbing speed, less taxing rides in the pack, and faster bike splits in triathlons. Intensity: 90-95% of CTS Field Test power, 92-94% of CTS Field Test Heart Rate, or an 8 on a 1-10 exertion scale.

* I will have to give this a shot. It will likely suck to do this on my own, but I’ll try to hide out in the back of class during spin and just knock it out. Guessing this should be done three times a month or so? I’ll start with once and see how it goes – after I’ve gotten myself back to a solid routine.