Barb’s Race at Vineman: July, 26th, 2014

Greta and Krista

“The best things in life are the people you love, the places you’ve seen, and the memories you’ve made along the way.”

Vineman/Barb’s Race is my favorite half Ironman distance event! This year marked the 25th anniversary of Vineman. The race director, Russ Pugh, hosted a nice wine and cheese ceremony to celebrate the history of Vineman a few days before the race. A few of the past winners including Brad Rex said a few words about the race and then they played a great slide show with highlights from past years. It was neat to see my husband David, Brad and all the amazing athletes who had won Vineman in the slide show!

Barb’s Race is a fundraiser for cancer charities and happens the same day as the Vineman Ironman. It is the only all women’s half distance triathlon in the world and better yet it’s located in Sonoma County, CA – wine country!

Overview of Race Course

The race has two transitions starting at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville (Transition 1) and finishing at Windsor High School (Transition 2).

Highlights of the race course include the mellow Russian River swim course. The shallow depth of the water allows you to swim or run. You could stand up in the water and literally run through the River if you wanted. It’s a clearly marked out and back swim course.

In addition to a lovely swim venue the bike course is my favorite part of the race. We cycle around beautiful vineyards and pass wineries along the way. The rolling hills and climbs are reasonable and help pass the time with a mix of flatter sections. Either a road or triathlon bike is appropriate for this course.

Finally the run is hilly but has as many downs as there are ups. Parts of the run course are shaded which was a nice relief from the sun and heat this year. You complete two loops of the run course and finish at Windsor High school (Transition 2).

Brad RexAbout My Race Day

Brad Rex, very good friend and past Vineman winner, dropped me off at the swim start and after some words of wisdom he sent me along my way.

I saw some of the She Does Tri girls preparing for the day in transition and we were able to chat for a bit before my swim start. They were easy to spot in their sharp looking 2XU jerseys that Kathleen Hayes designed for us!


After pulling on my two piece Desoto wetsuit and wishing the girls good luck I headed into the water to warmup. The ladies in my age group all gathered at the start line in the Russian River and once the horn sounded and we were off! We spread out quickly and I found myself racing against three other women all the way to the swim exit. Brad was there cheering for me when I exited the swim and after grabbing my bike I started up the short hill out of transition and left Johnson’s beach.

Molly and MayraBike

At about mile 15 into the beautiful and scenic ride I heard from a spectator that I was in second place but was soon passed by a few strong cyclists. I enjoyed the bike course and worked hard on the hills. I neglected to drink all my fluids which hurt me later on the run but it was enough to keep me moving steady. At mile 45 I started climbing the hardest hill of the day, Chalk Hill. Once I was over Chalk Hill the course did not feel easier but I was able to maintain some momentum using a combination of standing and spinning in a lower gear.

My advice for anyone preparing for this race is to build hill repeats into to your cycling workouts.


I entered transition 2 at Windsor high school and heard my sister Greta and Ally cheering loudly! I was so excited to see them that I almost forgot I was racing but quickly refocused to rack my bike. I grabbed my shoes, visor and water bottle and started running toward the exit where my friend Kim, who was volunteering, directed me.

The first few miles of the run were a challenge as I could not feel relief from tight muscles as a result of the 56 mile hilly ride route. After I hydrated and fueled more through mile 4  my legs started to feel better but was I passed by a woman. I had only done a few brick workouts (bike workout immediately followed by a run) so I was now paying for skipping several of these sessions in training.

Don’t skip your brick workouts!

Once my legs came around I started receiving compliments from the crowd at how strong I looked and it gave me some good motivation. I could see the woman who passed me and I started closing the gap. The day was heating up and I heard someone say it was in the 90′s. Cramping, chills and overheating were all apart of the struggle to keep moving but I managed an 8:50 pace with the help of excellent aid stations and volunteers along the course.

While running, I spotted several of the She Does Tri Girls on the course and cheered for them as I received their cheers and smiles.

She Does Tri Girls

Finally, I crossed the finish line at around 5 in a half hours in 7th place and won my age group! Even though it was far off a personal record I was thrilled! It had been years since I had raced a Half Ironman and felt good. Goal accomplished!

Barb giving awards

The best part of doing Barbs race was having my sister, good friends and team mates (She Does Tri Girls) there sharing in the experience.

Krista and KC

After the race the She Does Tri Girls gathered to celebrate the day!

She does Tri Girls

Greta, Ally, Brad, Abigail and I visited a winery and brewery the next day. This is the wonderful thing about racing in wine country, you get to celebrate and vacation at excellent wineries after the hard work is done!

Sonoma County IMG_2690

The She Does Tri Girls are already making plans for next years Vineman/Barb’s Race experience, we will be back wine country!

There are several race options if you do not want to do the Full Vineman or Barb’s Race. They offer relays for both distances and an AquaBike (Swim & Bike) for the Full Vineman.

If you need help with training visit She Does Tri Coaching.  We offer exceptional training plans, individual coachinggroup coaching and consulting.

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30 Minute Workout to Maintain Strength and Prevent Injury

“Fifty percent of triathletes sustained an injury in the 6-month preseason… Thirty-seven percent were injured during the 10-week competition season.” - Burns, et al.

Injured Triathlete

Injuries are common with endurance athletes including triathletes, runner and cyclists. These sports require that repetitive movements are performed in the same plane of motion and can cause strength imbalances.

How do we prevent strength imbalances so that we can keep progressing in our sports?

The answer is through regular strength training and choosing the appropriate exercises.

Below is a simple strength program that can be done on easy endurance workout days. Shoot for 2-3 days a week.  I recommend doing the exercises before or after your workout for good time management. The entire routine takes about 30 min and you will need a foam roller and exercise cord or band.

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Run Galesburg Run Race Report + 3 Training Tips

Run Galesburg Run Half Marathon

Run Galesburg Run StartOn June 1st I lined up with the other runners at The Cottage Hospital Half Marathon in Galesburg, Illinois. I had some time goals and hoped to place well in the women’s field.

I love this race, mainly because my very good friends organize the event but also because it is very well run and a fun time. The after race party and after after race party is AMAZING!!!

There is also a 5k and a 1 mile fun run so anyone can participate. Continue reading

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My 2014 Race Schedule

What are your goal races this year?

Getting ready for a run!

Ernest Hemingway said, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

In 2013 I had some fun events! Race trips were not just about competing but enjoying time with friends. Continue reading

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The Seven Guidelines for “Your Best Diet”

What should I eat to improve body composition and gain energy?

2012-11-16 18.03.08

If you are asking yourself this question or similar ones about nutrition you may be looking for “Your Best Diet.”

What is “The Best Diet?” The answer is, it depends…. The best diet is different for everyone based on their goals, health status and accessible foods.

Marketing material, doctors, trainers, coaches, nutritionists and peers may all give you conflicting advice.

So, where to begin? Continue reading

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Big Race In a Small Town – Run Galesburg Run

I live in Boulder, CO, the mecca of endurance athletes, and have the privilege to train with some of the best coaches and athletes in the world. At workouts we often discuss our upcoming races.

As The Galesburg Half Marathon came closer my friends would ask me things like, “How many more days? Did you do that half marathon yet?” There were times I was surprised by their interest because some of them had just won an Ironman or made it to Olympic trials and this was a half marathon in a small town. Continue reading

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Ann Nicocelli Races Luray Triathlon

Update from Ann, brain aneurysm survivor:

It was wonderful seeing Krista, David, Brad Rex, Andrea Mathias and the whole She Does Tri group at the Luray Tri last weekend!! Congratulations to everyone involved for organizing such a great event! The camaraderie and support from the athletes and within the graduates of the She Does Tri camp was fabulous.

Racing at the Luray Tri this year was a gift. I had canceled my participation last year when my brain aneurysm was discovered a few weeks before the race. Coming back this year was a personal victory. I cannot say enough about the organization and quality of the race and the pre-race clinic. I attended the clinic and the information provided was great. Race day was beautiful – perfect weather!

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3 Simple Steps to Get “Fit”

Krista race picture at Columbia TriathlonDo you want to get fit?

Are you struggling to get into shape?

What ever it is you are trying to achieve making a change that will stick takes the same steps.

Here are 3 Simple Steps to get “Fit”

1. Determine a goal

What is it you want to achieve through fitness?  Weight loss, health, speed, all of the above?  What ever your goal may be start with one in mind, make it specific then write it down and pick a date so you can work backwards to develop your plan.  Make sure your goal is practical, enjoyable and achievable.  A coach can help you with determining appropriate goals, planning and workouts. Continue reading

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Ann Nicocelli Does Tri

The Day the Unexpected Happened

by Ann Nicocelli


Ann Nicocelli

On July 16, 2010, just three months after joining the She Does Tri Camp, Ann Nicocelli discovered that she had a brain aneurysm during a visit to the emergency room. With this diagnosis, brain surgery was the only option for a cure.

Ann was an eager, enthusiastic camper when I met her at She Does Tri Camp. She was excited and determined to learn and achieve great things in the sport of triathlon. After learning about Ann’s brain aneurysm and her fight against this terrible fate I wanted to know more about how she was dealing with all the thoughts, feelings, and uncertainties that came along with brain surgery. Her story which is still unfolding can give us all courage as we struggle with finding the motivation to get up everyday and work hard toward our goals. Ann is kind enough to share her experience and perspective to help others who may also be dealing with a life threatening diagnosis or are struggling to exercise and accomplish a physical task. I am proud to call her a She Does Tri Camp graduate. We will hear more about Ann’s story as she continues on her journey and competes in the wonderful sport of triathlon.

In the attached article, Ann shares how her training, focus, and determination, brought her through her potentially fatal condition. She takes us through her trip to the emergency room and diagnosis, brain surgery, and recovery. She shares how triathlon training brought her through all elements of this challenge stronger and more centered – all the way to the planning for a half Ironman in 2011, just nine months after surgery.

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Weight Loss: More Than Just Cutting Calories

fast foodAlthough many people have good intentions to follow through with their New Year’s Resolutions a common pattern is to fail. In a 2007 study in the UK, which tracked more than 3,000 people attempting to achieve a range of resolutions, including losing weight, although 52% of participants were confident of success at the start, only 12% actually achieved their goal one year later. It is important to realize and understand your individual limitations, which need to be addressed in order to meet the demands of the commitment. As an example if you have trouble motivating yourself to go to the gym, you could find a workout partner to help hold you accountable.
However, limitations to being able to stick to a commitment may be more complex than simply finding a workout partner when it comes to eating right. Simply deciding to eat smaller quantities or fewer calories to lose weight or body fat may not be the answer for many who follow a pattern of failing to change your body composition. In order to make a lifestyle change Dr. Dietz, Director of Nutrition at the Center for Disease Control explains that we need to make environmental changes such as buying and preparing more foods to make changes in a family structure and reducing the less healthy foods in schools.

The “Meat” of the Obesity Problem: Dopamine



According to a recent article in the New York Times, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that Americans have reached their peak of obesity. Failure to follow reasonable eating habits and remain inactive has caused Americans to reach an all-time high for our overweight and obesity statics.
According to the Government the obesity rate should have been at only 15% by 2010 but obesity rates in America are at an all-time high with 34% of adults and 17% of children in America considered obese.
Although inactivity seems to be a problem, the foods we eat can be just as much if not the “MEAT” of the issue. It may not be enough for an overweight or obese individual to simply increase activity and decrease calories. Certain foods, like alcohol or drugs, can trigger a chemical response in particular individuals with a predisposition to overeating that can reinforce addictive behavior. Dr. Kessler, the author of The End of Overeating, describes certain fatty and sugar foods as hyperpalatable as compared to clean cooked vegetables. Fast foods, for example, can change brain chemistry and cause a neurological response which stimulates the pattern of overeating. Rich, sweet or fatty foods stimulate the brain to release dopamine which is a neurotransmitter associated with the pleasure center of the brain. Dr. Kessler believes food addicts may have certain characteristics such as lack of impulse control and inability to stop once they get started. Before you decide to eat at a fast food restaurant, or make a poor food choice, think about how it makes you feel and the unhealthy pattern it can create.

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