Monday, June 3, 2013

Change in plans...

I just got done racing the Buffalo Olympic triathlon and it was fun but cold.  If anyone knows me they would know that I like it the hotter the better!  Race officials said the water temperature was 66 degrees but not sure about that one - it felt pretty cold to me!  I had a solid race but had a mechanical issue on the bike that probably cost me about 90 seconds which is quite a bit of time but I ended up 3rd overall.  Swim went as well as expected with being so cold I never felt like I could really get into a groove.  I camped out way too long in T2 putting on gloves, arm warmers - you name it!  I knew I would be chilled so I wanted to make sure I could stay as warm as I could.  The run was where I was pleasantly surprised - I ran decent considering I am fighting some glute/hammy issues.  I struggled with this last year but it is working it's way out.

Couple of weeks ago was the famous Gear West Duathlon - this race has been my nemesis for the last couple of years because I can never seem to pace myself for duathlons and either go out way too hard on the run or too slow.  It is also off course and I am so afraid of pulling a muscle since it is sketchy terrain and it is usually muddy.  Two years ago I lost my shoe on the run course because it got stuck in the mud so there is a great picture of me running with it.

This year I again didn't pace myself right and felt like my heart was coming out of my chest but made up some time on the bike to end up with third overall.  Even though every year I dread the thought of running in the mud this is a race that I come back to every year I can - it is the season opener for most of us in Minnesota and it is fun to see everyone you haven't seen for the last 6 months - as well as it is a good check on where you are with your fitness.

Concentrating on my footing so I don't fall!!

Boys are great - they are growing up so much - Owen is almost done with Kindergarten and Keaton had his first year of Montessori school.  He went two times a week from September to May and he cried every time I dropped him off - I was hoping the last day of his school I would get by without any tears but it wasn't so.  I know it was all a show for me because I would hang out for 5 mins and peak in on him and he would be fine and start playing with his friends but would break my heart and it would all I could think about for the next hour as I would try and work.  Owen is participating in a 5k run this weekend - it is part of his schools Fun Run and there was the option of the Kids 1 mile run but he really wanted to do the 5k - that's my kind of boy - go long or go home!
Keaton hammin it up!

Playing at the park

Speaking of going long - I had the chance to do Ironman Wisconsin again this year.  I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to go through it all again.  I had already set my race schedule up and I am somewhat a creature of habit but Derek convinced me to do it.  I got the email that I could register for it about 2 months ago and so after talks with the coach and Derek it was in the plan.  I had a solid race last year but GI issues crept up to me on the run the last hour and it wasn't pretty.  I want a do over and be able to celebrate at the finish line with my family and friends this year and not pass out in the porta potty!  Hope everyone is off to a great start of their season - sure hope it warms up - We need some 90's so I can swim in my pool!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's been a while...

Sorry it's been a while since my last post...September to be exact!  It is almost spring...yipee...Keaton and I actually went to the park today for about 45 mins and had his snack there until our hands got cold and we made our way back home.  It seems like winter will be around for a while with all of the snow we have in Minnesota.  For a whole week I had to run on the treadmill and I thought I was going to go crazy.  I went for a 9 mile run on Sunday and it was so nice to be outside even if I was jumping over puddles and ice.  We have been pretty healthy here in the Haag household except for Keaton getting the nasty flu bug and was sick for about 5 days - poor guy probably lost about 5 lbs.

Keaton on day #3 being sick 

Hopefully winter will be gone soon but wanted to post a picture of the awesome hockey rink my husband and our neighbor put together for the kids.

Owen has gotten his fill out of it this winter!!  This was my first year experiencing hockey in our household.  Owen was a Mite 1 and his team were the Wildcats.  I got asked to be the team manager and I had no idea what I was supposed to do or if I was doing it right but I took the bull by the horns and only three more weeks of hockey left...yipee, now on to soccer and baseball!

I am super excited about my race season - no Ironmans this year and I really don't know when the next one will be.  I loved Ironman Wisconsin but I missed those epic hard workouts - like the ones I have been doing the last 3 weeks on the bike - feeling the burn in the legs!  So here is the schedule for 2013:
Some run races this spring and then:
Gear West Duathlon
Buffalo Olympic
Lifetime Olympic
Chisago Half
Age Groups National Championships
Pigman Long Course
Age Groups Long Course National Championships

There might be a couple more to add it just have to wait and see what the summer brings with the kids. I usually do about 11-12 races a summer so this doesn't seem a lot to me but I know it will be busy.   I want to be able to watch a lot of my athletes race and I have one that is doing Ironman Wisconsin this year and very excited for him to accomplish his goal!  Coaching and personal training is going great as well - I find myself so tied up with coaching and training sometimes that a goal of mine for this season is balance - Balance in that triathlon is important in my life but it is not the most important thing.  I have a new coach and mentor and he is helping me realize this.  He told me a couple weeks back - "Kortney - go get a hobby that doesn't involve swimming, biking, or running.  I took his advice and it has been great to be able to help out more at Owen's school, as well as surprising him for lunch.  I really love being active but without recovery and downtime there is no way I will get faster.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ironman Wisconsin Race Report -

I don't want to make this a super long post because I am still trying to get my life back together after being gone for four days and then I am leaving in two days to see one of my athletes finish her first triathlon out in Malibu, California.
I had a great day in Wisconsin but it didn't turn out the way I had planned, some things went out of the plan but that is what happens during an Ironman - you have to expect the unexpected.
We packed up the van on Friday, there were three kids and three adults and I wasn't sure if we were going to be able to get it all in there.  We were pretty packed in!

We drove to the hotel in Wisconsin and my sister then took the kids and the van to my mom's house who lives a little over an hour south of Madison. I was so grateful for her to make the trip, she helped us so much with the kids and then she had her own to take care of!

It was pretty awesome to be a part of all the buzz that was going on in the city and I was very excited to race.  Poor Derek got some of the brunt of my nervousness and anticipation as I had a couple of melt downs about my coffee being cold and not getting my oatmeal right - thanks Derek for putting up with me.

I knew the day was going to be a little chiller than expected and I was going back and forth on what to wear - I decided just to wear my Gear West jersey with triathlon shorts and arm warmers because I do get cold out there and I like to race in the heat!

Race day arrived and felt good to go.  I got in the water at a good time and got to see fellow Minnesotan Anthony Hirschman waiting in line so that helped calm my nerves.  I lined up just by the ski jump and I treaded water for about 6 mins.  I didn't get beat up too bad but there were a couple of times some man hands came after me.  The only time it got real physical was when we were going around or close to the buoys.  I found some feet to swim on for the last section of the race and that was nice.  Running up the helix was awesome - I saw Derek and my family and I knew it was going to be a fun day.

I had rode the course so I knew what to expect and absolutely loved it!  I wanted to get in around 250-300 calories per hour on the bike.  The best part of the bike were the climbs because of all the people waiting for you to run and cheer.  At Old Sauk Pass I saw three guys in basketball outfits and thought they were hilarious - they were cheering for me and telling me I looked great.  At that time I was in somewhat of a daze and just smiling at people and concentrating on the race.  I remember thinking to myself on the second loop I hope those guys are there again because they were hilarious - come to find out it was my husband, his brother and friend!

Around mile 50 my bike computer went out as well as the tape was falling off my handlebars.  I was annoyed by this but it was probably a good thing so I didn't try and hold a certain mph on the flats but to just go by feel.  The other problem that happened was that I dropped my chain three times - this is not like me and super annoyed that I did this as it costed me somewhere around 2-5 mins on the bike.

I was so happy to start the run and knew I was in a good position coming in - I passed two pros on the bike and didn't think there were too many other amateurs ahead of me.  As I was exiting T2 a volunteer told me I was in the top 10 and 2nd amateur female  - I was happy with this and just wanted to run a solid marathon hoping to not have any issues with the hamstring.  My hamstring actually felt the best it had going into the race with seeing Crystal at Spine and sport and getting massages weekly to really work it out.  What was really bothering me was my back as I had a rib out of place that I do struggle with time to time and Crystal put some kinesology tape  on it the night before.
The run course is tough, lots of hills and you can't get into a rhythm with all of the turning but I felt good and kept up my nutrition as I had planned.  I saw my family again around mile 5 and gave Owen a high five!  As I was making my way to the special needs run bag around the halfway point I started to feel crappy.  I was thinking to myself I wish I had another pair of shorts in there because I really feel like I could poop my pants!  If anyone saw my pace you can see that it slowly went down the ladder - I was on pace to do about a 3:30 to 3:40 marathon and I remember Cathy Yndestad saying to me keep strong Kort nice and steady.  I kept those thoughts in my head and just kept on truckin - but did have to find a bathroom about every 5 mins and sometimes had to wait to use one.  That can really bring your time down and that is what happened.  I had never experienced this kind of issues on my training runs after a bike but I know that in a race so many emotions, endorphins, etc can come into play that can affect your nutrition and I do think that I did take in too many carbs at one time and my body can't handle that.  Your body can only process about 30-60 grams of carbs per hour and I will need to go back and evaluate through racing and training of what I can process.  Ironman is a whole different ballgame versus the half and I think I got my half ironman nutrition down pretty good.  As I was making my way to the finish line I heard my name cheered but was in such a daze that I had no clue that I was finishing the race.  A volunteer held me up and brought me over to a grassy area where I told her  - I need to use the bathroom - AGAIN!  Derek eventually found me and all I wanted to do was lay in the grass and not move.

Everyone came over to congratulate me and it was great to see them all - friends from college, almost my whole family as well as my in- laws.  I could not had asked for more support and encouragement from them.  I didn't get a chance to celebrate with them, take pictures, nothing....I went straight back to my hotel where I passed out for about a half hour after taking a bath, tried to eat 1/2 of a pizza but couldn't stomach it, went to bed where somewhere about midnight I woke up with the worst feeling in my stomach.  I then spent the rest of the night by the toilet!  The next morning I was still feeling horrible so we made our way to Urgent Care after talking to a couple of people about my issues and they suggested to not mess around with my symptoms.  I got 2.5 bags of IV's and after 4 hours in the room was released to go home.   I so wanted to be one of those who was eating dairy queen and loving every minute of it but all I got was some saltine crackers and chicken broth - yummy!   My good friend Harvey told me to just let it go - literally the next time because he saw a woman at Grandma's marathon running with poo poo down the back of her shorts an someone asked her if she needed anything and her reply was "To qualify for Boston!"
Looking back I need to remember that I did have a good time with all the circumstances that happened that day, I have a great family who loves and supports me.  The support that was out there that day cheering me and all of the other athletes on that day - WOW you guys are the reason why I wouldn't want to do any other Ironman just because the amount of love you receive out there is amazing.  Thank you!!!  Someday I hope to be back there to race but next year I am there to support my athletes and those who cheered for me last Sunday!  

Friday, August 24, 2012

The last 5 months...

It has been a while since my last post ummm to be exact 5 months...sorry, that is what happens when you are training for an Ironman, have two young children, work part time and have an injury you wish would go away!!!
With the hamstring not doing the greatest the whole summer I have been racing but not like I would like to and not like I feel I could. As far as races went - I did a couple of 70.3's that went well, placing first and third.  I never seemed to recover any speed for the Olympic races and trained through them, hoping to get my fitness back.  I have Ironman Wisconsin in a  couple of weeks and with it being my first I just would like to finish but finish within my potential.
I finally did a run today and didn't have any pain - I have been putting on kinesiology tape every time I run now for the last 2 weeks and it seems to help.  I just hope it holds up for the marathon and doesn't give me any trouble.  I am looking forward to just doing some yoga for two weeks after the race and nothing else!

Summer seemed to fly by - we swam a lot in the pool and Owen will probably be a faster swimmer then me in the next couple of years.  He also started Kindergarten this week and I had a few tears as he got on the bus.  Keaton is his happy crazy self and never seems to stop talking.  The two of them fight like crazy at times but then love each other so much and play so well at other times.

The weekend after Ironman I have the opportunity to watch one of my athletes race in Malibu.  She was one of the Lucky 7 CNN chose to train for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  I can't wait to watch her race - she has been so determined since we started working together in February and has done some 5k's as well as open water swims and very anxious to put it all together!  While in Malibu I also get the opportunity to meet Rich Roll - ultra endurance athlete as well as Chrissie Wellington - whoo hoo - what a way to celebrate Ironman - let's just hope I do OK as I will be in great company!

            Picture of an athlete and me at the Liberty Half Ironman where I finished 1st and Melissa placed                                  first in her age group for the Olympic Race!

                          Owen and Keaton with Santa Clause during Santa's summer vacation

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hamstring Strain

Well a little set back but I am just glad it didn't happen in June. Last year I pulled my hamstring during a race and it never healed properly. I had been getting it worked on for the past 2 months but I went to go run the MDRA 7 mile race two weeks ago and as I was warming up I got my foot stuck in my warm up pants (note to self - do not wear long warmup pants when warming up next time)...ugh! I knew I did something horrible because I could feel the pull and tear and down I went to the ground. I could hardly walk back to my car and then I had to drive a stick shift home which aggrivated it even more!
I should have posted some pics of it about a week ago because it looked like someone took a baseball bat and beat the heck out of my leg. It was all black and blue up and down and now it is working it's way down to my calf. It is a grade 2 hamstring strain so I haven't ran for 2 weeks - and hoping I can run by the end of the week without pain. I am trying to stay positive knowing that it is early and Ironman Wisconsin is in September. I just wanted to start out the season healthy and strong but just have to remember that injuries happen in this sport and to take care of it now and work on other disciplines of the sport - I can bike and swim! Just wanted to say thanks to Crystal at Spine and Sports as well as others at the Spine and Sports Chiro team for taking care of me!

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Year, New House, New Goals

Well it is February 3rd and I finally writing my first blog of the new year! Shame on me but I do have excuses...just like everyone else! We moved about 2 weeks ago to the great city of Maple Grove. We love our new house so far and so do the kids. We have met some of the neighbors and they are super nice and have children Owen's age so he is very excited about this. Good friends of ours live about 4 houses down and we have loved getting together with them for runs, playdates and carpooling. Here is a picture of the outside of the house with the nice UHaul in front of it!

I will show pictures of the inside once we actually have furniture in there. I still haven't figured out what's better in the new place - the turkey that comes everyday getting it's food from the neighbors (Owen has named him Biff) or the fact that we are going to be tan this summer with the pool in our backyard.
This year my race schedule will be a little different. I won't be racing as much and will miss out on some of my favorite race as I decided to race Ironman Wisconsin. My goals this year are to get to the start line of Wisconsin injury free, healthy and happy. I have been battling a glute issue that just won't go away. I pulled it last May and never treated it properly and it is still bugging me. Seems like me and the foam roller have become best friends and I even carry a tennis ball in my purse so when I drive I am rolling and digging into it.
Coaching has been keeping me busy as well. I started coaching an athlete that was chosen as one of the Lucky 7 for CNN Fit Nation with Dr. Gupta. She will be competing in the Malibu Triathlon in September and I am so excited to show her how triathlon can change and inspire her life. I am also excited because with our move I am a lot closer to a lot of my athletes that I will be able to bike, swim and run with them more.
Owen and Keaton are doing great and are starting to play with eachother more. Owen still needs to remember that Keaton is 3 years younger than him and he can't wrestle and tackle like he can. I have a feeling that I will be breaking up a lot of wrestling matches for the next 15 years!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Austin 70.3 - Yeeehaw!

What a fun way to end my season in warm and sunny Austin!

Derek and I left for our trip on Friday and I had already shipped my bike to the hotel so it was there waiting for us to put together. This is what it looked like before so I was a little nervous about making sure my fit was perfect, but I knew Derek would be more anal about putting it together than I would!
Friday night we walked around 6th street and could hear the music outside of the bars desperately wanting to go in and party but I knew I would have my chance come Sunday night.
Saturday we headed to the race site to drop off my bike, check out the course and do a little pre race warmup. I was very happy to hear that the water was around 72 degrees so that would mean wetsuits would be legal. As I was heading toward the water to swim I saw fellow coach and triathlete Kris Swarthout and his brother in law Kris. It was so nice to see a familiar face in the mass of people there. Kris told me some more about the bike course and how there was an area in which it was gravel and that the bike course elevation was somewhat similar to Ironman Wisconsin. I was excited to hear this since I will be doing Ironman Wisconsin next year. The run course was also very hilly and with portions of trail running. However, the trail had huge rocks and divots in it so you really had to watch where you were running. I slept great Saturday night and woke up Sunday ready to race!

When I got to the swim start our bikes were already there, but it was still dark out and difficult to setup transition and pump up your tires. T1 and T2 were also in different areas so you were given transition bags to put all of your gear into after each transition.
I was in wave 10 - about 25 mins after the pro men started. When I had swam the day before the water was pretty choppy because of the wind so I was expecting the same that morning, but luckily the wind was holding back until later in the day. I wanted to find some feet to draft off of but the waves were 5 mins apart, so that made it difficult to catch faster swimmers in earlier waves. I had a great swim for me - 30 mins! I didn't start out fast at all but built into the swim - this is what Dan wanted me to do so I listened!! I stripped off my wetsuit, threw it into the race supplied transition bag with goggles and cap and off I went on the bike. The bike was definitely challenging because of the number of people on the course. For about the first 20 miles I rode on the right side yelling on your left continuously! There were parts of the course in which you couldn't pass anyone due to construction and road conditions so that really brought my mph down. I was happy with my time on the bike considering the pros didn't have to deal with the traffic and the wind that seemed to pick up the last 20 miles on the course. I did have one mishap on the bike though - as I was running through transition to rack my bike a huge gust of wind blew through and I lost my footing and fell down pretty hard scraping up my knee and side of my leg. I don't think that caused me any issues on the run but it did hurt!

I knew I was in a good spot coming out of T2 and Derek yelled that I was the number one or two amateur out there. The run course was changed this year from 2 laps to 3 due to the drought in Austin. It was tough to run around the same path 3 times mentally and physically! The wind had definitely picked up and so had the heat. I just tried to maintain my pace and not go out too hard the first lap. I wanted to run harder the last 4 miles but didn't have much left in the tank to negative split. I was so happy to see the finish line and also see Derek and my friend Jacquie waiting there for me. I finished 6th overall and second amateur for the day.

Picture of the 30-34 Age Group Winners

In all, I was so happy with my performance and a big thanks to Gear West for all their support, Dan at OptumHealth Performance for being an amazing coach and friend, and to my family for their support as well. Derek's parents took care of Owen and Keaton while we were gone and the kids had a blast with their grandparents. I asked Owen if he missed us and he plainly said no I didn't miss you. I also gave Owen my trophy from the race and he asked Derek why I got second place! I guess I better step it up for him next year!

Below are pictures of the boys and their Grandparents

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ready for a Vacation...wait race!

This Friday, Derek and I are heading to Austin, TX. I am going to race Austin 70.3 and so looking forward to getting out of my house! Owen was sick last week and now Keaton is sick and I am hoping I stay healthy one more week! We also put our house on the market and I have a full time job keeping the house clean. Our house was never "dirty" before but it's a different story when you have to make sure the beds are nice and neat, the toys are all put away or hidden, the sink is empty and all the stainless is cleaned. The weather looks to be in the 80's - perfect racing weather and I am so excited to go to the corporate headquarters of Whole Foods. The bike course is supposed to be challenging so looking foward to climbing some hills since I will be doing lots of that in preparation for Ironman Wisconsin next year. I have never traveled to a race before or done a Ironman series race. I am very nervous about making sure my bike gets put together correctly as well as making sure I don't forget to pack anything I need. I will be in good company though because Coach Kris from Optum Health Performance will be there racing as well so it will be fun having him there to party with afterwards! I will miss my boys though!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Peregrine Charities Race Report - was a cold one!

I wasn't sure if I was going to make the trip down to Iowa since my sister's due date was the day of the race. However, I decided that since I had raced this race every year since it's start I wanted to go and support the race and the charity. The race director does an amazing job with volunteers, organization, and post race.
I like racing in the heat and it seems like it takes me forever to warm up. I knew that it was going to be a cold morning and to bring my warm weather gear. We had dinner with Hannah and David and David gave me some good advice that if I had any chance to get ahead of people I needed to bike my booty off so be warm on the bike. I decided I was going to wear my gloves and jacket no matter what!
Race morning it was about 45 degrees at the start and the water temp was about 63 degrees. I was trying out a new wetsuit to see if I liked it and if it helped my swim at all...turns out it didn't!!! I had been having some pain in my left shoulder and tried working it out with some massage but it was still bothering me. I tried hanging onto to some of the other women but I just didn't have any speed or pull - worst swim of the year! I was out there swimming all bymyself and need to just punish myself in the water - and not be comfortable....enough said. I got to my bike and knew I was about 2 minutes behind all the other women and opted not to put my gloves on since I thought it would take too much time - dumb move! Bike went great and had the fastest bike split and caught Janet right at the 35k mark. She had a great swim and was first women out of the water so I was glad I caught up to her. I came into T2 with about a minute ahead of her but she left before me because I couldn't get my helmet off or my feet into my shoes - my hands were so frozen. I finally ripped my helmet off my head breaking the strap and a women said to me "Kortney...just relax and breath and get those shoes on..." thank you to whomever that was. After the longest T2 in history - 1:49 to be exact I made my way onto the run. I wanted to conserve myself since I always go out hard and then feel like I die at the end so that is what I did but every race is different and what I should have done was ran harder to pass Janet and see if she could hang with me because I couldn't catch her at the end - I had a better run split than her but spent too much time in T2 and she beat me by 28 seconds. I ended up third overall and congrats to Claire Boostma who won. She had a great race - she is now a part of the Gear West Devlopment Team and it is great to have her as a part of the team!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

St. Croix Valley Olympic Race Report - New Course Record!!

I went into St Croix with my sites set on a great swim time. With my injuries in the start of the summer I never felt like I could "race" the swim and wasn't in swimming shape until the last couple of weeks. I wanted to go out hard and not hold back and see what would happen to the rest of my race. Tim Walton (swim coach extraordinaire from Optum Health Performance) has been helping me a lot with my stroke and was in my heat so I really wanted to beat him out of the water! I came out of the water at 22:00 and change and was super excited to see that it was under 23:00. The bike course is challenging with some hills and since it was raining a little I had to be a little conservative on the corners. I was shocked to see though after the race that I averaged 23 mph on the bike - last year I could only muster 22.1mph. Coming into transition I checked my watch and knew if I could run around a 40 min 10k, I might havea shot at the course record. I didn't want to bonk at the end of the race and be mad at myself for going out too strong so I just concentrated on my form and cadence for the first couple of miles knowing that these were the hardest of the run with a few hills. At mile 4 I checked my split and saw it was about a 6:15 ...only 2 more miles...about 13 more minutes of pushing. At the last mile I checked my watch again and knew I was close. I couldn't remember exactly what the record was, but knew it was 2:09: and change. I was hoping it was closer to 2:10 because as I was making my way to the finish line I was past the 2:09 mark. As I crossed the finish line Jerry said to me "I think you did it Kort". I gave Tim a high five, chatted with him and thanked him for cheering me on. My excitement was short lived as I saw one of my athletes in the transition area. I was wondering why he was walking and was ready to start yelling at him to run until I saw a big gash on his head. He told me got got into a bike accident and wasn't able to finish. I was so bummed to see him like that because he has worked so hard and really wanted to leave it all out there to see what he was capable of. I understand the frustration of having your body and mind ready to race, but certain circumstances prevent you from completing. However, things happen for a reason and that only makes you stronger and more determined. Next up is Peregrine Charities triathlon, Twin Cities 10 mile and Austin 70.3!