Raising the Bar, or Seat

November 30, 2011 on 12:16 pm | In Announcements, Community, Giving Back, Random Musings | No Comments

We are once again raising the bar on what we feel a true triathlon store should offer in the way of amenities.  You must have an indoor pool (check), you must have a dedicated bike fit studio (check), and you must have a treadmill to do foot strike analysis (check).  Our newest addition – Port ‘o Potties.

Only at TriSports!

Seriously, how many of us practice using these things?  You really need to know the ins and outs of these giant plastic stink tanks. Sit or squat?  Use TP or run it a bit dirty?  Share or wait in line? These are all decisions we have to make when racing and we think it is important to practice every aspect of racing.  So, next time you are at a store that says they are a triathlon store you know what to ask them – Where is the pool, fit studio, treadmill AND Port o’ Pottie.  See you in line at the races!

Race Report: Leanda Cave @ Ironman Arizona

November 29, 2011 on 3:02 pm | In Athlete Profile, Races, Sponsorship | 2 Comments

My first Ironman victory!

This past weekend I had a very emotional and rewarding victory at Ironman Arizona – my final race of 2011!  Here is a summary of my 2011 season: 13 races, 3 of which were World Championship events.  Two Ironman races, two long distance triathlons, six half-ironman, two Olympic distance and one duathlon.  I managed five wins, four 2nd places, two 3rd places, and two random off the podium finishes of 6th place.   Pat on the back me!   I’m exhausted!

My main goal for Ironman Arizona was to break 3-hours for the marathon.  I also really wanted to win because I hadn’t won an Ironman yet.  At the back of my mind I wasn’t so confident about achieving either goal.  It was a big ask from my body and very ambitious after racing so much since the Ironman World Championship in Kona 6-weeks earlier.  But I had nothing to lose because it was the last race of the season for me.  I had a bloody good reason if I sucked and it was a bonus if I could pull it off.  But in terms of racing itself, I just wanted to be done.  I was looking forward to getting to the finish line more than the process for this race.

On race morning I woke up with one thought in my head: “oh crap, I’m racing an Ironman today”.  The whole idea started to dawn on me.  But it was too late to back out now.  My sister, Melissa, and her boyfriend Tim, had come all the way over from London to watch me race.  I was committed!

Photo by: Hai-Ping Hwang-Twigg

I pumped my tires up, went for a little jog and headed over to the swim start.  The water in the Tempe Lake is a pretty cold 60 degrees this time of year, and we have to swim a bit of a way to the start line, which means hanging out a little too long in the cold water.  I froze.  I’m not good in the cold at the best of times.  I tried to warm up but just felt tight and lethargic.  When the gun went off, I was slow off the mark.  Any hope of hanging on to the feet of the male pros quickly vanished.  I did have a couple of other pro woman around me (we had yellow swim caps, and the males had grey), and they would be my company for the swim.  I come from a swimming background and normally the swim is just getting from A to B and I don’t think much of it.  But it seemed to be taking forever, and just before the last turn buoy my left calf completely cramped and I had to stop.  Then the most sportsmanlike thing happened.  Meredith Kessler, who was swimming on my feet, stopped and asked if I was ok!  Couldn’t believe someone would be so kind to do that.  I waved Meredith on and just thought to myself as I waited for my cramp to ease how amazing and generous some athletes really are.

I exited the water in 4th place, about 3 minutes down on the leader, Amanda Stevens and a minute down on Meredith Kessler and Kelly Williamson.  The gap wasn’t huge, and I thought I could reel them in over the course of the bike.  But that idea was sidelined when I discovered I had a flat tire right out of the gate.  I ran back into transition to get a spare wheel from the mechanics tent, but they told me all their spares were out on the course about a mile up the road.  So to get me by, they put air in my tire and discovered the valve was loose and I didn’t have a flat after all.  With the valve tightened and air in my tire, I thought I was good to go and started to wind up the gears to get back into the race.  But then my chain started slipping and I couldn’t get into any of the harder gears.  At this point I had gone about half a mile past the spare wheels on the course, but I knew I had to go back as I had no other option.

I was wearing a bracelet on race day in honor of a local triathlete, Sally Meyerhoff, who lost her life earlier this year after a truck hit her on a training ride.  It read: “Be Relentlessly Positive”.  I looked down at it through all this commotion a number of times, and it really flushed away all the doubts and negative thoughts about the situation and it gave me the energy to forge ahead.

Eventually I changed my rear wheel and essentially lost about 6 minutes in doing so!  But I was good to go now and that’s what I did.  Linsey Corbin had caught me and encouraged me to make an effort with her to chase down the girls ahead.  We kept gaining time bringing the initial 8-minute deficit down to 5 minutes after the first lap, then 4 minutes by the start of the 3rd lap.   By the time I reached transition, Meredith Kessler, Michelle Vesterby and I were 3:30 down on Stevens.  Lindsey was a further 2 minutes back after suffering in the last lap of the bike.

I went out on the run in 4th.  I set out feeling pretty average.  I’m not sure anyone feels amazing when they get off a 112-mile bike ride!  My transition was pretty slow and I found myself chasing down Versterby in the first 2 miles.  I then had my sights on Kessler, who I caught at about 4 miles.  Meredith hung with me for a few miles, but had to slow a bit to find her own pace.  So now it was just me chasing down Stevens.  By 6 miles the gap had closed to 1 minute and by 7 miles I was in the lead!

I forged ahead and kept my sub 3-hour marathon goal in mind.  I was feeling pretty good on the 2nd lap.  But I knew the worst part of the race for me is yet to come.  This was my 4th time racing Ironman Arizona, and in the past, I have fallen to bits in the final lap.  I tried to put that in the back of my mind and concentrate on the goal ahead.  My coach Siri was screaming at me about some really fast overall time.  She was saying I was on target to go under 8hrs50min for the race.  I was just thinking there was no way!  I’m just going for my run goal and now to win my first Ironman.  But she was right.   I came down the finish chute in 8:49!!  I also ran a 2:58 marathon!! Wow.  My body amazes me.  After I crossed the finish line, I ran back down the chute to slap hands with the crowd.  I’ve always wanted to do this!  Then of course I did the Blazeman Roll.

My support team is what made this season possible.  A HUGE thank you to the crew at K-Swiss, Accelerade/Endurox R4 (my secret recovery formula), Sandy at Gita Sports and the boys at Pinarello, Blue Seventy, Nuun, my team back home at TriSports, Tri Bike Transport, NOVA Light, Chuck and Jim at Easton/Bell/Giro, SKINS, Oakley, TorHans Aero and Computrainer.

Thanks to my family and friends for all you support throughout 2011.  2012 is going to be even greater!!

Yours in sport,

Leanda Cave

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2011 on 6:00 am | In Community, Random Musings | No Comments

We are thankful for :

Our wetsuits that keep us warm.

Our super aero bikes.

Our running shoes that help us go fast.

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook on Monday for Cyber Monday deals!

A Visit from the Voice

November 23, 2011 on 6:00 am | In Employee Adventures, Random Musings | No Comments

If you have ever done an Ironman, or ever been to see one, there are two things that are most certainly consistent – the M-dot logo and the voice of Mike Reilly. Mike has announced over 100 Ironman races over the years and has said the words, “You are an Ironman,” tens of thousands of times. His voice is the welcome home committee for many of us that cross the line. I have been racing Ironman races for over 12 years and am about to do my 8th race; in all but one of them Mike has been there to welcome me across the finish line. Mike and I are on the board of Triathlon America together and have gotten to know each other a bit better over the last year. On his way to Ironman Arizona I persuaded him to make a right hand turn off of I-8 onto I-10 (he lives in southern CA) to come and visit our operation.

Mike Reilly with some of the TriSports.com retail staff!

I have to say it was a pleasure to have him in the building, as I think almost everyone one had a life story that involved him. He is pretty much like Kevin Bacon, except in triathlon you are only 2 degrees or less away from him. If you haven’t met Mike Reilly, I will tell you that he is the real deal; he cares about this sport and more importantly cares about the people that are fortunate enough to have found this sport as part of their lives.

Seton Claggett, Mike Reilly, and Pam Kallio

The Gluten Free Triathlete

November 22, 2011 on 11:10 am | In Nutrition Tips | No Comments

There is a lot of talk today about different types of diets that claim many desirable health benefits. The two most popular I hear about are the Paleo diet and gluten free diets today were talking only about gluten free diets. Before you go head over kilt into something, I feel it is best to understand what you are going into and for what reasons. You need to understand if you need to be gluten free? What being gluten free means? Why you would want to be Gluten Free? Also what are you going to be losing by going gluten free?

Gluten is everywhere?
Gluten is the major protein that is found in wheat products such as breads and pasta. The gluten protein is found in the wheat seed and is approximately 80% of the protein found in whole wheat products. The gluten protein has elastic properties that give the desired doughy texture to the products it is found in. The gluten protein can also be refined in a wheat mill and used as an additive in many manufactured food products because of its elasticity characteristics, availability, and low cost to refine.

Gluten Free or Not?
There are truly only 2 reasons why a person should be gluten free and hundreds of reasons why people actually choose to be gluten free. The first reason is Celiac disease. Celiac Disease effects about 1% of the population comprised predominantly of white American Women in their mid to late 30’s. Celiac disease is an autoimmunity disease that causes the intestines to inflame and inhibit all absorption of nutrients. Celiac disease if un-treated is a very serious disease that causes dramatic weight loss and needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. The second reason is gluten sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity affects about 10% of the population and is becoming more and more prevalent. The cause of Gluten Sensitivity is unknown but it is likely a cross of gluten allergies and some other unknown stress related problems. The symptoms of gluten sensitivity can range from extreme to mild discomfort, just to be safe this is something that needs to be discussed with your doctor.

Health Benefits of Gluten Free
If you lie outside of the 11% of the population that has been diagnosed with a gluten problem and you choose to be gluten free there are a number of health benefits. These health benefits include weight loss, and a leaner body composition. I personally do not believe that it is the removal of gluten from the diet that gives you these health benefits. The benefits of you are seeing come from decreasing the amount of processed foods you eat daily and from preparing food from home. If you are going to go gluten free you are making a life change that is going to cause you to be more conscious of what you are putting into your body. From an athletes perspective this is key to performance gains and life long health regardless if you remove gluten or not.

Health Benefits of Gluten
If you took the time to read the last paragraph then you understand now that the health benefits from being gluten free are not actually from being gluten free. The health benefits are from taking the time to see what you are eating, preparing foods from home and by limiting the amount of processed foods from the diet. Gluten is not bad for you, it does not make you fat or sick, heavily processed foods and inappropriate portion sizes are most likely the culprit.

Take Home Message
If you have a serious gluten problem that a doctor has diagnosed then always follow what they say. If you are the other 89% and are looking for performance and health gains you need to make the decision to go gluten free all together which is a difficult task and takes time to become efficient at. Or the other option is you can slow down daily, don’t eat out so much, take the time to prepare foods at home and limit the amount of processed foods in your diet. Option 2 is what I’ve chosen, and I think if you give it a good old college try you will find that it’s not all that hard to do. Slow down, and eat well!

2011 Ford Ironman Arizona

November 21, 2011 on 3:45 pm | In Employee Adventures, Random Musings, Sponsorship, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Do you remember the first time you watched an Ironman? Did you get goose bumps at the swim start, shed a tear as you watched athletes cross the line, and get up early the next day to sign yourself up for next year’s race? That is how most people end up doing an Ironman. I, on the other hand, signed up for my first Ironman on a whim one day at work, without ever witnessing one. With a long list of sponsored athletes, coworkers, and friends racing Ironman Arizona, I figured I should go see what this Ironman thing is really all about.

I arrived about 45 minutes prior to the swim start giving me enough time to park, swing by Starbucks, soak in the energy, and head to the bridge. The energy throughout Tempe was like Christmas morning, with everyone bubbling with the anticipation of the long day to come. Watching 2,500 people tread water below the bridge was incredible, and as the cannon went off and the athletes started their day, I tried to picture myself on the beach in Idaho.

The 2011 Ironman Arizona age group start.

After a quick breakfast and more caffeine, I found myself on a curb about ¼ of a mile from the bike course turn around. The day was perfect for racing, with temperatures in the mid 70’s, mild wind, and 0% chance of perception. Here I was able to get a good picture of how our athletes were doing. Torsten Abel looked calm and confident in the chase group (12th place), which was quit a few minutes (about 8-10) down from the lead pack. I knew the day was still young and Torsten has a killer run, so I wasn’t worried. Leanda Cave came out of the water in 4th but experienced a crash and some mechanical problems and looked pretty frazzled as she exited T1 in 8th.  I was worried, but by the time she finished lap 1 of the bike she looked focused and back on her game. Woohoo! Seton was cruising right along, enjoying the cheers, and hamming it up as he rode in 3rd place in the men’s 35-39 age group.

Seton got off the bike in 3rd in the M35-39 age group.

As the pro’s took to the run course, I made my way to the best aid station at Ironman Arizona –  Aid station #7 under the Mill Ave. bridge, which is staffed by the employees and customers of TriSports.com and headed up by our Vice President, Debbie. My goal on the run was to make people smile and with the help of my trusty hot pink sign, I think I accomplished just that.

Who doesn't love a "That's what she said" joke?

The run consists of 4 loops; with each lap I watched Leanda’s lead increase and Torsten run his way up through the ranks. As they passed through the TriSports.com aid station for the last time I made my way over to the finish line just in time to see this happen…

Then came Thomas Gerlach. Thomas received his pro card about a month ago and this was his professional Ironman debut. 8:57, not too shabby!

Team TriSports' Thomas Gerlach

Not too long after Thomas crossed the line, Leanda passed under the Ford arch with the biggest smile I have ever seen from the mild mannered and reserved Brit. A few month ago Leanda was in the shop and said, “I want to win one of those,” referring to an Ironman. With numerous 70.3, ITU and coveted race wins (Alcatraz, Wildflower), it was only a matter of time until she won one. It was incredible to watch one of the most decorated athletes in our sport finally cross the line first at this distance.

Leanda Cave wins 2011 Ironman Arizona.

Just 18 minutes after Leanda, TriSports.com CEO, Seton Claggett, came running down the shoot to win the men’s 35-39 age group, finishing 50th overall and 8th amateur. Imagine what he could do if he didn’t have 2 small kids and a company to run?!

Seton win the M35-39 age group and his bet with Leanda Cave.

Charisa Wernick hung tough and rounded out the top 10 for the pro women after a Tour de Porta-Potty during the second half of the marathon.

Charisa Wernick rounded out the 10 ten at IMAZ.

For Billy Oliver, the day didn’t go quit as planned. After a 2 minute swim PR, Billy crashed on the 2nd loop of the bike. He only suffered some minor road rash, so he dusted himself off and got back into the race, willing himself to the finish only 3 minutes slower then his IMAZ PR. Bad ass.

Billy Oliver pushes through the pain.

Could I have asked for a better first Ironman to watch? I don’t think so. Multiple podium finishes from friends, watching Team TriSports athletes dig deep and push through the pain, all while spending a lovely day in Tempe, Arizona. Congratulations to all those who competed yesterday; you are an Ironman!

The Joy of the Quintana Roo Illicito Triathlon Frameset

November 18, 2011 on 6:00 am | In Product Information, Tech Tips | No Comments

What is joy?  Merriam-Webster defines joy as “the expression or exhibition of such emotion” and “a state of happiness” – perfect emotional descriptions of the new Quintana Roo Illicito Triathlon Frameset. Triathletes will be riding for joy once they experience the QR Illicito.

Quintana Roo 2012 Illicito

Quintana Roo has always been a leader in the design of tri bikes and the Illicito takes their proven shift technology – when riding a surge of air is created from behind the front wheel and the unprecedented aerodynamics of the CDO.01 frame style enables suction to draw the wind off to the ‘clean’ side (non-drive side) of the bike – and ups the ante by removing the left seat stay and creating an even more ‘clean’ side.  QR constructed a Leading Edge Absent (LEA) surface on the non drive chain-stay which results in a ‘sail’ effect.  This ‘sail’ effect creates less resistance and makes for a sleeker and faster frame.

TriSports.com president Seton Claggett clocks the fastest bike split at the 2011 Tinfoilman Triathlon in Tucson, AZ.

The Illicito offers more high modulus carbon fiber than any previous QR frame.  A newly redesign rear brake improves braking performance plus offers increased clearance for the latest generation of wider race wheels.

The QR Illicito comes with a fork, headset, seat post and brakes.

Illicito:  TriSports.com’s definition of joy!

Ironman Arizona – a group effort

November 17, 2011 on 6:00 am | In Community, Employee Adventures, Giving Back, Life at TriSports.com, Random Musings, Uncategorized | No Comments

This weekend is the 9th edition of Ironman Arizona and for all 9 of these, the TriSports.com staff, family, friends and loyal customers have been on the course volunteering and racing.  This year will be no different.  Our great customers from around Tucson, Phoenix and beyond come out in droves to support the TriSports.com aid station that is nestled under the 202 and Mill Ave bridges.  This aid station serves as a safe haven for volunteers, racers and spectators because of the built in “roof” above.  Along with volunteering, we have four great staff members, representing four different departments (customer service, accounting, buying and management) stepping up to the line representing the red, white and blue of TriSports.com.  All combined, over 40% of our staff will be involved with the event in some way, shape or form.

Retail manager, Erik Jacobson, volunteers at the 2010 Ironman Arizona.

I have to say that we are very fortunate to work in our facility because it really does feel like the entire TriSports.com staff is behind you.  They understand when you had a hard day on the bike, a great run or a meeting in the Pain Cave.  Most of the time when you see someone dragging in this building, it is because they just tortured themselves on some epic workout.  Why?   Because we live the endurance lifestyle, it is what we do, it is who we are.  See you up in Tempe!

2011 Ironman Arizona finisher, and Team TriSports athlete Matt Grabau.

Fighting for Solar

November 15, 2011 on 6:00 am | In Community, Giving Back, Random Musings, Solar | No Comments

There are three things in life I will fight for:

1)      My family and friends.

2)      My business.

3)      The environment.

This is a story relating to #3 on my list.

Earlier this year we made the decision to install solar on our building. By June we had selected a vendor (Technicians For Sustainability) and by early July we had started the permitting process. This also included submitting plans to our BOA (Business Owners Association – it’s like a Home Owners Association but for the area our facility is located – the Butterfield Business Park). Fast forward to October and all of the permits, structural drawings, etc. were completed, which included getting a variance from the city because one of the structures holding the solar will go a couple feet into the easement of our property. We were contacted by TFS that they were ready to begin, what an exciting time – STOP! The day before we were to start construction we were contacted by our BOA that the architectural review committee, headed up by a local architect here in Tucson, decided to decline the installation of our project.  Why? They stated a couple reasons, but mainly because you can see the solar panels from the road.

Yes, bureaucracy (and complete arrogance) at its best. Luckily the state of Arizona has a law that protects us – A.R.S. § 33-1816; however, it is a fight that I didn’t think we would have to address, especially considering the BOA had over 3 months to address the issue. Needless to say, we are proceeding with the project without the blessing of our BOA. This is for the environment, this is for my kids, this is for our future.

Saturday Ride with BH Pro’s Angela Naeth, Eneko Llanos, and Nico Ward.

November 14, 2011 on 12:37 pm | In Community, Employee Adventures, Sponsorship, TriSports Triathlon Club, TriSports.com/Eclipse Racing | 1 Comment

I look forward to my Saturday ride all week. Nothing is better then spending a couple of hours on my bike when my only worry is what I’m going to have for breakfast. The only thing that can make a Saturday better is getting to share those miles with some elite athletes. This Saturday, the Tucson community and I enjoyed a ride with the sponsored professional triathletes of BH bikesAngela Naeth (Team TriSports), Eneko Llanos and Nico Ward. We headed out west to ride through the cactus forests of Saguaro West on a beloved route for Tucson riders. After a solid beat down, we returned to the shop for some bagels, coffee, raffle and conversation with the pros and the minds behind BH. A big thank you to the pros and BH crew who came down to ride with us, and for hosting the breakfast!  We look forward to having you back in January with the BH demo fleet!

Maher Salah of the TriSports Tri Club (upper left), Sylain Lebreton (upper right) also of the TriSports Tri Club enjoy an autograph session with Angela Naeth, Eneko Llanos and Nico Ward of BH Bicycles at the TriSports.com Ride with the BH Pros on Saturday November 12, 2011 at TriSports.com in Tucson, Arizona.

Antonio Soto of TriSports.com’s retail staff showed exceptional form as he applied pressure over the rolling terrain of the McCain Loop on the west side of the Tucson Mountains near TriSports.com. Top BH pro Eneko Llanos (black jersey) sits second wheel.

Basque triathlete Eneko Llanos of BH Bicycles competed in the first ever Olympic triathlon in 2000 and returned to the 2004 Summer Olympics. Llanos is most remembered for his dramatic dual- and handshake- with Chris McCormack in Kona at the Ford Ironman World Triathlon Championships in 2008. Llanos is also the winner of the first ever Abu Dhabi Triathlon at the famous Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi.

TriSports.com Cycling Club members joined triathletes for the ride that crossed Gates pass for some of the riders and completed a circuit of the rolling McCain Loop on the west side of Tucson. These riders show the effort of a spritely pace among the lead group.

A select group of eight riders negotiates the winding McCain Loop outside Tucson, Arizona on the TriSports.com Ride with the BH Pros on Saturday November 12, 2011. The ride covered approximately 40 miles on some of the best roads in the desert Southwest in Tucson’s “Winter Trainnig Capitol”. BH pro Eneko Llanos sits at the head of the group in this photo.

The TriSports.com Ride with the BH Pros on Saturday November 12, 2011 gave TriSports.com customers a chance to see the latest BH models including this new G5 road bike with ultra-short chainstays and unique rear end geometry for optimal climbing and handling.

Photos by Tom Demerly.

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