Tuesday, October 03, 2006

IronGirl Pic and Results

5K Top Ten
1. Christy Phillips - 44 - St. Petersburg, FL - 19:29
2. Tracy Parker - 36 - Odessa, FL - 20:03
3. Judy Maguire - 47 - Clearwater, FL - 20:21
4. Donna Nesslar - 44 - Largo, FL - 20:33
5. Karolina Skourti - 38 - Dunedin, FL - 21:34
6. Loni Smith - 25 - Lakeland, FL - 21:41
7. Christina Simpson - 44 - St. Petersburg, FL - 22:10
8. Stella Valitutto - 32 - Tampa, FL - 22:24
9. Christine Hinton - 35 - Dunedin, FL - 23:00
10. Alyssa Franks - 15 - Lutz, FL - 23:09

I guess once they took out the three team runners I went from 12th place to 9th. :)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

IronGirls 5k in Clearwater, FL Sept. 30, 2006

I really enjoyed this race very much! It seems like it has been awhile since I have run a 5k (only) race. This was first class from the onset. I was invited to attend, which basically meant they graciously paid for my entry into the race. This was based on running in some past local races.
This past week my training was on the super low side due to my lung issues, which I promise to explain further one of these days. My expectations were to run somewhere in the 23 minutes range. I wasn't sure how my recent tri training would effect my road racing, so it was hard to set a goal. Then, I learned the course would include 4 hills. 2 shorter and steeper ones and 2 going over the causeway bridge. These were longer... a lot longer. So, I gave myself a bit of a time cushion upon learning this. It may not sound all that daunting, but to us here along the flat Gulf Coast, the biggest hill we get is going over a speed bump!
The start was a little delayed due to getting all the proper streets closed and safe. Waiting is never easy before a race, but the MC helped to keep us motivated. Once off, and on our first hill right away, I tried hard not to go out too fast. The running sin I usually commit. Down the road and up the bridge I was feeling really good. I missed the first mile marker, so I wasn't sure of my pace. I told myself to go with how I am feeling and not worry so much about the time.
Up hill number three, seemed the longest to me, I dug my eyes into the lady in front of me. She seemed strong and I envisioned being an extension of her. 4th and final hill was quick but still hurt. I knew it was flat and down from that point and tried to give what I could.
I hit the turn for the final stretch and saw the clock below. It read 22:40. I thought, "Darn, I have got to be more then 20 seconds from the finish line". Then something in me said, "What the heck, go hard and see what happens." I crossed the line in 22:58.
Although, in the realm of my entire running career this would be considered a slow time, I was pretty happy with how I did and that I met the goal I had set for myself.
I ended up 12th overall and 3rd in my age group. I received a neat sterling silver pendant with the IronGirl logo and year on it.
This race was one of the best races I have run. Not because of the course, but because of the obvious effort that went into making this women's only event fun, high energy and friendly. Everyone I came into contact with was super nice. Afterwards I had a chance to visit the vendor tents that were set up. There were free samples galore. I received a complimentary massage, food samples, drinks, free pictures from Ryka shoes (that they took and printed within a few minutes of finishing), free magazines, and a gorgeous and huge buffet of fruit, muffins, breads, and hot breakfast wraps.
The results were quickly posted and the awards went smoothly.
I will definitely seek out this event to do again in the future.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Okay all you runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes:

What race would you list as the BEST? Is there one of you have done that has the best course, support, t-shirts or post party? Spread the word so others know which dates to hold in their race calendar. Feel free to include pictures.

And, always feel free to post a question or topic that you would like to see discussed.
Coach Christine

Monday, September 11, 2006

18th Annual Tarpon springs Triathlon 2006

1/4 mile swim, 10.5 mile ride, 3 mile run

Well, I now have another triathlon under my belt and felt more confident with this one.
Anyone who is familiar with Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs FL, knows how pretty and "one with nature" you can be there. The waters offer lots of grassy areas that are home to all kinds of sea creatures. On more then one occasion I have seen dolphin mere feet from me. Quite amazing.
But, on a morning with low tide, it can be kind of gross to swim in all that. The sand in the grassy area is very mushy and unstable. And there basically was no water over the grass. So, we all swam through the grass. Each stroke brushed along the sea garden and bumped into various critters and wild life. It motivated me to try to swim faster and get the heck out of there. Lots of people were getting the willies in the water. The swim was crowded too. I am glad I had a couple swims in me before this one. I was knocked around a lot.
When we exited the water, we were covered with little slug-like sea bugs. I later named them Sea Boogers, b/c that's exactly what they looked like. I guess they were in the grass.

I transitioned pretty quick, for me, and headed onto the bike course. The course itself was quite nice. Through the park and into some of the more wealthy neighborhoods. We also went through the downtown area that is really cute and known for it's Greek food and sponge docks. I even could call the course rolling for Florida. It had a couple decent little inclines. My concerns with the bike course are that there are a lot of hard turns. I heard about three wrecks after the race. There was quite a bit of gravel on these turns that, had it been swept away, would have been safer. I ended up on a sidewalk trying to take one hard left. It was also very narrow and I seemed to always be fighting for a space among other competitors.

T2 went well and I set off for the run. I was determined to hold my own on the run, since I am a runner! I was not going to let anyone in my age group pass me. I hooked up with a younger girl and we started to pick off people. Then a group of ladies came up to pass us and one was 38. So, I had to go with her. I did and eventually she couldn't hang anymore. So, as far as I know, no one in my age group passed me on the run. I felt good until about the last half mile, which is on the way back to the beach and in the direct sun. It was very hot and it took a toll. No one threaten me, I let up some, which disappoints me now.

All in all this was a fun and learning experience. They had a ton of good give aways afterwards and excellent Greek food samplings for a donation.
Here are my results (I placed 5th in age group):

FEMALE AGE GROUP: 35 - 39 Place O'All No. First Last Age City St Finish Rank Swim Tran 1 Rank Bike Tran 2 Rank Run ===== ===== ===== ============ ============== === =================== ======= ====

5 142 135 Christine Hinton 35 Dunedin FL 1:07:18 12 8:46 1:36 6 31:38 1:02 7 24:18

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

2006 Ride for the Way North Carolina

Race reporting by Steffen Fohn:
Both the 50 and 100K started at about 8:10am from Finch Park in Lexington. The course was advertised as challenging and in deed became just that for me as the ride progressed that day. The morning was sunny and slightly humid. The first several miles were rolling with a significant amount of uphill. There was an immediate break-away group of ten to fifteen riders, the sight of which I lost within the first 7 miles. Coming up on the 10 mile mark I closed-in on fellow of oriental descent riding one of those "old-timey" bikes...you know...the kind with down-tube shifters :) ... we'll call him "ole school" in the remainder of the report. I presumed that he had started out with the initial break-away group...only to be eventually left behind. He caught my draft as I pasted him and we cycled together, "pulling" each other through mile 15 at which point we came upon a cycling accident that had occured moments before...apparently, a group of about 5 or 6 cyclists were cranking away at 25 to 26 mph when they noticed they should be turning onto a road on the right. The attempt to make the turn caused one of the cyclists to fall. After stopping at the scene of the accident for a few minutes and ensuring help was enroute, we proceeded with the ride. From reports heard at the next rest stop, the cyclist had luckily only sustained minor injuries Soon thereafter, we found ourselves in a 5 man group. We worked efficiently together as a group, taking turns pulling and maintaining a fairly aggressive pace. We stopped at the 20 mile mark rest stop for fluid replenishments and continued onward with our momentum. The latter half of the ride had us on the return route to Lexington from the High Rock lake area...as you can imagine this entailed a significant amount of uphill climbing. As chance would have it "Ole school" was quite the cyclist...weighing no more than 120 lbs and consistently spinning at 95 rpm made it impossible for us larger guys to keep up with him on the uphills. As we rode, some of the guys from the group were consuming miscellaneous gels and tablets for fuel and electrolyte replenishment. Not stopping at the 40 mile rest stop we pursued our return route sustaining our average speed of 18.5 mph. This continued to the 43 mile mark...where suddenly my body informed me that we'd soon be dipping into the reserve tanks and that I better start conserving what I had left. The 5 man group broke into two groups: a 4 man group and a 1 man group (me)...the 4 man group slowly disappeared in the distance in front of me. The next 21 miles were grueling...characterized by long climbs, 95 degree temperature, full sun on the back, pedaling in my lowest set of gears, and yes...empty water bottles. At mile 59, (unknowingly) at the top of the last significant climb...the grim reaper of dehydrated bodies stared me in the eyes. With 3 miles to go, I could go no further (my body began to feel "shakey" inside and my legs were beginning to cramp)...I pulled over into some shade, called Lori...and asked her to bring me fluids. I waited, disheartened by the passing of several cyclists that I had passed earlier, until one of the race organizers brought me an ice-cold 16 ounce bottle of Gatorade. I climbed back on the bike and started to pedal while replenishing my fluids; amazingly I began to feel better rather quickly. Well...I did eventually make it in...finishing in 3 hrs. 40 min with an average speed of 17.0 mph.

Lessons learned:
- Watch out for the "ole-school" riders, that is anybody you see riding on that classic hardware...it's really just a ploy.
- Keep those water bottles full.
- When riding 100K on a 95 degree day, bringing your own fuel and electrolyte replenishment is a good idea.
- Don't ascend Stone Mountain (or anything like it) a few days before this race.

Hurt, Pain, & Agony Metric Century Ride, Traphill, North Carolina

Race Report
By Steffen Fohn:
Well...when I reached the registration table and had to make the choice (32 or 64 mile)...the surrounding mountainous views (not to mention...my wife) inspired me to choose the "32" (...sorry Stoney).

The race starts up the dreaded 6 mile climb with little to no time to warm-up. The climb starts up a nearby parkway and then turns onto Oklahoma Rd...the infamous part of the route known for its steepness and hair-pin s-curves. Approaching the crest some of the cyclists were walking...my goal was to making the climb without having to dismount the bike...with each turn of the crank I was congratulating myself for having purchased that triple chainring. At this point I was standing on my cranks...lowest possible gear...inching forward at a blistering 4mph. Several yards before reaching the crest...one came across the word "Hurt" spray painted on the road...followed by a few more yards and the word "Pain" followed by a few more yards and the word "Agony". After having completed the first 10 miles...I felt about the same as after one of our 30-40 mi Saturday morning rides. Once having cleared the ascent the route "rolled" through the Blueride Parkway and Hwy 21 before descending the same hills climbed at the beginning of the race. I approached the Oklahoma descent cautiously...unsure and inexperienced with this type of course. Once reaching the parkway, the view and the straight-aways opened-up, allowing me to descend more "freely". I finished in 2 hours 10 min.s...average speed of 14.7 mph, maximum speed of 40.4 mph....good thing the CatEye doesn't record minimum speed.

Below is the race summary with results...funny thing, I ended up with my first win...good thing I elected to go for the "32".


Coca Cola Fort Desoto Sprint Tri, August 2006

Held at the world famous Ft. Desoto park, it was beautiful but hot. Waters were flat and the course was well marked and easy to navigate. Learning my lesson from my first tri, I started off to the side and stayed further away from the crowd. I think I ended up swimming extra, but I exited the water without any new bruises. The swim was 1/2m mile and I came out 6th in my age group.
A long run to T1, and watching my step on the black top, I shaved off quite a bit of time from before. Mt transition was 1:35, which I was pleased with. The course was flat, but we had some head winds to contend with. On my husband's bike, since I have not replaced mine yet, I paid the price for reaching into an areo position. My arms, neck, shoulders and back were killing me. The ride covered 11 miles and I had the 10th time in my age group.
Finally the run, which is suppose to be my strength. I was starting to feel the effects of the heat and humidity. My wave started 30 minutes after the elite and it was quite sunny now. Within the first few minutes of the run, you encounter a nice set of stairs. Probably equals about 3 flights. And those steps are more like half steps, so it is hard to keep up any kind of rhythm. Running steps on bike legs was a shock!
The rest of the run course was flat, but offered zero shade. I'd rather have hills and cooler conditions! I struggled through the run and passed a few folks walking. My lung was feeling a bit achy, but not bad.
I crossed the finish with the 11th fastest run time, which wasn't fast at all.
But the effort managed to get me an 8th place age group finish out of about 30 women. Not too bad for my 2nd triathlon.
Afterwards there was lots of good fruit and beverages available.

If you plan to do this one next year: bring change for two toll booths you have to pass. I had to beg for coins from passing cars. And be prepared for the stair climb.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Morton Plant Mease Triathlon at Sandkey, FL

1/3m swim, 13m bike, 5k run

My first triathlon and I was so excited. My goal was purely to have fun and enjoy the experience.
The water was perfect. I waited nervously with the other purple caps which identified us as first timers. I was intent on watching the other waves go off, watching how they swam the course. Then came our turn. We were the last to set off.
I exited the water in 8th place, in my division, after only a view kicks and slaps from my swimming neighbors. I had actually caught up with some other colored caps. That gave me some confidence.
The run from the water to T1 was quite long. At T1, I took my time as I got suited up for the bike. I unfortunately was using my husband's bike, b/c I had just discovered mine to have a crack in the frame.
The bike course took us over several bridges. Hills are a shock for anyone in Florida and by the time we hit the last, and steepest bridge, lots of folks were getting off their bikes. I promised myself not to do that.

The only real surprise came earlier in the bike leg, as I was crossing a draw bridge. The bells started ringing and the red and white stripped barrier started to come down. The bridge was planning to open for a passing boat. I looked at the guy next to me in disbelief and then, in a split second decision, I decided to go for it. Certainly it won't open if I am on it!
I was gunning it across and yelled at the draw bridge guy not to do it, since there was a race in progress. I'm not sure how that turned out for folks after me.
As I approached the dismount I decided to try to take my feet out of my shoes and ride in on top of them. As difficult as everyone always says this is, I didn't really have any problems. I had the 3rd fastest bike time. I dismounted the bike and felt surprising good.
As a runner, I was confident that this leg would go alright for me. It certainly is an added challenge dealing with wobbly legs from the bike! It was hot now and the run course, although flat, offered no shade. I just plugged away, picking off people as I could and enjoying myself very much. In fact, I can't recall a time I have had this much fun in a race.
I finished the run with the fastest time for the female first timers division. I ended up with a 2nd place overall in the female first timers and was very proud of my effort. They served beer and pizza afterwards and had some nice giveaways.
I would definitely recommend this tri and plan on going again next year.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sand Key Aquathlon June 2006

My third official multisport event! And I totally blew it!
I had joined the SUN Masters swim team at the Highlander pool in Dunedin a couple months ago and my swimming was coming along really well. I had even gotten in some open water swimming. I felt very prepared and ready to show my stuff. The Aquathlon consisted of a 1.5m run-1000 meter swim- 1.5m run.
I was right on during the first leg. Then I got in the water. It was not flat, as every other experience had been. Now, we don't have waves to break through on the west coast of FL, but these were some big swells that I was not accustomed to. Every time I turned my head to get a breath I got a mouth full of salt water instead. I panicked a bit and swam breast stroke. Once I got to the first buoy, I put my head down and made myself go. I only turned toward shore to breath.
One lesson I learned from this swim, was that you should actually take the time to know where you are swimming. I had no understanding of the course. Thus, I followed some other clueless swimmer as we turned to shore at the second buoy. Apparently people were yelling at us to go back, but I was so concerned with finishing the swim, I heard nothing. I get to where I can walk and am told that we need to head back out and go around the last buoy. I couldn't believe it! I had to subject myself to those swells again.
I turned back in, as did the other swimmer and I was pretty much the last one out. I was in the transition with some much older lady feeling like a loser. I jogged in the last run and chalked it up as a learning experience.
I am such a multi sport rookie!

2006 5ks

My first 5k of the 2006 year was in February at the Suncoast Classic in St. Petersburg, FL. I really enjoyed this race a lot. It was really a test of my fitness and current running abilities since having my son a couple years ago. Even though I never stopped running, I was not racing or training in that manner since I had become pregnant. My PR prior to my son was a 19:50. I'm not sure I'll ever get under 20 again.
I ended the race in 22:57 and 3rd in my age group. I was happy with that.
On March 19 I ran the Bay to Bay 5k in St. Petersburg, FL. Ran a 22:40 and placed 2nd in age group. I was happy that I seemed to be improving. Maybe a sub 22 would be possible soon.
April 22, The Beach to Bayou 5k at Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs, FL. I absolutely love this location. The park has a beach that I like to call an aquarium that you can swim in. There are always fish swimming around and hermit crabs by the rocks. And I have been feet from groups of dolphins swimming by. Beautiful! The race, although flat, has you battle some head winds along the out and back course. I ended with a 23:35 and thought that was respectable, although not an improvement from the last one. Got 3rd on my new age group (35-39).
May is Hog Hustle 5k time, held in Dunedin, FL, where I live. It winds through neighborhoods and ends at the Knology Baseball Stadium where the Toronto Blue Jays spring train and the Dunedin Blue Jays play. Fun games with a small town feel. Anyway, I had planned on strictly running this one at an AT pace, which is somewhere around 8min/mile for me. I did a 2 mile warmup and ran the course again afterwards with a friend to make for a good workout.
Father's Day 5k was run in Palm Harbor at one of the parks. We ran the course as a family. My husband Porter, my 8 year old daughter Addie (who set the pace), and me pushing my 2 year old son Thomas in a running stroller. Addie did great and brought us home in 31:40. Not to shabby for an eight year old.

Palm Harbor Duathlon July 2006

I actually had another collapsed lung (pneumothorax) 2 weeks prior to this race, but decided to go for it anyway. It was a 3 mile run-10 mile bike- 1 mile run. The first run went alright, lung was burning and I slowed up, but was okay. Bike portion was horrible. I was on my QR Monitor Tri Bike that I had bought from a friend a couple years ago. The problems started during the transition. It was set up in a sandy and muddy area. It had rained heavy during the first leg, so it was really messy. My shoes got clogged up with all the mud and sand that I could not click into my peddles. I tried to clean them and shake them clean, but nothing worked. So, I rode that way. I kept slipping off every time I changed a gear. I almost bit the dust on 2 hair pin turns. The bike was hard enough to handle in perfect conditions.
I made it to the 2nd run, barely, and felt like someone had beaten me up with a baseball bat during that last leg. One mile sure can be far. Mental note to self: do more BRICKS.
I did place in my age group (the awards went deep).

Second multi sport event foiled

I had planned on participating in the Safety Harbor Florida Duathlon in December of 2005. I was going to attempt a run-bike-run. I had signed up and was ready to go. Unfortunately early in December I suffered a Pneumothorax. I have since been diagnosed with Catamenial Pneumothorax which I will explain in another post.
So, I was side lined for a solid 3 weeks. There is nothing worse then for a runner or triathlete to be told to take it easy. I hated every minute of it.

Strangman's Beach Biathlon 2005

My very first experience with any type of multi sporting event was at the Strangeman's Beach Biathlon in 2005. I had decided that I would experiment with a few double sport races before moving to the triathlon. This event, held in Clearwater, Florida seemed like a good place to start.
To prepare I had jumped in the local pool and gotten in a few laps the week before the race. Pretty sad looking back. I wanted to make sure I could complete the distance. I was not concerned at all about the running, since that is my background. I had planned to just get through the swimming parts and cruise through the run parts. Oh, and I had never swum in open water and the 2 swims are in the Gulf of Mexico. Sounds like a set up for disaster, but it actually turned out okay.
The event is unlike any other. It starts with a 2 mile beach run, then a 1/4 mile Gulf swim, then back out for another 2 miles on the sand and finally once more into the water for another 1/4 mile and a dash to the finish line on the beach.
The first 2 miles were cake. No sweat... (well actually lots of sweat 'cause it's hotter then Haiti here in Florida). I took my time at the first transition. Put on my cap, goggles and ear plugs and off into the Gulf I went for my first open water swim ever! I was kicked a couple times, punched too. So, to be fair, I kicked and punched a couple folks too (not on purpose off course). It's an out and back swim and at one point I was swimming into oncoming traffic. That hurt.
Run out of the water. Transition again into my running shoes. I took a bit longer during this transition. Wet feet into dry socks is rough!
Okay the second run was hard. I was surprised at how I felt. All I did for those 2 miles was worry about that last swim. Was there a graceful way for me to bow out? I had to tell those voices in my head to stop!
3rd transition, I sit for a few minutes getting on all my swimming gear.... AGAIN! I sucked it up and went back into the water. I had to finish this darn thing! At the turn around buoy I knew I had it. I came out of the water and sprinted to the finish line they had set up 50 meters away. Well, maybe "sprint" is an exaggeration. More like some form of walk/jog/crawl.
I ended up with 5th in my age group and was very proud of myself. They had a great post race party at the Palm Pavilion and gave away of ton of freebies.
This year will be the 14th running of the event. It is being held October 14, 2006.