May 21, 2012

Ironman Texas Race Report

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My new website!

In health,

May 6, 2012

When a race gives you flat tires...turn it into an island half-marathon run with a new buddy.

So St. Croix 70.3 was a bust! And I am definitely bummed out since I know that my fitness is at it's peak right now. But mechanical issues on the bike and wet, dangerous roads on a tough course with technical descents forced me to make the decision to drop out of the race just eight miles into the bike. But I HATE dwelling on the negatives so I'll focus on the positives of this trip.

1.) I got to swim, bike (kind of) and run around and on a beautiful island in the Caribbean.

2.) I was 5th out of the water in my age group which is BIG for me! The swim was non-wetsuit legal and longer than the traditional half-iron swim (1.24 miles) and quite choppy so I was very happy at my ability to go out with the lead girls and hang on for the first part of the swim.

3.) In transition I spotted professional triathlete Kelly Fillnow who was also forced to drop out due to a minor bike crash and mechanical issues. She and I both wanted to get in a run given that we anticipated a 13.1 mile smashfest today. So we set out in the opposite direction of the race site and ran along the rolling coastline of St. Croix for 13.1 miles at a good little clip. It was gorgeous! We talked about everything from triathlon, to relationships, to God, to nutrition and more. What a blessing! Thanks Kelly!

4.) I got to spend some quality alone time with Jason which is rare these days given the general craziness of our lives.

Have I mentioned how much I love this guy?!

5.) My legs aren't "race trashed," and with Ironman Texas in two weeks I am ready to unleash it. There's a fire burning inside me right now. That's a good thing.

Annnd... look for the launch of the TORO Performance Nutrition LLC website late next week! I'm so excited to get things rolling on May 14th! Consultation spots are filling up, so check out the website next week to find out what TORO can offer you.


April 30, 2012

BIG NEWS! My new company, TORO Performance Nutrition LLC, launches May 14th, 2012

I am absolutely giddy to be able to say that I now have my own nutrition company, TORO Performance Nutrition, LLC. This has been my dream since I decided to become a dietitian and now I'm making it happen! Believe me when I tell you that opening your own company is enough work, much less doing it while training for multiple half-iron and ironman races, planning a wedding and trying to make time for that thing called sleep.

But it has been more than worth it and I want to bring TORO Performance Nutrition to the forefront of your radar.

If you are an athlete in search of that perfect training and racing nutrition plan, TORO is for you!

If you are a fitness enthusiast looking to enhance your health through optimal nutrition, TORO is for you!

If you are looking for nutrition guidance to support an active lifestyle, TORO is for you!

TORO Performance Nutrition's website is almost ready to go live...but until then, here is an overview of the services that I offer as TORO's registered dietitian:

  • Comprehensive meal planning for athletes of all levels and abilities
  • Nutrition strategies to enhance athletic performance
  • In-depth guidance on nutrition periodization (i.e. how to tailor your nutrition to your phase of training/racing/competition)
  • Guidance on correcting nutrition-related metabolic/physiologic imbalances
  • The ability to order comprehensive bloodwork through TORO's partnering physician to gain an in-depth look at your metabolism/physiology
  • Other services that will be offered through TORO affiliates include endurance coaching and sports psychology consults.

Stay tuned for the launch of the website,,  next week! Also, this blog will be relocating to the TORO website which promises to make it way more spiffy and eye appealing! 

In the meantime, you may contact me at for more information or to schedule an initial consult.

Make sure to "like" TORO Performance Nutrition on Facebook...


Follow TORO on Twitter!

TORO Performance Nutrition on Twitter

Stay tuned for updates on both the website and the company launch! Until then, I'm off to St. Croix 70.3 to race my little heart out!

April 7, 2012

Bonus Race!

I absolutely love adding bonus races to my schedule when appropriate. And apparently, coach Hillary does too.

St. Croix 70.3, here I come!

My playground

(Ok, so this isn't St. Croix, it's Cozumel. But you get the point.)

 Notorious for the "4 H's" (heat, humidity, headwind, hills), this course will not disappoint. I'm especially excited to conquer the well-known hill on the bike course appropriately named "The Beast." And thankfully, Austin has been providing me with these exact elements for the past few weeks. And today's seven hour training day was a great kick-start to the final four-week build to St. Croix and Ironman Texas. But now, some recovery before getting back at it in the morning. Happy training!

April 2, 2012

Galveston 70.3...The day I raced against Lance Armstrong I didn't REALLY race Lance Armstrong but I did have a great "day at the races," with a few exceptions here and there. I am six weeks out from Ironman Texas and a half-ironman is a great way to test fitness and clear out some cobwebs for my first ironman of the season. Not to be mention I wanted to race hard and put forth a good effort to see what my potential is in the half-iron distance.

 Getting to Galveston is not too hard since it's a four hour drive south east from Austin. Jason, Corinne (our home stay from the UK who was also racing) and our neighbor Bekah all drove down together Friday afternoon after the hustle and bustle that defines prepping for a triathlon. We arrived to find light winds, high humidity and relatively cool temps. This would not be the case on race day though, which is perfect since I race very well in heat/humidity.

My sherpa for the weekend 

Jason and I settled into our hotel, which included a kitchenette, so I could prepare my own pre-race meals. Loved it! If anyone read my earlier blog post reviewing our 2011 season you would know that my first ever half-ironman went horribly due to food poisoning! I slogged my way through a painful 70.3 miles to finish in 5:50. I really shouldn't have started that race but I'm stubborn. Right Jason? ;)

Saturday was spent riding a bit of the course and going for a short run along the sea wall. The humidity and heat were up but the winds were way down. Everyone was excited at the prospect of light winds since this race is notorious for it's headwinds/sidewinds. 

After all the usual triathlon prep, Jason and I settled into our hotel for a nice evening together dining, napping and watching movies. Eight hours of solid sleep later, it was race morning.

Before my race, I wrote down the following goal times for each leg of the race Swim- 31 minutes Bike- 3:45 Run-1:35. Let's see what happened :)

Swim: Terrible. Ok moving on to the bike. 

Ha! So the swim was a mess. I was able to get in with a pack of girls for about the first 50 meters. And then they were gone and I was drifting, drifting, drifting to the right the whole time. I could not, for the life of me, get back on course. I was always about 10 meters to the right of the buoys (on a counterclockwise course). It was so frustrating and I kept telling myself that since I had lost the lead girls, my chance at placing in a top position in my age group were over. I wanted to turn to one of the race officials out on the paddle boards and say "hey man, why don't you just pull me out of the water and take me back to shore, because my race is pretty much over." BUT I told myself to toughen up and see what I could do on the bike and run. 

After reviewing the race results (including pro women) the swim was definitely honest, if not a bit long so I felt a bit better about my performance after the fact. But my sighting was definitely "off" yesterday. Coach Hillary and I both know I can swim faster than that. My past swim workouts show this. More work to do here before Ironman Texas.

Time: 35:47 (I came out of the water 26th in my AG...umm, time to play catch up on the bike and run)

 If you could see my face you would see a look of "pissed off-ness" :D

Bike: Ok, much improvement was made in moving up in the age group rankings on the bike. I picked off all the 25-29ers I could find. And when I passed them, I would NOT let them pass me again, and quite a few tried. I raced angry...which is a good way to race I think! There was a solid headwind/sidewind on the way out but I tried to maintain my average power closer to 180+ watts and not over-do it so that I had something left in the legs on the way back into town. The tailwind was great! I passed a few more 25-29ers on the way back into to town. There was one girl who would not let me pass her the whole way back. At mile 55 she started to stand up out of her saddle and rub her back..."she's hurting," I thought. And I sling-shot my way in front of her and never looked back.

The bike course ended up being 57 miles according to my Garmin and most of the other triathletes I spoke too but who's counting? ;)

Time: 2:48:50 (20 mph, Average power was 180 watts on the my new Quarq power meter... I made it to 13th in my AG, time to DO WORK on the run!)

Doing work

Run: The highlight of my race for sure! I was out of transition ready to chase down some girls! My first mile felt fine but my breathing was labored...I figured out Garmin showed my first mile split of 6:40. Wow, pony! Reign it in girl! I needed to be hitting 7:15 minute miles but I was consistently hitting 7:05-7:10s. Yes, yes, yes! My nutrition was spot on for this race (THANK YOU POWERBAR) so I had all the energy I needed to chase down more girls in my age group. I was definitely running uncomfortable, but strong! And it was a steamy and humid run yesterday...but conditions that I excel in. Loved it!

Time: 1:32:31 (7:03/mi and ran my way to 6th in my age group)

Total time: 5:02...a personal best and a solid result for my first triathlon of the season. 

The top 3 girls in my age group busted out times of 4:38 and 4:46 and 4:47. I believe this early in the season that is a bit out of my league BUT I'm looking forward to continuing to bring down my half-ironman times and eventually get that coveted 70.3 World Championship slot and the opportunity to race in Vegas baby!

Time to for some recovery sessions and then back at training. Next up, Ironman Texas!

 Fun times with my love and good friends!

Thank you to PowerBar for helping to perfect my race nutrition! I have never fueled better than I have with the PowerBar products! Thank you coach Hillary for your awesome guidance and training. It's early in the season and we have even greater things to come! And thank you to the love of my life, Jason, for being my triathlon sherpa the whole weekend. I love you more than peanut butter :)

March 18, 2012

St. Patty's Day 10K Race Report: Earning the lead

With last weekend's duathlon a no-go due to heavy rain here in Central Texas I was ready to test my leg speed in the 10K distance this weekend as another fitness indicator on the way to my first 70.3 of the year. Little did I know this race would be quite the adventure to say the least!

I drove down to the quaint little town of New Braunfels located in the Texas hill country (key word "hill"). The YMCA St. Patty's Day 10K was to be held along the Brazos River on this very humid and warm morning. The weather has definitely been changing the past few weeks and my workouts have gotten continually warmer and more humid. I see this as an opportunity to prepare myself for race day, because my first two triathlons of the seasons should be very warm. This week was also a heavier training week for me, so I was anxious to see what I could run on semi-tired legs.

I arrived with ample time to get in my two mile warm-up. As I was finishing, I came across a woman who  was finishing her warm up and she asked me if I was doing the 5K or 10K. I thought to myself "Ok, I've identified one of my fellow competitors" and noted that she seemed confident and ready to race. Bring it!

The race was delayed about 10 minutes, which means I ended up standing around losing the benefit of my warm-up for 10 minutes too long. This would turn out to be disadvantageous with such a fast start on a humid morning.

The gun went off and I immediately found out who my competition would be. There were about 10 people in front of me. Four of them were women so I knew I'd have some work to do. As we finished up the first mile I kept noting how many HILLS there were. I had studied the course before the race and was not anticipating so many hills. My lungs were burning hitting 6:30 miles on these hills and I knew this was going to be a painful race if I was going to even come close to going sub-40, which was my ultimate goal. We were two miles in and the relentless hills and humidity were already getting to me. Both of my quads suddenly cramped up, which is a similar feeling to having someone stab you in the quads with a knife (not that I know what that feels like, but it sure did hurt). I was able to keep running, but the intense cramping finally made me realize I needed to stop and work them out with my hands.

By this time I had gained the lead over the female runners. I knew if I stopped, I would get passed. But I HAD to if I wanted to even consider finishing! And wouldn't you know, as soon as I did I was passed! I was stopped for about 30 seconds and watch the time tick away on my Garmin. Arggh! Maybe sub 40 wasn't going to happen today.

So there I was, at the bottom of a hill forced to start running uphill and somehow try and catch the current women's leader. It hurt. It hurt. It hurt. But something compelled me to keep reeling her in. At mile 3.5 I finally caught and passed her. Nice!

I tried to get the pace back down to the low 6:30's but my legs were not having it. The hills just kept coming. How much more could I take of this....?

Well it turns out there were more surprises in store for me! At mile 5 I was blasting up yet another hill when I heard a woman's voice yell "Hey, you're going the wrong way!" It was the second place female yelling at me! I was in "no man's land" by this point and assumed I was still on course. I came to a complete standstill and was stunned. I couldn't believe the race was unfolding this way. I was losing precious seconds!

Once I realized what direction I needed to be heading I turned around and had to face yet another chase-down. I couldn't believe it. I almost had to laugh at this point! It took every last ounce of energy to chase the lead female down again. The only thing that kept me motivated was the fact that she seemed like she was hurting. Once I passed her for the second time I finally maintained the lead and was at least able to put out a 6:21 mile for my last big push to the finish. There was more disorganization at the finish as many of the finishers' times were not "captured," including mine. The timing company is still in the process of validating official times but we had enough information to determine who the overall winners were.

I ended up finishing 1st female and 4th overall. And boy was it a hard-fought first! My time was 41:07 (6:36 pace). Who knows, considering the crazy circumstances, if I could have run 39:5x. I believe I could have, but this race gave me so much more experience in terms of practicing fighting for and keeping a certain position in a race that I'm glad I had the opportunity to test my mental will while racing.

For my efforts I received a hand-painted ceramic plate, a $40 dollar gift certificate to a nice local restaurant, a cap which our dog George has already destroyed, and the priceless experience of learning to "race against my competitors."

Now, after finishing up  yesterday with a solid swim and painful interval session on the bike followed by a long training session today on very tired legs I will assume the fetal position until Jason comes home from work to feed me :)

Once again, thank you to coach Hillary for helping me to improve one workout at a time and thank you to PowerBar for fueling me properly in training and racing. And thank you to my pink CEP compression socks. Oh and to my cute LuluLemon shorts. And to my awesome K-swiss runners ;)

March 16, 2012

Wedding Planning Update!

I figured it was time for an update on what will be one of the biggest events of 2012 in the Lentzke-Marquez household....our wedding! Between triathlon training for up to 25 hours a week, working 40 hours a week, eating, sleeping and eating ;) there have been few opportunities for Jason and I to spend more than a few hours at a time preparing for the wedding. (Don't ask me how the laundry gets done or the fridge gets re-stocked!) But, somehow, we are getting it done. And let me tell you, this will be an Austin-style wedding to remember!

Close to 150 of our dear friends and family members will be joining us for what promises to be a unique and fun-filled weekend!

  Jason and I have a special tie to the Four Seasons here in Austin, so it was obvious to both of us that this would be the place where we would wed. We've secured a beautiful location out on their famous lawn that overlooks the popular running "mecca" of Town Lake here in Austin. Every time we run by the Four Seasons Jason and I imagine the amazing day that will soon unfold on that lawn!

From the rehearsal dinner venue at a one-of-a-kind local restaurant, to the ceremony, dancing, and post-wedding brunch...we have been planning every detail so that all our guests leave Austin feeling like they really got a taste of the city.

Oh, and of course there will be a wedding "smashfest" planned for whomever so dares to participate! I know coach won't oppose to designing some sort of epic workout for me and some of my endurance-minded friends and family (considering that our honeymoon will involve a half-ironman...yes, I know I have some neuro-chemical imbalances).

And to keep our guests fueled and ready to dance the night away, Jason and I have teamed up with the chef at the Four Seasons to design the ultimate gourmet Mexican menu. We're talking REAL Mexican food, people. Non of this "Americanized" stuff! There is definitely a Mexican influence to this wedding considering that my Mexican side of the family will be in attendance (read: the party will most likely not end until early the next morning).

June will be here before we know it! I can't wait to share the details of this amazing weekend after it unfolds! And most importantly, I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with Jason. Right, snookie-poo?! ;) 

February 19, 2012

Austin Livestrong Half Marathon...a PR worth the wait.

Today was a perfect day for a mini-smashfest. The Austin Livestrong marathon and half-marathon takes places in downtown Austin and is known for it's difficult course. Why I decided to race this half-marathon as opposed to the 3M half-marathon which is a net downhill course? Well two reasons. 1.) The 3M half-marathon was on my birthday and I decided to have a birthday smashfest instead (see previous post for details!) 2.) I wanted the challenge of racing on a more difficult course. Hilly courses play to my strengths as a runner so coach Hillary and I set this date on the race calendar as the first race of the 2012 season. It was a great way to test my run fitness going into my first few triathlons of the season. And the verdict? We are right on track with my training.


This was my first race as an athlete on PowerBar's Team Elite. Here I am pre-race fueling up with my favorite PowerBar products! Even George approves of the taste and quality of the PowerBar nutrition products.

The week leading up to the race was a regular training week up until Friday where coach had me mostly swimming and biking and off of the legs in order to store up some extra energy to attack the race today. The course starts at the Capitol and heads up Congress Avenue (miles 2-5) creating the net uphill portion of the race. We then turned down multi-cultural 1st Street (miles 6-8) which formed the net downhill portion of the course. After turning onto Cesar Chavez street, which runs along Town Lake, we encountered the rolling hills of downtown Austin. Two nasty hills greeted us at miles 11.8 and 12.5. I'm pretty sure I was making dead animal noises climbing those hills and during the last couple of miles of the race.

From the starting gun I decided to never let my "foot off the gas." I was running "uncomfotable" the whole 13.1 miles, which is how I knew I was on PR pace. I crossed the finish line with nothing left in the tank, the way it should be!

Focusing on maintaining a steady pace my splits ended up fairly nice and even....

The last 0.22 miles at 5:53 pace

Average pace: 6:46

I ended up 8th in a competitive age group (25-29) and 15th female overall with an official time of 1:29:23.

George looks about as mellow as I feel now that my post-race swim is done, homemade whole wheat crust pizza has been consumed and I've fallen slave to the couch. And check out the legit race shirts. Only a race sponsored by Lance Armstrong would provide technical shirts of this caliber!

Good friends who also had some great races today!

Thank you again to coach Hillary for giving me the tools I needed to attack this race and the confidence to go for it! Thank you to my sponsor, PowerBar, for giving me the nutritional "Power to Push." And most importantly, thank you to Jason, the love of my life, for being here for me every step of the way!

February 12, 2012

PowerBar Team Elite: The Power to PUSH

As the intensity picks up with training, I'm quickly approaching my first races of the season. It's during these big training weeks that nutrition becomes even more essential to performance and recovery. That's where PowerBar has been my saving grace!

I am pleased to announce that I have been welcomed on to PowerBar's Team Elite! This is my first sponsorship ever and I couldn't be more excited to work with such a reputable company! As a registered dietitian, I value companies that stay true to the sports nutrition principles that create and support great athletes, and I can indeed say that PowerBar shines above the rest! I look forward to representing PowerBar both as a triathlete and dietitian. I hope to be able to incorporate some of my sports nutrition tips into these blog posts on a regular basis. I am, after all, a PowerBar Team Elite....

Nutrition PRO 
(See how I glow with nutrition knowledge?!)

With PowerBar nutrition products at my side, long training days and weeks seem less daunting and I'm able to put myself in the "hurtbox"during my workouts (something I've been doing a great deal of lately!) and come back fighting for the next training session.

There are too many awesome products to highlight in just one blog post but I'll list a few of my favorites, especially during big training days.

                                  Before and during training

PowerBar Performance Energy Bar

Formulated with the C2MAX energy blend, this bar uses a 2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose, allowing for both optimal gastrointestinal tolerance and absorption. What this means for me as an athlete is more energy for that extra bit of effort in training and racing. With no preservatives or artificial flavors, these bars are ideal when eaten before a training session or during intensive training sessions lasting more than one hour.

And for those sessions where I just can't stomach solid foods (which, thanks to coach Hillary, seems to be more often than not!) and I need that extra kick from carbohydrates alone, I reach for the PowerBar energy gel available in tasty flavors including my favorite, double latte.

Between training sessions

PowerBar Harvest Energy Bar

With 10 grams of protein and 20% of your daily value of fiber for long-lasting energy, these bars are great when I have a short turnover from one training session to the next. Although, I don't recommend them before a hard run, if you know what I mean... ;)

After training sessions

PowerBar Protein Plus

With 30 grams of high quality "tri-source" protein from whey, casein and soy, this bar provides all the essential amino acids, including leucine, I need for regenerating and building powerful muscle tissue. I love the flavors and the fact that no artificial flavors or preservative are found in these products.

I look forward to an exciting year of training and racing with PowerBar Team Elite! From the everyday training sessions..... the excitement of race day.....

PowerBar is giving me the POWER TO PUSH!