March 19th, 2013uncategorized
The 2013 race season started at Ironman Cozumel last November. I had been working with a new coach for 3-months, Matthew Rose with Dynamo Multisport. Relative to the 2012 race season, I had a good race in Cozumel. I finished in 9:57 with a 3:33 marathon. Despite being way out of the money and finishing up 16th only earning 100 KPR points, I was happy with my day on the island.
Coach sent congrats while we were away on the island, but said we needed to talk when I got home. I will now associate “needing to talk” with needing to change. The short version of the talk was something like this:
Coach Matthew: “Yo girl. You have what you need to be successful, but I need you to get out of your own way. I’m unclear of what it is past/present that holds you back but it needs to be worked through as it dictates your future.‘
April: You are right.
Admitting that I had unintentionally been my biggest roadblock was one of the first steps towards success. It’s been a busy four months of long overdue therapy, self-discovering, and above all else training.
I’ve been working hard leading into Ironman Los Cabos and I was excited to toe the line with a new confidence in my training.
Swim: The water here is beautiful. Although there aren’t many fish or anything pretty to look at, the water is crystal clear. Los Cabos has such a beautiful shoreline, beach but yet mountainous. My goal in the swim was to stick with feet preferably some quick feet. Thank you to my teammate and friend, Haley Chura, for lending me her TYR wetsuit. I felt a responsibility to represent it well as her wetsuit has never come out of the water anything but first. I came out towards the end of a big pack. I knew many of the girls around me and I knew I had done the job. Special Thank You! to Coach Maria Thrash. We’ve been working hard to correct my stroke, stroke rate, etc. I am a better athlete for the work she has done with me and I really appreciate the effort.
Bike: I made an important decision in T1. I ripped through transition like we were in an ITU event. I was not going to be left behind. At the time, I wasn’t really sure who I was chasing, but I knew if I got on the bike with the couple girls ahead of me, I was going to be better off. As luck would have it, Sophie Goos was within this group. In my head throughout the race, I called her the European train and I was simply waiting for it to leave the station. I played both sides of the fence, making sure I was staying within myself and my heart rate settled into the 150’s, but also remaining in the race. I had to let Sophie go on the first long climb back into town. She rode hard and caught up to Michelle Vesterby, also the front of the race. Sophie held a legal draft on Michelle long enough for me to bridge back up. I rode with these girls, the official, and camera crews for miles 35-75. I lead large parts of the bikes smiling and laughing, a bit overjoyed because I was riding up front with the Europeans and I was well within my ability. Michelle came around at the turn around back into San Jose and neither Sophie nor I responded. Mareen Hufe passed us like a freight train during this stretch. Again, we had no answer. This bike course was fair, honest, and TOUGH! I would stick with Sophie largely due to the long downhill, crosswind portions of the course. I rode like a madwoman downhill during these sections, determined to stay in the race and not let my fear of being blown over off my bike dictate my output. I smiled HUGE the whole time and thought of my friend, Chrissie, smiling through fear and pain. I sincerely enjoyed the bike except for maybe the last 15-20 miles when I was ready to be off, but that’s typical. I am really proud of my bike effort because I made the right decisions at the right time. I rode a very smart race.
Run: The run was all business. For as much as I enjoyed the bike, I had a job to do on the run. I ran a very consistent, fairly evenly split run. I finished the marathon up with an Ironman & stand-alone marathon PR by 10-minutes. I am proud of my effort, progression, and patience as I work towards faster run splits. I stepped it up here in Los Cabos.
Result: 9:52 Overall Finish Time, 8th Place, and 960 KPR Points
Thank you Coach Matthew Rose. Something very special is happening and I feel very lucky to be a part of the Dynamo Multisport Family. He deserves more credit than he’ll accept for the change in my thought process and subsequently my racing. 2013 is going to be a great year.
Thank you Cannon Cyclery for the care, attention to detail, and ability to problem-solve anything and everything I’ve thrown at you with regards to two-wheels.
Thank you to, Alyssa Godesky, my Cabo BFF. She made this trip unimaginably simple for me. I’ve joked that she has been my travel agent, but splitting her condo was not only cost effective, it provided awesome company for the week. Congrats on her 25-29 AG win and Kona Qualification!
Thank you Splish. I looked awesome on course. Thank you Tri-PTC. The backing of my community has always instilled a confidence in my racing. Your continued support and my involvement in the community helps to ground me in reality as I chase dreams.
Thank you to my Bestie, Janet Daly, for the twitter updates throughout the race! Follow her!
Finally, last but certainly not least, Thanks to Ken Burkey, my friends, and family. The years of support have not been in vain. This is happening. xoxo
December 31st, 2012uncategorized
Watch an adult that grew up swimming competitively get in the water. Without a coach on deck, there isn’t a speedy timeline.
I can only speak for myself, but it can be a 10-15 minute process. That includes: putting on cap, making sure all hair is inside cap, getting equipment out of bag, filing up water bottle, a couple arm stretches, putting goggles on, and finally dipping feet into the water and getting used to water temperatures. This final step can take up to 5-minutes.
I like to splash the water around and kick it up. Getting a feel for the water. Give my skin some time to process the temperature change. Curse about the fact that 25-years later, I am STILL jumping into a cold pool. Allow 1-2 minutes of dread. Possibly say out loud, ‘That is the worst part.’ More water kicking/splashing, a couple more arm stretches, cracking my shoulders and back.
Then FINALLY I’ll dive in the water!
With regards to triathlon, I’ve been kicking the water for a couple years. I’ve toed the line. I’ve put up some decent results. I’ve seen progression, development, and improvement, but I have yet, to believe in myself. I’ve had one foot in the water kicking around, checking the temperature, and my head, heart, and rest of myself safely on the pool deck.
2013: I’m all in, both feet, heart, and head.
December 23rd, 2012uncategorized
September 8th, 2012uncategorized
It took 10-years and 14 x Ironman finishes to race in tri-shorts. There’s PROGRESS!
Progress has been steady, but I’ve had to be patient. When I started this journey, I had no idea the patience it would require. It’s all been worth it (although that isn’t to say I don’t question the decisions I’ve made and the continued focus on triathlon). At the end of last race season, I knew what it would take to win (relative to where I was): 5-minutes on the swim, 10-15 watts on the bike, 10-minutes on the run.
I kept that in the front of mind my all Winter/Spring. I came out of the gates early season fighting. I PR’d both 70.3 and Olympic Distances. I’ve struggled with a run injury over the Summer, however. Forced to taper my run volume, it brought my steady line of run progress to a halt. It was frustrating, but I did my best to focus on the areas I could improve. I worked my long bikes HARD! I was more consistent in the pool than I had been in years. I put more focus into overall health including strength and nutrition.
The result at Ironman Louisville, a 59-minute swim that had me out on bike course in 6th place. I rode my way into 2nd with a 5:12 bike, and had to tough it out on the run course. Each step HURT and I finished 5th with a 10:09. It was a 10-minute #IMLou PR (previous PR 10:19 in 2009) although not a 140.6 PR.
I did a couple things different on the #IMLou course, my 14th Ironman:
1. I wore tri-shorts during the race, my first 104.6 in more than a swim suit.
2. I took imodium pre-race. Try it. Your stomach will thank you!
3. I wore socks on the run. I still got blisters. #fail
I gave it all I had to give and I made the decision to flip it and go for a double. Tomorrow, I’ll be racing Rev3 Full Cedar Point. LIVE tracking at website link above and my race number is 3!
One of my post-race goals is to promptly get my race report written, more blogging with more photos! Yeah wesbsite FUN!
A HUGE ‘Thank You’ to those that have helped in the journey:
@TheKenBurkey, my husband, my #1 athletic supporter, my rock
My Community, Tri-PTC, Thank you for your support!
Coach Matt Russ with The Sport Factory
Curtis Henry and Cannon Cyclery Atlanta’s BEST Bike Mechanic
Dr Sadri with 1st Choice Healthcare
Splish, I looked good out there for two reasons: 1. I was wearing Splish. 2. I am cute.
December 19th, 2011uncategorized
The swims below done as:
(Take :15-:45 between each swim. Stay jolly. Nothing says Christmas like hard-work.)
Day 1, Day 1&2, Day 1,2&3, Day 1,2,3&4, Day 1,2,3,4&5, Day 1,2,3,4,5&6…Day 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11&12
1st Day of Christmas: 100 easy freestyle
2nd Day of Christmas: 100 IM OR backstroke
3rd Day of Christmas: 50 freestyle drill (25 up-tempo = FAST turn-over, 25 distance per stroke)
4th Day of Christmas: 25 under-water freestyle KICK (:30 seconds rest)
5th Day of Christmas: 25 freestyle swim
(as few breathes as possible ie 0, 1, or 2 breathes during the 25) (:30 seconds rest)
6th Day of Christmas: 50 freestyle done as: 25 easy, 25 FAST (1st Day 6 only do the 25 easy, after that swim a 50!)
7th Day of Christmas: 50 freestyle kick with kick board
8th Day of Christmas: 50 freestyle swim with 5 push-ups at opposite end
9th Day of Christmas: 25 SPRINT (If you come from swim background, no freestyle.) (:30 seconds rest)
10th Day of Christmas: 50 SPRINT (If you come from swim background, no freestyle.) (:30 seconds rest)
11th Day of Christmas: 75 SPRINT (If you come from swim background, no freestyle.) (:30 seconds rest)
12th Day of Christmas: 100 easy cool-down
December 16th, 2011uncategorized
I left my computer at my momma’s house so I was unable to blog. I felt like I was working with an arm cut off for 1/2 of the day. Rich Yarbrough and I were able to accomplish a lot though working with pen, paper, an iPad and a computer between the 2 of us.
Check it out @ shemoves Atlanta!! LIKE us while you are at it.
December 16th, 2011uncategorized
I wanted to wish my best friend – Anne Chrzanowski – a Happy Birthday!! Thank you for being such a great friend over the years. Photos from Kona 2007 below…
December 13th, 2011uncategorized
I’ll finally write a race report for Beach 2 Battleship Triathlon.
Set-up Events gets two big thumbs-up. It was an excellent event and a great way to wrap-up a breakthrough season.
The swim was with a current so although the water was pretty rough and choppy due to the wind swim times were VERY fast! I was the first female out of the water in 40:05! I’ll never break that PR.
The bike was flat, but the wind was pretty fierce the first 70ish miles. The last 90-minutes of the ride, however, was like riding downhill. I ran out of gears. I couldn’t keep my wattage and my heart rate high enough. I was too conservative on the bike. I wanted to hold back and crush the run. My goal was to run sub-3:30. I was 5:25 on the bike and still leading the race.
I had the lead bike coming out of T-2. I struggled to settle into a pace. Actually telling my biker dude, I’ll settle in eventually. At mile 2, I really believed I would, but it never felt smooth. There were several bathroom pit stops in there. From this day forward I will use Imodium while I race. I cursed the weather. I do not enjoy racing in chilly temperatures. But everything aside, I got passed at mile 16 of the run. She held onto the lead although I refused to let myself quit fighting. I finished 2nd in 10:06.
It was a lack-luster performance, but as a season and a year, I should be proud of the personal and professional accomplishments of 2011.
See the blog on Rev3 Full – Cedar Point. I earned almost $5,000 as a professional triathlete racing this season!! That is a 400% increase in salary from 2010!! I had a huge PR this season. All is well in the Burkey household with Ken, Meg, and myself.
The week following B2B, I had 4 athletes cross the finish line at Ironman Florida. For 3 of these athletes, it was their first 140.6 finish. This same weekend, I had another athlete cross the finish line of the New York City Marathon in 3:28, his first 26.2!! I had an athlete finish his first 140.6 at Ironman Arizona. Throughout the 2011 race season, there were several PR’s, first-times, and I am so proud of all of my athletes. I do have a couple places remaining on my roster for 2012 with The Sport Factory, if you are interested in coaching.
The Atlanta Triathlon Club Swim Program went along swimming, and although I will have a reduced role in the program in 2012, I will still be involved with the Open Water Swim Program, and I will still be around the Atlanta Triathlon scene.
The CNN ‘6-pack’ all crossed the NYC Triathlon finish line, and all of my producers (that were able to start), also crossed the finish line!
Good things are on the horizon for 2012 and ‘The best is yet to come…’
Tomorrow, I’ll blog about a good friend that also happens to be a Birthday Girl!! Until tomorrow, Day 2…
September 25th, 2011uncategorized
My Ironman PR leading into this race was a 10:16 at Ironman Cozumel ‘09.
I nailed my training going into this race, and I knew I’d smash my PR. I didn’t want to count my chickens hatched, but I’d put in the work. I was biking 20+ mph, holding much higher wattage than last season, and forced myself to run sub-8’s on my long runs.
Race day wasn’t perfect, but it was close. It seems that the further you move away from the event, the more you forget the pain…
The swim was a little boring. I staying with the lead group through the first turn buoy, lost them after that, caught a male pro on the second loop, but for the most part, it was an hour of swim alone. 3-5 minutes faster on the swim and I would have been with the lead pack… Matt Russ is right, I should be swimming more.
However, with that 5-minute time gap, it was equal to 1-2 miles on the road which kept the other girls out of sight, and I was able to focus on my ride. Two silly negatives on the ride: 1. My Garmin got some water in it on the swim. So the top corner of it was foggy. My Garmin had my heart rate AND power data for the ride – not so good. It was tricky to see the numbers, but I’d do spot check every 5-10 minutes. 2. I lost an arm pad (velcro and all) at mile 56, and chip-seal road + rough roads on the medal arm-pad – OUCH! I got a good elbow bruise due to that one.
Coming off the bike, I was in 6th place. In the beginning, it didn’t feel great. I got off the bike with Paolina Allen, started the run with her. I knew she could run and the first mile was a 7:20 as I tried to keep her in sight. As Paolina ran out of sight, my pace was creeping up, 7:40, 7:50…somewhere between mile 7-8, I had a little, inter-personal heart-to-heart. I told myself to focus on MY race, sub-10 hours was still within sight, not worry about the 2 girls running within a few minutes behind me, etc. About this same time, some angel at the aid station offered me ‘Cola.’ At first, I said ‘no, too early,’ but before I had passed it by I had changed my mind grabbed the cup, and things seemed to smooth out. Be it the caffeine or the sugars, ‘Cola’ fueled the rest of my marathon and I felt stronger as I ran…until about mile 20. I had cameras on me for most of the final 13.1 which really helped smooth out my stride. It gave me a little extra burst of energy having the camera by my side. I couldn’t run poorly on TV (at least that was my thought process while I was running.) The marathon hurt, but I ran as quickly as my stand alone marathon PR – 3:33.
I crossed the line in 9:53, my first sub-10, and in 5th place. A 27-minute Ironman PR, HUGE!!! Taking home $3,750, and my first (and only) real pay-day!!
A HUGE Thank you to Rev3 Triathlon. They go above and beyond and the attention to detail is unlike anything in the market. They CARE, and in the people business, that makes all the difference.
A HUGE Thank you to my husband, Ken Burkey, without him, none of this would be possible.
A HUGE Thank you to my Coach Matt Russ. This was his plan. I was just the puppet and 75% of the time, I did what I was told. To get to the next-next level, I’ll probably need to bump that percentage up.
A HUGE Thank you to Joe Domaleski. Years ago, he told me these things were possible and that I had to potential to achieve them. He believed before I did. Thank you Joe.
A HUGE Thank you to Tri-PTC. My community has backed me along my professional career, and that means so much. It really does take a village.
Final Thank you to Splish. I looked good out there. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. (Looks like they are having a sale right now…)
September 6th, 2011uncategorized
a ‘hopeful’ strong end of the season. I finish off the season with a series of long course races – Rev3 Cedar Point 140.6, Rev3 Anderson 70.3, and Beach 2 Battleship 140.6.
Early Spring-Summer, I races a series of Olympic distance race which were humbling to say the least.
8th of 9 Professional Women @Memorial Hermann T3 Kemah Triathlon in April
14th of 15 Professional Women @ Rev3 Knoxville Olympic Distance
After these 2 races, I was psyched to jump into something local, not feel intimidated by Olympians and World Champions on the start line. I took myself out of the race at these first 2 Olympic distance attempts. Going into West Point, I got some solid advice from Amy Kloner – ‘bike your @ss off.’ SO I did, and still ran my fastest 10k split of the season – 7:22’s (still some work to do there…)
3rd Overall Female at West Point Lake Triathlon
4th Overall Female at Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon
Late June, the focus transitioned back to Long Course Training. It was tough to fit all the workouts in/find the time to train at first. I got used to 1-2 hours of training a day. As we added volume, I set personal training goals – trying to maintain some of that speed and quality from short course racing. My love and passion for triathlon and training took over and the last 2 months have been a happy, BUSY blur. I am excited to race and hopeful to break some new barriers…
The lay-out of the season was Matt’s plan – short-course ass kicking Winter training through the Spring, transition in the Summer back to Long Course. Challenge my body in a different ways than it has been challenged in years. Put the gains back into Long Course racing and see what comes of it. These last couple races of the season should reflect my training (if all goes according to plan), I am very optimistic. There is something to be said for a long-term PLAN and sticking to the PLAN. Not always easy to have faith in the process – especially as you’re getting your booty kicked left and right. Bring on the delayed gratification!
And all the while, Meg has grown-up…
(working to insert photo of Meg)