Sunday, June 24, 2012

Route 66 Sprint TRI

Hello, friends!  Man, blogging takes some time so I apologize for taking forever to talk about the Sprint Tri!  It took place on Saturday, June 2, 2012 and marks the start of my triathlon season!
The Night Before

Nutrition the day before a race is crucial.  I tried to eat nutritional powerhouses with a chickpea, sweet potato, and spinach "hash" with a warm egg on top.  It's very delicious and easy to make.  I used some curry and cayenne pepper to spice it up.  If you have any great recipes, please share!

Unfortunately due to friend drama and nervousness for my first TRI of the season, I did not sleep well at all.  I think I only got about 3 hours of sleep.  Then again, I can still  perform well on little sleep (see entry about Arcadia TRI from last August).

Race Day

The morning of the race I got up and made sure I had everything packed- wetsuit, swim cap, towel, goggles, race belt, race shirt, helmet, sunglasses, water bottle, energy gummies, and Michael Jackson (my bike).

I couldn't make the packet pick-up the day before so I had to get to the race site early.  Storms had just rolled through El Reno and it was chilly with temps int the 50s! I didn't pack a jacket for the bike ride so I knew I would have to tough it out.  On the plus side, the mammatus clouds made for a beautiful sunrise!

My friend and training buddy from last year, Janna Pratt, decided last minute to enter the race.  Boy was I glad to have a buddy at the start line!  It's a little nerve wrecking.

Swim - 500 meters

The water ended up being warmer than the surrounding air temperature so it wasn't too bad.  The male swim wave went first followed by the females and then special swim wave.  I think the swim went well when I started passing some of the males.  A "stripper" pulled off my wetsuit (yeah, that's what triathletes call them!) and I ran to the transition area.

Bike - 13 miles

I threw on a shirt, grabbed MJ, and ran to the bike start line. Janna and I started the bike portion around the same time.  After the first curve in the road, Janna took off!  I am glad that I did not wear a jacket, I was already warmed up from the swim.  The bike portion went well.  The roads weren't too rough.  Since it was cooler, I had to consciously remind myself to drink water.

Run - 5K (3.1 miles) 

My legs were burning a bit from the ride as I traded my cycle shoes for running shoes.  Sprint triathlons are shorter but they hurt a bit more in my opinion.  Since the distance is shorter, you have to push yourself more than ever to pick up speed.  I have not been working on my speed so it hurt to run fast.

In all the races I participated in last year, each competitor had his/her age written on his/her calf.  This race did not have the competitor's age listed.  So...I had to judge based on looks.  There was this blonde female in a purple sports bra that looked around my age.  She was ahead of me the entire first half of the run but then she started to lose steam.  I managed to pass her with 1 mile left and pushed myself.  I knew she was right behind me and I had to keep my current pace to beat her! 

Here's a pic taken by the El Reno newspaper photographer.  You can see the pain on my face.  I crossed the finish line and thought I was having a mini heart attack.  When I push myself that hard it feels like my heart is surging into my throat.

We're goofballs.
My great friend, co-worker, and fellow triathlete JOLEEN CHANEY even showed up to cheer me on! Thanks, Joleen!

Here are my results -
2 Emily Sutton 28*- Oklahoma City OK 
Total time: 1:21:18 
Swim: 9:43 
Transition 1: 1:26 
Bike: 43:40 
Transition 2:  0:41 
Run: 25:50 (8:38 pace)        

*I'm actually 27 but they take what age you are in December.  Since my birthday is in October, they count me as 28. BOO!
My OCCC Tri Club Friends!

We WON! A license plate.

Janna and I ended up winning second place in our age divisions! WOO HOO!  Not too bad for the first TRI of the season.

This past Saturday morning Joleen & I will be rode in the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure in Mustang, OK.  It's not too late to join our team or to donate!  Please consider donating for a great HERE.  I'll have more on that adventure in my next blog entry! Have a great week and KEEP COOL!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tour de Cure Forecast

Team "Jo & Em" will be riding 48 miles in the Tour de Cure tomorrow morning in Mustang.  Here's the forecast for our fellow riders and volunteers!

Thanks for all of the donations so's not too late to donate to the American Diabetes Association!  Just click here.

I will post my blog entry about the SPRINT TRIATHLON later this evening.  Have a great weekend and keep cool!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I Don't Know How To Put This...

But the TRANSIT OF VENUS is Kind of A Big Deal.

Now as a meteorologist, people assume I know everything about stars, planets, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.  That is false.  Meteorology is the study of weather...although I've had more than 2 guys that asked me what it's like to study rocks from outer space.  For real.
Since I am NOT an expert on the topic, I will pass along the e-mail I received from a real expert.  I asked Wayne Harris-Wyrick the Director of the Kirkpatrick Planetarium what this is all about.  He said, "It starts just after 5:30 CDT and at sunset, Venus is barely halfway across the sun's disk, meaning we miss it when Venus "exits" the sun.  The next such event visible from Oklahoma occurs December 10, 2125.
Venus is just at the limit of human eye resolution.  With proper solar viewing material, one could just discern it is a dot on the sun's surface.  "Proper solar viewing material" is something very few people will have at home.  With a No. 14 or darker welder's glasses, you can safely view it, or if you have solar eclipse glasses.  We will have properly filtered telescope in our parking lot all that afternoon for folks to see it.  Along with some irregularly-shaped sunspots, you'll see Venus is a perfectly round, if small, dot."
You can see a simulation of this event at"

I will be talking about this tomorrow afternoon during the 4, 4:30, 5, 6, and 6:30 newscasts so make sure to tune in.  If you are not in the Oklahoma City viewing area, you can always watch our newscasts live at

Okay, for real, the next entry will be about the Sprint TRI from last Saturday.  Have a great week everyone and happy VENUS TRANSIT viewing.  Remember DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE SUN!

Heat Burst

Hi, friends! I hope you had a great weekend.

I am going to blog all about the SPRINT TRI in my next entry.

Right now I am at work tracking severe storms and we had an interesting weather phenomenon occur in southwestern Oklahoma that several viewers have asked about.  It's called a HEAT BURST!
This graphic does a great job of explaining the weather phenomenon.  Heat bursts usually occur in the summer during the evening and overnight hours and requires a dying thunderstorm.
Dying thunderstorm - wah wah
Dry air aloft is also required.  Precipitation evaporates in this dry air.  This results in cool air that is denser than the surrounding (environmental) air.  The dense, dry air accelerates towards the ground.  The rapid descent towards the ground heats the air.  It's so fast that it doesn't have time to follow the physics that heat rises. 
Here's an example of a heat burst that happened tonight, June 3, 2012.  Severe thunderstorms developed near Childress Texas earlier in the evening and began to collapse around 10:30pm.  At 11:10pm the Oklahoma Mesonet site in Mangum recorded a temperature of 92 degrees.  Only 10 minutes earlier a neighboring Mesonet site in Hollis reported 52 mph winds.  Locally they were likely higher. 
This relative humidity graphic from the Oklahoma Mesonet site shows how dry air aloft has invaded the surface through this heat burst.  Earlier in the evening southwest Oklahoma had relative humidity percentages in the 50's.  After the heat burst, relative humidity percentages dropped to the 20s, as shown in the graphic above about 45 minutes after the heat burst.  For the nerdy specifics click here for a great website.

And now you know all about heat bursts! BOOM!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Route 66 Sprint TRI Forecast

Hi, friends!  Since I am in the triathlon/cycling/running community I try to forecast for races...especially the ones I am participating in!  And because I LOVE weather!

So here is my forecast for Saturday, June 2, 2012
7AM - 30% T-storms, Low 60s, South wind 5 mph
9AM - 20% T-Storms, Mid-60s, South wind 5-10 mph
11AM - Mid-70s, South wind 5-10 mph

Here's one high res model pic of around race time.  It's only one model (4km NAM)...but shows storm activity staying in Western OK.  However, the actual atmosphere is a bit more complex than most models can handle considering we had storms on Friday.  These storms leave what meteorologists call "outflow boundaries."  Storms leave small wind shift lines, like mini cold fronts.  Depending on the upper levels and mid levels of the atmosphere, new storms can develop along these boundaries.  For the most part though, storms should occur overnight and wrap up around morning...let's hope so!

Due to the rain, the water may be a degree cooler than previously measured.  Thankfully, the winds are forecast to be light and we should have a cool start in the morning.  So as long as there is no lightning in the vicinity, it seems like a great race day!


Picture from the Kingfisher Fire Department
In terms of my training I haven't fit in much this week due to severe weather and another HUGE hail storm hitting the Metro.
* My poor Taurus from the LAST major hailstorm in 2010 *
This is what happened to my car during the last  monster hail storm on May 16, 2010.  Yeah, it totaled my car.  This time around, we shuffled things around at the station and I was able to park mine inside...and for that, I feel blessed.

For this hail storm we mainly had downed trees at the house.  Many people were out of power for days so we were lucky.

At least my roommate's dog (and my doggy niece) Maggie enjoyed the debris!

Recent Training

So no major rides this week but last Saturday I went on a bike ride with the Red Rider's Team leader, Dave Thomas (like Wendy's!) for Tour de Cure for a group ride with a few of the "Team Jo & Em" riders.  Click here to join our team...or donate to the American Diabetes Association!
We had a few new cyclists (yay!) so we did the short, 13 mile loop around the Chesapeake Boathouse. It's a nice trail!  It was very muggy and windy which gave an added challenge.

Dave, Frank, and I kept going and ended up doing 32 miles total!  I decided to go all out and turn it into a brick workout by adding a 2-3 mile run afterwards.  I felt great initially but was wiped later in the day!  I was also HUNGRY all day.  I forgot what it's like to train hard...but I kind of love it.

It was also my first time trying out AEROBARS.  Thanks to Astronaut John at Pro Bike Inc for putting them on MJ!  Aerobars are like antlers for a bike.  For a cyclist, it provides another way to rest your arms just to switch it up and make it more comfortable for longer rides.  It also makes you a bit more aerodynamic.  It's a little tricky at first...friends warned me to slowly move down to the aerobars.  You're not supposed to use them on group rides because it is harder to quickly react.  It is meant for races!  I will try and use it tomorrow for the Route 66 Tri.  I've found I only really like it when I am going a steady pace on smooth ground.

Stay tuned for an update on the Route 66 TRI! Woo hoo! Have a great weekend, everyone!