Thursday, November 12, 2015

Post Season

Hello Everyone.

I had an interesting season this year. Not really going as planned, but a wake up call to what I really think I need to pursue.
I race the Long Branch Half Marathon back in April, ran a 1:22 and change and finished first overall woman. I was then inducted into the hall of fame which was unexpected and pretty cool! From there my training continued with the hopes of doing well in some Olympic distance triathlons and racing pro for the first year but it seemed my body had other plans and I just couldn't seem to get my act back together for the season. I constantly felt worn down, never fresh, workout after workout was just a complete disaster, leaving me really mentally distraught and unmotivated. I continued to run but backed off on everything else in hopes of getting it together in time to race a few more triathlons. Just never happened so I called the season way earlier than expected.

Next year I have plans for racing as a professional at the 70.3 distance. I hope to race my first half ironman in the spring so I can get a good feel for it, see where I stand and have enough time left in the year to get a couple more races in. This winter will be much more volume than in the past, trying to build a good base. I believe I am a better athlete as the distance gets longer. I believe I am a better athlete than the level I am performing at now, I just have to put in more work. I can maintain paces for a while and I hope that will show in my racing next year. I look forward to a better season and some good, mind and body strengthening workouts and races.

Towards the end of the summer, into the fall I will switch my focus to the marathon. I am hoping to register for the Chicago Marathon on October 9th and race to a sub 3 hour finish. I think its doable with my time from the half marathon, when I write the numbers it works out well on paper...I just need it to workout in real life! If the marathon goes well, I will reevaluate my racing and see whats next!

I want to give a big shoutout to my sponsors. The Leather Institute for helping with travel and all my tri needs! Powertap, Saris, Cycleops for allowing me to train through the winter months on my trainer and for the new PowerBeam Pro I just got, super excited to get on it! Powerbar for the nutrition, bars and food I can eat that wont upset my stomach! Yippee! XTERRA Wetsuits, for keeping me afloat and hooking my friends up so they can stay afloat and race fast too!  The Red Bicycle for hooking me up with a new QR tri bike for the season and for helping me with whatever I need throughout the season and winter months!
Not only do these companies help me during the season but they help me year round to stay fit and ready for the next season. I couldnt do it without them!

Potential races for next year thus far, more will be added accordingly, most likely one in August/September and October/November. I will probably do a couple of local races for speedwork in the middle of those.

70.3 Texas-April 10th or 70.3 Florida same day
70.3 Eagleman - June 12th or June 5th Raleigh
70.3 Vineman- July 10th or  70.3 Racine- July 17th (Wisconsin) (Leaning more towards Wisconsin)
Fall schedule TBD

Monday, January 26, 2015

I am thrilled to announce my new sponsor for 2015...

PowerTap, CycleOps, Saris!

Thank you for your belief in me and your support. I couldn't do it without you! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

LAVA Pants-Tested and Epic!

Hello Everyone!

I recently received a pair of Lava Pants through XTERRA Wetsuits. I tested them in the pool and they have now become one of the best training tools in my arsenal.
Now I know some people are against the use of LAVA pants when training for this reason or that reason but you think I use them to swim, right? WRONG. I use them to run. Pool Run, in the deep end.

These pants are phenomenal for pool running. With just the right amount of buoyancy to allow you to float but also work hard, I don't think I'll ever go back to the belt! I thought at first that they may restrict my leg movement and make it feel strange but it was super natural and I really forgot I had them on. My chin is kept just about at water level, a tiny bit above because I wasn't struggling to breathe while running but if I want to remain higher in the water thats all on me and my running.

I swear by pool running. For whatever reason when someone asks me what they can do when injured I always say well get in the pool and run. Run long runs, run workouts, run easy days, run two a days. I get looked at like I have 5 heads. But it works. It works extremely well if done right. It works well if you get in the workouts, it does not work as well if you jump in the pool for 20 minutes, short workout, "thats about 3 miles right?" and call it a day. It takes patience, it takes persistence and it takes boredom to a whole new level but I tell you, its worth it when you come back and see the results.

Back in college I was injured in the fall with plantar fasciitis. I finally gave in to the injury at the start of the winter track season because I was in tears most nights and I felt the right time to take off was during the winter months. So after I had the PRP by Doctor Connors and was placed in a boot for a few weeks I jumped in the pool (not with the boot!) From there I did long runs 2+ hours. I did full blown track workouts, I did ladder workouts with time increasing and then decreasing. I did two a days. I would be sweating in the pool. By the time I came out I was exhausted. By the end of outdoor I ran a 17:37, a PR by about 20+ seconds. In a matter of weeks back on the track, because I hadn't lost fitness I was able to jump right back to where I was and beyond. It works, it works well if done right.

So there you have it. LAVA PANTS. The new great tool in the arsenal.

Until next time, train hard, get some Lava Pants,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

From Beginner to Pro and all that in between

Growing up I played a lot of sports.  Aside from the organized sports I always enjoyed the mountain bike rides with my dad. "Dad how far did we go?!" "About 10 miles was almost always the answer, sometimes 20. Granted it took forever to go that far where now a days its much faster riding with my dad on our road bikes! Little did I know I was a triathlete in the making. 
I loved running, I started in 5th grade to get to know kids in a new school. I loved it. We would run a 3 mile course almost every day and race each other in practice to touch the jockeys butts(the ones that hold lanterns at the end of some older driveways)on the opposite side of Thompson Park. Probably not the best idea to race every single day but who knew?! 

I began swimming at age 4 at the Red Bank YMCA and eventually Red Bank Catholic High school but gave it up to pursue running full time in college. The summer going into senior year I met my running coach Gerard Pearlberg who helped me get my running to the next. I was MAC champion and All American in Cross Country in 2010. I ran 17.37 on the track my senior year coming back from injury during the winter season. 

 Coach GP as he is known to us runners has always been my go to coach for my running especially when I felt it was falling short of my own expectations. I decided this year to have him coach me full time again and my running has come a long way in the few months we have been back working together. I have great expectations for next year in both running and triathlon. 

Back to the beginning....

My first road bike, a Specialized Allez stayed in the basement for 2 years. I was terrified of riding clipped in outside, afraid I would go down. I road it on the trainer inside on few occasions. The saddle was AWFUL, so uncomfortable. "Is this what riding was like? Its terrible!" 
I finally had the courage to venture outside. A very successful ride. Unclipped my right leg pulling up to the house, leaned to the wrong side and BAM, down in the driveway. Almost made it. 

I did my first duathlon back in 2008?-ish. I loved it! 

My dad had been encouraging me to try a triathlon as he had been doing them for a little while. I got up one morning, went to the race start and bailed. Terrified of the ocean and so sick to my stomach I thought "no way, this isn't for me." Turns out I had a virus....

Finally I gave it a go. I signed up for a Sandy Hookers Triathlon in Pier Village. I had a good race. I decided to sign up for Jersey Girl the first year is debuted and from there I was hooked. I upgraded all my equipment and dove in head first. This was it...

I decided I needed a slightly smaller bike than the Allez so I upgraded while I was at it and went with the Cannondale SuperSix, my favorite matte black bike I call Batman. I now ride a 52 road bike, down from a 54. 
My brother Sean bought an Elite TT bike that wound up being too small for him so he offered it to me. That became my first triathlon bike for my first few seasons and treated me well. It was a great bike but also a little big for me but did the trick for a while. 
I eventually sold the Elite and went with the Scott Plasma size 49. I'm 5'6 and love the aggressiveness you get from riding a small TT bike. Its a great fit! 

After graduation from Delval I spent a week at the OTC. I raced a draft legal race two summers ago? but ultimately decided that I preferred non drafting triathlons. Maybe I'll change my mind in the future but for now I'm going to stick with non drafting and  this year I also plan on racing my first 70.3! I will also be traveling a bit more this year. 

I raced Chicago triathlon this past year and was first place amateur. The goal was to finish top 3 to earn my Elite Card AKA Professional Status as a triathlete. To my surprise I actually finished first. 

I am proud to OFFICIALLY announce that I will be turning professional for the 2015 triathlon season! (I have to renew in December every year)

So there you have it, in short, my story from Beginner to Pro. 

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Monday, September 1, 2014

XTERRA Wetsuits Review

I have raced my whole life in XTERRA wetsuits. I received the Vortex as a gift quite a few years ago, I feel it was a little encouragement gift to give triathlons a try. I eventually did try a triathlon in my Vortex and I was hooked. I raced in that suit for years, rinsing it out after each race and storing it in a cool dry place. Its about 7-8 years old at this point and looks brand new! Zero holes, no scratches, nothing.
I then moved up to the top of the line Vendetta having XTERRA as one of my sponsors which is AWESOME. The suit is outrageously comfortable with the right amount material in the right places. The arms are pretty thin making freestyle feel pretty natural while the legs just float along even without kicking if you are more of an upper body swimmer. If you are willing to spend the money for a great quality suit and are willing to take care of it properly after each swim then the Vendetta is the suit for you.
If you don't have as much money to spend on a suit then the Vector Pro middle of the line suit is also an excellent choice. It retails for $600 but with my discount at checkout you can get it for $240 which is a sick deal. I personally have never worn this suit but I know a few who have and they have had nothing but good things to say about it.
Last but not least is my first suit ever, the Vortex. Retailing for $400 you can get it for $149 with my discount code! Their base level wetsuit that you would never know is base level after trying it on. Its super comfortable just like the others with maybe a little less stretch to it. The only time I noticed the less stretch was in transition, I found it much easier to get off than the Vendetta until I got used to it.

Their suits are all designed to have minimal amount of drag. A special coating allows you to slip through the water fast by reducing friction (kind of like a seal :) ) The middle later of the suit adds buoyancy while the inner layer keeps it stretchy. The panels of the suit are created to fit to your body and the seams of the suit are glued and stitched for added strength.
Now some people manage to get holes in their suits. This baffles me to a degree because I man handle my suits while trying to get them on and I have never put a single hole in my suit or broken a seam. So be a little more gentle with your suit. Leave an extra few minutes to get the suit on before a race so you aren't rushing! Pull a little at a time up the legs or arms to get the suit to move to where you need it and be sure to rinse it with fresh water after every race and let dry in a cool place!

The velocity speed suit for those non wetsuit legal swims is a great product. Although I haven't spent much time in mine since all were wetsuit legal this season, the suit cuts down on drag drastically; reducing time in the water and making for a fast swim.

Aside from wetsuits, their triathlon bag is also awesome! A pocket for the wetsuit after a race is perfect so none of your other gear gets wet. Its large enough to hold everything you need!

I am a true believer in the XTERRA products. I think they are a phenomenal brand and fantastic company. Their return policy is great, their exchange policy is great and their support for their athletes is unending as they are willing to invest in athletes to see them succeed; me being one of them.

I couldn't have asked for a better sponsor for this season and I hope to return with them again next year. Thank you XTERRA WETSUITS! Your belief in me as an athlete has helped me achieve my goal of turning professional. Hard work is never over. The bar is set high for next season. I can't wait!

Don't forget to use the code SA-DORGAN for 60% off the Vortex and Vector Pro Suits!


Chi Town Tri

Arrived in Chicago Friday night around 11:30pm. Gerard was driving up from Georgia for the weekend with a friend who lived in the area and flying back to Georgia on Monday when I flew back to NJ. He was scheduled to arrive around 4am so I headed to bed and set my alarm for his arrival which was timed almost perfectly!
Saturday morning arrived, Gerard and I got up to workout. He went and did his long run as I did my pre race routine. Back to get ready for breakfast and I decided to check on my bike at Fedex so we could go pick it up. I am told its been rerouted to a sorting facility outside of the city and it won't arrive until MONDAY! I thought my race was over before it started.
We called Fedex about 5 times and they kept telling us they would look into it and get back to us.  I had almost given up when my brother Sean decided to take over and somehow, with his magical powers, got Fedex to redeliver the bike to the right location, where it should have been all along.
After the bike was put together and everything was ready for race day we went out to grab some dinner at a Sushi place that Gerard would describe as "The best sushi I have ever had in my life."
Up at out by 430 am Chicago time which was 530 NJ time which is awesome!!! Set up in transition and I went to warm up a bit.
The race began at 6:19 am Chicago time. The swim went pretty well, not as fast as I would have liked but I know I have room for improvement. I was slowed down a bit by the massive piles of lake grass at the surface that I ran into and got tangled up in. I had to stop, push it down and swim over it. This happened twice, the rest of the time I was just getting it wrapped around my arms and goggles. I also almost went head on with another swimmer as we looped back to pass the start line because the buoys going out were not completely straight so if you swam straight, you swam into us, which many did. I made it out ok and ran the 450 yards to the transition area. That is where the swim time stopped so everything was a little long.
Out onto Lake Shore Drive on the bike and cruising with the wind at my back. Once we turned around the wind was in our faces but it wasn't so bad. The next part of the bike was new this year and we raced through the tunnels of Chicago. Although it was a little hard to see, there really wasn't anything on the ground that you had to see because there were no big potholes or anything. With no elements I hit 28mph cruising through the tunnels and then out onto the busway which is a road used just for buses that most people don't even know exist! I thought the bike course this year was much less boring than last year and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Onto the run I was the 11th female. This included the Pro field and maybe some amateurs, I wasn't sure. I ran down one woman on the way out and was able to catch another on the way back with about a half mile to go. Still having no idea where I was in the race, I came up the small hill for the finish. Thats when the announcer said I was the first female across the line! I didn't get too excited just yet because this year has been the year of getting beat by someone in another heat but it didn't happen this time. I have officially earned my Pro card. I still have a lot of work to do but I know exactly what I need to work on and I will get there and be competitive in the pro field come next season. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, I couldn't have done it without you!
Huge shout out to my sponsors, Xterra Wetsuits and Powerbar. The best products on the market have truly helped me succeed.

I am now done with my season, a little early but I felt it was the right thing to do so I can focus on some weaknesses and take a much needed break so I will come back healthy and fast next year!

Until next season...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


July 20th 2014. Up and out by 4:45am. Headed to Mercer County Park with my parents, my awesome supporters who wake up at terrible hours to travel with me and help me with all my gear.

I got to the race and went into transition to find a little NJ state flag on my bike spot to represent the state champion. The age group state champions had theirs too! It played a nice role in marking my bike so I didn't have to look as hard for my spot when flying in and out of transition!

The water was 77.5 degrees on race day, making it wetsuit legal. So it apparently dropped 2+ degrees from the day before when they had the sprint triathlon.... Into my wetsuit and into the swim. Was out of the water in 23 minutes and change. Not bad but still want to improve that time. The swim was hot, almost too hot for a wetsuit but I was still ok. Into T1 and out shortly after. Onto the bike my legs felt dead for the first loop so dead that I was getting super mad at myself for being so slow! FINALLY onto the second loop of the bike and my legs felt much better so I hammered away. Averaged just over 22mph on the bike and into T2. Out quickly and onto the run. I felt the best I have in a long long time on the run. I had something left in the tank after the bike and that's a great feeling when you have a 10K to run left to go. I averaged 6:22 miles, over 10 seconds faster per mile than last year but I still have some work to do. I finished 3rd place overall but being the first NJ resident I was still able to claim the title of NJ State Triathlon Champion.

Thanks to XTERRA Wetsuits and PowerBar for helping me power my way to the finish and walk away with the NJ State Triathlon Champion Title.

Next stop: Chicago!

Until then....back to training.