Posts Tagged ‘triathlon’

Triathlon Sunday To Marathon Workweek

Have you ever had one of those weeks where there doesn’t feel like there’s time to breathe? That’s my week this week. Work deadlines, outside obligations like doctor’s visits and vet visits have kept me on the run all week (and not in the I finished a 5K in under 30 minutes kind of way!).

I’ve gone from the high of my triathlon to the week from well, you can fill in the blanks. And while I have lots of blog posts milling around in my head, I have no time this week to write them. So I’m letting you know I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. I’m still feeling mighty proud of Sunday’s accomplishment. And I will be back, just as soon as the insanity subsides.

If not sooner, I will be posting on Saturday.

Tomorrow’s the big day! Trek Women Triathlon, NY

I still was having ambivalent moments about the Trek Women triathlon until today. Some days, I was feeling like it’s going to be great; other days, I wonder what I was thinking. Yesterday, with all of the rain, and rain predicted for tomorrow morning and a 6:30 am start, I wasn’t so sure I’d even go. But, the weather is supposed to be nice now.

So today, I went and picked up my race packet, got my body marked and wandered around a bit. I tried Sports Beans (yum, those will be available tomorrow) and Greek yogurt, which I promptly went out and picked up at the supermarket. Also yum.

I bought a race belt for my race number and Trek Women gave away an awesome T-shirt. Not sure if I’ll be wearing that one tomorrow. My brother also made me an awesome t-shirt on Zazzle and gave that to me last weekend. It says Fat Girl 2 Fit Girl and has a heart with the Japanese symbols for strength and dedication inside. His take on the whole Fat Girl To Fit Girl thing is that it takes heart, strength and dedication to train for and participate in triathlons, especially coming from the unfit state of being I was in. He’s also a triathlete. Wasn’t that sweet? For that reason alone, I would feel awful if I didn’t compete tomorrow.

So I’m ready. I got really pumped at packet pick-up! Everyone was so nice and they talked us through what the race course will be like and where we’ll need to go. I’ve done the pool swim at this venue already so I know what to expect there. I’m going to make sure I pace myself carefully and just have a really good time. And I’ll have pictures and race results as soon as I can. Probably after my diner french fries and my nap!

I want to thank all of you who read this blog and have connected with me on Twitter too! Your encouragement and support as I’ve gotten ready for this race and my first one too has really kept me going, especially on the days I don’t feel like going! You have made the whole triathlon/getting fit experience even more worthwhile! I wish I could have you all with me tomorrow morning. Instead though, I’ll have my hubby to root me on.

I’m off to make my pasta/chicken dinner to get me through my race tomorrow, finish up my laundry and relax a bit before going to bed really early tonight, since I have to be up at 4:30 am. Hopefully I’ll sleep. And the next time I post, I’ll be done! But just for the season. I’m already planning out the triathlons I want to be in come spring!

When You Least Expect It

Saturday, because of the rain, was a swim day. I usually swim train with a friend on Saturday morning and that makes it more fun. Yesterday though, Jen was off on vacation, so I headed to the pool alone. I did not want to go. It was rainy and dark and miserable here yesterday. To swim on Saturday, even in crappy weather means getting to the gym by 7:30 am. The pool starts to get crowded around 8:15 or so. I had to coax myself out the door.

However, I was off from training on Thursday and then again on Friday, so I made myself go. The way I felt, I wasn’t so sure it would be a very good training session, but these things need to be done.

I got there and there was only one other person in the pool. Sweet. I love it when I get the pool, or at least a lane, to myself. And I kicked off. I had decided to swim 400 meters hard, easy for 100, hard for 200, easy for 100, etc. I had a great 400-meter swim (although there was no clock to tell the time) and a great rest of my swim too. I swam harder more than I had planned and overall went 1500 meters (the most I’ve done). I felt great when I got out of the pool. And I felt great pretty much the rest of the day.

Sunday morning, I had a long run planned. Again, morning came and I did not want to leave the comfort of my bed. I was up late the night before and sometimes, I just like to sleep in. It was not raining though and there was still some cloud cover so it was cooler than it has been. I got up, got dressed, tried to hook up Runkeeper on my iPhone to track the run, but to no avail. For whatever reason, Runkeeper couldn’t find my location. Next time.

I set off walking like I always do; giving myself my little pep talk, like I always do; listening to my music, like I always do. I started running and decided to take a longer route that I take on the bike, figuring if I got tired, I could always walk a bit.

Bottom line, I ran three and a half miles today in 43 minutes and I could have gone farther. With the weather being cool, and maybe because I’d had a couple of days off from running, I felt strong and consistent today. I didn’t get winded, my legs and knees felt good and I only had one spot where I felt a little draggy. I wasn’t too sure how much distance I was tacking onto my run (since it was spur of the moment to go farther), so I stopped when I think I could have probably run more.

I’m going to try a slightly longer run on Tuesday to hit the 4-mile mark, since that was one of my goals for the Missouri 60 challenge!

Both days this weekend, I didn’t feel much like exercising and really didn’t have very high expectations for my performance based on my not-so-enthusiastic attitude. What surprised me though, is if I can get past the grumblies and out the door, once I get going, I really, really enjoy working out and pushing myself. And even though I’ve been doing this on a regular basis now for a year, it still surprises me.

I like surprises. So I’m going to keep hitting the road, the pool and whatever other fun exercise opportunities come my way.

How do you talk yourself out the door to get your exercise in?

PS: There was no rolling me out of bed this morning. I’ll be getting my bike ride in after work today!

Running For French Fries

Now that I’ve recovered (more or less) from Saturday’s Triathlon, I can tell you the highlights for me centered around the amazing people who competed in and supported this race.

First, I’m always amazed how wonderful people can be. At this race, the more seasoned athletes and even some of the other beginners were so helpful and supportive to us newbies, it made me proud to  be a part of this. I also tried to pass on as much info as I could because at registration on Friday night, we had someone explain how to get into and out of  the pool and snake the lanes, how to rack our bikes, how to make sure we knew where to return our bikes. Not everyone got that little bit of information. It made this race less chaotic than the first one was for me (my duathlon in April).

When I lined up for the swim (we seeded ourselves based on time), for a while I was the only girl in my time with a bunch of guys. Made me think that I must have made a mistake and I should move back to the slower times. I was right on the money though with my swim time and was very glad I stayed where I did. A couple of other women showed up there too which made me a little more comfortable. I had a smooth swim with no one bumping into me or having to wait for slower swimmers to get back in line.

While waiting to go into the water I started chatting with the guy in front of me, who, by the end of the conversation decided I should go before him because I was faster. That made me feel great…and nervous at the same time. It also made me swim faster since I didn’t want to slow him down. At the lane ends, where shifting to the next lane was confusing, people were so polite. There were at least three people at each lane end and we were all “You go, no you go, no it’s ok, you can go first.” I think everyone kind of wanted an excuse to rest, but it was all very cordial and polite. The “niceness” probably slowed us all down some, but better to lose a few seconds than get kicked in the face.

The staff and volunteers for Event Power cheered us on the whole way and on the bike, one girl staffer yelled out “The third time you see me, you go back to transition!” It saved me from having to try and count the loops on the bike path, which was confusing at best. Smart girl! She probably saved at least a few people from disqualification because they wouldn’t have done the three loops.

On my run, where I walked quite a bit of the way, twice when I was walking, another competitor slowed down to walk with me and talk me into running again. The first time was a woman at about the same level as me (we both needed the few minutes of walking I think) but we got each other going again. The second time it was a young girl, almost done with her run (I was on the first loop). She was doing great and had no reason to slow down with me, but she did, just to help me along. I can’t thank that woman enough, because I was having a rough time at that point, and I didn’t give up, partly because of her.

The other reason I didn’t give up? Are you ready for this? Diner french fries. I’m not kidding. When I had about a half mile to go, I just kept telling myself, get your butt across that finish line and you can go to the diner and have a real omelette (none of this egg white crap) and french fries! Hot, salty, crispy, thick diner french fries with lots of ketchup.

And guess what? I finished my race, hung around a bit to wait for results, was even interviewed (and I’ll link that when it’s live) and then went home, showered and had my diner breakfast at like 1:00 in the afternoon. Those were the best damned french fries I’ve ever eaten.

All the time I was dreaming about my delicious french fries, I was also fighting with myself because I know food should not be a reward like that anymore.  Some habits die hard.

But hey, whatever gets you through, right? And I got through. And I’m doing it again!

Official Split times were posted yesterday: Here’s how I fared for a 400-meter swim, 6-mile bike and 2-mile run. T1 and T2 were transitions between the race segments.

Total clock time: 1.06.03

Swim 10.57

T1 3.22

Bike 23.47

T2 1.33

Run 26.25

I Am Officially A Triathlete!

I finished! I swam 400 meters, biked 6 miles and ran 2 miles this morning. My first triathlon. I finished!

The swim was great. It was a pool swim where we had to snake up and down 8 lanes in a 50-meter pool. I seeded myself at 10:30 for this based on what I was doing in training and finished the swim in 10:57. I didn’t have anyone passing me and I even passed a couple of people at the lane ends so I felt strong in this leg.  With the confusion at the ends of the lanes and getting into and out of the water, I was happy with my time.

My bike was strong and I managed to shave a minute off my last time, even with all of the bike issues I was having  getting ready for this race. Finished the bike in 23 minutes and change. Splits aren’t up yet, but I got to see them quickly after the race.

The run? The run was not so great. It was hot by the time we were running, I had a stitch in my side from all the water I inhaled in the pool (there was quite a chop with all those people in the water) and I just felt like I had nothing left. I did a lot of walking during the two miles, something I haven’t done in months, even on the hot days. The run took 26 minutes and change, the worst run I’ve had in a long time.

I was disappointed in myself with the run only because I totally let my head get in the way and keep me from doing something I know I can do. I could come up with a dozen excuses as to what happened here, but the bottom line was I let the negative talk in and didn’t push through.

But you know what? It’s over. I’ve done it! I swam, biked and ran, made it through transitions and I’m alive to write about it. And do it again. And I’m really proud of myself.

I learned so much, and while I may have been disappointed in my run, overall I am thrilled. It’s exciting/nerve-racking, I met incredible people, and even if my run wasn’t so hot, I swam a quarter mile, dried off and got on a bike for six miles and then got off the bike and ran for two. I don’t know a whole lot of people who can say they’ve done that so I know it’s an accomplishment.

I’m signing up for Trek Women in September. Same park, same time, different race. And this next time, there will be no walking during the run! I’m just that determined.

I’ll post official splits and pics soon. 🙂

Big thanks to the folks at Event Power LI who produce this event. They do an amazing job, are unbelievably supportive and they make sure everyone has a great time!

Countdown To Race Day

This morning, I did my last brick workout before my upcoming Mini Mightyman triathlon on Saturday. I’m as ready as I’m going to be. This morning, though, my training felt really off. It was quite possibly the most humid morning I’ve gone out to train, so I biked 3 and ran two. It was already 74 degrees with 90% humidity at 6:15 am, I hadn’t eaten enough this morning, and I was so overheated, I had to walk twice during the run. I inhaled 32 ounces of water as soon as I walked through the front door.

The last run/bike bricks I’ve done have ended up in a pulled muscle in my hip, so I was kind of babying this one too. I didn’t want to get hurt 3 days before race day. At least today, I didn’t feel the pulling in my hip as much. I think that’s because I finally have the bike positioned correctly (handlebar extensions – six inches of reach that make a HUGE difference!).

Tomorrow I will probably bike one last time (unless it’s rainingin which case I’ll swim) and Friday is a day off to let my muscles recover for race day.

I’d like to finish this race in under an hour, but I will be happy with just the finish. My times should be better there than they’ve been in training: 1) because there are no hills on this course (and there are hills on my training routes that really slow me down on the bike and the run and 2) adrenaline usually helps in these situations. 🙂

I’ve learned a lot and come a long way since my race in April. I’ve trained better for this one and I’m not tapering nearly as much as I did the last time. This is a relatively short race, and it really wasn’t beneficial to take a few days off before the race last time. I have a better handle on what I should be eating and I’ll make sure I have a gel for between the bike and run if it’s really miserably hot out, so I’m fueled and hydrated.

I’m familiar with the run/bike course and we even hit the pool there once to swim. The swim was canceled the last time so that leg and the transition that follows it will be new and interesting. I’m looking most forward to the swim, since I’m confident in my ability in that discipline! I’m certainly not the fastest, but I’m a solid swimmer and I’ve always done well endurance-wise.

I feel ready, and I know my toughest critic will be me. I want to finish respectably. I have to remember that finishing is respectable.

I’m already planning my next race after this. Same park, same pool, longer distances, on Sept. 13. The Trek Women Triathlon Series – 1/4 mile swim, 9 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. All girls. I think that will be huge fun!

They have races all over the country. Check it out here: http://www.trekwomenstriathlonseries.com/index.htm

Getting Fit? Which Exercise Is Best?

In my quest to get fit, I’ve done lots of reading and research. Other people’s struggles. What works for them. The best shoes for my feet for running. The best exercise routine. I read the information and try to take away what I find most important. The stuff that will help me with what I want to do.

There seems to be two hard core exercise camps, and then a bunch of us in between. The cardio people (of which I am currently one) and the strength training crew (I aspire to strength training but am not quite there yet). What amazes me are the fanatic fringe in these camps. The cardio people who say you have to do cardio…it’s the only way to lose fat. Nothing else will work.

And the strength training folks who say you have to strength train because it builds muscle, which ups your metabolism. Nothing else will work. I read one strength training article that went so far as to say cardio is bad for you because it makes your body more efficient and if you ever have to stop your body will basically become a big blob again. I don’t know. I knew a weight lifter guy once who stopped lifting weights and he turned into a big blob too.

For me, I knew I needed goals to get fit, so I started training for triathlons. I like to swim, I can bike, and now I can run. Without something to train for, I knew I wouldn’t be regimented about exercising. For some reason, a healthy body was just not enough to get me into the pool or even into my sneakers.

Race training works for me. I have a goal. I work toward it. I feel like I’ve accomplished something when I complete a race. I look for a bigger goal.

What I’m doing, though, isn’t going to work for everyone. It’s not going to work for most people.

But something can work for everyone. For the strength trainers, it’s lifting weights. For the cardio people, it’s walking or running or swimming or…. For yoga people, it’s yoga… you get the idea. I’m betting it’s really best to do a little of all of those things.

Bottom line is if we’re going to get fit, we have to move, even if it’s just from the couch to the front yard at first. Even if it’s dancing to your favorite song in the living room.

I’ve found something that works for me and I’ve stuck to it for a year. It’s challenging, not boring and ultimately, fun. I do a little of other stuff and I plan to add more. But this was where I needed to start.

Whatever the fanatics say, I’ve lost weight, built muscle tone and have more energy. And when I take a day or two off, I don’t turn into a big blob, but I do look forward to getting back to my training.

Do what works for you. Do what you are going to stick to and enjoy. Do something that will challenge you and that you can build on. Have fun. And don’t listen to what everyone else has to say. That’s my prescription for a good exercise program.