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So I did it.

I completed my second triathlon. (You may recall my first triathlon last summer.)

The second triathlon wasn’t that bad physically.

Mentally…it was really hard.

Let’s start from the beginning:

Saturday at 4:30AM: The townie texts me to say good luck. Have I mentioned he is a police officer? He was on the overnight shift and clearly awake. My alarm had not gone off yet at this point. Sweet but I wanted to kill him ūüôā

4:40AM: Alarm goes off. First thought that popped into my mind? Whyyyyy am I doing this? It’s pitch black and I could be peacefully sleeping not shaking from anxiety.

5:00AM: Get into car with friend to drive to state park.

5:15AM: Get an awesome spot with minimal walking to the transition area. 3 stops at the porter pottys¬†needed by this point. (TMI, but it’s the truth!)

5:30AM: Shovel in peanut butter on a slice of bread and one banana. Hydrate with water diluted powerade.

5:45AM: Walk towards transition areas with bikes/gear. On the way in get body marked by 14-year-old boys. Pretty awkward to strip in front of them but oh well. One boy told me “you have a strong bike ma’am, you’ll be great!”¬† Hmm, thanks?

6:10AM: Transition area is all set up, bike is on the rail, ready to kill some time before heading towards the water. The bike setup is a little different because rather than just one long rail that has for example bib numbers 400-460, it actually has stickers with your exact bib number on your spot. Porter Potty trip times 94859485.

6:25AM: Head back into transition to drop keys & flip-flops. Notice my bike has been switched.

I used to set my bike up so that the handlebars were on the railing but lately it’s made me nervous that it messes with my gears. So I decided to put my seat on the railing like the picture below.

source

Apparently I originally set this up incorrectly. I had 90% of my bike not on my sticker side (so the handlebars and the front tire were on the opposite side, facing away from my sticker). When I came back into the transition area the officials actually flip-flopped my bike so that now it was still on the rail by the seat however the front wheel and handle bars were on my sticker side facing me.

This actually threw me off a little because I hadn’t set it up like that before. I learned something new!

6:45AM: Transition is closed, everyone heads down to the lake beach for the national anthem and such. 1400+ of us smushing together on the beach.

7:00AM: The first swim waves are starting. My age group (of 172 people!!!) wouldn’t be getting into the water until 7:25AM.

7:10AM: Repeating in my head that I’m here to have fun and get fit, it doesn’t have to be about winning. It’s at my own pace!

7:18AM: My heart rate is through the roof as I wait for the countdown for us to get into the water.

7:20AM: 172 women wadding deeper into the lake to start the swim. The distance looks a lot longer at this point.

7:22AM: Trying to swim but my heart rate is so high that every time I put my face into the water I feel like I’m out of breath and panting.

7:23AM: Pep talk with myself. Go slow and relax.

7:24AM: Slow breast-stroke with minimal face in the water time. This clearly slows me down but it keeps me moving. Every 30 seconds I flop onto my back for about 5 seconds to calm down.

7:34AM: Out of the water. (I only knew this time after as it ended up taking me 14 minutes to do the 1/3rd mile swim.)¬†Run along the beach up to the transition area. See that there are wetsuit strippers which I’ve never seen before. I was told to lay on my butt and it one quick pull the guy had my full body wetsuit off. I screamed YOU ROCK and jogged to my bike.

7:37AM: Changed and running my bike out of the transition area. With a mix of others getting onto our bikes.

7:38AM: Turn right out of the park on the bike, celebrating the end of the swim and then I see the first part of the bike course. A big long gradual hill.

8:00AM: Moving steady on the bike and having fun. This isn’t so bad.

8:02AM: Heading straight down an even side road when I see what looks like two bikers on the ground. Ambulance noises are coming at this point. As I get closer I see him. More blood than I have ever seen before pouring from a guy’s head and side. Everyone is told to keep moving.

8:05AM: Crying. I’m going to be honest here, I cried for the at least the next 5 miles of the bike ride. I’ve never seen someone hurt like that in real life. I’ve never thought about how dangerous triathlons can be and really how mortal we all are. From the amount of blood and his eyes being closed, I assumed the worst. I slowed my bike pace down quite a bit at this point because it just made me realize that nothing is worth getting that hurt.

8:40AM: Bike is over. 15 miles DONE and I did it without getting hurt. I hopped off my bike at the dismounting line and was very disoriented by how wobbly my legs felt. This is why I should have trained with brick sessions like last year. 

8:42AM: Choked down a Clif¬†shot blok and jogged out of the transition area. I’m not physically that tired at this point, but I have to pee (why does this always happen to me?) and I can’t stop thinking about the man who fell.

8:55AM: I’m walking parts of the run. I don’t know why, I know I could push myself but my legs feel like 2,000lbs. Turns out I was jog/walking 11:40/mi at this point.

9:05ishAM: Realize this is ridiculous, it’s time to at least jog. Jog and sprint the last 1.5 miles into the finish. I sprinted so hard at the very end that a guy actually yelled “Awesome finish!!!” 8:56/mi average for that last 1.5miles! ūüôā

9:25AM: It’s over. I did it. I don’t feel that tired or sore, I’m just happy and taking pictures with my friend and her family and thinking about how much I want ice cream.

And that was my day. I’ll have to write part 2 about the rest of the day, and then watching the half-ironman¬†on Sunday. Crazy people those half-ironmen and women are.

I also haven’t been able to find anything about the guy who got hurt so I hope that means he is OK now.¬† I’m so grateful to have finished and finished safely.

I’ve got another Tri coming up in September. This one is shorter distances and all women. I know exactly how I need to train over the next month. ūüôā

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At the end of last summer I completed my first triathlon. I’ve said it so many times before – it was such an amazing, positive, and incredible accomplishment. I felt on top of the world.

Now I have a triathlon in 5 days. I haven’t been training like I did for almost 15 weeks last year. Instead I’ve been eating, and drinking, and enjoying myself…maybe a little too much. Don’t get me wrong, this has been an amazing summer and I’ve loved it. But I wish I had gotten my butt in gear earlier.

So maybe I’ve been swimming less than 10 times in the past few months. And I’ve totalled 6 spin classes. And I can’t seem to run a 5k. I do these tris for fun and for fitness. I might be the last person crossing that finish line, but I will¬†cross it, with a big friggan smile on my face.

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Maybe I should have saved yesterday’s post title for today.

Today I found out that one of my coworkers (from another office) is leaving.

He’s my sanity at my job. My peer. My comic relief. And my friend. ūüė¶

I know it’ll all work out in the end, and there’s always going to be turnover at jobs and in life really, but I’m really going to miss him.

I cancelled my plans for tonight. For the first time in a while, and really the only chance for a while, I am going home after work, stretching myself on my yoga mat, cooking some dinner and watching my netflix disc 1 of season 3 of TRUE BLOOD!

And on a¬†fitness note, last night the Townie and I went swimming! It was really fun to take someone “lap swimming” for their first time. I remember how humbling my first true swim was.¬† The Townie who happens to be in what I consider peak shape, had a rough time with laps.

After 2 laps he took a 5 minute break. Then he did 3 more laps, each one with a 2-3 minute break in between. Then he promptly said he thought he was going to puke.

I think it really surprised him how tough it is. And now it’s a challenge for him so I easily convinced him to come again with me on Friday! ūüôā

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This past weekend was a fun one, but in some ways it was a roller coaster of emotions.

Early in the week the Townie and I¬†bought movie tickets online¬†to see Friday’s showing of Bad Teacher.¬† Once we got to the theater we found out that Harry Potter had taken over all of the theaters and our movie had been cancelled. We ended up getting a refund AND a pair of free tickets to see a movie any time we want. Score.

Since the movie was cancelled the Townie¬†and I headed to Target. I’m sponsoring a 5-year-old¬†little girl going into Kindergarten so I needed to pick up a backpack, lunch bag, folders, crayons, etc. My favorite part of school was always the back-to-school shopping so it was really fun. Even though it was a mundane, silly little Friday night – the Townie and I both agreed we had so much fun together.

Saturday morning we headed to a diner for breakfast and then I asked if he would be interested in taking a walk through my area so I could take pictures with my Canon Rebel that has been sitting in its box for months.

The Townie¬†then headed home to an engagement party and I attempted a quick run (a painful 2 miler) before I headed to my friend’s goodbye party. (She’s moving to Canada ūüė¶ )

After a few hours there, I rushed home, showered and got ready for the Townie to pick me up. His sister had her bridal shower earlier that day and wanted us to stop by for a drink and the whole crowd from the engagement party he attended was planning on going out in Boston so we were meeting up with them.

We had a quick drink at his sister’s where she had about 25 people over. It’s been nice getting to know his sister since with B, I was so close to his sister. After we went to meet up with his friends. While I like the Townie’s¬†friends a few of their girlfriends/fiances/wives aren’t exactly the nicest girls. The Townie is my age (26) so the significant others of his friends are all around my age but they seem pretty immature. But a few of them are miserable. I give people the benefit of the doubt, and I’ll be nothing but nice, but they can be really catty, mean, insecure and the opposite of welcoming with a new person in “the group”.

I’m trying my hardest not to let those girls get to me, but I haven’t dealt with “mean girls” in a long¬†time. I just don’t have the patience for it. The rest of the night was fun, mostly because I was dancing around with the Townie (I danced he swayed) before we headed home where I devoured two slices of pizza that were bigger than my head.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling hung over. Too much sun, too much sugar, and way too much prosecco and vodka was not a good combination. I stayed in bed until 12:30pm when I had to go meet my friend S to swim for the first time in months.

As painful and uncomfortable as I felt, the swim somehow made me feel a bit better. Maybe the chlorine soaked up the alcohol. ūüėČ After a good amount of laps, we got on spin bikes for about 15 minutes before I spent a good 20 minutes stretching.

I got home in the afternoon with lots of plans to clean and organize my life. The hangover won. I napped on and off for a few hours, watched tv, and was back into bed early. I decided this morning that at least until training, I need to take a bit of a break from drinking. A glass of wine here and there is fine, but nights like Saturday night really left me useless yesterday. It also seems to mess with my mood a bit making me sensitive, depressed and lazy.

Today though, is the start to a good week. ūüôā

*all of these photos were taken by me ūüôā

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One of my biggest pain points for tri training is swimming. And it’s not the actual swimming part that’s the issue. I actually love the feeling of getting into the pool and zoning out, doing laps in the cool water. [I say this even though I haven’t swam since my last tri…yeah that was August 2010.]

But I very much dislike swimming trying to swim at my gym. 3 tiny lanes are always overcrowded – no matter what hours I try to go. People immediately try to cram 3 swimmers into one lane which is fine except when you’re forced to go faster or slower than your body is telling you to because someone is wacking their hands down on your feet or your face is colliding into someone’s feet.

But today’s Groupon made me HAPPY.

25 visits to any local YMCA that I choose for $25. I jumped on that deal. With designated lap and open lanes and an actual olympic size pool with hours from 7am to 9:45pm I have no excuse but to get my swim in.

Ha, I wish this was where I was swimming.

Anyway, it’s¬†actually easier to go later at night with my schedule and I can easily drive and park there to do so. Now it’s time to squeeze myself back into the oh-so-flattering full piece…

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No my post is not related to that, although I may have a post on that later…

I was thinking about how I felt after my duathlon¬†compared to how I felt after my triathlon. At first I thought my lack of endorphins, and sense of accomplishment, excitement, pride, etc. was because I didn’t have the cheering squad at my duathlon that I had at my tri.

But I don’t think that’s it.

I think that the work I put into training for my triathlon – almost 15 weeks of training – is what made me feel on top of the world when I crossed the finish line. All the morning swims, the uncomfortable first outdoor bike rides, the fears, etc. were more than worth it. Because when I crossed that finish line all of my hard work came to life. I knew I had trained and did just about the best I could and it felt like the most amazing feeling in the world. The endorphins lasted days.

At my duathlon, I felt content that I finished, that I went and actually did it¬† all by myself. But the pride¬†from hard work wasn’t there. I think even if my time had been absolutely amazing, the sense of accomplishment and pride wouldn’t have been the same as if I had put true training in and then got the same time.

I think this duathlon was the exact spark of motivation I need. Now Boston, bring me the nice weather so I can start training! ūüôā

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I’m officially signed up and training for:

1. Ras Na Heireann 5k – March 13, 2011
 Run 3.1 miles
 Goal: Would like to beat my best PR from 2008

2. Wrentham Duathlon РApril 17, 2011
 Run 5k, Bike 11 miles, Run 2 miles
¬†Goal: Finish ūüôā

3. Escape the Cape Triathlon – June 4, 2011
 Swim 1/3 Mile, Bike 10 miles, Run 3.1 miles 
 Goal: Support my friend J and finish strong

4. Timberman Triathlon – August 21, 2011
 Swim 1/3 mile, Bike 12.5 miles, Run 3.1 miles
 Goal: Under 11 minute swim, under 50 minutes bike, and under 31 minute 5k

I have a few different types of goals this season. For one, I’d love to beat my best race time¬†in all of the 5k’s I have ever done.¬†Which was actually my first ever 5k.

The duathlon¬†is my first duathlon and¬†at the moment I’m doing it by myself. So I think my goal for that one¬†will just¬†be to finish safely.

The Escape the Cape Triathlon is a great season opener. The distance is a bit shorter than what I did for my first tri and it’s going¬†to be my friend from work’s first tri.¬†She is the one I went to Patagonia with and I basically¬†got her excited about doing her first one. I wrote her up a training plan and¬†really¬†it’ll be great training but my goal here is to have an amazing¬†and positive experience with her. Therefore it doesn’t matter what my time is.

The Timberman Tri is going to be the one¬†I set a real goal for. The bike distance is 5 miles shorter than my first tri so I know I can do this race. Now it’s a matter of training and pushing myself to finish a bit better than I did for my first. The bike portion of my first tri I finished in 55 minutes (for 17.6 miles) so I know I can go fast. The swim and the run though I know I can push myself much harder.

I’m so excited¬†for all of this…it’s just getting myself to start that’s the hard¬†part!

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