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First Triathlon of the Season – Richmond Tri Club Sprint

This weekend marked my first Triathlon of the season, and my first full triathlon in about 3 years (several abortive attempts were made in other races, but things just didn’t go as planned). I was lucky enough to have a friend who lives in the Richmond area, who also does Triathlons and I was able to crash at her place for the night.

Saturday had to be by far, one of the best days so far this year – it was a little bit chilly in the morning when I showed up at the transition area (after getting lost because the place wasn’t in my GPS)…but it soon warmed up. My place in the transition area, was about 6 bike racks back from the entrance to the bike course – which I thought was good placement (of course, I was also slow enough on the swim that most people were already out there by the time I got on my bike…).

The pool swim was unique and weird at the same time. It was an open water pool swim – so there were buoys at the each end of the pool marking the turn points -so no touching the walls (or you were DQ’d). They also started people off in groups of 10. I was in the 8:10:30 group – which meant that I was about 21 groups in from the beginning, and there were still several hundred people behind me. I can’t say that I was a fan of the group start – it took a while to get past the thrashing feet (and several kicks in the head) and before I knew it, the next group (30 seconds later) were on my heels. I also got stuck behind a guy who for some reason decided to do backstroke…and everytime I zigged to get around him, he zagged into my path. However, the swim was soon done and I finished up the 400m in 8:15. This was a tad over my predicted time for 7:50 – but I was still still happy with it. Then it was onto the transition.

Thankfully, since I was blind as a bat at this stage, I didn’t lose my bike…and I was out of the first transition in 2:54. One of my goals for the rest of the season is to get this time down – would love a sub-2:30.

The bike ride was really well done. There were some slight rolling hills through-out, but nothing that would ultimately kill you on the ride. I was able to get down into the aerobars a bit and it was smooth sailing. Thankfully, I wasn’t one of the people who ended up with a flat on the side of the road (and hopefully, this won’t jinx me for future events). I was totally in the zone, and then I was at the 5 mile point (just shy of the half-way), then the 10 mile and before long, I was making the last turn back into the transition area. My overall time on the bike was 44:11 for 20km. When I got home and did the math – that came out to an average of 16.8mph. I would love to see that number creep a little higher and maybe hit 17-17.5 at some point during the season and get my time down to a sub-40.

Transition 2 was definately a bit easier – ditch the bike, throw on the shoes, snarffle some water and a GU (mmm, chocolate) and then out onto the run. My T2 time was 2:15 – but i think I should be able to get that down to below 2.

Then came the run. Oh how I loathed the run. In the lead up to the race, I hadn’t been able to train like I wanted because of the stupid Planter Faciitis that I have been dealing with – so this was really my first long-ish running in a while (and by long-ish, I mean more than 2.5 miles). And to make matters worse, it was a 2 loop course – I’m personally not a fan of courses where you double up (mostly because I get distracted)…but I was out there huffing and puffing away – by the time I hit the second lap, my foot had really started to bug me, so I switched to a run/jog, then walk routine – which seemed to help and I managed to do that for the remainder of the course. But pretty soon I was hitting that last downhill heading towards the finish line (and damned if I was going to let the girl in front of me beat me as she had just passed me less than a 1/4 mile before). So we sprinted it out. I had no idea what my run time was, I had been hoping for a sub-30, but I wasn’t sure (it was 34:10 in the end). The time on the clock when I passed was 1:42 (and some undetermined amount of seconds)…but when you factor in the staggered swim start time, that put me at 1:31:44.

I was really happy with that overall time and my performance. Of course, there are a few things I need to work on. My transition times; remembering to drink lots of water on the bike (I tend to get distracted and forget), and work on the run and dealing with my foot. But overall for a first race of the season, I thought it was a good start.

Now to figure out what race I am going to do next…

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Race Reviews

 

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That Swim Barrier….broken

So far for me, the biggest struggle when it came to my swimming was breaking past the 1000m barrier. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it physically, but rather that there was a mental block – I don’t know why, because I routinely used to swim more that that…but today, I decided I would just knuckle down and do it…and you know, when I got past it, I was fine – the world didn’t come crashing down…I ended up doing 500m past it (possibly 550m since I lost track on one of my sets when it came to counting laps in a 25m pool)…

Now it is just onwards and upwards…(although some days, I just want to do the below)

lake_swimming

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Spinning – Training or Torture?

Only a short post right now – while my poor muscles (butt and others) recover from the spin class I put them through tonight. I have to wonder, as I sit here guzzling water (and previously wine) – why do I do it to myself – I mean, wouldn’t actually getting on my bike – provided the weather stays nice – be more productive…

Tonight’s class was particularly hard – for one, the instructor who looked so sweet, young, innocent – definitely had a dark side and man could she yell…I think she was channeling a book camp drill instructor….we also didn’t do the sprints/hill climbs that have used in previous classes – but did a one song, going hell bent for leather (yes, that is the official term) and then slightly easier next sone (which was more jumps; some long hill climbs etc). My legs were resembling jello when I walked out…but hey, it was a good workout and I’m sure that it will benefit me in the long run…right? (please, someone say yes….)

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Triathlon Book Review – You Are An Ironman – Jacques Steinberg

you are an ironmanYou Are An Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World’s Toughest Triathlon
Author: Jacques Steinberg

Cross-posted on my Book Blog – HERE

Description:
Jacques Steinberg creates a compelling portrait of people obsessed with reaching a life-defining goal. In this instance, the target is an Ironman triathlon-a 2.4-mile open-water swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride, then finally a 26-mile marathon run, all of which must be completed in no more than seventeen hours.

Steinberg focuses not on the professionals who live off the prize money and sponsorships but on a handful of triathletes who regard the sport as a hobby. Vividly capturing the grueling preparation, the suspense of completing each event of the triathlon, and the spectacular feats of human endurance, Steinberg plumbs the physical and emotional toll as well as the psychological payoff on the participants of the Ford Ironman Arizona 2009. His You Are an Ironman is both a riveting sports narrative and a fascinating, behind-the scenes study of what makes these athletes keep going..

Review:
I’ve never hidden the fact that one of my goals prior to my 40th birthday (although still a ways away) is to do an Ironman. And after meeting up with a few Ironmen at a reading conference I went to in October (hang on, they find time to work and read/write)…it just sealed the deal. So my goal for 2013 is to do a half-ironman (Beach 2 Battleship in October), with a full Ironman in 2014 (still trying to figure out which one)…and then I came across this book in an audible sale and for 4.95, I figured why not. I have to say that this is probably the best and emotional 4.95, I have ever spent on an audiobook – I was a complete and utter blubbering mess by the end of it. Thankfully, I was sitting in the car by myself, so no one could see.

There was just something about the stories of each individual competing in IMAZ 2009 (held in Tempe, Arizona) that made me feel like I knew them. From listening to entries on their blogs (I even went and looked a few of them up), to their trials/tribulations as they dealt with training, injuries and also life in general. From Scott, the recipient of a double-lung transplant (I mean, seriously – I couldn’t believe it when I heard that), to Bryan, who got into working out and then triathlons after a scary medical diagnosis. Listening to their stories made me realize that yes, I could do it.

Kirby Heybourne’s narration was pitch perfect – I really have nothing to complain about after listening to the audiobook. I loved his narration in Gone Girl, and this just sealed him as a narrator to look for in the future. I highly recommend this book, even if you don’t necessarily want to do an ironman, but just as a motivational read. I can only hope that my journey towards an Ironman is as successful. Oh, and make sure that you have a box of tissues for reading/listening.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Book Reviews

 

January Goals

Its a new year – yay!! And if you are anything like me, you have made resolutions for that new year, and will probably by mid-February give up on them and go back on with your merry ways – I do it every year. So this year, while I am making some resolutions, I am going to go with the SMART theory when coming up with my goals

S – Specific
M – Measureable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound

While I would love to say that I am going to go out this month and run 50 miles – yeah, I wish, it isn’t an attainable goal.

So I started thinking about what my goals for January were going to be…and going back to my military training, we are going to use the problem/solution/goal layout (yes, I am that much of a dork!)

Problem – Spend too much money at Starbucks – yes, but I love my Vanilla Soy Latte’s so much and I finally got the barista’s to make them how I like…
Solution – Cut back on my starbucks – $5+ for a coffee really adds up – I mean, I could be spending that on more important stuff, like shoes (ok, well, that is a problem for another day!)
January Goal
– Cut down on Starbucks to 1 coffee a week (either Saturday or Sunday as a reward).
– Take money that would have gone to coffee and put in piggy bank for end of month reward

Problem – Eating too much wheat/bread/pasta products – as much as I love all three of them
Solution – I was doing really good on the Paleo diet for the first part of 2012, then I got distracted…so I need to get back on it
January Goal
– Clean out my kitchen cabinets and get rid of anything non-paleo – donate sealed/non-expired to local food bank – throw out the rest
– Sit down and come up with a weekly meal plan using known paleo websites (I’ll post more about these later). Shop on Saturday/Sunday and prepare meals for the week as needed.

Problem – First Sprint Tri of the season – the first week in March (in Wilmington, NC)
Solution – train, duh!
January Goal
– complete at least 3 brick workouts during the month (bike/run being the hardest)
– run at least 15 miles
– swim at least once a week
– bike (either indoors or outdoors) at least 2 hours each week – measure distance outdoors/time indoors
– log all workouts in Mapmyrun/Mapmyride and Fitocracy – since I am the type who needs external motivation

I think that is good for January – so overall, here is my compiled list of goals:

Goals
– Cut down on Starbucks to 1 coffee a week (either Saturday or Sunday as a reward).
– Take money that would have gone to coffee and put in piggy bank for end of month reward
– Clean out my kitchen cabinets and get rid of anything non-paleo – donate sealed/non-expired to local food bank – throw out the rest
– Sit down and come up with a weekly meal plan using known paleo websites (I’ll post more about these later). Shop on Saturday/Sunday and prepare meals for the week as needed.
– complete at least 3 brick workouts during the month (bike/run being the hardest)
– run at least 15 miles
– swim at least once a week
– bike (either indoors or outdoors) at least 2 hours each week – measure distance outdoors/time indoors
– log all workouts in Mapmyrun/Mapmyride and Fitocracy – since I am the type who needs external motivation

Make sure to check back for a mid-month update on how I am doing and the end of month summary.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Goals

 

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Its a New Year

So as I was laying in bed last night, suffering from this silly sinus infection (which sucks by the way), I was thinking about my new years resolutions. One of which is to do a Half-Ironman this year – with the goal of doing an Ironman in 2014/2015. And what better way to have motivation to do it, than to post my progress for everyone to see ;)

I can’t promise how much I will post, or how often – but hopefully you will stop on by and say hi or cheer me on.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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