Open Water Swim Workshop.

Last Thursday the TrY club hosted an open water swim workshop about 40 minutes away from my house at a little lake in the farmlands.  I have been in open water before but never with a bunch of other people and never to actually swim for the sake of swimming.  It’s always just been to get in.  So this was pretty much a first for me.

I got to the pond with plenty of time to spare and I will admit the setting was beautiful!  But the farmland smell was in the air so it didn’t smell quite so beautiful – lol!


We went over getting wetsuits on (which I don’t have yet) and then we all got in the water.  Of the non-wetsuit group, I was the first one to brave the water because I figured it can’t be that cold and it really was not terrible.  We started by just practicing putting our heads in the water, which was harder than I thought it would be because YOU CAN’T SEE ANYTHING!

After a little of that, we practiced sighting and also floating to take a rest.  We didn’t actually do much swimming but it was very helpful anyways.  Now I need to find a way to practice before my triathlon at the end of August that has an open water swim!  Or I guess just show up and practice then (probably  not a good idea :))  My main takeaway was I am going to need to practice, practice, practice until the fishes and seaweed don’t freak me out!

There is just so much to learn when moving from plain old running to triathlons!  I feel like I am back in school ;)  I don’t think I am good at runner per se but I feel like at least with running I get the concept without too much thought!  Three wake-ups until Tri #1!

#fcm 2014: week five

Monday: 15 mile bike ride. I could definitely feel my two week or whatever break from the bike on this ride.  It’s amazing to me how FAST my limited biking endurance just dissipates.  There one week, take a short break and then gone.  Not like I have much to begin with but if I can average 15mph on the bike, I feel pretty good about that.  However, on Monday, 13 mph was what I finished with and I can’t even blame traffic, weather, etc.  I really just suck at biking for some reason (well, ok, maybe because I do not do it enough) so hopefully I can work towards changing this.  Since I am only biking 10.5 miles in my first tri, I am not terribly concerned for it to be slow but for future goals I have, I’d like to get a little better at this sport!

Evening: SWIM LESSONS!  Who would have thought I would turn out to LOVE swim lessons.  I look forward to them all week and I seriously thought I was going to dread them when I signed up for them.  And better yet, things are MAKING SENSE!!!!  And I am starting to actually be able to notice what I am doing and make changes and tweeks to improve form and efficiency.  It’s amazing what a little practice will do, huh?  After the 75 minute lesson, I didn’t want to leave and did just one more 50 m which turned into two more 50s :)  But I finally got my chin to do what it’s supposed to instead of gawking in front of me!

Tuesday: Went to my triathlon club’s run group that meets on Tuesday nights and the workout on the schedule this week was hill repeats.  Not the most fun workout out there but something I absolutely need to do.  We ran a 1-2 mile warm up and then I managed 6 hill repeats even though on the last two, I kinda felt like I was going to die or puke.  It was cold + rainy which really added to the pleasant-ness of this workout ;)  Hopefully I can plan to make more of the run workouts in the next few months because I think I run better when I am around others… less whining happens in my head as well.

Up, down, up, down, etc.

Up, down, up, down, etc.

Wednesday: Brick workout!  10 miles on the bike followed by a 3 mile run.  Give or take 1/2 mile, these are the distances for the Cedarburg Triathlon so knowing what kind of times I did today will hopefully help me pace myself on Saturday.  I also played around with the “Auto Multisport” feature on my watch and it was pretty neat!  40 minutes for the bike, 93 seconds for the transition and 27:41 for the run.  Now the hard part will be adding swimming before that…

Evening: Since I biked and ran the tri distances, I decided to take a stab at the swim distance as well.  Instead of my usual warm-up and then laps with lots of breaks, I decided to more simulate what I can expect Saturday and got in the water and then swam for 450 yards with as few breaks as possible…It look me about 10 minutes and I would say I maybe took 2 breaks which is a HUGE improvement from where I was even 10 days ago!

Thursday: Four mile run in the beautiful fall morning ;)  I love Fall though so I am not going to complain about a few crisp mornings in the summer.  This run felt fast and I was able to average 9:45 for 4 miles which is a huge improvement over how I felt last week.

Friday: Rest!

Saturday: 12 mile long run.  This run went pretty well.  The last three miles started to get really challenging but I still managed to not take a walking break until I had to wait for the red lights on the way home.  To top it off, I was able to keep a 10:05 average but my paces were kind of all over the place so it was not my most consistent run ever.

Sunday: Went to the gym and did my swim outside this day! 1,000 yards and then some time in the sun.  It was different swimming outside in sun because it was pretty blinding when I took a breath.  At least this coming weekend shouldn’t be too, too sunny since it’s going to be like 6:30 am.  Eeeps.  But still, this is something I need to keep in mind for swimming outside.

Afternoon: Did the warm-up, chest, triceps, biceps and abs tracks of a Body Pump DVD.  I wanted to do a bike ride as well but I took a nap instead.  I think I made the right choice :)


Running: 24 miles!
Biking: 25 miles
Swimming: THREE TIMES!

Good week and now the next two weeks are going to be a little more low key so I can rest up for my race weekends!  First Triathlon Saturday and then Rocky Mountain Half Marathon a week from Saturday!  Whoo hoo!


Things are making sense.

I will probably jinx myself by saying this but so far, this week has been a great training week.  Running feels good, biking feels not horrible and swimming finally feels like it’s clicking for me!  I am not sure what I changed from last week when it seemed like nothing could go right but I think that’s part of training.  Craptastic weeks and great weeks with a few nothing special weeks worked in there too.

I am most surprised by whatever happened in my brain and muscles that finally allowed me to swim.  I was struggling to swim 25 yards without stopping and now I can do 100 or more without having to take a break.  Not every time but enough to make me feel slightly encouraged, whether that’s luring me into a false sense of security remains to be seen :)

Since next week is my big first triathlon, I decided to try to do as much as possible yesterday for training.  In the morning I biked 10 miles and ran 3 and then after work tried to swim 450 yards without too much stopping.  I surprised myself and was actually able to do all of it!  Granted the swimming was not immediately before the biking + running but I’ve gotta save a little excitement for race day, right?

Time is ticking down and I am getting very excited to do my first triathlon!  Until then, I will just keep practicing and training and stay positive!

My favorite quote.  And it's on the swimming center's wall :)

My favorite quote. And it’s on the swimming center’s wall :)

T minus nine days and counting!

#FCM2014: week four

This week was really a mixed bag of discouraging runs and surprising runs.  One day it seems a three hour half marathon is a stretch and some days an two hour one might be doable.  So really, who knows anything?!?!

Monday: This was my last day in NYC and my sister and I decided to try out SoulCycle.  We both had a lot of fun but man, there is no way my legs were moving even 25% as fast as the teachers.  And I was sore FOR DAYS!


Tuesday: Went to try out a new gym and spent about an hour practicing swimming.  I totally forgot my watch but I would guess I swam about 700 yards total.  I practiced breathing out of my left side, which is oddly challenging and did some more practice with the one-arm swimming thing we’ve been doing in swim lessons.  I am starting to feel woefully unprepared for July 26th since 50 yds is too far for me to swim without needing a break… 500 yards might take me FOREVER!  I also did a few weight lifting moves and things in the gym.

Wednesday: Worst run in my entire life.  I was supposed to run a 6 mile tempo run but I knew that was not happening. Come to find out that a 6 mile run was not even going to happen… It took me an hour to run 5.25 miles and I finally just gave up because I needed to get ready for work.  Just a few weeks ago a 10 min/mile run was a safe guess for finish time… not anymore I guess?  Grr.  I felt so discouraged after this run and HOW WAS IT THAT CHALLENGING TO RUN??  If I would have felt good and was going that pace, it would have been one thing but I felt like I was struggling WAY too much for an eleven and a half minute mile :(  Considering I need to run 13.1 9 minute miles to run a 1:59:XX half.

Thursday: I wanted to pansy out and not even attempt this run but I figured I might as well.  I finished five miles this day in exactly fifty minutes so my pace problems recovered a bit from Wednesday.  What did not recover was my 200lb leg syndrome that I’ve apparently developed… each leg felt like it weighed 200lbs.  Maybe it’s time for an epsom salt bath.

Evening -I was supposed to go swim… but that did not happen.  Epsom salted instead because I decided I want a chance at running well on Saturday :)

Friday: REST!  I feel so lazy on rest days but I like it.  Some day I need to take a rest week but I am too addicted to swimming/biking/running (not very well) right now.

Saturday: Plymouth Cheesehead Chase “5 miler”!  And a second place age group finish to boot! Maybe it was the Epsom Salt??


Sunday: Since I was still at my parents’ house, I decided to take advantage of their hilly area and do a hill run.  There are two really large hills and a few smaller ones that I decided to tackle and it was in fact very challenging :)  I am a hill runny wimp.  I made it 6.25 miles and it was hot and sweaty!

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.22.14 AM

Evening – I was a swimming slacker the previous part of the week so I went to the gym to swim some on Sunday night.  I swam about 1,000 yards and did a mix of kicking practice, breathing practice and attempted some 100 yd repeats with limited breaks!  It went pretty well.

Swim – 1700ish yards
Bike – One SoulyCycle Class
Run – I am OCD enough to want this to be an even number ever week but this past one was a bust on that front – 21.3 miles
Weights – 1x

Four weeks down, ten to go to Appleton and only two more weeks until Triathlon #1!!!

Race Recap: 2014 Plymouth Cheesehead Chase (almost) 5 miler

A few months back, I came upon a race in my parents’ town that caught my eye, the Plymouth Cheesehead Chase!  Of course I signed up right away, because I am addicted to races, but then kind of forgot about it because I spend too much time focusing on thinking about DOPEY and triathlons.  Anyways, I drove up to my parents’ Friday night and got a good night’s sleep before the race (for once!).  For some reason I wasn’t at all nervous for this race like I normally am and I just wanted to have a good run.

It took a whopping five minutes to drive to the start (LOVE THAT!) and about two minutes to get my packet picked up.  Sometimes I just love the smaller races and the stress free way you can do race morning.  The one thing that did stress me out a bit was the HUGE line for the bathroom.  Probably 20 people waiting for their turn at 4 stalls… grrr.  I had my turn and was out the door at 8:24 for the 8:30 start!  Luckily there were not a ton of people running so it did not take long to get in line.

Ready to run!

Ready to run!

halitosis hal

halitosis hal

They played a recording of the National Anthem (that dogs decided to sing along with – lol!) and then we were off!  From driving to the start, I realized mile one was going to be 80% up hill so I just tried to not start too fast and keep my breathing even.  I ran with no music and with my watch on backwards so I couldn’t look at it super easily.  I liked that!


I got to the one mile marker when my watch said .9 miles so I knew we were going to be running a “not quite five miler” race so decided it was not worth it to kill myself because it wouldn’t break any PRs anyways.  For awhile we were running on the WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD! and that freaked me out a lot because I am vehemently opposed to this but that is where the course marshals were so I just tried to not get too annoyed.  At 1.3 miles or so we went on the Plank Road Trail and then I could finally relax for awhile because we were no longer breaking the laws ;)

Miles 2-4 I was still feeling really good and keeping roughly nine minute miles, give or take, which was actually surprising for me because running has sucked so much lately.  But despite the heat, humidity and hills, I was still cruising right along.  I also got to see the puppy and my parents at the two mile marker and that gave me a little boost which is always super nice in a race :)

Far away from the camera.  The only way I can have race pictures because I make faces that are just THAT awful...

Far away from the camera. The only way I can have race pictures because I make faces that are just THAT awful…

After crossing mile four, it started to hurt to run so fast!  I really wanted to run this whole race and avoid a side stitch so I slowed down just a tad, drank a bunch of my water and just tried to push it for the finish.  I saw my mom and Crosby at mile 4.5 and that was a good boost to push onward!

I turned a corner and saw the finish as well as another person who looked about my age running ahead of me so I decided to focus on pushing the pace a little to try to take the lead (it’s the little things that keep me entertained when I am running…).  So that gave me the boost I needed to “sprint” for the finish!  My GPS only read 4.82 miles but oh well, I was still happy to be finished!  We must have been running cheese “miles” ;)


They had an automatic live results program for this race (love those!) so I pulled up my time and I WAS 2ND PLACE FOR MY AGE GROUP!?!?  WHAT?  I never would have guessed I would have done that well since I didn’t really run any super fast paces or anything but it was still awesome to actually earn a medal because of my finish! Turns out I pushed past the girl at the finish to move from 3rd to 2nd so that made me feel a little bad but it was not personal to her and she still got 3rd.

We had to stand around for awhile to get my medal but it was well worth it to add some new bling to my super small hardly have any medals collection ;)

First Place Loser ;)

First Place Loser ;)

Final Official finish time 42:48 Pace 8:33 (8:53 pace is more like it though since I’m pretty positive the course was short)

Super cute shirt!  But I somehow ended up with a too small size :(

Super cute shirt! But I somehow ended up with a too small size :(


Woefully Unprepared.

The Rocky Mountain Half Marathon is in… three weeks.  Um, oops.  If I could get a gold medal in being untrained for half marathons, I would be going on my 11th or 12th medal by this point :)  Sure, I can run 13.1 miles but I really intended to do better with hill training, speed training and all the trainings that might help me survive 13.1 miles with no oxygen…


Instead, I was a putz.

And now it’s too late.

Why does it always feel like I have these great intentions and then I can’t follow through on them?

I really need to get this problem under control before January or I might actually die trying to run Dopey! WHAT WAS I THINKING SIGNING UP FOR THIS!???

I am excited for the trip to Colorado, regardless of whether I have to walk or run the race and I know I will have fun.  But I am still a little very concerned about the lack of air and the mountain I have to run up!  Also, my running was atrocious last week and not much better the week before.  Apparently my legs have stopped working or something.


Commence the three week freakout.


Oh wait, yeah, I also have to attempt a freaking TRIATHLON before this race as well.  The next month is going to test all the things I am afraid of, apparently.  Way to go, Kinley.  Don’t just tackle one thing at once or anything, just do ALL THE THINGS!! :D

A run in Central Park.

This past weekend I was in New York City for a few days and the item I most wanted to do was a long run in Central Park.  I have pretty boring running locations around me (or I guess maybe I am just used to them) so any kind of change of scenery is much appreciated!  I waited way too long to leave on Saturday morning though and it was hot!  This is why I normally leave before 8am instead of at 10am.

Here are a few shots from my run around the park:


These road markings seem easy to understand but it seems really challenging for most people considering how many people I saw doing the wrong things ?!

I <3 Shade

I <3 Shade


Creeper face

Creeper face




It was really slow going but I managed to cover a little more than 12 miles by the time I made it back to my hotel room.  Going slow did help me from trashing my legs for sightseeing though until I tripped on a paver and hurt my knee for the rest of the day… I’ll never learn.  I’d already run in NY before but I took more pictures this time so I think it counts more than the last time :)

And a little post-run French Toast delivered to my hotel room!  This is the life!

And a little post-run French Toast delivered to my hotel room! This is the life!