#fcm2014: week six

How is it week six already?!  This is always the point in my training where I start feeling like my goals are not happening and this training cycle is no exception…oh well, all I can do it try!

Monday: My legs were still super tired from Saturday when I started.  I was able to run a little faster with each mile of one through three so I decided to make the fourth and final mile the very fastest.  That was challenging because I actually had to exert more energy than I wanted to ;)  So maybe really I just get lazy in the summer or something?  Is that why running feels harder right now?  Anyways, miles came in at 10:24, 9:52, 9:46 and 9:12.  I guess I probably didn’t have to try QUITE so hard in that last mile.

Evening: Swim lessons.  This week felt easy in swim lessons because I think 25 yard swims are finally feeling not so bad to me but 50s still do so I am not doing that great yet.  But at lessons we did a lot of 25 yard sprints and I realized that is not so bad to swim 25 yards and take a long break :)  Every week I feel like things make more and more sense (in the pool anyways) so now I just need to work on endurance, endurance, endurance.  Because I suck at that (foreshadowing to Tuesday).

Tuesday: The TrY club had a transitions workshop that was super helpful.  The workout was an up to 400 yard swim, 5-10 minutes bike ride and 10 minute run, with the main focus being on the transitions and knowing what to expect for Saturday.  There is so much to remember though and I always feel like a total frazzled mess at these things because I am trying to think of too many things at once.  The swim went horrible, I did not make it 400 yards.  I started too fast and let myself get too freaked out by the fact that I was the slowest in the pool.  Grrr.  T1 was wet, soaking wet socks and bike shoes and then I could not get my pedals clipped in because I have PEDAL ANXIETY IN GROUPS!  Why do I always do this to myself?  T2 was spastic, I should have slowed down and concentrated but instead I just barreled along.  The run was fine but it was over 90 degrees with the heat index so it sucked because of that.  Honestly, I was not THAT freaked out about Saturday but after this workshop, I freaked the heck out.  This is so much harder than just biking + running like I have been practicing.  Because I felt like I needed to redeem myself, I stayed at the pool and did the full 400 yards SLOWLY so I could feel a little better about things.  Plus, it was nice to cool off after the hot and sweaty run :)

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Wednesday: A cool front came through (yeah!) so I decided to tackle the speedwork session on my training plan.  I’ve done this one before and it’s always hard.  1m warm-up, 3 x 1600 at 8:30 pace with 500 recovery jogs.  I ended up nailing it and I would say I did slightly better than the last time I attempted this workout.  At least as far as not needing as slow of recovery jogs and not walking.

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Thursday: I am getting really tired of waking up at 4:15 every morning so I decided to try running after work this day… I am really not an after-work runner.  My stomach hurt, my legs hurt, my back hurt and it felt 5,000x harder than a four mile run should have.  I don’t know if I will keep this routine up or go back to mornings.  No matter what I do I am tired so I guess what does it really matter?  I finished four miles in 10:15 average.

Friday: Rest!  At least this day I can sleep in with no worries :)

Saturday: FIRST TRIATHLON!  Instead of re-typing everything, you can just read more here.

Sunday: 20 mile bike ride.  I don’t know if it was the wind or what but the first 10 miles felt like they took 6 HOURS!  It felt like I was pedal, pedal, pedal and going 9mph… That must be the wind, right?  Once I finally could turn around, the way home seemed to take about 15 minutes.  I must have had a tailwind because I was cruising right along at about 20 mph but did take a few breaks to take some pictures :)  This was certainly a hilly ride but I survived!  Somehow :)IMG_1550

Totals for the week:

Swimming: Three times. 2,400ish yards
Biking: 33ish miles
Running: 18 miles (cut-back milage week)

Overall it felt like a pretty good week, a few low spots but some high spots as well i.e. My First Tri!

Things I am looking forward to in the week ahead – a run in South Dakota and then my VERY hilly + high half marathon in Rocky Mountain National Park!

Race Recap: Cedarburg Sprint Triathlon 2014

Spoiler alert: I am a Triathlete now!  I was terrified of swimming just a few months ago, terrified of biking a few years ago and running, well, that I have been doing too long to remember what it was like at the beginning.  But regardless, on Saturday I proved to myself that I am capable of more than I thought.  And I really need to stop with the “I Can’t” this or thats because I really can do more than I realize if I just set a goal and work towards it.

The alarm went off WAY too early for the race but I didn’t sleep well anyways because of nerves and excitement so once my alarm went off, I was up!  I tried to have most of my stuff ready the night before but still had a fair amount of things I needed to get ready in the morning.  I had coffee, half an English muffin, a banana and a cup of Gatorade to start the day and that turned out to be just about perfect for never leaving me hungry but also never feeling too full either.  The sister and I left the house at 5am thinking I knew where we were going… spoiler alert, I did not in fact know where we were going!  So we ended up driving around an extra 10 minutes trying to figure out why Google Maps was leading us astray… we eventually got there and I could stop freaking out because plenty of people were not even there yet (note for next year, they are not super strict about getting there at a certain time!)

I picked up my bib, t-shirt and got my number written on my arm and then went off to set up my stuff.  I think the hardest part of learning triathlons is learning what all to pack and how to lay it out so you don’t forget something or do something dumb in transition!  I got everything laid out just so and then dropped my extra stuff back in the car with plenty of time to watch the first two heats of racers in the pool.

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When I signed up for this triathlon the one thing that made me feel like I could actually do it was that the swim was in a pool.  A lake for the first time would have given me such anxiety so I was really glad I just had to face my regular swimming anxiety this day.  Just starting swim lessons four weeks ago was not my best idea ever but I am really, REALLY, REALLY glad I did. (Side note, if you want to do a tri but don’t know how to swim, just do lessons, you will not regret it in the slightest!  Just maybe start sooner than a month in advance…)  But anyways, there were two waves ahead of me in the swim and that turned out to be great for easing my worries about being the dorkiest/slowest swimmer out there.  I realized no one cares and people were doing so many random strokes, walks, etc., that I realized I was not going to have any problem.

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At 6:30 it was time for me to get in the pool and I will admit I freaked out for about 47 seconds and then they said GO and I just went.  I swam SO slow but it felt really relaxing and not stressful so I just went with it.  I know starting too fast is my M.O. but I am happy to report that was not the case this morning.  I felt like I was being pretty steady and was about 6-7 laps in when I realized I FORGOT TO TURN MY WATCH ON!  oops!  Good thing I was counting laps in my head and we had counters with boards helping us as well.

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By the time I started my watch, I only swam another 250 yards or so and it was time for me to be done!  The swim went SO fast!  I honestly could not believe I was done already when the counters said One More!  I don’t think I ended up taking a ton of long breaks, just would stop every 50 yards or so and catch my breathe.  Another reason the pool swim was awesome, you could just stand up and take a break ;)

And with that, I was out of the water in 11ish minutes and on to T1!

I didn’t rush too much through this transition and made sure my feet were dry, my helmet was on and everything was set to go.  It took me about 3 1/2 minutes in T1 and then I was off on the bike.  Sister took a video of me at the mount line and my pedals clipped in like NBD.  Not sure how that happened but I will take it :)  And then I was off!

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I think I actually felt the most discouraged on the bike route because you were kind of all by yourself and I really had no idea how fast/slow I was going.  Miles 1-5 went REALLY S.L.O.W.L.Y and I wondered how I was not getting passed by tons of people (side note, there were only 45ish people in this triathlon and I started last so there were not that many people behind me but I still was all self conscious of it happening ;))  The route was fairly flat but there were some rolling hills that kept me shifting up and down, up and down.  I really need to get better at biking and shifting but that all takes time I am sure.  And practice!

Once I turned around, I started to feel like the miles were passing quicker and I was finally hitting my stride err, pedal?  Miles 6-10 passed really quick even though at one point I worried I missed a turn or something because I felt lost.  But it was all good! 10.68 miles in about 37 minutes – Avg Pace 17.6mph.

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I rode in to the dismount line and got off my bike and worked my way back over to the transition area for leg #3!  I saw sister for a minute or two and she said it seemed like I was doing well and not taking too much time (cause she didn’t want to miss her yoga class ;)) so I didn’t hurry too much getting out of T2 but there was not a ton to do so it only took me 1 1/2 ish minutes to get in and out.

And then it was time to RUN!  Finally the part I can’t really screw up!  Well, I mean I could but I feel like the chances are really slim.  I didn’t even care if I was slow at this point because I knew there was no pressure and I just was supposed to have fun.  Even if running fell apart for me this day, I knew I could walk and finish so that took the pressure off that I’d had throughout the swim + bike.

I intended to take the run easy but that didn’t exactly go as planned… because I am too competitive and I knew there were people in my age group up ahead of me that I wanted to try to pass.  Does that make me a bad person?  I just find it helps pull me forward and helps me push for the finish.  Just like at the Cheesehead Chase :)  It’s not like we were talking huge prizes or anything either.  I guess I probably need to get over my Passer Guilt and just go on with life.  Anyways…

The run course was a two looper which was both bad and good.  Bad because you had to run the same thing two times but good because you got a little cheering in the middle of everything!  Lots of people from the TrY club were there spectating and cheering and volunteering so it was super nice to have all that support out there!  Plus having my sister there snapping nice pictures and cheering me on always makes races more fun :)

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For crying out loud Kinley, figure out a better running face than THIS!

My Garmin says I ran the three miles in 8:37, 8:39 and 7:57!?  WHAT?!  The last mile did feel really challenging but I wanted to keep my “AG lead” until the finish! Total time 25:53, avg pace 8:32.

I was really happy to cross the finish line but also kind of sad it was over already!  And so quickly!  I want to be able to do this every weekend :)

I walked around for a bit after and then went to find DRY clothes.  I was really tired of being wet and in the disgusting looking tri suit – ha!  (Why are those shorts SO FUGLY?!?!?!)  They tabulated the results super quickly and by the time I was done changing, they were handing out awards.  I thought I had a good chance at getting one because there were only like 4-6 people in my AG so I was very happy when they called my name out for 2nd place!  Two second place finishes in as many weeks.  I am setting myself up for lots of let downs when I finish like 2,000th place in Disney – ha!

I got my little medal and then we took some group shots and headed home.  All in all it was a really fun day!  The course was great, the weather cooperated and I was able to surprise myself with a 1:15:02 total time.  This goal I have had for myself for probably 5+ years that I have been too nervous to attempt is now behind me!  I signed up, started facing my fears and I am now officially a Triathlete!  And very happy about it!

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I already can’t wait for my next triathlon and am looking forward to setting some more challenging and longer race goals for next year!  Although I feel like no race finish will be quite as exciting from here on out ;)  First Triathlon accomplished and an AG Medal, that probably won’t happen again anytime soon but eh, it was still an awesome way to start!

 

First Tri Goals.

All of a sudden my Triathlon is this weekend.  July 26th felt so far away for so long!  I procrastinated getting in the pool, I was lazy about biking and I didn’t do as many brick workouts as I should have but somehow the days don’t care about that and now the race is almost here!

I don’t have any specific time goals (it will be a PR no matter what so might as well set the bar low, right??) but I do have some sport specific goals that I will keep in mind.  Knowing me, I will probably totally forget everything come Saturday but I do think it helps me to be conscious of my goals, hence why I like to do these posts.

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Swimming Goals:

  1. Start slow
  2. Don’t worry that you will be the last one out of the pool (because I probably will)
  3. Take a break every 50-100 yards/meters to avoid getting completely out of breath.
  4. DON’T FREAK OUT.

T1 Goals:

  1. Dry my feet off before trying to put socks on.
  2. Take the time to put alcohol in my ears so I don’t have equilibrium problems (like I did the other day when practicing this!)
  3. Don’t freak out about clipping the peddles in.

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Biking Goals:

  1. Don’t start too fast
  2. Drink water
  3. Finish strong but not too strong!

T2 Goals:

  1. Drink gatorade like drink and take a Clif Shot Block if necessary.
  2. Don’t tie my shoes too tight!
  3. Remember to put my bib on!
Later!

Running Boy

Running Goals:

  1. Don’t start to fast (sense a theme here???)
  2. Try to be consistent with pacing.
  3. Finish Strong!

Overall, I just really want to have fun doing this race and to try to ignore my inner competitiveness… <- this is easier said than done.

I also need to remember this is hopefully the first triathlon of many so there is no need for this to be perfect.  It should be a learning experience and will make me better in future races.  I think back on how much I HATED my first ever road race and hope that does not happen to me again this time, but I guess if it does, it will not mean anything because clearly I have never done another race since that first one I hated ;)  Although I am already much more prepared than I ever was for running a race and pacing myself back in the ’08.

Here’s to Tri #1!

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!

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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 :)

Total:

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!

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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??

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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!

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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!!!