70.3 Training Week 13 {Recap}

Miscellaneous

This week’s training wasn’t as long as I’d hoped for, but it was still decent and much better than last week. I was pretty excited to jump back in after a three-day break over the long Memorial Day weekend.

I felt like my training was actually FUN this past week, which helps a lot. Sometimes it can feel like a chore and feels forced, this week was fun though and I did a few different things to help break it up.

week-13I did a 20-mile ride with Cleveland Triathlon Club on Wednesday night. The weather was beautiful and the people were fun. I also did a tough workout on my lunch break that day with a few friends at work. Working out with my coworkers forces me to think of new workouts to help switch it up, rather than just sticking with the basics. We did a HIIT session with 2-minute sprints on the treadmill followed by 2-minutes of fast-paced weights. My goal for each workout with my coworkers is to be sore by the end since it’s basically my only day of weight training during the week. I also went up to the trails in Willoughby Hills on Thursday night and I had a blast running 5-miles in the woods. It’s great to switch it up instead of pounding the pavement on my normal, usual running route.

CTC-brick-ridetrail-runThis Saturday is my first official race of the season. It seems weird that I haven’t raced at all yet, not even little races. I’ve mentioned before that my goal for this summer is different than it has been in past years. I wanted quality training time this summer so instead of filling up my weekends with little races that didn’t really matter, (like I had in past years) I was selective about the races I would be doing. This weekend will be my second ever Olympic distance triathlon. I am nervous about the swim (like any other triathlon of course), but my first Olympic swim last year in July went insanely well. I’m hoping for the same turnout again this weekend!

Since I hadn’t worn my wet suit since last summer and the beach park still isn’t open yet (where I normally do open water swims), I figured I might as well do a test run in the pool at my gym! I knew it was going to be weird, but I knew I’d feel better if I practiced with my wet suit on. Of course I got quite a few stares and a few comments from old men, but I’m glad I did it. I am a little nervous though because my wet suit feels pretty tight. I remember it being semi tight last year, but I was a little shocked to remember it was actually THIS tight. I spent a good chunk of time during the first part of my swim trying to calm myself down. I was panicking because it was tight and I couldn’t take a deep breathe. I instantly started panicking even more because I was panicking in the pool! If I was this bad in the safety of a pool, how was I going to handle the open water with other swimmers splashing all around me?! Finally I told myself  to go super slow and to find a rhythm. In past races I conquer the swim when I can hear the rhythm of my stroke. Left, right, kick, kick, left, right, kick, kick…for some reason if I focus on this then I calm down and I start working like a machine just plugging away. When I finally got to this point in the pool, I felt better. I know I’m going to be even more nervous on Saturday and I will probably have a moment of panic as I did in the pool, but I have to remember it will pass when I find the rhythm and when I get away from the chaos of the start. I can do it! Mind over matter and staying relaxed and calm is my best defense. I know I can swim the distance, it’s conquering the fear that is the tough part.

??????????I also got in a good 30-mile ride on my bike on Friday morning. I got up at 4:30AM and watched three episodes of the Real Housewives (LOL) I was in my happy place.

??????????This past week I also stopped to stock up on GU and other training products as my stash was running low. Man do these little guys add up quick!

Gu-fill-upOverall it was a really great week and I’m happy I found some enjoyment in training again. Between workouts and packing and unpacking gym bags and gear bags and hanging up towels and wet bathing suits, I stumbled into our guest bedroom to find this hot mess:

pathetic-triathlete-postI posted about it on the Pathetic Triathletes Facebook page, which is a great outlet for triathletes. If you don’t already follow them I encourage you to look it up!

Happy training week 14! We are officially in the last 10 weeks of training! CHEERS!

Ironman 70.3 – Week 1 Training

Miscellaneous

Last week was my first official week of training for Ironman 70.3 Ohio. I’ve been hitting it pretty hard since beginning of January, but man does it feel good to train with a purpose again!!

Week One-1Here’s an overview of how it went:
Total Training Hours: 6 hours, 35 minutes
Total Mileage: 35 miles
week-1I signed up for a free 70.3 training plan through AJ Baucco Coaching. We use an app called Addaero and all of the training is imputed into an easy-to-follow calendar. I didn’t follow the plan to a “T” this week, but I definitely used it as a base to what and how I was training. So far it’s an awesome program!

This weekend I headed back to the pool for the first time since August (haha) and surprisingly it went pretty decent! Although I know I have SO much room for improvement still. (Decent in this scenario means I didn’t drown or come close to it, but I wasn’t very fast either!) I focused the hour I spent in the pool on basic drills, trying to get the base of my form down again. At first I wanted to panic by how out-of-shape in swimming I was, but I reminded myself that I still have 23 weeks to train for the 1.2 mile swim. I will also be training with Cleveland Triathlon Club for a few open water swims and doing a few other swim clinics throughout the summer. Plus my college roommate is a swimmer so I’ll probably be getting together with her sometime in the next 23 weeks for a 1-on-1 training session. In my case – we’ve got nothing but time and I’m going to make sure I take full advantage of that!

In other news...I’m going on over a month of not feeling too great, which is super frustrating. I had a terrible cough/cold for all of February and it feels like it has been coming back over the past two days. I’ve been on antibiotics, steroids, inhalers, you name it. It’s frustrating and annoying, but the good news is I go to the doctor’s next week so hopefully I’ll be on the road to recovery soon. (Fingers crossed.)

Here’s to another full week of training! I had P90X on the schedule for today (conditioning), but when I got to the gym this morning someone else was already using the TV in the studio. It was annoying, but if there is anything I’ve learned about fitness and training – it’s that you’ve got to learn to adapt and modify. Not everything is going to go as planned because stuff (life) happens. SO instead I did 10 minutes of rowing, 40 minutes of strength training (pull ups, push ups, squats, leg press, abs and LOTS of kettle-bell drills) and then finished it up with 20 minutes of a huge incline on the elliptical. I was sweating like a dog!!

Happy Training!

be-part-of-it

Milton Man Triathlon 2015 Review

Miscellaneous

This weekend was the Milton Man Triathlon in Lake Milton, Ohio. Per usual Northeast Ohio weather, of course it was cold and rainy (my nightmare race weather). I’m not glad it happened, but I’m relieved I finally experienced racing in terrible weather and was forced out of my comfort zone. At one point, standing on the dock shivering, I told myself that I didn’t have to do it. That I could walk away, pack up my stuff and go home. Luckily I didn’t quit, but the thought crossed my mind, especially because I was only one of a few people without a wet suit on. (Note to self – suck it up and buy a damn wetsuit already!)

MM3Sprint female was the last group to go (of course) and as we all stood there in the rain waiting for our turn, the wind really picked up. Soon the waves were blowing and the buoys were all over the place. A little part of me was even hoping for them to cancel the swim as we were waiting.

I was miserably cold and just standing there in the pouring rain. I saw a tree and ran over to stand underneath it to try to keep warm and dry (since we had 40 minutes to wait for our wave to go). The nicest lady came over to me and held her umbrella out for me. “If I’m cold I know you are even colder.” She said to me. Another lady joined us and we all three just stood there for about half an hour chatting and trying to keep warm under her umbrella. Eventually my saint, as I like to call her, went to go watch her husband come out of the water from the swim. I stood there in the pouring rain again for another 10 minutes and chatted with some other Cleveland Tri members. It was so insanely cold and I was really starting to freak out. I kept trying to take deep breaths and calm myself, but with a shivering spine and legs I found it nearly impossible.

Finally it was our turn to head out onto the dock and it felt good to just walk and go somewhere. We had three minutes to all jump in the water and get ourselves situated. This was a lot easier than I had anxiously anticipated. There was plenty of room and the water seriously felt like a hot tub compared to being out in the rain just standing there. My goggles were on top of my head and I put them down and swam around a little. Finally the horn blew and we were off.

MM2The Swim
The swim felt like it took forever. I was frustrated when my Garmin didn’t connect and I missed starting it with the horn. I decided I would just swim by how I felt. At the halfway point I was annoyed at how long it was taking. I silently thanked myself for still doing sprint distances as we only had to swim one lap. I was tired and a little flustered during the swim. I tried drafting off another swimmer like we had covered in a swim clinic I had attended earlier in the week, but I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right. I felt like I was just swimming annoyingly close to the other swimmer. Coming out of the water, we went up a little ramp and I struggled a little to climb up since I was tired and it was slippery and wet.

MM4The Bike
This course was 16 miles compared with a normal sprint bike distance of 13 miles. I was kind of disappointed by this since I wouldn’t be able to compare it with my other races since the distances would be different. I heard the course was fast and flat and I was happy to find that it was. Sprinters did two loops and Olympic did three. It cleared up a little on the bike, but was still fairly cold and everything was wet. About half way through the bike course my eyes started to burn and itch. They felt tender and crusty and my vision seemed to be focusing in and out. I tried to ignore it, but I didn’t know what was wrong. I thought maybe I lost or ripped a contact in the swim or maybe the sand had irritated my eyes somehow. I kept going and tried to ignore it.

The Run
I was dreading the run since I had only done one brick workout in the past month since my last race. Surprisingly it went well though and I finished in 25 minutes. (My 5K PR is 24 minutes so this is actually really good for me.) The run course was beautiful and I wished it would have been warm and sunny. You ran out over a bridge overlooking the water. It was very scenic and had a beach atmosphere. It was a down and back course and I felt like it wasn’t that hard, in fact I actually enjoyed it compared to my last race. The finish line was a straight shot in the grass and there was mud and puddles everywhere. I cringed as I ran through the mud in my brand new Brooks, but I told myself to shut up and suck it up. By the time I finished the run my eyes were on fire. I could barely see and I was convinced I had lost a contact and the lake water had irritated my eye.

MM1I was on a tight time crunch as I had to be at a bridal shower for one of my best friends at 1PM that day, so I basically power walked back to transition to pack up my things and leave as soon as I was done. When I got to the car I looked in the mirror and my eyes were both blood red. I racked my brain trying to think what it could have been and then it hit me. While waiting the 40 minutes for my wave to start, I sprayed “no fog” spray on my goggles. You are supposed to let it sit for about a minute and then wash it off, but since it was a dock start and I didn’t have direct access to the water I never washed them off before putting them on my face. You would think something that was purposely intended to go near your eyes wouldn’t be so harsh if used incorrectly, but that was it and man did it hurt! My eyes were blood shot at the shower and pink at work on Monday. When the fiancé saw me on Sunday evening he immediately ran up to hug me and asked me what was wrong since it looked like I had been crying since my eyes were so red!

MM5Overall the race was good and I’m glad I did it, but obviously I could have done without the bad weather and the stinging eye pain. I’m relieved I finally swam in scary conditions, although I’m sure some triathletes would laugh at me calling this race scary compared to some of the other swim stories I’ve heard! I was happy to talk to so many Cleveland Tri club members at this race too (one of the main reasons I wanted to do it). Having only been involved in the club the past few months I wanted to get out there and participate, plus I need to get a lot more triathlons under my belt.

Next up is (supposedly) the Cleveland Triathlon Olympic distance on July 26. I say “supposedly” because I haven’t actually signed up yet. I really believe with all my training and having done 4 sprint distances I can now do the Olympic, it’s just scary to think about and commit to. I need to sign up soon though as prices increase any day! Stay tuned for more information on that. The good news is I might be buying a used wet suit off another Cleveland Tri club member this week, so that should help calm my nerves for more open water swims.

On the training schedule for this week:
Monday – PM 5 miles
Tuesday – AM run 3.5 miles and 1/2 mile swim
Wednesday – Cleveland Tri Club brick workout (19 mile ride + 2-3 mile run)
Thursday – Stairmill at my work gym on lunch
Friday – No work so planning a long workout in the early AM (I can’t decide over a long bike ride, a long brick, or a long run)
Saturday – AM 5 miles
Sunday – Rest

Race Review: Great Western Reserve Triathlon

Miscellaneous

This weekend was my second time racing the Great Western Reserve Triathlon sprint distance and my third sprint triathlon to date. I felt confident going into this race because it was my second time racing it. (It was my first ever triathlon last summer). I had debated doing the Olympic distance, but felt under prepared in the swim, so I played it safe with competing in the sprint again.

west-branch1

GWRT-1As soon as I was out there on the course though I wished I had done the Olympic distance. The weather was beautiful and the sun was out. It was a perfect swim venue with calm water and no seed weed in sight!! The bike course was familiar and fast, with a view rolling hills and scenic views. The run course was down and back with a decent, steady hill, but in the shade of the woods.

I loved everything about this race, and even sitting here at work on Monday morning I’m still smiling just thinking about it. On the bike course I realized my cheeks hurt from smiling so much! I was having such a blast and it was another reason I ached to do the Olympic distance – I didn’t want it to end!

west-branch2This being my third triathlon ever – I knocked 19 minutes off my race time from last season, finishing in 1:27. Last year the half mile swim took me 17 minutes and this year I was out of the water in 13 minutes! I had also given myself a pep talk the night before that no matter what I was going to go all out on the bike and I think I did (for me at least). I averaged 18 miles per hour (3:30 min/mile) and I finished the swim and bike in 58 minutes.

west-branch4By the time I got to the run though, I started to slow down and scowled myself for not practicing more brick workouts. My legs were heavy and I felt like I was barely managing to jog for the first mile of the race. By mile 2 I started to adjust and managed to keep an 8:50 min/mile, finishing the 5K in a disappointing 26 minutes.

Overall I am ecstatic with my time PR, but of course there are a few things I could do better:

  1. I was focusing on going so fast on the bike that I couldn’t find time to slow down and take my GU – maybe that could have helped me muster up some speed in the run.
  2. Speaking of the run – practice MORE brick workouts!!
  3. I was paying way too much attention to trying to see if I could beat others in my age group (yes winning is fun, but triathlon is always you vs. you and I need to focus more on my own race).
  4. I could stand to be just a bit more aggressive in the swim. I always start in the way back and then have to fight to get past people later on.
  5. T1 was 2:03 and T2 was 1:29. I can probably be just a tiny bit faster with my transitions. Practice should help.

Things I did well:

  1. Overall the swim was near perfect (for me at least – especially after my panic/freak out during the Portage Lakes Tri last season). I had no real freak out yesterday and felt pretty confident. (There was a little moment around the second buoy that I got hit by someone else’s hand and I felt a brief moment of panic creeping in, but instead I flipped over on my back and backstroked for about a minute to catch my breath. Then I turned back over for front crawl and felt great.) I think for me, the trick for the swim is to consistently monitor myself. Anytime I have a moment I need to slow down, calm myself down and then continue.
  2. I felt pretty confident on the bike and I think it’s just from riding a lot more and being more comfortable. This is my first season racing with my new bike (which I bought from someone else so it’s not really new haha) but I think I handled the gears and turns well and felt powerful on the hills.
  3. I know there are probably tricks and tips that I’m not doing in the transitions, but I felt smooth in T1 and T2 with no real hiccups or obstacles. I probably just need to practice them more if anything.

west-branch5I already can’t wait to compete in this race next season and I have been looking up other triathlon races all morning. I had one other sprint tri on the race schedule for this summer, but now I just want to do an Olympic distance! Last weekend was the Twinsburg Duathlon, which turned out to be a perfect tune-up race for the triathlon. Next weekend I am riding 25 miles on the Sunday in June tour with my mom. (Practice for 50 miles for bike VeloSano on June 18 – which reminds me – if you haven’t donated to our VeloSano cancer cause please donate here).

westbranch3Today I’m going to go through my 2015 race schedule and reevaluate what I have going on. Our wedding in August is coming up quickly, but I think I can squeeze in a few more races, especially with how pleased I was with yesterday’s race results! Also I got to race in my new Cleveland Triathlon Club kit, which was awesome! Super functional and sharp looking 😉

Training this week looks like:
Monday – run 5 miles PM
Tuesday – Cleveland Tri Club track practice (5-7 miles)
Wednesday – Mentor Flag Day 5K
Thursday – AM bike and swim
Friday – run 4 miles AM
Saturday – rest (lots of wedding prep activities)
Sunday – 25 mile bike (Sunday in June)