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!

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I’m Coming for You – Ironman 70.3 Ohio [Aug 21, 2016]

Miscellaneous

703-ohioI signed up. With shaking hands and my stomach in knots I officially signed up to compete in my first Ironman 70.3 triathlon!

This has been my goal and my dream since I started doing triathlons two years ago. I knew I had to give it some time though and first learn the basics of the sport. I’ll be the first to admit that I still have A LOT more to learn about triathlons, but I do feel confident that I know enough about the training (and especially how much training) I’m going to have to do. I’m actually pretty excited to start a 25-week training plan for the race – remind me of this once I get through the first couple weeks though 😉

Overall I am super nervous, but also really excited. 2016 is going to be the year I can say I am competing in an Ironman and I already get goose bumps just thinking about crossing the finish line.

Here’s to my “A” race of 2016 and special thanks for early registration from Cleveland Triathlon Club! (The event is already sold out.) This is going to be a race to remember!

Learn more about Ironman 70.3 Ohio.

IM-register

VeloSano Weekend – Bike to Cure Event

Miscellaneous

This weekend was Cleveland Clinic’s bike to cure event, VeloSano.

My mom and I both rode the 50-mile challenge. Talk about a GREAT event! From the race volunteers, to the food, to the course itself, this was a well run and thought out event. AND even better – 100% of the money raised went to cancer research at Cleveland Clinic.

velosano1The minimum fundraising requirement for the 50-mile challenge was $1,000 each. So with my mom and I both riding we had to raise $2,000. Even before signing up, her and I were both a little concerned if we would be able to raise that kind of money, but after much though about it we decided to just go for it. If we had to pay the remaining balance ourselves then we at least knew it was going to a great cause.

SO after four months of fundraising – we went into VeloSano weekend with $1,638 raised for cancer research. I am completely shocked by how much we were able to raise! Yes we will still have to pay the remainder ourselves, but that is still a ton of money and my heart is full after so many friends and family members stepped forward to donate to our cause. We are so incredibly grateful and blown away by the amount of support we received! To show our support, we asked donors (if they wanted) to share the names or initials of loved ones affected by cancer and we rode with the names on our bikes as a reminder to why we were out there.

velosano-4The weekend took off on Friday night at the VeloSano kick-off party. It was located at Mall B downtown. This event did such a great job at getting everyone excited for the next day’s festivities.They had all you can eat and drink (of the adult variety too) and it was catered by the amazing Zack Bruell Events (but seriously BEST FOOD EVER)! They also had a mini expo with tons of great vendors giving away all sorts of things and doing demos and games. There were also two large tents to sit under and listen to an amazing band and eat and just enjoy yourself. The weather was so insanely perfect too.

The fiance on a virtual cycling ride.

The fiance on a virtual cycling ride.

photo-booth-picVeloSano offered bike racking on Friday night so we wouldn’t have to worry about getting our bikes downtown early on Saturday. This was such a great idea and we were glad at 7AM on Saturday when we didn’t need to worry about loading and hauling our bikes around.

velosano-pig1

The VeloSano pig they had walking around Friday’s kick off party!

Some of the doctors and staff came up on stage where the band was playing and talked about the event. They also played inspiring patient stories on two large screens facing the audience. It was so humbling and inspiring to know that the money we raised was going to help patients with cancer.

It was an amazing experience and more than a few times throughout the night I made note of how excited and thankful I was to be a part of it.

Also included in our registration was an awesome swag bag full of great stuff. A bike light, a water bottle, tons of free samples, a great VeloSano jersey and much more!

This was the aftermath of us opening up our swag bag. Tons of cool stuff!

This was the aftermath of us opening up our swag bag. Tons of cool stuff!

On Saturday the 50-mile ride took off at 8:30AM. We got down there around 7:30 and had time to get our bikes, eat a bagel, take some pictures and then line up. We were so excited! The race started and we winded through downtown Cleveland for a good few miles. This part was so fun as a lot of people were out and about cheering and my mom and I just road along chatting.

Getting ready to take off on our ride.

Getting ready to take off on our ride!

The ride itself went fairly fast and although there were a few good hills, I found it to be a decent and fun course. The weather was beautiful and sunny, pushing 85 degrees. I had no complaints and barely noticed it (I do well in the heat).

My Garmin tracked the course at 52 miles, which is fine, but I was a little bummed to be done. I still wanted to ride! After the ride we had more amazing food and enjoyed a few beers in the sun. Talk about a great day!

Already I am sad it’s over and already I am thinking about doing it next year again. The only thing is the fundraising. It’s A LOT. I know it goes to a great cause, I just don’t like hounding people for donations. We were SO lucky that so many people stepped up and did donate after a few Facebook posts and emails. If you haven’t donated yet and want to, we are still fundraising the rest of our $2,000 until October 1. Please donate here.

Overall I would give VeloSano an A+. The event was outstanding on every level of support and it all went for a great cause.

This weekend I have the Cleveland Triathlon – my FIRST Olympic distance! I am nervous about the swim, but I’ve read that since we are swimming in the harbor, it’s usually pretty calm. I think it will be a great event and it’s all located downtown, plus the weather is supposed to be nice. The biggest thing I have to remember going into Sunday’s race is CONFIDENCE. I know I can complete every single leg of the race and there’s no time pressure considering I’ve never done this distance before. When I get too caught up in racing and competition and nerves I have to remind myself that triathlons are supposed to be fun. I like doing this. It forces you out of your comfort zone and makes you feel alive. Why wouldn’t I want to experience that?!

Life is GOOD. Plus I road my bike to work today so by 6:30PM I will have gotten in just over 30 miles. Seems like a pretty good little Thursday to me. Oh and 37 days until we get married 🙂

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Water break on my ride in this morning.

 

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

Training Like It’s My Job

Miscellaneous

Cardio training has been at an all-time high lately. I can’t even remember the last time I picked up a set of weights. Between swimming, biking and running – I haven’t wanted to be sore enough to weight lift between cardio training. And it’s good I’m training so much lately. I’ll have raced every weekend in June after this weekend.

This weekend was jammed packed and despite going out on Friday night (and having a little too much wine) I still managed to get in 14 miles of decent running.

Saturday morning I did a soggy 5 miles alone while it rained. I pretty much hated life for this hour, but felt better afterwards. Then Saturday night we had a Zombie Run 5K. (The fiancé and his friends wanted to run this. I’m not much of a “fun run” kind of gal, but I figured I’d give it a shot.) This race was weird. Fun, but weird. It took us 45 minutes (obviously we stopped running for most of it). Between walking and running on muddy trails, hole-filled fields of grass and a Christmas tree farm – it was hard to actually run. I was terrified I would step in a hole and twist an ankle and there’d go my running season. It was also very humid. And to mention a little scary dodging zombies (AKA people dressed up with make-up on. PS. some of them were REALLY fast.) Overall it was fun, but I probably wouldn’t do it again. Not worth the money and it wasn’t a “real” race I decided.

zombie-run3zombie-run1Sunday morning was the Willoughby Hills Run for the Hills 10K. It was my first time running this race and I didn’t look at the course beforehand. I had assumed it would be hilly considering the name – and it actually wasn’t too bad. It was nice since it’s less than 10 minutes from my house. I finished the 10K in 56 minutes, beating my PR by three minutes so I felt ok about that. I also didn’t feel like I gave an all-out effort though, but my legs were tired and heavy. I got second out of 6 in my age group, but I didn’t even stay for awards (I saw online).

Yesterday morning I did another 5 miles in the morning before work and my legs were even sorer. I decided it would be a slow, recovery run so I stopped even looking at my watch. Tonight I am going to a track workout with Cleveland Triathlon Club. I can’t decide if I love this workout or if I hate it. I am the slowest person in the group (but I don’t mind) so I have to fight to keep up. It kicks my butt and is much more effective than me training alone…but like I said – it kicks my butt.

This weekend is the Milton Man Sprint Triathlon. Like always I’m a little nervous for the swim, but it’s because someone told me that we jump off a dock into the water to start. I’ll survive though and the one saving grace about triathlon is that you get the scariest part over with first.

Training schedule this week looks like:
Monday – AM 5 miles
Tuesday – 5 to 7 miles @ track practice PM
Wednesday – afternoon stair mill @ work gym and PM Liquid Lifestyles swim clinic at Fairport Harbor
Thursday – Rest day OR deciding if I am going to bike to work one way (15 miles) and then have the fiancé pick me up after
Friday – AM 5 miles (super easy pace)
Saturday – 30 mile harbor bike ride with Lake Metroparks
Sunday – Milton Man Sprint Triathlon

I’ll leave you with a picture of my mom and I at last weekend’s Sunday in June bike ride. We managed to get in 30 miles. PS. There’s still time to donate to our 50-mile Cleveland Clinic VeloSano bike ride on July 18th! Please help support us.

sunday-in-june

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)