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)