3000m swim to help get back into the swing of things after a nice and lazy bank holiday weekend.

#run #runblr #runner #running #cyclist #swimming #swimmer #triathlon #tri #training #workout #gym #goal #nike #nikeplus #nikerunning #diet #fitstagram #fitblr #fitness #fitspiration #fitfam #marathon

👉 I had a gooood brick session this morning (60 minutes indoor bike part + 30 minutes hard + 15 minutes moderate/easy running). 🔝This was my lunch: a homemade sauce of tomatoes and red bell pepper and oven roasted sweet potatoes and ‘normal’ potatoes. Besides some fruit.
👉 Program in the afternoon: 1:20 h swimming. 🐋

Week 17 of 30 and I’m finding it hard to get motivated to train what with work getting busier and busier. Still… I managed to get off my arse and head down the gym for a cheeky brick session. It’s obviously not going to be as good as a proper outdoor session but it is far better than nothing.

Be strong, be brave.
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Inside ride for 2 hours yesterday, and outside ride for 1:30 today, and I’m still way behind in the bike department for my Ironman 70.3 coming up. I’m biking about 40% less then I should be. I’m fine with the runs and swims, but my time in the saddle is low and I still haven’t convinced myself to do any bricks yet. Thinking June 13th is going to be one full of suffering and regret.

I’ve been thinking that I should do just short course racing for the rest of this season and next because I appear to be burnt out on the long stuff. I’m totally happy to ride for 90-120 minutes. But then I’m ready to be done.

Same thing with running… I run 12 miles and I figure that’s plenty.

Then I remember that I just signed up for the Disney Goofy Challenge. Whoops!

Abendessen 😍
Blattsalat, Paprika, Tomaten, Avocado, Apfel und Pute 💪

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USAT Collegiate Nationals Olympic - 4/25/15

Conditions: As you may have noticed, I was really dreading the weather leading up to this race.  While the two days sandwiching the race were forecasted to be sunny and clear, race day was supposed to be raining all day.  They told us that if the rain was too heavy and standing water accumulated on the course, they would have to put the race on hold.  It ended up raining all through the morning, sometimes heavier than others, but my race wasn’t until later.  I spent the morning of the guy’s race huddled under tents and shivering when I wasn’t on the course to cheer.  Miraculously, the rain petered off by the end of their race and stopped by the time the women’s race began.  For all my stress, the weather ended up being pretty ideal for my race; the sky was overcast and temperature was probably in the 60s.  The water was also in the mid-60s, which was comfortable in a wetsuit.

Swim (1500m, 26:58, 1:38 min/100yds):  This was the best swim I’ve had in a race so far.  I’ve been focusing on my swim more than anything since the fall, and it was nice to see that pay off on race day.  Last year at Nationals the swim was the roughest I’ve experienced in terms of crowding and jockeying with other swimmers, so I was prepared for that this year.  Fortunately I didn’t have to deal with that this year - once we got started I had a fair bit of personal space.  I sighted frequently and stayed on course well.  I didn’t get to draft much except for maybe a couple hundred yards towards the end, but I wasn’t too concerned with that and just wanted to race my race.  I came out feeling like I had done a good job and ready to hop on my bike.

T1 (2:06):  I was excited to see my teammates and cheer crowd at swim out, but thought that they missed me because I didn’t hear or see any of them.  Turns out they were all there yelling for me, I was just totally oblivious!  There was a pretty long grassy run uphill to the transition area which I definitely did not appreciate.  Things in TA went smoothly even though I had forgotten to map out which entrances/exits I was supposed to be using and hadn’t even made a good mental note of where I had left my bike.  All the girls in my wave were racked in a similar area so I just followed the flow of traffic.  The run to the course was again pretty long, and also quite muddy.  I was glad to be in bare feet in the soft grass instead of trying to clomp through that in my bike shoes.

Bike (40k, 1:15:26, 19.8 mph):  The course for this race was basically three out-and-back loops with fairly constant rolling hills.  The hairpin turnarounds forced you to slow down almost to a stop, which wasn’t ideal, but overall I didn’t mind the format since it allowed you to keep tabs on other racers.  The course did start getting pretty crowded by my second and third laps, but I made sure to keep my non-drafting distance, pass within fifteen seconds, etc.  I really worked to use the downhills to my maximum advantage; I passed a lot of people on the descents.  There were a couple people I kept going back and forth with who would routinely get me back on the next uphill.  Overall I feel like I rode well and responsibly given the course.

T2 (1:32):  Another long and muddy run into the transition area.  I had a smooth transition and was feeling positive about my race so far.  On the way out, I finally saw my coach, boyfriend, and teammates cheering for me so I gave them a big grin and high fives.  They said they could tell that I was feeling good, and I was!

Run (10k, 46:50, 7:32 min/mile):  The run course was a pretty convoluted loop system.  We all knew it was two loops, but in reality it was more like four since each ‘loop’ consisted of running the same out-and-back loop twice in two separate lanes.  Some of the guys who raced earlier made the mistake of doing two “loops” and coming in to finish, when really they had only done one.  After getting on the course, I easily understood how they got confused, but made sure to be extra careful to be aware of where I was on the course.  After getting to the halfway point, I was feeling pretty wiped but just tried to hold it together and push my pace as best I could.  I looked out for teammates on the course, giving high fives and encouragement to them when I could.  Making the final turn into the finish area was a blissful thing, and as I came around the bend to the final stretch I gave every last bit that I had.

Overall (2:32:49):  I put a lot of pressure on myself to prepare for this event, and with all said and done, I’m nothing but pleased with how I performed and the experience I had.  Outside of racing, I got to hang out with and cheer on both my current teammates racing and also my former teammates from Rutgers.  This was really just a great race for me!

Moving on: I have plans to do my first half iron distance race in August!  I will be doing at least a couple other races over the summer before then, but the big 70.3 will be my new focus for the next few months.

Finish at my first trail race- The Trail Mix Relay. 

I didn’t fall down and I had a lot of fun. This was a pretty tame course in comparison to lots of other trail races, but it had plenty of hills and was plenty challenging for a first timer like me.

I ran about a minute slower per mile than I normally would at this distance (12K/7.8 miles), but I’m guessing that is pretty normal. 

No medal but check out my new trail shoes! Solomon Fellraisers and they were great.

Tuesday evenings are the official group training day for my tri 101 class– and last night was the first one! According to the training plan we were supposed to run 1 mile + a short strength work out. When I showed up to Fleet Feet I was suddenly brought back to all the training groups I’ve done before– it’s been a WHILE since I’ve participated in one, but the training groups are where I got my start, from couch to 5k all the way to the marathon, so being in another one almost feels like coming home. We did a short bit of dynamic stretching, the wind was blowing threateningly and the sky was dark, but luckily there was no rain yet. Since we had a strength workout planned, we all had yoga mats and water bottles in tow as we ran/jogged about a quarter of a mile over to the pavilion where we would complete the workout… I’m sure we looked super silly to all the cars driving by, a huge group of people running with a mat tucked under one arm and a bottle under the other :)

We split in to two groups and one group did the strength work while the other did the 1 mile one. I was in the group that did the run first. Our mile times would determine what pace group we were put in for the rest of the training, and we were instructed to run hard enough to where we couldn’t talk easily, but not so hard that we barfed at the end. Got it, NO BARFING :) As soon as I set off in my run my legs protested loudly. AUUGHHH! I couldn’t decide if my legs were still tired from the weekend, or if my body is just not accustomed to running fast, ha. Probably a little of both. My final time ended up being 9:09, not too bad for a turtle girl with shredded stage race legs!!! As soon as I crossed the finish line I gasped, “Now I know why I run long distances… I hate the way running fast feels!” Lots of my fellow trainees laughed at that, but FOR REAL Y'ALL. I hate running fast.

After the run, we did a short strength workout and then stretched, and then heard a short talk from the head coach about setting goals. We were given two note cards, and were told to think of a few things to set our minds to for the next 16 weeks and then write the things on the note cards. Goals like “Just finish” are good and have a place, but the coaches wanted us to have goals that were quantifiable and could actually be measured. We keep one note card at home in place where we see it often, and next week we will bring the other note card and share it with our coach and pace group that we are set with.

So, after giving it a little thought, here are my goals…

1. Swim: commit to at LEAST 2 swim sessions per week. Swimming is absolutely my weakest point right now, and running 4 times a week isn’t going to make me any better at it. Short term training goal: be able to swim fluidly across the pool without having to pause and life my head to take a breath halfway across. Long term/race day goal: the race has a 400m swim, and I’d like to be able to swim 200m before I have to pause at the wall and take a breather.

2. Bike: learn how to use my clipless pedals. I am TERRIFIED of them right now, but I know it’s a skill I need to have if I ever want to be anything more than mediocre at cycling. Long term/race day goal: maintain 14-15 mph on the bike portion of the race.

3. Run: RUN FAST. You all know I don’t have any trouble with running, I do it all the time! But one thing I don’t do all the time? Run fast. Push the speed. Feel the burn in my lungs and push through it. Like I said before, I hate running fast. That’s a pretty good reason to try to do it more, right?? Ha… Seriously though, I have been running for over 3 years now and my pace has largely remained the same. I’d like to focus less on more distance for a little while and spend this summer training session really pushing myself hard on the pace. Long term/race day goal: maintain 10:– min/mi throughout the run portion of the race. (This might change as I get a better idea of what a fast pace for me is, but right now I think this is good for a post swim and bike speed that’s still moderately quick for me)

So there you have it! That’s what I’ll be chasing after this summer. What about you?

As you can see, I do not have a triathlete’s figure… Nor am I even *slightly* overweight. I am 285lbs of fierce determination!!! I’m trying everyday to be better than the day before. To be stronger than the day before. To be awesomer than the day before! If you’re chubby and kicking some ass, get your shirt today! http://www.shop.houseofhaha.com/Leukemia-Lymphoma-Society_c273.htm Or if you want to help me out, make a donation @ donate.chubbytryathlete.com! Thanks in advance and keep trying!!

New brain bucket  and the story of when I was hit by a car

One of the unavoidable consequences of getting older is that all your stuff gets older too (imagine that!).  And even though the gear may still work well (in some cases as well as the day you bought it) it starts to look dated and before you know it you’re the guy with the flip phone and blue-blocker sunglasses.

After 12 years my road helmet on the left still works/fits well despite a few minor scrapes but it looks slightly faded and doesn’t really match my flat black Felt DA1.  So I blew my birthday $$$ and bought a Lazer Z1.  I bought it at an expo and of course the Lazer rep pitched me on why it was worth 2X as much as some of the other helmets, but we both knew it cost more just because it’s the newest model and it looks cool (and yes arguably it is slightly better ventilated).  Two years from now it will cost half as much.

Beth and I did some riding right after college and on of our outings I was hit by a car going 55 mph (at least that’s the speed the driver admitted to).  I went to the hospital on a back board, but amazingly nothing was broken.  We were wearing helmets (a bit of an oddity 25 years ago) and I’m sure my injuries would have been worse without one.  I hate to sound pessimistic, but if you ride frequently I think you’re likely to have an encounter with a car so wear a helmet.  Hopefully I’ve gotten my accident out of the way and won’t have any more!

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USAT Collegiate Nationals Mixed Team Relay - 4/25/15

Yes, there was a second race at Nationals for me to document!  While I was adamant about not being interesting in racing Friday’s draft legal sprint, I did agree to participate in the Mixed Team Relay event that took place on Saturday a few hours after the Olympic race.  The race was basically the sprint distance divided between four team members - 250m swim, 6k draft legal bike, and 1.25k run (though based on times, I doubt the course was actually those distances).  Each individual would swim, bike, and run, then tag the next teammate who would go through the whole course, tag the next teammate, and repeat until the last team member had finished.  It was therefore a fast and, dare I say, fun event.

I’ll write this out like a normal race report even though it feels a little silly!

Conditions: It was raining all morning but cleared up earlier in the afternoon, it was getting pretty nice by the time this late afternoon race started.

Swim (“250m”, 4:56): I agreed to be the first leg of the relay since I have no problem with the brawl that is an open water start.  We started lined up on the water’s edge after they called each of us out individually by team.  At the gun we ran in, pummeled each other, and sprinted around the short course and out of the water.  I came in probably in the last third since most teams choose strong swimmers (which, comparatively, I am not) to start.

T1 (1:50): Probably the worst part of the race.  The long uphill run to transition sucked even more in the context of such a short race when the idea is to book it the whole way!

Bike (“9k”, 12:45, 17.6mph): As I mentioned this was a draft legal bike, so I was riding my road bike which is primarily my commuter bike.  I realized as soon as I got on that I really need to raise the seat on that bike.  Anyways,  I got out of transition around the same time as another girl and we had a brief exchange of “hey, let’s work together and catch up to the other pack of girls ahead!”.  She pulled me for a bit, then we switched, went up a hill, and I lost her behind me.  At the turn around I caught up to another girl who was moving a bit slower and said “let’s go get ‘em!”.  We did not get ‘em, but she stayed on my wheel the rest of the way in and thanked me as we ran into transition.

T2 (1:25): More mud and slop, but at least I didn’t have to run up a hill this time!

Run (“1.25k”, 4:31): My entire race experience can be summed up by the moment when I came around the bend to start the run and saw my teammates cheering.  I flashed them a huge smile as I yelled out “THIS IS THE WORST.”  On the run course I heard a coach call out to a girl behind me ‘North Carolina is right in front of you, get her!’ which was all the motivation I needed to keep booking and make sure she did not.  I did beat her in to the tag zone, where I sent off our second athlete to start the fun all over again.

Overall (25:22): I loved the spirit of this race.  While some of the more competitive teams took it seriously, most of us were just there to have a good time.  The girls I interacted with on the course were all great, as I mentioned on the bike especially.  Our team ended up in a battle vs. Duke to not come in last place, which was exciting and hilarious and we were all having a blast.  We ended up third from last, which was a victory in our eyes.  We raced, we laughed, we cheered, we bonded, we said ‘fuck you’ to cancer (our second leg athlete just finished his 9th month on chemo), and we would definitely do it again.  GOOOOO BRICKSQUAD!

I know what I’ll be doing starting June 14th, the day after Boulder 70.3. Running!

While I may jump into some local triathlons after the half iron, I’m going to focus on running the second half of the year and train for the Goofy Challenge as well as a fall 10 mile trail race. 

Mike and I have raced on Disney Marathon weekend twice before and it’s by far the best orchestrated race I have ever done. I’m excited to go back and see if I can race back to back days. To say it will be a challenge is an understatement!