Thursday, August 29, 2013

Triathlon for dummies. Or beginners, whatever.

I wanted to give a quick run-down of what my 6 week "express" training looked like for the iTRYathlon.

Obviously going into the training, I was comfortable running. I was okay-ish on the bike - as in, I could usually ride without falling. It wasn't fast, or pretty. But I didn't crash most of the time. I was terrified at the swim. I could swim enough to play in the pool, and could get around leisurely, but I did not have any real familiarity with proper freestyle form at all.

Tri La Vie was a HUGE help for me when trying to figure out how to prioritize my time, when all I really wanted to do was run.

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This has nothing to do with the training, but I think the sticker makes the bike look official, no?

What my weeks looked like, by mileage and time, with links to more in-depth recaps:
Week 1: 5:30 in training; 19 miles running, 8.3 mi bike
Week 2: 6:42 in training; 22 miles running, 7 mi bike, 65 min swim
Week 3: 8:25 in training; 26 miles running, 22.3 mi bike, 50 min swim {this week was heavy in the time spent, but mostly because I had a loooong terrible trail run in there}
Week 4: 5:54 in training; 14 miles running, 10.8 mi bike, 96 min swim
Week 5: 7:59 in training; 27 miles running, 19.8 mi bike, 68 min swim
Week 6: 2:52 in training (taper/not incl race day); 6 miles running,  40 min run

For a sprint tri, I'm clearly heavy on the run - but I'm building my base/beginning marathon training, so I built mileage throughout the last 6 weeks (with one cut-back week plus my extensive taper week).

Another new trick in my arsenal is strength training. I really, really feel like the strength training has helped me build my speed back up. I did two or three days of Tank Top Arms, Ten Minute Core, and random other videos every week (those two are my favorite).

I've always struggled fitting cross training into my run schedule. What this tri schedule has shown me, is 1. I can fit it in when I want to, and 2. it REALLY REALLY helps. I have felt great this whole time. Week three was kind of tiring, but it was mostly a mental exhaustion - I struggled a lot initially with the swim, and just trying to keep the motions all straight was hard for me. Physically, thought, I've felt really good. The shin pain that I have always fought seems to have disappeared. The swim seems to help work out the muscle aches from running and biking.

It's almost as if there's REALLY something to all this "Cross Train hooray!" business.

Random thoughts:

  • A sprint tri is TOTALLY DO-ABLE if you have even a tiny amount of fitness. For real.
  • Be ready to work the most on the sport that is hardest for you.
  • It's exhausting. Coach Martha with Tri La Vie said to expect that - and at one point I sent her a panicky email about how exhausted I was in week 2, and how was I possibly going to maintain this. In that email, I wrote, "PHYSICALLY, I feel totally fine.". Do you know what that means? It means shut up and train.
  • I do not understand how people with jobs train for anything more than a sprint tri.
  • Tri forces you to be more organized. There are so many things involved, you have to keep things in line and set up, so you're not wasting time getting your isht together all the time.
  • Practice transition. It SOUNDS in your brain like, take off sunglasses and garmin, grab goggles, run, would be simple enough to manage. But when you're actually IN transition, things go crazy.
  • Don't worry too much about going fast on the swim - I think not drowning, and swimming controlled, is more important. Not dying should always be one of your goals.
  • You do NOT need a fancy bike. I started training with The H's bike (a hybrid, that I want to say cost more than I thought it did - maybe $500?), then bought my own - also a hybrid, for under $300. It wasn't necessary, it was mostly convenience - #1 can use it for getting to cross country practice, since The H rides his bike to work. But I was totally fine on my non-road bike. I saw people on beach cruisers on the course.

All in all, it was really a fantastic experience, and I will do it again - I will probably stick to pools or lakes, because sharks.

Working with Tri La Vie was great - there were athletes of all levels in the group, of all ages. The training program I joined was the 6-week Express iTRY training group, which offered weekly group training on Saturday's (2 weeks focused on swim, 4 weeks focused on run/bike/combination thereof), a weekly training plan, weekly optional drop-in swim training, and other optional weekly training sessions (run form, bike clinic, etc). Coach Martha definitely works the group with a sense of purpose - be there on time, pay attention, be focused, don't whine and make excuses. This is the type of coaching that REALLY works for me, because my default setting is "Lazy".

TLV offers several group training programs year round, as well as these specific programs for the fall

The program cost for TLV training varies, but it's all listed on the website. The price includes a training plan, group training sessions, skill-based training, a TLV tech shirt, and discounts to select local retailers (I bought my bike from Two Wheels One Planet and took advantage of the TLV discount there).

While the tri training is for women only, they also offer a trail running series that is open to men and women.

iTRY group

For a beginner, or someone with experience looking to improve in triathlon, TLV would be a great benefit to you. I followed Coach Martha's training plan (adding additional runs for my own purposes), and it didn't just get me TO the start line, I exceeded my expectations. While my swim was slower than I would have liked, I was confident and smooth in the water, which I find more important than just flinging myself through quickly. I finished the day feeling strong, and credit that entirely to TLV.

While I was provided the training at no cost through Renegade Racing and TLV, all opinions are my own - I had a lot of fun taking on the new sports, and the training really worked for me. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

iTRYathlon - Race Recap

iTRYathlon is a local women's and youth event put on by Renegade Racing. This was the second year running the race.

This was an EXCELLENT pick for my first triathlon - it's a reverse tri, so instead of the typical swim/bike/run, it was a 3.1 mile run, 9 mile bike, and 200m pool swim.

The swim has always been the piece of the tri that I was most afraid of - mostly because the idea of 1. open water and 2. mass starts terrifies me. Putting the swim last means a steady stream of swimmers, not a crazy group all at once. This was fantastic for me!

Race prep....
With a 7:30am Saturday start time, I planned on being at the race site around 5:30 for transition set up, body marking, etc. To help me make sure I wasn't forgetting anything I set out everything I'd need in a fuax-transition the night before.
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We arrived at Northwood High School pretty early - so early, transition wasn't even open yet.
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The H helped me make sure my tires were pumped appropriately, and we headed over to set up my space. When Coach Martha advised us to arrive that early, I was pretty skeptical. It was REALLY early, I don't think I even show up for runDisney races that early.

But it was 100% worth it to snag a prime transition spot for my bike.
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Here's a funny thing about triathlon. Some kids will, at some point, write your age right on your calf in PERMANENT MARKER. So that's cute.

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After spending some time horrifying The H with the number of times I can cycle through the bathroom lines in 2 hours (answer, only 3 times, which IS NOT EVEN THAT MUCH, rude), and some time chatting with my favorite volunteers....

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According to Kelly and Angry Julie (pic courtesy of Julie)

...we started lining up. The morning was PERFECTION - misty and foggy and cool. Thank heavens.

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SO lucky.

The Run

Elevation map....

My goal for the run was 28:xx. I haven't really felt great about my speed, since I was my fastest (so, really just "fastest") back during marathon training last year, and I'm not running nearly the same mileage now. When I started iTRY training, I was hoping for a 30 minute 5k. In the last few weeks, I thought if I REALLY pushed it, I could maybe pull out 28:xx. I was really nervous about the hill - I'm not great on hills. They're hard.

The run starts on a nice downhill, and then climbs climbs climbs climbs. I ran into Striding Mom's oldest, Strawberry, close to the top of the hill, and we ran for a few minutes together - my training on this route really helped out here, because I knew how far the hill went, and when I felt like it was getting rough, I knew how close I was to the end of the hill.

Thanks, H!

I only look happy because I know we're running downhill from here. Just kidding, I was psyched to see my hsuband.

As soon as I told him the course was all down hill from here!.... he took off.
Later, Stawberry.

Garmin time, appx.... 27:50ish. {I KNOW WHAT!!!!!}. 8:45, 9:11, 9:07 for the first three miles.

{Update - official time, 27:51!!!!!}

Transition 1: This is where I really jacked things up with my Garmin - instead of hitting lap, I hit start/stop and paused it. Womp. I have no idea what my transition time was. I took a second to take a drink, because drinking on the bike makes me nervous. But otherwise, I took Coach Martha's advice and had a very streamlined transition, only needing to snap on my helmet. Bring only what you need, and use everything you bring....
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More pictures from my personal transition photographer, Angry Julie
T1: 1:14

The Bike

Sigh. Oh, the bike.

My goal was to come in under 40 minutes. I was NOT confident in this number - 40 minutes would have been a 13.5mph pace. In training on this loop, the fastest I could pull out was 12.8mph. I don't know WHY I picked 40 minutes, it was totally random.

The course is 2 loops of the run course (so twice up that hill), plus an out and back on some flat roads.

I saw a lot of people passing me who had REAL bikes - like real road bikes, not my clunky hybrid. I felt pretty good with how I went up the hills - I cycled through the gears efficiently, I thought. I didn't see a lot of people on hybrids passing me, which was how I was gauging my speed.

Unofficial bike pace: 14.3mph. WHAT.

{Official time, 38:32 - 14.1mph}

Transition 2:

So, one of my biggest concerns was whether or not I should even wear my Garmin - I thought it would really help me on the run, so I could stay on pace up the hill, but I was really concerned that I would totally forget I had it on, and head straight to the pool with it. Which I did. Plus my sunglasses - and as it turns out, you cannot swim in sunglasses. Awesome. Heading into transition, I racked my bike, took another drink of water, and ran over to the pool - I kept my shoes on, because it's about a 200m run.

Once you get to the pool, Renegade has volunteers set up to collect shoes (and sunglasses and Garmins) for you when you jump in.

T2: 3:06 {ouch}

The swim

The swim was 4 lengths (2 laps) of a 50m pool - jump in one side, swim a length, duck under the lane line, back the next lane, etc. I had never practiced in a 50m pool before, so the distance was a little intimidating. The pool in my neighborhood that I use is maybe 15m? And the pool I did a time trial in a few weeks ago is 25. Also, the pool is DEEP. So I was nervous, particularly in the middle two lanes, where there's not a wall right next to me JUST IN CASE (I know how to swim enough not to drown, but I panicked a little).

So I took the swim S L O W and steady. I never felt crowded, even though plenty of people passed me, but the lanes are super wide, and there was just a steady stream of racers coming in. There was plenty of room to navigate.

dead center sticking my head waaaaaaaay out for a breath. This is why I'm slow.

I'm being so dainty with the lane lines.

{Swim - 6:38 laaaaame}

The finish timing mats are right there at the edge of the stairs - pro tip, I stopped swimming when I got to that long area going towards the stairs. Do you know what is MUCH slower than swimming? Walking through 4'6" of water.

Since I obviously didn't wear my Garmin through the swim (despite my best efforts...), I have no idea how long the swim took - I know I was passed by PLENTY of people. I am assuming it is well over my 5 minute goal.

Total time: 1:17:25 

Post Race
The volunteers are handing out medals right as you exit the pool, and then just outside the pool building, there are volunteers with water, bananas, oranges, and cookies (cookies!!).

Results were posted really quickly out at the expo area (for most people.... Hurry up, Gemini!).

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This event was REALLY well organized. There are a number of events happening at the same time - sprint tri, junior tri, 5k, etc, but things moved totally smoothly.

For a new triathlete, this is a great choice - it's really non-intimidating, and very beginner friendly. Volunteers were set up everywhere, and all very helpful.

Disclosure: I was provided with free entry to the race by Renegade Racing, but all opinions are my own. There is really NOTHING that I would have changed or thought needed improvement - it's amazing it's only in its second year, because you would never have guessed that they'd only pulled this off once before.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Five - Four Randoms, One Goal

1. I am for real the Queen of Extreme Taper. So far this week, I've done 1 run (and it was GOOD), and 1 40 minute bike ride.

I need to swim today. I mean, I should. I'm the worst. But at least I'll be well rested. CAN'T HOLD ME BACK!

2. SarahOUaL has organized a new run club in OC - first meetup is Tuesday night near Crystal Cove. Good for all paces (walkers welcome!), and variety of distances. I'll be there, probably dragging behind the walking group because hello, I have DOUBLE RACES next weekend, and as evidenced above, I LOVE TAPERING. Details HERE on the FB.

If you don't want to run here, you're broken.

3. Related to above, Disneyland Half weekend is almost here!! HOORAY. I've been looking forward to this for ages! I think Becka, L and I had costumes sorted out way back when we ran Goofy?!?! It's going to be tons of fun, and I get to cook delicious carb-loading food, and Gab can finally end her "When will A BE HERE ALREADY" countdown. 

I'm so so so excited for our costumes. SO EXCITED. 

We are the funnerest.
4. I am unsure how to be properly unemployed. First, I cannot sleep in. I've been driving the H to work following his bike accident, so I've been getting up by 6:30... BUT even when I'm not, I rarely sleep past 7. 
And I don't like napping, it just doesn't work for me. So I'm tired all the time. 

Maybe that is why I haven't felt like doing anything this week? I don't know. Anyway. At the end of the day, I'm always like, WTF just happened, I did almost NOTHING and the entire day is gone. 

How is it possible?

don't worry, I obviously have plenty o' time to dig up gifs

5. ITRYathlon is tomorrow!! YIKES. #1 will also be there, running the 5k - she was scheduled for some cross country stuff, but since it was rescheduled, she's going to race this with me (haha) instead. 

I have some goals based on my training times, but I really have zero idea of how things will go. 

Run: I don't think I'm in shape to PR a 5k right now, and I'm even less confident about doing it on a giant hill. I'll be psyched with a 28:xx run. 

Bike: I just don't even know. I would like to come in under 40 minutes. We'll see. I just want to not die.

Swim: Hopefully under 5 min. 

So, with transition, I guess that makes my.... 
A Goal: 1:15ish
B Goal: Don't hate it.
C Goal: Don't die. 

I'm pretty nervous, but I'm sure it will be FINE. Right?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

#NotEatingAllTheThings - the demise of my diet attempts

Way back, sometime between San Francisco Marathon last year and CIM, I hit this weight, and it stuck - I was marathon training, and I was content where it was. It didn't take any real effort to stay there, and I wasn't really concerned with losing any, at least not enough to be bothered with it.

Between CIM and Eugene, though, I continued to eat kind of whatever I wanted. While that strategy worked a-okay while I was in marathon training for CIM, it was no bueno when I ran about half the mileage in my Eugene cycle. It's not a surprise that I gained a few pounds.

When Becka and I brainstormed the #NotEatingAllTheThings Challenge during Eugene and the weekend of eating EVERYTHING, I figured I would just play along and see what happened. I'm not really big on numbers, and don't really have a "goal" weight - I kind of have a "feel better at this" weight, and a "that number makes my clothes uncomfortable" weight.

So, listen. I played along with the #NotEatingAllTheThings Challenge for awhile - I still send Becka pictures of most of my meals, I still weigh in habitually on Tuesday's (official weigh in day; Friday just for funs).

Weighing in has become an exercise in frustration for me - not because I'm not hitting a certain number (I have no certain number in mind still), but because my body just seems to be perpetually screaming, "NAH NAH NAH NAH I DO WHAT I WAAAANT CAN'T TAME ME!", and I gain/lose 2-3 lbs within a few days, back and forth, over and over. It didn't really matter what I ate, or what exercise I did.

So by the numbers on the scale, this has not been a success for me. While Becka has lost something like 18+ lbs, I have lost.....

6 pounds, net. Since May. I'm dead smack right back where I was in December, last year.

I dropped a few pounds initially, and I've been hovering at the same spot for about two months now. (In full disclosure, I am currently another pound down according to yesterday's weigh in, but I'm assuming it will pop back up, because my body LOVES what I weigh THE END).

I'm still running a fairly low mileage (25ish mile weeks), but I'm doing a LOT more cross training and strength work than I have before.

I still eat kind of whatever I want, but probably more reasonable than I was early this year. Maybe.

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The result of this, is that despite the number refusing to budge, I am certainly more fit than I've been... maybe ever?

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Unsure why my face is being a jerk
I  have tiny muscles, even. IT'S TRUE.
Bad lighting, but I swear they exist, not just in my brain.

So, I guess this is the thing.

I don't measure weight loss in any other way - I don't use a tape measure or fancy scale. I know my clothes are looser. I know my beautiful striped Lulu Pace Setter is too big.

I know that the stupid tank top arms video used to be hard with 2lb weights, but now it's manageable with 5lb weights.

I guess my conclusions from this Challenge are:

  • I'd rather feel stronger, than skinnier
  • As long as I'm comfortable in my clothes, I'm pretty indifferent to my weight
  • The numbers don't really mean all that much
  • I'm not willing to give up foods I love
  • Counting calories is BORING and tedious
  • It's easy for me to get carried away and "reward" myself, when I'm being too restrictive (and I use that word VERY loosely).
  • It's easier for me to eat what I want in moderation, all the time. I'm way less prone to "rewards" that way.

Anyway. I didn't want to just abandon the #NotEatingAllTheThings, without filling in the ending.

Thus concludes my experiment.

I declare Becka the winner!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Adventures in Tri - iTRYathlon training, week 6

Week 1 HERE
Week 2 HERE
Week 3 HERE
Week 4 HERE
Week 5 HERE

We've reached my most favorite part of training - TAPER WEEK. iTRYathlon is this weekend! There's still plenty of time to register (and you can use discount code RC2013 for 10% off!). Click HERE to register.

I'm as trained as I'm gonna get, considering I was a last-minute triathlon decider, thanks to Coach Martha and Tri La Vie. I plan to enjoy the hell out of my taper week.

Last week....

Monday: rest

Tuesday: Bike, XT
In the am, I did a 14.6 mile ride, with hill repeats. Routed from my house, to the iTRY course, two hill loops, and ride back. What's that look like, you ask?

 Looks like devil horns, if you ask me.
Yep. Anyway. I also planned to swim, but had to rescue The H after his bike mishap, so cross trained (Tank Top Arms, Core, stretching) at home instead.

Wednesday: Swim
This one was kind of fun! We were given a prescribed workout from Coach Martha at Tri La Vie - 200m warmup, 2x200 with 2 min RI, 200m cool down. It's like she's speaking my language - I understood this! The 2x200 were good, significantly faster than my previous time trial from less than 2 weeks ago, so I suppose this training is making a difference!

Thursday: Run
1.25 warm up, 5x800 with 400 RI, 1 mi cool down. Goal 4:30-4:22, Actual 4:29, 4:25, 4:25, 4:23, 4:18. 6 miles total.

Friday: Swim, XT
Cross Training in the am (Tank Top Arms, Core, Yoga). Swim workout was 45 min timed swim, and I managed 1200m in the 47 min (I couldn't very well stop at a weird number...).
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Oh, summer finally arrived!
Saturday: Group Brick
Repeat of last week, but with MORE. 3 mile run (with a shockingly-for-me-fast pace of 9:20 ON THOSE HILLS), followed by 3 loops on the bike course, and then finished with a 1 mile run. That was less than fun.

Sunday: LONG RUN!!
Maaaaan, I've missed long runs. Like, for real long runs - not that 10 mile nonsense I've been playing with the last few months. 14 miles, with some strides at *hopeful* race pace the last 3 miles. It hurts so great.
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Long live treadmill love.

Running: 24 miles
Swim: 2000m
Bike: 23 miles

8:22 training time

I had to cut one of my weekly runs this week, due to time constraints. I 100% feel like that's a complete lazy ass cop out, but it is what it is. The H's new work schedule, plus his injury, plus 2 doctor visits for Gab, plus 2 interviews made for a chaotic week, even without a pesky job interfering. Overall, I feel like I'm running much stronger than I have in a long time - faster paces are coming easier, I'm able to perform better on hills, and my endurance is coming back. I feel like 14-16 miles is my "happy long run" distance, so it's nice to see it back there.

Dare I say..... I am starting to see the appeal of this sport?? It helps that there is some progress being made, I'm sure, but I can definitely see how it can be relaxing. I am not struggling to keep a mental check-list of all the things to remember - kick, but not too much; breathe, 1, 2, 3; use this arm, now that arm. All those things were playing in my brain while I tried to swim, and it was really confusing for me. The more I practice, the easier it becomes, and the more efficiently I move. I like that. PLUS, I swear it helps with muscle recovery. I SWEAR.

Ohhhh, the bike. I have to admit, I am just not really a fan. It's all fine and dandy until there's a hill, and then it's the HARDEST. I am doing.... okay here, I'm getting better every time I train on those stupid hills, but it's so so so so so hard. And going downhill fast freaks me out. Lose, lose. I just really don't love it. Yet?

  • I have a terrible habit of backloading my week with all the hard stuff.
  • I'm so, SO happy to have long runs back in my calendar. 
  • I'm not currently registered for anything, however, so I guess they're meaningless. Except that they make me SO HAPPY.
  • I used salted caramel GU to bribe myself into finishing that long run. No regrets.
  • Consistency is so important. 
  • I must FINALLY be swimming "right", because I'm sore in all the right places (arms/chest/shoulders).

This week.... TAPER!
Monday: Easy swim (30 min)/rest
Tuesday: 45 min bike, easy; 5-6 mi easy run, XT
Wednesday: 600m swim, easy
Thursday: 4-5 mi easy run (strides), XT
Friday: REST!
Saturday: iTRY
Sunday: Long run, maybe.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. I can't believe I forgot to mention this in my training recap, BUT, I fell off my bike for the first time last week!

We were stopping at a red light, and I misjudged my distance from the curb, and.... missed. I just toppled right over. And since I was basically at a stand still, it was mostly just... I was standing, and then slowly settling in on the ground.

It was INCREDIBLY lame and dumb. And I don't even have any fun scars to show for it.

2. Related to above, here's a PSA for you: Don't text and ride at the same time. The H has been riding his bike to work, and thought he would be clever and text while riding home. And then he fell, but not nearly as lazily as I did. That is some dangerous isht, and I don't know why anyone would try it. Don't do that, you guys. (and, related to The H, today we've been married FIFTEEN YEARS. That is so long!)

3. A second interview happened yesterday at the (second) happiest place on earth.....
That mouse makes me so happy.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Adventures in Tri - iTRYathlon training, week 5

Week 1 HERE
Week 2 HERE
Week 3 HERE
Week 4 HERE

Oh, hi.

When last we wrote (read?), I was unemployed, and training for a new-to-me event, a sprint tri.

So, nothing has changed there. Exciting, am I right?

I've been enjoying my time at home with the kids, and The H, who has been super fun and joined me for a lot of my training this week.

I have some things (hopefully) playing out on the job front, but... I'm not rushing things. Where I am today, is very different than where I was when I last hunted down a job, and I don't really want to jump back in to a field that was not making me happy, or take something with a company that isn't a good fit. I mean, if it becomes critical, obviously eating food and providing shelter is a bigger priority than whatever gratuitous job-fulfillment I'm seeking, but until then, I'm biding my time, making some connections, and feeling things out.

(I do have an interview today, at the *second* happiest place on earth, which would be part time and my "this sounds REALLY fun" plan....)


It was a really great week!

Monday: Swim
600m in the pool, 40 min.

Tuesday: XT, 6 mi speed work
Tank top arms and core videos, 6 miles with 3x1600

Wednesday: Bike and swim
12.85 mi bike ride - lollipop loop from our house up to the iTRY course, one loop of the hills, and back home. Followed that by a 600m swim in 28 minutes.... vast improvement over Monday!

Thursday: Babysitting
6 month old, which reminded me that I really only like babies in the context of their parents - if mom/dad are around to hand it back to, they are SO GREAT. This was a full day event, so I made Thursday my rest day. Because it exhausted me.

Friday: XT, run
Tank top arms and core, 2.3 miles with runDisney #D23EXPO funrun + 3.7 solo lonely LAME miles.

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Saturday: BRICK - run/bike
3 miles on the iTRY course (HILLS), followed by quick transition and 3 loops on the bike course for 8.22 miles.

Sunday: Long run
12 miles, easy pace

Running - 27 miles
Swim - 1200m
Bike - 21ish miles

7:59 training time

27 miles - the 1600's were right on goal pace for me (goal was 9:28-9:13, actual was 9:27, 9:19, and 9:10). I've been kind of concerned about the iTRY course, because it's basically a loop of a ginormous hill...
Okay, so it's not as tragic as I might have said, but since I'm The Worst at hills, I've been concerned. When Coach Martha asked who could run a 30 minute 5k on that loop, I hesitated. Turns out, I didn't need to - it was TOTALLY fine, and I did it with no problem. Surprise! Overall, I'm feeling good about the running - I still don't think I'm quite as fast as I was a year ago, but it's getting there.

There is ACTUAL FOR REAL improvement being made, which is exciting. I am having a LOT of trouble kind of getting into a groove with the swim - the pool I have close by is short, so it takes a billion laps to make it a respectable distance, and it's not really.... smooth. Because it's so short, it's very choppy getting stopped by the wall all the time. I need to hunt down a longer pool this week. Swimming is still helping loosen up the muscles, which after this week, I REALLY appreciate.

2 good rides this week. The long ride was done at a moderate pace, and did one loop of the iTRY course. I wanted to DIE on that loop. The H said that biking hills is harder than running them, and I did not believe him, but he was 100% correct. So I was a little devastated when I found out our bike training with Tri la Vie this weekend was HILL REPEATS.

What that looks like:
So that was pretty awful.

The iTRY course is only two loops, with some out and back to make 9 miles. I guess I'm glad I'm practicing now so I know what to expect, because holy crap, that was HARD.


  • We practiced transition this week between run/bike. I am confident that I'm pretty efficient at this, but.... we'll see?

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  • Training is exhausting, and I have no idea how I'd be doing this level of training if I were working full time. People who do that, are incredibly dedicated.
  • It's really nice to see some measurable improvement in the swim - I'm still not good at it, but I'm getting better.
  • BIKING UP HILL IS SO HARD. I never, ever would have imagined that running uphill would be easier, but it sure is.
  • Salted caramel GU is amazing.

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  • I had a lot of FUN with training this week - I'm sure part of it was the runDisney fun, and the salted caramel GU, but in general... I kind of like the varied training that triathlon necessitates.
  • It would be CRAZY to consider a half IM now..... right?

This week:
Monday: Swim, XT
Tuesday: 5-6 miles easy, 1 hour bike on hills, easy swim
Wednesday: 800m swim, XT
Thursday: 7 miles, 5x800
Friday: easy swim/XT/rest
Saturday: Brick - run/bike
Sunday: Long (12-14)


Friday, I ran a 2.3 mile fun run with runDisney! As part of the D23 Expo this weekend, they hosted a meetup running a quick loop through California Adventure.

I love Disneyland.

I'll tell you a secret. I landed the Disneyland interview early last week, but I wasn't positive I wanted to pursue it until I saw these pictures. Anything that makes me THAT happy, may be somewhere I want to spend my time.

It was a ton of fun, as always - I just love that runDisney does these events. At the end of the run, they gave each of us this Runner Mickey Vinylmation, with a limited edition D23 medal!
Thanks, runDisney!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Adventures in Tri - iTRYathlon training, week 4

Week 1 HERE
Week 2 HERE
Week 3 HERE

Last week was a little chaotic.

Monday: Swimming, Cross Training
30 minutes of laps in the pool. Still confusing. Followed by tank top arms, core, and glute/thighs.

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Run, Bike, Run
Ran 5 miles with The H - this turned into a really great progression run (10:34, 10:18, 10:38 (red light), 10:08, 9:37). Scheduled for 60 minutes on the bike, so we took a leisurely tour of the city for an hour, and covered just over 11 fairly hilly miles. Later that afternoon, I met up with ex-neighbor Will for 3 easy miles. DOUBLE RUN DAY.

Thursday: Cross training, Swim, Run
Tank top arms, core, stretching in the morning, followed by 20 minutes easy laps at the pool. Thursday evening was the last Renegade Racing Summer Trail Run in the series (recap below)

Friday: Rest
Although, I did ride my bike to the bank and the grocery store, so... does that count? I don't know.

Saturday: Swim, Run, Swim
Saturday was Tri La Vie practice - 20 minutes spent covering transition set up...
 photo null_zpsce33be58.jpg
Followed by 30 minutes swim form drills, 6 minute run, and a 200m time trial.

Sunday: Rest
That's right. I skipped the long run. I did.... nothing. I was tired, and didn't feel well, and just sat around doing nothing.

So, the week wasn't really as productive as I would have liked. I skipped 2 bike rides, and my long run. I did say I wanted a cut-back week, and damn, did I deliver.

13 miles. I liked the double run day - I might incorporate that more in the coming weeks. I had 8 miles for the day, but it didn't feel like an 8 mile day, if that makes sense. I was THRILLED with my progression run. It was a good effort, but I was able to talk the whole time. The trail run was so fun, but SO SO SO HARD.

I feel like I'm making decent progress here. I am kind of lame about counting and figuring out the distance I've swum, because the pool I use is not a conventional length. When I did the 200m time trial on Saturday, though, I was pleasantly surprised at my time. I'm excited about this one.

1 real ride, 11.3 miles. I am not really counting my Friday jaunt to run errands. I am getting more comfortable maneuvering, and switching gears around as needed to keep a consistent effort, but I really need to just put in the time in the saddle (I hate myself for saying that).

Total: 5:54 training time.

Lessons for this week...
Consistency is key. I'm keeping the swimming and running (fairly) consistent, and seeing the most gains there. The bike is lagging a bit, because I'm lazy as hell about it.
The tips for transition that Coach Martha gave us during the TLV session were great. I plan to set up a transition area of my own and practice using it a few times before race day.
I use my legs too much in the swim - my legs are strong, but I can't depend on them for this part of the event.
Related to the last point, my arms are still SO WEAK. I don't know how that is even possible, when I've been doing the stupid tank top arms isht for a billion weeks.
I spent Wednesday and Thursday doing ALL THE THINGS after my lay off, waking up super early every day, and paid for it by being pretty exhausted come Sunday. I would have liked to fit in the long run, but I'm pretty okay having skipped it.
It still surprises me how much of an effort it is to be active. I would have thought that after almost 3 years of running, I still will default to lazing around doing nothing.

Plan for this week:

Monday: Swim 45 min, Cross train
Tuesday: Run 5-7
Wednesday: Bike, 1 hour hilly; swim 30 min
Thursday: Run 6-8, Cross train
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Bike 6-9 miles, Run 2-3
Sunday: Long - 12-14


 photo null_zpse7e061f6.jpg
We ran the clockwise loop this time, and it was HARD. I went in swearing to Julie and Sheila that this would be easier than the last one, but... I am a giant liar. HARDER.
 photo null_zpsdcf496a5.jpg
Somehow, Julie and I finished 3 minutes faster than the last time. We're magicians.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. Back in July, I interviewed for a new job that I thought was PERFECT. It was in the endurance sports industry, it seemed to fit my skills perfectly, it sounded great, and I swear I NAILED the interview.

So I was extra sad when I found out last week (on my birthday, so rude) that I was not selected for the position. WOMP.

To continue making July The Best Month Ever (BUT NOT AT ALL), I was laid off earlier this week.

I knew the position was ending eventually - the company I was working for was undergoing some restructuring, and my position no longer made sense there. I was unhappy there, anyway, so I'm sure it is for the best, but being unemployed when you have three kids to supply things for is pretty annoying.

I am lucky that I have a great husband that can go back to work at his great job full time (he left and then went part time when Gab was diagnosed with leukemia), so I can't complain too much. But still... I was hoping to find something new before I became a non-employed person. Oh wells.

When HR told me I was being let go, I was... relieved. It was not a company I loved, not the position I was well-suited for, and my manager and I did not really work well together. I guess when you're relieved at being let go, it means it was really time to go.

2. I swear I'm not copying SarahOUaL, but I celebrated Tuesday evening with my favorite beer, and took an unplanned rest day. Wheee.

I spent my first day of not working doing a 5 mile progression run in the beautiful SoCal summer weather...
Followed by my scheduled hour bike ride. And THEN went out for another short run with my ex-neighbor Will.

I went grocery shopping with Gabby. I watched tv with #1. I gave #2 all my cash so she could go out. All these things I don't normally get to do. I'm sure the novelty will eventually wear off, I really don't do great with down time, but... I guess it means I'll just have to find something to keep busy during the job hunt. Volunteering probably?

3. Tonight is the last race in the Renegade Summer Trail Run series! I'll be there tonight with Striding Mom and Angry Julie, in sparkles this time. I'm excited to try the reverse loop - maybe it's easier????

Will I see any of you there??


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