Posts Tagged ‘triathlon’

Race Report: Mini Oly in Caesar’s Creek, OH

The Zoom Multisport Race was my last practice before Muncie’s Half Ironman race (70.3) in July.  I had originally signed up to do a small Olympic but really wanted to do the 1/3 Iron Race.

My coach didn’t want me to do the Iron because I have a nagging glute injury that has plagued me for the past 3 weeks.  Since I had done a Open Water Swim the previous Wednesday and felt great, I was wrestling with the decision of doing the smaller event.

Finally, I decided to heed the advice of my coach and some friends who advised me against pushing it – and thank God I did.  The bike was so bad on my injury that I contemplated a DNF.  That bad.

But let’s start from the beginning.  That morning I woke up 3 hrs before my race to eat breakfast (Oatmeal, fruit, nuts, soy latte) and stretch.  I had already finished my race plan the night before so I was set on what I wanted to accomplish.  Per the usual, I had really bad sleep the night before (anticipation) but I didn’t feel tired or sluggish.

We got to the race and I made it early enough to rack my bike in the 2nd slot of the first rack!!!! A first for me!  It made it SOOO much easier to spot after the swim!  I found another Cincinnati Tri Club member and we chatted until the start of the swim.

The Swim – “Watch out! here I come” – 1:59/100 yd (rank: 12 out of 50)

The Swim went really well.  Some minor leakage in my goggles (my eternal search for the best goggles that don’t hit my eyelashes continues) but I didn’t get kicked or poked this time.  I am getting a lot better (through practice) at keeping my cool in the “washing machine” and sighting.  Whenever I would sense a “freak out” approaching in my mind, I would just sing “Oceans” in my head (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz3_6QPl6VM).

The Bike – “Ouch, it hurts!” (15.5 mph avg, bottom third)

The transition from swim to bike was great.  Had my HUMA gel, put on my tri biking shoes (no socks), grabbed my helmet and glasses and I was off!  Or so I thought.  The first 10 miles were excruciating.  My glute injury was hurting big time.  I couldn’t reach a cadence higher than 85 without it screaming so I had to mash it out in the lower 80s.  So many things went through my head:  ” I won’t be ready for Muncie, it’s in 2 weeks!!”  “maybe I should quit this bike right now!”  “this is so disappointing”  “why did I have to get hurt right at the end?!”.  I was a mess of negativity and anger.  Then I remembered that part of my race plan was to “be grateful”.  I forcibly smiled at the beautiful scenery, I started appreciating the sunny but cool day.  I thanked God for the strong body he has given me.  I thanked him for creation and for my health.  Then, slowly, my glute stopped throbbing.  A tall guy with black compression socks passed me and he became my focus.  I chased him the rest of the way and I was able to salvage the bike.  Or rather, God salvaged the ride.  This glute injury knocked off a full mph from my race bike pace (16.5) but if I can complete Muncie at the lower pace, I will still be grateful.  I had a HUMA gel every 30 minutes and two bottles of water with Nuun.

The Run – “I freakin’ hate running”  (11:12 pace, bottom third).

I had a quick transition- put on socks and shoes (took off my biking shoes & helmet) and grabbed my hat with my hand-bottle (pre-prepped with Nuun).    I find that I have to take small sips and not gulp water at the aid stations to keep hydrated, so I plan on running with my hand-water bottle in Muncie.

Thank God the glute wasn’t an issue while I was running.  But, let’s be honest, I hate running and running hates me.  I’ve been diligently working on my running since January and have gotten better but my running heart rate is hideous –I averaged 170 during the race – and I was concerned my heart was going to explode.  For Muncie, if I can complete the 13 miles without walking, I am ok with that.

All in all – the race was good, I faced some physical and mental challenges and was reminded of both my weaknesses and strengths.  But all in all, I was reminded to be grateful that, with the grace of God, I am able to complete races and improve my health and wellbeing while setting a good example for my boys that taking time to be healthy is always important.

“Don’t worry, I already have everything I need for a triathlon” and other lies I told myself

When I decided to take the plunge and sign up for the Indiana Muncie 70.3 (Half Ironman race) this July 15, I told myself (and my husband) that it wouldn’t cost that much because I “already had everything I needed”.  Ha!  I seem to have forgotten that doing triathlons, like owning a boat, is something that always requires new investments.  First off, a coach.  I debated endlessly on getting one or not, but finally succumbed to it after reading 3-4 books on training and having no idea what workouts to do.  Coaches are expensive and will be paying >$150/mo to get coached.  This better be worth it (or I will have to get a second job at Starbucks).   Secondly, a GPS watch.  I had been operating with my cell phone to track my time, pace and other running related things for my Flying Pig Half Marathon training.  The problem is that it is incredibly inconvenient.  Since I’m running in cold weather, I would have to peel off my glove, open the back zipper of my running tights, wedge my phone out of there, enter the code, find the app- all of this without falling on my face or getting run over by a car.  After my sweet husband got me a heart rate monitor for my birthday, I decided to take the plunge and get a fully-triathlon ready watch that can handle running, swimming and biking.  I got the Garmin Forerunning 920x, which I really like, with the only exception that it’s HUGE! It constantly smacks into my wrist or gets caught in my clothes.  Thirdly: I need a new wetsuit.  This I knew when I signed up, but wetsuits are expensive (>$200 for a good one).    Fourth: after my first re-acquaintance with my bike & the bike trainer left me with numb hands and feet (and an achy bottom), I decided to get my bike fit.  I can’t train for 5 months on a bike that makes me miserable, but that was $200.

It’s only the first month and this sport has already wrangled me out of $600!  So much for “I already have everything I need”.  Sheesh.  (Sorry, hubby).

I’m signed up to complete a Half Ironman in July 2015

I can’t believe.  I finally did it.  I signed up to do a Half Ironman.

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A Half Ironman, like other triathlons, starts off with a swim (1.2 miles, 2112 yard or 84 loops around your 25 yd pool).  After the swim, you hop on your bike for 56 miles and then you finish it off with a half marathon (13.1 miles) – for a total 70.3 whopping miles.

Now, let’s start with the facts: I am out of shape.  While I have consistently exercised ~3x a week for a long time, 2 of those are in Zumba (completely unrelated) and the other was a walk/run around my 2 mile neighborhood.  My bike, when my husband dug it out yesterday from the basement, was full of spider webs and covered in dirt.  My bike shorts hang on my legs because the elastic has decomposed in the long time since they’ve been used.  I looked down at them and a giggle escaped my lips.  I can’t help but be equally amused and horrified at what I got myself into.

It wasn’t always like this, I used to be a triathlete.  I completed 10 triathlons ranging from sprints to olympic distances. I trained with the Cincinnati Triathlon Club (and then on my own).  While I was never the fastest, I held my own and was extremely proud to gain, inch by inch, determination and resilience.

Then the boys were born and while I completed a triathlon in 2013, I have to admit to myself that it was half-hearted attempt and I finished it only because I am vegan.  My body was able to respond better and hold up longer than previous events I was under trained for.  I under trained and the finish felt bittersweet, I knew I could do more, but hadn’t.

Then 2015 arrived.  2015, the year after my sabbatical, where I realized a LOT about what I want in life.  The year where opportunity knocks, changes are afoot and I have a chance to really push myself again.

I want to go big, because completing a Half Ironman and eventually a full Ironman is in my bucket list.  Because God gave me a healthy body and I want to care for it and to never underestimate what it can do.

I want to complete a Half Ironman because it sounds impossible.  Because it sounds really difficult.  Because the training sounds like it will be hard to keep up with.

I want to reconnect with my body, with my capabilities, strengths and weaknesses.  With my muscles as they strain to deliver what I’m asking.

I want to complete a Half Ironman because, even though right now I’m the slowpoke, I know I can do it.

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