Tag Archive | Triathlon

Believe the Unbelievable

It’s been a LONG Day, but it’s been a good day.   I’m guessing any day that starts with a 4:00 AM alarm will be long.    Those are the breaks though on race day.

Today was my what appears to be annual trip to Sandy Hood Gateway National Park for the Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon.   The race that started it all.   The race that is always full of surprises and always worth doing although I question why on the drive down.

The morning had to start at such an unsightly hour because I needed to allow extra time to pick up my bib.   I will say that I normally like to pick up my bib, rack my bike, and get my bearings the day before.   This is not always possible when you are attending your son’s soccer tournament in the blazing heat.   That being said, it was all good.   Really only made for a slightly earlier morning.

Arrive with time to pick up packet, rack my bike, and set up transition.   I’m good to go.    Have swim cap and goggles and ready to make my way to swim start.   Hold the phones…. Swim is cancelled.    Apparently the current is making it unsafe.   I will say that I was disappointed, but I would much rather they side with caution than someone get hurt (myself included).   My very first Iron Girl Tri the swim was way wicked.   Everyone complained that they didn’t cancel it.   Then today many complained that they did.   Can’t win.

So today I did my first Duathlon.

Run, Bike, Run

It took a bit for them to reconfigure, but once they did it went without a hitch.   The beauty of being in the older groups is that I didn’t have to wait so long to start my run.   I think I was off by 7:45.     We started off with an out and back of 3 miles.   Why they didn’t do the full 5K, I have no clue.

So off I went watchless.   It was strange not starting my Garmin, but this was supposed to be just do what the body says you can do day.   It was supposed to be an easy recovery day especially after yesterdays 11 miles in the disgustingly hot weather.

First run feels good.  Get back to transition and really nothing to do except put on a bike helmet and suck down a Honey Stinger.  Bike sucks and only because I literally did not train or ride my bike ALL summer long.  Also might have been helpful to bring another gel with me.   Oops.   Get back to transition and I feel like I’ve been sitting on a horse all day not a bike for a little more than an hour.

I will interject to add that on the bike portion I knew they made the right decision about the swim as the wind was wicked and the white caps were plenty.   I will also like to add that I was starting to think that my name had changed to “on your left” which is what people say when flying by you (or me).   I admit, that I should have ridden my bike more or at least a little bit.

Go out for the second run.   This one being the full 5K.   I feel like my bottom is still in the saddle and I REALLY want to walk.   At this point, I decide though that I am going to run the whole thing.   I am just going to keep moving.   I dig deep as the saying goes and remind myself that this is nothing compared to a 50K (Ok it is, but you say what you say to keep yourself moving).   I also remind myself that this is how I’m going to feel come mile 22 of NYCM, so I just need to keep moving.   I know that I’m running brisk because not only can I feel a little stitch in my side but I’m breathing pretty heavy.   I’ve got no watch.   I’ve got no clue and I know if I slow down that I might just stop.  I also don’t feel like I’m dying, just like I’m at the end of a race

Just keep moving.    Going to make it to the end without walking.   This is it.

Cross the finish line.

Yeah!!!

Get my time.

Holy Crap.   This can’t be right????

iron-girl2016

Now my question is why would I question it?    I know the course.   I know that my bike time is right about where it was last year.    If my times were in slower, I would never question.   Why is it so hard to believe the good stuff?

One of my friends suggested that I never run with a watch again::)   Ha!

I will say that I am in shock.   Last year my run was 31:53.    My fastest 5K was over the summer at a local 5K where I ran 26:26.   This is unbelievable and I keep expecting them to tell me that they made a mistake.    The won’t because official times were released and apparently I do run much faster without a watch to tell me to slow down.

Now all I need to do is see what m coach says about m easy recovery run that I was supposed to do.  So much for easy recovery run:)   Really shocked

It was a great day and even though I went into it by myself you can never feel alone when your surrounded by a group of Tri Women!

Now it is time to put this to bed and myself included.

Iron Girl

Today’s training called for swimming.    As with a lot of my training recently, I’ve finally been getting back on track with what I should be doing.    With my Sprint Triathlon coming, I really want to make sure to be getting my swimming in just for peace of mind.

Today my goal when I went to the pool was to just swim.   I wanted to just remind myself that I can do this.   So I swam and I swam and I swam some more.   Not stopping.   No putting my feet down.   I wanted to do 20 lengths of the pool which is 1/4 mile as with my Tri it was not all smooth or pretty.   What it ended up being was 24 lengths.   I was feeling good so I thought more is better.

The thing about swimming in the pool is there is no panic.   There are no waves crashing in my face and there is no mental game.   One day I hope to swim this event feeling confident in my swim and not that I am going to drown.    I’m not sure that will ever happen, but that’s ok.   If one thing the swim does,  it teaches me not to give up.

In my coach’s last email to me she told me to “keep it easy.”   It’s funny this seems to be the motto for this event.    In looking at my results this last few years is that I keep it easier and easier….

Case in Point

                              Total              Swim       T1        Bike          T2     Run            Standings

Sept 8, 2013       01:34:10          23:13     3:43     34:22        3:34   29:18      582/1142

Sept 7, 2014       01:53:13          20:03     3:27   1:01:34       1:15  27.54      356/833

**2014 Iron Girl bike miles were 15 compared to Iron Girl 2013 at 10

Sept 13, 201515    2:12:42         20:53      6:21   11:11:07      2:30  31.53    522/729

 

It seems like every year I am keeping it easier and easier.  I don’t think this year will be any exception especially since I am running 14 miles the day before, not wearing my Garmin, and haven’t been on my bike all summer.   In looking at these results I realize that I’ve been pretty consistent with my swim probably since I do it as a cross training exercise.  My bike, on the other hand hasn’t really left my shed a lot this summer.   My Bad.

So I’m throwing the gauntlet down.    This year, I expect nothing.    I, as always, expect it to be hard.    I expect to finish, but I do not expect to break any records.

Some might ask why I continue to do this race if I am not actually planning to race it hard.   I do it because as my friend who knows me so well so correctly put it.   It reminds me of where I started.    It holds a special place in my heart.

No this race has never been good as the first year when both the training and actual race was done with friends.    Yes, it is a little sad going to a big event by yourself and not sharing the day with anyone.    But that also doesn’t take away from how much I enjoy it.   So I will suit up, make the lonely drive at 4:30 in the morning, and run this event in a week and not regret a single minute of it.  This is the one event that I can honestly say that I would miss if I didn’t do it.

I am an Iron Girl at heart:)

 

 

You Mean I was Supposed to Train for This?

So I know that I’ve been talking A LOT about my Marine Corps Marathon training since that is my goal race this year.   I also have been focusing solely on my running.   Dabbling in some swimming here and there, but not really training.   Probably should have done a little more swimming and biking when running a Sprint Triathlon.

I’ll be honest, I was very excited about this race when I signed up.   Part of the reason was because I thought some of my girlfriends would do it again.   I’ll be honest the thought of going to the Tri alone, was sad.   I haven’t done any races on my own since the Runner’s World Hat Trick.   I’ve been very spoiled going with not just one, but usually a group of friends.   It just makes it more fun.  Going alone made me really ambivalent about the whole event because it really is a little sad going by yourself.

All By Myself.

I don’t want to be All By Myself.

But I was going with or without anyone.

Wake up at 4:00 AM to leave by 4:30.

I get in the car and the turn on the radio to Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear The Reaper

When I literally pass the gates at Sandy Hook State Park to go into the Tri, I am belting out We are the Champions.   It was almost like the local radio station knew that I needed to be charged up a little today.

At this point, I remembered why I do these things…..

I do them for me!

The rest of it is all just icing on the cake:)

Then a funny thing happened, I connected with some other friends that were doing it!

12009834_10206242003903903_2740270047709017603_n Iron Girl 2 Iron Girl Iron Girl3Even though I had “made peace” with being there alone, it was nice to have some friends there!

Now as far as the actual race went, I surprised myself.   I knew going in that I was only there to finish.   I was actually using this as my long training run.   I just wanted to be steady which I think I was.    My time was a little slower than last year, but actually not as bad as I thought.   Overall, I still rate the day as a success!

Swim 20:53

Bike 1:11:07

Run 31.53

Total Time 2:12:42

And I’ve got another medal to add to the collection!

Iron Girl 4

Anyone Can Run…..

athlete

Anyone can run.   Really.   Unless there is a medical reason, anyone can run.   Not everyone likes to run.  I know that too being someone who used to say she hated running.   Although in retrospect it isn’t that I hated running.   It was more that I had never given running a chance.   So I unequivocally state again that anyone can run.   That being said, there is a difference between just running and running well.   This is the crossroads that I am at now.  I’ve been running for a while now and I’ve gotten to the point that I might just want to run well.

Now I am not saying that I want to move to the top of the Pack or become a leading Master runner.   I am saying that I think it might be time to take my running up a notch.   Take it the the next level.   Right now, I’ve been following generic training plans for specific events.   I will say these have been amazingly helpful and I’ve learned from them.   I know that without my Runner’s World Hat Trick Specific Training Plan that I would not have been able to run those events as well as I did.    Online training plans are wonderful and will get you where you need to go.   My problem that I am encountering and is starting to freak me out a bit is that I need to form my plan to start training for the Marine Corps Marathon while being prepared for other events.   I seem to be going a few different directions at once.

Case in Point….

  1. Running many events of different distances for the 9 plus 1 plan
  2. Training for the Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon
  3. Training for the Marine Corps Marathon and the final hill at the end of it.

Now I would have no problem following a plan on my own to train for one of these events, but I’m really having a problem wrapping my head around training for all of them at once.   Probably because I don’t know what I’m doing and have no background in this field.   Yes, I read my Runner’s World, Running Times and such but I’ve really been only running since I finished my first Tri in September of 2013.    I’m in a bit of a quandary.   I know I need to train.   I know that both the Tri and the marathon will require serious training with the marathon only being a month after the Tri, I will need to train for them at the same time.    That being said, I need to figure out how to train without over training, without causing injury, and without causing burnout.   That is where a running coach might just be what I need.

I used to think that a Running Coach would be reserved for the “serious athlete.”   The top of the Pack athlete.    The career athlete.   I used to think that a Stay-at-Home Mom wouldn’t need a Running Coach.   What would the point be?   Then I realized what the point would be?    The point would be that they know what they are doing.    The point would be that they can help me reach my goals.   The point would be that they can help  generate a plan just for me.   Just like I’ve hired a Personal Trainer at the gym in the past, a Running Coach can help put me on the right path for running smartly.   To help me run well.   A  Running Coach can help me reach my potential while at the same time giving me the skills that I will need to get to the end of the road all in one piece.

This is where I am now.   I’ve started process.    I have not hired a coach yet, but have contacted one to see her thoughts.    Surprisingly, the cost is not as high as I thought it would be.   To be honest, the monthly cost is cheaper than hiring a Personal Trainer for two sessions.  Plus the coach that I am looking at has different packages depending upon my need.   I don’t pay a gym membership right now and can justify the cost too.   Although the biggest justification of the cost will be the peace of mind it will bring me.

Even though I have not hired a coach yet and am still investigating, just the thought of it is easing the stress.    I am days away from turning 46.   I am a Stay-at-Home Mom.    I am a middle of the Pack runner.    I have much to learn about the art of running and training.   Bottom line is that I was wrong.   A Running Coach is for an athlete at any level and I am worth it.

worth it

Do you have a Running Coach??

Have you ever had one?