Friday, June 21, 2013

Lucky 13 workout

Today when I woke up I was sore all over. I don't know if it's because I'm 40, or the arthritis in my knees, ankles and hip?  Whatever makes me hurt in the morning is beyond me, however I'm determined every day to just get up anyway and work out, except on my rest days of course.

I thought I'd start with biking since I didn't feel like running at all.  I needed to run, but didn't want to.  So I put on the bike shorts and set out.  I biked Rohret Road WAY out in the country.  It hurt.  If you know Rohret Road at all in Iowa City, you know it has two GIANT hills that are mean, just plain mean.  I needed hill work so I rode them anyway.  Wasn't happy.  Then came home.  When I looked at my trip odometer I was surprised to see my favorite number twice:  13.13   Now I couldn't have planned that any better.

When I arrived home I felt good enough to run and knew I needed to practice running on tired legs since I have a duathlon coming up on July 13th (Ha 13 again).  Anyway.  So I ran.  I felt like only doing a couple miles, but then while I was out I thought I'd try and get close to 2.5 or 3 since I was feeling quite good.

I took a new route and there were some hills and a couple busy roads to cross, but I did it anyway.  Turns out I came up my driveway and my Garmin (GPS watch) said I had ran 3.13

SWEET! and I have pictures to prove it.  See below:

My bikes' odometer 13.13     Max speed was 36.2 and average speed
was no other than 13.3 miles per hour!

The Garmin.  The top number is the distance 3.13 miles.  The next
number is the time it took, however remember this:
1.   It was just a practice run.
2.  I had just biked 13 very hilly miles
3.  I had to stop at 2 VERY busy roads to cross them.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Same race, different story

I'm not sure I like waking up at 3:35 am.  However, there are worse reasons to wake up that early than getting to a race.  This was my 8th triathlon but first Quad Cities Triathlon.  We got there at 4:50 and were in a line of cars waiting to get into West Lake Park for the race.  I am glad we got there as early as we did.  Any later and we would have had to park nearly a mile away.
Setting up in transition is always a mixture of nervous energy and excitement.  Once I got everything set up, I ran over the race in my head to make sure I had everything and that it was set out how I wanted it for easy transitions.  After getting my timing chip strapped to my ankle, I got my wetsuit on and headed down to the beach.  Once the lifeguard got there (10 minutes late), I got in the water, said hi to a few friends and warmed up for about 10 minutes until the pre-race meeting.
Normally swim starts are a mass start but this one was a time trial start.  Everyone had to choose their approximate swim time and line up accordingly.  I was conservative and lined up with the 11-12 minute finishers (it was a 600 yard swim).  The gun went off at 7:00 am and the Elites (all two of them) took off.  Two minutes later, they started releasing everyone else at three second intervals.  As I was nearing the start, the first of the Elites came in (his time was just under 7 min.).  Finally, my turn came.  The starter said go and me and my partner (we were released in pairs) took off.  I felt amazingly good.  My stroke was strong and I found myself over taking a couple of the swimmers in front of me.  I am usually an okay swimmer but I have difficulties sighting sometimes.  I didn't have a problem sighting at all.  Practice really pays off.  I was completely oblivious as to how long it was taking me but again, I felt strong. As I got near the end, I continued swimming until the water was about knee deep.  At that point, I popped up and began running in as I took off my swim cap and goggles.  I unzipped my wet suit and stripped it down to my waist as I continued running into transition.  Transition seemed to go well but I was actually slower than normal (and slower than Michelle).  The bike exit was at the bottom of a short hill so I ran my bike to the top of the hill.  The bike portion is usually my best so I was excited to get going.  It had rained before the race so the roads were wet.  Having been in a rather painful bike wreck during the Lake Geode Challenge last year, I was feeling a little hesitant about the conditions but decided to just go for it.  Once we got out of the park, I could pour the speed on.  On the way out, I was again feeling pretty good.  I glanced down at my bike computer and was maintaining my speed between 21-23 mph.  My goal was to average 21.5 mph.  About 10 minutes into the ride, it started raining.  I was soaked very quickly.  I hate having wet feet but my quads were burning  enough to take my mind off my wet feet.  There were a couple of hills on the way out that I was able to cruise down at 35 mph.  Once we hit the turn around, I realized that I had had a bit of a tailwind.  My speed dropped to 19 mph and it was a struggle to get it up to 21 mph.  At about mile 8, I began playing tag with another racer.  He would pass me on the flats but I would catch him on the hills.  By mile 12, I was really hurting and getting muddier with every bike I came up behind (or that passed me).  Once I re-entered the park, I had lost touch with the guy I was playing tag with.  About a 1/4 of a mile before the bike finish, I passed the first three athletes running into the finish. Jerks.  How is it humanly possible to be that fast?
Two events down, one to go.  Running is my enemy - especially after biking.  I spent 1 minute 23 seconds in transition (which is a PR in T2 for me) and then stumbled out to the run.  The first part of the run was a trail run with a few hills that my legs did not like.  I couldn't get myself going and kept getting passed.  A mile into the run, I got passed by a woman that I thought there was no way should have passed me. I managed to keep her in view and then by the time I hit mile 2, I started feeling better.  I could feel my pace increase and within another 1/2 mile I passed the woman who had passed me.  Although I didn't have my Garmin on, I have run enough to know that I was running about an 8 minute mile at this point.  At this point in the race, there began to be a lot of spectators.  Cheering crowds make you run faster.  And I picked up my pace even more.  The finish was on a bit of an incline but I didn't even notice it.  I always love crossing the finish line.  It is the reason I race.  By the way, the woman I passed?  She sprinted past me at the end.
I was pleased with my swim time (10:29) but both my bike time (44 minutes, 20.5 mph average) and my run time (28 minutes) were slower than I wanted.  Oh well.  I have something to shoot for.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Quad Cities Triathlon 2013--Davenport, Iowa

This story is about my personal experience at the Quad Cities Sprint Triathlon in 2013.  This was my 2nd Sprint triathlon total for my life.

Jason and I woke at 3:35 a.m. to get ready to leave for Davenport. Yes that is early. Yes we are crazy. Yes next year we will consider a hotel closer to the event so we can get maybe another hour of sleep.

 The triathlon had 700 plus teams registered, however only 577 finished. I heard that many didn't show up due to the heavy rain and winds in the middle of the night.

 Jason put our bikes on the van the night before and we packed everything the night before so all we had to do when we woke up was dress, pee and leave for the race. My friend Deb showed up at around 3:50 in our driveway with her daughter and they were going to drive behind us.

We arrived in Davenport just outside the park gates at 4:50 a.m. Perfect since there was already a line that had started. I had heard a couple days prior that there are about 100 cars waiting to get in at 5 a.m. so I was super thankful for hearing that and knowing we should get there even earlier than originally planned. We had an amazing parking spot. Right next to the transition area. Couldn't have been more perfect. We got all our stuff out of the van and proceeded to set up our personal transition spots that were all ready pre-numbered.

It had started to rain again, not hard, but enough to make you not like it so we put our shoes and socks in plastic bags so nothing would be wet for later. That ended up being a great idea since later on it was dry and we had dry stuff to put on after the swim!

The weather was super bad when we drove there at 4 a.m., then by the time we arrived at 10 till 5 a.m. it was just windy and cold. By the time we got in the park, parked and the bikes in the transition area a light sprinkle on an off was happening. The skies looked real bad. During Jason's swim he didn't have rain, but had wind. By the time I swam which was a good 20 minutes later after him since I was at the back lined up, I had wind and rain during my swim. However Jason had rain while biking, I didn't have any. We did have lots of wind and that made it hard. I think had the wind not been such a huge factor then I would have flown on this course, but who knows. Either way by the end of the bike course, last 3 miles, the wind seemed to die down, or maybe I was used to it. By the run, the sun was coming out, the clouds were parting and the weather was really pretty out. During the awards it started to get real hot and muggy, so I was glad we were all done racing by 9:30 a.m.

 At 6:45 a.m. there was a pre-race meeting. This is where the race director goes over all last minute stuff to remember. Then the National Anthem was sung. I just love that and really appreciate races that still do that. I lined up in the back behind the sign that said 12 minutes and over swim time. I knew I was slow and at my last triathlon I panicked in the water, so no need for me to go out fast.

 You are started on the swim every 3 seconds. They will send 2 people at a time every 3 seconds and you swim out and back. It's a 600 yard swim, which is about 50-100 yards further than most sprint tris. Your time doesn't start until you go over the mats to the beach. I liked only have 1 person next to me swimming for about 100 yards. I felt like there was for the most part lots of spaces without people, so if only the waves weren't so bad then I'm sure my swim would have gone better, but either way, it was slightly better than last year as far as how I felt. The time is slower, but it was 100 yards further than holiday lake was.

 Last year my time was 2:51 per 100 yards and this year it was 2:42 per 100 yards, so for that little improvement, that is good for me. My swim was going strong for about 100 yards until I was kicked, then water went up my nose and in my throat and from then on I wasn't able to put my face in the water. I didn't have a full on panic attack, but I did have the issue of not wanting my face in there, weird. Either way I finished the water and felt good that it was over. 

During the swim it was raining  and was very windy. There were waves out on the lake.

 The T1 transition last year took me 3:46 and this year it was 3:23 and we had a little further to run up the beach (in my opinion) and I had a wet suit this year, so I felt great about that as well.

 For the bike this year I did 57:11 or 15.7 mph average. Last year at holiday lake they said my mph was 14.3, and even last week for just the bike part of the team triathlon at Holiday lake it was 14.9 mph, so I felt good about the bike course for this tri.

Last year my T2 transition was 1:16 and this tri it was 51 seconds.

 Last year my 5K run was 38:02 and this tri was 32:42 So overall an improvement on all areas.

As far as course compare from Quad Cities to Holiday lake: The bike course is similar. Jason felt that the bike was slightly less hilly, but having done the bike just last week at Holiday and then Quad Cities this week, I felt they were the same. I'll have to check my Garmin to see the elevation changes, but there was a significant hill At Quad cities that was hard. The run course at Quad Cities is mostly flat, really liked it a lot. You start out (out of the transition area) on grass and trail, but within 1/4 of a mile you are on a paved path, then a paved road, very nice run course.

 Overall improved by 13:17 over my last sprint tri and felt better and fitter than last year. I am planning on doing this one again, it was so organized. You got race tattoos that you put on the night before that are really neat looking and don't rub off with anything except baby oil. So even sun lotion won't rub them off. They were easy to put on. I had a dream that my tattoos had come off on the sheets while I was sleeping, however they didn't.  Everything was just fine!

Jason won the wet suit drawing. He was surprised and in total shock, that was funny and really cool. Not sure what type he will get, they are e-mailing him the types and sizes and he gets to pick it out for him.

If you want to see full results then click on this link:

 Here are some pictures that remember the day!

Jason and I taking a picture of ourselves in the car
waiting for the park gates to open.  This picture
was after we were up for 1.5 hours.  We were soooooo
tired and really wanted to start the race soon.

This is one of my favorite pictures.  Deb is my friend on the left and Ashley
is my friend on the Right.  Both are girls that I met in my Body Sculpt class.
I am so proud of them for doing their first triathlon.

Jason before the race with his bike.
Me with my bike.
A picture on the beach.
Me running up the beach to get to transition 1 area.  My
wet suit was already half way off, cap and goggles off and I
was super happy I didn't die during the swim portion.

Me on my bike coming in to start running.

Running in for the finish.

Jason and I after the race.  We felt awesome.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Great workout

Today I actually felt great when I woke up at 4:45 a.m.  I drank half of my protein drink and set off for my bike ride to the North Liberty Recreation Center.  I biked a little extra this morning to get an extra mile in.  Arrived at the Rec center 3 minutes earlier than I have before, so I'm getting a tiny bit faster.

Met my friend Deb and we swam 20 laps that are 50 meters long each.  So our total meters were 1000 meters, or about 1100 yards.  I felt amazing today and the swim actually went fast for me.  I decided to do 12 laps without stopping and time myself since this would be approximately the yardage for the triathlon this Saturday.   I was able to do this in just under 18 minutes, so I'm not fast at 600 yards, but hey I completed them without stopping and still felt good enough to do 500 more yards.

After swimming we biked into Iowa City to where Deb works, then I biked home.  I had to bike up Benton hill and I was not happy about that steep stupid hill, but I guess it's making me stronger.

I hope I feel this amazing all week and rock the triathlon this Saturday!  Excited and scared at the same time.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Holiday Lake Triathlon 2013--Brooklyn, Iowa

The morning started really early. Around 5:20 a.m. I woke up and started preparing for the day with a protein drink. At about 5 till 6 a.m. Ruth and Susan arrived. We headed for Holiday Lake. We arrived right around 7a.m. Last year I did this triathlon by myself, it was my first Sprint Triathlon, however this year I decided to do this with a team. Susan was the swimmer. I was the biker and Ruth was the runner.

Last year I did the bike portion of the race in 1:05:00. I was happy with that since it was my first sprint distance triathlon, however this year I wanted to have a bike time under an hour. This year I had biked a bunch as you will see in previous posts. I have biked at least 3 days a week for about 20 miles or more. I felt like I was ready. By mile 12 I had a time of 37 minutes. I was set up for a 50 minutes or under bike time.

However at the last turn around in the bike portion when we turned South, there was a headwind that was BAD. Then there was the LONG steep hill. Between the wind and the long, mile long hill, it just did me in. It took me 20 minutes to do the last 3.5 miles for a final bike time of 59:11. So the good news is that I beat last year's bike time, but the bad news is, not by much. Anyway. Besides all that, it was a great morning. Here are pictures:
Our race number.
The race shirt.
Fun stuff in our packet!
Ruth, Me and Susan
more volunteers
even more volunteers
another great volunteer.
Racing feet!
My favorite sign of the day!
Right as the gun went off for the women to get in the water.
Susan in her suit running out to swim.
Everyone swimming.
Here I am coming in from the bike ride.  I was exhausted.  I had given it my all.  There
was not one ounce of energy left in me.
Ruth finishing her 5K.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Items you should take to your Triathlon

Here is a list of stuff I feel you have to have for your Triathlon:

Bathing Suit or Tri Suit
Wet Suit
Swim Cap--Some triathlons give you one.
Hair ties if your hair is long to tie back.
3 Towels--  One for the ground, one for your feet and one for your body.

Transition 1
3water bottles, or 2 water bottles and a squirt bottle with water.  One is for washing the sand off your feet.
Gatorade, or Water in your water bottle on your bike.

Dry Socks

Bike Shoes if you have them--I don't so my bike shoes are my running shoes, but something I have learned is to double knot my laces so they won't get caught in the chain.
so DON'T forget the running shoes.
Bike Shorts
Fuel--Like Gu's or Gel blocks, or Clif bars.   You can have this already attached to your bike to eat while riding.

Running belt.  This can have fuel in it, or a water attached.
Running Hat
GPS watch for your run if you like that sort of thing.
Running Shoes if you already don't have them on.

Body Glide--so you don't chafe or blister
ID to pick up packet.
Camera to take a picture of your friends and to give to your family or supporters you brought along so they can get pictures of your awesome finish!!!!
Dry clothes with underwear to change into AFTER the triathlon is done.
Money--probably won't need this, but there might be something fun to buy.

Here is a blog post I made about my very first Sprint Distance Triathlon:

This next post was one I made about my very first Super Sprint Triathlon (that is smaller than a sprint by the way).

Here are some great articles I found on Triathlons:

Monday, June 3, 2013

Training and my progress

I've been training a lot for the Triathlon and Duathlon I'm going to be in soon.  Below is what I have been doing in the last couple weeks, this is just an example.  I really have come a long way since 9 years ago I didn't work out at all, 5 years ago I was against the idea of running.  3 years ago I didn't even know what a triathlon was.  This year I will be doing a couple Sprint distance triathlons and my first duathlon.  Plus have goals for bigger races like an Olympic distance Triathlon AND a half Ironman!  So far I'm on track with training and feeling great.  I'm sure the cross training helps so much in overall fitness.

Here is an example of my training progress:

Monday the 27th:  1700 Yards swimming and 4 miles walk/running

Tuesday the 28th:  biked 13 hilly miles in the wind and rain. Then taught Body Sculpt and Zumba 

Wednesday the 29th:  Taught Body Sculpt, swam a mile and then ran 5.25 miles!  Later in the day went to Kent Park swimming area to try out my wet suit.  Swam for a while.  Freaked out in water, will have to try this again.

Thursday the 30th:  22 mile bike ride early this morning. Little windy, but gorgeous out!

Friday the 31st:  Swam 24 laps at the North Liberty Rec Center pool.  Later on in the day went to Kent park swimming area to try out the wet suit and more swimming in the lake.  Spent a good hour there with Jason.  He watched me swim to see if he could figure out why I panic in lake water. Turns out I wasn't breathing enough. Apparently my panic was because I was taking too many swimming strokes and not enough breaths. So I switched to 2 strokes then breath, 2 strokes then breath again, instead of the 6-8 strokes then a breath like I was doing and I did a fabulous job. I really think the fear was feeling like I didn't have enough air and the longer I would swim the worse the panic would get because I was tired. Once I switched to the method he said of every other stroke take a breath, I was able to swim far with no panicking going on. 

Saturday June 1st:  Got up at 5:50 a.m.  ran 5.11 miles, then later in the day biked 17 miles!

Sunday:    REST DAY!!!!!    Went on a walk with Jason, Alyssa and Scott to look at Iowa City flooding.  See post  here if you want to pictures. 

Monday June 3rd:  Got up at 4:30 a.m., biked to North Liberty from my house (9 miles), then taught Body Sculpt.  Then biked back to Iowa City with Deb and then biked home.  Total bike mileage today 21 miles!  Later on have plans to go to Kent Park lake again to swim in that wet suit!

Tuesday June 4th:  Got up at 5:30 a.m. drove to North Liberty because I was super tired.  I know, NO EXCUSES, however I just made one.  Ha.  Then I swam 20 laps.  I was going to come home and run, but didn't.  Felt too tired.  Just not a good workout day.  Went to work, then after work taught Body Sculpt, then donated plasma.

Looking forward to a very active week!

Soldier Field 10 mile race--Chicago, Illinios

On May 25th is an AWESOME race in Chicago along Lake Michigan.  I made post about it here so you can see pictures if you care too.