Rev 3 Triathlon Quassy Race Report

I’m going to start off by saying I haven’t been on a team since college when I was on, you guessed it (or maybe you didn’t), the varsity Fencing team.

I know. I am allowed to say it is the geekiest sport because I was on the team.

Truth be told, I never thought I would ever be a part of another team after that. I guess I didn’t realize that there were teams out there that you could be on, other than your local soccer club that got together during the week to play.

So being a part of the Rev 3 Triahtlon team was something that I never expected myself to be involved with. Not only that, I never pictured myself being “good enough” to be on a team. Through my limited number of years racing triathlons, I’ve always gawked at those super slim, strong triathletes who had team kits and special aero helmets and bikes, never imagining that I could be on a triathlon team the way they were.

Well, I guess you surprise yourself sometimes.

Being unable to make it to meet my fellow teammates back in January meant Quassy was the first time I would be meeting many of them. Although, through social media, I feel like I’ve known many of them for years. My weekend in Middlebury was not just about racing; it was about spending time with those familiar faces I’ve come to “know,” and it was about volunteering with an organization that gave me the opportunity to partake in triathlons back after times when I didn’t think I’d ever be able to race again.

Rev 3’s Quassy Olympic Aquabike was the first “aquabike” I raced last year after finding out about my running career, after only really taking part in triathlons for two years. It was emotional– not only because I realized I could still do what I love and what has become such a large part of my life, but because I realized I could be just as good as those other slim/strong/ incredible triathletes out there on the course with me.

Returning to do the same race this year was meaningful in the same way. It was even more meaningful being part of a team of triathletes who welcomed strangers with open arms. The team is composed of athletes from all different backgrounds and from all over. I know I’ve mentioned it before, that racing is a whole heck of a lot more fun when you do it with others. And after meeting my teammates, I know it is the truth. From the good luck hugs to the pre-race dinner, I am so thankful for the opportunity to spend time with these incredible athletes.

Day #1: Olympic Aquabike

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Being the first race of the season, I did not really have many goals for myself in regards to the Olympic distance aquabike. Who am I kidding. I wanted to be on that podium again ūüėõ I didn’t think it would happen, however, since it was colder than I expected and my goggles broke after two strokes during the warm up. When I realized my goggles broke within two minutes being in the water, I felt my heart drop and thought I was doomed for the swim. But I made do with what I had. A part of me just wanted to stay at the back of my swim wave because I didn’t know what would happen with my goggles. Then, I heard my swim coach from last year, telling me to trust myself and have confidence in my swimming. So after we passed through the starting arch balloon, I made my way towards the front. Yes, the same fears of being swum over, kicked and punched were in my head, but if I could just sprint for the first couple hundred yards to get away from people, then all would be well.

I’m glad to say that no one swam over me, punched me, or kicked me! I didn’t have any swim goals, other than to finish in a shorter amount of time than I completed the swim last summer. Since my semi-fancy watch does not track open water swims, the swim portion of my triathlons is always a bit of a surprise and I never really know how I do.

I think it well, considering I didn’t think I would even be starting it. I didn’t push myself and just got into that rythmic counting that I tend to do during the swim portion of races.

Like most races, I feel my transition time could be cut by practicing how to take my wetsuit off.

As for the bike, the short 26 mile ride is probably my favorite part of the race: with its rolling hills and ability to make you work hard while on the bike. The most memorable part of the bike was passing a teammate dressed as T-Rex encouraging people towards the end of the bike portion. [He also went on to run the half marathon course the next day dressed as this T-Rex].

It was fun entering back into transition, since it was one of the first times I’ve had people who “knew” who I was when racing. With this Aquabike race, my time ended once I entered back into transition. You have the option to jog down the finishers shoot, or simply finish your race in transition. Personally, a large part of the race is going through to the finish, so I took my time to put on my sneakers and take off my bike gear. As I made an effort to jog down towards the finish, I noticed a teammate yelling at me: “Go Molly! Run! Come on! Run!” As I made my way closer I stopped and exclaimed, “But I did the Aquabike; I am finished!!” The moment I said that, he laughed, “I was wondering why you were taking your time in transition! I thought, “What is that girl doing?? Why isn’t she hurrying up?””

Alas, another point of confusion occurred when I made my way down the finishers shoot and saw the “finishers tape” (is that even what it is called? I’ve never had to deal with this before) being held across the finish line. When I saw it, I had a little bit of an internal “freak out” session. As I made my way towards it, I stopped to the announcer and said, “But i am not the first female– I only did the aquabike– I didn’t do the triathlon.”

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Making sure the announcer knew I was just Aquabike

“It’s okay– you are the first female aquabiker, go ahead!”

So, despite my hesitation to go towards a finish with a “finishers tape” (and the fact I had no idea what you do when you cross a finish line and have “tape” front of you— or is it called a banner” I have no idea; I’ve never had this dilemma), I crossed with the realization that I actually was able win the women’s aquabike.

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My goal of beating last years time was met by one minute. (Which is nothing in triathlon time).

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After I finished the race, I met some other racers and volunteered at the packet pick-up. I must admit, it was pretty fun meeting people who were going to be doing the 70.3 race the next day. Only a couple people looked at me like I was crazy with my enthusiasm about the course. (Hah!)

Later in the evening, after indulging in the most delicious brownie I have ever had (hey I raced, I can eat what I want), I was lucky to have the chance to meet up with teammates for dinner and get to know some of them. I was able to have my “pre race meal” consisting of a veggie burger and fries. Other than spending time with my teammates, I will never forget being asked, for the first time as long as I’ve been a vegetarian (which is basically my whole life) how I wanted my veggie burger cooked. I’m pretty sure my mouth just dropped when I was asked that question, and I had no idea how to answer it.

“Umm, how you usually cook them? So they aren’t cold?”

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Seriously. Will never forget that question. From now on, when I order a veggie burger, I am going to specifically ask for it to be prepared in a certain way. I don’t know which way yet, but I am sure when I order, my preference will come to mind.

Day #2: Relay (my job: 56 mile ride)

I woke up bright and early at 3:50 after having an amazing sleep in a fancy hotel room…I cannot forget the drunk person who decided, at some point during the night, that it was appropriate to yell/ sing “Nants ingonyama…..” (There was a female with him, which I am assuming was his embarassed significant other, saying “Shhh! Shhhh!” Like a true idiot boyfriend, he was not listening to her wishes and continued his tribute to the Lion King.

Just listen to the first twelve seconds, and that is what I woke up to.

The second day of my Quassy trip was taking part in a relay with a couple teammates: Brian was swimming, I was cycling, and the runner was Zach. During the swim, I made friends with some other relay cyclists who were friendly enough to lend me some sunscreen. ¬†Truth be told, I was a bit hesitant to do the cycling portion waking up that morning. After doing a race the day before, my legs were tired.There aren’t a whole lot of flat portions on the bike course. But, I was considering this more of a trial run with nutrition more than anything.

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Brian finished the swim in an insanely fast time (26 minutes for a 1.2 mile swim?! That, to me, is flying in the water! Anything faster than 35minutes for that distance is crazy!).

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We exchanged the timing chip and I was off on a beautiful ride through the rolling countryside of Connecticut.

Despite constantly trying to tell my legs to stop hurting, the ride wasn’t as bad as I thought. Riding it on fresh legs would have been nicer, but I had a great day the day before and I was able to get my nutrition down pat for the 56 miles, especially a hilly 56 miles. Like my ride the day before, it wasn’t as fast as I was hoping, but I guess I can’t be too hard since I did race the day before. And, I was 15 min faster than in 2015 when I originally did the race.

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When I got back to transition, I exchanged the chip with our runner, Zach, and mingled around the finish line. Unlike other local Tri’s who only give you a half of a bagel and banana at the end of the race, they actually give you a BBQ (with veggie burgers which are cooked so they are no longer frozen). I tried out Normotecs for the very first time, and let me tell you, if I had a couple $$$ laying around that wasn’t going towards school, I probably would invest in some. Those things feel ahmazing.

Our runner, Zach, came in and finished the hilly half-marathon portion. Seriously, if you want a challenging 70.3 course, this is the race for you!Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 5.40.55 PM.png

Unfortunately, I had to head back home shortly after.

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Relay team in height order

It was such an incredible weekend, and I am thankful for getting the chance to meet so many amazing triathletes.

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Thank you, as always, Revolution 3 Triathlon, for putting on an amazing race weekend. Next time, I want Maisie to cross the finish line with me!*

Thank you to my fellow teammates for the laughs!

And, thank you, Kevin, for supporting me with an activity that I love so much.

*If you have a dog, they let you cross the finish with him/her, and they have little medals for the dogs!!! TOO freaking cute.

Toughman Tupper Lake Race Recap

Prelude

SO I know I stink at writing posts nowadays…But my life might seem boring to others as it is basically work/ school/ school work/ swimming/biking/ repeat.

Since I have a paper due, I figured now was the best time to write a race report ūüėõ

Sometime during this past winter,¬†¬†I decided to sign up for Toughman Tinman Aquabike, which¬†was a 1.2 mile swim followed by a 56 mile bike ride. Basically, a 70.3 distance, minus the run. Perfect for those who are unable to run. Since March, I’ve¬†put my share of swimming and cycling in– and have¬†focused more on my training than I ever have in the past (to include IMLP). This race was going to be a fun one: one where a bunch of other women from the Hudson Valley would be “tri-ing” out their first triathlon race!A fellow Hudson Valley-er (and terrific mother/athlete) helped organize some swim lessons with Jane¬†who helped me with my swim last year. They did Monday night swim workouts together, to prepare for this race!

(My apologies ahead of time for going on and on during this post!)

Race-Recap: They say sometimes you have good races, and sometimes you have bad ones. 

Friday I drove up to L.L’s¬†amazing camp in Long Lake, where she opened up her doors to us ladies doing the race Saturday morning. We went to packet pick-up and tried out the water where the race would be. (Oh, and side note: the race is not actually in Tupper Lake. It is in Raquette Pond!).¬†Dinner was low-key and relaxing– it reminded me of summers growing up on Lake George. I loved everything about it. When I grow up I want a lake house in the Adirondacks.

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The 30 year olds are ready to race!

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The first of many selfies!

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Just a couple of nurses contemplating life and the race course…Photo courtesy of K. T.

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Pre-race healthy carb loading dinner! Yes, we wore PJ’s at 5:30 PM

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Good night, Long Lake.

Saturday morning we woke up and had breakfast/ coffee, and headed to Tupper lake for the race. I had my english muffins with PB and a local honey blend (which is my new favorite breakfast, thanks to Devon!).

Driving up, I listened to music and thought about how fun the race would be. I was not prepared to go out super hard, because I had not been feeling well the week before. It was all about fun– riding and swimming in the Adironacks!

(Toughman Tupper Lake is a relatively small, local race, but really great value for the entry fee!)

I knew that the Aquabike (AB) field was fairly small, but as I racked my bike and prepared my transition area, I could not help but notice the other women who were doing the AB with me. They were fit, slim, toned, had (more) expensive bikes, aero helmets, and donned fancy team tri-kits.

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Transition

I could feel my heart drop into my stomach.

Holy crap. Look at them. They are hardcore triathletes. I’ll never be able to keep up with them.¬†

I put on my wetsuit and took a dip in the water to get acclimated, trying to stay positive and not worry about doing well, but just having fun. I found the other Hudson Valley women and wished them luck on their first triathlon. Then I found my swim coach Jane and fellow RN/ Ironwoman-to-be, D.J.

“Did you see the women doing the aquabike? They are so fit!I have nothing against them.” I remember exclaiming.

“Nahh, don’t judge a book by its cover.” Jane said. “Man, Molly, you are really an anxious racer!”

Uhhh, duhh.

We waited for our waves to start.The swim start to the race is so low- key and relaxed– you can wait with family/friends right until you enter the water.

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These triathlon newbies about to DOMINATE!

I was not sure how my swim would be, but I was hoping for under 39 minutes, which is what I was able to swim one lap of the IMLP course last year. Jane kept saying, “I think you can swim a 35– try for a 35.”

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Staying calm before the start…

“Yeahhhh,” I remember responding,” Or maybe a 40 minute swim…” I¬†have a fear of pushing myself in the swim, and did not think it was possible to do¬†it in 35 minutes.

The aquabike wave started after the mens half swim wave. It is no surprise that I hate swim starts. They just freak me out. All the kicking, bubbles, shoving…Especially when you are starting with men! My goal was to start hard and then settle into a comfortable rhythm. Before I knew it, we were off.

Unfortunetly, I felt panicked quickly and tried to swim away from the buoys and the crazy people. After a couple hundred yards, I was able to weed myself out of the mass and tried to ease into my 1-2-3-breathe rhythm, but ended up breathing with every stroke. Oh well. I didn’t push myself, but went at a comfortable pace. Eventually,¬†I made it to the¬†turn buoys. When I was heading back to the beach, I found myself catching up to the men from the wave in front of us.Which meant, men swimming into me.

More than once I found myself choking on water and doing breast stroke to gather myself back together, and then sight. They had warned about the sun being right in your eyes on the way back, but other races I have done, like Quassy, have a similar return swim. Finally, I was back at shore. One unfortunate aspect of the swim was you had to run on rocks to get back to shore. Major ouch.

I thought there would be a clock showing your time, but there wasn’t. And my watch had no OWS tracking capabilities, so I had no idea how I did on the swim. I remember hearing Jane shouting ” Go molly!!!!!” and yelling back, “What is my time?????”

When I reached¬†transition I had to make a decision: do I worry about putting my socks and cycling gloves on? When I grabbed a glove and was about to spend time putting it on I though, “screw it,” and started on the bike course.

I felt good starting on the bike and since I had not ridden further than 30-32 miles this spring, I decided to race to the turn around in Cranberry Lake, and then at the turn around, have a race back to the finish. I was told the course was not too hard– just rolling hills. They fail to mention that the rolling hills begin two miles into the course. Thank goodness I’ve made it a point to do hill work once a week– I think it definitely helped.

Once out on the course, I realized i had made the mistake of spraying suntan lotion all over my watch, so it was nearly impossible to see the screen (and with that, see my distance, the time, etc). Not knowing the time was going to make nutrition a bit more complicated. But, I was fully prepared with bars, gels, and gummy chew things. (Yes, I was that oddball triathlete with a $3000 bike who wore a camelbak…Hey, ¬†I did not want to have to stop to get nutrition on the course.)

I rode hard, and had a couple gel chomp blocks in the 30 minutes on the bike. I have never had gel chomp blocks (NOTE: there IS a taste difference between types of gelled blocks) and thought they would be like the Gu chomps I used when training for IMLP. Wrong. I had three of them and they left me with a disgustingly sweet aftertaste in my mouth. Ewwwww gross. So I just sipped on my water and Biocharge along the rolling hills.

The first 28 miles out I felt fine. I was pushing harder than I would normally on a bike ride, but felt like I could maintain what I was doing. I ate a VO2 prime bar over the course of the last hour, and made sure to drink lots of water.

This isn’t so bad at all!

When I turned around in Cranberry Lake to head back to Tupper Lake, things drastically changed.

I felt myself incredibly nauseous and light headed, therefore I continued to drink more water thinking I might be dehydrated. I then noticed that I was not sweating at all (which was very abnormal for the girl who sweats walking up a flight of stairs).

Sh*t. Something is not right. 

I continued to push myself, despite the way I was feeling.

At¬†mile 30, I wanted to quit. I was mentally and physically done with the race.¬†I¬†tried to hum music to myself, which has helped me in the past. But after “singing” a verse in my head, my nausea would return with a vengence.

Why am I doing this? This is not fun. Why am I doing this? This is the last race I’m ever going to do…Why am I doing this? F-ck you, rolling hills!

I kept pedaling.

This is stupid. Just stop. You aren’t a good triathlete, so who cares if you finish or not? You aren’t like the other women. Just stop.

Then I would think, “No, get to the finish line. Just get to the finish line and you are done. Just finish and you can go home. Just finish….Just finish…”

The¬†5 mile distance¬†signs felt like for-e-ver. With each sign I tried to reason with¬†myself by comparing the distance to rides I would do at home, “this is the ____ loop you do at home all the time….No big deal….You got this”¬†

I felt like I was riding slower and slower. People started passing me.

The rolling hills that I hadn’t really noticed going to Cranberry Lake, were like mountains.

I thought about how my nutrition and hydration was so out of whack. The “200-300 calories/hour” on the bike did not happen. I calculated the amount of calories I had consumed total, and it was less than the amount I consumed on my olympic aquabike course at Quassy. I kept waiting for my body to bonk. I could feel the tears starting to well in my eyes.

I hate this. This is not the way the race is supposed to go. I’m not going to make it. I’m going to have another DNF.¬†

When I finally hit the 50 mile point I thought I could make it.

“C’mon Mol, this is just like riding to the Fork in the Road at home. You can do this”

Except, at home, we didn’t have two “hills” to climb in those five miles.

After what I felt like was an eternity,¬†I saw the “Welcome to Tupper Lake” sign. I was almost done.

I was going to finish.

Finally, I was able to dismount the bike.

I felt sick, yet relief that I had finished, and disbelief that I had completed the 56 mile bike ride in three hours.

I found my fellow Hudson-Valley-ers who had already finished their races (and PLACED!!! woo HOO, those women ROCK) and tried to force myself to feel better. It was a shame that I honestly felt like crap, because the post-race food was awesome, and there was even a post-race beer tent.

After about half an hour and  forcing myself to eat some orange slices, I started feeling better. I was still concerned with the fact I was not sweating at all, nor felt any urge to pee, and felt nauseous as heck.

Jane sat with me, and we chit-chatted for a bit. There was a live band (ah-mazing post race!) and despite not knowing how I did on the race, I felt a small chance that I might have placed in the race. I wanted to wait and see what occured with the awards before heading to my Adirondack home to shower (Yes, L.L.РI consider your amazing Adirondack camp MY camp HAHA). Jane ended up finding the results and came back to me:

“Well, good news: you won¬†your age group– because you were the only one in it….And, you also are first place overall in the womens AB division!”

Wait– I actually beat those hardcore women triathletes in their fancy kits and expensive bikes?

Wait– I placed in a long distance race?

Wait– I qualified for a “series championship race”?

I never in a thousand years believed I was capable of doing well in a longer-distance triathlon. Never before did I push myself. I’ve always finished long distance races (well, just the three long distances triathlons I’ve completed) with the mentality of “just¬†saying I¬†finished.” I never thought I was capable of swimming fast, or riding my bike faster than 15 mph.

Heck, halfway in, I never believed I was going to be able to finish that race to begin with.

But, I managed to perform better than I ever have, despite feeling physically the worst I have ever had.

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Male and female aquabike winners

So, there you have it. I managed to have both my best race time wise, and my worst race physically.

I’m stoked I did’t let the voices in my head win and tell me to quit.

A HUGE thank you to L.L, D.J., and all the other ladies for a great women’s weekend away! It was super fun.

A HUGE thank you to my swim coach, Jane, for pushing me to go faster than I believed I could go.I don’t think I would have done as well as I did if you were not there.

=)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What My Injury Has Taught Me

I’ve been meaning to write a post for a couple weeks now. And since I have a paper to write, presentation to start, and studying for an exam to do, I figured today would be the perfect time to write one (insert laughing emoji with tears here). Let’s face it, I focus better under stress, and always find writing posts as means of procrastination to benefit me in the long run. At least, that is what I hope.

Please bear with me while reading this post…It has been awhile since I have written and thoughts may or may not¬†have a coherent flow.

At the beginning of the fall, I was riding high with excitement that I was one of the lucky few to register for Survival of the Shawangunks. After completing IMLP in July, I was finally getting my running speed back, and started trail running again for the first time in years. I met with a new coach, finalized the races I would be doing in preparation for SOS, and took full advantage of amazing fall weather.

But, as mentioned in my last post, I was sidelined due to an injury. Thus began misdiagnoses, money spent on physical therapy and other therapies in attempt to heal “whatever was wrong with me.” After two months,¬†no relief, and instructions to “refrain from doing any activity whatsoever and keep off your foot,” I decided to get a second opinion on my injury and found a doctor who was sympathetic and understanding of my desires to heal and return to triathlon training. (As a side note, if you are injured, it definitely helps to go to a physician who understands your lifestyle AND has experience treating athletes). Other than understanding my pain (literally and figuratively), he was able to figure out what my injury was due to. If you followed this blog when I first started it, I did not believe in training for anything. My first three marathons were done without any training. In fact, I remember three days before the Boston Marathon that I would run it. What the hell, right? Well, as my new MD put it, I am now paying the price of my bad decisions in my youth. Honestly, I knew I would injure myself eventually, but I did not think it would happen before I turned 30.

I guess my body is paying for all my poor athletic decisions in my youth. That, and a bony coalition in my foot that I inherited which is ultimately the cause of my problems.

So, here I am. The last time I ran was November 4th. The good news is, after four months of refraining from cycling and only swimming with a buoy, I am allowed to swim (and kick!) and cycle again (well, only on a trainer for now).

Some might say that everything in life happens for a reason, to include injuries. I actually think that is true. About a year  ago this time I was in the hospital, trying to see if I could possibly put off appendix surgery until after my ironman, because I was scared about losing training time. (Haha, yeah, I actually wondered if surgery could be postponed). In the end, that time I lost from my training did not negatively affect my performance at all. In fact, it gave me an opportunity to sit back and take a hard look at my life and what I wanted to do in the future, which lead to applying to graduate school.

After months of feeling depressed that I could not run, and scared that the pain I felt would never go away, I finally realize that this injury, just like my appendix deciding it did not want to be a part of my anatomy anymore, is teaching me a lesson.

When I first began partaking in races, I did them just to get out and do something.Getting a t-shirt was an added bonus,¬†not to mention a medal for completion– now that was just so cool. I did races because I was able to. I ran the Boston Marathon, not for the medal at the end, but because I wanted the chance to run up Heartbreak Hill, high-five my friends at Boston College,¬†and complete a prestegious marathon. Yes, I remember thinking it would have been cool to receive a medal at the end, but it wasn’t the most important aspect of the race. The fact I finished it was an accomplishment (especially since I never trained for it). I continued to do other races because for me to finish any race was an accomplishment. They were fun ways to get exercise, and basically that was it.

Once I started duathlons and won my first award, I think my views of races changed. Yes, they were still fun ways to get exercise. But, the more times I won something, increased¬†race stress/ anxiety came into play. I did a race because I wanted to get something¬†else out of it other than just a t-shirt. I wanted to place. Since i am still somewhat new to triathlons, this mentality of “having to beat other people” dealt more with running races. Growing up, I never thought I was really good at anything. In fact, those negative voices in my head (which still show up, unfortunately) saying I would always be a failure, intensified when I didn’t finish my first triathlon. However,¬†in future races¬†each time I placed, it meant¬†I was finally good at something in my life, that those negative voices were wrong.

At the end of the summer after IMLP was finished,  I wanted to focus on getting faster at shorter distance triathlons.My sights for 2016 were to place in triathlons, something which is still somewhat new to me, and I wanted to do whatever it would take to be able to get that extra recognition. I remember pouring over race results for the races I planned on competing in this spring/summer and trying to figure out the times I would need in order to place. All my focus had shifted to determining races that fit around my work schedule.

How had I turned into someone who once completed races just for the sake of doing them, into someone who sulked if she did not win an award, had severe race anxiety, and studied past race results to make sure she would finish at the top of her age group? Someone who felt like a failure finishing a 5k, when once upon a time, felt on top of the world for simply showing up at the event?

Not being able to run¬†has taught me that there is more to life than winning. It has taught me that even if I *may* not be able to run again, there are still other things I can do, like swim and cycle. It’s given me the opportunity to focus on my relationships with family and friends. I’ve focused on bettering myself. Let’s¬†face it, competitive people do have an element of greed. They need to succeed. And before my injury, I was greedy. I wholeheartedly admit it. I am not saying¬†it is a¬†bad thing– to go after something you really want. But, when it takes your focus on everything else in your life, that is when it isn’t a good thing. These past couple years, instead of focusing on the free time I would have to spend time with Kevin, my free weekends during the spring and summer were spent racing, doing the activities that I wanted to do, not what we wanted to do. What type of partner is that?

One that I do not want to be.

Yes, I did sign up for an Aquabike event this summer, and I still have my sights (and hopes) to complete SOS in the fall. But, this time around I will be doing these activities with a different mindset.

The mindset that simply attempting them are accomplishments, and that my finish time does not define the person or athlete that I am.

You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be. 

On the Sidelines

Training for IMLP took me away from speed training; I know a lot of ironman training programs do incorporate speed sessions. But my goal was simple: to finish the race within the 17 hour time limit. So I wasn’t focused on speed. Late summer/ early fall I decided it was time to gain my speed back. I’m not going to lie, running hard and fast is tough. But, I was able to get back to my sub-8minute miles, and was estatic. I made sure I was able to have Thanksgiving off in order to take part in our local Turkey Trot; I had a goal to beat my previous 5k time.

I failed to mention during this time, I switched shoes brands (and shoe type). From my first run in the shoes, there was pain in my left foot. But I figured it was just my foot getting accustomed to the new shoe. (I am “profoundly” flat footed and decided to try a minimalist shoe). There continued to be pain as I ran, but we all know that runners are pros at running through pain.

Then, one day, I started out on a run and it was too painful to run. I decided to take a couple days off from running, focusing on biking instead. A week later I attempted to run again, and found the pain was extreme. After working a busy shift, the pain was not only present when I walked but all the time.

Enter peroneal tendonitis.

Long story short, this is my second week in a CAM boot, out of work, in hopes the tendons will forgive me for being so cruel to them. I was unable to take part in that Turkey Trot, and haven’t run for almost a month.

I have been sidelined before (i.e. my appendix), but this injury has been a lot harder, emotionally. I still have the occasional pain when I walk without the boot, and I haven’t been able to bike for over a week, and kicking when I swim even aggravates the foot. The impatient person in me wants this to heal quickly–even though the damage I did was probably over a couple months. I’ve tried to do other activities, but nothing has “felt” the same way as a tough run or good bike ride feels. Truth be told, deep down I fear I may be unable to run again. The goals I had for next year’s races seem to be disappearing before my eyes. It’s lead to feelings of depression and sadness that I haven’t felt in a long time.

Yes, you might say I am being dramatic right now, but the fear of being unable to do the things I love, is real.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. A friend of mine reminded me that things happen at the times they were meant to happen in our lives. But right now I cannot seem to figure out what the reason is behind this injury…

Has anyone else been sidelined by an injury? How did you cope?

Becoming an Ironman: the Run

After handing off my bike to an amazing volunteer (there were other volunteers asking if you were alright and if you needed anything!), I walked, along with others, to grab my run bag. I felt no need to rush, as I was about to embark on a 26.2 mile run.

By this time, it was warming up, and I thought it would ¬†be a nice time for a shower of some sort to pass by. But, Mother Nature had the rain happen at last years event, not this years. I sat down in the changing tent and a volunteer brought me a cup of water. The volunteer was SO helpful and patient with me! I changed into running shorts and put on a new pair of bright compression calf sleeves (so that I would “stand out” and family could find me more easily). I grabbed my race belt, visor, sunglasses, and a Honey Stinger, and walked outside and asked the Sunscreen volunteers if I could have some sunscreen (i forgot to put it on my legs for the ride–oops). I’ve never had three people apply sunscreen to various parts of my body before! They were dancing and singing– under different circumstances one might see this as some sort of rite of passage in a cult. But in an Ironman, it is totally acceptable to have people smear suntan lotion all over you! I thanked them, and was out of transition.

Bike-to-run transition time: 7:23

The Run

Just like arriving back into town on the bike, leaving the town of Lake Placid was amazing. There were people everywhere cheering for you as you ran. I heard a lot of “Go Molly!!!!! You can do it!” and then I heard a lot of “Go Holly, Go!” which made me chuckle to myself. Heck, I’ll take anyone cheering a name that rhymes with my real one! Since I had not eaten as much on the second loop of the bike I worked on eating the honey stinger. The last time I had run a marathon was two years ago on my 27th birthday. I had no idea how this run would go; the longest training run I had during my training was 14 miles (oops) so I just decided to jog to each aid station, walk through the aid station, then jog again. I had no idea what time of day it was. I just knew that I finished the ride in 7 1/2 hrs, and the swim in under 1 1/2 hours, so that meant I had 7 hours left to complete the marathon.

Completely doable.

The first three miles out of town to the ski jumps was mostly downhill, which was quite nice. I kept my pace easy– I didn’t want to get tired out too quickly– and just kind of ran along. I knew I had a friend, Bev, volunteering down at the ski jumps, which gave me something to look forward to.

My nutrition plan for the run was to have something ever 4-5miles, and have a sip of water or gatorade when I felt like it. The aid stations had cookies, gels, pretzels, gu chomps, oranges, gatorade, coke, water, ice…you name it. Mentally, I broke the marathon into 4- 6 mile chunks (because, when you do the math, 26.2/4= 6, right???? Well, to someone who just finished 9 hours of continued exercise, it made perfect sense.) I saw Bev, and was overjoyed. Seeing her helped me get through the out-and-back portion of the run. At mile 4, I decided to have some gu chomps. As I walked, my intestines decided they were done with the race. Apparently, I am not the only athlete who had GI issues on the run. In fact, it is completely normal to see people vomiting along the course, or hear¬†people’s major flatulence issues. I made it a point to bring some tums along with me, as I had read people advise bringing some along.

I felt a bit worried that, by mile 5, my intestines were in major turmoil. Instead of having the goal to get to each aid station in order to get ice or water, my goal was to get to the aid stations because they had port-a-johns there. Let me tell you, there is nothing more rancid smelling than those things along an Ironman run course. I must have a weak gag reflex, even for being a nurse, after having to go in them. But, I kind of had no choice.

Volunteers were, again, amazing, and despite the intestinal discomfort, I kept truckin’ along. Once I hit mile 6, I was excited that I was about to head back into town, where I would get to pass Bev, and see Kevin, Jen, and my parents.

Looking forward to seeing these two!

Looking forward to seeing these two!

Once you hit the Ski Jumps, you have to go up the hill you ran down to get into town. At this point, most people walk. I ended up chatting a bit with someone who had a neat water bottle carrier, and figured my walking pace was faster than my running pace. All I wanted to do was get to the turn around point in town and see my family. I felt hot, and took the opportunity to stuff ice cold sponges in my top, which helped cool me down. (A spectator later told me what good use of sponges I had! HahahРthe spectators were the best).

I jogged up the hill in Lake Placid to Mirror Lake Drive (where the run special needs bags were), along the way I glanced through the crowds to find those familiar faces. Finally, I saw everyone which made me extremely happy.

First loop almost done!

First loop almost done!

Okay Molly, just get to the turn around, and you can give everyone a hug!

I finally reached the turn around after walking most of mile 12 because my intestines were relentless. I had no idea how I was going to do another 13.1 miles feeling this way. But I kept thinking, I am so close to finishing! I am so close!

When I got back to my family, I gave everyone a hug, and went back out for the last 13.1miles of my 140.6 mile adventure.

They say the last half-marathon of the marathon run is more mental than physical. And, I think that is true. I was prepared to be in more physical pain than I was, which was good, I guess. But my body was tired. I was no longer jogging from aid station to aid station. I would pick out a tree or landmark, jog upto it, then walk. I told myself I would jog the downhills and flats, and walk up the hills, which helped pass the miles.

Then,at mile 18, when I thought, “yes! only 6 more miles!” it dawned on me that, no, it wasn’t 6 more miles until the finish– i had EIGHT miles to go. Oops. I guess we know now that it is a good thing I didn’t become a math teacher.

At this point, more and more people were walking than running. I was able to give some tums away to some other people who were like me and had some “issues” going on. I imagined the eight mile run I did back in Rhinebeck. You can totally do this. It’s only eight more miles.

At the same time, I was so tired. My lungs hurt. It was hard to even muster energy to thank the volunteers.

By this time, the sun was setting. On my way back to the ski jumps, I really wish I was able to carry a camera, because it was gorgeous. If I saw people running past me and start to feel disheartened when my body wouldn’t let me run, I kept thinking, this is a race against you, not them. I thought about things in my past that had discouraged me, and those things and those people who had left their marks on me gave me the energy to keep going. To prove them wrong.

When I got into town, it was dark. I was tired. The crowds were still there, and still amazing. I saw my family, Kevin, and Jen, and waved as tears started to flow. I was so close to the finish, and yet had another mile/mile and a half to go.

I think it was the longest mile I have ever had to run.

I could hear Mike Reilly at the finish chute. I could hear the cheering. I wanted my body to run, but it wanted to walk.

I walked most of that mile, and chatted with yet another person, this time, about how long this last mile seemed to be.

We were all in the same boat. It wasn’t just a long mile for me, it was a long mile for a lot of other athletes.

When I got closer to the finish, I started to run. As I started to run, there was no holding back the tears. I saw my dad, gave him a huge hug, and started bawling.

“Okay Molly, you are almost there! Keep it together! You got this!”

I’m going to be an Ironman. Holy crap, I’m going to finish! I kept thinking.¬†

As I ran, I passed all the spectators cheering for me, and for others running with me. They make you feel like you are a winner.

I ran up to the finish, and stopped.

I heard Mike Reilly say, “You are an Ironman!”

I did it.

I made my dream come true.

Most awkward finish photo?

Thanking God that I finished! Gotta love the guy in front of me, too ūüėõ

I’m an Ironman!

Months of preparing for this, and just like that, I was done. It took me 14 hrs and 27 minutes, which was a surprise, because it was two hours faster than I anticipated.

A volunteer took me in is arms and another gave me a bottle of water. Then, someone placed the finishers medal around my head. Everyone congratulated me, and the volunteers were amazing. They stayed with me, to make sure everything was okay. After I took the finishers photo, another volunteer gave me a thermal blanket and asked me if I wanted anything to eat.

“There is pizza, coke, sprite, water, gatorade, hot chocolate, chicken broth.. french fries..” He went on.

“Wait, french fries???” If you know me (hint hint, Jen) then you know I LOVE french fries!

This was the most perfect post-race food, ever….If only I was hungry.

I sat down for a second and then realized I wanted to find my family; I didn’t feel like sitting and eating by myself. I heard my name and saw Jen, Kevin, and my parents. Floods of tears came back.

“I did it! I did it!” I was still in shock that I finished. At this point, everyone was crying. Hugs were given, and photos were taken.

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My man.

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My soul sister

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It is a day I will always cherish and never forget.

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My family.

There were a few times in my training I didn’t think I would be able to finish the race– from surgery a couple months ago, to time taken away from training for my new job, and school– life seemed to happen. But ten months ago I was determined to finish this adventure that I had started, and finish I did.

A HUGE thank you to Kevin, Jen, my parents: for a long day of waiting, and driving hours to see me. There is nothing more important than family, and I love you all.

For Jen D.,  a fellow RN, and Lisa and Bev, fellow triathletes, for cheering for me!

And for those of you who sent me letters– THANK YOU! They meant SO much to me ūüôā

To my coach, and Jane, thanks for helping me out!!

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I guess you are never really prepared for when the unexpected occur during your life. They seem to happen during the most inconvenient times too, huh? Last year when I was preparing for the Patriot Half, I stopped mountain biking. I could never forgive myself if I had an accident while mtn biking and could not train or complete the Patriot Half. I was somewhat a nervous nelly about doing anything that might cause harm to my body whilst training. Heaven forbid anything come between me, my training, and completing that race. Last week started off great. I got workouts in before heading to work. My t-runs after my rides have gotten faster, and I was feeling stronger all around. I’ve noticed significant improvement in my strength– thank you, strength training! All the extra core work and leg work has definitely been to my advantage. I’ve also found myself finding what nutrition plans tend to help, and those that negatively affect my training. I’ve seen a huge improvement in my swimming.¬†I finished my first 3500 yard swim ever! Only 500 more yards, and I will be at the IM swim distance. Nothing beats feeling physically strong and good about how far you have come in training.

Training is really coming along.

Training is really coming along.

Not even 16 hrs¬†after my strong swim, I found myself in the ER. ¬†I woke up one¬†night with horrible abdominal pain.¬†The combination of pain and nausea was so intense all I could do was rock back and forth in a ball on the floor. After a couple hours, I told Kevin he had to bring me to the hospital. Never have I been in so much pain. Heck I do triathlons– triathletes are kings and queens at tolerating pain, right?!? CT scan after CT scan, with no conclusive answers as to what was causing the pain, I was admitted due to my high WBC count, to be seen by a surgeon. As time passed, my heart rate and temperature increased, and on-off sweating sessions began. Even with the IV pain meds, anti-nausea meds, and IV fluids, all I could do is hold Kevin’s hand and cry. We joked it was hard to keep me hydrated when all the fluids they pumped me with would come out of my body as tears.

Waiting in the ER...

Waiting in the ER…

The surgeon saw me early in the afternoon. At first,¬†he¬†said¬†I might need surgery . If it was the appendix, it could not waitI. If it was something else, the gall bladder, etc, then surgery probably would not be needed. So, onto more tests. Through all of this all I could do was think about my training. Seriously, surgery? NOW? What sh*tty timing. Right after I was starting to feel really strong and good about how far I have come. At one point I wondered if the surgery–if I needed it–could be scheduled for August–after IMLP. Yes, incase you are wondering, IMLP means a lot to me right now. I even asked how long it would be before I could resume my normal activities if I was to have surgery. The answer: everyone is different, but it can be anywhere from three to six weeks.( Insert wide eyed emoticon here. ) Around 4:30pm, the surgical PA came in to tell me I was going to need surgery. It wasn’t the gallbladder. Even though they could not clearly see the appendix, they wanted to make sure everything was okay. Now, working as a nurse, I have seen my share of people going into surgery. Heck, I’ve even seen a lap-appe back when I was in nursing school (so neat!). But, the surgeries have never been on me. I have never been intubated, nor have a foley. I’ve never had anesthesia. You could say I was in a¬†fever induced¬†state of delirious shock.

After hearing I needed surgery. Who knew I was being photographed?

After hearing I needed surgery. Yes, I stayed in that position since I entered the hospital.

An hour later, I signed consents and the surgeon came to bring me to surgery. I met the anesthesologist and signed more consents. He explained what was going to happen. I know most of what happens during surgery,¬†but hearing everything as a patient and not a nurse was¬†worrisome. ¬†In my profession, I have learned to keep tears at bay. You learn how to control your emotions. But in that bed, I wasn’t a nurse. I was a patient. I was in pain. And I was scared. ¬†Despite the circumstances,¬†before giving me an IV cocktail to help me relax, as the surgical team hovered around me, they¬†helped me actually laugh about some things. Then, like clockwork and exactly how the anesthesiologist said it would happen, I transferred over to the surgical table in the sterile, bright lights of the OR, laid down, and as someone applied corticoid pressure, I swiftly fell asleep. I was warned that coming out of anesthesia can make you feel nauseas. Sometimes you feel happy. All I remember is opening my eyes and crying. I know, I know.¬†I sound like a blubbering emotional mess. Well, I guess you could say that I was. I spent some time in the PACU and received some IV pain meds. They ended up taking out my appendix, and when I asked how it looked, the anesthesologist said, “Well, this is not in medical terms, but it looked nasty.” (I would later learn that had they waited to do surgery until the next morning, it would have been too late and my appendix would have ruptured, causing more serious complications.)¬†I was then sent back to the floor to “get some rest.” (We all know that it is nearly impossible to get rest when you are in a hospital).

Post-op photo op

Post-op photo op

So, that is my story, of how despite the caution and care you take of yourself, things happen that are out of your control. And you just have to let them be. We cannot control everything in our lives. And if I had waited to go to the ER, things would have ended up being a lot worse than they are.

Gotta keep those lungs healthy.

Gotta keep those lungs healthy.

I am still in pain, but am home now. I can finally use a computer without feeling the urge to vomit.¬†Each day it gets a little better. I’ve come to accept that it is okay to be in pain– it is not a sign of weakness as I (for some reason) thought it was. It never really dawned on me how having the abdominal muscles “messed with” ¬†affects, basically, everything you do–from walking to bending to reaching to coughing and sneezing (ugh that is the worst!). Not to mention, the amount of gas you have. Note: I found that a warm compress to your shoulders really helps with¬†all the gas you get.¬†

Lucky resting with me.

Lucky resting with me.

I’ve been able to sit up and walk around more with each passing day. We made a joke that I should make a Strava segment of the walk¬†I do around my house. I would definitely be QOM of that segment after my walk today¬†:-p My goal is to walk halfway down my driveway today, and tomorrow, walk all the way to the postbox. (We have a long driveway). Yeah, it stinks that I wanted to run a 5 mile race yesterday and couldn’t.It is hard seeing pictures of everyone enjoying the weather outside running and doing activities that I can’t do, and will not be able to do for awhile. Sitting outside in the sun, thinking about the biking I could be doing, or long runs I could be doing causes tears to well in my eyes. Through this harsh winter I pushed myself to do all those negative-degree runs, and hours on the trainer; to keep myself in shape with the dream of completing Ironman Lake Placid. It makes me sad to think of all the progress¬†and steps forward in training I have done thus far, only to be forced to take steps backwards.

But I need to give it time–give my body time to heal properly, so¬†as to not cause any further damage. My coach tells me I’ll get back to where I was in my training and to have heart; I still have time before IMLP.

I saw the below picture the other day¬†and thought, you know what? I’m not going to give up. I’m not a quitter. IMLP means too much for me to simply give in. Life happens, whether we want it to or not, and I’m not going to let a small setback stop me from completing–or at least trying– to finished a full distance triathlon.

tumblr_mle4lt1siv1qm99efo1_500 This post is dedicated to my man, for being right by my side for those two long days…and apparently documenting the whole thing on his phone. ūüėČ And a huge thank you to my sister for driving up to see me. What would we do without family and friends? And, to everyone at NDH. What amazing care I received.¬†

LP Training Realizations from Last Week

The other day I saw my name on the list of registrants for Lake Placid and it dawned on me “man, I’m really doing this.” I know, I know, I’ve been training for LP, but seeing my name on¬†the official IMLP’s website made it real. Last week was¬†somewhat exhausting, not from training, but from life. Work has been insane. I’ve realized that sixteen hour shifts followed by twelve hour shifts completely drain the life out of me and leave me physically exhausted, making training difficult. But, despite the exhaustion, I¬†was¬†able to muster up the energy to complete the workouts of my “rest week.”

A couple of realizations from last week:

1) Once upon a time I thought brick workouts were created by the devil. Truthfully, I didn’t do as many brick workouts last year in prep for the Patriot Half as I really should have (seriously, why run 9 miles after a 50 miler road ride?). Training for Lake Placid has changed my idea of training. This bricks are vital for the race. Two or three of my trainer workouts are followed by a run of somesort. My legs used to HATE running after biking. Now, they are used to it. Crazy how your ¬†body becomes accostumed to certain activities.

2) Strength training has an important role in triathlon training. I always used to think that running, swimming, and biking was enough to prepare for a triathlon. I never knew the importance, however, of adding strength training to your program. My coach has me do two core sessions (ab exercises) and one to two leg strengthening sessions. A strong core and strong legs really do assist you when you are swimming, running, and biking. In fact, just today I was able to complete a run on a hilly route that in the past I have had to stop and walk up some of the hills. Strength training has given me powerРallowing me to  me to have that little extra umph when exercising. I never thought I would actually agree with my coach when she said strength training pays out in the end.

3) Training for this race requires someone with self discipline and will power. It’s tough waking up early to get a workout in before work, especially knowing you will be on your feet for 12-16hrs with few breaks. You only hate yourself for waking up early for the first 15-20minutes. Later on in the day, you are thankful you got up to do it.

4)¬†I seem to be hungry a lot. And snack often–not sure if that is good or bad. I have gone through luna bars like they are candy (they taste like candy!) and decided to save some money and make my own protein bars. They were a hit with people I work with. And I have added to my greek yogurt addiction with discovering powdered peanut butter. Oh my goodness. YUM. I never ate greek yogurt, or any yogurt really, until I was sick in january and it was the only thing I could eat. Now,¬†if I don’t have it on a daily basis, I get moody. (Okay maybe I should cut back a little on how often I consume it…)

No, of course I do not have a problem with too much greek yogurt...

Problem? What greek yogurt problem?

5)I never thought a “Rest week” like mine last week would include a 13 miler and three brick workouts.

6)I feel the amount of training per week increasing significantly. I cannot imagine putting all this effort into training for something you really don’t want to do. Some people have equated training for an ironman as a part time job. Looking at this weeks workouts, I now know why they would say such a thing. Workouts are no joke, and I cannot remember, or don’t think I have ever, trained 10-11 hrs in a week. Thank goodness I enjoy it.

What are some things you have realized when training for a long distance race?

A sneak peak at this week’s plan (will probably change around a little):

Monday:60min spin pre-work

Tuesday: speed work (run)/core strength + 3500 yd swim

Wed: Long trainer/t-5mile run

Thursday: 60min spin+ leg strength/core pre-work 

Friday: 9 miler +2800 yrd swim

Sat:Trainer/t-4mile run

Sun: rest (or 10 mile road race instead of fridays long run)

What Training for Lake Placid Has Taught Me

Back in 2010 when I started this blog,  I never thought that it would turn into a blog about my training for a full ironman. Yes, I mentioned IMs, but at that point in my life I thought it would be impossible to train for one. When I first began training for a triathlon, I did not know anyone else (except for my coach that is) who had completed full triathlons. Despite already living alone, training for Mooseman was in itself isolating. Long rides, runs, and swims, were all done independantly.

Over the past year, I’ve realize that there actually a community of triathletes in (and out of) the area,¬†¬†and training does not have to be isolating like it was when I first began the sport. In fact, meeting others has given me not only the opportunity to train with them, but also ask questions about their training–things that have worked for them in their racing careers–and things that they regret doing. In this, my knowledge of the sport has increased tremendously. Not only that, bumping into those people I know, whether after their workout or at races, tends to bring a smile to my face. This once lonesome sport has turned into one that I can enjoy with others.

A couple days ago¬†I had a conversation with an ultra-marathoner about picking an event to train for that¬†you may feel is impossible to do. He told me training for endurance events–such as ironmans or ultra-marathoners–¬†are learning experiences and help you with life; they are much more than just a sporting event. Training teaches you discipline. You develop a certain mental toughness that you might not have achieved had you not trained for something. You learn things about your body you may not have known. Through training I’ve learned to treat my body with respect. People say the race itself is not only composed of the physical activity itself, but of mental activity. I’ve realized that training involves just as much mental toughness as that which is required during a race. There is an internal driving force within me that has sprung up, motivating me to¬†run during a tough brick workout when my legs want me to stop. It tells me to slip into the water and swim those laps during a workout, when I began with no desire to swim at all.

He told me that the word “impossible” is actually¬†“i’m possible.”

***

And now, look at this week’s training (thus far)

Sunday: 1hr turbo trainer+ t-15min run

Monday/tuesday: whirlwind 28hrs at work in two days (my legs were more tired than running a marathon)

Wednesday: 100min trainer w/ interval training + t-5mile run and core strength

Today:¬†¬†3000yd swim and when I finish this, a 6 mile tempo run ūüėõ and core strength

Friday: 1700 yd swim (speed) and easy 4-5mile run + leg strength

Saturday am before work (if I don’t get the workout in Friday): 45min spin before work

 

 

Stages of a Trainer Session

Since the blistery cold weather has returned to us (or atleast is knocking on our door), my poor circulation has deemed it nearly impossible to ride outside anymore. Hence, the trainer is once again getting some love and attention.

 

I’m not sure about you, but I dread the trainer. I have written numerous posts about hating it. Yes, when I first bought mine years ago working nights, I was stoked to have it so I could ride at night in the dark. Now, though, I drag my feet walking upstairs to where I have my trainer parked. I know trainer sessions are an integral part of training for a triathlon, and I just have to buck up and do trainer workouts as planned. I’m simply not happy about them. I am not saying that they are easy workouts; I’m pretty sure I sweat more than an overweight man in a sauna when I am riding; and my heart rate is able to skyrocket in minutes. But, the simple fact I am riding so hard and so far and getting no where drives me nuts (like running on the dreadmill).

When I was finishing up my trainer workout the other day I came up with the emotional stages one might go through while on the trainer…And I have pictures that go along with the stages. (What else do you do when you are bored out of your mind than take incredibly awkward selfies of yourself looking horribly sweaty and disgusting?) Note: I am not one of those people who find it necessary to be caked in makeup whilst exercising. Infact, I am not one to feel it necessary to brush her hair before it, either.

Stage 1: The Warm Up

At this point, you have just started, warming up your legs, becoming adjusted to the bike

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“I’m just flipping through the songs on my iPod.¬†Only 55 minutes to go”

 

Stage 2:  Boredom 

At this stage, you start looking at your surroundings, wishing you were somewhere else. Envy of people doing any activity other than riding on a trainer starts erupting.

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“Hmm, I wonder what is happening outside. Look at the snow; I could be skiing right now.”

 

Stage 3: The Pain

Whether it the big chainring on an incline or “speed ups,” you feel the pain in your legs, grit your teeth, and pedal pedal pedal.

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“Oh man oh man my legs my legs. THEYYYY BURRRRNNNNNN OMGGGGGGGG.”

Stage 4: Your Second Wind

Between sets, your heart rate comes down a bit, and the burning legs ceases.

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“Grrrr.F-ck the burn, I’ve got this. This is EASY! Eye of the tiger, baby, eye of the tiger. BRING IT!”

Stage 5: Depression and sadness

With more sets, and increasing leg burn, you become depressed and sad, questioning life and why you have to be on this stupid machine.

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“I never did anything to deserve this. All I want to do is be outside.”

Stage 6: Mental breakdown

At this point, the workout is almost done. Your legs feel like they are no longer a part of your body. You feel like giving up all together. Flashes of your life start flooding your brain. Your eyes well with tears from the pain.

 

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“Why me, God, why meeeee?”

Stage 7: The Finish

You’ve finished the cool-down; you have completed the workout. Life feels like it is full of rainbows and sunshine. Relief, happiness, and joy fill your body. It.Is.Done.

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“Pshh, that was easy.”

Happy Trainer-Riding!

Ending notes:

Yes, I realized that my earphones were all knotted up, but you can’t untangle headphones while in pain. I¬†feel like Roseanne Roseannadanna pointing out that “little bead of sweat on her nose” when flipping through the photos.¬†

 

 

 

 

What Training Looks Like (and other ramblings)

After looking back at the posts I’ve written, I realized I go through “phases” with this blog: periods of time where I don’t write anything at all, and then times where I write numerous posts in one week (like today, when it just so happens that I am finishing two in one day) What can I say? I have things I want to share! And so does my cat Lucky as seen by the picture below.

My cat felt the need to help with post writing I guess.

My cat felt the need to help with post writing I guess.

Training

Someone I work with asked what my training schedule is like. So, I figured I would post a recent training week.¬†I try my best to do everything before 4pm on days I have off, so that I can spend my afternoons/ evenings annoying¬†my man ūüėõ

bike ( 2 bikes)
‚ÄĘ LSD. ¬†70 miles
average cadence on the flats should be 80-90 rpm. Pick a gear that allows you to do this easily while staying within target HR.

‚ÄĘ muscular strength = turbo.
Warmup = 15:00.  include 4 x :30 @ 100 rpm
Main set = 4 x 5:00 as 2:00 big gear seated at 60 rpm / 1:00 fast spin (easier gear) @ 100 rpm  / 2:00 big gear standing at 50-60 rpm.  All at HR low zone 3. 2:00 easy recovery spin between each 5:00 interval.
Recovery spin 5:00 then do:  5 x 2:00 @ 90 rpm with 2:00 RI

Run  (3 runs)
‚ÄĘ ¬†T-run = 15 minutes. Post muscular strength workout.
‚ÄĘ ¬†LSD = 15 miles.
‚ÄĘ ¬†Speed. ¬†30 minute run ‚ÄĒ include 8 x¬†1:00¬†pickups at zone 3 (not a full out effort) with¬†2:00-3:00¬†zone 2 running between.

Swim  (2 swims)
‚ÄĘ ¬†Aerobic. ¬†2700 yards
Warmup = 10 x 50 yards as (2 strokes free then 2 strokes 1-arm then 2 strokes free then 2 strokes other arm) :10 RI between every 50 yards.
Main set = 15 x 100 pull on the :15 RI   then:  10 x 50 as (kick only on one side (use zoomers) / 25 one-arm stroke) on the :10 RI. Alternate sides.
Cooldown = back stroke or easy kick board for 200 yards.

‚ÄĘ Speed ¬†2350 yards
Warmup = 3 x 200 focusing on tech while swimming.
Main set = 12 x 100 yards fast on the :20 RI.. Do each 100 yards as: 50 yards moderate pace / 25 yards hard — approx 80% effort / 25 yards easy.
Cooldown = back stroke or easy kick board for 200 yards.


Core (at home)  (2 core)
Side Planks — 3 x 20 seconds per side with :10 RI
Prone Planks ‚ÄĒ 3 x 45 seconds with :10 RI
Lower abs (rock hollows / flutter kicks / reverse curls) ‚ÄĒ your choice 3 x 15 reps
Crunches ‚ÄĒ 3 x 20 reps
Quadruped extensions ‚Äď 5 times alternating sides. 10 second hold per side (¬†http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/1/14/¬†)

Strength  (1-2 sessions)
Air Squats  15 reps
Walking lunges 20 steps
Hamstrings 15 reps

So, that is what a week looks like! (And yes, squats are my nemesis).

Things Other than Training

Kevin’s job has allowed him to have some short work weeks, meaning we’ve gotten to spend some mid-week time together, which is fantastic, since I miss out on seeing him weekends and days that I work. From hikes to dining out to road rides enjoying the last of the nice weather before winter arrives.

My first ever Budda bowl...sans bowl

My first ever Budda bowl…sans bowl

Best veggie burgers around...And amazing parmesan frites

Date night!Best veggie burgers around…And amazing parmesan frites

IMG_5736

Last short sleeved ride of the season

Last short sleeved ride of the season

Good thing he knows where the trails are

Good thing he knows where the trails are

Last week I got my very first tri bike, and it sure is a beauty. I’ve been drooling over these bikes for a very long time, and finally decided to bite the bullet and get one. I’ll be spending long hours on this, and have done duathlons/ triathlons for four years without signs of stopping in the near future, so why not get a sport-specific bicycle? Isn’t it gorgeous?

IMG_5727

I managed to finish all of my holiday shopping yesterday! This time of year is my favorite (except the weather) and christmas shopping simply makes me happy. I wanted to buy everything at HomeGoods but managed to have (some) self control ūüôā Christmas music is now playing on the radio–I admit ¬†my holiday pandora radio station is allowed to be on during my commute home after work in the evenings– and I even saw some christmas lights outside! Yes, it was too early to have Christmas decorations in the stores before Halloween. But now, in my books, it is a-okay to have everything Christmas out!¬†Ohh, the joys of being a holiday-loving dork like myself. I am not ashamed.

Oh how I wanted a  sparkly dancing ballerina deer

Oh how I wanted a sparkly dancing ballerina deer

Well, I should get to the pool! Enjoy the rest of your week!

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