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triathlon

That Time I raced Twice in One Day

Saturday started off early with a trip to Decatur and a triathlon start time of 7 am.. which meant that I went to bed at 9pm..

Triathlons involve a lot of crap.

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My transition area… On a rack with 2 Cervelos, a Specialized, and two other super nice bikes that I had never heard of.

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Let’s be real for a second.. I hate race day packet pick ups. I would much rather not have to worry about that with all the other crap going on. But this packet pick up? Was absolutely terrible. It was inside a pavilion and there were 4 (FOUR!!) different check points to get your stuff. And none of them clearly marked. One was to check in and find out your race number. Another was to pick up your two bibs (one for your bike and one for your body). Another one was to pick up your chip timer. And last, but not least, body marking. Ridiculous.

It makes me feel weird and like a poser to go from being one of the last people to get in the water last year, to being in the top 1/3 of people to line up. I keep waiting on people to realize I’m just a regular person and don’t deserve these awesome race corrals and fast bib times.

Moving on.. I went to the beach area and familiarize myself with the water temp and stick my face in the murky water as a reminder on how I won’t be able to see. We lined up, in a semi number order and it wasn’t long before I was in the water.. I started out too fast and was sort of panicking and reminded myself to slow my roll and just get to the finish. Once I rounded the buoy, I ran into some technical difficulties with a fellow swimmer.. She was all over the place.. zig zagging, swimming into people, and I just wanted around her. I ended up with a sinus full of lake water from one of her righteous kicks and I don’t want to relive that again.

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I realized when I got into Transition that I had forgotten the gel I meant to take, but I didn’t stress. It wasn’t really necessary, I just wanted it for mental purposes. I got passed a LOT on the bike. Mostly by dudes.. and fast dudes. I didn’t let it get me down.. I was averaging mostly in the 16-17 mph range, which is faster than I normally cycle, so I was pretty pumped about it.

Going into this race, I wasn’t really feeling it. It’s been a rough couple of weeks and I just wanted to be done with it.

When I got back into transition, I couldn’t remember which rack was mine… so I just had to search. Whoops. As I headed out of transition, my family was there waiting and cheering and I stopped and gave both girls kisses since I didn’t get to see them before the race start. This picture is me going in for the kiss… I promise I’m not about to hurl on them or anything.
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The run portion was a gravel trail.. and I hate it. It feels longer than a 5K the way it weaves. I was struggling and all over the place with my pace.. I really hate summer heat too. With about a half a mile left, I felt someone smack my butt and yell, “Get it in gear!!” I whipped around, because.. well.. someone smacked my behind! It was Shannon and she was just the push I needed to over take the girl in front of me that had a 29 written on her right leg… AKA  in my age group. I kept up with her until the her final kick, and  I could feel that chick on my heels, so I kicked it up a notch myself for a finish.  photo wetdogfinish_zps671651be.jpg

 

Overall, I was very pleased with my results from this years Wet Dog Triathlon. It was a 22 minute PR off of last year and I feel like I am getting a little bit more confident in these things. My time was 1:17:50, putting me 9th in my Age Group. Not too shabby for my 4th Tri.

As we were packing up our gear, Donnie and Shannon said, “C’mon! Let’s go to Homewood and do the Retro Run tonight! It’ll be fun!” Hubs and I needed to find a sitter first and we did. We met them following the wedding, and headed down. People had some awesome costumes for this run and it’s sort of like a giant block party. We saw several Cullmanites and they all exclaimed, “Uh, Didn’t you do a TRI THIS MORNING?!” Yep. I did. I’m a crazy person. But not really.. just always up for a fun race. On the way down, Donnie just kept talking about how he had never ran this race and it not rain… As we lined up at the start line, it started to pour. I was not a happy camper because, well, I hate to run in the rain and most importantly, I had my phone in my hand prepared to take pictures of the costumes.

The gun went off and I was with Shannon for about the first half-mile and I was quickly trying to chase her and keep her in my sights, but little did I know that she was chasing a fellow C-towner who is wicked fast… needless to say, the first mile was done in 8:13 and I was TOASTED. That plus the rain? Just stick a fork in this girl. The course wasn’t easy either, reminding me how hilly Homewood is. I wasn’t planning on racing this, just running and hoping for something around 30-31 minutes and was surprised to see my watch say 28 when I rounded the final stretch. I honestly think I finished in the 28′s, but the timing was done with a gun start and I forgot to stop my garmin when I crossed the finish line. My official time was 29:38, and that put me 10th in my Age Group.. what?!

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Beer me. Times 5.
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Hubs met me at the finish line and exclaimed that I needed to lengthen my stride… umm.. okay. They had post race Jim N Nick’s BBQ and Bud Light… I had mine and J’s share and by the end of the night.. well.. I was singing very loudly to “Rock the Casbah” and dancing on the sidewalk. I wasn’t alone though, Shannon was right there with me. Whew.

I’m not going to lie.. running two races in one day makes me feel sort of Bad Ass and probably the deciding factor in me doing it, because I promise it wasn’t the $35 race fee plus having to buy my husband a plate of Jim N Nicks BBQ.

Have you ever raced twice in one day? What have you done that makes you feel like a total Bad Ass?

 

Tuesday Training

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44 miles for the week?! Oof. It was mostly bike though. Monday was my normal swim plus spin at 5:15.. yes. That means I am in the pool by 4:45AM, y’all. That’s kind of insane. Wednesday I biked with Donnie and Shannon. Friday I ran. Saturday, another bike ride that was cut short when Shannon had a flat.

I’ve got the Wet Dog Triathlon on Saturday. I’ll be honest… I’ve got to cut back on my training. It’s making me ill and cranky and I am not enjoying a single step of it. It feels like work, but a job where I am constantly failing at consistently juggling.

I’m signed up for Rocketman in Huntsville in August. It’s an Olympic distance triathlon and they sent an e-mail out saying since registration is full, if anyone wanted to drop, they would re-imburse the entire registration fee. I’ll see how Saturday goes, but I am honestly considering dropping out. The open water upstream swim scares the crap out of me and I heard that the run has a lot of loose gravel. Which means, I will bite the dust and I try to avoid that if at all possible.

I told J last night that I’d rather take that registration money and put towards another Fall half. He expressed some concerns that I wasn’t training like I should be for it, and that he was afraid I was going to get injured. Legitimate concerns since he has seen how little that I have been in the pool. I’ve got big goals for half-marathon season, and I have every intention of hitting them.

How was your training this past week?

The Great Escape Triathlon 2013

Saturday was my first Tri of the season. Philly did a team relay and he was the swimmer of the group.

I’ve decided I don’t like competing in things with my husband… he is very much on edge when I am not 15 minutes early and asks for weird “pump up” songs like “Deep River Woman”… Say WHAT?!

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Upon arriving, I grabbed my packet and saw I was number 21.. umm what? No, thank you. That puts me up there with the “real” competitors and freaks me out, but gives me a nice spot in transition.

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The girls came to spectate and were blinded by my awesomeness… or the sun. Whatever.  photo GreatEscape_3_zpsa2aee5c9.jpg

I don’t have any swim pictures.. sorry. Or bike pictures. But this is me in T2… Philly is giving me a run down on how I’m doing.

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This picture says “Hey! This is fun!” But my mouth is really saying, “hey! This sucks! My legs are super pissed about this!”  photo GreatEscape_12_zpsf311c773.jpg

 

The run was mostly shaded and pretty flat minus one hill.

Here’s me coming into the final stretch…

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Practicing my dance moves? I am not sure.But I look like I’m having fun!

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John and his team.. came in 1st. Way to go, guys!!

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Me? I came in 2nd or 3rd, however you want to look at it.

I was 2nd, in all of the preliminary print outs, and then when they did awards, some girl came out of nowhere and beat me and the chick in front of me. No. I think it was rigged… kidding! Sort of.

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Triathlons… you REALLY have to not care what you look like at the end.  photo GreatEscape_37_zps11315132.jpg

I think this is an excellent first time Tri for anyone. Pool swim, short run, easy course. They didn’t have water or Gatorade, therefore, some of us didn’t hydrate properly… Ahem… ME.

They also said they would be giving us swim caps, and they did not. Luckily,I had two in my bag and lent one out to a fellow swimmer.

My goal was to finish under an hour and I did… 58:41. Super proud with the first one of the season! Of course, my thought process was, “Wait. I want to do a half Ironman?!” Because, well, it’s just insane to think about.

 

Inadvertent Secrets.

I have been inadvertently keeping a secret. Not to be mean or to be withholding. But simply because, life has just been straight up crazy lately.

Here goes… I’ve been training for a triathlon. It’s Saturday. It’s a sprint tri and one I did last year, which was it’s inaugural event.

I think it’s a great first tri, with it being a pool swim. It’s a 200 yard pool swim, 8 mile bike, and a 2 mile run. I did it last year in 1:00:46, coming in 3rd in my age group.

The trouble with triathlon training, is you are juggling 3 events, making sure you are putting time and effort into all 3 somewhat equally. After Nike, I took some time off of running to try to concentrate on building up my biking and swimming.

I entered an estimated swim time of 3:30 and I’m about 40 seconds off of that. I am about 45 seconds off my goal pace on the run. I am hoping to make up some time on the bike, but who knows.

I also fell last week on my bike, successfully knocking the chain off and bending my derailer  hanger and the guy can’t even look at it until Tuesday, so I am hoping to get to ride one last time on Wednesday, but who knows.

In the interest of full disclosure, I also have two more triathlons lined up and am thinking of signing up for a half Ironman for next year. And we can’t forget half marathon season! :)

Training Tuesdays

*Let’s take a moment to remember those who lost their lives 11 years ago today. We should all say a special prayer for those families.*

Well, I’m not really training for anything at the moment, but since training never really stops…

I want to continue my swimming and biking and running, but marathon season is upon us, once again.

I will most likely be racing the Mercedes Half Marathon in February, so I need to get my mileage back up before my training plan is set to start.

I am serious about the sub 2:15 half… we are making it happen is 2013.

I did want to share that J went to the pool with me before my Tri and I had him watch my stroke and tell me what I can improve on. Hopefully it will help one or some of you…

Trust me, if I can swim like this, then anyone can.

I was swimming 50 yards in about 53 seconds and J gave me the goal of 45 seconds… this is me making it happen in 43 seconds. Too bad he stopped the video before I shrieked in the pool over the time.

I have a decision to make. Since my Garmin 405 crapped out, I can pay $70 to get it fixed or the new Garmin Forerunner 10 for about $140.

I have a hard time working the 405. I don’t use it to it’s abilities and the bezel and I don’t get along very well.

The downside to the 10 is that it will only show total distance and time on one screen and you have to click over to see average pace– which is a runner’s best friend.

The plus side is.. it comes in pink. 

Help me decide what to do!!

What are you training for?

Do you have any upcoming races?

The Great Escape Triathlon

Saturday morning I ventured out for my second triathlon in Hartselle. This was a first annual event and I thought it went quite well! There were less than 150 people that completed this tri…

It was a pool swim-200 yard, Bike 8 miles, and a 2 mile run.

My realistic finish time was 1:10. My unrealistic finish time was an 1:00.

This was probably my very first race where I was in the top half of the starters.. number 42. I was pumped because that meant I was going to be biking with some pretty fast people. With triathlons, they number you based on your estimated swim time finish– so you’ll be around swimmers who are your pace. My estimated swim time was 5:30.

I think here is where we need to talk about Philly’s gold medal in being a Spectathlete. In the past, maybe his performance has been a little lackluster.. but swimming is his thing, y’all. He grew up on the swim team, and let me tell you, for someone who rarely raises his voice, I could hear him screaming out at me to go faster, to pass people. Every time I was to turn on the side of the pool that he was, he was bent down coaching me to go faster. It was amazing.

Just for the record.. I think this is the picture that I got in trouble for afterwards on the quality of my stroke. So, consider it a “what not to do”.

He ran with me through transition, coaching, talking game plan, etc, while my dad got some very unflattering shots of me from behind. Tri outfits are not your friend, people!! If you are self-conscious about your body, this is NOT the sport for you!

The actual mounting area was on a bit of an incline and there was NO WAY I was clipping in on a slight incline, so I took it to the main road before clipping in. Since I killed the swim, it meant I was with faster cyclists, which I was happy about. Please let me drag behind you! :)

The bike course was relatively flat.. it had a couple of hills and the turn around was tight. I sure did enjoy knowing I was out there with a bunch of dudes. I think it really pushed me. I was estimating that I would finish the bike portion is 40-ish minutes. I tried to make sure I stood up a few times– I read somewhere that helps the lactic acid building in your quads to flow, therefore not making your legs feel quite as dead when it’s time to run. No clue if it’s true, but it seemed to help.

This is the look on my face of horror as they are trying to tell me to “go to the orange cone” but what they meant is, “turn before the orange cone”. Please don’t have someone slam on their brakes that is still half-way attached to their bicycle. It causes them to not be able to get clipped out on the other side.

I tried to save time in transition by only single knotting my laces.. mistake. I ended up having to stop twice on the run course to re-tie my shoe laces.

Someone’s feeling good and not about to die. So, that’s a plus.

So, would you like to know my finish time? It was 1:00:46, officially. I freaking KILLED IT.

I placed 3rd in my age group, 14th overall woman. The shoe tying thing ended up costing me 2nd place and probably breaking an hour, but I do not care, y’all. I have never been so proud of an accomplishment.

My breakdowns were this:

200 yard swim- 4:07

8 Mile Bike- 32:20

2 mile run-20:00

I still need to work on my transition times, but I feel like they were MUCH better than last time.

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Dad and Karen were part of Spectathlete and photography crew

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Representin’ 3rd place and a Fleet Feet gift card!

This was an excellent race. Very well put together, ran smoothly. Friendly staff.

It also didn’t hurt that I felt like a BOSS afterwards. Where can I sign up for my next one?!

Addy Talks…. Winning.

With Addy doing competition gymnastics, I have always stressed the importance of doing your best and having fun. It’s not always about winning.

(We have a problem with competitiveness with our little red head.)

Since my half marathons always give medals at the finish line, it was a legitimate question for her to ask if I was going to receive a medal after completing my Tri.

I told her I didn’t know if I would. She informed me that if I didn’t get a medal, she would give me one of hers, because “she didn’t need them all.”

On Saturday morning, we were headed to the race, and she told me this little gem:

“Mommy. I don’t care if you lose. All that is important is that you have fun.”

Right. I guess she WAS listening to all of my pep talks about it.

After I crossed the finish line, she walked with me back to the transition area to get all my stuff and started a conversation that went like this:

“Mommy. Why didn’t you get a medal?”

Me: “Well, they didn’t give finisher medals.”

“Well, THOSE people got them!”

Me: “Yes, they placed in their age group so they got a medal.”

“What does that mean?”

Me: “Well, it means they did their very best so they got a medal. Like what you do in gymnastics. If you didn’t do your best, then you wouldn’t get a medal.” (Very satisfied with my answer.)

“Mommy? Did you not do YOUR very best?” (touche, kid)

Me: “Well…. yes. But their best was better than my best.”

“But WHY didn’t you get a medal?! If you did your best, you should get a medal!”

I feel certain that conversation could have gone round and round for hours, luckily we were interrupted by someone.

I may butt heads with this kid all day long, but man, I love her sassiness!

Triathlete Official.

 

DISCLAIMER: This post has a LOT of pictures and it’s super long.

I did it, y’all.

1:39:29.

Now, let’s talk about it.

It rained. Early morning showers. I freaked. It made it overcast, which, made the temperature nice, but it was muggy.

Bill kept asking for a “Before” picture. 

Me and Mama

I was 499 out of 600. 

My transition area.

Some of you may wonder how quick I am with social media. This is me. Always. Completely addicted to my phone. I’m just glad someone caught it on film. It’s a sickness, really. 

Putting on my swim cap! 

Claire isn’t cut out from spectating, so I hear. 

They way they started this tri was the number you based on your estimated swim time (I put 17:30). So, I was towards the back of the pack. Mentally, I think this got me down in the race. 

Me and Dad walking to the beach

Zone, people. Ready to dominate. 

Shannon and I went out into the water and swam to get used to the water temperature and the first time I stuck my face into that muddy, murky water– I panicked. You cannot see anything. I knew there was no way that I was going to be able to stick my face in that water and swim. 

They put in you in one at a time about every 3 seconds. I fell into my groove quickly, and had to move to outside because I started passing people like crazy.

One of the most disorienting feelings in the world is coming up out of the water to a running position. I wasn’t prepared for that.

I made it to transition and grabbed my bike to set off.

Did you know that when it’s overcast out that your tri outfit can’t dry out therefore, the rest of the race will be done in a wet outfit. YUCK!

Maybe I should mention here about how unattractive these tri outfits are.. geez.

The bike was not fun. I was sliding all over the seat. I felt slow and was bored. I started getting ticked off because I was all by myself. And I got passed a LOT.

So coming back into transition, I was beat mentally. I grabbed my ipod and water and tried to take off. But, my legs weren’t wanting to work. 

And then?! I made a mistake. I followed girl in the orange. Who went the wrong way. I had to cut all the way back across the parking lot and try to find the entrance.

I really felt like a volunteer would have been helpful at this transition point.

(If I ever get a time machine, I’m going back to this point and telling myself don’t follow her! She doesn’t know the way!!)

I hit the trail.. mostly by myself. I passed several people and never got passed. But I was so ready to be done and into dry clothes by the end.

(Just keep waving girl in your swim cap… I’m just going to smoke you real quick.) 

Here’s the “After” picture with Shannon. 

I think this is me saying.. “I’m dying.” 

Me and John

Dad and Karen– Karen was a trooper!! She has pneumonia and bronchitis and was here to cheer me on!! 

Mom and Bill

The conclusion… I will probably do one again. With a different bike. I will also practice my gear changes.

Here are my breakdowns:

Swim: 11:45 (I smoked the swim, yo!)

Bike: 47:25 (not that great)

Run: 34:25 (ehh.. for a trail run, in which I went the wrong way, I’ll take it.)

My transition times were horrible.. let’s not even talk about that. That will definitely have to be practiced as well.

All in all.. I am very glad I did it. I’m proud of the dudes I chick’d on the run– they really helped boost my morale.

I’m a Triathlete, y’all!!

Now, where’s my Swim Bike Run sticker?!

It’s Tri Time, Y’all!

I geared up last night for my final ride on the bike. I wanted to test out my new super awesome sunglasses. I also had to get my water bottle holder thing (like that terminology?!) attached so I could stay hydrated. Also, my super awesome new riding buddies are taking my bike up to Decatur for me. So, we decided to meet tonight and ride. I also decided to try just a high pony tail in the bike helmet. Y’all could have eased my worries on that!!! It’s a total breeze! It’ll fit in the swim cap and I can obviously run in it– I feel like a cotton headed ninny muggins now.

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Not sure what I’d do without Donnie.. he’s who got Kelsie’s shoes in Nashville and he keeps air in my bike tires. Subsequently, he rocks some bike shorts, y’all. Seriously. Makes a gal a little self conscious!

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Anyway, he super helpful as far as coaching and figuring out gear changes (Not easy, y’all!)

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Bye Bye little Bike! I’ll see you Saturday morning! I really can’t believe I’m doing this…

Happy Friday!

Training Tuesdays

Wow. It’s been a while since I last blogged.

A lot has happened. But more on that at a another time…

This week is it. My first Triathlon is Saturday. I feel like I have put my training in, but it doesn’t feel like enough. With running, I know where I stand. I know what my times mean. With swimming and biking, no clue. I’m just out there. I have no idea how far I can push my body for each event. I know what it can take with running. It’s a very scary thought for me.

With all of this said, I am absolutely petrified that the open water swim is going to cause me to panic and DNF right out of the shoot. Swimming isn’t my strong suit, although, I have come a long way with this training, and feel, given a few more months, it could very well be something I’m pretty decent at.

I went this weekend and bought some sunglasses for the event. Are they as fashionable as my Coach sunnies? Nope. But they are pink and pretty awesome. The nice man at Cahaba Cycles showed me a very pretty bike and I will take donations to be able to pay for it. Geez- what an expensive sport!

I’ve spent the majority of my cycle time in spin class. I am not sure if this will hinder me or not. But I had a ton of fun doing it. We have been up to ride the course and it’s pretty flat, but in doing so, I found out that the run is a trail run– which, I hate trail runs. So, this should be interesting.

I am hoping to finish with a time around 1:30 (Can I put that out there? Because I honestly have no clue how long it could take me.) I am also hoping to not look like a sausage casing in my Tri outfit, because those things are TIGHT. I rocked my tri shorts to spin last night, and let me tell you the LOOKS I got. It was about the same as whenever I wear running skirts up there.

I also decided to wear my hair in a bun, I think. With a visor for the run, which I am not a fan of doing but I’m not going to have much choice. I would expect a ton of pictures, since my step-dad is going and we all know he is a mini-papparazzi.

Oh, and let’s not forget that I have been diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection. So, that’s fun. Two shots in the butt, an oral steroid, z-pack, and a cough syrup and hopefully I’ll be better before Saturday. I don’t think I have ever run a big race and not been sick. I guess my body’s response to nerves is for my immune system to stop fighting germs.

So, wish me luck! Any last minute thoughts or words of wisdom?

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