Monday, May 30, 2011

Transition practice

Today was my day to practice my transitions. I set up my bike and "transition area" out in my yard. I took a couple of pictures so I can look at them on race morning and make sure I have everything I need.

Starting at the top: I have my helmet, and inside of it are my sunglasses, Garmin, and sport beans. The first thing to do when I get to T1 (swim to bike transition) is to turn on my Garmin and eat a few beans. Most transition diagrams show the helmet sitting on the bike, but my bike doesn't have the right sort of handlebars to allow for that.

Next to my helmet are my shoes. I will run and bike in the same shoes. Inside the shoes are my socks, which are 'pre-rolled' to allow for an easier time getting them on. I saw that tip in this video from Beginner Triathlete and sort of thought it was goofy, but it really works!

Beneath the helmet and shoes are my visor, race belt skirt, and towel for drying off. I took another picture (below) to remind myself on race day to put the visor under the skirt for T2 (bike to run transition).

After I set up transition in the front yard, I went back inside and got my tri gear on, complete with goggles and swim cap. Jumped in the cold shower so I was nice and wet, and then ran outside. I did 10 push-ups so I would be in a horizontal position (a tip I got from the training plan at Sprint Triathlon Training) and then ran around the yard for a minute or so, taking off my goggles and cap. I'm sure the neighbors who looked outside at that time are now convinced that I'm looney!

Then I went over to my "transition area" and got to work. One thing about having the sort of brain that I do is that I had practiced the order for this in my head many times. It went fairly smoothly, I think. By the time I had everything on, Garmin was booted up and ready to go. I ran the bike down to the corner like I would have to do to get to the bike mount line, and I hopped on. OK, "hopped on" is a misnomer as actually getting on my bike is quite an ugly process for me, but you know what I mean!

I biked one loop around my neighborhood (a little more than a mile and a half) and decided to come back and practice T2. I dismounted the bike at the same line and ran it up to the yard. Took off the helmet, put on the visor, changed to the "run" setting on Garmin and headed out. I only went about halfway around the neighborhood. If I had planned in advance to do both T1 and T2, I would have biked two times around the neighborhood and run one time.

Overall it went very well and I'm very pleased! I was planning to practice the transitions again on Thursday, but I don't think I have to. But I might anyway... I'll play it by ear!

Just 5 days to go!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Triathlon Training: Week 8 recap

This week served to confirm to me that it's not always the busiest and hardest weeks that are rough, but the time right afterward when you are trying to recover! :)

Monday - 45 minute run, 1000 yard swim
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - "brick" (45 minute bike ride/15 minute run)
Thursday - 1000 yard swim, 4 mile run
Friday - rest
Saturday - 6.53 mile run
Sunday - 15.22 mile bike ride

I was able to get my swimming done at the YMCA this week. They offered a 7 day guest pass, and I had always wanted to see what they had to offer. Unfortunately, because of some unexpected stuff that came up, I was only able to get over there to swim. I really wanted to do a Yoga class or a Zumba class, but I didn't have time. But at least I was able to swim, which was good for my confidence.

The rest of the workouts were more challenging than they had been before. My right shin really hurt during the run portion of the brick, like it did back during the first time I did a brick. I stopped running twice to see if I could "reset" but that didn't help. However, after about a mile and a half, it just went away and I didn't have any further trouble with it. Not sure what caused the trouble. The other run workouts this week were also rough, I guess because it was so humid.

But now, here I am 6 days away from THE EVENT! The physical work is done, and now the mental work begins! I am going to spend the next days mentally preparing for the race, going over the transitions in my mind, and visualizing how the race goes. And I'll probably spend a good bit of time praying, too!!! But I'm going to stay positive! :) My brain naturally goes to the worst that can happen (flat tire, anyone???) but I'm not going to let it get to me!!

I am actually getting excited!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Triathlon Training: Week 7 recap

Well, I did it! I lived through the busiest week of our spring and the heaviest week of triathlon training! It was iffy there for awhile, but I managed. I even managed to get today's training in (the first day of Week 8) after being gone at dance rehearsals/recitals for 20 of the last 48 hours!

Monday - 45 minute run/1200 yard swim
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - brick (45 minute bike ride/15 minute run)
Thursday - 1000 meter swim/40 minute run
Friday- rest
Saturday - 6.54 mile run
Sunday - 19.58 mile bike ride

The one thing that did fall to the wayside this week was my arm and ab work. But I'm really Ok with that because I only had so many hours in the day. I'll pick both up back tomorrow. I didn't drink nearly enough water this week, though, so today I'm going to drink some gatorade and see if I can get myself rehydrated.

The bike ride yesterday was really, really tedious. Since I'm not comfortable with biking on the street, and I didn't have time to venture to a destination, that left me with my regular 2.2 mile park loop. It was so boring. And one thing I've noticed on these longer bike rides is that my wrists get really sore, especially my left one. I'm not sure why this is... I may try to google that later on.

This week I need to practice transitions, since I didn't get to that last week. Only 12 days to go!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Running and Childbirth

I think running must be a lot like childbirth. And this is an especially timely post because 15 years ago right now I was experiencing childbirth for the very first time - my son was born in the early morning hours of May 18th! :)

So how does running compare to childbirth? Amnesia after the event.

There seems to be this phenomenon among runners that finds us pushing through the worst events in the worst circumstances and swearing we will NEVER do THAT again. And then a few days, weeks, or months later, we find ourselves recalling the experience with fondness - or pride! Those of us who have given birth can assure you that the process is quite the same. Though with childbirth you do have the baby at the end to help you forget all the pain. Maybe a medal is the racer's equivalent of the baby?? LOL

Anyway, I'm having Warrior Dash amnesia right now. It doesn't hurt that the results were posted online yesterday and I completed it in 37:25! With all the obstacles and nasty hills that I walked up, I still finished less than 2 minutes over my very first regular 5K time?!?! And I finished in the top 25% in my division (women 35-39)! It also helps that people have commented on Warrior Dash's Facebook page that it was more challenging than last year.

Still doesn't guarantee I'll do the Warrior Dash again next year, but that's mostly from the perspective of having limited finances. So many races, so little money! LOL

Monday, May 16, 2011

Triathlon Training: Week 6 recap

The drop-back week was very much appreciated by my body! LOL Here is what the week looked like:

Monday - 1200 yd. swim
Tuesday - brick (15 minute bike ride/15 minute run)
Wednesday - rest (I swapped Tuesday and Wednesday because of family obligations)
Thursday - 30 minute run, 1100 meter swim
Friday - rest
Saturday - Warrior Dash!
Sunday - 45 minute bike ride

I was glad to have a lighter schedule of training last week to rest up for the Warrior Dash. Also, we had a busy week so I don't know how I would have fit the workouts in with our school work and activities. This coming week will be the toughest training of the plan, and it would coincide with our busiest week of the school year. We have 2 dance recitals, a 6 hour long dress rehearsal, a glee club concert, my son's 15th birthday, a baseball game, 3 dance classes, a concert from my favorite band, and the premier of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides! If I live through it all, it will be a miracle! :) Thankfully, we wrapped up our lessons for year last Friday!

On a side note, I am feeling better about the Warrior Dash now! Lots of folks were posting on the Facebook wall about how it was harder than last year's dash. I think I was just expecting the obstacles to be on a lesser level from the things I had read about Warrior Dash, and I guess they stepped it up a bit this year, which took me by surprise. That's OK, though! :) I did all of the obstacles... and finished the challenge! That's all that matters! I'm still not sure if I will do it next year or not, but that's more because of money issues and there being other races I would like to try. Unfortunately, I can't do them all! LOL

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Race Report: Warrior Dash Georgia 2011

***Blogger had some issues the last couple of days and I know some people lost posts. Unfortunately, I've been so crazy busy that I can't remember if I posted anything else and lost it. LOL I guess if I did, then it wasn't all that important!***

Yesterday I participated in my first Warrior Dash! I had registered for this race way back at the end up September so I had a lot of time to look forward to it! But as the event grew nearer, I started to get worried about the obstacles, and about getting injured and not being able to participate in the triathlon. Mental note to self: do NOT google "Warrior Dash reports" because most people who report tend to do so to show off their massive injuries! LOL This will not set your mind at ease.

Because this is the busiest time in our family's calendars, we had to make our Warrior Dash experience a one-day event. My BFF and I left her house at 6:30 AM to make the 90 minute drive up to Clayton and Mountain City, Georgia. It was actually nice because we hadn't had too much girl time lately due to the aforementioned busy family calendars. We hadn't even had time to work out together in the last week, so this was a nice time to catch up. And we both prefer to be early and hang out and relax before the event so that works out well.

I've never been up to this part of the state and I thought the town of Clayton was very pretty. They were certainly ready for the Warriors! The Walgreens had lots of cute sayings on their signs.

We got there to park and they shuttled us to the race site via tour bus. I was having Disney Princess Half Marathon flashbacks! That only increased when the bus didn't drop us off at the start line, but we still had to walk a distance! LOL

I decided to put my game face on and at least try to look the part, despite being quite nervous!

This was the source of my anxiety. I was not expecting this big wall. When I came home yesterday I looked at the Warrior Dash website, and it was NOT shown in the pictures. It may have been described, but it wasn't shown. I double-checked ALL the pictures! This monster was nowhere to be found. I'd been worried about my lack of upper-body strength, but now I was near panic. I was having flashbacks of PE in school where you have to climb the rope that is attached to the ceiling, and how I could never do that.

Since we were several hours early, and nobody seemed to be checking the start waves, BFF and I jumped into the 10:00 wave instead of the 10:30 wave we had registered for. I really just needed to get the whole thing over with before I panicked any further.

The first obstacle was crossing the lake, which was supposed to be shoulder deep. I wasn't worried about this but my BFF is in the process of overcoming a significant fear of the water to participate in the triathlon in 3 weeks. She was OK with shoulder-deep water, but the problem was that this water was over both of our heads. They should have let people know when they were getting in. If there was a place where it was shallow, they should have told people!

The next obstacle was climbing over the cars and that was pretty fun! They were slippery but not very overwhelming!

Then it was time to climb over the walls. Now, these walls I had judged from the pics on the website to be about 6 inches shorter than they were. They were just tall enough for me that I really struggled to climb over them.

In between each of the walls, you had to climb under the barbed wire (which wasn't as dangerous as it sounds because you can see through the pictures that there is a piece of wood underneath so if you came up too high you would hit the wood). But after this obstacle of climbing and crawling so quickly over and over, I was really spent.

It was some point after this obstacle that my BFF exclaimed, "There's blood running down your leg!!" I looked down and sure enough, I have managed to cut or scrape my right knee. It wasn't anything major though and it stopped bleeding before I could get a cool picture of it! LOL

And then we came to the big wall. I pulled myself up with the rope and really thought I wasn't going to be able to do it. The places to put your feet were very small and wet and slippery, and I just don't have the upper body strength to pull all of my weight using the rope. I have to admit I was really scared that I was going to fall off. I got to the top of the wall and realized there was no rope to hold on to coming down. There were just slats like on the other side, but these were even more narrow. But, as you can see from the picture, I made it. But after this, my heart was racing with fear and it was really hard to run.

This obstacle wasn't as intimidating because I've climbed these sorts of things at the playground with the kids. The hardest part was the number of people climbing next to you making it move around a lot.

There were a couple of other obstacles in between here that we didn't get pictures of. And the trail running back through that section was unreal. I've never done any trail running and this was practically straight up and muddy. I slipped a couple of times and ended up walking in the middle of the muddiest part of the trail because I had better traction in the puddles than I had on the sides. We crawled on the ground in the pitch black, climbed through "spider webs" (bungee cords tangled across the trail) where thankfully people grabbed me to keep me from falling over as I got tangled in the mess, and walking/balancing on a board 5 feet off the ground.

We finally got to the slide, which was a relief because I didn't think I could have trouble with this one. But I did! LOL I only made it about 3/4 of the way down before I came to a grinding stop! The staff member called out that I must not weigh enough to carry me all the way down the hill. Ha ha... unlikely! ;)

There was some tire climbing somewhere in there that I forgot to mention, but that was also easy enough since I've done that at the playground, too! LOL

I think my favorite of the obstacles was the mud pit!!

But I did have a rather rough time getting OUT of the mud pit. I kept sliding back in!

And then I couldn't get UP! LOL

The next obstacle was climbing over "logs" in thigh-waist deep water, but that wasn't too hard, either. Then it was time to sprint for the finish line and jump over the fire pit. I was planning to smile really pretty and get a great picture like Heather at Run Faster, Mommy!, but the fire was higher than I was expecting and I had to concentrate on making the jump! LOL I hope the pictures turn out anyway!

I got my medal and took a victory picture! I couldn't believe how dirty and muddy I was, but it didn't really bother me too much!

I brought some neosporin spray to coat any scrapes and cuts! LOL I'm glad I did! ;)

Here I am in the traditional "race shirt" picture!

And here I am in my Viking Helmet (which is more like a Santa Hat than a helmet @@)!
The verdict is still out on this one. I can't help but feeling like I "failed" even though I completed all of the obstacles. I'm really not sure why I feel so bad about it all. Maybe that it was so hard? That I felt like such a wimp compared to others who sailed over and through the obstacles? I know better than to compare myself to others. Maybe I feel like I failed myself? I've been working so hard with triathlon training, and I've always been doing some simple weights, so I know my upper body is getting stronger. And that is what matters. I wish I could get rid of this nagging "fail" feeling.

As for the atmosphere of the Warrior Dash, it was a lot of fun, at least during the time we were there! We arrived very early on the first day and we left around noon. There were a lot of fun costumes, but some were risque. And some people wore shirts that had some interesting phrases on them. And there was a LOT of drinking. I saw some people bringing their children but I'm not sure I would agree this is a family-friendly event. Perhaps if you came early and left around lunch time like we did? We didn't see any rowdy behavior during the time we were there, but I could see if becoming that way into the evening. The band that played while we were there was excellent and I enjoyed sitting around and listening to them! I wish they had served something besides beer, because I truly can't stand beer. We got a free beer for participating, but I took one sip and tossed it. I'm sure it's too expensive, but this would have been a great venue for Mike's Hard Lemonade! ;) The food options were limited to turkey legs and BBQ (and veggie burgers), and you weren't allowed to bring in outside food or drinks. I could have sat and listened to the bands for a long time, but not with that sort of food and drink.

Overall, I'm glad I did the Warrior Dash. I'm not sure I'll be back next year, though.

Monday, May 9, 2011

What have I done???

Congratulations! You are now registered for the

2011 Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon & 1/2 Marathon - Marathon.

6 days after completing my first marathon... I will be completing (hopefully! LOL) my 2nd marathon!

And then I'll be a Marathon Maniac.

Or maybe I'm just a maniac in general! LOL

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Triathlon Training: Week 5 recap

This was the 2nd heaviest week of training so far... according to my online tracking site, I logged a total of 45 miles this week (combined swim/bike run)!! Unreal! Here are the details:

Monday - 45 minute run/1200 yard swim
Tuesday - rest/Tight on Time arms and abs
Wednesday - "brick" (45 minute bike ride/20 minute run)
Thursday - 1000 meter swim/4 mile run
Friday - rest/ 45 minute Yoga
Saturday - 6.6 mile run
Sunday - 17.4 mile bike ride

All of the workouts went well... but I am really, really tired today! This coming week is another drop back week and it couldn't come at a more perfect time! My daughter has group ITBS testing this week at 8:30 AM so I won't be able to get my workouts done in the morning - some will have to wait for the afternoon. But thankfully, they are all fairly short workouts so it won't be bad. Also, I am participating in the Warrior Dash this coming weekend so it will be good to rest up in preparation for that experience!

Speaking if that, I am starting to get nervous about the Warrior Dash. It seems like so much fun, but I'm really afraid of hurting myself and not being able to do the triathlon. My plan is to take it nice and slow and careful. tI can't wait to get all muddy and wet - just do NOT want to get more than some scrapes and bruises!! Please!!

Well, that's about all for today - stay tuned tomorrow afternoon for an important announcement! :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Half Way There!!

Today's workout marked the half-way point in this triathlon training plan!! I can't believe the triathlon is 4 weeks from Saturday!! :)

And next week is another drop back week!! Hooray!! LOL

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fitness Psych 101

Ok, prop your feet up for a moment on my couch while I self-analyze using every bit of my minor in psychology to impress you!

Once upon a time, there was a skinny girl who was unhealthy. She smoked and her basic meal plan looked like this:

Breakfast - cigarette and Mr. Pibb on the way to school/work
Morning snack - cigarette
Lunch - A can of Pringles, a Reese's Peanut Butter cup, a Pibb, and a cigarette
Afternoon snack - chips, and a cigarette
Dinner - Macaroni and cheese from a box, Pibb, cigarette
After dinner snack - candy, chips, cigarette

Can you see why she was skinny? She didn't eat ANYTHING, and when she did eat it was junk. OK, I will admit it - "she" is me. Ugh. I cringed typing that out. Anyway, back to the story...

It was cool to "join a gym" when she was in college and they offered a discount for students so she joined and did the stairmaster. Sort of. Still smoking and eating junk food. Then she also started country line dancing a few nights a week at a local bar. Don't laugh, this WAS the early 90s, folks! Achy Breaky Heart?? Remember?? (Besides, that bar is where I met my musician husband so it was all worth it. But that's jumping ahead...)

Anyway, lots of calorie burning kept the pounds off. But still, I was the unhealthiest skinny person on the planet. And then, I entered into a very bad relationship with an older man who decided that I was not skinny enough. He told me I wasn't in shape like his roommate's fiancee, so I started doing some exercise videos, too. But he told me MY videos were too easy. So he bought me videos called Buns of Steel starring Tamilee Webb because that's what his roommate' fiancee used.

They were HARD. It hurt and he teased me because I couldn't do it. For my 21st birthday, he bought me exercise clothes. Did I mention at this point that I weighed under 100 pounds and I am 5'5" tall?? Less than a week after that birthday, he dumped me. Said I was too clingy and too immature. Isn't God good to be so merciful as to allow me to get away from him? I never would have left him on my own. How terrifying that would have been had I stayed. I met my husband less than 2 months later, so there is a happy ending to that crazy time in my life! :)

ANYWAY, I always carried around in my head that Buns of Steel and Tamilee Webb were this perfection in fitness, and that I had no chance of reaching that level of fitness. Ever. Period. I did use a Buns of Steel pregnancy tape and used that one during my last child's pregnancy when I had been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes in the first trimester. But it wasn't Tamilee, it was Madeline Lewis. For the record, that tape was excellent and I used it all the way up to the day before my daughter was born at 40 weeks, 4 days! I was in the best shape of my life, up to that point, during that pregnancy.

Fast forward to now. I don't have much time to do workout DVDs, and in what seems impossible, I find that I prefer to complete my workouts outside. And since I live in Georgia, that can be done year round for the most part. I have tried to do some Jillian workouts, but she gets on my nerves. I have been wanting to focus on core strength lately because I have read that one needs lots of core strength for marathon endurance. And, vainly, I would like more of a waistline than I currently have! LOL Additionally, I need to work on my upper body strength because I'm going to be participating in a Warrior Dash next week.

My library had a "Tight on Time" DVD by none other than Tamilee Webb, so I checked it out. And it sat on my dresser intimidating the heck out of me. I wanted to do it, and I only needed 10 minutes per workout. But deep inside myself I knew she was too hard for me. She had to be. It's "Tamilee".

Yesterday I decided to give it a try. I figured that if it was too hard, I would just get through the best I could and it would be OK. Apprehensively, I turned on the DVD and waited to see what would happen.

And what would happen is amazing! I did it!! I started with the Arms & Shoulders workout and used the 3 pound weights, since that's what Tamilee was using. And it wasn't too hard at ALL! I'm feeling it more today, but not once did I feel like I was out of my league! I moved on to the abs workout and that was more challenging, but I was able to complete the entire thing! When Tamilee said in her sweet voice, "Two more, please!" I flashed-back to twenty years ago when those words would cause me to wince. But not today.

It was a victory for my psyche. That little part of me that felt beat down and ashamed for all these years disappeared in those 20 minutes. And not only are my core and arms stronger for it, but so is my heart and mind! :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Triathlon Training: Week 4 recap

This week began the 2nd segment of the tri training plan - another build up:

Monday - 45 minute run/1200 yard swim
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - Big Brick (45 minute bike ride/20 minute run)
Thursday - 1200 meter swim/4 mile run
Friday - rest (yoga)
Saturday - 6.5 mile run
Sunday - 13.2 mile bike ride

Can I just say how tired I am?? LOL And hungry???

I logged my first 40+ week this week. Of course, it's not ALL running. But still! That's a huge milestone for me.

Did I mention that I'm tired? And hungry? ALL the time? LOL