Thursday, April 28, 2011

more milestones and a brick.

By saturday I'll pass 150 miles cycled. That is almost halfway to my mileage I rode last year and a good chunk of the way towards my max mileage for a summer. My mileage typically tops out around 400-500 miles each summer. I may actually blow that number out of the water this year. I can't remember the last time I felt this good.

My run numbers are well beyond anything I've put in previously. I have gone 11.75 miles on the jog/walk. That is far and away my best YEAR (since sometime around like middle school.)

My swimming is coming along. Considering that I was a sprinter in high school, converting completely to distance has been a chore and I guess I have made the conversion. I can hop in the pool and warm up and drop a half mile swim without really thinking about it. Did I really just type that. WOW!! When I first started this triathlon journey in 2008, I couldn't swim further than 50 yards without being totally gassed and winded. I've since learned how to do so many things and do them and keep going.

Now for a huge celebration for me. I have always hated to run (since I came back to running) it typically takes me 2 days to recover from any jog/walk/run because my calves hurt and it killed me to walk for several days after any race or training. Lately, I've been training and getting back out the next day and not hurting. Walking just fine. To help myself with that, I've recently added calf sleeves. It has helped even more. I wore them last night during my brick.

So my brick. I broke out the aero bars last night. I wanted to try them out, haven't had them on in 2 years and with the race in just nine days I needed to see if I was more comfortable in the aero bars or the drops. I don't know how hard the wind was blowing last night, but I tried both and was far more comfortable in the drops. I can't predict the weather going into the race and that includes the wind. I have to be sure that I am race ready going in. For the brick, I went out hard and fast... too hard and too fast. But it was good to do that and find my race pace. I need to go out around 12-13 mph and just keep ramping up the effort level. The good news is that even with the effort level I was putting out last night, against the wind, my calves didn't cramp on the bike and they normally do. During my last tri, I was 6 miles in and had to back off my pace because I was cramping out. It sucked, but I also knew I was laying it all out there. I was laying it all out last night and didn't twinge until I hit the jog part of the brick. I also hydrated too much on the bike, but I was fighting something fierce against the wind and pulling hard, so once again, learn from last night and use it in the race.

okay, so the countdown begins. race is in 9 days. At this point, if I'm not ready, I'm toast. I know I haven't been able to swim like I want to. I also know that individually I can go out and do all three events. There is not a doubt in my mind that I can go out and do all three events at once. I don't go out to compete for a podium position, I go out for me. I am out there to be healthy, and to be a role model for my little girl.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fun times

Yesterday (saturday) I was able to kayak and see my first open water swim from a fish eye view (hehehe.) I was in my kayak paddling along the course as a support person. This was something I had looked to do as a way to ease my discomfort at doing my first open water swim in two weeks and having never done one in a race. I've done swims in Jordan Lake, in the ocean and several other lakes, with and without goggles, but never with several hundred of my closest friends trying to hit, kick elbow and drown me all at once. I've done enough reading about open water swims in the last several years to know that I wanted a couple races under my belt before even attempting one.

For those of you who aren't aware, what happens at the front end of an open water swim is often called "the human washing machine." I won't use the phrase that my dad would as I like to keep the blog with a pg rating, so we'll go with an adaptation. It's all elbows and ankles. The swim waves I saw yesterday they started five swimmers at a time with a 15 second gap between swimmers. It still turned the perfectly calm lake into a choppy body of water.

The early swimmers went as I expected they would, the only way I expected any issues in the early waves was if someone had seeded themselves too high. It didn't appear to happen. The first swimmer was out in just over 9 minutes. That's pretty fast for a 750 yard swim. It was a clockwise swim, out to a buoy, right to the next buoy, right and into the ramp and up into transition.

The first 10-20 minutes was as expected... a couple people seemed to get winded from going out too quickly, they rolled over to their back to recover, caught their breath and off they went. About halfway through the swim, I heard my first call for help. It was near another kayaker, but shortly after that I had a swimmer hanging off the front of my kayak. Seeing as this was the first time I had supported a swim, I was briefed before the event to direct the swimmer to either the front or back of the kayak, but not the cockpit as it would flip me into the water. Everyone was great. I had the same guy on my kayak several times, we also had several small buoys in the kayak and we were able to hand those out as well. I ended up following a single swimmer towards the end. I picked this gentleman up at the first buoy. The poor man looked up at me as he rounded the buoy and says, "I hate swimming, I thought this was supposed to be fun." No goggles, he was winded and his poor eyes were red. He was my second hanger on of the swim and I remained with him until he finished and I was happy to see him finish. He passed 4 people in the last 200 yards and after all the kayaks were out of the water, we (my friend and I) were invited to join the kayak team for more tri's later this summer.

After that, we headed up to watch some transitions and catch a little of the race and met up with another volunteer who happened to be a triathlon coach. The gentleman was great. Most coaches wouldn't tell you anything if you weren't paying them, yet this man asked me what race I was doing and then proceeded to ask what my concerns were and then alleviated every single one of them.

I have never done an open water swim before and that is one of my concerns. The good news is that White Lake is crystal clear (spring fed) and beautiful. It is my understanding that the max depth is 10 feet and from the time you hit the water you'll be able to see where the buoy is without doing spotting. Just look for the anchor line attached to the bottom. Another concern is the previously mentioned "washing machine effect" in the start. This gentleman advised me to start at the outside left of the wave and then work my way in towards the buoy. I may swim an additional 10-20 yards, but by the time I get there, it will be thinned out and I likely won't get hit or kicked. That was one of the things I saw yesterday. There was a guy halfway through his swim, basically quit swimming and looked around and then looked at me. When I asked if he was okay, he said, "Yeah, just tired of getting hit and kicked." I was sitting in my kayak and thinking, "HELLO, you are doing an open water swim, you've gotta expect to get hit or kicked or swam over during a swim."

Today was going to be a training day with a brick, but a migraine derailed that plan. I spent my afternoon sleeping off my migraine meds and yet it is still hanging around. Hopefully it will be gone when I wake up in the morning. y'all have fun... tomorrow is a double work day and tuesday is the second day of changeover from Easter to Mother's Day. The blessing and curse of working for a greeting card company. Unfortunately there is only two weeks between Easter and Mother's day which means I have two days to change over 8 stores from Easter to Mother's day. Holy Schnikes.

Remember, you never know until you tri.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Good week going so far.

Checking in again.

Went to the doctor today for a medicine check and of course, had to step on the scale. (WOOHOO!!!) Yes, you read that right, I had a woohoo for stepping on the scale. I've been STUCK at 173 lbs for the longest time and couldn't bust through it. I've tried different things and even though I've seen the changes in other ways, it's still frustrating to not see the reward on the scale. Today at the doctor's office, I got a little reward. 171 lbs!!! I am thisclose to seeing the 160's for the first time this century.

I can't remember the last time I was in the 160's.

Another bonus for the day is that I tried on tri shorts today. Women's tri gear has NEVER fit me. I've had to wear men's gear (which sucked) because I wanted something cute. I'm not the stereotypical girlie-girl, but I occasionally want something cute to wear, not something butch or masculine. So when I show up at a race wearing what the boys are wearing because the women's gear won't fit over the girls or the belly, that sucks. I don't want to be a priss, but I want to look like a woman. I've long been thought of as something I'm not based on the sports I've played and the activities I've done. For once, I want to look like a woman despite being a little thicker and stronger than the average bear. I earned my muscles and want to show them off. Today I tried on a pair of women's tri shorts (size L) and THEY FIT PERFECTLY!!! hooray. More tears in the dressing room. It's nice to see my hard work pay off and see my body looking the way I want it to look.

Last night I rode my bike with the team and past the 100 mile mark for the year. I am currently at 105.39 miles on the bike in 2011.

Today I jogged 1.58 miles this morning after getting little one onto the bus for school. That puts my run totals for 2011 at 9.19 miles.

My swim distance is woefully behind where is should be at this point, especially with a race in 2.5 weeks. It's the one discipline I am comfortable with, but also am hesitant with. I don't have a gym membership, and the pool I have a membership at is 40 minutes away and not near anything else I do. Additionally, work has picked up dramatically and trying to fit a swim in with everything else, it just isn't happening. In 2011, I have swum I measly 2550 yds. My swim for my race is 750 yds. I hope to be in the pool on tomorrow and friday though.

So, now to update.

2010 totals.

BIKE: 24h 24m 40s - 313.55 miles
RUN: 1h 30m 18s - 5.08 miles
SWIM: 1h 13m 41s - 600 yds

2011 totals to date

BIKE: 6h 26m 6s - 105.39 miles
RUN: 2h 20m 12s - 9.19 miles
SWIM: 1h 30m - 2550 yds

As you can see I have already surpassed my totals for swim and run from last year and won't take too long to surpass the bike total this year either. That makes me very happy. I'll keep you updated. The goal from here on out is to update the totals at the end of each month. Keep on truckin'

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Okay, the picture on the left was taken last night, and the picture on the right was taken only two months ago. Can you believe the difference. I sure can't. People had been commenting lately that my face had slimmed down recently. I look in the mirror everyday and hadn't noticed a change. I went fishing last night with my daughter and caught a fish and my husband used my camera and took a picture. As we were eating dinner at a restaurant, I pulled my phone out and looked at the picture and almost fell over with how slimmed down my face was. I was talking on fb with a friend of mine and he sent me the link to the other picture. 2 month ago, February 6, was when that picture was taken. Since then I have found my health again and I am finally feeling better. People I haven't seen since September have noticed. I am amazed at how well my body is doing with the changes I've made. I am training, but with my work schedule, it is kind of hard to fit it in. This week I am working close to 40 hours, plus a doctor's appointment for my daughter, a bike meeting and more. Last week, I swam over 1000 yds and rode about 11 miles. I plan to do some training this weekend. I got to get it when I can. I wish I was able to train more, but work comes first. Stay tuned, who knows, I may make my goal weight by September... that would be AWESOME!!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Momentous days

I've been noticing changes lately now that I've been feeling better and working out more. My pants have continued to get looser and looser and pulling my belts tighter and tighter to keep the pants up.

I decided to finally, slowly build my new wardrobe. I went to try on some new pants and grabbed a 14, I had been wearing a 16 for quite a while and that's what has been falling off, so go down a size and try it on. I put the 14's on and nearly bawled. THEY WERE TOO BIG!!! The 12's were a touch too small and wanting to roll at the waistband so I went ahead and bought the 14's, but it looks like I will be back to 12's from here on out for a while.

Last year I barely surpassed 300 miles on my bicycle for the summer. This year, I am already 11 miles away from 100. I will pass that milestone by friday. It will be my earliest crossing off the 100 mile mark in my 6 years of cycling. I am so excited for this year and this is going to be an amazing year. Keep up with me if you can. I can barely keep up with myself.