Tri Talk Tuesday – Race Prep

Tuesday again and I’m back to chatting triathlony goodness with Cynthia from You Signed Up For What. Miranda is on her way back from Lake Placid and will be back to chatting next week.

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Today’s topic, in honor of Cynthia trying to get herself together to travel many states away to participate in the New York City Triathlon, we’re talking about race prep and logistics! This can mean a lot, but today I’m going to keep things somewhat basic go through some things that can prepare you for a kickass race!

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So, what kind of prepping do you need to be successful?

1. Make sure you have everything you need- Triathlons have a ton of stuff associated with them. It’s basically three sports rolled into one and the amount of gear required can make anyone’s head spin. Make sure you have a good checklist and pack at least one day before so you have time to remember things. I have a system of laying out all my gear slowly over the course of the day prior to a race so I can see the pile for a good 24 and continually add to it as I go. If you need a checklist you can print off my triathlon checklist that I use.

2. Work out travel arrangements in advance and know where you’re going- if you’re traveling for a race makes sure you make appropriate arrangements early on. Also make sure you know your way from your accommodations to the race site including how long it might take you to there and whether or not you’ll be fighting traffic.

3. Read the athlete’s guide and know your race rules- Most triathlons will be governed by USA Triathlon, which means they follow a set of strict rules that you can read up on at the USAT website. But your specific race will also send you an athlete’s guide. Even if you’ve done dozens of races, still take a few minutes to read through it. Different races will have different rules for some things such as when you can and can’t drop your bike off, time tables, transition rules, drafting, etc. Plus most, if not all races, will have a pre race briefing either before the start or the day before. It’s really good to go to these so you know rules about drafting penalties or whether or not you’re allowed to grab a kayak in the water, or other things like that. Last thing you want to pick up a penalty or DQ because you missed something you should have known.

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Know the rules. It will help you have a safe and successful race.

4. Fuel and hydrate properly in the days leading up to race day-  This can honestly make or break a race. Not being well hydrated and properly fueled with good, clean, appropriate foods can really take a toll on you on race day. So get some ideas for how to eat and hydrate the right way then make sure you have a solid plan in place for your race day nutrition too.

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As sad as it may make you, vodka cranberries don’t count as race hydration.

5. Stay positive and have fun- Racing is supposed to be fun, so even though it may be nerve wrecking, make sure you remember that. If you’re traveling or trying to prep for your first race, a new distance, and podium spot, whatever, don’t let the little things that you can’t control consume you. And don’t let the logistics and planning that it may take to get there overshadow what you really intend to take away from your experience.

Hopefully some of this helps ease the process of figuring out logistics and prepping for race day. It’s easy to get caught up in the build up, but don’t let that derail you from your end goal of the race itself.

Any good tips for prepping for race day and not getting overwhelmed by the process?

Favorite off season adult beverage?

Next week’s theme is Lessons Learned! What have you learned from racing? It can be from racing or training in general or something you’ve learned from a specific race. 


Weekly Recap: 7/21 – 7/27

Heyo, Monday, you’re here again. This week was busy. Maybe not so much in terms of workouts, but I was busy.

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Monday was a total rest day after Delta Lake. The race left me feeling kind of wrecked, so I needed a day to myself .

Tuesday I actually had a nice workout. Did a shake out brick indoors at the gym. I did 30 minutes on the spin bike and ten minutes on the treadmill. Nothing crazy, but I actually felt really good I and I wish I did 45/15 instead. A good workout really makes your whole day better, which is good because work has not really slowed down at all for me like I thought it would.

Wednesday became an unintentional rest day. Oh well, can’t win em’ all.

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Yes please!

Thursday saw my first time back in the pool in a long time. My swimming was slipping so I figured it was time to get back at it. The pool had some filter issues for a few weeks and the state of the pool was being described as “vile” “disgusting” and filled with “hair and snot” so I took a break until they finally fixed it. Swimming, I missed you! I also got roped into playing on Husband’s rec league softball team for the second time. They were one girl short for co-ed, so I played outfield, ran the bases a few times, and just had fun getting out and playing.

Friday was my usual and aptly planned rest day.

Saturday is race day, whoop! I ran the Cubby Chase for the second year, although I did the 10k this year. Race report coming mid week, but to give you a sneak peak, it was hot, humid, and slow. Yup.

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Upper body workout- check

Sunday… does hanging drywall count? After the Cubby Chase on Saturday and all day Sunday Hubs and I hung drywall in the basement. By the time we were done Sunday afternoon my arms and shoulder were tired and sore.

This week will probably look similar. I have Iron Girl on Sunday which will be my final race of my four straight weeks of racing. My poor calves are pretty tight and need some love between now and Sunday. But as long as the weather holds out I should be fine. IG Syracuse is basically my benchmark race, so hopefully I’ll see some improvements.

Anyone else race this weekend?

Favorite thing you did this weekend? Taking Griswold swimming, twice!

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Hello Friday. You’re so pretty.

I think I’ve digested my Delta Lake results enough at this point. I’ve been drinking out of my champion glass all week, so that’s how I feel about it. Although a fellow friend and athlete mentioned that they reassessed the swim afterwards and it actually measured 1.1 miles not the traditional .9 that Olympic is supposed to be, which makes me feel infinitely better. I could not wrap my head around the idea that my swim pace was 2:42/100m. But at the new distance that puts me at 2:17/100m, which is definitely right about where I fall for open water, much more accurate.

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I thought “swimming” was floating in the lake with an adult beverage in hand? No? Okay then, we can race. Quit twisting my arm.

I have another race this weekend. That’s three weekends in a row. Three, count em’, three. And guess what next weekend is? Iron Girl. So, four. Four race weekends in a row. Oops. I did not see that coming. In fact, I just realized I did this to myself this week. Well then.

At least this weekend’s race is only a 10k. I need to start half marathon training anyways, so this will just be my first “long run” and I can start really focusing on half training after Iron Girl. I mean, I’ll still have FLT Olympic in September, but I really need to start cranking out speed work and mileage if I want any chance at PR’ing my half marathon time in October.

And speaking of PR’s, I’m going to play along with Friday Five again with my pal Cynthia. Theme for this week is 5 Fitness Goals!

1. PR my half marathon time- Really I’d like to run a sub-2 hour half, but I just don’t foresee reclaiming enough of my seemingly recently lost speed to manage that, so I’ll just PR my time and hope for the best.

2. PR my Olympic triathlon time…again- After Delta Lake I’m really hoping to out a better race at FLT. I think I can, especially since I’ll finally have a time gap in between races for this one. The bike course is hilly, but I have a home field advantage on the swim (really the whole race) and the run is super flat. As long as I don’t hit another wall, this should be doable.

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No one should be that smiley and fresh looking after 34 miles. I want to have that kind o race again.

3. Lose weight- wah, wah, wah, fatty. My diet has been a big old hot mess disaster and my thighs agree. I need to fit into dress pants in a month. I doubt school will let me get away with wearing jeans as much as the Council does, so I really need to drop a few pounds so I can squeeze myself back into my work pants. Woe is me, blah.

4. Get certified- I have my triathlon coaching training and clinic in a few weeks. I’m also going to be looking into getting spinning certified. I’d really like someone to pay me to workout. And I love spinning, so yes please.

5. Become an afternoon athlete- My new job requires me to be to school by 7am and I’ll have a 25 minute commute. My gym doesn’t open until 6am and the Y doesn’t open until 530am. Neither of these options leave me enough time to get in a morning workout, get ready, and get to school on time. I’m really sad about this because morning workouts start my day off right. And if I’m getting up that early I’d rather be working out then struggling to be awake while getting ready. So I’m going to have to switch my gears to working out after school, be it in the school’s weight room or heading right to the gym after I leave. But this will be a big adjustment for me. This also means no more two-a-days. Wahhhhh. But, it’s for a kickass job, so I can figure it out.

If you could get certified in any coaching or fitness instruction, what would you pick and why?

Advice on not making excuses to skip afternoon workouts? That is my downfall.  

Race Report – Delta Lake Triathlon

Wheeewwww. I have some mixed thoughts on this race. But not the race itself, mostly me and my performance.

Delta Lake is kind of a unique race in my eyes. There are plenty of races where there are various distance options to run, but the races typically overlap, like at FLT. But for Delta the sprint race goes off first, then after it’s completed the Olympic starts. You can even opt to run both races back to back assuming you make a specific time cut off for the sprint.

On paper the race sounds like what I can only fathom as a logistical nightmare. Sprint, closely followed by an Olympic, where the long course athletes can be inside transition setting up while the sprint is going on around them. The longer race is a two loop swim, two loop ride, three loop run. Really, reading this in the athlete’s guide kind of made my head spin. However, the race was very well organized and the layout of transition actually worked really well and non of the athletes were ever in each other’s way. Plus I could watch the sprint race while I waited to hit the water, which was fun.

I will say, this particular race was never on my radar. The fabulous Meredith Atwood of Swim Bike Mom had it on her race tour and since My parent’s house was less than an hour from the race venue, I figured why not, ya know? And meeting Meredith was awesome. She is super nice, genuine, and easy to talk to. If you ever get a chance to race with her do it!

I went to the Saturday packet pick up, hung out with Meredith, Lindsay, and a bunch of other fantastic ladies all racing, volunteering, or spectating the race. Then we stayed the night with my parents at the La Quinta Inn across from the Turning Stone Casino. And this is where my crash and burn started. Holy noisy hell. That hotel had zero noise control in it. The whole night we could here the drunk patrons of two weddings and bachelorette party screaming in the hallways, smashing beer bottles, being drunk messes. It was ridiculous. I could even hear the noise through the ear plugs I ended up putting in. Then of course the noise kept the dog up all night too, so on top of the noise we had to contend with Griswold pacing, panting, crying, all freaking night. Worst hotel experience ever. That place is officially on my shit list. So much for the “mandatory quiet hours after 11pm” that they claimed with posted signs.

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Brutus and Griswold hanging out while I ordered us a glutton of bar food. Because all the deep fried things is perfect pre-race fuel.

After a very sleepless night, we were up early and moving to get to the venue about 20 minutes down the road. The venue for Delta Lake Triathlon is awesome. It’s a tiny space so everything was practically on top of everything else. Swim in/out, transitions, parking, and the finish line were all in basically a 20 foot radius of each other. And the multi-loop course on top of the small, tight knit venue made for excellent spectating.

Also, I had my first run in of being referred to by my blog name. I stepped out of my car after pulling into the parking lot to someone shouting out to me “Oh, TriGirl Chronicles!” Oh, yes, that’s me, isn’t it? We talked for a few minutes and set up next to each other in transition too. I didn’t catch her name though, so if you read this please say hi! You seriously made me realize people other than my parents and friends might read this! I had a second person, Jillian, approach me on the beach. She recognized me by my wetsuit. Kudos to her, I think everyone looks like the same uncomfortable stuffed sausage in a wetsuit and swim cap.

The swim, wowzers. Being a relatively weak swimmer, I wasn’t all that keen on the double loop swim course. Thankfully though we didn’t have the leave the water in order to start the second loop. Once I was all suited up I went to wait on the beach. There were only two swim waves; the men and those doing the double followed a few minutes later by us ladies and those doing the relay.

We hit the water and my stroke was holding together decent for a while, but once again, I started to fall apart. I went out with a bit too much gusto and did not pace myself at all. My only goal for the swim was to not be last out of the water, especially once I started getting passed by men and doublers heading into their second loops. My whole first loop was mostly a mess. I did fine pretty much up until the turn around when my too quick start caught up to me. I started having a hard time breathing and ultimately started doing my usual stroke flopping. When I got to the turn around to start the second loop I even stopped and stood up for a moment to catch my breath. I took the first leg of my second loop really slowly, just trying to salvage my sanity and my energy. Once I hit the final turn around though I put my head down deep and chugged through. And ya know what? Those last few hundred meters kicked ass! I hit a fantastic rhythm and started gliding along like a pro, passing people all over the place. It felt awesome. If only I could have harnessed that from the get go. But now that I have found my rhythm I’m confident I can do that again in my last two races for the season.

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Sigh of relief, out of the water!

According my watch I stepped onto the sand right around the 35 minutes mark, but my official swim time was 40:26 for a .9 mile swim. The transition was not far from the swim out, so my watch was definitely off. Need to remember to turn the autopause off during races. There was a bit of running through the sand *boooo* before getting onto pavement and into T1. My dad even ran a bit with me to transition because he is fantastic like that.

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My T1 was pretty uneventful. Wetsuit off, wipe off feet, bike gear on. Saw a guy in a Rat Snake jersey and screamed “Rat Snake! I ran that race!” Probably thought I was crazy. Official T1 time was 2:08! Count it, fastest T1 time ever. Learning to shave that time off baby!

I grabbed Finley and headed out for the bike portion still feeling good at this point. The bike course was rumored to be pretty flat and fast, so I was looking forward to really pushing it out on Finley. It was a double loop for the 24 miles and I immediately effed up my watch upon mounting my bike. Lapped it into bike mode then immediately accidentally hit the lap button again pushing it into T2. In a panic I pushed it again and did all of my bike, T2, and run in run mode. At least this way I could watch my average miles per hour and have an idea of my speed. I knew a sub-3:30 mile was around 17.5 miles per hour, so I made that my base goal, hoping to end up faster. I actually had a great first loop. I was averaging mile times in the 3:teens and was very pleased with that. Heading into the second loop though, the horrid night’s sleep finally caught up to me. It was like I hit a wall. I slowed, I began to struggle to pedal and I saw my average speed start to tick back up.

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Heading out of the park, still feeling good at this point.

My last six miles after the final turn around felt like I was pedaling through molasses. I even shifted down to my small chain ring, which is ridiculous for how flat the course was. A few mild inclines, but nothing I would have normally left my big ring for. Ugh. Official bike time, 1:22:22, average speed of 17.5 mph. I was really hoping to be more for such a flat and straight course.

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T2 was also pretty uneventful. Rerack Finley, kick off bike shoes and drop helmet. Pull on visor and Zoots, grab a swig of water, then head out. Official T2, 1:13. Definitely also my fastest ever T2 time.

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The run, oh the run. Three loops felt like a death march. It meant running along side the finish chute to go into laps two and three. What a horrible tease. There was only one aid station and rightfully so. Three loops for a 6 mile run meant there was technically aid at every mile, and I grabbed a cup and walked through the aid station every time. As I came through by the finish chute after my first loop all I could eek out to my family was “I’m suffering.” The bad night we had the night before hit me like a ton of bricks. My inability to clock even a single 10 minute mile pushed aside all hopes I had for a sub-3 hour race and I shifted into survival mode. I mean, my fastest mile the whole run was 10:20 and I can’t even pretend to be happy about that.

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That is the face of suffering. That is me “please kill me now” look, clearly.

As I came around from my second loop my dad and Rob were holding out water cups for me. I happily grabbed them both and they ran along side me for a minute. I dumped one over my head and slurped the other down as best I could. After that I slowed to walk some. I got overwhelmed thinking this was absolutely the worst I have ever felt in a race. My breath got caught in my throat and it was all I could do to fight back tears. After a minute and a few deep breaths I managed to calm down and start to turn my feet over again and start running, if you can really call it that. My final loop I did do better keeping up running more than not and when I rounded that last turn and could hear the finish line, I started to get excited. Once I could see it I did my best to sprint to the finish line, but I just didn’t have a single drop left in the tank. But I made it. Official run time, 1:06:16. That’s an average pace of 11:03. Color my unhappy. My run pace at FLT Olympic last year was 9:23 and I missed my 10k PR by only 18 seconds. UGH. This run nearly killed me.

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I was pretty disappointed after I finished. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that way after a race before. I was exhausted and happy to be done though. Official finish time, 3:12:25.

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Honestly, that is a 10 minute PR for me for the distance, so I tried to look at that bright side. But ultimately I was ready I grab my gear and head home to shower and eat. I had gathered up all my stuff and was just starting to get my bike up on the my bike rack when I heard over the annoucements, “We missed an age group award, women’s age group 25-29.” That’s my age group, but I half tuned it out. I don’t win races, especially races as bad as this one.

“Winner of the women’s age group 25-29 with a time of 3 hours, 12 minutes, and 25 seconds, Courtney Fields!”

I stood completely dumbfounded, Finley hanging precariously from my bike rack. “You won!” Rob gave me a little nudge. “I’ll get your bike on, go!”

Whatever energy I had searched for in the finish chute I suddenly found. Fastest I ran all day was back past transition and up to the announcer.

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Confused about my win. Day old makeup smear under my eyes. God I look a hot mess.

What I thought was the worst race of my life suddenly turned full circle.

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My champion pint glass. I wish they had offered a complimentary alcohol fill up, because I sure could have used one!

I guess that’s the nice thing about small races. Even with a slow time after a crummy race you can still place because the competition isn’t as stiff. There was actually one girl faster than me in my age group, but she got an overall podium, so she was out of the running for age group awards and the win ultimately rolled down to me. Kind of feels like cheating since my time really isn’t one that would win you any awards normally, but I’m happy about it either way.

I’ve now spent a few days processing this race and while I’m still pretty unhappy about my performance, the race itself was great and I would definitely do it again. I’d just make sure I stuck to my usual pre-race eating the day before and stay the night in Syracuse where I know I’ll get sleep.

It’s weird to me to feel so bad about my race. I got a ten minute PR and won my age group, but I had such an awful race I just don’t feel like I earned those things. However at the end of the day, I need to remember that I do this to be strong, capable, grateful of my body and all that it can do. I am a Triathlete. 

Tri Talk Tuesday – Support Crew

Howdy Tuesday, how nice to see you again. This week it’s just myself and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What holding down the fort here for Tri Talk Tuesday. The lovely Miranda is heading to Lake Placid to watch and Anthony kick some serious tail at Ironman Lake Placid on Sunday.

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Today’s topic of support crews is a well timed one for me. Honestly, I’ve been hoping for a swift kick in the rear in terms of bragging about how amazing my friends and family are to me.

My friends- it really blows my mind how much my friends have gone out of their way to come to my races. Whether it meant getting up early, riding a shuttle bus, or walking 30 minutes in because the park was closed to traffic by the time they showed up and they had to park stupid far away. To know I have people in my life who are so genuinely interested in supporting my success is such an incredible feeling. I just hope that at some point I can return the favor to them.

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Iron Girl Syracuse 2012

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Ironman 70.3 Syracuse 2014

My Family- My parents have been so wonderful with all my racing. The only triathlon they didn’t make it to in the last three years was the Rat Snake. They are basically professionals now because they come with a popup tent, a cooler full of food and drinks, camping chairs, and get there early so they can find the best spot possible. They get up at 3am with me if that’s what it takes, and they’ve done that many times now. They do everything they can to make sure I feel supported and loved on race day. No matter whether I have a good race or a bad race, they’re always proud of me. I just know that when a race feels too hard or I feel like I want to quit, that I remember all that they do for me to make sure I’m successful and that’s always enough to carry me through a finish line. They’re so amazing and I could never do it without them.

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Iron Girl 2012

My Husband- My rock, my cheerleader, my better half, the love of my life. He has never missed a single race, he’s stood around holding our maniac dog for hours upon hours, no matter the weather, the venue, the early hours, any of it. Even when I tell him over and over that he doesn’t have to come, he shows up with a smile on his face. He’d go to the end of the world and back for me and honestly, I have no idea how I got so lucky. I sometimes read posts from people in my tri group about having unsupportive spouses and it blows my mind. I could never do what I do without my husband by my side. I often times wonder how I got so damn lucky. I mean really, my husband supports me through everything in life, not just triathlon. I keep telling him to sign up for a race without me so I can come and cheer for him and make him feel as loved and supported as he makes me feel, but he always responds saying that he’d rather race with me. I truly feel like the luckiest woman on earth sometimes with how good he is to me. Very lucky indeed.

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All Love

 

 Who do you turn to for support? Do you have a cheering squad for races and life in general?

Next week’s theme is race prep and logistics! Talk to us about traveling for races, planning, how you prep for your big day, whatever it takes!



 

Weekly Recap: 07/14 – 07/20

Whew, what a week! I was a busy mess this whole past week and it definitely caught up to me. I worked over 50 hours in four days then Friday through Sunday was nonstop doing and going. I am tireddddd now. Yikes.

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Monday  was an active recovery day for me. I had taken Sunday as a full rest day post Mini Mussel, so I opted to do a 30 minute shake out on the spin bike. Legs were decent.

Tuesday I worked a 12 hour day. I got zero working out in.

Wednesday turned into a another day of no working out, another day of working late. And Thursday was lined up to be another 12 hour days, but our office roof was getting tarred. The air was turned off and it was hot, noisy and smelled like burning tar in our building. We ended up closing early which left me a small gap between leaving the office and the evening program I was going to, so I squeezed a quick 2 mile run in.

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Did I mention I saw a women pooping in the grass on the side of the run course at Mini Mussel last weekend? No? Because I totally did. She even did a butt scoot in an attempt to wipe. Sometimes running hates us.

Friday and Saturday were filled with lots of doing, running around, errands, craziness, and heading out to Verona for packet pick up and staying the night before race day on Sunday. Chock full of busy and no workouts. This seems to be a theme for this week. Thankfully I’m back to a regular work schedule now, and should pretty much be mostly regular until I’m done there at the end of August.

Sunday was race day for Delta Lake Triathlon. My race report for this will be long and I have some sorting out to do on my thoughts and feelings of this race. So be on the lookout for that.

This week should be better. I’m going to let my body do some recovering, get a few solid workouts in before the Cubby Chase this weekend, and start to really buckle down and work on my running. I have two half marathons on the docket that I need to start training for.

Did you race this weekend? Tell me about it!

What was your favorite thing you did this weekend?

Friday Favorites

I’m doing things a little different today and decided to join my fellow Tri Talk Tuesday co-host Cynthia from You Signed Up For What and her fellow DC blogger buddies for their Friday Five series.

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Their theme for today is Friday Favorites. So in honor of summer, a season I have mixed feelings about, I thought I’d share my favorite things about summer!

1. The Living’s Easy- Summa’ tiiimmmeeee, and the livin’s easy! Because who doesn’t like to serenade themselves with a little Sublime when the weather is just that. It’s that time of year where life feels like life slows down don’t look at my race schedule, it’s a lie and it’s just easier to kick your feet up and relax.

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2. Swimming- Yes, it’s true I swim year round, sort of. But doing laps in the pool for race training is far from what I mean. But I mean lounging in the water to just enjoy the water. It used to be swimming in the lake at camp for 13 years for me, but now that I’m not at camp anymore we get into Seneca Lake quite a bit in the summer to just relax in the cool, clear, natural waters. So nice.

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Griswold knows what’s up. He gets it!

3. Adventuring- Rob and I like to take adventures. We’ve just about driven across country twice now, took a mostly spur of the moment weekend trip to Florida, and even spent our honeymoon driving up the west coast. It’s no secret we love to just take off and explore. And in the summer when extra time is easier to come by, we often times take weekend escape type trips. Whether it’s camping out for Rat Snake weekend, or hitting up the Herkimer Diamond Mines and the Baseball Hall of Fame, we love to just go out be adventurous!

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Don’t mine me, just mining for diamonds, totally normal!

4. The Weather (sometimes)- I think this is where my sometimes mixed feelings on summer come from. But so far this year I’ve been enjoying the mild weather. I don’t like when it’s super hot and humid to pea soup level, both of which are pretty normal for Central New York. But this summer has been primarily mid-70′s and sunny with little to no humidity. That’s pretty perfect as far as I’m concerned, so I’ll take it! But what I really love about summer weather is running in it! There is nothing nicer than going out in the morning when the light is soft and the day’s not hot yet and getting a good run in while enjoying the summer scenery. It’s pure joy!

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Griswold loves the summer weather too because he gets to splash violently in his pool. He does not understand just laying in the water. Also, two hammock pictures. We know what I love, clearly.

5. Race Season- If you’ve seen my race line up for this year then you know. Summer here in CNY means race season and since we have a short time frame before winter comes roaring back, they cram in as many as they can. I love racing, obviously, so I’m doing as much as I can this year after the nasty winter we endured.

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Summer and I may have a love hate relationship, but overall I’m very happy the nice weather is here and here to stay for a bit longer still!

What’s your favorite thing about summer?

Race Report – Musselman Mini Mussel Triathlon

Second year in a row of running the Mini Mussel and I am happy to report I ripped a huge chunk of time off of last year’s race. Very exciting.

That being said, I definitely think I could have shaved a few more minutes off my time. My head has been so caught up in working stupid long amounts of overtime at my current job and trying to get my new job situated and squared away. So when Hubby asked me Friday morning what time we had to head over for packet pick up it was not surprising that I looked over at him like he had two heads. Oh, right, I have a race tomorrow. Duh. 

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I like the Mini Mussel a lot for many reason, but a few are definitely convenience. Transition is only a mile from my house and the race doesn’t start until 9am. We wander over shortly after 8am on race morning, and while I only had 12 minutes to set up my transition, it was fine since I didn’t bring much

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Didn’t even grab a towel to set my stuff on.

I had signed up for the novice wave again. I like not having to worry about getting passed in the water by a bunch of fast people, so the novice wave is nice since it goes off last. With seven waves set to take off, I was wading into Seneca lake right around 9:30 for our 9:35 swim starts.

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Novice swim wave taking off into the swim start!

The swim is deep water start and at no point during the swim can you touch. You wade out and can stand right up to the buoy, then the bottom gives out and you’re treading until the horn goes off. The swim starts at the northern head of Seneca lake before moving into the marina and hanging a left into the canal. Both the sprint and half iron follow the same point to point swim course, with the half iron starting from the swim beach instead of the seawall to tack on the additional distance.

Once again, I could not keep my stroke together. I blame this race more on my wetsuit, sadly. I must not have pulled it up or situated it correctly on my shoulders because about a minute into the swim I felt like I was choking. The neckline was super tight around my throat and making it hard for me to control my breathing. So even though I started with good form on my free style stroke, I fell apart once again and went back to flip flopping my stroke. Free style for a minute, side stroke to relieve some tension on my neck, free style because I’m slowing down too much, breast stroke to catch my breath again. So frustrating.

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By the time I hit the canal I was doing head out of the water free style just so I could breath a bit but not totally lose my steam or speed. And what’s weird is that I passed three people from the wave that went out before us. I don’t think I’ve ever passed anyone in the swim during a race before. So even though I was struggling, I was really happy about getting in water road kills.

Official swim time- 16:34 (2:13/100m)

My swim wasn’t super fast, but it was significantly faster than my Syracuse swim pace, so I’m happy in that regard.

I headed into T1 feeling pretty good. I felt like I struggled to get my wetsuit off over my feet and like I was moving slowly, but I was surprised to see my official T1 time of 2:55. Believe it or not that is actually my fastest T1 time ever in a race. I’m usually over four minutes. Very happy with this. Grabbed Finley off the rack and headed out for the bike course.

My bike started off not so good. I lapped my watch heading out of T1 and realized my watch was not in multi sport mode. I had set it up in transition before the race started but I realized right before getting in the water my GPS was off. It must have bumped me out of multisport when the GPS kicked on, so my watch was on “other” mode the whole race and the only data I was getting were the lap count, heart rate, and race clock. Cranky.

The first few miles of the Musselman bike course are a steady climb. Nothing too hard, but enough to notice after climbing out of the water. I was annoyed at my watch and feeling a bit not quite with it for the first few miles. It wasn’t until I hit the first downhill and remembered how much I love riding to kick my competitiveness into overdrive. I wish I had just buckled down and cranked it out from the get go. My ride would have been faster had I pushed harder the first few miles. But thankfully the Mini Mussel bike course is my default riding route and I could ride the course with my eyes closed I’m so familiar with it. So once I got my head in the game I pushed out a hard ride for the last two-thirds of the course.

Official bike time- 55:10 (17.5mph average for 16.1 miles)

I pulled into T2 feeling pretty happy. I had glanced at my swim time when I crossed into T1 and lapped my watch thinking I was in multisport, so even with only having my race clock available to me I know I came off the bike in under an hour. Helmet and sunglasses off, bike shoes off, yank on my Zoots and my visor, fight like all hell with my race belt, and head out to run. Official T2 time was 2:25. That’s somewhat slow for me and I’m positive it’s because I couldn’t get my race belt to clip. I fought with it for way too long. I wish I had enough forethought to run towards the run out while dealing with it instead of standing in transition getting annoyed.

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Heading out onto the run course

My run was pretty uneventful. I’ve run the main drag through the park more times than I can count so there wasn’t anything to surprise me. There was one aid station that I walked through both times since the run is an out and back course along the lake shore. Other than the aid station I ran the whole 5k, albeit a bit slower than I would have liked. My calves were tight coming off the bike and I got annoyed with my first two miles clocking in around the ten minute mark. My last mile was 9:29 which was better. Official run time was 31:46.

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Official race finish time- 1:48:50. That’s 29(!) minutes off last year’s time of 2:17. So I am very happy with that even though I wish my bike and run were both a bit faster. This was good enough to snag me third place for the novice female division, but since swimming novice excludes you from prizes, it goes unrecognized by the race. Boo. Had I opted to swim in my competitive age group I would have placed 15/38, so it’s not like I was in any sort of running there. And my overall place was 443/797, so pretty middle of the pack, pretty much what I expected.

Musselman is a great series that I can’t say enough nice things about. There’s four triathlon options; the micro super sprint, sprint, half iron, and double mussel, as well as a kids race with an open water swim. There’s stuff going on all weekend and it’s been given awards and accolades for a reason. As long as we live in CNY I will keep racing the Musselman because it’s a race that you just want to keep going back for more.

Next race on the docket- Delta Lake Olympic in three days!!!

 

Tri Talk Tuesday – Race Fuel

Tuesday again. Keeps catching me off guard. Nothing says “Hey it’s link up day!” like 10pm Monday night knowing other people more productive than you will be waiting for your post to go live so they can link up something they had written long before you. Sneaky, sneaky Tuesday. But here I am, along with Cynthia from You Signed Up For What and Miranda from The Cupcake Triathlete for more Tri Talk Tuesday!

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Today’s topic is race day fuel. I’ve actually covered this topic before, so since my last post was mostly informational, here’s some tips on picking fuel so you can have the best race possible!

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1. Liquid versus Solid- there’s a ton of race fuel options and it can be confusing on where to even start. One good place to start is deciding on whether or not your race merits solid food or if liquid fuel will be enough. Basically for anything short course you can get away with liquid only. I personally can do a 10k road race distance on only liquid and for triathlon I can muscle through a sprint on nothing but liquid. Anything longer you’re going to want to start experimenting with solids.

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Eggo Mini Waffles and PB- my go to for long bike rides or long course triathlon

2. Experiment- Again, there’s a lot out there; gels, GU, chomps, waffles, blocks, sport beans, amillionotherthings. And those are just race specific fuels. A lot of people also use real food like potatoes, Uncrustable sandwiches, dried fruit, etc. Buy a few different kinds of race specific fuels, try a few real foods, and find out what you like, don’t like, what agrees or disagrees with your stomach, etc.

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Race specific fuels and bars. Can you tell I love Clif!

3. Practice Fueling- This is part of what training should entail; practicing your nutrition! Don’t wing it on race day, use your training to experiment with all the different fuel options and find out what works for you. The one and only time I ever used a gel was thankfully on a training run where I was close enough to a public restroom. Lesson learned, and thankfully not mid race.

4. Know What’s Offered- You know that old saying “never try anything new on race day?” This includes what you grab from a volunteer at an aid station on race day. Check the race’s website and know what they’ll be offering on the course so you can practice with it. Last thing you want is to grab a cup of something or a gel or some sort and end up in GI distress because you didn’t try it out prior to race day.

5. Know Your Body- Everybody is different and part of race nutrition is just knowing what you need to be successful. Like I know I can run a 10k with no fuel and no water. But toss me into a half marathon and I’ll down a whole pack of shot blocks. Better runners than I can do a half marathon on just water, but I can’t, and that’s okay.

Favorite race day nutriton?

At what race distance do you start to need some fuel?

Next week’s theme is Support Crew! Who are those amazing people in your life who make your race day worth running for?


Weekly Recap: 07/07 – 07/13

Oh Monday, here you are again. And my week, oh my week, it was not quite as planned.

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Remember how I pronounced I would be starting a running streak last week? Ask me how well that went? Because starting a running streak when I have three straight back to back to back weekends of races was D-U-M-B.

Monday my only “workout” was walking Griswold a mile. I went out and bought a ton of stuff for my new classroom after work instead. I have no idea how I’m going to make it through the next six weeks at my current job.

Tuesday I did run. I did 5k in right around 30 minutes. It was hot and humid out even though I ran at 6am, which was crap. The summer weather is definitely finding us finally.

Wednesday was another run. I clocked 2 miles on the treadmill during my lunch break. I planned to do three but I forgot some of my toiletries to be able to shower at the gym, so I cut it short and went home to shower before going back to work.

Thursday and Friday both turned into days where my only workout was again walking the dog. Boo on me, what a crummy week. At least I ran though. Small win..?

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I also spent Friday in my new classroom. Because moving desks and cutting my name out in glitter letter was a much more productive use of my time I’m sure.

Saturday was race day! Musselman weekend really caught me off guard this year. But I had a decent race that I’ll recap later in the week. But I did well all things considered.

This week is going to be a difficult mess for me. I’m working like nineteen thousand hours of overtime, so I need to get morning workouts in if I want to do anything. But my dad got us hotel rooms for this weekend since Delta Lake is a bit of a ways out from Syracuse. Hoping to PR my Olympic time on Sunday, so I need to be smart about my workouts this week.

Anyone else race this weekend? Have an awesome workout to share?
It’s Monday; what’s one thing you’re looking forward to today? Signing my teaching contract *happydance*