Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A fun day in the sun: Irongirl Race Report

Kian says go mommy go!!
What can I say!?! I had such an awesome time at this race. Finally, three races later! As I mentioned in my last post, I really was excited for this race in the few days leading up to it. I really felt fairly comfortable with the swim and everything else is easy after that :-).
Prerace thoughts and observations:
We got to packet pickup just under the wire. I won't anxiety was coming through just a little at this point. We were running a little later than I prefer and I was a wee bit grumpy until my bike was racked. You have to drop your bike off the day before and I loved this. One less thing to worry about in the morning.
Irongirl is always promoted as a great first time race. It really is hard to tell how many are first timers, but as far as race organization goes, they do a great job. They try to make it very user friendly. As I was racking my bike, another racer told me that she misread the bike distance and had been training for a 10K bike and just realized a few days ago that it was 30K! Really dude, it SUCKS to be you. As much as Irongirl is a user friendly race, the first 5 miles of this course are not! Plus, can you imagine only training for 6 miles and then going 18 during the race. Wow! I wonder how she did??
Race morning was pretty uneventful, as it should be! Izaac was volunteering for kayak support so we had priority parking and we got there an hour before the start. And somehow, I managed to use the whole hour doing stuff that I can't remember!!
The race organizers decided to do a time trial start for the swim as they felt the size of the cove to at the start was too small and they were trying to ease up congestion. This actually works very well for me because there are less people around me when I start, therefore less anxiety. I had practiced out here a few times and Coach Jakie told me that I need to line up mid pack to avoid the clutter that happens with all the new swimmers at the back. I really had all intentions of following this rule but I really wanted to warm up and was slow at getting to the beach. By the time I warmed up, the line was full!! I actually lined up about 15 people from the end. Izaac thought I should wait till it started and casually cut in, but I just couldn't... something about manners or not wanting to get yelled at for cutting.
So I lined up...and waited...and waited. We were on the upstairs part of the pool so we got to see the first people start and come in :-). Seriously...30 minutes later and I was finally in the water. Steph mentioned that the line moved fast. That's what happens when you are in the middle. Not at the end. But it was all good. And I wasn't stressed. The worst part is Coach was the one sending you off at the start and I had to pass her, knowing she told me to be in the middle and I didn't listen. I tried to figure out how to avoid her, but it wasn't possible.
The start was great. They had a really long lane line dividing outgoing and incoming so you couldn't run into anyone. It was awesome! However, I quickly realized why being at the back wasn't such a good idea. People were swimming all over the place, every direction but straight! I tried many times to go around but I always seemed stuck in this pack of crazy swimmers. At one point I went to sight and there was a girl swimming perpendicular to me doing the backstroke! Which was also parallel to the shore which was where we were trying to get to! She could swim all day like that and never make it in!
My swim time was very slow but I really had only two panicking and to enjoy it. I accomplished both so I am happy. I still stop too much to look around and that's mainly because I don't like to touch people so I have to plan my route around swimmers. Izaac also says I slow way down in open water, nice and easy instead of my normal pace.
It was great having him out on the water looking over me. There was more support on the water than I have ever seen at a race. They even had lifeguards on the side and bridge watching people. It was also great not using any of the support!
Total swim time: 29:19 (800M- this is up for debate as Coach said that the course was measuring longer when they were planning it. However, other people's times were consistent compared to the pool so I was probably just really slow. Like a minute slower per 100!)
T1: 7:19
What can I say. It is a really long, uphill hike to transition that I pretty much walked. I don't care. I was having fun and wanted to enjoy the excitement over my awesome swim.
The bike was awesome! I know this course well and wanted to push it the whole way. One thing about starting at the back of the swim is that I got to pass many people. The first few mile are pretty much up hill and most people were pushing their bike up the first hill right out of transition. While this hill sucks, I know that it will be over soon enough so I just grind away.
There were so many gals that I passed on mountain bikes with mountain bike tires! Not even road tires. While I am amazed and awed that so many different types of people do tri's and they are willing to get out there, I am also aware of how hard their ride is going to be.
Anyway, I just keep pedaling away, trying really hard not to coast on the easy parts. I pass my sis, niece and Kian around mile 10 which is right by our house. It was great to see them! At this point, I slow down a little and am trying to take some nutrition and another biker comes up and tells me I've been setting a great pace and it's helped her. Then she passes me! I was like hell no! You are not going to pass me so I got it together and finally passed her back. I really thoughtI was far ahead, but she managed to sneak pass me just moments before transition! Ughh! Another bad habit, I slow down quite a bit just before transition because I don't want to wreck.
Oh well.
Bike 1:10:58 (18 miles. 15.2 MPH!!! I have never averaged more than 14.6!!)
T2 2:47
I got to see Izaac in the transition! I like him being a volunteer!
The fun has officially ended. This is a hard, hilly, hot course. And it's mainly on packed, desert. Right away I felt like I was going to throw up so I walked a little to bring my HR down. Then it was run/walk from there. I gave myself permission to walk up the hills as long as I ran as hard as I could the rest of the time. The uphills were very long and my calf's kept cramping. It actually felt better to run, but then my HR would soar and I would feel a little sick. I just trudged through it the best I could. Finally, I had a half of mile left and then I was at the finish! It wasn't my best run and I really was hoping to average under 10 min/mile. In hindsight, I probably could have pushed a little harder between mile 1 and 2.
Run 31:36 (10:11 min/mile)
I was so happy to be done!! This was a great race and I really had so much fun. One of the very best parts... a few minutes after I finished, the girl that passed me on the bike finished so I still beat her. I had actually forgot all about her! She said she killed her legs trying to keep up with me on the bike :-)
Overall time 2:21:59. Which puts me smack in the middle. theaverage time for the race was 2:25:12
** One last thing... one of the coolest things about the race. They had computers set up and you could go right up, tell them your race number and they hand you a little printout of your race results. How cool!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Almost time...

In 24 hours, I will be finished with the Irongirl Lake Las Vegas Sprint Tri! For once, I feel more excited than nervous to do a race. But this has only happened over the last week. As my third tri is approaching, I am ready to see how fast I can go versus just getting through the race. I’ve learned to push myself a little more over the last 6 months. To be ok with the burn and discomfort. While my speeds are slow for many, I have gotten faster on both the bike and the run. Let’s hope I can push myself tomorrow.

Last weekend I did three days of open water swimming. Friday night was awesome. It was perfect weather, and I swam for 25 minutes straight, by myself and enjoyed it. Saturday was a mini tri workout. Once again, perfect weather but I had a mild panic attack and cut my swim short. Needless to say, I was disappointed. Sunday morning rolls around, and it was windy. I went to a swim clinic and it was ok. I probably swam 600ish in choppy water and didn’t panic. I did swallow a lot of water since I still only breathe to one side, but I got through it. With wind, chop and people! These three days combined with several more days of swimming 1000 straight in the pool has gone a long way to boosting my confidence in the swimming department.

(I also need to remember that I do much better once the water warms up to the upper 60’s.)

This is going to be a time trial swim start so that should be interesting. It’s first some, first serve. The earlier you line up, the sooner you start swimming. Coach Jackie says I need to be in the middle of the line, not last like I would prefer!! I’ve never done a time trial start so it will be different not knowing anyone’s true place in the race, but whatever!

This is also one of my good friends first tri ever!! I really am torn on wanting to go as fast as I can or doing the race with her. If she is remotely close to me at any point, it will be hard not to stay with her.

I just realized this sounds cocky!! It’s not that I think she is so much slower than me and I am some tri machine, it’s really the fact that she is riding a “normal bike”. Road bikes just go faster!

Ughh…I should just stop now! She'll probably smoke me tomorrow :-)

Friday, February 26, 2010

If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you jump off a bridge?!

Do you remember your parents asking you that when you did something you shouldn't and you said well so and so did it? Apparently things don't change so much as adults. We still have times where we succumb to peer pressure, even if we aren't sure we should do it. Last night I jumped.

I bit the bullet and signed up for:

I would like to blame it on the alcohol, but sadly there was none involved. Just good all peer pressure and A LOT of subtle pushing from Izaac. I swear he has some magical powers to get you to do stuff you normally wouldn't (kind of like alcohol).

Anyway, Stef was over and we had been talking about signing up; next thing I know the computer is out and Stef has just hit enter. Well, I have to do it now!

It wasn't completely out of the blue since I had been debating it for awhile. But still, nothing had got me to sign up yet till Stef did. Thanks girl!

Let's hope that the whole open water swimming thing goes good and I am not back at square one! I already feel the anxiety creeping in.

I then payed it forward and got my neighbor to jump too! This will be her first tri and she's a wee bit nervous. Let the fun begin!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Still here and still trying to loose weight!

I can't believe how long it has been since I last posted. I would be surprised if anyone out there still reads this blog because I wouldn't be! I am still going to post because as much as I love the friends I have made through blogging, this is also a semi-diary to myself, a way to look back and see where I've been and how I've grown. Especially in regards to fitness.

Work, motherhood, and class pretty much consume me and have since Sept. I am enjoying it all but it takes a lot of time management and discipline (which I am still working on!). Unfortunately when I'm tired the first thing I skip is exercise. I have been working on this habit because I do feel better when I workout, but man, it is so easy to skip it.

I was working out with my friend/trainer last I blogged. We met once a month. He gave me a months worth of training, emailed me once a week, and that was that. What I realized was I NEED more commitment or accountability. I was not loosing any weight, wasn't running any faster and really wasn't doing the workouts. At this point, I am just not self-motivated enough to get things done. I was still frustrated but it was all my doing.

A coworker (who lost a ton of weight after her baby) recommended a local training group called Real Results Fitness. She RAVED about them. So I checked it out. It was pricey, a little scary and just what I needed. So November 11th, I started my training. It's hard. We meet 3 times a week and I am suppose to do 6 more hours of cardio a week (hasn't happened!), the only time I can go to the location closest to me is 5:30 a.m. and I have to get up at 4:30 to get there and get my warm up in. Have I ever mentioned I hate to be up before 7 in the morning.

But it has pushed me in a way I needed. If I don't show up my trainer, Denny, is texting me. We also have to keep a food journal, eat very clean with limited starchy carbs, and bring the journal to each session to be critiqued.

I have lost weight and inches, though it would be better if I did more cardio, but I am happy with the results. My next challenge is getting in more cardio and setting up an easy training plan for a sprint tri. I want to do this but I can't feel like exercise is taking up all my free time or I will be stressed. The best part is my trainer is a speedy triathlete so he gets it. He gets it too much and wants everyone to be speedy too!

We did a fitness test at the beginning and 8/9 weeks later. I am happy with the results. Overall I have dropped my body fat down to 29.75%, lost 12 pounds, and lost a total of 13.5 inches in total body measurements. Not too shabby! I still have a little ways to go but I am now at my pre-Kian weight and fit into all my clothes again. Although. I still am thicker in the middle than I used to be!

The best thing though- I can now do a 2 minute plank core test versus 1 minute the first time, I can do 30 girl push ups in a minute and 30 sit ups. My flexibility has increased and my resting HR has dropped. I am also eating healthier than I have in a long time. However, I want junk food most of the time still!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Got out of that one

I mentioned that I might be considering doing a little super sprint tri coming up. Since then I have managed to talk myself out if it and talk a neighbor into it! Izaac and I have managed to have a fight or two over this tri and had to come to terms with not discussing it anymore. I had almost talked myself back into doing it (peer pressure) and decided to check the website to make sure it wasn't sold out (wishful thinking).

What I saw was even better (for me) - it was cancelled. Now that sucks for anyone really looking forward to the event or already had travel arrangements. For me, it's a weight off my shoulders. I temporarily thought about telling everyone I signed up and how disappointed I was that it wasn't happening!! Just kidding! That would be very naughty...besides Izaac would rat me out ;-)

I've also tried to figure out why I refused to go practice swimming but back out of the race because I was afraid to swim in a lake (again). Sigh. How many years till swimming just isn't an issue anymore?! In my defense though, I have really great excuses for not being able to get to the pool: a baby at home, a husband that I want to spend time with, work, 2 online classes, running (training for a half marathon), life, laundry, a glass of wine, "insert your favorite excuse here"! But I believe it boiled down to "I just didn't want to" :-).

One of these days, I will be able to view swimming like I do running and biking. That I will know without a doubt that I could enter a sprint tri tomorrow and get through it. I have this confidence with the other two sports but not swimming. BUT I WILL, someday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The numbers don't lie

I can't seem to get my weight to drop below 154 which is 13 pounds heavier than before I got pregnant. Most of the time it's closer to 157. I have spent the last 15 weeks making excuses. Well really it is just one excuse, you just had a baby. However, when is that no longer an excuse? Most say around 9 months after you have the know the 9 months to put on the weight, 9 months to get it off rule. I've also spent that last 15 weeks not really paying too much attention to what I eat, probably having a few too many beers and only randomly working out. Not exactly the lifestyle that sheds weight. The problem is, I am very scared that this will become my new weight forever. That my body is going to adjust to it and I will adjust to it. That is something I don't want. I just don't feel good about myself at this weight.

So I have hired a trainer/coach. I used to take his athletic conditioning class at the gym and it kicked my behind so I know what his style is. He is also a road bike racer and has done triathlons. Basically I sent out an S.O.S. and pleaded for some help to get my butt in gear. We are only meeting once a month and then from that he is designing a workout plan for the month focusing on what I need the most to start shedding some pounds in the least amount of time since I don't have a lot of free time. The best part is he is also going to incorporate a running schedule to get me ready for the Las Vegas Half Marathon! We also discussed eating... my focus for this month is eating smaller meals more often and not eating after 8pm. We talked about supplements and vitamins. Eating more protein. All very easy things that I can handle for now.

Now comes that icky part... we did all sorts of body measurements and a body fat test. Let's just say, I am not very happy with the results. I have 38% percent body fat!!! Ughh, that is number I never thought I would see. I've always been happily in the mid 20's with my body fat percentage without any effort. Not so much anymore. I am slowly coming to the realization that it's just not as easy to keep the same body I used to have (with very little effort!) now that I am in my mid 30's (heading towards late 30's). Now it takes effort. Boo hoo! My trainer keeps saying it is just a number, a starting/focus point, a gauge on how well (or not) the program (or myself) is working.

I will do my best to incorporate all the advice he has given me, and do all the workouts as planned. We will meet in a month to see how my body has responded and make the necessary adjustments from there. Every time I want to skip a workout, eat bad or have another cocktail... I only have to think of 38%! Put the chips away :-)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Am I really considering this?

I came across info for a women's only tri that is taking place at Lake Las Vegas in a month ( Should I sign up?! The only, only reason I am even considering it is they have a super sprint race. This equals a shorter swim. Yes, I still am at the point where the swim is what will prevent me from doing a tri. After two frustrating and mentally hard swims under my belt, I still get a slight panic attack at the thought of swimming in open water. It's there now, that accelerated heart rate and butterflies in the stomach and I haven't even signed up. Or maybe that's excitment at the thought of doing a race. Hmm...

I'm going to think about it for a few days and get my butt to the pool to see if I can still swim or if I lost the ability sometime in the last year of NOT SWIMMING...a whole year of not swimming! Lord help me. I wasn't that great to begin with.

Also, there is the little fact that I may be too big for my wetsuit since I'm still carrying and extra 15 pounds on my behind :-)

I'll keep you posted.