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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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sprint triathlon

Olympic Distance Triathlon Training – Week 8

Though I haven’t technically been following the training plan since the beginning, week 8 marks the halfway point.

Sunday: Ride 2 hours 2 minutes (42.2 miles). I really enjoy having a good group to ride with – they really push me in terms of both distance and speed and I’m finding I can go farther and faster than I thought I’d be able to. I kept up with the fast part of the group this ride and even pulled (led) a couple of times at over 20mph. It wasn’t for a long distance, but it does show me I am capable of hanging with the big dogs!

check out those speeds!
check out those speeds!

Monday: Run 40 minutes (4.25 miles) on the tread mill. Treadmills are still not my favorite but its been so freaking HOT here that I’d rather run on the hamster wheel lately. I felt like I was fighting a cold and my legs were still a little jello-y from the ride Sunday so I took it easy.

Tuesday: Run 35 minutes (4 miles) on the treadmill. 1 mile warm up, then 3×800 at a little less than goal 5k pace (7:03) with a half mile recovery in between, then cool down.

Wednesday rest day. I had planned to take the twins to the track, but at “feels like” temp of 102 at 6 pm, I decided against it. Plus, I didn’t really need the time anyway. I did, however, get the go ahead to swim at my 2 week post LASIK check! WOO HOO!

Thursday– SWIM (!) 35 minutes (1200 meters) and spin class (it rained). My endurance did go down a bit after not swimming for almost 2 weeks. I was more tired after 35 minutes than I would have liked, but I didn’t forget how to swim, so that was a bonus. Best of all, I COULD SEE THE END OF THE POOL!

my camera can see the other end, and now I can too!
my camera can see the other end, and now I can too!

Friday: rest day. The nice thing about a long working early in the week and a shorter week hours wise is 2 rest days!

Saturday: Swim 25 minutes (1000 yards). I did one 600 yard run (the sprint distance) and practiced some sighting. The concept of open water still makes me nervous, but I’m ready as I’m ever going to be.

Tomorrow is the first sprint for me this season ( I got a late start). Wish me luck!

Totals: 

Planned/(Actual)

Swim: 2 hours 19 minutes/ (55 minutes)

Bike: 1 hour 52 minutes/ (3 hours, 2 minutes)

Run: 56 minutes/ (1 hour 15 minutes)

5 hours 7 minutes (5 hours 13 minutes)

Next Week:

Swim: 2 hours 19 minutes

Bike: 3 hours 7 minutes

Run: 1 hour 33 minutes

Life With Twins – 15 months

I blinked, and it was time for another update.

Oy.

The four of us went out to eat tonight, and a waitress (among others) stopped by the table to comment on the twins. She asked if this age was harder than when they were younger. I thought for a second and realized that the description that it is just different really makes a lot of sense. They sleep through the night but now require lots more attention and movement during the day. It’s hard to compare what is harder and easier because it is so different.

Gross Motor

Miles took his first couple of wobbly steps a couple of weeks ago and is now officially a full blown walker. He does still crawl at times and still enjoys pushing the push toys around. At this point he still prefers to hold onto our finger when walking outside even though he doesn’t really need to. Luckily he hasn’t at this point tried to climb up anything but the stairs. Abby is still not walking on her own, but she is still showing signs that it is coming so I plan to give it another month before I ask the doc about it. She will stand on her own, now has full control of the push toys (they used to control her) and can turn with them and has recently started running with them. She’s let go and taken a kind of half step before squatting back down. I fully believe she can do it, but also believe that she won’t until she is 120% ready.

Fine Motor

Honestly there has been more focus on walking this month I think and I’m not sure there is much new here. Miles has started to get the hang of feeding himself with a spoon but only if you put the food on it first. They still both prefer their fingers which I guess isn’t much of a surprise. We’ve tried to introduce plates but they usually end up on the floor.

Speech/Language

Miles shocked the crap out of me recently while he was sitting on my lap looking at a book. I was pointing out pictures and he clearly imitated a couple of them (I’ll let you see for yourself).

He says mama as well. Abby has reintroduced some words that had seemed to drop out of her vocab last month so yay for that. She consistently say hi, up and yay. She can say mama but uses it sparingly. I swear she imitated pants today (of all things). She sometimes signs more. I know their comprehension is better so I’m hoping the expression will increase from mostly gestures here in the next few months. I try to label and/or sign everything before I give it to them so they at least have the exposure to the word. You can just tell they understand so much more – I’m not even sure I’d be able to list it all. Abby has picked out a dog, cat, and house toy a couple of times. Miles just grabs them both when I ask him to grab one. He’s like, whatever mom I just want the toy please.

Admittedly, they still sometimes get an “emergency paci”. When one wakes up in the middle of the night (which is not every night so I know its not a habit) I’ll give the waker upper a paci so he/she doesn’t wake the other. They go to bed every night without them, though. We’ve found that 7:00 seems to be a good bedtime that results in minimal complaint. We’ve dropped to one nap consistently. Miles is now in size 5 diapers and Abby in size 4. We’ve popped a few teeth lately too. Abby now has 6 front teeth and three molars. Miles has 8 front teeth and 2 molars.

Favorites this month: the water table, watermelon (Abby), Pocoyo (always), Abby gives hugs and kisses (mine), the push toys, brushing their teeth (no, seriously), swimming, walking/being outside/taking walks in the stroller (they giggle), reading a book before bed (Miles, he likes to flip through the pages and cries when I take it away).

Now onto my favorite part!

  • We have our first selfie
Miles selfie
Miles selfie
  • I compete in my first (and second) triathlon! (I know this is a baby update post, but this was big for me)
Other than the fact that I don't look like I'm wearing shorts (I am), I love how this pic turned out
Other than the fact that I don’t look like I’m wearing shorts (I am), I love how this pic turned out
  • We get a long awaited date night
Date night :)
Date night 🙂
  • Abby has relaxing down to a “T”. (HAHAHA)
Chillin out back and relaxing by the pool
Chillin out back and relaxing by the pool
  • Miles sports a new hairdo
Like my hawk?
Like my hawk?
  • Abby takes control
I will push BOTH, thank you.
I will push BOTH, thank you.
  • And relaxes while watching some (what else?) Pocoyo
Relaxing on the reclinodaddy 3000
Relaxing on the reclinodaddy 3000
  • Abby and I get silly
Quack.
Quack.
  • And she sports a new hat
I shall wear this pancake hat.
I shall wear this pancake hat.
  • Miles expresses his distain for shopping
OMG. Can we PLEASE leave now?
OMG. Can we PLEASE leave now?
  • And Abby thinks applesauce is awesome sauce
Applesauce is awesome!
Applesauce is awesome!

And of course some videos

  • Put that back
  • Duck face
  • Peek a boo

If At First You Don’t Swim Well…Tri Again (Sprint Tri #2 Recap)

You can read my first race recap here.

When I initially ran the triathlon idea by Bryan I presented the dates as a one or the other type situation. I.e. I’d like to try this, and these are the two dates. His response?

“Don’t lie, you want to do both”.

“No, no” I claimed “I don’t even know if I’m going to like it, I really just want to do one or the other.”

Who was I kidding?

Do I look nervous?  I am.
Do I look nervous? I am. Also, my swim cap is super sexy.

The Swim

Distance: .3 (i.e. eleventy billion) miles

Sprint 1 time: 17:51

I had two goals this time. First, don’t panic. Second, don’t finish last.

I actually did a swim warm up this time, and I’m honestly not sure if it helped. I did figure out over the last couple of weeks that I tend to veer towards the left for whatever reason, so I started all the way to the right of the group, and in the back. I knew I wasn’t going to be fast and I figured it would help me avoid getting kicked. Still, standing in the water waiting for the horn to go off, the buoys seemed REALLY far away. Did they place them further out this time? I think they did.

Either the number of laps that I calculated in the pool as .3 miles is way off, or swimming in open water really is a totally different thing, because I was still slow as molasses. The good news is, I managed to not panic, and kept my eye on the bouys enough that I didn’t veer way off course this time.

And I finished second to last (2 seconds behind third to last), so I considered it a win.

Those buoys look awfully far away
Its really a 80 trillion mile swim

Sprint 2: 17:22

Transition 1:

Sprint 1: 2:01

I would have managed a shorter transition time, except I ended up having issues getting my shirt and number on, so that cost me 10-15 seconds. At least I didn’t have to walk this time.

Sprint 2: 1:58

The Bike

Distance: 12 miles

Sprint 1: 42:28

I pumped a bit of extra air in my tires right beforehand this time. I’m told more air = less friction = faster time. The logic makes sense assuming  you don’t pump so much air that you blow your tires, because that definitely isn’t going to help your time.

I think it also helped that I was familiar with the course this time and expected the sharp turns. I was still passed by about 50 people on fancier bikes (on your left! yeah, you and everyone else!), however, not only did I pass a few mountain/hybrid bikers, I also managed to pass 5 road bikers!

My dopey bike and stupid got messed up shirt
My dopey bike and stupid got messed up shirt

Sprint 2: 40:41

Apparently there is some truth to the tire thing.

Transition 2

Sprint 1: 49 seconds

The girl next to me put her bike on the rack crooked so it took me a little more time to put mine back. Otherwise it was pretty uneventful.

Sprint 2: 48 seconds

The Run

Distance: 3.1 miles

Sprint 1: 25:56

I find it interesting that, even with all my years of running, by the time I get about halfway through the bike I wonder how much energy I’m going to have left to run when I’m done. I pushed myself a bit more with this bike, too, because I had this back and forth thing going with another girl in my age group (on a road bike) and purposely pedaled faster to get in front of her because I was annoyed that we were so close.

Anyway, I knew that I’d psych myself out either way if I paid attention to my pace (either be annoyed I was running slower than I thought or nervous I was starting out too fast if I was going faster) so I only watched the distance on my watch and ran the 5k by feel.

It was a good call, apparently.

Sprint 2: 25:06

We win! (he won first)
We win! (he won first)

Final Standings

Sprint 1: 1:29:01

Sprint 2: 1:25:53

Age Group: 9/14

Overall Female: 55/106

Swim Overall: 99/106 (told you I swim like molasses)

Bike Overall: 62/106 (not bad for a hybrid bike)

Run Overall: 25/106 (hey! this is actually pretty good!)

With some swim lessons and a better bike, I think I could be competitive in my age group next year.

Wait, did I just say next year?

 

 

Can’t Say I Didn’t Tri (Sprint Tri Recap)

Like my play on words there?

I am so clever.

Even after my announcement post earlier in the week (which I partially did so I wouldn’t chicken out), I hemmed, hawed and procrastinated registering. My contact lenses showed up on Thursday, and still I waited. This type of race was SO out of my comfort zone I actually debated not participating at all. Finally Friday afternoon, a mere 45 minutes before the registration deadline, I clicked submit.

I was in.

I rode with a friend and am SO glad I did, as he was able to give me some pointers on how to set up my transition area, pumped some extra (much needed) air in my bike tires, point out that they accidentally gave me the wrong color swim cap (I am, in fact, not a male aged 40-49) and generally kept me calmer since I wasn’t spending the entire drive wondering what the heck I was thinking.

Still, I was nervous. So nervous in fact that I tried on my bike helmet to make sure it fit over my ponytail without checking to see that it was on the right way and had some very kind gentleman (who likely thought I was really a blonde) point out that I was wearing my helmet backwards. *facepalm*. I told him that I had put it on to make sure it fit over my ponytail and then just didn’t check it, but if he didn’t believe me I totally understood. He said he did. (But I don’t believe him.)

I go to get on my bike for a warmup and CRAP, my chain is coming off of the….holder things (I really need to get up on the bike lingo). I wheel it back and ask the nice gentleman (luckily a different one from the first) if he knows how to put a chain back on when he gently points out to me that it just mid gear shift. The shifter must have gotten pushed on the ride. *facepalm*

So now that I’ve looked like a complete idiot to not just one but TWO people, I did short run/bike a warm up, switched my swim cap and was ready as I’d ever be.

My (not too lofty) goals were as follows:

1. Don’t drown

2. Don’t finish last in my age group

3. Assuming #1 doesn’t happen, finish in under 90 minutes.

Transition area and photobomb
Transition area and photobomb

SWIM 

Distance: .3 miles

Hoped for time: 14:00ish

Actual time: 17:51

So a more experienced, VERY smart blogger once recommended practicing an open water swim before race day. In her experience, she found herself a bit panicked after realizing she couldn’t see underwater. Now, I technically don’t have a freestyle stroke. What I’ve done is more of a side stroke and so my head is out of the water anyway. In fact, since I’d managed a whole (slow) one mile swim prior to this I figured, no biggie.

Wrong. So very wrong.

Standing in the water waiting for the gun to go off sucked. I have never in my life been this nervous for a race. And suddenly the distance they have mapped out seems like way longer than .3 miles. I’m pretty sure I flapped my hands like a crazy person a couple of times. The gun went off and I was being kicked and splashed and had water in my nose. And suddenly I realize Oh My God I CAN’T TOUCH THE GROUND! I CAN’T TOUCH THE GROUND! Why are the lifeguards so far away?!? The first bouy (there were three to go around) is seriously eleventy billion miles away!

I’ve been practicing in a pool, and totally underestimated the feeling of safety doing lap swim in a pool with a max depth of 5ft and walls on either end should I ever feel tired.

I seriously had to refocus. I could do this. I’ve done this. I’ve done a distance longer than this. I could do this. So I focused on my breathing and started swimming, but with no side of the pool to use to keep myself straight, I went off course and took the very scenic route to the first bouy. I WAS second to last but got so far off that I ended up falling way behind. Getting to the second one was better, but I swear the distance from the second to the third was twenty trillion miles away (no seriously – thirty eight bajillion). I tried to come in from the inside to make up some time but it just didn’t happen. I was not only the LAST person in my age group out of the water, but about 12 people from the age group after me and 1-2 in the one after THAT finished before me too.

I can't figure out how to draw on it and they had already taken he bouys out, but imagine the bouy a little to the left of that shirt, and then me a little more to the left. HELLO scenic route
I can’t figure out how to draw on it and they had already taken the bouys out, but imagine the bouy on the other end of the shore a little to the left of that shirt, and then me more to the left. HELLO scenic route

TRANSITION #1

Time: 2:01

Aside from the fact that I had to walk for a bit once out of the water because my legs were all jello-y, this went fairly smoothly. I had no expectation on transition times simply because I’d never done it before. Practice is totally different than race day.

BIKE

Distance: 12 miles

Hoped for time: under 45 minutes (I started out biking 12 miles in 48 minutes)

Actual time: 42:38!!

Out of the 300 or so participants, I’d say 90% had road or triathlon bikes. 10% had mountain or hybrid bikes. I was one of the 10%. I did not expect to do fabulously on the bike.

Cool bike on the right (like 90% of the others), my dopey bike on the left
Cool bike on the right (like 90% of the others), my dopey bike on the left

Literally the day before I had Bryan change my pedals for the kind with the clips and straps. My chiropractor recommended it because it would help me push AND pull and therefore fatigue my running muscles less. I had a bit of trouble getting my shoes in the pedals at first, but other than that the bike felt great. I passed probably 6-7 bikers (all on mountain bikes) and got passed by probably 25 (all on road or triathlon bikes). Still, I cut almost 2 whole minutes and so that almost made up for my abysmal swim time.

TRANSITION #2

Time: 0:49

It helped that I had no fancy biking shoes with clips here so I literally just had to take off my helmet, put the bike on the frame and start running. (Also, despite the fact that my buddy I rode with started 16 minutes after me, he had managed to catch up by this point – show off.)

This was taken pre race but I wanted a pic here so here it is
This was taken pre race but I wanted a pic here so here it is

RUN

Distance: 3.1 miles

Hoped for time: under 30 minutes (I mean, I had just finished swimming and biking and by then it was not only hot and humid but also sunny. I had low expectations)

Actual time: 25:56

Either my chiropractor is a genius or pure adrenaline got me through this run, because even though my legs felt like jelly for at least .5 miles after every practice bike/run on my old pedals, I got off the bike this time and felt great. In fact, my finish time was only 30 seconds more than the virtual 5k I did earlier in the week – and that was just the run! The fact that I was still wet from the water and there was plenty of shade in the park really helped here.

Crossing the finish line was not as cool as the marathon, but it wasn’t far behind.

Finish time: 1:29:01

Finished!
Finished! And John looks pissed. 🙂

Age group finish: 8/15

Overall women finish: 52/98

I finished and I didn’t drown!

And I kinda want to do it again…..but that’s just crazy, right?

 

 

 

Going to Tri

Before the twins arrived, I was a runner. That’s not to say I’m not a runner anymore, but previously I basically ran, and ran and ran some more, with very little cross training.

Then I hurt my back, and my chiropractor recommended amping up the cross training. More specifically, swimming and biking. Bryan bought me a hybrid bike for my birthday last year and I’ve enjoyed the occasional ride, but I’m really not much of swimmer.  In fact, prior to about 6 weeks ago I can count the number of times  I swam for exercise on one hand.

Interestingly, I’m finding that I really enjoy more frequent cross training because it helps me avoid burnout. I look forward to my workouts more now that I’m doing different things. In fact, I’ve even started to enjoy swimming and even swam a whole mile (!) last week. I’ve secretly been doing brick workouts (swim/bike, bike/run etc) once a week for the last several weeks.

So of course, you know what this means.

It’s time to try a sprint triathlon. It’s been on my mind for several weeks and I’ve finally decided I’m going to register.

This particular race consists of

  • .3 mile swim (yes, point three)
  • 12 mile bike ride
  • 5k

I know I won’t place, but I know I can finish. If the contact lenses I ordered show up in enough time I’m going to jump in on the race next Sunday, otherwise I’ll race on August 10 (because you know, being able to see for the whole thing would be nice).

Stay tuned.

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