Tag Archives: triathlon

Planning and running forward!

I’m a little Type A, but organization doesn’t exactly take a front seat in my life. I do over-schedule myself a bit and enjoy multitasking, but I’m rarely worked up about things. I’m far from work-obsessed, and I don’t have a short fuse.

But I NEED to have a plan. It doesn’t have to be functional. It doesn’t have to ever come to fruition, but I can’t help myself from planning for often dozens of potential outcomes from events.

It’s unclear whether I’ll be able to come back to my current company after my next Army school. This is a fact that I knew going in – as my work is entirely grant-based. I sacrificed job security for a shot at doing something interesting, and working with a smaller company where I can actually be innovative without a lot of red tape. It’s been awesome. The job suits my lifestyle too. I can’t work more than 40 hours per week, and my time is flexible. I don’t get vacation days, but I haven’t been told “no” yet when asking for some unpaid time off. It’s a good system. I like to get paid, so I work when possible. But, if I want to take off for a long weekend, it’s generally a non-issue. There’s lots of good communication and clear expectations all around.

So, my career plan is: Wait.

The reality is, I won’t know for a while if I can come back to the current job. If I can’t, I really can’t start a job search that many months in advance. I’m still poking around and exploring my options, but I really won’t start applying until the fall. I’m ok with it.

Athletically? Well, that’s a different story.

The problem with athletic goals is that it usually takes a LOT of time to do them well. I do really want to make the Army team, but I know that my Olympic time, while it meets the standard, it is not up to par with the amazingly talented ladies that made the team this year. Also, the dead of winter is not exactly a booming time for triathlon in the US.

Plan A is still an awesome military program that I’m trying to get in to… but it’s starting to look like Plan B is a marathon. I ran my first (and so far only) marathon back in 2012. And, I ended my race report with “If I ran more while training, I’m certain I could run faster. But, we’ll save that for another time.” I ran this after a half ironman, where I took a week or two off, and then did a 10 week build. It worked, and I ran to the best of my abilities, but nowhere near my potential.

Luckily, Plan A and Plan B and Plan make-the-army-tri-team-someday will all benefit from a solid block of running. And solid run mileage is good for basically any other plan I can come up with.

So, until I find out if Plan A might actually happen, I’ll keep the run miles up, the strength training consistent, and come up with 37 other alternate plans because that’s how I roll.

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This weekend I learned:

  1. How windy is actually too windy for a mountain bike ride.

Despite a less-than-stellar weather forecast, we decided to hit the AZ trail for a few miles of off-road riding. The weather was cool (70s!) but the wind… oh the wind. Up to 30mph sustained, with gusts up to 40. This is officially too windy to ride. We made it about 5 miles from the trailhead in about 30 minutes! No lie. Uphill, into the wind, or with stiff crosswinds that more than once swept me off the trail. We stopped at a gate and decided to turn around. I admitted I was miserable, but put on my game face and tried to enjoy the mostly downhill, tailwind assisted return to the car. Lucky for us, the front carrying all of the rain was nice enough to wait until we got back home.

  1. That people bocce is a fun game!

I hosted an open water swim clinic/practice on Sunday. 9 people came out, and we had fun! We practiced drafting, sprinting and sighting. Then, we played a round of people bocce. I swam out about a dozen strokes from the crew, and each one tried to swim to me without sighting. It tells you a lot about how straight you naturally swim, and if you tend to veer constantly to the same side, you can start to work on correction.

I also participated, and was probably ~6ft away from my target. I also forgot to breathe, because in my mind not sighting meant not taking my face out of the water, period. Oops!

  1. That crossfit is proof that I’m an endurance athlete!

My current fitness focus is running & building some strength. Tri is currently taking a bit of a backseat to prep for the next round of Army training. I’ve got some goals, and I think being a bit stronger will help me get there.

With heavier lifting workouts, I’m usually in the bottom two or three for weight used. I’m not frustrated by this (yet!) because I have a lot to learn technique-wise, and I’m doing things I’m simply not used to doing.

With lighter, higher rep workouts, I’m usually rocking out the reps with the best of them. Today was 6 rounds of 20 seconds of empty bar presses, and then 30 seconds of sit-ups.  No rest. I crushed it! Yesterday was weighted jump squats, body weight squats and lunges, timed, for max reps. I might be the only one that held my rep count steady, and even increased on the last round.

While I’m pretty sure my month of crossfit won’t allow me to be anywhere near the ability level of some of the beast-mode ladies in the gym, I’m excited to add some new stuff to my fitness toolbox to help me achieve whatever I decide will come next.

Planning ahead – 2014

As I start to talk with athletes and begin filling my coaching roster for next year, I can’t help but start thinking about my goals for next year!

I’ll be in a unique position next year. I will be spending about 5 months in full-time army training again… but this time, I’ll be able to train. I’m not sure when yet – though I have an application in for the date I want. The school is 20 weeks long, which is a pretty standard training cycle timeframe. I’ll have a limited social life (hello, middle of nowhere), and I won’t have my dog (serious bummer), so my time will be pretty open.

Option 1: Go long!

Aim: Tackle my first 140.6. I’ll be in a situation I won’t feel like I’m missing out on life by working out 20 hours a week. I could register for one that is 1-3 weeks after my class ends, and it would work out well.

Option 2: Revisit 70.3

Aim: Break that 6 hour mark – hopefully by totally blowing it out of the water! 70.3 is a FUN distance for me. And very manageable.

Option 3: Get FAST!

Aim: Sub 2:35 Olympic distance race. Go fast, go hard, and still have time to explore the Ozarks.

Now, there are possibilities for combinations of the above, but I’m just focusing on what my A goal should be, and then I’ll build a season from there.

I’m leaning towards a 140.6, solely because I can likely put in the time without greatly impacting what I like to call a “normal social life”… and if I’m forced to be apart from this guy anyway…

IMAG0573

…why not train my butt off?

So, we’ll see. As schedules develop and events open/close, I’m sure my A race and goals will fall into place!

Tinfoilman Race Report

I put off writing this because honestly, I was bummed. So, let’s get that out of the way, shall we? I missed the podium by a minute, and I swam an extra 50, due to me not being 100% sure of my ability to count to 825 yards, and my counter being inattentive. That’s 40 seconds, right there. If I had that time back, I might have been able to bust my butt for an extra 10 seconds/mile on the run and snagged the spot. Bummer, right?

That aside, I’ve been nursing an injury. Since Deuces Wild Xterra, my volume dropped from 10 hours per week to about 4… including a full week where all I did was swim in a race at Superfrog.

So, forgetting about the first paragraph above, and focusing on the second, I had a GREAT race. Really, I did. It just took me a few days to get over myself.

The race was really exciting. I had quite a few friends and one coaching client who were competing in their first ever triathlon! I got to watch all of them swim. Tinfoilman goes in waves, from slowest to fastest in the pool. I was in wave 9, so I had all of the time in the world to hang out and spectate.

Swim:

Started off great. I drafted the girl in the lane next to me for the first 300 or so until she pulled away. I focused on keeping my effort level high and steady. I was about 80% sure that I counted right, but when I didn’t see the lane counter’s signal to stop, I kept going. I am NOT awesome at counting and it wouldn’t surprise me to be off by a 50 or even 100. I didn’t have a watch on and I couldn’t see the clock – which is how I usually keep track. When I finally got out, I was pretty sure I swam an extra 50, but I decided to forget about it because there was nothing I could do.

T1:

Need to practice taking the swimskin off, but otherwise, it went well. I got a new aero helmet, and I need to remember to put it on before my sunglasses. I ran about as hard as I could in bike shoes and hit the mount line.

Bike:

3 loops. I thought I’d hate it, but it was actually nice. It was fun to see my friends cheering for me 3 times on a 12 mile course! I went back and forth with a girl in an aero helmet riding a Cervelo P4. Darn right, my ego took over and I decided not to let her go. Stephanie (who went a 5:18 at Superfrog) went by me on the first loop, so I tried to stick with her for a bit – unsuccessfully, I might add. The course was great except one road – Euclid. It was terrible. It was also similar conditions to where I crashed my Fuji a few months ago. I tried to put those thoughts aside and just hammer up the terrible, bumpy, potholed road. I realized I was thirsty – and hungry! I brought no gels or food with me, so I settled for water. I was redlining and sort of felt like puking for the first two laps. I found a strong rhythm on the 3rd lap and almost wished the race was longer.

T2:

Quick dismount, quick ditching of the cycling gear. Sat down to put running shoes on because I could feel potential cramps building in my calves.

Run:

My lips and mouth were SO DRY! I just tried to focus on each person in front of me and pick them off one by one. I grabbed water at each opportunity. I could see Chrissy on the first lap, and I knew I was gaining on her. I didn’t even feel my knee the entire time. There were a bunch of spectators, which was cool, and I ran solo the entire time. I never really got lonely or felt like I was out there for a long time, which is a welcome change! I tried extra hard to run the tangents well. I was outsprinted by someone headed to the finish chute, but I couldn’t find the extra kick in the end.

Age Group Place: 4/23

Overall place: 60/320

Swim:

5th AG

11:42 (for an 875 instead of an 825. Oops)

Bike:

4th AG

37:18 (including T1 and T2 – computer had it at 35:XX. 12 miles)

Run:

5th AG

25:04 (3 miles)

Total:

1:14:05

For the first time EVER – my bike split ranked better than my run and my swim. Sign of improvement? Sign that lots of swimmers and/or runners do this race for fun? Who knows.

Now, I’ll focus on building up my running again working 10mpw this week and next, then jumping to 15mpw if all seems right. I also did my first bike commute since monsoon season this morning – and I hope to do that 2x’s a week. I’m also getting ridiculously excited for Rev3 Florida in less than two weeks!!! I’ll be doing the swim leg of a relay, and I’m looking forward to just having a really fun weekend 🙂

Rev3 Excitement!

Rev3 Florida is now a month away – and I’m recruiting a relay team! The way my training has been lately, I think it’d be best for me to swim, and then spend the day cheering and volunteering! Anyone want to bike or run?

Other big Rev3 news: The 2013 Season Pass offer is only valid until September 30th! Go get it!!

And one more big Rev3 announcement… Team Rev3 Applications are opening SOON!

You should:

1. LOVE Rev3. A lot.

2. Be passionate – about triathlons AND life!

3. Be awesome! Not necessarily in the smoking-the-competition sense, but in the everyone-you-meet-wants-to-race-with-you-even-if-they’re-not-yet-a-triathlete way.

4. Enjoy being bombarded with a zillion e-mail from your teammates – and they can be serious, stilly, uplifting, heartbreaking, alcohol-induced, running-high-induced… and much more.

5. Be socially active – online and in real life! Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Tri Websites, local Tri Clubs, running clubs – EVERYTHING.

6. Live near a Rev3 Venue.

7. Have an excellent sense of humor.

Do you fit the bill? Will you be applying? You too can look THIS GOOD if your Rev3 kit! 🙂

I’m off for a beautiful weekend in San Diego. I’ll be doing the swim leg of Superfrog, then humbly handing in my timing chip. I am not even bringing my bike with me, so I’m not tempted to take it out for 56 miles when I should be resting!

On Monday, I’ve got HUGE plans for a 2 mile run. Look out, world!

Week 1

Triathlon training started last week. I’m following a program I found online: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/triathlon-training-program-olympic-distance

My goal is to finish the MiamiMan International Distance race in a respectable time.

Swim goal: <25 minutes

Bike goal: 18mph

Run goal: <60 minutes

So, what’s the basis for this? I did an International/Olympic distance triathlon as a relay with EG a few weeks ago. My swim was under 22 minutes, and my run was under 58.  His bike was 1:07. Crazy fast! Anyway, I was hauling on the swim, so I’m giving myself some room to slow down and not totally wear myself out. For the run, I think I can do it. My last sprint tri ended in a 9:05 pace run and my PR 5k. My 10k in the tri relay was 9:19 pace.

Training was going well… I switched the first run and bike, and nearly quadrupled the time spent on the bike. I was in good company with EO and EG, learning and working my butt off. The weirdest part is swimming for such short periods of time. A 1000 yard swim only takes 15 minutes at a steady pace. I thought about adding more, but my run on Sunday was the worst I’ve ever felt running. I think I’ll listen to my body and hold off on going beyond the training plan until I feel better.

Yesterday was a rest day. My spirits are low. Hopefully today (30min run + 30 min strength train) renews my spirits. If not, I have Dexter Season 4 Discs 3 +4, frozen yogurt, and my wonderful dog waiting for me at home.

Anyway, I’m stuck at the main campus for work, and most of the things I need to do involve a share drive that I don’t have access to. So, I’m working on deciding on a current wellness topic for my 5 minute presentation…