One More Tri 2016 Recap

I’ll admit: I had no intentions of participating in the One More Tri triathlon this year. After a pretty miserable experience last year (almost entirely of my OWN doing, mind you), I wrote off the sport of triathlon as a fun distraction from my usual running and that was that. But when Jeanene Leppert, the Special Events Director of Special Olympics New Jersey, reached out to tell me about the positive changes they’d made to the race and invited me to this year’s event, how could I say no?

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There’s Jeanene: one of the sweetest, most hard working women I know!

To keep things low-key, I registered for the Super Sprint distance; knowing I’d be smack in the middle of half marathon training, I didn’t want to push too hard and this .1 mile swim, 6 mile bike, and 1.5 mile run was just the right effort. It worked out even better because I ran a solid 11+ miles the day before, my longest run since May, and I was tired!

On Sunday morning I packed up the bike and headed down to Asbury with Mike, arriving with plenty of time to check in, get my packet (and a BIG hug from Jeanene!), set up in transition, and go wait in the car while the temps rose from a chilly 49 degrees!!

Once the sun came up it got warmer, and we made our way to the boardwalk for race announcements, the national anthem and the reciting of the Special Olympics motto: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” And that’s when I was reminded why I was SO happy to do this event again: being able to compete alongside Special Olympics athletes is a true honor. No matter how rough the water is, how strong the winds are, and how hard it is to keep running on tired legs, the fact that I get to take on all these challenges with these inspirational folks by my side is one that I will never not be moved by.

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As we marched to the beach for our swim start, we were informed that the swim portion had been shortened for everyone due to the rocky surf. Seeing the crazy waves the day before during my long run I figured as much, and we all clustered on the sand to keep warm after shedding our layers. It wasn’t long before our wave – the last wave, of course! – was next, and I laughed with some of my fellow Super Sprinters as we calmed each other’s nerves and passed the time. One woman had us roaring about how we should just “go to Waffle House – we’ve got the shirts already!”

After just a few more minutes, our gun went off and we ran into the water (which was almost 20 degrees warmer than the air!) and quickly discovered that the “swim” turned out to be a “fight for 35M through the waves and walk to the lifeguard who keeps getting knocked over”.

It was BRUTAL! I’ve never felt the surge pull me back so strongly – once one wave crashed over us, the current pulled my legs from under me and I had to fight to stay upright. After a few minutes of walking through the waves – and laughing and screaming – we made it to about 5 feet from the lifeguard. While the goal was to go around him, it was like running into a brick wall when each new wave pounded us! I laughed the whole time, and finally when a wave pushed me out, I grabbed onto the lifeguard’s shoulder to keep from getting swept out, rounded him and promptly got swept right up onto the shoulders of the guy in front of me, who got pushed into the girl in front of him, and so on! After apologizing and laughing, (“Thanks for the ride!”), the water calmed down enough for us to make a break for the shore again, and I ran. It was TOUGH. My legs burned from running against the strong current & jumping over waves, but I finally made it out.

The run back from the water to T1 was long – I’d estimate about a quarter of a mile or so, mostly on sand – but when the course is lined with volunteers and spectators cheering you on it’s hard NOT to feel awesome. Once I got into transition I rinsed my feet off, tossed my sneakers on & ran out with my bike. The volunteers were super organized, pointing me in the right direction with clear instructions and lots of encouragement, and I jumped on the bike in no time, speeding off for one loop of 6 miles.

There was a headwind for the first 3 miles out, but the course was clearly marked and filled with volunteers pointing us in the right direction (and police blocking traffic for us, thanks guys!). As I turned back at mile 3 and took a gel, I couldn’t help but smile and notice the absence of blue bibs around me. There weren’t that many folks in the Super Sprint wave at the swim, I wonder if I could Age Group place?? That was enough to make me pick up my pace and push for a bike finish of 26:10.

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After Mike snapped me bringing my bike in, I tossed my helmet off and headed onto the boardwalk for the 1.5 mile run, going slowly. My legs were now pretty shredded from the ocean, sand, and bike, but as I made it to the boards I fell into a rhythm and kept pace at a surprisingly fast 10:30. I’m just always faster when I bike!

It was on the boardwalk that I realized just how good my chances were to place – I saw only a few other blue bibs around me, and none were in my age group. The volunteers on the run course were phenomenal – SO many more this year than last year, and their enthusiasm was contagious. Once I got to the turnaround ahead of the full distance folks and headed back for the finish, I picked up the pace and couldn’t stop smiling over what a completely different, positive experience I had this year compared to last year!. When I spotted the folks at the finish line I broke into a sprint and crossed in 15:23 (a 10:15/mile pace!) and a total time of 51:41.

And of course I burst into happy tears when the little 5 or 6 year old Special Olympics rep placed my medal around my neck and gave me a high five, because that’s what I do.

After finding Mike and celebrating with him on a great finish, we wandered to the food tent where they had a CRAZY spread of amazing food – sandwiches, muffins, kale salads, Girl Scout cookies, donuts, recovery shakes, iced tea… you name it, you got it!

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::Liz Lemon voice:: I want to go to there…

After eating and sitting for a bit, we hung around for the awards and cheered on as the winners were announced in all divisions. It was so fun seeing everyone get recognition for their hard work. But the biggest shock of all came when they announced the Top Three Super Sprint Female Winners – and I placed THIRD OVERALL!

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Seriously, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Standing nearby helping organize medals and presenters, Jeanene screamed and grabbed me for a huge hug when she heard my name, and I went up to the podium for my first ever Overall medal!

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I was so stoked – sure, it’s really a numbers game when the field of participants is that small, but I still came in 11th overall in the Super Sprint, and 2nd in my AG too! I’ll take it!

Needless to say, this race is now a Must-Do for me every year. The Super Sprint distance the perfect way to challenge myself while not interfering with my half marathon training, and I can definitely see myself doing this one again next year – maybe I’ll see you too? 😉

From Zero to… Two

So last year I had two extremely different experiences at two sprint triathlons.

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look at the happy!!

The Jersey Girl Triathlon was everything I could have hoped for in my first tri: fun, low-key, perfect weather, an overall A+ experience.

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look at the very real tears!

The One More Tri, on the other hand, threw everything it had at me and nearly broke me. I was almost last out of the water after they mis-measured the swim (nearly doubling it), I was last to finish on the bike thanks to my lead legs, busted bike gears and high winds, and the run was a footrace with a woman I affectionately dubbed “Bike Basket” because she beat me in the bike at the last minute on a beach cruiser with a basket.

But, because I’m not one to turn down a challenge (and part of me NEEDS to conquer that Asbury Park course, dammit), I’ve signed up for not just one, but BOTH of these races again this summer! I’m taking my training slow for the Jersey Girl – haven’t even done an official brick workout yet, with like 2 weeks til race day! – and actually chose to do the Short Sprint in Asbury because it falls smack dab in the middle of peak training time for my fall goal race, so I guess you could call these… Triathlon Lite?

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Call it whatever I want, all I know is I don’t have a spare $600 to upgrade my janky mountain bike and I’m doing these just to have some fun, not break records. Also, the One More Tri has the added bonus of benefiting the Special Olympics, so I’m honored to be raising money for them again. If you’re so inclined, feel free to donate here – every little bit helps, even $5 would be much appreciated!

So there’s my big summer plans in a nutshell – doing two races I said I’d never do again as long as I lived because I don’t know how to say no and have a silly competitive streak with myself! Have you ever done a “never again” race again? Which one? How did it go? I bet you didn’t regret it!

What’s Up?

I don’t know about you, but lately the weeks are just flying by here! I feel like once we hit May, every weekend has been filled with traveling, working out like crazy, weddings, parties, BBQs, and general craziness with no clear end in sight. Last weekend we had legitimately nothing on the calendar and freaked out: I swore I had to be forgetting something! But it was nice to relax for about 2.4 hours before swinging right back into things.

Let’s take a look at some highlights from the past month or two and get caught up, shall we?

We have a winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered last week’s Mermaid Club Giveaway – I love being able to give you guys cool stuff 🙂 And now, drumroll please…. our winner is Michelle B!

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Check your email, girl, I’ve sent you the deets on how to get your goods 🙂

I’m Tri-ing (Again)

After two polar opposite experiences at the Jersey Girl and One More Tri sprint triathlons last year, I wasn’t itching to burst back onto the triathlon scene anytime soon. But I’m highly suggestible, and when my coworker said she wanted to do her first sprint tri and I mentioned the Jersey Girl as the best one for beginners, before I knew what was happening I was registered for it again.

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I don’t know how it happened, I swear!

I’m honestly really excited – all the tri training I did last summer had a HUGE impact on my endurance and speed as a runner once I got back into a single sport come the fall, so I’m pretty stoked to have all that cross training to look forward to.

I unofficially started training a few weeks ago by incorporating biking and swimming into my weekly workouts, and as of next week I’ll start doing brick workouts to get back into the swing of biking then running. I also continue to bump up my strength training to get stronger overall, which I hope will pay off in the long run.

My friend got married (and we had a vacation too)!

On June 10th, my friend (and sometimes running/racing buddy) Tina married her sweetheart Justin in LBI and we had the honor of celebrating with them and a bunch of our wild and crazy friends!

This crew is the best – they’re the most loyal, drama-free people I know, and they REALLY know how to party, so it’s always a good time. And to keep the good times rolling after the wedding, we stuck around in LBI for the weekend and fully embraced the island life. We go down there every year and have adopted it as our second home, so it’s always a nice relaxing getaway.

I won a Kylo Ren doll at a carnival stand on the first spin (!!) and Mike got to test out his Captain chops, then the morning we left we headed over to Barnegat to climb the lighthouse like we do every year – my knees were aching after but it was worth it!

I’m still running happy

While I haven’t been the best at keeping you all up to date on my running adventures here, if you’ve been following along with me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you can attest to the fact that I’m still running, and almost all of those miles are indeed happy!

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I even discovered a new trail – right in my hometown! It’s not so much of a trail as it as a nature preserve, and I was the only runner on it the day I went (aside from a family of fishermen and women on the opposite side of the lake), but it was so cool. I spent an afternoon on my own, exploring the ins and outs of this new area, snapping pics as I went.

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I even got to nail my first solo jumping picture!

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In addition to solo exploration, I connected with Mere again for some bright, beautiful miles down at the canal near my office too!

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Running happy together 🙂

There’s been a few other exciting events – namely, an awesome 5K I helped my company take part in, which I’ll recap later this week – but other than that it’s quiet and I like it that way!

How about you: now that summer is here, how’s your training going? Do anything good the past few months? Share!

NYC Triathlon: I’m IN!

A month or so ago, my coworker asked me how I felt about being the runner in a relay team for the NYC Triathlon. After a little research showed me what a ridiculously cool race this is (and that the run was only a 10K around Central Park, yes, please), I was stoked: of course I said yes!

Cut to a few weeks later when we realized that the entry was a fundraising spot that we’d all have to raise upwards of $1k for, each, in addition to the entry fees. That’s a lot of money, so we shelved the idea until the race lottery opened and we decided to enter as a relay team that way. “Who knows”, we reasoned. “If we get in, we get in, and if not, no sweat.” We’d find another event to enjoy together.

Fast Forward to this afternoon when I came face to face with the following email:

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Few subject lines make me squeal as much as “You’re In!”

I immediately ran to find my coworker – the biker of the group – and we promptly high fived and jumped in the air, Anchorman-style.

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(but with less mustaches)

I then texted my other co-worker (or rather, former co-worker, as she recently accepted an awesome new position!) and we freaked out for a bit via text. She’s the swimmer of our group, and the initial idea was hers in the first place.

Once I got through all of the details and filled out our form officially registering us, it finally sank in: I’m going to be doing the NYC Triathlon, and as a part of my first-ever relay team! How cool is that? I never pictured myself doing this event, but once the tri bug bit me, I knew I had to be a part of something larger like this. My confidence in my swimming skills, however, are somewhat lacking, and my biking… well, let’s just say I’m more Beach Cruiser than Iron Man. But with two unbelievable athletes like these folks by my side, with their own strengths in swimming and biking? Piece of cake!

The Reluctant Tri-ers (yes, that’s our team name) are headed to the Hudson River on July 24th, 2016!

How about you – have you done a relay race before? Or the NYC Tri? Any tips for a first time relay team member?

A New Family Member, Training Update, and MEB!

First, I want to apologize for being absent so long! Things at work are really heating up, and I’m in the thick of training for both my second sprint triathlon this weekend and my next half marathon on 10/18. And on top of all that, just this past Monday, we finally pulled the trigger and brought in the newest member of the family: Sammy!

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We first met Sammy a year or so ago, and after sporadic visits for a year, he started showing up every day about a month ago, for a few hours each morning and every night, sitting on our lawn every night waiting for us to come out again in the morning. Once he started showing up with flea bites and chewed up ears, we finally took him to the vet, got him checked out and cleaned up and he’s currently sleeping on the couch next to me! He’s the most loving, sweet-hearted kitty we’ve ever met – he needs to be touching someone to fall asleep, and is my little shadow when I get ready for work in the morning. We’re smitten with this kitten! So on top of the double weekday workouts, 2+ hour runs on the weekends, and crazy work schedule, I also have this new creature to help take care of every day (along with balancing the love for our other cat Lucy who was living here first, and family and friends too)! So needless to say, by 10PM each day I have just about enough time to brush my teeth before falling into bed, so the blog was the first thing to be neglected. My apologies!

While Mr. Sammy sleeps next to me though, I’ll give you the highlights: everything is great! My long runs are right on pace at 12:15-12:45 per mile, and my shorter runs are stable at 11:30/mile too. I’m up to 10 miles in my long runs, and the best part? I hit a new one-mile PR in the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile last weekend with an unbelievable 8:51!! I almost died when I saw the number on the clock, seriously. I promise I’ll post a full recap soon, but here’s a teaser:

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MEB!

He was right there at the finish when I crossed and he greeted me with a huge smile and hearty congratulations. BRB, squealing and fangirl-ing all over the place again just looking at the pic…

OK, I’m back. I’ve got a big weekend ahead with the Seaside Semper Five 5K on Saturday and the One More Tri triathlon on Sunday! It’ll be my first back-to-back race weekend, and I’m going into it with absolutely zero expectations, just looking forward to swimming, biking, and running with a big smile for two fantastic causes: the Marine Corps and the NJ Special Olympics! I’m only $74 away from my One More Tri fundraising goal, so if you’re so inclined you can make a donation here! Every little bit helps, even $5 or $10 – why not consider skipping one pumpkin spice latte and putting that cash towards the inspirational athletes of the Special Olympics? It’s less calories anyway 😉

OK, so that’s my quick update – I hope you all are doing well and your training is going smoothly! We’re in the thick of training and racing season now, so stay strong and trust your training – you’re all rockstars for getting out there and getting it done! Tell me how it’s going in the comments, I want to hear it all!

Preparing For Marathon Mania (When You’re Not a Marathon Runner)

I don’t know about you, but every fall, I find myself getting swept up in marathon madness. It seems like everyone and their mothers are training for and running marathons, while me and my bum knees are sitting over here like “I’m running 13 miles, wheeee!”

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I know, a half marathon is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a huge accomplishment, and I take it 100% seriously. Hell, it’s the longest distance I can [barely] manage, of course it’s awesome! But when you see those troopers out there clocking runs of 15, 18, 20+ miles, sometimes it’s hard not to feel all the (running-related) things.

Take me for example: having tried and failed training for a full marathon a few years back, I have a love/hate relationship with the marathon. As I scroll through my feeds and chat with full-running-friends, I flip flop almost hourly between runner envy (damn I wish my knees and my brain could let me run that far!) and runner schadenfreude (pfft, you won’t catch me running 20+ miles, that’s more than 5 hours!). But I know better than to say “never”, because I said that after my first 5K 4 years ago even though everyone told me I’d get hooked, and look at me now, with a blog about running and everything!

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Anywho, suffice it to say that the fall racing season is always filled with lots of conflicting emotions for me. So this year, I’m doing a few things to curb the marathon mania before it hits me.

First, I’m loading up my calendar with lots of other races to get my fix while not putting my poor joints on overload. As of today, I’ve got shorter distance races on 9/6, 9/13, 9/19, 9/26, and 10/31, a triathlon on 9/20, and a half marathon 10/18, with more in the works in October. So believe me when I say it: I’ll be running plenty.

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(you have NO IDEA how long I’ve been waiting to use this guy in a post. FINALLY!)

Secondly, I’m fully embracing the triathlon for the first time during marathon season. I’m competing in another triathlon on September 20th, which is taking up a lot of my training time but also gives me a new “mania” outlet. It’s a new (to me) sport and I’m fully in love with it! I’m not kidding. I still really love running and it’ll always be my favorite, but getting to switch it up with biking and swimming AND competing in those three things at the same time? It’s awesome.

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Lastly, I’ve set an unofficial goal for the last few months of 2015 to run 14 miles in one go. My motivation is simple: I need to prove to myself that I won’t turn into a pumpkin – or my knees won’t turn into jelly – once I break the magical 13.1 spell. So once I finish my goal race on 10/18 in Atlantic City, I aim to keep up with running long every other weekend just to see what I’m capable of. Who knows, with all the extra cross training thanks to my newfound love of the triathlon, I may surprise myself!

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How do you cope with marathon mania? Do you have envy like me or are you 100% sure you’re only half crazy? And those of you who ARE running those fall marathons: how is your training going? Sound off in the comments!

Catching Up – and a Giveaway Winner!

Hello and Happy Wednesday guys – how’s everyone doing?? It’s been a hot minute since I last posted, so how about we take a little trip down memory lane and recap the past few weeks!

After the Jersey Girl Tri, I was riding high on the post-race endorphins and immediately wanted to put my training to use with another tri, soon. After flip flopping between a few other events like Iron Girl in Sandy Hook, I stumbled across One More Tri in Asbury Park this September.

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This event is pretty much the perfect combination: it’s in Asbury Park, one of my favorite places on earth, it’s a fundraising event for the Special Olympics, which is very near and dear to my heart, and it’s a unified triathlon event, where Special Olympics athletes and members of the community compete side-by-side! That just brings it to a whole other level. I get goosebumps just thinking about it – I used to love volunteering at events like this back in high school and college, but getting to actually participate in these sports with these inspirational folks? What an honor! I can’t wait. Click here to learn more – or make a donation towards my fundraising efforts, if you’re so inclined!

Once I signed up for that, I realized I had to come up with a new training plan that will prepare me both for the tri and the Atlantic City Half Marathon in October! I took to the interwebs and found my favorite 6-week triathlon training plan once again, then layered my usual half marathon training plan on top of it. BOY was that a mess. After some tinkering (and taking into consideration the other shorter races I’ve got planned in September and October), I finally came up with a plan that works. I was SO excited to take it on! I hit the first week hard, nailing every single workout, and I was feeling good in time for my first long run of training.

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It was a little harder than I expected because of the heat and hills I took on, but I was so pumped to keep it up and tackle week 2! Aaaaand then I got sick.

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::sad trombone music::

Last week I was knocked out by a nasty sinus infection and bronchitis that prevented me from breathing or hearing or basically using my head properly for a good 5 days. I finally started feeling human again on Sunday in time for a quick weekend getaway with my friend and her daughters, and now I’m easing back in to training once again with renewed excitement. Kind of. I mean, my lungs are still filled with gunk and it’s like 100 degrees out, but dammit I’ve got races to crush this fall, and I’m not going to let anything get in my way!

Which brings us to today, and another exciting announcement – the winner of my Freekeh Foods Giveaway! Drumroll please…. Congratulations to Jamie Harrings, you’re a winner!

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Check your email for details on how to claim your prize – and thank you to all who entered, too! Have a great day everyone 🙂

TGIF!

Happy Friday everyone! Thanks for all of the post-triathlon love – you guys are the best 🙂 Things are going nice and smooth here – I’m now training for both another triathlon (yes, another one!) and a half marathon, so my calendar is quickly filling up with double workouts and smaller fall races too. There’s so much to look forward to in the coming months and I can’t wait to share it all with you!

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Long Time No Blog!

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lapse in posting – I’ve been on vacation for the last week and made a point to spend a little less time “plugged in”. It was hard to break the constant habit of checking my phone, but the less I did the easier it got. I had my first open water swim (eeeek!), Hubby and I went to the movies, we went hiking in the park and we did some shopping at the fancy mall (don’t we all know one?). 

  

Wednesday night I made a dream come true and saw the Smashing Pumpkins at the PNC Arts Center. I don’t mention it very much here, but next to running, music (most notably 90’s alternative music) is my life, and the Pumpkins are everything to me. Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin were a few of my first celebrity crushes, my father took me to my first concert at MSG to see them, I used their lyrics in our wedding vows… You get the point. So I met up with a bunch of my best girls (one even came all the way down from Cape Cod!) and we had an amazing night filled with nostalgia, laughs, and fun 🙂

  

As if my week could get any better, on Friday we schlepped into NYC to celebrate my birthday with some adventures at the Museum of Natural History!

  
 
After about 7 straight hours of walking and climbing stairs, my legs were fried. So this morning’s final open water swim before tomorrow’s triathlon was just what the non-existent doctor ordered!

  
I also got to try out my new birthday gift from hubby: a GoPro! 🙂

When I first dove into the water on Monday night, I didn’t know what to expect. I joined the Jersey Girl Triathlon crew for a group swim to conquer all the unknowns I faced: what would swimming in the ocean for the first time be like? What kind of crowd would be at the race? Was I going to regret this? You know – the stress inducing questions that keep you up at night. Well it turns out the answers were: awesome, the best, and hell no!

  
I’m listening to my towel from now on.

Today’s swim was no different from my first, either. Waking up at 5:30 to drive down to the starting line, making a new friend (What’s up, Amanda of King Yogart?), swimming, getting my ass handed to me by a few waves, and sitting through a Q&A with the race coach was the best thing I could have done the morning after my birthday.

  
Amanda, Heather (my tri-pro cousin), and I were all smiles after our swim!

And now I know: if I can swim 300 meters, get knocked face-first into the sand and spun around like a plastic bag in a tornado, get sand rash all over my elbow, and still feel ready to bike & run, I can do anything!

So now that I’ve got 7 weeks of training, a handful of solid brick workouts (in pretty atrocious weather, to boot), and 2 open water swims under my Fuelbelt, I’m ready to take on the Jersey Girl Triathlon tomorrow morning! 

  

Just Keep Swimming… and Biking and Running

It’s a good thing I’m a runner and not a mathematician. Because evidently – waaaay back when I first found my training plan – my silly ass miscalculated the number of weeks I had before my sprint triathlon, and I focused on training for 6 weeks when in reality I had 7. I never said I was good at math, guys.

tumblr_m9321xHlsO1rtwaqkAs such, I’ve been totally enjoying my “extra” week of training by building up these muscles even stronger! In the past week I completed not one but two brick workouts, and my confidence levels are nice and high.

IMG_7932Last Thursday I ran a few miles right after work in about 80 degrees and full sun – not my brightest idea, but I rationalized it by thinking if I could run in that weather, I can do anything. The brain is a funny thing, isn’t it?

My time wasn’t the best, but I wasn’t dead by the end of the run, which is important. I’m really trying to increase my endurance by pushing past the half hour/hour mark of my normal workouts, and it’s paying dividends. After the run and a short drive to the gym, I hopped right in the pool for 400m at top speed. To my surprise, the swim felt easy! Sure I was sucking wind at the end of every 100m, and guzzling Nuun like it was my job, but at the end of the workout I walked out of the pool not ready to die. Which is a huge step up from my swimming workouts a few months ago!IMG_7925

Friday I earned my rest day – but I couldn’t help it and ducked down to the office gym for 20 quick minutes of strength training.

IMG_7937Yep, in a skirt. Cause why not?

Saturday I woke to the sound of thunder, and rather than test out my lightning-dodging skills on the bike, I decided to take my next brick workout to the gym, where I [spoiler alert] totally killed my previous treadmill 2-mile PR! I think it had something to do with my new goodies courtesy of Brooks – tee, tank, hat, and new Transcend 2’s!!

IMG_7955I started off on a spin bike – yes, I know it’s nowhere near the same as a normal bike on an outdoor ride, but I just don’t work up a sweat on the regular stationary bikes like I do with the spin bikes. So I set the timer for 40 minutes and told myself to beat my previous outdoor bike 10K in 40:40 and well, as you can see I kind of crushed it. By doubling my distance in less time 🙂

IMG_7966Feeling pretty awesome, I hit the treadmill directly in front of me for 1 mile (as the schedule called for), and found myself flying.

IMG_7967Yes, that says 2 miles in 20:02. That means each mile was 10:01. And YES that annoys me to NO END. Sub-10:00 mile, you will be mine!!!

I was feeling so good, in fact, that I decided to keep going and pushed to 2 miles. After all, I told myself – I’ve got 3 to run on race day, I’d better get used to covering the distance.

IMG_7971I sweat clear through my shirt – and all over the treadmill – but I blew through those 2 miles and desperately wanted to keep going. But I don’t want to push myself too hard, my knees were starting to ache a bit, and I figured I’d give myself a nice thrill next weekend when I can really go for it and enjoy the final brick workout before race day.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – all this cross and strength training must really be doing something, because I’ve never seen running times like, at least not since 2011-ish. I’m feeling like I’ve finally found my fitness balance and I’m excited to see what this will do for me when I start distance running again in about 3 weeks.

How about you: any of you tri-hards find increased stamina when you returned to running? Any tips now that my first sprint is less than two weeks away?