Posts Tagged With: race

B2B Triathlon Race Recap Part One – Pre-Race Stuff

The Beach 2 Battleship Half Iron Distance Tri is done.  Mission Accomplished.  What a whirlwind! I really don’t even know where to start, so I guess I’ll start from the real tri prep last week to paint the full picture of the race experience. This is long, but I didn’t want to leave anything out, partly because it’s nice to be able and look back at this and partly because it shows how much you have to friggin’ do before a tri!

I started making a list of things that I thought I would need in transition two weeks before the race. I did this for Boston and it was really good to have a notebook where I could just add items when I thought of them. There’s things you may not think of, like sunglasses and chapstick (an absolute essential for me), so when I thought of something, I just wrote it down. I revised the list a few times the week of the race, and ended up with a nice, complete pile of things that I would need. I thought marathon list-making was tedious, but with triathlons, there’s just a lot more to think about. By the time Tuesday had rolled around and I got all the groceries I would need for the week, I totally shirked all my other responsibilities around the house. Had it been a few more days, mayhem would have ensued and the dust bunnies that are primarily composed of cat hair would have probably taken over the entire house.

On Wednesday, I started my pre-race partial carb loading like I do for marathons.  I don’t do pure carbs like many do because I get the dreaded carb crash “they” talk about and end up hungry and jittery. I have to mix in a lot of protein, so basically, I ate a LOT of well-balanced meals. I had lunch with two other half distancers (not sure what else to call us besides “participants also doing the half iron distance” or something long like that) and our coach. Her main advice was this: SWIM – know where you are at all times. BIKE – drink, drink, drink. RUN – don’t go out too fast, pace yourself. We talked a little more specifically about the bike hydration/nutrition and I got totally confused on what I was going to do. I have an aero bottle that holds about 30 ounces plus two other bottle holders on my bike, and I knew I needed close to 25 ounces an hour, some water and some with my EFS in it, but I didn’t know how I was going to coordinate it all. Coach also said we needed about 300 calories an hour total and not much more to overwhelm our systems, so my mind started blacking out and I think I actually short circuited my brain. I had a plan already in place in my head, and this was just too much for my fragile mind to wrap itself around.

I went home and wrote my requirements out, then found the calorie content of my energy bars, chews, and EFS. Then I ignored it. My mental state, other than the bike hydration/nutrition stuff, was fine. I was getting excited, but I wasn’t nervous. I was calm. No big, right? Just an event I haven’t done and 70.3 miles to cover, right? Yeah, I was excited to just get on with it!

On Thursday, I had brunch with an experience triathlete friend of mine to see if I could get any other information she deemed necessary for my race. The theme was how important it is to hydrate and eat during your bike. Basically, you’re riding 56 miles to run a half marathon, so don’t be stupid! It was nice to talk to her, and she is in taper mode for her first full Ironman this coming weekend, IM Florida. Good luck, Renee, you’ll kick ass!!!! One other VERY good tip I got from her was to put a tiny drop of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo in my goggles, rub it around, let it dry, then rinse it out. This was to hopefully prevent them from fogging up considering it was cold and my body was not. After our lunch was over, and I was TOTALLY jacked up on coffee and diet coke, I went to the grocery store and got some baby shampoo to at least hedge the probability of my goggles fogging over, which is a huge pain in the ass.

After the shampoo stop, I headed to the bike shop to pick up an extra tube so I would have two, because I just knew the tire would be flat when I checked on my bike before the race on Saturday. I was CERTAIN it would be dead as a door nail, so I wanted to be prepared.

I headed down town to packet pickup, so I could digest everything and not rush in getting my transition bags ready.  There were a lot of people already there, and it was very fast and easy to get all my stuff for the race. I thought the expo was nice and the music was good and loud, but also sort of lame. For one of the best iron distance triathlons in the world, I figured there would be more vendors peddling their wares, sucking me in to spend money on things I don’t necessarily need. I enjoy looking around and seeing cool stuff. There weren’t many there, so I walked and got sucked into the compression sleeve zone and bought a set. I refused to buy a 70.3 sticker since I hadn’t done one and if something came up and I had a DNF, I didn’t want the thing whispering “you failed” at me.  Near the exit of the expo, they had a chip check, THANKFULLY, and it registered just fine. But that’s when I realized I didn’t have the ankle strap the chip is attached to in my packet. I wound myself around to the actual packet pickup area and got one. One of the ladies casually said, “Oh I guess we missed one”, which I was HORRIFIED to hear, because what if someone like me didn’t know you were supposed to have one and THEN WHAT??! Gasp. Well, I guess most people have been to triathlons before so they knew what they were doing. I got one and wound through the expo again, picking up a small purple PPD football for my boys along the way, also confusing some of the people selling stuff because they were looking at me like, “you look familiar”.

I headed home and started to get my transition bags decorated before the kids got home from school. I spent the rest of the night organizing, checking things off my list, eating, and just hanging with my older son while my husband took the young one to football practice. I didn’t know why, but I was way mellow, and I didn’t know if/when the nerves were going to hit. Thank you to Kecia from PushMyLimits for her words of encouragement that ended up on my transition bags.

I decorated the back of the bags so they would be easier to find in transition.

I decorated the back of the bags so they would be easier to find in transition.

On Friday morning, I had a mini tri workout scheduled and had arranged to meet a friend at the beach so we could do ours together. The swim was a little weird since I hadn’t been in the water for about a week and a half, but once I got into the groove, it was fine. We swam for about 12 or so minutes, then we headed out on our bikes for about 15 minutes. After our bike, we had a 10 minute run.  I felt good. This was the first time I’d ever done a swim, bike, and run all together, so it was good to at least have a mini practice before the race.

After that, I went home and got my gear ready to drop off. I had to head back to the beach to drop my bike and T1 bag off, then back down town to drop my T2 bag off. Because I didn’t want to be alone, my husband came along with me. Thanks, Andy! It was really good to see so many people from my running group, too, so I did get in a good amount of gabbing at our stops.

In front of T1

In front of T1

Daphne all tucked in for the night. Would the tire be flat when I found her the next day?

Daphne all tucked in for the night. Looking good at about 15 years old, ay?

 

A little drinky drink at the expo/bag drop. I was so tired.

A little drinky drink at the expo/bag drop. I was so tired.

I hadn’t eaten much and we didn’t have time to eat down town so we could be home to get the boys off the bus, so we stopped at Whole Foods and got one of their huge chicken pesto sandwiches. Delightful! I started to really feel like shit at this point, and didn’t know why. I wanted to take a nap but knew that if I did, I’d never sleep that night. I was worried I’d wake up with a sore throat, the flu, or ebola. I didn’t know what the heck was going on, but I was nervous.  I felt like complete crap the entire week before Boston, so I figured it was just part of the game, but still, was worried.

I FINALLY decided on my bike hydration/nutrition late Friday evening. I would have one 24 oz bottle with concentrated EFS to keep the entire ride, my aero bottle would be filled with water, then one additional bottle of water. I would try to drink two of the aero bottles and the EFS bottle, if not more, but I knew from past experience, I probably wouldn’t drink more than that. I cut up my bonk breaker bars into pieces so they would be easy to grab out of my pouch as I rode, and I took out my two packages of blocks and honey stinger chews and put them into a baggie so I could eat them at the end of the bike in preparation for the run.

I went to bed around 9:30 with two alarms set for 4:00 am and 4:05 am. I slept like a rock! I wasn’t really thrilled at getting up, but I woke up without nerves and got ready to race. I had taken a bunch of extra clothes to Goodwill a few weeks ago, holding back one pair of shoes that I could have at the swim start. There’s no bag drop there, so anything you’re wearing that doesn’t swim with you, you do not get back. I bought an Ohio State jacket and had an extra sweatshirt and my shoes, so was good to go. Until I tried to put my shoes on. D’oh! I saved two lefties, so I ditched that plan and brought a pair of flip flops I didn’t like instead.

This wasn't going to work.

This wasn’t going to work.

Things were “working out” the way they were supposed to, and my sister picked me up at about 5:40 so we could get to the beach before the traffic hit. Things were so smooth, and I had to wonder if it was going too well. The forecast was perfect. No wind. It was going to be slightly warmer than what I prefer for the run, but I knew that I needed to just be smart, and be careful. I couldn’t salt bonk for two of my biggest races in one year, so I was determined to be smart about it.

When we got to the transition area, which is where we were to catch the trolley to the swim start, it was abuzz with energy. It was so cool! I love the pre-race vibe!  I checked on my bike -THE TIRES WERE FULL OF AIR!! YIPPEEEEEE!!!!! filled them to 120#, and got body marked.

I. Was. Ready.

My outfit is just "delightful", isn't it!?

My outfit is just “delightful”, isn’t it!?

 

Getting body marked.

Getting body marked.

I’m going to keep writing as soon as I post, so stay tuned (if you made it this far!) for the actual race recap!

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Aaaannd the A-holes Are Back

On October 9th of 2013, I posted “Shin Splints are A-Holes“.  Well, guess who decided to re-appear lower on the other leg?  Honestly, I’m not 100% sure it’s technically “shin splints”, but I would define shin splints as any injury or something-feeling-like-an-injury, or an ache or pain that can’t be attributed to anything else but “running”.

A week ago Sunday, I felt a strange sensation in a different place on my right leg. I knew I’d had some issues with my shoes fitting right and I figured it was due to some sort of compensation for ill-fitting shoes. Dummy me who put off buying new shoes…. fast forward a few weeks and my sore area is worse and I went 0-4 for new shoes at the running store.  Sorry TrySports, it’s not your fault my feet are as wide as boats barges. Instead of waiting two weeks for them to order me my Asics Nimbus WIDE that I’ve used for years and decided to stay with, I ordered them from the good ole web and voila! Two days later, they lay here all pretty and ready for me to run in.  They feel like clouds…..

Because my method of ignoring a pain to make it go away didn’t work last time, I decided to be pro-active and make an appointment to have my back adjusted and then some active release therapy done on the sore spot. It’s still just sore at this point and I don’t want it to turn into an injury, so I’m doing whatever I need to do for it to heal and well, just go away! The session was good and I will go back again next week. I’m rolling as much as I can, and my doctor even told me to roll with a lacrosse ball. Ouch!! It wasn’t quite the white-hot pain as when he was doing “therapy” on it, but it certainly hurt more than my foam roller. No pain, no gain!

My 16 mile race is Sunday where I will run two legs of the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon Relay, hopefully at Boston Marathon pace. The coaches from my running group, Without Limits, are either the directors or deeply involved, plus lots of us from the group are running in it in some fashion.  It’s going to be a blast! The water stations are college sports themed due to it being March Madness, so my husband, a Clemson alum, will be working the Clemson/LSU water station with our boys. So fun!!!

Event tent for the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon

Getting set up for the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon – I’m so excited!!

As for other things this week, I haven’t felt the best.  I felt very sluggish on Tuesdays run, and Wednesdays was better but not normal.  Thursday was a 1500 m swim and it was ok, but not up to my normal performance.  I figured I really need to get serious about nutrition. I don’t know if it’s because I’m nearing the peak of training for the Boston Marathon and I’m just tired, or if I’m not doing something all right. I do well at eating for the most part, but it’s time to step it up and pay a little more attention.

I went to return my shoes and drove right by the finish area for the race pictured above.  Right next to that is a place I have a very hard time being in with a credit card…. Barnes & Noble. I went in and about spend $2000 on all sorts of stuff that I would LOVE to read, but ended up with a new cook book featuring chicken, my favorite meat. I also got Hal Higdon’s 4:09:43.  I was SO FREAKING excited to hear that Hal Higdon will be at the Boston Marathon expo so I will plan my visit there according to his schedule.  I will bring my Hal Higdon’s Marathon book I read and followed so many years ago and 4:09:43 to see if he can sign them. EX-CI-TED.

I'm looking forward to a little more variety.

I’m looking forward to a little more variety. YUM!

Last night was the volunteer dinner for the Wrightsville Beach race as I will be working the expo/packet pickup tonight.  Then on Saturday, my son is running his first 5k.  I don’t know if he or I have more nerves, but I’m thrilled for him to be a part of the race festivities this weekend. Sunday morning, I’ll do my best at keeping in my goal pace range and of course, HAVE FUN!!!!  Let’s just hope the rain stays away!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, running, swimming, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Jingle Bell 5k and 18 weeks ’til Boston!

The last few weeks have been filled with powerful workouts followed by crappy workouts followed by good ones.  Thankfully, I felt back to normal by mid-week last week and I mentally geared myself up for the Jingle Bell 5k at Wrightsville Beach on Saturday morning.

On Friday night, we attended my sister’s annual Christmas party, filled with mimosas, my brother-in-law’s awesome home brew, wine, and lots of socialization.  Late into the evening, we started playing the game “Cards Against Humanity”, a game that should only be played by non-judgy people. We laughed so much, our abs and cheeks were sore.  Hilarious.  It had been a while since I’ve had so much fun, so I didn’t mind staying up until probably 1:30 am!  I guess that wouldn’t have been a terrible thing had my alarm not been set for 6 am to prepare for the 5k.  Oy, I certainly cannot do that as easily as I used to!

One of the funniest games I've played. Cards Against Humanity.

Being goofy while playing one of the funniest games ever.  Cards Against Humanity.

After snoozing a few times, I dragged myself out of bed at 6:30 to eat a banana and some oatmeal, figure out what I was going to wear, and stretch. I picked up my sister at 7:30 and we headed to Wrightsville for packet pickup and a pre-race jog.  Many of my running group members were there and I was happy to do my warm-up with one of them.  It’s always nice to run with other people!

My plan for the race was to run as fast as I could, or at least get under 23 minutes.  Secretly, I wanted a PR, but I knew it would be tough to do. I wasn’t feeling the best due to the activities the night before, but I was feeling good enough and ready to run.  The horn blew and I took off.  My Garmin showed that I was going around 7:05 pace, which is exactly what I wanted. THEN, between mile 1 and 2, I felt my breakfast slowly creeping up where it shouldn’t go, so I slowed to what my watch read was a 7:30-ish pace.  Ok, I was good with that. It saves time to just slow down rather than stop and puke, right?  When we rounded the last corner around mile 2-2.5, I saw the building where the race finished and knew I needed to kick it a little bit.  As I got closer, I heard the coaches yelling “good job” and I felt like I finished strong.  My clocked time was 22:00.  Argh! ONE SECOND and I could have had a sub-22!  While I was thrilled to do that well, I often think what I could have done had I not slowed down (or stayed up waaaay too late).  Honestly, I was happy with my run, especially considering  how late I was up!!

A little side note here.  For 5k races, I depend on my watch for paces.  I’m unfamiliar with a 7 minute mile “feeling” since I normally run my tempo runs at 7:30 – 8 minute miles or somewhere near that.  This is the second time this watch hasn’t shown the correct race distance as I crossed the finish line, so now I realize that my pace was showing incorrectly as well.  Which is probably why I felt like my breakfast was going to come back up.  I’m ok with this for shorter races, but it really is a testament to knowing your pace and being able to run the pace you want and know it, rather than depending on a watch.

I’m about ten seconds off my PR, so I’m now determined that I’m going to pick out a 5k to run and take it down.  PR, here I come!!  So close two times in a row!!!

After the race.

After the race.

I was happy to find out that I won the female masters division, and finished 27th overall of 550+ runners.  They read someone else’s name when it was first announced, and come to find out, she was in her 30’s.  I was talking to my husband, who was buying Red Sox/Yankees tickets four our trip to Boston at the time, so I totally missed that they corrected and then re-announced my first place finish.  I headed to the podium (an actual podium!) and stood up there, hoping to not make a fool of myself because I really didn’t understand what was going on.  Dur!!  PAY ATTENTION NEXT TIME!!! I won a nice bell, plus an entry into another race.  I’m currently trying to figure out which 5k to run, the one that shall be mine (rubbing hands with a maniacal laugh).

My prize for winning the Female Masters division.

My prize for winning the Female Masters division.

I realized today that the Boston Marathon is now 18 weeks away.  It’s hard to believe it’s getting so close.  I have SO much work to do, but I know I have a good base to grow from.  I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!

Sadly, the 5k Saturday was my last race of 2013, and I look to 2014 with so much hope, excitement, and just, well, happiness.  I’m lucky in life and know that I can dream beyond anything I’ve ever imagined before. No Fear.

Categories: Boston Marathon, boston red sox, marathon, running, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

WTH?!

So after having a really good workout week before Thanksgiving, topped off by almost getting a PR in the Thanksgiving Day 5k, then followed by another really good week of workouts, I totally fell apart this week.  And I do not like it.

This is how I feel after just the warm up.

This is how I feel after just the warm up.

The spiral of doom: panic in thinking that all my hard work has been for nothing and it’s going to take me another few weeks to get back to the way I was feeling.  All the progress is gooonnnneeeee!  I know that it’s not, but seriously, it’s been a tough week.  I assume that everyone has a bad week thrown in there and I KNOW that my “hydration” and nutrition was waaaaay off over the weekend.  I definitely hydrated enough, let’s say that, but it certainly wasn’t with water. Or tea. Holiday parties plus an afternoon with just the hubby = booze, bad food = crappy workouts. It’s a pretty straight line from one to the next.

I’m trying not to psych myself out for the 5k this weekend, the one where I’d reeeaaaallllyyyy like to get a PR.  I say to myself, “Self, if 8 minute miles feel like crap when you had to hold yourself back the week before, how are you going to handle running (or trying to) 3 miles at 7-ish minute miles?” Then I reply, “Eh, it is what it is and I’ll just do my best.”  Ok, that’s totally not what I said, but I’m trying to convince myself that’s all that I need to do.  But in reality, it really IS what it is and all I can do is run my best. Let’s just hope I feel and perform better than I have this week! I actually made a playlist for the 5k and Work Bitch is on it.  That song reminds me that really, if you want it, you have to work for it, so get yo’ ass out there and WORK BITCH!

Three cheers for proper eating and hydrating with WATER plus a side of positive attitude!!

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, running, swimming, training for marathon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gallop for the Gravy and a Bobble Head

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! Since I’ve had to be on the road so many years on Thanksgiving, I now enjoy staying home and most of all, running a race on Thanksgiving Day. This year it was the Gallop for the Gravy 5k held by the YMCA here in Wilmington.
The race fell on my 6th day of exercise, the day before my one day off per week, and my schedule had me running a 2 mile warm-up prior to the race. Needless to say, I was tired but I was ready to run. I don’t enjoy running pre-race, because I have always believed that that warm-up can take my precious energy away from my race. But I did what I was supposed to.  One mile in, I got warmed up so I took my big sweatshirt off.  I don’t know how, but the pins in my garmin strap came out so my watch started flapping all over the place. I haven’t had an equipment malfunction for a race before, but I knew I could just hold the watch if I couldn’t find anything to “fix” it with.  Thank goodness the lady at the Y dug through the front desk and found the perfect solution:  duct tape.

Duct tape can fix almost everything.

Duct tape can fix almost everything.

It was about 30 degrees out and felt that if I hadn’t done the warm-up, I could have gotten injured because it was just cold.

The race started at 8 am and I took off.  My goal was to run at most, 7:30 minute miles, and I was happy to find my pace was a little faster once I got settled in and past the crowded start.  I haven’t run a race in those temps before, so I was surprised to find that my lungs were a little, how do I say… sore?  Whatever it was, it was slightly uncomfortable, but I don’t think it had any affect on my finish time.  I was very please to finish in 22:17.

I had heard the race had cool bobble heads and a lot of pie giveaways, so I stayed for the awards, hoping to at least place in my age group.  I was thrilled to find that won First Place Masters Female and got to take home my own bobble head and chocolate chess pie.  I have never had chess pie before so when we dug into it, we found it was delicious!!!!  I was also very happy to find that my shin splints appear to be fully healed.  I’ve been doing speed work, longer mileage, and with all of that and a race, no pain when running or after.  I’ve been doing everything I can to help them heal and to prevent them from returning.  Let’s hope it works.

1st Place Masters Female

1st Place Masters Female

Thanksgiving was a wonderful day that I got to spend with my family.  Bonus was that we drove less than a mile to my sister’s house where we spent time with her and her husband…. a dream come true.  I have so much to be thankful for and spent the remainder of the weekend, sleeping in, doing my workouts, watching Christmas movies, drinking wine, and just being.  It. Was. Perfect.

Now that December is here, I’m enjoying a few last weeks of “light” training before the real Boston Marathon training starts.  I’m so excited, beyond thrilled, and have very high hopes for my running future.  The sky is the limit as far as I’m concerned.

 

 

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, running, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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