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Wow! What a day!! Perfect races are very rare so you have to cherish them when they come along and that is exactly what today was. I loved every single second of it, pushed harder than ever, and got some amazing results. I have never been so proud of myself.

3:12:00. A 24 minute PR from my Philly race. THAT. IS. HUGE. And I placed 4th in my age group!!! I can’t believe I was so close to the podium 🙂

The day started bright and early when I bounded out of bed at 4am feeling great and ready to race! I was so excited to wear my new PTC kit and it was so great having so many Pittsburgh Triathlon Club members racing and spectating…the support was absolutely incredible and I really don’t think I went more than 5 minutes between hearing cheers!

I was calm all morning, just really excited, but then the nerves hit when they called us over for the National Anthem and to walk over to the start. I was really scared. But that’s a good thing!

The swim started great, I was much calmer than last time and didn’t panick at all. No backstroking this race! I even found some feet to draft off of for a little. I felt strong and good in the water the entire time, the only problem was the course was not well explained or well marked at all! I had no idea where the heck I was going on swam way off course quite a few times. I know that my time could have been a whole lot faster.

I got out of the water all smiles 🙂 There was a long, evil run up a hill to transition which sucked. But look! There are boys in front of me—I caught some of the wave before me!!!!

Swim= 34:10 (including long, evil run up to transition)

T1 = 1:37. Holy cow that was fast!! The best part of my race too…86th out of 306! I was flying!

The bike was 2 loops out and back up the HOV lane. It kind of sucked. It was all uphill the first 6 miles, down 6, and repeat. The road was in bad conditions with lots of rocks, glass, and cracks and lots of people were getting flats and losing bottles.

Bike = 1:30:06. Ave HR 160, Max HR 184, Ave cadence 84. Boom! Nailed the plan!

T2 = 1:40 I need to get lace locks! Also I got really disoriented and couldn’t remember where my bike went! Oh, but look Kim—I’m running with my bike the right way like a pro!

Oh, the run…I was most nervous about this. My runs have pretty much sucked recently due to the awful heat and humidity we’ve been having and I did not have high hopes. I started out slow, trying to get my heart rate down. Then my calves were SO TIGHT and hurt so bad. I stopped to walk early on and some guy came up and said “nope, come on, run with me for a little” and I whined “my calves are about to explode!” and he said “I know. Keep going though, it will get better, I promise” so I kept going and it did! After that my legs really loosened up and I felt good..my HR was in the right range and I felt strong. I didn’t walk anymore except for the aid stations! I was also seeing some numbers under 10 which is huge for me! I had a water and gaterade at every station and poured a water over my head—it was getting hot!

Then I saw the finish line!!

Look at that midfoot striking 🙂 Yeah, I am a mess! It looks like I got in a fight with my bike chain!

I DID IT! And I seriously had so much fun! I was smiling the entire time!

Run = 1:04:10 Ave HR: 164 Max HR 180. Again, perfectly executed! What I think is the most amazing is that this was pretty much what I was running my open 10ks at last year! I can’t believe the progress I’ve made.

Getting my medal!

And a massage 🙂 Greg from Lone Serenity did a great job working my painful calves. In black and white? I guess my dad was being artsy.

One of the best parts of the day was seeing Coach Kim after the race and telling her how it went! I would never have been able to accomplish what I did today without her. Thanks for being such a wonderful coach, a huge inspiration, and a great friend over these past few months! I can’t wait to see what else we can accomplish!

And of course, a big thank you to my parents for coming out and supporting me! I love you so much and really appreciate all you do for my crazy hobby!

And that’s that! This is a day I will remember forever. Thanks for everyone who made it so special!

 

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Hi! Everything is just going wonderfully over here 🙂 Time sure is flying though–how is it the end of July already!? And my next race is Sunday! I’m doing the Pittsburgh Olympic and am getting really excited! I’m going to know a TON of people on the course and spectating and I just can’t wait for that! I will be wearing my Pittsburgh Triathlon Club race kit and can’t wait for all the cheers I will give and receive for PTC members. What a difference this race will be from Philly where I only had my Dad and Melissa as fans. I was getting a little nervous for this though, feeling unprepared since after Philly I had a recovery week, then only 2 weeks of training (and one of those was just awful due to heat and humidity being killer) and now taper! So I just was feeling like I hadn’t trained at all. I talked to my coach and she was like ‘Welcome to racing season! You trained all spring and now it’s racing time!” And she is right. I worked SO HARD all spring to get to the racing and now it’s here. The hard work has been done and now it’s all about maintaining and racing and having fun. I feel better now that I understand that.

So something potentially life changing happened yesterday. I went on a fun group recovery ride with the PTC. First of all, we went on a flat trail except for a few bridges and it was awesome. My heart rate was like 130-140 and I barely felt like I was working at all. I expected that we were going like 10mph based on perceived exertion but it turned out we averaged 15.5mph! I couldn’t believe it! So fast and easy without all those hills. I definitely want to go back there and really push to see just how fast I can go!

So my mission now is to rediscover my love and enjoyment of running. If I want any chance of long distance racing I need to change my attitude from suffering through runs to enjoying and looking forward to them like I used to. Really, before I got my Garmin running was fun. Now I really stress out about pace and it makes it not so fun. 2 things I’ve done this week have helped a lot. I changed the screen to not display my pace so I just focus on HR and time and just look at pace at the end. Also I’ve been listening to Chris McCormack’s “I’m Here to Win” on audiobook and it has been making the time FLY by!

Ok, so that’s about it!

Before we go though, I just want to give a HUGE congratulations to my coach Kim who rocked an AWESOME race on Sunday at Ironman Lake Placid. First overall amateur with 10:11. What an inspiration!

Well, it sure has been a hot minute, huh? Sorry about that! Life has been crazy! And also I’ve been living without internet for the past 2 weeks—the horror!

So what has been going on? Well, I have had some major cycling fever-I am just obsessed! Seriously, I cannot get enough of the Tour de France. Those guys are incredible. It is really unbelievable what they are capable of. It is getting me super motivated to ride…honestly I just can’t get enough of the long rides! Seriously, all I want to do is ride my bike. Last week I did a 60 mile ride (+ open water swim) with the Pittsburgh Tri Club and then later in the week I went out with some other friends (who are amazing cyclists and kicking my butt) for a 50 mile ride. It was awesome, we even found an alpaca farm…how random!

And whenever I am not riding, I am wishing that I was riding! Especially when I am running—but then again when I’m running I’m usually wishing that I was doing ANYTHING besides running. I am making such huge progress in my swimming too. I did an open water swim in the Allegheny River last night where I did 2100 yards…thats even further than the Olympic swim so that gave me some confidence. There were a few times that I started to freak out a little bit but I was able to calm myself down. So lets hope that my next Tri has a better swim experience than my first!

The only exiting news right now is that I moved into a new apartment today and I LOVE IT. It’s amazing. I especially love my room, it’s super cute. Here are the highlights:

Any How I Met Your Mother fans out there? I have Barney’s Awesomeness Poster: “When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story.”


Of course I have my race wall up to keep me motivated:

And my newest addition is my medal holder from www.goneforarun.com

I love it!

So that’s that! Gearing up for Pittsburgh Oly on July 31. I can’t wait!

I have learned a TON the past few months—both about triathlon and life in general.

1) Trust the plan! I’m sort of OCD and it is pretty hard for me sometimes to put my trust in others but that is what you have to do. Find someone you trust and then go with it. There were definitely times when I just didn’t want to follow my plan (like in the terribly horrible week called taper when I wanted to do more but my coach wouldn’t let me. Or when I had zero clue why I had to do backstroke in some workouts. I literally thought ‘why on earth would I practice backstroke? I will never use that in my entire life.’ Oh, wait. Wrong…once again. When you start panicking during the swim and can’t put your face in the water, backstroke becomes your best friend. And all those early mornings that I did not want to swim or run but I did anyway. And it worked. Consistency is key and when you work hard you get results.

2) It is going to be hard and it will suck sometimes, but it WILL get better. Before the race my coach told me “it’s going to be bad at some point but just keep going because it will get better.” Well, yep, she was right. It definitely was bad at some points but I just kept reminding myself that it will get better, just keep going. On the bike course there were a few big climbs and I literally kept repeating to myself…sometimes outloud “you’re ok, you’re ok, you’re ok” and then that got too hard even so I shortened it to “ok, ok, ok, ok”. Mantras can really help sometimes.

Here is a video my dad took during mile 3 of the run. I was hurting but talking to him just for a second helped. He kept shouting “you can do it! 3 miles to go! You can do it!” to which I respond “This is really hard!” Haha. At least I’m running!

3) Taper sucks. I was so looking forward to tapering–I thought it would be so nice to have a chance to relax and sleep and live like a normal person. No, not so much. I was irritable all the time, an emotional mess, I felt slow and sluggish, and just hated it.

4) Recovery week sucks too. After my race I felt invincible. I was on the top of the world and felt like I could do anything. It’s a damn good thing someone wasn’t at the finish line asking for signups for an Ironman in a month because I very well might have signed up! I just wanted to get right back into training, putting all my lessons learned into practice and just break a good sweat. Well, guess what, not allowed. Gotta rest and recover.

5) Haters are going to hate. As awesome and supportive as most people are, it’s inevitable that you’re going to run into some haters. There will always be people who just don’t want you to succeed. You just have to remember that they are just jealous and insecure. They know that they can’t or won’t ever work as hard to accomplish something and it makes them resent you. They’re jealous of the attention you get from the people that DO care and that are impressed with you. You just have to deal with it and ignore the haters, they are not worth a single second of your time.

6) Doing things that make you happy, makes you happy.

I had lunch with a friend the other day that I hadn’t talked to in a long time and he commented on how this is the happiest I’ve seemed in a long time. And that’s because it’s true! I’ve finally found a hobby that I love and that makes me happy. And I’ve made some great new friends in the process! And I just LOVE how enthusiastic everyone is about this sport! I really haven’t found any triathletes who are ambivalent about it…everyone is so so so passionate and it is contagious! I just love to soak up the positive energy 🙂

And finally a BIG thank you to Chloe who has an awesome blog. I won her giveaway last week and got myself some Hoo Ha Ride Glide. I tried it out this morning on my bike ride and it is fantastic…I highly recommend ordering some for yourself. Not only that but Chloe was sweet enough to send me a cute tshirt and a nice card. Bloggers are the best! Thanks again!

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