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Well January went by in a total blink of the eye! I’m not sure how that happened! 2014 isn’t off to quite the start that I had hoped for. January was a challenging month. Work has been totally crazy with more 7am-10pm nights than I want to admit. The only good part about that is that it helped get me back on the morning workout train. If I didn’t get a workout in first thing in the morning it probably wasn’t going to get done.
Speaking of getting back into training, that certainly was an adjustment! I took a very long (and necessary) off-season this year and while I did keep up with running, I let the swimming and biking fall to the wayside (as in, rode my bike maybe twice from September 9-January 1). I had to bribe myself with a new swimsuit to get back in the pool.
I was tired and sore the first few weeks back into training but I’m starting to get some fitness back finally and I’m feeling more like myself. I had my first testing week of the year which fell at a tough time in the midst of crazy work hours and the tragic news of the passing of a Rev3 Teammate David Naelon. I am very sorry that I never had the chance to meet David in person because from what I’ve heard he was an absolutely amazing person. The support and love that was felt from the Rev3 team during that time was unbelievable and I feel so lucky to be around such wonderful people.
So the swim, bike, run zones are set and now it’s time to get to work! Hopefully with February will come some more excitement and blog worthy posts. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep on keeping on, with the help of coffee, of course!
Tomorrow it’s up bright and early to meet Coach Kim for some swimming. Even with my swimming hiatus during the off season I think that I’m in much better shape this year than I have been at the start of seasons past. We’ll see tomorrow!
2014 is right around the corner and today is the first day back to structured training for me! As I mentioned, I had a glorious off season filled with lots of relaxation, fun exercise, and WINE! After talking to Coach Kim last week though, I’m excited to start training again, especially now that I’m part of Team Rev3 and have lots of fun races and goals lined up for next year! So without further ado….here is the race plan for 2014!
Spring Thaw 10 miler- Feb 22
Just a Short Run 13.1- March
Burgh 5k + 10k- April 27
Pittsburgh Marathon– May 4 —- my first standalone marathon!
Rev 3 Williamsburg Oly– June 15
Rev 3 West Virginia Oly– August 3
Rev 3 Cedar Point 70.3 – September 7
Columbus Half Marathon– October 19
So that’s the tentative plan! I definitely will be at some other Rev3 events volunteering and cheering for my teammates. I’m thinking Poconos and Quassy!
What races are you thinking about doing next year? If you’ve never done a Rev3 race I highly recommend that you try one! Rev3 is offering an all access pass again this year! For $1200 you can race as many Rev3 races as you want, and even better…you can share the pass with a friend! It’s an amazing deal!
As for my goals for next year…..I have a few!
1) Figure out my stomach issues. For the past 5 months or so I’ve been having terrible stomach issues: bloating, loud noises, pain, and other unpleasant problems. I’ve seen multiple doctors, gotten tons of blood work and other tests and samples that I’m blocking from my memory, colonoscopy, etc….and nobody can figure out the issue. Next up, I’m going to try an elimination diet in January…cutting out all possible inflammatory foods for a month and then slowly adding them back.
2) Read 1 book a month. Good for the brain and better than watching TV before bed
3) Pack my breakfast, lunch, and coffee for work 4 days/week. Healthier and cheaper!
4) Not slack on foam rolling and core work. Gotta stay injury free next year!
5) Finally, finally break the 2:00 half marathon barrier. I keep hovering around the 2:04-2:05 range and I know a sub-2 is possible. I’m aiming for Columbus…flat, fast, and cool weather=perfect
6) Break 6:30 for Cedar Point 70.3
7) Do 5 pull ups in a row
8) Spend more time with friends and family. Since I’m not doing a Full this year I want to make sure I have a good work/training/life balance
9) Travel more! Should be easy with all my races plus a trip to Europe with the family. Also I desperately want to go to Napa Valley at some point and drink a lot of wine. Any takers?
10) Have fun! Don’t take training or life too seriously
What are your goals for next year?
2013 has been the best year in a very long time. It’s been a great year in my personal, professional, and athletic life. It’s the year I finished my first Full, PR’d pretty much every race I did, took some amazing vacations, made great memories, and of course, became a member of Team Rev3!
So, let’s see….
Rang in the New Year with Ray and friends
Went to JAMAICA! 1 week in paradise with Ray
Just a Short Run 13.1 to kick off racing for the year
Just lots and lots of training
Finally PR’d my half marathon after trying for 3 years!
MS 150 with Ray
The Dam Tri
Went to Michigan for family vacation
Huge PR at Musselman
Savage Tri Camp in Deep Creek
Cheering Monica on at Ironman Mt. Tremblant
Rev3 Cedar Point 140.6
Columbus for Ray’s first Half Marathon
A giant duck came to Pittsburgh!
10 mile PR at the inaugural EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler
Jingle Bell 5K
Can’t wait to see what happens in 2014!
Exciting news!!! On Thursday night it was officially announced that I am a new member of the Team Rev3 for 2014!!
I am seriously SO excited about this! As you know, I am a huge fan of Rev3 and had an awesome experience at the Cedar Point Full a few months ago. I’m starting to get to know my teammates and everyone just seems amazing….very nice, accomplished, and fun. I am so honored to have been chosen as a team member.
I’ll be posting soon with my 2014 race plans once I talk it over with Coach Kim. The problem is I want to do all the Rev3 races next year. It will definitely be hard to choose!
What’s your race schedule like for next year?
I have enjoyed this off-season more than any other in the past. I think that is because this year I really worked hard and pushed all year. I know that I left it all out there on the courses throughout the year. I did all the hard work, and now, I deserved the rest. I earned it. And I was tired.
I had worked so hard the past 2 years. 2012 was filled with work, work, work, and as a result of a very disappointing DNF at my “A” race at the end of the season, I finished the year feeling discouraged, let down, and that my all that time was for nothing. Obviously, that’s not true since I grew so much mentally and physically during that year, but I didn’t realize it at the time. I had about 5 weeks “off” but couldn’t enjoy them. I wanted to get back into training and fight those demons asap. I was so worried the whole time about losing my fitness and gaining weight, and it resulted in me not enjoying my time off. Then 2013 came around and I got to work. I worked so, so hard all year and it paid off! In 2013 I PR’d my: 10k, 10 mile, half marathon, 70.3, and finished a Full.
I took a week off after Cedar Point and then got back into a more run focused training for the Columbus half marathon (which I ran with a few friends) and was able to run the whole thing with Ray and cross the finish line with him for his first Half Marathon. A few weeks after that, in early November I PR’d the 10 mile distance, and then I was finally done. I ended the season so proud. I was happy and satisfied and ready to soak it all in. And this time around, I have enjoyed every second.
First, I slept for about a week straight. And then there was lots of celebrating:
And BRUNCH! Brunch is one thing that I missed so much during training. With training for a full, there’s really no time for brunch since your weekends are full of swimming, biking, and running and there’s just no time for a leisurely morning of stuffing your face with pancakes and bacon and bloody mary’s 😉
We also traveled a lot, which again, was hard to do during the season. 7 hour bike rides are tough to “squeeze” in.
It hasn’t all been boozing and sleeping though. I have been exercising but in a much more relaxed way. LOTS of yoga, strength training, and running with no watch, and sometimes dressed like an elf….
It’s been great to stay up past 9pm, eat and drink what I want, catch up with friends and family to whom I owe SO MUCH for their support throughout this crazy journey, cook and clean, not do laundry 3 times a week, wear real-people clothes on the weekend, etc.
That said though, the itch to train and race is coming back right on schedule. Official training with Coach Kim is starting January 1 and I am SO excited about next year. I’m starting to think about the race schedule and the goals and finally getting that sub-2:00 half marathon (PLEASE!) 2013 will definitely be a tough year to beat, but I have a great feeling that 2014 will do it!
Well hello there! It sure has been a minute since I last posted. When I signed up for a Full I was told that it would be time consuming and that was no joke! Lots has happened since I last posted but without a doubt the most important this is that I finally finished a 140.6! It was hands down the best experience of my life. I wrote a race report at 3am after the race when I couldn’t sleep thanks to adrenaline (and some pain) so now is as good a time as any to share that!
I was so nervous leading up to the race…years of training went into this race and the pressure was on. This season training went great but I struggled in the wind on the bike all year. It just really got to me mentally and made me so frustrated. Well on race morning we woke up with a rip current advisory in the lake and predicted 15-17mph winds all day with gusts up to 25mph. The swim was moved to the bay. I was so impressed with Rev3 for having a contingency plan for the weather because there was no way it was safe to swim in that lake and it was horrible to even think about having the swim be canceled! Now it would be a TT start 2 people at a time, 3 seconds apart instead of a mass start. All day long I kept reminding myself that everyone is dealing with the same things and just control what I can control and let the rest go.
I was expecting to swim around 1:35. My last 2.4 mile open water swim was 1:33 but that was an EASY course. I am a stronger swimmer this year but with the choppy water and 2 loop weird rectangle course I thought I’d be a little slower. I seeded myself near the back and surprised myself when I was passing everyone and don’t think I got passed at all out there. I felt great in the water. I had absolutely no idea what my time was but felt like I was making good progress despite some horrible chop at times….it was making me a little seasick! When I got out of the water in 1:19 I was SHOCKED (as you can clearly see from the picture). That feeling was a highlight of the day.
Even with the 0.5 mi run to T1 I was in and out in 11 minutes including a full change. The volunteers all day were amazing, especially the volunteer helping me in the change tent who was literally dressing me and keeping me calm. She reminded me about sunscreen, loaded up my pockets with all my stuff and sent me on my way.
Immediately I noticed how much the bike was going to suck because of the wind so I just tried to turn my brain off and settled in. I literally sang songs to myself and tried to enjoy the scenery. The course is much flatter than Pittsburgh and I was expecting to ride about 6:45 but once I was out there revised that goal to 7:45-8 hours. I ate and drank and peed on schedule so those were small victories. Everyone on the course was so encouraging, all the 70.3 riders cheered me on as they passed. The bike is my weakness and I was worried I would be very lonely out there but I was lucky to make a nice friend and we swapped position every 15 minutes or so and I really don’t know what I would have done without him! The volunteers were awesome too and I just kept telling myself to get to the next aid station where I’d get some cheers. I went a little above my HR zones and wonder if that contributed to the painful back half of the marathon. There were times that I was riding with HR 150 (my upper zone for the race) on a flat/downhill and only going 10mph. And even when we had a tailwind there was also a cross wind with gusts that was blowing me all over the road. Finally though, 7:20ish later I got off that bike and have never been so happy!
T2 was quick and I was happy to see so many people cheering for me on the way out.
Despite taking salt on the bike my calves were cramping like crazy and I knew I needed to get to the first aid station to get some water to take more.Also my stomach started rumbling and I was just praying I wouldn’t poop my pants before mile 1! Luckily I made it to the bathroom, took some more Immodium and salt and kept going. I am a very social runner and had fun chatting and encouraging people. My friend from the bike passed me early on and we played the cat and mouse game on the run too. My family was awesome…they were everywhere cheering and taking pictures! I was having the time of my life, smiling and cheering.
My legs felt good but my stomach was hurting. I was popping pepto bismol and tums and finally started the coke at mile 8. There was a hill that I walked around mile 12 and then things started to turn south…my stomach was really bothering me and I just felt bad. I let my nutrition go a little bit and probably dug myself into a hole with the diarrhea but not getting back the fluids or calories. I was mainly surviving on coke and gagging when I tried to get down a gel. I did a little running until mile 14 but then it was mostly a walk from there on out. I think I stopped at a porta potty every single mile. I was really, really nauseous at that point and starting to get dizzy and really hit the wall at mile 17 thinking I might not finish. I knew I had the time to walk the whole rest of the race but the thought of moving for 3 more hours was horrible. I just took it literally 1 step at a time….get to that next cone, make it to that aid station. Don’t think about the mile ahead, just the mile I am in. Having my family there cheering along with the awesome aid station volunteers…especially the crew at the top of the bridge who had music blasting and made it like a party! Really kept me going. The Rev 3 staff was everywhere too, on bikes and scooters, checking in on all the athletes and motivating us especially when it got dark. I never felt alone out there.
My feet had really been hurting for a few miles and at mile 19 I felt something in my left foot that was a searing pain….a blister had popped. It stopped me in my tracks. Luckily I had packed blister bandaids in my run belt so I got off to the side of the road, beld on to a garbage can and put one on. A volunteer asked if I wanted to sit down and I said ‘no because I don’t know if I will be able to get back up’…..a few miles later…same thing on the right foot. Miles 18-22 were the worst, I just gritted my teeth and used every single ounce of grit and determination and will I could to move one foot in front of the other. With about 4 miles to go I started feeling good again! I actually did a little bit of slow running and let myself get a tiny bit excited about finishing but not too much because I still had over an hour to go at my pace. I could see the lights of cedar point getting closer and soon I could see and hear the finish line. Miraculously once I got in the chute all the pain vanished and I was able to run again. It was seriously a party at the finish line….music, lights, confetti, dancing. I took it all in…everyone cheering my name like I was a rockstar and the tears started flowing….I did it! I crossed the line and jumped into the arms of some poor volunteer who probably didn’t know what hit him! He was kind enough to hug me back which was nice. A 6:23 marathon isn’t what I hoped for (about an hour slower) but it didn’t matter, I was so proud of myself. After 15:19 of swim, bike, and run! I am an Ironman! After years of training, I did it. It was the hardest day of my life and nothing anyone can do or say will prepare you for how deep you have to dig out there. I am just so proud of myself! I had an amazing experience and will definitely be back!
I immediately bought a finishers jacket and visor the next morning and pretty much haven’t taken them off since!
January 2, 2012 was the first day back to training. The first couple weeks haven’t been too crazy, just getting back in the swing of training (usually twice) every day. Things are now starting to ramp up to where they were volume wise at the end of last season.
I would be lying if I said it was easy getting back in the training groove. It was actually very hard. I had an incredible off season, I did a lot of skiing and ended the year on a ski vacation out west with some friends. I still worked out, but it was all very lax…definitely not every day and not with much intensity. I didn’t wear my garmin or heart rate monitor at all and never really went more than an hour. When I did it was on the bike ride with my friends which usually included plenty of recovery beer. Due to my injury (ITB again) I hadn’t really run since September…just a 2-3 mile jog maybe once a week if I was lucky. I did go to PT though and am feeling almost 100% again.
I think the hardest adjustment for me was the fact that for the past few months I have been hanging out with my friends every night of the week, staying up until midnight way too often, and drinking as much as the typical 24 year old does. I knew going into this that that lifestyle was not one that was compatible with Ironman training. My coach made sure that I understood that, and I did. But then, when it actually came time to swap the fun late nights laughing with friends for 5am wakeup calls, cold runs, and the black line of the pool, it was hard.
I was pretty depressed the first week back to training. I was so sad that my vacation was over, I was back to work after a 12 day break, and I had a LONG road ahead of me that seemed so overwhelming. I had forgotten why I loved triathlon so much and had little to no motivation. I did my workouts but I felt SO slow and out of shape. I had to stick to the prescribed low HR zones which left me shuffling along like I had never run a mile in my life. 1200 yards in the pool felt like forever, and I finally got to experience the dreaded indoor bike trainer. I just kept thinking “what did I get myself into…”
But I stuck with it and then the endorphins started coming back and it felt good to work up a sweat. By the end of the 2nd week and after watching plenty of motivational youtube videos I started feeling back to normal. And on one of my slow-as-molasses runs I felt reinvigorated and excited.
A 140.6 mile race is not just about crossing the finish line, it’s about getting to the start line. It’s about the journey. When I cross that finish line it won’t just be the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run that I will be proud of, it will be the hundreds and thousands of miles that I have trained to get me to that day. It will be all the sacrifices I made to get there. It will not be an easy road. I’m already realizing that it takes a special person to do one of these races. And it’s really not just about the day itself, it’s about the whole journey leading up to it. If it were easy anyone would do it.
This has sure been a random week. Glad it’s over. A small sampling of random events include:
-my car breaking down in the middle of the road. I had no idea what to do and everyone was honking at me and shouting mean things so I just got out of the car and started crying until a nice family came by and said “sweetie its ok, do you need help?” and I sort of whimpered “yes please” and then they literally pushed my car down the street and off to the side. Looking back it was actually pretty cool.
-so then I got my alternator replaced (whatever that is!) and was driving home from work happy as can be. Just singing along to the radio smiling because I was done with work for the day and off for a 10 mile hill repeat workout. Then out of nowhere BOOM someone rear ends me, does one of those “oops!” faces when I made eye contact with him in the rear view mirror and then speeds off! Luckily there wasn’t even a scratch on my car but I sure hope my bike rack left a mark on his!
-speaking of bike racks….yesterday I pull into the garage and there is some guy working on the Batman movie (which has taken over downtown and made the traffic awful and pisses me off, though it is cool to see snow in August!) Anyway, I get out of the car and he goes to me “hey, where’d you get your rack?” To which I did not even know how to respond…my eyes just sort of bugged out and I was like ‘huh? my what?” and he goes “umm, your bike rack…I need to get one.” Oh…Ok, not like that makes the question much better…go to any bike store, it’s not that hard.
And switching gears (ha)to a different topic, let’s talk priorities. Since becoming addicted to triathlon I have noticed that my priorities are totally out of whack sometimes. Here are some examples:
– I have over $4,000 worth of bikes and cycling accessories in my living room right now. The hem also came out of my pants a few weeks ago and I literally stapled it back together because I am too cheap and lazy to go to the tailor to get it fixed.
– I spend hours and hours cleaning and taking care of my bikes yet I literally do not think my car has seen a carwash or a vacuum cleaner in over a year.
– I do 2-3 loads of laundry a week to wash all my workout gear yet I have a HUGE pile of clothes to take to the dry cleaner that will probably sit there for another 2 weeks minimum.
– I will happily run 10 miles or ride for 5 hours yet I take the elevator up 1 story at work.
And there are millions more examples but I gotta go ride my bike so those will have to wait for another day 🙂
First and most importantly… LOOK WHAT I GOT!!!!!!
Felt B16. I am in love. This thing is FAST 🙂
Don’t worry, I still have this guy:
They are best friends already!
Ok, now moving on to some more fun things!
I talked to Coach Kim the other night about the future. Boy do we have some big things planned! It is not going to be an easy 16 months, that’s for sure, but it is going to be fun! Here’s what we have on tap:
August 27 – Presque Isle Sprint
Sept 18- Portage Lakes Olympic
Then triathlon season is officially over and I get a couple months of running season. Fall racing is my all time favorite so like last year I plan on doing a few 5ks, 10ks, 10 milers, culminating in…
Nov 20- Philadelphia Half Marathon. I had so much fun last year that I want to do it again!
Nov 21- Jan 1 = GLORIOUS BREAK!!!! I plan to do all the things that I miss out on while training…like sleeping until 7 on the weekdays and as late as I want on the weekends 🙂 going to the bar with my friends, Happy Hour on a Tuesday—why not!, nursing a hangover by laying in bed watching tv, going to yoga, doing so much less laundry!!!, eating spicy food at lunch because I don’t have to worry about it upsetting my stomach on a run after work, getting a pedicure, and other fun stuff like that! Basically living it up because then things get serious.
Jan- Back to triathlon training!
May- Pittsburgh Half Marathon…gotta redeem myself from the bad run this year
June- Olympic Tri, TBD
July- Musselman Half Ironman, *hopefully* Pittsburgh Olympic again because I loved it—we’ll see if I’m recovered enough to do it
Sept- Cedar Point Rev 3 Half Ironman
I hope you all stick around for the journey…it’s going to be a good one
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!