Thursday, September 25, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I'm back from Wisconsin. It was a business/pleasure trip. Jarrett and I stayed with his college roommate while I spent a few days visiting another one of our production facilities. It was excellent seeing old friends and catching up. The only downside is that I was VIOLENTLY ill. I seriously considered going to the hospital. The good news, I am feeling much better today and I even managed to go for a swim this evening.

Jarrett, Cyndi and I are running a 15K on Saturday and I have a riding clinic with a new instructor on Sunday. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Butterflies and Backstrokes

Tonight was my last swim class at IUPUI. I have to say, even after a rough start, I actually enjoyed the class and will consider taking it again in a few months. I "mastered" (I use this term loosely) all of the strokes, including the butterfly. Butterfly actually turned out to be one of my strongest strokes! My instructor said that my form has improved on all of my strokes and that I really do have a natural inclaination towards swimming. My only problem...I go too fast. I am an excellent sprinter. I beat even the very experienced girls today in a little 50 freestyle race. So my focus is to sloooow it down. I also learned to dive! I have never dove in my life and it was very fun. My flipturns still need a ton of work. I have a depth perception issue and just never get quite close enough to the wall. I have the basic technique down, I just need to get better at spotting.

Bottom line - I can do this. I will not drown. I know how to swim. I can cut my swim time down by 5-7 minutes.

Jarrett and I managed to get a short ride in on our bikes on Monday. I love my aero bars. They do need a slight adjustment before I ride tomorrow, but it should be a quick fix.

The next big thing is nutrition. Jarrett has been really working hard on his running and has started to work nutrition into his long runs. I went to my favorite local running store, Athletic Annex and purchased a Fuel Belt. I love running with water and now I'll have a convient place to put some Gu or similar running yummies. I do tend to have some digestive issues, so I'm gong to have to practice before the half-marathon in October.

The other issue I am having is feeling constantly hungry. I modified my breakfast routine this week to have oatmeal before work instead of just eating a Fiber One Cereal Bar. It didn't help. Actually, I think I'm even more hungry and I eat twice as much food for breakfast. So far, I haven't seen a positive or negative impact on the scale. I know numbers aren't eveything, but I would LOVE to drop 10 more pounds. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Accessories ROCK!

Jarrett brought my bike home from its 90-day tune up and I now have my own fancy-schmancy aero bars AND my bike computer I got for my b-day finally works :) I was starting to get bummed that the computer kept telling me I was only going 1 mph. I'm stoked to go on a ride tomorrow and try out my new accessories.

I made it to the barn today to visit my big furry four-legged kid. He is very fat and started out being a big lazy boy. He decided to change his mood after he figured out he was going to get to jump. The boy may be chunky, but he loves to jump! Sometime I'll post a video of us. He looks like a moose jumping. It's hilarious.

Work has been an absolutely crazy busy recently and the insanity is going to continue until after Thanksgiving. So, I scheduled some happy spa treatments over the next few months to help take away some of the stress. I've got a 60-minute massage next Thursday to look forward to!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's only Tuesday?

Sunday I ran 8.3 miles with Jarrett and Cyndi. Monday was swim class. Class was okay. We had another new instructor. She was working with the people who don't really know how to swim so the rest of the girls in the class decided to try and learn flip turns. I was okay, but I still need a ton of practice. I missed my Tuesday riding lesson due to a late work meeting, but I did manage to reschedule for tomorrow. Instead of riding, I mowed the grass and went to the Avon pool for a nice swim. I hit the water for about 45-minutes. I've decided to stop counting distance for awhile and just swim for a set period of time. I'll work on the distance later.

I did purchase Sally Edward's book, Triathlon's for Women at Half-Price Books last weekend. I'm only part way through it and she definetly has some good tips. I guess the biggest take away is that I really should purchase a hear rate monitor. She is a huge advocate of training with them. I think I want a Polar F11, but I still cannot convince myself to drop $150.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

I completed my very first and hopefully not last triathlon this morning. The experience was two-fold: absolutely terrifying and exhilarating.

Jarrett and I got up at 5:30 am and took care of feeding Mimi and got ready to roll. I packed all of my gear except my bike the night before so I wouldn't be running around searching for stuff well before the crack of dawn. I had my traditional pre-race breakfast: 1 Lite Multi-grain Thomas English Muffin with raspberry jam, a banana, and a lot of water. We left about 6:15 for Eagle Creek and a short car ride later arrived at the park.

Transition was set-up by entry number. My number was 49 so I had a prime location. I was in a rack with a bunch of experienced tri girls with cool tricked out bikes. At the pre-race meeting I met a cool girl named Liza who just finished Navy Officer Corp training two weeks ago. She happened to have the same race outfit as me so we hung out and chatted for awhile before the race started. The pre-race instructions were pretty standard. They reviewed the rules and wished us well.

We headed down to the edge of the reservoir to begin the swim. The water was about 75 degrees this morning, which was significantly warmer then the air temperature. When we started it was around 58 degrees and when we finished it was only about 68. There was no humidity or wind, so conditions were perfect. We did a beach wave start and I was in the first group to go. This was my one race to compete in the 18-29 age group. Next season I'll be in the 30-39 age group. The announcer called for us to start and we were off. The course was very straight forward. 200 meters out, turn right at the big yellow buoy, 100 meters straight, turn right at the other big yellow buoy, and 200 meters home. The swim was a struggle for me. I panicked about 100 meters out and could not convince myself to stick my head underwater. I did manage to make it using some creative strokes, but I was super slow. It took me at least 20 minutes to complete the swim. I seriously considered at least twice quitting, but with the encouragement of several of the wonderful volunteers, I made it back to the beach.

Transition 1 was okay. After I got done with the swim, I was a little disoriented but managed to get back to the bike and get geared up. I was slightly slow due to the amount of crude I had to try and get off my feet before putting on my shoes. I grabbed my bike and headed for the bike start. The start was good, except the girl who got on right in front of me fell over. I'm not sure why, it was really strange and I think she actually may have passed out or something. A volunteer helped her back up and I was on my way.

The bike was great. I love my bike. I love riding my bike. I got to pass a bunch of people and that made me feel better. There were a couple of hills to tackle and the race course was fast, fast, fast. I used the 10 mile back to regain my focus.

Transition 2 was uneventful. I always get this weird vertigo thing when running after getting off the bike, but today it was very mild and I shook it off after a few strides.

The run rocked. I am shocked at how much my running has improved this summer. It was an easy 3 miles and I'm pretty sure I managed to maintain around an even 10 minute mile. I ran the entire thing, minus the water stops.

I ran to the finish with the clock at 1:40:24. I can't say I'm proud of the time, but I am proud that I finished. I had every opportunity to give up during the swim and call it a day, but I didn't. This is just a number that I can work to improve next season!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

More swimming fun

I was back at the Natatorium for swim lessons on Wednesday. I was pleasantly surprised that the class had shrunk and both instructors were absent. It turns out that four of us called and complained about the lack of experience of the instructors and the inexperienced members of the group. The program director ended up teaching our class and told us that one of instructors quit because she couldn't teach adults (she was only 16) and the other girl was moved to a toddler class. The four guys who couldn't swim ended up quitting. That left the 6 girls who can swim and a competent instructor! I found out that I was over-reaching which was causing me to expend more energy then necessary. I also worked on rolling my hips and breathing from both sides. I had already identified those weaknesses and she gave me a few training tips to work on. I will not be the best swimmer on Saturday, but I'm confident I will in fact finish the 500M swim.

Work has been GRUELING this week and there is no end in sight to the insanity. I'm just going to have to suck it up and stay focused on leaving work at work and not let it get me down.

I'll post some pictures (provided Jarrett remembers the camera) after the race and provide a full report. The goal for this weekend is to finish. After I get the first one under my belt, I'll set some time goals to keep me motivated.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tick tock goes the tri clock

It has been a busy few weeks! After my sub-spectacular swim last week, I headed to Chicago on business. I love the city and it was nice to get away from work for a few days while getting my learn on at a class at University of Chicago. Needless to say, I ate WAY too much and worked out WAY too little last week.

I did manage to redeem myself with a 4-mile run on Monday evening and an enjoyable day with my horse on Sunday.

The countdown has begun: 3 days until tri-day! I received my packet in the mail on Saturday and was bummed to read that the swim may be cancelled due to rampant blue-green algae in the reservoir. They will make the official decision later this week and if we get the rain predicted, the swim may very well happen.

Now on to bigger things - My first marathon! Jarrett and I decided we are going to run our first marathon next fall. He wants the first big race to be a "destination" race. I've narrowed it down to a few. Feel free to weigh-in on which we should choose!

ScotiabankToronto Marathon - Toronto, ON - September - Why Toronto? I LOVE CANADA :)

Whistle Stop Marathon - Ashland, WI - October - We have friends in Wisconsin and it is one of my favorite states to visit.

ING New York City Marathon - NY, NY - November - I've never been to NYC and racing seems a great excuse to go.

So there are like a million more to choose from. If you have a favorite...that is not the Boston (I'm WAY too slow to qualify) send it my way!