Saturday, January 31, 2015

January workout stats

January workout stats:
Total miles: 412.61
Total hours: 38.45
Total calories: 42,009
Total workouts: 36
This is my biggest month so far. I had 184 miles this week alone! I have really amped up my training since my half triathlon is only 5 weeks away....eeck! I am competing in Bayshore 70.4 on March 7th.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Be Prepared, it's not just for Boy Scouts - A cold, rainy and "flat" bike ride

I went for a 46 mile bike ride with two of my girlfriends today. It had rained all night so the conditions were wet and cloudy but the rain had stopped. It was chilly so we were all wearing several layers of clothes. We met at Majestic Park, near Lone Mountain (seen behind us), so we could get on the 215 trail at its beginning. We headed out at about 9:00 a.m.

You get on the 215 trail near the end of W Alexander Rd. The first two miles are mainly uphill with a one mile section between W Cheyenne Ave and W Lake Mead Blvd that is a good challenge. Once you top that hill, it is fairly flat all the way to W Charleston Blvd. We then turned onto Charleston and headed towards Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. At about mile 10, my friend got a flat front tire. We pulled over so she could change it. She had two tubes and two CO2 cartridges. She got the tube changed and tried to air it up but realized her cartridge valve was not working so I loaned her mine. That change wasted one cartridge so she ended up using two cartridges on that tube.

Once aired up, we were ready to go. It was neat to see how low the clouds were on the mountains. You could not even see the Red Rocks which is sad because that is one of my favorite views in the valley.

We continued on to the overlook, at about mile 13.5, for a short potty and snack break. The overlook is the high point of the ride so we had been climbing the entire time so the stop was nice. We then continued towards HWY 160. At about mile 17, my friend got another flat front tire. She used her second and final tube and borrowed a CO2 cartridge to fix that tire. This pit stop went much faster as she was becoming a pro at changing her tires. 

Once aired up and ready to go, we continued on our way. At the 23 mile mark, we joined HWY 160 and made a small triangle that led us back to HWY 159, Red Rock Canyon Rd. This started our climb back towards the overlook. We decided to make another small stop in the little town of Blue Diamond. They have a bike shop and a small general store so my friend was able to buy a few more CO2 cartridges. We also used their potty and picked up some snacks. 

After our short break, we hit the road again. Once we rejoined the main road, there were several miles of climbing. I just put my head down and cranked away. After we passed the overlook, we get to have a long, fast downhill back to the 215 trail. This is my favorite part of the ride because I like to go fast! When we were about two miles from our turn to get onto the 215 trail, my friend's phone flew out of her back pocket. Luckily her phone had a tough case on it and it landed in the gravel off the road. We stopped and she was able to find it after a short run back up the road.  

Once back on the 215 trail we had a nice long flat section. The roads had dried out nicely and the sun occasionally shined upon us. With about five miles left in our ride, my friend's back tire went flat. This was obviously not her day. We pulled over and began to change the tube. Since she had already used her two tubes, I gave her one of mine. She used one of her new cartridges. This change was a bit more difficult since she had to deal with the chain while taking the tire on and off. She briefly debated on just staying there while we went back and got the cars but we told her that we were not going to leave her. We had started this journey together and we were going to finish it together. 

Now that my friend was a complete pro at changing tires, we rode the final few miles back to our cars. By the time we got there and she had her bike on her car, the back tire was flat again. She had come to the realization that it was time to buy new tires. With all the flats and mishaps, no one got hurt and we had a fun time together. 

This ride reiterated some very important things. Always be prepared! If we had not all had two tubes and two cartridges, we would have been stuck somewhere along HWY 159, with no cell service. If my friend had not been riding with some money, she wouldn't have been able to buy more supplies and snacks. Up until the summer of 2014, I only rode with one tube and one cartridge. After I had a friend blow a tire at a race and then blew the spare while changing it which caused him to DNF, I decided that I needed to always carry two of everything. Today's ride was a perfect example of why it's important to be prepared. Another important thing is to know how to change a flat. I sat in my garage one night and changed two tires so I would know how to do it when the time came. I have attached a YouTube video another friend of mine made that gives great instructions on how to do it. Remember, being prepared is not just for the Boy Scouts!

Monday, January 26, 2015

It was a calm, mild day and the water was 55 degrees - My first open water swim of the year

I went to Lake Mead National Recreation Area for my first open water swim of 2015! I pulled up to the fee booth and saw that the water temperature was 60 degrees. I had come prepared with my wetsuit and other cold water gear. I had received a thermal cap, booties and gloves for Christmas and was excited to try them out.

I have a Blueseventy Sprint Full Suit that I bought last year. I have worn it many times for workouts and races so the money was well spent. I decided to go with Blueseventy for the additional cold water gear since I liked the quality of their wetsuit plus they matched my suit (you know, the important stuff).

I was meeting a few friends so once I got to the beach, I got dressed and ready to go. There was a guy next to me who was also putting on booties so I was able to ask him if they should go over or under the suit. He said under so they wouldn't twist while I was swimming. I also thought it would be better under so it'd be more areodynamic (or water dynamic as my husband likes to say). I also put the gloves under the suit for the same reason. I then put the cap on, grabbed my rescue can and goggles and headed down to the water. 

I waded into the water while we waited on all the swimmers to get ready. I was surprised that the booties and gloves weren't keeping the water out the same way the wetsuit did. They were cold but I told myself that they would have been colder without the extra thermal layer. I stood there acclimating to the water when one of the girls said that her thermostat said the water was actually 55 degrees. Brrrrr....that's cold. 

A few minutes later, we saw a coyote walking along the waters edge really close to where we were. I had seen coyotes at Lake Mead before but always along the trails further in the mountains. It was interesting seeing one so close and unafraid. He began to walk over to our stuff. I had wrapped my car keys in my towel and set them on top of my flip flops. I jokingly said that I hope he doesn't take my keys because I'd be screwed. The girl next to me said that he was only looking for food so he wouldn't mess with our stuff. He must have thought my stuff looked good because he made a beeline for my stuff and proceeded to pick my towel up and start trotting off. We all began to yell as I started running (visualize running through the water that's chest deep) towards the shore. He dragged my towel about thirty feet before dropping it and running off. I finally, and gracefully, made my way out of the water. I found that my keys had fallen out about two feet from my towel. I gathered up my things and took them back to my flip flops. I decided I should make my keys a little safer so I put them in a friend's backpack for the remainder of the swim. 

Now that we had all had a good laugh and made it to the water, we started our swim. The initial splash to the face was pretty cold. I was pleased to feel that the cap was keeping my head warm enough. As I swam more, the gloves and booties warmed up too. I was worried about the booties slipping down as I swam but they stayed snug and in place. The gloves worked great too. I may not race with the gloves and booties but they will definitely be great for training. 

I ended up swimming about 2200 yards and it felt great! I prefer to swim in open water because it makes the time go by so much faster. Now that I have all the proper gear, I plan on swimming at the lake once a week again. 

I followed up the swim with an easy 4 mile run along the River Mountain Loop Trail. It was a beautiful day to be at the lake. I'm always down there during the spring/summer/fall but hadn't been there since October. I'm happy that I'll be able to add it back into my training schedule again and next time, I'll bring a bag down to the water to place my keys in.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Trail Running "Butt Kicker" with Run Grrrls Run Las Vegas, 1-23-15

I have found a great group of girls for running. They are located all throughout the Las Vegas valley and offer running opportunities just about anywhere. Today a group of ten ladies met at the Gilmore Cliff Shadows Biking Trailhead for a 5.5 mile trail run. I had met about half of them but we were all immediately friends. Only one of the ladies had been on the trail before so we all followed her lead. She is also the leader of the Run Grrrls Run Las Vegas group. 

I have been joining this group for runs since July 2014. They offer a lot of running opportunities but with my training schedule, they don't always fit in to my plan so I'm always excited when I'm able to meet up with some of the girls. 

The trailhead had a bathroom and water fountain. I was excited to see that because we can always use a potty before we go for a run! We left the parking lot at about 9:45 a.m. and headed into the desert. The trail followed the base of the mountain for the first 1.5 miles. After that, it began to wind up the side of the mountain.

At about the 3 mile mark, we were startled by three large desert big horn sheep as they bounded down the mountain out of our way. It was the coolest thing to see them! We were just on the other side of a mountain from a neighborhood but felt like we were deep in the wilderness. 

It seemed that we were running uphill for over 4 miles of the run. Several of us began to wonder when we were going to start our descent. We lovingly named the trail "Butt Kicker" because that is exactly what it was doing to us. 

One of the girls took a tumble but was not injured. That is one of the big fears for trail running. I tripped several times and did the whole flailing thing but was always able to catch my balance before I went down. 

Trail running is so much harder than road running. It uses different muscles and a lot more mental alertness. I tend to be a shuffler when I run. That does not go well with trail running. I had to constantly remind myself to pick my feet up. 

We eventually reconnected back to our outbound trail at about the 4.5 mile mark. We continued back around the base of the mountain and made our way down to the parking lot. It was a beautiful day for a run. The temperature was about 50 degrees with little to no wind. We plan to do this run every Friday morning. I really hope to be able to join these girls for many of the runs. You may not have a Run Grrrls Run chapter in your city but try to find a running group to get connected with. It is always more fun to exercise with a group of friends!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon, 1-18-15

I ran in the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon on 1-18-15. I went with my good friend, Tracy. We made it into a little road trip! We left Las Vegas on Saturday, the 17th, at 6:00 a.m. We wanted to get to Phoenix early enough to walk around the Health and Wellness Expo after packet pick-up. We arrived at the convention center at 1:00 p.m. It was a smaller expo than the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll but that was to be expected since this race was half the size of the Vegas one. We picked up our race bibs and then got our shirts and drawstring backpacks. These backpacks were nicer than the Vegas ones. In Vegas, they were a frosted plastic drawstring. Phoenix gave us black cloth ones. We then made our way into the merchandise area. It's fun to see all the Rock 'n' Roll and Brooks items. Since we were within the last few hours of the show, they were a bit picked over. After that, we made our way into the actual vendor fair. It was crowded as they usually are. We made our way around to all the different booths. I didn't buy anything but did get my left heel taped. I also grabbed some Sports Beans samples from their booth. 

The race started at 7:50 a.m. We left our hotel around 6:00 a.m. and made our way to the parking garage. We had purchased the V.I.P. upgrade which included several perks. One was a reserved parking garage between the start and finish line. After parking we walked a few blocks to the warming station (another perk to the V.I.P. upgrade). There we had light breakfast foods like fresh fruit, bagels, juice, water, coffee and tea. We also had access to several port-a-potties and a separate gear check-in. We stayed there until about 7:30 a.m. We then began our walk to the start line that was still a few more blocks away. We stopped by another set of V.I.P. potties near the start line to do our business one more time before joining the start corrals. (One of the biggest perks of the V.I.P. upgrade for me is the private potties because the line to the other ones are super long). We met up with some friends in their corral and waited an additional 30 minutes from the first wave to finally start our wave.  

The course was a point-to-point run. The beginning of the course was flat and crowded. It was amazing to see the sea of people running ahead of me. The aid stations were nicely spaced along the course. Mile 7 was the only one that had GU so I grabbed one. It was also nice to see First Aid at several locations. The course had a steady, gradual climb until mile 8. There we started the "hill" I had heard everyone talking about. It didn't seem that big but it was long. And when you are on tired legs, it seems even longer. I pushed through it and was thankful for all my hill training. Shortly after the 9 mile mark, we turned around and were able to run down the hill. It was amazing to see how many people were walking up the hill. At the bottom of the hill we turned into a park that had small rolling hills starting at mile 10. I started to feel pretty tired around then. I had been sick for the previous week with an ear and sinus infection. I had been on antibiotics and other medications for a few days so I was feeling better but not 100%. I knew I could make it the final 3 miles so I just pushed the pain out of my mind the best I could. Finally, I was passing mile 12 and only had a tiny 1.1 more miles to run. I saw a big bridge ahead of me. I heard someone say that we just had to cross the bridge and then we were done. So I started my final push but the long bridge was really long. When I was about half way across it, my head began to feel really light. I looked over and saw paramedics working on an athlete on the ground.  I prayed that I wouldn't be their next patient. I finally began the slight downhill as the bridge ended and made the last right hand turn to the finish line. There were people lining the finisher's chute cheering so that gave me the burst I needed to finish strong. As I crossed the finish line, I looked at my time. It wasn't a PR but I was pleased with it since I had battled so many obstacles that week just to be able to run the race. My official time was 2:27:41.

I finished just over 3 minutes ahead of my friend, Tracy (who did PR!). We received our medals and grabbed some waters. We made our way to the official photo spot to get a picture. As you can see, we dressed up for the run. She's from Canada so we decided to be patriotic. It was a lot of fun and we heard tons of cheers for us as we ran along. 

Since we had also raced in the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon we received the Desert Double Down medal. We made our way to the medal tent to receive the additional bling. It was really cool! After that, we went to the V.I.P. area for some post-race food, drinks and massage. We stayed there for about an hour, resting and relaxing. Then we walked back to the parking garage and drove back to the hotel. It was a beautiful day and a great race! The Rock 'n' Roll races are expensive but are a lot of fun. If you are considering running one, do it! The experience is definitely worth it!

The second time was a hit

I served my family this yummy, healthy meal tonight! I purchased a 2.7 pound salmon fillet from my local grocery store. I've never prepared an entire fillet like this before so it was fun dealing with such a large piece. I did not add the capers. I paired it with roasted cauliflower and pineapple. I did not use the dried marjoram on the cauliflower since I didn't know what it was. I used basil instead. The pineapple was fresh so it was interesting to cut it up. Make sure to avoid the center core because it has an odd taste. Here are the recipes for the salmon and cauliflower.

Baked Salmon with Lemon and Thyme

  1. 32 oz piece of salmon
  2. 1 lemon, sliced thin
  3. 1 tbsp capers
  4. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  6. Olive oil, for drizzling
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place salmon, skin side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Generously season salmon with salt and pepper. Arrange capers on the salmon, and top with sliced lemon and thyme.
  2. Place baking sheet in a cold oven, then turn heat to 400 degrees F. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

First attempt at eating clean

I bought some ingredients to make a few recipes I found online that stayed within the realms of the seminar I went to a few weeks ago. I had a friend go with me since I am very produce dumb. She showed me how to tell if something was ripe, if something was a good deal, and just really explained a lot of things to me. I have never been much of a cook. If it was quick and easy, then I made it. That translated to a lot of frozen and boxed meals. Since I need to learn how to cook with fresh ingredients, I need to become more familiar with the items I'll be cooking with. I picked up things like avocado, kale, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, lemon, spaghetti squash, red leaf lettuce, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, and celery. I made sausage, kale, and spaghetti squash boats tonight. I served them with green apple slices and unsweetened almond milk. The spaghetti squash boats turned out great! Everyone seemed to like it and it wasn't that hard of a dish to make. It took about an hour to prepare by following the instructions. I have been told that you can microwave the spaghetti squash and get the same results in a much shorter time. So if that is true, this dish could be made in probably twenty minutes. The apples were yummy of course but the almond milk was not. I'm sure that will need to become an acquired taste. All in all, the dinner was a success. I attached the recipe for your reference. Enjoy!

Sausage, Kale, And Spaghetti Squash Boats
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash or 2 small spaghetti squash
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, roasted
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place squash in the microwave for 3-4 minutes to soften. Using a sharp knife cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the halves, with the cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until you can poke the squash easily with a fork. Let cool until you can handle it safely.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, prepare the kale by removing the center stems and either tearing or cutting up the leaves. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken sausage and break apart with a spatula to crumble. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring regularly, until the sausage is browned and cooked through. Add the kale and stir. Cook for a few minutes more to wilt the kale. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • 3
    Once cooled, scrape the insides of the spaghetti squash with a fork to shred the squash into strands. Transfer the strands into the skillet with the sausage and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among the squash shells, and then top with pine nuts and parsley to serve.
  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Medium
paleo grubs

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

This Girl Can

I love this video! It started making the rounds on social media yesterday and immediately spoke to millions of women. They described their video as "This Girl Can celebrates the women who are doing their thing no matter how they do it, how they look or even how sweaty they get. They’re here to inspire us to wiggle, jiggle, move and prove that judgement is a barrier that can be overcome."

Several years ago, when I was just beginning to run, I told my husband that I was embarrassed to be seen running. I just knew that people were looking at me and wondering what I was doing out there. I was fat and slow and probably looked like I was going to die. He told me that no serious runner or person that works out was going to say anything but positive reinforcement. Everyone has to start somewhere and very few people look perfect at the beginning. I took his words to heart, even if I wasn't sure I believed him. 

Now, as someone who has been seriously working out since February 2012, I know what he was talking about. I never look at someone and think anything but positive thoughts. If I'm at a race and see someone who looks like they are struggling, I always cheer for them and give them encouraging words. I'm so proud to see people out there trying to better themselves, no matter what state of fitness they are currently at. Heck, there are still many times that I'm at the back of the pack and I still love hearing people cheer me on. 

Because we all get it. You don't have to be a super star athlete to want to challenge yourself. You don't have to be racing for gold to want to better yourself. Some people do it to get in shape. Some people do it as a stress reliever. Some people do it for socialization. We all have our reasons. We should not let our self-consciousness hold us back. I still wiggle and jiggle when I swim, bike, and run. I am proud of what this chubby body can do. This video epitomizes what we as women should think about ourselves because this girl can!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

100 x 100 Swim Challenge

I participated in the 100 x 100 swim challenge hosted by the Henderson's Master Swim Team and the Las Vegas Triathlon Club on 1-10-15. I regularly train by swimming laps but have never swam anything longer than 2500 meters. I had ran 6 miles just before this so I knew that I was not going to try to swim the entire 100 x 100 (10,000 yards). The swim coach hosting the event told me to set a goal and aim for that. She suggested swimming my age. I am 39, so I set my sights on 39 x 100. 

So I jumped in and prepared to go!

I have never done anything like this and didn't know that many people bring little items to help count their laps. Most people seemed to bring two cups with coins in one and the other one empty. As they completed 100 yards, they would move a coin to the other cup. That would have been a great way to keep track of my laps. I will definitely do that the next time I participate in a challenge like this. I decided to keep count by swimming forty laps (1000 yards) at a time. 

I began my swim at 10:00 a.m. It was a beautiful day for a swim! I was placed in a lane with one other swimmer so we just divided the lane and didn't worry about swimming in a rotation. That worked well since I was faster than my lane mate and didn't have to worry about passing her. After I finished my first set of forty, I stopped for a short float break to drink some water and chat with friends. I only spent a few minutes doing that and quickly started my second set. My normal swim workout is eighty-eight laps so I knew that this second set would be fine since it was within my normal amount. I finished those laps and took another short break. 

At the start of my third set, two more people joined our lane so we began swimming in a counter-clockwise rotation. The two new people were closer to my speed so I only had to pass them every once in a while. This pattern seemed to work well. I was still feeling really good as I was now in new territory having never swam this long before. I even began thinking about changing my goal to swim 50 x 100. I finished the third set and took another short water break. 

I began my forth set and began to feel my stomach cramp up a little. I wasn't sure if it was hunger or over-use. It wasn't bad so I continued to swim. I decided to round up to make my swim a full 4000 yards and completed a final set of 1000. I finished feeling good, not exhausted. I'm sure I could have swam longer but I decided to stick to the coach's advise and to not over swim which could cause injury. Nobody has time for that!

After I finished, I realized that the stomach pains were definitely hunger pains. I was hungry and needed to eat! I chatted with a few friends while I packed up and dried off. It was a really great experience and I look forward to trying it again next year! My final numbers were 4000 yards completed in 1:21:44.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Las Vegas Triathlon Club

I love my tri club! I found them on Facebook a few months before we moved to Las Vegas. I volunteered for them at a packet pick-up the first weekend I was here. I joined the board after a month and a half here. So you could say that I jumped in with both feet. It's one of the best decisions I could have ever made!

It is full of great people with common interests. I have gained such wonderful friends from this group! I am able to find training partners for almost anything I want. I really enjoy working out with people because I like the company and the motivation.

Sometimes I am the person that is at the back of the pack and those are the workouts that challenge me the most because I am constantly chasing them. Other times I am leading the pack. These are the times that I'm able to help others by challenging them. 

It is true that triathlons are most often an individual sport but being a triathlete is far from solitary. Everyone that I have met, through this sport, have been eager to share their story with me. They are quick to offer advise, knowledge, and training tips.

I highly encourage you to locate your local triathlon club! Ours offers multiple club races, training weekends, volunteer options, training opportunities, race entry discounts, store discounts, socials, seminars/workshops, and unlimited access to knowledge from other members. Join a tri club. You will not regret it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I love living in Las Vegas!

While the rest of the United States is suffering from an arctic blast, we here in Las Vegas are enjoying a beautiful winter day. I was able to wear capris and a tank top for my afternoon workout. Don't get me wrong, we do have our cold/windy days but this winter has been very mild. Living in Las Vegas has been wonderful for my pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. The summers are really hot but the rest of the year is great. This is the healthiest, most active community I have ever lived in. You cannot go out for a run/walk/bike without seeing several other people out (even when I get out at 5:00 a.m.). For all the negative things people may say about Las Vegas, I can tell them ten good things about it. As the old saying goes: Don't knock it until you try it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

There are far, far better things ahead......

I saw this quote at my kid's school today and it really spoke to me. Ever since I started this journey I have set goals for myself. They started out as simple as being able to run one mile without stopping. As my fitness grew, so did my goals. The first year it was to complete my first sprint triathlon which I did in September 2012. The second year it was to run a 10K. I actually ended up running a 10K, 11K, and 12K in 2013. Last year it was to complete an olympic distance triathlon and a half marathon. I met those goals by doing four olympic triathlons and two half marathons. This year my goals are to complete a half distance triathlon. In case you are unfamiliar with triathlons, a half distance is comprised of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run. I know that I can do each of those disciplines individually but I'm nervous about putting them all together. To be more specific, doing the half marathon at the end of the swim and bike portion. After each year, I look back at my accomplishments and feel pride. Knowing that I have future goals gives me something to look forward to and prepare for. This quote reminds me that what I'm going to complete this year is even better than what I have already done. What are your goals for 2015? Are they going to be better than the one's you've left behind?

Monday, January 5, 2015

First triathlon of the year

I competed in the Life Time Fitness Indoor Triathlon on January 4, 2015. It was an interesting way to start the season! The race consisted of a 10  minute lap swim, 10 minute transition, 30 minute stationary bike ride, 5 minute transition, and 20 minute treadmill run. The race was sold out with 100 participants. We were divided into waves of 10 that started twenty minutes apart. The first wave began at 8:00 AM. My wave was scheduled to start at 9:40 AM. They requested that you arrive 45 minutes before your scheduled start time. I had never been to this gym but I knew where it was at. It was located on the opposite side of town so I left at 8:00 AM in order to give myself plenty of time to get there and get signed in.

I arrived at about 8:40 AM and went inside. I stopped at the front desk so I could sign in and get a card for the locker. Next, I stopped by the registration table to pick up my t-shirt, swim cap and race bib. I then made my way to the women's locker room. If you have never been to a Life Time Fitness locker room, you are missing out. They are so nice! I found an empty locker and asked a friend for assistance with figuring out the combination process. I put my stuff away and went to the pool to meet up with some friends. I had friends in just about every wave competing that day. I watched a few swim while I talked to a few spectators and waiting athletes. Since I had some extra time, I went upstairs to the bike and run area. I stopped by and talked to some more of my friends as they were on the machines. They seemed to like the distraction. At about 9:15 AM, I made my way back downstairs for a few last minute potty stops (I never go only once before a race).


I made my way to the pool deck at about 9:20 AM. I met up with several of my wave mates. We sat at the end of the pool and made some nervous talk. At 9:30 AM, we were able to get into the pool to warm up. I had overheard others talk about the water being too warm so I was a little concerned about that. Luckily, the pool that I entered (they had us swimming in two pools) was not too warm so I was fine. I swam two laps to warm up and then took my place at the start to wait for the whistle. We had to share lanes so I had a nice man as a lane mate. At 9:39 AM, we started. The man next to me was a faster swimmer but that worked out because we were never at the wall at the same time. I could see the clock at one point in my swim so I was able to see how my pace was working out. My goal was to swim 20 laps or 500 meters. When the clock got to 9:49 AM, I began to hear a lot of yelling. I knew that meant that time was almost up. I gave my final push and then heard the whistle so I knew it was time to stop. I was at the opposite end of the pool so I climbed out of the pool and made my way to the lap counter. I asked her how I did and she said that I completed 23 lap and the man next to me had done 25 laps. I was pleased with that number.

I said hi to a few more people I knew who were getting ready to swim next and then grabbed a towel and made my way into the locker room. I got into my locker to get my cycling and running gear. I was wearing my tri shorts and shirt for the entire race so I didn't need to worry about changing my clothes. I quickly dried my feet off and got my socks and shoes on, grabbed my visor, headphones, and water and headed upstairs. I got there with about 3 minutes left in the transition so I made my bike sizing and mounted the bike.

One of the volunteers came over and showed me how to work the computer and gave me a few last minute instructions. After a short countdown, we were off. I was on a bike at the end of the second row. I had a man next to me who was working hard so it was good motivation for me to work hard as well. I had several friends stop by and cheer me on as I pedaled. The man next to me said he wish he had his own cheering squad too. I love the friends I have made through triathlons! They are so encouraging. Having someone yell my name out every few minutes definitely helped keep me going. My goal was to pass 10.1 miles in the 30 minutes. At the 10 minute mark I was at 3.4 miles and got a little nervous of making my goal. I stepped up my pace a little, put my head down and pounded it out. At 20 minutes, I was at 6.8 miles. I had at least stayed consistent with my pace. The computer said I was traveling at about 20.1-20.8 miles per hour. I knew that I was going to cut it close to my goal but I should make it as long as I kept the pace up. As the time was approaching 30 minutes, I passed the 10 mile mark. When there was about a minute left, I started a sprint to the finish. At the whistle, the meter read 10.3. As I was unclipping, the pedal made one more rotation and the meter rolled to 10.4. I was pleased with those numbers and had surpassed my goal.

The final transition was only 5 minutes so I said hi to a few people but quickly made my way to a treadmill. I changed out of my cycling shoes and into my running shoes. I drank some water and adjusted my headphones while waiting the start of the run. I was sandwiched between an older man and one of my friends. It was nice being next to someone I knew for the final leg. She is a fast runner and I was tired. I knew that she would help push me through the final leg. 

A volunteer came by and gave us the final instructions for the treadmill and then started the short countdown to start. I knew that I only needed to get through 20 minutes and then I'd be done. My goal was to run 2 miles. She told us to start and I was off. I adjusted the speed to a 6.5 for the first few minutes. I then settled into a 6.0 (10:00 per mile pace) for the majority of the run. As long as I kept it as that pace or better, I would make my goal. I was dragging though and running towards that back of the treadmill. My friend kept yelling out encouraging words to get me moving. She told me that I was stronger than I realized and to get moving. At the 15 minute mark, I began to bump the speed up. Every minute meant one bump. At the 19 minute mark, I was at 6.4. I then started to bump it every 15 seconds. So for the final 15 seconds, I was at a 6.7. When time was called, I hit pause so the volunteer could record the distance. It read 2.01. I had just barely made my goal. I realized that I should have began my push sooner than I did because I finished feeling like I had more to give. All in all, I was pleased with my numbers and my effort. 

Once finished, I talked with a few of my wave mates and some of my friends who were currently on the bikes and treadmills. After a few high fives and hugs, I made my way back to the locker room. I showered and got dressed while talking with some fellow racers. I wore my new race t-shirt proudly as I made my way out of the locker room. 

This was a great race! I looked at it as a good training brick. It was shorter than a true sprint triathlon but it was intense. I ended up beating all of my goals which I was really happy about. If one of these indoor triathlons come to your town, give it a try! They are great for all levels and abilities. They are well organized, low-key and inexpensive.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My workout summary for 2014