ET Batavia Triathlon Recap

Ever since I was little, I’ve been afraid of storms. I’ve come a long way from hiding in the basement when the wind blows, but the threat of severe weather still freaks me out. The last place I want to be with a humongous black cloud overhead is in a wetsuit about to jump into a quarry. But guess where I was this morning? In a wetsuit about to jump into a quarry. I debated skipping the race, but I paid $85 for this thang I’m no quitter.

Where's Waldo? This pic is blurry, but I thought it was pretty funny. You can see the fear through my smile. Haha!

Where’s Waldo? This pic is blurry, but I thought it was pretty funny. You can see the fear through my smile. Haha!

Swim – 400 meters

Before the race, I was standing by some big dogs in transition who declared they weren’t wearing wetsuits. I agreed that a wetsuit was silly for an eight minute swim…then I started shivering. I made a last-minute decision to wear the wetsuit, and holy smokes, I’m glad I did.

With storm systems in the area, race officials delayed the 6:30am start for an hour. By the time I entered the water, I was stiff and had forgotten how cold it felt two hours before. The initial chill took my breath away, and I struggled to calm down. The swim route was supposed to be 2 laps around the quarry. (Side note- One side was so shallow everyone had to walk. Weird.) Unfortunately, swimmers were pulled from the water due to lightening, so I only finished one lap. I was bummed to have missed the second lap, but safety is most important. I thought the race was over, but thankfully a nice man yelled, “Go get your bike!” The swim was called off, but the rest of the race could proceed as planned.

Bike – 14.7 miles

When I got to transition after the swim, everything was soaked. I threw on my wet cycling shoes and helmet and headed to the bike out area. Despite the pouring rain, the ride was awesome. There were a few rolling hills, but it was mostly flat, smooth roads. Riders were pretty spread out on the course…until I ran into my competition at mile 7. We were about the same pace; I was faster on the flat stretches and he zoomed past me on downhills. (I’m a cautious rider, especially on wet roads.) After passing one another 5 times, we were cracking up and joked that we would finish 1 and 2. My pace was 18.7 mph. Considering the conditions, I’ll take it!

Run – 4.1 miles

Making it to the run is always a relief. The tough parts are over, and I’ve officially made it to the last event. In T2, I put on some dry socks, my running shoes and headed out…with my helmet on. Luckily I caught myself before leaving the transition area. Whew! That would have been a funny site to see. The run was along the Fox River on the Kane County Fox River Trail. It was a  lovely route- scenic and shaded. There were beautiful houses along the river, and gazing at them kept my mind off the fact that my legs wanted to fall off. My pace was 8:47/mile. This is almost 1:40/mile faster than my comfortable pace!

All smiles (I think?) as I near the finish line.

All smiles as I near the finish line. Photo courtesy of my fiancé. He was such a trooper to wake up at 4am and stand in the rain all morning. I’m one lucky gal.

My thoughts?

Aside from the storm clouds, cold water and rain, I really enjoyed this race. It was well organized, the volunteers were great (and such troopers for being in the rain for hours!), and the post-race party had delicious food (priorities, people). I do wish there was a different option for the swim but understand swimming locations are limited. I’ll definitely be back again next year…Hopefully on a sunny day!

Proof that I survived!

Proof that I survived!

Hope you all had a good weekend!

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Why We Tri

I cried the first time I swam in Lake Michigan. Literally. The waves were huge, and that shit is scary. I stood on the beach- wetsuit on, arms crossed, debating if I should quit this whole triathlon thing before I start.

Daniel came across this pic tonight. I wasn't lying, guys!

Daniel came across this pic tonight. I wasn’t lying, guys!

Two triathlons later, I’m signed up for 4 new races. (The first is in 3 weeks!) It’s hard to imagine life without the sport.

IRONMAN and Women for Tri recently launched the WHY campaign, which is “aimed at focusing on what triathlon adds to your life, not its perceived “barriers.” Source

In short, IRONMAN and Women for Tri want to know the reasons WHY women compete.

I seriously dig a good marketing campaign, and long bike rides give me a significant amount of time to talk to myself reflect. Here’s my WHY:

It’s a ‘face your fears’ kind of thing. I feel empowered by accomplishing training goals that once seemed unrealistic. I’m getting stronger each week and becoming a more confident version of myself. Triathlon has sparked new goals and dreams and a passion that gets me out of bed in the morning.

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Oprah

Loving life at the Chicago Triathlon.

Loving life at the Chicago Triathlon.

XO

The Struggle is Real

Why hello. Hope everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend! Isn’t it wonderful to be riding and running outside?

Saturday morning, I had just about finished my 30-mile ride when I got flat tire. A teeny, tiny shard of metal pierced it, and within seconds, it was completely flat. Womp.

Sitting on the edge of the road, I started to think about all of the unexpected things that happen when training for a half Ironman. Although my fellow triathletes have been amazing resources in answering my questions, there are some things that you have to learn on your own. Unless, of course, you read my below list of tri training struggles (and some tips)…

*You will feel exhausted all the time. This is mostly true for me during the week. After a long workday, I accidentally fell asleep after my run and swim. Daniel had to wake me for dinner at 9pm!

*You will be hungry every second of the day. Just typing the word hungry made me hungry.

*Wipeouts happen more than you expect. No matter how many times I ride my bike, every so often I forget to unclip my shoes. In my most recent wipeout news, I made a wrong turn and was heading straight for a lake. Instead of calmly unclipping my shoes, I FREAKED THE F OUT and fell right on over. As an added bonus, a large group of canoers witnessed the whole fiasco!

*Assume that no one sees you when biking or running. Be particularly defensive when training around busy roads, but also be aware of others on a trail. You’ll be shocked at the amount of people that have no idea you are behind them until you scare the sh*t out of them by announcing yourself. 

*Ladies- You will have a love, hate relationship with your bike. Somedays, your saddle will seem like the devil himself. You will have bruises in places you don’t ever want bruises. What happened to the good ole’ beach cruiser seats?

*The foam roller will be your new BFF. Your body will be in a constant state of sore, so rolling around on foam is necessary.

*Buy these products- you will thank me later:

  • Swim- Speedo Ergo Ear Plugs and anti-fog solution for goggles
  • Bike- Anti Chafe Chamois Butt’r (Chafing is zero fun, chafing caused by your bike seat is hell.)
  • Run- Body Glide (I shower in this stuff! It is great for preventing wetsuit rash as well.)

Hope you’ve learned a thing or two at my expense. Consider yourself warned, my friend.

Have a great week! XO

There’s no crying in tri training!

There's no crying in tri training

I’ve learned one thing in my short time as a Half Ironman hopeful:  Training can be exhausting. Running six miles and swimming 1,000 meters seems fine and dandy when I’m chipper at 6am. Throw in a 10+ hour work day filled with meetings and conference calls, and those same training plans seem a bit more daunting.

Last week, like a two year old who doesn’t want to take off his floaties, I almost threw a fit in the pool. I had just experienced a slow treadmill run and was hoping to redeem myself during my swim. One lap in, my goggles fogged up, and I choked on a sufficient amount of water. (I swear I’ve swam before…) I called it quits a few hundred meters early.

Five minutes after leaving the gym, I concluded that the world was ending and that I was the worst wannabe-triathlete that ever lived. (I’ve been know to be a bit dramatic.)

As endurance athletes, we tend to be really hard on ourselves. Heck, we beat ourselves up over missing a PR by a few seconds. Meeting and exceeding our goals is always a priority, and training days are no exception to the rule. I’m here to tell you that one bad training day does not define you as an athlete, and it’s certainly no indication of the outcome of your race (that’s likely still months away).

Here are 5 ways to survive a bad workout:

1. Stay positive:  Even if your stride is bit slower, don’t let it get you down. Beating yourself up over a tough workout doesn’t make it easier. Like my girl Kelly Clarkson once said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. 

2. Shake it off:  Leave your workout at the gym. Tomorrow is a new day full of opportunities for a comeback run/ride/swim.

3. Don’t be afraid to end a little early:  There’s one thing I’ve learned from running and triathlon coaches- proper form is everything. It’s crucial during times of exhaustion and necessary in avoiding injury. Unfortunately, on a tough training day (when we’re too busy pouting to focus on form), proper technique goes out the window. It’s important to realize when this is happening, and either pull yourself together, or end the workout a bit early. One less mile will not ruin your training regimen.

4. Keep your Confidence:  Self doubt is such a biotch. Don’t let a bad workout make you question your decision to sign up for that goal race. Keep in mind all of the time and training you have put in, and rock your next workout.

5. Develop improvement strategies:  Take a few seconds to reflect on the reasons you had a rough workout. Could it have been caused by nutrition issues? A long day at work? Use your answers to improve your next workout.

With race season right around the corner, I hope these tips come in handy!

Thanks for reading! XO

Monday Motivation on Wednesday?

Oy vey! Sometimes 8 hour workdays become 12 hour workdays and Monday motivations become Wednesday motivations. I’m still trying to squeeze in workouts before or after the fun long days. Busy days have left me even more excited for tomorrow’s run!

photo.PNG-6

Yes, yes it is.

Here’s this week’s workout schedule:

Monday:  Rest

Tuesday:  1 hour spin class

Wednesday:  Dream- 40 minutes cycling. Reality- Nada, nothing, 0 miles, big ole’ goose egg. Can’t win ’em all, right?

Thursday:  850m swim + 4 mile run

Friday:  1000m swim

Saturday:  1.5 hour CT class

Sunday:  6 mile run + strength

To end on a happy note, I’m so pumped that it’s supposed to be 40 degrees next week! If you live in the burbs, don’t be alarmed if you see a gal running in her swimsuit. Just kidding. Kinda.

XO

Monday Motivation: Time to Train

How is it already Monday? You sneaky weekend!

Although half Ironman training doesn’t officially begin until March, I’m starting to step up my training game. It would be a real shame to croak during my first official week of training due to poor preparation. I’ve decided to begin sharing my weekly workout schedule because A) If nobody knows, it didn’t happen B) I might need each of you to hold me accountable for my claims C) Some of these plans may help you meet your own training goals.

Monday:  1 hour CT class at Endure It! Naperville

Tuesday:  Strength + 4 mile run (Daniel’s plans for my strength training torture are still TBD. Chest and tris were part of Sunday’s workout, so we will focus on back, bis and abs.)

Wednesday:  1 hour swim (I pull my swim workouts from this wonderful blog. She hasn’t posted lately, but there are a million archived workouts to try.)

Thursday:  5 mile run

Friday:  REST!

Saturday:  1.5 hour CT class at Endure It! Naperville

Sunday:  1 hour swim + 4 mile run

photo

Can’t. Stop. Sharing. Motivational. Quotes. They’re just too good not to share!

Hope you have a good week! XO