Race Report: Rev3 Williamsburg Sprint 2018

All smiles at the finish line.  Plus getting photobombed by Stacey's pup, Cuey :)

All smiles at the finish line.  Plus getting photobombed by Stacey's pup, Cuey :)

Its been over a week since Rev3 Williamsburg.  I wanted to stew on my thoughts for a bit before writing my race report.  Attitude is everything, and I'm sorry to say that my attitude both in the ramp up to Williamsburg and day of wasn't quite where I wanted it to be.  All it all it was still a good day, and a great weekend of tri-shenanigans, but I can see a lot of room for improvement, particularly in the space between my ears. 

The Quick & Dirty

2018 Rev3 Williamsburg Sprint

Chickahominy River Front Park, VA

73℉, Partly Cloudy, 10 mph wind

.6mi river swim, 15.3mi bike, 3.1mi run

2:18:42

Overall Rank - 132/159

Age Group Rank (Athena) - 19/28

 

Pre-Race & Warm Up:

I had first breakfast of Naked Juice, Skratch Hyper Hydration, and two Uncrustables at 2am (ish) and went back to sleep.  My real alarm went off around 3:30, and I got in the shower to wake myself up.  Gear check, wake up J, race number tats, sunscreen....the usual race day drill.  We headed out for Chickahominy River Front Park, while I snacked on second breakfast of Skratch chews and sport hydration.

Overly excited by the race number tattoos.  Photo: Stacey

Overly excited by the race number tattoos.  Photo: Stacey

Missing?  My usual race day buzz of excitement.  I felt exhausted, and nothing sounded better than crawling back into bed.  Even so, we made it to the race site, unloaded the bike, and I made my way over to transition.  It turns out that because Team Z had so many people racing, we were all racked together.  Cool!  I didn't actually know any of my teammates racing the Sprint, but race morning is always a nice time to make new friends.  I set up my transition space, and headed over to swim out to check on the 1/4 mile surface we'd be running on to T1.  Smooth pavement, so I opted out of leaving shoes there.

As I made it back to transition I saw Stacey, who had come out to cheer.  So sweet!  By this time I had already mentioned to J more than once that I wanted to go home and take a nap, and I even said to Stacey that I just didn't feel excited.  My head was just not in the right place.  There was a final application of sunscreen, the choosing of the goggles, and then it was time to go line up for the time trial swim start.  No turning back now!

SWIM:

  • .6mi, 24:37 (2:33/100 yards) --> I think the course was long
  • Gear - Coeur Sports tri shorts, Team Z top, Roka F1 in Vermilion
  • Nutrition - VFuel Peach Cobbler gel with water 30 minutes before go
Getting a high five from Stacey

Getting a high five from Stacey

Definitely one of the choppiest swims I've done to date. Sighting was pretty challenging, as there was just a stand of trees ahead, but with the waves you couldn't even see them. I just tried to stay calm and carry on.  I really wanted the swim to be over....which is really unlike me.  Usually the swim is my favorite.  More signs of just how off I was feeling that day.


Made the turn at the buoy and things calmed considerably. There was a pretty strong current that almost took me past swim exit, but I caught it and corrected in time. Swam until I hit the boat ramp with my hand, and stood up in about shin deep water....not bad!

I feel like I can always push a bit harder on the swim.  Then again, I've barely gotten to the pool once a week this year.  I do tend to ride with my head a bit high, especially when sighting is difficult, so that's something to work on.

T1:

  • 5:46

This included the 1/4 mile walk/jog from swim exit to transition. I jogged the pavement, and walked the grass due to some uneven ground surface. 
Got my shoes, helmet, sunglasses, and hydration pack on. Skipped the gloves since it was supposed to be only 13.1 miles on the bike (ha!) Walked out to the mount line, and got clipped in on maybe the third try. #performanceanxiety reigns supreme with regards to clipping in.

BIKE:

  • 15.3 miles, 1:03:37 (14.43mph)
  • Gear - Specialized Dolce Comp, Specialized Aspire helmet, Louis Garneau Tri-X Speed III shoes, sunglasses that I got as swag two years ago, Osprey hydration pack
  • Nutrition - 1/2 serving of Tangerine Cream VFuel
Don't mind me, casually standing around during the middle of a race, lol

Don't mind me, casually standing around during the middle of a race, lol

So I hit mile 6 of this course and was on the lookout for the turnaround. It didn't show up until after mile 7...the exact same point as last year! 15.3 mile course again, despite the maps claiming it was 13.1. That's irritating. 
On the bright side, we got to go out and back on the street, whereas last year we came back on the narrower and bumpier multi-use trail. 
I got passed a bunch, as usual. I did actually play leapfrog with one girl, then managed to pass her for good.  Whaaaa?  With my hydration pack, I took on fluid four times! Big win! I probably could have pushed a little harder, but I always say that. I'm 20 pounds heavier this year, and was roughly 5 minutes slower compared to last year. Could that be weight related? I was hoping to have a faster overall speed, since I've been riding with the team on the road a lot more this summer, and feeling more confident with my handling. My lady bits started complaining at the turnaround, as per usual on flat courses. The lack of movement starts to feel achy. I wasn't as strong as I would like up the last hill, but it wasn't a big heart pounding climb or anything.

T2:

  • 2:56

My calves had been feeling sore lately, so I chose to run in my Brooks instead of my Vivobarefoots.  That means socks are required.  Socks that I struggled with mightily for what felt like an eternity until I finally got them on.

RUN:

  • 3.1 miles, 41:46 (13:28 min/mile)
  • Gear - Brooks Ravenna 9, Smartwool PhD Ultra Light Micro socks, Rev3 BocoGear Trucker from last year's expo
  • Nutrition - a bit of Gatorade and water at the aid stations
pushing my imaginary grocery cart

pushing my imaginary grocery cart

I was trotting up the bridge, gave up and walked the rest of the way. I ran back down, but then walked again at mile one. My calves felt like they wanted to burst....but we're all hurting at the point, aren't we? Its a mental issue, the inability to run. It really was a perfect day, not too hot, it would have been great to be able to run the whole thing. My body didn't let me down, though.  I have to say that it was a bit weird running around the park before making it to the finish line.  It seemed like it took forever, and you could see and hear everything for so long.  But then...that final turn....I cracked my first big smile since the swim exit, and ran across the line.  Woot!

Cool Down:

Upon stopping my left hand immediately went numb, though the feeling came back after about 10 minutes. I didn't feel super dizzy or weak. J gave me a salt tab immediately, and then I sucked down a bottle of Skratch Wellness over the next 20 minutes or so. I chatted with my friends who were there cheering, and despite standing still, never felt like I was going to pass out. Winning! 
Is that correlated with the fact that I didn't push very hard? Probably. Maybe redlining during races is just a trigger that I need to avoid?  #foodforthought

Event Thoughts:

I did have an issue where I registered with my maiden name, and then emailed and asked them to change it to my married name. They said they did. I saw the bib list with my maiden name, asked them again to change it, they said they did. Didn't happen. Not a huge deal, and honestly it is my first experience that was less than positive with Rev3. 

Rev3 puts on a good show, and I always look forward to Williamsburg. This is my second year doing the sprint, and I certainly see myself coming back next year for either the sprint or one of the other distances. 

Goals & Race Post-Mortem

Goals for this race were as follows:

Swim Smart

Hydrate on the Bike

Run!

That's 2 out of 3 then.  I swam calm and smart, even with the chop.  And standing up in shin-deep water?  Definitely swam that in as far as possible!  Hydrating on the bike was a big win.  I'm really glad Coach Ed convinced me to shelve the ego and get a hydration pack.  Total game changer to be able to work on confidence and handling but still be able to drink on the go.  Run?  Not like I wanted to.  I had a stronger run in me, and my attitude held me back.

On to O.W.L. time goals.  Well, those were based on the course maps, which said the bike course was 13.1 miles.  15.3 miles may not sound like a lot more, but at my speed it amounts to a difference of 9 minutes.  My 2:18:42 would have been 2:09 if the bike course had been as advertised.  So that earns me a grade of Acceptable.  I think?  I haven't actually accounted for rounding in my goals.  Let's call it A for Acceptable!  

What its really all about.  #womenwhotri

What its really all about.  #womenwhotri

I wrote this about five days ago, and it sat in my drafts until now.  Reading through this post now, clearly my mental game is where I need to focus. Why so much negativity?  This has been a really tough year, and I finished the race feeling strong....why am I not overjoyed?

So there we go...ending on a bit of a sour note, I guess.  But hey, that's where I'm at right now.  Big thanks to everyone who came out to cheer, especially friends who were racing the following day.  That's an early wake up call for sure, and it was so appreciated.  Special thank you to Stacey, whose smiling face as I exited that swim was much needed, and set me up to shake it off and move forward.

And J....thank you for everything. xoxo

Luray Swim Fest 2018 - Race Report

Swim Fest was amazing, and I absolutely recommend it.  Since it wasn't really a race, more a training day, let's get the goal stuff out of the way first, shall we?

  • Outstanding –  < :50
  • Exceeds Expectations – :56
  • Acceptable – 1:02
  • Poor -  > 1:02
  • Dreadful – DNF for nonmedical reasons
  • Troll – vomiting (or worse) in the water
yes, you did have to run out of the water between loops.&nbsp; Yes, it sucked.

yes, you did have to run out of the water between loops.  Yes, it sucked.

My official finishing time for the 2250m swim was 1:02:23.  Rounding down, that gives me a grade of Acceptable.  For someone who has scarcely swum once a week since April, and even less over the fall and winter, Acceptable is exactly what I deserve.  What I'm actually most proud of it how I paced myself.  The course is three loops, and I had each loop within 90 second of each other!

My other goals were to be calm and have fun, and I nailed both of those, too.  I plunged right in, zero anxiety, and just swam.  As for the fun...yes, totally.  A day with friends, a swim, and a burger.  Basically a dream day, no?

Liz picked me up at o'dark-thirty, picked up Emily at o'dark-forty-five, and then we were off for Luray.  Having the sun come up behind us was neat, and seeing the mist roll over Shenandoah is always beautiful.  Once we got to the race site, we set up our home base on the top of a hill, with a great view of the lake.  Emily had never swum open water before, and was signed up for the 750m, and Liz was signed up for all 3 distances, so they were first in the water.  Since the 2250m didn't start for a few hours, I wandered over to the Team Z tent for a little bit, said hi to Caroline, and then wandered around a little more.

I practiced some pre-race nutrition, just to make sure everything was going to sit well.  I started getting some nasty burps about midway through my swim, but I think that has more to do with me swallowing air than my nutrition.  I had the breakfast of champions (Pop Tarts) as we headed out of Northern Virginia, a pouch of Skratch chews and a bottle of the Sport Hydration about 90 minutes before, and a VFuel gel with some more water right as we were heading in.  Way too many calories for a typical one hour swim, but this was more about testing, and i'm pleased with how it went.  I've tested similar before long bike rides, and I'm feeling really confident about how my stomach will handle this amount of calories at these intervals for Williamsburg.  Oh!  And I had my Skratch Hyper Hydration first thing in the morning, and the Wellness as we were riding back home.  This combo is quickly becoming my "must do" before outdoor events.  Obviously its a huge amount of sodium, so unless you're like me and have had this much stipulated by a doctor, I don't recommend it.  I'm not a Skratch ambassador or anything, although I'm starting to think I should apply to be.  I've simply found that the products sit well in my stomach, and have the necessary sodium for me to manage my POTS symptoms.

This event is fantastic for beginners, I have to say.  There are tons of SUPs and kayaks, and because it is a loop course, you're never really far from shore.  Far being a relative term, of course.  Swag for the race included a medal and a super soft race shirt.  I am loving the trend of my most recent races having these soft shirts.  They get so much more use than the stiffer ones.  You could also pay to upgrade to a big beach towel if you wanted, which came in loads of colors.

Achievement Unlocked - Peak Dorkiness

Achievement Unlocked - Peak Dorkiness

So, final thoughts...

Do Luray Swim Fest!  Do it with friends or family.  Make sure to get custard at Spelunkers on the way home.  Revel in the free race pictures.  That is all.  #swimlove

Race Report: Reston Triathlon

I made a goal, I worked toward it, I stumbled a little bit, I picked myself back up, and last weekend, I finally made it happen.  I finished my first Olympic distance triathlon!  

The Quick & Dirty

2016 Reston Triathlon

Reston, VA

79℉, Mostly Overcast

1500m lake swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run

3:55:04

Overall Rank - 368/396

Age Group Rank (F35-39) - 23/24

 

A beautiful day at Lake Audubon

A beautiful day at Lake Audubon

Pre-Race & Warm Up:

I tossed and turned most of the night, and woke up frightfully early.  Breakfast was two packs of chocolate Belvita breakfast biscuits with peanut butter, a banana, and about ⅔ of a bottle of nuun.  Black tea with milk and sugar is my special race day drink of choice, guaranteed to help clear the pipes out.  Because who really likes going in the porta potty?!  I took a shower to help wake myself up, packed up the gear bags, did a first coat of sunscreen, and made sure J was up and moving.  Dramamine and Gin Gins candy were also on the menu, to keep my motion sickness and sensitive stomach in check.  Transition opened at 5:30am, and we arrived just a few minutes after.  We weren’t anywhere near the first people to arrive!  Reston has two transition areas, so J parked at the high school and I set up T2. Since I don't have bike shoes, this basically meant weighing down my hat and race belt as much as possible so they didn't blow away.

Most people were riding their bikes to T1 at the lake, about a mile away, but I was nervous about riding in the dark, so I walked.  Warm up, I guess?  This is also where I wound up getting really impressive ball of foot blisters.  Sigh.  I used to wear these flip flops to walk Vivaldi for an hour with no issue, so I have no idea why a 20 minute walk would be an issue.  Nothing could be done at that point, so it was time to keep getting ready.  I racked my bike, got bodymarked, picked up my chip, and set up my T1.  There were plenty of athletes milling around, and I chatted with the others on my rack.  I met a girl who was doing her first Olympic, too, and I found that calming.  Reston Triathlon is full of super fast racers, so meeting someone else who was in it to complete rather than compete was wonderful.

There were no warm ups allowed in the lake, but the pool was open, so I hopped in and did a couple laps.  My REC center pool has been closed since late August, and I had gotten zero swims in the two weeks leading up to the race.  Quickly getting in 50 yards in the pool reminded me that yes, I know how to swim.  An athlete with an electric violin played the national anthem, and that was actually the first time I remembered that it was 9/11.  Before I could worry or dwell about anything they started calling out cap colors, and we lined up. The waves went out 90 seconds apart, and I was in wave 6.  Go time!

SWIM:

  • 1500m, 41:06 (2:44/100 yards)
  • Gear - Coeur Sports Lakota kit, Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 mirrored goggles
  • Nutrition - Honey Stinger Caramel Waffle
How awesome is my family? &nbsp;I actually managed to spot this sign while I was swimming

How awesome is my family?  I actually managed to spot this sign while I was swimming

It was part of my plan to swim easy, but I was really surprised at how slow my time was.  I mean, I wasn’t getting out of breath or pushing hard, but I’m not accustomed to that level of exertion equaling such a slow speed.   The wasn’t a crowded swim, but I was also always quite close to others, if that makes sense.  More people around than at Harborfest, but not some kind of underwater boxing match.  Although, around the second and third buoys it got pretty intense.  This was the point where I had caught up with the slow men from the wave before me, and was getting caught by the fast men from the wave behind. I got slugged in the head twice and kicked a few times, which was unpleasant. At one point I started kicking really hard to get some ham fisted dude out of my way. No real harm, though. Sighting was much easier with my tinted goggles, so I was glad I had them. I did sight off of the wrong buoy at one point, and got slightly off course, but not too bad.  Sadly, the open water app for the Vivoactive is quite inaccurate for distance, so it's hard for me to say how far I actually swam.  Overall, I never felt nervous, scared, or anything like that. I just felt like the shoreline was taking its sweet time to approach!

T1:

  • 4:03
  • Nutrition - GU Triberry washed down with double strength Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix in Lemons + Limes

Eventually the swim was over, and after swimming up the super slimy boat ramp and getting a hand from a fantastic volunteer, I was off and transitioning.  I trotted over to my bike, wiped off my feet, and got the shoe/sunglass/helmet situation taken care off.  My handling skills aren’t strong enough to count on being able to eat on board yet, so I took my gel while still in T1, then headed out to ride

BIKE:

  • 24.8 miles, 1:42:04 (14.58mph)
  • Gear - Diamondback Podium 1 bike, Trek Vapor 3 helmet
Finishing up the Second Loop

Finishing up the Second Loop

A three loop course with no real climbs or flats, just roller after roller.  It is a fun course, and the first loop started off great.  As I headed out of T1 I saw J smiling at me.  I smiled back, and never really stopped smiling for the whole first loop.  Then, somewhere during the second loop, my front derailleur stopped working.  I was stuck in the granny gear, which was okay, if a bit overkill, for most of the climbs.  I was also forced to coast much more than I wanted to.  I fiddled and fiddled, and managed to shift up….and promptly got stuck there.  That made the climbs much harder than I wanted them to be, and there was a terrible noise coming from my bike.  I was so happy to have friends and family on the course.  My parents, brother, J, and even my friend K’s mom were all out cheering for me, and it was so helpful in keeping my attitude in check as I struggled with my bike.  My bike is my weakness, so I knew I was going to lose a fair amount of ground on the bike, but I wound up losing even more than I planned.  Everything thinned out quite a bit during my third loop, and I even started to wonder if I was the last person out there.  Yet still, spectators and volunteers were at most of the corners, cheering.  It was incredible!  As I approached the high school I made a left turn, and headed down toward T2.  I was ready to run!

T2:

  • 2:46
  • Nutrition - About ⅓ pack of Skratch Labs Raspberry Fruit Drops washed down with double strength Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix in Lemons + Limes

I got a little lost coming into transition. There were so many bikes, and I got confused about where I was going. Once I found my place, I racked my bike, grabbed my hat and number belt....then proceeded to stand there and stuff my face!  Next season’s big goal is to be able to eat and drink on the bike.

RUN:

  • 6.2 miles, 1:25:07 (13:44 min/mile)
  • Gear - Vivobarefoot Stealth II shoes, Nike drifit run hat, Oakley Half Jacket sunglasses
  • Nutrition - ⅓ pack Skratch Labs Raspberry Fruit Drops, water at each of the 6 aid stations
Favorite finish line to date

Favorite finish line to date

Once I gave myself permission to take walk breaks, my “run” sort of fell apart.  I would have been far better served if I had set up some regimented run/walk breaks for myself instead.  The run course was on the shaded trails of Reston, which meant either going up, going down, or twisting round.  So pretty!  My muscles, and even my blistered feet, felt fine. Rather it was my breathing/cardio that kept me from being able to run.  There were a couple points where my lips felt tingly.  What is that about?  I trucked along feeling fairly awful for the first couple miles, but got a great boost when I saw my parents and brother somewhere near mile 2.  Miles 3-5 went well.  When I was moving, I was feeling good and getting it done.  I walked up the small hills, as my back and shoulders had been feeling tight since the bike, and my back spasmed a little if I tried to run up the hills.  There was one last monster hill toward the stadium, and I had to climb that.  After the fact, I realized that all the spectators could see that, so next year I’ll remember to run.  But then it was down to the stadium, and a victory lap of sorts to the finish line.  And what a beautiful finish line it was.  I heard my family cheering, and smiled big the whole home stretch.  Finished!

Cool Down:

Immediately after crossing the finish line I was given an icy cold washcloth wrapped around a bottle of water.  So nice!  I also got a beautiful medal (prettiest of the season by far!) and a running hat.  I found my family, and someone (my dad?) set up a camp chair for me to sit in.  I tried to drink some of my beloved chocolate milk, but I had to stop for fear that it wouldn’t stay down.  My skin was entirely crusted over with salt.  My body felt pretty stiff, but more than anything I felt quite stupid.  Clearly I had left my brain somewhere out on the run course.  Once I felt good enough to move around, I hobbled my way to the car, and my family and I went to Be Right Burger for a celebratory lunch.  

Event Thoughts:

Overall, I recommend the event.  The volunteers were plentiful on race day, and always seemed to know exactly the right thing I needed to hear to keep pushing.  There were some information issues that could use improvement.  I couldn’t find any information about water stations on the run, so asked on Facebook.  I was told there was water at the turnaround, so imagine my surprise when there were actually 3 water stations on the out and back course, making for 6 opportunities for water or Gatorade.  Asking on Facebook was also how I found out when transition opened.  While I appreciate how promptly my questions were answered, it would have been preferable if I hadn’t needed to ask at all.  Having two transition is a bit annoying, and it’s lame that we can’t swim in the lake except during the event.  Back on the bright side, can we talk about the swag?! All told, I got a New Balance long sleeve tech shirt, tech socks, Scattante Bliss sunglasses, a multitool, a washcloth, and a finisher hat. And did I mention the really pretty medal?

So. Much. Swag! &nbsp;And so much of it is stuff I can actually use! Well done, Reston Tri

So. Much. Swag!  And so much of it is stuff I can actually use! Well done, Reston Tri

Goals & Race Post-Mortem

Goals for this race were as follows:

Swim Smooth

Ride Smart

Run Strong

Smile

I’d say two out of four.  I swam smooth, and I definitely smiled.  I thought I was riding smart, but my mechanical issues had me working harder than I wanted to.  Looking back at my HR data, my average HR was 169 bpm for the entire leg.  Based off the zones I set up from my bike LT test, that’s Zone 5.  Way too hard.  No wonder I wasn’t able to touch my goal of “Run Strong.”  Kind of hard to run when you’ve completely depleted yourself on the bike, no?  At least the most important goal (SMILE!) was easy to meet.

For my race O.W.L. based on my time goals, my 3:55:04 earns me a grade of Poor.  You’d think that would make me unhappy.  I guess there is a part of me that is disappointed.  Sure, I wish I’d been faster.  On the other hand, how can I not be happy?  There’s nothing like a finish line, and this was the best day ever!  I can’t wait to improve my bike and run fitness over the winter.  I’m also looking forward to racing next season, improving my execution on the bike leg so I can actually run the whole 10k next time.  My brain is crowded full of exciting plans, not the least of which is that since this is a local race, I get to come back year after year to gauge my improvement!

Thumbs Up/Thumb Down for Oly Training

This training block for my first Olympic race has been a complete blur.  It if weren’t for automatic upload on my Garmin, I’d probably have zero record of what I did.  As it is, I don’t have anything like what I usually have to look back on.  No in-depth analysis of each step, each stroke, and each mile.  Yet time marches on, and race weekend has arrived (omg!)  I want to take a few minutes to look back at how my training went over the last couple months, just to put it in perspective and see where my head is at.  Also, I want to give this analysis a day to sink in before I make my race goals.

Pretty clouds at the end of an afternoon run

Pretty clouds at the end of an afternoon run

SWIM:

The pool has been my happy place for a year now.  I love swimming!

Thumbs Up:

  • 2700 yard swims
  • OWS practice in Lake Anna and 1.2 miles in the Potomac at Harbor Fest
  • 400 yard repeats and flip turns are no big deal
  • Meeting Megan and Liz

Thumbs Down:

  • My pool has been closed since late August for maintenance
  • Too many missed swims for no good reason
  • Goggles, man

BIKE:

I had a whole separate post about bike things, so I’ll keep this extra short and sweet.

Thumbs Up:

  • Long ride = 30 miles!

Thumbs Down:

  • Still lacking confidence

RUN:

This season, running has taken a backseat to swim/biking.  After all, I have to do those things before I ever get to run on race day.  Even still, I’ve managed to make some impressive gains.

Thumbs Up:

  • Running 30 minutes is “short” now
  • Meeting Stacey, running 6+ miles together, and eating watermelon in the parking lot

Thumbs Down:

  • Tip of toe blisters, the week of the race.  Really?

GEAR:

Half the fun of triathlon is all the gear.  The clothes, the toys, the gadgets…I love it all.

Thumbs Up:

  • Vivobarefoot Stealth II.  Although, these aren’t available anymore, so maybe this should be a thumbs down?
  • Coeur Sports kits.  The shorts, especially, were a game changer for me in regards to bike comfort
  • The cheap & cheerful Garmin Vivoactive

Thumbs Down:

  • My bike.  Sorry, friend, but you just don’t fit
  • Quest bike shorts.  Seams don’t belong anywhere near my lady bits.  These are banished.
  • Pocket-less run shorts.  Why do these even exist?
  • Goggles, man

FUEL:

Nutrition hasn’t been a big deal for me, since Olympic distance racing = short course racing.  Even still, I’m a slow athlete, and my race day is going to take almost 4 hours.  That means snacks!  Like Vivaldi (missing her so much lately…. gone 5 months this week) I’m hugely treat motivated.

Can't say enough good things about The Feed. &nbsp;Such a great way to try new fuel options

Can't say enough good things about The Feed.  Such a great way to try new fuel options

Thumbs Up:

  • Skratch Labs Fruit Drops because they don’t stick together in the package or in my teeth.  I’m also a fan of the Exercise Hydration Mix in Lemons + Limes and Pineapples
  • Vfuel Endurance Gel has a nice thin texture and good flavor.  They just came out with Salted Caramel Apple, which sounds tasty.  I like Peach Cobbler
  • Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars are like extra plump and fruity Fig Newtons.  Raspberry is my favorite
  • Nuun Active and Plus.  A bottle of triberry on the pool deck is like a security blanket for me, and I like that Plus is flavorless, so I can add it to whatever I’m craving on the day

Thumbs Down:

  • Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix in Matcha Green Tea.   Not my cup of tea. (See what I did there?)

MENTAL GAME:

I’ve not had my head in the game lately.  Depression is a beast, no two ways about it.  I don’t want to talk about it too much, simply because at this precise moment I feel like I’m finally crawling out of the dark, and if I even glance back I may slide down there again.  So instead of head shrinking, I’m bullet pointing.

Thumbs Up:

  • Forgiveness.  I forgave myself for any missed workouts and moved onward.  No dwelling!

Thumbs Down:

  • Lying to myself.  I want to work on being more honest when I’m feeling fragile.  I can’t adjust course if I don’t admit that I’m going the wrong way. 
Sometimes one day at a time pays off big time. &nbsp;I remember this day so clearly.

Sometimes one day at a time pays off big time.  I remember this day so clearly.

So there we have it.  The road to my first Olympic distance triathlon.  I’ve done spring/early summer sprints before, saying that I was going to end the season with an Oly.  I tried and failed twice to even get to the registration point.  Now, here I am, ready to toe the line in TWO DAYS.  It was a tough summer.  I had some struggles, to be sure.  But I made it.  I’m ready.  And I’m excited.  Next up: race expectations!  

week in review: Olympic Distance Training, Week 2

This second week of Oly training also turned out to be my biggest week ever, volume wise.  I guess that means most weeks will have that distinction, as I move towards race day.  I bumped up my swim workouts to 2500 yards, put in some good hard workouts on the trainer, and did my very first LT field test.  Let’s dig in, shall we?

My totals:

Swim - 2:58:48, 7000 yards

Bike - 3:28:26, 51.67 miles

Run - 1:55:53, 9.18 miles

My time at the REC this week was marked by some fun decorations in preparation for the All Night Graduation Party

My time at the REC this week was marked by some fun decorations in preparation for the All Night Graduation Party

Monday

  • Swim - 1:01:46, 2500 yards
    • 500 warm up
    • 5x100 (kick, swim, thumb drag drill, swim by 25) :15-:25
    • 3x100 pull @2:00 (negative split 50s)
    • 6x50 @60 pull strong
    • 4x100 swim @2:00 descend
    • 4x50 @1:05 (3/5 breathe by 25)
    • 4x25 @60 shooters (streamline and kick, then easy)
    • 200 cool down

This was my first swim of 2500 yards, AND my first swim of over an hour. Milestones: I'm checking them off! This workout was challenging, as it also marked the first time I had a series of sets where I left at a particular time, rather than specifically counting out my rest. By the time I was getting to the last sets of 100s, I was getting barely 5 seconds of rest.

I did get my negative splits on the 100 pulls, but didn't have success in descending my 100 swims. Guess I need to file this workout away to try again sometime!

  • Trainer Ride - 50:02, 20/40 Sprint Workout
    • 10 min warm up
    • 3x (5x 20 sec all out, 40 sec rec) + 5 min easy pedaling
    • 10 min cool down

These sprints started out deceptively easy, but the longer I went, the harder it got. Not as big of a sweatfest as last week’s LT or Aerobic Intervals, but still working hard all the same.

Tuesday

  • Run - 29:45, 2.13 miles

72 and quite humid. I thought it was going to slay cloudy, so I didn't bring my sunglasses, and then of course the sun started peeking out. This was a Zone 2 fail, as I accidentally had my watch set to buzz at the top of Zone 3.  Whoops!

  • Functional Strength - 48 minutes
    • 1/4 mile walk warm up
    • ankle/foot routine
    • pedestal 1
    • myrtls
    • 1/4 mile walk cool down

By the time I got to the end of the ankle/foot routine, I was really feeling it. My balance needs some work.

Wednesday

  • Swim - 1:03:46, 2500 yards
    • 400 warm up, kick every 4th 25
    • 8x50 :30 (drill/swim by 25)
    • 4x25 :20
    • 4x50 :30
    • 4x100 :45
    • 4x50 :30
    • 4x25 :20
    • 6x75 pull @1:30
    • 1x150 (100 ALL OUT, 50 EZ)
    • 100 cool down

New suit today, new goggles, and a very tired me. The suit is a new TYR polyester grab bag, and I lucked into some decent looking red flames. For goggles I splurged and got some ROKA R1s. The visibility is incredible, and once I’ve put them through their paces I do a full review.

For drills I did half catch up and half fist. Right around the 75 pull sets is when my shoulders started to complain, and I was losing my form trying to get enough rest on 1:30. I switched it to 1:35 to avoid practicing a sloppy stroke. As for 100 all out, right at the end of the workout....no. That did not happen. Is anyone surprised?

This started out feeling kind of easy, then by the last set I was really cooking. Tough, but I would enjoy doing this workout again. I’m not switching to velodrome or anything, but Katie Archibald knows her stuff!

Thursday

  • Run - 38:06, 2.63 miles

Quite steady rain for this Z2 run.  I walked my HR back down to the bottom of the zone when it buzzed too high. My right hip started feeling a little bit cranky towards the end, but nothing bad. This was super slow and sopping wet, but still felt like a good run.

  • Functional Strength - 49 minutes
    • 1/4 mile walk warm up
    • ankle/foot routine
    • pedestal 1
    • myrtls
    • 1/4 mile walk cool down

My balance is awful, no wonder I fall down all the time. Not so much violent shaking in the side planks, so some progress there.

Friday (Active Recovery Day)

  • Swim - 53:16, 2000 yards
    • 300 warm up
    • 4x75 :30 (kick, drill, swim by 25)
    • 6x50 : descend 1-3, 4-6
    • 200 pull :20
    • 150 build :30
    • 100 fast :60
    • 50 sprint
    • 100 recovery
    • 400 (kick, swim by 50)
    • 100 cool down

I forgot my bottle of nuun on the counter when I left the house, so I did this swim, showered, and drove to the office before I could have anything to drink. Do not recommend!

I had a bit of leaking from my goggles.  I was fussing and adjusting my straps a bit, so hopefully once I get the fit dialed in, I'll be okay. It is mostly when I push off the wall. My swim cap also kept coming off for no particular reason. Such a comedy of errors. At least it was a recovery swim.

  • Foam Rolling

Full body, with lots of attention on my calves and thighs. I'm happy to say that it didn't hurt as bad as last week. I need to keep this habit up!

Saturday

  • Run - 48:02, 4.42 miles

This was the day of my very first LT field test.  I have a whole separate post on it, since it felt like such a big milestone for me.  TL;DR - I think I paced pretty well, I didn’t puke, my LT came in at 183, and I have my zones set.  Success!

Sunday

Looking a bit gritty and urban here. &nbsp;Such a big change in so few miles!

Looking a bit gritty and urban here.  Such a big change in so few miles!

  • Bike - 1:38:22, 18.65 miles, 822 ft gain
    • Highlights: A planned easy ride, I decided to investigate Custis trail, since I heard it had fewer at-grade crossings.  Turns out it has a lot more climbing, and I wound up working harder than I meant to.  I had to walk my bike a couple times, muscled up some unexpected inclines, experienced panic at my first steep S-curve descent, dropped my chain twice (user error?!) and struggled with sun glare until I hit the turnaround.  I also managed to get up more hills than I thought, didn’t crash, got my chain back on quickly, and still was having tons of fun.  I will conquer my fears!
    • Nutrition: What with the climbing and sun blind descents, I didn't really get to practice drinking the way I wanted. Maybe once or twice? I did get down most of a bottle of Skratch lemons & limes (yummy and not too sweet) and a strawberry cereal bar (generic brand Nutrigrain) when I paused at the turnaround. (48g carbs)
    • Health: A teeny bit of back pain and some slight undercarriage soreness, but no chafing or broken skin this week.  

I am quite pleased with how this week went.  There was a lot of new stuff going on: new suit, new goggles, LT test, Custis trail, but I was enjoying it.  I’m usually a person who gets anxious at the thought of new things, but I spent this entire week really looking forward to each new thing I had on my plate.  Beyond the fact that this was a good week with nice volume, I’m most happy with the growth I’m seeing within myself.