I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend and honored those who have fallen.
I know it’s been over a week but I am finally getting to my race recap from last Sunday.
This race weekend was unlike most of my other ones: I didn’t have nerves and I wasn’t in my normal crazy prep mode. I forgot to bring peanut butter (I bought some instead), I almost didn’t lay out my clothes, and I barely thought about dinner the night beforehand.
The days leading up to the race were jam packed. The Beast and I headed up to his college for his mentee’s graduation and to see some of his college buds. We had a blast seeing our friends and hanging out and it was exhaustingly fun. Then on Saturday I volunteered at a kids’ triathlon (more to come on that later). I was tired but had so much fun and wouldn’t have traded it. Plus my hip had been hurting so I wasn’t going to go balls out at this triathlon.
Saturday night the Beast and I made a pasta concoction with vodka sauce, turkey meat, and a weird mixture of noodles–lasagna and gluten free penne pasta. It was delicious and put me right to sleep.
Sunday I woke up exactly on time and started my pre race routine: a bathroom break, shaving my legs, shoveling in breakfast and waking up the Beast 15 minutes before we leave.
We made remarkable time getting there but couldn’t find any places open for breakfast (Starbucks was open just for the triathlon but the Beast wanted an egg sandwich). We set everything up before mom and my cousin Allison showed up and then we helped them.
I was starting to get nervous and could barely breath since I felt so unprepared. We had a long wait before our swim start times and chit chatted and tried to keep warm as best we could. Then we were in the pool area and I was jumping in and waiting for the signal.
I kicked off and started steady not too fast and not too slow, keeping a pace I thought I could maintain. I quickly passed the guy in front of me and my confidence surged. My pace remained steady and I passed another person. In the last 50 I passed one other guy rather than nipping at his heels when I wanted a faster swim finish.
There was quite a bit of a jog to the bikes and the guy I passed last caught up to me right before we got into transition. Out of breath but ready for the bike I threw on my helmet and bike shoes (no socks for the first time!!!).
My goal was to be careful and steady on the bike since my hip was doing well and the bike is what irritated it last time. I kept my mom off my butt for a little while but she passed me around mile 7 or so. I also passed a girl in my age group and I felt good. The last mile my hip started to flare up and I backed off to reserve it for the race.
I barreled into transition and thank goodness for the buckets my mom made that stand out! She painted mine blue and wrote MADD on it so I could spot it from far away. I put my socks and shoes on and headed out for the run.
This flat fast course was anything but and it felt like someone strapped cement blocks to my legs. I was moving at a snails pace. We went down one hill and then up a huge hill before the turnaround. For the first mile there was a girl in my age group who was speeding along and telling everyone good job and driving me insane how easy the pace seemed to her so I vowed to keep her in my sights and keep chugging. Turns out she had already finished and was bringing in a friend. I was sad when she found her since I lost my pacer. Then the girl in my age group I passed on the bike flew past me. I was feeling down in the dumps letting an age group award slip through my fingers. But I vowed not to get upset. All I could do was my best and hope for a PR.
My super speedy cousin passed me about a mile in and I saw my mom slightly banged up. She told me she pulled a Maddison since I am renowned for many clumsy accidents.
I just tried to keep going for the run. I had forgotten my watch and didn’t have an idea of my pace. Then as we came up the final hill I heard a girl behind me huffing and puffing and and I thought “Hell no!” I am not getting passed now so I kicked it into gear and trucked up the hill. When we rounded the corner I kicked it into my final gear to cross the finish line.
I grabbed my medal and some water and found my family waiting for me there. I wanted to vomit and cry and laugh. The Beast gave me a huge hug and a salty kiss.
Turns out my mom had tripped over herself on the run and scrapped her knees and chin and bruised her hand really good. She looked hardcore and I cleaned her up while we waited for the EMS guys to get there. I was just so thankful she fell on the run and not the bike and she was okay. She was still beaming and talking about the cheeseburger she wanted. While she was getting doctored up the Beast and I headed over to see the results.
At first I couldn’t find my name and was worried there was a repeat of the last triathlon.
I found my mom and Allison’s finish first and then finally mine.
I had placed. My first triathlon place ever. And I beat my goal getting a time under 1:30. I was so happy. I never thought it could truly happen. It seemed unreal and I felt on top of the world. The Beast was beaming having seen my name beforehand.
Icing on the cake: mom and Allison placed as well, third and second respectively. Going over to see them and telling them was the highlight of the triathlon. My mom’s face lite up and Allison squealed.
There is still a lot of hard work ahead of me to go but this felt so good. So so good.
I am joining my fellow DC ladies for another Five Friday post, and this week is about fitness truths. Make sure you check out Courtney, Cynthia, and <a title="Mar" href="http://www.marontherun.com/"
This Friday’s topic is about places you want to run.
1. Lexington, VA I went to school in Lexington, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah Valley. The views are beautiful, the air crisp, and the hills aplenty. I had a few routes that I did when I was in school and I miss them. Nostalgia at its finest.
2. Out West The Beast and I are heading out west for our vacation in October and we are planning on seeing the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and the Sequoias. I would love to run in each of these places.
3. Charleston or Hilton Head Island My family used to vacation here quite often and it was so beautiful. I wasn’t a runner then but I want to go back and make up for lost time.
4. Any European city. I love history, particularly European history and using a run to see historical sites just makes me giddy. I’m not picky, I’m up for anything.
5. With my dog. I really want to do a race with my family dog, preferably a 5k. She loves running and we take her on almost every run we do when I’m home. She normally does anywhere from 5-8 miles, benefits of a Weimaraner.
I promise I am going to post my race recap of the Groundforce IT Sprint triathlon very soon this week (spoiler alert: I placed third in my age group for my first ever podium placing in a triathlon), but first I wanted to give you all some life updates.
1. I am moving. I haven’t wanted to tell you all because I was afraid I would jinx it, but I am so nervous/excited. The Beast is moving in with me. Yes, for the first time in our seven years of dating we will be living in the same place, in the same city, together. I am trying to mentally prepare for the adjustment now. Besides that, we are trying to find an apartment and pack up both of our current places while selling some items (such as couches and desks) in order to consolidate and find things that we both like. This also comes with the challenge of trying not to gain weight…
2. My hip has started to act up even more, so I am trying to take it easy and I am going to have a sports massage very soon (hopefully sometime this week). I am also going to try to swim more and do some Epsom salt baths while taking running easy in order to accommodate for my bum hip.
3. I am trying to rededicate myself to strength training because I think that this may be contributing to my hip since my hip flexors and glutes are not as strong as they once were.
4. The last one isn’t really an update, but more of an ongoing struggle to lose weight.
To address my last two issues, I bought Lauren Gleisberg’s Total Body Transformation in 12 weeks, and I am very excited to get started. I semi-started last week but had to back off a bit since I didn’t want to be sore for the triathlon. I’m ready to pump some iron again and get back into hardcore training. I am finding myself missing being able to run long distances (which I never thought would happen after finishing the Nike Women’s Half Marathon).
Yesterday I had an amazing speed workout, but my hip started hurt in towards the end. The extreme week of sitting and not standing enough and driving really irritated my hip so running fast may not have been the best workout idea.
Today I decided to take the day off and instead spend the day stretching and icing my hip to prepare for the sprint triathlon this weekend.
Physically I’m feeling much better. Mentally, I feel like taking a day off from working out was a mistake. Besides my one rest day a week taking another day off makes me feel like I’m being lazy, that I could and should be doing more. But today I am putting that side of my brain to rest.
I rented a couple of movies and I’m trying my best to relax. It seems to almost be working now.
What to do you do when you need an extra rest day?
1. I have the worst sweet tooth ever and it is something I need to get under control to make it to the next level of training. It is a constant battle. It is also why I never keep sweets in the house.
2. One of the hardest and most important things to keep in mind for me is that my pace is someone else’s fast and another persons slow. It’s all about what works for me.
3. Moving around when you are at a desk all day is very important. Right now my hips and legs ache from not moving enough this week. I have a new goal of getting up every hour to hour and a half to stretch and move around.
4. Even though working out is very important to me, I have been letting it slip in favor of spending quality time with friends. It’s an important balance to find but right now I need some friend and family time too, which can be hard to find when doing three sports.
5. Improving in any sport takes hard work and I am learning that being comfortable is not the way to move forward and improve. I need to push myself and my limits.
What are your fitness truths?
Ready for some girl talk? Warning.
The Beast likes to call this week shark week, code for that time of the month/your period/absolute and utter misery.
As a woman, I find that trying to figure out my body for triathlons and running and everything is hard enough without factoring in hormones and fluctuating body issues depending on the time of month.
I’ve tried to make notes of my hunger levels, cravings, soreness, headaches, etc in order to keep track of how my period affects me. Because it plays a huge factor.
For me, it means a headache and lately soreness in my hips and legs and lower back. I try not to think about it but normally I move my rest day to the first day of my period in order to give my body complete and total rest.
Everyone’s cycles are different but remember to listen to your body and do what works for you! Right now I am enjoying my rest day by catching up on New Girl and The Mindy Project and letting everything rest.
It’s been awhile since I have done a weekly training recap, mostly because I was letting my training slide and didn’t want to acknowledge it. But what is the point of having a blog to keep you honest about your workouts and eating and what is going right and wrong.
Wednesday: 70 minute trainer bike ride. With rain showers that just wouldn’t quit, I decided to take the opportunity to ride my bike on the trainer. My legs weren’t feeling up to running yet and I missed pumping away on the trainer. I decided to engage my legs a little bit more and tried to push a lot harder while on the trainer including 3 x 2ish minute sprints. Basically the sprints lasted as long as the commercial breaks for the shows I was watching.
Friday: 18 mile HILLY bike ride. Part of my new goal for training is to push myself and my body. So for my long ride this week I decided to add in the infamous Custis Trail. Since I was new to biking on it, I asked someone on the trail if I was heading the right way, and their response was “You know it’s really hilly, right? Like extremely hilly.” That’s when I knew I had chosen the right trail to kick my own ass. I cannot even describe how hilly this trail was. It was like going uphill for almost 3 miles. I couldn’t even make it the full four miles of the trail because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to make it home afterwards. But I did it and I felt good, and now I have a new goal: show those hills who is boss.
Saturday: 2 mile run. 1000m swim. Weight training. Saturday was a lot. I had originally planned on a 7 mile run. Then I wasn’t sure my legs were recovered all the way from the half marathon, so I figured 5 miles at a nice and easy pace would be good to do instead. About half a mile into the run, I felt like complete shit. My legs felt okay, but my lungs were exhausted. I could barely run, let alone keep up a decent pace. About a mile in, I decided to give up and change the workouts for the day because I was only going to hurt myself if I kept going. I came back dripping in sweat probably more than I should have for a 2 mile run at a very easy pace. I changed into different shorts and headed to the gym for my first weight training session in a long time.
Sidenote: I really think that not doing as much strength and core training as I was last fall attributed to my less than stellar performance at the half marathon, so here I am focusing on incorporating it again and not skipping these workouts which are just as essential as running and biking and swimming.
I finished up with a nice cool dip in the pool where I did a 400m time trial after some warm up and exercises.
Sunday: 5 mile speed workout. I arranged with a friend on Saturday to meet at the local high school track for a workout on Sunday at 8am. When I woke up though I really wanted to push it back to get some more sleep but once I was outside, I was really glad to be out there earlier since it was starting to heat up. We started off with a two lap warmup, nice and stead, then did two more laps with 4x20second strides. Once the warmup was done we did our core workout of 6x400m with 3/4 lap recovery run in between. We finished by doing one easy lap then a lap with 2x100m sprints and one last cool down lap and some core exercises. Silly me forgot my watch, so I have no idea what paces I was doing. I went only on pure exertion, and I can tell you right now, I pushed myself. My legs and hips are sore and are happy that I pushed my morning workouts to this evening. They needed a little longer to relax
I promise to be more dutiful in posting. I even have some yummy recipes that I have been enjoying. In particular, I cannot get enough of these bars from runladylike
They are quick and easy to make and delicious. I highly recommend them instead of buying protein bars! I used pumpkin seeds instead of pistachios and cranberries instead of cherries. These decisions were solely based on price. With all the ingredients I bought to make these, I have been able to make three batches so far and I have enough for at least one more batch making these very cost efficient.