Triathlon Swim Testing

I finally made some purchases towards my triathlon goal.  I purchased goggles and a swimming cap to use on my vacation.  When I was in the store and looking at all of the selections to choose from, I messaged a few of my friends to find out what to select from. The advice I got was to try them on before you buy to see what fits comfortably.  I had a limited time to shop for these items, so I didn’t try anything on.  I selected Speedo because I was familiar with that brand.

swimcap

 

My intention was to hopefully get in a few laps at the quiet pool in the mornings before everyone gets up.  That didn’t happen, but I did get a chance to try out my new gear at one of the pools at night while it wasn’t crowded.

To be honest, I didn’t feel stupid when I put them on and got into the pool.  The goggles fit very comfortably.  The cap was ok as well.  Maybe I will get a black one for when I swim in public so I don’t look as dorky!  I did a few practice swims across the pool and back and felt good.  Then I kept doing a few more and realized how tiring swimming is!  I felt a little concerned that I will need to step up my game over the summer to figure out this whole swimming thing.  I had no idea how far we had to swim for the Sprint Tri in September and in my mind I was wondering how long it took the longest swimmer to finish the swim portion of the race.  That is the time I am going to have to beat at least so I won’t be the last one out of the water.

I like swimming with my face under water most of the time, but I am going to have to learn to take breaths at every other stroke or else I will get behind in my breathing and will be more tired.

I also have to figure out the kicking.  Do you kick a little or a lot?  How far is a lap?  How far do we have to swim for the race?  We have a circular 24 foot pool in our yard, I will spend as much time in it as I can this summer going back and forth, but I think I’ll need to research into the YMCA or the North Haven Rec Center to learn about their lap pool and to invest in a cheap Timex watch to help keep track of my laps.

I had my husband video me while I did a lap so I could review it and see how bad I looked and so I could put it out there for critiquing.  So please any feedback would be great!

What I Don’t Know About Triathlons

This year with my one word resolution, my word was to GROW.  Well I think I am going to take the plunge this year and do a Women’s Triathlon.  I was considering doing the one in Norwalk in August, but it may conflict with my schedule.  So today Kim posted about the Hartford Marathon Foundation’s Women’s Triathlon that is good for beginners.  I am way more than a beginner!!  I know NOTHING about triathlons.  The good thing is, it is a sprint triathlon and a women’s only triathlon.

Like I just said, I know nothing, what I do know is, I can run and I can ride my bike pretty well.  Last night when we went to Sports Authority to get a pink batting helmet for my daughter I ventured over to the swimming section to see what they had for goggles, swim caps and bathing suits.  I just stood there at the wall and saw ALL the different goggles and shook my head.

20140424-065908.jpg

 

What do I wear for the swimming part?  A one piece bathing suit?  Is there something special I should buy?

Do I wear a swimming cap?

What goggles do I wear?

How the hell do I swim??

20140424-065938.jpgThen there were the bathing suits.  I figure I can’t wear the cute mix and match bathing suit pieces from Target for the actual swim part. So I’ll have to invest in a one piece bathing suit.  That’s going to be a scary site squeezing my body into a non-flattering one piece bathing suit that doesn’t have a skirt to cover up my booty!  These suits are around $75.00.  I am going to check out Kohls.com and see if they have one piece suits that I can use my coupons for.  My husband already complained that this sport is getting to be expensive!

I listen to a podcast called Two Gomers and they have shared their experiences learning how to train for a half marathon, then a marathon and now they are actually participating in their first triathlon on April 28th.  I have listened to their training and how much they have grown and learned about doing a triathlon.  They have good swimming tips and also recommended a book called “Triathlon Swimming Made Easy” by Terry Laughlin (total immersion swimming)

What do I bring to the race?

How do I set up for transitions?

Do I need a license for USAT?

What is USAT?

This is going to be an interesting summer as I prepare for this race.  I haven’t registered for it yet, but I am planning on doing it.  I already ride my bike at least twice a week.  I have to begin doing a ride, then running to prepare for that transition from bike to run.  Oh yea, transitions…. that’s another thing I am clueless about!

How do I transition from the water to my bike?

Do I get naked and change into riding clothes?

What do I do about my hair?

Will I have goggle marks on my eyes?  LOL

In all honesty it does sound like a lot of fun as long as I don’t drown in the water first!  I’m sure I’ll be last in the race, but as long as I have fun doing it, that’s all that matters.  I will research into the results from last year to see how the other women did.  That will help me have a goal to shoot towards.  I also need to invest in a bike computer so I can keep track of my mileage and pace besides using my iPhone.  I think I need a waterproof watch or garmin type watch to also help me with my splits.

Stay tuned as I invest in this new challenge this summer!  It should be VERY interesting!

Boston Marathon World Run – A Success!

20140419-153342.jpgI ran my Boston Marathon World Run on Friday.  It was a perfect day for a marathon run. My dad watched my kids for me, which I am very grateful for!  I couldn’t do these races and training runs if not for the support of my husband and my family!  I can’t thank you enough for helping me make my dreams come true!  It means so much to me.

The day was a perfect temp, not too much sun and the roads weren’t very busy either! I mapped out my route ahead of time; but while I was out there, I made minor modifications to try to get in a few more mileage in the beginning closer to my house in a less hilly area so that I wouldn’t have to end the route on as many hills that I originally mapped out.  In the end that worked out nicely for me.  I had to end on a gradual hill on Route 17 but it was totally manageable and it was also the same road my husband drives home on so he was able to wait for me.  When he saw me I told him I had 1 mile to go and to pick me up there so I wouldn’t have to walk the last mile home and treck up our hill.  I just didn’t want to do it.  I was already out there over 6 hours and I wanted to be home with my family.

20140419-153408.jpgI felt great.  I did what Jeff Galloway recommended and set my intervals to 15/30 and walked the entire first mile.  When I was trying to go slow in the beginning my pace was coming up around 12 mins/mile.  Jeff recommended going no faster than 15 mins/mile.  I couldn’t slow down at first.  Eventually, I evened out around at 14 mins/mile pace. And when in a grove it would speed up to 13 mins/mile.

While out on the run, I enjoyed my favorite podcasts, Mickey Miles Podcast plays first, then Laugh or Go Crazy, followed by Two Gomers.  I had several saved up so I couldn’t listen to the rest of my favorite podcasts.  I will save them for my weekly shorter runs now and to listen to while at work!  I enjoyed laughing while running.  The Laugh or Go Crazy podcast really had me chuckling at one point and so did the Two Gomers.  I shared this with them via Twitter.  I think it is important to let them know that their podcast does impact our lives.  It’s great entertainment for me while out for 6 hours training!

The Mickey Miles podcast taught me so much about nutrition.  I also learned so much listening to Tara Gidus on the mickey Miles podcast that I am going to write a summary of what I took away from it and may consider hiring her as a nutrition consultant for my training.  She is VERY knowledgeable on the subject of nutrition and training, supplements, vitamins and much more.  Of course she should be, she’s the official nutritionist of runDisney!

The Laugh or Go Crazy podcast topic was about Living the Dream.  Are you living your life as if it were a dream and you are doing all that you dreamed of doing.  Are you handling the good and the bad as best as you can?  Life won’t always be perfect, there will be hard time and then there are the good times.  Are you making the best of your life?

The Two Gomers are on a quest to do the St. Anthony’s triathlon in St. Petersburgh,FL on April 28.  I am so proud of them.  They are way ahead of me in terms of stepping out of their comfort zone. They have talked for years about stretching out there and wondering if they would ever do a triathlon.  Their podcast has giving me the nudge to get on my bike more and I’m also working towards trying a new race this year.  I hope I fulfill my New Year’s one word resolution  and GROW towards that.  If anything, I am cross training with my bike which I hope helps with my running.

I’m very glad my training run was so successful.  I am not sore at all.  I did as Jeff recommended and didn’t have to rush home to pick up Adrienne from school so I was able to slow down my pace like Jeff said and it really makes a difference.  I haven’t run this weekend because I was busy with the kids, sports and the Easter holiday, but I could have easily gotten in a 4 mile run with hardly any leg issues if necessary.  I am heading up to Boston Monday for the marathon and hope to run in the evening or I’ll have save it for Tuesday.  I’m looking forward to watching the race and soaking in the excitement and using that as the fuel towards my quest to qualify for Boston one day!  If I can’t get there on my own within 5 years I will try to go on a charity bib.  But I want to earn it ON MY OWN!  It’s going to be the hardest thing I ever try to do.

20140419-153352.jpg

Providence is two weeks away and I’m looking forward to getting a PR for my marathon time and growing towards my next goals for this summer!

 

 

I Want To Ride My Bicycle, I Want To Ride My Bike

Look at that Gorgeous view!  I took these pictures at the Gouveia Vineyards.  I have the pleasure of either running or biking just 3 miles from my house to this beautiful area.  I took a bike ride up to the vineyard last evening and took these pictures.  I can’t wait until the vines start growing more and I will do it again and get pictures of the lush grapes growing and the green leaves on the trees.

I have been enjoying taking my bike out for little rides during the week.  I need to step it up and do some longer rides and build up my mileage.  Biking for me is a great complement to my running.  I felt different muscles working while I was riding the hills and I need that to help strengthen my legs to avoid injuries.

It is also important if I wish to participate in a biking/running event at some point this year.  I am still researching into a run/bike/run race or a sprint triathlon that I can register for this year in my state.  I’d have to use my mountain bike for  it because I don’t have a street bike.  I’d love to get a street bike but that will be an expensive purchase right now that I don’t want to invest in.

Do you know if any sprint tris or duathlons in the state that are good for beginners?

I Took My Kids Out For a Run

My daughter has been asking me when she can go out for a run with me.  She’s 5.  My son doesn’t really have an interest in going far.  He’s more of a sprinter.  At the WDW kids’ races in January, my son took off like a rocket and left my daughter and husband behind while he went for the finish line.  That’s great!  I love that.  So last night when I was getting ready to go for my run I told the kids to get themselves ready and when I came back I’d take them out for a run.  “In the street?!”, they asked.  I said yes.  They jumped up and down and cheered and clapped.  They were going on a run with mommy in the street!

I did my run and came back to get them.  Of course they didn’t have their sneakers on yet, but we got ready and hit the road.  My daughter was ready to run the entire distance up our hill.  My son who was just recovering from a fever the day before and who suffers from terrible allergies and allergy induced asthma ran about 10 steps and said he wanted to walk.  I knew that was going to happen.

I told my daughter to run to the next mailbox and we’ll meet her there.  We continued this to the top of the street.  Then we turned around to head home.  I thought running downhill would seem easier for the kids.  Adrienne chugged along with her ponytail blowing in the wind, a smile on her face and her arms swinging by her side.  My son complained that his legs felt tight, his side had a stitch and he didn’t want to run anymore!  LOL,

It’s all good. I know my daughter has it in her to do the distance, I know my son is a sprinter.  I also know he came along with us because he wanted to spend the time with me.  Next time I’ll wait until he is feeling better and maybe even just leave him home or bring his scooter!

Providence Marathon Training – 20 mile run

This past Friday I did my long run to prepare for Providence.  As usual I was anxious about it during the week prior.  I had been under a lot of pressure with work, my son had a stomach bug over the weekend, my daughter had one on Wednesday and I wasn’t feeling all that great either.  I had only run on Monday and didn’t have any gas in my tank to consider going for a run on Wednesday considering how crappy I felt.  And I NEVER skip a run.  I knew that in order to make it out for my run Friday I had to just suck it up and take care of myself.  I had a great night sleep the night before my run and that was a savior for me.

The morning of my run was beautiful.  I got the kids off to school and then hit the road.  It was 45 degrees with wind but the sun was shining, the sky was blue and the spring birds were out.  I was determined to have a positive, good run.

20140323-141706.jpg

Jeff’s training plan was to do 15/30 intervals.  I walked the entire first mile, then started my intervals.  I had set my timer to 30/1:00 intervals.  I did that for the first 4 miles.  My endomondo tracker was stating that with my pace it would take me 5 hours to finish.  I started to worry because I had to get back home in time to pick up Adrienne from school.  So I changed my timer to 30/45.  My pace was pretty quick considering it was a long run, but I was feeling very fresh.  It was good that I had those days off prior to my run.  I really needed them.

My total run took me 4 hours 29 minutes.  I was happy with that time, and my plan for the marathon is to do a 5:30 marathon, which is a big stretch for me.  My route ended with some hills at the end, but I pushed through them despite tired legs so I think if I push at the end of the race to get some speed I may make my goal.

20140323-141741.jpg

I did experience some pain in my hamstring behind my knee that night which concerned me.  So I used ice, heat and tylenol to keep it at bay and so far so good.  I do NOT want to repeat physical therapy again like last year.  I know I had it because I pushed faster for this long run.  In my next 2 long runs I will make arrangements to have Adrienne picked up from school so I can continue using the pace and intervals that Jeff has written for me.

2014 Race Calendar

While it is already the middle of March, I sat down with my pencil and race calendar to map out what races I am planning on attending for the upcoming year.  This needs to align with the training plan Jeff Galloway has set up for me for this spring and then what we will plan for the summer months.

racecalendarOne of the races that I didn’t plan on doing but decided to last minute is the Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half & Legends 4-Miler.  The reason why I wasn’t planning on doing it was because I am doing a 23 mile run days prior to the event so I can’t do the half marathon.  However, I realized there is a 4-mile run with the event so I can do that as my shake off run.

I also chose to do this run because like the name of it says, there are Legends attending this run, and one of those legends is my trainer, Jeff Galloway.  Amby Burfoot and Bill Rodgers will also be attending this event.  Once I heard Jeff was going to be there I HAD to register!

I am looking forward to seeing Jeff again, meeting Amby and Bill, and looking forward to this inaugural race!