Friday, August 29, 2014

Final Thoughts on the Go Girl Triathlon

It's been six days since I tri'd and the flurry of training for my upcoming fall half has afforded me the ability to put the race behind me - like really behind me.

Every once in a while, though, when I talk to someone who didn't see me earlier in the week or isn't a Facebook junkie like myself, I am inclined to rehash the details and shrug off the race. I find it a bit awkward as with even the worst running events, I can always say I finished. However, as the week has gone on and the story has been retold, I have been able to reflect without the sting of disappointment. I have been able to think about the day and the efforts and whether it was all worthwhile.

And it was. But I still don't have answers to all of the questions.

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Will I try a triathlon again?  I am quite torn on this one. There is a part of me that wants to prove myself and go back to Go Girl next year and rock the hell out of the race. Another part of me thinks that maybe swimming isn't for me. As I enjoyed the running and biking, a duathlon could be more up my alley. Go Girl had a duathlon option and the triathlon series at a nearby state park has a duathlon as well.

Why did I panic in the water? I have no idea. I have been rehashing this, and I can't come up with a clear reason. I snorkeled on my honeymoon and swam in a cenote. I can tread water like the best of them, and I used to think I was proficient at floating. Neither of those seemed to help during the race. And though more open water experience would have benefited me, I heard women in the swim queue talking about not swimming in a lake and only doing 250 meters in the pool. I had done 250 meters - actually 750 one swim and a solid 500 another. I have no idea why they could do it, and I couldn't. It makes me mad.

Would I try a race with a pool swim? Absolutely. I haven't had any problems in the pool, and I love the idea. I think our YMCA has one in the winter as does another local fitness club. I think no matter what I choose that I would benefit from some swim lessons, and I might take the opportunity this winter to really learn.

Some other notes:

By the rules? The day after the triathlon, I ran with a guy who is training for a 140.2. He told me that swimmers in a triathlon can hold onto buoys and kayaks without penalty. I did read the rules before the race (and after) but I was under the impression that once I touched the kayak that my race was done. I think I might have panicked less if I thought this was an option. Again, I don't know if it was but ...

No. 1! The Go Girl Triathlon was a perfect pick for a first go at multi-sport events. The race was well-organized, the volunteers were very kind and everything went smoothly. There were definitely people there who were in it but, for the most part, everyone was very supportive and relaxed. I liked the location, as well, with Eagle Creek a beautiful place to swim, bike and run. The race had about 500 participants, which was enough that you were never alone but not so many that it was a stampede of women trying to overtake you. If I decide to do another triathlon, it will be this one.

Got my back. I have received so many supportive and kind comments after the triathlon, and I feel incredibly grateful. From friends and family to y'all (yes, I just used y'all) to the social media folks at Tuxedo Brothers, everyone has been quick to point out the successes and not the mistakes. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Weekly Training Update: 8/18-8/24

Morning runner. Afternoon runner. Evening runner.

It seems like when given the choice to define when you like to exercise, those are the three options. Lately, though, I've been thinking that it's far too narrow to classify yourself as simply a morning runner.


Well, you could be an early morning runner, a mid-morning runner or a late morning runner. It might seem like a bit of semantics but as someone who runs almost exclusively before noon, I've noticed that I perform much differently depending on the hour.

Before 6 a.m.: I do at least two runs a week between 5 and 5:30 a.m., and I try to make them easy. While I can get up and get moving, I find it challenging to hit faster paces early in the morning. Case in point: My goal pace workout last week. I could barely eke out one goal pace mile when I was at the YMCA at 5 a.m. A few hours later, and the pace felt much better

7:30 to 10 a.m.: I would call these hours my sweet spot. I have woken up naturally (usually), had a cup of coffee and at least a little something to eat. My brain can process the onslaught of questions I get from Miles. My legs seem to find the paces they need to much easier, and I simply feel more alive.

10 a.m. to noon: It's getting warmer with the sun higher in the sky. As each minute passes, the run gets more uncomfortable. I sweat a lot and the later hour means that I have a 99% chance of being able to ring out my shirt when I get home. Sexy.

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The week, in training:

Monday, Aug. 4

Tuesday, Aug. 5
RUN | 3.59 miles
Time: 33:02     Pace: 9:12
I hit the YMCA early to run my goal pace workout on the treadmill. I slogged my way through the warm up and struggled through one mile before calling it a day.

RUN | 5.1 miles
Time: 43:35     Pace: 8:33
I wanted to finish up the miles for the day, at worst, and get in steady state at best. I surprised myself when I fell into my half marathon goal pace. I had to work a bit at the end but it was oh so satisfying.

Wednesday, Aug. 6
RUN | 7 miles
Time: 1:06:28     Pace: 9:29
Nice easy run with the BRF.

Thursday, Aug. 7
RUN | 5.03 miles
Time: 46:58     Pace: 9:20
Stroller run

CROSS TRAIN | Boot camp

Friday, Aug. 8
Time: 20:00

Saturday, Aug. 9
Go Girl Triathlon

Sunday, Aug. 10
RUN | 12 miles
Time: 1:52:52     Pace: 9:24
Long run with a couple buddies. My friend's plan called for three faster miles so that's what we did.