Monday, August 27, 2012

Live.Love.Tri Race Report


This is my second year doing this all-women triathlon.  It's a reverse sprint with a serpentine pool swim at the end.  The run is hilly and partly off road.  The bike is also hilly.  It's a local race, taking place about 10 miles from my house.  A few posts back, I wrote "I think the run will be slower and the swim and be roughly the same.  If I'm going to see improvement anywhere, it would be on the bike..."

Packet Pickup

Packet pickup was the day before at REI.  Last year I was in the first wave, that time they seemed to assign waves by sign-up date. I was curious what wave I'd end up in this time, thinking that they may have re-thought that strategy.

The swag bag included a very cute purple technical t shirt with the logo.  It's a women's cut and it fits great. I rarely wear race t-shirts ever again, I loved the technical tshirt from last year and it looks like this is the same brand, so I'll definitely be wearing it.Woot!  They also had some other merchandise for sale, I ended up buying a long sleeve cotton hooded tshirt.  Looked like it would be great to lounge around in.

I was assigned #640, wave 6 of 8.  Uggh.  I wished that I would have been in an earlier wave.  However, they were starting by age group and I'm no spring chicken, so wave 6 it was.

I went home, gathered my stuff and got ready for the next morning.  Then I loaded my bike up in the car and tried to get a good night's rest.

Race Morning

I arrived at the race site at 5:45 and racked my bike in the dark. They had assigned racks by number as well. Mine was not on an aisle, which was a little disappointing.
I found my friends and we chatted for a bit.  Got body marked, chipped, and waited for our respective waves for the start.

It was chilly when the first wave went off, but got warmer as the sun came up.  They wouldn't let us back into transition, or I would have dropped off my arm warmers.  I had been wearing them when it was cooler, but was fairly certain I wouldn't need them with the wave 6 start.

Run (2012 - 32:39, 2011 - 31:13)

I am very familiar with the run course and it is not one of my favorites.  It's hilly and partly off road and it basically sucks. Last year I did more hill training for it.  My knee doesn't seem very happy with hills these days, so I haven't trained hills very much.  As a result, I was expecting a slower run time and that is what happened.

It didn't take long to overheat from the arm warmers, so took them off and just carried them.

 My average pace was ~10:32 min/mi, pretty much what I expected under the circumstances.  Age group placing, 19 of 34 on the run.

T1 (2012 -1:08, 2011 - 1:28)

Last year I felt like I took too long in transition.  This year I tried to speed things up and managed to make up some time here.  For example, I don't run with sunglasses, but I wear them when I cycle.  I decided to put them up on my hat while I was running and then push them down on my face coming into T1 to save some time.

Bike (2012 - 42:15, 2011 - 44:00)

This is where I expected to see improvement, and I did.  I passed a lot of women on the bike, but most weren't in my age group.  I felt strong.  I don't think I've realized my full potential on the bike yet, I hope to see even more improvement next year.

Can you spot me in this photo?  Hahahah.  My safety cone orange shirt makes me visible from far away. That's actually the point, so cars can see me.

One thing that I'd like to mention:  the police out on the road were awesome.  I tried to thank each and every one of them.  They had traffic stopped for us at intersections, round-a-bouts, etc and I felt very safe out on the road.

My calculations had this as a 10.5 mile (hilly) course, so my pace was something like 14.8 mph.  Age group placing, 14 of 34 on the bike.

T2  (2012 - 1:40, 2011 - 1:15)

Made an error in T2 that cost me some time.  It was a reverse tri with a pool swim last.  I usually wear a tri top for something like this, but decided to go with a technical t over a bra top this year. In T2, I needed to rack my bike, remove helmet and sunglasses.  Remove shoes and socks.  Remove tshirt. Grab cap and goggles.  Only I forgot to take off the shirt!  I realized this as I was entering the pool building.  For a moment, I considered swimming in the shirt, but I had the number pinned on using pins only at the top.  I was sure that the number would flip up and cause me all kinds of problems, so I had to take off the shirt, run back to my bike, toss the shirt, turn around, and head back to the pool.  I think that debacle cost me something like 30-40 seconds based on proximity of my bike to the pool and the speed at which I thought was moving. Oh well.

Swim (2012 - 10:05, 2011 - 9:51)

This is where being in the 6th wave was most problematic.  It's a serpentine swim, meaning up and back in each lane, under the rope to the next lane, and so on making your way from one end of the pool to the other.

I'm a stronger swimmer than runner or cyclist and found that there was nowhere to swim!  I passed ladies every time I was at the wall.  It seemed too dangerous to pass in the middle of the lane with people going both directions and risk of head on collision. It was incredibly frustrating.  Every time I got past someone, there was someone else in my way.  Eventually made it to the other side and climbed out. Collected a hug from my husband and my finishers necklace and waited for my friend to finish.

Age group placing, 10 of 34 for the swim.

Post Race Thoughts

My overall time was 01:27:47, a whopping one second faster than last year. Hahahaha! It would have been at least 30 seconds faster, if not for my T2 error. Overall I'm pleased with my performance, given my lack-luster training for it.  Overall age group placing:  14 of 34.

This race is a ton of fun and one that I hope to do again next year.  I did email the race directors to thank them.  My only constructive criticism is that if there is *anything* they can think of to reduce congestion in the pool, it would be a welcome change.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

We are T-2 days from Live.Love.Tri. I'm getting nervous/excited. This morning I did an easy 2 mile run, followed by an easy 8 mile bike.  I've been thinking about going to the pool as well, but haven't gotten past the thinking about it stage.

I have also been thinking about what I might wear and have come up with the following

Black mini-dots bra top, black sugoi tri shorts, florescent orange top (to be removed after the bike for the swim), chocolate hat for the run, and  funky animal print arm warmers *if* I need them, which I'll decide that morning.

The photo shows my running shoes.  Of course I'll also have my bike, bike shoes, helmet, & sunglasses (not pictured).  And swim cap/goggles.

Packet pick-up is tomorrow afternoon.  Last year I was in the first wave.  I think it was determined by order of signing up, not by age groups or run pace.  I signed up fairly early again this year, we'll see which wave I end up in, that may be the deciding factor on the arm warmers.  Later waves will be warmer as the sun get stronger. The race starts at 7. There are 8 total waves, each starting 5 minutes apart, so that last wave will be at 7:40.

Transition opens at 5am.  I'm going to try to be there at about 5:30.  Eek.  That sounds early.  

What am I forgetting?!?!?!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Miscellany

We're two weeks into sabbatical now and back home for a bit.  We've crammed a lot of fun into the first two weeks.  At this rate, I'm going to need a vacation just to rest when it's time to go back to work!

One bummer, though, is that both of my dogs ended up with Kennel Cough after this last trip to the kennel.  I'm going to try to do something different next time we go, having a pet sitter come several times a day so I can leave them at home.  I think if they can eat their own food, keep taking vitamin supplements, not have the stress of the kennel, etc it will be better for them.  Plus, I don't want them getting sick again and I don't want to infect other dogs if they aren't totally over this by the time we leave again.  Sigh.

My Sprint Tri is this coming Saturday!  Over the weekend, I had a nice long run (8 miles = long run for me right now) with my running partner.  Then on Sunday morning before church, we ran and biked the course.  She just bought a road bike and it was her first time out on it.  My neighbor was also there (actually, she's the one who suggested this) and she is on a relatively new road bike as well.   I felt like I was bringing up the rear while we were running, but I was clearly the leader on the bike. Sometimes I forget how far I've come.

I haven't been swimming much.  In my defense, I've been travelling.  But I really need to get into the pool a few times this week just to maintain confidence.  At this point, the swim will be what the swim will be.  It's the last part of the tri (it's a reverse), I'm going to try to treat it as a cool down.  

I'm not sure if I can better my overall time from last year on this course, but I'd like to.  I think the run will be slower and the swim will be roughly the same.  If I'm going to see improvement anywhere, it would be on the bike, but I'm really unsure how that will play out.  No matter what, I hope it's fun!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The accidental 5K

So...We're in Indianapolis for a few days, came to see the DCI finals (drum corp).  I vaguely remembered that when I was searching for things to do in the area a few weeks ago that I saw a 5k. My recollection was that it was on Sunday, the day we are leaving, but I decided to do a quick search online anyway. Low and behold, I discovered that the race was on Saturday and only a block away from our hotel!  We had packed our running clothes anyway, so we quickly decided to sign up online Friday morning.

I hadn't packed my Garmin and was a little nervous about that, but figured running "naked" for a change wouldn't hurt me.  Turns out it didn't help.  Without it, I had no idea if I was running to fast or too slow or just right. The altitude in Indianapolis is much lower than central New Mexico, so running by feel wasn't working out for me either.

I ended up finishing in 28:42, a 9:14 pace.  That's slower than I was hoping, but still good enough for an age group award, 3rd f45-49, 142 overall out of 302 runners.  Not bad for an accidental 5k!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tri Training progress (plus winner)

Cycling is going mostly okay.  I rode three times so far this week, short 8.0 mi ride on Sunday, longer 28.0 mi ride on Monday, and medium 14.0 mi, but hilly ride on Wednesday.  Our sabbatical has started and it's nice to be out riding during weekday mornings when the trails aren't as crowded as they are during the weekend.

I have been getting to the pool, not as often as I had hoped, but I am getting there.  I'm fairly confident that I can get through the swim at the upcoming tri without incident, it just won't be fast.  I wish there was something I could do to make swimming laps not so boring.  Back and forth and back and forth.  Uggh.

I've also been doing okay with my running/walking.  So far have run twice this week.  Once on a flat surface, and once on the hilly course for the event.  And I've added an extra 1-2 mi fitness walk every day.

Next week I have a bike/run brick planned.  Ick.  I know I need to do it, but still.  Ick.

Winner:  The winner of my Planet Gear giveaway is....Ronalee.  Congratulations!  I will forward your email to the folks and Planet Gear and they should be contacting you shortly

Saturday, August 4, 2012

SYTO Virtual 5K

My running partner and I decided to run a hilly trail route this morning in preparation for the upcoming women's sprint triathlon in a few weeks.

We actually ran the course twice, one the 'easier way' (two shorter uphills and one long downhill) and once the 'harder way' (in reverse with two shorter downhills and a loooooong uphill).The high today was 91deg.  .

For the purposes of the SYTO 5K, I'm counting the first pass which took us 35:02, about 11:29min/mi.  On race day for the tri, I hope to do this closer to 31 mins, however this was actually a good pace for me for a training run.  And I definitely sweated my thorns off.

At this point, we're planning to run this again on Tuesday.  And then maybe once more before race day.  

Overall, I appreciated having this virtual race today to motivate me to get out and run this route today!  Much Thanks to The Boring Runner!

Oh, and if you haven't already, check my last post for details about a Planet Gear giveaway that I have open until end of day Monday, Aug 6th.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July Tally and Give-Away!


  • 178.4 miles by seat
  • 118 miles by feet (74.5 miles running, 43.5 miles walking)
  • 2400 meters swimming
  • 1 race (5K)


  • I'm quite pleased with the month of July overall.  I got some good cycling in, plenty of time on my feet running and walking, and finally got into the pool.  Plus I ran my 2nd fastest 5K ever.  Good stuff!


  • Keep on keepin' on!  This was a good training month for me; I want August to be equally good.
  • Be prepared for Sprint Triathlon near the end of the month. 
  • Keep building base toward September 15K chocolate run.  
  • Run hills and make a decision about early September 10K trail race.
  • Enjoy Sabbatical! Make every day count.


  • The kind people at PlanetGear.Com have offered to award one reader of my blog with a $25 gift certificate to be used on their site.
  • What is PlanetGear.Com, you ask?  They're an online store aimed at active women that takes on four brands each week and sells items at up to 70% off.  
  • It's a members-only site.  You need to sign up to view their sales.  Members can also choose to be notified each week when sales start to know what brands are coming in the upcoming week's sale.
  • I happy to think this concept is fantastic!  I've joined their site myself, but haven't actually purchased anything yet.  I've seen a few clothing items that I was interested in, but they were sold out in the size/color that I wanted before I could order.  I saw a duffle bag that I thought would be useful for my upcoming triathlon, but I waited too long and then the sale was over. Next time a sales starts, I'm going to check it out early on.  Things seem to go fast.
  • Want to win?!  Here's how
    • Visit their website, blog, or facebook site and leave me a comment on this post telling me what you think about their business concept.  If you don't have a blog, you're welcome to enter, but make sure I have a way to get back with you if you win; I'll need to supply an email address for the winner to PlanetGear.Com.
    • Leave your comment by end of day August 6th.  I'll choose one person who comments at random on August 7th.