Saturday, August 29, 2009

Marathon Training Begins

Today I officially started training for the Gasparilla Marathon on February 28. This will be the last year to run this marathon (they are replacing it with a 10k next year), so I hope I'm ready. I want to do this particular marathon as my first because 1) it is pirate themed and 2) they have a Marathon Maiden Voyage option:
Those taking their Marathon Maiden Voyage in Tampa will be issued a Special Marathon Maiden Voyage Race Number, and at the Gasparilla Marathon Finish Line, pirates will be waiting to present a Marathon Maiden Voyage Finisher’s Medal and ring the ship's bell to commemorate the crossing.
How cool is that!? And how cool is this medal?

I went for an amazing run this morning with the Galloway group--my first in months. We did 6 easy miles using 2:1 and I felt great. Next week it's the Trek Tri and that will suffice for my run, but the following week I run 10 miles. I haven't run that in a long time, so I'll take it slow and maybe drop down to 1:1 to ease back into it. I plan to continue biking and swimming for cross training, but will need to make running my focus to be ready for the marathon. My weekly training will probably consist of 2 bike to work days, 1 swim, 2 mid-week runs of 3-6 miles, and 1 long-run on Saturdays. I'll sprinkle other races in the mix to keep me motivated (and hopefully run a sub-30 5K), but I will have to hold back some in order to prepare for and recover from the long runs properly.

Here's my racing schedule (subject to change) until the Marathon:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Race Report: Central Florida Sprint Tri #3 (1:29:01)

I signed up for this race on a whim this morning. Jason registered last week, and Friday morning I began considering joining him, but wanted to wait to see how I felt this morning before committing. I decided to go for it to get some experience swimming in a lake in a race environment. I took some pressure off myself by treating it as just another brick workout -- a very expensive one -- and I think that made the race much more enjoyable. I'm thrilled that I finished in under 1:30.

Official Stats:
  • swim = 12:19 - 15/16 in AG
  • T1 = 3:09 - 8/16 in AG
  • bike = 33:47 - 14/16 in AG
  • T2 = 1:55 - 14/16 in AG
  • run = 37:53 - 15/16 in AG
  • total time = 1:29:01
  • gender place: 124 / 149
  • age group place = 16 / 16
The times and distances listed below are from my Garmin since the official results are based on the advertised distanced (instead of the actual distances I ran/biked) and include mounting and dismounting.

Since I did same day registration, I got last month's shirt. It's a shame that they only had a medium because I really love the design. I think I'm going to finally use my sewing machine to make it shorter so I can wear it. The goodie bag also included a cool license plate cover that we've already put to use. I'll post pics later. After registering, I began my typical pre-race freak out and questioning what the hell I was doing. I got all my gear and headed to the transition area to find I had a great spot at the end of the rack and right in front of the entrance. They were really serious about the rules in this race, down to where and in which direction you racked your bike. We got a rules sheet in our packet describing all the penalties, and race officials were circling the transition area checking bike racks and that the bar ends were plugged. It was a little intimidating to say the least. While setting up my transition area, I met another member of the Trek Tri Meetup group. Registering for the Trek Tri is the best decision I've made, because I've met so many great ladies.

Swim = 400 yards in 12:19
This was my first real lake swim in a race environment, and I did not freak out like I thought I would. I did get tired pretty quickly, which makes me a little nervous about having to swim twice this much at the Trek in just 3 short weeks. I stayed in the back and avoided getting kicked, slapped or run over -- others were not so fortune -- and was 3rd to last out of the water in my wave. Several from the next wave caught up to me before I was done, but I'm ok with that. The swim for me is all about survival. I only turned over on my back 2-3 times, and my time was pretty close to what I predicted.

T1 = 3:09
We had to run a bit from the beach to the transition area, so I think that's where most of this time is coming from. I decided to try not rinsing out my feet and just wiping them on the towel. It worked ok, but I'm not sure I'll do that again. The transition area was on grass, so I had blades of grass and some sand stuck to my feet. The more I do this, the less stuff I bring. This time I decided not to wear cycling gloves and that worked out ok.

Bike = 8.10 miles in 32:49 @ 14.8 mph
The timing mat was at the exit of the transition area before we were allowed to mount. I started my Garmin after I mounted and began riding, so that's why the time from the official results is longer. We had to tackle a big hill at the very start of the bike course, and I saw several people off their bikes walking up the hill. Even though I was taking it easy in this race, I wanted to push on the bike and at least average 15 mph. The hills were not as bad as I expected, nor as frequent, but they were certainly a challenge. I tried to make up whatever time I could on the downhills and flat portions. At the end of the first 7 miles, I had an average of 15.3 mph, but then we had to climb one huge hill. I didn't have enough left to tackle it and my average plummeted. I passed at least 5 people, maybe more, but I lost track. 

T2 = 1:55
I racked my bike and quickly switched shoes, took off my helmet, then grab my hat and racing belt as I began to exist the transition area. 

Run = 2.95 miles in 37:53 @ 12:50 min/mile
I had a pain-free run on Thursday, but I was not taking any chances of re-injuring the foot, so I ran/walked using 2:1 intervals. This worked out well because 2 minutes was about all I could run without running out of breath or feeling exhausted. The run began with a hill, which I walked then ran downhill. The course had 2 out and back portions, and cruelly passed by the finish line just after mile 1. I think I drank too much water because I felt a bit sluggish, but I kept drinking every chance I got since it was so hot. I was hoping to average closer to 12, but I didn't feel like pushing myself more. I just wanted to enjoy this race and take it all in. I began cutting the walk breaks short after the 2 mile mark, and substituting 30s of walking with a slow jog, then I ran the last 1/2 mile to the finish line. 
This was another race with a great post-race spread: bananas, chips, cookies, soda, and hot dogs. I really wish I had done the other 2 races in this series so I had something to compare it to, but I was just not ready then. I'll probably do the entire series next year. I am totally hooked on tris! :)

Race Report: Faces of Courage Reverse Triathlon (1:33:12)


This is the first triathlon for which I registered. I was lured in by the pool swim, and at the time I thought this would be the closest I'd ever get to doing a tri because of my fear of swimming in open water. This is the same reason why I tried a duathlon. I've quickly come to realized that it's easier to get used to swimming in open water and doing a real triathlon, because the easy way out in trying to avoid it (reverse tri with pool swim or duathlon) were not so easy after all.

Official Stats:
  • run = 36:34 - 9/10 in AG
  • T1 = 1:46 - 4/10 in AG
  • bike = 43:47 - 7/10 in AG
  • run + bike total = 1:22:07 - 7/10 in AG
  • T2 = 5:14 - 9/10 in AG
  • swim = 5:53 - 8/10 in AG
  • total time = 1:33:12
  • overall place = 141/159
  • age group place = 7/10
The times and distances listed below are from my Garmin since the official results are based on the advertised distanced (instead of the actual distances I ran/biked) and include mounting and dismounting.

Run = 3.14 miles in 36:35 @ 11:39 min/mile
I took it easy on the run and ran/walked using 2:1 intervals in hopes to keep the foot pain at bay. It still reared is ugly head, but the walking helped. Almost everyone in my wave passed me during the run, as well as most of the next wave (women over 40 are fast!), but I wasn't going to risk further injury to the foot. The course was beautiful, winding through a nearby neighborhood. Not surprisingly, I finished the run 9 of 10 in my age group.

Run Start

T1 = 1:46
As you can see from the photo above, I already had my cycling gloves on during the run, so I just had to swap my hat for my helmet, switch shoes, then grab my bike and go. I had the 4th fastest transition in my age group.

Bike = 10.5 miles in 43:12 @ 14.6 mph
The bike was rough, and I am sad I didn't even average 15 mph, let alone maintain my previous race pace. For some reason, I had trouble catching my breath for the first few miles. I think the run took a lot out of me since I had not been able to run more than 1-2 miles in the past few weeks due to the foot pain. As I struggled to get through it, I remembered MaryLynn's goal of passing 5 people, so I set out to do that just for her :) I passed 7, including 1 guy! =D The bike course was also through a nearby neighborhood (a different one) and mostly flat. Even with the slow pace, I made up some time on the bike and climbed to 7th in my age group.

T2 = 5:14
It makes me laugh that my transition from the bike to swim took me almost as long as the swim itself. I was pretty tired when I finished the bike so I was moving a bit slowly. That still would have netted me a fairly fast transition though, were it not for the fact that I started running towards the pool the wrong way.  Silly me, I ran towards the pool, but they wanted us to exit transition the same way we exited for the bike and run all the way around. I would estimate it was about 1/4 mile.

Swim = 200 yards in 05:53
I was exhausted when I got in the pool, but the water felt so good. I even passed one other swimmer! The pool was at most 5 feet deep, so I could stand up whenever I wanted, and I did a few times but not many. I didn't care for the course -- swimming down one lane, then up the next for a total of 8 lengths. Getting under that rope to switch lanes every length really disrupted my rhythm. Now I have an official baseline for my swimming, but I am sure I can do this a little faster when I don't spend 1 hr and 22 min running and biking. I finished the swim 8th out of 10 in my age group, but still hanged onto my 7th overall age group place.

Swim Start Swim Finish Getting my metal :) I really did this?

Post Race
The post-race spread was the best I've seen yet: grilled burgers and hot dogs! I was feeling a bit ill when I got out of the water, so I didn't take full advantage. I felt better once I ate and we were in the car waiting to get out of the parking lot, but it was too late. After we checked out of the hotel, we feasted on lunch at Applebee's and I had a well-earned huge mudslide :) Even though I think this may be more difficult than a real triathlon, I'll probably do this race again next year. It's a nice change from the normal triathlons and I enjoyed the course.

Monday, August 3, 2009

July in Review

July was a great month. I managed to up my run millage a little bit. I was on track to run more than 40 miles, but then I hurt my foot and have not been able to run much (1-2 miles at a time) for the past 2 weeks. My cycling has been hindered a bit due to Florida fall weather, but I am finally getting back to commuting to work.

My swimming has exploded! I swam 13 times in July, compared to 5 in June, and almost 3 times the distance! I am getting more confident in the water, and I always look forward to my swim workouts. I'm swimming 3-4 times a week now, and loving every minute of it. After completing a sub-sprint tri, and conquering my fear of the open water at Lucky's Lake, I finally signed up for my first full sprint triathlon. I am already hooked :)

July June May
run distance 33.65 miles 21.16 miles 43.64 miles
longest run 6 miles 3.75 miles 5.5 miles
avg run pace 12:54 min/mile 12:05 min/mile 11:56 min/mile
bike distance 190 miles 228.17 miles 161.86 miles
longest ride 45.45 miles 50 miles 21.2 miles
avg bike speed 12.1 mph 12.2 mph 13.6 mph
swim sessions 13 5 0
swim distance 9046 yards (5.14 mi) 2992 yds (1.7 mi) 0

Accomplishments in July
Goals for August
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