8 Weeks of 140.6 Training in Condensed Form!

9 mile run

Wow, its been a very long time since I’ve posted about training and racing but I’m going to ignore that little nugget of truth and act as if I’ve been posting all along!

Ironman Lake Placid training has been in full effect despite the lack of writing. I started with my coach at the beginning of March and we were pretty cautious with my ankle, calf and achilles considering I was still recovering and figuring out what was going on. Thankfully, I’ve been on the mend and able to run fully now.

A little recap since training has started:

Week 1:

-Swim: 2900 yards

-Bike: 1:25 (trainer

-Run: 3 miles

Week 2: 

I attended the Rev3 Team Summit in Virginia so this week’s training was way off.

-Swim: 0

-Bike: 18 miles (test)

-Run: 3.5 miles

Post summit I flew to Vegas for 6 days and got some more training in there

Week 3

-Swim: 2750 meters

-Bike: 11.11 miles in Red Rock. 1,000 ft of elevation gain in first 4 miles!

-Run: 0

Red Rock just outside of Las Vegas-kicked my butt!

Red Rock just outside of Las Vegas-kicked my butt!

Week 4 – Back to the grindstone!

-Swim: 3700 yards

-Bike: 2.5 hrs

-Run: 6.2 miles

Week 5 – April

-Swim: 2400 yards

-Bike: 32 miles + 1 hr trainer

-Run: 7.1 miles

Tri specific shoes from the best sponsor: Pearl Izumi!

Tri specific shoes from the best sponsor: Pearl Izumi!

Week 6

-Swim: 1900 yards

-Bike: 71 miles

-Run: 8.42 miles

Lovely tan lines from 40 mile ride

Lovely tan lines from 40 mile ride

Week 7

-Swim: 1850 yards

-Bike: 45 miles + 1 hr trainer

-Run: 18.2 miles

Now we just passed Week 8 of training and it was race week. I trained through the St. Anthony’s Race and was pretty sore heading into the race. Looking back, my swim numbers just aren’t there. A lot of it has been weather related (we don’t have indoor pools in Fl!) or spring break related. The pools have been super busy with the snowbirds’ grandchildren coming to visit so when I do swim its like an open water swim dodging kids and swimming in waves!

9 mile run

9 mile run

Last week was a very good week of training. The previous weekend I had a 9 mile run in the morning on Saturday and a 45 mile ride on Sunday which was also Easter. When I woke up on Sunday, I had zero motivation or energy to do that ride but I eventually got my act together and got on the bike. Once on the bike, I headed north into the wind and was still questioning what I was doing on A1A during a holiday battling a strong headwind rather than battling a strong mimosa.

Once I made the turn at Wabasso to head South to Ft. Pierce I felt a lot better and my legs started to come around. I finished the ride feeling great and very happy about the big mental workout I had that day.

Getting over that mental hurdle was huge for me and so glad I didn’t cave to my inner voice telling me to go back to bed, to push the ride to the afternoon, etc.

After that ride, I had a rest day Monday and headed into race week. The goal during my recovery was to get to St. Anthony’s as my first triathlon of the season and to be able to the Sprint race. I made it to race week feeling stronger than I expected to.

Last week’s summary-Week 8

-Swim: 5100 yards

-Bike: 1:20 trainer ride, hill repeats where I learned I need to focus on these! + 10.82 miles in St. Anthony’s Race

-Run: 8.82 miles + 3.1 miles in St. Anthonys

I will do a separate St. Anthony’s Race Report but I am pretty happy with my results especially considering I wasn’t really running much until 3 weeks ago.

Channeling Rev3 Teammate Jen Smalls prior to St. Anthonys

Channeling Rev3 Teammate Jen Smalls prior to St. Anthonys

Now its Week 9 of training and I’ve got 2 races in the next 6 weeks, both out of state. Rev3 Knoxville Olympic and Ironman Raleigh 70.3. Neither are on easy courses so they will be good indicators for me regarding Placid. As my training progresses, my mind is shifting from the fast, shorter course racing I’m used to to slower, managed racing where the objective is to finish the distance, enjoy the day (as much as you can!) and learn during the journey.

I’ve got a total of 21 weeks of training and I’ve already completed 9 weeks. Its going quickly and has been a test of mental and physical will but I’m learning as I go and am enjoying reaping the benefits.

Putting the Pieces Together

I haven’t posted a blog post about training or anything related to it for quite some time, basically because there hasn’t been much or any training other than a trail ride here or there. I have been to a doctor twice now to attend to my achilles/plantar issues and seems to be really helping (knock on wood) but since I don’t have a race in the immediate future, I am not allowed to run. This is so I can properly heal things and work on biomechanics.

I found out that I was not engaging my glutes, that they were being bypassed and supported fully by my hamstrings. I also found out that my plantar issues probably have nothing to do with my arch being flat on my left foot and the 1/2″ leg length discrepancy as its been that way since I was 13 years old and broke my femur. Having worn a lift in my left shoe for the past several months hasn’t helped and has actually probably made things worse.

First swim of Ironman Lake Placid Training-From yesterday

First swim of Ironman Lake Placid Training-From yesterday

Now I’m focusing on rebuilding my arch, strengthening my toes and firing my glutes. I have been attending various yoga classes and have really enjoyed going to them. I wen to hot yoga Tuesday which helped clear out some lingering soreness but man was I sore the next day! But it was in a completely, “oh thats a good sore” feeling.

Ironman Lake Placid is 156 days away with Ironman Raleigh 70.3 exactly 100 days away. I can’t believe that but my official training with my coach kicks off March 3. Its time to really get back into gear, start eating better, getting to bed earlier and becoming reacquainted with my tri bike and the pool.

In the midst of all of this health stuff, I am in the process of closing down my physical retail store so I can focus on sport event management opportunities. Its been tough owning a retail store but I have learn a lot in the process that I know will only benefit me in the future.

USAT

Later today I am traveling to the panhandle to attend a 2 day conference so I can receive my USA Triathlon Race Director Certificate. I’m excited about this conference as there are only 20 of us and we are all tri-geeks talking about events!

I know by attending this conference, my fires for triathlon will be stoked which should really help propel me into my training. I’ve got a one-on-one coach for the first time who lives just 40 minutes south of me and who is also doing Ironman Raleigh 70.3 so I’m excited to see how he pushes and challenges me this season. I know its going to be tough but I’m looking forward to the challenge and getting back into race shape.

Sorry for such a rambling post but its kind of how life has been recently, just a bunch of little pieces here and there getting put together. I will be blogging much more often as training starts and I get more familiar with my new Wahoo Fitness Kickr! For now, I bid a do.

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Are You Inclusive or Part of the 2%?

Before Snowpocalypse happened yesterday across much of the southeast (except in most of Florida where it was ridiculously warm and humid), Meredith of Swim Bike Mom wrote a very raw and personal post titled “An Unworthy Life” about where she is currently in her triathlon life and how sometimes she feels like she’s not a “real triathlete”.

Meredith trained for and completed Ironman Coeur d’Alene last year and has been doing triathlon for a number of years, starting with a spin class at a local gym lead by her former coach, Coach Monster. When she found triathlon and the beginning of a new sport (she did olympic weightlifting previously), she started her blog which has morphed into multiple outlets and partnerships with legit companies such as All3Sports.com but with these partnerships and public appearances, there have been critics along the way, some louder than others.

Coach Monster during spin class.  Source swimbikemom.com

Coach Monster during spin class.
Source swimbikemom.com

When Meredith writes about these experiences she does so in a very honest, exposing way. I would say 98% of the people who read her posts are fully supportive of her but its the 2% who feel, for whatever reason, that she is not a “real triathlete” and make their voices magnified with their negativity.

runner_saying

I say bullshit to those 2%. Just because she is not a size zero or a podium stalker doesn’t mean she didn’t cover the same, exact 140.6 miles that the guy who placed first in his age group did. Whenever I read about these 2% encounters, they typically come from guys who I believe are deep down threatened by her success or are questioning why they aren’t partnering with brands like she is.

“Well, the dude behind me, who I have known for a while, said, “Wait. Are you sponsored or something by All3?”

It wasn’t the question that made me cringe… It was the tone of his question.

And the tone felt mean.”

Meredith’s blog speaks directly to me quite frequently. While I may not have kids and a husband to juggle like she does, I too don’t always feel like a “real triathlete”. I’m not a size zero or two nor do I think I ever will be. I wear a size large tri top and shorts and I’m fine with that. Sure I would like to trim down some and I know that will happen when Ironman training starts in a month but I can get through a course pretty quickly and have even placed in my age-group.

As a business owner at the age of 28 I’ve had my share of doubters and critics. Now, I’ve never been one to deal with criticism in the best of ways, having the ability to just let it roll off my back easily but I’m learning because I have to, otherwise, the critics would win and I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing.

“You own an endurance sport nutrition store and have never done a marathon?”

Yes, I do and no, I still have not done a marathon but I am doing what I want to do with my life and have the experience and knowledge to back it up.

So I ask, when did triathlon and sports in general, go back to being exclusive rather than inclusive?

For years, we made strides as a country to desegregate on the field, provide women the opportunity to play high school, college and professional sports and to allow those from other countries the opportunity to find a better life in the US through sports. Our society has gone to one extreme with regards to kids sports where every one gets a medal or trophy so why are we going to the other extreme as adults? Can’t we find a happy medium for all to enjoy sports and grab a medal if they place and not worry about who is participating?

It feels as if we take a step back from this progress when someone voices their opinion as to why someone else would want to be involved in a sport because of their size or lack of speed. I ask those 2%, does someone else’s participation really take away from your experience? If you are so fast, then you don’t have to worry about the person behind you…right?

confined

More and more women (and men) are finding triathlon and running and these women (and men) come in all shapes and sizes, will inevitably race at different speeds and will change the sport, for good. For a long time, its been dominated by 15% body fat, speedy guys but thats just because the sport started with those guys and I am so glad they did start the sport! However, we are seeing a wave of change in who is participating and we should welcome this change with open arms not snicker behind someone’s back and make a comment about their intentions. We are seeing this change because our nation is waking up to the fact that we are not so healthy and are shortening our lives by being inactive. This wave of change is much needed and necessary so we can provide good role models for our kids and to be around for our grandkids and family.

So with that, welcome to the sport of triathlon, I welcome you with open arms!