I’m Back-Hello 2015!

Happy 2015! Wow, I can’t believe how long it has been since my last blog post; seriously, I thought it had been only a couple of months but low and behold its been seven! I last posted about my sorrows and woes regarding Ironman Lake Placid in Heaps of Frustration. Well, a lot has changed since then and I am back on the road to becoming an Ironman, only this time I’m taking my racing abroad, to Canada, that’s abroad right?!

Ironman Mont-Tremblant is on August 16, just two days after my 30th birthday so I decided earlier this year to kick off my dirty thirties with a lil jaunt in the mountains of Quebec alongside thousands of my closest spandex wearing friends (who are just as crazy, if not crazier than me).

Before I get too far into this Ironman business, I feel the need to recap the end of 2014 some and at least document it before I forget everything that happened (seriously, I have to write everything down).

August 2014

  • Moved back to Jacksonville.
  • Competed in the Tour de Pain. 3 races in 24 hours of various lengths.
  • Competed in the World of Beer 5k-My birthday present to myself.
  • Memphis completed his first Monday night run at World of Beer.

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September 2014

  • Competed in the HOT Sprint Triathlon. Good enough for 2nd in my age group.
  • Traveled a bunch for work.
  • Registered for Ironman Mont-Tremblant.

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October 2014

  • Raced in the Evergreen Pumpkin 10 miler that was mostly in a large cemetery.
  • Ran around Washington DC on a work trip.

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November 2014

  • Used my failed Lake Placid spot to go do Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas half marathon. Not my best 13.1 miles but a fun one with friends and family nonetheless.
  • Did my first Thanksgiving run back in my hometown.

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December 2014

  • Took some time off from racing and training. Ate a lot of holiday cookies, drank some great beer, traveled to NYC for work for a week.
  • Enjoyed Christmas with my family. Rang in the New Year in Jacksonville.
  • Became a Nuunbassador! More to come on this…

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Since January 1, 2015, I have been back on a training plan, working towards my first triathlon which will be in March at the Great Clermont Triathlon. This is an olympic distance race in the hills located outside of Orlando and yes, we certainly have hills here in Florida!

I am about 1.5 weeks into this first training block and it has been going pretty well despite some chilly weather we’ve had recently. Jacksonville even saw snow flurries earlier this week, albeit I did not. So here’s what I’ve been up to since the new year rang in:

Thursday, 1.1.15

  • 1,000 yard swim (only swim so far this year, womp womp)
  • 30 minute trail run with a friend (his first trail run ever!)

Friday, 1.2.15

  • 30 minute trainer ride
  • 30 minutes of at home strength training

Saturday, 1.3.15

  • 1 hour of trail running. I’m trying to adhere to zone 2 HR for runs which on this day was very difficult to do because it was unseasonably warm and humid. Only covered 5 miles in 60 minutes. Can’t remember the last time that happened but the theory is if you train at a lower heart rate for several weeks, you can ultimately train your body to go faster at lower heart rates. We shall see!

Sunday, 1.4.15

  • 1 hour on the trainer.

Monday, 1.5.15

  • 30 minutes of strength training. Tried a new business called Timed Exercise. Without getting into details, I will not be returning.

Tuesday, 1.6.15

  • Rest day. Team dinner at V Pizza, seriously my favorite pizza place in Jax.

Wednesday, 1.7.15

  • 45 minute trainer ride
  • 3.26 miles at the Wednesday, Mellow Mushroom group run.

Thursday, 1.8.15

  • 1 hour RPM cycle class at the Y

Friday, 1.9.15

  • 1 hour yoga class at the Y. Preparing for Saturday’s 10k race.

Saturday, 1.10.15

  • Best Damn Race 10k. Race report to follow.

Sunday, 1.11.15

  • 26 mile bike ride on Baldwin Trail. Went a little bit further than I should have but felt good. Even got rained on for part of the ride.

Overall, I’m pleased at how training has gone thus far. I’m just getting acclimated again to training and organizing my day. My true Ironman training plan starts on March 1 but with an early season tri, I have to get my butt into gear. I look forward to staying on top of this blog and noting my thoughts and experiences through this process of becoming an Iron(wo)man. I hope you’ll join me by reading whenever I post 🙂

PS Shout out to my brother in law Kevin who completed his first marathon today at Disney! He and my sister caught the running bug when I started to train and document my running so I’m excited to have been somewhat of a catalyst in his big accomplishment! Way to Kev!

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Heaps of Frustration

I’ve been going through a lot of emotions since making my decision not to press on with my Ironman Lake Placid training. For over a year, that race has been stuck in my mind, nudging me as I wake, sneaking up on me during runs and sometimes pounding me over the head when making race arrangements but then it all suddenly disappeared and I no longer have this gigantic goal standing in front of me and I have very mixed emotions about it.

On one hand I am relieved because I can’t will my body to get better. In fact, I’m over a week into the antibiotics and am almost done with them but things aren’t totally in the clear yet so I’m headed back to the doc’s tomorrow morning.

With this relief though comes a huge sense of frustration on multiple fronts.

Frustration with such a goofy “injury” to have me not be able to continue on. Its not like I broke my arm or rolled my ankle badly but when your saddle area is infected, it has to be able to heal and things like running and biking too soon can only prolong the “injury”.

Frustration with not knowing how the rest of the season looks. Once I got through with Lake Placid, I was going to have fun but keep training for the rest of the season. I’m registered for Rev3 Anderson Oly and Rev3 Florida 1/2 Iron but things future wise are so up in the air that I can’t even make plans a month out from now. I’m a planner by nature but this is even beyond my normal idiosyncrasies.

Frustration with leaving a lot of time out on the Raleigh 70.3 course. I don’t think I’ll do a full race recap because I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on that race and just know that I didn’t have a great day out there and that a 6 hour race time is definitely do able. Several factors contributed to a less than ideal race.

1. I cramped with about 200 yards left in the swim. I went to clear my through of phlegm and coughed so hard my calf cramped. Prior to the swim, I realized I hadn’t taken my salt stick tablet and that it was in my bike box. Not a great way to start things off.

2. Just 15 miles or so into the race I heard a noise resembling a flat rear tire. Mentally, I was trying to keep it together so I hopped off quickly and inspected the bike. Nothing was found which was so odd because of the noise but I was thankful. Around 40-45 miles on the course, I went to change from small to big ring and the chain dropped. Off the bike again to grab the chain and get it back on. Grease all over the hands and girls I had just worked on passing passed me.

3. Saddle issues. The bane of my existence. I was ok for about 20 miles but once we started climbing and into the wind nonetheless, things did not go well. Moving centimeters set things on fire and I was not a happy camper. Like I mentioned in my previous post, had I needed to go 1 more mile on that bike I would have called it a day.

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4. The bike issues caught up with me on the run as did the heat and the lake water. My stomach was just so full of air and gas that I kept having to stop to dry heave. I have never walked so much in a run or race before but it was all I could do to keep things under control with my body. I got through the run on flat coke and water because as I made my second lap through downtown Raleigh, it certainly wasn’t the crowds since everyone had left and just us last wavers and some older guys were still out on the course, in the hottest part of the day no less.

5. With all that being said, I want redemption at Raleigh and hope I can do so next year. Its a good and fair course and one that I want to give another go at. Final time for Raleigh 70.3 was 6:33

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So since Rev3 Knoxville and Raleigh 70.3, I have been on an emotional and physical roller coaster. I have never felt super strong this season nor have I felt real confident. Both of these are unusual for me. I know there are several factors to this: fall and winter achilles tendonitis/plantar fasciitis, up and down workouts where I get on a roll and then something happens (foot cramps towards the end of the swim, saddle doesn’t cooperate) and my training plan gets altered and I don’t reach my full potential, and a general questioning of why I was doing Ironman Lake Placid in the first place.

I haven’t spoken about this much at all because there were times where I would get really fired up about the race but there were many more times where I questioned what I was doing and why I was doing it. This is not a good mind sight for your Ironman training. I know I want to do the 140.6 distance and do it to my satisfaction but a lack of training partners, injuries and general feeling of progression kept those thoughts swirling around my head.

Another big part of these lackluster feelings has been weight. I don’t like to talk about this just like most women don’t but I have gained weight during the Ironman training. Even though I’m not really training right now, I have lost weight. I went into Raleigh a lot heavier than I would have liked which I know affects my speed and race time. This has been super frustrating and something I am working on with my coach and family.

During this long distance training I have found I miss the speed and fun of triathlon. Since I was injured going into this training, we had to kind of skip over the speed stuff and my times have suffered because of it especially in my running. Not getting my tendonitis under control sooner really put things behind the 8 ball.

The run has always been my strongest leg of the race but this season I have no base to rely upon and have seen my times hang where they used to when I first started running. This has been really tough mentally as I know I am capable of running low 8 minute miles but I haven’t sniffed those times all season.

While I’m feeling more confident in my swim, its not reflecting in my swim times and it has become discouraging to keep coming out of the water to empty racks around me because I’m towards the back. I’m always playing catch up on the bike and run.

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I know with hard work and focus, I can turn these two things around, especially my running. While I haven’t been able to run or bike for the past 2 weeks, I’ve been swimming and have done two of my longest swims yet both in the ocean so I am pleased with that. I’m going to really start studying the swim stroke and work on my technique because I’m finding that my lungs are really good right now so I know I’m not taxed but something else is out of whack.

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Typically, when I need to burn off steam I exercise; so now that my steam burner has been cut off, the anxiousness increases. Yesterday it seemed as if all of my triathlete friends were racing or training really well. It was killing me knowing that I too should be doing that but couldn’t. My fire for triathlon has been reignited however so I’m really happy to have that feeling back.

I’m crossing my fingers and toes that I can get back on the road soon and start to piece together my second half of the season and start to work towards my new goal of Cozumel in November. That course suits my training efforts here in Florida much better than Lake Placid does and it is easier to travel to and enjoy than Placid as well. Right now, I guess I have to just keep being patient as my parents say, though my whole life I have had significant trouble with “being patient”!

In the mean time, my fundraising efforts continue for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation in memory of my grandfather. I am having a local yard sale soon and am looking forward to not only decluttering but also generating cash for the MMRF from the sale.

Until next time…..Just Keep Swimming.

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PS I did get to swim with two sea turtles during my swim this past Saturday and it was such a cool experience. It definitely made my day and helps me get back into the ocean now that its turtle season so I can hopefully see more!

Rev3 Knoxville Race Report

Sunday, May 18, I woke up to unsteady legs but tried to put that out of mind and start to prepare for the walk down to transition. I decided to put my wetsuit half way on in the hotel to keep warm which was definitely a good choice. I gathered my bag, jacket and plugged some music in.

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Since I was doing the olympic, transition closed later for us but it was weird walking to transition as there was hardly anyone around; everyone was at the river or already in transition. I had plenty of time to pump my tires, check my bike, set up transition and double and triple check things. I said hi to teammates, watched the pros come in and out quickly and cheered teammates who were already out of the swim headed onto the bike.

 

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Eventually it was time to make the long walk along the Tennessee River to the dock outside of Calhoun’s Restaurant. The more we walked, the more nervous I got. It seemed like such a long distance to swim and I was worried about the temperature as I was cold the day before. I just wanted to get in the water and acclimate but I had to wait until my wave, the last wave, was called. Thankfully I had some teammates around to help ease my nerves. I chatted with girl who was doing the olympic distance for the first time and was experiencing her first open water swim. She was handling better than I was! She made a good point “everyone is struggling the same”. I remembered that during the race. Sometimes, even though you have done these things for quite some time, your mind decides to go funky on you.

The last wave was called and I hopped in the water. It didn’t take my breath away quite like the day before. I swam to the start area and just kept taking deep breaths and tried to enjoy the scenery around us. I did pee before the swim and let me tell you, that made me very happy! The horn sounded and we took off.

I started in the middle, a couple of rows back and just started calmly. We had to swim about 400 meters up stream, make a right and then another right to swim down stream. This is the first swim in quite some time when I didn’t feel that exhausted feeling during the start. It gave me a boost and I just kept swimming. As I made the turn back down stream, the river pulled me to the center, further from the buoys and shore. I tried to get closer but it was difficult and it made me swim 1 mile instead of the .9. As I crossed under the bridges, I knew I was nearing the end of my swim and it made me smile. I never had to pull up and catch my breath or question what I was doing. I only choked on water once! I reached the dock, had an excellent volunteer literally pull me from the water onto the dock and off I went up the ramp, unzipping my suit and running.

Swim: 34:06, 16/19 AG

T1: 2:40

Transition was bustling with racers and spectators. I had some trouble with my wetsuit getting over my timing chip but otherwise things went smoothly. I was warmed up and knew I didn’t need my jacket which was a smart move. The beginning of the bike was along the river and then out of Knoxville. Let me just say, this course was hard! It was technical and steep with lots of climbing and not many flat areas. I would love to try this course again and see how I do with more hill training.

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At some points I was going 5 mph up a hill and then later going 30 mph back down. While its fun going down, the air temp was about 57 degrees and caused my feet to freeze since I don’t wear socks while biking. Luckily my hands were okay and my legs were fine. I tried to stay on top of my nutrition but that river water was lingering! As we came back into town, it felt like all we had been doing was climbing and we had several more steep hills to get to before T2. I tried to keep a high cadence getting into T2 to get ready to run. I had no idea how my legs would be feeling!

Bike: 1:31, 10/19 AG

T2: 1:49

I racked my bike and got my sock and shoes on. My jacket I had left covered my bib and I started to leave without it but luckily a teammate was there to remind me to grab it.

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Made a right hand turn out onto the street from T2 towards Neyland Stadium where the FLORIDA GATORS have upset the Vols on several occasions 🙂 Anyways, the run course was pretty quiet heading out since I was in the last wave but getting towards the park, I started to see teammates coming from the other direction so it was fun to high five and cheer each other on. My feet were bricks for the first three miles but I tried to ignore it. The weather could not have been more perfect for running and biking. Nothing like Florida, thats for sure! I walked some of the aid stations to drink down water and flat coke as I did not want my gel I had with me but knew I needed some source of calories. I know the flat coke will come in handy at Raleigh and Placid.

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I hit the turn around kept thinking about the last mile that was uphill leading to the finish line. I was feeling good but my quads were starting to tighten. As I got up the hill and closer to the finish line, I heard people saying “go girls, you got this”. Apparently I had a girl from my age group lingering off of my shoulder. Right when we went to turn into the finisher’s chute, she cut the corner and I saw her calf and just cursed under my breath. She blocked me and and then we went to sprint and I had no kick left. I am not a sprinter! I knew it wasn’t for a podium spot but I hardly have girls pass me on the run! I don’t remember really crossing the line, just stopping all of the sudden and putting my hands on my knees wondering why no volunteers were coming up to me. They made me walk to them!

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Run: 57:51, 11/19 AG

Total: 3:07, 11/19 AG

I got an iced Gatorade towel and my medal and staggered out. I found my teammates and started rehashing the race. Everyone seemed in pretty good spirits afterwards. I was happy with my race effort as I knew that bike course was tough, especially for not having much hill training under my belt.

My goal was to go sub-3 hours but I walked some transitions as that is what I’ll be doing in Raleigh and Placid and had a slower time on the bike due to the course. It was a great Olympic race as a tune up for Placid and has provided me with confidence for the swim heading into Raleigh.

Overall, it was a great weekend in Knoxville and a race that I certainly plan on coming back to. I want to see how much time I can shave for next year! Now, its time to focus on Raleigh as we’re 4 days from race day! Just 60 days til Lake Placid, holy moly!!

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Team Rev3 and Wattie Ink post race party

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Beeson got 2nd in his age group and 11th overall for the Age Group Championship!

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