Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Un-planned Reminders

I completed a Mindfulness course last winter where they gave us a sheet of stickers as an exercise to keep us from using technology to fill time.  The goal is to let your mind rest instead of always filling it with outside information. These 2 stickers have survived in my car.

They were initially there to keep me from grabbing my iPhone at stop lights, but when M&M asked why they were there I instinctively said that one is Michael and one is Mary. After some debate over who is yellow and who is red, they were pleased to be with me in spirit on my ride even when they're not in the back seat serenading me. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

RJA Memorial Mighty Montauk Triathlon 2014 - Post Race Report

Last weekend were two "firsts" for me: I completed an Olympic distance triathlon and my two awesome kids and husband were there to cheer me on the whole time!  The triathlon was in Montauk, NY at the tip of Long Island.  There were 410 athletes racing – most from NY. 

Packet pickup
It took me almost 2 hours to drive from Southampton to Montauk in heavy traffic.  I bought a cool pair of Reflekt polarized sunglasses in bubblegum pink
They have a great warranty program for broken or scratched sunglasses and will even replace one lost pair! 

Race setup
It took me 45 minutes to drive from Southampton to Montauk at 5 am so I got there bright and early to get a prime spot to place my bike in the transition area.  The winner of the race, Ryan Siebert, parked right next to me and I had some serious bike awe.  
Ryan Siebert - prob got some good luck karma  from parking next to me
I got marked up and then met some nice ladies near me and was able to share my spare set of goggles with a very grateful woman who had forgotten hers.  I did my warm up as prescribed by my coach - 15 minute ride and then 10 minute run.  As we were getting ready to head to the water, I put my wet suit on backwards and at that point realized I was nervous.  As a result of the backwards wet suit I was a bit late and only got a short swim warm up in.  

The 1 mile swim was in the  calm 60 degree salt water Lake Montauk.  I'm not sure of the depth, but I think I could have stood up.  I was in Wave 2 with a large group of women.  I got lucky again and had an uneventful start, passing a large group of swimmers.  My arms felt very heavy at the start and I was greatly regretting not having a full warm up.     

I did the backstroke transition at the buoy turnaround and while it was quite slick I got dizzy.  DOH!   I was drinking way too much water and on the way back started to turn my head higher up to avoid that.  After the turnaround I finally felt warmed up and got into a smooth rhythm.  
My swim leg
When I exited the water I heard Mike’s voice and saw the kids.  I wasn't sure when they were arriving and I swear my heart expanded when I saw their little smiling faces proudly holding their homemade signs.  
M&M displaying their signs
I stopped to kiss their heads, which after the fact Mary said was, “wet”.   I think I would've stayed there longer, but Mike yelled, “Go Mommy Go!”  Mike reported a collective, “Awe” from the crowd.
Transitioning from the swim

I finished the swim in 31:18, which was in 124th place out of 410 competitors.  

At swim transition the announcer was right in front of me and told me to hurry up since I was in the women’s top 10...  HOLY CRAP!  That put some fire under my arse.   My transition tome was 3:47.  Room to improve there.

I had a Cliff block before getting on the bike.  I’m a mess getting clipped in.  There were some big hills at the beginning of the 22 miles bike course leading up to the lighthouse and since it was out and back we got to do them twice.  
The bike.  I messed up the transition on my Suunto watch so it was being recorded as a swim.
I had a chocolate GU on the bike.  I didn't feel like I needed it at the time, but was glad after I had it.  I made myself drink my Nuun water about every 20 minutes.  I could feel the sun beating down on my back and remember thinking I should have applied sunscreen since I was wearing my bathing suit instead of my tri top.       

I get kinda pissy when people pass me on the bike and this race was no exception.  However, my bike time was 1:08:32 which is 19.2 MPH and the best bike performance I've done to date.  I finished in 271st place in the field on the bike though.  So, this is the leg I have room to improve on.  Pedal faster?  Shift more efficiently?  Get a fancy bike?     

My transition from bike to run went pretty well.  It took me 1:33 to rack my bike, get off my helmet, change from my bike shoes to my running shoes and get one last swig of water.    
Running out of transition after the bike

It was HOT.  The sun was beating down on us and the shade in the neighborhoods was sparse.  My legs felt heavy, but my pace was showing around 8:15 so I was encouraged.  There were water stops around each mile and lovely 

At mile 4.5 I walked part of one hill.  I figured I was likely running as slow as a walk and used the time to catch my breath.  I had been struggling with that decision to walk for about 4 hills and it was a tough one.  Can you say EGO? 
My pace and the altitude of the run course
 I talked to a really nice woman as we were finishing the last mile of the run.  She was telling me about how much she loved the Lake Placid ironman.  It made me excited to spectate that race this summer.  I don't usually talk during a race, but this was a nice distraction toward the end of the race.
Run map - which doesn't really capture how hilly this course was
I finished 6.2 miles in 52:42 and came in 171st place. in my age division I finished 4th out of 18 and overall I came in 176th.  Not bad for my 1st Olympic distance tri, but it showed me I have allot of work to do this summer before the half ironman September.
M&M meeting me at the race finish

Mike, M&M and my 2 sister in-laws had an awesome celebratory dinner at Sunset Beach restaurant on Shelter Island that night.  There were some celebs there that I didn't know, and M&M stole the show with some serious dancing they were doing with the DJ.  I'm so happy summer is in full swing!
Grilled octopus

Sunset beach

Lessons Learned
1.  Swim warm-up is important – I got in the water only long enough to feel the cold, not to actually warm up my stroke.
2.   The tri belt is great – but not if it’s adjusted to the right size.
3.       People are nice at triathlons – talk to them.  Make a friend.  Help someone out if you can.
4.       Checklist – instead of worrying if I have everything, I’m making a checklist for next time.
5.       Transition, transition, transition.  Gotta practice getting my wet suit off.  
6. I prefer fruity Gu to chocolatey Gu.
7. Need to work on the bike leg.  
8. Celebrate accomplishments with family and friends.  It's sweeter after a big race.  
9. Have activities and snacks for kids!  OBVIOUS 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blue Apron

This salmon dish was my favorite Blue Apron so far. A Gu after 2 hours of cycling and running wasn't going to cut it. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Last run at 35

My last run at 35 with my best dog Bruiser. 
 I am tapering for my Olympic Tri this weekend in NY and also getting some night runs in prep for the West Virginia Trail Ragnar in 10 days.  I listened to the conference call for the Ragnar tonight and took away a couple key pointers:
  1. There is a prize for best air guitar playing.
  2. There is free yoga being taught be your truly not once, twice, three, four, or five, but SIX times!  BYOM
  3. Should you encounter a bear on the trail you should, stay calm, get big and stand your ground.  Let me put it out there right now that if I see a bear there will be an epic blog post.       

I'm loving my Suunto watch and gathering data from my runs.  Here's a snippit from my short run tonight (notice I forgot to stop it when I got home).
This is a view of heart rate in orange and pace in white