Wednesday, May 4, 2016

April Round-Up

Oh, April. You are beginning to trend stupidly in terms of athletic motivation. Dislike, okay?

Swimming: 12350m (7.67 mi)
Cycling: 193.05 mi
Running: 42.62 mi
Lifting: three sessions (:52)
Other: two yoga sessions (:43), six walks (12:30), one day of yard work (2:00), three stretch sessions (:25)

Okay, so I knew swimming and cycling had a chance to be low(ish) this month because of our Boston trip. That was understood. What I didn't think would happen was apparent house PTSD from last year (or something) that made me completely blah and unmotivated for good chunks of the month. I skipped several workouts and cut others short. Time-wise, I still got in a lot (thank you vacation and Boston being a fantastic walking city) of hours, but it wasn't quality.

I also, as you may have read in the post before this, had a disappointing 5K (side note: I'm calling my second-fastest 5K ever as disappointing????) and a subsequent nice, long, email chat with Coach to hopefully work some stuff out. Initial changes point to positive, so that's good. Hopefully stuff will get better here on out, and hopefully things start turning toward the better in May ...

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Race #3 of the Season: BAA 5K

A.K.A. the race of grumbly-ness.

My desire to crush my ages-old 5K PR is well known 'round these here parts. Given that the BAA 5K was at sea level and pretty damn pancake flat ... I was secretly kind of hoping that it would go down at that race. I had hopes it would ...

We found a fantastic little Greek diner on Beacon Street that did breakfast all day so we could have our breakfast for dinner on Friday night and then, since they opened early enough, we decided to just go ahead and eat breakfast there as well on Saturday morning before hopping the T to the Boston Common for the race.

The triathletes in us are the reason we got to the race site so freaking early, but it's nice to do so because you can hit up the porta-potties, get bag check taken care of, and meet up with friends and not worry about missing the start.

Also you can take pictures.

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Start/finish arch.

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We found Norm and Emily in the park (as well as their friend Sarah) - Norm did AMAZING, coming in third (!) in his age group - talked with them for a minute, did our business, and got lined up.

We decided to run this thing on our own - each do what we could and see how it went.

For me:

- I somehow forgot to start my Garmin. I didn't really realize this until after the race when I went to stop said Garmin, because my goal was to not look at the splits in case my brain thought I was going too fast.

- It was a chilly morning, and that might have screwed with my lungs, but I don't know. All I do know is that I had to walk way more than I wanted to.

- The course goes over the finish of the Boston Marathon. I had tears come to my eyes when I crossed. I know I really don't have much of a desire to run a standalone marathon, but if I do, I want to be able to run Boston.

- I saw Lindsey right before that point - nice friendly face!

- I did not get a PR. Boo.

Final Stats:
Time: 27:35
233/786 division (F30-34)
1377/5033 gender
3386/8708 overall

I knew right after I didn't have a PR because Brandon knew his general time and I was a bit behind him ... we just didn't realize how far behind him I actually was. Later on, when the results were posted, I saw and was heartbroken. A measly 10 seconds better than Colder Bolder? Really? I know I'm better than that.

I know I didn't technically train specifically for this race, but I was hoping for better. I wanted better. I should have had better. My fastest days can't be behind me. I won't accept it.

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Pretty much directly post-race. I was not as happy later on ...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tucson Ride

I was going to post this yesterday, but since Brandon blogged twice (!) yesterday (go check it out!), I decided to publish today.

Back in early April, Brandon and I headed down for a teeny tiny Tucson trip. It was ostensibly to go buy wetsuits, but we didn't take into account the fact that inventory would be depleted from the TriSports birthday sale. Oops. The ones that were available in our size? Well ... not a fan. The search continues ...

While we were down there, we also rented bikes (QRoo CD.01 ... *drool*) and went for a ride around the Tucson metro with Seton Claggett, a.k.a. head honcho of TriSports. He took us on a new path that connects the entirety of the city - you can do a 90 mile loop around Tucson! How cool is that? - with a climb up Starr Pass and A Mountain. 

It was super fun. We didn't stop (besides lights) except near the top of A Mountain so I didn't get too many photos, but I did get a few:

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My bike, Brandon, and Seton looking out over Tucson.

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Me with the A behind me.

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The three of us.

I texted my dad while we were up there - he grew up in Tucson - and he thought it was super cool that we rode up there. I was personally happy that I managed the climb okay ... but on the way down, realized my awesome descending skills don't really apply when the road is super twisty. Things to work on ... maybe.

Great little break in the sun and we need to hop down there again soon!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

1/3rd of the Year is Done - Here's a Report

The year seems to be flying by.  I know, I know, we all say that all the time.  Where's the time gone, blah blah blah.  But I'm serious - it's been a whirlwind!  

I've pretty much run the gamut of emotions so far this year.  I've had some awesome workouts in all three disciplines of triathlon where I feel like I can conquer the world and then some other workouts where I wonder how the hell I'm going to be ready for my Ironmans. It's funny - you know you're doing the right thing and at the same time the self doubt can be so strong it's overpowering.  

It's easy to look at the numbers of what other people are doing for their races and think you're not doing enough.  Hell I could even do that by looking in my own house (T is owning me in the numbers department, especially on the bike).  And let's face a reality - our sport is driven by numbers.  Why log it otherwise, right?  And although I've had the debate rage within myself about "less is more", sometimes, it means nothing.

So anyway, here's my honest to god numbers as of April 26th at 11:03 am:

Swim - 46,300 meters
Bike - 615.27 miles
Run - 159.14 miles

Now I look at those and strangely, I'm not cringing.  I know they aren't big, but I'm not worried.  I have put my faith in my Coach, and she has assured me that what we are doing is building.  Putting in a strong base so that when May, June, and July roll around and the intensity/length of workouts skyrockets, I'll be prepared and ready.  There's wisdom in her words and I'm putting my faith in them.

Here's what I'm looking for in May:

- coming out of the month with confidence.  My confidence this year has been a roller coaster, and if I train in May correctly, I will have soaring confidence.  
- a big bike month.  I don't have a number in mind, but I know if I do May right, I'll feel it.
- the BolderBoulder.  I'm off Memorial Day, so I'll be doing this 10K.  Whether we race it or not has yet TBD by Coach.  I'm 50/50 on what I want the day to be, race or fun.
- Being smarter with my workouts.  I'm realizing some truths here - travel days are exhausting.  Commuting to the east coast, while great for my work schedule, takes its toll on my body and instead of trying to force a workout in those days, it might be wise/prudent to use them as off/rest days.  I also am ready to tackle some 2 a day workouts.  Instead of doing a long run, split it up.  Do a bike the same way.
- Lose some more weight.  My weight is stagnant right now in the high 190's.  It's time to chop a few more pounds down
- this is the most important point in May.  HAVE FUN!

Race #2 of the Season - BAA 5K

Yes, it's been awhile since I've blogged, and there's a lot I would love to talk about; I need to get caught up on my life right now.  

I'll talk about our Boston vacation in a separate post - right now, it's just time to talk about the BAA 5K.

The night before, T and I found a diner to have breakfast at.  Straight up Greek diner, and it was amazing.  Wolfed down some amazing food.  As you all know, breakfast is our go-to pre-race meal and we took full advantage of this amazing opportunity.

We woke up Saturday morning and quickly got dressed.  I put on a new pair of compression socks that I bought at the expo the day before (who knew my calves were only a medium?  Sad day).  We caught the T to the Boston Common.  Although gun time was over an hour away, our triathlete minds kicked in and we wanted to be there early.  

First thing I did was beeline to a coffee trailer.  I didn't even care about drinking it, just wanted the warmth.  I held it for the most part.  Then we walked over to grab our shirts.  They look like a soccer jersey, so while I'm not crazy about it, at the same time, it is pretty cool to wear something with the BAA logo.  After that, we found where gear check-in would be, hit the porta-potties for the first time, and then met up with our friend Norm.  He was planning on starting near the front; I was joking that he was going to win the thing.  He laughed and we all wished each other good luck.  Then we checked our gear in and hit the porta-potties one last time.  The lines were taking forever and we were a bit worried about missing the start, but it turned out to be no problem.

T and I had discussed at length how we were going to race the race.  After the miscommunication we had in the Skirt Sports 5K last year, we elected to just do our race this time.  Since both of us were (conceivably) gunning for a PR this race, we decided we had to do it our own way.  So we split up in the start corral and I put my headphones in.  Normally I don't listen to music while running, but I've done it a bit more this year and am enjoying it, so I decided to go for it this race.  Unfortunately, my headphones were dying and I didn't know if they'd make the whole race so I put them in my pocket.  

We shuffled towards the start as one big collective group.  I started my Garmin and off we went.  I didn't plan on looking at my Garmin all race; I was running by feel.

The Race
As with any big race, crowding immediately became the issue.  Free space was hard to find, and I was blowing by people everywhere I went.  Pretty early though, the crowd separated and I was moving pretty well.  I knew I was running hard, but it wasn't unsustainable; if anything, I could have probably even gone a bit harder.

This course was FLAT.  And when I say flat, I mean flat.  You do runs out here, and there's always some elevation.  This course had none of that, and I was feasting on it.  My opening mile came quickly at 8:52 (I didn't know this at the time) and yet I was feeling great.  I chose to open it up a bit more.

T had started a bit ahead of me, and around the 1.5 mile point, I caught up to her.  I don't remember if we spoke but I remember someone cheering for the skirt sports print she was wearing.  The 2nd mile split was 8:32 but I was still feeling great.

In the final mile, you run down Boylston Street, where the marathon finishes.  As any endurance athlete would, I got a bit emotional.  Knowing I was running the same street that brings so many people joy and that a few years ago brought so much heartache, it just was wonderful.  

The final kick was amazing.  I was sprinting down the corridor and a lot of people were cheering. I coaxed out of my legs what was left in them and hit the finish line.  Stopping my Garmin, I looked back for T as I kept moving through the finish corral and saw her shortly thereafter.  I looked down at my Garmin and saw 26:39, which was only 42 seconds off my 5K PR and my 2nd fastest 5K ever.  I was very happy with that and knew T had a good day as well...or so we thought.

Time - 26:39
Mile 1 Split - 8:52
Mile 2 Split - 8:32
Mile 3 Split - 8:24
.11 split - :50

We got our finishers medals, which is kind of funny for a 5K, but whatever.  We high-fived each other and congratulated ourselves.  T didn't start her Garmin so she had no idea what her finish time was, but we reasoned it was close-ish to mine, about 15-20 seconds off.  We got some Gatorade, got our pictures taken numerous times, and picked up our gear and went back to the hotel.

Later, we found out that T's time was 27:35, nearly a minute behind me.  She was very disappointed.  While I was a bit as well, I reminded her that there was still growth happening.  She had shaved off 10 seconds from her 5K last November and was closer than ever to slashing her PR.  I know she's bummed still but we'll let her talk about it.

So yeah, overall I'm happy with this.  I don't think PRing was happening that day.  Too early in the season?  Perhaps.  Not enough speed training?  Perhaps.  Regardless, I am excited with where I'm at right now in running.  There might be some PRing in me yet this year!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Round-Up

I officially am DONE with my workouts for the day, so I can do this blog. On time! What the what?!?


Swimming: 21100m (13.1 mi)
Cycling: 269.56 mi
Running: 62.04 mi
Lifting: four sessions (:48)
Other: three yoga sessions (:58)

In my February recap, I was hoping for more progress and less exhaustion in March. Progress was definitely a thing (about 6k more in the water, 100 more mi on the bike, about 30 more run miles), but less exhaustion? Ha. There are moments.

I did get sick this month - a cold finally overtook me - and that knocked me out for several days and made me cut a few workouts short. I think I'm finally learning my lessons from years past, though, and didn't push through and took it easy and oh hey, I'm still not sick three weeks later like usual!

Growth. It's a thing.

In general, most of March was 8-9 hour weeks. This week, the month-straddler, I'm scheduled for a little over 10 and so far, so good. Hello, Ironman training ...

And because these posts get BORING, I leave you with this horrible, awful, British earworm that y'all can thank my dad for emailing me.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Back with Skirt!

I've had the announcement ready to go with this for a while, but since I FINALLY went through with my idea for said announcement ...

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That giant collection of Skirt means that yes, I'm a Skirt Sports Ambassador again this year! More importantly, I was chosen, off the recommendation of my fellow Skirts, to be an Ambassador Captain. As I don't have the biggest social media reach (as all 20 of you who read this know ...), I was a little worried about this, but it just proves that there's more than how many blog readers or Instagram or Twitter followers (@tgeist23 for me for both ...) you have sometimes.

So! If you've ever wanted to try a running skirt - the original running skirt! - or get some cute capris, or the brand-new-and-I-can't-wait-to-try Not So Cheeky shorts (shorts with attached compression underneath to eliminate chafing), use my personalized discount code (TG20AMB; also found on the sidebar to your right) to get 20% off your next order.