Monday, August 30, 2010

Official Olympic Photos

Thanks go out to Portraits by Cris Photography, responsible for all the images you see here (yes, they're (c) PBC) and the snip tool in Windows Vista, without which this post would not be possible. Any funky formatting is thanks to Blogger and its craptastic format for uploading photos from one's computer.

The first set of photos are of Brandon; set two is of yours truly.

Brandon starting his second swim lap.
Brandon flashing the photog some ... sign ... while on the GOOD portion of the bike.

Brandon chugging along on the run.

Brandon on the run ... looking like he's in some pain.

Getting ready to touch the finish sign.

Crossing the finish mat.
So there's Brandon. And even though I'm in the midst of dealing with captions ... OMG I HATE BLOGGER SO MUCH. Now pics of me. Yay.
Not looking great on the bike.

Looking a little better on the bike.

I'm surprised this actually shows me running. I didn't notice photogs on the run course.

One of the few times I was able to pick it up a bit.

On my final sprint. Look at that crazy left arm muscle!

Attempting to hit the watch ... which was waterlogged and ended up dying. Stupid Timex.

Crossing the line while successfully hitting the watch. Yay.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Race #5 of the Season: RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon

First things first: This is going to be a loooooooong post and part one of two. Part two will be official race photos.

Our triathlon story starts the night before when Brandon joined the ranks of the shaven-legged.

Leg Shaving the Brandon
With full hair.

Slowly but surely, the hair came off.

Leg Shaving the Brandon
Starting the process.

Leg Shaving the Brandon
Partially hairless.

Leg Shaving the Brandon
The start of the hair pile.

Leg Shaving the Brandon
One leg almost entirely hair-free!

Leg Shaving the Brandon
Oh the hair ...

Hair free, it was time to pack up the car and go to bed.

Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early. The park opened at 5:30 and we wanted to be there at the open. We ended up running a bit late, but only got to the park about 10 minutes later than intended ... and there were still like 40 cars in front of us. That was the first sign we thought we might be outclassed.

We got into transition ... which already had several people set up. We decided to quickly snag spots (on an end on the main row - woo!) before heading to pick up our packets and whatnot.

RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
Blurry bikes!

RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
See? It's still dark out.

Spots claimed, we headed down to packet pick-up.

RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
Sun rising.

We hit the bathroom, got our packets and headed back up to transition. We wanted to take our bikes for a quick spin to warm up our legs a little. One of my cleats seemed loose in the pedal, so I went down to the Wheat Ridge Cyclery tent to have them check it out. The cleat wasn't loose, but something was a bit off ... the dude made some adjustment to my pedal, told me I may need new cleats soon (figured as much anyway) and that clipping out may be a bit harder now since stuff got tightened. I didn't care as long as the slide-y feeling was gone and it was.

Bike all fixed, we went on that ride and then finally decided to get body-marked and once and for all figure out what the hell we were exactly doing on the swim course.

RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
Brandon marked up.

RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
Crawdad spotted in the res. Yep, he was sitting in a spot which several hundred triathletes would soon be invading.

RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
Me marked up.

At this point, my mom and Brandon's parents had made it to the Res, so we chatted with them briefly before going up to transition one last time to get ready. Brandon got his wetsuit on and we both snagged our goggles and swim caps, sunscreened ourselves and put on some last minute Body Glide. Transition then closed and we all trucked down to the swim beach for the start of the race.

Like Cheyenne, RattleSnake let us get into the water first and swim around a bit until it was time for our wave to start. Since I didn't have a wetsuit, this was particularly awesome as I could get acclimated to the water ... not that I really needed to because the water was the warmest it had been all season - same as My Way or the Tri Way last year. Go figure.

After a quick dip in the res, we took a few more pictures and soon it was time to start.

RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
Brandon and his mom.

The Swim:

Like Cheyenne, we had a time trial start for this one, too. As Brandon explained in his post below, the swim was technically a two lap course - go out, swim around the buoy, come back to shore, hop out on dry land, cross the timing mat (no cheating!), swim back up to the buoy, hang a right instead and finish the triangle back to shore.

Given that it was a loop course, you encountered a ton of people on the swim. On the first lap. On the second lap. On the final. I have never been swum over so much in my life. I'd done a lot of open water swims this year (comparatively speaking) so that was good, but I think the best way to prepare for a tri is to find a whole bunch of people, force yourselves to stay at the same pace and just swim all over each other.

Yes, it sucked. No, I didn't like it.

That being said, I felt pretty good at the first loop. I knew I was behind a whole lot of people (a trend that kept steady throughout the whole race), but I was feeling all right. The worst part of the swim was the back half - the water was definitely choppier and I was inhaling a lot more water. Luckily, I've basically learned how to deal with that and not choke and hack in the water as in years past ... but it was still pretty rough.

Lap 1 Time: 18:48
Lap 1 Rank: 415
Lap 2 Time: 21:15
Lap 2 Rank: 415

Time: 40:03 (418th overall)


My mom didn't get many race photos, but she did get one of each of us coming out of the water toward transition:

RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
Look at me go.

RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
Brandon looks so giddy.

T1 went a lot smoother in this race than in Cheyenne ... although not putting on bike shorts over wet legs helps a whole lot with that.

Overall, not much to say ... though it did suck knowing there were a lot of bikes gone out of transition already. But, basically, it was in, out, on the bike.

Time: 1:48

The Bike

The bike course at Aurora Reservoir races sucks. I'm just going to go ahead and say that right now. You first have a hill leaving the transition parking lot, go down a mini hill to the main road ... and deal with more hills on your way out of the park.

Unlike Tri Way last year, though, this course didn't take you out the main Res road straight to Quincy. Instead, we went on some side road, looped it around to some other side road and finally out to Quincy. A little after that first turnaround, I saw Brandon; this was probably about three miles into the race. At that point I knew he was going to have a faster time than I.

Still, I kept plugging. Kept plugging when we got back out on Quincy. I was feeling fairly good, big ring-ing it whenever I could and STAYING in it whenever I could. I accomplished this fairly well until the turnaround at the halfway point.

At which point I realized, F. Headwind. Baaaaad headwind. Didn't even really realize I had a tailwind going out until I turned into that massive effing headwind.

Needless to say, the second half of the bike sucked. I managed to get about one crack cookie in me (no-bake cookies; so wonderful) as well as some Gatorade, but, as I later found out, it wasn't nearly enough fluid. Still, at least I was putting down some nutrition on the bike - something I had never really done before in races.

Fighting the hills was worse too, as I finally had to go into baby ring around mile 16 or 17 (shortly after i saw brandon, incidentally. i saw him about a mile away from the turnaround). It also didn't help seeing the dwindling number of people coming the other way ... knowing I was definitely near the bottom of the group (and i'm typically a mid-pack racer). Also not helpful: my right leg starting to ache right where your hamstring attaches to your butt ... crotch getting sore (damn tri shorts) ... hills.

The best part of the bike, and I still maintain this over a week after the fact, was the probable good race karma I got by handing off one of my gels to a chick on the bike who somehow dropped half her nutrition. I knew I wasn't going to eat it and had another for the run, so why not give it to someone in need? We kind of illegally rode together for a while to make the hand-off, but eh.

The bike also got a good quote as I passed some guy after we turned back on that weird side road.

Him: "Usually, I'm happy to get out of the water. I never thought I'd be even happier when I get off the bike!"

Yeah. It sucked that much. UGH.

Time: 1:44:32 (14.2 mph; 418th overall)


I was moving a little slower in T2 than in Cheyenne ... although that might be because I tossed on a bit more Body Glide (like in between my toes. weird, but i need it there). I dunno.

Time: 2:21

The Run:

This run was my second official 10K ever after BolderBOULDER earlier this year. It was also a lot suckier than BB was.

We saw the parents very soon on the run; Brandon's mom made a cute sign cheering us on and seeing it did actually help a bit ... not that you can tell in this photo.

RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
Yes, I was still running at this point. Not that it would last long ...

RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
Brandon on the run.

Though I had initially hoped to run quite a bit of this run ... it wasn't to be. Fairly early on I had to stop and stretch out, due to that bike soreness. Very soon, the run became a run/walk. I ate my gel (chocolate hammer; it's like pudding!) within that first mile, I believe. I ran as much as I could (mostly on the uphills ... 'cuz i'm weird like that), but it was a lot of walking. I stopped at every aid station for water. I tried the Gatorade ... but lemon lime just doesn't do it for me. Yuck.

The 5K point was a happy point ... partially because they had pretzels and I was feeling the salt crust on my face and I wanted to get some of that back in me.

Shortly after the halfway point, I saw Brandon. We stopped and chatted for a second; we both learned the other was in pretty rough shape. I was convinced he was going to catch up to me as he was MAYBE a quarter mile behind me. Little did I know how much he was hurting (or about his bathroom needs).

The halfway point also provided a brief energy and confidence boost that was sadly short-lived. Still, I kept plugging along. I briefly chatted with one guy, mainly about how the crappy wind from the bike kinda felt good on the run from a cooling standpoint. He noticed a bug on my back (probably a damn grasshopper; bastards are everywhere this year) and brushed it off, which was much appreciated.

The miles continued to tick by and the running was harder and harder. At the last water station (so a mile to go), the volunteer said it was downhill the whole way ... which was a total vicious lie. Turd. That last mile also felt like the longest mile of my life. Oh dear god.

I kept checking my watch ... waterlogged and half-dead as it was (freaking watch) ... knowing that 3:30 was a lost cause at that point, even though I was kinda hoping for it. Since that left, I was hoping for just under four. It was ugly.

Finally, though, the finish was in sight ... where Mom got one of the most awkward photos of me running. Ever.

RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
I'm mid-arm swing. How weird does this look? I mean, seriously.

How I managed to pull my traditional sprint across the finish line out of my ass I still don't know. The Australian announcer guy loved it though.

Time: 1:17:33 (12:31/mi, 446th overall)

Overall Time:
429/482 overall
200/236 female
34/39 division (F2529)

Soon after I finished, Brandon came running across.

rRattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
Woo mmrraammraa!

Final Thoughts:

I'll keep this short as I've already taken up way too much internet with this stupid post. Long story short ... this race was the hardest thing I've ever done. It also taught me the importance of two things that were either neglected or, imho, poorly executed this year - bike/run bricks, and cycling in general. Good lord do I need to get stronger on the bike. And ride in wind and crappy weather no matter what.

In a sprint, it's short enough that you can will your way through. I feel like I kind of did that here, but there's no way in hell I'll be able to do so for a half or full Ironman (which are definitely on the future agenda).

The best thing I took out of this race was that I know I'll be able to do the half-Iron distance swim, as it's only a third of a mile more. That? Doable.

Miscellaneous Photos:
RattleSnake Olympic Triathlon, 8.14.2010
With the sign Brandon's mom made for us.

Ice Bath
Ice bath later on.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rattlesnake Olympic Tri Recap

Since I've been quite busy since our tri (seriously, I've worked a lot), I haven't gotten around to blogging about it yet, but here it is! My tri recap! Bear with me, this post is going to be long, monotonous, and maybe even boring...please bear with me.


Leaving the House
We woke up that morning at 4:00 a.m., way too effing early to be getting up on a day off for both of us. But whatever. We had the car pretty much packed the night before, so the morning of was pretty easy in terms of getting most of our stuff together. We made our respective race breakfasts and ironed out the details with T's mom about how to meet up with my parents, who had flown out to observe us participate in the sport we have come to love. That all taken care of, we left the house about 15 minutes later then we wanted to, but still in plenty of time.

When we arrived at the reservoir, we noticed a ridiculously long line of cars waiting to get into the park. And it was just 5:30! Everyone had our idea and got there ass early as well. Bastards! I'd estimate maybe 25-30 cars were ahead of us. We parked the car and decided our best move would be to quickly get our bikes to transition, so at least we'd have a spot staked out in that regard. After a dude checked out our bikes making sure everything was in order, we hustled in and found a spot in mid-transition and right next to each other. I'm 3-3 in that aspect of triathlons, that I get to share my transition spot with the other member of Team Baby Dinosaur. Our bikes racked, we hurried back to the car to get our transition bags and other goodies.

As we were setting up our transition area, I was looking around at the competition. It was insane the people that were participating in this! It's safe to say that we we were stepping up leagues, for sure. If doing a sprint tri is the equivalent of Single A ball, this was definitely AAA, with some of the players having done stints in the Majors. I saw Ironman bikes, Zipp wheels that cost more then I have in my Roth IRA, Ironman transition bags, triathlon club jackets...and the list goes on. Needless to say, it was more than a little intimidating to us both.

We hit the porta-potties for the first time that morning, then went down to the packet pick-up/body marking/chip pick-up. We didn't get body marked that moment, but we did grab our chips and our race numbers. We then headed up to the transition area to take the bikes for a quick spin. T was having some slight cleat issues that morning, so she had the volunteers from Wheat Ridge Cyclery take a look at it. She might be needing cleat replacement soon, but other then that, no big deal. We walked the bikes out, then quick hopped on to spin our legs. Felt really good.

After we came back into transition, we fine-tuned our transition stalls and hit the porta-potties again. Transition was getting really busy at this point, and we were getting closer to race time. We took a walk down to the water to map out our path from leaving the water to transition, and at this point, I called my parents to find out where they were. Turns out they were just getting to the park, so I told them to meet us on the beach.

We tried figuring out the swim course, which was comical, considering there were probably 5 of us talking, and all 5 of us had a different idea how it worked.'s how it worked. Follow the yellow and green lines. That was our swim course. We swam out around the far buoy, turned around, came back to shore, got out of the water, and then went out and around. The red X marks where we were officially done with the swim. Yeah, that was complicated....

At this point, we met up with my parents and T's mom, and we chatted with them for a few minutes and took some pictures together. I'll try to post those shortly. Then we headed back up to transition to prepare ourselves for what was about to come.

I put on my wetsuit and grabbed my swim cap and goggles. I took one last look at my transition stall, and made sure everything was set up the way I wanted it to be. We both then left transition and headed down to the water. We stopped by my parents, who had staked out a picnic table for the time being and took some more pictures. We chatted about the best places they could be during the course of the race, and then the National Anthem came out. In honor of my friend Joseph Horatio Zebedee Urkel Remington Xanadu Almington Ezekiel E Honda Yerdon CXXVIII, Esq., I yelled RED during the National Anthem since he does that as well. I gave a nice SIOUX when it came time for home of the brave, then we worked our way to the swim start.

It was a wave start, and it went females first, then males, in order from oldest to youngest. So I was pretty much going to be one of the last to start. T was going near last for the females, but still way before me, so I hung by her while she waited for her turn. My parents were also there, taking pictures. She got a 3-2-1 GO and she was off. I hung out, watching her head bob in the water, then I lost sight of her. I chatted with my parents a bit more, and then I got lined up. I talked with one other guy who was laughing and joking with me that it was just another training swim. I said goodbye to my parents, heard 3-2-1 GO and off I went. My Olympic tri had begun.

The Swim
I had practiced this scenario about a week prior and had figured out a great way to enter the water, one that worked for me the best. I jogged towards the water, and as soon as my feet hit the water, I walked in. I have figured out this keeps my heart rate low and my body/mind focused. There's no need to get yourself panicky before you even get your swim underway. When the water was up to my chest, I lifted my feet off the bottom and I was off!

So remember how I was chatting with that guy in line? He and I stayed together for at least the first 200 meters. It was a great way to sight. Every time I looked to my right, there he was. We were both dodging slower swimmers as we churned our way through the water.

Also, if you remember my recap from the Cheyenne Sprint Triathlon, I struggled in the early part of that swim, but I was able to overcome it by talking to myself and slowing it down a bit. This tri, there were no struggles. There was no worrying. I was pulling myself through the water with ease. My breathing was ridiculously solid, considering I was fighting a cold that morning (forgot to mention that earlier). When I turned around to head back in for the first time, I was shocked at how well I was doing and how many people I was passing. I saw people doing all sorts of swim strokes and people all out of whack on the swim. It felt so ridiculously satisfying to see how far I had come in the swim.

When I got out of the water for the first time, I saw my dad take a picture. I repeated my routine and walked into the water again, this time to head out for a bit longer. I didn't have my sighting buddy this time, but my sighting this particular morning was simply ridiculous. I was traveling in a straight line, and again, passing people left and right. When I made the turnaround to head back towards shore, I was getting a bit tired, but still felt amazing. I wouldn't say I was getting stronger as the swim went on, but I definitely wasn't losing significant time either.

As I got close to shore, I dropped to my knees for a couple seconds, just to let my equilibrium stabilize and to take a few breaths before I jogged up the hill to transition. The guys helping people out of the water seemed in a hurry to get me out of the water, but really, I was in no rush. I need this time, and I will allow it every time. I jogged out of the water, saw my mom holding a big green sign cheering us on, gave them a thumbs up, and headed up to transition. My first leg of the tri was over.

Swim times:
First Lap - 15:05
Second Lap - 17:55
Total Time - 32:59

T1 continues to be an Achilles heel for me, for whatever reason. It should be easy, no? Well, for some reason, T1 is a weakness for me. In the Cheyenne Sprint Triathlon, it took me nearly 3 minutes to get out of T1, and in this tri, T1 took 2:30. This T1 distance might have been a bit longer then Cheyenne, but still. Wetsuit strippers though are awesome! I got my wetsuit stripped off, ran up to transition, threw on my cycling jersey, my shoes, and my helmet, and off I went, chatting with my dad, who was up there taking pictures still. He had apparently gotten permission to be in transition and take pictures of me. The next leg had begun.

T1 Time: 2:30

We all know how cycling is definitely not my strong point, and on this day, it was clearly evident. I left transition and was surprised at how comfortable I felt, even with a newer pair of tri shorts and a smaller chamois. But the first mile of the ride was flat/downhill. It would quickly turn into rolling hills of death and humble this newer triathlete to the core.

When I first saw T, she was about 5-10 minutes ahead of me, or roughly 1 mile. No big deal. We shouted a hello to each other and I kept pedaling. You might remember from the My Way or the Tri Way last year that I was passing a lot of people on the bike, and I think by the time the cycling leg was done, had basically passed 17 people. Yeah, that didn't happen on this race. I was getting passed quite a bit, and in turn, I was not passing people the way I was hoping to. It's safe to say I was getting my ass kicked. People I was blowing by in the water were now blowing by me. Yeah, real happy, let me tell you. Real confidence boosting, let me tell you.

When I turned out of the park onto the road that most of the cycling leg was going to be on, I downed a peanut butter cup and some Gatorade/water and attempted to surge ahead. I passed a couple people, but definitely was still getting passed more then I was passing. I was also just trying to spin and go. Not too much else to report here, unfortunately.

I got to the turn around point and realized something awful. I was going to be facing a headwind on the way home. A massive headwind. I also realized that there weren't a lot of cyclists around; most were way ahead of me and were already beginning the run. Yeah, again, not confidence boosting in the least.

The ride back clearly showed how weak I was in the cycling department of the triathlon. I was unable to pick up any speed and was getting weak pretty quickly. I tried every trick in the book and nothing was working. I eventually was able to admit that I wasn't going to have a good bike and my finishing time was not going to be what I had hoped. Thankfully, I was still pedaling, unlike a couple people I saw on the side of the road.

I was trading places with another chick on the bike for a little bit. We were joking with each other that we would be doing this for the rest of the ride, and then I passed her for good eventually.

Coming back into the park, it was eerily quiet. There were very few cyclists and I didn't see any runners. With about a quarter mile to go, I undid my shoes and glided towards transition. I hopped off my bike, not completely demoralized, but damn close.

Cycling Time: 1:41:53
Pace: 14.6 MPH

Thankfully, T2 has been better for me then T1 in my past triathlons. I am pretty quick in getting out there on the run, and this day again was not an exception to that. I was however, further demoralized by seeing all the bikes in transition and realizing that I was one of the last ones in. :-( I threw on my running shoes, shirt, and race belt, as well as my visor, and off I was. Last leg of the tri, and then it would be all over!

T2 Time: 1:41

In My Way, the run was my 2nd weakest point, right after the swim. In Cheyenne, both my swim and my run were the strongest. In this tri, it was right in the middle. I pushed out of transition and got my legs under me pretty quickly. I was surprised at how fast the first mile went. I stopped of course at the first water station and grabbed two cups of water, one for my head and one to drink.

In Mile 2, I was still churning along good. People running in were giving us all encouragement, which felt really good. I passed a porta-potty which I really needed to use, but chose not to. Bad decision I'll talk about later. Good news - I was still running and I thought 3:30 was still a possibility.

Coming up to the 5K point, I saw T ahead of me. It looked like I was going to be able to catch her, as I still was not walking. I was also figuring I was averaging about 10:00-10:30 minute miles (I don't know, I wasn't looking at my watch. I refused to.) When I got near the 5K point, T and I stopped to talk briefly. She was struggling, and at this point, I was struggling too. She was convinced I would catch her, which I was not sure about. I told her to keep going and I would see her soon.

At the turnaround point, I grabbed more water and started back. I began chatting with another runner who told me he had recently completed his first half-Ironman. He told me the Olympic distance was tougher, in his mind, because of the training that you undergo for the Olympic is deceptive. He asked me what my swim time was and when I told him, he was impressed. (keep in mind I didn't know what it was, but I guesstimated 34 minutes.) He told me to get stronger on the bike and I would have no problem with the half-Iron. He also told me that at my age, I had a great future in this sport and would go great lengths cause of my passion. That was really inspiring to hear, even though I was basically walk/running at this point. He told me he would see me at the finish and off he went.

I kept T in my sights, but could never catch up to her. Every time I wanted to run, my legs and body felt like I was moving a ton of iron. It literally felt like I had a piano on my back. At this point, I was less then 2 miles from the finish and was walking more then I was running. I finally came around to that porta-potty and damn near hugged it I was so relieved to see it. I took probably a 45-50 second pee, and had a surprising surge of strength that lasted me for a bit.

With a mile to go, there were 3 of us running back and forth, playing cat and mouse. A 54 year old guy, a 27 year old girl, and myself. We were all congratulating each other on finishing a ridiculously difficult race. For all of us, it was our first Olympic distance. The girl had never done a triathlon before, and her personal trainer recommended she do an Olympic. The guy had only recently gotten into the sport, like myself. We were joking that we would play this game to the finish, and who amongst us would finish first? They were both convinced it would be me.

When I rounded the last corner and saw the finish line, I was overjoyed, though my race photos don't show that at all. :-) I ran towards the finish and heard the Aussie guy that was doing the race announcing call my name out. I heard people cheering and saw my parents and T and her mom. I ran towards the finish and as I got close, kissed my hand and touched the finish sign. I stepped across the mat and officially became an Olympic triathlete.

Run Time:1:17:19
Pace: 12:29 per mile

Le Aftermath
There were hugs, congratulations, etc. all around from the cheering section for Team Baby Dino. It felt really good to be an Olympic triathlete, because now, in my mind, we have stepped up our game and become truer to the sport and to ourselves. And yet, there is a lot to discuss.

First off: this race was extremely humbling.
For as hard and as much as we trained, it certainly wasn't enough on this day. I'm willing to chock up some of my lousy cycling to the wind, maybe a loss of 1 mile an hour to the wind. That would have slashed my cycling time. But it's not an excuse. We didn't train hard enough in the wind this year. And it's clear we didn't train enough on the bike as a whole. We are going to fix that this offseason though, I promise.

Also, regarding the run. I don't want to say that our running wasn't good this year. In fact, I won't say that. Not at all. However, what I will say, is that our running base still isn't quite there. While we put in a lot of miles already on the road, most of them came in April/May when we were training for the BolderBoulder 10K. Our mileage slacked in June/July for reasons that we all know. I think had we switched the months around, our running might have been better on this race.

The swim. Wow. Dramatic improvement for me. Chock it up to the wetsuit, to the ridiculous swim mileage of the year, the lots of open waters, whatever you want. The point is, I nailed the swim this year. I truly don't think I could have done much better on it. I mean, would I like to average 30:00 a mile? Yes, of course, but for this year, I don't think I could have done much more. I am EXTREMELY happy with the swim, so I can take that away as a huge positive.

T and I both immersed ourselves in a giant ice bath after the race, which I am convinced helped us recover pretty quickly. We're easing our way back into the swing of exercise this week, and for the rest of the month. Come September, we are going to do one more tri, basically as a last-ditch race more then anything. I'm planning on using it as a more fun time; to experiment a little bit with things and most importantly, end the season on a high note. After that, it's time to train for Vegas 1/2 marathon that we will be doing with our friend Kris.

Thanks for all the support, everyone. :-)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Um, Yay?

So. Tri over. Initial thoughts:

1. ow, I hurt.
2. I reeeeeaaaalllly hope that ice bath I took makes me feel better tomorrow.
3. #*$(&#$& headwinds.
4. we *may* have been out of our league just a teensy weensy bit.
5. I know what we really need to work on.
6. there's no way in hell I want to do any sort of tri workout for at least a week.
7. my poor, poor sore legs. :(

Hopeful picture uploads soon and therefore actual blog post. Sidebar has been updated with official results though.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Our A race coming we go

I'm on day 3 of a 4 day trip, and needless to say, I'm exhausted. So forgive me if this post is ranty/mumbly/doesn't make any sense, but triathlon has been on my mind a lot lately, for obvious reasons.

Like T mentioned in the previous post before, this tri is going to be no picnic, with lots of hills to deal with, a long swim distance, and added pressure on me (my parents are going to be there cheering us on). It got me to thinking about my training, and like T, I'm sitting here wondering if I've done enough, if I've prepared myself physically for this triathlon. And then, as I sit in my hotel room feeling my ridiculously low heart rate and look at my calves, I don't worry about the physical part of this, but the mental part.

Let me explain.

This race will be the hardest race I have ever done in my life. I will be doing a distance that is both challenging and new to me. I will be taking my first step in expanding my triathlon experience. I'm super excited for it, don't get me wrong. But I'm also a little scared.

I've done a lot of right things this year, and some things not right. I think I've done exceptional in the water compared to last year. My cycling is not as high as I'd like to be, but my speed is improving compared to last year. And my running has been decent. Not great, but decent. Basically, it's me probably being paranoid, but whatever.

Game time on Saturday.


So. I was on the RattleSnake Web site today looking up all the pertinent information we'd need for Saturday (namely, what time does transition open, what time do we need to get there, etc., etc., etc.).

While browsing around ... I found this fabulous nugget of information:

This route has ~1250' of elevation gain. Most of that gain will seem to be while you are climbing that last two miles back into the park.

(emphasis mine)

To that I say, "eek!" Well, that, and this is why racing in Colorado can suck, y'all. I doubt you Minnesotans get rides like that.

I'm not going to lie to you guys; I'm scared for Saturday. We did our longest OWS ever yesterday and put in 1600 yds at the res which is just shy of what we'll be doing this weekend (though our swim didn't have a random run on the beach in the middle). It was hard. I was crying throughout the entire second half ... but that was more due to frustration with myself/Brandon's swim/other random crap.

I will race on Saturday. It will be extremely interesting to see how it goes as it'll be our first distance at this length. I've stepped up my game this year and, as always, am convinced my training wasn't enough. In past years, in the sprints I've done, it probably hasn't been much of an issue. This year, though, I don't know if I'll be able to fake my way through. Hopefully I will, though, as I don't have much other choice.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

July Round-Up

To say the least, July WAS better than June. Of course, given how June went, it really didn't have a choice to be otherwise.

There were obviously things I could have improved upon and done better in July that I didn't, but overall, July was a month of bright spots. For example:

* First tri of the season
* First time cracking 30:00 in the Lone Tree 5K
* First 8 mile run
* Highest swimming total month EVER

Woot, right? We also did three open water swims in July (not including the tri) which I think is the most ever for me in a month. Of course, I should have been doing those more often as it is, so y'know.

Anyway, numbers!

Running: 43.27 miles (average went up .3 seconds/mile. seriously.)(second highest mileage month of the year)
Swimming: 6.12 miles (average went up about 30 seconds/mile)(highest mileage month of lifetime)
Cycling: 66.79 miles (average went down about a half a mile per hour)(second highest mileage month of the year)
Lifting: one session (... no comment. *sigh*)
Other: one tri, two softball games

We're five days into August and it hasn't been too bad so far ... although August's numbers may be slightly skewed as our A/main multisport race of the season is in about a week and a half (read: tapering shortly) and we're hoping for a short Minnesota vacation about a week and a half after that to stuff ourselves with crap at the State Fair and maybe, only maybe fit in a workout.

To get back on track with the whole July talk, I think we both realized (but me definitely fo' sho') things that we need to focus on SO MUCH MORE for next year and how to do our training. I already have schemes of what I need to do this winter so as not have to start over from scratch as I typically am wont to do.


First things first: August and RattleSnake. Schemes and other dreams can come later.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

July Recap...lots of stuff to talk about

July. It was a rebound month.

We all know how awful my June was in terms of workouts. I'm not going to rehash it here, but July was my chance for drastic improvement and a chance for me to get back into the game with my first triathlon of the season. Let's take a look at some highlights and lowlights of the month.

First, the highlights of the month:

- cracked 30:00 in the Lone Tree 5K (yes!!!!!)
- completed my first tri of the season, finishing with a very respectable time of 1:42:48.7
- watched my swim times get better and better
- completed an 8 mile run for the first time in my life
- adapted to life on the road, including finding ways to swim in crappy hotel pools

Now, some things that didn't go so well:

- didn't do any yoga :-(
- STILL not lifting as much
- didn't run as much as I wanted to, or cycle as much, in terms of miles, anyway

So...let's move on to totals for the month:

Swim - 9
Run - 7
Cycle - 7
Brick training - 1
Triathlons - 1
Walks - 1
Lift - 2
Off days - 6

I'm very satisfied with the month for the most part. Aside from completing my first tri of the season, I have seen a lot of growth in the swim department. My last open water swim was my fastest of the season and I felt really good doing it. I completed an 8 mile run the other day, which is the longest distance of the season for me, and again, it feels really really good. Even my cycling is getting better, at least the hills are.

On another note, our friend Kris is looking for votes on Her and her fiance are in a contest sponsored by The Knot which will earn her a bunch of goodies if she wins. So please go vote here! Help Kris earn what she deserves!