Sunday, July 29, 2012

NJ State Olympic Tri Race Report - A PR!

As I stated a while back I have been "non-plan" since Mooseman and I wouldn't necessarily say I like it, because I need to have structure in my life.  BUT, on the flip-side, it turned out that non-plan is actually a good thing when things are pretty crazy. I decided for the rest of the season, it would be best to stick with short distances with everything going on with Mike's dad.

I spent Saturday before the race at the hospital with Mike and his dad until about 8pm.  I was sad to leave Mike by himself for another over-nighter.  Tiffany said she would come and stay over so she could be my sherpa for the day. 

The nice thing about NJ State is that it's about 10 minutes away and it's where I train, which means...I can sleep in!!  I got up at 6am and got my breakfast ready (2 slices ezekial bread and 1 tbsn of almond butter).

We got there sort of early (I'm surprising people left and right!) and was able to get a decent spot in transition and get over to the swim start.  While trying to instagram (cause I can't stop) a picture of me and my sherpa, Tiff, I happened to find a nice girl and guy to ask them to take the picture.  Ironically it was Donna (@trintriagain) who just moved from Texas to Atlantic City!  Again social media at it's best.  She was cheering on her boyfriend who was racing.
Sherpa Tiff and me!
Donna and Tiff

I am going to compare this to 2009 race since 2010 was 110 degrees and ended up being a sh$%show death march.  The only other Olympic I did was Red Bank this year, where I only really PR'd on the run.

Swim - 1500 meters 0:38:36 (compared to 2009 time of 0:40:20) - PR
Again one of the last waves W35-39
 I ate about 3/4 of a banana about 30 minutes before the start in place of my usual Gu to see how that worked.  The water was warm 78 degrees and for me no wetsuit equals a more comfy swim!  I decided to start in the middle and pushed my nerves aside by saying "Heather, you have swam in this race 5 years in a row, get over it!"  That did it and I was off and feeling pretty good until the turn around and realized I forgot my mirrored goggles and the sun was directly in my face.  I kept having to stop and take them off, defog and reassess where I was, I think I drifted a few times, but all in all I felt good in the swim and ran up the ridiculous hill to transition where the timing chip would complete my swim time...

T1 2:20 (compared to 2009 time of 3:20) - PR
 Uneventful, but I was a little more organized than in previous races.  Could it be getting there early?
Checking my Garmin saying huh, I got ready quick this time.

Bike -  25.6 miles 1:22:27 18.6mph (compared to 2009 23.2 miles time of 1:16:30 @18.2mph) - PR
I started on the bike feeling hungry so I quickly took a GU coming out on the park road before the turn.  I was sipping on GU brew as I went on the ride.  I realized it was really hard to pedal....and that a mountain biker was passing me (okay she wasn't a mountain biker I later found out but a road bike without the drops) so I realized my brakes were hitting the wheel.  I got off and checked.  Yup, it was, and fixed it and went passed the girl.  I then saw Yasi while she was on her multi-hour run and then I turned and it happened again, this happened about 4 more times and I decided to just fix while in aero which proved to work, but would not recommend to do it while in a race.   With all that aside, I recently got a new bike fit from Bill and he put me in a more agressive position dropping my handlebars and pushing my seat up and I have to say it was fantastic.  I LOVE IT!!! My goal was to do 19 or above and I did it in 18.6.  However, with the brake issue and looking at the Garmin data at those points, it could have happened...c'est la vie!

T2 2:55 (compared to 2009 time of 2:48)

There really is no excuse for this...I should be faster.

Run - 6.2 miles 59:46 9:38/mile  (compared to 2009 1:05:37) - NJ State PR -but Red Bank was faster at 9:13/mile
Humidity kicked in big time and I decided to walk the water breaks and take in the Heed.  I took one GU at mile 3 and then stuck with water for the remainder.  I slowed down for mile 5 but then picked it back up for the final mile or so.All in all no cramps and felt good for the last mile or so to kick it in. 

There you have it 3:06:06 a PR from 3:08:29 in 2009 which was 2.3 miles shorter on the bike! 
Relaxing on the deck with my pup

I have new goals that start this week which consist of lots of speed work on all disciplines.  I am very excited for September 15th and Atlantic City Olympic Tri and have a new goal to break 3 hours (hoping for a 2:50).  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Strange Truth About Triathletes....

The other night we went to support Yasi as she led a triathlete discussion at Lululemon in Princeton with newbies for NJ State, and I realized during our post-lulu-conversation with fro-yo that triathletes not only have something wrong with our brain (really I think there needs to be some research going on here) but we are strange and sometimes disgusting human beings...or are we??  You decide...

Please note if you tend to not use the words shit or poop or tend to be uncomfortable if people talk about those words you may not want to read...

Here are some observations I have made since I embarked on the sport 4+ years ago :
  1. We talk about how many times we shit before a race during a formal dinner party and say this as if we were talking about the weather.
  2. Some of us pee on our bike (it's true - they actually make a shirt)...and about 70%* of triathletes probably have. *Note: this is a fictional made-up number and not from actual market research.
  3. If the thought of #2 was not enough, we need to run a half marathon or even marathon after we have peed on the bike and ourselves...(just to be clear, I actually tried to pee once but could not, it's not easy) 
  4. Triathletes think it is completely normal that you pee in your wetsuit if you are swimming in cold water to "warm you up."
  5. There are times when you have to make a restroom out of a bush because you have no idea where the next restroom is during the middle of the run. Oh yeah and we are so proud of this (see Diamondman post from 2010).
  6. We wear spandex.  Enough said.
  7. We shove ice in our sports bras and sometimes out of necessity we eat the "sweaty and dirty lake that has caked on our skin" ice.  
  8. We shove our hands down our spandex in front of 100's of people to put a product called Hoo Ha Ride Glide to prevent our girly parts chafing and developing saddle sores.....
    Reflect Sports has great products including their Swim shampoo
  9. We carry Glide (another chaffing substance, because we can't get enough) with us in our purses next to our lip gloss.
  10. We wear fanny packs which although can be disguised as a race belt, an iPhone holder, GU holder, it's a freaking FANNY PACK....etc. etc.
    This thing really is great holding my phone, cards, gu, race number
  11. We sometimes don't shower for long periods of time (we won't divulge) - well why would you if you are just going swimming in chlorine the next day and you are just sooo tired after your bike at night that would require an extra energy expenditure...And why would you when they sell something called "Showerpill."
  12. We revert back to a child and drink from our adult "sippy" cups...
  13. We eat a sugary slimy substance that goes by the name of "GU" - I mean really, who was part of that marketing team...
  14. Although we look and act like healthy people, we drink good beer as a recovery drink, think of margaritas as a source of sodium replacement from the salt lost during a race.  We think of snickers, coke and potato chips as acceptable normal food choices DURING a long workout or a race.
  15. We know how to fix a bike tire and a chain derailer but have no idea what to do when the oil change light comes on in the car (TRUE STORY).
  16. Most of us that are not sponsored, spend oodles of money just to get this nifty thing (race medals).
  17. We clearly go though a very mentally exhausting day that is filled with pain and negativity which immediately evaporates the minute they put one of those valuable medals on your head....
Not sure if this is the face of "I'm having fun"

"I'm so happy I got this cool medal - this was so fun, let's do it again"
I couldn't think of any more to give me an even 20....

In conclusion, I love this sport and it embraces my inner weirdness...can't you tell from that last picture!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Goals or Lack of...

I have been struggling with writing a post for a while because I decided to do my A race (that looked more like a C race) so early in the year.  I initially was motivated by the fact that my fitness is better than it usually is mid-summer and I am still debating another half-ironman this year but since a couple races I would like to do don't workout date-wise...I have just been in limbo...I have no plan, I have been winging it, which in one respect is nice, almost calming.  I haven't rode or ran with my Garmin at all.  The real reason is I need to erase the data and I am too damn lazy to do it.  On the contrary, I don't do well without plans, I need something to keep the ADD (by the way this is not a medical diagnosis just my own) in check, otherwise I am all over the place.

I have an Olympic distance race next week and I have no plan.  It's odd, yet I feel ready as anything and interested in what I can do.  I have been working my ass off since November and maybe this little "no plan thing" will work out and maybe not.  I am still getting in my quality workouts, like my 9 mile runs in mid-morning when the heat is blazing, humidity is ridiculous and the only thing to look forward to is wearing a new lululemon outfit that I bought as my prize for finishing Mooseman.
New speed shorts and sportbra!!  Love them!

Every week, I muster up a schedule that gets shot down usually by Tuesday.  Partly because there is so much on my mind lately with my father-in-law and everything going on.  My husband, God bless him, has been there almost daily and nightly at the hospital with his sister and mom that is an hour away.

When your heads not in the game its time to call a break.  So after some deep reflections and looking at the positives in our lives, I decided to get some workouts in, sign up for some races with friends, get fast and have fun for the rest of the season. I signed up for Splash-n-Dash in Marlton, NJ and was able to knock off a few seconds of my swim time (albeit not great, but I'll take the improvement), improved my t-time (although I will never beat the transition ninja, Christine and her 30 seconds) and improved my run time in the 5k with 8:44 min/miles. 
Had a blast racing with my Team Triumph crew!!

In other news, we had our 2nd Annual Christmas in July shindig!  I was so glad we had one day to escape everything going on and that for one day Mike could relax !  We had a wonderful Christmas in July - there was no snow, but poolside fun, tons of fireworks, and plenty of beer and I was even able to get in a 45 mile ride with Yasi that morning....

Mad Elf aged for 2 years, Great Divide Collette, and DFH World Wide Stout!!
Xmas montage

Fireworks display compliments of Bill

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!
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