Friday, July 15, 2011

Run, Bike, Run some more, occasionally swim...

I guess that's an ok triathlon training plan, but I REALLY do need to get my butt in the water more. I'm an ok swimmer, but it is definitely my achilles heel in the triathlon. Maybe if I swam more it would help me regulate my body temperature in the extreme heat and humidity too.

Last weekend I did my first International distance triathlon. It's a 0.9m swim, 26m bike, 10K run. The day before I did a 12ish mile run in extreme heat and humidity and just about died. I'd say considering the conditions both events went very well, afterall, I didn't die.

Saturday morning was the long run with the Lowell Ladies. My plan was to run to and from Kim's house making the 10 mile group run into a 14 mile training run for Chicago. We started early in an effort to beat the heat. Apparently 7:00am isn't early enough. It was already almost 80 degrees when we started with probably 80% humidity. By the time we were 6-8 miles into the run we all ran out of water and had to stop at McDonalds. I haven't been to a McDonalds on YEARS and usually refuse to even partake in their Newman's Own Coffee because I just don't want to support their business of selling obesity in America, but I was desperate for some water. They were very nice to us and even gave me a few salt packets too. We all finished the run, I just barely made it. I felt so sick and dehydrated by the end I didn't dare try to run home so I hitched a ride instead and cut my run short. I lost about 5 pounds in sweat. Lesson learned - start EARLIER.

After the run, I went to Rite Aid for my ice and bought 8 bags because the 6 bags I bought the week before melted too fast. Well, my core body temperature must have been sky high because I melted the 8 bags (40 pounds) in less then 5 minutes in the tub. It kind of made sitting in the cold water pointless because I wasn't really getting much benefit from the "ice" bath without the ice. Afterwards, some of us decided to take a trip to the mall for some new running skirts. I lucked out and found two at Lululemon, unfortunately they didn't have enough sizes for everyone. Wicked bummer. I need to write a letter to the company requesting additional sizes. Shopping (and the running before) made us hungry so we went to Flatbreads for lunch. YUM! All locally sourced organic pizzas that are out of this world! I love it there. It has to be one of my favorite pre-race carb loading destinations.

Speaking of races, Sunday I had to get up early for my triathlon. I was a little nervous and had boo boo belly all morning. The race started at 8:00am. I was in the first swim wave. The swim was the part of the race I was most nervous about. The water was warm and calm but it was REALLY far to swim. I decided last minute to wear my wetsuit and I'm glad I did because the extra boyancy definitely helped me out. The swim was in the Merrimack River. We started going upstream and turned at the halfway mark and swam the rest downstream. I thought it would be easier once we turned but it wasn't. I struggled the entire way. I just can't relax and control my breathing in the water and I die everytime.

It took me about 45 minutes to complete the swim, I wasn't the last one out of the water though and that's all I cared about. I was a little dizzy and disoriented walking from the water to transition, but once I mounted my bike I was fine. I tried to catch up and pass people but everyone was so spread out on the course it was tough. I managed to pass two or three people, but I also got lapped by the really fast guys so it wasn't much of a morale boost for me overall. As I approached the transition I just thought to myself, "just a nice easy 10K run and you're done" but really I was thinking "oh God I hope it's not as hot as yesterday's run". I racked my bike and started running and I actually felt really good. I made it to the first water stop and dumped a cup over my head and sipped another cup and kept running. I passed another couple of people along the way and then at the water stop just after the turn around they had baggies of ice! BRILLIANT! I stuffed the bag under the straps of my tank top on my back and continued running. I actually picked up the pace a little and passed MORE people. With only one mile left to go there was a girl just in front of me that I tried really hard to catch, but she must have picked up the pace too because I just couldn't catch her. I finished in 3:18. Not too bad. If I actually trained for the swim I would have placed, but I came in 4th in my age group instead.

Monday I took a rest day and I'd say it was still a pretty awesome day because I accepted a new job! Booyah! FUNemployment didn't last long. I'll start in a few weeks and still get to enjoy a little summer fun before getting back to the routine of working. I can't wait. It's exactly the type of job I've been trying to find for the past two years. Now I get to do something challenging AND collect severance from my previous job. Cha-ching!

Tuesday I celebrated the good news with a short 23 mile bike ride and finished off the day with the Good Times 5K. Hot and sticky again, but not nearly as yucky as it had been and I felt really good in comparison to previous runs too. I'm still not as fast as I was pre-Boston, but I think getting hit by a car might have set me back a bit too. I'll get there eventually, it'll just take a little extra time and training.

Wednesday, I had plans to go for a run in the morning and then do a celebratory lunch at Life Alive. It was still hot and sticky out but we managed to finish the 5.25 mile run in decent time and felt pretty good while running it. A little sluggish and slow towards the end but that was to be expected, none of us brought water with us! Lunch was AWESOME and then I was invited to dinner too. Sweet! One of our running buddies and Kim's neighbor, Shannon, made some delicious baked fish with veggies and feta cheese. It was AMAZING!

Thursday, I got up early to watch the Tour de France. I've been following it all month. I want to make sure my future husband (Andy Schleck) stays out of trouble and avoids the crashes and stays in a good position to beat the super-douche Alberto Contador. I was inspired by the extreme distance and mountains they were climbing in the first stage over the Pyrenes so I got dressed and decided to do my own little tour. I set out to complete my first metric century ride (100K). I didn't really know where to go to get 62 miles in, but I figured I didn't have to be anywhere so I just started riding and got lost. I went east towards the coast and rode through Andover, North Andover, Boxford, all the way to Topsfield then back through Boxford and got lost a few times and rode in circles through Boxford and North Andover for a while before I found a road I recognized and then headed home. I over shot the mark a little and rode 71 miles instead of 62, but it was great. I felt awesome and had fun exploring the backroads.

I got home, took a shower, and ate some lunch and then headed right back out to meet up with Shannon to go for a run. I sort of expected my legs to feel like jello, but they actually felt really good and we ran 3.6 miles at a 9:25 pace. Not super fast, but faster than I have been running lately.

Today should be a fairly easy day. I'm just going to go rollerbalding with Nutter and Shannon. My skates have dust and cobwebs on them so it could be quite entertaining. I'm taking it easy though because I've got a goofy weekend planned. 8-10 miles tomorrow followed by 16 miles on Sunday. Today needs to be a "rest" day.

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