What’s In Store in 2016?

20 01 2016

Howdy friends! Why yes, I do still exist…I just haven’t felt a ton of motivation to sit in front of the computer and write, when I spend all day sitting in front of a glowing screen. But, thanks to a long weekend and some down time, I figured I’d give you a peek into what’s in store for my 2016!

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  1. I’m a SOAS brand ambassador for the third year in a row! I’m so excited to represent this brand for yet another season. I have gushed over and over again about how much I love the gear from SOAS, so you can expect more of that 🙂 This year’s team kit is going to be pretty sweet too!12341468_1064108116960646_8217018892436058395_n
  2. I’m going to follow a training plan! Yes, really. Historically, I haven’t been one to follow a plan, but I recently purchased a plan from TriMarni. I’ve been following her blog for the past few years and I really respect her as an athlete/coach. I love her training/coaching philosophy, so I figured I’d see what happens when I actually have structured, focused training. I’ve also added on the option to be part of the “Performance Plan Team” so I get access to a private Facebook page where I can interact with the other TriMarni athletes (and Marni and Karel!). I also will get weekly check-in emails with loads of information to help me train and fuel smart this season. I’ve already received my plan and a number of other handouts- I can’t wait to get started!

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Now, in terms of race schedule…I only realized the other day that I went a bit trigger happy in terms of signing up for races. I guess I’m making up for 2015? Here’s what I’ve got on tap:

February:

6th: Best Damn Race half marathon. I’ve wanted to do this race for the past few years not just because I know the race creator/owner, but because I’ve heard such amazing things about it. They really do pull out all the stops to make it the best damn race, so I’m looking forward to experiencing it. I’m hoping I’ll get to ring that PR bell at the end, but I’ve only really been running consistently since early December, after taking several weeks off after Challenge Florida. It’s not an ideal amount of time to train, but we’ll see. I’ve only run this distance (in a standalone running race) 3 times (Nashville, DC, Gasparilla) and my PR technically is from a run I did while training for IM (1:49.40). I’m going to keep working hard for the next three weeks, and see what I can do!

22-23rd: Gasparilla. I haven’t actually registered for this race just yet. I was considering doing the half, especially if I don’t PR at BDR, but the more I think about it, the more I think I’ll likely stick to a shorter distance for funsies. No need to beat up my body early in the season- I’ve got big plans for triathlon this season!

March:

17-20th: TriMarni Camp, Clermont, FL: This will be my first ever triathlon camp, and I am pretty darn excited to spend 4 days doing a bunch of swimming, biking, running, eating, and recovering!

20th: Great Clermont Triathlon, International Distance. We’re topping off the training camp with an International distance tri.

April:

24th: St. Anthony’s Triathlon, Olympic Distance: I’ve spectated this race, volunteered at this race, done it as a relay, but never done the whole thing myself until this year. It’s such an institution around here, I feel like I had to do it at least once!

May:

Possible: 7th Hurricane Man OWS: Open water swimming is my favorite (said like Buddy the Elf) so I am seriously considering this one.

Possible: 22nd: Rev3 Knoxville: I’m not registered for this race, but I do think I’d like to do two halves this season. This race would be great because a lot of my TriMarni teammates are also doing it, and I really want to support Rev3. It’s also drivable (sorta).

28th: Crystal River Sprint #1: I really enjoy this race series, and this year I decided to register for all three of the races in the series! They were having a killer deal in the fall so I decided to go for it. It may not have been the best idea because of all the other races that I’m doing, but I think I’ll go into these as fun, training races.

June:

11th: Crystal River Sprint #2: See above.

Possibly: 19th Milkman Triathlon: If I don’t do the Rev3 race, this one is a possibility. It’s in Madison, WI, and it just so happens to be the weekend between two work trips up there. My SOAS teammate Kathy is also doing it, and it may just be the thing to convince me that I should sign up for IMWI 2017…

July & August: Time to put my head down and get to work! There is a possibility of another TriMarni camp in July!

September:

3rd: Crystal River Sprint #3

18th: Ironman 70.3 Atlantic City: This is my A race of the season. I cannot wait to get home and race!

Phew, that’s a lot of triathlon in 2016!

Some time in between all of this fun triathlon stuff, Bill and I are going to get ourselves out on another fantastic hike and/or on another fantastic vacation! I need to go diving again! We don’t have anything on the books yet, but we do have ideas:)

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Oh, I’ll definitely be helping Bill with the RV conversion. <— Follow along that adventure on the Facebook page.

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So, what do you have in store for 2016?





What A Triathlete Does In Vegas

21 10 2015

Last week, I spent 4 days in Las Vegas for a conference. I’m three weeks out from Challenge Florida, and though my training generally hasn’t been as stellar as I would have liked, I didn’t want to totally throw the race away by not doing anything while out in Sin City. So, I did what any normal triathlete would do, and rented a bike (**sarcasm**). Yes, you heard that right, I rented a BMC road bike with 105 components and walked my fully-geared up self out of the casino I was staying at at 6:30 in the morning to go for a bike ride. Totally. Normal.

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(In case you were wondering, yes, there were people gambling at 6:30 in the morning.)

Let me back up a second. One of my colleagues who was also going to be at the conference is a bad a$$ and is a semi-professional cyclocross racer. She races in Belgium representing the US. Yeah, she’s legit. Anyhow, Corey had a race coming up and was planning to rent a bike to get some saddle time in while in Vegas. Though quite scared about being royally dropped in the desert, I asked if I could tag along. Thankfully, she had an easy ride scheduled for Friday so I was confident I could hang. I called up Bike Blast Las Vegas, where she was renting from, and reserved my bike.

Quick review of Bike Blast: When I tried calling from home on Tuesday and Wednesday, I had a bit of difficulty getting a hold of someone there. I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to get a bike and would be stuck at the hotel gym. Thankfully, I was able to talk to Matt on Wednesday afternoon when I arrived in Vegas to secure my bike. The great thing about this company is that they have an option to deliver the bike to the hotel where you’re staying. And, it’s $69/day, which is, in my opinion, a great deal. Sign me up! They dropped our bikes off the afternoon before we planned to use them, and they helped me put on my pedals because I didn’t have the right sized allen wrench. Whoops. You don’t need to bring your own though- they have clipless and regular pedal options that come as part of the standard rental! The rental also included a helmet if you needed it, water bottles, and a local bike map. And, when you’re all done, they come pick up the bike! How awesome is that!? I would totally rent from these guys again- just make sure you call often and early to make sure you get your bike!

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On Friday morning, we met up at 6:30 to attempt a ride Corey found online from someone who at attended InterBike. We got a little lost at first, but then rode down the strip for a bit before turning off and then heading towards the mountains. Of course I had to grab a selfie while we were stopped at a traffic light:

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Once we were out of the craziness of the strip, we found a nice bike lane and made our way to a quieter part of town. We rode out about 45-50 minutes before turning around. Unfortunately, it started raining on the ride home. The way home was all downhill, so there were a few times where I was a little nervous about stopping. Thankfully, we weren’t going to fast, and we made it safely back to the hotel.

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I didn’t realize how dirty I had gotten from riding in the rain- I got in the shower with all my gear on in order to wash my kit!

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I debated whether or not I was going to keep the bike another day because Corey was planning a more intense ride on Saturday. I was definitely scared. But, I absolutely loved riding in a new place and I really wanted to make it out to the mountains to do a little climbing. So, I called up Bike Blast and thankfully I was able to keep the bike another day. Ready or not, my legs would be up for a beating tomorrow!

On Saturday, we met up at the same time and now that we knew exactly where we were going, we got to the bike lane about 15 minutes sooner than we had the day before. Corey asked if I would rather ride out to the mountains at tempo/endurance pace, or if I would rather do some intervals when we got to the quite streets. Uh, mountains please! So, I got on her wheel and we headed out. Thankfully, our pace wasn’t anything too crazy. I was riding hard, but I wasn’t struggling to hang on. Phew.

We ended up riding out to the Red Rock Canyon Visitor’s center, which happened to be an entirely uphill ride. I kept looking down at my watch and wondering why the pace we were riding felt so hard. Oh, it was because we were slowly climbing the entire way.

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 (elevation listed in meters)

It was cool to be out there in the valley, with mountains rising up all around. It was pretty out there; a welcomed change from the trail along the highway where I normally ride.

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About a mile and a half from the visitor’s center, the sky opened up and it started raining pretty hard. We booked it to the shelter of the entrance to the canyon, where we waited a few minutes for a break in the rain. The staff checking in cars warned us that we shouldn’t go up the mountain, since it was pretty muddy/flooded thanks to the rain. You don’t have to tell me twice!

When the rain slowed we decided to head back to the hotel. The way back was great! I was a bit cautious because of the wet roads, but we could pretty much soft pedal the entire way home (see elevation chart above). I would love to do this ride again when it’s dry out and see how fast we could actually make it back.

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#teamSOAS in the house!

When it was all said and done, we had ridden 60.6 km in 2:20. Not super speedy, but I’ll take it!

Later in the afternoon, the nice folks from Bike Blast came to pick up the bike as scheduled. I’m so glad I opted to rent a bike- I had a blast checking out new scenery and riding in a state I’ll likely not ride in again (however, there’s always Silverman…). It was fun to ride with a colleague and talk about things other than work. I definitely want to ride with her again- I’m sure I’ll get my legs torn off- but I would love the challenge! I didn’t let the time away from home put a damper on my training, so let’s do this Challenge Florida! I’ll see you soon!





Consistently Inconsistent

8 07 2015

You may have noticed that there has been a severe lack of run, bike, or swim posts lately. Yeah, that’s because there hasn’t been a lot of that going on around here. I’ll be really good, and for a few days in a row I’ll have some semblance of a workout routine. But then, life happens and I push off workouts because triathlon just hasn’t been a priority to me this season. I’ve been consistently inconsistent.

The one thing that really benefited me last year was my consisteny. I made nearly all my workouts despite weather or travel or other obligations. I had a big fat scary goal (which also happened to cost a good chunk of change) and I made training my priority so that I could accomplish that goal. Sure, I did miss out on some time with friends. And I spent a lot of time sore or and sleepy. But, I was in the best shape of my life and I crossed the finish line of my Ironman in less than 12 hours. I’m darn proud of that.

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This year, training has taken a back seat to other things. I’m hanging out with the friends I said “no” to more times than I wish to count last year. I’m wearing a lot more “real” clothing and far less spandex. I’m enjoying sleeping in on the weekend and checking out fun events in town, even if it means I’m staying up until 1am. It’s quite easy to fill the time that was spent on a saddle, in the water, or pounding pavement last season.

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I got out my calendar last night and realized that the one race I had actually signed up for this season, Challenge Florida, is 4 months away. That may seem like a ways off, but for a 70.3, NOW is the time to put in the work, especially when you haven’t been doing much of anything in the past 4 (more like 6) months.

A few weeks ago I was casually talking about the race with my friends and flippantly said, “I could always drop to the Olympic” as though I didn’t need to train seriously for that. (Newsflash Steph- you still need to train for an Olympic. It will HURT if you don’t train and be really ugly. Not the smartest idea.) Well, last night I told myself that no, I was not going to drop down in distance (only for injury!) – that I wanted to do the entire 70.3. I want redemption on this race.

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I did the race back in 2013, and though I was happy with my successful completion of my first half ironman, I now knew what to expect. I liked this distance, and wanted to give it another go. I tried to put together another good race at the Gator Half in 2014, but unfortunately I got a flat and the run was short! I still did well, but I knew that I wasn’t done with this distance.

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So, it’s time to get back out there and do the work. I know I’m going to need to make some sacrifices, but I hope to have a good balance of training and life. I’m a little worried because I know I’m so far behind where I would like to be right now. I wonder if the fitness level I had last season is even achievable again in a short amount of time. But, one thing’s for sure, I WANT to get back out there and compete in another 70.3. I want to put together a solid race. And the only way to do that is to stop being consistently inconsistent, and just be consistent.

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