Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mill City Triathlon Olympic

Last week I sat thinking, "oh man I haven't done an Olympic in 2 years." I have done FOUR 70.3 distance events and this was going to be my SECOND Olympic! Cue the freak out- I looked up my results and was happy to see I had come in just over 3 hours, on the same course I was going to race on. I started thinking under 3 hours would be do-able. And as I started putting some idea of time in my head I started to stress more. How do I fuel for an Olympic? I know fueling for a half ironman. And to be honest in a sprint you just drink calories and maybe take A gel. But 3 hours that is enough time that if you don't eat you could BLOW up! After some talking down off the ledge by D, I started to get more calm about the race.

Race morning came and we got to the race site a little later than we usually do. Which to be honest was kind of nice- not tons of time to sit around and stress about is your transition just right. We had a few friends racing which is a nice change. All of us pulled on our wetsuits and hung out in the water for a little while. I have done this race 3 times now, once as an aquabike, once as an olympic and last year as a sprint, so to say I know the course and the race is a bit of an understatement. I knew the swim would be against the current on the way out and with the current on the way back. The bike has a couple hills but nothing too insane and the run is PANCAKE flat but can be hot on a sunny day.

The race was a little less organized than usual, the caps hadn't come in so it was a bit of a free for all with the waves. All women doing the olympic would be starting together first. That was a pretty big wave. The swim was tough- it took me over 19min to get to the turn around. I had to work hard against the current. And just to prove how tough the current was I swim just over 11 min back to the exit. I had hoped for a sub 30 swim but ended up with 31:56 Not super fast but fast enough to be in the top 10 swim splits.

The transition from water to bike here is always long. You run from the beach across 4 lanes of traffic to the transition area. And this year they made the swim entrance at the far end of transition. I moved as efficiently as I could to make up for the long run 2:20 eh not great but okay

Dear god look at that calf?!
I got on the bike and immediately started to settle in. My GPS didn't pick up but I knew I wanted to be sub 1:30 for the 26mi. giving me a 17mph+ bike split. First loop was 40ish. Awesome! Got time to spare on the second loop. As I started the second loop I went by D on his run of the sprint. Some words of encouragement as I went by and off to finish the bike. The roads were pretty messy with pot holes. It was a constant look ahead to be sure you didn't flat. I have done that on a similar bike course in the same area so I didn't want a repeat. Made sure to get in 3 sets of 2 salt tabs over the ride. And had a whole package of clif blocks. I kept thinking on the bike the words of wisdom of my friend who is going to Olympic Nationals, make sure you save some for the run. I came in at a 1:24:05. Who brought the girl averaging just under 19mph?! D was finished with the sprint and came over to give me a boost as I got ready for the run.

I threw on my shoes grabbed the number, the visor, the gel and salt tabs and was off and running. Okay lets settle on a pace. Still no GPS but I can keep doing this math thing. And to be honest it was nice to have something to think about. I knew I wanted to be around 9min miles. First one was under 9. Then I settled down to a little slower. Every aid station I grabbed a bag of ice and some water. I put the ice in my tri top and picked out pieces and chomped on them between aid stations. LIFE SAVER! The ice gives a little bit of hydration, little bit of cooling, and distraction. I was feeling good on the run. I honestly kept waiting for the wall. I kept waiting for the suck fest. The omg this hurts I can't keep up this pace. Mile 4 was an 8:30. I honestly think if I had my pace the whole time I could have kept a better track of it. I didn't push too hard b/c I was afraid of pushing the wheels off the bus! But I felt good. I hit mile 5 and I was like we can have a suck fest for the last mile just go! I switched the watch to multisport mode and tried to get a feel for if I was going to make it in under the 3 hours... I was 2:5-. Okay come on dig get it! It's gonna be close. Run time goal was 55 finished in 1:00:09. Not as fast as I wanted but one of my better 10k times in general.

As I got close to the finish I saw the clock- 2:59. You have to cross in this minute! And I focused. I heard D scream and my friends cheering. And I crossed in 2:59:46 . AWESOME! I had a sub3 hour Oly!!!

Honestly- I didn't think I would be anywhere near a time or place for an award. And being in a new age group made me even more skeptical. I was just happy with the time I put down. We stood around and they did the sprint awards- D took 3rd in his age group. I couldn't believe it when a friend came up and told me I had WON my age group. WHA?! I am still in shock! I had a good day! I ended up with sub 3 hours, won my new age group, finished 16th female overall (only losing 6 female spots on the bike and run- not bad for this swimmer), finished in the top 50 overall, and felt good throughout the race.

It was so much fun to race with friends. We haven't had a group at a race in a while. I enjoyed having people to hang with before and to see during and after. We even got to get some lunch after and talk tri. All in all a great day!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Protein in a NEW way: Frog Fuel Review and GIVE AWAY!!

I seem to have some sort of stomach issue with protein powders. I have discovered I can do Whey Protein Isolate but not just Whey Protein. I had a company contact me about a review of their Protein gels, Frog Fuel. I have to say when I hear protein I get a little nervous due to my stomach issues but I saw this was Collagen Protein so I figured I'd give it a whirl.

Ever had Collagen Protein? I have had Vietnamese soups with tendons and collagen and to be honest you can tell right away. Your lips feel better instantly! It is the naturally occurring protein in your body that is a part of connective tissue and muscle. So I figured my stomach would be happy with this one.

The other thing that scares me is gels, I can be pretty particular about consistency in gels. I am not a fan of the ones that feel like frosting in your mouth. Thin but not runny is usually best for me.

And I'm sorry did you say protein and CAFFEINE. I am a firm believer in caffeine helps performance. All my gels and chews for racing are caffeine laden.

I went to the gym to get in my typical workout and I figured I'd give it a try. I have to say the consistency of the gel was thin but not runny. It had a slight after taste but I think that was the taurine, kinda like a Red Bull. 15g of protein and no heavy digestion feeling. The berry flavor was pretty good, not super strong. I have to say I very quickly felt the boost from the taurine, a little kick in the pants! Generally when I reach for protein for workouts it is thru food, bars or protein shakes. It was nice to have an option that I could just throw in my bag and not have to pre plan the food and logistics that go with protein with workouts. I threw it in my gym bag just like my other gels are usually in there. I have to be honest I was bummed I only had 3 to try, I liked them a lot.

The folks at Frog Fuel have offered a nice little give away for you lovely readers- your own 3 shots of Frog Fuel and elite sticker. So comment below on your use of protein  for your workouts. For an additional entry tweet me @doubledathlete with your fitness/protein tips with  #frogfuel. I will draw a winner on 1 Aug.

Birthday Challenge- COMPLETE!

So I decided since I can I was going to do a birthday challenge to celebrate my level of fitness going into my 30th year on this planet,Birthday Weekend Challenge. The goal was from the 4th of July to the 8th of July to complete:
30k Running
3hrs of Biking
3hrs of Yoga
3k of Swimming
It figures a weekend I wanted to spend working out like crazy would be in the middle of a NASTY heat wave. A friend sent me some awesome Gluten Free Molasses cookies to fuel the workouts, THANK YOU SO MUCH! They were so yummy!

I wanted to do longer runs but the weather wasn't going to support the plan I had laid out, so I broke it into smaller chunks, 3 or 4 miles at a time. Some of the days I ran twice but the best idea was to run 30 min through midnight on the night of my 30th birthday. We threw on our reflective gear and hit the pavement to finish just after midnight on my actual birthday. Over the weekend I slowly ticked off the kilometers. I only did one open water swim on the weekend- I don't think it was 3k but I was happy to swim in open water and spend some time on the beach.

I had to head out of town on Tuesday and still had 5k left. I was going to say okay I got 25k done not bad- but I decided while I was out of town I would finish the challenge and got the whole 30k DONE!

We headed out for the ride but my saddle didn't really cooperate. I was getting really bad sores and pain so we decided to stop at a little over 2 hours. I think I need to make some adjustments to my bike... but I am happy with it. And I even added a little run off the bike.

The yoga was great. I have been going fairly regularly so doing 2 classes 2 days in a row actually was a nice change and a good challenge. My mom even joined for one of them.  I think the yoga really helped me be able to do all the run miles. 

I am really proud that I got through this and I actually am super surprised how not sore I was. I have to give credit to D for being the best partner in the world. He said to me whatever you want to do for your birthday I will do it and he was with me for all of this! I couldn't ask for a better birthday present than to have a partner to share this with.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Birthday Weekend: Birthday Challenge

This weekend is my big birthday. I decided with the fact that I will be turning 30 I wanted to make goals for this year to complete by the end of the year I turned 30. And to be honest as I review them I think I am doing well so far. I am making progress, which is the point!

So as for my birthday itself... Well I have always had a hard time getting people together for my birthday. Everyone is always out of town. So after making an attempt at a get together and again hearing everyone would be gone (and getting bummed) I decided I would do what would be my ideal activities for my birthday. How would I chose to spend my weekend?! I would like to try a new challenge... So here is what I came up with over the course of the 4th to the 8th:
Run 30k
Bike 3hrs (Climb Mt Wachusett)
Swim 3k
3hrs of Yoga
 I have invited friends to join me in any of these activities tho many will be gone and most have responded with "are you sure you just don't want to get drunk?" Luckily D has said he will do whatever I want for my birthday. I figure why not try a new challenge... and honestly I see it as a celebration of the fact that I am in the best shape of my life. I may be turning 30 but I am in WAY better than I was when I was 20 and just recently quit my college swim team. And even when I was 15 and swimming 2 times a day I had horrible nutrition habits. So I think the best thing I can do is celebrate this!

I also hope to hit the beach, get in some fireworks, do a nice dinner with D, maybe a clam bake with my family, see the movie I can't WAIT to see Despicible Me 2, and get some SLEEP!