Sunday, May 23, 2010

Madeira Beach Mini Tri Recap

Yesterday, my dad and I completed the Madeira Beach Mini Tri! This was my second triathlon, and my dad's first. We had a great time!

While the distances of this tri weren't that different than my last, the difficulty definitely increased! Total distances: 200 yard swim, 5.4 mile bike, 1.2 mile run. The differences? The swim was in the Gulf of Mexico (as opposed to a pool) and the run was on the beach.

Conclusion? I hate sand. With a passion. But I'll get to that later. Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

I tried to go to bed semi-early, but laid awake too late, panicking because I wasn't sleeping. I woke up at 5am and started getting ready. Immediately I knew that my stomach was not cooperating. Uhoh. Enter: Immodium. Didn't help. Hmm. Just kept getting ready.

Dad and I headed out around 5:45am, on our way to Madeira Beach (about a half hour away). Yep, we had a bathroom stop at a nearby McDonalds. Luckily my stomach calmed down after that. For the most part.

We arrived at the parking lot with plenty of time to get set up. We grabbed our bikes and headed to the transition area. We got body marked and found our bike racks. Once again, I had great positioning! I was in the second rack back from the bike start. Awesome. But...there was no individual marking for each bike meaning it was a free for all as to whose bike went where on our rack. Not cool. But we managed. I recognized a few ladies from my last mini tri and we had a good time chatting. I guess it's true what they say about triathlon being a small, social family!

We all headed down to the beach for the swim. I expected to be running into the water, but that wasn't the case. They actually had us do an "in-water" start which was probably a much better idea since our route was only about 30 yards off-shore. We all lined up by the buoy and then got ready to swim straight down the beach to the other buoy, then turn into shore to run out onto the beach. Everyone crowded near the buoy, but I went deeper, away from the crowd. Best. Decision. Ever. The current was going to pull us in toward the last buoy anyway, so I decided to use it to my advantage rather than fight it. And I am so glad I was not in the mess of women down by the buoy! The buoys were so close to shore that they could stand - and many of them ended up walking through the "swim" portion! Not me. I was deep enough that I swam the whole thing. It was TOUGH! I'm not sure why, but the swim took a LOT out of me. I definitely need to get some more open water swims under my belt before my next tri! But before I knew it, I was heading to shore, on my way to transition! Official swim time: 5:11 - but the timing mat was at the top of the beach so count some running in that too. Don't you love my swim cap? :)

My first transition felt pretty smooth. Having the trisuit helped so much! I poured a water bottle on my feet to wash the sand off and toweled off quickly. I threw on my shoes and socks, put my helmet and sunglasses on, as well as my race belt, and headed out on my bike. My first transition time was 2:39 - a full minute faster than at my last triathlon!

The bike is my favorite portion of the triathlon. I know I'm not a strong swimmer, and I am a REALLY slow runner, so this is the point where I can gain some ground. And I did! I was passing people left and right. My only complaint about the bike portion is that you had to do 3 laps, and each turn was a hairpin turn - not good for time! But I had the fourth fastest time in my age group on the bike - 19:22! My last triathlon (also a 5.4 mile bike ride) took me 21:53! Those new tires really helped!

I rode into the transition area, put my bike up, took off my helmet, put on my visor and took a swig of Gatorade. I guess I spent too long here since my T2 time was 1:20 - ten seconds slower than my last triathlon.

But then...the hardest part of the race. The run. I kept telling myself "It's only 1.2 miles!" But it was 1.2 miles on the SAND. I got passed left and right. It was very depressing. I know I am a slow runner, but this felt SO slow. I even had to walk a few times. I just had nothing left. I finished the run in 13:55. :( That's definitely what I'll be working on for the next one! Look how bad my form is in this picture. Hands bunched up in front of my chest - I really need to work on technique! Any running tips for me? The view is beautiful though!

But then, it was all finished. I crossed the finish line, once again a TRIATHLETE. My total time? 42:24. Better than my last tri time, but not good enough to place in my age group. I was 7th out of 10. :(
I definitely didn't walk away from this tri with the same euphoric feeling as the last one, but I do feel a ton of determination. I want to do better. I want to swim harder, run faster. And bike even better. I'm not giving up at this triathlon thing. Oh no. I've only just begun! Stay tuned to hear what I'll be up to next!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Modern Grandmas

My mom is not (yet) a Grandma, but she can't wait to be one.

In fact, she is so enamored with the idea of being a grandma that she and her best friend Janet have started a website:

I may be biased, but this is a great website. Please share it with your mother or grandma - or just follow it yourself! :)

And do you think this might be a subtle hint that she is ready for my husband and I to have kids? Haha.

I'm a Biking Queen

Well, maybe not. But I'm proud of the 12 miles I did in one hour yesterday! And remember, this is my bike (and my husband):

Not exactly a speed bike! My daddy bought me road tires this past week, and I am so excited to (hopefully) put them on today and see the difference when I ride. I know I need a new bike, but it's definitely not in the financial cards right now.
This is my dream bike:

This is Jenna from Eat Live Run. She is raffling off this bike this week and raising money for cancer research at the same time. This bike sells for almost $5000! Feel free to enter the raffle, but only if you'll be giving the bike if you win. :) All the details are here.

The sunrise is BEAUTIFUL this morning. Have a great day everyone!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Looking the Part

It has been a very full day. I went to the 5:50am spin class at my gym this morning, then headed to work. I hadn't been to a spin class in quite a while, and I was pleasantly suprised with how well I kept up! Hopefully this endurance training is paying off!

After work, I met my friend Taylor at the pool for a swim. I did 1200 yeard - in my new tri suit! I wanted to see how it felt to swim in it. You know what they say - never wear something for the first time on race day!

When I got home, I threw on my running shoes and headed out for a quick 1.5 mile run - mostly to make sure my tri suit didn't...uh...rub me the wrong way if you know what I'm saying. :)

I'm happy to report that the tri suit is wonderfully comfy in every way.

My only fear about the tri suit? Looking too much like a triathlete. I want to wear a sign that says, "I'm a beginner - my sister got this suit at Goodwill for $7!" I just have a feeling people will be feeling really good about themselves for passing this girl all decked out in her triathlon gear - not having any idea that passing me really isn't any great feat. I guess the joke is on them. :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Birthday Present!

Look what my sister gave me for my birthday!!!!

I have been drooling over these tri suits for quite a while. My sister found this exact same tri suit for me - AT GOODWILL! No joke! The right size for just $7!!!! Can you believe it???

I'm so excited to wear this at my triathlon next weekend! WHOOHOOO!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Imma Be

Imma be...a triathlete? If I'm going to keep this up, I need to keep the motivation up. What better way to get motivated than with some great music? (Anyone catch the Black Eyed Peas inspired title?)

I turned 27 last week (yikes!) and my boss gave me an iPod shuffle for my birthday! It's hot pink and SUPER cute. Don't you agree?

I can't wait to clip it to my shirt the next time I work out to jam to some tunes! My husband and I have been sharing an iPod for a while that I can't add music to...and we don't always have the same taste in music. So I'm looking for some great workout songs for my new iPod!

This is my playlist so far:

I Got a Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
Poker Face - Lady Gaga
Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
Run This Town - Jay-Z and Rhianna
Party in the USA - Miley Cyrus (what can I say? it makes me smile)

I think this is a good start, but I obviously need some more songs. Help me out! What are your favorite workout songs?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Triathlon Training

I haven't been blogging much lately...because I have been busy triathlon training! This week's recap:

Monday: 1600 yard swim
Tuesday: Rest (not planned - but sometimes it just happens that way!)
Wednesday: 2 mile run
Thursday: 1200 yard swim/1.2 mile run (my first "brick" workout!)
Friday: 15 mile bike ride
Saturday: Rest (well planned)
Sunday: 3 mile run

My 3 mile run today was TOUGH! I didn't start running until 7:10pm to try to let it cool off a little, but I should have waited longer. I passed a sign on my run that said 89 degrees. YIKES!

I ran the 3 miles in about 36 minutes - my typical 12:00/mile pace. I'd love to get this down, but today's focus was all about finishing. The heat was unbearable! I've been so spoiled by the beautiful weather lately. Unfortunately, there is a lot more of this humid/hot Florida weather to come this summer! My swimming days will feel like such a blessing. :)