When I found the Lower Potomac River Marathon online the first thing I did was email the race director to make sure there was still room in the field. She wrote me back almost immediately confirming they still had space and I was quickly hitting ‘submit’ on Active.com. This event was featured in the March issue of Runner’s World and in the part where they write ‘why run it’ the answer is “for the simple things.” And they are spot on with that reason. Continue reading
When I first started getting into distance running I struggled to get through runs more than eight or 10 miles and after 13 mile runs I was tired and essentially useless for the rest of the day. After lamenting over this to a running mentor, I got my first insight into proper fuel and wrote about fueling up for long runs. Like so many things in running, figuring out the proper fuel, involves a bit of trial and error as well as practice. Three years later I’m still trying to figure out the best fuel formula for me.
It has been a solid eight months since my last post. The good news is that my running and training did not get as derailed as my blogging. And now it’s that popular time of year when we all put our foot down to make a change. I bet you think I’m going to resolve to blog more often? Well, we all know that resolutions don’t work if they’re general. You have to be specific in order to be successful. Suffice it to say that after an eight-month absence I hesitate to commit to any sort of blogging resolution. I also won’t be making any running resolutions. Continue reading
The short answer: a lifestyle change.
Change, adjustment, choice–call it what you will but half Ironman training is a significant commitment and one that requires dedication and focus. I’m starting week 9 of my 20 week training plan and somehow only just recently realized that my decision to train for 70.3 miles is truly no joke. This is serious stuff and one that really has been a lifestyle change. This realization came to me on a Friday night when I was happily getting ready for bed at 9:30 p.m. Continue reading
When I tell people I am training for a 1/2 Ironman most often the first question is, “what’s that?” When I answer that it’s a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run, usually the next question is, “WHY?” And sometimes, “how long does that take?”
Most people I know lump me in the ‘crazy’ category for doing this and I know the overall percentage of people who do these events is small. If marathoners are 1% of the population I’m sure 1/2 Ironmen are a close second (though the 70.3 event has been quickly grown in popularity since its introduction in 2006). I’m ok with ‘crazy’ being part of my answer to ‘why?’ but I do have my reasons. Continue reading
I signed up for a March Madness training weekend with the Annapolis Triathlon Club, fondly known as Iron Crabs, and when I looked at the itinerary thought I might well be ‘mad’ for what I was getting myself into. Two members of the team had coordinated with various area coaches and facilities so that we could have an entire weekend of biking, running, swimming, and education at our fingertips. My goal in signing up was to get a true evaluation of where I am in my own training and to immerse myself in three days of all things triathlon. Continue reading
The Big Lick Triathlon in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, was my first Olympic triathlon. I learned about the race from my sister-in-law and her husband who have done the race before and we had a full crew of six of us ready for race day. We also had a full crew of family ready to cheer for us and we all arrived to Virginia in time for the Friday night packet pick-up and a hearty dinner at a local restaurant. Before I get into the event play-by-play, I must share an embarrassing side note only for the purpose of sharing my mistake so that hopefully no one else will make it. Continue reading
This weekend I am going to be doing my first Olympic triathlon in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. It’s the Big Lick. It’s also going to be a big milestone marking the end of many months of training and what I think is safe to call a significant obsession with triathlon training.
Every week I have been mapping out runs, rides, swims, time to get to the pool, looking at my gear, reading blogs, tweets, websites, checking and re-checking the weather, all in an effort to know as much as possible and be as prepared as possible going into this triathlon.
On top of the triathlon training I have been working my way through marathon training for the Richmond Marathon. I’m currently at the end of week nine in a 16 week schedule and am looking forward to re-focusing my training on just running.
Somewhere in between all this training I have been working, attempting to give some semblance of order to my house, and maintain an inkling of a social life.
My life is no different, or busier, than anyone I know and I wouldn’t trade the opportunities, the training, or the racing for anything. At some point it is all about balance and though I have yet to figure that out, this is my life and I’ll take it!
In late April I set my mind on doing my first triathlon. My sister and her husband had moved to upstate New York last fall and her husband signed up for the Cazenovia Sprint Triathlon which was August 9th. I thought signing up as well would be a great way to tie in a visit to their new home and I was eager to mix up my running with cross-training for a tri. After months of swimming, biking, running, searching for the best thing to wear, practicing transitions, and mentally preparing to do a triathlon it was finally time to put all that work to the test.
The days leading up to the tri I tapered my training and kept my meals consistent with what I’d been used to eating. The day before the race I had three square meals with slightly more carbs in each than I would normally have, a race routine I’m used to. We all (myself, my husband, and my brother-in-law) went to bed at a reasonable hour with a 5:45 a.m. alarm set. As happens before any race, I woke up several times to make sure I didn’t miss the alarm and at 5:30 I was ready to get going. Continue reading
Until recently, the last time I ran intervals was during track and field practice in high school. I’ve read plenty of articles about interval runs and there are some great folks on Twitter to learn from whose focus is interval training. The last few weeks of my triathlon training plan have included threshold interval work-outs. According to the plan this means to run for three minutes at 5K pace followed by a three minute jog. The first session I repeated this three times and the next three sessions I was to repeat four times. Each interval session begins and ends with a little over a one mile jog which happens to be the distance from my house to the local track, quiet convenient!
The first round of intervals were eye-opening. Even though I’d been preparing my body for speed with strides and tempo runs, attempting to maintain what I thought to be my 5K pace for three minutes was much more challenging than I thought it would be. I’m sure that part of the problem is that I still don’t know my actual 5K pace. My goal pace is 8-minute miles but I have not measured that on the track. I measure my 5K pace by my form, the length of my stride, the little extra push from my arms, and my breathing. I’m so familiar with my 9-minute pace that I feel like I can tell when I’ve pushed past that to something faster and that is what I consider my 5K pace. Continue reading