Saturday, July 11, 2009

Race day - Finally!

Well, this morning was my first triathlon. I signed up for this triathlon about 3 months ago and have been trying t0 train up to this day ever since. I've managed to loose about 50 pounds and have increased my run distance from 0 to 3.6 miles. So I was feeling pretty confident that I would be able to finish everything, but most of my anxiety was over my self image which is still not what I want. When I think of triathlons, I see images of the Ironman and the people who run them. Intellectually I know that sprint triathlons are not like that, but until I did one that image was stuck in my mind.


I woke up this morning at about 5:20 and started getting ready. I made sure I used the bathroom at the house because I know the ones at the YMCA pool where the triathlon is held are not really that nice. I then cooked my normal breakfast (Canadian bacon and eggs), got everything together and headed to the location. I only live about 15 minutes away so I got there about 6:25. We were supposed to be there by 6:30, but 7:15 would have worked out just as well.

I got my bike off the rack and ensured my tires were pumped up. The grabbed everything I needed and headed to the transition area. I setup my stuff and realized that I did not have my water. Oh well, plenty of time to get the water later, time to get chipped. So I headed up the hill to the registration tables. I had picked up my number yesterday so I just needed to get my timing chip and get my number inked on. After that, me and everyone else had over an hour to wait for the race. To try to relax (I was full of nervous energy) I went back to my car and read a little of a book. At about 7:30 I changed my shirt (I had already sweated through my first one due to the nervous energy), and headed to the pool.


The swim was going to start at 8 so along with a bunch of others, I stretched and did a couple of warm up laps. Then it was time to start! They had mentioned that you could not dive in so I was a little surprised to see the first people taking a running jump into the water. They must have been going about 8 feet out on the jump. I did not see any clumping in front of me (I was about 40th in line) so the people in front of me seemed to do a good job of estimating their time. Finally its my turn and I jump in just like everyone else. I get to the first wall and I'm a little out of breath, mostly due to excitement. I had decided to not try flip turns with everyone else in the pool so I just touched the wall and kicked off into the next lane. We had 8 lengths to swim and I settled into a rhythm. I caught the guy in front of me on the 7th length and passed him for the last length. I climbed out of the pool and ran to my sandals. The transition area was about 50 yards away in the third parking lot down the hill from the pool. I did not want to try running barefoot on the parking lots


When I got to the transition area, I took the time to dry off some and put on socks and my bike shoes. I then put on my helmet grabbed the bike and headed out. The bike route was 2 loops through the local neighborhood. The only thing I didn't like about it was that there were many sharp turns and it was hard to get into a rythym when you would have to slow down for a 90 degree turn and then head up a hill. The bike went well with some of the better riders passing me and I passed some of the others. After the second loop I headed back to the transition for the run.


During the transition, I drank some water and a GU gel. When I headed out my calves started feeling very tight so the first thing I did was to stretch them out. I also noticed that my back was feeling a little sore when I started the run, but not enough to stop me. The first half of the run was not much of a problem, but I started to overheat on the second half. I dumped a half cup of water on me and continued on. I walked a little on the last big hill then ran to the finish.

All in all I am very glad I did this and cannot wait to do it again. (In september!) Hopefully they will post the split times soon so I can find out how I did.

Later, Scott

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Update for the last 3 weeks

I have kind of found myself in a funk since my vacation a couple of weeks ago. We thoroughly enjoyed the beach. Spending a week on the beach should be a monthly occourance! I only ran on the beach once (it was not too bad), but I did go walking for several miles almost every morning I was there. The girls only managed to get moderately burned (other than my oldest daughters chin), but my wife managed to worry too much about the kids on the first day and skipped putting sunscreen on sections of her legs and got pretty roasted. She ended up wearing long pants to the beach for the next several days.

Since we got back, I have only managed 1-2 runs a week. My schedule has just been fluctuating. We had my brother in-law and his family stay with us for several days and my motivation has just flagged for the last 2 weeks. My distances have increased a little, but the frequency has not. I am finally feeling that my motivation is returning. Yesterday I did 50 minutes of laps in the pool and this morning I did 8 miles on the bike followed by 2.6 miles running. That is actually a little more distances than my triathlon this Saturday.

SATURDAY!!!!!! It just does not seem possible that the Triathlon I signed up for 4 months and 40 pounds ago is this week! I am both nervous and excited. Most of my nervousness is getting out with all the super fit people. I know I can do the course, but I hate the idea of showing off my body to all the people there. Even though I have lost about 48 pounds, I still have another 50 pounds on me that I wish would go somewhere else. I hope that once I get there, I will relax about it, but my squishy shape is still a source of anxiety to me now. I wore my new triathlon shorts this morning for my bike/run and they felt pretty good. I should be fine with them for the swim/bike portion, but I will probably throw on some running shorts over them for the run portion. Some things just don't look that good in Spandex!

I just got the pre-race info in the email. Most of it looks like I expected, but the one thing I did not expect was to not be able to use headphones. To tell you the truth, it never occured to me that we would not be able to use them. I guess I will not be using my Nike+ for this. I am still debating whether to use my HRM. I am leaning against it due to the dificulty of keeping the sensor on while swimming. I will have enough distractions without that also.

If I survive this weekend ;) my next event will be a 60 mile bike ride next weekend.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Weird week

This week has been a weird one for me. After the hiking last Saturday, i did not feel like doing anything on Sunday or Monday. I did 3 mile runs on Tuesday and Wednesday, then nothing on Thursday or Friday. (I let a friend talk me into seing a movie Friday instead of my planned spin class).

S0 I figured I would be rested today so I decided to do a brick. I hopped on my bike and started around the neighborhood then around the next one. I managed to do 5.75 miles when I next reached my house so I decided to go ahead and try to run. The operative word there is try. It felt like somone replaced my nice running shoes with concrete shoes. I managed a mile then when I hit the big hill at the back of the subdivision and my legs just could not take it. I had to walk that hill and the other 3 hills on the way back home. I managed 2.25 miles at a 13 minute pace. Obviously I need to work on my preperations for this. I also think I need to eat something before I try one of these again. I just felt out of energy when I did the run.

So, now for the good news. We are at the beach! I will get to practive my running on the beach for the next week. YAY!

Have fun,

Monday, June 8, 2009

Last week and Mt LeConte

Last week I had a pretty good week of workouts. Last Saturday, I did my 30 mile ride, and Monday and Wednesday I did 3+ mile runs. On Thursday I did a nice spin class and on Friday I played Basketball for about 1.5 hours. By Saturday, my legs were a little sore, but not really that bad. On Saturday, we climbed a mountain!

Mt Leconte is the third highest peak in the smoky mountains and about 1.5 hours drive from Knoxville. So we loaded up the minivan with the kids (6 and 2) and the backpack carrier and headed off. The kids were fine for the first hour (Thankfully, we have a DVD player), but the last 30 minutes they were complaining about the curves and when will we be there. Next time, we are going to leave the 2 year old with my aunt and just take the older one.
So, we finally got there about 10 am and proceeded to try to get everything ready for the trail. We met my father-in-law there since he loves to do the trails in the smokies. So we headed off. The first thing we get to is a nice stream that we will follow for the next mile.
I thought the girls would love this, but they were still tired from the trip and my 6 year old started having a screaming fit. This lasted about 10 minutes and after that she was fine. She did much better than I thought and I think she could have made it all the way to the top. My 2 year old was having fun riding in the backpack. I just wish it would have lasted!

Of course, they had to get out and play in the creek. Several Times! The water was cold, but I do not think the girls cared. They were just enjoying playing with the rocks and sticks.

So, we mostly carried the 2 year old up to the Alum Cave bluff about 2.2 miles up the trail. The last part of this climb was pretty steep and carrying her and the backpacks was pretty tiring. Now it was Lunch time! For some reason, when you are out in the wilderness, nothing tastes better than a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
So, after resting for a while, we left my wife and youngest here and proceeded to try to get to the top. About another 3 miles. Unfortunately, my shoes did not want to cooperate. At about the 3-3.5 mile mark, my boots started to disintegrate.

Here is what it looked like. If you can't guess from my pants, it was a very wet muddy day on the trail. There was alot of rain the night before. So after a little agonizing, we decided to turn around and head back down. It was probably a good idea since my heels were starting to get a little raw also.

So we hurried back down anc caught up to my wife and of course they had to stop and play in the creek on the way down also! They found where a tree had fallen over the creek and the girls just had to cross over it. Several times.
All in all, we had a good time, but next time I will definitely make it to the top. Hopefully my new hiking shoes will last until after I get done with the hike! We will try again on the July 4th weekend.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Recovering from the Weekend

On Saturday I did my first distance ride on my bike. Only 30 miles, but that is about 14 more than I have done at one time before. We averaged about 16.6 miles an hour for the 30 miles. Afterwords, my legs were a little tired and my butt was very sore. Hopefully after riding more, I will get acclimated to riding on the bike seats!

After the ride, I met my family in downtown Knoxville for a literacy festival. We ended up walking all over downtown and the girls liked playing in the water fountains. Then we went to the waterfront to meet some more friends so our kids could play together in those fountains.

Sunday, we took a trip to Dollywood. This is a nice amusement park in the smoky mountains and we spent all day walking around the park. My legs were so tired last night that I just crashed last night.

This morning, I was not sure if I felt up to running, but I wanted to give it a chance. I ended up running 3.25 miles at a 10:54 pace. That is the longest I have run and the fastest pace also. Hopefully by the time my triathlon comes in July, I can be up to 5 miles at a time.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Where is the time

I have been struggling to try to fit everything I want to do into a week. When I started working out three months ago, I would swim about 5 times a week. When I started doing spin classes, I was doing about 3 swim and 2 spin classes a week. When I added running to the mix, I started having trouble getting everything I want to do to fit in the week and still have rest days.

My current schedule is something like this:

Running - 2-3 times a week.
Swimming - 1 time a week.
Spin/Cycling - 1-2 times a week.

My problem is I want to do everything 2-3 times a week and my body cannot handle that much. On Wednesday, I tried to run and only made it about 1.25 miles before having to walk the rest. My legs were just dead after running 3 miles on Monday and doing a hard Spin class on Tuesday. Basically Wednesday turned into my day of rest. The worst part for me is where I used to do about 5 swims a week, now I am doing 1 every 7-10 days. I feel that I need the most work in running and cycling, but I do miss doing swimming more often.

On other fronts, the countdown is on to vacation and my first tri. Vacation is in 2 weeks at the beach and we cannot wait. The tri is in 6 weeks and I cannot wait. :)


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Second Bike to Work day

Today I am doing my second Bike-to-Work day. I found that this was much easier this week than it was when I rode the same path last week. I am not sure if it was due to going a little slower or if my legs are that much stronger after only one ride. I am going to side with the stronger :).

I noticed on the ride that my bike computer is shot. It won't even come on. Since it is only about 2 months old and only cost about $20, I am not going to even try to get it fixed. It also might be broken since it fell off the last time I rode. So now I am trying to think of what I want to get to replace it. I have been thinking about how nice it would be to get a Garmin watch and it would work just as well on a bike as on a runner. The problem is that they are so expensive and I am not sure if I really need something like that when my running distances are still as short as they are. I will probably just get another cheap bike computer to replace it and maybe get the garmin at a later date.

Yesterday was not a good day for the diet, but it was a good day for my taste buds! It started out with lunch at my daughters school. Bag lunch of a hot dog and chips and rice krispy treats. It went further down hill at work with a fundraiser where we bought ice cream Sundays with the proceeds going to children's hospital. Then it ended later at Fudruckers with a good hamburger and onion rings! Yum! Oh well, back to sensible food today!