Confessions of a Triathlete

Hi guys! I woke up pretty convinced that today was Thursday and am now wondering why there are two days of the week that start with the letter ‘T’. Waaaay too confusing.

Anyways, here’s my latest training update for Raleigh 70.3!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait for it….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

yep! That just about covers it!

May is hell. I hate May. It’s the month of EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW AND PERFORM AND RECITAL AND EXAMS AND RACE AND HOLIDAYS AND PROJECT DEADLINES AND…..ok so I’ve run out of things. But seriously, it’s the month that our ERC has our annual site visit where NSF (the National Science Foundation) visits and lets us know if they’ll continue sending exorbitant amounts of money our way to fund our super cool research, aka let’s sit in a windowless room for 2 days and listen to people with no sense of humor talk about things you know nothing about.

This means that even though Raleigh 70.3 is in 26 days, I did not work out once last week. Thanks to the grad school hullabaloo and the fact that we are getting ready to move and getting ready to go to Europe for 2 weeks, I have not had any remaining energy to spend on training.

And that’s ok.

It’s not ideal. Sometimes you read articles about how triathletes are super dedicated to their sport and wake up at 4am to get a swim in. It’s inspiring and all, but it’s not reasonable. I will almost always choose sleep over a workout because I need that mental energy to stay on top of my game at school and that physical energy to keep up with the professor walk. So in some ways, I don’t feel like a ‘real’ triathlete.

<–Total side note here. Professors and people in academia walk SUPER fast everywhere. Not sure why. Maybe they’re always late. IDK. But I usually have to jog to keep up with the brisk pace that is the standard here. Also also, hallways are dangerous places and collisions are highly likely —>

Real triathlete or not, it’s ok. I’m not shooting to be an elite athlete and qualify for the World Championship. I’m going out there to push my physical and mental limits and I can accomplish that with the amount of training I currently have.  So even though my training looks like this….

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I will finish the race and maybe even beat my time from last year. Who knows.

Gotta be baller at the grad school thing first!

 

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Beaverdam: I accept my fate as forever being cold and wet.

Hi everyone!

The week is in full swing over here and at this point I’m just along for the ride. As I’m sure you already know, we had a pretty cold exciting weekend with racing and Brewgaloo-ing and brunching.

First off, the race!

This was my first triathlon of the season, the Beaverdam Olympic Triathlon (for those who don’t know it’s a 1500m swim, 24 mile bike, and 10k run). I did this one last year also so my main goal this year was to beat my times from last year. And. I. Did. #ballerstatus

2014 results

This was from 2014. I had a minor panic attack on the swim (my first open water swim with a wetsuit) and backstroked 90% of the thing! I’m particularly proud that my backstroke is as strong as my freestyle/crawl. Although it may also be that my crawl just sucks. But whatever. I

I finished third in my age group that year which was exciting! Never mind the fact that it was 3/6. Third is third.

2015 results

And these are my results from this year! About 11 min faster! Woohoo! I shaved some time off of each leg 🙂 <–there’s a shaving joke in there somewhere but I’m too tired to find it

Swim:

I actually bought my own wetsuit this year instead of renting one and made sure to get comfortable in the water before I started. Then when we started, I didn’t panic and remembered to breathe! (always a plus) I was able to swim the whole thing and only took a couple of breaks to float and get my bearing in the water. This was a huge success for me.

Now, what’s weird is that usually a wetsuit swim is COLD. Don’t get me wrong, the water was not warm by any means, but it was warmer in the water than out of it! The transition went pretty well although I did have a minor issue getting my left foot out of the wetsuit, but I’ve never had to worry too much about my transitions since I’m used to quick changes from my ballerina days.

Bike:

The bike was freezing. Actually. freezing is an understatement. For some unknown reason, I forgot my arm warmers and toe covers so I was just in my tri kit for the duration of the bike. The majority of my thoughts on the bike consisted of “I can’t feel my feet at all. If I get frostbite from this stupid race imma be so pissed” “I should eat/drink something, wait my hands don’t work. Come on warm up enough to grab a water bottle” Rinse and repeat.

Luckily the bike course changed from last year, so instead of constant rolling hills we had a lot of flat areas and low incline hills. So that was lovely. The rain, wind, and cold was not.

I did have a bike-buddy for most of the race. We happened to have the same pace for the entire ride! So we bonded and chatted it up as a distraction from the weather. Sadly she’s not local otherwise she’d probably be my new bestie. She’s in the purple behind me in the pic 🙂

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My second transition was also a little slow. This was more due to the fact that I had lost all feeling in both my hands and feet. Shoelaces are hard. Note to self: get those elastic shoelaces.

Run:

The run was an out-and-back that we covered twice. I love these because it feels shorter than it actually is. It’s like focusing on a landmark when you run and saying you’ll run to that and then walk, only this time the landmark was a water station. My feet were still completely numb for the first 2 miles of the run which had me worried for a bit. I couldn’t control how my feet were landing so I hurt the outside of my right foot a bit. The run course was not very flat, but at that point I was just glad to be off the bike and warming up so I really didn’t care about the hills.

The other awesome benefit of having 2 laps of the course was seeing Indy and Steve a lot! When I was getting ready to finish, I grabbed the leash from Steve and Indy literally pulled me across the finish line. I mean, she took off! I think she was super excited to finish and GTFO of the crazy place with a lot of scary people doing stuff. It’s super scary.

Anyways, I got second place in my age group this year! 2/7 so the field improved in both directions 🙂 And I got my time in under 3 hrs which also makes me happy 🙂

I was pretty cold so we (and a ton of other triathletes) stopped off at Starbucks on the way home for a nice hot drink to finish the day.

 

Dancing spring chickens, or Harold’s adventure in the oven

This spring is so busy! I mean usually spring is pretty busy anyway but this year, holy crap! We’ve got end of the semester projects and finals, research grant deadlines, moving to a new place, European vacation planning, half marathons, triathlons and several other things I’m sure I’m forgetting. It’s during busy times like this that I’m glad we can take the time to enjoy naming a chicken and making him dance before lathering him up in butter, stuffing some garlic in his butt and tossing him in the oven for his nap on a bed of veggies. He ended up being delicious by the way.

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Amanda dancing with the delicious Harold

During our chicken downtime lately I’ve been spending a lot of time coding. I have one last project to finish up for my embedded systems class. We have a full color touchscreen to interface with the microcontroller and we have to make a video game with it. During my late nights coding Amanda has been training for her triathlons and enjoyed a girl’s night in with Lisa one night which consisted of plenty of Budlight lime and I can only assume hair braiding and pillow fights. (That’s what girls do right?)

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The aftermath of the girl’s night in

I was working very hard on the microcontroller project last week when we thought the due date was last Friday. Turns out none of my friend group listened when the professor said everyone could have a 1 week extension on the project so once we found that out we took a a couple days off which was nice because Amanda had her Beaver Dam triathlon on the nastiest coldest wettest day. Here she is looking super speedy 🙂

wpid-20150425_080810.jpg Indy was there with me to cheer Amanda on. Indy’s reaction and thought process every time Amanda passed us went something like this

OMG THERE’S MY OTHER HUMAN I MISSED YOU SOOOO MUCH I THOUGHT YOU WERE NEVER COMING BACK COME HERE AND PET ME AND LOVE ME WAIT WAIT WAAAIIITT WHERE ARE YOU GOING COME BACK PLLAEEASESE! STEVE, WE HAVE TO FOLLOW HER, LETS GO LETS GO LETS GO… Omg she’s never coming back ever ever…

repeat this 6 times with extended periods of sulking and you have Indy’s triathlon experience.

wpid-20150425_105734.jpgAmanda ran across the finish line with Indy though which both of them really enjoyed. I think Indy about pulled Amanda off her feet when I gave her the leash but I’ll let her tell you more about the race.

Afterward warming up and getting dry but beer was calling our name so we went back out in the cold and rain for Brewgaloo in downtown Raleigh. Local beer brewers had booths lined all up and down Fayetteville Street where you could get pints or small taster pours. I’m pretty sure we really enjoyed ourselves but the details are a little hazy to be honest 😉

wpid-20150425_184425.jpgThat’s about all for now. Hope your week is off to a great start!

Just Keep Swimming

If you’re anything like me and quote movies (specifically Pixar and Disney) all the time, then this probably popped into your head.

Did you have a good week? This one was another bit of a struggle in grad school terms. Had to actually leave campus on Wednesday because the armband I spent 2.5 weeks building from scratch worked…..aaaaaaaand then magically after lunch, it didn’t. So pissed/upset/dejected that I skipped our social hour (I skipped beer I know) and went home early.

On the bright side, that was a pretty quick 10 miles I ran afterwards! Even with all the hills around the art museum I managed to keep an 8:40 min/mile pace and pulled a negative split.

Steve and I went to try a new-to-Steve restaurant called Humble Pie since we didn’t get hungry until around 9pm and it was open and looked good. They did have surprise live jazz music <–my fave! And we left in much better moods.

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Yesterday though I was able to get back in the pool!

Swimming is definitely my weakest sport. Probably due to the whole breathing underwater thing. Since I kinda gave up on being super fast a while ago, I try to have fun with it! Sometimes it’s really nice to just check out and follow the black line back and forth for an hour. I love mindless activities like that.

Here is what I look like before I hop in! (I do try to color coordinate but sometimes I feel like being that obnoxious person)

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And this is my sexy face….

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I was the only bug-eyed alien in the pool for almost 30 min! At first it was weird and then I remembered that classes were canceled for ‘Spring Holiday’.

I always have super attractive raccoon eyes after the goggles are removed. This leads to some pretty weird looks from undergrads as I leave the gym.

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Although, my swim-hat hair probably doesn’t help me much either…

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Gotta keep it classy y’all.

What are your plans for the Easter holiday? (if you celebrate Easter that is)