Friday, September 26, 2008

Personal Record on My 3 Mile Run

During my tri two weekends ago, it took me a little over 33 minutes to do 3 miles. Last week, during training, I ran 3.35 miles in a little over 36 minutes.

Yesterday, during training, I ran 3 miles in a little over 28 minutes, a personal record for me. What is even more interesting about that time is that I actually walked 2 minutes of it.

Now, I have learned that one's pace improves when he runs in cooler temperatures. I "talked" with some other folks on BT who have experienced the same thing, so I do believe that the improvement in my pace yesterday is 95% the result of better weather conditions. The remainder I will attribute to just simply getting better.

I don't know whether I should be happy or sad about this.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Sad Adieu to Swimming

Well, I'm now in a position where I won't be swimming at all. My sister-in-law's pool is closed and the weather's too cold to go swimming in the lake.

Unless there are a few days coming up that are super unseasonably warm, it looks like it's just running and biking for me.

Now, the good news is that I do plan on joining the Y this winter. My goal then will be to swim at least 3 times a week. I want to get much faster by April.

I've also decided to refocus on strength training. Having gone through one season without doing any at all makes me realize its value. It just has a wonderful way of sharpening how my body feels. I need that.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another Stupid Video?

You betcha.

Here's a video of the pics taken from the Toyota Challenge. This video does include more pics than were added in my last post, so you will see something new. Be sure to check out my race report, though.

I know it's very similar to the video from my last/first tri, but I wanted to get it finished quickly and it was easy to put together.

I've told Gary he doesn't have to go to anymore tris (except my Ironman in 3 years, of course), so it is incredibly doubtful that I'll have as many pictures next year, so I'm savoring the time now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Toyota Challenge Triathlon

I completed my second triathlon Sunday, the 14th. What a day!

The Swim (.6 mile)
I was really nervous about the swim. Gary was with me on the shoreline and he noticed my unusual broodiness. He said, "Honey, if you're dreading this and it's not fun for you, don't do it. If it is fun, go out there and have fun." That advice would help me later on.

Waiting to start the swim.

It just seems to take me a few minutes to find a good groove. I was hoping that warming up beforehand would help but it didn't. I did the final and third wave of the Sprint race. It was an all female wave. By the time I just started to find my groove, the girls were many yards ahead of me.

A minute or so later, I heard splashing behind me and it was the men from the Mini (Olympic distance race) heading my way. "Crap!" I told myself. I knew there'd be no way I was going to swim fast enough to get out of their way without killing my groove and running completely out of breath, so I decided to just keep swimming and just kind of tread until they got out of my way.

My biggest, biggest fear about going into the swim was getting bumped and kicked to death - literally - but it wasn't that bad. (I may have bumped into someone once during my first tri.) I did get bumped a lot, but no one kicked or hit me hard. Now that I've endured that, I won't be as afraid of the swim next time.

Compared to my first race where I had the guidance of another competitor throughout the swim, I was completely on my own. That was really okay this time. I was ready for this. I wanted to be left alone.

I didn't even try to take the standard advice to "just swim to the next bouy." I was just enjoying the fact that I was swimming - really swimming - and that it was a pleasurable experience. I was just going to "have fun." Before I knew it, I was almost at the final turn before the turnback.
(I came in 197/197 on the swim).

Me on the left approaching the last bouy.

Coming out of the water.
THE BIKE (12 miles)

Leaving Transition Area to bike.

The headwind on the bike was a beast. It was easily 20-30 mph. Later on that night, pretty much the whole state of Ohio's electricity would be out because of winds from Hurricane Ike up to 70 mph. Mother Nature was giving us a taste of what was to come that morning. Thanks for the preview, Mother Nature!

Once I changed directions and the headwind was gone, I went much faster. I kept on getting passed by people doing the Half Ironman. I saw no one from the Sprint. Why should I? I was the last one out of the swim and everyone else was probably done with the bike. Unlike my last race, I passed no one - no one! Three people that passed me told me I was looking good and to keep up the good work, or something along those lines. That was really cool.
(I came in 186/197 on the bike.)

Finishing up the bike.

THE RUN (3.1 miles)

Leaving Transition Area to run.

I'm pretty pleased with my run time against the others. This was my best event as I came in 141 out of 197. I thought I was moving much slower, but my pace was pretty consistent with my training. I was very pleased that the swim and bike didn't wear me out enough to mess with my running pace.

As I was approaching the finish line, there were two guys in front of me who crossed it pretty much the same time. The announcer called their names. I was excited that that would happen for me. Throughout this whole race, you're just a number, a face in the crowd. To be called by name, above all places at the finish line, really helps personalize your accomplishment.
(I came in 141/197 on the run.)


Me and my finisher's medal.
So, how'd I do? 197 people started the race. Two dropped out after the swim, so technically I came in 195/197! :) This just makes me laugh. For not coming from any of these sports, I'm very pleased. Plus, this is one of the most competitive races of the year from what I hear. I also came in under my goal of 2.5 hours at 2:25:58.
So, while coming in pretty much dead last makes me laugh - for now - I am a competitive person and I'm training today to move up in those rankings!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My First Tri Suit

I had the opportunity to buy a tri suit yesterday. (Well, I think technically it's not a suit as it's not a one-piece, but that's what I'll call it for now.) What's perfect about a tri suit is being able to wear it during all three events. This saves you from having to change clothes at every transition.
They're quick-drying so you won't stay wet for long after your swim; they have a nice little chamois pad for your bike ride and no material is blowing in the wind while you run.

Here's a link to the shirt I got: I got the Glory Blue color.

Here's a link to the shorts I got: I got the Black color.

I was so worried the shorts would show every flaw. The last time I wore anything like that was when spandex shorts were cool to wear in junior high. No one - no one - looked good in them.

I was very pleased with how well-hidden flaws were kept in these things. I mean, very pleased. Ladies, you know of what I speak.

I felt like I'd put on my superhero costume or something. How fun!

So, tomorrow's the big day and I can't wait to wear it! I'll have a full report as soon as I can.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Confirming Swim

Today, I went to the Y to swim. I've been doing all of my swim training in my sister-in-law's pool, with the exception of a few open water swims. (Thank you so much, Ann and Robin!) From one end to the other and back is 74 feet, so say 25 yards.

But I just wanted to make absolutely sure that I had not calculated that all wrong somehow. It would be a very Lora-thing to calculate my distance, only to have later realized I forgot to add something to my equation and I had been swimming less (or more) than I thought all of that time.

So, I wanted to get a precise measurement. My awesome friend Becky let me in to the pool today. She's the aquatics director at the Y. Thank you, Becky!

Turns out, it was very consistent with what I'd been swimming. I remember back in December when I was taking a competitive swimming class with Becky, struggling to even get to 100. Today, I did 900 and I could have done more if I wanted.

Fact #1: I can swim 900 yards.

Fact #2: I can swim 900 yards without killing myself if I just relax and take it easy.

Fact #3: It is critical to keep Fact #2 in mind at my tri Sunday.

My new facts of life are pretty cool indeed.

I'm Registered

Friday night, I finally registered for the Toyota Challenge. At my last/first tri, I wasn't nervous, really, until that morning. Today...I'm kind of nervous.

I think the reason is because now I know exactly what I'm getting into, whereas before, I just had a general understanding of what it would be like.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Better Than I'd Anticipated...But

So, my last tri had a 400 yard swim. It took me 27 minutes to complete it and I thought that event would never end.

In my current training, I shoot for completing 900 yards as that's the distance of my next try on September 14.

When I get to 400 yards, I look at my heart rate monitor and I'm at about 17 minutes. This means that I'm now doing that same distance in 10 minutes less. This is great news!

As I said, my next tri in a week-and-a-half is 900 yards. It's taking me about 45 minutes to finish this distance. This is also great news because a few weeks ago I didn't think I'd be able to even go the distance.

However, I cannot rest on my laurels. There will be things at the tri that will add to the challenge. I'll be swimming with women and men and I expect to get hit quite a lot. This will also create a lot of waves and will interfere with my rhythm and my ability to breathe well.

But the good news is I can go the distance - and a few weeks ago I didn't think I'd be able to in such a short amount of time.

I love triathlons.


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