Back on Track?

Well I realized it has been months since I made any effort to update this, luckily it was only a month (cough *ish*) that I took off training after my race. I had an email saying I had a new follower (yay – thank you!!!) so I thought I should get on the bike, literally and metaphorically, and start blogging and training again.

I did my Ironman 70.3 in Galveston and loved the experience! I really got into the training and made some great new friends. I have my Olympic distance in Kemah coming up in October and I’m seriously eyeing up another 70.3 (Oilman again) in Conroe.

I learned a lot about my style of getting things done from the training and racing and worked out that I want to hone my nutrition (duh…). I’ve start doing things again in the last couple of weeks to be more active again and weirdly I have realized I am way better at getting up to work out than I am at getting it done after work. I’m obviously getting old if this change has come about!

Anyway.. I worked out I have 20 weeks as of next week until the next 70.3 so I started doing things to prep pre training plan kicks in. I’m back in the pool, back in the gym and back on the bike.. now if I could just start running again, I’d be all set! Why is it so hard to get all 3 going at once? I swear it’s like juggling! I just keep dropping one of the balls (or maybe 2 as I guess nutrition should count in there too).

I’m getting better at meal prepping for a few days at a time and my fave go to at the moment is the magical 30 minute fajita prep. You just chop up the onions and peppers, drizzle them with oil and stick them in the oven at 350 deg for 25 mins. I’ve switched to buying pre cut chicken breast strips (lazy, I know, but if it means I have lunch, I’m ok with that). Those go on another tray with seasoning, in the oven at 350 for 25 mins. Then all you need to do after that is portion them out and stick the sauce and some cheese in the lunch box with them et voila.. lunch for days!!!

Anyway, I don’t want to jinx it too early but I am excited for the upcoming activities (just need to navigate the summer and potential road trips with training incorporated) so I’m hopeful that the laziness is done and I will keep up with the training again now!

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Officially registered!

I signed up officially for Galveston 70.3 last week and am getting on with my training, now that I’m getting into it, it’s a bit better than forcing myself to do things and there’s a certain satisfaction involved with ticking off workouts! There’s an even greater satisfaction with sinking into bed absolutely exhausted (perhaps not so much the next day, though).

My bike is about to have its new chain ring fitted and new cables sorted so that’s exciting. I think I may need a new saddle though as after 15 miles I can definitely feel the discomfort.. not sure whether to grit my teeth for a little bit longer or start trying to find a replacement.

I’m off to Boston in 2 weeks so I’ve already scoped out running routes and whether the hotel will have a gym/pool so that I can get work outs in whilst I’m away (same story with NYC). I’ll be catching up with some old friends while I’m there so I’m excited to see them.

I ordered myself a box fan so I can keep cool(ish) whilst on the trainer and a couple of books on nutrition since mine clearly sucks at the moment. I began calculating roughly how many calories I’m burning with workouts and I can’t understand why I’m gaining weight rather than maintaining or losing. I’m cutting out treats for now to see if that will have an impact and going back to more careful meal prepping and food choices to see if I can help my energy levels too! Here’s hoping it changes quickly!

Bike fittings and fixings.

I had good intentions about posting more this year and last Friday I had intended to write something and then I got side tracked, a week later and here I am. It’s storming hard out and the weather in Texas is just crazy lately. It was -14 just over a week ago and then this week we have had tornadoes and insane storms and flooding.

Tonight I went to my LBS for their annual Bike University which they do to kick off for the MS150 which it looks like I will be doing with friends! (Need to get on that fundraising). I caught up with friends and my fave bike store buddy, Bob, who got me set up with my first road bike just over 5 years ago! I got my Cervelo P3 fitted to me and I was so excited when I got home I almost cut my finger off getting it back on the trainer. It’s late so I gave it a quick 2 minute pedal before deciding my neighbours wouldn’t be grateful if I got a ride in tonight. It’s going to have to be a daylight hours activity even with a supposedly quiet trainer.

I’ve had the new chain ring ordered and it gets here Thursday so I’ll take my bike back then and have it pro tuned and the cables replaced as well then. I’m excited to be able to get it back all fixed up and get some regular training on it rather than gym bikes.

Tomorrow is a 1h30 bike and an 1800m swim ūüôā

 

Kilimanjaro and other travels!

Great news this week when I met with my boss to seek approval to lead a Kilimanjaro expedition group next year! He said yes! He’s also suggested that I take groups back to the Swiss Alps ‚̧ YES, PLEASE!

I sat and planned out my top wish lists for¬†trips for 2017 over the break and I’m really excited to get planning and go exploring. I think my¬†brother might be coming to visit in May for a couple of weeks as well which would be awesome. 2017 could be my busiest year of catching up with family in forever.

Top list of trips for 2017:

New England Road Trip – February

Mardi Gras NOLA – February

UK/Paris trip – April

Bro may be visiting РMay

Memorial Day Roadtrip? Destin perhaps?

Backpacking around Asia – July/August

Germany/UK- August

Labor Day is still open!!

October is still open!!

December – I suspect my plans just changed for this so I’m going to hold tight on that for now.

Now I’d best get saving!

Freaking out!

Full on freaking out tonight as I read through more of the “Be Iron Fit” book and tried to pick out my training plan. The race is 12.5 weeks away and even though there’s a month between the Olympic and my HIM I am panicking tonight. There is literally nothing left between me and the race. 

2017 needs to be the year I get my shit together but you’d think that by now I would have already semi sorted that!? When do adults actually grow up? Do they just wake up one day and have it sorted?!

Here’s hoping that tomorrow I get my plan sorted as I’m well aware I was fast tracking on the IM training plans and that’s only going to end in misery and injury! 

Happy New Year, 2017 edition!

happy-new-yearAnother new year! I should have posted a couple of days ago but I’ve been honing my procrastination skills in 2016! (Getting pretty good, can’t you tell). A friend of mine told me I should blog about my adventures at the party we were at for New Years and at first I thought she just meant travel but she expanded to say all of it. I haven’t shared my blog with her yet but it did make me think “yeah, I want to get back on that” so here’s to trying to update and make more regular time to fill in the blanks with training plans, neat recipes I found, my travel adventures and everything in between!

Today I am reading up on Being Iron Fit and looking at training plans and swim workouts as the training for Galveston 70.3 needs to kick off in earnest.

I had dinner with a friend last night and we were talking about training, weak areas, bikes and coaching. I’ve previously done the “pre season tri dot” where you are assessed, get given a training plan and work from there. Every so often you do an assessment and they update your numbers and plan accordingly but the interaction with the coach is by phone or email. I think I’d quite like a group to train with and personal interaction if I’m going to be forking out for coaching. I finally feel like I’ve got the “love” and determination back to do this race so I don’t just want to flunk out on it. A couple of friends are training with a local group and have been encouraging me to join – I guess now it’s just biting the bullet and going for it (here’s to making new friends!).

I’ll share my goals for 2017 when I have them finalised!

IMG_3933.JPGHere’s hoping that your 2017 is bigger, brighter and full of health, happiness and love!

Happy New Year!

Race Report: BCS Marathon

Wow! Well I wish I had blogged more frequently leading up to this event because there is a whole load of stuff that happened that I could have shared about.

Anyway more excitingly – Sunday the 11th December 2016, I ran my first FULL MARATHON!

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(I was letting it sink in for a minute).

 

I ran BCS marathon at College Station in Texas which is Aggieland (Texas A&M for the non Texans amongst us). What a race! The volunteers were amazing and everything was well organized with clear, frequent communications from the organizers. It was a much smaller race than I realized and I think I loved it more for this reason! It was so much more personal and every single person out on the course was happy and friendly.

I ran with my friend and I am so grateful that I had someone to run with; it would definitely have been a different experience solo. If you are planning on running with someone, make sure you know them fairly well and get on enough that you can zone out or tell them to shush if you need to (I didn’t need to shush my buddy but I was pretty quiet the whole race – just taking it all in and mentally keeping myself on track).

In my racing/training strategies for my longer runs I like to count down the miles which I know some people hate but it keeps my mind focused and doesn’t let me quit until I reach 0. I was surprised how quickly the miles went down on this race – way quicker than in my ‘training’. I’ll be honest – I wasn’t trained for the race and I wouldn’t recommend it to people as a healthy approach to racing but weather conditions and the course were in my favour. The longest training run we did was 13.1 miles at Thanksgiving (see photos for the beautiful trace we ran in Louisiana)

 

The weeks when I had planned 15 and 18 mile training runs I was so ill with flu that I couldn’t even get out of bed and then my asthma flared up big time – to the point where I couldn’t even speak more than a word or 2 before dissolving into coughing fits and being unable to breathe. (Ironically I can run perfectly with asthma as long as it’s not too cold!). I just can’t go anywhere without my inhaler in the winter.

Anyway.. side tracked (obviously still in that post race daze/high stage).. so the race was amazing. My friend got a huge blood blister just after we passed 13.1 (high five for making it beyond our longest training distance) so we switched to walking through the water stops at each mile marker after that point. At about 18/19 he started to feel unwell (I’ll admit around mile 10 my stomach started to feel rough for a few minutes and then luckily I was fine without any issues for the rest of the race). By mile 23 my knee felt like it was about to give out and I was experiencing quite a bit of pain and my buddy was feeling like he was about to hurl so we walked until 24. We rallied and kept going, looking at the photos of the child slaves freed this year because of this race (WOW!!!) as we ran towards the finish. My buddy had said to me that he wasn’t going to sprint finish as we usually push to do.. but then he picked up his speed so I said ok.. if we’re going to do this, let’s do this properly! We flew into the finish at top sprint and everyone was cheering and screaming (and I later found out our friends were watching us finish!!). It was an amazing end to the race and I didn’t even cry! Yay me!

As soon as I crossed the finish line my feet felt soggy and I could feel some intense pressure points and potential blisters on my feet which I guess I had blocked during the race. Other than this and the knee pain at 23/24 (and maybe some ankle/inner foot aches from the pounding) I felt pretty good the whole race and mentally I was clear and with it throughout. I didn’t hit a wall but I’m pretty sure this was because I had someone with me to push me and keep me going.

There were way too many people milling around in the finish enclosure and when my legs were buckling I was worried about falling into people or things but hey ho.. I made it out upright, with my super duper medal and off we went to have pictures taken!

 

Would I recommend this race to others? Yes! It was awesome!

Pros: 

Cheap sign up if you join early

Marathon only $5 more expensive than half marathon

Fantastic communication and social media support

SWEET medal and finisher jacket (plus a tech shirt)

Great volunteer support

Yummy food at finish

Benefitting a fantastic cause

 

 

There weren’t really any – we decided not to stay in College Station over the weekend and drove up for the race, if I did it again I would stay overnight probably. I would have liked maybe a portapotty or two more dotted around the course just in case!

On a side note, if you’re in College Station and you’re looking for great food – head to Mad Taco near Northgate – best tacos I have EVER eaten!