Race Recap: Nantasket Beach Triathlon

Sorry this is so late! I was so sick last week I could barely move out of my bed!

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As you know, my first triathlon did not go so well, the swim was anxiety ridden, as was my run. The night before my second one, while packing up my things….I thought that this race was going to be a disaster as well. While packing up my bike for the morning….my rear wheel just falls off. After some tinkering and youtubing, we successfully (or so we thought) got the wheel back on. I even rode it around the block before we packed it up! Then the next morning while unpacking our bikes, I hit the curb and it fell off again and this time I couldn’t get it back on. While almost in tears, the bike repair company just pulled up and saved the day for me! Yay! I’ve heard too many horror stories of people that DNF because of bike mishaps.

With all my gear accounted for and repaired, we headed off the beach to warm up, we were told it was a balmy 65 degree water. I get in thinking I’m going to be too warm in my wet suit. OH MY GOODNESS I was wrong! My face hit the water and it 097was FREEZING!!! But I did it! When my wave was ready to go I swam without any anxiety attacks. I did get kicked in the face, which is expected, but I did get run over by a kayak. I thought those are supposed to save you from drowning….not make you drown? But whatever. I made it!!!
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The bike was fine, the roads were a bit rough (literally every 10 feet there was a bump on this one road, I thought my brains were going to fall out!) and my legs felt a little tired for no reason, so I was slower than usual. But we’ll blame the rough roads on that 🙂

Next up, the run. Another beach run. Ugh. Even though this time the sand was more packed and it didn’t feel like I was running on mashed potatoes, it was still hard! I averaged about a 10:12 mile which is a whole minute slower than what I was normally run a 5k. Yes, I just hopped off the bike and started running, but I should’ve been only like 30 seconds slower at the most. Brick work outs are definitely in my future for next year!

116All in all, this was a really well organized fun race. I made a new friend in my wave of new triathletes and I felt more confident. The best parts were having my mom be my official race photographer and having my boyfriend meet me at the finish line for a nice sweaty (he did the race too) hug!       I’m sad that race season is over, but I can’t wait to take on some new challenges this year!117

Next up….the Smuttynose Half marathon and the BAA half marathon!!!
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Triathlon Gear: the beginners guide

This week has been leading up to my last triathlon of the season, and as I was creating my packing list for race day I have learned to appreciate how little you need to run. Tri’s require A LOT of gear. Yes, some people take the minimalist approach, but let’s be real I’m a gear addict so I just dove right in. This is pretty much where all my money has gone this year. I thought I’d share my list and what I think you absolutely need not only for training but also for race day if you’re thinking about trying out a triathlon of any distance.
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Swim:
Wet suit: this one you don’t absolutely need one, but if you’re new to open water swims I highly recommend it for several reasons.
1. It helps with confidence in the open water, basically you’re wearing a full body flotation device
2. If you’re in the northeast or anywhere with cold water like I am, it helps keep you warm
3. It makes you faster being covered in one slick piece of material
Gog   FullSizeRendergles: kind of obvious, get good ones though, the cheap ones start to leak after a couple months.
Bathing suit: I got one on sale at City Sports….these can be expensive!!!
Swim cap: I got one for long hair to keep this mane in place, those of you with short hair are lucky! They are required at a race though, they have you one of a specific color for your swim wave.
Tri suit: I don’t have a full body suit but I do have a tri top and shorts. It’s not like regular work out gear, you wear it under your wet suit and it doesn’t absorb as much water and dries faster. Next year I want a full one because my top always rides up!
Bike:
Bike: well duh, Christine. I already had a bike, a Trek hybrid. But if you look back in my posts, I ended up getting a new road bike. The hybrid was so heavy and made riding not as much fun! On the road bike I’m faster, it’s easier to transport because it’s lighter and I’m sitting in a more comfortable position (in my opinion). Definitely get a bike that you’re fitted for your bike, believe me it’s so important to have the right size in order to prevent injury!FullSizeRender (1)
Clip in shoes/pedals: I just recently got my pedals and I LOVE being clipped in, I can engage my hamstrings more (saves those quads for the run!) and every time I hit a bump my foot doesn’t fly off the pedal. Yes it makes riding a bit trickier if you have to stop and go, but practice in a parking lot so that you get used to it first!
Helmet: mine is a cheap one from Target
Pump: you always want to keep your tires at the right inflation!
Trainer: I live in Boston so it’s hard to find a good place to ride without fear of being hit by a car so I got a bike trainer. It basically makes your bike into a stationary bike. I like this better than using a spin or regular stationary bike because I can get used to changing gears and the feel of my own bike.
Run:
Phew the leg of a tri with the least amount of gear!!
FullSizeRender (3)Shoes: obviously. Once again, get fitted. It’s so important to wear the right kind of shoe for your foot/body. It will save you from injury in the long run.
Lock laces: doesn’t necessarily have to be this brand, but basically it’s elastic laces so you can just slip your shoes on and not worry about having to lace up during the transition!
Race belt: save some time by not having to pin on your number! Just throw on this belt right before your run and you’re number ready (don’t forget it like I did at my first race!).
There’s still so much other gear that I want just because. But I’ve made it through this year with just this. Some things on my wish list (if you want to contribute! 😉 ) are:
Garmin 920, it does it all. Track swim, bike and run.
Bike gloves add some padding to my palms for long rides
Bike pouch always want to have the right tools!
Flip belt to carry my stuff on long runs
Goggles…I’ll admit it. I got cheap ones and now they leak 😦
Happy swimming, biking and running!

How running helped me overcome my eating disorder

Eating disorders are a subject that people often dance around, too afraid to talk about. I used to be one of those people, because I was always too afraid to admit that I was sick. I never thought that I had one because I was never “sick looking” enough. I never toed that dangerous line of extreme emaciation, but inside I was a complete mess.
 It’s no secret that eating disorders mostly effect women (but I know there are men image1out there that do struggle with them as well), but when it comes to athletes, the chances increase because so much is focused on our bodies and how they perform. More often than not that thoughts “If I just lose a few more pounds I’ll be faster, more agile, jump higher….” etc. I know I constantly had those thoughts as a competitive cheerleader and a dancer, where image was everything. As I got older, I decided to try out bikini competitions, another sport where everything focused on your image. I started working out harder to feed this disease that was eating at me from the inside out. I battled with anorexia and bulimia for 14 years before I decided enough was enough.
image2These past two years I have slowly overcome something I’ve battled with for half my life. I’ve stopped focusing on whats in the mirror and more on what my body can do. This past year I’ve really focused on training for a half marathon and sprint distance triathlons. Running, swimming and biking have given my life back to me. I’m no longer focusing on how little I can eat but what I can do, and if I don’t fuel properly I’m not going to do well.
 I remember one particularly bad run I had this past year, I didn’t eat enough the two days prior and I set out for a 9 mile long distance run. About mile 3, I hit a wall. My legs didn’t want to move anymore, my heart was racing and my eye sight became fuzzy. That’s when I realized I couldn’t let myself go down that path again. I suddenly had this hunger to do well, and not just burn off calories. I started to track my work outs as opposed to my food and focused on seeing those numbers improve while still eating over 1000 calories and not scrutinizing every little bite. I love seeing number average times on runs and swims decrease and my body adapt to my training.
I won’t say that I’m fully recovered. There are some days where I have to fight the urge to binge and purge or not eat at all to make up for a bad weekend. But everyday I’m fighting to nurture my body and gain my inner strength through my sport.

Weekly Recap August 31- September 6

Weekly Recap August 31- September 6

More lessons learned during this weeks training! Goals met, and some mechanical frustrations along the way.
Monday: I decided to be lazy on Sunday and lounge around, so I moved my long run to Monday morning since I don’t have to be at work until 11:30am. MISTAKE ONE of the week. I completed my 8.5 miles with plenty of time to spare. However, I was POOPED the rest of the day. Like ready to fall asleep at my desk. IMG_1013
Tuesday: Yasso 800s! We did a treadmill work out with our coach, 800m repeats at a 8min/mile pace. Working on that speed!!!! It was only supposed to be 4 but he turned it into 6 and I almost died.
IMG_0993Wednesday: 2050m swim, working on form in order to build speed. Concentrated on single arm drills and closed fist drill and finished it off with some sprints! I definitely feel myself flying through the water faster!
Thursday: Lift!!! Looks like he’s cut back my lifts to one time a week, my goal was to get two in this week but I feel like everything got harder this week so that’s just fine with me! Also worked on some more runni
ng drills for form.
Friday: Some things just don’t go as planned and this became an unplanned restIMG_1004 day. My hip has been killing me and I think it’s from sitting on the spinning bikes for too long and they aren’t perfectly fitted. So I went out and bought a used bike trainer off of craigslist. Of course, I don’t really know anything about bike trainers so I didn’t know what to ask for when I go it, so there was a piece missing. I didn’t know this when I tried to set up my bike and it kept falling off. After about a half hour of messing with it I gave up and took a rest day I was so mad!
Saturday: Open water swim! In high school my cheerleading coach had a saying ” First time is like, second time a fluke, third time it’s yours.” I wasn’t going to feel good until I got a third open water swim in Walden pond. I’ve done it and I feel ready to kick some triathlon Booty!!!
Sunday: MISTAKE NUMBER TWO: Do NOT have Indian food the night before a long run. Sunday I woke up ready to take the world on my long run and ended up feeling like poop. See yesterdays blog post for more details. but 9.5 miles in the books.
Next weeks goals: Be even more on top of my nutrition (lesson learned from Indian food), get one unplanned lift in KILL my first double digit run in about 5 months. BOOM!

Fuel up!

This weekend I learned a valuable less the hard way: you need to fuel your work outs properly or it could end in a disaster. I’m no professional athlete. I don’t run as fast as most and I’m not as strict with my diet as some. I like to treat myself to a yummy meal or a sweet treat. I work out hard, so why not, right?

Well Sunday morning, I learn exactly why not. Saturday night we decided to stay in, pop in a movie and order some take out. Indian was decided on, and I figured sure, it’s a good carby meal to fuel my long run for the next day. I woke up the next morning ready to take on the world, only to find out that my boyfriend had NOTHING to eat in his house except for a Kind bar and some gummy vitamins. I munched on those, strapped on my Garmin and hit the road with my running buddy Kate. Not three miles into our 9.5 mile run, I started to feel ill and was dry heaving. The carby Indian meal was not settling well and it was ruining my morning. I managed to make it through the 9.5 miles (slowly, with a few stops along the way to ahem, clear the stomach) but it wasn’t fun and I realized I need to stick with oldies but goodies.

I really should have known better about the Indian food, I usually stick with some pasta and a salad the night before a race…why should the night before a long run be any different? It doesn’t matter though if you’re getting ready for a race or just plan on getting up early for a yoga class or a early morning gym session, what you put into your body the night before is going to determine how you perform the next day. If you don’t eat enough, if you eat too much or like me, you eat the wrong thing.

As for the morning, from now on I’ll pack what I plan on eating, don’t depend on anyone else! Not everyone wakes up early to work out, and not everyone fuels with the same things. Our bodies are all different and we function on different sources. My boyfriend doesn’t really have a lot of breakfast food because he usually works out later in the day and has already had a few meals in him. I NEED the morning fuel.

Don’t know what works for you? Try out some different things. Here’s what I have found works best for me.

When it comes to running I keep it simple with some gluten free waffles and a little bit of teddies peanut butter spread on top.

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If I’m lifting in the morning I like to have something a little bit more substantial, and imgreseither have some oatmeal with banana and peanut butter or some yogurt with fruit, chia seeds and some GoLean crunch cereal (an amazing combination by the way).

images1Hydration is something that I’ve been struggling with this summer and I’ve found that I need something MORE than water is needed for how much I sweat on my runs. I’m really loving Skratch labs hydration. All the flavors I’ve tried are really good, my favorite though so far has been pineapple.

My suggestion to you is to try different things out, it’s taken me awhile  (and some nasty work outs) to figure out what works best. Find the combo that works and stick with it so that you feel good about your fitness and not want to die like I did on Sunday!!!