Poor Man’s Tri Suit

The crazy never stops around here. Last night I had a thought, “I bet I could find another job to fill my time. One that would be in the morning.” I don’t know what made me do it, but I checked the boys’ school website for any para positions. Sure enough, there was a lunchroom para position open. I emailed the principal asking about the job’s hours. He emailed me back this morning with hours that would fit perfectly into my schedule. He also said that I should apply NOW because they were doing interviews that afternoon. I applied and he called 15 minutes later to offer me an interview. Talk about fast turnaround. I felt like the interview went well. And then my phone rang with a call from the school late this afternoon, but I wasn’t near it. No message and I got the school voicemail when I called back. No message is a good sign, right? I think this job sounds like a lot of fun! Lunch and recess…the best parts about school according to most kiddos!

Anyway, back to the regularly scheduled post. I have another triathlon this Saturday. I’m a little nervous about it, because I haven’t been doing much triathlete-type workouts (read: swim and bike). It’s also my first open water swim. I grew up going to the lake, so the water doesn’t scare me. I’m just nervous about swimming in something other than a pool lane. And I don’t want to get kicked in the face.

In honor of my second triathlon, here’s my list of gotta haves for a triathlon. Goodness, triathletes need a lot of STUFF! I bring all of my stuff in a backpack, but I’ve seen some people use a tote.

Pre-Race

  • Sweatshirt, headwrap, and flip flops. “Why am I awake again?”-o’clock can be chilly.
  • Poor Man’s Trisuit. More on that at the end of the post.
  • Garmin watch. I use mine as a stop watch during the swim and as a pacer for the run. During the bike, I use my bike computer.
  • Qalo Ring. I gotta let all the dudes now that this triathlete chick is taken!
  • Road ID. Always.

Swim

  • Goggles. Make sure it’s a pair that you have been training in. Nothing new on race day.
  • Swim cap. Some races provide them. Some do not.
  • Johnson’s baby shampoo. It works great as a defogger for your goggles.

Bike

  • Bike…duh. I have a Trek Madone 4.5. Her name is Sexy. She’s a carbon frame road bike. But you will see people using just about every bike under the sun. Triathlon bikes with full discs. Road bikes with aero bars. Huffy mountain bikes. It’s your preference, but a better bike will make you faster, especially if you move from aluminum to carbon. At least that was my experience.
  • Bike computer. Not a necessity, but I like to know my time and speed during a race. Mine tracks cadence as well, which is helpful for not blowing up your legs before the run even starts.
  • Helmet. Duh again.
  • Sunglasses. Unless you like squinting.
  • Water bottle.
  • Nutrition. I keep a bag of energy chews in a little speed bag that I can get to without falling over. Make sure you practice eating on the bike before race day.
  • Shoes and socks.
  • Towels. I use two. One to step on and a smaller one to dry my arms off and then my feet off.

Run

  • Tank. I put a tank on for the run. I don’t bother with it on the bike because putting a shirt on while wet is kind of a pain in the butt.
  • Bondi Band. Again, I don’t put this on for the bike. My hair is still wet. But I need it for the run to keep the sweat out of my face.
  • Race belt with bib. Don’t run out of transition without it. They will make you go back.
  • Sunglasses. Don’t forget to leave them on!

Post-race

  • A change of clothes, just in case.
  • Flip flops. I always want to take off my shoes first thing when I’m done.
  • The Stick. I bring mine so I can stretch and roll out my legs as soon as I’m done.
  • Pretzels. I always bring a salty snack for post race. It helps my body rehydrate itself.

If I forgot anything, let me know. I’m written this list a few times, so I might have left something out.

Ok…poor man’s trisuit. I want a real trisuit some day. I have my eyes on this bad boy. My running store, GoRun Wichita, is going to be carrying Zoot soon. YAY.

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Until then, this is what I wear. My trusty Under Armour Authentic 7″ compression shorts and a Champion Absolute Workout II sports bra. It gets the job done. Any type of compression shorts would work. I have a pair of Reebok ones too. Also any type of over the head sports bra without padding will work. I have a neon green UA one that I wear on occasion too.

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I like the Champion bras because they come in fun prints. I have these two too.

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My poor man’s tri suit works great for a sprint triathlon, but anything longer than that, I might want some real tri shorts that have a small pad in them for the bike. I had a professional fit done on my bike, so I find that the less padding on my booty the better because after all, the bike seat was made to fit my sit bones.

I hope this helps all you wanna-be triathletes out there. Maybe after Saturday I’ll feel like a real triathlete, because right now I still feel a lot like a NOOB!

Kindergarten and Gym Day Monday

The BIG DAY arrived! Mark was so excited about his first day of kindergarten that he woke at 5:30. Mommy was less than thrilled. I bet I have to nudge him out of the bed tomorrow morning!

As soon as the bus pulled up, he gave me a side hug and a hip kiss and he was out the door with big brother. Thanks, kid, for making me feel old and sad.

Of course, when his teacher forgot that I was picking him up after school, his tune was a little different. When I came to his rescue in the bus line, the bottom lip was out. He almost shed real tears, and I’m pretty sure I have bruises on my neck where he clung to me. My sweet tiny boy!

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I am happy he’s ready for school, happy he loves to learn, and happy to watch him grow. I am sad that time seems to be moving so fast. However, I will definitely be giving myself a pat on the back. He is ready for school because of the hard work his daddy and I did preparing him. So all you parents out there struggling with your babies going off to kindergarten, while your kids act like it’s no big deal…YOU DID GOOD!

After the boys were settled at school, I headed to the gym to distract myself. 5 miles and a little swimmy to work on technique did the trick. I have made a couple of new mommy workout friends that seem to hit the gym about the same time as me. One of them gave me some great pointers on my breathing. I did walk myself over to the kidzone on autopilot when I was done. I corrected myself before I asked to pick up my kid who wasn’t there.

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My Monday happy place. I think a run/swim will become the new norm to kick my week off right!

I hit up the grocery store after my workouts. Ok…so maybe having both kids in school isn’t so bad. I was able to walk up and down the aisles without telling anyone to stop running. And no one had to go to the bathroom right when it was time to check out! I hit the kitchen when I got home. I baked some bacon. And then I made chicken nuggets from scratch!

 

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SO GOOD! And I know everything that is in them. Chicken boobs, mashed potatoes, some seasonings, and panko bread crumbs. Here’s the recipe if anyone is interested. I used her recipe from the cookbook which calls for 1/2 cup mashed potato instead of the oats. The texture is very similar to Wendys. I’m still waiting to hear if my boys approved of them. For dinner, I had two on a salad with my new Bragg’s ACV vinaigrette. YUM!

And now I’m at work, helping patrons, getting ready for fall programs, taking a few moments here and there to type this. I did just eat a bag of these.

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I know I’m dehydrated when I crave these. Time to chug the water and get back to work!

Training Catch-Up Weeks 7&8

I am so behind on so many things. I have a LONG list of things I want to accomplish this week once both boys are in school. It’ll be good to keep myself busy. I’ll admit I’m going to miss my Marky. He’s been my buddy for the last two years. But the freedom to get things done without so much “help” will be nice.

So here’s catch-up on my half marathon 2.0 training. Weeks 7 and 8. I have to say I am REALLY enjoying training for a half again. I no longer fear the distances. I look forward to them, ready to conquer them. And maybe to see how much faster I can run them than last time. I have shaved a full minute per mile off my long run times and my speedwork is getting quite fast. I’m encouraged by my progress and I’m hoping I can keep it up and not hit a dreaded plateau.

Monday 8/4 – Easy 6mi – 1:01:08 (10:11 pace)
This ended up being an easy shake-out after my sprint triathlon the day before. I was SORE, but this run got rid of some of that. This used to be such a foreign concept to me. If I was sore, I used to want to sit around and hope it would go away soon. Now I know the way to get the creaks out is to run them out again.

Tuesday 8/5 – Speedwork – 3.55mi – 32:39 (9:11 pace)
Track night! I did a 1mi warm-up. We were told to do a 2mi progressive run, starting at marathon pace and ending at 10K pace. I’m not really certain what my marathon pace would be, so I went with my current training paces. I did 1/2mi at each 10:30, 10:00, 9:30, and 9:00. It was hard, but I got it done!

Wednesday 8/6 – REST

Thursday 8/7 – Flying Angels Practice – 4.09mi – 38:49 (9:29 pace)
This was supposed to be 3mi easy. I did not want to run after work, but Noel made me put running clothes on for John’s Flying Angels XC practice. I ended up running 2mi solo before the kids started and then got talked into running with the younger Angels who were doing 4×800. I was to keep them on a 9:00 pace, which worked out pretty well for me and them.

Friday 8/8 – Long Run 9mi – 1:33:14 (10:21 pace)
I was stuck on the treadmill, but I toughed it out and got it done. This is exactly 1min/mile faster than my long run from the previous training cycle. PROGRESS!

Saturday 8/9 – Monday 8/11 REST
Lots going on, so I didn’t get any workouts in. Back to school prep.

Tuesday 8/12 – 7mi Easy – 1:09:25 (9:54 pace)
I was stuck on the treadmill because I needed the kidzone. I pushed hard for a sub-10 pace and got it.

Wednesday 8/13 – Speedwork – 4.25mi – 40min (9:24 pace)
We missed track practice this week because of John’s open house. I decided to do The Kevin on the treadmill. I think this was my first time doing speedwork on the treadmill, outside of tempo miles. I was DRENCHED by the time I was done. AWESOME workout.

Thursday 8/14 – Easy 3mi – 26:02 (8:40 pace) and 1200yd swim
My YMCA’s track is FAST (short). Ok…it might be short, but it’s still fun to be this fast every once in a while. After my 3 miles, I hit the pool and did my longest swimmy to date. I felt good in the water. I didn’t get to squeeze a bike in this week…bummer.

Friday 8/15 – Mowed the entire yard
Hello XTing. Our yard is good-sized and we have an old school push mower…not self-propelled. I have a wicked blister on my hand to prove it.

Saturday 8/16 – Long Run 8mi – 1:17:53 (9:44 pace)
I saved my long run to do with Noel. We headed to the Downtown YMCA, which has a 6 laps to a mile track. 48 circles with my favorite guy and we really pushed each other. Great run!

Week 7 total: 22.64 running miles

Week 8 total: 22.26 running miles, 0.68 swimming miles, 22.94 miles total

Two solid weeks! This week will be interesting. I’m supposed to do my first double digit run on the plan. But I have my second sprint triathlon on Saturday. I might try to push my long run back to next week. Or I might try to squeeze it in on Thursday. We’ll see how I feel.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

It’s been 10 days since I’ve blogged. Here’s all the lame excuses why…

1. My hubby went back to work last week. I miss him and have been wallowing in a depression without him. Ok…not entirely true, but I do have less free time since I’m the solo parent once again during the daytime hours. I’ve also been doing most of my workouts inside on the treadmill or track. Ok…maybe a little depression from vit-D deficiency. I miss running outside.

2. The big kid went back to school this Wednesday. 2nd grade. Y’all…2nd graders are BIG. How am I old enough to have a second grader? Wasn’t I a second grader yesterday? BTW…second grade was my FAVORITE year of elementary school and so far I think it’s going to be one of John’s too. Mark starts kindergarten on Monday. More on that in a bit.

3. I’m in the middle of training for that little ole fall half marathon. I am planning on demolishing my time from the spring half. I have a goal time in mind, but I think I’ll keep it a secret for now. I’ve been crushing training lately, which is why most of my time is spent keeping the house from falling apart and resting my weary muscles.

So…big changes are coming. Mark is starting kindergarten on Monday, which will mean that with the exception of the one afternoon that I work, I will be ALONE from roughly 7am to 4pm. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MYSELF?! Since I’m in a number mood, here’s what I’m going to do:

1. RUN. SWIM. BIKE. A LOT. Oh my goodness…I am so excited to be able to workout when I want with no time restrictions. No beating the kidzone clock.

2. Ok…in reality, I’ll probably spend the first two days in a ball crying because both of my boys who I just birthed yesterday are in school ALL DAY LONG. WITHOUT ME! Again…how did I get old enough to have two kids in school?

3. Do housework without being interrupted every 5 minutes. No “I’m hungry.” No “he hit me.” No “Can I play minecraft?” No “MOM!”

4. Go grocery shopping in peace. Wandering the aisles, finding new goodies. Trying new recipes without someone dragging over a chair and demanding to “help.”

Uh…this list sounded a lot more exciting in my head. Basically I will get to do everything that I do normally, only without children underfoot.

The other thing I am looking forward to is the time I will spend with my boys when they come home. I plan on maximizing our time together now that it will be less. Dinners at the table. Less TV time in the evening. All good things!

Ok…here’s a random tidbit for closing. I had some coupons to use up from my shopping rewards cards. I hit up Old Navy and perused their clearance racks for dresses. I love dresses. I found one I really liked, but it was an XS. On a whim, I thought I’d try it. IT FIT. PERFECTLY. All the size smalls that I tried on were too big. I bought that XS dress, excited that I officially went from one end of the spectrum (XL) to the other. But then I had a sinking realization. I’m 5lbs away from my ultimate goal weight, which means I’m probably 5lbs away from shopping in the girls section. But hey…they are cheaper and a lot of them are REALLY cute.

Oh…I forgot one. 5. BLOG MORE!

Rock N Route Triathlon – Race Report

I think it was only a matter of time, but I have officially been bit by the triathlon bug. I never thought I would tri…haha, get it…but my husband and friends finally convinced me to just do it. And do it, I did!

I did the Rock N Route Triathlon in Derby. It was a good first attempt because it was a pool swim. A 400m serpentine swim in the 50m pool at the Rock River Rapids water park, then a 12.8 mile bike ride around the rural part of Derby, and then a 5K run down to High Park and back. Pretty much my home turf.

The day started at 4am. I woke to the sounds of Noel making oatmeal and coffee. He wanted to get to transition early, which I thought was a bit silly, but I suppose it was worth it. I had my usual PB toast and coffee. I put on my poor man’s tri suit (post on that coming later this week) and pulled on a soft cotton sweatshirt. I double checked my transition bag. Noel loaded our bikes onto our bike rack, and off we went.

We were some of the first people to arrive. We had about 30 minutes to wait before transition opened, so we hung around with the other early risers and talked about all things triathlon. Does that ever get old?? NOPE! I had brought The Stick, so I rolled out my legsĀ and did a few laps around the parking lot, first on foot and then on my bike.

Once transition opened, we got our bikes racked in the first spots near the bike out and I laid out my stuff. I walked myself through everything twice. I was most nervous about transition since it’s hard to practice. I had brought a Honey Stinger Waffle to eat before the race, but once the nerves hit, I knew my stomach couldn’t handle anything.

I got body marked and got my ankle chip. I hit the bathrooms twice, milled around talking to people as they arrived. I double checked my transition a couple more times. Mostly just nervous shuffling around. Eventually transition closed, we did the athlete briefing, and then lined up for the time trial start.

I was number 118 out of 138. I had a while to wait before I got in the pool. I talked with the people around me. Number 117 was a sweet older man who gave me lots of pointers after he learned it was my first triathlon. My friend Keri was the last to get in the pool. It was her first time too, so she and I did the nervous pacing and hit the bathrooms one last time together. They had loud music playing, so I danced around and sang to distract myself.

FInally it was my turn to get into the water. I jumped in and turned to wait for the go. A zen fell over me and I was ready. I was in my element. Two years ago, I would have NEVER imagined that getting ready to start a race would be one of my happy places. But oh man, it is. I could literally feel the adrenaline hitting my muscles. The surge of endorphines hitting my brain. That natural high that I crave.

I got the go and I just started swimming. Dory was in my head. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. I counted down every length, using my combination of crawl and breaststroke. I passed the older man in front of me in the second lane. I passed two other guys in the middle of the pool. No one passed me. I got to the last length and started visualizing transition.

I pulled myself out of the water, yanked my swim cap and goggles off, and ran to transition. My friend Lisa had told me right before we lined up to just go for it in transition. She told me not to stop and take a breath. Just keep moving and use the bike to recover from the swim. I stopped my watch when I hit the mat and was VERY happy to see a 10:23 swim.

Transition felt smooth. I dried my arms off with Noel’s extra towel (note: bring a smaller towel next time to dry my arms off with), dried my feet off, got my socks and shoes on, tied my shoes. Helmet on, sunglasses on. I threw my shirt and Bondi band on top of my race belt, deciding to just ride in my bra and shorts. I remembered to grab a long drink of water too. T1 time was 1:30. YES!

The first part of the bike is flat and fast. I averaged close to 18mph for the first 2 miles. I knew I would need to reel that in. I slowed down and worked on slowing my breathing. I turned onto Greenwich and watched my cadence on the hills. I kept it around 85 and shifted to my small ring when I hit the big hill. I got passed by three people, but I passed a couple of guys on mountain bikes and passed one lady who appeared to have bonked on Rock Road.

I did feel a small bonk coming on around the halfway mark on the bike. I realized then that I had forgotten to open my bag of trusty cherry cola Stinger energy chews in my cute little speed bag that Noel got me the week before. I got the bag out and managed to rip it open with my teeth WITHOUT FALLING OVER ON MY BIKE. HAHA! I shoved three chews in my mouth and got a swig of water. Again WITHOUT FALLING OVER ON MY BIKE.

The last half mile is a hill. I powered up it and pulled into transition. Bike time was about 49 minutes. Not quite the 16mph that I was hoping for, but it was under the fastest training I had done of the same route. I was happy with it.

My T2 time was 0:57. It should have been A LOT faster. In hindsight, I should have just racked my bike, taken off my helmet, grabbed everything, and run. I put on my shirt, Bondi Band, and race belt while standing in transition. I should have just done that on the run. I did almost forget my sunglasses which came off with my helmet. Thankfully a cycling friend of Noel’s was working transition and hollered at me to put them back on. I saw Noel finishing as I ran onto the course. He yelled my name and told me to “go get it!” Love that guy!

I figured the run would be my favorite part, and I was partially right. It felt good to end on my strongest leg of the race, but I was tired and ready to be done. I made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t walk except at the big water station at the entrance to the park. My legs felt wobbly and heavy, but the cadence from the bike kept them moving. My first mile was a 9:10. I had brought my bag of chews with me and ate the rest over the course of the run. My second mile was a 9:18, and my third was a 9:50, mostly up hill.

When I rounded the corner into the parking lot and the finishing chute, Noel was standing there with a bunch of our friends and training buddies. They all hollered at me to turn on the jets. I didn’t think I could, but my body always surprises me at the end of races. My pace for the last bit was 7:40! My run time was 29:25. First official sub-30 5K is on the books.

My overall time was 1:31:09. My goal was 1:40 and my DREAM goal was 1:30, so I’m VERY pleased with how I did.

I’m still basking in the glory of the triathlon experience. It’s truly a non-stop adrenaline pumping experience. I didn’t stop moving or thinking for a solid hour and a half. And my whole body was tired and happy when I was done. Someone asked me yesterday if the triathlon was harder than my half marathon, and my answer is no. Running a long race is tough. You are doing the same thing over and over until the end. It’s a true test of endurance. Triathlon is three events. As soon as I was done with the swim, I was done with the swim. I didn’t think about it again. As soon as I was done with the bike, I was done with the bike and my brain switched to the run. I never had a chance to hit a wall. Now I’m sure walls can happen in half Ironman and Ironman distances, but the sprint triathlon is just that…a SPRINT!

Am I ready to do it again? You betcha. I’m ready for the Tiara Triathlon at the end of the month, which will include my first open water swim during a race. Bring it on!

The only discouraging part of the Rock N Route is my official split times. They are funky (12:26 swim, 49:13 bike, 27:06 run). I think something happened when I crossed the T1 mats. My swim time is two minutes long and my run time is two minutes short. The split times are impossible too, when compared to the people around me. I passed no. 117 in the second pool lane, but he finished in 10:40something. And I started the run at almost exactly the same time as Keri and she finished in 28:something. As exciting as a 27:06 5K would be for me, I think it’s pretty much impossible at my current level. Noel has encouraged me to let it go…ala Frozen. I know what times I did and my overall time is right. I know where I can make improvements for the next race and next year’s tri season, which I foresee being even bigger!!

I should have some pictures to share with you all later this week. Our amazing local photographer that I have met through my job at the library was there, and he took a bunch of shots of me on the course. I wanted to get this recap written and posted though while it was still fresh in my mind!

Week 6 of 1/2 Training 2.0

Somehow I managed not to post a summary of week 4, so this is actually week 6. As of Sunday, I’m ten weeks out from race day! I’m starting to get excited! This was a BIG week. I still didn’t do an actual long run, but the long workout at the end more than covered the 8 miles I was supposed to do!

Sunday 7/27 – (Easy 3mi or XT) REST!
After the big brick workout from the day before, I chose rest over the 3 easy miles. I wasn’t even tempted at John’s track practice. My legs were pretty tired.

Monday 7/28 – (Easy 5mi)
Noel and I went to the Y and decided to chase each other around the track. We did 5 miles in 44:37 (8:55 pace). WOAH! First time I’ve ever run that far under a 9 minute mile. Then we hit the pool. I did 750yd, including a timed 400 at 9:02. AWESOME! I think I’ll try to keep up the Monday longish run and swim once the boys start back at school.

Tuesday 7/29 – Speedwork
Kevin was in charge of the workout, so he had his whistle. We did 15x 1min hard with 1min recovery. We were supposed to do the 1min hard at 10K pace, but I pushed it a lot harder than that. I did the first 10 at an 8:15 pace and the last 5 at a 7:45 pace. I ended up doing 3.65 miles in 34:42, an overal 9:30 pace. Pretty good considering I did a slow shuffle run for the recoveries. It was a good enough workout that I saved it into my Garmin.

Wednesday 7/30 – Rest of XT
I REALLY wanted to ride my bike, but by the time I had my tires aired up, it had started raining. I went up to my grandparents’ house to use the elliptical. I did low resistance, high cadence to mimic the feel of a bike ride. 7.13 miles in 45 minutes.

Thursday 7/31 – (3mi or XT)
I did 2 miles at John’s XC practice on the XC course. I wore my new Brooks PureGrit2s. I can definitely tell a difference in the trail shoes, but I’m going to have to get used to the weight. I ran the second half mile and the third half mile with Marky, which is a lesson in patience. I really hope he likes running like his brother. So far he enjoys it!

Friday 8/1 – (LR 8mi)
With my first sprint triathlon on Sunday, I knew a long run was out of the question. Noel suggested a shorter run with a swim and then a hard race on Sunday would substitute. We did 3mi on the Y track. Fast for me again…3mi in 27:13, a 9:04 pace. I swam 600yd in the pool. We got to practice serpentine because we had the pool to ourselves. I’m glad I was able to do that before Sunday.

Saturday 8/2 – REST
Rest before the race. We did take the dog for a 1.2 mile walk.

Sunday 8/3 – Derby Rock N Route Triathlon
You’ll have to wait for my race report for ANY details.