Category Archives: Thoughts
Today I went to the park for the first time in weeks. Actually, I’ve been lazy since Iron Girl on September 7, 2014. Once the day was over I had nothing to train for. My next event whatever it will be won’t be until next summer (if my knees cooperate). So I just haven’t had the urgency to get out there. So this morning I decided if it wasn’t raining I would take a quick walk and come home. My second round (1/2 mile track) I ran into an old friend and started walking with her. Did three miles and called it quits. Well I hate to say it but my legs have been sore all day. Wow! I know that I have to get back in the groove and put together an off-season schedule. I may not start formal Triathlon training until spring but there are lots of things I can do until then. For sure I can’t go weeks without walking again.
What do you do in the off seasons to keep fit?
You off and on watch Ironman Kona on-line from early morning until late night and are thrilled watching people finish. Now an Ironman is out of my realm of possibility but it is still thrilling to think about what it takes to do one. I see now how people escalate from sprints to olympics to 70.3 to full Ironman events. How far can we push ourselves? I look at olympic distances and say to myself I can train for the swim and ride but I can’t run so walking 6.2 miles is out of the question. Or is it? OMG what am I saying. After both of my events this year I swore that I was finished. As the day wore on I had rationalized that I just needed more training. Well that’s true. But I am way ahead of myself. Let’s just get through the winter and then…..
Today was the first really nice day we’ve had in this part of New Jersey this week. A crisp, clear fall day. After my morning swim I headed out on Route 22 to run some errands. As is generally the case at midday there was a lot of traffic. It was basically stop and go and people were attempting to enter the flow of traffic from the side roads which always slows things down. A gentleman in a red convertible decided to enter the traffic without stopping and caused a Mercedes to swerve. The Mercedes driver honked and gestured and we continued on for a few feet when in traffic, the convertible driver threw his car into park and jumped out yelling and waving his arms the whole time. Mind you cars were moving all around him. The Mercedes driver rolled down his window and yelled back and I was contemplating where the heck I could go since I was right behind them. The convertible driver jumped back in his car and proceeded to drive off throwing things out of the back of the car.
People we have to get a grip on our lives, our stress, our issues just get a grip period. We are so angry and high-strung that the simplest things can set us off. This ended safely but it could have been different. I wished that I could have made a video of the incident for the convertible drive to review in a quieter time. Maybe he could have seen how ridiculous he seemed. Maybe not though. My advice is start walking, running, riding or swim like me. Let that anger out in a positive way. Anyway think the next time someone ticks you off. Consider the consequences before you act. It probably isn’t worth it!
Today some of the members of a Facebook page I follow did and Iron Man triathlon. For those of you who don’t know that entails a 2.4mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a marathon run (26.2 miles). I believe that most have a time limit in which you have to complete it. Anyway people ask you do you do that and the answer is the same as the one for sprint triathlons like I do, you train for it.
Being the best swimmer in the world doesn’t help you on your bike. Being a marathon runner does not prepare you for the swim. You have to put in adequate time in each sport to stand a chance of completing the entire event.
I know of a few people this year that were not successful in their triathlon attempts and several of them had medical issues that arose and kept them from being successful. I think that if you talked to the rest of them you would find out that they just didn’t get the right amount of training in. It’s a delicate balance and other than doing the distances in training you are always unsure whether what you’ve done is enough.
If you watch your elite athletes, they are constantly training to stay in the game so to speak. So when you are getting up in the dark to get your training in visualize the finish line!
So let me explain. I was a triathlon newbie this year. I am a pretty literal person so when you tell me a course is flat I take your word for it. So here is what I learned don’t ask a real swimmer about the swim in a triathlon. They will tell you something like ” it only a 3rd of a mile you’ve done that in the pool. True. Lesson one the pool is not the ocean or the bay. I swim four to five times a week in the summer and could do the distance that I needed for the tri’s. I was not however ready to swim the distance with waves, wind and people swimming over my slow head. Plus something touched my foot and there were no people near me.
Lie number two, bikers don’t count hills that don’t make them stand up while they are riding. At Iron Girl they said a little wind. What? I felt like I was riding into a wall for a mile or two and had to do it twice.
This time the runners didn’t lie and the course was flat and pleasant.
This past February though I did a 5K with my buds. We all walked it. Could anyone have told me that Morristown, New Jersey is built on a series of hills. I was talking to my self out loud by mile three.
So whatever an athlete tells you ask them first how fast they run, ride or swim and then multiply what they say by at least three.
Words to the wise!!!!
Two hours and 59 minutes later and I had my second triathlon metal ever! Someone pointed out that this was my second in 35 days. Sounds impressive to me. I have begun the critique and see lots of room for improvement but hey I did it. Who would think that I could keep moving for hours. Did I mention a 15 minute walk to where the competition began and a return walk at the end? So the breakdown was 32 minutes in the water, 1 hr and 24 minutes on the bike (two loops riding a few miles into a killer wind each time) and a 3 mile run (walk for me). Well I quit again yesterday like I had done in August. But this time I’m serious. That was the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done. Hmn a week off and then I begin training again for next year. Even though I’m not doing it again I need to be ready. Just in case.
These ladies swim with me and were my inspiration. We range in age from 30’s to 60’s not telling their ages. I’m the oldest just short of my 63rd birthday in October. Iron Girl’s all.
Tonight I am pausing and drinking in all that was summer. Wow it’s gone. I was so busy concentrating on my triathlon’s that it blew by me. We had a great garden and more tomatoes than we can eat quickly. Lots are frozen for pasta sauce to be made at a later date. Some of them however were fried green for my Mom. She said her grandmother fried them and she loved them. So a little flour, a few breadcrumbs, a teaspoon of sugar, a bit of salt, pepper and garlic powder and into hot oil. Yummy actually. Can’t explain it you jut have to try them.
It was that type of summer and I have enjoyed every minute of it.
I was pretty calm when we approached the water. I grew up swimming in the Atlantic and even though it was a bit rough, I didn’t have any trouble getting in. My strategy however wasn’t great. I thought the slower the better because I wanted to save my energy for the bike and run/walk. Well that’s okay but I was in the water long enough to swim three times the distance. Life Guards kept approaching me and asking if I was okay. I was. Just incredibly slow. The next time I want to relax an swim my regular swim.
Advice, if your triathlon involves open water swimming and you haven’t done this before (splashing around in the surf doesn’t count) please see if there are training swims on location so that you know what to expect. If you are uncomfortable with the swim, do several training swims. Then swim, your swim don’t let anything change your style.
So this will only be helpful to potential triathletes or newbies like me. I was not prepared for my Tri. I thought that I had done enough training but I was slow in the water (I swim daily) and the bike almost killed me even though I had done the distance in the park where I ride. I don’t run due to knee issues but the walk was not bad. Not my fastest but not bad.
I think the worst thing was that as soon as I began to tire on the bike I lost my mental game. I began to think that I couldn’t make it. If Nancy Daly hadn’t come up next to me and convinced me to continue, I was going to stop and rest and try to start again. She rode with me and talked to me the last 3 – 4 miles.
So what’s my point? Make sure that you can do the distances with ease. The water is always an unknown but at least be comfortable with the distance. Ride, ride, ride and do your 5K runs/walks often. Lastly have a positive mental game and don’t let anything take you out of it. I can’t imagine an Ironman but lots of people do them. They must have a serious mental game because sheer will has to help you finish something that physically punishing.
My First Triathlon: 2:22:57
Not sure where to begin this story. Yesterday I completed my first (and I vowed) my last triathlon. I was not a happy camper to be coming in near the end. I know that the time shouldn’t have been my priority but I was bummed out. Any way that’s not the beginning.
Thanks to the encouragement of my Brick City Masterswim pals, at the beginning of this year I signed up for Jersey Girl and Iron Girl. And in the spring I began training sans the bike because I didn’t own one. I think I bought my bike in the end of May. I was so fearful of the bike that it took weeks to get on it. It’s a hybrid and lighter than the mountain bike I had borrowed. Riding is not my favorite activity by far.
So, to yesterday. The rain really caught me off guard. I had thought of all sorts of conditions but not that. It was cool, dreary and rainy for the first hour in Long Branch. Tovah (Triwomen volunteer) had run a great seminar called Transition 101 for us newbies I had packed and double checked to make sure I had everything I needed.
Fast forward to yesterday, the transition area was as I had expected. My husband had made me a flag so I could find my bike and stuff. We were also at the edge of the transition area so we could clearly see everything. The rain kept me from laying out my event items even though I had plastic bags. Just seemed to complicated. So I pulled my helmet, shirt and glasses and put them on my bike seat and covered the whole thing with plastic.
The swim was okay. Pretty strong breakers. I was so slow in the water that people kept trying to give me noodles. I was fine but called myself saving my energy for the bike. I was in the water a very long time for the distance. But lesson learned. Did I mention the water was warmer than the air temp waiting to get in?
T1 was a bit of a mess because of the rain. Everything was wet and I didn’t have time to dump my Home Depot Bucket to sit on it which was my plan. Took me a while to change shirts, and do a balancing act to put on socks and shoes.
The bike ride was an 11 mile nightmare. My new friend Nancy rescued me at about mile six and rode the rest of the way with me talking to me the whole time. I was ready to stop. That course wasn’t what I’d call flat and we were riding into the wind coming back. I had on an open jacket which was like wearing a sail I’m sure. People have suggested that I might have done better with a road bike but one, I just bought my bike and two I swear people went by me on what looked to be the old Schwin bikes I grew up on. I just needed more training rides.
T2, I couldn’t feel my legs or hands. I asked my rack mate to take my helmet off because I couldn’t feel my hands. The legs were gone but I expected that. Again a shirt change and I started my walk.
The walk was not my fastest but not bad considering I had done swim and bike already. It took 53 minutes and the first mile or so I was just getting over “brick” legs.
I was bummed when I finished and saw the time clock. Duh! That was event time not my time. Today I saw my time broken down and I didn’t feel so bad. Except for the swim, the rest was about what I expected. Now I have room for improvement. Oh yeah and as of today Iron Girl is back on. I think!