Update

Where to even begin?!

Bruno and I clearly are terrible bloggers.

Here is what has happened in the past FIVE MONTHS:

  • Not one, not two, but THREE sprint triathlons
  • One half marathon
  • One Ragnar Relay in Pennsylvania

My feet are feeling great. I feel absolutely no pain anywhere, not even my knees as before the surgeries.

Today, I am a triathlete. — Almost exactly one year after my second bunion surgery, I crossed the finish line of my very first sprint triathlon. — ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ400m swim: 9:00 T1: 2:10 ๐Ÿšด๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ20k bike: 40:00 T2: 1:23 ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ5k run: 28:58 — I performed faster in all three sports than I thought I would. I had estimated my swim at 11 min, my bike at 45 min, and my run at 31-32 min. My transitions were ok but can be improved.. I struggled in T1 to get my left foot to clip on so I pedaled with one foot for a while and couldn't start the bike lap on my Garmin. My next goal is to figure out how to shave off at least five minutes ๐Ÿ˜ — @swimbikebruno and I were in the newbie category, and both got first place! It was a sweet surprise. Thank you to my husband for being an amazing coach and training partner, especially on the hardest days. — All I can think about now is showering, taking a nap, and counting the days until the next one! — #swimbikerun #trigirl #triatleta #triathlon #triathlete #triathlontraining #trilife #swimming #cycling #running #roadtoironman #ironmantri #triathlonsprint #sprinttriathlon #girlswhotri #cyclelikeagirl #cyclinglife #runnergirl #runnerscommunity #runninggirl #fitfam #fitlife #fitchick #fitcouple #fitlifestyle #embracethespace #stravaproveit #milesandmiles #raceday #raceweekend

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We are in the middle of race season now and I feel very strong. I’ve got my first Olympic triathlon in 3 weeks, and then a 1.2 mile swim across Cayuga Lake in 4 weeks. Then I’ll shift focus to long distances again with a 106 mile bike ride and the Wineglass half marathon to finish the year. Oh and, I gotta squeeze some 5Ks and 10Ks in because I KNOW I can beat my old PRs.

Check out the events log for my times and current PRs!

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Weeks 1-3 Recap

Well, I am three weeks into training and feeling strong. I’m still motivated this early on,ย even in the dreary weather!

Because I am training for long distance running plus short triathlons, it’s a bit of a puzzle to fit it all in. I described the basic alternating week format in my last post, but this is how it actually shook out:

January 23 –ย January 29

  • Swim: 40 min / 1,575 yards
  • Bike: 1 h 29 min /ย Les Mills RPM + stationary
  • Run: 1 h 34 min / 8.8 miles
  • Strength: 2 hย / Les Mills BodyPump + upper body

Continue reading “Weeks 1-3 Recap”

2016 Pgh Marathon recap

As usual, the 2016 Pittsburgh marathon was a great race, with a great atmosphere, great crowd support, tough hills, and lots of awesome runners. I am happy with the outcome, though it is not exactly everything I wanted.

The ups

  • Thanks to a bit of rain, the temperature could not have been any better. The race started in the high 40s and never got past the low 60s.
  • My hotel was only a couple of blocks from my corral entry, which means I got to use a fancy bathroom instead of standing in the porta-potty line.
  • Most of the race I was close to some runners sporting Penn State gear, which means we got some “We are”s from the crowd.
  • I love the super-heavy Runner of Steel finisher medal.
  • More importantly, I felt strong most of the race. I made it to mile 22 at my target BQ pace, and I got a 20 min (!) PR.

IMG_0265

Continue reading “2016 Pgh Marathon recap”

A marathon is nowhere near 26.2 miles

Those miles are just the frosting on the cake.

What about the hundreds of miles logged since you first signed up? How about all the miles you’ve run since you put on a pair of sneakers and went around the block for your first run? How about those times you managed to complete your long run instead ofย  calling a taxi to get you back home? How about that last set of squats you got in after you were already beat? How about those laps at the track when you beat OR after PR with no one watching? How about all those times you ran under the scorching sun, or against merciless wind, or endured brutal cold? How about those times you set your alarm at ungodly times because that was the only way to make your workout fit in? How about those times you hit the gym after a hard day’s work when all you wanted to do is sit on the couch? How about those times you told your friends you couldn’t go out because you had a long run next day?ย  Or you went out but drank water most of the night? Or actually had a few beers but still managed to wake up and pull through a tough workout totally hungover?

It would be an awful injustice to say that these are not part of the marathon. Sure, only the last workout, the last 26.2 miles get timed, but all the rest of the workouts and miles are just as important for the final outcome.

Today, I did 26.2 miles at Pittsburgh to complete another training cycle. I didn’t manage to get my BQ, but I did get a 20 min PR and got close enough to my BQ standard to know that it is possible. Qualifying to Boston is no longer a dream, now it is a goal. My first marathon in the fall will be a flat and fast course, and I will run the whole thing, not just the last 26.2, with Boston in mind.

I’ll post a detailed race recap later on as soon as my legs stop throbbing

Didn't get my BQ, but I shaved 20 minutes off my 26.2 time from last year. Super proud of my 3:11:37 time. ๐Ÿ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ…#pittsburghmarathon — Time to sign up for an easier course for the fall. Thinking of Erie or Toronto. #swtm — Im extremely grateful to all the volunteers, support crowds and organizers for delivering an awesome event and for getting me through the hardest miles. Kudos to those who showed up despite the rain!! — #gameOnPGH #marathon #marathonrunner #medalmonday #26point2 #bostoninmind #pr #newtonrunning #finishline #pittsburghbride #runnerofsteel #hellobetter #beatyesterday #bqtraining #pr #trilife #roadtoboston #triathlete #swimbikerun #beattheblerch #instarunners #runnershoutouts #runnerscommunity #progress #youvsyou #postrace #proudrunner #happyrunner

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PGH Marathon training – Race Plan

This is it!! Just one week before the big day! Instead of describing my super boring taper-week workouts, I decided to write about my plan for race day. One of my 5 planned steps to try to improve my marathon time drastically was to run a smarter race. Last year I decided to improvise, I started too fast, and I ended up hitting the wall before mile 16. This tim I know the course, I have my experience, and I have a plan.

First,ย  I divided the course into 8 sections: the pack, the bridges, south side, the awful climb, rolling hills, the grind, back down, and the last stretch.ย  From my experience doing the full marathon last year and the half marathon two years ago, I sort of know what to expect from each section. So, I have several plans with target paces for each section. I made several plans so that I can make adjustments on race day. The most ambitious plan has me crossing the finish line in 3:01:33 and qualifying to Boston, the most conservative one in 3:33:27, two minutes slower than last year (I hope it doesn’t come down to that).

Race gear

Before describing the plan, I’m happy to report that my new hat arrived in the mail today. Now, my marathon outfit is complete, and I am very happy with it. I am concerned it is a bit too matchy-matchy, but my wife likes how it looks and that is good enough for me. What I really love about it is how light it is (except for my Fenix 3). I was more worried about overheating than about muscle fatigue. So, I decided to ditch the compression gear. Instead, I went with super-light breathable fabrics, short socks and short shorts, and a white tank and hat to protect me from the sunlight as much as possible.

OMG OMG OMG ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ only 1 week to go for the Pittsburgh marathon!!! ๐Ÿ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐ŸŽฝ๐ŸŒ‡ #GameOnPGH #pghmarathon @pghmarathon —- It is going to be close. I have no doubt I can PR. I'm quite confident I'll make the 3:15 mark, probably 3:10, maybe even 3:05. I'm not so optimistic about making the cut for Boston, but I'm still going to try. If I get to mile 20 in under 2:30 and my legs haven't given up I'm gonna fly those last miles. #bqtraining ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ’จ — My new gorgeous Ciele hat arrived today. So now I have all my gear ready. Just need my bib and I'm good to go ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŽฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ#cieleathletics #newtonshoes #nikerunning #garminfenix3 — #hellobetter #marathontraining #runningfashion #gearcheck #runswag #happyrunner #marathonrunner #hellobetter #findyourfast #beatyesterday #roadtoironman #roadtoboston #pittsburghmarathon2016 #pittsburghmarathon #triathlete #trilife #swimbikerun #runnerofsteel #runnerscommunity #fitfam #prerace #momentoftruth

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I usually train with Newton Gravity shoes or Newton Distance IIIS. For race day, I like to run with Newton Distance III (without the S)ย  which are much lighter than the gravities, and a bit lighter than the IIIS. My hat had to be from Ciele,ย  I just love how well they fit, and how they manage to stay dry much better than other brands. For the socks I knew I wanted Nike elites. I love these socks but I usually find it hard to justify spending $18 on a pair of socks, a marathon seems like a good excuse. For the shorts and singlet I went with Nike, just because they are the only brand I could find that sold 2″ shorts that were not black or grey.

Continue reading to see my actual race plan…

Continue reading “PGH Marathon training – Race Plan”

Triathlon training – for real now

A lot has happened since I last posted! Since I started physical therapy for my foot, I have been progressing quickly. My goal was to get to bike and run as quickly and sensibly as possible.

I was nervous about standing on the bike, since there is a segment of each revolution during which one foot is bearing all the weight.ย First, I tried an upright stationary bike with programmable workouts (not a spinning bike) during PT. That didn’t go so well… I could not get the resistance to go up high enough to support a real standing climb. So, I took it upon myself to try it on a spinning bike at a local YMCA. I did 8 minutes, then 10, then 15, and tried standing for bits in between. I started with regular training shoes, then my cycling shoes with SPD cleats. This progression built my confidence enough to try riding outside for the first time!

The ride was 7.3 miles at 12.3 miles an hour. It was the windiest ride I’ve ever been on, so I was uncomfortable, cold, and nervous. I broke off from the route Bruno had planned and cut it short a bit.ย Close to the end, my body had relaxed a bit and I remembered that I really love cycling. I’m excited to try again tomorrow!ย I’m not quite (mentally) ready to get on my road bike and clip in, and I have a feeling my foot will be ready faster than my head will be ๐Ÿ™‚

On the running front, I told my physical therapist early this week I was ready to start running. I have been doing some stuff on the elliptical and some fast walking, and I felt it’s time. She had me try the treadmill and run at a comfortable pace, and I discovered it was actually less painful than walking! So, we’ve been upping the speed and distance since, and today I completed my first outdoor run of 1.83 miles!! I’m feeling very accomplished.

Today's spinning and run combo was many post-surgery firsts: First brick workout, first outdoor run, first run in the snow, first #lesmillsrpm class, first run above 1 mile! ๐Ÿ† Thanks @beccarun for running with me, I would have stopped without you there. Nothing crazy, 45 minutes on a stationary bike and 1.83 miles at 11:17 pace… But my foot feels great and my heart is full. ๐Ÿ’— And of course, we celebrated with breakfast ๐Ÿณโ˜•๏ธ Day 6 of triathlon training complete! — #๏ธโƒฃ#tritraining #trilife #brickworkout #swimbikerun #triathlontraining #triathleteintraining #triathleteinthemaking #saturdaymorning #outsideisfree #wymtm #mileschangeyou #madebymiles #mizunorunning #mizunowave #workoutdone #runoutside #runner #runnerspace #snowyday #trigirl #runnergirl #weekendworkout #roadtoironman #irunthisbody

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These milestones got my triathlon training off to great start.ย My workouts this week were:

  • Monday: Strength training – leg day | Swim 550yd
  • Tuesday: Run 2 x 0.5 miles at 11:30ย pace
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Strength training – upper body | Swim lesson 1 hr
  • Friday: Run 0.7 miles at 11:00ย pace
  • Saturday: Brickย Les Mills RPMโ„ข + 1.83 miles at 11:17 pace
  • Sunday: 10 mile ride (planned)

I’m icing and elevating my foot for the rest of the afternoon, because I’ve found that I get better results with my recovering foot if I mind the rest as much as I mind the progress.

My next big milestone is getting on my road bike. Stay tuned for that!

 

Race Recap – Egg Hill 10 miler 2016

Theย 13th Annual NVRC Rodney Myers Memorial Run Around Egg Hill, aka Egg Hill 10 miler, coincided with the famous DC Cherry Blossom 10 mile race. Both races shared the date, the distance, and the crazy winds we got this weekend. The only minor differences are that the EG10 only had 53 solo-runners, two water stops, and no qualification standards, and the DC race is doesn’t have a brutal climb at mile 2.

It was a tough but great race for me. There were moments where I wanted to quit, but I finished in my intended pace range,ย  I won my age group, and I had a good time.

First race of the season!! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿž — I'm exactly one month away from the Pittsburgh marathon. The Egg Hill 10 miler seemed like a good trial race — The wind was crazy and there was a brutal hill around mile 2 that made me really want to quit and catch a ride to the finish line. But the temperature was perfect, the scenery was great, and I managed to win my division and bring a trophy home ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ — #GameOnPGH #outsideisfree #medalmonday #raceseason #marathonrunner #marathontraining #pghmarathon #roadtoironman #newtonrunning #garminfenix3 #trophyselfie #raceday #runitfast #furtherfasterstronger #findyourfast #bqtraining #trilife #swimbikerun #runnershigh #runnerspace #runnerscommunity #wymtm #runnerofsteel #hellobetter #youvsyou #beatyesterday #RuleYourself #madebymiles #longrunsunday #runbrunorun

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About the race

  • The course is essentially one loop around Egg Hill. Most of the course consists ofย  backroads and crushed gravel trails with great forest scenery.ย  There are only four turns (all right turns) on the entire course, and all the miles and turns are properly signalled. The course was a bit short of 10 miles according to my Garmin.
  • There is a tough climb, as tough as they come, near the start. This means that your legs will be tired for most of the race. I guess this can can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what you like. But, regardless of whether you are a masochist or not, there is a good chance this won’t be your fastest 10 miler.
  • It is a very small race with a very nice family atmosphere and there are trophies for the first place on every age group, and medals for 2nd and 3rd places. So, there is a chance that you might get an award.ย  However, the race attracts some of the fastest local runners. So, don’t expect a first place unless you can finish a very hilly 10 miler with a 5:30 min/mile pace.
  • Because the race is very small, there is very little crowd support, the roads are not closed to traffic (though traffic is very light and most local drivers know there is a race going on), and there are only two water stops at miles 3 and 8.
  • Given the time of the year the weather is usually great for running. This year it was a bit cold (36F) and very windy (25mph), but I would usually expect a nice sunny 40-60F for a central PA Spring day.
  • The race starts at 2:30pm making it my first afternoon race ever. It is nice not having to get up at 4:30 to eat breakfast, but you sort of lose most of the day if you chose to run it.

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Continue reading for theย  race recap

Continue reading “Race Recap – Egg Hill 10 miler 2016”