Las Olas Triathlon Race Recap

So I qualified for Nationals at the Las Olas triathlon........ Weird, right?!?!?! Before I go into all of the emotions I'm going through right now let me give a quick recap of the triathlon.

I was ridiculously nervous going into the race that day. It hit me the night before that I would be coming back to the triathlon world. I love participating in triathlons mostly because I get to really test my body on how much it can take. Sprint triathlons are my favorite because you're literally trying your hardest to sustain a relatively fast speed in all three sports. I set all my gear the night before and put all of my body markings on.

When I woke up I felt the nerves in the pit of my stomach. I was able to have a banana and relax before driving over the race. Thank goodness for my mom who came over at the crack of dawn to make sure E was taken care of in the morning. I grabbed all my stuff and headed out.

The drive over to the race site was pretty easy. I got extremely flustered when it came to parking. I had bought a VIP ticket during packet pick up and it seems as though the VIP parking lot got full relatively early and I couldn't find the second spot. Luckily I kind of "winged it" and parked at a paking lot nearby (of course I had to pay again). As I walked my bike over to the transition area I became a little intimidated by all of the people walking in and all of the gear they carried. Let's just say I am not too extreme when it comes to all of the triathlon gear; I'm a minimalist.

I set up my bike in the transition area. I was soooo excited because I got the end of the rack and I was able to comfortably set all my stuff out. I made a couple of friends while I set-up and saw some old friends who were racing as well. In my head I was giving myself a pep talk and telling myself I was going to hopefully kick butt.

We headed towards the water and all at once I started panicking. I had only trained twice in the pool in the past 6 months. Prior to those swims I hadn't swam in over 2.5 years. Insane, I know. The waves looked choppy and a looming rain cloud was coming closer and closer. Our wave didn't start until an hour after the transition area closed. It wasn't too bad because I ended up finding someone I knew at the start line and just spent the time talking to them.

Right before the swim (about 10 minutes before) the sky opened up and down poured on us. It was freezing and I tried jumping around to get warm. I had never wanted to get in the ocean so badly in my life. The water was definitely warmer than the rain. Once the horn went off we all sprinted towards the water. I always make the mistake of being in the back. So as I started I was kicked and trampled on. I really should be in the front since I'm typically one of the top 70% girls in the water.

As we took off and made our way towards the first 100 meters I began getting scared. The waves were coming down on me and I kept swallowing water. At one point during the swim I actually felt as though I was going to drown. I remember dead stopping and trying to pull it together before I was able to freak out in the water. Luckily I told myself not to die for E and set back out to finish my swim. About halfway through the swim I picked up the speed and pulled away from the rest of the group. My overall time for 500 meters was about 14 minutes even with my freak-out. This is something I definitely need to work on.

As I stepped out of the water I jogged to the transition area and put on my shoes. I don't clip in to my bike so I literally transition to my running gear. The whole area was soaked from the passing rain and I carefully tried to dry my stuff off before putting it on. I was dreading the ride because of the wet roads. I tried not to psych out about crashing and possibly reinjuring my elbow. I was so nervous about injuring myself that I waited a solid 30seconds behind two cyclists as they dead stopped to clip in at the mount area.

Once I finally got going I started off a little too excited and had a 23 mph pace. About 3 miles in I realized this was way too fast for me and settled to about a 20ish mph pace. The ride was actually not too bad and I had room to spread out. I was a little irritated with people passing on the bridges after seeing a clear sign saying no passing was permitted. Those bridges by the water are just rickety and hard to cycle on (even with the carpet they laid out). The other thing that really frustrated me was the fact that some of the men I passed would block me out. It's almost as if their egos were hurt that a girl would actually be passing them. No worries when I see things like that happen it fuels me to kick their arse a little bit more. As I got closer to the transition area I picked up the speed and ended up coming out 2/33 in my age group on the bike (even with the rain)!!!

As I put my bike away and prepared for the run I started feeling better about the race. Running is typically my moment to shine. However, this race really kicked my butt physically. By the time I got to the run my legs felt like jello and I didn't know what pace I would actually be able to sustain for 3 miles. I started off at about an 8:00 min/mile pace but ended up averaging about 8:45 min/mile. The first half of the run was good; however, once I hit the turn around point it went all downhill. The wind was pounding into us and I felt defeated. I tried so hard to keep up my speed but my legs would not cooperate. My time was about 27 something minutes which is not that great for me.

Once I finished I felt so relieved. I had no idea what my time was or how well I really did. All that mattered was that I finished.  I figured I would pick up all of my stuff and figure everything out on my way back to the car. When I grabbed my ticket to see how well I did I freaked out. I got second in my age group. I couldn't believe it. I literally yelled out Holy S&^%. I was so excited. I did it. I wanted to place but I actually did it. Not only did I do it but I ended up finishing top 70% out of men and women in all three sports. I was ecstatic. I wasn't able to stay for my award but I'm okay with that. I was just so excited.

What was even more exciting was I got an email a couple of days later from USA Triathlon telling me I qualified for nationals. Me. Qualifying for nationals. I felt so honored and humbled followed by extremely nervous and anxious. What if I didn't do well.. What if I was the last person to finish... I figured the only way to get those thoughts out of my head was to step up the training. So here I am now - stepping up the training. I joined LA Fitness to swim in their pools and am giving it my all in every workout so I can begin building my foundation. The race isn't until August 12 (MY BIRTHDAY) so until then I will keep working harder and harder. Here goes nothing....

A Week Until My Race

This past week has been rough sleep-wise. E has been waking up a lot during the night. It seems like her teeth have really been bothering her lately which breaks my heart. I've definitely grown a lot more patient with her than in the past. Sometimes sleep deprivation makes you a little crazy and impatient. I've really struggled with that part of me but have finally come to terms with how to handle it all. I'm hoping that her pain goes away soon and we can go back to our one usual wake-up a night hahaha.

Today I crushed my brick workout which I am SO excited about. We cycled about 18.5 miles and maintained an 18.9 mph pace which is HUGE for me. I even pulled a bit, which, again, is HUGE for me. I'm really excited I had a nice ride since next week is the race. It definitely boosted my confidence which I needed. Afterwards I got in a quick mile with my cycling partner. I figured getting just a mile in would be enough to keep developing muscle memory in my legs. I finished my mile in about 7:45. Again, I'm happy with my time given the average speed I did on the bike.

Next week is my race and I have a lot of mixed emotions about it. On the one hand I want to absolutely crush the race since I've been training so hard. However, at the same time I want to take it easy since I'm known to be so hard on myself and will be crushed if I don't do well. I know you shouldn't put pressure on yourself for these things but it's hard not to. It's almost like everyone has this expectation of you to kick butt and you don't want to disappoint. It's crazy to think but it's so true. I recently had a friend admit this same thing to me and she avoids telling people she races so if she doesn't perform well she doesn't get judged for it. Sigh, why can't we just realize that everyone has bad races and it's okay?! Maybe part of it falls on us as athletes. Maybe we should just tell people you know what - yes, I had a bad race but I'm going to get back out there and continue to train hard because it will eventually pay off. Eh - let's see how I handle the pressure next week.

In other news I'm trying to clean up my diet. Let's be real I eat POORLY!!!!! Especially when I finally admit to myself that I probably consume 500-1,000 calories of dessert/sugary items...I know.. I know.. So I'm trying to reduce the amount of sugar I intake. This includes taking things like Gatorade/PowerAde or other hydration that contains a high amount of sugar. I am actually going back to a hydration company I've used in the past: Skratch Labs. They tend to have hydration options (daily/exercise) which contain less sugar than the alternative hydration methods I typically take. I just got my daily hydration powder and use it EVERY DAY. That's huge for me considering I probably don't hydrate nearly as much as I should.... I mean... I drink about 2 cups of liquid a day and that's on a good day... I know... I know... Can't you just imagine how great of an athlete I could be if I actually treated my body better? I'm working on it.

So, I had a good ride, a nice acai bowl as a snack and now I am relaxing before E wakes up. Overall it's been a kick arse day. I'll leave you with some pictures so you can take part in my foolishness.

After our brick!!! I love having my hair in braids during triathlons/brick workouts.

My cycling partner: H! We never get a picture together so I snapped one of him getting ready to ride back home.

Getting Back on the Bike

So as usual I stopped my blogging for a little bit. Life got crazy again and other things take priority over blogging, primarily my crazy and energetic child lol. However, she's napping now so this is my opportunity to catch everyone up (like there's so many of you that follow me lol).

First and foremost, I pushed back my half ironman triathlon. I felt like I wasn't ready and didn't want to put in a bunch of time, money and commitment for something I was not prepared for. I was traveling for it and bringing my daughter who still doesn't sleep through the night and it just seemed so stressful. So instead I will be doing a local half ironman in late October. I'm actually excited to be doing this race instead and already have a support team on standby that is willing to cheer me on. Also, my daughter will be just a bit older and will probably be a little more interested in the racing environment.

Secondly, I've been racing in local 5ks and close to hitting my previous times which is so exciting. My training regiment is a bit different this time around. I train less during the week and a bit more aggressively than before. By aggressive I mean that I tend to go faster and harder instead of "conversation pace". I think the reason for this is the fact that I have limited time and need to get in as much distance as possible in the shortest amount of time.

Lastly, I got back on the bike today. It's funny. I wasn't sure if I would be scared to ride again since the accident. I mean I took a pretty nasty fall. Luckily I felt fine and maybe even a little bit more confident on the bike. Maybe it's because I feel like a veteran since I took my first official spill. Maybe it's just the fact that in the last couple of months I'm much more in shape than before. Regardless the ride today was fantastic. It wasn't very long 15-18 miles. I'm not too sure because I forgot my watch which really irritated me. Afterwards I got in a quick 1 mile run at a 7:37 min/mile pace. Overall, today was a great training day. Here are some pictures!

Riding conditions were fierce!

Just a quick brick...
Cleaned up!!

I'm hoping I can get a long-ish run tomorrow after our family photo shoot! Let's see what happens... Until the next time... Happy trails :)

Seventy-six days away

I have seventy-six days until my next Half Ironman...or maybe seventy-five. Regardless it is way too close for comfort. I haven't been training as much as I would have liked to but I kind of knew that getting into this. The good news is I have a decent base so if I can't train well during my building/peak phase then I should still be okay. I won't do amazingly well, but I won't come in dead last. Tonight I'm going to try and make a realistic training plan for myself and hope for the best.

So since my epiphany yesterday, I have been trying to compensate for my lack of training. Last night I ended up cycling for about 45 minutes. I maintained a decent cadence for about 30 minutes of my ride and then picked up the cadence for a minute on and off the following 5 minutes. Then just decelerated slowly until I hit 45 minutes. Before I went to bed I hit 100 crunches.

Today I did a quick arm workout in the morning before work:
  • Overhead press - 3 sets of 8 reps with 15 pound weights;
  • Overhead Dumbell Tricep Extension: 3 sets of 8 reps with a 15 pound weight;
  • Bicep Curls: 3 sets of 8 reps on each arm with 15 pound weights.

I also tackled a run during lunch:

4x800s on the treadmill:
  • 1st 800: 3:24
  • 2nd 800: 3:19
  • 3rd 800: 3:18
  • 4th 800: 3:14
Not too shabby. I want to up my mileage a little bit more next week. I know that I won't have the time during lunch but maybe I can split my time up my mileage throughout the day.

Now, I think I'm going to get in about 100 crunches. I'm hoping I can blog more about my journey since the baby goes to bed at around. Too bad I have about a billion other things on my plate... Until next time...

Working Out While On Vacation - With a Baby

So I wanted to workout during our week long vacation. I set some realistic expectations and figured I would workout every other day while we were here. However, on day one we had a minor set back - I forgot to pack sport bras. Sport bras are pretty much an essential when it comes to working out. So the next day I was going to head over to the local running store, but decided Target was a better option. I mean I just needed something economical, not elite-status. So at $16.99 a sports bra I got myself four sports bras with really fun prints.

So that afternoon I headed out for a 4 mile bridge workout. I had a pretty awesome workout and averaged about 8:38 min/mile. I negative split the run which makes me pretty happy!!! My legs were not happy with me the next day but it was well worth it. We don't really have many places to run uphill so the more workouts like that I get, the better.

My next in was two days later when I tried to get in a 5 mile run. The only time we figured I could go was around noon. It's been a pretty hot winter so let's just say it was a challenging run and I cut it about .75 miles short. I had tried to maintain under an 8:00 min/mile but it was way too hard. I want to say I ended up with like an 8:28 min/mile.

Today I just wanted to do a quick workout so I turned to Pinterest. I haven't really been happy with my abdominal area, but who really is after they've had a baby? So - I decided to try out a 5 minute - "get rid of the pooch" workout. Here's the link: - if I feel sore tomorrow then I might make this a daily routine!

So those have been my workouts. I'm hoping to really crank it up this new year. I've got to start preparing for the half ironman which means more running and more bricks. My diet needs to change too so I can get leaner - meaning fitlife will be a regular routine. I'm figuring I need to lose about 10 pounds right before the race. My race calendar is pretty much set for the first half of the year and I'm also going to try and incorporate new innovative workouts - like a new cycle bar in the area or Pinterest workouts. I'll be keeping you posted along the way :) I'll post pictures from our vacation once I get home. Needless to say it's been fun but stressful. Vacationing with a baby for a week is a lot of work; however, on those good days it makes you feel refreshed and relaxed. Anyways - Happy New Year to everyone! Let' see what 2017 brings!!!

The 12 Miles of Christmas

Today was our local run store's 12 Miles of Christmas. It's nothing fancy, just a way to bring the community together for a run and collect unwrapped toys to benefit a local charity. You don't need to even bring a toy, it's just a free training run. Typically the run falls during a weekday and I can't do it because of work. However, since Christmas Eve was on a Saturday I could pull it off! Now, the longest distance I had recently covered was 8 miles, so I knew 12 miles would be pushing it. I figured I would gauge how I felt on the run and go from there.

So, last night we had a rough night at our house and I was only able to sleep about 4 hours. I was tired this morning but I really wanted to do this run. So I snacked on a banana as I got ready and left everyone sleeping at home. On the way to the run I realized parking was probably going to be a nightmare since the store is located in a small strip mall. This run is kind of a big deal in our local area and as I pulled into the parking lot I realized I was right. Luckily, I lived around that area for about a 1.5 years and parked somewhere I knew my car would be safe.

As I jogged to the store I ran into a good amount of people that I knew. It was amazing. I felt like I was home again. This past year has been rough with trying to balance out being a mom and a runner. I typically can't make group runs and sometimes I have to sacrifice running all together. I've been frustrated and disheartened but I've been trying my very best. You just want to pick up right where you left off, but you can't. Your cardio is diminished, you're body has been through war, and time is scarce. But you try, and try, and try and eventually you will get there.

The training run had pacers and I decided to go out with the 9 minute/mile pace. I figured I would scale back if I needed to but lately I've been keeping a relatively nice pace on my runs. The first mile proved to be a little difficult but I want to say I ended up with a 9:30 min/mile pace. I ended up running next to someone I knew and I was so glad I did. Granted she pushed a stroller with 2 kids which weighed about 100 pounds as I just chatted beside her. However, it was so nice to talk to her about life. She's a local star athlete and wins a good amount of races in the area. She talked to me about being a mom and also an athlete; the struggles she had and words of encouragement. There were a couple of things she shared with me.. one being "your body is different and you just need to find a way to carry it now" - and she's so right. I knew I could come back close (if not better) than my usual run times. There's a whole bunch of other awesome things she said to me but of course I can't remember them all now.

Since we ended up picking up the pace I decided to run 5 miles and turn around. Now, I think people thought I had turned around at the 6 mile mark, but I tried to clear that up real quickly and not get credit for something I didn't do. I smiled as I ran past runners and tried to let them know that they were doing an awesome job. I always think it's nice to have people encourage you during a run, maybe that's just me. I kept picking up the pace and I'm pretty sure I negative split the second half of my run. I wasn't too on point with my Garmin so I didn't have my total time. First of all I started it a mile too late and then halfway through I must have saved my run and so I had to restart a new run in the process. I have to check out the pace though because I'm pretty sure it's the fastest training run I've ever had. The last two miles I want to say I ran at an 8:15 min/mile pace AND I felt FANTASTIC.

Overall, I was so happy with my run. I'm a little stiff now so I have to stretch a bit. I have to admit I'm really excited on how well I did. I know that I've been working hard and trying to slowly regain my speed, but it's been a slow process. I signed up for some of the local races next year and have one race scheduled each month right now. I am curious to what my 5k times will be now, but am trying to not put too much pressure on myself. For now, I'm just taking it one run at a time.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas Eve!!!!

Funny side note, at the end of my run a duck was flying low to the ground and almost nailed me. I had to duck (no pun intended) and screamed as I tried to avoid it. I laughed pretty hard afterwards.

Here are some photos from today:

The Holiday Weight Gain Struggle

So I finally lost all of the pregnancy weight I had gained a couple of weeks ago. It was really tough but I was determined to do it, and I did! However, now that the holidays crept up on us I've been really bad with my diet. I've always eaten pretty poorly, but this has been worse than usual. I decided to step back on the scale this morning and holy smokes was I a little disappointed in myself. I've gained 5-6 pounds in the last few weeks. My husband, the baby and I are going on vacation this coming week so I feel like it's pointless to really try and lose weight then, so here's to my new year's resolution to try and eat better. I've got to get leaner for the half ironman so it works out this way.

So what have I been doing? Well, I fractured my elbow and sprained my wrist after a cycling accident so I have tried to stay off the bike until next year. I did buy a Groupon for a new cycling studio in the area and am excited to try it in the new year. Other then that I've been working on my speed and trying to build my running base back up. I've also turned to Pintrest for some ideas. Let me tell you - Pintrest is AMAZING when it comes to trying to find new workouts. For example, here is the link to a workout I tried two days ago on the Bosu ball:

Anyways, I will try and post more of my workouts as I continue on my half ironman journey post pregnancy. Getting time in for myself has been tough but I think that I might be in a better place starting the new year.  Tomorrow there's a local training Christmas Eve run I'm going to. I'm aiming to try and get 12 miles in, but will be ridiculously happy if I can get in 10 miles. I'll try and post afterwards. Until the next time, happy trails!!

PS Here's my favorite picture of us at this moment:

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