Month: August 2012

Challenge Penticton – My second A-race for 2013

I am now registered for my second 140.6 triathlon!  There has been a lot of chatter in the triathlon community over the last week with the news that Ironman would not be doing the race in Penticton, BC in 2013.  Instead it has become a Challenge race.  The biggest difference so far is that there will be more people on the course (3500 competitors) and there will be wave starts to stretch everyone out.

Honestly I didn’t really care who ran the race. Especially since aspirations of Kona are not in my head right now;  it really doesn’t matter that it isn’t Ironman branded to me.  I just want another crack at the distance and after my trip to the course this summer I am super excited for this race.

The race is 8/25/2013, just over four months after the Boston Marathon.  I think I will be able to train hard for both races and hopefully PR in both  (I am sure I will in Canada after my time in St. George).  So watch for updates as I prepare for my next 140.6.  I want to do the distance justice this time and leave it all out there!


Plants only for 30 days

If you follow me on twitter you may have noticed a new hashtag, #vegan720.  I have decided to try a totally vegan diet for the next 30 days.  I am not doing this because of animal rights issues or any type of personal  statement.  I am doing this for two reasons.  First, I have managed to put on about 6-10 pounds since my Ironman in May and I want to lose the weight.  I have been trying to “watch” what I eat and all I have seen is a a lot of Twix bars go into my belly and on to my hips! It just wasn’t working for me.  I am hoping that a very strict rule like “no animal products at all” will actually be easier to follow then just trying to eat healthy.

The second reason I am trying this is because of how many people have reported an increase in energy levels due to a totally plant based diet.  I am a busy person.  I am a single mother of two young boys who wants to continue to improve in endurance sports not to mention I work full time.  I need to have energy or I just can’t get everything done.

So I am 4 days in, feeling pretty good, and just hoping I get the results I am looking for.  My starting weight was 141 and I would really like to maintain 130 (although 125 would be awesome, just not sure I can easily stay there).  I will try to do some weekly updates as to how it is going but so far so good! Any advice or tips or recipes would be GREATLY appreciated!

Canadian Vacation- eh?

I have been neglecting the blog but for good reason… I was on VACATION!!! It has been a very long time since I have had the opportunity to go on a real vacation (one that wasn’t centered around entertaining kids or racing).  So when my kids had the opportunity to spend a week with their cousins on a lake in Maine, I took advantage of the time and booked a vacation! After some deliberation it was decided we would go to Vancouver Canada.  It seemed like a good choice because it allowed me to use my new passport (I have never really traveled) but it wasn’t too far or too foreign.  Once the location was decided we also decided it would be the perfect opportunity to do some recon on the Ironman Canada course as it is looking like that might be my next full Ironman race (I will find out next week when I try to register).  So we packed up our bicycles and headed to Canada!

Bags and bikes ready to go!

For the first three nights we stayed in Downtown Vancouver (see first pic of the view from our room).  We hadn’t made a really firm plans and just enjoyed the city.  We spent time using the Ferry system to get around because we didn’t rent a car.  We did some shopping on Granville Island and drank as much coffee as we could!

View from the ferry ride

Coffee at the Argo Cafe

We managed to get in some exercise.  We ran around the Sea Wall, we had and amazing swim in a 150 yard pool over looking the water and mountains, and we fudged a bike ride with a two person bike paddle boat. (all the link are of the Garmin data for the workouts)

Kitsilano Swimming Pool

Bicycle built for two!

After out three nights in Vancouver we rented a car and drove out to the Okanogan Lake region to Kelowna to visit the one and only KelownaGurl and her husband.

Bags in car, lets go!

The drive out was beautiful!  I grew up around lakes and seeing all the water reminded me very much of my childhood…

Hopefully I will be going to Penticton next year!

Bridge over Okanogan Lake into Kelowna

We went out the next day and drove and rode the Ironman Canada bike course, after getting my toes wet at the swim start for the Ironman.

Water temp was perfect!

View of the Ironman Canada ride

Of course I got a flat just out of Richter Pass but luckily someone took some pitty on me and helped me change it!

Walking my bike to a better spot to change the flat

I promise I will change the next one!

We managed to ride the “hilly bits” to see what the most challenging parts of the course would be.  The climb up to Yellow Lake will be tough on race day but otherwise it was an amazing place to ride and I can’t wait to do this course!

The next day we did a very cool open water swim in Okanogan Lake.  There was a great 800 meter  loop set up with buoys in the water.  Water was cool at first but then it felt great!  We did a quick run along the lake to finish out the double for the day then got some serious recovery fluids by way of chocolate milk and Slurpees!

That day we packed up the bikes and headed back to Vancouver and flew home the next day.  It was a fabulous vacation and I can’t wait to visit again.  Barb and Eric were amazing hosts and the whole trip couldn’t have been more special!

2012 Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Race Report

I was challenged by Leo, a friend on the Dailymile, to participate in the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier 2 mile open water swim.  Since I don’t have anything major on my training plan right now it seem like a fun thing to do that I have never done before.  I have never raced more than 1500m in the ocean before and even though the swim in Ironman St. George was pretty intense, there is still something daunting about swimming 2 miles in the ocean.  So I gladly signed up and squeezed in one ocean swim prior to the event.

I had gone down the day before to pick up my stuff to make the morning a little bit easier.  So once we got to the beach it was pretty much just suit up and wait.  I put on my wetsuit (you can do it without…I don’t think so!) and got in the water to start acclimatizing to the water.  Temp was perfect and the conditions seemed great!

I lined up to start with Sheila, another Dailymile friend.  We started a little to the left since the first turn was to be on our right; I didn’t want to get swum over if we were too close to the buoy.  The course essentially is you start at Hermosa Pier and swim north to the Manhattan Pier.  It was a wave start with easily over 500 people in it.  It was one of the biggest starts I have ever done because we started on the beach which is much more difficult than an open water start with that many people.  After getting past the first buoy and hanging a right past the pier we were on our way.  It was very crowded but people were pretty courteous and not overly aggressive.  There was a lot of heads up swimming at first just because if you put your face in the water you had a really good chance of getting kicked in the face.

Once we were in clearer water and swimming North parallel to the coast it was just put your head down and swim. (Click here for the Garmin data)  I am a pretty straight swimmer so one of the biggest issues I had was those swimmers (you know those ones!) that weren’t.  I was swum upon a couple times by people that couldn’t keep their line super well.  Twice I had to stop swimming and get away from a couple that just really were too close (I am talking about you large man who bear-hugged me mid swim!).

I finally got a chance to use my fancy schmancy Garmin 910XT and had set it up to buzz me ever 100 yds.  I didn’t feel it buzz until about 10 minutes into the swim which doesn’t mean it wasn’t but just that I didn’t feel it.  Once I felt it, I used it as a good reminder that even if it didn’t feel like it, I was making forward progress. Later I would find out that my watch had me very short and I am not sure why.  I am just glad, in retrospect, that I didn’t look at it during the race because I would have been very disappointed.

At some point in the race I could finally see the pier ahead.  I tried not to look for it too often because it really takes time to make forward progress I the ocean so if you look too frequently you don’t feel like you are moving anywhere.  Instead I really used the paddle boarders who were lining the course to sight off of.  The provided an excellent way to stay on course and if you look at my Garmin data you will see my path was pretty straight.  Only problem with this method is that not ALL paddle boarders were lifeguards, some of them were paddling for friends, which made them a moving target. But they all kept me on course so that was great.

It wasn’t until the last 400 yards or so that I started to get tired.  I really struggled to not let people pass me during the last bit but I did finish strong and felt I had given it all I could.  I got out of the water and found my Sherpa and we waited to see how I faired against Leo and Sheila.  A couple minutes later Sheila came out and a few more minutes later so did Leo.

Overall I was THRILLED with this swim.  My goal had been to go under 1 hour but after the event I was very happy with my 1:02:14.  I was so spent by the end that I feel that I did all I could have.  Any harder earlier in the race and I would have pooped out even earlier.  And even though my splits are wrong per 100 yards, they are pretty consistent, which is what I strive to do in any race.

The day was a success, and in a year that hasn’t been as successful as I would have liked, I am very proud of my effort.  I don’t think I am interested in doing too many more swims like this again.  It is kind of boring to be honest.  I might be up for a 3 mile swim at some point just to do something longer than the Ironman distance.  But other than that, long OWS just isn’t for me.

Running again…FINALLY!

It has been a very long time since I have felt like I was running and I can finally say I (think) I am back! I struggled with some nagging IT band issues that really had me not running much for the months of February through May.  Then June I was still recovering from the Ironman so my mileage was low.

But now I feel like I am back! I am doing speed and tempo workouts, and while they are not as fast as they used to be, I am doing them, having fun, and not feeling any pain!

My goal is to get my running back and PR in Boston in April.  I want to run <3:30 and I have a long way to go to get to that! For now I want to concentrate on my 10K plan (never thought I would do that!) and get my monthly mileage back up to 100+ miles a month.