Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

So I hadn’t planned on it, but I ended up taking a 2 week break from most workouts after I finished my triathlon.  I was busy at work, we started looking for a home and we were preparing for the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, which was in Houston this year.  I’m going to do a brief recap of those events and then talk about what I have coming up.

Last Sunday I had a poster presentation at the conference. We had to be there by 8 AM for poster check-in, so that meant meeting my co-workers around 7:15 to carpool.  We got there and got setup and then I attended 2 sessions by Ellie Kreiger on bringing food back into the clinic and counseling rooms and also how to maximize your potential.  I explored the Expo hall for awhile and got tons of free samples.  My favorites probably were the indiviudal cheese stick cooler, some new Lara bars I tried and also a great grilled cheese sandwich from Kraft.  I hope to post that recipe on the blog once I actually make it myself.  From 12-1 I was stationed at my poster.  I had some good traffic and even ran into one of my professors from undergrad who was very excited to see me.  We went to one session afterwards and I ended up getting home around 6 completely exhausted.  

Monday I had to work, but we also had a FNCE excursion to my workplace that I helped with.  After work another dietitian and I took the train downtown to go to a networking reception for one of the groups we belong to.  

Tuesday was another conference day and I was up early again to take the train downtown for the first session starting at 8.  It was a long day, but I ended up getting off around 3 so I took the pup to the dog park and then drove around scoping out neighborhoods to possibly live in.  The rest of the week felt like a whirlwind with 2 happy hours and finally a family day today, which I helped with.  It was a gorgeous 80 degrees here today and I believe I got a sunburn being outside for 3+ hours.  I was watching my neighbors  2 labs and Brad was out of town golfing.  Three dogs had our tiny apartment packed.  Nolan really enjoyed himself and is currently passed out sleeping (which makes for an easy evening for me).  So enough excuses of why I was lazy.  

Here’s what I have coming up:

Sunday, Nov 3rd

The Tour de Donut

Basically it\s a 28 mile bike ride that you race for time, but get minutes taken off each time you eat a donut.  Not sure how many donuts I’m really going to eat, but I’m riding with a friend from work so it should be fun.  I actually have eaten donuts before bike rides and felt them in my stomach the entire time (poor decision on my part).

Thanksgiving 

Thursday, November 28th

Turkey Trot 5k in New Cumberland, PA

I’m flying home to PA for Thanksgiving this year and as always am planning to freeze my butt off.  They’ve had freeze warnings already and it’s still 80 degrees in Houston.  Anyway, I was looking for something to motivate me to be active while i’m home and this is it.

So those are my upcoming plans.  In addition to hopefully finding and putting an offer in on a house 🙂  It’s really such a stressful process, but I’m super excited to have a place of our own.  I hope to run 3x per week , 2x per week and maybe swim 1x per week.  The pool I belong to is outside… It’s heated, but I,m a weenie.  Hopefully I can suck it up and get some swims in if I really plan on doing tris in the spring.  

People who live in warmer climates, do you have any motivation or ideas for swimming outside when it starts getting cooler in the fall and winter?

My First tri(du)athlon

Sunday, Oct 13th was supposed to be my first triathlon, but Mother Nature had other plans, so the swim portion was cancelled and we just did the bike/run.

I chose the Oktoberfest Triathlon at Cross Creek Ranch for my first triathlon mainly because when I signed up it still gave me 12 weeks to train and they also had a newbie swim wave (the part I was most terrified for). It took place in Fulshear, TX, which is a suburb of Houston. It still took about 50 minutes to get to and that was without traffic.

I drove out Saturday afternoon for packet pick up and realized it was going to be a very small race when I saw how few tracking chips they had. I got my bag of swag with some gu’s, my small tech tee (which is more like a dress on me) and my swim cap. I was supposed to get orange for the newbie wave (which was last), but got my age group color–pink! Since there weren’t that many girls in my swim wave- 29 and under. I drove the bike course just to have an idea of where I was going. I had ridden out in Fulshear for my first organized ride ever and I remember it being open fields and terrible wind. As I was driving I noticed that the bike course was mostly lined with trees and only 1 mile on a busy road. I decided it seemed do-able and drove back home. During the entire drive it poured and I told myself it wouldn’t be like that the next day. I came home, briefly practiced my transitions and packed my bag. I tried to go to bed early, but sleep didn’t come that easily.

At 4:45 AM my alarm went off. All I had to do was put in my contacts, put on my tri top and shorts, brush teeth, eat my overnight oats, make coffee and load up the car. Brad was a trooper and got up early to head out with me. Poor Nolan was so confused and happily went into his cage to go back to sleep when we left. The drive out there was pretty smooth and we made it there shortly after 6. I was able to setup my area quickly, but was a little concerned that when I hung my bike from the saddle my front wheels didn’t touch the ground. I asked the people next to me if it was ok and they thought it was fine. I got my age marked on my leg and then it was time to wait. I was so nervous I barely said any words to Brad for 30 minutes. While waiting it started lightning in the distance and there was some talk of whether the swim would go off. Around 6:45 the race director said we would swim and the group walked over to the swim start, it was still dark out, but looking at the buoys 400 m suddenly seemed really far. We stood around waiting for it to get light and watched as it continued to lightning. I put my swim cap on and Brad snapped a picture of me. Right after that they cancelled the swim 😦 It was decided we would start in age groups at the swim exit and run into transition to get our bikes.

Everyone made their way back to transition and on our way back we saw an alligator in the lake we were supposed to be swimming in!  He was pretty tiny, but still!  I was pretty happy the swim was cancelled.

We started lining up by age group and it started to rain 😦  We were the second group off and there was about 15 people total in my start group (age 29 and under).  When everyone took off I decided I would be in the back and follow them.  I was out of breath just running into transition.  I think it was all the adrenaline.  I managed to get my socks, shoes and helmet on.  I had my bike gloves there, but decided to skip them.  I took off on my bike going way faster than I had trained.  I think I averaged 18 mph for the first half of the ride, minus a stop at a major intersection while the police officer switched the light.  Even going that speed I was amazed how many people passed me, especially from the age groups behind me.  I was definitely breathing hard during the bike ride and this was something I hadn’t really trained for.  Overall the bike was pretty good, a bit of a headwind at the end and we were fighting rain the entire time.  Coming into transition it was a slight downhill where you had to stop and get off of your bike.  I saw Brad as I was coming in and I was scared to death that I was going to fall on my face.  I got off the bike feeling pretty wobbling, but made it to my area in transition.  I threw my bike up on the rack and got grease on my legs somehow?  I quickly put on shoes and a hat (which I was really happy to have to keep the rain out of my eyes) and took off.

Two words after I left transition: NO WAY.  I thought there was no way I would make it under my goal of 12 minute miles and would probably be more like 15 min miles.  My legs definitely did not want to move!  I would say it took me about 3/4 of a mile to get my legs moving.  After that I gradually picked up the pace and started passing people who had passed me on the bike 🙂  I even passed a girl in my age group!  Once I could see the finish line in sight I gave it all I had and finished strong. 

 I averaged about a 10 min mile pace and came in 4th out of 7 in my age group!  Not too bad for my first race.  Afterwards I almost missed getting my medal, then had some beer before we packed the car off.  It was pouring at this time so we really just wanted to get the bike in the car and get some warm food.  I came home, showered and took about a 3 hour nap.  Overall it was a great experience and I think I have a lot to learn before my next race (and I still officially have to complete a tri).  Here’s to training for next year!

Weekly Recap  10/6

Looking back at training this past week, it was pretty good overall, but my swims were kinda lacking.  

Monday- Kickball on a muddy field, followed by a minute yoga session.

Tuesday- 3 mile tempo run around Rice Loop.  This was my first tempo run ever and I felt fantastic!  It may have been that the temperature finally dropped below 90 degrees, but either way it was a great run.  

Wednesday- 600 yards, followed by 150 yards in the pool.  600 yards is the farthest I’ve ever swam without a break, shortly after finishing I had to start sharing my lane.  The guy I was sharing with was splashing and all over the place.  It kinda put me in a bad mood, but I figured it was probably good training for a triathlon.  I didn’t finish my whole set, but at least I got a workout in.

Thursday- planning on a run, but super sore from Tuesday.  

Friday- planned rest day, and it was a good thing because I had a crazy day at work.

Saturday- 700 yards swim followed by 15 min of aqua-jogging.  

Sunday- Got up early with my friend Jacqueline to do a bike/run brick.  We went to Rice where they have a 1/4 mile bike track.  My bike computer wasn’t working so I’m not sure exactly how far we went, but we rode for 30 min before it started drizzling.  We changed into our running shoes and it started down-pouring.  We ended up running 2 miles and I forgot to push the lap button on my watch.  I felt pretty good other than completely drenched.  AND freezing!  I cold front came in overnight and it was around 60 when we were running in the rain.  Big change from the 90 degrees I’ve been running in.  

The weather is supposed to warm up after today. They’re predicting highs in the 80s and lows in the 70s for race day, which sounds pretty good to me.  I did just purchase a windbreaker for cycling that hopefully will arrive this Friday in case I need it.  Starting to get excited about the race and also nervous.  This week I plan on taking it pretty easy with training.

The clouds before the rain came in this morning.

Gritty Goddess Galveston 2013

This past weekend I got to participate in the gritty goddess mud run in Galveston. This was my first mud run and I can say that it was a lot of fun. The website for Gritty Goddess says there are about 30 obstacles total and there was definitely a lot of mud. My friend Jackie, her mom and I went down early Saturday morning and then the guys met us right before our heat started (10:10) to serve as our official photographers. The race started off with a short run, a climb up a “hill” followed by a slide down the hill on a wet tarp. I ended up going way too fast at the bottom and almost took someone out. My ninja slide in the picture below is right about when I’m going to hit someone. Luckily I avoided them.

We did some More running, followed by a climbing obstacle and then a wade through the resort’s lazy river. They passed out ice pops along the course and I ate about half and gave the rest to brad.

We then had an obstacle which involved walking the plank and jumping into a mud pit. That was fun until some girls decided to throw mud and I got some in my eye, not a happy camper. Then there was lots of crawling through mud. I even tried to get mud on my photographer.

The climb over the wall was next, followed by a nice cold muddy water obstacle, which involved climbing over and under.

After we finished we got a bottle of water, finishers dog tag and a nice hose off. We managed to find the warm showers and then claimed our free beers and blue bell ice cream.

Overall it was a fun experience, but would I do it again???

Probably not. The race was pretty expensive ($75) and we got a black cotton t-shirt (it’s Texas I hardly wear anything dark), there were lines of up to 20 minutes to do obstacles and not great activities after the run. There was a DJ and the resort’s pool area with the lazy river and a beach were open, but not until at least 2 hours after most people finished. The race handout said the beach would open at 3, but when we got over there staff said it didn’t open til 4 so most people just sat around waiting.

 

Have you ever done a mud run before? If so what was your experience?