Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Weekly Training Recap - Preview of Sunday's Course

Holy cow, how is it Wednesday already?!!! Sheesh!

My sister and her hubby are having their first baby in just over a month from now so I've been in busy baby shower planning mode these past few weeks. Not an easy task when coordinating from out of state - lots of online orders, sketches and prayers that I've got all the venue measurements down right. Wishfully hoping that the ideas I've had swimming around in my noggin mesh well when I'm finally able to start putting things together on site. Let's hope this enchanted garden theme doesn't turn out to be something more like a scene from Alice in Wonderland's nightmares! ;)

Anyway - let's get to the good stuff...


Rest day (I seem to be having too many of these lately....need to work on that)




4 mile run

It was hot and I was way dehydrated. Side stitches almost immediately but I powered through 4 miles and used the patches of shade on my route as motivation to keep moving forward. Hey, sometimes it's the little things. :)


16 mile ride with The Kid.

In prep for Sunday's race, The Kid and I took a nice 16 mile ride on one of our local trails. Love that I can keep him off major roads yet still get some decent training in. Besides the swarms of nasty summer bugs and having to chase a setting sun, we had a good time. Though I had to slow my speed down considerably, I wouldn't trade that quality time with him for anything.


STRETCH!! and repeat......


800 Meter OWS

Sat morning The Kid and I were lucky enough to attend an open water session that Sunday's race director was holding at the venue. This was a perfect opportunity to get The Kid into the water before race day so that he could experience what OWS is like with a large group. He would only be swimming 200 meters on Sunday but he really wanted to see how well he could keep up with the adults and their full 800. And of course, he did awesome. We took it fairly easy, allowing for a few quick stops to catch his breath along the way, but wouldn't you know it - he finished the entire swim in just under 15 minutes! And not one panic attack - he continues to amaze me.

Afterwards we took a drive down Sunday's 12.5 mile bike course - flat and beautiful. This was going to be a fun race.


The Girlfriends and Dudes Triathlon

Accomplished a ton of personal bests in this race AND got to watch The Kid "tri" his first time! Needless to say he is hooked. All the exciting details in my race report to come later this week......

In the meantime I've got a few more stores to run to, and boxes to mail, all while trying to fit in a 90 minute ride tonight......."I love party planning.....I love party planning.....I love party planning."

Cheers - Rebecca

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Thoughts and Race Goals

Wohoo! It's finally Friday! How's has everyone's week been? I have slowly started settling back into a decent workout routine, though still finding it rough trying to run in this hot weather. Anyone have any great tips for plugging through the heat?

The Girlfriends and Dudes Tri is this Sunday so The Kid (who will be racing for the first time) and I have some prep work to do these next few days. (aka long session on the trainer for me tonight) We went on an evening 16 mile ride earlier this week, just so he could get a better sense of what true "bike legs" are like. Tomorrow the event organizer is holding a practice swim session on location which will be a great opportunity for us to get a feel of the water conditions and then drive the bike/run course.

Though my training has been lacking consistency since Boise, I am hoping to PR on Sunday. 1/2 mile swim, 12.5 mile bike and 5k run. This course is new to me but the distances and terrain are pretty typical to the Blue Lake Tri that I've completed twice so I plan on treating it just same. Since my last Sprint, I've added a few new items to my racing arsenal and have changed my mindset with regard to pacing......pacing? In a Sprint? No way - all out until I feel the burn.

Goals for Sunday are as follows:

.5 Mile Swim - 0:13:45 (sans wetsuit)
T1 -   0:02:30
12.5 Mile Bike - under 0:40:00 (av 20mph)
T2 - 0:02:00
5k Run - under 0:30:00 (under 10 min/mi)

I don't know exactly how transition is set up at this location though so my T1 and T2 times may vary depending on how far I have to run out of the water/off the bike. Either way I'd like to set a PR this weekend and go under 1:30:00 for the race. The weather is looking to be pretty ideal - mid 70s and partly cloudy so I really can't ask for better conditions. We shall see.

After my race The Kid gets to have some fun completing his first tri! Each leg is significantly shorter (250 meter swim, 3 mile bike and 3/4 mile run) but the idea is just to get him out there experiencing what it's like to be on the inside vs. a spectator. And who knows, maybe he'll fall in love with the sport and want to join me in a full Sprint next summer! (crossing fingers and toes....)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and good luck to all who are racing! Go out and make that course your biotch! :)

Cheers - Bec

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Weekly Training Recap

Boy do I sure miss adding "70.3" in front of my weekly training recap titles! Re-placing it with "Olympic Tri" just doesn't have the same oomph, so I am going to keep things fairly generic until I am back on an official training plan.

Last week I talked about my post race blues - thankfully I am making my way out of that valley and back into action. This last week wasn't the best, but I should at least give myself some credit for sweating it out in our unnatural PNW summer heat. After almost 4 years of living here, I think I can safely say that this SoCal gal has finally acclimated to the cooler weather and am now finding it more difficult to workout in the heat. It's been pretty humid too so......I don't know how all you Southerners do it. Huge props!



I planned on getting a swim in while the Kid was at practice but he had lost his goggles, so my only pair became his. :( Instead I watched him soak up all that liquid I sat in the with envy.


3 mile trail run

Hot, humid and just overall junky. I think I managed 10:30 m/m. Like I said before, I have turned into a  heat pansy!


2200 yard swim

Ah, finally back in the water and boy howdy it felt good! By the time a lane opened up I only had about 30 minutes to get my workout in before the Kid was done with his practice. I ended up staying in for a total of 36 minutes and was pretty happy to have jammed out 2200 yards in that short amount of time!
500 Free warm up
200 kick
10 x 100 Free (hard, easy, hard, easy)
500 Free cool down

You certainly can't ask for a more scenic location to get your swimmin' on!!


Quick OWS swim session with the Kid in prep for Girlfriend's and Dudes Tri this weekend.

The Kid has his very first tri this Sunday so we decided to head over to the river (race location) Thursday evening after work so he could get a sense of what OWS is really like. The swim portion of his race is only 250 meters and he is already a very strong swimmer so I wasn't too worried about how he'd handle being in open water. Unfortunately I turned off the nav in my car about a mile before the correct location and ended up walking down to a small cove not at all groomed for swimming. Bad mistake - the water conditions there were hideous. Super mossy, even as we got about 200 yards out!! The stuff was practically strangling us, getting caught in our hands, arms and even feet at times! It's bad enough imagining what creepy things lie underneath without having to feel it at the same time!! The poor guy had to do his first open water session in the worst possible conditions. Mom fail.

"Why the heck did I let my mom talk me into this?!!!"

He's tough though and has seen me swim in most everything, so much to his can do attitude, the Kid swam - creeped out and all. Oh, and let's not forget that his girlfriend came out with there was really no possible way he was going to show any signs of fear. Haha.


30 mile ride

Yes! The heat eased up a bit and I was really itching to get out on the road - nothing super special to recap other than just getting my butt out there. And given my current funk, I'd say that was special enough!


The Kid had his first big swim invitational this weekend so as far as training/workout goes for myself....does cheering count?

The event was held at our local pool (as are most in Oregon - thankfully!) so no lengthy car trips for us. He did well - swam in four events, was disqualified in one (learning experience!) and nearly hit his regional qualifying times in two others. Missed them by only a few seconds! I'd say he is off to a great start. Here are a few pics from the event - so proud of this guy.


More of the above. Swim invitationals are no joke - sitting around for 8-9 hours just to see your child swim in two events?! Yeesh - guess this is where I thank my parents for putting up with years of this stuff while I competed in school. :)

There you have it - first "real" week of training since Boise. It's not much but at least it's a start.

Cheers - Bec

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Post Race Blues - They've Got Me!!

Yep, it's happened.

I gots da........Post.Race.Blues.

"That race was so tough - I deserve some time off - somebody wake me up next season!"

I've experienced the post race blues before, but this time around it completely took me by surprise. With Boise happening so early in the season, I fully expected to hop right back on that training horse and make the most out of the next four months. Heck, I still have at least 3 more tris (key being not yet registered for) and a half marathon to tackle this summer! Nope. After taking a week off to recover from my "A" race, the motivation started to lag and I've been finding myself struggling just to get on the bike at least once a week.

32 days since my 70.3 and I have done the following:

Swim - 2 days
Bike - 4 days (3 on trainer + 1 outside) and 95 miles
Run - 4 days and 13 miles total.

Ugh. Lame. So in an effort to pick myself out of this funk, I've done a little research on the very real dilemma of 'post race blues' and exactly why this happens. I also signed up from some Ironman volunteering which is bound to get those motivation gears a pumpin'. (more on that later....)

So what exactly is Post Race Blues or Depression?

Post race blues/depression refers to a very real condition in which feelings of boredom and worry combine with physical fatigue and muscle soreness. As these negative feelings and worry combine, an overall feeling of depression sets in.

What are some of the causes?

1. Physically your body becomes used to a high supply of endorphins. When released during training these endorphins are natural mood elevators and cause feelings of euphoria. (I'm a bad-ass, unstoppable!)When training for triathlon your body is constantly flooded with these awesome things. After your race, the supply of endorphins decreases drastically which contributes to those feelings of blah.

2. Emotionally - While training for a triathlon, the mind and body are constantly focused on a united goal. After months (5 months to be exact) of anticipation for the event, you can often feel let down once that big race is over. Your days suddenly feel empty and you are unmotivated to find anything else to do. (queue drinking beer and staying parked on the couch).

This article on says it best:

'Athletes are not unique in this post event letdown. The feelings are reported by politicians after a major election-win or lose; by students after earning a hard-won degree; by mountain climbers after climbing the highest peak. Although the experience seems to contradict common sense, it is common among achievement oriented people.
We have been taught that the attainment of the goal is the reward. Now the goal is attained and you are puzzled by your unanticipated unhappiness. The goal has turned out to be an illusion. The joy was in the dream and the process of moving towards your goal, in mobilizing your physical and mental potentials to their fullest. Once the goal was accomplished, the dream died. The joy ended. And now it's time to regroup and start over again.
Be Prepared
Some of the disappointment of the post-event letdown can be alleviated by knowing that it's normal and to expect it. For months, your life has been organized around this singular goal. Now, suddenly it's over and the disciplined, intensive efforts are no longer required.'

What are some solutions?

The textbook answer is rest and  relaxation while keeping your mind occupied with other activities. And then when the time comes set yourself a new goal. Though I agree with needing a little R&R the suggestion according to of allowing yourself one "easy day" for every miles you completed in the event just seems ludicrous. I can't possibly take 70 easy days! Rest and relaxation are imperative after a longer distance event, but the key is to keep active during this time. Rest does not equal sitting on your rump and not doing a thing for 4 weeks.

That being said I took a peak into the minds of the endurance community to see what they have personally experienced and works for them. And wouldn't you know it? Time after time the "treatment" is simply to sign up for another race! And from the perspective of goal setting this makes sense. A new race creates a new goal upon which we can set our sights, pin our happiness and focus our determination. While some studies may suggest that this is pathological and problematic, it sounds pretty normal  and highly effective for most of the endurance athletes I know. We need new goals, new limits to push.

And with that I have pushed forward with registering for a few more events that will hopefully pull me out of this funk! I've also decide that yes, my personality needs goals...constantly and physically. And with knowing that tri season is only about 5 months out of the year in the PNW, I need to look at setting other goals not related to racing - rather something specific from improving on a certain muscle group to nutrition etc. (which will all benefit my racing agenda in the long run anyway)

Going forward, each month I will focus on a specific goal, put it out here for you all to see and include a status of where I am at with achieving that goal in my weekly training recaps (which my lazy bum will be definitely be starting up again next week  - something uber motivational about having everyone see the work you're doing ). Who knows, maybe there are some of you out there who are lacking the same motivation at the moment and would like to tackle these challenges with me? - thinking about something leg focused for next month. Stay tuned...............

This month however, will be kept to just getting back into routine and prepping for the Girlfriends and Dudes Tri that I'm doing with the Kid in two weeks. Though it's only a sprint, I'd really like to try and PR considering I feel so much stronger than this time last year.

So please bear with me as I work through this valley.....another peak is just around the corner!

Cheers - Bec