Tag Archives: 2013 women’s Cannondale Slice 5 105

Random Thoughts Revisited from the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships

Just for fun, I thought it would be cool to revisit what went through my head at last year’s Nationals and how my mindset changed this time around.

Last year: ‘Friendly triathletes and great atmosphere—I don’t want to leave!’

This year: I really tried to avoid the hoopla this year. My flight landed in Milwaukee earlier, and I took care of the expo and pre-race stuff on Thursday when most folks were still trickling in. I also opted out of the Friday afternoon practice swim in an effort to avoid the nervous energy. Overall, I came to Nationals with a different mentality—I wanted to fly under the radar, do my own thing, and stay out of my own head. Yes, I wanted to enjoy the experience and have fun, but putting together a solid race was my primary focus.

Last year: ‘Milwaukee is a great venue.’

This year: Milwaukee is still a great venue. Going back to a familiar place gave me an increased sense of calm confidence: I knew the city, the course, and exactly what to expect. Before the race, I visited the Milwaukee Public Market several times, which was a foodie’s paradise.

kopps-milwaukee

And I went to Kopp’s post-race for some life-changing tiramisu custard.

Last year: ‘Everyone looks so fit.’

This year: Everyone still looked fit, but I didn’t have the jaw-dropping reaction I did last year. This is partly because I came into the race leaner and fitter, and I also knew everyone else would be chiseled.

Last year: ‘I need a new bike.’

This year: Hello, race-ready Slice!

cannondale-slice-5-105-womens-nationals

But I still experienced some bike envy. My teammates and I were talking during bike drop-off, and we estimated transition was probably worth $10 million. And one of my teammates who has a custom bike said even his eyes were wandering.

Last year: ‘I can’t believe how far I’ve come in one year.’

This year: I’d been looking forward to this race all year; I could not wait to take on the same course with another year of training and see how much I’ve improved across the disciplines. My swim was three minutes faster, and I shaved seven minutes off my bike split. (Based on my training and racing, I was hoping to take four minutes off my run, but we know what actually happened.)

Last year: ‘I have the best team ever.’

2014-usa-triathlon-age-group-national-championships-fte-dinner

This year: Still true!

Triathlon Training Log – Week of March 31 and April 7 (Phase Two, Weeks Thirteen and Fourteen)

Hiya!  First, thanks for your sweet and supportive comments regarding South Beach last weekend.  It was a great way to start the season—and so much fun!

full-throttle-endurance-disk-wheel

Because a normal disc wheel wouldn’t be enough.

Since I didn’t post last week’s workout log, let’s play catch up, OK?

General training notes:  Ah, the dreaded taper week.  Even though my body needed to back off the intensity to perform in South Beach, I struggled mentally—both to ease off the gas and to stay positive regarding my training. (Wednesday’s run specifically let me feeling unsettled.) Upon arriving in Fort Lauderlade, though, I found it easier to relax, stop obsessing over the race, and simply rest up.

Monday – a.m. swim and run

Steady swim (2,050 yards) and an easy five miler on the track and treadmill.

Tuesday – a.m. indoor cycle

We loaded our bikes onto the trailer, so this was a shorter and easier spin workout.

Wednesday – a.m. run

As the last solid run before South Beach, I wanted to nail this workout, but that didn’t happen.  We started with a one-mile warm-up and then ran two miles with short, 100m race pace efforts sprinkled in.  These surges felt horrible; my legs felt like lead, and it was tough to turn them over.  This is when the mental side of tapering started to affect me:  If this is what race pace feels like now, then how in the world can I hit and hold this after biking?

Thursday – off (travel day)

Flew down to Fort Lauderdale.

Friday – off

Relaxed and tried not to think about the race.  Also spent some time in a pool and did some doggie paddling.

Saturday – a.m. open-water swim and spin out

Bright and early, we drove to Miami to meet up with our team for a brief open-water swim session.  I spent about 10 minutes in the water and covered 500 yards or so (according to a teammate’s Garmin).  We then picked up our bikes and embarked on a scenic tour of downtown Miami just to make sure everything felt OK.

clif-shot-hydration-south-beach-expo

And stayed hydrated at the expo, obviously.

It was only after these two workouts that I chilled out mentally; both went well, and I felt rested, loose, and ready to do work.

SundaySouth Beach Triathlon (classic distance—0.5-open water swim, 20.7-mile bike, 4-mile run)

So even though tapering tested me mentally, it definitely paid off on Sunday.

General training notes:  Coming off South Beach, we logged some easier workouts at the start of the week, but then ramped it up on Thursday.

Monday – off

Traveled back to New York City.

Tuesday – a.m. indoor cycle

Again, this was an easier spin to flush out the legs and help our bodies recover.

Wednesday – a.m. run and swim

I deviated from the prescribed workout and did a five-mile progression run on the treadmill.  My legs felt stiff at first, but they loosened up around the third mile.  After, I hit the pool for a tough hypoxic-focused swim set that totaled 2,400 yards.

Thursday – a.m. swim; p.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Whew, this was a killer swim:  3,400 yards, and the main set included 3×300 that were supposed to be negative split.  I also made my triumph return to Tailwind for a workout that included VO2 max, threshold, and tempo efforts.  That night, I also had a sports massage, which felt awesome.

Friday – a.m. brick (indoor spin and run)

Like previous brick workouts, we warmed up on the spin bikes for 45 minutes or so and then alternated between steady efforts in the saddle and steady 800m repeats.  Surprisingly, I felt great during these five 800’s; I really wanted to push, but I followed instructions and kept the pace conversational.

Saturday – a.m. recovery run

Just an easy five miles along the West Side Highway before work.

Sunday – a.m. bike

A few teammates and I met and rode across the George Washington Bridge and into New Jersey for a total of 45 miles.  My Slice came out to play, and like SoBe, I felt like I was flying.  It’s ridiculous how happy riding outside makes me—and passing dudes too, of course.

And now, it’s back to the grind!

Real Talk: Training Edition

Hi, everyone—happy 2014!  For some folks, the new year signifies a time to make resolutions, set goals, and take advantage of a fresh start; and I’m sure you’ll see plenty of these posts around the blogosphere during the next few weeks.  For others—like yours truly—2014 means structured training begins.

triathlong-life-is-good

[source]

As usual, I’m keeping it real.

I have mixed feelings about the start of training on Monday morning.  Mainly, I cannot wait to start completing structured workouts with everyone again; I miss seeing my coaches and teammates everyday!  Oh, and two words:  South Beach.  It seems like my last race occurred forever ago, and even though I’m nowhere near race fitness, I’m already excited for this event.  On the other hand, though, I found my groove in terms of the NYC social scene, and not going to lie, I’ll be sad to give up my party warlord MO for a bit.

In related news, I’m anxious to see how my body responds to six consecutive days of training. (The team will train Monday-Friday, and I plan to hit the CompuTrainer on Sunday.) This wasn’t a problem during high school basketball …

2008-high-school-basketball

Sorry, had to do it.  I posted this on Instagram for throwback Thursday.

… but toward the end of my collegiate seasons, my body felt like it break down and snap in two.  Thankfully, it held up well when I moved to the five-day program during the final month of training, but those workouts weren’t typical:  We completed one workout each morning instead of two (and removed bricks all together) because it was the end of the season.  So I guess we’ll see what happens.

Here’s what my training will look like from Monday until early February: swim and run on Mondays; bike (on spin bikes) and strength train on Tuesdays; run and swim on Wednesdays; swim and run on Thursdays; bike (on spin bikes) and strength train on Fridays.  Since I’ve been all about the cycling lately, I’d love to replace one of the swims with another ride, but I’m not in charge yet.  Also, I’m not sure what will happen to my weekly threshold Tuesday CompuTrainer rides at Tailwind Endurance.  Obviously, I want to keep going, but it would look questionable if I always “slept in” during the team’s Tuesday morning workouts.  Again, we’ll see what happens.

Last week, my Slice appeared in a dream:  I was riding along (and being all legit in aero), when I slowly tipped over and hit the pavement.  But it didn’t hurt.  In fact, the ground acted like an inflatable bounce house and sprung me back to an upright position.  To me, means either (a) it’s pretty rare to wipe out on a tri bike, or (b) even if I do fall, I’ve ate it before and know what to expect, so the fear of the unknown isn’t a factor.

Speaking of my Slice, the first few rides have been tough, but I’m adapting.  During workouts, I spend time in the aerobars and on the bullhorns; usually, I stay in aero for a few minutes and take a one-minute break.  Shifting is slowly starting to make sense, and I definitely feel more powerful and efficient in this position.  I do need to get an in-depth fit done, though.

Seeing as how I haven’t mentioned running yet … it’s going OK, but my team’s two-mile time trial (TT) on the first day of school practice will be a reality check.  I made a decision this offseason to focus on the bike and put the run on the backburner, so I have no idea how this will translate to a TT.  I’m not expecting big things obviously, but it would be awesome if I could beat my time from last year.  It’s all about progress, so if I start off this season at a better running spot then 2013, then that would be awesome.

… and on that note, I’m hopping onto my indoor trainer, aka not running.  Happy Friday, friends!

What fitness and healthy living goals do you have for 2014?