Tag Archives: CNY Triathlon Club

Building My 2013 Triathlon Race Calendar

Hey, friends!  Can you believe it’s Thursday?  This week seems to be flying by—no complaints here!  I think we’re in agreement about the “healthy” Girl Scout cookie news.  If you try it, please let me know what you think!  Anyway, after publishing yesterday’s post, I found out that registration for my hometown triathlon opened (which caught me off guard because the original date advertised was my birthday, Feb. 5!), and I didn’t waste any time: I officially signed up for the 13th Annual Cazenovia Triathlon!

cazenovia-triathlon-registerMore on that in a minute—today’s eats first!

Breakfast

I’m feeling stuffy and congested today, so I opted out of my planned morning yoga class.  And plus, Andrew told us to take today completely off after yesterday’s butt-kicking indoor cycling workout.  I slept in until 7:20 a.m.—glorious!—enjoyed two leisurely cups of coffee, and then made an egg-white breakfast sandwich.

1:17-breakfast-egg-whites-mushrooms-red-peppers-udis-gluten-free-bread

I finished the spinach earlier this week—grocery shopping needs to happen today—so I added roasted mushrooms and red peppers instead.  This combo packed more flavor, and I’ve become a huge fan of Udi’s Whole Grain Bread.

Lunch

I wanted a warm meal for lunch, so I heated up a spinach, turkey, and pepper jack cheese tortilla in the oven.

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Plus some carrots on the side.

13th Annual Cazenovia Triathlon

Even though I’m locked into the Nautica South Beach and New York City Triathlons, my 2013 race calendar hasn’t been completely finalized. (I’ve talked to Andrew and nailed down potential events, and I plan to share my official schedule once I register for each event.) Unfortunately, Full Throttle Endurance will not take a team trip to Central New York in August, but I knew signing up for the Cazenovia Triathlon needed to happen.  It takes place in my hometown, and it was also my first official swim-bike-run race; completing this sprint event got me totally hooked on the sport, so I have an emotional attachment to this race, too.  Plus, triathloning is all about finding your limits and pushing past them, so I want to kick butt, take names, and see how much I can improve—aka blow last year’s time out of the water.  It’s all about progress!

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Speaking of progress, there’s been some already.

cazenovia-triathlon-swim-wave

That’s right—no longer a swimming novice! (Since the 2012 race was my first true triathlon, I opted for the novice swim start.) Hey, remember that time I swam in the fast lane? (Too soon?)

Anyway, I registered last night, and this afternoon, I saw this post on the CNY Triathlon Club Facebook group page.

cazenovia-triathlon-registration

Does it surprise you that I was one of the first people to sign up?  Type-A at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

Is there a certain race or event that always makes it on your calendar?

Last Bike Ride in Central New York

Good afternoon, everyone!  How’s your Thursday so far?  I kicked off my morning with a 2.5-hour bike ride with Laura and MaryBeth around my tiny town.

Our leisurely ride gave us plenty of time to tri talk.  MB is such a great resource, so it was beneficial to pick her brain and discuss things like nutrition and off-season training.  Plus, I really valued talking through my long-term running and triathloning goals with a knowledgeable source.  Even though the ride was a blast, I couldn’t ignore the fact that it will be my last Central New York bike outing for quite some time.

I’m bringing my bike to the city, and once it’s there, it won’t be easy to take it home for the holidays. (Does anyone know if Amtrak allows bikes on trains?) Speaking of CNY, I have to take a moment to brag about my homestead:  Active.com named Syracuse as one of its 10 Best Triathlon Cities in the U.S.

And the article mentioned CNY Tri.  Hollerrr!

Dinner

Let’s backtrack to last night’s dinner:  I heated up a piece of leftover almond crusted tilapia and roasted some veggies.

Even though the tilapia exploded somewhat in the microwave, it was still delicious.  I kept dinner on the light-ish side because I had some baking planned—more pumpkin crunch granola to be exact.

Before letting my family have some, I had to taste it myself.  You know, for quality control purposes.  Big mistake.  Friends, I literally cannot stop eating this stuff.  It’s addicting.  I’ll share the recipe tomorrow!

Breakfast

Before this morning’s ride, I ate two Kashi waffles with almond butter and banana slices.

Sprinkled with chia seeds for good measure.

Post-Workout Snack

Once I got home, I inhaled a slice of protein-packed pumpkin bread.

And the loaf is officially gone.

All right, it’s time to face my organized piles of chaos and start packing for NYC—ahhh!  Have a great afternoon!

What I Learned From Doing My First Triathlon

Making the decision to join the triathlon world was one of the scariest and most rewarding choices I’ve ever made.  Prior to starting this adventure in June, I had been thinking about giving it a “tri” for a while:  I interviewed my cousin MaryBeth—an accomplished runner and super legit triathlete—for my Honors project, and she said I’d be a great triathlete and would pick up the sport without a problem; one of my spinning instructors at college, Donna, wondered if I had given any thought to doing a triathlon because I’m a good runner and strong spinner; a few of my college friends completed sprint tris, as well as a handful of healthy living bloggers I follow, so it seemed like everyone in the healthy living community was talking about triathlons.  Plus, I figured since I would be spending the summer at home, I might as well do something worthwhile with my time. (Hello, blogging and triathloning!) Learning about the sport and training for my first swim-bike-run event has been a challenging and rewarding fitness adventure, and here’s what I’ve discovered from completing my first triathlon.

Every triathlete needs a mentor, and it takes a community to develop a triathlete.

At the beginning, joining the triathlon world seemed like a daunting decision.  Aside from the general progression of the swim-bike-run event, I knew zilch about the sport.  Enter MB; she answered all my newbie questions, made workout suggestions, and helped me dress for triathlon success.

She was also the one who suggested I join the CNY Triathlon Club.  When attended my first CNY Tri Club training series, I thought I would be in over my head; everyone looked so experienced, and I was just a newbie.  However, every club member I met was friendly, encouraging, and more than willing to help and offer advice.

And now, I see familiar faces every Wednesday night, and everyone wants to hear how each other’s training and racing are going.  It’s crazy to think that until six months ago, I had no idea this community existed.

Once you’re part of the community, keep an eye out for smaller niche groups.

In addition to the CNY triathlon community at large, I’ve discovered smaller niche groups for each tri segment.  There are master swim classes at the YMCA and other fitness centers, plus swimming gurus who run triathlon-specific workshops and one-on-one seminars (similar to the one the Fleet Feet Learn to Tri coaches facilitated).  In terms of biking, I’ve taken advantage of Syracuse Bicycle’s Women on Wheels rides, which helped make cycling less daunting.  Plus, attending these meet-ups let me ask questions and practice proper techniques in a safe (i.e. not racing or riding solo) environment.  CNY is also a hotbed for running, so there are a ton of groups, including the Syracuse Chargers, that hold public workouts.  Just like the greater tri community, these smaller groups welcome triathletes of all ages and abilities.

Don’t forget about digital communities; they’re just as important.

Not to get all academic, but our 21st century technology has made the world seem smaller while digital writing and new media have revolutionized how we interact.  Case in point:  Ten years ago, I was never a click, text, tweet, or Facebook post away from talking with fellow triathletes; now, in 2012, it’s simply to stay connected.  The CNY Triathlon Club has an email subscription list and its own Facebook group, and both of these features keep members up-to-date and allow them to instantly interact with each other.  This blog (thanks for reading!) and my Twitter account (@CarrieStevens25) makes connecting with tri addicts across the globe possible; it’s comforting to know I can post a question to any of my social networks and receive an answer within minutes, even seconds.

Pay it forward.

Triathletes are a special breed.  Every workout has a specific purpose, and our lifestyle revolves around the sport. (More on this later.) Because a common interest—or borderline obsession!—bonds us, moral support comes standard, and it’s great to pay it forward.  At CNY Tri Club training events, plenty of people passed me while biking and running, but almost everyone said “good job!” or “keep up the good work!”  And during Sunday’s triathlon, I found myself automatically encouraging another triathlete on the run as I passed him; I remembered how much I appreciated verbal support, so I paid it forward.

Everyone—and every body—is capable of completing a triathlon.

By volunteering at the Syracuse Ironman 70.3, attending the Fleet Feet OWS clinic, and going to the Iron Girl Chalk Talk at Syracuse Bicycle, I saw triathletes of all shapes and sizes.

This proves anyone—and literally every body—can complete a swim-bike-run event; you just need to train.

Each triathlete started off as a newbie, and there’s no such thing as a dumb question.

Even though I was intimidated during my first few trips to Jamesville Beach, I reminded myself that each triathlete used to be in my newbie shoes, so everything I was feeling—uncertainty, inadequacy, lack of experience—was normal.

I knew practicing and asking questions would remedy these feelings, and even after completing my first triathlon, I’m still seeking advice from more experienced triathletes.  There’s so much to learn!

Practice makes almost-perfect, but watching is helpful, too.

You need to practice any skill to get good at it, but it’s also worthwhile to take a step back and observe.  By volunteering at the Syracuse Ironman 70.3 and watching the men’s and women’s Olympic triathlons, I noticed what worked and what didn’t.

Triathloning isn’t just a sport; it’s a lifestyle.

After deciding to train for a sprint triathlon, my lifestyle has undergone a small shift.  I’ve always maintained a healthy lifestyle, and triathloning has only intensified it:  My summer days revolve around workouts, races, and rest days; I wake up early to train and go to bed at a reasonable hour; I watch what I eat and follow a “food is fuel” approach in the weeks leading up to a race; my social networks (both in-person and digital) have expanded to include fellow triathletes, biking gurus, and knowledgeable mentors.  Basically, almost every decision I make—both those related to trishorts and ones that aren’t exclusive to Bodyglide and the like—needs to answer this question:  “How is this helping me become a better triathlete?”

Having the support of your family and friends is invaluable.

Training for a sprint swim-bike-run event falls on the initial tip of the triathlon iceberg—can you imagine preparing for an intermediate-/Olympic distance or half- and full-Ironman?—and I needed my support system.  Even though they thought completing a triathlon was nuts, my parents still supported my goal and bought me a road bike as a college graduation present.  My extended family thought my decision was nuts, too, but they always asked about my training; my aunt event road the Cazenovia Triathlon bike course with me.

As race-day approached, my mom spotted me countless times when I practiced open-water swimming.  When I made plans to Skype with my friends from college, they were understanding about my 9-9:30 p.m. bedtime. (And they also refrained my calling me after they consumed adult beverages during the wee hours of the morning because I “actually needed to sleep because I was training.”) And on race-day, my family came out in full force to cheer me; heck, they even made me a sign!

Although trying at times (pun unintended), this triathlon journey is definitely one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.  I’m totally hooked, and I can’t wait for my next race on Sept. 1!

What fitness journey have you embarked on recently?  Was it smooth sailing, or did you experience a learning curve?  What did you learn from the experience?

Iron Girl Chalk Talk at Syracuse Bicycle

Hiya, friends!  Happy Friday!  I hope your day is off to a great start.  I’m going to try to write this post while watching the USA Women’s Soccer team battle New Zealand; multitasking at its finest, right?

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Iron Girl Chalk Talk

One week ago, I received an email from the CNY Triathlon Club President that detailed two upcoming Syracuse Bicycle-sponsored events, one of which included the Iron Girl Chalk Talk.

Although I’m not participating in this Sunday’s race, I figured attending this information session would still be beneficial.  Sure, the discussion would center on Iron Girl-specific tips, but I hoped there would also be some general advice; even if I learned only one thing from the workshop, I would leave better prepared for the Cazenovia Triathlon.  Anyway, I arrived at Syracuse Bicycle last night to a packed shop.

I snapped this photo about 10 minutes before the talk began, and women continued to trickle in up until 7 p.m. and after.  There were enough seats for about 40 or 50, and more women stood in the back and sat on the floor.  And Syracuse Bicycle sure knows how to throw a party information session—lots of finger foods, like chips and salsa and veggies and dip (and a few dessert options), plus a great variety of adult beverages.  Sipping wine and talking about triathlons sounds like heaven to me!

Trish Dugan and Reem Jishi, both USA Triathlon coaches, walked us through packet pickup, transition setup, and what to expect on race-day.  Here are some tips and tricks I picked up:

  • When you set up your bike in transition, make a mental note of where your rack is located.  This means counting other racks, finding a landmark, or doing something similar to ensure you can easily find your bike coming out of the swim.
  • After setting up, it’s a good idea to walk the all the route—walk into transition via the swim entrance, walk out of transition via bike exit, walk in transition via bike entrance, walk out of transition via run exit, and walk in transition via finish.
  • For taller triathletes, Trish suggested affixing our bike number underneath the saddle.  Since we’re taller, our saddle will be higher, and there should be room for the number.  Although placing the number on the bike frame isn’t a big deal, putting it under the saddle ensures we won’t have to worry about it hitting our legs.
  • In the event of overnight rain, remove your odometer and use a garbage bag to cover your bike’s gears.
  • Prior to the race, set your bike in a low gear, especially if there’s an incline. (The Cazenovia Triathlon bike exit contains a huge hill, so I’ll want to put my bike in an easy gear.)
  • If the weather forecast calls for rain on race-day, then you should lower your tire pressure.  In wet conditions, lower pressure makes the wheels “stickier,” which helps the tires better grip the road.  Also, avoid any painted lines; water makes them slippery.
  • Trish mentioned her ABC Checklist:  air pressure; brakes; chain and cassette.  We should check all of these components on race-day before leaving transition.

The discussion ended around 8:30 p.m., and I stayed at the shop until 9 p.m. to watch a tire change demo.  Watching the process makes it seem less daunting, but it’s one thing to observe and another to actually do it.  I’m just praying to the bike gods I don’t get a flat during the race!  Ha.

Overall, I had a great time–it was nice to see some familiar faces–and I learned some valuable tips that I’ll definitely use on race-day.  Thanks for hosting the event, Syracuse Bicycle!

Have you ever been to a sport-specific information session?  Did you find it helpful?  If you haven’t attended one, would you consider going?

Bringing Home Gold

Who else watched the women’s gymnastics team finals last night?

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Confession:  I got an NBC Olympics alert on my phone yesterday, so I knew the results, but it will still a great event.  Congratulations, ladies!  To further supplement my Olympic fever, I watched the women’s road cycling time trials this morning, and Kristin Armstrong demolished the field and won her second straight Olympic time trial gold medal!

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It’s a great time to be an Olympic super-fan.  What is your favorite Olympic sport to spectate?

Breakfast

While I watched the cycling time trials, I toasted two Kashi waffles.

And smeared them with PB and banana slices, of course.  I also sprinkled on some chia seeds, which added a crunch to the combo.

Today’s looking like it’s going to be a low-key, Olympic-filled day until CNY Triathlon training tonight.  No complaints here!

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of July 29

Hi, everyone!  Did you have a good weekend?  Yesterday’s trip to the Grapehound Wine Tour was a ton of fun!

During the past few days, I’ve been reflecting on Wednesday’s triathlon training, and I also completed a short OWS in my wetsuit this morning; both have prompted me to change the triathlon portion of my workout schedule. (My half-marathon workouts will remain the same.) Wednesday evening further confirmed I need to focus my efforts on the OWS, and hitting the open-water this morning—while wearing my wetsuit—served as an eye-opening experience.  Sure, I can handle three-quarters of a mile in the pool and complete 800m in the open-water without a wetsuit, but the neoprene ensemble is a game-changer—big time.  I definitely noticed a difference in terms of buoyancy, and although I swam faster and more easily, my arms fatigued much sooner; I’m not used to the wetsuit’s constriction yet.  So now, my number one triathlon goal is to become comfortable swimming in a wetsuit, which means wearing the suit during CNY Tri sessions (even if I can swim only 400m) and adding more OWS sessions to my schedule.

In addition to doing more open-water swimming before the Cazenovia Triathlon—two weeks away!—I want to practice the bike course at least one more time.  However, there’s fresh gravel on two of the roads, which is totally unsafe for road bikes.  I’m hoping to ride the route on Wednesday, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed the stones settle.

Finally, since the Tromptown Half-Marathon takes place on Aug. 9, I will begin to taper after Thursday’s long-run, so my running mileage will start to decrease.

Now, it’s time for this week’s edition of Write It Down, Do It Up!

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday evening, I will post my workout schedule for the week, and I invite you to do the same.  This way, we can motivate each other and hold ourselves accountable.  Sounds like a win-win, right?)

Monday – A.M. swim at the YMCA; strength training; P.M. OWS with wetsuit

Tuesday – 5-mile run; Women on Wheels

Wednesday – 3-mile run; ride the Cazneovia Triathlon bike course (?); CNY Triathlon Club training series

Thursday – long run (12 miles)

Friday – 4-mile run; OWS with wetsuit

Saturday – Women on Wheels; OWS with wetsuit

Sunday – swim at the YMCA; 30-minute tempo run; strength training

What are your workout goals for this week?

Pump It Up

At last night’s CNY Triathlon Club training series—during which I finished my first unofficial sprint tri!—I was lucky enough to meet Tim, who not only inflated my droopy tires, but also showed me how to work a bike pump like a pro.  Triathletes really are the best.  However, I can’t mooch off friendly athletes forever, so I went to Syracuse Bicycle today to get a floor pump of my own. (Inadvertent reference to Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own.)

Syracuse Bicycle

After taking my younger sister to the dentist (and missing this morning’s Women on Wheels Ride, which ended up being cancelled due to potential thunderstorms), I headed to the shop around 11 a.m.  I’d like to think I was smooth enough to purposely miss the 10 a.m. rush; the store was eerily quiet, but the lack of congestion made it easier to navigate the shelves and talk pumps with Jim, who helped me pick out the Bontrager Charger.

When I talked with Tim last night, he advised not to skimp on the pump, and Jim said as long as I don’t get a “food club” model, then I’ll be fine.

And now that I know the tires’ optimal inflation range, hopefully this will make the task somewhat easier.

Here’s a recap of today’s eats.

Breakfast

The picture I snapped thing morning didn’t turn out well, but I repeated Sunday’s breakfast of two Kashi waffles with PB and banana slices.

Lunch

Once my sister and I arrived home from running errands, I baked some tofu and carrot fries to incorporate into my meal.

Yesterday’s open-faced sandwhich was good, but a salad was calling my name—spinach, carrots, celery, and baked tofu, plus carrot fries.  I also ate an apple for dessert.

Afternoon Snack

Tina posted a delicious-looking banana and peanut butter smoothie recipe a couple days ago, and I tried it today.

In the mix:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 (heaping) tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1.25 cups almond milk
  • shake of cinnamon

Dinner

Spicy Shrimp with Lime and Cilantro has been a go-to recipe this summer.

Plus some frozen grapes for dessert.

Have a great night!

My First Sprint Triathlon

Hey, everyone!  Can you believe it’s almost Friday?  And almost time for the 2012 London Olympics!

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Yesterday evening at the CNY Triathlon Club training series was a big night—I completed my first (unofficial) sprint triathlon!

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CNY Triathlon Club Wednesday Night Training

I still can’t believe I finished a sprint tri!  I had a ton of fun, and completing the swim-bike-run progression also served as a valuable learning experience.  Here’s the breakdown of how the evening progressed:

Nutrition and transition set-up:  Before I left for Jamesville Beach, I encountered a normal triathlon snag—both of my tires needed air, badly. (I later found out there were 20 lbs. of pressure, when 90-125 is ideal.) At the time, I didn’t own a bike pump—I went to Syracuse Bicycle today to pick one up—so I made sure to arrive at the training location with plenty of time to set up and track down a friendly person who brought one.  I met Tim, who placed his bike and transition equipment near me, and he talked me through the process of pumping tires.  From this five-minute demo, I learned a ton:  where on the tires to locate how many pounds of air are ideal, how to work a pump, which kind of pump is ideal, and how often to put air in tires.  Thanks a bunch, Tim!

With plenty of air in my tires, I slugged a GU energy gel at 5:45 p.m., about 15 minutes before training officially began.  I’ve never noticed this before—maybe I did last night because I was slamming a gel—but I saw the majority of athletes fueling up.  Lots of people were taking gels or shot blocks, but there were a few bars and sports beans in the mix.

Swim:  Recently, I’ve had trouble with my goggles fogging up, so I did some research online, and most sites recommend either licking and/or spitting in goggles or applying baby shampoo inside the lenses.  After submerging my goggles in the lake, I hocked a lugie—sorry, gross, I know—took aim, and fired one in each lens.  However, my goggles still fogged up during the swim; maybe I’ll try baby shampoo next time.  How do you keep your goggles from fogging up?

Other than the foggy goggle issue, the swim went OK.  The water temperature read 81 degrees Fahrenheit, so like last week, we couldn’t wear wetsuits if we wanted to swim multiple laps, so I went without one.  I ended up going in the second wave—there were three sections last night—and I settled into a rhythm fairly easily.  I practiced sighting, and I even tried drafting—or staying behind another swimmer, which helps you use less energy—but it didn’t work that well.  During my handful of attempts, I had to slow down tremendously to prevent myself from hitting their feet. (I actually had to switch to the breaststroke.) The process felt frustrating, so I eventually ended up passing all four swimmers I tried to draft off of.  I’m thinking drafting resembles sighting in the sense it’s a skill you need to practice in order for it to feel natural.  As usual, I alternated between the front crawl and breaststroke, and overall, I know I could’ve definitely challenged myself more.

As the Fleet Feet Triathlon coaches suggested during their OWS clinic, I swam until the last possible second and exited the water running while simultaneously removing my cap and goggles.  The jello-leg feeling brought on by swimming and running still feels weird, but I’m getting used to it.

Transition 1 (T1):  Before touching my bike or cycling shoes, I grabbed my sunglasses and snapped on my helmet. (I didn’t have to think about it, which is kind of neat!) As I dried my feet and put on my shoes, I took a quick look at my phone, and it read 6:25 p.m.  Now, training technically started at 6 p.m., so I’m hoping the 25 minutes reflect walking down to the lake, listening to the director review the route, and waiting for the first wave to take off; I’m really hoping my time was closer to 18-20 minutes, but as I’ve known all along, the swim will be the most challenging.

Bike:  Knowing the swim took longer than I hoped, I hit the bike portion aggressively.  Throughout the ride, I maintained a solid cadence (I really need to invest in an odometer) and pushed myself enough to feel efficient, but not tired.  I’m also beginning to discover that I’m an OK climber.  When I get passed, it’s usually on straight-aways—although I pass other cyclists then, too—but I do the majority of my passing on hills.  Since the Cazenovia Triathlon course contains hills, I’m hoping to use this terrain to my advantage.

Transition 2 (T2):  After placing my bike back on the rack and removing my helmet, I quickly checked my phone again.  Math is not my strong suit, but I think I completed the 10-mile course in 35-40ish minutes.  I’m satisfied with that time, but I know the Caz bike course spans an additional four miles, and its hills are definitely more punishing.  With this in mind, I hope to finish the Caz course in 45-50 minutes.  Anyway, after removing my cycling shoes and putting on my visor and running sneakers, I hit the run course.

Run:  The initial 100m or so reminded me of running to T1 after swimming—hello, jello legs!  However, my legs felt tired jogging to T1, but they felt surprisingly OK heading out on the run. (Maybe this means I can push it more during the swim and bike?) Although I didn’t plan on reaching my goal-pace immediately—I wanted to assess my body and gradually kick it into gear—I slipped into it seamlessly.  I passed a few people on the run out—it was an out-and-back route—and during the loop back, I could feel my legs reaching that “uncomfortable” threshold.  (Had I been completing an intermediate/Olympic-distance course, I would’ve slammed another energy gel, and I also would’ve been taking nutrition on the bike as well.) Since I recognized the feeling—the “uncomfortableness” felt very similar to the last five minutes of my tempo runs—I knew I could hold my pace and push through it.  Once I made it back to transition, I stretched out and checked my phone:  It read 7:22 p.m., which means I completed the sprint course in 1:22! (This math I can handle—my time was around 20-22 minutes.)

Overall, I’m really happy with how the training session went.  I stuck to my race-/training plan and executed it relatively well.  And although I pushed myself, I never felt like I would run out of steam.  My overall time is good, but I don’t want to settle—I know I can complete the swim faster. (At this point, I’m still thinking about my current training plan and whether or not to make any changes.  I plan on incorporating more OWS before the Caz Tri, and I might forgo the Jamesville bike course and focus exclusively on the Caz one for now; I haven’t decided yet.)

I’d greatly appreciate any tips or feedback from those with experience.  I’m still learning the sport, so any pointers would be great!

Going All In

Hi, everyone!  Happy Hump Day!  Wednesday means it’s almost Friday, and for this aspiring triathlete, it also signifies CNY Triathlon Club training series.

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With less than three weeks until the Cazenovia Triathlon, I’ve decided to go all in during training tonight—I will complete the 800m swim, the 10-mile bike ride, and 3.1-mile run.

Since I have three more training sessions until “T-Day”—well, most likely two because I’m running a half-marathon on Thursday the 9th—it’s time to evaluate my current training plan’s effectiveness.  Plus, putting the swim-bike-run progression all together will serve as a productive dress rehearsal for race-day. (I also need to practice my nutrition strategy a couple of times, and fueling for a sprint aquabike, or another two-sport combo, isn’t necessary.)

Overall, I’m keeping a positive outlook on tonight’s practice.  Sure, each event may not progress perfectly—does a “perfect race” even exist?—but whatever problems arise will serve as learning experiences.  Also, if one leg proves to be horribly difficult, I’ll still have some time to adjust my training plan accordingly.  (FYI, the Jamesville bike course spans a moderate 10 miles while the Caz bike route traverses a hilly 14 miles, so I’ll have to take into consideration when I evaluate my performance tonight and how I approach the bike portion on race-day.) Here’s my game-plan for tonight:

Nutrition:  A few hours before heading to Jamesville, I’ll eat a Greek yogurt and fruit or have a protein shake.  Fifteen minutes prior to the start—around 5:45 p.m.—I’ll slug an energy gel, which is what I plan to do on race-day.

Swim:  Swim confidently, sight effectively, and conserve energy for the bike and run.  However, “conserve energy” does not mean wuss out and rely on the breaststroke; when the uncomfortable feeling strikes, I need to stay calm, push past this threshold, and improve my stamina.  It’s training after all.

Transition 1 (T1):  Jog to transition and practice removing my cap, goggles, and wetsuit (if we can wear them) quickly.

Bike:  Settle into an efficient cadence and become more aggressive (compared to the swim).  I’ll also make a mental note of how I feel at the end and evaluate how this feeling would change if I biked an additional four miles.

Transition 2 (T2):  During these training series, most club members stow their bikes in their cars before they begin to run, I’ll do the same. (This will obviously effect my T2 time, but again, it’s OK because it’s training.) After returning my bike to the car, I’ll put on my sneakers, grab my visor, and start moving forward.

Run:  Once I get my legs under me, I’ll cruise into gear and lay down the hammer.  As my “in-the-bag” event, the run should be my strongest leg.

Breakfast

Don’t let this bowl fool you, friends.

What looks like overnight oats is actually 45-minute oats; I forgot to prep them last night, so I threw the mix together this morning, which included plain Greek yogurt, a mashed banana, a scoop of PB, cinnamon, chia seeds, and almond milk.  It tasted a little soupy, but that’s my fault for not planning ahead.

Lunch

Although I’ve been enjoying salads for the past few days, I wanted to change up my midday meal this afternoon.

Open-faced turkey sandwich with carrot fries.  On one slice of Ezekiel bread, I layered red pepper hummus, spinach, turkey, and one slice of American cheese.  I put the sammie on a cookie sheet and baked it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.  Simply delicious!  The carrot fries burned a bit, but you can’t win ‘em all, right?

I’m off to get my hair cut, and then heading to triathlon training.  Have a great day!

Spreading Like Wildfire

Today proved to be a great day for triathlons in the Central New York area.  Check out this story from The Post-Standard, Syracuse’s local newspaper:

The CNY Kids Tri Club, designed for children of CNY Triathlon Club members, lets kids ages seven to 13 to “tri” triathloning every Tuesday night at Jamesville Beach.  In its second year, the program increased its enrollment from 55 to 70 children, and these youngsters even have a race on Aug. 26!  Can you imagine completing a triathlon as a 13-year-old?  Talk about starting ‘em young.  Not only does this kids-only club serve as an introduction to the sport, but it also promotes a positive message of healthy living.  Sounds like a win-win to me.  Would you have participated in a triathlon club or completed a triathlon as a kid?  Starting at a young age, I played a slew of sports, but I never had the opportunity to “tri” a triathlon—heck, I didn’t even know this multisport event existed!

Whether you’re a youngster, college grad (*cough*), fit mom, middle-aged adult, or recent retiree, triathloning is truly a sport for everyone.  Take a look at these women who participated in Sunday’s inaugural Gillie Girl Sprint Triathlon:

For a lot of these ladies, this women-only triathlon was their first swim-bike-run event. (Read the entire story here.) The sport is spreading like wildfire.  I love it!

Breakfast

I woke up at 5:45 a.m. this morning, and I read blogs, drank coffee, and sent some emails before making breakfast.

Two toasted Kashi waffles with PB and banana slices.  Always a winner!

Workout #1 – Swimming

Since I just missed the three-quarter mile mark yesterday, I refused to leave the pool without accomplishing this goal today.  It took about 40-45 minutes, during which I made a conscious effort to practice sighting; this type of visual check isn’t necessary in a lap pool, but engaging in the movements–think muscle memory–will made the process easier in the open water.  Also, even though my approach to the swim includes settling into a rhythm, conserving energy, and reviewing my race-plan, I’ve become a bit complacent in the water; when I become even the slightest bit tired, I immediately shift from the freestyle to the breaststroke.  However, if I always stay in my comfort zone and refuse to push past this threshold, then I will never improve.  With this in mind, I challenged myself this morning—I swam harder, faster, and with a purpose, and I also waited longer than usual to make the switch to the breaststroke.  I’m never going to be Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte caliber—swoon!—but I want to become the best and most efficient swimmer I can be.

Workout #2 – Running and Strength Training

A 45-minute tempo run was on the workout calendar, and it was tough!  Although I usually avoid using the dreadmill treadmill at all costs, it’s the easiest way for me to complete a tempo run; conveyor belt-running keeps me honest about my speed, and it won’t “let up” unless I make that deliberate decision.  After a 10-minute warm-up at 6.5, I increased the speed every few minutes until I hit 8.0, which I held for 10-ish minutes.  Like yesterday, my calves flared up, but at least my knees felt fine.  Does anyone feel like they sweat more while running after being in the water?  I wore a white racer-back tank, and it was completely see-through when I finished the run–whoops!  After a cool down, I went to the weight room, but I didn’t stay long because I felt too conspicuous.

Lunch

Let me introduce you to the best salad ever.

On the way to the mall, I chowed down on an arugula/spinach mix that included leftover chicken and roasted veggies, carrots, red peppers, and blueberries.  My eyes were bigger than my stomach, and I couldn’t finish it all in one sitting; around 2:30 p.m., I ate the remaining portion.

Snack

A few hours later, I ate an apple and the smoothie-surplus I made yesterday.

Leftovers will most likely constitute tonight’s dinner, so I’ll spare you the pictures.  Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday!