Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Personal Record. Woo Hoo!

So I ran a 5K today (The "Musical Madness 5K" to benefit the music programs at Reservoir High School). Amy (co-worker, tri-camp roomie, and training buddy) ran the race, too. I picked her up bright and early (but you have to love that it is light outside at 6am these days). The day was beautiful, but the humidity and temperature increased quickly.

The course was rather hilly, but well-marked with no traffic. It was the first race I have run in a while without a timing chip, but we positioned ourselves near the front of the pack. Starting out, I felt like my heart rate was too high. I had forgotten my watch, so I was feeling a little off in terms of pacing myself. I did my best to slow down and calm down my heart rate. At the halfway point (also the turnaround), I felt pretty good. It was then that I realized there weren't a lot of females in front of me. The out and back format allowed me to cheer for Amy as we passed each other, and for Ed another co-worker (who won an award in his age group).

There was a big hill at about the 2.5 mile mark, but a little girl on the corner was cheering everyone on with metallic pom poms. Coming into the finish, I realized I had some more in the tank and tried to pick things up a bit. When I saw my finish time was 25:06, I was pleasantly surprised. My half marathon/marathon pace was 9:50 minutes per mile, and the 10K I ran on Thanksgiving was 8:50. The race is obviously shorter, but I think a lot of training on the treadmill this winter was good for my speed. When they posted the results, I realized that I had done well, but also that I might be in the top three for my age group. I was totally excited to get a medal and gift card for being in third place among 30-39 year old females. It is probably the only time that will happen (I think they just didn't have a big turnout from my age group), so I will enjoy it. Amy was an awesome supporter, not to mention that she kicked butt on the run.

I don't think I drank quite enough after, because I've had a headache all afternoon, but it was all worth it! Yeah!

Monday, May 4, 2009

"I never regretted a workout"

When my daughter started playing soccer, she would poop out in the last few minutes of practice (she was only 4). My line for her was always "finish strong". When it came time to train for and run my first (and only) marathon, I had to keep using that line on myself. ("Practice what you preach", and all).

Katy, my training buddy and good friend, always says she has regretted many meals but "I never regretted a workout." I try to keep that in mind whenever I am dragging. I made it to the gym for a run on the treadmill before picking up the kids. The treadmill has been great for improving my speed this winter, but I have to balance it with running the hills around home. My average time for both the half and full marathon was a 9:50 minute. I ran a lot on the treadmill after the marathon, and averaged an 8:50 minute on the 10K a month later. (Granted a much shorter event, but still an improvement). I run a 5K this weekend, so I am interested to see how it goes.

Getting back to never regretting a workout.... I am completely exhausted after a Monday at work and an evening with the kids (why do they never go to bed before 10 when their Dad is working?!). Despite that, I am so glad that I got in a 3 mile run...nothing feels better than breaking a sweat and burning some calories. I even ran into Katy at the gym (on her birthday, no less). Now I just need to work on monitoring my heart rate when I run and getting an optimal workout (details, details).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Training at the Pool Today

So I haven't been in the pool since camp last weekend (waiting for our neighborhood pool to open so I don't have to pay $5 for each session). After the feedback on my videotape analysis at She Does Tri, I was eager to get into the p00l. My biggest areas for improvement are bending my arms under the water more, and twisting my body more in the water. I used a training routine from the regimen given to us at camp.

It was amazing what a difference a couple of drills can make when you know what you need to improve. Since I started swimming seriously again this winter, I realized that I am totally unable to breathe to the left when swimming freestyle. I swear I could do it in my lifeguarding days, but now look like a beginner swimmer when I try. (This comes back to not twisting my body enough in the water). I used the "side kick" drill, though I felt totally uncoordinated while doing it (I used a sidestroke kick but wasn't sure if this was correct). 6x25 of this drill, then I was back to some freestyle laps. Literally on the first lap I was able to breathe to the left without gasping for air. Craziness! Who knew? I was so excited (but had to contain myself because I was trying not to run up on the lady swimming backstroke in my lane). I also worked on bending my arm in the water and really could feel the difference in the power of my stroke.

It was a great swim. After a spin class/treadmill "brick" yesterday, it was a successful weekend of training. Now if only the rain would stop!!!!!

(We also had an awesome soccer game for S this weekend and a great BBQ with friends last night, dinner with family tonight, about 4 loads of laundry, two trips to the grocery store, some serious light saber action from D, and lots of progress on the basement by T......a very productive weekend!)

"She Does Tri" Camp

After attending "She Does Tri" camp (, I emailed my triathlon club about the experience ( Since I have started training in earnest, I decided to keep blogging about my experiences. (If nothing else, my family and friends will be able to keep up with how things are going). Here is that first post about my tri camp experience:

If you aren’t familiar with “She Does Tri”, it is a tri camp that waslaunched this year by David Glover (25-time Ironman) and Krista Schultz (elite triathlete). My “bios” don’t do them justice, so check out the She Does Tri website (they have links to their blogs and websites there).
I enlisted a co-worker who has done sprint tris in the past to attend with me. Traveling with a buddy gave the weekend a road trip feel. As a tri newbie, I was looking forward to soaking up all the insider tips and building my confidence.

We arrived at the Hampton Inn in Warrenton on Friday afternoon. David and Krista had a conference room for our group reserved for the weekend. It served as a classroom, exercise room, and home base. There was also an ample supply of Smart Water, Vitamin Water, Luna Bars and fruit. The afternoon started out with an icebreaker (a cross between “speed dating” and “twenty questions”), which got us laughing and meeting one another. Our group varied from individuals who hadn’t practiced recently in any of the tri sports to those who had competed in multiple tri’s.

David and Krista held their inaugural camp in March, so they made a few adjustments with our group. They added a strength training and stretching session with Colby Schreckengost of Next Level Performance Training . This was a great way to keep our bodies moving in line with our brains. Dinner was catered, with side dishes by Bill and Catherine Goodrum (Warrenton locals, friends of Krista and David. Bill is a triathlete and phenomenal chef, and Catherine is a budding triathlete). Over dinner, Krista and David gave us an intro to triathlon. The presentations were very interactive. They were receptive to the questions and let them guide the discussions.

At the poolSaturday started with a yoga session led by Catherine Goodrum (did I mention she is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist?). It was a perfect start to the day. Breakfast included a continuation of the Intro to Tri talk. Then we were off to the Warrenton aquatic center (a beautiful facility). Brad Rex (retired pro triathlete, triathlon announcer and all-around very cool guy), and Katie Davison (team leader for Team Luna Chix DC, triathlete, and swim fanatic) led the swim clinic.

We were divided into groups by comfort level (“I want lots of supervision in the water”, “I am comfortable in the water but keep an eye on me”, and “I am very comfortable so don’t worry about me, Mom”). Brad, Katie, and Krista then ran us through drills in the pool. After drills, we were filmed both above and under the water swimming. As a finale to the swim session, we ran through a swim start drill (all 18 of us swimming from one side of the pool to the other at once…churning water, inadvertent kicks, and all). Over lunch at the aquatic center, we reviewed our videotape and got great feedback from Brad.

The next stop was the Warrenton Cycling Center. There, we practiced changing a tire. (This was a good pre-ride exercise, as several people had tire or tube issues that were identified at this time). Tim Dingus from WCC also provided some of the SAG support (along with David), during our ride. From the cycling store, we went to our bike start. The ride was 23 miles, through rolling hills. There was a water break at the halfway point, and again at the turnaround. Signs were posted along the oute, but there was a ride leader for every three to four “campers”. I was ervous about my clips (lots of spin classes but little road riding with my new bike), but managed not to fall at all. My new bike zipped down the hills, and the uphills felt good, so I was excited. Kim Larson (two-time Ironman and Team Z member) was our group leader. She is also a USTA official, so she had lots of input on tri rules. Talking with her along the ride was very helpful.

The second new addition to camp this time around was a Brick. After the ride, Krista gave us the option of a ten minute run, or completing a 3 mile run. The day had gotten quite warm, but everyone put in a good effort. I ran the full 3 miles (too stubborn not to). It was mental at the end, but Sarah (another camper and Team Luna Chix member) pushed me at the end. It was a great sense of accomplishment to know we had completed all the aspects of the sprint tri that day.

The evening ended with dinner catered by Bill and Catherine Goodrum at their home. Natalie King, PTA, spoke to us during dinner about body mechanics and stretching. She is an avid cyclist and triathlete, as well as physical therapy assistant and co-developer of the AMPT program for triathletes (check her out at We fell into bed on Saturday.

Sunday was forecast to be 90 degrees, so we hydrated well. Krista (who minored in Nutrition in college), gave us a talk on nutrition during breakfast. Next we headed to the local high school track for a speed workout. Brad gave us a talk on the mechanics of the feet and shoe fit. Krista talked about training for the run and monitoring heart rate. The workout gave us a lot of tools for improving our run. After a shower and check out, we met up for the conclusion of the day. David walked us through transition, and then took us outside for practice (complete with a simulation of the dizziness experienced when coming out of the water).

Dave Greenfield of Elite BicyclesThe final speaker of the day was Dave Greenfield, president of Elite Bicycles, former pro-triathlete, and former Jamaican national triathlon champion. His knowledge of the sport, passion for bike fitting, and humor made his talk a great finish to the camp.
Krista, David, and their support crew were phenomenal. We were surrounded by incredibly knowledgeable triathletes all weekend. Women-specific training issues were discussed throughout the camp, and everyone was so supportive. The attendees were enthusiastic and motivated.
I am so glad I attended She Does Tri, and can’t wait until they plan the alumni weekend (aka She Does Tri part 2).