Monday, March 29, 2010

The Transformation Begins

I have only participated in endurance sports for three years. In 2008, the marathon training didn't start until April/May. An injury after the race led to a long, lazy offseason in 2008-2009. This is the first year I have trained through the offseason.

Each year, there seems to be a point where I really notice the transformation in my body. My weight only fluctuates 6-8 pounds, but 6 pounds seems to make a huge difference. People I see every day start telling me my face is slimming down (I literally have lost 6 pounds and 1% body fat since January...not a huge change). I notice it with the chunk rub (the rubbing of the excess "padding" on my inner thighs)...when that doesn't happen so often I know I've slimmed down.

This year, the transformation is happening earlier than past years (due to the offseason training). It feels great, as I gear up for the season, to be making progress. Progress not only toward my goals for the season, but also in my overall level of fitness. I couldn't do it without the support of my home team (aka my awesome husband and kids). Check out my favorite early morning training partner. He always seems to wake up when I am watching a "grown up show", and we change the channel to something Disney. He is great company, though!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sit Down?!?!?! Seriously?!?!?!

I have to digress for a moment from my traditional triathlon blogging to vent. Realizing that this is a totally ridiculous rant and that people I know have significant life issues going on right now, I'm indulging myself for a moment.

I LOVE music. I love a great song during a run or indoor trainer ride that gives me a little oomph in my step. I also love live music. My husband isn't a huge concert-goer, so my sister Meredith is my concert buddy. We have seen U2, 3 Doors Down (x2). Matchbox Twenty, Indigo Girls (x4), Staind, Madonna, etc. This week we saw Lifehouse and Daughtry. Keep in mind, we are two sisters totally lacking in rhythm or musical ability, but we have a blast together.

So Lifehouse is an awesome opening act and we were totally pumped for Daughtry. The lights dim (Mere comes running to her seat from the bathroom right as they come onstage)... They start out with a fast song, and we stand up with about 50% of the crowd. Halfway through the song, a guy behind us taps my sister on the shoulder and asks us to sit down. SERIOUSLY?!?!?!??! This is a rock concert. Yes, you pay for a seat, but your rear end doesn't need to be in it for the entire show. The sad part....except for the floor section, 95% of people sat for the entire show. The even sadder part? When we saw 3 Doors Down, we got asked to sit down during their opening song ("The Champion in Me", which I had listened to while marathon training and was totally rocking out to).

I have been to three Neil Diamond concerts (my husband is a fan), and you sit for those. You don't sit for Daughtry! For goodness sake he covered Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell", and everyone sat! I just don't get it. The only people having a lot of fun were the 17-year-old girls a few rows in front of us. They stood the entire time and didn't care what the people behind them thought.

I don't want to be rude, or ruin anyone's concert-going experience, but seriously?!?!?!?!?! Needless to say, Mere and I took dancing in our seats to a new level!

(Done ranting) :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

I've Got the Fever!!!!!!

It has definitely first official case of pre-season tri fever. Last year at this time, I hadn't yet competed in a triathlon. I was excited by the prospect, but didn't know what was in store. This year I KNOW, and I can't wait. I am feeling like the biggest geek about being on Team Trakkers. My teammates are AMAZING. These people are incredible triathletes..... I am always inspired reading their blogs and tweets. I can't wait to hang out with them at the Rev3 events. Listening to the Rev3 weekly radio shows has been a great motivator. Nothing like getting advice from the pros...and they literally answer your questions and give you advice.

Did I mention how cool it was to get my Trakkers gear in the mail? Not to mention my new Saucony Fastwitch 4s. These shoes are lighter than my flip flops!

So I have my gear, my incredible team,a great coach,the best family support anyone could ask is what 2010 has in store for me:
2010 Season
-Columbia Olympic Triathlon (Columbia, MD)
Rev3 Quassy (Not racing, just hoping to attend and support my Trakkers peeps)
-Celebration Sprint (Columbia, MD)
-IronGirl Sprint (Columbia, MD)
-Half Rev at Cedar Point (Ohio) (half iron distance)- This is it...the big race. (For those who aren't familiar with the distances, this is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run)
-Half Full (70 mile, just shy of half iron distance) (Columbia, Maryland)

I'm Becoming a Swimmer

I have known how to swim for as long as I can remember.....we were pool rats at the neighborhood pool every summer (endless days of "sharks and minnows" in the diving well), I went to a summer camp on the Chesapeake Bay, and I took all of my lifeguard training in the Chesapeake Bay. I was a water safety instructor, swim teacher at the Y, blah blah blah..... I was, however, never a competitive swimmer. I don't do flip turns, and I am SLOOOOOWWWWWWW. My bike and run aren't at the front of the pack, but I can usually manage top third or fourth of the field. The swim does me in.

Keep in mind, I swam four times before my first tri last year, and probably swam a total of 30 times all season. I was frustrated by the swim and didn't put enough effort into it. I also didn't have a coach to give me a training plan and help with technique.

This year is a whole different story. I started my "base" training in December, and have been pretty consistent (minus a couple weeks in Jan/Feb)since. The biggest problem is that the workouts take me longer than the average "fast" swimmer. I try to fit it all in but find myself scrambling to get everything done at either 6am on weekdays, or 7-9pm on Friday evenings (when only those people who can't get there any other time are swimming). The awesome part? I am swimming farther every week than I ever have.....I was so excited to hit the 3000y mark (my longest tri this year has a 1.2 mile swim, which is 1931 meters or 2112 yards...yikes). That distance isn't until the Half Rev at Cedar Point, so I have some time. I have made a ton of progress, with improvement on my 1000 meter time trial and my 200 yard timed swim with each workout. Progress!!!!!!

The best part? I actually got in the pool this morning and looked forward to my swim. For so long I dreaded it because I was frustrated by my speed. I still get lapped on occasion by people twice my age, but I'm working hard and not giving up!

My favorite tools for the swim? My triswim products. Their shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion are awesome! I don't reek of chlorine, and my very fine, very flat hair doesn't get out of control after a swim. Last season, I used their Trislide anti-friction/anti-chafing skin lubricant which is incredible. You use it like other products, but it sprays on and your wetsuit comes off SO easily. This season I just need a new wetsuit! (Honey- are you reading this? Birthday hint!).

So I won't ever be at the front of the swim pack, and the fast swimmers from the wave behind me will continue to run me over. I can now enjoy my swim training, and get pumped for my 2010 season.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Rev3 Live Interview with Mirinda Carfrae

After last week's awesome live interview with Julie Dibens, I am really excited for this week's intervew with Mirinda Carfrae. There is a live chat online, so you can ask questions there without having to call in. The chat last week was great, and the interview was awesome.

Mirinda is last year's Rev3 Quassy champion, and an amazing pro triathlete. She will provide insight into the Quassy course, but also answer a variety of tri-related questions. The interview is this Wednesday at 8pm. Click here to check it out.

My Favorite Recovery Drinks

I just ordered my first First Endurance nutrition products, and I can't wait to try them out. (I have heard great things). As I start to focus on race nutrition, I had to reflect on my favorite recovery drinks up to this point.

When I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon, chocolate milk became my favorite recovery drink. Believe it or not, chocolate milk serves as an excellent recovery drink. Check out more information on chocolate milk here.

While chocolate milk is a great recovery drink, it is not my favorite. My favorite is probably not as nutritionally sound but definitely quenches the thirst. On our recent trip to Florida, I tested out the recovery drink "suggested" by some of my tri buddies (names omitted to protect the innocent...hee hee). I like mine on the rocks with salt. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Awesome Rev3 Blog Radio Show

So I spent this evening listening to the Rev 3 Blog Radio show with Heather Gollnick and Julie Dibens. What a great time! In addition to listening to all their sage advice about the sport of triathlon and the Rev3 series, I was chatting online with other triathletes and some of my Trakkers teammates.

My big question for Julie and Heather was what advice they have for a age-group triathlete making the jump from sprint/olympic distance to the 70.3 distance. How do you mentally prepare. Julie said to know that you can do all three distances. They don't have to be at a fast pace, just complete the swim, bike, and run distances at some point. That way on race day you know that you can do it. heather said to be prepared for Lake Erie...the water can be really calm or choppy. Know how to handle the chop and alter your swim.

It was only at the end that we found out Charlie Patten (our fearless Rev3 and Trakkers leader) was in the chat room with us the whole time. We decided the Trakkers ladies (and Jamie) should be Charlie's Angels. Haha! What a great time this evening. I am so pumped for Cedar Point!

Live Blog Radio Show Tonight with Julie Dibens

Check it out....Live advice from a pro triathlete. What more could you ask for?!?!?!
Click Here