Race Recap: Gator Bait Triathlon

June 23, 2014

After I finished my first triathlon a few weeks ago I couldn't wait to sign up for another one. I found this triathlon (since it is the same race producers) and signed up. Apparently a "real" triathlon is done in open water but I didn't know what open water was like. My family came to cheer me on which meant so much to me! We left early in the morning (5:30am early) to get body marked, set up transition on time, and listen to the pre- race instructions.

The Swim:

I was most nervous for the swim. Heart pounding, I made my way down to the water front. 
Number 210 .. ready, go!

The swim course was 500 meters in a triangle shape marked with two buoys. I walked into the water a few feet until it felt deep enough to start swimming. I focused on taking three strokes, looking forward to the buoy, breathing, and continuing. I could see my hand each stroke but everything underneath me was murky and green. I quickly lost rhythm after I choked on water and couldn't catch my breath. I passed buoy one. I couldn't keep my head under water without getting nervous. My form was far from good: one stroke left, look in front, one stroke right, look in front, repeat. I passed buoy two. All I had to do was swim straight back to the water front. 

Finally, I felt my hand brush the ground three times and ran as quickly as I could out of that water. YES! I did it. I was breathing hard as I made my way back to transition. My dad was waiting by the swim exit and reminded me to slow down and catch my breath. 

500m | 8:42 | 1:44 per 100m 

Now I just had to bike a half marathon that included something called "Heartbreak Hill." Let's do this!

The Bike:

I don't cycle outside or practice hills and riding lots of miles.. I watch Pretty Little Liars while on my trainer. But don't tell Coach Jenny.

It was a little over 6 miles out and back. As people passed me (it isn't my strongest sport) I looked at their age located on the back of their leg to make sure none of them were 20 to 24 year olds. As I caught up to one of the packs I saw a girl with "23" on the back of her leg. I picked up speed and didn't worry about how much it burned. So maybe I'm a little bit competitive. 

I made sure to keep up fueling while on the bike. I brought my water bottle filled with gatorade and drank often. I took three gu chomps and ate them every few miles. I rode along passing the mile markers trying to maintain a good speed. Then we rounded a corner and I actually saw Heartbreak Hill.. 

There were a few people walking their bikes up the hill but I didn't want to have to do that so I pushed through. The turn around was at the top of the hill and I trekked my way back another six miles.

13 mile bike | 52:12 | 15.6 mph

The Run:

My legs were shaking when I got off the bike.

My dad: "Is this a sprint?"
Me (laughing): "It's supposed to be!"

The course was about a mile out and back around the dam then around the park for another mile making it 3.4 miles. My legs felt weak but after a mile they finally felt normal. I picked up the pace and focused on getting to the next person in front of me. Other triathletes were so encouraging saying "keep it up, girl! and "have a good run." I kept up the hard pace until I reached the finish line.

3.4 mile run | 24:38 | 7:14 pace

Finish time 1:27:45 
8th out of 159 finishers, 1st in age group 

Thank you to my family for coming to the race! I loved having you all there- especially since I was so nervous. Thank you to Coach Jenny for being the best coach! Thank you to the volunteers and race directors for plenty of support and a smooth race. And thank you to everyone who wished me luck! You guys are the best!

See you next year, Gator Bait!

Week Recap: June 15th - June 20th

June 21, 2014

This week was race week. I was looking forward to race day since I haven't raced in a couple of months. I finished the triathlon this morning and I will have the race recap up on Monday. For now, here is what my weekly training looked like. And now I need sleep.

Sunday: Rest day

For Father's Day, we gave presents to our dad and watched the NBA finals. Go Spurs!

Monday: Run

Tuesday: Cross train + Strength train

Cycling and weights. 

I haven't been shopping in awhile and wanted new tops for summer. I did some online shopping. I never realized how fun it is to order something and wait for the package to come in the mail. A sneak peak at a few of the tops

Wednesday: Run

Wednesday's are tempo runs. My Garmin has a training screen with heart rates which makes tempo runs easier as I keep my heart rate in the specific zone that Coach Jenny tells me. 

Thursday: Cross train

I swam laps at the gym.

1050m easy swim:
500m practice swim
5 x 100m swim 
50m cool down 

Later was packet pick up and movie night with my sister, Kathleen. We went to see The Fault In Our Stars which was really good. 

Friday: Run

Saturday: Triathlon

Recap to come soon!

This week was:
5.27 hours of training
17.38 miles of running

Triathlon Ready

June 20, 2014

Everything that was on my checklist to complete before race day tomorrow is done! Last night my sister and I decided to go to the movies just for fun. We stopped at packet pick up on our way out. I got my race bag that included all the race information, bib number, etc.

My dad switched the tires from the old ones to Gator skins. I bought the new tires a few months ago but we didn't have a bike pump and we have been busy with other things. We finally changed them and now I have sweet tires.

I'm ready to race!

Goals for Tri #2

June 18, 2014

It is race week! I am so excited (and nervous) for triathlon number two. Not only is it longer distances, but it is also open water. I have read numerous articles covering how to swim in open water, how to sight, what to do when you have a panic attack, etc. These articles make open water swimming seem like the worst thing in the world.

A few weeks ago, my older sister's coach was going to the lake to train and I was going to tag along. But plans changed and I didn't have the chance to try it out. I am hoping 500 meters won't be too bad.

The race directors uploaded the race course last night and tomorrow is packet pick up.


1. Survive the swim- I don't know what it is like to swim where you can't see the bottom so I am hoping to calm my nerves and focus on getting to the next buoy.

2. Age group award- I want to place in my age group but first place would be even better!

3. Have fun- This is my last triathlon of the season as I am focusing on marathon training after this. I want to have fun and enjoy the race no matter what the outcome is.

I already have my race outfit ready!

The only things left to do are: packet pick up tomorrow, change my bike tires to the new gator skins, and organize my race gear. 

Week Recap: June 8th - 14th

June 14, 2014

I'm back at training from taking almost a week off. This was an "off" week for me. I don't know what was going on but I was having trouble finding motivation..

Next week is faster runs as I work on raising my threshold heart rate. Next week is also my next triathlon!

Peace out 

I love my sister

In a field of flowers

Delicious smoothie with mixed fruits

Sunday: Run

Easy four mile run to get my legs moving.

Monday: Run

Easy run.

Tuesday: Cross train + Strength train

Biking and weights for an hour

Wednesday: Run 

This was a tempo run of 2 sets of 10 minutes hard and 2 minutes recovery. I focused on keeping my HR at a specific level during each hard set.

Thursday: Cross train + Strength train

Swimming and weights for an hour.

Friday: Run

Short, easy run.

Saturday: Run

Since I have been tired this week, Coach Jenny changed my run for the weekend from a 10 mile run to a 7 mile run.

This week was:
5.54 hours of training
25.69 miles of running

A Bran Muffin Recipe

June 13, 2014

My grandmother uses this recipe when she makes bran muffins for us while we visit. My family and I love this recipe- it is so good! We half the recipe when we make it since it makes 50 muffins. You can leave unused batter in the refrigerator for up to a month. Enjoy!

2 cups hot water
4 cups all-bran cereal
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
1 tbs salt
4 eggs
1 quart buttermilk
2 more cups bran
5 cups flour
5 teaspoons baking soda

In a medium bowl pour hot water over 4 cups bran. Set aside to cool (and soak).
In large bowl, cream sugar and shortening, and add remaining ingredients, stirring in soaked bran last.
Bake in greased muffin pans for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

The blog got a makeover!

June 11, 2014

The blog got a makeover and I couldn't be happier. I have been wanting to update my blog from the previous photo collage design to a more "grown up" look but I couldn't find a design I liked or create anything that looked good. That is, until I found this layout. Thank you to Designer Blogs for creating a cute and simple blog design! I love it!

How To: Keep up training while on vacation

June 10, 2014

There are different kinds of people in the training world. There are some who will stick to their training plan no matter where they go and there are some who will try to fit it in but if it doesn't work out they don't stress about it. I talked to my coach before I left and we figured out a shorter schedule that included plenty of rest days and shorter running days. However, I didn't mention we walk around ten to twelve miles every day which would probably change that schedule. I was hoping to be able to keep up running while away but I didn't realize how much energy goes into each day. Our vacations aren't usually relaxing ;) I didn't worry about it too much and decided that if I had a chance to run then I would go. I had a chance one of the mornings where I got out for a quick thirty minute run before everyone woke up. I also had a lizard jump at me from a branch where I quickly decided I was done with running for the week. 

If you absolutely, positively have to keep up training: 

1. Before you leave, find a hotel gym, running trail, or road near your vacation spot and plan out where you will go each day.

2. Schedule your trip around your training so you know exactly when it will fit in. Either wake up early or find a time during the day when you can step away to hit the gym or trails.

3. Try to keep up the same schedule-  doing your training at the same time as if you were home. Training in the mornings is usually best since most vacations have unstructured days and it can be easy to keep pushing the time you will go train until later. 

4. If you miss a training day don't stress. One day or one week off from training has little to no effect on previous training. In fact, you don't loose any fitness between seven to ten days of no activity. Enjoy the break and relax.

5. Bring your own equipment or try something new- doing strength exercises without weights, etc.

6. Start back easy when you get home. When we got back I did an easy 4 mile run on Sunday (I was supposed to do 9 but quickly realized it wasn't going to happen) then I had another easy run the next day. Starting back with a hard workout or tempo run can lead to injury. 

Vacation in Disney World!

June 9, 2014

This past week, my family and I went on vacation to Disney World! We have been four times during the past few summers as a family but this was our first trip without our oldest sister Anna. She wasn't able to make the trip and we missed her a lot all week.

We go pretty crazy in Disney. Our days start around 10am. Once we are up we eat a big breakfast, get dressed, pack our bags and head to the park to stay until midnight or later. We pack up our own waters and snacks but we also eat some things at the park. We would get lunch/dinner and snacks that included corn dogs, frozen lemonade, chicken and turkey sandwiches, soft pretzels, and wraps. One night we went to a nice restaurant called Wolfgang Puck which was delicious. The other nights we would find something at the parks.

Our resort was right on Disney property and is a ferry boat ride (or walk) away from Downtown Disney (place with shops and restaurants). We had dinner, walked around the stores, then got giant ice cream cones from the Ghirardelli ice cream shop.

Our biggest secret is wearing tech clothes to the park. Theme parks are hot and sweaty and our workout clothes kept us comfortable. There are four parks and we went to each of them. 

Family selfie

The best roller coaster is called the Rock n' Roller Coaster.
It launches you from zero to sixty in 2.74 seconds.
It is so much fun and we rode it probably eight times.
One night the wait time was short so we kept jumping on it. It was crazy!

Look! Mickey shaped soft pretzels! 

I am pretty sure we were the only ones over the age of five with face paint but it was too much fun to pass up.

We bought matching shoes and wore them most of the days.
We even bought Anna a pair so we could all own matching shoes.

We joined in random dance parties, saw shows/plays, watched parades and fireworks, got our faces painted, ate lots of food, rode all the roller coasters, and spent all our dads money. It was a lot of fun! Basically, Disney World is the best and vacations are the best and family is the best. 

Week Recap: June 1st- June 8th

June 8, 2014

Last week I was in Disney World!

I got in one run last week but between getting up late, running around a park all day, and going to bed late, it was too much to add in training. It was a nice break from training and a fun vacation! I will have more to post all about it :)

This week was:
30 minutes of training
2.74 miles of running
lots of miles walking

Happy National Running Day

June 4, 2014

This is how I feel about running:

I love running for the feeling after a tough tempo run, for the long Saturday runs, for the race day excitement, for the accomplishment as I cross a finish line, and for all the cute clothes that go with it. 

Happy running day!
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