My Next Challenge

September 7, 2016

After the Boston Marathon I wasn't even thinking about my next race. During the early summer months, running felt so hard. I was frustrated that I was not at my usual fitness level of being able to run however long I wanted.

Fast forward a few weeks and I was losing motivation. It was frustrating to not even make it three miles without having to walk. However, I stuck with it. I turned my iPod on and let the music be my only focus. Walking occasionally and running when I caught my breath. I realized I needed a goal to focus on to help me have the motivation to run. My legs didn't feel "running strong" if that makes sense so I didn't want to do any running races. After stumbling upon a triathlon team- I immediately joined. I've done a few in the past and thought "why not do some sprint tris before school starts?" In which I signed up for the triathlon teams challenge- two sprint tris in two weeks. You can read my race recaps from Tri #1 and Tri #2.

But.... with me I can't do two races and be satisfied- I have to keep racing. I became obsessed with the idea of competing in the US Open Triathlon in October of this year. The course is Olympic distance featuring an open water swim. The length of each is: 1500 meter swim, 21 mile bike, and 6.2 mile run.

This race isn't just about finishing. I am 100% competitive (can you tell?). I have a goal time in mind buuuut that is for me only and you to find out during the race recap.

A look at how I am preparing for each:
In July I began swimming twice a week long distance with the team. In the past I thought 1000 meter swims were long and on my first day at practice we swam 2600 meters and I thought it was crazy far! I was slow my first swim practice but quickly got in swimming shape as we swim 2600-3000 meters twice a week.

I got outside!! Sure, there are still some trainer rides but I try to get outside once or twice a week to get stronger on the roads. I also updated my bike- front and rear lights, rewrapped handle bars, I switched from cages to clip ins, and bought clip in shoes. I rode 16 miles with a new group last week and then rode 21 miles with my dad on a morning ride. 

My dad and I on our 21 mile bike ^^

Running and I are friends again :) I run three or four times a week depending on when I can add it in. I run anywhere from 3-8 miles. I am training more to have a fast 6 miles on race day rather than run longer. 

What my training week typically/ideally looks like:
Monday- Easy run
Tuesday- AM bike or run/PM swim
Wednesday- Run + strength train
Thursday- PM swim
Friday- Off 
Saturday- Long bike
Sunday- Run or strength train or off

Training is my outlet from the craziness of nursing school. The reading and studying never ends! Being able to keep up with training helps me stay motivated to work hard for races and also work hard in school. Of course, the week doesn't always look like this and I listen to my body first. If I am overly sore or too tired I won't push it in a workout as this won't help me. Thursday and Fridays are long clinical days. By the time Friday comes around I am exhausted. I usually let Fridays be my no homework, no training days and just relax, watch a movie, then go to bed early to get my long training day in on Saturdays. 

So where are my other goals of running a half marathon and a full marathon this year? I'm still trying to make those happen of course. But for now I am getting serious with training and looking forward to competing in a triathlon distance that I have never done before.

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