Posts tagged "training"

Post-Pace Run Thoughts

Haven’t been very amped for running or marathon training the past few weeks (mentally and physically), but being out this morning in perfect mid-50s temperature with my best friend reminded me that I still do love running, and helped me finally find a rhythm again. Thanks babe.

Bring it on, California International Marathon!  This is it.  Tomorrow, I will become a marathoner.
Track me at http://www.flashresults.com/CIM2012/, Bib #5199 :)
All my loved ones, supporters, and FOOD EMPOWERMENT will be bringing me through wind and rain to the finish line!  Thank you all for your support throughout this journey…I couldn’t be more excited!

Bring it on, California International Marathon!  This is it.  Tomorrow, I will become a marathoner.

Track me at http://www.flashresults.com/CIM2012/, Bib #5199 :)

All my loved ones, supporters, and FOOD EMPOWERMENT will be bringing me through wind and rain to the finish line!  Thank you all for your support throughout this journey…I couldn’t be more excited!

Marathon Training…home stretch!

I have been a busy busy lady the past few weeks, with hours increasing at all my part-time jobs and the marathon looming closer and closer.  I’ve also cooked up a lot of yummies and promise that I will post some of the recipes soon!  Hopefully they can inspire some of you to try out something new in the kitchen, especially with Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow (November is flying by!).

Here is a quick snapshot of marathon training from the past few weeks:

Week of 10/29 — 31.35 miles run total with 12.28-mile long run

Week of 11/5 — 44.19 miles run total with 20.18-mile long run

Week of 11/12 — 25.7 miles run total with 12.42-mile long run

From the looks of this, I dropped off into taper mode pretty quickly :)  This isn’t totally true, though, as I attended the official 3-day training this past weekend for getting certified to teach Xercise Lab.  I have also been teaching spin, core blast, and team-teaching Xercise Lab pretty intensively.  Hoping to take time off of certain jobs next week to really get rested up and keep those legs fresh.

Some kinks I need to work out before the race:
- My right hip has been bothering me a little bit :(  It’s not as bad now that I’ve scaled back on miles, but I guess all the running and high-impact activity makes for some stiffness and imbalances.  I’ve been trying to be good about foam rolling as much as possible, using a tennis ball to really get in those tight spots, stretching, and have a light sports massage booked.  Let’s hope this gets nipped in the next few days!
- I am just recovering from a strange, not-fully-diagnosed stomach bug of sorts.  My stomach wasn’t necessarily feeling that bad, but I was having waves of nausea and trouble digesting/going “regularly” this past week.  I’m not sure if it was poorly-time nutrition, food gone bad, or something else, but it’s mostly gone now and hopefully sickness karma will have pity on me come race day!
- I’m still not totally sure what pants/shorts I’m going to wear on race day.  I was initially hoping to wear my light compression leggings, but on the 20-miler, they started to give me this nasty chaffe/bruise by my ankle!  Ugh, it’s frustrating how many little discomforts you notice when you’ve been running 2.5+ hours.  I might switch to regular leggings, or my other distance proof combo: my black shorts and compression leggings or long socks.  The main concern with the latter is the temperature on race day, but maybe it will feel fine like it has on recent morning training runs.
- To bring music or no?? I’m not a huge fan of running races with music, and have run many awesome long runs without.  However, I have also run quite a few with…and on my recent half-marathons, I believe it helped on the home stretch.  I will likely bring my iPod in a pouch for the race, and only whip it out if I really need a pick me up.  We shall see.

Turkey Trot 5k with some friends tomorrow!  Probably won’t go all out, but it should be a fun way to squeeze in some tempo miles :)

Marathon Training Week of 10/22 & First 20+ Mile Run…!

Saturday, I got a little lost during my long run, and while trying my best to guesstimate the distance of my re-routed course, I ended up overshooting it and running a little over 21 miles despite having only planned on 20.  I had actually anticipated having to cut my run short because I haven’t been getting as much sleep this past week, and it’s starting to wear on me a bit.  I also got called in to team-teach for the first time at Xercise Lab earlier on Saturday morning, which was exciting but came after a night of staying out late doing Halloween-y things.  It’s easy to mentally psyche yourself out and make excuses when you’re about to attempt distances longer than you have ever done before. <—future blog post topic?

…but the run felt great!  If my calculations and mapping skills are right, I did the run at about 9:15 min/miles.  My ideal pace for the marathon (based on my own approximations, half-marathon pace capabilities, and somewhat arbitrary first-timer goals) is around 9 min/mile, so the fact that I managed to do 9:15 min/miles for 21 miles of a training run is really exciting!! Of course, my marathon will likely involve more hills, and less trail-like, easy-on-the-joints roads…BUT, I will also be armed with race-day adrenaline, encouraging spectators, cooler weather, and my A game.  32 days to go!

Other notable things from my longest run to date:
- Saw a HUGE vulture eating roadkill
- Saw a big heron and stork up close while in the Baylands
- Ran by a good chunk of the Mt. View Google campus.  The Google bikes are cute!
- Pre-bandaged the two sometimes “trouble spots” on my feet, and came out relatively blisterless.


Training Week of 10/22:

Monday
Easy 4.18 miles, bootcamp, and Xercise Lab BurnLab

Tuesday
6.84 miles as it got dark.  Ate pizza right before so had some slight GI issues…haha yummy thought

Wednesday
Practice run of Xercise Lab BurnLab with my boss.  It went really well and my confidence levels were way up!
8.49 miles with Palo Alto Run Club (tacked on a few trying to meet up with them, and then running home)

Thursday
Off

Friday
5.02 miles running with Gabrielle, plus some circuit strength work at the gym

Saturday
Xercise Lab BurnLab class in the morning, where I team taught.
Home for breakfast, then a successful 21-mile run!

Sunday
75-minute gentle flow yoga class taught by my friend

Total miles: 45.55

Marathon Training & Fitness Stuff, Week of 10/15

Monday
Run 2.83 miles + Xercise Lab BurnLab 

Tuesday
Run 6.83 miles (split up into two) before and after Xercise Lab BurnLab

Wednesday
Much needed totally OFF day

Thursday
Practice run of Xercise Lab BurnLab with instructor.  Didn’t feel my best and was a little discouraged.
Run 7.89 miles HILLS to vent - Finally ran the Dish!  It was hard but rewarding.

Friday
Run 4.11 miles intervals (9:30min warmup, 7x [1:30 hard, 2:00 easy] + cooldown] 
Strength at the gym (two rounds of a circuit featuring push-ups, abs, shoulder presses, biceps & triceps curls, leg presses, chest extensions, and back extensions) - the biceps and triceps curl machines are surprisingly hard!! Had to lower my weights from what I usually do w/ free weights since the machine locks your arms and helps you hold your form.  Will have to work my way up on those since I’m at a meek 10-15lbs per arm at the moment….
30min practicing BurnLab in front of gym mirror.  I looked ridiculous but my form has improved and I felt much better than on Thursday. 

Saturday
13 miles pace.  It was windy and hot, so even though I managed 9:04 min/miles, it felt like a lot harder effort
1.5 hours of awesome flow yoga

Sunday
Went to Xercise Lab hoping to do BurnLab and BuildLab back to back.  BurnLab was cancelled at the last minute, so ended up doing a mini BuildLab with another prospective instructor, and then “real” BuildLab afterwards.  Practiced my BurnLab routine for 25min afterwards.

Total miles: 34.62 (up 3% from last week, but with a shorter though more effort-intensive weekend long run)

Running has felt pretty good, and this week was definitely overall more relaxed than the one before.  I’ve been trying to breathe through my nose more on my runs, which is helping my fitness level.  Marathon training is definitely teaching me patience and stamina, but also resulting in much slower runs than I used to do (not necessarily a bad thing though).  I signed up for a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot with some friends, so we’ll see how the 5K legs fare!  My Xercise Lab progress feels hot & cold, but overall the practice sessions have been a big help.  It also felt great to go to yoga, so I will have to check out that studio more and hopefully work yoga practice back into my routine.

Out for now!  Food post is in the queue for next time :)

California Livin’ and Trainin’

I realized I never wrote a post articulating that I was moving, and explaining why.  Now that I’m finally settling into my new life in California and back to bloggin’ (took me longer than I thought, tsk tsk), I think a little catch-up is in order!

My boyfriend, Jeff, just started grad school at Stanford.  Throughout his application process, I had been considering the pros and cons of moving with him wherever he ended up.  Ultimately, after he settled on Stanford, I decided to go along for the adventure because a.) it was what we felt was best for our relationship/happiness, b.) the Bay Area has always intrigued me with its kickass-ness and beautiful weather, and c.) I’m young and excited to shake things up!  I had also been feeling a little stifled at my old job, not because of my co-workers or the job itself (I enjoyed the people and creative environment tremendously!), but because it didn’t feel like my true passion.  That, combined with the fact that I am not a happy camper sitting at a desk all day.  I was hoping that the move would be a chance for me to recalibrate, and the duration of Jeff’s program a good timeframe in which to explore some opportunities I’ve been wanting to get serious about for a while, but that I never did due to lack of time, confidence, etc.  More on this in the next post….

We’re living on the Stanford Campus, and the apartment is actually quite nice.  We have a cozy little balcony that, despite not getting a lot of sunlight, has a great view of some mountains and the Stanford Football scoreboard.  The campus is huge, and the surrounding areas can be confusing to navigate, but thanks to my continued marathon training, I’ve been able to explore quite a bit via running.  Though I miss this:

and this:

I’m getting used to (and enjoying!) this:

and this:

Speaking of marathon training, I am very pleased with how it’s been going since the move!  I am so glad that I’ve been able to find some nice paths and trails to run on.  I have also been trying to find a good running group to do some of my training with, but so far haven’t gone to practices consistently.  The Stanford club seems sweet, but I don’t feel like I quite fit in as a non-student.  My best prospect at the moment is the Palo Alto Run Club—they’re super fast and overall seem a good 10-20 years older than me on average, but have a variety of practices throughout the week and so far have been welcoming.  If only there was a Bay Area TMIRCE!

Since my last training update, I have decided to tweak my training plan and make a hybrid from the novice plan I had been following + a more intermediate-beginner plan, being careful to monitor my body so as not to overdo it.  It’s exciting to be running my longest runs ever almost every weekend!  Also, I have been able to take advantage of free access to Stanford’s gyms (oh yeah!) and some of their classes (available to me at a reasonable rate since I am living here) to throw in some strength work and cross-training.  Here’s the approx. mileage from the past few weeks:

(this doesn’t include all of my non-running stuff)

I know it may not seem that impressive to some—especially my more experienced distance-running peers—but it’s the most I’ve ever run consistently, and it’s a great feeling!  I’m not doing a great job of following the “10% rule,” but am trying to be as body-aware as possible in order to train smart.  So far so good as I only have a few blisters and sore toes to show for it (knock on wood).  Getting more sleep, eating pretty clean, and taking my weekly rest day seriously really have been doing magic for recovery!

That’s all for now, but I look forward to sharing some more details on new career prospects and aspirations with you in my next post!  Hope everyone is enjoying their weeks so far :)

Training Update and USAT Nationals Recap!

Hey everyone!

I’m in the process of packing up in anticipation for a cross-country move, so I apologize for the lack of updates as of late.  

I recently completed my 2012 triathlon season with an Olympic-distance race at the USAT Age Group National Championships in Burlington, VT. It was a lot of fun, and I got a PR!  The atmosphere was unmatched, with a lot of top-tier athletes racing amongst us newbies who made the cut.  Burlington is beautiful this time of year, and there were a lot of very tasty (and veggie-friendly) food options to choose from for the whole weekend.  As for the actual race, I had a great performance overall and after training for the 70.3, felt that the Olympic distance was a perfect way to mix my endurance and speed.  The swim was really rough, with high winds creating some difficult waves to overcome in Lake Champlain.  It was pushing in our favor towards the very end of the swim, but for most of it I felt like I was overcompensating on one side just to keep swimming somewhat straight.  The transitions included long runs to and from the in/out chutes, but you got a chance to pass a lot of people’s stuff and see just how many competitors there were.  The bike leg went pretty smoothly, and I even passed some people I had been tailing towards the end of my swim, but it is still the area I need to improve on the most.  The highlight of my race was definitely my run — I dropped over 5 minutes from my Olympic-distance race last year, and PRed my best 10K split by over a minute!  This makes me happy and leads me to believe that even though my marathon training mileage hasn’t gotten very high yet, the extra running is paying off :)  Final time was 2:42:51.

I made two new friends in the transition area: one girl from the Bay Area (future training buddy??) who talked to me about some tri and job opportunities out west, and a girl from North Carolina who ended up finishing a little ahead of me (and ranking alomst right below me in the final season standings!!).  All three of us had only one other Olympic-distance race under our belt, so we were in good company!  The next day, I stuck around to cheer on three tri friends as they competed in the Sprint Distance race.

Here are weeks 3 & 4 of marathon training.  Note that I was tapering during week 3 and am now building up mileage while I pack up my life in Boston:

Week 3

Monday - Abs circuit + 2000  yard swim workout + bike commuting ~4.5 miles
Tuesday - interval run 3.09 miles (WU 5ish min, 6 x (1 min fast, 2 min easy), CD) + 15.12 mile group ride + bike commuting ~3.5 miles
Wednesday - swim at Walden + bike commuting ~3.5 miles
Thursday - OFF + bike commuting ~8.3 miles
Friday - Easy 1.87 mile run
Saturday - USAT Nationals!  Swim 0.9 miles, bike 24.9 miles, run 6.2 miles
Sunday - OFF
Total run miles - 11.16 miles 

Week 4

Monday - 4.08 mile relaxed run
Tuesday - Body Pump strength class + treadmill interval run 3.2 miles (WU 5ish min, 6 x (1 min fast, 2 min easy), CD)
Wednesday - swim at Walden
Thursday - hill interval run 4.1 miles (WU 10 min, 3 x (3 min up Summit Ave at harder effort, 3-6 min easy down), 5 min CD) + 90-min Iyengar yoga class + bike commuting ~4.6 miles
Friday - easy 2.12 mile jog
Saturday - long run 8.27 miles (with running club) + mostly upper body & abs circuit training at gym
Sunday - OFF
Total run miles - 21.77 miles  

And now, I will post lots of food pics in my queue :)

Marathon Training so far (and more rambles)

Right now, I’m in a weird in-between period between ending my triathlon season, and trying to slowly build up mileage for marathon training.  Since said last triathlon is this Saturday, I will have to adjust my mileage this week to accommodate some sort of *taper*.  

My first two weeks of marathon training haven’t been very high in run mileage, but consistent, and filled with other activities.  Sadly, biking is not one of them.  I sure hope that the lack of biking (besides some spinning and commuting) will not adversely affect the upcoming Olympic-distance triathlon too much.  On the upside, I have increased my circuit training/weights.  I have Jeff to thank in part because he just finished up a 10-day trial at my gym, during which we did a lot of circuit training together.  It’s been fun and I feel strong!

Week 1

Monday - cross-training (Pilates and Tabata classes at the gym) + bike commuting ~4.5 miles
Tuesday - easy run 3.09 miles + bike commuting ~3.5 miles
Wednesday - swim at Walden; 3.46 interval run (WU 5ish min, 6 x (1 min fast, 2 min easy), CD) + bike commuting ~4.5 miles
Thursday - easy run 2.82 miles; really hard ab circuit + bike commuting ~3.5 miles
Friday - interval run 3.53 miles (WU 3 min, 3 miles about 8 min/mile, CD). It was REALLY hot and hard! + bike commuting ~3.5 miles
Saturday - long run 5.99 miles; circuit training at the gym
Sunday - OFF
Total run miles - 18.89 miles 

Week 2

Monday - easy social run 3.1 miles + bike commuting ~5 miles
Tuesday - short circuit training at the gym; spin class; interval run 2.25 miles (6 x (1 min fast, 2 min easy), CD) + bike commuting ~3.5 miles
Wednesday - swim at Walden + bike commuting ~3.5 miles
Thursday - hill interval run 3.14 miles (WU 5 min, 3 x (3 min up Summit Ave at harder effort, 3-6 min easy down), 5 min CD) + 1-hour Body Pump at the gym + bike commuting ~4.5 miles
Friday - OFF
Saturday - long run 5.04 miles (fairly hilly through rural NH); short ab circuit
Sunday - 2.53 mile run; circuit training at the gym
Total run miles - 16.06 miles  

The plan that I am following is the No Meat Athlete Marathon Roadmap.  I got to meet the blog’s founder (Matt) at a festival a few months back, and have been reading NMA for over a year.  I really enjoy the blog and find the writing to be very relatable, the articles interesting and useful, and Matt’s own growth as an athlete refreshing and motivating.  I had been toying around with just following one of Hal Higdon’s plans (either Marathon 3, for the worked-in cross training element, or Novice 2), as several of my friends have done in the past, but liked that the NMA plan worked in advice beyond just how many miles to run, including mental prep, different types of run workouts, and vegetarian-specific nutrition (among other things).  Plus, it’s great to support a fellow vegan and sports blog, especially when it’s endorsed by some awesome plant-based endurance sports icons (Brendan Brazier, Rich Roll, etc.).  I’ve read the whole roadmap so far and give it a big thumbs up, but have yet to use the audio resources that come included.

Still, one thing that I can’t shake from my mind is whether I am doing enough mileage.  The major difference between the NMA roadmap and other ones I’ve seen is that the NMA plan tends to have lower weekly mileage overall, and less “long” runs worked in throughout the duration of the plan.  Since I’ve never done a marathon, I’m not the best person to judge how many miles is ideal.  However, it definitely does make me a little nervous that I’m potentially not training to my full potential, since I (presumably) have a better aerobic base than many people who attempt to do a marathon as their first ever major endurance event.  My goal isn’t to “just” finish the race, but to both finish strong AND enjoy smart, fun, and somewhat challenging training leading up to the race.  I’m not just spewing out “the journey is more important than the destination” sentimentality; I genuinely want to enjoy the 18 weeks leading up to the race, and since it’s such a mental and physical commitment, I want to get to the start line feeling like I really did push myself enough.

Matt describes his first marathon experience as having been a disaster because he totally overestimated his own abilities and didn’t train smartly.  I don’t want to make the same mistake, but also genuinely believe that I’m approaching this smartly.  Another thing to keep in mind is that yes, I do tend to overthink things, and yes, it IS still very early in the plan and the mileage will pick up a bit.  So maybe I just need to chill and follow it as best I can, and use the extra non-running time to do strength training and yoga like I always say I will.

What do you guys think?

Updates Since IM 70.3 (including an exciting announcement!)

Right after the Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island, I was laying low and doing workouts as I felt like it.  I took two complete days off after the race, getting a massage and just relaxing, walking, and stretching/foam rolling.  Surprisingly, I wasn’t very sore; mostly just stiff in my lower back and hamstrings, and walking a bit funny from the blister at the bottom of my left foot.  Still, I can’t stay away from exercise/the gym, so I was soon back at it.  I made sure to ease my way back into running slowly, and in general have been taking the opportunity to do some of my fave non-swim/bike/run workouts the past few weeks.

I was a bit mentally drained after the IM 70.3, so despite having found some good Olympic-distance training plans, I haven’t put pressure on myself to start following them.  However, since I do still have Nationals to train for (happening on August 18), I have been trying to keep up some swimming, biking, and running each week.  Here’s a rough idea of my workouts (this includes some commuting bike rides) from the past month, as logged on MapMyRun:

Not too shabby, but definitely no specific structure.

Then, about two weeks ago, I was chatting with my friend Greg about “what’s next,” and he mentioned a marathon in Sacramento that he had been thinking of doing (and has since decided not to sign up for).  Now, as an FYI, I have NEVER had any desire to run a marathon.  Well…until recently.  When I started training for my first Half-Marathon last fall, I thought the 2ish hour running race would probably be perfect for me, since I was never a sprinter in my swimming days, and figured that a Half-Marathon pace would probably be very enjoyable for me compared to the near-sprints I was doing at 5Ks etc.  However, anything longer just didn’t seem enjoyable, and probably not very friendly for my joints.  Still, part of me was definitely doing the Half-Marathon just to prove to myself that I could, and I definitely didn’t expect to enjoy my long runs as much as I did.  Prior to last summer, I had never really run more than 4 miles at a time, and was soon finding myself going on runs of up to 12 miles.  The first few miles were never all that great or particularly enjoyable, but then I would get into a groove and suddenly feel very much at peace.  I was finally experiencing a true “runner’s high,” a sheer contentment solely as a result of running.  Part of me was very excited and finally felt like a “serious” runner who “got it,” but the other part of me was thinking, “Crap, maybe I AM a long distance person through and through.  Why can’t I like something less time consuming??”

Anyhow, the point of all this is that it made me reconsider my list of things I would enjoy doing, and things that I could never see myself doing.  It made me question the  limitations that I had set on my own abilities and potential (whether conscious or not).  I mean, a year ago, I never would have imagined myself completing an Ironman 70.3 and actually enjoying it as much as I did.  Not to mention placing!  Even a full Ironman seems possible to me now (I’m not actively planning on doing one in the near future, but I no longer see it as something that only crazy people/genetic freaks of nature attempt to do).  And suddenly, while talking to Greg that day, I got the urge to train for a marathon.  Not even just to do the race itself, but to cultivate the long-distance runner in me.

So after some debate, it’s official!  I’m signed up for the California International Marathon on December 2 in Sacramento.  It will be pretty close to where I’ll be living, is point-to-point and fairly fast (though deceptively hillier than the website would have you think, or so I’m told), has received a ton of great reviews, usually boasts perfect running weather (low to mid 50s) and a million porta potties, and is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  I am PUMPED! 

I also calculated the weeks until the race, and it gives me exactly 18 weeks to train.  So without missing a beat, I started a plan this week.  The mileage is still relatively low, and there’s cross-training worked in, so I should be able to stay in good tri shape until Nationals.  From there on out, running and flexibility will be my main focus.  

A few things I’ll be discussing in future posts:
1.)  Taking advantage of my upcoming move to California to find some exciting running routes (and new running friends?).
2.)  Fundraising for this race.  It is not required, but I would love to raise money for one of the many great causes that I care about, and to do the race for something greater than myself.  The main caveat is that I’m interested in supporting some smaller organizations who don’t typically have programs set up through races, so would be doing this totally independently.
3.)  Not getting too far ahead of myself!  The mileage on my current plan seems a bit low compared to other ones I’ve seen, and I’m fighting a mini-battle with myself: “Chill out, it’s your first marathon, just trust the plan, be smart, and focus on finishing the race” vs. “I’m in great aerobic shape! I should push myself harder because I’m competitive and I don’t wanna ‘just’ finish after all that training!”

Enough rambling for now!  Time to go for a tempo run :)

Week 19 Tri Training recap…BIG RACE WEEK!!

Monday, July 2 - Sunday, July 8

Monday:  Nursing some blisters from not wearing socks on my long run Sunday…oops.  Did a midday workout wearing race day clothes.  Back to trying to follow the original BT tri plan for this last week, which called for a quick run through of all the sports:
RUN: 3 x 10 min on the treadmill, building up to race pace.  Did the “Hill” setting at a fairly low level, so ran between a 0-3.8 incline, from 8:49 to 8min pace.  
SWIM:  2 x 5min swim (starting fast and settling into race pace).  Probably only about 720 yards.  
BIKE:  35 min commuting on bike, with a few accelerations.

Tuesday:  Quick run through of all the sports again.
RUN: 15-min on the treadmill: 5-min warm-up, then 5 x (1 min at 7:30 pace, 30 sec at 8:49 pace), 2.5-min cool down.
SWIM: 360 warm-up, 8 x 40 FAST with 15 sec rest, 360 cool-down.
BIKE: On spin bike, 5 x (2 min FAST, 1 min easy)…this was actually really hard :(  22-min commuting on bike. 

Wednesday:  OFF.  Happy 4th of July!  Ended up walking around quite a bit.

Thursday:  Commuted about 30 minutes on the race bike, and had it taken in for a pre-race tune up.  Then did a 16-min run, warm-up, 10-min faster than race pace, cool down.

Friday:  OFF.  

Saturday:  Going to RI for the race!  Not sure what workouts I’ll be doing yet since it is only Friday night, but will probably bike to the train station (~15-min ride), then am going to aim for a quick swim and run (10 min each, ideally in and around the race stie).

Sunday is race day!

I am very excited, though some of the logistics have definitely got me a little nervous. For one, my wardrobe:  I will be wearing separates as opposed to my usual tri suit, mostly as a cautionary just in case GI issues occur during the 6ish hours it will take me to complete this race.  I don’t totally know what to expect from my body, so would rather not spend a long time trying to finagle out of my tri suit in a port-a-potty.  The downside to this is that this outfit is definitely not as comfortable/aerodynamic for the swim portion as a tri suit, and it’s looking likely that the swim will not be wetsuit legal (meaning a potentially even slower swim leg).  Even if it is, the water temperature is well above the cut-off to be eligible for prizes, nationals qualification, etc.  Not that I’m particularly aiming for those, but I would feel a little bit like I was cheating if I wore the wetsuit under these circumstances :-/  Regardless, I’m not that attached to it, and definitely don’t feel like I NEED it to have a good swim.  Still, of all races, this would have been a good one for it since it is the longest swim I’ve raced, and since I’ll be doning a not-as-svelte outfit.

I’m also a bit intimidated by the mental aspect of it.  I think that’s one of the hardest parts of the sport, and one that is often overlooked in training.  If I can keep my mind in a good, positive state for the duration of the race, it will make things a lot smoother.  It’s a great sign that I’m feeling more excitement than nervousness at this point, so I’ll try to ride that out when the inevitable jitters and tiredness hit!

Another thing to keep in mind with this race is that my approach to refueling will probably differ from past races.  Since this is more than twice as long as other races I’ve done, I’m not sure gel packs will cut it.  I’m planning on having some cut-up juicy fruit (oranges, I’m looking at you) set up at my bike-to-run transition area, and might take advantage of some of the Bonk Breaker bars and bananas along the course.  Gels will of course still be utilized, and I have prepared with a homemade flask, as well as some Clif and Gu variations.  To keep my electrolytes in check, I made a homemade sports drink inspired by Thrive, and will be drinking plenty of Nuun-enhanced water (yummy-o).  Bottom line, though: I’ll listen to my body.  Maybe the stomach will only want liquids and no solid food, in which case the fruit can wait until after the race :)

I should be getting some rest so will try to quiet my mind.  Overall feeling very positive and READY.  See you on the other side!

Culinary adventures and training updates of a plant-based fitness & health enthusiast-turned-triathlete.

My interests include holistic health, cooking/gobbling up fresh produce, exercise, and contributing to a healthier, happier, and more compassionate world!

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