Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tournaments, personalities, & NYC

Monday night was our last night of volleyball, with tournaments, and we lost. But, I really liked our team and look forward to playing with them again. We might set up a team for the fall, if I can squeeze it into my schedule!

Last night, the 2nd volleyball team I am on began tournaments as well. We lost, and we play again next Tuesday, but I will be out of town. I am not too sad. This team wasn't well put together, and I felt that we didn't have enough fun.

On the flip side, we had played our softball tournament right after volleyball. Our first game we won 15 to 0 in 3 innings. The second game we played the team that we tied with during the regular season, but were ranked 1st since we had more runs. They beat us in the tournament last night and we ended up taking home 2nd place. Congrats team! We all got a really nice t-shirt for our regular season 1st place, and the captain took home the ugly trophy for 2nd place in the tourney.

MEME: 7 Personality Traits
I was tagged by the wonderful Amanda over at Run to The Finish! I am supposed to list 7 personality traits of mine and I think I have done something similar before, so I am sure I might repeat some. Sorry!

1. Number Freak: I love numbers, cruching them, collecting data, etc. I mean, have you looked at my sidebars? LOL.

2. Mornings Rock: I would like to consider myself a morning person as well. I love the feeling of getting up and accomplishing so many things before the rest of the world is even awake! Morning workouts are my favorite! There's nothing like starting the day off with a good run, swim, or bike... then heading to work and being able to relax the rest of the evening!

3. Sleep required: I am one who likes to get a good 8 hours of sleep each and every night if at all possible. If this doesn't happen, number 2 above doesn't happen. The domino effect can be quite horrible. Can the amount of sleep you need be hereditary? In discussion a lot of my cousins and I (including my sisters) like to get a lot of sleep and are morning people. Something to ponder, I guess.

4. Busy-body: I haven't always enjoyed being physically active, but now that I have been for the past few years (consistently) it is definitely an addiction and part of who I am today. I have played sand volleyball for a number of summers in the past and was happy to get back into that this year, playing on two teams. Softball has become a regular part of my summers as well. I have gotten to the point where you can ask me to play it or try it, and I will. I just like getting out there and being busy, rather than sitting at home doing nuttin'.

5. Home-body: Especially during the school year, I love coming home after work and having no commitments. However, this hasn't helped much on the dating scence, but really, I do like coming home and just relaxing. I enjoy having a few friends over for dinner during the week, but if you are going to ask me to join you OUT for dinner or drinks, I am most likely going to say no... see numbers 2 and 3 for better understanding. This can conflict with number 4 at times... but I would much rather go DO something than meet up with friends for dinner or drinks.

6. Independent: I haven't always been little-miss-independent, but as I have gotten older in my 20's it has most definitely been the case. I think being thrown into the adult world after college has changed me a bit... that and the end of a long-term relationship a few years back. It's all good though.

7. Tell it how it is: I have to sometimes watch what I say, but I can be blunt at times. If you're a friend of mine and discussing an issue with me, don't expect me to be on your "side" 100% of the time. I have been referred to as the "voice of reason" by a couple close friends because I will try to help you see the other persons point of view, or let you know that you are over-reacting to a certain situation. Life's short, don't sweat the small stuff dude!

TAGGED .....
Ok folks consider yourself tagged to share your seven traits:
Jess @ Run Girl Run
Ashley @ Journey To A Better Me
Jess @ 21 Days
Kelly @ She Wears A Red Sox Cap
Carolina John @ Smoke Training
D10 @ Just Running For Fun

New York City... here we come!
In less than 2 days I will be in NYC with the fam. I still haven't finished packing, but plan to do that tonight. I am getting so excited. With that note, don't be worried if you don't see any posts for a week, or don't have any comments from me. I will be back next week with a recap of our trip and hopefully some wonderful pictures!

Peace, my friends!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just call me Cathy & spreading the word....

This morning's swim came and went, and the distance I achieved was less than I have ever done at swim practice. Playing the role of "Chatty Cathy" might have had a little to do with it, too. It's not completely my fault that others, teammates including swim coaches, felt like chatting as well.

While talking with others, I did find out about a group of people that meet out at a lake for an open water swim on Thursday nights. Marshall Lake isn't the closest lake, about 35 miles from here, but I hear it is pretty quiet. The only boats usually found on it are there for fishing purposes, and anchored. I am gone this Thursday, but I would really like to try joining this group sometime before the summer is over.

I also got to talking with another swimmer about the DL triathlon that I am doing here in less than 4 weeks. She had done it the past couple of years. It was nice to get a chance to hear about her experiences. She said that the water is disgusting (this might be the ONLY year I do this race), and their were nasty white caps last year with cold and rainy conditions. She said the ride around the lake was pretty decent and the run was an easy out and back. It must not have been too bad if she's thinking about doing it again this year. I can only hope for cooperative weather!

Spreading the Word....

On a completely different side note, I would like to spread the word.... the lovely Fair Weather Runner is looking for donations of used running shoes to send to those in need, in Africa. Check out her post telling us all about it. I am sure there are many of us who have tons of old pairs of shoes (or at least ONE pair of old shoes) that could be donated to such a great cause!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A week of recovery

The past week of recovery from the tri has definitely been a learning experience. In the past, I have usually gaged my recovery with soreness; if I was sore, I needed to rest, and vice versa. However, this past week wasn't wasn't the same. I wasn't sore, but I was not up to par.

I experienced physical fatigue like never before. Five nights in a row, I slept like crap with less than 6 hours of sleep. On top of that, I was feeling like crap and knew something needed to change with my nutrition. Friday night I finally got my first night of solid sleep, sleeping from 11pm to 5am (when my body woke itself up), and then slept again until 9am!

I have been keeping track of my nutrition for this past week and have already learned a lot. I was skeptical going into this, because I didn't want to become obsessive over what I ate and didn't eat, but I have found this to be a real eye opener.

I kept track of how much sleep I was getting and the hours, what I ate and when I ate -how I felt afterwards, my workouts and how I felt after those, the supplements and vitamins I was taking, how much water I drank each day, and then my overall feelings and thoughts at the end of the day.

Here is a list of things I noticed when I started to keep track of everything:
  • Some days I didn't drink nearly as much water as I needed - and this coincided with some fatigue.
  • I have always been a "small-portions-eater" and came to realize that I function best on eating 5-6 times a day, every 2-3 hours.
  • Soda does not agree with my body, leaving me feeling slugish with extra water weight. I gave up soda for a year once, and I should have never started drinking it again.
  • My favorite coffee drinks need to be consumed minimally - once or twice a week at most.
  • Like most people, if I wait too long to eat or am ill-prepared, I eat crappy stuff. So, I have gotten better about packing snacks and lunches, especially when I have morning swim practice - I leave the house around 530am and don't return until after 2pm.
  • I have been taking my daily women's vitamin and fish oil vitamin every day for the past week. (It's been months since I have taken these.)
  • Some of the days I was really good about fruit and veggies, but there were a couple days that I didn't do so well and my stomach told me so.
  • There were many times I wanted to stick crap in my mouth (ie. chips, chocolate, beer, kids snacks at school), and I refrained for the most part. I am not perfect, but I know I only ate a third of what I would have eaten if I wasn't writing down everything I put in my mouth. I think that a splurge here and there is okay, in moderation.

I am going to continue keeping track of all of these things. I don't want to do this forever, but it is helping right now, and isn't too much work to do so.

My workouts last week were pretty minimal, but the ones I did have were solid. I got in 3 hours of sand volleyball, a good 2 hours of softball, two 3+ mile runs (one with sprints), a nice swim, and a group bike ride this morning. I can't say exactly what this coming week (or the week to follow) will look like exactly. I am leaving Fargo for the Twin Cities Thursday afternoon, and fly out to New York City Friday morning. I won't be back home until the following Wednesday evening. I will get in a couple swims this week and hopefully another solid bike ride before leaving town. If I am lucky, I will get in a couple runs through Central Park while we're there!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Cheers to a great week ahead of us all!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

4 days later....

Today was the first day that I actually got out there and "worked-out" since the triathlon this past Saturday. I know that I should be, and am, in recovery mode, but it's a hard adjustment from the training the weeks that lead up to the race.

Taking a few days off wasn't the only thing I was struggling with. Oddly enough, I wasn't the slight bit sore from the race, but I was feeling extremely fatigued and weak for the past couple days.

On Monday, I felt out of sorts at work and ended up coming home to take a 2 hour nap in the middle of the afternoon. It didn't help that Monday and Tuesday night I had volleyball, with softball to follow volleyball on Tuesday. Both nights I was up later than usual. When I did get to bed, I had a hard time falling asleep. I probably clocked 5-6 hours of sleep each night for the past 3 nights, which is no where near the 8 hours I usually get.

Hands down, I know for a fact that my nutrition has played a huge roll in all of this. I am not a horrible eater, but I find myself constantly questioning what is the right thing to be eating at the right time (ie. before and after workouts, breakfast, snacks, etc.) One day I assume I am eating enough, where the next day I might eat too much or too little.

So, the past few days, I have been trying really hard to eat well. But it just continues to be a constant battle, this nutrition crap. I just can't seem to find what works for me. I know it's a learning experience, but it sure as heck would be a lot easier if someone just told me what to eat, when to eat, and so forth!

How do all you triathletes find a healty balance between training and nutrition? Any words of wisdom out there?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

First Triathlon... completed!

Prairie Rose State Games Triathlon
July 11, 2009
Swim - 1000M
Bike - 12.4 miles
Run - 3.1 miles


The Prairie Rose State Games is a multi-sport festival for amateur athletes in North Dakota. The games encourage participation for all ages and skill levels participating in 28 events. The games take place yearly and alternate between 4 locations; Bismarck, Fargo, Minot, and Grand Forks. This year, it was anticipated to have over 4000 athletes and their families participating in Grand Forks.

The mission of the Prairie Rose State Games is to foster amateur sports competition within the State of North Dakota by providing multi-sport educational programs to promote knowledge of physical fitness and sports, improve sportsman like competition and provide participation opportunity and recognition for amateur athletes and the general public.

The Day Before:

I wasn't doing this race on my own. Jill (a friend of mine whom I have been doing a lot of training with as well) and I, were doing this one together! Her BF was going to be our Tri Sherpa. I don't think he knew what he was getting himself into!
We left Fargo early Friday afternoon, making the 1 hour trip north to Grand Forks. Most of the sports were taking place within Grand Forks, but our triathlon was taking place at the Larimore Park, just 30 miles or so west of Grand Forks. We wanted to get up there early enough to check out the location and mentally prepare ourselves for the race.

When we got to the park, nothing was set up and the person that was working at the time knew little about the race. We were able to look at a couple maps for the bike and run, but still were unsure exactly as to where the swim was going to start and how it was going to look. This caused a bit more anxiety... but not enough to ruin my appetite.

We headed back to Grand Forks and grabbed a bite to eat at one of my favorite pubs, Bonzers. The turkey sandwich and Bud Light Scooner with olives sure hit the spot. Being there brought back many fun college memories!

Afterwards, we headed back to my Aunt's house and ended up watching the replay of Stage 7 of the Tour de France.... climbing through The Pyrenees. Little did we know, watching this was going to be great motivation for the next morning.

I was showered and in bed by 10pm. Surprisingly, it didn't take long for me to fall asleep from the time my head hit the pillow. But, I did wake at 3am and tossed and turned until 445 when my alarm went off.


Alarm went off at 445 and I felt pretty rested. Our plan was to leave the house by 530 and I felt like I was running in circles with getting things ready, not knowing exactly how to use my time wisely. I did choke down a piece of peanut butter toast and half a banana, barely. I drank a glass of water and proceeded to fill my water bottles. I had one bottle with water, and another with G2 watered down. I also took along my nalgene bottle filled to the top with ice and then some water. I didn't want to be short, and you never know what the race is going to provide. Bags were packed and we were ready to hit the road. Remember, it was a 30 minute drive to the location of the race. It was 49 degrees when we left.... brr.

We got there by 615 and were one of the first ones to show up. We checked in, got our body marking done, and I asked for a smiley face on my right calf... kind of a shout out to another great triathlete blogger, Steve!

From there we took the time to set up our transition, arranging and re-arranging.
There were about 50 others participating in this event. We actually got to talking to another lady that looked familiar, and it turned out she is on the swim team with us. Then, it was the waiting game. I was ready to get this show on the road! At 700, a half hour before the race started, I took my Triberry Gu and drank 8oz of water. At 725 they gathered us in and discussed some of the rules. Before we knew it, it's was go time! It had warmed up to about 55 degrees by this time.

The Swim:
1000M - out and back

Prior to this race, I have been participating on the adult swim team for the past 5 weeks. I felt pretty strong in this area, having done drills twice as long as this distance at practice. At 730 exactly, they did a 10 second countdown we were off. The swim was out and back, with two buoys, one as a marker, and the second as the turn-around point. We were swimming directly into the rising sun. We found out later, that many of us started to drift too far to the right, which didn't surprise me at all.

The water temperature was decent. Not much warmer than the outdoor pool temp. But, It didn't take long before I started feeling overwhelmed with the swim; leading quickly into a full-on panic attack. I began to hyperventilate and before I knew it, I had to roll over onto my back. It took everything in me to concentrate on taking deep breaths and getting my breathing back to normal, or somewhat normal. When I did, I couldn't for the life of my swim with my head under the water. I couldn't see 2 inches in front of me, as the water was full of algae and weeds. It was horrible.

Only about 200M in and I was ready to call it quits. It was horrible. But, I had to keep reminding myself to calm down, and just do the swim, even if I had to roll over every so often to catch my breath. About 500M in, I started to feel like I was getting in a grove, but I was still struggling with putting my face completely under water.
My overall time in the water, 31 minutes, was a huge disappointment for me. It was almost 10 minutes longer than I was hoping for. But, quitting would have been a bigger disappointment. I still had the bike and run to do, so I had to focus on that.

(picture taken after triathlon)

(Approximately 2-3 minutes)
I felt that this transition went pretty smooth. Going with the one-piece trisuit was probably the best idea I had for this race. I attempted to use my shammy to dry off as much as possible, but a lot of water from the suit had dripped down my legs, causing my socks to get pretty wet.

The Bike:
12.4 miles

When I got on the bike, I was still pretty shook-up from the swim. I had a hard time getting my balance and getting on my bike. And it didn't help that we had to climb that nasty hill to get out of the park.

The first 10-15 minutes I was just trying to take in a lot of fluids and get my heart rate back down. I am pretty sure I was going only about 10-11mph during this time.

About 20 minutes in, I started to feel more comfortable and was ready to increase my speed. There were a few hills we had to climb, but coming back down them sure helped with my average speed. One hill I noticed I was going 34mph on the way down. Unfortunately, the last hill was super brutal, and it didn't help that this was the same hill we had to run down and back up again as part of the 5K.

However, going down a big hill, I lost my Gu that was taped to my bike. But, Jill was kind enough to share hers with me when we had about a mile left of the bike. It was at this point in the race that I was actually starting to feel hungry, like for real food.

I was pretty pleased with my overall bike time, but was hoping for a little bit faster. Next time!

(Approximately another 2-3 minutes)

The race director was yelling at me to get off my bike before passing a certain line, but that certain line was at the bottom of a very steep hill. Besides the fact that I had to dodge a big truck pulling a boat, I was thankful to be able to get off the bike in one piece. I didn't care what she was yelling. I kicked off my cycling shoes, grabbed my running shoes and visor and was on my way.

The Run:
3.1 miles
34:00 (approximately)
10:58/mile avg.

Once again we had to climb that hill to get out of the park. My legs felt pretty good transitioning from the bike to the run. I stayed with Jill, and we ran most of the way, only walking a couple times. Like I said, there were a couple nasty hills that we had to not only climb up, but go back down.

Our Sherpa, who did a wonderful job taking pictures actually ran the last 1/2 mile or so with us. What a great sport, huh?!

Surprisingly, this felt like my strongest area of the race. I don't know if it had to do with the fact that I was almost finished and ecstatic, or if I was just really ready for it. Best of all, there were no knee issues, what-so-ever!

After thoughts:

I was so happy to be finished when all was said in done. Good thing we packed a banana for after the race because there was no after race fuel to be found! We stuck around for awards. I know that there wasn't that many people participating, but I did end up taking 4th in my age division! Jill took 2nd in hers!

I feel like I did a pretty good job with nutrition before, during, and after the race. I wasn't very sore expect for some minor tightness in my left calf.

During our run, Jill and I decided to sign up for our next triathlon: The Detroit Lakes Sprint Triathlon, August 15, 2009! Only 5 weeks away! Time to get to business and do some better training in the next 5 weeks!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Change in wardrobe

Swim practice was a no-go this morning. Something to do with rain, thunder, and 35-40mph wind gusts. I was thinking it was going to get moved to the pool at one of the high schools but that wasn't the case.

Instead, practice was moved to tomorrow at the same time, same place. I knew I wouldn't be going tomorrow; I just didn't want to kick out 2500-3000M the day before the tri. So, I opted to sleep in a bit this morning and then head to the Y to do a short swim - 1000M freestyle, followed by 200M kick.... done and done.

Last night, while on a short bike ride, I tried out the tri shorts I was given from a friend (the same one that is doing this tri with me). I wasn't too pleased with how they felt on, or how they fit, but they were fine on the bike. After my ride, I went with her to Scheels, since she wanted to check out the tri shorts selection, and ended up getting talked into trying on a one piece tri suit. And... it fit, comfortably. So, I have made yet another change in my wardrobe! It just made more sense to spend that much on a one piece, rather than spending more on two separate pieces.

Well, this my friends will probably be my last post before the race. Thanks for all the positive comments and words of wisdom during my training. You all have been wonderful! I am so excited for Saturday's race!

Until next time, have a wonderful weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

3 days and counting

The Prairie Rose State Games Triathlon is getting closer and closer, and I am getting more anxious with each passing minute. My number one goal for this event is to go out there, have fun, and take it all in.

But, if we were to talk about numbers, here's what I would like to see:

Swim - 1000M - 20-22 minutes
Bike - 12.4 miles - 48-50 minutes
Run - 3.1 miles - 35-37 minutes

Now, I think all of these times is very doable. However, I don't know what the OW swim is going to be like, I don't know what roads we are riding on for sure, and I am thinking that the run will be pretty flat, but who knows. Any time better, and I will be on cloud 9! Like I said, I am just going to go out there and have fun. I just hope I don't forget anything important, or don't put my helmet on backwards!

Friday night, I am planning on driving up to GF, staying at my aunt's house. That evening I will drive out to the park (approximately 30 miles west of town) and check out the location. I have never been out there before, so I am anxious to see what it will look like for all three disciplines.

As for now, I am off to do some early packing to ease some of my anxiousness! I found a tri top yesterday, on sale (even better), and am going to attempt wearing it with my sports bra and tri shorts. We'll see how it works out! This race is definitely going to be a learning experience since it's my first. And don't y'all worry, the race report to follow will be nice and lengthly!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Training, Long weekend, and calling all triathletes!

Sorry it's been almost a week since my last post, but things have been pretty busy around here. First things first.... last week's training...

Week 10 of Tri Training:


Adult Swim Team - 2800M
600M: Freestyle Swim
10x50M: 25 Drill/25 Choice
4x200M: Freestyle Swim, "tarzan" across the lines
6x150M: Kick 50/Swim 100

Bike - 10.8 miles

Adult Swim Team - 2600M
1000M: Mix
8x75M: 25M kick/50M swim
400M: Freestyle with pull bouy
300M: 25M kick/25M swim
200M: Freestyle (building)
100M: Sprint

Ultimate Frisbee - 1.5 hours

Bike -13.6 miles


I left for home, Bismarck, right after swim practice Thursday morning and was pretty busy all weekend long. I didn't get back until close to 8pm last night. It sure went by fast.

When I got home Thursday, my Dad, sister and I spent the next 8 hours cleaning out the garage, power washing, degreasing, and a whole lot of scrubbling, just to prep for laying down epoxy. Painting the garage floor with the epoxy was the easy part, but man was that stuff stinky. Later that evening we treated ourselves with a cold beverage and a bit of relaxation in the hot tub, watching the sun set.

Friday I was going to get in a run but was too exhausted from the day before. Plus, Steph talked me into playing Ultimate Frisbee with a bunch of her friends at the mall in front of the Capitol. Now that was a lot of fun, and I think it so counted for my short run!

Saturday I got in a nice ride just south of Bismarck. I even took on a challenge if biking up the hill that leads to University of Mary. I had to stop once because I was out of breath and thought I was going to fall over. Going 6mph up a nasty hill is tough work! But, the view from up there was incredible and worth the effort. I was riding the breaks on my way back down.

As for the rest of the 4th, we spent some time up at my sister's in-laws, along the river. It was a perfect day! That evening we parked ourselves on my parent's patio and watched the fireworks all around. A couple of our neighbors put on a pretty good show. At 11pm, we lit up a couple lanterns as a tribute to all the troops. Their kind of like hot air balloons that just float into the air. Very pretty! Steph was able to get a bunch of t-shirts from a lady in the cities, with B's Unit on the front. They turned out pretty nice, so we took a family photo and plan to send him a copy! We miss you Blaine!

Yesterday, my Mom, Dad, and I finished up the garage by putting away the fridge and freezer, as well as a few storage shelves and did the glossy finishing coat on the floor. Looks like a showroom in there now!

Alright peeps. Only 5 more days until my first outdoor triathlon. I am getting super excited but starting to freak out about all the little things. Like, what should I wear? I don't own a tri suit! I have tri shorts, my swim suit, and many racing shirts, but just wondering what exactly I should be wearing. Any suggestions?