Sprinting! Goals Attained, & a solid PR!

Ahh where to start?

I don’t know.

All I know is that somehow, from what feels like out of the blue, I accomplished a silent goal that I secretly hoped for five years ago. A goal that was seeded inside me after my first triathlon in 2009. Upon completion of Syracuse Irongirl, my first encounter with triathlon, I was so happy and excited about how the race had gone. I couldn’t believe that I had accomplished the goal of swimming, biking and running that race. I couldn’t believe that I had somehow completed the entire thing without resting once!

When I ran the Irongirl, I had never before officially run a 5K without taking a break. I was not really a swimmer, a biker or a runner, but that summer I somehow transformed myself from a person that walked often and ran occasionally (but not very far or very fast), into a triathlete. If you look back into the depths of the archives of this blog, you can read my very early beginnings of a triathlete (and blogger). You can also clearly see that I was immediately bitten by the “tribug” wondering how much better I could do this triathlon thing in the future.

I clearly remember 1) being so excited about how that day had gone and 2) looking at the times posted by the top finishers and secretly setting a goal where I would try to swim, bike and run as fast as they could.

Well, I can hardly believe it. But that day came. It came quietly. It was not surrounded with any big hurrah, and in truth, the milestone that I reached yesterday went slipped by me until I really sat down today to think about it. Yesterday, I raced in the Gillie Girl Sprint Triathlon. I was provided a corporate sponsored entry to the event due from a friend and was simply at the race to have a fun day with some friends that were also racing in the female only triathlon.

I knew going into the race that I was well prepared to cover the distance (seeing that I raced the 70.3 only a few weeks ago). My biggest concern was trying to get some speed out of my swim, bike and run since I have truly been focusing on endurance and distance to so long. If you have been reading, you would know I’ve had a few speed workouts during the past few weeks to try and get me ready to go, but I was still questioning what type of speed I would achieve.

Discussions with the coach circled around the fact that “it’s a sprint and it should hurt” and I was just concerned that I might lay it all out too soon and burn out before the finish. Due to a malfunction of my HR monitor (it now appears to be dead beyond repair) I raced blind – without data – yesterday. Truth be told, this caused me to hold back ever so slightly during the bike, but I really can’t complain since I had a good race overall.

At the start of our swim, we were told that the reigning champ of the race was in our swim wave (ages 25-34) and that we all should be gunning for her. (No pressure – ha.) During the swim, I could tell that I was second in my wave. This was a weird sensation as I have never been in a race and known so solidly where I stood as far as placing. I could see this girl just ahead of me as we dodged around the slower swimmers from the prior two waves. Upon the second loop of the swim course (Gille lake is really more of a pond…) I could tell that this other blue cap athlete 31 years old (my age group) and that she was just ahead of me but I was not going to catch her.

On the bike course, it was 10 minutes of trying to settle in and relax my heart rate before starting to push it again. At this point, the prior year race winner went whizzing by me – I knew then I would not be catching her on the bike… (or as it turns out, the run… she won again this year). At the turn for the bike, I saw the lead girl from my swim wave and knew I was a minute or two behind her, so she was gaining distance on me as well. So, I turned my focus to maintaining my place in the AG and pushing as hard as I could, while continuing to cheer for and encourage the athletes that I passed on the course. I just love events like this, with so many people giving triathlon a first try (tri?) and really proving to themselves that they can accomplish a goal that they set out to tackle!

For the run, I was really missing having my HR data to go by, however, I knew my HR was high. I focused on trying to settle myself into a high yet sustainable pace for the run. Admittedly what I am going to type here, is not going to match with the race results because the course was shy of 3.1 miles. However, my first mile I put down an 8 minute pace. Perfect! My second mile, I had leveled out my HR and was feeling good yet a little fatigued. I hit a 7:50 mile. The third mile was time to lay everything I had left down on the course. Once I reentered the park, it was mostly down hill to flat. I hit a average 7:30 pace for the last segment. Not my fastest 5K, but respectable considering I swam and biked first!

Overall, I finished the race in 1 Hour 20 minutes! I was pumped on this time, despite never catching the first girl in my AG. I knew I had a solid second place in my AG secured. I grabbed the medal, grabbed some water and chocolate milk and headed back out to watch my friends Erin, Meghan and Tristan finish the race. I knew Erin wasn’t too far behind me and that Meghan was about a mile and a half back. I was unsure of where Tristan was since I had missed seeing her out on the course… Erin finished in 1:27, Tristan at 1:44 and Meghan at 1:46!!

Amazing times for all and everyone met personal goals on the day!

It was not until Erin and I went to go check the race results that I found out that I came in 4th overall. Yes, 4th!!! I was stunned. I had no idea, I mean I knew I was early in on the finishers (especially since nobody was announcing finishers and the finish line did not have a lot of spectators yet…) but holy wow!! And Erin and I quickly realized we both had placed for our AG’s! Exciting Day!!

Swim: 11:56 (1:22/100yd)

T1: 01:03

Bike: 43:35 (19.7 mph)

T2: 01:18

Run: 22:50 (7:22/mi for 5K… actual course was 2.9 miles)

Total Time: 1 Hour, 20 Minutes, 44 Seconds. Resulting in a 1st place AG award (the top 3 winners are removed from the AG awards), and 4th overall finisher for the day.

It was upon review of these stats today, that I realized I had met my goal. I swam a solid swim split, I just about hit my silent goal of 20 mph on the bike, and I ran a solid run. I became one of those names at the top of the results page.  A silent goal that I had silently thought “it would be amazing, if someday…” but not one that I ever dared to utter out loud. Not until I accomplished it.

Now, in all fairness, I have gone through the self-doubt talk that can surround this, and that others might say. That it was not a super competitive triathlon, that finishing in the top doesn’t count because of X, Y, or Z. But really, at the end of the day, my numbers are my numbers. I met goals that I didn’t think were truly possible or attainable even 2 years ago – regardless of my overall ranking. Goals that I never dreamed would come to be. If I had told that girl writing this blog 5 years ago, that girl who had just finished her first triathlon, that in 5 years that same girl (or a more fit, and seasoned version of that girl) would be contending with some of the faster triathletes, that this girl would have completed two 70.3 triathlons and be on the verge of signing up for her first Ironman – I would have laughed right in my own face.

Today it hit me. I truly have accomplished a goal I secretly set out to accomplish five years ago. A goal I didn’t believe was truly attainable until it snuck up on me, and I realized the day had come and gone.

Today was for silent celebration of that goal (well, almost silent, since I am now broadcasting it to the world… but if you’re reading this blog, this is where I get to brag since it really serves as my review of my athletic journey, both past and present.)

Today was for recognition of how many things I have accomplished in the past five years. In not only my athletic endeavors, but my professional endeavors and my personal life. Not everything has been, or is, perfect. Perfection will never truly be achieved, but life is better that way.

Not everything has been easy (remember when I was calling “Uncle” earlier this year?), some things have taken more work and dedication, some heartache, and some tough days and times to achieve. And I know that moving forward, as I tackle new goals and encounter new opportunities and challenges in life that there will be ups and downs, but in the end, it will all be worth it.

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Weekly Workouts//

  • Monday – Yoga – 60 Minutes
  • Tuesday – AM– Swim 2000 – Decending 300s
  • Tuesday – PM- Run 40 Minutes – 4.6 Miles
  • Wednesday – OWS at Gillie Lake, 1:30 Bike – 25 Miles
  • Thursday – Swim 1700
  • Friday – 1:30 Ride – 28 miles with Sprints
  • Saturday – Pre-Race 40 Minute Brick with OWS, Bike and Run
  • Sunday – Gille Girl Sprint Triathlon!

Weekly Totals//

  • Swim – 1 Hour, 10 minutes – 4100 yards
  • Bike – 3 Hours – 53 Miles
  • Run – 40 minutes – 4.6 miles
  • Brick – 40 minutes – 600m swim/ 5 mile Bike/1 mile Run
  • Race – 1 hour, 20 minutes – 800m swim/ 14 mile Bike/ 3.1 mile Run
  • Total Time – 7 hours, 50 minutes

Weekly Photo Recap//

Ended last Sunday watching this on netflix… agh memories of childhood! I always wanted to play in a giant world… plus you’ve got to love the 80s gear!

20140720-203604-74164833.jpgBronco doing what he does best… keep away!
20140720-203608-74168396.jpgIt’s FINALLY here! The wetsuit I ordered before the 70.3… just in time for my race this past weekend!
20140720-203606-74166549.jpgStarting to break in the marathon sneakers… 5 Miles logged, only 100000000 more to go before the marathon (ok, kidding, but seriously, I’m going to be logging some serious miles {for me} in the next couple months)!

P.S. I love how brightly colored running shoes are these days!

20140720-203607-74167500.jpgBeverages on a rainy night. I refuse to sit inside!! On the plus side of all these storms, I got to see my 3rd rainbow in 3 nights!!

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Reading up on marathon training theory and advice. Yes, I’m a complete runerd.  20140720-203709-74229896.jpg

My friend sent me this last week. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
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Back on a kick of listening to this band.
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Yup.
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All. Week. Long. 

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During the past year, all my favorite bands (and singers) have been coming out of New Zealand, further proof that it’s a kick @$$ place! 

~~~

Ahhh, race advice from my coach. This scared and excited me for the race all at once!

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And then we had some love from my TX cousins! Miss these cuties!!  20140720-203708-74228854.jpg

Rox cracked me up this week… she is hiding under the bed until I shut the light out, in hopes of sneaking up onto the bed later in the evening… this night, her hiding skills were slacking slightly.
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A trip to Vermont for work = maple frozen yogurt. a-maz-ing!
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…don’t mind me, I’m just uhh, smelling these plants…  yea, that’s what I’m doing…

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Our T2 Kits finally arrived! (about a month late, but oh well…!)20140720-203912-74352112.jpg

Bronco post grooming on Saturday – he smelled like a petunia! (until rolling around in the dirt in the back yard… I think he was embarrassed to smell like a flower..)
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All checked in for Sunday’s event!
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Race = Blue Nail Polish.

Yay Tradition!  (5 Years running… literally…)

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Saturday afternoon’s activity: Dilly Beans.

Admittedly, still a newbie at canning, so I’m pretty sure there is a lot of room for improvement on these babies, but they’re successfully sealed!

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My favorite part about Sunday’s race?

Racing with these ladies!!  Love my triathlon friends!

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Whoop Whoop! Congrats to Erin! 2nd in her AG!!!

This girl is amazing – only her second season racing!!
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And, still in shock over my award and placement for the day! 20140720-204009-74409646.jpg

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So last week I alluded to project #2 but did not show anything for it… here it is! I found an old rusty lantern, and refinished it! While some may say it was worth more before I repainted it, I have to say I just love how it came out (and I don’t have to worry about the rust or lead paint anymore…)

Before:

IMG_9130

After:
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Unsure why, but I’m loving banana flavored things lately. Which is weird because I’m not a HUGE banana fan to start with, but… I’m rolling with it!
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Finally, this is my alarm for tomorrow. Since I missed my long run yesterday for the race, it’s now on the schedule for tomorrow. Why I thought marathon training was going to be a good idea, I do not know. I am just happy that the 4:15 alarm is at least still in the off position.

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