and eat!

Category Archives: Triathlon

Tomorrow!  I guess this 1/2 IM aquabike thing is really going to happen.  June 17th had to come around sometime, after all.  Am I ready?  Eh.  We’ll see.  Shady and I are going to see the Wonder Woman movie today – maybe I can channel WW’s awesomeness during the race.  After race reward planned?  You bet!  We’re going to see Dead & Co. Sunday night.

Patriot packet

Wish me luck (I’ll just wish myself luck, since I don’t think anybody reads this anyway)!


In the throes of an endorphin-filled haze, I signed up for an event. Not just any event, but one of the bigger, more competitive races in my area:  The Patriot Half IM.  I’m not completely crazy – I’m doing the aquabike (since I don’t really run), but still:  1.2-mile swim + 56-mile bike is pretty ambitious for me!  If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you may recall that I run hot and cold about racing. Usually cold, unless it’s a swim-only event.

So how did this crazy lapse in judgement occur?  COMPUTRAINER!  Evil.  Painful.  And that glorious feeling of being capable of doing anything when the session was over.  That feeling apparently lasted until I got home and whipped out my credit card to register.  That was in mid-December.  The race has been on my mind ever since.  Now it’s a month away.  Yikes!  Am I ready?  We’ll see!

So what else is new?  In addition to the tried and true swim/bike/(hobble)run, I’m trying to do more regular weight-training.  It’s not as bad as I feared! I had a few sessions with a personal trainer (LOVE my trainer!), and I take some circuit-training type gym classes.  It’s really helpful having someone tell me what to do.

Swim:  My usual pool routine, but now that it’s (finally) getting warmer, I’ll be wriggling into my wetsuit (and 2 caps, and booties – it’s not THAT warm yet) and heading out to Walden Pond and Mystic Lake for some OWS.

Bike:  Ramping up mileage so the 56-mile Patriot course won’t completely destroy me (it WILL destroy me, but I’ll pretend it won’t for the sake of saving face).  I’m riding with my friends again!  It’s wonderful to be outside rather than stuck in spin class.  Computrainer is a whole ‘nother beast from spin.  I went to quite a few computrainer classes at Grace Bicycles over the winter, and I’m pretty sure my masochism has paid off in at least a little extra speed.  That’s the hope, anyway.

Read:  I read everything by Anita Shreve and Jodi Picoult, and lucky me, they both came out with new books recently.  The Stars are Fire, by Anita Shreve, and Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult.  Both are really good. I’m not going to give anything away.  Get them.  Read them. I also read a lot of crap, which I definitely won’t recommend.

Happy Spring!  Happy Training!

 

 


I’m done swimming outside, and my long bike rides are coming to an end with the colder weather, so I’m back at the gym, checking out Harvard’s group ex classes.  Every year I tell myself I’m going to step outside of my comfort zone (at least once) and try a new gym class. So far I’ve tried 5 new ones!  And I will probably continue attending 2 of them.

Balletone!  No.  I flunked out of ballet once already (ok, I was 5, but still).  At least there were some moves that could be called exercise as opposed to only floaty graceful arm movements.  Requires more choreography than I care for.

Zumba! No.  I guess I can see the appeal, but by the time I figured out the moves, the class was over and I didn’t even raise my heart rate or  sweat.  Actually I never did figure out the moves, and I felt more  uncoordinated than usual.  I’ll stick to straight forward exercise, thanks.  No need to sugarcoat it for me.  I do love to dance, but the deadhead in me doesn’t do well with specific moves  or being told what to do.  Maybe that  says more about my problem with authority? 😉

Aqua Fitness! Fun, but unlikely to do again.  If I’m in the water, I’d rather be swimming laps.  I can see doing it in a pinch, though, or with a group of friends.

HIIT Cardio!  Yes!  Clear, obvious exercise.

Barre!  Yes! I was a little worried that it would be too much like ballet, but the class seems to cull the exercise part  from the dancing part.  I can work with that.  Lots of small movements that really focus on specific muscles.

What’s your favorite class?  What should I keep an eye out for and try next?

And in eating news…  my mom and I made cookies when I visited recently.  They’re safe and secure in the freezer so they won’t disappear before Thanksgiving.

 


a SwimOutlet delivery of goggles makes you do the happy dance

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I just bought 6, count ’em 6! new pairs of goggles!

I was in a rut with my TYR Nest Pros.  We’ve been together for years, various colors, clear, tinted.  They’re fine and all, a good go-to goggle, but the excitement was gone.  I’m ready to move on. I want to experience, I don’t know, something different.  I want more.  I want polarized goggles for OW swimming, I want lower profile ones for pool racing (not that I’ve raced in a while, but still), I want to try ZOGGS.  Life is short, goggle lines get old, and there are so many options!

Breaking up/change is hard, and who knows if I’ll find anything better, but there’s no harm in trying.

6-goggles

 

Do you have favorite goggles?  What works for you?

Reviews of the 5 new-to-me styles to follow in the next month or so.

 


Do I even want to learn new tricks?  I’ve toyed with the idea of swim lessons off  and on  (mostly off), and  although I know they can  be helpful, I wonder if it’s worth it.  Lessons are  an investment – both time and money – and there’s that  annoying  part where you change something and feel slower and less comfortable for a while… Do I want to go through that?  I wouldn’t mind being faster (duh).  I wouldn’t mind avoiding shoulder pain (now THERE’S a concept!).

Enter Winning Swimming.  I got a coupon for a “swim test” and figured I’d  check it out.  A couple of women on my tri team have gone to Coach Caron and report that  she was helpful.  What did I have to lose?  I was curious:  what would she say?  I’ve been swimming since I was 4.  That’s not to say that I know everything about swimming, more like my stroke is pretty well ingrained by now and it would  be hard to change!

What’s it be like to swim in an endless pool?  I’ve never tried one and was intrigued.  I’d have to drive about an hour to Merrimack, NH – land of the outlet mall! –  so I figured if it was a bust, at least there was an opportunity for  post swim-test-trauma retail therapy! (I’m not a big shopper, but we did  need to replace a pyrex…).  I decided to take the plunge (that was bad.  Sorry).

I contacted Coach Caron about how to get started.  The first step was  to fill out some paperwork and take the “swim test” – what the coupon I got referred to.  I made an appointment.  Road Trip!  My husband and I drove up to look at the facility, talk about my goals, and try out the pool.  Coach Caron had me swim so she could see what she was working with and determine how best to align her coaching skills with my swimming ability and goals.  My husband got to hang around  and take pictures – thanks, Shady!

The facility is a converted garage with an endless pool taking up roughly half  of the space. Up a few stairs is the bathroom/shower/changing and waiting area.  It was  nice and warm.  That’s one thing that was different from swim lessons in a pool – I always get  cold at clinics and lessons.  Not a problem at Winning Swimming.

DSCN2088 DSCN2091As I mentioned, I’ve never tried swimming in an endless pool.  I told Coach Caron my 100 yd pace, she got the jets going, and I entered the current. Whoa, wild!  She played around with the speed until it was about right. I was kind of  stressed out at first thinking I had to keep up, but was eventually able to relax (a little) into my swim.  I expect I’ll be better at getting into  my usual rhythm  when I do it again.

The pool setup:  There’s  a mirror on the bottom of the pool  so the swimmer can see their  body position and hand entry (totally cool), and there are 4 camera  views  projected  onto the wall so Coach Caron  can watch what the swimmer is doing from various angles.  DSCN2098

Video analysis is offered (see “improve your swim” on the website for the full range of services).

The upshot?  Coach Caron really listens.  She wants to know your swim goals and will work with you to achieve them – not only freestyle; she can help with the other strokes, too.  I only had the short swim test, but I feel  really comfortable that she can  offer some technique tips to help with my goal of swimming longer distance events  without destroying myself (and maybe even go faster!).  She already suggested a few  things that I’m trying to incorporate into my stroke.  I  plan  to see how the next month or so goes, and then schedule a more in-depth lesson.

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we traded caps!

Oh, and although there was no swim test* trauma, we succumbed to the call of the outlets and bought a new pyrex (among other things) on our way home!

[*silly me, it was a “test swim” not a “swim test”!]


Actually, I’d spread SwimVacation love even without swag, but I’m not going to pass up a cool t-shirt!

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Working the Team EnVision booth, promoting TE and SwimVacation

Hopper, the owner of SwimVacation sent out an email asking for “ambassadors” to wear SV gear, pass out SV caps, and basically talk about the awesomeness of SwimVacation while at swim-related events.  It just so happened that I was due to represent my tri team at the yearly expo, Tri-Mania Boston, around the time his email went out.  Score!  I could do double-duty while working my hour at the Team EnVision booth.

So…  if you have any interest in swimming in amazing places, check out SwimVacation.  The trips are small, so every swimmer can swim as much or as little as s/he wants. Sign up for a trip you won’t forget or regret.  My husband and I went to the British Virgin Islands, but there are also trips to Hawaii and Turkey (new in 2016).

Every trip has it’s own feel depending on the makeup of the group, of course, but you can look at the SwimVacation Blogs to see what generally happens on a week in swimming paradise.

Next opportunity to pass out caps?  Hmm, there are some 5k swims I might do this summer.  That’s just the population I need.

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SwimVacation!


Sprint triathlon on Saturday, 2-mile swim race on Sunday?  Sure!

A couple months ago I started thinking that maybe it was time to do another triathlon.  SPRINT triathlon, that is, nothing too crazy.  Heck, it had been a couple years since I did the whole 3-event thing on my own.  Last year I stayed Escape the Cape 2015in my swimming rut and only did relays.  In, out, done, hang out and cheer.  I really like swimming on tri relays!

What changed?  Why now?  Well, I AM on a tri team after all… I guess I decided a tri was possible since I started running again a few months ago.  Not much and not fast, but enough to make it through a 5k.  How bad could it be?  As I often tell people who balk at running, you can always walk if necessary!  Would I walk?  No (although it probably looks  like I’m  walking and not running sometimes), but it’s nice to know the option exists.

The tri:  Escape the Cape put on by Max Performance on June 13th.  LOVE Max Performance races.  Really well run.  This one took place  in Onset Beach, MA, right at the beginning  of Cape Cod.  Point-to-point 1/3 mile swim, 10 mile bike, 5k run.  Other than a short hill on the run, both the bike and run courses were  flat, flat, flat.  It was a little windy this year, but not too bad (oh right, blame the wind).

I did this race 3 years ago so I could compare that race to this one.  I expected to be a little slower, and I was, but only by about 2 minutes.  I can live with that.

The swim:  The next day was sunny and beautiful.  I signed up to do a  2-mile race at Lake Terramuggus in Marlboroughduck buoy, CT.  I swam  this event last year without a wetsuit, but it was a month earlier this time around, so I decided to wear my shorty.  I was kind of sick – or maybe it was allergies – and just wanted to cruise the course as a recovery swim from the tri the day before.  Best laid plans… First loop, nice and smooth and strong, passing people here and there.  And then.  AND THEN!  I noticed I was pretty even with another woman for most of the first loop.  Well!  That just wouldn’t do.  So much for not racing, I HAD to stay ahead of her.  Damn competitive tendencies!  Granted I was wearing a wetsuit, and who knows if the course was exactly the same, but I was about 7 minutes faster this year!  Where did that come from?!

So what’s next?  I’m thinking of doing another swim event next month – Pig Iron Swim  in Vernon, CT.  Maybe more than just the 2-miler.  We’ll see.  And there are a couple bike rides coming up – the Rapha Women’s 100, and a century in the Fall, so I need to start doing longer rides.  Sounds like a fun summer to me.  Happy Solstice!



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