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Old 08-12-2009   #301 (permalink)
aņejo
 
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Good for you TJ!

Just my advice... find a 5k race about 6 weeks from now and sign up for it. Right now. Best way to guarantee you'll stick at it.
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Old 08-12-2009   #302 (permalink)
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PG - I wear very low, cotton socks I get from target. I like the ones where you can barely see them, too. they've worked well for me but was also thinking about changing up. I don't do that many miles right now (4 max in a run) so thinking maybe as I do more miles I might notice a benefit of better socks? Not sure!
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Old 08-12-2009   #303 (permalink)
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My Mini-Tri Mini-Report - AKA OMG I didn't drown!

Please sing to the Brady Bunch theme song:

Here's the story. Of a girl named Becca. Who was living with extra weight and too many cigs. About 4 years ago, she quit smoking and watched her butt grow big. When the one day when this girl realized she wasn't happy. She decided to finally make a change. She started running and doing races. And that's the way she wound up doing this tri....doing this tri....doing this tri...that's the way she wound up doing this tri!
------
Ok - so off the theme song kick but staying with some background. I quit smoking in November 2005. Other than a short relapse in May 2008 after a night of boozing with Paulo (daddy B), my hubby, and friends in Playa, I have been smoke free. Of course, I put on a bunch of weight after quitting. After experimenting with some trail running in the summer of 2008, I started getting serious about getting fit. In November of last year, I joined Weight Watchers and lost 36 pounds. In February, I joined a gym. In May, I signed up for a 5K after never having run a mile on the road in my life (I had been running trails but no road). After a successful 5K (with no walking I might add), I started doing more and more races and getting more and more serious about running. Improving with each run and each race.

Cycling I had more experience with. I started mountain biking in 1997 when my husband (then boyfriend & former mtn bike racer) convinced me that riding down single track with roots, rocks, mud, etc was a romantic thing to do. He was cute and I was smitten so I joined him on the trails. Many crashes, cuts, and swears of "damn it -wrong gear", I became a pretty decent mountain biker. Last year, I bought my first road bike and started becoming a 'roadie'.

Swimming. Well, I personally count floating in the beautiful waters of the Caribbean in front of Mamitas and down in Tulum as swimming. However, I can't say I've even come close to anything that resembled a swimming competition and my last lesson was in 1980.

Recalling all of the above yesterday as I stood on the beach ready to head into the lake for my first competitive swim/bike/run mini triathlon I should have been nervous. At least about the swim piece. However, I stood there...grinning ear to ear...soaking up the excitement and thinking - I can't believe I'm actually doing this! I'm so psyched!

The location was a beautiful, private park called Winding Trails in Farmington, CT. The swim was to be 1/4 mile (after discussing with a friend, we think it was 1/2 mile), 5 mile mountain bike, and 5K trail run.

They started us on the beach, went off in waves - the usual. I was in the first wave of the women. Great, I was hoping to be the last person in and last person out but NO, I was going to have some pretty diesel chicks chasing me down! No worries! I CAN DO THIS! I thought of PG and his zen like experience of dead silence while waiting to do the swim. I was very calm. Too calm. I think I was slipping into shock because once we started the swim, my heart rate went from 0 to 180 in about 15 seconds. HOLY $!&^! I'm going to DROWN! I'm not even 1/2 way to the first buoy and my heart is POUNDING. I try to calm myself and focus on just getting to the first buoy. That's when I heard them. The two voices in my head. The first, calm and logical. "You'll be fine. Just stay calm. Breathe in, breathe out." The other voice, hysterical and very loud. "YOU'RE GOING TO DIE! RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF ALL THESE PEOPLE! CALL THE LIFEGUARD OVER AND TELL HIM TO PULL YOU OUT OF THE RACE! Well, thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that the first voice was able to take control. I got my breathing under control and made it past the first buoy. Second wave horn sounds. OMG HERE THEY COME! No worries, I stayed to the side, a few of them passed me and 14 minutes and 52 seconds of swimming and I'm dragging myself out of the water. I DID IT! I MADE IT!

Short steps, short steps out of the water...jogging in little short steps, not long strides (I read to do this on a tri-forum). I'm out and up the beach - 1/8 mile run to transition area..on sandy, stick/rock strewn trail. That was painful but allowed me to slow down, catch my breath, bring my heart rate down.

Transition 1 & Bike - Wash feet off in my little bucket, quick dry feet, helmet on, socks & clipless shoes on, bike off rack and I'm out! The mountain bike portion was a piece of cake! I wasn't focused on time because I just wanted to pace myself to be able to do the run. Hooked up with some fast riding chicks after I passed the fast swimmers/slow riders. Ahhh...triathlons, the great equalizer! I was thanking my husband for all the years dragging me up and down some serious technical single track because this course was a breeze for me. Lots of people were struggling with the single track. I was able to pass a lot of people. I head into the transition again. PG - I did exactly what you did (pedaled my ass off right to the transition spot). Just before the dismount point, I unclipped, hit the brakes and perfectly dismounted. Even one of the marshalls said "Nice dismount" . 36 mins 15 seconds (or something like that).

Transition 2 & Run - Off bike, re-rack, change shoes, CHUG some gatorade (didn't drink at all on bike). Hear my name being screamed "GO REBECCA, GO REBECCA"! I look and one of my friends who did the Tiny Tri was yelling for me. Nice! I have fans! Hold autographs till after I run, people! The run was perfect. I felt great. I left the transition area easy because I wanted to be sure I didn't bonk too early. Even though I know I wasn't out to run my best time (again, just wanted to finish), I felt great. I passed a few people out there. Got into a good groove with a few other women. Beautiful wide trails we were running. Lots of hills (same with bike) but nothing crazy...just nice rollers. We get to the last turn and I can't believe we are almost done! I feel like I could easily run another 5K. I decide to sprint to the finish and come in for a grand total of 1:23:59. My run was 31:something. Can't remember.

PG - Thank you for writing your tri-report. The pictures and the descriptions were perfect. Spot on for helping me set an expectation of what I would see, hear, and experience.

JG - No pictures and definitely no nipple shots like PG provided. Hubby will take pictures at my sprint tri in September but I will photoshop out any nip action. LOL!

PG/JG/SENNA - and everyone else - keep sharing your experiences because your accomplishments help the newbies want to keep pushing themselves more and more! I know it makes me want to push myself! Part of the reason I was able to get through the swim was knowing I wanted to come back and tell you guys that I finished my first mini-tri. Made me push myself beyond my comfort zone - and that is something I really like to do now!

This mini-tri I did is held every Tuesday from June to August. Next week is the last one. I wish I knew about it sooner but will be doing the whole series next year. Can't wait! Next week, I run my 2.6 mile CC race on Monday, Mini-Tri on Tuesday, then the following week, I do a 5K on Thursday (last of the Xtreme Scrambles).

Looking forward to reading about your races & training so keep posting!

Sincerely,
Rebecca
Former overweight smoker
Current mini-triathlete
Future Ironwoman
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Old 08-12-2009   #304 (permalink)
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Loved the report.

Great accomplishment!! You should be proud of yourself!!

I hope one day to do a mini tri.
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Old 08-13-2009   #305 (permalink)
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Becca,

Awesome report. Purely awesome. I'd compliment you on individual parts of the report but the whole damn thing was awesome. I was smiling by the end (actually by the beginning song part - I was singing it in my head(. I know what you mean about wanting to do well so that you can come and tell some internet friends that you did it - sounds wierd but I'm in the same boat.

Awesome. Only way it could be more awesome would be to get some nipple shots. We'll work on that.

Congrats on all your progess over the past year plus. Future ironwoman? I would worship you.

JG
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Old 08-13-2009   #306 (permalink)
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Kind of a fun story to relay from this AM's run. As way of background, I weighed about 265 pounds back in 2001 when I started running, I'm down to about 210 now. I got my best friend running in 2003. The first time we ran a race together was a 10-K back in 2004. We have run a couple per year ever since, ranging from 5 milers to marathons, and I have never beaten him. Not in a race nor in any training runs. We normally run together for the first 3/4 and then he drops the hammer.

Well, this AM we decided to do four, somewhat hilly, 3-mile laps around Lake Phalen in St. Paul. I normally run at about 9:15-9:30 pace for easy long runs and slightly under a 8:15 pace if I'm racing a 10-K.

So, first lap we do 9:15 pace, second lap in 8:55 pace, third lap in 8:40 pace, and then decide to pick it up in the fourth lap. Predictably, he pulls away about a mile into the 4th lap. But, this time I stay about 50 feet behind him. Finally, with about 1/2 mile to go, I pick it up a bit and run up to his side. He looks awful. I continue my pace and ran the last 100 yards up a somewhat steep hill to our stopping point in 8:00 pace. He finishes 30 seconds later. He is ultra competitive so I know if he had it in him, he would have stuck with me.

Very much a Rocky-Apollo moment where they keep racing on the beach and Rocky finally beats Apollo (except my buddy and I did not share an awkward hug).

Not sure if/when I'll ever beat him again, but after years of looking at his backside, I must say it was a bit nice the way it turned out today.

2 weeks until my first race of the year, a very hilly 1/2 marathon.

JG
I was reading Becca's report tonight and trying to figure out how to get myself back on track. Since I posted the above - which was the pinnacle of my running season, I have got allergies for the first time in my life, I have been diagnosed with macrosytosis and other non-life threatening blood disorders, have had my chronic achilles tendinitis flare up significantly, have been to the ER for what I thought was a kidney stone but was a bad back strain, and have been to the hospital (yesterday) for a bone marrow biopsy. I feel like a serious wussy whiner.

I am ready to drop the hammer and kick some running ass.

I am running a 5K the last weekend in September, the big 10 miler in the first weekend in October, and my annual 5 miler on Thanksgiving AM. Given the recent bone marrow biopsy, when I go out on tomorrow's run I will probably have to do 1/2 mile run and 1/2 mile walk intervals to make sure I don't start bleeding internally. Hardly where I wanted to be at this point in the training season. So, I'm not sure if the 10 miler is going to be a very speedy race for me, I may have to simply build miles through that race without focusing on speed work and then kick it down for the Thanksgiving 5 miler.

I told TG that next year I am doing 5 marathons as I am more healthy when running them (seems like my body refuses to shut down during training).

JG
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Old 08-13-2009   #307 (permalink)
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JG - First, thank you so much for sharing that story! I had no idea you had such a tremendous weight loss! Huge accomplishment and you should be extremely proud of yourself for maintaining that loss!

Don't feel like a whiner. Sucks getting older because it seems everytime we get up in the morning something else breaks! The other day, I went to the doctor because I had this weird fluttering with my heart. I was freaking out! Not because I was afraid of a heart condition but I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do my tri! Turned out to be PVC, also referred to as a skipped beat and it is nothing to worry about.

The bone marrow biopsy sounds a bit unnerving. I won't ask you to share any details because it's the internet and it can be weird to have to discuss stuff like that with people you don't know! Especially freaks who are into PDC and Running! Just know that I will be keeping my fingers crossed (but not my toes because I can't run with crossed toes) that everythign with your tests go OK.

Also, I agree with your philosophy about training and feeling healthy when you train and unhealthy when you don't!

Finally, glad I made you smile during my trip report!

Peace out!
Becca
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Old 08-13-2009   #308 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by u2girlie View Post
PG - Thank you for writing your tri-report. The pictures and the descriptions were perfect. Spot on for helping me set an expectation of what I would see, hear, and experience.

PG/JG/SENNA - and everyone else - keep sharing your experiences because your accomplishments help the newbies want to keep pushing themselves more and more! I know it makes me want to push myself! Part of the reason I was able to get through the swim was knowing I wanted to come back and tell you guys that I finished my first mini-tri. Made me push myself beyond my comfort zone - and that is something I really like to do now!
Amazing report Becca! I was smiling through the whole thing! and I'm very happy to hear that you didn't drown

I'm glad my report was able to help you (I need to watch my back though; sounds like you're going to kill your next one). I'm with you and JG in the boat of wanting to do well so you can share your experience.

Do you still find yourself picking apart each part of the race, figuring out where you can shave time?

Your comment about your heart rate exploding right away in the swim really got me though, as that is exactly what happens to me. Everyone else I know has the same issue. We all attribute it to the adrenaline of hitting the water and stressing about everyone around you. Open water swimming is definitely something that needs to be practiced in addition to just swimming in the pool (did you notice the difference??). Personally, I'm pretty sure I don't float as well in open water. I sink like a rock in general, but because you have to lift your head higher to breath over the waves, I totally lose any plane I had in the water and end up swimming with my feet much lower than my body, which makes me spend more energy trying to stay above water, rather than spending it moving forward.
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Old 08-13-2009   #309 (permalink)
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Don't feel like a whiner. Sucks getting older because it seems everytime we get up in the morning something else breaks! The other day, I went to the doctor because I had this weird fluttering with my heart. I was freaking out! Not because I was afraid of a heart condition but I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do my tri! Turned out to be PVC, also referred to as a skipped beat and it is nothing to worry about.
I, too, have a heart flutter. Mine is PSVT. I'll occasionally get a ventricular HR of over 200, but it only comes around once or twice a year for a week or so at a time, usually when I'm stressed or haven't worked out in a while. Like yours, nothing to worry about unless it stays constant.

My cardiologist a couple years ago, when I was first checked out for it, was convinced I was taking cocaine, as it's a common side-effect of users. After a month of hounding me, and royally pissing my mother off by asking her to snoop through my stuff, I submitted to two separate drug tests to prove him wrong. Shut him up pretty quick
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Old 08-13-2009   #310 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by January Guy View Post
I was reading Becca's report tonight and trying to figure out how to get myself back on track. Since I posted the above - which was the pinnacle of my running season, I have got allergies for the first time in my life, I have been diagnosed with macrosytosis and other non-life threatening blood disorders, have had my chronic achilles tendinitis flare up significantly, have been to the ER for what I thought was a kidney stone but was a bad back strain, and have been to the hospital (yesterday) for a bone marrow biopsy. I feel like a serious wussy whiner.

I am ready to drop the hammer and kick some running ass.

I am running a 5K the last weekend in September, the big 10 miler in the first weekend in October, and my annual 5 miler on Thanksgiving AM. Given the recent bone marrow biopsy, when I go out on tomorrow's run I will probably have to do 1/2 mile run and 1/2 mile walk intervals to make sure I don't start bleeding internally. Hardly where I wanted to be at this point in the training season. So, I'm not sure if the 10 miler is going to be a very speedy race for me, I may have to simply build miles through that race without focusing on speed work and then kick it down for the Thanksgiving 5 miler.

I told TG that next year I am doing 5 marathons as I am more healthy when running them (seems like my body refuses to shut down during training).

JG
JG - sorry to hear of the recent health worries. It's gotta be hard to be sidelined by things out of your control. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you as well.

But 5 marathons next year?!?!

And you call us tri-geeks crazy
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Old 08-13-2009   #311 (permalink)
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Thanks for the support Becca. Today's walk/run went fairly well, so with any luck, I can settle into some training now.

PG, the doc asked your mom to snoop through your stuff and this was just a couple years ago? Wow! It would be one thing if you were under 18, but now?!?!
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Old 08-13-2009   #312 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by u2girlie View Post
Please sing to the Brady Bunch theme song:

Here's the story. Of a girl named Becca. Who was living with extra weight and too many cigs. About 4 years ago, she quit smoking and watched her butt grow big. When the one day when this girl realized she wasn't happy. She decided to finally make a change. She started running and doing races. And that's the way she wound up doing this tri....doing this tri....doing this tri...that's the way she wound up doing this tri!
------
Ok - so off the theme song kick but staying with some background. I quit smoking in November 2005. Other than a short relapse in May 2008 after a night of boozing with Paulo (daddy B), my hubby, and friends in Playa, I have been smoke free. Of course, I put on a bunch of weight after quitting. After experimenting with some trail running in the summer of 2008, I started getting serious about getting fit. In November of last year, I joined Weight Watchers and lost 36 pounds. In February, I joined a gym. In May, I signed up for a 5K after never having run a mile on the road in my life (I had been running trails but no road). After a successful 5K (with no walking I might add), I started doing more and more races and getting more and more serious about running. Improving with each run and each race.

Cycling I had more experience with. I started mountain biking in 1997 when my husband (then boyfriend & former mtn bike racer) convinced me that riding down single track with roots, rocks, mud, etc was a romantic thing to do. He was cute and I was smitten so I joined him on the trails. Many crashes, cuts, and swears of "damn it -wrong gear", I became a pretty decent mountain biker. Last year, I bought my first road bike and started becoming a 'roadie'.

Swimming. Well, I personally count floating in the beautiful waters of the Caribbean in front of Mamitas and down in Tulum as swimming. However, I can't say I've even come close to anything that resembled a swimming competition and my last lesson was in 1980.

Recalling all of the above yesterday as I stood on the beach ready to head into the lake for my first competitive swim/bike/run mini triathlon I should have been nervous. At least about the swim piece. However, I stood there...grinning ear to ear...soaking up the excitement and thinking - I can't believe I'm actually doing this! I'm so psyched!

The location was a beautiful, private park called Winding Trails in Farmington, CT. The swim was to be 1/4 mile (after discussing with a friend, we think it was 1/2 mile), 5 mile mountain bike, and 5K trail run.

They started us on the beach, went off in waves - the usual. I was in the first wave of the women. Great, I was hoping to be the last person in and last person out but NO, I was going to have some pretty diesel chicks chasing me down! No worries! I CAN DO THIS! I thought of PG and his zen like experience of dead silence while waiting to do the swim. I was very calm. Too calm. I think I was slipping into shock because once we started the swim, my heart rate went from 0 to 180 in about 15 seconds. HOLY $!&^! I'm going to DROWN! I'm not even 1/2 way to the first buoy and my heart is POUNDING. I try to calm myself and focus on just getting to the first buoy. That's when I heard them. The two voices in my head. The first, calm and logical. "You'll be fine. Just stay calm. Breathe in, breathe out." The other voice, hysterical and very loud. "YOU'RE GOING TO DIE! RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF ALL THESE PEOPLE! CALL THE LIFEGUARD OVER AND TELL HIM TO PULL YOU OUT OF THE RACE! Well, thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that the first voice was able to take control. I got my breathing under control and made it past the first buoy. Second wave horn sounds. OMG HERE THEY COME! No worries, I stayed to the side, a few of them passed me and 14 minutes and 52 seconds of swimming and I'm dragging myself out of the water. I DID IT! I MADE IT!

Short steps, short steps out of the water...jogging in little short steps, not long strides (I read to do this on a tri-forum). I'm out and up the beach - 1/8 mile run to transition area..on sandy, stick/rock strewn trail. That was painful but allowed me to slow down, catch my breath, bring my heart rate down.

Transition 1 & Bike - Wash feet off in my little bucket, quick dry feet, helmet on, socks & clipless shoes on, bike off rack and I'm out! The mountain bike portion was a piece of cake! I wasn't focused on time because I just wanted to pace myself to be able to do the run. Hooked up with some fast riding chicks after I passed the fast swimmers/slow riders. Ahhh...triathlons, the great equalizer! I was thanking my husband for all the years dragging me up and down some serious technical single track because this course was a breeze for me. Lots of people were struggling with the single track. I was able to pass a lot of people. I head into the transition again. PG - I did exactly what you did (pedaled my ass off right to the transition spot). Just before the dismount point, I unclipped, hit the brakes and perfectly dismounted. Even one of the marshalls said "Nice dismount" . 36 mins 15 seconds (or something like that).

Transition 2 & Run - Off bike, re-rack, change shoes, CHUG some gatorade (didn't drink at all on bike). Hear my name being screamed "GO REBECCA, GO REBECCA"! I look and one of my friends who did the Tiny Tri was yelling for me. Nice! I have fans! Hold autographs till after I run, people! The run was perfect. I felt great. I left the transition area easy because I wanted to be sure I didn't bonk too early. Even though I know I wasn't out to run my best time (again, just wanted to finish), I felt great. I passed a few people out there. Got into a good groove with a few other women. Beautiful wide trails we were running. Lots of hills (same with bike) but nothing crazy...just nice rollers. We get to the last turn and I can't believe we are almost done! I feel like I could easily run another 5K. I decide to sprint to the finish and come in for a grand total of 1:23:59. My run was 31:something. Can't remember.

PG - Thank you for writing your tri-report. The pictures and the descriptions were perfect. Spot on for helping me set an expectation of what I would see, hear, and experience.

JG - No pictures and definitely no nipple shots like PG provided. Hubby will take pictures at my sprint tri in September but I will photoshop out any nip action. LOL!

PG/JG/SENNA - and everyone else - keep sharing your experiences because your accomplishments help the newbies want to keep pushing themselves more and more! I know it makes me want to push myself! Part of the reason I was able to get through the swim was knowing I wanted to come back and tell you guys that I finished my first mini-tri. Made me push myself beyond my comfort zone - and that is something I really like to do now!

This mini-tri I did is held every Tuesday from June to August. Next week is the last one. I wish I knew about it sooner but will be doing the whole series next year. Can't wait! Next week, I run my 2.6 mile CC race on Monday, Mini-Tri on Tuesday, then the following week, I do a 5K on Thursday (last of the Xtreme Scrambles).

Looking forward to reading about your races & training so keep posting!

Sincerely,
Rebecca
Former overweight smoker
Current mini-triathlete
Future Ironwoman
How fantastic! I love all of the little details of this report, Becca. Thanks for including all of the back story too. I just quit smoking myself two months ago and am trying to get back into shape. This is an inspiration!
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Old 08-13-2009   #313 (permalink)
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PG, the doc asked your mom to snoop through your stuff and this was just a couple years ago? Wow! It would be one thing if you were under 18, but now?!?!
Sorry, I meant a several years ago...right before my freshman year of college/hockey.

I was still living at home during the summers, and had my wisdom teeth pulled a few weeks before heading back to campus. Before putting me under, they hooked me up to the ECG and the alarm kept going off. The nurse came in, checked the strip, then called in the doctor, who sent me home for more tests. Went to the cardiologist, wore a Holter for a week, and was diagnosed a couple weeks later. Because I was 18, my mother couldn't order the tests on me, but she came to all my cardio appts. The doc had a couple personal meetings with her out in the hallway "out of his best interest for me," and she subsequently got super pissed at him. I finally just told him to test me to put it out of his mind, and he did...twice.
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Old 08-13-2009   #314 (permalink)
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Mellidee -- My motto when I quit smoking was 'JUST FREAKING DO IT'. Nike definitely has it right with their ad campaign. Just do it has been my mantra for everything since then!
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Old 08-13-2009   #315 (permalink)
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Do you still find yourself picking apart each part of the race, figuring out where you can shave time?

Your comment about your heart rate exploding right away in the swim really got me though, as that is exactly what happens to me. Everyone else I know has the same issue. We all attribute it to the adrenaline of hitting the water and stressing about everyone around you. Open water swimming is definitely something that needs to be practiced in addition to just swimming in the pool (did you notice the difference??). Personally, I'm pretty sure I don't float as well in open water. I sink like a rock in general, but because you have to lift your head higher to breath over the waves, I totally lose any plane I had in the water and end up swimming with my feet much lower than my body, which makes me spend more energy trying to stay above water, rather than spending it moving forward.
PG:
Yes, I am absolutely thinking about ways to shave time. I know I will have better transitions and bike/run times. Not sure about swim.

Yes, I completely noticed the difference between pool and open water. I can't imagine trying to do the same distance in the ocean - lake waves were hard enough to deal with!

I was in the same boat (the sinking one) with my feet being much lower than my body and I felt like I definitely was sinking. Maybe that's the reason for the panic.

I'm interested to see how I finally approach the swim next week. Sometimes knowing what to expect or knowing what can happen makes the second time around even more challenging. Ignorance was bliss when I started my swim last week. I am no longer ignorant to what I will experience so wondering if I will be more nervous. Can't wait to find out!

My transitions were halfway decent. I didn't have transition times so T1 was lumped into my bike time and T2 was lumped into my run. I really want to try to use my watch (correctly) next week to get my T times.

The course maps were published for my September tri. When I saw the swim map, I realized the one I did tuesday was only a 1/4 mile and the one on September 13th is twice the length. Oh well, I guess that means 28 minutes in the water instead of 14!

Have a call into a swim instructor at my gym. I feel like if I can have her evaluate my crawl and give me some pointers, it would go a long way. I'm going to take private lessons with her (if not her then with someone else). I really want to improve my swimming so at least I can crawl the whole way.

JG - Been meaning to tell you...I was thinking about the ailments you've been suffering from (achilles, etc) and maybe you should think about starting to ride a bike. Not trying to convert you over to the dark side but cycling is a great way to get some serious endurance training but is low impact. Just a thought!
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