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Race Report- Grandman Triathlon

18 Oct

Well, this race report is super late but I feel the need to post this as I close out my triathlon season. Part of the reason this is so late is triathlon training was taking over my spare time. Trying to excel at 3 sports at once all while working full time and taking care of a family did not leave much room for anything else ūüôā This triathlon was actually back in June… I had another tri coming up October 5th, but it was canceled due to the threat of Hurricane Kathy.

Reading through my report, which I actually wrote right after the race, my competitiveness sure shows through. I was pretty disappointed with my performance, and there definitely is room to improve, and I may not have been the youngest, or the fastest, or the slimmest,; BUT I did a triathlon at 47 and it was hard!!! and I did it!! So, YEA me!!!

Currently, fitness wise, after taking the last few weeks off,  I plan to keep up my running but I am ready to move back into some strength training in addition. I have a great program lined up and will have a post up about it soon (I promise)

Race Report- Grandman Triathlon

Fairhope, Alabama
United States
Grandman Triathlon
85F / 29C
Total Time = 2h 14m 49s
Overall Rank = 511/557
Age Group = First Timer
Age Group Rank = 19/28

Pre-race routine:

Got up @ 4am (VERY excited to race) had some coffee at hotel and ate breakfast (quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro, avocado) got dressed and headed out the door.

race 002      race 001

Event warmup:

After setting up my transition area I walked in and out of transition & to the swim exit & then walked about a mile to warm up. There were ‘real’ bathrooms at the pier in addition to porta potties (ewwww!) so I made sure to visit several times and avoided the PP¬†(probably reason enough to do this race again) Met a lot of really nice people, mostly first timers like me, but a few seasoned ones were really nice about answering any questions we had.

The Swim

14m 44s     587 yards      2m 31s 100 yards

WOW. The swim was WAY more physically challenging than i expected it to be. That being said, before the tri I was very nervous about doing the swim, race day, not nervous at all- surprised me. My husband said I did best in the swim (of SBR) and I did not believe him , but as usual he was right. The swim was HARD Рas in challenging to do it right, no crowding or kicking

What would I do differently?: Practice WAY more and do some drills and work on my kick to improve.
00:14:44 | 587 yards | 02m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 15/28
Overall: 446/557
Performance: Average
Course: jump feet first off pier finger swim out about 200 yards and then in at a diagonal
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Below average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good

Transition 1   2m 50s

Took some extra time getting my helmet on because it was too tight, took about a minute of fumbling to get it right. I did not sit on bucket. I did not even rinse feet or dry them – I was ready to get on with it.

What would you I differently?: Make sure my helmet is loosened to fit right on before race.
race 003 race bike

The Bike    1h 15m 6s         18 miles         14.35 m/hr

The good- I loved the bike, it is my favorite of the 3 sports. It felt very easy even with hills and I felt very physically prepared, I felt like I could have easily gone further. I passed several people. I was pretty happy with my time/pace, but not my rank.

I did feel slightly nauseated on the ride- I had some dates I wish I had ate one or two before the run but did not. I also did not drink enough on the bike, I just did not want to slow down to do it,

Biggest problem: I dropped my chain on he bike hill coming out of T1. II was in 2ed and needed to go into first, just as I was about to do this 4 or 5 friends who had arrived to cheer me on called out and I lost focus (totally my fault, not theirs!!). I stood up (steep hill) and shifted and the chain locked up. It was stuck between the big first and second gear. By stuck as in I could not pull it out. I worked and worked and finally with some blood (literally) sweat and tears (not literally) got it. It cost me about 5 minutes :-(

What would I do differently?: Take my bike in for a check up before race!!!  Keep my focus on my race and not friends!! Get clipless pedals!!!  Drink more on bike.
01:15:06 | 18 miles | 14.35 mile/hr
Age Group: 21/28
Overall: 516/557
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: some hills but nothing too challenging except a huge hill coming out of transition
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough

Transition 2    1m 33s

I was happy with this. Biggest thing that slowed me down was I stopped to blow my nose on towel. Ewwww I know but very necessary

What would I do differently?  Learn to blow a snot rocket :/   Also, I put on an extra shirt before run- would not do this again, I was too hot and took time.

Run    40m 37s      3.1 miles    13m 7s  min/mile

VERY disappointed. I walked at least a mile.  My cheering section was there at the big hill again and being one that does not necessarily learn from my mistakes the first time, at their cheering I semi sprinted up the big hill. Stupid. My heart rate went way up and I used up the last of my aerobic capacity. SO I walked the next mile off and on as my lungs tried to recover.

l I was pretty spent after the swim and bike. I did not expect to walk any of this and was not happy about it. It made me realize I was not as well trained for this race/sport as I though I was.

What would I do differently?: train more, train harder, follow a training plan more consistently. BLOCK OUT ALL DISTRACTIONS during race!!!
00:40:37 | 03.1 miles | 13m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 20/28
Overall: 496/557
Performance: Below average
Course: HUGH hill right out of transition, the rest fairly level
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough

race   race 004

Post Race

Warm down: I really felt like I was going to pass out after race. They handed me a PowerAid at the finish but I hate PA so did not drink it. I tried to speak to all my friends who showed up (a 2 + hour ride each way- did I mention how blessed I am??) .

I knew I needed some carbs or something quick. I found some pizza and ate a piece (no worrying about gluten for the moment) and a small ice cream someone handed me. I felt REALLY bad. My lungs were killing me.I could not get a deep breath. I am not sure if this is something respiratory I had coming on or from the event but I was ready to go, (I had just exerted myself beyond my aerobic capacity. Physically I was ready for this race but I had not build up my aerobic capacity enough yet) I felt completely spent. This sounds a little more dramatic than it was, no one really knew I felt bad except maybe my husband.

What limited my ability to perform faster:¬†Under-trained and not as fit as I need to be. I know everyone has said ‘first race, just make finishing your goal’, but I really would like to have done better. I felt under-trained on the swim and run. Actually, After having a day to think about it -my pace was not too great on the bike so more training there too!¬†10-15 lbs of extra weight- it will be coming off!

I heard someone say last week Anything worth doing is worth doing right and if I am going to pursue this sport I want to do it right- or at least to the best of MY potential.

Event comments: I will say the race was VERY well organized and there were a ton of volunteers. Course was VERY well marked. My son and several of my friends want to do race with me next year.


5 Sep

Swim. Bike. Run.

They say variety adds spice to life and I believe it. I like change.

Carido IS so¬†important¬†for our health, but honestly, I get so board with the same old, same old. When I think of hours of walking/running on a treadmill to nowhere, stationary bikes…Kill me, now please! Dancy Zoomba, I will admit looks fun, but it’s just not for me. I like intervals, but I also like the idea of a brand new¬†challenge- something I have never tried before.

I am doing a health program where I was given the assignment to set up some new physical goals that would¬†challenge¬†me. So, when I was reading my¬†favorite blog for¬†hair styling¬†tips¬†and I rand across¬†her¬†article, ‘Why you should try a Tri!’¬†¬†a light bulb went off and I thought, Why not?!?

Did the fact that had not been running regularly in the last year detour me? What about the fact that I did not own a bike? Or had not ridden one in the last 20+ years? Or the fact that I do not really have anywhere to practice swimming? Or that I am edging (edging, not there yet) toward 50?

I told you, I like a¬†challenge. And trying new things. I’m in!!!

So, I am still in the planning stages. I want to try a Sprint Tri first. A Sprint Tri is swimming 1/4 mile, biking 10-12 miles and running 2-3 miles. ¬†Maybe in August??? We’ll see.

Depending on how that goes I may do:  An IRONMAN (The Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile (3.9 km) swim, 112 mile (180 km) bike and 26.2 mile (42.2 km) marathon run!)  DREAM BIG!! Whoop!!

run2Run:¬†My plan (for now) is to run a 5k this spring and maybe a half marathon¬†before¬†the summer is over, we’ll see. I did 3 miles yesterday, ran 1 1/2 without stopping. It felt great. I need some decent running shorts if I am going to be doing longer distances.¬†Preferably semi modest ones that do not ride up my inner thighs. I am not sure what to get if anyone reads this and has a suggestion please comment and let me know.


bike (2)Bike:¬†I want to get a bike by my 47th (Yes you read that right, 47 baby! Age is just a number!!) birthday in April. Lots of choices to make there, new things to learn and read about. I’m thinking road bike. I’m¬†drooling¬†over several Fuji’s but¬†realistically¬†until¬†I see if biking is¬†something¬†I truly enjoy I’m keeping my¬†budget¬†rather low. Everything I read says find a local bike shop. There seem to be a LOT of expensive accessories that you NEED to bike…(helmet, better saddle, padded shorts, upgraded pedals¬†& water bottle holders & a lock of course). I love the blog¬†Nerd Fitness and read a great article on¬†beginning¬†Biking HERE.¬†¬†I plan to talk to a few bikers (bicycle-ers??) I know first. I wish I knew a woman who biked personally instead of just men because I have a few questions…

swimSwim:¬†I live in a fairly small town. There is no lake or pool I could do laps in- in my town. However, I live about 1 1/2 hours from the beach and ¬†most of the¬†nearby¬†triathlons I glanced at seemed to use open water. My MIL has a pool and lives right up the road, it is smallish and round but I am thinking if there is some device (I could rig a device- ever heard, Where there is a will there is a way??? I have will!!!) that would hold my legs I could¬†defiantly¬†find a way to get some arm workouts in. There is a YMCA about 30 miles away, I am thinking after summer I may join and go once a week to practice laps. I plan to practice in the open water some this summer too. I do not like the idea of spending so much time in¬†chlorine. I need to find some decent¬†goggles, a sporty one peace and maybe a bathing cap and I should be good to go there ūüôā Of course, I really know NOTHING about swimming as a sport so I will be¬†researching, researching,¬†researching¬†before¬†I¬†actually¬†start practicing. Hey its January, I have time if my swimming is going to be outside ūüôā


This is my mental picture of me at the finish (only a female me of course):

This will probably be reality: tri-finish-2


Either way- I bet it will be fun!!! And I will be healthier for doing it!

So I am doing a ton of research and I will keep you updated with what I learn.


My new hero and inspiration:


I was Googling age limits of people who did triathlon to see if I was too old to even attempt this since I do not know anyone in real life who does them and I found Sister Madonna. Check her out- 82 and still doing Ironman!!! Awesomeness!!!

My First 5K!!!

5 Sep

Earlier this year I FINALLY met one of my goals and ran a 5K!

I ran The Azalea trail Run, aka ATR, in Mobile Alabama

I did it!!!!! It was awesome! My humble beginnings!! Whoop!! Whoop!!

I had a GREAT time at the race- the run was absolutely beautiful. There had been an 80% chance of thunderstorms expected, but not a drop fell on us until we were almost home.

4589 atr

I was # 4589. I ran the 5K in 32:56 which made me 16 out of 106 woman in my age group!  I really wanted to run it in under 30 minutes, but it was not to be. I sprinted the last bit and felt great when I crossed the finish line, it was my favorite part!!

ATR1mel and nate

A huge¬†bonus was my youngest son ran with me, well he went to the¬†race with me, we did not actually ‘run’ together. He ran the 5K in 22:08 to come in #6 in his division!!! 46th out of almost 2000 racers!!!! He had never even purposely ran 3 miles before this race, he is a sprinter. ¬†He plays football, basketball & runs the 1600 in track. He enjoyed the race and wants to do more. He was slightly humiliated by the fact that I asked a random stranger to snap our picture, Haha, can you tell? I have been trying to stand next to him only when wearing 4 inch heals, I guess I can quit denying that he is taller than me now.

All and all it was a great day made even more special since I got to run the race with my son!!!

Here are the front and back of Nathan’s metal from the race!!

ATR metal1ATR metal2

For the future: One of my goals for this year (2013) is to run a 5K in under 30 minute. ¬†I plan to run the 10K in this race next . I would love to do a triathlon with all three of my sons in the next year ūüôā

Training Dayz

5 Sep

The count down begins!!

One month until my Sprint Triathlon, The Grandman. I am VERY excited but also SCARED to death!!

My Training so far:

The Swim

I am¬†gaining¬†more and more confidence in my swim, but worried about the MASS¬†swim. I am fairly competitive, but have no desire to be kicked in the face. I wanted to start swimming 3 times a week instead of 2 this week but the pool is 30+miles away, and¬†does not open until 6:30 am so for several¬†reasons¬†(TIME) 30 minutes is my limit for now. There are no coaches, lessons or masters programs in the area but I have been watching a lot of¬†videos on the Swimsmooth site¬†to try and improve my stroke. I hope to do an open water¬†practice¬†at the race site in a few weeks. The race swim is 1/3 mile. Also we jump off of¬†swim starta side pier off a HUGE pier WAY out in the water which I know swim wise will be easier than¬†wading¬†out BUT I KNOW what HUGE fish¬†(sharks) are out there!!!! I’m trying to think of it as motivation to swim fast!!

The Bike

I love the bike- it is my favorite of the three sports. I did a great 20 mile ride last Saturday. The bike portion of the race is 18 miles. I am not sure how hilly the course is except there is a huge one coming out of T1 and T2. Anyway, my practice ride is VERY bikehilly. Funny I never noticed how hilly it was here until I started biking and running. I do not have clipless pedals and wont be able to get them until after this race. I have also been practicing on the spin bike at the gym since I cant swim until 6:30. It is VERY boring BUT i have been doing intervals for 30 minutes and I can see improvement every weekend on my long ride.

The Run

I love the ‘idea’ of being a runner. Thenrunnner¬†I actually run. The first mile¬†my legs are tight and heavy and I am struggling to breathe and seriously questing why I EVER signed up to do a race and seriously considering turning around and going back home and then, magically, ¬†after about a mile or so, something clicks in and it feels great.

One thing after reading¬†some advice on the forums at Beginner Triathlete;¬†I have slowed down quite a bit. My 5k was around 10 minutes a mile but I have been running around 3.6 miles at around 11.20 minutes a mile- which is a much more comfortable pace.¬†(Yes, I am a turtle). It is very hard for me to be this¬†disciplined & hold back, I want to be a sprinter. My¬†favorite¬†‘running’ thing to do is dig in the last 200 yards (200 feet? when I can see my finish line) and give everything I have left to sprint to the finish. LOVE it!!! But I am refraining so I do not¬†injure¬†myself before my race. I would love to do a 10K , and am even starting to dream of a HM…maybe I am learning to love this running after all… who knew??

Running update: I found a great new blog I have been reading SarahFaithHansen and it had an awesome post about running: So You Think You Hate Running?  Very informative and motivational, if you are a struggling runner like me you need to read this!!

So here is my training plan for the month of May:

May Training

Not sure how readable that is. Basically Monday, Wednesday, Friday 30 minutes of intervals on spin bike (orange) then a 30 minute swim (blue). Tuesday and Thursday l run (green) for 30-45 minutes. Saturday & Sunday long bike and run. Saturday the 11th I had a race simulation planned but there is suppose to be an on-site swim practice so that may change. two short bike/run bricks the 21st and 25th. I plan to add 30 minutes of strength training 2-3 times a week.

Strength Training


I ¬†have been reminded lately how important core work & strength training is ¬†to triathlon and am working to fit that in as well. Actually¬†strength¬†training¬†is my love, not cardio, BUT I am learning balance, in all things, is the key ūüôā

STRONG is the new skinny. Love it.¬†Skinny¬†doesn’t¬†work well for me.

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