Tag Archives: bike

50-Mile Weekend

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend full of whatever-it-is you like to do.

We had a lovely time here in Seattle. While the weather was a little indecisive at times (sunny? cloudy? sunny? cloudy?), it was warm which meant I spent as much time as I could enjoying the vitamin D.

This weekend I managed to combine my current ultra-relay training and “triathlon training”* into an unplanned hefty number of miles and enjoyment.

*Quotation marks added since I’m not actually really training for this race, I just happened to practice tri-related things for the first time on Sunday.

I’m happy to report though that it all felt great! It seems as if my legs have finally shaken all the post-marathon cobwebs, and I’m feeling 100% normal again. Thank goodness for that. My speed still feels a little slow, but that’s not necessarily the focus for the time being.

Anyway, the deets:

Saturday AM: 16 miles

Watchless, sunny, happy running. Good stuff. So much salt on my face.

Saturday PM: 4 miles

My original plan for the day was 14 AM and 5 PM, but since I felt great in the morning I decided to switch it up a little. And really…doing 19 miles seemed silly. I like round, even numbers.

The best part was that the PM miles felt great! Much better than a couple of weeks ago. I’m thinking these occasional two-a-days are going to be clutch in terms of relay prep.

Sunday AM: Dilettante Sprint Tri bike course (~14 miles) with Lindsay and Becky!

+

Open water swim around the lake

This was HUGE in terms of comfort for next weekend’s tri. Not that I was necessarily nervous, but getting a firsthand feel for both the bike (my biggest trepidation) and the swim was really helpful. Also (please judge away) this was my first time going on a real bike ride on my new bike. So yea, I would say that was a good idea to do before race day 🙂

But I forgot my bike shoes!!! After totally psyching myself up to practice a clipped-in ride with my shoes and my bike, I failed to bring the separate bag my shoes were in. And, as I discovered, it is hard to ride with flimsy flat pedals in your regular shoes! I found myself concentrating on my feet way more so than I would have otherwise.

The course consists of 2, 6.8 mile loops around the lake, and overall I’d say it’s pretty moderate. Excited to ride it again next Saturday!

We also tested out the Becky-proclaimed “brown water” (she’s totally right about that), and swam a little out and back. Open water swimming is definitely a little alarming at first, but after settling my breathing I felt fine. The wet suit really helps with buoyancy too (Thanks Nicole 🙂 )

The morning was totally great overall, and I’m SO thankful to have had a little experience on the course (and on the bike and in the water) before I “race” it next week.

The only glitch though was my lack of clip-in practice, which leads to my spontaneous Sunday afternoon decision…

Sunday PM: 15 miles, around Alki and back, CLIPPED IN

I was so excited about this! I kind of just kept going and going and enjoyed the feeling of really riding. I rode my standard long run route and, no surprise, it goes by A LOT quicker on the bike 🙂

The best part was that I felt completely natural with the clip-ins. It was really weird actually…when I first started, it was like I instinctively knew what to do no problem. As if I was picking up an old habit again. Which doesn’t seem right, because I only learned to ride clipped-in last weekend.

And by learned, what I mean is…I fell on my butt a few times and at the end of the day managed to somewhat mount and dismount without toppling sideways.

But yesterday? No problems! I felt like I’d been doing it for years.

Maybe this is only a hurdle for me and everyone else thinks clipped-in riding is NBD, but either way…it was yet another confidence boost.

My little bike was oh-so-happy to feel wanted yesterday.

So there it is: nearly 50 miles in running and biking this weekend! Did I mention I also took a two hour nap between rides yesterday? 🙂

I love that I finally feel capable of someday being a real biker. I’ve always loved the idea of it, but I’ve held back since all the logistics seemed so technical and beyond my expertise. But practice makes perfect, and little by little I think that I’m actually getting the hang of it.

Alright, rambling over. I’m sorry I suck so bad at having visual proof of my life, and hopefully it doesn’t make my posts too boring. I think I included enough smiley faces in this post that there’s at least a little color.

Will get better at that.

Tell me about your weekend! 

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Tri-ing it out and other upcoming races

Hey, Hello, Hi out there!

My head all week:

“ROBYN, write a blog post! You like blogging, just write something! ANYTHING! Post one picture and gif, SOMETHING!”

My reactions:

…no.

Yada, yada, yada…lots of work, lots of life, and lots of “I’d rather watch reruns of Grey’s than look at a computer screen for another second.” It happens.

But wouldn’t you know it, I do have some news to share. Exciting news! News which has slightly dented my previously mentioned lack of direction in the running/racing world.

In just one week, I have gone from being registered for zero races to being registered for three. Three! Exciting stuff. And the best part is that two out of those three are within the next month or so.

So with that said, let’s take a look at what’s coming up:

Dilettante Women’s Sprint Triathlon

You guys, I did it.

Finally.

After over a year of circling around the triathlon pool lake, I finally decided to get over my fears and jump in head first.

And I mean that quite seriously. I’ve done very little specific training, I know close to nothing about transitions, and don’t even get me start on the clip-in pedals (Read: biggest fear OF ALL.)

Essentially, if you consider how much I mentally and physically prepare for running races (a lot) and take the opposite of that…that’s basically how I’m approaching this first sprint tri.

And I kind of love it! It’s a short enough race that I can kind of get away with this method, and it totally takes any pressure off. I honestly have NO idea as to what a “good” sprint tri time is, and this whole endeavor is more to get a taste of the sport in general. I’m excited.

The best part is that some local friends are doing it too, and they had the brilliant idea to do some open water swimming and biking on the course beforehand. (And they’re letting me tag along 🙂 ) So this Sunday, exactly one week from race day, I’ll be starting my triathlon training.

So smart.

But in all seriousness, I’ve been in the pool and on the bike recently enough to where I’m sure that short of complete catastrophe, I should be fine.

And I actually have a feeling I’m going to enjoy it more than my wallet is prepared for…

See Jane Run Half-Marathon

You guys! I won something! RoseRunner hosted an awesome giveaway on her blog a few weeks ago: she gave away three spots in the See Jane Run race series. I was psyched to see something that I actually wanted in a giveaway, and somehow I ended up snagging one of the spots!

Side note: If you don’t already, check out her blog. Girl is stupid fast, smart, and isn’t afraid to call out the bullshit in the “healthy living” blogging world. One of my favorites in my reader.

This race is in mid-July, so it will potentially be warm, but otherwise I’m looking forward to it. I’ve flirted with the idea of making it a goal half race, but currently it’s scary to do one mile at my would-be goal half marathon pace, let alone run 13.1 miles at it. We’ll see.

Seattle Half-Marathon

Okay, so this race is eons away, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to have on the calendar! I absolutely loved this race when I did it for the first time last year, and at that time I promised myself to run it again. And with a coupon code in hand and a lingering price increase deadline, I decided to go for it.

There is also potential that should I not get into Boston for 2014, I may decide to do the full instead. Essentially, I’d like to keep the option of a fall full open for now…and this one is late enough that I could still do some solid training after knowing for sure about Boston.

But in the meantime, I’m still hoping for/planning on being in Bean town next April, in which case this will just be another fun, cold, post-Thanksgiving coma half-marathon.

Hooray races! Sorry paycheck, you were fun while you lasted.

I am really psyched to have some things on the calendar in additional to the crazy ultra-relay extravaganza I’ve gotten myself into.

Lots more to share, but for now I’m interested in what races YOU have planned for the upcoming couple of months. It seems like people either go crazy with racing during the summer or avoid it altogether.

So…what races are you signed up for?

Also, how do you “do” a sprint triathlon? 🙂

Eugene Marathon Training Week #1

Week 1 is in the books!

I felt great this week, and I think this Pete Pfitzinger program and I are going to get along swimmingly. It’s a great balance of what I’m used to and new, exciting things—which means I feel like I have the tools to take it on, but it’s still interesting and fun. Here’s how this week looked:

M: 8 miles w/ 10×100 m pick-ups

T: REST

W: 10 miles

T: spin + 20 min stair-stepper

F: 6 miles, easy + BodyPump

S: 14 miles LR w/ 8 miles @mgp

S: spin + lifting

Total= 38 miles running

*LR= long run, mgp= marathon goal pace, m= meters, pick-ups= 85% sprint effort

I stuck to my prescribed workouts to a T this week, which ideally will happen more often than not. It was a little daunting to start week one with 8 marathon goal pace miles plugged into the long run, but it turned out to be successful and actually made the time go faster. The long run was admittedly a little fast, especially my non-goal pace miles, so I’ll have to pay a bit more attention to that (I didn’t really look at my watch until it was time to start the goal-pace miles), but I felt great during it. Here’s a look at the splits:

Capture

 

So yes, too fast—but that’s fixable. Right now, I’m playing with a 7:55-ish marathon goal pace. We’ll see. It felt good during this run, a little fast but not hard. Just need to start working on slowing down when goal pace isn’t required. I also headed to the Burke Gilman trail for this run which was highly enjoyable. Lots of people, dirt to run on, and just enough up and down to keep things interesting. BF went with me and did 10 on his own, then we headed to brunch. Long run + good food= Saturday morning perfection.

image (1)

 

Lots and lots of coffee.

I don’t know if there will ever be a time when a long run doesn’t exhaust me. Perhaps it was the faster miles, but anything over 12 tends to set in that familiar post-long-run energy drain. It’s a good tired feeling though, albeit a little inconvenient on Saturday nights.

Also, in keeping with the theme of workout recaps, BF and I have continued our PSJJ streak! For those of you who didn’t read about our hair-brained resolution, we decided to do a push-up, a sit-up, and a jumping jack per the day in the year. Jan 1=1, Jan 2=2…and so on. It’s ridiculous, however we’re now on 42 and there’s no stopping in sight. It’s already a little difficult, but I’m trying not to complain yet…on the bright side, my push-ups are definitely feeling easier! Will keep you posted on how this progresses…

In OTHER news…something so very exciting happened yesterday:

image

 

I finally got a bike!!! I’ve been joking about, stressing about, and longing for a good, quality road bike for probably two years now, and I finally took the plunge yesterday and couldn’t be happier. Also, please excuse my “Sunday best” attire.

If we’re being honest, my main intention in buying this pretty little bike is to get into triathlons. I have crazy, far-fetched dreams about a possible tri-career, and if I’m not mistaken, being comfortable on a bike is *kind-of* a necessary skill to have. Out of the three disciplines, the bike would definitely be my weakness—as I just don’t have the riding experience. And I’m pretty sure spinning doesn’t qualify.

Anyways, while my focus right now is 100% on Eugene…I’m so happy to have finally bridged a big gap between my own planning and actual tri potential. One ride down the street on that baby and it was love, I was a goner.

BF wouldn't let me take her to bed, jerk.

BF wouldn’t let me take her to bed, jerk.

Now accepting possible names for her.

I also got clip-in pedals, cleats, and a big ‘ole lock. Now all I need are shoes…and to figure out how the hell to clip in/out without dying. Also now accepting proper bike riding lessons.

That’s all folks! A good weekend and a great start to marathon training. I feel good about this one, and I’m hoping for nothing but positive forward momentum. Let’s go!

How was your weekend? Do you have a bike? Have you done a tri? HELP ME.

Tri-Curious

If you couldn’t tell from my oh-so-clever play on words post title, I’d like to talk about a whole new type of endurance animal, in the form of swim, bike, run.

Triathlons

Now, running has and will always be my first love—I bestowed it with soul mate status in my Valentine’s Day post, in fact.

However, as I’ve mentioned before, I do have some devotion to other sweat-enducing activities, namely—spinning and swimming. I like these two things because they are great supplements to running, as in great cross training, but I also like them because on their own—they’re a whole new physical challenge.

I feel like running gets all the credit sometimes as the most effective way to test and improve your fitness. I admit, I am totally guilty of doing this, because there’s no workout I prefer more than a long run. However, I really don’t think that biking and swimming should be given the shaft so quickly—because these can both be just as, if not more, effective in terms of boosting endurance strength.

Yes I just said that.

But, as someone who is currently out of the running game and needing to push herself otherwise, I’m finding a greater respect for these alternatives. Seriously though. If you haven’t swam laps since you first learned to swim back when you were a kid, I challenge you to get in the pool and knock out some freestyle. I think you will be amazed just how tired you get, even if your running strength is superb.

The other reason I’m a big proponent of these cross training activities is because they help our muscles recuperate from the wear and tear of running. Fact: running is not very good for your joints. Dean Karnazes and all you other freaks who never get injured and have perfect, unbreakable running genes—screw you. These specimens are rare. For the rest of us, running is a constant game of working hard, training hard, and all the while avoiding injury. If there were some magic pill that made running impact-less and perfectly healthy, I’d be first in line at the doctor begging for my prescription. But, that’s not the case—which is one the reasons I’ve steered my marathon brain slightly in the direction of multi-sport events.

As of right now, I am still planning on at least two half marathons and one full this year. One of the halfs is in question with my current asshole of a leg, but otherwise I’m all set for this running schedule. I’m probably definitely going to add more, let’s be honest, I just need to pull some triggers. And by “pull some triggers” I mean “get more paychecks.”

But anyways.

While I love running training, I am also getting more and more interested in adding some additional challenge into the mix, in the form of triathlons.

Fun fact: I actually did three sprint triathlons long before even considering a running race. They were back in high school, when I somehow magically just whipped out these events despite never doing any of the activities, and they were definitely fun. So, I’m thinking for a starting point—I’m going to register for a sprint tri near the end of the summer (cough Nicole Danskin cough). I should probably put a bit more thought into this, but the fact is that I swim, “bike,” and run enough to where a sprint tri should really be no problem. However, like I said—it’s a starting point.

Now, this is still under some consideration, but as of right now—I am planning on signing up for a half Ironman next summer.

Yikes, just said it. Scary.

I know that the training is hard, but I know it’s exactly the kind of new challenge I’m looking for. I love the idea of block workouts (consisting of two endurance-related activities) and learning how to balance my energy over a long period of time. Additionally, I feel like this will keep my love for running alive and well by mixing up back-to-back marathon training cycles with something different.

Ultimately, I want to reach for something higher. Crazy, indeed, after my brush with casualty in the marathon two weeks ago, but this is honestly the way I operate. Yes, I got knocked down, but I know when I get up again (meaning, fully functioning IT band and absolved fear of running on hills) I am going to be stronger, smarter, and more anxious to challenge myself.

The thing I’ve taken away more than anything from that ill-fated race is that the brain and the body must always work in harmony; even when they’re fighting with one another, battling over pain versus persistence, we must know each of them well enough to know which to listen to. This is something I had lost touch with—and for the first time in my life, my mental game outweighed my physical capabilities. It’s one of the hardest parts of being an athlete, and it’s something I’m looking forward to exercising (pun intended) in my future endurance endeavors.

Oh, and I also took away the fact that I was a cocky little shit and the marathon is really, really, hard…no matter how well your first (or many) may have gone.

So there you have it Internet. This birdie is slotting July 2013 as the month of her first half Ironman, with some warm-up tris beforehand. I’ll write more on my approach to this endeavor when it’s not over a year away, but for now I’m excited to have something different on the horizon. And in the meantime, I’m looking forward to running soon.

Rest, rolling, ice, and froyo people—and your IT band will slowly but surely start to like you again.

Fingers crossed 🙂

Have you ever done a tri? Do you think there’s a difference between tri-people and marathon-people? Do you think I should probably go and buy that road bike already? Yea, me too.