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Triathlons are for Swimmers

Posted by stesaunde Aug 24, 2009

So I did an olympic tri and I'm still alive!  There were some parts in that swim where I was starting to wonder.  The funny part is during the swim I was thinking - I can't wait till I get to the bike - that'll be a breeze.  I didn't count on spending my all in the swim:)  So an hour and 5 minutes later I finally get out of the water and attempt to jog to the transition area when I realize I'm just lucky to be able to stand up so I settled for walking.  That's about when I realize that my bum and the back of my thighs were hurting worse then they ever have from biking and this was before I even got on my bike!  Not a fun realization to have.  It also doesn't help moral to have someone (probably a medic) follow you into the transition area to ask you if you're alright.  Of course, after having been asked that steadily for the last hour from all the lifeguards I was kind of used to brushing off the question by then.  So I get on my bike and took what I thought was a fair pace until some of the girls from the sprint that started a half hour after my event started passing me and I realized that my pace may not have been that good after all.  This is about the same time I started wondering how much of an advantage their racing bikes gave them over my mountain bike.  The first half was mostly uphill and then the way back was downhill.  At the turn around I felt my first burst of energy since the swim - the realization that gravity was now going to help me on the way back.  So the second half of the bike I started to feel better, except for the fact that my back and neck were killing me not to mention my legs.  In fact, my feet were hurting in ways I never thought possible from biking.  For the first time ever I was looking forward to running over biking.  Maybe those are the first signs of insanity.  An hour and 50 minutes later I came in from the bike to see one of my friends (a girl) already finished and standing with the spectators:)  That felt really good to know that she was done and I still had to run 6 miles.  Starting the run was agonizing.  Let's be honest it was more of a jog.  Of course, somewhere in there before I ever got to the race I had decided I wanted to run the whole way so I did.  There was a bunch of times where a walk just seemed like it would be such a nice relief but after a while I started seeing some mile signs pass by and I even started to pass other people and I realized that my pathetic pace was actually paying off.  The best part was when I passed another guy doing the olympic and realized that I wouldn't be in last place after all.  No the best part was just before the finish line when I realized I really was going to reach my goal of running the whole way without stopping.  There was also a guy that finished just in front of me so I at least had a little bit of company.  Turns out the run took me an hour and 5 minutes as well and surprisingly took about as much will power as the swim.  The crazy part is despite the added aches from biking and running I really felt better after the bike and after the run then I did after the swim.  It was almost like the bike and run helped me recover from a really bad swimming experience.  Overall it took me just over 4 hours and 14 minutes with transitions of over 5 minutes a piece.  A pitiful score I know but at least now I can say I've done a triathlon.

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Back on course

Posted by stesaunde May 20, 2009

I just registered for the Jordanelle Triathlon on Saturday, August 22nd.  My training has seriously fallen apart without a triathlon registration hanging over my head.  I planned on competing in a triathlon on June 20th but I never got around to signing up and somehow there is a difference:)  I never have been a big one for race registrations but I think this transition period between races is proof that an organized race does motivate me to work out and prepare for it.  I've always liked to think that the decision to exercise is motivation enough but why make it harder than it needs to be?  I've reset for the end of the summer to give myself plenty of time to ramp back up and do it right.  I'm still in better shape than I was before I started training but I want to be top notch by the end of the summer and I'm thinking this competition waiting for me will help me get into the training groove.  My diet has also suffered - I have ice-cream in my freezer again and I've been eating hamburgers like they won't slow me down - I never noticed before but eating healthy does make a difference in how I feel.  Looks like I'll be having salad for lunch today.  The most exciting part about training now is that the weather is good so I don't have to spin or run indoors!

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Still Inside

Posted by stesaunde Apr 2, 2009


Not that I could compete with Mike if I wanted to but we're still getting snowed on here so I've still been spinning in the gym for my bike rides.  A 100 miler does sound tempting though - but there's no way I'll be doing 116 miles! - if I do a hundred miler it's going to be a hundred miles and that's it.



The one advantage to spinning in a gym that I've found is I can read a book while I ride.  Yesterday, I experienced the fastest hour of spinning ever as I got into the book I was reading and barely noticed the time pass.  I was able to maintain good rpms too.  I'm seriously considering trying out reading while running on a treadmill - of course, I've only used a treadmill once so far and I'm not used to them - at the same time it seems like it'd be easier than reading while running around a track.  Do those eliptical machines count as running?  At least on those there wouldn't be any chance of getting blasted into the wall.  Maybe it's time I start looking into audio books.  



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Change of Plans

Posted by stesaunde Mar 27, 2009


Knowing that I will no longer be competing in the Wildflower killed my motivation to train.  On Wednesday after I found out the race was on Sunday and I made the decision not to compete I didn't even want to play soccer let alone work out.  One of my friends that I'm doing a reverse order mini triathlon with in April was even bugging me to come to the gym yesterday and I didn't go.  I think I'm over it though.  The part I'll miss most is the change in elevation.  I was really excited to have that competitive advantage.



Don't worry, I'm still going to compete in a triathlon - just not one quite so prestigious.  While it's anti-climactic shopping for a local tri after my most recent plans to have 3 friends accompany me to California for a couple of days of fun, there's consolation in knowing that a little extra time to improve my swimming will definately not hurt. I guess the biggest upside is that I'll be in even better shape as I'll be continuing to train throughout May.  Not that I didn't have aspirations to continue working out after the race but let's be honest - races really do provide good focus and it's harder to get out the door without that race hanging over you.



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Race Day

Posted by stesaunde Mar 25, 2009

Did they change the day of the race?  I was told it was on May 2nd and have been planning on that since last year.


I went to rent a bike and they told me the olympic race is on Sunday.  I double checked my registration and there is no date.  When I click on the olympic link on the wildflower site it says it's on Sunday, May 3rd as well.  Before the schedule wasn't complete and didn't make any sense but now it has the olympic race clearly set on the 3rd.  Is this news to anybody else?

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Be Prepared

Posted by stesaunde Mar 20, 2009

I had running shoes on yesterday when I found myself stranded with some friends on the side of the road after the car we were in broke down.  We had just met at a parking lot that was now on the other side of the freeway from us where we had left another car.  As it only seemed like a couple of miles I offered to run and grab the other car and said I'd be back in 20 minutes.  It was much further then I expected but there was a nice 5% grade in my favor for the last bit.  When I got to the car I calculated that 21 minutes had passed so with driving I figured 25 minutes had passed by the time I got back.  According to google maps that stretch of road is 3.8 miles.  We weren't quite to the entrance of Micron so I'd round down to at least 3.5 but that doesn't sound quite right so 24 minutes would probably be a safer bet.  A 7 to 8 minute/mile pace sounds feasible.  


Anyway, it was a fun way to get in what turned out to be my only work out for the day as by the time we ate, finished our activity and got the car pulled down the same route I ran and then some with a tow rope ... let's just say I missed the Orem rec closing time of 10pm.  Don't worry though, I got up and played basketball at 6:30 this morning so I'm not a complete slacker.

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So there are 6 weeks left and I'm feeling like I could use 6 more months of training.  Especially when it comes to swimming.  I've worked my way back up in biking and running but in swimming I feel hopelessly behind.  Everyone keeps on telling me that if I just keep moving then I'll finish before the cut off.  I hope that's true.



The weather has started to warm up allowing for our first ultimate frisbee games of the season on Saturday.  Over 2 hours of good solid exercise.  If it weren't for my hip bugging me from playing basketball before it would have been the perfect day.  That and my hops definately weren't there.  I'm wondering if squats are messing me up.  All I know is I'd go to jump and midway into the air in both of my upper calves I'd feel some kind of a pulse where my calves just gave out and were like that's all we have and it wasn't enough.  I've noticed the same problem in basketball but that was right after working out.  This was at least a day after which was kind of disconcerting. If anything I was hoping to come out of this with a little more of a vertical but I guess I can worry about that in May.



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If anyone was wondering Javier is crazy.  On top of his workouts he played indoor soccer on Tuesday and Wednesday.  He was telling me about it on Wednesday morning and I didn't fully appreciate what he was talking about.  Then I played with him after my workout on Wednesday night.  First of all, I need to clarify that I'm not a soccer player and although Javier was nice enough to set me up for a goal after he beat two people I also accidentally deflected the ball into our goal on defense so it kind of evened out.  I guess there was one other one passed to me that I was able to tap in earlier on.  Nonetheless, I was beat afterwards and I didn't play half as long as he did.  My legs and feet were sore in ways I haven't experienced before.  I thought basketball once or twice a week was bad but soccer definately takes the cake. At least you don't have to jump so much in soccer.  On Monday, I was taking the ball in and pulled up for a jump shot and instead of rising into the air to a comfortable level for my shot I traveled so little that I was starting to wonder if I even left the ground.  I had come straight from the gym and apparantly my legs hadn't recovered from doing squats yet.  That was embrarrasing.  Suffice it to say I missed the shot.  As the weather continues to get better I'm hoping to start working in some Ultimate Frisbee.  I'm almost feeling like I'm getting back into the groove of working out after being out sick and I'm excited at the prospects of being in shape for a frisbee game.  At the same time I'm disappointed that I'm not in nearly as good of form as I would have hoped to be in by now.  I guess I'll just have to take full advantage of these last two months.

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Javier video taped me today

Posted by stesaunde Feb 25, 2009
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I'm sick of being sick

Posted by stesaunde Feb 23, 2009

So I missed all of last week.  I stayed home from work and stayed home from the gym and slept a bunch.  I started feeling better yesterday and managed to stay for all of church.  Today I'm at work again but my heads starting to remind me that I'm still not 100%.  Running sounds reasonable but I just don't know if I can handle the pool yet.  The week before last I think I did myself in swimming.  I was feeling really good and then the day after I went swimming I suddenly started feeling tons worse.  Not sure if there was a connection there or not - maybe it's just in my head.  The worst part about it is I still haven't had a chance to try out some of the latest swimming tips.  I'm excited to make a breakthrough in the pool and am sure that it'll come if I just put in the time.  I just don't want to risk not getting better this time.

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Swimming consolation

Posted by stesaunde Feb 11, 2009


Even I am swimming 100 meters in less than 5 minutes.  Of course, I was pretty beat after swimming 4 sets of 100 meters yesterday when the pool closed and I didn't get a chance to see how beat I really was.  All I have to do is work up to being able to swim 4 times that without the long rests in between.  Then assuming I can maintain my current pace or faster I should be able to finish the swim before the hour 20 min cut off.  The best part is it's probably not possible to swim much slower than I already am swimming so all I have to do is build up the endurance and figure out how to actually swim.



I was feeling fine yesterday and this morning to until about 10 or 11 when my throat started getting scratchy again.  Now I'm hating it and not looking forward to biking and strength training tonight.  At least, it's not swimming.  I better get more sleep tonight to compensate.



So I'm starting to crave healthier food now.  I guess it's a result of eating better and exercising more.  Anyway, I was out of tp so I dropped by Walmart after swimming (that and I needed some flip flops because that locker room floor is pretty nasty - I haven't been very impressed with other gyms either but this one is definately the worst I've seen) and instead of just getting milk and some more cereal and pasta I went crazy with the fruit and even got a couple things of lettuce.  Now we'll see if I actually eat it.  I've hardly touched the last batch of apples and oranges that I bought ...



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Swimming question

Posted by stesaunde Feb 10, 2009





What do you mean by drill in a swimming workout?  I'm guessing by kicking you mean holding a floating device and just kicking.



Yesterdays workout went really well although my legs came off sore from biking so I took it easy on squats.  Speaking of which - how low should I be going when I squat - do I want my rear end to almost touch the ground or do I just want my thighs to be parrallel?  I've been going till my thighs are parrallel with the ground but then I saw someone else going way low - of course I saw a bunch of people arching their backs for back extensions too so watching others may not always be a good idea.



Anyway, the best part is I did the workout and then went and played basketball afterwards and I woke up feeling pretty good this morning.  Basketball on Saturday about did me in so I'm glad to feel like I'm getting my energy back.



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I know Javier is training in the ocean right now and I didn't even swim at the pool yesterday - it's driving me crazy!  I've been feeling under the weather ever since Sunday morning when I woke up late for church.  I did my workouts on Monday and Tuesday even though I didn't feel so good but swimming just seemed like a bad idea considering I've had a pretty good stream of nasal drip ... The fact that my body is feeling weak has got to be mostly because I've actually been doing the strength workouts.  Between Saturday and Tuesday I'm beat.  I took a nap right when I got home from work yesterday and then another nap when I got back from a tutoring group that I supervise. I was so tired I didn't even call any of the school kids to remind them to come and we ended up having less kids than tutors.  All in all I think it was a good day to take off.  Today I'm feeling a little bit better so I'll do my workout - of course, it's more strength training so this beat feeling is sure to continue.  I'm hoping yesterday was my low point though and things will be improving energy wise from here. It's just frustrating not feeling up to swimming when that's what I need the most work on by far.



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This is a good week

Posted by stesaunde Feb 3, 2009

I had a good bike workout yesterday - tried reading a book while riding for the first time - not a bad combination.  Yes, I was indoors:)  I was glad to see running/weights on the agenda for today because I don't think I could handle swimming today.  I've been feeling a little bit under the weather the last couple of days.  I'm finally feeling like I'm getting into a rythm with doing the workouts.  It's been hard without having someone to do them with.  I was planning on doing them with Javier but that didn't seem to work.  When I trained for a marathon I was living with my cousin and we ran together.  That was really nice - both being there in the same house and motivating each other.  It was good on the actual runs and in the actual race to be there for each other as well.


The hardest part for me so far has just been getting out the door.  I've been really busy and could have gotten more sleep and that hasn't helped.  I also have had a couple of minor set backs injury wise - the small kind of things that make good excuses to put off working out until tomorrow.  It's kind of scary loading up the actual work out program knowing that I haven't done a very good job at following the current program that was supposed to get me ready to go.  Well, I still have another week before we start the actual work out program and I'm hoping to do every single workout on schedule.  I'm really glad I'm not supposed to swim today because I really don't think that would be good for me today but hopefully tomorrow I'll be feeling better.  On a side note, my skin has really dried out from being in the pool.  I've been having to use lotion like crazy.  Progress in swimming hasn't come very fast but it is coming.  Unfortunately, I'm not anywhere's close to being able to do even the current workouts - on the 20 lap day I did 12 and I was still beat.  I've done the best at making swimming workouts but I still can hang with running and biking a lot easier than swimming.  I've slacked off the most in weight training as I just really didn't know what to do.  A friend invited me to workout on Saturday, so I brought my sheet and he clarified a lot fo the exercises for me.  Between him, youtube and another guy in the gym that pointed out the thing to do back extensions on I was able to do my first real workout beyond situps and pushups.  It's no like I haven't been in a gym before but my visits have been few and far between.  Now that I know how to do the strength workouts I'll be able to knock them out today without a problem.




I'm starting to get excited about getting in shape.  I really do think that doing each of the workouts everyday is going to bring good results.  I'm actually even starting to have hope that after 3 months of pushing and learning I'll be able to swim the 1.5k in less than an hour and 20 minutes.  I almost made half a pool length the other day doing freestyle breathing to either side every three strokes.  The coolest part is how I noticed that I moved through the water quicker that way.  I'm hoping one of these days it'll just click and I'll be able to start swimming a stroke for real.  Imagine me being able to swim freestyle - that'd be sweet.



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There is hope

Posted by stesaunde Jan 21, 2009


I was talking to one of my friends that's a triathlon buff last night and he told me that he does the breastroke for 2/3 of the time.  Of course, he does the ironman so maybe with a longer swim it's different but he maintained that he keeps up with other people doing freestyle.  I had no such luck this morning - keeping up with people doing freestyle while I was doing breaststroke.  Of course, I couldn't keep up to them doing freestyle either but that's besides the point.  The good news is that with his encouragement and an openminded approach to stroke choice I managed to do the swimming work out for the first time as prescribed.  (Up until now, let's just say I have been standing up every now and then to catch my breath - ok, I've probably been doing about as much standing as I have swimming:)  I didn't even kick off the walls (his idea ).  Of course, I did take a good hour to do it and my breastroke probably would have looked more like a doggy paddle to onlookers half the time when I was trying to catch my breathe but for me that's real improvement to make it from one side of the pool to the other without stopping.  I even pulled off a couple of segments of freestyle where I actually breathed in air.



My friend also mentioned the importance of taking salt tablets on race day - I never would have thought of that.  And he warned me about cut offs and being aware of all the rules so as not to get disqualified.  It looks like I'm going to have to do some research on the wildflower site - especially in the swim section.  That would really be a downer if I swam a whole mile only to be informed that I had been disqualified for taking all day:) I went ahead and looked it up:



Olympic Cut Off Times:


Swim: 12:15PM (1:20 after the start of the Last Individual Age Group wave)

Bike: 2:45 PM (3:50 after the start of the Last Individual Age Group wave)

Run: 4:15 PM (5:20 after the start of the Last Individual Age Group wave)


I think that means I need to be able to swim 1.5k in under an hour and 20 minutes.  I'm not sure if that means 1:20 after my group starts or 1:20 after the last group starts (assuming I'm not in the last group).  I was kind of hoping for a bigger time window.  Like maybe 3 hours.  So basically, I need to swim 30 laps in about an hour to allow for race day jitters.  That's 15 sets with no kicking off the walls and no stopping to catch my breath.  Time to get in shape.





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