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Who Wants to Get Active: Team First Triathlon

9 Posts tagged with the running tag

Wildflower had me a bit scared in the weeks leading up to the event. I never considered dropping out and I was pretty sure I had trained enough. But there were occasional negative thoughts lurking around my brain, popping up every time I had a difficult run or struggled on a hill climb.


Either my ego or my far-reaching ability to rationalize helped me tremendously in the last days before the race. By the time I was standing on the ramp ready to run into the water, I had effectively convinced myself of success. And it worked. Either that, or it was the training.



I kicked off my Wildflower adventure several days before in Tucson; sorting and re-sorting my gear, food and camping equipment. My husband and I left Thursday morning, stopping in Joshua Tree National Park for some sightseeing and stayed for the night. The next morning, we left before any of our camping neighbors had woken up in an effort to reach Paso Robles and Lake San Antonio by afternoon.



I had read and reread the material provided by the organizers of Wildflower. Still, all of those newsletters and updates didn't quite describe the chaos of the campground. We arrived, luckily having pre-paid months before, and parked in a designated area on top of Lynch Hill. We quickly reached the bottom of the steep walking path, collected my triathlon race package and walked around a bit before trudging back up the hill to our car.



That's when the camping site free-for-all began. We managed to find a spot and set up as the rain settled in for the night.



Saturday was sunny and not too warm and we spent the day watching the Half Ironman participants make their way through the course. I lingered a bit by the transition area, analyzing the pros as they sped up the ramp to their bikes, only to disappear within moments. I'm not sure I'll ever manage to transition that quickly. I spent the rest of the afternoon organizing my transition bag and bike, and drilling the two girls camped near us about triathlon tips. I even squeezed in a short bike ride.



My nerves were quiet and I slept well, only to be woken up by the announcers set up at the top of Lynch Hill. My endless organizing paid off and rode my bike, along with one of the women I mentioned before, to the transition area. I set up, chatted with a few women and waited. And waited some more. In between the waiting, I drank a few liters of water, smiled for the dozens of photos my husband took and stood in line for the Port-a-Potties.



OK. Race time. The wetsuit is on. Goggles on. Cap on. I'm in the correct wave. My stop watch is ready. My nerves kick in and I am momentarily overwhelmed and a little nauseous. I keep to the back of the pack, the gun fires and we're off. The first 400 yards were brilliant. Then I start losing my rhythm, it just falls apart. I'm slapping the water, not cruising through it. My wetsuit suddenly becomes a choking device. I flip over, backstroke for a few minutes and get my head back into the task at-hand. I control my breathing, flip back over and freestyle the remaining 900 yards. It was here that i managed to make up some time. When I got out of the water my stopwatch read 31 minutes, but I walked up the ramp and ended up logging a slower time.



The transition went OK. I felt waterlogged and bit out of sorts. I had trouble focusing on what I needed to do at first. I slowed everything down, drank water, put my shoes and helmet on and grabbed my bike.



The bike course followed steep rolling hills through a landscape of grasslands, the occasional cow appearing below one of the massive oak tree. My hill training paid off and the hills were manageable. All of that hydration caused me problems and lost about five minutes when I stopped at one of the aid stations to use the Port-a-Potties.



Transition 2 was easy and I was off on the run within two minutes. I struggled here. Yikes, did I struggle. I had an incredibly slow pace the first two miles thanks to a horrible stomach cramp. It may have been too much water or the gels I used although I have used this energy source before. I felt better by mile three and started picking up speed. By the time I hit the last downhill mile I was trotting along at a 9:30-minute mile pace. I sped up considerably on the last downhill section.



I finished in 3:39, not the most magnificent of times, but about average for my age group, gender and overall. I have a number of triathlons in my sights and I'll be back at Wildflower next year with a new goal of 3:15.






790 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, cycling, triathlon, race, wildflower, swim, kirsten_korosec

A few tri tips

Posted by danger prone Apr 8, 2009


I went on a nice rolly ride this morning with my best friend's brother-in-law. We headed out to my favorite spot in Tucson, on the far eastside at Saguaro National Park. We started north of there, but eventually made our way into the park and through its 8-mile loop, back out to the main road and finally back to our cars.



I mention this ride because my cycling buddy for the day has been in numerous triathlons and gave out a few tips for race day.



1. We've heard this before, but practice what you're going to eat before the race. If you decide on Gel or Gu, consider taping them (duct tape) on the top tube of the bike's frame. Tape them so the tabs are secure, that way you can rip them off as you ride and slurp 'em down. I have yet to try this. He said this also works for energy bars.



2. Hydration. It's good to hydrate, but he said drink water the first half or two-thirds of the bike portion. You want to eat and drink during this section and not too close to the run because you may run into digestion problems.



3. I thought this one was kind of neat. On race morning, at your transition area, put your socks on and then roll them off. Later, when you come in from the swim, you can roll the socks back on instead of struggling to put them on wet feet.



4. He keeps his transition area pretty simple. The bike has its own water bottles. Next to it he has four other water bottles. He will use one of them to quickly rinse the sand off his feet from the swim. A small towel is nearby, which he dried his feet off with and then rolls on the socks. He actually doesn't race with socks anymore, but warned this could be problematic for folks not accustomed to running and riding without socks.






736 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, cycling, tips, food, transition, hills, energy, snacks, kirsten_korosec

Triathlon's mini me

Posted by danger prone Apr 7, 2009


I have less than a month to go before Wildflower. This is scary for me and, of course, a little exciting. I've recently become obsessed with brick workouts because I figure this is really the only way to be prepared.



The online training program Gale provided us is chalked full of brick workouts. Today, for example I am supposed to swim and then do a speed running workout. I've been trying to push these two workouts as close together as possible in an effort to recreate a triathlon experience. Unfortunately, real life gets in the way on occasion and I've miss one part of the workout.



The other day I decided to create a mini tri for myself. I even set up fake transition areas. I swam the full 1.5 km, then changed clothes and rehydrated - this took four and a half minutes - and then jumped on the bike. Normally, I would cycle outside, but it has been annoyingly windy and I opted to ride indoors. I cycled 10 miles, then went over to the treadmill and ran three miles. My bike-to-run transition was two minutes because I casually filled my water bottle, stretched and then walked over to the treadmill.



Obviously not a full triathlon. At Wildflower I would have another 15 miles on the bike and three more miles running. The good news is, I felt OK.



I'm going to have to prepare and test out different types of energy bars or snacks for my transition. I am always famished when I finish my swim.  I've also discovered that my foot strike on the treadmill is different than when I run outdoors. I seem to strike on my heel instead of more flatfooted and it causes my shins to get super tight. I spent considerable time stretching afterwards and the next day felt pretty good. Not sore, just a bit tired in the legs.



801 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, swimming, triathlon, wildflower, treadmill, kirsten_korosec


San Francisco - for those of you not in the know - is hilly and a perfect place to get some much needed training in. And that's what I did while I was attending a convention there last week.



My husband, Adrian, has become my running coach and taskmaster. Naturally, he got us up early Friday morning to hit the streets of San Francisco. We started in Union Square and headed towards Chinatown. As we headed through the Chinatown gates most of the stores were still closed - their windows protected with plywood - and only a few shopkeepers were roaming about the front stoops.



We climbed up - arrghhh these hills -- and then plateaued as we approached North Beach. We kept to its edge, passed the famous City Lights bookstore and then made our way to Washington Square, where on an average morning you might see Italians sipping espresso and seniors practicing Tai Chi. It is here my favorite breakfast restaurant - Mama's - exists. We grubbed on some serious eats, hiked up to Coit Tower and then pounded out another mile or more back to the hotel.



OK, later that day we left San Fran and arrived in Glen Elen, a small town in Sonoma County. We decided to get a longer run in and took off from the Glen Elen Inn. We completed about a five-mile loop along small rolling hills, past ancient Zinfandel vines - per Adrian - and homes big and small. Adrian kept us off the main roads and even though I struggled a bit in the beginning and middle, we made it back to the room without stopping.



The final run. The next morning we drove up to Jack London State Park. Adrian took me on a trail run that began at about 400 feet up to the park summit near Sonoma Mountain at about 2,400 feet. We walked up the steep uphill and ran the whole way down. My quads were screaming at the end and a day later they were still rebelling.



I'd love to hear from some other guys on the first tri about any interesting runs they've been on lately.





546 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, sonoma, san_francisco, hills, glen_elen, vineyards

A little inspiration

Posted by danger prone Mar 10, 2009

After my trip to New Jersey I returned to find that I didn't really feel like running much. I would feel a little dread as I laced up my shoes, not eagerness.


I'm pretty sure I found the secret elixir to cure my apathy around 6 a.m. Saturday morning as I watched my husband and roughly 150 other runners line up at an old mining camp in the rolling grasslands near Sonoita, Ariz. - the Santa Rita Mountains lurking somewhere in the darkness. The ultrarunners, both professional and aspiring, rose early to tackle the Old Pueblo 50, a 50-mile race along portions of the Arizona Trail and dirt roads in and around Coronado National Forest.



I was able to crew for Adrian at miles seven, 25, 29, 40, 46 and then watched in amazement as he sprinted towards the finish line in a last minute race with another runner. He finished in 10 hours and 31 minutes. This year's winner finished in seven hours and 18 minutes. Runners would continue to stream and occasionally shuffle in for a couple more hours.



These are normal men and women, with regular day jobs as engineers, salesmen, lawyers, doctors, personal trainers etc. It wasn't as if the entire group was filled with professional athletes. And yet here they were on a Saturday morning, giddy with excitment, chatting and laughing and about to tackle 50 miles. The end elicited the same joy, relief and emotion for the runners, some now hobbled from their effort.



The look on the faces of those that finished was one of ultimate accomplishment and contentment. I think I got a brief glimpse of what it might feel like crossing the finish line at Wildflower. These days as I lace up my running shoes, I think about cruising along, the wind hopefully at my back and all those folks who can't wait to get out there and run 50 miles.




614 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, wildflower, motivation, ultrarunner


Last week ended on a high note with my long bike ride. The day after I flew out to New Jersey to visit some family. I knew it would be difficult to get a swim or cycle in. I packed my running shoes in hopes of logging some much needed miles in even though I knew my schedule would be packed with family visits and work.



I've laid off running for a few weeks because of the lingering tenderness in my right knee. The pain finally subsided and I've been ramping up up running regiment ever since.  I had hoped to get a few long runs in during my five days back East. My first monring I woke up and the snow was already falling. A Noreaster hit that night, 10 inches of snow fell and my choices were immediately cut down to a treadmill in the hotel.



I can't complain. When I lived in Wisconsin the only option during the winter months was a treadmill or braving the cold and snow. My short time back in the desert has made me soft, so I stuck to running indoors. I managed two runs, which were a struggle because they were boring.



I can't write enough about how hard it is to stay on task while traveling. It's been my biggest hurdle to date. Luckily, I have avoided sickness. Everytime my schedule shifts - even one day trips away from home - my training seems to slip.



So what do all of you do when you're traveling with little more than a pair of running shoes?  And how do you get those necessary workouts in when you're traveling on business and are limited by a tight schedule or the weather?



747 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, travel, treadmill


My knee these past few days has been OK.  I haven't been running either, so who knows, maybe the pain is lurking around the corner. The pain itself is pretty minor. It's been my mental health that has suffered more.



There is nothing worse - for me, at least - than feeling awesome, wanting to run faster and longer and not being able to. I've decided to focus my efforts in the other two areas that don't affect my knee. I guess that's the benefit to a triathlon: there are three sports to choose from.



Yesterday I took out my frustrations in the pool and whipped through the workout much faster than I intended. I was pretty tired at the end. I also was content and felt like I had accomplished something in a time when my knee has limited some of my efforts.



Gale suggested taking a look at my shoes. They are not brand new and they're not old. Somewhere in between. The shoes are a new style and brand then I've used before. I think I'll bite the bullet and go buy the shoes - Adidas Gel Nimbus - that I have used many times before. It was the shoe model I continually bought and used while on the Pacific Crest Trail. It's more of a long distance running shoe and has a super cushiony base to it.



Today is supposed to be a rest day. It rarely is for me since I typically miss one workout earlier in the week because of work etc. So back on the bike and hopefully a good long ride. I need more of those if I'm going to tackle Wildflower.



Thanks Gale for the advice!



615 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, swimming, injury, wildflower, shoes, kirsten_korosec

Base Training Recap

Posted by MikeDiesel Feb 10, 2009

Here we are starting our first week of the full Tri-Training routine and I am excited. The new program looks a lot more intense and focused than the previous plan and I am anxious to start building on my newly found running and swimming skills. Below is a summary where I sit on everything so far.


    • Swimming: I accomplished the full 1,000 meter swim at the end of the base training and I could have kept going if I wanted to. I just was not very graceful and I feel like I was putting in way too much effort getting it done. The new training with drills and detailed instructions should help a bunch.







    • Running: I can now run a solid 8 miles in a row at about an 8:30 a mile pace. I hope to be down to a sub 8 minute mile pace by the time the tri rolls around and I am sure I am capable of that.




    • Cycling: Climbing hills is easier than it was before and my recovery time is also getting faster. I attribute this to the cross training I am doing with the running and swimming. A race pace effort right now is about 18.2 MPH over 26 miles on relatively easy terrain. My goal is to be at a race pace of 20 MPH by the time I get to the Wildflower on hilly terrain. This is a pretty intense goal, but is also my favorite part of the training and I think I can do it.


611 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: running, cycling, swimming, mike, d, miked

Traveling and training

Posted by danger prone Dec 27, 2008

I'm glad to hear Mike is over the holiday hump. I won't be for another couple of days. My husband and I are visiting his family in Wisconsin and the incredible amounts of snow have made it impossible to train outside. Luckily, we had a trial pass to one of those chain fitness gyms - which I will not be naming. We've hit the gym everyday, except for Christmas.


I've managed to complete all of my training with one major exception. I haven't completed any of my swimming training since I've been here. I didn't think of bringing a swimsuit with me - it's averaging maybe 20 degrees Fahrenheit - and even if I did, the gym keeps its pool at 88 degrees. This seems way too warm to swim laps for any length of time.


We'll be back in Arizona in a few days and I'm looking forward to starting my swimming regiment. I suspect this will be the hardest sport for me because I haven't swam with any regularity in years.



Today I will attempt my longest run in training - 45 minutes. I can run at a low/moderate 10-minute mile pace for 35 minutes without stopping.When going for longer runs should I employ the walk/run strategy like five minutes running and one minute walking or should I just run as long as I can and then walk a couple of minutes if I need to?



611 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, swimming, triathlon, travel