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  • Niftygirl16 Expert 54 posts since
    Feb 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    405. Oct 4, 2011 7:27 AM (in response to Niftygirl16)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Finished the duathlon this past weekend.  It went well all things considered.  The weather was actually perfect!  upper 50's to start with cloudy skies.  It was a bit foggy but that lifted by race time.  Transition area was a grassy field and I wish they would have mowed it because the grass was about 6 inches high and soaking wet.  Glad I brought an extra pair of socks by my sneakers were drenched so I guess it didn't matter.

     

    There were only 65 entrants in this race so it was a nice small group.  I think I'd rather have a large group because the energy is just different, but I met some really nice people.  Before the start, the organizer tells us a little about the course.  He must have said "safety is the main objective" about 10 times because of the windy/hilly roads we were going to be competing on.  Some of us were getting nervous as we weren't sure what to expect.  He then breaks the bad news about the killer hill on mile 12 of the bike portion.  oh boy! 

     

    The run starts immediately uphill.  All of the races (5ks) I have done have been on flat roads so this was different.  It actually had me questioning myself way too early in this race but I wasn't about to give up so soon.  The road flattened out and the last quarter mile was downhill to the transition area.

     

    Made it to the transition area in 19:30.  Got my bike gear on and took off for the 13.5 miles.  Again with the uphill start but at least I was prepared.  what I wasn't prepared for was my bike acting up again.  I had managed to fix my shifting issues (I wasn't able to shift into my third set of gears) but after about 3 miles it started again.  So I had to do the rest of the bike without having those low gears you need to keep pace on the flats and the downhills.  I was peddling so fast and going nowhere.  It was extremely frustrating and I knew it caused me to fall to the back of the pack.  But I continued.......until that hill on the 12th mile he talked about.  This thing was almost straight up!!  I gave it a try, but only made it halfway up before having to dismount and walk the rest of the way up.  One of the women who caught up to me decided to do the same.  I think this may have helped me with the last run portion because my legs weren't so bad when I got off the bike. 

     

    It's so weird to just be getting off the bike and there are already like 10 people who have finished the entire race!!  But they were very nice and were all cheering us on and offering support.  I took off for the run knowing I had two people behind me and two people not to far in front that I focused on catching up to.  I managed to pass them both on the run and come in 61st out of 65. 

     

    My finish time was 1:50:33 which I was happy with.  My goal was to finish under 2 hours and with doing practically no training for this race I was good with that.  It again gave me the bug though and now I'm looking foward to some 5ks over the winter.  Then I can look forward to more multi-sport events next summer knowing what to expect and what I need to do to prepare.

     

    Michelle





    "At the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe."

    Completed Races:

    • 10/31/10 - Monster Mini Dash 5k (Providence, RI) - TIME 33.54
    • 3/19/11 - St. Pat's 5k (Providence, RI) - TIME 31:51

    • 8/7/11 - Jerseygirl Sprint Tri (Long Branch, NJ) 1:32:23
    • 10/2/11 - Wish it, Dream it, Du it Duathlon (Smithfield, RI) 1:50:33
  • ACKMANN Amateur 22 posts since
    Jul 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    406. Oct 4, 2011 10:02 AM (in response to Niftygirl16)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    I too completed my final multi-sport event of the season.  Its getting cold and nasty here in Ohio, so time to move to the single run events too.  This post is a bit winded, but need the space to explain what a mess this one was.

     

    The event was the Deer Creek Fall Challenge.  The official water temp was 66 degrees, I think.  Air temp at one point immediately before the start was low 40s.  And, it was windy.  Those poor folks doing the tri had to be freezing coming out of the water.  I was only doing the duathlon, so I was dry.

     

    Leading up to this event, I had nothing but problems.  Two weeks before, I got a cold.  Actually missed a couple days work trying to kick the thing.  By the time I got healthy, I was into my final week, not a time to try to get too much road time in.  So, when the weather finally cooperated, I got a nice run in, and then the next day, I wanted to do some brick training, and the bike had a flat.  I didn't have a spare, got a new tube, put it on and it popped.  So, took the wheel to the shop, had them fix it.  By the time I got home, it was raining again.... for 2 days. 

     

    Saturday morning rolls around, and its about 40 degrees, and I haven't been on the bike in two weeks.  The temps were predicted to be about the same on Sunday for the event, so I decided to get on the bike to see what would work clothing-wise for the 12 mile ride.  Well, about 1/2 into my 4 mile ride, it started to drizzle.  I also realized I was freezing cold.  Obviously, something had to be done to be warmer for the longer ride.  And, the front gear wasn't shifting right.

     

    So, off to the bike shop to get it fixed.  The guys there jumped on it, gave it a full once over and got me going without problem.

     

    So, on Sunday morning, we all pile into the car, including the kids and dog.  I get to the event and get my number, get to the rack and I get the first spot on an end.  WOO HOO!  I have only two events under my belt, and two people were asking me for help with getting their transition set up for their first event.  That was scary. 

     

    The announcer said they were letting folks switch from the Tri to the Du, given the temps.  I was cold enough without worrying about getting wet.  I'm told some did the swim in just a bathing suit.  I was cold just looking at the lady running in a one piece suit.

     

    I ended up wearing an Under Armour Heat Gear moc turtle neck under my bike jersey for the first run with a technical sweatshirt over that.  It was pretty good for the 5k, getting warmed up.  Then, for the bike ride, I took off the sweatshirt and put on a windbreaker jacket.  That kept the wind off my core for the ride.  Then took the jacket off for the last run.

     

    The wind was hitting somewhere around 20+ mph for the bike ride.  You could see everyone slow down when they hit the headwind legs of the ride.  And, oh yeah, don't forget about the fresh tar and cinders the township put down on part of the ride that had a headwind.  That was like biking on sand.

     

    So, overall, it was an experience, given the cold and the wind.  And, I battled a hamstring cramp the second run.  The first 5k was a PR for me in a multi event.  The bike was horrid, due to the wind, and the second run, well, lets just say I'm not bragging about that one.

     

    So, whats next?  Well, I volunteer for the a half marathon in two weeks, then some 5ks over the winter and joining the Y so I have access to a pool to begin my odyssey to move to a few Tri events next year.   But, also on the agenda for next year to to finish a 13.1.  Probably look to a tri coach, to at least get me going in the spring, with the swim and to increase my run pace.

     

    I've appreciated the rest of your posts and feel better knowing others struggle like I do.  Keep up the good work everyone.  And keep the good posts coming.

  • retiredgirl61 Pro 171 posts since
    Dec 3, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    407. Oct 12, 2011 9:11 PM (in response to Jasmine1972)
    Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Hi friends -- somehow I stopped receiving notifications for the posts on this thread.  Tried resetting -- hope it works. 

     

    Well, I DNFd my final race of the season (The Golden State Sprint) because there was absolutely no way I could do the swim.  It was in the American River which is fed by snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Usually the American River is pretty tame, although cold, in the summer.  But is was high, fast, and really cold this year and we had to swim upstream against the current.  It was a 1/2 mile swim, 15 mi bike, 5K run.  There were a large number of DNFs on the swim, including some friends who are really good swimmers and experienced triatheles.  Out of a group of six of us buddies, only 1 was able to finish the race.  After swimming for several minutes against the current and making no progress at all, I decided to swim to shore before I got so exhausted I had to be towed in by a kayak.  3 of my friends had to be towed in by the kayaks and the kayakers were having trouble making progress and needed the swimmers they were towing to kick to help them.  2 friends finished the swim -- one, a former Force Recon Marine made it in 40 minutes but said it was scary -- the other a somewhat better swimmer than I am but very determined, took 1 hr 44 min to finish the swim.  The Marine finished the race with a respectable time (it was his first tri).  The other friend was disqualified during the bike portion because she didn't get it completed in time -- bummer.  There were 5 or 6 swimmers taken away in an ambulance wrapped in space blankets -- most had no wetsuits.  The water temperature was in the 50s and you definitely needed a wetsuit especially if you were in the water as long as people were.

     

    All in all it was a good experience and I still feel like I made a good decision.  There was no way I would have been able to finish the swim and I really don't want to have a bad swim experience -- I have enough psychological problems with the swim already.

     

    My coach and I have already set goals for the next year.  I'm going to keep training for a couple of months, concentrating on continuous swimming and run endurance.  Then I'll take December off (I want to get a tattoo and you can't swim for a few weeks afterwards).  Then pick up training again in early January.  I'll probably do another sprint in April (called the Ice Breaker because the water is sooooo cold).  Maybe a sprint again in May and then shift to Olympic distance every month for the rest of the summer.  I may try the Golden State sprint again next year if I'm swimming well enough. 

     

    I'm definitely ready for a break -- I did 5 triathlons and crewed the bike race across the US this summer.  That's enough now.  Next week I'm going on a kayaking trip on the lower Columbia River in Washington -- we'll be visiting Lewis & Clark locations.  That will be fun -- I hope to not have to do any swimming!  But it will definitely be cold, I think.  It's a little late in the year and probably will be rainy.

     

    Enjoy your off season, friends.





    Retired, but not watching TV much

    Started walking/running 9/2010

    Folsom Turkey Trot 5 K 2010 (walked)

    Valentines Day 4 mile run, 2/12/11 1:00:30

    Starting triathalon training w/coach 3/1/11

    Komen Sacramento Race for the Cure 5K 5/7/11 (walk with friends)

    Tri for Fun Sprint 6/4/11 (2:55)

    Crew for Bike Team, Race Across America 6/16-26/11 (6 days, 16 hr, 7 min)

    Tri for Fun Sprint 7/9/11 (2:46)

    Tri for Fun Sprint 8/7/11 (2:31)

    Luna Bar Women's Tri 9/11/11 (3:17)

    Golden State Sprint Tri 10/9/11 (DNF)

  • KurtinSC Pro 126 posts since
    Nov 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    408. Oct 24, 2011 12:40 PM (in response to retiredgirl61)
    Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Well, this past Saturday was the end of my triathlon season this year.  It was my third and it was an olympic/international distance event (my first of that length).  It was the Hickory Knob Triathlon located in McCormick, South Carolina.

     

    I live about 2 hours away, so I got up at 5 AM and set out on the long dark drive along many SC back roads to get to the event.  I passed through the gigantic cities of Laurens, Greenwood, Bradley and McCormick on my long slog to the park.  I rolled in a bit after 7 AM (the event started at 9) and got out of the car.  it was a brisk 45 degrees outside.  NICE.  But I had plenty of time to get registered get my transition area set up and scout out the swim course a little bit.

     

    Suprise #1... the swim exit wasn't all that close to the transition area.  It had to be about 300 yards up hill to get from the pier to the transition zone.  And it was a nasty-steep uphill on a pavement path in bare feet.. that would likely be numb.  Add to that the fact that the exit from the water was to climb up some sort of cargo net, and I started to get a bit worried.

     

    So I stretch, eat a little, use the bathroom, and pretty soon it's time to head down to the start of the swim.  I had signed up for the "novice" group in this event, which was the 4th wave to start (the last of the olympic distance participants).  As we all start walking down to the lake I realize that I am the ONLY person without a wetsuit.  I didn't see a single person other then me with a regular tri-suit or set of tri-shorts.  I was the only bare-chested one there.  It was a LITTLE warmer at this point... I'd guess in the high 50's, but I was definitely shivering when it was time to get in the water.

     

    I hop in... and it's not that bad.  68 degrees in the water... it feels a bit brisk but not much worse then some cold pools I've worked out in.  They count down and sound the horn at it was time to start swimming.  Our wave was small (10-20 people), so there wasn't that much traffic.  But the first leg of the triangular course was directly into the sun.  Sighting the bouy was pretty much impossible.  And to be honest, my ability to swim straight hasn't gotten any better even without the sun.  I was all over the place and eventually just settled on swimming a VERY wide loop around the bouys.  Not my most efficient swim and I probably covered an extra 200 yards or more, but no problems with the distance.  I get to the cargo nets... and I can't get out.  My feet kept going underneath the dock and I couldn't get any purchase.  Eventually two guys that were helping people out of the water each grabbed an arm and hoisted my 230 pounds out.  Not exactly a proud moment.

     

    So I start walking up to the transition area.  The hill was too steep and my feet were a bit numb, so there was no way I was going to risk jogging and stubbing a toe.  Takes me a good 3 minutes to get up there I'd guess and I make my way to my bike.  It's not feeling that cold, so I go with the short sleeve bike shirt, and take my time getting ready, eat and bannana and head out.  My legs are a bit wobbly though, and when I go to mount my bike it takes me some time, but eventually I'm on and pedaling away.  And then... come the hills.  Not little hills  BIG hills.  STEEP hills.  I'm in the granny gear and fighting for breath right off the bat and it's just non-stop.  The description said the course flattened out... but I never noticed it.  It was BRUTAL the entire way.  About 20 miles into the 28 mile course, my legs start cramping up.  Not a little tightness in the calf... no, SEARING pain all through my quads, hamstrings and calf every time I hit another hill.  I'm nearly crying the cramps are so bad.  I slow down and soft pedal and they fade, but when I try to amp up the speed again they come back.  Finally I'm at the very end and I hit the last steep hill before the bike to run transition.  And here come the cramps, worse then any so far.  I honestly thought I'd fall off my bike because I couldn't push it up the hill.  I was talking to myself out loud, "come on.  Keep pedaling.  Don't fall over.  The pain's almost done.  Please keep pedaling".  Finally the last hill ends and I unclip and coast to the transition, trying to let my legs relax before I dismount.  I'm able to get off without falling, but I miss the entrance to the transition and have to walk my bike around a bit.

     

    So, I take off my bike shoes and put on my running shoes, massaging my quads as I'm sitting there.  I came very close to just quitting there to be honest, but I decided I'd give it a shot... I was already nearly 3 hours in, so what was there to lose?  I eat another bannanna, put a granola bar in the back pocket of my bike jersey just in case, walk to the transition exit and begin a very ginger waddle/run onto the run course.  As I get going, I'm noticing there are still a few cyclists coming in.  Well I figure if they're still going I certainly can't stop.  But as soon as I hit a hill my legs explode in cramps again.  Simply put... I can't run uphill at all, so I decide I'll just walk the uphills and run the downhills and flats.

     

    Well... there wasn't much flat in the run.  I go past the turnaround for the sprint distance event that was already done and think to myself... what would happen if I just turn here?  But no, I keep going.  I get passed by some people but eventually I seem to be running by myself.  I'm starting to think I'm last on the course.  I hit an incredibly steep hill (the one that first punched me on the bike) that causes my legs to cramp up when simply walking up the hill.  I make my way to the turn around and start heading back.  On the way I start to pass some people going the other way.  There are 3 women behind me still, the furthest back maybe a mile behind.  But she's trucking along at a great clip... I think she must have had bike problems as opposed to struggling with physical issues like me.  I pass the 4-mile marker with my walk/run cadence.  Still okay.  I hit the 5-mile marker... and the woman who was bringing up the rear cruises past me.  A minute or two later, the second passes me.  And a minute after that, the last one passes me.  5 and a half miles into the run, and I'm last on course.  Ah well, I've come this far I'm not going to stop now, right?

     

    So, I eventually come to that last hill that killed me on the bike and walk up it, then see if I can at least jog across the finish line from the top of the hill.  About 30 feet away... my calf seizes up with a cramp.  So I limp gingerly across the finish line as the announcer says my name.  Total time, 4:18:05.  38:21 on the swim, climbing out of the water and walking to the transition.  1:59:31 on the bike.  1:32:02 on the run/walk/hobble.  About 20 minutes slower then I was hoping (which still would have put me in last among the male finishers).

     

     

    So... the positives... I finished.  Three men and one woman didn't, so that counts for a lot.  I was very close to giving up.  My blood sugar level was perfect at the end, so I apparently managed the nutrition part of a 4+ hour block of exercise decently enough.  My cardiovascular fitness was not the limiting factor on my performance either.

     

    Lessons learned:  The olympic distance is probably a bit too much for me at this stage.  I might have been able to do okay on a flat course, but this hill-loaded event was WAY out of my league.  I'm going to stick to sprints for a while and  my next stab at an olympic distance event will be at the beach somewhere... nice and flat.  I couldn't guage my running very well because my legs were already completely destroyed from the bike.  I actually think my running has been improving but you couldn't tell from this race.

     

     

    So next on the agenda after this... a week off to let my tortured legs heal a bit, then run training for my 5-mile thanksgiving day turkey trot and my 5-K January 7th race for the grasshopper.  Next year I think will be just a few sprint triathlons and pushing the running training with the possible goal of a half marathon by October (we'll see... need to get past some foot issues with longer distance runs for it to be possible).  After that, maybe I can find a nice flat course early in 2013 to try the olympic distance again.

  • Turtle Who Runs Pro 110 posts since
    Sep 29, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    409. Oct 28, 2011 10:43 AM (in response to KurtinSC)
    Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Hi everyone!  Congrats to everyone for having a great triathlon season.  Now, I know that not every race went perfect for everyone, with crappy weather, hills, hills and more hills, injured bodies, egos (mine especially when I finished last-twice!), and gear, but for me at least, I had the best time becoming a triathlete!  I learned so much about the sport and myself, and I'll say it, I'm pretty damn proud of myself for, despite not being the most in shape person, getting out there and actually doing it.  I'm proud of all of us, and because of everyone here sharing their experiences, and feelings about the whole process, I'm excited about next year already. 

     

    While I've been taking a bit of a break since my last tri (aka: being lazy), training season will be back before I know it.

     

    Thanks for all of your information, stories, and advice, and I hope everyone has a great offseason!

     

    -Kelly





    -I may be slow, but at least I'm moving forward. 
  • Niftygirl16 Expert 54 posts since
    Feb 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    410. Nov 1, 2011 1:13 PM (in response to Turtle Who Runs)
    Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Totally agree with Kelly!  I really learned alot this year about what I can do if I put my mind to it and I'm really looking forward to going into next season with at lleast knowing what to expect and hopefully just improve on my times.

     

    I too enjoyed becoming a multisport athlete and I can't thank everyone on this website enough for the information and encouragement.  It truly is a great group of people associated with these events .

     

    Michelle





    "At the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe."

    Completed Races:

    • 10/31/10 - Monster Mini Dash 5k (Providence, RI) - TIME 33.54
    • 3/19/11 - St. Pat's 5k (Providence, RI) - TIME 31:51

    • 8/7/11 - Jerseygirl Sprint Tri (Long Branch, NJ) 1:32:23
    • 10/2/11 - Wish it, Dream it, Du it Duathlon (Smithfield, RI) 1:50:33
  • Mikala_SF Pro 87 posts since
    Apr 14, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    411. Nov 1, 2011 1:17 PM (in response to Turtle Who Runs)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    I'm getting ready for my first race of the year this Saturday and I'm getting nervous!  I started getting back into shape this past June after having two babies in as many years.  But I was slow even before babies so it's not that like that's holding me back.   I'm doing a sprint at the Marin County Triathlon.





    My weight loss blog, pictures, etc (started in 2007):

    http://diaryofanaspiringloser.blogspot.com

  • Niftygirl16 Expert 54 posts since
    Feb 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    412. Nov 1, 2011 1:20 PM (in response to Mikala_SF)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Good luck in your race and congrats on the growing family .  Let us know how the race turns out for you!

     

    Michelle





    "At the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe."

    Completed Races:

    • 10/31/10 - Monster Mini Dash 5k (Providence, RI) - TIME 33.54
    • 3/19/11 - St. Pat's 5k (Providence, RI) - TIME 31:51

    • 8/7/11 - Jerseygirl Sprint Tri (Long Branch, NJ) 1:32:23
    • 10/2/11 - Wish it, Dream it, Du it Duathlon (Smithfield, RI) 1:50:33
  • Mikala_SF Pro 87 posts since
    Apr 14, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    413. Nov 3, 2011 8:43 AM (in response to Niftygirl16)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    Thanks!!  I'll post my race report here when I'm done.  Eeek! 

    Niftygirl16 wrote:

     

    Good luck in your race and congrats on the growing family .  Let us know how the race turns out for you!

     

    Michelle





    My weight loss blog, pictures, etc (started in 2007):

    http://diaryofanaspiringloser.blogspot.com

  • Mikala_SF Pro 87 posts since
    Apr 14, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    414. Nov 5, 2011 5:56 PM (in response to Mikala_SF)
    Re: Slow triathletes - Training for 2011

    What a day!  I finished in around 1 hour, 41 minutes, give or take.  I got a little teary at the finish line, which I was not expecting, I was definitely challenged but I had fun facing up to it and felt very grateful for my health and my body.   My kids didn't make it in time to greet me at the finish line.  I plan to do the Olympic distance next year and told my husband they have to be there then!

     

    The full race report, which is probably 10x more details than you'd want, and a few pictures are on my blog which is in my signature.





    My weight loss blog, pictures, etc (started in 2007):

    http://diaryofanaspiringloser.blogspot.com

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