Thursday, July 31, 2008
Feeling totally buoyant (!) after the Rogue women's Tri, I have decided to go all the way and do all three things (swim, bike and run) at the upcoming Temple Tri on Aug 10th (Thanks Steph, for telling us about it). It sounds like an easy beginners' tri with 350 meter pool swim, 9.1 mile bike, 2.1 mile. Vinit would also be in town that weekend and he really surprised me by saying that he would consider doing it too if we could arrange a bike for him. He has been running on his own quite a bit and he feels he is in good shape to give it a try. I know he is a decent swimmer but he is not likely to get a swim workout in Berkeley before he gets to Austin. Regardless of that, I feel confident that he can handle the swim part well.
So..... he and I signed up to do the Temple Tri yesterday. Yipppppeee!!!
A lot of support from friends made this happen:
By talking about her tri experiences, Sharanya has been encouraging me do the whole thing by myself.
Savi has been kind enough to lend me her bike gear for this race.
Arun has agreed to give me a Bike 101 class tonight.
The 'awesome' Steph said that Vinit could use her road bike for the race which should be a good fit for him. She also offerred to lend us her bike rack for the trip to Temple, TX. AND she solved a lot of my pool swim related doubts.
It's super to get all this help.
There isn't much time between now and the tri. I have to do some serious biking this weekend and get some swim workouts before tapering down at the end of next week.
Looking forward to more tri-ing...
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Till now, I had managed to keep fear at bay by distracting myself with the training, and other preparations, but it kept gnawing at me as I drove. That was one reason why I had to be at the race venue in advance. I was at Texas Ski Ranch just a little after 6a. No other Trioomphers had gotten there. And with my relay partner still absent from the scene, I couldn't do much about setting up transition. I got body marked, got my timing chip and sat in front of the lake looking at the swim course and "trying" to get comfortable with it.
The yellow buoys marked the 300m swim course - it seemed like a LONG distance. The lake seemed too BIG. I wasn't trained well. I would get tired. Fed up with all the negative thoughts, I just started looking at other athletes, their gears, the bikes.
45 minutes or so later I made my way to transition and found other trioomphers - the two Stephanies, Cha, G3, Sha, and Savi. It calmed my nerves a little to see all of them. Around 7.20 or so, Savi and I went to the swim start area for me to get warmed up and get familiar with the water. The water was warm and you couldn't see a thing under it. There were these small tadpole kind of fish that nibbled on my calves and startled me more than once. The first time I went out, I came back panting, and desperately short of breath. I couldn't do it. The last buoy was too far. How would I last the entire distance. I didn't know any stroke other than freestyle. I didn't even know how to tread water properly. I strongly contemplated telling Savi that I would quit. And hoped that she would understand. But then.... if hundreds of other women over there could attempt to do it - a lot of them for the first time - SO COULD I. Besides, Ganesh and Arun had come from Austin to cheer us in the race. And Vinit - who I knew would be really proud if I finished the swim. I couldn't let any of them down. I couldn't let myself down.
So I went out for a test swim again. This time it was slightly better but I panicked once I was 25 yards away from the shore. I swam right back and found Sha entering the water. One look at me and she knew how I was feeling inside. She was full of just perfect words - "Iti, you can do it", "you'll be fine", "it just looks very far". I swam a couple more times and then just decided to work on my mind.. filling it with positive stuff - thinking about my training, calming my nerves by saying positive stuff to other trioomphers. Meanwhile I also spotted 2 life guards with floats and 2 people on canoes in diff spots on the swim course. The strategy was formed. I would just swim to the first person, then the next, then the next and so on. And then I found out that if I hung on to the floats to take a breath, I wouldn't be disqualified.
Great.. super... Sha and I were to go out in the last wave with the other relay swimmers. We saw all the other trioomphers start their swim in their respective waves. Soon it was our turn. Once we went in, I hung to the back of the pack and swam slowly to the first life guard. Stopped for a breath. So far so good. I wasn't warmed up enough and could not get my rhythm but I was still in the game at least. Next I got to the first canoe and after a short breather, swam right to the last buoy. That was the turn around point. Since I was the last swimmer, the first life guard with the float was right behind me. She was one big help. I had constant encouragement along the way. By now I was warmed up enough and swam the last 100m non stop. It was the most inefficient stroke EVER. All the "good" swimming practices that I incorporated in my training never really showed in my swim BUT at least I finished the swim without drowning!! I was ecstatic !
From swim finish area I ran to the relay area, where Savi was waiting for me. I gave her the timing chip and off she went with the bike. I had close to an hour to get changed and ready for my run. I found Sha (she was Preethi's partner) and she told me how she was having a tough time with her stomach - Madam had dined at Thai Passion the previous day!! :D We just hung around, ate a little and talked about our tri experiences.
Savi came in at around 10.15a and after the chip exchange, I took off for the run. It was 2 mile out and back course and the sun was beating down like anything by now. The temperature must have been in upper 90s and I felt it within a few yards of running. But I wanted to maintain my pace anyhow and the effort nicely led to side stitches. I kept my pace and waited for them to subside. It was hot hot hot. On my way back I crossed Sha (Preethi had come in a little while after Savi) and we did a little high five and then there was Cha at the entrance of the Ranch. I was dead from the heat by the time I entered the Ranch again. But the voice of the MC over the speakers, the cheering from the onlookers made me sprint the last few hundred meters and there it was - my pink and white finisher's medal :)
After cooling off a little bit , I met all the other people. EVERYBODY finished and did really well. Lots of photos, hugs, congratulations later, we also got the biggest team award. It was awesome!! I couldn't eat anything because of the heat, although there was yummy food from Tacodeli, mimosas, and ice cream. However, I did get a free massage before driving back to Austin with Savi :)
I really need to work on my swim. I do fine in the pool but open water scared the sh** out of me. Panic totally got me in this one. Many many more open water sessions in Barton Springs.
Our Relay Timing:
|Overall Place||10 / 11|
|Gender Place||10 / 11|
|Division Place||8 / 11|
|Swim 300M Rank||11|
|Swim 300M Time||14:48|
|Bike 11 1M Rank||10|
|Bike 11 1M Time||1:15:04|
|Run 2 Mi Rank||8|
|Run 2 Mi Time||23:52|
Friday, July 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
So here it is you have planned your weeks and basically already done the distance for your triathlon and you are still getting the butterflies!! RELAX and realize you’re now just putting it together you already know you can do the distance. For many, you have actually trained beyond the race distance. If you start to fatigue during your race you just need to stay determined to keep moving forward at whatever pace works for you especially as new triathlete. Triathlons are really an individual effort so just do your best and know that some days, some races, some training days are better than others. Realize you really only have a few perfect races in your LIFETIME! The key is knowing how to deal with those not so perfect moments and pushing through internally to drive through those unexpected moments. (hopefully you have visualized how to deal with them at some point in your training) The best part should really be the training you put into your weeks leading up to your race and now just seeing yourself pull it all together whether walking, floating, coasting or sprinting it all, its all about YOU and YOU doing your BEST whatever that is in the moment!!
RACE WEEK TIPS
Race Week should be some type of taper and depending on your training it is likely different than others. However, you want to bring it down and still keep some fast twitch muscles moving a little (just short bursts) during your last few training sessions. This helps with muscle memory and helps you retain those speed sessions.
REST: you will want to rest and relax. Most people have trouble sleeping the night of the race so be sure the few days before you go to bed early and get some good solid sleep to prepare you for your race day. The day before your race try not to stand a lot, try to rest quite a bit. Sometimes a light massage is also helpful, but not too close to the race and depends on your muscles/tightness and type of massage. Be sure to let your massage therapist know you are racing soon.
NUTRITION: This is very different for everyone so it is best to check with a registered dietician and determine what works for you. In a general sense, most people DO NOT need a week of BIG “carbo loading week/night” for a SPRINT triathlon. Typically, the fact that you reduce some of your training this week cuts down your output and then your normal nutrition intake if it has been consistent should suffice. (relative that you are on a good nutrition program during your training) There may be some adjustments on a few things as it draws close see below day before tips. NO NEW FOODS/RESTRAUNTS ETC!!
During your training up to your race, you should have practiced what you will wear, and narrowed this down. You will want to start laying things out early and get any last minute things (like a race belt) or anything you will need. It is best to do this the weekend before, so you will be relaxed the day/weekend of your race. TRY TO BE ORGANIZED-IT HELPS!! Especially if you are traveling!!
2 DAYS BEFORE:
Most programs recommend take a day off completely for rest 2 days prior to your race.
PACKET-PICK-UP: make sure you read through packet, look at maps, if you have questions this is your chance to ask so you can ease your mind about the course, or any questions you may have come race day. Some people like to pick-up early look at the maps and drive the course a little to get an idea of the bike and where to park come race day. Some would just rather wait---it’s up to you and your comfort.
You typically will do a light/small work-out just to get the muscles loose (depends on race/training plan) the day before. It is common to swim 5 minutes, bike 10-15, jog 5 minutes or less depending on the distance and your personal training the day before and practice transitions.
NUTRITION: again depends on recommendations by your dietician, but for most, you will typically eat a large breakfast and lunch and still stay with your healthy snacks as normal. Your dinner will typically be lighter as far as SIZE and maybe earlier so you can allow your body to digest approximately 14 hours prior to race time. BE CAREFUL WITH ANYTHING SPICEY. Also watch your dairy products as well. You also have to be careful with gels/gu’s etc during your race if you are not use to these items. You basically need to train with what you will race with on race day. Or be EXTRA careful with over doing it come race day. As a standard with most nutrition plans, the basic food pyramid, You will want to cut back on high fiber types of foods within the day/or few days before. You do not want to have any digestion problems during your race. Also, cut back on fats, greasy foods, and HIGH SUGARS, which would be standard if you have been following basic guidelines.
NIGHT BEFORE: make sure you have everything laid out and ready to go for early
morning so you’re not running around looking for your helmet or some other item.
RACE MORNING:Get up early and start your routine, breakfast and fluids right away. Before you leave your house/hotel: look in the mirror and tell yourself some POWERFUL things like I AM G REAT ! I AM CONFIDENT! I AM PREPARED FOR THIS RACE! IF I get distracted or have an unexpected moment I WILL PULLL THROUGH IT!
ENVISION a GREAT race. TODAY is not so much about training today. It is 90% mental on race day, if you have already done your training up to this point. Sometimes, and hopefully you have already trained your mind with the mental aspects of racing, even the what if’s of things going wrong…(think about those things and play it in your mind how you are going to handle the situation and get back to your race. What if you get a flat, see yourself fixing a flat quickly and patiently and then getting back into the race) Sometimes its good to just see parts of the race, maybe you want a great swim or your best bike time, or drop some seconds in transition. Don’t worry so much about the awards/rankings….just break the race up into your personal records and sometimes it is just a finish and that alone is an achievement!! At this point you have done all the training, miles/distance/time so you will be fine come race day. It’s like baking a cake you have all the ingredients in the bowl now you just put it in the oven and hope for the best come race day!!
ARRIVAL: early is best EXPECT LINES w/parking, picking up a chip, porta potties, and walking from parking to transition may be far. Get your things set-up in transition area early, walk around know the in/out of transitions for each swim in/bike out and bike in and run out, look at the swim – look at the direction you will going and what is around/landmarks. Do a walk through of swimming to Transition 1 to bike to Transition 2 to run.
TRANSITION: make sure you set up equipment in “what makes sense” how are you going to be putting it on and what order? and have everything placed out the fastest and easiest to getting you out of transition. After you have set up transition: make sure you leave w/goggles, swim cap, chip-on, (maybe carry an extra throw-away water bottle for warm-up, prior to race)
EASY WARM-UP if you are able to, warm up slightly on the bike, do a light jog on the run course the finishing stretch is helpful or around the transition areas in/outs, also close to race time practice the swim and get in the water go slow/easy practice some form and sighting. As you walk out of your warm-up, take a moment alone to see your race in your mind and visualize your success.
SWIM: goggles-spit or special anti-defoggers prior to race, sometimes tints helpful for glare in sun, swim caps normally provided for race, count the buoys or know the landmarks of your swim, (wet suit—might need plastic bags to help put on suit—also allow time to put on in the morning, body glide helps as well)
BIKE: when you set up Transition make sure you check your bike—sometimes your travel will cause movement, brakes, easy gears etc. socks? Do you need them? Have you practiced without them?
RUN: hat/sunglasses helpful, race belt/#, shoe laces open, or fast tie system (yankz)
MOST IMPORTANT: HAVE FUN with IT!! THIS IS A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT!! LESS than 10% of the population does a triathlon and you are one of them; so just do your best and be happy with it. There is always room for improvement no matter how many times you do these races or how much experience you have under your belt. Today is just about you and the best you got today!! GO GET EM and have a great race!! GOOD LUCK TRIATHLETE!!
Coach Milissa Day
The funniest part is that I would NEVER buy these things. It's just that THANKFULLY, I won't have another cotton race tee to add to my ever-expanding collection. I mean, there have been a few keepers, but who want to wear this nonsense?
And, if you were wondering what you should wear this weekend, take a minute to read this. :-)
FOUR MORE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
When I think back to my first tri (which was incidentally the Rogue Women's Tri in 2007), I remember how nervous I felt. I was the sort of student who used to burn the midnite oil right before exams, and I think part of that attitude carried over because I remember thinking whether there was more I could do during race week to "catch up". I had doubts as to whether I was in shape to do the tri, having only started with the training group 3 weeks prior.
My tri coach had reassured me that I had done all the training I needed to do, and race week was the time to relax. So, those of you who might have similar concerns as I previously did, do take heart! :) My coach had advised that the goal is to stay active during race week, and get in some easy workouts, not longer than 20min - whether swim, bike or run - so that one is well-rested before the race. So that come Sunday, your body is in good shape to do its magic!
This Tri is somewhat different for me since I'm doing to be doing it as a relay. My goal is to just have fun, and do the best I can. I've had a lot on my plate these past few months in different areas of my life, and I could have definitely trained harder - but cest la vie. I'm going to have fun in this race. And I'll have the joy of seeing some of my gal pals - Iti, Savi, Preethi, G3 & Steph Jr. - complete their first tri! :)
Good luck, ladies!
1. Swim at Canyon Vista Pool today (Tues) to reassure myself that I can still do 300m (and some more) in the swimming pool.
2. Yoga on Wed.
3. Swim at Barton Springs Pool on Thu.
4. Do nothing or run a little on Fri.
4. Day before race day (Saturday) - leisure grocery shopping at Farmers' Market, packet pick up, may be brunch with the girls, pack for the race day and lie on the couch watching movies :)
5. Sunday: Rogue Women's Tri !!
I am super excited but still a little nervous since this is my first Tri. I wish I had gone to just "see" another Triathlon so I knew what it's like at the venue. Sha and I were planning to go to Danskin but we never made it. Anyway, I am guessing I'll have enough time to figure out getting changed from my swimwear to running clothes on the race day.
I am thinking about signing up for Sweet and Twisted Tri (Aug 24th) but I'll decide based on how my swim goes this weekend and if I can get a relay partner again. There is also the Nike Human Race 10k coming up on Aug 31st. Here's a little something about it.
"On 08.31.08, Nike is making a statement like no other before. Nike is putting on the World’s Largest Running Event. The 10k event will be the ultimate runner experience. By combining our digital running world with the physical, the Nike+ Human Race is open to anyone, anywhere. Nike is hosting race events in 25 cities around the world, but by logging into nikeplus.com, every city and every road can become a race-day course."
Austin is one of these 25 cities and the race is in the evening at 6.30p followed by a concert at 8.30p. I also read somewhere that Lance Armstrong will be running it but don't know which city he'll be running in. It sounds like a great race and I really want to do it but it's the labor day weekend and husband and I are still not sure about our plans for that weekend.
As is often the case, I began looking at other races that I might be able to squeeze in between now and Sweet & Twisted. I found the Temple Tri : http://www.ci.temple.tx.us/index.asp?NID=826. Anyone game??? It's only 40$! I did a similar race last year and finished top in my age group, earning a gold medal which I gave to my parents. I am pretty sure they thought I'd won an Olympic medal!
To add to my jitters, my boyfriend's company party is on Saturday at, of all places, Schlitterbahn! Let's see how well I can stay hydrated, rested and un-burnt on the day before my race...
PLEASE PLEASE drink lots of water when you are training and ensure that you are eating well both throughout the day and also have enough nutrition in before/during any training session. With the terrible weather these days, hydrating is even more important!! Also, I’m one of those people who has trouble drinking while riding the bike. If that’s the case, with you as well don’t be afraid or hesitate to ride your bike to the side.. stop..and have a drink. It’s better to lose a couple of minutes doing that than becoming dehydrated later - or worse yet blacking out like I did!!
Other than that though....my ride went well! This was my first ride on my new road bike - Scarlett II - and it took me a while to get adjusted to the new gear positionings, pedals, my new posture on the bike etc, but I got the hang of it after a while and even managed to conquer some hills - thanks to some pushing from Amit Bhai!
Big big thanks to Amit Bhai, G3, Rad, Kalp, Amina, and Anne, for being there for me yesterday when this incident happened and offering me all their H2O and nutrients. You peeps totally rock!! Amit Bhai - you are truly coach material!!! :)
Also everyone....here's introducing Scarlett II! :)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I'm moving this week and I am terrified that some important, race-related item (think: body glide!) will get lost in the shuffle. My "race stuff" box, I've decided, is being packed tonight and placed directly in my car so there's no chance of it being misplaced. So I have that going for me!
Next item: my back. It hurts and it's hurt for days. (PLEASE, OH PLEASE Barton Springs. Work your medicinal healing magic tonight and release this grisly knot of pain in my shoulder!) Yeah, so now I'm addressing the pool. It's very possible that I'm losing my mind...
Ladies of Tri-Oomph, I know we had some issues with the Springs on Saturday, and that's OK. Rest assured that tonight, you'll swim like the little aquatic creatures you're made to be. Check it out:
"Human babies are born fat, whereas all other primate babies are born lean. Human babies can swim from the moment of birth. Other primate babies cannot. Human babies not only float but also, after being born submerged, can swim under their own power, holding their breath until reaching the surface. In the water, the human baby is not helpless. From the moment of birth on, the human baby can swim alongside its mother." -from "The Aquatic Ape" by Captain Paul Watson
I don't know if any triathlete would ever consider themselves fully ready, but I am still missing important items...such as a bike. I've gone to look at some, and kept my eye on Craig's List for some time now, but haven't found the right one yet. I decided it's too late in the game to be picky, so hopefully the bike I am going to go look at today is rideable and in good enough shape. I also need to exchange my gloves, get some shorts to run in, get tire fixing materials, learn how to fix a tire, and get some sort of runners' ...fanny pack?
We have a swim planned tonight at Barton Springs that I am quite nervous about. My first open water swim was last Saturday, and I must say, I freaked out. The water was so cold that my breaths were shallow, and my strokes were weak. I have always felt quite comfortable in the water, as I used to swim on a swim team as a kid. Practicing in lap pools has really brought that back to me, as well, but Saturday's swim scared me. Only thing to do when you're scared is to face that fear, so I am nervous, yet excited, to see how I do tonight.
On Saturday, I also ran the longest I've ever run....ever! I joined the ASHA team for a 3.5 mi Barton Creek loop from Mo-Pac to the pedestrian bridge. It was painful, but I was elated to even know my body was capable of running such distances. My running buddy Steph really got me through it and is so encouraging, as was the whole team. During the Tri, I'm going to have to imagine her running with me and giving me pointers so I can get through it. ;-)
I wanted to be competitive in this Triathalon, but I'll probably just be happy if I complete it. There are other future races that I can compete in. Just going from not being able to run a quarter mile without stopping, to completing any sort of Tri distance, and in two months, is a huge accomplishment for me that I am proud of.
See you at the finish line!
Onto more meaningful stuff - my training has been going as planned more or less. I have been trying different city pools - Deep Eddy, West Enfield, Stacy, Canyon Vista, Barton Springs. A few workout highlights from past few weeks:
2 weeks back I swam the race distance of 300m for the first time in Deep Eddy. I was thrilled that day. First time I felt confident that I could do it!
Our company is offering Yoga classes for a minimal cost. I have signed up for the Intermediate level. These once a week classes make my body feel totally stretched out and rejuvinated :)
The running part is also going good. Occassionaly I run around the block near my apartment complex and I have been surprising myself repeatedly by doing it much faster than last year. May be all the cross training is helping me do it.
The most interesting workout session happenned this past Saturday (July 12th). Tri-oomphers (Steph, Steph, Sha, Cha, G3 and myself) did a brick - swim at Barton Springs pool followed by a run at Town Lake. This was my first time in open water environment. Gosh it was totally unexpectedly nerve racking!!
The water at Barton Springs remains at 68F year round and we were there at 7 in the morning. Gingerly I stepped into the pool, slowly getting accustomed to the water. I was standing in waist high water debating whether there was still time to chuck all this and go home to a warm bed. Right then, G3 jumped into the water and started splashing water on everyone. That didn't leave me with much choice really and I took the plunge. After some brief pointers about "sighting" from Stephanie, we started swimming. One lap would be around 400m.
I started alright but as soon as I saw the floor drop abruptly I freaked out. Swam right back to where we started and just stood there. I thought I needed more time to get used to the environs. So I got my kickboard out and started kicking. I must have gone out about 150m or so when I heard someone shout my name. I thought it was Sha or someone asking me to forget the kickboard and go right into it. I felt like screaming back "Cut me some slack lady! It's my first time!" Then I heard it again "Itisha! Help!" What?? Someone asking ME for help! I needed major help myself. :D
I quickly went to the side, held the rail and looked around. Damn those foggy goggles wouldn't let me see anything. Removed them and spotted G3 swimming towards me saying "I need help. The plants. They are freaking me out." Shit! I didn't know what to do. I couldn't go out myself. I was scared. I shouted "Hey it's ok. Just grab this." and threw my kickboard to her. It didn't go very far but I don't think she needed that anyway. She was doing breast stroke. I think at one point I even said "Just breathe. It's ok." (Whatever prompted me to say that - it must have been the Yoga's instructor's voice in my head.) Anyway G3 reached the side. By then Cha and Sha had also gotten there. G3 told us how the plants would freak her out everytime she started doing freestyle. We decided to pair up and go back to the starting point - Cha with G3 and Sha with me. I left my kickboard there and started swimming back with Sha. I must have taken 4 breaks to swim those 150m or so. ha ha. Pathetic show!
Anyway it was time for us to get changed and head to Town Lake. A few other Asha runners were also there. We had planned to run in our bright red Asha Tees to get some publicity for our Strides of Hope program. It was awesome to not be running alone. I mostly ran with AshG and Sha. Sha and I even sprinted the last section over the bridge. The group run felt terrific.
So the most urgent need of the hour is to get used to open water in Barton Springs. I need many more open water practice sessions. Hopefully the fear in my mind will be overcome soon!
Monday, July 7, 2008
After the swim, I was surprised to find myself so energized & buzzed! :) The swimming bug's caught me now. I'm definitely back in the groove.