Tinman Long Course Race Report

Mr. Neon picked me up from work Friday afternoon, and we ate a picnic lunch in our laps on our way up to Topeka. Dave’s Killer Bread makes bagels now! YES! We drove straight to the lake, picked up our packets, drove the bike course, and hit up the grocery store for breakfast supplies. The bike course looked like fun. Lots of rolling hills…not very much flat.

We slept in my in-laws fifth-wheel trailer. Tiny Boy was smushed into a recliner. Runner Boy was on a camping mat under the fold out couch bed. Mr. Neon was on the couch bed. And I was on my beloved camping mat at the foot of the bed. I slept pretty well, with the exception of one wake-up due to the over night storm. The wind was rocking the camper!

Breakfast: Two slices Dave’s Killer Bread. The yellow label because Topeka Dillons was out of the green label. One tub of Natural Jif To Go. COFFEE.

One hour before the swim, I choked down an Untapped Coffee Waffle. If you haven’t tried them…you should. So yummy with a kick of caffeine. I don’t usually eat anything outside of breakfast before a race, but the more I read about race nutrition, the more I realized I was probably lacking in glycogen at the starting line. It’s hard to play catch-up with race nutrition once you are out of the swim.

The race was a bit disorganized. I felt for them. They had a lot stacked against them. They had to add the 70 distance, cancel the 100 distance due to lack of participation and heat advisory, and deal with the storm the night before.

They organized us into waves and explained the courses. I had a bit of a panic when I realized how far the 1000m course was. It looked so long compared to 40 laps of the pool. Not to mention that it was open water and there were no walls and you couldn’t see the bottom.

Mr. Neon was three waves ahead of me. Once he got in the water, my lifeline was gone. I tried to take deep breaths as my wave moved into the on deck position. Before I knew it, they were giving us the countdown. I barely had time to put my goggles on before the horn went off.

My goggles were brand new. My previous pair had started to leak during my last two swims. I got a larger pair that I had never worn before. They came while we were gone to NYC. Oops. Nothing new on race day…broken rule.

I doggy-paddled / breaststroke’d the first 200. I knew it would be a struggle to get myself calmed down, and I didn’t want to swallow a gallon of lake water. Once I got myself calmed down, my stroke settled in. I was able to relax. I told myself, “It’s just water. Put your face in it and swim.” And it worked! Before I knew it, I was heading toward shore. New goggles were perfect. No fogging up and no leaking.

SWIM 1000yd 27:43 (2:47)
Note: Course was between 150-200m long.

Transition was almost a quarter mile run up a hill. We had to run around transition and enter through the backside. I almost missed which row my bike was in. I quickly dried off my feet, shoved my socks and shoes on, and grabbed my helmet. First race with my new Rudy Boost helmet with the visor! No fighting with sunglasses.

T1 3:43

Wee! Bike! I decided to use my road bike. I’ve actually decided to sell my tri bike and get aero bars for my road bike. I love my Trek Madone 4.5. She’s the reason I felt in love with cycling, so I need to stick with her. Maintenance on one bike will be easier to deal with as well.

The first 5 miles were hilly and windy. I only averaged 13.5mph on that stretch, but the rest picked up. We had to deal with headwind, crosswind, and lots of hills. But it was fun! I was able to drink several times on the bike, which has been an issue in the past. I did really well once I learned that I needed to leave my right hand on the bike. I balanced better using my left hand to grab my bottle. I ate a whole package of GU chews on the bike. I averaged 18.5mph for the last 4 mile stretch! That was a blast!

BIKE 1:15:28 (15.1mph)


I racked my bike, cursing Mr. Neon because he racked Beast backwards and I had to squeeze Sexy in. I grabbed my race belt, my visor and sunglasses, and took one last big swig of BASE RocketFuel.

T2 1:07

They had a water station right out of transition. I took a cup and immediately took three hits from my BASE salt tube. The forecast was HOT with a heat index of 90 by 9am. I knew I’d need salt. I made a decision then and there to take two licks of salt instead of one every mile.

I tried to do math and figure out when I would run into Mr. Neon, but then I realized I needed to know his run pace. My first mile split was a 9:43 and I was hoping I could keep it up. But then the little hills started. Two of them were so steep that I was forced to walk. My legs would just not run up them.

I found Mr. Neon right after the sprint turn around. He stopped and hugged me. I LOVED that. I honestly don’t really remember if he said anything to me. I complained about my left ankle hurting and my hamstrings were achy. I think my ankle was hurting from the chip, because once I took it off, the pain went away. And it hasn’t hurt since.

I walked a bit. I ran a lot. I shuffled to keep myself moving forward. I ate a Huma lemonaid gel at mile 3.5. It was YUMMY. At every aid station, I grabbed a cup of water, took two big sips, and dumped the rest on my head, back, and chest.

Mile 2: 10:34
Mile 3: 10:28
Mile 4: 10:24
Mile 5: 11:12 (It started to get hot!)
Mile 6: 10:35

I was actually able to pick it up in the last mile and sprinted the stretch. First time I’ve been able to do that in a triathlon in a LONG time. BASE salt for the win!

RUN 1:04:18 (10:23)


I finished strong and felt great! Mr. Neon met me at the finish line and took my medal challenge coin from the volunteer because he wanted to give it to me! I love my guy! He’s the reason I made the decision to do a long course and having him there waiting for me at the finish line was the cherry on top.


Overall time 2:52:16

My main goal was to finish feeling good and under 3 hours. Boom…goal achieved! I think getting my nutrition right really helped. I only had minimal soreness in my back and shoulders in the days following. My legs never really felt sore. I took four BASE Recovery Activators immediately after we finished. I’m so glad I remembered to put them in my transition bag this time.

I will definitely do another OLY distance again. And I’m really looking forward to training harder for any future sprint races. As far as anything longer than that…we’ll see.

Stay neon!

May! BOOM!

WOW! This is what real triathlon training looks like. I’m going to admit the last two years I’ve been phoning it in. For reference, I swam 4.54 miles TOTAL in all of 2016. 1.04 miles in 2015…marathon training, what? And in 2014 when I was learning how to be a triathlete, I only swam 6.31 miles total.

I was sick last week too. I skipped two workouts, including my long run. And I’m surprisingly ok with that. I woke up Friday with a sore throat and ear pain. I headed to urgent care and got a z-pack. I never had ear infections as a child, but since I turned 30, I get one or two a year. Not fun. My doctor just thinks it’s allergy related.

The next two weeks will be interesting. I guess it’s going to be a forced taper. The boys have a big race on Saturday, so I’m not sure when I will be able to get my last long bike/brick workout in. And then next week we are headed up to NYC to see the nephews and their parents.

I mean…let’s get serious…the nephews are the reason we are going. BIL and SIL…I love you too, but you are not adorable and cute, and you don’t call me Aunt Hannah in a sweet little boy voice.

Our NYC trip this year will include a run in Central Park! We fly out on National Running Day, so maybe we’ll also do an airport run…ha!

Stay neon!

79.2

Seriously?! 79.2 was last week’s mileage. POINT EIGHT away from 80.

Good news…I have two weeks of virtually the same level of training. You can bet I won’t be making the same mistake twice.

Look at this month!! The blues are runs. The pink are bikes. And the yellows are swims. There’s another swim on the 14th that’s hiding.

My total mileage for May is already 230. I’ve never broke 200 and by the end of the month I will easily break 300. I used to get so hung up on mileage when I was just running. 1000 miles run in a year sounds completely doable, but I have yet to hit that mark.

I’m really enjoying tracking my triathlon mileage. Not because the numbers are bigger, but because I feel SO GOOD doing all three disciplines. Less injury. Less nagging pains. I rarely do the same thing two days in a row, so my muscles have more time to recover. My swim on Sunday was so awesome that I can’t wait to swim again. I used to despise swimming and would look forward to the minute it was over during races.

And I’m totally on track to swim, bike, run the year. I figured out that if I set my Garmin goal to “any activity” that it will count all my swims, bikes, and runs.

So what’s the point of all this? Tracking my workouts like this gives me confidence. I can do this! I LOVE living the tri life…especially when it’s shared with my husband and my boys.

Stay neon!

El Dorado Tri Race Report

Hey! So I did a triathlon this past Sunday. I didn’t drown. I didn’t fall over on the bike turn arounds. And I didn’t have any hip or knee pain on the run. WIN WIN WIN!

Before: Mr. Neon and I got up WAY TOO EARLY. Coffee, waffles with PB, and double check all the gear. We roused the boys right before we left and started the 50ish minute drive to the state park. We made a pit stop halfway at McDonalds so I could have one more nervous bathroom stop and the boys could get breakfast. Poor Mr. Neon had missed out on the last two McDs breakfast runs, and he was jonesing for a Egg McMuffin BAD.

We got there about 45 minutes after transition open. I wasn’t in a hurry since I was just doing the sprint and started 30 minutes after the athletes doing the oly distance. I realized shortly after getting my bike on the rack that I had forgotten our bike pump. I borrowed one and proceeded to break off both of my bike valve stems. I started panicking just a little bit. (Understatement!) Mr. Neon assured me it would be fine. And then we saw our saving grace. One of the local bike shops was setting up a tent. She changed out both of my tubes! Thank goodness for Ruth from Bicycle Pedaler!

Swim: Right before the oly athletes were ready to line up the race director announced that the ten lifeguards hadn’t shown up. I’ve been swimming since I was six years old, so I wasn’t worried. But it must have put a bug in my brain. I could not get my stroke settled. I felt heavy in the water. I dog paddled for a bit, trying to catch my breath. The first buoy seemed SO. FAR. AWAY. Finally I flipped onto my back and just took some deep breaths. After I made the turn at the buoy, everything relaxed and I was able to freestyle all the way to the second buoy. I got tired on the home stretch and ended up doing breast stroke for a good portion, but I made it back to the beach.
15:05 (2:01 pace) – I wanted to be at 2:00, so I’m happy with this time. But I’m ready to make progress on the swim.

T1: I jogged my way up the path, mentally prepping myself for everything I would need to do. Socks, shoes, helmet. I brushed as much of the sand off my feet as I could. I knew if I didn’t take the time, it would rub and chafe. I got everything settled and headed off for the bike.
1:57 – I’m always happy with anything under 2:00 for T1.

Bike: It felt so good to be doing something other than swimming. I FINALLY remembered to get my watch set to bike, so I actually had data running for once. I kept glancing down and seeing 17. Hmmm….I hope I’m not pushing it too hard. I never felt like I was, but my time did slow a bit near the end when the day started to heat up. The worst part of the bike was the three turn arounds. I do not corner well so I really had to slow down, especially on the last tight one. And the last hill was a witch with a capital B. I had to shift into my front little ring and was still barely going 6mph.
47:52 (15.5mph) – I was really hoping for 16mph. But I was on my road bike. Poor Rose is continuing to have issues. I need a new saddle and some other minor adjustments.

T2: I racked my bike, dumped my helmet, and grabbed my race belt and GU chews. Mr. Neon yelled at me to grab my rocket fuel and chug the rest of it and throw the bottle at him. So I did.
0:32 – WOOHOO!

Run: Lead legs. I felt like I was running through quick sand. I finally got them loosened up about a half mile into it. Right before the turn around, my pace slowed to 11+ minute miles. It was getting hot. I grabbed two cups of water at the aid station, drank one, and dumped the other on my head. Everyone I passed just looked tanked. I slowly ate my chews and just kept moving forward. I turned onto the bridge before the finish and heard Mr. Neon, Runner Boy and Tiny Boy yelling my name. I couldn’t help but break into a smile.
31:42 (10:14 pace) – I was hoping for an under 10 pace, but it was much hotter than I was expecting.

Total time: 1:37:08

I definitely have a starting point now. I feel like my bursitis recovery is continuing in a positive direction. I can only get faster from here on out. I’ve been able to add a tiny bit of speed work back in on both the bike and the run and I’m officially back on a training plan!

Three

That’s my mileage so far for April. Three stupid miles. I ran one of them last Saturday. It went ok. I set the treadmill on 5.0. Blah. Mr. Neon kept poking his head into the treadmill room (err…treadmill closet) and saying, “Be smart!” I’m not sure there is anything smart about this. I ran two miles this morning. It sucked as much as running after three weeks off should.

Is my hip better? Kind of. If I don’t do anything, it barely hurts. Like 0.5 on the 10 pain scale. But when I run, it STILL hurts when I stand up from sitting. Does it hurt less? Yes, a little. But when I want it to hurt NOT AT ALL, it’s frustrating.

I’m doing my PT exercises, so I guess that could be the source of some of my pain. I’m working muscles that aren’t used to being worked. Gluteus medius…get your stuff together. We need to be friends. Fix my hip and make it not hurt!

On the plus side, this is what the scale said this morning.

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Why can I hit original goal weight when I STOP running?! So frustrating. This definitely means I overeat when I’m training. I also think I get a little carb heavy when I train. Lesson learned? Probably not. But at least I’m starting over in a good place. New goal weight is 127lbs and I’d love to see that body fat percentage go down. I know it’s just an estimation of the scale, but it would be nice to see it in the mid 20s. I also bought two bikinis over the weekend that I will get my abs in shape for. I also have a two piece tri suit with a crop top that will require some ab definition as well.

So…I have a new girl in my life. Her name is Rose. She’s pink with teal accents, just like everything else in my life. Yes, I made my bike match my Garmin. That’s how much of a girl I am!

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Mr. Neon thought he would buoy my spirits by buying me a tri bike. You guys, I am so scared of crashing this thing. Not only do I have to learn aero position, but I am also determined this time to learn clipless pedals. I bought some Speedplays almost 18 months old with Christmas money. I thought they would be easier to clip into than my Keo Look pedals and they would be better for my constantly injured joints from running. Are they easy? Jury is still out. I’ve been practicing on the trainer now for a week. We are going to take her on her maiden voyage this weekend to a park with lots of thick grass next to the sidewalks. I’m sure Mr. Neon will take video, so be prepared.

Stay NEON, friends!