Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hy-Vee Triathlon and the St. Paul Sprint Triathlon

So we originally signed up for the Maple Grove Sprint Triathlon figuring putting the $$ down would make us get off our asses.  Well then we found out we screwed up because we have to work at a race that day.   Crap...... At least we will get the shirts ;)

So we waffled about it a bit and then put down another chunk of change to upgrade to the HyVee Triathlon which is a week after Maple Grove but an Olympic distance instead of a Sprint.... crap, crap, crap.....have I mentioned we really haven't been swimming like, at all for about 2 years?!?  But we've been on an abbreviated training plan that was created for us by our pal Vahid at In the Moment Triathlon Training and with two weeks to go, we're feeling pretty good.  Plus for being down there as a vendor for USA Triathlon, we get one free entry so that makes the cost much more bearable!

This will be our fourth year down in Des Moines for the HyVee Triathlon manning the USAT Midwest Region Expo Booth and Officiating the race so I am actually very excited to be a participant this year.

We've been getting in some long lake swims at Nokomis since now the Parks and Rec are allowing beach to beach swimming for free on Tuesday nights.  600 yards between the beaches so 2 laps gets us over our distance for HyVee.  It's been great for getting us used to open water swims again and having to deal with arms/legs/feet around us while we swim.  Oh and Nokomis is horrible for algae so after last night's 2400yd swim I came home sneezing and sniffling for a few hours.  Ugh!

Lake Nokomis OWS have been really good for me as I have never been a great swimmer. Having the opportunity to swim beach to beach has really given me confidence in the water. 

We also decided to look at the calendar to see if there was a sprint distance available for us to do prior to HyVee and luckily we could jump in on the St. Paul Sprint Triathlon.  Small-ish event but gave us a good opportunity to remember how this all works.  I wasn't going slow but I also wasn't trying to over push myself throughout the whole thing and was happy at the finish.  My swim times were much slower than they used to be but my bike was a 18.5 average and run was 8:53.  All of that got me in 5th place out of 22 in my age group so I'll take it as a success.  I just need to put in place my faster transitions again.  I easily know how to do those better :)
Our setup in transition

St. Paul was a decent event, the bike course is VERY rough (which is no fault of the event) and if you have ever done Lifetime Tri Minneapolis, you know how bad the river road is? The St. Paul bike course is WORSE. I managed 19.4mpg avg. but I wonder how much better it might have been with out the road conditions. I was very happy with my swim and honestly it was my best segment of the Tri for me, which is really strange for me to say. Other than the road, my only other complaint as a participant was that it took them more than 24 hours to post the results.

So less than two weeks to go and I'm feeling pretty good.  It's all just about finishing at this point and I don't care too much about my times at this point.  Looking at the field results from last year I should comfortably land somewhere in the middle of the pack I think.   The past few years we have been down there, it's been quite hot so I'm planning for a walk/run situation at the end and some cool swag to take home :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Long OWS...

Our longest Open Water Swim in....4 years?  Eek I guess it is starting to sink in that we have been away from participating in triathlon since 2010.   2009 was a tough transitional year for me as I completed the divorce papers in July after....5-6 years of a separated marriage.  I was lucky enough to have Mark by my side to get me through the rough parts and that included the ever taxing training for Ironman Madison which I did that September as well.  After all of that we slowly stepped away from multisport and put a heavy focus on running for the next 2 years and then on the business for the next 2 years. We did continue with masters swimming well into 2011 and I know that this was a major factor with how good a shape we were in in the spring of 2011 and that the majority of our running PR's were set that spring. With as much success as we had, I am baffled as to why we stopped swimming.

So here we are in 2014 trying to find ways to kick our asses back in shape.  I'm enjoying training to a point but at the same time, it's been quite taxing on the body and my level of tiredness.   Last night's swim was at Lake Nokomis where this summer they have been offering free beach to beach swims on Tuesday evenings. We were very surprised to see the number of people down there doing laps but at the same time, this is a rare and wonderful opportunity for triathletes training for the Maple Grove Tri or Ironman Wisconsin or the YWCA Women's Tri to get in nice, long, open water training. I was really impressed by Mpls. Park and Rec for putting on these OWS at Nakomis, two large sighting buoys and several lifeguards in kayaks all the way across the lake.

We had to do 2000 yards which was almost 2 laps.  We survived but barely.  I think the last length back my technique was completely out the window.  But we made it and it did add a bit of confidence for our upcoming Hy-Vee TriathlonFor me the swim was entirely about building my confidence and proving that I could swim long distance OWS. When were got to the beach I was at first taken back how far 600 (beach to beach) actually is but I just put my head down and concentrated on not letting anything surprise me, raise my anxiety or flat out freak me out. I will worry about technique later. 

We had dinner at Fat Lorenzo's afterwards (ate too much...) and by the time we got home, we were so tired, we settled the dogs, fed the cat and the fish and flopped on the bed...passing out until 1:00am when I woke up and got up to turn all the lights in the house off.  TV was still on downstairs too.    THAT's how tired we were! I agree, I was more exhausted then any other type of training we have done this brief season. For as tired and sore as my body is, I have to think we are making progress.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Look who came to dinner.....

Last night we had a very unusual visitor in the backyard. A Sharp Shinned Hawk seemed to be looking for dinner but not surprisingly there was not a lot of other activity in the yard at the time, the squirrels, chipmunks, mice and rabbits all found somewhere else to be.

"Nobody home"

He/she was kind enough to pose for quite a few pictures and only left after he tried to hop to the top of a metal bird feeder and slipped off. Hopefully he will come back again. This is only the second time we have had a hawk in our yard. On one other occasions a Broadwing Hawk brought his dinner to eat on a branch in one of our back trees.

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