Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Post-tri life changes

Ever since the tri this weekend, I haven't been me, in a good way. I've been getting up at an adult hour every day and going to bed before midnight (although I don't fall asleep til 1 at least...damn insomnia). More specifically, I've been FORCING myself to go to bed before midnight. But it feels so good!

I've also been craving exercise and trying to get something in each day. My beer consumption has gone way down, partially because those calories just aren't worth it. We had a rugby tourney this past Saturday and while everyone was getting blitzed off free beer, I didn't have a drop. Part of that was having to do a tri the next day, but most of the reasons were because I just didn't want it. Same with going out later that day.

I have a soccer game tonight and it's pretty early so we'll probably stay after and hang out at the bar. Usually that means I get completely blitzed, but I'm not feeling it again. WTF. What is wrong with me?

That'll probably change once we actually get there and beer is offered, but for now, that's my reasoning. I need to save myself (and some calories) for this weekend when the rugby team is working the beer tent and beer flows a-plenty. That should be absolutely ridiculous!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer OPEN Sprint Triathlon Race Report

I just finished my first tri ever on Sunday. It was a sprint distance: 750 m swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run. I loved (almost) every minute of it and definitely plan on doing it again. This one was in preparation for an Olympic distance tri in five weeks, so it was nice to see what a tri looks like and get a taste of what's in store for me soon.

Below is my race report. Sorry it's a bit long. I copy and pasted what I wrote out for myself and another friend. Hope you don't mind the length

Summer OPEN Sprint Triathlon
750 m/12 mi/5 k
Longmont, CO
23 May 2010

Overall, the race went well and I'm very happy with my result. It was the perfect sized race for a first tri, and since it's one of the first outdoor ones of the season, there were a lot of newbies in the crowd. They said we had 88 first-timers (they even had a division for us) out of a field of 400.

I woke up super early to get there early like you all suggested, and it was definitely the right call. My roommate Maggie and I drove down there with enough time to leisurely get marked, pick up our timing chips, set up transition, walk around, and get ready for the start. No pressure or rushing at all.

I had been really anxious all morning and got even more anxious when we got to the race and saw the reservoir with the buoys set up. It seemed so long! But milling around and hearing others talk about this being their first tri put me a bit at ease. Everyone was so nice. There were two ladies and a guy in the bike rack next to mine and they were saying how one of the ladies had taken the guy's wife's credit card and signed him up for the race without him even knowing. The guy chimed in, "And my wife's not even here." In short, everyone was so nice and supportive, which definitely helped.

Warm-up consisted of getting in the water to feel out the temp. O. M. G. 61 degrees is COLD. My body felt fine in the full wetsuit, a bit chilly, but fine. That wasn't the problem. As soon as I put my face in the water I got an immediate brain freeze. I tried a few more times to see if more exposure would help, but it was just as horrible each time around. I didn't think I could last the 15-20 minutes it would take me to swim the half mile and I started to get worried. But there was no backing out and there was really nothing I could do about it (besides suck it up), so I tried to get my mind off that while waiting for our wave to start.

We (being Maggie and I) were in the 4th wave, so we hung out a bit watching the pros kick butt. A few of the elites were out of the water before Wave 3 had even started. Wow!

                                                                19:23                AG: 29/30
                                                           2:22/100 yds       OA: 321/350
Not too bad, actually, once my face got used to the freezing cold of course. 750 m feels a lot farther when you don't get to stop at the end of the lane after every drill. Haha! My time was a bit slower than I wanted, but I put everything I had into it. My arms felt super heavy in the wetsuit (I definitely had this feeling when I swam in a SCUBA suit for a fitness test a couple years ago, so maybe I just don't like sleeved wetsuits...or I need to strengthen my arms) so I alternated between freestyle and breaststroke. It seemed to work and was an easy way to spot and not go off course.

I essentially sprinted the last 100 yards or so in an effort to keep up with this lady in front of me, which was a bad call. See T1.

AG: 22/30         OA: 237/350
I was as efficient as I could be considering the severe light-headedness I felt as soon as I got out of the water. I thought I was going to fall over within the first few steps, so I had to catch my bearings a bit.

In transition, I had to hold onto the rack so I wouldn't fall over while taking off the wetsuit and putting on my shirt and shoes. Again, I severely questioned my ability to complete the next stage of this tri. Seemed to be a pattern throughout this race.

I slowed down a bit to buy myself some time, had some water, and went along as soon as I felt ready to stay upright without assistance.

                                                                  41:40           AG: 22/30
                                                             17.86 mph       OA: 288/350
AMAZING! I didn't think I'd like the loop idea since I like seeing new things the whole ride, but it was really great, actually. I'm a convert.

The course was completely closed to traffic and consisted of three loops of 4 miles each, so even though some crazy fast riders were already coming in when I was just headed out, there was still a nice overlap of faster waves with me. It was actually fun to be passed by the super duper fast tri bike people and see them in action. It made it feel like we were doing the same race, instead of just seeing them at the start and then at the finish, and nothing in between.

One of the guys I paced myself with was in an earlier wave and the only reason I could keep up with him was because of his clunker bike. He had these rainbow-colored board shorts and the squeekiest mountain bike I've heard in a while. So it was easy to hear him coming and turn up the pace so he wouldn't pass. I can only imagine how fast he would've been had he had better equipment!

I pushed myself more consistently than I've pushed before and ended up with the best bike split I've ever had. My legs felt great at the end. Tired, but great. At the beginning of the first loop I remember looking down at my bike computer and thinking, "Wow, I've only gone 1.5 miles? This is going to be LONG." But by the end of the last lap, I was bummed that the bike was already over. It was just super fun to actually be racing people and passing each other back and forth. Towards the end, a lady pulled up to me while passing me and we chatted a bit and then she went on her way. I'd passed her in the very very beginning and told myself that there is no way I'm finishing behind her. I didn't see her again til the very end when she passed me and then we ended up keeping the same pace. So mission accomplished, kinda. I probably could've passed her again, but I was saving my legs for the run, which was a waste since there was no hope for me there.

AG: 26/30         OA: 265/350
Nothing special. Walked through most of transition, got my running shoes on, and took some water. I think I may've even put on sunscreen, but I'm not sure. That could've been T1.

                                                                 42:13                AG: 30/30
                                                        13:37 min/mile       OA: 346/350
Oy. I died. I knew I was in horrible running shape so I was hoping for a 12 minute mile or so, alternating between jogging and running. I stuck with part of the plan in that I walked and jogged, but I think I did about half and half. I got passed by EVERYBODY and didn't pass a single person. So frustrating. And everyone was like, "Keep it up, you're almost there," as they ran by. That just pissed me off even more and made me feel like they were pity-partying me, which was totally not the case. That was just in my head. Those same statements during the bike put a smile on my face and made me pick up my pace, but during the run I just scowled and cursed under my breath.

Maggie, my roommate, caught up to me right before mile 1 and we ended up walk/jogging the rest of the run course together. I felt bad that I was slowing her down and kept telling her to go ahead, but she wanted to do this tri together (and so did I, actually) so we pushed each other to go a bit harder. I think it would've been even more frustrating had she not been there, so everything worked out really well in that respect.

Didn't really do a cool-down, but I stretched a bit. I tried to eat some of the post-race food, but my stomach just wasn't feeling it so I stuck with a protein drink and a liquid diet. We hung out a bit for awards and then headed home to chill in the backyard on a beautiful day.

Official time: 1:47:30
Overall: 338/350
Females: 140/147
AG: 30/30

In short, great race and we lucked out with the conditions. Saturday was crazy windy and today is just as bad. Yesterday was the only calm day we've had in a few days.

Next step is to add another run day in for a total of three a week (and stick to them!) so I can survive 6 miles for the Lake to Lake Oly in five weeks, and push myself harder in the swim intervals, since I definitely need to get that endurance up as well. Bike training can stay the same, since I don't really want to add too much in the coming weeks.

Here's the link to the results:

The tri is called Summer Open Sprint Triathlon and my full first name is Katarzyna, Bib 613.

My roommate Maggie finished 1 sec ahead of me only because she thought I'd sprint to the finish with her. My legs were shot and I didn't want to fall on my face at the finish line, so I played it safe and jogged in. She still feels kinda bad because that puts me last in the age group. It's hilarious since I don't care. I accomplished my goal of not being dead last overall, so that's good enough for me

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Partial success

Today was alright with respect to food and better than alright when it comes to tri training. It was insanely windy (60 mph wind gusts, no joke) all day so I didn't get the planned run and bike in. It was hard enough walking around in that, so I didn't even attempt to be discouraged by attempting a run. So instead, I dragged myself to the pool to do 1575 yards. Ay ay ay. That's long. The swim I ended up doing was even longer: 1650 yards (completely by accident). That's probably the longest I've ever swam at one time. Yay PR! (Personal Record, for those that don't know.)

Halfway through the workout I was already mentally checked out and overwhelmed, not wanting to swim anymore. But the urgency of the tri has really scared me to the point where I'll actually push myself harder than I normally would. And that never happens. So I kept trying to beat each interval by at least two seconds, and for the most part, it worked. I was super sore and my arms were exhausted at the end, but I'm so glad I did it. Like a 3FC poster once said, "You'll never regret a workout. You'll only regret the workouts you didn't do."

I got confused with the timing on my watch, so I ended up doing an extra lap, and then because my kickboard was on the other side of the pool, had to do another length to get it. So I got an extra 75 yards in. It doesn't hurt to do more, I guess.

My food choices were ok today. I didn't really eat breakfast, but eventually made tortellini when I couldn't handle the stomach growling anymore. I finished off the Potstickers last night, so there was nothing else to eat at home that was easy to make. So I headed over to Qdoba to grab a burrito. And for once I went with the Naked Burrito, which is a normal burrito without the tortilla. It cuts out about 300 calories and tastes EXACTLY the just have to eat it with a fork. As always, I couldn't finish the whole thing so I put it in the fridge for tomorrow. Not bad, calorie-wise, but I really have to get back into the groove of cooking. Or maybe I should make lots of stuff and freeze it so it feels like it's a purchased frozen dinner when it really isn't. As always, there's room for improvement.

So far so good, right? Well, after sitting on the couch watching TV for hours, I got bored and decided to eat more. There was some ice cream and mango juice, both of which I don't entirely regret because I was well within my calorie budget and kind of craving them. But, even after I felt completely full, I made myself two slices of toasted bread with butter. WTF. I didn't need or want those. I could barely fit them into my stomach. And they're not all that flavorful in the first place. What was I thinking? Had I made a grilled cheese, then at least I could've enjoyed the taste more. But these guys were mostly tasteless.

Anywhos, I'm not going to beat myself up too much because I'm still at only 1700 or so calories for the day (SparkPeople is going through its updates so I can't look it up right now) so it's not that big of a deal. But I've learned my lesson. Two in fact: 1) Don't eat stuff you're not actually craving (buttered and toasted bread = no, ice cream and mango juice = yes), and 2) Occupy yourself enough so that you're not eating out of boredom.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Today was amazingly successful extra-curricular-wise but completely and utterly unproductive work-wise. I got up at 1:30 pm without having woken up any earlier, which is weird. Usually I wake up at least twice in the morning and choose to sleep in more. Today, it was straight through to 1:30. I guess I was tired. After I finally dragged myself out of bed, I watched some TV, messed around online, and did absolutely nothing productive until kickball.

I'd been worried about the team I started having too many people (we have 24 on the roster, with a max 10 people allowed on the field at one double) but only 12 showed up which is PERFECT! Next week there'll probably be more but it seems like everyone is receptive to sitting out an inning or two in the dugout. And this way I don't have to worry about people not showing up and us having to forfeit, which is awesome. So yeah, that went well. And we won 16-4.

The other awesome accomplishment was that I didn't have a single beer, even though I was the one that bought it and brought it. I figure it's not worth the calories and it's not like I get a buzz after two or three, especially since it's PBR. And if I stay after the game and get drunk, I just want to drink more and eat more and it all goes downhill from there. So I can have a good time while drinking water (great for today since apparently I was also super dehydrated) and not have the temptation of a 30-pack overwhelm me.

The second kickball game was the same with regards to abstaining from alcohol, so all is going well. Now I just have to continue this trend for longer than a month. Piece of cake, right?

One more thing

Remember that chocolate I ate drunkenly on Saturday night (but only two pieces!)? Well, I tried some yesterday (sober) and it wasn't very flavorful. It's expired so that may be a reason. Regardless, what's the point of eating flavorless calories? There is none, so I chucked the rest of the bar in the trash. Me. The girl who absolutely LOVES chocolate. Yup, times they are a'changin'.

Beaming with pride

I'm getting much better at this self-control bit. My calories have been within range and I've been moving around a lot, which gives me an over-1000 calorie deficit. It's probably not that good of a thing since I heard at that point your body goes into starvation mode, but I just can't make myself eat 3000 calories in a healthy way. So I've been hitting 1800-1900 lately and hopefully I don't hit a plateau this early in the game.

This weekend was very busy for me. Well, Sunday was. I was very proud of myself on Saturday because after we came home from the bars, I only ate two pieces of chocolate and didn't have any more beer! Usually, I would've inhaled the whole chocolate bar and probably drank myself into oblivion. But, I came home, logged the beer I drank at the bar and the two pieces of chocolate I ate at home (I'd been craving brownies all day and was too drunk to drive to the store to pick up brownie mix so I had to settle on chocolate). After looking at my calorie totals for the day (2239) and getting my burn totals from my GWF (2382), I decided I can't afford any more junk calories and went to bed instead. It took a while for me to get to that conclusion...there was probably a 5-minute internal debate going on about how I don't want to go to sleep but would rather eat and drink more. But reason and weight-loss-will-power won out and I went to bed. Good thing, since I had trouble getting up the next morning. I don't even want to know what a couple more beers would've done to me.

The next day, Sunday, I subbed in goal for a friend's soccer league. Apparently I played really well and they'll definitely invite me back if they need me again. Yay! And a bigger yay is that I burned 800 calories during the 1.5 long game. 800 calories! Standing in goal! That's awesome. I didn't think that was going to happen. Apparently warming up and diving around and punting all the time made a huge difference. So yeah. My GWF rocks.

My endurance, on the other hand, does not. The few times I had to run after the ball, I got so ridiculously winded that I am incredibly worried about the running part of the tri. I think I'm going to try to get at least three runs in a week no matter how much I hate it. There's no other way to get in decently good shape in four weeks. All I need to do is be fit enough to run three miles in four weeks, and six miles in eight weeks. Totally doable, right? WRONG! But I'm definitely going to try.

Then there was Pound & Round Softball in the evening (I know, I was super busy) which involves playing softball with a tennis ball and drinking heavily. Last week, I was pounding back beers the whole game, but since I decided to only drink once a week and Saturday was the day, I limited myself to only drinking when I was on-base and it was worth something (major difference between P&R and real softball is if you finish a beer while on the bases and cross home plate with an empty can, the run is worth two points). And since our team needs all the help it can get, I figured two beers is a sacrifice I can make. So yeah, go me for having self-control.

In short, this weekend was very successful when it comes to will-power and getting active. I didn't really miss much of what I didn't have, which is great, so I need to continue this mindset. I have two games of kickball tonight, which are beer-filled events, but one or two beers totally isn't worth it, so I will refrain. Should be easy enough, right?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

In the pool

I decided that I needed to get back into tri training so I hit up the pool for the workout scheduled for this week. Luckily, we're in a recovery week (as if the past 7 weeks of sitting on my butt haven't been recovery enough...) so the swim was fairly easy, relatively speaking of course. I got in all my intervals and all that and finally figured out one of the drills that my mentor has been talking about. Eureka! The only hard part about it was that I had to consciously think about what I'm supposed to be doing instead of swimming mindlessly. I guess that's what drills are for, though, so at least my improving.

My 100 yard times weren't too bad. In fact, they're getting better except I can't keep up that intensity for more than one 100-yd interval. And even so, I'm sloooooooow. And I know this because I stalked the results of 2008 and made an Excel spreadsheet and everything! No wonder Maggie makes fun of me. Haha.

But yeah, as I stated in my previous post, I'm terrified of the Olympic-distance triathlon. I honestly don't think I can run that far. I mean, I can probably walk to the finish and all, but I don't want to be the absolute last person crossing the finish line. I don't care if my time puts me last or whatever. I just don't want the race organizers to be waiting on me to finish in order to clean up the course/hand out awards. That would just be too much for my confidence and I don't think I would ever do a tri again. The end.