Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pic from the Triathlon just in!

Just received my free race picture from the Dilettante Triathlon! So excited that the best one turned out to be on the bike. I had so much fun at this race and hopefully it will become a race I do every year.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Swimming helps my running!

Before I started running a couple months ago, I had been swimming for many years. Not swimming miles every week but swimming a couple laps here and there. I always loved to swim just for fun. Since I started training for my triathlon a couple months ago, I realized that swimming has really helped me to run longer distances and control my breathing! Anyone else feel like they have seen a difference? Slowly after I started training more and swimming more often, I began to notice a difference in my runs. I could keep a good pace for longer and not run out of breath like before. I think to train for my half marathon I will start swimming more and alternating my workouts. Not being able to listen to music I'll admit is one of the worst things about swimming. Otherwise I love it! 

I have found swimming has helped me become a better runner in these ways:

  • Helps me stretch out my body after a good run. I feel more flexible!
  • Breath control. It really helps me control my breathing and learn to pace myself. It really forces a rhythmic breathing. 
  • Builds stronger arms which in turn helps with running. You need those arms for controlling strides!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Recap on last weeks Dilletante Triathlon!

I know this is a week late but I really wanted to post how my first triathlon went! It was on Saturday June 16, and went better than expected. I trained pretty hard for the run and the bike ride. I work at a pool and swim pretty frequently so I decided if I just trained for running and biking I would be well off.  I should have definitely trained harder for the swim! I trained with a couple friends from the pool I work at and for 4 of us it was our first Triathlon. It took a few weeks for me to get the hang of running over a mile but I did it! After so many disappointing runs, I finally saw improvement and made it up to 5 miles. In my training I also did my first double digit run (10 miles)! Was it hard? Yes! I ran with my friend Jill and Diana who both made it way easier because we chatted for over 7 miles. In the end I loved it! I had trouble walked for days but it was worth it. 

So as for the day of the Triathlon, I couldn't sleep all morning. I woke up at 4am and ate a whole bowl of granola and had a banana. I figured if I'm not going to sleep I might as well eat so I don't eat right before the race. The race started at 8 and I wanted to be there at 7 to get a good spot for my bike. I had a huge packing list so I double checked everything. Once it was time to leave of course it started to sprinkle outside and it was only about 60 degrees. I got my station all set up and my friend Jessie came early too so we set up out stuff next to each other. TIP: Get there early and set up your bike on the outside so you don't have trouble finding it after the swim! Or bring a balloon to tie at your station so it is visible. I saw many people taking their  time looking for their bike because they forgot where it was. NOT GOOD! 

Bike set up right next to Jessie's.

Me and Jessie nervous for our first race!

 All of us work together at the pool

My little station with everything organized for 
easy access after the freezing swim.

 In our wetsuit ready to go for a swim before the 
race started. I'm so glad we did this because it helped. Since
we were already cold the water felt warmer once
the race started. I would recommend doing this!

Cold Cold Cold!

Putting on the goggles for our first dip!

Once we swam for about 5 minutes the horn sounded for us to go to the start line. I was so nervous for the swim because I had never swam with so many people around me. I am used to swimming in an 86 degree pool with lap lanes! Jessie definitely calmed me down and had me follow her in the lake. 

People splashed and pushed and kicked all over the place. I was smacked a couple times and wished I practiced more open water. All I could think about was just go because the faster the swim is over, the faster I can get on the bike and do the fun part. A few times I was out of breath and had to side stroke and back stroke. I felt like I was going nowhere!

I felt so good after about 2/3 of the way through. I just paced myself and realized I was almost done! I started thinking: ok gotta get out and run to my bike!! 

This is where I felt confident. I was tired, out of breath, sore legs, and the excuses could go on and on. I quickly realized: just go! Off I went and every time a negative thought kept me from pedaling I just thought about the end. After mile 7, I remember my legs throbbing with pain. I wanted to just get off and sit down for a drink! This route made us do the bike loop twice so once I neared the park again there were spectators cheering us on. I cant believe how much that helped me get through to the next loop. Everyone wanted us to finish and I just pushed through that second loop a lot quicker than the first time around. 

Woohoo! Here I am super stoked about finishing the bike ride. Super nervous 
about how my legs are going to feel on the run!

The run was great! Started out feeling like a dream where you're running but you don't feel like you're moving. Its a crazy feeling but I definitely practiced during my training. Block training had to be one of the most helpful trainings for the triathlon. I did run about a quarter mile out and then stretched my calves really quickly. About a mile into the run this gal started talking to me and before we knew it we were past mile 2. Because we were not allowed to use ipods this was a great way to run. I took my mind off of how much my body hurt and just enjoyed our conversation on this 3.2 mile run. :) 

After the Triathlon I had friends and family cheering for me and the chocolate was amazing! I made 3rd place in my age group! I want to do many more triathlons in the future. Next step is to buy my own wetsuit and road bike. I borrowed from friends for this triathlon. 

Final time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Swim: 10.20 minutes

Bike: 49 minutes
Run: 27.30 minutes

Since the race I have decided to sign up for a couple small runs (pub runs in Tacoma). I also went to the Rock N Roll Expo in Seattle this weekend and signed up for my first Rock N Roll half marathon for 2013! I am super excited about it and can't wait to train for it. During the expo I also went to a blog meeting with my friend Jill. It was mostly about bloggers and why they blog. It really inspired me to write about my experiences and have fun meeting new people while doing it. I can't believe how many people meet through blogs and do these runs together. It really is a community. It really opened my eyes to a whole different world of writing and meeting people. Running and these races are more about everyone together for a common purpose. I felt: community. This inspired me to run. 

Everyone has to start somewhere...

Everyone has a story for the reason they started to run. For me it was simply to become a more fit and motivated individual. It all began when a friend from work convinced me to do a triathlon with her in June. I was skeptical at first but thought this would be a great reason to start getting in shape for the summer. Well guess what? It worked! A couple of us from the pool decided to do the race together and have fun. I always enjoyed swimming and riding a bike so I decided to start training with running. I knew it was going to be difficult to go from zero to 3.2 miles but I was going to do it. The first day I set what I thought was a doable goal: run around the block. I barely made it up the street before I had shortness of breath and crazy side aches. Running was never for me and even back when I was a kid in junior high, I would make excuses for not running during PE. I would just say I have asthma or my ankle hurts and get away with it. I didn’t like running and I wasn’t good at it. I never played sports, I never worked out, and I never thought I could like running.

When I started training for the triathlon, I slowly worked my way up to a mile and felt amazing every time I finished. I knew I only had 10 weeks to get to 3 miles so I picked up the pace and slowly began to love running. It became a routine and now I run a few times a week! Its amazing how something I thought would be so impossible could be so doable with the just a little motivation. So now that I did amazing (1 hr 30 min) in my sprint triathlon, I have decided to make the journey to a half marathon! I quickly realized I love the race atmosphere and all the people that do it together. Training with friends for the triathlon was so much fun and the experience altogether was great. Right after the race I decided: I want to do this again! 

I put this running blog together so that I can document my workouts along the way to a half marathon. Who knows, I might set some more goals along the way!! :)