Archive for June, 2012

Broken but loved
June 28, 2012

Have you ever found something at Goodwill, a yard sale, or even a department store that is just perfect.  It’s exactly what you’ve been looking for, even if you didn’t even know you were looking for it in the first place.  But despite its perfection for you, it is actually imperfect.  It’s broken.  Maybe you didn’t even realize its flawed nature until after you bought it and brought it home.  But now you have it.  That perfect thing you wanted that will fill this space in your life, but it doesn’t work.  You know that you aren’t able to fix it yourself.  It really requires some outside assistance.  Maybe if you send it away to be repaired, it will come back new.  Maybe the damage is so old, it’s not fixable or will need some very expensive repairs that take a long time.  Maybe it comes back repaired, but is of no good to you any more.  It’s a bittersweet relationship with this broken perfect thing.  But life is kind of like that.

It’s all Greek to me
June 26, 2012

Or rather it’s all Athlete to me.  Have you ever talked to your athletic friends or overheard their conversations and wondered just what the in the hell they are talking about?  Here’s a little glossary to help.

A back to back workout, usually bike then run.  Your legs feel like bricks when going from the bike straight to running.

We don’t carry a tube of Pringles with during a race.  In timed races, you get a chip, a piece of plastic or even a small strip that goes on your shoe or race bib, that tracks your time as you cross over the start line, finish line, and any other designated points during a race.  It records your official race time.

Clip, Clip in, Clipless
All refers to the pedals on a bike.  You either have regular pedals like your little kids bike, cages that any shoe can just slide into, or pedals that actually clip to your special bike shoes.

“Did not finish.”  You start a race, but had to be pulled out at some point.

“Did not start.”  You never made it to the start line of a race.

Duathlon, Du
Two sports competed at the same time.  Usually run, bike, run.

Not as gross as it sounds.  It’s a speed workout.

Nope, we’re not talking petroleum.  Anything you put in your body to consume for energy for performance in a race or training.

Water and any number of sports drinks or nuun that keep your body hydrated during racing and training.

Ironman, Half Ironman
Technically an Ironman race can only be the one that is put on by the Ironman™ group.  But the “Half” and “Full” distances are as follows:
Full – 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run
Half – 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run

Long course
The longer 50 meters lane in a pool.  1 lap = 100 meters (down and back).

A combination of 2 or more sports that are performed at once in one race.

Negative Splits
Performing the second half of a run (or bike or swim) faster than the first part.  If you run your first 3 miles at a 10 minute pace, your negative splits will be 9:30 on mile 4, 9min on mile 5, etc.

Olympic, Oly
Nope, this isn’t just the international athletic competition that happens every 4 years.  It is a very specific distance in Triathlon.  Essentially the distance is 1 mile swim, 25 mile (40k) bike, 6.2 mile (10k) run.

Short for Open Water Swim.  Triathletes have to get practice swimming in open water, because it just doesn’t compare to the pool and any triathlon of a decent distance is in a lake, river, pond, ocean, etc.   Also, sometimes one of the biggest fears for a triathlete to conquer.

Podium Finish
Finishing a race and taking an award, hence you placed in your category ended up on a podium after the  race.

Short course
The shorter 25 yards lane in a pool.  1 lap = 50 yards (down and back).

This isn’t just running fast.  It’s a shorter distance triathlon, basically anything shorter than an Olympic.

Not a naked run (though they have those too).  It’s running every day, at least 1 mile, hence a streak of running without a day off.

Transition, T1, T2
The area where all your stuff is set up and where you transition between the different sports in a triathlon.  T1 is the first transition, T2 is the second transition, and you get timed on the time you spend in each.

Swimming, Biking, Running.  In that order.  (Though some other races may involve 3 different multisports or add in an additional run, that is the traditional meaning.)

Bungee type laces that make it easier to yank on your shoes without wasting time tying them in transition in a race.  Not people from “up north.”

So what are some other terms you’ve always wondered what we’re talking about?

Athletes, what are some terms you always have to explain? 

This Summer’s Revised Race Schedule
June 21, 2012

I have finally made decisions in my racing schedule for this Summer.  After a rough start to this year, with several setbacks in health and training, I feel like I’ve been playing catch up.  I had these grand ideas of what I was going to do this year for racing, and being the type A person that I am I was struggling with trying to keep up with plans that were made before my life made a few unscheduled detours.  I was really struggling with it all.  Most of all trying to decide whether to race in the Chattanooga Waterfront Olympic Triathlon.  My gut was making me really hesitant.  The easy swim was tempting, but the difficult bike was daunting, and I only had a couple weeks to train for it and it was my first Olympic distance tri.  If I did poorly, would it taint the water for triathlons for me for the rest of the season.

I thought long and hard about and talked to my coach and friends incessantly about it.  I came to the conclusion that it probably just wasn’t in the cards for me this year.  That’s when I stumbled upon the Buckhead Border Challenge Olympic Triathlon in Louisville.  It afforded me an extra week of training, had an easy bike course, what appears to be a not so challenging swim (across the river, then down the bank), and scenic run.  And it crosses a border twice during the race!  I’m all about some border crossing in a race.  It’s at the same time as a big music festival in Louisville that my friend Saraclark is already going to (and willing to share a hotel with a crazy triathlete), and my favorite band in the world is playing on Sunday after the race at the festival!  How about that for signs?

So I decided on the Border Challenge Tri.  And it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  I feel more comfortable about the course for my first Olympic triathlon, and the time I have to train for it.  I was stressing out about what I had to do to train for races I initially planned this summer and it’s jut not necessary.  It’s about having fun.  And my friend Emily recently posted something very similar here and here.  I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one going through stress about learning how to drop back and reevaluate training and racing, and she’s WAY more experienced at this than me.

So without further ado, here’s my new revised racing schedule (that I’m really excited about):

5/19  Cedars of Lebanon Sprint Triathlon (Lebanon, TN)
6/17  Music City Du Run Run (Nashville, TN)
6/23  Muddy Buddy (Ashland City, TN)
7/15  Buckhead Border Challenge Tri (Louisville, KY, Jeffersonville, IN)
7/28  Yazoo Barely a 4k Beer Run (Nashville, TN)
8/18  Girls Tri It On Sprint Tri (Brentwood, TN)
9/8  Nashvegas Olympic Triathlon (Ashland City, TN)
9/29  Shelby Bottoms Boogie 5k/15k (Nashville, TN)
10/7   Boston Half Marathon (Boston, MA)
10/21  Nashville Color Run (Nashville, TN)

Pretty much a race every month (with a couple “fun” races thrown in like Muddy Buddy, Beer Run, Color Run).  I think it’s doable.  I get to put in 2 Olympic distances this year so I can get ready for longer distance next year.

Great race name and great race finish
June 19, 2012

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I live in Nashville.  Affectionately called Music City, USA.  And if you’ve ever spent any time here, you know why.  We honestly have quite the serious music scene here. Although I grew up here, I actually have a degree in music so it’s not all bias for my hometown.  Which is why I absolutely love the name of our sole duathlon here:

Music City Du Run Run

If there was ever a perfect race name, this is it!  Seriously how cute is that for a Du in Nashville?

This year was my second time to race the Du Run Run.  Last year, about halfway through the race, we had a massive thunder (and lightning) storm.  One that really scares you to be outside, much less on a bike or running in the middle of a field.  So this year’s weather seemed to be a little more cooperative, so I was ready.  My goals were to beat last year’s time, first run around16min, second run under 18 min, and to beat my buddy again who made a dramatic stink about being beat by a girl (me) last year.

I lined up at the start line and met another athlete who has the same Coach as me.  I hung out with her at the front of the start line, thinking I would hang with her and that group.  Boy was I in for a surprise.  The runs are 2 laps around soccer fields, cross-country style on the grass.  Not my favorite way to run (terrified I will step in a hole and die break my ankle), but I was prepared after last year.  The bike was a new flatter course that was 2 loops instead of one.

Run 1 – 2 miles – 15:52
Siren goes off and we’re off.  My new friend with the same Coach is crazy fast!!  As in I was running 7min miles (on accident) and had already lost her.  I decided to let that one go.  I needed to race smarter not harder.  Though I was feeling good at about a 7:30 pace, I knew I probably couldn’t hang on to it and perform well in the rest of the race. I forced myself to slow down to somewhere around 8-8:30 so I could hang in there.

T1 – 0:54
Fortunately I was in the rack with all the super fast, queer-looking aero helmet guys.  So by the time I got back to transition, it was just my bike and my buddy’s, plenty of room to transition.

Bike – 10 miles – 35:43
The goal on the bike was to just hang in there.  This is not my strongest leg and I know my buddy is a much more experienced cyclist and could catch up with me like last year if his run was faster this year. I tried to stay in aero as much as possible and didn’t see my buddy until the second lap, which forced me to push it even harder back to transition.

T2 – 0:54
Seriously? How did I get exactly the same time as T1?  When I got to transition, all the aero helmet guys had returned and some had racked their bikes in the wrong spots throwing off me and my buddy (who came in right after me)! I was so pissed. I tried to get out as quick as possible and did a quick stop while running out to lock my yank laces. I really thought this transition would be faster, but with the jackass aero helmet guys and my laces, I lost a few seconds.

Run 2 – 2 miles – 16:32
This run was just about pushing through and getting to the finish line.  A lot of people walked.  By the time you get to this part of the race, they have turned up the heat at least another twenty billion degrees.  You’re hot.  You probably didn’t hydrate enough on the bike while sprinting.  I took a cup of water on the way out of transition took a sip and dumped the rest on my head.  Did the same on the second lap of the run.  I was pretty glad to be done once I hit the finish line, knowing I had met my goals and was faster than last year.

Total time: 1:09: 55

I soon saw the other athlete who has the same Coach.  Turns out she did the whole race in under 1 hour, and got 1st female overall.  So yeah, there was no way I would have been able to hang with her for all of the first run.   But yay for our Coach’s team!!  Then more results started coming in.  And because my teammate had gotten an overall award, it had taken her out of my age group, which means we all moved up.

I got 2nd place in my age group!!  I haven’t placed in a race since middle/high school track!  I was so excited and couldn’t believe it!  This was my first podium finish! (Although there wasn’t an actual podium.)  I was beyond excited.  I got an “Award Winner” pint glass and a Nashville Triathlon Club race belt.  I already have 2 race belts, one of which is an NTC belt, so I traded that for a NTC Headsweats race hat!

My first racing award!!

So the race with the great name gave me a great finish.  Now granted I have trained really hard to get here and I felt really strong on the race and gave as much as I could.  I am very happy with the results.  I rocked that bad boy and have the podium finish and race swag to prove it!