Race Report : Robert Huntley Memorial Mini-Triathlon in Coldwater, Michigan (August 25, 2018)

races, triathlon

It happened! I am officially a triathlete. After the race, I told Bruno I’ve been adding a lot to my identity this year. I’m now a trail runner, a Crossfitter (is that a word?), and now, finally, a triathlete. I also feel like a runner again. I keep saying it, but I do not take it for granted. I’m still so grateful. There are only a few months left in the year and so far, I’ve been consistently active in all of them.

But I digress! The race! The Robert Huntley Memorial Mini-Triathlon is a local race in Coldwater, Michigan. The proceeds go to scholarships for Coldwater cross country runners, so it was a race I was especially happy to pay for.

I woke up close to 5 in the morning and did my normal routine. I made coffee, drank water, put the dishes away (this is the way the first ten minutes of every single day of my life goes!). Bruno woke up and started making me breakfast, so I hopped in the shower. I ate breakfast, oatmeal with strawberries and granola. Bruno brought most of my stuff in the truck. I double-checked to make sure I had everything. We left at around 6:15.

I do not know why, but the quiet morning drive to a race is one of my favorite parts. It is dark. There is hardly anyone out on the road. It feels peaceful. Even though I always feel like I’m scrambling to get things ready, the drive to a race always calms me down. I drank some more coffee and water. We listened to tunes and talked about my plans for the race.

It was beginning to storm by the time we arrived. I checked-in and set my bike and my first transition stuff up (I had no idea how to rack my bike). I kept everything in a plastic bag, hoping that it would not get soaked. It actually ended up working out, my towel was a little damp, but my shoes and socks were dry. At this time, every time it would lightning, the race would be postponed for another half-hour.

We waited in the truck and every time it seemed like the storm was ending, lighting would strike again. I broke the no-new things rule for racing and ate one of those Honey Stinger waffles. It was delicious. In the words of Madonna, absolutely no regrets. Bruno read his kindle while I continuously refreshed the doppler radar. Around 9:30 I noticed more people getting out of their vehicles and heading up, so I figured I would follow. Good thing I did, because the race was about to start!

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I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it!

The swim portion started in the lake. Coldwater Lake is shallow. I think they said only eight feet deep in its deepest parts. We walked out to the lake and waded to the starting line. I did not feel too nervous at this point. The water was cold, but I felt like I acclimated quickly. I just was ready to get swimming. The whistle blew and the gun went off and we all started swimming.

And it was like I forgot how. My heart was racing, not from fear, but I felt way more out of breath than normal. When I swim in the pool, I swim three strokes then breathe to my right, swim three strokes then breathe to my left. It was like I completely forgot how to do that. I was breathing almost every stroke, then I would stop every few strokes to see where I was, making sure I was heading in the right direction. It was so shallow that sometimes I would take a few steps, swim again. I eventually got myself to do some consistent normal swimming, but I’m sure it was not efficient or effective. I’m not sure what happened. I was not afraid of swimming in the lake. I felt safe. I’m not sure if it was lack in trust in myself or what. Next time. Next time.

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The part I was actually most nervous about was the transition from swimming to biking. We were helped out of the water and I waddled, I mean ran, back into the transition where I changed into my socks and shoes. This was actually not as difficult as I feared. Little things. I put on my helmet, grabbed my bike, and as soon as I left the transition area, I hoped on and was back on my way. Once again, not as bad as I feared. All these little things that I was afraid of: not being able to get my socks in shoes on over my half-dried feet, struggling to get on my bike (weird fear, right?), or that I would have problems getting my helmet on. None of it happened. It went as smoothly as I could hope for a beginner.

The bike part was my favorite part. My odometer was not working because of the rain. I could not get it to turn on and tell me how fast I was, so as of now, I have no idea how fast I did those six miles. I just tried to go as fast as I could. It was an out and back. Some people were wearing headphones on the bike which made me a little nervous in passing them. I tried to say “left!” as loudly as I could. My fear of having a collision never happened. The only difficult part was the wind on the way back, but I just kept pumping my legs as hard as I could. The best part was a cute blond three year old shouting on top of her lungs to me, “YOU CAN DO IT!” Little girl, you had no idea how much I needed that. Also, you are the Rob Schneider of the mini-triathlon. I mean that as a compliment.

The first mile of the run was the second hardest part. I know that running post-bike does not feel good. It is like your muscles are in whip-lash mode. It took me awhile to get my watch started, but when I looked at my pace I was initially going at a 12 minute mile pace. My plan for the run was to take the first half mile to warm up and increase pace as I went along. I ended up finishing the first mile in around 10 minute pace. And then, just to show you how hard that first mile was in comparison to the last two, the second mile I ran in 8:30 minutes and the last in 8:15 minutes.

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Pace checking.

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I did it!

I finished! I’m still not sure of my time. They are supposed to be eventually posted on facebook and as I’m not sure of our exact starting time, I can’t really estimate.

This race was such a reminder that doing new things can be so rewarding. It was also another reminder of the happiness of the beginner mentality. So many of the faster triathletes, the ones with carbon triathlon bikes and aero helmets who seemed like they really knew what they were doing, were so kind and encouraging. They were happy to answer questions about the course and questions about transitions. Some cheered when I saw them on the out and back of the run. When I told a few it was my first triathlon they were especially encouraging. It really helped with feeling intimidated. They really helped me celebrate the joy of accomplishing something brand new.

xo, Ali

Monday Miles : August 20-26, 2018

lifting, monday miles, running, swimming, training, triathlon

The triathlon did happen! There was about an hour delay because of the lightning, but as we started getting closer to ten in the morning, the storms cleared up. I’ll write more on that in my race report for tomorrow as it was quite a day.

The next races I have are the Funky Bus 5k and Hippie Half-marathon at Run Woodstock. I have been planning on running those for fun though and will mainly transition for training for a later fall 10k. The plan is to still maintain swimming and biking once a week. It was nice not just running, even though running will always be my favorite. Hopefully in the spring or next summer, I will do a sprint triathlon. I’m not sure if I would be ready for an Olympic distance. Someday, but I would like to do a few sprints first.

This week brought me back to the track for the first time in a few months. I took it easy on CrossFit getting ready for Saturday’s race. I feel good!

8 – 20 : Morning. Swim. 100m drills, 100m breast stroke. 3 rounds of 1x 100 meter free-style, 2x 50m free-style. 200m free-style and breast stroke. 1000m.

8 – 21 : Afternoon. Run. Easy 3.5 miles. 10:22/mile pace. CrossFit. WOD: for time, 20 ring-rows, 30 over-head squats, 20 ring-rows, 20 over-head squats, 20 ring-rows, 10 over-head squats, 20 ring-rows. Over-head squats are no joke! I started out using a bar bell during my warm-up and the coach told me it might be best for me to switch to a PVC pipe. I trusted his wisdom. It was the right move, because there is no way I would have been able to get through that even with a bar. 11 minutes 36 seconds. Romwod.

8 – 22 : Morning. 1 mile warm-up. 6x 400 meters with a 200m “float.” 1 mile cool-down. I tried to maintain between 7:30-7:40 pace for all my 400m. I think I was mostly successful. The work-out called for 8 repeats, but at around 8 in the morning, the football team started showing up and frankly, I kind of felt silly being out there. So I left and continued my run before heading back home. Next time I’ll show up to the track a little earlier. 4 miles.

8 – 23 : Rest ‘n Romwod.

8 – 24 : Rest ‘n Romwod.

8 – 25 : Coldwater Mini-Triathlon! 300 yard swim, 6 mile bike, and 3 mile run. As of right now, I still do not have my time (although I can say I ran a 9/mile average pace for run…my first mile was so slow!). Romwod.

8 – 26 : 5 miles. 9:46/mile. It was so humid my glasses kept fogging up throughout my run. I swear in places I did not even know I could sweat.

Totals : 1 hour CrossFit, 1275m swam, 6 miles biked, 15.5 miles run.

xo, Ali

‘Twas the Eve Before my First Triathlon Eve

cycling, goals, races, running, swimming, training, triathlon

The weather forecast warns of storms on Saturday. I keep checking and the storms remain. I’m hoping for a brighter day for my first triathlon, the 34th Annual Robert Huntley Memorial Mini-Triathlon in Coldwater, Michigan, this Saturday. Even rain is fine. I do not want another cancellation. I could not find a replacement sprint triathlon for my original plan. I do not think I can find a replacement any-distance triathlon that would not involve extra travel.

I’m happy I found this race. What I read about it makes it sound like the perfect triathlon for someone like me, a beginner who has no idea what she is doing. It is a local race. The profits go to the cross country team. I’m excited to be a part of it. I’m excited to swim the 300 yards, bike the six miles, and run the three miles that will take me to my first triathlon finish.

That said, I have no idea what to expect. I have no goals other than to just go by feel and see what happens. Mainly, I am trying to see this as a learning experience. I want to learn how to do transitions. I want to learn what it is like to race my bike, and I want to get comfortable swimming in the open water again. I want to do well, but I’m trying to keep my expectations minimal and one step at a time.

It is hard not to think of the future as I plan for this race. It was not necessarily what I had planned. I wanted to do a sprint triathlon. But I think the big thing I am going to have to focus on is just staying present. Yes, doing this triathlon will help when I finally do a sprint next year. But I also am racing this race. I want to be in this race too both mentally and physically. I do not want to future-trip through it the whole time.

That said, I have a vague idea of what I’m hoping: under one hour. I have no idea if that is feasible. I could be severely over-estimating what I think could happen. I do not think I am under-estimating. We’ll see.

Tomorrow I’ll get Cat (the bike) ready and get everything set up. I’ll have my fingers crossed for good weather the whole time. Rain is fine, but storms can stay away. This runner wants to become a triathlete.

xo, Ali

 

 

Monday Miles : August 13-19, 2018

crossfit, lifting, monday miles, running, training, triathlon

This is the week of the Coldwater Mini-Triathlon. I’ll be taking it a little bit easy this week, so I can make sure everything feels good for that day. I do not really have any goals other than to see what I can do. I’m more nervous about the transitions and making sure I have the gear right than anything at the moment. I placed an order from Decathlon last week which arrived today. I now own a tri suit, a pair of bike shorts, and two cycling jerseys. Am I a real cyclist yet? I have yet to try them on or try them out, but I’m really looking forward to it.

Here are this week’s workouts!

8 – 13 – 18 : Morning – Bike. I did an out and back. I went out for a half an hour, but returning back was a little bit quicker. I was also chased by a dog. Luckily, I’m faster on my bike than when I run. Still, it was a little startling. I’m always afraid I’m going to do something that will cause me to fall off my bike. That day will likely come, but it won’t come because of a dog, but because of myself. I am a klutz. 14 miles. 14.7 mph. Afternoon – CrossFit. “Fibonacci.” For time: 5, 8, 13 reps of pike push-ups, dead lifts at 100 lbs. Then to finish, lunge 89 feet with two ten pound dumb-bells in the air. My notes say : “Holy hell — not sure if I did the pike push-ups correctly, will have to keep working on them. Dead lifts were fine, but those lunges were TERRIBLE.” Truly. Those lunges and pike push-ups were hard, but I did not know what hard was until those lunges. 9 minutes 44 seconds. Romwod.

8 – 14 – 18 : Afternoon – Run. Three miles. 9:48/mile. CrossFit. The work-out was supposed to be a “Complex Fran,” but because I cannot do anything for it was more of a “modified Fran.” For time: 15 band-assisted pull-ups, 21 thrusters at 55 lbs.; 12 band-assisted pull-ups; 15 thrusters; 9 band-assisted pull-ups; 9 thrusters. 11 minutes 44 seconds. I was very happy to be done with this one.

8 – 15 – 18 : Morning – Run. Tempo. 35 minutes. 3.7 miles. 9:15/mile average. I wanted to keep all miles under 9 minutes and mainly succeeded except for the third mile which was super hilly.

8 – 16 – 18 : Afternoon – Run. 3 miles. 10:11/mile. CrossFit. Strength — Back squats: 5 @ 85 lbs.; 4 @ 105 lbs.; 3 @ 105 lbs.; four minutes to attempt one rep max. I’m still at 125 lbs. I tried 135 lbs., but failed. WOD – 15 back squats @ 85 lbs.; 30 box jump overs @ 20″. 3 minutes 16 seconds. I liked this work out. It was fast and fun.

8 – 17 – 18 : Rest.

8 – 18 – 18 : Romwod.

8 – 19 -18 : Morning – Run. 4 miles. 10:08 mile.

xo, Ali

All [I] Need is Just a Little Patience

goals, races, running, training, triathlon

I mentioned last week that I was seriously considering running the Freak 50k at Run Woodstock instead of the Hippie Half. I ran sixteen miles and planned out two more long runs and figured it would not be pretty, but I could get it done. I still stand by that. I know I could get it done. But I do not want to just get it done. I want to get it done well.

I had a plan. I wanted to do a mini-triathlon in Coldwater, Michigan as a replacement for the sprint triathlon I had planned for late September. I thought very seriously about training for something more, a marathon or a 50k. But then decided against it. Running has been going so well. I did not want to jump the gun. I wanted to have patience.

Patience involved going shorter instead of going longer. Rather than find some later fall marathon or 50k, I found Michigan’s Holiday series trio of races (schedule permitting — but you know I want that magic mug!) – a Halloween 10k, a Turkey Trot 5k, and a Christmas 5k. Rather than focus on endurance, which I know I have, I wanted to focus on speed. It would be a literal change of pace.

Then the possibility of this 50k came up. It isn’t like visions of grandeur popped in my mind, but as I said, I have been wanting to be an ultramarathoner since I graduated college. This is a life goal, like finishing my Ph.D. or writing a book. The temptation to put a “checkmark” next to it is strong.

But honestly, as I told Bruno, it would not be the same. I do not just want to run an ultra. I want the process of training specifically for an ultra too. I want to think about the training and hard work I put in while running. I do not want to break the ultimate running commandment: respect the distance. I don’t want to blow up at mile twenty and have to walk the last eleven miles. I do not want to injure myself. I want to do this right.

So, I picked out a 10k plan. I have a time goal (more on that later). I’ll do my first triathlon in a little less then two weeks. Then, I’ll run the Woodstock half and have a good time listening to classic rock. I will celebrate that I have been able to run this year. I will have gratitude instead of trying to push it.

I will eventually run an ultramarathon. Maybe the next year. Maybe the year after. They are not going anywhere. I’ll take it slow. It will work itself out fine. All I need is just a little patience.

xo, Ali

 

Pond of Certainty

daily life, swimming, triathlon

This past weekend was a our first visit to my mom and step-dad’s new house. It is a beautiful red home out in the country. It feels more like a vacation lake house than a place where people day to day live. The part of the house I was most excited for was that it has a pond.

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Sun shining, hearts full, eyes squinting. 

Bruno does not know how to swim, so Saturday we hung around the “beach” area. I tried to explain (badly) to Bruno how to float and once he was able to do that, kicking, using his arms. By the end of the session he could do a free strokes free-style and a few strokes backstroke. It was not pretty, but I was proud of him and I think he was surprised at himself. He described swimming as “teleportation” because he would close his eyes (no goggles) and find himself in a different place.

After, I planned to do a swim workout in the pond. I did not know how long (meters or yards) it would be. The plan was to set a timer and focus on trying to swim continuously. No big deal.

Unlike Bruno, I have goggles. For me swimming is not like teleportation. I can open my eyes and see where I am going. And I could not see. The pond is clean, but it is still a pond. It is murky. There are plants to swim through. And then, when I made it to the middle of the pond, I could not see to the bottom. First, I thought “how eerie” and then I panicked. Work out abandoned.

It was not until the drive back to Michigan that I even told Bruno I became scared. And truly, I still don’t understand. I used to do this all the time.

I started training for a triathlon to work on fear. At that time, it was my fear of cycling. But it seems that I have been presented with another fear to work on, one that does not quite have a name. I don’t think I am scared of swimming in ponds or lakes. The pond plants do not bother me. I like the fish. I suspect it is more fear of the unknown, looking down and not being able to see, looking to the side and only seeing more murk.

Next year, I have no idea where we will live or where I will work. This is it. The last year I will describe myself officially as a “graduate student” (in life, “student” will always apply).  I cannot see. I only see murk. And as I mention, this causes a lot of anxiety.

I told Bruno yesterday that I just want certainty. I like knowing, planning, and the assurance of “if this, then that.” I get it. Nobody’s life is really like that. Still,  I think when I was swimming and looked down and saw only the “unknown” in my small family pond, I was fed up with it. I could not handle just one more thing of not knowing.

It will take baby-steps (or strokes?) to try to get comfortable with being uncomfortable again in the pond, just as I’m trying to be comfortable, excited even, about not knowing what will happen next year. At the very least, I am certain I will get there, wherever “there” may be.

xo, Ali

 

 

Monday Miles : July 23-29, 2018

crossfit, cycling, dissertation, graduate school, monday miles, running, swimming, training, triathlon

I’m not burnt out. I don’t work hard enough to be burnt out. But I admit that I ended last week feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. It did not matter that I received good news — fourth dissertation approved! one chapter to go! — I ended last week and began this week with the big question: what next? This is the last year of funding. Now what? And then swarmed all the things I had to do to improve already approved dissertation chapters, make myself viable for jobs, the shoddy job market, fears of not being smart enough, not working hard enough, not being a good enough writer, etc. In other words, hello anxiety.

The relationship between regular life stress and working out stress are probably not discussed enough. I see plenty about recovery from hard work out weeks, but not much about hard life weeks. Most of the time working out makes me feel better, but then sometimes it feels like another thing on the never ending list of things to do.

So I took a recovery weekend. It worked out well because I went home to Ohio. My sister had a baby (a girl!!) and my mom watched my two nephews. I helped watch the boys and visited my sister and the new baby in the hospital. We swam in the pond. Bruno and I went out to a new place on a lake for fish tacos and beers, listening to a local cover band play “Fight for Your Right to Party” while we discussed whether the right to party was a natural or civil right. It was a nice weekend, but I’ll admit. I came back to Michigan full of anxiety.

I’m hoping the recovery weekend will help me out in the long run though, that long run being the Legend trail half-marathon this Saturday. I want to feel energized and rejuvenated come this weekend, not frazzled and exhausted.

Anyway — here are last week’s workouts.

7 – 23 : Rest

7 – 24 : CrossFit. WOD: Run 5k for time. Time: 26:29 minutes. Mile 1 = 8 minutes, 2 = 8:30 minutes, 3 = 8:49 seconds, .15 = 7.53. This was hard and about three minutes slower than my 5k PR, but I was glad to know where I am. Onward.

7 – 25: CrossFit. Warm-up: 2 x 10 ring-rows, 10 push-ups, 10 good-mornings, 10 air squats, 30 second plank, 1 minute run. WOD: The Chief. Max rounds – 3 minutes. 3 power cleans, 6 push-ups, 9 air squats. Rest 1 minute. Repeat 5 cycles. My form is improving! This is the first lift aside from dead lifts and squats that I’ve been able to actually use a barbell on. Improvements! I used a naked barbell at 33 pounds and — also very exciting! — none of my push-ups were scaled. I did them all regular. Rounds: 3 + 2, 3 + 2, 3, 3, 3 + 3. Like the 5k, I have plenty of room for improvement, but I was happy for those two wins.

7 – 26: Swim. 200m breast stroke. Descending ladder, 150m, 100, 100, 50 x 8 with 30s rest. 100m breast stroke. 1,050 meters. Bike. 6 miles. 29 minutes.

7 – 27: Rest.

7 – 28: Rest.

7 – 29: Rest.

Totals: Run 3.15 miles. Swim 1050 meters. Bike 6 miles. CrossFit 2 hours.

xo, Ali

 

Monday Miles : July 16 – 22, 2018

crossfit, monday miles, running, swimming, training, triathlon

Today is a much needed rest day. Much needed because I’m still sore from Friday’s squats. Thankfully it is sore in a good way, not in an injured way. But every time I walk up and down the steps, I’m amazed that I make it.

I only have two more weeks until the Legend half-marathon. This past weekend was my last longer run of around ten miles for it. This weekend I’ll do something shorter around six or seven, depending on how I’m feeling. Still, even with being sore from Friday, I was really happy with my biking and my running.

7 – 16 – Rest. I’ve been making Monday big work days for focus on work and dissertation only, rather than try to balance everything out.

7 – 17 – Morning. Swim. Warm-up – 100m drills, 100m breast stroke. Work-out – 1 x 125m, 100m, 75m, 50m free; 6 x 25m. 700m. Bike. 40 minutes. 8.6 miles. Afternoon. CrossFit. WOD – AMRAP 25 minutes: Run 400m, rest as long as it took to run the 400m. I’m not sure how many I actually did, but according to Strava ran 1.91 miles, around 1:51 per four meters.

7 – 18 – Morning. Rest. Dissertating. Afternoon. CrossFit. Warm-up – Shoulder mobility, press prep. Strength – 12 minutes to establish one rep max shoulder press. It did not take me long to reach my one rep max. 3 x 45 lbs., 3 x 55 lbs., 1 x 60 lbs., 2 x 60 lbs. I could not do anything more than that. WOD – For reps. 2 rounds: 2 minutes – pull-ups banded. I think I did maybe 15 first round, second round 10. 1 minute – rest. 2 minutes – push-ups. First round – 10 regular, 15 chick-style. Second round – 8 regular, 13 chick-style. 1 minute – rest. 2 minutes – front rack walk – 20lbs. dumb-bells. This last one was rough. I think the front rack walks are some of the hardest things I do in CrossFit. Rough.

7 – 19 – Rest. I turned in my fourth chapter this day!

7 – 20 – Morning. Run. 152 bpm. Hour long. 5.41 miles. It started storming on me the last mile, so I booked it home. Noon. I went to CrossFit earlier in the day, so I could get some cleaning and other things done this afternoon. Every three minutes: 5 reps – 73 lbs.; 4 reps – 83 lbs.; 3 – 93 lbs.; 2 – 103 lbs.; 1 – 123 lbs.; 2 – 113 lbs.; 3 – 103 lbs.; 4 – 93 lbs.; 5 – 83 lbs. I did this same workout a couple months ago and I improved by more than I expected. My highest weight was 95 lbs. then. I know it still is not very much, but I walked out of there feeling like a total bad ass.

7 – 21 – Morning. Swim. Warm-up – 400m free-style. Work-out – 8 x 50m free-style. Cool-down – 100m breast. 900m. Bike. 1 hour. 12.8 miles.

7 – 22 – Run. 10 miles. 10:04/minutes per mile. I felt sore and tired for most of this run, but I felt like I was making pretty good pace, but the last two miles I was just done. I did a five minute walking break at the eight mile and walked up the hills.

Totals – Run – 17. 3 miles. Bike – 21. 4 miles. Swim – 1600m. Crossfit – 3 hours.

xo, Ali

Change of Plans

crossfit, cycling, running, swimming, training, triathlon

I received some bummer news yesterday. The Williams Bay Triathlon is cancelled due to lack of sign-ups. While I’m glad they let us know early, I have not really found another sprint triathlon that I can transfer to. And I looked and looked yesterday. The couple in Michigan I thought looked promising are either too soon that I would not be ready (Cereal City in Battle Creek), on the same weekend as half-marathon (Ann Arbor Triathlon), or a little too far away (Traverse City). I’ve checked for triathlons in Ohio too, trying to find one close to the hometown, but alas, nothing.

So, yeah. I’m a little bummed. I had a really good swim yesterday too. Finally. I did not feel like I was fighting the water or gasping for air every time I took a breath. Instead, it felt like ease (not easy) and I left the college rec center feeling excited. Even though I grew up swimming, those 500 meters have seemed really daunting to me and I left the pool yesterday thinking, “This could happen. I may not totally suck.”

I started this year wanting to start running consistently again. And amazingly I’ve been doing that. I have only one more race to go with the Serious Series of trail races and another trail half-marathon, Run Woodstock, in September. Then surprise, surprise other things started to interest me. I never thought I would want to do a triathlon, but here I have been swimming and cycling. I started CrossFit. I’m not sure if January 2018 me would have expected all that, but I guess I had a change of plans.

So. Here is another change of plans. Granted, it is not one caused by my growing interests. There is a Spartan Race at Michigan Speedway on the same weekend of the now-cancelled triathlon that Bruno is trying to persuade me to do. I’m not so sure yet. I’m no Amelia Boone. Crawling under barbed wire gives me the heebie jeebies. Plus, I still really want to do a triathlon.

I’m not sure a sprint will happen this year, but late August in Coldwater, Michigan there is a mini-triathlon, a super sprint. 300 yard swim, 6 mile bike, and 3 mile run. It is not exactly what I wanted, but it may be just I need to accomplish a first triathlon. It is close by and I’ll be ready.

xo, Ali

 

Monday Miles : July 9 – 15, 2018

crossfit, cycling, lifting, monday miles, running, swimming, training, triathlon

I began a relaxing weekend with a sore throat, runny nose, and a mild temperature. That did not stop first year marriage anniversary festivities. We stopped at a local winery before heading out to eat at one of the oldest restaurants in Michigan. Realizing we were close to a Barnes & Nobles, we spent about an hour there looking at books before heading home. It was a nice evening out to followed up by a relaxing Sunday. We spent our actual anniversary grocery shopping, splitting a bottle of Veuve (a very generous gift from friends) in the afternoon, and watching Death of Stalin.

Anyway, this week’s workouts were fine. The pool was closed do to a swim camp on campus and I took Sunday off, but most of them were fine. I find that I am no longer as sore after CrossFit as I used to be. Although, to be very clear. I am still sore.

This week I am hoping to get back into swimming and do two bike rides instead of just one short one. Saturday should be the last long-ish (for me) run before my final half-marathon in the Serious Series this summer. After that, it is go time on triathlon training.

7 – 9 : CrossFit. Warm-up. 2x 200m run, 10 push-ups to downward dog, 10 side squats. Squat snatch progression. WOD: Run 200m, 10 squat snatch, run 200m, 8 squat snatch, run 200m, 6 squat snatch, run 200m, 4 squat snatch, run 200m 2 squat snatch, run 200m. So. I am really bad at form. I am fairly certain it was not until the last two that I even got the squat snatch close to what it is supposed to look like. I did this was a PVC pipe. Real talk. I’m trying not to be embarrassed about this. 15 minutes.

7 – 10 : Morning. Easy heart-rate run. 60 minutes under 152 bpm. 5.13 miles, 11:39/mile average. It was super, duper hot. I ran on the bike path near the lake and I’m pretty sure I can add “bugs” to my morning breakfast. Afternoon. CrossFit. Warm-up. Every minute, on the minute. 12 minutes. 45s jump-rope, 45s ring-rows, 45s row, 45s bear crawl (3 rounds). Pull-up and kipping prep. WOD: 5 minutes – 3 cal bike, 3 box hand-stand push-ups, 6 cal, 6 box hand-stand push-ups, 9 cal-bike, 9 box hand-stand push-ups. 5 minutes – 50 single-unders, 3 jumping pull-ups, 50 single-unders, 6 jumping pull-ups, 50 single-unders, 9 jumping pull-ups, 50 single-unders, 12 jumping pull-ups. This was harder than it looks. It always feel like it takes so long to reach a single calorie on a bike. That said, I think my jump-rope is improving. Hopefully those single-unders will turn into double-unders.

7 – 11 : CrossFit. Warm-up – 3 minutes jump-rope. Various lunges, arm circles, inch-worm push-ups, squat progression, dead lift progression. 3 x 3 squats – 65 lbs., 75 lbs., 85 lbs. 3 x 3 deadlifts – 65 lbs., 75 lbs., 75 lbs. WOD – For time. 45 x squats – 65 lbs., 45 x deadlifts – 65 lbs. 10 minutes. This was deceptively simple. No big deal, I thought. Hah! The squats were ok. Hard. But fine. The deadlifts. After the first ten I could not believe I had 35 left. I fought for every single deadlift that I did. I focused hard as hell on form. I could maybe do 2 or 3 at a time, then only 1. I was the very last person. At around five left, I felt like I was going to cry. It hurt so bad. I could feel my lower lip making a grimace. I finished. It hurt so bad. But I finished.

7 – 12 : Morning. Easy heart-rate run. 60 minutes under 152 bpm. 5.22 miles, 11:28/mile average. I was sore from the previous day, but still for the most part felt pretty good aside for the heat. Afternoon. Short bike ride. 36 minutes, 8.2 miles. 13.7mph pace.

7 – 13 : Rest.

7 – 14 : Run. 6.3 miles. 9:41/mile pace. For the most part this run was fine. My legs were still sore from the previous work outs, but I still felt great. However, the heat has just been really bugging me lately. I was not thinking and didn’t bring any water with me for this run, figuring it was fine because I would only be out for an hour. By mile five, I felt shaky and then quickly became nauseous. Lesson learned.

7 – 15 : Anniversary day! Rest.

Totals: 3 hours CrossFit, 17.63 miles ran, 8.2 miles cycled.

xo, Ali