Saturday, June 28, 2014

Macklind Mile 2014

A one mile race might seem easy, but it's super hard. I was stressed before the race because I knew getting a PR wouldn't be easy. I was very surprised with my results last year, finishing in 6:55. I've never ran that fast before in my life. Also, this isn't really a race that you train for.

Race Start
The horn blew and I ran as fast as I could. My heart was pounding, and I really thought I was going to pass out. The race goes by really fast (as you can imagine)...

Almost there!
Anyways, no PR for me this year. My watch says I ran a 6:56 pace, but official results clocked me at 7:06. Overall, I love this race!! - - although I have killer shin splints right now.

Finish Line

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

St. Peters Rec Plex Triathlon

I signed up for this triathlon on a whim about a month ago. I've been wanting to do one for a while now... I did an indoor sprint triathlon last year, and it was a blast. However, I wanted to actually bike and run outdoors! I have a fear of swimming out in open, murky water, so since the swim portion was indoors, I thought this was the perfect triathlon for me.

So, to prepare for the triathlon, I practiced in the pool three times, went on two 20+ mile bike rides, and obviously spent a lot of my time running and doing yoga.

No information about the triathlon was really posted online, only the race routes. I thought this was a bit irritating since I had no clue about race transitions and such. I did my own research and got to the Rec Plex about 45 minutes before my swim start time. I checked-in, received my race packet and headed outside to get my bike and running gear set up. I asked a volunteer if there was an assigned place for our bikes, or if we just set up where ever. She replied pretty snarky, that the information was in the race packet. Doh!! Ok, so it took a little time to find a place to put my bike (I had a hard time finding space). I should have arrived a bit earlier, I guess! I observed how others were setting up, and did the same. I then realized I had to get my numbers marked on me, so I had to go back to where I got my packet to do that. Wish they informed me about that while I was there!!

I got to the pool about 15 minutes before my start time. I wanted to observe how to do this serpentine swim. It looked easy enough, but I was irritated because they were letting swimmers start in 15 second intervals, and we were in order by when we registered and not by our pace. My swim start time was 6:43:15. That's great and all, but I didn't start until 6:43:45. Which is fine, but the instructions that I received day of stated:
Your swim start time has been entered into the computer and the clock will stark ticking at that moment. The start time cannot be altered. Failure to start at your appointed time will negatively impact your overall finish time which will not be altered. 

Swim Start.
I started in my number order... so I hope they altered our time by 30 seconds!! I found the serpentine swim very annoying. The pool was split into eight full lanes, but the first and last lane was split by a smaller rope.

St. Peters Rec Plex
I was feeling really strong in the pool, and ended up passing 8-10 people overall! I did accidentally run into one lady. I felt bad about that, but she was doing back stroke and taking up a lot of room. I passed on her left and was breathing towards the left, so I totally drifted into her. I really wasn't trying to be an asshole. Two times, I had to sidestroke behind slower swimmers because there was no where to pass (in the first and last lane).

Passing someone on the narrow lanes (far right, white cap).
I finished the 500 meter swim in 10:04. I'm still wondering if they altered the time by 30 seconds, because I had no way to get in there at my "start time." So it wasn't my fault! Grrr! I placed 61/267 (woot woot!).

I took my time at the transition 1... I guess a little too much time. Josh said I was a little slow and easy going at the transitions, ha. But, I told myself I was doing this as a learning experience. I got on my bike and nearly forgot my helmet!

Leaving Transition 1.
Like I said, I've only gone 20+ miles two times. Both were leisure rides. I was super naive, thinking I was prepared to ride 21.7 miles. I started painfully slow, and ended even slower. I just felt like I couldn't get any speed. I can't even count how many people passed me (it was a lot). I hated every second of the bike, and instead tried to take in the scenery. The route was also very flat, and there was a strong headwind at times. The last mile, we had a huge uphill climb. I slowed down to turtle speed trying to get up that hill. I ended not as happy as I started out.

Done biking!!
I finished the bike portion in 1:40:11. I placed 240/260. How horrible is that!!! I returned my bike and put on my running shoes. I even had a banana and an orange. I was not in a hurry to start the run.

You can tell by the expression on my face that I was not thrilled at the running start:

Looks like speedo dude was having a stellar race, however.
I actually really enjoyed the running portion. My legs were way tired, but the route was excellent and flat! I ran what I could, but at this point, my only goal was to finish. I walked some, but ended at a 10:30 pace. I'm fine with that. I placed 192/265 in the run.

My first triathlon finish!
I finished in 2:39:55. This is my PR, and I can only get better. I didn't place well at all - - 215/265 overall, but I'm okay with that given my lack of training. Also, I now know the importance of brick workouts!! I would like to sign up for another triathlon, but I'm currently going to focus on my three upcoming half marathons!! I hope to finally get in under 2 hours!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pace Chart

Tracking my progress...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival 10k

I've been dreaming about running a race at Mackinac Island for a while. There are three different races on the Island: a 10k, an 8 miler, and a half marathon. The 8 mile race is one lap around the Island on the Lake Shore Road (nice and flat). The half marathon is more of a trail race, and the route takes you through the middle part of the Island. The 10k is a nice mix, which takes you through the hilly, middle part of the Island, and you finish on Lake Shore Road.

Race Route.
My parents only live 150 miles away from the Island, but we still stayed the night at a hotel in St. Ignace because we had to be on the 7:30 am ferry (yawn). It was more than enough time because we basically had an hour and a half to kill before the race start.

Near the Race Start.
The race was the perfect amount of people: not too large and not too small. I sometimes like low key races. I wasn't aiming to PR, I just wanted to enjoy the environment and the weather. The weather was perfect!! Mid-60s and zero humidity (heaven). We started on Main Street, and personally I would have liked to finish on Main Street. I understand why they did it... it gets pretty busy and they wanted to get us through there first.

Main Street.
After we exited Main Street, we had to run up a huge hill near Fort Mackinac. I tried to run it, but I had to walk. I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest. Once we got up the steep hill, it took a good mile for my heart rate to go down. The route was very scenic: tree covered with rolling hills. It was like this until mile 3. The only thing I didn't like was the horse poop!! I felt like I was dodging it right and left. It wasn't that bad, but the last thing I wanted to do was step in horse poo.

British Landing Road.
We made it to Lake Shore Drive, and the horse poop diminished, but the damn mosquitoes were out in full force. I was getting really sweaty, so I just felt like the bugs were sticking to me. But the view was beautiful, and the terrain was flat.

Lake Shore Drive.
I felt better in the last half than the first half, which is new for me. My splits were all over the place though (which isn't new for me):

Suffered on mile 2, after the huge hill.
I loved the race bib and medal. I think this one is my favorite to date! We didn't get a technical shirt, and instead we received cotton. Even though it's cotton, I still really like it. The only thing that was really missing was the people!! Since the race started so early the Island was pretty deserted, but it was super peaceful. I also couldn't listen to music for the first 3 miles since I use Spotify and I didn't have cell phone reception when I was in the interior of the Island. So therefore I had to listen to myself (and others) struggle to breath.

I finished in 58:27. Not a PR, but super happy with my time since I walked quite a bit in the beginning. This race was a huge wake up call for me though... I have two half marathons in July and I'm so not trained. I hope to get in some longer miles the next few weeks!! I do have a triathlon this weekend, and I have NO CLUE how to handle the transitions. This should be interesting.

I've been working on my crow pose, and this Friday I'm taking a hand balance class! I'm super excited, but a bit timid because I still have a lot to learn.

My pups are super helpful.
I highly recommend the Lilac Festival 10k!!

Main Street.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Still on the Yoga Train

I know I haven't blogged about yoga in quite some time, but it's still a huge part of my life. I feel so much stronger, and my elbow doesn't hurt like it used to. I can actually feel muscle in my forearms, and I can finally do this:

Forearm Headstand
I'm heading to Upper Michigan this week!! I will be running the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival 10k. I can't wait to get out of this Missouri humidity!!!!! It seriously sucks the life out of you.