Thursday Workout Recap

Because I missed posting it yesterday. ¬†Whoops ūüôā

Monday РRest Day.  So good at these.

Tuesday – Two mile run, followed by Team Fight swim. ¬†These are supposed to be in the other order, but there’s nowhere for me to run after swim, plus it’s 9:00 at night and I just want to go home and sleep.

Wednesday – FTP test. ¬†I was DREADING this. ¬†And it went really well. ¬†Or really terribly, depending on how you view it. ¬†I went up by 11 watts. ¬†That’s awesome! ¬†Except it now means that all my FTP based workouts are going to get that much harder. ¬†So, improvement is good, but…

Thursday Р5 mile run on the schedule, but I was burnt out.  Did about 3.5 and stopped.

Friday Р2000m nonstop swim.  I probably should have pushed for a bit more speed here.  But I got the distance in.

Saturday – 8 mile run in the soupy air. ¬†It was only in the 70’s when I started, so I hoped that the run wouldn’t be too bad. ¬†Nope, I forgot about the 94% humidity.

Sunday – I had been sneezing much of Saturday (allergies) and that plus the humidity meant that I just couldn’t face an outdoor bike ride. ¬†So I pushed myself on the trainer for 2.5 hours. ¬†Outside would have been better, but I got in the time, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

Cheating Surfaces Again

People seem to always find a way to cheat. ¬†Doping is nothing new in triathlon. ¬†It’s clearly wrong, but it’s not new, and we all know it’s continuing. ¬†The above is a screenshot from a post on SlowTwitch. ¬†For anyone who can’t see the image, to summarize, a woman was caught letting air out of the tire of one of her competitors just prior to IM 70.3 Syracuse. ¬†Thankfully, she was reported, disqualified, and the victim’s tire was reinflated.

I’m sure more reporting will come out, and I would very much like to hear from this woman why she was messing with someone else’s bike (allegedly, she claimed she was trying to inflate someone else’s tire, but got the bikes confused – if so, why did air come out of a tire and not go in?). ¬†But the sad thing is, this isn’t a unique situation.

When athletes dope, they’re only risking their own health. ¬†When someone messes with someone else’s equipment, they’re risking injury to that other athlete. ¬†You might think that letting air out of someone’s tire will just make them slower, or make them have to stop to change the tube (thinking there was a puncture in it). ¬†But this could also lead to a crash and physical injury to the athlete (or to other athletes if the crash takes down others, which can very easily happen).

You hear of all sorts of suspected sabotage. ¬†An athlete’s seatpost suddenly drops during a race because the clamp has been loosened, even though it has never fallen before. ¬†An athlete leaves transition and finds her brake pads are misaligned and rubbing (though this can happen from the bike being accidentally bumped in transition). Tires mysteriously go flat. ¬†Items disappear from transition.

Of course, some of this can happen randomly or by accident. ¬†I don’t understand how you can accidentally grab someone else’s shoes in transition, but I suppose it’s possible. And when something mechanical goes wrong on your bike, sometimes that’s just dumb luck.

But sometimes, it’s because people have decided that sabotage is a great way to cheat. ¬†Conveniently, I’m not really competition for anyone, so let’s hope my stuff is safe. ¬†But this really mars the spirit of triathlon. ¬†I have seen plenty of people stop to help others during races. ¬†We’ve all seen people helping others over the finish line. ¬†That’s the sport I love. ¬†And sure, you can be competitive. ¬†You can push to be faster than someone else. ¬†But the goal is that you are faster, not that you make someone else slower. ¬†And there’s certainly no glory in getting there by cheating.

Friday Five 2.0 – Summer Running Tips

This week, I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness¬†for their Friday Five 2.0 topic, Summer Running tips.

While I love the long days of summer, I don’t so much love the hot days of summer. ¬†And I live in the land of humidity (DC wasn’t actually built on a swamp, but I totally understand why people say that), which makes summers even more fun. ¬†I am much more of a spring and fall weather runner, and don’t even mind running in the freezing cold.

That said, summer is here, and I’m in training (when am I not?) so here’s how I handle the heat.

1. Go Out Early

Okay, I’m actually terrible at this one, but if you want to beat the heat, get up early and get running. ¬†I don’t like to run in the dark, but hey, the sun’s up early in the summer, so get out there as soon as the sun comes up. ¬†The day is just going to get warmer, so get in your workout while you can. ¬†You can always nap later.

2. HYDRATE

I can’t emphasize this one enough. ¬†Drink water. ¬†Drink so much water. ¬†Drink all the water. ¬†(Also, get some electrolytes.) ¬†In the summers, I make a point to carry more water than I need. For long runs, I wear a hydration pack and put ice into the reservoir, which definitely helps keep me cool. ¬†I use NBS Hydration and Preload¬†for running. ¬†The Preload has really helped me prevent cramping and post-run headache issues.

And hydration isn’t just when you’re working out. ¬†I make a point to get at least three liters of water a day outside of my workouts. ¬†No matter how much water you drink during your run, if you’re starting at a deficit, you won’t be able to make it up.

3.  Protect Your Skin

I am a pale, pale redhead. ¬†But even if you’re not, you should protect your skin from the evil rays from that glowy orb in the sky. ¬†My preferred sunscreen is by Zealios¬†(who is conveniently celebrating Ginger Awareness Month). ¬†This stuff is amazing. ¬†It’s zinc based, which I prefer, as I think the physical barrier gives me better protection, and it has amazing staying power. ¬†This is the only sunscreen that I can confidently use during a triathlon and know that it’s not going anywhere, even on the swim.

I also own DeSoto Cool Wings, which not only protect me from the sun even more, but if I can manage to keep them wet, they also really help keep me cool. ¬†I mainly wear these for races, as it’s easy to dump water on them at water stops.

4.  Slow Down and Listen to Your Body

Don’t kill yourself in the heat. ¬†If you’re out for a long run and you feel like your effort is the same as normal, but you’re slower than you want to be, don’t automatically push yourself harder. ¬†Take a minute to evaluate. ¬†How are you feeling? ¬†Is the heat getting to you? ¬†It’s better to be a bit slower and be safe, especially on training runs. ¬†But this also applies to races. ¬†If you’re feeling sick from the heat, slow down a bit. ¬†Get some extra water or ice and try to cool off. ¬†It’s not worth pushing yourself so hard that you’re sick.

This was my theory during my 70.3 last year.  The temps in Augusta were abnormally warm, and by the time I got to the run, the joke became that we were running on the surface of the sun.  I did my normal intervals for a good chunk of the run, but I hit a point where when I tried to run, I would get lightheaded from the heat.  Rather than push, I decided to pack my sports bra with ice and power walk, with a few jaunts of running.  Yes, it meant I finished slower than I possibly could have, but I also finished under my own power and I felt good doing so.  Worth it every time.

Any good summer running tips you can recommend?

Wednesday Workout Recap

Another week down, another workout recap. ¬†I don’t have another race for about a month, so I think this month will be a lot of really hard workouts to see what I can pull out at Rev3 Williamsburg.

Monday – Travel day/Rest

Tuesday – Bailed on my swim workout in favor of sleep.

Wednesday Р60 minute structured trainer ride.  Felt surprisingly good after the tough weekend.

Thursday – 5 mile run

Friday Р2000m at the pool, 1700 nonstop.  For me, these are a good opportunity to work on form, which is where I end up falling apart in OWS.

Saturday – 7 mile run that I should have started much earlier, but sleep is so very delicious.

Sunday – 2.5 hour training ride followed by a 2 mile run. ¬†I split this one up. ¬†I did 70 minutes with a group outdoors and then the last 80 minutes at home on the trainer. ¬†It was just a little too warm out. ¬†Should I have stayed outside? ¬†Yes. ¬†But I did not. ¬†Next time, I think I’ll do the solo part of the workout before the group ride.

Race Report – 2017 Escape the Cape Olympic

Escape the Cape Ferry Boat

I jumped off this boat. Yep. A perfectly good boat. And I jumped off of it.

Last weekend, I did my “scary” race of the year – Escape the Cape in Cape May, New Jersey. ¬†Every year, I like to do something that scares me. ¬†Last year, it was Augusta 70.3. ¬†This year, rather than tackle a new distance, I decided to go a different route and take on Escape the Cape.

This race has been tempting me for a while. ¬†Why? ¬†Because you start by jumping off the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. ¬†That is crazy. ¬†I’m not particularly afraid of heights, but I do have a healthy sense of self-preservation and jumping off of a perfectly good boat goes against that.

I admit, I didn’t pay much attention to anything in this race beyond “jump.” ¬†I knew it was an Olympic distance, but beyond that, I was focused on that jump and the swim. ¬†Most of my swims are freshwater, so this had me concerned for many reasons.

Then I started to hear more about the run course. ¬†I knew it went onto the sand and I knew that was going to be hard. ¬†Then the race director, known as DelMo, started putting out videos apologizing (sarcastically) about how hard he made the run course. ¬†The turn-by-turn run course came out and included steps such as “Curse DelMo,” “WTF, DelMo,” and “Find DelMo, Kill Him.”

So, you know, that was promising.

One thing I missed about the run course until the day before (when Kristin pointed it out) was that it was only 5 miles, not the 6.2 I was expecting. ¬†So that helped. ¬†I was so focused on the swim that I didn’t even look at the distances of the other legs. ¬†That’s quality race prep.

Race morning dawned bright and early and Kristin and I headed out to get setup in transition and get ready to board the ferry. ¬†We had to board the boat at 6, and my race didn’t start til 7 (and Kristin, who was doing the sprint, didn’t start til 7:45). ¬†So we had a lot of stuff to bring with us. ¬†I packed a little bag with an almost empty can of TriSlide (to help get my wetsuit on), some snacks, and some sunscreen squeezed into a tiny baggie so I could apply it while getting ready.

There was a lot of excitement and nervousness on the boat, and that hour went by very fast. ¬†I couldn’t believe it was already time to jump! ¬†As soon as the horn went off, some people raced across the timing mat and leapt in, including one guy who did a flip. No way was that happening. ¬†So I got in line and made my way up to the start. ¬†Standing there on the boat, I realized the jump wasn’t that bad. ¬†I think it was 12 feet. ¬†In my mind, I had it as high as the dive platforms at the pool. ¬†My pool has a 10m (33 feet) diving platform. ¬†So 12 feet was nothing.

There were four people directing people to jump.  The current was incredibly fast, so when someone jumped, by the time they surfaced, they were already a number of feet away.  Right before I jumped, I watched someone lose their goggles when they jumped, so the volunteer helping people in was warning all of us to hold on to their goggles.

Finally, the person before me jumped, and I was told to jump as soon as the person surfaced. I refused to think, just jumped.

escape the cape jump

However, I should have considered my race photo, as I clung to my goggles.

The swim was amazing. ¬†The current was fast, but the adrenaline boost from the jump was so helpful. ¬†I didn’t feel any anxiety while swimming at all. ¬†The waves weren’t too bad, but there were enough that it was sometimes hard to see the buoys to sight. ¬†They had a ton of lifeguards out on boards though, so I just stayed near them when I couldn’t see the buoy, knowing that they were somewhere on the course. ¬†It was a straight line, so it couldn’t be that hard, after all!

Swim: 27:32 (see what I mean about the current?)

The distance to T1 was ridiculous.  It was definitely a long trek, and not easy in bare feet.  A guy in front of me had stashed a pair of flip flops along the way which was a genius move.

T1: 7:05

This bike course was about 24 miles, two 12 mile loops. The sprint athletes, who started 45 minutes after us, only had one loop to do, which meant that for my first loop, I was mainly racing with other olympic athletes. ¬†The course was flat and fast, aside from one bridge. ¬†I loved having a two loop course, because it gave me a good chance to understand the loop and then really let it go on the second loop. ¬†This was the first outdoor ride I’ve had all season where I could feel the results of all of my work over the winter. ¬†I felt like I was flying.

escape the cape bike

The second loop was a bit more crowded as the sprint athletes joined us, but it wasn’t too bad. ¬†Definitely no worse than some other races I’ve done.

Bike: 1:25:44

On to the run.  At least it was only going to be 5 miles.  I could do anything for five miles, right?  The majority of the run was along a street with some amazing spectators.  Lots of people out on their porches and yards, enjoying the morning and watching the spectacle.  I waved and called good morning to a lot of them.  I absolutely love races that go through neighborhoods like this one.  Seeing all the people out, hearing the cheers, having quick conversations, it makes the run go so much faster.

The olympic had a total of four sections through the sand – two on the way out and two on the way back. I’m not sure what I was expecting. ¬†People kept referring to these as “dunes,” but I would probably say “beach.” ¬†The word “dune” made me think I was going to have to climb up something. ¬†And I suppose entering and leaving the sandy area was bit of a climb, but nothing like what I feared.

escape the cape run

It’s easy to look good in a photo when you can see the photographers up ahead.

Don’t get me wrong – that sand was not easy to run on, but I lost less time than I thought I would. ¬†I ran where I could, walked where I had to, and continued to collect sand in my shoes. ¬†I think the challenge made it even more fun than I expected. ¬†It was hard, but not impossible, and everyone out there was just so friendly that it was hard to not smile.

Run: 1:10:35

Total time: 3:14:10

escape the cape medal

I finished this race so incredibly happy.  I felt so great about what I had just done, and I had such a great time.  This was a great challenge and an amazing race.  I definitely want to go back and race it again.  I encourage everyone who is looking for something a little crazy to try it out.