This Week‚Äôs Triathlon Good Things

 

Three things from the week making me a better triathlete:

1)¬†Wednesday Night’s Disappointing Swim

This¬†is the time of year to establish a baseline for swimming, and at Wednesday night’s session, Pacific Spirit Triathlon Club swim coach Liz gave us 5 x 200’s to determine an average for future pacing. She instructed us to push ourselves to a sustainable, hard pace, but I didn’t. I was too conservative. I hung back. I wimped out. My average does not reflect what I can do. I was frustrated with my performance, but in the past two days, that frustration has turned to determination¬†in pushing myself to my true limit in the future.

2) Sleeping Late

Instead of leaving my bed at the typical 5:00 a.m., I stayed under the covers for an extra hour several mornings this week to accommodate a tired body and mind on the fritz. I blame increased training, a lingering cold, and the rain.  With recent articles describing the physical and mental benefits of adequate shut-eye, I enjoyed the 60 minutes of sleep without guilt.

3) Vancouver Running Festival

This fall’s inaugural Vancouver Running Festival¬†sounds fun. The event,¬†more than a simple replacement of the canceled Rock-n-Roll Vancouver races, will feature several running races through the city, an expo, and perhaps more important, an organized effort to promote Vancouver as a thriving running town. From October 20th to 22nd, the full spectrum of local running – clubs, teams, pros, amateurs, events, services, vendors, histories – will be on display. If the multi-day format inspires a similar triathlon or multisport festival, that’d be cool too.

This Week’s Triathlon Good Things

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Three things from the week making me a better triathlete:

1) My Smurf Tire

I traded my rear wheel‚Äôs road tire for a Smurf blue training one, setting my bike up for the winter training season. I had the most outdoor rides ever and increased my on-road confidence this past summer, yet my speed and power were flat. Seeing the bike with the hard-to-miss tire in the living room should make it easier to train. At least, that’s my plan.

2) The Sports Diabetes Project

I recently wrote a press release about a new partnership between Sansego (IRONMAN Champ Craig Alexander’s triathlon coaching community) and The Sports Diabetes Project, an effort to inspire and educate diabetic athletes. Launched at this year‚Äôs IRONMAN World Championship, SDP is a team of triathletes who train, race and live with diabetes — and adds another important voice to this triathlon world. Better yet, the partnership was finalized just in time for today‚Äôs World Diabetes Day.

3) Eric McElvenny & Setting an IRONMAN Record

A few days ago, Kyle Manuch, the founder and CEO of Athlete Brands, alerted me to the story of Eric McElvenny and his goal to set a record time for an amputee finishing an IRONMAN race. ¬†A Marine veteran and endurance athlete, McElvenny is probably at this moment feeling confident and ready for tomorrow’s IRONMAN Arizona. The more I learn about physically challenged athletes, the more I appreciate their¬†athleticism. They train hard; they are driven;¬†they want to do their best; they have good and bad days…just like all of us. Kudos to Athletes Brands for supporting the Challenged Athletes Foundation ‚Äď Operation Rebound by selling limited edition t-shirts¬†co-designed by Eric. Good luck, Eric!

This Week’s Triathlon Good Things

Blog- Triathlon Good Things (1)

Three things from the week making me a better triathlete

1) Recovery Under Blankets

Four days after departing hot Los Cabos, the husband and I drove about three hours into the B.C. interior to visit his family. We slept 10 hours the first night of the first weekend in months absent the fast, non-stop twirl of prepping, training, eating, and sleeping. A snowstorm in the Cascades on our way back to Vancouver effectively ended our Los Cabos adventure and welcomed us to the recovery season.

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2) Off-Season Food

Chocolate-chip-pecan-banana-bread. Froufrou coffee drinks. Those are some of the foods I am allowing myself to eat without guilt now that the main race for 2015 is completed. Yesterday, the off-season gluttony continued with this slow-cooked chili thick with elk meat.

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3) XTERRA

I learned more about the world of off-road triathletes while writing a summary of the XTERRA World Championship held in Maui this past weekend. After watching videos of the athletes on the muddy, scratchy course along mountain ridges and under jungle trees, I appreciate the tidiness of standard triathlons. I mean, the swim is described not just as open water, but ROUGH water.

This Week’s Triathlon Good Things

Blog- Triathlon Good Things (1)

Three things from the week making me a better triathlete:

1) IRONMAN 70.3 Los Cabos

My sixth half IRONMAN race left me exhausted, tattooed with salt stains, and tanned — and deeply grateful. I stood steady on the beach at the race start with my amazing husband, a healthy body, and a calm mind. Though Los Cabos had the hardest course and toughest conditions I have ever experienced, I felt like the finish line in the town square of San Jose del Cabos really represented the end of a year-long race from a life in Seattle to a new and better one in Vancouver.

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2) Blue Sky, Warm Water, Happy David

The blue sky, high temperatures, and bright sun of Los Cabos made race day challenging, yet I was happier and more motivated through the week. Once again, I was reminded that my best physical and mental self grows under a big sun and near water.

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3) Eating Cactus and Crunching Jicama

During the week, we filled our plates and cups with slices and chunks of fresh tuna (aka cactus fruit and prickly pear), papaya, watermelon, guavas, bananas, tangerines, jicama, cucumbers, nopales, lemons (aka limes) and yellow lemons (aka limes), and limas (imagine the love child of a lime and orange.)¬†The fruit and veggies kept me hydrated and nourished…and satisfied my sweet tooth in the land of pastries by the platter.

This Week’s Triathlon Good Things

This Week's Triathlon Good Things

This Week’s Triathlon Good Things

Three things from the week making me a better triathlete:

1) Final Long Ride/Run Brick: 

The week’s training for IRONMAN 70.3 Los Cabos included my final long ride/run brick before the big race next Sunday. The 50+ miles on the bike and 7 miles run provided just enough confidence and just enough fear about really finishing the race to keep me motivated, humble, and hungry.

2) Kona Video of Rachel Joyce

Released prior to this year’s IRONMAN World Championship, the video by Kevin Winzeler for the¬†cycling company enve shows British IRONMAN champion Rachel Joyce preparing for the race and training on her new, specially-designed bike. The visuals, music, and pacing elevate the video to a powerful expression of personal, long-term dedication to a goal despite real setbacks and hard misses.

3) Sweet, Sweet Tapering

Just when the training hours, physical exhaustion, and mental numbness almost submerged me into a dark and tri-resentful place, I entered the tapering phase, and life is good again.

This Week’s Triathlon Good Things

Three things from the week making me a better triathlete:

1)¬†It Ain’t Easy¬†

Ironman champion Linsey Corbin writes in this post about the physical and mental challenges faced by professional triathletes, specifically during the recovery time following an injury. The candid and well-written reflection provides a look at how the hard work getting to the podium sometimes includes being patient.

2) Potions, Lotions, And Pills!

After two weeks of caring for an aching ankle, I completed a 30-minute slow run without any pain yesterday. I am relieved and thank the rest, exercise ball, ice bag, Ibuprofen, a chemical lotion, and a homemade potion for their support.

3) Zooming In the Sun!

Flippers and Zoomers

Flippers And Zoomers

Today I plan to use the husband’s zoomers during my swim set at the Kitsilano Pool. Fast zoomers, outdoor pool, warm sunshine, happy me.

This Week’s Triathlon Good Things

1) Wear, Swim, Rinse, Repeat, Recycle.

My Blueseventy Reaction wetsuit is one of the best investments in my triathlon training, and I hope to fit inside it for several seasons. When I am ready for a new suit, I will check into Blueseventy’s wetsuit recycling program to pass on my suit. Great way to be green and make triathlons/open water swimming more accessible.

2) Heirloom Vegetarian

Baja Burrito, Heirloom Vegetarian 

Vancouver has many restaurant options – fancy, takeout, casual – for nutritious and creative vegetarian and vegan meals. I am enjoying Heirloom Vegetarian and its comfortable upscale cafe/neighborhood pub vibe on 12th and Granville. I ate its delicious Baja Burrito with quinoa nut patties last Saturday and planning another visit this weekend.

3) Strength Training Makes Me Strong Sore

Strength training is returning to my weekly workouts. The side planks, hamstring curls, and other exercises focused on core and upper body are worth the time. I am sore.