My first triathlon!

This is it!

Raceweek! The homestretch! Whatever you call it, it’s here. I’m thrilled with my training, and can’t wait until I get into the pool on Sunday. When I consider the swim alone, I’ve come SO FAR in just a few months. I have successfully overcome my traumatic near-drowning experience in Kauai a little over 4 years ago, which kept me out of the water all this time. Time is both a great healer and mentor. I have done the hard work: the laps in the pool, the miles on the road, the indoor and outdoor rides. This week I need to focus on nutrition, sleeping and stretching. I’ll get in the water once or twice, ride and run twice. Friday is REST DAY! The two days before the race I will load up on complete protein and complex carbohydrates to top off glycogen levels. Can’t forget to hydrate! For race-day endurance I plan on taking my EnergyBits before I hit the pool, and again in T1 before I get on the bike. I will load my water bottle with Nuun and have a backup ready to go. Fig bars will be the energy of choice – they are a great source of potassium, sodium and are extremely portable.

Do you have a big race coming up? What does your raceweek look like?

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Cramp My Style

Cramp My Style

Why do I cramp on race day, and not the hundreds of miles I put on the pavement beforehand?

Competition.
Competition.
Competition.

What I have always loved about running is the competition. Against myself, not everyone else. I race to win, against myself. Around mile 8, I checked my Garmin and I knew I was going to beat my time from last year. So I asked myself, “Is this as fast as I can go right now?”, and kicked it up. My legs had other plans and my muscles weren’t having it. Muscle spasms, on both legs, down to my feet all the way through the finish line.

Competition. It’s a nasty beast, but character building. Life changing. I crossed the finish line and swore I would NEVER do it again, but here I am now, fondly enjoying my finish line picture (yes I will purchase it), dreaming about what I could have done differently. Maybe the cramping and post-race first aid experience wasn’t all *that* bad? (Yea, it was).

Until next year!

4/5ths of our strong Sunday Morning Running Club

4/5ths of our strong Sunday Morning Running Club

The Secret Race

Okay, last weekend I did the unimaginable: my first time. I am embarrassed to admit this (and I don’t know how many of you have ever done this). I ran a race bandit! I had every intention to wake up early (the woman wouldn’t accept my registration the day before), register and run a 5k with friends. However, the chain of events that day went more like: I woke up late, texted that I would not be coming, eventually got up because I couldn’t go back to sleep, conveniently put on my running clothes, grabbed some coffee, and headed down the street to the race where I was now going to be cheering my friends for a change. It took one friend to nudge me slightly and I was putting down my coffee and jumping in the starting line. It was only a 5k so not much thought required, she said. Ehh, I know the route – I run it every week!

A lot of people get upset about people running races bandit (unregistered), and normally I would too. Here’s Peter Sagal’s admission to running a REALLY BIG RACE, aka, the Chicago Marathon, bandit.  However, this was a very small race (3.1 miles with 100 people), and I knew I wasn’t going to take any water or gatorade that I didn’t pay for, so really what would be the harm done?  I definitely wouldn’t run anything bigger than a 5k unregistered…Thoughts?

Crossing the finish line amazed at my 5k PR, annoyed I didn't register ahead of time.

Crossing the finish line amazed at my 5k PR, annoyed I didn’t register ahead of time.

26:06 turned out to be my best 5k time thus far and the secret race helped me get over my demise from the Oak Brook half marathon.

I couldn’t help but exclaim, ‘But no one will ever know my time!’. To which she replied, ‘you will, and that’s all that matters’. So, cheers to ME for running my best race that I wasn’t signed up for. At least I got a photo finish and a huge boost to my self-esteem. 😉

Next race?