Monday, January 27, 2014

Frozen Buns 10k, Clermont, FL, and the Beach

Nice and cold at home...

Frozen Buns 10k – 33:18, 1st OA, Course record

I was not sure about Frozen Buns going into the race. I started to feel sick a week before the race, and I was contemplating not running. As the winner of the 2013 FB 10k, I had free entry into the 2014 race, so I figured I had nothing to lose. After a little extra sleep and a day or two of easier workouts, I was feeling okay. I drove down to St Louis on Friday for packet pick up, $5 Chinese food, and I got to see some of my Greenville teammates.

Saturday morning rolled around, and it was a wonderful 20 degrees at 8am. I wasn’t feeling great, but I was feeling much better than I had been earlier in the week. There was no pressure to run fast, so I could just go out and have fun. I did a 3 mile warm up with Josh and Ross, then I went to the start line.

Standing on the start line I knew what was ahead...10,000m of fun with a little over 200 feet of elevation gain, mostly coming in the first 3 miles. Earlier in the week Coach told me not to go out too quickly…sure, I may go out too quickly in the 5k or 8k, but I have been pretty consistent with keeping 10k starts under control.

I wish I had some fun, epic story to tell you about this race, but I don’t. It was the exact same course as last year, and I found myself alone less than a mile into the race. I never looked back to see if anyone was coming, and I knew I would lower the course record about 5000m into the race—the only question was “how low?” There is definitely a lot that can happen over the last 3k-5k of a 10k, but I was running within myself and felt very in control of the race. I ended up running 33:18 compared to 33:57 last year. After the race I did a 3 mile cool down to get my “long run” in for the week.

This is one of my favorite winter races. The course is anything but flat, and it is a good test of strength. It may not be a “PR Course” but it is definitely a fun race. It is also pretty neat to race down the St Louis Delmar Loop. It is a very fun area and the St Louis Triathlon Club puts on a quality event.
Finally a downhill section!

Clermont, FL – Staying in Groveland

I feel like I had not made any crazy life choices for a while…until two days before the Frozen Buns run. I decided I was going to pack up some stuff and head south or west after the race. I visited the Clermont area last year and really enjoyed it. I was in Colorado in September and loved it as well. In the end, Clermont was better suited for my disliking of snow. I left home for St Louis on Friday. Raced on Saturday. Left St Louis and went to Nashville on Sunday. Monday morning I took off heading south. Somehow 10 hours later I found myself in Groveland at the AAA Tri Camp with a room made up for me. To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going to be sleeping on Monday night, but things worked out just fine.

Van Fleet Trail
I have now been in Groveland for a week, and I love it. I get to swim at the NTC (National Training Center) and it is definitely the largest pool I have ever been in. It is pretty crazy to see Olympians swimming a lane or two over, or see Olympic sprinters as you’re walking through the fitness center. I am fully aware that they are regular people, but it is not something you’d see in Ottawa or Greenville.

27 short course lanes!!
There are also some pretty fun places to ride and run here. The Van Fleet Trail is just a bit down the road from camp, and it is nice for flat, fast rides and runs. There is also the clay trail just south of Clermont, and I hear it is great for a hilly 10 miler. I did a short run there, and the sun just about cooked me alive!

I'm going to get friendly with this red clay road!
Also, I am taking online classes while I am down here. I am finishing my last nursing school pre-requisite (for B.SN.., or M.S.N.) and I have been looking into a few other options.

The beach – Daytona, Ponce Inlet
Saturday, after my ride and run, we took a trip to Daytona Beach and Ponce Inlet. I love looking at big bodies of water, so it was great to see the ocean. I was very happy to be there for sunset on the beach! I have been to Daytona Beach before, but this was awesome. I look forward to visiting a few other places in Florida that I have not been.

So yeah, that has been my last couple week. Hope your training is going well. To all my northern friends—stay warm! Thanks for reading!
I love palm trees!

January 13-19
Swim: 14150 yards (8 miles) / 4:02
Bike: 211 minutes / 3:31
Run: 27.29 miles / 3:03
Total: 10:36
I felt like I had a cold coming on, so I had an off day and some down time this week.

Sunset at Ponce Inlet.
January 20-26
Swim: 16900 yards (9.6 miles) / 5:04
Bike: 458 minutes / 7:38
Run: 34.40 miles / 3:57
Total: 16:39
Had an extra ride and run this week upon arrival in Clermont. I learned the places to run and the best route to the pool.

Home squeezed grapefruit/orange juice in my Frozen Buns glass.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dark Horse 2014

The holiday season is always a busy time, but things are finally back to normal. How many cookies did you eat? I know I had plenty. It seemed like we were not going to get many cookies this year (not a bad thing), but we seemed to get a lot right after Christmas...hmm.

Christmas morning run :)
The biggest news I have is that I was selected as the 2014 Dark Horse Triathlon Project Emerge athlete. I was very thrilled to receive an email saying I had been selected. I am very excited to keep working with Coach Steve for 2014. As stated in the write up, we have set some ambitious goals for 2014—make Team USA Chicago 2015 (through Age Group Nationals 2014) and qualify for/race Ironman 70.3 Worlds in Mont Tremblant. We believe both goals are possible, but it is going to take a lot of hard work. I have a feeling we will be doing a lot more swimming and biking this year.
See you in August!

2014 will be the first year that I do not have indoor track, outdoor track, or cross country. I am so used to being on the track almost every weekend Jan-early March and late March-mid May. Summer was always “base building.” Then cross country races were every other weekend Sept-Nov. I’m sure I will hop in a track race sometime (late may), but now I have the opportunity to race some different triathlons that I couldn’t before.What is your favorite early or late season race?

How about this crazy cold weather we’re having? I think the coldest I had run in was -5F before this winter. I have now run in -15F. -15 was not as bad as I thought it might be. It was single digits for most of the week and -15 didn’t feel much different. I also got to do a run in 14” of snow…I have decided I would rather have cold temps than snow.
Probably the longest goatee I'll ever grow!

Lastly, training has been going well. The swimming “ah-ha” moments are few and far between, but things are coming along nicely. I have to think about what I’m doing pretty much every second in the pool, but it seems to be paying off. I was taught to swim with the “S” pull, but Mary Bradbury was able to help me work through that issue. I sometimes find myself reverting back to it, but I am quick to fix it. Running is still running…one foot in front of the other. Biking has also been going well. I have been working on “spinning.” I have always been a “masher.” I like to ride at 75-80 RPM. We have been working on getting it closer to 85-90, by doing a lot of 90+ RPM stuff. I thought it was awful the first couple weeks, but now I am getting more comfortable with it.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any questions. Stay safe out there.

Dec 23-29
Swim: 10,100 yards (5.7 miles) / 3:10
Bike: 273 minutes / 4:33
Run: 39.21 miles /4:35
Total: 12:18

Dec 30-Jan 5
Swim: 13,650 (7.8 miles) / 4:02
Bike: 324 minutes / 5:24
Run: 35.32 miles / 4:02
Total: 13:28

Jan 6-12
Swim: 13,500 yards (7.7 miles) / 4:16
Bike: 137 minutes / 2:17
Run: 38.11 miles / 4:31
Total: 11:04