First, I’m down 5lbs (and that was BEFORE I did my practice triathlon Friday), which means that last week’s hormone- and stress-fueled gain is gone, as is another pound and a half. I am fairly certain that I am my lowest weight in about 10 years and at a total loss of 69lbs from my highest weight. If I can manage another 1 pound loss by the triathlon next weekend, I will be at my mini goal of 20lbs loss this year, which I had hoped to achieve before the tri.
Doing the TRYathlon–a practice run–was smart. I didn’t perform as well as I had hoped, but I was able to figure out what aspects of my prep plan I need to work on.
The swim was actually the best part. I shaved about 2 minutes off my time.
Transition 1 was okay. I had everything laid out as I needed it, but the capris I’m wearing (and the most comfortable, best-fitting workout pants/shorts I own) were more challenging to get into than I expected. I forgot to powder my socks/sneakers in advance, but I ended up not needing it. I wore an inexpensive and lightly supportive sports bra under my swimsuit which was enough support for the bike and run and surprisingly comfortable as well. In fact, that was the most surprising part of the race. I thought I’d feel uncomfortable in a swimsuit with workout pants over it, but my clothing felt really comfortable.
About 5 miles into the bike ride, I started feeling sluggish, so I downed about a half serving of Jelly Belly energy beans. I also sipped a watered down version of Powerade throughout the ride. At mile 10, I finished the beans. And by mile 15, I felt like I hit a wall. My legs felt like lead and my head felt foggy. It’s worth noting that by this time, it was also well into the 80s and quite sunny. I had very little shade throughout my ride, but I did have a nice breeze at times.
When I got off the bike, I reached for some energy gel made by Clif. One swallow and I knew the rest of the Try would be beastly. There was no way I could finish it. It tasted like warm, fruit punch-flavored phlegm. Totally not my thing. I threw it out, but all that left me with was water, as my 20 oz watered down Powerade was gone. It really wasn’t enough to keep me going.
Although I was so happy to be done with the biking portion, I wasn’t expecting how strange it would feel to be back on two feet. Although I had done a few brick workouts during my training, they weren’t intense enough to prepare me for how I’d feel after a 17 mile bike ride. I ended up running less than 1/4 mile of the running portion, and I walked the rest, for a total of 2.25 miles. Yes–I cut the last leg of the Try short. I was running later than I expected (total race length, including transitions: a little under 3 hours) and I needed to have time to hydrate, stretch, shower, stretch some more and get ready for a friend’s wedding. My skin felt incredibly gross afterwards–my sweat had dried in the breeze and heat throughout the race, leaving behind a layer of salt all over my skin. Sadly, the pool schedule dictated this race. I would have preferred an 8am start time, but the pool didn’t open until 11.
I did not feel excessively sore or tired that day or the following day. I attribute that to:
- good stretching after the race
- great hydration (finished 20 more ounces of Powerade, a Simply Naked Juice that had coconut water and another 24 ounces of water)
- good post-race fuel: peanut butter on a toasted English muffin
What I learned:
- Carb up the night before. I actually had very limited carbs in the days leading to the race (especially the night before), and I think that’s part of what slowed me down.
- Fill both water bottles with Powerade.
- Bring 2-3 packages of Energy Beans
I do think I’ll be a bit faster on the race day. After all, I’ll be fueled better (spaghetti dinner the night before, 16-20 ounces of water before the race, more Powerade and energy beans) and I’ll have the motivation of other racers and cheering bystanders, a faster bike (just bought a hybrid from a local bike shop) and a week of tapering prior to the race. But I am being realistic. I expect to be in the final pack of athletes with a total finish time of 2:45, and I’m okay with that.
The training plan for this week is pretty simple (although I may switch some of the days around):
- Monday: Run 20
- Tuesday: Off
- Wednesday: Bike 30, Run 10
- Thursday: Swim 20
- Friday: off
- Saturday: off, pick up race packet
- Sunday: Race day!