Thursday, July 6, 2017

Timman Triathlon 70.3


TINMAN TRIATHLON 70.3

June 24, 2017 

Two weeks ago I completed my first half iron distance triathlon 70.3 which consist of 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run. It has taken me about 2 weeks to acknowledge and celebrate what I have done. I still have the tan lines of the numbers on my legs and from my shorts to remind me what I accomplished but I was still left disappointed in myself. I didn’t finish with the victory I had wanted, I didn’t have so much of a time goal but I had an idea of when I would finish from how I have swam in the past, how fast I am on the bike and run.

Training

I started training for Tinman back in November/December, I knew I wanted to do a half distance triathlon after completing my first 2 triathlons back in 2016. I am not a good swimmer or a great cyclist but I knew what I wanted so worked towards that goal. When I was laid off in December from my job, I hit the pool more and worked on my form and endurance and was able to do an hour with limited stopping which was a great improvement when I first started swimming I could barely complete 2 laps without stopping. I put in my miles on the bike and the run well I was consistent with my running until I sprained my ankle and took a few weeks off. I competed in an open water swim in NJ a month before Tinman to gauge how I will do in my swim, I actually did pretty well, I finished my 1.2 mile swim in an hour and 44 seconds and pretty much stood on course the entire time. This gave me the boost and confidence I needed for my swim for Tinman.

Race Day- 1.2 mile Swim

I woke up for my race ready to go, feeling confident the nerves didn’t hit me yet. I suited up for the swim and still felt relaxed and at ease. Took a few steps into the start of the lake and waited for the horn to sound. I started to swim and right away I felt the choppiness of the water, the lake had waves due to the wind. It took me a while to get into a rhythm, I wasn’t the only one having a hard time. I started to get nervous, and so many thoughts went through my head, can I downgrade to a shorter distance, do I quit now, keep going you trained for this. My goal was just to make it to each buoy, I swallowed tons of water and felt as I was just fighting the whole way. As I reached the last buoy going out, I thought to myself the waves will help me going back into shore. As I swam back to shore the waves gave me a push, I was blinded by the sun and had a hard time seeing the buoys but kept going, I was at the home stretch. More than half way there and I caught a cramp in my calf, I signaled a kayaker and grabbed onto it so I can massage my calf and then continued to swim. I still had a hard time seeing the finish so the kayakers guided me towards the end. I see my coach standing there and he tells me you just did the hardest thing in your life, which he was right and I cried. I’m not a strong swimmer at all and I fought through those waves and didn’t quit.

Race Day-56 mile Bike

After my swim I was still a bit emotional and get to my bike, had to stop and use the bathroom grab some fuel and head out for my 56 mile ride. I started pretty good and comfortable on the bike my stomach was feeling a bit bloated and upset but figured it would pass. Once I left the little Town of Tupper Lake I felt the winds pick up, there was side wind and head wind throughout my ride. I saw 2 of my teammates on the side of the road, one had problems with her bike and the other was checking on her. I told them I had stomach issues and they gave me a potato, it helped settle my stomach temporarily and I took off. The ride was long and lonely, but pushed through the wind  and 2 miles in the rain. I thought I can catch up on time on the down hills, the wind was blowing I barely had any speed, didn’t even use my breaks on the downhill which is usually scary for me.

Race Day- 13.1 mile Run

Finally finished my bike after over 4 hours riding, my coach grabbed my bike and he said you’re ready for this run and to catch up to everyone. The run is my best of all my 3 legs and I was so ready to finish in at least 2 hours. I started off slow, made myself slow down and made sure I got my legs back after the long bike ride. By mile 2 my stomach started to act up again and was feeling bloated and sloshy, didn’t want to drink anymore because I felt so full but I know I needed to. Mile 3 I find a porta potty, thank goodness because I was ready to go into someone’s front yard haha. I used the bathroom, had a coke to see if it settled my stomach and it didn’t. Throughout the 13.1 miles I ran/walked the course. This became totally frustrating for me because my legs felt fine but every time I started to run again my stomach would feel it. I figured maybe I need food, so I had pretzels, oranges, and watermelon and still nothing helped. The last 2 miles I was so disappointed in myself, how I didn’t do well in swim, the bike and the run, I felt as I failed myself and thought maybe I wasn’t ready for this distance.

I saw 2 of my teammates at the last mile and said we are running to the finish line, we are almost there. I crossed the finish line with them and saw the rest of my team at the finish line cheering, was an awesome finish to a long physically and mentally draining day but the end was epic and brought me to tears. Felt honored to race with amazing athletes and have an amazing coach cheering for us at the end.

Now I somewhat celebrated, I rested and yet something just feels … off. I’ve spent the last several months training and living a this lifestyle in anticipation of a giant life moment. Suddenly it’s over. I have lots of free time, I definitely have the off-season blues. I am thinking what is next for me. I would like to do another Triathlon but right now the funds are right for me to sign up for anything else, perhaps a full marathon is in my fall future.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

My Quest for 50 +1 2017 Comeback Season


                        My Quest to 50+1
                    14 Down 36 More to Go
                    2017 Comeback Season
 
 
It’s been a few months since I wrote my last blog. This past weekend I ran my first Half Marathon Ladies First Half in Brooklyn since March of 2016. In the past I would run several half’s a year. I was focusing on my Triathlon training last year and then running the Chicago Marathon until I found out I had a hip labrum tear and decided to drop out of the race and take a break.
My first half was my comeback half, my first long distance run in a while. It was an easy course but the weather conditions made it more difficult and felt as if I was walking or standing in place from the strong winds. Even though I didn’t set a great time or close to my PR I am just happy to be racing again.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Although I am training again for triathlon (half distance) this year I still have my goal of 50 states and hoping to complete at least 2 this year. I say at least 2 since I am just getting back to work after being laid off for a few months and need to play catch up. Hoping to do New Hampshire and Maryland this year and that would make 16 states I would complete. I will try and qualify again for next year NYC Marathon so I will stay busy doing my 9 races with NYRR. The focus is to continue cross training (strength training, hiking, swimming, boxing, cycling and running) which is key to staying healthy and strong. 
 
 
Until next time Happy Running, Swimming , Biking!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My Quest to 50 +1, Every Setback Paves the Way For A Major Comeback

My Quest to 50 +1

14 Down 36 More to Go
2017 Comeback Season

As we end the month of November and have one more month left til the end of 2016 can’t help to think about my 2017 goals. Although I don’t have my races yet set in stone as I usually do  around this time of year,  I have a mental list in my head that is constantly keeping me motivated , focused and determined. My list consists of a few half marathons, marathon, and a triathlon, hoping to fulfill a few more states on my quest to 50 since I didn’t get to complete any in 2016.

My running season ended abruptly this summer due to a hip injury and had rolled my ankle back in June from falling off my bike.  Not knowing what kind of injury I had I kept running for a few more weeks and went to Physical Therapy until I decided it’s not worth running through pain and I took a little over 2 months off from running. During those 2 months I decided to strength train, cycle and boxing but my hip was still feeling a bit uncomfortable and decided to suck it up and get the MRI that I was prescribed. I was nervous since I never had an MRI done let alone with contrast where they injected a needle into your hip so they can see better results. In October I found out I have a small labral tear and hip retroversion which is the alignment of the femoral bone, I was really bummed and upset and depressed I’m usually really careful when I run and not to over train and couldn’t believe this happened to me. After the initial shock I decided to work on where my weaknesses are and talk to one of my sole sisters (She-Ro) Cynthia Martinez who has also struggled with a labral hip tear and has been able to run strong and compete in the Boston Marathon and kick asphalt.  I have had other friends with different issues and able to run pain free again so decided to see a FMS (Functional Movement Specialist) and after my initial visit with her I felt confident enough to start running again and continue strengthening as I go. Strength training is just as important as cardio so don't forget to do it minimum twice a week. I can say that I slacked on it during the summer as I was triathlon training, I only strength trained once a week.

A few weeks ago I had my first run, from wanting to just start out at 1 mile to see how I felt on the track I finished with 2 miles and felt good. I thought it would be easy to get back into it after 2 months but like that saying goes “If you don’t use it you lose it”, I have the drive and focus to run again but I just need to pace myself and not get too excited that I am running again. This past weekend I set out to run 5 miles and finished with 4, mostly my fault since I didn’t initial use my first mile as a warm up and my song on my playlist kept saying “you better work b*tch” lol so I started out too fast and by mile 3 I was kinda done haha.




The month of December will be my base period where I focus on getting back into running, more strength training and building my endurance again and January I will start training for my first half in March. I have also been working on my swimming so I can compete in a triathlon again for 2017; my swimming is one of my biggest weaknesses but will stay consistent to get better, “Consistency is the key to success”.

Until next year! Happy Running, Biking, Swimming!!

Friday, September 16, 2016

My Quest to 50+1 Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened!- Dr. Seuss



It saddens me to say Chicago will have to wait for me for another year. My 5th Marathon will have to be put on hold and my Quest for 50 (15th state) well another time. This week I deferred my Chicago race for 2017. I’ve had goals on my mind in kicking that course behind and setting a new record.  I’ve had some obstacles that were stopping me in giving my best and training my best.  From rolling my ankle back in June, I was able to continue and train for my triathlon but had to slow down on my running and 3 weeks ago after a 14 mile ok run, wasn’t my best long run I was stretching and I strained my hip flexor. I rested after that and then ran again 15 miles with minimal pain then again 16 miles the week after. I decided to let myself fully heal I had to completely stop. I have been going to therapy twice a week and will take a few weeks off from running maybe few months depending how long it takes to heal.  I've had seen numerous time people running through pain and injuries and not be able to race again or run without pain. I’m bummed out that I am not running Chicago but I know my training wasn’t the greatest to give it my all and PR. Why even go run a race and risk further injury that I know I wasn't going to give my best in. I say alot when I take classes and I'm hurt or sore I don't like to half ass anything. It's give it my all or nothing. 

I will be sticking to low impact activities; boxing swimming, biking, rowing, strength training and I will add yoga into my routine.
Although my race season is over this year, I am happy what I have accomplished one of my biggest goals this year and that was to become a triathlete, completed 2 triathlons this year and I am so proud of how far I have come on my swimming and biking. I still need work on my swimming but I know I will get there and put in the work.  I will focus on healing; strengthening and I will come back next year stronger and faster.
Good luck to everyone running their first races, big races this year. I will be on the sidelines cheering everyone on for NYC Marathon.
Here are a few highlights from my race season, more so my triathlon year.

 


 

 

  




Until next Happy Running, Swimming, Biking!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

NYC Triathlon 2016- My First Tri

NYC PANASONIC TRIATHLON

JULY 24, 2016

This past weekend I completed my first triathlon, another race checked off my 2016 Race Goals. This triathlon consisted of swim (1500meters-bike40k-run8k), and I’m still in awe and disbelief that I did this. One of my favorite quotes, “Nothing is Impossible, the word itself says I’m Possible”- Audrey Hepburn.
 I remember when I decided to do this race was last year when I volunteered for the event and signed up in November, right away I hit the pool which was my weakness although I was consistently swimming I was still learning technique, breathing, gliding, sighting all new words I learned while training. I was still using nose plugs while I was training and practicing and it wasn’t until about 2-3 months before the race I finally got rid of them. Within those 2-3 months I bought a road bike, I met my coach from TriHuracan and the amazing athletes that are part of that team and from there I grew as a an athlete and became a triathlete. Biking was also my weakness, learned how to ride a bike a few years ago and still didn’t have the confidence riding for a while I would  go ride with my friend and relied on him on looking back for me and taking me through easy routes. The speed gave me fear of not stopping in time and getting hit by a car or flying off my bike. My running the last month of training became minimal when I rolled my ankle when I fell off my bike and still not 100% but with Physical Therapy and some rest (hard for me to just rest) I’m getting better day by day.
So my experience for my first triathlon was amazing and I impressed myself with my time of 3hour35min and my goal was to finish within 4 hours. Race morning I got there at 4 am with only about 4.5 hours of sleep. I set up my bike and gear and walked to the swim start with my wetsuit and it was a nice calming walk which I needed watching the sun rise above the water that I was going to swim in.

 



 Swim, well still a bit of my weakness but within time I will build up endurance, better breathing and overall become a better swimmer. Jumping in the Hudson, I’m sure a lot of people are asking, what was that like? Well I couldn’t see anything as soon as I jumped in, just brown water , I started swimming with the group I went out with about 15 woman and think about 500 meters or so in I started slowing down then it became a little mental for me thinking ugh not even half way done, am I there yet. I started swimming freestyle, head above water, back stroke even floating at one point just to get to the finish which felt never ending. At one point I stopped at one of the surfboards where they had people watching you to make sure everyone is ok and I took a breather since I was feeling my wetsuit constricting my chest.  When I finally reached the finish of the swim, I didn’t feel my legs for a bit was a little off balance then was able to walk after that, had to walk/run for about 600 yards barefoot to get to the bike transition area.  I walked with someone that I had met from Riverbank Park where I trained which was a nice walk to have some company with. Took my time during my transition, I went to restroom looked at my list, yes I made little post it notes for my swim, bike, run so I didn’t forget anything lol.
 



Bike- I hopped on my bike and I felt ok took it slow because I knew there was a sharp turn coming and a steep hill, in my head was thinking I’m going to get stuck, not going to go fast enough, will collide with someone in that narrow turn. I know I need to get that negativity out of my head, but I made that turn and it was all clear of bikers and I saw a friend and she cheered me on and I went for it and got up that hill nice and smooth. I then continued on a bumpy turn to get to the west side highway which I didn’t know what to expect but there weren’t a lot of bikers when I got on and felt at ease. I was expecting a 2 hour bike time and finished 1 hour 53 minutes.


Run- Well my legs felt like jello when I started to run and they gave us another steep hill to run, we were starting in Riverside Park so to get out of that park everything was uphill. I felt good until about 2 miles in and the heat started to get to me, I was pouring water on my head my neck, jumping the sprinklers all I wanted was it to end. Once I crossed that finish line was so relieved and happy and sense of accomplishment in reaching a goal I have wanted for quite some time. 

TRIHURACAN TEAMMATES


So now that I am done with my first triathlon I will be doing one more for the summer and continue my running goal of running 50 states, Chicago Marathon in 10 weeks.

Until next time, Happy Running, Swimming, Biking!

Friday, June 24, 2016

ROAD TO MY FIRST TRIATHLON- NYC TRIATHLON 7-24-16




JULY 24, 2016
One month from today I will be doing my first Triathlon (SWIM-BIKE-RUN), the nerves and excitement are building up.  The race will start with the swim portion, 1500m in the Hudson River then will 40k bike up the west side to the Bronx and back, the run portion will be a 10k finishing off in Central Park.  This journey has been a mix of emotions for me training for this race. Adding on 2 new sports to your training is a task on its own. I know I can run that’s my strongest link from the 3 events in a triathlon. I have 23 half marathons, 4 marathons and 1 ultramarathon under my belt.

Swim
I started hitting the pool and I would just swim work on my technique which I had none from the start and my breathing which up until  2 months ago I was still using my nose plug. All my life I swam but never with proper form but I used to get from one wall to the other wall without even putting my head in the water and if I swam under I used a nose plug or held my nose haha, yes I always feared of getting water in my nose, cause well it sucks you get that burning feeling and I didn’t love it. Thanks to one of the lifeguards where I train at gave me some tips and well I graduated and stopped using my nose plugs, for a while I still carried it with me like a safety blanket haha. With a month away I still haven’t done my open water swim because every time I had it scheduled something came up. Hopefully this weekend I get to break in my wetsuit and get in open water and test out the waters. Hoping to do 2 more open water swims sessions before race day.



Bike
The biking part has been a big step for me also; I learned how to ride a bike a couple of years ago with a mountain bike from Toys R Us. My best friend Enrique showed me, boy does he have patience lol and he is now training with me also for his first Triathlon. I remember when he asked me to meet him one day for a ride; I walked 15 minutes to meet him instead of getting on the bike by myself haha. I bought my first road bike in May, figured I needed an upgrade from my mountain bike. I bought one of the basic Trek road bikes, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money and she was perfect for me. The first day I took the bike home I road it half way home on the west side, was still a little fearful, definitely faster then what I’m used to.  The first day I took her out for a real ride I hit some hills going up was fine but going down on the street with cars and potholes well I caught a panic attack between the speed and fear of not stopping and getting hit by a car. I even met up with some friends for a long ride and she is also one of my sole sisters in Latina in motion and gave me some tips and helped me with my confidence on the bike.  I can say now 2 months later I am more comfortable, went on my own last weekend for a 32 mile bike ride.





Run
Training for this race, I haven’t run as much as I like because I am focusing on the parts that I need the most help with. I also didn’t have any big races scheduled to train for. For my run I have been doing twice a week and an added run in some of the bike rides which are called Brick workouts, bike then run immediately after.  I have been doing hill training more which I wasn’t doing before but thanks to my awesome coach and  an awesome athletes at  TriHuracan I have become a stronger runner when I’m hitting those hills.



Let the countdown begin 30 days til race day!!