Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cedar Point Preview Day & Training Update

CTC Rev 3 Preview Day:

This past Saturday the 16th Cleveland Triathlon Club held a course preview day for the upcoming Rev3 Cedar Point Triathlon. Riders had the option of riding a 62 mile loop or double loop that ended up being 100 miles. Close to 100 riders came out to take advantage of the day. A number of CTC members and local companies volunteered their time to make it a successful training day. Thanks to Ken Beech for helping manage the event; Leah at Liquid Lifestyles for helping with the swim clinic; Boom Nutrition  for donating some nutrition and a huge thanks to Powerbar for providing us with a lot of great products for the event including gels, bars and the delicious new wafers!

getting ready to start the ride!
It was a chilly morning when the ride started just after 9am but things quickly heated up. The weather was good and the route was clearly marked thanks to CTC. Unfortunately things didn't start out so well for me. Not thinking, I had had a deep tissue massage the day before the ride to celebrate my birthday. It was a painful hour or so to warm up as my hips, quads and back felt like they were on fire and I was a wee bit crabby. Once that feeling passed I was okay. Special thanks to my husband Steve for putting up with me for the day. CTC had arranged for an aid station and restroom to be available around mile 40 and then again around 80, which was awesome. They had water, cookies, Powerbar, Boom and pretzels available, which really helped us out. Thanks to the folks that volunteered at the aid station!

Steve before the ride
Overall the ride went okay for us although not as well as I hoped for. We finished the 100 miles in around 5 hours and 30 minutes (around 18mph) despite a heck of a lot of wind and it getting hotter in the afternoon and it just being the two of us for the last 40 miles. I think we would have been more efficient with our race wheels and aero helmets. After the bike we headed over to Fatheads Brewery with our friends Janet, Joe and Brandon for some hard earned beer and burgers, which was a perfect end to the day!

Training Update:

So the bike has been going well and on schedule with about 10 hours of riding last couple weeks and the same planned for this week leading into the 2-week taper. I'm hoping to finish the 112 mile bike in around 6 hours on race day but also know I have to save a little juice for the "little" 26.2 mile run after the bike.

The swim has been going well. I've actually been swimming three times a week for at least an hour to an hour and a half, which is terrific for me. I am hoping this consistency pays off. Last Sunday I completed a long open water swim at Mentor Headlands alone. I swam for an hour and 5 minutes and calculated about 3400-3500 meters. I felt good even coming back against the current.  Because I tend to swim better after I am warmed up I hope to have some more efficiency in the second 2000 meter lap. I am hoping to complete my swim at Cedar Point between 1:15-1:20.

So ironically my run has been the only area of concern and only for the last week. I started to feel some abnormal fatigue and pain in my left foot at the end of my long run on Sunday the 10th. It started around 90 minutes in but I pushed through for another 45 minutes on it. Following the run it was sore so I iced it and took some ibuprofen for a couple of days. It felt okay by Wednesday so I went ahead with my 10 mile run that was scheduled for that day. All seemed well and I had no issues until later that evening. It was painful to walk and get onto my tip toes. I then decided to follow PRICE (prevention, rest, ice, compression, elevation) so I have not run on it since last Wednesdsay.

I went into the chiropractor Monday after work and he moved around some bones in my ankle and put the STIM on the foot and massaged it and also made some light adjustments to my back. He said he did not want to do anything too aggressive right now with the race being so close. In terms of the left foot, there is a history of injury with this foot including tendinitis and stress fractures. I was diagnosed with arthritis in my ankles years back but have been able to work through it. My left is definitely weaker and something I need to once again address in the off season. For now I have went back to using a shoe insert to give me a little extra support on the foot. I will also be using KT tape and/or compression socks for now. My chiropractor told me to run on it tonight on an even surface as we both suspect running on the roads (often the same routes) is largely part of the culprit for this current bout with tendinitis. The foot feels okay so I am hoping for good results and I will probably keep the run to 45-60 minutes at most. If that goes well I will do another shorter one Friday and then hope to attempt my long run on Sunday just before the taper starts. If the run does not go well I may have to shut it down for another week. For the race I would like to finish the 26.2 miles in 4:15-4:30 but will have to see what I have left in the tank at that point.

I think we're 17-18 days out now so much of the work for the race is done. This week is the final push with next week starting a recovery week and the following week being very relaxed leading into race day September 7. At this point I am feeling pretty good and assuming my run goes well this week I will feel very good about the training going into the race. All in all I hope to finish in around 12:30-13 hours but will have to wait and see what the day brings. The main goal for this one is to be able to finish.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rev3 Cedar Point Training Update & Powerbar Contest Winner

This past week was the first of three big build weeks leading into a recovery and taper week for Rev3 Cedar Point 140.6. I'm happy to say that I got through it pretty well with just minor aches and pains. The week consisted of three bike rides: 2 hrs, 1 hr and 5 hrs; 3 runs: 90 minutes, 45 minutes and 2 hrs & 15 mins; two swims: 90 mins and 60 mins and about 60 minutes of stretching and lots of eating of course. 

I feel pretty good with the only minor issue being a little pain in my left foot around the navicular bone. It did not hurt while running but was achy after. I am taking advil and icing it and stretching, rolling it out as it likely a little tendinitis. I plan to tape it up with the KT tape before running my 90 minutes on Wednesday am. Aside from that a minor amount of low back pain towards the end of yesterday's run, which feels okay now. At this point I have to expect some discomfort for the next couple of weeks and then hope the recovery/taper will have me back to 100% for race day.

During this build I have designated Mondays as an off day although I did get up to stretch for 20-30 minutes, which felt very good. I will repeat this for the next couple of weeks as well as taking a gentle yoga class. I am avoiding the power yoga that I love so much right now as my body really does not need the added stress. This week I have about 18 hours on the schedule with about 10 of that on the bike, 4.5-5 on the run and the rest on the swim and yoga. Saturday I will be participating in the Cleveland Tri Club's Cedar Point Preview Day and will be riding about 100 miles of the course, which will be a great prep workout for the race. If you're planning to do Cedar Point or a different race please feel to join us just visit the CTC event page on facebook to sign up!

I am happy that so many people have been supportive of my fundraiser for the American Brain Tumor Association. Right now I have raised about $1200 towards my $2500 goal with 4 weeks left to go. If you have given thank you. If not, please consider even a small donation of $5-10 helps. To donate just click on this link and you'll be taken to a secure webpage. Last week I did a contest for a package of Powerbar goodies. The winner of that contest is Marianne Zappella. Marianne if you're reading this, thank you and congrats! Please contact me so that I can get your shipping address and send out your goodies!

Stay tuned this week for a sweet Cleveland Indians giveaway package!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Northern Ohio Team in Training Team Takes on the Greater Cleveland Triathlon

GCT Team in Training Team and Me on the end
One of the best things that happened to me this year was having the opportunity to coach a team for Northern Ohio Team in Training. A special thanks to my Rev3 teammate Heather Oravec for the suggestion. This amazing group that I've had the joy of coaching has renewed my love for triathlon. Week after week they showed up on Friday nights to swim at the Twinsburg Rec. Then for the last month as weather would allow they drove to Mentor Headlands on weekends to practice the Greater Cleveland Triathlon course. These folks didn't sign up to win the race. They signed up to make a difference in the lives of people suffering from cancer. Triathlon (or duathlon for some of the team members) was simply the means to make that difference. And the staff at Northern Ohio Team in Training are amazing too...probably the most caring people you'd ever meet.

This weekend it was time for this group to race. All these months of training had led up to that one moment when they would swim, bike and run (or run, bike, run) to the finish line of either a sprint or olympic distance race. For many on the team it would be only their first or second multisport event. Imagine if you will the excitement (both good and bad) that comes with such a task.

Mariah, Kelly, Ellen, Rebecca and I after the dinner
Saturday we planned to have a group open water swim at Mentor Headlands but we ended up having a storm with heavy rains and as a result I cancelled the swim practice. Team in Training hosted a lovely inspiration dinner for the team. Their speaker for the evening had been diagnosed with Mantel Cell Lymphoma and he shared his story with us. We also had an honored guest who had been diagnosed with childhood leukemia. So many stories of people just like you and me who had been diagnosed with blood cancer. At the dinner I got to say a few words to the athletes and their families. What I mostly wanted to say to them was thank you. Thank you for caring about and helping the patients and their families for reminding me what's important in life. After the dinner Steve and I had a chance to hangout with the team and enjoy a drink before heading back home.

Kelly & Mariah prerace
Sunday morning we were up at 5 to eat a quick breakfast and I needed to be at Mentor Headlands around 6am to meet the team. From 6-7 we gathered at the Team in Training tent and shared some laughs and advice. Mickey (the race director) started the athlete meeting at 7:15. Following the meeting it was time for the triathletes and the swimmers from our two relay teams to walk down the beach to the swim start. Even though I know some of the team were anxious there was a good vibe. They were ready!

Kelly and Rebecca before the swim
The olympic athletes would start first so I headed down the beach to see off Kelly, Rebecca and Ellen. They were able to get in the water for a few minutes to warm up and get used to it and then they were off. I shouted goodluck as each of them ran in to start their first leg of the race and then headed down the beach toward the sprint start watching over the swimmers to make sure all looked well.

Anita, Mariah, Jess and some other folks doing the sprint and sprint
Jess looking ready to go!
relays were also getting warmed up and ready to go. Again we had a few different waves and this group would not have to swim as far as the first group. I tried to keep everyone calm and shouted goodluck to each person, gave some hugs and they were off!

First out of the water was Kelly. Holly from Team in Training and I stood near the swim exit and cheered for all the team members until the last one came through. They all looked so happy to be done with the swim in Lake Erie!

Kelly finishing the bike!
Next up was the bike. My hope was just that the weather would hold out and that everyone would ride safely on both courses. Most of the athletes had road bikes but not all. In fact one of our team athletes Rebecca actually won a new road bike from Bike Authority as part of the annual raffle! Everyone made it in safely from the bike and the last thing remaining was the run (my personal favorite).

The run was either a 5K or 10K run depending on the race and
Rebecca finishing the olympic tri!
again we had athletes doing both race distances so it would be a little while before some of the folks finished and we headed over by the Team in Training tent and finish to cheer on the finishing team members. Everyone did well on the run as well! It was fun being able to scream and ring the cowbell for each one as they hit the finish.

Anita getting her award
After the race we had coffee, water and lots of good snacks at the team tent as well as some yummy post race food from Northcoast Multisport. Once most of the finishers were done they started the awards for each race. Our team did really well with a number of athletes placing in their age groups! In the olympic we had Ellen win her age group and in the sprint we had Anita win her age group, Jess placed 3rd in her age group and had a 5-minute PR and one of our relay teams won as well!

It was a great day and I am so proud of the work that the team did! They all pushed themselves to do their best and most of all helped Team in Training raise the money needed to save lives. Thank you to Mickey and Northcoast Multisport for putting on this event each year, to the volunteers on the course including my husband Steve and stepkids Evan and Grace as well as the Team in Training staff who came out to help and cheer. And an extra special thanks to Steve for all his help this season as I couldn't have done it without him!