The End

After more than 4 years of blogging, I am realizing that this blog has come to its natural end. I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to so many loyal readers and followers. I appreciate the friendships that were born from this blog, for conversations and questions asked. Thank you for following along on many life journeys, including moving 3,000+ miles across the US, many races, life changes, a dog, and a new career.

I am choosing to bring this blog to an close so that I can focus my energy and efforts toward a much bigger and more exciting adventure. I am writing a book!

Thank you again for your friendship and support over the past 4+ years. It’s really meant a lot.

Happy trails!

trikatykid & the dog

Once in a Blue Moon

A blue moon is when a full moon occurs twice in the same month. Tonight there’s a blue moon! It’s gorgeous out here in Bend. 

On a blue moon you’re supposed to do something that stretches your comfort zone. 

Today I hit Cascade Lakes Highway for a 41-mile bike ride up to Mt. Bachelor and back down with my friend Kari. 

 
It was hot. Like 98 degrees hot. I kept getting lightheaded. My left arm and left leg kept falling asleep. I had a cramp in my left calf. I wanted to quit. Do you know how easy it is to quit this ride? All you have to do is cross the highway and go down. Immediate relief. Immediate regret. I stuck it out thanks to Kari! 

I DID IT!! 

 
It took us 2 hours to get up, and an hour to get back down. Max speeds of 38 mph on the way down. Ironically, I had wished it would rain on the way up. I was just so hot. 

And on the way down, did it ever! It down poured. We were soaked. 

Be careful what you wish for on a blue moon. 

 

What an awesome day! 

After the ride we volunteered at The Family Kitchen, and served about 85 people a hot meal. What a fulfilling day!  

Get Focused | Stay Focused

I used to be of the mindset that I needed a big, long, intricately-detailed, science-based training program that required a PhD in decoding in order to train for a triathlon. 

I am a perfectionist and I have learned that if I cannot follow the best-laid plans to a T, I not only fall off the bandwagon, I get injured and lose momentum. 

My results from the Deschutes Dash have taught me that consistency is more important than following some precisely constructed plan. 

All plans should be set up to best serve the athlete, right? I am taking all of the lessons I’ve learned about myself and applying them to my next endeavor. 

The goals of my next training plan are: 

1. Get consistent & remain consistent. 

2. Keep it simple. 

3. No matter what, always remain positive. (Thanks, Boss). 

4. Ride the wave. (Thanks, Boss). 

5. Always believe in yourself. 

To delve a little deeper in these philosophies: 

Without getting too detailed in a training plan, 

Bike to work 4x/week. 

Brick workout on Friday

Stacked workout on Saturday 

Swim 2-3x/week

Run on lunch breaks 2x/week

Yoga once a week | supplement with rolling & stretching nightly 

TRX 3x/week

Some advice to give myself: 

Don’t worry about one workout impacting the other. Just do it. Take a rest day when you need it. Improve your diet to include more lean protein, whole grains, veggies and fresh fruit. Stay hydrated with clean water and Skratch Labs electrolytes when needed. Have fun. Always believe in yourself and the value of consistency. 

Thank those who support you along the way and stick to those who believe in you. The rest, well.. Consider the rest hills and challenges that, when conquered, will only make you stronger. Keep your eye on the prize. 

thank you, ChafeX!

  

keeping my love dog by my side!

 

How do you get there?

Assuming you have a job that requires you to get there (ie you do not work from home), what mode of transportation do you use to get there? 

I used to drive to work and because I knew my car was my only transportation option, I made sure it was maintained, gassed up, and ready to go no matter the weather, no matter the day. 

So here’s the thing. Now that I bike to work, I don’t even consider that I have a car when I’m getting ready in the morning. It doesn’t matter if I am tired, if it is raining (has yet to happen), or what I am wearing or how I have to look that day. I make sure I get enough sleep, that I’m hydrated, my tires have good pressure, etc. The simple truth is, 

I bike to work.

   

    
        
    
I’ve logged 297 miles since June 8th in just commuting miles, which means I’ve saved about the same on my car. I’ve converted a gas-guzzling commute through rush hour traffic into a calorie-burning, peaceful, stress-reducing self-love session. I’ve saved a lot of money in gas and I’ve burned over 9,000 calories just by making this simple choice to forgo the car and ride the bike. 

On a bike in Oregon it is legal to do certain things that make biking way less road rage-inducing than driving. Such as — it is legal to ride through a stop sign if you’ve done your due diligence to look all ways, and have a clear passage. There are two stop signs on my commute that I do not get stuck in a line at because of this rule. It’s legal to bike on the sidewalk or the crosswalk, so long as you go pedestrian speed (I chose to copy Max King’s top speed as my pedestrian pace). This means when a light at an intersection does not pick me up, I can tap the pedestrian crossing button and cross legally in the crosswalk. There is an intersection at the end of my ride that does not ever sense me there. 

My fitness has improved tremendously. My cholesterol has improved. My resting heart rate has improved. 

I’ve earned my first $20 from a bike-to-work incentive. 

All of the positive changes because I made that choice to bike instead of drive! 

So let me ask you again.. How do you get there? 

Benditis

Benditis is a psychosomatic condition in which  a regular athlete gets drawn toward every race in and around town, regardless of intentions or fitness goals. Signs include multiple unknown overuse injuries, drained bank account, frequent and uncontrollable trips to the trailhead, track, pool, and other fitness-related centers. Benditis is not life threatening, however, contraindications include accomplishing a set of goals specific to one type of race, or one race in particular, where Benditis may interfere and distract from initial intentions. 

It is my goal in 2016 first & foremost to not get Benditis. It is my goal in 2016 to complete my first Half Ironman triathlon — the Couer d’Alene 70.3 on June 26, 2016. 

I do not want to get distracted by and roped into a plethora of races that are thrown into my face every weekend. I am a triathlete, and I love Multisport races more than I love running races. In order to avoid coming down with a case of Benditis, I need to set hard limits and draw serious boundaries around what’s in my realm of both possibility and interest. 

Races to consider: 

  • Swim Across Suttle Lake (August)
  • Portland Olympic Triathlon (September) 
  • Happy Girls Run 1/2 Marathon (October/November) 
  • Bend 1/2 Marathon (April) 
  • Couer d’Alene 70.3 (June) 

I would like to find a spring Olympic triathlon to add to that list, some time in early-to-mid May. No later, as I want my full attention on the big A race. 

So that means, no marathons, no ultramarathons, no crazy silly stupid races that will test my limits and break me. I just want every event I race to serve my triathlon in some way. I don’t want to focus on the prep races, but use those races to guide my training and get me where I want to be: the finish line of my first half ironman triathlon, with a smile on my face. 

Understanding Results

I am really enjoying analyzing the results from today’s triathlon. Mainly because there is something interesting to look at. Last year, and in my past, I finished about the same in each leg (almost last). Today, that was a very different story. I didn’t have this piece of information earlier when I wrote my recap. 

 

These are my overall results and rankings. Check it out! I was ranked 187th of 294 total sprint triathletes after the swim. After the bike, I improved 133 places to 54th! I passed 133 people on the bike?! Or, if I didn’t pass them, I surpassed them in time (I was in the 3rd wave). I cannot believe that! I mean, I can because I was there and I felt how hard I was riding. 

I dropped back 33 places to 86th after the run, and when transitions were factored in, I held that spot. 86/294 overall. 34/153 women and 7/24 in age group. 

I also looked at my friend Ian’s results. It’ll be important for him to realize where he can improve, and where he excelled. His results were not quite so outlier. 

    
He started out in 34th place after the swim, improved to 21st after the bike and again to 18th after the run. Factoring in transitions, he lost a place and finished 19/294 overall. I didn’t look at his results in the men’s division but I do know he placed 2nd in his AG. Not sure how many men in that category. 

All I know is, looking at these results helps us both to understand where we can improve. We could both work on the swim (one of us more so 😉) and clearly Ian needs to work on his transitions since he lost a place there (the harshness of that comment was a joke). We had been talking transitions quite a bit this week. 

I’m pretty excited to make improvements. Knowing how valuable the consistent bike rides have been, to truly see how bike commuting translated to the bike leg of this race, was inspiring. I’m hoping to get consistent with the rest of my training. 

So cool. I passed 133 people on the bike today. That’s more than half the field! So cool. Of course, had I been a faster swimmer… 

Deschutes Dash Sprint Triathlon: BANK IT 

I am so, so, so happy I raced today. All year long I had sworn off Deschutes Dash. My only memory of it last year was struggle, frustration, defeat, negativity. Had I never gotten back in the saddle, that’s where my memories would still be today. 

I’m learning to adopt the mantra from my new job — start where you are. I have always bitten off more than I can chew when it comes to triathlon. Mainly because I know I can do more, or at least I have gone further or faster in the past. I wasn’t truly starting where I am today. A place I badly need to be. 

All things considered: my foot injury, my new job, a change in my work schedule, adapting to so many positive changes, I decided to give myself the time and just start where I am, and go have a great race! 

Just like with physical training, mental training and practice is necessary to show signs of improvement. That is an area that I was very weak on last year, and an area where I worked really hard over the past 12 months. Today it paid off. 

 My swim was not very fast. But that’s okay. My goal was not to go fast. My goal was to go confidently and happily. And for whatever strength I had, not to finish last. And I didn’t. 

Swim-to-Bike Transition

 
Out of the water, I was anxious to get on the bike. I have been biking a lot lately, logging more than 220 miles just getting to and from my kick-ass job. Today I named my commuting bike, because all things awesome should have a name. He’s officially The Green Monster. Ties my roots to New England, and I know how powerful this little monster has been for me. 

I got on the bike and immediately felt like I was advanced compared to the competiton. Out of the gates, I started hammering and passing people. I made up a ton of time on the bike, picking off people left and right. Any time I passed a male triathlete I knew I was doing well because I started 5 minutes behind the last wave of men. It was a boost. I just kept hammering. The bike was 6 miles mostly uphill and 6 miles mostly downhill. I spent more time in my aerobars than I ever have before. I found strength I didn’t know I had, and I hammered. 

Bike-to-Run Transition

 
Off the bike, my feet were numb. I had no feeling in my left foot and about half feeling in my right. It was a difficult transition, and I knew the run was going to be the hardest part but I just did my best. A lot of people passed me, but I worked very hard to not let that get to my head. I just kept going, putting an honest effort into the run. One numb foot and then the other. Eventually at mile two, feeling resumed, and I got my stride and cruised on into the finish. 

 

start of the run leg

 
I need to inject a story here. One that is so under my skin I feel like telling the world. I was on the run, and doing fine. I tripped on a bumpy piece of pavement and a spectator — a gray-haired man probably about retirement age — got right in my face and clapped to cheer me on, and asked if I was okay. I was fine. I didn’t stumble or fall. I just snagged my foot. As I passed him, he slapped me on THE ASS. 

I yelled out to him, in these exact words, “Do NOT slap my ass. That is fucking RUDE.” 

Forgive me, Father, for I cannot be polite to inappropriate a-holes. Who the hell touches someone who is racing? And who under God’s creation slaps a woman’s rear end?! 

So rude. 

Moving on. I finished! 

  
So here’s the thing. If you work with a coach, a coach will most likely analyze your results to help you understand where you can improve. I looked at my results and ignored the 7th place in my age group (of 24) and went straight to the bike. I finished 3rd off the bike. 18.1 miles per hour average pace (1st did it in 18.6, 2nd in 18.4). I banked some serious time on the bike.  

Overall Results — AG

 

Out of the swim, I was in 16th place. Sixteenth! 

Swim Results — AG

 
Off the bike, I was in 3rd place. That’s some serious gain there!   

Bike Results — AG

 

But look at the run times! My time is 7th in 31:39. Look at all the people (7 total) who finished behind me with significantly faster run times). Clearly I need to work on my running but this shows how much time you can bank on the bike, if you bike hard. My foot has been injured for 2 months, and I haven’t been running at all. So this is where the “start where you are” mantra came into play and all the mental workouts I did .. I was struggling but just kept pushing. 

Run Results — AG

  • 16th/24 in the swim 
  • 3rd/24 on the bike
  • 9th/24 on the run 
  • 7th/24 overall. 

I haven’t looked at transitions. That’s not important to me right now. It will be someday, but not today. 

I am so happy to see how well I did on the bike!! 

HAPPY KATY!  

Happy, Happy Katy!