Sunday, August 25, 2013

Jeanette 8/22- One of the last blogs before the IM RACE!

Hello all and thanks for reading our blog. It has been a while since I last wrote and kept you all up to date. 
Since my last blog entree much has happened and we are about three weeks out of the big event. 

Back in July I was able to participate for the second year in the NYC Aquaphor TRI. I was very excited to be part of it and also was anxious to see what has changed in my endurance while training for the full Ironman Distance. This year i also had two of my close friends as volunteers at the course and it was nice to have them be part of this event. 
The NYC Tri has a very early start- but hey the earlier you start the sooner you are finished. Once I came close to the swim start I was beginning to get nervous- but once in the water I was in my zone. I felt confident during my swim and compare to last years race I swam the whole distance in freestyle. Coming out of the water I felt strong and ready for the long run to transition area. T1 went well and I felt better already than last year. I felt strong getting on the bike and started the ride with a lot of energy. My nutrition was well planned and I had more calories during my bike in order to also be strong and full energy for my run. Coming back from our bike portion I felt good and was anxious to get on the run. T2 was pretty quick and easy and off we went for the run. I have to say running across 72nd street and being cheered on by so many strangers is the best feeling ever. regardless of who they are you hear them scream your number and it motivates you. It gives you this extra push. During this years run I felt so much better. I heard my friends and coach whisper in the back of my ear "Keep running- don't ever stop running"....and that is what kept me going. The words of my friends, my coach and of course the spectators.
Coming close to the finish line I felt good. I had pushed myself and only stopped running during water breaks. Running into the finish it feels amazing on seeing so many fans cheering everyone on. During my run I even passed Adam who is one of our coaches as well. Its always great seeing familiar faces during a race like this. Anyways crossing the finish line I was not happy with my time. Last year I finished in 3:27:21 and my plan was to finish 30min better this year. Looking at the time I thought I did not meet my goal.  Later that day I was more than surprised to see that I actually did meet my goal. Once NYC TRI had published the times I learned that I finished under three hours. My time this year was 2:57:12 which means I did improve my time by 30 minutes....yeah goal met!!!!

Now after that race it was back to training. Our hours of weekly training have increased by a lot and we are now up to about 17-20 hrs per week. By the end of my week I was certainly exhausted because I was working a 12 hrs day and then went straight to training. Not always was it easy to head out on a long run after a long day at work but I knew it had to be done. Overall I was surprised to see of what I am all capable in doing. week after week I run longer distance and biked further. And lets not forget all those hours inside the pool swimming 80, 120 or 160 laps. Def gives you lots of time to reflect on all sort of things happening in life. 

I mostly did my long swim and runs by myself in order to get used to swimming and running alone. I wanted to get used to the fact that I will be doing the distance without anyone on my side during the race- so what better way to do so while training. 
As for my long bike ride I have to give a HUGE shout- out to Alex, and Eline for lending me her husband, who got up early to ride all the long rides with me. He set up a route for us and took care of pushing me all the way to the end. It was great being able to have a partner in crime for the long rides and having someone to keep up with. I dont think I could have done this on my own. Thank you so much Alex and also Eline. 

And last but not least. This past Sunday I participated in a quick all Womens Sprint Triathlon in Norwalk CT. I went to the event with not much confidence and didnt feel good about it. Starting the race I felt like I had a bad swim and getting on the bike felt rough. I could tell that my legs are sore from my long run the day before and I am overall a bit tired. I still pushed through and had a great transition from my bike to the run. Even though this was a great and ok organized event I was not happy about the organization of the run part. It got very confusing at some points. Anyways I did finish with a great run time and to my full surprise I actually finished 2nd in my Age group of 30-34. WOW what a day it you all can imagine I cant wash that smile off my face. 

Overall the training is getting less again and we are about to taper. We are almost there to the day of the big event and I cannot wait to see the final result!!!!

Thank you all for reading and staying through this with me. Special thanks to Pacific, Julie  and Sean, my coach Jason, Alex for biking all these miles with me and of course my friends for always listening to me!!!!  

Friday, July 12, 2013

From Mark 7/11

6 months of training down with 2 months to go until Ironman. I've got 3 races under my belt to date this year, including my first 70.3 (Mighty Mossman). I'm by far in the best shape I've ever been in... Life is good. Getting to this point has not been without its challenges. My bike fit has been a constant struggle. As my flexibility has increased I've needed to continually tweak and adjust the bike. To the point where buying a new Tri bike has become virtually a coin toss. I'm now dealing with some knee pain that came out of nowhere...Nothing a little foam rolling and stretching can't fix. I'm also still nursing a blister on my foot from the Mighty Moss. But I've learned this is what it's all about when your down in the trenches training for a 140.6 mile race...

From Jeanette 7/11-

First of all I have to apologize to everyone who has been following us here through our journey for our Rev 3 Ironman. It is only two more months until the big event and I start to getting anxious about it. Meanwhile there has a lot been happening in the past month and a half. Therefore I think it would be great to keep you all updated on mine and Marks journey, so please bear with me cause this might be a long entrée!

I did not realize that the last time I wrote here was back in the end of May. So yes I really have to tell you all what has been happening. Due to numerous reasons I was not able to race the half Ironman Distance with Rev 3 but instead participated in the Half Iron Distance with the Mossman organization in Norwalk CT. Overall it was a small and well organized event which I really enjoyed. It was very eye opening and showed me where I have to work on for the big event and what I have to change. Prior to the event Jason, our coach, had given us a couple longer rides for the weekend with about 3-4 hours’ worth of riding, followed occasionally with a 30 min or longer run. In the beginning it was not easy for me to find a route outdoors that would bring me towards 3 hours but with the help of other riders I was most times able to find a good street to ride on. On and off Mark and I also decided to train together and explore the back roads of CT. For me personally it was not always easy to keep up with Mark but I most times tried my best. Very quickly I also realized that hills are my downfall. Once I see a hill approach in the distance, I already start sweating and get anxious about them. There are often times I yell at myself and I find that course language is often used when paddling uphill. But if it helps me get up the hill faster-I will take.

The week leading up to our first half Ironman Distance Triathlon, we had a meeting with our coach and had a long conversation about nutrition for our race. In the past six months I already realized how important nutrition is for an athlete, especially days leading up to race day. The race was held on a Sunday and Thursday was one of the most important days for us. We had to make sure to eat the right amount of carbs, especially during dinner time. I have gotten more conscious about what to eat and how much to eat but never did I put so much thought into my food prior to this race. I always had pasta the night before a long run- well that was about to change. I decided on pizza for Thursday night and started hydrating Friday and Saturday. I stopped counting bathroom visits after ten. And for the next two days I was very thoughtful about what I was eating and at what times. There was so much that I had to pay attention to and my roommate could tell that I was getting anxious. Anxious about weather I was doing everything right about my nutrition-which in the end of the day kept my thoughts away from the race. I paid more attention to my nutrition and hydration and forgot all about the race. The night before the actual event I had my girlfriends with me who made posters for me and we enjoyed a great dinner together. I have to say if it wasn’t for my friends and roommate I don’t know what I would have done!!!! On this note thank you to especially Karoline to always listening to me and to the girls for getting up early in the morning to cheer me on, and of course!

Race day- it was an early morning start and nutrition was once again on my mind. I have to eat, drink and take some electrolytes!!! Then it was off to the race. Getting there I got nervous- finally. I saw some very competitive athletes and got nervous about my performance. The race did start with a little bit of a delay but once it started I was in my zone. I swam- and finally for the first time during and open water swim I was able to swim freestyle the whole way. I got out of the water and felt confident and happy about my swim. Off I was to my bike ride. I had a quick T1 and out I went. The bike ride had some good hills incorporated with one called ‘Moss Monster”. Well I would say it was hard but not as complicated as I thought it would be. I pushed hard during the bike, especially the last 10 miles. Well and I guess there was my mistakes. I came back to transition area and felt very emotional. I felt great and just thought to myself “Wow Jeannette you just swam 1.2 miles, biked for 56 miles and now you have to run another half marathon….you can do it”. And so I did. I walked a lot during my run and got very frustrated with myself because I did something that I actually did not want to do. I stopped running and walked. I yelled at myself and felt like crying. But I had to finish and that’s what I have been training for. At this point this should be easier and I should be able to do this. I kept thinking about the full distance and I knew that I have a lot of work to do.

Right before the finish line waited some of my friends- which was the most amazing thing- and then my coach. It is so good to see familiar faces and people that care about you. I know that I did well and that I can be proud of myself but I could have done better. Even though I know my friends are proud of me I know I failed myself a little bit. I ended up walking and gave in. And for the next two months I will be working hard to change this.

I do not want to feel like this again during the long race!!!! I want to be proud of myself and say that I gave it my all. Not only during the swim and bike but also during my run!!

I realized a while back and even more today how important the relationship and communication is between an athlete and their coach. It is so important to keep each other updated and talk to one another and see what has to change. If the athlete is frustrated about something, well I guess it means that your coach is just as frustrated. And that is where communication is key- it is then when you have a chat with each other and you feel so much better afterwards. No matter if there were negative or positive feedback we all learn from it and take it to heart and make the best out of it.

I know I was not always on track, and there are times when you want to quit but then you realize why quit?? You have come so far then you can get even further. I am inspired by other people that I train with or other stories I read about. But in the end of the day I am writing my own story. I don’t know if I have told Pacific how much this all means to me!!! I appreciate all your time and everything that comes along with this training so much!!!! Thank you Julie, Jason and Sean!!!!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

From Jeanette 4/30: First of all I have to apologize to everyone for slacking here on my blog. I have not written anything in a while even though there is so much that has happened.
Meanwhile I was on vacation in sunny Florida and I was given the challenge of training while being on vacation. I have to say this is probably the first time that I have kept to a routine during a getaway. It was not always easy to keep track on everything and renting a bike is also not possible just anywhere. Since I did not rent a bike and also did not bring my bike along with me I focused more on my running and swimming. This worked out very well and I was able to work out five out of seven days. I was actually very surprised with myself that I stuck to my routine and made it possible to keep training.
The weather in Florida was also much nicer and running outdoors made things much easier. It was nice to run along a nice beach, not being cold and seeing great nature and landscape. Regardless of the good time I had I still somehow missed my bike and also my daily routine at home. Even now writing it down shows me how much I already have changed. I am more focused on my goal and reaching it.
Coming back from vacation I had one week without any training on my bike and I was able to experience this the hard way. I am really struggling with hill workouts and staying consistent in my paddling. From when I came back from vacation till today I have my days where I get frustrated because I think I am not able to do it but then I have to look back and tell myself that I can and that three months ago I was not even able to bike longer than an hour and a half. It is all about the experience, the consistency of the workouts and training, training, training.
In just one month Mark and I will be attending our first half Ironman with Rev 3 and I am scared, excited and just looking forward to the experience.
5/20 From Mark:

Today was my first long ride in a windswept rain. Fortunately the temps were in the low 60's so it wasn't too bad. I was scheduled for a 4 hour ride. However, had to cut it down to about 2.5 hours for a few reasons. The biggest reason was that my right toes and mid-foot were soaked to the bone and had essentially gone numb on me. In addition, as the rain continued to get heavier the ponding on the roads brought on potential hydroplaning. Not to  mention the low visibility and trying to keep my glasses wiped. I think it was a good overall to experience this in the event i ever have to deal with it on a race day. Glad i sucked it up and went out :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Looking for Some Outdoor Training Buddies

Another sweat filled week of endurance training. I've lost count but I think we're close to 3 months in. This past Sunday was my biggest day of training on record. A 41 mile bike ride through the hills of Fairfield county immediately followed by a quick paced 9 mile mostly hill run. The fact that I was still upright, coherent and even had a little left in the tank afterwards, tells me I've come a LONG way on this journey...During the bike leg I did have to take a short break as I realized my toes had gone numb on both feet. I thought my velcro shoe straps were too tight, but upon a closer inspection they were red and seemingly frozen. At that point the temps had warmed up so it didn't take long to massage them for a few minutes in the sun which seemed to do the trick. 

Another comment is that when riding in the Pacific Swim Bike Run studio it's still hard work but the social element helps to easily pass the time. On the road I love and enjoy seeing the countryside and breathing in the fresh air. However when you're pushing 3 hours with minimal social interaction one may start to experience some level of loneliness (or insanity LOL), at least I do. For these super long sessions, that will only get longer, I think I'm going to try and find a buddy to tag a the way this is an open invite - please feel free to contact me. Anyone...Bueller... Bueller... ;) 

- Mark

Monday, April 1, 2013

Riding Outside

I had an amazing 40 mile outdoor ride this weekend. The sun was shining and temps were in the upper 50's. It felt so good to finally be off the trainer and out on the road again. After logging hundreds of miles on the trainer all winter, the first part of the ride felt really awkward. It took about 5 miles or so to get used to steering again - kind of an interesting experience. Once past that, the bike and I became 'one' again...shifting, braking, and zooming through the twisties felt awesome! I fell in love with my Cervelo all over again. All of my hard training with Pacific Swim Bike Run is clearly paying off. I was able to peddle through the hills of Weston, Redding and Bethel with confidence. I even met up with a group of serious triathlon riders and was able to comfortably hang with them for a while!

- Mark