Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Feeling Better

Maybe I was really sick and it wasn't allergies. I don't know. I refilled my prescription for nasal spray when I filled Beau's antibiotics (apparently I have like 20 refills!) so I am back to nasal doping and while I am still coughing here and there my energy level is back up and I don't feel dizzy or have any of those other symptoms. The air quality yesterday and today was good ( though pollen count is still high). So it could be that. Who knows. At any rate my runs the past 3 days have been much better.

I got in a 6 mile run both Sunday and Monday mornings. And also walked a few miles with the kids in the wagon and then went to the gym for some weights and elliptical cross training in the evening on Monday. Today though(I am so proud after how I struggled last week) I got in 16 miles at 2 hours and 19 minutes. 8:42 pace. In the last few miles I alternated sprinting (Garmin at one point said 5:13 mile!) and walking. First 6 miles I averaged a 8:55 mile-- so a negative split workout. Not too shabby in the rising heat of the day. I should admit though that the first part of my run has much more uphill than the last half. Though all is hilly, just the first half is harder.

I have my eye on a couple of 10ks this month and I am seriously thinking about jumping that tri-train this summer. But I need advice--big time. Here are some of my questions:

--What would be the best distance for me to start with? I can easily swim a mile but have never ridden a bike more than 30 miles and that was only once. Running I think I would be fine with anything less than a marathon.
--Do I have to have someone help me with all the staging or can I do this by myself?
--Good books on training?
--What is up with the fins? I see people at the pool using them. Are you allowed to use them in competition?-- if not what purpose do they serve in training?
--Can I bike in my running shoes? I can't do clips, I fall off the bike.
--Does it matter what sort of bike?
--Do I have to have a wet suit?
--What else?


  1. Ooh. Ooh. Me. Me! I can help! :-)

    Absolutely start with a sprint. Open water with 400 other people is an absolute different kind of swim. I k now this.

    Most sprint bikes are 10-15 miles. Get one under your belt then go for Olympic distance.

    Some one can help you set up transition, but once the race starts, you are on your own. It's a bit confusing at first, but I think I'll get the hang of it.

    Good places for training:

    Fins improve ankle strength and allow the swimmer to stay more level. They are not legal in competition.

    You can bike barefoot if you want. I biked in my running shoes. They have new clipless shoes too! I hear they are the bomb!

    Not for your first year, the bike does not matter. I just did mine with my hybrid. I saw tri bikes, road bikes, hybrids, mountain bikes, and even comfort bikes.

    You do not have to have a wet suit. You cannot use one if the temp is over 85 degrees. Being a southern boy, I will always have a wet suit in May and after August. I'm just a chicken like that :-)

    Plenty of resources out on the internet, Nat. Here is a good book for you from Amazon. Let me know if you have any questions. I can hook you up with all kinds of superstar femme triathletes in the blogosphere if you have more questions.

  2. Oh,and there is a mini-sprint coming up in Calloway Gardens June 24. It is a 400 meter swim, a 9 mile bike, and a 2 mile run. The lake we are swimming in is only 5 feet deep. Perfect for newbies like me :-)

  3. what Wes said. And you should definitely do it. You know who wins triathlons? the runners.

    --What would be the best distance for me to start with?

    Start with a sprint. usually 500-750 m or yd swims, ~ 13 mile bike and a 5K. If you can swim 500 yds in under 10 minutes, keep up on the bike and turn in a good run time, you'll be near the top of your age group. there's at least one women only triathlon in the area... Acworth maybe?

    --Do I have to have someone help me with all the staging or can I do this by myself?

    by yourself. you might want to take some water to splash your feet with before you put shoes on after the swim.

    --Good books on training?

    Triathlon 101 by John Mora is great.

    --What is up with the fins?
    You can't wear anything in the swim that aids propulsion. Like Wes said, good for training.

    --Can I bike in my running shoes?

    --Does it matter what sort of bike?
    No. I did my first several races (2000-2001) on a 1993 Specialized Rockhopper. One of the high points of my Ironman in 04 was a guy saying "you make us look bad on your old school bike!" by this time I had upgraded to a mid-range road bike (2000 specialized Allez)

    --Do I have to have a wet suit?
    No. Age groupers can wear wetsuits if the water is less than 78 degrees. Above that, you can wear one but no awards. Above 85 is a no-no. I know a guy who wore a wetsuit for a 500 yd swim in Charleston and passed out after.

    --What else?
    When it's over you'll say both "that was awesome!" and "Is that it?" and "when's the next one?"

    also have a look at http://www.tri-atlanta.org/
    and http://www.northatlantamultisport.org/
    These are local clubs. It's good to have people to train with.

    Good luck!

  4. Oooh, oooh - can I come too? And Doug? I've always wanted to do a tri. It's a life goal.

    I have a mtn bike and Doug has a road bike that you could borrow for your race. Doug's needs a tune up but would be way faster than a mtn bike. That said, we rode the Gambler in college on the mtn bikes and it was really fun. We even passed folks on road bikes.

  5. Wes and Jason! OMG! Thank you so much for that wealth of information. Very helpful and I thought of another question--do you where shoes--like aqua socks--for the swim or are you just running around barefoot? It is the tiny logistics that I am fretting not the actual swim/bike/run. Really, I am more concerned about my outfit than anything else. So typical me.

    Steph--I stopped by Big Peach today and picked up a couple of applications to look over:
    Acworth's Women's Sprint Tri is Aug 12th 400y swim/13 m bike/5k run-- sounds good for a first.
    There are also 2 in Sept: Tugaloo(1.5kswim/42kbike/10krun)and Two Bridge (1/4m swim/13mbike/5krun) but I need to see what my Matron of Honor duties entail. Also WestPoint in Lagrange on Aug 26th.

    June probably won't work for me but maybe something in July close by? I didn't see anything though.

    I have a bike. Lala--unless she renigs--said I could have Lance. He is either roadbike or hybrid Trek of some sort. Fairly new and hardly ridden. Just need to acutally get on bike.
    We can do this.

  6. no shoes on swim.

    tri suits are awesome. you can get a one piece or two piece. something to think about. I have a one piece which I wear now as I am too fat for my two piece. spandex is unforgiving.
    or you could just race in bike shorts, pull on a shirt or jersey for the bike and run. don't invest too much right off the bat.

    I hear the tri the parks series is good and plan to do a couple of the sprints (the short ones, 500yds/13mi/5K).

    June 23 Indian Springs Flovilla, GA
    August 18 High Falls Jackson, GA
    those two are very close together an hour south of Atlanta.

  7. Well, shit. I guess i should admit now that I am planning to do one, too, but i was going to wait till next summer, because I wanted to do the Callaway gardens one, which i have heard is really fun and not intimidating for beginners. I have two girlfriends who do them and love them. One of them highly suggested Callaway as a first.

    Anyway, I am kind of bummed that you are starting now, because I have some running goals I want to meet first this year, but i would have loved to do this with you and steph.

    I really think tri is more up my alley, though, because running i like, but running and other stuff is way less boring to me. I get a little burned out with just running. One reason I had started swimming more regularly this year (2-3 x/wk) was to make the tri thing easier.

    p.s. Like you, I am more worried about the logistics of transition/equipment/clothing, etc. than actually doing any of it. So I will be looking to see what you learn, if you will keep us in the loop.

    p.p.s. i KNEW when i saw your post about the swimming that this is what you were planning. You fooled no one. Or maybe I just knew because i've been thinking along the same lines.

  8. Jason-- I looked at the Flovilla and assumed it was close to Florida but an hour away isn't too bad. Ryan is not supportive of sports that involve me spending too much money on travel.

    I will look at the tri suits. I acutally found a 2 piece training bikini I like and was going to get the triks triathalon skirt but worried I might need more cushioning for my butt on the bike--even with a padded seat and shorts I still have a lot of soreness. I have been told this goes away or you get use to it but I just don't believe that.
    So what sort of time can I expect for a 500 y swim. I am thinking 7-8 minutes is that too fast, too slow? What about a 13 mile bike? Do they count or subtract the transition time from the final time? Does a sprint compare to like say the endurance of a half marathon. Is that apples and oranges. O.M.G. so.many.questions. . .

  9. Anne
    I have long thought about tri-ing, okay well for 2 years, but the bike has always held me back. Last year when I did that bike ride to the capitol it gave me a little confidence. The swim and the run are no brainers for me. The only thing about the swim that makes me nervous is the other people. Remember I grew up with a lake in my backyard. I have no fear of swimming in open water but I hate being kicked and swam over (bad Swim Atlanta memories). I just need to do it.
    I would love love love if you and Steph would commit to the women's tri in August in Acworth. It may be a challenge for you endurance wise but nothing that I think you can't conquer in a few months--especially since it sounds like you already have the swim and run puzzles pieces solidly under your belt. Please say you'll consider . . . We could practice on our girls trip and by practice I mean sweat out our hangovers while we swim, bike and run. . . .Think about it.

  10. I am in for August - whoo hoo!

    I told Doug about your post and he and Joe have already been talking about doing one this summer anyway. If I do Acworth (just girls), then I can watch his race and vice versa. Our neighborhood swim coach (also the child of one of my tennis ladies) does tris (and now adventure racing) and she has good-looking suits.

  11. Dee Dee just got a one piece Tyr bathing suit from Sports Authority that looks awesome. It's not the kicking and being swam over that is the problem. It's hitting the water, getting that adrenaline rush, and finding all of sudden you can't breath :-) I can do 400 meters in less than 7.5 minutes in the pool, and at my first tri it took me 9+ minutes, and I grew up in the water too! My point is not to poo poo what you think your time might be, just that you should hold off on high expectations until after your first. I think you'll do really well. The bike is actually pretty easy. By the time you hit the road, the racers are all spread out, and its you and a lot of road in front of ya. RYKA has an IronGirl Tri coming up, and I think Dee Dee is looking at that Acworth tri as well. If she ends up doing it, I'll be the one on the side lines cheering and taking pics! Woo hoo!