Plus â€“ a birthday party!
It has been a long, long, LONG time since I set a personal record. I think itâ€™s been two years! But yesterday â€“ I finally broke a record. And when I say I broke it, I mean I destroyed it. My new sprint tri record is about four minutes faster than before. Iâ€™m so pumped.
I recently had an epiphany about fitness. It sounds simple, but Iâ€™ve finally really understood that wanting something isnâ€™t enough to make it happen. I guess this applies to all aspects of life, huh? This is what I was doing: I was wishing and hoping that Iâ€™d be stronger, faster, and fitter. But I was working out exactly the same way as before. Basically, I wanted to get better without putting in anymore effort. Hah! Donâ€™t we all? But clearly, that does not work so well!
For the last month and a half, I really buckled down. I increased intensity, duration, and frequency (wisely, as Iâ€™m not looking to get injured). I exercised when I would rather sit on the couch. I did sit-ups during commercial breaks. I ran for five minutes longer. I swam two laps more. I indoor cycled through another chapter of my book. I upped the resistance in cycling class. Basically â€“ I tried a lot harder. And guess what?
It paid off!
I actually did Tri Latta back in 2011, a few months before getting pregnant. At the time, I was really pleased with my performance â€“ it was one of the first open water triathlons that I did not panic during the swim. At the time, I felt like I had a really strong race. But hereâ€™s a comparison of my times back in 2011 to my times yesterday. So much improvement!
I shaved time off every portion of the race! Iâ€™d really happy with my transition times â€“ I made up 4 minutes on transitions alone. I shaved 1 minute off the swim and 3 minutes on the run. But hereâ€™s what Iâ€™m most excited aboutâ€¦. That bike! 17 miles in 58 minutes is really, really great for me! All that time on the indoor trainer really paid off. Thank goodness â€“ if all that time and effort in the saddle had been wasted, I wouldâ€™ve screamed (I hate the trainer!).
And you may remember that my other triathlon goal for this season was to consistently finish in the top 50% of my age group. I came in #10 out of 20 â€“ goal met! Wahoo.
Hereâ€™s a quick little breakdown of each leg:
Swim â€“ I actually had a ton of trouble on the swim. I arrived at the race late and the line for the bathrooms was monstrous. As a result, I got to the beach just a few minutes before we were supposed to start, and I never got my game face on. I had difficulty getting into a rhythm and flipped over to my back way more often than I wouldâ€™ve liked. I also got punched â€“ really hard! â€“ in the forehead by another swimmer (not sure how it logistically happened!), which kind of threw me off. By the end of the swim, I was glad to get out of the water and sprint up the big hill to transition.
Bike â€“ For once, my weakest sport was the best! I concentrated hard on making sure I was always in the right gear, and I worked to keep a decent pace. I passed a few women in my age group, which gave me a big thrill, as Iâ€™m normally the one being passed! Unfortunately, I forgot to pack a water bottle (major fail) so I had no fluids on the bike, and that meant that I couldnâ€™t choke down any Gu. That was rough â€“ I probably wouldâ€™ve felt even more awesome if I had fueled properly.
For the last two miles, I biked alongside another women in my age group. We motivated and cheered one another on. As we neared transition, she said to me, â€œJust so you know, Iâ€™m going to try really hard to pass you since youâ€™re in my age group.â€ I replied, â€œNo, no, no â€“ Iâ€™m going to pass you!â€ We laughed and both gunned it. And then I blew past her. That NEVER happens to me, and it felt so awesome!
Run â€“ The run course was off-road, along a really rocky trail. I was concerned about rolling my ankle! The course had two switchbacks so you were always running with and against other runners, which I really like. There were two aid stations so I had plenty of chances to fuel and hydrate.
One interesting part of the race is that I intentionally left my watch at home. I had no idea how fast I was on the bike or the run until the results were posted. I really liked racing this way â€“ it allowed me to race more intuitively. I didnâ€™t feel pressure to â€˜race the clockâ€™ â€“ and I think I was faster as a result!
All in all â€“ a great race. I feel so proud of myself, and Iâ€™m really looking forward to my other races this season. Iâ€™m hoping to have one event during which I can really put all my skills together and have an awesome swim, bike, and run.
The best part of the race, however, was going home! Right after I got back (and showered), I dove into helping set up for Henryâ€™s birthday party. It was a small party with some family and a few friends. Oh, and Elmo! Lots and lots of Elmo.
Emilyâ€™s truly delicious Black Bean Burgers
Amazingly, there was no cake smashing! Henry just dipped his fingers into the icing and licked each finger clean. I donâ€™t even think he noticed the cake. Ah well. The icing is the best part anyways. Right?