I am a triathlete.

Today, I did something that I’ve been wanting to do for over a year now.

I completed a triathlon and lived to tell the tale. 😉

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Yesterday after a long morning of class and work, Michelle and I left Mt. Pleasant to go stay with my friend Beth in E. Lansing. As always, we went to an Italian restaurant to carb up for the race. I find that I always perform my best when I eat a very heavy pasta dinner with lots of breadsticks the night before. 😉 We also got ice cream and spent the evening watching the lion king and relaxing. It was a really great way to keep our nerves at bay. All the food also helps me fall asleep really easily. I crashed hard last night and had nightmares about drowning and forgetting how to swim. My dreams before a big race day are always like that though. Before my first marathon, I had a dream about my marathon turning into a hunger games arena. x_x

I woke up this morning feeling pretty rested but nervous. I kept thinking of all the things that could go wrong. Preparing for a triathlon is a lot more involved than preparing for a running race. For running all you need is your outfit, shoes, bib and fuel! Triathlons are a lot more complicated. I kept worrying about getting hypothermia on the bike since it was so cold out and I was afraid my tri suit wouldn’t dry quickly. We got to the race site and had about an hour to kill after checking in so we relaxed, checked out the pool and prayed it would warm up a bit. Thankfully, the swim was indoors. I could not do an outdoor swim right now especially with how cold it was this morning. At about 8:30, the race directors gave us a pre-race talk about how the swim would work. It was pretty simple. They arranged us in a line and had a swimmer start every 40 seconds. I somehow got put into the front of the pack which made me very nervous. I didn’t like the idea of possibly being trampled over by people passing me. As I was waiting, I chatted with an older man in front of me who is a cancer survivor (!!!) but he was doing nothing to calm my nerves. He kept telling me about the time he was diagnosed with early stages of hypothermia during a race like this one and it was not what I needed to hear. Luckily our coach and his wife were there doing the race and they were super encouraging the whole morning. Pretty soon it was time to start the race!

Swim: The swim itself was 275 yds. We started at one corner of the pool and ended at the opposite corner. It was pretty simple and the water was really nice. This was honestly the part I was most nervous about though. I’m not a strong swimmer but I’m getting better. It’s mostly my mentality. I have an insane phobia of drowning (go figure) and I’m still learning how to trust the water and trust my abilities. I started off feeling really strong but got really nervous and started hyperventilating a bit in the middle. I used breast stroke just to get myself to calm down and then went back to front crawl and finished strong. They didn’t really do a great job of timing us but I’m pretty sure I finished in about 7 minutes.

T1: Surprisingly, I didn’t feel as cold as I thought I was going to. My adrenaline was rushing and I was just concerned with getting on my bike and starting. I dried myself off quickly with a towel, threw on two warm top top layers with my bib on it and put on my shoes and helmet.

Bike: This bike course was BRUTAL. It was a really simple out and in course but it was insanely windy from every direction. I felt like I was going to be blown off my bike at any moment. On top of that, the course was hilly. The hills where you were riding into the wind were the worst. When I saw someone biking towards me they would yell that it got better right after the turnaround point. Good! At least I had something to look forward to. I was averaging around 14 mph but on some of the hills I dropped down to like 7-8 mph. Not a fan of that. :/ After the turnaround, it did get a little better. I never felt like I was tired on the bike which I took as a good sign that I could definitely go longer. However, the conditions were rough today. Everyone was talking about the bike being the worst part because of the crazy winds. Getting off the bike was a very interesting sensation.

T2: When I got off my bike, my legs felt awful. I did a ton of bricks during my training so I was really surprised that my legs felt so tight. I hobbled over to the bike racks and took off my helmet, drank some water and immediately went out to run.

Run: My legs did not like me during the run. The course was really pretty though! I did the best I could. I have no idea how fast I was going but I passed people and didn’t feel like I was over-exerting myself. It was just a 5k so I pushed to get it done as quickly as possible. When I got to the last stretch, I gunned it for the finish line and finished strong! My coach and his wife had finished just before me so they were there to congratulate my finish. It felt so good to be done!

This race was TINY so I honestly have no idea what my official times were. I was just focused on finishing and getting through that awful bike ride. It was a great first triathlon and I would highly recommend it to anyone who doesn’t want to be in a very stressful environment for their first tri or if someone is not used to swimming in open water. Good job, Williamston! 🙂

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After the race, we all went to IHOP, got epic pancakes and shared race stories. It was a great way to celebrate becoming triathletes! I could not have done it without my awesome classmates and our coach, Dave. You guys are the best! 😀

I learned a lot from this race. I learned that your mental game can make the difference between finishing and not finishing. I could’ve given up so many times but I’m so glad I didn’t. I’ll be doing more triathlons soon and incorporating more swimming into my workout routine. I have a long journey before I become an Ironman! 😉

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Once Upon a Stressed out College Student

Hellooo friends, I have been super busy lately and I’m sorry that I haven’t been checking in as often. Since this is my blog and I can be as honest as wish, I have to admit that I have been feeling overwhelmed with everything lately. I recently picked up a second job and ever since I started, my schedule has been extra cramped. I’ve been scrambling to get from my classes to work and then immediately after I usually have to get over to my second job, do homework, and find time to breathe in between all of that. I’ve been considering any day that I can squeeze in a 20 min nap to be a particularly good day. However, there’s a foreseeable end to it. Two weeks of school and three days of exams left until I am free. 🙂 I will cherish every glorious moment of sleep after that. There’s been a lot of positive things happening in my life though, so I can’t really say it’s been all bad. This past weekend, I sang Beethoven’s 9th with the Midland Symphony Orchestra! 🙂

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It. Was. EPIC. 😉

I also busted out my bike for my first outdoor ride of the season!

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Biking is definitely not my strongest sport but I’m getting there. 🙂 Surprisingly, swimming has become one of my new favorite ways to relax. I’m still struggling a bit with finding my tempo in the pool (music nerd, FTW) and taking too many/too little breaths. It’s getting better and I’m definitely sprint tri ready. 🙂 My tri is next weekend (April 26th) so after that I’ll be taking it easy and resting before jumping into something else. 😉 I maayyyy or may not have been inspired this past weekend to pick a marathon for this year.

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and I mayyyy or may not have set a goal of trying to BQ. 😉 see, my awesome friend Beth qualified at her recent marathon and reading her review gave me the fire that I’ve somewhat lost over the past year in terms of marathon training. As always, we’ll see how things go. 🙂

Have any of you ever done the Grand Rapids Marathon? What did you like/dislike about the race? Comment below!

Triathlete in the making

Hey everyone! Guess what arrived at my doorstep today?

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I finally got a tri suit! 🙂 I’ve been in the market for one but most places were ridiculously expensive and I’m a broke college student. However, a friend sent me a link to a website called the clymb and found that they had most of their tri suits on clearance! 😀 I got this baby for 70 bucks including shipping. I was really impressed with how quickly this delivered. I was afraid I’d be waiting a few weeks. Anyways, I tried it on and it fits perfectly. I’ll be taking it out for a test run probably on Friday. 🙂

I’ve been really surprising myself with how committed I am to swimming. I used to have such a difficult time getting myself to get to the pool but now I actually look forward to it. Don’t get me wrong, running will always be my #1 sport but swimming is getting better. Today I started my day off with a swim and felt really refreshed. It just goes to show that a little effort will pay off in the long run! (no pun intended heh)

In other fitness related news, the Boston Marathon is happening in 1.5 weeks! I’m seriously considering skipping classes because, I mean, it’s pretty much a religious holiday, right? 😉 I’m always super inspired by the athletes who run the Boston Marathon and I hope to be there someday. #BostonStrong 🙂

Some non-fitness related news (yes, I have a life outside of fitness 😉 ), I’ve been REALLY busy with school. Today I gave my final presentation for my education class which relieved a lot of stress. I also got a second job at Sam’s Club which has been keeping me very busy. Between my two jobs I’m basically working full-time while going to school full-time and training for a triathlon. It’s been crazy but I’m managing. Jeremy has been even more supportive lately which has really helped me get through everything. Love you babe! :* That’s pretty much been my life lately!

What advice to you have to give to a person doing their first triathlon?

Eat, Bike, Run, Eat, Swim, Eat

Happy Sunday everyone! 🙂

I love Sundays because they always include a long run and pancakes. However, they also mean that the weekend is almost over. This morning, I ran 7 miles.

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Look at that first mile! I was listening to “Let it Go” (obviously) and when I heard my runkeeper say average pace: 7:56/mile, I kind of freaked out a little bit. It felt EASY. However, as you can see, my split times got slower over the course of my run. *sigh* but for the first few miles, I was totally rocking it! 😀 I can’t wait to push myself and see what I can really do!

I also made paaaancakes. 🙂

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They were chocolatey and delicious. Yesterday was a rest day since I pretty much killed every body part on Friday with my brick workout in the morning and my swim workout in the evening. During my brick, I biked 12 miles and then ran 1.5 miles. I’m feeling really confident with my bike-run transition but the swim-bike transition is what is kind of freaking me out. My triathlon could be freezing, so what do I wear that will not require a lot of changing but also be warm enough to get me through the bike and run? I’m looking into investing in a tri suit but the ones that I can afford are the sleeveless ones with shorts. This would be a much simpler affair if I lived in Florida still. Michigan is always unpredictable especially in April. When I ran my first marathon two years ago, it was in the 60s the day before the race and below freezing the day of. Ridiculous! I’m just more concerned about the swim. Any suggestions? I’ve obviously just been swimming in my athletic swimsuit which has been working well for me. However, speaking of swimming, I am quickly finding out just how weak of a swimmer I am. I am having a really hard time getting through 50 yds without taking a short breather and then going back at it. *sigh* I’ll get there.

Besides my triathlon, I have a few other races I am doing this year.

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The Dirty Girl Mud Run! 🙂 I somehow scored a free entry via their Facebook page and am going to the run in Chicago! If any of you are going to be there, send me an email and we’ll meet up! 🙂

Also, wait for it..wait for it….

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THE AVENGERS SUPER HEROES HALF-MARATHON! 😀 Any guesses on who i’ll be dressing up as? 😉

So, that’s been my weekend in a nutshell. How was yours? Did you do anything exciting? Did you hit any training goals? 🙂