Skip to content

The “Not So Endless Runner”

March 22, 2014

This post has been brewing for a few years, so be patient with me if I ramble on at all. Since I completed my first USAT sanctioned event in the summer of 2011, I knew I was completely hooked on the sport of triathlon.The only issue was, I didn’t own a bike, wet suit, tri kit, or really have any training strategy. I just sort of went with it for two summers. I borrowed road bikes from fellow triathlete friends, showed up and pretended like I knew what I was doing.

252176_773912521002_6103763_39114624_8228303_n

Luckily, I had an absolute blast and knew that it was the start of a long and (hopefully) happy relationship with triathlon. I was so jazzed that before 2012 even rolled around I publicly made a commitment that 2012 was going to be the year of triathlon. I signed up for three races and shouted it from the roof tops.

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 5.16.56 PM

And then, just a few days later my boyfriend at the time asked me to marry him! So all of a sudden there was a wedding to plan and pay for, so quickly I reverted back to my “borrow & make it work” strategy of cycling.

Kim Tri Finish

Since I was already signed up for races, I completed two sprint distance triathlons and then unfortunately had to skip the third race due to the time conflicting with our wedding. I had fun, laughed a lot and struggled through one very hilly bike course (or at least it seemed to be at the time), but it was all for fun. The rest of the summer I focused on getting lean and tone for the big day by trying out a lot of different classes. Boxing, Pilates reformer, Exhale Barre, Hot Yoga, Spinning…and running nearly every day. If getting buff for your wedding was a sport, I was dominating it. I really enjoyed the variety and the excuse to be so laser focused on working out, and even welcomed the fact that I didn’t have a “goal race” on the horizon.

I haven’t discussed this too much on the interwebs because I never want our wedding to be the subject of a wedding blog and picked apart by other brides to be. It was our day, and to us it was magical and perfect and that’s how I would like it to stay, our perfect day. It was an absolutely picture perfect day and we celebrated with all of our best friends who flew in from all over the country and even the UK! Our wedding weekend was one of the most special times in our lives, not because we were now husband and wife, but that we had all of our friends and family in one place supporting us. There aren’t any words to describe the outpouring of love, it was just amazing.

232323232-fp734;3-nu=5;92--88-25--WSNRCG=358778768-34;nu0mrj

232323232-fp63594-nu=5;92--88-25--WSNRCG=3587-3424634;nu0mrj

232323232-fp54374-nu=5;92--88-25--WSNRCG=358785;96634;nu0mrj

232323232-fp54398-nu=5;92--88-25--WSNRCG=3587-7;24234;nu0mrj

548024_632472303703_506710031_n

After our wedding, we both settled back into real life and I came to realize that my reliance on group classes and laser focus before our wedding made me unbelievably burnt out. I set out on runs on beautiful fall days feeling extremely fit, but mentally I was beyond checked out. I couldn’t really compute what was happening, so I decided to take some time off, rethink some things and go back to working out when I was ready.

Luckily, it didn’t take long for me to snap out of my funk. I set my sights on a new goal, the Ironman Timberman 70.3, a race I had been eying for a few years, but my lack of cycling experience and scheduling always got in the way. I signed up, made the commitment to buy a bike (and everything that goes along with the sport of triathlon) and dove in head first.

After a great 2013 season where I learned so much and fell so hard for such an amazing sport, I have come to realize that I am not the same person I was when I started this blog. I’m now a part of an amazing team, have made new triathlete friends and I am constantly researching and learning as much as possible about swimming, biking and running. Yet, I still find myself typing on a blog that says it is specifically focused on running. Yes, I do still run. But, after seven and a half years of overuse injuries I am beyond done with the traditional marathon training program. Clearly, my body cannot handle the stress of the pounding and the variety that triathlons offer not only plays to my strengths, but helps me compete without suffering season ending injuries.

So, in a few days I am going to say goodbye to “Tales from an Endless Runner” and this blog will become www.swimmykimy.com! A journey through my triathlon obsession and all of the musings that go along with it. I hope you will join me for the ride while I aim high and try to achieve my new goals…

1236254_513966588687114_1653975283_n

Smashfest Queen: Banishing The Boring Kit

March 20, 2014

I have a new squeeze in town and I thought I would shout it from the roof top, I love Smashfest Queen!

logo

I first learned about Smashfest Queen on twitter and instagram and was instantly drawn to their bright, loud and flashy tri-kits. Couple that with the fact that I am a fan of former swimmer (OMG ME TOO HILLARY, ME TOO!) turned TOTAL triathlon badass, Hillary Biscay who just so happens to be the co-founder of this amazing company so I knew I had to give these kits a try.

87729-largest_HillaryBiscay_UltramanDay1_finish

 

Ultraman Champion = seriously inspiring

I am drawn to bright and fun clothing in my non-athletic life, so I decided that my plain black tri kit days were over and I really should embrace my over exuberance for color in my athletic life. Thank you to Hillary and Michele for helping me from being trapped in the world of “boring black and bla, oh that could be anyone rounding that corner” kit and helping cure my creative triathlon expression!

Unfortunately Smashfest Queen is so popular that the tri bottoms were backordered for about a month, but I received the top right away and really enjoyed breaking it in on trainer rides.

image (1)

 

STS: Sweaty Trainer Selfie, sorry but I’m not sorry.

First Impression: I LOVE the print and I can’t wait to take this onto the road. It actually motivates me to get a workout in because the print is so fun. You know that feeling when your workout gear is so cute, you just HAVE to put it on? Maybe that’s just me, but I love it.

According to their site they say that “this delicious design honors the amazing place where our company blossomed one year ago; Kona. This kit is pink, but take a closer look, it’s red and purple. In addition, the design is reminiscent of a brightly colored fish when the sun hits it scales. She sure is pretty!” Well, who doesn’t want a kit inspired by the superbowl of triathlon? Sign me right up.

Shelf bra seems more than sufficient, but I have only taken it on a couple runs. The top is tight, but it’s not “you make me feel like a 10 pound sausage in a 5 pound bag” tight.

Fabric: it is extremely quickly drying, which thank goodness because I sweat a TON! After a particularly hard trainer session, I stripped off my clothes and hopped into the shower to notice that I was completely drenched and my top was only somewhat damp.

Bottoms: one word of caution is that they run extremely small (which I neglected to notice in my endorphin fueled shopaholic spree on their site), I ended up ordering a large because the medium was just too tiny (Ok, time to insert the bit about the 10 pound sausage HERE) the large fits perfectly and is very comfortable. One feature I really love is the compression leg opening at the bottom of the short, it’s really comfortable and isn’t bogged down by heavy seams. Now since I am a member of the Boston Triathlon Team, I will most likely be using this for strictly training, but I would love to bust it out for a race at some point during this upcoming season!

image

I haven’t taken this out on the road or tried it in a race yet as it is still very much winter in Boston, but I am looking forward to doing this really soon! Now the coolest part of getting this kit in the mail? The note that came along with it, complete with purple glitter pen!

photo (1)

 

This currently lives on my fridge

 

Be sure to check out smashfestqueen.com for all of their amazing triathlon, cycling, running and casual gear. I look forward to bright, beautiful triathlon style for years to come!

What is your favorite triathlon kit, or race outfit and why?

Hello, 2014 (a little late!)

January 18, 2014

Welcome, 2014! Err, I mean, 18 days ago. So, I’m a little bit late to the “new year post” party, ooops!  I think it’s safe to say, that when the clock struck midnight and the ball dropped, I sighed a huge sigh of relief and smiled that 2013 was finally behind us. 2014 is here, and it’s time to look forward and rediscover my optimistic view of the world. That might read like 2013 was the worst year ever for me, which is certainly not the case. I certainly had my share of happy moments, laughs and amazing races. There were so many adorable babies born, engagements that I celebrated, weddings that I shook my tail feather late into the evening at, and not mention landing a job that I absolutely LOVE. On top of that, I have a husband that loves me unconditionally and can find the silver lining in absolutely everything. I really am very, very lucky.

DSCN1488

Sadly, 2013 was full of a lot of bad news. I said to a friend recently that I can’t remember a year with more cancer diagnosis’s and deaths. Not to mention,  fear and anxiety that brought my beloved city to it’s knees in April. To top it off, there were some sketchy and terrifying crimes in my neighborhood.  But, dealing with these hard times is a part of life and as my mother’s extremely ill best friend said to me recently, life is really just one foot in front of the other.

I’ve decided that my only new year’s resolution this year is to live life to the fullest. Take advantage of every opportunity, savor every second and remember to laugh. If 2013 taught me anything it is that life is very, very short. Unfortunately, I can’t leave all bad news in 2013, but my new mantra for dealing with unfortunate and sad news is to turn lemons into lemonade. I am going to focus on trying to find the silver lining in every situation and do something positive to help ensure that someone else doesn’t need to suffer in the future.

To kick off this resolution, 2014 will also be my first time training and racing with a team, the Boston Triathlon Team! Acceptance onto this team is very competitive and I’m honored and psyched that they have so graciously welcomed me onto their team. After just a few events, I have learned so much about cycling and the sport of triathlon. I’m so thrilled to be a part of the team, make new triathlon friends and proudly wear blue and green while racing!

BTT

1529737_10201856091697494_1022283465_o

I am hopeful that with the help of my new team, an indoor trainer and time in the saddle, 2014 can be the year of the bike. Prior to the 2013 Kona Ironman world championships Mirinda Carfrae said in order to win she “had to get faster on the bike.” and I am employing that same strategy. 2013 was the year I purchased my bike and I surprised myself with how much I came to enjoy my new sport, but I am very far from an expert. 2014 will be the year I build upon that foundation, learn more technical knowledge and simply spend more time on the bike trainer and on the road.

1534945_10151811317181249_1600186786_o

So far I have three triathlon races on the calendar: Patriot Half Ironman, Cohasset Triathlon and Ironman Timberman 70.3. I’m eyeing the Twin Lights Half Marathon and Mashpee Superswim and I’m looking forward to adding a few more. Are you racing any of these races? Let me know! Do you have any suggestions for races that I should add to my schedule?

There are plenty of other exciting things that will be happening in 2014, and I can’t wait to share all of them!

What is your new years resolution? What are your goals for 2014?

The concept of “rest”

September 25, 2013

I have approached that time of year where I have to utter that dreaded four letter word:

REST.

For those who know me well, and quite frankly those who know me via the inter web know that I don’t sit or rest well. My mom said this about me when I was a baby, and I guess it’s a skill that I simply never learned.

The thing about participating in endurance sports is that you push your body to the limit, sometimes it gets angry with you. That happened in March when my hip began to hurt so much that I physically could not run, never mind sit for long periods in the car or at a desk.

After months and months of rehabbing and a misdiagnosis, I found the cause of my problem: my lower back. I won’t bore you will specifics (if you are curious feel free to ask!), but the pain I was feeling in my back was caused by an issue with a disc in my lower back, so I started treatment for that with the help of my miracle worker chiropractor and magically things started feeling better. Finally, I was able to run pain free, for the first time in months and even though it wasn’t advisable during my treatment, I was able to keep up half ironman training and successfully complete the race pain free with a smile on my face.

Once I bid adieu to triathlon season (tear), I made a promise to myself that I would slow down and rest. Even though it is eating a bit of my soul, I know that this is a good thing for my body and future athletic pursuits.

Mentally, I know it’s good to take a break from the grind of constantly peeling out high mileage.

When I say “rest”, I’m not completely checking out from the gym, swimming or running; I’m just doing workouts at a much lower intensity. I’ve been enjoying my quick 3.5 mile runs around my beautiful neighborhood in this delicious time of year.

I’ve reacquainted myself with a contraption known as the elliptical or one of my favorite calorie burners, the “big step.” I’m still finding joy in the pool and sweating it out in spin class, the only difference being, these activities max out at 30-45 minutes and include a fierce menu of stretching and icing afterwards.

So what am I doing with all of my free time?

Making delicious dinners with Foxy:

image-1

Has anyone tried Dave’s Gourmet Butternut Squash pasta sauce? It is UN-REAL! Pricey, but definitely worth it.

Spending time with my adorable nieces and nephew, though I would like to do more of this!

photo-3

Enjoying fall in my neighborhood on beautiful days like this one:

image-2

Enjoying delicious beverages (who am I kidding, I did that during training too :))

photo-5

Icing other sore and tired body parts with interesting compression devices. Pashmina anyone?

photo-4

and lastly, I’m still keeping my athletic goals in my mind by catching up on blogs and watching some favorite motivational movies

image-3

In addition to all of this fun, I’ve been scheming a really fun adventure and a few exciting side projects I hope to share in the next few weeks. 

What are your favorite “off-season” activities? Do you have any suggestions for me? 

Timberman Half Ironman Race Report

August 26, 2013

Ok folks, here it is, the spoiler alert – I had  BLAST at Ironman Timberman 70.3. So much so that I am still riding the wave even a week later! The day was not without it’s challenges, but for the most part I had an unreal day.

Pre-Race:

My alarm wet off at 4am, just as planned. I joke with Rob and a lot of my friend’s that as a swimmer we have a ridiculous internal body clock. Well, race mornings seem to only magnify this special quality. I found myself staring at the clock at 3:59am – BOOM! Not only did I think, “Oh, I have a moment to myself to relax before this alarm goes off.” I thought “OOF, Jules and D are ALREADY at the parking lot.”

Foxy was a rockstar husband/sherpa and ran everything out to the car while I ate breakfast, packed up my essentials and made sure that I was achieving everything on my to do list. I put on the TV and watched a really heart warming Make A Wish story about a terminally ill boy who got to meet the entire Seattle Seahawks team and play with them during training camp. I thought it was particularly approprate considering how much Ironman Timberman raises for the Make A Wish Foundation. Always good to start off your day feeling thankful for what you have!

Once we piled in the car, I felt confident, some nervous energy but most of all, I felt excited. I knew I put in all of the work that I could, so it was time to test my training.

We made the short trip to Ellacoya State Park. I updated my facebook status with an amazing quote from Andy Potts “Every Race is a balance of hope and doubt” (then I improvised) “today, the hope will be louder than the doubt!” I felt great and just wanted to stay positive and most of all, HAVE FUN.

In addition to motivational quotes from my swimming/triathlon idol, we were treated to an amazing sunrise over the lake at that hour:

timberman sunrise

(Photo credit: Beth from Unleash the Beath)

When we arrived I was very pleasantly surprised to see that we were able to get a parking spot at the state park. Usually, the parking lot fills up so quickly that people are diverted to the nearby ski mountain for parking and shuttle service. I was really happy that I was able to park with Foxy (aka, Zen Fox) and walk with him to the transition area :)

I stopped and got inked by the body markers and then made my way to my transition spot. Since I was so close to the end Foxy was able to stand so close that we could chat. Then, I started bumping into people left and right, first Alett’s husband Hugh – who spotted my amongst the craziness and looked as cool as a cucumber. Then I saw Julia and Dutch. Then I saw Alett herself. I met a Ashley in the rack position next to me  who I recently friended on Instagram. I finally met up with my high school best friend, Kaitlin in line for the porto-potties. I then bumped into Will, another friend from high school at the Porto-potties, along with his entire crew (who I had met briefly previously.)

photo-3

LOTS of excitement in the TA

When I arrived at the park I thought I had eons of time, then all of a sudden I found myself sprinting to the transition area before it closed in order to retrieve my wet suit, cap and goggles before it officially closed. Luckily, I still had another 45 minutes before my wave went off, so I spent that time joking around with Rob, Kaitlin and my other friends I had picked up along the way.

Before too long I saw that my wave of women was corralled and we were quickly pushed to the edge of the lake, so I kissed Foxy goodbye, hugged Kaitlin (who unfortunately her wave wasn’t set to go off for another 30 minutes) and made my way to the edge of Lake Winnipesaukee.

photo-4

So excited to SWIM!

I watched the two waves in front of me go off, and when they called my wave to the water, I did my standard nervous shake out, jump and arm movements and confidently walked the distance to the swim start (side note: I absolutely LOVE beach starts, nothing gets my adrenaline going more! I realize that the lake where Timberman is located is insanely shallow, but this was a huge let down for me) and tried like hell to let my body relax enough to pee.

NO DICE.

I stood at the start and made my way to the front row. I looked around and found Jules and wished her good luck! I talked to MJ and Mary (newly acquired triathlon friends) and tried to just take in the amazing scenery. Before too long they were giving us the count down, and then WE WERE OFF!

The swim:

DSCN1256

In every triathlon race my strategy is to take out the first 50 yards relatively hard so I can do my best to break away from the pack. I did that and quickly noticed that there were 2 other women hanging with me and I thought “sweet – PACERS!”, so I just tried to settle in and find my pace. Unfortunately, the field was so dense with slow people in the waves in front of us and the chop from the water was so tough that I struggled to settle in. In the beginning I tried to count the amount of different colored swim caps I passed in Ragnar/Reach The Beach fashion, counting my “kills” (though, they would then definitely not only kill but murder me on the bike in a few short moments), but after awhile I started to lose track and gave up. The last cap I remember seeing was five waves in front of me. Hooray for swimming!

Somewhere along the way I felt my left calf seize up in a slight charlie horse and I tried to remain calm. Calf cramps when you’re roughly 20 minutes into a 6+ hour day doesn’t exactly bode well. I quickly modified my stroke and did everything in my power to stretch out my leg while still pulling like crazy. It seemed to work, but I struggled with the current pushing me into shore on the parrallel section and then it then again, pushed me  away from the finish on our way into shore. I kept on thinking to myself “why do I feel so crappy?!” (In hindsight, this is because I didn’t warm up. I always enjoy stretching out and getting loose, but no one I was with wanted to join. Next time I will most certainly warm up!)

Finally I closed in on that beautiful white arch and hammered down for the last 200 yards. I knew that expending lower body energy at this point wasn’t worth it, so I tried to turn off my legs and let my upper body do the work. Quickly I was on shore and Foxy was standing nearby screaming my name.

DSCN1260

DSCN1261

I made my way into the transition area and reminded myself to relax and take my time. I knew I had over three hours on the bike ahead of me, so taking an extra minute wasn’t going to kill me!

Swim time: 30:25

T1: 3:04

The bike: “Go Knausser”

Oh hello the bike, my triathlon nemesis.

I’ve been dreading this section of the race ever since I signed up. There were a million questions swirling in my head…

What if I got a flat tire? What if I bonked on the bike? What if my ass hurt so much I wanted to cry? What am I going to do if I need to pee?

I tried to quell my nerves and just focus. A friend of mine from college told me that a former triathlon coach of her’s told her to treat the bike portion as “an all you can eat buffett.” So I went to town and did just that, trying to get as much down before infamous Marsh Hill.

T-Man elevation chart

There was a gentle hill straight out of the transition area and I looked down at my bike computer to and noticed it said I was going 25 UP the hill. I knew something was definitely wrong and realized that when resetting it the night before I accidentally set it to kilometers and not miles, sonofa! I joked to myself that I was channeling my friend’s Hannah & Nick in more ways than my transition towel :)

There were a couple hills and turns into little neighborhoods and I knew that Marsh was coming soon. My left hip flexor was CRAZY tight and I was very uncomfortable. To make matters worse, I was getting passed like crazy by all sorts of fancy bikes. I told myself “this isn’t your strength, just ride your own race!”

Prior to Timberman I met Paul from the Boston Triathlon Team, who told me that people climbing up Marsh Hill will be “tire to tire”, which didn’t seem possible to me at the time. As I approached Marsh I all of a sudden felt like I was in the middle of the peloton in the Pyrenees mountains at the Tour De France. USAT has a rule against drafting, but apparently that doesn’t apply to Marsh Hill! Everyone was literally tire to tire, huffing and puffing away. It was a pretty surreal moment having so many cyclists working so hard to conquer a single hill.

I was hurting big time and would have loved to hop off my bike and walk it up the hill. I started thinking about a lot of friends and people I know that are sick, or had lost their battle with cancer. I thought of my friend Tanya and her husband Eric who passed away from brain cancer in March. My heart ached and I dug DEEP. A few days before we left for Timberman I found some photos from their wedding in fall of 2004. When I found the photos, my heart sank, but instead I decided to use this as my motivation to literally carry me up this hill. I thought about his suffering and how people rallied by his side in his final days. People from different parts of Eric’s life changed their facebook photos to “Go Knausser”, and I must have repeated that to myself hundreds of times. Eric’s fight and strength were exactly what I needed to dig deep. From now on I’m going to call that beat of a hill Knausser’s Hill instead of Marsh hill!

Just when I thought the hill would absolutely never end I heard my friend Julia talking to someone behind me and I heard her say “that was it, we’re done with Marsh!” I said hello and then she was off. We had some amazing descents which I took at full speed before we headed out towards the main highway.

The next 30 miles went like this:

“I need to pee…should I go in the woods?”

“THIS IS SO BORING”

“MY ASS HURTS”

“I think the entire race field passed me”

I saw a few of my friends heading out on the other side of the road which gave me a nice boost, but my GOD that bike course was boring! Where are the mountains, lake, neighborhoods, ANYTHING to look at?! This would probably be my biggest beef with this race, the bike course wasn’t exactly what I would call visually interesting.

Somewhere around miles 30-40 I finally gave in and used a porto-potty, where an eager volunteer was ready to hold my bike and get me anything I might need. So amazing! It took me awhile to find a break in the pack so I could head back out, but eventually I did! Before too long we hit the same hills on the way back and then I was within 3 miles of the transition area. I passed by the section of the run course that shares the road with the bike and thought, “man, that looks hard” and I instantly went into my lowest gear and tried my best to spin out my legs.

SO HAPPY TO BE DONE (with the bike!)

DSCN1265

T2: I dropped my bike, drank some water and slipped on my sneakers and then I was off – 13.1 miles!

Bike: 3:22:16/16.61 average MPH

T2: 3:02

The Run: “No White Flags”

I had been slightly nervous about the fact that the run course is a double loop, but as soon as I made my way out on the run absolutely loved it. It was so motivating seeing my fellow competitors working so hard, and I was able to see a lot of friends, which gave me a huge boost. I set a goal for myself: No walking (except for the hill around mile 4) and no bathroom stops until the second loop. I also made the decision not to run with a garmin or to worry about my pace, but rather to just enjoy the experience and focus on feeling good and finishing with a SMILE!

As I ran I was surprised at how good I felt coming off the bike, I guess that is what happens when you actually put work in! I kept on seeing more and more friends, which was a huge blast. I heard a LOT of people choking and gagging, which I tried my best to block out. The last thing I needed was to barf, ick. The first lap was suddenly done and I made my way towards the turn around – I knew this would get in my head so I just decided to look at the finish line and take it all in…I would be there SOON! I looked around for Rob but sadly never saw him. Apparently my splits were saying I was walking so he was expecting me much, much later. Definitely a bummer, but it’s always better to be faster than slower :)

Lap two: I somehow found myself running with a woman that worked in fitness at my rival high school. She was running as a part of a relay and tried to motivate people as she ran by. Most people were scowling and getting pretty annoyed, but I personally LOVED her drill sergeant attitude and insesent comments for me to push up hard sections of the course. I don’t know who you are, but Fitness instructor/coach from Lincoln-Sudbury High School – you literally carried me through the 2nd lap.

As I approached the finish line I dug deep and all of a sudden Rob was running up to me, I was shocked he wasn’t at the finish line, but again my splits were all messed up so he had no idea where I was on the course.

As I ran through the finish chute I kept on thinking, I’M DOING IT!!!!!!! I put my hands up and then enjoyed the fact that I could finally walk after over six hours of racing.

Timberman finish

The run: 2:14:19

Volunteers were putting medals around finisher’s necks and all of a sudden a man was telling me congrats and I looked up and it was ANDY POTTS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had a huge moment of disbelief and then like a small child asked “CAN I HUG YOU?!” he laughed and said yes.

DSCN1269

Final Time: 6:13:06/Division Rank: 55/Overall Rank: 1292

Happiness level: through the freaking roof.

Post race thoughts:

  • I loved every moment of this race. Yes, even when I was really bored on the bike, it was still better than my best running race.
  • I have finally found my sport. I will definitely run another marathon, but not for quite some time.
  • I have a LOT of work to do on the bike, but I’ve also made a lot of progress considering how I was nervous about even biking around the block, let alone 56 miles.
  • I can’t wait to do it again!
  • A full ironman would be a ridiculous amount of work, but I think I can do it…someday!

I definitely never could have done with without the amazing support of my husband Rob, who is my rock and “Zen Fox” (His new nickname I bestowed upon him during Timberman craziness.)

I also had some amazing friends near and far that were unbelievably supportive, THANK YOU!

And to everyone in blogland/twitter/instagram – you ROCK! Your advice kept my nervousness in check, laughs on point and enthusiasm was through the roof.

Now the big question is – WHAT’S NEXT?!

What races should I do next year??

Pre-Timberman Thoughts

August 16, 2013

Wow, Timberman is just 2 days away – how did that happen?

thumbs.php

It’s been a wild few months of training. I spent a lot of time and money rehabbing a hip injury that was misdiagnosed. Thank goodness, I found a chiropractor who was able to work his wonders and find the source of my hip issue…my lower back!

Now, I feel ready. I’ve put in the work and what’s done is done. I might not be in the best running shape of my life, but the goal of my first 70.3 is to finish with a smile on my face.

Somehow I’m not nervous. Maybe that’s because I’m not in New Hampshire yet? Maybe it’s because I know I have done everything I could? Maybe it’s because I am a total badass? HA, RIGHT…

A few weeks ago I was talking to a fellow Timberman athlete about the challenges that come with training for a long distance triathlon while juggling work and social obligations. We both agreed that at times, it’s felt like a grind but for the most part it has been an amazing experience.

Unlike marathon training, triathlon training forces variety into your training schedule – whether you like it or not. I have to admit there were weekends where I would look at my schedule “60 mile bike ride on Saturday and a 12 mile run and 2,400 swim on Sunday” and really questioned my sanity and the fact that my training was interfering with enjoying one too many hoppy New England beers. WHY, WHY, WHY?! But, I (not so) secretly loved every moment of it.

Through this training cycle I have been able to dedicate many hours to my first athletic love, swimming.

Kim Woo Invite Soph Year

DSCN1223

I have really missed having a team to train with, which I am looking forward to adding to my regimen in the fall. For this cycling, I have enjoyed that my training plan has forced me into the water, and I’ve loved every second of it.

I have been able to conquer my biggest source of anxiety, cycling! I still have a lot of room for improvement, but my bike knowledge, fitness and confidence have soared over the past 4 months. I have come to LOVE hitting the open road at 7am on a Saturday with friends and exploring parts of Massachusetts that I didn’t know existed. It’s also given me the chance to spend time with a lot of people I don’t see on a regular basis. Foxy has even taken up the sport because of the enormous amount of spent training, he figured it might be worth investing in a bike.

photo-1

photo

And last but not least, running. I’m not as fast as I would like to be, but that is OK. Right now I’m pain free and that is 100% worth being slow. As I mentioned, my goal is first and foremost to finish like this:

DSCN1228

SMILING!

After a lot of hard work and pain, I’m looking forward to Sunday. It should be a very interesting and most importantly, FUN. I can’t wait to put my training to the test and learning quite a bit about the sport of distance triathlon. I know that moments of self doubt will creep into my brain, and when it does I’m going to dig deep and fight back by singing “blurred lines” and “safe and sound” to myself. Side note: Thank you swimming for training me to entertain myself for HOURS upon hours of just plain singing to myself.

My original goal when I signed up was to finish in less than 6 hours, which I would 100% still like to do. Though, given my lack of running fitness, I’m going to focus on finishing and if a sub 6 hour time shows up, sweet! If not, no big deal.

For those who won’t be racing with me, but want to track me: my bib is # 933. I apologize in advance for an on-slaught of instagram and twitter updates regarding the course, pre-race nerves and excitement.

Lastly, a twitter and training buddy of mine, Alett posted this on facebook earlier this week:

1175675_10201794080960212_817585679_n

She said it was her “theme of the week.” I know plenty of people think I’m crazy for the amount of athletic activities I participate in, many of those people are in my own family. It is the constant urge to set a goal, work towards it and achieve it that makes me tick. Plenty of people are fine never trying, endurance sports are certainly not for everyone. I have found out more about myself through swimming, running and now the sport of triathlon than I ever thought possible. I have found my limits and exceeded them. I’ve made new friends. I’ve gotten sick. I’ve finished a workout or race feeling amazing. I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve gotten injured…a lot. It’s all a part of the process, and the juice is most definitely worth the squeeze.

I’m lucky that I have a husband and best friend that supports my crazy athletic interests. His support, hugs, encouragement and willingness to wake up at 4am to carry my triathlon bag and ring a cowbell mean more to me than he will ever know. Though he doesn’t share my crazy endurance ways, he knows that these sports make me happy and provide an outlet that I need in my life. I know that it tests his patience, sanity and causes extreme sleep deprivation. But, he is always there for me with a joke, smile and a good luck kiss. Foxy, THANK YOU!

On Sunday I will step on the start line and race for me. I will smile throughout the swim. Take time to enjoy the beautiful scenery on the bike. And, I will hold on and dig deep in the run. It’s been a wild ride, and one that I have a feeling might just be getting started.

Do you have any last minute 70.3 race advice for me?!

Moving Up, and On

August 10, 2013

I’ve been a bit quiet this year, sorry about that.

Sometimes it’s easier to shy away from communicating when things are tough or unpleasant. No one wants to be a Debbie Downer, right?!

However, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been doing really, really fun and awesome things:

I took a trip out west to CO to ski and spend time with my amazing college friends. Sadly, we all live far away from one another and it was my one chance to see friends that know me better than anyone else.

Photo

893627_661600755053_1945160242_o

I’ve learned to face my fears and get out on my bike. I’ve relied on a lot of bike savvy friends who have been extremely patient with me. THANK YOU.

Lexington Ride

I’ve raced in some incredible triathlons. Most of which included my super sherpa/cheer squad by my side.

DSCN1210

DSCN1228

And I have been able to race and train with friends who I haven’t seen nearly enough before this foray into swimming, biking and running…

Kim and Kate - OMG

But, I’ve had a few things going on that have been occupying the time I would be spending by documenting and sharing  my training experiences and making new friends through this blog.

I’m happy to report that over the last month or so, things have been moving in the right direction. I won’t elaborate on details, but I’m really excited about what lies ahead:

Two weeks off: Now until 8.26.13

My very first 70.3 race, Timberman 70.3: 8.18.13

Starting a new job: 8.26.13

Buying a car: ?

Rejoining Cambridge Masters swim team: Sometime in September or October.

Life certainly is an unpredictable journey. There are ups and downs. Luckily, I have an amazing husband, support system, sherpa and all around awesome guy by my side. Foxy, thank you for all of your hugs, jokes to make me laugh and ability to roll with the punches. And, I would remiss if I didn’t mention that I have some amazing friends. No matter how far away they are, will always be there for me.

DSCN1339

I’m looking forward to a great mix of relaxation, organizing, and racing over the next few weeks. I’m also psyched to see what lies ahead in the next few years in my professional, personal and athletic lives.

Additionally, I am taking on a new side project, to revamp this blog and continue making connections that I enjoy making so much.

Thanks for your patience and I look forward to catching up on everyone’s race schedules very soon.

And if you’re wondering, this will be me for the next few weeks: Ridiculously happy and maybe, perhaps “photogenic triathlon girl”

Kim Tri Finish

xoxo

Swimmy

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,619 other followers