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Pretending to be a cyclist

June 2, 2013

2013 has certainly been an interesting and very busy year – I could bore you with all of the ups and the downs, but right now my eyes are on the prize: Successfully finishing the Timberman Half Ironman with a smile on my face on August 18th! 

So far, training has been great. I’ve been nursing my hip injury from Boston training and the running portion of my training plan is definitely behind, but I’m not nervous. Strengthening and avoiding future issues is definitely my #1 goal. 

To compensate, I have been swimming at higher volume than in my prescribed training plan.  Swimming is my strongest leg and where I feel the most confident. I am extremely grateful that I started the sport at such a young age and my swim club had such heavy emphasis on stroke and technique. I listen to fellow triathletes complain about the swim portion of the race constantly. As they talk, I nod my head and usually insert a quip about what a novice I am in the sport of cycling, but silently I am thanking all of my swim coaches over the years. Imagine if I had anxiety about swimming AND cycling? I think this whole Half Ironman game would most certainly be over if that was the case. I’ve adjusted my training plan as follows: when my plan calls for 1,000-1,500 I am traditionally swimming anywhere from 1,650-3,000. Part of this is to try to over compensate for lack of running, and the other part is: 1,000 yards swimming is a joke for me! In order to feel like I have done anything at all, I really need to swim at least a mile. 

The other part, is aggressively trying to wrap my head around the sport of cycling. I have been slow to get started with my new “hobby”, but luckily I have some really patient cycling friends. They are willing to give me parking lot tutorials on how to clip in and out, proper technique for starting and stopping and generally avoiding getting killed by crazy Boston motorists. They will even wait for me at the top of a hill when I’m too nervous to go up clipped in and half to walk my bike up to the top (this has happened on multiple occasions) and of course they are always willing to smile for a photo as I constantly need to document every single aspect of training. 

Here are such a few of my cycling sensi’s & myself in Lexington a few weeks ago – Proof I can do this!

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And, cycling is VERY hard, especially on Boston’s first warm weekend of the year. #unattractiveselfies

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All in all, I know this will pay off in a big way at Timberman, but I’m TERRIFIED. I looked at the elevation chart and HOT DAMN, there are some crazy, crazy elevation grades. If you don’t believe me, just check out this course map here. I just feel like there is so much to learn, and so much strategy behind it! Luckily the internet has a breadth of cycling and triathlon tips, tricks, videos and articles. Thank you, internet!

The other source of cycling anxiety is my general “fraidy cat” ways when driving a car with an engine, let alone a road bike with tiny wheels sharing the road with crazy Boston motorists. I’m hoping this pays off since I am overly cautious, but I definitely have a tendency to psyche myself out in a big way. I just need to repeat to myself “keep calm and pedal on.” (Side note, I need this shirt!)

I know in order to succeed, I need to stay calm and focus, so here are my goals over this next month of training:

  • Get increasingly more comfortable on the bike
  • Tackle as many challenging hills as humanly possible (without having a total mental breakdown)
  • Amp up running mileage once I get the OK that my hip is cleared to run longer than 3-4 miles (hopefully this news will come very soon)
  • Practice transitions. Luckily I have a triple brick work out planned on Cape Cod with friends on June 15th followed by the Oh My Goddard Olympic Triathlon June 23rd and the Cohasset Sprint Triathlon June 30th

So there we have it friends, someday soon perhaps I can remove “pretending” and instead shout from the roof tops about how much I love cycling. Something tells me it will be awhile before I get to that point, but I am certainly in it for the long haul to give this new sport the good old college try. It also wouldn’t hurt if I took a step back and reminded myself of this…

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Do you have fears of cycling? What steps have you taken to help ease your fears and build up confidence?

 

L Street Running Club

January 31, 2013

This past Sunday, I finally bit the bullet and did something I have talked about at length for nearly six and a half years. I finally joined L Street Running Club. L Street, I am your newest member and I am beyond excited!!!

L Street Logo

I do have to admit that I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to try something new.  Adrienne gets all of the credit for finally getting me out on the pavement with the club. She has been telling me for over two years years to meet the wonderful people that are a part of the group. But somehow, there was always something stopping me.

So what was it?

First off, it was fear of trying something new. As an outgoing person I was always embarrassed that this was something I feared. The issue is that I had a less than awesome experience trying out a masters swim team where I didn’t know anyone, and that has forever tainted trying athletic social groups for me. Luckily, I had a buddy to lean on and an instant “in” to the group, so I really should not have been worried about this!

Secondly, it’s time. I have a very busy schedule, similarly to everyone else I know. I find myself frequently lean on the excuse, “Oh, I don’t have time for that”, well the truth is, I do. It was time for me to look at my schedule and make some adjustments to prioritize this higher in my laundry list of to do’s.

Ultimately, the straw that broke the camels back, was the loneliness I felt on some very cold long runs. I started to worry that my motivation would dip and I would slack on runs if I didn’t have structure of a group. So, I decided to get over my fears of trying new things, make time in my schedule and dive in head first. I knew that running with other accomplished and fast runners would help me run smarter and faster on race day. They could provide me advice, experience and best of all, laughs along the way.

Luckily, I chose the perfect weekend to join L Street on a long run. Forecast: High of 17 degrees with winds between 10-20 mph. If there was anytime I needed extra support, it was Sunday.

I woke up nervous and shaking because of the cold temperatures, could I do this? It was 8am and the temperature was holding a steady 11 degrees with winds reaching 20 mph. Yuck.

I nervously drove a mile over to the athletic club where we were starting from and quickly found Adrienne. After a few minutes of chatting and introductions to some of her oldest running friends we were off! This run marked the longest I have run since July of 2011 and it was also the coldest run I have ever been on in my entire life, so I was extremely thankful to have a huge pack of people for support.

We started out slowly, the wind and cold were nearly unbearable and I questioned my ability to run 15 miles in these conditions, but I soldiered onward. It was so awful out that afterward Adrienne and I both confessed to one another that during the first mile we considered running back and hitting the treadmill for 15 miles. But, we didn’t.

Mental fortitude of runners: 1, Mother nature: 0.

After the first 25-30 minutes I regained feeling in my ears, fingers and toes and all of a sudden, the miles and minutes seemed to melt away. There were water stops every three miles manned by fellow running club members who were volunteering that day and I welcomed their enthusiasm and fuel. The group of runners covering 15 miles that day were bursting with positive stories and were extremely kind to me, something I needed on such a challenging day.

Once we finished I had a smile on my face and hugged Adrienne. I am forever in debt that she stayed with me for the entire length of the run.

15 Miles, Total time: 2:14:02 

This was officially my longest, and coldest run of this training cycle. Boo yah! Afterwards we all congregated in Boston Athletic Club to refuel and chat about our runs, the room was packed with sweaty, happy runners.

L Street

I am already looking forward to joining the group for a 16.5 mile run through Boston next Sunday!

If you live in the Boston area and love to run, I highly recommend L Street Running Club. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or to make plans to join us! For more information, check out their website: lstreet.org.

Do you run with a running club? Did you have any fear or anxiety about joining something new?

2013 Goals

January 2, 2013

1. Put Foxy First

Koxy Engagement photo

I am very lucky to have such a loving, supportive, funny, intelligent and all around AWESOME husband. Since the moment I met him he has always shown how important his friends, family and now wife, are to him on a daily basis. I am extremely thankful to have found him and I am equally, if not more, lucky that he deals with me and my headstrong  and intense ways. And with a smile, nonetheless!

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More often than not, when I’m training I find myself getting wrapped up in the details. “My foot is hurting, is it a stress fracture?” or “how am I going to fit in a long run over this wedding weekend in x city?” or “I had a bad run, am I cut out for this marathon stuff?” or, just the general random sobs and blabbering out of fear and frustration with training and racing. First and foremost, my goal this year is to make sure to put everything into perspective and put Foxy first. He always is undeniably there for me through anything and never complains about my endorphin obsessed ways. I want to put it out on the interweb that my goal is to not sweat the small stuff and constantly remind myself to channel and put into practice the selfless ways of #1 supporter.

2. Buy a bike

As a life long swimmer and lover of the water and runner since college, I’ve always wanted to become a triathlete. However, the fear of cycling has always been a gigantic barrier to entry. Since 2011 I have signed up for a few triathlons with hopes that I would make the plunge and buy a bike, but other expenses and trips always seem to get in the way. I’ve always seemed to have gotten by with spinning classes and borrowing friends bikes. But, with the decision made to sign up for this race, it’s more important than ever to get the right gear for the sport.

3. Get into cycling and get over my fears

Once I have the gear, I want to find a group to go on rides with and get some log some solid distance training rides. I definitely avoid cycling because I have a lot of fears associated with cycling in this city. But, it’s time to face my fears find some trails outside of downtown Boston and get more adept to this huge portion of any triathlon race. Ultimately, this will make me a stronger rider.

4. Stay injury free in 2013

Kim Tri Finish

and swim/bike/run HAPPY.

This is probably the corner stone to all of my athletic goals for 2013. Foxy would appreciate if I stay injury free aka, stay away from the “Glass case of emotion” injured self. I’m tackling this goal with the following:

  1. Hot Yoga once a week (no exceptions!)
  2. Clams & other hip exercises
  3. Foam rolling every day I run, if not 7 days a week.

5. Complete the Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Growing up in Boston, the marathon has always been a major bucket list item. I’ve watched countless friends make the turn onto Boylston st and year after year of cheering has only intensified the yearning to also complete this prestigious  race.  As much as I would like to set a goal time, I mostly just want to finish. The last time I ran (or ran/walked) a marathon was in 2009. I think it’s finally time to avenge that race and finish my life long goal of running Boston, and finishing with a smile on my face.

6. Complete the Timberman Half Ironman

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These shoulders are built for swimmin’!

I forget when I first heard the concept of an Ironman, but it has been my bucketlist/ultimate reach goal for at least fifteen years now. It fascinates and scares the bejesus out of me.

Since an Ironman has 112 mile bike ride, I realized that if I never accomplished goals #2 and 3, I would never even get close to the full Ironman distance. This is still a few years in the future, and it is something that Foxy and I will make together. Since my long range goals require me to get more serious about all aspects of the sport of triathlon, I figured that 2013 was the perfect time to dive head first and sign up for my first half ironman.

I do have a goal time in mind, I am not sharing that until closer to the race. At this juncture all I want to do is finish.

So, that’s it folks! I’m sure that these will change and morph over time, but at this point these are my goals for 2013.

What are your goals for 2013? Do you have any triathlon/cycling advice for me?!

Five, errr one thing, Friday

December 21, 2012

I have finally made it to the end of the week, hooray! I am lucky that my employer gives all of their employees the week off in-between Christmas and New Years Day, which this year is actually a week a two whole days!

Needless to say, I am excited for the time off and also the chance to unplug without worrying about how the status of projects, deadlines, bla bla bla.

So instead of the traditional Five Things Friday or Friday Faves, I’m switching it to one thing: Happiness, and the things that have brought a smile to my face this past week.

1. Foxy

Rob Wedding Church

Yes, I am lame. He is awesome & I am a lucky girl! This photo is of him waiting for me at the alter on our wedding day. Melt.

2. Running (and also, swimming and I am currently trying my best to get myself to psyched up and smiling when the concept on cycling comes up!)

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I think I can give the Ridiculously Photogenic Running Guy a run for his money, what do you think? Holler for endorphins!

3. The World NOT Ending Today

I thought this little diddy was a good little laugh.

4. Hannah

Hannah Text

Huge shout out to technology for enabling me to text/gchat/email/talk to my favorite transatlantic friend nearly everyday. Huge shout out to her for being such a caring, selfless, patient and all around awesome friend 🙂 xoxo

5. 11 Days off.  Straight. 

No words.

I’m currently learning how to dance like this awesome dog.

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Boston Training: Week 1

December 17, 2012

I am so excited to announce that I am finally in TRAINING! I am very nervous about how things will go over the next 120 days (and I should mention, 243 days until the Timberman half ironman!), but I am also unbelievably excited.

Eyes on the prize!

Credit to Greater Boston Photography for this awesome picture

Credit to Greater Boston Photography for this awesome picture

I have enjoyed tracking friends training recaps and being able to quickly flip through week to week. I also really want to do this to keep me held to my training schedule. So, here goes nothin’!

Monday

3 mile treadmill run, hip exercises, abs & foam rolling

First day of training, wooo! I woke up on Monday feeling a sense of renewed excitement, ready to tackle the challenge of Boston 2013.

Tuesday

Hot Power Yoga 1:30

As a part of my pact with myself to do everything possible to avoid getting injured I have forced myself back into weekly yoga classes. I really love yoga and it’s ability to help me slow down, get centered and most importantly: STRETCH! The problem is, I just have a hard time spending an hour and a half in a class that is sometimes, so unbelievably slow. And yes, I go to hot power yoga and I think it’s too slow! Change is good, right?

This class seemed to address any tightness or issues I was having and I left feeling like a million bucks. Mission accomplished. Change, is in fact, good.

Wednesday 

With a little 70.3k race weighing on my mind, I took a little trip to this little shop over lunch:

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I know, I know what you’re saying, “Swimmykimy is turning into “bikeykimy?!” Well, it’s about time. It’s going to be a long road (more on that later) but first, I thought educating myself and trying out some bikes is a good first step.

I tried out three different bikes and really enjoyed the Specialized Allez Evo, unfortunately, my taste level is a bit higher than my budget. This is an unfortunate problem that I have with, hmm everything! My search will continue and I see a lot of hand holding and research in my future.

Many thanks to the patient staff at Landry’s for all of their help. I will be back!

After work: 5 Miles treadmill run, abs & foam rolling

Thursday

Morning: 3,000 yard swim

I struggled with breathing, I think it was a combination of being stuffed up, neglecting using my inhaler and a really humid pool. I was hoping to do 2×500’s strong (approximately at 70.3 race pace, but I am still working on my tri training) for my main set, but decided to break it up into 5×200’s strong. I ended up feeling great after this 45 minute swim.

Friday

Off day.

YES.

After a great holiday themed dinner party with my girlfriends Thursday evening, I spent most of Friday yawning and oh so excited to change into sweats and catch up on DVR with Foxy and prep for my LR on Saturday.

Saturday

8.20 Long run, 1:13:54

First long run of the training cycle, wooooeee!

I woke up a bit later than I anticipated (still recovering from Thursday, oops) and set out for my first long run since May, how have I possibly not run longer than 45 minutes in over 6 months?! Not possible! I took my first few steps feeling strong but, seeesh, it is cold! I struggled to breathe and dealing with stop lights but finished the run just above an 9:00 pace and pleased with myself that I was able to get back in the groove. After feeling so great on my run, I spent the majority of my day on the couch reading and battling an upset stomach, boo. Luckily, I was able to recover to hit up my friend Katy’s annual Christmas party, in style.

Foxy

How cute is that bow tie? SO. CUTE. Love.

xmas party 2012

Cape Cod Beach kids, all grown up!

Sunday

jinglebell_baeventsSomerville Jingle Bell Run 5k: 26:30

Took this one easy so I won’t push myself and get injured. Rob and I ran together and enjoyed taking in all of the costumes and spectators blasting Christmas music. This run always brings a huge smile to my face.

Unfortunately, no photos this year.

Overall results

Miles: 19 Running, 2 swimming. Total time: 5:06.

Definitely a solid week of training, considering how it was my first foray back into running long in over six months. There are things to work on (adding in: speed, hills, mid week long-ish runs, working on nutrition and fighting stomach issues), so I’m looking forward to the next few weeks to really fine tune and optimize this plan. Next week I definitely need to get back into spinning class, keep foam rolling and focusing on hip strengthening exercises. I’m also finally going to bite the bullet and join a running club I have been talking about for nearly six years, eeps!

BIG NEWS!

November 30, 2012

Very exciting news today!

This week I decided to add two huge competitive bucket list items to my 2013 racing schedule…

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and…

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It’s going to be a very exciting year, and I can’t wait for the training to begin!!

Happy Friday!

Coming out of the dark

November 19, 2012

Hi there, nice to see you again. Kim here, from the “not so” endless runner. It’s been awhile since I posted on here, so much has happened since my last post from mid-June 2011. It’s been a crazy 18 months since my last post and I hope the blogging world welcomes me back. 

Until then, here is a quick sneak peek at one of the most exciting things to happen in 2012…Image

 

I’m looking forward to a new set of challenges and experiences in 2013, along side my favorite partner in crime 😉 More to come!