Tag Archives: fit wv

That Time I Did Two Races in One Weekend

25 Feb

Last week, I did something crazy.

Every winter, there is a local “Winter Series” of races held in Barboursville Park: a 3 mile, 4 mile and a 5 mile race. I’ve never signed up for the full series (but I’d like to next year), but one of the races always seems to catch my eye. Last week, I noticed that the weather was supposed to be perfect over the weekend, the 5 mile race was happening on Sunday and it just so happened that my long run in half-marathon training was 5 miles exactly. After hitting up my fellow trainees on Facebook, I got a partner and paid the $15 for the race registration.

5 miler

 

It may seem crazy to pay $15 to run a scheduled training run, but I find the race atmosphere to be considerably motivating. I knew if I paid money, I would run and I would try hard!

Then, something kind of crazy happened. My friend Sarah posted on Facebook about signing up for the Marshall Recreation Center’s Indoor Triathlon, which is something I’ve always wanted to do, and despite the fact that I hadn’t been in a pool or on a bike in over a year, I immediately signed up. Pretty much right after doing so, I had a bit of a panic attack — a triathlon one day and a five mile race the next, on top of the fact that we had planned a surprise party (at my house!) for my sister-in-law’s boyfriend and I had a few other things on my to-do list!? I knew it was a lot, but after I paid good money I wasn’t about to back out. I pretty much put it out of my mind until later in the week. On the days leading up to the race(s), I took a couple of back-to-back rest days and just tried to relax. Then, on Friday I realized that I had no idea where my goggles were and I didn’t know if my TYR swimsuit even would still fit, considering I purchased it when I was twenty pounds lighter. I went to pick up my packet for the tri, and realized that the little equipment shop at the gym didn’t sell goggles. Uh oh.

I woke up bright and early on Saturday on a mission to get everything ready. I went to Wal Mart and found goggles, a swim cap and some fuel (energy jelly beans!), pulled out my old TYR suit (still fit, sort of) and packed my bag as best as I could.

photo 1 (6)

The triathlon, luckily, was a very short distance: 300 m swim, 8 mile bike (on the spin bike) and 2 mile run (on the treadmill) and the transitions would not be timed. I knew I would be able to finish everything, so I went into it just wanting to finish and have fun. When I signed up for the race, they asked me to estimate my swim time in order to set up heats. Since I hadn’t been in the pool for ages, I had no idea what to estimate, so I over-estimated — by a lot. That meant that everybody I knew was in a lower heat than me. I waited around for nearly two hours to get in the pool. Luckily, that meant I got to watch everybody else and got some good pointers.

Sarah rocking the 300 m swim.

Sarah rocking the 300 m swim.

One thing I noticed was that a lot of people went out very fast and ended up having to switch to breast stroke or back stroke to catch their breath. I knew I would have to do this eventually (breathing while swimming isn’t a strength), but I knew to rein it in a little at the start to not wear myself out too quickly. When it came time for my swim, I had just downed my energy jelly beans (those things are great!) and I was ready to go! I ended up swimming a lot faster than I expected with a finish time of 6:09! I was very happy with that time.

Next up was the bike. Since transitions weren’t timed, I should have taken a bit more time between skills. I was so amped up that I rushed up to the bike and hopped on immediately. I ended up finishing the bike in a decent time — 14:26, but when I got off the bike I had a side stitch. Again, I should have taken some time to breathe, but I was in a hurry to finish so I hopped right on the treadmill.

tri finish

I ended up running the two miles slightly slower than I had hoped, and ended with a total time of 40:53. I was very proud of this because I didn’t train at all, and this is my very first time attempting a three-sport race, or even doing three different sports in one workout! I definitely want to do this again. I’m hesitant to say that I’ll try a triathlon, because the gear needed is pricey, but I will definitely sign up for the indoor event again. It was very fun!

After the triathlon, I was busy, busy. Zach and I had to run some errands, I had a workshop to attend, and I had to do some straightening up since we were hosting a party that evening. Needless to say, I didn’t make through much of the party before heading to bed — I was so tired! Not to mention, I had  a five mile race the next day….

I woke up on Sunday not feeling so hot. So, I made waffles and vegged on the couch. I could see out my big front window that the weather was getting nicer and nicer, so I texted my friend Shannon to make sure she was still in for the race. She was, and though I thought of backing out, I pulled on some running clothes and headed out the door. The weather was perfect. It was like we were meant to run that day, because about an hour after we finished the rain started and then it turned to snow.

I won’t go into much detail about the race, just that Shannon and I both just treated it as a training race. We both ran with our music on low and talked the whole time, running just under an 11 minute mile pretty much the whole time. The course was great, and it was a change of pace from our usual long run courses, so that was helpful. We ended up finishing in just over 55 minutes, which was confusing to us because our GPS was telling us we were running under an 11 minute mile the whole time. Then, when we both looked at our devices after the race, they both said that we ran about 5 and a quarter miles. So I don’t know if our GPS devices were off or if the race course was long. At any rate, we finished and felt great. Plus, pizza!

5 mile run

 

I think all races should have pizza at the finish line!

So, I finished two races in two days and I lived to tell the tale. I’m glad I did it, but by Sunday night I had trouble keeping my eyes open.

Question of the Day:
Have you ever done a triathlon? Did you love it? 

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The Graduate

28 Jun

Well, it’s almost that time. I’m almost a full-fledged Crossfit member!

onramp

 

I’d like to do a full review of the On Ramp class, because I really think that people need to know what it’s like. I feel like there are two camps of people: One group who see “Crossfit” and think they aren’t ‘fit enough’ to do it, and another group who thinks the On Ramp class won’t be a good enough workout. Prior to signing up for the On Ramp classes, I wasn’t brand new to Crossfit, and there were several people in my class who were pretty new to working out in general. I feel like we all benefited from the On Ramp month equally, and that really was amazing to me.

Although I wanted to take the On Ramp class, I’ll admit that I was a tiny bit worried that I would be bored, or I wouldn’t get a great workout. I was definitely wrong on all fronts. The instruction on form was unparalleled in the class. I think the form on my Olympic lifts has improved about a million percent or something from going to the classes. The coaches are so focused on your form, and there was never a moment where they didn’t work with someone until they got it right. Coach Zack and Coach Katie were so good at explaining the form, and there was never a disconnect — even when we had Coach Jeremy or Coach Brad, they explained the form the exact same way, so you know that they are well trained. Their main goal is for you to do the lifts the right way and prevent injury. I have a very bad habit of using my lower back too much on my deadlifts, and every time I did that in class, the coaches were right there to correct it. Very, very helpful.

As for those who think they aren’t fit enough to do Crossfit, my favorite quote that one of the coaches said during On Ramp was, “You get in Crossfit shape by doing Crossfit.” — enough said.

If you’re thinking about doing Crossfit, and you think it’s something you would enjoy, I can’t recommend this On Ramp class enough. I don’t care what fitness level you are, you will never feel uncomfortable or new. The coaches and members are super friendly, and it never felt ‘clique-ish’ which is one thing I was worried about. If you do decide to try the On Ramp class (the next one starts Monday, July 8th), please mention that I sent you! The first week is free, and I’ll get a free t-shirt if I recommend someone! 🙂

At yesterday’s class, Coach Jeremy gave us the go ahead to attend a ‘real’ WOD this morning, so I jumped at the chance — Benchmark Friday!

Today’s WOD was Nancy:

Photo Jun 28, 6 38 13 AM

 

…and like a big kid Crossfitter, I got a photo on the Facebook page:

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It’s pretty fun seeing myself doing something like that! I used 35 lbs total — not even close to Rx, but I’m ok with it. Overhead Squats are no joke. I felt very shaky the whole time with the 35 lbs, but I was able to do the 15 unbroken each round, so I think I picked an appropriate weight. I finished the WOD in 17:21, which is about 3.5 minutes per round. Not bad — definite room for improvement, but a solid attempt at a first Nancy.

Photo Jun 28, 6 38 16 AM

 

One thing I love about Crossfit is, even though everyone puts their times on the board at every WOD, it never feels like you’re competing with anyone but yourself. Trying to out-do that last time or setting yourself up for something you know that will challenge you is the main goal, and there is never any question. I never worry about being the slowest one, or using the lightest weight — I just focus on proper form and working as hard as I can. I totally get it now, I get why people are so Crossfit-obsessed!

Ok, while I was re-reading this post to edit it, I realize I sound like a Crossfit cheerleader, but I want to assure you that I’m not being paid to do this or anything. I really just enjoy the program that much!! ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I know I haven’t posted in a while, so I just wanted to mention that I ran in the WV 5k Championship this past Saturday and share one of the official photos from the race:

Photo courtesy of Mark Webb Photography (I was given permission to share this photo)

Photo courtesy of Mark Webb Photography (I was given permission to share this photo)

I was so disappointed in my official race photos last year, but this one more than makes up for it. Love it! More importantly, despite the heat and humidity that day, I was able to eek out a PR of 27:13! That’s a 33 second PR, if you’re counting (and I am!)

Unfortunately since the race, I haven’t logged much mileage. I’m about to eat my words and cancel my gym membership to focus on Crossfit, so I’m not going to have access to a treadmill for a while in this heat and humidity, so it all depends on how often I’m able to get out there.

Question of the Day:
Would you ever give up your gym membership? 

I Got it Right

2 Apr

Yesterday I was complaining about not being able to balance my morning responsibilities with a new puppy, but today I got it right.

But let’s back up for a second. After work yesterday, Zach and I had to go to the Sprint store to finally get me off of the family plan with my family and on to our own family plan. It’s about time! It seems like every time I step foot into the cell phone store, I’m there for at least 45 minutes and yesterday was no exception, so by the time we got home it was already after 6. I really wanted to get a run in, and I knew we had to have dinner soon, so I dashed off to the gym. Because I didn’t have a ton of time, and I knew I wanted to get those miles in, I decided to run as fast as I could:

fastest yet

…and I ended up running the fastest 5k I’ve done since my injury in November! I was pretty proud of myself.

So, still on a bit of a running high this morning, I was planning on getting up early and hitting the gym again. However, the puppy was not having it. When I got up to put on my running clothes, he was whining away and I felt bad leaving him with a still sleeping Zach, so instead we got up, played and ate breakfast.

Then we napped:

nap time

Well, they napped. I drank coffee and watched the news. I had to capture the above photo, because it’s pretty huge that those two were napping so near each other.  Tuscany is not a fan of the new puppy.

After the morning nap, it was play time again, so I dumped him into bed with Zach with some toys while I showered, and then after I got dressed I took him outside and then alternated playing with him in the living room and cooking breakfast. It was actually pretty funny, and I think I got a morning workout in anyway, as I was dashing from the stove to the living room to play tug-of-war with Frank.

I’m pretty proud of my desk breakfast today:

quesadilla

…a scrambled egg quesadilla! I basically just scrambled two eggs, and then filled a low-carb tortilla with the eggs and some cheddar cheese and grilled the whole thing. The cheese allowed the egg and tortilla to stick together, so I had a totally portable and dippable (into salsa) breakfast! Yum!

In short, having a puppy is hard work. I’m sure once he’s a little older and more independent, I’ll be able to get back into morning workouts, but for now I think I’m just going to have to skip them. It’s just not fair for me to ask Zach to get up at 5:30 when that’s just not his thing. He’s happy to watch the pup in the evenings while I hit the gym, so for now that’ll have to do! This is good practice for when (if) I’m a mom!

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In other news!

logo_girlsontherun

I attended a benefit on Saturday that I just had to talk a bit about. There is a group of ladies trying to bring Girls on the Run to the Cabell County/Wayne County area. In case you don’t know, Girls on the Run is a program for school aged girls (3rd – 5th grade) to learn self-confidence, teamwork and to believe in themselves. From the GotR website:

One girl put it this way, “I learned that I am the boss of my brain.” Helping girls take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms. You can also think of it as Can University—a place where girls learn that they can. No limits. No constraints. Only opportunities to be remarkable.

How do we do it? 

Lots of ways, but we start with helping the girls get a better understanding of who they are and what’s important to them. Then we look at the role of teams and healthy relationships. And, finally, we explore how girls can positively connect with and shape the world.

And remember, we believe that life-changing experiences can be fun too—for everyone—the girls, coaches, families and other volunteers. So don’t be surprised when you hear laughter along with self-reflection and see beaming smiles across the beautiful, confident faces of our girls.

I’m super excited about this! As the coordinator said, this program is less about running and more about learning self-confidence and awareness, and basically that girls can do anything! The girls work as a team to train for and complete a 5k race. Again, from the website:

Meeting twice a week in small teams of 8-15 girls, we teach life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games. The 24-lesson curriculum is taught by certified Girls on the Run® coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large.

I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to coach a team once it is a reality, but first we need to get the chapter up and running. It’s a very time consuming and costly process, so the steering committee is organizing quite a few fundraisers in order to get the program off the ground. On Saturday, I was lucky enough to attend a fundraiser at Brown Dog Yoga, which is located in Heritage Station in Huntington.

cropped-brown_dog_yoga_small

Despite the fact that my next-door neighbor is an instructor there, this was my first visit to Brown Dog Yoga. The studio is beautiful! The waiting room is bright and cheery, with lots of hooks for your things and cubby holes for your shoes, and the studio itself is so welcoming with its wood floors and amazing exposed brick wall. The cost was $30 per person for an hour long session with the chance to win some pretty cool door prizes that were donated by local businesses.

I haven’t done any yoga at all for a while (bad Kristy!), so I was looking forward to a good stretch after a rough Crossfit session that morning. I wasn’t quite prepared for what I got! The instructor, Katrina, started the class by powering up the heaters on the ceiling and it instantly got quite warm in the studio. Then Katrina led us through a rigorous vinyasa flow that challenged me quite a bit. I even had to take a few rests in child pose because I was so sweaty and breathing hard. It was a great workout! I didn’t end up winning any door prizes, but there was a little bit of food for us afterwards (including the best orange I’ve ever eaten — seriously!), and I left with the satisfaction of a good yoga session and knowing I’d supported a great cause.

If you are a Huntington local, I strongly suggest you visit Brown Dog Yoga! I was quite impressed.

Question of the Day:
Tell me about your morning routine