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6 Weeks to Iron Girl: Feeling motivated

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Back to working out after taking Sunday and Monday off. I try out my new heart rate watch Jim, my fiance (I still can't get used to that!) bought me for my birthday. It's awesome. I love it!

Jim adjusts my bike seat for me to help with the knee pain and loss of feeling in my toes that I'm experiencing. I bike the hour and 35 minutes we're supposed to today. At first, I feel great. But then, about 8 miles in, I get sluggish and go really slow. This always happens in the exact same spot. There's not even a hill. I don't understand! I feel great on the second half of the ride. It still feels tough but definitely better than last week. My knees don't hurt as much, but I still lose feeling in my toes! It's so strange. I don't get it. I also rode without socks today to see how comfortable it is because if I can ride without socks, it's one less thing I have to put on on race day. My feet felt fine. I'm sure my shoes will smell foul, but that's what odor eaters and fabreeze are for.

After the bike, I wait about half an hour to do my run, which also feels surprisingly decent. It is so good to feel motivated again. I really needed the recovery week last week.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I have to be at work early, so I feel totally rushed during my workout. I get to the gym after 9. I run for 15 minutes on the treadmill, which feels like forever. Then I do some strength training. Actually I do a lot of strength training. I meet up with my friend Racquel and she shows me some new moves. They're are really tough. She is in so much better shape than I am and is intimidated by Iron Girl! I'm trying to recruit her for next year, but no luck so far.

After all that, I try to at least swim for a little bit. I only do 500 yards because I'm really short on time. My ankle is bothering me a bit. It's pretty stiff and hurts to stretch it too much (aka. when I'm kicking in swimming). At least I get a little bit of swimming in.

Thursday, June 30, 2011
I start my morning bright and early will Lisa Hill, one of the tri coaches at the YMCA. We do this type of circuit training in Green Lakes Park. We run up stairs, hills and across logs. We do push-ups and dips on benches and tree stumps. We do squats and other leg work on rocks. It's crazy intense, but it's good. I definitely feel like I'm getting a great workout! We do about three miles of running and circuit training in just over an hour! By the end, I've burned 650 calories and am totally wiped out.

But I don't want to forget my running group. So after working out with Lisa for an hour and a half, I go to Kevin's running group. Thankfully, this is the beginning of the new program and we just do a 30 minute easy, base run. Whew! I'm totally wiped out.

At work tonight, I'm able to get video at the Fleet Feet triathlon training group at Jamesville Beach. It kills me that I'm not able to be practicing with everyone else! But I watch and learn a few things while interviewing people for the next story in our series.

Saturday, July 2, 2011
I took yesterday off because I worked early, so I could drive back to Buffalo in the evening because I had to get up at 5am today for my mini Tri!

It's definitely hard to get up in the morning. But we make it to the triathlon in plenty of time. I'm extremely nervous because I don't want to make a fool out of myself and I'm worried about how hard it is going to be. Waiting seems like forever!

Finally my race starts. I'm in the lead after the swim! Running up to the transition area is a killer. It's uphill on sand in bare feet. It's really tough. I do well in the first transition, but there's a ton of sand on my feet and we weren't allowed water buckets, so I had to put my feet into my shoes with sand on them.

I run out of the transition and hop onto the bike. I am gasping for air plus trying to fuel up and I end up choking on the breakfast bar. That isn't fun. The swim took a lot more out of me than I thought because I really pushed myself and the cold water definitely got the best of me for a little bit. I feel the bike is so hard and long, even though it's half the distance of Iron Girl. The entire bike, I keep thinking, "What did I get myself into? Why did I sign up for Iron Girl?"

I finally make it back on the bike, and I can't find my shoes! I get lost in the transition! It takes me literally more than a full minute or more to find my stuff, which is really frustrating. But I finally get out to the run course. I feel decent on the run. I'm going slow, but not as slow as normal. My ankle starts hurting (the Physical Therapist says I have tendonitis in it) which makes the run more difficult. But I'm making it. Unfortunately, the run isn't well marked, so I nearly miss the turn for the last leg of the run. Luckily someone points it out for me. I see the finish line and run for it. In running races, I'm usually able to sprint the last leg, but I couldn't get the energy to pick up my speed. But I did it. I finished. I made it.

After I recovered a bit, I went to the results board and found out I came in 3rd out of 26 women and first in my age group!!! I can't believe it. I never thought I'd do that well. It definitely feels good and motivating to keep training.

I'm glad I did the Tri a Tri because it shows me what I need to work on. I need to try using gels for fuel instead of hard food, and I've got to find a better way to mark my shoes and bike. Plus using a water bottle to rinse off my feet could help too.

I'm exhausted and not feeling fantastic, so I just rest for the remainder of the day.

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