Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Marathon Training Plan

Technically, Mike and I have started marathon training this week since we are 18 weeks away from our marathon!! 


So far away, yet really so not

However, since we are in the last week of triathlon training, real marathon training has been put on hold until next week.  Unfortunately that is the reason we are only doing one triathlon this year, don't worry we'll make up for that next year though!

When developing our marathon training plan we decided to use Hal Higdon's Marathon Novice 2 training plan as a guide.  Since we have some races during the summer and we prefer our long runs on Sundays, rather than Saturdays, some re-arranging took place.  Unlike with our triathlon training plan, I kept all of the distances the same because we have never trained for a marathon before.  If we feel like it wasn't enough or it was too much, we can play around with our plan next time!

Also, none of the workouts specify the type of workout (except for the days that are supposed to be run at race pace) but we will add some speed work and hill work to keep things fresh. 

I also added an extra optional day of cross training since we are used to that with our triathlon training.  I truly believe that swimming and biking has helped us keep injuries at bay and gives us a way to work other muscles.  Additionally, since next year is going to be triathlon-heavy we don't want to lose our swimming and biking fitness over the summer/fall. 

Are you curious about what we will be up to the next four months?  You will probably have to click on the photos to see them better. 





So there you have it!  That's the plan, it will of course be modified a little bit here and there as needed.  Luckily for me I don't work in June and August (although I do have to work a few days in August to make up for our trip to Chicago) so I will at least be able to relax.  Hopefully Mike can relax a little bit too!

Anyone else starting marathon training soon?  If so, what marathon are you training for?

Monday, May 28, 2012

What Do You Need?

On Saturday Mike and I volunteered at a race for the first time!

 VIP pass right there!

We are all set to volunteer for the Rochester Marathon in September (one week before our own marathon), but when Mike noticed that the Sehgahunda Marathon was in need of volunteers he asked if we could do it.  I was hesitant at first because we had a 20 mile ride scheduled (we ended up switching our 20 and 15 mile rides) and I had to work from 4pm to 6pm.  I went ahead and asked what time they needed volunteers and before we knew it we were assigned volunteer duties!

Mike and I were scheduled to work Checkpoint 4 with two other volunteers, another couple who just started running about a year ago too!

 Our post for the day

 See that yellow line?  That's the elevation profile for the race!

It is important to note that this isn't a typical marathon, it is run entirely on trails!  Each checkpoint was vital because it provided the runners an opportunity to grab whatever they needed, as well as, provide the volunteers/medics an opportunity to check the runners.  I'm not entirely sure what the temperature was on Saturday but it was in the 80s and there was barely any wind!

When Mike and I got there, Karen and Rick (the other two volunteers) were already there.  Shortly after Mark, from YellowJacket Racing or Fleet Feet Sports (not sure which), arrived to explain our duties.  Our first runner's estimated arrival time wasn't until 9:45am so we had plenty of time to get ready.

 Mike is ready to volunteer!

I loved Checkpoint 4!

We got to work preparing the water, Gatorade and various food items.  Since this race felt like an Ultra to the runners we had energy gels, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, pretzels, flat soda, Red Bull, watermelon, oranges and cookies.  Mike did a great job cutting all of the fruit!

 Make sure to cut those oranges in eighths!

Just some of what we had!

Preparing for the runners

Since there were four of us, Karen and I took care of the runners and Mike and Rick checked each runner's number off as they approached the checkpoint (Rick also took care of calling Mark when a runner was down on the trails and cut some fruit when we started to run out).  The runners didn't have to stop at the checkpoint but the majority of them did since we were at mile 17.7!

 The calm before the storm

At 10:23am the first runner arrived!  For about half an hour the runners slowly trickled in, but after that it was a madhouse!

 Mike and Rick waiting for the runners

The first female runner!

Karen and I asked each runner that came in, "what do you need?" and tried to make it very clear what we had available to them.  Most of the runners looked extremely tired, but some seemed like they hadn't even been running!

 Handing a runner his water bottle

During the mad rush, I was able to meet Eric from Roc the Run!  He was there supporting his #TrailsRoc crew, who did a great job, with his wife, Sheila, and dog, Picasso.  It was great to finally meet another Rochester running blogger!

For the next few hours, Karen and I filled water bottles with water, Gatorade or a combination of both.  We got runners band aids, ice, salt tablets and took their chips away when they decided to DNF (did not finish).  Fortunately, we didn't have to force anyone to DNF (well, not because of their physical/mental state)!  We also answered any questions that they had, including the obvious ones, about what mile they were at in the marathon, how many more miles they had until the next checkpoint, what time it was and what the cutoff time was for our checkpoint.

 Some of the answers

As the time for our cutoff, 1:13pm, approached we only had about 11 runners still out on the trails.  A few JUST made it in time, but there were two runners who didn't make the cutoff.  We were all dreading this part, but luckily Mark was there and he told the runners that they couldn't continue.  We also had two runners unaccounted for (even though Mike may have checked off the wrong runner one time) so Mark had to try to locate them, hopefully they just got through our checkpoint without being checked off!

When it was all over, we both knew that we want to volunteer for this race again!  The runners were so appreciative of our support and I feel like they appreciated it more than runners in road races.  I think the personal attention that we gave to each runner felt more worthwhile, but I am still looking forward to volunteering at the Rochester Marathon!

Now, would we run this race?  Mike doesn't think he wants to ever, but I'm not going to rule it out just yet.  It was a tough day out there for the runners and trails aren't everyone's favorite thing, but the camaraderie out there just couldn't be beat!

 Would you brave the trails for 26.2 miles?

It was great giving back to the running community, especially since Mike and I run in so many races with great volunteers.  We are definitely going to volunteer for at least one race a year from now on!

Have you volunteered at a race this year?  If not, you should!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Keuka Lake Tri Training Week 11

After last week's great week, this week was a bit of a downer for me.  It was probably my worst week of training, except maybe when we were sick, and I felt slightly disappointed/frustrated after most of my workouts.  Mike did great, but I struggled quite a bit!

However, it was also our highest mileage week, with about 55-56 miles total.  That's quite a bit of miles!  I know that the reason for some of my disappointing workouts is because of the fact that my body is tired.  I'm looking forward to our taper/cutback week next week in preparation for the triathlon!  It is in exactly ONE week!!


Off day!


We had a scheduled 6 miles on our training plan and since it was extremely humid we decided to head to the gym to use the treadmills.  I had a feeling that we were going to regret it, but I tried to ignore that feeling. 

Listening to Detroit Runner next time!

This run did not go very well.  Even though we brought water bottles and the treadmills had fans on them, I started to overheat immediately!  At 3 miles I had to stop and walk for about .1 miles to try to cool off.  We decided that we would only do 5 miles and I finished it in about 47 minutes (9:25 pace). 

After that we hit the pool and did 1,000 yards.  We did a 50 yard warm-up and then swam 900 yards consecutively.  I did it in 12:53 and felt pretty good even though I was tired/sore from the run.  We did another 50 yards as a cool-down.  


We switched our bike workouts this week and did our 20 miler in the middle of the week.  Mike made a great route that was 95% flat!  I felt AMAZING in the beginning and hit sub 4 minute pace the majority of the time.  At an hour I had gone about 15 miles, but then I slowed down a little bit in the end.  The wind got to me and I was starting to get tired.  I did 20.19 miles in 1:23 (14.5 mph).  Not too bad!


We were going to do our 15 mile ride on Thursday, but we were both pretty tired so we just did our swim workout.  We had another consecutive 900 yard swim (plus another 100 yards for our warm-up and cool-down) and I did it in 12:29 this time!


I had to work until 5pm on Friday, but it was still really hot when I got home.  We waited about an hour and then headed out to Webster North Ponds Park to do a tempo run.  As soon as we started I knew that I wouldn't be able to do the tempo workout and I decided to just get in the miles.  Mike did AMAZING and was able to hit some great tempo paces and completed the entire workout. 

About 3 miles into the run, my stomach started to feel off.  I tried to ignore it and just continued on my way.  North Ponds Park has a 1 mile loop that we run around and at about .6 miles I had to stop and walk.  I couldn't continue because my stomach was not cooperating.  Unfortunately, I had to walk .4 miles to the bathroom!  

I think that the heat got to me!  I did 3.62 miles in about 35 minutes (9:43 pace).  


We woke up at 5:50am to get our 15 mile ride in because we had a busy day ahead of us!  Mike mapped out a route near our house and I just felt off the entire time.  I did alright in the beginning but slowed to above 5 minute pace the last two miles.  My watch died at 14.92 miles, so my time for the 15 miles was probably around 1:07 (13.4 mph).  

When we got home, we quickly showered and changed.  We volunteered at the Sehgahunda Marathon in Letchworth State Park from 9am to 1:30pm!  It was so much fun and I am going to write a separate post about the experience!  

 I love volunteering!

After that, we headed home quickly because I had to work at 4pm.  I was interpreting for one of the graduation ceremonies at the college I work at, it was so much fun!  It was a bittersweet moment though because so many of the wonderful students that I have loved interpreting for over the past 4-5 (some even 6) years all graduated.  Luckily for me I was interpreting at the stage in the front so I was able to see them all right before they crossed the stage!

I was EXHAUSTED when I got home, so we actually went to bed at 9:45pm and didn't wake up until 7am.  What a wild life we lead!


We had a 10 mile run on our schedule today and I was a little nervous about how it was going to go.  I tried to stay positive but with all the less than stellar workouts lately, it was hard to do!

We headed out to Sodus Point (about a 45 minute drive from our house) to run around the lake/town there.  There are two lighthouses there and we ran by both of them!  

 Sodus Bay Lighthouse

Sodus Outer

Unfortunately, the heat (and my mind) got to me and I had to walk up two hills and stop twice to cool off and take a breather.  I felt bad for making Mike stop, but I didn't think I could keep running.  The first time we stopped, I almost made us turn around (at about 4.5 miles), but we continued on.  

I'm glad that we finished the run, but it was TOUGH!  We both had our handhelds with Nuun in them and I was trying to drink every mile.  By the end, it was too warm to drink out of and Mike actually dumped his out while running.  

I finished the 10 miles in 1:47 (10:41 pace).  Not horrible, but definitely not my best!

We all have bad weeks, and since the majority of this training cycle has gone well I am not too worried.  Next week is going to be better!

How was your training this week?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Need to Stop Researching Races

Have you taken a look at our race schedule?  It's pretty full wouldn't you say?  We only have November and December to play with but we already, for the most part, know which races we are going to do. 

That's why I have to STOP researching races, but I can't help myself.

The other day, I was browsing Facebook and I happened to see this AMAZING triathlon!


The Great Lakes 100 Mile Triathlon looks like the perfect warm-up to an Ironman!  Although, if Mike and I do the Ironman that we want to do (Lake Placid is now our back-up and Louisville is the front-runner), we would have to do this race in 2013 instead of 2014.  The best part about this race, in our opinion anyway, is that you get to run right by Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse.  This was the first lighthouse Bernie saw and where we gave him the name "Bernie the Lighthouse Dog".  

 Aww he was so little

I doubt that many people plan that far ahead, but for an Ironman I feel that it is necessary to have somewhat of a plan in place early.  It would be possible for us to do an Ironman next year but I would like to complete a few more triathlons first, including our first half-iron distance tri. 

So, hypothetically, what could part of our 2013/2014 calendar look like?

First Olympic Tri - Mighty Montauk, June 2013 (I may or may not have planted the seed in Jenny's head that she is doing this with us!)  Oh and look at that, we'd ride by the Montauk Point Lighthouse. 

 One of the MANY lighthouses we've seen

First Half-Iron distance Tri - Musselman Triathlon, July 2013 

First 100 Mile Tri - Great Lakes 100 Mile Triathlon, October 2013

Second (or third) Marathon - Mount Desert Island Marathon, October 2013 (see why I want to run this race, here)

First Ironman (yes I said first) - Ironman Louisville, August 2014 (I've already coerced Leah into being our supporter)  

Of course, this could all change and there will be PLENTY more races in addition to these.  However, our 2014 race season will probably be lighter than any other because we will be training so much.   

Do you (like Mike probably does) think I am crazy for planning this far ahead? 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mocha Milkshake

Sorry for writing this post late, we actually made this on Sunday!

Mike and I have been meaning to use up the rest of the CLICK espresso protein drink powder that we have because honestly, we don't really like it!  If it didn't have an almost unbearable aftertaste it would be great, but we can't get past the taste of the artificial sweetener.  I guess we need to find a new protein powder!

I came across this recipe and knew that it would be the perfect way to use up some of the powder!  We didn't feel like going to the grocery store so we improvised and used what we had at the house.  The recipe below was enough for two medium-sized portions.  

Mocha Milkshake

2 packets of Rich Milk Chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast
3/4 cup 2% milk
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 1/2 scoops of CLICK espresso protein drink mix (I'm assuming this is about 2 or 3 tablespoons)
1 1/2 cups of ice

Now don't worry if you don't have Carnation Instant Breakfast or CLICK, because the original recipe called for hot chocolate mix and instant coffee granules instead.  If you wanted it to be a little bit healthier, I'm sure this would taste great without the ice cream too.  You might just need to use some more ice cubes.

We combined all of the ingredients in our blender and blended until smooth.

 Kind of cool looking

All ready!

Our new finishers cups from the duathlon were perfect for this treat!

 My new cup!

Perfect for a milkshake

We both LOVED this!  It actually covered up the aftertaste from the CLICK protein drink powder extremely well.  Mike said that he could taste it a little bit, but it was not as strong as usual because of all the other ingredients.  We both love mocha flavored drinks so this hit the spot!

Do you like mocha drinks?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Keuka Lake Tri Training Week 10

We had a great week and it's so weird to say that we only have TWO more weeks of tri training!  This week will be the last hard week we have and then it is all downhill from there, until marathon training starts that is (immediately following our triathlon).   


Off day!


We were supposed to run 6 miles and swim 900 yards, but I didn't feel like running!  We switched our run with our ride for the week and headed back to where I work. 

Mike mapped out a 15 mile ride on pretty hilly roads!  While we were riding up one of the hills, I think the worst one, other cyclists were riding down the hill.  I'm sure they were jealous of us!  Even though this ride was pretty hilly it ended up being my fastest ride yet!  I ended up doing 15.05 miles in about an hour and two minutes, which is 14.5 mph pace. 

Sick of this photo yet?

Immediately after our ride we headed to the pool to get in 900 yards.  In less than 20 minutes we did a 250 yard warm-up, 400 swim descending each 100 and a 250 cool-down.  


After work we hit the road to get 6 miles in and almost immediately I felt like my calves were extremely tight!  Since the area we live in has a lot of busy roads we ended up stopping a few times at stop lights and that didn't really help with the feeling in my calves either.  By the end of the run my hip/groin area was bothering me and I was so happy when my watch beeped at 6 miles.  Even though I was uncomfortable this entire run our pace was really good!  We hit 8:47, 8:57, 8:59, 8:51, 8:50 and 8:43 pace.  


We took an unplanned off day and scrapped a 3 mile run on our plan.  I think our bodies appreciated the extra rest!


Just a quick and easy swim in the pool to shake everything out before our first duathlon!  Another day of 900 yards with a 200 warm-up, 500 swim and 200 cool-down.  


The day we became duathletes!! We competed in the Spring Classic Formula 1 Duathlon and had a great time, you can read my recap here.  We logged our highest mileage day with 25 miles (20 - bike, 5 - run).  

Mike - 2:13:49, Me - 2:25:30


Another off day!  Since we always take Mondays off this was the first time, except for when we were sick, that we have taken more than one day off in a row in three months!  We deserved it, I think.  

How was your training this week?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spring Classic Duathlon Race Recap

Sorry this is going to be long!

When we registered for our duathlon, I felt like it was so far away that I wasn't even nervous about it.  It wasn't until Thursday and Friday that it hit me that Mike and I were going to actually become multi-sport athletes.  Sure we have been training for our triathlon over the past three months, but it doesn't feel real until you actually race in a multi-sport event.  At least in my opinion!

Our day started bright and early at 6am yesterday when we woke up to get ready for the Spring Classic Duathlon.  The race was started at 8:30am but the transition area opened at 7:15am and we wanted to get there as early as possible since we had never set up for transition before.

 Photo courtesy of YellowJacket Racing

We were a little bit confused about how to set up our bikes.  Most people had them hanging from the racks by the seat but a few had them hanging by the brake levers, we decided on the latter and hoped that it was fine.

 Mike's area

My area

We didn't have much else in our transition area, just a bright colored towel to put our stuff on, a water bottle, energy gels and our helmets.  We only wore one pair of shoes, our trail running shoes, so other than that there wasn't much else we would have needed anyway.

The transition area closed at 8:25am and the Formula 1 Duathlon started at 8:30am with the Super Sprint following shortly after at 8:35am.  Mike and I did the Formula 1 distance so we had a long day ahead of us!

Right before 8:30am we lined up at the start and waited for the announcer to get us started.  At the prompt of a really long "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" (seriously it went on forever), we were off!

 Photo courtesy of YellowJacket Racing

Run Leg 1 (2 miles): Jamie - 19:27, Mike - 16:50

 There's Mike in the back in the green shirt!

The first leg and the final leg of running were on the same course.  We had to run along the grass from the start and continue along a trail through the woods.  After running along a trail for awhile, we ran on the road for a few tenths of a mile, then continued through the trail and then onto the grass back to the transition area. At about .45 miles there was a water stop (where we would turn around during the second run leg) and we were able to run by it twice on the longer running legs.  I took water every time except for the first time I ran by it.   

I felt pretty good during this leg  but I tried to stay conservative because I still had 23 more miles left.  The hills were pretty steep but I ran this entire leg and I was in the middle/back of the pack.  I do know that some Super Sprint people had caught us at this point!

Transition 1: Jamie - 01:12, Mike - 00:45

In addition to having water on the run course, there was also water at the entrance/exit for the run in the transition area.  Right before getting on the bike, I took some water and dumped it over my head.  This ended up being a bad idea because I got some on my watch and then it was finicky during the transition.  I wasted some time getting my watch to change from running to biking.

 Mike during the transition

Bike Leg 1 (10 miles): Jamie - 44:31 , Mike - 39:14

As soon as you left the transition area and got to the mount line, you had to leave the park through the parking lot and up a hill to the main road.  Mike and I had already driven the course so we knew what to expect on the two bike legs.

Right at the first mile we both got a nice surprise because two of our Seneca7 teammates, Sarah and Mark, and Mark's parents were sitting on a picnic table waiting to cheer us on!  It was so nice to see them and it gave me the boost to keep going.

I definitely got passed a lot during the bike leg, but I tried not to let it discourage me.  The course was pretty hilly and I just focused on powering up the hills and taking advantage of the downhills.

I saw our cheering squad again around 9 miles on one of the last hills.  I think I heard Mark's dad saying, "she's still smiling!"

 I was smiling!
Photo courtesy of Sarah

Transition 2: Jamie - 01:03, Mike -00:56

As soon as I got off of my bike and started running it into the transition area, I slammed one of the pedals into the back of my left ankle.  I didn't even bother looking at it, but later we saw that I had bled and had bruises in two spots.

Since we don't have water bottle cages on our bikes yet, we do have them though, our plan was to hydrate during each transition.  The extra water on the run course helped too!

Run Leg 2 (1 mile): Jamie - 10:48 , Mike - 10:08

I was so happy that this leg was only 1 mile!   Not like I really wanted to get back on my bike that soon after running but I was still welcoming the brief run leg.  I hit the trails again and tried to run as fast as my legs could go.  Once I turned around at the water stop and got back to one of the hills, I had to stop and walk.  Lots of other people were too (at this point there were still people around me since the Super Sprint people were finishing up their final leg of the day).

Instead of running down into the finish like all of the Super Sprint people, I went down into the transition area again.  I saw Sarah and Mark, the last time I saw them, and took off down the hill.

 I almost went the wrong way
Photo courtesy of Sarah

Transition 3: Jamie - 01:04, Mike - 01:04

It was at this point that I took one of the energy gels that I had brought.  I only ate about half of it because it was boiling hot after sitting in the sun for an hour and a half or so.

 Heading out for the last bike, I didn't even realize Sarah was there
Photo courtesy of Sarah

There was only one other woman that I saw getting on her bike at this point and I just took off as fast as I could ahead of her.

I could work on my bike mounting skills
Photo courtesy of Sarah

 See ya after 10 miles!
Photo courtesy of Sarah

Bike Leg 2 (10 miles): Jamie - 45:23, Mike - 42:00

Well, my lead on the other woman didn't last very long and she passed me shortly after we left the mount/dismount area.  I had this feeling that I was in last place but I tried not to let that bother me.  The entire ride was completely alone, except for when I could still see the other biker ahead of me, but the volunteers did a great job cheering me on.

 Mike rocking it on the bike!
Photo courtesy of Sarah

I saw a family of geese down a side road around 6 miles of this leg.  The babies were so cute and fluffy and the parents were honking so much that it sounded like they were cheering for me!

One negative part of the final bike was that you could see runners along the road finishing up their final leg (this didn't happen the first time because the 1 mile run leg didn't go out to the road).  I had no idea how Mike was doing so I tried to see if I could see him, but I didn't.  I made the final turn on the bike back down into the transition area and I had 23 miles under my belt.  Only 2 more to go!

Transition 4: Jamie - 00:37, Mike - 00:54

I ran as fast as I could into the transition area, racked my bike and switched my watch mode while running to the run exit.  I didn't want to waste any more time!

Run Leg 3 (2 miles): Jamie - 21:24 , Mike - 21:58

As I ran across the grass and into the woods, other runners were heading back toward the finish.  I just focused on getting through as much as I could without walking since my legs were getting tired.  As I approached the water stop I saw Mike!  I did say to him that I was basically in last place and headed on my way.

As I went into the woods, I saw the woman that passed me on the bike!  I focused on pushing as hard as I could and as we headed out to the road, I passed her!  We cheered each other on and headed back into the woods.  As I passed the water stop one more time and got onto the grass, I had to stop and walk for the first time.  For about five minutes I alternated between running and walking a few steps.  I did look back to make sure the woman was far enough behind me and then walked up the worst hill.  Mike later said that he walked a ton the last run leg, which explains why my time was slightly faster than his.

As I ran across the grass and down toward the finish line, I heard the announcer say, "way to go with a strong finish, here comes Jamie".  I saw Mike on the side cheering me on and ran through the finish!  We were officially duathletes! 

So happy to see this at the end of the run!
Photo courtesy of Sarah

Finishing Times: Jamie - 2:25:30, Mike - 2:13:49

Out of 87 people who finished the Formula 1 distance (not including 6 people/teams who DNF), I came in 85th and Mike came in 78th.  In the end we realized that we probably should have done the Super Sprint because very few beginners did the Formula 1.  However, we finished and are stronger for doing it!

We also realized that we need new bikes, so many people passed both of us (and we didn't pass anyone) because of the advantage their equipment gave them.  The bikes we have now are great for starting out, but we will need to upgrade as we start to do endurance triathlons!

Finally a huge, huge, huge thank you to Sarah, Mark and Mark's parents for coming out and supporting us!  It really made a big difference and it made us feel so good to know we had people there for us.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lifelong Learner

As of last May, I had been in school for twenty-one years.  Eight of those years were spent at the collegiate level, where I earned my Associates, Bachelors and Masters degrees (for those new to my blog, I work at the college where I earned my degrees).

   So proud of that hood!

If that wasn't crazy enough, I wanted to get a second graduate degree and right up until the end of August I was registered for classes.   

I still remember the day that I told Mike that I wanted to take time off from taking classes and not pursue my Criminal Justice Masters degree.  We were running near our house and I told him that because of the time commitment to running (and eventual triathlon training) that I didn't think I wanted to continue with school.  Notice that I said wanted, not could. 

I definitely could have taken my classes and done well.  I planned our wedding, worked full-time and still managed to hold a 4.0 GPA while I earned my Masters degree, so I could have done it again.  However, I didn't want to do it.  My heart wasn't in it and I officially felt burnt-out. 

After twenty-one years of school, who wouldn't feel burnt-out? 

I am still technically a student in the Criminal Justice Masters program, however, I didn't take any classes this year and I most likely will not pursue this degree. (However, I will continue my status as a student just in case I change my mind in the three years I am allowed to not take classes). 

As a sign language interpreter, I am a lifelong learner.  I constantly learn new things in the classes that I interpret, but it isn't the same thing as taking my own classes.

That's why as of Tuesday I am now registered to take Sports Nutrition in the fall. 

Doesn't that sound like fun!?

Not only has this lifestyle that Mike and I have established for ourselves given me a means to a healthier life, it has given me the reason to take more classes!

If I enjoy this class, I am going to try to take all of the courses in the Exercise Science Certificate program at my college.  

I'm looking forward to getting back into the "classroom" (this is an online course so the classroom is my laptop) in the fall!

Any other lifelong learners out there? 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Great (Wetsuit) Debate

To wetsuit or not to wetsuit? That is the question.

Well, not really for us since we already know the answer to that question.

Our first triathlon is approximately 2 and a half weeks from now (eek!), which means that it will be the beginning of June in Western New York.  While we aren't the coldest state in the country, the water temperature of Keuka Lake is typically in the lower 60 degree Fahrenheit range at this time of year.

That lovely graph shows the comparison of the water temperature between 2010, 2011 and 2012.  According to the graph the water temperature on June 3, 2010 was 65 degrees and on June 3, 2011 it was 69 degrees.  Currently, the water temperature is 54 degrees. 

Most people would probably opt to wear a wetsuit!

Mike and I have decided, however, to go without wetsuits this year.  For two reasons: money and the swimming leg is short. 

If anyone ever tells you that doing this swim, bike, run thing is cheap, you can call them a liar.  I knew going into it that we were going to be spending a lot of money (and it is double for us because we both do it) and I figured not buying wetsuits this year would be one way to save some cash.  

We are both strong swimmers, and have done open water swimming before, so swimming approximately 810 yards (.46 miles) shouldn't be that much of a problem.  If the distance were any longer we would probably have coughed up the money for wetsuits, more for the warmth than the added buoyancy.  For now, our tri top and shorts (well, Mike still needs to decide if he is going to get a top or go without) will have to do!

Sorry I'm re-using this photo

Yesterday, I wore my tri outfit in the pool.  This happened after I had already worn it on our 20 mile ride on Sunday and our 15 mile ride immediately before swimming yesterday (without washing it in between), shh don't tell the pool police!

Now I am going to be honest, it isn't the worst thing I have swum (swam? I never know!) in and it isn't the best!  The shorts are fine but the top feels like it is falling off (only because I am not used to wearing something that is practically a shirt in the pool).  The bottom of the top was flowing around too much and it felt like it was slowing me down, but it was probably all in my head.

Now if I were wearing a wetsuit, this wouldn't be a problem since those suckers are tight!  However, I am going to have to deal with my tri top and shorts and make the best of the situation.

Don't think we are completely crazy, though! If the temperature of the water is below 60 degrees right before our race, we will rent wetsuits.  Not an ideal situation either but hopefully it won't come to that!

What would you do, wetsuit or no wetsuit?