It’s a Lifestyle

My mom thinks I am pretty crazy for my daily training regimen. I always tell her “it’s a lifestyle.” It has become a joke between the two of us. As I take my 2 weeks off, it is now more than ever that I realize how much it is a part of my daily routine. I have come home from work at 2:45 every day with nothing to do. It has been weird, almost as if I am doing something wrong.

Over the past two weeks I have managed to meet up with friends for dinner and have eaten Thai, Mexican/Spanish (more than once), and Lebanese food. I’ve been to numerous happy hours, brunches, did a Halloween bar crawl, attended a wedding, and went on an easy bike ride on the C & O Canal with Marc.   I’ve indulged a bit more than I usually do. I’ve reorganized my closet, updated my blog a few times, done some wedding planning, and cooked an awesome dinner in my crock-pot (which I have never used).

I realized that I LOVE filling my time with triathlon training, and without it I am lost and without direction. Being the Type A person I am, I always need something to do and a new goal to reach; I just can’t sit still!!  As fun as it is eating out multiple times a week and having more than one beer or glass of wine, I couldn’t maintain that lifestyle, I would be overweight and poor! I would rather fill my time with training to reach my triathlon goals. I am SO excited to get back to what I am used to, and can’t wait to train and work hard this season. The break was very necessary, and I am ready to return to the lifestyle that feels normal to me!

Celebrating the end of the season with the Super  Athletes. We ate A LOT of Chinese food!

Celebrating the end of the season with the Super Athletes. We ate A LOT of Chinese food!

Marc and I at a wedding!

Marc and I at a wedding!

Mountain biking with Marc. I just can't stay away from bikes!

Mountain biking with Marc. I just can’t stay away from bikes!

Extended Happy Hour with the Super Athletes!

Extended Happy Hour with the Super Athletes!

More pics from the bar crawl

More pics from the bar crawl (she is not really smoking!)

wedding photo booth

wedding photo booth

Marc and I celebrating Halloween!

Marc and I celebrating Halloween!

Halloween bar crawl!!

Halloween bar crawl!!

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End of the Season Wrap Up

Last Sunday  I completed my 9th and final triathlon of the season! On my hour drive home, I reflected on this season, and it has been an awesome journey! I competed in 8 Olympic/International distance races, and ended the season with a sprint. I have raced all over parts of Maryland and Virginia. Being from this area my whole life, I discovered some pretty cool cities! I had a blast racing at Savageman and Maritime with the Super Athletes (Sandra, Alberto, Guillermo, and Annette).  I had so much fun racing with Sarah at Nations, where we exited the water at the exact same time, and yelled at people on the crowded bike course to move out of our way! I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in the 2013 World Maccabiah Games in Israel!

I managed to podium overall in 4 races, win my age group in 4 races, and get 2nd in my age group in 1 race. I am SO pumped about my results! I worked incredibly hard this season and made some sacrifices. I woke up many mornings between 4:00-5:00 a.m. to train before work, teach an entire day and train again in the afternoon. It was never a chore, but it was fun and motivating to be training with goals in mind. The mornings I didn’t workout, I felt more sluggish than when I did! I know it is SOOO cliche to say, but hard work does pay off!!!

I had a blast training with new and old friends!  I am incredibly excited to see what next season will bring! I am extremely thankful for the sponsorship of District Hardware- The Bike Shop. They have provided me with a kick ass bike, helmet and have been so quick with my repairs and tune-ups.  You guys are the BEST!

Thanks to amazing coach Debi, your training has been really spot on, and your advice has been so valuable!  Your success in the sport of triathlon is really motivating to me!

Last but not least, a huge shout out to my fiance Marc! He has put up with my early morning alarms, my bike on the the trainer in the middle of our 1 bedroom apartment, and my equipment taking up most of our storage closet. No joke, my stuff is everywhere! I couldn’t have done it without your continuous support! Right now I’m taking 2 whole weeks off, and after week 1, I am pretty antsy to start training again, but I know my body just needs to rest. I can’t wait to train hard in the off season, and set new goals for myself in this awesome sport!

After Savageman!

After Savageman!

Team USA!

Team USA!

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Training ride in the Golan Heights after my race!

My first ever win at the Waterman's Sprint!

My first ever win at the Waterman’s Sprint!

Awesome training ride in Israel! We rode on the shoulder of the highway!

Getting a tune up at District Hardware- The Bike Shop after Nations Tri and a week before Savageman

Getting a tune up at District Hardware- The Bike Shop after Nations Tri and a week before Savagemant!

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Got a pretty wicked sun burn at Rockhall!

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Finishing strong at Rev3 Williamsburg

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Before Savageman! It was SO cold that morning!

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Had a blast racing with Sarah! We were in the 31st swim wave!

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Eating pie with Alysia 25 miles into our 75 mike farm ride!

Last race of the season and my first win!

My first ever win at the Waterman's Sprint!

My first ever win at the Waterman’s Sprint!

On Sunday I raced my 9th and final triathlon of the season! I hadn’t done sprint all year and thought it would be a fun way to end the season! Although I was training,  I waited until the week before the race to sign up because I was monitoring the weather. When I registered on Wednesday, the forecast for Sunday was perfect! It changed by the next day, and it looked like it was going to be a rainy race!

I woke up at 6:30, but waited until right before I left to have my pre-race breakfast of apple sauce and protein powder! If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it! When I stepped outside it was raining pretty hard, I kept telling myself that it would stop and that I was traveling about 55 miles away, hopefully the weather would be different in Indian Head.

I arrived nice and early and had more than enough time to set up my transition area, and chat with others racked near me.  I wrapped my biking and running shoes in trash bags, put on my wetsuit and headed down to the water. It was raining,  I was SO cold that my lips were purple. I went to the ladies room and warmed my hands up under the hand drier for about 10 minutes.

The rain stopped about 5 minutes before the race started. As the race director was describing the course, one of the turn buoys got unhooked and was blowing away! I was in the second wave, at 10:04, and jumped in the water right after the first wave went off.The race director announced in the morning that the water was 68 degrees, but it felt SO much colder than that! Right before the swim, I was treading water talking to my friend Jenna, and she said “you are going to win this race.” I said “nahh, I’ve never won a race before.”

The gun went off, and before I knew it I was at the first buoy. The swim was pretty awful! It was choppy, cold and there was a pretty decent current. It went by so quickly because I am used to racing 1500 meters. My swim time was one of the worst, but considering the conditions, I am fine with it! My swim times have been inconsistent this season, and my faster times have been when I am not wearing a wetsuit… strange! I thought they were supposed to make you faster!

Swim time: 15:06

The run to the transition area was longer than most races. I quickly threw on my shoes and helmet, and I was off! I passed a few women at the beginning of the bike. It was 16 miles, and I worked hard and pushed it the entire time.  There were some hills, but for every hill you climb, you have to come back down! I had to be more cautious on the down hills  because there was a lot of debris on the roads from the 5 days worth of nasty weather.  One of my biggest fears in this sport is falling on the bike and breaking a bone or getting a concussion. As I was biking into transition there was another girl right next to me.  As we came into the transition area it was announced that we were the 2nd and 3rd females.

Bike time: 49:28 (19.4 mph) I’m happy.. it was a hilly course! 🙂

She ended up beating me out of transition! Within the first 1/2 mile I caught that girl! I was really happy! I felt awesome on the run! All of my brick workouts have made me stronger runner this season. About a half mile later I caught the next girl.  I was screaming with excitement on the inside! Although I was in the lead, there were other swim waves that started after mine, so it was a race against the clock. I have been beaten out before by women in later swim waves.

I felt really smooth and strong on the run. It was 2 loops and there was an evil hill I had to run up twice. Before the race I thought it would be pretty awesome if I could break 20 mins. I kept my focus and was passing men, some who cheered me on, and others were probably pissed they were getting chicked. I love passing men on the bike and run, some will try to speed up and catch me, and then I will really turn it up and notch and drop them. Not always, but its pretty sweet when I do!

The run went by SO quickly, because I am so used to the 10k distance.  I had to run over a wooden bridge at the end, and it was really slippery so I had to be carefully. I wasn’t completely dead at the end, which means I probably could have gone even faster, but ohhh well! I was the first female to cross the finish line! I knew I would have to be patient and wait for the results to be posted, because there were women in other swim waves.

Run time: 21:03

Overall time: 1:29:44

I made some friends near the picnic area because we finished the race around the same time. They were serving BBQ ribs and pulled pork sandwiches, which really grossed me out after a race! Setup events had a tv screen with the results scrolling. I anxiously waited, and saw that I actually won the race!!! It was my first win!!!!! I was beyond excited to end my season on such a positive note! I called Marc and my parents right away to tell them the good news!

THANK YOU District Hardware- The Bike Shop for your continuous support this season!! I am so thankful for your sponsorship, its been so much fun riding on my Quintana Roo bike, and racing with my Lazer helmet!

I’m now taking a 2 week break from training, and will probably go crazy in another few days! Since I have more time on my hands, look out for another post soon summarizing my season. I am going to spend the next 2 weeks relaxing, meeting up with as many friends as possible and filling my calendar with fun activities! If you know me well, I can’t sit still!  I will also enjoy a glass or two of wine, knowing that I don’t have to train the next day with a headache!