Ironman Timberman 70.3

“Courage conquer all things; it even gives strength to the body”

When I took on the challenge of finishing an Ironman half distance, I knew it will not going to be an easy challenge just because I know I have two babies and time is something I don’t have much of it, but I took on the challenge anyways. Things were going well until I was offer a job for the summer, which for me it was an awesome opportunity since I would like to go back to work in the near future and having this opportunity to easy myself in was just fantastic and could’t  say no to it.

So before work came into the table, I have set up the boys to go into camp, to allow me to train as much as the training plan was calling for but life happens so training didn’t really happened that much.

So the time has finally come and I have my mind set up on the finish line. The only way I was not finishing this was if I crash on the bike or pass out on the run (which didn’t happen). I no longer get nervous before a race because I no longer compete. I go in for me and to beat the Linette from yesterday. I want to enjoy every minute of every race and yes I want to try my best on getting a PR.

My day started at 3:30 am. I was pretty far from the race so I need to get up extra early. No sure what happen but I didn’t follow morning ritual (coffee, oatmeal, bananas and water) and I completely forgot about breakfast. I ate a banana and beet juice (not enough). Set up transition and waited for the start. Thank God for team mates that make me feel so confident and ready to take on the world.

The swim:

The swim was in the beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee. Fresh  clear water and beautiful view of the mountains. Wave were every 4 minutes and I was in wave 10. I was planing on staying on the outside but it seems like everyone had the same idea so I quickly got myself in the inside. I spend must of my time trying to get away from other swimmers and not getting kick or punch. By the time I had a good open stream I was almost at the finish. My time 0:35.58. When I got out and notice my time I was not upset because I was still trying to preserve my energy for the bike and the run but 35 minutes was not what I was expecting. I have done better in practice.

The Bike:

Well! not really what I expected. It was very hilly and I lost my water bottles by mile 7 ( I left one at home so riding with just one was a struggle to begin with) so I was not a happy camper. They had lots of aid stations where they provide Gatorade, gel and water which safe my life!. On mile 40 I quickly realized that I was complete exhausted and started to think ALL things I did wrong, such as not eating well that morning. Not checking on my bike nutrition while I was training. Not riding longer, not riding harder. All I kept hearing was “on your left” of people passing me by while going up yet another hill. I was disappointed and wanted to to quit so bad. I was able to see some of my teammates and cheer them back which gave me a bit of boost but not enough to go up yet another hill.  Around mile 52 it was yet another hill before going into transition and I wanted to cry! but there was no time for crying, so I put my big girl undies and kept pedaling into transition.  My time was 3:55:24

The Run:

What can I say?! after 56 miles of pure up hills I was actually looking forward to the run and to see familiar faces (husband and two great friends) I started the run confident that I would do much better but right after I turn the first corner .. there it was!… yet another hill. I just told myself  “do NOT walk” so I kept moving. The temperature was not a cool 65 degrees anymore but a 86 degrees and 80% humidity. So I hit pretty much every water station so I can pour the water on my head and keep myself cool. The good thing is that on the run is were you get to chat with people and hear their stories of why they are doing this, why are they putting their body through pure misery and then you realize how much you have in common with all this people. I did stop to use the portal potty and walk a bit on mile 10. Time 2:25:53.

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Last loop… 100 yard left to finish!
Although my goal was to finish I was pretty disappointed to see my splits and finish time. I wanted to do better but at the end of the day you can’t expect your body to do better if it is not train for. I can’t expect to pedal for 56 miles and fell great when I never did 56 miles on training so it all falls on me. I can see this as a great accomplishment or I can stay disappointed at my time and performance. I choose to see this as one the most awesome feeling I have. Finishing was an immense accomplishment and it is something that no one can take that from me.

So what now?

I will be doing another 70.3 distance, must likely Lake Placid in September 2017 to prepare myself for a full distance (140.6) in 2018. Why two years to a full? because by then both of my kids will be in school full time 🙂 Couple of marathon are also in the making. So it is not over yet. Hang tight and enjoy the ride.

 

“once cannot improve as an endurance athlete except by changing one’s relationship with perception of effort” Matt Fitzgerald.

 

Linette

Summer Recap… Triathlons

 

The summer has been really fun and excited. I am sorry I have been M.I.A but life got really busy and and I was unable to keep up. But let’s start with some races recap, shall we?!

 

Flat as a Pancake Triathlon (Sprint)- Staten Island, NY

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Best joy ever! My boys.

As I have mention in my preview post, Flat as a pancake is a very fun race, right on my backyard. It is a very popular race within the club so I knew I was not making podium BUT I was 5th on my age group which is great accomplishment. The course is really flat and since it is a spring tri, we were done by 10am.

After every triathlon, I complain about my wetsuit, how much it restrict my shoulders and how tired I get. I feel very heavy, which it is not normal for those that wear a wetsuit. Must  people wear a wetsuit to help them shed some time and float but I feel, that in my case it does not help me. Because It was still early in the year and I do not like the cold so I gave my  a go and swam with it. Same feeling and no really happy. Time 8:21

I have been working on my bike since it is my weakness of all three sports and my time improve considerably. Since I got my bike fit by the awesome people at ACME, I ride more often and do longer rides and I don’t have the hate relationship with my bike anymore. I am more comfortable and confident. Time: 40:46

I believe I have a good run. Running is the sport that I do more often and longer so when the run comes, I am confident that I can pass some of the awesome ladies that pass me on bike. Time: 22:59 a 7:35 m/m.

I don’t get to take my kids to any of the races because I usually go solo, because the husband is most likely working and I can’t watch them while I do all this, but for this race, they were by the finish and at that moment, I could care less about my place. I was so happy that they got to watch their mama in action. Total time 1:16

New York City Triathlon (Olympic)- NY

For this one, the weekend always goes very crazy. There was an advisory because of the heat and since last year was unmanageable, the organizers got pro-active and decided to cut the run from 6.2 miles to 5.1 miles. There was too much going on during this weekend so I slept the volunteer part to guarantee a spot for next year. I almost missed the mandatory bike drop off and by the time I went to be, it was past midnight.

3:00 am wake up call and as I always I was ready to go. Although this is not the race to try to swim without a wetsuit, I went without it. Great swim, felt super comfortable. Swim time 17:53

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Crossing the finish line!

The bike: Since I was riding longer and this was my third NYC triathlon, I knew the route and how much incline I have to clime. I was having a great time and legs felt pretty good. time: 1:34
The run: I think because I had my mind set up that the run was shorter, I just ran, comfortable and fast. It was very hot and humid so I stop for water and ice to ensure I was not having trouble later on and getting dehydrate. But I think 2015 was worse. hotter and more humid. 43.17

Total time 1:45.45

 

Staten Island Triathlon(Spring)- Staten Island, NY

Once again, this one is right on my back yard. I don’t have wake up at 3am and it is cheap enough. I need it something before Timberman and I thought this one was the perfect short race to get me pump for the big day. this course is very similar to the Pancake race, the bike course is actually the same so I knew what I was getting myself into it.

The swim- Short and sweet, getting out the water second overall and first of all the women. time: 8:20

The bike was flat and quick. I just kept hearing people passing me but it really didn’t bother me so I just kept going. Time: 40:58

The run was hot but my legs felt very good and I was determine to pass some of the ladies that pass me on the bike. time: 23:55

My time was better a bit better than the pancake and I definitely felt much better in this one. Total time was 1:15:48

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1st place on my age group!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a lot work to do to get ready for Timberman and I know time is not there but I have to make it work some how. Next post will be for Timberman recap. See you then 🙂

 

Till next one,

~Linette~

Brooklyn Half Marathon Recap

Brooklyn Half Marathon is one of my favorite race, it is early in the year but not too early. It is right before the summer so it gets me pump for what laid ahead. This race has a great route through Brooklyn. Prospect Park it is usually one the best site of the whole race and of course Coney Island (finish line) where everyone is usually waiting so there is plenty of expectant. It is well run and it is massive, the biggest half marathon in the country.

I often complain that I am never ready because I often compare myself with Olympian Linette from the year 2000. I often feel like the training is not consistent enough for me to do good but good enough to finish without dying. My mind is set to when I was 16 or 17 years old and I was able to train twice a day and nap in between, well at 33 and running and training for triathlon comes secondary, my boys come first. But it is still hard for me to get my mind set to “present” the day of the race.

This half marathon was no exception, I try to go into it with the mind set of “just have fun” “just finish”. I did a lot of “wrong” things before race day, such as only one long run 4 weeks before race day. Party the night before. Drink alcohol, well a beer the night before and I wear heals and went to be past midnight. Not really a typical things for me before race day. But when I started running, none of that really matter. I just couldn’t slow down the pace so when I got out the park at mile 7 or 8 I told myself to keep going and see if you can finish the same way you started. By mile 11 I couldn’t believe that I was still running strong and with no sign of slowing down. I am super competitive and when I saw my watch for the first time since mile 2 and notice that I could in fact PR, I couldn’t hold myself back… so I didn’t.

I have run this race 3 years in the row and I have always PR but I was super excited to find that I have indeed PR again but by 5 minutes, faster time EVER!!

The Next Day:  I have run a full marathon before and I have never felt this sore. My thighs were super sore, so much that I couldn’t squad. Took Sunday off but jump right into training that Monday with a nice 15 miles ride with some nasty hills. IMG_1935.JPG

I am looking forward to the next race and hopping to maintain the level of excitement and hopefully keeping the training going. Next race is Flat as a Pancake and it is the first triathlon of the season. This one is right on my home turf and I know I won’t make podium but it just a quick and fun race with a bunch of team mates.

 

“Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~Lolly Daskal~

 

 

 

 

Till next time,

 

~Linette~

 

Training while on vacation:

As a mommy of two little firecracker (boys) I am always on the move and since I spend about a year joggling their activities, school, household stuff and you know.. Mommy life and training pretty much on my own, it was time for a much deserved vacation without my boys. 

I usually go on vacation and I ALWAYS plan to incorporate some of the training. Usually run or swim if we go international and bike and run if we are in the states and vacation is driving distance such as Myrtle beach, SC. Because I’m lucky that my husband understand my craziness so I take my road bike.  

This time around we went to Mexico without the kids and when I was booking the first thing that call my attention about this resort was the state of the art gym. Good roads in the resort safe enough for me to run for few miles and a lap pool. Bingo!!

The resort offer spin classes, which make me love this place even more since I couldn’t take my bike to Mexico, spinning was a good alternative. They also offer yoga and Pilates classes. All those things that I do at home and would helps me keep training going and healthy. It also offer a great spa that I utilize everyday while there. 

I’m used to get up early so it was not hard for me to be up and moving by 6:30 local time or 7:30 NY time. I work out in the morning till about 11 then the spa and the rest of the day was to enjoy what the vacation has to offer. 

I was well rested every morning and the best thing was that I didn’t feel like I was missing out on training nor not enjoying my well deserve vacation. 

Everything is a balance and sometimes getting things done require discipline. I try not to make my vacation a training camp but since I need to turn up my training just a notch, and no harm was done. We still enjoyed our vacation and I got some training done so I was a happy camper. 

Prioritize what’s important. Till August my priority is my training. 

Cheers from Mexico, 

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Linette 🙂

Paleo, the 30 days challenge is over.

You have hear me talk about the paleo diet for a whole 30 days. On how the diet can be good and bad and a bit in between.

I believe we all want that athlete’s body that we see in magazines and billboards. Or our friends at the gym or fellows runners and triathletes. (new post on the “right” athletic body is coming up).

The reason I followed the diet was to try it on. Also because I want the “athlete’s body” and I felt like I work out enough to have a six pack (or that’s what I thought) but I don’t, I don’t have a six pack and my mid section looks sad. Although I have two small kids, still not a reason to use as an excuse. And also because it has a lot of benefits, healths benefits.

I thought that by adjusting my diet and putting some extra core work out, it would help my cause. But not just I tone up my belly, I also learn so much about what goes into my body and the advantages of getting whole organic and plant base foods. I have been transitioning to organic for a while now and you can feel the deference when training or even you are not a triathlete or an athlete and just want to be more healthy.

What I really like about the diet is all the vegetable in take. I fuel in grill or boil veggies, nuts and fruits. I was also very caution about my water intake because although paleo doesn’t really allow you to drink sports sink due to its high sugars, I still had it for all The electrolytes that I need on my long runs and long rides.

Sugar was definitely something I thought I really didn’t consume much but doing the diet show me otherwise. In the beginning of the 30 days I was having massive headaches and craving sugars and carbs. I no longer drink my coffee with sugar or any other drink. I try to get must of sugars from fruits and raw, unfiltered honey, which has been great. With the bread and carbs, well I will be making adjustments but I will be incorporating back to my diet.

Process food is another big factor of why our body won’t shape the way we would like and with paleo you will notice that there is zero process food and it all good, organic non process food.

Paleo diet will be a good starting point for those that are looking to lose some weight and keep it off because and get lean and strong. It help you eliminates so much of the bad stuff in our foods such as sugars and process food. A good exercise plan and paleo diet and I believe you will hit your goal BUT you have to stick to it for more than a month… I know it’s not easy, especially the first week or so but totally worthy. I did for 30 days and although I won’t be sticking to it 100%, I will be making lots of changes in my diet. Give it a try 🙂

Till next time.

Linette

Five borough tour recap.

When I sign up for the five borough tour, it was mustily to get some miles in since I have never ride my bike longer than 2 1/2 hour and because I thought it will pretty cool to ride around New York City where you usually are not allow, like the FDR , the Gowanus and Verrazano bridge. 

I don’t ride often enough like must triathletes or cyclist do. I ride because I have to and I have a love-hate relationship with it because I’m not fast and I struggle. 

My other issue with my bike is the “I am afraid to fall” mentality and that pulls me back of trying to get faster and since it was raining, the thought of falling was on my mind for the whole 40 miles.  My mentality when I am on the bike is just so different than when I am running or swimming, I will leave everything in the water or the pavement. I will give my very best, but on the bike, just not the case.

I’m one of those athlete that always check for the weather. I don’t like cold and who want to be cold and wet at the same time??! Not this girl. So I new weather was not going to be on my side. I even thought on backing out all together but my husband thought it pretty silly not to do it just because it was going to rain… He was not doing it so what does he care lol. So a bundle up and try to prepare myself for a miserable ride around this great city.   

The route didn’t disappoint me. It was a nice route around great places, IF it was nice sunny day! And way too many bridges four in total. I try to enjoy the ride while I try to put behind the fact that I was wet and very cold and hungry, very hungry.. I’m always hungry!. 

The last part of the route.. The Gowanus, was all elevation and more elevation to get to the Verrazano, which it felt like an infinity bridge. At that point you are 30+ miles in so your legs are tired.. At least mine were and did I mention I was wet and cold?!. 

The tour was one of those things that you have to do it at least once in your life. I wish the weather was better but I can’t change what it can’t be change. I remember one of my coach  from the triathlon club saying “you train in the rain to race in the rain”

Not sure if I will ever do it again though but happy I did it. Now I need to keep up getting my miles up. The goal is to be at 60 miles by the end of May and at least five miles run immediately right after the ride. 

70.3 is right around the corner and I know I am not ready, and I am afraid that if I don’t start being selfish with my time, I might go in really unprepared and probably unable to finish.

Till next time.

Linette

You are going to disappear!

I often get ask the question of why I exercise the way I do, why so much? Some people think it is too much or that I am looking to lose weight, may be I am too skinny for the amount of exercise that I do. The reality is that I have been in the weight since 2001 and I am one of this people that don’t gain much weigh but when I do is because I am pregnant :). I don’t gain weight very easy but I do lose weight quiet easy, which sometimes, it is not that great to be 5’6″ and 155 lb and looking sickly.FullSizeRender.jpg

The other day in the lockers room a women came up to me and say “why do you swim so much, you look great and you probably have not kids, you are going to disappear if you keep it up” My husband thinks it is a compliment but I don’t think the same way since it is not the first time people think I swim, bike and run because I want to lose weight.

I do it because I like to swim, bike and run. I do it because I feel good and I do because it is my gateway of stay sane in my insanity world of do it all.

I wonder if people will get offend if I tell them that they need to lose weight. That they are too fat and they better start swimming, biking or running… What do you think?

For some people exercise is to lose weight, for me is feel good.

 

“Don’t let the noise from outside disturb your peace inside”

 

Till the next!

Linette

 

Five Mistake I made while training for my first triathlon

When I started training for my first triathlon, I made many mistakes along the road. I try to be knowledgeable about the sport but the bike was and still is my biggest challenge.

I purchase a bike with very little knowledge about the component and parts and whatever else makes bike. My brother, who is a former elite athlete in triathlon gave some tips about the bike and sometimes about the whole sport, but he’s in Germany so everything is over a brief conversation.

I knew I did’t have to worry about the swim so I focus on the bike and the run, big mistake.

  • Neglecting the swim was my first mistake. Yes I am in deed a very fast swimmer… in a pool, with lines and clear water no in the murky  water of New York City. My last swim before my first triathlon was a year before in Coney Island which also was done without any training. I did’t know how to stay straight and how not to get off off course and I did because I didn’t train for it and actually I thought I didn’t need to.
  • Not practicing any bricks. Actually, I didn’t know what “bricks” was till I finish my first race and I was talking about it with some team mates. They suggested I practice some bricks and transition. When I got off the bike into transition, my legs felt like gel and it took and good half of mile to start feeling some what normal.
  • Knowing absolutely nothing about your bike or how to change a flat. Well, I have been very lucky to not have a flat in any race but if it does happens, I will just call some one to pick me up because I have not idea how to change a flat. I have few opportunity to attend seminars on how to but, time is never on my side. YouTube for now will do the job. All I know about my bike is that it is a Specialized and its components are Shimano, it is black and red but’s about it. Sorry! 😦
  • Hydration was a big issue till very recently. I did the entire race, an olympic triathlon without drinking any liquid and by the time I was done, I paid the price. I was very dehydrated. Massive migraine and the feeling that I was about to die. But I didn’t learn from that. I keep doing the same for few more races till I couldn’t take the massive headaches and my doctor recommended to hydrate better while on the rides and runs.
  • Last but not least is poor sleep. For my first triathlon my youngest son was 18 months and my oldest 3 so my sleeping habits was very crappy. I was fighting to stay awake to clean up and catch up with house chores and I was also in the process of finishing my Bachelors in Business. If I slept 4 hours straight, it was a “good night of sleep” at least on my mind but I was tired physically and mentally. Not that It has change much but I at least I am done with school, my kids are bit older and they sleep through the night so I get a good 7 hours in a good day but the last year has been a big struggle with solo parenting.

I think at the end of the day I am grateful that I am able to get out do what I love. I have a long way to go, specially on learning the sports as a whole and learning my bike and how to train smart.

Before you do your first race, research about common mistakes so you don’t end up like me lol. It will make you feel good that you did it.. trust me.

Till next,

 

Linette

Paleo diet update… The struggle.

Well, well, well!! Paleo diet is going full speed now. On day 18 I can say I have finally come to terms with its process and understanding it much better.. Not 100% yet lol. It is harder than what I originally though, for sure. I don’t think I took into consideration the fact that I am an endurance athlete and may be carb is a big part of my diet.

The first week was really hard, I was having withdraws and headaches from the lack of sugars and process food. I was craving bread and rice but stay strong. I learned to plan better my meals and to insure I have healthy snacks whenever I go.

But not everything was going smooth…. I cheated on day 15th! It was just a crazy day running around, no lunch and

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Food variation

no snacks, I was starving and feeling crappy. I had the slow cooker going so I knew I will have a good, nutritious diner waiting for me at home. I made a delicious beef stew in the slow cooker and I made rice for the family.. I was so hungry that I ate rice.. less than half a cup. kill me, I know!

 

Another huge challenge is eating out. We eat out often enough that, for me is a problem. I have ask for just meet and veggies everywhere we go and the thought of not knowing what on my food, kills me.

I am big fan of my fresh squeeze  juices. I love my carrot, beets and apples.. yum!! so there is always some fresh juice in my fridge.

So a day of food will look like:

Breakfast 8:00am:  Sweet potatoes (boil) two eggs and bacon with black coffee and juice.

Snack 11:00am: Protein shake or smoothy

Lunch 1:00pm: Grill Salmon with greens/avocado and fruits.

Snack 3:30: fruits and almonds or smoothy.

Diner 6:pm: steak with lots of veggies and avocado and juice.

Snack 10:00pm: protein shake 🙂

I am still learning the process and like I say before, it is not so easy. I know I have to make some changes, specially the days that I have longer rides and long runs. I still will have to do some carbs but so far is working.

I will keep you posted on how and when I will introduce carbs.. probably this weekend 🙂

 

Till then.. Cheers!!

 

Linette

 

Solo parenting and training.

Training for a Marathon or 70.3 is not an easy task to take on. You have to dedicate a lot of time and you need to have the dedication to take on the task and grueling hours ahead, but when your husband goes away for what seems like ALL the time, it is even harder, and when one of the kids gets sick, whatever plan you have, it goes out of the window. It is not easy but it has to get done.

I know I married a military/FDNY man and I knew from the early years that he will be gone for long periods of times. Having a plan to do what you need to do is where your success will lay.

I make a lot of mistakes training for my first marathon because I was more focus on putting the miles than putting the work. Quality vs quantitive. I didn’t run smart and that set of mind got me hurt. This time around I am trying to not stress out about the run, swim that did’t happen, instead I am trying to focus on being proactive. I know my husband is going away and I know he has to work so I will just have to plan accordantly with that. I don’t own a treadmill or pool big enough that I can do laps, and remember I live in NYC, outside pool is closed, so the run and swim will happen when Lucas goes to pre-school, which allows me two hours. The bike can happen in the basement with the trainer and when I can’t get to the pool or run, I can always lift and work out in my basement while my kids play.

when I am scheduling training, I also have to take into consideration that my kids play sports, not one or two but four and that’s not counting school activity.

Relying on others so you can train, can be very stressful since everybody works and after coming home from a long day at work, no one want to watch two kids that will give you a run for your money so you can “train”. I am very lucky to have grandma and papa that will take my boys any day when I resee-opportunities.jpgally need them and usually I will go for a run but this is not an everyday thing.

But it is not about making the excuses of how it is going to get done, it is about getting it done and the 70.3 miles are not going to swim,bike or run themselves. So lets get it done!

 

“It is your decisions not your conditions that truly shape the quality of your life.” —Anthony Robbins

 

Linette