Friday, June 03, 2011

Back in Tri part of Team SirCha! :)

(Picture courtesy Sirsha)

Hello! I am back....after a long long time! I don't even know if anyone checks this blog anymore, but I am still excited to be back! :)

So since August 2010, when I did my last Tri - I had gone for just one ride with Vish, and during that ride, I ended up with a flat barely 3 miles into the ride, after which I gave up. Since then, Scarlett II, my precious bike, has just been sitting "vettily" in my bedroom not doing much. Even in the 2010 Tri season, although I did a Triathlon, it almost felt like I did it for the sake of doing it, and my heart wasn't really in it, and the results definitely reflected that as well.

Earlier this year, my super enthu husband Vishwas signed us up for a 70.3 Half-Ironman Triathlon - Redman Triathlon OKC - Vish is an excellent biker and runner, but swimming is still pretty alien to him. Although he has done one Triathlon in the past, his passion lies with Duathlons. Ever since our superman friend Amit Bhai did his first ever Ironman race, he's been itching to be part of an "Iron" that's how I got roped into doing the swim portion of the 70.3 for him, while he raced the bike and run portions. I was okay with this - I enjoy swimming and being able to just swim without the stress of biking and running after was something I was even pretty excited about. I had planned to start training in the mid-June timeframe, once I got done with some of the other commitments I had. Meanwhile, Vish has been training properly  in San Antonio, withTri-Sition Area, in preparation for an upcoming duathlon, so I am constantly fed with stories about training.

A few weeks ago, a dear friend and Team Asha running mate Sirsha, signed up for her first ever Triathlon. She will be racing Danskin this weekend - an awesome all-women Triathlon. She also borrowed my bike Scarlett I for her training program. Her enthusiasm – especially outlined in all her blog posts (which I highly recommend reading for new runners/triathletes) – throughout this training program had been slowly rubbing off on me, even though I did not really realize it. Early last week, she sent out a SOS note to the informal training/support group we have Tri-Oomph, expressing concerns about open-water swimming during the Triathlon. Almost instinctively, I replied to her email and asked if she would like me to sign up and do the race with her, especially the swim portion. I did not really expect her to reply and say yes, but when she did, I knew I had to keep my promise and promptly signed up – 10 days before the race! I have to thank (or blame :p) Vish for pushing me to do this!

I have done a couple of Triathlons in the past without any structured training, but had typically always been in good shape, and had also been swimming, biking and running somewhat regularly. The last 6 months though, I have been living a very sedentary lifestyle, with almost zero exercise and physical activity and poor eating, due to multiple reasons. The only good thing I have done in the last few weeks is lost ~6lbs as part of a weight-loss program I had signed up with at my gym. This was mainly via restructuring my diet and eating habits, and not really through a rigorous exercise program. Given this, this weekend’s race is definitely going to be an interesting test for me in gauging my physical fitness! But regardless, I am excited! Excited to finally be getting off my ass and back in training mode, and excited to accompany a friend as she loses her Tri virginity. :p I am also pumped to train through the Summer for 3 different events I have signed up for in the Fall timeframe (Austin Tri – Oly distance, Redman Relay and Philly Marathon) and most off all, I am just so darn glad to be back on track towards become more healthy, fit and toned after being a slob for so many months!

Thanks much to Vishy and Sirsha for inspiring me to do this!

And……Go Team SirCha….I can’t wait for this weekend!!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gator Bait Memorial Tri

At the Gator Bait Memorial Tri in Boerne, TX
Vish did a Bike-Run Du and I Tri-ed! :)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Captex - My 1st Olympic Triathlon

This race report is looooooooong overdue - it's been almost 40+ days since I did the Captex Triathlon, and I already have my next Tri coming up this weekend! Yikes!! I have been completely swamped though the last few weeks with work, wedding planning, my engagement ceremony, rehearsals for a drama that happened 2 weekends ago, other Asha-related stuff etc etc. I don't think I can remember all the details from that day since it's been a while, but I'll try my best to provide the gist of everything that happened!

On the Sunday before the race, I went to check on my bike and wanted to prep to take it to transition for the pre-race dropoff. To my horror, I discovered a FLAT on the bike! I made an SOS call to Amit Bhai, who told me to call down and take the bike to J&A. I did just that. The bike tech there could not find anything wrong with the tube and was a little perplexed on how the flat happened, but nevertheless, he changed it for me and declared the bike to be race-ready! I was more relaxed after that and went to get my race packet and dropped my bike off at Transition. Since I got there pretty early, I was able to get a nice corner spot. I then went to scope out the swim course, and the various transition entrances/exits. The swim -> transition and transition -> bike distances were pretty long I met Amit at the Transition and we discussed the course a bit more. I then went for a drive along the bike course to check it out! Overall, I felt pretty relaxed about the race. My main concern was the weather - it was going to be HOT on Memorial Day and I am just not a fan of the heat at all!

Race Morning:
On race morning, I hitched a ride with Amit Bhai. Amit likes to be at the race site as soon as Transition opens, and I decided I would try that out this time, after the fiasco at Rookie, where Vish and I got to transition 10 minutes before it was going to close due to parking challenges! Going early gave me enough time to set everything up, visit the port-a-pottie, fill up air in my tires. This is definitely something I am going to strive to do in all races! It's amazing what it does to keep you calm pre-race! I then walked over to the swim start and hung out with Amit, Steph and Bradford there till the race started!

The Swim - 1500m
Total Time: 37:40 min
Pace: 2:31/M
The swim was one big loop in Town Lake. I have never swam in TL before, and the closest I have coming to experiencing the TL water is in Barton Springs Pool. Everyone around me was wearing a wet suit, something that I didn't have and didn't use! As I entered the water, I was a little taken aback by the coldness of the water! It felt like it was freezing...I started treading water to warm my body up before the gun went off....As the wave started to leave, I was still feeling a little cold and it me about 200m or so till the first buoy to get semi-comfortable with the water. I wasn't able to swim freestyle at this point at all! After about 400m or, I felt a lot more comfortable and switched to freestyle, and swam steadily parallel to the auditorium shore, switching to breaststroke only if I had navigational issues (which i did a few times!). The rest of the swim went pretty smoothly, and I even managed to enjoy it somewhat. My swim pace was about the same that it always has been, not faster, but not slower either.

T1: 7:13 min
T1 was long for me for 2 reasons - one due to the fact that the actual distances from swim exit to my bike in transition and the run from the transition to the bike start were pretty long, the 2nd due to the fact that I really had to pee and so was stuck in the long port-a-pottie line! It's amazing how long the line was in just T1!

The Bike - 40K
Total Time: 1:45:30
Pace: 14.1 mph
The bike leg was my favourite leg of the race! The 40K distance was made up of 4 10K loops around downtown. Hydration-wise, I was this time prepared with my camelback and it felt awesome to drink water anytime I wanted to w/o stopping or trying to do a balancing act to try to reach down for my water-bottle (sth I'm terrible at!). My folks were sitting at the interesction of 1st and Cesar Chavez and it was fun to wave at them and hear their cheers during each loop! Since the course consisted of loops, I was able to say Hi to Amit Bhai a couple of times as well, until of course he zoomed past me! :) Overall, I had a fun bike ride despite the 2 horrible hills on each loop, and 14.1 is my best bike pace till now!

T2: 5:40 min
T2 should NOT have been remotely close to 5 minutes, and ended up being that because of a stupid stupid mistake! :) I arranged my bike back on the rack, removed my helmet, had a drink of water with a Gu and took off running. When I reach the run exit, I realized that I was still wearing my bike shoes!! :D I don't know how I didn't realize that before because it feels really weird when trying to walk, let alone run, wearing bike shoes! :D I hobbled back to my transition area and changed it to my running shoes. This blunder however cost me a few minutes!

The Run - 10K
Total Time: 1:27:34 h
Pace: 14.06/M
What can I say about the run?? It was hot, hot, hot, and I had a terrible time through the run! Somehow I didn't feel the heat that much when I was on the bike, but on the road, it was torturous. I ended up alternating between jogging and walking while struggling with the usual stitches I get in the heat. Even the salt tablets that helped me during my marathon did not help this time. Another reason for the poor run was also because to be honest, I didn't focus much on my run training at all! I biked a bit and swam a lot, but neglected running - and that really came back to punish me during the race. When I do the Olympic again, I really have to focus on running. In the Sprint distance, I can somehow wing it with the 5K run, but for a 10K run, I definitely need more training!

Overall: 4:03:38 h
Overall, I had a good experience with my 1st ever Olympic Race. I could have had a better time by doing some better prep work and avoiding silly mistakes, but I went home with a lot of lessons learnt and look forward to learning from this experience when doing future longer distance Triathlons!

The remaining Tris for the season included the Couples Triathlon this weekend and the Sweet and Twisted Triathlon with the Tri-oomphers in August - both Sprint distances. I am not going to have the time to train properly for these, but hope to just have fun with my friends doing them. Hopefully, I will be able to incorporate the lessons learnt from the 2 Tris I have done so far this year in those races!



Monday, May 11, 2009

Rookie Rundown

The Rookie Tri this past weekend was my 1st Tri for the season. The Rookie Tri back in 2006 was the 1st ever Triathlon that I participated in. Back then, I didn't train much at all, got a bike pretty much 3 days before the Tri, a bike with maybe just 3 gear combinations, and had no clue about really anything - I was a true Rookie. It was not one of my best days in my atheletic history. :) My swim was ok. My bike ride was just hell. AND I lost my chip during my bike ride - and ended up with a DNF on the results board! The run was nothing to speak of either Quite a terrible 1st Tri...

Last year, I went back to the Texas Ski Ranch (TSR) where the Rookie happens each year as well, and while I had a much better overall experience, I still ended up with a messed up result on the scoreboard because for some reason, they marked my age as 13 instead of 26 (no clue how this could have happened!), and my swim leg was a ridiculous 32 minutes for 300m! :)

I considered this course to be jinxed for me!

I went back this year with much trepidation. But I wanted to do it since it would be a perfect trial run for my Olympic in 2 weekends. Also, Vishy wanted to do a Tri, and this was a perfect Tri for a newcomer like him! Here's my race breakdown:

Swim - 300m
My goal for the swim was just to relax and swim freestyle throughout the 300m. I managed to swim freestyle for the most part, using breaststroke just for navigational purposes - so I'm pretty pleased with myself for that. It wasn't the most efficient of freestyles. And the water being extremely muggy and gross attributed a bit to that. It messed up my breathing and sighting a bit. Also, swimming freestyle in a pool is vastly different than swimming one in open water. There are no pool borders/lanes to guide you, and veering off the course is pretty easy in open water. Other than that though, I had a good swim and saw marked improvements in my pace, so was pretty happy.

2006: 12:01 min
2008: 9:32 min
2009: 8:43 min

Areas of improvement:
Practice more open water swimming!

My T1 this time was not as efficient as I wanted it to be. Vish and I reached the TSR pretty late that morning and pretty much had 5 minutes to set everything up in Transition and I didn't have much time to place everything I needed the way I wanted to. Defn some room for improvement here!

2008: 2:47
2009: 3:51

Bike - 11.1 miles
My 1st goal for the bike ride was to work on gear shifting, managing the gears properly so as to achieve the best possible gear combination for where I am in the course, either on a flat road, or hills with varying gradients. My 2nd goal was to hydrate properly, so that I am not dehydrated when I start the run! And my 3rd goal was to just not get stressed with the clips, and take my time getting on and off. I did pretty decently with respect to my 1st and 3rd goals...Because I was a little more familiar with the course as well, I was able to anticipate some of the hills and change gears in advance accordingly. I was also more focused when getting on and off my clips and managed to do both w/o any major mishaps. So that was good. My hydration plan on the bike centered around using the camelback I had purchased a week earlier. I was looking forward to trying it out during the Tri. But in my T1 excitement, I completely forgot about it! I remembered it half way through my ride when I saw someone else carrying it. Lucky for me, the weather was not too hot or humid, 2 things that really dehydrate me easily, and I was able to get through the bike ride without much hydration, and managed to improve my time as well!

2008: 57:55, 11.50mph
2009: 51:45, 13mph

Areas of improvement:
More hill workouts, practice hydrating on the bike!

My T2 was not too bad considering that I had to do a shoe swap (bike shoes -> running shoes), something I didn't have to do before, and I managed to do it w/o any major hurdles. I plan to try out the easy laces for my running shoes next time to see if that helps make the transition quicker!

2008: 1:10
2009: 2:40

Run - 2 miles
My goal for the run was pretty much to not walk! I did that for the most part despite my legs feeling like bricks right after the bike ride! I walked for about a 100m stretch to hydrate and take a salt tablet for a side stich, but felt much better after that and continued running. This is defn an area I need to work on and improve as I do longer distances though. Need more BRIC practices for sure!

2008: 25:59, 12:59/M
2009: 23:37, 11:49/M

Areas of improvement: More BRIC workouts needed during training!

Total Time:

2008: 1:37:23

2009: 1:30:46

Overall, I am happy with the way the Tri went. I broke the TSR jinx and it was a good warm-up Tri for the season, and helped me identify areas for improvement. I also had fun being with Vish during his first Tri! I still plan to do the Olympic in 2 weeks - I have no time goals, my goal there will be to simply finish, but I hope to incorporate a lot of the lessons learnt during the Rookie to ensure that I finish strong!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Tri Training - Week 10 Schedule

Last week was one hectic week @ wk and otherwise - so much so that I didn't have time to record my training! Vegas was a blast...but I needed a recovery day to get over the trip! :) I managed to get some good workouts in though - a 1600m swim, a 2hr spin class, a 12-mile bike and a 4-mile run + a Bikram session! I wanted to get a much longer bike ride in during the weekend, but my ride was disrupted when I realized that my front gears were not working well. So instead of continuing my ride (which including going up a nasty hill every 3 miles), I took my bike to Jack and Adams for some TLC instead. The good thing is that I was very minimally sore after the bike ride...usually I can feel the soreness a few hours later after a ride of that the intense spin classes must be doing some good!

The Rookie Tri is coming up this weekend - my first Tri for the season...I feel confident about the swim and the run - but the biking is going to be interesting. It will be my 1st ride using clips in a race atmosphere...and I really need to not freak out, especially when I have issues clipping on and getting on my bike (and I know I will have issues! :) ). I am not going to focus on time at all during this race - it's going to be my trial race, to ensure that I go through the right motions needed in a Tri, and note any mistakes or rooms for improvement I can then correct/incorporate into the Captex Tri.

I am not feeling too good today....healthwise...probably from all the exertion over the weekend and the crazy ever-changing I am going to take it a little easy the first couple of days this week w.r.t training. Am also going to avoid the pool since it's where I can encounter the most germs! :)

Monday: No workout, recovery

Tuesday AM: LIFT Class (pending how I feel) PM: Spin Class

Wednesday PM: 4-mile Run

Thursday PM: BRIC - Spin Class + Short Tun

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Short BRIC - 3-mile Bike + 1-mile Run

Sunday: Rookie Triathlon - 300m Swim, 12mile Bike, 2-mile Run

Wish me luck! :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tri Training - Week 8 Schedule

This past week was a pretty successful week in terms of training - I managed to cover most of my planned workouts and also got a bit more comfortable riding with the clipped pedals! Had to miss a swim at BS pool due to the weather though. But I've signed on for a open water swim on Tuesday evening - so hopefully that will help make up for it!

I still have some trouble clipping on and off - and fell twice while riding this past weekend - OUCH! - BUT I have gotten over my fear off falling, and have now braced myself to the possibility of falling in the future - and that in a weird way has made me less fearful of the clips! :)

Amit Bhai aka Coach A conducted a Bike 101 session for Sha and I on Sunday morning - he used his bike and trainer to demo some biking best practices, including efficient ways of getting on and off the bike, riding position, riding cadence, gear shifting, tackling hills, etc. This was defn a very useful session and I learnt a lot of new stuff that I will be trying to apply on all my future rides! One good thing about biking during a race is - I will be biking in a closed course, so don't have to worry about stop signs, traffic lights and what not! I am also purchasing a camelback, because I am still very uncomfortable in reaching down to get my water-bottle while riding, and hydrating during a long ride is crucial - it will especially be the case during my 25-mile ride at Captex!

This week will be a short workout week - am trying to squeeze in 2 workouts a day as a result. Let's see how that pans out. No T3 clinic this week due to issues @ the swimming pool!
On Friday evening - I leave to VEGAS for a reunion with my Spore buddies! Not much working out there! ;) From next week onwards, I will start focusing a lot on long rides, bricks, and open water swims!

Monday PM: 5-mile Run
Tuesday AM: LIFT Class @ 24hr Fitness Tuesday PM: Pure Austin Splash and Dash (750m Swim, 3K Run)
Wednesday AM: Spin Class @ 24hr Fitness Wednesday PM: 12-mile Bike Ride
Thursday AM: LIFT Class @ 24hr Fitness

My 1st ever Marathon coach, Coach Amy is running Boston today. Here's wishing her a FANTASTIC speedy race!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tri Training - Week 7 Schedule

Tentative Training Schedule for Week 7:

Monday PM: T3 Swim Clinic

Tuesday AM: LIFT Class @ 24hr Fitness
Tuesday PM: 45-min Run around Duval Neighborhood

Wednesday AM: Spin Class @ 24hr Fitness
Wednesday PM: T3 Clinic

Thursday PM: 7-mile Bike Ride on Shoal Creek

Friday AM/PM: Bikram Yoga session

Saturday AM: Long swim at BS Pool followed by 3-mile Run around Town Lake

Sunday AM: 14 mile Bike Ride @ Shoal Creek followed by 20min Run

Mantra for the Week:
"I love clips...I love clips...I love clips..."