Triathiversary (Elkhart Lake Sprint 2016)

Happy Anniversary, Triathlon!

It’s been such a great year, even though you tried to kill me once and on a few occasions made me doubt my abilities. I haven’t always been good to you either. I have skipped you at times. I have mistreated you. I have over trained and under trained for you. I promise that this year I will do better, but I won’t always be perfect. Just remember that I am trying very hard and I expect you to do the same. No more, “I’m going to change the course”. No more, “waves are fun”. And for the sake of the relationship, no more DNFs, those make me feel really bad.


Seriously though, this last weekend marked my first full year in Triathlon, and we celebrated by returning to the race where it all began, Elkhart Lake.

Elkhart Lake Sprint 2016 Race Report

My goals this year were to improve in every discipline, but more than anything, I needed a PR on this race. Coming away from a great race in Galveston just a few short months ago, I had everything going my way. Then I got sick to the point where I had a hard time breathing. I was measuring the miles by how much snot I had collected on my shirt. And generally, I haven’t felt well. Even still, I am battling some serious muscle pain (fatigue and stress related).

For some reason I got really nervous about the race, something felt off about racing and not traveling (because I didn’t have to prep a week ahead of time) and not staying in a hotel (having to re-prep once I check in) and not having to rack my bike the night before (one less thing to think about race morning).  All of those things seem to make everything a lot easier for me (counterintuitive, I know).  The morning of the race wasn’t great either, but I made it through with only one port-a-potty stop before the race started.

Elkhart Lake

My swim wasn’t great. I was breathing every other stroke (always on the left). I think this was the water temp taking my breath faster than normal, but who really knows. It could have been anxiety also. Really it was a great swim and I took 52 seconds off my time from last year. Not bad for a 400 meter course.  Having completed several 1.2 mile swims, I was sort of surprised at how stressful this 400 meter swim was.

T1 sucked. Because of where transition was this year, Sprint racers had to run about a 1/4 mile to their bikes. Still, I took 1m20s off my time.  I think the reduction has something to do with having gone through transition many times now and know what to do and what not to do (and honestly not worrying about anything since the bike is so short).

My bike effort was awesome this year. Some of the hills beat me up a little, but there was something different this year (I’ll explain in the run section). Rules weren’t followed well on the course, so I was passing people on the right and was getting stuck behind groups of riders. The night before the race, the course changed, but it wasn’t very significant, just a u-turn vs. a turn around on the roads. Overall, I was 4 minutes faster on the course.

T2 sucked. Again, an extra 1/4 mile to get to the run start from my bike . . . BOOOOOOO. Still, I made up 40 seconds in T2.

Finally, the run. Last year Elkhart’s hill of honesty killed me. The hill lasts for over a half mile and it sucks. More than that, the whole course killed me last year. I walked more than ran. This year, that wasn’t the case. I had a few drop outs to drink water and eat a gel, but ran the majority. The hill didn’t even kill me. I credit this to all the work I have done on the bike in the last 365 days. I was able to hold a high power number and still run a 5K at the end of it all. Overall, time savings on the run was 1m30s from 2015.

Nick Elkhart 2016

All said and done, my first year in the sport has been awesome, with incredible improvements in every discipline (I’m looking at you swimming, seriously you aren’t my best, but I have made you work). Nailing a workout makes the rest of my week seem great. Finishing my first 70.3 on a tough course validated my decision to change from running to triathlon. My PR at Galveston and at Elkhart in 2016 have really shown the progress I have made (thanks to the coach’s insistence that I make progress and not just be happy with my current paces).

It’s been a good year, triathlon, let’s see if we can have another good one.  Chattanooga is less than 100 days away and I plan on knowing that I can complete that distance.

Emily’s 2015 Goals – Q2 Update

Halfway through the year now, and I’m still working on my goals.

Emily’s 2015 Goals, Progress Update as of 06/30/2015:
1.  Run 500 miles – 147.4 miles, approximately 29% complete.  Better start running some distances soon.

2.  Complete a triathlon – Nick and I completed our first triathlon, the Elkhart Triathlon in June.  We are looking forward to Ironman 70.3 Steelhead on August 9th.

3.  Read 20 books – 8 books (40%) completed in the first half of this year, plus two audio books.

4.  Learn a new language – I need to get back to my Rosetta Stone lessons.  I’m working on have this complete before our trip to France in December.

5.  Make Christmas cards – I’m coming up with a few ideas for these.  Most probably I’ll use the pictures we took last year.

6.  100 days of miles (running) – 59 days of running thus far this year.  I’m over 50% complete on this one, hoping to accomplish before year end.

Emily’s 2015 Goals – Q1 Update

In January, I set goals for the year and promised quarterly updates.  We are 25% of the way through the year.  Before writing this update, I really thought I was doing good.  Now I realize I have work to do and need to get moving on some of these goals.

Emily’s 2015 Goals, Progress Update as of 03/31/2015:
1.  Run 500 miles – 81.1 miles, approximately 16% complete.  I’m behind on this one, but I’m not too worried about this because my mileage is increasing as we are running longer distances.

2.  Complete a triathlon – We are considering Elkhart Triathlon in June, as well as Ironman 70.3 Racine in July of this year.  Training as going great and we are looking forward to the races.

3.  Read 20 books – 2 books (10%) completed thus far. I have several books marked “to read”, and just need to find the time to read them.

4.  Learn a new language – I’ve been slacking on my Rosetta Stone recently.  I’m working on have this complete before our trip to France in December.

5.  Make Christmas cards – We took pictures at Christmastime last year and I’m hoping to use them for the Christmas cards.  Most likely I won’t finish this goal until later in the year, you know, around Christmas.

6.  100 days of miles (running) – 38 days of running have been logged for 2015.  I’m well on my way to finishing this goal early, just need to get my mileage up on these runs.

Emily’s 2015 Goals

Well, it’s that time again – to look ahead and decide what I want to accomplish in the upcoming year.  I have a few things in mind; all of which I feel are doable.

First, I need to increase my running mileage.  I tried this last year based on approximately 25o miles run the previous year.  To say I came up short is an understatement, of the 500 miles I wanted to complete, I ran a little over 190 miles.  Well, at least I’m consistent in my running year on year.  This year, I’ve set the bar high, but I also have races in sight – the Galveston Half-Ironman Relay (I’m doing the running portion), is one that I’m looking forward to.

Since we have added cycling to our routine, I really want to complete a triathlon.  I will  probably start with sprint or olympic distance.  The objective is to get myself familiar enough with triathlons that I can then move on to the big ones – a half Ironman and then (eventually) an Ironman.

My reading goal last year was to read 14 books.  I finished my fourteenth book a few days ago.  I want to expand on this and read 20 books this year.  I enjoy reading and get out of the habit sometimes, so I feel the goal will keep me using my brain.

Nick and I enjoy traveling and over the last couple of years have been planning a trip to France.  One of my bucket list items is to learn a new language, and for Christmas Nick gave me Rosetta Stone French.  I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to set a goal for the year as well as knock off an item from my bucket list.  Plus, if we take our trip at the end of the year, I can put into play what I’ve learned throughout the year.

I’ve been interested in crafts this past year.  I taught myself to crochet and tackled a few sewing projects.  Lately, I’ve been toying with the idea (thanks to my cousin and my friend, Kellie) of making my own Christmas cards.  Since we moved to Wisconsin and will soon experience a winter wonderland this year, I want to use the pictures I’ve taken and create Christmas cards for 2016.

Finally, I <3 to Run had a Facebook challenge in 2014 called 100 Days of Miles.  It’s pretty straightforward, essentially you have to run 100 days in a year.  There are a few other rules, but I won’t go into the details.  This is also something I attempted in 2014 without success; I only ran 60 days.  They are repeating the 100 Days of Miles Challenge again this year.  I plan on surpassing the 100 day challenge with runs to spare.

So that was the long explanation, below are my goals for 2o15 in a compact view.  I plan on providing status updates quarterly.

Emily’s 2015 Goals:
1.  Run 500 miles
2.  Complete a triathlon
3.  Read 20 books
4.  Learn a new language
5.  Make Christmas cards
6.  100 days of miles (running)

Emily’s 2013 Goals

On January 1st, I made a list of goals for 2013.  I am only going to have 5 official goals, so I can focus my efforts on them.  My only other “goal” for the year is to go on vacation.  I want to get away for a few days, not worry about work or anything else.  I just want to be able to relax for a little while.  

Emily’s 2013 Goals

  1. Weigh 130 by June 2013, and maintain through December 31, 2013
  2. Complete 13 races in 2013
  3. Drink 64 ounces of water each day
  4. Read 12 books
  5. Post on blog at least once a week

2012 in Review

I’ve noticed there are vastly different opinions about the year 2012.  Some people say it was a really good year, while others say it was a really bad year.  I agree with the latter.  My opinion has nothing to do with politics or finances or anything like that; 2012 was just not a good year for us.  I am not going into detail about the year, I’m just glad that it’s over.  

On November 1st, I decided to write down some goals for the end of the year.  Something to work towards.  I read that not only should you set goals, but they should be written down and end dates set for each goal.  It was also suggested that your goals should be visible, don’t hide them in a desk drawer to be forgotten.  So I printed out my goals and put them on the refrigerator.  Below is a review of my 2012 goals.  

Emily’s 2012 Goals

  1. Run 3 times per week 
    • Completed
  2. Complete the Couch to 5K Program
    • Finished C25K program
  3. Complete a 5K in December
    • Rudolph Run 5K
  4. Weigh 140 lbs. by end of year
    • No weight loss
  5. Drink 64 ounces of water each day
    • I did not always achieve 64 ounces, but have become more aware of my water consumption.  

Overall, I am satisfied.  I am proud to say I completed a 5K, something I never thought I would be able to do.  Now it’s time to focus on 2013!