Weekend Rap Up!

I took a long weekend this past weekend because I had a very busy Friday schedule. On Friday May 18th I got hooded a la Harry Potter style (I have never read or seen any of the Harry Potter books and movies. It’s not my style, but have you ever noticed that graduation garments, especially in the graduate degree fields look very wizard-like?). I don’t actually finish my Master’s in Public Health until December of this year but I was able to attend both the Hooding Ceremony and the Graduation Ceremony. However, I chose not to attend the graduation ceremony on Saturday because I preferred to race a triathlon and I also did not like the chosen commencement speaker. The Hooding Ceremony was actually kind of exciting because a) I did not attend my undergrad graduation so this was my first college graduation, b) I got a cool hood that I paid $55 to wear once (must find other uses for it. Ideas?), and c) I got to meet in person some of my classmates since my degree program is online.

A few of the 32 MPH graduates from the class of 2012

On Saturday I raced the Tri for the Y at the Freeport YMCA. It was a 325 yd swim, 13 mile bike, and 5k run. I’ll have a full race report later this week, but I did not do as well as I was hoping for. I missed 3rd in my age group by almost 30 seconds and it was mostly due to the fact that I couldn’t get my darn watch on and I stood there playing with it! Stupid mistake! However, it was nice to get the first race over with for the year. It was a beautiful day, many of my tri group members were volunteering, and bike shop boy was able to come watch (and pass out flyers for my Women’s road ride out of Allspeed Wednesday nights at 6pm) so overall not a horrible day.

Sunday was spent doing an easy recovery swim in the pool, an awesome self-butt kicking strength training session outside in beautiful weather in my front yard, and also doing a lot of reading for my personal training certfication. It was a super productive day!

Who doesn’t love a little TRX?

Yesterday I had an appointment with the chiropractor who I have been seeing for over six months about my pelvis that was unaligned and also my super tight calves. She was very pleased that my pelvis has remained in place for the past couple of months and that my calves were not very tight even after racing on Saturday! She was especially impressed that my body is relatively injury free. She told me that many of the athletes she treats tend to become injured or their body’s are more broken down going into taper for the big race. Mine body is in great shape going into taper for Mooseman in 12 days! I guess I can’t use that excuse for my race… But, I’m pleased and I feel great!

I’ve complained many of times recently about my lack of bike fitness and confidence this year. A friend emailed me yesterday to ask how my race was and I told her my bike was okay, but I was still disappointed by it. She asked me if it was due to fatigue from the intensity of my training. No. I know it’s not because overall I feel great and I make sure that I focus on proper recovery and nutrition in my training. I told her that I believe it’s due to the fact that I have always muscled my way through my rides with lower cadence and grinding gears. Through working with my coach I have learned that riding this way is actually very bad. It’s best to push lower gears while maintaining a higher cadence because it will save your legs for the run. My coach also emailed me Monday after analyzing my powermeter data from my race to inform me how to ride in my future workouts and also in Mooseman. I need to be more consistent in my riding. This is very important in riding long course triathlons. I tend to have power spikes in my data, which is not good. As she put it, I only have so many matches to burn. If I burn too many then my legs are toast on the run. My goal is to remain consistent and also pedal the whole damn time. No coasting, expect whenever absolutely necessary. I feel like I’m learning to ride a bike all over again. I’ve been very frustrated by this because I don’t have the strength I use to have, but in the end, I know it will pay off because I will be a stronger and more efficient rider.

I use to have extremely strong legs, which I think is the main reason I could always muscle my way through tough rides. The reason my legs were so strong was growing up riding horses. I had a riding instructor who use to make me post without stirrups and hands on the reins for my entire hour-long lessons. BELIEVE ME, that is no easy feat! It hurt like hell, but it gave me a super strong seat and I could ride just about any horse and stay on, including my off-the-race track Thoroughbred who seemed to think he was a bucking bronco at a rodeo. He never dumped me! Ha!

This is what a posting trot without stirrups looks like, except I would be on a lungeline and have no use of my hands. You definitely learn balance very quickly!
 

This is Mystery Knight, my crazy Thoroughbred. His grandsire was Seattle Slew, who is one of the last horses and the only horse to win the Triple Crown while remaining undefeated. Myst was a dud on the track, but man did he love to jump!

Happy Training!
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