Sunday, July 20, 2008

I am a triathlete. No longer a Wannabe.

Piwai's NY Triathlon 2008 from TiM Franklin on Vimeo.

I completed my race today!!!! Wow! Congratulations to me & all other finishers.

It was an intense day from being up at 2:30 am, giving thanks for the day, eating quiche at 3am, taking the subway train to the boat basin, setting up my transition, getting body marked, putting on my

Here are some quick highlights of the day including some dumb things:

-One of the volunteers body marked me and she wrote my age on my calf. Twenty minutes later, I go up to another volunteer to ask why everyone else has a number on their calf and what that number represents. Yes, I completely forgot that I'd been body marked....

-Today was the first day I ever swam with my wetsuit. Yes, yes, stupid. In some ways I'm glad I did that because I hate swimming with a wetsuit and this way I found out on race day instead of the day before. Race day is tense anyway, why not just add more tension to it??!!

-I forgot to put on my goggles as I jumped into the Hudson!! Gross. Not a good start. The swim was good after a few minutes. I kept trying to avoid jelly fish. I did feel a stinging sensation on my face at some point in time, but maybe it was just Hudson grossness.

-The cycling portion. Given that I've only been on a bike a total of 10 times my whole life, I was not prepared. Yesterday I learned how to ride a road bike! Congratulations are in order to me for successfully riding 26 miles of pretty hilly terrain and sharp hairpins on the Henry Hudson Parkway. Needless to say, I often had to give way to speeding triathletes with their $4000 bikes and aerobars!

-ok, I stupidly don't know how to change a bike tire and I didn't even bring extra tubes and pump to the race. I completed the race with the faith that there would be no flat tires. And that my childlike riding skills would get me through coupled with my 1000% positive energy. Wow. I'm here. I did cry after I got off the bike because I was grateful & I wished my parents were there...Then I wiped the tears and thought "what stupid person decided that running 6miles is a good thing to do after cycling for 26 miles??" I quickly got over it and began my trot on the Upper West Side!

-My run/walk. My ankle had issues so I basically took it easy until the last 0.25 miles when I kicked it on and the African runner in me came out. The most beautiful thing was to hear spectators calling out to say "Go Zimbabwe" or "Go radiant" or "You're no longer a triathlete wannabe- you did it!!". The encouraging energy of watchers & races was amazing- I even appreciate the guy who said "keep going cookie!" to me as I slowly cycled along!

-The end- wow. Unbelievable. I have my medal. I'm a triathlete. This is the end of my quarter life crisis. Watch out world because I can do anything I set my mind to!!

Thank you to you all for your encouragement and for being there with me through this journey.

Thank you to all goodness and all life.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

One week to triathlon!!!! How do I feel??? How can you help???

Wow- 6 days to go & I'm still here & haven't abandoned this dream! I've never been this consistent about wanting something. EVER. So I guess I'm growing up. Finally:)

How do I feel with one week to go?
Don't ask me if I'm ready, but I really won't know until race day. I've been training somewhat, I guess!!

I feel:

Here are things I have to do this week:

-Thurs: pick up my wetsuit. I haven't been swimming in a wetsuit yet, so I need to get in the water with it on Thursday & Friday just to get a feel of how some tight neoprene outfit affects my oh so stellar swimming skills!! (not!)

-Thurs: pick up road bike??!!I hope. Ok, so I've only ridden a road bike once and I'm not sure about gears and stuff...Until a few days ago I was going to with the mountain bike that I'm quite comfortable on, but I realized it didn't live up to my standards of class & even though I learned how to ride a bike last year (don't laugh), I need to graduate to more sleek & visually appealing methods of transportation. Ok, so thurs & friday I'll be getting comfortable on the road bike!!!!

-Friday. Attend some dumb meeting for race participants. I hope they feed us...

-Saturday: drop off bike on the Upper West Side transition area. Call mummy & daddy to tell them that I love them and in case something happens in the Hudson or on the Henry Hudson twas nice knowing you.

-Sunday: wake up at 4am
-start swim at 6:20Am (don't worry, you're not expected to be there!!)


- Emotionally: I still have moments when I ask myself what I was thinking when I signed up. I'm positive 99.9% of the time. My goal is to finish the race and be alive at the end.

-Hair: You bet there's a superficial angle to this. Ok, my hair is too poofy for the swim cap and I'd like company when I braid it.

-Food: You all know I love cotton candy and redbull. Keep me away from this & all other similar products in the next week.

-Wetsuit: I need to practice getting in and out of my wetsuit. Maybe just moral support for this part will do.

-Pictures: I need to take pictures in my trisuit, wetsuit, bike & at the finish line to send to my family. It would be good to take some pics on Thursday & Sunday so I need help with this. There goes the superficial again!!!!

-Reading: I'm reading two stories a day from my book on First Triathlons. I don't exactly need help reading, but maybe I do. Sometimes I can't focus. Self diagnosis of ADD!

-motivation: I need to get in 2-3 light workouts this week but spending uber amounts of time in SBR or Jack Rabbit or just talking about the race sounds more fun:)

-See me at the finish line!!

-Or if you can't make the actual race watching, you can track my progress - the system can send you a text when I finish swimming, biking & running (duh, it's a triathlon!!) sign up at Accenture website

I may need help returning the wetsuit & bike to their respective homes after 2pm on Sunday.

I just want to take this moment to say to you all thank you for all your support throughout the year & for being there through my training, training with me, giving me advice. Regardless of how the race goes, the journey has been amazing & if I fail in any way, I've succeeded as a learner and I'll just get up and tri again!!! Of course my dream is the ironman race in 2013. Well. Dream on. I will.!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

ten days to tri...Running drills...strength training for my advice...nutrition dilimnas

My body hurts. Ouch. Ok, not that bad. I exaggerate. My right shin is a pain in the ****. My left ankle won't cooperate. I haven't run in a while. Yesterday I ran one PATHETIC mile, then gave up on account of taking care of my body. On Tuesday I took an amazing running clinic. Here's what we did in the class:

Running Drills class:
1. Half mile easy jogging warm- up
2. 3 sets of high knee exercises
3. 3 sets of butt kick exercises
4. 3 sets of four-by-fours. That's 4 high knees followed immediately by 4 buttkicks
5. 3 sets of sprinting drills. (My issue here is that I need to run on my toes more when I sprint)
6. Half mile easy jogging
7. Strength training exercises for runners:
a) Tricep dips. I hate these but hey- gotta work those triceps
b) Push ups. I know it's uncool, but I always swear at trainers when they ask me to do pushups!!! Ok, it is uncool because I remember showing clients pushup form and such and not appreciating it when they complained. Ok, I don't really swear, I just complain out loud, then I go ahead and do the pushups to the very best of my ability.
c) Push up followed by side plank(on hand) - 10 of these
d) Side plank (on hand) with top leg elevation
8. O.7 of a mile as a cooldown jog.

Wow!!! I need to just take a moment to take pride in the strength gains I've made! Today I had to drag myself to my strength circuit while kicking and screaming and pouting & crying. Not a good sight. Maybe not so dramatic. But wow, I gave it my all as usual once I started. My body has made amazing strength gains. If I was on testosterone or male, I would be looking mighty fine right about now. I still look fine, but as a female the cosmetic benefits from my training will take a while to show up...I've made 5 - 15lb increases in strength which is AMAZING. It's been just over a month. If you're checking me out in the weight room, you'll see me diligently marking my exercises in my journal every time and each time I assess to see where I can increase the mass. You will NOT see me with an ipod or other distraction in the weight room. I'll be focusing on my form or checking myself out. Probably the latter! You can probably predict my routine like clockwork. It's amazing & I gotta ride this out until the end of July. I'm so worried about losing strength after July. I won't have a gym membership which is ok, but can someone tell me how can I strengthen my hamstrings outside of a gym- aside from the ball method???

My eating has been both good and bad. I'm not allowed to have peanut butter in the house anymore because I just binge on a bottle in one sitting then I feel ill afterwards. For some reason, I'm allergic to TJ's frozen berries. I get violently ill whenever I drink a smoothie with TJ's frozen berries. I'm allergic to most foods actually. This week I've had more carbohydrates than usual & I've eaten some meals out. My last week needs to be cleaner than this. I need to eat a lot of good good food so that my body is ready, you know.

So today I ran into a triathlon trainer. I had one session with him months ago. I was in the middle of my strength circuit & he was impressed with my form & exercises & said "well done". I felt quite chuffed:):):):):):) A cheesy emotion indeed.
Except when I had to do my last side shoulder raise set, I chickened out- my form felt compromised, I think I need to bring the weight down...I didn't want to look shoddy after the compliment! So I went downstairs to another floor to finish my exercise somewhere else. Silly.

Anyhow, here are some last minute triathlon tips he gave me:

1. Get a good massage two days before your race. (I hope to do this)
2. Soak in epsom salts the night before the race. (I threw away my epsom salts last week:(:( are they cheap to get again???)
3. I expect you to do well and enjoy the race. My my!!! What strong words:):):)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

16 days to NYCTri

I'm supposed to do another OWS tommorow, but I just got cold feet. Not because of the water, but just the idea of going swimming on my own, you know. I would go with friends, but I want to go before 10am and nobody I know will agree to that "early" time...

I've had a good week. I have some new workout buddies & we do indoor spinning together:) It's fabulous!!!

Otherwise, still strength training strong. I did my 10th strength circuit since June 1st. :) I've made much progress & I feel good about that. My swimming is ok. My running. I'm taking it easy because of the ankle still. I'm at 3 miles lately. My goal is to run 6 miles by July 12th. I think I can do it...

I'm definitely a morning workout person. No doubt. Then the rest of the day is mine!

Question for anyone who's done NYC Tri: Is the bike course really hilly?? I read somewhere that it's moderately hilly...that statement disturbs me...Anyone???

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The trauma of trying on wetsuits


So traumatic. I hate neoprene.

I'll be going with the long sleeved zoot