Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Need My Job to Support My Hobby

...or is it really my obsession?

Either way, I need my job (fortunately I love my job so it all works out). Let's take a trip down "history lane" for a moment. This is probably a bad idea but I'm going to estimate the costs I've incurred over 5 seasons (triathlon only, been racing 5ks for about 8 years now).

I'm only able to remember a handful of purchases, but my race entry fees are relatively easy to track (I'd like to thank my lack of email purging). This only includes outdoor triathlons.

Let's begin...

  • Glenview Sprint - $45
  • Niles Sprint (Michigan) - $64.90

  • Glenview Sprint - $50
  • Chicago Sprint - Free! I won a raffle!

  • Glenview Sprint - $55
  • Lewisburg Sprint (Pennsylvania) - $54.63
  • Chicago Sprint - $158.79
  • Danskin Sprit - $128.30

  • Glenview Sprint - $60
  • Trek Sprint Triathlon - $102.66
  • Chicago Sprint - $158.79

  • Palatine Sprint - $65.30
  • Trek Sprint - $86.65
  • Glenview Sprint - $65
  • She Bangs Sprint - $94.25
  • Chicago Sprint  - $156.04

And for those of you who did the math the total for my first five years of races is:
  • Total: $1345.41
  • Annually: $269
  • Average per race: $89.69
I really enjoy the "per race" figure, brings more sanity and light into my life. But if you think about it, the $1300 I've spent in five years* is far cheaper than any drinking activity, therapy, and a shoe obsession. You can't replace achievement, success, happiness and personal gain with any dollar amount. Sure that number sounds kind of high, but it's less than $300/year to have a blast and stay healthy.

I'm No Ironman, but I Still Tri.

*Please don't include the amount I've spent looking good while racing.

Friday, July 15, 2011

And Then There Were Five

Oops, I accidentally registered for a fifth triathlon this summer. (I hate when that happens.) I decided that it was unacceptable to go more than two weeks without racing. This summer has brought on an entirely new focus and obsession. Drum roll please...

Introducing the fifth race of the 2011 season! The inaugural She Bangs Sprint Triathlon. (Insert standing ovation and applause here.) I hope I make it out alive after all the hills. Thank gosh there aren't any hills during the swim...

(What, did I really just say that?)

I'm no Ironman, But I Still Tri

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Heat and Me

No, no. Not Lebron, the actual temperature. I am referencing legitimate news, not some overpaid and overhyped basketball player. Go Bulls.

Yesterday was my second of four (maybe five?) races for the season. This was my third time doing the women's triathlon series in Pleasant Prairie, WI (last year's race report here). The drill is as follows: drive up Saturday, stand in line to collect race items, look at stuff to buy (yipee!), rack bike (didn't this year), grab a bite to eat at the McDonald's, and go home. That was the drill this year too, including the "buy stuff" part (minus my girlfriends). We all know why endurance athletes race; it's for the swag and crap to buy at the pre-race expos. I have to keep the triathlon economy booming, don't I?

After packet pick up and the drive home I spent the afternoon hydrating, vegging, and packing. Sunday was doomed to be a long and hot day. I was able to get a decent amount of sleep Friday night, followed by a brick workout with the group Saturday morning. We were supposed to push it a bit, but I held back even though the coach pushed me a bit to pick up the pace. He said, "The only way to get faster is to run faster." If I had a nickle for every time I heard that phrase...Well, I heard him and picked up the pace a bit but held back on completing the rest of the workout to preserve for Sunday.

Saturday evening I was asleep by 9am (thank you, sleep aid) and I was thrilled. Sunday, 4:25am rolls around and crazy enough I forgot why I was getting up. I was on the road by 5am, parked by 5:40am and at transition before 6am. I didn't realize transition closed at 6:30am but the 30 minutes gave me enough time to find a spot to park my bike, set up transition then even move my transition area to a more spacious spot. The original game plan was to wear my wetsuit, but a last minute decision was made to ditch it. It was already very hot and humid and I wasn't interested in dealing with a long sleeved wet suit.

  • Weather: Hot and humid. Mid 70s and 8934984735% humidity (sort of)
  • Swim: (See here. I have no clue what the distance was.) This was sans wetsuit. I was in Wave 12 at 7:40am. There were 13 or 14 waves total, so I had a while to wait. I got to stretch, visit the loo and see who my competition was. Nerves were calm. I visualized the race and got ready to party. After starting out I felt off but realized it was because I was sans wetsuit, and about half way in my breathing slowed and I got into a groove. Only negative was swimming into the sun, but it wasn't the end of the world.
  • Bike: 14.2 mi (see here). Buh, windy and hilly. They change the course every year so I never know what to expect. The wind got to me and I felt as if I was riding into the wind and hills most of the time. No big deal. I could have pushed myself more, but before I knew it I had gone 13 miles and the time slipped away from me.
  • Run: 5k (see here). Sunny and flat; two things I can always count on for this race. I was mentally prepared for this run but was anticipating the moment my right ankle would act up. The run started out as planned, visited a water station and kept going. At mile 2 the right ankle pain paid a visit and we had fun (yeah right). My pace slowed, had to stop once to stretch it out (bad decision). One hard part about this 5k is you can see the entire course and how far the finish line is from where you are. Time sort of flew by but I was soaking it in and I was inspired so often watching other women conquer the race. The last quarter mile I picked up the pace and finished strong.
Here's where things get fun. I finished the race and immediately went towards volunteers who were cutting off the timing chips. I sit down and realize I can't catch a breath and my body was so hot I couldn't think. I got this across to the volunteer who helped me get to the med tent. I couldn't get words out, make decisions and catch my breath. All I could do was point and make motions. They sat me down and threw iced towels over my back. It was scary. But funny enough, this happens about once a year when I race. Took less than 10 minutes and I was good to go. (Freak show!) Fortunately I was collected and was able to get my bearings. Yeesh.

All in all, it was a fun race. I love the race atmosphere and being among inspiring women. It makes me remember why I race and how I can push myself. Thanks for reading.

Up next: July 23 - Alexian Brothers 10k in Hoffman Estates with Lori. I guess this means the next two weeks will have a lot more run miles! Hopefully the weather will cooperate

I'm No Ironman, but I Still Tri.