Sunday, February 28, 2016

First Four Weeks + Frosty 5k

I'm training for my first Ironman 70.3 at Timberman this August.  In case you don't know a whole lot about triathlon (because believe me, I'm still learning tons!) there are different race distances, just as in running races.  A Half Ironman (HIM) or a "70.3" consists of a swim leg of 1.2 miles, a bike leg of 56 miles and a run leg of 13.1 miles, for a total distance of 70.3 miles.  Some may ask why would anyone be interested in doing this?  For that, I have no answer except to say that I love to challenge myself.  When you've proven to yourself that you can do something that requires so much strength and determination, not just on race day but also in the months of training that lead up to that day, you have proven that there is nothing you can't handle.  The process makes you a stronger, more resilient person.  And I like that.

So far I have two sprint triathlons and one olympic distance triathlon under my belt.  Both sprints were done at the Lewisburg Sprint Tri.  My olympic was at the Keystone State Tri.  So obviously, the next logical thing to do is register for a half Ironman, right?!
After my very first tri, 3rd in AG!

I'd really like to chronicle my training a little bit here, maybe just one post every four weeks or so. Currently, I'm doing some base training, or training to train, as I like to call it.  It's hard to imagine that I'm working this hard and I'm not really in true training for Timberman.  I'd estimate that in my first four weeks of training I've swam a little over three miles, ran about 68 miles, and biked about 200 miles spread over 33 workouts, plus four core/strength type workouts.  Thirty-seven workouts in 28 days, but don't worry, I did several brick workouts to give myself a couple whole days of rest.

Brick = "A brick workout refers to the stacking of two disciplines during the same workout, one after the other with minimal to no interruption in between. As you switch modes of exercise, your body needs to effectively and efficiently prepare for the next demand while recovering from the previous exercise demand. Your heart rate increases significantly as your body tries to shift the blood flow from the muscles of the first exercise to the demands of the muscles of the next. Brick workouts help your body handle the aerobic, anaerobic, and muscular demands of a triathlon event." 

It's good to race shorter distances leading up to race day just practice what you've been training.  With this in mind, I've registered for Lake Raystown Triathlon (sprint) in May, Wally Man Triathlon (olympic) in June, and Musselman Triathlon (sprint) in July.

Additionally, I've already raced the Frosty 5k on February 6th, and I PR'd!!!  I got 5/46 for my AG (F 31-40) and 39/225 overall with a time of 22:53 for a pace of 7:23/M.
New 5k PR!

PR = Personal Record aka Personal Best

A good friend of mine, Dennis, is acting as my coach.  He's been giving me my workouts and providing a lot of great feedback.  The Frosty 5k was his idea.  He used my time from that race to come up with target zones for my run workouts.  I seriously would have no direction without him!  I'm not sure how anyone enters this sport without a coach or a tri club (like my own, Team Taper!) for support.  I've been so fortunate to have friends like Dennis willing to take the time to guide me.  

Keep tuned as I continue to chronicle my training adventures here!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

3rd Annual CJ's Resolution Challenge

Can you believe it?!  
3rd Annual CJ's Resolution Challenge!

The third race has come and gone and seems to be an annual favorite among area runners.  I thought it would be fun to present a recap in a "CJ's-By-The-Numbers" format.   So here ya go!

- number of years CJ's Resolution Challenge has been in existence
Medals from each year

1.6 - miles in the loop of the race
180 - the minutes a participant has to complete the challenge
138 - runners who took on the challenge (30 in the Last Man Standing, 108 in RC Revolutions)
1617.6 - miles run by all those runners this year
Photos courtesy of R. Glendye, Precious Moments Photography

45 - quarts of soup fed to all those hungry runners
25 - hearty volunteers who set up as early as 5am and stayed until well after 2pm
47 - number of virtual runners who came from.....
21 - different states, and.......
- other countries- the UK, Tanzania, and Antarctica!

8700 - dollars raised to benefit the Northeast Bradford Elementary School Life Skills Classroom, a class in rural Pennsylvania that serves children with autism, Down's syndrome, intellectual disabilities, and multiple disabilities.

One and only "CJ"

As usual, I'd like to include some of my favorite comments from this year's participants:

"Thank you CJ's Resolution Challenge for a perfect race. I could not think of any way that this race could improve! Easy registration, indoor restrooms before the race, a beautiful course - half trails, half road - lots of friendly people to talk to on the course, tons of fueling options, great music blasting at the finish/start line, and yummy hot soup and home made goodies for after the run. What could be better? I will definitely be back, and I hope to be able to bring some southern PA friends to the 2017 race!"  Laurie H.

"Great time today... So positive. Loved the course with beautiful trails and road combo. Soup, homemade cookies, etc. perfect and delicious. Ran 13 miles today - a personal best for me - something I never thought I could accomplish. Looking forward to the 2017 event! Thank you for all the hard work that went into creating an extraordinarily positive experience." Jeff R.

"As any of my running group can tell you, "I HATE TRAIL RACES". That being said, this morning's race was fantastic - the perfect combination of trails and road. I was looking forward to it all month. I ran it the first year and had a blast but missed last year due to an injury. I can't tell you how disappointed I was. It was great to be back, and the weather was about perfect for a January race. Thanks to all of the organizers and volunteers for a well done event."  Tom C.

"Thanks Janell and volunteers for a fun and unique event! The trail was beautiful and I loved the smell of pine through the woods. Race directing is a ton of work and you all did a great job. Shirts were great as was all the support. Will be back. Thanks!"  Marjorie L.

An event like this cannot be pulled together alone.  I'd like to offer my deepest, heartfelt thanks to everyone who has a hand in this race.  I could not (repeat, could not!) do it without you.  To my family and friends who for three events have frozen on the mountain by my side, you believe that this is more than just a race.  You understand that this is to honor my son, to shine a light on autism, to have the conversations that make an impact, to connect someone to the resources they may need, and to build a network of support that could last lifetimes.  Surely, it's more than just a race.

Thank you.