This race was the first event of 2014 for us. We at first heard about the hot chocolate series while living in Atlanta and heard lots of good things about this series from our friends. This series is mostly a fun run type of event, incorporating live music, hot chocolate finisher mug at the finish, warm sweat shirts instead of t-shirts and comfortable race distances. Additionally, for us what makes participating in this event enticing was a combination of factors. The event falls early in enough in the year that it would help motivate us to stay in shape over the holidays. The 15K distance is just the right length to train for that doesn’t require the heavy volumes of a triathlon or half marathon. Also, the swag is not half bad.
I’ve been at this endurance sports thing (1 hour or longer events) for a few years now and next year feels like it will be my senior year in the my endurance training education. Through those years I have definitely seen some grade A performances but there have been some F’s and everything in between. Reflecting back, I think I have finally come close to defining the training formula, that allows work/life balance along with injury prevention. The tips in this post come out of all of my collected mental notes from the past few years. This guide is not a one size fits all, but a blue print I have found that works and that you can tailor for yourself.
I have rediscovered my love of running. The marathons I ran a few years ago crushed my enjoyment of all things running and it has taken a couple of years to get back my passion for running. How fitting that I should get it back shortly after completing my first Half Ironman and while training for my 10th Half Marathon race. The month of September 2013 and the beginning of October have truly been record breaking. I covered more miles in the last 4 weeks 150+ than I ever did over any 4 week span when training for marathons. I’ve been telling people that think I have finally figured out the training formula for injury free endurance sports. I will go more into that formula in a separate posts later this year when I have it all properly detailed out.
12 weeks of training came down to one long day on Sunday, September 8th. We can finally say that we have done it. Angela, myself and a couple of other friends, completed a 70.3 mile half Ironman triathlon race. I read somewhere that the percentage of the population who have completed that distance is 1% or less. Therefore, we are officially in a fringe group of endurance junkies. I am very proud to be a member of such a unique and intense group of folks. Also, given that we recovered so well from the race in the first 24 hours, I am pretty sure we will be doing many more long course triathlons in the future. I decided to share a complete race breakdown, leg by leg, with you below, so that you know not only how things went in detail for us but also how the Big Kahuna itself was run.
In a way, I am glad I waited to post this update until today because I can throw a shout out to Diana Nyad for completing a 35 year old dream. For those who don’t know, becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage or swim fins, swimming from Havana to Key West over the holiday weekend.
2013 has truly been an interesting year for my relationship with water and the plans aren’t getting any smaller for next year either. I really hope to take my swimming to a competitive level next year.
The only real interesting update I can provide is that were going to spend this next week focusing very heavily watching our diet. We plan on investing in a Withings WiFi Scale to take more regular weight measurements, analyze body fat and body mass index. Just being overall healthier is part of our reasoning and the other is to make sure that everything is clicking and in sync as we get closer to race day. One other piece of motivation is the picture below. I discovered it last week on the Triathlon facebook page and it has really motivated me a lot this past week. It embodies everything I love about fitness and healthy living. The sheer power to transform oneself into something else through raw effort and discipline. I don’t know the couple pictured, but I am happy for them and wish anyone else chasing the same goals the best of luck.
Maybe more than any other race I have ever done, except my first marathon, the waiting for this race was killing me. I really wanted to well in my first ocean water swim triathlon and the first at Olympic distance. It seemed like the hours never ended and every smell, sound and sight seemed to be at level 10. Walking around downtown Santa Cruz never appeared crazier. I just wanted to get to the race and get into it. I had a lot to prove to myself and trying to stay patient was not easy to do. I literally walked around counting to 200 over and over in my head as a rehearsal for the counting drill I would do at the start of my swim wave.
This week’s post includes a mini race report from our participation in the Wharf to Wharf 10k. A race that goes from the Wharf at Santa Cruz Beach to the Wharf at Capitola beach.