Boston Triathlon Team, New Member Application Deadline November 8!

This past year, I was accepted onto the Boston Triathlon Team and I was very proud to race in the blue and green this season! BTT has proved to be an excellent group of likeminded triathletes and friends. I have learned so much from fellow teammates about the sport of triathlon, enjoyed the team camaraderie during events, the support of teammates during an injury or difficult time and last but not least, the post-race celebrations! We are certainly a team that likes to work hard and also have fun. We are sponsored by not one, but two alcoholic beverage companies, after all!

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Do you live in Boston? Are you interested in joining BTT? Feel free to shoot me a note or comment with any questions! You can find the new member application here: BTT Membership Application 2015 Template-1

BTT is now accepting new membership applications through November 8, 2014 for the 2015 season. Please complete the attached form and EMAIL your completed application to Kelwin Conroy at membership@bostontriathlonteam.com.

Here is the skinny on the rules:

Active Members must be residents of the Commonwealth of MA on January 1 of the year they first join the team. Active Members must also at least twenty one (21) years of age.

Active Members must participate in a minimum of 4 events per year, wear the 2015 race jersey while racing, and record their race results on the BTT website. These 4 events must include:
1. – at least one complete triathlon (relays do not count)

2. – one official BTT volunteer event

3. -one additional competitive race (any multisport race, single sport race, or relay in a multisport)

4. -your choice of any of the above

If you do not fulfill the minimum requirements during your first year on the team you must re-apply for the team the following calendar year. Exceptions due to extenuating circumstances are at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

Active members are required to wear a current BTT race top when racing in a multi-sport event and to the extent possible, when volunteering for BTT. (Your membership fee includes a uniform stipend.) Our sponsors provide funding in exchange for advertising. As a team member, you are representing these sponsors by honoring a commitment to display their logos while racing and to the extent possible, when training or volunteering.

*A “triathlon” shall be defined as a competitive race that includes a swim, bike and run. In the event that a triathlon is modified by the race director due to weather or other safety concern, the Active member will be viewed as fulfilling his/her triathlon requirement as long as the member completes the modified race.
* “Volunteering” shall be defined as participation as a volunteer at an activity sponsored by BTT and provides race support to the race director or to a charitable or civic event.
* An “additional competitive race” shall be defined as any competitive sport event/race, such as running, road biking, mountain biking, swimming, snowshoeing, or cross country skiing.
* “Competitive race” shall be defined as any single sport competitive race event, including but not limited to running, road biking, mountain biking, swimming, snowshoeing, or cross country skiing. A relay in any type of race is also acceptable.
* BTT Race Top Requirement refers to the current year’s BTT race top showing the current year’s sponsors.

 

Smashfest Queen: Banishing The Boring Kit

I have a new squeeze in town and I thought I would shout it from the roof top, I love Smashfest Queen!

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I first learned about Smashfest Queen on twitter and instagram and was instantly drawn to their bright, loud and flashy tri-kits. Couple that with the fact that I am a fan of former swimmer (OMG ME TOO HILLARY, ME TOO!) turned TOTAL triathlon badass, Hillary Biscay who just so happens to be the co-founder of this amazing company so I knew I had to give these kits a try.

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Ultraman Champion = seriously inspiring

I am drawn to bright and fun clothing in my non-athletic life, so I decided that my plain black tri kit days were over and I really should embrace my over exuberance for color in my athletic life. Thank you to Hillary and Michele for helping me from being trapped in the world of “boring black and bla, oh that could be anyone rounding that corner” kit and helping cure my creative triathlon expression!

Unfortunately Smashfest Queen is so popular that the tri bottoms were backordered for about a month, but I received the top right away and really enjoyed breaking it in on trainer rides.

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STS: Sweaty Trainer Selfie, sorry but I’m not sorry.

First Impression: I LOVE the print and I can’t wait to take this onto the road. It actually motivates me to get a workout in because the print is so fun. You know that feeling when your workout gear is so cute, you just HAVE to put it on? Maybe that’s just me, but I love it.

According to their site they say that “this delicious design honors the amazing place where our company blossomed one year ago; Kona. This kit is pink, but take a closer look, it’s red and purple. In addition, the design is reminiscent of a brightly colored fish when the sun hits it scales. She sure is pretty!” Well, who doesn’t want a kit inspired by the superbowl of triathlon? Sign me right up.

Shelf bra seems more than sufficient, but I have only taken it on a couple runs. The top is tight, but it’s not “you make me feel like a 10 pound sausage in a 5 pound bag” tight.

Fabric: it is extremely quickly drying, which thank goodness because I sweat a TON! After a particularly hard trainer session, I stripped off my clothes and hopped into the shower to notice that I was completely drenched and my top was only somewhat damp.

Bottoms: one word of caution is that they run extremely small (which I neglected to notice in my endorphin fueled shopaholic spree on their site), I ended up ordering a large because the medium was just too tiny (Ok, time to insert the bit about the 10 pound sausage HERE) the large fits perfectly and is very comfortable. One feature I really love is the compression leg opening at the bottom of the short, it’s really comfortable and isn’t bogged down by heavy seams. Now since I am a member of the Boston Triathlon Team, I will most likely be using this for strictly training, but I would love to bust it out for a race at some point during this upcoming season!

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I haven’t taken this out on the road or tried it in a race yet as it is still very much winter in Boston, but I am looking forward to doing this really soon! Now the coolest part of getting this kit in the mail? The note that came along with it, complete with purple glitter pen!

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This currently lives on my fridge

 

Be sure to check out smashfestqueen.com for all of their amazing triathlon, cycling, running and casual gear. I look forward to bright, beautiful triathlon style for years to come!

What is your favorite triathlon kit, or race outfit and why?

The concept of “rest”

I have approached that time of year where I have to utter that dreaded four letter word:

REST.

For those who know me well, and quite frankly those who know me via the inter web know that I don’t sit or rest well. My mom said this about me when I was a baby, and I guess it’s a skill that I simply never learned.

The thing about participating in endurance sports is that you push your body to the limit, sometimes it gets angry with you. That happened in March when my hip began to hurt so much that I physically could not run, never mind sit for long periods in the car or at a desk.

After months and months of rehabbing and a misdiagnosis, I found the cause of my problem: my lower back. I won’t bore you will specifics (if you are curious feel free to ask!), but the pain I was feeling in my back was caused by an issue with a disc in my lower back, so I started treatment for that with the help of my miracle worker chiropractor and magically things started feeling better. Finally, I was able to run pain free, for the first time in months and even though it wasn’t advisable during my treatment, I was able to keep up half ironman training and successfully complete the race pain free with a smile on my face.

Once I bid adieu to triathlon season (tear), I made a promise to myself that I would slow down and rest. Even though it is eating a bit of my soul, I know that this is a good thing for my body and future athletic pursuits.

Mentally, I know it’s good to take a break from the grind of constantly peeling out high mileage.

When I say “rest”, I’m not completely checking out from the gym, swimming or running; I’m just doing workouts at a much lower intensity. I’ve been enjoying my quick 3.5 mile runs around my beautiful neighborhood in this delicious time of year.

I’ve reacquainted myself with a contraption known as the elliptical or one of my favorite calorie burners, the “big step.” I’m still finding joy in the pool and sweating it out in spin class, the only difference being, these activities max out at 30-45 minutes and include a fierce menu of stretching and icing afterwards.

So what am I doing with all of my free time?

Making delicious dinners with Foxy:

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Has anyone tried Dave’s Gourmet Butternut Squash pasta sauce? It is UN-REAL! Pricey, but definitely worth it.

Spending time with my adorable nieces and nephew, though I would like to do more of this!

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Enjoying fall in my neighborhood on beautiful days like this one:

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Enjoying delicious beverages (who am I kidding, I did that during training too :))

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Icing other sore and tired body parts with interesting compression devices. Pashmina anyone?

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and lastly, I’m still keeping my athletic goals in my mind by catching up on blogs and watching some favorite motivational movies

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In addition to all of this fun, I’ve been scheming a really fun adventure and a few exciting side projects I hope to share in the next few weeks. 

What are your favorite “off-season” activities? Do you have any suggestions for me? 

Pre-Timberman Thoughts

Wow, Timberman is just 2 days away – how did that happen?

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It’s been a wild few months of training. I spent a lot of time and money rehabbing a hip injury that was misdiagnosed. Thank goodness, I found a chiropractor who was able to work his wonders and find the source of my hip issue…my lower back!

Now, I feel ready. I’ve put in the work and what’s done is done. I might not be in the best running shape of my life, but the goal of my first 70.3 is to finish with a smile on my face.

Somehow I’m not nervous. Maybe that’s because I’m not in New Hampshire yet? Maybe it’s because I know I have done everything I could? Maybe it’s because I am a total badass? HA, RIGHT…

A few weeks ago I was talking to a fellow Timberman athlete about the challenges that come with training for a long distance triathlon while juggling work and social obligations. We both agreed that at times, it’s felt like a grind but for the most part it has been an amazing experience.

Unlike marathon training, triathlon training forces variety into your training schedule – whether you like it or not. I have to admit there were weekends where I would look at my schedule “60 mile bike ride on Saturday and a 12 mile run and 2,400 swim on Sunday” and really questioned my sanity and the fact that my training was interfering with enjoying one too many hoppy New England beers. WHY, WHY, WHY?! But, I (not so) secretly loved every moment of it.

Through this training cycle I have been able to dedicate many hours to my first athletic love, swimming.

Kim Woo Invite Soph Year

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I have really missed having a team to train with, which I am looking forward to adding to my regimen in the fall. For this cycling, I have enjoyed that my training plan has forced me into the water, and I’ve loved every second of it.

I have been able to conquer my biggest source of anxiety, cycling! I still have a lot of room for improvement, but my bike knowledge, fitness and confidence have soared over the past 4 months. I have come to LOVE hitting the open road at 7am on a Saturday with friends and exploring parts of Massachusetts that I didn’t know existed. It’s also given me the chance to spend time with a lot of people I don’t see on a regular basis. Foxy has even taken up the sport because of the enormous amount of spent training, he figured it might be worth investing in a bike.

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And last but not least, running. I’m not as fast as I would like to be, but that is OK. Right now I’m pain free and that is 100% worth being slow. As I mentioned, my goal is first and foremost to finish like this:

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SMILING!

After a lot of hard work and pain, I’m looking forward to Sunday. It should be a very interesting and most importantly, FUN. I can’t wait to put my training to the test and learning quite a bit about the sport of distance triathlon. I know that moments of self doubt will creep into my brain, and when it does I’m going to dig deep and fight back by singing “blurred lines” and “safe and sound” to myself. Side note: Thank you swimming for training me to entertain myself for HOURS upon hours of just plain singing to myself.

My original goal when I signed up was to finish in less than 6 hours, which I would 100% still like to do. Though, given my lack of running fitness, I’m going to focus on finishing and if a sub 6 hour time shows up, sweet! If not, no big deal.

For those who won’t be racing with me, but want to track me: my bib is # 933. I apologize in advance for an on-slaught of instagram and twitter updates regarding the course, pre-race nerves and excitement.

Lastly, a twitter and training buddy of mine, Alett posted this on facebook earlier this week:

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She said it was her “theme of the week.” I know plenty of people think I’m crazy for the amount of athletic activities I participate in, many of those people are in my own family. It is the constant urge to set a goal, work towards it and achieve it that makes me tick. Plenty of people are fine never trying, endurance sports are certainly not for everyone. I have found out more about myself through swimming, running and now the sport of triathlon than I ever thought possible. I have found my limits and exceeded them. I’ve made new friends. I’ve gotten sick. I’ve finished a workout or race feeling amazing. I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve gotten injured…a lot. It’s all a part of the process, and the juice is most definitely worth the squeeze.

I’m lucky that I have a husband and best friend that supports my crazy athletic interests. His support, hugs, encouragement and willingness to wake up at 4am to carry my triathlon bag and ring a cowbell mean more to me than he will ever know. Though he doesn’t share my crazy endurance ways, he knows that these sports make me happy and provide an outlet that I need in my life. I know that it tests his patience, sanity and causes extreme sleep deprivation. But, he is always there for me with a joke, smile and a good luck kiss. Foxy, THANK YOU!

On Sunday I will step on the start line and race for me. I will smile throughout the swim. Take time to enjoy the beautiful scenery on the bike. And, I will hold on and dig deep in the run. It’s been a wild ride, and one that I have a feeling might just be getting started.

Do you have any last minute 70.3 race advice for me?!

Moving Up, and On

I’ve been a bit quiet this year, sorry about that.

Sometimes it’s easier to shy away from communicating when things are tough or unpleasant. No one wants to be a Debbie Downer, right?!

However, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been doing really, really fun and awesome things:

I took a trip out west to CO to ski and spend time with my amazing college friends. Sadly, we all live far away from one another and it was my one chance to see friends that know me better than anyone else.

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I’ve learned to face my fears and get out on my bike. I’ve relied on a lot of bike savvy friends who have been extremely patient with me. THANK YOU.

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I’ve raced in some incredible triathlons. Most of which included my super sherpa/cheer squad by my side.

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And I have been able to race and train with friends who I haven’t seen nearly enough before this foray into swimming, biking and running…

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But, I’ve had a few things going on that have been occupying the time I would be spending by documenting and sharing  my training experiences and making new friends through this blog.

I’m happy to report that over the last month or so, things have been moving in the right direction. I won’t elaborate on details, but I’m really excited about what lies ahead:

Two weeks off: Now until 8.26.13

My very first 70.3 race, Timberman 70.3: 8.18.13

Starting a new job: 8.26.13

Buying a car: ?

Rejoining Cambridge Masters swim team: Sometime in September or October.

Life certainly is an unpredictable journey. There are ups and downs. Luckily, I have an amazing husband, support system, sherpa and all around awesome guy by my side. Foxy, thank you for all of your hugs, jokes to make me laugh and ability to roll with the punches. And, I would remiss if I didn’t mention that I have some amazing friends. No matter how far away they are, will always be there for me.

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I’m looking forward to a great mix of relaxation, organizing, and racing over the next few weeks. I’m also psyched to see what lies ahead in the next few years in my professional, personal and athletic lives.

Additionally, I am taking on a new side project, to revamp this blog and continue making connections that I enjoy making so much.

Thanks for your patience and I look forward to catching up on everyone’s race schedules very soon.

And if you’re wondering, this will be me for the next few weeks: Ridiculously happy and maybe, perhaps “photogenic triathlon girl”

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xoxo

Swimmy

2013 Goals

1. Put Foxy First

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I am very lucky to have such a loving, supportive, funny, intelligent and all around AWESOME husband. Since the moment I met him he has always shown how important his friends, family and now wife, are to him on a daily basis. I am extremely thankful to have found him and I am equally, if not more, lucky that he deals with me and my headstrong  and intense ways. And with a smile, nonetheless!

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More often than not, when I’m training I find myself getting wrapped up in the details. “My foot is hurting, is it a stress fracture?” or “how am I going to fit in a long run over this wedding weekend in x city?” or “I had a bad run, am I cut out for this marathon stuff?” or, just the general random sobs and blabbering out of fear and frustration with training and racing. First and foremost, my goal this year is to make sure to put everything into perspective and put Foxy first. He always is undeniably there for me through anything and never complains about my endorphin obsessed ways. I want to put it out on the interweb that my goal is to not sweat the small stuff and constantly remind myself to channel and put into practice the selfless ways of #1 supporter.

2. Buy a bike

As a life long swimmer and lover of the water and runner since college, I’ve always wanted to become a triathlete. However, the fear of cycling has always been a gigantic barrier to entry. Since 2011 I have signed up for a few triathlons with hopes that I would make the plunge and buy a bike, but other expenses and trips always seem to get in the way. I’ve always seemed to have gotten by with spinning classes and borrowing friends bikes. But, with the decision made to sign up for this race, it’s more important than ever to get the right gear for the sport.

3. Get into cycling and get over my fears

Once I have the gear, I want to find a group to go on rides with and get some log some solid distance training rides. I definitely avoid cycling because I have a lot of fears associated with cycling in this city. But, it’s time to face my fears find some trails outside of downtown Boston and get more adept to this huge portion of any triathlon race. Ultimately, this will make me a stronger rider.

4. Stay injury free in 2013

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and swim/bike/run HAPPY.

This is probably the corner stone to all of my athletic goals for 2013. Foxy would appreciate if I stay injury free aka, stay away from the “Glass case of emotion” injured self. I’m tackling this goal with the following:

  1. Hot Yoga once a week (no exceptions!)
  2. Clams & other hip exercises
  3. Foam rolling every day I run, if not 7 days a week.

5. Complete the Boston Marathon

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Growing up in Boston, the marathon has always been a major bucket list item. I’ve watched countless friends make the turn onto Boylston st and year after year of cheering has only intensified the yearning to also complete this prestigious  race.  As much as I would like to set a goal time, I mostly just want to finish. The last time I ran (or ran/walked) a marathon was in 2009. I think it’s finally time to avenge that race and finish my life long goal of running Boston, and finishing with a smile on my face.

6. Complete the Timberman Half Ironman

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These shoulders are built for swimmin’!

I forget when I first heard the concept of an Ironman, but it has been my bucketlist/ultimate reach goal for at least fifteen years now. It fascinates and scares the bejesus out of me.

Since an Ironman has 112 mile bike ride, I realized that if I never accomplished goals #2 and 3, I would never even get close to the full Ironman distance. This is still a few years in the future, and it is something that Foxy and I will make together. Since my long range goals require me to get more serious about all aspects of the sport of triathlon, I figured that 2013 was the perfect time to dive head first and sign up for my first half ironman.

I do have a goal time in mind, I am not sharing that until closer to the race. At this juncture all I want to do is finish.

So, that’s it folks! I’m sure that these will change and morph over time, but at this point these are my goals for 2013.

What are your goals for 2013? Do you have any triathlon/cycling advice for me?!

Nantucket Triathlon

Keeping on pace to accomplish a few of my 2011 goals/resolutions, I decided to sign up for the Nantucket Triathlon. I’ve heard great things about this sprint triathlon, and I’m even more excited that it gives me the excuse to take a day off from work and make a long weekend on Nantucket.

Here is a quick breakdown of the race: 

Swim (.33 miles) starting and ending at Jetties beach (located by Brant Point.) Unlike other newbie triathlete’s this section of the triathlon is what I am the most comfortable with. The fact that I have been a competitive swimmer since the age of 10 definitely helps this portion of the tri! On top of that, in high school and college I was a beach lifeguard on Cape Cod, so I am very familiar with open water swimming!

Training Plan: Swimming Roughly 2 times a week, with a mix of distance, pulling and interval work. I’m basically just going to scale back a few of my favorite workouts from my college swim team and use those. Plus, I am planning on doing a few open water practice swims during the summer months to prepare for the race and get back into the grove of sighting

Bike (14 miles) The bike route is a loop around the west side of the island. This is going to be the toughest part of the race, and especially where I need to focus the majority of my training. My first triathlon biking experience was a total disaster and I was seriously contemplating dropping out! I’m hoping that extra training and the proper equipment I can do a better job 🙂
Training Plan: Spinning 1-2 times a week, and then once the weather gets nice buying a bike and completing several long bike rides so I get the hang of it.
Run (3.4 miles): Once off of the bike, the run goes on a smaller loop around the west side of the island and finishes on Jetties beach. The run is also an area that I am less worried about, however after 14 miles on the bike, I have very clear memories of my legs feeling like complete jelly. So clearly I need to read up on properly training for running a fast 5k with lactic acid build up.

Training Plan: I’m planning on training for this like an average 5k, a lot of speed and tempo work.
Other training notes
  1. Transitions: I know this is one of the most important aspects to train for when competing in a Triathlon, so I plan on practicing these quite a bit. Any and all tips are much appreciated.
  2. Practicing Multiple sports, back to back: It only seems to make sense to practice swimming & Biking in the same work out, same as Biking & Running. This will help prepare my body for the transitions between each sport and the different muscles that each of them use.
  3. Core Strength & Cross Training: I plan on doing Yoga once a week to help keep me limber and to build up core strength, as well as do a variety of weight/core exercises to help reduce the risk of injury and keep my core strong which will propel me through the toughest parts of the Triathlon
I’m really looking forward to what will hopefully be a better triathlon that my first experience back in 2006. I’ve always been happiest when I am swimming, so I’m looking forward to mixing swimming in with my new love of running, and hopefully I will learn not to hate cycling so much 🙂 For more information on the Nantucket Triathlon go to http://www.acktri.com/
Have you ever done a triathlon before? What are your favorite training tips?