HITS Napa Olympic Triathlon: Week 7 training & Rock ‘n’ Roll SF Half Marathon recap

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We’re in the home stretch!

Last week was the final full week of training before Hubby and I tackle the HITS Napa Valley Olympic triathlon this Sunday, April 13. It was also jam-packed with fun — namely the LUNA Chix Summit and the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Francisco Half Marathon.

Here’s how the week shook out, plus a recap of the race.

Week 7 Olympic Distance Training Plan – planned & (actual)

  • Swim 60 min. (40-min. pool swim with speed work)
  • Bike 90 min. / Run 25 min. off the bike (55-min. spin class/25-min. run on treadmill)
  • Swim 60 min. (30-min. run)
  • Track workout (track workout with LUNA Chix team, 2.5 miles total)
  • Rest day (30-min. walk)
  • Long bike, 35-50 miles (20-mile bike ride to Sausalito)
  • Long run, 9-12 miles (13.1-mile RnRSF Half)

Adam Shane, owner of the Barry’s Bootcamp San Francisco (coming this May!) asked me to help pace him on Sunday since the Rock ‘n’ Roll race would be his first half marathon. It was a point-to-point race, so our crew Uber’ed over in a few different cars and met back up at the Beach Chalet near the race start.

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It was crowded, but well-organized. Hubby made his way to our assigned corral (two) because he wanted to try to get a PR in his second half marathon, but since I had decided to run this one for fun, I hung back with our group and we made our way into corral four.

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Before we knew it, the gun went off and the corrals were being released one by one. We knew ahead of time that it was a hilly course, so no one was super shocked when, almost immediately, we started winding our way up the streets.

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We took it easy, though, and kept a conversational 9:30-10:00 minute mile pace as we enjoyed in the great views (the weather couldn’t have been better — clear and mild with a light breeze) and made our way over toward the Golden Gate Bridge.

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I was especially pumped to  run into one of my favorite workout buddies, Pavement Runner. We took the obligatory selfie and chatted for a few minutes as we jogged along with his group. They were a roving party, playing music, taking pictures and starting impromptu dance parties!

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I knew my job was to get Adam to the finish, though, so I caught back up with the Barry’s crew and checked in to see how he was feeling. Luckily, he was getting a major second wind around mile seven, so he decided to push the pace and go for it for the last six miles.

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As you can see, we had a picture-perfect day on the bridge, but it was pretty crowded, so we ended up losing each other in the mix. I figured I’d either catch up with him further along or he’d continue to push for a strong finish, so I put my headphones on and just ran by feel at a comfortable pace.

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By the time mile 10 rolled around, the flat portion was over, and it was back to the hills…and they were no joke. Yeah, I’m in decent shape from triathlon training, but I’m learning that it can mean something quite different than being in peak half-marathon-racing shape. My legs and lungs started revolting on the back-to-back inclines.

So now it was just a mental battle — my body was capable, but my mind was second-guessing my fitness level. So I knew it was time to reach into the bag of mental tricks and set a goal on which to focus for the remainder of the race.

I hadn’t been tracking my time closely, but after spotting the clock at mile 11, I had a feeling I could pull off a sub two-hour finish if I maintained my pace and gave a kick at the end. I refocused (and spotted Adam about 100 yards ahead!) before bringing it in for the final push downhill to the finish. Final time 1:59:44.

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The best part? Reuniting with everyone at the finish and hearing their race recaps. Adam rocked a sub two-hour finish in his first half, Hubby nabbed a new PR, Vivi ran a strong race, the November Project was out in full force, and Brian (aka Pavement Runner) also stopped by to say hello.

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And coming in a close second as the best part of the day might have been the post-race stop Hubby and I made at Philz Coffee…seriously, the Dancing Water roast is nothing short of amazing.

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Stay tuned for week eight…and RACE DAY!

15 thoughts on “HITS Napa Olympic Triathlon: Week 7 training & Rock ‘n’ Roll SF Half Marathon recap

  1. Congrats on a great race and making it to the taper for HITS Triathlon this weekend!! Remember to have fun and enjoy the day…that is always the most important 🙂


    • Thank you! Happy to have gotten this far…but now the nerves are starting to set in. Taking your advice to heart, though – even though I’m not a strong swimmer, I’m gonna try to have fun, enjoy every moment and just take it all in. And, heck, it’s my first Olympic distance, so I’ll PR no matter what!


  2. And here I was thinking this run was a walk in the park for everyone else! Miles 10-13 were so freakin hard for me, mentally and physically. Congratulations, and good luck on the triathlon!


  3. Pingback: Year in Review: 2014’s Highs & Lows | Kinetic Fix

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