Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-5K Race and Open Swim Clinic!-

I will be creating a separate blog entirely about my triathlon training, but for now i’ll just post this here! 🙂

Yes, I ran in my Frees!

Yes, I ran in my Frees!

Yesterday, I raced in the “Run For Your Life” 5k, supporting the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

The race started around 7:45 am and it was already hot and muggy.  I believe it got up to 97 degrees yesterday (not including the heat index, which pushed that number well past 100).

I hadn’t run in a 5k since 2002!  The last one I did was the Race For the Cure with my mom.  She and I met a few times a week for weeks leading up to the race so I could help her with getting better at running. 🙂  It was good bonding time for mom and I.  Anyhow, we would run/walk and I would let her choose when it was time to walk.  So cool to help my mom be active, because she was always athletic, just the type that falls off the wagon often.  So…the 5k came and mom saw a few of her fellow grad students there (she was working on her 2nd Master’s Degree, this one was her MFA – Master of Fine Arts), who talked some smack to her (in a nice way, of course).  So…race is off and mom and I are running together, and I kept making sure she was okay.  I remember asking her several times if she needed to walk, and her response was “just keep talking to me, Sarah!”  She ran the ENTIRE 5k and it was the most awesome thing because she was so proud of herself.  She raised her arms as she ran thru the finish line!  I was so proud of her!  Come to find out the reason she refused to walk was becasue the grad students smack-talked her!  Cute huh?

So, back to my 5k.  I started mid-pack and had it in my mind to run at my current “happy pace,” which is roughly 8:45-9:00 min/mi.  Obviously, in a race situation, you’re fired-up and tend to go faster.  This was the case for me!  I was zoomin’ at first, then tried to settle into a comfortable pace.  I passed up a few guys and there were probably three women ahead of me.  I sported my Garmin Forerunner 305 for the first time, and LOVE it!

race 2Just a sidenote on that subject – one of my amazing clients, Ruth, who i’ve mentioned before, was tickled to learn i’m training for a tri.  Her youngest son does triathlons, and she has always talked about his training and performance throughout the past almost-four years we’ve been training.  When we talked last week about our upcoming appointment, she mentioned she had a surprise for me for the tri.  Well, when I got to her house Friday and she handed me the box, I FREAKED OUT!  I jumped up and down like a little kid on Christmas morning!  It was awesome!  She gave me a Garmin, and i’ve been drooling over one ever since I got bitten by the GPS bug (thanks to my buddy Rick Karboviak).  GPS training is where it’s at.  I am in love with it and if you’re a runner who’s interested in learning more about incorporating GPS AND kettlebells into your workouts, you need to check out Rick’s programs!  CLICK HERE to find out more (and y’all know I don’t plug just anyone)!  Also, thanks Rick, for the shout-out in your latest blog post over at 1 Mile Nation!

Okay, back to the race!  Off and running, my biggest challenge was to run at a comfortable pace, yet push myself.  I am very competitive with myself.  Of course, my initial pace goal was left in the dust.  According to my Garmin, I ran 3.19 miles in 26:16 and my pace was 8:15.  Fastest pace was 7:08 and average HR was 180.

Tank top was drenched!

Tank top was drenched!

I placed second in the women’s 30-34 age group (but there were only 2 of us, lol), and i’m curious to see my placing overall.  I figured i’d finish in 28ish minutes, so I was happy!  The last half mile was a bit painful, thanks to a bit of a boost I cranked as I passed a teenage boy and another guy. 🙂  Coming back towards the finish line, my breathing became a little labored and I was determined to not get a side stitch.  I was able to turnand burn and finished strong!  Talk about sweaty!  The awards were at 9:45 so we stood around in the heat.  I drank at least two waters, a diet Vitamin Water, and a diet Redbull!  Let me tell you, when I got home, I went to town on those McDonald’s pancakes! Nom nom nom…lol…then I was in a carbo coma.  You KNOW i’m worn out when i’m able to sit through an ENTIRE movie without doing anything else.  Even moreso when the movie is horrible…I sat through Cloverfield.  Yep, I did.

Mom would be proud of me…this morning, I attended an open water swim clinic held by BRTri.  I had no idea what to expect.  I did know that we’d be swimming in a small lake and there is a gator who resides there.  For a brief moment yesterday, I was convinced I shouldn’t go…but then my “why the hell not?” lightbulb flickered back on and I told myself I was being silly.  I want to learn as much as I can, and take advantage of as many clinics/training opportunities as I can.  I want to be as prepared as possible going into my first triathlon experience.

The clinic was aweome and very eye-opening.  First off, swimming in a pool is obviously WAY different than swimming in a lake.  First off, you can’t see sh*t in lake water.  Secondly, you’re out there…there’s no edge to swim to if you need a break.  Third, there are critters.  The rule is that you don’t talk about the critters, lol.  Anyhow, i’m not gonna lie.  The experience kicked my ass in a good way.  We did roughly 300 yards total, I would say.  Swam down a bit, then treaded water while the instructor gave us pointers about “sighting,” meaning picking a focus point ahead and being able to get your head up just a bit prior to breathing every so often.  This is going to be someting I must work on, because what happens when you raise your head TOO much?  Your feet drop and you end up wasting a ton of energy trying to regain position.  She had us swim some distance keeping our heads up, and oh my goodness…yes, it was fatiguing!  I am strong overall, so I was able to “hang” and muscle it up, but it got me huffing and puffing!

Here’s another thing.  Swimming  around a group of people for the first time is freaky.  I’m not gonna lie – it’s a bit of a panicky experience.  I had a hard time feeling relaxed in the water the entire time, and I wasn’t the only one.  There were a bunch of us in the same boat.  My stroke is becoming more efficient and relaxed, but it was a completely different ballgame this morning.  Just as in the 5k yesterday, when you’re around a group of people doing the same thing, you tend to want to go faster.  My pace was completely thrown off AND I was trying to get adjusted to the fact that I had swimmers all around me.  In the murky water you can’t see crap, but you can sense when there is someone near you.  The trick is to be constantly aware of your surroundings.  You’re gonna get kicked and scratched, and you’re gonna kick and scratch others.  It just happens.  As my friend Sheila puts it, “you gotta worry about yourself because you’re gonna get run over!”  I found myself swimming for a while, and then my breathing would get thrown off, i’d tense up a bit, and have to breast stroke a tad, then keep going.  The key is to not stop swimming!  I am definitely wanting to do anything and everything I can to get more comfortable with this.  It’s not gonna get the best of me!

Hopefully I will have pictures soon!

Here is a great little article about open water swimming!

6 responses

  1. Well done on the 5k!! I can’t believe you guys have races in those temps. There are almost no races here over summer – that’s crazy!

    June 28, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    • It’s brutal…and the fact that my average HR was 180 says it all… 😦
      The humidity is kicking my keister!
      See why I will not be outside training later than 8am? I do swim in my friends’ pool but that’s a bit different. Kinda freaky, though, when you get in and it’s like bath water!

      June 30, 2009 at 1:47 pm

  2. Julie

    Awesome job on the 5K Sarah! I am reading about your swim clinic and picturing you swimming with people all around you. That would freak me out also! Probably one thing about the tri you never even thought about right? Keep up the hard work! You’re kicking butt every day! 🙂

    June 28, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    • Thanks, Julie!
      It’s the one thing i’m most worried about, but i’m going to take advantage of any swim clinics I can attend! 🙂 Also, i’m thinking of asking the little old ladies at the pool in the mornings to congregate around me as I swim…maybe that would help? LOL! Kidding about that! They are so precious…OMG! I am gonna take a picture of them and post it on here. I’m doing laps and they are at the end of the pool with their noodles, talking and pretty much doing nothing…but rotating side to side slightly and walking around here and there…at least it’s something! I should tell them i’m a trainer and give ’em some exercises…okay, i’m definitely gonna do that! This morning they were like “see you next time!” Adorable!
      I’m going to be creating a separate triathlon training blog later today…i’ll announce that, of course!
      Yours in Health,

      June 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm

  3. JMJ

    Great job Sarah! You blew your happy pace out of the water w/the 8:15 avg. Gotta love that summer heat in the South. Here in Dallas, we’re hitting 102 and 103 w/o the heat index. Keep up the great training!

    June 28, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    • Thanks, Jason!
      Hope you are staying hydrated! I don’t think I could drink too much water these days! Sounds like y’all are having nasty hot weather like here…it doesn’t seem that last year it was this hot…am I wrong? What’s the deal? Anyhow, hope your training is going well this week!
      Yours in Health,

      June 30, 2009 at 1:52 pm

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