New School, New Beginnings

I started back to school two weeks ago at, once again, a new school! Hopefully third time’s the charm since Missouri Baptist University has been great so far! The classes are small and very interesting! It’s great meeting new people while learning about the body since I’m studying Health Sciences with a minor in Exercise Science.

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As for training, these past few weeks I have learned a lot about my body, which I’ll list here.

1) Nutrition is Key! Since starting school, my diet has been healthier overall! I need extra energy since I wake up at 6 every morning and don’t stop until 11 at night. That brings me to my next point:

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(Clearly this picture doesn’t represent good nutrition, but I thought it was cute!)

2) A set sleep schedule is important! I have discovered that if I deviate from my 7 hours of sleep schedule even by a few hours, my whole day is thrown off! Sometimes it’s hard, but I really try to stick to the same amount of sleep every night.

3) MUST DRINK WATER!!! I have been absolutely terrible about not drinking water, so I’m making my goal to drink two bottles of water a day. It isn’t much, but it’s a start. And of course, most days start with coffee or tea which don’t help with hydrating myself.

I have learned these things through pretty much trial an error. A few of my long runs have failed due to lack of care of my body. Taking care of your body works from the inside out. I’m pushing my body to new lengths, so I have to be sure to take care of it.

And that leads me to my training… It has been so hot out that the only reasonable time to run has been at night, which makes me nervous considering all of the bad things that have been on the news in this and surrounding areas. Therefore, I have been biking, swimming, and doing core work-outs in order to stay in shape for the Chicago Marathon. It looks like I might have to resort to treadmills considering my schedule is all over the place.

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Speaking of the marathon, please help me raise money for Cystic Fibrosis! This foundation can really use the help financially! Read more about it and please donate at this link:

http://www.cff.org/LWC/EricaGrogg

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Rec-Plex Triathlon

Well, I finally completed my first triathlon! Training for it was definitely different than I am used to since my roots are in cross country and track, but I loved cross training with swimming and biking!

On race day, I was very nervous. I had everything packed up the night before so luckily I did not have to worry about any of my stuff. I found a spot to set up my bike, shoes and such, and I started talking to a man near me. (Side note, it turns out that he has completed several Ironman races!) Anyway, he was very helpful and told me that triathletes are very nice (which turned out to be true!) and I should just enjoy myself.

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After getting my number written on my arm and leg, I lined up in my spot for swimming. We all had a set start time, so I had a few minutes to talk to the people around me who gave me some helpful advice. It turns out you can swim in any form you want and you should mainly use your arms while swimming so you can save your legs for the rest of the race! I decided to swim in mid-thigh length Nike spandex and a tight Nike sports bra. My swimming time was a lot better than I expected at 16 minutes and 8 seconds for 500 meters!

I moved on to the transition area to get ready for the biking part of the race. I ate a packet of GU and drank some water while putting on my shoes and a dry-fit shirt. Biking ended up being very peaceful since it was in St. Peters farmland and I was riding at just over a leisurely pace. About 7 miles into the ride I started riding with a lady I met at the beginning of the race. This is where things got crazy. The route took us through standing water over the road, which we all rode through, but at the turn around the lady literally sunk into a ditch and was covered by water since no one could see it was there! Luckily she was alright and was able to laugh it off. We rode back with each other for a few miles and had a lovely conversation. The only time the biking was really difficult was on a HUGE uphill during the last mile. The bike ride was 19 miles and I did it in 1 hour 36 minutes and 51 seconds.

During the transition I once again drank some water and ate GU. When I started the run, all of my leg muscles were numb. I had to keep reminding myself that my roots are in running and it was my part of the race. I owned the running. It felt like I was running at literally a 12 minute mile pace, but it turned out I was a lot faster than I thought! The run was on a trail I often trained on for cross country, so I knew it very well. At the end of the 4.8 mile run, my time was 40 minutes and 13 seconds!

My overall time was 2 hours 33 minutes and 12 seconds. I am very happy with this time and hopefully I can beat it next time I race a triathlon!

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I am no on to training for the Chicago Marathon on October 13th! I am racing for Team CF, which means I am collecting donations. If you would like to donate, please donate at the link below. Any amount is greatly appreciated.

http://www.cff.org/LWC/dsp_donationPage.cfm?idEvent=23883&idUser=634613

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I promise I will do a better job at updating my blog during marathon training! Happy reading and happy training to all of you out there!

Challenge Accepted

First, I would like to take a moment and remember the tragedy that bestowed Boston yesterday… I can’t even begin to imagine being in that situation.

On to happier news…

Triathlon

I completed my first training day for my triathlon on June 16th! I haven’t officially registered yet because I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with the training as finals quickly approach, but I am extremely determined.

Why a tri?

I have never done a triathlon before, but I have worked at the past two spring triathlons at the Rec-Plex, which of course lit a spark and I decided I would eventually try one. I’m not a swimmer (or even a biker!) but I’m up for the challenge! I’m also really looking forward to the summer body that will come along with it!

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Marathon

On Sunday, I decided I was going to run my first marathon in fall, but I looked up the Chicago Marathon and I noticed that registration was already closed unless I registered through a charity. I looked up what would be required of me by running for charity, and I decided to accept the challenge. I decided I’m running for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation because my second cousin has this disease. In short, cystic fibrosis is a disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems, and the average lifespan is in the late 30s. You can learn more at:  http://www.cff.org

But what’s required of me?

I must raise $1,300 for CFF by a month after the marathon, but I would personally like to raise it by marathon day. This is where I would appreciate any and all help… Please consider making a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through me at the following website:

http://www.cff.org/LWC/dsp_DonationPage.cfm?idEvent=23883&idUser=634613

I am really nervous about this marathon since it will be my first, but I am more determined than ever considering what happened yesterday in Boston. Training will start mid-June for the marathon on October 13th!

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Half Marathon

Since training for the marathon will require running the distance of a half marathon, I’ll also be running one around August 3rd! Any recommendations of where I should go?

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Overall…

I am thrilled about all of the challenges ahead of me! I have never pushed my body this much and I am extremely excited!

Please keep Boston in your prayers…