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#Trackmytraining with Rachael: “Blood, Sweat, Tears….and Benchmarks!”

Date:  8/8/16


Here we are 58 days to the Mighty Montauk and I am more excited and more terrified than ever!

It has been a really fun and exciting ride already. Officially 3 weeks into my training I have more new gear than I ever imagined (complete with my new Pretty Pretty Princess, hot pink youth-sized bike helmet), made some great new friends, and have a new found confidence in my abilities. I won’t go so far as to say I’m a “runner” or “cyclist” yet, but I’m getting there! Even though I am just starting out, I have been able to do more already than I imagined and can see a difference each week in how much more I can push myself and how much those around me pushing themselves does for me.

Last Thursday, we had our first benchmark run. Which for me was a BIG deal! I had no idea how much, how fast or how hard I could run- and now I know I can run (mostly) 1.7 miles in 19 minutes. I also know I can’t do worse than that! A little over 11 minute miles doesn’t seem like too bad a starting off point- for me anyway. One of the greatest things about the sports encompassed in a triathlon is that they are very much individual sports. I was a little down after our benchmark run for a few different reasons, mainly because coming in last, even if not in a true race, is never fun. One of our Coaches and an Empire Tri Club Ambassador, Harry, reminded me that I’m not running anyone else’s race. I’m running my own race, and this is MY starting off point. I can only get better from here and they are here to help make sure I do just that. It may sound obvious but it was damn near revolutionary to hear. I know it’s a cliché quote, but even coming in last place I’m still ahead of everyone who never started, and considering that’s where I was a month ago- it feels pretty darn good!

I’ve always participated in more team sports and I really thought I’d miss that environment with the solitude provided by running, biking and swimming, but the comraderie within the Empire Tri Club- the beginners, members and Ambassadors- has started to make all the difference already. Whether it’s a text message pushing me to do an early Saturday morning 20 mile GWB ride with a 4 mile run (one day Julie, one day!) or an long time triathlete reminding me I’m just starting out and that I will finish the tri and get better along the way, there is absolutely a team mentality which I am already feeding off of.  I may be more of a “beginner beginner” than everyone else, but that doesn’t seem to matter or be something that anyone notices but me. Everyone has been incredibly supportive and excited to be on this journey together.  While I haven’t met everyone yet or formed the relationships I’m sure are coming, I can already see how the social element provided by the Empire training program will continue to motivate me on my path to Montauk.

In the past 3 weeks I have lost 6lbs (which would have been more had it not been for a summer girls weekend getaway at the shore – and all the wine that goes with that!), can see new muscle definition, experienced increased energy levels and the desire to work out in ways I have never wanted to before- like running, cycling and swimming! Despite a minor setback (like getting my wisdom teeth out) I am looking forward to our first open water swim clinic at Coney Island on Sunday and hoping my high school swimming skills are still on point (16 years later…)

Benchmark Stats:

Running: 1.7 Miles- 19 Minutes, PPM: ~11 min./mi.

Cycling: 9 Miles- 28 minutes (half of which were very much into the wind!)

                                   Weight lost: -6lbs

Thanks for checking in. Stay tuned for more updates on my own personal road to the Mighty Montauk Sprint!