Monday, December 29, 2014

Thanksgiving x 3

Nearly two months have passed since I finished off my 2014 triathlon season by competing in Ironman Florida on November 1st.  

Returning from Florida
I rode a mental high for several days after returning to Fort Collins. Lots of people had followed the race.  The support and congratulations from everyone was awesome.   

The same date as IM Florida, the team had a huge 5k fundraiser.  I was disappointed to miss it but they appeared to have a fun time.
For 3-4 days, my legs were very sore.  2 days after the race I started swimming again, hoping to loosen.  I ended up hurting my knee returning to biking and running too soon. I had been looking forward to enjoying the beautiful fall weather and instead was stuck inside swimming or off my feet.  Even walking hurt.  
Looking back, the injury served as a forced off-season.  My body had accumulated stress and finally I had to listen.  There was no use pushing through something that painful so I just swam.  It took time and encouraging talks but the past couple weeks I've been riding and running pain free.  

Thanksgiving #1 (with Family)
Most years I return to Minnesota to celebrate Thanksgiving with family.  Since our parents were bike touring Europe, my siblings joined me in Colorado.  I was happy to see my brother and sister for the holiday. My brother, Ernie, is into triathlon and it was fun to swim and run with him.  We went back to our hockey roots for a couple "strength" sessions.  His hard work has been translating into mad gains

My sister, Alison, thuroughly enjoyed planning our Thanksgiving meal.  All I did was cook the turkey (we used a non-basting method so we could just let it sit in the oven) and then follow directions from her.  Geneva came over to help with the food prep.  We took pictures and FaceTimed with our parents.  The food turned out delicious. 
Mantell siblings in Colorado
Talking with our parents in Europe
Dat turkey
Butternut squash, brussel sprouts and onions
Thanksgiving dinner aftermath, 1.5 hrs later we were good for pie
After Thanksgiving, the semester began winding down.  My first semester of graduate school kept me busy.  Even with only three classes the work load was high.  I did my best to buckle down and finished strong.

Thanksgiving #2
My second Thanksgiving was with the CSU Tri Team.  The team got together for a post-Thanksgiving dinner.  Everyone brought a dish to share.

For the past couple months, my training has been composed mostly of swimming. Coach Mace at MP Multisport and I discussed that November/December was the time to become a fish. I still don't have gills but I've gotten a little more comfortable in water. 
With increased pool time comes dried-out skin.  For a while now, I've carried EMJ face lotion in my swim bag.  Having the lotion available immediately after swimming makes facing the freezing outdoor temperatures more bearable.  If you're in Fort Collins I can get you some samples!
Get yourself some from Target or Whole Foods… or ask me:)  
A few times a week I hop on the trainer, mostly to get the feeling of pouring sweat.  We also have weekly spin workouts where people can use Wahoo trainers (capable of measuring power).  Up until this summer I've trained by feel.  This summer I started training with a heart rate monitor but noticed that for trainer workouts, my heart rate progressively climbs.  Numerous people have made me realize the benefits of training with power.  I made a couple moves and am planning to train with a Stages power meter on my TT bike for 2015.

CSU Tri Team Trainer Sesh
Why are they smiling?
Running has taken the longest time to feel normal again.  Not being able to run for 10 days was probably the longest I've gone without running in 4 or more years! Trying to run fast is very challenging right now but I have faith in Coach Mace and the training plan.  Will it ever be the same?  Can I run faster? Only time will tell but I plan to be patient and not force things.  We have goals for the collegiate season but as with many things, putting pressure on them too early does not promote development and often will lead to breaking down.  

Minnesota for Christmas (Thanksgiving #3)
Before heading home for Christmas, my brother came to visit in Colorado.  We swam a lot and did some last-minute Christmas shopping.  Somehow, I convinced Geneva to join us in Minnesota for a few days.  I showed her our St. Paul stomping grounds and we went skating.  I really enjoyed being able to spend some time with her around the holidays.

"Faster… Faster!"
 Because our parents had only just returned from Europe (and missed Thanksgiving), they wanted to have Thanksgiving food for Christmas which was more than fine with us!
Sweet potatoes with marshmallows (where it's at!)
I will be heading back to Colorado for a few days before hitting the road for Tucson.  We will be participating in the University of Arizona Tri Cats winter training camp.  (Read about my time last year) I did several training camps last year and this one is arguably my favorite.

Massive thank you to my parents for feeding me the past week and a half.  Thanks to everyone who has swam with me at some point the past couple months.  Thanks to Every Man Jack for making fantastic, all natural personal care products and helping out some amateur triathletes.  Check out the team's website here.

Thanks for reading, have a great day and see you in 2015!    

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