IMLP: 3 Months Ago Already!

Can’t believe that Ironman Lake Placid was exactly three months ago today. I’m already looking forward to round two next year! The race was DEFINITELY one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done… but it was also a really rewarding experience. Racing alongside my dad and with my two uncles and cousin made the day so much more enjoyable.

If you’re thinking about signing up for an Ironman, you can check out the full list of events here.

For my full race report on my Ironman at 18, click here.

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On the bike course!

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My two bracelets that I’ve left on since race day – three months can do a lot of wear and tear!

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After the race!

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Beggs with Mike Reilly at the Athlete Dinner!

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Post-Race with Erin!

Have you done an Ironman? If not, do you plan on doing one someday?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Race Memories. {IMLP Bracelets Still On!}

Uncle Mike and I still have our Ironman bracelets on from July!

Uncle Mike and I still have our Ironman bracelets on from July!

Uncle Mike came to take me out to dinner in Cambridge last week, and sure enough both of us still had the blue IMLP bracelets on!

It’s a family tradition for the Beggs to keep on the bracelets until they fall off (or get super tattered). My Uncle Billy once made it until the next Ironman an entire year later with the bracelet still on (with the help of some tape :))

Do you keep on race bracelets after important races? Or put race bibs on your wall? Or something else?

What’s your favorite way of reminding yourself of race memories?

Tri Hard,

Caity

 

Reflect & Recover. {Set Goals & Look Ahead}

As the summer racing season has officially come to a close, many of us are just squeezing in a few more fall races before our tri-life takes a hiatus for a few months. Although it’s always exciting to wrap up an event-filled season, it’s important to not forget about the months of work you put into the races — that is, it’s vital to reflect & recover.

Here’s how you can do this:

  • Go through your races in your head. What went wrong? What went right? If you notice a pattern in the races (like poor transitions, nutrition problems, etc.) write it down. Focus on it for next season.
  • Analyze your performance. Did you accomplish your goals? If so, what is your next step for next season? If not, what can you do to achieve them next season?
  • Look ahead & Map out your goals. What do you want to accomplish next season? Big or small, it always helps to look ahead and map out your goals. After you look ahead and reflect, how can you take steps to accomplish your goals for next year?
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After Ironman! Next spring, I’ll start training again for IMLP 2014 🙂

Taking a few moments to analyze your performance from the season & map out a plan for how you’d like next season to go can also help alleviate off-season blues — for having something to look forward to (like a new goal or race) definitely helps increase motivation.

For me, reflection often takes place on walks. Walks back from practice, to class, or otherwise. Especially when I’m walking back from practice along the Charles, I often like to take an extra second to think. To reflect. I’ve begun to map out in my mind how I’d like next season to go — how I’d like to improve my Ironman time, how I can train more, etc. But I’ve also taken time to recover — to take some time off from super long swims, bikes, and runs so that I can return to next season’s training refreshed and ready to go. Find your best spot to reflect. And take some time to do it.

Both reflection & recovery are vital to healthy goal setting for each season. Without reflection, you can rush into new goals without fully taking into consideration your past season. Likewise, without recovery, burn out becomes much more likely.

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Looking ahead, planning, and setting lofty goals for the upcoming year can be difficult — but it’s definitely worth it.

How do you reflect & recover from your season? Does it help you to map out your goals for the upcoming season in advance?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Transition Periods {Back to Cambridge!}

After getting back into the swing of things in New Jersey over the summer, I’m now transitioning back to life in Cambridge! I moved back in yesterday {I’m a sophomore at Harvard}, and things {surprisingly} already feel settled.

Transition periods can be a bit rough — the anticipation of a change, moving from one atmosphere to another, and so on and so forth; but they can also be fun. It’s been great to see everyone & be back in Massachusetts! I saw my crew teammates for the first time today, and I’m super excited for the fall racing seasons for both crew and triathlon.

Some tips for transition periods –

  • Stay organized. Last year when I moved in I brought WAY too much stuff & I wasn’t very organized. I’m making an effort to keep my room a lot more organized this year. Transitioning from one place to another {or from one point in your life to another} can be a lot less overwhelming if you’re organized.
  • Embrace the change. Worrying about the change in your life will only create more stress! Stay positive & excited for what’s to come.

See below for some pictures from my transition week 🙂

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Last family day at the beach!

On the ferry home

On the ferry home from Martha’s Vineyard 😦

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Leaving Martha’s Vineyard 😦

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Good to see the boathouse again! Love rowing at Weld

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Kaitlin (YoungTri Executive Board Member) and my families finally met this weekend in Boston!

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Reunited in Cambridge!

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First bike workout in the dorm!

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Bike in the room! (connected to a Cycleops) – and almond milk in the background haha

The wall above my desk!

The wall above my desk! (with lots of tri stuff – my Ironman race bib, medal, & some YoungTri stuff) 🙂

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Mom (&dad &TJ) helped me move in all day!

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The room!

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Roommate love! First weekend out!

Have you gone through a transition period recently? How have you been adjusting?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Final Summer Race: YoungTri Takes West Point Triathlon

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The West Point Triathlon was my last summer race before heading into the fall racing season. I wore my Harvard jersey alongside many of the West Point athletes {both teams are in the NECTC – New England Collegiate Triathlon Conference. Stay tuned for a post on the NECTC tomorrow, as well as more features during the fall season}.

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Camp Buckner – site of the race

The race took place at Camp Buckner, about 30 minutes from my house. My cousins had car trouble and arrived less than five minutes before transition closed, so my dad and I helped set up the other 5 Beggs’ transition areas quickly! 7 Beggs total completed the West Point Tri this year — missing a few!

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Transition Area

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YT Contributor Alex is on the West Point Tri team & was at the race also

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Before the swim start… rockin’ the cone head look!

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Team RWB was represented quite a bit at the race.

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…And we’re off!

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Coming out of the water

My aunt Leah on the bike!

My aunt Leah on the bike!

Post-race selfies

Post-race selfies

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After the race! #selfies

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Same number! Lol

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The 4 Begg girls that raced after the finish!

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Dancing after the race (I was terrible)

My cousin Erin placed third in her age group, Alex got second in the cadet category, my dad placed second in the clydesdale category, and I got second in the Athena category! For the full results, click here.

The West Point Tri is always a favorite for me, since I did my very first triathlon there in 2005. I’m excited to race again there next year again with my family! It’s always a nice way to wrap up the summer racing season.

What was your favorite end of summer race?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Best Triathlon Beach Reads. {Even if Your Summer is Already Over}

In the final few days of summer, I’ve been trying to pack in a lot of reading. I used to read for leisure all the time, but over the past year or so I’ve read on my own {read: not for school} a lot less.

My goal for the upcoming school year is to change this, and I’ve gotten a head start on this this week.

Two Books to Try this Month

A Life Without Limits – Chrissie Wellington

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I started this book awhile ago but got a bit distracted {I tend to do this with books often – again – working on it!}, and now that I’m into it I’m hooked. Chrissie is a fantastic writer – besides being a four time national champion – and her book centers around her journey to success.

It is a peek below the surface of one of the most high-profile triathletes in the world – into her struggle with anorexia, training with a controversial coach, and more.

Her positive attitude radiates throughout the book – and makes the stories flow nicely.

Sport has such a unique ability to inspire and empower. If used correctly, it can be such a force for good.
-Chrissie Wellington, A Life Without Limits

Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment – Tal Ben-Shahar

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I came across this book when I visited my AP Psychology teacher from senior year last week {he has an awesome collection of books} and he let me borrow it. Written by a Harvard professor, the book centers upon the “positive psychology” movement and outlines a set of principles that you can apply to your life to make yourself feel more happy and fulfilled. He explores why people can achieve great things and have an abundance of material wealth but still feel unhappy, as well as many other topics. I’m only a few chapters in and I’m hooked.

One of the quotes used early on in the book hit me –

the best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.

Ben-Shahar goes on after this quote to say that a struggle free life is not the prescription for happiness. Although not technically a “triathlon” book, it’s definitely worth the read – the principles outlined in the book can have a huge positive impact on your daily life & attitude towards training.

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Reading on the beach!

What are you reading right now and what were your favorite summer reads? What books have inspired you lately?

Tri Hard,
Caity

With Summer’s End, On the Road Again {With Bikes}

Ah, the time as come. As one of the most amazing summers is coming to a close {everything from my first Ironman to YoungTri being on Fox News to running an awesome Swim Across America event in June under the direction of my brother 🙂 to trips to the Hamptons, Florida, Connecticut, Lake Placid, and Martha’s Vineyard — and of course lots of training}, it’s been an amazing few months.

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”
-Charles Bowden

But, as all good things do — summer has to come to an end sometime.

The last few months have been especially transformative and meaningful to me — and I am really happy about the place that I’m in right now. I’m lucky enough to have close enough friends at home who put up with my craziness and who are there for me through everything, which I’m sure — as you probably feel also — makes a world of a difference.

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my best friends at home- missing a few!

Before heading back to Cambridge and life at Harvard, my family decided to take a trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Since Harvard is only about 40 minutes from Wood’s Hole (where the MV ferry leaves), it’ll make moving in a lot easier than driving 3.5 hours (5 with traffic 😦 ) in one day!

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We packed up two cars – one with school things and one with vacation things. And… {of course} our bikes. Martha’s Vineyard is a gorgeous place to bike ride, and I can’t wait to get some longer rides in this week.

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Car loaded with bikes!

At the end of the summer, I always like to take a little bit of extra time to reflect. To think about the past few months — and about all of the little things. I think that’s one of the greatest things about summer — besides the heat-filled morning summer rides, scorching sunny days, afternoons at the beach and the humid nights around a bonfire, summer is a time to keep things in check. To appreciate. To explore. To be thankful. {And to do lots of races. 🙂 Summertime races are almost always the most enjoyable because they often turn into longer trips or fun excursions afterwards!}

The summer is like a reset button. Sure, summer doesn’t mean we don’t have any work, responsibilities or worries, but it really makes the year so much better.

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Drivin’ off of the ferry! Rocking the YoungTri shades, of course 🙂

But hey, fall isn’t so bad. I even have a few races planned with the Harvard Triathlon Team! (And I’m sure many of you have done your best to extend your summer racing into the fall as well :))

If anything, summer can teach us this: that the most important things in life are really doing what we love, spending time with family & friends, and exploring new places.

Here’s to an amazing Summer 2013. And an even better fall.

And in the interim, I’m going to enjoy the last week of sand & sun here in Martha’s Vineyard — and you should make the most of your final days of summer, too! Unless you’re already back at school :).

How has your summer been? How do your family and friends’ support and input {and playful teasing} play a part in your triathlon life?

And… really think about it. What was your favorite place you trained this summer? Even if you didn’t travel much, new paths & corners of your world can often be unearthed during the summer months– which always make training that much more exciting.

Tri Hard,
Caity

Top 5 Ways You Know Your Summer Triathlon Season is Almost Over

1. You’ve already started planning out your race calendar for next year. A trip here, a trip there… some sprints in May and June and an Ironman in July. Next May isn’t so far away, right?!

2. There are more empty gel and protein bar boxes around your house than normal food. Your body doesn’t even know what a week without tri food is like anymore…

3. Your training tan lines are past the point of no return. The upper half of your legs are white, your sunglasses tan is set, and (for girls) your sports bra tan seems to be etched into your skin.

4. You haven’t really faced the fact that your last race is this weekend. How is it already late August?!? It seems like just yesterday you were going on your first open water swim of the season!

5. Your new goggles are a tad scratched – your wetsuit worn in… you seem to be wearing race t-shirts everywhere and your bike & helmet have layers upon layers of old race numbers on them because you can’t bring yourself to peel them off.

There’s nothing better about summer triathlons – trips to new (and favorite) destinations, completing new goals, and meeting new tri friends. But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end (at least until next year). 🙂

What was your favorite part about your summer triathlon season?

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Last day at my favorite open water swim spot for the summer this week! Be back next May for more Ironman training 🙂

Tri Hard,
Caity

What do you want to see more of on YoungTri? Vote & win YT gear!

Vote below & tell us what you want to see more of on YoungTri! Voters {if you comment on the post or email info@youngtri.com} will be entered to win free YT gear – winners announced this weekend.

{Vote multiple times if you want to see more of more than one of the options!}

Tri Hard,

Caity & The YoungTri Team

How to Beat the Post-Race Blues

After training for many months, weeks, or even years for a goal race, some people feel what is called post-race or post-ironman depression. It is a feeling of “what now?” after completing any event that has taken a great deal of time and energy, resulting in a loss of motivation and a feeling of emptiness.

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Beat those post-race blues!

In order to stop post-race depression before it happens, make a plan for the weeks following your “A-race.”

1. Take time after your race to recover. This could mean 1-2 days for a sprint, to 1-2 weeks for an Iron-distance race. It depends on the distance but also how fast you recover. After recovery, get back into it slowly. Don’t start to train structurely yet. Listen to your body!!

2. Set goals! Without knowing “what to do with your life” after a goal race, it is nice to have another race to look forward to. It does not have to be as difficult and time-consuming as the first, but start thingking about that race and train for it. Your entire year should not be for 1 race!

3. Give yourself a “reward” post race. Make the celebration continue on past the finish line. Finishing your race shouldn’t be the end of it all.

It may not be possible to completely get rid of the feeling of post-race depression, but it is important to know what is coming and make a plan so that you’re prepared after the race. Happy training!

Cheers,

Brittany Abuhoff

YoungTri Ambassador