Nations Triathlon Canceled



As I type this blog now, I am headed to DC to race my fourth Escape Series race for the year (including Escape from Alcatraz).  Hard to believe that it’s already September and my 2018 season is winding down.  Sitting down and having time to reflect and write a blog these days is a rare opportunity.  I am sure those of you with a toddler on the go can relate!   Thinking back to last April when I began my race season, in some ways it seems like ages ago because of how much the kids have changed since then.  Connor has grown up so much since last spring; he’s learned to walk (although now can run!) and he’s learning so many new words every day.  He is usually sleeping though the night now, but we still have a night one a week or so where he is up a couple of times a night.  My sweet baby has turned into such a busy, sweet and fun loving toddler.  Caroline has grown up so much as well as she is now a Kindergartner and getting busy with her own activities like soccer, swimming and show choir.

It’s an unknown how the remainder of my season will play out, but I am proud of my racing results thus far.  I have raced in six races this year (second at the first race and won the last five).  Last winter, there were many days I thought should throw in the towel and retire as it was a hard adjustment training on little sleep and training during the cold, wintry days.  Back then I told myself to simply focus on the goals and the tasks for that day and not think too far in the future.  I would simply just focus on how I felt that day, or that workout and adjust as needed.  This year, I have only focused on one race at a time.  My mantra this year has been to try and do as little “work” (training) as possible in order to maximize my fitness for race day.  I try to get in my key workouts each week, but I also try to avoid going to the deep well in training.  I figure that I can save some of the extra reserves for race day.  Cutting back on some training volume has given me more energy for my kids and less risk of illness/injury.  After giving birth to Caroline, I felt that I had something to prove, that I had to show that I could return to racing after a baby and still be the same athlete I was before.   This left me with the notion that I had to train harder and train even more intensely.  Although I probably had the best training of my career in the couple of years after she was born, I also had some of my worst injuries.  I had some great races, but had to miss out on some key races and training due to illness and injury.  Looking back, I feel that I was pushing to envelope too hard and too often.

After having Connor, I didn’t feel like I needed to prove anything.  I was much more flexible with my training schedule and not sure how my training would translate in my racing results.  I let that pressure within myself let go a bit.  I still had that competitive fire to compete the very best on race day, but I also was wanting to have more balance in my training.  I didn’t need to compete X amount of hard bike/runs/and swims a week.  Maybe this week I will only hit one hard run and that’s ok.  I’m training hard, but saving energy to have that family balance and I am 100% ok with that.

This year, I have had some of my lowest weekly volumes in my swimming and running.  I may not have quite the top end speed of my ITU days, but most importantly, I am really listening to my body when I am feeling tired.  I joke that I don’t really need to do an easy third workout of the day since I spend all afternoon and evening chasing my little boy around and playing with my daughter, but it’s really true.  What I do now in-between workouts looks very different now than it did 15, 10 or even 6 years ago.  These days though, what I do in between workouts may sometimes feel hard, but it’s so much more fun and very rewarding.

All year I have been thinking back and forth in my mind, “Should I try and Ironman?”  Most of my racing this year has been close to home for several reasons.  Traveling a far distance is tough on the body. I was never very good with jet lag in the past.  Also, I like racing close to home because I can be away for just a couple of days and then be back with the kids.  If a race is within driving distance, than the kids can come along with me!  Emotionally, I feel like I haven’t been able to handle being away from the kids longer than three or four days and a long travel trip would be require being away for at least a week.  With not as many Olympic distance non drafting opportunities now as there were four years ago, I naturally look at longer distance racing as an option.  I am now at the later stages of my career and thinking about what do I want to accomplish as I finish out my career. This year there are new qualifying procedures for 70.3 and Ironman racing (winning an Ironman qualifies you for the World Championships).   I qualified for the 2019 70.3 World Championships last month by winning Ironman 70.3 Steelhead and looking at possibly trying to qualify for the Ironman World Champs next month in Louisville.  As I head into this race; I won’t be overcooked. I may lack some experience at this distance and stepping into some uncharted waters for myself.  There are many unknowns about this distance that can only be answered and achieved by toeing the line and stepping up to race.

 

 

Flying back home last Saturday I continued my blog below:

 

The Nations Escape Triathlon Series race would have been my seventh race of the year; but unfortunately due to weather, it was cancelled.There was some flooding on the course and with more rain to come in the morning, the organizers decided it would be in the best interest of the athletes to cancel the event as per safety concerns.  This morning the swim portion of the race was cancelled, followed by a full race cancellation this afternoon.

Looking at the extended forecast early in the week, Nate and I contemplated cancelling our flights and hotel reservation in fear of a race cancellation.  We have been in this business for quite some time and I just had a feeling in my gut it may be cancelled.  I was looking at the weather that was headed towards DC and I was certain it would be a duathlon, but thought there was a chance we may still race.  We figured that we would be more disappointed if we didn’t go and there was a race, so off we went.

Last night there was heavy rain and thunderstorms for several hours.  Light rain continued today and heavy rain was in the forecast for the morning.  This system was remnants of a tropical storms over the Gulf that affected much of the country.  Unfortunately, the prize money was not split amongst the professional athletes (which is what normally happens in most races when a race is cancelled to help cover the cost of travel).   Being a big city race, this was an expensive travel cost for my family which was a big reason why we were tempted to cancel the trip earlier in the week in case the race were to be cancelled.   Nate and I can joke in the future years how much fun we had on our one day, $2,500.00 date to DC!

Once I heard the race was cancelled, we headed back to the hotel, changed our flights (decided to go ahead and pay the change flight fee) and got on an evening flight back to St. Louis.  It will be nice to spend Sunday home with the family and then it will be back to hard training Monday.  I won’t need a few extra days recovery as I normally do, so back to training it will be.

My thoughts have transitioned to what will likely be my last race of the year on October 14th, Ironman Louisville.   I have a month to go to include some long, solid training into my schedule before my final 2018 race.  September is one of my favorite times of the year to train.  Typically the humidity drops, but the days are still warm and the leaves haven’t fallen yet.  Best wishes to everyone with their end of season racing and training.  Don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

Performance Bicycle May National Bike Month



Thanks Performance Bicycle for the new shoes!! Stay tuned for more videos to come!

2018 Update



2018 Season Update

It’s been a long time since I have written a blog. I have been wanting to write a blog, but free time to sit and write has not been available the better part of the last six months.
My 2017 season was short and sweet. I finished with an Olympic distance race in September and knew that my body would not be ready to race a 70.3 distance in October. Connor was also not taking bottle, so that meant racing a longer distance race was impossible.

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It was a blessing that my season did end in September because my amazing infant sleeper went through the four month sleep regression and never seemed to get out of it! We did not experience a sleep regression with Caroline, so this was new for us. Last fall/winter was tough because Connor was waking up usually every 2 hours and although I was in bed for roughly ten hours, I woke up exhausted every morning. Caroline was in preschool 2x a week, so napping during the day was not an option either. Around 5-6 months, Connor was also getting fussy at the gym so my two hour time slot at the gym usually turned into maybe a 45 minute workout. Fortunately, it was the off-season, but mentally I was thinking in my mind how am I going to do this? Race? Train?

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Around mid December, my husband realized that I needed help during the night so we started breaking up the night being on “Connor duty”. I was with Connor from 8-3AM and Nate had Connor from 3-6:30AM. Although I would still be up three or four times per night, as long as I had a three or four hour stretch of solid sleep, I felt so much better. This change gave me the ability to start actually training again.
Currently Connor is still waking frequently, but with cold season on it’s way out, I can tell his sleeping is improving. Some of his night wakings were related to back to back colds and he had two months of stuffy noses, coughing and a few nights of fevers. With little babies loving to put everything in their mouths, all the babies at the gym drop off were all sharing colds! He also has a tough time self settling, so hopefully he will get the hang of it once he is a little older. I am trying to keep him on a more regular schedule with meals and napping, so hopefully that will be another factor towards improving his sleep. With frequently wakings, I usually try to go to sleep the same time as my kids, so that when I get woken up at 10:30 or 11:00pm, I have at least had a block of two hours of sleep verses having just fallen asleep. That has helped me a lot with training, but definitely doesn’t leave much time in the day for much else…!

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For the most part, I feel like I am getting back into a training groove. I have been training solo and have been coaching myself, but I am actually enjoying it most of the time. I usually do around 2-3 hours of training a day with one day off per week. My Dad is training for a half marathon, so he has been running on the treadmill while I have been cycling on the trainer. It’s nice to have a little company a few times per week and we are watching the series, “The Americans” together while we train. Nate has been coaching a high school girls team and hasn’t been making it to the gym with me, but by March he will be able to join me for a couple of workouts a week. What I enjoy about coaching myself at the moment is that I can dictate workouts based on how I am feeling on the day or even during the workout. I have so many external factors that influence my day to day activities and energy levels, so I feel it is beneficial for me not to have a plan written out in advance. I have a general plan the day before about whether I will swim/bike or run and then I will construct my workout during my warm-up. A few workouts I have felt surprisingly better than expected, so I will then add additional bike or run intervals to my workouts. There have also been days where I have felt really run down, so I back off and really listen to my body. Of course there are those days where I have a sick child who has been up at night or needs extra cuddles during the day, so that will throw a curve in my training for the day. I am also trying to stick to a plan of running only every other day and keeping my mileage fairly low at this point (usually only 20-25 miles/week). I don’t want to encounter a stress reaction or fracture while breastfeeding (I experienced this when Caroline was 11 months). Training and nursing has been easier over the winter months verses race season. I remember trying to keep up with hydration while breastfeeding in the summer months was tough, but it doesn’t seem to be nearly as difficult in the winter.

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Life has been busy but so rewarding. It’s such a joy watching Connor grow each day and seeing Caroline grow into a big sister role has been great. I can’t wait until spring/summer when the kids will join me back on the race course and we will all recover at the pool.

I am excited for the 2018 season to get underway. My first race back will be in April, which I know will be here soon enough! I am pleased with how my fitness has been progressing and I always love to get out on the race course and push myself! Thank you to my partners for the 2018 season:
BlueSeventy
ISM Seats
Groove Life
Mission Athlete
Sram Road/Zipp/ Quarq
Performance Bicycles/Fuji
Rudy Project
TriFlare

12 Days of Christmas 2017



12 Days of Christmas Special

December is here and with that brings holiday cheer! I want to honor all of my sponsors and partners who have supported and thank them with some great Christmas Cheer!  Beginning on December 11th and ending on December 22nd, I will have a prize awarded each day on my Facebook page (Sarah Haskins Triathlete Page). All that is required for the contest is to like my page and look for a post each day that will feature the Christmas gift. How to win the prize each day is simple; the first person to like and comment on the post will be awarded the prize! Stay tuned and Happy Holidays!
Thank you to my partners and supporters over this 2017 year. I will provide free shipping to those who live in the lower 48!

12 Days Christmas Giveaway
Dec. 11th Blue Seventy
Dec. 12th Fuji Bikes
Dec. 13th Groove Life
Dec. 14th ISM
Dec. 15th Mission Athlete
Dec. 16th Rudy Project
Dec. 17th Skechers Performance
Dec. 18th Sampson
Dec. 19th SRAM
Dec. 20th TriFlare
Dec. 21st Zipp
Dec. 22nd Performance Bicycle

 

Scavenger hunt!!!




At my upcoming races this fall I will be doing a scavenger hunt for some awesome gear. You will need to find one of the three stars: green, yellow, or blue to win a prize.  I will be hiding these stars around the cities where the races are taking place.  I will be posting clues on twitter to find them.  Find a star and present it to me for some awesome gear.   1 coin equals 1 prize.    Be sure to follow me on Twitter @sarahhaskinstri for your chance to find a star and win a prize!

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The first race will be Escape to Des Moines Triathlon. I will be giving away gear from Groove Life, a his and hers ring set, Blue Seventy goggles with swim cap, and Glukos Energy Powder.

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The second race will be the Nations Triathlon in Washington DC: I will be giving away an ISM saddle, Mission Athlete Gear, and Rudy Project Sun Glasses.
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The third race will be the Escape Lake Geneva Triathlon Race. I will be giving away Zipp Bar Tape with Zipp Visor, and a pair of Skechers Running shoes, and Rudy Project Boost 01 Helemt.

 

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The fourth race will be the Ironman Miami 70.3. I will be giving away:
Triflare Sarah Haskins Bikini, Fuji bikes T-shirt, and a SRAM PC1170 11 speed Chain

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