Cloudsplitter 50k Training Update

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m finally getting back into a serious training routine, with my sights set on finishing the Cloudsplitter 50k in October. I fully expect this to be my biggest challenge yet – harder than Ironman and Tour de Skyline – as the 50k course includes over 9000 feet of climbing.

Elevation profile for the 50k course, which is actually 35.6 miles.

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I’ve been focusing on diversifying my training to include lots of long runs, trail runs, hill repeats, strength work, etc., so that I am doing a bit of everything. In fact, I haven’t done this yet, but I thought today that I should start including some power walking on the treadmill at a steep incline as well. I want to be prepared for any and everything!

I also want to make sure I’m avoiding injuries, so I’m trying to be good about foam rolling and incorporating a couple of recovery swims each week to balance out all the pounding from the running. Cycling is taking a back seat at the moment, because there are only so many hours in a week and I can’t do it all.

I’m super excited to take on this challenge and to have something to focus on again.




Liebster Award

Thank you to my Oiselle teammate Lisa Holt for nominating me for a Liebster Award!

Liebster Award

This is an award that is given by bloggers to other bloggers to bring attention to their blogs and to let their readers learn a bit about themselves. The nominator “nominates” bloggers for the award and asks each of them to answer a series of questions. The nominees answer the questions, and then nominate bloggers and the process starts all over again. In my particular case, Lisa asked 11 questions.

Here are my answers to Lisa’s 11 questions:

1. How did you choose your blog name? I never really named my blog. I’m not sure why, but here we are.

2. What is your favorite thing to write about? I always want to write about long training rides or runs, but rarely do. Maybe I’m too tired afterward. Most often, I blog about races, since I think they are more interesting.

3. Why did you start blogging? I started blogging for a couple of reasons. One was that I wanted an outlet to “talk” about my training. My husband loses interest after the first 30 seconds. Tops. Another reason is was that I wanted to be able to document my progress training for and competing in races. I actually wish I had started this sooner – whether in a blog or in a journal – so that I could look back and read about my highs and lows training for various events. I really wish I had done this for my first marathon, especially, and that I had tried to put into words the pure joy I felt after I finished that race – achieving something I wasn’t sure I would actually be able to do. I remember some of those feelings, but I’m sure not all of them. This year, I had a major running breakthrough. After running 10 minute miles for 5 years, I’m all of a sudden running 9 minute miles seemingly overnight and it’s nice to be able to record how I’m feeling as I go through this major (and surprising!) change in my running.

4. What kind of workout makes you feel the best after it is all over? Really long bikes and runs always make me feel very accomplished. Lots of people can go fast, but I think fewer people are willing to go out and spend 4 hours on their Saturday on a bike. But, maybe I just say that because I’m not fast 😉

5. What has been your proudest racing memory/moment? Hands down, finishing my first marathon, the Richmond Marathon, in 2009.

6. Why did you start running/triathlons? I started running regularly in the fall of 2008, although I had started and stopped quite a bit before that. I did my first tri in 2012 and it was one of the most exciting and fun things ever. It was a sprint, which I think helped. It went too quickly for me to have time to think! I started running and doing triathlons for self-improvement purposes. I think it’s good to challenge yourself to do new things, especially things that require discipline and hard work to achieve.

7. What is your “A” race or biggest fitness goal for 2014? Finishing my first half iron distance race, and finishing it strong. I have two planned, so that gives me two chances.

8. Name 5 songs on your iPod. I’m assuming this isn’t limited to workout songs, since I rarely listen to music when I workout, so here are a few of my favorites, chosen randomly as I scroll through my iPhone library: Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston (can’t not sing this one at the top of my lungs when it comes on!); Sand in My Shoes by Dido (always makes me want to go to the beach); Forever and Ever, Amen by Randy Travis (a classic); Rhythm of Love by the Plan White T’s (the soundtrack for my wedding photo slideshow, so it always brings back great memories); and my favorite song of all time, Something in the Way She Moves by James Taylor.

9. What is your favorite race and why? Probably the Richmond Marathon. I have done it twice and it will always hold a special place in my heart since it was my first marathon.

10. If you could give your 16-year old self a piece of advice, what would it be? I would say that your value as a person comes from inside, from who you are. Don’t be so worried about what other people think. Still working on this one, but I really wish I had that perspective then.

11. Are you going to pass on the torch and nominate 11 fellow bloggers? I’ve nominated 5 of my favorite running/triathlon bloggers, although knowing that there are all very (very) busy people, I will forgive them if they don’t play along. If nothing else, I just want to share their blogs, since I enjoy each of them!



Nathalie: (best blog name, ever!)



Here are the 11 questions I’d like them to answer:

  1. When and why did you decide to start blogging?
  2. What is your proudest training or racing moment?
  3. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on a long ride or run?
  4. What is your favorite post-workout reward or treat?
  5. What is your favorite running or tri-related piece of clothing or equipment?
  6. What is your favorite race and why?
  7. What is your least favorite part of training and how do you overcome it?
  8. What is your favorite quick and easy weeknight dinner recipe?
  9. What race is at the top of your bucket list?
  10. If you could tell someone who doesn’t run why they should start in just one sentence, what would you say?
  11. If you could have dinner with one current or former professional runner or triathlete who would it be?


Wish List

Now that it is finally getting cooler, I’m starting to think about Christmas! Yes, I have a problem. But, I love it! The music, the tree, the parties, the food. I love everything about it! I also have a birthday coming up and a lot of spare time on my hands (I’m furloughed), so I’ve been doing a lot of web browsing and wish list making. Here are a few things I have my eye on:

1. Go Pro HERO3 White Edition

I want a Go Pro. I think these are SO awesome and I’m already thinking of all of the ways I can use it – running, biking, swimming. If you haven’t heard about Go Pro yet, they make tiny waterproof cameras that you can mount anywhere to capture your endurance sports adventures. Check out the videos and photos on the Go Pro website – you will be mesmerized!

2. SMASH Lava Berry Tri Kit 

So, we already know I am obsessed with SMASH. I think on this blog alone I have photos of myself in three different SMASH kits. They just debuted two new styles in Kona and I am majorly lusting after the Lava Berry tri kit. The new kits aren’t even available on the SMASH website yet, but they are already on my wish list! (Because they aren’t on the website yet, I stole this pic of the Lava Berry cycle kit from the SMASH Facebook site).


3. Wings Out PR Necklace and Everything’s Fine Tee

What can I say? A girl can never have too much Oiselle!! I love the Wings Out necklace and it means even more to me now that I am on the Oiselle Team. And, the “Everything’s Fine” mantra has been my go-to throughout this round of marathon training, especially when times have gotten tough on really long, lonely training runs. It works!



4. Shimano Women’s Triathlon Cycling Shoe

Okay, these are expensive, but it’s called a “wish” list for a reason. I love these shoes and my current cycle shoes have seen better days.



5. Sparkly Soul Headbands

Finally, I got hooked on Sparkly Soul headbands during Ragnar and I would love to get a few more colors! They have the grippy fabric all the way around the interior of the band, not just on 3/4 of the band, so they actually stay put, even on my fine hair! Here is a pic of the rainbow wide band, the lavender wide band, and the pink/red wide band. Love them! How can you not smile when you’re wearing a sparkly headband!!