March Training Update

I am long overdue for an update on the blog and, unfortunately, I finally have time to post one because I am on a bit of a training hiatus, but let me back-up a bit.

After a shitty year on the training/racing front in 2017, I was super excited to get started with my 2018 training. On tap for this year, I plan to do the Tour de Skyline in May, Tupper Lake Tinman in June, and Ragnar Trail West Virginia in August, all of which I have done previously. My two big races for the year are Ironman Canada in July, which will be my third Ironman (God-willing), and attempting my first ever 100k trail run at the Cloudsplitter 100 in October. As part of my bike training for Whistler, I’m planning to do the Mountains of Misery ride with Megan in May. 

Part of the issue I had with getting my training done last year was motivation – I wasn’t really excited about anything. So, that I’ve taken care of with the schedule I mentioned above. I am truly excited about all of these events and I want to be in good enough shape to enjoy them. The motivation is there.

The other major issue I had last year was time, which is especially challenging with the work I do. My job is not a 9-5. I have a lot of weeknight and weekend events to attend and I have no offsetting flexibility during the week.

This year, I switched gyms in an effort to make workouts more convenient to my office. I can get in the pool there an entire hour earlier than my old pool, and it’s only 5 minutes from my office, so my commute is already taken care of before I swim. On the really big workout mornings, I pack coffee to drink along with my Bobo’s bar on the way to the pool, so that takes care of breakfast, too.

I started back with a real training schedule on 1/1 and while the 4:30 a.m. wake ups were a shock to the body, I loved being tired and sore from training again.

Back at it on the treadmill.

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Unfortunately, I only made it through about 2.5 weeks of training and then injured the cartilage in my ribs (totally a freak injury). Rib injuries are painful. I would say I wouldn’t wish one on my worst enemy, but truthfully, it’s the perfect thing to wish on your worst enemy! It’s that bad. Even sneezing hurts.

I took a few days of total rest and then was able to do some work on the trainer, but I didn’t swim for almost a month and only did a few baby runs in that time.

Actually missed being in the pool during the rib injury.

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I finally started getting back on track after the injury and then my routine was disrupted again when I went to California on a work trip over the long President’s Day weekend. I was working 18 hour days on this trip and really just wore my body down. I took a red eye home that Tuesday and then went to a work event that same day. I didn’t let myself have any downtime and I think it just all caught up with me.

I ended up getting sick and just couldn’t get better. I would have one okay day, and then exercise for two hours and work a ten hour workday and wonder why I felt sick again the following day. I actually took a sick day from work and stayed in bed an entire day (my first sick day ever at this job), but even the day home didn’t do me any good.

I tried getting out for a run one Sunday afternoon, but regretted it on Monday when my cold was worse again.

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I finally got to the breaking point and went to local urgent care clinic. The NP who originally greeted me in the exam room was lovely, but I guess she was in training. Her boss came in – a spunky older lady – and read me the riot act. She basically yelled at me and told me that I have a “Type A” personality and needed to give my body a break or I was going to end up with pneumonia. She told me I wasn’t allowed to run for 8 days. I replied “how do you feel about swimming?” and I actually thought she might reach across the bed and grab me by the neck and kill me. This woman meant business. I left with five different drugs and strict orders to rest. Not what you want to hear with less than two months until Skyline.

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Rest for any more than two days is too much and I am currently driving my husband and coworkers crazy because I don’t have training as an outlet. 

For my sake, and theirs, I hope to be back at it soon! 

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Mini Race Report: Rehoboth Marathon 2017 

It’s always more fun to write race reports for PRs, but despite my somewhat lackluster result in Rehoboth last weekend, I’m in a delightful mood as I write this because I’m Hawaii-bound for a long-awaited vacation with my husband! I am literally typing up this blog post from 34,000 feet in the air (isn’t technology amazing??). This is our first vacation that’s (1) just the two of us, and (2) not planned around a marathon or triathlon, since our honeymoon in 2011, which seems like an eternity ago.

What better way to get over a disappointing race, than spending some time on the beach sipping a frozen drink out of a pineapple, right?

So, to sum up my performance in Rehoboth, my goal was to run under 4:10 (and my training led me to believe I might even be able to approach 4:05), with a worst case scenario result being a 4:30. I ended up splitting the baby and coming in at 4:19. Definitely not the worst race of my life, but slower than my training would have indicated.

I’m dealing with a minor injury and it was apparent at around mile 10 that it was going to be issue. I ended up taking four ibuprofen during the race (and I had taken two before the start), which I don’t recommend. I’m back to seeing Dr. Grove who says I should be back to normal in about four weeks, just in time for my 50k in January.  From her lips to God’s ears.

Although I ran 8 minutes slower than last year, even though this year’s race had better weather conditions (much less wind), I’m still in love with this course and recommend it to anyone who wants to race a scenic, flat course. It’s really as close as you can get to running a trail race without actually running a trail race.

That being said, I’m not sure I’ll be back again next year. I’ve registered for my first ever 100k (eek!), which will take place in October 2018. I’m not sure how training will go for that and how my body will recover afterward, so for now, I’m not planning to make any marathon racing decisions for next December.

However, if you are looking for a fun marathon experience on a fast course, I definitely recommend Rehoboth.

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!

Gretchen: http://energizermomma.blogspot.com

Kelli: http://destinationcortina2014.blogspot.com

Nathalie: http://thespandexlife.blogspot.com (best blog name, ever!)

Katie: http://1bed1bath6bikes.blogspot.com

Alexandra: http://blog.lexielovestorun.com

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).

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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!

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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.

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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!!

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